Friday, 30 July 2010

Top 20 - 30 July, 2010.... When Dance Takes Over

1. Zayra - V.I.P (NEW)
2. Kimbra - Settle Down
3. Edward Maya ft. Vika Jigulina - Stereo Love (NEW)
4. Monarchy - Gold In The Fire
5. Robyn - Hang With Me
6. M.I.A - Tell Me Why
7. Uffie ft. Pharrell Williams - ADD SUV (NEW)
8. Florence + The Machine - Heavy In Your Arms
9. Pretty Lights - A Million Tomorrows (NEW)
10. Kid CuDi ft. Kanye West - Erase Me
11. Eminem ft. Rihanna - Love The Way You Lie
12. Murder Mystery - Change My Mind
13. Benny Benassi ft. Kelis, Apl.De.Ap & Jean-Baptiste - Spaceship (NEW)
14. Arcade Fire - Ready To Start
15. Mike Weez - Up 4 Love
16. Ra Ra Riot - Boy
17. Katy Perry - Teenage Dream (NEW)
18. Cut Copy - Where I'm Going
19. N.A.S.A ft. Karen O, ODB & Fatlip - Strange Enough
20. Sarah McLachlan - Loving You Is Easy (NEW)

----> Who is Zayra? If, like me, you were a massive loser and watched Rock Star: Supernova, you should remember Zayra Alvarez for her amazing original song 'Lluvia De Mar.' It's taken her almost five years, but she's finally got an album in the works and her debut single, 'V.I.P,' is climbing up the US Billboard dance charts. I just hope she eventually returns to her rock-y roots.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Song of the Day: Hero

She's the hero of this story, she don't need to be saved...

Regina Spektor - Hero

No word on when we can expect a new album from the delectable Ms Spektor, but she will be composing the music for Broadway's adaption of Sleeping Beauty. That's not set to debut until 2011, so hopefully she won't dedicate all of her time to that. A follow-up to 2009s Far would be very much appreciated.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Quickie Countdown: Modern Musicals

Moving on from the film score, it's about time I paid tribute to some of my favourite musicals. A collective cringe from the masses! MUSICALS? Ew, sick. I'm not talking about Guys and Dolls or The Sound of Music here kiddies. I'm talking about more modern musicals that offer compelling music and sometimes even a well structured storyline. Here are ten of the best...

1. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

Who: Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Meat Loaf

Why: It's a cult classic that has stood the test of time in terms of awesomeness. Everything about it screams retro-cool.... even Meat Loaf.

Best Songs: 'Sweet Transvestite;' 'Touch'a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me;' 'Fanfare/Don't Dream It, Be It;' 'I'm Going Home;' 'Superheroes;' Science Fiction/Double Feature.'

2. Dancer In The Dark (2000)

Who: Bjork, David Morse

Why: It's smarter than the average musical. The central character Selma (portrayed beautifully by Bjork) slips into daydreams of musical numbers to escape her everyday life. The central message that life isn't as wonderful as a musical is summed up perfectly by the ending of the film. This is a must-see movie.

Best Songs: 'I've Seen It All;' 'Scatterheart;' 'In The Musicals;' 'New World.'

3. Moulin Rouge! (2001)

Who: Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, Jim Broadbent

Why: A tragic story that combines amazing visuals with some of the greatest songs of all-time.

Best Songs: 'One Day I'll Fly Away;' 'Elephant Love Medley;' 'Come What May;' 'El Tango de Roxanne;' 'Fool To Believe/The Show Must Go On;' 'Hindi Sad Diamonds.'

4. Chicago (2002)

Who: Renee Zellwegger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, John C. Reilly

Why: Academy Award for Best Picture. Do you need another reason?

Best Songs: 'Overture/All That Jazz;' 'When You're Good To Mama;' 'Cell Block Tango;' 'We Both Reached For The Gun;' 'Class;' 'Nowadays.'

5. Across The Universe (2007)

Who: Jim Sturgess, Evan Rachel Wood

Why: Julie Taymor's vision + The Beatles = win. A pretty simple formula I'd say.

