Poptastic Confessions

Poptastic Confessions

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The A&R EP by Annie

Hello Poptastic Readers,


Back in 2004, there was a song called "Chewing Gum" by a Norwegian singer named Annie. I quite liked the song, but I think it was one of those songs that grew on me. The more I heard it, the more I liked it. That song was on Annie's debut album and she's been making music since. And now Annie has a new EP out and it is AMAZING!


Annie

Annie's new release is called "The A&R EP." We can safely assume it is called that because A is for Annie and R is for producer Richard X. Three songs of Richard X have been in my Top 20 Countdowns over the years: "Freak Like Me" by the Sugababes, "Being Nobody" by Richard X vs. Liberty X, and "Finest Dreams" by Richard X featuring Kelis. And yes, Richard X co-wrote and produced "Chewing Gum" and other songs for Annie.




The new EP starts off with the single "Back Together." The track starts off a bit slow without beats. But don't worry this is not a ballad. It doesn't take long for the beats to kick in. And perhaps it isn't a dance floor stomper, it is quite a poptastic song. I think it is quite lovely. A fabulous song! Edit: The video premiered today!


Track 2 is "Hold On" and it starts off a bit poppy but it quickly settles in a bit of chill-pop track. The vocals are effortless and dreamy. By the time the steel drums come in near the end, you've already imagined yourself on a beach sipping a piña colada.

The third track is my early favourite! The title is "Ralph Macchio." Yep, that's right! The actor who played in the original "Karate Kid" movie (and on "Ugly Betty"). And the song is quite the electropop tune! It's all about her having a crush on Ralph Macchio. This song is amazing! It will have you grooving in no time. I love this track. Admit it, you want to have a song called "Ralph Macchio" in your music collection. There's even a reference to him being on "Dancing With The Stars" in the lyrics.


Ralph Macchio

The next track is called "Invisible" and it has quite a few reviewers going bonkers over the song. It is very experimental. I like it, but it's a bit darker than all the other tracks. Other reviews list this song as the standout track. For some odd reason it reminds me of Kylie Minogue. There is an odd male (or vocoder) vocal here. I'm not quite sure what to think of it. What do you think?

The EP closes with "Mixed Emotions" and what a fun baseline this has with plenty of key changes. This is a bit trance pop. It is probably my second-favourite track. It just has a really nice melody.

All of the songs are great! This is a perfect summer EP to buy, and it won't break the bank. It will, however, leave you wanting more!



"The A&R EP" by Annie is available on iTunes. Go get it!

Cheers then,
—Davearama

P.S. I did notice that the cover art for the EP is very reminiscent of ABC's 1985 album "How To Be A Zillionaire" album and singles (sans cartoons). By the way, this is one of my favourite albums from the 80s.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Savv by Jay Huffman

Dear Poptastic Readers,

A few years ago, we hosted a fundraiser at our home and a friend of a friend was the DJ. Naturally, I loved the grooves he was spinning. We became Facebook friends and have kept in touch sporadically over the years talking about music. The DJ's name is Jay Huffman. 

Last week, I found out that Jay's debut single is out on Gold N Tech Records. The instrumental song is called "A Savv" and it is available on iTunes! Yay!



Before you buy the track on iTunes, and I'm sure you will, you can listen to the track here via SoundCloud.





Here's what it says on the SoundCloud page:

JAY HUFFMAN is GnT's newest signing from San Diego California. This is probably the fastest release we've ever put together. The quality was already there & the deep rolling bassline was an instant selling point. Jay fits the GnT family perfectly. 

We see a bright future for Jay! Let's hope he can add some poptastic vocalists to his next ventures. In the meantime, please head on over to iTunes to buy the track and support the artist!

