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Thursday, June 30, 2011

[LIVE REPORT] Janet Jackson live @ l'Olympia, Paris



To read this review in English, please click "more more more" at the end of this post.


JANET ! J'ai grandi avec toi ! J'avais toujours eu envie de te voir en live ! J'avais un peu peur, je l'avoue. Ce que j'avais vu de ton récent Discipline Tour m'avait quelque peu échaudé. Et puis il y a quelques mois, tu as annoncé une série de concerts en Europe "up close and intimate" notamment à Paris dans une salle à taille humaine, l'Olympia. J'avais de quoi attendre ce moment avec impatience et me réjouir de te voir interpréter sur scène les titres mythiques qui ont bercé mon enfance et mon adolescence. Eh oui, tu es une de ces artistes que j'ai découvert très jeune, je ne sais plus bien comment. Mais aujourd'hui, après t'avoir vue sur scène, je peux te le dire sans détour : tu m'as déçu. Beaucoup.

Janet, j'avais la meilleure place imaginable, au premier rang du balcon, pile en face de toi. Une vue parfaite, un confort optimal (malgré la température tropicale), j'étais même mieux placé que les quelques VIP du pauvre qui avaient fait le déplacement pour toi (oui Jean-Roch, toi qui es parti après seulement 15 minutes de show, j'étais devant toi, coucou Kamel Ouali, ça va, je t'ai pas caché la vue?, bisous Christophe Willem, il arrive cet album?). Même Mme Live Nation était dans mon dos. Seul Jermaine ton frérot, salué par une ovation hystérique du public à son arrivée pendant le noir scène pouvait rivaliser avec moi. Alors bon, de quoi puis-je me plaindre, me demanderas-tu ? Mais de ton show ma chère Janet, de ton show. C'est un peu pour ça que je suis venu, à vrai dire.


Disons que j'ai eu la vilaine impression d'assister à un megamix de 90 minutes entrecoupé d'interludes aussi inutiles qu'interminables, qui ne t'ont même pas servi à te changer (enfin si, une fois) et à quitter ainsi tes fringues H&M. Ah oui, disons aussi que techniquement, ton show m'a fait penser à une production du début des années 90. D'où sortait cet écran discount basse définition ? Du Spiceworld Tour des Spice Girls ? Et les tenues des tes danseurs ? Du Dance Machine 4 à Bercy ? Et tes projections ? De Windows Media Player 99 ?

Je n'ai pas aimé entendre des versions tronquées, avortées de tes chansons, même si on est bien d'accord, tu as un nombre impressionnant de titres que j'aurais aimé te voir interpréter ce soir. Mais bon, la première partie de ton show, où chaque chanson se fondait dans la suivante, m'a frustré au plus haut point. Dans le meilleur des cas on a eu droit à des versions de 2:30 à 3 minutes, dans le pire de 30 secondes. A peine le temps de se réjouir qu'on passait déjà au tube suivant sans toujours s'en rendre compte.


Si les années 80 et la première moitié des années 90 ont été largement privilégiées ce soir (et tant mieux, tu as tant de titres en or issus de ces années là), la suite pourtant fort excitante de ta carrière a été à peine survolée. Si bien évidemment Together Again fait partie de la setlist, Got Til It's Gone, Go Deep, I Get Lonely, de ton fantastique album The Velvet Rope (1998) sont oubliées, et à part quelques singles des années suivantes (All For You, Doesn't Really Matter, Feedback), on peut dire que tu ne t'es pas étendue. J'aurais pu me bouger pour voir une de tes tournées précédentes, me rétorqueras-tu, mais je pense qu'un survol plus complet de ta carrière aurait satisfait ceux qui comme moi, pensent que tu n'as pas fait que des daubes mid-tempo ces dernières années (2nite, Rock With U par exemple, sur Discipline)… Et nous mettre le clip de Runaway en tout début de concert, au lieu de nous l'interpréter en bonne et due forme (Runaway, quoi!!!), c'est passible de la cour martiale de la pop. Comme si Kylie arrêtait de chanter Can't Get You Out Of My Head. Ce qu'elle finira bien par faire, je le crains. Bref. J'aurais bien voulu chanter Whoops Now aussi. Elle m'a toujours plu, celle-là.