Best Songs: 'All My Loving;' 'I Want To Hold Your Hand;' 'Let It Be;' 'Across the Universe;' 'A Day In The Life;' 'Hey Jude;' 'All You Need Is Love.'

6. Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Once More With Feeling (2002)

Who: Sarah Michelle Gellar, James Marsters, Emma Caulfield, Nicholas Brendon, Amber Benson

Why: Proof that a TV show can work in a musical format. Years before Glee we had this and it worked in every single way. The songs were used to advance the seasons story-arc and you've got to give props to Joss Whedon for writing the music with no background in composition. Plus, everyone but poor Willow (Alyson Hannigan) showed some pretty nice vocals!

Best Songs: 'Going Through The Motions;' 'Under Your Spell;' 'What You Feel;' 'Under Your Spell/Standing (Reprise);' 'Walk Through The Fire;' 'Something To Sing About.'

7. The Phantom of the Opera (2004)

Who: Emmy Rossum, Gerard Butler, Patrick Wilson, Minnie Driver

Why: One of the greatest stage musicals proved just as successful in translation to the big screen. The atmosphere was captured perfectly and the cast is outstanding.

Best Songs: 'Think of Me;' 'Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again;' 'All I Ask Of You;' 'The Phantom of the Opera;' 'The Point of No Return.'

8. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

Who: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Sacha Baron Cohen

Why: Because it's got Helena Bonham Carter in it. Duh.

Best Songs: 'No Place Like London;' 'The Worst Pies In London;' 'Epiphany;' 'A Little Priest;' 'By The Sea;' 'Not While I'm Around.'

9. Dreamgirls (2006)

Who: Beyonce Knowles, Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy

Why: The acting performances are very strong, with Jennifer Hudson outshining everyone in her first film role (which subsequently earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress). The music is top-notch too.

Best Songs: 'Dreamgirls;' 'It's All Over;' 'And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going;' 'When I First Saw You;' 'Patience;' 'I Am Changing;' 'One Night Only;' 'Listen.'

10. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)

Who: Trey Parker, Matt Stone

Why: Musicals don't get much funnier than this. Actually, musicals DON'T get funnier than this.

Best Songs: 'Uncle F***er;' 'Blame Canada;' 'Kyle's Mum's A B*tch;' 'Up There;' 'La Resistance Medley;' 'I Can Change.'

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Everybody Comes To Hollywood

Unless you've been living in a remote part of the Sudanese desert, aka literally living under a rock, you'll have noticed some little independent film that's been released called Inception. It's director Christopher Nolan's much anticipated follow-up to the critical and commercial success, The Dark Knight. Reviews have been more than positive and I'm uber-excited to see it at some stage this week (that and Toy Story 3 baby!!!!).

Some of the film's praise has been directed at Hans Zimmer's score and after listening to a couple of the tracks I am all for said praise. Even if orchestral music isn't your 'thing,' you've got to appreciate how awesome a movie score like this is. As many writers in the "blogosphere" have pointed out, even better than Zimmer's score for the movie is Zack Hemsey's theme for the trailer, 'Mind Heist.' Now that's a song that will get you excited about a movie! It could almost fit in perfectly with the music to The Dark Knight, which just so happened to be co-scored by Hans Zimmer.

After listening to the soundtrack for Inception I took a trip down memory lane and revisited some of my favourite scores from other movies. On a Saturday night. Because I'm just that cool. Anyway, for your entertainment, here's some of the bestest of the bunch of my all-time favourite film scores. Enjoy!

Requiem for a Dream
score composed by Clint Mansell

Powerful use of strings, percussion and vocal instrumentation. 'Lux Aeterna,' the most notable theme, has been used and abused by so many other films and media outlets but it manages to still be as compelling as it was the first time I heard it. If we had been playing music like this in school I might have actually practiced my violin.... but probably not.

Casino Royale (2006)
score composed by David Arnold

This would be Arnold's fourth contribution to the James Bond franchise and, in my mind, remains his best. He's able to provide music worthy of the extreme action sequences before toning it down to more simple melodies for the quiet emotional scenes. 'Vesper,' the theme for Eva Green's beautifully portrayed Vesper Lynd is the scores highlight.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day
score composed by Brad Fiedel

Yeah, yeah... it's not the greatest achievement in music's history but it is what it is... and that's AWESOME! "Hello Doctor Silberman. How's the knee?" I love Sarah Connor!

