Thursday, June 19, 2008

Coldplay begin a busy summer with the release of new album, Viva la Vida, a series of free concerts and their North American Tour.

Their hot new new album Viva La Vida or Death and All Its Friends came out on June 17 internationally and features UK Chart hit Violet Hill and their American Billboard number one title track.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Alanis Morissette Flavors of Entanglement

Canadian superstar, Alanis Morissette releases her seventh studio album, Flavors of Entanglement. Produced by Guy Sigsworth who has worked with Bjork, Madonna, Seal and Imogen Heap in the past, Morissette's new album is a highly danceable fun and summery disc you oughta know about. Read my full review here

Saturday, May 17, 2008

New Music Review for Week Ending May 16, 2008

This week iTunes and other online music stores offer new tracks and albums from Ladytron, The Cure, Hot Chip, She Wants Revenge, Delirium, Pendulum and Welsh singer Duffy.

Read more

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Taking a Break

Hello, thanks for visiting my music blog. I have taken a break from this blog to concentrate my efforts as Feature Writer for Suite 101’s Dance and Techno Music site.

Read all about what’s happening in the world of electronica and dance music. While you're there check out some of my travel articles as well as dozens of other articles by some of the planet’s very talented writers.


Monday, September 17, 2007

The King, The Tenor and The Drummer Breathe Life into Stagnant Chart

With the top four singles clinging to their positions for a second straight week, the UK singles chart has a surprising déjà vu feel.

Sean Kingston sits tight at number one with ‘Beautiful Girls’ while Plain White T's hang on to the runner up spot with ‘Hey There Delilah’. Kanye West’s ‘Stronger’ holds tight at three and James Blunt remains at four with ‘1973’.

50 Cent featuring Justin Timberlake and Timbaland climb three spots with ‘Ayo Technology’ to claim a new peak of number five. Rihanna stalls at six with ‘Shut Up And Drive’, while Girls Aloud slip to seven with ‘Sexy No No No’.

A pair of former number ones fill the eight and nine positions. First off, the brilliant dance record ‘With Every Heartbeat’ by Robyn with Kleerup and the infectious ‘The Way I Are’ by Timberland. Rounding out the top 10, Scouting For Girls slip one notch with ‘She's So Lovely’.

Just below the top ten at 11, retro groove singers Booty Luv jump 31 – 11 with their third R&B remake ‘Don't Mess With My Man’. A fine tune that deserves all the attention.

Up 12 spots from where it debuted on the charts last week, the death of Luciano Pavarotti nearly guaranteed a chart re-release of his most famous work, ‘Nessun Dorma’. Performed at his funeral last week, this single climbs the chart based on downloads alone. This chart performance marks the great tenor’s first posthumous hit.

Two slots down Elvis Presley, no stranger to chart hits from beyond the grave, returns with ‘Party’. This somewhat obscure chart single from the late fifties comes as part of the campaign to re-release all his chart singles to coincide with the King’s 30th death anniversary.

White Stripes are still alive and kicking, however, they are probably kicking themselves over the poor chart performance of latest single ‘You Don't Know What Love Is’ which limps into the charts at 18.

Down four, Armand Van Helden mixes Taylor Dayne’s ‘Do you want it right now’ from her 1987 debut album into ‘I Want Your Soul’, the second cut from his gender bending album ‘Gettoblaster’. A must on any dance floor.

Continuing the retro trend this week, Phil Collins makes an impressive return to the charts with his first solo single from 1981, ‘In The Air Tonight’. This classic Collins track climbs up on downloads alone after featuring in a series of television commercials.

Two new tracks enter in the mid twenties. In at 26, Taio Cruz moves in with ‘Moving On’ while at 27, the Chemical Brothers dip in with a rather ridiculous concept song, ‘The Salmon Dance’. After one spin, you’ll wish you could swim upstream to get away from it.

New at 31, Andy Lewis & Paul Weller with ‘Are You Trying To Be Lonely’. An odd choice for a single in this decade, it sounds more like a talent show gimmick from a late seventies variety show. Completely awful.

Inching up three places from last week, the brilliant Peter Bjorn & John bring their summer influenced ‘Young Folks’ deeper into the top 40.

