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Friday, August 15, 2008

Flashback Friday: September - September All Over

"When there's nothing left to say and you're beginning to fade away"

Now that Swedish dance act September is (deservedly) popular around the world, I thought it would be a good idea to look back at one of her first singles from four years ago. It's not included on the recent international compilation album, so it may be unknown to some of you. September's been releasing flawless dance pop for the past four years, though, which is really quite a feat because usually acts like this are one-hit-wonders, if that. It's a testament to Petra's performance and the awesome songwriting and production. As always, Sweden is where it's at!

September - September All Over (zshare)

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

Thursday, August 14, 2008

State Kuban - Stepping On Your Toe

"You're obsessed with an image"

Today's devoted to something a little hard-edged to combat the pop fluff that I posted yesterday. State Kuban is a Norwegian punk band, but one that also relishes fantastic pop hooks and includes a touch of electronica. Stepping On Your Toe is such a pure shot of adrenaline. It's also freakishly catchy from round one. There may be a bit too much screaming at the end for some tastes (including, at times, mine--makes me feel like I'm in a Hot Topic store), but when this kind of music is done well, it can be really fun. And State Kuban definitely does chaos well.

State Kuban - Stepping On Your Toe (zshare)

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists if you can, 'cause I don't know where to buy their stuff!)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ally & Joey - Dreaming Wide Awake

"When gray meets light it creates new colors" (blech)

Two days ago something really cheesy happened on American TV. It was a musical called American Mall ("a place where you can buy anything... except your dreams!"), and as I sat watching it I couldn't believe that something so lame had actually been made in the 21st century. Now, I consider myself a connoisser of bad movie musicals (I mean, The Apple is one of my favorite movies ever) so I relished every crappy dance break and embarrassing song in this truly lame movie. Bad musicals are the best sort of comedy, especially when characters break into song for no apparent reason (ie: the At The Mall song early on--truly a sight to behold). The movie itself was, of course, completely forgettable, but there was one song (the almost infuriatingly catchy Dreaming Wide Awake) that has been stuck in my head since Monday. I am convinced that it could even be credible in a different context, with different singers. Just listen to this and try to get it out of your head. It's ridiculous.

Ally & Joey - Dreaming Wide Awake (zshare)

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Buy the DVD and soundtrack here, if you must.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Janelle Monáe - Violet Stars Happy Hunting

"And now they're after you for loving too"

Today marks the release of Janelle Monáe's first EP, the Metropolis Suite. Think a female Outkast, or Alecia Keys if she decided to go all weird and uptempo. The EP is a bizarre concept album that tells the story of a robot that falls in love with a human. The music is a mix of R&B, funk, rock and space-age pop. In some ways it's very out there, but given the right single I can see Monáe breaking through. She's definitely a breath of fresh air in the soul genre and I'd love her to score a hit. The stuff on this first EP may be a bit too strange to do it, but we'll see what she comes up with next.

Janelle Monáe - Violet Stars Happy Hunting (zshare)

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

Monday, August 11, 2008

Infernal - Punk Disco

"Get right to the point, get busy boy"

I've consistantly enjoyed Infernal's singles, but I couldn't get into their debut album. Electric Cabaret, the new one, is a different story completely. Even after one listen I can tell that this is going to be a major release of 2008. The production just floored me. Each song is such a masterpiece of the genre, and instrumental closer Behind The Music is jaw dropping. This is a band that has upped their game tenfold, and even though the album is a bit overlong at 14 tracks, it will be difficult to top. In fact, the only artist in the dance-pop genre that I can see doing it is Lady GaGa, but we'll see when her album's released. For now, Infernal reigns supreme. Punk Disco is perhaps the best example of their newfound eclectism. It is a 100% perfect pop song with AMAZING production. It's like old-style Infernal meeting Scissor Sisters in a club and challenging them to a dance fight. It is stunningly good.

Infernal - Punk Disco (zshare)

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