Monday, June 01, 2009

Rockin' Debuts [A Retrospective] (Part Uno)

The Intro:
It's been awhile since I've done a completely arbitrary and totally opinionated (sort of) chart countdown on this blog, and with all of the potential buzzing right now by new artists with their debut singles, I figured I would take a look back at the best of the debut singles of artists in recent memory, in six painless installments (so keep an eye out). Take a look and reminisce.

#15. Mis-Teeq "All I Want" (2001)
No proper video is available on YouTube, so check out this audio cut here.

While their official debut was with the song "Why?" in 2000 as a quartet, Mis-Teeq really began their "garage-pop" reign in the UK the following year as a trio with "All I Want", off their debut album Lickin' On Both Sides. The song went to #2 on the UK charts and became their second biggest hit internationally (the biggest being "Scandelous" -- their 2004 debut to the United States that peaked at #35 on the Hot 100 and was primarily associated in my homeland as the lead single for that awful 'Catwoman' film with Halle Berry).

"All I Want" is great proof that Mis-Teeq tried the girl group thing in a different way -- forgoing the sugary pop sound so commonly associated with early 2000's pop for a more urban, r&B sound that now, several years later, we can look back for how unique it truly was. Mis-Teeq officially broke up in 2005. They sold an equivilant of just under a million records world wide and have a Lady of Soul Nomination for Best R&B/Soul Album. However, all three of its members are taking cracks at solo careers, the most successful being Alesha Dixon. Her "sophomore" breakthrough album, The Alesha Show, was released in late 2008 on the back of the Xenomania co-write single "The Boy Does Nothing". The followup single, "Breathe Slow", peaked at #3 on the UK charts.

#14 Robyn "Do You Know (What It Takes)" and "Show Me Love" (1997)
Watch the music videos here and here.

Timewarp: A tweenage Swede collaborates with Max Martin and Denniz Pop (who just a few years later would usher in a golden era of teen pop tunes), and brings us 90's pop perfection. However, if you had told me then, back in 1997, that Robyn would be all over my iTunes library with a whole new sound more than ten years later, even I would be shocked.

Robyn first began making her mark in the early 1990's with her debut album, Robyn Is Here. The record saw US release in 1997 on the back of two big debut singles. I state two because as I can recall, I clearly remember hearing the real US debut, "Do You Know (What It Takes)" and its followup "Show Me Love" almost interchangeably. In fact, it takes me back to summer vacation, playing on my neighbors trampoline, listening to the radio and singing the opening riff of "Show Me Love" (yeah-eh, yeah-eh, yeah!) at the top of my lungs.

Robyn has come a long way since then, releasing three more albums, the most recent, Robyn, spawning electro pop staples "Who's That Girl", "With Every Heartbeat" and "Be Mine!". She also founded her own record label, Konichiwa Records, which is distributed in the US through Universal Music Group. In my opinion, every single one of Robyn's songs is worthy of being listened to, but those two still remain quintessential.


John said...

I love it when you do these types of posts, and this one's off to a great start. I wasn't as familiar with the early days of Mis-Teeq's career, but "Scandalous" was one of the biggest missed opportunites for pop music in the US in this decade. Glad to see that at least Alesha is workin' it out.

Myfizzypop said...

i'm with you on Mis-Teeq but i was never won over by Robyn at any point of her career :(

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