[WGO] Artist GrabBag

How do you like the new layout? Constructive criticism? Anything I should change? Minor tidbits will be changed here and there but for now, this fares me well. Keep your eyes peeled for LOTS (and I mean, LOTS) of fresh content in the coming days. I have quite a few interviews on deck with some very exciting people, a showcase report on an artist I really like but haven't had the chance to discuss just yet (oooh, the mystery!), and still more things still hidden under my sleeve. Oh, and have you updated your links to MELISMATICBLOG.COM yet? ;)

I haven't done this type of [WGO]-esque thing in a while, and in truth, I've kind of phased this "column" out. Doesn't mean it doesn't still come in handy every once and awhile when there's plenty to talk about, so here goes:

K'NAAN - "Wavin' Flag" (watch an LQ live video here)
I don't know if you all have heard, but there's this crazy competition going on right now called the World Cup? Oh, so you've heard of it? (::crickets at Mel's lame joke::) Anywho, my old fave in Somalian-rapper K'NAAN has supplied one of the main themes for one of the World Cup's main sponsors, Coca Cola, and it's his current single, "Wavin' Flag". I've adored the song since the minute I heard it more than a year ago (crazy to think!), and it was included on my list of the Top 29 Songs of 2(00)9. Unlike most radio cuts, I don't totally hate the changes they've made to the song -- it would be hard to ruin a song with such a great message. While it isn't moving mountains chartwise the way I desperately want it to in my home country, it has already gone to #1 in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, and it's well on its way in handful more. USA, you really should listen to me more. Then we wouldn't be sitting in the corner looking like the dumb one. Just saying.

Lady Phoenix - "Dangerous Dames" (check out LP's RN page to hear the song)
My girls in L-Phoenix have recently dropped a brand new track -- the much hyped and talked about "Dangerous Dames". You can download an early mix of the song gratis (that means free, people!) on their ReverbNation page. It continues their foray into swing-pop but also contains quite a bit of synthy goodness as a backdrop. It has officially become my favorite Phoenix cut yet (aside from their cover of "Fever", of course, which is in a different category as a cover, anywho). I'm getting the feeling it's certainly single-material.

Simon Curtis - "Beat Drop" (listen here)
This song just never gets old to me (just like "Bad Romance", which Simon perfectly 'samples' in the second verse). It also serves as an exciting little sneak peek into the future hits to come, as Simon has recently stated on Twitter he will soon begin work on album #2 (well...#3, but who's counting since Alter Boy will remain shelved...) with his producer-in-crime, Jadion. Also, check out Simon's feature on one of my favorite music promo websites (and other fam) over at HitPredictor.com's blog. Oh, and for you slow pokes, you can still pick up Simon's 8 Bit Heart album totally free at Simon-Curtis.com, and pretend like you weren't totally lame and late jumping on the bandwagon. Just a friendly reminder. ;)

Marina & The Diamonds - "Oh No!" (listen here)
Marina has revealed that this goodie from The Family Jewels will be her next single and I am so psyched I can't even see straight. This should go straight to #1 for the "TV taught me how to feel/Now real life has no appeal" line alone. Also, it is my favorite from Marina's (STILL!) amazing debut album. For this week anyway. ;)

Alexandra Burke - "Start Without You" (listen here)
Reception for A-Burke's brand new (literally) RedOne produced cut "Start Without You" seems pretty mixed, but I don't mind coming right out and saying I've liked it since Spin One. Perhaps its that "Iko Iko" sample. Perhaps it's the fact that finally a new RedOne jam doesn't sound 110% recycled. Either way, it sure screams 'Summer Time' to me. I'm not quite sure if this will serve as a bonus material single for a re-release of Overcome or if it will help her transition to Stateside (not totally grinning about that, but I've heard of stranger strategies). Anyway you slice or dice it, I cannot wait for Overcome: The USA Version. The song is due for the UK at the very least in August.

Kristinia DeBarge - "Bulletproof" (listen here)
No, it's not La Roux cover. It's a fresh new leak by Lil' DeBarge, who saw a taste of success last year with "Goodbye" (as well as with follow single, "Future Love" -- which was a cover of Varsity Fanclub's original). No word just yet on whether or not it's a new single or just an album track from Kristinia's sophomore set, which she is finishing up recording as we speak. I continue to look forward to big things for this cutie -- who is just as talented as I find her likable. Her debut was full of under-appreciated nuggets of gold (especially "Sabotage" -- what a missed opportunity at a big pop single!). While "Bulletproof" doesn't have me jumping up and down (it's rather Jordin Sparks "Battlefield"-y -- not a bad thing, it's just we've heard it before), I'm glad she isn't on a backslide in regards to a sophomore slump. It's official - DeBarge has become my new Paula DeAnda in terms of being the ridiculously talented lil homegirl rookie you want to root for. (PS - Paula D, where are you, hun?)

