Friday, 30 April 2010
Thursday, 29 April 2010
Wednesday, 28 April 2010
Exactly like she was the last time - Heartbreak Me A Dancer's follow-up Bittersweet has even less of a chorus and seems quite content on being solely reliant upon the familarly exuberant production courtesy of the work-shy Freemasons. If that was not enough, we need to wait until August for the album. It is certainly wise to promote a record with 3 singles, but the third one just happens to be a song that was originally recorded by Roisin Murphy (who is the Annie Lennox of the 21st century) and leaked back in 2007! Well good luck Sophie, no doubt you shall write yet another memorable personalised newsletter to the blog but I doubt even that will save you. And yes Make A Scene was the better album title, not Straight To The Dumper, which just sounds like your sophomore one.
Sunday, 25 April 2010
Friday, 23 April 2010
A river of piano keys form a stream into Dream Awake's tempestuously insatiable craving for ravishing romance. The flickering heat sees Rush gushing about her boundaries being blurred, but I would suggest a good wax to sort that out. The disco is serious and the woman herself probably lubricated.
We have Natasha Bedinfield to blame for the Middle-Eastern flavoured Betcha Never - I'm guessing that description makes it very obvious the song sounds really lame in spite of some breathtaking toungue lashings such as 'don't hide what you feel inside'.
Lyrics of the flesh and spiritual quiverings to put Mary Kiani to shame are symptoms of a woman 'way beyond the spoken word', but Window can be summed up quite easily: forgettable, but definately defendable if the intense soundtrack of a middle-aged woman getting herself off to the Hallmark channel is something you can work with.
The juicy beats of Down On My Knees are certainly no chore, penetrating so fast you won't even feel them touch the sides. A simmering disco blisters as the poor lady is 'begging for mercy' whilst, you've guessed it, down on her knees - she has most likely still got the whole football team to get through. She talks a good game, but I do worry she will get pins and needles.
The glittery surfaces on the mid-tempo piano-rippling ballad Head Above Water is akin to Celine 'A New Day era' Dion. It turns into a mini-opera, with delicate vocoder effects. Rush pulls off the balladeer moves with strenuous skill. The rousing I Never Asked For An Angel salutes life's mistakes with some sort of self-belief, but my will is to press skip.
Second single Echoes Love is a tropical dance current with the kind of thick bassline groove reminiscent of Michelle Williams or Alexandra Burke's All Night Long. Orgasmic. She's hitting the piano keys again on I'm Not Dreaming Anymore and I'm hitting the drink.
Title track Now Is The Hour is a solemn hymn-like pledge, which would be fine in small doses if she hadn't passed through similar stunts already. There is a key change and it's almost worth it. The chugging Like I Would For You gets back to work, accelerating into a wheeping chorus that has wind blowing in her hair (probably the only body part she has that can actually move). The album's first single was the ballad Before The Dawn, which I can take or leave, but it's admittedly the best conventional torch song on offer.
Rush goes robotic on Eyes of A Woman and let's hope it has nothing to do with her top drawer. The track has more lust than Ashley Cole in a mobile phone shop. The greedy dancefloor beats of the Milftastic Just The Way are worthy of Metro's stunning performances for Anna Vissi, Cher and Lara Fabien. This would be the broad's best bet for a British comeback - seriously sensational.
Kylie cohort Steve Anderson snatches his paycheck on the after-hours ballad Ain't Loved You Long Enough, which if I am being generous would have sounded great on Minogue's abandoned after-hours ballads album if she had actually seriously planned such a career killer. I don't not like it though, and she does wail magnificently. On Still she sings as beautifully as the falling rain, but I've swallowed enough syrup here - not many albums clogged with as much ballad as this are worth the trouble, yet Rush gives it her all on all 15 tracks.
I isolate the dance tracks, ressurecting this beast back into business whilst her token melodrama on the ballads show up a diva well past her prime. Her ballads are at least gratifyingly straightforward if nothing else, although only when she threatens to compete with Celine Dion's spangly A New Day Has Come album on Head Above Water does she sound like a contender. Her campy kicks are magnified on hyper disco flashes such as Dream Awake where the music is high gloss and, as on Eyes of A Woman, sexually committed to utter trash. There is drama as well as declamation here - her concept of cheap thrills will charm the pants of anyone with Cher, Tina or Diana Ross remixes in their playlists. As far as divas who outlast their peak with unthinkably flashy and gutsy dance-orientated music, Jennifer Rush is the one to beat.
