Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tina Does The Kings Of Leon

In possibly the year's most fabulous development, pop trash icon Tina Cousins is returning to the music scene with a trancetastic cover of "Sex On Fire" by the Kings Of Leon. My sex burst into flames the moment I heard Tina was back in the studio and I haven't been able to put the fucker out since hearing her magnificent comeback anthem!

"Sex On Fire" is the legendary dance diva's second overhaul of a classic rock track in a row after vastly improving upon the Foo Fighters' "Ever Long". Check out Tina's version here. Unfortunately, that stunning gem remains unreleased but things are looking up for the honorary Australian (well, it's not like she has hits anywhere else). Her radical makeover of "Sex On Fire" is gaining a lot of buzz among influential UK DJs and the song has already premiered on Radio 1. By Tina's standards, that's the equivalent of a triple platinum #1 hit!

With any luck this could be Ms Cousins' ticket back to the pop charts. The transformation of "Sex On Fire" from rock to dance is surprisingly seamless. Tina's glorious pipes breathe new life into the lyrics, while the production is commercial without being too cheesy. There's no news of a release date yet (in fact, to my knowledge Tina is still unsigned outside Australia) but fingers crossed it all comes together soon.

My sex will rival the touring inferno if the fabulous bitch drags her old carcass over here for a promo tour. And then there's the delightful prospect of a video clip. I can just picture it - Tina rolling around in bed with an icepack between her legs!

Listen to "Sex On Fire" HERE

POP PANEL NEWS

By the way, a Scandipop flavoured Panel will appear on Don't Stop The Pop this week in celebration of Rob's Swedish Season. I'm assured it will be posted today or tomorrow. The Pop Panel will return to Pop Trash Addicts next weekend - hopefully, with a classy new judge!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hermanas Goggi - Estoy Bailando

If I ever build a time machine, I'm setting the dial for 1979. It seems as good a year as any - Satan is yet to spawn Cheryl Cole, the charts are full of songs I actually like and stunning Eurotrash divas Las Hermanas Goggi are churning out sublime anthems like "Estoy Bailando" (literally, "I'm Dancing"). I don't know much about these fabulous Italian sisters apart from their names - Loretta and Daniela - and the fact that they created one of the campest disco tunes of all time.

Like many Italian stars of the 1970s, the glamorous Goggi girls achieved considerable fame in Spain by releasing songs in Spanish. Their biggest (and perhaps only) hit was "Estoy Bailando", a tragic love story set to an irresistible disco beat. The chorus is as bright and shiny as a discoball, while the delicious duo wring every ounce of emotion from the words with their dramatic vocal delivery. The lyrics are camp genius but you don't need to understand a word of Spanish to appreciate this masterpiece. However, it helps.

Unfortunately, the only thing I learned at Mexican School is ¿Me da un elote por favor? - so I asked Pablo to translate the song for me. I'm sure you'll be blown away by the epic scale of this tragic tale of woe. It's just like Romeo & Juliet, only without the feuding families and suicide!

If we split up dancing
It'll be easier than talking
You dance with any blonde
And I just get on the groove


The resentment here is palpable. The Goggis are clearly dealing with an A Grade man whore!

I drink your Coca Cola
Left your glass empty
And I keep dancing alone
Or with any fling of mine


Drink that Cola, bitches! I hope the bastard dies of thirst!

I'm dancing
I defend myself tooth and nail
And my heart beats to the rhythm of the music
and there in the world
that's black like the deepest sea
I'm dancing


The girls start to sink into depression, which they express in a series of bad metaphors. Either that or they just scored some hard drugs.

Like a sleep-walker who won't wake up
Because I'm dancing
I hide from sadness like Brazil
After all everyone has a masquerade
And tonight finally I get free from you.


My money's on the drugs. And since when does Brazil "hide from sadness"? Someone please explain!

So slow is this tragic tango
You stare at me
Come and dance with me
The night is young
Tomorrow we'll see


Like Kylie, the desperate sisters have decided it's better the devil you know. I just hope he doesn't make them pay for the Cola.


In order to get the full impact of Las Hermanas Goggi, check out this amazing television performance (below). They are so unbelievably fabulous. The hair is perfect, the outfits are spectacular and the choreography is heaven. I know this is kind of unrelated but why did Spain need to import Italian divas? Apart from Baccara, were there any Spanish disco acts?

One more thing - Soraya needs to cover this song on her next album. Fact.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Swedish Skank Scores Aus Record Deal!

Evil Swedish pop troll Agnes Carlsson is set to unleash her mediocrity upon Australia after landing a local distribution deal with Neon Records. The 2005 Swedish Idol winner is currently taking the UK by storm with her single "Release Me" and should find similar success when the song is released here in early July. I've made my feelings about Agnes pretty clear in the past but there's no denying that "Release Me" is an exceptional pop song. It's just a shame that it was wasted on someone with all the charisma of an anal fissure. Excitingly, local remixes have already been commissioned - including one by the amazing TV Rock. Hopefully they make it a dub!

This is Neon's first foray into the pop scene, so I wish them a lot of luck. If "Release Me" takes off it could pave the way for some decent Scandipop hitting the shelves in the future. I'll update you with more details as they come to hand. In the meantime, check out the Swedish automaton trying to act like an actual human being in the drab video (below).

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Pop Panel - Week 2

The Pop Panel is back for another round. I'm still not sure if this is going to be a weekly feature but while I'm convalescing, it's a fun way to pass the time. If you missed last week's Panel, the concept is pretty simple. Basically, I've asked 5 well known pop bloggers to rate a bunch of recently released tracks out of five. The tune with the highest tally is then crowned the Pop Trash Addicts single of the week. I'm happy to say that I actually like this week's winner! (Although Annie did set the bar pretty low). The Panel is comprised of the same bitches as last week:

D'Luv (US) writer of Chart Rigger
Mike author of this classy blog.
Pablo (Spain) writer of Peibols
Paul (UK) writer of Fizzy Pop
Rob (UK) writer of Don't Stop The Pop
The Prophet (AUS) writer of The Prophet


However, I have a little surprise. We have a special "celebrity" judge! Electropop practitioner James Leon (check out his myspace) has kindly agreed to be a part of this week's Panel. His debut single "Purple Heart" (below) was dissected by us last week, so I thought it would be fun to hear his response.