Ah en revanche, le second "acte" du spectacle, le megamix de ballades, autant te dire que je m'en serais volontiers passé. J'aurais loupé les chandeliers bien kitsch et moches, ceci dit.

Evidemment, tu as rendu hommage à Michael, le temps d'une minute de Scream et d'un montage photo bien cheesy sur Together Again. Bonne idée, de ne pas en avoir fait des tonnes. C'était ton show. D'ailleurs, amincie et énergique, tu l'as porté de bout en bout. Tes danseurs t'ont avantageusement accompagné, mais jamais éclipsée.

Tes fans hardcore (ce que je ne suis pas) ont semblé heureux de ce show par ailleurs assez court (1h30, interludes de 5 minutes comprises) et presque toujours chanté en live. J'en suis ravi. Peut-être suis-je passé à côté du simple plaisir de te voir sur scène, mais franchement j'attendais mieux de toi. Tu es Janet Jackson, quand même.

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Le saviez vous? Les meilleures places mises en vente pour les concerts à l'Olympia sont disponibles sur le site web de la salle www.olympiahall.com. Par ailleurs, l'appli iPhone de la mythique salle rouge est bien conçue, et gratuite sur l'app store. A découvrir sans tarder !

Friday, June 24, 2011

Darren Hayes is BACK BACK BACK



I L.O.V.E. Darren Hayes. The same way I L.O.V.E.D. Savage Garden. Yes for those who didn't know, Darren was the Australian twosome's singer back in the day. 

His solo work undoubtedly makes him one of the very few amazing male popstars. Too bad he's still appears as an outsider of the pop royalty. He's one of the very few guys who can make pop as interesting as with female artists. 


His new single Talk Talk Talk is an awesome and clever slice of electro-pop goodness. The verses are reminiscent of Madonna's Get Together (can anyone do a mash up please?), as xolondon pointed out the other day on Twitter. And those strings at the end of the single edit of the track !!!!
Ever the Madonna fan, Darren recorded a REALLY great cover of the Queen's Angel as the b-side to the single. He did also cover Dress You Up a few years ago to stellar results.

(Dress You Up)

Now you know what to do: head to the nearest iTunes store and buy buy buy those two tracks. Pop probably won't get any better this Summer. 

PS: Darren, I want to interview you. Thank you. Kiss kiss kiss. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Florrie the Experimenter


I know, it hasn't been long since I last mentioned Florrie. It's not my fault, she's been pretty busy lately. She recently released her second EP Experiments (after Introduction in late 2010) she worked on for several months with Brian Higgins from Xenomania, who's also her manager. Remember, I told you I had a chat with both of them when Florrie graced Paris with her presence in May.

At the time Brian let me listen to about a minute of I Took A Little Something, which made me all wet on the inside. Even a minute of it was enough to understand this song was major: first as in "a major pop track", second as in "a major departure from what she had done before".

Proof!
The second EP marks a bold new step in Florrie's budding career. It takes everything you thought it would be, shakes it up, cuts it, and serves it to you in the form of a six-track collection of brilliant and daring pop. I will not lie, and it seems Florrie remembered it from our aftershow chat, I didn't really like the first single Begging Me at first.

Oh I love Twitter! You can chat with popstars & fellow bloggers, just like that.
I guess I was surprised and a bit disappointed it didn't sound as catchy and immediate as some of her earlier work. But in the context of the EP, it makes sense. It's taking risks, it's not meant to catch your ear instantly but it seduces you for sure after you take the time to appreciate it and accept you won't immediately love it. A good part of the record had the same effect on me. While I fell right in love with She Always Gets What She Wants (which I had heard live twice already) and its reworked instrumental, and couldn't resist the charms and awesomeness of Took A Little Something, it took me repeated listens to get around more complex tracks like Experimenting With Rugs and Speed Of Light.

