Sunday, July 12, 2009

Pop Panel - Week 9

This was my 9th Pop Panel and I'm still no better at predicting winners. I thought this week's champion was a dark horse at best but the victorious diva kicked the competition to the curb and posted one of the highest scores in Panel history. It's a great song and a deserving winner but I'm not convinced it's quite as amazing as my fellow judges seem to think. Speaking of those hos, this week's Panel consists of:

Mike author of this classy blog.
Paul (UK) writer of Fizzy Pop
Rob (UK) writer of Don't Stop The Pop
The Prophet (AUS) writer of The Prophet

Pablo and D'Luv are still dealing with personal issues, so the following bloggers were kind enough to fill in for them this week:

Jay (UK) writer of Postcards From Puerto Rico
John (US) writer of Pop Music Notes

In addition to those guys we also have a celebrity judge - Natalie from RAEN. I'm a big fan of the group and consider them one of the most underrated pop acts in Australia. The girls spent most of last year trying to crack the UK pop scene but have returned home to release their amazing debut album, which is currently available to download from iTunes. "After The Storm" is fantastic from beginning to end and includes their recent club smash "Honey" as well as their latest single "Drama Fanatic" (below). I'm slightly miffed at the absence of the amazing "Get Right Back" but the rest of the songs more than make up for it. Natalie tells me that the girls are gearing up for a national tour, so keep an eye on RAEN's myspace for more details. I can't wait to see them strut their stuff live!


Here are the results in order from least to most popular:

Alina – When You Leave (Numa Numa) (Video)

A Romanian underwear model launches her music career with a little help from Basshunter.

Jay: Complete and utter fucking SHITE! I can't believe someone covered that shitefest to start with... and it is getting played on Clubland TV with irritating frequency. 0/5
John: I've heard this a few times, and it does not age well. The original's a Euro-pop classic, so any cover will pale in comparison. And what's up with the black light GaGa look? 1/5
Mike: Alina is a vision of class and elegance. I love her stunning vocodered vocals and the catchy O-Zone sample. They should give more Romanian hookers record deals! 4/5
Natalie: Basshunter's beats can make a track quite strong but there's nothing special about this remake. She gets a point for the neon. Gotta get some neon makeup for my next night out! 3/5
Rob: The United Nations have to ban this song from ever being sampled, covered or performed only unless its the original. Utter shit. 0/5
Paul: Isn't this essentially the same song that some weird boyband recorded a couple of years ago and the video was of them running around some plane? It's really not very good in this made for the masses boobs out dance genre, is it? The answer to that question is "no". 1/5
The Prophet: One of my favourite things in the world is glamour models becoming pop stars, but this sucks ass, and not in the good way. T.I. & Rihanna's Numa Numa sample in "Live Your Life" shits all over this trash. 0/5
Total: 9/35

Lockout Ft. Chenai – Bounce (Video)

X Factor reject Chenai covers Sarah Connor's "Bounce".

Jay: Stunning! With massive mammaries to rival the infamous DanniiBaps, some suitable talent in the video and a nice almost 90's vibe. 4.5/5
John: The vocals are okay, the track is kinda hot, but they don't mesh. Kind of a hot mess all wrapped up in a bad video. 2/5
Mike: A hideous destruction of Sarah's only international hit! Not impressed. 0/5
Natalie: Sorry but I prefer the original, and baby those melons are about to bounce out the door! 1/5
Paul: It's a testament to Chenai's personality and distinctive voice that an X-factor nut like me doesn't even remember who she is. And oh goodie, a dance cover of a song designed for the made for the masses boobs out dance genre. I am getting tired of these faceless tunes. I'm even starting to like Cascada. Sweet Jesus. 2/5
Rob: I'd much prefer the original singer release this in the UK however Chenai is okay. The video is amazing. Love it. 3/5
The Prophet: You must know that you've really hit the bottom of the barrel when you're covering Sarah Connor. 0/5
Total: 12.5/35

Patrick Wolf – Hard Times (Video)

The most hyped man in music returns.

