Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Another Day, Another Kat DeLuna Smash


My spirit guide/personal saviour Kat DeLuna is back with yet another killer dance anthem - this time featuring Busta Rhymes. "Blaze It Up" is typically amazing. This woman has yet to release a bad song, which makes her current lack of US chart success all the more frustrating. The Dominican diva knows her way around a party jam better than any bitch on this planet. Take the latest leak from her third album Viva (due January 2013). This is Latin-flavoured, club-conquering goodness with hypnotic beats and a sexy vocal that allows Kat to show off some of her hip-hop flair. Oh and Busta sounds pretty good too. It's time for the genre-blending pop pioneer to move to Australia and release a new song every second day. Our clubs need the patron saint of Latin dance now more than ever. Kat, I'm waiting!

Liza Monet > Nicki Minaj


I swear I'm not a demented pervert that spends all night Googling sextapes by international pop acts but here's yet another diva that has opened her legs for the camera. Unlike poor Noelia,whose once promising career was derailed by a night of anal enjoyment, Liza Monet kept it classy and was just spit-roasted by two guys. To be honest, I'm not sure if the French rapper's sexcapades helped or harmed her career - she's European, so I'm guessing the former - but the elegant style icon is coming back hard with a hot new track called "My Best Plan".

My French is worse than MDNA, so I can't tell you what Liza is rapping about but it sounds pretty good to my ears. Put it this way - "My Best Plan" is better than anything on Roman Reloaded. And the video (below) is just flawless. It begins with the new Queen of soul exposing her breasts in the bath before making out with a shirtless man on what appears to be the set of the cheapest porno ever filmed. Poor Mylène and Lorie are now redundant!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Remembering When Beyoncé Snatched J.Lo's Wig During A Pepsi Commercial


It's old news now that Beyoncé has been selected to rock next year's Super Bowl but pics have started surfacing from the Pepsi commercial she's filming to accompany her sure-to-be seminal half-time performance and it got me thinking about her four other ads for the soft drink giant. I've already written about her "We Will Rock You" campaign from 2004 with has-beens like Britney and Pink.

Admittedly, that was a glorious moment in advertising but it was clear to everyone that Bey was the star of the show and she was invited back the following year to revolutionise soda commercials with the then still relevant Jennifer Lopez and Posh Spice's then still sexy husband.

To be honest, this is little more than a Kill Bill rip-off but Queen B has never looked more beautiful and owns J.Lo from the first second to last. She looks better, acts better and even drinks Pepsi more seductively. I even like her cover of "Wild Thing" that plays in the background. Shame a full version never leaked (to my knowledge).

Given the 16-time Grammy winner's flawless track record, we can only assume her fifth Pepsi commercial will be another triumph. Bring on February!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Luciana & Dave Audé Give You Something For The Weekend


When does Luciana have time to breathe? She churns out club-conquering dance anthems faster than Rihanna releases albums! The last time I caught up with her, Luci was promoting "Calling All The Lovers" - unfortunately that brilliant song is yet to reach Australia - but she has since moved on to the Dave Audé collab "Something For The Weekend". I think the epic floorfiller was originally going to be the follow-up to "Figure It Out". You know, that amazing US chart-topper credited to Isha Coco (Luciana's alter-ego when she sings rather than shouts fabulously)? I'm glad this one was released under her own name. She sounds particularly brilliant and Dave Audé never gets it wrong with his killer beats. The song is already climbing the US dance chart and looks set to be another huge one. Fingers crossed we get a video this time. In other news, Luci has not one but two new singles being prepped for release in Australia but download this gem in the meantime!

From Anal Sextape To Timbaland-Produced Club Banger - Noelia's Stunning Ascent


I was combing through the US club chart a couple of days and saw an unfamiliar name sitting pretty at number two. After minutes of laborious research, I had learned four important facts about Noelia:

1. She's Puerto Rican and had a bunch of hits on the Latin chart about a decade ago
2. Her career was derailed in 2007 when a sextape of her being fucked up the arse by rapper Yamil leaked online
3. The backdoor bandit is gunning for J.Lo's Latin-pop crown with an English-language club track allegedly produced by Timbaland (if so, this is the low/highlight of his career)
4. I never knew true art until I saw her classy single cover

It goes without saying that Noelia is my new favourite diva. "My Everything" is a cute piece of heavily-accented dance-pop, made infinitely more fabulous by the Playmate-tastic softcore video (below). The 33-year-old is clearly embracing her scandalous past and using it to her advantage. So far it seems to be working. Sure, the US club chart is a veritable graveyard for has-beens but it's unusual for (relative) unknowns to perform so well. That means Noelia either has some serious backing or people really like it. Good for her. I have my fingers crossed she tops the chart next week!

