Friday, September 28, 2012

Bo Benton - When You Say Nothing At All (Keith Whitley Karaoke)

I don't cover country music really.  I don't cover karaoke at all.  But I do cover local artists and when there's a performance like this, it demands to be seen.  This is Jasper Indiana native, Bo Benton performing "When You Say Nothing At All" by Keith Whitley.  I apologize for the shitty recording and the quality of the sound but all I had was my cell phone and I had to capture it.  Earlier in the evening he sang, "Long Black Train" by Josh Turner and we weren't sure if he was just camping it up or if that was his actual voice and when this came around I was made a believer.  This guy has a voice that needs to be recording records somewhere.  I talked to him for a minute after this performance and he is a pretty awesome guy with a tremendous amount of potential.  I am looking at you, record industry types... help me get this guy some publicity and we'll all be able to sit around and say, I knew him when...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Liz Primo - The Devil In Me

"The trouble with being chased is one always gets caught."

Truer words have never been spoken in a dance pop song.  Austin native, Liz Primo is kicking out the stops with this super vampy track.  I can see her casting spells and weaving magic in this girl power anthem for just saying screw it.  I'm gonna get mine and there's nothing you can do about it.  She doesn't oversell the track, it doesn't come across as oversexed or slutty.  It's sultry and sexy and would fit right in with a burlesque act.  The spoken portions by Maverick add a bit of camp to the track that allows it to not take itself super serious.  If you're looking for something to glam up your Halloween party or just something to make you tap your feet and move your ass, this is the track to do it.

Matt Zarley - Change Begins With Me

As fun as "Trust Me" was, and it was fun... this is why we pay the admission to see Matt Zarley.  When he is this vulnerable and this honest, you can get to the heart of him.  He is introspective and raw and has the power to just make you stop and listen.  His voice is so powerful and he has amazing control over it and when it's paired with this incredible message of self empowerment there is nothing better.  For me, this is a sermon.  I would go to this church and leave with my soul revitalized.  This is possibly one of the most difficult ideals for you to attain because everyone is so critical of themselves and if you just stop and listen, it can be just that easy.  You don't start from the outside, you have to dig deep and start with yourself.  When you do that, there is absolutely nothing you cannot do.

Matt has been inspiring me for going on two years now.  His music has helped me through some of the hardest times of my life and with him by my side, there isn't anything I can't do.  The gay community doesn't have enough role models and through his message and his devotion to equality, Matt is one of the finest examples of how to live your life not only for yourself but for others around him.  I know I'm gushing but he is important to me.  Plain and simple.

Matt on the web:

Gravitonas - Incredible

While I'm talking about new music, let me talk about the new single from Gravitonas.  If you don't know Gravitonas, you should.  Let's go ahead and get that out of the way.  Secondly, you should right click on this link and go read my interview with the super charismatic front man, Andreas Öhrn.  We'll wait........

Ok, now lets talk "Incredible".  This track is a bit of a departure from other releases from Gravitonas.  It's straight forward and direct and has no pretense around it.  It's probably one of the most radio ready tracks I've ever heard from them.  That's not a bad thing it's simply different from what you're used to.  They are known for challenging expectations and making you stop and think whether it's through amazing visuals or thought provoking lyrics, Andreas and Alexander are geniuses in the realm of mental exercises via auditory stimulation. Maybe that's where they are testing us.  They are forcing you to think outside of of their box by striking out at normalcy.  They are making you evaluate your ideals of what is different.

I love the song.  It's brilliant.  I know you were expecting me to say Incredible and it is just that as well.  I am a fan and will always be a fan because they are always moving and proving that music is about new experiences and new feelings.  Watch the video and tell me what you think.

Gravitonas on the Web
Twitter: @gravitonas

Mike and Cody - Monster Soul

Take 1 part Foster the People and 3 parts Mike and Cody, put it in a shaker; mix vigorously and what do you get?  You get Mike and Cody's brand new single, Monster Soul.  The track has all the trademarks of a huge single; a great backing track, incredible lyrics and top notch musicality. One of the things that I love about these guys are they aren't afraid to take chances and be who they want to be and not someone that a record label wants them to be.  They've released all their music on BandCamp and were actually named the #1 band out of the entire DC area out of 12,000 other artists.  They have experience in many different genres that allow them to push and pull in any direction they want to go.  They are able to make music that shows off the best of their talents without coming across over done or patronizing.  I think that if this track is able to get some traction, it could easily propel them into orbit.

