Monday, December 20, 2010

[BEST OF 2010] The top 30 singles of the year

Let's be honest, my top 10 singles of the year could have looked a bit like this :

1. Scissor Sisters -Invisible Light
2. Robyn - Dancing On My Own
3. Scissor Sisters - Any Which Way
4. Robyn - In My Eyes
5. Robyn - Include Me Out
6. Robyn - None Of Dem
7. Robyn - Love Kills
8. Robyn - Indestructible
9. Robyn - Fembot
10. Robyn - Criminal Intent

OK, it wouldn't have been very fair for all the awesome pop acts that made this year so great music-wise. With the confirmation of a few revelations of 2009 (Marina, Hurts, Julian Perretta…) some fantastic newcomers (Bright Light Bright Light, Tove Styrke, Van Go Lion, Florrie, Alex Gardner…) and the never disappointing oldies but goodies (Scissor Sisters, Kylie, Sophie Ellis Bextor…).

But the real winners of the year have to be ballsy, kinda indie and boundary-pushing female popstars who give all the well-established sluts and singing atrocities like Rihanna, Katy Perry or Ke$ha a run for their money, both creatively and musically. I can't even begin to understand why Robyn, Marina, Adele, Sophie or Janelle aren't the huge popstars they deserve to be. At least they're not corrupted by easy, ready-to-swallow stinky tracks that please the tired ears of the masses.

Let's just hope there will still be some space for these artists to grow and be able to make more records in the future. In the meantime, roll on 2011!

See the 30 best songs of the year (according to me) after the jump! 

Friday, December 17, 2010

[BEST OF 2010] TOP #666 : the worst tracks of the year

As I'll be publishing my top 30 tracks of the year next Monday, I thought I'd give you a little preview... Well not really. While it was really difficult to list the tracks I've loved and been listening to extensively during the year, it proved quite easy to pick a few tracks that have been bothering me.
Oh yeah, some atrocious song made their way to the top of the charts and here's a little peak at what we've had to deal with in 2010. Watch your ears!

Listen to the tracks here, if you dare! (Spotify link)

#666-1. Black Eyed Peas - The Time (Dirty Bit)

Worst song ever ?? Yes. If Patrick Swayze were still alive he'd probably have sued them for producing the year's most awful piece of "music".

#666-2. Cheryl Cole - Promise This

I actually felt bad for all people involved. Truly horrific. That chorus. That "Alouette" bit. That pronounciation. Everything screams "cheap", "rushed" and "terribly opportunistc".
#666-3. Ke$ha - Any single she released this year...

...Cause they're basically all the same. Except each one's worse than the previous one. Even her dirty pictures are awful. This girl's a total fail. Except people buy her crap.

#666-4. Rihanna - Only Girl (In The World)

Despite acceptable verses, this overly-autotuned yelling affair is really mediocre. I mean really. Rihanna : please never sing this live anymore. Thanks.

#666-5. The Saturdays - Missing You

Duh this half-ballad-half-not-ballad thing is so ridiculous it should never have left the studio. Too bad for us it did.

#666-6. Usher - OMG / Nicki Minaj - Any song she featured on this year.

Any song. Yeah exactly "OMG". It's a tie. Two of Will.I.Am's stabs at music in 2010. F### off, buddy, seriously.

My recommandation for 2011 : no more Will.I.Am. At all. Thank you very much.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A bunch of cool videos for a Monday

The Do - Slippery Slope

Taken from the bands new EP Dust It Off (out Dec 13) and a few months before their second album, The Do are back with an upbeat, very M.I.A.-esque banger called Slipper Slope. Along with a great video, the song is infectious and irresistible. Welcome back!

Adele - Rolling In The Deep

This song is still climbing my 2010 personal chart, as every play makes it even better. And believe me I've played A LOT it over the last few weeks. Now the video is here, and boy it's beautiful. Adele's not up to much but the visuals are clever and adds even more soul to the track. As if it were possible.

Scissor Sisters - Invisible Light

 We already knew this song is absolutely incredible (even more so when performed live), now we get to discover that its video takes it to another level. Never where you expect them to be, the Scissters have made a totally WTF and NSFW mini-movie feauring a girl being bombarded with mud, a baby wolf getting its head cut off and a lot of other nice stuff of that kind. As usual, the band surprise us, and thrill us with their unsual aesthetics. A total win as far as I'm concerned.

Brigitte - Battez-Vous

Brigitte is one of the few revelations of the year that has totally won me over. The duet's sense of style and visuals coupled with their perfect and sophisticated pop song hit all the roght buttons, and after seing them live a few weeks ago for what conts as one of my favourite shows of the year, I can safely say I'll be following them very carefully in the coming months. This is their latest video, for the very awesome Battez-Vous. If you don't understand french you won't be able to get the cheekyness and quality of the lyrics, but it shouldn't put you off. The best pop songs don't need any subtitles.

Robyn - Nobel Prize performance (Jag Vet En Dejlig Rosa / Dancing On My Own / Indestructible)

Just because I can't get enough of this incredibly precious artist, I wanted to share her performance at this year's Nobel Prize ceremony. Being one of Sweden's most valuable jewels it's only fair that she gets to show the world her talent. Don't forget to take a look at the videos of her recent Myspace Secret Show recorded live in London. One hour of pure electrobliss.

