Sunday, May 02, 2010

Pop Panel 2010 - Week 1

Due to overwhelming popular demand (well, three strongly worded emails from Tommie), Pop Panel is back for another year! I didn't realise how much I missed it until I started putting together this post, so I hope it's as much fun to read as it is to write. The concept remains the same. Basically, a group of bloggers rate a bunch of songs out of five to determine a "Single Of The Week". This week's selection gives you a pretty good idea of what to expect. There are a couple of hits, some less commercial tunes and a smattering of low brow pop trash. As usual, my favourite didn't win - LuAnn was robbed! - but I'm still very happy with the outcome. Many thanks to the following bloggers for helping me determine the first Pop Panel champion of 2010:

D'Luv (US) writer of Chart Rigger and Idolator
EQ (UK) writer of Electroqueer
Mike (Aus) author of this classy blog
MuuMuse (US) writer of MuuMuse
Paul (UK) writer of Fizzy Pop
The Prophet (Aus) writer of The Prophet

As usual, the results are ranked from lowest to highest. Here goes!

Sergio Cuho – Cara A Cara (Video)

This is what happens when you give a Spaniard $10 to make a video clip.

D'Luv: Hey, Sergio — I've got ten bucks and three free hours. Bring the knee pads but leave the microphone. Negative four points for the singing, but one point for his mouth. 1/5
EQ: I know a lot of Spanish and Italian teenagers who would listen to this track on a Saturday night bender, but for me it just sounds like a bunch of racket. You want a REAL Spanish pop star - check out Monti Montanez. 1.5/5
Mike: Is this Malena Gracia before the operation? Like that stunning Spanish icon, Sergio has the voice of an angel and the fashion sense of a blind prostitute. I think I'm in love. 4/5
MuuMuse: What the - wait, isn't this a Cascada song? "Everytime We Touch"? "Miracle"? All of them? I'm confused here. And what exactly am I watching? This is like Fast and the Furious meets Jersey Shore with a few more graphic tees added for good measure. 2/5
Paul: Blimey, how many t-shirts does he need to wear in the video? I bet they reeked of sweat and poppers afterwards. It's typical eurotrash pop, quite endearing really in a trying-quite-hard sort of way. I do appreciate a kicking trancey chorus. By god though, Sergio looks riddled. When he goes back to his day job of a waiter, you wouldn't want him gobbing on your meat... 3/5
Prophet: I love tragic trash pop... unless it's Euro Hi NRG which is my most hated genre of music. I hate it more than that Ace of Base song though, which at least makes it somewhat interesting. 2/5
Total: 13.5/30

Stan Walker – Unbroken (Video)

Australia’s latest "Idol" gets a little help from Ryan Tedder on his 2nd single.

D'Luv: So, Stan Walker - basically it's Adam Lambert with an overbite and a tan. He's an OK singer, but the song's pretty hollow and forgettable, no? 2/5
EQ: I enjoyed this one. Is that his real name though? I immediately thought of Karen Walker from Will & Grace?! The "yeaahhhhh" at 2:22 kinda annoyed me but pats on the back for making a statement about peace in a troubled world. I would have to hear more, but that one wasn't half bad... neck tattoos kinda annoy me though. 3/5
Mike: I thought "Black Box" was the best winner's song in the history of Australian Idol but this is utter shit. Made worse by the year's tackiest video. And someone please explain why they replaced Stan's hair with a piece of Lego. 1/5
MuuMuse: Fucking Ryan Tedder. Are you serious? Are you actually still peddling the same song to EVERYONE? I just want to be happy and you're already gone. I can see your halo, but it's too late to apologize. (Then again, at least you're peddling a semi-decent melody every time.) 2.5/5
Paul: His "Black Box" or whatever it was called song was a pop triumph. This is just the latest Ryan Tedder/One Republic B-side. I'm quite disappointed really. Stan's neck tattoo terrifies me by the way. 2/5
Prophet: I thought I'd hate this since it's a Ryan Tedder produced urban ballad that was rejected by Leona Lewis for her tragic sophomore album, but ever since it leaked I've had it on high rotation. It's not as good as Kelly Clarkson's stunning "Already Gone", but I like it as much as Tedder's other stuff like "Halo" and "Battlefield". 4.5/5
Total: 15/30

Jenny Berggren – Here I Am (Video)

Ex-Ace Of Base frontwoman releases debut single.

