Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Pile Of "X"crement!

Sometimes it is seriously hard work being a Kylie fan. Particularly when her various record companies around the world relentlessly bleed fans dry with shoddy products that invariably include recycled covers, shitty remixes or dodgy tracklistings. Well, Warner Australia has hit the mother load by delivering all three with their highly anticipated "X - Tour Edition". I really don't know where to start because this whole package STINKS. I guess I'll begin with the cover. Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you'll recognise it as the iconic UK "In My Arms" cover. I suppose using the same image for the UK edition of "Wow" as well as the European version of "In My Arms" - not to mention the Australian release of "In My Arms" - wasn't cost effective enough. For good measure they have tacked another familiar "X" image on the back. Waste not, want not. Then there's my biggest gripe. No new tracks. Would it have broken the bank to stick on "Ruffle My Feathers", "That's Why They Write Love Songs" or "Flower"? It's meant to be a tour edition for fuck's sake! Is it really too much to ask that they include songs that she actually sings on the tour? Instead we're given a bunch of sub-standard remixes that have, for the most part, already been released. The cheap arse tracklist is below:

1. 2 Hearts (Harris & Masterson Extended Mix)

Already released as an MSN digital download

2. 2 Hearts (Alan Braxe Remix)

Already available on the Australian "2 Hearts" CD Single

3. The One (Freemasons Vocal Club Mix)

Already available on the Australian "The One" digital bundle

4. Wow (David Guetta Remix)

Already available on the Australian "Wow" digital bundle

5. Wow (CSS Remix)

Already available on the Australian "Wow" digital bundle

6. In My Arms (Chris Lake Vocal Mix)

Already available on the Australian "In My Arms" digital bundle

7. In My Arms (Steve Pitron and Max Sanna Remix)

Already available on the Australian "In My Arms" digital bundle

8. In My Arms (Sebastien Leger Remix)

Already available on the Australian "In My Arms" CD Single

9. In My Arms (Spitzer Remix)

Already available on the Australian "In My Arms" digital bundle

10. All I See Featuring Mims (Remix)

Only available as an American promo single

All but the final track have already been released in Australian or been made available to Australian fans. The laziness on display is galling. If they have to use remixes, why not include some of the harder to find US mixes of "All I See" or the fabulous Benny Blanco remix of "Heart Beat Rock", which to my knowledge hasn't even been released as a promo. There isn't a single redeeming factor about the whole package. We have literally seen and heard it all before. And yet, being a demented Kylie collector, I will still go out and hand over my $25 for this piece of "X"crement. A fact that record companies rely on and ruthlessly manipulate. Rant over.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

City Girls - O.M.G.

Occasionally I hear a song so wonderfully awful that it literally stops me in my tracks. City Girls' debut "O.M.G." is just one of those gems - a tune so bad it transcends the taste barrier to the point of being FABULOUS. So who are these City Girls and what makes "O.M.G." so fucking trashtastic? In response to the first question, they are a new four piece girlband aiming for a piece of the pop pie currently being munched by The Saturdays. Their sound isn't worlds apart from Red Blooded Women, Electrovamp or Stonefox but it's their lyrical genius that really makes them stand out, which basically answers the second question. "O.M.G." boasts some of the crappiest rhymes in recent memory. My personal favourite is "OMG you're stalking me, you're freaking me out. No LOL, you bother me. What's it all about?" This opus about love via Myspace deserves an Ivor Novello award. That's not to mention the overbearing production or the trashy typing sound effects at the end of the song!

According to City Girls' website, "O.M.G." was released in August but it doesn't appear to have charted at all. I guess there's no accounting for taste! Happily, the girls haven't been deterred by this minor setback. Sheena, Sian, Sophie and Rebecca are busy touring high schools and even lend their immense vocal talent to the DS Nintendo Girlband game. If the songs on their Myspace are any indication, they have some real potential. I love the clips of "Make Up Your Mind" and "Tell Me Why", while "Dancing Like Swayze" gets my trash juices flowing with the amazing chorus "You're there dancing like Swayze. I'm here dancing like Baby"! It will be interesting to see what the future holds for City Girls but at least we have the musical masterpiece that is "O.M.G." to enjoy in the meantime. Check out the amazing video clip below.

