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Monday, January 19, 2009

Player update

As you might have noticed there's been a little trouble going on with the Deezer mini players... Some songs stop playing after a few seconds while others are working just fine... I have no idea why that happens but I'll try to fix it ASAP.
That said, I updated the player with new songs, I hope it works well.

Listen to the new U2 single (or don't)

The new U2 single Get On Your Boots premiered today on the radio as well as on the band's website. I don't want to spoil it if you haven't heard it yet, but all I'll say is I'm not convinced AT ALL. It will probably be efficient enough to launch their comeback, but I do hope the album has better songs to offer...

Click here to listen to Get On Your Boots, and give your opinion in the comments section!

Update! You can also hear the track through the player on the left of the blog

Three videos that will probably make your life better

Tonight is You Tube night! Here are three videos that are awesome for various reasons. I bet at least one of them will make you smile if not laugh...


First is French singer and local Idol winner Julien Doré at the 2009 NRJ Music Awards, which took place yesterday in Cannes. At usual the show was awful and ridiculously bad (lame jokes, terrible hosts, unfair voting etc.) but thank God Julien Doré performed his song Les Limites in a remixed version, with a hot choreography highly reminiscent of Britney's show at the 2001 VMAs with the snake and everything. It's great to see a singer not take himself seriously, especially in such a boring award show. Below is the original version of the song. His debut album Ersatz is really good and is definitely worth a listen even if you don't understand french.

Découvrez Julien Doré!


Video for Les Limites (really good!): here
Britney's I'm a slave 4U VMA performance: here


I found this video on that excellent blog Discopop, and instantly thought it was amazing. It's a comedy troupe called The Axis of Awesome (how great is that name?!) proving the world that all pop songs are basically built on a 4-chord sequence. Instead of being immensely depressing ("what???!!! pop is a big rip off??!") it's really funny and sooooo true! You will probably not listen to these songs the way you used to, but anyway it's must-see!



Finally is a really fun song called Jizz In My Pants, by The Lonely Island. I don't need to say anything else than give it a try! Thanks sis' for that!

PS: can you find Justin Timberlake in the video?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Another great thing about Spotify

After reading earlier today about Coolio being on Celebrity Big Brother in the UK (WTF???), I wanted to check how great some of his songs were (at least when I was 11). Answer: very. Well, three of them. Thanks to my new best friend Spotify I could listen to them just like that.
Thank you Coolio, thank you Spotify.
Below are the three tracks in question: Gangsta's Paradise, 1-2-3-4 and C U When You Get There.



Découvrez Coolio!




Découvrez Coolio!




Découvrez Coolio!



I wish US rap were still fun and catchy like that! Screw you Lil' Wayne, 50 Cent and T.I. Bring back the good ol' Coolio!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Spotify makes life better

Thanks to holy Popjustice, I made a great discovery today, that I'm sure you'll love if don't already know about it. What is it, you are asking. SPOTIFY. S.P.O.T.I.F.Y.
Spotify is a music streaming device which allows you to play as much music as you want for free, thanks to an iTunes-lookalike player you need to install, and of course an internet connection. The great thing is it's legal and you can basically find anything you want.

Tangible examples:
- Britney: 410 references, check
- Madonna: 906 references, check
- Beethoven: 7225 references, super-check
- Morcheeba: 208 references, check
- The Eagles Of Death Metal: 33 references, check (more on that band soon!!)
- Caught In The Act* (yes ladies & gents, CITA!!!!) [Youtube, Wikipedia]: more references than there should be, booo

Well my point is, Spotify has almost anything you want to hear, it's free, very easy to use. Oh you just have to listen to an ad every hour or so. So far, I haven't heard any, after 1 hour using it.

Here is a link to install it on your computer. Hope you like it!

*CITA: I was looking for the worst thing I know in terms of "music", and that's what I came up with. Some awful boyband which was very successful in Hungary when I was living there. And there you have it! Please don't judge me for recalling that! What's the worse thing in the video I wonder? The blue lipstick? The t-shirts they're wearing? The song itself?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Thank you friends: The Green Olive & Meiko

Recently two of my friends suggested new artists to me, and I can only thank them because their suggestions were more than interesting.

First, and for this I'll thank Nico, here's a French band from Lyon called The Green Olive. Like the Beatles they're four guys and like the Beatles they're into poppy rock'n'roll with lots of great melodies, catchy choruses and nice vocal harmonies. They've been touring quite a lot in the past years, though it seems the band are having a break right now. Anyway their music is still out there, so check it on their Myspace page or on Deezer (link), where the whole album is available for streaming. Below is It's Alright, a tune I really like. Hope you feel the same!

