Alphabeat – “Vacation”

Published March 12th 2012
Filed under Reviews

Alphabeat’s new single Vacation has been released to iTunes worldwide. While many had hoped they would progress from the sound of their second album, The Beat Is… (also called The Spell), Vacation sees a return to the sound of Alphabeat’s debut album, This Is Alphabeat.

For such a summer-sounding song, it seems strange to release Vacation as the first single in Spring. Assuming Alphabeat have stronger tracks to come, it would’ve been much more suiting to release Vacation as the second single from the album during this summer. Vacation is nothing ground-breaking or inventive but it sticks to Alpbabeat’s mission to create pure pop songs. The only difference this time is, while their previous album (The Beat Is…) showcased pure pop with a cooler dance-pop sound, Vacation is cheesy pop which is a bit of a regression in sound for the group.

Vacation is still a great track but Alphabeat can do much, much better. The verses are stronger than the chorus. The chorus is a little too happy and lacks some better lyrics. However, the song is still enjoyable and has a catchy melody that gets stuck in your head which is what all good songs should do anyway.

Hopefully Vacation doesn’t foreshadow a regression in sound for the forthcoming album and the album has a mix between the best songs of the two previous albums.

Vacation is available to download today from iTunes worldwide.

Donkeyboy’s “Silver Moon” Album Review

Published March 08th 2012
Filed under Reviews

Having listened to Donkeyboy’s sophomore album Silver Moon for the past week, it has easily become one of the best albums to be released this year. Its strong melodies and great production make it one of the best electro pop albums I’ve ever heard. Out of the twelve tracks, nine of them are brilliant while the other three are decent songs but I find myself skipping them on each listen. The three include Drive, Out of Control and All Up to You, but they are definitely not filler tracks.

The second single, Pull of the Eye, could be defined as the best song on the album. It’s much more instant than the first single City Boy because of it’s ridiculously catchy melody. Darkest Night is just that, a night time song created with a melancholic melody and creates the perfect night atmosphere. No More Movies is very simplistic, but that’s what makes it so easy to get into. It’s not a stand out track but it becomes a favourite very quick. On Fire has an 80’s sound and it’s another strong track. If an 80’s song was given polished production from 2012, On Fire is what it would sound like. Get Up is a clear contender for the third single. Like Pull of the Eye, it features guest vocals from Norwegian Idol singer Linnea Dale. We Can Be Friends and Stay are again both strong tracks and end the album on a high.

Unlike most albums, the quality of the songs on Silver Moon doesn’t deteriorate by the end of the album. The album sounds best when played the whole way through instead of listening to individual songs. The songs are arranged really well in the track listing.

Silver Moon is available worldwide via iTunes.

P!nk – “Raise Your Glass”

Published October 05th 2010
Filed under Reviews

Raise Your Glass, from P!nk’s upcoming greatest hits album, Greatest Hits…So Far!!!, just premiered via her official site.

The Max Martin track is a clear progression from her last lead single, So What, and the perfect single to sell a greatest hits album with.

While there are clear elements of Max Martin and Dr. Luke’s current sound from songs like Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream, P!nk always manages to make these tracks sound like her own with her angry, controversial lyrics and her very distinctive vocals. It’s not trying to be anything other than a catchy pop song and it doesn’t need to be. P!nk has plenty of time for artistic moments with her album tracks and Raise Your Glass perfectly carries on P!nk’s incredible collection of singles.

One lyric that stands out on first listen is a well known phrase reversed in the middle 8:

So if you’re too school for cool

Raise Your Glass is released November 8th followed by Greatest Hits…So Far!!! on November 15th.

McFly – “Shine A Light” featuring Taio Cruz

Published October 02nd 2010
Filed under Reviews

The second single from McFly’s upcoming fifth studio album, Above The Noise, is the Taio Cruz track Shine A Light. Like Party Girl, it continues to showcase McFly’s change of sound but still manages to sound like a McFly song (which is a good thing).

Shine A Light sounds like a more mature Star Girl and a more electronic The Heart Never Lies. It also contains the album title, Above The Noise, in the second verse.

The only small problem with Shine A Light is the production. The song sounds quite empty and seems like there should be a build up, like the long crescendo throughout The Heart Never Lies, but it never happens. It just plods along with no big moment. Taio Cruz’s fifteen seconds of a middle 8 also seems a bit unnecessary but by him featuring the song, hopefully it will attract new listeners and the song will perform better than Party Girl.

Shine A Light will be released on November 8th followed by the album, Above The Noise, on November 15th.

The Saturdays – “Higher” featuring Flo Rida

Published September 17th 2010
Filed under Reviews

Yesterday, second single Higher, from The Saturdays’ new mini-album Headlines, premiered. The Saturdays recently shot the video in L.A. and also got chart rival Flo Rida on board to feature on the track. Getting Flo Rida to feature on the track is quite a clever move since he’s beaten The Saturdays to the number one spot on two occasions which has been a long-running story in the press. They can’t beat him, so their best move is to collaborate, which is sure to gain even more press.

The problem is, while it seems like a brilliant way to increase The Saturdays’ status, the song Flo Rida is featuring on happens to be possibly the best song of their careers so far. From the minute the album dropped, Higher has been a huge fan favourite. It has elements of everything that makes a good Saturdays song since it’s produced by the same people who gave them their big hits Up and Ego. On first listen, a lot of people were disappointed about the heavy use of autotune on the studio version but the middle 8, despite the autotune, remained on the highlights of the song.

The new version of Higher, which now features Flo Rida, sees the middle 8 completely cut in favour of Flo Rida rapping. The rap actually sounds decent but it’s not as good as the original middle 8 it replaced. The ideal thing the producers could have done, would have been to keep both the original middle 8 and add Flo Rida’s rap, as the song is only three minutes and twenty six seconds long anyway.

Another problem with Flo Rida featuring on Higher is that he didn’t record the track at the same time as The Saturdays, and possibly not with the same producers, leading to his vocals sounding considerably higher in volume in comparison to the girls’ vocals. Listening to the track, I find myself lowering the volume when Flo Rida starts rapping, not because he sounds bad, but because his vocals are much louder. It just sounds like sloppy and rushed editing, and also sounds a bit like he rapped over the track while playing karaoke. However, Flo Rida’s intro, despite his cheesy name dropping of the girls, actually sounds good and fits in well with the lyrics of the song.

Flo Rida: What you doing Saturday girl?
Vanessa: I’m doing nothing, ’cause then at least I’m doing nothing wrong

The video for Higher premieres this weekend which looks like it could be their best video yet as seen in their reality TV series The Saturdays 24/7. It looks like they spent quite a lot on the video, leaving seemingly very little of the budget for the cover artwork (seen in the video below) which is a disaster.

Higher will be released November 1st through Fascination Records.