[EN FRANCAIS] En studio avec Deportivo

La semaine dernière j'ai été invité à rencontrer le groupe rock franaçais Deportivo pour une session live ultra-privée dans leur studio parisien du Point Ephémère. Découvrir une poignée de nouveaux titres en avant-première (l'album est prévu pour février) a constitué une belle découverte autant qu'une excellente surprise.

Le titre qui s'est avéré le plus efficace pour moi à la première écoute est le futur premier single Ivres Et Débutants dont le refrain ultra-accrocheur n'aura pas de mal à se faire une belle place sur les radios rock. Ça tombe bien, non ?

Alors que leurs collègues de label trop souvent canonisés Noir Désir se séparaient deux jours plus tôt, Deportivo m'a semblé apte à porter le flambeau d'un rock francophone décomplexé et pas poseur, simple et efficace tout en étant inventif et punchy. Un peu à l'image de ce que l'on peut trouver dans le paysage anglais avec des groupes comme Kasabian ou Kaiser Chiefs.

Réponse à la sortie du disque. En attendant je vous laisse avec cette vidéo live du groupe filmée il y a peu à Nantes, histoire d'aiguiser un peu votre appétit...

Merci Anthony pour cette rencontre !

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Adele - Rolling In The Deep

This is hands down one of the best songs of the year. Ever since it premiered, I haven't been able to stop listening to Adele's new single Rolling In The Deep. She is set to return in early 2011 with her second album 21

This song is at the same time deeply emotional and melancholic but also uplifting and full of hope. It's like a whirlwind of raw emotion, or something. It makes you want to kick that bad feeling out of the way and soldier on to a better future. Or something. Maybe I'm over-interpreting.

Well done Adele, you've overcome the "second album curse". With only one single.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

[INTERVIEW] Who the f*ck is Christian TV? (+ exclusive track)

"Pop music is a character"

I first told you about Christian TV a few months ago when I found out his single When She Turns 18 was absolutely awesome. Since then I'v tried to get him to answer a few questions for the blog. Which he eventually did. Too bad the answers are so short and (visibly) half-arsed most of the time. But hey, at least you can learn one thing or two! 

Christian TV just released a mixtape you can download for free HERE 

OH, and the fine guy also gave me a track for you to download : it's his take on Miike Snow's Animal, certainly one of my favourite songs of the past few years. Click HERE to get it.

Click below to read the interview.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

[BBF'S CORNER] Live report : Louis Ronan Choisy live @ le Zèbre, Paris

Un grand merci à Hugo, qui a eu la gentillesse de couvrir pour moi le concert de Louis-Ronan Choisy auquel je ne pouvais malheureusement pas assister. J'en profite pour lui souhaiter la bienvenue sur le blog et le remercier chaleureusement sur cette excellente chronique qui, je crois, vous fera regretter autant que moi d'avoir manqué ce beau moment. 
Vous pouvez par ailleurs retrouver ici l'article que j'avais écrit sur l'artiste il y a quelques mois.

Je déteste la chanson française, car bien trop souvent les chanteurs ou groupes français nous rappellent à quel point Baudelaire, Vian, Brassens ou Gainsbourg leur sont inconnus. Je rentre donc dans le Zèbre pas trop sûr de ce que je vais entendre et priant pour qu’on ait la bonne idée d’y chanter en anglais. La rapide première partie n’est pas là pour me rassurer : visiblement l’arrangeur de Louis-Ronan qui s’essaye à un tour de chant plutôt médiocre, quoi que pas désagréable. Mais le ton est donné : ce sera en français dans le texte, des refrains langoureux et de la voix rauque. Du mâle sensible.

Et il arrive. « Il » sont quatre : guitare sèche, basse, drums et lui, son clavier, son micro, sa trompette. On est obligés de remarquer dès les premières secondes, dès le tout premier pas sur la scène que ces quatre là s’entendent bien, se respectent, s’écoutent. Et ça fait du bien, surtout quand au dernier concert qu’on a vu, les membres s’étaient déjà séparés trois fois et se coupaient la parole sur scène.

Puis vient la musique : des mélodies douces, mélancoliques, aériennes. Des accords faciles, rarement surprenants mais efficaces. Des rythmes peu variés et sans beaucoup d’effets. Une voix simplement belle, envoutante, jamais sur-jouée. Et tout ça raconte une histoire, tout ça chante des textes puissants, parfois au bord du spleen du Baudelaire cité plus haut, toujours percutants. On est heureux de l’entendre et de la comprendre cette langue là, cette poésie sans fioriture, ce concert des mots. 

Une setlist très complète, beaucoup de morceaux, pas moins de quatre « encore » et une petite guest aussi jolie qu’inattendue préférant ne chanter qu’un mot sur deux dans le micro de Louis-Ronan. Beaucoup de beaux moments : Caspard David Friedrich, un Funambule, Copenhague, J’irai voir Dieu, La nuit m’attend. Deux reprises en anglais exceptionnelles : Music de Madonna et I’ve seen that face before de Grace Jones.  Peut-être d’autres... 

