Saturday, January 30, 2010

Preview Sade's Soldier of Love

The new Sade album picks up where thier last album Lovers Rock finished ten years ago. Lovely melodies, soothing beats and Adu's cooling vocal. I think I prefer this to Lovers Rock, which is really saying something, it's a possible five-star.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Mariah Preps Two New Singles

Following the underwleming perfomance of "H.A.T.E.U." and "I Want to Know What Love Is," Mariah is readying two new singles "Up Out My Face" with Nicki Minaj and "Angels Cry" with Ne-Yo, the fourth and fifth singles from her latest Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel and the first and second from her forthcoming remix album Angels Advocate.

The video to "Face" is fun and likably silly, possibly her most fun since the "Heartbreaker" video ten years ago, however I feel "Angels" is the better song--even with its slightly dull video. We'll see if any of these and give her first solid hit since "Touch My Body."

Up Out My Face:

Angels Cry:

Billboard Hot 100, 6th February 2010

1. TiK ToK - Ke$ha
2. Today Was a Fairy Tale - Taylor Swift

Ke$ha holds at number-one for a sixth week with "TiK ToK," holding off this weeks biggest debut from Taylor Swift. "Today Was a Fairy Tale" breaks the record for largest first-week digital sales for a female artist, selling 325k. The record was previously held by Britney Spears' "Womanizer" which shifted 286k. It's also the biggest opening since the Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow" last year, which did 470k.

3. Bad Romance - Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga dips down to number-two this week, losing its bullet. Will this ever reach the top spot?

4. BedRock - Young Money featuring Lloyd

Lil' Wayne's hip-hop group Young Money stay bulleted at number-four as airplay gainer of the week with "BedRock."

5. Baby - Justin Bieber featuing Ludacris

Lead single from his forthcoming second part of his debut album, My World, "Baby" debuts at #5, I believe his highest opening on the chart. The single moved 200k this week. Like "One Less Lonely Girl," I predict this week probably die out quickily and hover around the top twenty for some time.

9. Hard - Rihanna feat. Young Jeezy

Rihanna falls one spot to number-nine with "Hard" however still remains bulleted.

11. Imma Be - Black Eyed Peas

The Black Eyed Peas inch closer to their seventh top ten with "Imma Be." This week it rises four spots up from fifteen.

14. Carry Out - Timbaland featuring Justin Timberlake

Timbaland scores his fourth top twenty hit as a solo-artist with "Carry Out," whereas Justin scores his ninth (excluding featured singles).

16. Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour) - Jay-Z, Rihanna, Bono and The Edge
48. Hallelujah - Justin Timberlake, Matt Morris and Charlie Sexton (what a cool last name)
81. Redemption Song - Rihanna

First up of the Haiti debuts is Jay-Z, Rihanna, Bono and The Edge's "Stranded," the most popular track from the Hope for Haiti album. The track sold 131k this week scoring a pretty solid debut at number-sixteen. Justin Timberlake, Matt Morris and Sexton's cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" just cracks the top fifty, debuting at forty-eight. And lastly Rihanna's cover of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" debuts at eighty-one, selling 81k. In more good news for the Hope for Haiti project, the album debuts at #1 with 171k haul.

20. Telephone - Lady Gaga featuring Beyonce

Lady Gaga and Beyonce's "Telephone" stays bulleted at number-twenty for a second week. This is already a bigger hit than "Video Phone" was so I guess it's already a success.

28. In My Head - Jason DeRulo

It may not be a big hit as "Watcha Say" but Jason DeRulo's second single "In My Head" should be enough so solidfy his status as the new Chris Brown or at least give me a decent pop career. Remember boys and girls: Hitting women is wrong!

