So the sun has finally set on 2008. Good fucking riddance! With the exception of Mike2008 (my trashy world tour), last year was one long pain in the arse. As usual NYE turned out to be a complete disaster and I spent the last couple of days in hospital. It wasn't all bad. You really haven't lived until you've watched 'Xanadu' under the influence of an opiate! Anyway, I'm back home now and ready to cast an eye over the cunt of a year that was.
Best Celebrity Big Brother Contestant EVER!!
Before I look back on 2008, I have to quickly mention an early highlight of 2009. La Toya, the most talented and beautiful Jackson and quite possibly the re-incarnation of Jesus himself, is inhabiting the UK "Celebrity" Big Brother house as I type. Seriously, if I had the money I would jump on the next plane to London just to watch this trash! I'm convinced the UK is about to swept up in a tidal wave of Toy Toy mania. Watch Magical Froggy's amazing promo (above) and check out La Toya's entrance into the BB house here. I can't believe how stunning our goddess looks. With any luck this publicity whoring blitz will finally result in the release of "Startin' Over" - 7 years after it was recorded! GO TOY!
While I vastly prefer "Bring Ya To The Brink" to "Hurricane", Grace managed to flawlessly pick up exactly where she left off - 19 years ago! Third place goes to Vanessa Amorosi, who staged the Australian comeback of the year.
1. Grace Jones
2. Cyndi Lauper
3. Vanessa Amorosi
I miss "Blackout" Britney. Sure, she was certifiable but that alone gave her music an edge that it didn't really deserve. The new sanitised Britney is a disturbing Frankenstein pieced together by music executives. Listening to "Circus" you can almost smell the Lithium in the air! I'm glad she's got her shit together but I could do without an album of mushy ballads and a bunch of empty dance tracks that sound like rejects from "In The Zone". Oh, apparently New Kids On The Block and Boyzone also made comebacks in 2008. I couldn't care less either.
1. Britney Spears
2. New Kids On The Block
Worst Single Of The Year
Girls Aloud jump on the retro pop bandwagon a year after everyone else and shat out "The Promise". I'm sure Diana Ross pulled out her weave in disgust. If that musical fart wasn't dire enough, "The Loving Kind" provides irrefutable proof of their mediocrity. I just hope it doesn't tarnish the Pet Shop Boys' reputation beyond repair because this is low even by their recent standards. Second on my list is Alexandra Burke's vile cover of "Hallelujah". Leonard Cohen's classic is really quite hard to get wrong. Jeff Buckley's version is sensual and haunting, while KD Lang's rendition (and my personal favourite) is delicate and beautiful. Horse faced Alexandra, on the other hand, turned the song into a Mariah Carey power ballad. I blame Cheryl Cole! Speaking of X Factor sluts, Leona's repugnant cover of "Run" comes in third. When is the sphinx going to realise that over-singing every note doesn't showcase her "talent"? Someone please teach this bonehead the power of restraint and subtlety. Britney's non-song comes in 4th (I'm sorry but repeating the one word 471 times is not my idea of a hook), while Rihanna's lame and incredibly boring "Rehab" takes out 5th spot. Seriously, Ri Ri. Do us all a favour and stop milking that shit album for singles!
1. The Promise/The Loving Kind - Girls Aloud
2. Hallelujah - Alexandra
3. Run - Leona Lewis
4. Womanizer - Britney Spears
5. Rehab - Rihanna
Best Paparazzi Snap Of The Year
A pissed Dannii cruising the Dancing With The Stars backlot with her pendulous baps swinging in the breeze = solid gold. The photographer deserves a Pulitzer for this fabulous shit!
The Spanish vixens win this category in a landslide. Las Supremas are the definition of pop trash! It's a tight battle for second place between South Korea's fabulous Wonder Girls and fierce Jewelry. The former win due to their incredible consistency. The UK is represented by the Sugababes (I think I'm the only person who really enjoys their latest flop album) and the very promising Red Blooded Women. Carly, you still owe me a copy of the EP signed with your tits!
1. Las Supremas De Móstoles (Above)
2. The Wonder Girls
4. Amelle & her back-up vocalists (ie. Sugababes)
5. Red Blooded Women (check out their Myspace)
Everything Girls Aloud touched in 2008 turned to shit. Nuff said. The Electric Dolls sound like The Beatles in comparison to GA but "Baps R Bakin'" is beyond hideous. PCD takes out third place due to the utter garbage that was "Doll Domination".
1. Girls Aloud
2. Electric Dolls
3. Pussycat Dolls
It's a tie between Heidi Montag's "Overdosin'" (above) and Kylie's "All I See"! Heidi's homage to Olivia Newton-John's "Physical" is an utter joy. It's trashtastic, hilarious and completely inappropriate for the song. I love every second of it! "All I See" is another video that manages to cheer me up every time I see it. Kylie notoriously financed the clip herself and got Will Baker to film it during tour rehearsals - and it shows. The DIY special effects, craptastic choreography and the amazing sequined sheet are already things of legend in Kylie lore. Honourable mentions go to Solange's "I Decided" for the brilliant journey through black musical history, Beyonce's "Single Ladies" for the year's best dance routine and Monica Naranjo's spectacular "Amor Y Lujo" for featuring a fat tranny sitting on a solid gold toilet. Classy!
