Benny Benassi shoots straight to the 22nd Century in his ‘Spaceship’

Benny Benassi Spaceship video still

Grammy Award winning Italian DJ Benny Benassi is taking the David Guetta route and releasing a brand new single featuring some well known American stars ahead of his forthcoming album, due in Autumn.

Naturally he’s roped in the currently renowned dance diva Kelis to help him do this while also getting a little assistance from Black Eyed Peas sole Fillipio member and writer-producer Jean Baptiste.

Benassi is probably best known for his inescapable 2002 hit Satisfaction and with Spaceship, he provides a similar Euro-house production although many of the naff, cheesy Euro elements have been scrapped so that the song will appeal more to an American market. This is a club track but has that slight alternative edge to it that should appeal to the Pitchfork crowd much in the same way as Kelis’ Acapella single was.

Speaking of Kelis, she’s the star of the show on this track. While Jean Baptiste repeatedly drills the words “Jump on the spaceship” into your head and (who I normally like a lot more) provides an Auto-Tuned rap verse that sounds like it came straight from The E.N.D., Kelis is here to provide her trancey, sultry vocals. I don’t appreciate the song’s main hook being “Get high”. I know the majority jumping around to this in club on Saturday night will be mostly likely under the influence without any enforcement but Kelis should not be encouraging this in music anyway.

Still, Spaceship is a great club track and it’s backed up by an even better video. Although it was filmed on a green-screen as the picture shows below, which often makes videos come across looking very cheap, it certainly doesn’t suffer these problems.

Spaceship has some stunning futuristic scenery from the colossal spaceship to the Red Planet which they land on  to the fiery meteorites which drag Kelis calmly away as she spins around in a colourful orbit. It certainly is stunning to look at as is the oriental garden at the start and the end of the video where Benassi is sitting, all Zen-like as he thinks about the concept for the video.

But of course the drug encouraging conspiracy theories come back to me and makes me believe that Benassi is in a higher state of mind and this visual is all a trippy dream. Hmmm. 😡 Spaceship is set for release soon.

P.S. Kelis looks absolutely gorgeous in the video? So much for her saying she’s tired of being pretty because it’s “boring and exhausting”.

Marina & The Diamonds shows her kooky side in colourful new single ‘Oh No!’

Solo singer posing as a band Marina & The Diamonds premiered the video for her new single Oh No! a few days ago (yes, I’m late with news again!). The song is the third official single (and fifth single if you include promo singles Obsessions and Mowlgi’s Road) from her debut album The Family Jewels.

I’ll shamefacedly admit that this was a song I skipped over many times while listening to Marina’s patchy album but ever since it was announced as a single, a couple of weeks ago, I’ve given it a listen and after listening to the album in full, it is now my favourite track on the record so I’m delighted it will be available to buy as a single on 23rd July and 26th July in Ireland and UK respectively.

The video is a hoot which is a surprise because let’s face it – the Hollywood and I Am Not A Robot were nothing special. Directed by I Kissed A Girl director Kinga Burza, the clip is noticeably low budget but could just be one of the best videos of the year due to the charm and presence Marina displays.

Obviously consumerism and obsession with fame are the themes in the video, much like they were in hit single Hollywood. The really great thing about this promo is that Marina looked like she had a lot of fun filming it. She flirts with the camera, pulls off a number of ridiculous and sexy without being trashy costumes (that red dress really exenuates her boobs – hot!) and wears a pink TV on her head while dancing. The video seems to be inspired by cartoons and comic books judging by the colourful look and the pop-up captions remind me of the  infamous 1960s Batman TV show. You’ve got to love it.

With a top video and super catchy song after the more alternative I Am Not A Robot, can Marina see a rise to her profile in the charts again?

Single Reviews Diary 21 – 25th June 2010

After celebrating its 20 week anniversary last week, things are looking interesting for this week’s Single Reviews Diary. Not only is it the diary with the least singles reviewed to date (not necessarily a bad thing – for me!) at a mere 14 but it’s also. But quality over quantity and three quality dance divas are going head to head this week to see who has the best single – Kelly Rowland, Kylie Minogue or Lady GaGa. Perhaps most intriguing of all though is this piece of news… I am shocked to report this week that Justin Bieber is releasing a very good pop song. Read below to find out what’s happening the week of the 28th and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Single Reviews Diary 21 – 25th June 2010:

01. Bon Jovi: When We Were Beautiful

Bon Jovi - When We Were Beautiful (Radio Edit)
This track started off really promising but sort of fizzled out before momentum got going. Opening with some fanciful guitar work, pounding drums and brooding vocals from Jon Bon Jovi, I thought this would be another track to go alongside some of Bon Jovi’s classic power ballads but alas no! The chorus on this track is too weak, the “sha-la-la” shout along is corny and the lyrics are clichéd and written in several different forms by Bon Jovi already. This is a grower but will only be loved by the hardcore Bon Jovi fans.

