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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Medellín by Madonna featuring Maluma

Dear Poptastic Readers,

Madonna is back with a brand-new album in June called Madame X and the first single is a duet with Columbian reggaeton singer Maluma called "Medellín." Now in case you didn't know, Medellín is a city in Columbia.



The duet is in English and in Spanish. This isn't a banger, or fun poppy song. 
It is a mid-tempo number that is very sexy. It has a nice melody. And the song tells a story and if you don't speak Spanish, you can still figure out half of it.

April 25, 2019 UPDATE: Check out the video here ...



"Medellín" is available on digital outlets everywhere. Buy your copy today! We've added it to our 2019 Poptastic Confessions Playlist on Spotify. Enjoy!~


Cheers then,
—Davearama

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Off Limits by Allysandra

Dear Poptastic Readers,

We are happy to announce the debut single "Off Limits" from Swedish singer Allysandra. While it is her solo debut, Allysandra has been featured many times before in Poptastic Confessions because up until this time last year, she was the original Holly in Dolly Style.



That's right! Allysandra left the group last spring and is now focusing on her solo career. So what does "Off Limits" sound like? Well, initially we weren't exactly sure about the "Off off off off off off off limits" part. However, by the end of the song we were on board. It is a fun, cute song with lots of interesting elements. The video is quite colorful — including some pastels, but you won't see her in a blue pastel wig! Ha! Have a look ...



Wasn't that nice? Yes, it was. "Off Limits" is available on digital outlets everywhere. Buy your copy today! We've added it to our 2019 Poptastic Confessions Playlist on Spotify. Enjoy!~


Cheers then,
—Davearama

P.S. Please follow Allysandra and Poptastic Confessions on social media ...

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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Heavenly and Because The Night by Hazell Dean

Dear Poptastic Readers,

English singer Hazell Dean has recently released a double A-side single of "Heavenly" and "Because The Night."



Who is Hazell Dean? Well, she is best known for her 2 hits in 1984: "Searchin' (I Gotta Find A Man)" and "Whatever I Do (Wherever I Go)" as well as her 1988 hit "Who's Leaving Who." She had lots more singles, but those were her biggest hits.



Now for the new songs: First up is her cover of "Because The Night" written by Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith and recorded by both in the late 1970s. In 1993, it was a hit for 10,000 Maniacs. In 2008, dance group Cascada had cover of it, too. Hazel's version is also rather dance-y with Matt Pop on the radio mix. We'll admit, we really don't like any version of this song, no matter who is singing it. However you might, so have a listen ...



"Heavenly" is a song Hazel wrote in the 90s. And this is the song we are most excited about. We quite like this. It is a dance track with a catchy chorus and a nice cowbell for your listening pleasure. Matt Pop is also on this mix. Hooray! Check it out ...



Wasn't that fun? Yes, it was. We've added both "Heavenly" and "Because The Night" to our 2019 Poptastic Confessions Playlist on Spotify. Woo!



Love, Truth & Honesty,
—Sausi O'Sullivan

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Monday, April 15, 2019

Stick By You by Strange Talk

Dear Poptastic Readers,


Our contributor Jason F recently introduced us the group Strange Talk and their two recent releases "Cosmic Synchronicity" and "Stick By You." We asked Jason to write about them. Enjoy!~



Formed in 2010 by Gerard Sidhu and Stephen Docker, Strange Talk had almost immediate success in their native Australia with their 2011 self-titled EP and a pair of infectious singles: “Climbing Walls” and “Eskimo Boy.”


Gaining comparisons to musical peers such as Cut Copy, Peach Pit, Phoenix, and Capital Cities, Strange Talk built on their success with the debut 2013 album, Cast Away. The album was a perfect set of catchy indie-pop tunes with a number of strong singles, including the title track, that were representative of the album as a whole.  




However, the single “Falling In Love” stood out and displayed a distinctly more dance/EDM oriented sound than on their preceding work and hinted at a new musical direction to come.



Initially released only in Australia, Cast Away was eventually re-released worldwide in 2014 with new cover art and bonus tracks including “Sexual Lifestyle” — a standalone single that had been released between their EP and album debut and new single, “Young Hearts.”



That brings us to their latest releases. First up in "Cosmic Synchronicity" was released at the end of 2018. It is a fun pop song reminiscent of the 80s. It is light and catchy.



However, it is their latest release "Stick By You" that we love and can't get enough of. It has a mid-tempo beat with a wonderful melody. It is one of those songs that immediately want to play again. Have a listen ...



