Thursday, May 09, 2013

The Unexpected Return Of Nick Clow

A couple of days ago, I profiled Luciana's stylist. Today it's her husband's turn. Apart from making the Queen of Clubs an honest woman, Nick Clow is also a successful songwriter - he co-writes with Luci - and a former R&B crooner turned accidental dance dynamo. It's a bit complicated but the silver fox had a brief and incredibly underrated solo career in the late '90s under the pseudonym Blood. I liked and bought (see below) his music at the time but it didn't quite click with radio and his (rather amazing, as it turns out) debut album was never released. It's a pity but there is a happy ending to this story. He bagged a hot wife, wrote a killer track for Kylie and is now back with a top 40 Australian club smash.

Last year Nick was asked to write the topline for a Vandalism track. You might remember they had a big pop hit in 2006 with "Never Say Never" (still sounds great, actually) before focusing on the club scene. Well, when they heard Mr Clow's vocal on the demo, they decided to keep it. And I can understand why. It sounds absolutely brilliant. "Anywhere Else Tonight" is a dance track with huge crossover potential. The radio edit is one of my favourite songs of the year and I think the man formerly known as Blood might have just beaten his misses at her own game with this one.

Check out "Anywhere Else Tonight" below and download it now from iTunes.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

David Burgoyne - The Creative Force Behind Luciana

I've profiled a lot of different pop stars on this site over the years but never anyone from the team behind them. My bad. Now more than ever, music is a visual medium. Like it or not but style and image counts - making artistic types like David Burgoyne an essential part of the creative process. The hirsute Brit has been working with Luciana for the best part of two decades. He looks after her luscious locks, helps choose her outfits and films her every move for documentaries. Together they make a formidable team. Here's what Luciana's gay husband has to say about working with the Queen of Clubs and his other creative endeavors. 

How did you get into styling Hair?
I always wanted to work in fashion. Ever since I was little I used to be fascinated with Hollywood and the stars of the '50s and '60s. I was addicted to the glamour, so it was only natural I would go toward hair and styling. I had a few false starts with my career but once I decided to train to be a hairdresser it all fell into place.

You're best know for your long association with dance diva Luciana. How did you meet?
Luciana came into Toni and Guy one day, where I was working. She pulled her hair out of a scrunchy and said "if you could do anything with my hair what would you do?" I thought she was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. She had amazing long dark wavy hair. I tied her hair back up in the scrunchy and said "nothing, it's perfect as it is!" She loved my reaction and told me she liked my style. Two weeks later I chopped all her off and dyed it black and white for the British Hairdressing Awards. She was always up for anything I wanted to do.

Can you explain the intense connection you have with her?
Our birthdays are the 22nd and 23rd of June. We always say we are like the same person. We kind of know how the other one thinks, it's always been this way. In nearly 20 years we have never fallen out, even when we go on tour and share the same space. We just seem to co-exist happily together. We always joke that I am her gay husband. I knew right away that she was my muse. She loved my ideas and loved the way I did her hair, so she was totally trusting. It still feels like we are kids and playing dress up.  

How has Luciana's look evolved over the years?
It has evolved in many ways over the years, Depending on fashion and what suits her. The one thing that always keeps it together has been her color. She suits being dark, it just goes with her Italian features. We started off quite punky, travelled through rock chic and paid tribute to the '50s and '60s glamour along the way. We keep coming back to a fringe (or bangs as they say in the States) because it's something that really suits her face.

How do you keep her look fresh and cutting edge?
I think by trying not to follow fashion and do what makes us happy always ensures she is cutting edge. We are not afraid to go against the grain, if ever I think things are too commercial, I steer far away.

What was Luci's best look?
For me it has to be the short sharp Louise Brooks style bob with bangs she wore for the "Bow Wow Wow" video. It was so dramatic and really suited her features.

Do you look back on any hair styles or outfits in horror?
No, I love all of Luci's looks. I know that sounds corny but it's true. Saying that we were bored in Russia once on tour and I let her talk me into giving her curls. She looked like a prostitute but it made us laugh!

Who else have you worked with?
I have been so busy with Luciana for so many years that I haven't worked with many other celebrities. I guess the most famous has to be the legendary Betty White. I styled the entire video for Luciana and Betty's duet "I'm still Hot". I nearly died when I saw her step out in the velour leisure suit with the silver bling. Yes, it was me that put Betty White in silver converse. She loved them and asked to keep the suit and shoes. What could I say, I wanted to sell them on eBay but I had to let her keep them!

You're also a budding filmmaker - what have you worked on lately?
I've just finished a behind-the-scenes film called "When Luciana met Cazwell". Basically following Luci and Cazwell when the shot their promo for "Guess What". I'm always working on something. I get so much out of film making. It's so satisfying.

What's next for you?
I want to stay in the States. I want to marry my boyfriend when it becomes legal. I'm going to keep on making art in film and photography with Luciana. As Luciana's career evolves, mine does too. I want to work on my love for film making. I'd like to say that my next phase will involve film but for now its still hair. It's what I do best.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Laura Imbruglia Pioneers Werewolf Pop With 'Awoooh!'

I'm convinced that I was related to Laura Imbruglia in a past life - such is our undeniable spiritual connection. We were probably dowdy sisters in Victorian England, spending mind-numbingly grey days doing needle point while secretly hoping to be ravished by a kitchenhand. Who, in turn, only had eyes for the buxom scullery maid. Fuck our (past) lives! So why am I ranting about my soul sister? Well, she's back with the second taste of her third album.

At least I think so. "Why'd You Have To Kiss Me So Hard" turned the music industry upside down way back in 2011 - so I'm not sure if that's part of her latest opus or just a random recording. Not that it matters because her new single is infinitely better. "Awoooh!" is quirkier than Parker Posey's filmography. A lilting rockabilly anthem that establishes werewolf-pop as a bonafide genre, the demented gem is quintessential LI with its deceptively catchy chorus and clever lyrics. I particularly love the line about watching your phone "like Santa's sack".

For the full "Awoooh!" experience, watch the big budget - by Laura's standards - video below. I love the stunning effects lesbian horror angle and elaborate choreography. Natalie who?


Friday, April 05, 2013

Beyoncé Unveils Pepsi Commercial & New Song 'Grown Woman'

About half an hour ago Beysus parted the heavens and beamed down her long-awaited Pepsi commercial, simultaneously debuting a snippet of a new single called "Grown Woman". I've been waiting so long for this that I didn't know what to expect. Probably not King B dressing up in old costumes and grinding in front of a mirror like that bitch from Flashdance but, fuck it, I'll take it.

While I'm not particularly fussed about the commercial (I prefer the one she did with J Lo), the song is something else. At a time when the rest of the game is churning out the same generic shit, Bey unveils a percussion-heavy, tribal chant and gives no fucks if you don't like it or, more likely, don't get it.