What did you think about the comments? Some were quite scathing.
Well, the comments were a mixed bag. There were some really nice ones about the "loveliness of the melody", which made me happy. Someone said it was "so 90's it hurts". I've always been told that I'm so 80's, so it made quite a change to be called "so 90's". Let's be honest, everyone is doing 80's now, so I always like to be different!


Don't worry, love. The person who made that comment lives in Huesca where it's still officially 1997. How about the reference to you being "gay indie electro trash"?
Well I wouldn't exactly call my music indie, to me that is whiny boys with guitars. Some people are not very knowledgeable about their genres. I think "Purple Heart" is quite a classy track, for me there is actually a purity about it which is what I was trying to convey. I think he also described the track as "pretentious", which also amused me!

Take that, Prophet! Finally, have you wiled away "many sleazy hours"?

LOL well it takes one to know one! I like to play at being sleazy a little. I guess I've had my moments but I like to think I am a good boy really!!

Sure, I believe you. Thanks again for being part of today's Panel!



So here are the results, ranked from lowest to highest score.


The Stepaways & Robyn – I’ve Got Your Man (Video)

The Swedish diva’s latest collaboration.

D'Luv: I'm gonna take a stab in the dark that none of these women ever get laid. 1/5
James Leon: A "clever" record but it does nothing for me. I still don't quite get Robyn. She has uber modern production on her tracks, looks very cool in an icy Nordic way but leaves me cold. There is no warmth or passion in her delivery and her songs are only quite good but not amazing. 2/5
Mike: Oh look it's Sunday. Time for Robyn to squeeze out another musical turd. 0/5
Pablo: Even with Robyn's uglyness, I tolly love the song. At least it's different from everything we've been listening to this year. And the video is as amazing as it is cheap. 4/5
Paul: Words fail me. It's like the musical equivalent of He Man the movie ie. not very good. 0/5
Prophet: Unbearable! Is it possible to give this minus 1 billion? 0/5
Rob: I am a huge fan of the Robyn but this tests that loyalty. Her collaboration with Royksopp is far better & this release is a pretty poor showing from the usually strong outfit The Stepaways (sadly not a tribute to Steps). 0/5
Total: 7/35

Jade Ewen – It’s My Time (Video)

The UK’s 2009 Eurovision entry is released this week.

D'Luv: Stick to stripping, baby. 0.5/5
James Leon: This is just dreadful, there is no tune. It's just melodramatic cliche riden mush. Shame on us for entering this for Eurovision. Come back Gina G or even Scooch, at least they were fun! Norway was far better. 1/5
Mike: I thought Leona was the bride of Satan but she's got some stiff competition from this repugnant waste of space. 0/5
Pablo: I hate ballads. Any kind of ballads. Even ones with girls pretending to be Leona Lewis. 0/5
Paul: Thing is, this is the sort of song that the X Factor used to give to the winners before they palmed them off with dodgy cover versions. Perfectly suited for any type of singing contest, it's epic Celine/Whitney balladry that has an appropriately orchestral middle 8. Oh god. I like it. 3/5
Prophet: Meh. 2/5
Rob: Escavating the Eurovision context, I would actually stop in my tracks with this song. It's simply a nice ballad. It nearly becomes a wonderful torch song for 2009. And how often do we hear torch songs? Not alot. In a world full of Lady Gaga's, Robyn's, robots and Pet Shop Boys this stands out and recalls the glorious power ballads of a time of big hair, Bonnie Tyler and shoulder pads. I also have a soft spot for strings. So unexpectedly I give this 5/5.
Total: 11.5/35

Jessica Mauboy – Because (Video)

The 4th single from the Australian diva’s platinum selling debut album.

D'Luv: Sorry, dear. There's only one Rihanna. And look what happened to her. 2/5
James Leon: Oh please. Did they just type into the computer Jordin/Leona/Mariah generic wailing bint singing about heartache and the like. The backing rips off Backstreet Boys' "Incomplete". Beyond corny, just total American-esque mid-tempo dross. 2/5
Mike: I love Jessica and think her album is amazing but this has to be the worst song on it. Nevertheless, it's pleasant enough in a generic R'n'B lite kind of way. 3/5
Pablo: I hate ballads. Any kind of ballads. Even ones played at the piano. 0/5
Paul: It's all a bit dramatic. I'm already imagining the wind machine as she sings into it, hair flying behind her, extensive hand gestures a la that bird from the X Factor all over the place. Lighten up dear, it may never happen. 2/5
Prophet: It's mildly okay, but too generic and bland. Jessica can do better than this. 2/5
Rob: Hey Jordin Sparks, this is what you call emotional singing! Slightly too much autotuning but a rather cute ballad. 3/5
Total: 14/35


Nicki Webster – Devilicious (Above)

This former child star and recent FHM covergirl is making a much hyped comeback to the Australian pop scene complete with slutastic new image.

D'Luv: Darlin', Britney did this schtick eight years ago, and it sucked just as bad then. 1/5
James Leon: Generic bland dancefloor filler by soft porn star, though if it came on in trashy club I am sure I would dance. I do like the synth sound burbling in the background also. 2/5
Mike: Tragic, obscenely derivative and yet totally fabulous. This is the definition of pop trash. Maybe you have to be Australian to get how funny this shit is. 5/5
Pablo: It's like Edurne remaking Britney's worst videos - together. The song is acceptable. 2/5
Paul: When in doubt flash a bit of muff and you will be fine. It's technically a competent slutty dance number but I'm not overly sold on it. 2.5/5
Prophet: This is worse than being sodomised by a chainsaw whilst simultaneously choking to death on your own vomit... But I love it! 5/5
Rob: Absolutely unbearable. The song is charmless and not sexy at all. The video is a weird Janet Jackson (All Night Don't Stop) and Christina Aguilera (Dirrty) hybrid. On many levels I should love this sort of crap but its outdated and incredibly unoriginal. 0/5
Total: 17.5/35

Fedde Le Grand – Scared Of Me (Video)

The man behind “Put Your Hands Up For Detroit” returns with another floorfiller.

