D'Luv (US) writer of Chart Rigger
Mike (Aus) author of this classy blog.
Paul (UK) writer of Fizzy Pop
Poster Girl (US) writer of Poster Girl
Rob (UK) writer of Don't Stop The Pop
Tommie (Sweden) writer of Donna Martin Graduates
In addition to those regulars, I've also roped in the services of:
Ken (The Philippines) writer of The Beat Review
Ken's blog is treasure trove of news, information and fabulous pop reviews. I highly recommend it to everyone! As usual, the results are ranked from lowest to highest.
Cheryl Cole – Fight For This Love (Video)
The biggest CUNT in pop finally releases her long threatened KKK approved debut solo single.
D'Luv: Christ. I finally have to sit down and listen to this song? Oh, wait — she's wearing vinyl leopard print. Ah, well... Not bad. Somewhere between boring and brilliant. 3/5
Ken: Oh oh, Cheryl. I've been a solid fan of Girls Aloud from the beginning but I'm surely not sure about Cheryl going solo. As I've said before, the single doesn't give anything but a generic love pop song. It's definitely not something we'd be stunned or shocked about it being so unique and fresh. The video is good but it's still very uncertain of her eligibility for solo superstardom. 3/5
Mike: How many black toilet attendants had to be beaten in order to make this utterly vile piece of trash? I'm disgusted and appalled by each and every second of this monstrosity. -5/5
Paul: Well, she may well be my least favourite Girls Aloud but I really was expecting this to be a lot better than it is. I would have begrudgingly admitted that she had done quite well and probably secretly enjoyed the song. This though, well it's just so bleh. Just putters along as Cheryl tries ever so hard to sound a bit R'n'B and gruesomely fails. The lyrics might have connected a lot better with the public if she had released it 2 years ago when Ashley was wanging his knob around town. Dull, dull, dull - although an excellent choice of comeback song (along with "Beat Again") for Chris Brown... 1.5/5
Poster Girl: There's definitely something sweet about this American-sounding pop-R&B song, right down to the music box notes that creep in to join the synths, but joined with Cheryl's voice, it comes across as pretty blandness. Of course, if Jesse McCartney released it, I'd probably be raving about it. 2/5
Rob: I love this. It's clear Cheryl has realized what she can do and more crucially what she can't. This slice of urban-lite pop will go down well today but if you listen to the No Angels new album you'll realize this might be been one of their rejects. It's nothing unique, original or special but it's sweet and isn't as offensive as it could have been. 4/5
Tommie: Ugh, where did this talentless WHORE find this track? In Madonna's "wanna-sound-like-Rihanna" reject bin? WHOREribble. "Fight For KKK" has to be the worst track ever! -5/5
JLS – Everybody In Love (Video)
X Factor rejects follow up their #1 hit "Beat Again".
D'Luv: Abysmal. 0.5/5
Ken: I'm actually not surprised on how this one sounds. I unconditionally love 'Beat Again' before and I have to admit, I've already been a fan of them after just one single. The outcome of the song is actually very predictable, you know, the typical 'boy band' song that they should sing. This is the epitome of what a boy band should be nowadays if they want recognition. I so want JLS to succeed and I think 'Everybody In Love' is a brilliant choice. 4/5
Mike: And I thought "Beat Again" scraped the bottom of the barrel. 0/5
Paul: Ah, for me, the real winners of last years show. "Beat Again" wasn't anything outstanding but it was slickly produced and eminently likeable. And so is this although far more generic boyband than "Beat Again" was. There's nothing wrong with this track per se and I do like it a lot, but I can't help but feel they could have done something a bit more daring. Marvin's arms in the video though?! Humina humina humina! 3.5/5
Poster Girl: "Everybody In Love" sounds like a song I'll have forgotten or be mixing up with other songs in a couple of years, but I wouldn't rush to change the radio station if it came on. Still, is it so much to ask for a boy band whose music is exciting? 3/5
Rob: Another Level anyone. Boring. 0/5
Tommie: I'm sure the teenage girls will cream their panties over this, but it's really not for me. It does remind me a bit of that 90s boyband sound though... 2/5
Michael Buble – Haven't Me You Yet (Video)
The lead single from the Canadian crooner's latest offering.
