Sunday, October 05, 2014

FRESH OUT THE BOX: Tove Lo, Prince, P!NK, Eden XO, One Direction, Lorde

Is it just me or is it really starting to feel like Q4 Priority around here? Here's a rundown of what I've been jamming to recently:

TOVE LO - Queen of the Clouds
Where do I begin with Tove? You can add her to the list of impressive dark pop chanteuses not from the States (alongside your Betty Who, Kiesza, ElliphantMø, Charli XCX, etc. etc.) for absolute certainty. Queen of the Clouds, unleashed last week, is worth every little cent and is jam-packed with scorching lyrics that read like a diary into the life of your average twenty-something. Perhaps it's because she's just a few months younger than me but I feel like this is the perfect snap-shot of life in 2014 for gals my age (27, people -- and I'm not old, thanks.). The entire set is intensely listenable and easily joins the list for the 'Best Albums of the Year'.
My Current Fave: "Thousand Miles". 

DEV - Bittersweet July
This one was unexpected for me. While I wasn't totally against Dev following her mainstream breakthrough via Far East Movement's "Like A G6" (ahhh, 2010), her quasi-petulant rap-talk style a la "Bass Down Low" was a pretty big turnoff. If this also turned you off, I suggest you not skip her latest EP, Bittersweet July, released a week or so ago. Short and sweet, the rap-talking is dialed back and the set reads as a cohesive bass-heavy electropop offering. 

Jessie Malakouti continues to reinvent in the search for what feels right. A former member of group Shut Up Stella then going solo via the moniker Jessie & The Toy Boys with trashy dirty pop jams like "Money Makes The World Go Round" and "Push It" (as well as the missed pop opportunity that is "We Own The Night") make up her prior pop resume and now she has become Eden XO, her most streamlined, mainstream-friendly personality yet. "Too Cool To Dance" has a driving hook and bounce to it and as the chorus fires up, the familiar late 80's bop airs itself out. Let's hope this one sticks.

Proving that Pure Heroine was no fluke, the sensation from New Zealand returns with this impressive and scene-setting single from the upcoming Hunger Games film franchise. Album #2 could not come soon enough.

Love 'em or hate 'em, these guys know how to offer up a hook that sticks. "Steal My Girl" can be added to the pack of 1D singles that sound like classic tuneage (this one echos Journey's "Faithfully"). We all know this is not an accident by now, but I'm choosing to look at their penchant for using familiar guitar licks as a flagrant statement of being influenced by classic rock. I give them credit for trying ardently to make the transition to non-guilty pleasure status. It's not my fave single from them but I think we can all agree this is a far cry from the bubblegummy "What Makes You Beautiful", right?

Quite a good dance-pop stomper. Melodic with an epic feel.

I was expecting to enjoy Prince's other album offering with group 3RDEYEGIRL but, save for the fabulous "PretzelBodyLogic", I came up empty handed. His latest solo effort, ART OFFICIAL CAGE, is worth a few listens however. The title track is by far my favorite.

YOU+ME - "Break The Cycle"
Pop heavyweight P!NK returns following her tour de force The Truth About Love album via this You+Me folk-esque duo project with Dallas Green. Anything P!NK does I'm gonna want to listen to and this is no different. It's definitely a different sound but no less fabulous.

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