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Friday, April 17, 2015

Cross Gene - Watch Out

Despite not receiving nearly as much attention as they should, Korea's Cross Gene just released a pretty awesome mini album. The new single, Play With Me, is great, but the 80's influenced Watch Out is the track I keep going back to. It's pure nostalgia for cheesy bands like New Kids On The Block and Wham. The "step by step" parts following by the grunts (?) are seriously getting me through the week. I love stuff like this, and I love bands that aren't afraid to embrace this fun side of pop music. Cross Gene has been around for a few years but are still waiting on their big breakout hit. This kind of song, released just in time for summer, would be my prescription for success. If you like this track, make sure to also check out their single from last year, I'm Not A Boy, Not Yet A Man (an ode to Britney?), which practically samples the Spice Girls' immortal Say You'll Be There.

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

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Exid - Ah Yeah

This song has been stuck in my head for the past few days. Exid had a major breakthrough hit around the turn of the year with their amazing Up and Down, even though that song had been released all the way back in September. This kind of late popularity climb hardly ever happens for songs in the world of K-Pop. It's a great story. Greater still, the girls have followed Up and Down with another corker of a tune. It's not *quite* as good, but Ah Yeah is still an addictive slice of powerhouse pop. I love the shifting verses and the wonky bridge before the sax-assisted chorus kicks in. The video's impressive too, poking fun at the still-conservative South Korean media. These girls are on a roll, and I hope it continues for the rest of the year.

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

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Zedd - Addicted To A Memory (ft. Bahari)

This track is such a good representation of how even the things you dislike about current music trends can sometimes be quite amazing. Zedd has been a big name in the EDM scene for the past few years. I know his hit singles, and I guess they're fine, but he's not an artist I would have ever sought out. On top of that, one of my least favorite things about the current dance trend is how it focuses on repetitive instrumental hooks rather than good old fashioned songwriting. I particularly dislike that popular sound which I can only describe as an overworked computer malfunctioning--all glitchy and harsh electronic noise. Imagine my surprise, then, when this exact sound became my favorite thing about the song I'm featuring today. I think the proper name for it is "complextro," and in this track at least, it's actually amazing. That glitchy, brash sound that overtakes the second half of Addicted to a Memory is so relentless and dense that it somehow works. I'm not sure it's something that I'd listen to everyday, but I can definitely appreciate it.

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


Monday, April 13, 2015

Jason Derulo - Want To Want Me

So where did this come from? I mean, I hardly ever post tracks by mainstream U.S. artists anymore, mostly because I think most of them kind of suck. But then I hear this song from Jason Derulo of all people, and every last second of it screams Summer Anthem. It's actually pretty impressive that Derulo has been able to maintain his star power for a pretty long while, even if it is with crap like Talk Dirty. It's more impressive still that he decided to release something so unabashedly old-school pop when he could have just rehashed what's made him successful over the past few years. Want To Want Me is a propulsive, singalong dance song that borrows from Prince and Michael Jackson and every other great funk/dance artist of seventies onward. In that way, it's nearly a pastiche. But pastiche or not, it's that damn catchy chorus that kills each time. I'm surprised at how much I love it.

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