And, just for the memory, some good old Dido songs.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
And, just for the memory, some good old Dido songs.
They're clearly one of the best things that happened to French music over the last decade. They figured it would be a good idea if they started making brit-pop influenced tunes, while singing in french. And boy it was a good idea !
I first heard them back in 2003, when they were Zazie's (another great French pop singer I'll write about later) opening act on her Zizanie Tour. What struck me was how immediate and addictive their songs were and how warm and captivating Sylvie Hoarau's voice was. While buying their EP soon after the show, I ran into her and we started chatting, which was quite a nice moment. They had been touring heavily for years and this opening slot for Zazie was their chance to meet a wider audience every night. Soon after they signed to a Universal Music label (Barclay) and began working on their first proper album. In the winter they released an new EP containing one of their best songs, French Kiss, but unfortunately due to a lack of media attention, it wasn't as successful as it should have been and they remained pretty much unnoticed.
Drôle d'Idée ("strange idea") was released a year later, in May 2004. Despite being packed with potential hits (French Kiss, L'excès, Everest, Assassin, Le Silence...) it received absolutely no support from the label. Barclay clearly ruined their chances to make an impact by not choosing the right first single (Viens, not a sufficiant hit to launch them properly), not making a video even if they had a strong visual universe. Well this first album had "disaster" written all over it, even though it was one of the best records of 2004 (to me at least !). To make it clearer, the album entered the French top 200 at number 198, and left it after only a week...
Still today I can't understand why this album wasn't marketed more professionally, why it failed to make an impact on the radio (some of the songs were perfect for the summer) and why it was dropped so fast. I hope the people who worked on the project are rotting in Hell...
As you can imagine after such a catastrophe, no second album was considered by the label. The band performed a few shows, but never got the attention they deserved. Sylvie then had a baby, and as for now, their Myspace page doesn't say much, except "Vendetta est mort, vive Brigitte" (Vendetta is dead, long live Brigitte). Does it mean they'll be back with a new name, new songs, new projects ? I really hope so, since they still have so much to offer. Oh, and their former website turned into a porn one. wonder if they know ! Or maybe THIS is their new carrer !
For now all seems calm on the musical front, but I'll keep you posted for sure.
Below are some tracks from their first album Drôle d'Idée for you to download (I'm feeling generous today, and anyway this won't hurt their album sales...). Tell me what you think in the comments section !
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Bondi beach, check. Harbour Bridge check. Great reef barrier, check. Kylie Minogue, check. Kangaroos, check. Savage Garden, check. Heartbreak High (go Ryan!!!), check. Nicole Kidman (go Botox!!!), check. Clichés, check.
Well ladies and gentlemen I'll ask you to make some more room in your Australia-related-stuff box for the lovely Gabriella Cilmi. This 16-year-old beautiful Aussie made her way on the european airwaves earlier this year, proving that Kylieland knows how good pop music is done.
I got her album months ago, loved it for several weeks, then forgot about it, and rediscovered it a few days ago, thanks to an ad on French TV. Yeah, France is just starting to buzz about her. Us French people are never late when it comes to music... ! Her first single for the european market was the deliciously addictive Sweet About Me which slowly but surely climbed the UK charts a few months ago, something quite rare over there (singles usually chart at their peak position on their first week and then slowly climb the charts down), to peak at a respectable number 6.
Her album, Lessons To Be Learned, is a nice piece of pop crafted by the holy Xenomania, the production team behind Girls Aloud and some of Sugababes' finest work. They managed to make good use of her warm and very mature-sounding voice (think Anastacia without the scary part) on catchy pop tunes, such as Don't Wanna Go To Bed Now (well, lady, 16 is quite a young age, you need you rest) or Cigarettes And Lies and Messy. The more pop-rock oriented Save The Lies (her second single) clearly demonstrates the sexy bee can deliver in the voice department without sounding too hard-pushed. Got No Place To Go has got a bass line reminiscent of Duffy's Mercy (tell me if I'm wrong), but thank God it's not as annoying after 3 listens, it even is one of the best tracks on the record. Of course there are the inevitable ballads, but those are surprisingly not boring, Akward Game even being quite good, with its acoustic guitar bringing a welcome folk touch. Terrifying and Echo Beach are also pleasant up-tempo tracks that conclude the album well.
Overall Miss Cilmi shows some impressive skills on her first album. The fact she won six ARIA awards (Australian music awards) last week proves her carreer's far from being over. In fact it's just beginning.