D'Luv: Thank Christ this broad ditched her album of Jesus jams for straightforward pop. Because "Here I Am" deserves at least three plays in my car (I'll be totally sick of it after that, no doubt.) Brava! 4/5
EQ: Hmmmmm - dunno. There is so much noddage to the classic sound of Ace Of Base lately that I think Jenny might be missing something here. It doesn't quite feel right for her to be doing electro-pop right now in this moment. This track isn't bad though, it's kinda middle of the road I guess, but for me, just not inventive enough. 2.5/5
Mike: Oh joy - more cookie cutter Swedish pop with no punch or personality. 1.5/5
MuuMuse: It's no "Don't Turn Around," is it? I get that she's "here" now on her own and all, but would she consider going back? That would be nice. 3/5
She saw the sign. The dollar sign and she figured it was worth more as a solo artist rather splitting it multiple ways. She's back with a bit of an empowerment anthem. It's not brilliant but it's not dire either so perhaps it will grow on me. I do adore Ace of Base so I'll take a spin off series of them anyday. 3/5
Prophet: When I saw that Jenny was from Ace of Base I immediately got really excited, only to be let down when I actually bothered to listen to the song. It isn't interesting enough to love or hate, it's just a big nothing. 1.5/5
Total: 15.5/30

Ciara ft. Ludacris – Ride (Below)

Ciara gets her slut on.

D'Luv: Ciara needs to take a ride straight off a cliff. I'm giving this a half point only because she bounces up and down in the video like a sex-deprived Mexican jumping bean. 0.5/5
EQ: SNOOOOZE - I had to turn this off after one minute. 1/5
Mike: I'm glad Ciara has stopped jackin' Beyoncé's swagger and returned to her slutastic urban roots. "Ride" is five minutes of pure filth that will inspire prostitutes and pole dancers for generations to come. 4/5
MuuMuse: Even if she's been recycling the same sound for three albums now, it still (mostly) works. As far as songs explicitly about "riding it" though, Geri Halliwell still sits firmly on top. 3.5/5
Can't people just record songs on their own anymore? What is the need to have a featuring in every bloody tune? Alexandra Burke is second only to Ciara in these stakes and it's getting right on my wick. If it made the song any better, it would be right worth while, but honestly it doesn't. It's still a bit cack. 2/5
Prophet: One of my favorite songs right now! Super Ci brought back 90's R&B but gave it a fierce modern makeover. Ciara is doing real urban music again instead of the watered down trash that Rih-cycle and BeYawnce release. It's like Ginuwines "Pony" for 2010. I love this song so much! 5/5
Total: 15.5/30

Countess LuAnn – Money Can’t Buy You Class (Video)

Move over, Kim Zolciak. LuAnn is the new "Real Housewives" singing superstar!

D'Luv: I'm glad this old cougar decided to shell out $23 to pay for a high-quality dance jam that sounds straight out of 1990. Paris is burning, bitchface! I'm subtracting two points for Auto Tune, because any thin-voiced diva worth her salt would have just braved it without the studio trickery back in the happy house days. But then I'm adding two points back because LuAnne de Lesseps is a complete gold-plated whore. Money really can't buy you class. Case in point: The Countess. 5/5
EQ: I dunno, this sounds just a little too dated for my tastes. If it had been a straight up disco stomper with violins and a real sorrow about it - it might just grab me. RuPaul has already been there and done this - snap! 2/5
Mike: This is more than a high camp pop trash explosion, it's a mantra to live by! I'm completely captivated by Countess LuAnn's pearls of wisdom. "Your company should feel when a conversation's real even when the topic feels like science class". Amen. 5/5
MuuMuse: I've been playing this one for weeks, first ironically - and then entirely apologetically. Money can't buy you class, but I'll be damned if it can't buy you two hours of studio time with Autotune and a half-decent songwriter. A drag queen's goldmine! 4/5
Paul: Sweet jesus christ. What is with the craze for divorced women to release singles these days? There's that bird from Pineapple Dance Studios, Madonna and now this cacophonous racket. No wonder her husband turned out to be such a philandering count. 1/5
Prophet: The lyrics... The 'vocals'... The 90's production... Kim Zolciak who? 3.5/5
Total: 20.5/30

Elouise – Pretender (Audio)

A recent Pop Justice song of the day for the English songbird.

