Thursday, January 29, 2009

Billboard Hot 100, 31/01/09

1. Kelly Clarkson - My Life Would Suck Without You

As expected Kelly Clarkson jumps 97 spots up to #1 with her new single "My Life Would Suck Without You" --giving Kelly the biggest jump to #1 in Billboard history. Soon someone will jump 100-1 and this whole biggest Billboard jump will be over. The record was previously set by Britneys comeback ("Womanizer") which jumped 96-1, previously was both T.I. songs ("Live Your Life") and ("Whatever You Like").

8. The Fray - You Found Me

The Fray earn their third top 10 single with "You Found Me" the debut single from their sophomore self titled album. Their previous top 10s were. the airplay monster hit ("How To Save A Life"), peaking at #3 and their debut single ("Over My Head"), which peaked at #8 -both songs were released from their debut album How To Save A Life which became a moderate hit when it was first released back in 2005.

28. Beyonce - Diva
32. Lady GaGa - Poker Face

Both Beyonces "Diva" and Lady GaGas "Poker Face" both continue to pace up the chart, but who will crack the top 10 first? with the way its going my bet is on "Just Dance" as its moving at a faster pace and it has more airplay on its side.

37. U2 - Get On Your Boots

Have I mentioned how much I love this song, yet? no, you will --U2s debut single "Get On Your Boots" from their upcoming album, makes a 'hot shot' debut at #37 this week. This is their 16th top 40 on the Hot 100, kinda small don't you think? for a band thats been making records since the 1980s. Exceptionally they do have 2 #1s with ("With or Without You") and ("Haven't Found What I'm Looking For") released back in 1987 from their album The Joshua Tree -brilliant album by the way. I thinking "Get On Your Boots" will rise considerably. The song has yet to make way in the UK.

44. Soulja Boy Tell 'Em featuring Sammie - Kiss Me Thru The Phone

("Crank That") was a good song to dance to but I've never really been a fan of Soulja Boy, total originality void. "Kiss Me Thru The Phone" is the third single from his sophomore album iSouljaboytellem and his first top 50 since ("Yahhh!") peaked at #48 last year. Unfortunately after the monster success of ("Crank That") he hasn't really been able to follow it up quite well.

50. Katy Perry - Thinkin' Of You

Katy Perrys "Thinkin' Of You" the third commercial release from her debut album One of the Boys just scrapes the top 50 this week. "Thinkin' Of You" is a more slower number than her previous singles, but will it match up to their success.

Leona Lewis "I Will Be"

Here is the video to Leona Lewis' new US single "I Will Be" the third single released there. Loving the acting.

Lil' Wayne "Prom Queen"

Lil' Wayne's back with his new single "Prom Queen" his first step into rock music, a genre chosen for his forthcoming album, Rebirth, following up to his knockout, The Carter III, last year. The singles your typical rock set: electronic guitars and drums; except fueled by Wayne's raspy autotuned vocal. It's not bad.

Personal Airplay, 29/01/09

TW TW Title - Artist
1 .... 1 .... Just Dance - Lady GaGa Featuring Colby O'Donis (3 weeks @ #1)
2 .... 2 .... Circus - Britney Spears
3 .... 4 .... Single Ladies - Beyonce
4 .... 7 .... Issues - The Saturdays
5 .... 3 .... Broken Strings - James Morrison Featuring Nelly Furtado
6 .... 9 .... Sober - Pink
7 ... 10 ... The Loving Kind - Girls Aloud
8 .... 6 .... Use Somebody - Kings Of Leon (2 wks @ #1)
9 .... 5 .... I Hate This Part - Pussycat Dolls
10 .. 14 .. Let It Rock - Kevin Rudolf Featuring Lil' Wayne

Monday, January 26, 2009

Album Review: Lily Allen - It's Not Me, It's You (4.5/5)

Bursting onto the UK music scene with her debut album Alright, Still back in 2006, Lily Allen became one of many UK female artists arising from the past few years to capture the true essence of cool, slick contemporary pop music, following the likes of Estelle ("American Boy") Adele ("Chasing Pavements") Gabriella Climi ("Sweet About Me") and Leona Lewis ("Bleeding Love"). Alright, Still was packed with a mixture of different approaches to contemporary pop, the flowery, Jamaican flavored ("LDN") and the upbeat summery ("Smile") launched her to early success, were prime examples. Deep album cuts, the fast paced, hand clap chant like ("Everything's Just Fine") and the stomping, industrial themed ("Friday Night") were just a few of the tracks that made Alright, Still among the best pop albums of 2006.

Now 4 years on and we have It's Not Me, It's You, the album strays away from the traditional pop displayed on Alright, Still taking on a more mature, electronic sound -loosing the typical contemporary pop theme, linking a breezy rough edged euro-pop and fusing it with fast paced trancy beats, keeping the albums pace fast, snappy and sharp. Where would Lily be without her pointless vulgarity, it doesn't bother me, but at times on the album it does seem a tad awkward. Where's the parental advisory on the album?

"Everyone's At It" is a pleasing opener, setting the recurring tone of the album, the song combines a wonderful combination of electronic and easy, fresh pop -with sirens going off the background. The songs lyrical content is politically and socially fueled introducing a more serious side to Lily, something that was purposely hidden on Alright, Still, I kinda like serious Lily.

"The Fear" which is set to top the UK singles chart next week, is the lead single from the album, this is where you can see the borderline difference between this era and the previous, while the lead single ("Smile") from Alright, Still was an upbeat, retro contemporary track, whilst "The Fear" is a more crafted, intricate slice of electronic pop, bottom line-- I don't think the single is as strong of a lead single as ("Smile") but nonetheless it's a brilliant pop song.

Swiftly moving onto "Not Fair" which takes the album in a weird fast paced, country direction, something I've never heard Lily pursue before. Listening carefully, you can here some banjo's and faint violins running against the background. Brilliant stuff. It makes me happy commenting on her maturity since the last time we heard of her. "22" is piano based track, it's almost reminiscent of something off of Scissor Sisters debut album, the song sounds laughably cartoonish as it runs through the second verse, definitely one of my favorites on here.

