Tuesday, 31 May 2011

La Toya Jackson - Startin' Over (Again (Again (Again)))

Until La Toya Jackson finally discovers a cure for AIDS, the best thing she can do is make music, cry in front of monkeys and write books. Her latest anthem is a fresh 1991-sounding dance jam called Startin' Over, and I for one have made the biggest mess on my keyboard since I discovered google videos. Listen and drool: her honesty is intimidating and sexual ("I don't need no cure" melts in my ears, but is a huge step back in her fight against AIDS). I don't need no cure, but I will take a scalpel, some hand cream and any valium if you have some (allegedly). Listen and weep, Janet.

Freak Asylum - Throwaway Girl (Second Music Video Completed)

Fan of the tan, Kelly Llorenna is really killing me. Her act Freak Asylum have already filmed two videos and not a single leak. The first single is called You Better Leave, and now pictures have surface for their second single's video called Throwaway Girl. Although I'm not really a fan of the lack of hot guys, Kelly (or is this Lola leethal pseudonym still happening?) does look like she should be pulling pints behind the Rovers Return (ie, amazing).

CeCe Peniston - Stoopid (New Single 2011)

One of the iconic divas of early 90s dance (she also invented the disco squat later championed by Madonna), Cece Peniston might seem as if she has been quiet for a while (her last album was in 1996), but this legend has been active in the industry for over two decades now and isn't about to stop with the release of her fantastic new 'comeback' track, the pop-flavored Stooopid. Who can forget rnb singer Monica's famous 2008 outburst towards Peniston for supposedly not appreciating her acapella at a meet and greet? Monica was 10 years old at the time and Peniston later apologised, but hilariously "couldn't even remember this" just to put the Still Standing singer back in her place. It is triumphs such as these tales that prove just how sassy this sister is to know what she's talking about as she sings "you must really think that I'm stoopid". I know a top ten Billboard Dance Chart smash when I hear it. The new album Cece is out soon.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Vitamin C: That Was Then, This Is Now

I do wish Vitamin C would hurry up and make a hot-mess comeback album. I'm currently listening to her outtake Funnier Than Love and, although she was a bit old for it even at the time, she encapsulates commercial pop circa 1999 and also managed to make what pop would sound like in 2003 when it was only 2001! Not many people can do that. Unfortunately, her very aptly titled sophomore album More failed to shift enough copies and her label Elektra pulled the plug on the project. The slithery The Itch dipped at #45 in the States and #6 in Australia (get that smash, girl!). Instead of the is-what-it-is ballad As Long As You're Loving Me, I'd have considered instead: the sleek cock-regret of Sex has Come Between Us; the Missy Elliot tribute song Dangerous Grill (otherwise known as Dangerous Girl, which was a tribute to Rachel Steven's Sweet Dreams My LA Ex even before that song was actually written - 'so hardcore, I'd dial for more' bites off more than others can chew), the faithful Waitresses' cover I Know What Boys Like, the floaty She Talks About Love, the pre-Avril teenage period pains of That Was Then, This Is Now (the incredulous middle-eight is even better than the gorgeously whingey chorus), or the one that sounds a bit like a listenable Girls Aloud single that never was (the ball-busting Bloodshy & Avant produced Busted). Elsewhere, Where's The Party obviously re-calls the Madonna of the same name: it sounds nothing like it, but grinding guitars and the ridiculously kiddish sentiment are pretty irresistible. Special is a stunner: Sara Jorge would have killed to have sung this; and is my 8th example of a better song than As Long As You're Loving Me. I may have started off talking about Funnier Than Love, so let me finish myself off by returning to this little-known trigger of romantic amusement. I just love it when she purrs "answer your phone please" and, yep, there's phone noises to make her point clear. We have been hearing comeback rumours for years: she released a UK single Last Night under the V2 label, songs such as the energetic and slightly boisterous Learning To Love The Enemy and wistful contemplation of Smash It Up leaked via an unofficial myspace page, and Funnier Than Love is also thought to have came from these sessions. Unfortunately, the person who uploaded it refuses to share, which is just typical of these individuals: that's like me waving a packet of Quavers in front of a homeless person; some people have no heart...

