samedi 29 octobre 2011

Here comes Justin Jonas, sorry, his name is Joe...

When I heard Joe was the next from the Jonas Brothers to try and go solo after Nick's previous rock effort, I wouldn't have bet on the dance/R&B direction he has finally chosen. Instead, I would have thought he would have kept with the kids-oriented Disney pop/rock FM sound his former band is successful for. But it seems sexy Joe had more to say/show to his fans and what he has come up to is a kind of new juvenile Justin Timberlake impersonation, which must be an ideal niche, while the former girls' heart-throb is doing the actor.
So Hollywood Records helped Joe Jonas work with trendy top songwriters/producers, like Brian Kennedy, Chris Brown, Claude Kelly, Rob Knox or Danja, to create a full soundblasting record that will rocket to the top of the charts. Truth is, in terms of sales or US charts and despite him opening for Britney Spears Femme Fatale european tour, it looks like it has a little under-performed, but in my heart and from the first listen to his singles, there was no doubt for me that Joe Jonas' first album, Fastlife, was a record I could not do without !

Fastlife starts with All this time, a mid-tempo lovesong produced by Danja, ex-collaborator of Timbaland himself, that first sounds like a romantic ballad but then evolves into a strong rhythmic dance/R&B track. Second single Just in love follows and here comes the first of several pop perfection moments of the CD. Produced by Rob Knox and co-written, like most of the songs here, by Joe Jonas himself, this one has a killer beat, catchy melody and an inescapable electro gimmick that opens the song. The chorus is sticky like glue and you can't do nothing but nod the head in rhythm until the beats stop. Joe's vocals are sexy and soulful, and when you look at his cute look on the CD cover, you can't help but think he has all it takes to become a big star, the kind of who's got thousands of girls screaming out his name in concert and at the door of his hotel.
See no more is next on the album and it is the first single that Joe Jonas unleashed to start his solo career. Co-written with Brian Kennedy and R&B singer Chris Brown who both produced the track, the song is an upbeat electro/pop hit where Joe's vocals shine and reach high notes, with an addictive chorus chant "I don't wanna see no more, oh oh...". Next (and third single in a row) is another Danja produced dance/R&B surefire hit, and this Love slayer is apparently a fans' favourite. Easy to understand why because it has a killer beat and very good memorable chorus with synthé arrangements that makes it very up to date, like a song Rihanna could have recorded for her latest album.
The title track for the album is next on track #5 and this Fastlife starts with the sound of a motor /car running and it is as if I already saw the video for it, with Joe sittin' on a powerful big japanese motorcycle drivin' wild on a nighttime highway with lights passin' his head by with air in his short hair. The song that follows is an 100% electro/R&B anthem with a crazy chorus where different inspiration styles collide to a final mix that sticks to the head. Next track Passing time doesn't miss a beat and this Claude Kelly co-written Danja production is another slice of infectious electro/pop that has a super-catchy chorus. Girls' hearts will melt for sure along the lines of this song if Joe was singin' it to a crowd in concert, with half-naked dancers around him.
Sorry is the first slower time of the album and one song I feel is more personal than the previous ones Joe co-wrote too. It features beautiful romantic guitar solos by Nuno Bettencourt (of Extreme and More than words fame) but still has some good beats put over it after the acoustic intro so it ain't a ballad at all, just a calm but rhythmic mid-tempo, romantic and a little bit sad, but with this guitar melody that goes on like a gimmick all through the song, and it sounds like a hit ! Sure this Sorry will get a single release (even though it clocks at 5'03 and may be edited a little to match radio formats more) and sure then it'll gain back the Jonas Brothers' fans...
Kleptomaniac comes next and it brings back the good beats, for the first song (out of only three) that Joe didn't co-wrote on the album. Electro sounds and killer chaotic beats start the song and the rhythm nearly goes drum 'n' bass while Joe sings the verses, but when comes the chorus, there is no escape and it flies high in the sky of a pop perfection world. Compared to that incredibly good chorus, maybe the verses are a little bit too low in melodic quality but the chorus and its overwhelming appeal embarks you instantly and you can't help but use the REPEAT touch on that track !
Not right now's intro sounds a little as if it was Just in love again but then it is a not so good twin song and I think it is the first album filler on the CD. It still has an uplifting melody and even strong Timberlake ressemblance, so I won't say it is a bad track, but the level was way too high on the previously heard tracks... It was the last song Joe co-wrote as the following last two's don't see him share co-writing credits anymore. First one is Take it and run, another Danja production and an upbeat/mid-tempo electro/R&B with strong chorus. The R&B influence sounds stronger on this one I feel, and it could have easily featured some rap star to make the record more marketable, but that wasn't the choice they made for Fastlife, first... In fact, Just in love has been remixed with a featuring from Lil' Wayne and this new version has appeared as a bonus track on the iTunes download version of the album along the dance remix of the same song, by Moto Blanco. Why not include them both (and the SoulSeekerz remix too) on the physical CD ? Like always, I feel robbed to have bought the real thing instead of the digital copy...
Final track on the actual CD though, Lighthouse, is the slower song of the album, although still not a ballad, but a very slowed down mid-tempo that sounds nearly atmospherical, and a second song that Chris Brown has co-written & co-produced. It is a strange way to end the album, as it doesn't sound at all like the rest of it, but it would have sound odd elsewhere on the CD too for sure so as this song has enough appeal not to have been dropped and put out of the tracklisting, the conclusion slot was the perfect place for it if you think of it.