If you liked what you heard, maybe you can go buy Lessons To Be Learned by Gabriella Cilmi at the nearest record shop or download it from Itunes, or wherever else you like.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Although they give any of their singles an undeniable added value, they have one major drawback : they never get to be performed.
The reason songs like Dog Without A Bone (on the Sexy...No! No! No! single), Blow Your Cover (on the Call The Shots single) or Hoxton Heroes (on the Can't Speak French single) didn't get the chance to make an impact on a wider audience than those who bought the actual CD or "digital bundle" is a really too bad. I can clearly imagine one of the 3 songs above being part of the 19 top 10 singles the band has had since their 2002 debut single Sound Of The Underground. Their latest single is no exception, since alongside The Promise (clearly not their best release to date, but more on that when the new album is released), you get a very enjoyable track named She. It makes the purchase of the single worthy and so, deserving of a top 10 entry (but I'd rather bet on a number 1 -the fourth of their carrer- on next Sunday's UK charts, given their performance on The X Factor last weekend)...
Girls Aloud covering One Republic's Apologize at BBC1's Live Lounge
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Well, after two singles which appeared almost simultaneously at the beginning of the summer (Violet Hill & Viva La Vida), it's high time a third one was given the proper treatment. And what a treatment ! The insanely good Lost! is being released on Nov 10th as a "digital bundle", which means it will only be available online and not physically and will contain four versions of the song, hence the title of this entry.
- Lost! is the regular album version of the track
- Lost? is the acoustic take on the track
- Lost@ is a live version recorded in Chicago last summer (aka "the video version")
- Lost+ is a brand new version featuring a rap verse by none other than Jay-Z
You see what they did there ? Pretty clever ! Basically it doesn't affect the very high quality of this song, but in my opinion you're fine if you only own Lost!. That being said, the real good piece of news is the release of an EP named Prospekt's March between Nov 21 & 25 depending on where you live.
I can hear you asking "what is an EP?" (if you already know : good for you !). So here you go : those two letters stand for Extended Play (in opposition to LP, Long Play, album), and define a record with several tracks on it (like 5), so which is to short to be called an album, but contains too many to be called a "single".
Anyway, Prospekt's March will contain 8 tracks, so maybe we should call it a SEPSTSTBCAA (Super-EP-But-Still -Too-Short-To-Be-Called-An-Album). The tracklisting seems nice, but in fact there are only 5 proper new songs, the others being an instrumental track (or so I assume, given the title refering to the instrumental opener of Viva la Vida...), a remix and Lost+. Here it is by the way :
1. Life In Technicolor II
2. Postcards From Far Away
3. Glass Of Water (appearently they've been playing it on stage during their Viva La Vida Tour)
4. Rainy Day
5. Prospekt's March/Poppyfields (maybe 2 songs in one like Lovers In Japan/Reign Of Love ?)
7. Lovers In Japan (Osaka Sun Remix)
8. Now My Feet Won't Touch The Ground
To be perfectly precise I should mention that the EP will be available alone (for those who have already bought VLVODAAHF) as well as on the new edition of the album, made of the 10 "old" tracks and the 8 "new" ones. And to be even more precise, I should add that the artwork goes on with the Eugène Delacroix-theme. Nice.
Just a side-note to finish : when are they going to let us hear their collaboration with Kylie Minogue, called Luna, which they judged "too sexy" to appear on the album ???!! Are they affraid it will cause riots everywhere ? Can this song make you all sweaty and turned on by the sole power of Chris Martin and Kylie's voices singing at the same time ??! I bet so... I've been dying to hear it for months now. Remember how amazing Coldplay's cover of Kylie's hit Can't Get You Out Of My Head was. I'm all sweaty and turned on just mentioning it... It was postardom heaven with a cherry of coolness on top of it. I still wish they put it on the EP as the hidden 9th track. Please Chris hear me.
The new video for Lost! (or is it Lost@ ??!!)
Coldplay's version of Can't Get You Out Of My Head, live at Glastonbury 2005
One I Love, one of my favourite Coldplay songs (it's a B-Side from the A Rush Of Blood To The Head-era)
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
1) Konitchiwa Bitches (amazing) video
2) With Every Heartbeat (amazing) video
3) Be Mine! (amazing) video
4) Handle Me (amazing) video
5) Who's That Girl (amazing) video
6) Cobrastyle (amazing) video
7) Crash And Burn Girl (amazing) video
Seriously, who has 7 (SEVEN!) potential singles on an album ??! I mean 7 hits, 7 great songs. Swedish popstars just know how it's done. That's all. Does "ABBA" ring a bell ? Ace of Base ? Aqua anyone ? No really, that Robyn can proudly say she has one of the 10 best pop records of the 21st century. (Note to self : make post about 10 best pop albums & singles of 21st century).
