Sunday, August 09, 2009

The Round-Up

I’m going to try this and see how it goes: I thought it would be a good idea to occasionally do a little write-up about some current musical goings-on and throw in the odd rant along the way ;)

Recently I’ve been pretty depressed with the state of the music scene in this country, particularly the dominance of over-hyped, under-talented female acts, and the very low profile of male pop stars. So I was genuinely happy to read this week that Robbie Williams is on the way back with a new album to be released in October. The news that Trevor Horn has produced it is a mouthwatering prospect alone. And even if it’s not a return to past glories, then we can always take comfort in the fact that it will be better than "Rudebox". It wouldn’t be hard....

I’m still dealing with the aftermath of the disturbing sight of seeing Mika in his big white underpants in his new video: "We Are Golden" (or should that be "Heaven Is A Place On Earth") didn’t really impress me the first time I heard it, but having heard it again it’s beginning to work its way into my brain. Nice to have him back, if only for the fact that he will be back on the radio which means one less playing of Pink, Rihanna, Beyonce blah blah blah.

The weekly Friday night ritual of watching the music channels with faithful travelling companion at EuropeCrazy HQ has been rather frustrating of late, with the increasingly depressing parade of one dire autotuned r’n’b or tedious electro song after another. Last night wasn’t much better: that Tinchy Stryder/Amelle song is like r’n’b by numbers and might as well have been written by a computer - and as for the Sugababes’ new song....needless to say, faithful travelling companion enjoyed the video, but as for the ‘song’, well it’s unspeakably bad. Time for the Right Said Fred revival?

Last night I leapt up and yelled when I saw Milow’s "Ayo Technology" on The Box, or Chart Show TV or one of these channels....this song has been a big favourite of mine on this blog for the last 4 months although I still think the video’s a bit unsavoury, with a nod to the song’s hip-hop origins. Still, I’m glad it’s being released here, so fingers crossed that it will be a hit. Bizarre fact: Milow bears a startling similarity to someone who works in my office!!

That's where the truth is, that's where the lie is: You may have heard of someone called Peter Andre, I think he’s been involved in some high profile marriage breakup or something? :O
The man at the centre of that breakup has conveniently chosen a good time to relaunch his career. I saw the video of "Behind Closed Doors" which plays it very straight indeed. The video features a Jordan lookalike...a bit of the "Cry Me A River" thing going on eh? I was quite surprised by this on first hearing as it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever heard, although I still can't help but think that the whole thing is one great big orchestrated publicity stunt.

There's a she wolf in the closet: Shakira - one of the few female pop artists I can actually stand - is back with "She Wolf" which is quite catchy although a change of musical style. Even she has succumbed to the dreaded autotune. Anyone think the melody in the verse sounds like RHCP’s "Californication" though??

It’s too late to apologize, Ryan Tedder: much of the 2008/2009 dreary-pop vintage has been written by the OneRepublic frontman. Don’t get me wrong, I like "Apologize" and "Stop and Stare" but I really can’t stand stuff like "Bleeding Love", "Battlefield" and the song that is my most hated of the year, "Halo" by Beyonce which redefines the meaning of dire. So the news that Tedder gave Kelly Clarkson virtually the same track is not good news at all. Even Kelly herself is, to say the least, a bit miffed as her record company now want to release the song. This blogger is also seriously annoyed, as it means we will now have to suffer "Halo II" every five minutes on the radio. Wake me up when it’s all over, although that will probably be a long long time away.....

Hopefully by that time Erik Hassle will be a big star, although I’m still puzzled by the choice of "Don’t Bring Flowers" as his big UK debut, when "Hurtful" (or "Bump In The Road" for that matter) was a more obvious choice. Don’t get me wrong, I like this song though and I really want it to do well.

The whole September situation is equally baffling, firstly the excellent "Until I Die" was scheduled to be her follow-up single to "Can’t Get Over" then was pulled from release by her record company due to a lack of radio airplay support. Now it would appear that "Cry For You - The Album" will not get a physical release in the UK and will be download-only. I can’t really understand this - is it maybe because her target market is more likely to download songs than buy CDs? Also, as there is no physical CD format it means that the album won’t show up in the album chart. :(

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