Usher reveals cheap ‘Versus’ artwork and tracklisting

Usher has premiered the artwork and tracklisting for his new album Versus. The album will act as a standalone EP of sorts while it will also be available, packaged as a Deluxe Edition with his recent album, Raymond V. Raymond. So pretty much like Lady GaGa’s The Fame Monster.

I think the artwork looks cheap as Hell! Considering the success of singles OMG and There Goes My Baby as well as Raymond V. Raymond itself, you’d expect a little more effort to go into the album artwork rather than Versus written seven times vertically against a pink cover with a vague shot of Usher in the background. Usher better put the money into making some decent music videos this era.

Anyways, check out the tracklisting for Raymond V. Raymond. The album will be preceded by two singles. For pop audiences, we have the Pitbull assisted DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love which has already made significant chart impact Worldwide. For urban audiences, Hot Toddy will be sent to US radio on 9th August and will feature Jay-Z and Ciara. That sounds exciting at least.

Versus tracklisting:

  1. Love ‘Em All
  2. DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love (featuring Pitbull)
  3. Hot Toddy (featuring Ciara and Jay-Z)
  4. Lay You Down
  5. Lingerie
  6. There Goes My Baby
  7. Get In My Car (featuring Bun B)
  8. Somebody To Love (Remix) (with Justin Bieber)
  9. Stranger

Raymond V. Raymond: Deluxe Edition tracklisting:

  1. Monstar
  2. Hey Daddy (Daddy’s Home)
  3. There Goes My Baby
  4. Lil’ Freak (featuring Nicki Minaj)
  5. She Don’t Know (featuring Ludacris)
  6. OMG (featuring will.i.am.)
  7. Mars Vs. Venus
  8. Pro Lover
  9. Foolin’ Around
  10. Papers
  11. So Many Girls (featuring Diddy)
  12. Guilty (featuring T.I)
  13. Okay
  14. Making Love (Into The Night)
  15. Love ‘Em All
  16. DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love (featuring Pitbull)
  17. Hot Toddy (featuring Ciara and Jay-Z)
  18. Lay You Down
  19. Lingerie
  20. Get In My Car (featuring Bun B)
  21. Somebody To Love (Remix) (with Justin Bieber)
  22. Stranger
  23. More (iTunes and Japanese bonus track)
  24. Hey Daddy (Daddy’s Home) (Remix) (featuring Plies) (Target, Best Buy, UK and Ireland bonus track)

Single Reviews Diary 24 – 16th July 2010

You know the drill by now. This week there are 19 singles. I review them. You comment/give feedback etc.

Single Reviews Diary 24 – 16th July 2010:

01. 30 Seconds To Mars: Closer To The Edge

File:30 Seconds to Mars-Closer to the Edge s.jpg
This is SONIC EARGASM!!! Seriously, if your looking for true depth or subtlety in music by 30 Seconds To Mars, look elsewhere because Jared Leto and co. are making unapologetic stadium rock with massive choruses, crowd chanting and epic sprawling productions. After the brilliant previous single This Is War, I went in and bought the album of the same name last week and I love it from start to finish. This is my favourite track – a fantastic stadium rocker! Jared’s wailing rather ironically brings hope to the listener. This has a real inspirational feel to it. 4.5 STARS

02. Adam Lambert: Whataya Want From Me

Adam Lambert - Whataya Want From Me
Another one who knows how to deliver the sonic eargasms, Glambert (or rather his label) took a bit of a misstep by releasing the dreadful For Your Entertainment as his first proper single. Seriously, not only was the song completely tedious but it just screamed “Look! I’m the male version of Lady GaGa!” Thankfully with his second proper single, Adam delivers the pop rock and that amazing voice we all fell in love with onAmerican Idol. In my opinion anything P!nk writes is dead catchy and this single is exactly that! Starting off brooding and vulnerable, the ballad breaks into an irresistible chorus absolutely dripping with angst and melody. You’ll soon be singing “Just don’t give up/I’m working out/Please don’t give up/I won’t let you down” at the top of your voice although good luck trying to emulate Lambo’s screeching at the end. Despite the misstep of his first single, Adam shows that if he keeps pushing out singles as good as this, us males will have a worthy pop superstar to go against the Lady GaGas, Beyoncés and Rihannas of this World. 4.5 STARS

03. Ash: Summer Snow

Ash - U
First off, I love the title off this track. Only five more
A-Z singles after this one, this track is a simple enough pop rock track with crunchy guitars, bass and impassioned vocals from frontman Tim. There’s also a slight folk influence. The chorus is good enough but nothing groundbreaking or dead catchy. Like the majority of singles from this era, a decent but ultimately passable track. Buy it if you’re an Ash fan. 3 STARS

