Thursday, January 31, 2013

These Beefcakes, A Spanish Flop & Pitbull Cover Aerosmith


Why is Pitbull so much less annoying in Spanish? Maybe it's because I don't understand when he "raps" about poppin' bottles and randomly lists cities. But this post is not about Mr Worldwide. To be honest it's a complete mystery how he ended up on the latest single from Puerto Rican duo Dyland & Lenny. They're not exactly household names. Anywhere.

Perhaps he just couldn't resist contributing to the greatest Latin pop track of 2013. I'm only being half-sarcastic. "Sin Ti" is a hot mess of epic proportions but I'm completely obsessed. The hip-hop/dance remake of Aerosmith's "Don't Wanna Miss A Thing" reminds me of those appalling techno mixes of popular songs we used to get in the '90s. Who will ever forget this triumph?

There's nothing classy or original about "Sin Ti" but it's so much fun you won't care one iota. Pitbull introduces his collaborators before making way for Dyland & Lenny, who actually sound pretty good to me. It could help that they spend most of the clip shirtless and are rather easy on the eye (see above).

And then there's the cherry on the top - Spanish dance flop legend Beatriz Luengo. I can't with this bitch. The way she pronounces "you" as "yowwww" cracks me up and why is she wearing Lady Gaga's studded bra from 2008 in the video? Lady, you're no Soraya!

Watch in awe below as this raggedy bunch destroy Aerosmith and deliver the best summer anthem you'll never hear on Australian radio.

Beyoncé Has A Top 10 Smash... In Fiji!


While your played-out faves are rushing around Tokyo and London trying to promote their flop careers, Beyoncé is effortlessly slaying the South Pacific. That sound you hear is King B adding to her wig collection. This is so random. I was switching between US and Australian iTunes and must have clicked a wrong button somewhere because I ended up in fucking Fiji. At first I just laughed because a boring song from The Hobbit is number one but then looked closer and realised that Fijians have amazing taste. Ke$ha and Icona Pop are top 5 and Bey's R&B smash is sitting pretty at number 7 (let's just ignore the presence of R. Kelly's decade old hit). Mad respect to this flawless nation! I'm so glad "Dance For You" is getting the attention it deserves... somewhere. A year later and it's still my favourite jam. Watch Bey work her wig below.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Jasmine V Is The New Madonna


I can't live this lie any longer. After years of denial, it's time to come out of the closet and admit that I am... a Jasminator. Sweet relief! You might be wondering what the fuck is going on right now, so let me give you the Cliff Notes version.

Teen goddess Jasmine Villegas - better known to hundreds of fans worldwide as Jasmine V - got her big break playing Justin Bieber's love interest in the "Baby" video and has been plugging away at her own pop career ever since. I was introduced to her musical brilliance in LA when I had to write about her stunning buzz singles for Idolator. I liked most of them but she never quite reached the same level of success as contemporaries like Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Victoria Justice or Bridgit Mendler.

That could change because the teenager's new single is an absolute triumph. I'm basically playing "Paint A Smile" on a loop with Nicole's "Boomerang" and Ke$ha's "C'Mon". Yes, it's really that amazing. Jasmine's upbeat break-up anthem is cute as a button. The move towards electronica is inspired (her last single was an mid-tempo R&B anthem about domestic abuse - I'm not kidding) and the lyrics are relentlessly uplifting. I particularly like this nugget of wisdom: "When the world lets me down I'll paint a smile on!"

The video is fairly standard for an upcoming diva. The 19-year-old leaves her boyfriend and goes on a joyride only to stop at a service station manned by a male model. Because pumping gas is the industry most good-looking people gravitate towards. From that point on, there's some wholesome bar-dancing and a bit of emoting in a field. The clip isn't going to win any awards but it does the trick.

Prepare to be blown away by "Paint A Smile" (below). I'll save you a seat at the next Jasminator convention!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Ke$ha Really Loves Pussy - C'Mon Video Review


I must have sat down to write this review at least 10 times over the past month but it never quite happened. I think I was suffering from fan fatigue. After documenting the "Die Young" campaign from pre-leak to post-Sandy Hook fallout, I just wanted to enjoy a Ke$ha release without analysing every tiny detail. And it's been a lot of fun re-connecting with the pussy-lovin' pop icon.