Gina G's Next 2 U: The Verdict

Ever since I showed no apology for loving that half-naked Australian dance queen sparkle, flick and strut on the Eurovision stage as a typical 11 year old boy with a thing for spectacular eurodance tunes back in 1996, I have been salivating for the unique flair, style and Hi-NRG excitement of Gina's music: classics such as the lavish I Belong To You, flamenco-flutter of Ti Amo, the emphatic Ooh Ahh, the jittery anticipation of Rhythm of My Life (and its amazing lyric "my brother doesn't like you, my sister thinks you cool"); the frisky innuendo of the title track Fresh!; the rampant dance binge of Gimme Some Love; and the more plaintive exotica of It Doesn't Mean Goodbye. There might not have been much material since, but if I am honest this has probably only enhanced her myth and status. However, there have been highlights such as her trance-formation on the very Riva-esque Heaven (her biggest hit that never was), and a certain atypical delight in the form of a song called Next To You that was leaked via her facebook page in order to quench her fan's thirst for more tunes, and probably just to settle their nerves in such trying times of uncertainty. Its style was minimalist, almost like La Roux serving up a song for a 90s Nintendo computer console: what remained were the singer's trademark gushing vocals and excited lyrical topic of cute boys (is there anything else worth talking about in life? I don't think so). Gina released her belated follow-up to Fresh! called Get Up & Dance, and a few of its highlights have been remixed for a future release, including a re-vamped Next To You, now cleverly re-named Next 2 U in order to appeal to people who can't spell. Throwing her spell-checker out the window, this gem has now been given a glossy make-over, the wistful melody is now enhanced with rainbow-sprouting synths and glistening piano keys. In other words, it's pretty amazing. Check your iTunes and support Gina G's latest comeback. Hopefully I shall post a youtube clip of it soon.


Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Gloria Estefan - Miss Little Havana (Preview)

Can't really say much, it sounds nice and mellow, but I want electronic beats at some point, are you listening Gloria?

Mel C - Rock Me (New European Single)

I didn't see this one coming: I mean I knew it was coming, I just didn't know I was going to like this song as much. This has just been serviced to German radio, and if cougar with a 'K' Kim Wilde can have success with much better material there, then I don't see why an overrated ex-Spice Girl shouldn't be able to trouble the iTunes top 100 there too. Featuring one of her best ever choruses, perhaps it is the post-chorus that has the best hook here of all. The verses are a tad crap, but that never stopped Geri, The Beatles, ABBA or Lolly now did it? Supposedly, this is a European-only single and the UK (who are actually European, funnily enough) are being dished dance dregs instead. I don't think Mel is quite at the level where she can divide her markets and releases - she should skim the cream from 'both' projects and give everyone the best. So whatever she is up to, good luck, but the Spice Girls will always be the sum of their parts (and it was only Geri who ever really came closest to capturing that Spice spirit and spectacle in any of her solo stuff). I shouldn't really discredit MC completlely as Never Be The Same Again was clever enough to enlist Left-Eye, I Turn To You was one of those daft Ibiza anthems of its day that fizzed its trancey sounds all over the radio, and Northern Star was certainly lovely. However, the big C herself has always frustrated me ever since with lacklustre follow-ups (after the success of Northern Star I could not fathom the slump in quality found on her dreary sophomore set). Anyway, that's my ten cents and then some.

Dana Does London

Yet another reason why Dana needs a proper international website - how could I not know she was flying into London for some high profile cruddy PAs on the Eurovision circuit? Miming to the tolerably average Ding Dong, Dana is soon persuaded to sing Diva acapella before being to grossed out by a bunch of gays whose best days were back in the late 80s that she has to run off stage straight away and demand some hand sanitizer. I'm still humming along to Ding Dong, but I am sure in about a year I'll have gotten over my grief about her recent semi-final loss - I haven't felt this disappointed for a pop star since I heard the bonus tracks on Dannii's Hits & Beyond (belief).

