January 29, 2008

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Snoop Dogg - Sensual Seduction (Part Deux)

Snoop's latest offering "Sensual Seduction" ("Sexual Eruption") has been climbing up the charts. It is impossible to go anywhere without hearing (or seeing) it. In an effort to keep it fresh, two remixes have been completed that preserve the feel and vibe of the original, but add something new. The first mix features rapper Lil' Kim. Her minimal portions are raunchy and explicit as expected, however, she keeps the profanity to a minimum. The unexpected twist comes in the form of the second remix which features Swedish Pop starlet Robyn, who most notably had a handful of hits in the U.S. during the mid 90's. She recently hit it big in Europe with her recent album. That album is to be released in the U.S. in the next few months. Aside from the added Electronica elements, it doesn't stray too far from the original. Robyn's lyrics are actually naughtier than Lil' Kim's!!! Some would wonder how that is possible, but it happened here. It's an unlikely pairing, but it works well. Both mixes freshen up the track very well. Hopefully both will be properly released since they are really worth our while.

Lil' Kim Remix
Grade: A-

Robyn Remix
Grade: A+

January 27, 2008

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Pulse Platinum Edition

The Pulse compilation from the early 2000's is back! A U.S. release of this is to happen on January 29. A single disc version was released in 2001 into most stores while an expanded version was sold via the MusicSpace website and through ads on television.

This is not just a re-release of the original one. Although the majority of the songs are the same, some have been switched. Overall, this is a good buy considering that all the songs are unmixed and are more or less in their hit versions. Some of them could have been in their harder-to-find single versions, but for the most part they are.

Disc 1
01 Get Ready For This | 2 Unlimited
02 Another Night | The Real McCoy
03 Show Me Love | Robin S. (Stonebridge Mix)
04 I'm Gonna Get You | Bizarre Inc. (Original Flavour Mix)
05 Please Don't Go | KWS (Sunshine Mix)
06 Mr. Vain | Culture Beat (Intense Mix)
07 Rhythm Of The Night | Corona (Rapino Bros 7" Single)
08 Tonight Is The Night | Le Click
09 Strike It Up | Black Box
10 Beautiful Life | Ace Of Base
11 Total Eclipse Of The Heart | Nicki French (Mobius Loop Mix)
12 Wiggle It | 2 In A Room
13 Dreamer | Livin Joy
14 Movin On Up | M People (Master Mix)
15 Cotton Eyed Joe | Rednex

Disc 2
01 Rhythm Is A Dancer | Snap! (Original Radio Edit)
02 Call Me | Le Click
03 Finally | CeCe Peniston (7" Choice Mix)
04 Everybody's Free (To Feel Good) | Rozalla
05 100% Pure Love | Crystal Waters
06 This Is Your Night | Amber
07 James Brown Is Dead | L.A. Style
08 Gonna Make You Sweat | C+C Music Factory
09 Move This | Technotronic (Hit Mix)
10 What Is Love? | Haddaway
11 Boom Boom Boom | Outhere Brothers (U.S. Clean Version)
12 More And More | Captain Hollywood Project (Single Version)
13 Your Loving Arms | Billy Ray Martin
14 Run Away | The Real McCoy
15 Set U Free | Planet Soul (St. John Radio Edit)

Grade: A (Great price, great song choice, and it's unmixed!)

January 20, 2008

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Erin Hamilton - The Flame 2008

She burst onto the club scene in the later part of the 90's with a string of successful singles and an album. After a brief, 6 year break, she is back with updated mixes of her cover of Cheap Trick's "The Flame." This is the first artist/single release from MasterBeat Records, previously known for their circuit compilations. They recently rang in the new year with a launch of a new digital download store. This was one of the first digital releases on the site. While the original set of mixes were quite great, this new set is comparable. The Tony Moran & Warren Rigg and Twisted Dee mixes stay true to the mellow Circuit vibe of the original ones. The Solar City (a new mix) Manny Lehman, Jose Spinnin and Offer Nissim ones are quite good as well. A CD maxi with all of the new mixes, except one of them, was released last week. The full digital single is available at MasterBeat exclusively.

Grade: A- (overall)
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Kylie Minogue - Wow

This is the second UK single off of her comeback album X. The heavy electro-pop track is much catchier than the previous single "2 Hearts", however, it may take several listens to get into it. A watered-down version has been made as the radio edit. It's just okay. The really noteworthy mix of this is by CSS (Cansei De Ser Sexy). Some of the extra electro edge has been shaved off in favor of a more subdued production. They give the song a nice 80's synth-pop feel. This takes the song up several notches. Additional mixes by David Guetta with Joachim Garraud and MSTRKRFT make the song a bit clubbier. The instrumental hook from the original is kept to some degree in all the mixes.