In conclusion, Fastlife was needed in my discography, even more than Justin Timberlake's two albums that I don't even own, just because of its pop quality : with its tight 11 songs tracklisting, 90% of it is made of the catchiest dance/pop, with today's sounds, nice lyrics, and beautiful vocals by a talented young man who, despite having recorded multiple awarded albums with his brothers already, is only at the start of a long career for sure. Or at least, I hope so !

Find below the videos for his two first singles (and Just in love was recorded in Paris !)

No need of secret codes to love Darren Hayes' new album !

Today is the day I have finally received Darren Hayes' new album in my post, the 2CD deluxe edition of Secret codes and battleships imported with, and first of all, let me say it is a beautiful package, all wrapped up like a book with full lyrics and photos, a piece of art I am proud to have between the hands.
But don't let me get fooled by the package : the music is as beautiful too and let me take you to a journey into Darren's latest musical world, track by track :

written by Darren Hayes, Steve Young & Robert Conley
produced by Darren Hayes, Justin Shave & Robert Conley
Only piano notes starts the album, and its first song, for a while, before the orchestral arrangements first, then Darren's voice, follow. From the start I knew that Taken by the sea would be a mid-tempo but when comes the chorus, it has evolved a little into a power ballad. I especially love the lines "I am an island and you are the ocean..." and the rhythm of that romantic love song.

2. DON'T GIVE UP 3:44
written by Darren Hayes & Steve Robson and produced by Steve Robson
Don't give up
's intro changes the pace and with this second track, we're in for a faster uptempo dance/pop -though still love- song. On this one, Darren stands up to fight for his love against time that passes by. I believe this one in particular must be dedicated to his man, Richard, who gets an album dedication at the end of the credits : "for Richard, my lionheart" and I still feel this metaphore in the song's lyrics when it goes "you'll be a brave heart, I'll be a lion's roar and love surrenders to win the war..." At the end, it has very nice falsetto vocals and warm adlibs but all in all, although it is a good song, upbeat, it maybe doesn't go the way a potential single could be.

written and produced by Darren Hayes, Phil Thornalley & Mads Hauge
Nearly love follows, with Darren's warm voice and rhythm guitars in the intro, before the rhythm builds up with more electronic sounds and even orchestral strings. This song is stuck in between the angelic romantic side of Darren and his devilish sexy and funky double : it is a very nice melting-pot and this one could easily become a single ; the chorus is catchy, especially with the opening "and now I love you, love you" lines, and it belongs to Darren's post-Savage Garden/Spin mainstream popsong inspiration theme, I feel, sort of universal love song that could appeal to everybody.

written and produced by Darren Hayes & Carl Falk
Darren said about Black out the sun that it was a song he wrote with Leona Lewis in mind, but in the end kept for him as he felt even the songs he wrote with another singer in mind was about (and for) him... It would be nice to hear what Leona would have made of it, but fact is I like Darren's version like it is : a pleasant mid-tempo with a melodramatic melody for the chorus where Darren's voice goes higher than ever. The calm handclapping-like rhythm gives this song force and persuasion to lead it into our head and make us fall in love with it. This one has been chosen as the second single off the album on these international shores, whereas in his native land Australia, it is Bloodstained heart that has been chosen but Black out the sun will be the third anyway... Shall I add the boys from the 7th Heaven team have remixed it like they did for the first single and that it's heaven on earth once more !

written and produced by Darren Hayes & Carl Falk
Talk talk talk was the first single Darren released at the end of 2010 to have a comeback in his fans' heart to announce the short coming of his fourth solo album ...and what a comeback single ! I think I'll never get bored of it ! From the start and its electro loops, this collaboration song with swedish Carl Falk won me over and I fell deeply into the hypnotic groove of the verses, the über-catchy chorus, and I can't help singing along with Darren on the chorus lines "Just breathe in and out because all I wanna do is just talk talk talk to you..." I think the "talk talk talk" gimmick is in fact a "toc toc toc" magic password Darren Hayes has found to let his voice enter our brains and fecond it with his vitality, love and passion. I don't understand how this pure addictive hitsong hasn't been the worldwide hit it deserved to be !

written and produced by Darren Hayes & Carl Falk
Next is Darren Hayes' third (or second in Oz) single off the album, and Darren gets back into romantic melancholia with this third song in a row that has been written/produced by the same duo although they don't sound the same at all. After several listens, I have found a deeper magic spell in Bloodstained heart than in Black out the sun. Maybe it is because the slow tempo that starts the song speeds itself up little by little to become a nearly anthemic pop/rock explosion, but I really like it now, with the beautiful melody of the chorus and the drums that make me think of it as a Coldplay kind of song ; it could become a big hit and it has a very strong video too so ...fingers crossed !

written and produced by Darren Hayes & Justin Shave
Nice background vocals and tickling sounds make the inspirational intro for the following track, and this God walking into the room could become a fourth single in a row if released one day. It has the potential catchiness and nice harmonies, although there is an omnipresent electric guitar's sound that annoys me a little. Its presence increases even more in the bridge a la Slash, but it is okay then ; I'm used to that sound I don't really hear in the usual dance/pop records I listen to :).

8. HURT 3:20
written by Darren Hayes & Steve Lironi
produced by Darren Hayes & Justin Shave

Hurt starts with electro piano notes and soft vocals by Darren and it makes me think of an electro lullaby for the kids of the 22nd century, but it is a false impression : when the chorus comes, the song gets empowered by strong vocals and catchy rich melodies that stay of high standard with second verse, with more orchestral arrangements and strings added too, and I think Darren's got a pure hit here ! It screams out to be released as a single very soon !!!! My second favourite song here after Talk talk talk, for sure.