Gorgeous video for I Took A Little Something, shot by the Dolce & Gabbana team in Paris.

The structure, length and general feel of these tracks explain the whole set's title quite well. Here Florrie and Brian experimented on sounds, songs, on the whole pop format. It reminded me of some of Girls Aloud's Out Of Control album where, alongside obvious hits (The Promise, Turn To Stone…) there were amazingly daring and exciting stuff you don't often hear in pop nowadays. I'm referencing the EPIC and impossible-to-surpass Untouchable of course, as well as Love Is The Key or Miss You Bow Wow. By taking her musical journey a step (two steps) further, Florrie proves she has more than meets the eye and confirms her huge potential.

Just on a side note, I'm fed up with hearing here, there and everywhere that Lady Gaga is the sound of the future, her album is the best of the year, of the decade etc. It is not true. It's just an uninspired rehash of everything that's been done over the past twenty years. There's no or very little experimentation. If you want modern, forward-thinking pop, listen to Florrie. And Robyn. 

If you have read her very clever blog post already (if not, do it now!), you understand how consistent her strategy is with her music (and the other way around too!). If she keeps making such exciting experiments, there's no doubt her climb of the pop Everest won't stop anytime soon. I'll be among those following her to the top anyway.

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You can listen to Experiments on Florrie's site and you can (should/must) buy it on iTunes (links)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

[DELOCALISATION] It's Pop! à Bruxelles avec Jali

4 mai 2011, réception d'un mail intitulé : "Loïc, si on partait à Bruxelles chez un artiste ?" Moi je suis là pour faire plaisir aux gens, vous savez, alors...

Fast forward 21 mai 2011



Wednesday, June 08, 2011

[EXCLUSIVE] Live session : Elisa Tovati & Tom Dice "Il Nous Faut".


Tiens, et si on tenait l'un des tubes de l'été ? Probable, le titre étant déjà #7 sur iTunes (et premier pour les titres français). 

Après un showcase plus que convaincant dans les locaux de Wizee lundi 6 juin, mes potos de 3ème Gauche TV et moi-même avons voulu en savoir plus sur Elisa Tovati et son nouvel album Le Syndrome de Peter Pan (qui sortira le 20 juin). Rendez-vous fut donc pris pour une interview et une session live exclusive de son duo avec le chanteur Belge Tom Dice, Il Nous Faut. Joué pour la première fois dans cette configuration, la chanson dévoile une échange délicat entre les deux artistes.

A suivre sur It's Pop! et 3emeGauche.TV, une interview d'Elisa, réalisée par yours truly !



Pour écouter la chanson dans sa version originale, c'est ici!



www.3emeGauche.tv / Elisa Tovati sur Facebook et Twitter / Tom Dice sur Facebook et Twitter.

Friday, June 03, 2011

NEW COLDPLAY ! Life is amazing!


Life is fantastic this week. After a new Robyn video and the premiere of Nicola Roberts' single yesterday, today sees the world premiere of Coldplay's new single Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall.

The on-air-on-sale strategy being this amazing idea, the track was made available on iTunes right after it was played for the first time on the radio. Which means I've owned it (and listened to it) for 40 minutes now. It's 1:41 pm Paris time on this Friday.

The song is an epic track in the vein of Viva La Vida, lots of things are happening in 4 minutes, and I still need to get my head around it. But the drumming in the last few seconds of the song are MAJOR. Coldplay, our love story can start again.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

[NEW ROBYN VIDEO ALERT] Call Your Girlfriend


The best-current-popstar-in-the-world-apart-from-Kylie-and-Madonna, the awesome Robyn, just premiered her new video, for Call Your Girlfriend. Simplicity, class and awesomeness seem to be the key points in this video.