02. Coronas: Someone Else’s Hands

The Coronas - Someone Else's Hands
The talented Irish band had a massive hit last year in their homeland with the up-tempo pop rock track
Listen Dear so can they manage it with the third single from their second album Tony Was An Ex-Con. This is the token power ballad from the album and to be honest, it’s a nice song, not top-notch and would probably be crap in the hands of a less talented band but is saved by the distinguishing and emotionally pierced voice of lead singer Danny O’Reily and the well written lyrics. I’d go back and listen to Listen Dear again (check it out, non-Irish readers). 3 STARS

03. Enrique Iglesias featuring Juan Luis Guerra: Cuando Me Enamoro

File:Cuando me enamoro single cover.jpg
This won’t get much attention next to the mainly English spoken (and terrible) single
I Like It but Enrique is actually releasing dual singles from his bilingual album Euphoria – one in Spanish and the other English. It’s actually a crying shame that this will be overlooked because I think it manages to capture the sound of Summer much better than the robotic I Like It. Okay so the song is completely in Spanish which is something of a language barrier but there’s plenty to keep you interested in this old fashioned mid-tempo duet. Iglesias and Guerra both have fine voices, the former’s making every girl’s heart melt with its swoon-worthiness while the latter adds a little more richness and maturity. Plus there’s the understated Spanish instruments such as maracas which give a lovely Summer evening vibe. Plus you’ve got to love the sensual “ooooh-oooh” hook. Who cares if you don’t understand the language? That certainly hasn’t stopped me from listening to many great Spanish records! 3.5 STARS

04. Enrique Iglesias featuring Pitbull and Lionel Richie: I Like It

This is probably one of the worst songs of the year. I will admit that Enrique’s music is a not-so-guilty pleasure of mine and he sure knows how to vocally provide the catchy tunes, probably mostly due to his angsty voice (P!nk also does this) but a mildly repetitive chorus of “I Like It” followed by some Auto-Tuned muttering and a lot of Spanish gibberish is not going to cut it this time. Enrique enlists RedOne once again for his new track but RedOne’s sound is starting to sound old here – all his usual tricks are used – horns, bombastic synths, loud choruses and name-checking. But worse still because Enrique is Spanish, i.e. European, he has taken things further down a notch by giving it a really cheesy Eurodance Cascada-esque sound. Enrique’s voice is completely drowned out by ‘80s robotic Auto-Tuned effects as is the re-recorded Lionel Richie snippet from
All Night Long. Pitbull’s fast paced hyperactive rap is actually a lot of fun but amounts to nothing as it has nothing to do with the song at all. A terrible song like JLS’ The Club Is Alive which we’ll be snapped up by the public because Enrique is “soooooo totally hot” and “OMG! RedOne’s the producer and Nicole Richie’s dad is on part of it wiv that seriously cool rappa Pitbull!” 1 STAR

05. Futureheads: I Can Do That

I Can Do That
The follow-up to the Futureheads
Heartbeat Song definitely takes some major influences from 1970s punk. The repetitive chorus is very weakthough and the track definitely recalls the Sex Pistols, although a bit watered down and dull. It’s not exactly bad just nothing special. 2.5 STARS

06. Imelda May: Psycho

Imelda May - Psycho
The super talented and super sexy rockabilly singer Imelda May is back with a new single from her third album
Mayhem, released this September. The track has a global appeal and all Imelda needs is some good old promotion and attention to make it. The song has a great dirty feel to it with May providing her lusty, strong vocals as usual. It also features some top quality howling, the best use of howling in a song since Shakira’s She Wolf. It mightn’t be as instantly catchy as Johnny Got A Boom Boom but a terrific lead single none the less with a great video to match. 4 STARS

07. Justin Bieber featuring Usher: Somebody To Love (Remix)

File:Justin-Bieber Someb40D5FE8rev.jpg
For many people who have read my posts, it’s no secret that I’m no fan of Justin Bieber, the young guy having won two Stinker Awards for his smelly contributions in music, which includes the infantile
Eenie Meenie and the bland ballad (blandad?) Never Let You Go. But I am not a biased person and I will artists credit where credit is due and tell you all that Justin Bieber’s new single Somebody To Love is actually rather good. No, thankfully he didn’t cover Queen and STL is an original song that ropes in his mentor Usher. The song has some well crafted verses, a quiet grower of a chorus and some shiny, shiny production by production crew The Stereotypes. There’s a noticeable strain on Bieber’s puberty stricken voice on this track but he holds it up well and Usher more than makes up for it in the vocal department with his seductive crooning. The only part I don’t like is at the end when Usher says something and Bieber replies “Yeah man!” all smug. What we’ve got though is a decent dance pop smash that might just show Bieber has potential as a star. *avoids rotten fruit thrown at me by Bieber haters* 4 STARS

