Michael Jackson…what is your favourite single?

POLL CLOSED!

As everyone is well aware, the King of Pop, Michael Jackson was a year dead two weeks ago. I could write some kind of tribute piece to him but quite frankly there’s nothing I can say that hasn’t been said already. Without a doubt, MJ was one of the most awe inspiring artists of all time and I’m just sorry that I had to grow up in an era where Michael was basically a tabloid joke and a supposed paedophile. I would have loved to have grown up in the 1980s when Michael was at the top of his game – being the knockout singer, dancer, performer, songwriter and all out star that many have chose to look upon following his death.

I sadly didn’t really get into music until my teens so I am pretty new to the legend that is Michael Jackson, having spent the mid to late 1990s and early 2000s either shunning music or rather embarrassingly listening to cheesy old boy and girl bands like the Spice Girls and Boyzone.

But whatever decade you lived in, Michael Jackson was sure to bring out a number of pop gems – be it the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s or 2000s. And that’s just his solo career. In order to increase interaction on this site, I want all you guys to vote for your favourite solo track by Michael Jackson. I think I’ve managed to include every single so vote below (as many times as you want) for your favourite Michael Jackson single of all time. My favourite of all time is his 1983 hit Billie Jean from the biggest selling album of all time Thriller.

EDIT: Based on this poll, I will compile a list of the Top 10 or Top 5 Michael Jackson songs in a week’s time.

Adam, Basshunter, B.o.B., Gorillaz, Inna, Jessie James, Justin, Kat, Katy, Kelis, MGMT, N*E*R*D*, OK Go, Plan B, Snoop and Uffie unleash an onslaught of videos for us!

After Lady GaGa released her much discussed video clip for Alejandro about two weeks or so ago, it looks like some of the other artists in today’s music industry want in on the game and the last two weeks have seen an absolute onslaught of music videos float our way. Seeing as other areas of my life are taking over my blogging (despite me really getting into it lately), I’ve not been able to keep track of them all as soon as they’ve been released. However, never fear because I’ve combined them all into one humungous post. Here are some of the most notable (and not so notable) videos being released recently.

Adam Lambert: If I Had You

After getting off to a disappointing start with his dull as dishwasher ‘proper debut’ single For Your Entertainment, Adam Lambert has been very impressive lately. Not only am I mad about his current UK/Irish single Whataya Want From Me, released this July, but I’m also really loving If I Had You, Adam’s third single in the US (fifth if you count his American Idol runner up song No Boundaries and his soundtrack song Time For Miracles).

While Whataya Want From Me is a brooding P!nk penned rocker, If I Had You is a delightful electropop stomper that is sure to keep America partying all Summer. If I Had You is hugely euphoric, positive and massive and should ensure the larger than live vocalist and artist a massive hit. The video is a simple yet effective affair. Adam and a large group of people go out and party in a forest. The video has some fantastical elements to it with colourful fairies flitting about and Glambert resembling some character from either a sci-fi, fantasy, manga or anime movie/show I’d seen recently, I just can’t put my finger on who. Watch the video below, I hope this is released on these shores soon…although it is essentially a Summer single.

Basshunter: Saturday

The male Natalie Horler, Basshunter is back with a brand new single, Saturday, which will be taken from his currently untitled third album. *groan*

Not a huge groan though. Saturday is a minor improvement on some of the Sweedish DJ’s earlier work although it still remains generic, bland and soulless. Jonas has ditched the cheesy Eurodance for some pure Americanised dance-pop, á la Cascada with Evacuate The Dancefloor. Like Cascada, Jonas has definitely cashed into the Lady GaGa sound as he and some anonymous female vocalist sing over giant club beats. At least he’s ditched the repetitive soap storyline he used for previous videos and has gone for a full out club video.

B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams: Airplanes

After scoring a #1 hit with his Bruno Mars collaboration Nothin’ On You, innovative rapper B.o.B. is back with a new single Airplanes featuring Paramore vocalist Hayley Williams.

While the track is a certified smash and possibly even a future hip-hop classic, I’m a little disappointed with the video. Despite B.o.B.’s success, its clear that the label didn’t throw a huge amount of dollars at the video and I would have liked to see some interaction between B.o.B. and Hayley. Still the flashing lights look good and with a song so epic, with a simple yet effective chorus and having already cracked the Top 20, if not Top 10 across the World, clearly a below par video is the least of B.o.B.’s worries. Plus, I’m glad Hayley’s doing this collaboration. If Paramore ever go on hiatus or split, Hayley has the looks, talent and charisma to embark on a successful pop career, like No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani.

Gorillaz: On Melancholy Hill

Virtual band the Gorillaz have pushed back the release of second single Superfast Jellyfish in favour of new second single On Melancholy Hill. Superfast Jellyfish will be released later in the year, instead.

On Melancholy Hill was originally intended to be the third single from the album and it baffles me why the positions of this and the much more sunnier Superfast Jellyfish were reversed around. I also feel that the underwater theme and the images of jellyfish floating around were originally for a Superfast Jellyfish but the song was changed at the last minute.

That said On Melancholy Hill is one of the highlights from the brilliant Plastic Beach. The video is characteristically stunning, combining 2-D and 3-D seamlessly. My personal favourite parts are where the Gorillaz finally discover Plastic Beach and the cameo from a 2-D Snoop Dogg (who appears in three videos this post).
You can watch the stunning video here.

Inna: Amazing

To inject a little Eurotrash into this post, the trashily sexy Romanian singer Inna is set to release her second UK/Irish single Amazing. As you’d expect, it’s anything but – but at least we get to see her flail around in a bikini and view some stunning Portuguese landscape in the song’s video. Plus the song is much better than her surprise #10 hit Hot which was released a while back.