Grade: B

CSS Remix
Grade: A+

Guetta & Garraud Mix
Grade: A-

Grade: B+

January 18, 2008

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Mariah Carey's new album

There have been all kinds of rumors and speculation surrounding the much-anticipated followup to The Emancipation Of Mimi. Finally there is some information from an industry publication about the title, some of the songs and who worked on the album.
Mariah Rolls With T-Pain, Dupri On New Album
January 18, 2008, 1:05 PM ET
Mark Sutherland, London

Mariah Carey has set an April 1 release date for the follow-up to her mega-selling album "The Emancipation of Mimi," which was the biggest selling album of 2005. Dubbed "That Chick," the set features production from Jermaine Dupri, will.i.am and Rodney Jerkins, plus collaborations with the likes of T-Pain and Damian Marley. The album veers between breezy pop tunes like "Lovin' You Long Time" and the title track, ballads like "Love Story" and urban club bangers like the standout "Migrate." The latter features T-Pain in a guest slot, providing the counterpoint to Carey's anthemic "single girls on the town" lyrics with the killer line: "Don't wait for me to buy drinks, or you're going to dehydrate." Other highlights include the frisky R&B of "Touch My Body," with Carey cooing, "If there's a camera up in here then I best not catch this flick on YouTube," and the catchy "OOC" -- short for "out of control." There's also a new sound for Carey on "Cruise Control," which features Marley and sees the artist try her hand at Jamaican patois. "It's kind of strange but I heard a lot of her records and it sound like the album is better than the last album," Dupri recently told Billboard. Additional reporting by Clover Hope

Here is the track list for "That Chick":

"Lovin' You Long Time"
"Touch My Body"
"That Chick"
"Thanx for Nothin'"
"For the Record"
"Cruise Control"
"Love Story"
"Bye Bye"
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Paula Abdul - Dance Like There's No Tomorrow

This premiered earlier today on L.A.'s KIIS FM. The American Idol judge made a brief appearance on Ryan Seacrest's morning to talk about her new single and that rumored Super Bowl performance, which is now confirmed! This is Paula's first single in over a decade. The single is a mixture of the pumping Dance/Pop that put her on top of the charts for much of the late 80's and early 90's. It does sound slightly dated, but that adds to the charm of the song. Paula's vocals are still pretty decent. This one is screaming for a hot video. Let's hope they get it right.

Grade: A-

January 11, 2008

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Karen Young - Hot Shot (2007 remixes)

Nearly 29 years have passed since this classic was originally released on the legendary West End label. In this age of remixes and remakes being released all the time, it was only appropriate that the original vocals by the original artist were used for an update. MaxRoxx Music is behind this update. Andy Kahn and Kurt Borusiewicz, who originally wrote the song were part of the project. MaxRoxx provide a nice Almighty-styled mix that isn't overproduced. It's just right. The other main mix is by Ralphi Rosario with Craig J. It is not in the hard, thumping anthem style that some of us might have been hoping for. It's very soulful. However, it is a Latin house styled mix with some really lovely percussion. Clocking in at almost 12 minutes, it never gets boring. The use of all the vocals and ad-libs make this one especially enjoyable. The instrumental sections are sublime. In addition to 2 dubs of the MaxRoxx version, there is a remastered version of the original disco version. It sounds very fresh and revitalized. Great addition to the package.

Grade: B+ (would have been higher had there been a couple more mixes, whether from the original release or new ones)

MaxRoxx mix
Grade: B+

Ralphi Rosario & Craig J mix
Grade: A- (would be A+ if a shorter mixshow length version was included as well)

1978 Bottom Up mix
Grade: A+ (including a freshened up version of a disco classic is always welcome)
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Santana featuring Chad Kroeger - Into The Night

This one has been out for several months now and has done fairly well. While many are familiar with the original, there are some remixes which improve upon the original significantly. Tommie Sunshine's mixes are his usual Dance-Rock style. However, this style fits the vocals of the song perfectly. Many of the instrumental elements from the original are kept in this mix. This mix is not excessively Dancey so this one could be a good fit on mainstream radio, however, it is Dancey enough that it would fit in radio mixshows. Rising newcomer Exacta provides a similarly accessible mix which would be perfect for club play. The string loops that appear throughout the mix are sublime. Very retro-sounding. And the beats are just hard enough.

Grade: B-

Tommie Sunshine remix
Grade: A-

Exacta mix
Grade: A+

January 7, 2008

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Brian Anthony - WhatsitgonnaB? (I'm So Ready)

While he may be almost unknown to the majority of us, he has slowly gained a significant following online. His latest single "WhatsitgonnaB? (I'm So Ready)" was recently featured in the movie Fantastic Four 2: Rise Of The Silver Surfer. This midtempo R&B/Dance clubbanger has been remixed for the clubs and Dance radio by Chus & Ceballos, Albert Castillo, Rui Da Silva, Rod Carillo and Chris Noxx. The original has the feel of something the Backstreet Boys would have done during their heyday. While the vocals aren't the greatest, they are rather hypnotic. The chorus and pre-chorus are really infectious. Of the remixes, Chus & Ceballo's are really dubbish use just a few vocals samples and ad-libs making it a whole other track. The minimal sound fits really well. Albert Castillo's mixes are more circuit/funky house-ish. He uses all the vocals. The synths from the original, just manipulated a little are there. This one has the greatest club and radio potential. Rui Da Silva and Rod Carillo's are a bit more underground-sounding, but are interesting also. The Chris Noxx mix is in a similar vein as the original. It has harder synths and other little embellishments. Overall, this is a decent package.

