D'Luv (US) writer of Chart Rigger and Idolator
Mike (Aus) author of this classy blog
Paul (UK) writer of Fizzy Pop
The Prophet (Aus) writer of The Prophet
We are also joined by the following guest judge:
John (US) writer of the amazing Pop Music Notes. If you haven't had the pleasure of reading his blog, check it out. I love it when he goes a little bit country and digs out some old favourites from the 80s and 90s.
But now for our celebrity guest! Sam Taylor caused quite a stir across the internet in 2008. Not only was he managed by Kylie's stylist/gay husband but had the nerve to cover "I Don't Know How To Love Him" as his debut single. It was refreshing to have a pop star who didn't beat around the proverbial bush about being a poof and - better yet - could actually hold a note. He then had two amazing songs on the "Beautiful People" soundtrack before briefly falling off the radar. Happpily, he's back with a brilliant new ballad called "It's A Mistake". Before getting stuck into the reviews, I took the opportunity to ask Sam some questions.
Sam, you have a new single on the way. Tell us more about "It's A Mistake". It's so pretty!
Well I was contacted on Myspace by the writer, Charlie Mason (Ashley Tisdale, Cinema Bizarre), back at Christmas and we started to work with each other. He sent me over this song and I knew I had to record it straight away. I fell in love with it the first time I heard it. It took a while to get into the studio and get the song back but I'm really happy with the outcome.
I love your songs on the "Beautiful People" soundtrack. They're almost old fashioned. Have you purposely avoided trends with your music? I'm guessing there's no RedOne on your album!
Thank you! I love them too, written by Terry Ronald and Ian Masterson. I dont think I have gone with the trends of things although I would like to do a huge dance song. No, no RedOne but of course I wouldn't say no to working with him, I would probably jump up and down a bit! They make some amazing music.
Do you fear becoming typecast as a balladeer?
Erm no, not really cause that's what I enjoy singing and I think people connect with me doing that better than anything I guess, although I haven't got an uptempo pop one out there really.
You first came to our attention as William Baker's new charge. Are you still managed by him?
No not any more. I was for about a year and a half, was a good time, he's a very creative man and amazing at what he can do. I learnt a lot from the experience.
Did he at least introduce you to Kylie?
Yeah I met kylie a few times, one of the first dinners I had was with her.. I was a bit in shock and awe, but such a loverly person, and an idol for so many, it was a honour to meet her so close and personal.
When is your album being released? We're getting impatient.
I'm not sure, I'm getting impatient too! Need to get a few more songs. It's hard by yourself LOL.
I read that you were a big Spice Girls fan. Who was your favourite?
Really? Where did you read that? LOL! (I read it here!) I did like them, not a huge crazy fan but yeah I would say VB or sporty LOL but they are all amazing.
Which pop stars do you find inspiring at the moment?
Pop stars... I love Pixie Lott. So fresh and fun and beautiful. Of course, Beyonce (right answer). She is just ridiculous beyond belief. At the moment I just have my iTunes on constant shuffle so I'm listening to everyone and anyone at the moment. I have Rox's album "Memoirs" on at the moment. I love it!
Um, I have to ask... are you single? I'll be in London soon! LOL
Hahaha... Yes I am! :P
Listen to Sam's amazing new single "It's A Mistake" (below).
As usual the songs are ranked from lowest to highest.
JLS – The Club Is Alive (Video)
UK boyband get RedOne'd.
D'Luv: This is kind of an across-the-board fail on every level, no? I recall the Pop Panel being the first time I heard "Beat Again" last summer. Sadly, Kardinal Offishall only had one hit to rip off. 0/5
John: I didn't like the track when I first heard it, and I haven't listened to the track in about a month. I like it even less now. Huge misstep by these guys when they should have been trying to keep the momentum going. 0/5
Mike: Aren't boybands supposed to be attractive? 0/5
Paul: Oh someone has stripped the boys naked and doused them in vocoder hell. I can imagine them there now, all tied up in microphone wires, balls in mouths while someone feeds their voices through computer technology to give us... this. It's like an X-factor horror movie/porno waiting to happen. Strangely, though I like it (the song, maybe also the thought of them tied up!) - it's awfulness grows on you ever so slowly. 3.5/5
Sam Taylor: I don't know why but I don't like this song, seems to be doing really well, but I can only hear one voice and not sure on it. I like The Wanted better. 1/5
The Prophet: The boys in JLS are bigger faggots than every single member of the pop panel, past and present, combined! Oh and their music sucks too. 0/5
Andy Bell – Call On Me (Video)
That old gay from Erasure strikes out on his own with this club anthem.
