Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Few Words with YADi

This week rising POP performer YADi, the lady behind 2011's gorgeous Sahara Heart, released her latest music video for Guillotine. The songstress was nice enough to answer a few of our questions.

Your astrology sign?

Your favorite childhood game?

Making dens in the forest. We used to create dens and have different tribe names - rural gangsters.

Your most unlikely or surprising inspiration?
Dolly Parton.

The first concert you ever went to?

'Yes.' Apparently I asked: 'Pappa can you ask them to turn it down please?' I was 6. Be fair.

Your favorite rising POP performers?
Do AlunaGeorge count as POP? They're dreamy. And I love Doe Poero.

Sexiest foreign accent?
French. More on a woman than a man. And I don't know about accent but I love the sound of Arabic.

Cupcakes or macaroons?
Cupcakes. I want one. I'm going to go and buy one.

Your latest music video for Guillotine in 3 words?
Jumping, slinky, plankton?

You decide.

Follow YADi on the twitta @yadiyadiyadi
And on Facebook

Gregory & Minna

Friday, June 29, 2012

JFF - Matt & Kim Are Back!, "Let's Go"

So! Indie POPsters Matt & Kim, who can do very little wrong in my book, have just released a song from their upcoming album, Lightning, called Let's Go. It's a gentle little track with a a characteristically super M&K hook.  At times, though, Let's Go can sound a bit too mellow, but is still extremely addictive & lighthearted.  It's a well-timed release that will make it onto many summer playlists.  Welcome back Matt & Kim!  



Thursday, June 28, 2012

It's worth saying a few words about A Million Lights

What does one grow to expect from Cheryl Cole's third album?  Most would say not much. Others would expect A Million Lights to act as a sampler of current UK POP trends, mixing in dubstep, R&B & EDM & other elements (which it does).  But I fell somewhere outside these positions.  Finally, when my hunger for a summer anthem got the better of me, I decided to overlook Cheryl's dreadfully messy first single Call My Name & ordered the album, anxiously anticipating a follow-up to 2009's truly brilliant  Fight For This Love.  I didn't find it.  What I did find were a few of the album's finer moments, listed below.

*Under the Sun - this blithe little song is easily the most adventurous track on the album.  We have Alex da Kid to thank for the playful & elastic production.  A good 'un.
*Love Killer - production duo Dada Life did an excellent job on this track, testing out a dubstep outfit on Cheryl that looks, & sounds, surprising good.  We would love to hear this as a single.
*Sexy Den a Mutha - if the whole album sounded like this, we would have no complaints.  This would also make a great single & is clearly eons better than Calvin's cop-out Call My Name.  Also, how hard would Cheryl kill it in a dance number for this?  Flawless.

A Million Lights has a few C+ moments, as in passable POP that could have benefitted from a few extra touches.  The title track A Million Lights has a sweet melody but sounds strangely akin to rotten soft rock at times.  Ghetto Baby, penned by It-Girl Lana Del Rey, is lush but lacks personality.  Screw You's lyrics are perfect for swaggy Cheryl, but clearly need a different producer to sharpen her vocals (Jim Beanz should have produced it, since he did such a good job with her voice on Sexy Den a Mutha [a good song] & All is Fair [a bad song]).

And the rest?  The rest is, well, close to hogwash.  But don't hold it against Cheryl.  There's really no need for that.



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

JFF - Alexandra Stan, "Lemonade"

STOP THE PRESS - Madame Alexandra Stan has decidedly graduated from the International Saxobeat Institution!  Unapologetically POP has recently discovered Lemonade, a new eurotastic classic.  It's straight up summer, from the production to the song title.  Lemonade is everything one could want in a eurotrash smash - nonsensical lyrics, transliterated verses, & heavy Romanian accents.  Feel free to wear out the repeat button.  I know I have.



Sunday, June 24, 2012

'90s Sunday - NoToriAmos

Minna and I have returned from New York just in time for '90s Sunday. We'll publish a post about our time at the New Music Seminar soon, but in the meantime, we thought we'd treat y'all to some '90s sugar. My pick is Tori Amos' Silent All These Years, her closest approximation to an American hit. I've never been a huge fan of Tori's; I'm not familiar with most of her catalog, nor do I have the desire to check it out. Thus, the fact that I remember this song AND like it implies that it must have been a hit (to me, anyway).

I love how sparkly the piano keys sound. The melody possesses hints of rainy day darkness, making me want to go hibernate in a nook somewhere. Half the time, I don't even know what Tori's lyrics refer to, but they're so neurotic that I, by default, relate. Plus, with all the piano princesses (Fiona & Regina) releasing albums, it seems fit to honor the woman who paved the way.

I really like the video. The white background and squares remind me of Robyn's Handle Me. Check out both, below!

Happy '90s Sunday! Have a great week, lovers.



Saturday, June 16, 2012

Mika's Musical Makeover!

Hi Y'all!

Sorry for the long delay in posts! Minna and I have been busy with our day jobs, but we will do our best to be more disciplined. This applies to me more than to Minna - she's already quite good at maintaining the machine that is Unapologetically POP! Kudos to her - I'd be dead in the water without my gurrrl. Just to update all of you, we'll both be attending the New Music Conference and Festival in New York City this week. We're so excited and grateful to Workman Entertainment & Public Relations for giving us the opportunity to cover these events.