37. Whataya Want from Me - Adam Lambert

Adam Lambert scores his first top forty with "Whataya Want from Me," second single from his debut album For Your Entertainment.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Personal Airplay, 28th January 2009

TW LW Title - Artist
1 .... 3 .... TiK ToK - Ke$ha (5 weeks @ #1)
2 .... 3 .... Replay - Iyaz
3 .... 2 .... Fireflies - Owl City (1 wk @ #1)
4 .... 6 .... Telephone - Lady Gaga feat. Beyonce
5 .... 7 .... Hard - Rihanna feat. Young Jeezy
6 .... 4 .... Broken Heels - Alexandra Burke
7 .... 5 .... Empire State of Mind - Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys (1 wk @ #1)
8 .... 9 .... Kings and Queens - 30 Seconds to Mars
9 ... 13 ... Do You Remember - Jay Sean feat. Lil' John & Sean
10 .. 8 .... Bad Romance - Lady Gaga (2 wks @ #1)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What I'm listening to...

Here's what's been on heavy rotation on my iPod last week:

If We Ever Meet Again - Timbaland featuring Katy Perry. I didn't think I'd ever love another Timbaland track again (maybe not as much as "The Way I Are" or his remix of OneRepublic's "Apologize") but I have. His new single with Katy Perry, "If We Ever Meet Again," is a great chunk of urban-pop with an awesome chorus and it wouldn't be a Timbaland track if wasn't aligned with his signature tongue-popping back drop.

This Momentary - Delphic. I got this as a free download on iTunes last week. Delphic is UK based alternative dance band, their sound is rather mellow and their debut album Acolyte has been getting rave reviews, I'll have to check that out soon. "This Momentary" pulses with synth strings, electronic keyboards and a cool psychedelic bass line.

Won't Go Quietly - Example. I don't like this as much as "Watch the Sun Go Up," but still love its slick electronic sound and its energetic chorus. Either way, I can't for his second album (not that I paid attention to his first.)

Empire State of Mind Part II - Alicia Keys. Yes, Jay-Z's out and Alicia Keys is in. I've always said I loved "Empire" for its enchanting chorus, so Alicia Keys' version is great and with a couple of soulful verses to match this is perfection.

In My Head - Jason DeRulo. Is Chris Brown already being replaced? By the looks of Jason DeRulo's new video for his second single, "In My Head" that's a strong possibility. Whilst there's not a lot of substance here for me to take DeRulo as a serious artist (I mean what exactly sets him apart from Sean Kingston or Iyaz?) this is a pretty cool song--I like the electronic guitar-based backdrop.

Forever Young - Jay-Z featuring Mr. Hudson. When it comes to hip-hop these days, there is only one front-runner and that is Jay-Z, so far he's released three consecutive strong singles that all successfully crossover to the pop charts, something that he's barely achieved in his fourteen year career. "Forever Young," follows the lineup perfectly an eerie mid-tempo wrapped with a great chorus from Mr. Hudson and solid verses from Jay.

Many of Horror - Biffy Clyro. I've only just started listening to Scottish band Biffy Clyro in depth, there pretty good. The best track from their fifth album Only Revolutions is "Many of Horror," a great drum, string and guitar arrangement. It's the fourth single from the album currently at #20 on the UK charts, their seventh top twenty.

Silvia - Miike Snow. Swedish band Miike Snow are a really good band, lead vocalist Andrew Wyatt has a really cool voice. I'm really into "Silvia" right now, taken from the self-titled debut album. I like the piano chords at the beginning before ascending into some really cool soundscapes, sounds and beats. Fact: Loy has listened to them 280 times over, in fact he's listening right now.

Rock that Body - Black Eyed Peas. I have a new favorite from The E.N.D. now. It's Mel's favorite "Rock that Body." Cool electronic sounds, much like most of the songs on the album but there's somthing especially cool about this one.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Personal Airplay, 21st January 2009

TW LW Title - Artist
1 .... 1 .... TiK ToK - Ke$ha (4 weeks @ #1)
2 .... 2 .... Fireflies - Owl City (1 wk @ #1)
3 .... 4 .... Replay - Iyaz
4 .... 3 .... Broken Heels - Alexandra Burke
5 .... 5 .... Empire State of Mind - Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys (1 wk @ #1)
6 .... 7 .... Telephone - Lady Gaga featuring Beyonce
7 .... 9 .... Hard - Rihanna featuring Young Jeezy
8 .... 6 .... Bad Romance - Lady Gaga (2 wks @ #1)
9 ... 10 .. Kings and Queens - 30 Seconds to Mars
10 .. 13 .. Ego - The Saturdays

