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Friday, October 22, 2010

Pop Blitz 10/22/10

Black Eyed Peas - The Time (The Dirty Bit) Okay, so it's basically just a cover track of the Dirty Dancing song with some obnoxious sound effects (and even worse rapping) in between. Lazy, which wouldn't be so bad if this was listenable. D

Take That - The Flood
A strong comeback, with a lot of Robbie time. It's as majestic as modern radio pop gets, with a huge chorus and "sing it from the mountain tops" verses. Not quite as good as Patience was, though. A-

The Wanted - Heart Vacancy
Another boyband... from an old to new. The Wanted had a surprisingly excellent debut single. This is less excellent and far more in keeping with the genre, but it's pleasant enough. Still, they should be doing better.C+

Duck Sauce - Barbara Streisand
My god, the things they make songs out of these days. Take a riff from an old Boney M song and repeat a name over the top and that's it. Literally, that's it. It's a testament to how strong the riff is. Without that, this would be nothing but a name. B

Pet Shop Boys - Together
It's always nice to hear something new from PSB. On first listen, I wasn't sure if this was more of a hit or a b-side, but it's grown on me. The layered chorus is gorgeous. It's a very dense dance track with a lot to listen to. B+

Ke$ha - We R Who We R
Well, she's got a formula and she's sticking to it. If you've heard any of her songs, you'll know what this sounds like (maybe with a little of Taio Cruz's Dynamite thrown in). It's a dreadful concoction she's got going on. Lowest common denominator. (but still not as bad as that BEP song) D

Willow Smith - Whip My Hair
The whole Smith family nepotism thing drives me insane, so I came into this already annoyed. I just find it all a little creepy and... lifeless, somehow. This song was long-rumored to be a Rihanna track and thank god it wasn't because it's irritating as hell. Whatever happened to melody with some staying power? D+

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Diana Vickers - You'll Never Get To Heaven

"You'll never get to heaven if you dance like that"

In honor of Diana Vickers' (excellent) no single, My Wicked Heart, I'm going to offer a very late review of her music. Despite liking her singles, I hadn't listened to her album until recently. I know it was released months and months ago, but I was never much of a fan of her time on X-Factor. And as a not-really-fan, I can say that the music's actually really good. This track in particular hit me as a surprisingly mature piece of airy dance-pop. The build-up to the chorus won't impress any of those who dislike Vickers' demented-kewpie-doll vocals (I wasn't initially a fan myself). But once the chorus hits at about 1:14, everything converges and the song catapults into something quite spectacular. Cosmic, even. I can't say I'm as impressed with her slower stuff, but she's got a real future with this style.

Diana Vickers - You'll Never Get To Heaven 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, October 20, 2010

Erik Hassle - If It Takes All Night

"That's just impolite"

After a fantastic debut album, Erik Hassle has released a new EP, complete with his non-album single (I totally called this one, btw) Standing Where You Left Me. Nothing on it is as good as that track, but it's still an interesting between-albums placeholder. I'm pretty fond of the midtempo If It Takes All Night, which features some incredible percussion and a gentle synth melody. It's another example of how well genre-crossing works for Hassle. He's got a relatively well-recognized type of pop voice, so it suits all different styles. He could have easily gone for a mainstream rock sound, like Gavin Degraw, but he's chosen to throw in elements of synthpop, r&b and electronica. Another track that interests me (for different reasons) on this EP is the slow-burning Last Rider, which features a chorus that is melodically identical to Dyno's (far superior) My Cocoa. Not only are they fellow Swedes, but they're managed by the same company. Hmmmm...

If It Takes All Night by erikhassle

(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.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ollie Wride - Modern Man

"Just a prisoner of this game"

Ollie Wride is one of those unsigned artists, like Sweden's Dyno, that I'm going to harp on about until his music rules the world. He's just that good. From vocals to production to overall image, this is a friggin' popstar. So catch up, world. Please. Modern Man is yet another insanely addictive synth-pop nugget, churned out almost effortlessly from Mr. Wride (that's me assuming of course... something this good must take a lot of work, and even more to make it sound "effortless"). The chorus is killer. It reminds me of the type of song that could've appeared on the Hoosiers' latest album. Very, very cool.

Ollie Wride - Modern Man (DEMO version) by Ollie Wride

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


Monday, October 18, 2010

Hell Yes!!

They're baaaaaaack!

(and looking a little bit like the X-men!)

UPDATE: And adding to this blissful news, the band are doing what I always hoped they would.... participating in Melodifestivalen!! Their new single, The Hunter, will be in this year's contest! Now we just have to wait a couple of months...


Bryan Ferry - Heartache By Numbers

"I live for the moment"

I've been waiting for this one for awhile now, and it doesn't disappoint. This is the song that Bryan Ferry (of Roxy Music fame, of course) did with Scissor Sisters for his new album. If I were comparing it to SS's most recent material, I guess it's more Fire With Fire than anything else, though it really doesn't sound much like anything the band's written before. It's got a gentle, yet subtly soaring (if that makes any sense) sound to it, with an elegant choral hook and a general sense of grandeur that fits Ferry's vocals perfectly. That being said, I would love to hear a version with Jake's vocals as well.

Bryan Ferry - Heartache By Numbers 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.

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