04. Basshunter: Saturday

Basshunter - Saturday
Basshunter has probably figured out that his breakthrough
Now You’re Gone sound has probably started to grate on the public’s nerve so the horny DJ has gone ahead and made music just like everyone else. This is probably Basshunter’s best single but that’s not really saying much considering his past offerings. Comprised of a club beat, catchy uncredited female vocalist(s) and plenty of Auto-Tune with the lyrical theme of partying, Basshunter joins JLS, Usher, Enrique and Taio in the ranks for tired, corporate dance music that is going to be swallowed up by the masses. 2.5 STARS

05. Diana Vickers: The Boy Who Murdered Love

File:TBWML.jpg
This girl is obsessed with the macabre…perhaps she should see a therapist? Or front an emo band? But Diana’s musical output is at odds with her dark lyrics because this is such a cheery, upbeat song. Diana’s whispery vocals are still intact but used in a more commercial way than her risky debut
Once. The chorus is ten times catchier than the aforementioned single, which simply comprised of the word “Once” being repeated over and over again. The song is cute, catchy and 100% pop without sounding manufactured. Plus I’m starting to develop a huge crush on Diana Vickers…almost obsessive! 4 STARS

06. Faithless: Tweak Your Nipple

Dance
Faithless seem to have a new single out each week. It’s rather crazy! This new track is lyrically philosophical and intelligent with mind provoking lyrics such as “I see genius in everybody to perceive it in yourself is the difficulty” and “Your individuality overflows with quality, it manifests solidly if you believe”. But do we really want to think while we’re on the dancefloor. I don’t think so. The beat only picks up as we come to the end of the track and the spoken word run of the song is grating. For die hard only Faithless fans.
2 STARS

07. Giggs featuring Shola Ama: Blow ‘Em Away


Another artist just firing out the singles, I think Giggs is fast morphing into the British 50 Cent. The deep and ominous voiced rapper shows plenty of ‘swagga’ (I feel so weird saying that) on this beat heavy track while Shola Ama does her best Keri Hilson impression on the mildly catchy chorus. If you’ve missed 50 Cent during his time relevant, then you should enjoy this.
3 STARS

08. Goldhawks: Keep This Fire


I’d recommend keeping an eye on this band. They definitely show much promise and remind me at times of Arcade Fire or Kings Of Leon. This anthemic indie rock song has Summer appeal and also would make a decent climactic soundtrack song. It has to lose points for a lack of originality though.
3.5 STARS

09. Inna: Amazing

File:Inna-amazing-promo-cover.jpg
After the surprise Top 10 placing of her previous single
Hot, I was hoping Romanian pop tart Inna would disappear as quickly as she came. Not a chance, she’s releasing her second single Amazing and I have a feeling it’s going to be another hit. Amazing it most definitely isn’t but with its Ibiza style production, it certainly miles better than the steaming hot mess that was Hot. This conjures up thoughts of Mediterranean holiday camps, something you’ll gladly dance drunkedly to on a Saturday night. Plus Inna looks good in a bikini. 2.5 STARS

STINKER OF THE WEEK!
10. Jedward: All The Small Things

Jedward - All The Small Things
Basically, to rant about this would be pointless. You’ll either love or hate Jedward or actually find yourself warming to them but I still find them one of the most pointless, idiotic, talentless and manufactured acts to ever grace the music industry. I do not find them funny, I do not find them cute and I do not find them entertaining. Everything from their ridiculous hair to their faux American accents to their blatant lack of originality, brains, vocal and dance ability just annoys me!!! With their cover of Blink-182’s
All The Small Things, the gruesome twosome shout over the original instrumentation with some cheap synths added for contemporary effect. You don’t need a good voice to cover this song but you need some singing ability which Jedward clearly lack. If you think the original sounds bad, you should hear their breathless live rendition. I know I’m not the kiddie target market for this duo but if this is what kids grow up listening too then I seriously fear for the future of mankind. No joke. Ooops, looks like I ranted. 1 STAR

11. Kill Krinkle Club: Airport

Kill Krinkle Club - Airport
The Irish/Swedish duo and real life couple Kill Krinkle Club are back with the first single from their forthcoming album
Abandon. Much like its official music video, this track is a dreamy slice of experimental electronica. Not exactly a bad tune but I’ve heard this kind of music a hundred times before. The icy beats are nice though. 3 STARS

12. Pendulum: Witchcraft

Pendulum - Witchcraft
The Aussie industrial rockers are back with the second single from album
Immersion. Don’t let the subdued opening fool you, this is yet another fast paced break neck speed track with some powerful meaty vocals. I’m sure this would sound absolutely immense live. However, it does sound a bit samey doesn’t it. Like they’ve done it all before. Oh well, I’ll let them off this time. 3.5 STARS

