May 27, 2011

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Bera - Favorite Things

This is the singer/songwriter's new single. Produced by Rob Fusari, the original is a Rock/Electro-Pop midtempo, showcasing his smooth vocals. It is really tough to compare Bera's vocal style to other established acts as his calls to mind so very many at different parts of the song. There's a je ne sais quoi quality to his voice that just clicks. In addition to the super radio friendly original, there are some remixes by Dave Aude. The funky house mixes are piano-driven. The vocals do sound a tad jarring at the higher tempo, but coupled with the lush production, one gets used to it quickly. This is an exciting debut single.

-Watch the music video here (YouTube)
-Listen to the Dave Aude mix here (Soundcloud)

Grade: A

May 25, 2011

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Beyonce - 1 + 1

After the lukewarm reception to the overly hyped "Run The World (Girls)" comes the new single "1 + 1". It is a Pop/Rock ballad, stylistically similar to "If I Were A Boy. It just plods along, leading to a climax that never arrives. Vocally, Beyonce sounds great, but that's about it. The cliched lyrics are just okay as well. This may help get the 4 album era back on track. Overall, this is at best album filler.

Listen to the song:
1+1 - Beyoncé by HDMI44

Purchase the song here (iTunes)

Grade: C+
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Ron Perkov - Be Proud

Just in time for all the Pride celebrations, Ron Perkov is back with a new single. The lyrics are good, but the vocals leave a little to be desired. It is a bit weaker vocally than his previous offerings, however, a number of the remixes manage to save the song. There are remixes by Mike Lorello, Twisted Dee, Giuseppe D, Gustavo Scorpio, Micky Friedmann & Alex Botar, and Mike Cruz. Mike Lorello's mix is a stunning big room stormer.  Twisted Dee's mixes are big room-oriented as well. Her dub is quite good. Giuseppe D's circuit/eurodance hybrid works is pretty and uplifting, as is Gustavo Scorpio's which calls to mind some of Tony Moran's style. Micky Friedmann & Alex Botar's mix is similar with a hint of electro. Mike Cruz's mixes are the mildest of the bunch, being more suited for mixshows and radio. Overall, the Mike Lorello and Giuseppe D mixes are the best, however, every mix is really good.

Grade: A-
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Lula - Master & Servant Part 1

The underground house diva is back with a new S&M-themed track. Lula's voice is even more hypnotic than usual. Armed with mixes by DJ Paulo, Alain Jackinsky, Ralphi Rosario, and David Lara, this one is for the circuit floors. Minimal and techy-tribal, DJ Paulo's main version is like a percapella and would be fun for layering. Paulo's mix with frequent cohort Alain Jackinsky builds with dark stacky riffs and strange effects all throughout it. Ralphi Rosario's mixes are dark and peakhour-oriented. The dub is just fantastic. David Lara's mix is similar to DJ Paulo's first mix, functioning only as a percapella. Overall, the Paulo & Jackinsky and Ralphi mixes are the best. This is another hot one from the Kult stable.

Grade: A
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Matt Zarley - WTF

He is back with a new song about a relationship that went bad. The oft-used expletive makes appearances during the chorus only. The song's impact would be rather similar had another word been used instead. The Dance/Rock song is pretty catchy. The 'parental advisory' vocals appearing at the beginning and middle of the song seem really unnecessary. There are remixes by Cutmore, Mark Picchiotti, Wideboys, and Joe Gauthreaux. Cutmore's big room house mix captures the fun vibe of the original nicely. Mark Picchiotti's mixes are in a similar vein as the original. Going in a more electro direction, the Wideboys mix is good too. Joe Gauthreaux's dubby treatment has lots of fun vocal loops and stuff, but isn't quite as exciting as his usual. The Cutmore and Mark Picchiotti mixes are the best of the bunch.

Grade: B+
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Tony Moran feat Trey Lorenz - Can I Love You More

This is an update to a song Tony previewed a year or so ago with Zhana Saunders as a guest vocalist. Trey and Tony provide the vocals this time around. Their vocals are just lovely. There are plenty of remixes by Tony Moran & Warren Rigg, Mauro Mozart, Ralphi Rosario, Alex Cohen, Max Sanna & Steve Pitron, and Loverush UK. The Tony & Warren extended mix is an energetic circuit anthem. Their Symphony remix takes the anthem factor up several notches. Ralphi's mixes are peak hour-ish, with both the club and dub being great. Mauro Mozart's mix is in a similar vein as the main Tony & Warren mix and is quite good too. Alex Cohen's mellow piano-driven mix is for the circuit too, but is a little lighter. Max Sanna & Steve Pitron's funky electro/house mixes are really good as well. These could fit into circuit sets as well. Loverush UK's mix is similar in style, and works just as well. Overall, every one of these mixes is excellent.

Purchase the digital single here (Masterbeat)

Grade: A+

May 17, 2011

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Nicole Graham - Make Me Jump (Badonkadonk)

This is the singer-songwriter's latest release. This is a playful, club-oriented song. Nicole sings this song in a style which calls to mind other legendary Dance divas including Ultra Naté and Crystal Waters. The song is a joy to listen to from start to finish. The main version is perfect for the clubs and radio. There are additional remixes for the clubs by Klubjumpers, Vincent De Azevedo, DJ Aylen, DJ Bashar, and Junior Vasquez. The Klubjumpers mix fuses current electro and 80's synthpop. Vincent De Azevedo's mix has a similar feel, but is much mroe laidback. DJ Aylen's is much more electro-ish. Taking things in a deeper direction, DJ Bashar's mix has some really rich bass. Last but not least, Junior Vasquez delivers a set of tribal, big room mixes. The dub is lots of fun too. Overall, every mix is really good, including the original. The Junior Vasquez and Klubjumpers mixes are the standouts.