D'Luv: The song sucks, but I'll give it one point for having a broad decked out like Scooch in their "Flying The Flag" garb and one point for the fact that I'd fuck Fedde's mouth. 2/5
James Leon: Yawn! "Put Your hands Up" was a catchy enough dance anthem but as with many dance acts, this is basically the same track with different 'lyrics' over the top. It's pretty boring. 2/5
Mike: A killer tune with a great vocal by Mitch Crown. Love the video. 4/5
Pablo: Great song. But I'll probably forget it in one hour or so. 3/5
Paul: I totally wanted to hate this. I don't. It's not bad at all (doesn't mean it's brilliant either) especially the middle 8 bit which is quite arousing. 3/5
Prophet: Dance music is stupid! 1/5
Rob: It gets 3 points already for providing a brilliant video. The song sounds a bit similar to his earlier work but I won't hold that against him as the chorus is rather distinct. 4/5
Total: 19/35

Industry - My Baby's Waiting (Video)

The latest reincarnation of Steps.

D'Luv: Steps + A*Teens + A*Teens old producers = Heaven. Subtracting half a point for the lack of shirtlessness with the boys in the vid. 4.5/5
James Leon: I should dislike this but shame... I totally love it! It's so trashy and predictable but really uplifting and catchy. It just makes me feel good. Complete Steps rip off with an American vibe tacked on and stuck in about '97. The gays will love it! 3.5/5
Mike: Steps were shit the first time around. 1/5
Pablo: Quite a dramatic song. But I like it. They'll live for like 2 singles and a half. With luck. 2/5
Paul: It's Steps. It's S Club. It's Allstars. It's A*teens. It's brilliant. Cheesily brilliant pop that puts a big smile on my face. Spaffletastic! 4.5/5
Prophet: Zero zero zero zero zero zero zero!!! 0/5
Rob: Brilliant. Could have included a bigger ending and a huge key change. Maybe that's for single number two. 4/5
Total = 19.5/35

Pet Shop Boys – Did You See Me Coming (Video)

Those old gays strike again.

D'Luv: I've overplayed "Yes" a bit and had to take a break from it, but for this I'm delving back to the first time I heard DYSMC a couple months ago: Pure bliss in the way good pop should be. 5/5
James Leon: Totally New Order-ish but I like the lyrics and title, and its The PSBs so I have to love it. I don't think it's the strongest choice for a single, they should have relased the gorgeous 'The Way It Used To Be'. If the brilliant "Love e.t.c" was a flop there isn't much hope for this sadly. They should work with me instead! 4/5
Mike: The Pet Shop Boys best single in a decade. Which isn't saying much. 2/5
Pablo: I'd have chosen another song for 2nd single, but as usual Xenomania's work is brilliant. Like what they do with Girls Aloud. 4/5
Paul: Oh thank god. Some nice polished pop which is instantly Pet Shop Boys Aloud. A great chorus and a prime example of how to do pop without resorting to all the whistles and bells! Summer is here! 4/5
Prophet: There's nothing worse than the Pet Shop Boys. The production is great but as soon as I heard those faggy vocals I wanted to rub razorblades into my eyes. 1/5
Rob: Did you see me love a Pet Shop Boys song? Gosh, yes! I am usually rather unresponsive to this band but this is proper tunage. Damn! I'll have to check out the album now. 5/5
Total = 25/35

SINGLE OF THE WEEK

Passion Pit – The Reeling (Below)

The American electropop sensations' follow up to “Sleepyhead”.

D'Luv: This is the kind of music I'd never buy, but it's nice to hear in the background somewhere—the grocery store, a whorehouse, etc. The singer needs a makeover, though. 3/5
James: Achingly cool and clever, quite MGMT - nice summery vibe and would be alright at a party or maybe a club, lacks a real hook and doesn't rock my world. Am tempted to say 'pretentious gay indie-electro trash'. Video is irritating to watch. 3/5
Mike: A burst of seratonin to the brain. This sunny slice of acid trip electro is absolutely stunning. 4.5/5
Pablo: I 100% preffer the Calvin Harris Remix. But anyway, the song is amazing. 5/5
Paul: It's one of those acts that I know I'm supposed to love and critically adore, but it just sounds a bit of a fuzzy mess to me. Which means ask me again in a week and I'll love it. Bearing that in mind, I'll add an extra point on 2.5/5
Prophet: I have no idea who the Passion Pit are but this is fucking amazing. 5/5
Rob: Video is a bit overbaked and can cause epilepsy. However, the song is amazing. Passion Pit juices my passion pop pit. Immensely. 5/5
Total = 28/35

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Holly Van

After taking a 6 year hiatus to pursue acting, which included playing a corpse on CSI and a Russian stripper on Prison Break, Holly Valance is busily planning her return to the music scene. The former Neighbours star recently revealed that she's working on songs with Frankmusik for her third album and I couldn't be any more excited. Holly always stood out from the other pop zombies. For better or worse, usually the latter, she spoke her mind and refused to play by the rules. This is a woman who basically killed her own career by calling the British public "bitter and twisted" (during a UK promotional tour no less!) and was told off by a Judge for excessive publicity whoring. The amusing list of anecdotes goes on but there's one I can't help but mention - the tragic case of the Holly Van!

Whenever I think about Holly, my mind instantly races to a Christina Aguilera concert in December 2003. It was Christina's first visit to Australia and a huge crowd was starting to build outside the Entertainment Centre. Just as we were getting ready to go inside, someone started playing "State Of Mind" at near deafening volume. I half expected to find a demented fan with a boombox but was surprised to discover the music coming from a van covered in Holly Valance posters, which had just pulled up outside the venue. Using a vehicle to promote an artist is hardly out of the ordinary (Flo Rida's record company recently hired a tank to drive around Sydney blasting songs from his latest album) but actually crashing another diva's concert has to be a first! Naturally, I was drawn to the Holly Van like a rat to the Pied Piper and struck up a conversation with one of the promoters who was trying to give away merchandise to disinterested Christina fans. I think I got a couple of posters but the most fabulous gift was a model replica of the van itself - pictured above on my computer. It remains one of my favourite pieces of music memorabilia, perfectly summing up the sad desperation of Holly Valance circa 2003.