"C'Mon" has proved the doomsayers wrong. After a slow start, the current soundtrack to my life is gathering momentum in Australia (and America) and looks like being another big hit. It still wouldn't have been my pick as the second single but only because it misrepresents the millennium's most underrated album. "Crazy Kids", "Gold Trans Am" or "Only Wanna Dance With You" better represent the glory of cock-pop but I asked Jesus for guidance and he has helped me come to terms with the choice.

Don't get me wrong. I love "C'Mon" and get excited every time I hear it on the radio. It's an instant cure for a bad day and makes me want to drive around robbing convenience stores. Capturing the song's breezy brilliance was always going to be a challenge but the clip does an amazing job of letting us inside K$'s weird and wonderful head.

Director Darren Craig was also responsible for the diva's controversial "Die Young" video but he takes a very different approach this time. Gone are the Satanic references and group sex. Instead we get fuzzy animal costumes and a wild party. As much as I love "Die Young", I think this clip is more authentic to Lady Dolla. Like she was playing a character last time but can finally be herself now.

There is so much to love about this video, I don't even know where to start. I love that she looks like Ellie May from the Beverly Hillbillies in the opening scene. I want to ride in the magical van with God$ha and her pussycat companion (there are a lot of cat references in this clip). I approve of her stunning fashion choices and feel like partying with magical animals is the way forward. Most of all, I want her glamorous bedroom. I would seriously never leave the house ever again!

Go and download "C'Mon" today. Pop needs Ke$ha and the song and video (below) are pretty much flaw-free.

9/10

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Boomerang > The Matrix - Video Review

The world spit me out and I was spinnin' around

The Nicole Scherzinger juggernaut gathered even more momentum yesterday with the release of her game-changing "Boomerang" video. This is some next level shit but I'm going to keep it real. My initial reaction was something along the lines of - what in the "Scream & Shout" hell is this? But then I watched it a couple of dozen more times and realised that Nicky is breaking new ground with her high art, low budget masterpiece.

Before I delve into the magic of Matrix - The Musical, can I just say how much better "Boomerang" sounds in HQ? I loved the radio rip but it made the production sound a bit shoddy. Now this is the kind of pop perfection I expect from the woman who brought us "Wet"! Moving on to the video. It's rather gorgeous to look at it, don't you think? Nicole is always flawless but she really brings sexy back in a selection of stylish outfits that show off her killer curves.

In the first couple of scenes, "Boomerang" reminds me of Kylie's "Love At First Sight" with the flashes of colour juxtaposed against the black and white background. It's chic and classy and almost a bit boring but then we're thrown down the rabbit hole into a weird and wonderful world of marching Scherzi-soldiers and dubious special effects.

Actually, let me clarify. Some of the visuals are stunning - I love the scene where all the Nicoles are hanging mid-air and when they make pretty shapes. My favourite part is probably when the diva has light glowing out of her back. That is some Tron-inspired shit right there! The weirder the concept, the better the computer effects look. However, there are a couple of dodgy moments and there's no excuse for wearing a garbage bag in that neon cage.

On the whole, however, "Boomerang" is stylish and odd and utterly captivating. It's a Lady Gaga concept filmed on a Dev-sized budget but that's Nicky for you. Always aiming for the top!

Watch in awe as the most underrated girl in game snatches your fave's wig below.

9/10

Two Black Cadillacs - Video Review


When people discuss music's highest-selling divas, Carrie Underwood is often left out of the conversation. And while she can't match the receipts of Adele and Taylor, the country queen's latest album has sold 1.3 million copies in the US - and she's only just released the third single. Blown Away has outsold recent efforts by Beyoncé, Rihanna and Kelly Clarkson. So isn't it about time you explored her mega-selling country-pop opus?

And to be honest, "Two Black Cadillacs" is the perfect starting point. The dark and gloomy murder-revenge anthem represents the next step in the evolution of Carrie Underwood. She's putting the girl-next-door shit aside - at least for now - to explore themes more at home on a Lana Del Rey record. I love how well country music lends itself to telling a story and the Americon Idol winner has an absolute doozy on her hands.