Excitingly, you can download "My Everything" from Australian iTunes. Perhaps it's time for a promo visit. We love hookers with battered arseholes in this country!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Ciara Finally Releases A Good Song


Ciara drags the One Man Army era back from the brink of seemingly inevitable, Basic Instinct-sized failure with his best single since "Oh". It's good. Very good, in fact. "Got Me Good" is a nuclear-powered dance anthem with crisp production and a surprisingly sweet vocal. Think "Work" with a chorus. It kind of reminds me of Janet. You know when she used to whisper over heavy beats and actually sell records? Whoever convinced Cici to stop making music like this and release all those sleazy slow jams needs a bullet. This is the dude with the reed-thin voice I fell in love with growing up. All of a sudden I'm looking forward to his new album. "Sorry" was a nice ballad and "Sweat" kind of wore me down after the 217th listen when it finally becomes more than noise.

And then there's the video. Ciara uses those gigantic hands to snatch more wigs than RuPaul at a Halloween party. The desert location is a bit tired and his hair looks thirstier than Brandy's Two Eleven promo campaign but the choreography is flawless. I haven't seen a man dance like this since Chris Brown at the Grammys! Cici shakes the game to its very foundations with acrobatic dance moves and shows off her rock-hard abs in an outfit I'm pretty sure Toni Braxton wore in 1997. The clip stands out because it's been so long since someone just danced without resorting to silly gimmicks. I really hope "Got Me Good" is a hit. You know it would probably be an era-defining smash for someone more relevant - like Teairra Mari or Trina - but hopefully the Darkchild-produced club-banger can breathe some life into the former-hitmaker's stalled career.

9/10

Dane Rumble Returns With 'Tonight'


Now here's a welcome return. Dane Rumble is back with an upbeat track called "Tonight". I was obsessed with the Kiwi pop star's debut The Experiment in 2010 and interviewed him a couple of times when the album was officially released in Australia in 2011. He didn't break as big over here as he deserved - "Cruel" is one of my favourite songs ever - but the former Fast Crew rapper is still going strong at home. "Tonight" is another reminder of what we're missing. This is Dane's take on a Taio Cruz-esque club-banger - only quirker, cooler and not embarrassing to like. In some ways the song picks up where "Cruel" left off. It's very retro - think '80s new wave, with synths not heard since shoulder pads were popular (the first time around) - but organic-sounding enough to be fresh and different. "Tonight" is available to download from NZ iTunes now. No idea if or when it's getting released over here but I'm keeping my fingers crossed. This would sound amazing on the radio. While we wait for Dane's Australian takeover, watch the fun, car-themed video below.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Second Coming Of Samantha Jade


Samantha Jade is the only reason I watch X Factor. At first I was kind of depressed that the former next big thing had been reduced to appearing on a shitty TV show to kickstart her career but I guess that's just life for bitches on the grind circa 2012. If you can't beat them, join them. I'd be surprised if Sam wins - her stunning beauty and flawless vocals will no doubt alienate the frumpy girls who have nothing better to do than vote - but the Perth-born diva has already proved her point. She is still pop star material. In case you're unfamiliar with the 25-year-old's plethora of defining achievements, here is step-by-step guide to Samantha Jade.


1. Sammy moves to LA with her family in 2003. She's 16. The following year the teenager signs a record deal with Jive.

2. JoJo records a Samantha Jade original called "Secret Love" for the Shark Tale soundtrack.

3. The world is stunned and amazed by the teen diva's Wyclef Jean-produced 2006 debut single "Step Up" from the similarly-titled movie (above).

4. With a mountain of buzz building, the next big thing releases "Turn Around" (below) and snatches more wigs than she can carry. Unfortunately it does not chart.

5. Unperturbed, Sam begins recording her ominously-titled debut My Name Is Samantha Jade. Didn't Her Name Is Nicole teach pop divas anything about naming albums?


6. Sam works with industry heavyweights like Timbaland, Stargate, Darkchild and Max Martin on the never-to-be-released recording.

 7. In 2007 the frustrated songstress throws in the towel and records backing vocals on Ashley Tisdale's "Positivity".

8. Samantha leaves Jive and returns to Australia in 2009 to star in a flop movie. She records a new song called "Secret", which fails to chart but rocks the Pop Panel with its stunning gay-themed video (below).

9. With nothing better to do, the sexy brunette decides to conquer dance music in 2010 and somehow gets "I Need You Now" on David Guetta's One Love album.