"I Could Say" takes on a more trancy, digitized vibe -reminds me of something from Madonna's Ray of Light album (yes, I've been listening to that album for most of today) and Britneys "Heaven On Earth" from her Blackout album. I love the bleeps in the background, you can also hear some faint screeching violins there. "Back To The Start" is my least favorite --sounds like a grover-- but nevertheless it's still a decent track to listen to, very fast paced and tranquisit.

"Never Gonna Happen" is more slower than the previous tracks and more adventures despite incorporating nothing more than drums, strings and faint horns. The songs chorus is very melodic, verses seem a tad empty but that's what gives the song the luring effect. Next up the obvious vulgarity of the album "Fuck You" admittedly the song makes me laugh every time I listen to it. Accompanied by its playful tune, the main, catchy lyrics to the chorus are: "fuck you, fuck you very much", putting a playful twist on the vulgarity by saying it in a light, cheery voice, maybe Britney should take note on her new single ("If U Seek Amy"): saying the word "fuck" in a light, cheery voice makes the term seem less offensive.

"Who'd Have Known" is an upbeat drum based track, it takes its melody from Take That's ("Shine") that gives me another reason for me not to buy a Take That record. Yay. "Chinese" is a breezy, telephonic track, another one of my favorites. "Him" falls into mediocrity, it has a nice melody but it seems more of a filler to lengthen the album. Closing the album is "He Wasn't There" which is a pretty disappointing ending to the album, with it's distorted background, it sounds like something from the 50s, but that's not what's wrong with it, it's just a weak ending to the album, a ballad or a rock edged track would be good.

Bottom line-- It's Not Me, It's You is incomparable to its predecessor, they're really different, pursuing in various directions of pop- my verdict is Alright, Still remains the superior album, but It's Not Me, It's You nips at its heels, it just hasn't got that many catchy songs, while ("The Fear") is great, the album doesn't have its ("Smile") or ("Alfie") for that matter. It seems I'll be listening for weeks to come (bye bye Lady GaGas The Fame).

Best Tracks: Everyone's At It, The Fear, Not Fair, 22, I Could Say, Never Gonna Happen, Fuck You, Who'd Have Known, Chinese

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Album Review: Andrew Bird - Noble Beast (4/5)

Andrew Bird's last full length album, Armchair Apocrypha, was a compelling collection of mellow, intricate tracks using a combination of whistles, handclaps and strings -his latest offering Noble Beast uses the same formula, but incorporates a sight rockier edge, bulking up the song with well crafted, folk-pop oriented beats. Admittedly comparing this to its predecessor, it plays it more safe, it's not as adventurous, keeping it borderline between faint contemporary-pop and mellow, guitar backed collection of songs.

"Oh No" is a pleasing opener, nothing stellar or amazing, its uses a series of strings, drums and tambourines with a string of whistles and handclaps in portions of the song, although it hasn't been released as a commercial single, it was one of 2 cuts to be previewed on Andrew's official webpage, which may be why it's proven so popular on iTunes. Next up is "Masterswarm" which is completely mellow and guitar based, sounds like something from Coldplays X&Y its one of my favorites. "Fitz and the Dizzyspells" is among the more upbeat songs on the album, racing with a fast paced guitar running against some noticeable drums. At the moment my favorite song on here is "Effigy" which comes across as a semi instrumental, starting off as a series of mellow horns, violins and whimsical vibes before spontaneously breaking into something more contemporary with a recurring guitar and mid-paced drums.

The next 2 songs "Tremendous" and "Nomenclature" both compliment each other in a compelling way "Tremendous" verges on a more country-oriented vibe, reminiscent to the stuff on Armchair Apocrypha but maintains a great mid-paced mellow composition. "Nomenclature" is slightly more upbeat, blending swiftly from "Tremendous" the violins and banjo really make the song really pleasant to listen to. "No A Robot" is one of the more stranger songs on the album, consisting of the typical guitar, some random high pitch sounds and a distorted electric guitar backed by a series of handclaps, it's really weird but it's one of my favorites here. "Anonanimal" carries a faint electronic configuration, backed by some light tings in the background, it carries a very whimsical theme, very relaxing and beautiful to listen to. "Natural Disaster" is a beautiful semi instrumental continuing a series various instruments.

"The Privateers" is a fairly fast paced contemporary guitar backed track, although not a standout. Smoothly closing the album is "Souverian", the song consist of a recurring piano, slick drum basses and a twangy guitar, the song runs for a lengthy 7 minutes. Noble Beast is a great folk-pop orientated album, I wouldn't recommend it for casual pop fans, but for any experimental listeners.

UK Singles Chart, 25/01/09

1. Lady GaGa featuring Colbie O'Donis - Just Dance
3. Tinchy Stryder featuring Taio Cruz - Take Me Back

No chance here Lady GaGa's "Just Dance" still resides at #1 for a third week. I wonder if Tinchy Stryder who scores his first top 3 with "Take Me Back" will be able to ascend to #1 next week, it looks very unlikely, his last official single ("Stryderman") managed a peak at #53.

9. Pink - Sober

Pinks "Sober" still hasn't been able to crack the top 20 over in the US, but it seems to be making way in the UK, this week she earns her 14th top 10, with 3 of those 14 being #1s ("So What"), ("Just Like A Pill") and ("Lady Marmalade") with Christina Aguilera, Mya and Lil' Kim.

13. Alesha Dixon - Breathe Slow

With a massive airplay increase Alesha Dixon's "Breathe Slow" is on its way to becoming another hit following ("The Boy Does Nothing") which became her first top 10.

26. Lady GaGa - Poker Face

We just love Lady GaGa over here. The second single "Poker Face" released from her debut album The Fame charted due to the release of the album last week, but this week continues to rise, I feel it could be a top 10 when the single is released commercially.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Billboard Hot 100, 24/01/09

The Hot 100s pretty boring this week...

