Jason Derulo goes back in time in ‘What If’ video

R&B’s hottest new male star Jason Derulo has premiered the cinematic new video for single What If. What If is the fourth single to be taken from his eponymous debut album. Watch below:

After three up-tempo cuts, Derulo finally slows things down with a ballad. This is my first time hearing the track and it sounds like it’s going to pretty catchy and will grow on me with repeated listens. I’m not really a fan of Jason’s vocal style though – it’s incredibly nasal and his falsetto is far too squeaky. It made his previous single Ridin’ Tholo Solo incredibly difficult to listen to in my opinion. However, he does seem to be the only male star consistently pushing out the hits so fareplay to him with that.

The music video is engaging enough but the whole ‘Butterfly Effect’ theme to save the girl while Jason sacrifices their first time meeting her in order to save her from being car-bashed has been done to death. Still, I guess its better than a lot of videos out right now.

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.

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