For me, "Grown Woman" picks up where "Run The World (Girls)" and "Countdown" left off. It's noisy. It's disjointed. It takes a few listens to get your head around. But then you just need more. I'm currently staring at iTunes the way Adele glares at an all you can eat buffet. The hunger is positively primeval.

This is urban music for the Odd Future crowd, polished to perfection for mainstream consumption. I have no idea what radio or the ratchet gays that dictate iTunes popularity will make of it and I really don't care. If Beyoncé wanted an album full of generic club bangers, producers would be serving them up to her on a silver platter.

My fave does what she wants. She'll just keep on winning at life while the rest of us deal. Now let me watch the ad on repeat and calculate how many minutes until I see The Mrs Carter Show in the States. Good night and keep stanning.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Carmen Electra & The Best Song Of 2013

I haven't heard a second of Carmen Electra's new jam but I'm sure we can all agree that it's, more than likely, going to be the best song of the year. If not of all time. Take the stunning title and eye-popping cover art. The Baywatch babe is coming for skulls after snatching wigs like a drag queen on meth with the amazing "I Like It Loud", which became a well-deserved club hit in the States. No doubt the ravishing diva will own nightclubs from Brisbane to Beirut when her new single drops. I can't wait!

Monday, April 01, 2013

Fall In Love With Jordyn Taylor. Again.

Jordyn Taylor's claim to fame is appearing on the best soundtrack of all time. Of course, I'm talking about Confessions Of A Shopaholic. That opus features Lady Gaga (covering Heidi Montag!), not one but two doses of Kat DeLuna, iconic flops Jessie James and Adrienne Bailon - and this cutie. The Asian American diva was only 16 when she was signed to Interscope and briefly had the blogs buzzing when she hit the studio with super-producers like Darkchild and Stargate.

Things didn't really work out for the teenager and the next time she popped up on my radar was in 2011, when she hit #1 on a random Japanese chart with a song about wearing wigs. I'm not joking. Well, Jordyn dropped her sophomore album - her debut was a Japan only release - a couple of weeks ago and it quickly became my new obsession.  

Shine is first great pure pop album of 2013. While the mid-tempo songs sound like a cross between Stacie Oricco and Mandy Moore (a massive compliment, by the way!), the real gems are the high-camp dance anthems. My favourite is the glorious "Take You Home", which is what Katy Perry would sound like if she morphed into Carly Rae Jepsen and traveled back in time to a 1977 roller disco for inspiration, but "Arigato" and "It's VABENE" come a close second.

The latter has been selected as Shine's second single and it's hard to argue with the logic. "It's VABENE" - a bastardization of Italian term "va bene" - is so ruthlessly perky and well-intentioned, you can't help but be swept along in Jordyn's sparkly cloud of good cheer. And did I mention that it features DJ Hello Kitty? When will your fave?

The video (below) is a frothy, feelgood adventured that finds our heroine partying with a group of her best friends - and Hello Kitty. I particularly love how her pals give her a makeover with a pair of scissors. Could no one lend her an outfit? This shit gives me so much life.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Ariana Grande Is The New Teen Queen

Victoria Justice and Jasmine V are probably doing shots off the hood of a car somewhere in the dark heart of Los Angeles right now, sobbing on each others' shoulders and screaming "fuck my life!" to random passersby. On the other side of town, Selena Gomez is begging Justin to make a sextape to promote her new album. A couple of blocks away Demi Lovato is parked outside McDonald's meticulously sterilizing her razor with a cigarette lighter, while Bridgit Mendler sits inside, building up the courage to ask for a job application. What has thrown the current crop of teen queens into such a tailspin? Two words. Ariana Grande.

My only exposure to the Nickelodeon star until now has been her contribution to the Victorious soundtrack. I knew she could sing but I wasn't expecting her to drop anything as good as "The Way" and definitely didn't expect it to shoot to number one on US iTunes within hours of release. Ariana has broken through faster and more comprehensively than any of the girls mentioned above and they must be concerned. There's only room for one Queen and this new bitch means business.

It only takes one listen to understand the appeal of "The Way". It's a blatant Mariah Carey rip off that harks back to the late '90s when production took a back seat to vocal ability. I had no idea Ariana had pipes like this. She has real talent and chooses the perfect vehicle to show it off. Produced by Harmony Samuels, an English producer who has crafted hits for Chris Brown, Ne-Yo and Nas, the track sounds like it was lifted straight from Mimi's Butterfly album. It's a subtle mid-tempo pop song with the slightest sheen of urban credibility thanks to Mac Miller, who tones his usual act down with an age appropriate rap.

While I still prefer Demi's epic "Heart Attack" and live for Selena's reed thin vocals, there's no denying that Ariana Grande has arrived in true diva style. "The Way" is a great single that avoids most of the overproduced teen pop cliches. She even gets the cute and colourful video (below) right, having the world's tamest party with Mac Miller. Why is she twirling around in a room full of balloons like a 12-year-old? Where's the keg? These are questions for another day but it's kind of nice that she's not twerkin' like a stripper.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Why Spain Is The Cradle Of Human Civilisation

You know, I thought I had scraped the bottom of the pop barrel several times on this blog over the past eight years with tranny divas and fisting anthems but María Lapiedra reaches a previously unimagined new low with, quite possibly, the most terrible song and video ever shat out by a thirsty attention whore. And by terrible, I obviously mean amazing! So who is this hot fucking mess? I don't really know and, to be honest, I'm scared to find out. I already love her like a mother and I'm afraid I will lose all self-control if I witness any more of her despicable antics.

All you really need to know is that your new favourite vocalist is an ex-porn actress who releases a new song every Summer to uphold Spain's rich cultural heritage. This year's offering is called "Maribombo" and is utterly horrendous from beginning to end. My Spanish is pretty bad but I think María is singing about the joys of being pregnant when she squeaks "algo se mueve en mi interior, no es una polla es otra sensación" - literally "something's moving inside me, it's not a dick but another sensation". I can't think of a nicer way to describe the miracle of childbirth. Hallmark, please put this touching sentiment on a card.

But the Spanish siren's words of wisdom don't end there. I think she's talking about hand jobs and cum but those topics never covered that in my semester of Mexican studies, so I'm only guessing. The video, or the best film since Citizen Kane as I like to call it, makes the dubious subject matter fairly obvious. We get to watch the heavily pregnant icon dance in a club, writhe on the bar and give birth. Oh and there's a random white man in black face just so there's something to offend everyone.

Watch below and join me in preparing for the end of days because this is surely confirmation that they Mayans were right.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Iggy Azalea Can Stay

About a year ago I wrote an article for Idolator about rising Australian pop stars. It was actually quite difficult to piece together because, let's be honest, the vast majority of local acts have a better chance of winning lotto than making the slightest ripple in America. Iggy appeared to be the glaring exception. She was already hyped as the next big thing and had a hotly anticipated major label debut album on the way. But it never came.