The depressing thing is that Holly really had no reason to be sad or desperate. I personally thought her debut album was a hideous trainwreck but I've been singing the praises of "State Of Mind" to anyone who will listen for years. In my opinion, it's one of the great pop albums of the noughties, right up there with "Neon Nights" and "Fever". "State Of Mind" was also a hugely influential album, not that anyone will admit it. Holly was the first commercial pop star to mix electro into her pop - years before Lady GaGa and Robyn got around to it. In fact, it's quite startling how fresh the album still sounds. The magnificent lead single wouldn't be out of place on radio today, while the stunning video (below) is still a million times hotter than anything Britney has ever come up with. That Ramones singlet is THE SEX!

The rest of "State Of Mind" is just as impressive. Jeff and Mark Taylor (Metro) contribute the dark and brooding "Desire", which was originally slated as the second single before the project was scrapped. Kylie's favourite collaborator, Steve Anderson, delivers the goods on "Hypnotic" and "Curious" but really strikes gold on the incredibly fierce "Roll Over". I'm not surprised that Holly has a writing credit on the track. It's got her mouthy attitude stamped all over it. Chris and Drew Peters (Electric Six) are the biggest surprise. I can't believe these guys haven't been snapped up by every pop tart on the block. They contribute the sublime "Everything I Hate" and fiery "Tongue Tied" as well as my favourite song on the entire album - the gorgeous "Ricochets", which displays a softness and subtlety that I would have thought beyond Holly.

With any luck, "State Of Mind" will be re-visited and re-evaluated by pop fans if her comeback is a success. I just hope the Holly Van stays locked in the garage!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Tragifabulous Return Of Cascada

After years of releasing mechanical cover versions and soulless trance anthems, Cascada has finally decided to switch things up by ripping off Lady GaGa. The lead single from the German dance outfit's third album dropped this week and it's a virtual line by line re-make of "Just Dance" - down to the rap interlude! I'm usually pretty brutal about Cascada but "Evacuate The Dancefloor" (the puns I could make!) is a step in the right direction. Sure, it's a woeful exercise in plagiarism but at least they're paying homage to a great song. I think the staccato electro beats suit Natalie's robotic vocals surprisingly well and the rap isn't as unfortunate as it could have been. Admittedly, the production is more Berman Brothers than Red One but they deserve some points for trying! Put on your Poker Face and check out the video (below). "Evacuate The Dancefloor" is a true guilty pleasure.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

An Open Letter To Soraya


Dear Soraya,

You don't know me but I'm your biggest (and possibly only) Australian fan. Your latest album is a veritable pop masterpiece and I still listen to your fabulous 80s covers all the time. I'm completely smitten by your grace, glamour and talent. To paraphrase Shakira, for you I'd move to a communist country (well, maybe Spain) and learn about football (although something like scrapbooking would be more up my alley).

My love for you runs deep. Last year I followed your stunning acoustic tour of radio stations around Spain, staying in glamorous metropoles like Lerida and Albacete along the way. Unfortunately, every show was sold out - which could have had something to do with the tickets being given away free. Not that it matters. I was satisfied to simply be in the same city as Spain's greatest living vocalist.

Needless to say, your selection for Eurovision brought me a lot of joy. Finally you had a chance to shine on the world stage and possibly launch an international career. If vile trolls like Agnes Carlsson and Annie can have "hits" outside their homeland, why not a stunning beauty like yourself? "La Noche Es Para Mi" is probably the weakest track on your amazing album but it's still light years ahead of the usual Eurovision fare and should have won in a landslide.

I watched what I assumed would be your triumphant performance with great pride. My delicate Spanish rose had blossomed into an international pop sensation right before my very eyes. You took to the stage with the grace of an angel, wearing a gorgeous outfit that highlighted your stunning curves. And then your magical voice wafted around the stadium like a fart squeezed from the arsehole of Jesus. It was blissful. Admittedly, your dancers appeared to be recent graduates from the Community College of Móstoles but, as a true saint, you're always looking to help the needy. Your moment of Eurovision glory seemed a mere formality. I even had a bottle of champagne (well, $5 sparkling wine) on ice to celebrate your victory! But then the votes rolled in and you came second last.

Soraya, my darling, please don't feel like a complete and utter failure even if you are one. Eurovision is an unflushed toilet, so it only makes sense that the biggest pile of crap (ie. Norway's entry) should float to the top of the bowl. In retrospect, you were too sexy for Eurovision. Men from Iceland to Azerbaijan were busy doing something else with their right hand during your performance, which explains their inability to pick up the phone and vote. Take heart in the fact that many an international superstar has tasted defeat on the Eurovision stage. Olivia Newton-John only claimed the 4th spot, Anna Vissi came 9th and Nicki French finished in 16th place. Almost as bad as you. And look at all the amazing success she's had since!

Now that the competition is little more than a bad memory, hurry up and release "Para Ti" or "No Siento"!

Love & Kisses,

Mike

XXXX

Soraya - Robbed At Eurovision!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Pop Panel

Welcome to my very first Pop Panel! I've been thinking of a way to make this blog more collaborative for a while now, so I thought I'd ask some of my favourite bloggers to help me decide on a 'Single Of The Week'. The concept couldn't be more simple. All the panellists have to do is rate a bunch of recently released pop tracks out of five. The idea is still very much a work in progress but so far it's been a lot of fun - even though I utterly detest the winner. My poor blog may never recover! Anyway, it's time to introduce this week's panel:

D'Luv (US) - The man behind the hugely popular and extremely fabulous Chart Rigger.
Pablo (Spain) - The classiest (*cough*) blogger ever to emerge from Huesca. See Peibols for proof.
Paul (UK) - Everyone knows and loves this blogwhore, making Fizzy Pop a must read.
Robpop (UK) - The internet would be a wasteland without the genius of Don't Stop The Pop.
The Prophet (Aus) - The Prophet is THE place to be for fans of urban music.