King Kong (2005)
score composed by James Newton Howard

It's a score that can stir many thoughts and emotions. You feel like you're going on the grand adventure to Skull Island and you feel Kong's rage in New York City. But, like with Casino Royale, it's the quieter moments where the score shines brightest, like the scene with Ann and Kong playing in Central Park.

Edward Scissorhands
score composed by Danny Elfman

Danny Elfman is one cool dude. You may know him best as the guy who composed The Simpsons theme song. He's also synonymous with scoring films directed by good friend, Tim Burton. If I had to pick just one that was my favourite, it would be his score to Edward Scissorhands. It's haunting and beautiful... so I guess that makes it hauntingly beautiful. Or beautifully haunting. Whatever.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
score composed by Hans Zimmer

This is amazing music right here kids. Epic. Amazing. Outstanding. If I was doing this as a countdown, this would be a strong contender for number one. Zimmer somehow managed to top the awesome soundtrack to Dead Man's Chest with this one. The central characters get some brilliant themes, notably Davy Jones' locket charm and Will and Elizabeth's love song. The music for the action scenes is equal to that of anything in The Lord of the Rings franchise.

Schindler's List
score composed by John Williams

This music made the movie. Sure, it's horrible and sad and all that jazz... but without the music they wouldn't have gotten half the emotional impact they were going for. Itzakh Perlman's violin solos are enough to bring you to tears... if you have a heart of course. Luckily, I'm a cyborg, or according to some - I don't even exist.

score composed by John Carpenter

One of, if not THE best horror themes... ever.

V for Vendetta
score composed by Dario Marianelli

He may have won the Best Original Score Academy Award for Atonement, but I'd still put his amazing work in V For Vendetta above that any day. It perfectly captures the tone of the film and adds to how powerful it really is.

score composed by Hans Zimmer with Lisa Gerrard

Come on, you must love this one, right? Another worthy score of the epic tag. Maybe it's a Hans Zimmer thing, but the guy composes the best music for a blockbuster film. If you're guessing that there's more Zimmer still to come here... you're right! Gold stars for you!

The Dark Knight
score composed by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard

So, Hans Zimmer is officially my favourite film score composer. Combine his talents with the also amazing Howard and you get the awesomeness that is the score to The Dark Knight. The Joker's themes are so simple, but combined with the film it creates a huge feeling of unease and the tension builds until it just goes nuts.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Top 20 - 24 July, 2010

1. Kimbra - Settle Down (NEW)

2. Robyn - Hang With Me (NEW)
3. Monarchy - Gold In The Fire
4. Murder Mystery - Change My Mind (NEW)
5. Florence + The Machine - Heavy In Your Arms
6. Kid CuDi ft. Kanye West - Erase Me
7. Mike Weez - Up 4 Love
8. Eminem ft. Rihanna - Love The Way You Lie
9. N.A.S.A ft. Karen O, ODB & Fatlip - Strange Enough (NEW)

10. Arcade Fire - Ready To Start
11. M.I.A - Tell Me Why (NEW)
12. Ra Ra Riot - Boy (NEW)
13. HotKid - Fake It (NEW)
14. Cut Copy - Where I'm Going
15. Fischerspooner - Infidels Of The World Unite (NEW)
16. Marina & The Diamonds - Oh No!
17. Fiona Apple - So Sleepy
18. Korn - Oildale (Leave Me Alone)
19. Christina Aguilera - You Lost Me (NEW)
20. The Pretty Reckless - Make Me Wanna Die

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Don't You Forget About Me #4 - Lighthouse

The Hush Sound - Lighthouse

Where would you go if the world was seemingly ending around you? Would you choose to head to a lighthouse haunted by the ghost of a girl locked inside waiting for the return of her sailor lover? Probably not, but for the two protagonists in 'Lighthouse' it appears to be their only option. Wait, two protagonists? Yeah... maybe there's only one, but I'm sticking to the theory that it's not just the one characters that gets the narrative here. Confused? I hope so. I know I am.