Instead, Mullumbimby's finest expert began modelling and soon fell into mixtape hell. She basically became Cassie with an Australian accent and lighter tan. That's when I stopped checking for Iggy. It was like she had been exposed as a gimmick and the whole world had finally woken up to it.

But this bitch is a fighter and proved me very wrong. The blond bombshell signed a new deal in the UK and scalped hoes with the sheer quality of her official debut single. Azealia Banks and Angel Haze are now the rap chicks with something to prove. Iggy has already delivered above and beyond expectations.

"Work" is such an impressive achievement. It took a couple of listens to click with me but now I'm completely obsessed and play the hypnotic jam at least 10 times a day. The production (courtesy of The Invisible Men and 1st Down) is spot on and Iggy's flow is slicker than ever but its real greatness lies in its authenticity.

The catchy track basically tells the diva's life story. The catchy track references the red sand of her hometown, the line about scrubbing floors is a nod to her stint as a cleaner, she raps about her move to America, that disastrous first record deal and the judgement she receives as a white, non-American rapper. It's honest and strangely universal. All of a sudden I like Iggy. She's a bad bitch.

And then there's the video (below). Who paid for this glorious extravaganza? Madonna is filming clips on her iPhone while a relative unknown gets a beautiful Jonas & François-directed opus that references Death Proof and, adorably, The Adventures Of Priscilla Queen Of The Desert.

It's audaciously cinematic and reminiscent of old school Missy Elliott with its bright colour palette. Most importantly, Iggy looks like a star. Her body is ridiculous and the styling is fantastic. I don't care how this performs on the charts. It's brilliant. Iggy can stay.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Belinda Carlisle's Triumphant Return

Isn't this photo flawless? That fur. Those cheekbones. Sure, it might be a couple of decades old but Belinda hasn't aged a day since 1983 - so I think I can get away with it. If you don't follow the iconic diva on Twitter, you might not be aware that she is embarking on a major comeback, releasing her first US single in 15 years.

It came as a surprise to me too. I knew the yoga addict had been working on new music for what felt like an eternity but "Sun" seemingly dropped from the heavens and landed on iTunes with little fanfare.

The, as it turns out, pleasantly contemporary dance-pop tune was produced by frequent Dannii collaborator Ian Masterson and is distinctly amazing. "Sun" is a synth-drenched floorfiller that sounds better than 95% of the shit currently polluting radio. I love that Belinda has bequeathed her loyal army of gays with something they will actually want to listen to - without sacrificing her own personality.

There's something peculiarly authentic about "Sun". That voice is unmistakeable and the chorus could have been lifted from any of her late '80s albums but it's more than that. You can take the girl out of Cali but there's something undeniably chilled and breezy about Belinda's music that is quintessentially West Coast.

"Sun" is lifted from a new greatest hits compilation, which has just been released on US iTunes. Belinda has promised an international release in May - along with more new stuff. In the meantime, check out her glorious dance anthem below. Let the Carlisle revival start here.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Dragonette - Still The Most Underrated Act In Pop

Can someone please remind me why Dragonette isn't one of biggest bands on the planet? Martina and the boys have never released a bad single (that I'm aware of) but remain - with the exception of "Hello" - hitless and largely underground. The thing is, I'm guilty of ignoring them too. I downloaded Body Parts when it was released late last year but never got around to listening to it. To be honest, I completely forgot it existed until I stumbled across their latest video on a blog and fell in love with the trio all over again.

"Run Run Run" is an early frontrunner for the best song of 2013. It's the kind of instantly memorable pop triumph that beguiles with its apparent simplicity and deceptively perky lyrics. That might be an odd description but underneath the sparkling chorus lies a bittersweet core that lifts Dragonette's latest synth-adventure to a higher plane. "Run Run Run" positively seeps with sepia-tinged memories and nostalgia, which makes it both beautiful and sad. You basically need it on your iPod. Now.

Having seen the light, I made listening to Body Parts a priority and, as expected, it's breathtakingly good. With any luck "Run Run Run" or another single will save it and bring the band the attention they deserve. In the meantime, revel in the brilliance of their new single and check out the video (below). It's a fairly simple affair. Martina basically gets drunk, smokes cigarettes and walks around the streets with blood on her dress. Just another Sunday afternoon for one of pop's most underrated divas.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pitbull & Xtina's Feel This Moment - Video Review

Christina Aguilera's unbreakable lotus has finally been set free! After a couple of chart misfires, the iconic diva is rising up - back to the beginning - with another international smash. I wrote about "Feel This Moment" last month and basically called it a hot mess. That opinion still stands but the song has become something of a guilty pleasure and it warms what's left of my dead heart to hear Xtina's glorious pipes back on the radio.

And, it seems, I'm not alone. Despite minimal promotion, the '80s classic-sampling club banger is shooting up the charts worldwide. It would have been nice for one of the many great tracks on Lotus to get this kind of attention but I guess you need Pitbull's insightful musings - "I'm a genius, I mean brilliant" - to get bitches to click download. But that's a complaint for another day.

A belated video dropped over the weekend and it's as low brow and seemingly low budget as the song. There's a lot of tour footage, Mr Worldwide looking moronic but sexy (shut up - there's something about him!) and Godtina redefining flawlessness. I love her ridiculous wig and the fact that she's wearing more make-up than a Mexican tranny.

But most of all, I live for the parts where she's mouthing the words to Pit's rhymes, like she's collaborating with Jay Z or someone vaguely relevant. Christina is so awkward that it's endearing. I really hope she gets her groove back and reminds everyone how a real diva does it. This is a step in the right direction.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Neon Nights 10 Year Anniversary

I remember March 17, 2003. As a life-long, demented Dannii fan I had been anticipating Neon Nights for months. This was back in the olden days when albums didn't leak and fans still rushed to record stores on the day of release. Even then there was a feeling that we were in for something extraordinary. After turning unwarranted flopping into artform in the late '90s, things were finally looking up for my childhood idol.

"Who Do You Love Now?" reintroduced the younger Minogue to Australian nightclubs in 2001 and the holiday connoisseur took things to the next level in late 2002 with the then extremely raunchy "Put The Needle On It". That brilliant pop tune was a well-deserved top 20 hit and, more importantly, a rebirth of sorts. Dannii was now the sexy, edgy Minogue and radio ate her new sound up.

It seemed improbable that she could maintain this level of quality over a full album but then "I Begin To Wonder" dropped and I got the sneaking suspicious that Kylie's wig was about to snatched by her own sister.

As it turns out, I was right. Neon Nights was the album everyone wanted Body Language to be. It picked up where Fever left off but took a more colourful path. For all the moody synths and pouty photoshoots, Dannii's fourth opus is a remarkably fun and carefree affair.

I can't think of another album that makes me as inexplicably happy. And while the lyrics never stray far from clubbing and bedroom antics, the production is wildly adventurous - tapping in disco, '80s pop and the emerging French house movement. 10 years on, Holidannii's masterpiece holds up brilliantly.

