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Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Royal Concept - On Our Way

"We are young, we are one"

I love it when I can use the word "galloping" to describe a song. And if ever a song deserved the adjective, it's this one. Sweden's The Royal Concept have been impressing me more and more with each track they release. World On Fire was amazing, and now On Our Way cements them as a Scandinavian band to watch. You can never have too many epic/anthem sounding songs. The music video premiered today and I hope that means that an album is imminent!

(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.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Natalia Kills - Saturday Night

"Another fist, another wall"

I'm suddenly really excited for Natalia Kills' upcoming second album (released in September). I always thought she had a ot of potential to be a very interesting popstar, and some of that potential was fulfilled in her debut. Now that she can move past Gaga-esque sounds and carve out her own niche, we could be in for some really cool mainstream pop. Saturday Night is certainly a move in that direction. A slow-burning electro thump gives way to a melody that sounds more like a classic rock ballad than 21st century pop music. Best of all, it seems like Natalia actually has something interesting to say (rather than the obligatory "throw your hands in the air... isn't life great? we're so cool!" sentiment). Now please let the album live up to my hopes for it!

(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.


Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Pop Blitz - U.S. Itunes Top Ten

Time for a little snapshot of Summer 2013 on U.S. itunes. These are the top ten tracks at the time of writing. Do they stack up against other summers?

1. Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines (feat. T.I. & Pharrell)
This is the Summer of throwback jams. I'm continually amazed that Thicke still has such a strong career. This gets a little annoying after repeated listens, but there's no denying nostalgia. B+

2. Miley Cyrus - We Can't Stop
Didn't like it at first, but the track's druggy weirdness won me over in a big way -- enough to become my favorite American Summer track so far this year. A

3. JAY Z - Holy Grail (feat. Justin Timberlake)
Timberlake just annoys me, but his vocals are almost unrecognizable here. I actually really like the first minute or so, but then it becomes all too murky and forgettable. The Nirvana reference doesn't work at all. B-

4. Imagine Dragons - Radioactive
This has become more and more inescapable as the months have gone on. It's not really my thing (a little too dark), but I can appreciate it -- and it's definitely got that big hook. B

5. Daft Punk - Get Lucky (feat. Pharrell Williams)
A nice compliment to song number one, this disco throwback has become a surprising hit. It's deservedly soundtracking the Summer. A-

6. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - Same Love (feat. Mary Lambert)
For some reason, I thought this was Frank Ocean for the longest time. The track never really surpasses its "message" status, but it's an important message and I'm certainly happy that it's become so big. A-

7. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - Can't Hold Us (feat. Ray Dalton)
I'm actually kind of amazed at how much success these guys have had. I'm not as big a fan of this track as the last one, but it's cool enough, I guess. B

8. Florida Georgia Line - Cruise (Remix) [feat. Nelly]
Country and rap... is not something I usually enjoy. Add a healthy bit of vocoder and you've got this weird track. I just don't know... C

9. Anna Kendrick - Cups
She must be absolutely shocked that she suddenly has a top ten hit. I was a fan of Pitch Perfect when it was first out, but have cooled on it quite a bit as it's gained so much popularity. This is... fine (for a little cup ditty). B

10. Bruno Mars - Treasure
I don't know why I've never connected with Bruno Mars. On paper, he should be everything I like. I just can't get into it. This is a nice throwback and better than I expected, actually, so I'm hoping it'll grow on me. For now I'm gonna have to give another B

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Monday, July 08, 2013

Shinee - Password

I know a lot of you are probably wondering why this mostly-Euro-centric blog has been upping the K-Pop content over the past year. You may think it's just a phase. I thought it would be too, but I am fully invested in Asian music, now. Obviously, I've still got way more English-language stuff on tap, but I can't ignore some of the awesomeness coming from the east. And for this year, top of the list in Awesomeness goes to Shinee. They've done something remarkable in releasing three (!) albums of stellar quality over the past six months. First there were their double Korean releases, Dream Girl and Why So Serious, and now they've put out their second full-length Japanese album. So, technically, this is J-Pop. While being a bit ballad heavy, Boys Meet U is an excellent collection of songs -- better than Why So Serious, in my mind, but not quite as amazing as Dream Girl. The guys (or rather, the production team behind them) are really experimenting with their sound. I love the ferocious dubstep-meets-punk Kiss Yo. But Password, which opens the album, is even more impressive. It's full-on electric psychedelia. The spacey instrumental in the hook reminds me of the 70's (particularly ELO and Elton John's stellar Funeral For A Friend). The melody is equally grandiose. Even if you've been unimpressed with the Asian music I've been posting the last few months, check this out because it's different and very, very cool.

Password by SHINee on Grooveshark

(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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