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FRESH OUT THE BOX: Why this Past Week's #NewMusicFriday is 2015's Best Yet...

Sunday, August 23, 2015

No, it's not  your eyes. I did put Carly Rae Jepsen in that grid three times. The album is that good.

The Pop Music Gods sure were good to us this past week. Read on and bask in the glory that was August 21st, 2015.

Baby popstar-in-training Becky G remains a third stringer in the pop game for some ungodly reason despite dropping stellar single after stellar single since "Shower". Her latest is handclappy and repetitive in the right way and she really sells it.

Previously mentioned collab with the ridiculously talented MNEK. The Jamiroquai vibes are strong with this and I need this to be everywhere, mmkay? While you're at it, pick up Brayon's entire new EP, The Update. It's fab.

(& also all of Emotion because obviously)
If it was up to me, this album would sweep all of the pop category Grammy awards. It's over for 2015. We've found our Pop Messiah album. I can't pick a favorite song but for now, we'll go with this one.

It's that in-the-pocket type sound that will probably get remixed for the clubs and go super viral -- the perfect mixture of acoustic soul and driving pulse. And what a strong beacon of light that chorus is.

It wasn't officially released on Friday but I haven't stopped listening to this Lion Heart album cut since I first heard it. Fun dichotomy between syrupy bubblegum and (almost) rachety dance.

I knew Grace Mitchell solely for her ethereal cover version of Hall & Oats "Maneater" featured on the soundtrack to The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. But her current single -- "Jitter" -- literally made the pop blogosphere fall apart when it premiered in the UK this past week. It's now available for mass consumption worldwide. Jump on this bandwagon now.

Music in 2015's contribution to the lexicon (other than apparently "bae" and "whip/nae nae") will undoubtedly be #Tringle. JoJo's return to the pop music scene came this week via three single (hence #tringle). Unfortunately, not all three were the bangers I desperately wanted them to be. Don't get me wrong -- she sounds incredible but we all knew she had a great voice. "When Love Hurts" sounds the most fresh to me and is still a solid fun song. It was produced by Benny Blanco, currently best known for his recent work with Maroon 5 and on Ed Sheeran's "Don't".

Jordin's transition from American Idol pop-tart (literally - the live tours for AI were actually sponsored by PopTarts at one point. I'm not joking.) to soulful, slinky R&B seductress is officially complete with the release of her long awaited album Right Here, Right Now. There's a lot of good ones on this but my fave is the saucy and sensuous "Silhouette". Bonus Little Known Fact: it was co-written by my girl Nikki Flores as well as Lars Halvor Jensen, a Danish pop songwriter who's written for the Sugababes.

I wasn't really ready for a new Nick J single -- I was just getting used to the fact that "Teacher", arguably my favorite from his "debut" solo album, might be getting some airplay attention. "Levels" is much more dance pop with an urban swing than "Chains" or "Jealous" but feels much more effortlessly fluid and believable coming from the ex-Jonas Brother (can he ever be ex, really? Anyway...). Also -- I knew I could't be alone in thinking it sounds like something SHINee'd be able to pull off well if they were releasing music in English. Turns out it was co-written/produced by Ian Kirkpatrick, who has (in addition to penning Jason DeRulo's "Want To Want Me" and "Cheyenne") has written/produced SHINee's "Boys Meet U". Double win (and a high five from Jesus) for yours truly.

#NOWKPOPPING: "You Think" Girls' Generation's So Cool, So Coo-ooo-ool

Thursday, August 20, 2015

L to R: Tiffany, Seohyun, SooYoung, YuRi, HyoYeon, Taeyeon, YoonA, Sunny
Some girl groups think they're so cool but they're not better than SNSD. Or at least that's what SM's Elite Eight want you to think. And for the most part, they remain triumphant.

Admittedly, I had high hopes for the release of Girls' Generation's "You Think". The sassy dance jam is unarguably GG's most pro-femme go-you-girl stomper since "Bad Girl" (and arguably sounds much more in line with their Japanese catalog than their Korean) more than four years ago (can you believe?!?!). This is perhaps in part thanks to it being a co-write of Sara Forsberg aka Saara, Finnish YouTube sensation and current should-be-everywhere-popstar.

While I'm not a true SONE through and through (is it pronounced like it rhymes with "own" or "pony"?), I've got a weak spot for their glitzy uptempos and "You Think" slots in quite nicely with the best of them. I'm talking "Run Devil Run", "Paparazzi", the aforementioned "Bad Girl", and of course, "Genie". 

