Poptastic Confessions

Poptastic Confessions

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Saturday, December 31, 2011

#1 in Davearama's Top 20 of 2011

#1 in my favourite songs of 2011 is "Don't Wanna C U 2nite" by Annikafiore. As you know, her song "Love 2 Live" came in at #6 this year. Last year, her debut solo single "Forbidden Love" came in at #8 on my countdown.

This amazing song was written and produced by Annikafiore and Antti Vuorenniemi. While the original version was a mid-tempo ballad, the single version was remixed by SoundFactory and it was turned into a dancefloor stomper! 

This tears-on-the-dancefloor song is amazing, and so is Annikafiore. Not only did she write the song, she published it on her own label. And when the original video wasn't ready for the single's release, she quickly filmed a new video and edited it herself. To me, she is an inspiration. She's doing everything on her own terms, and when there is a problem, she fixes it. 

The song was released this summer and has been a favourite of mine ever since. Congratulations to Annikafiore for hitting the #1 position on my Poptastic countdown!

Annikafiore's music is available on iTunes and CDBaby.com! Buy it today!

And you can like her official artist page on Facebook here.

#2 in Davearama's Top 20 of 2011

#2 in my favourite songs of 2011 is "Feel 4 U" by Dream Beats featuring Alcazar. As you'll remember, Alcazar (version 3.0) came in at #9 last year with "Headlines." In 2009, they hit my chart in the #2 and #3 position with "Burning" and "Stay The Night." And in 2008, they made #1 with their comeback single "We Keep On Rockin'" and #6 with "Inhibitions."

What about Dream Beats? Well, Dream Beats is a Swedish production team made up of Felix and Märta of Le Kid as well as Anders Hansson. The three of them have worked with Alcazar on their last album. This is their first single as Dream Beats. This song is crazy busy with 70s references, and it even name-drops the title of Alcazar's last album "Disco Defenders."

I must admit, I'm not crazy about the video. I could do without the woman tripping out. That part completely freaks me out. I'm not crazy about Tess and Lina's beehive hairdos either. They are OK, but it really doesn't show off their beauty.

Sadly, this song isn't on US iTunes.

Friday, December 30, 2011

#3 in Davearama's Top 20 of 2011

#3 in my favourite songs of 2011 is "America" by Le Kid. I adore this song! LOVE, Love, love it! This is the third (if you count #21) and final song from Le Kid on this year's countdown. I love Le Kid, and I can't wait for more music from them. 

This is by far my favourite song of theirs. I never grow tired of hearing it. The melody is gorgeous. It's melancholy, but it's not quite a ballad. It is beautiful, indeed.

The video is quite clever. With a title like "America", it would be easy to get a little patriotic, like the cover did. (By the way, where is the rest of Le Kid? Both "America" and "We Are The Drums" only featured the singers Helena and Johanna on the cover.) The band looks fabulous in the video. 

Go ahead and admit it ... You love Le Kid, too!

You are in luck! Le Kid's "America" is available on US iTunes! Buy it now!

#4 in Davearama's Top 20 of 2011

#4 in my favourite songs of 2011 is "Never Let Me Go" by The Human League. Yes, they are the oldest people on my countdown. But good for them! They've still got it! They have been one of my favourite groups since the 80s. 

This was the second single from their first album in 9 years called "Credo." The first single was the wonky earworm "Night People", which was a drastic change for them. That song also came in at #4 in last year's countdown. "Never Let Me Go" brings them back to their classic sound with a slight modern twist. 

Most refreshing is to hear Susan and Joanne on lead vocals. Yes, Susan has sung lead on some other songs, as well as the 1995 single "One Man In My Heart", which came in at #6 on my 1995 list. But this is by far the best song they've ever done that features the girls on lead vocals. By the way, I met Susan and Joanne in 2003. The photo taught me never to lean back in photos! Ha!

Susan, Davearama, and Joanne

The video is a bit simple and strange, but it works. Unfortunately, Joanne's bangs are too severe and they hide her beauty. But otherwise, they look great. They sound wonderful. I really hope we don't have to wait another 9 years for the next Human League album.

The Human League had two other singles out this year from their album "Credo." The song "Egomaniac" was released in Germany. It had no video, but there was a TV performance. See it by clicking on the name. Next up, was the story song "Sky." I really liked it and it would have made my Top 20 if there had been any promotion. There was no video, only remixes.