There's so much to like about this song; the sweet and simple piano arrangement, Greta Salpeter's haunting vocals that draw you in completely and there's the amazing writing that makes up one of the coolest stories to be put into a song. I love a good ghost story (except for Paranormal Activity - that was awful) and that's pretty much what we get given in 'Lighthouse.' Check out the lyrics....

Take what you need while there's time
The city will be earth in a short while
If I'm not mistaken it's been in flames
You and I will escape to the seaside

There is a storm in the distance
The wind breathing warning of its imminence
There is a lighthouse five hundred yards down
You and I will be safe there

There is a girl who haunts that lighthouse
She saved me, I was swimming
So young I almost drowned
Under the water she sang a story
Of losing her lover
She calls a warning

Love, you are foolish, you're tired
Your sleeplessness makes you a liar
The city is burning
The ocean is turning
You and I will be safe in the lighthouse

Her lover was a sailor
She went and she waited there
The door locked from the outside
Lover never arrived so she sings there
Soft as a siren luring the ships off their course, how alarming

We went in, we climbed up and looked out
The door locked from the outside
Three ghosts in a lighthouse

Best ending ever! It's like The Sixth Sense in song form!!

Monday, 19 July 2010

Top 20 - July 18, 2010

1. Monarchy - Gold In The Fire (NEW)
2. Florence + The Machine - Heavy In Your Arms
3. Kid CuDi ft. Kanye West - Erase Me (NEW)
4. Eminem ft. Rihanna - Love The Way You Lie
5. The Pretty Reckless - Make Me Wanna Die
6. Fiona Apple - So Sleepy (NEW)
7. Cut Copy - Where I'm Going (NEW)
8. Korn - Oildale (Leave Me Alone)
9. Arcade Fire - Ready To Start
10. Stars - How Much More (NEW)
11. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
12. Mike Weez - Up 4 Love (NEW)
13. Marina & The Diamonds - Oh No!
14. Gypsy & The Cat - Time To Wander
15. Kid Cudi, Bethany Cosentino & Rostam Batmanglij - All Summer (NEW)
16. Crystal Castles - Pap Smear
17. Serj Tankian - Borders Are (NEW)
18. Karen Elson - The Ghost Who Walks
19. The Kills - Pale Blue Eyes (NEW)
20. Klaxons - Flashover

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Summer Lovin'

The travel bug has bitten me hard. Seriously, it hurt. Those travel bugs are out of control... watch out! Anyway, I'm off to Croatia on Sunday. Jealous? To celebrate my travels here's some sweet, sweet summer anthems. Croatia will be a good chance to soak up some sun whilst relaxing on the beach, beverage in hand... these are just a handful of the songs that will likely be on repeat.


WHEN LOVE TAKES OVER - David Guetta ft. Kelly Rowland

PUSH UP - Freestylers

SONG 4 MUTYA (OUT OF CONTROL) - Groove Armada ft. Mutya Buena

GET SHAKY - The Ian Carey Project

LET ME THINK ABOUT IT - Fedde Le Grand vs Ida Corr


ICE CREAM - New Young Pony Club

RIVERSIDE - Sidney Samson

I LOVE IT - Sneaky Sound System


Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Song of the Day - Around the Bend

Greg Laswell - Around the Bend

Who is Greg Laswell? If you're a fan of Grey's Anatomy you would have heard a couple of his songs, notably during the season 6 finale which ends with Izzie and George on death's door (or elevator). Focus! Don't let me go on a rant about Grey's Anatomy. This is a music blog! And don't judge me for my interest in the lives of the doctors of Seattle Grace. Anywho... Laswell released a new album this year, Take A Bow, and the first single was your Song of the Day, 'Around the Bend.'