1. Overdosin' - Heidi Montage
1. All I See - Kylie
I Decided - Solange (here)
Single Ladies - Beyonce (here)
Amor y Lujo - Monica Naranjo (here)
The clear winner for worst music video of 2008 is Dulta's hideous "You Will Only Break My Heart". The only thing less appealing that the woman herself is watching a bunch of her demented fans miming to her crap song. These poor children will need therapy for decades. Special mention goes to Girls Aloud for their continuing commitment to shit videos and Madonna for the non-event that was "Give It To Me". Seriously, this is way cheaper than "All I See" and profoundly less enjoyable.
1. You Will Only Break My Heart - Dulta
2. The Promise/The Loving Kind - Girls Aloud
3. Give It To Me - Madonna
I'm turning into a Deadmau5 groupie. Everything the Canadian DJ touches turns to gold. His remix of Gianluca Motta's "Not Alone" was my favourite dance record of 2008. A close second is the Freemasons. Yes, they're becoming a cliche but the pop world needs them to fix up every single ever released by an ex-member of Destiny's Child! Sydney's sexy Sam La More (aka Sam Littlemore) takes third courtesy of his work with Pnau, Empire Of The Sun and Sneaky Sound System. Poland's amazing WAWA deserve their 4th placing for their brilliant remix of Sugababes' "No Can Do" alone, while Melbourne's Hong Kong Blondes earn 5th spot for remixing the fuck out of CC Martini's "Double Dutch" and Empire Of The Sun's "Walking On A Dream".
2. The Freemasons
3. Sam La More
5. Hong Kong Blondes
Best Celebrity Endorsement
Australia's stunning drag superstar Courtney Act is making waves as the new face of Sheer Cover (watch an infomercial above). Who better to flog make-up than someone who makes a living wearing it? Courtney is a joy to watch. I just hope she hasn't forgotten about her pop career.
1. Courtney Act - Sheer Cover
Worst Celebrity Endorsement
I have no issue with celebrities launching their own perfumes or clothing lines (or toilet paper - you know it's only a matter of time before Kylie tries it!) but Dulta being the face of soy milk is scraping the bottom of the barrel. On a serious note, I'm actually quite disturbed that she would put her name to a product that is potentially linked to cancer - particularly when some (deranged) people look up to her as a spokeswoman for survivors of this insidious illness. Shame on you, Delta! I certainly have no problem with Axle Whitehead modelling for Marcs' clothing. He's definitely hot enough but the flasher gets a nod for explaining his involvement with this answer: "My new album is the type of album that can be played in any situation and will bring a great vibe. Chilling, partying, driving, dinner etc. Funny enough it ties in really well with this campaign, due to its versatility". What a fucking wanker! Just say you're doing it for the cash like everyone else.
1. Dulta - So Good
2. Axle Whitehead - Marcs
Kylie was in a league of her own as far as big budget concert spectaculars were concerned in 2008. However, Kelly Wilde's tour of tragic gay bars was just as fabulous at less than one tenth of the price! Isabel Guzman also impressed the hell out of me at Pop Justice Live (read my review here) - as did Robyn Loau at her Sydney showcase (review here).
1. Kelly Wilde
Isabel Guzman - Pop Justice Live
Robyn Loau - Sydney Showcase
Worst Pop Performance
Listen, we all know that Britney can't sing but you think she would at least have the decency to learn how to mime. Her performance on X Factor was simply diabolical. In her defence, at least she isn't judging a talent show - unlike Cheryl Cole who managed to be completely out of tune when Girls Aloud appeared on the show. Same Difference collect third place for their horrible miming and bad dance routine. We know they can actually sing - miming on X Factor Live just made them look ridiculous.
1. Britney on X Factor
2. Girls Aloud on X Factor
3. Same Difference on X Factor
Best Breakthrough Diva
Isabel Guzman's "Kill The Boy" EP really put the pop world on notice. I can't wait to see what the Swedish diva comes up with in 2009. On the local front, Jessica Mauboy exceeded everyone's expectations with "Been Waiting". The first single was a smash hit and the follow up looks set for the top 5. Have we finally got our very own urban diva who can actually sell records - unlike the amazing Deni Hines and Jade Macrae? Third place goes to Solange. I can't praise her highly enough. Not only was her album breathtakingly original, she somehow managed to claw her way out of Beyonce's shadow. No small accomplishment.
1. Isabel Guzman
2. Jessica Mauboy
Most Disappointing album
I named "Songs Of Love & Loss" my second favourite album of 2007. In retrospect, I probably should have made it equal first with "X". Tina's beautiful album is yet to leave my side. I still listen to it all the time. It's just so perfectly executed and brilliantly performed. Cut to November 2008 and Tina releases the sequel. I spent a good month trying to get into it but I just can't. The original was a work of art. "Songs Of Love & Loss 2" sounds like any other covers album - only performed by one extraordinarily good voice. It's cheap, lazy and a massive disappointment. I know I'm being really harsh. The album would be a highpoint in any other diva's career but it's just not good enough for Tina. That said, I already have tickets for her concert and can't wait to see her interpret the songs live! Other misfires were the highly anticipated Same Difference album - I really wanted to like them but the world doesn't need a pair of inbred British siblings channelling High School Musical (sorry, Paul!) - and Infernal. The latter was particularly bitter for me because I'm a huge fan. "Paris To Berlin" is one of my favourite albums of the decade. "Electric Cabaret", on the other hand, boasts two semi-decent songs. No wonder it's a massive international flop. Paw and Lina need to get back to the drawing board now!
1. Songs Of Love & Loss 2 - Tina Arena
2. Pop - Same Difference
3. Electric Cabaret - Infernal
I'll let these images speak for themselves!
1. Lady Fantasy - Ryan Paris (above)
2. Musica e Parole - Spagna and Berte
3. Back To Now - LaBelle