Last year saw Willem put out one of my all time favourite pop album. Prismophonic by Christophe Willem. Combining the electronic strands of Kylie Minogue’s Aphrodite with the bolds of neon fragility of Robyn’s Body Talk, Christophe Willem delivered a collection of songs that go to the core of why I love pop music. Written and recorded mostly in London with mostly British songwriters it very much seemed like a love letter to the British pop music scene so a release an English version of Willem's Prismophonic (re-titled Love Shot Me Down) this December (via Sony) seemed very natural indeed. So, on the eve Willem previews his first ever English album in London (tickets) it seems right to revisit the fabulous album.....
(Richard Stannard - James Wiltshire - Russell Small - Amanda Wilson - Tom Kent - Hawk Wolinski)
Poppers-o-clock alert! Where the hell did I put that glowstick! This includes a sample of Ain’t Nobody by Chaka. And it totally works. Starlight features the production lines of Freemasons (twitter) + Biff (twitter) and you can feel their magic sparkle over the anthem in the waiting. Christophe doesn’t mess with a club classic in the way Cher Lloyd abused Buffalo Stance. Rather, this is one mighty tribute to the genre of sound that courses through the album like a river that has broke its banks. Pure electro heaven. Put this song on, pass the poppers, let the muscles expand, get onto the podium, take centre stage and dance!!!
Best Lyric/Bit: "What your giving me is starlight! Starlight!"
Automatic Love 11/10
(Joakim Olovsson – Björn Olovsson - Isabel Guzman - Pär Andreas)
Check those credits people! Its Isabel Guzman! Its Tortuga (twitter)! Though the explosive pop anthem hails from Sweden, it is made for the dancefloors of London. Madonna would start a killing spree to have on her album. This so bombastic, it catapults itself into a place of pop brilliance and consumes the aural passages with delirious dancetastic pleasure. Automatic Love also includes one of the finest middle eight of the last twelve months so much so that the inner organs have found their dancing boots and are on the guestlist of Fabric by the time the song is over. Pure pop perfection.
Best Lyric/Bit: "I gotta reload (Oh!). Trigger my soul (oh!). Oh! (oh!)"
(Franck Deweare / Jean-Pierre Pilot - William Rousseau - Olivier Schultheis)
I originally despised this song. Especially after the sublime high of Starlite, Cool appears like an unsightly stain on diamond encrusted disco hotpants. Moreover, when placed next to the other pop anthems that follow Cool screams everything but its title suggests. However, in English it sounds vastly better.
Best Lyric/Bit: "Someone stop me cuz i'm going crazy! Crazy! Crazy! Cra-cra-crazy!"
(Steve Anderson - Karen Poole)
I loved the French version of this but my heart has enlarged on listening to the English. It was always absolutely stunning. But, the re-issue of the album is worth it for Timeless alone. The album suddenly emerges as a love letter to London’s club world and its sparkling nightlife. Herein, the throbbing baselines wrap around a breathtaking classical string arrangement. Delicious. This is an opus.
Best Lyric/bit: "So before they bring the curtain down, lets stay locked inside the moment now to remind us....that we're timeless."
Safe And Sound 10/10
(Steve Anderson - Karen Poole)
There are two brilliant dance-pop albums of the last ten years that I hold close to my heart. One being Light Years by Kylie Minogue and the other is Robyn’s self-titled album that contained the hits Be Mine and With every heartbeat. Both Kylie & Robyn also included ballads in amongst the pop-club epics. The stunning Bittersweet Goodbye and chilling Eclipse. Safe And Sound is now a member of that club. Breathtaking.
Best Lyric/Bit: "Hold Me, lay my head down until I'm Safe and sound"
Lasers & Sparklers 11/10
(Christophe Willem / Steve Anderson – Jamie Hartman – Tina Harris)
WOW. This is like putting on a really nice moisturizer and then feeling the softness of the skin the day afterwards. Or that breezy feeling when jetlag has lifted and you're at your destination. And the sun rises above the clouds. Body clock tells ya, you're still in the mess of London, but the warmth on the skin tells you you're miles away. Watching the sun rise over the sea with the closest of friends. You've left the streets of London and now your feet are in between the warm sands of some far away place as the hot sea lashes the shore. One of the finest pop songs of the year. By the way, love the organ in the middle eight. Altogether absolutely amazing.
Best Lyric/Bit: "I saw beautiful vistas, moonscapes, pauses and pictures"
(Kylie Minogue - Richard Stannard - Ash Howes - Carl Ryden - Seton Daunt)
Steve Anderson (twitter), the albums exec producer, and Christophe invite the one and only pop legend Kylie Minogue! With touches of Fever, Give It To Me & Aphrodite, Tears Will Dry is the icing on the cake if the cake was a drug called pop. Yummy.
Best lyric/bit: "I wanna show all I know. And give it time to glow"
When You Dance With Me 10/10
(Steve Anderson - Lisa Greene)
I love Lisa Greene. I can’t wait for her album. Lisa and Steve have wrote some of my favourite songs for popstars together (Breathe On Me by Britney for example). The collaboration of the two with Christophe repeats the wonderment first realized in songs like Breathe On Me, Dentro Me, Hypnotic, Roll Over and State Of Grace. At first, When You Dance with Me starts of small but by the end it comes out of its closet and sparkles like a firework. Its only a return visit to the song that it emerges as a throb that emerges into one permanent climax perpetually erupting into pop deliverance. Constantly stunning.
Best lyric/bit: "I only dance like I dance when you dance with me"
Love Shot Me Down 11/10
(Richard X - Hannah Robinson)
Written by legendary Richard X (twitter) and pop pioneer Hannah Robinson (twitter), Love Shot Me Down slides in-between the dark nightclubs of Berlin and the neon-lit corridors of East London. Here we have a type of song that Jake Shears would pant for. This is the lovechild of George Michael’s Fastlove and Star People layered with the spunky dna of trance hits by Infernal such as From Paris To Berlin. Glorious
Best lyric/Bit: "Love shot me down thru the heart again"
(Sarah deCourcy - Steve Reed)
Absolutely fucking speechless. If it was ever possible to capture the beauty of a falling snowflake via sound without it ever melting away Falling does so. Written by Sarah DeCourcy (twitter) and Steve Reed (twitter), Falling underscores why, for me, Prismophonic was one of the pop albums of 2011. Yes, Coldplay are amazing writers and Fix You is a brilliant song but Falling runs circles around Fix You and still manages to feel so at home on an album that also contains songs written by the likes of Kylie Minogue, Isabel Guzman and Richard X. It simply seals the deal. Punctures through the need for classification, alienation and correlation. Epic.
Best lyric/bit: Impossible to pick.
Best lyric/bit: Impossible to pick.