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Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Ark are going to Eurovision!!!!

The guys won both the judge's and the popular vote, and I wish them nothing but the best in Helsinki. This has been my first Melodifestivalen, and it's been a ton of fun!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Alphabeat - The Hours

“Do I have to wait so long?"

I am proud to have been one of the first blogs to discover Alphabeat, a pop band that I believe have a long career ahead of them. Their music is so joyful and fun, which in itself can be a bad/annoying thing, but luckily their melodies and production are just as good. The Hours is one of my favorite songs from their newly released debut album (which I reviewed here). It really is time that we brought whistling back to pop music (and, no... that overrated Peter, Bjorn and etc. song does not count). The album will almost surely be featured in my end of year countdown, so you know you've gotta go out and get it.

mp3: Alphabeat - The Hours
zshare: Alphabeat - The Hours

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Buy the album here)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Ghostland Observatory - Sad Sad City

“Ain't nobody in the sad sad city"

Ghostland Obseratory are an electro glam duo from Texas. My guess though, is that electro glam probably isn't super popular in Texas, so I definitely need to spotlight them today. Sad Sad City is my favorite song that I've heard from these guys, and it's a swaggering blast of synths and edgy vocals. There's something very eighties about the band, but they bring enough contemporary energy to the music to make it sound somehow fresh. Their new album is called Paparazzi Lightning, and I totally approve of the title.

mp3: Ghostland Observatory - Sad Sad City
zshare: Ghostland Observatory - Sad Sad City

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Buy the album here)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Basically, I just fell over and died seeing and reading this. I am unbelievably curious about this album now given the song titles (which are brilliant as hell)...

The Ark - Prayer For The Weekend (April 11, 2007)

01: Prayer For The Weekend
02: The Worrying Kind
03: Absolutely No Decorum
04: Little Dysfunk You
05: New Pollution
06: Thorazine Corazon
07: I Pathologize
08: Death To The Martyrs
09: All I Want Is You
10: Gimme Love To Give
11: Uriel
The Polyphonic Spree - Mental Cabaret

“I'm on my way"

After the career stall that was Together We're Heavy (though not a terrible album in its own right), Polyphonic Spree quietly released an EP of covers and samples from their upcoming release. What's amazing about it is that the ginormous (and slightly crazy...surely going for the "crazed cult" fanbase) band has jettisoned their bloated songs in favor of more straightforward pop music. I always thought that Polyphonic Spree could be an awesome pop band, and I was right. Mental Cabaret is the most direct thing they've done to date and is a fantastic song. In fact, they're starting to sound a bit like Arcade Fire, another current quirky, classically inspired band. It will be interesting to see if the band will have any mainstream success with their new material.

mp3: The Polyphonic Spree - Mental Cabaret
zshare: The Polyphonic Spree - Mental Cabaret

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Buy the EP here)

February 2007 #1 Hits Promo Sleeve

Better late than never, as I unveil the sleeve for last month's tracks. As always, the cd is crammed full of amazing sounds and unforgettable melodies. I hope you all enjoyed the month as much as I did!

Would You Like Don Juan Dracula's Album For Free??

After granting Alienhits an interview, Don Juan Dracula have gone one step further and are going to give out 20 free digital downloads of their album, Young Debutantes II! Trust me when I say that this is one of the best albums of the last five years, especially if you are into synthpop.

Best of all, all you need to do to get this album is email me and include, in the body of the email:

1. Your email address
2. Your favorite new band that you have discovered through #1 Hits From Another Planet

Then, I will pick the first ten emails and send them to the band... soon you'll have a link to download the album sent right to you!

Good luck!

Don Juan Dracula's website

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Seven - City Is Burning

“You didn't notice table's were turning"

Many current bands have been descibed as "the Blondie of the 2000's," but for my money Seven have come the closest. The similarity at times is quite striking (singer Annette Gil is a dead ringer, at least vocally), and City Is Burning sounds just like a long lost Blondie classic. Don't think that it's just a savvy impersonation, though. The band is absolutely amazing... completely adept with a catchy melody and a synthesizer. Along with similar bands like The Sounds and Surferosa, these Norwegians deserve massive success.

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Buy the album here)

Monday, March 05, 2007

The Shapes - Dreaming Of An M16

“You say you're on my team"

Dreaming Of An M16 is such a perfect pop song, I just don't know how it hasn't been discovered by radio somewhere. Combining pulsing synth and crunchy guitar with a dual male/female vocal that sits somewhere between Joss Stone and the Arctic Monkeys (but better than both). The Shapes are a New York band, and perhaps that explains their semi-obscurity. If this band had popped up somewhere in the UK, they'd probably already be huge. Quite wonderfully, the band describes their music as "barry white meets iron maiden." That should really be enough for you to check them out.

mp3: The Shapes - Dreaming Of An M16
zshare: The Shapes - Dreaming Of An M16

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Buy the album here)
Alphabeat - Alphabeat
Release Date: March 5, 2007
Label: Copenhagen Records

Alphabeat do not create the slick, urban dance routine music that has become so synonymous with the words "pop music." Instead, they sound like a bunch of giddy friends that got together and started to throw down sugary hooks in a basement somewhere. Alphabeat's debut is chock full of the kind of quirky pop music that was made popular some decades ago… boogie beats, dual voiced singing, and a wallop of confectioner's sugar. Remember the band Len and their hit Steal My Sunshine from the late nineties? Well, if they had perfected the ideas they were working on, they may have sounded a bit like Alphabeat.

The record opens with the line "I was not looking for arty farty love" (from the instant pop/rock punch of 10.000 Nights Of Thunder) and it's a precursor of what's to come. Alphabeat the album has not been created from tortured souls, or manufactured to become a critic's darling. So, it may not seem on the surface to be anything special. But, anyone who brushes its jolly pop precision off as something trivial clearly does not know how difficult it is to write perfect pop melodies such as those found on Fascination (the album's biggest hit so far). Although not every song on the record is quite up to par with its standouts, there is a trilogy of tracks late in the running order that clearly show how amazing this band is at what they do. Ocean Blue follows in Fascination's footsteps as a gorgeous duet between the two lead singers (Anders SG and Stine Bramsen), while Fantastic 6 is an absolute throw down of a dance track and the insanely catchy whistling of The Hours should surely bolster that track to hit status. Even when the record slows down, such as on the hymnal closer Nothing But My Baby and the glam stomp of Rubber Boots/Mackintosh (with its hilarious refrain: “you should wear rubber, always wear rubber!”), it still proudly waves the pop flag.

More than any other release so far this year, Alphabeat revels in joy. Many albums profess to be party starters, but few actually are. From the bright colors of the album's cover (depicting the almost-too-happy faces of the band) to the relentless energy found inside, this is pop music at its most kitschy. And, in that, it also becomes somehow timeless. A

Key Tracks: Fascination, The Hours, Fantastic 6