Cheers then,
—Davearama

Monday, July 29, 2013

Icona Pop

Dear Poptastic Readers,

Last year, I found out about the Swedish duo Icona Pop with their song "I Love It." I liked the song, but I wasn't crazy about the profanity. I looked around for a "clean" version with no luck. I'm a parent who likes sharing music with my kids, and this isn't one I wanted to share with them unless there was a clean version. Then I read online that the song was being used for the "Jersey Shore" TV show. And that was a turn off for me, so I looked the other way.



I wasn't crazy about the photography for single and album covers as the photos looked like bad outtakes. What are those things on their heads? Poor choice!




So then this spring, Icona Pop hit the USA. And my kids know the song now. The radio stations play a clean version, so I thought there would be a clean version on iTunes, but no luck. 

While I will admit, I do like "I Love It", I really like their new song "Girlfriend." Although, it also is not without a cuss word. But it's got a nice fun, summer vibe to it and a catchy chorus. And the single artwork is better. Wouldn't you agree?



And here is the video for the song "Girlfriend", which looks like it was filmed in California. 




But strangely enough, it's not their only single they have out now. They also have another single called "All Night." And it is pretty catchy, too. And best of all, no bad words! Yay! No video for now, but you can hear it on YouTube by clicking on the name of the song.




I do have a tendency to like girl groups (or duos). And because Icona Pop sing in unison like Bananarama ... it makes me like them more.

Icona Pop's music is available on iTunes as well as other online outlets.

Cheers then,
—Davearama







Friday, July 26, 2013

The Video for Love Is All We Need

Dear Poptastic Readers,

This just in: The video for "Love Is All We Need" by Adam J & Nightcrashers featuring Amelle Berrabah (of the Sugababes) was released today! Click on the name of the song to see our feature of it earlier in the week! Here it is!


 



The song should be available on iTunes on August 18. Hopefully in the US, too!

And Amelle retweeted one of my tweets today! How cool is that!




Have a FABulous weekend!

—Davearama



Same Love by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert

Dear Poptastic Readers,

It probably comes to no surprise to you that I'm not the biggest fan of rap music. Sure I had Salt-N-Pepa albums back in the day. And I've liked rap when it is mixed with Eurodance like the Real McCoy. But generally, I don't listen to rap music. However, our teenage sons (ages 16 and 13) do. 

This morning, I had the day off from work and I drove the boys to their summer hang out: The Boys & Girls Club. We were listening to the radio the "it" radio station for teenagers and the song "Same Love" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert came on the radio. I listened in awe and I was even a bit emotional when my 13-year-old started singing along from the back seat.

The single cover features Macklemore's gay uncles referenced in the song.

I knew about this song. I initially watched the video last fall when it premiered. I'm sure I cried and shared it on my Facebook page. I didn't actually think much else about it. Sure, I've seen various Facebook friends posting every so often. But I had absolutely no idea that it was being played on radio stations.

I drove home and immediately went and watched the video again on YouTube. I had tears in my eyes again. Afterwards, I looked up the song on Wikipedia. The song has been released on iTunes and it is currently at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song has already gone to #1 in Australia and New Zealand. Wouldn't it be great if it went to #1 in the US?

I've just downloaded the song on iTunes. It is on the album "The Heist." Please legally download the song to support the artist and it will help keep the song climbing the charts. More radio stations will continue to play it, and hopefully the message will keep reaching people who need to hear it.

Here is the video ...


Cheers then,
—Davearama

P.S. You can see a performance on the Ellen Show here.




Thursday, July 25, 2013

Nightlife Single Edit by Jody Watley on SoundCloud

Dear Poptastic Readers,

Oh what wonderful news! Jody Watley has put up the single edit of her new song "Nightlife" on SoundCloud! And it is AMAZING!



Here's what it says on the SoundCloud page ...

Written by Jody Watley (Jody Watley Music, BMI), Julien Aletti, Raphael Aletti (Aletti Brothers Music BMI) Produced by Count De Money for Peace Bisquit and Jody Watley. 

