Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Switch it on to Leno to see how you were doing last night

Poor popstars--don't they have such difficult lives? Well, not really, though there are certainly extra pressures, some of which are highlighted by today's songs; the theme today is celebrity and the popstar life (there are a lot of other songs I could have chosen for this, so this theme may just crop up again at some point).

Gareth Gates - Enough Of Me--from the brilliant (well, really, they're both brilliant) "Night" disc of Gareth's double album Go Your Own Way. I know some people who can't stand this song, and I'm not sure whether that's because of the song or who's singing it. It's probably smart that Gareth didn't release it as a single, because it probably wouldn't have done him any favors in the media, but I like it, both musically and in subject--it's a response to those celebrities who are constantly complaining about all the ardors of fame (as well as to the media), with Gareth singing "Every time they wanna bring the heat/I flash a smile at the paparazzi" and "embracing" his celebrity status (and he was/is a celebrity, but, as I said, as a single, this track would have resulted in all sorts of snarky comments). It's got a catchy little guitar riff (it's a rocked-up pop track, but still very pop--pop stealing an element or two of rock in the name of catchiness is fine with me), as well as a great opening, starting with a mild beat and some beatboxing, then Gareth bringing in "the groove," and then the riff.

Darin - Money For Nothing--Darin's big hit from his first album. Whereas Gareth's song is more a response to celebrity-focused media hounding and the celebrities that complain about it, Darin's song is directed towards those who criticize his profession and his music, with Darin asking why they want to call what he does "money for nothing." It's a very pop track (though arguably with some R&B influences, but only in the sense that early 2000's boybands like 'N Sync might have had those influences; it doesn't have the club floor-oriented R&B influences like Darin's later single "Step Up"). The first time I heard it, it didn't really leave an impression on me, but I don't know what I was thinking--it's an excellent song, and pretty catchy.

Sita - Popstar--Dutch singer Sita (more about her in a future post), who came to fame through the television show Starmaker and the resulting group K-otic (more on them in the future, too) before beginning her solo career, brings us to the end of this theme with her song about living the popstar life, but how what ultimately matters is "who you are," not whether or not you're a popstar. That might make this song sound preachy, but it isn't; it's a catchy, bright, incredibly happy-sounding song that will be stuck in your head for days. It's very, very poppy. The video is worth a look if you have a moment; it (like the song) is pretty cute.

To buy Gareth Gates's second album, Go Your Own Way, go here (physical) or here (digital); to buy Darin's first album, The Anthem, go here (physical) or here (digital); I'm not sure where you can buy Sita's second album, Come With Me, unless you check eBay.

In other news, Ben Adams (who you all should remember from his great pop song "Sorry," if not from my frequent praises of him) has made a song of his available for download on his MySpace. The song, "Red Lady," is less aggressive or experimental or fun-sounding than many of his other songs, but that doesn't mean it's any less good. It'll only take two clicks--one to get to his MySpace, and one to click "download"--to download it (and you can listen to it before you do so), so it doesn't require any more effort than what it would take to download a song I posted, and it's really worth it.

As anyone who's been reading the comments over at the Zapping knows, Paul has put up a series of posts I think are brilliant--go check them out: boybands (including the Click Five and some others I should have known about earlier)! Boy/girl band, "the new solo Click Five," Anthony Callea, Darin, and the Click Five again! Just skip reading my comments, OK? ;)

Next up: maybe a Swedish singer.


J'ason D'luv said...

PPG, do you know who produced the Darin song? I know Max Martin did "Stand By Me" from his first album, but I don't know much about his other songs...

Paul said...

hehe, i sometimes think you are the only person who enjoys those posts, but thats ok because i love writing them and that actually is the main reason i do the blog - its fun for me to find these acts and try and find new ways of writing about them. Plus i absolutely love your responses in the comments so keep 'em coming!

I LOVE that GG song...his second album was so under promoted and given up on way too soon....he needed me to guide his career :)

Henry said...

i cant seem to post a comment on Paul's Site. :(

Robpop said...

Postergirl, hi! Thanks for your comments on Brother+Sister. I love em!

Do you realise that DontStopthePop Queen wrote both of these tracks. Robyn wrote PopStar & Money For Nothing. The latter song won lots of awards for Robyn and crucially helped funding her record company. Actually, in some catagories Robyn cancelled herself out as a song by her was selected(Be Mine) and Money For Nothing so she often went home empty handed. It also went to no.1 in Sweden. Darin also covered the Robyn song Say You'll Walk The Distance(retitled Walk the Distance)

And this might be something for pinkie, but Sita's PopStar(which was a demo for Robyns 2nd album) was covered by Danish Pop Idol star Jon Norgaard. DSTP covered him a few weeks ago during our Danskpop season:

I much prefer his version over Sita's.

Keep up the good work.

Paul said...

not that this has anything to do with this post but why l'il henry why?

Poster Girl said...

J'ason, I don't actually have the CD (I bought the songs digitally), so I can't look in the liner notes, but thank goodness for Robpop :) I think Max Martin was heavily involved with his first album as a whole, though (I think he co-produced it). His official website says "Money For Nothing" was produced by "Ghost," but I'm not sure whether that's an actual person/production team or just anonymity (I don't think it's the latter, but I'm not sure).

Paul, why doesn't the pop world understand? As soon as they give you control of their singles and album promotion, things will start going a lot better for them :) I definitely agree about that album, though.

Uh-oh, Henry, I hope you work that out! Feel free to discuss here if a forum is needed.

Robpop, I loved the Jon version when you all posted it (especially that added verse--and his voice, too)! I thought since you all had already written about it, I should post a different one. I love Darin's version of "Walk The Distance," too, and though I've never heard Robyn's version (I did know she had done the original, but I had no idea about "Money For Nothing"'s effect on Robyn), I'm sure it must be excellent--after all, it is Robyn! :)

Paul said...

PS - everytime i load Ben's myspace that song isn't there?! What the fuss?? Is it just me he doesn't like?? sniffle. can you email it to me? If you do, i will so be falling in love with a right now poster girl (have been waiting ages to use that line!!)

Poster Girl said...

I'm sure it's just you he doesn't like :) I just e-mailed you with it.

(Love the line, by the way! ;) You win bonus points for being the first person to reference my namesake!)

Henry said...

i dont know but I can make a comment on xolondon's and postergirl's (obviously) blog.

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