Everybody's Gone Surfin'...
Here are a few unmissable things on the internet right now that I am feeling the unrestrainable need to share with you:
Download a great Scissor Sisters-esque Freeform Five song at Fluxblog
Get excited about new GA songs with Edward at Enthusiastic But Mediocre
Read the highly accurate Anniemal review by William at Stylus
Listen to the best Swedish pop on the "webbradio" at P3 Star
Catch up on the Will news at popidolwilliam.co.uk
Video Killed The Radio Star
Kylie Minogue - I Believe In You
This is a simple but gorgeous video to match this simple but gorgeous song. It's what Kylie should have done instead of Slow and alongside all her old ace hits and the new GA-sound-alike Xenomania-produced track Giving You Up, she's making Ultimate Kylie very tempting. As you probably know this is the track she worked on with the Scissor Sisters but don't expect the retro craziness they're known for, because this is much more laid-back and sophisticated. The video is suitably glamorous with enough sparkly stick-on jewels so that we can't forget that this is a collaboration of the most wonderfully camp artists in modern pop. Who wouldn't trade Ms Dynamite and even Cathy Dennis for Xenomania and the Scissor Sisters?
Jamelia - Stop
It could have been a big mistake for the so far classy and professional Jamelia to release a Christmas cover version single, but this is well chosen and shows off her brilliant voice. It's from the Bridget Jones film and is taking on the mission of saving Jamelia's rather pointless with crap video new single DJ from being her first big flop by being released alongside it as a double a-side. I still say it should have been Universal Prayer. The video is again not brilliant. It's basically just her sitting at home in a posh outfit thinking about her boyfriend, interspersed with clips of Bridget being ace as ever, but that's beside the point. This is a really good cover and hopefully the other iconic 80s soul ballad being covered for the CD by some bloke called William will be just as good.
Brian McFadden - Irish Son
Boring, rubbish and frankly embarrassing. Go away!
The Xmas Factor
It might not even be November yet but already the best are coming in fast for this year's Christmas no.1. It was around this time last year that Gary Jules started getting noticed and eventually went on to save us from a Christmas covered in Darkness, covered in Darkness. So who is going to save us from this depressing list of current contenders?
Ronan Keating & Cat Stevens - Father And Son
Ronan has re-covered some of his old Boyzone hit covers for his greatest hits album, including Father And Son. Then someone had the 'genius' idea of releasing it as a Christmas single and now it's leading the bets for Xmas no.1. So that'll be something to switch off for at the end of TOTP on Xmas day.
Robbie Williams - Misunderstood
This is Robbie's new single from the soundtrack of the Bridget Jones sequel, another Angels wannabe and although I haven't dared to listen to it yet, the reports I've heard haven't been very kind. So it's a huge contender.
Ricky Gervais & Noel Gallagher - Free Love Freeway
I've never actually watched the whole of the Office Xmas special but I believe this is the song David Brent released as a single in the show and this is a new version featuring the slightly less hateful Gallagher brother and taken from the newly-released DVD. If this had been released a year ago I think it would have had more chance - even the Office doesn't have the power to make a Christmas no.1 out of a comedy song from a year old show.
Nadia Almada - A Little Bit Of Action
Nadia is of course the winner of Big Brother 5 who is having a go at getting a Christmas hit off the back of her win. Clearly she wasn't in England 4 years ago when Craig tried and failed very miserably at the same task. A career in DIY TV shows awaits!
Bo Selecta - Soda Pop/I've Got You Babe
Does anyone even watch Bo Selecta anymore? Last year's single was reasonably fun if only for the Sneddon spotting, but unless Soda Pop is in fact a cover of Britney's early days duet with megastar then this is going to flop massively.
Band Aid 3 - Do They Know It's Christmas
The original DTKIC is quite likeable for an overplayed festive charity single and still manages to rouse some catchy cheeriness and "save those poor little children" sentiment. BA2 had a certain charm in that the ensemble was made up of 80s brilliantly crap pop wannabes. Bob Geldof himself asked for the pop stars featured to be those loved by the kids cos that is who he wanted to buy the single. So why exactly do the acts rumoured for involvement in BA3 include Chris Martin and Travis? Even the inclusion of Will Young and Jamelia won't gain my support.