1. Lady GaGa featuring Colbie O'Donis - Just Dance

No change at number-one, Lady GaGa remains there for her third consecutive week with "Just Dance" additionally "Poker Face" second single released from the debut album The Fame breaks into the top 50 rising 72-48 this week.

6. The All-American Rejects - Gives You Hell

Moving up 4 spots from #10 to #6 is The All American-Rejects "Gives You Hell" it's currently their highest peaking single, their other top 10s were ("It Ends Tonight") and ("Dirty Little Secret").

10. Britney Spears - Circus

Britney's "Circus" re-enters the top 10 after its initial debut at #3 last year which was based on heavy downloads. "Womanizer" falls out of the top 10 to #11.

18. T.I. featuring Justin Timberlake - Dead and Gone
20. Pink - Sober

Rising into the top 20 is T.I.s "Dead and Gone" which could have a chance at a rise to the top 5 next week --this is T.I.s sixth top 20. Also rising into the top 20 is Pinks "Sober" making it her eleventh.

37. Beyonce - Diva

Beyonces "Diva" rises into the top 50 this week yet "Halo" which holds the mainstream appeal is nowhere to be seen, bummer.

97. Kelly Clarkson - My Life Would Suck Without You

Uh-oh, it seems Britneys in trouble --Kelly Clarkson's new single "My Life Would Suck Without You" makes a debut at #97 meaning the song could make a jump to #1 next week, making it the biggest jump to #1 in Billboard history, breaking the record Britney previously set with ("Womanizer") jumping 96-1. This makes me really nervous. Somebody just jump from 100-1 already. "My Life Will Suck Without You" has already topped the iTunes top 100 and debut at #26 at top 40 radio.

Personal Airplay, 22/01/09

TWLW Title - Artist
1 .... 1 .... Just Dance - Lady GaGa Featring Colby O'Donis (2 weeks @ #1)
2 .... 6 .... Circus - Britney Spears
3 .... 4 .... Broken Strings - James Morrison Featuring Nelly Furtado
4 .... 7 .... Single Ladies - Beyonce
5 .... 2 .... I Hate This Part - The Pussycat Dolls
6 .... 3 .... Use Somebody - Kings Of Leon (2 weeks @ #1)
7 .... 9 .... Issues - The Saturdays
8 .... 5 .... Run - Leona Lewis
9 ... 16 ... Sober - Pink
10 .. 18 .. The Loving Kind - Girls Aloud

Monday, January 19, 2009

UK Singles Charts, 18/01/09

1. Lady GaGa featuring Colbie O'Donis - Just Dance

Spending her second consecutive week at number-one is Lady GaGa's, "Just Dance", I think its safe to say we can expect at least a couple more week here, the song is immensely popular at the moment, both in airplay and sales. Additionally, "Poker Face", the second single released from her debut album, The Fame, debuts at #30 this week on digital sales alone.

2. Kid Cudi vs. Crookers - Day 'n' Nite

I'm completely in love with this song at the moment, it makes a top 3 debut at #2 this week, despite Kid Cudi being originally from the US, "Day 'n' Nite", has yet to be a hit overseas, while Lady GaGa enjoys success over in the US and over here.

4. The Saturdays - Issues
10. Girls Aloud - The Loving Kind

It's funny how my two favorite songs of the moment, both climb into the top 5 / top 10 at the same time. The Saturday's "Issues", become their highest peaking single to date, beating its predecessor ("Up") which stalled at #5 last year, additionally their debut single ("If This Isn't Love") gave them their first top 10 peaking at #8. It's about time Girls Aloud's "The Loving Kind", cracked the top 10, I was afraid they had a flop on their hands, it rises 19 spots up the chart this week, I'm expecting to remain at 10 or move higher next week. "The Loving Kind", also tops the UK airplay chart this week.

17. Britney Spears - Circus

Britney scores her 23rd UK top 20 with, "Circus", amazingly it's Britney's 23rd song to chart on the UK singles chart, meaning every song Britney's released as a single since 1999 has been a top 20 hit for her.

26. Pink - Sober
28. Jason Mraz - I'm Yours

Not much to say here, but both songs move significant spots up the chart this week, admittedly I did expect Pinks, "Sober", to be a quicker top 20 or top 10 hit.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

U2 prep new album

Billboard are reporting the release of the track listing to U2's upcoming 12th studio album, No Line On The Horizon (that's the cover). I loved their last album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, hopefully this new offering will be just as good.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Album Review: Heather Headley - Audience of One (4/5)

Heather Headley returns with her third studio album, Audience of One, making a swift transition from contemporary soul music to gospel. Her last offering, In My Mind, was simply outstanding, definitely R&B at its finest. I was afraid Heather Headley finding Jesus would be like Jessica Simpsons finding country music, but thankfully this isn't the case, Audience of One, is great combination between brilliant urban-slow jams

spired with some deep introspective lyrics fused with some great uptempo tracks too. "Simply Redeemed", gets the album off to a mellow start, it's very angelic, with some faint guitars in the background, with the drums kicking in within the core of the song, the album then swiftly embarks on a more upbeat venture on, "Ordinary Me", it's a great melodic dance track, probably not as catchy as it should be, but great nonetheless. "I Wish", is a beautiful ballad, with the traditional piano and drums, her vocal performance distinctively immaculate. "Jesus Is Love", with Smokie Norful, serves as the albums lead single, it's another of the albums beautiful ballads, I love its soaring chorus, it's so beautiful to listen to. I've never heard of Smokie Norful before but he sounds really good on here.

