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)

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.

Singles Reviews Diary 16 – 21st May 2010

The sixteenth edition of the Singles Reviews Diary is here. Again it’s a bit late but what the Hell, it took a long time to write and I’ve been busy.

Singles Reviews Diary 16 – 21st May 2010:

01. Alicia Keys: Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart (Video)
This is possibly my favourite track from Alicia Keys
The Element Of Freedom album. Most of Britain seems to agree with me as the track has already hit the #13 spot before an official release. Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart mightn’t have the killer choruses of Alicia’s biggest hits such as Fallin’, No-One and Empire State Of Mind (I and II) but what we get is a much more subtle approach that’s no less engaging. Containing pounding ‘80s drum machines, underlying synths and soft breathy vocals from Keys’, the track is a seductive and passionate performance from Alicia that deserves to go down as one of the top hits from her catalogue. 4 STARS

Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart

02. Ash: Binary (Video)
Well, well, well. After some understated and fairly inoffensive singles from their
A-Z Series, Ash decide to go all out with this single. Featuring a futuristic video, Ash provides us with a huge up-tempo electro-rock number with giant pop chorus to boot and “oh-oh-oh” hooks. I think the band have regained my interest again. 4 STARS

Ash - Binary: 7-inch + Download: £5.00 packshot

03. Detroit Social Club: Prophecy (Video)
I can see why this band is favoured by
NME so much… this is rather epic! Featuring fuzzy guitars and drum claps, the song is a definite must have on this Summer’s rock playlist, allow this to grow on you and before you know it you will be bobbing your head and jumping around your room to the massive and powerful chorus. 5 STARS

04. Dizzee Rascal featuring Daniel Pearce: Dirtee Disco (Video)
I really have a fractured relationship with Dizzee Rascal. I
hated Dance Wiv Me in Summer 2008, I hated Bonkers in Summer 2009 and it’s now Summer 2010 and I hate Dirtee Disco. But the most likely thing is, I will be joining the masses, like I did in Summers 2008 and 2009, and loving this song before the season is out. You see Dizzee’s music of late seems to have this creeping infectiousness, it sounds terrible at first but radio seems to latch on and before you know it, Dizzee has another hit on his hands. Dirtee Disco contains the rapper’s brash rhymes over a ‘70s funky house beat and vocals from reality TV reject Daniel Pearce. It shouldn’t work, it doesn’t work but it will work in a few weeks time when the dancefloor will be full and moving to Dizzee’s dulcet tones. 3 STARS

05. DJ Team: Stereo Love (Video)
Edward Maya’s naff, accordion sampling Eurotrash number gets the remix treatment by the DJ Team. I can’t believe this crap got into the Irish Top 10 even if the DJ Team version is slightly better than the original, piling on a few extra beats.
2 STARS

06. Edward Maya featuring Vika Jigulina: Stereo Love (Video)
I think I said everything about this song already above. This is naff, Eurotrash trance which fits in perfectly with all the Eurovision guff sure to infiltrate the charts in the next two weeks or so. Maybe this would be passable fodder at a Spanish holiday camp but I certainly know I don’t want this accordion heavy trance track to be played anywhere in the vicinity near me!
1.5 STARS

07. Glee Cast: Dream On (Video)
Glee was back on form this week, mainly because they waited until about 20 minutes into the episode to start singing. In other words, they didn’t sacrifice the plot for the sake of cramming as many songs as possible into an episode. What they also got right is the choice of songs – no bad songs in Glee this week. Yay! This song, a cover of the Aerosmith 1973 classic, sounds rather good. It’s not a patch on the original but Matthew Morrisson and Neil Patrick Harris are vocally good here, well Morrisson is vocally good, Harris is vocally outstanding. I have a real hate for the too-perfect character of Will Schuester so I’m delighted to hear that Neil Patrick Harris absolutely kills him in the rawk vocal department. I say we get rid of Schue and replace him with Bryan Ryan. Who’s with me? 4 STARS

Dream On (Glee Cast Version Featuring Neil Patrick Harris)

08. Glee Cast: The Safety Dance (Video)
Artie’s learned how to walk!!! And also dance.
The Safety Dance, originally by New Wave band Men Without Hats isn’t exactly the vocally outstanding number of the episode but it’s probably the most fascinating visual number. Artie never fails song-wise and re-creates the original funky, electronic sound while throwing out some choreography that would make a Jackson proud. Like I said, this isn’t the song of the episode but it’s actually a pretty good listen once you get used to watching the video over and over again. 4 STARS

Safety Dance (Glee Cast Version)