On a completely different note - I'd like to say farewell to Billiam who annnounced their split today. Yes, they were shit but I liked their rubbish songs and I wish them all the best for their next venture. "Boyz Text Girlz" will live on forever as a trash classic of the highest order.

Monday, October 27, 2008

September - The Album

One of the most exciting developments on the Australian music scene since I've been away is the unexpected success of September's "Cry For You". For those of us who have been following her career for years, it's almost surreal to see Petra (her real name) in the upper reaches of the ARIA chart - particularly after Robyn's dismal local showing. I know it's unfair to compare them but I've always thought of September as the Swedish Kylie to Robyn's Madonna. She's less pretentious and more fun. She's also not taken quite as seriously as her more successful counterpart, which is a shame because September has produced more than her fair share of pop gems over the years - the majority of which are included on her forthcoming Australian debut album.

"September" is a veritable greatest hits package, combining the best tracks from her last two Swedish albums - "In Orbit" and "Dancing Shoes". Her older hits are well represented (the fabulous "Looking For Love" and sublime "Satellites") along with the highlights from her recent output ("Cry For You" and "Can't Get Over"). I'm also pleased to see September's cheerful death anthems make the cut ("R.I.P.", "Flowers On The Grave" and "Until I Die") and even more thrilled by the inclusion of "Midnight Heartache" (still love that sample!) and "Because I Love You" (my favourite track from "Dancing Shoes"). The only disappointment is the glaring omission of "It Doesn't Matter", which would have been a far better choice than the insipid "Sound Memory" or the downright shit "Freaking Out". However, it's only a minor complaint when you consider the bonus remix and five video clips. Here's the full tracklisting:

1. Satellites
2. Cry For You
3. Can't Get Over
4. Because I Love You
5. Sad Song
6. Looking For Love
7. Flowers On The Grave
8. Until I Die
9. Freaking Out
10. Taboo
11. Candy Love
12. Midnight Heartache
13. Sound Memory
14. Follow Me
15. R.I.P

BONUS

16. Cry For You (Candlelight Edit)

VIDEOS

1. Cry For You
2. Can't Get Over
3. Satellite
4. Looking For Love
5. Cry For You (Original Clip)

The album will be released on the 15th of November, nicely timed to coincide with September's first Australian tour (she's performing at Sydney's Home nightclub on the 9th of November - more information here). In other September news, the follow up single to "Cry For You" will be a freshly remixed version of "Can't Get Over" - complete with new remixes from hot local djs.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Kylie & Dannii - The Winner Takes It All

I've been itching to write about the Kylie and Dannii duet for the past couple of weeks but I really wanted to hear it within the context of tonight's episode of "Beautiful People" before commenting. I thought there must have been a specific reason for choosing such a recognisable song, that perhaps it might have played a greater role in moving the narrative forward. As it turns out, "The Winner Takes It All" was simply the background for a soccer montage (watch it here). So much for my over-analysing! I guess it was just a case of choosing the campest possible track for the most fabulous musical coupling in recent history. And the Minogues definitely pull it off, throwing themselves into the ABBA classic for all they're worth. I really love their version. In fact, it's probably one of my favourite tracks of the year - but shouldn't the ridiculously long awaited pairing of my two favourite divas (sorry, La Toya) be THE song of the year? As much as it pains me to admit it, I can't help but feel slightly underwhelmed.

Maybe it's just a case of having unrealistic expectations. I've been waiting for the Minogues to reunite ever since they rocked "Young Talent Time" with their legendary rendition of "Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves" way back in 1987 (below). That's 21 years of eager anticipation! I might have been expecting too much but I still question the song selection and the arrangement. It's always dangerous to interpret a classic but even more so when the song in question is truly iconic and has already been covered hundreds of times before. It was always going to be a struggle to breathe new life into something that has already been done to death and I'm not sure turning "The Winner Takes It All" into a cheerful pop anthem was the answer. ABBA's original is genuinely heartbreaking and bittersweet. Kylie and Dannii, on the other hand, sound like they're having far too much fun. The dodgy 90s-tastic beats don't really help their cause either but I'll put that down to "period" production, after all "Beautiful People" is set in 1997.

