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Who needs guitars anyway?


Best Bits
Friday, May 28, 2004

The Girls Are Back In Town!



Click the picture for a fun surprise!
Thursday, May 27, 2004

Go Wild Dances!

I am very silly because I forgot to post about this fantabulous article on Monday. It's as good as and almost as long as watching the show itself! And if you look closely you might spot someone you know...

If You Buy This Record Your Life Will Be Better

Sorting through some old CDs today I found this fa-fa-fa-fabulous song by the Tamperer ft. Maya and it reminded me that I haven't done an If You Buy This Record... feature on Dirrrty Pop in ages! So here we are, the first life-improving record of 2004:

Gavin Degraw - Chariot



I cannot praise Gavin Degraw enough. He has a beautiful but not too pretty/girly voice (think Adam Maroon 5), he sings with more emotion than I've heard in a long time and every song has a beautiful melody and intelligent lyrics.

1. Follow Through
I love how the first words sung on the CD are "This is the start of something good, don't you agree?" And of course I do agree, because not only is this the start of an extremely good album but also one of the most brilliant tracks on it. Follow Through sounds like it should be a classic, not a song made in 2003. After one listen you can sing along to the chorus. It even has a fantastic thrashing middle 8, as with many of the songs on here. A great way to start.

2. Chariot
I love the lyrics in this, "Your favourite fruit is chocolate covered cherry and seedless watermelon, nothing from the ground is good enough" and "The sun is just yellow energy". The song is about a girl who is just too perfect for this world. It's quite a rousing, sing-along type of song - the kind you might sway to with lighters at a concert.

3. Just Friends
This song is just heartbreaking. Gavin bitterly sings about a cheating girl friend. He is in denial, not able to believe that this girl who is his perfect, loving partner ("your body fits me like a glove, and you showered me with words of love") would do something so awful. The first thing you will notice about this song is the Beatles-esque sound - Let It Be and Imagine are combined, probably with many more classics that I don't know. However, shamelessly stealing from the Beatles never hurt Oasis and they were far less exciting than Mr Degraw here.

4. (Nice To Meet You) Anyway
This one has been growing on me. Gavin is offered the chance to get together with someone lovely (she's amazing, he's attracted), but has to turn them down because he has "just found someone special", his true love. This song is him explaining this to the new girl, before it goes too far.

5. Chemical Party
This is probably the most upbeat song of the album. As you might have guessed from the title, it's about drugs and includes the genius couplet, "You're just too high to see the point, you think your name is pass the joint", but even better than that is the start of verse 2: "I think I like you, but you like this whole room, you sexy machine". It has a middle 8 and a chorus with altered lyrics at the end. What more could you possibly want?

6. Belief
Reading the lyrics to this song, it could easily be a poem. Despite the the chorus including the words "arrested", "knife" and "wrath", it's a delicate love song, full of clever metaphors. It's the longest song on the album at 4:29 and does seem to go on a bit, but is lovely.

7. Crush
The lyrics in this are almost Shakespeare-esque ("The kiss will know if lips stay still") and it has another great, although very sad, altered chorus at the end. Gavin has a crush and wants to tell the object of his affections - you have to listen to the song to find out what happens when he does so.

8. I Don't Wanna Be
This is the current single in America and the one that caught my eye in the first place. It is probably the best song on the album, with it's anthemic chorus which speaks of a wish for independence that anyone can identify with. There is also a great section where Gavin asks, "Can I everyone's attention please?", followed by a gorgeous slowed down rendition of the chorus and even a bit that sounds like Hanson, but a million times better ("I came from the mountain, the crust of creation...")! This will HAVE to be a worldwide hit, or nothing is right in the world.

9. Meaning
This starts quite high - I have noticed that Gavin's voice breaks and fluctuates a lot but it's a good thing and sounds great. Meaning is a very nice love song, a little bit MOR but still very lovely. So what is the meaning? Giving love, according to Gavin - love is the reason.

10. More Than Anyone
A beautiful piano ballad, telling his love how he is going to show how much he loves her. This the kind of song someone would play to their girl or boyfriend on Valentine's Day, or dance to at their wedding. It's very heartwarming and Gavin's slightly rough-sounding voice stops it from being sickly sweet.

11. Over-rated
Another song about love, how special a feeling it is and what he would do for his love. In Over-rated he hasn't got together with the girl yet, but he is telling her in this song how great it will be if they do, "I'm anticipating, everything else will be over-rated".

In conclusion, Gavin Degraw is quite a soppy bloke when he wants to be, but I doubt he'll have any trouble getting the girl if he becomes the superstar he deserves to be for making this pop masterpiece.
Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Dirrrty Pop Review: Will Young At Oxford!