10. Sam takes a job in her father's factory until X Factor comes along and gives her a second chance.

I know that at least one record company is in talks with the Jade clan to record a post-X Factor album. Is it too much to ask that we finally get the Max Martin and Stargate tracks she did in 2007 as a bonus disc? I don't give a shit if they're 5 years old. They have to be better than the trash they give Rihanna.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Johnny Ruffo's New Song Is Actually Quite Good


Johnny Ruffo's debut single was memorable - albeit for all the wrong reasons. I'm man enough to admit that I liked "On Top" in a so-crap-it's-amazing kind of way but the song gave Vanessa Amorosi's "Gossip" a run for its money in the cringeworthy lyrics stakes with clangers like "I'm on top of the world when I'm on top of you girl". Subtle. It's a testament to Johnny's popularity with teenage girls that the unusually dodgy DNA production still went top 20 and sold platinum. Imagine what the 2011 X Factor third-place getter could do with a song not about the missionary position? I guess we're about to find out.

The DNA boys redeem themselves by writing Johnny a great little pop song called "Take It Home". To be honest, it's quite similar to "On Top" - only better in every way. The subject matter is fun and sexy without being crude. There's a cute chorus with lots of "woahs" (always a bonus in my book) and even a non-embarrassing rap that name-checks Keira Knightly. All in all, a massive step forward. It looks like there will be plenty of promo to support it too. The teen heartthrob is joining Home & Away - it worked for Dannii - and he's slated to perform the song on X Factor. Check out the club-themed clip below. Good on him for throwing in some choreography!

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Netherlands Has A Lot To Answer For

What in the Tokio Hotel hell is this? Tao Hypah - worst pop star name ever - is the Dutch answer to Adam Lambert. Only straight, I think. Don't get me start me. He recently launched his career with a dubiously-titled single called "Play The Girl" and it's every bit as dreadful as it sounds. Any song that begins with the lyrics:

You want to know what sex would be like if you were a boy,
I will play the girl, tell me what you want,
I will wear your skirt!

Is pretty much guaranteed to suck and Tao doesn't disappoint on that front. The sad thing (well, apart from his Mandy Kane-on-a-budget image), is the fact that there's a relatively catchy piece of Eurotrash hiding behind the tragic lyrics. This could have been a cheesy Taio Cruz-lite club-banger. Instead it will go down as that song about being fucked by a strap-on. Watch this trainwreck unfold before your eyes below.

Alicia Keys' Girl On Fire - Video Review


What the fuck is this? "Girl On Fire" had me under its spell from the first listen and I've been patiently waiting for an equally flawless visual to accompany the song. Instead we get Alicia Key's doing housework and paying her bills. Come again? I honestly can't remember the last time a video for a major artist missed the mark this badly. A good film clip adds another dimension to a song. This doesn't even reflect the tortured lyrical content. When I think about a girl on fire, I imagine a woman battling her inner demons - not sweeping the floor.

At least Alicia looks good. The styling and cinematography is beautiful and I love all that green light. For the first 15 seconds I was really excited. But then the 31-year-old superstar just stands in front of some pretty wallpaper and does some chores. I get it. She's a mother, a daughter. But the whole damn clip jumps the shark when she starts doing magical housework. And I'm not being rude - but choreographed meal preparation? Is AK angling for a spot on the Food Network? Then there's the whole lame sub-plot with her husband/boyfriend trying to steal her headphones. By that stage I really had zero fucks left to give.

Something went seriously wrong here. "Girl On Fire" is a concerted effort to give Alicia a more commercial sound after slipping into adult contemporary territory on The Elements Of Freedom. Instead of winning back younger fans, this visual will only appeal to housewives wishing they had magical cleaning powers. I get what she was going for - her point is that every female is a superhero but if she wanted her video to reflect a woman's struggle why not make it realistic? This plays like black Mary Poppins on mushrooms. What a bitter disappointment.

3/10

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Kat DeLuna Is A Wild Girl


That Kat DeLuna reign just won't let up! Hot on the heels of 2012's ultimate samba anthem "Wanna See You Dance (La La La)" comes a new floorfiller called "Wild Girl". A collaboration with DJ Yass Carter (not gonna pretend - I have no idea who this dude is), the upbeat party-starter is another triumph for the Dominican diva. I love everything about this. The cheap and cheerful beats, Kat's killer vocal and the slutty chorus. Everything! Oh and did I mention how amazing the special effect-laden video (below) is? The dance icon scans a QR code and is transported into some kind of alternate cyber reality where she dances in a cage half-naked. So wild! And what about her robot dog? Lady Gaga wishes she had this kind of technology in her videos! Fingers crossed this gem is a hit. I really need Kat to get back on top and show the lessors how it's done.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Beyoncé Hand Picked By God For Super Bowl


Her majesty is back. The high priestess of pop, R&B and alt-country will entertain 100 million+ viewers at next year's Super Bowl. As Dr Alban once mused, sing hallelujah! This is amazing for so many different reasons. Here are the first ones that jumped into my head:

