Thursday, July 31, 2008

Born Crain - 4 Letter Word  

I'm really enjoying getting into Flemish pop music at the moment, as they have some interesting acts, and here is my latest discovery. Born Crain is a singer-songwriter, somewhere between Ben Folds and Robbie Williams, and he has lots of catchy piano-pop songs to offer. The one that got me interested was his new single, a fun cover of Tonight by recently-reformed New Kids On The Block, but I've decided that 4 Letter Word, which was the first single from his upcoming album, The Pleasure of Your Company, is my favourite. Born (which is really his first name, although Crain is a fake surname) seems really cute and jolly in his videos, a really nice popstar overall, and I'll definitely keep following his career in future.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

dEUS - The Architect  

dEUS are one of those bands that I knew the name of but really had no idea what they were like - I didn't even know that they were Belgian. I was quite surprised then, that a great song I heard on Q Music last weekend was by dEUS, and listening to it again at home it only sounds better. It's from their new album, Vantage Point, but not (as I first thought) from the recent film of the same name. All of the other songs on their MySpace are quite boring, but I still love this one. It's by far their biggest hit in Belgium, reaching no.2, while their past highest chart position was 30! I think The Architect sounds like something Teddybears (Sthlm) would do, when in rock rather than rap mode. It may be less sweet and fluffy than many of my posted songs, but it's really fun and the chorus is very catchy.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Annie - Songs Remind Me of You  

After what must be years of waiting, I can finally provide you with this song in full. It is very good, but I wouldn't say it's the best thing Annie's done - however, Chewing Gum, Me Plus One and Heartbeat are some of pop's best ever achievements, so that's no big criticism. It reminds me most of what we heard on Rachel Stevens' masterpiece, Come and Get It, but a little less pop and more electro. It's typically Annie, and if you loved her past hits, you'll certainly love this too. While I think it is a wonderful piece of pop music, I also feel like all of the build up to hearing it has meant that I can't really appreciate it as much as I might have. I suppose I'm disappointed that I didn't stop everything and squeal with joy on the moment of hearing it, as I'd hoped to. The lyrics are great, the music is fabulously 80s, and it's growing on me with each listen, but I think I need to get to know it on my own terms and separate to the expectations in order to fall in love with it, which I'm still confident will happen. She's still the world's cutest popstar, anyway.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Da Wonda Twinz - Who Cares?  

I discovered this one on a friend's Muxtape and loved it instantly. It sounds like something Rihanna would do (and just as good as her ace new single, Disturbia), and as she's my favourite American female artist of the moment, that's high praise indeed. I love the song's feisty attitude, with lines like "take all of your stories and take all your explanations, you can you can shove 'em where the sun don't shine... cos I don't care!", you can't help but do a little Danny Noriega-esque head twitch. Any girl (or boy!) who's been mistreated needs to hear this cos it's the perfect remedy. This song reeks of girl power, plus it's got loads of different great bits. A triumph indeed! My reserach shows that Da Wonda Twinz are not actually a mixture of Brick and Lace and the Cheeky Girls - they are actually two male producers, and nowhere can I find out for sure who the singers are. Some sites claim it is by Danity Kane, but I don't know their voices well enough to tell if that's true. I put them as the picture anyway.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Natalie Grant - I Will Not Be Moved  

If ever there was proof that great pop music can come from any source, then this is it. Natalie is part of the Christian music scene in America, and from the looks of it she's no spring chicken, but she's made a song here which could easily be mistaken for Holland's top pop-rocker, Anouk. It''s always surprised me that the Christian music market doesn't produce anything very impressive, as it's so large and family-oriented music is generally poppy, but in my previous research it's seemed extremely dull. The song is really well-written, and her singing shows passion and strength, as good angst-pop must. It's not a one-off either, as all of the songs on her MySpace are pretty good. If you were disappointed by Kelly Clarkson's last album then this is the remedy. Fans of superior (to Kelly) rock-pop girls like Marion Raven, The Veronicas and Lilyjets should also give this a try, cos it definitely stands up to the competition.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Miss Li - Oh Boy  

I've known of Miss Li for years, but I'd never paid her much attention until today. I started watching this incredible performance of Oh Boy from Allsång på Skansen, and I was immediately hooked. I've never seen a thing like it, so much energy and passion and a great voice to boot. The song is so cute and coquettish and at the same time strong and powerful. Miss Li fits in with Swedish indie-pop lovelies like Marit and Maia, but adds a touch of retro showtune, at least on this song - I can't wait to hear what else she has to offer. I think this girl has potential to be a huge indie star, considering the popularity of singers like Feist and Jenny Lewis. On Oh Boy, Miss Li is what Nelly McKay could have been, what Nicole Atkins almost is. She deserves to be a huge star for the amount of talent and charisma she shows in this song, and I can't even say how pleased I am to have discovered her.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Will Young - Let It Go  

I was quite worried about Will's new album, because I thought he was going to go in a jazz direction, but then I heard he was working with the Freemasons, and the excitement began. This track, which he sang live on Radio 2 on Saturday, is certainly not a Freemasons production, but it is completely lovely. Seeing him interviewed on Glastonbury reminded me how much I love Will as a person, and then hearing this I remembered what a beautiful singing voice he has. Let It Go is very simple, gentle and intimate, so it's all about the lyrics, the melody and the singing, although this of course is just an acoustic version. I can't wait to hear the album version, and the rest of his new songs. Will is back! The album of the same name will be out on September 28. I'm very excited!

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