Une présence toujours juste, des sourires retenus mais sincères, peu de verbiage et beaucoup de tendresse. Un certain côté Bashung, la fraicheur en plus. On ne peut s’empêcher de penser à Alex Beaupain et plus encore à Brooklyn Bridge peut avant une certaine mort, dans cette salle à moitié pleine où les couples s’enlacent et regardent dans le vide en penchant la tête.

La mort d’ailleurs, on l’entend souvent, tout comme la cigarette, le sang et les (liber)tangos. Jamais déprimé mais très souvent fatigué, usé. Il nous a dit qu’il détestait les fil-s. C’était le fil de son micro dont il parlait, mais on avait aussi envie de croire que le fil de la vie le harassait tout autant. On ressort pourtant de là avec encore plus envie de vivre.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Kylie just want tomorrow to be better than today (double video bill).

Kylie-TheUltimateGoddess-Minogue is getting ready to release the third single off her great eleventh album Aphrodite. Better Than Today is not necessarily the most instant track on the record, but it's clearly one of my favourites, so I'm fine with that choice. Following the disappointing chart placement of previous single Get Outta My Way, I'm afraid this campaign isn't going as smoothly as planned. Boo-ooh.

That being said, the video, though simple, is gorgeous (as is its star), with lots of colourful settings, costumes and screen projections. Nothing very original in this clip Kylie co-directed herself with BFF William Baker, but at least it makes this bouncy little pop song even more likeable.

OH, I almost forgot. That opportunistic duet Kylie did with rather awful UK R&B star Taio Cruz has a video too. Apart from showing a fiercely sexy Minogue, it's not very interesting. The song is ok though, isn't it? It should do well in the charts, so let's consider it a bright move in these troubled times for pure & good pop music.

[LIVE REPORT] Jamiroquai Live @ l'Arc, Paris

Live pictures by Pierre d'Argy
Pour lire cet article en français cliquez sur "more more more"

It's always painful to see notice that you love a band for what it used to be rather than for what it actually is. That's my thing with Jamiroquai.

From the band's beginnings in the early 90s to the en doff their reign in the mid 00s, Jay Kay and his mates produced a string of irresistible pop-funk hits. Mind you, Cosmic Girl, Little L, Canned Heat, and Deeper Underground are not exactly bad. The "A Funk Odyssey" album still stands as one hell of a great record, along with one of the most beautiful artworks of the decade.

De It's Pop!

Following a five-year hiatus (the latest record, Dynamite, didn't leave much worth remembering), Jamiroquai are back with Rock Dust Light Star. It's hard to be fully enthused too. The funky flavor is still here, there's nothing dreadful, but the LP generally lacks a bang, … and hits. New single White Knuckle Ride aside, which is quite infectious and has a grate chorus, the rest doesn't measure to the band's groovy standards.

De It's Pop!

A live show generally makes things better, right? By playing a small, not at all designed for concerts central-Paris club last week, where you could barely see what was going on on stage, the band didn't make anything better. The setlist heavily featured new tracks the band served quit well. Too bad they failed to connect with the audience, which was of course expecting more hits. Jay Kay, not quite the crowd pleaser that night (let's say he was "tired", as the show only started at 11pm instead of 9:30), finally kicked things off near the end of the show, with Love Foolosophy and Deeper Underground. Still hitting the spot.

I'll be happy to watch the band again on a proper stage during a proper gig, with a better setlist featuring more old songs. In the meantime you should all listen to the band's best-of CD, they don't have much to add to it.

White Knuckle Ride (Live at the X Factor)

Monday, November 15, 2010

[EN FRANCAIS] Le bel univers de Madjo

De It's Pop!
Arrivée dans le paysage musical il y quelque mois la jeune et jolie Madjo offre un cocktail rafraîchissant de pop mâtinée de soul avec son premier album Trapdoor. Mélangeant anglais et français avec une aisance totale au gré des douze morceaux de son disque, elle affiche une belle personnalité et une indépendance certaine. De la conception de son album à sa promotion, en passant par la gestion de sa vie online, elle garde la main en harmonie avec un label qui a compris son intérêt à ne pas enfermer ni limiter son artiste.

Trapdoor est un bel album rempli de titres joliment travaillés mais jamais départis d'un certain grain d'originalité. Un son parfois brut, que la voix chaleureuse de Madjo sert à merveille. Si certains titres demandent quelques écoutes pour convaincre tout à fait (Le Coeur Hibou, Cracheur de Feu), le charme indéniable des compositions opère. Sans compter que nombre de chansons font figure de tubes. On pense évidemment au premier single, le dynamique Nid des 100 soucis (dont vous pouvez découvrir le clip ci-dessous), mais également l'entêtant Leaving My Heart ou encore Mad Mind ou Je Claque Des Doigts. Petite note personnelle, les titres en anglais semblent plus efficaces mais les textes francophones n'ont pas à rougir, puisqu'ils se font l'écho d'un univers séduisant et cohérent.