Idolator recently asked me to write a retrospective to celebrate the birthday of 2003's best album and I hope I did it justice. Dannii and Kylie both tweeted the link, so I'll take that as implicit Minogue approval.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Bow Down, Bitches. Beyoncé Is Back!

It's hard to type while crying and shaking and holding prayer beads but I'll bravely soldier on because today needs to be documented for future music historians. Earlier this morning, Beyoncé nonchalantly put a new song on Soundcloud and the internet almost melted. "Bow Down/I Been On" had an immediate polarising effect.

The Hive lost consciousness and woke to find their collective wig cleanly snatched, while the usual haters went to town on the highly unconventional first taste of era V - calling it ratchet, uncommercial and disrespectful. And to be honest all three adjectives fit. The track is ghetto as fuck, sounds like an intro or snippet (more about that in a minute) and ruthlessly drags every bitch in the game.

I still can't deal with the lyric "I know when you were little girls, you dreamt of being in my world. Don't forget it". It's the shadiest moment of Bey's career since that line in "Survivor" about selling nine million. You just know Rihanna, Keri and Ciara are currently reevaluating their entire existence! The thing is - B has the receipts to support every sliver of shade she throws.

Mrs Carter is the measuring stick for musical excellence, chart success and career-longevity, so I'm glad she finally snapped and put the pretenders in check. Trust me, I've listened to the edgy anthem at least three dozen times and I still detect no lies.

"Bow Down/I Been On", as it turns out, is actually two separate songs mashed together to generate buzz for the new album - mission accomplished. The former is produced by Hit-Boy, while the latter is the handiwork of Polow Da Don, Timbaland and Planet VI. Bizarrely enough, I think they work brilliantly together and almost wish this was the lead single.

The production from all involved is breathtaking. I love the staccato beats and exaggerated bravado of "Bow Down", while "I Been On" incorporates operatic elements and morphs Bey's voice into a fucking man. Who else does that shit? The sound is so fresh and experimental. This era promises to be one hell of a wild ride!

I guess the main thing we can take from Queen B's latest pioneering masterpiece is the fact that she clearly has zero fucks left to give. She will throw her shit on Soundcloud in the middle of the night without as much as press release and rap about being better than your faves if she gets the urge. If you were expecting a generic or RedOne-produced club banger to guarantee radio airplay, you were dead wrong.

Bey remains in her own lane and that's the way I like it. 4 was one of the top 10 best-selling albums of 2011 in America with no hits, which proves that mainstream success is largely irrelevant to Beyoncé. She's above that now. Who else could sell out a world tour with no new music? Bow down and salute the Queen! Trust me, you're not worthy.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Mia Martina Steals Carly Rae Jepsen's Canadian Pop Crown

As a die-hard Raepist it kills me to admit that Carly is no longer Canada's leading pop diva. Her wig has been ruthlessly snatched by Mia Martina, who is currently burning up the lower reaches of her national top 50 with a brilliant track called "Heartbreaker".

So who is this ravishing vixen and why isn't she a household name? The first part of the question is easy. The 29-year-old Canuck scored a top 10 hit with a cover of Edward Maya's "Stereo Love" in 2010 and released her debut album a year later. I haven't heard Devotion but hunting down a copy on eBay is currently on the top of my to-do list.

As for the dance deity's relatively low profile, I'm really not sure. Maybe the world just wasn't ready for Mia but that could change with "Heartbreaker". The first time I heard the bone-rattling club anthem, I thought it was Wynter Gordon's "Dirty Talk". There are some similarities but it's not a copy. The Canadian's track goes harder. That bassline is heavier than Adele and the beat never lets up. I particularly love the insightful lyrics about being sexy and the hands-in-the-air chorus. This could work in Australia - record companies take note.

I'll leave you with the stunning visual, which plays like music video equivalent of Sin City. It might as well be animated given all the special effects but it's different. I'll give it that. Prepare to be slayed.

Luciana's New Video Is Very Odd

Luciana's "U B The Bass" video dropped today and I think it's fair to say that none of us were ready for its Bad Romance-meets-The Ring aesthetic. Australia's adopted club Queen always keeps it interesting - whether she's prancing through the desert in heels or rollerskating with hookers - but this is some crazy shit.

Creepy ballerinas pose in fatsuits, while the dance icon rocks a pair of shoulder pads that would break Joan Collins' back. There's also a homeless guy, a box of wishes and enough fake hair to make Blue Ivy's first wig. It's all very arty but Luci's tongue-in-cheek humour shines through with the colourful streamers and cardboard heart.

So the video is great but what does it mean for "U B The Bass"? It obviously struck a nerve, reaching the top 100 without a shred of promotion but where are the remixes and radio adds? As far as I know there isn't even an official cover.

Hopefully, the debut of the film clip is a sign that Ministry Of Sound is about to get serious and give this amazing track the push it deserves. Luciana's latest has serious hit potential. If only she had the right machine behind her. On a slightly different note, keep your eyes and ears peeled for her husband's new single. Nick Clow is the new King of clubs!


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Keep On Running With Mike & Andy Bull

Have you ever had an epiphany as brutal as a punch to the face? Been so overwhelmed by a situation that you don't know whether to laugh, cry or just inhale another beer and shrug your shoulders? My weekend was full of such fun moments and while it felt like a rollercoaster ride through the rotten bowels of hell at the time, it turned out to be strangely cathartic. I finally woke up to the fact that I've simply chosen a different path to most of my loved ones. And while they bow out of the race to settle down, have kids and get sensible jobs, I'm not ready to stop running.

So what the fuck does this have to do with Andy Bull? Not a lot, I guess. Apart from the fact that the lyrics to his latest single could have been lifted from my diary. "Keep On Running" is another brilliant indie-pop gem from the Aussie songsmith that basically sums up how I feel about life. It's not the first time we've been on the same wavelength. His joyous, retro-soul debut "Small Town Girl" ruled my iPod with an iron fist in 2008, while "Dog", his 2010 duet with Lisa Mitchell, remains the catchiest song about depression ever recorded.

For all I know, "Keep On Running" could be an ode to upping your cardio at the gym but I interpret the surprisingly synth-heavy track as a mantra to help keep the self-doubt at bay while pursuing your own personal happiness - whatever that may be. Ironically, Andy might be a lot closer to his destination than he thought. "Keep On Running" is a hit on alternative radio and rapidly approaching the top 100 on iTunes. With any luck, Australia's most underrated musician could be on the brink of a major commercial break through.

Rant over. I think the people in my life know how much I love them and respect their choices. I just ask them to pull up a chair and cheer me on as I stumble towards the finish line.

Listen to "Keep On Running" here and download it from iTunes today.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Mimi And A Wind Machine

I keep waiting for "Almost Home" to catch fire on radio and propel Mariah to iTunes glory but bitches are too busy downloading the latest shit from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Whatever. Mimi does things differently. She's above chores most stars take for granted - like promotion, working with new producers and standing. When will your fave? And while part of me wants to hear her contribution to the Oz soundtrack on the airwaves, I'm happy for it to remain my precious.