09. Glee Cast: I Dreamed A Dream (Video)
SPOILER! Rachel and her mother Shelby (Idina Menzel, who eerily looks like Lea Michelle) cover this song from Les Miserables. Both give an impassioned and vocally strong performance but I have to admit I’m really sick of that song now after it became synonymous with Susan Boyle, Britain’s Got Talent and any reality TV show that’s connected to Simon Cowell. Still a good performance earns… 3.5 STARS

I Dreamed A Dream (Glee Cast Version Featuring Idina Menzel)

10. Glee Cast: Dream A Little Dream Of Me (Video)
This is another heartwarming closer to a
Glee episode. Again it sticks pretty close to the original 1931 dreamy, head swaying number made all the more vulnerable by the wheelchair bound Artie who is on lead vocals. It’s all made more irresistible by the show choir vocals in the background. 4.5 STARS

Dream A Little Dream (Glee Cast Version)

11. HURTS: Better Than Love (Video)
More ‘80s nostalgia from the Manchester duo. I’ve heard better tracks from the Manchester duo but this is an acceptable enough listen. It’s one of those tracks that starts off rather monotonous but builds up with sparse guitar licks, an explosion of synths and rising backing vocals. I’d give this a much higher rating if I wasn’t sick of listening to ‘80s throwbacks by now. However, I will keep this duo on my One To Watch list.
3 STARS

Better Than Love

12. Jamie Cullum: Wheels (Video)
This piano and string heavy number is yet another fantastic entry in Jamie Cullum’s song catalogue. Lyrically, it’s brilliant as always and the chorus with it “woah-oooah-ooah” hook may ensure this gets played on the radio…though I doubt it. Oh well, you can change that if you buy this new single.
4 STARS

13. Josh Dubovie: That Sounds Good To Me (Video)
The only word for this is naff, naff, naff. Maybe back in those dark days when Steps, Scooch and S-Club were ruling the charts, this might have been a hit and an acceptable entry into the Eurovision but I can’t see this doing well. Lyrically atrocious with cheesy backing vocals, it makes the UK look like a country devoid of any talent where’s there’s plenty. And the same goes for Ireland (although our entry isn’t as embarrassing, no offence to my British cyber friends). I cannot understand that the industry big wigs cannot get it into their thick skulls that you send a death-metal band that like to play dress-up (see: Lordi), faux lesbians (see: tAtU) or some sexy lady that can grind on a pole and you have it – WIN! WIN! WIN! Didn’t Lady GaGa teach these people? – the public love gimmicks!
1 STAR

14. K’naan featuring will.i.am. and David Guetta: Wavin’ Flag (Video)
This K’nann penned track was originally given to the Young Artists For Haiti as a charity single a few months ago and even won the prestigious Track Of The Week. However, something is lost in translation when sang by its original songwriter and *shudder* will.i.am with production credits from *shudder* David Guetta. I like K’nann’s international sounding voice and hope to see more of him in the future. The reason I’m not crazy about this version of the track might be because the lyrics have been changed around so that the wordplay sounds clumsy and overall ruins the song’s catchiness, moving it into really schmaltzy territory. The good thing is that David Guetta doesn’t turn the song into a remix, only adding a few extra beats to the track and will.i.am. lays of the Auto-Tune and becomes the much more likeable retro Will. (Okay, so his “rock the beat” voice comes out towards the end of the song but it’s not overbearing like much of the post
E.N.D. material. To sum up, the song still remains enjoyable enough but it’s nothing compared to the Haiti version. 3 STARS

STINKER OF THE WEEK!
15. Margi Clarke: Like A Memory (Video)
When I sit down to type up my Singles Reviews Diary, I first have to choose among the 50+ singles released each week, which ones I’m going to review. I generally choose to review songs by well known artists, songs by hyped artists, songs likely to make the Top 40, songs by artists I’ve already reviewed in previous diaries and songs by artists with a certain ring to their name. Margi Clarke was one of those names that had a ring to them and so I went of typed her name into YouTube. Expecting to find an adult contemporary track á la Susan Boyle, I clicked play on the video and my ears were greeted by trippy noises and an even trippier video. I squinted at the screen… wait a minute! IS THAT TYRONE’S PINK HAIRED MUM FROM
CORONATION STREET???! I was gobsmaked. What next – Peggy Mitchell leaving Eastenders to pursue a pop career??? Margi Clarke cannot sing at all and the electro track is complete trash. Poker Face 2.0it ain’t, honey. She actually does sound like Madonna in certain places, albeit less talented and more classy. Anyways I believe I’m scarred for life now. *goes to corner and cowers, rocking over and back* 1 STAR

