April 21, 2015

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Janelle Monáe & Jidenna - Yoga

The avant garde R&B singer-songwriter is back with a suggestive new single about the popular Indian exercise discipline. It is re-purposed as an erotic dance here. Janelle's vocals and sinewy and sensual throughout as is twerking-ready production. Newcomer Jidenna joins her during the middle of the song, giving the song a fun feel. The lyrics are clever and over the top, but that's what makes this song enjoyable.

-Watch the sexy music video here (YouTube)
-Purchase the song here (iTunes)

Grade: A
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Adam Lambert - Ghost Town

Newly signed to the Warner Bros. label, the American Idol alum has released the lead single from his 3rd album The Original High. Produced by Pop wunderkind Max Martin, the song fuses Acoustic and Folk elements with 90s House. The deep bassline that comes in 1/3 of the way through the song is reminiscent of Marc Kinchen's signature sound which has recently made a comeback. Adam's vocals sound fantastic from the ballad sections to the uptempo sections. It's one of the strongest singles he has released in a long time.

Listen to the song here (YouTube)

Grade: A

April 16, 2015

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Madonna - Ghosttown (Remixes)

This is the second single from her critically acclaimed Rebel Heart. The song had been a favorite when it was released as part of the first 6 in late December of 2014. The power ballad is a post-apocalyptic love song (the cinematic music video released last week plays up that post-apocalyptic angle) and has one of the best vocals on it that she has done in a long time. Remixes have also been produced. Dirty Pop, Don Diablo, Mike Cruz, and Thrill. Dirty Pop provides a straightforward Electro/Pop mix. Don Diablo's heavy Electro mix has some nice moments when the vocals come in, but the emotional aspect of the original doesn't translate well. Mike Cruz's circuit mix brings the energy but the production doesn't go with the vocals. Thrill's mix has a good production but it doesn't go with the vocals either.

Listen to the mixes here (YouTube)

Grade: A+ (for the original)
Grade: C (for the remixes)


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Giorgio Moroder feat. Sia - Deja Vu

This is the latest track to be released from the legendary producer's new album featuring a variety of collaborations with today's hottest singers. Sia performs vocals on this gorgeous, uplifting tracks that recalls Giorgio's work on Donna Summer's celebrated Once Upon A Time. Sia has performed vocals on songs in different genres throughout the years, and she does them all perfectly. She sounds like a mysterious Disco diva on this.

Listen to the song here (Direct Lyrics)

Grade; A

March 25, 2015

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Danny G Italy - Never Stop EP

This is the inaugural release from the Gonna Be Records label. It's an EP containing some progressive and big room oriented tracks. The title song starts things off with a haunting male vocal drop in the middle. It's atmospheric and driving. "Oblivion" is next with a 90s piano hook throughout it. "Running Out Of Time" is a dark peak hour track, also with a nice vocal drop in the middle. The EP closes with an instrumental version of the title track. Overall, this is a solid collection of tracks.

Listen to clips and purchase here (Beatport)

Grade: A

March 21, 2015

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Chic feat. Nile Rodgers - I'll Be There

Chic was a much celebrated Disco/R&B group that had a string of radio and club hits. Their sound has influenced countless Dance and R&B songs. Nile Rodgers made a comeback of sorts working with Daft Punk and Pharell Williams on "Get Lucky" and with Adam Lambert on "Lay Me Down" and "Shady." This is the lead single from Chic's first album in over 2 decades. The gorgeous single picks up exactly where Chic left off back in the day. It could have easily been on one of their earlier albums, but it also could have been made and released now. It has a timeless quality to it. The new record is expected to feature some previously unreleased, unfinished material that has recently been completed.

Listen to a clip and purchase here (iTunes)

Grade: A+

March 20, 2015

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Calvin Harris feat Ellie Goulding - Outside (Barry Harris Remix)

Although it was released in October, the song has only recently begun to smash. The original does not deviate much from Calvin's usual, however, it is a nice slice of Dance/Pop. There have been dozens of remixes, however, the best remix by Barry Harris only surfaced a couple of days back. Barry has done his mix in an early 90s Handbag House style with lots of happy piano elements. Ellie's vocals float beautifully over the lush production.

Listen to the remix and download it here:


Grade: A+
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Jason DeRulo - Want To Want Me

This is the lead single from the red hot popstar who had a massive year last year with a string of radio friendly hits. He hops on the throwback bandwagon, going for an 80s synthpop sound. He sings in falsetto for the majority of the song, giving it an even more retro feel. The song is super catchy and has a familiar feel to it. It is a surefire smash waiting to happen.

-Listen to the song here (YouTube)
-Buy the song here (iTunes)

Grade: A

March 10, 2015

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Mama Tits - Bad Girls

This is the new single from drag performer Mama Tits. The hooky song is oodles of fun with its playful attitude and divalicious backing vocals. The main vocals recall the late great Divine. There are several remixes by Groove Addix, SLM, and Wayne Numan. The Groove Addix mix is in a Deep House style and is uplifting. SLM's mix is funkier and more suited for mainstream play. Wayne Numan brings it on his meatier peak hour mix. All 3 mixes are hot.