And myself (Mike) of Pop Trash Addicts "fame"!

So here there are, ranked according to their votes:

Mariah - Love Story (video)

D'Luv: No. (1/5)
Mike: Dear Mimi, close your precious eyes and think of pretty, pink unicorns. These ignorant haters are obviously blind to your greatness! (3.5/5)
Pablo: Boooooring! I've seen videos made from Power Point with better music and more love. Like this Gypsy Wedding in Huesca. (1/5)
Paul: Unlike Mariah's ever expanding jugs, this will not be massive. Hideous. She's milking that album more than she is her new husband. Get back to your wifely duties woman! (1/5)
Prophet: "E=MC2" is easily the worst album that Mariah Carey has ever recorded. 'Love Story' is just another one of "E=MC2's" generic, boring and stale ballads. (1/5)
Robpop: I want retro Mariah back. When she mentally declared to her departed lover that she would be his baby. (0/5)
Total: 7.5/30

Paula Abdul - I'm Just Here For The Music (video)

D'Luv: This song would be a grower if any radio station were actually playing it enough to force you to like it. But thankfully... (2/5)
Mike: There's a reason why this was left off "Body Language". It's fucking shit. (0/5)
Pablo: Almost as boring as Mariah. If Paula isn't drunk, I don't pay her any attention. (1/5)
Paul: I'd rather munch out a sweaty Beth Ditto than listen to this abomination again. (0/5)
Prophet: The rumours about Paula's drug use are obviously true because only somebody pumped full of meds would think it was a good idea to cover a Kylie Minogue song. At least do something by her sister who's actually half decent. What happened to the "Cold Hearted Snake" I used to know and love? (1/5)
Robpop: Completely fun. This is what its about. Fuck its history and context. Judging by the song alone, it hits my pleasure principle. Hard. (5/5)
Total: 9/30

Peaches - Talk To Me (video)

D'Luv: Peaches always seems like a good idea on paper, but let's face it; her songs have consistently sucked for six years now. (1/5)
Mike: A true pioneer at the very height of her game! (4/5)
Pablo: Dark! (4/5)
Paul: I feel bilious just listening to it. More angry girl rock. (2/5)
Prophet: Peaches is a pretentious twat but I absolutely love her music and this is no exception. Not quite as good as "Kick It" but fabulous nonetheless. (3.5/5)
Robpop: Yawn. (1/5)
Total: 15.5/30

Jordin Sparks - Battlefield (video)

D'Luv: She just needs to be plowed. (3/5)
Mike: Ryan Tedder is an amazing songwriter but this tune is completely wasted on Jordin Sparks. A gifted vocalist like Beyoncé would have turned this out, Jordin just makes it mediocre. (2/5)
Pablo: I hate ballads. Any kind of ballad. (1/5)
Paul: Sigh. Jordin. Could people stop creaming their Aussie Bums over her now please? She didn't just give birth to Christ or anything, she is just singing a somewhat above average pop song that's quite nice. (3.5/5)
Prophet: A guaranteed #1 smash. This Ryan Tedder written & produced track is like the absolute best kind of commercial radio fodder available. Just think Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway" album for 2009. (4.5/5)
Robpop: Jessica Mauboy & Emilia De Poret do this sort of thing a lot better but this is okay. There is absolutely no emotion in Jordin's vocals despite the lyrics which suggest absolute heartache. (3/5)
Total: 17/30

James Leon - Purple Heart (video)

D'Luv: This clip leads me to believe James has wiled away many sleazy hours. (3/5)
Mike: Beautifully simple and melodic. James Leon is an electropop force to be reckoned with. (4.5/5)
Pablo: Any more 90's and it'll explode. (2/5)
Paul: Although I think the lyrics should say "my purple head will heal you" there's a lot of melody and loveliness in the chorus. (4.5/5)
Prophet: Oh please, I can't stand this pretentious gay indie-electro trash. Maybe if I was manking out on a vial upstairs at the Midnight Shift then I could appreciate this - but until that day comes, this gets a (1.5/5) from me.
Robpop: Beautiful electro soft pumped up ballad that is magically sparse & deserves more attention. (3/5)
Total: 18.5/30

La Roux - Bulletproof (video)

D'Luv: Clay Aiken actually looks quite butch in this video, so I'm giving it a good rating. (4/5)
Mike: There's something painfully pretentious about this duo but "Bulletproof" is an undeniably delicious serve of electropop goodness. (3.5/5)
Pablo: The ugly daughter from Nicola Roberts from Girls Aloud and Siobhan Donaghy remaking Robyn's video. Sticky. (3/5)
Paul: My god she looks scary in the video. Why is she singing over the backing track from 80s video game classic "Frogger"? Sort of works though. (3/5)
Prophet: When this started I thought "Ohh, finally some electro I like". Unfortunately some screaming ginger dyke had to come along and ruin it all. (2/5)
Robpop: Part-Grange Hill, Part-Robyn, Bulletproof is a rather nice ditty from a terribly English singer who tries far too much to fit in with the Shoreditch crowd. It works however. A success. (4/5)
Total: 19.5/30

The Vanish - Heartbeat (video)

D'Luv: There's only one Cut Copy in my book, but these guys come off as their brattier second cousins. Not bad. (3/5)
Mike: An absolute corker of a song. Fucking stunning from beginning to end. One of Australia's most promising bands. (4.5/5)
Pablo: Quite surprising. I didn't expect this kind of music could come out of Australia. (4/5)
Paul: It lost points for not being a cover of the Steps classic. (2.5/5)
Prophet: "What are wire hangers doing in this closet when I told you no wire hangers EVER!" Sorry, I ran off to watch "Mommie Dearest" so I could escape this audible hell. I hope these Presets knock offs make like their name and Vanish. (1.5/5)
Robpop: Absolutely amazing. (4/5)
Total: 19.5/30


SINGLE OF THE WEEK


Annie - Anthonio (video)

D'Luv: I like the Fred Falke version way better than the single version, but this is still 40 times better than Peaches. (4/5)
Mike: The Norwegian bore's reed thin, inexpressive vocals flounder in a muddy sea of dull electro beats and clichéd lyrics on this grating stinker. (0/5)
Pablo: I totally love it. (5/5)
Paul: Everything about this works. Only cos i remember all those fuckers who knobbed me on holiday and left me fake numbers and an itchy cock. Bastards. (5/5)
Prophet: Another winner from Norways finest. I love the melancholy feeling behind this electro-pop track almost as much as I love Annie herself. (4/5)
Robpop: The Flirts want their song back. (2/5)
Total: 20/30

So there you have it. Annie's latest flop is my very first 'Single Of The Week'! Do you think the Pop Panel should be a regular feature or was once enough?