Wasn't that nice? Yes, it was. We've added both "Stick By You" and "Cosmic Synchronicity" to our 2019 Poptastic Confessions Playlist on Spotify. Enjoy!~


Cheers then,
—Jason F and Davearama

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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

In Stereo by Bananarama

Dear Poptastic Readers,

Almost a decade after their tenth studio album Viva, Bananarama are back with the release of their long-awaited new album In Stereo and loyal fans across the globe are overjoyed! If you are a casual fan, it's time to get excited, too! The album is released on Good Friday, April 19.



Of course, Sara and Keren certainly haven’t been in hiding all this time. Back in 2012 they released the EP Now or Never to coincide with their US tour and started work on a new album a few years later. It all seemed to go quiet for a while, then in 2017 they surprised pop music fans everywhere by announcing a one-off reunion with Siobhan for The Original Line Up Tour!

Bananarama in 2017: Keren, Siobhan, and Sara

The tour went on to be a huge success and brought so much joy to countless fans who had travelled miles to witness what had felt like an impossible dream. This concluded with a series of summer shows in 2018 and Sara and Keren went back to the studio with producer/songwriter extraordinaire Ian Masterson on put the finishing touches to In Stereo. Finally the fruits of their labour are about to be unveiled and here is a track-by-track by Normski and Davearama


“Love In Stereo”
Normski: This is a very energetic and confident start to the album. Richard X’s glistening electro backing is overlaid with an extremely sharp and impressive vocal performance from Sara and Keren. Fans of the Sugababes original line up, Mutya Keisha Siobhan, may be familiar with this song as it leaked on their unreleased album back in 2016. Bananarama’s version is very faithful to the original demo, with a few extra sparkles and “Whooos!” thrown in for added measure.  
Davearama: When I first heard they had a track called “Love In Stereo”, I just knew it was the MKS (aka Sugababes) song. I loved the MKS version, but I adore the Bananarama version. You’re absolutely right about the added “Whooos” making it a signature Bananarama trademark. 


Normski: This was the first song that we were introduced to from the album back in January. It is very quirky and sultry with a hypnotic beat, thumping baseline and breathy vocals. 
Davearama: The teaser single as I like to call it. This is a cool, sexy, mid-tempo electro affair.
Normski: The harmonies in the middle 8 are quite reminiscent of “Feel For You” from the Drama album. Perhaps not the most instant song on the album but on repeated listens it absolutely draws you in!
Davearama: Agreed. I love it.



“I’m On Fire”
Davearama: This is one of my favourite tracks on the album. There is an energy about it that I just can't get enough of. I think this would make a great single. I really hope they perform this live on their upcoming intimate tour.
Normski: This is definitely going to go down a storm live! The synth opening and perfectly harmonised verses lead into a belter of a chorus that will have crowds jumping up and down. Quite a departure in style with a rocky, harder edge. Sara and Keren are clearly having fun on this song and it shows! 


“Intoxicated”
Normski: This has quite a Daft Punk-esque disco vibe, with a very catchy chorus and a beat that’s made to make you move. Similar in style to Dannii Minogue in her Neon Nights era, which of course is a good thing! One of my personal favourites from the album. 
Daveararama: Interesting. I hadn't associated it with Dannii's magnificent Neon Nights, but I wouldn't disagree. I think this is one that would feel right at home on their Drama album because the melody is so strong. It is a fun number with lots of Bananarama attitude.



“Tonight” 
Davearama: This is the track they did with Bright Light Bright Light (aka Rod Thomas). It doesn’t sound out of place and it blends in quite nicely with the rest of the album. There is something about this song that I find hard to describe and that is the enchanted feeling I get when listening to it. It definitely has an edge to it.
Normski: This is a very 90s-esque dancefloor filler that wouldn’t sound out of place on Steps’ 2017 album Tears on the Dancefloor. Crashing keyboards and great harmonies lead into a euphoric, sing-a-long chorus — Bananarama certainly know their audience here and are throwing out all the stops to give them what they want! Will definitely be popular among fans. 


“Looking For Someone”
Davearama: This initially debuted in a short clip on Instagram in November 2016 before Sara and Keren reunited with Siobhan for the Original Line Up Tour. I was surprised how much more guitar sounding the track is. Having said that, it is deeply fab. Keren sings the first verse solo and Sara sings the second verse solo. Both join in for the bridge and chorus. Love the key change near the end.
Normski: This is one of the strongest, most radio-friendly songs on the album. A bouncy, guitar-led song with a catchy, call-to-arms chorus. I’d say it’s quite Bryan Adams-like in style. You can just imagine blasting this in the car on a road trip with your friends. Absolutely begging to be a single! 
Davearama: I agree. This HAS to be the next single! It's that FAB!