1. Beyoncé becomes the first black woman to headline the event on her own - Janet had help from her nipple and Justin Timberlake
2. She's only the second woman to have the honour after Madonna
3. If a Destiny's Child reunion is ever going to happen, surely this is the moment
4. Queen B wouldn't bother if she didn't have something to promote, so new music is definitely on the way sooner than we expected
5. Super Bowl is the perfect way to kick off the next era of excellence

I'm so excited about this. Bey is the greatest living live act and Super Bowl is the perfect arena for her to hold a master class in performance flawlessness. I'm just trying to image the setlist. I would go with:

- The edgy, undergound smash "Run The World (Girls)"
- Something ratchet like "Check On It" or "Diva"
- "Single Ladies" accompanied by pics Jennifer Aniston alone
- A ballad section featuring "Halo" and "Dangerously In Love Part 2"
- The reunion of Destiny's Child
- A "Telephone" duet with Frank Ocean in Lady Gaga drag
- A surprise cameo from Solange singing "Losing You"
- "Love On Top" and "Countdown"

A stan can dream! Anyway, here's a reminder of the Beyoncé live experience - making Glastonbury relevant again with a riveting performance of "End Of Time".

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Kelly Clarkson's Gross Greatest Hits Cover & Tracklist


What the fuck is this? I thought Destiny's Child had the cheapest Greatest Hits package on shelves this Christmas but Kelly Clarkson has cruelly snatched their wigs at the last minute with Chapter One. Who decided to use an almost unrecognisable picture of Kelegend from the Breakaway era and frame it with a pattern that appears to have been stolen from a Britney Spears perfume bottle? I really want to know so I can write a strongly worded letter! And then there's the tracklist. I'm sorry but where is "Low"? "I Don't Hook Up"? Or how about "The Trouble With Love Is"? It's not like she's Madonna or Kylie. There's room for all of her iconic hits. Whatever. I'll still be buying Chapter One but nothing gets me riled like a lazy greatest hits collection. Fingers crossed the new songs are worthy of their place.

1. Since U Been Gone
2. My Life Would Suck Without You
3. Miss Independent
4. Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)
5. Behind These Hazel Eyes
6. Because Of You
7. Never Again
8. Already Gone
9. Mr. Know It All
10. Breakaway
11. Don’t You Wanna Stay (with Jason Aldean)
12. Walk Away
13. Catch My Breath
14. People Like Us
15. Don’t Rush (featuring Vince Gill)
16. A Moment Like This
17. I’ll Be Home For Christmas

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Nekci Menij Show Returns


A couple of weeks ago I posted Bayonse's Quens Of Flop, an animated talk show hosted by Beyoncé's demented alter-ego. I must have watched that shit 150 times. It's my favourite clip in the history of YouTube! Anyway, Bayonse first appeared on The Nekci Menij Show (an era-defining web phenomenon), which returned for its 11th installment last week. In case you haven't seen the first 10 episodes - and if not why not? - Bayonse joined forces with Nicel Shitsinger to reform Destiny's Child and made Zey-J buy everyone's record deal so she had free reign on the charts.I really wish this shit happened in real life!

Anyway, Bayonse's plan backfires when Zey-J is forced to sell Blue Ivy to Medoner to pay off the labels. I don't know what's more hilarious - Madonna dressing as Rihanna to buy reduced-price copies of MDNA, Beyoncé snatching every wig in the game with her diva antics or the blink and you'll miss it gag about Kelly Rowland not being able to be reached for comment about the return of Destiny's Child. The only letdown is the American Idol scene. I thought it fell a bit flat but this is still all kinds of amazing. Bring on episode 12 and the 3rd installment of Quens Of Flop starring Nicki and Mariah! Please!

Elen Levon's Dancing To The Same Song Video


I don't have anything nice to say about this video, so for once in my life I'm going to shut my big mouth. This is a brilliant pop song and deserves to be a huge hit. I'm very happy to see it surging up iTunes. Go and download it if you haven't already. That is all.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Lumidee & The Most Relevant Comeback Of 2012


Sometimes I lie awake in bed and wonder whatever happened to Lumidee. You know the flawless rap icon behind "Never Leave You (Uh Oh)" (a top 40 smash in Australia way back in 2003)? Well, the sleepless nights are over. The Peurto Rican diva dropped a new single called "Party All Week" earlier this month and it's actually kinda great. Sure, it's another club banger about tearing up the club but I love the Latin horns and appreciate Lumidee's confident flow. Apart from listing the days of the week, she also manages to name check Snooki and Kim K - which makes it better than Nicki Minaj has done since 2010. The video is a low budget affair but it's a colourful reminder that there should be a place for this girl in the industry. I don't like her chances of American chart success but she has continued to score minor hits in Europe over the years, so hopefully this will be another German smash.

"Party All Week" is available to download from Australian iTunes now.