Unless it gets blasted in Glasgow when Braveheart 2 will happen. The city closed down last year when Primark had it playing to promote their annual buy-1-shoplift-5-free thongs campaign and there was more blood than in the factories where their clothes are made by children who have at least 4 of their original fingers. Tina was mortified - she wanted to know where her free thongs were, how else is she going to up her game now that Beyonce is ripping her off, and ripping her thongs off as well?
I like so few of Tina's songs, but I Don't Wanna Fight I do a lot, which is almost ironic. The chart-rising song is synonymous with one of our local football teams and incites a fair bit of visceral hatred between Catholic and Prodestant sport fans. Turner is officially banned from playing it in Scotland.
Thursday, 22 April 2010
Wednesday, 21 April 2010
The light acoustic shower of Rains Came is the jaunty opener stretched to the impossible length of 2:25 minutes. Why Didn't You Call Me is even shorter. These first two songs - neither lasting longer than 2 minutes each - are mere bait, but she's a gifted singer and her jazz-folk songs are arranged to stregnthen her lyrics. She's finding the subtle details that she craves with generous ease.
The poignant Like A Fool is half a dozen tattoos from being a softer Ani Difranco song. Her touching eloquence blossoms on all 10 tracks. The sultry Alibi is almost cinematic, I can only hope she never tires of being disappointed by her lovers.
The torchly Something To Be Said About Air is a 3:34 minute of climactic poetry, it's almost jazz. Too gritty to be anything near edgy, Family Tree is a smouldering gear shift (faster strums basically, think Kelly Llorenna by herself in a toilet cubicle). The sultry and seductive Loser Dreamer is self-amused and settles into your heart like a sunset. This is the sound of day-later melancholy, I totally see glimpses of myself wanting to say these things myself.
Shelby's buy-now pay-later love orders 'make it a double' on Old #7. Her stubborn vocal contours on Old Dog ('there must be someone out there somewhere') suggests a brave future. Her rich vocal flavours flesh out Home Sweet Home, a sentimental song sung sweetly as if it's cold outside.
Tuesday, 20 April 2010
After earning her art badge with such lyrics as So Hot's 'I'm yours for the night if you dare' and 'make you hotter than the one you ever tasted' Frosty clearly slams her pussy even harder than she sings. Composing herself as a fulltime hot person causes her token speciality to express her awareness of it, and one can scoff at mere honesty - just tell that to Kerry Katona. Of course, with Frost songwriting or actual music isn't really the point, but her catchy hooks prove that even her voice can't get in the way of her lusty soundtracks. She pumps her pop like giving Eurovision a colonic, and boy do these stinkers give fans of trash their fix of mediocre dance-pop and then some.
Atomic Kitten's pre-fab Never Ever's were a bit much for me, so to get sent this album as some kind of compensation for not getting a CD I ordered (or getting it late, I cannot remember) was an accident - it was not until I skipped to tracks 12 and 13 that I introduced myself to the accelerated form of a makeshift replacement member blossoming into a formidable solo star with the only thing stopping her being her chavvy girlband colleagues and the fact that she cannot sing, and for the most part doesn't. JF attacks her sporadic lines with a warm slinky burr on indubitably tuneful dance songs that speak to slightly jaded and pregnant teenagers and the gays who got bullied by them at school.
The new name for her new album? Aphrodite. It's not the first time she's taken inspriation from Lady Miss Kier Kirby (just go with me on this one), but I'll let it slip when it sounds this AMAZING.
Monday, 19 April 2010
Sunday, 18 April 2010
Continuing my 90s dance skidmarks, the decade didn't dump a bigger whallop of rampant Eurodance than Corona's galvanic sexdrive Baby Baby. You simply wouldn't have gotten a more lethal dancefloor dosage unless Kelly Llorenna was injecting you with heroine. It was smeared all over the charts in 1995, nudging top 5 in the UK and grazing the summit in the land of Dana International (aka Israel). I can't 'bear' to look at naked fat men porno, so always chose the underground transport setting of the second video shot for the single, although Olga's jawdropping good looks - as their 1998 comeback proves - could survive even the most Dannii Minogue of budgets:
Friday, 16 April 2010
Thursday, 15 April 2010
In her biggest budget since her last face-lift, Bonnie Tyler singes the very highest spot available for out-of-work singers from the 80s - singing a jingle to her biggest hit for a TV advert.