Now that I've got that off my chest, what's right about the duet? Despite my bitching, quite a lot. There's the inherent camp appeal of the Minogues singing ABBA and their beautiful harmonizing in the chorus. Not to mention the interesting juxtaposition of Dannii hamming it up in her verses, while Kylie goes for a far more subtle approach. I particularly love the wistful tone in her voice when she almost whispers "but tell me does she kiss, like the way I kissed you". However, despite Kylie's emotional vocal delivery, I think it's fair to say that Dannii steals the show with her powerful pipes. Surely this ends the debate about who has the better voice once and for all! $ucce$$!

Now this is more like it!

I'm Deep Inside Boyz!

Ok that sounds a bit wrong but I do indeed grace the latest edition of London's incredibly glamorous "Boyz" magazine - right between the sex classifieds and an advertisement for STDs! I'm never going to live this down but I do take a certain delight in bringing La Toya, Millie Jackson, Ethel Merman and Las Supremas to the pages of such a classy publication. Anyway, I'm off now to hide under a rock.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Diva Round Up - October 08


You know that Christmas is just around the corner when record companies start flooding the market with crappy greatest hits compilations and rushed priority releases. There are more big name divas than usual in the mix this year, with at least 8 vying for a place under your tree. Here are my two cents on some of the most hotly anticipated.

Keeps Gettin' Better (A Decade Of Hits) - Christina Aguilera

I had to start with this trash because I'm completely mesmerised by the artwork. Seriously, what was the inspiration for the photoshoot - ladyboys in space? I know drag queens who would draw the line at that much mascara! Fabulous cover art aside, this looks like a pretty decent compilation. It's Christina's first greatest hits package and all her best tracks are included from "Genie In A Bottle" to "Ain't No Other Man". She's even been kind enough to tack on a couple of new songs including her ironically titled recent single "Keeps Gettin' Better". The album is released on the 10th of November in the UK and on the 17th in Australia.

Verdict - Perfect for casual fans. Personally, I'm buying this shit for the cover!


Funhouse - Pink

Pink's 5th studio album has to be one of the hottest properties of 2008. With her last album going 9 times platinum in Australia during its mammoth 108 week chart run, the expectations for "Funhouse" are sky high. I couldn't resist having a sneaky listen when the album leaked last week and it's very much Pink by the numbers, staying true to her tried and tested formula of foul mouthed pop and soft rock. Fans of "I'm Not Dead" will love "Funhouse" but it doesn't serve up anything new. The only surprise is the number of pared back ballads and the lack of anything as instantly catchy as "So What". The album is released in Australia and the UK on the 27th of October.

Verdict - A respectable follow up to "I'm Not Dead". Buy it for your favourite lesbian.


I Am - Beyoncé

I have a strange love/hate relationship with Beyoncé. I love most of her singles and remixes but I generally hate her albums. "Dangerously In Love" and "B'Day" had their moments but both were bogged down by far too much mid-tempo filler. I hope she gets it right this time because I'm seriously impressed with dual lead singles from her upcoming 3rd album "I Am". The pop option, "If I Were A Boy", has been stuck in my head from the very first listen. It's raw, emotionally charged and beautifully performed. While the fabulously titled R'n'B alternative, "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)", is the kind of sassy urban jam that Beyoncé has built her career upon. The album will apparently be split along the musical styles of the first singles. Fingers crossed that Beyoncé finally gets it right this time. "I Am" is released worldwide on the 17th of November.

Verdict - Extremely promising but I'm prepared for disappointment.


Circus - Britney Spears

I never thought I'd say it but I miss breakdown Britney. Admittedly, she was certifiable but at least the trainwreck had an edge that is sorely missing from her incredibly bland and repetitive new single "Womanizer". It's basically a rehashed version of "Radar" with even less charm and originality. Hopefully, "Circus", her 6th studio album, contains better material. She has the who's who of the music world working on it, so there's really no excuse for more of this lazy bullshit. "Circus" is unveiled in Australia and the UK on the 1st of December.

Verdict - Unless the future singles are a significant improvement, I'll pass. Buy it for mentally unstable loved ones.


Heavy Rotation - Tranastacia

The title of Tranastacia's latest album is turning out to be slightly ironic given the complete and utter lack of interest in the rubbish first single, "I Can Feel You". Nevertheless, her last release sold 10 million copies worldwide, so I assume someone must be interested in this crap. I've never been a huge fan and I highly doubt "Heavy Rotation" will win me over despite all the A-list producers on board. I'll try to keep an open mind until the album's offical release on the 27th of October.

Verdict - Gift it to someone you really don't like.


