Monday, July 31, 2006

Natasha Thomas - Real  

This was Natasha's follow-up to Skin Deep in Germany, and sadly it wasn't very successful, only reaching no.85 in their charts when released in April this year. However, I think it's rather good as it sounds just like something Billie Piper would have done in her pop career. It's quite dated as Danish and German pop often is, but this is no bad thing as it simply harks back to the jolly days of r'n'b-style pop actually being quite pleasant, for example that of Max Martin acts like Britney, Robyn and Solid HarmoniE. Hopefully the lack of success for this single won't spell the end of Miss Thomas as she's provided us with some quite excellent pop music over the past few years. According to Wikipedia her next release will be a more r'n'b track from her current album Playing With Fire, called Irresistible, which I'm not hugely fond of, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Blue Lagoon - Isle Of Paradise  

Blue Lagoon are one of the best fun Europop bands and have been deservedly successful in such countries as Germany and Sweden. They were doing reggae-pop long before Paris Hilton, and I was celebrating the genre in July last year when I posted a song from their first album, a cover of Now That We Found Love. They're now onto their second album (released 18th August) and this is the first single from it (released 7th July), and their first original song. Like all of their music it's summery and very jolly. You won't be able to help singing along, imagining you are on a lovely sunny holiday by the sea. In fact, I challenge you to find a song more summery than this one.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Basement Jaxx ft. Robyn - Hey You  

The rumours of Robyn's return to the UK charts (her last release was Do You Really Want Me which I bought on cassette in 1998) have been steadily produced for the last year or so, ever since she released her genius self-titled album in Sweden. At last one of the rumours has come true and this song, although it may never be a single, will be released in the UK as part of the forthcoming Basement Jaxx album, interestingly titled Crazy Itch Radio. The song is nothing like what we're used to from Robyn, in fact it sounds like some kind of carnival rave musical! Robyn's vocals are great for the song and although she isn't able to put as much of her personal style into it, since it's not her song, I'm sure it will put her in favour with Basement Jaxx fans who will hopefully then want to hear her own material if it does get a UK release. This is a really fun track and has made me look forward to the new Basement Jaxx album despite being a little underwhelmed by the lead single Hush Boy. Speaking of Robyn, I recently discovered that when you Google "robyn review" the first result is my review from Stylus Magazine! I should clearly do more Stylus reviews, it seems to be a fast pass to Internets fame!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Scissor Sisters - I Don't Feel Like Dancing  

Hooray! And indeed ta-da! The Scissor Sisters are BACK and I for one am very excited. After all I'd heard about this song I had very high expectations and I'm pleased to say I've not been disappointed. It sounds just like the Beegees, so if you don't like them you may not be so impressed, but I personally love a bit of high-pitched disco and this song sounds just as good as the Beegees singles, which were of course huge hits and total classics, so lets hope I Don't Feel Like Dancing has the same fate. I can't express my excitement about the return of the Scissor Sisters - they are just such a fantastic band and I'm so glad that their comeback single lives up to their past pieces of brilliance. Even if you don't feel like dancing you won't be able to help yourself when you hear this song.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Pipettes - It Hurts To See You Dance So Well  

Today's the big day... the Pipettes album is finally released! I actually received mine in the post on Saturday which was rather exciting and have of course been playing it non-stop ever since. I expect you all to go out and buy a copy, but in case you've not heard anything by the greatest girlband of the moment (at least until GA are back on the pop scene), here's one of the best songs from the album, which is named We Are The Pipettes after their song of the same name. It was very difficult to pick one song to post, but I went for this one cos I had it stuck in my head at the time, which must mean it's rather catchy, although every song is memorable and individual. Download, then BUY!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Cascada - Truly, Madly, Deeply  

It's always a bit of a worry when someone covers one of your favourite songs, and especially so when that someone is usually known for their carefree Euro dance-pop, but this is actually a really nice version of Savage Garden's modern classic. I first posted a Cascada song in November last year, their ace Roxette cover How Do You Do, and a few months later I was quite shocked to see them nearing the top of the American Billboard chart, especially since I said that How Do You Do "certainly won't be getting anywhere near the US top 10"! Their single Everytime We Touch has been a huge success across the pond and the next release, Miracle, is just as good so should do just as well. Truly, Madly, Deeply features on their album, also called Everytime We Touch.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Jim - Tell Her  

The rate of new Pop Idols being produced seems to be steadily decreasing as the idea of reality TV shows loses its sparkle (although I still watch all the music ones), but there are quite a few ex-contestants still around. One example is Jim Bakkum who came 2nd in the first series of Idols in Holland, and although his latest single Dapper & Sterk only got to no.13 it's more than most British Idol runners-up could achieve nowadays. Jim was only 15 when he released his first single Tell Her in 2003 and as an attractive young man he certainly seemed to win over the teenage girls (myself included). His voice is unusual but it really suits this lovely mid-tempo love song. I haven't heard many more songs by Jim, but I know he covered the ace ballad You And Me written by Alistair Griffin from Fame Academy, who had a songwriting deal before he went on the show which meant lots of his music would be released by Dutch stars - he also provided big hits for rock boyband Di-rect and DJ Sammy vocalist Do.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

B3 - We Got The Power  

B3 were an American boyband who became popular in Germany, starting off as a BeeGees cover group before moving on to original material. Except of course there was nothing original about it - they were one of the cheesiest, tackiest boybands of all time and utterly brilliant for it. I found this song on a compilation CD I bought when I was in Germany a few years ago, and at first I thought it was terrible but I soon realised it was actually fantastic. It sounds like a song that would be made up for a fake/parody boyband in a film, with all the typical characteristics of boyband pop exaggerated to the max. It's stupid but it's really catchy and I can't help singing along in a silly vocoder-imitating voice. They split up at the end of 2004, but they continued making pop music 1999-style right to the end, and for that resilience they must surely be applauded! If you like early *N Sync and BSBs, give this a go, it'll get you reminiscing if nothing else.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Elize - Into Your System  

The first lady of Dutch dance-pop is BACK and her new song is absolutely brilliant! So it doesn't sound a million miles away from her big hit Automatic and the lyrical content is quite similar, but just like that song it leaves me with a big smile and an urge to dance around my room, even though I know I would just trip over the bed or something similar. Automatic was one of my absolute favourite songs of 2005 and this is almost as good if not actually equally good, so that is very high praise indeed. If you want a fun sing-along pop song for the summer, you'll be unlikely to find one better than this. I just wish she'd release an album, after 4 great singles and no sign of one.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Loo & Placido - Horny As A Dandy (Mousse T vs. Dandy Warhols)  

This 'mash-up' of two poptastic hits of the past has become pretty popular in Europe (top 5 in the dance charts of Austria and Germany for example) and Australia this year and I actually think it's one of the best fitting bootlegs that I've heard. The combination of the tacky German pop of Mousse T with that brilliant hook from the Dandy Warhols results in a song twice as ace as either of the songs separately. I also heard this played on a local radio dance music programme recently so I guess it must be getting a UK release and hopefully it will become a big hit. I've now listened to this version so many times I can barely remember how the songs sounded on their own.

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