If you haven't already (then I wonder what you're doing on my blog), please give Robyn's fantastic 2010 trilogy Body Talk a listen. The best pop we've had in years. And probably until she evetually records its follow-up.

Can't wait to see her live in London on July 17!!!! Lovebox festival is going to be quite the extraordinary weekend.

Nicola Roberts - Beat Of My Drum (song & VIDEO)




The news of Girls Aloud reforming next year for a tour and possibly an album isn't the only GA-pant-wetting piece of news of the day. Amazing girlbanf member Nicola Roberts just premiered her debut solo single on UK radio.

After a few weeks of snippets and teasing, here's the proper track in all its glory. What I can say is IT'S FREAKING AMAZING, bitches. After the Cheryl Cole solo debacle and Nuhdeen's failed attempt at solo success (despite a generally good album), it's a welcome return for probably the most underrated Aloud.
I am absolutely 100% behind Nicola on this one and really hope she'll be successful, which would be a rather satisfying thing given she was never the one people thought would make a name for herself outside the band.

Produced by Diplo (yes, the same who worked with pop Goddess Robyn), and French producer Dimitri Tikovoi, the track is instantly infectious and and its chanting chorus (L! O! V! E! Dance to the beat of my Drum) has all the qualities of a proper Summer anthem. Go Nicola!




An OFF-date with Mc Fly

Yes that means "Access All Areas" ;-)
It was already 2 months ago that I was sent to London to meet UK male band Mc Fly for an interview and some coverage of their show at Wembley Arena as part of their Above the Noise Tour. The  sun-filled 24-hour trip to the British capital was a great occasion to get to know those guys better, as I wasn't really familiar with the entirety of their back catalogue. I knew the hits for sure, and liked the singles from the latest album Above The Noise. It was a good start right?
So after a bit of research, I finally could tell who Tom, Harry, Dougie and Danny were. Which proved somewhat convenient when I met the two fans we were taking to meet the band. They knew pretty much everything and were super excited to meet their idols. Cute! 

Can you spot my arm in the video? It's holding a mic ;-)


So after a bit of showing around London to my travel buddy Julien (he's the one who talentedly filmed everything), we headed to Wembley Arena and got ready for the interview. After a bit of setting up (two cameras, microphones, light etc), the four boys finally arrived and sat with me for a little chat about their tour, the album, their French fans and many other things, which you can unfortunately not all see in the video. I'm not responsible for the editing! :)
The boys being pretty busy and excited to play London, it went quickly, but I have to say they are nice and funny. Tom especially, who clearly led the whole thing. Too bad I didn't get to spend more time alone with Harry, he seemed so... well, you see. 

Good evening Wembleeeeey
The fans then met the boys, which was quite the emotional moment for the girls. And a cute one to watch! You gotta admire the band's professionalism for doing those meet-and-greets every day before their show, instead of spending some time in their dressing rooms playing video games or banging a Saturday or two (or five). As far as I'm concerned, I know what I'd be doing.

After that we headed to our (great) seats to enjoy the show. Well after the first three songs, that is since Julien and I were granted the right to spend some time right by the stage to shoot the beginning of the show. Cool time! The show itself is in the band's own words "the biggest one [they've] done in terms of production". Yes indeed. The whole show looks great, is beautifully staged and super-entertaining throughout. As a non-fan I was very surprised and totally enjoyed myself. It had what I absolutely LOVE about pop concerts in the UK: a hole variety of people (young, old, boys, girls, gays, straights, rugby players -they were right in front of us!-, cheerleaders, rich, poor etc) all enjoying the same thing for two hours, having a good time at a pop show by a boy band. You couldn't see that in France, sadly. These guys know how to rock an arena and judging from the cheering, their fans were more than happy. Oh, and as the whole show was being filmed, I guess there'll be a DVD out sometime soon. I wouldn't seem like such a waste of money to me...

Below is the video for McFly's very awesome Shine a Light. Why does it feature Taio Cruz? He's useless.