Play the song without the rhyme scheme
Play the song without the hook in the third line
So I can forget it easily
Like I wish I could forget you.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Top 20 - July 5, 2010

1. Florence + The Machine - Heavy In Your Arms
2. Korn - Oildale (Leave Me Alone) (NEW)
3. Eminem ft. Rihanna - Love The Way You Lie
4. The Pretty Reckless - Make Me Wanna Die (NEW)
5. Gypsy & The Cat - Time To Wander
6. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
7. Karen Elson - The Ghost Who Walks
8. Kate Nash - Kiss That Grrrl (NEW)
9. Crystal Castles - Pap Smear (NEW)
10. Klaxons - Flashover
11. Hellogoodbye - When We First Met (NEW)
12. The Love Language - Heart To Tell
13. Arcade Fire - Ready To Start
14. Stars - Fixed
15. Jinja Safari - Peter Pan (NEW)
16. Sia - Bring Night (NEW)
17. Marina & The Diamonds - Oh No! (NEW)
18. M.I.A - XXXO
19. Kylie Minogue - Cupid Boy (NEW)
20. M.I.A - Teqkilla (NEW)

Monday, 5 July 2010

Meet Me Halfway

2010 has been a pretty impressive year for music and we're only halfway through! With albums from huge artists like M.I.A, U2, Arcade Fire and the Beastie Boys still to come in the second half it can only get better. Beyonce, Coldplay, Daft Punk, Jamiroquai, Kings of Leon, No Doubt, Britney Spears, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Radiohead, Evanescence and Amy Winehouse all have rumoured album releases as well. If only half of those acts release an album before the year is out, 2010 could be the most star-studded year for music releases ever! Anywho, let's take a look at some of the most notable acts over the past six months...

Ellie Goulding

One of 2010s most exciting new stars, Ellie Goulding has left the world starry eyed in her wake. Her debut album, Lights, went straight to the top of the UK charts. She hasn't made a huge impression outside of Europe, but with work already underway for her second full length, it's only a matter of when, not if, for this pop wonder. 'Starry Eyed'...

His debut album, B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray, debuted at #1 in America. His debut song, 'Nothing On You,' went to the top of the US and UK charts and second single, Airplanes, has gone top 5 worldwide and this week sits at the top of the UK charts. Not bad for a guy who's only 21. I feel old and unaccomplished.

Do I even need to explain? The domination of the mighty Gaga continued on from 2009, with 'Bad Romance' and 'Telephone' cementing her status as the #1 music star in the world. In 2010 she has become the most watched artist on YouTube, picked up a healthy number of awards and created more debate than anyone else on the scene. Love her or hate her, you can't deny the power of Lady Gaga.

She's come a loooong way from 'Show Me Love' in the 90s to become one of the best electronic acts of the 2000s. In June she dropped Body Talk pt. 1, and that's only the first of three albums she's expected to release this year! If either of the two unreleased Body Talk albums has anything half as good as 'Dancing On My Own' I'll be as happy as can be.

The return of the king.... perhaps. Maybe you prefer the prankster Eminem as opposed to super serious rapper Slim Shady. Regardless, he's on his way to having the best selling album of the year with Recovery and 'Love The Way You Lie' is only weeks away from becoming the #1 song worldwide. 2010 is seeing a return to form for rap music and Eminem is leading the way.

Again... do I really need to explain? Glee has managed in one television season to become the most influential music programming in the world. Not that it's hard when MTV isn't even playing music anymore. Anyway, with countless #1 albums and about a million songs in the charts, Glee has left its mark on music... and I couldn't be happier. After all... I'm a Gleek.

Releasing a triple album takes balls. You'd think there would be a ton of filler material and a whole lot of criticism, but somehow the genius that is Joanna Newsom managed to pull it off with very little in the way of negative reviews. Have One On Me, her third studio release, has also become her most commercially successful album to date.

Well kids, that's BARELY scratching the surface of the goodness we've seen so far this year. Don't forget about all the amazing music released by The Slow Club, Florence + The Machine, Sia, The Drums, She & Him, Operator Please, Marina & The Diamonds, Crystal Castles and all the other great artists that have made an impression so far in 2010. I hope you're as excited as I am to see what else we've got waiting for us in the second half of the year!

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Countdown: I'm A Gleek, #10 - 1

You've had the chance to read through numbers 20 to 11, now here's the top 10 musical moments on Glee!