By all rights, this song should go top ten for at least a month. Considering this is the re-release of said single, the probability of this happening is slim. Still, a killer tune no matter what its chart performance.

Dave Spoon Ft Lisa Maffia dance into the top 40 at 36 with ‘Bad Girl (at Night)’. Not a bad dance track but as a single it sounds too close to wallpaper to truly enjoy.

Hi Tack, the remixers behind last year’s dubbed version of the Paul McCartney/ Michael Jackson team up on ‘Say Say Say’, return to the charts at 38 with ‘Let’s Dance’ based around the David Bowie song. Not a bad dance record, if a little too faithful to the original for a new production. Strip away the electric beeps and you essentially have the eighty’s recording.

Last but not least, Akon debuts at number 40 with an open letter to the people he’s hurt due to his huge success amassed over the last year.

‘Sorry Blame It On Me’ sums up the chart nicely this week.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My New Favourite Song: James Blunt - 1973

James Blunt dropped into the world’s lap in 2005 with the heart wrenching “Your Beautiful” and the solemnly gorgeous “Goodbye my lover”. His songs raced to the top of the chart, radio played them to the point of saturation and both newly weds and the newly single found solace in his lyrics.

Back with “1973”, Blunt once again muses about love. On his brand new single, he recounts the story of lost days, this time reminiscing about his true love and the best time he spent with her in kitschy discos 34 years ago – when he was but a glimmer in his father’s eye apparently since Blunt is only 33 years old.

Regardless of the soap opera history, Blunt’s new single indicates a new direction for the singer/songwriter. One that is more tightly focused, more musically complex and less sappy – less sappy for a man who builds his albums around sap. Instead of relying on simple voice and piano to express the emotion, “1973” builds to a funk driven chorus with stronger vocals that sound less winy.

A great new single that should establish Blunt with a larger audience than lovesick housewives and the heartbroken.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Timbaland Ends Rihanna’s Reign

After a history making ten-week reign atop the UK Top Forty, Timbaland dethrones Rihanna with ‘The Way I Are’.

Two and a half months after securing the number one spot, ‘Umbrella’ slips to number 3 leaving Kate Nash, and most of the rest of the top ten cemented in the same positions they held last week.

Numbers 4 to 7 are none movers; Fergie’s ‘Big Girls Don't Cry’, Enrique Iglesias’ ‘Do You Know’, Hoosiers’ ‘Worried About Ray’ and Avril Lavigne’s ‘When You're Gone’ all remain where they sat seven days ago while the bottom three of the top ten is completely brand new.

Groove Armada dances in to the top ten at number 9 with ‘Song 4 Mutya while Mika’s ‘Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)’ gives this new artist his third top ten single out of three releases. Amazingly, six months ago no one had ever heard of Mika.

Brand new single ‘Autumnsong’ gives the Manic Street Preachers their second top ten single in a row from their latest album and this week’s highest debut. Five places down, new artist, Newton Faulkner debuts at number 16 with his folksy acoustic guitar rocker ‘Dream Catch Me’.

While she may not have the number one single in the country anymore, Rihanna can smile easily knowing her second single ‘Shut up and Drive’ pulls in at number 18. One parking spot behind her,
Green Day come back fresh from Springfield where they punked up the Simpson’s theme song and land another download only top forty hit.

Making their UK Chart debut at 26, folk-rock outfit from Chicago Plain White Ts score with ‘Hey There Delilah’, an open letter from a guy to his girl now living in New York.

Already a top ten smash in the States, this stripped down guitar and strings number sounds even more wholesome and original sandwiched between R Kelly & Usher’s awful ‘Same Girl’ at 28 and Kelly Rowland Ft Eve’s hyper boring ‘Like This’ at 25.

Sounding like a banana boat boy on a Mediterranean cruise party, Yves Larock skips into the chart this week with ‘Rise Up’. Not a bad track but I just can’t help but think I’m listening to Harry Belafonte and it makes me long to hear a Day-O, if just once.

Funeral For A Friend leap into the top forty at 40 with their new track ‘Walk Away’. This slow guitar driving modern rock track builds to a powerful chorus and makes a great ending to an otherwise slow week in a slow summer of new songs.