Shakira - An Aural Fixation

I know I haven't written a lot about Shakira in the past but the dark rooted Colombian beauty is right up there with Beyoncé and Mariah as my favourite pan American superstar. Needless to say, recently leaked details of her upcoming 8th studio album have me in a complete spin. The line up of producers alone is staggering. The diva has apparently recorded tracks with Red One (Lady GaGa), Toby Gad (Fergie & Beyoncé) and Pharrell Williams (Gwen Stefani) as well as Wyclef Jean and reggaeton legends Calle 13. The album has a September release date, so it shouldn't be too long before we hear something new. In the meantime, I thought I'd write a post about her last project - the sorely undervalued "Oral Fixation".

Like most people outside of South America, "Laundry Service" was my introduction to Shakira. That album sold more than 20 million copies around the world. In Australia, it went five times platinum and produced three top 5 singles. The cultural impact was phenomenal. Latin music went mainstream and the Shakira look was everywhere - even my mum let her roots grow out and bought a peasant blouse! Cut to 2005. "Oral Fixation" is released with little fanfare and misses the top 50 altogether in this country. The 2006 re-release did considerably better on the back of "Hips Don't Lie" but it was still a remarkable fall from grace. That sales pattern held true for most of the (English speaking) world. So, what went wrong?

In short - just about everything. I love both volumes in their own way but there simply wasn't enough excellent material for two separate albums. As a result both turned out patchy. Add to that a dodgy title, some bad single choices and general confusion about what to promote in each different territory and you have a giant mess on your hands. The great shame is that Shakira had a blistering follow-up to "Laundry Service" in the can. The "Oral Fixation" sessions created some truly amazing music including two of my favourite songs of all time. Taking the best songs from both volumes results in one hell of a good album. I'm sure opinions differ wildly but I've listed my suggested tracklist for "Oral Fixation" below:


1. Hips Don't Lie

The song that saved the whole "Oral Fixation" campaign is a glorious slice of throwaway urban pop. I have a feeling Shakira will re-visit this sound on her new album given the list of collaborators.

2. La Pared

Dark, introspective and very beautiful.

3. Don't Bother

The lead single from Volume 2 is an underrated pop gem. Some of the lyrics are a bit dubious but there's real emotion in this. I particularly love the general 'woe is me' sentiment. The remixes were also unusually good.

4. La Tortura

This irresistibly catchy duet with Alejandro Sanz went to #1 in 25 countries. For good reason.

5. Hey You

Possibly the quirkiest song on either album. This jam boasts jangly guitars, a sing-a-long chorus, splashes of brass and the infamous lyric “I’d like to be the owner of the zipper on your jeans and that thing that makes you happy”. Classy.

6. Día Especial

I mentioned earlier that Oral Fixation produced two of my all time favourite songs. Well, "Día Especial" is the first of them. This languid, melancholy ballad is an exquisite exercise in restraint. The English version, “The Day And The Time”, is lovely too but the Spanish version is perfection. A classic.

7. How Do You Do

A highly original exploration of religion - complete with chanting and a surprisingly catchy rock-lite chorus.

8. Día de Enero

This sweet love song was a single in most of South America. It's as cute as a button and never fails to brighten my mood. Check out the cheap and cheerful video.

9. Timor

Possibly the world's only disco anti-war anthem. I almost choked the first time I heard this. It's so jarring to hear lyrics of this nature set to a thumping dance beat, which I guess is Shakira's way of highlighting the absurdity of war. "Timor" has to be heard to be believed!

10. Las de la Intuición

This is my other all time favourite song from "Oral Fixation". People think of Shakira as being a bit serious but "Las de la Intuición" is pure, unadulterated POP with a hands in the air chorus and killer beats. Make sure you check out the trashtastic video clip. Hearing this in a Madrid nightclub last year was something akin to a spiritual experience for me. Shakira later recorded "Las de la Intuición" in English under the title "Pure Intention" but avoid that rubbish at all costs.

These ten "Oral Fixation" gems are all truly brilliant but I hope we don't have to mix and match Shakira's next album!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Chris Sorbello: Electropop Diva


Ok, I admit it. I occasionally suffer from pop envy. It seems like every second ho in Europe owns a keyboard and spends their time churning out brilliant pop tunes. Meanwhile, in Australia, the pickings are comparatively slim. Bucking that unfortunate trend is the amazing Chris Sorbello. This Sydney based diva is making serious waves with her killer electropop anthems. Imagine Kylie mixed with Lady GaGa (perhaps with a sprinkling of Little Boots thrown in for good measure) to get some idea of her sound.

Chris first appeared on my radar last year with the fabulous "Danger Zone". It's the kind of song that slowly crawls under your skin. It took a couple of listens but I eventually fell for the crisp synths, icy vocals and poptastic chorus. For me, this ranks right up there with Isabel Guzman's "There Must Be Something" as the best unreleased pop track of 2008. New remixes continue to appear, so there's still a chance that "Danger Zone" might see the inside of a record store yet. Make sure you check out this gem below:



Danger Zone

Since "Danger Zone", Chris' sound has evolved to a whole new level. Her music is now darker, edgier and much more electronic. However, she is still wholeheartedly and unashamedly POP. The diva has a bunch of new tracks streaming on her Myspace and they all deserve your attention. My favourite is probably "So Lonely", which wouldn't sound out of place on Kylie's "X". The production is pure Bloodshy & Avant, while the chorus is pop bliss. The intro reminds me of "The Glamorous Life" but that could just be my Melissa Tkautz obsession raring its ugly head.

