Monday, June 28, 2010

Five songs for the week of June 28th

Kylie Minogue - Better Than Today
Yes, I'm experiencing a Kylie-Frenzy at the moment. This track will remind the American fans of her 2009 US tour tour since she performed it exclusively for them. Now it's on Aphrodite, Kylie's 11th album out next week. It's instantly catchy, very sexy and definitely on of my favourites from the new record.

Christian TV - When She Turns 18
When I interviewed Julian Perretta a few weeks ago, he told me this was his favourite song of the moment. (Read here).Then Britney tweeted she loved it. After investigation both artists were right to praise Christian TV's first single. It screams "hit", with its killer chorus, bouncy rhythm and cheeky lyrics. Sound of the (my) Summer for sure. (Watch the banned video here)

Christophe Willem - Bombe Anatomique/Erotica (Steve Anderson Remix)
This is the version Christophe is currently performing on his Coffee Tour across France. It's a revamped version of a song from his debut album, mashed-up with Madonna's Erotica. The result is perfect, thanks to Mr. Anderson, the magician behind all of Kylie's tours. (Watch the video here)

Quentin Mosimann - Gainsbourg Zéro-Dix
French male popstars, part 2. I've never been a fan of Quentin's despite @myfizzypop's pressure, but I have to admit this song about famous deceased French singer Serge Gainsbourg is absolutely fantastic. The sample, the rhythm, the lyrics, the voice: they all make for a super modern French pop song that you won't be able to get out of your head. (Thanks William for that!)

Diana Vickers - Hit
While I wasn't that much into her album, I admit there are a few gems on there. Hit, which was written by none other than Björk, is one of them. It doesn't fit the album at all, being to weird compared to the very polished other pop songs but at least, it's good!

Kylie playing a newbie and an oldie on British TV

Kylie played her stunning new single All The Lovers on the Jonathan Ross show. It was live and totally great. She also took four minutes and twenty-three seconds off her busy promotional schedule to play her 2001/2002 hit Love At First Sight. This was a nice moment too.
In case you're wondering, Aphrodite (Min's new album) is great. Review soon!

The best pop moment of 2010 happened at Glastonbury.

Kylie joined the Scissor Sisters on stage at Glastonbury to sing Any Which Way, one of the most exciting songs on the band's new album Night Work (review coming up!). ABSOLUTELY EFFING ORGASM-INDUCING. That's what they call a BIG-POP-MOMENT.

And, as Xtina would say, "if you don't like it, f*ck you !" ;)

And in other Kylie/Sisters news, the band covered Minogue'snew single All The Lovers in the Live Lounge. Yes, it's a country version. Lovely!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Hoosiers: great new song, Funny new video

The Hoosiers had a great album out two years ago. Now they're ready to release the second one The Illusion Of Safety on August 16. First single Choices is rather awesome, very synthy and fun. Have a listen below.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New Aaron! Seeds of Gold


Aaron, a French band singing in English, have a new song out ! Seeds Of Gold is the first single to be taken from their second album Birds In The Storm, due out later this year. We don't have that many good pop-rock bands here in France, so let's be happy with this rather beautiful song. It will probably remind you of Coldplay a lot, and as for me, I can sing the chorus to Elbow's Forget Myself on top of it.
If you don't know them already, you'd be well-advised to go listen to their first LP Artificial Animals Riding On Neverland (AARON), which was filled with great pop songs. And if you can catch them live, don't miss them because they are excellent on a stage.

Five songs for the week of June 21st

Janelle Monae - Cold War
This woman has an album that has enough great songs and incredibly sassy attitude to challenge the Beyoncés of this world. Cold War, an exciting blend of pop, R&B, with a little something more is a great way to showcase Janelle's great, great talent.

Maroon 5 - Misery
Adam Levine's band are back with an immediate smash that should be everywhere in a few weeks. It's kinda nice to have tem back in top form with this really enjoyable pop-rock track. Welcome back!