X Factor Winner - TBA
The single release by the winner of the X Factor talent show has been cleverly timed to come out just in time for Christmas...but is this so clever after all? Sales may well be higher than if it came out at the beginning of '05 but the chart is a much more competitive place at Christmas time so this plan could result in no number one singles for any X Factor contestants, and with the top 8 being full of novelty acts the chances of any having a proper career are very low. However, the rumour is that the single will be written and produced by the Gods at Xenomania, so this could be a good single even if not a popular one. Plus, something resembling Cher's Believe could make Rowetta a superstar for life.
Kylie Minogue - I Believe In You
This one is the best by far of the songs that I've actually heard. It's Kylie's Scissor Sisters-produced single from her new album Ultimate Kylie. It may not be exactly what you'd expect from a Kylie/SS collaboration (much more slow and whistful) but it's just as brilliant and gorgeously electro. Her voice sounds great on the track with talky bits and long high notes. This deserves to be Christmas no.1 but I don't think it really has the festive qualities. It's far too sophisticated. The Kylie portrayed in this song is way above fighting for a number one single.
So on that note, I may well just close my eyes and ears now and wait til January when in a moment of pure brilliance, Hanson have decided to make a comeback with a very ace single. Hooray!
Last week was quite terrible for singles so we ended up going rather indie for one week only and Mylo was the only one of our singles to reach the top 20. Drop The Pressure reached no.19 but they were in fact the losers on the Dirrrty Pop vote. The winners were the Hidden Cameras followed by Freeform 5 in second place.
First up this week is the slightly indie but still ace Hannah on behalf of the equally ace Snow Patrol:
Snow Patrol - How To Be Dead
Accompanied by a rather 'on the cheap' video of what the band have been up to on tour, 'How To Be Dead' is Snow Patrol's fifth release (counting the re-release of 'Spitting Games') from their breakthrough album, 'Final Straw'. If you haven't yet bought Final Straw, we insist that it is a far better idea than just sticking with the single. It isn't just studded with gems, it is positively jewel-encrusted. And yes, we did take our blog's name (Whatever's Left) from it, so it's only fair that we should give Snow Patrol a bit more credit for producing such a great record. 'How to be Dead' is the opening track from Final Straw and is largely rambling, with no apparent structure, perfectly complimenting story behind the lyrics. It jingles it's way through three minutes with a combination of guitar and glockenspiel, accompanied by Gary Lightbody's tender, honest vocals. The instrumental in the centre isn't exceptional, but it certainly gives the track more of a sense of being, rather than just incoherent words. It hasn't changed from the album version - it still has that abrupt stop at the end, but it's that sense of the unexpected that captures your imagination and leaves you a little breathless. To be honest, I can't wait for the followup.
Next is the lovely but slightly misguided (she once found Brian McFadden attractive!) Elaine with Daniel Bedingfield:
Daniel Bedingfield - Nothing Hurts Like Love
Oh my gaw! [Jessica Simpson – 2004]. Daniel’s new single is by far the best single being released this week, who are most of those other people?! Princess Dannii is ace as well, but Daniel has an album to promote and a career to resurrect! Where is Dannii’s album? 2005, that’s where!
In the last year Daniel has suffered! And his fantastically talented sister has been pissing all over him! He needs a number one this week. Listen to him sing! Oh, the pain! “Nothing hurts like love” - isn’t that the truth. And he should know as he’s been in a lot of pain this year. His poor neck! And other broken bits! He’s felt the love, he’s felt the pain, and you just know he’d be a great mate if you wanted someone to help you get revenge.
Also, the wonderful Diane Warren wrote the song. She’s written some fantastic tunes over the years including ‘Can’t Fight The Moonlight’ – Leann Rimes, ‘Unbreak My Heart’ -Toni Braxton and ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now’ – Starship, which is the theme from Mannequin. This one hasn’t been used in a film, so it lacks the promotion which would get it to the top of the charts. He’s had to resort to kissing many ladies in his video, which in some countries may be classed as soft porn.
Daniel now resembles Brian McFadden, which if you find Brian attractive, is a good thing. I have had to forgive him for his treatment of Alistair on Fame Academy, and have pre-ordered Daniel’s album. And it takes a lot for me to give money to someone who has upset someone I like.