The medley which consists of, "I Need Thee Every Hour", "Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus" and "I'd Rather Have Jesus", is one of the album's highlights, although I would prefer them to be separate to lengthen the album a bit. Something a bit more contemporary is, "Running Back To You", which is the only non-gospel album, it begins with a beautiful played piano before breaking to a really sick bassline. "I Know The Lord Will Make A Way", goes back to church roots, with church organs and the whole collaboration going on, even including the traditional church quire. "Here I Am To Worship", and "Power Of The Chorus", are great well-known gospel songs, not particularly my favorites, but they are good nonetheless. Closing the album is the eery ballad, "Zion", what I like about this ballad in-particular because its just Heather's vocal against the piano, its really beautiful.

Audience of One wasn't probably the best direction to go in after a knockout like In My Mind, although I don't mind the gospel, I do hope her next album is a return to contemporary R&B.

Best Tracks: Simply Redeemed, I Wish, Jesus Is Love, Medley, Lord Will Make A Way, Zion

Best teen star debuts

All this Britney blogging got me thinking about all my other favorite pop acts who burst onto the music scene in their teens, here's a quick retrospective.

Billie Piper "Because We Want To" (1998). Despite reaching number-one on the UK Singles Chart summer of '98 this catchy number was outshined by Britney's ("Baby One More Time") which was released a couple months prior. Bille Piper followed up the hit with 2 more #1s ("Girlfriend" and "Day & Night"). Her debut album, Honey To The B, wasn't the commercial success it should've been.

JoJo "Leave" (2004). I guess JoJo burst onto the pop scene at the wrong time, her debut single "Leave", was a top 40 radio success, but failed to connect to the US Billboard Hot 100, peaking just outside the top 10, at the time you would've only caught rhythmic and urban-orientated songs inside the top 10 mostly. Her self titled debut was amazing, just to note, commercially it did surprisingly well.

Sugababes "Overload" (2000). Back when it was the original three, the Sugababes released their debut, "Overload", back in 2000, although it wasn't until the release of ("Freak Like Me") and the release of their sophomore album, Angels With Dirty Faces, the following year, the Sugababes were brought to the forefront of british pop music, "Overload", still managed to give the, their first top 10, peaking at #6 on the UK Singles Chart.

Christina Aguilera "Genie In A Bottle" (1999). Britney's biggest rival back in 1999, although Christina obviously had the better voice, arguably Britney became more popular, It may sounds really weird to say, but I didn't particularly care for, "Genie In A Bottle", I always preferred ("Baby"), It wasn't until she whored it up in her ("Dirrty") stages, I started to become a fan.

Mandy Moore "I Wanna Be With You" (2000). Technically this wasn't her debut, her real debut was ("Candy") from the previous year from her initial debut album, So Real, but the following year the album was remixed and produced, "I Wanna Be With You", which was the first time I ever heard of her. The song is among my favorite pop songs of all time. It's accompanying album of the same name was also a great pop album.

Jessica Simpson "I Wanna Love You Forever" (2000). Although some may look at Jessica as a joke now, back in her prime I thought she was amazing, her debut single, the vocally powerful, "I Wanna Love You Forever", was her highest charting single to date, peaking at #2 on the Hot 100.

Britney Single: (You Drive Me) Crazy (1999)

Britney Spears "(You Drive Me) Crazy"

Release: September 13, 1999

1. (You Drive Me) Crazy (The Stop! Remix)
2. I'll Never Stop Loving You

Producer: Max Martin, Jörgen Elofsson, Per Magnusson, David Kreuger
Writer: Max Martin and Rami

Billboard Hot 100: #10
UK Singles Chart: #5

"(You Drive Me) Crazy" was released in the third quarter of 1999, just after the success of "...Baby One More Time" began to settle. Upon its initial single release, the song was remixed and retitled "(You Drive Me) Crazy (The Stop! Remix)" acquiring a more stomping beat. The song became Spears' first single to break the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 since "...Baby" -- the single peaked at #10, also becoming yet another radio success for Spears, covering her now familiar bases, Top 40, Rhythmic and Mainstream. In the UK the song earned Spears yet another top 5 hit, peaking at #5 and Worldwide it peaked inside the top 10 in every country across the globe.

The album version of "Crazy" sounds very flimsy and weak when compared to the remix, which is why I've always preferred it. The remix thumps a slick conjur of synth and harsh piano chords covered by a raging bassline, Spears doesn't sound too bad on here either.

The music video to the song saw Spears as a waitress before stripping into the famous low cut green top and black trousers and performing an extended dance sequence throughout the second half of the video. The video features Melissa Joan Hart, who played Sabrina Spellman, in the former hit television series, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. The song was also the inspiration behind the movie, Drive Me Crazy, which also featured Hart. For promotion purposes, Spears made an appearance in the show, Sabrina, performing "Crazy."

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Kelly Clarkson "My Life Would Suck Without You"

Kelly Clarkson's new single "My Life Would Suck Without You" can be heard on her official website. It's the first single from her forthcoming fourth album, All I Ever Wanted (that's the cover up there).

Billboard Hot 100, 17/01/09

1. Lady GaGa Feauturing Colby O'Donis - Just Dance
3. Kanye West - Heartless

Lady GaGa's, "Just Dance", remains at number-one as predicted, additionally the song also tops the top 40 radio mediabase chart, beating out T.I.'s ("Whatever You Like") and Britney's ("Womanizer") if airplay stays strong, I think it could see more weeks atop the chart. Kanye West's, "Heartless", finally cracks the top 5, I've found new love for this song, its a shame it didn't catch on as fast as the previous single ("Love Lockdown"). It's this week airplay gainer.

10. The All-American Rejects - Gives You Hell

The All-American Rejects score their third US top 10 with, "Gives You Hell", the lead single form their third studio album, When The World Comes Down, the songs their highest charting since 2006's ("It Ends Tonight").

11. Britney Spears - Circus
18. Pussycat Dolls - I Hate This Part

Not much to say here, but both songs inch up the chart. Britney's, "Circus", gave her, her first top 10 debut last year at #3 with really heavy digital sales, but then started to slide, but it's beginning to gain airplay and starting to rise at top 40 radio, reaching a new peak at #11.