Mariah Is More Triumphant Than Ever!


Just when you thought Mariah couldn't get any more triumphant, the legendary diva adds yet another number one to her tally - this time on the highly relevant US dance chart. You know that edgy countdown where credible divas like Kristine W and Taylor Dane still have hits? So much win! "Triumphant" becomes Mimi's 16th song to top the chart, which moves her into 5th place all-time behind Madonna, Janet, Beyoncé and Rihanna. I'm glad the song is finding love among clubbers. I still blast our Sheppard's uplifting anthem on a daily basis and think it's one of the most underrated songs of her entire career. Anyway, stay tuned for some extremely exciting Mariah news next week.  

Helpful hint: Don't waste all your cash on Pink tickets!

Lana Del Rey's Ride - Video Review


I once had dreams of becoming a beautiful poet

I can't remember the last time a full length movie affected me as much as Lana Del Rey's sweeping, ten-minute "Ride" video clip. The indie-pop goddess is now so far ahead of the game when it comes to combining music with a visual element that she's almost created her own genre. This is the kind of ARTPOP Lady Gaga has spent her entire career trying to achieve but just doesn't have the emotional depth to pull off. I thought Lana was verging on self-parody in her "Summertime Sadness" video but she's taken the next step in her perennially gloomy evolution by escaping the sepia-tinged beauty of her mid-20th century comfort zone. The doomed beauty queen loses her crown - and gown - in "Ride", moving through the seedy heart of America on the back of Harley.

I was always an unusual girl

There's so much greatness on display in Anthony Mandler's mini-masterpiece that I'm almost scared to deconstruct it and find a flaw. So in broad strokes, the clip begins with Lana swinging on a tyre against a quintessentially American backdrop of harsh red rocks and watery blue sky. She is no longer the face of elegant repression. The Queen of sadcore sheds her perfectly-coiffed hair and sophisticated outfits in favour of a home perm and denim skirt. It looks like a scene from Easy Rider and, as the video progresses, it soon becomes apparent that the similarities are not a coincidence. Lana's latest incarnation could be a character from that Dennis Hopper classic. She is the ultimate biker bitch, singing and screwing her way across the United States on the back of a motorbike. You know you're in for something special when the narration begins with: "I was in the winter of my life and the men I met along the road were my only summer."

I was born to be the other woman

Broken dreams and lost hope are two of Lana's favourite subject matters but she's never captured them more beautifully on film. We're taken on a tour of truck stops, dive bars and seedy motels. Our doomed protagonist talks us through her life - failed singing career, prostitution and perennial loneliness being some of the highlights - before, somewhat surprisingly given the diva's penchant for doom, finding freedom and unexpected salvation on the back of a motorbike. At least that's my interpretation. Technically, "Ride" is a triumph. The woman formerly known as Lizzy Grant embodies the character superbly - probably because it's just a slightly darker mutation of the Lana Del Rey persona she dreamed up prior to recording Born To Die. She is so defiant and committed to the role because so much of herself went into creating it.

I believe in the person I want to become

And then there's Anthony Mandler's exquisite direction. Every scene is a work of art. How can you make being fucked from behind on a pinball machine by a disgusting, old man so heartbreakingly beautiful? Or the moment where the biker carefully brushes her hair so touching? My favourite scene is probably where Lana points a gun to her head while wearing an Indian headdress. The camera is hand held and the shot is framed slightly off-centre. It would have been temping to shoot the soon-to-be iconic moment square-on but that would have been a little too perfect. Anthony understands that Lana is a study in frayed beauty and bottled turmoil. I thought the pair's "National Anthem" video would be hard to top but this easily surpasses it.

11/10

The "Paradise Edition" of Born To Die is released on November 14. I already ordered the boxset!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Holy Fuck, Kelegend Has A New Single


I've been overdosing on Kelly Clarkson since basking in the glow of her flawless K-mart fashion and vocal brilliance in Perth. Stronger is a 21-sized smash in my mind (and on my iPod), so it seems a little short-sighted to close the door on that era when she has gems like "I Forgive You" and "Let Me Down" just waiting to be unleashed. Kelegend's label obviously feels differently and has decided to rush-release a greatest hits compilation just in time for Christmas. It's a bit lazy but happily the lead single from Greatest Hits: Chapter 1 is yet another triumph.

In a strange way "Catch My Breath" picks up where her stunning football anthem left off - by exploring an unusually synth-heavy soundscape. The Jason Halbert/Eric Olsen-produced track is a perky mid-tempo dance anthem with an uplifting chorus that finds Kelly taking stock of her phenomenal career. You can tell she didn't work with an  industry heavyweight like Max Martin or Dr. Luke on this one - it has a softness and sincerity that their radio-ready hits often lack. That may work against it on the charts but I sincerely doubt Miss Independent gives a fuck either way. "Catch My Breath" is the perfect song to celebrate ten years of hard work and over-achievement.