And now it's my turn and I will be sticking up for the delightful Dannii:
Dannii Minogue vs. Flower Power - You Won't Forget About Me
I was looking forward to hearing Dannii's comeback song as I loved all the singles from her last album, but I was expecting something very cool and new-sounding that would take a while to get into. Yet somehow Dannii has managed to be more poptastic than ever with a fun, catchy song which is still typically cool, effortless and different to what she's done before. The video is a bit cheap and slightly pervy in places but it paints Dannii as such a fun, ace person dancing around with her girly pals that it beats the impeccable style of most of Kylie's recent videos by far. Imagine if it had been Dannii who'd worked with the Scissor Sisters - I don't think that would be good for my (or any other fabulous pop fan's) health! Dannii is definitely still my favourite Minogue and maybe when people compare this to the over-styled, over-calculated Slow and Chocolate they will understand why.
Now it's time for you to vote for your favourite:
Video Killed The Radio Star
3rd Wish - Obsésion
This utterly terrible song has somehow been a huge hit across Europe this year, but as is common with Euro hits (See Dragostea Din Tei) there were several versions. The main and original version is by Aventura but it's the US boyband (from Florida, so wanting to be the new NSync but coming out a 2nd rate Natural) who released the song in Germany and Switzerland who're having a go in the UK. I'd love to know why this has been a hit because it's a very strange song. It's not catchy and there's certainly nothing original about it. It's just a really bad boyband ballad with bits in Spanish.
Girls Aloud - I'll Stand By You
I can understand why GA have (hopefully begrudgingly) gone down this route, but that doesn't make me pleased. It's not a terrible cover version, not when compared to any Westlife or Atomic Kitten have done, but if they had to do a cover, why not make it something that fits in with what the band are all about. I'll Stand By You is a nice song but it's not fun or exciting and whoever produced this track didn't even try to make it so. Ok so you can't really do an electro-disco version, especially not for Children In Need, but a little more thought going into this or at the very least making it a double a-side with something new and brilliant, would have been much appreciated. I just hope that this does what it's supposed to and gets GA some new fans, cos otherwise apart from the raising money for charity bit, it's a total waste of a single.
Darren Hayes - Darkness
I am still quite unsure whether this is a good idea to be released as the 2nd TTATS single, but it's happening now and hopefully it won't be too disasterous. It is going to be very hard for Darkness to get a good chart placing when the album is already out and not doing amazingly (although not terribly considering he's going for a whole new market), but he has a tour planned for next month (which I am of course attending!) so he'll be in the country with plenty of chance to promote the single and the album. The good thing is that Darkness is a much better representation of the rest of the album, so anyone buying it off the back of this will have the right expectations, which may not have been the case for someone who liked Pop!ular or Spin. The video itslef is simple but fits the song well. It seems to be set in Darren's apartment or hotel room, and looks quite similar to all his recent promo photos, although I'm not sure if it was made at the same time they were taken. It is a lovely, thoughtful and atmospheric song even if it is a bit depressing and long, but listen out for the "it doesn't really matter where it all began, nooo..." which brings the song to life.
First for a round-up of the last Singles Wars results and an apology for last week's neglect of Dirrrty Pop. The week before last was very busy for new singles with Lucie Silvas leading our 4 featured singles in the official top 40 at no.7 followed by the Dirrrty Pop favourite (getting a massive 32 votes) Brandy's Afrodisiac at 11 and our 2nd favourite, Personal Jesus by Marilyn Manson, at no.13. Still not getting the success she deserves is Estelle who stalled at no.15, although the DP readers did agree and also place her last of the 4 with only 9 votes.
There are no good single by the big names in pop this week so I've gone for a few on the more indie side. First we have the Hidden Cameras supported by Nick:
Hidden Cameras - I Believe In The Good Life
The Hidden Cameras' singer Joel Gibb describes this as "our pop single", a sentiment which seems to be borne out by the fact that it's (a) spot-on three-and-a-half minutes long (they've been reading the rules) and (b) every bit as gay as you would expect, in both the 'happy-happy-happy-uplifting-running-around-a-church-hall-with-no-clothes-on' kind of way and the more traditional 'as a window' sense. Possibly a stained glass window depicting scenes of Gibb kneeling for "the taste of a man" washed down with "a taste of wine"; whether or not the wine comes from the same tap is anyone's guess.