I also highly recommend "Ten Minutes Longer" - a floaty, pretty pop track that showcases Chris' softer side - and the slightly dirty "2 Seater Ride". This is the new anthem for backseat bitches across Australia! I'm less taken with the cool, robotic beats on "Symbiotic" and "Love Spam" makes me laugh for all the wrong reasons but even it's still fierce in a Lady GaGa gone wrong kind of way.

Chris Sorbello is definitely an electropop diva to watch in 2009. I have a feeling you'll be hearing a lot more from her in the near future.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

CC Martini - The Update

CC Martini is one of my favourite artists in the whole wide world. She's brave, gutsy and utterly unique on the Australian music scene. CC has also become a good friend of mine. In a parallel universe (where I'm not into dick) we're probably taking a romantic walk on the beach at this very moment. Unfortunately, in this dimension, ours is a love that dare not speak its name. So I'd better get on with this post before CC takes out a restraining order.

The last time I caught up with Australia's Queen of pip pop, she had just returned from the States and was getting ready to unleash her sophomore album. There have been some massive changes since then. Here's a quick recap of recent developments:

- CC has dropped 'Martini' from her name. Now she's just CC, like that tranny on The Nanny!
- My beautiful ranga princess has left Shock Records.
- CC is fleeing Australia again! Her plan is to start over among the gays of San Francisco.
- The diva is now planning to distribute her music independently via a new interactive website that she's currently working on.
- CC plans to give away lots of her music for free!

While I'm sad CC is taking off again so quickly, I'm in awe of her dedication to music. Many lesser divas would have given up and taken a job at Woolworths by now. Instead, CC is still in the game and still churning out fantastic pop tunes.

CC, I wish you every success. Please find me a hot (preferably rich) husband in San Fran and stay in touch!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Girls Aloud - Officially Retire!



PRESS RELEASE

For immediate distribution

Girls Aloud officially announced their retirement today after weeks of speculation about their future. The BRIT award winners called a press conference and read the following statement: "After 7 long years together we have made the agonising decision to part ways. We're proud of achieving so much with so little and wish to thank all our amazing fans for their loyal support." When pushed for more information, (backing) vocalist Cheryl Cole wiped away her trademark tears and replied "We're like sisters. But I've outgrown them". Industry insiders suspect the decision may have been influence the dismal chart failure of their latest single "Untouchable".

The once popular group first came to public attention on the reality show "Popstars: The Rivals" in 2002, where the five members were selected from thousands of untalented applicants. While never reaching the lofty heights of the Spice Girls or the Sugababes (or even Mis-Teeq), the band went on to experience some minor chart success. Albeit only within the borders of the UK. Girls Aloud will be fondly remembered for their mastery of formulaic pop and their ability to score hits with uninspiring cover versions.

News of the split has been met with devastation and anger by fans. Sightings of effeminate males throwing themselves off buildings has risen tenfold since the announcement was made public, while the lingering sense of outrage is best exemplified by 12 year old Steve from the outskirts of Birmingham who posted the following message on the band's Myspace: "Soz but who do u slutz fink u r - tha saturdayz? lmfao!1!!"

It's not only fans that have been rocked by the news. Repercussions are being felt throughout the entire music world. Influential music website Pop Justice was immediately taken offline with founder Peter Robinson apparently unable to carry on, while Brian Higgins and the team from Xenomania were spotted popping down to their local Jobcentre between recording sessions with failed Norwegian popstar Annie.

Only time will tell what the future holds for the fivesome but some of the girls have already come forward with their immediate plans. Nicola Roberts tweeted about her upcoming appearance on Celebrity Extreme Makeover, stating "I'm a before photo if ever you've seen one." Meanwhile, former bandmate Kimberly Walsh has replaced Kerry Katona as the new face of Iceland.

More surprising is Cheryl Cole's announcement that she intends to quit X Factor at the end of the year in order to care for senile war criminals in the foothills of Argentina. Cheryl called on fans to donate generously to her new foundation "White Is Right". The other two members that no one cares about have remained silent but were photographed going directly to Mutya Buena's London bedsit from the press conference, carrying a box of cask wine and a copy of "Solo Careers For Dummies".

Friday, May 08, 2009

Liza Ventures Down Under

Touring really is the new black. With album sales nosediving, every fabulous diva with a predominantly gay fanbase is hitting the road to hawk their dusty, old wares. While Kylie sells out shows across the US (well one show!), the latest international tour extravaganza to hit Australian shores belongs to the legendary Liza Minnelli. The daughter of Judy Garland, the star of Cabaret (and Rent-A-Cop), the holy patron of painkillers - Liza is pure Hollywood royalty. I seriously haven't been this excited about a tour since Marcia Hines rocked my local RSL!

It's been a dream of mine to see Liza perform live for a very long time and I can't believe I'll finally be able to bask in her drunken glory come October. According to the touring company, Liza will perform all her classics including "Cabaret" and "Maybe This Time". I'd personally love to hear Ms Minnelli belt out some of the tracks from her brilliant disco album (1977's "Tropical Nights") but that's as unlikely as her turning up sober. Hopefully, my favourite Liza track - "Ring Them Bells" from "Liza With A Z" isn't completely out of the question. However, Liza could turn up and sing the Michael Bolton songbook and I would still be in 7th Heaven. October simply can not come quick enough!

In the meantime, I'd like to pay tribute to Liza's stunning interpretation of Michael Jackson's "You Are Not Alone". This is surely one of the best clips in the history of youtube. Make sure you check it out below.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Never Too Late For Kylie's US Tour

It's official. Hell has finally frozen over. Yes, pop fans - Kylie has announced her first American tour! The better late than never extravaganza will take in 5 American cities with one Canadian date thrown in for good measure. I'm so excited for Kylie's long suffering American fans. Apparently, all 23 of them have thrown a street party to celebrate. I actually think this will be a pretty hot ticket. Kylie is the ultimate live performer and I'm sure gays across the United States will make the pilgrimage to see her.