Sur disque comme en vrai, Madjo est une jeune femme immédiatement sympathique, vive et pleine d'humour. Une belle rencontre que je vous propose de retrouver ci-dessous, de même qu'une playlist composée par ses soins. N'hésitez pas à découvrir Trapdoor, assurément l'une des révélations de cette année qu'on espère retrouver en lice pour les prochaines Victoires de la Musique. Ce serait la moindre des choses, et un beau coup de projecteur pour une jeune femme qui le mérite.

Pour écouter l'album de Madjo, c'est par ici !

Concert : Madjo sera à la Maroquinerie le mardi 16 novembre et est actuellement en tournée un peu partout.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

[INTERVIEW] The Amplifetes: the fantastic four

Left to right: Korpi, Tommy, Henrik, Peter

La version française de l'interview a été posté sur le blog My Tour Manager.

Not so long ago I had the pleasure to meet The Amplifetes, an awesome electro-pop-rock band from Sweden, whose eponymous debut album was just released in France. The four guys were a pleasure to talk with, and we had a lovely chat in the gardens of the Swedish Institute in Paris, during which we talked about things as diverse as Madonna, Swedish winters and shampoo. But most importantly, they told me a lot about their brilliant record which sums up pretty much everything I love about music: pure pop songs with a little something else. Read our chat and get you hands on the boys' music as soon as possible through any online retailer. You won't regret it.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Happy All Saint Day!

November 1st > All Saints Day > All Saints

(Pour lire ce billet en français, cliquez sur "more more more" en bas de l'article).


Is there a better way to celebrate the departed than to mention the fourth best UK girlband of all time ? Reminder : 1/ Spice Girls, 2/ Girls Aloud, 3/ Sugababes (v. 1, v.2 & v.3), 4/All Saints, 5/ The Saturdays, [...] 39/ Atomic Kitten.

As they are unfortunately no longer with us (at least artistically speaking) despite trying a comeback in 2006 with the so-so Studio 1 (a total flop), they deserve our undivided attention during that grey bank holiday Monday. 

I HAD to mention their fantastic single Pure Shores, taken from the band's second album but also from the soundtrack to Danny Boyle's The Beach featuring Leonardo Di Caprio. The song, produced by pop divinity William Orbit, the alchemist behind Madonna's Ray Of Light, still sounds as perfect and dreamy as it did ten years ago. One of the best tracks of the modern pop era (ie post-Vogue era).

Now relax, enjoy the day. Make yourself a mojito, turn up the heating a little and close your eyes : you're in Thailand and life is sweet. And there's no sand in you undies. Thank you, All Saints.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Some videos I should have posted earlier

Hurts - Stay
One of my favourite songs from one of my favourite bands & albums of the year. Beautiful and inspired as always. Watch out for a full-on live report ASAP.

Robyn - Indestructible
Once again it's 100% perfection from Robyn, with a sexy video for her third single of the year. Awesome dress by the way.

Julian Perretta - Stitch Me Up
Good point they went for the second best song on Julian's great debut album (after King For A Day, obviously) as his second single. Too bad the video is boring and generic. Lots of beautiful girls for you pervs, though.

Take That - The Flood
The reunion of all five members of the most iconic boyband ever (Robbie! Yay!) as well as their collaboration with Stuart Price is GREAT news. The single is epic. All is fine in the world.

Nadine Coyle - Insatiable (Live @ Paul O'Grady Show)
Not a "music video" I know, but I couldn't resist the urge to post the first-ever performance of Insatiable. The single is out on Monday, and while it probably won't set the charts alight (I hope I'm wrong) it proves that Nadine doesn't need to rely on miming and dance routines to wow an audience. Her voice is enough.

Monday, October 25, 2010

[EN FRANCAIS] : Yodelice - Cardioid (album review)

Yodelice, c'est juste l'une des meilleures ré-inventions artistiques des ces dernières années. Souvenez-vous du début des années 2000. Le beau gosse qui produit l'album du girlband français L5? Le grand brun ténébreux qui joue (mal) dans Alive, l'un des dix pires films de tous les temps? Le médiatique compagnon de la chanteuse Jenifer? Un seul et même homme: Maxim Nucci. Légèrement tiré vers le bas par ces incartades bien peu valorisantes aux yeux des cools, la carrière solo du l'homme peinera à décoller (attention, euphémisme), malgré une couleur pop-rock plutôt agréable. Si Alive n'est pas vraiment pardonnable, on peut lui reconnaître un beau travail de production sur l'album des cinq vilaines de Popstars, qui se rapproche plus des sonorités pop modernes de leurs cousines anglo-saxonnes qu'à une resucée des So What.