This is no shade to their other single at the moment -- title cut "Lion Heart". Clearly SM pulled out all the stops for that particular nugget of pristine bubblegum with gorgeous outfits and adorably weird (if not wonky) storyline to boot. But hey, I don't find Girls' Generation endearing because of their acting skills. Following the exit of Jessica and the convergence of literally every KPOP girl group ever coming out of the woodwork this summer to drop dancey hits (including the Wonder Girls, whom even the least jaded assumed would stay caged forever), South Korea's "national girl group" had something to prove, whether their fandom liked it or not. 

"Lion Heart" will probably soar for its "Gee"-like appeal among their young Korean fanbase/general ahjusshi populace. But rather than falter and cave to the pressures of "different strokes for different folks" when it comes to the Korean demographic versus the international pop community (I'm looking at you, YG, with that last 2NE1 album), SM choose to do something quite brilliant and release "Lion Heart" and "You Think" at the same time, and the latter is clearly aimed to hit hard with their fans abroad.

As much as I enjoyed "I Got a Boy", "You Think" actually delivers on that grown and sexy premise.

Upon first listen, "You Think" isn't as instantaneously earwormy but rides the line between girl group sex appeal and 90's call back (album cut "Check" also does this very well). It also should be said that in a group with eight members, only three are openly heralded across the board for their solid vocals (Taeyeon, Seohyun, and Tiffany) and "You Think" chooses to surprise with a wider solo line distribution, allowing "second-stringers" (so to speak of course) a chance to swing for the gates, which they do admirably well. I'm of course talking about Ms. Sunny's bit at the end of the first verse and especially at the beginning of the second verse and then again in the bridge -- three solos, what? Guess we know how's filling in Jessica's shoes, eh? In fact, the only Soshi who doesn't solo is YoonA (but she of course gets plenty of close-up screen time).

It may take you a few spins, but if this is the future of Girls' Generation, I sure am about that life. In 2015, one year post-Kpocalypse that was 2014, "You Think" is a solid Top 5 of the best girl group jams.

Gif Credit: femalexpresident on Tumblr

  • Can someone explain why they are in a warehouse with skeletons but also the most gorgeous, luxurious closet I've ever seen? I'm not getting the dichotomy.
  • What did the apple do to these girls that it needs to be repeatedly impaled by nails? #FreeTheApple
  • Fabulosity Meter for "You Think": Seohyun > Taeyon > Sunny > HyoYeon > YuRi > Tiffany > SooYoung >>>>>>> YoonA. Sorry, girl.
  • I'm convinced that Tiffany thinks she's the Korean Katy Perry.
  • That being said, can someone get me her Weave Girl's number?
  • Taeyeon is dedicating this jam to all of the netizen haters. Plus her melismas (zing!) and vocal dexterity is seriously unparalleled. She's easily the best in class in SM, and yeah, I just said that. I meant it, too.
  • I know it's bias but it's a real shame they don't give YuRi more close up shots or dance break bits. Girlfriend is a fox. At least they tossed her half a verse and didn't shuffle her off into the rap bit, though, right?...
  • I love SooYoung but why is she rapping again? Stop trying to crowd on Hyoyeon's turf, girl.
  • Hyo's "Go. Away." bit.
  • SUN-NY! Somehow always gets the short end of the stick with rando wigs (she legit has 65 different hairstyles in the span of this comeback) and yet still manages to surprise me by killing all three of her solos. #TeamSoonKyu4Lyfe
  • Obviously the MVP of this video (and this comeback, really) is gorgeous baby Seohyun. Hair tossing! (Sorta) Splits! Being sexy in general! Slaying her solos! When does she get a solo album?

#NOWKPOPPING: Wonder Girls, HelloVenus, Stellar, Z.Hera, Big Bang

Monday, August 17, 2015

L to R: Wonder Girls, Z-Hera, HelloVenus
As we await the inevitable chart-topping return of Girls' Generation with their double title sucker punch "Lion Heart" and "You Think" (can't wait only for the latter to be honest) and the fingers-crossed-for-amazing Super Junior repackage, here's what's rocking in terms of #KPOP for yours truly.

