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Thursday, May 03, 2012

Pop Blitz 5/3/12

Cheryl Cole - Call My Name
One of many Calvin Harris-produced tracks out right now, this would probably benefit more if it didn't sound so much like everything else. Still, it's far from her worst single. B

Alexandra Burke - Let It Go
Another new dance track from another X-Factor related (in this case "winner of") singer. I don't like this as much as her last single, and there are parts that are stronger than others (the bridge, in particular), but (like Cheryl's) it's a solid B

Maroon 5 - Payphone
I had to give it to them with that Moves Like Jagger song (though it was ridiculously overplayed), but this is back to the downward spiral I feel the band have been in since their first album. It's so generic and... boring. C

Tulisa - Young
Back to the X-Factor related girls, and the fairly forgettable dance tracks. Despite a little more oomph in the vocals, I just don't think this holds together as well as Cole or Burkes' tracks. It's a little all over the place. B-

Justin Bieber - Boyfriend
I'm not sure it's the track he needed to officially break through as an adult artist, but it does become mildly addictive after a few listens. The production, in particular, is refreshingly weird. B+

Pitbull - Back In Time
I'm baffled by why we need a Men In Black III, but apparently we do and this is on the soundtrack. It's actually pretty good until Pitbull starts rapping. The production and samples are really interesting, but I would have preferred it as an instrumental. C+

Karmin - Brokenhearted
This is like Jessie J meets Ke$ha meets every other Katy Perry wannabe. I really can't get into it, mostly because it just sounds so trend-chasing. And the "cheerio" parts are very irritating. C

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Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Marina & The Diamonds - The State Of Dreaming

"My life is a play"

I loved Marina & The Diamonds' first album, so I'm psyched to have new material from her. If you count the bonus tracks on the new album, there's quite a lot to wade through. As a whole, I'm not sure that it reaches the heights of the first one, but I need to spend some more time with it. After all, the first album took awhile to grow on me. But even if I need some time to let it sit, there are a few tracks that instantly struck me. I love it when Marina goes full-on 80's--surging melody, singalong hook. The State of Dreaming starts off slow, but soon catapults into one of the album's most driving beats, complete with orchestral flourishes and some of the sharpest production of the year. Marina's songs are always meticulously produced. That's one of the things I love about them. So what do you guys think? Have you heard the new album?

The song is (stupidly) blocked from embedding, so you'll have to click this link to hear it.

(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.


Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Ulrik Munther - Soldiers (Stormby Remix)

"Before it's all over, you'll never be unforgivable"

I love this remix. To me, the best dance mixes take a track that's as far from dance as possible and totally switch it up. Ulrik Munther is not known for his club hits. I enjoy his music for what it is, though it's not necessarily my favorite genre in the world. But this mix takes his Melodifestivalen entry, Soldiers, and makes it something really anthemic. What I especially like is the way the remixer took the drum section in the middle eight and expanded it, adding it to the beginning of the track as well. Even more of this would have been cool. Beyond that, it's just surprising how well this works in a dance setting. The melody really shines, which is a rare thing in the remix world. If you like this, be sure to check out the guy's soundcloud page. His mix of Loreen's Euphoria is also really good.

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

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Monday, April 30, 2012

Studio Killers - Eros & Apollo

"Every night they fall like dominoes"

I am so thrilled to write this post today. I've been waiting for Studio Killers to release their second single for an entire year. As soon as I heard their first one, Ode to the Bouncer, I needed an album from them. Now, I hope that album is right around the corner. If not, at least we've got this amazing track to tide us over. Eros & Apollo isn't all that different than Bouncer (the two share a similar hook, in fact), but that's totally okay because I am obsessed with these guys' sound. But the cool thing is, even though they have the most infectious sound in the world, they don't rest on that. Their lyrics are consistently brilliant. This track tells the cautionary tale of the ultimate alpha male--the guy all the girls go for even though he's no good for them (hence the Greek-referencing title). It's amazingly clever stuff. The video (below) is also addicting. In fact, it's even better than their stellar first effort. Now pull a "Sound of Arrows" give us that album, already!

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