Monday, November 24, 2008

Émily Bégin - Au Grand Jour  

I've never delved much into the Canadian pop scene, but recently I've heard some interesting singles by French-Canadian acts. First of all I heard about an r'n'b singer called Karl Wolf, who I am going to talk about soon, but before that I want to present to you the best French-language song I have heard since my discovery of Yelle early this year. Émily Bégin was one of the contestants on the first series of Star Académie in 2003, and has since released 2 albums. Both of them have been co-produced by Karl Wolf, but EMILY (the second album, released 2007) seems to be the most poptastic, giving us Au Grand Jour and Laissez-Moi Danser, among other aceness. Émily, who looks like a mix of Britney and Madonna, is very glam in the video, which caused some controversy with its inclusion of gay couples (male and female). It's a lot more provocative than the new Boyzone video, but I don't see any angry Irish vicars chasing after Émily! I must also recommend a visit to her website, so you can hear her fab French verson of Don't You Want Me.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Keke Palmer - Bottoms Up  

This song has been around for a while, featuring on Keke's 2007 album So Uncool, but I only just dscovered it and have to share it with you. Keke Palmer became famous when she played the title role in Akeelah and the Bee, and went on to star in the Disney film Jump In! alongside Corbin Bleu. I love Bottoms Up because it's so fun and sassy, with references to several recent r'n'b/pop hits such as Bossy by Kelis and Hips Don't Lie by Shakira, and it's got a great electro backing track. This is the most relevant thing a Disney artist has recorded in a while, and it's no surprise that its German (but living in NYC) writer Toby Gad is one of the most in demand songwriters at the moment with hits such as If I Were A Boy and Big Girls Don't Cry. However, I was much more excited to recently discover that he wrote both K-Otic's Damn I Think I Love You, and Happy by Sita! If that isn't enough to deserve a place in the pop writers hall of fame, then I don't know what is...

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Sam Taylor - Run Away  

Sam Taylor is a new young male artist who is being managed by William Baker, fashion designer and close friend of Kylie Minogue. William's last foray into music was the very unsuccessful (despite having Siobhan Donaghy in it) Rent Remixed, but he could do at least a bit better this time, as Sam Taylor's a great singer and this song is excellent. It features, along with another of Sam's songs called Sometimes I Need You (and Jolene, as I posted the other day), on the soundtrack to the BBC series Beautiful People. The song was a clever choice, because the show is set in the '90s, and although this is a new song, it does sound very 90s. I could imagine East 17 or even Take That having sung it. It's better than the new Take That song, actually! I'm looking forward to hearing more from Sam, so I hope he's not one of those acts who just disappears and is never heard from again. Being on this soundtrack doesn't seem to have got him much notice yet, as this song only has 2 listeners on Last FM so far!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

t.A.T.u - Fly on the Wall  

Last week, everyone's favourite Russian fake lesbians released a new album for download, There is a mixture of Russian and English-language tracks, the latter including You and I, as heard in the trailer for their film of the same name. The album is nothing like as good as their last, Dangerous and Moving, but this song is one of the best, and in fact one of the poppiest, songs t.A.T.u have ever done. It's really catchy and intricate, with a quite commercial poppy melody, but retaining the distinct t.A.T.u sound so it avoids sounding like any other current pop act. There is supposed to be a full English-language album coming out at some point, so I hope it really happens. I also can't wait to see this film of theirs - it looks gloriously terrible!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

James Morrison ft. Nelly Furtado - Broken Strings  

When I read that James Morrison's new single featured Nelly Furtado, I presumed that he was only releasing it because of her presence, and certainly didn't expect it to be any good. Well, I was wrong - it's actually amazing! I really love it when I discover a brilliant song unexpectedly, and I'm very excited about this one, because due to being a duet between two sucessful artists, it actually has a chance of being as big as it deserves to be. I only wonder why no-one informed me of it earlier? It's one of those songs which starts off well, and builds into aceness, so at first I was thinking "well, it's not too bad", then "this is rather good actually", and culminating in the old favourite, "oh wow I love it!" It sounds like Take That's new single should sound, if they want a chance at the Xmas no.2 with it (obviously the no.1 is irretrievable now from X Factor). This is definitely James' best song, and one of Nelly's best as well - just a really well-written, very commercial, heartfelt pop song. Hooray for both of them!

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