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Friday, January 22, 2010

Pop Blitz 1/22/10

Goldfrapp - Rocket
This is better than I dared hope Goldfrapp would come back with, especially after their left-turn of a folk-pop album. Bright, summery synths never sounded better. It's like they studied this blog and constructed something to appeal especially to me. A

Young Money - BedRock
I remember when the whole Cash Money brand produced some decent (if incredibly stupid and easily mocked) rap music. I like Lil' Wayne when he was a teenager, or Juvenile's dumb singles, or even the ridiculous "Hot Boys." This is garbage. They took out all of the fun. F

Taylor Swift - Today Was A Fairytale
Let the overexposure begin. How long can she write about fairytales and princes and crap like that? I don't buy that she's always the great lyricist people claim she is. This is sub-par Hallmark card material. Her last one was heaps better. C-

Orianthi - According To You
The guitar is fantastic. Unfortunately, the song's an absolute bore. And, oh my god, who approved of that video? Why the hell is there the neck of a guitar covering the screen half of the time? C

Example - Won't Go Quietly
This could definitely use a stronger chorus. The verses are definitely the best part, but all in all it's pretty forgettable. A time-passer, though I doubt I'll remember it in a few months. B-

Justin Bieber - Baby (ft. Ludacris)
How lucky is this kid? Right place, right time. Like his past singles, it's certainly catchy. I actually kind of like the chorus a lot more than I should. Guilty pleasure, for sure.B

Marianas Trench - Beside You
An emo rock worth noting, especially since I usually hate emo rock. The African elements to this are gorgeous and add an interesting texture to what could've been a boring ballad. A-

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Casablanca - Downtown

"We've got one chance left to turn it all around"

Imagine my delight when discovering that two fifths of this new Swedish supergroup are Erik Stenemo (from Melody Club) and Josephine Forsman (from Sahara Hotnights). That alone caught my attention and guaranteed that I was going to sit up and take Casablanca seriously. The band hearkens back to the over-the-top hair metal of the 80's and is very authentic in that. They really go for the lighters-in-the-air anthem template with Downtown, a song that sounds a little like The Ark in parts--the dramatic, slowed down chorus, especially. Frontman Anders Ljung is no Ola Salo, but his throaty, at times sleazy, vocals fit the KISS-style aesthetic perfectly. This genre trends toward self-parody almost instinctively, but something about this band (and Swedish music in general), manages to harness the genre's tropes and turn something that could be cheesy into something quite rousing. And with support from Swedish radio (this song debuted on the annual P3 Guld awards), they could turn out to be what we thought H.E.A.T. was last year.

Casablanca - Downtown by alienhits

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

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Peacocks - Fast Lover

"Slow me down, it's too soon"

I've had my eyes on Australia's Peacocks for awhile now. Quite a few months ago (maybe over a year?), they had some amazing songs up on their myspace. Since then, they've added another vocalist and went a bit clubbier. While I much prefer their older stuff, I'm really into this new song of theirs, Fast Lover. It features exclusively the vocals of their new member, Mereki Beach-Party. Fans of Dragonette and the Lovemakers will find this quite similar to those artists. Strong 80's vibe with a collage of sweeping synths and a punchy chorus. It also sounds like a song perfectly suited to Kylie Minogue, especially given her more recent electro stuff. Best of all, the new Peacocks EP is available for free download on their myspace, featuring the even better Take It Off, which I posted on this blog a long time ago.

Peacocks - Fast Lover by alienhits

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


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Track-by-Track: Ke$ha - Animal

Oh, Ke$ha. I am not a fan, and I should probably preface this review with that. I find her obnoxious. Every interview I've seen, she's come across as clueless and/or intoxicated and the fact that a song as average as Tik Tok has become a number one hit for so many weeks speaks volumes about the sorry state of hit music. All that being said, in the interest of objectivity I'm going to stuff my annoyance away and try to focus on the music, because there are a few high points here.

1. Your Love Is My Drug - A nice, summery Katy Perry type song. This has a great chorus that is brought down by whiny sing-speak verses. Still, it's one of the few tracks that isn't ridiculously immature. 8/10

2. Tik Tok - I really do think you have to be under the influence of something to enjoy this fully. The lyrics are just so annoying. They're not cute, they're not funny, they just make her look/sound ridiculous. That being said, the song is a hit for a reason. It's devilishly catchy. 6/10

3. Take It Off - I despise the sampling in this chorus. It's so lazy and obvious. In fact, this is less a song than it is a look-at-me attention grabber. 3/10

4. Kiss N Tell - Finally, something resembling a melody. I would like this so much more if somebody else sang it, but even with Ke$ha's snotty vocals it's one of the early standouts. 7/10

5. Stephen - The chorus is alright, but those verses! Her delivery just ruins it. She doesn't sound good. At all. 6/10

6. Blah Blah Blah- Unlistenable. This is beyond bad, and the fact that it's the second highest selling track on the album is baffling. By far the worst song on the album. 1/10

7. Hungover - Here we get the big electro ballad. Maybe it's supposed to be taken seriously, but coming after the first six songs, it's just a little silly. 5/10

8. Party At A Rich Dude's House - Before I even heard this, I hated the title, so I came in programmed to hate the song as well. It's actually better than anticipated, a bit more new wave than the previous stuff with a great guitar riff ruined by the stupid lyrics. 7/10

9. Backstabber - I could see this becoming annoying, but it fits the whole Ke$ha sound a lot better than most of the tracks. I don't hate it. Maybe it's the subdued vocals in the verses. 7/10

10. Blind - A more straightforward pop song, minus the irritating antics that drag down most of the album. This is far more stately (or at least, goes for stately). The vocals ruin it, though. They don't mesh with the music at all. 6/10

11. Dinosaur - Strangely, one of my favorites. Unlike most everything else, the snottiness and immaturity actually works here. There's a wicked 80's synth line after the chorus and, as annoying as the chant-singing could be, it somehow isn't here. 8/10

12. Dancing With Tears In My Eyes - Back to straight-up electro, and this is pure filler. I was hoping this would be a cover of the Ultravox song (which the much-superior Velvet did in early 2009), but instead, it's utterly forgettable. 6/10

13. Boots & Boys - Irritating, spoken verses give way to a chorus that isn't half-bad. But it's another example of the shallow, materialistic subject matter of the album, which would be okay if she found a way to write about these things interestingly. "Give me boots and boys" = not interesting. 6/10

14. Animal - Shows a little bit of promise, as the subject matter here is a little more interesting, as is the melody and song construction. It's not highly memorable, but I'll give her a few points for doing something different. 7/10

*On a final note, I've heard another Ke$ha song (Mr. Watson) that is actually better than most of this album. It's an example of how to do the sleazy/immature thing with an actual melody. Though the lyrics are... well, illegal?

Album Grade: 5.9/10

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Ginger Ninja - Bone Will Break Metal

"We could be anything, anything"

LOVE this band. They're one of those discoveries that really gets me excited, and I think they'll be huge in their native Denmark this year (despite the ridiculous name). If you're looking for a massive electro/pop/rock song, this is the best I've heard in some while. The massive, swooping synths alone are worth a mention, but the instant chorus and fantastic lyrics can't be ignored, either. I love songs like this. It's dance, but built on the skeleton of a ballsy rock song. Ginger Ninja's debut album, Wicked Map, is out next Monday in Denmark and contains their other upbeat single, Sunshine. I'm dying to hear it. I have a feeling these guys could end up as one of my favorite new groups of 2010.

Ginger Ninja - Bone Will Break Metal by alienhits

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