Scissor Sisters - Any Which Way
Nightwork, the band's new album, which is released on June 28th, is so good that I had a hard time choosing one song. Let's just say that this one is pure Scissters, and more. It has a police siren, fantasticly cool lyrics, and an incredible monologue performed by Ana Matronic. Oh, and it will make you dance in ways you had never imagined.

The Amplifetes - Somebody New
This band is one of the most exciting right now, judging by the great singles they have to offer. This one is a great treat to you pop-loving ears. Now bring on the album, bitches!

Sara Schiralli - Paranoid
Sara is a sweet little thing coming from the UK (she was born in Italy). Her first album Bang Bang (out in September) is a beautiful collection of pop-folk songs which will be perfect for the end of the summer. Remember this name, and this voice, as you will probably hear a lot about this girl soon. Below is the video for the catchy and adorable Paranoid.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Meet Van Go Lion (free downloads included!)


These two people above looking at you  in quite an intriguing way are Portland-based duo called Van Go Lion. Amy Paige would be the female part of the twosome and Josh Loerzel her male counterpart.
Apart from taking weirdly-lit pictures, this band also makes great 80's inspired electro pop music that you wil probably enjoy a lot. Below I have two new tracks to share with you, called Glow and The Ache. Both are instantly catchy synth-infused tunes giving you a fair idea of what's on their eponymous debut EP which you can preview here. Glow is particularly awesome, I thought I should warn you.
Have fun listening to these two and tell me what you think about the two tracks. I love myself a little feedback!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Five songs for the week of June 14th

Aloe Blacc - I Need A Dollar
You might know this song if you watch the new HBO show How To Make It In America, as it is its theme. It is instantly catchy and has a deliciously laid-back sound that's perfect for the Summer. Plus, it works very well live! (watch the video)

Sia - Be Good To Me
This is from Sia's awesome new album We Are Born, out June 21. I chose a song that wasn't one of those we already knew from her website. Plus it's a superb ballad just like Sia can make them. Hauntingly beautiful!

Kylie Minogue - Go Hard Or Go Home
This is the b-side from All The Lovers, and while it is clearly not Kylie's best track ever, it is still pretty enjoyable. And who wouldn't be happy with a new Kylie track anyway?!

Inna Modja - Mr. H
Prepare to get instantly charmed by this cute little pop song. I can tell you you'll be humming this one for quite some time, pretty much like me I guess...!

Alex Gardner - I'm Not Mad
I know this is old and has already -and very surprisingly-  flopped in the UK, but I just read that Alex was recently signed in France to AZ/Universal. This song IS a hit, it is fantastic and has to be huge somewhere. Why not in France?! (watch the video)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Madonna vs. Gaga: the video !

This brilliant video shows how much Lady Gaga gets her inspiration from Madonna, and therefore how clever she is. Nobody quite does it like the Material Girl, as Glee's Sue Sylvester would say!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Five songs for the week of June 7th, 2010

Cicada - Love Don't Come Easy
This band was a personal reommandation from none other than Scissor Sisters singer Jake Shears, mind you. As you could suspect he's a man of great tastes, as proved by this amazing song that's gonna stay in your head for quite some time I suppose...

Katie Melua - Twisted
While her new album The House is not entirely the sonic reinvention it was supposed to be, there are a few great tracks on it. Twisted is a dreamy mid-tempo marvel on which Katie's voice does wonders.

Christina Aguilera - Vanity
Now that you know what I think of Bionic (see previous post) I can confess my complete love for this song. It's silly, hopefully ironic and it's got at least 428 great things in it. The pom-pom-pom-pom wedding song thing is among them. If the shoe fits, wear it bitch!

Macy Gray - Kissed It
This awesome rocky track comes as a real surprise from Macy Gray, just as I wasn't expecting much from her anymore (was anyone?). I saw her perform it live and she did quite well, proving that she's not a lost cause just yet.