If you buy one KPOP album this quarter, make it be the Wonder Girls latest. After a long hiatus, the group has reb(r)anded (see what I did there) following the exit of visual fave Sohee and leader Sunye (officially) -- inviting back former member SunMi to return to the charts as a quartet via their latest, Reboot. "I Feel You" is the single but the whole album follows its 80's dance aesthetic. I could go on and on about how great all four gals look (but especially rapper Yubin who is literally slaying all of your faves with that blonde hair), but I'm more inclined to give them credit for sticking to what they do best in going all in on a concept idea and putting together an actually sonically cohesive album. At least one member of the group also co-wrote or co-produced every song on the album. Now, you may have heard about all the flack they are receiving for calling this a "band" concept and yet not playing instruments live on stage. Had they (JYP) not gone ahead and called themselves a "band" going into the promotional cycle, none of ya'll would have said anything. The song is great, the album is great, they all look and great. Shut the eff up.

 - "I'm Ill"
I know precious little about this six-piece gal group but it's the summer of girl group comebacks and this is yet another Brave Brothers dance scorcher. Perfect for the end of summer, full of synthy dance and more sequins(!).

Z.HERA - "XOX" (feat. DALSHABET's Gaeun)
No relation to the group-that-shall-not-be-named. Super catchy and cute. I like this girl.

DICK PUNKS - "We Young"
Yes, that's really their name. Yes, they really are competing in the Idol game. Just don't call them a boy band. This traditional pop/rock band has been around since the mid-00's but gained raging popularity a few years back when they competed on the X-Factor like show Superstar K4. The song is great and they clearly don't take themselves too seriously. What's not to like?

STELLAR - "Vibrato"
This might be the most polarizing KPOP video of the year. The song on its own is plenty catchy but the music video and outfit choices is rankling the KPOP community something fierce with many calling the choreography and performance wear far too X-rated. In Stellar's defense, much of the video is a bit of a social commentary on how women are openly sexualized for entertainment, so I guess the jokes on the trolls. They themelves have said they have deliberately pursued sexier comeback concepts because they know it will make them money and a girl's gotta eat, alright? The social commentary they are putting up on a pedestal here is interesting enough but so long as the group knows what they're doing, I have no issue with this.

BIG BANG - "Bang Bang Bang"
Yup, I caved. Although I'm still not much for this MADE promotional cycle, this is definitely a jam that clearly every non-SM boy group wants to emulate (::cough:: BEAST ::cough cough::). Super slick and had this been released in English, it would have been all over the place Stateside...hell, I wouldn't be surprised if it still was played here (and loud).

HEAR THIS: The Fooo Conspiracy Says "Run With Us"

Sunday, August 16, 2015

A few years ago, it seemed like the modern era of boy band was finally upon us (here in the USA). With the exception of One Direction, the onslaught seemed to die out just as quickly as it ignited. However -- when in doubt, Sweden always has proper pop's back.

The Fooo Conspiracy (formerly known as just The Fooo) is made up of four Swedish boys who have released a handful of albums, EPs, and singles to relative acclaim in their home country. They opened for Bieber (in Stockholm) and are currently attempting a foothold Stateside via the "Pop Nation Tour". The tour is significant because 1) it also features the likes of After Romeo (Drew Ryan Scott's group and the only major long-stay US boy band currently) and 2) it was organized by none other than Johnny Wright himself (the manager of *NSYNC among a million others, don't ya know).

Their latest (USA) single is "Run With Us" and if it doesn't rank them as the heir apparent to Wright's previous (Boy)Bandemonium (NLT, V Factory, Menudo, One Call), I'm not sure what else will. It's catchy, sacchrine boy pop at its finest, complete with 2015 recall slang ("Fooo! Turn up!" is modern tweens call and response the way "Yes Yes Yes, Here We Go! *NSYNC has got the flow!" was when I was a tween). The promo features great popstar hair, lots of screaming female fans, plenty of #selfie taking, and adequate enough choreography with a bit of bboying thrown in to keep it interesting.

No, I don't have a favorite yet but give me some time and a few more great singles and I'm sure I will come up with something...

#NOWKOPPING: SHINee's "Married To The Music"; continues to be 'Odd' & Awesome

Monday, August 3, 2015

L to R (standing): Taemin, Minho, Key, Onew / Horizontal: Jonghyun
Most boy bands (regardless of origin country) are based on two potential concepts: (1) singing well while being exceptionally good looking, or (2) dancing well while being exceptionally good looking.

My boys in SHINee were like, "Eff those two ideas. We'll sing well, dance well, and be weird AF and you're gonna like it."

Well played.

The group announced some bonus songs for the "repackage" of their Odd album, dubbing the project "Married To The Music". The concept is......Halloween House of Horrors. In August. Because sure, why the hell not.