08. Kelly Rowland: Commander

Kelly Rowland / David Guetta - Commander
Can Kelly Rowland finally find true success as a popstar after going from yet another R&B vocalist to a fierce and fabulous dance diva? I think so and to do that, Kelly has teamed up with old pal and collaborator David Guetta, who she most noticeably worked with on last year’s dance smash
When Love Takes Over. I have a bit of a hit and miss relationship with Guetta but he certainly delivers on this track, providing a pounding baseline, wonky synths, huge rave-tastic beats and a futuristic sound. We can’t forget the star of the show Kelly, who provides a stunning vocal performance which even manages to outsing the sheer amount of Auto-Tune layered thick on her voice. The chorus is massive and soaring with Kelly conveying oodles of confidence. Lyrics like“The DJ is my bodyguard” and “There’s no-one here who does it like I does it” are a little cheesy not to mention grammatical murder but there all part of the song’s charm and I wouldn’t have them any other way. This is probably the best dance-pop track of the year exceeding all expectations in the vocal, production, catchiness and lyrical department. 5 STARS

09. Kid British: Winner

Kid British - Winner
Is retro back again? The band return with this soulful ska pop track that sounds like it came straight out of the 1960s. The song was included on the latest World Cup video game and it’s not surprising seeing as it’s got that upbeat marching feel to it and inspirational lyrics. A definite crowd pleaser for the returning band.

10. Kylie Minogue: All The Lovers

Kylie Minogue - All The Lovers
The sweet and sexy Kylie Minogue makes her comeback with this near-perfect little number. Normally, I’m not a Kylie Minogue fan at all but this track is just gorgeous. Featuring Kylie’s sweet, seductive, whispery vocals over a breezy bassline and gentle synths, this song is absolutely heavenly. Even though Kylie is pretty much saying that she’s been around the block before she met this incomparable guy, she manages to make her former promiscuity sound strangely romantic just like the accompanying video which sees a large orgy on the street. I have to dock half a point for the loud and squeaky synth breakdown towards the end but Kylie, we welcome you back to the throne as Queen of Pop!

11. Lady GaGa: Alejandro

File:Alejandro LG.png
RedOne is on production duties for the fifth single of eight in GaGa’s career but rather than recycle the same old beats like he’s being doing recently, the Moroccan DJ actually thinks outside the box and pays homage to Ace Of Base and Madonna during the
True Blue era with Ibiza friendly bouncy beats perfect for Summer. Pop megastar Lady GaGa continues this Latin theme by doing a bad Spanish accent, the occasional use of a Spanish word here and there and shooing off the attentions of Hispanic men Alejandro, Fernando and Roberto. The chorus is catchy, GaGa trades in her usual sexual innuendos for something tamer and the first minute of this track is pure pop magic. Sadly after that one minute, the remaining three minutes (seven in the bleak music video) just sort of plod along in repetition with the listener left thinking “How many times has she said Alejandro now?” While this is still a catchy pop song with a fun, sunny vibe (in contrast to the video), the track says everything it wants to say after one minute and doesn’t have the plentiful hooks that have become a staple of GaGa’s singles so far. The ‘90s Latin beats might be infectious, endearing and provide a bout of nostalgia but this lacks the pop power that every GaGa single before had (excluding Eh Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say) and LoveGame). 3.5 STARS

12. The National: Anyone’s Ghost

Anyone's Ghost
An atmospheric and brooding track from the shoe-gazing band. It starts off sounding like any old miserable rock track with poetic lyrics but once the guitar chords build up and the strings are added, the song takes on a subtle beauty which only increases as the song goes on. It won’t appeal to the mainstream but should keep National fans happy.

13. Skepta featuring Greg: Rescue Me

Rescue Me
Roll Deep member Skepta returns with a gritty dub-step track following the ravey Bad Boy. This song wouldn’t be anything without the chorus though – which is provided by Greg. The chorus is really strong despite its robotic sound – but that robotic sound reminds me of some singer (and not one of the many who are using Auto-Tune at the moment). It’s suitably angsty too and makes you listen to the lyrics which I guess is a subliminal way of getting you to love all the song. Not original but definitely better than former #1
Good Times. 3 STARS