There's something about "Almost Home" that makes me inexplicably happy. Sure, it's an uplifting tune but the connection goes deeper than that. Maybe it's the fact that Mariah is on the grind again or hitting notes that seemed to have escaped her forever only a couple of years ago. Either way, the Stargate-produced track is my own personal time machine to the late '90s when the pop legend churned out beautiful ballads faster than Rihanna copy and pastes albums. It taps into a well of nostalgia that I didn't even know was there.

With modern classics like "Auld Lang Syne (Fireworks Edition)", it's fair to say that Mimi is the reigning queen of music videos and she doesn't disappoint with the visual for "Almost Home" (below). Mariah basically sits on a stool looking flawless before battling a ruthless wind machine. My favourite moment is when she shocks fans with some high-energy hand choreography. It's everything and more.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Rita Ora & Azealia Banks - Live In Sydney

In the last week I've had the pleasure of seeing two of music's hottest new talents play the same venue. Rita Ora and Azealia Banks are in Australia as part of the Future Music festival but both found time for Sydney side-shows at the Enmore. They were great but the proximity of the gigs highlighted their comparative strengths and weaknesses - and confirmed my suspicion that neither lady has really found her niche just yet. Let's start with the Yung Rapunxel. I love this girl and don't give two fucks if she sits on Twitter 24/7, calling people faggots and feuding with Z-grade rappers. She is living, breathing entertainment - and brought that raw, borderline-manic energy to her live show.

You know you're in for wild ride when the people standing next to you look like escapees from the Jerry Springer set. There were the desperate bitches in hot pants, grinding away like the world wasn't watching their shimmering muffin tops. The suburban white boys dressed like 50 Cent and the indie-gays prancing around like Drag Race contestants. Oh and let's not forget the marijuana fumes that hovered over the crowd like rain clouds at Mardi Gras. It redefined hot mess but I honestly didn't expect anything else and secretly reveled in the ratchetivity.

The show was brief but vibrant. Azealia mostly performed songs from her Fantasea mixtape and 1991 EP, delivering a non-stop stream of '90s dance-infused hip-hop. Highlights included the Diplo-produced "Fuck Up The Fun", a sleek and sexy rendition of "Van Vogue", the hit single that never happened ("Esta Noche") and, of course, her signature tune - "212". As much fun as it was, the weave addict still has work to do on her sound. After a while the songs all bled into one. She is currently a bit of a one trick pony. Happily that one trick is pretty amazing and she has the extra something. Anyone that comes out to twerk in the crowd pre-show is alright by me.

Rita Ora is a more polished product than Azealia. As a graduate of the Roc Nation school of superstar grooming, she is perfectly presented and well-equipped with a designer purse full of tracks from the hottest producers in the music business. I know some people have a problem with Albania's greatest export - she's too similar to Rihanna, has no personality, cheated on Rob Kardashian with 20 men etc - but I enjoyed her debut album and, unlike the woman she's accused of imitating, she has genuine vocal talent. It's too early to predict Rita's future but I'd like to remind the haters that it took Breezy's punching bag three albums to develop her own sound. Give her a break!

There isn't a lot to say about the production. Roc Nation's third lady (behind Beyoncé and Kylie) only had a couple of projections and a microphone. That's enough when you have less than an hour to play and a killer debut album to pull songs from. She played all her hits - "R.I.P.", "How We Do" (complete with a Notorious BIG medley), the incredibly catchy "Shine Ya Light", current single "Radioactive" (below) and my personal theme song "Roc The Life". An unexpected highlight was "Hello, Hi, Goodbye", which is a no brainer for the 28th single from ORA.

The problem with Rita is hard to pinpoint. She has a great voice, amazing style and access to all the hitmakers. But so did Alexis Jordan and look where it got her. I have higher hopes for the unnatural blond but she needs to find her own voice. Why not explore her heritage with some world beats? Kind of like Shakira but without the growling and otherworldly flawlessness? Chances are she won't get that adventurous but Rita needs to find her own lane if she wants to shake the highly offensive poor man's Rihanna title. Fun gig though.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Shit I Like - March 2013

I know I've been terrible at updating my blog lately but I'm still trawling the net for the best in high quality pop. No, really. And after an incredibly slow start to the year, the drought has finally broken and a steady trickle of great music is slowly reviving my stricken iPod. In a perfect world I would write individual posts on all of these amazing tunes but I honestly can't be fucked. So here is a summary of the music I like at the moment. In no particular order.

Something's Got A Hold Of Me - Jessica Mauboy (Video)

The footy returns this weekend - I'll be there to see my team defeat the Warriors on Saturday. See you in 72 hours, Sarah! - and I'm praying they blast this year's theme song on a loop. Jessica Mauboy never fails to impress and her dance cover of Etta James' "Something's Got A Hold Of Me" is seriously epic. The only drawback is that it covers familiar territory. Avicii and Flo Rida both sampled this track recently and it feels a tad stale. Oh well, I'm still loving it.

Falling - Haim (Video)

America's hippest girlband rocked my world with "Don't Save Me", which landed in my top 10 singles of 2012. Their dreamy brand of Californian-pop pushes all my buttons and their latest single is another triumph. Ladies, I'm ready to be slayed by an album. I haven't been this excited about a new act since Lana Del Rey.

Save Myself - Sophie Ellis-Bextor (Listen)

Oh how I've missed Sophie's sophisticated brand of dance-pop! Nobody's voice sounds better hovering elegantly above icy cold synths than the "Murder On The Dancefloor" diva. Her latest offering comes from the new Brian Cross  - think Spanish David Guetta - album and it's devastatingly brilliant. Even if it sounds like every other track she's ever record. Pay close attention to the lyrics. This is the classiest raised middle finger I've ever heard!

Who Am I? - Tiny Dancer (Video)

Everyone knows how much I love Luciana. Well, Tiny Dancer is one of her side projects. This song was written by the Queen of Clubs and husband Nick Clow, who has his own single coming out next month. I don't know much about the actual performer but "Who Am I?" reminds me of Danish alt-pop diva Oh Land. It's quirky and jarring and all sorts of wonderful. I can't wait to hear more.

Don't Let Me Down - Solange (Live)

Don't get me wrong. I loved Solo's EP when it dropped late last year and included it in my top 10 albums of 2012 but I don't think I had enough time to fully digest the flawlessness of True. Each track is superb and becomes richer with each listen. Take "Don't Let Me Down". I didn't think I could love it anymore but then Solange performed it on Letterman and I played it on a loop for three days. Beyoncé really has a lot to live up to.

