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Friday, March 14, 2008

Ferras - Don't Give Up

"There's an angel who never left me completely"

Chartrigger and Poster Girl were both singing his praises, so I had to check out Ferras. Best known for his "idol" song, Hollywood Is Not America, which left me somewhat unimpressed, he's a new American singer-songwriter of a type that we haven't heard for awhile. The debut album sounds sort of like something that would have come out in the late nineties, so in that way it's kind of a throwback to the last time that US radio actually played songs rather than exclusively rap. This is a great thing. I'm not sure I'm quite as excited about the album as my peers, but I've definitely already found a few gems, and expect to find more as I give it a closer inspection. The song that instantly stuck out to me came towards the end. Don't Give Up has a propulsive, dramatic beat and some wonderful falsetto in the chorus. It reminds me a little bit of what Savage Garden would have done, except maybe more rocky. It has an amazing chorus and I hope it soon becomes a hit single.

Ferras - Don't Give Up (zshare)

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Preorder the album here!)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ola - S.O.S.

"I'm sending you an SOS"

To my great surprise, two of Ola's songs made my top 50 tracks of last year. I say this because his first album was full of truly abominable lukewarm teen pop and he hails from Sweden's version of American Idol. Both are not really promising things. Then something amazing happened. He started releasing brilliant, brilliant singles. This pattern continues with his Melodifestivalen entry, the perfect Love In Stereo, which just narrowly missed out on making the finals (even though it should have gone much farther). Most of the stuff on his second album sucks nearly as bad as the stuff on the first, but I've been able to construct an EP that is absolutely unstoppable pop (1. SOS 2. Love In Stereo 3. Natalie 4. Can't Get Enough 5. Good Enough). These songs are so well constructed that it probably doesn't really matter who sings them (although Ola's campy joy when singing Love In Stereo can't really be denied). He's yet to reach the brilliance of SOS, though, one of the best pop tracks of recent years for sure. Even if you're unsure of this guy (as I completely was), listen to SOS and tell me that it's not absolutely flawless. Now he just needs to stick to this style and release a whole album that's this good.

Ola - S.O.S. (zshare)

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Buy the album here!)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Monomen - Drum Of Glass

"That's when I hit my drum of glass"

Monomen is a Norwegian synth pop group with a great, aggressive 80's dance sound. They remind me a little of 2006's White Rose Movement, which produced one of my favorite albums of that year. The best thing about Drum Of Glass is definitely the propulsive synth beat. From the moment I heard it I knew I was sold. The vocals take a little longer to set in, but now I'm completely addicted. Those features, along with the guitar solo towards the end, make this track sound like it's been around for a lot longer than it has. That's not a bad thing. When it comes to 80's revival music, it's all about how authentic it sounds. I have no idea what the lyrics are about (at least those that I can decipher), but it doesn't really matter, because it sounds wonderful.

Monomen - Drum Of Glass (zshare)

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Buy the album here!)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Gentle Touch - Once You Used To

"I haven't even closed my eyes"

I know that whenever Swedish label Songs I Wish I Had Written sends me something it's going to be good. Their new free single is nothing different. Gentle Touch's Once You Used To is dreamy, spaced out synthpop with an obvious Swedish touch. It's the kind of track you put on when you just want to chill out and drift away. Of course, given that it's on this blog, it's also the kind of track that contains beautiful synth work. Once You Used To is taken from the guys' new album, out March 19th. I haven't heard too much from Gentle Touch before, but I'll have to check them out now.

Gentle Touch - Once You Used To (zshare)

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Preorder the album here!)

Video Premiere: Private - We Got Some Breaking Up To Do

These guys make some of the funniest, old school videos out there. I'm thrilled that this song is the next single because it's one of Private's best. The video, though a bit blurred out by the lights, is a great representation of what this band's all about. Dancing in threes seems to be their favorite theme.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Zuma - Joy In The City

"You and I, we were born to be strangers"

Zuma recently released the amazing Always, Always in Norway's Melody Grand Prix, but they've been around for awhile, releasing albums since the beginning of this decade. This track is one of their singles from a few years ago, and while it may start a little slow and uninteresting, the building (and seemingly endless) chorus more than makes up for it. These guys have never been the most skilled lyrically (understandable, given that English isn't their first language), but I enjoy their simple, positive messages and the feel-good electro sound of their music. A new album is on the way soon, and from what I've heard it sounds like it will be their best.

Zuma - Joy In The City (zshare)

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Download more for free here and buy the album here!)