9. ROSES 4:19
written by Darren Hayes & Walter Afanasieff and produced by Walter Afanasieff
Darren joins forces back with Walter Afanasieff, who worked on Savage Garden's Affirmation album and Darren's Spin first solo, for these musical Roses. I don't know why, maybe it is because of the usual ballads mister Afanasieff wrote for Mariah Carey, but I was fearing their new collaboration would be a sweet mid-tempo/ballad and guess what : it is not ! Instead, even though the intro is very calm and atmospheric, the song is a patchwork of rhythm with mid-tempo verses but very uplifting electronic pre-chorus and you got an upbeat chorus with good melody that stay in the head. The bridge and outro calm down the song back and I feel this one could easily be picked up by EMI as a further single too, as it belongs to the romantic imagery people picture for Darren's music.

written by Darren Hayes & Robert Conley
produced by Darren Hayes, Justin Shave & Robert Conley
Written and produced by the nearly same people behind the album's opening track, Stupid mistake goes the opposite way with a super-catchy upbeat pop/rock number that makes my feet tap along all through it. Although very addictive, I don't see it as single potential, maybe because of its apparent simplicity or old-school rock'n'roll-esque rhythm... Only one thing sure though : I like it A LOT !

written and produced by Darren Hayes & Brian West
Cruel cruel world sounds like it was supposed to be from its title : I mean, it looked like it should be a painful song about sad things and even though it is not a full-on plaintive mid-tempo/ballad, it really has powerful rhythms at moments, with acoustic guitar too, and Darren's chant goes perfectly the way to personify the hurt one should feel lost alone in today's world, addicted to pills to be able to get through, but as the uplifting melody means it, Darren's saviour is his love, and this song is cheerful in the end ; a nice album track.

written and produced by Darren Hayes & Carl Falk
More inspirational chants starts the last track of the standard edition of the album and ends the first CD of my deluxe edition. The siren's call doesn't sound like in a church, as it belongs more to religious african vibes as I feel it. It is a nice change of atmosphere for this calm but powerful mid-tempo song with full strings and pleasant drama.

Deluxed Edition Bonus Disc extras :
1. EXPLODE 4:26
written and produced by Darren Hayes & Brian West
The first extra song from the Deluxe package is an upbeat song whose rhythm reminds me of Stupid mistake's rock'n'roll vibe. It is more synthpop though and could have easily been included in the standard tracklisting. The beat is addictive, the vocals are good as always, and the lyrics see Darren go back to his sometimes trademark plentiness, I mean, I like it how Affirmation speeded up the rhythm by having words following words after words, lyric lines after lines, and Explode is one of that sort : Darren Hayes is a wonderful lyricist, and a singer who knows how to sing lines after lines like a rapper with melodic sense and without losing his breath.

2. PERFECT 4:27
written by Darren Hayes & Rick Nowels
produced by Darren Hayes & Justin Shave
keeps with the electronical arrangements but calms the pace a little, even though it doesn't even sound like a mid-tempo at all ! The song is a beautiful pop/dance song, with childish elements sometimes hidden in the background, like this toy piano little notes. Once again, it should have been part of the standard album because it is too good to be wasted unknown. I think everybody that intends to buy Darren Hayes' Secret codes and battleships album should only buy this Deluxe Edition of it. Else, he'll get robbed of high quality pop !

written and produced by Darren Hayes & Brian West
Tiny little flashlights is the third song Darren wrote and produced with canadian Brian West and another whose acoustic elements are mixed with more electro arrangements to reach a perfect sound that belongs either to yesterday and tomorrow's world, and make Darren's music intemporal for sure. This one is some sort of an atmospherical mid-tempo that sounds warm to the ears.

4. NOTHING 3:32
written by Darren Hayes & Robert Conley
produced by Darren Hayes, Justin Shave & Robert Conley
is another song Darren has done with long-time collaborator Robert Conley and another pleasant mid-tempo but with a catchy chorus that spices things up a little when it comes. The end is uplifting and has very nice vocal harmonies that are the perfect transition to the next track.

5. GLORIOUS 6:18
written by Darren Hayes & Robert Conley
produced by Darren Hayes, Justin Shave & Robert Conley

Glorious starts like it will become some kind of an anthemic pop brilliant moment, with calm intro with full strings and standard Darren vocals & melody, I mean, this one is instantly recognizable as Darren Hayes. Verses and choruses follow each other with romantic/melodramatic atmosphere and it finally reaches climax where only Darren's voice stays strong on a thin lay of strings, nearly angelic, and it sounds as if Darren had been rocketing into the sky till he reached heaven and have found happiness fall down back on earth. At 4'30, it sounds as if the song is gonna end but then violins errupt in the speakers and the song goes full philarmonic and instrumental for more beauty and a perfect ending for this extended tracklisting.

6. TALK TALK TALK (Live in the Attic) 4:03
7. BLACK OUT THE SUN (Live in the Attic) 4:16
To end this Deluxe Edition as an encore, Darren Hayes has re-recorded his two singles in his own home-studio in the attic, in stripped-down and slowed-down acoustic versions with only his voice and accompanying keyboards. Talk talk talk is beautifully tear-busting while Black out the sun becomes more cheerful than in its original version with the uplifting sound of piano in the background.
I don't miss remixes on this CD because I think it couldn't have ended better than with those two live-recorded versions and all in all, like it is be supposed to be with every good album, there is only one single need when those last song's last note echoes : play it all again !