Mais là n'est pas vraiment la question. Notre bon Maxime, par ailleurs excellent musicien, a en 2008 une idée qui va sauver sa carrière : abandonner son look de boyband et l'univers musical un peu niais dans lequel il évolue pour se créer un personnage : Yodelice. Son pseudo, qui fait référence à la "Casa Yodelice" où il a enregistré son "premier" album The Tree Of Life, un nouveau look barbu-hobo-chapeauté et surtout un son pop-folk chaleureux lui permettront d'arriver là où il n'aurait jamais pu arriver sans cette réinvention. Le public français n'est généralement pas enclin à accepter les changement radicaux ou autres expérimentations musicales, et s'imposer à lui sous une nouvelle identité était le moyen le plus finaud d'y arriver. Bien sûr, la barbe et le chapeau melon font sans doute moins saliver les amatrices de mannequins propres sur eux, mais au moins les pairs et les sceptiques des premiers temps ne peuvent plus reprocher à l'artiste de se cacher derrière son physique.

Aujourd'hui sort Cadioid, le deuxième album de Yodelice. Si le premier m'avait laissé un peu froid malgré d'évidentes qualités, il en va différemment pour celui-ci. Ce second opus est une réussite totale et la confirmation d'un univers aussi particulier que passionnant dans lequel on entre dès Breathe In, le premier titre. More Than Meets The Eye, le single qui a la charge d'attirer la lumière sur l'album, remplit parfaitement son office en proposant une folk accessible et mélodique très facilement mémorisable. Les titres les plus marqués rythmiquement (My Blood Is Burning, Wake Me Up), en plus d'être ceux qui retiennent le mieux l'attention, sont ceux qui s'avèrent les plus intéressants mélodiquement. Experience porte bien son nom, puisqu'en près de six minutes son interprète nous ballade au gré d'une montée de tempo très réussie qui constitue le centre du disque. Picture Perfect et Five Thousand Nights (en duo avec Marion Cotillard) marquent le retour des titres folk plus posés, tandis que Monkey's Evolution constitue un épilogue brillant, après seulement neuf titres. Il n'était en effet pas nécessaire d'en faire plus pour séduire.

La cohérence de Cardioid ne se dément jamais et montre un artiste inspiré et à l'aise, doté d'un réel univers et fort d'une maîtrise totale. Une réelle réussite que les plus admirateurs d'entre vous pourront prolonger au cinéma puisque Maxim Nucci tient un rôle secondaire dans Les Petits Mouchoirs de Guillaume Canet (qui avait réalisé le clip de Sunday With A Flu), lui-même compagnon de Marion Cotillard que l'on retrouve sur l'album. 2010 aura donc été une bien belle année pour Yodelice Nucci, nul doute que la suivante suivra le même chemin.

Yodelice - Cardioid (Mercury/Universal) / Sortie le 25/10 en CD & Digital / En tournée (à Paris: au Bataclan le 22/11 et à la Cigale le 24/11).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

French Corner : Brigitte - two girls, one...great project

This is the beginning of a love story. Or more accurately, the continuation of one. Half of French duo Brigitte is not totally unknown to me, as Sylvie Hoarau was the lead singer of one of the only best French pop bands we've had here in France. They were called Vendetta and had an awesome album that totally bombed due to a criminal lack of promotion. I even wrote something about them back in the day. You can still download the tracks I posted!

Anyway now Sylvie is back with a new project, along with the gorgeous Mayanne. Totally different from the band, but at least as good, Brigitte showcase a sexy, mature and clever modern pop-folk sound with a hint of electric sounds that has everything it takes to massively seduce. There's no doubt I'll tell you more about these girls soon, as I intend to meet them ASAP. Queue the stalking!

For now watch the great video for La Vengeance d'une Louve (The revenge of a she-wolf) taken from their Battez-Vous (Fight!) EP, which is available to buy on iTunes.

At the end of the article is a video of the twosome's great cover of über-famous French rap track Ma Benz by NTM. Click here for the original, en enjoy the change!

Attention, vous allez asssister aux débuts d'une histoire d'amour. Ou, plus précisément, à la continuation d'une histoire d'amour. La moitié du duo Brigitte ne m'est en effet pas étrangère, puisqu'i s'agit de Sylvie Hoarau, tête de proue du groupe Vendetta, très clairement le seul bon meilleur groupe pop français de ces dernières années. Leur premier (et unique) album Drôle d'Idée, sorti en 2004 était tout simplement parfait et n'a pas pris une ride. Seulement voilà, un travail promotionnel dramatique de la part du label a conduit l'album à un destin qu'il était loin de mériter (gros flop, quoi). Pour info j'avais écrit un petit quelque chose sur Vendetta, il y a deux ans de ça, et vous pouvez même télécharger les titres que j'avais postés.

Quoiqu'il en soit Sylvie est de retour avec un nouveau projet, au côté de la délicieuse Mayanne. On est loin de l'univers de Vendetta, mais le résultat est tout aussi bon, Brigitte proposant un son pop-folk sensuel et malin, réhaussé ça et là d'éléments modernes bienvenus et faits pour séduire. Attendez-vous à ce que je vous reparle de ces deux charmantes jeunes femmes, puisque j'ai bien l'intention de les rencontrer. 

En attendant je vous invite à regarder le clip de La Vengeance d'une Louve, extrait de l'EP Battez-Vous (dispo sur iTunes), qui contient une excellente reprise de Ma Benz de NTM (vidéo ci-dessous). J'ai enfin compris ce que Joey et Kool voulaient dire dans les paroles, donc merci Brigitte !

