D'Luv (US) writer of Chart Rigger and Idolator
Mike (Aus) author of this classy blog
Robpop (UK) writer of Don't Stop The Pop
The Prophet (Aus) writer of The Prophet
We are also joined by the following guest judges:
J-Step (Aus) has been on the Panel before. He's a big wig in the local music industry and a true connoisseur of fine pop music. It's always great to have him on board.
Tony Tornado (Spain) is most famous for his live renditions of "Los Amores" on the streets of Chueca but he also writes a blog and is a scene DJ. Most importantly, he puts a roof over my head when I visit Madrid. I miss you!
And now for our celebrity guest! I don't think Luciana needs an introduction. She is my favourite dance diva and one of the most underrated talents in pop music. Happily that's starting to change thanks to her mega hit "I Like That" - currently #12 on the US Club chart - and growing list of songwriting credits. She's also experiencing a huge amount of success with her alter ego Isha Coco, who recently topped the club chart with "Figure It Out". In between all of that she somehow found the time to rate some songs for Pop Panel. I'm so excited and honoured! I've been a fan of this woman since the mid-90s. When I was still... in my mother's uterus. *cough*. Now I just need to rope in the services of Kaci and Soraya and I can retire a happy man! Before we get on with it, I took the opportunity to ask Luci a couple of quick questions. Here's what she had to say:
Are the rumours about Isha Coco being a high class Russian hooker true?
Yes, all true. She's a pro darlink!!!
How's the EP coming along? Do you have a second single sorted?
Yes. The fairy dust is just being sprinkled on the track and ve vait for dat and den explosion into charts (said in Russian accent).
How is Sarah Harding's opus coming along?
It's hard because Sarah Harding is in London and we are in LA. We'll write with her again soon. She's fabulous. We love Sarah.
You had to cancel recent gigs in QLD and Newcastle at the last minute. What happened?
I was totally gutted about this. I felt I let everyone down but it was really out of my hands as it was a visa situation. Next time I come I'll make it up to you! Promise!
Am I your favourite Australian?
By far... don't tell anyone!
As usual the results are ranked from lowest to highest:
Lola Dutronic – Whisper (Video)
The Canadian duo's latest video was banned from YouTube for depicting some harmless outdoor masturbation.
D'Luv: No. 0/5
J-Step: Who knew elevator music could get so hot? Rufus Wainwright should so abandon the eye as his gig backdrop next tour (yes, Mike, so you can stop whinging about it) and use this! Maybe then it will have some use! 0.5/5
Luciana: Kinda liked this vibe. As a pop song not great but as music to chill out to... nice. 2/5
Mike: I would definitely masturbate to this in a back alley. 3/5
Robpop: Sounds like that french song. I like it. Needs more lube. 3/5
Tony: The all Gainsbourg/Birkin stuff is so passé... I think it could be a great song to have straight sex. Not for me though. 1/5
The Prophet: That whispering is very offputting and not very becoming at all. 1/5
Jessica Sutta – I Wanna Be Bad (Video)
Not a Willa Ford cover. Unfortunately.
D'Luv: There's already a Ke$ha, baby. She shoulda just covered Willa Ford. 0/5
J-Step: The song's shit, but any ol' flap walker who makes Nicole Scherzinger look like a redundant piece of rotting offal is a winner in my eyes! Ahh, bless! 2/5
Luciana: Not really feeling this track as much. It's a bit try hard... sorry! Outfits were great though and she's very pretty. 2/5
Mike: Congrats, Jessica. You achieved your goal and then some. 0/5
Robpop: This is terrible. 0/5
The Prophet: YASSSSSSSSSSS! Kimberly was always my favorite Doll, but now she has some stiff competition. This is INCREDIBLE! 5/5
Tony: So cheesy. As my husband says: "Don't they all sound the same to you?" Next, bitch. 2/5 Total: 11/35
Die Antwoord – Evil Boy (Video)
South Africa's leading hip hop trio sing about cock.