The track is free so go to their BandCamp and get it and while you're there, grab their album Let's Go because you need it in your life.  It will make you a better person.  That much I am sure.

Mike and Cody @ BandCamp

Monday, September 24, 2012

Alphabeat - Express Non-Stop

This album should come with instructions. They would be something like this.

  1. Load Express Non-Stop.
  2. Press Play.
  3. Dance your ass off for the next 36:44.
  4. Go back to Step 1 if you are not euphoric (but that'll never happen).
I am so not kidding.  I haven't played a pop album in a long time that just made me this happy.  Listening to this album is the auditory equivalent to having a box of puppies dumped in to your lap.  I think it is physically impossible to not just feel so refreshed and uplifted by just the sheer joy this album produces.  I think this album personifies how they all feel about each other because there is no way that people that don't like each other could make this music.  Yes, I am gushing because it is so fan-freaking-tastic.  This album is going to be what I need in my life when I get down because it will immediately pick me up.

You would think that an album with this much energy would just burn out about half way through but it never does.  They never get to a point where it sounds labored or like they had to fight through the creation of a track.  Not many artists are able to maintain this level of energy but since day one, I think they are the epitome of just pure and simple joy.  

Express-Non Stop is made up of 10 tracks that just build to make sure that you get to where you need to go.  We start off with "The Beat Don't Stop" and it just comes out of the gate swinging and from start to finish, the beat doesn't stop.  "Love Sea", the next track is also the second single and it's super fun.  I wrote about it a couple of weeks ago.  You can read what I said here ------> {X}.  "Since I Met You" and "Younger Than Yesterday" slow things down just a bit and tap into some introspection. These are excellent examples of how you continue the party all while showing off the softer side of Alphabeat before getting ramped up again with "Mad About You", which is this super cool Grease inspired romp through the 60s (or at least that's what I hear).  "Express Non-Stop" has painted this image in my head of a funky train going through the European countryside where our main character is trying to get to his/her baby and everyone on the train is in their best 70s disco get up.  "Vacation" was the first single off the album and you can read what I said here.... {X}  "Brand New Day" is THE pick me up song.  It is the song that will chase every bit out doubt away from anything I do from this point on.  There will never be a situation where I can't win beause of the steel drums and the overwhelming posititvity in this track.  "Show Me What Love Is"  brings us back to the ballady portion of the album and these are ballads (Alphabeat Style). And the album closes out with "Love on the Line" which has this Sandra Dee meets Dancehall Lite vibe to it that totally works.  I can see Stine in a poodle skirt listening to Frankie Valli in the video while she makes puppy dog eyes at her boyfriends 8x10 photo.

It's an incredible album and it's available for worldwide download at there website.  I say go get it now because it's one of the best I've heard in a long time.  It's just amazingly good.  

Alphabeat on the Web

Friday, September 21, 2012

Titus Jones - After Shock

It's 12:30 and I've been fully immersed into the world of Titus Jones again. It's so easy to forget how awesome it is to be right in the middle of his art until you're there again and you don't ever want to leave. After Shock is his second release of mash ups and I use that term loosely because that's just the genre. What he does is more than just cram a handful of songs together. His music starts with a concept and he carefully selects tracks that tell his story and then he weaves them together with magic and bubble gum and string and at the end when it's all said and done, there is something new. Something that is so much greater than the sum of it's parts.

Let's look at the incredible "Fuckin' Power Rangers".  Who would have ever thought you could take the Power Rangers theme and use it as a backdrop for an empowered stand up and take charge song that features Nicki Minaj, Eminem, Ludacris & Destiny’s Child?  He just works magic and everything falls into place like it was supposed to be there all the time.  This is just one tiny example of how he does amazing things with beats and lyrics.  You never ever hear a seam where he stitched the tracks together.  It sounds like he has masters that he pulls vocals and tracks off of to work with.  It is truly amazing.