16. Muse: Exogenesis: Symphony (Video)
Aww! Isn’t Muse good to their fans? This track, split in three parts at the end of their latest album
The Resistance has been melded together into an epic 12 minute number and packaged as a single for their fans. The single really showcases Muse’s instrumental talents, the orchestra number is huge, atmospheric, overblown, epic and so completely Muse. However, this Muse fan believes that the track is better split in three parts and kept on the album because this constitutes as fun background music and nothing more. Oh well, each to their own I guess. 4 STARS

TRACK OF THE WEEK!
17. Muse: Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever) (Video)
Acting as the lead single from the wildly anticipated
Eclipse film, Stephanie Meyer (author of Twilight) must be hopping up and down now that her favourite band Muse are soundtracking the never ending love of her protagonists Bella and Robert PattinsonEdward. For a big mainstream release like Eclipse, Muse are in mainstream mode here, the song has a big heart wrenching chorus that radio are sure to pick up, romanticised pianos and big crunching guitars. Hey, I think this is another fantastic entry into Muse’s catalogue and if it gets more people into Muse then I’m all for it. Actually, this is my favourite love song ever…so it gets…5 STARS

File:Neutron Star Collision.png

18. N-Dubz featuring Bodyrox: We Dance On (Video)
Once we get the trademark N-Dubz “na-na-nai” out of the way, this song is actually rather fantastic. Tulisa’s vocals are smooth and passionate and probably the best we’ve heard yet from her, Dappy and Fazer’s rapping is also very good – there’s definitely an American influence here, their rhymes have that very reflective feel to them, the sort of rhyming you’d expect from Jay-Z or Lupe Fiasco. The chorus has a real inspirational feel and the production by Bodyrox is pretty cool too although the best part (the strings) are sampled from Johann Pachelbel’s
Canon in D Major. Anyways, if N-Dubz continue to make music like this Street Dance 3-D soundtrack single for their US debut, then consider me a fan. 4 STARS

File:NDUBZ We dance on final.jpg

19. Nas and Damian Marley: As We Enter (Video)
One of my favourite underrated rappers Nas (probably better known as Kelis’ ex-husband) and Bob Marley’s son Damian come together to provide this head bobber. Nas is a great rapper and Marley’s lyrics are rather clever here, this is a real head-banger, great for playing while cruisin’. 😛 The fast paced back and forth rapping between Nas and Marley really push this song above mediocrity.
3.5 STARS

20. Neil Morrissey and England’s Pride: England’s On The Way (The Lion Sleeps Tonight) (Video)
This song was purely designed for English people to sing along to when getting excited about the World Cup. The recognisable twisting of the lyric
The Lion Sleeps Tonight toEngland’s On The Way should make it easier for them to chant along to. To be honest, I thought this would be terrible but I’m a sucker for The Lion Sleeps Tonight and love the original chant and Africanised beats – which make it perfect for the World Cup really. It would be great if Neil Morrissey sang I in a less cheesy way but what the hell! “A wimoweh, a wimoweh, a wimoweh!” 3.5 STARS

21. Niamh Kavanagh: It’s For You (Video)
Niamh Kavanagh already won the Eurovision once – can she do it again? That’s the question on every Irish person’s lips as we get ready to send her off to ChartBlog legend Alexander Rybak’s homeland of Norway.
It’s For You, like Jade Ewen’s It’s My Time, is a big power ballad sang by a soulful able voiced singer full of generic lyrics in the vein of any Celine Dion song ever. I imagine this could do pretty well, bland and dated material generally does well at Eurovision, but it certainly won’t win it. I think we should have sent the sexy and gimmicky Monica Ivkic instead. 2 STARS

22. Seán Óg: I Still Love You Without Your Car (Video)
You can probably tell by the title alone that this is a parody song. The production is cheap, the vocals are non-existent, this will probably have to get Stinker…and OH MY GOD THE VIDEO HAS DOGS PLAYING BANJOS, FIDDLES AND GUITAR HERO! THIS THE BEST SONG EVER! 5 STARS! Seriously though this video kicks GaGa’s
Telephone video in the mud, Seán Óg needs to become famous and the song is actually a grower. 2.5 STARS but the video gets INFINITY STARS