D'Luv: Andy should have just kept the six bucks he spent on making the video and bought himself two tacos. Or at least hired Lori Watt to direct. The song itself is better than I expected, though. He should just do like the Pet Shop Boys and either opt for animated videos, fill them with stock footage of old Russian movies or hire noted personalities to star in them (again: Lori Watt). 2.5/5
John: I don't hate it, but something is missing. Maybe it's the video budget, because this looks like it was shot in the reception area of a doctor's office. Or a bathhouse, with those flashing skimpy towels covering his nether regions to light the way. Seriously, I miss Andy's upper range being the strongest part of any song he's on. 3/5
Mike: When did Aussie Joe Bugner launch a music career? The video is disturbing on so many levels (although mostly because I suspect it's a terrifying glance into my own future) but I like the song. And want to hear his album. 3/5
Paul: Love that he's still going. Love this tune too - clubby with elements of pop so the Erasure fans don't get too scared. The album is proper decent too with an anthem to both Debbie Harry and drag queens all in one song. Which would have made a slightly better single than this one. 4/5
Sam Taylor: Not a fan. 1/5
The Prophet: AHHHHH! KILL IT! 0/5
Dulce Maria – Inevitable (Video)
Former RBD member goes solo in a shameless bid to steal Lorena Herrera's Queen of Mexican pop crown!
D'Luv: Cute. I'd snack on the guy in the video's churro. 3.5/5
John: Meh. 2.5/5
Mike: The video totally rips off "Colgando En Tus Manos" but the song is pure Mexi-pop magic. Anahi has been put on notice. 4/5
Paul: Oh another pop-bondage video, and the dude once again is quite cute. I really liked RBD as it goes, and this is a rather enjoyable little pop ditty. In fact, I listened twice in a row and it was much better the second time, so I'm elevating my score to a rather generous 4/5. It's just so damn catchy!!
Sam Taylor: No comment. 0/5
The Prophet: No comprende. 0/5
Heidi Montag – Superficial (Video)
The true queen of pop unleashes her latest masterpiece. And yes, this is the official video!
D'Luv: I'm giving Heidi four points for the trashy song. But I'm subtracting four for being married to Spencer. Then I'm giving her five points for splitting with him. And then subtracting two for the tacky video. 3/5
John: Despise pretty much everything that is associated with Speidi, but if I'm being honest, the track itself isn't bad. The lyrics, on the other hand, made me want to find a crowd of pageant girls and go postal. 2/5
Mike: I'm so disappointed in Sam. Everyone knows that Heidi > LC! Rude. Anyway, like everything Heidi has ever recorded, this is fucking BLISS. 5/5
Paul: Spencer needs to disappear, but I'll give Heidi a brief reprieve because this song caught my attention. The vocals are thin enough to slide under a fire door but the song has a certain charm and I can't help think how it might sound if given to someone with a bit more vocal "welly"... it's a proper poptastic tune though so i'll go 3.5/5.
Sam Taylor: A 99 p store Britney. I didn't listen the whole way through, not a fan of this song. Plus I'm a fan of The Hills and team LC. LOL! 0/5
The Prophet: The plastic princess of pop is snatching wigs left, right, up, down and all around. 5/5
Nikki – Can’t Stop Thinking About You (Video)
The Dutch diva's latest single was penned by Guy Chambers.
