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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"I don't wanna believe it"

Back to some teen pop. For those who can't stomach it, you'll just have to bear with me for today. After all, I posted a great track from Demi Lovato a short while ago. It's only fair to complete the package with Disney's other popstar-in-training. Selena Gomez, as an actress, is actually my favorite. Like Shia Labeouf in Even Stevens (btw, one of the best kid's shows ever), I think she's really got a future ahead of her. She seems smart, mature and charming, and most importantly she's got that x-factor. Her music is definitely closer to the pop/dance side of the spectrum, and that's a total plus. Songs like Disappear are pure fluff, but it's the kind of fluff I can totally get behind. Sure, it's from the Wizards of Waverly Place soundtrack so it's pretty much contractually obliged to include references to "magic" in it, but I could see this being a real radio hit outside of Disney. Her debut album comes out in September (29th, I think), and will complete the Miley/Demi/Selena trifecta, I guess. God I am still such a teen at heart. Groan. Enjoy it, though. This is one catchy track.

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy the album here. Follow me on twitter at nickajames)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"Nothing can stop us if we stick together"

I Won't pretend that I'm the first one to post about this Swedish duo, but even though I'm somewhat behind the curve, I've got to mention them today because their new video to Into The Clouds was released and is really one of the best vids I've seen this year. Very dreamlike and ethereal, just like their music. Into The Clouds is by far my favorite track I've heard from the guys. It has that wall of sound feel to it, with electric swooshes swirling around constantly like some pop hurricane. But nestled within is an indiepop smash with a dance beat to boot. Excellent stuff, ready for the big time.

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy the singles here. Follow me on twitter at nickajames)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Track-by-Track: Cobra Starship

I didn't think this group would be around this long, let alone make their catchiest album three years from their inception. A surprising triumph.

1. Nice Guys Finish Last - Borrowing from Adam Ant (woohoo!) and big band, this is probably the most unique track on the record and my choice for second single. The chanting is utterly addictive, and it's easily among the poppiest things the band has recorded. 10/10

2. Pete Wentz Is The Only Reason We're Famous - I hate these long "clever" titles that have little to do with the song, but luckily the track is actually very good. It opens aggressively, but soon segues into a calmer verse and a funny, catchy chorus. 8/10

3. Good Girls Go Bad - If ever a track would propel them into superstardom, this would be it. The first single, and an excellent choice, sounds like it's produced by RedOne, though it's not. Leighton Meester adds some much-appreciated spunk to the primarily dance track. Sinfully catchy. 10/10

4. Fold Your Hands Child - This starts as straight-up synthpop before chugging into a rockier chorus. I'm especially fond of the verses here, which have an accomplished subtlety to them that's missing on some of the other tracks. 9/10

5. You're Not In On The Joke - Another possible single choice, there's an almost Michael Jackson feel to the verses--very funky. The chorus is a total singalong. If only they would have cut the odd shouty bits at the end, it would be perfect. 9/10

6. Hot Mess - The verses, again, are very interesting, with some nice vocals, but the chorus isn't quite up to snuff in my opinion. It's a little silly and can verge on annoying. Certainly not bad, but not a favorite either. 7/10

7. Living In The Sky With Diamonds - This has a very brisk, soft disco feel to it compared to the other tracks. Gone are the jokey elements in favor of more accomplished dance-rock songwriting. 8/10

8. Wet Hot American Summer - The verses on this song are flawless, with my favorite synth bits of the entire album. The chorus doesn't really meld as well with them as I would like. It almost feels like a different song. Good, certainly, but a little odd. 8/10

9. The Scene Is Dead; Long Live The Scene - One of the mellowest tracks on the album, but still uptempo. This is an absolute masterpiece. The vocals and harmonies are brilliant and the melody super-catchy. 10/10

10. Move Like You Gonna Die - Probably my least favorite track. It's one of the rockiest, and closest to classic "emo" music. 6/10

11. The World Will Never Do - Another one that's not really a favorite. It's got a laid back reggae feel to it and doesn't necessarily blend well with the rest of the album. 6/10

12. I May Be Rude But I'm The Truth - I love this track! It's a b-side on the deluxe version, but is better than most of the tracks on the album. The "Sha-na-na-na" parts in the chorus are addictive and the synth is full-on. 10/10

13. Cobras Never Say Die - A nice, synth-led track, but nothing overly special. A theme song of a sort, I guess. 7/10

Album's out tomorrow. Definitely recommended!

Album Grade: 8.3/10