Listen to clips and purchase the remixes here (iTunes)

Grade: A-

May 16, 2011

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Lady Gaga - Hair

This is the latest song to be premiered from her Born This Way album which is due for a release next week. It is the second of two iTunes countdown singles. "Hair" is also an uptempo. It starts off almost beatless and then builds up. Thankfully, this one is a bit different from the other singles released so far. Vocally, it's really good. It doesn't leave that much of a lasting impression. This functions better as an album track.

Listen to the song here (YouTube)

Grade: B+

May 13, 2011

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Martin Clancy & The Witness Protection Programme - You Can't Stop The Rain

After last year's "Flat Foot" comes the latest neo-Disco offering entitled "You Can't Stop The Rain." Just as infectious as the previous single, this one is a little more modern. The bassline has a mid 80's hi nrg feel to it. The vocals are light and airy. The main version is lovely. There are remixes for this by Richard Morel, Timmy Loop, Stonebridge, Emjae, Chris Cox, Matt Joko, and DJ Yiannis. Richard's mix is soft and light Disco. Timmy Loop's mix is similar to the original, but the bassline is more prominent. Stonebridge's funky house treatment is bassline driven too. Emjae's vocal mix has a fun electro swing beat production. The dub is more circuit-oriented. The remaining three are circuit-oriented. Chris Cox's mix has a darker bassline harder synths, while the Matt Joko mix has some electro/tribal elements. DJ Yiannis' mix is very tribal too. Overall, every single mix is really good. It's very rare that every mix manages to be so thoroughly enjoyable. The Richard Morel, Stonebridge, and Chris Cox mixes are the standouts in addition to the original.

Grade: A+

May 9, 2011

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Lady Gaga - The Edge Of Glory

After the surprising underperformance of the pseudo-religious "Judas" comes the new single "The Edge Of Glory." Even though many are reporting this to be just a promo only single release as part of her iTunes countdown, radio has already given this a better reception in a couple of hours than it did to "Judas." The 80's synthpop mixed with Eurodance song is much stronger lyrically than the previous two singles. It's also much catchier. It is cheesey at times and slightly cliched, but it's an all around great choice for a single if it were to officially become one.

Listen to the song here (YouTube)
Buy the original version here (iTunes)

Grade: A

May 7, 2011

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Solange - Left Side Drive

This shares the name and production of the Boards Of Canada song. Although it was reportedly recorded a couple of years ago, it has only surfaced during the last week. Writtent and performed by Solange, her vocals are simply sublime. Although she is not generally known for her vocal prowess, her vocals sound really amazing. The production on the song is very sparse and atmospheric. It's so hypnotic. It sounds like something you would hear in a coffee shop. Whether or not it's released, it was great that it surfaced in some fashion.

Listen to the song here:
LEFT SIDE DRIVE by solange-knowles

Grade: A+
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Nicki French - Total Eclipse Of The Heart 2011

The British singer covered the Bonnie Tyler power ballad in mid 90's and was really successful. This one is back again after another revisit in 2006. The vocals sound different from the 90's release. Most of the new mixes are Euro Hi Nrg-oriented. The Glamma Euro mixes resemble Almighty's usual mixes with a slightly greater Eurodance sound. The Total Bromance mixes are similar, however, they add a piano line nearly identical to the Mobius Loop mix from the 90's release. The Matt Pop mixes have a slightly cheesier feel, resembling the Definitive style mixes Almighty did in the early 2000's. The Twilight mix is downtempo, featuring just Nicki's vocals and a piano. Overall, this update wasn't really necessary, however, the mixes are quite good. The Matt Pop mixes are the best of the bunch.

Listen to clips of the mixes here (Amazon)

Grade: A-

May 5, 2011

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Enrique Iglesias - Dirty Dancer

Culled from his Euphoria album, this one also follows his recent trend of featuring some hot artists of the moment. Usher was on the original album version. Lil Wayne and Nayer join them on this new version. The production has been changed up a bit and is a lot more club-oriented. Lil Wayne doesn't add much to the song and could have been left out. Overall, this new version packs a greater punch and should do pretty well in the U.S. just as his last few singles have.

Listen to the new version here (YouTube)

Grade: A-
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Katy Perry - Last Friday Night (TGIF)

This is the 5th single off of her mega successful Teenage Dream album. After a bit of a departure with the edgy "E.T." , "Last Friday Night (TGIF)" is in the same vein as the album's first two singles. It is just as catchy and fun. Lyrically, it bears some resemblance to "Waking Up In Vegas" from her previous album, however, this is not a rehash. The sax break and chanting of "T-G-I-F" are a little campy and are cute touches. This is a perfect choice as it is just in time for Summer.

Purchase the song here (iTunes)

Grade: A-

May 1, 2011

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Faith Michaels feat Camuso - Fetish

Drag performer Faith Michaels makes her clubland debut with "Fetish". Very much in the vein of Shine's spoken word over a circuit production "Stimulating & Exciting" from 1999, this one is just as sexy. There are remixes by Twisted Dee, DJ Paulo, J Zuart, and DJ Polyak. Twisted Dee's mix is very dark and sleazy. DJ Paulo's tribal take is much more peak hour-ish. J Zuart's mix is similar in style of Paulo's mix, but with some interesting builds and drops. DJ Polyak's mix has an 80's synthpop undercurrent while remaining tribal. All of these mixes are circuit-oriented. All of the mixes are really good, however, the DJ Polyak one stands out.

Check out the music video here (YouTube) NSFW
Purchase the single here (Amazon)

Grade: A-
 
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