Grammy winner Jody Watley, one of Pop/R&B and EDM's most enduring and stylish trailblazers, returns with a shimmering dance floor classic inspired by both her well documented roots in disco funk soul and her love of the gilded era of dance and it's legendary bastions of groove and fashion, from NYC's Studio 54 to Paris' Les Baines Douche with a sly nod to the underground dance style 'Waacking.' An authentic bonus are guest backing vocals from original Shalamar male lead Gerald Brown. Destined for international runways, dance floors and beyond, this party jam is irresistible from start to finish. COMING SOON -LIMITED FREE DOWNLOAD!! MAKE A 'NIGHTLIFE' VIDEO FOR YOUTUBE!!




You can actually get the limited free download now. However, I will ask that when the song is available commercially, you will do your part and support the artist by legally buying the track.

After all, the track is so that fans will make a video for YouTube. Will I? Hmm. I will think about it.

Enjoy!~
—Davearama

Please like Jody's official Facebook page.

You can follow her on Twitter.

Bookmark her official website.

Visit her blog!

Watch her videos on YouTube.

And purchase Jody's music on iTunes.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Love Is All We Need by Adam J featuring Amelle and Nightcrashers

Dear Poptastic Readers.

While the Sugababes are on hiatus, and the original members reform under the name MKS, current-Sugababe member Amelle Berrabah has been working on a solo album. Yay! And before her official solo single comes out, she is featured in a new song called "Love Is All We Need" by Adam J featuring Amelle and Nightcrashers.



Amelle Berrabah

The song is aimed purely at the dancefloor. Amelle wrote the lyrics and melody. I think the song is fun and it makes me wanna dance. I'll think I'll like it more when the video is out.

The video should be out soon. And the song should be available for download on August 18 (I think). There is a cute behind-the-scenes video on YouTube. However, there is also a lyric video that you can watch here ...



I believe her solo album will be out in September or October. And then the Sugababes will be back in 2014 with new material! Hooray!


Sugababes: Jade, Heidi and Amelle

Last year, a song that Amelle sang on called "God Won't Save You Now" was leaked. I'm not sure if it was officially released. And Amelle was also featured on a UK#1 song with Tinchy Stryder called "Never Leave You."

Amelle performed the new song on a UK TV Show last week. You can see her performance here.

I'll let you know when the video premieres!

Cheers then,
—Davearama

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

World On Fire and On Our Way by The Royal Concept

Dear Poptastic Readers,

I've been listening to a song now for a few weeks and I've been waiting to write about it because the version I love of it isn't on iTunes, although the regular version that I like is on iTunes. Confused? Sorry. The song is called "World On Fire" and it is by a Swedish group called The Royal Concept.




The single was released earlier this year, and I'll admit, the original version that is on iTunes is pretty good. My only problem with the song is that it drops the "F bomb" twice, and it has a middle 8 part that about cigarettes in coffee shops. Both of those things, I could do without. Especially when listening to the song with kids around.


The Royal Concept is Filip, Magnus, Povel and David

Luckily, there is a remix that features Rebecca & Fiona singing on it. And the remix makes a great song extraordinary. And there is a fab video for the remix. Here it is.



Isn't it fab? Unfortunately, this mix isn't available on iTunes. Booooo! And the "F bomb" is still dropped. But the middle 8 is sung by Rebecca & Fiona with different lyrics. I love it!




The Royal Concept have already released their next single called "On Our Way."  And it is pretty good, too! I like it! But I think I'm still hung up on "World On Fire." You can watch the video for "On Our Way" here.

Both "World On Fire" and "On Our Way" are both available on iTunes! Hopefully the Rebecca & Fiona Mix will be available on iTunes very soon! And it would be even better if it were a clean version with the "F bombs" buzzed out!

Cheers then,
—Davearama

P.S. Perhaps Rebecca & Fiona will remix and sing on "On Our Way!" Ha!