Although still on a 2CD package like This delicate thing we've made was, this new Darren Hayes album may sounds tighter, with a shorter tracklisting, and even though Darren has worked with many collaborators on it, either songwriters & producers, the whole thing sounds as a whole, with songs' universes not too dissimilar from one another, and this marks the difference with other artists that pick up songs on pre-recorded demos with studio session singers and record them to make an album ; with Darren Hayes getting as always involved at 200% in the songwriting and production of his music, you only get one thing while listening to his albums -and this one is no exception- , and it is full access to the man's soul, and it shines good ! It's a level higher than the standard pop I listen to (and like) most of the time. His music is designed to last : I'm pretty sure I'll still be listening to these Secret codes and battleships in years and years from now on !

Electric Lady Lab does it again... and even better !

I have reviewed Electric Lady Lab's first album a couple of months ago and now is the time to talk about their new single and show you their beautiful new video for it.
The song is called Touch me and grounds heavily on A-ha's big hits from the 80's The sun always shines on TV. The music sample is used all through the song as musical background on which the danish duo has built a new song with new melody and lyrics, except the chorus goes Touch me as Morten Hackett used to go on this 80's intemporal gemm. His voice even melts with Stine Hjelm Jacobsen's in the middle of the song and serves as atmospheric bridge alone.
They already won the rights to use the Rhythm is a dancer sample on their single you and me. Now it is this A-ha sample, and it sounds great, even better used than the Snap! one ! I really hope this single could become available everywhere worldwide and could become a big hit for them, so that they could release a new album or an inetrnational version of their Flash! there. They deserve it. Everyone shall love their Touch me ! Because of that well-known notes, people will think they already know and love the song, and Stine vocals are beautiful and sexy, plus the full song is of high quality standard in pop, I think. Just take a look/listen below :

new cover version for an intemporal song that I can love more each time...

First time I heard Love U more was in 1992 when that song was released as new single from UK indie techno-band Sunscreem. I fell in love instantly with this uplifting aerial techno song that associated deep but simple meaningful lyrics, catchy electronical techno rythm, addictive beats and melody with Lucia Holm's delicate and powerful vocals. I put that song side to side to Opus III's It's a fine day from 1991 and it made me buy its mother album O3 that includes their other singles, Walk on, Pressure, Perfect motion and a techno cover of Marianne Faithful, Broken english. Love u more, was their biggest wordwide hit, although only a #23 UK hit during summer '92. It subsenquently became a dance song that has been covered many, many times.

First in 1998 by Pete Waterman's supergroup Steps on their first album Step One.
Then, in 2000, it was german dance act Rollergirl's turn to have her take on it. Another trance version was done years after by Bootz.
In 2007, it was redone in techno hardcore style by Speakerz! after scottish Public Domain did quite the same two years before. DJ Paul Estak also did a happy hardcore awful version but I shouldn't even mention this garbage!
Love U more got magnified in 2010 by house diva (and vocalist of Bimbo Jones) Katherine Ellis for Oxford Hustlers and Fierce Angels with the Club Junkies on the remix team.

It must have given an idea to new artist Sunday Girl, who sang on final track of Martin Solveig's latest album Smash!. She has just released the video for her own cover version of Love U more, to be released on 5th December with remixes by Buzz Junkies. Her original take is very reminiscent of Sunscreem's original version to my ears so, after all these remakes, I think this new one is a full tribute to the true spirit of the song, with today's sounds and electro/dance arrangements, and full respect to Lucia Holm.
What I regret on all these cover versions though is that the original lyrics, with words like sex or rape, are often(=always) replaced/toned down on these cover versions, as if only Lucia Holm could keep her original lyrics meaningful, or at least dare to sing them...
Here is the video for Sunday Girl's single and just below, the video for the original version by Sunscreem, plus the link to the unreleased Steps video for this could've-been single too :

ma nouvelle voiture...

un peu de vie personnelle et matérialiste dans mon blog habituellement consacré aux nourritures culturelles musicales (LOL), avec la photo de ma nouvelle voiture, un DS3 Citroën d'occasion (moins d'1 an, 15000 km) couleur bleue ciel (Boticelli), totalement raccord avec l'ambiance de mon blog donc, prise ici sur le parking de l'entrepôt où est basé mon bureau hier soir.
Après plus d'un an à me demander si j'allais changer de voiture (une 206 Peugeot bleue déjà, mais plus foncée, électrique) avant ses 10 ans en Juin prochain et avant d'avoir des frais à faire dessus donc, à chercher des modèles de voitures (abordables, donc bye-bye les Audi, 407 coupé et cie...), je suis tombé sur ce modèle récent de Citroën et pour une fois, les coloris disponibles sortaient de la palette habituelle du blanc au noir en ne passant que par le gris clair et gris foncé, voire exceptionnellement (avec surcoût) rouge pétard... Et en voulant voir sur Rennes où il y en aurait une de dispo pour essayer voir si la voiture -en vrai- me plaisait, j'ai vu ce petit bijou d'occas' (voiture collaborateur) dont l'annonce venait d'être publiée : résultat des courses : rendez-vous vendredi soir dernier avec un vendeur sympa, tour d'essai, aperçu du rabais disponible, retour le lendemain matin, négociation pour atteindre mon prix (maximum que j'étais prêt à mettre quand même), et HOP! signature : à peine plus de temps que pour m'acheter un CD :) je suis complètement crazy ...mais ça faisait un an que l'idée mûrissait ! Livraison le mercredi suivant et donc, ça fait 3 jours que je roule en DS3, option limiteur+régulateur de vitesse, clim automatique, rétro rabattants, alarme au recul, etc. Je me sens déjà à l'aise avec ma pédale d'embrayage, la direction assistée me la rentre quasi toute seule dans mon garage, et je n'ai même pas câlé une seule fois en démarrage en côte :) HA HA! Le bonheur, quoi! Une bien belle voiture à conseiller donc, pour ceux qu'une 2 portes ne rebute pas...

dimanche 23 octobre 2011

Christmas' rush : too many albums releases to buy... !