Monday, January 18, 2010

Songs of My Lifetime: "The Roof" - Mariah Carey (1997)

The Roof (1997)
Written By Mariah Carey, Jean Claude Oliver, Samuel Barnes, Cory Rooney, Albert Johnson and Kejuan Waliek Muchita

I got this idea from ww_adh. Mariah Carey's seventh album Butterfly is one of those albums that aren't perfect (there are at least four tracks I don't listen to) but still love dearly and would definitely bestow as her best. Today I re-discovered the enchanting "The Roof," on my iPod on the way home from school, the fourth track from the album depicting a romantic encounter on a roof-top as Mariah effectively cooes over a brilliantly composed downbeat, urban-shadowed arrangement aligned with an emphatic '90s influenced hip-hop bass line.

Mariah is often snubbed when it comes to her songwriting, Butterfly had some great lyrics, none more so illustrated than on this track ("I only wanted you to taste my sadness as you kissed me in the dark"). The chorus may be at bit excessive but flawlessly tells her story sporting an emotive brisk and rather quiet vocal which ultimately adds to the effective eeriness of the song; one of the few times where her singing through the nose isn't annoying and works well. I've always admired her deep and intricate lyrics as she displays so wonderfully on the second verse poetically describing her encounter ("And then you softly pressed your lips to mine, and feelings surfaced I'd suppressed for such a long long time").

I haven't been alive that long but there's boat-loads of songs that have touched or moved me in one wat or abother (in fact I was only 3 when this came out), Butterfly is special as there's at least five songs on there that trigger my thoughts upon each listen, including ballads "Outside," "Close My Eyes," and "Butterfly," the awesome collaboration with Bone Thungs n Harmony on "Breakdown" and "Babydoll."

Friday, January 15, 2010

Album Review: The Simpsons - The Simpsons Sing the Blues (1990, 4.5/5)

In celebration of the twentieth anniversary of The Simpsons, I decided to buy The Simpsons Sing the Blues album the first and presumably best soundtrack from the show. I'm a massive fan of the show, probably the most morally relatable cartoon ever created (with both South Park and Family Guy closely behind).

The album is so obnoxiously early '90s, I love it. The synths, funky keyboards and the canny yet slightly cheesy lyrics brilliantly demonstrated on the popular Michael Jackson-penned novelty single "Do the Bartman," voiced by Bart Simpson (Nancy Cartwright) which can be seen as the Soulja Boy "Crank That" of its time, also has some pretty cool lyrics too ("Fixin' test scores to get the best scores, droppin' banana peels all over the floor"). The song also became a first UK #1 for the show. Similar is "Deep Deep Trouble," a scattering '90s funk with brilliant lyrics.

I like thc classic rock sound on Chuck Berry's "School Days," fueled with gushes of electronic guitars and jolly poignant piano keys--portraying a very apt description of the bleakness school, again with some cool lyrics. That guitar-solo is awesome and the chanting of "hail, hail rock n roll." Blues musician B.B. King lends his guitaring skills on the bluesy "Born Under a Bad Sign," voice by Homer Simpson (Dan Castellaneta) fueled with strings, guitars and jazzy horns as Simpson desperately pleads: "If it wasn't for bad luck I wouldn't have any luck at all."

Next track, "Moaning Lisa," is my favorite song on the album because its accompanying episode Moaning Lisa is among my favorite episodes of The Simpsons, a heart-felt illustration of young-blues and depression through Lisa Simpson (Yeardley Smith) using the saxophone as an escapism. Following is Lisa's cover of Billie Holiday's "God Bless the Child," a soulful, bluesy bewildering ballad.