Jessie James: Boys In Summer

To inject a little country flavour into this post, why not check out the new music video by American singer Jessie James. The sexy Georgian is expected to be country music’s next ‘it’ girl (watch your back, Taylor Swift) and while it’s not being released over here yet, the song is a fun track that almost acts as the country equivalent to Katy Perry’s California Gurls, capturing the sound of the Summer perfectly. The video’s a lot of fun too, showing plenty of eye candy for both men and women. The song is definitely more country than whatever Taylor Swift has put her name to. You can watch the video here.

Justin Bieber featuring Usher: Somebody To Love

Self obsessed lesbian lookalike Justin “I Don’t Know What A German Is” Bieber and his mentor Usher have teamed up for a remix to new single Somebody To Love, which is bound to give Bieber yet another hit.

This time it’s deserved though as the song is a catchy little pop stomper with a stylish video to match. Clearly puberty is getting to young Bieber as his voice could be better on this track but thanks to a little help from Usher and some great choreography, Bieber has actually impressed me for once. Now if only he didn’t come across as a narcissistic little toe-rag pretending to act wholesome, I might actually start to like him.

Kat Deluna featuring Akon: Push Push

Flopstar Kat Deluna is back with her new single Push Push which features chipmunk voiced singer/rapper Akon. The reason why I’m including Kat in my post is because Ms. Deluna is in desperate need of a hit. Deluna has worked with RedOne long before GaGa ever did and while her combination of electropop, R&B and Latin music is extremely infectious, Deluna has never scored a hit. Maybe this song and its stylish video will help…though I doubt it. Shame because this is just ideal for Summer.

Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg: California Gurls

The much anticipated video for Katy Perry’s current US #1 California Gurls has finally surfaced. Rather than go with a literal video, Perry is thinking outside the box with a Candyland board game theme meets The Wizard Of Oz.

It’s no secret that I have a hard soft spot for Katy Perry so I naturally enjoyed this fun, cute video. Katy’s ‘quirkiness’, you’re either going to love or hate, and many will complain about her blatant selling off sex in this video (appearing naked on the cloud, whipped cream gun bra etc.) but as a red-blooded male I have no complaints. My personal highlight of the video is where Katy waves at the walking gummy bears, only for it to show her the middle finger, resulting in a hilariously camp over-exaggerated expression of offence from Ms. Perry. I also think the final scene with Snoop buried in the sand alongside the California Gurls would make a great desktop wallpaper.

Kelis: 4th July (Fireworks)

Kelis is back with the second single from her Flesh Tone album – the US holiday anthem 4th Of July. The video was done on a low budget but like her previous hit Acapella, Kelis does not disappoint, giving us a visually delicious video which displays plenty of the song’s namesake fireworks and explores the four elements of air, earth, fire and water.

While I’m not loving the song or the video as much as Acapella, I’m hoping it will grow on me and become another hit for the deceptively intelligent artist. Who would have known Kelis had so much creative vision when she released Milkshake all them years ago.

MGMT: It’s Working and Congratulations

Before the release of their second LP Congratulations, New York hipster band MGMT had stated that they planned to release no singles from the album as they wanted to stand on its own as its own “collection of work”. Two months on and the band have released music videos for the third and fourth single from the album It’s Working and the title track. Neither songs are exactly mainstream or radio friendly but the videos are a lot of fun so hopefully they get some airplay on the music channels.

N*E*R*D* featuring Nelly Furtado: Hot ‘N’ Fun

Pharrell

Hip-rockers N*E*R*D* make a return to the World of music, with new single Hot ‘N’ Fun from forthcoming album Nothing. Featuring Nelly Furtado, the video was directed by Telephone director Jonas Åkerlund. You can watch the video here, seeing as its being pulled down everywhere else.

While I do enjoy the feel good groove of the song, the video is very reminiscent of Ke$ha’s Your Love Is My Drug video as well as Lady GaGa and Beyoncé driving around a desert in the Pussywagon for Telephone. The blond lady in the Indian headdress, the Californian desert and the animated sequences recall Ke$ha’s most recent single. Not to mention Nelly Furtado being copy and pasted into the music video with some amateurish special effects. This isn’t the first time Ms. Furtado has had to be copy and pasted into a video – having done so already in Timbaland’s Morning After Dark as well as clearly not filming alongside James Morrison in his Broken Strings video. Don’t even get me started on her CGI presence in Flo Rida’s Jump. Surely she isn’t that busy that she can’t show up for a video shoot alongside her co-stars every now and then.

OK Go: End Love

Quirky indie rockers OK Go are also back with another mad video for new single End Love. Depsite its low budget, OK Go have taken their usual DIY approach to making music videos with some genuinely funny shots of them running about, posing with great camera work that speeds up and slows down the video. I love when the goose joins them. I really want these guys to be successful.

Plan B: Prayin’


Following the success of the toe-tapping She Said, rapper/soul singer Plan B continues the gripping storyline from his music videos of imprisoned soul singer Strickland Banks in new single Prayin’.

With the song’s gigantic, expensive and rousing production, I think this should be another hit for the London singer who avoids rapping on this track. The videos which have been a huge draw to this era have me wondering what will happen to our down on his look protagonist next.