So last night was my first Will concert of 2004 and hopefully not my last because, as usual, he was fantastic! Everyone there came out saying exactly that - his vocals were better than ever and he came across as the loveliest person in the world, which is unsurprising really as that's just what he is. He played all the best songs and my only two (very tiny) complaints were that he didn't do any new covers and only wore one outfit for the whole night. The evening was very much focused on the music, with no fireworks or rehearsed comedy pieces, but this was a good thing as Will came off as a true professional and proved once again just how talented he is. His voice is always great but he was on particularly good form. I was 10 rows back which is about the closest I've been at a Will concert, so I managed to take some pretty good pictures which you will see throughout my review. Apologies if they take a while to load. You can also right click HERE to download a video of Will doing his favourite dancing move - the knee bend! He's the one in white, centre stage if you can spot him.

Support Act - Rodrigo y Gabriela
These two were surprisingly great and not boring as I'd expected. They also seemed really lovely when they spoke between songs. They said that they had been hand-picked by Will to join him and no record companies were involved, as I has suspected. They were so very 'Will'. They didn't sing, just played their guitars and looked pretty:



And then the real show began!

Stronger

Most of this song was spent with Will behind a thin, semi-transparent curtain, which created quite a suited effect to the song. As each instrument or singer did their thing the spotlight highlighted them behind the curtain. The music was extremely loud and I was quite worried that I was going to have a heart attack at one point, but luckily I lived to tell the tale. The song sounded brilliant live, as the backing music is just so lovely and Will can sing the high bits much better now than when he first performed it on TV. Eventually the curtain went up and Will appeared to massive cheers, in an outfit of white stripey polo shirt with black tie and grey trousers. He looked very real up there, he seemed very slim and and his hair wasn't as short as I'd expected - a very nice length actually.



Dance The Night Away

The first upbeat song of the night and it sounded groovy as ever. This was the only new track sung at Exeter that made the final album and although it's a bit odd with two completely different verses, it's one of my favourites on Friday's Child. It went down very well, getting everyone up on their feet to join Will dancing the night away. None of us were dancing quite as gaily as Will though!

Friday's Child

Will does sound particularly excellent singing this but I'm very unsure about it being the next single. Hopefully the video, which looks hilarious, will save it.



There was a rather funny bit around this point when someone in the crowd was tooting a strange sounding horn and Will wanted to know who it was. When he found out he said, "Well...do you want to stop?" but then said, "You don't have to. Who's going to make you?" and then answered with, "Those men in yellow jackets!" Of all the people there, Will decided to have a conversation with himself!

Very Kind

This is my favourite track on the album and I very much enjoyed hearing it live for the first time. I'm glad this isn't the single, despite it being the best track, because I don't want it to be spoiled.

Light My Fire

On Sunday I posted Will's first and still best rendition of this song on Into The Groove. Well, I am very pleased and proud to announce that he has topped it! LMF was one of my favourite songs of the night. I think it's because he has sung it so many times that he can do it so perfectly now.



Hey Ya

It is amazing that Will can take this catchy, fun song and turn it into the most gorgeous love song. I don't mind the original but this is one of my favourite Will tracks. I'm very pleased that it's going to be on the Friday's Child CD and in fact I think they should make it an actual b-side - everyone should hear this!



Love Is A Matter Of Distance

This was part of the acoustic section that began with Hey Ya. It is a very pretty song which my Mum loves but it certainly wasn't the most exciting part of the night for me.

Evergreen

I was wondering if Will would sing this or not, because although it's not at all the type of song Will should be singing and I highly doubt anyone there came for this, he did break records with the sales figures and win Pop Idol with it. I was quite pleased that he did sing it because he has actually made it into a lovely song and after this and Hey Ya, I was left wondering if there is any song that Will cannot make brilliant.



Over You

I couldn't work out what this song was when it started, as he sang it in quite a different style. This was never a favourite on From Now On, I must say, but it sounded quite good although I have to say I was a little distracted by Will doing what could only be described as grinding with the microphone!



Love The One You're With

This sounded really great live and got everyone dancing. Even the most uptight-looking mums were bopping about! It was many people's guess that Will had to do one cover for the album and I'm very pleased that this is what he chose. It doesn't exactly blend in with the other tracks, but I do see the album as a set of separate tracks rather than one long album because there are so many styles on it.

You And I

Will has done some very good performances of You & I in the past, as there's a massive long note near the end (Youououou and iiiiiiiii!) where he can really impress us, and impress us he did. It's funny that a year ago this was the best original song Will had released. Of course it still is very good, but now there are so many ace original songs to choose from. That thought made me especially proud. Posh William from Pop Idol has made it BIG!