Découvrez The Green Olive!

Then there is Meiko, suggested by my friend Pauline. Meiko is an American indie pop/folk singer and songwriter from LA. Her music is nice and refreshing like a warm day out on the beach in California, or something like that! At first she independently released her self-titled debut album back in 2007, before being signed to Myspace Records/DGC. So the album was re-released in June 2008 in a re-worked version and also including a new song, Boys With Girlfriends.
This tune (video below) is clearly a highlight of the last few months and probably of the coming ones. It was featured in an episode of Grey's Anatomy (S5E09). Meiko is the kind of artists you really feel deserves major success because she's got everything. So hopefully 2009 will be her year and she'll be able to show all of her talent at a worldwide level!


The Green Olive's Myspace
Meiko's Myspace - Buy Meiko's album on iTunes

Happy B-Day Baby!

Just a little post to celebrate Britney's ...Baby, One More Time's 10th birthday. The album and its huge eponymous lead single were released 10 years ago, on January 12th 1999...
It made me feel awfully old, since I perfectly recall where I was and what I was doing 10 years ago... What about you?
Just to remind you, the album sold 25 million copies worldwide, spawned 5 hit singles and led to what now is one of the biggest careers in contemporary pop music.
She might be trashy, unable to sing live, relying on top producers too much and clearly not ready yet for a big comeback, but let's just say congrats to Brit (and more importantly the team behind her) for still being here and for still delivering great pop songs. Lately I've been addicted to Lace and Leather (off the Circus album), I must admit. I also think she owns some of the best pop songs of the past 10 years.
So it's high time for some shameless Britney Spears listening, thanks to the playlist below. Don't we all need some good old Britney from time to time?!



Découvrez Britney Spears!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Some freshly squeezed pop news

Dead Cat
The Catfights and Spotlights era is over for the Sugababes. Their latest album is officially a disaster, with only 4 weeks in the top 50 and only two singles. Girls outperformed, only reaching #3 on the UK charts while their second release No Can Do peaked at #23, falling last Sunday at #36. There apparently are no plans for a third single, although some songs like Every Heart Broken or You On A Good Day would be hits.
There really was a huge promotion mishandling from their label, from the single choices to the videos, the promo performances, the media handling etc.
The girls will start recording their new album in the coming weeks, with Rihanna ans Beyoncé’s producers. Let’s hope the girls bounce back well with huge hits in the future.

U2 on the Horizon
U2’s new album will be released on March 2nd! It’s called No Line On The Horizon and the first single will be Get On Your Boots. It will be played on the radio for the first time on Monday Jan 19 (next Monday!!!). Can’t wait! It supposedly picks up where Vertigo left off. Expect big drums and guitars and a great chorus. In other news, a world tour is said to begin in early summer in Europe. Get ready for tickets!
And, last but not least, Bono & co. will give their new single its first live play at the BRIT Awards in London on Feb. 20th! THIS is going to be a show opener!

Everyday is Saturday(s)
The Saturdays
seem to be enjoying some good time, probably making the most of the Sugababes’ momentary weakness. They scored their third top-10 single in a row when Issues entered the UK charts at #6 last Sunday. They’re really hot right now, let’s hope it goes on this way, we need more pop bands in the charts! The follow-up to issues is Work, another sure-fire hit.



Découvrez The Saturdays!


Life In Coldplaycolor
From what I saw on the BBC Radio 1 playlist, Life in Technicolor II has been chosen to be Coldplay's next single. From instrumental on Viva La Vida to epic pop song on Prospekt’s March EP, it seems like a good choice. I still can’t understand why Lost! wasn’t a real hit, as great as it was. Here’s what the video is going to look like. It will premiere on Jan 20th. The single will be released on Feb 2nd along with a previously unheard B-Side (The Goldrush), and a version of LIT II live from the O² Arena.


Here is the video which won the contest the band launched through their website a few weeks back. The idea was for fans to create a video for the acoustic version of Lost?. It’s kind of good, isn’t it?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Thanks!

Today It's Pop! passed the 1000 visitors mark!
So thank you for that, from wherever you read this blog. I hope 2009 will bring more and more new readers and good music.
If you have anything to say, ask, suggest or share use the comments section, the shout box on the left side of the page or the e-mail address contact.itspop@gmail.com

To keep in touch with It's Pop!, you can:

- join the Facebook group by clicking on the FB logo on the left (or by clicking here),
- add the blog to your favourites,
- subscribe to the rss feed by clicking on the "subscribe to" buttons on the left. By doing so you'll be notified as soon as a new article is published.