Snoop Dogg: Oh Sookie

True Blood mega fan Snoop Dogg is definitely not stopping Alan Ball’s rejection of a Snoop cameo on True Blood without a fight. The pervy California rapper has now released a promo single where he confesses his love – or rather lust – for telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse. Snoop Dogg rapping about my favourite TV show and proclaiming his lust for the show’s stars Anna Paquin and Rutina Wesley suggests we have much more in common than I thought. This video, with its Sookie Stackhouse back-up dancers, isn’t going to sway regular listeners but this is a must see for any True Blood fan.

I think Alan Ball needs to stop being so unfair and fulfill Snoop’s dream of appearing on the show. 😀 Maybe, Snoop could be killed in the True Blood world and come back as a mentally disabled vampire who helps out the Louisiana vampires á la Bubba in the Sookie Stackhouse books (read: Elvis). It would be authentic and if stars like Anna Paquin and Evan Rachel Wood can appear in the show, then why not Snoop.

Uffie featuring Pharrell: ADD (SUV)

Finally, Miami singer/rapper Uffie has teamed up with Pharrell for her first proper single ADD (SUV), the video which surfaced yesterday. The electropop song with an alternative edge is quickly becoming amazing to me but the video seems randomly put together with Uffie and Pharrell driving around the city at night with some animated sequences throwing in, probably as a tribute to her favourite star Ke$ha. 😀 Check it out below.

Phew! Told you there was lots of videos.

Singles Reviews Diary 17 – 28th May 2010

So here I am with the seventeenth edition of the Singles Reviews Diary. I can’t believe I’ve managed to stick writing these for 17 long weeks but I’ve really found it quite rewarding in the end. So it kind of hurts that this could be the last one I do in a while. I’m moving into a new apartment for the Summer and I probably won’t have Internet! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Still, I’ll try and work my way round that little problem but there’s no guarantee that I’ll get these out every week like you’re used to.

Singles Reviews Diary 17 – 28th May 2010:

01. Akon featuring Keri Hilson: Oh Africa
This song has been floating around for a while now but with the World Cup getting closer and closer, it looks like the song is getting its official release. Basically ignore Akon and Keri Hilson – they’re on autopilot here. Akon sings away in his nasal tone while Keri croons her drawn out vocals. The only redeemable part of this song is the tribal drums and the African chantings of “weh-oh-weh, weh-oh-weh”. This makes it an infectious World Cup which without them would just be crap.
2.5 STARS

02. Alphabeat: DJ (I Could Be Dancing)
The cheesy Danish band are back with the third single from their sophomore album
The Spell, retitled The Beat Is… for British and Irish audiences. What is surprising about DJis that it’s actually very good. It manages to sound like a feel-good track that would soundtrack an ‘80s rom-com or family film which isn’t a bad thing at all. Perfect for the Summer and a big improvement on their previous two singes. 4 STARS

03. Aston: Rude Boy
Who would have thought that Rihanna’s island jam about boys sticking it in her could sound classy? Well it sure does when Aston cover it. The Australian classical musicians mightn’t try and imitate Rihanna’s distinctive vocals butthey do give us a stunning instrumental instead.Dramatic swooping strings, pounding drums and quick and dramatic piano flourishes turn Rihanna’s shallow pop song into something much more powerful and epic. A talented bunch of musicians, I also recommend checking out their cover of Lady GaGa and Beyonce’s
Telephone. 4.5 STARS

04. Craig David: All Alone Tonight (Stop Look Listen)
After his previous single
One More Lie (Standing In The Shadows) failed to make any noticeable dent in the charts, the R&B crooner has fired ahead with the second single from his Signed, Sealed, Delivered album. Like the previous single, All Alone Tonightsamples retro-soul act, this time The Stylistics Stop Look Listen (Listen To Your Heart), and gives it a modern twist. I didn’t like One More Lie but I actually like this smooth and groovy mid-tempo R&B. Sadly for Mr. David, like everything he’s done lately, it does sound sort of dated. I don’t think this will be a hit. 3 STARS

05. David Guetta and Chris Willis featuring Fergie and LMFAO: Gettin’ Over You
Only two short months after releasing
Memories, David Guetta has gone full steam ahead with the fifth single from his Gold selling album One Love. For this rejigged album track, Guetta is in full recycle mode. The original album version had Guetta and long time collaborator Chris Willis but for the single version, Fergie and LMFAO (are added to…I dunno…give the song more commercial appeal. What we get is a bouncy guitar heavy dance track like what we heard on Love Is Gone and I Gotta Feeling (which sampled the former). Fergie and Chris Willis are vocally stunning and I don’t know whether to love or hate LM*AO’s ‘Party’ breakdown (or LMFAO for that matter). All the same, the song just feels lacking, when Fergie sings the hook from Boom Boom Pow, changing virtually one word, it feels like we’ve heard this all before. 2 STARS

06. The Drums: Forever And Ever Amen
The brilliant Drums are back with a sunny and sonically pleasing track. The fastly strummed guitar work on this track and the slight backing vocals are great. However, I don’t think I could distinguish this song easily from all the other indie offerings at the moment. An enjoyable enough Summer track but nothing amazing.
3.5 STARS

07. Glee Cast: Funny Girl
Idina Menzel channels Barbara Streisand in this by the numbers cover. Menzel has a great voice but I found myself wanting to fast forward through this scene because it just dragged out to long and their wasn’t much performance involved.
2.5 STARS

08. Glee Cast: Bad Romance
Probably my favourite song of the episode, the ladies of
Glee and honorarygirl Kurt perform the song in all its bombastic glory. I wasn’t looking forward to this performance much because we had just got rid of this song from the airwaves but the Glee kids manage to grab the original Lady GaGa version and make it sound…well…gleeful. Amongst the explosive synths, the Glee kids pour their powerful vocals over the song making it nearly as good as the original. 4.5 STARS

