Your Ad Here

Friday, September 02, 2011

My Top Songs of Summer 2011

Summer is over this weekend (though from the weather around here, you'd think that it was finally just beginning). I was seriously underwhelmed in the album category this year, but there were a ton of great singles to choose from. Here's an album's worth (in no particular order) of what I've been listening to over and over again. What about you?

Example - Changed The Way You Kissed Me - Such a leap from his earlier work, which I also loved. It's just a gargantuan song waiting to crossover to the US.

One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful - I was a huge supporter of theirs during X-Factor, and now that I've heard this I like them even better. 100% on the mark.

Martin Rolinski - Blame It On A Decent Matter - BWO frontman goes solo with a track that nearly out-BWOs BWO! Big, plastic Swedish synths (MUCH better than Swedish meatballs).

LMFAO - Party Rock Anthem - This was, for better or worse, played so often this summer. A triumph in infectious stupidity.

Pnau - The Truth - It really caught on with me over the past few months. That chorus hits you like a freight train.

Adele vs Robin S. - Show Me In The Deep - I tired of the Adele original very quickly, but never wore out this excellent remix. She should do dance more often. The remix of the year, without question.

Nero - Promises Dipping my toe into dubstep (and this is really watered down dubstep), this was the La Roux track of the summer (without actually being La Roux).

The Sound Of Arrows - Magic - They get better and better with every release. This never failed to cheer me up.

Foster The People - Helena Beat The world's still reeling from their debut, but I was onto the next single months ago. This one's better, anyways.

Mika - Elle Me Dit - Who would have thought Mika would've wormed his way back into my good graces with a french dance track?

Maroon 5 - Moves Like Jagger - Even stranger, this was a band I couldn't stand two months ago. Cue this track, which turned it around with that incessant whistle. Xtina couldn't even ruin it.

Le Kid - America - A soaring pop confection from Sweden, in a year where Sweden isn't quite living up to the hype I always give it.

Katy Perry - Last Friday Night - With each single, I like her more and more. The video to this song clinched it.

The Wanted - Glad You Came - I have a feeling that this will be known as the year of the boybands in the UK. But when they're this good...

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, September 01, 2011

The 10 Best Singles By... BWO

I'm launching a new feature today, and with Martin Rolinski's excellent solo single on the rise and an album right around the corner, what better artist to start with than Sweden's incomparable electro-poppers BWO. They're a remarkably consistent band, but what are their ten best singles? Find out here!

10. Give Me The Night (2007) - Taking a harder-edged 80's influence, this track was the highlight of their third album, Fabricator.

9. Right Here, Right Now (2009) - It wasn't the first time they'd gone choral, but this stunning album opener proved that they had mastered it. Their last great single.

8. We Could Be Heroes (2006) - Their ballads have always been excellent, but this one introduced a new, poppier version of the band. That chorus!

7. Lay Your Love On Me (2008) - This Madonna-esque Melodifestivalen entry cemented their status as pop legends in Sweden. It's gargantuan. The outfits, too, were some of their best.

6. Temple Of Love (2006) - One of the clubbiest singles the band has released, this was more of a continuation of the first album than the poppier side of the second. An enormous hit.

5. Chariots Of Fire (2006) - The first time the band flirted with what could be called a "choral arrangement." It beefed up their sound big time. Excellent song, hilarious video.

4. Sixteen Tons Of Hardware (2005) - The first BWO track I ever heard, and still one of my favorites. It's so silly, yet so confident in its ridiculousness.

3. Open Door (2005) - The single that ultimately sold me on the band and prompted me to buy their first album. It's just a gorgeous, sweeping ballad. Sometimes simplicity is best.

2. Conquering America (2004) - This has risen in stature with each passing year for me. It contains perhaps their catchiest hook and a sledgehammer of a beat. If only the lyrics had come true! I love the boastfulness of their early work.

1. Sunshine In The Rain (2005) - I will never get enough of this song. It's such an odd concoction of electronics, Beach Boy-esque background vocals and hand claps. it's utter perfection, and definitely the best single of their career.

So there you go! But here's the thing, no list is complete without hearing what you think! Leave your top ten BWO songs in the comments! I'd love to compile responses into an ultimate list!

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Ark - It Takes A Fool To Remain Sane (Extended Dance Mix)

"Wasn't life supposed to be more then this?"

I've been really into remixes this summer. Maybe it's because there hasn't been all that much new music that's struck me the past few months. I especially love remixes that take a song and totally shift it into something else (a dance mix of a dance song is sorta superfluous, right?). Given that I'm a super fan, I've always wished that there were more remixes of songs by the Ark out there. They did just come out with some mixes of Breaking Up With God, but I'd love to hear some new interpretations (or, dare I wish, a megamix?) of their older classics. I'm not even sure if the mix I'm posting today was done by a professional. It's not an official mix, but I've had it in my collection for years now. At first, it's nothing special. Just a basic dance beat. But once that simple piano riff starts, everything kicks into gear. This song may end up being known as the Ark's crowning achievement, so I'm surprised it doesn't have any official mixes. It's such an anthem... there's so much potential for something earth-shattering and floor-filling. For an unreleased mix, though, this is pretty good. And as is always the case with remixes, it all comes down to this: a great song is a great song, no matter how it's presented.

The Ark - It Takes A Fool To Remain Sane (Extended Dance Remix) by alienhits

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

Labels: ,

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Which Skyship Academy Student are you?

Only nine days until the book is released (though you can get it now on Amazon). There will be a music post tomorrow, I promise, but I thought it would be fun to link to this quiz today. Take it and tell me in the comments which character you get! (I got Avery)


Monday, August 29, 2011

Lady Gaga - Yoü and I (Mark Taylor Remix)

"Sit back down where you belong"

RE: The MTV VMAs. Thank god for Gaga! Seriously, without her brand of craziness, the show last night would have been pretty boring. I found it kind of entertaining to count the number of the show's attendees who tried to dress "crazy" in the mold of Gaga and couldn't pull it off. I mean, I love Katy Perry, but she can't give the weird outfit thing the commitment it requires (the block of cheese... or whatever it was... on her head just looked stupid). Lady Gaga's choice to drag it up throughout the entire show may have been bizarre, but she committed to it fully (so much so, it was kind of scary!). As always, she was a compelling watch. Her performance, too, was utterly captivating in its sheer ambition and balls-to-the-wall nerve. She is IT. A complete star. And the more I hear this song, the more I like it as a single. I was particularly pleased that she decided to segue into what sounded like this remix for the dancing portion. It's an excellent uptempo transformation of the song. Who would have ever thought you could square dance to Lady Gaga? (Oh, and I haven't had a chance to mention it here yet, but the song's video is one of her best)

Lady Gaga - Yoü and I (Mark Taylor remix) by stefanmonster

(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.