25. Pink - Sober

For a minute there I though the life of, "Sober", was over, but this week it makes a significant jump from 32 to 25.

30. T.I. featuring Justin Timberlake - Dead and Gone

I'm not sure what T.I. owes this remarkable 30 spot jump with his upcoming single, "Dead and Gone", mind you the song has been hovering around the top 70/60 for weeks now, after it's initial debut inside the top 90.

Personal Airplay, 15/01/09

TW LW PK Title - Artist
1 .... 4 .... Just Dance - Lady GaGa Featuring Colby O'Donis (1 week @ #1)
2 .... 3 .... I Hate This Part - The Pussycat Dolls
3 .... 1 .... Use Somebody - Kings Of Leon (2 wks @ #1)
4 .... 8 .... Broken Strings - James Morrison Featuring Nelly Furtado
5 .... 2 .... Run - Leona Lewis
6 ... 14 ... Circus - Britney Spears
7 ... 19 ... Single Ladies - Beyonce
8 .... 6 .... Rain On Your Parade - Duffy
9 ... 20 .. Issues - The Saturdays
10 .. 5 .... Womanizer - Britney Spears (5 weeks @ #1)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Album Review: Lady GaGa - The Fame (4.5/5)

The Fame, is the first album I've purchased in 2009. The album was released in the US last year, but is only starting to gain attention recently. I didn't pay too much attention to it. The Fame, consists of hardcore electronic based, upbeat pop. It's distinctively creative even incorporating some great throwback dance joints. Kicking of the album is the worldwide dance smash, "Just Dance", the song is absolutely brilliant, I love it dearly, it's so upbeat, catchy and contemporary --I love the shade of electronic sounds covering the track, it makes it much sweeter, its the biggest standout on the album, I think the track alone has put Lady GaGa on the map.

"LoveGame", takes the word 'catchy' to a new level, the chorus is sickeningly receptive backed up by heavy bassline, with some hovering hand claps and synthesizers souring through the song, I absolutely love it. "Paparazzi", is one of my personal favorites, it's trancy mid-tempo track almost reminiscent of Britney's ("Unusual You"), the song is very soothing to listen to, another gem on the album.

"Poker Face", the second single taken from the album --just like most of the tracks on the album is seriously catchy; its not as catchy as, Just Dance, but its definitely more melodic especially during the chorus stages, I love the stuttering during the mention of the title, when she says, "p-p-p-poker face". If given enough exposure, I think it could match the success of, Just Dance. "Eh, Eh,", is one of the tracks that fall into mediocrity, it's not bad, but its really forgettable when its surrounded by the quality of the other tracks, I noticed the track has a distinctive Caribbean vibe to it. "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich", I fell in love with instantly, sounds very old-school pop, I love the drum rolls through the song and the seductively spoken "dirty, dirty, rich, dirty, dirty, rich beautiful" in the background, the beat to the song is immoderately hot.

The title track, "The Fame", is great electronic dance groove, once again very catchy, it sounds very cartoonish or very commercial, the type of songs they use in the commercials to advertise shampoo or something. "Money, Honey", sound awfully familiar to, Just Dance, but not as good, it's second song on the album that obsesses over money, I love the "m-o-n-e-y so sexy" it makes me giggle. "Starstruck", with FloRida is more hip-hop-orientated, it finds GaGa using the vocoder, this among my favorites, I can't explain how much I love it without freaking out. FloRida also does a good job on his part.

"Boys, Boys, Boys", is very playful, it sounds very single-worthy. "Paper Gangsta", along with, Starstruck, has been on repeat on my iPod since I purchased the album, it's absolutely brilliant, I fall head over heels for some good ol' slow jams. "Brown Eyes", is the ballad of the album --doesn't seem to be a favorite amongst critics, but I really do like it, it has a very distorted sound to it.

"I Like It Rough", could easily be mistaken as a sexual innuendo, if you have a dirty mind like me, but no --I'm in love the chorus, it just seems to flow... that probably doesn't make any sense, you'd have to listen to it to it understand, the song is very mid-tempo, which I adore, its a fantastic pop contemporary track, with a fair suggestive title. "Summerboy", is a great summery song, its a very relaxing song to listen to, it goes in a completely different direction to anything else on the album, its suppose to set your mind free, its one of those 'driving' songs.

Closing the album is, "Disco Heaven", which sounds very 80's, although its a pretty decent song, I think, Summerboy, should've ended the album, this sounds more of a tag-a-long. The Fame is a very solid album, I haven't heard a great, futuristic dance album in a very long time, I'm pretty sure I'll be listening to the album for months to come.

Best Track: Just Dance, LoveGame, Paparazzi, Poker Face, Starstruck, Paper Gangsta, Brown Eyes, I Like It Rough, Summerboy

Monday, January 12, 2009

UK Singles Chart, 11/01/09

1. Lady GaGa featuring Colbie O'Donis - Just Dance
3. Alexandra Burke - Hallelujah

Lady GaGa's, "Just Dance", has been sitting at number-one throughout the UK mid-weeks, so it's number-one isn't really surprise, the song kept Alexandra Burke's, "Hallelujah", from a month at number-one --"Just Dance" is officially a smash; it reached number-one in the US too last week, I wonder how, "Poker Face", will chart.

6. The Saturdays - Issues

The Saturdays score their 3rd top 10 single with, "Issues", rising 21 places up the chart to #6. Their previous singles both just managed to peak just outside the top 5, ("If This Isn't Love") stalled at #8 and ("Up") peaked at #5. Airplay for the song seems stronger this week, which may have contributed to the rise.

7. Beyonce - If I Were A Boy
8. Beyonce - Single Ladies

Beyonce scores songs inside the top 10, "Single Ladies", which has been hovering around the top 20 for weeks now, finally ascends into the top 10, rising up 6 places #8. "If I Were Boy", drops 3 places down to #7. Additionally Beyonce's, "Listen", is also in the top 40 at #40.