Five blowjobs later, and the church hall rings with the sound of unapologetically mansexual life-affirming string-plucking hand-clapping musical jubilation. As ever, they're too busy actually doing the sex and having the fun to start campaigning, and rightly so. Another Hidden Cameras song about the healing powers of fellatio, then, but it's a message that The People need to hear over and over and over and over again, just in case. Besides, it's more fun than Lourdes.
Getting all trendy and electro now, we have the lovely Dennis with his reasons for Mylo being the best single out this week:
Mylo - Drop The Pressure
Ah yes, Mylo. Gosh, it’s taken you Brits a while to release this single, hasn’t it? Oh well, it’s still just as good as when you last spazzed out to it in a club - i.e. probably any time you’ve set foot in one sometime in the last, ooh, six months? You know the one, it goes “motherfucker’s gonna drop the pressure”. And it has a never-ending break (or middle eight, if we’re talking pop) that makes your head explode.
Let’s look at the evidence why this is easily the best single out this week then, shall we? 1. It comes with a plethora of ace remixes by people like Erol Alkan and Felix da Housecat, and they're still not as good as the original. 2. It has a suitably bonkers video. 3. Mylo’s not entirely unfit, if you like your Scots with not a lot of hair and a five o’clock shadow. 3. Mylo is a very consistent power forward in outstanding shape (well, Googlism says so). 4. It’s not “In your arms”. Oh no, hang on. That’s a reason why this is the wrong single for Mylo to be releasing, isn’t it? Oh well.
It was very difficult for me to decide who to support this week as there was no-one I felt really strongly about, so I've chosen a band who I usually love despite them not being anywhere near at their best:
Freeform Five - Eeeeaaoowww
I first heard of this group when I downloaded their last single Strangest Things from the excellent mp3 blog Flux Blog and fell in love with it instantly. It reminded me of something BT would do, particularly his collaborations with JC Chasez or Rose McGowan, but if it had been on the (very good) JC album it still would have been a stand-out track, and still one of the rudest. Freeform Five, who have been around releasing vinyl-only singles in a trendy 'underground' way for several years already, have an album of their own out on Monday and the cover makes it look very much worth buying.
Now it's time for you to decide which single is your favourite, or in this week's case, probably the only one you've heard. Vote away:
Video Killed The Radio Star
Tyler James - Why Do I Do
It has been so long since Tyler was first mentioned on Popjustice
that I can't quite remember why he was of note, but I believe it had something to do with Stargate and the original version of Foolish, a song both Gareth Gates and Justin Guarini later covered. I had high hopes for Tyler and I have to say I am not disappointed! What Do I Do reminds me of something Thicke or Christian Walz would do, which is of course a very good thing. I can actually imagine a lot of Will fans liking it. It's very catchy but smooth, danceable in a laid-back way and generally extremely lovely. It could easily be a massive hit but in a popworld where Babycakes goes to no.1 yet Annie misses the top 20, there is little hope of the single-buying-public suddenly acquiring taste.
Anastacia - Welcome To My Truth
Continuing the trend for cute clips of children in videos, Anastacia takes a tip from Ronan and Elton and shoves in some little girls to make it look all homely and harmless. The song, however, isn't quite Sick And Tired but it's still better than any of her old singles apart from her funky girl power moment Paid My Dues. I doubt she'll be able to go top 10 with this with it being the 3rd single from a pretty successful album, but she has chosen the right song to release in my opinion (although I have only listened to the album twice...).
Eminem - Just Lose It
I can't stand Eminem but I gave this one a chance cos I'd understood that it was a bit different to his past singles, yet it is in fact exactly the same. Where is the promised electro aceness? Not here! And the video is as unfunny and in parts revolting as ever. So it's a surefire no.1.
Yes, it's that time again - time to pit this week's releases against each other as their fans battle it out on the Dirrrty Pop dancefloor. But first, let's look at how last week's singles did. The winner of Single Of The Week was the ace Jentina with 57% of the votes, followed by the Streets in 2nd place with 17%. The Streets was the only one to reach the real top 10, with a chart placing of no.10 exactly. Jentina just scraped the top 20 and even more disappointing was Beverley Knight entering the charts at a mere no.31! So let's hope this weeks singles are a little more successful. First up to explain his love for Marilyn Manson's new track is the highly ace Scandipop:
Marilyn Manson - Personal Jesus
Who needs guitars anyway? Well they can be quite useful at times actually. Especially when they sound like this - loud and with goodness knows how many volts of electricity thumping through the beats behind them. I think even Alice Deejay would agree with that.
