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Thursday, December 09, 2010

Billy Elliot - Merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher

"We all sing together in one breath"

I'm going to be away in Vegas for a long weekend and on a self-imposed internet exile on Monday (so I can watch the X-Factor final without spoilers haha), so it's time for a Christmas song -- or at least a song with Christmas in the title -- to carry the blog through the next four days. When I was in London this past spring I saw Billy Elliot twice. It was undoubtedly one of the top three entertainment experiences of my life (right up there with The Ark at Hultsfred 2007) and by far the best show I've seen. This track, which opens the second act, is more a protest song than a holiday song, but it does have a very festive sound to it. It's one of those maddeningly catchy uptempo Elton John compositions (he wrote all the music for the show) and was stuck in my head for days after hearing it the first time. Many of the show's songs are more character-driven, but I think this works as well out of the story's context as it does in. If you haven't gotten a chance to see this show yet, it's got my highest possible recommendation. And it'll be touring the US next year! Very excited.
See you guys Tuesday!

Billy Elliot - Merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher by alienhits

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


Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Pop Blitz 12/08/10

Jessie J - Do It Like A Dude
I like this girl because I think she's got charisma. But... I'm not crazy about this song. It grates a little and I just feel like for as much hype as she's getting, she could've come with something more original. B-

The Wanted - Lose My Mind
Their debut album was stronger than it had to be and really quite a good listen, but this song has never screamed "single" to me. It's one of their more skippable tracks, particularly because it sounds way too much like Kings of Leon. As an album track, I love it, but I wish it would've stayed that way. B

Bruno Mars - Grenade
He was smart to release this, one of his album's strongest tracks, as a single. If he continues this quality, he's going to have quite a career. The vocals are amazing. A-

Coldplay - Christmas Lights
If any band were made to write a Christmas song, it would be Coldplay (especially after Clocks). This is somewhat underwhelming, mostly because it really doesn't sound like Christmas at all. That's probably the point, but to me it's a missed opportunity. C+

Sugarland - Stuck Like Glue
I first heard this a couple of months ago and thought: "hey, this country song could totally cross over to pop radio." And it did. It's dangerously catchy. I'm not even sure if I like it, but I can't resist it, which means once it becomes even more ubiquitous I'm sure I'll hate it. For now, it's an A-

Wiz Khalifa - Black And Yellow
I was all prepared to hate this, but the beat's actually really good and the hook's not bad either. I could see this easily pulling 50 Cent In Da Club type success and crossing over. It's not really my thing, but for what it is it's solid. B

Natalia Kills - Mirrors
This reminds me a little of what Lady Gaga sounded like when she first came out. It's great, but the only problem is that we have a Lady Gaga already and it's just a little too similar. Even the vocal delivery is the same. That being said, I'm liking this more each time I hear it. A week ago this would've been a B- at most. Now it's a B+

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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Concept Store - Damn!

"My feet just want to touch new ground"

Thanks to the wonderful Swedish Stereo for turning me on to this great new Swedish pop band. I don't think I would have ever expected a group with an oddly blank name like Concept Store to create such exciting, uptempo music. The song pulses on a well-utilized string section before blasting into a sky-high falsetto, handclap chorus. It's about time we got a track like this from a new Scandinavian group. It's got shades of Salem Al Fakir, Fibes, Oh Fibes and Scissor Sisters, all pumped up to a dramatic, orchestral flourish. Could we ask for anything more? Luckily, it's already making waves on itunes. If things go as they should, this will be only the first step of an exciting new pop career in Sweden. And they didn't even need Melodifestivalen to get it!

Concept Store - Damn! 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.


Monday, December 06, 2010

The Pusher - Planets

"Planets collide all the time"

December seems to be the month of Swedish bands changing their names. First it was Dyno (who are now Set Fire Run), and now it's Fashion (who I posted about back in August), who are now The Pusher. I hate to say it, but in both cases I liked the original name better. But this blog isn't about names. It's about music, and that's what matters. I'm delighted that the band will be releasing their best song (Blinded By The Dark) as a single. Planets is another old song that I think deserves definite single status. With a touch-up on the production, I could see this being really big because the melody's so strong. It's an excellent mix of pop and rock with a rollicking stadium chorus. Wait until about a minute in... it totally explodes. In a way, it's a little Kelly Clarkson-esque. In addition to this track, the guys have written a song with perhaps the funniest title of 2010: Blow Me And Run. Only in Sweden, folks.

The Pusher - Planets by alienhits

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

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