Anyhow, today, Mika released the first single from his upcoming album, The Origin of Love, due in September. This will be the third release from the admittedly bi-sexual (though we're all pretty sure he's gay - still, who are we to label someone's sexuality? Let just hope that the bi thing is his own doing, and not the record label trying to keep him halfway in the closet) beauty. Like Marina, Mika has decided to go in a new direction. Known for his piano-based dance POP with an Elton John / Scissor Sisters - like quality, Mika's decided to try something different and work with a whole host of songwriters and producers, including "...Nick Littlemore, Paul Steel, Fryars, William Orbit, Doriand, Priscilla Renea, Bilboard, Hillary Lindsay, Ellie Goulding, Pharrell Williams, Benny Benassi, Martin Solveig, Klas Ahlund from the Teddybears, Wayne Hector, Fanny Ardent and Greg Wells." Wells (best known for helming Katy Perry's Waking Up in Vegas) produced all of the POP star's prior material, so it's interesting to hear others take a stab at molding Mika's style.

Pharrell & Mika!
The single's name is Celebrate. Produced by and featuring The Neptunes' Pharrell Williams (whose worked with Kelis, Britney [on Slave 4u & Boys], Snoop Dogg, and JT), the song has a slightly hip-hoppier, dancetronica feel, but on the whole, it still sounds like classic Mika. To be honest, I've never liked Mika's work. Though I admire his musicality, experimentation, aesthetic, and performances, his melodies, voice, and Greg Well-ian production have never done it for me. Seeing as this song sounds like a slight evolution of Mika's previous hits, Celebrate doesn't satisfy me the way I wish it would. However, I played the 30 second clip of Celebrate to two Mika fans, and they think it sounds completely different from his original style. Am I the only one that doesn't perceive this track as a drastic change? What do all of you think?

I will say that I'm so happy to see Pharrell collaborating with LGBT artists, including Mika & Adam Lambert (on Glambert's most recent album, Trespassing). For so long, there has been an anti-LGBT stigma in the hip-hop community. To see it gradually fade away is oh so refreshing. I'm really proud of Pharrell for taking this big leap forward. 

Earlier in the week, Mika released a non-single from the album with an accompanying hipster-esque video. This song is called Make You Happy and actually does represent a sonic departure. Although it still doesn't quench my thirst for catchy & emotional POP music, it comes much closer. It's very electronic, featuring a beautiful touch of auto-tune that's very Madonna Ray of Light - esque in nature. Therefore, I'm wondering if William Orbit produced this slice of key-lime POP. Check it out below!

Are all of you excited for Mika's musical makeover, or do you wish he was putting out more of the same 'ol? Do you even notice a difference?



Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Can Usher release a good song, please?

Usher is nothing if not consistent: his past 2 singles have been dreadful, his subject matter rarely ventures from dancing, sex, sex appeal, or being sexy, & he has consistently referred to his upcoming album, Looking 4 Myself, as artistry.  And oh, how we want to believe him.

I love you Usher.  Seriously.  My formative years would have been nothing without U Got It Bad, Burn, Yeah!, & Caught Up.  The recent More is epic too.   You are a legend in Atlanta, where I currently live.  Scores of POP-lovers & normal Georgia folk rally behind you & your music.  But listen, whoever talked you into releasing Scream as a single was seriously mistaken. I know you are hiding a great song in Looking 4 Myself, but Scream is not that song. R&B depends on you more than you know, & you cannot update it by essentially making it into dancePOP for pussies.  Give us better.  And while you're at it, quit with the antics, will you?

Thanks, Ursh.  It's been real.



Friday, June 1, 2012

Review: Florrie's "Late" EP Arrives Just in Time

Photo by Paula Scala
This week drummer, model, singer, & lollipop-lover Florence Arnold, aka Florrie, graced us with the arrival of her third EP. It may be Late, indeed, but that needn't matter; Florrie's EP arrives just in time to remind us why we place our faith in POP. Mixing high-brow production with a dash of 90s nostalgia, Florrie's latest quartet of songs may be exactly lacking what electroPOP is lacking. Here is our track-by-track review.

Shot You Down: The EP's opening track starts off strong with a clean chorus & atmospheric production. Perhaps a better-behaving cousin of Rihanna's Man Down & Madonna's Gang Bang, the track's ultimate pitfall is that it could have been a bit bigger, & perhaps a bit darker.

I'm Gonna Get You Back: This song is exactly how we wished Ladyhawke's album would sound: fun, fast-paced & full of guitars. This is a particularly well-written track, with simple but effective verses like "got your hands around my waist / got her lipstick mark on your face/ & I'm waiting for the fall / but you're not there." It's worth noting that Florrie managed to make a song about lost love, the oldest of subject matters, sound fresh & thoughtful.

Every Inch: The third track on Late finds the songbird asserting herself ala Shania Twain's That Don't Impress Me Much. The tenacious girl-power chorus "you gotta earn every inch of my body baby" is so damn endearing that even the shiest of listeners cannot help but to sing along. Above all this song is totally luscious, like a delectable slice of red velvet cake. One of her best tracks yet.

To The End: Florrie's closing track on Late is perhaps the EP's weakest, which doesn't mean much, because it is still far from average. If it sounds a lot like the work of Norwegian POP princess Annie Strand, that's because it was co-written by Annie herself. The ending is a particular delight, with its slow, Viva Forever vibe. We're not complaining.

If we've learned one thing from Late, it is to place total trust in Florrie's intuition. While some might have scoffed at her silly idea of building a career from the ground up, clearly, it has more than paid off. Don't be tardy to the party- relish Florrie's last release as an independent artist! Listen to the full Late EP on Florrie's website & purchase it on iTunes.



JFF - Is Tropical, "Lies"

I will never forget the fateful day that my bestest friend & college roommate introduced me to the Kitsuné Maison compilation albums (that's you Meg!).  Since that glorious day the  Kitsuné trendsters have continually wowed me with their crop of delicious synthPOP, new wave, & straight up Eurotrash musical delights - just like this one by British electro-trio Is Tropical, Lies.  The music video features a naked, pole-dancing, seemingly under-aged blonde having orgasms to the sight of...swarming vultures?  Eh... have a go at it...