#10 - Somebody To Love (New Directions)
originally by Queen

Rachel makes her return to the Glee Club and they finally start to look like a threat going into Sectionals. Finn, Rachel, Artie and Mercedes delivered top notch vocals that made 'Somebody To Love' one of the best moments in season one.

9. Don't Stop Believing (New Directions)
originally by Journey

Journey owe Glee big time. They've enjoyed something of a career resurgence since the pilot episode ended with New Directions singing 'Don't Stop Believing.' The cover would sell over 500, 000 copies in the US alone and will continue to be played in clubs probably until the end of time (one can hope). 'Don't Stop Believing' will likely be the most remembered song when Glee's time is up, but it's hardly THE best.

originally by The 5th Dimension and originally by Dionne Warwick

April Rhodes would return to the show a new woman, a mistress in possession of a roller disco. Before spending the night in Will's bed, the two provided the best mash-up in the season in the form of 'One Less Bell To Answer/A House Is Not A Home.' Matthew Morrison has an awesome voice when he's not trying to be Vanilla Ice and Chenoweth delivers the goods once more as April. I'm looking forward to her return in season 2. April & Will's version of 'A House Is Not A Home' dominates Kurt and Finn's.

originally by Ozzie Nelson & His Orchestra

Ending an episode about the characters dreams for the future with 'Dream A Little Dream Of Me' sounds perfect. And it is. Except it's perfectly depressing as Artie sings it while watching his girlfriend Tina dancing with Mike Chang, dancing being Artie's dream for the future. So sad. So good though.

6. Defying Gravity (Kurt & Rachel)
originally from Wicked

It's Kurt vs Rachel for the right to sing 'Defying Gravity' solo. Watching Kurt throw the competition by blowing the high note was pretty rough, but at the end of the day Rachel was better anyway. I don't know too much about Wicked, but these two delivered some outstanding vocals and the emotion and story in the song is perfect for the episode.

originally from Dream Girls

Mercedes, played by Amber Riley, can hit the high notes like nobody else on the show. Case in point, her performance of 'And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going.' Jennifer Hudson won an Academy Award singing this song, so you wouldn't even make an attempt unless you could bring it. And bring it Mercedes did. Rachel happily gave the soloist position for Sectionals over to Mercedes after her performance. That didn't exactly work out as planned, but hopefully in season 2 we'll be seeing many, many more solos from Mercedes.

4. I Dreamed A Dream (Rachel & Shelby)
originally from Les Miserables

Getting Idina Menzel to play Rachel's birth mother was some of the finest casting ever. Not only do the two bear an amazing physical resemblance to one another, but they have two of the best voices in show business. The song itself speaks directly to the story of Shelby giving up Rachel for adoption and her sudden reappearance in her life. Vocally, this could be the show's finest hour. It certainly erases any memory of Susan Boyle's performance.

3. Rose's Turn (Kurt)
originally from Gypsy

As a character, Kurt is all over the place. One week he can be the best thing about the show and the next, the worst. There's no denying though that his performance of 'Rose's Turn' is awesome and perfect for the character. His insanely emotional overreaction to his Dad taking Finn to a football game was 100% TV gold and could earn Chris Colfer an Emmy nomination when the nominees are announced on Thursday.

originally by Journey

Like I said, Journey owe Glee BIG TIME. New Directions gave us the performance of a lifetime at Regionals in the form of a Journey Medley, even though they knew they had little chance of winning. Everything about this was perfect. 'Faithfully' tied up Rachel & Finn's love story throughout season one (even though we should assume that trouble is looming when Rachel finds out Finn slept with Santana). 'Anyway You Want It/Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin' was fun and 'Don't Stop Believing' was the icing on the cake. It took us right back to the first episode and had the originals (Rachel, Finn, Tina, Kurt, Artie & Mercedes) front and center to kick it off. Santana, Puck and Artie getting a bit of solo time was a nice touch.

