Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Velvet - Chemistry  

I never really think of Velvet as one of the top dance-pop acts of the moment, but in fact she's made several great songs, including this new single, released this week in her home country of Sweden. She began her career with a fab dance-pop cover of Electric Avenue, then released a version of the classic Don't Stop Moving by Livin' Joy. Since then she's entered Melodifestivalen with a nice latino track called Mi Amore, and released two more singles from her next album, the first being the brilliant Fix Me, and the second being this one. It's typical Swedish dance-pop in the style of September or Da Buzz and could eaisly be mistaken for one of those artists.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Monrose - Hot Summer  

I've decided I really like this latest single by Monrose. They're a German girlband made by their Popstars programme and their style is r'n'b, but they've done a pretty good job of imitating the current styles popular in American urban music (particularly the Timbaland stuff) and added some European catchiness as well. They're playing it on Swedish radio so perhaps Monrose will become one of the few Popstars acts to extend their success outside of their own country. They can certainly give Pussycat Dolls a run for their money, but I think Girls Aloud can sleep safe, although if they ever went r'n'b I reckon it would sound a lot like this.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Lucy Walsh - So Uncool  

Despite its size, wealth and prominence in the music industry, the USA isn't that great a source for ace new pop stars, so it's nice to see someone interesting coming out. All the songs on Lucy's MySpace are absolutely brilliant, but this track, her next single, is definitely the most commercially viable. That doesn't mean it will be a hit necessarily, but it's much more than good enough. The chorus is very infectious and it has a spelling bit! Whether it's the single of the year, or the hit that never was, I'm going to be singing along to So Uncool for the entirety of the foreseeable future. The lyrics are interesting, because she realises she has alienated the subject of the song (presumably her boyfriend, perhaps we could say 'love interest'!), but blames him for his aceness which makes her act "so uncool". As an objective listener, I have to say that any guy who distances himself because she's too full-on with her devotion to him, is not worth a lady as ace as Lucy!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Kate Nash - Merry Happy  

I haven't heard the whole album yet but I was a bit disappointed with the album version of Birds - I much prefer the live recording I posted here a few months ago, but it may just be cos I'm more used to it. I do think that version has something more to it, though, the new one seeming less moving and emotionally striking, if that combination of words even makes sense. It just doesn't grab me in the same way. Merry Happy, however, is a very jolly and lovely song, and although I've only heard Mouthwash, which is supposed to be her next single, a couple of times, I do think this would be a much better choice. If she has any sense she'll definitely release it after that. This is a demo version as the album one has a bonus track attached to it.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Robyn - Since U Been Gone (Live)  

There's often a subject I find myself writing about in almost every post for a period of time on Dirrrty Pop, and at the moment it's definitely Robyn's long-awaited conquering of the UK charts. She was at no.2 in the midweeks and many are predicting she'll be no.1 by Sunday - she's certainly the talk of the town, and her performance on Radio 1's Live Lounge feature on Wednesday will surely have helped. It's amazing to see her being recognised as a proper musician, considering that she was originally the Swedish counterpart of Britney, with people calling her voice and her music beautiful and really connecting to the emotions in the amazingly powerful With Every Heartbeat. She may not have intended it, but she did make a clever statement by performing this track as her cover version, as it is of course written by the same writers as Show Me Love and Baby One More Time, and Robyn and Kelly have in common that they have gained huge popularity and critical acclaim even from people who would throw away these CDs if they realised the link to Britney, BSBs, *N Sync etc. Robyn's version is much more delicate than Kelly's, as Robyn is a more gentle and controlled singer, so she shows the hurt of a break-up (a similar 'moving on' sentiment to WEH actually), rather than the anger in Kelly's version. A lot of Live Lounge covers are just an acoustic version of the track, which for me is interesting maybe once, but not exactly bringing something new to the table, whereas Robyn, with the help of trusty Kleerup, has gone for a more electro sound and the song sounds very different to the original, even though she is a pop singer covering a pop song so no genres have been crossed.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Sara Bareilles - Love Song  

This young lady is set to support Maroon 5 on their forthcoming huge American tour, and with that exposure, I think she has a big chance of becoming a very successful artist in the coming months. There's nothing outstanding about her music, but she has a really nice voice and the songs are just really nice. Maybe 'nice' isn't quite a good enough superlative to take her to the top of my personal favourites, but it seems to get artists quite far these days, and with the charts swamped with 'nice' songs at the moment I reckon there should be room for a good quality, catchy one like this. It's a bit like Feist singing a Natasha Bedingfield song, or even a female, softer Maroon 5. Her voice has a great tone to it, so with a good song like this one something quite special is made of something that could be quite ordinary.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Ilona Mitrecey - Un Monde Parfait  

There seems to be a trend in Europe in the last two years for novelty hits by young squeaky-voiced popstars not singing in English, for example Schnappi, the awful Elias and the only actual good one, Un Monde Parfait by Ilona Mitrecey. This song is a bit mad but super-catchy and very Eurovision-ish - think Dancing Lasha Tumbai meets French Affair. In her video, Ilona is represented by a very cute cartoon character, but actually she's an Amy Diamond-alike as seen in the picture here. This song was a huge hit in France and Italy and many other places unspecified by Wikipedia, but never made it in the UK.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Paris - Captain Morgan  

I was excited when I first heard this song because it name-checks two gay icons, Barry Gibb and Jake Shears, but it was ruined a bit as they also mention Matt Bellamy (the singer of Muse, in case you're lucky enough not to know). It's a lovely song which reminds me of 90s indie-pop such as Lush, or Charlotte Hatherley's best solo material, and the lyrics are funny, telling of a day where the singer meets each of the aforementioned celebrities... or at least is drunk enough on Captain Morgan rum to think she did. The only problem with this Swedish band is that you can't say you like them in case people think you mean Paris Hilton.

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