Your Game

It was great to see this live as Will always does a really good job with it, but it did highlight the rubbishness of the background (some slightly amateurish and dizzying patterns on little screens) compared to the fantastic theatre in the video.



Leave Right Now

It's odd that this was the first time I've seen Will sing LRN live, or in fact any of the Friday's Child song apart from Dance The Night Away. This song seems to have elected itself as the one to get Will known around the world as a huge talent with great songs and if he continues to improve into the next album, he'll be the biggest star in the world in no time at all!

Ticket To Love

I was surprised that he did this again as he always does it live yet it's never been released other than asa live b-side to Leave Right Now. I guess it is a song just for singing live and it does sound very fab live. It's so groovy, soulful and fun and I was proud that for the first time I could actually sing along as I worked out the difficult to hear lyric in the chorus from the CD version. I wonder if a studio recorded version of TTL actually exists?



Free

I was at one point wondering if he was going to do Free at all as I didn't expect it to be the finale. The fact that it was just proves that it should be the new single. It did of course sound great live and was a perfect choice, to end on a high note. Perhaps it'll be the fourth single, if there is one.

Video Killed The Radio Star

In Maroon 5 members out of 5!

Portobella - Covered In Punk
This is my new favourite song. It's electropop meets punk meets Shampoo and the result is insanely cool and catchy. The lyrics are also fantastic, including "Look at me I scream like a banshee, God save the drag queen, God save the drag queen!" and other such genius. This deserves to be massive but I think it's one of those tracks that people will either love or hate (most of you poptastic people will be the former I suspect).
Jesses out of 5:

N*E*R*D - Maybe
Shockingly, this is quite good! The Neptunes have made some great tracks for other people but until now I've not thought much of their own music and particularly disliked The Way She Moves. This new song is actually a little Maroon 5-esque and although admittedly it took me three listens to like it, now I very much do. The video even looks a bit like This Love, with a similar colour scheme, the performance part and a girl on a bed.
Ryans out of 5:

Mania - Looking For A Place To Go
Mania are a brand new girl group made up of Giselle Somerville and Niara Scarlett and are a project of the people behind hits by Girls Aloud and Sugababes among others. I had high hopes for this single and this isn't quite as sparkly and ace as I expected, it's still a great, simple yet catchy pop song and I love the sound of their voices. I'd really like this to do well as I've heard lots of good things about their other songs, this is growing one me with each listen and the girls look like lovely, normal people.
James' out of 5:

Candice - Hello
Candice is apparently quite popular in her native South Africa, but I doubt she'll be able to stand up to the might of Michelle Branch or even Avril who she'll no doubt be compared to. She looks like an Olsen twin wearing too much make-up and sounds like Avril with a little Billie Myers (remember her?) thrown in for the "hello" bits. There is one ace bit where she shouts "Sports car, swimming pool, baby's in a private school, everybody says she's a perfect ten". I don't think we'll be hearing anymore from her, although this will probably turn up on Hilary Duff's next album.
Adams out of 5:

Helicopter Girl - Angel City
This is a really unusual song and video as the whole thing is very old looking - if I hadn't known it was new I'd never have guessed. I have no idea why the singer is called Helicopter Girl, she doesn't look like a helicopter or even sound like one. She does have a nice voice and the song is lovely, although a bit Radio 2 for me. The video is a bit like Liz Phair's Why Can't I, with the lyrics popping up around the girl. She is dressed like she should be in the 40s or 50s and looks quie old herself (though not old enough to be alive in the 40s!). I can't see this doing well but it's not rubbish so you never know.
Mickeys out of 5:
Sunday, May 23, 2004

Mr Dusick is...er...sick!

Sadly, we must announce that Ryan will be taking a temporary break from playing with the band. Ryan injured his shoulder from two years of constant touring, and doctor's orders are for rest and rehab. It should be a quick and speedy recovery and we wish him all the best. Until Ryan's return, Matt Flynn will be filling in on drum duties. Matt is a phenomenal drummer and has played with the B-52s and Gavin DeGraw, and will make a great addition as Ryan heals.

Poor lovely Ryan! It's very sad that he is ill. Think of all the poor fans who'll go to their gigs and miss out on the star attraction! This new guy sounds good though, he has worked with Gavin Degraw who is just fabulous and amazing. I wonder if he's a hottie too? I must find out. Sorry Ryan, I won't forget you really. Never!
Saturday, May 22, 2004

The Tension and the Spark

I found some more info on Darren's new album in this great article. All this build up is making me even more excited to hear Popular and the album itself. I can't wait any longer! This article makes it all sound so great, as I know it will be. It sounds like it could be a really big hit for Darren as long as they don't try to market him towards the same Mums and Grans who liked his last CD. Of course they should buy it too - everyone should - but they're not really the target market for the type of music we're excpecting here. I can't wait anyway!