09. Glee Cast: Shout It Loud
Who says
Glee can’t rock???!!! It’s great to hear them cover a wide range of music and the Glee boys definitely deliver with this energetic performance of the Kiss hit. 4 STARS

10. Glee Cast: Beth
In the token heartwarming moment of
Glee, Puck sings this Kiss ballad beautifully. He really has a great voice and should be able to highlight that more in the show. Of course, heartwarming is a euphemism for sickeningly cheesy in my book, but those more romantic than me might just love this ballad. 4 STARS

11. Glee Cast: Poker Face
It seems a bit strange that Rachel and Shelby would sing a song about covering up your sexuality and “bluffin’ with your muffin” as the mother and daughter prepare to say goodbye but since when as
Glee being completely logical. Anyways the two look-alikes do a great job of covering the second Lady GaGa song of the episode. Rather than going for the dark electro of the studio version, Lea Michele and Idina Menzel mimic GaGa’s acoustic performance of the song, getting the piano player “whose always around” to play while they bellow out their vocals Broadway style. It’s a terrific performance but it doesn’t sound much different from GaGa’s performance of the song.4 STARS

STINKER OF THE WEEK!
12. Jason Derulo: Ridin’ Solo
I really hate this track. While
Whatcha Say and In My Head were flawed yet extremely catchy, Ridin’ Solo is just pure irritating. It starts of acapella like Lady GaGa singingPoker Face live before breaking into electro heaviness. The thing that irritates me about the song is the stupid faux Caribbean accent Derulo uses to sing the verses and the fact that he substitutes “tholo” for “solo” on parts of the chorus. Since when was it cool to mispronounce words for no reason? Also, like his previous two singles, Ridin’ Solo sounds like it could be sang by any R&B singer and lacks and real identity or anything to shout about. Plus, it’s just such a headwrecker. 1 STAR

TRACK OF THE WEEK!
13. Johnny Flynn: Kentucky Pill
This is just fantastic. The male equivalent to Laura Marling has been lying under the radar for years now so I hope that soon he’ll find some degree of success. Flynn, also a poet an actor, has a rich voiceand this is lyrically brilliant against an organic, celebratory production. I recommend you check him out.
5 STARS

14. Lena: Satellite
Lena deservedly won the Eurovision with this catchy toe-tapper. Many people have been comparing her to Lily Allen or Kate Nash but I prefer comparing her voice to Ellie Goulding, albeit more upbeat and less dreamy. Like Ellie, Lena’s distinctive voice is likely to become annoying if the song gets plenty of overplay but for now the song is a pretty catchy jam that makes you want to click your fingers and direct you to the dancefloor.
4 STARS

15. Miley Cyrus: Can’t Be Tamed
I really hated this track when I first heard it but Miley’s magical powers of persuasion have changed my mind. Miley might hate pop music herself but that hasn’t stopped her following pop trends, ditching her Disney pop rock sound for a more electro sound. Still Miley manages to keep things good with a killer pop tune – toe tapping synths, confident verses, a surging bridge and a bombastic chorus. It’s like a twee version of Britney Spears’
Blackout. There’s even a bit where the vocoder is turned up and Miley sounds like Daffy Duck. If Miley continues a career in music, pop or not, she should grow into an interesting artist. 3.5 STARS

16. R. Kelly featuring Soweto Spiritual Singers: Sign Of A Victory
R&B crooner R. Kelly is another artist with a World Cup song. Against minimal Aficanised production, R. Kelly echoes Michael Jackson in his prime. The Soweto Spiritual Singers provide beautiful ethnic backing vocals. This mightn’t exactly be a song you chant along to but this is one of the better World Cup songs out there.
4 STARS

17. Royal Air Force Squadronaires featuring Stacey Solomon: At Last
Remember Stacey Solomon?! The beautiful and talented yet slightly lifeless performer who takes on a cringeworthy bumbling personality when she isn’t singing? Well she’s appearing on the Royal Air Force’s new album and if you’ve heard her rendition of Etta James’
At Last on The X-Factor then you don’t really need to buy this single – unless you’re a diehard Stacey fan. Her voice is fine and the RAF’s brass instrumentation is rich but I am so sick to death of this song being covered over and over by every able voiced singer. 2 STARS

18. Shakira featuring Fleshlyground: Waka Waka (Time For Africa)
The most danceable World Cup song yet. Electro, folk and African music are combined here against Shakira’s distinctive yet seductive vocals. Like most Shakira singles, this is incredibly infectious although the lyrics are missing the quirkiness affiliated with Shakira. Still, if this gets airplay you’ll be humming along to it all Summer.
4 STARS

19. Stornoway: Zorbing
After failing to make a dent in the charts with their last single
I Saw You Blink, hopefullyZorbing will do better. It certainly seems to be getting more promotion. Singer Brian Biggs has a great voice – so ear snagging. This great track has enough changes in tone and instrumentation, it’s sure to keep you intrigued. I must check out their new album.4 STARS

20. Sunset Hotel: The Bitter End
This is the debut single by Irish indie band Sunset Hotel which recently (out of nowehere) managed to get into the Irish Top 10. What I’m hearing is a lot of angsty whining without any definable chorus. It’s not particularly bad, I can see how radio would pick it up but this doesn’t sound much different from a number of indie tracks that have come and go over the years.
2.5 STARS

So yeah, this week has been a pretty disappointing one for mainstream releases. If it wasn’t for World Cup songs and Eurovision songs, would there be any real singles released this week. Anyways, as usual comments and feedback would be nice. Hopefully, I’ll be back next week with another Singles Reviews Diary.

