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Friday, March 28, 2014

Orange Caramel - Catallena

Orange Caramel are one of my favorite female k-pop groups. Sometimes I'm just in the mood for silly, campy over the top pop music. This trio of goofballs are always up for a laugh, as evidenced by their surreal, wink-wink-nod-nod music videos. But even though they're funny, they never rest solely on that quality. Their music is bright, expertly produced, and almost unfathomably catchy. Catallena didn't hit me as strongly as past singles had when I first heard it, but my god, those weird little "oy oy oy's" that constantly pop up in the background made me laugh so hard and kept drawing me back in. It's a good time. Embrace your inner Korean dancing queen for this one and don't worry about looking cool.

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. Buy the EP here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Mando Diao - Black Saturday

"It's better than losing"

I'm very familiar with Mando Diao's singles run through listening to Swedish radio and some excellent remixes, but beyond those remixes, I've never really been able to connect with their music. I liked some of it, but overall it just wasn't my thing. However, this single completely changes that. I gave this one listen and my jaw dropped. They've really flipped their sound, which is pretty ballsy given the enormous success they've found in Sweden with their previous releases. They've gone from garage-influenced rock to total Billy Idol-inspired 80's new wave. I live for this stuff. To me, this single is a revelation. It sounds like nothing else on the radio at the moment, and if their upcoming album follows this sound, I'm going to be over the moon. Sweden does it again!

Black Saturday by Mando Diao on Grooveshark

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. Preorder the album here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Shakira - La La La (Brazil 2014)

"The entire world soars like an eagle"

More and more, I've found myself straying from pop music by big American superstars (or global superstars that are incredibly popular in America). As my pop music palate has grown, I'm finding myself much more interested in these smaller, sometimes weirder, pockets of music from around the world. K-Pop. Finnish teen pop. Scandinavian schalger. You get the point. But there are some global superstars that still capture my full attention, and Shakira is one of those. To me, there's something very refreshing about her mix of pop, rock, Latin and dance. Yes, it's calibrated for global success, but it always feels true and unique to her. La La La, which also happens to be the theme for this year's World Cup, is the kind of song that, even after one listen, I knew was destined to be a huge hit. Some songs just stick out. This is absolutely massive. And, I love that she seems to call out my favorite building toy throughout! (Yes, I know "lego" probably means something else in this context...)

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. Buy the album here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.


Monday, March 24, 2014

The Hardkiss - Hurricane

"I can't pretend I will love you until the end"

I'm not sure that I've ever posted a song from the Ukraine before, and it's interesting (and honestly not intentional) that today's post happens to come just as that part of the world is all over the news. Politics and geography aside, I'm really happy that I discovered this group. I must admit that I have a certain stereotype about what Eastern, particularly Southeastern, European music sounds like. It's not a bad stereotype, but it's definitely limiting. The Hardkiss has blown that wide open with their glammed up, artistic image and synth-drenched dance rock sound. I must admit, their earlier tracks are missing that extra melodic hook that would really cause me to obsess over them, but luckily their past two singles have upped the ante and represent what I think is their best work. Hurricane is the new single, and it has arguably their biggest (and simplest) hook. Beyond the music, you really need to check out their videos because this is a visual band if I've ever seen one. And while you're on their youtube page, check out Shadows Of Time, which I'm pretty sure is my favorite song by them.

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. Buy their singles here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.