Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Doin' my own thing, don't believe the hype

Apologies in advance if this post seems random or rushed at any point; as if waiting for Anthony Callea's newest album to arrive in the mail (a week and a half, if I'm lucky) wasn't bad enough, news of the Gareth Gates concert ("gig" might be a better word) showcasing some of the songs from his new album is just starting to hit the web. I'll probably sum up some of the information at the bottom, but for now: Ultra. Ultra (named after a Depeche Mode album) are a boy band most popular in the late 1990's, but they've recently released their second album (which you can buy here; it features some songs by former member and Fame Academy contestant Alistair Griffin). They're probably most famous for their singles "Say You Do" and "Say It Once." Their voices (though it often sounds like--maybe is--one voice) are pretty distinctive; there's sort of a laid-back feel to them, as well as a quality that I can't really describe. These songs today are B-sides from the "Say You Do" and "The Right Time" singles.

Stereotype--a mildly edgy up-tempo (maybe mid-tempo) song. It's not ear-catching enough to be a single, but there's a good chance you'll have "stereo-stereo-stereo-stereotype" stuck in your head at least for a little bit.

Whatever--taking the tempo down, we have a sweet ballad, but it's a ballad in the "you could clap your hands to this" vein--not quite as bouncey as Shayne Ward's version of "No Promises," but not really slow-paced. And really, you just can't go wrong with "ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo"'s. The bridge is just adorable, too: "don't you see/you gotta have a lover like me" (but what really matters is how they sing it).

To buy the single for "The Right Time," which has "Stereotype" as a B-side, go here (physical); to buy the single for "Say You Do," which has "Whatever" as a B-side, go here (physical).

(Credit for this picture goes to the lovely Moliudaima; thank you!)

As for the Gareth concert, none of this information comes directly from me; it's all second or third hand, and all credit for it goes to here. Here's a couple of notes:
  • The performance was being filmed for the upcoming (late December) documentary about Gareth, so at least bits of his new music should be in it.
  • He performed eight songs (repeating two of them in an encore), all new ("new" as in not yet on an album; apparently at least one of them was written back in 2003). Three of them were slow ballads, but the rest were mid- to up-tempo pop-rock.
  • The album may be out "early next year" (as per recent responses, very vague).
  • He thanked one of the co-writers of James Blunt's "Your Beautiful." Does this mean...?
  • Simon Fuller was there, which, since Gareth is still managed by 19, does make sense, but I'm hoping that's a sign that he has their full support and not just that Simon wanted to make sure that nothing bad got filmed for the documentary.
  • As you can see in the picture, it may not be at its peak as it was in, say, 2003, but at least he's making an attempt: Gareth is doing popstar hair! All is (almost) right with the world--surely it's a step in the right direction?
Anyhow, I cannot wait to hear his music, as I think he's a brilliant popstar (though I want him to release it at the proper time) and I love his music--I calculated once that I could run this blog for a month on good Gareth songs alone (I'm not going to do so, though; don't worry!). I'm worried, but hopeful. One more piece of good news: apparently the absolutely awful title of the documentary (and I mean awful--the worst possible title, really, unless it's just because I didn't grow up with the UK music scene that I don't think the possible pun is that great an idea) is not set in stone.

Next up: I'm not really sure--maybe a female singer.


Suki said...

I am very very excited by the news from the Gareth gig, and he looks as gorgeous as ever. Reading the reports on the GPG web site (thanks for the link) was great, but I want to hear the music too! Ah well, we'll have to wait for the documentary. Hopefully the message about the title being rubbish will have got home load and clear. Thanks for keeping us up to date.

Poster Girl said...

I so hope you're right about the documentary title! If it's supposed to lead into a successful career, it just doesn't feel like the right message. Still, it sounds like the gig went great (I'm so glad people were willing to give such detailed reports of it) and I can't wait to hear even snippets of his new songs! I think I'm going to be completely useless December 23, sitting around wondering about what they're going to sound like ;)

Lesley said...

I have been lucky enough to hear a tiny bit of his new music, but just a couple of the ballady ones, so it's hard to tell what his style is going to be. But, if I had to make a comparison I'd go for George Michael, particularly vocally.

Poster Girl said...

Wow--thanks for the information! George I'm going to have to go listen to his greatest hits again ;)

ConfideInMe said...

omg! i just found ULTRA in your archives! and i'm too late to even listen to WHATEVER coz the links are down! can u please reupload it pleaseeeee... i'm a big fan of this band and i can't seem to find them on anyyyy blogs i visited for the longest tym ever... thanx for the Stereotype trackk ok. i hope you can grant me this request ;-)