Enrique Iglesias unleashes ‘Euphoria’ tracklisting

Latino heartthrob Enrique Iglesias is back with his ninth studio album Euphoria a bilinigual album about “setting your problems aside and having some fun”. That seems to be the memo on every popstar’s list these days. The album will release two lead singles – one in English and the other in Spanish.

Now, I’ll confess – I consider Enrique’s music a guilty pleasure, it’s generally fun, catchy stuff. However the lead English single from the album – the RedOne produced I Like It will not be a guilty pleasure because the song is ANNOYING with a capital A. And it’s not Pitbull’s rap or Lionel Richie’s re-recorded All Night Long sample, it’s Enrique’s excessive use of robo-voice where it’s not needed at all! The track is as catchy as swine flu so it should be another hit for Iglesias but the sooner the Auto-Tune trend is out of the way the better.

The second lead single Cuando Me Enamoro featuring Juan Luis Guerra is a much better track but not speaking a word of Spanish, I haven’t a clue what they’re singing about. The video for the track, however, does feature gorgeous Ugly Betty star Ana Ortiz (a.k.a. Hilda Suarez). You can check out the album tracklisting below as well as the official videos for the two lead singles below. Enrique is completely in love with himself in both videos (I confess I’m jealous)!

Tracklisting for Enrique Iglesias’ Euphoria:

1. Cuando Me Enamoro (featuring Juan Luis Guerra)
2. No Me Digas Que No (featuring Wisin & Yandel)
3. Ayer
4. Dile Que
5. I Like It (featuring Pitbull and Lionel Richie)
6. One Day at a Time (featuring Akon)
7. I Can Feel Your Heartbeat (featuring Nicole Scherzinger)
8. Dirty Dancer (featuring Usher)
9. Tu Y Yo
10. No Me Digas Que No
11. Heartbreaker
12. Coming Home

The album is available on 2nd July in Netherlands and Ireland, 5th July Worldwide and 6th July in North America.




Enrique Iglesias featuring Pitbull and Lionel Richie: I Like It

Enrique Iglesias featuring Juan Luis Guerra: Cuando Me Enamoro

Singles Reviews Diary 5 – 5th March 2010

It’s getting even earlier and earlier…but I have my reviews for singles being released on Monday this week. Cos I’ll most likely be busy. It’s a whopping 37 singles I’ll be covering this week (all though not all of them will be major releases).

Singles Reviews Diary 5 – 5th March 2010

01. A Fine Frenzy: Happier
Better known to her Mom and Dad as Alison Sudol, this gorgeous singer is something like a combination of Colbie Caillat and some anti-folk artist from the
Juno soundtrack. As for Happier, it’s a breezy Summery track with some light breathy vocals. Really like this actually. 4 STARS

02. Agnes: On And On
Poor Agnes. Looks like she’s gonna be a #1 hit wonder after failing to replicate the success of her surprise smash Summer hit
Release Me. This basically sounds like an inferior version of that song. Theres nothing to distinguish this from any songs we’re likely to hear in the Eurovision, only a month and a half away. Yup, ’nuff said. 2 STARS

03. Alicia Keys featuring Drake: Un-thinkable (I’m Ready)
Alicia Keys keeps the momentum going for her
The Element Of Freedom LP with this promotional single. It’s actually a really beautiful song but probably wouldn’t work as an official single. Drake’s harmonies work well with Alicia’s soulful vocals. 3 STARS

04. Avril Lavigne: Alice (Underground)
“IIIIIIIIIIIII….Iiiii’lll get byyyyyyyyyyyy…” yells Avril on the lead single of the Almost Alice soundtrack. Well we certainly won’t Avril as you’re making my ears bleed with your banshee howl. I can’t help thinking this would have been way better in the hands of a more stronger singer like Alanis Morrisette or Amy Lee. However, the thundering percussion and the quiet piano melodies make this just about bearable. 2.5 STARS

Sidenote: What’s the deal with the Almost Alice soundtrack? I mean you think a soundtrack based on a Tim Burton film would be that bit more alternative and gothic sounding. But instead we get 3OH!3, All American Rejects, Owl City and Metro Station — talk about disappointing acts.

05. Bombay Bicycle Club: Evening/Morning
It’s okay and that’s all I have to say. It’s more of an instrumental than a song with vocals. The video disturbs me greatly.
2 STARS

06. Enter Shikari: Tribalism
The clue is in the title – this song is… um well…tribal. Enter Shikari are a hardcore punk band so vicious vocals and loud screaming are to be expected. This isn’t quite as noisy as official single Thumper though. 3 STARS

07. Evanescence: Together Again
Ahead of the release of their new album this Autumn, Evanescence do their bit for Haiti by releasing a B-side of their 2006 album
The Open Door as a charity single. This is a typical Evanescence track…dramatic strings, tinkling pianos, creepy choirs and Amy Lee’s haunted wail. It’s all a bit too melodramatic for a Haiti single but if you’re a fan of the band, I recommend you go out and buy this. 2 STARS

TRACK OF THE WEEK!
08. Gabriella Cilmi: On A Mission
All my personal (stalkerish) obsessive feelings of love (and lust) for Cilmi aside, this is actually a fantastic tune. It sounds like it came right out of the ’80s and everything from the production to the chorus to the verses and even the cringeworthy rap breakdown in the middle are all amazing. If this is what she’s doing at 18, can you imagine what a fantastic artist she will be in a few years time.
5 STARS