Last couple tracks aren't as great as the ones before but still good. Marge Simpson (Julie Kavner) and Homer indulge in a sweet love-fest on Randy Newmans's sultry "I Love to See You Smile." Marge also croaks on the next track "Springfield Soul Stew," which actually has a pretty cool composition, horns, keyboards, organs and stuttering piano keys. Mr. Burns (Christopher Collins) unleashes his anger on the synth-heavy "Look At All Those Idiots." And Bart and Lisa go at it on the classical broadway-styled "Sibling Rivalry."

The Simpsons Sing the Blues is a fantastic album, definately more than a novelty album--definately a must-have for any fan like myself. Such witty lyrics and brilliant beats. Between Family Guy's Live in Vegas soundtrack and South Park's Chef Aid, this would probably just trail after Family Guy. It's astonising that it's been twenty years, looking back at the earlier episodes seems so fresh although admittedly the show hasn't been as good since the late '90s.

Best: Moaning Lisa, Do the Bartman, School Days, Deep Deep Troubele, Born Under a Bad Sign

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Billboard Hot 100, 23th January 2009

1. Tik Tok - Ke$ha
7. Blah Blah Blah - Ke$ha feat. 30H!3

Ke$ha lands a fourth weeek atop the chart this week with "Tik Tok," it's also this weeks airplay gainer, i'm assuming it also received a boost in sales too. Also contributing into a successful week for the singer is "Blah Blah Blah" featuring electro-pop group 30H!3, which debuts at #7 scoring her second top ten hit and her debut album, Animal debuts at #1 with a 152k haul (pretty impressive for January sales).

8. BedRock - Young Money feat. Lloyd

Hip-Hop supergroup Young Money their second top ten with "BedRock," rising four spots up. It follows the #10 peak of "Every Girl."

9. Hard - Rihanna feat. Young Jeezy

Rihanna scores her thirteenth top ten with "Hard," tying her with Beyonce for most top tens since 2000. This is also Young Jeezy's second top ten, following the brilliant 2005 single "Soul Survivor," which peaked at #4.

15. 3 - Britney Spears

It's funny, Britney hasn't promoted this one bit however it still remains inside the top twenty for its fourteenth week. It follows its record-breaking debut at #1 back in October. This week is rises up one notch up to #15.

Personal Airplay, 14th January 2010

TW LW Title - Artist
1 .... 1 .... Tik Tok - Ke$ha (3 weeks @ #1)
2 .... 2 .... Fireflies - Owl City (1 wk @ #1)
3 .... 5 .... Broken Heels - Alexandra Burke
4 .... 6 .... Replay - Iyaz
5 .... 4 .... Empire State of Mind - Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys (1 wk @ #1)
6 .... 3 .... Bad Romance - Lady Gaga (2 wks @ #1)
7 .... 7 .... Telephone - Lady Gaga featuring Beyonce
8 .... 8 .... Watcha Say - Jason DeRulo
9 ... 13 ... Hard - Rihanna featuring Young Jeezy
10 .. 11 .. Kings and Queens - 30 Seconds to Mars

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Owl City's Ocean Eyes Arrives in the UK in March

Owl City's debut album Ocean Eyes arrives in the UK March 1st. Lead single "Fireflies" has aleady topped the US charts and is looking to do the same over here (currently at #2 behind Iyaz's "Replay" on iTunes). Our version includes two remixed tracks, "Hello Seattle" and "On the Wig" both great tracks. Check out my review.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Rihanna "Rude Boy"

Next up in the lineup of releases from Rihanna's latest album Rated R is the breezy "Rude Boy," skittering with synths and drum machines. I like it a lot although I wouldn't say it's everyone's cuppa tea. I predict the single will be between "Stupid in Love" and the guitar-heavy "Fire Bomb."

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Album Review: Vampire Weekend - Contra (2/5)

It was cool how well-received American indie band Vampire Weekend's self-titled debut album was, their abrasive mix of Indie rock and African beats (dubbed Afro-pop) didn't connect with any earth-shattering sales, however did have critics in unison mostly praising the album for their intelligent and engrossing lyrics. I liked it too, however initially was a hard pill to swallow--it was more than your typical indie-rock album.