Jay: I could only endure 35 seconds of this aural turd - and as for the video, it is so desperately try hard, it makes Tranny CaCa look positively demure, understated and frumpy. 0/5
John: Why didn't he just call this "Major Tom (Coming Home), The Sequel"? It's okay, but it could have been great. He just got lazy. 3/5
Mike: Everything about this song is great except Patrick. Shame because the production is dazzling and the lyrics are fantastic. Maybe he should start writing for other people. 2/5
Natalie: Haven't heard of Patrick but a very original video & great special effects. Love the use of strings in this track. 3/5
Paul: Oh fuck. I really don't like Patrick, but I do like everything about this tune with one exception: His voice. It just doesn't work for me. It sounds pretty decent in the chorus but the tone of it grates on me. Quite good song though (I can see why he's pissed at La Poux) so overall. 3/5
Rob: There are cutting edge looks and looking like a bit of a prat. Patrick falls in-between the two. However only the video gives off that impression. The song itself is very good. It's held back by his voice but give "Hard Times' to Andreas Kleerup and he'd make it amazing. At the moment it stands too near the cliff labelled "trying too hard to be cool". 2/5
The Prophet: I hated the video with a passion but if I close my eyes and just focus on the music it's all good. The beat sounds like Britney's "Toxic" on acid. 4/5
Total: 17/35

Malena Gracia – Quiero Volar (Below)

Busty Spanish gay icon releases her latest club anthem.

Jay: Iconic! The video looks like cheap "Babe Station" erotica - and I was expecting the two blokes to start going at it hammer & tongs at any moment! A stunning slice of throw away Spanish Pop. 4.5/5
John: I might have liked it more if I hadn't watched the video. Not bad, but it sure ain't great. Even her dancers are middle-aged! 2.5/5
Mike: Madonna wishes she had one tenth of Malena's talent and beauty. 5/5
Natalie: Spanish vocals always seem to make a song sexier. Great vocals & a great rack to match! 3/5
Paul: Her sultry vocal style and the lush way the Spanish lyrics dance over the melody and bounce off the beats raise this up from generic club thumper (which certainly the backing track is) to quite enticing but not quite brilliant flamenco epic. 3.5/5
Rob: She gives Spanish europop a bad name. 0/5
The Prophet: This can't be serious. 0/5
Total: 18.5/35


Cobra Starship Ft Leighton Meester – Good Girls Go Bad (Video)

Gossip Girl star teams up with Cobra Starship for her pop debut.

Jay: MEH. Rather forgettable and sounds like Rihanna meets one SHIT wonders Bodyrockers. 1/5
John: I SO want to hate this song, but resistance is futile. 3/5
Mike: This sums up everything good about American pop at the moment. It's a collision of pop, rock, urban and electro elements with one hell of a catchy chorus. 4/5
Natalie: Leighton looks absolutely gorgeous and is a great singer. Looking forward to more from her, oh and I love her red shoes in the clip! 4/5
Paul: I'm surprised by how much I like this. It's quite the thrashy punk pop anthem that every now and then appeals to me greatly. And of course it has Blair Waldorf warbling along in a not displeasing way. OMFG!! 4/5
Rob: Autotune princess alert! Wow, this is so close to being good it's tragic. I think with time I'll start to see something qualitative in it but at the moment its like a focus group de-selected all the current smash hits in the charts and produced Good Girls Go Bad. As a consequence, every second sounds like a snippet of another song of the last 15 months. Its a monster of song but in the beautifully grotesque Frankenstein way. Its been pieced together from the caste-off pieces of other pop songs and gives off the odour of nasty death. 0/5
The Prophet: I was obsessed with this when it first leaked but the appeal wears off quickly. It's still a good and catchy electro pop-rock track though, and Leighton is pretty fierce even if she's jacking Holly Valance's swag (google 'Body Control'). 3.5/5
Total: 19.5/35

Whitney – I Didn’t Know My Own Strength (Video)

The biggest comeback of the year is already here.