Kelegend's latest smash rocks Australian iTunes on October 17.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cosima's Back - Right Here, Right Now


The first season of Australian Idol was such a hotbed for talent. Guy Sebastian continues to churn out number one hits, Shannon Noll still rules the RSL circuit and Paulini is somewhere hanging her head in shame, hoping you'll forget "Fireman" ever happened. And then there's Cosima "nodules" De Vito. The diva disappeared for a while after the release of her underrated sophomore album but she's back with a new single called "Right Here, Right Now". It's a different sound for her. I like that she decided against releasing another ballad and avoided the indignity of chasing the pink dollar with a gay dance anthem. Instead, Cosima has opted for a pop/rock track that showcase her powerful pipes. "Right Here, Right Now" isn't quite instant enough to make an impact on radio but it's a step in the right direction and her faithful fans will lap it up. You can download the track from iTunes now!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Destiny's Child Go All Out With New Greatest Hits Package... No, Really


The best group in the history of R&B, pop and any other kind of musical genre is releasing a greatest hits package this week and I'm only mildly losing my shit. What the hell is going on? I love Destiny's Child more than Janet loves sex-toys but Playlist is a lazy rehash of their era-defining 2005 'best of' #1s. They didn't even bother to make a pretty cover. Something tells me Matthew gave Solange an advance on her allowance to create this eyesore using Microsoft Paint.

Don't get me wrong. Every song on the album is a veritable classic but why be stingy? Where is "Cater 2 U" - AKA Michelle's finest DC moment? How about their Australian top 10 "Nasty Girl" (below)? Or their edgy top 60 German smash "Get On The Bus"? Playlist is a missed opportunity but I'll still buy it and dream of the day these flawless angels record new music. Seriously, Kelly's gotta eat!

1. Bootylicious 
2. Bug A Boo 
3. Emotion (Neptunes Remix) 
4. Jumpin’, Jumpin’ 
5. Independent Women, Part I 
6. Say My Name 
7. No, No, No Part 2 featuring Wyclef Jean 
8. Survivor 
9. Lose My Breath 
10. So Good 
11. Girl 
12. Bills, Bills, Bills 
13. Soldier featuring T.I. & Lil Wayne 
14. Illusion featuring Wyclef Jean & Pras

Why Nicki Minaj Will Always Be Kelly Rowland To Mariah's Beyoncé


Mariah is truly the most triumphant human-being on the planet. While Stinki Garbaj trolls Twitter in a desperate bid for publicity in the wake of their much-publicised American Idol beef, the rainbow-loving chart legend has continued - completely unphased - on her fabulous way.

You know, doing simple, everyday things like riding a rollercoaster in a couture gown, while posing seductively and flashing her diamonds to the mere mortals in the crowd. This is my favourite Mariah moment since the scene in "Honey" video where she rides a jet-ski in heels. Our faves could never!

Oh and if you need any more convincing that Mimi will always have Onika's measure, there's this:

Birdy's Beautiful Sydney Showcase


Excuse the crap photo. Birdy's Sydney showcase was a camera-free event but I managed to snap this stunning image with my phone after the show. It's fuzzy but you get the idea. The 16-year-old Brit performed an impeccable five-song set on an intimate stage covered with flower bouquets and flickering candles. I'm still not sure if the mood was more romantic or funereal but the sedate atmosphere suited the teenager's bleak ballads perfectly.

There's been no stopping Birdy since "People Help The People" was featured on Neighbours. Her album flew to number one and "Skinny Love" sold triple platinum after some flop destroyed her Bon Iver cover on X Factor. It's a little undignified that someone of this calibre owes her popularity to a pair of shit TV shows but I like to think it would have only been a matter of time before Australia woke up to her terrifying talent. She's destined for great things and everyone at Studio 303 last night knew it.

After the quickest of nods to the audience, Birdy sat behind her piano and casually belted out a goosebump-inducing version of "Shelter". Her voice is every bit as sublime live as it is on record and there was something otherwordly about her ability to imbue lyrics with raw emotion. Next up was "Without A Word", followed by her Hunger Games contribution "Just A Game". The prodigy hasn't mastered the art of conversation - simply introducing each song with its title - but nobody was there to hear her talk.