D'Luv: This could grow on me, if I'm ever in the mood to have a bit of a drama. 3/5
EQ: I think I'm the only gay blogger who doesn't get Elouise. I've seen her perform twice and although the songwriting and production are strong, she misses out on capturing the interest of a lot of younger gay men who don't quite understand or appreciate the "Dreamgirls" aspect to her. As Simon Cowell would say, "it's a little too cabaret for me". I know I'm SUPPOSED to love her because she works with Kylie and Dannii's peeps and all, but I just don't see the appeal here and "Pretender" isn't a song I would ever want to listen to on my own accord. I will say this though - bitch has some fierce gowns and knows how to rock them. I can see why people like Elouise - she's really good at what she does... 2/5
Mike: How do you solve a problem like Elouise? She has class, taste and real vocal talent. Three characteristics that seem mutually exclusive with chart success in 2010. I hope she carves out her own niche because this is completely fucking gorgeous. 4.5/5
MuuMuse: She has a nice voice, but this song is all a bit 'much' for me (read: soggy and over-dramatic). It sort of sounds like a 1995 Dannii Minogue ballad. Actually, it sounds exactly like that. 2/5
There is something about Elouise and this song that is so classic and timeless; she really transcends genres and trends to deliver a corking vocal performance filled with passion, emotion and power. It's a glorious tune, brilliantly produced and has got to be the start of something massive and magnificent in terms of Elouise's ongoing career. 5/5
Prophet: She has a great voice! The song sounds a little cheap and melodramatic, but it's good. 4/5
Total: 20.5/5

Music Go Music – Light Of Love (Video)

These Canadians are the closest you’ll get to ABBA without a time machine.

D'Luv: So glad the A*Teens are back! 3/5
EQ: Awww, who doesn't love a cute kitty calendar?! But alas, even the blatant attempt to be ABBA still doesn't get me excited at all. That ship has sailed for me I'm afraid, but the video was somewhat entertaining, wouldn't watch it again though. 2/5
Mike: "There was a time my love, my heart had grown cold, my arms were reaching out for someone to hold" - sigh. 5/5
MuuMuse: Yes, yes...very trendy, the retro sounds. Very nice. It's all about the circus-gone-freakshow-inspired video, though. 3.5/5
Paul: Absolutely adore this. It's about as close to a new Abba record as you are probably going to get. It's so bloody uplifting and the chorus is just pure musical popcorn. Play it again and again and again for you will never tire of this delightful ditty. 5/5
Prophet: I don't know who Music Go Music are but I love both the song and music video for "Light of Love". It actually reminds me of ABBA, who I hate, but for some reason I love this. I think it's the part where she threw the drink in the Asian girls face that had me sold. 4/5
Total: 22.5/30


Sia – Clap Your Hands (Below)

Australia’s second most famous sometime lesbian (after Portia Di Rossi) releases the 2nd single from “We Are Born”.

D'Luv: I like this. Not bowled over by it, but "Clap Your Hands" is fun pop. Anyone else think those guitar riffs in the second verse sound like Sheryl Crow's "My Favorite Mistake"? 3/5
EQ: Sia can do no wrong in my book - seriously if she sang the phonebook I'd probably still buy her albums. I'm SO looking forward to seeing her live at the Roundhouse in London in May - a big event in my little world and the new album is totally out of this world. "Clap Your Hands" is probably her best single for me after "Breathe Me" and kudos to her that she managed to get out of the Zero 7 rut cuz this is the type of music she really wanted to make - it fits her HUGE personality better. 5/5
Mike: I worship the ground Sia walks on but "Clap Your Hands" strikes me as a slightly inferior sequel to "You've Changed". Not that it matters when the end product is this much fun. 4/5
MuuMuse: Loving Sia right now. Honestly, I have to throw my support behind any song that encourages any sort of dance or hand gesture. Also, that disco bass line? Oh my God. 4.5/5
Paul: It's quite nice isn't it? I have to remind myself that I am not judging the video and merely the song. The video is excellent - the song is not quite as good, but a rather joyous romp anyway and certainly a nice way to brighten up a dull afternoon at work. 3.5/5
Prophet: Amazing. Even if the song was garbage (which it most definitely isn't) I'd rate this highly just for the dancing tinsel woman in the video. 4/5
Total: 24/30


Justin said...

Yay for Sia!

John said...

Sergio looks like the Spanish Shayne Ward (which is a good thing), but sounds like a Spanish version of Cascada (which isn't a good thing). I couldn't make it all the way through "Unbroken" and Stan's hair, and Jenny's single is just boring. I normally like Ciara, but something's missing this time around, and the sexy dancing is getting old for me. I would say that Countess should leave a track like that to Club 69, but even they don't mess with that kinda crap anymore. The panel definitely got it right this week, though.

Mr. Will-W. said...

OMG CLAP YOUR HANDS (FRED FALKE REMIX) TRUMPS ALL! Love the panels! More, please!!

And how did I know Paul would give Elouise a 5/5? Hmm?? :p

Seth said...

Bullshit! where is Christina Aguilera's Not Myself Tonight, Mike!?

Matt said...

So glad this is back!

Love Ciara & Sia!!

Ken said...