Monday, July 22, 2013

Electric by the Pet Shop Boys

Dear Poptastic Readers,

I took a week off from the blog. Sometimes, it is just good to have a little break. Well, the past week I bought the Pet Shop Boys new album "Electric" and I wanted to listen to it for a few days before giving my review. As always, click on the song title to hear the track.


The album cover for "Electric."


The album starts with the track "Axis" that was a teaser single as the group made it available on iTunes first. You can read what I wrote about it by clicking on the song title.


The single cover artwork for "Axis."

The second track is the fun "Bolshy." Although it is mostly fun for its beats and saying "Bolshy-O" over and over. It's kinda mindless, and that is part of the charm.


Pet Shop Boys are Neil (Vocals) and Chris (Music).

Track 3 is the glorious "Love is a Bourgeios Construct." It has uplifting strings and lovely melody. The lyrics are quite clever. And it has that classic PSB feel to it. And even a male chorus that comes in at the oddest moments. I hope this is the next single. However, this clocks in at 6:42 so we definitely need a 4-minute radio edit. **Update! This is the next single!**




The fourth track is called "Fluorescent" and it is dark and groovy! And has some cords that remind you of the new wave sound without sounding retro at all.




"Inside a Dream" is the fifth track. And while being a good song, I think it might suffer from being right in the middle of the album as I don't think it is all that memorable. Having said that, I like it.




Track 6 is called "The Last to Die" and it is a remake of Bruce Springsteen song! Don't recognize it? Well, it was on Bruce's 2007 album called "Magic." I'm not sure what made the PSB to cover it. I think they did a good song. The lyrics seem a bit out of place for them, but oh well. It's more dance/pop than the original. You can listen to the original version here.




The seventh track is "Shouting in the Evening." And it has the honor of being the shortest track on the album as it clocks in at 3:36. It's aimed directly at the dancefloor and the pace is really picked up with this number. It's a good thing it is a short song, as it is rather relentless.




"Thursday" is Track 8. And a lot of people are hoping this is the next single and I wouldn't mind if it is. It features the British rapper/singer Example. And I loved his song "Kickstarts" from 2010. But this song is great. The music is foot tapper. And the lyrics and melody just come along so easily. It's really good. But at 5:03, we need a shorter radio edit.




The last track of the album is "Vocal." Technically, it is the second single. But I almost kinda view it as the first proper single. I first wrote about it here and then here when the video was released. There is a radio edit out there, but unfortunately the PSB haven't made it available for fans to buy. Hopefully soon, as the album version is 6:35 long!


The single artwork for "Vocal."

Overall, I think the album is good. After their album "Elysium" that came out last year, it is nice to have the beats back. I didn't even review the album last year because I wasn't all that impressed with it. However, it did have an amazing electro-chill track called "Invisible" and the main single last summer "Winner" came in at #17 in my favourite songs of 2012.




So while it is nice to have the beats back, I think some of the melodies that PSB are famous for are missing here. Well, perhaps not missing, but you have to get in and find them since most of the songs are 5+ and 6+ minutes long.

This album definitely has 3 stand-out tracks that make the album worth buying and they are "Vocal""Love is a Bourgeios Construct" and "Thursday."




If you like dance music and dance beats. You'll like this. I can't wait to see them in concert for the very first time in October! Yay!



Cheers then,
—Davearama

P.S. Now we just need the Pet Shop Boys to collaborate with Bananarama.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Mutya Keisha Siobhan ... A Year Later

Dear Poptastic Readers,

It was last year in July that Poptastic Confessions featured the original Sugababes as they had reunited under a new (and not very exciting) name: Mutya Keisha Siobhan. You can click on their names to see what I wrote last year. If you don't know the history of lineup changes for the group, click here.



Mutya, Keisha and Siobhan

It's a year later and they have finally debuted their first single. The song is called "Flatline." And well, it's all right. It's a midtempo number with a nice melody. I'm just not jumping up and down to hear it again. Perhaps it is a grower. I keep reading that it sounds like Coldplay, but I don't listen to bands like Coldplay so I couldn't tell you if it does or not. But you can hear in on SoundCloud here ...