I know the key moment in the year for the music market is the end of the year, from mid-Octobber to mid-December, so that the new CD album that is released can be bought for Christmas as a gift, but this year, there have been weeks or month without any album to be release I wanted to buy but right now and until the next few coming weeks, there are just too many ! I can't afford to buy them all as they get released ! And that is a shame... I'll have to choose which ones I want more than the others and I guess the losers will get bought at mid-prices or at eBay next year when the market will be dead again.
Just to share these deadlines with you, let's list them all :

first, those already available :
David Guetta Nothing but the beat (for this one, I'm waiting for the deluxe platinum re-edition #9, when the CD2 will be full of good dance/pop songs and not an instrumental electro bore...)
Melanie C The sea (waiting for a french release to see if it's better than the UK one or the german edition)
Darren Hayes Secret codes & battleships (I pre-ordered the 2CD edition and has just received the Amazon dispatch mail!)
Matt Cradle Letters (from the snippets I heard, I think I'll wait for January UK garbage sales to buy this one, too pop/rock for me for now on...)
Aqua Megalomania (waiting for a french release to buy it at my local store but may have to buy it on import via internet?)
Joe Jonas Fastlife (I have just received my CD so a full review may come soon...)
Steps The Ultimate collection (I have received my CD+DVD edition : I couldn't do without ! even though the package looks poor : errors in songwriters credits and very poor booklet : I wish it could have been released via Cherry Red Records !)
Nicola Roberts Cinderella's eyes (this one has yet to grab me... I hated Beat of my drum but like Lucky day... I think all depends on third single now!)
Le Kid Oh Alright! (I'm just waiting to find it at a nice price on the net to buy me this fabulous swedish only release!)

24/10 Releases :
Kelly Clarkson Stronger (I might pass on that one, she's always been too rock for me, unless previews make me change my mind)
Adam & Eve : the Musical (I'll wait for the re-release with all songs, like your usual Musical albums...)
Corneille Les inséparables (even though I like the electro/soul first single Le jour après la fin du monde, I'll wait till next single unless previews confirm this new dancier direction in Corneille's music)
Jeremy Amelin (his first album was said to be released, digitally only maybe : I'll have to check it even though his lates single Undone was bad...)

31/10 Releases :
Self Concept (finally, Michal releases his album under his new moniker : I'll buy it online for sure even though I bought his EP digitally already which means I already own half the songs... !)

07/11 Releases :

The Wanted Battleground (I'd definitely buy it on pre-order : I'm just waiting to fix which edition is available ; I'll choose the one with extra tracks!)
Inna Modja (I've liked French cancan and even more her new Les filles du Lido so I'll check the previews and may buy it from my local store between the fruits and water)

14/11 Releases :
JLS Jukebox (I'll sure buy it as I did for their two fuirst albums)
Parade (I like this new girlsband but may wait to find it on eBay...)
Pixie Lott Young Foolish Happy (I think I'll wait a little but sure will buy her second CD like I did for her first.)

21/11 Releases :
The Saturdays On your radar (I'll pre-order this one with the Wanted's one, as sure as 1+1=2 !)
Rihanna Talk that talk (A new Rihanna already? I'll listen to it first... she's startin' to really bore me...)
One Direction (Even though their first single was fine, I'll wait for January sales for it!)
Christophe Willem Prismophonic (I have already pre-ordered my deluxe edition on Christophe's shop-on-line)
Lorie Regarde-moi (I'll sure buy it asap !)
Chimène Badi Gospel & Soul (I'll wait on this one, not pleased with most of the chosen songs...)

28/11 Releases :
Amel Bent Délit mineur (not the one I'll buy asap but I may buy it before Christmas... depends on what's on my shoppping list)
O'Chi Brown remastered edition of her 80's first album with Stock Aitken & Waterman (I'll sure buy it on pre-order very soon !)
Olly Murs In case you didn't know (I'll check it before buying it in January maybe)
Eric Saade Saade vol. 2 (I'll buy it via for sure, like I did with vol. 1 not that long ago)
Nolwenn Leroy Deluxed edition of her previous celtic album (even though I like her take on Moonlight shadow, I very doubt I'd buy it unless I find it at a VERY nice price)

Other forthcoming releases :
Matthew Raymond Barker (November but not a date... I hope it'll be released very soon though!)
David Morales Resurrection (I don't know when... but I'll buy it with eyes closed)
Taio Cruz
Kate Ryan Electroshock (apparently re-scheduled for a 2012 release...)
Charice Infinity (I want this CD, but wait for a better release than the japanese import...)
Leona Lewis Glassheart (scheduled for a 26/03/2012 release now, after Collide didn't live to their expectations...)

mardi 18 octobre 2011

Will Young's new single is COME ON... c'mon !?