originally from Funny Girl

As good as Regionals was, Sectionals was better (and a better episode to boot!). Sue Sylvester leaked the New Directions setlist to the Haverbrook Deaf Choir and Eve's last chance girls school, leaving them with no original routine. Mercedes gave up her solo position to Rachel because, let's face it, Rachel has the best voice in the show. And she proved it with 'Don't Rain On My Parade.' This was edge of your seat stuff, you could smell the anticipation in the air before Rachel bursts through the curtain and delivered a star making performance and the best throughout the entire first season. Outstanding.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

New Music: Marina And The Diamonds, Kid CuDi, Maroon 5 + More

Marina & The Diamonds - Oh No!
She looks just like Shakira, no-no it's Catherine-Zeta, actually her name's Marina! One of 2010s more consistently reliable acts offer up their new single, 'Oh No!' Taken from their debut album, The Family Jewels, 'Oh No!' doesn't really offer anything that separates it from many of the band's other tracks. That's not to say it isn't good, it just doesn't stand well against 'Hollywood,' 'Mowgli's Road,' 'Shampain' or 'I'm Not a Robot' which were all kind of amazing. Still, it's worth a listen and better than a lot of 'music' that's out there right now.

Rating: 3/5

Kid CuDi ft. Kanye West - Erase Me
Someone's looking for a hit. Cudi's dropped everything that's interesting about him, moving away from alternative hip-hop and into some sort of electro-rock-hip-hop-pop hybrid of a song that's sure to put him back on the charts. If that really is his aim, enlisting Kanye was a smart move as he puts in one of his better guest star efforts, not at quite the same level of say, 'American Boy.' I'm assuming that this will be a song that I will learn all the words to, only because it will be played at every club I go to. After a snifter of port at said establishments, I will probably partake in the dancing to said song. Then I will feel dirty.

Rating: 2/5

Maroon 5 - Misery
Maroon 5's first album, Songs About Jane, was good for what it was. It was a fun pop-rock album that contained a couple of good songs ('She Will Be Loved' and 'This Love'). People liked them. Then they released sophomore set, It Won't Be Soon Before Long. Stupid name. It sold well enough, based mostly on hype, but didn't set the world on fire. Some people stopped liking them. Why? Because they realised they release the same thing over and over again. They knew they had a good thing going with Songs About Jane and tried to pull the wool over everyone's eyes and offer nothing new to the table. 'Misery,' the lead single from their new album Hands All Over, only confirms what we already knew... Maroon 5 suck. Now, hopefully everyone will stop liking them.

Rating: 0/5

Sara Bareilles - King of Anything
Catchy, thoughtful, creative. Welcome back Sara Bareilles. I'll admit, I didn't miss you. In fact I had completely forgotten about you. It was still a nice surprise to see you hadn't faded away and you're about to release a new album. If 'King of Anything' is um, anything to go off, her new album will keep the energy from Little Voice, while steering her in a less commercial, lyrically rich direction. Take note Maroon 5, you don't have to change everything about you, just enough to make sure that you stay interesting.

Rating: 3/5

Friday, 2 July 2010

Quickie Countdown: Missy Elliott

Another weekend, another festival in LDN at Hyde Park. This time it's the 02 Wireless and I'll be in attendance on Saturday, the "dance" day. Some big names are performing alongside several hot up-and-coming acts. The Big Pink, Lisa Mitchell and New Young Pony Club will be supporting headliners LCD Soundsystem, 2ManyDJs, Snoop Dogg and... MISSY 'MISDEMEANOR' ELLIOTT!!!! If you know me, you know of my love for the Queen of Hip-Hop. I can't wait to keep my eyes on her bump bump bump bump Maybe if I'm lucky I'll see if I can handle her ga-dunk ga-dunk dunk. Doubt it. It's been a long time (too long) since Miss-E's last studio album, The Cookbook, so here's a refresher course in her best songs, just in case you've forgotten...

6. One Minute Man ft. Ludacris

9. Hot Boyz ft. Nas, Lil Mo & Eve

11. Gossip Folks ft. Ludacris

12. Lose Control ft. Fatman Scoop & Ciara

13. Slide

14. Bad Man (ft. M.I.A & Vybz Kartel)

15. Back In The Day

16. Put It On Ya ft. Teyana Taylor

18. Funky Fresh Dressed ft. Miss Jade

19. Wake Up ft. Jay-Z