Monday, October 19, 2009

Don't wanna kiss, don't wanna touch, just want one cigarette and run

It's been a very good few days for leaked songs.

Generating some of the most column inches have been Lady GaGa's "Bad Romance" and "Alejandro." The former is the final version of her new single, following up on the leak of the demo a few weeks ago. I might just be suffering from "preferring what I'm used to" syndrome, but I prefer the sound of the demo at this point; the final version has elements that occasionally come across as harsh and unmelodic--synths that are distractingly abrasive, random shouting, changes to the way her voice is handled--and cuts ones that enhanced the opposite perception.

Luckily, we've still got the synths-meet-ABBA/Ace of Base-ish "Alejandro," a clip of which leaked as "Don't Call My Name" a while ago, to make up for that loss.

I mentioned on Twitter that I was looking forward to Timbaland's new album far more than I would have expected given the lack of any high quality material out there (some of the low quality recordings are tantalizing, though, including what we've heard of the Miley Cyrus song), but we've now actually got something to listen to: "Morning After Dark," featuring French artist SoShy. Timbaland's voice sounds strangely high-pitched on the chorus, but if you can get over that fact, "Morning After Dark" proves that the producer, much maligned by many for repetition after his revival in 2006, still has something to offer pop fans.

Contrary to what one of my recent posts may make you think, I don't often take to really hating songs. That's at the point I'm at with Leona Lewis's "Happy" at the moment, though. Knowing she had songs like "Strangers" and "Perfect Stranger" for her upcoming second album helped me accept that disappointment, but as it turns out, neither of those tracks made the tracklisting in the end. Luckily, "I Got U" did.

Penned by Max Martin, "I Got U" is the closest Leona has come to recapturing the magic of "Bleeding Love" in my eyes. It bears more similarity to Leona's debut single than it does most of Max's recent work, though you could make a case for Backstreet's "Bigger," I guess. It's the best of Max's late '90s/early '00s sound combined with "Bleeding Love"s drums. "I Got U" is gorgeous, a ballad but with a quicker than a ballad feel, with a pulse, and with a smart repeated "hit it strong-back off" two-syllable pattern to emphasis its chorus. Leona's "I Got U" may not be a cover of the also Max-written Nick Carter song "I Got U," but it's just as special a ballad.


Mr. Will-W. said...

SPOT ON! I prefer the demos too. Am getting used to the final edits though re: Bad Romance.

re: Leona, is it "I Got U" or "I Got You"? I'm confused. I remember Popjustice listing it as "I Got U" a while back..

Aaron said...

Can't wait for most of them!

Anonymous said...

YAY, relaunch of TEN site

Yuяi said...

Lots of folks are coming out about the demo version being better. And Alejandro is sooo AOB - spot on!

Anonymous said...

Leona's debut single was A Moment Like This, not Bleeding Love.

Paul said...

Ignoring the whole new Lady Gaga single for now until I actually have time for it. Loving the new Leona though - i had a random thought on the beach in Gay Canaria that she should do a cover of Lisa Stansfield's epic In All The Right Places. Immense.

Ps, the x factor ignored my suggestion of recording Second Best To None and went with an MJ cover. So dull of them :(

Adem With An E said...

Paul: Stop ignoring one of the best pop songs of the year just because it is Lady Gaga!!!!!!!! ;)

The only thing I think personally is better about the demo is the "walk walk fashion baby" talky bit. Demo version talky bit > Final version talky bit. The rest can stay though, and I was very obsessed with the demo when that leaked...

Poster Girl said...

Yup, me too, Will (getting used to the final version)--I just prefer the original a bit more. I think it's "I Got You" now, but I'm pretty sure you're right and it was referred to with the "U" a while back. I should really change this post to match!

Aaron, hope you like them.

Anonymous, I saw that! It's where I got all my TEN info in the post below that. I'm very glad it's back--I'm always hugely interested in their work, so having a source again for what they're releasing (and what I can consider buying) is very welcome.

Yuri, I wish I could take credit for that insight, but I read it over at D'luv's in a comment by Cristián. Very spot-on, though!

Anonymous, oops--you're technically right (and right to call me on that). In semi-justification, I never really think of the winner's song from something like X Factor or Idol as the act's debut single proper since it doesn't really let you know what style they're pusuing.

Paul, your idea was much better. Try to get some Scandinavian Idol group to do it!

Adem, I do prefer the middle 8 on the demo, too. I don't want to give the wrong impression--I'm still playing "Bad Romance" every day and there's really no question about it making my year end list--but there are a few tweaks here and there I could have done with out. Ultimately no big deal, though!