Jay: Whitney Binter needs to fuck off - I'm glad this has been removed so I don't have to endure this crack addicted vibrator loving train wreck and her shitefests. 0/5
John: Crack IS whack. It actually isn't that bad of a vocal, but she's a shadow of what she used to be. 2.5/5
Mike: The perfect comeback. It would have been ridiculous for Whitney to return with a love song or club banger. "I Didn't Know My Own Strength" is a musical letter of explanation to her fans. The lyrics sometimes sound like they were stolen from a Hallmark card but Whitney sings her heart out. I particularly love the subtle production. This could have easily been a hellish Leona Lewis scream-a-thon with a tacky Eurovision key change. Instead, it takes the high road and leaves the focus on Whitney's battered but still beautiful voice. As it should be. 4.5/5
Nat: I'm a massive Whitney fan and she has undeniably one of the best female voices of all time but this song is so cheesy! I hope the rest of the album is of better quality. 2/5
Paul: Hmmm. When I first heard this, i didn't hate it but I was grossly disappointed. It just didn't scream epic return to the top of the charts. I hate hate hate to say it but Whitters (which really should be her twitter name) should have come back with the last 2 PCD songs (J'Ai Ho and Hush Hush - they would have been even more massive whitneyfied) - that would have at least kept her somewhat relevant. However, the more I hear this, the more I am warming to it, and her crack addled voice now comes across as a smoky chantreuse sort of vibe. Hurrah. I re-like Whitters. 3.5/5
Rob: This has so much potential but fails to deliver the money shot. Its like the song itself "didn't know its own strength". There are moments when you expect it to go all Shirley Bassey but the drama never comes. Tragically. It has nearly everything else. Great lyrics. Powerful strings and wonderful beats. All that its missing is glorious key change after the middle eight. 2/5
The Prophet: Subtle, understated, powerful, emotional! Half-Whit shows ya'll how to be a REAL diva, and refuses to succumb to cheap pop trends like Mariah did. 5/5
Total: 19.5/35

Wonder Girls - Nobody (Video
)

The English language debut from Korea's biggest girlband.

Jay: Fabulous! I love almost everything about it and it craps all over VILE talentless trollops Hoez Afoul and the SaTURDays from an infinite height.Though the chorus could use a bit more bite. 4/5
John: The song's really good, but the second singer's vocal just killed the momentum. And two weeks in a row with the toilets? Come on! 4/5
Mike: I slightly prefer the original Korean version but the song is still sublime. "Nobody" is everything Girls Aloud tried and failed to achieve with "The Promise" - perfect retro pop with nods to The Three Degrees and The Shirelles. 5/5
Natalie: Surprisingly this has to be my favourite! I'm loving the Wonder Girls. A funny and clever video. The girls have great choreography and is quite a catchy song. 4/5
Rob: I am not impressed. This could be performed by absolutely anybody. There is a severe lack of character. Louise could have recorded this back in 1996. 0/5
Paul: The only element of wonder in the wonder girls is it is a wonder they even have a record contract at all. 1/5
The Prophet: This so one of those stupid insanely catchy songs that ends up being a massive smash, like Mambo #5 or something. Wonder Girls are my new obsession! 5/5
Total: 23/35

SINGLE OF THE WEEK

Jay: Take that Beyawnsay and Smelly! You bitches ain't got no shit on LeToya (and probably on LaTavia or LaTisha or whatever her name was). Bonus points for the showering bloke in Zee Altugevvah! Reminds me of La Lopez back in her J Lo diva mode. 5/5
John: NOW we're talkin'. This is the hotness, even without a shower scene! 4.5/5
Mike: LeToya brings some old school diva attitude to the table with this jam. I love the hot beats and the fierce lyrics. I can't wait for her album. 4.5/5
Natalie: Liking the attitude.. but she ain't got shit on RAEN! LOL 2/5
Paul: Charming title aside, this is ok. I think it's fair to say this is probably the most different of the solo destiny tracks floating around this summer. 2.5/5
Rob: Finally something with a slick beat, rnb backdrop and electro echoes. Woah, she's even secured a catchy chorus. None of the other songs contain anything close to a remarkable catchy chorus. This is pop quality here. I love this. To be sure the lyrics are "ahem" but putting that aside every moment of this song contains new elements that make love it even more. If I could give it 6/5 i would! But I can't. 5/5
The Prophet: Kelly Rowland could never... Beyonce could never... All ya faves could never... 5/5
Total: 28.5/35


16 comments:

The Prophet said...

Thank god the queen reigned supreme this week.

I'm used to calling Bey a ton of nasty names like BeYawnce, BeyCuntce, Beydumbce, fake-fake, and the girl who's father sold her to Jay-Z on a business arrangement to help her career, but I've never heard Kelly be called "Smelly" before and I LOVE it.

BeYawnce and Smelly! ahahaha. You don't understand how much I laughed at that, I couldn't breathe.

Smelly used to be my fave DC member but LeToya has been shitting on them all with her new songs so I'm officially team toy!

Robpop said...

WOW!!!! My favourite won!!!!

Its SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good! Go Latoya! I did not expect that to win!! Woah!!! The song, which i've redubbed, "BatterBatter" has so many different elements that make it adorable.