Here's what I really like about it: I reminded me of how much I missed hearing Keisha sing. Keisha has a lovely voice and hearing her sing reminds me of her time in the Sugababes.

I also think it is a bit refreshing to hear Siobhan sing with them again. As I've said before, the Sugababes first album has always been my least favourite and least played. But that isn't Siobhan's fault (she was only with the Sugababes for the first album). I'm just not crazy about the music on that album.



The Sugababes first album "One Touch."

I wish them the best and hope they have success. Like I said, perhaps the new song will grow on me as I keep hearing it. I don't dislike the song. I'm just not sure how I feel about it. Perhaps I will like it more when I see the video. Here is a nice making of video ...





One thing is for sure, the campaign for this single is going to be stretched out. As the single won't be able to be purchased until September. It almost sounds like the dreaded campaign for the Sugababes' last single "Freedom." You can read what I wrote about that campaign by clicking on the link.

I'll write about them again when the video premieres. So stay tuned ...

Cheers then,
—Davearama

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Sneaky Sound System

Dear Poptastic Readers,

Sometimes I am late to the party. Better late that never as I always say! My friend Maarten, who runs the wonderful Popsessed website, posted a video from a group called Sneaky Sound System on Saturday to his Facebook page. The song is called "Big." Well, I spent the next hour on YouTube watching videos from the group. And, well ... I'm hooked! Just watch and listen to this gorgeous, poptastic soaring melody ...


The group is from Australia. They are a duo consisting of singer Connie Mitchell and Angus McDonald (aka Black Angus). There have been other members and they were a trio for their first two albums. You can read their full history on their Wikipedia page.


Sneaky Sound System: Angus and Connie

Their self-titled debut album in 2006 went to #5 in Australia and spawned the singles "Hip Hip Hooray" (#78), "Tease Me", "I Love It" (#24), "Pictures" (#19), UFO (#11) and "Goodbye" (#33). Take note, Connie wasn't in the group during the first two singles.




Sneaky Sound System's sophomore album in 2008 went to #1 in Australia and featured the singles "Kansas City" (#14), "When We Were Young", "16" (#53), and "It's Not My Problem."




In 2009, the group did a song with DJ Tiësto called "I Will Be Here." And in the US, it went to #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Airplay Chart. Sadly, I had never heard it. My clubbing days were long over by 2009.

Their third album called "From Here To Anywhere" was released in late 2011 and it went to #11 in Australia. It featured the singles "We Love" (#29), "Big" (#58), "Really Want To See You" and "Friends."




So I just found out about the group on Saturday. And I've been playing them ever since, with "Big" at the top of my playlist. I just can't get enough of that song. Thankfully, all of their albums are available on iTunes in the US. Definitely download the singles first, and then you'll want to pick up the rest of the albums. Start with the the song "Big" and then I'd highly recommend the song "Really Want To See You Again."



And the super-good news is that Sneaky Sound System is touring! And they will be in San Francisco on Friday, July 26th. Looks like I found out about them just in time. Thank you, Maarten. Here's their Summer Tour schedule ...




While I wish I had known about this group earlier, I'm very happy that I found out about them now instead of much later. Apparently there is a new song on the horizon coming out soon called "Sunlight." Yay!

Cheers then,
—Davearama

P.S. You can check out the group's official website and like their Facebook page!

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Young Love EP by The Lovely Wars

Dear Poptastic Readers,

Last month, Poptastic Confessions featured the new single from The Lovely Wars called "Young Love."




The EP was released last week through the BandCamp website. The website helps indie artists make more money than going through iTunes. And as a bonus, you can actually pay more for the EP if you wish to ... think of it as a tip to the artist, if you will. After all, The Lovely Wars are releasing music on their own label — ILOW Records.




