Monday, April 11, 2011

Where do you run to when everything's gone?

Maybe I'm forgetting something, but it feels like Roxette's new single, "Speak To Me"...

01 Speak To Me (Bassflow Remake) by poppostergirl

...has the Swedish duo's best chorus in a long time. A long time. As in "up there with classic Roxette ballads" long time.

(I've probably recited my thoughts about Bassflow often enough; check here for my most recent rave. Suffice to say I think he gives "Speak To Me" just the polish it needs.)

The group's most recent album, Charm School, is already out and contains the original version of "Speak To Me." It can be purchased here (physical) or here (digital). The single remix, though, will be out April 18 in Sweden

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Pure and clean

When a clip of Kate Ryan's new single "LoveLife" was posted to her SoundCloud page, I began to worry the album era responsible for uniting the two great pop forces of Kate and Le Kid's Felix and Marta was going to underwhelm...

KateRyan LoveLife Radio Edit by Kate Ryan

...I'm sorry, Kate. How could I ever have doubted you?

"LoveLife" is pop Kate, not full-on trance Kate. Neither of those is necessarily better than the other, but I do love that such a light-hearted topline and sample is backed by more bass than I expected.

Kate Ryan's new single "LoveLife" is released on April 11 in Belgium. You should be able to buy a digital copy here as of that date. The album it precedes, Electroshock, will have a long way to go to equal her last real studio album, 2008's Free. With her usual producers 2N broken up, perhaps going back to them wasn't an option. If that's the case, it's difficult to imagine a more theoretically exciting choice than Felix Persson and Marta Grauers. It's still a nerve-wracking transition, though. Hopefully the end result is as good as you'd imagine and not a replay of what happened when Petra Nielsen worked with the former other half of September, VDB Productions, for no more than three songs on the latest September album (though to be fair, her previous, all Von der Burg-produced album Dancing Shoes showed some signs that the partnership was no longer as consistently great as it used to be).

Monday, April 04, 2011

Boy, nobody's keepin' score

Two excellent new songs were recently made available as free downloads from their artists' websites. That "free" tag comes with the caveat of handing over your e-mail address, but neither is to be missed.

American actress and Boomkat singer Taryn Manning's voice is processed and distorted more than I've ever heard from her before on the new solo song she posted on her site, "Turn It Up" (stream above), as if she's singing over two aluminum cans and a string. Despite that--and maybe partially because of it--"Turn It Up" has been popping up in my head all day, equally inescapable at the gym, in front of the washing machine, down office hallways, or in the car with another song playing on the radio. The strength of its electro-pulsing production is a welcome surprise, while something about its chorus works in that ineffably addictive pop way, enough so to perhaps make "Turn It Up" my favorite song Taryn has been involved with. "Turn It Up" seems unlikely to wear out its welcome any time soon.

Heir to the playful Xenomania sound of Mini Viva's "Left My Heart In Tokyo" and V's "Hip To Hip," SoundGirl's "I'm The Fool" is a bouncy, youthful brush-off co-written by former member of the aforementioned British songwriting team Miranda Cooper. "I'm The Fool" harks back to that time when Xenomania so effortlessly made fun, innovative, girl-powered pop songs with off-the-wall lyrics that one didn't need to be seeking innovation to appreciate, traits characteristic of much of Girls Aloud's best output. SoundGirl, a new British girl group, seemed to be setting up "I'm The Fool" as their breakthrough attempt before announcing recently that it would be made available as a free download. Let's hope that was a considered strategic change rather than a last-minute panic based on a cool reception for "I'm The Fool"--we need someone delivering music like this.