I love his selection of artists, from Ke$ha to Alex Clare to Adele to who the hell could ever think about taking Sweet Child O' Mine, Sugar, We're Going Down, Laffy Taffy and mix it with Sex & Candy?  I think he has become one of my favorite independent artists and I support everything he does.  This album is every bit as good and in most every case, better than Culture Shock.  He's taken his experiences and practiced with the the tools he has to become an amazing dj/producer.  Even though the album is a free download from his website, you should follow him on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Soundcloud and give him lots and lots of love.  He deserves it because he has taken the time to share his art and his love with us.

Titus on the Web

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mika - The Origin of Love

This week we've learned The Truth About Love and now we get a glimpse into The Origin Of Love.  My first thought when I heard the title of Mika's third album took me back to Hedwig and the Angry Inch to one of my favorite songs from that soundtrack and while there is a similar level of camp in both recordings... that's where the similarities end.  What you get each time Mika releases an album is growth and maturity but you also get a tremendous amount of experimentation that almost always pays off.  I have yet to be disappointed and this album is no different.  The album isn't out until October 16 and I can tell you it's going to be an almost unbearable wait until it's officially released.

The album is nothing short of pure infectious pop.  From start to finish, there isn't a song that doesn't just build and swell and you just get wrapped up in it and before you know it, you're bobbing along with the track and then it's on to the next one.  It is so easy just to forget everything around you with this album playing.  By the time you get to "Heroes", you are so invested it doesn't matter what the next track is and in this case, it's a helluva song.  Up until that point there are so many highs I don't think there was ever a lull.  From the sample from Wicked used in "Popular Song" to the push and pull of the tide in "Undertow" there are so many great tracks.  "Lola" and "Emily" are two girls that you would have a great time at a party with.  "Love You When I'm Drunk", "Overrated", "Celebrate" just are upbeat crazy songs that you never want to end.

It's an incredible album that I can't and won't pick favorites.  I will say it's a hard decision between which I like better, this album or Life in Cartoon Motion but they are both amazing albums.  October 16th is going to be a great day and I will be waiting on my download of this album.  It's going to be so great to have it in my possession.  Does the album stand up to my association with Hedwig?  Yes sir.  It does and then some.  I've said it before, 2012 has been an incredible year for music and it's not done yet.

Bright Light Bright Light - Feel It (Official Video)

"When the world falls apart, you're the reason there's still hope in my heart".

I don't think it gets clearer than that.  That's a lyric that makes you just swoon.  That's a lyric that you want said to you.  It's what a mixtape is made up of.  If this was 1992, I would be sitting in my room with a blank tape in my boombox waiting for the radio station to play this song so I could record it off the top 10.  I would then listen to it over and over until I had worn out the tape.  I don't think there is anyone of the cassette age that doesn't know exactly what I'm talking about.  It was that magical age before the internet and digital downloads when you went to Sound Shop or Camelot Music at the mall and bought the cassette single so that you were on the cutting edge.  When the invention of auto-reverse on my Sony Walkman changed the whole game.

Rod Thomas, aka Bright Light Bright Light, is hands down one of my most favorite performers of all time.  He is honest and he creates music that has an incredible way of getting straight to the heart of you.  He can conjure images and emotions with 8 bars and it's the most wonderous trip you've ever been on.  This video is for his new single, "Feel It" which is one of the most amazing tracks off his debut album and I think I've said it before...if this is just his debut...I can't wait to see where he takes us next.  But back to "Feel It".  

I'm going to make a gigantic profession.  I am going to throw caution to the wind and just say it.  You are the  person that I want to spend my time with.  You are the person that makes me feel all the feelings and if I don't let you know then I may just go crazy.

You know you've been there.  You know that you were going to make a huge ass out of yourself but you had to because the words were burning a hole in your chest and they had to come out.  This is what I'm talking about.  This is how I know that BLx2 is a genius.  He takes what I'm feeling and puts it into the words that I knew were there but didn't know how to express them.  There are only a handful of artists that I trust implicitly with my emotions and he is one of them.