Monday, October 18, 2010

Robyn > Indestructible > OH YEAH

I'm sorry to bang about how amazing Robyn is AGAIN, but girl doesn't seem to be willing to stop delivering perfect pop tracks. This time it's the first single from Body Talk pt. 3, the last installment of her mini album series that saw her release two almost-perfect records. Indestructible appeared on BTII in a superb orchestral version and it's now ours in a sumptuous electronified one. Once again it's a total triumph that puts Robyn very high on my list of favourite artistes of 2010 ever.

Indestructible is released on November 22nd and Body Talk pt. 3 drops one week later. It' wil contain 5 tracks from BTPI, 5 from BTPII and 5 brand new tracks.

As a reminder, here's the Orchestral version.

[Album review] I Blame Coco - The Constant

Pour lire ce billet en version française, rendez-vous sur l'excellent blog ami de Maison Camiba
I takes some guts to take a stab at a musical career when your father has had is share of success (in the present case Sting, quite the hitmaker) and you don't especially look like Shakira. There's a risk you'll end up like Kelly Osbourne and people will feel sorry for you laugh at you. Unless you have some talent. Coco Sumner has plenty. The twenty year-old's debut record The Constant is in fact a triumph.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

[EN FRANCAIS] Live report : Robbie Williams live in Paris

Crédit :
Article initialement publié sur My Tour Manager, où j'officie chaque lundi

 Aussi incroyable que cela puisse paraître, Robbie Williams a presque vingt ans de carrière derrière lui. Si l’on passera rapidement sur ses débuts au sein du boyband Take That (qui a d’ailleurs signé un retour fracassant à quatre, il y a trois ans), c’est sa carrière solo qui nous intéresse. Depuis 1996, il s’est imposé comme l’artiste masculin le plus récompensé, adulé et parfois détesté au Royaume-Uni et en Europe. Il sort aujourd’hui son deuxième best of, sobrement intitulé “In and Out Of Consciousness : Greatest Hits 1990/2010”, soit un retour sur sa carrière en pas moins de 57 chansons, pour la version deluxe bien sûr.

[EN FRANCAIS] Pacific 231, la remise à flot de Raphaël

Article initialement publié sur My Tour Manager, où j'officie chaque lundi

Ceux d'entre vous qui me sont fidèles chaque lundi savent que je m'enthousiasme rarement pour la production musicale francophone. Pas par anglophilie forcenée, mais plutôt parce que très peu d'artistes de chez nous savent faire vibrer ma corde pop. Autant vous dire que Raphaël, même si j'ai toujours suivi sa carrière d'une oreille, ne bénéficiait pas d'une cote Scissor-Sisteresque jusqu'à présent. Bon ça, c'était avant Pacific 231.

[EN FRANCAIS] Julian Perretta - Stitch Me Up (album review)

Article initialement publié sur My Tour Manager, où j'officie chaque lundi

Le problème des « révélations musicales de l’année», c’est qu’il y en a au bas mot dix par semaine. Bien évidemment nous autres blogueurs sommes les premiers à en rajouter dès qu’un titre d’un mec vaguement intéressant excite notre oreille. Si l’on se rend souvent à l’évidence (« bon, ok, ce type n’est pas le nouveau Prince »), je vous annonce tout de go que l’article qui suit est consacré à l’une des vraies révélations de 2010. De celles qui feront l’unanimité, pour les bonnes raisons. L’anglais Julian Perretta fait partie de cette catégorie.

[EN FRANCAIS] Hurts - Happiness (album review)

Article initialement publié sur My Tour Manager, où j'officie chaque lundi

Depuis bientôt un an une certaine chanson tient une place particulière dans ma vie. Découverte par hasard au détour de mes errements habituels sur le net, Wonderful Life du groupe britannique Hurts m’a immédiatement marquée par son anachronisme et sa non-conformité avec la production pop actuelle. On croirait en effet cette digne héritière de la new-wave anglaise directement sortie des années 80. La production, léchée sans être clinquante, et l’interprétation, empruntée mais jamais ampoulée laissaient espérer l’éclosion d’un duo à suivre.

[EN FRANCAIS] Robyn - Body Talk pt. 2 (album review)

Article initialement publié sur My Tour Manager, où j'officie chaque lundi !

Hey Robyn !
Dis-moi, tu ne serais pas en train de nous concocter l’un des albums de l’année par hasard ?!
Ou presque.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Nadine Coyle feat. a microphone stand: it's the Insatiable video

The video for Nadine Coyle's terrific debut single Insatiable (read my review of the song here) has just landed, and it screams "HELLO POPSTAR!!" 

To be fair though it clearly lacks in the plot department, since all it displays is the Irish babe looking absolutely stunning with an oldfashioned microphone stand in hand while swaying around in a rather sexy manner some would call slutty.

So now we're only a month away from the single release, let's hope she uses this time wisely to promote the hell out of it. With the new Cheryl Cole project being released almost head-to-head with Nadine's, prepare yourself for endless comparisons and probably many fake tabloid feuds. But let me break it down for you : Cheryl's new record is not going to be any good (though it's likely that 3 songs will be OK). She's a superstar who sings, and Nadine is a singer.