If you liked their first album, their second release Contra should act as the perfect follow-up. Much hasn't changed except more complex sounds, stronger melodies and a more flavorsome production and whilst it definitely has its moments, it proves rather under whelming in my opinion, even with its short 10-track set I don't like it as much as Vampire Weekend. Maybe the lyrics aren't as brisk or it just comes down to taste, but from the likable whit of VW, there's seems to be some magic lost in the process.

"Horchata" is a pleasing opener, definitely less bracing than the scattering rhythmic sounds of "Mansard Roof," the last albums opener. This is more mellow with hints of orchestration and taunting African drums, better is the jittery follow-up"White Sky," laced with a mash of synths and guitars. The band have been often compared to fellow American rock group, The Strokes. Their debut was cited as a recall of, Is This It, and while I couldn't see the similarites myself however I can draw some on here. The albums first upbeat track "Holiday," pulses with bursts of distorted guitars, drums and keyboard work--the same sort of abrupt composition as The Strokes' "Modern Age." It's one of the albums highlights.

Other highlights include the romantic "Taxi Cab," I like its soft production, fronted by swift piano keys and rhythmic handclaps. "Run" is another favorite, fleeting with a wide array of different sounds, including computerized synths, harmonicas, drums and a restless bass line.

With its handful of highlights intact, there is a fair amount of the album I don't like and just can't into. The weirdly composed "California English," I just don't understand, it's very confusing. Lead single "Cousins," is definitely no "A-Punk," I liked its climatic, rapid crashing of drums and guitars but the novelty of that wore off rather quickly and now I don't care for it. Synth-laced "Giving Up the Gun," doesn't move me at all.

Sampling MIA is "Diplomat's Son," a subdued mid-tempo fronted by synth, bass and other noise. It's not bad, I don't love it though and closing track "I Think Ur a Contra," is a spacey ballad with various soundscapes and sounds, very subdued and orchestral. It's a pleasing close to the album.

I appreciate the band tried to re-create the magic of their first album while implementing obvious differentiation, however it did fall short for me, not quite as tight, smart or whitty as its predecessor. And even with its handful of highlights it's probably not something I want to give a second listen to, which dismisses signs of it being a grower.

Best: Taxi Cab, Run, Holiday, I Think Ur a Contra

What I'm Listening To...

Here's what I have been listening to on my iPod this week:

Replay - Iyaz. The hook on this chorus mad catchy. It sounds almost nursery rhyme like, it sounds awesome. And whilst I really love this song, my only query is that isn't Iyaz ultimately the Sean Kingston of 2010 because this is definitely his "Beautiful Girls," and without sounding too harsh it probably means he won't have another hit after this. Jason DeRulo wrote this song, he could have easily sung it himself.

Broken Heels - Alexandra Burke.
Following the pop trailings of "Bad Boys," the second single from Alexandra's debut album Overcome, is just as pop-orientated with a catchy dance edge and a Beyonce-esque swagger. It's funny how much I've fallen in love with this track as I didn't find it half as striking when I first bought the album. I hear "The Silence" is rumored to be the albums third single, although I can't confirm, it makes sense; two uptempo's and a ballad and plus that's an awesome song too.

Ellie Goulding - Under the Sheets. The more I listen to her, the more I see some influences from both Kate Nash and Little Boots. Ellie Goulding is tipped to be 2010's biggest act, her debut single "Under the Sheets," has a cool electronic almost La Roux esque sound to it. The chorus is awesome.

Do You Remember - Jay Dean feat. Sean Paul & Lil' Jon. I've been listening to this quite a lot. Jay Sean follows up "Down," with the almost identical radio-friendly "Do You Remember?," which is almost certain to deliver the singer another smash.

Hard - Rihanna feat. Young Jeezy. Fantastic follow-up to "Russian Roulette," backed with threatening horns, poignant piano keys and cool drum bass line. I love Rihanna's new sass and "couldn't give two craps" attitude. And still no vocally perfect artist, she certainly makes it work on here.