D'Luv: Seriously, has Sara Bareilles sued him yet? I'd still bang Michael Buble sideways, even though his chin disappears a little more with each album. 2/5
Ken: Ohh. This is a cute one. Never paid attention to Michael's new material and I actually regret it. Anyways, it's a feel-good song that resembles his former hit "Everything". I love that Michael's sticking to his material. The outcome is great but not that special or anything. I love the way it is done, very uplifting and meaningful. 3.5/5
Mike: I have a disturbing Michael Buble fixation. I hate his music but I would eat him up with a spoon and ask for seconds. There's no denying that this song is utter shit though. 1/5
Paul: Love the Boob! Although he may never top the career pinacle of appearing on Kath and Kim, this is a surprisingly radio friendly that reminds me of Boyzone circa 1999. It's very singable, very catchy and as always he looks rather delicious. I think the more that I hear this the more I am going to like it... 4/5
Poster Girl: Look, if you 100% hate that Rat Pack swing style done by modern performers, you're not going to like this, but this is looking to be the first Michael Buble song I buy - it's a pretty good attempt at creating a song which sounds like an old, oft-covered song of that style. I know I'm spending most of my time this week complaining about a lack of excitement and edge, but sometimes, just sometimes, a strong enough song is enough. No Westlife cover, though, please. 3.5/5
Rob: Ever so cheesy. This really reminds me of Neo (of Sweden) and Mika (of UK). Is this a totally a bad thing? No, not at all. 4/5
Tommie: No. Am I still on Pop Trash Addicts or am I getting more cracked out than Whitney? 0/5
Alicia Keys – Doesn't Mean Anything (Video)
The lead single from Alicia's 4th album.
D'Luv: Talk about someone who's made a little go a long way. This broad's voice and same-y piano tinkling are so mediocre, grating and forgettable, I can't believe how people still buy into Clive Davis' trumped-up hype for her. Waste of time. 0/5
Ken: Sounds like a re-work of "No One". Having said that, it's still okay not in the sense that it gets boring. I love that it sounds like a ballad and has a wonderful meaning. But honestly speaking, I think it isn't time for her to have a comeback. Maybe next year would be a great idea. The final word - JUST OKAY. 2/5
Mike: I'm a huge fan of Alicia's. She's an old school soul singer and really knows how to strike a nerve with her amazing lyrics. Unfortunately, this falls well short of "No One" but it's still soft and lovely. 4/5
Paul: I guess we know which song will be all over next years X Factor auditions then! It's actually quite a lovely little song with a great chorus. Simple as that. 4/5
Poster Girl: I know people talk about Alicia Keys as a good songwriter - and that because of that and her voice she doesn't need gimmicks or flashy production - but everything I've heard from her last album up to now has gone in one ear and out the other. I feel the beginning of pulling on my heartstrings as she sings the title line, but that's it. 1.5/5
Rob: I always sigh with Alicia Keys. Only because she's musically very shy. It's always the same old story. That doesn't take away the magic of the song. It's a brilliant track. Has the potential to be absolutely epic at times. Thing is, her first album set such a standard and I just don't think she's actually moved beyond that. She's reproducing the same record with every release. Is this a bad thing? The record sales would suggest the record company would scream "hell no". But I just become indifferent and rather numb despite the fact that she's providing great material. 4/5
Tommie: I'm not sure if I've been brainwashed with her writing Whitney's latest smash hit single, but this is quite good and I say this as someone who never cared for her past singles. 3/5
Mariah – I Want To Know What Love Is (Above)
Mimi covers Foreigner. Enough said.
D'Luv: Now, I thought I was gonna like this. But after a few listens, it just sounds like karaoke by an ok singer. Plus, it's flopping harder than Glitter here in the States. Mimi's problem is she can't decide if she wants to be an urban artist or an adult contemporary balladeer. You can't have it both ways, alas, in this fickle market. I think in the end, she's alienated her fans on either side of those genres by flip-flopping too much. Maybe she should just record her tits smacking together and hit the whistle register one last time. Surefire hit! 2/5
Ken: I was absolutely shocked when I heard she'll be making a cover of that classic Foreigner single. It's surprising that it's very different from the painful sounding "Obsessed" and she somehow returned to her glorious era. I love the way it sounded but not sure about it's commercial success. Maybe if she'll be singing more kinds of this one, then maybe I'll get back my interest in her. 3/5
Mike: Everyone knows I love Mariah but this stillborn cover is a giant snooze. I'm still giving her 3/5 though 'cause I'm terrified of irrate lambs!
Paul: It's like she has unslutted herself now she has bagged the America's Got Talent dude. She's back to the wavy hair and doing big ballads that fit nicely along older tracks such as "Without You" and "I'll Be There". This could have been really syrupy and awful (and maybe it is but i'm not seeing it), however it comes across beautifully - love the key change! 4/5
Poster Girl: When Nick Lachey covered Take That's "Patience," my first thought was "good job on the part of the person in charge of putting holds on possible songs for Nick, but just because it sounds like a song he'd sing doesn't mean he should have released an unnecessary, inferior-to-the-original cover in an attempt to get his album campaign to take off." Ditto all that for Mariah, though at least her cover isn't as awful as his. 3/5
Rob: A nice cover. I like it. She doesn't do too much embellishment. A weird choice for a single but it's not gonna move mountains. 3.5/5
Tommie: I love Mariah but what is her record company thinking with reverting her back to early 90s? "I Want To Know What Love Is" is nice enough, but Mimi can do better than a cover these days. Really. 2.5/5
Alexandra Burke ft. Flo Rida – Bad Boys (Video)
Last year's X Factor winner unveils her debut single.