The Ballads - Mariah Carey

And the award for the cheapest Christmas cash-in goes to Mariah Carey. Seriously, whose bright idea was this collection of vomit inducing tracks? Mimi already has two greatest hits compilations to her name (three if you count "The Remixes") and more to the point, she has a fabulous album of new material that she should be promoting instead. To be fair, "The Ballads" is being excreted by Sony (her old label) but only because Mariah's record company has already given up on "E=MC²" without tapping the album's two strongest potential singles, "Migrate" and "I'm That Chick". No wonder most labels are going out of business. At the very least they could have tacked on a couple of new tracks to make the package slightly more appealing. This tat is already in stores in the UK, Australians will have to wait until the 3rd of November.

Verdict - Only for the most delusional Lambs and Mariah completists.


My Love: Essential Collection - Celine Dion

Unlike Mariah's nasty compilation, some thought and effort has gone into Celine Dion's 2nd greatest hits package. The album includes two new songs and a handful of live tracks in addition to most of Celine's biggest hits. The ballad heavy tracklist is a bit of a turn off but I quite like the new Linda Perry penned single, "My Love". It's another slow number but the song is understated by Celine's standards (admittedly, that isn't saying much) and not quite as saccharine as her usual output. "My Love: Essential Collection" is released on the 27th of October in Australia and the UK.

Verdict - This is a fairly comprehensive package for casual fans. Buy it for your favourite middle aged homosexual.

Tina!: Her Greatest Hits - Tina Turner

I worship Tina Turner but this recently released compilation is a bit of piss take in the wake of 2004's "All The Best" and 2005's "All The Best: The Hits". I guess we should be grateful for the live tracks and the two new songs, "It Would Be A Crime" and "I'm Ready". The latter of which is actually pretty good in a middle of the road kind of way. The compilation is nicely packaged and perfectly timed for her world tour but is it too much to ask for something new from Tina? It's been 9 years since her last studio album and there's only so many times I can listen to "Private Dancer"! This is already available in both Australia and the UK.

Verdict - Download the new tracks from iTunes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pray For Pablo


I've always suspected that there was something not quite right about Cheryl Cole. It's almost impossible to fathom how someone so spectacularly void of talent and charisma could become a star - let alone be deemed fit to judge the X Factor alongside pop royalty like Dannii Minogue! I can only think of one plausible explanation. Cheryl is obviously a demon sent from the fiery realms of hell to strip heavenly Dannii of her X Factor spotlight and her #1 Spanish fan. This may sound slightly outlandish but consider the irrefutable evidence:

1. Cheryl's hair gets higher every week. A clever ploy to cover her horns.

2. Dannii's former #1 Spanish fan, Pablo of Peibols fame, recently had the nerve to suggest that Cheryl was the best X Factor judge and even began spamming my inbox with scantily clad images of the Girls Aloud hussy. The world hasn't witnessed this kind of demonic possession since Linda Blair's head started spinning in "The Exorcist". At this rate it's only a matter of time before Pablo projectile vomits pea soup and pleasures himself with a crucifix!

3. The latest Girls Aloud shitfest is called "The Promise" - a blatant reference to Cheryl's pact with Satan. I rest my case.

Now that Cheryl's true identity has been unveiled, I have faith that Dannii can thwart her evil plans by putting holy water in her douche or painting over the pentagram in her dressing room. Speaking of evil forces, Saturday's episode of the X Factor was utterly diabolical. Dannii looked like she had been attacked by a straightening iron, Cheryl displayed the full extent of her mediocrity by singing completely out of tune and the contestants were all rubbish. Even lovely Ruth Lorenzo managed to disappoint, although she redeemed herself with a fabulous rendition of "Purple Rain" after finishing in the bottom two. I'll never bitch about Australian Idol ever again!

Ruth shows the other bitches how it's done

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Spain's Best Musical Act - EVER!


Even if Soraya, Marta Sanchez and Mónica Naranjo joined forces to form a girlband (assuming for a moment that Mónica is actually a woman), they still wouldn't be able to compete with Madrid's breathtakingly fabulous and stunningly gorgeous Las Supremas de Móstoles. I've come across a wealth of trashtastic talent during my travels but these heavenly beings are truly in a league of their own. Susi, Vicki and Luisi represent everything I love about music. The ladies are irreverent, outrageous and endlessly entertaining. Not to mention the fact that they positively exude glamour and camp appeal from every saggy orifice! Las Supremas de Móstoles are probably my favourite girlband since Germany's legendary Jacob Sisters died of old age and their music is essential listening for fans of quality trash.