Drop the World - Lil' Wayne feat. Eminem. I'm looking forward Lil' Wayne's new album, which leaked last year despite it's Februrary release date. "Drop the World" is an obvious indication to what to excect, lots and lots and lots of electronic guitars fronting pulsating hip-hop beats, if this his idea of "rock and hip-hop fusion" then I'm down.

Look for Me - Chipmunk feat. Taylay Riley. I don't like Chipmunk, well not as much as Tinchy Stryder anyway, but his first major label release I Am Chipmunk has so far churned out some great singles, following the pop gloss of "Oopsy Daisy," is the melodically striking "Look for Me," I only really like its chorus, which seems to be the same story for most rap songs today.

Video Phone - Beyonce & Lady GaGa. I like to make fun of this song for its ridiculous and often contradicting lyrics ("You want me naked, if you like this position you can tape it on your video phone") but in fact every time this pops up on TV or in shuffle I do like to sing along or dance to its skittering bass line.

What I'm not:

Admit It - Esmee Denters. Ugh, I think song sucks. So obnoxiously soul-influenced with no actual soul and a blatant rip-off of JoJo's sound. Where is she when you need her?

Friday, January 08, 2010

Introducing: Ellie Goulding

The winner of BBC's Sounds of 2009 list is 23 year old Ellie Goulding, she's tipped to be the next biggest act this year. A few weeks ago iTunes were offering a free track called "Wish I Stayed" from her EP An Introduction to Ellie Goulding. I really like her voice, it's unique (a word I thought I'd never use again in these modern times). Check out her performing her debut single "Under the Sheets" below:

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Personal Chart, 7th January 2010

TW LW Title Artist
1 .... 1 .... TiK ToK - Ke$ha (2 weeks @ #1)
2 .... 5 .... Fireflies - Owl City (1 wk @ #1)
3 .... 3 .... Bad Romance - Lady Gaga (2 wks @ #1)
4 .... 2 .... Empire State of Mind - Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys (1 wk @ #1)
5 .... 8 .... Broken Heels - Alexandra Burke
6 .... 7 .... Replay - Iyaz
7 .... 9 .... Telephone - Lady Gaga featuring Beyonce
8 .... 4 .... Watcha Say - Jason DeRulo
9 .... 6 .... 3 Words - Cheryl Cole featuring
10 .. 7 .... You Know Me - Robbie Williams

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

New Britney & Christina Albums On the Way

After nearly four years absence, Christina Aguilera is expected to return to the spotlight with her fourth album titled, Bionic. Major producers and artists heard to be working on the album include electronic band Goldfrapp, hip-hop producers The Neptunes and Australian pop singer Sia. With such a shimmering lineup, there's no doubt this album should be solid, if anything more solid than her last offering Back to Basics. Confirmed track "Glam," is set to recall the defining pop stylyings of Madonna's "Vogue." Interesting.

Following her successful comeback with her sixth album, Circus, Britney Spears is also returning this year with her seventh sometime in June or July. Producers confirmed to be working on the album include French DJ David Guetta (who delivered two of the UK's biggest hits last year with "When Love Takes Over" with Kelly Rowland and "Sexy Bitch" with Akon) he's also said to have produced the albums lead single out in March, Danja (who's produced some of her best tracks including "Gimme More" and "Break the Ice"), pop genius Max Martin and Sean Garrett. Interesting lineup.

I'm looking forward to both releases, it's almost like being at the end of the '90s again. Whilst the music is important, I'm more interested in who's going to sell more records. And let the races begin.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Album Review: Ke$ha - Animal (3/5)

After slowly molding her career to follow suit to the electro dance-pop trend set by Lady Gaga, in theory Ke$ha is set to be the next big thing, she's already scored her first major hit with "TiK ToK," a catchy electronic ode to the club night-life and reckless fun, which is a recurring topic Ke$ha is reluctant to talk about on her debut on songs such as the fun synth-laced "Take it Off," with imprudent lyrics like: "gotta water bottle full of whiskey in my handbag," and the shameless and rather upfront "Party at a Rich Dudes House."