Gabriella Cilmi - Hearts Don't Lie
I know I already wrote about how much I love this Xenomania track, but as it is out as a single in the UK this week and it will bomb hard, I thought I'd remind you of how fantastic it it. Pop at its best, with killer verses and chorus. An absolute must-have for 2010.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The curious case of Christina Aguilera (Bionic review)


Britney's rival has gone a long way since the early 00s. After more than ten years of an equally impressive and criticised career, Christina Aguilera is back with her fourth studio album. Bionic, for it is its name, has already experienced a violent backlash although it seems more that the artist herself and the album campaign are the real targets. So what can we say about the whole project? Is it a total failure? A waste? Or is Xtina facing unfair treatment from the media?
First let's say that the final product doens't quite match the singer's ambition. The tiny blonde, quite the big-mouthed feminist and borderline elegant was dreaming of a daring, avant-garde electro-pop record in the vein of Madonna's Ray Of Light, therefore casting the most prominent current talents in the field. Goldfrapp, Sia, Ladytron, Le Tigre, M.I.A., Santigold, as well as Polow Da Don and Linda Perry all lent a helping hand to miss Aguilera in order to help her achieve her goal.
It wasn't silly a few months ago to think that the collision of those many talents with Xtina's strong personality could result in an amazing body of work. Theres a body, there's definitely some work involved, but sadly here isn't much amazingness in sight. Most songs sound like Christina absorbed all of her collaborators' influences and digested them to make them "aguileresque" instead of using them to create a new sound using what her those other artists had to offer. It is funny to compare Bionic with Stripped, Xtina's second studio album from 2002. First Bionic single Not Myself Tonight is highly reminiscent of first Stripped single Dirrty, as far as high-energy and outrageous sluttiness are concerned. Newbies My Girls and I Hate Boys successfully echoe über-feminist oldie Can't Hold Us Down, while the ballads (always Christina's strong bone) are particularly good, just as they were on Stripped.
But with 18 tracks (24 on the deluxe version), this album is far too long and filled with mediocre songs that prevent the good ones from shining. Pushing the excellent Vanity at the very end of the record is an enormous mistake, given the song's huge potential and cheeky lyrics. The best tracks are often the up-tempo ones (Desnudate, Elastic Love, My Girls, Vanity) which are being well-balanced with beautiful Sia-penned ballads such as You Lost Me, I Am or Lift Me Up.
All this makes you wonder what Christina's agenda really was with this project. Her attempt at creating a great album of modern pop music is quite obviously a failure because it doens't work as a whole. You just come to realise that individually, a handful of tracks are brilliant and prove that Xtina doesn't look pale in comparison with Gaga. Ok, the Lady is at the top of the pop game at the moment with her crazy visual universe and all, but her music is not better at all. Aguilera has a sensational voice which makes miracles when it's used properly (as on the magnificent stripped version of I Am). It's therefore difficult to understand how some awful tracks like Woo-Hoo or Sex For Breakfast made the final cut, especially when some oft he best tracks are "bonus" ones (Cathy Dennis' Birds Of Prey).
Now let's talk about the promo campaign. What a disaster! Remember the catastrophy that was the Not Myself Tonight video? Vulgar, full of uninspired tributes to old Madonna videos, it's no surprise it drove the song right into the depths of the charts. The probable second single Woo-Hoo should do no better, I'm afraid. It's high time Christina released one of the ballads, just like when Beautiful was released during the Stripped campaign to make everyone forget about the chart failure of Dirrty (however amazing that song was and still is). Xtina's marketing team seems to be aware of that, since they had her perform a very simple and vocally-controlled version of You Lost Me on American Idol. Will this well-advised promo be enough to save an album that's poised to (unfairly) tank? Is the cancellation (sorry, postponment) of the Bionic Tour due to "promotional duties" and just days after tickets were put on sale a sign of the early end of the whole campaign even before the actual release? Probably not, but considering all those mistakes, one can't help but wonder if Christina Aguilera doesn't suffer from a very bad entourage, a huge lack of inspiration or a case of megalomania. Maybe all of that.

Bionic, the album that could have been perfect if it only had 14 tracks... is out now!