The video is super fun.  There's nothing over the top or outlandish.  You don't need all that when the music speaks for itself.  What the video does have is a cameo by Rod's good friend, Del Marquis.  I want to see a side project that has the two of them and they make amazing 90s inspired pop and they have crazy guests on the album: Crystal Waters, Rozella, Company B, Cathy Dennis.  How fun would that be.  Someone set up a Kickstarter, STAT!!

Bright Light x2 on the Web

Twitter: @brightlightx2

Pink - The Truth About Love

I don't write about super popular music often because I feel like they get plenty of press and I like to route for the underdog but occasionally an album comes along that is just great and I want to throw my two cents in.  P!nk's The Truth About Love is probably going to be hands down, one of my favorite albums this year. The blend of song choices from ballads to uplifting honest pop song combined with the anthemic social commentary is genius and doesn't come across as preachy or overbearing.  She has kind of become a champion of the downtrodden and the forgotten and she does an incredible job of being a positive role model through her music.  One of the coolest things that she did with this album was release a lyric video for each of the songs on the album prior to the release.  I think this did a helluva job generating interest, even though she didn't really have to try.  She has amazing guests on the album.  Lily Allen, Eminem and Nate Ruess from fun.

The album opens with a barn burner of a track in the form of "Are We All We Are" and doesn't really stop. The opening of "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)" reminds me of a Two Door Cinema Club song and it raises a clenched fist at a shitty relationship.  "Just Give Me A Reason" is her duet with Nate Ruess of fun. and the song is amazing.  It's a relationship song where the parties just aren't communicating and they are at different places in the relationship.  Their voices are great together and it's just a kick ass song.  "True Love" has Lily Allen sharing vocal duties but you don't get her until the middle eight.  Cause you know that's where everything changes.  The same can be said for Eminem on "Here Comes The Weekend".  The closing track, "The Great Escape" is probably one of my favorites.  It reminds me of "Glitter in The Air" and that's a helluva track.

The album is great.  It's pure P!nk.  It's rebellious, it's raucous, it's just a great mix of tracks.  If you're a fan of power pop or of Miss Alecia Beth Moore, then I suggest you purchase it from your favorite media outlet because you will not be disappointed.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Kristine W - Everything That I Got

I had the distinct pleasure of seeing this woman in concert at Adonis in Cincinnati in 2008. She is the absolute living end and the hardest working woman in the dance industry. Not only did she sing and dance, she played the guitar and saxophone during the set. I have loved Kristine W for far too many years to make either one of us feel comfortable. She is truly an inspiration on top of being a top notch singer and entertaintress. "Everything That I Got" is the first single off her upcoming release, New & Number Ones and it should come as no surprise that this song gives you everything that is Kristine W.  It's fun, it's catchy, it's a bit over the top and more than anything it's honest.  Her voice doesn't sound modified or autotuned because she doesn't need it.  She is an artist above all else and I am proud to be one of her fans.  If you want a dance anthem, she's your gal.  If you want someone to raise your spirits, you can't go wrong.  The album is out on Sept. 25, 2012.  Make sure you get a copy because it's going to be hot!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Outasight - Now or Never (Official Video)

Huge fan of Outasight.  I love how he incorporates pop sensibilities into his music.  I love how he also generally has a very positive message in his music.  I don't think this video could be done any better to showcase the overall vibe of the song.  A bunch of people having a great time in different situations.  It's a fun video and makes you just feel good.  I don't think there's a lot to be said so I'll let the video do the talking for me.

Outasight on the Web


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Missing Andy - Generation Silenced

Way back in April I wrote a little piece about Missing Andy and said that they were a potential evolution of the boy band movement in London at the time.  I also said that if I ever got around to getting a copy of their album, I would talk about it.  I made the purchase today and I have to say that I am blown away.  My initial statement that they were a boy band only goes as far as being a general descriptor of their gender.  They are guys and they are a band.  That's pretty much as far as that goes.  What this band is, however is an outstanding pop band that has created one of the most solid debut albums I think I've heard in a long time.  This is one of the main reasons that I am so thankful that the music industry is global, it may take me a bit to find the music or for it to be released in the US, but I am damn thankful when it is.  There aren't bands like Missing Andy in the United States and I am ecstatic to be able to say that I own this album.