With audacious fun comes consequence, the album wears thin at least seven tracks in and the tracks following aren't that interesting or try too hard to be, however it does get off a to a pretty strong start. "Your Love is My Drug," has a tasteful electronic edge, with its hammering bass line, the chorus is repetitively unrestrained, which I guess is all in the fun. Following both "TiK ToK" and "Take it Off," is the boisterous "Kiss N Tell," which ironically recalls Katy Perry's "Hot N Cold," especially on its blustery chorus.

"Stephan" is another pretty cool track, begins with some surprisingly nice harmonies before ascending into a breezy mid-tempo composition. I also really like the melancholic chorus. Next up is "Blah Blah Blah" with 30H!3, a fun electronic romp, complete with kinetic handclaps and electronic bleeps topped off with a cool chorus, following is "Hungover," still depicting her unfathomable sexual desires, but surprisingly one of the the more calmer tracks of the first half.

As most of the tracks seem to cover the same subject of sex and fun with same styled electro pop and dance composition, boredom arises towards its middle. "Backstabber," has an appealing electro stomp, however sounds like its been tried out so many times before.

More disappointingly the last few aren't that great either. "Dinosaur," fully embraces her animated personality, as he talks about pedophilia, which actually isn't as interesting of a song-topic as it sounds, also the songs arrangement is a mess although its the first song embrace a raw pop/rock sound. Closing track "Animal" finds Kesha rap-singing over some weirdly composed beats. It's probably my least favorite track on here.

The albums second half does have some highlights though. "Boots & Boys" has a pretty cool strutting bass line and recalls some nice '80s influences on the chorus, I also don't really mind "Dancing with Tears in My Eyes," it has a nice chorus and cool melody although every thing else isn't anything really compelling.

Overall, maybe Kesha has the power to churn out a solid pop album in the future (if her career will last her that long) as she shows real promise in the writing department, but for now, maybe she's a singles artist in need of more experience as this album has good pop moments however doesn't sustain the whole way through.

Best: TiK ToK, Your Love is My Drug, Boots & Boys, Kiss N Tell, Stephan

Friday, January 01, 2010

New First Quarter Releases

Happy New Year & Decade! Here's what new releases to expect the first quarter of this decade:

Jan 1/5

Ke$ha - Animal. After hopping aboard the Lady GaGa bandwagon with convenient electro-pop sound and hotting up the charts last year with her debut single "TiK ToK," Ke$ha is set to release her debut album and telling by the title it's going be anything but subtle. I'm looking forward to this.

Katharine McPhee - Unbroken. American Idol runner-up Katharine McPhee preps her second album, a possible image revamping in comparison to her fiery self-titled debut, which saw the production skills of Danja and Babyface. Unbroken is mostly produced by John Alagía, a more subtle approach, who's worked with John Mayer and Jason Mraz.

Courtney Love - Nobody's Daughter. I'm too interested in this release, however does deserve a mention as it follows up to her 2004 debut, American's Sweetheart a bold capitalization on Love's infamous tabloid foffer image, drug usage ect.

Jan 11/12

Vampire Weekend - Contra. Critics were singing in harmony over this US based indie rock band's debut album. Will the harmonies continue for their follow-up? Its lead single is "Cousins" which sounds pretty good.

You Me At Six - Hold Me Down. The Punk/pop band's second album, following up to their critically acclaimed first album which landed the band's first hit "Finders Keepers."

Jan 26

Jennifer Lopez - Love? After her last album, Brave, flopped Jennifer Lopez is looking to redeem herself with her seventh. Lead single "Louboutins" has replaced the lackluster "Fresh Out the Oven" which I think has now been scrapped, not a good start. The release is a tentative date.

Feb 1/9

Corinne Bailey Rae - The Sea. Corinne Bailey Rae was one of the hottest acts of 2006, her self-titled debut went platinum in both the US and UK and sold 4 million worldwide as critics praised her arresting blend of Blues, soul, R&B and jazz. Now Rae prepares its follow up which is set to take a more folksy route in comparison its predecessor, hopefully she'll avoid the dreaded sophomore slump. Lead single "I'd Do it All Again" is out soon.