Wednesday, 14 April 2010
Music lovers just grateful to be spared yet another Max Martin protégée weren't smug for long when it was revealed Linda ‘Christina Aguilera’ Perry was co-producing. The proof of Courtney's brilliance can't even be dimmed under Perry's production that is thinner than the singer's mid 90s septum. The commercial compromise is the reason it even got made, so I won't keep bitching about Perry if I can help it - in fact, Love herself puts blame on her old flame Jim Barber for the drowned sound.
Aurally astute and articulate but - heavens no- not clean, nevermind neat, and much less mysterious, lead single Mono's guitar riff could give a lesbian a boner, is instantly noticeable and provokes a ferociously determined vocal that even momentarily sounds strikingly in control snearing to God 'are you, you are the one'. The chorus' blatant gender aggression proves she's not dead, not overrated and not over no matter what she looks or sounds like.
As on the sexually-satisfying vow to out-coke the fashion-conscious skinny rock stars But Julian, I'm A Little Bit Older Than You, it also helps that the emotional high of her songwriting sometimes approaches her medicated ones, although when 'the pornoriphic girl is me' you'd best duck or expect herpes.
With a cute but tired-sounding melody, the heartrendingly broken Hold On To Me has a riff that's bruised and helplessly exhausted.
Attaching herself to literally any body, on the ravishingly sleazy I'll Do Anything she emotes words over the cruddy-but-importantly-loud guitar noise. The theme of exploitation has always prevailed for Courtney, and here she positively demands it at gunpoint.
The sludge of the guttural purge All The Drugs makes her voice sounds like her throat has got wood lice. She's dense, deluded and demanding, even if she out-strips Perry's abilities which leave us a bit short-changed.
Forever the valley gurl, she celebrates that 'my dress is the prettiest' even if she sounds like the type of 5 year old who had to hit the other girls for not being her friends. The very Celebrity Skin era sounding Almost Golden is Courtney smoking her Stevie Nicks LPs again. Thank God. The lilting Sunset Strip is just as good ('I got pills for my coochie cos I’m sore') - it's a toss up between these two for being the catchiest thing since
Lousy mother sings lousy song; Life Without God is shot to pieces. It’s pretty repulsive and unbearable.
She must have had a sleepover at Elton's, Uncool is the collaboration with Bernie (sadly, not of the Nolan clan) Tauplin, and despite the sweet lyric 'you're pretty face has grabbed the headlines' it inadvertently cultivates a pre-Lindsay Lohan trainwreck sensibility when that time is clearly past her ('I'm too young to be this old' she slurrs on track 7).
Likeable throwaways Hello and Zeplin Song both approach and miss their stop for B-Sides R Us, so you'd better get used to them being here. Ever the creative marketer, the singer sticks in a Smells Like Teen Spirit lyric (clue is in the title). Seriously, it's great to hear her with this much verve and cheek. They're not top notch, but at least she's trying, and she doesn't sound like the hot mess she actually is in 2004, with news on Zeplin I wasn't about to guess.
She does sound dismal on Never Gonna Be The Same though, but beautifully so. Just because her voice is crippled doesn't mean her heart is. She lives and dies singing these overwhelmingly sad lyrics, which at the time sounded like her last fingernail grip.
With her voice in shreds, it's no longer even pretty on the inside. She needs 1991-98 bandmate Eric, she can't lift the heavy weights on her own. Nobody's Daughter will sound 'classier', but this is Courtney getting an Avril makeover courtesy of Linda Perry and thankfully the shit don't stick - Courtney won't stay still and play game for anyone. We might deserve better than the state she is in here, but I can't resist the music. Her grand self regard and chainsaw-throat vocals find legs on the lead single, the hooker-slurred pomp thrills of I’ll Do Anything and All The Drugs, and a few others that are all more than worthy of being struck on some belated half arsed compilation, which might be the only other chance these songs get. Amazing artwork by the way.