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Thursday, October 06, 2011

Nero - Crush On You

"How did you know?"

I had considered posting this song when the album first came out because I loved it except for one part: those godawful noises in between the singing. I know, I know. It's dubstep. It's supposed to be like that. But until I saw the video (which gives it all great context), I found the electronic noodling very irritating. It's definitely grown on me and now I actually kind of like it, but I was also very happy to run across this edit, which gets rid of the dubsteppy bits in favor of more vocals (that ending verse part is repeated twice, rather than just once like in the original). Bottom line is, this track samples a great old 80's song by the Jets that lends itself very well to a remix. I'm pretty damn obsessed with it, whatever form it comes in. Below is the "cold edit" and the fantastic video, which includes the potentially irritating dubstep noises. Which do you prefer? I can't decide, honestly.

Nero - Crush On You (Cold Edit) by Cold0ne

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy the album here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.


Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Darren Hayes - Bloodstained Heart

"You hit me like a subway train"

Two singles in and this album campaign is finally starting to make sense to me. Talk Talk Talk was fine, if underwhelming, and I don't really care for Black Out The Sun. But this song? This is the Darren Hayes I love. This is an example of his gift for melody, his ambition in songwriting, and his unmistakable voice. It really should have been the lead single, and should be released worldwide instead of being relegated to Australia only. Bloodstained Heart is a delicate, emotional ballad with a melody that hits you on the first listen. It builds to an explosive crescendo the likes of which I'm not sure we've heard from him before. I truly believe this has the potential to be his first worldwide hit since Savage Garden. Wouldn't that be something?

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Preorder the album here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.


Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Track-by-Track: Aqua - Megalomania

It's been a few months since my last album review, and I'm bringing it back with a release that's really grabbed me. You might be thinking "an Aqua album really grabbed you?", but in addition to loving their debut back in the 90's, I've always taken these guys more seriously than most. Europop is a genre just like any other, and Aqua know how to use it to its best effect. I'm happy to say that, after more than a decade away, this new album is very, very good pop. It will definitely be in my top ten of the year, possibly quite high.

1. Playmate to Jesus - I misjudged this song at first, thinking that the chorus melody was too obvious. But as I've listened to it more, the production flourishes have won me over. This is one of their best midtempos. 9/10

2. Dirty Little Popsong - It's odd that this is so early in the running order because I think it's my least favorite track. It just feels too predictable. It's a solid dance track, for sure, but doesn't have anything new to offer. 7/10

3. Kill Myself - Now we're talking! This is the type of mature, soaring pop I hoped they'd record. The verses are beautiful (Lene really shows her range), but it's that blockbuster chorus that really gets you. Instant hit, even with the dark subject matter. 10/10

4. Like A Robot - When I first heard this, I couldn't stop laughing. The filthy bluntness of the hook seems shocking at first, but it's totally in keeping with the band's desire to subvert pop music. And luckily, this doesn't rest on the novelty of the chorus. The melody's just as strong. 10/10

5. Viva Las Vegas - Melodically, I love it. Where it loses a point is the lyrics, which never break out of novelty territory. But the production and hooks are so good that it's still a standout. 9/10

6. No Party Patrol - This is such an interesting track. On the surface, it's about a sort of apocalyptic party (more and more common subject matter these days), but I can't help but think it also functions as a critique of America's political parties' inability to deal with environmental issues. Maybe I'm reading between the lines too much, but the thought makes this a very unique track. Melodically, it's ace. 10/10

7. Come 'n Get It - A midtempo that hearkens back to their 90's days. It's definitely filler, but very enjoyable nonetheless. I like the retro vibe it gives off. 8/10

8. Sucker For A Superstar - One of the rockier tracks on the album, this is a highly infectious commentary on groupies (I wonder if Aqua has groupies?). Honestly, though, it's all about that chorus. It's gargantuan. 10/10

9. Be My Saviour Tonight - A bit of a departure, and one of the more mature sounding tracks on the album. It's all string sections, heavy beats (it gets crazy toward the end), and a soaring hook. It's grown on me immensely. 9/10

10. How R U Doin? - The album's first single, which is kind of crazy because it's not the strongest track. It's fairly straightforward electro-pop. Great beat, stupid lyrics. But it's fun! 9/10

11. If The World Didn't Suck (We Would All Fall Off) - I just love this. It's as close to rock music as the band's ever come, with pensive verses and stadium-sized, anthemic choruses. It's got a great build to it. A fantastic way to end the album, and one of the strongest tracks they've recorded. 10/10

Album Grade: 9.2/10

Monday, October 03, 2011

Queen Of Hearts - Shoot The Bullet

"You conceal it, but I feel it"

The Sound Of Arrows are FINALLY releasing their debut album about a month from now. It has strong potential to be the album of the year. All of their singles up to this point have been jaw-to-the-floor amazing. To celebrate this news, I'm not going to post a SoA track, but instead I want to feature a track they produced. Queen of Hearts is a British electro-pop singer. She's got a handful of tracks produced by well-known European acts, but this is the best of the bunch. I prefer to think it's due to SoA's influence. The song is certainly not as epic and spacey as their work, but it does have an undeniable pop surge to it. As far as Queen of Hearts, I'd say she's definitely one to watch. All she needs is a big song to break her into the mainstream and set her apart from similar acts in the market right now.

Queen of Hearts - Shoot The Bullet by Queen Of Hearts

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy the album here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.

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