Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Oh dear!  

The RIAA are having words with Muxtape, so none of my songs can be listened to at the moment. Quite a disaster, but I still recommend every one of them, and they can all be found on YouTube or MySpace, so there's no excuse not to be getting your groove on while Muxtape is down. I'm going on holiday on Friday and I won't be back for a week, so I'm going to see what the situation is when I get back, and then I'll know if I need to find an alternative to Muxtape. Have a jolly week, hope you don't miss me too much!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Brandy - Right Here (Departed)  

I expect most of you, like me, had forgotten all about Brandy, but now she is back to take on the hoardes of r'n'b divas who have taken over the charts in her absense. Her new single is very strong and sunny, and I think it's excellent, with a big chance of being a hit. Although she hasn't released an album in four years, and her last one (Afrodisiac) wasn't all that successful, she has stayed in the public eye with a reality TV show, Special Delivery, and as a judge on America's Got Talent. Right Here sounds similar to Brandy's past hits from the Full Moon album, but an updated version. She's worked with Taio Cruz and Natasha Bedingfield on her new album, so I look forward to hearing what they've come up with.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Lia - Girls Like To Flirt  

This isn't the return of Lia Andreen (although she is back under another name), but a new r'n'b singer who used to be in a girlgroup called BitterSweet. Her music overall isn't outstanding, but this track is fabulous - think Vanessa Hudgens or Monrose at their best. I've been listening to quite a lot of female r'n'b lately, with Rihanna, Lady GaGa, Jordin Sparks and many others creating brilliant pop songs. I wouldn't say I'm an r'n'b fan in general, but the female r'n'b singers tend to be the sassiest personalities and the strongest vocalists, so they are easy for producers and writers to create great pop songs for, and the fact that r'n'b is more popular worldwide than pure pop music means these ladies are a great opportunity to get poptastic singles to the top of the charts.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Marit Larsen - If A Song Could Get Me You  

I wasn't sure at first that I liked this new single by lovely ex-M2M singer Marit Larsen as much as Don't Save Me or Only A Fool, but by the end of my second listen I had changed my mind. It's a great comeback single, and like her previous work, it takes a few listens for the hooks to weave their way into your brain, but once they do they're there to stay! If A Song is a really sweet (and catchy) love song which typefies Marit's quirkily cutesy musical persona. After I posted Don't Save Me, the song, and Marit's album in turn, went on to become one of the critical hits of the year among music bloggers and their readers. I don't know if I can take any credit for that, but I hope that all of those people will continue to be interested in Marit with the release of her follow-up album, and don't consider her passé now the faddish appreciation has calmed down. Marit deserves to be more than a flash in the pan!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Montt Mardié - Names Not Forgotten  

(Muxtape won't let me upload it, grr!) I've always thought Montt Mardié (the stage name of Swedish singer/musician David Pagmar) was an interesting act, but this new song is acer than all of his previous work put together. It's very jolly and catchy, a sunny, bouncy tune with plentiful oohs. I really want to make up a dance routine for it. If his voice was less weird it would be a great TV show theme tune. Soon Montt (or Monty as he calls himself in the first line of this song) will release his first album in the UK, and quite strangely it will be released through a label set up by almost good pop band Lucky Soul. The album is a compilation of his two Swedish albums entitled Introducing... The Best Of Montt Mardié, also including Names Not Forgotten, which will be his debut single over here. I suspect most of you don't even know who he is, but if there do happen to be any other Morten Abel fans reading this, I highly recommend Montt Mardié to you.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Agnes Carlsson - On and On  

What a pleasant surprise - Agnes has 'done a Keane' and gone unboring! She was the first female Idol winner in Sweden, and her sound pretty much fits that category. She may not look much like Michelle McManus (quite Leona-ish actually in this photo), but she doesn't sound too far from her vocally. She has released a few acceptable songs before, and one really good one called Stranded, but she's even beaten that with this new single. It's not a huge surprise, though, when you consider that it was produced by Anders Hansson, who works with BWO and Lena Philipsson, the latter of whom Agnes is beginning to sound quite similar to. If one style led to comparisons with Michelle McManus and another to Lena Ph, I think we can quite safely say that she's made a huge improvement. Now, let's see her back in Melodifestivalen this year, and try not to get disqualified this time, OK?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Keane - Spiralling  

Wow! On their first album Keane were an OK band with a few good songs, on their second an OK band with a few brilliant songs, but now they have developed into a fully-fledged acetastic superband, with synths and oohs and a talky bit that sounds like the Pet Shop Boys! Not only could you quite feasibly dance to this, but I'm bopping along without even meaning to. It's like Keane, as produced by Alphabeat! I'd forgotten all about Keane until today, and now I'm looking all over to find out more about their new album. Apparently they're working with Stuart Price, as well as the producer of Rufus Wainwright's first album, which sounds very promising indeed. I've just uploaded Spiralling to the Muxtape, but you can actually download it yourself, legally and for free, on Keane's website until next Monday. I can't believe a song this good is not even the proper first single! The album, Perfect Symmetry, is released in October.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Lady GaGa - Love Games  

Just Dance has been around a while now, but it still sounds amazing on every listen. Here's another track from Miss GaGa and again it's total poptastic brilliance, albeit extremely dirrrty! She's the only act I can think of who is challenging Rihanna for the crown of America's pop princess at the moment. She has been compared to Madonna, and although I think that's a bit strong for someone who's only released one single so far, I can certainly see her potential to take on Madge's role, and Gwen Stefani better watch out too. I don't see this particular song becoming a worldwide hit (although it'd get Radio 1 plays for it's innuendos alone), as I think Just Dance should be, but I love it myself and I think most pop fans will be just as enamoured. It's great fun and I can't wait now to hear Lady GaGa's full album. She's a real pop persona, showing potential to shake things up, and she has the great music to back it up. Acts like Katy Perry who want to be controversial and confrontational need to look to Lady GaGa to see how fabulous feminist bitch-pop is done properly and convincingly.

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