Hurray! Franz Ferdinand are back!

*****UPDATE*****
I just received an e-mail from "Web-Sheriff" who, on behalf of Domino Records (Franz's label), asks me to remove the tracks from Tonight: Franz Ferdinand I posted for STREAMING, and not downloading. You can read all about it in the comment section.
I just want to say how stupid all this is... And how disappointed I am about labels still not understanding we bloggers are HELPING artists by previewing tracks, and perhaps making our readers buy records/downloads in the end. So I'm sorry you won't be able to hear FF's new tracks here before the CD is released.
Labels, it's high time you start thinking outside of the box!
I'll be glad to publish any answer and/or comment on that point.
Lo
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2009 is starting quite well with the return of one of the most interesting British bands at the moment. Alex Kapranos’ Franz Ferdinand are back, more than three years after the release of their previous record You Could Have It So Much Better.
Their new album, out on January 26th is called Tonight: Franz Ferdinand and doesn’t only have a great cover picture!
Remember how great their first eponymous album was? Take Me Out, The Dark of The Matinee, This Fire, Tell Her Tonight, Jacqueline… In fact I could write all the song titles! Their second record was less immediately addictive but after a few listens revealed itself as a fantastic piece of work. It was a real evolvement from their early work and you could really tell they were trying to make a sound of their own.

Now, on Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, they seem to be willing to establish this trademark sound and Kapranos’ vocals, which is not a bad thing. The tracks sound a little less like hit-material on first listen, but the whole thing is eventually very consistent and exciting.
Most tracks need at least two listens before they reveal their potential, such as the first single Ulysses, which I didn’t really like when I first heard it two months ago. In fact I got caught by its sexiness and its catchy chorus and la-la-la-la in less time Amy needs to get wasted in St Lucia.
Apart from Ulysses, the album is filled with great and catchy songs, just like they got us used to before. But this time around they managed to make them a little less immediate, and worthy of our attention. So I’d say I really liked going through Tonight and I still do after repeated listens. For the moment the standout tracks for me are Live Alone, Bite Hard and What She Came For. Lucid Dreams, which leaked a while ago is also a great song, sounds a lot better than before, probably because it’s part of a more complete lot. Plus, it’s got a 4-minute electro-instrumental outro which will undoubtedly make a lot of DJs happy!

Tonight: Franz Ferdinand comes out on Jan 26 in a 1 or 2-disc edition (the second one offering remixes). You can pre-order it online (FNAC if you’re in France, Amazon UK or US if not) and of course you can buy it as a legal download on iTunes, 7 Digital etc.

Girls Aloud have a new single coming out!

The last time I wrote about Girls Aloud was last year, so I guess it’s no problem if I do so now!
The girls are releasing the follow-up to their huge hit The Promise today Jan 12 in the UK, and it’s called The Loving Kind. As you might know it’s the result of the collaboration between Xenomania and The Pet Shop Boys. As you might also know it’s not the best track on their 5th album Out Of Control (now officially their most successful studio record to date, with more than 600 000 copies sold in the UK since its release in October 08), but it’s not the worst one either. It’s basically good, but not as good as Love Is The Key or Untouchable for example.

What’s interesting with this song is the B-Side it’s coming out with, called Memory Of You. I don’t know why it was originally named Japan, but I’m sure there’s some deep mystery involved. Anyway this song is properly great in its own right, but a little too similar to Untouchable, Love Is Pain or Turn To Stone. I guess that’s the reason why it isn’t on the album. Yeah, right, it was such a better idea to include We Wanna Party on it.
So it’s a nice electro/pop track with evanescent vocals and a chorus that sticks to your mind at first listen. But if you want to own it, you'll have to buy the 7” picture disc which is exclusively sold on the girls’ website (link). As I’m nice and all, you can hear it here on It’s Pop!.

Along with this comes another treat for GA fans, in the shape of a Megamix, starting and ending with a bit of “Stars on 45”, and which is a good reminder of how great their back catalogue is. Plus, it’s 7 minutes and 30 seconds long. This one can be purchased on CD. Good point.

By the way if you want to see the girls perform live, you’d better hurry up because almost all the dates are sold out. This is going to be their biggest tour yet, with no less than 32 scheduled concerts across the UK and Ireland, including five nights in London. For tickets click here.