D'Luv: The music's okay, but the chorus is weak and the lyrics are atrocious. Oh, and Pink wants her nose ring back, baby. 2/5
John: There isn't anything BAD about the track, but there isn't anything that stands out about it, either. The track sounds like something that was written specifically for Kelly Clarkson, but she was too busy ranting about Ryan Tedder to give it the time of day. 3/5
Mike: This wouldn't sound out of place on Kelly Clarkson's "All I Ever Wanted", which is a big compliment. I love this hot bitch and can't wait to track down her album. 4.5/5
Paul: The beginning of this sounds like Leona Lewis' seminal disco epic "Outta My Head" but with a few more guitars, ergo it's quite nice but I feel like I've heard it all before. 3/5
Sam Taylor: I kinda like this, not the video though but the song is good and she's good. 4/5
The Prophet: Who the fuck is Nikki? Never heard of her, but this is catchy. Ashley Tisdale could do it justice! 3/5
Wonder Girls – 2 Different Tears (Video)
Korea's most successful girlband attempt to crack the English speaking market. Again.
D'Luv: YES. 4/5
John: What do you mean "again"? They got to #76 in their one week on the Hot 100 with "Nobody"! Anyway, I have been jamming to this track for a couple of weeks now, and I'm a big fan. This summer has a disco feel now thanks to Wonder Girls. 4.5/5
Mike: This makes me want to hook up with a gaysian and move to Korea. Has-Beens Aloud could never! 5/5
Paul: Lovely Nikki (not the singer, from Pop Reviews Now blog) keeps trying to get me into K-pop and has thus far failed. This isn't really changing my mind either - it sounds like a sub-par PussyFlapTrolls and I wasn't even aware that there could be a sup-par version of them until I heard this. Not good. Not good at all... 2/5
Sam Taylor: This made me laugh at first ha! But it's a cute, catchy, cheesy pop song and the video put a smile on my face. 4/5
The Prophet: Why can't American pop be this fun and interesting? 4.5/5
Washington – Rich Kids (Video)
Australia's latest indie pop sensation re-visits the 70s.
D'Luv: Lesb-indie rock you don't have to wear thick black-framed glasses and skinny jeans to enjoy! The lead singer chick does an amazing job of
tucking her cock up herself in the video, too! For that alone: 4.5/5
John: This is one of those tracks that I like at first listen, but I'm not compelled to listen to again. And what's with everyone doing this "Fireflies"-type banging on the keyboard in a small room motif? 3.5/5
Mike: Megan's been on my radar for a while now but she takes things to the next level with "Rich Kids". Smart, catchy and effortlessly fun - Australia could finally have an indie pop princess who lives up to the hype. 4.5/5
Paul: It's quirky, it's screaming 'look at me, i'm different dammit' and it works too. It's a little stop-start at times and I just wish they'd get on with it, but overall it's quite charming and lovely. 3.5/5
Sam Taylor: I like this one, it's cool. I wanna dance with you singing along in my head. 4/5
The Prophet: Pretentious hipster brats, oh yay. I actually like this though. I wish I was as cool as them. 4/5
SINGLE OF THE WEEK
Kelly Rowland – Commander (Video)
The backing singer from Destiny's Child ropes in David Guetta for her latest attempt at solo relevance.
D'Luv: Kelendria is the true Destiny's Chylde, and is here to mop up the floor with that amateur Beyonce's wig. Love the song. Love the video. I hope this at least goes to #96 on the U.S. chart! 5/5
John: Love it, love it, love it. Guetta and Kelly should just do a whole album together. Too bad this will follow "When Love Takes Over" to the bottom of the Hot 100. 5/5
Mike: Poor D'Luv clearly bought the extra strong poppers by mistake last night because bitch is tripping if he thinks Kelly is fit to breath the same air as Queen B! Despite her many shortcomings and complete absence of anything resembling star quality or charisma, this is a fucking hot tune and deserves to be massive. 5/5
Paul: Loving the K-star. I call this bossy pop and it totally works for me. Brilliant chorus, brilliant lyrics and totally whip off your top and get your nipples out dancetastic. 4.5/5
Sam Taylor: I like this, not as good as her last one but it's cool. 3/5
The Prophet: I used to be a major fan of hers until she started getting popular and having hits. I liked Kelly better when she was a flop. Whatever. 5/5