Grade: B+

Chus & Ceballos mixes
Grade: B

Albert Castillo mixes
Grade: A-

Rui Da Silva mix
Grade: C+

Rod Carillo mix
Grade: B-

Chris Noxx mix
Grade: A-

January 2, 2008

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Darren Hayes - Me, Myself And (I)

This is 3rd single off of his latest double album This Delicate Thing We've Made. This is one of several songs on the album with a recurring theme about time and time machines, however, the theme is utilized very well. It's a bit unusual, but it works. Darren's falsetto-tinged vocals on this one are perfect. And his little rap in the middle actually doesn't sound out of place. The video for this one is quite appropriate and straightforward. Very colorful.

There are plenty of remixes for this one. The Wayne G. & Andy Allder 80's Mix is very retro-electro and immediately calls to mind Madonna's "Lucky Star." It's a very appropriate use of those styled elements. The 7th Heaven Mix has elements that call to mind "You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)" by Dead Or Alive. It's also a lot of fun.

Album version
Grade: A

80's Mix
Grade: A+

7th Heaven Mix
Grade: A+
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Kristine W. - The Boss

This has been in the works since early 2006. In June of 2006, Junior Vasquez played a few minutes of a version him and Fumi Kondoh had been working on during his XM radio mixshow. From then until recently, there have been very mentions of this project. But just a few weeks ago, it was announced that a full release of this Diana Ross cover would be happening. As of a couple days ago, it was announced that fans can pre-order a special CD single of remixes of this on Kristine W.'s website. The actual release is scheduled for February of this year. There had also been word that the digital release would precede the CD release on January 1 of this year on Masterbeat.com however, that may be delayed for a few more days until the site is launched.

The lineup of mixers on this one is particularly good. Johnny Vicious, Tracy Young, Paul Goodyear, Love To Infinity, Jamie J. Sanchez, Wayne G. and the Perry Twins. There could still be more.

The CD maxi has the following tracklisting.

01. Love To Infinity Radio Edit (3:52)
02. Tracy Young Radio Edit (4:16)
03. Johnny Vicious Radio Edit (4:25)
04. Paul Goodyear Radio Edit (3:19)
05. Jamie J. Sanchez Frisco Radio Mix (3:42)
06. Love in the Club Mix (6:46)
07. Tracy Young Big Club Mix (10:07)
08. Paul Goodyear Circuit Mix (9:34)
09. Paul Goodyear Funky Downunder Mix (7:43)
10. Too Vicious Club Mix (8:22)
11. Jamie J. Sanchez After Midnight Club Mix (9:13)
12. Emoticon Chill Mix (4:16)

Based on the 2006 Junior version, the vocals were quite good. Very faithful to Diana's original, but of course, Kristine nails it. Look out for this one really soon.
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Suzanne Palmer - Fame

Nearly a few months have passed since DJ Bill Bennett brought us an anthemic cover of Big Pig's "Breakaway" featuring the vocals of Inaya Day. Another cover will be the followup. This time it is "Fame" originally by Irene Cara. Circuit diva Suzanne Palmer is the vocalist on this one. Some have said it was almost blasphemy to cover such a classic. The same has been said about many covers that turned out fine. And this one is no exception. Ms. Palmer nails it. Comparisons will definitely be made between the original and this new cover, but this cover is totally comparable. A release of this cover with some additional club-ready mixes by Bill Bennett will happen in a few weeks. This is yet another single off of his forthcoming mega album Big Muscle Of The Rhythm. Songs featuring the vocals of Thea Austin, Pepper MaShay, Lonnie Gordon, Celeda, Marty Thomas, Noa Tylo and others will be on the album. Check out the radio mix at Bill's MySpace.

Grade: A-

January 1, 2008

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Fergie - Finally

Pop phenom Fergie performed this ballad last night during her set of songs during the Dick Clark's Rockin' Eve on ABC. Host Ryan Seacrest mentioned that this was the next single off of her smash solo The Dutchess. There is no confirmation on whether this will actually be the next single, but this would make for a perfect end to a really great solo debut era. Check out this video of Fergie doing this song on the Tyra Banks show
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Happy New Year!

Dear Readers of this Blog,

I want to begin by wishing you all a very happy and prosperous new year! The last year went by sooo quickly! Overall, last year was decent year for music, and it looks like things can only get better this year. Many new releases will be happening in the coming weeks and months.

This blog will continue to be updated during the next few days. I know I haven't been that good about it in the last few weeks. December is a really crazy time of month for. I'm sure many of you can relate.

Again, Happy New Year!

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