“Stuff Like That”
Normski: Here we have the fabulous lead single from the album, which has classic Bananarama written all over it! Camp, catchy and dance-y. It really takes you back to the WOW! era with hints of “I Can’t Help It” and other glistening SAW productions. No surprise at all that this has been A-listed on Radio 2! A triumphant comeback song. 
Davearama: Fabulous indeed. What a glorious return to the UK airwaves, too. Also fun to note is that BBC Radio 2 is playing a single mix with added horns giving it that extra wow factor, and it just got released on digital outlets everywhere. Also music lovers note: A couple of times in the song, Keren and Sara switch to singing in the minor key ("You gotta say it me") instead of staying in the major key. As for the music video, Sara and Keren look amazing! Let's have a look ...





“It’s Gonna Be Alright”
Normski: The first few seconds of the intro sound like the start of a ballad, before the beat kicks in and we’re back into familiar territory. This is quite a typical modern-day Bananarama track and would sit quite comfortably on Drama in production style. The lyrics are particularly fun on this one (“I wanted a cowboy by my side, I wanted a rodeo”) and the chorus creeps in your head!
Davearama: Speaking of those lyrics ... several years ago Bananarama joked about making a country album (Kylie may have been listening). One can't help but wonder if this song was originally meant to have a country flavor. I suppose it doesn't matter as the end result is fantastic. This a great pop song.



“Got To Get Away”
Normski: This is another guitar-led song, showing a new-found diversity to Bananarama’s sound. Again, it is hugely catchy and radio-friendly, which just goes to show these ladies’ knack in writing a hit song. This was debuted on their Australian tour back in 2016 so has been familiar to hardcore fans for some time.
Davearama: Yes, I've been listening to an mp3 of that live recording for a few years now. The studio version sounds like they fine-tuned it and the finished result is quite pleasing. I'm liking it more than I thought I would.


“On Your Own”
Normski: The album closes with a surprising twist — a darker sounding, atmospheric ballad. Gorgeously smooth, soft vocals glide over a rich, majestic, almost Latino-sounding backing. At times this sounds like it could be part of a James Bond soundtrack. The lyrics are more solemn, downbeat and reflective, which evokes memories of early-style Bananarama. A wonderful standout song and a fantastic end to this musical journey.
Davearama: Speaking of lyrical content, there is definitely a longing-to-be-in-love theme here on the album. But that doesn't mean it is all sad, I think a lot of it (like the rest of Bananarama’s back catalogue) is quite hopeful. Perhaps it is one of the many reasons why Bananarama has such a strong gay following. Bananarama aren’t known to the public for their ballads, but fans know they have some wonderful ballads over the years. This song is a great way to close the album, before you start listening to In Stereo all over again!



We simply cannot praise this album enough — the wait was absolutely worth it! In Stereo is bold, diverse, and concise (at just ten tracks). Bananarama are back to what they are doing best — churning out fantastic pop (aka POPTASTIC) songs and this feels like their strongest work as a duo by far! In Stereo is an album made for repeated play and for witnessing live in all its glory. 

Bravo ladies — well done on delivering a classic album and your strongest body of work in many (at least 10) years!






In Stereo is released on digital outlets everywhere on Good Friday, April 19th. The album is also available on CD and clear vinyl in limited quantities.




We are seeing Bananarama in London together and we cannot wait to see Sara and Keren in their element performing some of these songs for the first time. 



4/19/19 UPDATE: The album is out now! Please buy a copy as it is available on digital outlets everywhere. Don't forget to stream it! Here is the album on Spotify ...


Cheers then,
Normski & Davearama

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Monday, April 8, 2019

Hold Tight by Isle Of You

Dear Poptastic Readers,

Sorry we've been away. Life got busy. However, we've got some great news: Swedish duo Isle Of You released a new song last week called "Hold Tight." We must admit, we haven't even tired of their last single "Change Of Heart." It is that fabulous!


"Hold Tight" is a wonderful pop song that explores the possibilities of doing nothing. Haha. Well, except to hold tight. It's a wonderful vocal delivery from the ladies, and the melody is quite hauntingly strong. We love the middle 8 as well as how music goes a bit bonkers at the end. Have a listen and check out the lyric video here ...


"Hold Tight" is available on digital outlets everywhere. Buy your copy today. We've added it to our 2019 Poptastic Confessions Playlist on Spotify. You can hear their previous single "Change Of Heart" there. We even added their 2018 songs ("Backseat Ceremony", "Bodyguard", and "Skintight") on our 2019 list, too. Enjoy!~


Cheers then,

—Davearama

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