I din't see it coming : Will Young's second single taken from his fabulous album Echoes is track #2, Come on, the one and only he didn't even co-write, and one I didn't see as a potential single amongst the brillant other tracks that could have been chosen !
It is still a nice song and it has been offered Cahill remixes for its release pack along the original version.
Here is a video of the acoustic version, before the official video :

Once again, Will's new video suprises me and puts a smile on my face : the dog is cute !

lundi 17 octobre 2011

bonne surprise avec "Trash", le nouveau single du gagnant de X-Factor 2011

Sorti vainqueur de la seconde édition française du X-Factor sur M6 cette année, l'angliche Matthew Raymond-Barker avait vu sortir dans une quasi-indifférence sa reprise façon R&B du Vivre ou survivre de Balavoine en guise de premier single post-victoire. Il reconnaît aujourd'hui que ce fut un choix un peu forcé de Sony/BMG au lendemain de sa victoire et, comme l'émission n'avait pas connu les mêmes audiences que la Nouvelle Star, l'impact sur les ventes n'a fait qu'accroître le manque d'intérêt pour cette sortie en digital.
Alors que la victoire de cet attachant britannique en avait surpris plus d'un face à la jeune Marina d'Amico, à la voix plus professionnelle mais avec une personnalité moins ressentie par le public, c'est aujourd'hui l'heure du second single annonçant l'album prévu pour Novembre (quelle date ?). Tout va se jouer là et Matthew est lucide ; il sait qu'aujourd'hui, avec la crise du disque, ça passe ou sa casse. Il doit faire la différence et créer le buzz pour reconquérir les fans de l'émission et leur faire télécharger son titre puis acheter l'album.
Sony Music l'a plus laissé libre de choisir ses chansons et son style musical, apparemment bien dans la mouvance actuelle, entre R&B et électro pop, avec des titres en français, mélange d'anglais et français comme sur son nouveau single et quelques titres 100% en anglais : après tout, il faut bien jouer de son atout principal : l'anglais est sa langue maternelle. L'apprenti artiste s'investit beaucoup sur les réseaux sociaux, via sa page facebook par exemple, pour accrocher le fan un par un et faire découvrir son nouveau titre, Trash (tout le monde jump sur le bar). Pas de clip encore mais une video sonore sur youtube pour le moment qui est arrivée jusqu'à moi et m'a fait acheter le single sur iTunes aussitôt après 5 écoutes en boucle ! Pari gagné dans mon coeur donc : j'attends son album avec impatience et achèterai le CD, rien que pour soutenir ce jeune chanteur attachant et vrai, qui s'éclate en faisant la musique qui lui plaît, et me plaît aussi apparemment.
Composé par 6Mondini, alias Franck Rougier, qui avait déjà oeuvré pour Christophe Willem par exemple, ce Trash n'est pas à mettre à la poubelle, bien au contraire. Dès l'intro électro, mon intérêt est capté, et le refrain qui démarre déjà me capture dans les filets de cet hymne addictif à faire la fête dans les bars, entre potes, ce que le jeune Matthew avoue avoir beaucoup de mal à ne plus faire, maintenant qu'une photo de lui bourré volée via iPhone casserait un peu le plan promo de Sony... Il est heureux que le titre soit sous-titré "Tout le monde jump sur le bar" puisqu'on retient bien plus cette accroche du refrain que le "Trash" qui ne fait que clôre le refrain principal. Clairement, les paroles nous ramènent à l'insouciance et aux excès festifs des soirées étudiantes ("On oublie tout, on se lâche. Tout le monde fait le show ce soir. On lève les mains, on se trashe") et sont loin d'être consensuelles. Quid donc du passage en radio ? Mais le buzz sur le public ados et post-ados, voire adulescents (=ados attardés) dont je fais partie, devrait je l'espère pour lui concrétiser les ventes potentielles de ce très bon single au final, énergique et bien dans le move, pouvant, grace à ses parties chantées en français, être playlistée dans les quotas francophones des radios ciblées dance.
Il me tarde d'écouter notre sympathique anglais, typé chanteur "next door friend", sur la longueur d'un album entier. Je ne pense pas que son accent français légèrement chuintant me dérange tant que ça finalement... ça fait partie de son capital sympathie et tant que le beat est bon, Matthew Raymond-Barker aura le mérite d'occuper le créneau dépeuplé de la pop grand public tendance electro/R&B, une sorte de Rihanna masculin à la franglaise, quoi !
lien video :
Tout l'monde jump sur le bar
On oublie tout, on se lâche
Tout l’monde fait le show ce soir
On lève les mains, on se trashe

Corps électriques
On vit de nuits blanches
Corps magnétiques
De fièvre et de transe
Corps extatiques
On n'est pas des anges
Tonight we wanna party, wanna lose control

You got to free your mind
Right here, right there
Come on dance all night

That’s all right
I’m tellin’ you let's jump into it
Can’t be more clear
Come on ride this beat
We're freakin' on the floor

Tout l'monde jump sur le bar
On oublie tout, on se lâche
Tout l’monde fait le show ce soir
On lève les mains, on se trashe

We’re all together now, now, now, now
We’re gettin’ high around, round, round, round
Hey DJ play the sound, loud, loud, loud
Come on and sing it now, now, now, now

Corps narcotiques
On vit de substances
Corps frénétiques
Délire à outrance
Corps excentriques
On brise le silence
Tonight we wanna party, wanna lose control

You got to free your mind
Right here, right there
Come on dance all night
That’s all right