The EP starts off with the title track. And you can read my review of it here. And here is the video ...



The second track is band's first single "Let's Blow The Whole Thing Up", which was featured in Poptastic Confessions in January. However, this version is slightly different from the version released earlier this year. I can't really put my finger on the difference, but I like this version better.




Track 3 is called "Through The Darkness" and somehow when I listen to the music, it reminds me of an early Duran Duran b-side, and that isn't a bad thing at all. It's like The Lovely Wars are channeling that famous Duran Duran sound, but instead of Simon Le Bon, we get the fantastic Ani Saunders!


The Lovely Wars: Bill, Alice, Ani, Ceri and Dan.

"Oh! It's a Lovely War!" is the next track and what a fun song it is! I hate to draw comparisons to The Pipettes, but it does have that fun magic of an early Pipettes song. In case you didn't know, lead-singer Ani was in The Pipettes.

The final track is the Y Pencadlys Remix of "Young Love." It's not really a dancefloor remix, but just a mix offering up something a tad bit different. I reminds me of what was used to called a dub ... a remix with limited vocals.


Dan, Ceri, Ani, Alice and Bill are The Lovely Wars.

All in all, this is a wonderful EP for summer listening. So don't delay and head over to BandCamp to purchase the "Young Love" EP. You won't be sorry.

Cheers then,
—Davearama

P.S. Ani recently did an interview with our friend Aug Stone on a Welsh Music site called "God Is In The TV." Check out the interview by clicking on the name.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Bullets by Rebecca & Fiona

Dear Poptastic Readers,

I hope you are having a lovely weekend. I'll be featuring some "lovely" new music next week. But for today, I thought it would be nice to feature another song from my latest obsession of Swedish DJ dance/pop duo Rebecca & Fiona. Today's song is "Bullets."



The song was originally released in Sweden in 2011, and it was released in the US last summer. However, I didn't know about it. How sad is that? So this song has been on constant rotation for me this summer.


The video is quite cute. It quite reminds me of stuff that my friend Jennifer and I would do in our 20s. Although I'm not sure we ever stole a bike or smoked in a bathtub together. But we certainly did everything else, especially walking around in platform tennis shoes.

Jen and Davearama in the late 90s.

"Bullets" is available on iTunes, as well as their fabulous debut album, "I Love You, Man."

While you're there, you might as well pick up their 2013 singles "Taken Over" and "Union."

All three singles have remixes on iTunes and even instrumentals. I'm going to mix the instrumental version of "Bullets" with Annikafiore's "Love 2 Live" when I get a chance.

Happy Weekend!
—Davearama

P.S. Enjoy this other pic of Jennifer and me from the late 90s.












Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Where is Whigfield in 2013?

Dear Poptastic Readers,

Last year, Poptastic Confessions reviewed the fantastic dance-pop album "W" by Whigfield. And I told you to watch out for three potential future singles from the album. Unfortunately, 2013 is now half over and there have been no more singles from the album.




Some history ... the first single was "C'est Cool" and it was released in 2011. However, I didn't know about last year. So it came in at #15 in my Top 20 of 2012.




The second single was the FABulous "4ever", which came in at #4 in my year-end list. It really is a sweet song.




The third single (and final?) was "Jeg Kommer Hjem" and it got a very interesting lyric video.




But there are three more songs that deserve to be singles. They are "Stay In My Head", "Devil Called Love" and "As I Go."






I couldn't find a link for the regular version of "As I Go" ... but you can hear it here in this fabulous album megamix ...



Singles these days don't have to be very expensive. And so many artists are making iPhone videos because they are budget-friendly and hip. Someone get Whigfield to make some iPhone videos for these three songs! They are too good to be passed up. I think you will agree.


Please buy the album on iTunes and support the artist. You can also like Whigfield's official Facebook page.

The best way to get more singles is to support the artist. So get busy!

Cheers then,
—Davearama