09. Glee Cast: Endless Love
It’s all about the ballads this week on
Glee as the episode these songs are taken from is called ‘Ballad’. A big solid cheesy cover of Diana Ross and Lionel Richie from Hot Social Outcast Girl and The Shoe (Uncool Glee Leader). I actually hope the TV footage is used as a music video for this song ’cause the Shoe’s facial expressions are absolutely hilarious. 3 STARS

10. Glee Cast: I’l Stand By You
The Jock takes the lead with this song. I cringed so much in his soppy cover of The Pretenders/Girls Aloud song/cover.
3 STARS

11. Glee Cast: Don’ Stand So Close To Me/Young Girl
The Shoe does a really good job of this mash-up of songs by The Police and Gary Puckett & The Union. However, this is more episode centric and works better if you see it on TV.
4 STARS

12. Glee Cast: Crush
This actually far surpasses the 1998 original by Jennifer Paige basically ’cause Hot Social Outcast Girl has a much better voice. My favourite
Glee track this week. 3.5 STARS

13. Glee Cast: (You’re) Having My Baby
This is a cover of a song by Paul Anka and Odia Coates. Again, I cringe everytime I hear the Jock sing and I’m kind of annoyed his Pregnant Baby Mama didn’t join him. Still his voice is good enough.
3 STARS

14. Glee Cast: Lean On Me
And this is the big heartwarming ballad that the whole Glee Club come out and sing for the Jock and his Baby Mama. It might bring a tear to some people’s eye but for a heartless cynic like me, I just stare stony faced at the screen when this is sang.
3.5 STARS

15. Goldfrapp: Rocket
As I’ve said on the Goldfrapp post already, it’s unlikely that they’ll ever surpass their hippyish folky album
Seventh Tree with me. However, Rocket, a synthy, icy mid-tempo ’80s throwback is a quiet grower. I love it. 4 STARS

16. Hadouken!: Mic Check
This is actually amazing. The ravey instrumental for this is worth purchasing alone. If this comes on in a club, I will definitely be first on the dancefloor for this beauty.
4.5 STARS

17. Hermione Hennessy: Fall At Your Feet
This song is by the British raised daughter of late Irish singer Christie Hennessy. This is actually a really enjoyable song. Might work best for the adult contemporary crowd but this actually sounds like The Corrs.
3.5 STARs

18. Ja Rule featuring R. Kelly: Incredible
Are we seeing the return of classic R&B? I sure hope so. But maybe just ’cause R. Kelly sings the chorus on this track. This takes me back to the early 2000s when R&B was so good and not trashy and generic like it is now. This is all classic piano loops and smooth harmonizing from Kelly. Ja Rule’s pretty good too.
4 STARS

19. Jimi Hendrix: Bleeding Heart
This is classic rock ‘n’ roll from the legendary guitarist. This is very enjoyable but I’m really against the release of posthumous singles and albums. These were all probably demos Hendrix created and didn’t think was good enough for a studio album and now they appear 40 years later after his death (my God, has it been that long)! Will appear on his upcoming album
Valleys Of Neptune. 3.5 STARS

20. John Mayer: Heartbreak Warfare
As much as it pains me to say this, this womanizing racist actually has a lot of talent. Great rock track. Kind of sounds like Coldplay.
3.5 STARS

21. Kat Deluna featuring Akon: Push Push
She sounds like a combination of Shakira and Rihanna. In other words, she has no originality and needs Akon to help her out on this dancehall R&B track. Unlikely to be a hit. If her brilliant
Run This Show couldn’t make it, then I doubt this will. 2.5 STARS

22. Kid Cudi: Know Why
Poor Cudi looks like he’s fallen into the same trap as fellow intelligent rappers Wale and Lupe Fiasco in that he’s unlikely to see the success of a hit like
Day ‘N’ Nite again. Can’t believe this song will be ignored when crap by Flo Rida and Pitbull will be snapped up by the masses. 4 STARS

23. Lil’ Jon: Get In And Get Out
I like the beat for this but that’s about it! Jeez John, do you actually talk like that in real life.
1.5 STARS

24. Livvi France: Automatik
After the terrible
Now I’m That Chick, Livvi returns with a rather good club banger. But aren’t we hearing this from everyone in the charts at the moment especially Lady GaGa. Sounds like Just Dance and Poker Face. 2.5 STARS

25. Ludacris featuring Chris Angel: Mindfreak 3 STARS

26. Ludacris featuring Trey Songz: Sex Room 3.5 STARS

27. Ludacris: Sexting 2.5 STARS

^^^^The above three are all promo singles from his Battle Of The Sexes album. It’s a fun album and the songs are all fine but fairly standard run of the mill rap tracks. I love Sexting. I thought I had made that word up myself but obviously not. 😦

28. Monica: Everything To Me
The incredibly soulful Monica makes a nice yet unextraordinary return to the World of music. This is really good but nothing we haven’t heard before.
2.5 STARS

29. McLean: My Name
Boring. Who is this guy? This sounds like a Taio Cruz B-side. Next!
1.5 STARS

30. Norah Jones: Stuck
I’m pleasantly surprised. I was expecting another sleepy ballad from Miss Jones but she’s really moving outside the box with this more interesting second single from upcoming album
The Fall. I might check it out if this single is an indication of the new album. 4 STARS

STINKER OF THE WEEK!
31.
Pixie Lott: Gravity
I really like Pixie and think she’s amazingly talented for her 19 years and think she gets an awful lot of unnecessary abuse. But this song is kind of disgraceful as a single. I haven’t listened to her album
Turn It Up but I’ve heard there’s much better songs on the album like Here We Go Again and Turn It Up. Okay, so it’s not the worst song ever but Pixie sounds like she has a headcold with that nasal singing against the mid-tempo setting. “Gravity, gravity, gravity…” is repeated too many times on the chorus and I don’t like that a deep male voice sings it too. Its just annoying. 1 STAR

