Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sky Ferreira is 'Lost In My Bedroom' in her brand new pop stormer

This is the FUTURE OF POP sucking on something, in full makeup.
Sky Ferreira is one of those artists that has been "up and coming" for what seems like forever now, and like so many other hopeful pop strumpets whose labels insist on edging their career along at a crawl, we kind of wish she'd just get it over with and come already.  Because she is brilliant.

She's not had a "proper release" yet, other than her 2011 UK single 'One' which topped out at #64 on the charts, but her handlers have been chucking out buzz tracks since 2010.   Which means we've been teased with this girl, the ostensible SAVIOR OF POP, for two years now without any real payoff.

During those past two years, Sky has been modeling and fashioning and posting lots of pictures on the Twitters where Terry Richardson pours mud down her cleavage and stuff for no reason, so it's kind of understandable she hasn't had time to fully dedicate herself to "her craft" until now.  But still, we think we speak for everyone who has been following her under-the-radar unofficial releases when we say that IT IS ABOUT TIME TO GET ON WITH IT IF THIS IS EVER GOING TO HAPPEN. 

Luckily we won't have to wait much longer, as it appears we are finally about to get the long-delayed debut album from Miss F.  The album's lead single is called 'Red Lips,' and the the majority of tracks are apparently a bit darker and more artsy than her previous 80's-heavy pop ditties.  But to assure us that she hasn't abandoned her mainstream roots she's chucked out a demo version of a very pop album track from the new LP, called 'Lost In My Bedroom.'

It is VERY GOOD in that way that a song can be very good but should still never be released as a single (which is why it is not being released as a single, we presume).  It's the kind of thing that's not going to be a hit, but is still fun to listen to because who cares if radio doesn't play it - we can still dance our beglittered asses off to whatever the hell we want to before going out to that tragic gay bar where that bouncer drag queen thing always makes fun of us and then we spend the whole night drinking in the corner trying to suck in our guts because we had that slice of pizza yesterday even though we KNEW the first weekend at the Fire Island house was coming up for f*cks sake, but whatever, carbs are a part of life and everyone needs to come to grips with that.  

Anyway, it's apparently the "most electro" sounding thing on the record, which is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on if you wanted the album to be electro or not:

As we said, though, Sky's actual new single is called 'Red Lips' and it's a kind of post-Garbage alt-pop thing that wouldn't be out of place on college radio in the 90's.  Which means it is kind of amazing.  She recently posted a 25-second preview, and this is what it sounds like:

As you can hear, it is VERY GOOD, and fits in very nicely to our fantasy version of the future where Sky and Lourdes Leon battle it out in a Hunger Games style chart war.

Yes.  It's all coming together now.....

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Wanted are 'Chasing the Sun' with vampires in their new video

Just a normal Saturday...
The Wanted are all of a sudden huge in America (and locked in some sort of DEATH RACE with fellow Brits One Direction) and to kick off their just-out first US EP, they recorded two BRAND NEW tracks.  One of them is of course the lead single, and it is called 'Chasing The Sun.'  It is essentially 'Glad You Came' but with a slightly different "OH OH OH" part, and will probably be huge without winning any awards for uniqueness. It's really what The Wanted to best - by-the-numbers pop, but executed flawlessly.

The video is the most interesting thing about the whole thing - first because it's the boys from The Wanted and let's face it they're A LITTLE BIT GORGEOUS except for the one (you know who we're talking about, don't pretend) - and second because it's actually kind of engrossing to watch.  It's all about vampires, because of course, and contains a better storyline and more competent acting in 3 minutes than the Twilight movies have across the entirety of the films. It's all in keeping with the "WE ARE BRITISH AND MYSTERIOUS AND THEREFORE POSSIBLY SLIGHTLY DANGEROUS EVEN THOUGH GUNS ARE BANNED IN OUR COUNTRY" image that has been carefully crafted for the boys, and is certainly worth the watch if you enjoy sexy men doing things on screen.