The sisters (I know it's hard to believe that one family could be so blessed!) started their career as backing vocalists for acts such as Paulina Rubio and Los del Río. After standing in the shadows of lesser talents for years, perhaps decades by the look of them, Las Supremas de Móstoles finally struck out on their own in 2005 and submitted a song for Eurovision called "Eres Un Enfermo" - basically, "You Are A Pervert"! The competition must have been rigged because their stunning anthem only came second and their dreams of Eurovision glory were rudely shattered. On the bright side, Spain was completely overwhelmed by their sex appeal and Las Supremas de Móstoles scored a record deal, resulting in the album "A Go Go". However, I'm more interested in their English language debut, which was released in late 2007 to much acclaim. By Spanish drag queens.


An album mainly comprised of hits from the 70s and 80s, "Philadelphia Disco Party" is about as much fun as you can have without a condom. Covers albums are hardly rare but this stands out from the crowd with its quirky song selection and the ladies' heavily accented English. You haven't lived until you've heard Las Supremas de Móstoles destroy/improve on classics like "We Are Family" and "I'm So Excited"! As much as I enjoy those tracks, I prefer the less obvious choices like Boney M's "Gotta Go Home" and Gloria Estefan's "Everlasting Love". I particularly love the four covers of hits by The Three Degrees - surely one of the greatest girlbands of all time. "Philadelphia Disco Party" is available on both UK and Australian iTunes. If you have to download only one song, go for "Take Good Care Of Yourself" or "Dirty Old Man" (watch a fabulous live performance below). Many thanks to Pablo and Fernando for giving me this masterpiece. A boy couldn't ask for a better souvenir from Madrid.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Isabel Guzman's UK Debut


There aren't too many acts I would leave my hospital bed to go and see but I literally did just that for Isabel Guzman, discharging myself from Charing Cross A&E at 6pm to make it to the concert on time - complete with hospital wristband and ECG tags still attached! While perhaps not the wisest decision, there was no way I was going to miss the Swedish sensation's UK debut. From the moment I heard "Love Song" on Rob's brilliant Don't Stop The Pop way back in July 2007, I've been completely smitten. I hate to think how much time Rob and I have spent dissecting Isabel's brilliant demos and planning her future world domination. Needless to say, the opportunity to see the woman strut her stuff at Pop Justice Live was positively irresistible and she did not disappoint. Isabel was completely fucking AMAZING. Sadly, the same can't be said about the other acts on the bill.


Antigone - doing Australia proud

I don't want to waste too much time writing about the rest of the line up because, quite frankly, they were all shit. 15 year old Charli XCX displayed no discernible talent apart from the ability to roll around on a table with her legs in the air. The next performer to hit the stage was my much hyped compatriot Antigone, who rocked up looking like Ronald McDonald's banged up love child. The girl definitely knows how to work a crowd but her voice was shaky and none of her other tracks live up to the promise of "More Man Than Man", which she memorably sang to a blow-up doll lying on an ironing board. Kudos though for dragging Pop Justice Live further down into the gutter. I was actually looking forward to the third act. I saw a Red Blooded Women showcase a couple of months ago and was quite impressed with the girls but they weren't up to scratch last night. The highlight was Candy complaining of a mouth ulcer between songs. Enough said.


After listening to the dregs of the pop world ply their trade for two hours, Isabel's UK debut couldn't come quickly enough. Mercifully, it was worth the wait. From the moment Isabel took to the stage with her fantastic (and very hot!) three piece band, it was immediately clear that we were about to witness something special. The set opened with a stunning new track called "There Must Be Something", which perfectly showcased Isabel's impressive pipes and her knack for writing an insanely catchy chorus. The song has hit written all over it. Next up was Isabel's UK debut "Mysterious". I really like the studio version (check out my review) but the band breathed new life into the track. It sounded darker and heavier - with no trace of "My Sherona" to be heard! Speaking of re-worked tunes, "All In Your Head" has also been given a complete makeover. I wasn't a huge fan of the original version but the new edit packs one hell of a punch.