Think Backstreet Boys' "Everybody" with that MJ/Bruno Mars funk feel vibe bandwagon that everyone's jumping on. The song is catchy (do I think it will be as iconic as "Sherlock" or "Lucifer", nah -- but that's not the point), the choreography is punchy, but the visuals are...

So to recap: 
  • The video opens with the words "Marriage Is A Slow Death"
  • All of SHINee drink the weird, glowing Koolaide (so to speak)/food and terrible things happen
  • Key's head gets chopped off (and apparently his insides are bright lemon yellow)
  • Eldest Onew ("accidentally") hits baby Taemin in the head with a bat and his eyes fly out of his skull
  • Drunk (I'm assuming) Onew stumbles into the bathroom to wake himself up and his nose is left in the sink, held up by a disembodied hand and bleeding orange soda blood
  • In what would be the biggest musical tragedy of all, Jonghyun's lips are stolen right off his face and are left in a bowl of sprinkles (after he projectile vomits confetti -- which Onew & Minho dance and play in)
  • Minho's face is essentially burned off when the rest of the members try to blow out the candles on a cake he's carrying
  • The video ends as all of the disembodied SHINee members lay dead(?) around the nefarious "wife"
(Time to get way too deep in this: Key is known for his weird concepts and fashion choices -- and now his head is gone. Taemin is now known as a "visual" member -- and his eyes are gone. Jonghyun is the lead vocalist -- and his lips/mouth is gone. Minho has been gaining more acting roles and is known for his "flaming charisma" -- and his face gets burned off. And Onew...loses his nose? So loses his "sense" as a leader? I'm dying from the jokes here. Get it? Dying?)

I'm not sure who at SM Entertainment is letting these babies go buck wild with their music video concepts but I hope it never stops. It's about time someone from SM is allowed some weird creative freedom, right?

Remember when SHINee was all cute in hip hop clothes singing about how Noona is so pretty? LOL.

GOING VIRAL: Thomas Jack, Elephante, Saara, Alexandra Stan, Aston Merrygold & more...

Sunday, August 2, 2015

L to R: Citybois, Alexandra Stan, Saara
They may not be a thing in the US (yet), but they are currently "going viral" around the world. Here are some tunes to add to your "up and comer" list so you can feel like a cool, I'm-in-the-know kind of hipster. You're welcome.

In the UK, he's best known as a former member of the X Factor boy band JLS (who, if you recall, announced they were amicably dunzo in 2013). To the US, he's a potential pop/dance runner up to Bruno Mars (complete with the hair). His debut solo single "Get Stupid" dropped this past week and it's utterly infectious. I can't stop playing this.

ELEPHANTE - "I Want You (feat. RUMORS)"
Any artist taking their name from my favorite animal, I'm on board with. (Just kidding, sort of.) Elephante is an American DJ who just hit over 100,000 fans on Facebook. "I Want You" is his latest and it's already topped the charts on the Hype Machine as well as made Spotify's "viral" charts in a variety of countries. The dance jam has a strong keyboard motive that builds to a club-ready climactic breakdown.

JOE STONE - "The Party (This Is How We Do It) (feat. MONTELL JORDAN)"
It's basically a sped-up, ready-for-the-club-in-2015 version of the 90's classic. Nothing wrong with that.

EVA SIMONS - "Policeman (feat. KONSHENS)"
You might remember Eva Simons as that Rihanna-esque popstar from the Netherlands that broke through with killer songs like "Silly Boy" (which so many people thought was Rihanna), "I Don't Like You", and "Take Over Control" with Afrojack. Her latest, "Policeman", is dark, dancehall-esque, and totally strutworthy. It's so far peaked in the Top 10 in Belgium and her native Netherlands, as well as getting major spins across Scandinavia and Germany.

CITYBOIS - "Purple Light"
This Danish duo were competitors on the most recent season of X Factor in Denmark, ultimately placing fourth. "Purple Light" is their latest single, now available worldwide, and came out in June. What a perfect slice of Scandipop meets current funk-pop it is with a super-audible walking bassline.

THOMAS JACK - "Rivers"
I have a weird feeling that this song might just be that next worldwide megasmash. Basically cross Nico & Vinz' "Am I Wrong" with Robin Schulz' "Waves" and put it through a OneRepublic filter. It's so catchy and once it's got its hooks in you, you're a goner.