32. Robbie Williams: Morning Sun
It’s good but it’s not great. Robbie plays it safe with this so-so ballad. I’d prefer
You Know Me anyday. 2 STARS

33. Sean Garret featuring Plies: Lay U Down
Ah go away, T-Pain impersonators!!!!
1 STAR

34. Shane McGowan & Friends: I Put A Spell On You
This is my favourite Haiti charity record. Really raw and emotive vocals from Shane McGowan, Paloma Faith, Johnny Depp, Bobby Gillespie, Glen Matlock, Chrissie Hynde and Eliza Dolittle. Not sure if a cover of the Screaming Jay Hawkins hit is appropriate in relation to Haiti. But hey! This is a good record people will want to buy instead of feeling obliged to buy.
3 STARS

35. Steve Aoki featuring [[[ Zuper Blahq ]]]: I’m In The House
This sounds suspiciously like Will.I.Am on this novelty dance track which uses the hook “I’m in the house!” for chart success. We all know how crappy Will is solo and over a dance beat, he’s probably worse. This isn’t Will.I.Am. but it sounds identical to him. This is obviously cashing in on the success of Sidney Samson’s
Riverside (Let’s Go!)which this track also sounds like. 2 STARS

36. T-Pain featuring Young Jeezy: Reverse Cowgirl
If you’ve heard one T-Pain track, you’ve heard ’em all. Auto-Tuned drivel.
2 STARS

37. Young Jeezy featuring Plies: Lose My Mind
Much like his collaborator above, if you’ve heard one Young Jeezy song, you’ve heard them all from the gruff voiced rapper. What’s he doing releasing his own solo material. Do what yo do best: being a rent-a-rapper.
1 STAR

That took FOREVER!!! Please feel free to compliment/argue with my reviews!

Singles Reviews Diary 3 – 19th February 2010

Hey guess what?! I’ve come up with my thoughts on singles being released tomorrow a day early. Mightn’t get time to post it tomorrow (have a busy day of drinking for Rag Week tomorrow) so I’ll post it now

Singles Reviews Diary 3 – 19th February 2010:

01. Alicia Keys: Empire State Of Mind (Part II) Broken Down (Video)
Last year, Alicia Keys featured on Jay-Z’s biggest anthem of last year. For new album
The Element Of Freedom, Alicia strips the song down into a beautiful piano ballad while still keeping the killer chorus of the original. While this is more atmospheric, I still think I prefer the Jay-Z original. 4 STARS

02. Alphabeat: Hole In My Heart (Video)
Alphabeat drop the sugary bubblegum sound that they used on Fascination and recent single The Spell for a more ’90s dance sound on the second single from album The Spell. I was a never a fan of their cheesy pop songs so I find this song…uh…bearable.
3 STARS

Hole In My Heart
03. Beyoncé: Fever (Video)
So much for Beyoncé taking a break. Alongside collaborations with Lady GaGa and Alicia Keys, Beyoncé finds time to release single Fever to promote her new perfume Heat. She makes a solid yet hardly groundbreaking cover of the 1956 smoky classic. I kind of want Beyoncé to disappear for a while at this stage especially as she’s planning on releasing a new album at the end of the day.
2 STARS

Fever

04. Chiddy Bang: The Opposite Of Adults (Video)
A delightful rap track that samples MGMT’s Kids. I think I agree with Curtains. This could well be better than the original. I’ll have to keep listening to find out. Definite party starting tune for sure!!!
4.5 STARS

Opposite Of Adults EP

05. Cobra Starship: Hot Mess (Video)
Pretty much like Metro Station’s
Shake It, the only thing that’s good about this song is the killer chorus. The rest of the song is forgettable and annoying. 2.5 STARS

File:CobraStarship HotMessSingleCover.jpg

06. Daisy Dares You featuring Chipmunk: Number One Enemy (Video)
Britain’s newest teenybopper popstar releases her first single. The video is like a low budget version of Gwen Stefani’s What You Waiting For? and there’s a whiff of Avril Lavigne about it. The song is catchy enough pop rock but what’s with the random Chipmunk verse. Completely pointless.
3 STARS

Number One Enemy

07. Ellie Goulding: Starry Eyed (Video)
A hook filled, hypnotic electropop track. I think Ellie is a deserved winner of the BRITS Critics Choice Award. I think she’s gonna be 2010’s big new star.
3.5 STARS

Starry Eyed

08. Giggs featuring B.o.B.: Don’t Go There (Video)
Expletive filled rap track by British/Jamacian rapper Giggs. This probably won’t get much airplay but it’s actually a really enjoyable rap track with a catchy enough chorus provided by American rapper B.o.B..

Don't Go There (Feat. B.o.B.)

09. Glee Cast: Bust A Move 3 STARS (Video)

Bust A Move (Glee Cast Version)

10. Glee Cast: Sweet Caroline 3.5 STARS (Video)

Sweet Caroline (Glee Cast Version)

11. Glee Cast: Thong Song 3 STARS (Video)

Thong Song (Glee Cast Version)

More fun yet cheesy, stage school style covers of songs by Young MC, Neil Diamond and Sisquo. Their Sweet Caroline rendition is good but the teacher who rules the Glee club really needs to stop rapping on the other two tracks. It’s the equivalent of watching your dad trying to act cool.

