Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Eva and the Heartmaker - Please!  

I thought I was feeling inexplicably cheery earlier, until I realised why - it was because I'd just discovered this super-ace and uplifting new song! Eva and the Heartmakers have released some fairly good singles over the past few years, but with Please! they burst into the realms of extreme poptasticness. Eva Weel Skram was a contestant from 2005's Idol series in Norway (she came 6th, with Jorun Stiansen becoming the winner), and after the show she joined forces with her husband, Thomas Stenersen, to form this duo. They're now on their second album, and Please! is their fourth hit single, currently at no.10 in the Norwegian chart. From their other songs, they seem like a cool, quirky pop band, but listening to Please!, the bands that come into mind are cheeky late 90s girl groups like Girl Thing and Fem@il! I could totally imagine them doing a song like this.

Monday, March 30, 2009

BWO - Rise to the Occasion & Thunderbolt  

Hooray, it's a new BWO album! I've been listening to it all morning and although I think it lacks the variety of my fave BWO album, Halcyon Days, it's a very enjoyable set of songs and certainly equal in quality to Fabricator. I picked these two songs to share with you (apologies for the low quality sound - I'll post better versions when I can) because they were the ones that instantly stood out for me, but of course my favourites are quite likely to change with the many more listens I plan to give this album. I do think, however, that both of these songs would have done better in Melodifestivalen than You're Not Alone did. Rise to the Occasion has a really catchy hook and I like the "woah-ohoh"s in the background. Thunderbolt is one of the danciest songs on the album, but that doesn't stop it having a random ballady bit in the middle! I love the menacing "don't you ignore my warning!" at the end. Is it just me or does Martin say "we don't need a Yorick, this night is historic" in the bridge? I can't think what else it could be! Hear the album in full here.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Esmee Denters - Outta Here  

Esmee is a Dutch artist who's been in development for over 2 years, and finally she's releasing her debut single, which is co-written by her mentor, Justin Timberlake. Despite being Dutch and never having released anything before, she has millions of fans around the world, but unless you're the sort of person who can be bothered to listen to random people singing cover versions on YouTube, you probably won't have heard of her. It was Justin who decided to take up her cause after seeing her on YouTube (and noticing her millions of fans, of course), and with such high profile backing she was naturally hooked up with some of the world's best writers and producers. Her album includes work with RedOne, Greg Kurstin and Ryan Tedder, among others. If you have a RedOne song on your album and you don't release it, your actual lead single must be quite amazing, and although I think amazing may be a slight exaggeration for this one, I am very impressed. It reminds me a bit of Rihanna's Disturbia, but Esmee's voice is much more like Christina Aguilera. I do find her voice a little shrill sometimes, but the catchiness of the song makes it allowable. With Esmee and Erik Hassle, 2009 could well be the year for Europeans making it big! (ps. I don't think the growly monster voice is supposed to be there, but I can't find a version without it)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Servant - Liquefy  

One of the very best things about being completely obsessed with pop music, like I am, is that every so often an act who you liked years ago, without anyone else taking any notice, comes back and gets all the credit they deserve. It happened with Just Jack a few years ago (even Annie Mac, a supposed music expert, had no idea he's on his 3rd album now), and then last year the band formerly known as Dear Eskiimo became a huge success under the name of The Ting Tings. Now it's happening again with Dan Black, whose band The Servant I have loved since I first saw the video for Liquefy on long lost indie-pop music channel The Amp, back in 2005. The Servant were successful in France, Italy and Canada, but almost completely anonymous in the UK. When I heard of a new artist called Dan Black last year, I instantly recognised his super-distinctive voice, and, since the last Servant album was quite dull, I was extremely pleased to see him going back to a more poptastic sound. To be honest, I don't like his new stuff as much as the songs from The Servant's self-titled 2004 album, so it feels weird that he will probably do well with an album that currently seems unlikely to have anything as good as Liquefy on it. Oh well, at least it's an excuse to listen to the old songs again, and share them with a bigger audience, since no-one ever paid any attention when I professed their greatness years ago. If you like Liquefy, my next suggestion would be to listen to Orchestra and Cells, the other two singles, and the catchiest track, I Can Walk in your Mind. They're all amazing though, really, and the album's only £3.99 on CD Wow!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Måns Zelmerlöw - Home  