Lifehouse - Smoke and Mirrors. Lifehouse delivered a pretty solid fourth album in 2007, Where We Are was the first album I'd bought of theres and I wasn't disappointed however critics didn't praise as much as they their debut No Name Face. Their forthcoming fifth album is set to return to the band's traditional alternative rock sound, detouring from the pop/rock of the last album.

Chamillionaire - Venom. It's hard not to label rapper Chamillionaire a one-hit-wonder, he scored his first chart topper five years ago with "Ridin'," and seen the top twenty since. His second album Ultimate Victory delivered weak sales and didn't score any hits (although "Hip-Hop Police" was a favorite) however lead single "Good Morning" from his forthcoming third album, Vemnom scored him his second top 40 last year--could this be a turnaround? In anycase I'll probably take a pass on this.

Monica - Still Standing. Monica has been one of my favorite R&B singers for awhile, her last offering 2005s The Makings of Me was a solid effort ultimately her most critical acclaimed however delivered weak sales (athlough the album before that, After the Storm, also a favorite, wasn't a big-seller either) in fact the last time Monica has seen solid sales was with her second album The Boy is Mine back in 1998.

Feb 22/23

Sugababes - Sweet 7. The 'Babes had quite a year last year as the only remaining orginal member Keisha Buchanan left, however drama aside I'm still in good hopes for the groups seventh album as the two singles spawned so far ("Get Sexy" and "About a Girl") have been quite good.

The Streets - Computer and Blues. Despite critical acclaim and BRIT nominations, I haven't gotten into British rapper Michael Skinner aka The Streets, maybe because it's not my thing really, however I did like "The Irony of it All." The release date for his fifth album isn't official and could change.

Fatboy Slim and David Bryne - Here Lies Love. American musician David Bryne and successful Britsh DJ Fatboy Slim team up for Heres Lies Love, a collaborative double-disc concept album. Another unofficial release date which could change.

March 9

Goldfrapp - Head First. Goldfrapp return with their fifth album, since the beginning of the 2000s, they have seen success with their winning blend of electro-pop and dance. I haven't ever given the duo a fair listen however I'll make sure to do so with this release.

Billboard Hot 100, 9th January 2010

1. TiK ToK - Ke$ha
2. Replay - Iyaz
3. Bad Romance - Lady Gaga

Ke$ha more than solidifies a second week at #1, shifting an immensely impressive 610k haul of her single "TiK ToK." This gives her the largest one-week sales for a female artist previously set by Lady Gaga's "Poker Face," which moved 419k and the second largest to Flo Rida's "Right Round," which moved 636k. I might have undersestimated her star-power, hopefully album sales will latch on to the single success. She may have had her record broke, but Lady Gaga stays bulleted at #2 with a just as impressive 450k sold of "Bad Romance," whilst Iyaz is sandwiched inbetween (I wish I was him) bulleted at #2, rising up 4 places.

4. Fireflies - Owl City

Owl City rises back into the top 5, rising up one spot up to #4. He's been in the top 5 the iTunes top 100 songs chart all week, whilst his album Ocean Eyes has been at the pinnacle of the album chart. Christmas sales are a miracle.

8. Party in the USA - Miley Cyrus

More Christmas sales increases: Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA" spends its twentieth week on the chart in the top ten, rising a solid twelve spots up. Will this ever go away?

10. Do You Remember - Jay Sean featuring Sean Paul & Lil' John

Jay Sean scores his second top ten with "Do You Remember," following his first chart topper "Down" with Lil' Wayne. It rises up four spots this week, hopefully the increases is doing something positive to his album sales, I haven't been conentrating but I know his first US release, All or Nothing, isn't selling well.

17. One Time - Justin Beiber

Justin Beiber makes an impressive jump back into the top twenty with his debut single "One Time" rising thirty notches up. Further down the chart his other single "One Less Lonely Girl" also rises thirty spots up the chart, up to #30.