10. Kevin Rudolf featuring Lil' Wayne - Let It Rock

With the help of last weeks strong digital sales, Kevin Rudolf's, "Let It Rock", rises up 30 places into the top 10 --it's also broke the top 10 this week in the US (and my personal chart).

24. Britney Spears - Circus

Despite the controversy surrownding Britney in the UK at the moment, "Circus", the second single released from her 6th studio album of the same name, flies back into the top 40 at #24, the songs initial peak was #32 due to heavy downloads on the week of the album release. This is Britney's 23rd top 40 in the UK.

29. Girls Aloud - The Loving Kind

Rises up a couple notches is Girls Aloud's, "The Loving Kind", the second single released from their latest album, Out Of Control, compared to the previous single, "The Promise", which peaked at #1, this single is getting of to a very slow start --the physical single comes out this week, which may give it the boost it needs.

37. Pink - Sober
39. Alesha Dixon - Breathe Slow

Pink earns her 20th top 40 in the UK with, "Sober". Alesha Dixon scores her second with, "Breathe Slow", which has proven popular among my school friends this week, it seems to be on high demand regardning bluetooth, it's too bad I can't say the same for airplay, it needs to rise a bit more, for the song to match the success of the previous single, "The Boy Does Nothing".

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Britney Single: Sometimes (1999)

Britney Spears "Sometimes"

Release: June 14, 1999

1. Sometimes (Radio Edit)
2. I'm So Curious

Producer: Per Magnuson, David Kreuger
Writer: Jörgen Elofsson

Billboard Hot 100: #21
UK Singles Chart: #3

With "...Baby One More Time" still continuing to dominate charts across the globe, the release of "Sometimes" (the second single from Spears' debut album, Baby One More Time, released earlier that year) was heavily overshadowed and although it gained success in a great amount of countries, I would say it became Spears' first missable single. The release of the single was a classic, following up the uptempo with a ballad move, that didn't quite click. Backed with whimisical piano chords and signs of acoustic guitar, it is a nice melodic lovey-dovey ballad, with the typical teen-love content. With lyrics like ("Sometimes I run, sometimes I hide, sometimes I'm scared of you") the song took the archetypical blueprint for a love pop ballad and watered it down greatley, making it more suitable for Spears' audience at the time.

"Sometimes" unfortunately suffered the fate of not having a physical single release. The song peaked at a disappointing #21 on the Billboard Hot 100 (the first of many Spears' singles to miss the top 20 because of this fact). Fortunately the single proved a success on US radio, it ascended into the top 10 spots on the Top 40 tracks (Pop 100 airplay), Rhythmic and Mainstream. It became her first to score reasonably well on Adult Contemporary radio. In the UK, the song scores Spears' second top 5 single, peaking at #3 -- whilst missing the top spot due other major releases, the single did surprisingly manage sell nearly 500,000 copies, becoming one of Spears' biggest selling singles in the UK. Worldwide, the song became a pretty decent hit, scoring a top 10 in almost every country, aside from France and Norway, in which missed the top 10.

The music video was directed by Nigel Dick, who also directed the previous video to "...Baby One More Time" Interesting fact: Whilst recording the video Spears' injured her leg, which left her unable to perform for months. (This would happen again 5 years later, whilst recording a video for the "Outrageous" single).

The video saw an angelic Spears' frolicking around sunny beach set in Malibu, California. Spying on her love interest from a far. It also included recurrent dance scenes, which saw Spears' and her dancer's dressed in white dancing on the port, all smiles.

Britney Single: ...Baby One More Time (1998)

Britney Spears "...Baby One More Time"

Release: October 23, 1998

1. ...Baby One More Time
2. Autumn Goodbye

Producer: Denniz PoP, Max Martin, Rami
Writer: Max Martin

Billboard Hot 100: #1 (2 weeks)
UK Singles Chart: #1 (2 weeks)

"...Baby One More Time" was Britney Spears' first single, the single that would drive Spears into super stardom. The single was released before plans for Spears' debut album had taken shape. Written by Max Martin, who had previously struck gold with the Backstreet Boys, the song was originally offered to R&B trio, TLC who rejected the song as they'd already put the finishing touches on their forthcoming album at the time, Fanmail. Prior to its official release, the song's title was initially taken from the main lyric ("Hit Me Baby One More Time") but Spears' record label, Jive thought listeners would think the song was referring to domestic violence, which why the ("Hit Me") was removed from the title, subsequently replaced with the ("...").

The song summed up teen pop in the fall of the '90s. After a whole decade of mostly rock, R&B and Hip-Hop ruling the charts, Spears' delivery on the heavily pop styled "...Baby" was a long awaited change for all contemporary music listeners. Thumping a slick and catchy bassline, fueled with solid sing-a-long styled verses and possibly the most catchy chorus ever heard in a pop song. The song brought teen-pop to the forfront of music for a long while. It sparked other record labels to find their own Britney's -- following Spears' on the pop scene was Christina Aguilera, who also had success in the genre, scoring a hit with her debut single "Genie In a Bottle" as long as the genre lasted, Aguilera was Spears' only rival; although she scored many more #1s and took home the Grammy for Best New Artist, Spears' amounted to more popularity from the mass public and eventually worldwide domination, I've always thought it was because the first artist to own the teen-pop genre. Also following Spears and Aguilera was Jessica Simpson and Mandy Moore, who both had 1 moderate hit, but both slumped in sales.

The single became an instant success. It debut at #17 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the fall of 1998 and quickily rose to #1 at the beginning of 1999, staying there for 2 weeks. The song would be Spears' only #1 on the chart for nearly a decade. On US radio the song became an all round hit, reaching the top spot on the Top 40 tracks (Pop 100), Rhythmic and Mainstream tally. In the UK, the song was just as much of a hit, peaking at #1 for 2 weeks -- becoming the biggest selling single of the year 1999. The single topped every single charts in every country across the globe (except for Mexico, where it had to settle for a #2).