Finally we have a diva that aint trying to be like Lady GaGa or Rihinna. BatterBatter also doesnt sound like anything Beyonce, Kylie or Robyn. I adore these three divas but there's point new(ish) singers trying to mimic these well-established girls. BatterBatter is a break for the new. I love it! Its the complete opposite to Good Girls Go Bad. That song...it reminds of the scene in Aliens: Ressurrection when the clone of Ellen Riply discovers the failed attempts by the scientiests on the Auriga. They skirm in anger, pain and agony at their plight. One of them asks the "successful" clone to kill her and the lab is torched. Very ugly indeed. Just like the song.


As for RAEN releasing their album!!! YAYAYAYAYAYYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYYAYAYA
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YES!

This is such good news!!!

Thanks girls!

Nikki said...

The Wonder Girls should climb under a rock and never show their faces to me or Paul (we're together on this, I've noticed!) again. I mean, if I wanted to hear the real thing when it comes to songs like 'Nobody' I'd listen to the real thing from the US or something. I love JYP and his talent company and all but the Wonder Girls, 'Nobody' in particular, were the biggest mistakes JYPE ever made.

hahah.

tommie said...

I'm surprised you dislike Bounce that much Mike! I personally love it and I wish my tits could 'bounce' like that!

Robpop said...

I agree Tommie! Those boobs were amazing.

The Wonder Girls should be sued for falsely advertising themselves as being anything near wonderful. Why are they the wonder girls? They don't appear to have any of the super powers that Wonder Woman owned.

Is it some kind of miracle that they're girls perhaps. Did they used to be boys? Do they believe that the fact that they are now girls makes them feel that they can call themselves wonderful? Even so though that philosophy is misguided. In this day and age its nothing wonderful at all. To be a transexual....Its highly personal and not at all unique or special. Life changing for sure. But not a miracle. There are many out there. Just ask Cher.
As such there is nothing remotely wonderful about the Wonder Girls.

In fact they are mundane. The Mundane Girls would have been a more appropriate title going by their song.

Nikki said...

Well in Korea don't blame the girls themselves, blame the person who found them, put them together, wrote their songs and promoted them. All that was done by one guy. Heck, he even put the girl who quit the group in ANOTHER group! Ridiculous.

The Wonder Girls are the product of JYP's imagination. Old guy wanting to be as young as he was 15 years ago - not gonna happen.

Mike said...

The Wonder Girls are brilliant. Songs like "Tell Me", "So Hot" and "Nobody" are works of pop genius. Fact.

Tommie, I just hate lazy dance cover versions. At least Alina's stunning anthem brings something new to the mix. Chenai's song is just lazy.

tommie said...

Mike - I so disagree. Lazy dance covers are amazing!

Moving on... I would love to love Whitney's song. I really do - but it's just not 'working' for me. It's so painfully average that I almost want to scream. And her voice reminds me that she is a complete crackhead.

I think the Wonder Girls are horrible to be blunt. Loving the LeToya song though!

John said...

Thanks to Mike for letting me play along this week. That Wonder Girls track is now embedded in my head. I may have to drown it out with some Shakira.

Paul said...

GAH! Everytime i post a comment blogger posts an error. This is worse than the turd of a Wonder Girls singer. BTW you should consider having Nikki as a judge one week - she brilliantly described Lily Allen's Fuck You as sesame street song with potty mouth. Amazing.

I am liking Whitney more and more each second i hear it. Hurrah. Now you must include the Preston song next week.

Jay said...

Dannii has made a career out of lazy cover versions and showcasing her WMDD's...

Though despite serious competition from mammoth melons, the breast track won.

Yuяi said...

Nice to see John on the panel. Even if he's biased as hell! LOL

That Whitney song IS Whack! So not feeling it.

Aaron said...

I'm not sure what to say - I've not heard of any of the singers here......Well, I've heard of a few of course - but none of the songs!

Guy said...

Very promising start to Whitney's (Whitters?) comeback, but it disappoints. Really smart to start with a stark, simple testament to survival, but by the end it gets a bit hysterical. Still massively better than the dismal "Whattulookinat" or whatever the last comeback song was...

Ken said...

GOd, that Whitney track? COme on. There's nothing good about it. Sorry for the ones who liked it. Haha.

I guess, there's still a racial barrier between Asian artists trying to make it big into other countries especially the US. The song's catchy but not spectacular to the point we have to engage in awe.

Leighton Meester has been growing on me (musically) for the past few months. I think she has sheer potential and I think she's about to have a great debut career in music. "GGGB" was fun though. Love Leighton!

bomitoni said...

i think i need to be on the next panel. i live for pop trash! i'm finally updating milk carton pop stars!

XOXO