D'Luv: Someone (Cowell, Simon) wants this to be an American hit bad. Still, it's pretty good. Much more tuneful that Keri Hilson, who Alexandra reminds me of a tad in the vid. 3.5/5
Ken: I have to admit, this track has made me change my idea of her debut. It started very slow for me and I eventually now like the track. Although this isn't my idea of Alexandra's massive debut, I'd say it did a pretty good job when it comes to likability. But I'm scared about her being just sexy and not having songs of substance. Although it's early to say that, let's wait for her album. 3.5/5
Mike: Alexandra has even less personality than Leona Lewis (if that's humanly possible) but someone has dug out a genuinely catchy chorus for her. Shame about the shit verses and disjointed rap interlude. 3/5
Paul: I really expected not to like it when it first came out, and then the utter shock that Simon Cowell had allowed an X Factor winner to release an uptempo first single "proper" sort of overwhelmed me a bit and I initially thought it was very good indeed. Time and sanity returned and it's actually not bad but not really brilliant. The Bimbo Jones mix which edits out Flo Rida is much better than the single mix. 3/5
Poster Girl: I think it was Popjustice that made the "Some Girls" meets "Womanizer" comparison, and it's one I agree with, with the caveat that "Bad Boys" sheds any darkness either of those songs in favor of pure fun. I'm always going to have a big weakness for this type of song, but I haven't grown tired of "Bad Boys" at all - in fact, it's one of the songs on my personal A-list at the moment. 5/5
Rob: I really didn't like this at first only because I think the song doesn't test her voice. But it's a rather catchy little ditty. Quite like it now. It's a grower. 4/5
Tommie: Well, at least it's different from Leona. But not as amazing as Leona, sadly. 1/5
Black Eyed Peas – Meet Me Halfway (Video)
The third single from "The E.N.D."
D'Luv: Seriously, has Cyndi Lauper sued them yet? Probably the best Black Eyed Peas single ever, though, as with most of the singles from The E.N.D., I start off liking them until about their 8th week at #1, then I want to put a nail gun to my forehead. 3.5/5
Ken: Ugh. It's ugly in every sense compared to "Boom Boom Pow" and "I Gotta Feeling". I was expecting something groovy like "Imma Be" or "Electric City". It's totally boring and I don't get why they have been #1 in the US for 6 months. What's up with that? Do people actually still like "Boom Boom Pow" and "I Gotta Feeling" at this point? 0/5
Mike: This is one of the best pop songs of 2009 and clearly the standout track on "The E.N.D." after "I Gotta Feeling". I love the 80s-tastic beats and the romantic sentiment. Fergie has never sounded lovelier. 5/5
Paul: Ugh. So, so, so bored of them. I didn't particularly love their current US number one song so I'm baffled by it's longevity. This will probably be the song to knock it off the top. "Girl I travelled round the world and even sailed the seven seas"! Which greeting card did they steal that from?! 2/5
Poster Girl: Fergie's '80s-tastic chorus carries the song, but it's so good that who cares? 4/5
Rob: Amazing. Usually I would love for the boys in the band to take a total backseat and just produce the records. Let Fergie take the spotlight. But this one of their rarer singles in which the collective actually works to boost the quality of the song. Here they sound like a group. I love it. 4.5/5
Tommie: If anyone haven't gotten the memo yet - the Black Eyed Peas are on fire. Listen to it three times and try to resist it. 4/5
SINGLE OF THE WEEK
Whitney – Million Dollar Bill (Video)
The 3rd official lead single from Whitney's much hyped comeback album.
D'Luv: I've said before this song is ok, and my opinion hasn't really changed much. I'm more interested in trying to figure out if Whixxxey's had anything more done to her face than botox. Something's not right there. Can't quite put my finger on it, though. 3/5
Ken: I've been actually apathetic about Miss Whitney's comeback. It's the first song I've heard from her new album and I'm actually liking it. It's actually catchy and very contemporary, I just hope she gets the right praise for this because she kind of deserves a nice comeback and 'Million Dollar Bill' is a good answer to those people questioning her abilities of pulling it off. Kudos Whitney! 4/5
Mike: Alicia Keys writes new lyrics to an old Loleatta Holloway disco classic and the result is Whitney's best single in a decade. I love the production, the lyrics and Nippy's swagger. Sublime. 5/5
Paul: Love this. Love it, love it, love it. Yes Alicia may not have done as much of the writing as she claims, but it's a glorious upbeat tune that is both elegant and understated. Great chorus that fits well into the Whitney dance canon and the freemasons mix is just heaven on a stick. 4/5
Poster Girl: Not classic Whitney, but a respectable comeback song. 2.5/5
Rob: Wow, very retro. Love it! Very Randy Crawford. 4/5
Tommie: What? An upbeat track by a 40 plus woman that doesn't sound utterly desperate to be hip? Classic Whitney and genius sample. 5/5