I think Måns Zelmerlöw must be obsessed with hos (or hoes). Strange way to begin a post, I know, but I have reason for my suspicions: All of the best songs on his new album begin with "Ho"! Hope and Glory of course, then the best ballad (Hold On) and the best upbeat song (Home). I thoroughly recommend Hold On, but I decided to post Home, cos I'm sure there are many readers of ITG who have no patience for ballads, but there is certainly no-one who dislikes an upbeat poptastic number like Home. If you do, you're clearly quite lost! Any fans of Black and Gold by Sam Sparro should definitely give it a go, as the backing music is very similar. The new album MZW is out on Wednesday, but you can hear all the songs already on his MySpace.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Daisy Dares You - No.1 Enemy (and 2 other songs)  

I wanted to post some of Daisy's (old?) songs which aren't up on her MySpace anymore, as no-one else has posted them, but when it comes down to it, No.1 Enemy is by far her best song. On first listen I thought it was pretty good, but it wasn't until the next day, after having the chorus stuck in my head all night, that I realised its true brilliance. Her other songs are all very much worth a listen, and show great promise for Daisy to become a super-ace popstar in the future. I've just uploaded my favourite 2 of the 4 older songs, super-sweet You'll Be Fine and Lily Allen-esque Into My Life. I wasn't totally sure about the rap in No.1 Enemy at first, but it gets better when you're used to it, and I think it's good that she is open-minded about what kind of artist she is going to be. You certainly wouldn't expect, if you heard her other songs first, that she would have one with a rapper on it, but the fact that she does demonstrates versatility and makes her pop career a very exciting prospect. I can't wait to hear what she puts up on MySpace next.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

V Factory - Love Struck  

I heard of V Factory sometime last year thanks to the brilliant US teenpop site Tommy2, and they had a few alright songs, but nothing too special. I forgot all about them until today, when I heard that they had a new single, and when I went to listen to it I knew instantly: this was a RedOne production! Not only was I right on that account, but it also turns out to be written by super-ace Swedish popstar, Darin! It's no surprise, as it sounds just like his style. There's one high note which is so uniquely Darin, I wonder if it is actually him singing. You might say that he is silly to give away a good song to another act, but actually he could potentially make a lot of money from it, since his own work is unfortunately not getting anywhere internationally, and until it does he won't make much from that. Songwriting credits on a US hit single, if this does turn out to be a success, will be absolutely worth giving away the song. As for V Factory, they have a few claims to fame of their own - one of them is in the remake of Fame released later this year, and another is Ashley Tisdale's boyfriend, a dancer in the HSM films. To be honest, I doubt they'll be more than the American answer to Avenue, but any new good quality boyband music is very welcome, as far as I'm concerned.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Holiday Parade - Slam Crunk  

Is there anything less likely for me to post than a rock band singing a medley of famous rap songs? But add to the equation that it sounds like the best song LFO never made, and it makes a lot more sense. It's an all-American jaunt of bouncy, cheeky silliness, and the familiarity of the songs makes it instantly super-catchy. I can't say I'm particularly impressed with anything else Holiday Parade have done, but they seem to be earning quite a lot of fans at the moment, so expect to hear much more of them in the future. If they get big in the UK, you can guess what they'll be doing in the Radio 1 live lounge!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Alcazar - Burning  

Finally, after 6 years we have a new album from Alcazar! I can't quite believe it. Is it really true? The best thing is, they haven't changed a bit. These songs would fit just as well on Casino or Alcazarized. I'm going to do a track-by-track review on TMBP, but for now, here is the full version of Burning, which is set to be their next single after Stay The Night. It's super-sparkly and fabulous, an instant Alcazar classic. The album also includes the first two singles released by this line-up, We Keep On Rockin' and Intuitions, and if you've never owned an Alcazar album before, then you'll be pleased to know there's an extra CD with all their greatest hits on it. I'm only half-way through listening to the album at the moment, but so far I absolutely 100% LOVE every song on it. Very, very impressed!

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