Buy The Loving Kind + Remixes & Megamix on iTunes, 7digital, Amazon UK etc.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Apple is finally getting wiser

In the very near future, there will no longer be DRM (Digital Rights Management, or virtual locks) on all the 10 million tracks available on iTunes, the world's number one online music retailer. This major announcement was made on Jan 6 at Apple's big show in San Francisco.
This comes as great news, since until now, music downloaded from iTunes could only be used on iPods and its use (burning, transfering etc) was limited.
It seems like Apple finally understands how online music lovers and buyers want to use their catalogue: as freely and easily as possible, without any restriction.
I personnally think this is a very good yet necessary evolvment in Apple's business model, and although it's happening late, it's finally happening. It's also a good thing the majors (EMI, Sony-BMG, Warner and Universal) finally agreed on making their catalogues available to all without any restriction.
Apart from that it was announced that a new pricing strategy will be established: tracks will now cost 59p (69c), 79p (99c) or 99p ($1.29) (vs. standard price 79p/99c/0,99€). The more popular the song, the more expensive, just like in a regular CD shop!

For more information here are some interesting articles for you to learn all the details:
- French-speaking readers: Le Monde / Le Figaro
- English-speaking readers : Guardian / NME

Will all this make you purchase an iPod/iPhone? Or will it have you buy your music on iTunes if you aren't already?

Little Boots continues to amaze

As you might have seen a week ago, I named Little BootsStuck On Repeat my number one song of 2008. Well, guess what, 2009 is starting with some more from her!
Last Monday (Jan 5) she released Little Boots EP, a three-track record containing Stuck On Repeat, Meddle and Love Kills. The latter is a new killer track, in the shape of an electro-pop rocket, reminiscent of Kylie’s or disco-Goldfrapp's best. But what I love most about Victoria Hesketh (her real name), is her ability to sound unique and fresh with every song she offers.
Another new tune of hers is Every Little Earthquake, which you will love if her previous material is to your liking. In other words: it’s really good.

Additional info:
- Stuck On Repeat in this week’s free (like FREE) "single of the week" on iTunes UK
- Little Boots EP is available for you to purchase (amazon uk, 7digital etc.)
- Her myspace page is regularly updated, so check it for new videos, tour dates etc

Can’t wait for a proper album!




Découvrez Little Boots!


Every Little Earthquake - Little Boots

Saturday, January 03, 2009

A magic song called M.A.G.I.C. by The Sound Of Arrows

The Sound Of Arrows are a Swedish band. That should be enough to start thinking “yeeeaaaaahhh!!!!!!”. Swedish people rarely disappoint indeed, especially when pop music and supermodels are involved. I don’t know how these two guys are on the supermodel scale, but on the pop music front, let’s say they pretty much rule.
This song is just, as it title suggests, M.A.G.I.C. If that doesn’t make you want to dance around naked, it’s either because you’re dead, or because you had too much to eat over the holidays… If your case is the latter, maybe you could go for a jog with The Sound Of Arrows in your iPod!
And as if the song itself wasn’t enough, here is a link to download it for free, through their label’s website. Thank you label!

Who wants to get slapped?

Warning! This post has nothing to do with How I Met Your Mother's ongoing Slap Bet!

It's just that the naughty Macy Gray is back with a bang. Her new song, the delicately named Slap A Bitch is everything you want to hear right now. It’s up-tempo, musically innovative, funny and cheeky. In a way, it reminds me of the time when Missy Elliott was making good and funny songs. Add a bit of M.I.A. in the mix, and there you have it! And if you don’t like this one, give her break-out track from ten years ago, I Try, a listen. It was SO great it still sounds fresh and incredible today. Actually it’s like Amy Winehouse 7 years before the said Winehouse. I always thought Macy never got the success she deserved, so hopefully this new track will bring her back in the spotlight.




slap_a_bitch - -




I Try - Macy Gray

The first good British girlband of 2009

Do we need a new British girlband for 2009? Probably not. Do we need a new British girlband with a great track? Who doesn’t?
Ladies and gentlemen, The Silhouettes. Behind this rather dull name are three ladies (Tania, Yulanda and Helen) singing “soul”. Yes, soul is everywhere; we all know that. And now it’s even got to girlbands. Well, mind you, their song Surrender, is really good. It was produced by none other than Richard Stannard (if you need a little help from Wikipedia, here it is) and sounds like a crossover between Amy Winehouse and The Saturdays, if that’s even possible. In other words, you should check it for yourself, but I bet you’ll enjoy it.
Let’s see what 2009 will bring for these ladies, but, just like that, I’d say “a top 10 hit”.

You can also check the girls' Myspace for more info.