And by the way, even the non-single songs are great.
Oh I almost forgot. When I wrote she is "prolific", I meant it. The girl is constantly releasing videos for songs of hers. Yeah I know it seems normal as far as the whole "marketing campaign" is concerned, but I must remind you the album was first released in Sweden in 2005 ! Anyway she's got a great visual universe and her vids are always a pleasure to watch (see above, you're welcome).
Now she's getting ready to get a NEW single out there !! It's called Dream On, actually it's an old song that's been reworked (I think) and will be included on a re-re-re-re-release of her smash eponymous album in a few weeks. Unbelievable. See the video below, you're welcome again.
Apart from that I have to mention that two of her old songs (Keep This Fire Burning & Don't Stop The Music) are so marvellous that they are in my very personal top 100 of 2000-2008. Yeah. Like that. As you might have guessed by now, I like this woman's music very much.
I feel like putting a lot of Robyn's songs below, so here you go.
Don't forget to buy Robyn by Robyn, now or when it's released for the 57th time. You can as well download it from Itunes or wherever else you like.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Découvrez The Killers!
If you like the song, buy it on Itunes or anywhere else you like !
BTW, here is the video.
In fact :
- Fantastic songs on the Saturday's album Chasing Lights : 1 (Up, but the radio version, not the album version) + 1 B-side (Crashing Down, absolutely fantastic, should have been on the album BTW)
- Great songs on the Saturday's album Chasing Lights : 3 (If This Is Love, Work, Set Me Off)
- Good songs on the Saturdays' album Chasing Lights : 4 (Keep Her, Issues, Lies, Chasing Lights)
- Not-so-good songs on the Saturday's album Chasing Lights : 1 (Vulnerable)
- Forgettable songs on the Saturday's album Chasing Lights : 1 (Fall)
Basically the down-tumpo/ballads are not as good as the real pop mindblowingly exciting tracks. I bet you could have guessed that.
Well done The Saturdays anyway !
I'd better tell you know : I'm a huge Gossip Girl fan. It's got everything : a thrilling storyline, charismatic and incredibly handsome actors and actresses, complex characters, AND fantastic music. For the latter, the credit all goes to the one and only Alex Patsavas, who's GG's music supervisor. I must admit I discovered fantastic tunes while watching the show, and every episodes offers me something new and enjoyable. So thanks Alex. Calm down boys, I just learned she is a married woman (noise of glass crashing).
Anyway let's get back to The Virgins. I first noticed them when I heard Rich Girl on the show. I told myself I loved it, found it on the Internet, put it on my mp3 player and, I must admit, didn't look any further. I was probably busy with Roisin Murphy at that moment, who knows. Thank god record stores still exist cause two weeks ago I went CD-hunting, and guess what litterally fell into my hands : the Virgins's album !!!!!!! Yep ! Like a divine surprise.
I bought it of course and since then it's been playing a LOT.
First track She's expensive contains the words "let's have a cocaine brunch", which is fine by me, although I'd rather have bacon & eggs, thanks. It's an infectious rock track, which sounds perfect as a wake-up song. You know, when you've only slept for 3 short hours cause you had this party to attend but you must be at work in an hour (though "1 hour ago" would be more accurate). On your way to work, just put One week of Danger on, it's a great song to listen to while driving. Of course you'll need a convertible, sun, very expensive sunglasses and a latte. But I'm sure it works fine on the tube too. This song was featured on Gossip Girl, as was Rich Girls. This one's amazing.
Teen Lovers is a hell of a hit to me ! Remember your high school house parties, cheap booze, the occasional rock'n'roll-dancing-couple, that girl/guy you tried to make out with. It's all in this song, but in a shorter version (2:12). As I told you yesterday I recently developped a thing for songs with the word "murder" in their title. And surprisingly, there's a song called Murder on the Virgins album. And it's good. It's got some funny sounds at some point. Hey Hey Girl and the 3 other songs at the end of the CD are great too.
Below are the first three songs of the album for you to listen to. AND you can watch a video interview of Alex Patsavas to learn more about her dream job. I mean this woman goes to shows and searches music blogs for a living.
Don't forget to buy The Virgins' self-titled album through Itunes or anywhere else you like.
Monday, October 20, 2008
- Kaiser Chiefs' new album Off With Their Heads dropped out today, and I hadn't even noticed. How come I don't care at all, when I really loved their first two records ? Strange. I need to investigate that. Perhaps because the first single Never Miss A Beat (video here) is far from being awesome.