Monday, 23 May 2011

Dannii Upstages Rihanna Yet Again

Remember when I gave that world exclusive leak of Dannii's Welcome The Teardrops that other blogs copied of refused to aknowledge? Well, you can't say I don't have credibility as I can now, again, exclusively reveal that Dannii's long-awaited non-featuring solo single is in fact an update of the minor Rihanna hit single S&M. Dannii has wisely adapted the song to be called M&S, which shall tie in to her deal with the shopping chain of the same name (she buys all of Kris's not-so-smalls there of course) and her recent post-X-Factor MILF make-over. I recently broke into Dannii's apartment, and before I could even snatch my snatch and steal her laptop to save her unreleased music onto my memory stick, I couldn't help but notice that beside a dart board with a picture of Cheryl Cole on it was a post-it with the lyrics to her new song M&S, and well I just had to share.

Na na na
Come on (you know you really turn me on and off and on and on)
Na na na
Come on (you know you really turn me on and off and on and on)
Na na na na na
Come on (you know you really turn me on and off and on and on)
Na na na
Come on, come on, come on (you know you really turn me on and off and on and on)
Na na na na
Come on (you know you really turn me on and off and on and on)
Na na na
Come on (you know you really turn me on and off and on and on)
Na na na na na
Come on (you know you really turn me on and off and on and on)
Na na na
Come on, come on, come on (you know you really turn me on and off and on and on)
Na na na

Feels so good being high-street (Oh oh oh oh oh)
There's no way I'm turning designer (Oh oh oh oh oh)
Now the pain is my pleasure 'cause nothing could measure (Oh Kris oh Kris oh)

Frumpy pants are great, so fine (Oh oh oh oh oh)
Out the box, outta line (Oh oh oh oh oh)
The affliction of the feeling leaves me wanting more (Oh oh oh oh oh)

'Cause I may be highstreet, but I'm perfectly good at it
Old ladies browsing, I don't care, I love the smell of it
Sticks and stones may break my bones
But buying pants and bras excite me

Oh, I love the feeling you bring to me, oh, you know you really turn me on and off and on and on
Elastic underwear is exactly what I've been yearning for, give it to me strong
And meet me in my boudoir, make my body say ah ah ah
I like it-like it

M-M-M & S-S-S
M-M-M & S-S-S
M-M-M & S-S-S
M-M-M & S-S-S

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Bananarama Relight Their Fire In France

I didn't see this one coming. I won't bog this blog down with small journalistic expectations such as research, so I have no idea what this is for, but as the camera pans around to an audience of menopausal MILFs clapping and flapping their wings like they think they can fly, the collective draft of bingo wings must have been Hurricane Bananarama. Performing their minor 80s smash Venus, there's so much to love about this, but most of all these woman are just legends. I've had my blog spammed, in the past, by rubbish gays getting upset at my equally iconic reviews for these ladies, but when you've personally told Karen that her baps were falling out to her face, and near enough got a high five from her for your troubles, I think that secures my unequivocal fandom for life - cheap jokes just make the makeshift comebacks and remix stopgaps just that bit more fun is all. Enjoy the clip!

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Xtina Gets Nasty (Again)

It took a flop marriage, flop album and hit TV show, but finally Christina Aguilera keeps getting better. Nasty, her collabo with her co-judge from The Voice, is supposedly an outtake from Burlesque sessions, but actually puts the majority of that soundtrack to shame. It's funky and another showcase for her unmistakable howl. Following its leak, Ceelo has suggested the two might perform it on their show, but I'm happy for @therealXtina to get on @therealTreadmill for 6 months first and then do something musically. I'm kidding of course - I love chubby Christina, and truthfully want more songs like I Am and All I Need.

RuPaul - Glamazon (2011)

Not to sound all Tori Amos, but I've kind of lost my '6:58 spark' of late. As always, I turn to music and some of the songs here on Rupaul's stellar new album Glamazon have really rang true for me in ways I would never have expected. Much on offer here is self-empowering, stylised (I hate the word 'camp' - it needs a rest in 2011, but I'm sure its meaning will settle into less devisive debate soon), authentic, and unequivocally Hi-NRG. What more could one ask for?

Emphatic opener This Is The Beginning is a huge rush of chunky house synths, sparkling bleeps and a killer chorus that dispels any misconception that this is a novelty record quicker than Ru can snatch your wig. It could be recorded by anyone, and I actually mean that as a compliment.

