Monday, February 20, 2012

DNA's 12 Best Tracks

A couple of weeks ago, David Musumeci and Anthony Egizii - better known under their professional name of DNA - signed an exclusive production deal with Sony Australia. This is incredibly rare for the local music scene and cemented the boys' status as our answer to Max Martin and Dr. Luke! I've been a fan of their work for a long time and got to know them while they were working with Chris Sorbello. Since then, they have gone on to bigger and better things - racking up 4 top ten hits in 2011 with massive tunes by Marvin Priest, Timomatic, Guy Sebastian and Reece Mastin. And while those hits made them pioneers of the local urban-dance movement, Dave and Ant have successfully tried their hand at a lot of different genres. Here are a dozen of my favourite DNA anthems:

12. Set It Off - Timomatic (Video)

Reaching the runner-up spot on the ARIA chart and selling double platinum, "Set It Off" has been one of the biggest songs of the Australian Summer. And with good reason. This killer urban-dance explosion picks up where Taio Cruz and Jason Derulo left off without sounding like a soulless clone. DNA's production is dead on trend and crisper than a freshly ironed shirt. It probably should be higher on this list but I'm currenty suffering from radio overload.

11. Alone No More - Ricki-Lee (Audio)

Do you remember when Ricki-Lee went R&B on her Brand New Day album? No? Don't feel bad. I think I'm the only person who bought it. Moving along, one of the highlights of that largely-forgotten pop opus is a pretty little ballad called "Alone No More", which puts the focus squarely on the weight-loss queen's beautiful voice. Cute lyrics and a pared-back approach make this a DNA winner.

10. Own This Club - Marvin Priest (Below)

It has to be said that DNA do the urban-dance sound better than anyone in Australia. And pretty much anywhere else for that matter. The song that first showcased their skill in the genre was Marvin Priest's catchy-as-fuck "Own This Club", which came out of nowhere to become a huge top 10 hit last year. While it's not the most original song to hit radio, this is very solid pop. Make sure you hunt down the adopted Australian's mini-album "Beats & Blips". I think it was one of the most underrated releases of 2011.

9. Won't Let You Go - Shannon Noll (Audio)

Proving that there are more strings to DNA's bow than club-bangers, "Won't Let You Go" is lighters-in-the-air rock ballad that really should have been released as single. This gem boasts one of Shannon's best vocals and the tender yet manly lyrics strike an emotional chord. The track was a real highlight from Nollsie's "Turn It Up" album, which is probably why the boys were asked back to contribute to his latest record.

8. So Lonely - Chris Sorbello (Video)

While the Chris Sorbello experience didn't end well for anyone, there's no denying that "So Lonely" is a good pop song. It's also one of the most adventurous DNA productions - with its icy synths and cool electro-soundscape. I can't help but think a major artist like Kylie or even a boring Scandinavian flop like Annie would have made this a smash.

7. Don't Miss You - Amy Pearson (Video)

Amy Pearson's one and only hit is a veritable Australian pop classic! This was unavoidable at radio and announced DNA as a production team to watch. From the soaring chorus to the pop/rock-lite arrangement, "Don't Miss You" is very Kelly Clarkson. In fact, it wouldn't sound out of place on "Breakaway" - which is a huge compliment. Still love this one.

6. Good Night - Reece Mastin (Above)

Yes, it sounds a lot like P!nk's "Raise Your Glass" but I'm pretty sure that's the point. "Good Night" is slightly derivative but it's also undeniably catchy and single-handedly made the X Factor franchise credible by reaching number one and selling buckets. I love it!

5. Runnin' - Jessica Mauboy (Audio)

Dave and Anthony get hood on the stunning B-side to J. Malley's smash hit "Burn". I have no idea why this was left off the original Been Waiting tracklist - it made the deluxe edition - because this is one of hottest songs Jess has ever done. Hot beats and attitude-filled lyrics make this one hell of a jam. It's better than anything on Rihanna's Talk That Talk.

4. Come Home - Christine Anu (Audio)

Now this was a bizarre single that came out of nowhere and sunk without a trace. Which is a shame because DNA's nifty take on the urban-synth ballad is amazing. Think Jordin Sparks' "Battlefield" with a bit of Beyoncé's "Halo" thrown in for good measure. Yes, it's that good and should have been number one for months. Fingers crossed it appears on Godnu's forthcoming album.

3. Until You're Over Me - Zoë Badwi (Above)

This epic dance anthem was rumoured to be 4th - or 6th, depending on how you count - single from my beard's album but it never eventuated. Which is sad and annoying because "Until You're Over Me" is a scarily good floorfiller. With the benefit of hindsight, DNA's atmospheric production should have been released after "Freefallin'" instead of "Accidents Happen" but I'm still hopeful it might get a belated club release. Download it now or, better yet, buy a copy of Zoë!

2. Who We Are - Stan Walker (Audio)

It's time for some real talk. What is Sony doing with Stan's Let The Music Play? The first two singles were good but they are sitting on smoking hot jams like "Shine", "Music Won't Break Your Heart" and "Who We Are". This glorious DNA club-banger is everything Chris Brown's "Turn Up The Volume" wanted to be but couldn't quite pull off. Don't get me wrong. I really like Breezy's new song but "Who We Are" is so much better.

1. Oxygen - Brielle Davis (Below)

Every time I run into David and Anthony, which admittedly usually happens at the pub, I get the overwhelming urge to tell them how much I love the B-side to Brielle's 2006 smash "Serial Thriller". "Oxygen" - or the Australian "Toxic", as I like to call it - is something of a homage to Britney's last great song. I love this track and think it's about time Brielle came out of hiding. So she had a few drinks and crashed her car into someone's house. We've all been there! Check out her enduring legacy to the Australian music scene below.

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