TRACK OF THE WEEK!
12. Groove Armada featuring SaintSaviour and Fenech-Soler: Paper Romance (Video)
First we had
Bad Romance, now we have Paper Romance. Groove Armada release another fantastic electronica track. Check out the dark video for the song too. Definitely made me excited for their new album Black Light out 1 March. 5 STARS

Paper Romance

13. Jason Derulo: In My Head (Video)
Okay, there are a million reasons I don’t like the video for this song. First of all, it’s a complete copy of Justin Timberlake’s Like I Love You video. I also don’t like how Jason is sitting in the carpark listening to his own song Whatcha Say. I mean talk about shameless product placement. And I don’t like how it seems that every song by Jason Derulo looks like its gonna start with “Jason Deruloooooo…Beluga Heights…J-J-J-J.R.”. As for the song itself, well it’s a catchy R&B tune over a rock backing track. Nothing special. Now that Chris Brown’s career is on a downer, have we got ourselves a more clean cut replacement.
3 STARS

In My Head

14. Jay Sean featuring Sean Paul and Lil’ John: Do You Remember (Video)
Jay Sean returns with another unoriginal R&B track designed especially for the American market. Not as bad as Down but this would be nothing without Sean Paul and Lil John and its clear aping of Chris Brown’s Forever.
3 STARS

Do You Remember

15. JLS: One Shot (Video)
Oh someone make these cheesy boybanders disappear. JLS release a gooey, cringeworthy ballad. As if that matters, the only reason they’re so popular is because they flash their abs in every video.
2 STARS

One Shot

16. Leona Lewis: I Got You (Video)
Poor old Leona. Things haven’t been looking so great seeing as she’s constantly criticised for her poor performance skills, getting punched in the face and suffering the sophomore slump with her new album Echo. I really like this song, it’s romantic, it has a catchy, melodic chorus and Leona’s voice is beautiful as usual. Hopefully, things will pick up for her with this song.
4 STARS

I Got You

STINKER OF THE WEEK!
17. Lil’ Wayne featuring Ludacris: Eat You Alive (Video)
I’ve never really understood Lil Wayne’s popularity. I think there’s something really vile about him. Don’t like this song at all. Sounds like Lady GaGa’s
Monster…from the Monster himself. 1 STAR

18. Lupe Fiasco: Lean (Video)
Why is Lupe so underrated? I think he’s up there with other rap greats like Jay-Z and Eminem. Lean is one of two promo singles he’s releasing.
3.5 STARS

19. Lupe Fiasco: Proceed (Video)
Second promo single by Lupe.Another fantastic rap track with brilliant lyrics. Again I ask: why isn’t Lupe more popular???
3.5 STARS

20. Muse: Resistance (Video)
Muse are just amazing. This track is just amazing! Before I get into incoherent babbling, everything Muse does is amazing! This is the another brilliant single from Muse’s The Resistance album!
4 STARS

File:Muse - Resistance.jpg

21. Nick Jonas & The Administration: Who I Am (Video)
Oh man! And I thought the Jonas Brothers were bad! When I heard that the baby of the family, Nick was working on a new musical side project, I actually held hope that something good would be produced. Hopes squashed. This is just horrible. Lyrically cliched, Nick sounds like he’s in pain everytime he sings. 1.5 STARS

22. Pitbull featuring Akon: Shut It Down (Video)
Oh great, my two favourite artists Pitbull and Akon team up for what’s sure to be yet another song of musical genius. *SARCASM AND A LOT OF IT* Doesn’t matter what I say about these sexist singers, this will be an automatic hit as it features Akon’s trademark whine, Pitbull’s incoherent babbling and a very ‘now’ production with Transformers style effects.
1.5 STARS

Shut It Down [Explicit]

23. Rihanna: Rude Boy (Video)
Not the best song from Rihanna’s rather brilliant Rated R but certainly the most commerical. After a lot of brooding and threatening, Rihanna finally has some fun with this slight dancehall tune about the act of lust, repetitive chorus and all.
3 STARS

24. Seamus Haji vs. Mark Knight and Funkagenda: Good Times (Video)
A remixed update on the 1979 Chic classic. Nothing special, something to dance too after a few drinks too many.
2 STARS

25. Snoop Dogg featuring Hustle Boyz: Check Yo Self (Snoop Dogg G-Mix) (Video)
Amongst the current stream of urban junk infiltrating the charts at the minute, its really refreshing to hear Snoop Doggy Dogg’s cover of Ice Cube’s fantastic 1993 West Coast hip hop song Check Yo Self. Good stuff.
4 STARS

26. Sugababes: Wear My Kiss (Video)
Sugababes tick all the right boxes in pop music with latest single Wear My Kiss. But for all its catchiness, this just sounds bland and lacks any soul. The Sugababes are pretty much dead to me now and it’s not cos Keisha left. It’s just in the last two years, the Sugababes have become a shadow of their former selves.
2.5 STARS

Wear My Kiss

27. Timbaland featuring Justin Timberlake: Carry Out (Video)
Anyone worried about Timbaland over-exposure needn’t worry. This is simply been released as a promo single so don’t expect it to be everywhere like the Katy Perry collaboration If We Ever Meet Again. Anyway, this track sees the continued bromance between Timbo and Justin. It’s a mid-tempo tune about meeting and doing inappropriate things to the ladies with heavy use of food metaphors. It’s fine but nothing we haven’t heard from these two before. 3 STARS

Carry Out

28. Young Money featuring Lloyd: Bedrock (Video)
All the biggest hip-hop stars from the Young Money label get together for this unoriginal yet strangely addictive track. Love the production on this song and all the rappers give a solid performance with Llyod’s soulful crooning on the chorus.
3 STARS

BedRock