Your Ad Here

Friday, April 27, 2012

Flashback Friday: Ya Ya - We've Only Tonight

"Don't fuss, don't fight"

This track, as far as I know, is pretty rare--as is the entirety of Ya Ya's 1984 album, Scarred. The pop/rock band is most known by their soundtrack work on various 80's films, but they deserve a wider audience. If you're a fan of big, bright power pop (and if you're reading this blog, the chance is pretty high), you're gonna love this. It was hard to pick just one track from their album to showcase, but I think this is a pretty good indicator of what you're getting with Ya Ya. Lots of energy, excellent use of synth riffs, and an overall catchy Cars-esque pop song firmly rooted in the 80's. Unfortunately, there's just not a lot of info about this group around on the internet. In fact, I couldn't even find a picture! I had to do with the cover of their album (above). Classify them under "hidden treasure," I suppose.

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

Labels: ,

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Daniel Bedingfield - O.V.E.R. U

"I don't miss you anymore"

Guess who's back? I used to be obsessed with Daniel Bedingfield's first album. I remember, my friend and I went to this radio concert and he was one of the acts. We made a sign to hold up (the first and last time that happened), but we were so far back in the stadium that there would have been no way he could have seen it. Plus, at that time nobody in the audience knew who he was so they just stared at us like we were insane. Regardless, I played that album to death and was upset when he didn't really go on to do much more music. Flash forward nearly a decade and he's released a new, comeback EP. It's not the perfect piece of work, but it definitely has its standout moments. If he were to pick a single from it, I'd totally go with O.V.E.R. U, which blends his classic, beat-heavy dance with a great, radio-friendly melody. Best of all, you can download the entire EP for free by clicking here! Pretty sweet, huh?

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


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

One Night Only - Hurricane

"I'm young, I'm on the rise"

So, last year the UK band One Night Only apparently released a third album. It's mysterious, though, because its availability seems to be scarce and tied (weirdly) up with Coca Cola advertising. In fact, more than anything it appears to be a tie-in to their little-known Coke single Can You Feel It Tonight. It's all very strange. That said, it's also got some great songs on it. Now, full disclosure: while I've loved the band's singles, I've never really enjoyed one of their albums start-to-finish. This one's no different, but there are definitely a few standouts worth mentioning. Hurricane opens the album in a stunning fashion, with epic instrumentation and an overall sound that reminds me of Keane in their Perfect Symmetry days. One day I'm going to compile the perfect One Night Only album. This would definitely be on it.

(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.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Track-by-Track: The Wanted - EP

If One Direction are the new 'Nsync in the modern battle of the boybands, The Wanted are the new Backstreet Boys--more mature melodically, less punchy musically. They've already released two great albums filled with modern pop music, but I've never reviewed either of them on here, so I thought it might be fun to look at their first American EP, which is basically a Greatest Hits up to this point (with a couple of non-hits tacked on). Because of this, it's already got a leg up on most albums. After all, the Wanted are a strong singles group.

1. Glad You Came - The lead single from their second UK album, and the one that broke them in America. It's an addictive slice of tropical euro-pop and definitely Summer appropriate. Not their best, but close. 10/10

2. Chasing The Sun - Pretty much, "Glad You Came" part two, but I actually think I like this one better. One of the two "new" tracks on the album, this definitely deserves its single status. It's just ridiculously catchy. 10/10

3. All Time Low - Their breakthrough single, and still their best. Basically, what Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" was for alternative music, this is for pop (though I'm aware that describing Coldplay as "alternative" is pretty ridiculous, but you get the point). If there's any justice, this should be a US single. It's too good to go unknown. 10/10

4. Satellite - One of the "new" tracks on the album, this Ryan Tedder written track feels a little generic. I don't know... the melody just doesn't do anything all that interesting. Though it's nice to have a new track, I'd rather they would have included the excellent "I'll Be Your Strength" from the second UK album. 8/10

5. Lightning - Not my favorite single, but certainly not bad. I loved the melody the first few times I heard it, but it wore thin pretty quickly. I think they could've done something more interesting with the production. Still, overall the pros definitely outweigh the cons. 9/10

6. Heart Vacancy - I never understood why this was their second single after the brilliant "All Time Low." It's just such a basic boyband ballad. I've grown to like it much more than I used to, but it doesn't exactly stand out. 8/10

7. Gold Forever - The first time they really experimented with a dancier sound (paving way for "Glad You Came") and it's an utter triumph. The lyrics are a bit naff, but the band has always had pretty horrible lyrics. The song itself is magic. 10/10

8. Lose My Mind - The third single from their debut, and definitely one of their most underrated singles. It sounds a bit like what Kings Of Leon would sound like if they went pure pop. Excellent. 10/10

9. Warzone - A slower, dubstep influenced track from the second UK album. I don't remember this doing much on the charts. They definitely have better ballads, not that this is horrible or anything. 8/10

10. Rocket - I find it weird that, of all the non-singles they could've added to this last slot on the album, they chose this one. Maybe it's because some of the vocals sound mysteriously Backstreet Boys-esque? I love the production on this, but I would hardly consider it an album-standout. They've got a few 10/10 tracks they could have picked. Still, this gets a 9/10

Album Grade: 9.2/10

Labels: ,

Monday, April 23, 2012

Reece Mastin - Shut Up & Kiss Me

"No need to tease me"

It seems like every other post on this blog nowadays is about some X-Factor contestant. But the fact is (despite the crappy US version), this series actually produces stars. Since winning last year, Australia's Reece Mastin has been catapulted into stardom in his native country. His post-show single, Good Night, was a massive hit, but we've all been wondering what his first official album single will sound like. As it turns out, the song sounds exactly like what I thought it would. But that's no bad thing. Mastin's blend of rock, pop and punk is bound to go down a storm on the charts. This track in particular is tailor-made for radio. It's catchy from the get go. Both hooks in the chorus stick. Mastin, like One Direction and Leona Lewis before him, is the type of performer that could potentially go global. It'll be harder, since the Australian version of the show is lesser known around the world, but with a song and image like his, I can definitely see it happening. What do you think? It's already on top of itunes in Australia.

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