Real emotions ripple to the surface on Responsitrannity, with its gorgeous refrain "on my own, I had to learn it on the radio, oh oh oh", like catching a memory and suddenly realising an element of sadness in relation to the effort some of us had to go to in order to "hear a voice" (hearing new music used to be something of an obsession of mine). It soon recalls Video Killed The Radio Star, with its vocodered headlines "internet, video, television, stereo" which sounds less dated in action. Some might find his play on words here a bit clumsy, but I appreciate his aim to create the voice he had to learn on the radio himself. Celebrating the escapism of music and its ability to give someone a sense of their identity - this song is just so powerful to me, I absolutely love it, but perhaps I am just being sentimental.

Live Forever adopts Livin' Joy style bloops and bleeps, and this really could be an unreleased collaboration with the Livin' Joy and Alex Party producers. The chorus is gigantic and best heard on headphones - it is a mad rampage that would sound amazing and terrifying played loud in a club of varying quality.

The smoother Here It Comes Around Again is my other choice cut: I hold out for the aching delivery Ru gives singing "my head is spinning". One of the simpler cuts, the duds and thuds do all the right things, and finding clubs depressing never sounded so true and yet wonderful.

Music is self-discovery, and so I recommend checking this release out for yourself. Ru's voice is limited, but expressive and fills out the songs with wit, ehophoria, surprising pathos and uplifting spirit. I was really taken aback by how good it felt to play these songs, and to listen to the concientious lyrics, however cliched they might seem at times, from someone who's lived them to every last gasp. Rupaul's dancefloor bender is heroic.


Sunday, 15 May 2011

Always A Diva

Above: "Close he door please!" Also, very interesting to hear that she only came back because it was Germany or the UK hosting the competition.

Well I have been truly saddened that Dana didn't make it through to the final - we never got to see the dress she had planned. Her performance was relatively understated, but her catwalk strut towards the final stages of Ding Dong was nothing short of life-defining and awesome. In truth, the song did not have the strange and exotic appeal of her 1998 victory anthem Diva: music, or Eurovision at least, had caught up with her sound and Miss International came back with a competent disco song, with plaintive rejoice and a sweet music video, but she has produced better songs in all 3 of her last albums (her biggest native hit to date was as recent as 2007 with the swanky Kylie Fever era sounding Love Boy), and sadly Ding Dong just wasn't anything exceptional despite the fact that it grew on me like a teenager with acne.

If the drama of that catwalk strut could have been sustained throughout perhaps she just might have caught people's imaginations more. Dana was the highest Eurovision worldwide Twitter trender throughout all of the contest (including the final), so the dance diva legend most certainly had the opportunity to use the platform with more aplomb, but overall I am happy to have seen her on a worldwide stage once again - I just hope she can do it again some time. Anyway, here are some youtube clips that are in turns: hilarious, glamorous (she needed another Glamorous to come back with, no?), maddening and wordlessly amazing!

Above: apart from the annoying presenter, I just love Dana strutting around the red carptet and acting like a fabulous hot mess to get as many pictures taken as possible.

Above: "Do I need to introduce these people, my totally straight friends?... Okay, it was nice rehersal because I like myself... Darling, I know the question.... Can I say something un-PC?... Because they are not straight!"

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Dana International - Ding Dong music video!

The song Ding Dong has become something of a grower. It's certainly no Love Boy, and while her last album, the critically acclaimed Hakol Ze Letova from 2007, displayed a vicacious and emphatic vigour that suggested her next move would be equally as bold and daring, this new song is efficiently glamorous and sweet if nothing else. I'm in a real panic that Eurovision is happening whilst I have to cram for exams, so I won't be posting anything substantial for another week and a half. I'll also be starting a new blog, and shall provide more details in due course. Dana will perform on the second Eurovision 2011 semi final tomorrow evening to compete for a place on Saturday's final, so stay tuned for another update with my verdict, and please vote for her! Oh, and the video is stunningly impressive - presumably Dana upped the budget by selling some of her gown on ebay, which explains why she's sitting on those suitcases.