Sean Og : The Answer

23. Rihanna: Te Amo (Video)
With her crotch grabbing in
Wait Your Turn, her suicidal nature in Russian Roulette, her army promoting Hard and her explicitly sexual lyrics in Rude Boy, Rihanna has come a long way from the early days when she was just a cute 17-year old in a tank top singing about love in much more veiled terms. So it’s a relief to see Rihanna return to some cleaner, more island influenced material of her earlier career. Okay, so the song talks about her breaking some lesbian’s heart but it’s great to hear RihRih avoid singing about guns, bad language and parts of the male anatomy. Te Amo is a beautifully written mid-tempo pop song with lovely tribalesque island synths and percussion and Rihanna expresses emotion in her Marmite voice – listening to this song will transport you to a Caribbean island (figuratively of course). Probably my favourite track from her Rated R album, this strong Summery track is a worthy rival of Lady GaGa’s forthcoming Spanish tinged Alejandro. 4 STARS

24. White Rabbits: They Done Wrong/We Done Wrong (Video)
A brooding rock tune from the White Rabbits. I really like this group and I love the chugging guitars and bass in this but the track is lacking in something, I don’t know really. Perhaps it will grow on me but it’s a bit lacklustre really. Good instrumentally though.
3 STARS

They Done Wrong / We Done Wrong

I see the chart game never really took of last week so I guess it won’t go ahead this week either. But feel free to leave your single ratings below if you wish… and comments and feedback of course. 😛

Singles Reviews Diary 7 – 19th March 2010

Okay single reviews for this week are all a little blah. Nothing amazing yet nothing awful either. Here we are, third time’s the charm.

Singles Reviews Diary 7 – 19th March 2010:

01. 12 Stone Toddler: This Suit
I actually decided to review this track because clinically obese toddlers make me LOL! I wasn’t expecting this song to be so good though. Like nothing on the radio at the moment, this fun bouncy song is like a grandson of Madness’ House Of Fun. Really enjoyable stuff.
4.5 STARS

02. 50 Cent featuring Governor: Do You Think About Me
After hassling Kelly Rowland to have his babies on terrible last single
Baby By Me, 50 redeems himself somewhat with this subdued rap track that sees him acting all vulnerable and such. With chipmunk backing vocals, this sounds like a less irritating version of Ironik’s Stay With Me. Fiddy has clearly lost it though ‘cause this is no In Da Club or my personal favourite P.I.M.P.. 2.5 STARS

03. Arctic Monkeys: My Propeller
A decent enough third single from their good but not great album
Humbug. There is a hidden power behind this downbeat track and the last minute in a half of the track sounds like classic Monkeys. 2.5 STARS

04. Audio Bullys: Only Man
Not feelin’ this one at all really. I love some of Audio Boys tracks but this is a poor choice of lead single from forthcoming album
Higher Than The Eiffel. Minimal electronica with Britpop is the best way to describe this song. 2 STARS

05. Boy George: Amazing Grace
Sadly this isn’t Boy George doing a cover of the famous hymn. Instead, this is a very ‘90s and very gay friendly dance anthem than many should embrace with open arms but it’s really not my cup of tea. Give me
Karma Chameleon anyday. 3 STARS

06. Classical Artists For Haiti: The Prayer
Yet another Haiti charity single. I’m all for the support the country’s being getting but were there this many charity events for the likes of the Tsunami, Katrina and Africa. Anyways, all of the top classical musicians such as Paul Potts, Natasha Marsh, Faryl, The Priests, Rhydian Roberts and…um…Darius gather together to bring us this rather pleasant classical track. Glad it isn’t all overblown and melodramatic and not too depressing either. It does sound like it should be soundtracking some Disney film though.
4 STARS

07. Fionn Regan: Catacombs
The Irish singer-songwriter sounds like a young Neil Young (pardon the pun!) on this retro little number. Can definitely see this one becoming a grower after a few more listens.
3 STARS

08. Florence + The Machine: Dog Days Are Over
A pointless re-release as everyone’s heard this song and its since firmly become ingrained in European culture with all the times its been heard on TV and radio. Unless you’ve been living under a rock in the Gobi Desert with earplugs in, curled up in a ball, it’s likely you’ve heard this. Not to say its bad as I would consider it one of Florence + The Machine’s signature songs starting off all soft with tinkling harps before exploding in a cascade of percussion, handclaps and Florence’s celebratory, heavenly chorus. Now hurry up and release
Cosmic Love I tell you…before it’s too late! 4 STARS

09. Glee Cast: Jump
The rock snob inside of me wants to sneer at Glee covering the Van Halen classic but in fairness this song is just perfect for them. With that joyous shouty chorus and those hyperactive synths, the Glee Cast completely shine on this track. Probably one of the best songs form the series so far. It made me go off and re-download the original anyway.
4.5 STARS