13. Placebo: I Feel You

Placebo - I Feel You
The British more heavier R.E.M. soundalikes Placebo have released their Depeche Mode cover of
I Feel You, a track which appears on a bonus disc of their 2003 album Sleeping With Ghosts. It’s a bit strange that the band would go back and release a song from two albums before (even if it is only a special edition) but then when have Placebo been conventional. Instrumentally this is very good. Lead singer Brian Molko’s slithery voice though is another thing altogether. Some find it sexy and addictive; others find it nasal and whiny! I think his voice is better suited to some songs than they are to others. While Molko really makes this his own which is something to be commended, the original trumps this skin crawling version by far. 2.5 STARS

14. Sandi Thom: Gold Dust

Sandi Thom - Gold Dust
The Punk Rocker With Flowers In Her Hair has actually released her third solo album back in May but you’d never know because the Scottish singer was forced out of the limelight as quickly as she came into it back in 2005 when her irritatingly catchy debut was all over the airwaves. With the second single from album
Merchants And Thiefs, Thom takes on an American blues feel with her music. In this sultry ballad with some great guitars, the singer actually sounds like a female Dylan albeit a little clichéd. It’s just a shame very few people will hear this. 4 STARS

15. Sarah McLachlan: Loving You Is Easy

Sarah McLachlan - Loving You Is Easy
The Canadian singer, known best for her large catalogue of miserable piano ballads, decides to up the tempo a little bit for her comeback single, taken from her new album
Laws Of Illusion. It’s a nice little pop ditty that should please her fans and keep the AC crowd happy but with its bouncy piano melody and uplifting chorus, it just sounds like a carbon copy of Sarah Bareilles’ Love Song. At least McLachlan looks HOT aged 42. 2.5 STARS

16. Sheryl Crow: Summer Day

File:Summerday.jpg
All the female folk singers are coming out in their droves this week. To promote her new album
100 Miles From Memphis, Sheryl Crow has ditched the catchy folk she’s more closely associated for relaxed Summer blues music. This song is just sublime. Don’t expect anything as radio friendly as Soak Up The Sun or Everyday Is A Winding Road, with this track, Crow captures that feeling of intense love on a breezy Summer day thanks to an impassioned yet restrained vocal performance and some light guitar backing. A+ for making an effort and succeeding. 5 STARS

17. Usher featuring Pitbull: DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love

Usher featuring Pitbull - DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love
The lead single from Usher’s March album
Raymond V. Raymond, OMG was a surprise smash hit. Many deemed his career over in the lead up to the release but the atrocity managed to surprise everyone and spend weeks atop the charts across the World for the weeks and even now is still lying about the Top 10. Realising that selling his soul works, Usher has struck while the iron is hot and tacked together a new album EP with another corporate dance track that will get the masses moving but lacks in any real passion or drive. Lyrically this is juvenile and cheesy and would be much better suited to his protégé Justin Bieber. Pitbull spews out more of his tiresome bilingual verses which cashing his $1 million dollar cheque for nothing. It’s the god of pop songwriting Max Martin who is the real star of this song who makes what would be an otherwise tired and boring song decent with some giant pop hooks and a euphoric production. I demand a feature credit. 3 STARS

18. Usher featuring Nicki Minaj: Lil’ Freak

File:Lil Freak Official single cover.png
Ush still hasn’t stopped promoting
Raymond V. Raymond though. This track acts as a promo single here and it’s a shame it wasn’t put in the place of OMG as lead single from the project. It’s not half as annoying and just as catchy. Much like its accompanying promo clip, it sounds and looks like Nelly Furtado’s Maneater but I guess the wimpy record label feared it would be too urban for the mainstream crowd. Now much like Usher’s recent output, this track is far from perfect. Lyrically it’s as misogynist as many R&B/hip-hop songs these days and Nicki Minaj, normally a scene stealer, has one of the most unbearable rap verses of the year. Seriously, what’s with the Santa’s reindeer rap runthrough in that over-the-top accent for? Still, this track is a more than decent club banger with a minimum backbeat and massive symphonic synths that start up in the chorus, which strangely reminds me of the 1990s movie Men In Black. Something fun and gritty to grind to on the Saturday night dancefloor – or in the house when no-one is looking. 3.5 STARS

