I don’t know that much about The Long Blondes (yet), but I do know that they can produce a tune. The new single off of their spankin’ new album Couples is called “Century,” and it’s a bit of Allison Goldfrapp making sweet love with the Queen of Disco, Donna Summer. More accurately, “I Feel Love” + Gwen Stefani‘s vocal acrobatics + Goldfrapp’s Supernature + Ladytron‘s lyrical style. It swoops from chilled to chaos, but breaks before all out madness ensues. The lead singer reminds me of Deborah Harry. Judging from a spattering of surface research, I’m falling head over heels with the band’s dynamic. They claim not to listen to the Beatles and list producers (Stock, Aitken, and Waterman), more affectionately known as S-A-W, as one of their influences.
Sign me up! I’ll be back for more from them. For now, listen to the single. I’m in love (woo), I’m in love.
Alright, I can’t stop there. I’ve had myself a listening of their first album. It took ten seconds of “Once And Never Again” to have my internal jaw dropping. It wasn’t enough to make me literally open my mouth in astonishment, but my heart did briefly flutter. Or that was a palpatation, in which case a visit to the doctor may be in order. That being said, it’s nothing like the second album’s focus, but I love the song nonetheless. And how smart-ass are those chorus lines? “Nineteen / You’re only nineteen, for God’s sake / You don’t need a boyfriend.” Bitches!
Yelle was introduced to me as the French response to M.I.A.. Upon hearing the entirety of her debut album, Pop Up, I’m seeing traces of something much more dance-oriented, shedding the raw intensity and hook heaviness that signify M.I.A.’s musical identity. As for the artist in question, Yelle grew in fame quickly, due to blog attention and Myspace Music views. Last summer, she rolled out her debut, which bounces between happy-go-lucky, electropop ditties and hard-hitting club beats. Now to the tracks. Near the opening of the album, “A Cause Des GarÃ§ons” offers a synth-happy house styling that relies mostly on the electronics below, benefiting from occasional vocal blips that seem more foreign to the ear than the interwoven computer noise permeating the track. The chanting lyrics at the end of the song serve as an indication of what’s to come later on in the album. Still, she restrains herself for now.
“Dans Ta Vraie Vie” moves toward the territory of Tigarah; taunting horns and brush-off lyrical stylings, while “Tristesse/Joie” bounces merrily along a stringy bass line and gilded synths; it’s a lovely nothing on top of electro clouds. But…don’t pause that track just yet! Yelle pulls a J. Timberlake and adds a shortened second track to the latter half of this track, a more frazzled, soaring version of the first.
Further on, tracks like “Les Femmes” takes it down a bit, adding a sexy 8-bit swing, yet remaining faithful to the album’s sound. “Je Veux Te Voir” is the stand out here; an all-out dance anthem. Language is no barrier here; this is a hands-in-the-air alarm call for the club crowd and indie scene alike.
Pop Up is nothing particularly memorable. Each track has a limited staying power as far as attention span is concerned. At the moment however, it’s a fun form of electric escapism. The album’s contents are like musical truffles; each one a sugary confection, filled with something rather delicious in the middle bits. Be sure to take a sampling of these dancefloor delights before they’re all chewed up:
Raven-Symone is a big deal to me. She’s sassy, she’s bossy, and she’s never wrong. Because she’s Raven, and Raven-Symone doesn’t play that. One time Raven-Symone even came to my humble town while touring to eat at the local Cracker Barrel (I don’t know why the chain exists above the Mason-Dixon line, but we’re going to pretend that it doesn’t exist). I know this because my friend, a hostess there at the time, dove underneath her hostess table to text me frantically that the Raven Symone was being seated. So, what did the silly bitch end up ordering? Eggs. That’s so fucking Raven.
Oh, right. I guess she’s releasing some song for some new movie. It’s Jamelia-esque, and throws out some “fe fi fo fum’s;” a bold move indeed. It’s not even a bad song, as I think she has a fairly proper pop-R&B voice. Dare I call it likable?
The funniest part of this whole clip may be from the video’s lead in, in which the announcer declares that Raven’s new single will be part of the release of Disney’s new movie, College Road Trip. Which leads me to believe that Disney has been reduced to relying upon a mathematic formula:
Form of School + Random Event That Can Easily Prompt Song = Cash Cow
I can’t wait for Medical School Swimming Party. Or Graduate School Dog Show.
As Utada Hikaru‘s new album release date draws closer, the promotion is just beginning to unravel. Click below to watch her performance of “HEART STATION” on Hey!Hey!Hey! last night. For those unfamiliar with the construction of Japanese variety shows…No, those are not cadavers lined up on chairs in the audience to fill the shot. Japanese audiences just tend to stay absolutely still throughout televised performances until the final moments. It’s rather eerie, isn’t it? I can only imagine the thoughts going through the minds of performers like Utada looking into a deep sea of blank stares and deafening silence. She did her best, as usual, despite the nervous warbling and ad-libbing.