In a nutshell - a wife discovers her man is cheating and teams up with his hoe mistress to kill him. Given the song's already sinister subject matter, I thought Carrie might lighten things up with a camp video but she plunges head first into her new role as a femme fatale. The clip is eerily beautiful and I love the Stephen King-inspired twist at the end. This is the kind of thing you'd expect from Katy Perry or Lady Gaga. Which is why "Two Black Cadillacs" might find an even wider audience than usual.

Watch Carrie channel her inner murderess below:

8.5/10

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Nicole Returns! Jesus Weeps! Careers End!


Bless Nicole. Amid the forced quirkiness of Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift's increasingly stale girl-next-door routine, it's a breath of fresh air to welcome back an old school pop star. You know, a diva that is happy to just look pretty while singing and dancing without reinventing the wheel? The patron saint of puakenikenis is an easy target - her delusional tweets rival any parody account - but she is talented and deserves to find her own niche after all those years of Pussycat Doll hell.

"Boomerang" is a giant step in the right direction. The surprisingly '80s-inspired pop tune sounds like the bastard child of Stacey Q and Laura Branigan - it's an avalanche of (intentionally) cheesy keyboards and catchy vocal hooks. In typical Nicole style, the lyrics don't make a lot of sense (see iconic Killer Love album track "Amenjena") but trust me, you'll be singing "I'm a boomerang oh wo-oh-oh oh wo-oh-oh!" by the time the track ends.

And now the million dollar question. Is it a hit? I think Nicky has Europe in the bag. Australia could go either way (a promo visit would pretty much guarantee a high chart position) and anything could happen in States. I mean Dev had a top 20 hit there, so the standard is low. Most importantly, I'm just happy to have the Hawaiian pop princess back. Her unreleased albums are better than your fave's finest moment!

Listen to a very rough radio rip of the future number one, Grammy-winning smash below.

9/10

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Why Beyoncé Can't Win


Beyoncé is the woman the media loves to tear down. I used to think it was just a case of tall poppy syndrome. When a person reaches a certain level of success, there's an ugly but distinctly human desire to give them a reality check. It happened to Michael Jackson, Madonna and basically anyone else worthy of icon status. But I think the Bey hate goes beyond that.

First there was the baby bump debacle. I can't think of a more disgusting thing to accuse a woman of than faking her pregnancy (particularly without proof) but that didn't stop every media outlet running with the story. It turned out to be bullshit - as evidenced by the sonogram footage in her upcoming documentary - but nobody apologised.

Then there was the "Countdown" video scandal. The director lifted a couple of dance moves from an obscure ballet and King B was dragged over the coals despite the fact that her contemporaries (Rihanna and Kelly Rowland for starters) were stealing entire video concepts with no backlash.

That takes us to the legendary diva's performance of "Star Spangled Banner" at President Obama's inauguration. It was widely praised as the best rendition of all time but then someone from the Marine band accused her of lip-syncing (a statement that was later retracted) and she became public enemy number one. There was a school shooting in America earlier today but the top story was "Beyoncé mimed the national anthem".

There is so much wrong with this situation. Why are the damn marines reaching out to entertainment reporters with gossip in the first place? Is the American military that thirsty for attention? More disturbingly, why was the source not checked before everyone started throwing accusations? I thought that was the basis of solid journalism and was drilled into my head on the first day of my degree. The person ultimately retracted their comment but the damage was done and bitches will, no doubt, be sharpening their knives for the Superbowl performance.

It's clear from the video of the inauguration that something was going on with the audio. Bey removed her earpiece half-way through and looked visibly agitated. You can also hear her breathing and see a damn vein popping on her head, so she was definitely singing live. Perhaps she was accompanied by a backing tape. I don't know and I don't care. I've seen Mariah mime. I've seen Aretha mime. Hell, Britney probably mimes when she sings her children a lullaby before tucking them into bed at night. We all know they (well, at least the first two) can sing, so I assume there was another reason for their decision to give their voice a rest. It doesn't make me think any less of them.