Tangled Up - Caro Emerald (Listen)

Think of Caro as the Dutch Adele. And no, it's got nothing to do with her figure. The diva's jazztastic debut album broke sales records in her homeland and shipped more than a million copies across Europe. Her breezy tunes are perfect background/driving music - I mean this as a compliment - and I particularly love it when she dabbles in poppier material like she does on the amazing "Dr. Wanna Do". The first taste of her sophomore effort is more sedate but grew on me after a couple of listens. Bring on The Shocking Miss Emerald!

In My Head (Promise Land Radio Edit) - Loreen (Listen)

You know how Loreen's album was really quite good but nothing quite grabbed you like "Euphoria"? Well, someone has remedied that by commissioning the exquisite Promise Land remix of Heal highlight "In My Head". This is dark and foreboding but builds and builds into an old school dance anthem. If she released more songs like this the Swede would have been a lot better received at Mardi Gras. My favourite quip from a baffled partygoer: "Vanessa Amorosi has lost weight". Bye.

We Get High - Justina (Video)

I've stanned for New Jersey's realest rap chick since profiling her for Idolator and she is yet to let me down. "We Get High" is the perfect anthem to bump when you're blazed and driving to the nearest McDonalds to combat the munchies. Justina is one lucky break away from making a huge splash in the music world. I'm keeping the faith and getting high on her music in the meantime.

Hearts Go Crazy - Parachute (Listen)

The last time I checked this American band made shoe-gazing indie-pop, so imagine my surprise when they dropped this gorgeous electronic track. "Hearts Go Crazy" is my jam at the moment. If Depeche Mode ever sold out and recorded a party anthem it would probably sound a lot like this. It's dark and brooding enough to be interesting but ultimately makes me want to grab a drink and push people out of my way on the nearest dancefloor.

Con Fuego - Soraya (Listen

The Queen of Spanish - actually, fuck that - European pop is back with another club banger. It's a harder dance sound than we're used to hearing from Soraya but she could sing the Nicki Minaj Songbook and I'd still be in heaven. The rent-a-rapper, however, is questionable and sounds completely out of place on an otherwise decent dance track.

En La Obscuridad - Belinda (below)

Belinda is the most underrated pop diva on the planet. Sure, she's huge in Mexico but a talent this towering should be number one all over the world. "En La Obscuridad" is a brilliant pop song that crosses the language barrier faster than Taylor Swift's eyes scan for dick. Play it loud.

Monday, March 04, 2013

I'm in love with a diva called Plumb

I'm in love with a woman called Plumb. I only met her on the weekend but it's real and we're already going steady. She's a 37-year-old Christian from Indiana but don't judge me. You know that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you hear a song or album for the first time and know you just found a new fave? It hasn't happened to me in a while but two songs into Need You Now - the American diva's sixth album - I just knew I had found a new friend.

The Christian music scene baffles me and, apart from Michelle Williams' two flawless gospel albums, I've managed to avoid it until now. Is this kind of music really considered inspirational? Plumb's songs are dark and pensive, exploring non-uplifting themes like depression, loneliness and loss. She works her way through genres as diverse as rock and dance with a keen sense of observation and an undeniable melancholy that will appeal to fans of depressed divas like Aimee Mann. Admittedly, there is a subtle strand of hope that shines through on many tracks but there's no Jesus talk that I noticed. Not that it would put me off.

There's not a bad song on Need You Now and at least half a dozen highlights but it's hard to go past last year's club single "I Don't Deserve You". The gorgeous Paul Van Dyk collaboration is one of the prettiest pieces of EDM I've heard in a long time. It's bleak and beautiful and should be the kind of song they play at weddings. So why does it sound more suited to a funeral? And why does she die from a bullet wound in the Bonnie & Clyde-inspired video. I cried! I guess it's about time I jump into her back catalogue. Recommendations?

Where the fuck is Beyoncé's new single?

Back off, Hive. This pic is everything to me!

At first I was highly amused that King B did Super Bowl just for the fuck of it. Who else delivers a devastatingly brilliant performance on the world's biggest stage without having something to hawk? That is some boss shit and it's a revelation to see an artist not chasing promo the way Juicy J hunts ratchet pussy. But then things started to get weird. It felt odd that Beyoncé would sit down with Oprah and unveil her critically-acclaimed, cinema-changing documentary with no announcement of a new single. But the announcement of tour dates and subsequent ticket-selling frenzy confirmed new material was on the horizon. Right?

Well, the Mrs Carter Show kicks off in Serbia - could your fave? - next month and we don't have as much as the title of a new song. Let alone a new album. At the moment it feels like we're going to get the 4 world tour, which is fine with me, but would probably annoy some classless punters. The thing is we know she's been in the studio and radio stations have been advised that a new single is imminent. But how is she going to promote it when she's slaying the former Yugoslavia? You have to do the rounds these days. Bey just can't perform on one show and then disappear for a couple of months. Actually, the 17-time Grammy winner can do whatever the fuck she wants - as long as she's happy with an underperforming lead single.

I have faith in my lord and saviour Beyoncé Giselle Carter Knowles and I'm sure she has a plan. I just don't want another debacle like the 4 era when the lead single was thrown on iTunes a month before the video dropped and her two-day promo blitz began. If she pulls that shit again, I'll drag her myself. Anyway, let's all watch the jaw-droppingly amazing Mrs Carter Show advert again and bask in the Queen's flawlessness.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Is Demi This Generation's Pop Princess?

Every few years there is a changing of the guard. All the pretty ponies that were showered with undying love and attention either take a step up the pop ladder - or are sent kicking and screaming to the glue factory. It's a ruthless cycle that few survive. For every Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera, there are 10 Hilary Duffs wondering what the fuck happened. And, for a while there, that's the fate that seemed to await Demi Lovato - the destiny of being a largely irrelevant footnote in the history of teen-pop.

Unlike aforementioned Lizzie McGuire actress (who desperately needs to make a comeback), Demi had no real hits to her credit and was better known for allegedly not fucking Joe Jonas. But then she had a breakdown and people found her interesting again. To her credit, the then 19-year-old worked that shit like a pro - churning out the air-grabbing anthem "Skyscraper" and genuinely brilliant "Give Your Heart A Break". It became blindingly obvious that Demi was the talented teen idol. Selena had the famous boyfriend and Miley had the fame but pop's favourite cutter could really sing.

I loved Demi's third album but Unbroken underperformed. It did well enough to land her a spot on X Factor next to Britney and, again, she's taken an opportunity and created something unexpectedly massive. The Camp Rock survivor could have been forgiven for returning with a shitty dance track like "Scream & Shout" but she (or more likely her team) went with a song co-penned by rising pop diva Nikki Williams and produced by the relatively unknown Suspex. In that regard "Heart Attack" was a risk but the song is a stone cold smash from the very first listen.