D'Luv: Jesus. 0/5
J-Step: I see Robyn's gone all undercover and found a way to become "relevant" again. Go, bitch, go!!! 2/5
Luciana: Ok, so I get the humour... but not quite sure what to actually say. Maybe it's best I say nothing. 0/5
Mike: Kind of like the Black Eyed Peas on really bad acid. I hate that I love it. 4/5
Robpop: All mouth and no trousers. He says he's a big boy but doesn't have the balls to show us. Lame. Great conceptual video though. I'll give it a point for copying the hell out of HR Giger. 1/5
The Prophet: My wig has just been snatched. 5/5
Tony: I don't get it, sorry. Is it English and Afrikaans? Too much even for me. And where are the cocks they're talking about? 0/5
Ace Of Base – All For You (Video)
90s pop legends return to the charts. In Germany.
D'Luv: I wanted to like this whole project so much more than I do. "All For You" is actually one of the better songs on this forgettable album. Adding new broads to the mix pretty much ensured this would be a non-event. Oh, well. It doesn't suck, but it's not great. 2/5
J-Step: Yeah, yeah. There's no Lynn or Jenny but nevertheless this is still almost heavenly. This may very well be the song that is blaring on the ride up to that place! 5/5
Luciana: I'm on the fence about this one. I think they'll love it in Europe but not my bag. A bit blah for me but I'm sure it'll do very well. 3/5
Mike: It's certainly no "Lucky Love" but it could be a lot worse. As Jessica Sutta just proved. 2/5
Robpop: Ace of Lame. I do love Ace Of Base and the album is very adorable but this sounds like every boring bit of every good song they've ever done. Moreover, Lucky Twice did this sort of stuff on Catchy Tunes years ago and a lot
better too. 2/5
The Prophet: What the hell happened to the old Ace of Base? Who are these women in bikinis? 1/5
Tony: Classic AoB. The song is catchy, and it will surely be a success between new generations because they will remind them of Lady Gaga's "Alejandro". The new vocalists have the same voice as the previous ones but with a sexier (and younger) body. 3/5
Starshell – SuperLuva (Above)
Mary J Blige's protégée releases debut single.
D'Luv: Like how the video pays homage to Weird Science. Song pretty much sucks John Hughes' dead balls, though. 1/5
J-Step: I think Lolene, Kelis and La Toya Jackson have just proven that human fusion is indeed possible. Hey, the three of them can't seem to make the slightest ripple on the music scene at the moment, I'm thinking a Nobel Prize for scientific advancement may just be the delicious consolation to keep them from locating the nearest dagger and going all Shakespeare on our asses! 1.5/5
Luciana: She looks cute. Like a 2011 Whitney Houston. I like it. 3/5
Mike: Did someone really just take La Toya's name in vain? Rude. As for Starshell, I'm glad she sold out and jumped on the dance-pop bandwagon. This song is cute and I love the video. Who cares if she has no integrity or originality? 4/5
Robpop: There is a Eurovision feel to this. In many ways, I was hoping the Ace Of Base comeback song to be more like this. It seriously sounds like that opus to pop music from Germany, "Life Is Life". Amazing. I love it. 5/5
The Prophet: I want to hate on this because Starshell was formerly known as LeNeah - a wannabe Mary J. Blige singing hip-hop/soul. Then when nobody cared, she gave herself the ridiculous title of 'Starshell', turned into a dance diva and used an old Lady BlaBla B-side for her first single. Anyway, as I said, I want to hate her, but I just can't! "Superluva" is amazing and just shows that Fernando Garibay is one of the most underrated pop producers in the business. 4/5
Tony: "With my tattoos I love you" ???? Seriously???? This portuguese slut should go back to her favela where she belongs. This is definitely not my idea of a SuperLuva...
Fangoria – Ni Tu Ni Nadie (Video)
Spanish pop legends cover an 80s classic.