Personal Jesus is Marilyn's first single in a while. And it appears that with each release, he's getting ever closer to coming out as an H&M wearing, Hilary Duff buying, Ace Of Base reminiscing, Annie downloading pop fan of the highest order. At this rate, his next single will be produced by Xenomania. But for now let's enjoy the semi-goth rock while he still has elements of it his releases. Personal Jesus is oh so catchy, the vocals are delicious and the melody of the backing music is addictive. Just listen to those guitar key changes. There's so much competition this week, but Personal Jesus is definitely a strong contender for single of the week. It certainly makes the loudest claim.
I'll be very surprised if this isn't a big hit next Sunday. Almost as confused as the cashier of Music Zone when I walked up to him last week to purchase Marilyn Manson's Best Of album along with the Cheeky Girls's new single.
Next up is the soon to be famous Jon:
Estelle - Free
Estelle’s Free, with its rousing chorus and poignant, Iraq-referencing lyrics, is like a Things Can Only Get Better for Generation Ringtone. Not only in gesture, but because like the D:Ream classic, it’s set to enter outside the Top 20 this Sunday, yet we know it should be #1, and blatantly warrants re-releasing in a year’s time to ensure its deserved position (I mean its not justifiable, is it? - in a world where “Baby Cakes” tops the charts). Unlike D:Ream, however, a) Free is a little too offbeat for Labour to use in an election campaign (not to mention that I doubt Estelle would want them to use it either) and b) it won’t grate horribly on your eardrums after six or seven listens.
Free’s gentle late-summer sing-along grooves along innocuously enough the first time, yet like subliminal party political broadcasting, Estelle guarantees you’ll be humming it under your breath in no time, and it’s hard to resist the aceness of turning it just that little bit too loud as you cruise through a residential area in a car you picture to be more “hip hop” than it actually is (nevermind, eh?). Forget Blair, fuck the Tories, make sure you Vote Estelle at the next election, and tell all your friends. Hopefully in a year’s time you’ll be preaching to the converted.
Next is the return of last week's Beverley Knight fan, Mike, this time supporting another r'n'b diva, Brandy:
Brandy - Afrodisiac
OK, so she lied about being married, looks like she lives entirely on seeds and can't dance for toffee - but who cares? This is produced by the ever-brilliant Timbaland, already responsible for many ace tracks by Aaliyah, Justin Timberlake and Missy Elliott among others. It's another cracker - an uptempo, squelchy R&B number with saucy lyrics.
Interestingly, Brandy turned down the chance to feature a rain machine in her TOTP performance because it would make her hair go funny. If you buy this single, and it gets to number one, maybe we'll still get to see that. What more reason do you need? BUY IT!
And finally it is my turn to show my support for my favourite single of the week and I am going for Lucie Silvas:
Lucie Silvas - What You're Made Of
This is one of those weird songs that did nothing for me on first listen, but suddenly something clicked and by the end of my second listen I was unexplicably obsessed with it. Lucie has a lovely voice and although she could be accused of ripping off Delta Goodrem, I'm not complaining cos it's far more interesting than the Dido-wannabe I had expected, and apparently the rest of her songs are far more upbeat and proper pop. She also has a lovely name, which always helps!
Video Killed The Radio Star
Daniel Bedingfield - Nothing Hurts Like Love
There seem to be mixed reactions to this track but I personally really like it. Daniel is a bit of a twat even at the best of times, but I do like his voice and his music, although I'm currently preferring his sister's album to his own debut. This song gives Daniel lots of chance to show off his voice and as we all know he does love to show off, but he wouldn't be much of a pop star if he didn't. The video must have been Daniel's idea seeing as he gets to give several girls the kiss of life (they've been hurt by love, you see) and then they in turn kiss other people until everyone is happy and alive. Hooray!