"...Baby" was indeed a smash, but what propelled it that much higher was its classic accompanying video, which found a young Spears' in pony tails and a Catholic school girl outfit, performing several dance routines in a high school (the same high school Greece was filmed).

TW LW Title








































The Britney Spears Project

As of today, I will be commencing on a Britney Spears project, that should last until February or March at the latest. Spears is my favorite pop entertainer and arguably the biggest female pop star since Madonna. I will be looking into all her 26 singles, including special airplay only singles, I'll be putting up the posts in chronological order of releases. Starting off the project is her first single from 1999 "...Baby One More Time."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

What I'm listening to...

"The Loving Kind" Girls Aloud. I love this song, "Loving Kind" is the second single taken from the latest Girls Aloud album, Out of Control. It's a brilliant Xenomania produced pop song, with a fantastic chorus.

"Take You Down" Chris Brown. Chris Brown's new single is a sultry, R. Kelly reminiscent bump n grind number, definitely a different direction for the singer. It orginally one of my favorite tracks from Brown's sophomore album, Exclusive. Girls should be falling head over heels for its accompanying video below.

"Just Dance" Lady GaGa Featuring Colby O'Donis. After conquering the US, Lady GaGa is poised to rule the UK charts this week with her uptempo debut single "Just Dance" I've listened to this countless times, dating back into last year and I still love it now.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Billboard Hot 100, 10/01/09

1. Lady GaGa featuring Colbie O'Donis

Lady GaGa scored her first US #1 with, "Just Dance", knocking off Beyonce 3 week reign at #1 with, "Single Ladies", the song got off to a slow start, it had been released as a commercial single for months, although it failed to catch on the US mainstream for awhile, it did manage to top the Pop 100, enter in the top 5 on it's accompanying airplay chart, also entering the top 5 on the Hot 100 airplay, topping the Hot digital songs chart, by gaining the biggest one week download sales of 419k and peaking inside the top 3 of the Hot club dance play chart. The single had already became a worldwide smash before the US caught on, "Just Dance", peaked at #1 in Australian singles chart and the Canadian Hot 100 chart. The single had reached the top 5 in the UK, New Zealand, Sweden and Czech Republic. It scored 3 top 10's in Denmark, Switzerland and Norway. It scored 7 top 20's in Turkey, Germany, France, Belgium, Austria, Ireland and Finland. The single has reached a platinum status Denmark, Australia, New Zealand and the UK, not bad for a debut single. The second single, "Poker Face", released from her debut album, The Fame, I'm thinking might find itself a moderate peak, as It doesn't seem to have the same mainstream appeal, "Just Dance", has. On the topic, The Fame, from the previews I've already heard, the album is probably going to be among my favorites of the first quarter of '09.

4. Taylor Swift - Love Story

Taylor is this weeks airplay gainer, the lead single, "Love Story", of her blockbuster album, Fearless, officially breaks into the top 5, giving her highest peaking single to date. Taylor is currently up and rising at top 40 radio, she's at #6 position with 6.9k behind Beyonce, Lady GaGa, Britney Spears and T.I. and Rihanna.

7. Kevin Rudolf featuring Lil' Wayne - Let It Rock

I wonder what Kevin owes this dramatic return into the top 10, what makes this really freakishly funny is that he breaks into the top 10 of my personal chart, before I even knew he returned to the top 10 on the Hot 100, but the song has received a noticeable increase in digital sales and airplay, the song also returns to the top 10 on the Hot digital songs chart and starts to re-make way on the Hot 100 airplay rising 18-16, it previously peaked at #14 on that chart.

19. Pussycat Dolls - I Hate This Park

Pussycat Dolls score their 6th top 20 single with "I Hate This Part."

New Eminem Single

Billboard report that the leak of Eminem's new single "Crack a Bottle" Featuring rapper, 50 Cent. It's not bad, I like the horns, the cool piano chord bassline and the chorus, maybe not the best I've heard him. Eminem revealed to Billboard that the song is "close to finish"- here is a leaked version I found on YouTube.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Britney Spears "If U Seek Amy"

The third single released from Britney Spears' latest album, Circus, will be "If U Seek Amy" a jaunty pop number, produced by pop genius Max Martin (who is also the mind behind Spears' earlier hits "Baby One More Time" and "Oops! I Did It Again"). This is a great choice for a single, sure to do well on US radio. Other songs that should be considered for singles off the Circus album are, the distorted ballad "Unusual You" and the futuristic "Shattered Glass."

Personal Airplay, 08/01/09

TW LW Title - Artist
1 .... 1 .... Use Sombody - Kings Of Leon (2 weeks @ #1)
2 .... 2 .... Run - Leona Lewis
3 .... 4 .... I Hate This Part - The Pussycat Dolls
4 .... 7 .... Just Dance - Lady GaGa Featuring Colby O'Donis
5 .... 3 .... Womanizer - Britney Spears (5 weeks @ #1)
6 .... 6 .... Rain On Your Parade - Duffy
7 .... 5 .... Live Your Life - T.I. Featuring Rihanna
8 ... 12 ... Broken Strings - James Morrison Featuring Nelly Furtado
9 .... 9 .... Hallelujah - Alexandra Burke
10 ... 8 ... If I Were A Boy - Beyonce

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

David Archuleta "A Little Too Not Over You"

"A Little Too Not Over You" will be the second single released from American Idol runner up, David Archuleta's self titled debut album. Although it's not technically different, I do prefer this to "Crush."

Monday, January 05, 2009

UK Singles Chart, 04/01/09

1. Hallelujah - Alexandra Burke
2. Run - Leona Lewis

No change at number-one, X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke's "Hallelujah",remains at number-one for a third week, selling 1 million copies overall, this week the single moved 112,000 units. Leona Lewis's, "Run", also remains in last weeks position at #2, I seem to have found some new love for the song, I stopped listening to it a couple days ago, but I've been picked it up again, very strange.