Not surprised to see Paul giving Elouise a 5/5. I still don't get her though.

Hoorraay for Sia! I totally dig this track a lot and I have to agree with Will, the Fred Falke remix is the bomb. Can't wait for the LP much.

Love that Pop Panel is back!! Greeeaat.

Mike said...

Seth - Christina will definitely be on next week! I was just waiting for the video to premiere.

I thought Sia would win. Bitch is definitely the flavour of the month on the internet. However, Countess LuAnn's masterpiece will also stand the test of time as a pop triumph.

I'm upset that Sergio and Ciara got no love....

D'luv said...

The Countess has been disrespected! You'll all be sorry when she's inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame next year while holding all 14 of her Grammys!

Brad said...

I just don't get the Elouise love.

Can't wait for next week!

Seth said...

Oh! fabulous :D thanks Mike <3 on the other hand i agree with the D'luv, the countess deserved better and you will be sorry when her masive hit sets the charts on fire.

tommie said...

"Ride" is fucking horrible.

The Countess should've been single of the week. An inspiration to us all etc.

Mike said...

Just because you can't ride the beat like a motherfuckin' freak is no reason to hate on CiCi!

The Prophet said...


"Ride" is amazing just coz somebody is doing urban music doesn't mean everyone has to start hating.

Ciara doesn't recycle the same sound if anybody even listened to her albums you'd know. Ride is nothing like her last collabo with Ludacris "High Price".

And mike how the fuck did Ciara copy Beyonce you don't even listen to CiCi's albums you just judge them straight away.

You keep saying she copies Bey even though Ciara announced she was doing a multi-disc album with different themes, then she had to push it back after the first single leaked online early, then fucking Beyonce announced she was doing the same thing and rushed her album out first.

If anyone is the copycat it's Beyonce copying Ciara.

Beyonce wishes she could dance and write songs like CiCi, but all she can do is OVERsing like a banshee and pop her pussy. At least when Ciara dances sexually she's actually doing really moves because she's a trained street dancer, whereas Bey just shakes her fat rump and grinds her cunt like some amateur ghetto hoodrat stripper.

And who the hell is comparing Ciara to Alexandra Burke? Ciara has been in the game for years with smash hits and millions sold. Alexandra Burke had one hit in the UK followed by one of the worst albums of the year. She's talented and a nice girl but she will never be Ciara.

Ciara is 10x better than Beyonce and Rihanna and she deserves to be as big as them.

Mike really needs to stop hating on Ciara without getting the facts straight. You pre-judged Ride and now you're saying you love it. Maybe you should give more of her songs a chance and you might be pleasantly surprised.

The Prophet said...

Maybe u didn't get the memo but CiCi already addressed haters like all of u on her new buzz track "U Got Me".

She also dragged that bitch Keri Hilson.

Mike said...

Fuck off! I've been a fan of Ciara's from the moment she first unleashed her goodies. It's not my fault that "Fantasy Flop" was 2009's worst album - not to mention a pathetic Sasha Fierce rip off. All ten people who bought it demanded a full refund.

As for Super CiCi, it was a bad idea from the beginning and got scrapped because it was so unbearably shit and made her look like a complete idiot. Build a bridge and get over the fact that Bey did it first. Coulda, shoulda, woulda - WHATEVER!

Don't get me wrong, I don't care that CiCi can't sing to save her life and isn't fit to clean the toilets at the House of Dereon as long as she gets it right. Like she does on "Ride". The end.

tommie said...

Ciara is 2010s worst flop. Ride is tanking on radio and I hear anytime anyone plays it they got hundreds of calls begging them to stop because it hurts people's ears. Horrid song by a horrid "artist".

The Prophet said...

What part of Bey's sound did Ciara copy?

Could you please tell me?

And if that's your reasoning of the alter ego thing then that's fine, but that literally means that you can never ever ever ever say that anybody ripped anybody off ever as long as you live because with your reasoning thats just how it goes and its not a rip off, its just getting their first, even if you blatantly copy an idea but thats fine.

I should've copied the pop panel before u did it. It's not copying tho, it's just me doing it first, even if you told me its your idea and you were gonna do it, but I'm sure if I had copied it you wouldn't mind coz that's just how it goes.

Anonymous said...

lol i've missed the pop panel so much!

Nasty G said...

Wow, I am SO happy this is back, and love that the drama in the comments has already ensued! And Prophet, I love your blog, but it's crazy how much sassier you are on here than on your own blog! Love it, though.