They were runners up on the Sky1 talent competition, Must Be The Music in 2010 and have done an amazing job separating themselves from the show and generating quite a loyal fan base utilizing social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.  When asked about their time on the show, lead singer Alex Greaves says, “The TV show kind of damaged us a bit, but good things have come of it,” says Greaves. “The bottom line is we will be at the top and we will take over the world so f**k the people that thought we sold out to go on the show”.  So they were able to take something that could have easily been perceived as a negative and made something exceptionally positive out of it.

The band has a sound that when you sit and listen to the album from start to finish you can hear so many influences ranging from Take That to Oasis to Madness and even some vocal stylings that are similar to Morrissey.  There's some ska and some punk and some pop and rock and the combination of all of these genres and styles come together to make this so much more than simply a pop album.  From start to finish there isn't a song that I don't like.  Every song, including the ones that poke fun at themselves, "Dave" and "Indie Kid" are great.  They are irreverent and show that the band can deliver when it comes to anything and everything.

One thing that has always amazed me about singers the UK is that when they sing, they lose their accent.  Alex Greaves, however seems to have control over when it comes and goes.  I think that's an incredible thing because it adds yet another layer of depth to the recording.  It sets his vocals apart from other singers.  Every now and then you can hear some of the same qualities that made Liam Gallagher brilliant.  Listening to Alex spit the lyrics on "Scum" is a pretty powerful thing.  The song is anthemic and when you listen to it, you go "Fuck Yeah.  I get it.  I understand what they mean".  With songs with clear social commentary like "Scum", "Kings of the Weekend", "Sing for the Deaf", "The Way We're Made" and "A Call to Arms" it's easy to understand this quote from Steve Rolls:  “The album is called Generation Silenced because nobody is speaking up for our generation. Nobody has represented our voice for too long. Not even Oasis at their height – great tunes, but did they speak out for anything? Not really. We do."

It's a brilliant album and I want to hear more from them.  Take some time and give them a listen.  I promise it's well worth it.

Missing Andy on the Web

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Overtones - Loving The Sound

Where do I even begin.  I guess I need to thank Paul over at Fizzy Pop for doing an incredible video breakdown which made me watch this video.  Secondly, wow....I mean wow.  This is incredible.  The guys in the group are lush, the sound is lush and this song is just over the top incredible.  These are the guys you want to take home to meet your mom.  They are the ones that you doodle little hearts around your names in geometry class instead of learning theorems.  They are amazingly classy young men that can actually deliver when it comes to the art of singing.  Not many people can actually do that anymore and for them to just hand you this amazing harmony and performance, I mean damn.  If you want to kill some time and not feel bad for doing it, subscribe to their Youtube channel and just watch the videos.  I think I have found my next big obsession.  

I have been a huge fan of doo wop and vocal harmonies all my life and to hear a modern band throwing a contemporary spin on the genre does a body good.  This is the music that you just feel good listening to.  It's the music that lifts you up and replenishes your soul.  It's fun, it's wholesome and makes you want to just step back in time.

The Overtones on the Web
Twitter: @the_overtones

Monday, September 10, 2012

Justin Utley for Suicide Prevention

If you've been with me for any length of time, you know that Justin Utley is one of my favorite singers of all time.  His honesty and candor come through his music without any hesitation and he has this amazing ability to touch every part of the human condition without trying.  You know that I had the opportunity to see him in concert and talk to him after the show and he shared stories with me about some of his songs and where the inspiration came from.  One of the songs we talked about is a track called, "Behind My Eyes" and when I initially reviewed his album, I thought the song was about a break up but he opened up and told me that the song was actually about his aunt committing suicide before her 49th birthday.  As soon as he told me the story, my whole perception of the song changed and I immediately became emotional.  The next time I listened to the song I was alone in my truck and actually had to stop because I was crying.  There is a lyric in the song where he says, "You said that you'd be a phone call away and I still got your number, just in case." and that just gets to the soul of me because I know what it's like to lose someone that you didn't have the opportunity to say goodbye to.  Even sitting here writing this, I am getting choked up because of the earnest quality of his voice and delivery.