The question remains - why does Beysus get such a raw deal? Jealousy and racism are the obvious answers. The Queen of all genres is just a little too perfect. If Beyoncé was being smacked around by a boyfriend or popping pills, she would get the sympathy vote. Instead, she's happily married and the poster girl for female empowerment. It clearly annoys people that she's almost supernaturally talented, scarily beautiful, filthy rich and very well-connected. That's a dangerous enough combination but when you throw in the colour of her skin, people get even more uncomfortable.

Today's trial by media was a new low point for everyone involved. After slaying with this album, Bey should just go away and enjoy her perfect life. We don't deserve her.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Kween Kat Strikes Back


Kat DeLuna is an unstoppable force of nature. The Dominican deity releases a new song every second week. So does Rihanna, I hear you say - but RedOne's original muse never disappoints. So she wins.

I'm not sure if "Always On My Mind" is even on the diva's soon-to-be-released third album. It's another exotic international collaboration - this time with Romanian DJ Costi - and could be slated exclusively for lucrative Eastern European market. That would be a shame because Kat's latest smash is a bright and breezy summer jam that finds the global trendsetter in an unusually laid back mood. This is the perfect soundtrack for sipping cocktails by the pool or smuggling drugs across the Romanian countryside. The bouncy chorus is cute and I love the Spanish breakdown at the end.

Listen to Senorita DeLuna's latest triumph below and join my prayer circle to ask Jesus for more details about Viva.

Kelly Rowland Sings About Her Vagina. Yet Again. Kisses Down Low - Review


What is wrong with Kelly Rowland? Ever since "Motivation" became a well-deserved but surprise hit, she has had sex on the brain. First, there was the soft porn "Lay It On Me" video. The Destiny's Child backing vocalist then claimed she was "Down For Whatever" before raising temperatures - of perverts and sex offenders - on "Ice". Now the randy bitch is back with another ode to her insatiable vagina called "Kisses Down Low".

I hate to say it but I blame Beyoncé. She was always the sexy one in Destiny's Child. Take the iconic "Cater 2 U" video. Bey writhed around in a tiny bikini, while Ms Kelly tried and failed to rock an unflattering safari suit. It's nice that the former girl-next-door can finally embrace her inner-bombshell but enough is enough with the sleazy mid-tempo baby-makin' jams.

Having said all that, "Kisses Down Low" is a slick tune. Mike WILL Made It is one of the hottest producers in urban music right now and I love how he mixes the tempo up on Kelly's latest. The beats are hot, it sounds fresh and the lyrics will definitely get attention. Kudos to the failed actress for dropping it two weeks before King B's comeback. I'm here for Ms Rowland's shady sales tactics!

Grab some tissues and listen to "Kisses Down Low"... below.

7/10

Luciana's Annual Aus Club Smash - U B The Bass


If you played all of Luciana's dance hits back-to-back, you could keep a club jumping for days. The English-born, Australia-adopted beauty is back with yet another explosive anthem called "U B The Bass". I love everything the queen of clubs does but this is extra special because: 

1. The lyrics name-check goddess Shakira
2. Luci sings about 'body language', which reminds me of Kylie's similarly-titled best album
3. "U B The Bass" has a commercial sound, which should find a home on Australian radio

The initial response has been great. Luciana's latest floorfiller was a hit with fans on her recently-completed tour and is already sitting at #70 on iTunes with no promotion. It will probably drop a little until the track is officially serviced to clubs and radio but this is a fantastic start.

 Listen to the first truly great pop song of 2013 below.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Nicole Scherzinger unveils high budget 'Boomerang' promo


"Boomerang" is happening after all! Praise Jesus! The future smash was originally due to hit UK radio on January 7 but was pushed back to accomodate Ms Scherzinger's Hawaiian holiday. For a while there I feared it would end up in the same box of broken dreams that currently houses Killer Love and Her Name Is Nicole. Happily, we have a new release date - January 24 - and some era-defining publicity!

