Thursday, April 25, 2013

Ke$ha's 'My Crazy Beautiful Life' Premiere Recap: Dancing With Tears in Their Eyes

Those who bemoan the crisis of Ke$ha's lackluster campaign for the pop-rap-rocker's sophomore album Warrior, take heart: the glitterbombing chart-topper debuted her MTV docu-reality series My Crazy Beautiful Life last night, and it's not bad at all. In fact, it's good.

The premiere episode of the six-part show, lovingly and fairly shot by Ke$ha's brother Lagan Sebert, starts with the singer botching a cartwheel during a New York date on her first headlining tour, in 2011, then barreling into some luggage when she recounts the foible backstage, drenched in sweat.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Popologist Panel: Justin Timberlake, Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland, Prince and more

It's April, and pop music is finally picking up! This month the Popologist Panel discusses Justin Timberlake's epic opus The 20/20 Experience, EPs from new artists Erin Willett and Neon Hitch, videos from Kelly Rowland and Pitbull/Christina Aguilera, and singles from Disney artists Demi Lovato and Bridgit Mendler, superstars Prince and Ke$ha, and "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" scribe The-Dream.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Selena Gomez Channels Britney, Rihanna at MTV Movie Awards with 'Come and Get It'

Selena Gomez performed her new single "Come & Get It" at the MTV Movie "Awards" last night and it was rather nice to see something musical on MTV for a change. I'm happy that everyone seems to be jumping on the Gomez bandwagon but I wonder where they all were when her surprising, excellent third album, When the Sun Goes Down, arrived, led by its brilliant single "Love You Like a Love Song," which if I'd ever posted my list you'd know was my pick for the best pop song of 2011. Selena Gomez has struck me as purveyor of remarkably adult dance pop since "A Year Without Rain," and it's also interesting to hear people now beginning to comment that she's sounding more "adult."

In short, I got Selena Gomez before it was cool.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Florrie Drops Brassy New Song & Video "Live A Little," Remains Exceptional

Three months in and 2013 has been an utter wasteland in American music, but fortunately a relief effort is underway from a hardy band of Brits. The latest care package from across the pond comes from one of the country's best and most exciting developing acts, Florrie. Today the singer released her new song and video, "Live A Little," created for the Sony XBA-C10 In-ear headphones ad campaign (hence the product placement-y headphone shots), a brassy, upbeat, perfectly hip consumer electronics ad campaign-style number that recalls the best of her independent work and is sure to put a swing in your step.

Florrie Live A Little Sony Headphones

A former house drummer for UK pop production house Xenomania, Florrie Arnold has been brewing her solo act over the past couple years and released three EPs of her experimentation, a conscious effort to develop herself as an act before signing with a major label, sharing with her fans about the process and her artistic and professional philosophy on her blog and offering much of her music for free. "Live A Little" is her first new material since her final independent release, the EP Late, which came out in May 2012 (and was reviewed on the inaugual Popologist Panel). Its liberal use of horns, lalalalas, huge choruses, and, of course, plenty of drums most noticeably recall her second and greatest EP, Experiments,* but it's infused as well with some of the less bombastic, percussive elements from Late (especially that clappity clap-and-guitar-lick in the middle). Basically it's the best possible outcome, proving that Florrie wasn't just dicking around aimlessly but actually creating what has grown to be a sound and style uniquely her own using the best of her apparently multitudinous talents. Sky Ferreira and Neon Hitch, take note.

Little Boots - "Broken Record" (Single Review)

Little Boots has been taking her sweet-ass time revving up for the eventual followup to her 2009 debut album, Hands, one which is now finally just over the horizon. To her credit, the UK-based electronic pop singer (née Victoria Hesketh) has kept her fans appraised of things by releasing samples of what she's been working on over the past year and a half - some in official final form and some at various stages of incompleteness, in a canny balance of transparency and wizardry expected of today's best pop stars. The latest of these is the sleek and mesmerizing "Broken Record," which may or may not be the lead single from the new album depending on how you define the term.*

Little Boots Broken Record Nocturnes

"Broken Record" is reminiscent of the house-influenced dance pop that Madonna and the Minogues (i.e. Kylie and Dannii, separately, although I may have just found the name for my cover band) were doing at the turn of the century. Synths of diverse array (and, briefly, strings) create a lush electronic landscape speckled with percussive effects of the clicking, clapping, and church bell variety, which add a touch of menace. The gimmick potential of a loop-heavy dance track called "Broken Record" is rich, of course, but certain moments veer toward the obvious: "I hear your voice like a brokenrokenrokenrokenroken record" doesn't so much evoke the skipping of a broken record as it just sounds like Little Boots singing "brokenrokenrokenrokenroken record" - even more so because of all the vocal chopping and splicing going on around it that really does create a broken record sort of vibe. But at least she doesn't try too hard to sell it on this point, and aside from one early instance she has the wisdom to avoid poaching "repe-pe-pe-pe-peat" from Selena Gomez and the deftness to avoid poaching from her own song called "Stuck on Repeat" apart from a quick name-drop that does however poach a bit from David Guetta/Jessie J's song called "Repeat." (This is not a subtle record.)

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