Video Killed The Radio Star

Today marked out of 5 Darren Hayes CDs...

Phixx - Wild Boys
I was a bit worried about this as I love Phixx but don't like the original Wild Boys much (I've been known to have nightmares about Simon Le Bon!), but luckily my worries were about nothing and this is great. I've been wandering around yelling "Wild boys! Wild boys! Wild boys!" for the past 24 hrs since I saw the video which must be a good sign. I hope this gives Phixx the massive hit they deserve.


Kylie Minogue - Chocolate
This is my favourite song on Body Language and my favourite single since CGYOOMH. Red Blooded Woman was very good but Chocolate is as hypnotisingly gorgeous as the Snow Patrol song of the same name. The video is a great concept and matches the song well. I love the ballet dancing (it's a bit Kate Bush in places) and the choreography into a heart shape. There's actually something to look at rather than just Kylie writhing around trying to be sexy, which makes a nice change.


McFly - Obviously
I think this song could be really good if Tom and Danny had nicer voices. It is, like 5 Colours, a rip off of countless classic hits but it's a lot nicer and I particularly like the beginning and the chorus is quite good too. All the boys look like buff hotties in the video as it's set on a golf course so they're all dressed up nice and posh (or normal for Harry) and Tom wears a pink shirt which always gets me. Danny probably looks nicest of them all - I've really gone off Dougie, he is useless.
Thursday, May 20, 2004

I'm liking the look of the Friday's Child video!

I *heart* Cameron Adams too!

Raeders of The Love Pavillion will know how much Crystal adores pop journalist Cameron Adams and after reading his review of Will's single Your Game I completely understand.

WILL YOUNG - Your Game
'Does this country not have ears? First Will Young's drop-dead gorgeous ballad Leave Right Now cruelly hovers at the wrong end of the chart; now radio are ignoring Your Game - easily the most exciting, dramatic pop song of the year so far. Shoehorning in funk, soul, a call-and-response gospel chorus, an orchestra and a ridiculously addictive pop tune, don't wait for radio to tell you what to listen to, discover it for yourself' 5 STARS.

Too right!
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Get into the groove!

I am writing to inform you (ooh posh!) of my brand new mp3 site to accompany Dirrrty Pop, Into The Groove. I'm not one to miss a blogging bandwagon and seeing as this one involves telling people to listen to my favourite songs, we were made for each other. So pop over there right now to get your hands on some ace tracks by Robyn, September and Gavin Degraw with more to come soon if none of those tickle your fancy. Enjoy!

And sorry for the slightly dodgy colour scheme, I'll try and make it look prettier soon.
Monday, May 17, 2004

Woo!

This time next week I'll be at the Will concert! It's so exciting, but I've barely had time to think about it, I've been so busy with Eurovision and GCSE stuff. I leave school on Friday! It's really hectic right now. In celebration, a picture of Daphne and Celeste from their School's Out video:

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Diggin' Degraw

Mix Maroon 5 with Hanson and take away all the unnecessary members. What do you get?

Gavin Degraw!



In case you hadn't guessed, he is my new love. Foreigners may know his fantastic single I Don't Wanna Be as the theme to Dawson's rip-off One Tree Hill, but that's not all he's good for. In fact, he's got a whole album full of utter brilliance. If you want to 'check him out', visit his web site www.gavindegraw.com where you can listen to some of his music. Pay special attention to Just Friends, Follow Through, Chemical Party and, well, all of them really! I haven't heard a less than perfect song from him yet.

Video Killed The Radio Star

With brand new Britneys out of five!

Sam & Mark - The Sun Has Come Your Way
I want to stick up for Sam and Mark cos they do seem to get a lot more meanness than they deserve. OK so they're not the most original or exciting pop stars in the world but they're nice boys and there's music a lot worse out there. This song sounds a bit like A1 and is catchy and summery and the video is quite sweet although a little embarrassing. My favourite part is Sam's "Mind the badger!"


Javine - Best Of My Love
This is actually a really cool, catchy song but is ruined by the rubbish video. It's not even an amusing unintentional parody of J-Lo like Real Things, it's just really rubbish. And her style hasn't imporved since Surrender - in fact it's got worse.


JC Chasez - All Day Long I Dream About Sex
I absolutely hated this song on first listen, but in the context of the album I see it's genius. The problem is that very few people in England have the album or even have any idea of who JC is and what he's all about. This super-cool yet raunchy (in a funny way...though still a bit pervy) video and the not exactly Gran-friendly song is either going to make JC a massive star or the king of the dumper. I'm hoping for the former but sadly expecting the latter.



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