Sunday, June 21, 2009

Oven Fresh: JoJo, Kristinia, Le Kid, Mariah and more...

As the summer months roll on, new singles and leaks seem to be dropping on our plates every day. Here's some tracks that are worthy of mention, be it positive or negative.

Lady Gaga "LoveGame (Chew Fu Remix)"
For the Gaga interested, a new remix has come out of the woodwork for her new US single "Love Game" dubbed 'Chew Fu' that features Marilyn Manson. While the remix fact may not peak your interest, I'm sure the Marilyn Manson bit does. I've stated before I'm kind of over "LoveGame" and am much more into "Paparazzi", and the majority of the remix doesn't do much to restart that fire. It's basically just a hyper version of the original that repeats her "hufhh" bit and cutting and pasting various parts of "Let's play a love game" over and over, combined with a creepy Manson singing the chorus. I don't know what I was expecting but it wasn't this. I think I'd more perfer Manson completely covering it. That would be interesting.
Reaction: Thumbs Down.

Drake "Houstatlantavegas" (feat. JoJo)
Everyone is hyping up Drake to be the new savior of rap music. I'll admit I haven't given him too much of a listen, mostly due to the fact that the Drake I know is best known as Jimmy Brooks on my favorite Canadian guilty pleasure: "Degrassi: The Next Generation." I effing love that show, or at least I did, when it had all the originals on. But given the firestorm of interest, plus the inclusion of JoJo on the remix, I finally decided to sit down and listen. What I don't get is this is more JoJo's show than Drake's (and as it stands right now, that's a good thing).
Reaction: Indifferent.

Lupe Fiasco "Shining Down" (feat. Matthew Santos)
As I stated above, aside from the T.I.s and the Kanye's, I'm a little underappreciative of the current rap game. However, Lupe Fiasco has been pleasantly surprising me since day one with his unique brand of hip hop that is slightly off the center of what is expected. 2007's "Superstar", which also featured Santos, was a sleeper favorite of mine, and while this followup lacks the earworm stickiness the other had, it's still very enjoyable. BUT - when Lupe breaks out the vocoded autotuned, it makes me fear for his originality.
Reaction: Thumbs Up.

Kristinia DeBarge "You Know You Wanna"
Another Kristinia track leaked recently, and so far, I'm digging everything I hear. But I've finally figured out what makes her so interesting to my ear, besides the DeBarge callback. Chica may think she will be an equal heavyweight to the big divas, but especially on this track, she is sounded a lot like JoJo. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, it's just co much so that I might almost think this might have been a JoJo demo that somehow got to Kris's hands. "Goodbye" made me start to think Kris was trying to grab my girl Paula DeAnda's style with the 80's sample set to a big bass beat...So it is now official: Kristinia DeBarge is a younger mixture of Jo and Paula D...mixed up into a new package. Here's to hoping she tries to break out more into her own...but I'll be dancing to that Bananarama callback while she does.
Reaction: Thumbs Up.

Demi Lovato "Here We Go Again"
I had big hopes for a "Jonas-free" Demi Lovato and her sophomore EP. Then I heard the first single "Here We Go Again." And no, it's nowhere near as good as the Pixie Lott song of the same name. Given - Demi's vocals and prowess are not to be denied, especially in this song. But there is absolutely NOTHING new in this song, and there is nothing to it that we haven't already heard so far this year with P!NK, Kelly Clarkson and even Ashley Tisdale. I'm still looking forward to the album, but Demi -- shake it off ands how us the real you. Please!
Reaction: Indifferent.

Le Kid "Mercy Mercy"
Yes, all the blogs are raving (seems like almost everyone on my blogroll is). I just don't get it. Maybe it's the Girls Aloud "Can't Speak French" sample, since isn't that's what making this song so addictive? It is a sample, right? Because if it isn't, GA should do some serious suing, because the two are literally indistinguishable. Anywho, I was never much for "French", it was the sole track on Tangled Up that I didn't care much for at all, and I really balked that it was chosen as a single at all. So, the fact that a new pop group is trying to use it to boost their profile when it's only been a few years is kinda lame in my eyes. That said - the song is ridiculously catchy, and I probably will have it in my head for the rest of the effing day after writing this. Hmmm...maybe some clever DJ should put together a mashup of this song with GA's original. I think I'd dig that more. Maybe.
Reaction: Indifferent.

Mariah Carey "Obsessed"
I have never hid my love for MC. Her Musicbox album was one of the first records I ever bought. Her voice has literally changed my life. But, it is becoming very apparent that her new single "Obsessed" has cut her fans right down the middle. Either you love it, or you hate it. Personally, I really wanted to love this. I really really did. But the backbeat is lame, the chorus is cliche and so Valley Girl, her vocals don't leave much to gawk at, and as several of my friends have pointed out, she gives in to the Auto-Tuned trend much too late to be considered anything but a follower. I was hoping the new album would be a big step up from the mess that was E=MC2. ::shakes head:: Mimi, what the EFF?
Reaction: Thumbs Down.

JoJo "25 to Life"
We don't know if it's a single. We don't know if it'll even end up on the mysterious new third JoJo album. But on behalf of the JoJo fandom, FINALLY! Finally, a voice we love, that doesn't give in to the trend, puts out a product that sounds like it will fit right in without forsaking her own character. The lyrics are a fairly original concept. But the best part of the entire song is the tempo changes. It switches every few seconds in the chorus in a manner of that British two-step that seemed to be everywhere in 2002 (Mis-Teeq, Craig David). Heck yes.
Reaction: Thumbs Up.


Nikki said...

Yay! You like the JoJo song! I didn't notice the tempo changes but yeah, come to think of it there are some shifts..

Myfizzypop said...

well Le Kid DO owe Girls Aloud a huge debt of gratitude that's for sure. For me, it's like when i got a caramel macciato instead of white chocolate mocha at starbucks. i thought oooo it's nice and only a bit different so i'll enjoy it anyway. Check out some of the tunes on their myspace...

Mariah - well i am just resigned to the fact that she will never make the type of album that made me adore her so much in the 90s. And maybe that's progress. I still can't quite let go of her though so find Obsessed ok rather than great.

Drake from DJH has a single out?! That show is quietly amazing!!

Be sure to be ready for the onslaught of Preston Ordinary Boy, solo pop star :)

J.Mensah said...

Oh! :( how I long for another another album like, "Music Box" or "Butterfly" I'm not hearing that much good feedback for Mariah's new song. I was quite skeptical but it grew on me so much; not so much the voice or the beat but the lyrics, they make me laugh ("You're a mom and pop, I'm a corporation, I'm the press conference, You a conversation")

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