Calvin & Frankie - Dreaming
I managed to watch most of I Dream this morning and I have to say I loved it. SC8 are my guilty pleasure, after all, and I need to decide on my favourite. At the moment it is Felix who needs to join the band properly right away, although I still think Jay is oddly ace. Anyway, the fact that neither Felix or Jay is involved in this song makes it decidedly un-ace. It seems very unfair that the I Dream lead single has to be this duet between the 'favourites' (my least favourites!) when there must be at least one group song better than Dreaming. The lyrics are terrible and it's general quality is very bad - in fact if it wasn't for Puppy Love I'd call this the worst thing they've done.
Here is a brand new feature I am testing out where fans of the singles released this week tell us why their favourite song deserves to top the charts. First up we have the very ace Mark (aka Storm) who is showing his support for Jentina:
Jentina - French Kisses
Here are my ten reasons why Jentina is the acest of ace!
01. Bad Ass Strippa and French Kisses are two of the best singles of the year. Bad Ass Strippa is what Missy Elliot would sound like if she was born on a caravan park in Woking. And French Kisses is the type of record Kylie would have made had she been brought up on a council estate.
02. The 'Shikka Shake Shikka Shake' bit in Bad Ass Strippa is easily the best bit in any single this year.
03. Jentina has another song called 'Sneakers' which is about trainers. This is ace, because trainers are obviously ace. Who needs to write songs about love, when we can explore the joys of footwear!
04. In the aforementioned ode to trainers, Jentina sounds not unlike a young Neneh Cherry. This is obviously a very, very good thing.
05. Jentina can not only rap, but she can sing too! This is like getting two popstars for the price of one!
06. In the French Kisses video, she not only makes a cute little heart motif with her hands, but also does an adorable zig zaggy foot dance. Everytime I see it I just wanna hug her!
07. For a good example of how everything can go wrong, even with excellent production, have a listen to Lady Sovereign's 'reply' record, the imaginatively titled 'Sad Ass Stripper', in which she uses an absolutely hilarious excuse for a Jamaican accent, and ruins any hint of brilliance that the original possessed.
08. Jentina is responsible for bringing the Elvis quiff back to the music industry. In Sad Ass Stripper, Lady Sov derides this, but I reckon she's only jealous, cos the cheap insette hairspay she uses won't allow her to keep a quiff in hold. I have a shaved head, so cannot fashion a quiff either, but if I had hair - wild horses couldn't stop me!
09. It has been reported that Jentina is dating Keith Flint. The firestarter is quite scary, which seems like a good enough reason to like Jentina as any.
10. Despite looking like Jodie Kidd on a strict diet, she still know how to shake her bootie, which goes to show that all ladies can be bootilicious regardless of their size.
Next up is the lovely Mike (aka thisisnotatest) who will be siding with Beverley Knight:
Beverley Knight - Not Too Late For Love
Bev is the UK's best soul singer (by miles) but some some unknown and wholly bizarre reason has graced the top 10 only twice. In the immortal words of V 'something's wack!'
This song is off the incredible Affirmation album and it's a cracker - a great ballad with a huge singalong chorus. It must be number one, or at least top 10. You know what to do!
And next is the fabulous Mel (aka Smudge) with her reasons to support the Streets:
The Streets - Blinded By The Lights
The Streets should be number one because Blinded By The Lights is the best single to feature Bouncers having their hands in Mike Skinner's baggie filled shoes. Additionally, the video is also brilliant because it shows that gratuitous drug use leads to your girlfriend getting off with your mate in a toilet while you are spazzing out like a yoghurt. So by not buying this single, you are pretty much failing to support the discouragement of drug use amongst youngsters. DO IT FOR THE KIDS.
And it would only be right if I joined in, so I will be singing the praises of Butterfly Boucher:
Butterfly Boucher - Another White Dash
You may or may not be able to find this single in the shops, as it doesn't even seem to be on Amazon, but it's on the release schedule and she deserves all the promo she can get. You may remember Butterfly's first single I Can't Make Me Love You, released in 2003, with an unusual video involving miming and stage fright and a very catchy melody. Butterfly is a bit of a hippy chick, with parents who moved around a lot when she was younger, and this shows in her music which is thoughtful, simple and charming acoustic pop with excellent lyrics. If you can't find the single I'd advise you to check out her album, cleverly titled Flutterby, which is brilliant from start to finish.
So there we have it - 3 fabulous female singers and 1 male battling for single of the week status. Now it's up to you: which single is the best? Vote now!
Â© Jessica 2005 ~ Powered for Blogger by Blogger templates