Now roll the campaign, I can't wait to see how the single does. And Nadine, if you need a parachute, I'll catch you if you fall...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

RPA: Random Pop Awesomeness

I'm currently lacking time to blog as much as I'd like to, but I thought I'd feed you with some (not-so-)recent cool stuff. Yeah I'm like that.

Glee does Britney

I still have to watch the episode, but I have to admit that the covers are pretty great. Generally very much like the originals, but with an unmissable Glee-twist. My favourites have to be Toxic and Stronger. And giving Brit's songs to Rachel knowing how much more powerful the latter's voice is, is in itself pretty priceless. That said we have to admit: that Britney has some of the most amazing pop songs of the last decade (and one of the best pop albums if you count Blackout).

Jamiroquai are back

We've known that for a while, but now we have a video to back that up. White Knuckle Ride is a great, classic-Jamiroquai tune, very energetic and dynamic. Of course, it's still the same recipe as in the 90s, even more so as far as the video is concerned: vehicles cruising way above the speed limit.

Kylie covers Hurts

A few weeks back Hurts covered Kylie's Confide In Me (see here) and now it's her turn to return the favour. Visiting the Radio 1 Live Lounge yesterday to promote the release of the second single off her near-perfect Aphrodite album, the Minogue covered Theo and Adam's single Wonderful Life. Needless to say my excitement rate was pretty high. If you read this blog on a regular basis you know why! Apart from this fantastic rendition, Kylie sang her current single Get Out Of My Way as well as her signature hit Can't Get You Out Of My Head in a gorgeous acoustic way, with strings and all, courtesy of her long-term musical director Steve Anderson. Perfect.
By the way the promo of the single is great, with perfect performances all around (thank you beautiful dance routine!). Too bad the song is currently at #11 in the midweek charts. Could this be a non-top 10 hit for Kylie? It sure doesn't deserve that.
(Click on the links to see the magic happen).

What a good pop mashup!

I was sent this pretty awesome mash-up earlier this week. It was made by a nice Norwegian fellow called Peter and who goes under the name "Norwegian Recycling". This man obviously knows what he's doing, as the mixing is faultless and the tracks fit in great together. This mashup ios called Miracles and incorporates tracks such as Gnarls Barkley's Crazy, Britney's Baby...One More Time, Justin Timberlake's My Love or Lady Gaga's Just Dance. How many can you spot? Great job.
You can also download an mp3 of the mahup here.

Shakira has a new video

It's for Shak's great single Loca. It was shot in Barcelona. It's nothing you've never seen before, but it's nice and festive nonetheless. I like this woman. She's very likeable (when she doesn't waste her and our time with crap like Waka Waka) isn't she? And judging from youtube videos of her new tour, I want to see her live. Like soon.OH WAIT she'll be in Paris in December (wink wink).

Scissor Sisters + Goldfrapp + Stuart Price = eargasm

OH YEAH. The b-side to the Scissor Sisters' huge (tune-wise more than chart-wise I'm afraid) new single Any Which Way is a collaboration between the band, their producer Stuart Price and the über fantastic Goldfrapp. Yes. The result is rather great, even if we could have hope for something more explosive. Let's not be too picky, this kind of collaborations doesn't happen that often.

There you go!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Brandon Flowers, Maroon 5, Katy Perry, The Mynabirds : it's an album round-up

Some words about four albums I've been listening to lately. Make a choice (and listen to a selection on the player below)!

Brandon Flowers - Flamingo

Pour lire ma critique en français, cliquez ici

The charismatic and rather endearing leader of Las Vegas band The Killers is releasing his debut solo album, making the most of his band’s hiatus. The ten-track record is a nice offering that will not surprise his fans, but has potential to win him some new ones. First single Crossfire (still my favourite), gives you a good idea of the general sound. The lack of surprising or unexpected tracks is this record’s only weakness. There is no bad song on here, but nothing you wouldn’t expect from Brandon. Too bad, given that it was produced by Stuart Price, who had already worked on the Killers’ third album and had successfully shaken their trademark sound. Anyway, you’d be missing on a good time not to join the Flamingo fun and ride along with it. Note that the bonus tracks on the deluxe edition should have featured on the regular one. They’re more than worthy of your attention.
Favourite tracks: Crossfire, Swallow It, Only The Young, On The Floor

Maroon 5 - Hands All Over

You like Maroon 5’s winning formula of big choruses, easily likeable pop-rock melodies and high-pitched sexy frontman? You won’t be disppointed with the band’s third album. As far as I’m concerned I find it difficult to listen to Adam Levine’s voice for more than six songs in a row, but I have to be fair: these guys can write a tune and have it stuck in your head in no time. I had the opportunity to attend a fancy private show last week and the band showed that a stage is were they belong. Their energetic set mainly consisted of singles from their previous records, to which they added the new one’s three single and unarguably best tracks Misery, Give Me A Little More and Stutter.
Quite frankly the record doesn’t bring anything new to the table but is likeable nonetheless. If you fancied Maroon 5 before, you’re in for a treat, but if, like me, you were never really a fan, you might find yourself slightly bored. But entertained. But bored. You get the idea.
Favourite tracks : Misery, Give Me A Little More, Stutter

Here's a video of Misery shot at the private show I attended on September 14th, courtesy of my dear friend Julien (@JulienPerret) from

Katy Perry - Teenage Dream

LOL. This singer is a joke isn't she?
Ok there’s one great song on there, it’s called Circle The Drain.
That’s it. 

