Your Ad Here

Friday, April 06, 2012

Flashback Friday: Fire Inc. - Nowhere Fast

"Everybody's going nowhere slowly"

I can't even describe to you how in love with these songs I am. So in love, in fact, that I can't just post one. Fire Inc. was a band created solely for the purpose of recording this pair of tracks for the 80's cult movie (which I also recommend) Streets Of Fire. The songs were written by Jim Steinman, who's pretty much a god to me. Seriously, he's up there with the very best songwriters in the history of rock. Why no one's commissioned a jukebox musical based on his discography is beyond me. Anyway, I was first familiar with Nowhere Fast through Meat Loaf's version, which was released on his underrated 1984 album, Bad Attitude. The two versions are quite different, both in production and melody, and as much as I love Meat Loaf's version (it's actually one of my favorites of his), Fire Inc's is better. What they've created is an epic, bombastic rock opera. It is literally my absolute favorite style of music. Everything about this is perfection. Play it LOUD.

I also wanted to include the group's only other song, the magnificent Tonight Is What It Means To Be Young. Think of it as the younger, more bombastic cousin to Total Eclipse Of The Heart. Only it's better. This is some of Steinman's best work. A pity that it's also among his least-known. Below is the music video from the movie (Diane lip-syncing along to the song). It's pretty damn ridiculous. Enjoy!

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy the (excellent) soundtrack here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.

Labels: ,

Thursday, April 05, 2012

The 10 Best Singles By... Roxette!

With a new (slightly nostalgic) album out now, it's a perfect time to look back at the phenomenal Roxette's discography. This was an incredibly hard list to pick, because there were 5-10 songs that could have easily been added. Even though their past few albums have been pretty spotty, it's amazing what a remarkably consistent career these guys have had.

10. Crash! Boom! Bang! (1994) - Despite the many exclamation points, a restrained, slow-burning ballad. Marie's always been the master at delivering songs like these, but this one in particular feels incredibly heartfelt.

9. The Centre Of The Heart (2001) - An electronic-leaning, uptempo pop song that introduced them for a new millennium. It still sounds fresh today.

8. Listen To Your Heart (1989) - Their first big ballad and the template for many, many more afterward. It really is a masterclass in pop songwriting.

7. Stars (1999) - Easily their most offbeat, clubby single, this was a refreshing change of pace for the band. The music video is also one of their very best.

6. Dangerous (1989) - Another example of how on-top-of-their-game the band was in the late 80's/early 90's. This is a pop melody without any fat at all. Proved that The Look was no fluke.

5. Spending My Time (1991) - The first selection from the duo's best album, Joyride, this took their ballad-writing skills to an even more polished, mature level. The emotive chorus is one of their best.

4. It Must Have Been Love (1990) - Probably their best-known single in the States, it rightfully goes down as their most enduring ballad. There's just something about the melody and vocal performance that sticks, no matter how many times you hear it.

3. The Look (1989) - The first song I ever heard from the band, and the one that made me a fan. That guitar riff and verse melody is unmistakable. Massive pop song.

2. Fading Like A Flower (1991) - I think this marks the perfect middle-ground between their ballad and uptempo sounds. The propulsive chorus is absolutely galvanizing. To me, this era was Roxette at their absolute finest.

1. Joyride (1991) - One of the most joyous pop songs ever to hit number one in the States (and around the world). This track not only kicked off their best album, but manages to endure through the years despite (or because of?) its cheesiness and 90's production tricks. Simply put, an epic song is an epic song, no matter when it's recorded.

So there you go! But here's the thing, no list is complete without hearing what you think! Leave your top ten Roxette songs in the comments!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Chantal Claret - Pop Pop Bang Bang

"I shot you, now you're dead"

Sorry about the lack of post yesterday. I was out of town! But I'm back today with a doozy. This track is so freaking catchy. Chantal Claret is (was?) the lead singer of the band Morningwood, who had a minor hit a few years back. Now she's gone solo with a poppier sound. This song in particular marries Katy Perry with Amy Winehouse. It's a perfect sound for the Summer, and boasts one of the catchiest hooks I've heard all year. It's the kind of chorus that's so simple and familiar that you swear you've heard it before, but it still manages to feel new and fresh. The EP was released yesterday, and features four songs. This is by far the catchiest (the rest are more along the Winehouse/Dusty Springfield route). Certainly one to watch, though.

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy the EP here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.


Monday, April 02, 2012

Dragonette - Let It Go

"We don't need a cure for the weight of the world"

This track burst onto the web at the end of last week, but I haven't had a chance to offer my thoughts on it until today. Under any circumstance, a new Dragonette single is something to cheer about. Now that the band have come off their phenomenal worldwide success with Martin Solveig, I'm hoping that this can be their first solo single to do well outside of Canada. Sound-wise, it's not entirely different than their Solveig work. The band have been providing new album teasers for months now, and honestly the clip of Let It Go was never my favorite, or the most interesting. It is, however, a naturally radio-oriented pop song, though it might still be too cool for mainstream US stations. It has the fizzy synth sound of their best work, married to a quick, relentless melody. And, most importantly, it does nothing to tarnish their reputation as a perfect pop band. Now bring on the album!

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy their previous album here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.