D'Luv: Why doesn't anyone in this video have eyebrows? This hookstress looks like that giant fluke worm guy in that really awesome episode of 'The X-Files' from the first season. 2/5
J-Step: Boobies, bums and faux peacocks, does it get much better? Yeah, probably but I was still thoroughly entertained! 3/5
Luciana: I love this! I want her/him to be my mother. She's got a touch of the Jackie Stallones. 4/5 and an extra point for the outfit so 5/5.
Mike: I love that Alaska looks like an extra from Dawn Of The Dead but still has the confidence to rock a fleshtone bodysuit. This is how I see Kylie spending her golden years - recycling 80s pop songs while wearing enough sequins and feathers to blind a drag queen. Perfection! 5/5
Robpop: Fangoria as a showgirl!!!!!!! I LOVE IT!!! What a change. God, I love this group. 5/5
The Prophet: Everything about this is very fierce but her masculine vocal honestly makes me a tad nauseous. It reminds me of a German person's voice, and you all know how uncomfortable Germans make me. 3/5
Tony: When something works, no need to do a rework. Classic pop tune from the 80s from Alaska's former band (Dinarama). It was a huge success in Spain. Now they sound just like a village fair. On a rainy day. It will be top 3 for sure. Nostalgia factor always works when you have to pay the bills... and the video is so cheap and ridiculous that they went to Argentina to shoot it. This compilation is for third world fans. 0/5
Freemasons ft Wynter Gordon – Believer (Video)
Wynter teams up with the Freemasons on this club smash.
D'Luv: Poor Wynter. They spent all the cash on the song's production and none on her video or her wardrobe of glow-in-the-dark thongs. Song is okay. Sounds like a Sophie Ellis Bextor B-side, but she sasses it up a bit. 2.5/5
J-Step: Beyonce wants her bangs back because Tammin wants to make a comeback,Gaga wants her stage shoulders back because Elton John's been pissing her off about the overdue loan and I personally just want to kick her in the shins because she spells Wynter with a 'y'. This has a shelf life of 4 weeks tops. 2.5/5
Luciana: Anything the Freemasons do is always a floorfiller and this is no exception. I would definitely dance to this. 4/5
Mike: While I prefer the filthy pop explosion that is "Dirty Talk", Wynter can do no wrong in my book and jazzes up a rather generic Freemasons backing track no end with her fabulous voice and glamorous wig collection. 4/5
Robpop: Major minus points for those stupid shoulder pads. This could be sung by anyone. Not totally enamored by this. Give me jazz hands. Give me
distinctiveness. Give me uniqueness. Give me a flavour of individuality. 1/5
The Prophet: Stunning, flawless, incredible, divine. Wynter is the new Goddess of the dance floor! 5/5
Tony: I think Wynter Gordon will be the next club diva (with the permission of Sophie Ellis Bextor and Rebeka Brown). She has the voice and the attitude. Anyway, if Freemasons are able to make something quite decent out of Shakira's "Loca" it's because they are the best. Fact. 5/5
SINGLE OF THE WEEK
Emma Dean – Sincerely Fearful (Below)
Emma is Australia's queen of "alternative cabaret"!
D'Luv: Shit — my 59-year-old aunt is a pop star in Australia? This is some super hot trash. 5/5
J-Step: I'm sincerely fearful of when this bitch looks in the mirror for the first time. Who knows what's going to happen... stay tuned! I smell a killer follow-up! 2.5/5
Luciana: Loved her lyrics and attitude and humour. Loved the energy. 4/5
Mike: An Australian indie pop queen releases what is essentially a demented show tune that sounds like it was stolen from score of Wicked. I think hell just froze over. 5/5
Robpop: I WANT THIS ALBUM NOW!!!!! This is what I am looking for. Great lyrics. Dripping like a hot kebab with character, laughter and brilliance. This is amazing. Mike, send me all her details immediately. I want this broad's album... like, yesterday! 5/5
The Prophet: AHAHAHA! ALTERNATIVE CABARET! AMAZING! AAAAAHHAAAAAA! 4.5/5
Tony: At least something fresh and different!!! Not a bad song but it will be hard for me listening to the whole album. For Scissor Sisters and RHPS fans. 4/5