Anyway, the Countess' crown was indeed stolen (again), though Clap Your Hands is one of my fave songs of the year so far. And I think Jenny deserved more props! The rest of the choices were shite, though. Well, all except Music Go Music, who are brilliant. Their whole album is a sensation, and not every song is an ABBA clone, but definitely retro. Though, Mike, I must inform you that they are not Canadian, as much as I'd love to claim them as one of my own. They are from Los Angeles, and were born from the remnants of the quasi-Christian group Bodies Of Water. They are on the LABEL Secretly Canadian, but they, alas, are not. ;)

Me said...

The songs are all in the wrong order - the sexy Spaniard got the least votes when it should have got the most, and The Tranny Ciara got 15 points too many for her latest aural turd. And why the fuck is the Profshit on the panel? He has no taste and rants in essay format when people rightly call him on it...

Kyus93 said...

Keep Alexandra's name out of your mouth

ms Kayjelly said...

this blog seems to me its very bias ciara's music ride is one the best r&b song out there hate or love it but thats what alot of people are bumping to now the video craved alot of attention let it be the most viewed on youtube last week no wonder this blog is pure trash just as some of the commenters yall are nothing but sheep yall prob be the same one bumping 2 her music in the dark so stop acting brand new ciara is back hate or love it

Anonymous said...

@Me you sound like an idiot tranny ciara? but u r the same one that set your father uo to fuck her? lmao sit down you mad her single gain alot of attention yes her song is getting alot of request to be played so stay mad with your cranky old self the radios are loving it i wonder y shes charting just on airplay alone... hmmm oops!! the people love ride so sit down

derrick said...

Hahaha!!!! Ya bitches are so fuckn delusional for tinkn beyonce is originial, she has swagger-jacked from so many artist we can make a fuckn novel from the rap-sheet she got. And Ciara Ride is a Great record that u can groove to and the beat is sick, and any person who doesn't like this song ova some rihana bu
llshit, or whoever is cluey hating. So if u wanna hate atleast keep it 100 and give Ciara her props but wait Ciara don't give a Damn bout u lol

Paul said...

Ha! I think Elouise has developed a sound that won't appeal to everyone but certainly is something special; her EP is heavenly... so of course she got 5. Ditto the amazing Music Go Music :) Nice to see pop panel season 2 creating more controversy :P

The Prophet said...

I had to bring a Ciara STANpede over here to teach the haters a lesson!

tommie said...

LMAO @ the Ciara stans.

She sucks, deal with it.

Anonymous said...

I see some hoes tryna get READ! DO NOT come for THEE QUEEN! All of you redneck fags can eat a stiff dick. I hate to get ignorant, but ya tried it. Keep all the late, corney, stale jokes and hyporboles to yourself. Tranney? Really? In 2010 we're still using this?? Fuck outta here! Find some new material or a new gig because this shit right here ain't working. "Ciara can't sing to save her life?" Overexaggeration much?? Ciara CAN sing. She ain't no got damn Patti Labelle...or even Beyonce, but MY GIRL CAN carry notes, has a beautiful tone, and is VERY melodic. Her voice suites her lane, and it apparently sells. No contracts are given to non-singing hoes w/ NO capabilities. and if so, they DON'T get far. Sorry @Prophet for saying this, but see Cassie lol. Ciara is THREE albums deep...which have ALL made it into the top three first week, and is NOW working on a FOURTH. Not to mention her first single effort "Ride" kicking Gaga and "QUEEN BEY" out the top spot for iTunes #1 video! Coming in at #4 for R&B/Soul, reaching #41 on main, and STILL SLAYIN. STAY THE FUCK MAD! While ya'll makin' up LIES, did ya'll not check her radio spins out?? NO! Come w/ FACTS before throwing SHADE! Hoe ain't goin' NOWHERE. So all this wishing she would "fall off a cliff" can CEASE!

How DARE ya'll clown her "same sound" when she tried to go Pop or different and it wasn't recepted well. OBVIOUSLY ppl are ONLY here for hood/urban Ci. Can't be mad at that. Be mad w/ the QUEENS complaining and now getting what they want! Ciara can thrust her good pussy all the fuck she wants. NOBODY complains when BEYONCE and RIHANNA does it.

You know what? I don't even know why I'm wasting my breath! This is APPARENTLY NOT her crowd and not at all fanbase.

Mike said...

Can the CiCi stans please come back every week? I'm in love.

Me said...

Ciaras CUNTS are even more deranged, deluded and in denial than the Janziz - and even more unintentionally hilarious!

The Prophet said...

Leave the Janatics and Ciara stans alone!

I won't have you disrespecting my people!

Ciara stans are open minded and receptive to all genres of music, not urban haters like this HATER blog!

tommie said...

I heard Ciara's a prostitute who records Beyoncé's left-overs - is this true?