I’m tellin’ you let's jump into it
Can’t be more clear
Come on ride this beat
We're freakin' on the floor

Tout l'monde jump sur le bar
On oublie tout, on se lâche
Tout l’monde fait le show ce soir
On lève les mains, on se trashe

DJ play that music
Écorche le son
DJ play that music
Explose le son

mercredi 12 octobre 2011

Lorie's comeback single, inspired by Dita von Teese

Lorie's soon back with a new CD album, Regarde-moi, set for release on the 21st of November, and by now, what's new is the video for the first single off it, Dita, which has been available on download since the end of August.
Inspired by the Burlesque pin-up artist of talent Dita von Teese, the song is composed by Frederic Chateau (aka Asdorve, who produced and wrote more than half her previous album of 2007, 2LOR en moi) with lyrics by Thierry Surgeon & Delphine Dobrinine. Musically, she sticks to the new sound she adopted on this previous album, moving away from being our french Britney to become some sort of our younger french Kylie... except on Dita, there are some oriental inspiration mixed to the electro pop/dance sounds. Even though it takes some time to get into it, her Dita is catchy enough and has finally won me, despite initial surprise. The chorus hook is inescapable, even though the line everybody will memorize (Juste un détail...) has nothing to do with the title of the song...
The video that has just been published is a full classy 5' film where Lorie goes retro becoming a bored housewife that films herself as a pin-up on her sofa, with other parts where Lorie shows she still can dance amongst gorgeous male dancers. The whole video is made as a promotion tool like Mylène Farmer used to do in the 80's, I mean, a cinema-inspired video for a pop song that is just the soundtrack of it. Lorie sexes her image up with this video, going further in the direction she intended with her previous work : she is no more a girl and is now a woman, with mature sound, electro/dance, and sexy attitude ; she even has a naked slaveboy that fans her in one short scene ! In the first dancing scene in the theatre's hall, I think her make-up and hairstyle looks as if she was the ex-pornstar Brigitte Lahaie but I don't think that's an intentional purpose to spice her image up though... And I bet the film ends with her current boyfriend, actor Philippe Bas, showing up his neck for the camera as her husband coming back to take profit of the sexy images she has filmed for him...
The whole thing teases me good for her soon-to-be released seventh studio album and I wonder if she has worked with english producers again or has sticked to Asdorve and co. No doubt, I'll let you know as soon as I get it for a full review ;) ! Till then, watch her fab video and listen to Dita.

The Saturdays' new single/album's on the line

Here it comes ! After they've released Notorious (#8 in last May) and All fired up (#3 last month), The Saturdays have unleashed the video for their forthcoming single, a power ballad called My heart takes over and written by Ina Wroldsen with Steve Mac, to launch their new album, On your radar, that is to be released in the UK on the 21st of November, two weeks after their label mates The Wanted 2nd album. I am not that much excited about this song, but it is the type of Westlife #1 song Steve Mac used to write a couple of years ago so who knows, maybe after a performance on the X Factor TV show, they could finally get their first #1 hit ? I don't care as long as their label releases music from the 5 ladies.

mardi 11 octobre 2011

Let's do it in the AM (or PM either) with FrankMusik !

After a first album Complete Me in 2009 where UK-born Vincent James Turner first emerged as a new electro boy in the 80's inspired UK scene, here is the time for the real eclosion of this very talented boy : 2011 sees him releasing his new album Do it in the AM under his alias FrankMusik and, at the same time, Erasure's comeback album Tomorrow's World he produced for the synthpop uk veterans. - I will talk about this comeback album more in the end -

But for now, back to his solo work ; I hadn't really got into his first effort, although big names like Keane or Pet Shop Boys hired him as a support act for their UK tours, even before Complete Me was released. His first UK charting single Better off as two (UK#26) was good enough though, but the following single Confusion girl only reached #27 and the remixed single version that featured rapper Tinchy Stryder didn't grabbed me neither. His album featured co-production credits by Stuart Price, Jeremy Wheatley and Mark Taylor so I should've put more interest in this littl' boy... Just remembering Neil Tennant et Chris Lowe had him remix their Love etc. should have made me have a second thinking 'bout him. Gotta boyfriend was a hidden pop treasure inside it for example. Well, I guess it's better late than never...
After remixing more songs for different artists like Mika or Alphabeat for example, and collaborating with electro rappers Far East Movement, he started work on his second album with Martin Katszenbaum, head of Cherrytree Records and A&R for Lady Gaga, Far East Movement or Natalia Kills. Do it in the AM sees him releasing more 80's inspired electro pop with a lil' more touch of dance and commercial appeal than on Complete Me. Underground purists will shout for sure but I think it's for the better and Frankmusik can be proud to deliver good pop for a wider audience ! All co-produced (and for the most part co-written too) with Katszenbaum, the 13 songs of this album stand by themselves as pure pop gold of single quality.