The set list should be very interesting. Kylie doesn't exactly have a lot of American hits to choose from, so I'm guessing she'll sing a lot of songs from her stunning #139 US monster hit "X". Watch the roof explode when Kylie belts out her massive radio smash "All I See"! I just hope she performs "It's No Secret", a top 40 hit for Kylie in America way back in 1988. The song is one of my all time favourites and it would be amazing to hear her sing it live. The fabulous video (below) is a true cinematic masterpiece. It was probably the last time we heard Kylie's real Australian accent and her acting skills are right up there with Meryl Streep's!

In all seriousness, nobody puts on a show like Kylie. Even if it's a scaled down version of X2008 it will still be light years ahead of the competition and I'd do just about anything to be there.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

I'm Not Dead

I can't believe it's been 6 weeks since my last post! It's a bit of an understatement to say that my operation was a complete disaster. Basically, everything that could go wrong did go wrong - from a brief coma to a rather unpleasant bout of internal bleeding. It was really tough but hopefully the worst is behind me. Thanks a bunch for the kind comments, texts and e-mails. They cheered me up no end!

As far as blogging is concerned, I kind of don't know where to start. There are a couple of major changes on the horizon but for the time being it's business as usual. I wanted to return with a bang but I thought I'd keep things simple by just writing a quick post about the songs that have kept me company over the past few weeks. In my defence, I have been heavily sedated for most of that time - which could explain some of my choices!

Here are my top ten tracks from March/April 2009:


The gorgeous Lisa Mitchell

1. Coin Laundry - Lisa Mitchell

I hated Lisa Mitchell on Australian Idol and rudely wrote her off as a dull Sarah Blasko wannabe. I take it all back. Lisa brings something unique and lovely to the local music scene. My opinion changed when I heard her song "Neopolitan Dreams" on a UK television advert for soap powder and finally started to get her quirky appeal. Now I'm completely besotted. "Coin Laundry" is one of the best Australian pop songs released this year. It's so simple and pretty. I love the pared back beats and Lisa's romantic lyrics. Hopefully, she'll make an equally appealing video to accompany the song. In the meantime you can hear it on her Myspace.

2. El Camino - Sol Rojo

Sol is clearly the sexiest woman in Spain or the rest of the world for that matter. Her stunning features and incredibly broad child-bearing hips are almost enough to turn me straight! Happily, her music is just as fabulous as her image. I've been loving "El Camino" since last year but it really clicked over the past few weeks. It's so bright and sunny - the perfect antidote for a foul mood or a pesky coma. Make sure you check out the HOT video. Sol was made to be an FHM covergirl!

3. Zero - Yeah Yeah Yeahs

This is such a potent piece of pop music. Every time "Zero" comes on the radio, I have to pump up the volume and sing along. I've never been a fan of the band but "Zero" ticks all of my boxes from the electric production to the anthemic chorus. There's just something shiny and uplifting about the track, which is a surprise given their cooler than cool image. I'm really shocked this wasn't a bigger hit but I guess the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are more of an albums act. Speaking of which, I really should check out "It's Blitz!".

4. Siren Song - Bat For Lashes

I haven't shut up about Bat For Lashes this year. "Daniel" still has me completely and utterly under its spell but I initially found the album quite disappointing. "Two Suns" is finally starting to click with me - largely due to the brilliance of "Siren Song", which has to be the most gorgeous ballad released thus far in 2009. Natasha's lyrics are so raw and beautiful. This reminds me of something from Tori Amos' "Little Earthquakes" album with a bit of old school Fleetwood Mac thrown in for good measure. I hope "Siren Song" is a single but I guess it's not very commercial. Definitely download this one from iTunes.

5. Sleepyhead - Passion Pit

You know a song is quality when it puts a smile on your face even while you're bent over in pain in hospital. I stumbled across "Sleepyhead" on Rage at about 4am on a particularly bleak Saturday morning and it instantly lifted my mood. The quirky electro lullaby is a three minute dose of pure happiness. I don't know much about the group but I plan to fix that. Make sure you check out the cute video (below).

6. Your Love Found Me - Heidi Montag

Don't judge me! I don't care what anyone says, Heidi Montag is an AMAZING pop star. I've loved everything she has released and her recent EP "Wherever I Am" is no exception. I'll write more about that pop masterpiece another time but the highlight for me is the trashtastic "Your Love Found Me". This is pure cheese - think Ashlee Simpson produced by Stock Aitken Waterman - but still incredibly fabulous. I love the tragic chorus and Heidi's stunning vocals are just as... breathtaking as ever!


7. When Love Takes Over - David Guetta Ft. Kelly Rowland

Poor Kelly Rowland. She's had more flops than Beyoncé's had hits. On the bright side, Kelly can take heart in the fact that she's not Michelle Williams. But I digress. Miss Kelly's latest endeavour is seriously fabulous. French DJ David Guetta knows his way around a killer dance track and roping in a has-been from Destiny's Child turns out to be a masterstroke. "When Love Takes Over" is a hands in the air gay anthem of the highest order. Hopefully, Kelly will take note and focus on the dancefloor for her next flop album.

8. Boom Boom Pow - Black Eyed Peas

And the award for the song that I initially hated, then found annoying but catchy and ultimately fell in love with goes to "Boom Boom Pow". The Black Eyed Peas took a risk by going with this for their big comeback but it really paid off. The production is so unusual but the minimal beats and multitude of quirky hooks get stuck in your head and refuse to leave. It's also a treat to see Fergie's stunning meth face back in the media spotlight. Long live the Queen of urban pop!

9. LoveGame - Lady GaGa

I don't care if she is the biggest publicity whore in modern history, Lady GaGa is still ok by me as long as she keeps on churning out tunes as catchy and fierce as "LoveGame". Strangely, I didn't really get the track until it was released as a single. I still think there are far better tracks on the album but all that talk about disco sticks finally won me over.

10. Through With Love - Zuleyka

"Through With Love" is the best Cher track that Cher never recorded. Zuleyka is a fabulous tranny who first appeared on UK's Big Brother before deciding to launch a music career. I can't believe the hateful comments on youtube. Zuleyka has a better voice that Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke put together, not to mention better looks and more personality. "Through With Love" is simply amazing and I can't wait to hear what s/he comes up with next!