If you don't then you probably shouldn't be reading this blog anyway, so we're just going to show you the video now.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Cheryl Cole's 'Call My Name' may be the SONG OF THE SUMMER if you live in like, Wales or something

Much ink has been spilled about Cheryl Cole's viability as a solo artist, and not without reason.  Since her days in Girls Aloud she's been "the one to watch" and with her epic divorce, brush with malaria-death, and often-wobbly X-Factor judging, she has never exactly shied away from the limelight.  But even in the throes of explosive diarrhea, she has always managed to chuck out VERY GOOD SONGS by what seems like complete accident.

In short, she's not one of those artistes who puts out a song and says JUDGE ME ON MY MUSIC, O PUBLIC but for our immediate purposes that's just what we are going to try to do.  So here are some things about the big Cheryl Cole comeback single:

1.  It is a dance corker with a donk on it
2.  It is a thing by Calvin Harris, because of course it is
3.  It is not as good as "We Found Love" but Cheryl Cole is not as good as Rihanna so that seems appropriate
4.  It has a nice eastern-y feel to it sometimes which makes the track feel "a little bit different" in the way that purple cotton candy seems to taste slightly different than pink cotton candy even though it is exactly the same in every way
5.  It is very good and will likely have some discowhistle shirts-off hands-up rave remixes that we'll barely remember dancing to this summer
6. Somewhat confusingly it is by someone named only Cheryl, and not by Cheryl Cole.  This is ostensibly because Cheryl Cole's people feel that she is enough of an icon that she can go by one name.  (She is not.)
7.  It is out June 10, because apparently it's 1994 and people still release singles to radio A MONTH AND A HALF before they are available to purchase even though time and time again this has proven LITERALLY DISASTROUS to the chart prospects of "big time single launches."

Those were some things about the Cheryl Cole single.  And now here it is.

There it was.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Nelly Furtado's BIG COMEBACK SINGLE is here - listen to the premiere now!

This is an amazing single sleeve.
After cementing her place as a duchess of pop (not quite a princess, but not a Dev either...) with hits like 'I'm Like A Bird' and 'Say It Right,'  Nelly Furtado took her millions of royalty dollars and went off to a spa or something for a few years.  And also recorded a Spanish language album because of course.

But now she's BACK BACK BACK and ready to show these new young whipper snappers how it's done.  Her new single, the kind-of-geniusly titled 'Big Hoops (Bigger The Better)' thankfully eschews the clubland donkfest that somehow has become the droning background noise of the 2010s, and instead goes for an upbeat dancehall vibe with an unexpected drum and bass outro.

It's "very good" in the sense that it sounds like not a lot what's out right now, and also "kind of mediocre" in that it's not the catchiest thing we've heard.  To be fair though, Rihanna made number 1 hits out of far less, so we're not ruling anything out.

Her last appearance on the US singles chart was way back in 2007, so if she's going on name-recognition alone she'll have her work cut out for her. But at the very least, it's nice to hear Nelly's unique vocals coming out of our speakers again.  Now we just have to wait and see if the rest of the world feels the same way.

Here's 'Big Hoops':

Friday, April 13, 2012

Marina and the Diamonds previews 'Electra Heart' album - listen now!

Someone hasn't shaved...
Indie-pop darling Marina Lambrini Diamandis, better known as Marina and the Diamonds, dropped the lead single off her new LP 'Electra Heart' a couple weeks ago, and it is brilliant.  It is called 'Primadonna' and is the kind of tune that Katy Perry would be doing if she was less concerned with her chart placing and more concerned with being an actual musical artist.  And also if she actually wrote anything with like, meaning.  The track is hard-hitting both musically and lyrically, with a combination of sunny beats and withering social commentary that we really haven't heard since Lily Allen burst on the scene.  

Understandably, the unbridled brilliance of 'Primadonna' raised expectations for its parent album, but everyone can now stop wringing their hands in fearful anticipation because it appears that the entire album is LEGITIMATELY QUITE AMAZING.

Marina's people have chucked a nifty Youtube sampler thingy on the interwebs, and we've done you the favor of pasting it below.  You should probably go ahead and click "play" on it since we have a lot of ground to cover before we get there.  You might as well multi-task. 

If you followed our advice (and if you didn't you're a dick) you're a few seconds into the opening track, and already are beginning to realize what we already know:  if the half-minute clips are anything to go by this will be one of the best pop albums of the year.  It's timely without being gimmicky, deep without being inaccessible, and, perhaps most importantly, full of Marina's personality and (many) vocal quirks.  We mention that last bit as the "most important" because with Ms. and the Diamonds' swing toward the slick radio-friendly sound of mainstream radio, she ran the risk of her tunes sounding like everything else that's out at the moment.  