SAARA - "Ur Cool"
Saara (birth name: Sara Forsberg) snatched her initial fifteen minutes of fame on YouTube last year via her video What Languages Sound Like To Foreigners where she basically mimics different languages and accents (basically in gibberish). Over ten million views later, this Finnish teen has turned her overnight success into a potential pop career, signing with Capitol here in the US and releasing the single brat-pop "Ur Cool" back in April. It's very much in the Cher Lloyd vein of things mixed up with Katy Perry's flair for comedy and not taking herself too seriously. Also, a demo she co-wrote/sang called "You Think" has been re-purposed for Girls' Generation's use as an upcoming single, due out in a few short weeks.

Like most people, I lurrrrrve me some "Mr. Saxobeat". Romanian dance artist extraordinaire Alexandra Stan has returned to the pop scene, bringing along fellow Romanian popstar Inna (best known for her killer dance jam "Hot") for the ride with the Euro smash "We Wanna" -- naturally full of jingles, jangles, and saxophone blurps, plus some bonus Daddy Yankee because why not.

#NOWKPOPPING: U-KNOW & MAX Offer 'Rise As God'(s) for Pre-Army Hurrah

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Fear not, dear Cassiopeia -- our humble leader may already be in the Army (sob!) but there was no way I was not going to talk about this. 

TV5Q! sure has walked a long road since their debut in 2003 -- even just in the six or so years I've been happy enough to know them. Their place in KPOP history cemented, ("U-Know") Yunho's official leave for his mandatory Korean military service marks the second member (following Jaejoong) of the godly five to leave us mere mortals temporarily.

Rather than wait it out and stun the whole KPOP game with his crazy vocal chops and wild (snarky) soul (reference!), the team's baby and my personal bias ("Max") Changmin has quietly stated he will also soon be leaving us for the army, hoping to shorten the gap of time that duo!Shinki is on hiatus. Of course, I appreciate the sentiment and all but I selfishly was really hoping for a solo album. Bias is as bias does, right? And in Min's case, he would probably take a lot of amusement in that dream being crushed.

It also bares mentioning that current actor Yoochun has also announced army plans for August. This leaves Cassiopeia with only our duckbutt Junsu who as far as I know has not mentioned anything about his service plans. (It reminds of the five original members' prank game where the other four would purposely "leave out" Junsu when introducing their names to troll him. Who's laughing now, guys? ::Mel sobs uncontrollably::)

As a final parting gift, Yunho & Changmin have unleashed their "special" album Rise As God, just as Super Junior released Devil not as an official album per say, but a highlight reel of career strength. I'm choosing to take this grammatical fail of a title as part of the metaphor that is highlighted in one of Changmin's solo songs from the disc called "Rise As One" -- a display of the two's friendship and unity. That Min, for all his snark and sass, he certainly proved his undying devotion toward Yunho. (It's also a blatant reference to their team name itself -- Dong Bang Shin Ki, means "Rising Gods of the East".)

Seeing as Yunho is already now in the army itself and Changmin is finishing up a drama, there will be no live performance promotions from this set (besides, SM is too busy trying to win back Girls' Generation's favor as the Divine Nine Elite Eight of KPOP). Despite this, we've still got two polar opposite music videos -- Changmin's "Rise As One", a somewhat EDM-y, somewhat generic floor-filler cut that allows him to show how expansive his voice is, and Yunho's "Champagne", an oddly catchy pop jangler that allows him to show off how much of a dorky grandpa he apparently is.

Don't get this twisted -- I'm not bitter that this is how HoMin is going out pre-army. Do I wish they could have had a mammoth, dark dance banger so Yunho could show off his legit moves and Changmin could do that bellow-wail-scream thing and eye-eff the camera? Sure. But I also live in reality. Rise As God is a peace offering to fans. And besides, it's not like they'll never be back. 

But as I said before -- these two years better fly damnit.

HEAR THIS: Little Mix rocks Radio 1's Live Lounge (again)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The ladies of Little Mix are certainly flying high. Member Jesy announced her engagement to the lead singer of Rixton. They finally announced the title and release date for their long awaited third album (Get Weird, on November 6th -- globally!).

Oh, and perhaps you haven't heard but their single "Black Magic" has been #1 in their native UK for the past few weeks to become their third UK chart-topper. You know, no big.

That should be enough to satiate the haters but LM doesn't rest on their laurels. I don't stan them for nothing, after all. The quartet are no strangers to the Radio 1 Live Lounge -- a fantastic concept that I wish Americans would embrace. Artists perform cover songs of their own choice live (get it), usually acoustically, and its led to all sorts of incredible and inventive re-imaginings.

La Mix performed a radical remix of Jason DeRulo's "Want To Want Me", slowing the tempo way down and showing off with lots of jazzy melismas (zing!) and harmonies En Vogue would be proud of. As the chorus is cued up, they are aided by a full freakin' gospel-style choir. 