Today is Suicide Prevention day and Justin has made the magnanimous decision to take all the proceeds from the sale of his album this week and donate them to the Trevor Project.  If you have been wavering on the purchase of his album, this week is certainly the week to do it.  I've talked about how incredible the album is and I've talked about how amazing he is.  He will continue to be a constant source of inspiration for me and for so many young people out there.  His story is one of perseverance and never giving up despite the epic proportions of shit the universe can heap on you.  The album is less than $10 and it's probably the most important $10 you've spent all year.

Justin on the Web


Newest Obsession: Shiny Toy Guns

I realize that I am very late to the party on this band. Almost too late to be considered fashionably late but I'm here and that should be all that matters. I don't know if its the mixture of rock and pop and synth mixed in with the male versus female vocals or if it's just the awesome synchronicity of them all but there is something about this band that is simply magic. I have a very difficult time picking a favorite female vocalist, Carah Faye or Sisely because they are both amazing in their own rights. I like to think that I can hear some Dale Bozzio and Terri Nunn in their vocals. There are so many positive influences you can pick up in their music but it's more than that. They have created their own sound out of the remnants of all these amazing components that make them so much more than a simple synth pop group or even an indie band. They are an amalgam of the best aspects of each genre.

To date, they have only released 2 albums but when it's actually boiled down, their first album, We Are Pilots, was released 3 times by different record labels.  Each time it was released the track listing was different and there were different amounts of songs each time. Carah Faye Charnow was the female vocalist on the first album and she is great.  She has amazing musicality and I love the earthiness of her voice.  I think my favorite track off the first album is "The Weather Girl" followed by "Rainy Monday".  Carah Faye is an awesome vocalist and seeing her in videos shows how much stage presence she has.

The direction the band went with the second album was just so different than the first album. It was more rock and roll than the first album.  There's nothing wrong with that at all, but if you were expecting to hear a similar sound, you would be disappointed.  Sisely Treasure is as different of a vocalist in comparison to Carah Faye as the sound is from album to album.  Where Carah Faye had a grounded quality to her voice, Sisely is just balls to the wall.  "Ghost Town", the second single hits the ground running and you have to keep up with it.  "Ricochet!" is another example of how the sound is just rock and roll.  Again, there's nothing wrong with the's just so different.  It's almost like two completely different bands.

After the second album, they recorded covers of Peter Schilling's "Major Tom" and Blue Oyster Cult's "Burning for You", both for commercials for the Lincoln MKZ and MKS respectively. Most people will recoginize their version of "Major Tom" from the commercial.

Shiny Toy Guns on the Web
Twitter: @shinytoyguns

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Parralox - Sharper Than a Knife

In what's probably the best lyric video I've ever seen, Australian pop group Parralox have recreated tons of classic album covers for their new single, "Sharper Than A Knife".  This song is so poppy and bouncy that you can't help but to get swept up in it.  You watch the video the first time through to get all the lyrics then you do it again and again to see how many album covers you can name.  I am new to this group but after this video, I need more of them in my life.  I will keep you informed when I learn more about them.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Meet Nik Miles

I've recently had the great pleasure to get a sneak peek at what could possibly be one of the next great things to come out of Sweden.  A recent transplant to Sweden, Nik Miles has already begun making a name for himself in the club and circuit scene around the world.  Working with visionaries such as Mary Brown, Jerry Bragin and Holli Ross; Nik is well on the way to stardom.  His unique vocal sensibilities set him apart from many other male pop artists as he is able to deliver on an emotional level that not many other artists can.  He has a genuine quality to his voice and demeanor that set these tracks head and shoulders above the rest.  I think a lot of that has to do with the Swedish influence that can be heard in the production.  I can tell you that this debut EP is going to blow the doors wide open for him and if handled properly, he will have the world at his feet.