Listen and purchase here (TraxSource)

Grade: A

February 26, 2015

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Ty Dolla $ign feat. Charli XCX & Tinashe - Drop That Kitty

This unlikely collaboration of a rapper, a Dance/Pop siren, and R&B songstress may sound strange, but it all somehow works on this Stargate and Cashmere Cat produced club banger. It is super sexy with its hypnotic beat and synths. Charl XCX chants the naughty hook while Tinashe sings the bridge. The overly autotune rap is surprisingly tame for a song about this subject. Overall, this is a fun song that should be everywhere in the next few months.

Listen to the song here (YouTube)

Grade: A-
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Calvin Harris feat. HAIM - Pray To God

This is the 6th single from the Scottish DJ/producer's latest album Motion. Pop/Rock trio HAIM provides the vocals on this rousing song. The song does not deviate that much from the group's own material but it has a slightly harder edge that is characteristic of Calvin's usual. There is an alternate remix co-produced by Calvin Harris and Mike Pickering (formerly of British Dance/Pop group M People). The remix is cut from the same cloth as M People's brand of mainstream yet underground House music in the mid 90s. The song lends itself well to that style of production and is a joy to listen to. Part of the alternate hook from the bridge is brought out in the remix and used as a loop. This is brought out further in the extended version.

-Watch the music video for the original here (YouTube)
-Listen to the Calvin Harris vs Mike Pickering remix here (YouTube)

Grade: A

February 25, 2015

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Tony Moran feat. Martha Wash - Free People (Vol 1)

The legendary big voiced diva has teamed up with Tony Moran once again for another uplifting club track. The main version produced by Tony Moran and longtime collaborator Warren Rigg is big room-oriented with big synths. Martha's vocals are fantastic. The first of two volumes of remixes has been released and features an all star lineup including Antony Reale, Cruelty, Funky Junction, Giuseppe D, The Noisemakers, Rene Ablaze, Splashfunk, Laera & Jeyjon, Victor Dinaire & Bissen, and Yinon Yahel. Antony Reale & Funky Junction deliver a big room-oriented House mix which feels like a meatier Freemasons remix. Cruelty provides a 90s Rave meets Handbag House remix. Giuseppe D's piano-heavy is especially hard-hitting and beautiful. The Noisemakers mix is in a soft House style. Coming out of left field is Rene Ablaze's epic big room Trance remix which uses only a limited amount of vocals. Splashfunk, Laera, and Jeyjon's mix is also piano-heavy. Victor Dinaire & Bissen deliver something techy. Yinon Yahel's mix is dark and dramatic. Overall, Giuseppe D and Rene Ablaze's mixes are the best of the bunch.

Listen to clips and purchase here (iTunes)

Grade: A

February 13, 2015

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Novaspace feat. Drea Delacruz - Gravity

The Swedish producer/DJ has a brand new single out. It is in a similar vein as earlier singles. The Electro/Pop track has a stellar vocal by singer Drea Delacruz. The big room production will make this one a floorfiller in the coming months.

Listen to the song here:
Grade: A

February 12, 2015

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Amor Kismet - Radar

This is the debut single from the sister trio. It is a delightful throwback to 90s House music with Pop sensibilities. They showcase their gorgeous vocals over the lush piano-laden production. This one is super catchy and has the potential to be a big hit in the clubs and eventually cross over to radio.

Listen to the song here:


The group has an EP which can be previewed here (YouTube) and the songs can be heard in full here (Soundcloud)

Grade: A

February 4, 2015

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Madonna - Rebel Heart (Review)

The highly anticipated 13th studio album from the Queen Of Pop is slated to be released next month, and there are rumors it may be moved up to next week to coincide with her Grammy Awards performance on Sunday.

Madonna began work on this album last year. She was very active on Instagram throughout that year documenting her process with many collaborators including Alicia Keys, Avicii, Diplo, Kanye West, Mozella, Nas, Natalia Kills, Nicki Minaj, Ryan Tedder, Toby Gad, and many others.

Nearly a week before Christmas, a number of unfinished demos and work in progress versions of songs from the album leaked online forcing Madonna and her team to release the first 6 songs as 'instant downloads' when fans pre-ordered the album on iTunes. The lead single "Living For Love" was one of the songs to be released then. A full remix package has also been released and a music video is in the works. The album was originally envisioned as a concept project with two discs each containing a particular them with one being "Rebel Heart" with the more socially conscious and emotional songs and then "Unapologetic Bitch" with the more playful and light-hearted songs. That concept was abandoned due to the leaks and it is now one album going back and forth between the themes.

Here is a track by track writeup.

 
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