14. The Unconventionals: Push The Button

I feared that these
X-Factor losers would do a cover of Sugababes 2.0’s song of the same name and I was right. However, my fears were unnecessary because this is surprisingly charming and catchy. The Unconventionals have given it a real ‘60s doo-wop makeover and it’s sung extremely well with some toe-tapping backing vocals. While its uncomfortable to hear a bunch of middle aged people use the slang of the old edgy Babes, it’s certainly not half as comfortable as listening to any of Sugababes 4.0’s material. 4 STARS

A whopping nine performances from Marina & The Diamonds

A whopping nine Glastonbury performances have hit the web today from Marina Diamandis, better known as Marina & The Diamonds. Performances include the singles Hollywood, Obsessions, Mowgli’s Road and new singles Oh No!, set for release in July and it’s September follow-up Shampain. Marina also performed album tracks Numb, Guilty and my personal favourite Are You Satisfied? Marina also broke into a cover rendition of everyone’s favourite guilty pleasure hit by 3OH!3 and Katy PerryStarstrukk.

I wasn’t a huge fan of Marina’s cover of the fast paced pop track, making it very ballad-y but fareplay to her for putting her own quirky twist on the song. It has a certain charm. Marina isn’t the greatest performer yet which probably explains why the crowd were a little dead but her vocals were good and I’ve seen more mundane performances live *cough*Calvin Harris*cough*.

Anyway, have a gander at the nine videos below.

Paramore to release ‘Playing God’ as next single

According to the reliable Radio 1 website, punk pop band Paramore are set to release a fifth single from their album Brand New Eyes – the angry mid-tempo track Playing God on 20th September. The single will follow Careful which has been set for a 12th July release date. It is unknown if the single will be released outside of the UK and Ireland yet.

Five singles is the most the band have released from any of their albums so far so they must have continued faith in the current project. The album has hit the #1 spot in Ireland, UK, Australia and New Zealand while hitting #2 in their native US, Hayley is flying high on the charts having featured on B.o.B’s album and the singles have done moderately well so things are looking good for the band.

Playing God is a fan favourite but it doesn’t sway me really. It’s decent and I’d be more than happy to hear it on the radio but I would have preferred if they had gone with Turn It Off or the optimistic Where The Lines Overlap. But hey! Maybe there’s still time to release those two yet.

Check out the video below and tell me what you think about the choice to have Playing God as the next single?

Florence absolutely storms the stage at Glastonbury

To add further to my coverage of the Glastonbury Festival, Florence + The Machine or rather Florence Welch gave some absolutely explosive performances there, even premiering some new material from her forthcoming sophomore album.

Strangeness And Charm is one of those new songs and Hell, I’m excited for it, even from hearing this live performance. The chorus is strangely addictive and I love the mixture of rock instrumentation with the typical classical instrumentation Florence is better known for. I know that the studio recording is just going to be absolutely EPIC! And I can’t wait for the follow up to her Platinum selling album Lungs.

Florence also gave her first live performance of Heavy In Your Arms, which can currently be found on the soundtrack to The Twilight Saga: Eclipse which just shows how quickly Florence’s profile has risen. Hell, I had the choice to go and see her at Oxegen last year but sadly passed up on it seeing as she was only starting to get popular in the last year. I hear her performance skills have improved though since.

In the same video for Heavy In Your Arms, you can check out Flozzie’s one time only performance of Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain. It was brilliant and Florence’s unique vocals really added a nice spin on the song.

The final video shows Florence’s performance of her smash hit Dog Days Over. The performance was truly iconic and emotional. It felt so powerful to see the enormous crowd bob up and down at Florence’s command as she carried off the song’s soaring vocals with aplomb. You can watch all four performances below. I think Florence was probably the highlight of the weekend…so far.

More Glastonbury goodness: Scissor Sisters, Kylie Minogue and Pet Shop Boys all take to the stage

Gay friendly acts such as Scissor Sisters, Kylie Minogue and Pet Shop Boys all performed at Glastonbury in the last two days.

One of the more notable performances came from the Scissor Sisters who were joined onstage by none other than Kylie Minogue, who was greeted by a tumult of  roars and cheers as she sauntered to the front of the stage, to join Jake Shears and Ana Matronic in a banging performance of new album track Any Which Way – which received a glowing review from OddOne and is probably one of the group’s most raunchy songs to date.

The performance is a lot of fun to watch as the three singers are clearly having a good time and giving it all their energy. Who knew Kylie could do such a creepily similar impression of Jake Shears falsetto? Both ladies looked absolutely stunning and if I were other ways inclined, I’m sure Shears would look good too. Check out the performance below. I hope this gets second single – or maybe they’ll even add a Kylie feature when sending it off to radio.

The Pet Shop Boys also gave a hypnotic performance of West End Girls. From his vocals to the set up of the stage it’s clear that 55 year old singer Neil Tennant can give just as good a performance as his younger contemporaries. Check out the pitch perfect performance below.