3. Just Dance - Lady GaGa featuring Colbie O'Donis

Lady GaGa's dance anthem, "Just Dance", nabs the highest debut of the week (and her first UK top 10) at #3, thanks to last weeks heavy download sales, dethroning Alexandra Burke's "Hallelujah", on the iTunes main top 100 songs --now that the song has made way on the chart, airplay is sure to pick up drastically over the course of next week, which means Alexandra could face some heavy competition for number-one next week. I would probably among the many people who "Just Dance" would be an instant hit in the UK, I thought the same about Katy Perry's, "I Kissed A Girl", when it was released back in July last year. The song has #1 written all over it, despite "Hallelujah" currently on heavy rotation across the UK, if not next week, "Just Dance", has a clear shot at #1.

4. Broken Strings - James Morrison featuring Nelly Furtado

James Morrison's, "Broken Strings", earns him his second UK top 5 since his debut back in 2006 with, "You Give Me Something". It's funny how he's never had a top 3 yet, he's been incredibly popular since his debut, hopefully "Broken Strings" does the trick.

5. Use Somebody - Kings Of Leon

I'm currently in love with this song at the moment; the song peaked at #2 on the chart last year, but suffered a steady decline in airplay, but this week is re-enters the top 5, making a bit of a comeback, wether it continues to rise, I'm unsure.

8. Human - The Killers
9. Womanizer - Britney Spears

Both songs originally peaked at #3 last year but fell out of the top 10, when their airplay declined, but this week both songs rise from the top 20 back into the top 10. Although I'm pretty much over Britney's, "Womanizer", (I'm onto "Circus" now) I always thought it would be much more of a bigger hit, in it's opening week on the chart it debut at #4, behind Beyonce's, "If I Were A Boy".

23. No Can Do - Sugababes

I was wondering when we were going to see Sugababes, "No Can Do", inside the top 50. The song has an amazing 60 place rise up to #23 this week. It seems to be becoming a bit of trend for the second single from a Sugababe album to flop, after the first is successful, their debut album, One Touch, released back in 2000 had the first single, "Overload", which gave them their first top 10, peaking at #6, but their follow-up single barely managed to crack the top 10, "New Year", peaked at #12. Their fifth album, Change, released back in 2007 had the smash hit single, "About You Now", which gave them their 5th #1, their follow up singles, "Change", and, "Denial", both failed to crack the top 10. I'm hoping they break the trend, but the, Catfights and Spotlights, era seems to be underperforming fatally.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Upcoming bands reunions in 2009

It seem every year, at least one band reunites to attempt to refind the success they once had, Last year, Boyzone reunited for their greatest hits album, Back Again... No Matter What, the album was a moderate hit; their attempt at a comeback didn't fare as well has fellow band, Take That, made in 2006 with their album, Beautiful World, which spawned 2 #1s ("Patience" and "Shine") including a top 3 single "Rule the World."

I've never really been a fan of Blur their only song I ever really liked of them was, "Out Of Time", from their last album, Think Tank, but their expected reunification later on this year is being talked about on entertainment channels everywhere across the UK, but will it be as successful as Take That?

Other bands expected to reform are No Doubt I'm really excited for this, I've always been a fan of them, even after they disbanded and Gwen embarked on her solo career, it's hard to believe their last studio album, Rock Steady, was released back in 2001, going 2x platinum in the US and spawning the top 40 hit, "Hey Baby", and winning a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance. New album material is still in the works, I really can't wait.

A couple more bands expected to reform are, Alice In Chains, Beastie Boys, Cypress Hill, D.R.I, Face To Face, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Pastilence, Rancid, Ratt, Snot, Stone Temple Pilots, Suicidal Tendencies. I can honestly say I have never heard of most of the bands in that list with the exception of Beastie Boys.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Billboard Hot 100, Week Ending 03/01/09

1. Single Ladies - Beyonce

First chart of the year and Beyonce still rules the chart with, "Single Ladies", carrying on from her 2 week run from last, this is the second time Beyonce carries on a run in 2 separate years, in 2006, "Irreplaceable", topped the chart for 3 weeks, and carried on it's in 2007 for 7 weeks.

2. Just Dance - Lady GaGa

Lady GaGa's "Just Dance" rises to a new peak at #2, setting a new record for the biggest one week digital sales for a female artist. The song moved over 450,000 digital copies this week.

5. Love Story - Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift's, "Love Story", breaks into the top 5, becoming her first US top 10, thanks to last weeks heavy digital sales, helping it claim a new peak of #3 on the digital songs tally.

21. I Hate This Part - Pussycat Dolls

After the flop of "Watcha Think About That" The Pussycat Dolls quicky followed it up with "I Hate This Part" a great piano backed number with a kicking bassline. The songs is already proving itself a success in the UK and now is transferring to the US, the song rises to #21 this week, scoring their 7th top 40 single, follwoing "When I Grow Up," "Wait a Minute," "Beep," "Buttons," "Stick Witchu" and "Don't Cha."

27. Crush - David Archuleta

Last Year, American Idol runner up, David Archuleta's debut single "Crush" has an amazing debut at #2, but quickily sank down to the mid-point of the chart. This week it makes quite a solid comeback rising 45-27.

Personal Airplay, 01/01/09

TW LW Title - Artist
1 .... 4 .... Use Somebody - Kings Of Leon (1 week @ #1)
2 .... 3 .... Run - Leona Lewis
3 .... 1 .... Womanizer - Britney Spears (5 wks @ #1)
4 .... 6 .... I Hate This Part - The Pussycat Dolls
5 .... 2 .... Live Your Life - T.I. Featuring Rihanna
6 .... 7 .... Rain On Your Parade - Duffy
7 ... 18 ... Just Dance - Lady GaGa Featuring Colby O'Donis
8 .... 5 .... If I Were A Boy - Beyonce
9 ... 10 ... Hallelujah - Alexandra Burke
10 .. 8 .... Right Now - Akon