But wait! Just when you think it couldn't possibly get any more lovely -- it does. Following the chorus, the girls toss in a bit of Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody". 

All four of our girls swing from vocal strength to vocal strength and they are clearly having a blast. 

Excuse me, Radio 1. I need a MP3 version of this stat. At the very least, I hope it's a "bonus" cut on Get Weird because oh...em...gee.

FRESH OUT THE BOX: Robyn, Jill Scott, Austin Mahone, Carly Rae Jepsen, Little Boots & More

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

L to R: Jill Scott, Tove Styrke, Little Boots, Carly Rae Jepsen

It's official -- New Music Tuesday has officially become New Music Friday here in the US and around the globe. Perhaps this means I'll be more on the stick (so to speak) when it comes to actually putting metaphorical pen to paper when talking about my favorite new cuts of the week, yes? 

With that out of the way, here's what's "new" (or at least "new" since we last chatted "new") that I've been turning all the way up...

TOVE STYRKE - "...Baby One More Time"
Yup, it's a cover of that iconic Britney jam. No, it's nothing you'd expect. Full of futuristic bleep-blurps and a smokey, dark vocal -- Tove is gunning for Charli XCX's position as the new alt-pop princess.

JILL SCOTT - "Coming To You" (no link available -- but just buy the whole album, it's worth it)
Love R&B? Jill Scott is here to slay ya faves. Her latest album, Woman, hit shelves last week and quite literally runs the gamut of great to greater to greatest. Single "Closure" is a fave and so is "Run Run Run" but I'm choosing "Coming To You" as my overall favorite from the set. It's so Motowny.

I wasn't expecting "I kissed a girl and I liked it" from my girl Demi but it is a Max Martin smash whether or not it sounds like Katy Perry. She looks so fab and confident in her skin, and it doesn't get better than that.

You can blame Bruno Mars for igniting this 70's soul swing but I sure ain't fightin' the funk. Austin sounds right in the pocket with his most grown-up jam to date, smartly steering clear of too many vocoders, bells & whistles, and unnecessary rap features (cough::Pitbull::cough) but still staying bubblegum friendly. He needed something to set him apart from Bieber's shadow -- maybe this is it (and by that something, I mean stepping instead into Nick Jonas' shadow. Good choice, Austin. Very good choice.).

Thoughts and opinions about Ms. Hill's road to here, it sure is great to have her vocals back, now isn't it?

CHVRCHES - "Leave A Trace"
Easily stands alongside "The Mother We Share" as a great pop effort.

This might just be a glittery, gay fever dream leftover from last night's bender at da club, but does it get more fab? Hooky, dancy Nervo? Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears searing vocal? Nile Rogers face-melting guitar? KYLIE? YASSSSSSSS COMETHRUUUUUUU.

The former American Idol winner is hands in on this slinky R&B thing and if this jam is any indicator of what's to come from her long-awaited third album, I'm okay with that. If anyone can give Tinashe and Jhene Aiko a run for their money, it's Sparks with her ridiculous vocal capabilities. Jordi -- this sound looks good on ya.

Carly Rae's upcoming record is shaping up to be the straight pop record of 2015 and it's a shame, too, since all thoughts are pointing toward it probably being under-appreciated by the general populace. For those of you are pigeon-holding her as a One Hit Wonder, YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM. Just embrace the goodness! Wanna now how to spell Pop Perfection? It's J-E-P-S-E-N. Now, just let me drift on that sax wail...

Wait wait wait. We got new Kylie and new Robyn in one week? It must be Christmas in July. 

DJ Robin Schulz has a thing for taking familiar back beats and "re-inventing" them. His latest is "Sugar", featuring that up-and-comer Francesco Yates and it heavily features Baby Bash's hit "Suga Suga" (right down to Frankie J's chorus). If you didn't get that reference, you are probably a fetus (not unlike Francesco, who was in single digits when "Suga Suga" was all over the radio back in 2003). 

FLETCHER - "War Paint"
Jersey gal Fletcher has a jam on her hands. "War Paint" is one of those pop corkers that straddles the genre line -- it's a little bit country stomper, little bit pop jangly, little bit dance smash. It's the single Taylor Swift should have done. And I mean that it the best sense.

LB's latest album, also titled Working Girl, has dropped and I'm totally okay with stating its her best to date. "No Pressure" is still getting lots of spins from moi but "Working Girl" is quickly trying to give it a run for its moola. 

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