Surrender - Silhouettes

Toni Braxton has a good song (for real!)

I feel like giving Toni Braxton a shout-out. Remember her? Well I at least remember her super-hot He wasn’t Man Enough from 2000, which I sometimes stumble on when my music is playing on random mode. If you think it sounds like 2000, you’re right and you should watch the video (here) cause it’s hilariously awful and ridiculous in a 2008/2009 kind of way (except compared to a Mariah Carey video from nowadays).
That being said, and after a hiatus in her musical career (end of success, illness, Dancing-with-the-stars come-back), Toni’s supposedly back with that track called Get Loose, which sounds like 2009 Toni: true to her r&b roots, but with the poppy sound modern r&b most generally lacks. So it makes the song quite enjoyable and rather refreshing. Nothing spectacular though, but I admit I wanted to feature the woman on this humble blog. ‘Cause you know, I used to think she was hot.



Get Loose - Toni Braxton




He Wasnt Man Enough - Toni Braxton

Thursday, January 01, 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!

Hey there!
I can’t believe I’ve been away for so long! It’s a good thing we’re in the first hours of 2009, it makes a great occasion for me to tell you what my favourites of the past year are.
Being really bad at ranking, it’s been awful for me to rank the 10 best songs and albums of 2008, but I somehow managed to do it! I added other songs/albums that could easily have been in the top ten, or wich I listened to and loved a lot this past year.
Don’t hesitate to tell me what YOUR favourites of the year are, I wish you a great 2009, full of music of course!

Favourite Singles of 2008

#1 Little Boots – Stuck On Repeat
A.M.A.Z.I.N.G., to say the least

Découvrez Little Boots!

#2 Madonna – Beat Goes On
Thank God (and/or Kanye West) for this highlight of her overall disappointing album. Fantastic rap verse.

Découvrez Madonna!

#3 Goldfrapp – A&E
Pure bliss, wonderful chorus, fantastic band
#4 The Saturdays – Up
Not-so-great band, good debut album, perfect single

Découvrez The Saturdays!


#5 MGMT –Kids
The best song name Kids since the Kylie/Robbie duet

Découvrez MGMT!


#6 Girls Aloud – Love Is The Key
You have to wait ‘til track 4 to get the best song on Out Of Control

Découvrez Girls Aloud!


#7 The Killers – Human
As I said : Stuart Price + Brandon Flowers = genius

Découvrez The Killers!


#8 Sam Sparro – Black & Gold
Too bad the rest of his album wasn’t 10% as good as this, it would have been incredible

Découvrez Sam Sparro!


#9 Britney Spears – Womanizer
This song alone means “back on top”… 2008’s Gimme More!

Découvrez Britney Spears!


#10 The Pussycat Dolls – When I Grow Up
They’re awfully vulgar. Only 1/5 of them actually sing. BUT this song is incredibly catchy and shamelessly (??!) enjoyable.

Découvrez The Pussycat Dolls!

Other great songs of 2008:

Alesha Dixon – Chasing Ghosts, Boyzone – Better, Estelle – American Boy, Duffy – Mercy, Coldplay – Lost!, Adele – Cold Shoulder, Katy Perry – I Kissed A Girl, Alphabeat – Boyfriend, Rihanna – Disturbia, Madonna – Miles Away, Gabriella Cilmi – Sweet About Me, Kylie – The One, Sugababes – Every Heart Broken & Nothing’s As Good As You, Ladyhawke – Magic, Bryn Christopher – The Quest, Lady Gaga – Just Dance, Christina Aguilera – Genie 2.0, The Automatic – Steeve McQueen, Robyn – Dream On, Crystal Castles – Crimewave, Cyndi Lauper – Echo, Danity Kane – Damaged, The Faint – The Geeks Were Right, Hercules and Love Affair – Blind, Jamie Lidell – Little Bit Of Feel Good, Janet – Feedback, The Kooks – Always Where I Need To Be, Lenka – Trouble Is A Friend, Little Jackie – The World Should Revolve Around Me, MGMT - Time To Pretend, Monrose – Tip Toe & You Can Look, The Republic Tigers – Building and Mountains, Solange – I Decided (Freemasons Remix), Uh Huh Her – Not A Love Song, The Verve – Love Is Noise, Neon Neon – I Lust You, The Ting Tings – Great DJ, Taryn Manning – Runaway, The Bravery - Believe




Découvrez Alesha Dixon!



Some other interesting rankings :

- Popjustice's Top 104 singles

- Digital Spy's Top 50 Singles

- Discopop's Top 10 Singles