ITS POP NEWS!
Actually these are opinions rather than facts but Dontstopthepop never claimed to be unbiased like the BBC. Though I could do with a nice tour of Blue Peter's garden. Okay so Madonna and Lady GaGa appeared together on the once wonderful Saturday Night Live. Ah, it should have been glorious. Madonna is so subversive. Lady GaGa is so challenging. Bollocks. When Lady GaGa's entire modus operandi can easily be upstaged by Sinitta's wonderful foliage arrangement on a domestic reality pop show in Britain (see MyFizzyPops excellent analysis here) then you realize just how relentlessly stupid the Lady GaGa experience has now become.
I'd also steer clear of Madonna. She's like a blackhole of unoriginality at the moment. For sure, tracks on her greatest hits package are wonderful but all they do is tragically remind us just how great the artist (formally) known as the Queen of Pop once was back in the days when she set the pace rather than followed it. The three additional tracks on the album prove this.
The reviews of Kylie's stateside tour are in and they're overly very positive. However one very nasty reviewer concluded that it was only us poor undernourished Europeans that seem to understand what Kylie is about. I don't think he really gauged the show. From all accounts by those actually in the audience they pretty much realized exactly what a trip on KM AIR meant. Kylie doesn't do Janet Jackson style backflips, she pretty much refuses to swear at her audience like Madonna & you'll never see her simply create a playlist on her ipod, plug that into the sound desk and mime the songs. You get something far more real with Kylie. Yes, yes you'll get amazing lasers and trips into mystical hinter-disco-lands but with Minogue you'll get emotion, a good time and a sense of hyper-reality. The trick to Kylie's shows, for me, has been its wonderful ability to be both magical & not too choreographed. That way every show is pretty much going to be completely different to the next. As the audience is treated in a unique way so is the show itself. Europeans arn't the only ones who "get this". So did Latin America, Asia and Australasia which experienced a large chunk of a Kylie tour last year.
The new costumes were as always totally dreamy and an extension to the "fabric" and narratives we'd previously encountered pretty much since 2002. My favourite outfit I've seen her in is this re-dressing of the CyberKylie previously experienced in 2002 only reworked so there's less of the BorgQueen/Seven of 9 and more of the Fritz Lang/Frau Im Mond/Metropolis texture to the outfit. Even down to the planets circulating her body! Absolutely epic.
She previewed a new song from her new album called "Better Than Tomorrow" which sounded absolutely fantastic. Its a real "strutting down the street" kinda song. I'm also adoring Roxanne Wilde. Got a soft spot her anyway. She needs to bring out that album already. At the start of 2009, I gave a small overview of Roxanne Wilde including the glorious "Radiate" which needs to be released in some way or form. I love the way she moves during "Better Than You". Its been ages since Kylie had such a form of dancing with her backing vocalists and I think it totally works.
Agnes Carlsson has previewed her US video for "Release Me". Its pretty much the same as the previous video and in my opinion, a tiny bit of a waste of money but I do like the hair. Yet another version of her album is coming only this time in Germany. This time it doesn't include the Eurovision attempt "Love Love Love" but rather a rather fantastic bevy of new tracks, new versions and remixes. I'm most interesting is the dancier version of "Big Blue Wall". I've always felt it had the potential to be a single and now it suddenly feels very chartworthy with its additional disco twinkles sprinkled throughout. I wonder what will appear on the UK release of "Dance Love Pop" especially when her UK label went with the rather acute choice of "I Need You Now" as the follow-up to "Release Me". All bets were on "On & On" as that has always screamed single status. Personally I love the choice. Its weird, unusual and has the potential to backfire but it shows the record company are thinking outside the box & perhaps building up a credible profile for Agnes here on UK shores.
Talking of a record company thinking outside the box, Upside Records have decided to release
"Vinegar" by Anna Abreu (of Finland) here in the UK. I've always loved Vinegar/Anna and the clever peeps at Upside have re-treated the song so it has a '09 texture to it (hear the Buzz Junkie mix above). I think they might just capitalize on the audience created by Agnes Carlsson's "Release Me". Will it pay off? The bombastic remix seriously gives it the boost the song deserves. Both Agnes ("I Need You Now") and Anna's "Vinegar" will provide great dancefloor fodder this autumn. They'll absolutely compliment each other.
So in September No Angels went and released what was probably the finest pop albums of the year. Yet its completely and utterly bombed in Germany. I think the shift into hard electro-synth-rnb pop was too much so they've gone for their traditional yet ironically titled "Derailed" for the second single. I doubt we'll see a third single but I'd push for "Thunderstorm". It all depends on their tour which fans on their sites say hangs in the balance.
German pop news II! Their younger "pop sisters" Queensberry have pretty much derailed too. They've gone and covered Shakesspear Sister's legendary track "Hello (Turn Your Radio On)" which in itself is fine but no the right follow-up to Queensberry's brilliant "Too Young". It leaves Monrose the only girlband in Germany with a fighting chance of keeping their record deal in 2010. For sure, I hope No Angels/Queensberry keep theirs but it's not looking great.
Tomorrow night (Monday) pretty much witnesses the fantastic return of Same Difference to the world of pop (although it feels like they never left!). DSTP has long championed Same Difference so its great to see them comeback to a popshow stage along side the likes of DSTP/MyFizzypop fellow favourite's Elouise & Waterloo. The event, Popshow Gold, is a bit like the old Smash Hits Tour. It features loads of new acts ready to perform new material and test the reactions of the audience. For more information check out this site here.
Talking of Elouise, I'm loving the new Barbra Streisand album! Its pure gold. It does need a kick now and then but the quartet sessions are available on the deluxe edition of the album are wonderful. She was interviewed by Mr.Ross on British TV the other night which went reasonably well considering his ego but it was still a bit lackluster. There is a tendency to ask female musicians about their private lives and what their eating. This annoys me immensely.
If you like Elouise and Barbra Streisand you might just fancy taking your time out on Melody Gardot. She isn't as glam as the aforementioned singers but she is glorious. Melody Gardot's second full length album, produced by Larry Klein and much anticipated since she signed with Verve about a year and a half ago, is finally out and available to buy in the UK.
How brilliant is Nanne's (of Sweden) Otacksamhet?! In true Nanne style its absolutely mental and very much the polemic we expect from Nanne. Such is the strength of this is song is its Swedishness is no block to how fantastic it is. I find myself singing along to words that I have absolutely no comprehension. I think she does mention something about being on a gay parade and performing at a karaoke bar. So, er...like bring on her album already!