Christina Aguilera - "You Lost Me" (watch a live performance of the original version on 'American Idol')
Hurrah at the fact that the album's best ballad is being chosen as Single #3 (yes kids, she's really on Single #3 off of Bionic...::Mel cries quietly::). However, side-eyes and boos to whoever at RCA that decided the song needed a back-beat remix for radio airplay. Can we not just listen to all-out sangin' anymore? Geez.

DJ Earworm - "Like OMG, Baby" (watch the 'music video' here)
If I haven't said it before, I will say it now. DJ Earworm's mashup mixes are an OBPI (Obligatory Blog Post Item). I always end up adoring them, and spinning the hell out of them. This one is particularly special, because it features lots of radio hits over in the UK (it was drafted as a tribute to Capitol FM's Summertime Ball and all of its artists), which is a breath of fresh air in regards to so many over-played songs stateside -- so many of these songs (and their artists) are commercial unknowns in the States (especially Chipmunk/Esmee Denter's "Until You Were Gone", Pixie Lott's "Mama Do" and Cheryl Cole's "Fight For This Love"). There are a handful of songs that would get on my nerves if listening to the whole thing (the power trifecta that is Ke$ha's "Tik Tok", Justin Bieber's "Baby" and Usher's "OMG"), but in snippets, it remains fun. (PS - Not only are Earworm's mashups masterpieces, the videos kind of are too -- I wonder how long that editing process took? Incredible.)

7 comments

thechemistryisdead.com said...

I've been listening to Beat Drop on repeat over the past few days! Not sure how much I'm in to the whole Simon Curtis thing, for some reason I'm resisting (it's probably those silly glasses godamnit)

Also, super glad that Oh No! has been released. There's a Making Of the video on the Vogue website that looks amazing.

Layout looks great. Also I've finally figured out how to make a blogroll and obviously you're there looking beautiful.

J.Mensah said...

Look at you witchaya cute ass template and new domaine and what-not.

I like the new Alexandra song now, I didn't before sounded like some real Barney's playhouse shit. But it's for the UK and Ireland re-release of Overcome. And the US release is apparently set for September/October.

rcLoy said...

I don't care what they say, Xtina's You Lost Me is pretty great, something like that should be the #1 single, when are they gonna learn? Ugh.

BTW Minimalistic Melismatic ? Cute :)

Paul said...

love the new layout. And of course i'm loving Beat Drop. It's weird how after a few months that seems to be the current stand out song for a lot of people!

The Alexandra song has grown on me, though i wish it was from a new album rather than a rerelease.

And big yays for Marina and Christina's songs. both very good in their own ways

Aaron said...

Firstly, I like the new layout - It's great! - And yes, I've got your link updated and going :)

Firstly, Beat Drop was one of my earliest favourites from the album, and is still great today, though may not have quite the same level of impact as it did...maybe a few days off?

Oh No! was one of the few tracks I unabashedly loved unreservedly from the album (+ Girls), so I'm almost as excited as you for the new single!

Really must get my hands on that Alexandra Album!!! And The Kristinia album!!! -

Poster Girl said...

You must be so thrilled for K'NAAN. I always think of you when I hear his music!

I really, really like "Oh No!", but I'm still a little crushed that we're not getting "Shampain" instead.

"Bulletproof" really is a nice little song--maybe not the lead single Kristinia needs, but a welcome song. "Goodbye" wore out its welcome quicker than anticipated, but I agree that "Sabotage" deserved better than it got--that song still isn't old. And it's cheesy as all get out, but I still love Paula's "Stunned Out" from that second album era (as well as still enjoy "Walk Away" when the radio plays it).

Yup, link updated :)

Mel said...

ChemIsDead - Thanks for the linkage! :) "Beat Drop" has definitely evolved to be my favorite off that record but there are plenty of other goodies. You should really give him another chance. ;)

J - ;) I try. Now that you mention it sounding sing-songy, I can hear it, but maybe it's because I loved "Iko Iko" so darn much as a kid. Who knows...Keep me updated re: the American release.

Loy - It is a little diamond in the rough that is "Bionic", especially in terms of radio airplay. And I suppose the layout is a bit minimalist...for now. ;) Thanks!

Paul - I hope this means that Simon will use it as a single before he moves on to album #3...

Aaron - Yes, def on all accounts! I think you'll really like Kristinia's record -- I'm looking forward to her sophomore album (and Alex's too).

PPG - I agree on so many counts! Thank you on the K'NAAN comment, I couldn't think of a nicer compliment for an artist that gives off such a positive impact! I agree with "Shampain" as well, but I do like "Oh No!" as well...really, I like the whole album quite a bit. And as for Paula -- I'm so with you on "Stunned Out", if only for the "99 Balloons" sample alone. Such a wasted opportunity!

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