If I had to choose a highlight of the evening it would be Isabel's exquisite rendition of "Love Song" - without a doubt THE best unreleased pop anthem of recent years. I'm sure I've listened to the track at least once a day for the past 15 months, so finally hearing it performed live (with Rob, no less!) was utterly magical. If the electric response from the audience is any indication, "Love Song" has the potential to be absolutely massive. One of the most interesting aspects of the show was the extent to which previously leaked songs have been refined and improved. I loved "The First Time" when Isabel briefly posted it on her Myspace several months ago but the version she performed on Monday night was in a completely different league. Imagine a cross between 80s Madonna and Dannii circa "Neon Nights" and you get some indication of the track's brilliance. The final song was an edgy dance anthem called "In The Heat Of The Night", which expertly displayed Isabel's versatility and crazy dance moves. In fact, the Swedish diva was a revelation from beginning to end. Isabel is deceptively tiny but she has real presence and a killer set of pipes. It doesn't hurt that she's also gorgeous and an absolute sweetheart! Consider the UK well and truly rocked.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cheryl's Desperate New Low!

I apologise for writing back to back Dannii posts but The Daily Star has revealed lurid details of Cheryl Cole's desperate ploy to prevent Dannii winning the X Factor - by promising her sexual favours! The article, shockingly titled "My Lust For Dannii", exposes Cheryl's promise to kiss Dannii on live TV if one of her acts wins the competition:

One cheeky punter asked Cheryl: 'If you had to snog, marry or push any of your fellow judges off a cliff, which ones would you choose?"

She giggled: "Well, I'd definitely push Simon and Louis off a cliff. And I'd snog Dannii."

Cheryl then teased: "If I win X Factor with one of my acts, then I'll snog her anyway!"


I have never been so disgusted in all my life. It appears that racist Cheryl has been reading up on Lezzigate and plans to exploit Dannii's weakness for cheap looking brunettes. The Girls Aloud "singer" is obviously convinced that the prospect of lesbian action will get Dannii so hot and bothered that she sabotages the chances of her own contestants! Sadly, the despicable plan could bear fruit if Dannii's lustful reaction is any indication:

As loud wolf-whistles echoed around the TV studios, Aussie babe Dannii shrieked with delight!

Dannii, try resist the temptation! Take a cold shower or give Janine a call instead. I bet that loose tramp couldn't find her own clit, let alone navigate her way around your precious clam! Read the whole sordid story here.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Dannii Factor!

Let me just get this out of the way. Dannii completely wiped the floor with that cunt from Girls Aloud on X Factor! I've been mortified by the Queen of Clubs' lack of air time during the auditions but stunning Holidannii OWNED the show tonight. No wonder 62% of viewers name her as their favourite judge! From the moment she appeared on stage wearing a blue chiffon monstrosity that would shame most drag queens, it was clear that Dannii wanted all eyes on her. And who could possibly resist? When she wasn't taking the piss out of Louis, she was brawling with Simon or making subtle jabs about Cheryl's song selection. That's not to mention her stunning dance moves during Rachel's dubious cover of "With Every Heartbeat" and her constant flirting with every male contestant, including 16 year old Eoghan! In the space of one show, Dannii reclaimed her throne as the queen of X Factor - well and truly kicking dull as dishwater Cheryl to the curb. By the end of the show I almost felt sorry for her. I can only imagine how intimidating Dannii's ravishing beauty and hypnotic charisma would be in person.

Despite owning the judging panel, I don't like Holidannii's chances of winning the competition this year. Daniel is nice but has a rubbish voice, Rachel has a brilliant set of pipes but she's clearly a nutter (and still on crack), while voluptuous Ruth is perhaps a little bit too fabulous for the show. Her sensual Spanglish ballads, pendulous baps, dramatic hand gestures and excessive use of the wind machine make her my favourite contestant - by far - but I doubt the UK is ready for a sexy Spanish diva to win X Factor. I'm not a huge fan of any of the groups and the boys are all vile. My money is on one of the girls taking home the prize. I hate to think how many producers desperate Cheryl had to blow in order to become their mentor! Anyway, her pathetic attempt to steal Dannii's glory will end in tears. Only one judge has the X Factor and her name rhymes with fanny. I hope poor Cheryl remembers to wear a jacket next week. It's going to get pretty cold there in Dannii's shadow!