10. Glee Cast: Smile
Glee produce an Americanised version of Lily Allen’s debut single and breakout hit. Hot Social Outcast Girl does a good job of making the song her own but it’s completely ruined by Tall Jock Guy’s unnecessary and constipated backing vocals.
3.5 STARS

11. Glee Cast: Smile
Another
Smile that Glee cover in this episode is the classic ballad written by Charlie Chaplin. Love this, but any version of Smile sang by a competent singer always gets me secretly teary eyed. But shhhhh! Don’t tell anyone. 4 STARS

STINKER OF THE WEEK!
12. Inna: Hot
More Eurodance trash that’s only listenable when you’re off your face in a club. Why is Inna charting so well? What is she doing that’s so different from all the latest flops by Velvet or September?!
1 STAR

13. Favourites: Cheltenham (Downtown)
II don’t know what to make of this charity single for *dun dun dun* Haiti. It basically sounds like Petula Clark’s
Downtown with the word ‘downtown’ being replaced by Cheltenham (a famous horse racing course in Ireland) sang by some unknown Irish singer Laura Cretchley and a bunch of random sporting pundits on backing vocals. So cringeworthy yet so good. Let’s make it an international hit! 4 STARS

14. Mr. Hudson featuring Kanye West: Anyone But Him
After failing to replicate the success of the infectious and sure to be pop classic
Supernova, Mr. Hudson plays it safe by teaming up with Kanye West again. Sadly this second offering from the pair doesn’t live up and should of just stayed on the album. A mid-tempo minimalist electro track that doesn’t really go anywhere. Mr. H. wails in Auto-Tune about how some girl picked Kanye over him. At least, Kanye responds to Hudson’s singing rather than blabbing on about something completely out of sync with the subject of the song like the majority of guest rappers. Kanye also uses the killer line “Once you go black, you never goes back”. 1 STAR

15. Peggy Sue: Watchmen
I’m liking this girl. She sounds like a folky Amy Winehouse on this track. Hopefully, she gets herself a major record deal soon.
3 STARS

16. Stornoway: I Saw You Blink
A really good acoustic mid-tempo from the Oxford band. As Harry has said, these guys sound very much like Mumford & Sons. Hey, maybe folky tracks like this will replace electropop as the hot new sound.
3.5 STARS

17. Tiësto featuring Nelly Furtado: Who Wants To Be Alone
Tiësto must fancy himself as the new David Guetta as he works with more and more mainstream artists lately. I know I’d listen to Tiësto over Guetta anyday. This is a great club friendly trance track featuring the versatile Nelly Furtado on singing duties. I love Furtado’s vocals on this track, it sounds like how she sang on her Spanish album
Mi Planyet this is in English. Perhaps not Tiësto’s best work ever but I think I’m gonna check out his Kaleidoscope album and can’t wait for Nelly’s album Lifestyle due out this Summer. 3.5 STARS

18. Usher featuring will.i.am.: OMG
A really poor lead single from Usher’s new album. I’m so sick of will.i.am. recycling beats from
The E.N.D. and putting them on other artists’ albums. This sounds like an E.N.D. B-side with Usher’s trademark croon drowned in deadpan Auto-Tune and a bizarre football chant running through the verses. Perhaps this will grow on me but I miss the Usher who used to deliver flawless pop/R&B songs like Yeah! and Caught Up. Luckily there are much better songs on Usher’s forthcoming Raymond Vs. Raymond but this is a poor first offer to the international market. 1.5 STARS

TRACK OF THE WEEK!
19. Young Artists For Haiti: Wavin’ Flag
Canada’s finest artists such as Nelly Furtado, Drake, Avril Lavigne and the mighty Justin Bieber gather together to record this surprisingly enjoyable Haitian charity single. Unlike the hot mess that was
We Are The World 25, this original song is anthemic, inspirational and globally reaching. It’s actually the best charity single I’ve heard since the original Band Aid’s Feed The World, that’s how good it is. 5 STARS

20. We Have Band: Divisive
This is a fabulous piece of synthpop, not Owl City and Lady GaGa style synthpop, a much more alternative sounding form of synthpop like Human League.
4 STARS

21. Wild Beasts: We Still Got The Taste Dancin’ On Our Tongues
Love this one actually. Sounds very fresh and original. Although I’d imagine Hayden Thorpe’s falsetto would get on my nerves if this track were overplayed. Thankfully, this is unlikely to happen. Definitely (legally) downloading their album
Two Dancers though ’cause I’m liking what I’m hearing. 4 STARS

Phew! Finally done successfully. As usual, give me feedback and tell me what you think of this week’s singles. 😀

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!