TRACK OF THE WEEK!
19. Vanessa Amorosi: I Am Who I Am

Vanessa Amorosi - This Is Who I Am
Australia answer to a more universally liked Katy Perry releases her debut single over here. It’s pretty sad that this track is unlikely to chart because this is an explosive power pop stomper that sounds like Katy Perry’s
Hot ‘N’ Cold meets Kelly Clarkson’s Since U Been Gone. Seriously it’s that good! Featuring a stuttering electronic guitar hook, an instantly infectious chorus and a whole lot of grrrl power with witty lyrics, maybe it’s time to start a campaign to get radio to playlist this too. Give it a listen…go on! You’re missing out! 5 STARS

I’ll try and get Diary 25 done before Monday. Not promising though! 😉

Usher rehases the sex for the ‘There Goes My Baby’ video

Usher

R&B singer Usher might be getting ready to (sort of) release a new album Versus but that hasn’t stopped him from filming a video for current single There Goes My Baby. OMG might be Usher’s only single from the Raymond V. Raymond era across the pond but in the US, he’s released multiple singles in the form of Papers, Hey Daddy (Daddy’s Home ), OMG, More, Lil’ Freak and There Goes My Baby. That’s more singles than Westlife have released in three years. He’s obviously continuing this trend with next album Versus already planning releases for DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love and Hot Tottie.

I briefly reviewed There Goes My Baby in one of my Single Reviews Diaries when it was released as a promo single in Ireland and UK back in February. I stated that the track wasn’t for me but it has grown on me since and I really think it’s one of the best tracks on Usher’s most recent patchy album. The song is a really smooth and sexy R&B jam that has a lullaby style melody. While he made some hypocritical comments about Taio Cruz and Jay Sean “not making R&B music” when they make just as bland electropop as him recently, you can see that with this track Usher redeems himself as an urban artist.

Shame I can’t be so complimentary about the video, I guess its quintessentially Usher. So expect lots of close-up shots of a topless Usher (should please the ladies…and some guys too), looking super angsty and clenching his fists outside a swanky pad  and slowly and sensually banging his model girlfriend. I don’t know if I’m just jealous or bored of wathcing Usher’s softcore porn videos being regurgitated once again.

Oh well, it should please the 31 year old’s die-hard fanbase, which is seemingly quite big. Raymond V. Raymond has sold 900k in the US boosting it to Platinum status, a Worldwide #1 with OMG and There Goes My Baby charting at #34 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the R&B Charts, before this video even surfaced. Well done Usher!

Usher pulls a ‘Fame Monster’ with new album ‘Versus’, Lady GaGa makes big impact on music industry

It looks like Lady GaGa really is making an impact on the music industry. Earlier this week she caused the higher powers behind the Grammys to change the rules when they failed to nominate her for ‘Best New Artist’ at the 2010 awards. Because she had already been nominated for the 2009 awards with ‘Best Dance Recording’ for her debut single Just Dance, Grammy rules stated that someone previously nominated could not be up for a ‘Best New Artist’ gong. Well after much outcry from the media and GaGa’s little monsters, the Grammys are officially changing the rules so this incident never happens again! 😛

Anyhow, the reason why I’m harping on about GaGa in an Usher post is because the eccentric singer appears to have inspired him into releasing albums in a similar way to her. Usher might have just released his sixth studio album Raymond V. Raymond at the end of March but he’s already promising a follow-up set for release on 24th August. Well, kind of. Versus, his seventh studio album, will be eight tracks long and act as a “sequel” and “final chapter” to Raymond V. Raymond. The album will be available as a standalone collection in some territories (read: US) and packaged alongside Raymond V. Raymond as a deluxe edition of the album in other territories (read: outside the US). Basically Usher has copied the whole The Fame Monster campaign.

The good thing is you get to hear the lead single from the new album, titled DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love. As you’d expect this is disposable dance-pop with cheesy lyrics but its much more listenable than Usher’s last lead single, the completely shit OMG. This is thanks to the Master of Pop Hooks, Max Martin, who makes this likeable despite a hideous Pitbull (not him again!) cameo.

Usher is continuing the release of multiple singles in the US, a tool he used for Raymond V. Raymond also. The Polow Da Don produced single Hottie Tottie (vomit) will be released to US radio on August 9th after DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love is released on July 20th. US single There Goes My Baby will also be remixed with a rent-a-rapper tacked on. Oh, when will people learn that nobody cares about guest raps anymore? DJ will probably act as the lead international single and follow-up to OMG but what happens to the release of Lil’ Freak which is just starting to get airplay on UK music channels?

Have a listen to DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love below and tell me what you think.

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.
3 STARS

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

STINKER OF THE WEEK!
04. Enrique Iglesias featuring Pitbull and Lionel Richie: I Like It

File:Enrique-iglesias-i-like-it.jpg
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

TRACK OF THE WEEK!
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.
4.5 STARS

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!
4.5 STARS

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.
3.5 STARS

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

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.

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