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Aussie Pop Round Up - Spring/Autumn 2008


I have done my best to keep an eye on the local pop scene despite my travels and I've been bursting to comment on a number of recently released tracks. First on the agenda is the debut solo single of Australian Idol runner-up and ex-Young Diva, Jessica Mauboy. "Running Back" is a breathtaking slice of urban pop complete with a guest appearance from Flo Rida! I love the haunting chorus and the synths that bookend the song are a nice touch. The production (courtesy of Audius - who has come a long way since fobbing off rubbish like "We Can Try" to Paulini) owes a large debt to Timbaland & Co without sounding like a cheap imitation and most importantly, showcases Jessica's beautiful voice superbly. The song is already #13 on downloads and looks set to climb into the national top 10 when the physical single is released on Saturday. If I'm not mistaken that would make Jess only the second Indigenous Australian to score a top 10 hit since Jimmy Little - way back in the 1960s! Check out the cheap and cheerful video clip here.


I first wrote about RAEN way back in May 2007 where I referred to them as Australia's forgotten girlband - a title the girls have well and truly outgrown. While the band's higher profile contemporaries have fallen by the wayside, RAEN have reinvented themselves with a fabulous new sound (think Booty Luv with a dash of The Saturdays thrown in for good measure) and moved to the UK to try their luck. "Drama Fanatic" is a catchy dance tune with fun lyrics and a seriously camp video. I notice the girls are doing a lot of shows around the UK and I'm hoping to catch them later this month. Check out their Myspace for more details.


It's taken Jade Macrae exactly one year to release the follow up to "In The Basement" (my 8th favourite song from 2007!) but it's been worth the wait. "I Wanna be In Love" is a sparkling mid-tempo jam that effortlessly jumps upon the Rihanna/Chris Brown urban pop bandwagon. The mix of synths and guitars is inspired, the lyrics are sweet and Jade looks like pure sex in the cheap arse video. I highly recommend the poptastic BP Remix, strangely labelled "Whole Lotta Love" on iTunes. If you like "I Wanna Be In Love" then definitely check out Jade's recently released "Get Me Home" album.


If I had to choose a favourite song from this bunch it would probably be this. Empire Of The Sun is a side project for Luke Steele (The Sleepy Jackson) and Nick Littlemore (Pnau) but if "Walking On A Dream" is any indication they really should give up their day jobs. The Australian electro scene is positively on fire at the moment but no other act has displayed this duo's knack for sweet melodies and catchy pop hooks. "Walking On A Dream" is probably best described as a beautifully crafted electro lullaby with its delicate beats and lilting chorus. Watch the crazy video clip and hunt down Empire Of The Sun's fantastic album.


I love Ness Ness but I wasn't a huge fan of her comeback album apart from the appropriately titled "Perfect". However, I think it's time to reevaluate my stance. There's something strangely comforting about Vanessa Amorosi's voice and "The Simple Things (Something Emotional)" is a good example of what she can do better than anyone else in the Australian music industry with perhaps the exception of Tina Arena - belt out a syruppy ballad and make it feel truly heartfelt. "The Simple Things" boasts some fabulously awful lyrics ("Saw an old friend yesterday who's a big success. Got a Bentley and a Rolex, a Gucci dress") but the pared back production is lovely and Vanessa's voice has always been a thing of beauty. Ness Ness is looking pretty hot herself in the video!


Just when you thought the Australian electro scene couldn't get any hotter along comes Jackson Jackson - a side project of The Cat Empire's Harry Angus. "All Alone" is one of the most original songs I've heard in a long time. In fact, it's like five different songs rolled into one. The song begins with rocky guitars before giving way to electro beats, trippy Eastern wailing and a genuine pop chorus. Every time I hear "All Alone" I find something new to enjoy about it, which is surely the hallmark of a quality record. Watch the suitably funky video here.


I know this has been around for ages but I'm still smitten with Pnau's "Embrace". A killer electro anthem featuring the sultry vocals of New Zealand's Ladyhawke, this gem should have been a massive smash hit and probably would have been with a little promotion and a video clip. Interestingly, "Embrace" represents something of a reunion for all involved - Ladyhawke and Nick Littlemore (Pnau) were both in the band Teenager, probably best known for the beautiful "Alone Again". It's good to see that their chemistry is still as strong as ever. As much as I love Ladyhawke's album (expect a review shortly), it could have done with something as commercial and catchy as this. Listen to the track here.