The album was preceded by two singles, The fear inside first last year, and the title track in collaboration with the Far East Movement boys to really launch the CD. The fear inside is a 80's sounding vocoderized new wave/pop addictive track where Vincent's vocals shine in high notes to contrast with the synthetic ones. Do it in the AM is more of an actual sounding hit song where Far East Movement are surfing high on their Like a G6 worldwide smash hit to help Frankmusik shine in the charts. The chorus is repetitive and sticks to your brain to make you want to jump up and dance in rhythm all day long.
The album starts with another single potential song, We collide, full of blip-blip sounds very reminiscent of Erasure, but with a today's sound like he has used on their new album, and it has a very strong chorus. The second track, No I.D., is a duet with american girl Collette Carr, another fellow CherryTree signature, and this new one is even more appealing. It has been chosen as the new single off the album and it is a pure electro/pop anthem to my ears ! It is followed by Do it in the AM and No champagne, the third in a row collaboration track on the album, still with another Katszenbaum protegee, Natalia Kills this time. It may become another single even though it is a less straightforward song. The rhythm is inescapable though, and you will find yourself nodding your head to the song, no doubt ! From then on, Frankmusik doesn't share his mic anymore and Footsteps is the first of the solo songs to follow and another addictive single alert ! Verses are all calm but with a piano pulsating to bring onto the chorus and its lightful melody and nice vocals.
After The fear inside inclusion in between, it is time for another pop masterpiece, Wrecking ball, that has a killer rhythm and addictive-as-hell chorus ; this one has more autotuned vocoderized vocals at bits so it sounds more electro than the previous one : This album really sounds like a collection of hit singles to me, as if Frankmusik had written a billion songs and only chose to include the singles, except I very doubt all of them will be released as singles ; they could though !
Running starts all R&B-ish, with still electro instrumentation though, and it's astonishing this one hasn't been featuring some rapper as it could have easily. I doubt a release single is on the line for this repetitive one, maybe the first that disappoints me a little. Brake lights is back for good, in a Taio Cruz or Jason DeRülo sound-a-like territory I feel, and MUST become a single !! The verses are wonderful but the chorus is even better ! And it keeps gettin' better with following track Struck by lightning which has another killer chorus with high pitched melody and nice piano arrangements behind the dance bits, like David Guetta's When love takes over, but with an angrier chant, urban and electro at the same time. There will never be enough singles released from this album to satisfy me 'cos I wish more than half of the songs would be airplayed as singles on radios all over the world... Ludicrous is another super catchy electro/pop song with nice arrangements but compared to its two previous track, I wouldn't see it as a single, but who knows ?
Last tracks on the album are Blame it on me and Cut me down. The first one has a nice melody for the verse with electro sounds and once more, a catchy but slightly repetitive chorus of hip-hop inspiration. The electro arrangements of this one could have easily been done by David Guetta and I wish the two men team up sometimes soon so that Frankmusik may reach a higher level of recognation in the pop music world. The latter and ending track follows the same path, with a very strong electro chorus, but with lighter moody mid-tempo verses. Both will stay as very good album tracks for me, so that my list of potential singles doesn't include more than 6 album tracks of this CD : #1, 4, 5, 6, 9 & 10, as #2, 3 & 6 already are...

Now my Frankmusik tribute post wouldn't be complete without a little review of Tomorrow's World, the album he produced for Erasure that has just been released too.
The english duo is one of Vincent's influences and he must have been amazed to work with them, but that didn't impressed him enough to lose his magic and he has succeed in updating their synthpop sound without losing their roots : they still sound like your usual Erasure, but not dated like their previous albums were sometimes. Andy Bell's vocals are marvellous as always and as the duo wrote all the songs themselves, the Frankmusik influence is only in this updated sound, not in the melodies or lyrics. But that was enough to made me buy their new album while the last studio album I bought from them was Cowboy in 1997... with the exception of Andy's two solo CDs. I didn't fitted in Vince clarke's latest production sounds enough but Tomorrow's World and Vincent's wise production has changed it all.
What decided me too was that the songs are very good and catchy. Not a single filler in this tight tracklisting (9 songs !) and you will have to buy the deluxe 2CD edition to find one more track, Give me life, amongst remixes and demo versions, and should seek the iTunes download edition to find another one, Shot to the heart. I don't have this one yet though. For now, I stick to the songs I have and the single When I start to (break it all down) was a good preview of what the album had in store ; nice melody, good beat and killer chorus. The opening track Be with you has pure Erasure-ish instrumentation and a pulsating rhythm that will get your feet tapping to the ground all through it and its addictive melody ; it has to be the next single for sure ! Fill us with fire has the same receipe and sees Erasure bring back good memories of the Always / I Say I Say I Say era to me. What will I say when you're gone is pretty nice but lacks some instant catchiness to become a single. You've got to save me right now is a good album track, dark and moody. A whole lotta love run riot is another brilliant potential single, with very electro arrangements that deserves to be reworked by nowadays trendy remixers. I lose myself goes back to the synthpop Erasure-ish sound more with nice layers of reverberating synthés, and it has a very strong chorus melody with harder -nearly techno- sounds. Then I go twisting is lighter and breezy but still with a hard electro arrangement behind Andy Bell's beautiful angelic vocals. With Just when I thought it was ending, the boys put an end the the album with a calmer song, the first in line from the very start of the CD, but it doesn't bore me at all, and the chorus wakes the song up if it was ever needed, that's why I still say all the album's songs are uptempos.
But with only 9 songs, this album was way too short for me so I bought me the 2CD deluxe edition. The only other new song, Give me life, is a lighter slower song that maybe wouldn't have fitted in the 9 tracks CD1 but the chorus once again is strong and inescapable. Included are two Gareth Jones remixes, of tracks 2 & 7, a Frankmusik remix of current first single, and demo versions of tracks 1, 2, 4 & 7. This whole CD2 package is for the fan only I'm afraid... It wouldn't have hurt to include Shot to the heart here too... I'm still to download it from iTunes!
But even in its one CD form, this album is a great comeback for the english duo and I think they owe it a little to Frankmusik's magic : Two CDs that I needed in my CDthèque for sure !