Dabbling ever-so-slightly in the electronic movement, the now 20-year-old updated her sound with some icy synths but this is basically an '80s power ballad dragged into the new millennium. The lyrics are occasionally twee - bitch, wash your damn hair regardless! - but the 14-year-old girl in all of us is silently nodding her head in approval, while crying silent tears of agreement as Demi tells it like it is. Best of all, the focus is on the budding diva's glorious vocals. "Heart Attack" is currently sitting at #1 on US iTunes and has every right to be absolutely massive.

So is this the next step in comeback queen's slow climb to greatness or an extension of her 15 minutes? If talent plays any factor, which is debatable, Demi could be around for the long haul. The ball's in your court now, Selena. Your next album better be flawless or you'll be bunking next to Ashley Tisdale in no time.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Why Is Carly Rae A Flop? Tonight I'm Getting Over You - Video Review

The continued failure of Carly Rae Jepsen to capitalise on the mammoth worldwide success of "Call Me Maybe" remains one of life's great mysteries. Like the sale of Filet-O-Fish burgers at McDonald's. Seriously, who buys that shit? The problem is not the music. As any discerning pop fan can attest, Kiss was one of finest recordings of 2012. There isn't a dud song on that album. Sure, some of it is kind of embarrassing if you're not a 12-year-old girl but even those bitches are snubbing Carly's flawless music. What the fuck is going on?

After minutes of deep thought, I've carefully come up with the following potential causes:

1. She's Canadian

Let's face it. Nobody's here for that backwater but being Canadian hasn't hindered Justin Bieber's chart prospects - so it can't be that.

2. Bad song choices

There aren't any bad songs on Kiss apart from the ballads, which I have long since deleted, so this is not an issue.

3. Her dumb fringe

Getting warmer. Carly has the worst hair in music and bitches obviously can not deal with that heinous 'do.

4. Age inappropriateness

It's occasionally disconcerting that a woman staring down her 30th birthday sings about steamy issues like holding hands and making wedding rings from guitar strings but Madonna has been making music for teenage gays since 1983 - so we're obviously willing to turn a blind eye to this. The mystery deepens.

5. Justin Bieber association

While being associated with JB clearly helped Carly get noticed, it could also be her downfall. Female and gay (ie. all) Beliebers are incredibly jealous and the fact that they toured together obviously got her blacklisted. It also made it easy for everyone over the age of 16 to dismiss the flop diva as a teen joke, when - in reality - her music is closer aligned to Kylie Minogue than Selena Gomez.

6. Carly's videos are terrible

Take "Tonight I'm Getting Over You". I love this song. The production is current and radio-friendly. It would be a massive hit if was recorded by someone it isn't embarrassing to openly like. To get over the Carly Rae stigma, you would film a gritty video to remind people that she's a grown woman and knows how to churn out an edgy club-banger? Right? Wrong. This silly bitch makes out with a guy young enough to be her son - trust me, they never get past first base because Carly obviously has a vagina just like Barbie - and then acts a fool by sitting in an empty room sprawled over an old TV set when not staring through lace curtains like a crazy person. What the fuck?

It's a sad day when a pretty woman in the twilight of her youth with a reed thin but capable voice can not bag a hit with the assistance of today's hottest hitmakers. I feel like homosexuals have really dropped the ball and can only repent by gifting "Tonight I'm Getting Over You" to everyone they know. Let the Carly Rae revival start here!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Why I Respect Nelly Furtado - Bucket List Review

Nelly Furtado raised the bar for flopping with The Spirit Indestructible. Her last English language recording sold 10 million copies worldwide, while 2012's comeback effort sold a paltry 6,000 copies first week. In all fairness, the criminally underrated album turned out to be a steady seller in some parts of Europe - namely, Germany where she has always been disproportionately popular to the rest of the world. Kind of like Pink in Australia. Most divas would have hung up their microphone in shame and distanced themselves from the project faster than Taylor Swift's eyes scan a room for single men but Nelly is still promoting that fucker like it's 21. Respect.

I wish more artists would show this kind of commitment to an album. What does it say about the level of pride in your work and the faith in your artistic vision if you just give up because you missed the top 20? Kylie took a similar approach with Impossible Princess in the late '90s when the UK basically laughed in her face and sent her packing back to Australia. It turned out to be the turning point for her career. That might not happen with Nelly but she's just debuted the video for her fifth - and best - single from The Spirit Indestructible and is currently winding up a tour of Canada and Europe. Let's hope Christina and Ke$ha show similar dedication to their underperforming but vastly more successful albums.

That takes us back to "Bucket List". A low-key Darkchild production that wouldn't sound out of place on Folklore, the moody track perfectly showcases the Canadian diva's quirky voice and knack for writing melancholy lyrics. Like the rest of her album, it's completely uncommercial - the video begins with an intro about the dangers of dying alone and unfulfilled! - but it would probably be massive with the indie-pop crowd if it was recorded by an 18-year-old hipster with no life experience. The video is cheap. Like it was literally filmed between tour stops but I can't get over how beautiful Nelly looks. This era might have failed commercially but she can hold her head up high.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Timebomb Is Officially Forgiven - Kylie Slays Once Again!

I've been writing this blog since 2006. And even if you've only dropped by a couple of times over the last 8 years - two things should be clear by now. I really like Beyoncé and Kylie Minogue. The former has been getting a lot of coverage lately but I've been suffering from major fan fatigue with the Australian pop deity. Aphrodite was pleasant enough but the single choices were absolutely repellant and then she wasted everyone's time with that heinous Abbey Road Sessions bullshit and released the worst single of her glorious 25 year career with "Timebomb". I just needed a break.

But then a funny thing happened. I hired Holy Motors on a whim a couple of weeks ago and watched in awe as Kylie turned in her best screen performance since playing a junkie whore in Sample People. Her star turn was absolutely compelling and I sat through the damn movie another three times trying to work out what the fuck was going on. I still have no idea but it's highly recommended! Next came the Roc Nation deal and news that she is hooking up with the likes of Fernando Garibay on her new album - a fantastic development after slumming it with British hacks for far too long. And then I stumbled across "Whistle".

I feel like I've fallen into a parallel universe where time stood still and I'm stuck in 1998. You know the era when Kylie revolutionised pop by singing about fonts with Towa Tei. Only instead of exploring Japanese pop decades before it became trendy, Bey's new BFF is getting down with Icelandic folktronica outfit Múm on a contribution to the Jack and Diane soundtrack - a film, if I'm not mistaken, about lesbian werewolves. What in the name of Dannii's sold-out K-mart range is going on? And why is it so fucking amazing?

"Whistle" is obviously not single material - it begins with the line "I bleed like a pig" - but it is absolutely gorgeous. Imagine if Enya smoked peyote and then tried to cover Bjork for some idea of the demented, ambient magic that unwinds over the next six, languid minutes of aural perfection. This is so different and so beautiful. Just what I needed to get interested in Kylie again before she returns with a pitch-perfect pop album later this year and sets fire to Madonna's dusty wig once and for all. I love this.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mariah Carey - Almost Home - Review

Mimi isn't playing this year. So far she's conquered Australia, made Nicki Minaj look like a demented Cirque Du Soleil clown on American Idol and recorded the best soundtrack song of 2013. Did I mention it's only February? When the snippet of "Almost Home" leaked last week, I was slightly concerned. It was pleasant but I feared Mariah's latest vocal master class might be a tad boring. As it turns out, the Stargate-produced mid-tempo ballad is the record-breaking diva's most contemporary offering since E=MC2.

