Friday, November 30, 2007

Leaf - Wonderwoman  

It has to be said that central western Europe is not exactly a hotbed of musical aceness. Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium will give us one good pop act a year if we're even lucky. But there's one exception: The Netherlands. I actually think that after Sweden, Norway and the UK, Holland is the next best producer of poptasticness, as they've given us loads of groovy pop acts, in a variety of styles, including some big favourites of mine such as K-otic, Anouk and Elize. Here is my latest favourite Dutch group, a somewhat Lily Allen-esque female singer with a band of boys, who display influences of soul, blues and ska, but add a catchy chorus and sunny attitude to make a very enjoyable new single. Think somewhere between Natasha Bedingfield and Jason Mraz. The singer seems very likeable and the superhero theme is fun. As with a lot of Dutch hits, I'm not sure if it's spectacular enough to become a crossover hit in the UK (because you have to remember that not being British or American is already a huge setback, unfortunately), but if it was British I think it would do very well, so it's proof that Brits should look a little further afield when they get bored of what's already on offer.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Jupiter Rising - Electropop  

Imagine if Chromeo's next album had a song featuring Nelly Furtado or Rihanna. I'd be pretty excited to hear it, and I imagine it might sound quite like this. I was a bit confused to see a group who look very typically 'urban' with a single called Electropop, but the song is actually quite a nice balance between the suggestions of their look and their song title. It's cool and catchy, sweet and fun, lyrically playful and musically tight. It would fit in well with a lot of the other current r'n'b music (think the Timbaland, Gym Class Heroes or Ciara/Cassie stuff), but has an injection of poptasticness which for me makes it much more enjoyable.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Morello - Green Eyed Boss  

I'm not sure if it was Morello's intention to make a song that sounds a cross between something out of Wicked and second album A1, but he has succeeded anyway. It's a really fun song, catchy, funny, quite theatrical and full of personality. It's a duet between Malcolm (aka Morello) and a female singer. Although this style of pop music is pretty clearly low budget in contrast to the pop music we find in the charts, it makes no difference. For me what determines the value of a song is not how cleverly it was made, whether the instruments are played well, if it has been produced perfectly clearly on super-modern equipment, whether the lyrics are works of genius, or if the singer is the next Leona Lewis. I don't care. If the melody is good and the lyrics are nice, then it can quite easily lack every one of those things that other music fans deem so very important, and still be completely brilliant in my opinion. Here is one great example. And relistening I just realised what it sounds like most: Boys by B.O.N! Now if that isn't enough to recommend it to you, then really what is?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pat Monahan - Her Eyes  

Do you remember the band called Train who released the excellent mum-pop single Drops Of Jupiter a few years ago? Yes, it was cheesy, but if you say you didn't like it you're probably lying. It's one of those songs that could be special to you if it wasn't already special to too many other people, and I think this new single, by the lead singer of Train, will have the same fate. Every girl would like to think someone might write this about her, as it has the sentiment of 'I love you just the way you are', but he is more specific about the quirks of the girl, and gently funny as well. Like Drop Of Jupiter, it's a really lovely song, which is very catchy with nice lyrics, and it generally makes you feel good. If you think you're too cool for this sort of thing, then really it's you who misses out. At least buy your mum his CD so you can listen to it in the car with her.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tullycraft - Punks Are Writing Love Songs  

This one is not for the cold-hearted. If you like super-cute indie twee-pop with fun lyrics like Helen Love and All Girl Summer Fun Band, here are your new favourites. Well, maybe you'll know them already, since I hear they are twee-pop legends who have been around for 15 years, but I'd never heard of them. This song is brand new and has received a few plays on Swedish radio station P3, which is where I heard it. I was surprised to find that they are giving away the song for free on their site in full, but it does actually make sense for a band like this which relies on spreading their music among the certain type of person who would like it, and that sort is certainly the kind (arty geeks) who read mp3 blogs. If there is one kind of music which is represented much more on mp3 blogs than its actual popularity would suggest, it is twee indie-pop, and I think this has to be rooted in the fanzine and mixtape culture from which these adorably amateurish bands rose from in the 90s, which has now been transformed into the modern day equivalent, the mp3 blog. I think this group's fans probably do still make mixtapes and fanzines though, and I wish I had time and creativity enough to do the same.

Hello! Is it me you're looking for?  

If you've been wondering why this site has been so quiet recently, it's not for lack of things I want to write about. Since I can't use My Data Bus for free anymore and I'm not at home to use my own space, I haven't got anywhere to host files. This means I can either use one of the crappy sites where you have to click through several pages, wait 45 seconds and try not to get a virus before you can reach the song, or I can change the site and simply point out where you can get free downloads or streams of the songs. Of course this will somewhat limit the songs I can post, but since almost everything is at least streamed somewhere these days, it should be quite doable. Also, when I started this blog it was not common or easy to buy legal downloads online, but now it is and I do feel more like I'm giving something away for free that should be paid for. Therefore, I think I will go forwards with this rather more law-abiding plan for the moment, but if you do have any suggestions of sites which will host my mp3s for free and give me a download link that readers can simply right click and save, then please let me know.

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