The Human League's album "Credo" is available on iTunes, as is most of their back catalogue.

#5 in Davearama's Top 20 of 2011

#5 in my favourite songs of 2011 is "Me And My Microphone" by September. There is quite an interesting story behind this song. Last year at this time, September released her first single from her current album "Love CPR." The single was called "Resuscitate Me" and it landed at #16 on my 2010 list

While promoting the single, September took part in a Swedish reality television show called Så mycket bättre (So much better). The show brought together 8 Swedish singers to stay in a hotel for 8 days. Each night during dinner was an episode where 7 singers would sing the songs of the featured 8th singer, trying to put their own style on the song. For instance, on episode that featured the songs of September, the songs were sung by the 7 other singers, all while September and the others watched.

One of the singers was a Swedish rapper named Petter. In 1999, he had a minor hit in Sweden with a slow rap song called "Mikrofonkåt." September sang this song for the episode that featured Petter songs. She sang it in Swedish and put her Eurodance sound on it. The response was overwhelming. September's version of "Mikrofonkåt" was released as digital single in Sweden and it shot to the #1 spot and stayed there for 11 consecutive weeks. Needless to say, it overshadowed her first single "Resuscitate Me."

The song was also recorded in English and released on her album in February of this year. I loved the song even when it was sung in Swedish and I didn't understand the lyrics. But the English version is amazing and I have been constantly playing it all year long. Finally, September released a long-awaited video of it this fall. Who doesn't love elevator dancing? And those fabulous green shoes! Great song, great video!

September's other single this year was "Party In My Head", which came in at #12. Last year, "Resuscitate Me" came in at #16. All three songs are available on the album "Love CPR."

September's album "Love CPR" is available on iTunes.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

#6 in Davearama's Top 20 of 2011

#6 in my favourite songs of 2011 is "Live 2 Love" by Annikafiore. This year in June, Annikafiore released her first solo EP called "Preaching To The Choir." This song was supposed to be the first single, as the video was shot in the spring. However, once the EP was released, fans couldn't get enough of the somber "Don't Wanna C U 2nite." That ended up becoming the first single, and "Live 2 Love" was put on hold. I interviewed Annikafiore in August for Scandipop and I even featured the interview on my blog.

This fall, Annikafiore decided to edit the video for "Love 2 Live" herself. She spent weeks on it, and even during the process lost all of her work when her computer crashed. Still, she dusted off and tried again. The result was fantastic eye-catching video. I LOVE it! I could watch it over and over. It is probably my favourite video of the year.

The song is fun. The lyrics are clever. It was written by Annikafiore and Antti Vuorenniemi. Well done! Well done! Apparently there are some remixes in the works right now. Hopefully they'll be out soon. As for the cover above, I made it from a screenshot that Annikafiore posted on her Facebook artist page.

Annikafiore's music is available on iTunes and CDBaby.com

#7 in Davearama's Top 20 of 2011

#7 in my favourite songs of 2011 is "Freedom" by Sugababes. You may have read my previous blog entry about the history of the British girl group here. This was their big return, and unfortunately, it was disaster. I don't blame the Sugababes or the song, I blame the record company for making this the worst single campaign in the history of pop music. 

In May of 2011, it was confirmed that the new single would be out in June. And things were looking great as a snippet of song was released on June 1st in a Nokia commercial. However, the rest of June was rather quiet.

Then in early July, the group announced they were leaving their record label, Island Records. They signed a three-album deal with Sony records. Within a week, the Sugababes premiered their new song in the UK on July 10 by performing it live at T4 On The Beach Festival. All was great! Then we had silence for the rest of the month.

On August 1, "Freedom" got its first play on UK radio. The video premiered on August 8. And then the news came on August 15 that the single would be available for download only on September 25. Fans were outraged that the campaign was dragging on too long. Pop songs don't usually have a four-month campaign leading up to time when you can actually buy it.

Radio didn't know what to do with this song. Why promote it so early when it isn't available until over a month away? September came and any buzz the song had was quickly dying. Even scheduled TV performances couldn't help get the public interested. It looked to be a huge flop on the charts come the end of September.

Four days before it was available, Sony cancelled the pre-orders and announced it would be giving the song away for free as a gift to the fans. This was largely seen as a way for the song not be considered a flop in the charts, as free downloads are not eligible for chart positions.

All of this plus the backlash the group receives for not being the original line up, made all promotional efforts be put on hold. There was even to be second single called "Hard" before the end of the year, but that was put off indefinitely. Here's hoping the next single campaign doesn't stretch out for four months.