- Are you as surprised as I am about Razorlight's new single Wire To Wire (video here) ? I'm not sure what to think yet. Crap or brilliant ? Maybe brillantly crap. I have to decide. It's really unexpected. Anyway I'm excited for their new album (Slipway Fires, Nov. 3)
Update : I think I love that song.
- I only listened to it a couple of times, but Keane's latest effort Perfect Simmetry is not good. Apart from the first two singles (Spiralling and The Lovers Are Losing). Well there might be another decent song, I'll have to make sure when I'm done with Catfights & Spotlights.
Anyway I really love Is It Any Wonder?. Too bad it's on the band's previous album Under The Iron Sea.
- I need to check Dig Out Your Soul, Oasis' latest album, again. It sounded good when I played it while running around the house cause my suitcase for Barcelona was not ready even though I had to leave 2 hours later. Who knows, I might find a couple of good songs (besides The Shock Of The Lightning, which is only a 6/10 in my opinion).
- I know I shouldn't be, but I'm rather curious about that remix of Genie In A Bottle I partly heard Christina Sluttylera perform at last month's VMA. It sounded good, like a real reworking of the track. The original is great BTW, in a cheesy teen pop kind of way. Anyway she shouldn't release that ridiculous Greatest Hits of hers on Nov 10. Why ? I'll tell you why. You don't release a ten-track (+2 new ones, among which Keeps Getting Better, which I thought was good for only two days, and then was boring as hell -it took me two WHOLE days to figure it was a mash-up of Goldfrapp's Ohh la la, Sugababes Good To Be Gone, and another track I can't recall) album, omitting some singles, and with such an ugly cover picture. That's all, you simply don't do it.
This video is amazing : I think it's a tranny named Striperella performing exactly what Christina did at the VMA. Or maybe is it Christina? Chris', you know there's a problem when the tranny is looking better than you ! ;-)
If you want the real VMA performance, here it is ! Actually I'm really excited about that remix !
For now, remember how good 18 Wheeler (on Missundaztood) is :
Découvrez Pink Duet Steven Tyler!
Remember Travis ? Yes. Sing. Side. Flowers in the Window. Why Does It Always Rain On Me ? These are some of their biggest hits, to name a few.
This band was big around 2001 when they released The Invisible Band (right when I went on a class trip to Austria, how bizarre and unrelated). Then they became less big. They released another album (12 Memories) with great songs on it, but maybe with less instant-hits than on the the previous one.
Next thing I know, they released a new album (Ode To J Smith, in September) which flopped big time in the UK charts. Surprinsingly however the album is nothing but great. It's more "rock" but they haven't lost that sharp sense of melody-making. Well I really like that band. They're like good friends I had forgotten about but had good memories with, and then suddenly I recall why we were such good friends. First single Something Anything, if not perfect, is really enjoyable on a Monday night. Chinese Blues is really great, as is J. Smith. The guitare lines are not too aggressive but yet more punchy than what they got us used to. Overall the album goes on quite smoothly and before you know it you've hit the repeat button. A mi le gusta.
Above is the video for Something Anything. Low budget, it seems...
Buy Something Anything on Itunes or wherever you like.
Découvrez The Saturdays!
This song above is their first single, they chose to name it If This Is Love which is clever since they say those words in the chorus. It spent some time in the British top 10 last summer, which makes it a minor hit. It contains a sample from an 80s song by Yazoo or something (pop-culture fact : the song was on the Rules of Attraction OST and is very good).
Well whatever now they are releasing both a new single and their first album respectively named Up ans Chasing Lights. Up is some kind of incredibly catchy pop song which makes you want to be a popstar and yell "Good evening London how ya doin'?" in a very popstarish way. Try it and tell me. Anyway here it is if you want to hear it :
Découvrez The Saturdays!
Good uh ?
Those Brits really now how to make a girlband. Think Spice Girls, All Saints, Girls Aloud, Sugababes and now The Saturdays. Of course, how many "Bellefire", "Atomic Kitten" or other one-hit-wonders / total flops, but still. I'm in a good mood (and finally know how to use those Deezer players) so here are my personnal favourites from the aformentionned bands :
Découvrez Spice Girls!
Découvrez All Saints!
Découvrez Girls Aloud!
Découvrez Atomic Kitten!
This being said, The Saturdays have other great songs, but I can't post them cause they're not on Deezer yet, but if you're interested you can surely find them easily on the web.
First of all : it's REALLY GOOD. In a 7.5/10 kind of way.
Buy Catfight and Spotlights on Itunes or wherever you like.