"Almost Home" isn't exactly experimental - it still straddles the pop and adult contemporary worlds - but after the failed hip-hop adventure that was (the criminally underrated) "Triumphant", it's a relief to hear Mimi on a track that might actually be played on radio. Even more excitingly, Mariah unleashes the powerful pipes that enchanted Australia in January and delivers one of her best vocal performances in years. The chorus is a thing of beauty and the runs at the end of the song are epic.

Oz is shaping up to be a box office hit, so "Almost Home" could be a great platform for the relaunch of the Lamb Whisperer if radio plays along. Let's pray for a video that matches the epic brilliance of "Auld Lang Syne (Fireworks)"!


Christina Milian's Top 31 Australian Club Smash!

Christina Milian teaming up with a pair of low-brow Australian DJs for her latest comeback attempt was one of 2012's biggest WTF moments. The Stafford Brothers are best known in this country for their terrible reality TV show and the "When You Look At Me" diva has been focusing on the R&B market since the early 2000s. It just didn't seem to fit. Throw Lil Wayne into the mix and the project seemed doomed. But someone knew what they were doing. "Hello" (below) is actually a great dance record and debuts at number 31 on the ARIA club chart this week.

Time will tell if Christina's dance experiment turns out to be a crossover hit but it's great to see the former urban-pop icon back on the charts. I bought all three of her albums and still spin classic tracks like "Dip It Low", "AM To PM" and - my personal fave - "Say I" on a regular basis. There's no reason why she can't carve out a decent career. The-Dream's ex-wife has been in limbo since 2006 but she's pretty, can sing and is obviously open to exploring new genres unlike fellow faded R&B stars Ashanti and Ciara. The remixes are actually pretty hot too. I recommend hunting down the LA Riots remix.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Floptina No More - Feel This Moment Is A Hit

First of all, sorry for the lack of updates. I've got a lot of shit going on at the moment but everything will be back to normal soon. In the meantime, please bear with me - and follow my ramblings on Twitter. There are a few things I want to comment on but let's start with the exit of Floptina. After a horror run, the dirtiest diva in the game finally has a hit on her hands. "Feel This Moment" is shooting up iTunes around the world - it's already top 10 in many countries across Europe and the Middle East - and is sitting just outside the top 50 on the Billboard Hot 100.

All of this is rather surprising - firstly because the A-Ha-sampling song was actually released way back in November 2012 and did absolutely nothing and, secondly, because there's been no promo. I guess the world just missed Godtina! To be honest, "Feel This Moment" is a hot mess. It's the kind of generic Pitbull trash that sounds amazing after your tenth trip to the bar on a Saturday night. I do rather like the "Take On Me" sample and Christina's vocal is endearingly over-the-top.

The fucked up thing is - this is what a bitch has to do to get a hit these days. There are half a dozen great songs on Lotus but radio is paying the pop legend dust and her label has all but pulled the plug. You literally have to make this kind of lowest common denominator shit for gays to spend $1.69 on a download. What is life? Oh well, hopefully this is massive and injects some interest into the Lotus campaign - even though it's on Pitbull's horrendous album. Watch the crappy lyric video below and download from Aus iTunes now.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Queen Bey Wins 17th Grammy

Fresh from her all-conquering Super Bowl performance, Queen B deigned to bless the Grammys with her divine presence earlier today. Not only did the fashion icon snatch every wig on the red carpet by wearing her gym pants, she also took home her 17th Grammy when "Love On Top" (below) was named Best Traditional R&B Recording. When will your redundant fave?

It's a truly astonishing achievement. God's chosen vessel only has four albums to her credit. None of us are worthy! The lastest addition to legendary diva's award cabinet is particularly sweet given the treatment 4 received last year. It's nice to see that the world is finally waking up to its brilliance. I wonder how many Grammys her new album will take home.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Kylie Signs To Roc Nation

None of us saw this coming! Earlier today Roc Nation confirmed Kylie had joined their register of artists that currently includes Rihanna and her replacement, Rita Ora. It was shocking for a number of reasons. Firstly, because Kylie "retired" from music to concentrate on acting less than a month ago and, let's face it, the pop legend had all but admitted that was over trying to make it in America. After I got my head around the move, I started to get excited. Jay Z made a non-entity like Ms Fenty a star, so he should be able to do great things with the Australian superstar.

And the prospect of her working with American producers instead of the same old, boring cunts in Britain is exciting. "Timebomb" was the absolute nadir of her career, so the only way is up. I doubt they will push an urban sound on her but if they do, at least she'll get access to a better rapper than Mims (below). And to be honest, I love Kylie's previous attempts at capturing a more American sound. Body Language is one of my favourite albums of all time! Anyway, we don't have long to wait until we hear the next step in the evolution of Dannii's slightly more successful sister.

Billboard announced that a new single is on the way in a couple of weeks. Join me in praying it's a not a "Timebomb" remix featuring Juicy J and 2 Chainz!

Jessie Ware - Live In Sydney

This is going to be a short review because there are only so many ways you can say - she looked glamorous, sounded brilliant and made amazing use of back-lighting. It's strange how seeing an artist live can completely change your opinion of them and their music. I've always liked Jessie Ware and included Devotion on my best albums of 2012 list but I thought of her as a niche diva. The kinda sophisticated lady you play when you're trying to impress someone or slightly buzzed at 3am. In my mind, she was the second-coming of Sade. Which is a great compliment but an indication that her music might not be best fit for an intimate venue - located above a gay bar, no less.

But Jessie proved me wrong. Her one hour set was positively dripping in sass. She took the odd moment to indulge her jazzy, low-key diva leanings but most of the show was funk-heavy and had the crowd shuffling as much as you can in a room squeezed full of hipsters. From the very first song, a soulful and earthy rendition of "Devotion", it was instantly apparent that the Brit's voice is an instrument of rare quality. She sounded immaculate and gave the material a warmth missing from her album. "Still Love Me" sounded like a different track altogether and "No To Love" was a goosebump-inducing showstopper.

As much I loved those moments, the highlights - for me - were the upbeat songs. "Sweet Talk" is such a slinky anthem. It reminds me of something a Prince protegee might have recorded in the '80s. Equally amazing was "Running" - surely one of the most underrated anthems of 2012. That was a television advertisement away from being massive. And let's not forget my favourite Jessie song, "Wildest Moments". It was worth a trip to the Beresford just to hear that triumphant tune. The rising star promised to return to Australia soon with a bigger show. I'll be there, front and centre.