Freedom was only released in the UK and Ireland on iTunes and Amazon.

#8 in Davearama's Top 20 of 2011

#8 in my favourite songs of 2011 is "Don't Try To Steal My Limelight" by Miss Inga featuring Dominika Peczynski & La Camilla. Yes, Miss Inga is drag queen. Dominika and La Camilla were in the band Army Of Lovers. All three are Swedish. 

The first time I heard it, I wasn't sure what to think about it. However, it quickly grew on me. The lyrics are hilarious! The chorus and bridge are very catchy. It's campy, and all-around FABulous! I love it! For the longest time, I couldn't sing it without laughing.

The video is cute. Dominika is pregnant so she was filmed from the waist up!

This is available on iTunes! Buy it now!

#9 in Davearama's Top 20 of 2011

#9 in my favourite songs of 2011 is "All Fired Up" by The Saturdays. This British girl group has been "on my radar" for some time now. I've liked them since they debuted in 2008. 

In 2008, their debut single "If This Is Love" made my Top 20 list at #15. 
Their 2009 song "Work"  was on my list at #9. And "Higher" went to #13 on my 2010 list. Check the videos out by clicking the title.

"All Fired Up" was the second single from their new album "On Your Radar." This track is very dance-oriented and I love it. It's a bit trance and a bit pop. It has an on-the-edge feel about it.

It isn't available on iTunes in the US, but you can get it on mp3va.com with a prepaid account.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

#10 in Davearama's Top 20 of 2011

#10 in my favourite songs of 2011 is "Boo Shuffle" by The Pipettes! Oh how I love The Pipettes! They had my #1 song of 2006 with "Pull Shapes" while "Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me" came in at #7 that same year. Also that year, "Dirty Mind" came in at #12 and "Judy" came in at #18.

In 2007, the released a video for "Because It's Not Love (But It's Still A Feeling)" while on tour in the US. The song came in at #11 on my 2007 countdown. I saw them in concert in San Francisco that year and I met them after the show and got their autographs. Sadly, no photos. 

In 2010, The Pipettes came in at #3 with "Call Me" and in at #10 with "Stop The Music." I do wish "Thank You" had been the last single from their second album, as it was divine.

I don't always like The Pipettes' single covers as it doesn't feature pictures of them. You can see the original cover here. Here is the cover I made with a photo someone took at the filming of the video.

I actually saw The Pipettes in concert this year in San Francisco. They were AMAZING! And of course, I knew most of the dance moves to their songs! Yes, really! After the show we got to meet them and they were so very nice and sweet.

Davearama meets The Pipettes: Gwenno, Dave, and Ani.

They actually played "Boo Shuffle" in concert. It was the only song I didn't know. Their first album was very 60s wall of sound. Their second album was like 70s disco with a hint of funk. The latest single sounds like it could have been on their first album. So I'm not sure which musical direction they are going, but it doesn't matter, they are FAB!

For the video, a group of dancers called The Actionettes help out. The daughter of late producer Martin Rushent named Amy, can be seen dancing between Ani and Gwenno and sitting next to them at the piano. Martin produced The Pipettes second album, as well as this single.

You can purchase The Pipettes music on iTunes.

#11 in Davearama's Top 20 of 2011

#11 in my favourite songs of 2011 is "We Are The 
Drums" by Le Kid. You've already met Le Kid as they 
were #21 on my list. And their song "We Should Go 
Home Together" was also #11 on my 2010 list.

"We Are The Drums" was the single that helped launch the 
album. It's quite a little catchy number with a lovely chorus. 
Unfortunately, Le Kid didn't make a video for it. I'm not sure 
why as it is definitely worthy of having one. So, you'll have 
to enjoy this live performance on Swedish TV. The singers 
have some funny wigs on!

Le Kid's "We Are The Drums" is on their debut album 
"Oh Alright!" Unfortunately, it is currently not available 
in the US. Hopefully soon!

#12 in Davearama's Top 20 of 2011

#12 in my favourite songs of 2011 is "Party In My Head" by September. When I got her album back in February, this was a standout track. It's fun! It's fresh! And it has some questionable lyrics. However, it is these questionable lyrics that make you want to belt it out at the top of you lungs, especially if you are in your car and stuck in traffic. 