Below is a selection of tracks from Bionic obviously omitting the awful tracks and Janet Jackson-esque cheesy interludes.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

It's Pop interviews Julian Perretta (+ Wonder Why video premiere)

I was lucky enough to meet Julian Perretta in Paris, as he's getting busy promoting his first single and album there. After the record was off to a rocky start back in September, Julian is ready to take on the world. And if you want my opinion, I think he's very (VERY) likely to succeed, because he's got the talent, the music and a little je-ne-sais-quoi that makes him instantly likeable. Mark my words people: Julian Perretta is going to be a star. 

EDIT: due some legal issues, I've been asked to remove some parts of the interview. I am really sorry that you are not able to read everything Julian had to say, and what happened with him back in September.

IP Since the initial release of Wonder Why was cancelled in September 09, you got signed to Universal and moved to LA for a while. What have you been up to until today? 
JP Yes I spent 2 months there, and really had a great time. We kept the record the way it initially was. Fortunately no one got to hear it, it didn't leak, which I’m pleased about because it's still very fresh. So now Wonder Why comes out next month in France and then across Europe the rest of the Summer, and then Stitch Me Up (the album) will be out in September.

IP Have you been working with new people or is the record basically the same?
JP I’ve just added two tracks, one of which is called Stitch Me Up. That’s why I renamed the album this way.

IP Did you develop anything new musically while you were in LA?
JP I did some writing with Maroon 5 and I did yoga with Maroon 5 too! I also have a great friend there (Samantha Ronson Mark’s sister) who’s a DJ, so we spent a lot of time doing remix stuff. So it was a bit of a holiday, but not entirely!

IP How would you describe the album? What are the influences?
JP I wanted to write a classic pop record. My father is an amazing musician and I grew up listening to stuff like Elton John, David Bowie and my idol was Mick Jagger so I wanted to make a rock-pop album that sounded like the 70s but still sounded like a track that someone like Justin Timberlake maybe could sing, but without the kind of electro and urban vibe. Maroon 5 and Jamiroquai (who produced my whole album) were probably my biggest influences.

IP So, what’s the big plan for the re-launch of Julian Perretta?
JP I often hear that it’s a re-launch, but for me it’s not, really. Only a certain amount of people heard the music (bloggers, people who are active on the Internet). I’m very lucky that nothing leaked, so it’s still very new. In terms of promo, we’re gonna be doing a lot in France, which is the priority market right now. The record’s already gone to radio, and Wonder Why is being picked up very well

IP Female pop artists like Florence Welch, Diana Vickers, Ellie Goulding or Marina are pretty much ruling the pop charts in the UK at the moment. Are you the one who’s going to bring mal pop artists back on top?
JP It HAS to happen! There are too many girls! It’s been too long since there was a male popstar. Justin Timberlake is probably the last big international male artist I can think of. I’m making it my mission to succeed!

IP Last year you toured with Girls Aloud. Did anything naughty happen behind the scenes?
JP As much as I would have loved that, I can tell you nothing happened. We’d all love that, right? (Yes we would all love that)

IP How was the tour?
JP It was a great experience. Well, before that my band and I were used to playing tiny venues. So going from that to playing in front of 20 000 people is a crazy experience. Actually it’s like playing in the dark because the venues are so big you can’t see anything.

IP How do you feel about being already quite famous, having lots of fans and still not having released anything yet?
JP The thing is I’m very fortunate because without having my music out, there have been lots of famous people saying they love it [blogger Perez Hilton was an early fan], I’ve been lucky enough to meet people like Beyoncé and even tour with her. So I’ve been given a very good start, and now finally the record’s coming out, so there’s gonna be no mistake this time!

IP Are there any new artists you particularly like at the moment?
JP One I’m really into right to is a friend of mine called Christian TV. He is from Detroit, and he’s got a song called “When she turns 18”, which is about a 17 year-old who wants to go out, meet boys and drink, but who’s still being held back by her dad. Then he comes in and says “when you turn 18, we’re gonna have a lot to do”. I love it, I think it’s a smash. The world definitely needs something like that.

IP If you had to choose….
… one song: it changes all the time to me, but Billy Joel’s She”s Always A Woman always comes back into my life, back and forth. I remember hearing it when I was 7. It reminds me of my mother a lot, of growing up too, and making the decision to become a musician. It’s very personal in fact.
… one album: John Mayer’s latest album Battle Studies. It’s amazing.
… one artist: The Kinks. They remind me of my dad. The music I listen to on my own are songs that remind me of my parents, of being younger, and that’s a band that does that.