To ensure the song's success, the only relevant Pussycat Doll invested in a Sharpie and wrote a sign on a scrap of cardboard. She then took a pic of her exquisite handiwork with a mobile phone and posted it on Twitter. Could Lady Gaga? I'm so here for Nicole's new club-banger. I love the preview and the video looks incredible. Watch 15 seconds of the clip below.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Destiny's Child Return - Nuclear Review


I still remember the first time I heard a Destiny's Child song. As a kid I was obsessed with Rick Dees' Top 40 countdown, which aired late on a Sunday afternoon in Australia. I would devour every track on my battered cassette walkman - often writing down notes on a scrap of paper so I could order the CD at my local record store. Yes, people. Life really sucked in the days before the internet! But back to the children of destiny. One night Rick introduced a new girlband from Texas and spun "No, No, No". My hands shook as I wrote down their name because I knew I had to get my hands on this magical track - which, in retrospect, is quite an odd reaction for a white boy from the suburbs. It was literally love at first listen.

From that moment the Spice Girls and all other lessor acts ceased to exist in my eyes. Beyoncé, Kelly, LaTavia and LeToya were my badly-dressed queens - even if I often had no idea what they were singing about. For years I thought "Bug A Boo" was about insects! They just sounded like angels to me. I cried when the line-up changed, completely lost my shit when the trio finally toured Australia as part of the Rumba festival and held a massive grudge against Bey for years (I basically ignored her first two solo albums) for leaving the band! So how do you respond to news that an act you loved that much has just released a new song for a random compilation of love songs?

The answer - strangely - is with little interest. To be honest, I expected "Nuclear" to be shit. Beyoncé is about to take over the music world with a $50 million dollar Pepsi deal, Superbowl performance and new album - why would she invest time and creativity into what is obviously a record label obligation? And then the initial reviews came in and they were terrible and I felt relief. I could finally listen to the song with no expectation of it being any good. But then I heard the damn thing and realised that everyone is fucked because "Nuclear" is as gorgeous as it is gloriously produced and innovative.

Co-written by Michelle Williams and produced by Pharrell, the smooth mid-tempo jam transports us back to the '90s with the grace of a freshly fueled DeLorean. "Nuclear" mixes soulful harmonies with warm and fuzzy house beats not heard since the glory days of Massive Attack, Pet Shop Boys and - don't laugh - Black Box. There's even a touch of Madonna circa Erotica. This is the sound that Azealia Banks has spent her entire career trying to tap into with varying degrees of success.

Of course, the track is completely unpalatable to listeners who mistake "We Found Love" for R&B and will, most likely, baffle spectators if the ladies perform it at Superbowl. For me, however, "Nuclear" is an unexpectedly happy ending for my favourite band of all time. Special props to Michelle (AKA the legendary vocalist behind top 40 Hungarian hit "We Break The Dawn") for the gorgeous lyrics. "It's nuclear with you here" is the prettiest chorus I've heard in months.

10/10

Monday, January 14, 2013

Mariah's Triumphant Return To Australia


Over the Summer I was lucky enough to tag along on Mariah's Australian tour. It was a wild ride with a couple of tense moments but it was a brilliant experience that I will always cherish. All of the shows were good but the Sydney concert was absolutely immaculate. Mimi received unfair criticism for what was perceived to be an overly short set but when you have 917 hits you have to be judicious about what you sing and I think she got the mix right. The diva enjoyed herself so much that she's desperate to return and could be heading back this way as soon as September to tour her new album. I'll be there.

Read my review of Mariah's Australian tour.

Ke$ha Drinks From The Furry Cup


Happy New Year! I hope 2013 has been kind to you thus far. A lot has happened in the pop world over the past couple of weeks - and I'll get to all that shit eventually - but I'm still reeling from the stunning revelation that Ke$ha occasionally munches rug. Could she be any more flawless? To celebrate this joyous news, I thought I would post some saucy fan art of music's hottest bisexual as well as her new dyke bar smash "Old Flames Can't Hold A Candle To You". Written by God$ha's mother, the beautiful ballad was a number one country hit for Dolly Parton in 1980 and still slays 33 years later. It's the highlight of Lady Dolla's exquisite Deconstructed EP and further proof that she is the new queen of pop. Stay tuned for my review of "C'Mon" later in the week. Welcome back to Pop Trash!