The lyrics in question are … "I don't care about the VIP 'cos every single DJ is inside me." Yep, now get your dirty mind out of the gutter. The song is about all the music in her head and how she doesn't need all of this other stuff because she has the music inside her.

It took ages for us to get a video from her, but we finally did. And it's quite nice. I think you will agree.

September's music is available on iTunes.

#13 in Davearama's Top 20 in 2011

#13 in my favourite songs of 2011 is "Beat Of My Drum" by 
Nicola Roberts. I saw that Chartrigger put this song on their 
worst songs of the year list. Oh well. Honestly, when I first 
saw the video, I thought … "How horrible." However, I found 
myself singing it the rest of the day. It became an earworm! 
I had to listen to it over and over.

So who is Nicola Roberts? Well, she was a member of the British 
girl group called Girls Aloud, which is currently on an extended break. 
This was her debut solo single. It's funny how bad I thought it was, 
and now I love it. However, I don't love her outfit in the video. 
Those hot pants are hideous! It looks like she is wearing a diaper! 
And that shirt and jacket! Someone lied to her when she put it all 
together and said, "How do I look?"

The song is fun and quirky. And I love that in a pop song!

Nicola Roberts music is not available on US iTunes. 
However, you can find it on mp3va.com with a prepaid account.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

#14 in Davearama's Top 20 of 2011

#14 in my favourite songs of 2011 is "DJ (I Could Be Dancing)" by Alphabeat. They are a Danish band with a UK following. This song was originally released in 2010. Sometimes I'm a bit late to the party!

I absolutely love this song and can't get enough. Enjoy! The video is super cute, too!

Alphabeat's music is available on iTunes.

#15 in Davearama's Top 20 of 2011

#15 in my favourite songs of 2011 is "Born This Way" by 
Lady GaGa. Yes, she had quite a few songs out this year, 
but I didn't like "Judas" or "You And I". I liked "Edge Of 
Glory", but I didn't like the saxophone solo. And "Marry 
The Night" was OK. So this is the only song of hers to 
make my Top 20 this year.

To me, "Born This Way" came at a pivotal time. It seemed 
like suicides among gay teens were on the rise. The "It Gets 
Better" video campaign was in full swing, and Lady GaGa 
really came out and said something about this. And the song 
is a testament to that. I can't think of a more important song 
that the youth of today really needed to hear. This was it.

"No matter gay, straight or bi
Lesbian, transgendered life
I'm on the track, baby
I was born to survive"

My hat is off to Lady GaGa for this song. I really admire her 
for releasing it as the debut single from her album of the 
same name.

Now, I will admit, the melody of the song sounds very similar 
to "Express Yourself" by Madonna. That doesn't bother me at 
all. I think what I don't like about this song is that the music 
sounds "noisy" to me, and that is why it probably doesn't make 
my Top 10. That, and the video was awful. Sorry, but I don't 
want to sit through an 8-minute video. No thanks! The song, 
yes. The video, no.

Lady GaGa's music is available everywhere.

#16 in Davearama's Top 20 of 2011

#16 in my favourite songs of 2011 is "Think About It" by Melanie C. 
Yes, this is Sporty Spice from the Spice Girls. Some of her solo 
singles have made my Top 20 in the past. In 2000, the song 
"I Turn To You" came in on my countdown at #6.

At first, I wasn't sure that I liked the song. But I'll admit it 
grew on me. It was nice to see a more dance-oriented track 
than some of her previous outings. One of my favourite lines 
from the song is "Only regret the things that you don't do." 
Indeed! There is a great remix video by 7th Heaven, but the 
original version is here ...

Melanie C's latest music is available on iTunes.

#17 in Davearama's Top 20 of 2011

#17 in my favourite songs of 2011 is "Put Your Hand Up (If 
You Feel In Love)" by Kylie Minogue. This was the final single 
from her 2010 album "Aphrodite." Last year, Kylie had my 
#1 song of the year with "Get Outta My Way" while "All The 
Lovers" came in at #7. Unfortunately, the latest single came 
and went without much fanfare.

There was an official lyric video made of a remix of the song. It is 
mostly just the lyrics popping up on screen with images of Kylie 
scattered around. There is a lovely clip on YouTube of her singing 
the song with grade-school kids and you can watch it here. To 
hear the actual studio version, click here.

However, the video that I am posting of the song is Kylie 
performing it in concert. The main reason the song was released 
as a single at all is because it as such fan favourite on her tour. 

Kylie's music is available on iTunes.