The aforementioned "People Help The People" was ridiculously heartfelt, while her gorgeous rendition of "Skinny Love" makes Justin Vernon look like a bald busker. I would have loved to hear "Terrible Love" - my favourite song on her debut - but something tells me it's only a matter of time before I hear it when she tours the country in massive venues. I'll be waiting.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Kelly Clarkson Conquers Perth


Two and a half years ago I went to Kelly Clarkson's All I Ever Wanted tour a mildly-interested casual fan and left preaching the gospel of Kelegend. There's something utterly compelling about her combination of raw talent and natural charm that just draws you in. Since then, the inaugural American Idol winner has had something of a career revival. She released the best album of her career in 2011 and returned to number one on the US singles chart with the double-platinum selling smash "Stronger". I was curious to see if her current success reflected in the stage show and was oddly relieved that it was just as low key as her last tour. Kelly doesn't fuck around with choreography, costume changes and lighting concepts. She just sings her heart out and wins the crowd over with her funny anecdotes and down-to-earth personality. I wouldn't have it any other way.


"My Life Would Suck Without You" eloquently describes how many of us were feeling when the perky pop star walked on stage singing what will inevitably become her signature tune. I love that Kelly just put her hair back in a ponytail, threw on a pair of old jeans and a sparkly top that she could well have picked up at Target. Your fave could never and you know it! That modern classic was followed by the equally stellar "Behind These Hazel Eyes", which still sounds better than just about anything on the radio. The Texan superstar then belted out a trio of songs from Stronger. "I Forgive You" - AKA the ultimate wasted opportunity - was always destined to be a massive single but I guess now it will have to settle for live favourite status. How shit. It really is a great song. I loved "Dark Side" went it leaked initially but I'm a little bit over it now and was vastly more excited to hear "You Love Me", which is probably my favourite non-single of last year.


Next up was her desperate "Halo" rip-off "Already Gone" (Ryan Tedder's fault, not hers) and a surprise rendition of her amazing Jason Aldean duet "Don't You Wanna Stay". I didn't think we'd get much country Kelly but we got a double dose when she announced that her fan request for the evening would be Carrie Underwood's "Blown Away". It just so happens that I went to the show with Australia's biggest Carrie fan and she howled through the entire song and couldn't move afterward because of "the emotion". Obviously, she is a crazy lady but I was only slightly less moved. Kelly's rendition of the haunting ballad was absolutely exquisite. She pared the song back to its bare bones and emphasised the dark lyrics, turning Carrie's American smash into an eerie lullaby. After the country detour, the famed football fan performed the best of Breakaway - belting out pitch-perfect renditions of "Because Of You", the title track and "Since U Been Gone".


The world's favourite girl-next-door then closed the show with "Stronger". I know it's one of the biggest hits of her entire career but I still think it sounds like a Cher B-side. Which should be a good thing but strangely isn't. After the shortest of breaks, Kelly returned in a stunning fitted dress for the encore. She looked adorable and nailed a beautifully-arranged ballad version of "Never Again". I need an mp3! "Mr Know It All" - another big hit I'm not overly fond of - sounded infinitely better live but I was more excited to hear "Miss Independent", the only song from her debut to make the setlist. Kelly ended the show with a rousing cover of Fun.'s "We Are Young" with support acts The Fray and Sarah DeBono. It was an refreshingly ego-free closing number (how many divas close their shows with a cover?) that underlines why the 30-year-old remains one of pop's favourite daughters. She's just here to sing and do her thing. Nothing else matters.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Thursday, October 04, 2012

The Return Of Kristinia DeBarge


You know the girl that sung "Goodbye"? No? You're killing me. Krissy - as she is known to me and her three other stans - was briefly hailed as the next big thing in 2009 when her catchy debut climbed into the US top 20. She sounded like a cross between pre-whore Rihanna and a less boring Jordin Sparks but her album sank faster than MDNA and she has spent the past three years making Disney movies. I was happily surprised when I read she was making a comeback and more than a little shocked to discover she got her pretty paws on a rather hot song.

"Cry Wolf" is perky mid-tempo jam that reminds me of turn of the millennium Max Martin. This wouldn't sound out of place on Robyn's debut. Interpret that as the track sounding dated if you will but I think it has a timeless quality. I love the howls and had completely forgotten how powerful her pipes were. If this flops, Jessica Mauboy should steal it for her next album! The video (below) is a bit of a worry. Kristinia shows off her bangin' bikini body in a series of skimpy outfits but the choreography doesn't really fit and I could have done without the Little Red Riding Hood parallels.

As much as I like "Cry Wolf", I'm not sure it's edgy enough to be a hit but I have my fingers crossed it helps her build some momentum. There's definitely room for her on my iPod.

Christina Aguilera Ends World Hunger


Um while your lame fave is blowing RedOne for recycled beats, Xtina is ending world hunger by preaching the value of nutrition. I'm so embarrassed for you right now.