There are no missteps in this EP and it's a HUGE EP (13 tracks and 2 remixes).  Each track builds on the previous one and Nik's voice is never overshadowed by the production.  There are super fun tracks and there are anthems.  I think the EP is an amazing showcase of what he can do.  It's got something for everyone and you are sure to find something that will pique your interest.  I have my favorites and when the EP is released, I will do a more formal review and talk about the tracks that I think are going to have the potential to be huge but until then I don't want to be a troublemaker.  

Trust me, Nik Miles is going to be huge.  You want to get in now so that you can say, "I knew him when".

Nik on the Web

Follow Nik on Facebook and Youtube so you can find out when the EP is going to drop.  When it does, don't be a dick and steal it.  Support the independent artists that support you.  

Friday, September 7, 2012

Nathalie Archangel - Next To Me

This blog has given me so many opportunities to hear so much new music and it has introduced me to so many new artists.  One of these new artists isn't new to the music industry but she is new to me.  Nathalie Archangel has been making music since the 80s but unless you were on the cutting edge of the synth pop/ New Wave movement, you probably never got the opportunity to hear her.  Here is a quick video primer as to what I think she's all about.

Not only did the song have one of the most amazing sax solos in the 80s but the video had all the trappings of what could have been an amazing video.  Beautiful songstress, exotic locales, had it all.  What happened with our flaxen haired ingenue seemed to be the cause of potentially shoddy management and not the right kind of push from her record label.  She fell by the wayside after releasing her first album but went on to release one more album and now she's back with a new single, "Next To Me". And I have to tell you, it's what I want someone to tell me over and over for the rest of my life.  The song is super dreamy and has romance written all over it.

"If you promise when I stumble, when I trip and take a tumble.  Same as now you will be, the fuddy duddy next to me"

It's a classic song of staying with the person you love until the end of time.  It reminds me of a quote A.A. Milne wrote, “If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you.”  Songs like this restore my faith in love and what it means to be loved in return.  As a bonus for being awesome readers of my blog, I have been given the authority by the powers that be to give you (yes you) a copy of this amazing song for free.  All you have to do is right click here and choose "Save As" and you will have your very own copy of this brilliant track.  By the way, this is the first exclusive track to be offered as a download from this very blog.  Hopefully it won't be the last.... looking at you recording artists and managers!!

If you want to buy the single and get a couple of awesome remixes, you can do so at Amazon by clicking here.  It is also going to be on the upcoming compilation, Kiss My Lipstick Off (which also features songs by England's Spray, Georgia Haege of Liquid Diet, Liz Primo and producer extraordinaire Stormby, among others).

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Rita Ora - Ora

A lot of people are going to make the assumption that Jay-Z's new protege is nothing more than a Rhianna clone.  Those people would be incredibly wrong.  Other people feel her debut album, Ora is a bit anonymous.  She has worked with incredible producers on this album and each song has their flavor on it but the undercurrent through all the songs in Rita.  From Stargate to DJ Fresh to Diplo, there isn't a hot ass producer that hasn't blessed this 21 year old native of Kosovo with their talent.  From the outset with "Facemelt" you have an understanding that this album is going to let you have it.  The DJ Fresh track, "Hot Right Now" is just's freaking hot.  Probably my favorite track on the album is "Roc the Life". I know it's a bit self gratifying considering she is signed to Roc Nation but it's all good.  The song is a major earworm that will tear the roof off the joint.  "Radioactive" has Sia all over it and as well it should considering she wrote it.  She shares the album with Tinie Tempah, J.Cole and and in my opinion, the only misstep is  I don't like his track and wish it wasn't there.  Other bright spots are "Uneasy", "R.I.P." (written by Drake), "How We Do" and I really like "Hello, Hi, Goodbye".  "Young, Single and Sexy" is a super fun girl power anthem that will have you bobbing your head before you know it.

By now, you know that I am not going to feature an artist on this blog if I don't like them.  I didn't want to like her in the beginning but it's super hard not to.  Her voice is consistent through the album and there are bits and pieces of autotune but I don't think that detracts from the over all presentation.  If you're looking for something new and you dig powerful women, Ora is a great piece of power pop that has enough of a rock edge to it that it doesn't sound over done.  With it being her debut album, I can't wait to hear what she has to offer with her sophomore release.