Nearly all the tracks are balls-to-the-wall bangers and nearly all of them are amazing.  Sure, the dubstep thing seems a bit unnecessary, and not all the songs reach out and grab the listener right away, but we're prepared to give it a preliminary 7.5 out of 10 solely for the apparent absence of any autotune.  Add in the presence of SOLID TUNES and an opening stomper called 'Bubblegum Bitch' and we have on our hands an album with a hearty 8 out of 10 rating.

Of course none of this necessarily will translate into actual success for the singer.  She's long been knocking around as "one to watch" but as the pop world veers ever further into the seething chasm of slick, soulless tracks with no personality, it only becomes harder for artists who refuse to pitch-correct themselves into chart clones to actually make any impact.  It's the same problem facing the Scissor Sisters' new track - the production, energy and hook are all there.  But the jury's still out on whether the masses will give a chance to something with a little more substance than "I HAVE FALLEN INTO AN AUTOTUNE MACHINE WHILE CLUBBING AND SLEEPING WITH MANY PARTNERS."

In fact, the subject matter Marina covers often preaches against the vapid and fame-obsessed pop culture assembly-line that has steamrolled the music industry with its synth-laden sameness.  But by burying her subversive messages in catchy hooks and sparkly beats rather than her usual brand of acoustic-y indie pop, she might just be on to something.  That she made the switch to dance music without losing her viewpoint and her own sense of artistry - indeed Marina seems to play the role of pop vixen with a knowing wink - makes the whole thing all the more impressive.  And on 'Electra Heart,' her somehow "authentic" transition to dance diva, Marina uses the masses' own musical weapons against them.  The only question is whether anyone will fall for it. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Jessie J train rolls on with 'Laserlight' ft. David Guetta

We had something for this...
The other day we wrote about how Calvin Harris has his fingers dipped in just about every pie these days.  We neglected to clarify that he only has his fingers in the pies that David Guetta didn't get to first.  WHICH ARE A LOT.

It seems nearly every mid-to-major popstar has worked with the DJ lately, and now Jessie J has hopped on that train with her new single.  It's called 'Laserlight' and it is all about...well, lasers and lights we imagine.  With these donkfest club bangers does it really matter?

It's not bad by any stretch, but it also comes off as a bit of an also-ran in the grand scheme of things.  The whole dirty-synth club track thing long ago reached what we thought was the saturation point, but it appears that once again we overestimated the masses and their desire for something - ANYTHING different and groundbreaking.

Ah well, it'll be nice to dance to at 2 am. Even if it is no 'Domino.'

Friday, April 6, 2012

The new Scissor Sisters single 'Only The Horses' is very good

Just a normal Saturday night at Scissor Towers
Ok so here's the thing.  The Scissor Sisters rock our socks.  There was a time when Calvin Harris did too, but now that everything in the world sounds exactly like a Calvin Harris song, the sock rocking has diminished significantly.

Which presents us with a conundrum.  The amazing Scissor Sisters, who are known for their singular viewpoint and unique take on modern pop, have joined forces with the still-amazing-but-overexposed Calvin Harris who makes everything sound like...well, a Calvin Harris song. 

Is it amazing?  Or is it annoying because the Sisters' sound has been diluted by "the machine" that is radio-friendly pop schlock?  The answer is that in the broader context of "THE STATE OF POP MUSIC" it is a very good version of something we've heard a million times before, albeit with a lot more soul than the usual autotuned garbage that litters the charts.  In isolation, though, when examined on its own musical merits, it is a tremendous feat of pop, and maybe just the thing to rid the Scissors of the stink of failure that still clings to them from their last album.

Plus there are sure to be some stomping remixes so to be completely honest it really doesn't matter how good the song is (even though we have already established that it is, in fact, very good).  Even if it was a hulking pile of absolute shit, the gays would still get some good shirts-off poppers-o-clock discowhistle action out of it, and at the end of the day isn't that what really matters?

The answer, of course, is no, but whatever.

Here's 'Only The Horses.'