Album Cover Of The Century


I'm still reeling from this glorious piece of art. Olivia and John look like they're having a gay old time sipping cocoa while politely discussing who sucked less in Two Of A Kind. Christmas songs usually leave me cold - with the obvious exception of this - but I'm here for the return of Danny and Sandy. The iconic duo have even recorded a new song called "I Think You Might Like It", which is billed as a sequel to "You're The One That I Want". I'm crying! To make this even more essential, they've roped in the services of Barbra Streisand. Talk about the gift that keeps on giving.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Monica Naranjo's English Language Electro Anthem


Don't be frightened - that isn't Lady Gaga without make-up. Rather, it's the cover of Monica Naranjo's new single "Make You Rock". At this point you might be wondering who is this scary bitch? Well, she is the Queen of Spanish pop (Sorry, Marta!) and commands the gays over there with more authority than Madonna and Kylie combined. I have to admit that I struggle with her more artistic endeavours like that boring album of Mina covers but 2008's Tarántula was an epic display of pop mastery and I was excited when I heard she was recording in English for the first time since 2003.

As it turns out, "Make You Rock" lives up to its title. The dark electro-anthem rocked my world with its clever "Smalltown Boy" sample and towering chorus. Monica shows off the powerful pipes that made her a superstar in the Spanish-speaking world and unleashes her inner-demon in the terrifying video (below). Before any of you flops bring up Mother Monster, Watch this. Spain's greatest cultural export since Rossy de Palma has been channeling her inner Goth for years, so don't even try that shit with me. Monica really goes all out in her latest visual masterpiece with crazy costumes, demon children and a possessed statue. Lady Gaga is taking notes for ARTPOP.

Solange Is The New Queen Electronica: Losing You - Single/Video Review


A couple of weeks ago I posted a preview of Solange's new single and described it as Bag Raiders on Valium. I was almost right. "Losing You" is a summery splash of hazy electronica but Solo isn't content with reinventing chill-out music for stoners. The brilliant Blood Orange production expertly blends soul elements into the sound palette to make this one of the most inventive and achingly beautiful singles of 2012. I've always preached the gospel of Sol-Angel but this is some next level shit. It doesn't matter if "Losing You" charts lower than the 37th buzz single from Ashanti's indefinitely pushed-back comeback album, the thinking man's Knowles is now an untouchable indie-diva and can do whatever the fuck she wants with impunity.

And the video... I hate to say it but Solange is currently washing her car with Beyoncé's finest wig. This clip is just about perfect. Ghetto fabulous has been done many times before but never as elegantly and authentically as this nostalgic slice of afro-americana. I can't get over how stunning Solo looks and the mastery with which Melina pieces the whole thing together. Where was this bitch when Bey was grinding in front of a Walmart fan in "Dance For You"? It's hard to pick a favourite moment. "Losing You" is visual art that makes the rest of the game look lazy. I even love her purposely bad dancing. Sol-Angel's sister got the dancing feet but I'm beginning to think she got the brains.

10/10

Lisa Mitchell Goes Pop, Slays Your Fave Etc


I've had a soft spot for Lisa Mitchell since she first appeared on Australian Idol and spent every episode looking bored as fuck. Gems like "Coin Laundry" and "Neopolitan Dreams" should have been bigger hits but they were just a bit too quirky for non-indie radio. Her last single "Spiritus" was even weirder but I loved it and dragged the haters on Pop Panel. It's time for the second taste of her soon-to-be-released sophomore album and "Bless This Mess" raises the bar even higher. This demented ditty is the best thing Lisa has ever released.

As usual, the track is a bit nutty but it has a glorious pop sensibility that we haven't heard before. That chorus is undeniable and the whole thing reminds me of Jane Wiedlin's "Rush Hour". I'm not sure why because it's not very '80s and there are no dolphins to be seen in the classy black and white video (below). Speaking of which, how refreshing to see an Australian made clip that doesn't look like it was thrown together by an intern. More importantly - when did she become so gorgeous? If the rest of the album sounds like this the other ethereal indie-pop bitches will need to find a new genre because Lisa has a lock on this shit.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Dr. Luke Makes Cody Simpson Even More Awesome


Australia's most relevant pop star has done it again! Cody Simpson continues to raise the bar for quality teen pop with his (relatively) new single "Wish U Were Here". The slick Dr. Luke production almost passed me by until I heard it in a club last night and suddenly realised it's the 15-year-old's finest contribution to the modern art. Yet. In all seriousness, this is one hell of a song. The perky synths lift the Gold Coast expat's voice to new heights and that chorus is a monster.

Then there's the unexpectedly awesome rap from Becky G. Who is this bitch? She's really good! I have a feeling the song was originally intended for Taio Cruz (he has a writing credit) but the bubblegum lyrics suit Cody better. The video (below) is a fairly low budget affair consisting of live footage and awkward emoting in front of fireworks but I've seen a lot worse. The thinking man's Justin Bieber is becoming a surprisingly good pop star. Fingers crossed the rest of Paradise meets this lofty standard.