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Saturday, October 02, 2010

X-Factor 2010 - If I Were Picking The Top 12

So I am dangerously obsessed with this year's X-Factor. What a strong, strong group of contestants. For anyone who's watching, here are my favorites--most favorite at number one for each category.


1. Nicolo
2. Matt
3. Aiden/Tom


1. Cher
2. Ghamu
3. Katie/Keri


1. One Direction
2. Husstle
4. F.Y.D.

Over 28's:

1. Storm
2. Mary
3. Does it matter??


Friday, October 01, 2010

The JAM Band - Kill Me On A Friday

"Shoot me with your love"

This is a fantastic little curio from Denmark. What does it say about my music taste that I can be totally into a track written by a tv jingle company for a comedy sketch show? I prefer not to dwell on that question, but I think after listening to this, you'll realize why it struck me so instantly on first listen. It's a cheesy, total 80's pastiche with a ridiculously catchy hook. Parts even sound like Melody Club, one of my favorite all time bands. The song was written for the show, "Live Fra Bremen" (a sort of Danish SNL, I'm assuming?) to launch their new season. I prefer not to watch the promo videos, though, and imagine that this is some kind of lost 80's classic. I mean, it's got those Van Halen synths, processed drums, cheeky lyrics, and a complete lack of self-consciousness. Even when parodying, Scandinavia does it better.

The JAM Band - Kill Me On a Friday by alienhits

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy the song (worldwide!) on itunes. Follow me on twitter and facebook.

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Music Video: The Hoosiers - Unlikely Hero

Epic single from an epic album. If this can't "save" the album campaign, I don't know what could. I'm not sure what the hell the video has to do with the song, but when you've got a chorus this gargantuan, it doesn't really matter.

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Infernal - Fall From Grace

"I don't even move away"

I haven't had my word on Infernal's new album yet, and I figure it's about time. Compared with their last release (which was their career high in my opinion), this album's a step down. It's not bad--in fact, it's all pretty good, but that's the problem. Lots of good... no standouts. Whereas there was a genuine feeling of experimentation on the last album, playing around with various styles and sounds, Fall From Grace feels like one big song. It succumbs to the trendy big synth sound of today's dance music scene (used well, but unsurprisingly, on this track at about the 0:55 mark), and has a bit of an anonymous style to it. The drums on this, the opening track, are one of those moments of inspiration that poke through every once and awhile throughout the album and remind me what a fantastic dance group Infernal can be. The track's got a huge sound and an edge-of-your-seat, exciting melody. A promising start to an otherwise (slightly) disappointing album. But that's my take. What do you guys think?

Infernal - Fall From Grace by alienhits

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


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dyno - Back

"I close my eyes and let myself go"

I haven't written about Dyno in some time here on alienhits, and it's a shame because they are one of the absolute best new bands of the year. Of the 17 tracks I've heard, they've yet to have a single misstep. They're that rare band where you know you're going to get a little pop epic every single time they release a song. Back is one of their newer songs, and yet another example of their hyper-catchy, lush synth sound. It begins a little tentative before launching into a propulsive, fist-in-the-air chorus. The guys have an EP coming out soon, followed by (hopefully) an album. I can't help but think that these guys are not getting the support, both online and in traditional press, that they deserve. They are seriously more amazing than 99% of music out there right now, and exactly the type of sound this blog was created to highlight. And on another note, isn't that photo (above) stunning? Would make a great album or EP cover. Just sayin'

Back by dynodynodyno

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


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Track-by-Track: Bjørn Johan Muri - Airwaves

Norway's Bjørn Johan Muri seemingly came out of nowhere during this year's Eurovision qualifiers (though really he's been a known presence for awhile now). With one of the year's best debut singles, he had a lot to live up to with the album. Luckily, it's a consistent sound. But is the quality as consistent?

1. Once Upon A Time (ft. LidoLido) - Initially underwhelming, this midtempo electro single has grown on me quite a bit. It's got a subtle, atmospheric hook with Bjørn's trademark, almost otherworldly vocals. I even like the rap now! 9/10

2. Yes Man - I can't imagine a better single to launch this album with. This is the song everyone will remember, an acoustic-electro driving-with-the-top-down pop song of the highest order. If you haven't heard it yet, you're gonna be hooked immediately. The melody's just transporting. 10/10

3. Iron Love - A ponderous track that morphs tempos and is very heavy on atmosphere and whispery, breathy vocals. It's not the kind of track that instantly draws attention to itself, but as the song grows, it becomes more and more effective. An interesting piece, for sure. 8/10

4. Circles - In a stark contrast, this is about as pop as pop gets. Instantly sing-along-able, this single failed to ignite in Norway, which is a bit of a head scratcher because, alongside Yes Man, it's one of the standouts. 10/10

5. Nothing Is For Real - Another catchy radio track, this feels like a marriage between the lush sound of Iron Love and the straight-up pop of Circles. I love the augmented vocals at the end of the chorus. The melody reminds me oddly of a BWO song. 8/10

6. Nobody Knows (ft. Kelly Mueller) - The album's first ballad, and it's a good one. Mueller's vocals complement Bjørn's wonderfully (so wonderfully that it can be hard to tell them apart at times). It's not the most exciting, dramatic thing in the world, but it's very pleasant. It reminds me of a teen pop ballad that could've been released around the turn of the century. 7/10

7. The One Who Got Away - A bright midtempo with a similar sound to Yes Man, though nowhere near as catchy. Again, totally pleasant, though it feels very much like filler. 7/10

8. Talking In My Sleep - A slow, atmospheric (I know I've used that word a lot, but it's quite apt for this album)track, this initially passed me by, but on subsequent listens I find it really captivating. The hook, especially, is very nice. Sounds like a rainy day. 8/10

9. Lights - I love this track. It begins with some warbling synth vocals before launching into a soaring melody that becomes more and more dramatic as the beat kicks in and intensifies. The vocals in the hook are heavily processed, but it makes the awesome verses stand out more so that's totally fine. 10/10

10. The Beauty Of Who You Are - An older track, which makes sense because this doesn't sound much like most of his stuff. It's more of a classic ballad, but luckily it's a good one. I do wish that it built up to more, though. And that it fit better with the album's overall sound. 7/10

Album Grade: 8.4/10


Monday, September 27, 2010

Robert Svensson - Runaway

Tonight we run out on the streets of this town"

I've been aware of Swedish pop singer Robert Svensson for awhile now, but I've been waiting for him to release the song that fulfilled what I saw as a huge amount of potential. Runaway may be that song. At the very least, it's a step in the right direction. I haven't heard a rock song like this from Sweden for awhile. It's that kind of hyper-anthemic piano rock that bands like the Ark, Moneybrother and Laakso have mastered. I'm talking about chugging guitar, grandiose chords... the whole works. It's got more of an indie mindset than any of those bands, but that doesn't make either the production or melody any less rousing. It's the perfect sound for what I imagine to be those long Swedish winters, and a great taster to what Svensson's upcoming work (hopefully) will sound like. The song's available as a free download on his facebook, so make sure you go and get it before it's gone!

Robert Svensson - Runaway by alienhits

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