The Mynabirds - What We Lose In The Fire We Gain In The Flood

This one came totally unexpectedly as a suggestion from a colleague. I gave it a try because I had been totally seduced by one track (Let The Record Go) and eventually got a superb album to listen to. Their style ranges from rock, pop and folk in the best of manners. The voice of singer Laura Burhenn is reminiscent of Aimee Mann’s, which means soulful and very emotional, but she can also deliver on more upbeat tracks. This collection of songs reflects a very home-made and warm feel that wraps you almost instantly. Perfect for an Autumn Sunday.
If you’ve never heard of this really great new band, I can only encourage you to head over to their website and download two songs for free, which will probably make you want to buy the whole record afterwards. You (kinda) have my word on that!

Now listen !

Découvrez la playlist Albums roundup 09/10 avec Brandon Flowers

Friday, September 24, 2010

A day of Happiness in Paris, with Hurts

All pictures : credit

Pour lire ma critique de Happiness en français, c'est ici !

On Tuesday September 21st, the lovely and very talented Tokyo Banhbao and I were invited to follow amazing Manchester pop duo Hurts during their promo tour in Paris. It was a great chance to talk to Theo and Adam freely, asking questions and getting their impressions on music, touring and their newly-found success. After briefly meeting them back in June during a showcase they were eventually not able to perform due to the venue's sound system dying minutes before the performance, this more intimate time with the twosome was an opportunity to check if they really are the coolest new band around. Guess what... they're more than that.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cheryl Cole Returns : the revenge of Malaria Queen (video).

Cheryl Cole's new single Promise This is probably one of the worst song I've heard this year. And that includes Missing You. Nothing works for me here. The beat is cheap, the verses are a rip-off of Cheryl's own Rain On Me, the Alouette thing is awful (and was already used way better by Mark Ronson 2 months ago and French popstar Zazie in 2007 on her track Des Rails), and whoever is responsible for this didn't even bother checking how the words were supposed to be pronounced. EPIC FAIL I say.

That being said, the video is rather nice, mainly because Cole herself looks gorgeous. As much as I'd like to enjoy this piece of pop music, I can't. It's all about Nadine Coyle's Insatiable anyway. Oh, and just to think Promise this will do better in the charts just makes me quiver with horror.

Who manages these girls ?! (It's the new Saturdays epic fail)

I would LOVE to love pop's most incredibly ill-advised quintet The Saturdays but recently, it's been hard. The campaign for their recently released EP Headlines makes me wonder who makes all those bad choices for them, and leads me to officially apply to be their manager. My contact's on the site.

Exhibit #1 : Missing You
I've already told you about how much I dislike this song, but here's the fact. It's still as bad as it was when it premiered. It's in no way first-single material. The song managed to peak at #3 though, probably due to a string of never-ending promo appearances: that's called brainwashing.

Exhibit #2 : The Saturdays 24/7
This documentary, which aimed at showing the band's life from the inside wasn't exactly a clever move. It didn't show very flattering moments (they're ill, they have stomach ache, they scream a lot, they're not very clever etc). A bit of mystery could do these girls good in my opinion.

Check out the totally awful and uncomfortable moment of over-reaction when they learn they're at number one in the midweeks with Missing You. Too bad, they dropped two spots afterwards. It's at 2:30.

Exhibit #3 : Higher
You thought all was going to be OK when they announced that Higher would be the next single? You were right, because it's the best song on the EP and quite frankly an awesome pop tune.
But you should have thought twice. 

First it was announced that a new version featuring US rapper Flo-Rida would be release as the single. FLO EFFING RIDA. The last thing any good pop song needs. As the rapper prevented the Sats from taking the #1 spot twice (for Just Can't Get Enough & Missing You) they thought :
"Hey, let's give him a verse! It'll boost up our steet credibility, make the track even more radio friendly and this time maybe we'll hit the #1 spot. Oh, and lets kill our great middle 8 in the process".
So, as predicted the new version is totally ruined. And ridiculous. Have a listen (if you dare).

The same thing goes for the single artwork. After offering generaly beautiful CD sleeves, they decided to mess it up, in case a great one could help the track. So queue the awful yellow background, the badly photoshopped pictures, cheap styling and "jumping-Vanessa" concept. Even Atomic Kitten had better sleeves.

Last but not least, here's the video.

Really? Could this be any cheaper? And could their "enthusiasm" look any faker? And why is the video not featuring Flo-Rida? No consistencey here. That's their main problem I guess. The zebra-crossing routine is fun though. I'm trying it tomorrow on my way to work.

Girls, I'm here to help you. Love, L.