Here is the playlist Julian made for, the other blog I write for. It's pretty great.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Why The Scissor Sisters are going to be huge this year (at least on my iPod)

Wednesday, the amazing Scissor Sisters were in Paris for the taping of French TV show La Musicale. Being in attendance, I was lucky enough to hear 6 (SIX) new tracks from their upcoming album Night Work. Ok, I already knew Fire With Fire and Invisible Light, the latter being my favourite song of the year so far. But still, I think we heard half the new record. 
Let me tell you something: this album is going to be huge. From what I heard, I felt that it's an incredibly uplifting piece of work, full of cheerful and danceable songs. The band are back in top form and I like that very very much. 

Some additional facts:
- In one song, they sing "take me any which way you like it": Ok then
- Jake Shears looks absolutely stunning
- Ana Matronic looks absolutely stunning. I dig the Crazy Horse Dancer vs. pre-botox Dannii Minogue look A LOT
- At some point in song #4, they started running still. Amazing. 
- They have a robot-style routine during a robot-themed song. Fantastic.
- During Invisble Light Jake and Ana came offstage and DANCED with the audience. Yes that was unexpected, cool and exciting. 

Can't wait for June 28, when Night Work is released !! Or more precisely two weeks before that, when it leaks!!

Below are the band performing Fire With Fire on French TV Show Le Grand Journal. Look at Jake's eyes...

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Puss In Boots: first 3D music video ever // Awesome

Last week I was lucky enough to attend some kind of world premiere. Not the Sex and The City one, but far better. It was the first showing of a slightly original music video, since it was the first one to ever be shot in 3D. If you're familiar with this kind of movies (Avatar and stuff), you'll know what I'm talking about. I must admit I was a 3D virgin so I enjoyed the screening with excitement. 
The band in th video are French twosome Puss In Boots, a charming electro-rock act that certainly doesn't lack sexiness and good beats. The song for which the video was shot is called Here And Now Or Never and is a rather infectious number that reminded me of Yeah Yeah Yeahs' last album. Right, that's a pretty big and totally deserved compliment! Their first, eponymous EP is really good, I bet the next one is going to be even better. Can't wait to hear some new material anyway.
Below is the regular version of the video, but if you have 3D glasses at home, check the 3D version here. The result is less impressive than on a big cinema screen, but it's cool nonetheless. 

BTW, they're playing live in Paris on June 14 @ l'International.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

This is what the beginning of a Miley Cyrus showcase sounds like.

A private showcase in an upscale central-Paris venue for the launch of Miley new album Can't Be Tamed. Lots of kids, parents, cynical journalists, partycrashers.

Good luck watching.

What can be said:

- Kids aged 5-12 are VERY loud,
- Miley probably didn't know what city she was in,
- Can't Be Tamed is really enjoyable,
- She's not a really good performer,
- Kelly, 10, didn't really like her new "rock" stuff,
- She performed a Joan Jett medley, but I'm pretty sure she still thinks I Love Rock n Roll is originally a Britney song,
- See U Again is a great song,
- The Climb is not a great song
- We didn't even get the new CD :(
- It was interesting to see that parents don't seem to bother about the fact that their kids' role model is dressed as a hooker (tiny shorts, a bra, the end).

Thank you Miley Cyrus for this great musical moment.


Tuesday, June 01, 2010

It's Kylie on top of lots of men: All The Lovers video premiere

Kylie Minogue's new video for her awesome new single All The Lovers just premiered online. As expected, it's beautiful and very sexy. Is it just me or is she encouraging us to take part in street orgies??! I'm ok with that, babe.
All The Lovers will be released digitally on June 13th, and on 2 CD and 7" picture disc vinyl on June 28th.
Aphrodite will se the light of day on July 5th on CD, digital download, CD+DVD+Online experience edition (that sounds good!!) and 12" Vinyl