Now, this is a real treat. I absolutely worshipped Sirens. They were possibly Australia's trashiest girlband of all time and I devoted several posts to them but I never really expected to see one of the girls sitting at the top of the ARIA club chart - a feat that Zoe Badwi accomplishes this week with "Release Me"! The track is a killer dance anthem with buckets of crossover pop appeal and a killer remix courtesy of TV Rock. Check out the track on Zoe's Myspace. Long live Sirens!


Lenka has come a long way since leaving Sydney for the bright lights of Los Angeles. "The Show" has become a genuine Myspace phenomenon and Courtney Cox even masturbated to one of her songs on her flop TV show "Dirt"! Classy. I'm usually wary of this kind of hype but "The Show" is hard to resist. The combination of the wry lyrics, Lenka's floaty voice and the intricate production is all but irresistible. I suspect a whole album of this kind of material might be hard to swallow but "The Show" artfully treads the line between sweet and saccharine. Be sure to watch the amazing video clip.


Last but not least is my beloved Ricki-Lee. To be completely honest, I was quite disappointed when I first heard "Wiggle It" - particularly when I learnt that it was a reject cut from "Brand New Day". Perhaps I was simply expecting too much in the wake of gems like "Can't Touch It" and "Love Is All Around" but this just seemed like a rushed attempt to cash in on Ricki-Lee's higher profile thanks to her hosting duties on Australian Idol. I'm still not completely won over but "Wiggle It" is a catchy floorfiller with a fun sample of a 90s classic. The video is also pretty amusing and Ricki-Lee looks amazing. Disturbingly, it appears that "Wiggle It" is the first single from an upcoming Greatest Hits compilation. Girl, you've only had two albums!

All songs listed are available to download from iTunes

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A New Beginning & A Wilde Night Out!


Welcome to the new and unimproved Pop Trash Addicts - direct from London! As you can tell not much has changed around here except my location. The tacky colour scheme remains the same and I'm still obsessed with the trashy underbelly of pop music. I'm not sure how long I'll be sticking around the UK but while I'm here and have internet access, I thought I might as well get back into blogging. As a wise woman (well, Dannii) once said, it's hard to break a habit! There's so much I want to write out - the Minogue duet, the drama of X Factor and the suitcase full of tragic CDs I've managed to acquire on my travels - but all that will have to wait. Today's post is dedicated to a pop trash icon who rocked my world to its very foundations on Friday night. I'm referring, of course, to the gorgeous and stunningly talented Kelly Wilde!


It's been a dream of mine to see Kelly in the flesh since stumbling across her infamous rendition of Blondie's "Maria" at Gran Canaria Pride on youtube but even that breathtaking performance couldn't prepare me for the sheer fabulousness of this divine diva. With stage presence to rival Kylie and choreography that would put Madonna to shame, Kelly held the packed crowd at The 2 Brewers (affectionately known as The 2 Sewers) in the palm of her beautiful hand from the very first song - which just happened to be a Hi-NRG Amy Winehouse cover!


After throwing her army of fans into a frenzy with "Valerie", Kelly delighted the audience further by talking about her Australian roots and making two hot guys kiss. By the second song I was so completely under the spell of this amazing goddess that I pushed my way to the front and began screaming hysterically. Even the unfortunate selection of Madonna's shiteous "Give It To Me" as the second track wasn't enough to dampen my enthusiasm. At one stage I got so close that Kelly put her hand in front of my camera and said "too close"! It's that kind of amusing audience interaction that sets Kelly apart from her peers. If she's not pairing up her fabulous gay fans, she's making quips about forgetting the lyrics to September's "Cry For You" (her next brilliant cover) and dragging people up on stage to dance with her.


Just when I thought the evening couldn't possibly get any more camp, Kelly delivered a stunning cover of "Gloria" and a medley of ABBA hits before finishing off the show with her signature tune - Blondie's "Maria". Words can not adequately describe the brilliance of this fabulous diva's version. The throbbing beats combined with Kelly's soaring vocals and stage acrobatics was truly a wonder to behold. Despite the show coming to an end, the evening was to hold one more completely unexpected delight. On her way off stage Kelly extended her gorgeous hand towards me, which I promptly kissed! A magical climax to a memorable evening. Make sure you check out Kelly's website (click on "Diary") for her next gig - this is one diva you can't afford to miss!