March 30, 2008

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Matt Pokora - Dangerous

He began his career in late 2003 when he was part of a group spawned by the French version of Popstars. He went solo shortly after. After a string of successful albums and singles in French, he has finally recorded an English one. Entitled MP3, he has worked with mega producer Timbaland on some of the tracks. It was released on March 24. The lead single "Dangerous", featuring Timbaland and Sebastian has already gotten a lot of buzz on the internet. It feels like something that would have been on Justin Timberlake's last album, but this one stands on its own. His vocals are very clear and fresh. It's hard to not compare the two of them in terms of their general sound, image and overall look, however, the similarities end there. He has what it takes to crossover into the U.S., however, he may have to do what other artists have done and record some additional songs to replace some that may not work as well here. Overall, his album could work in it's original configuration.

Grade: B+

March 29, 2008

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Ne-Yo - Closer

After having had a string of successes through his own singles and songs he wrote for other artists, he's back with a new single off of his next album that is sure to replicate the success he has had. The latest one entitled "Closer" is an uptempo, House/R&B hybrid. The sounds of clubland are slowly trickling into some of the recent R&B and Hip Hop singles and he has continued with that after the Stargate-produced "Because Of You." This one isn't excessively club-oriented, but with an extended mix, it could possibly work in that environment. The vocals are smooth and emotive as usual. U.S. radio stations have begun to pick up on this one. An R&B remix of this one that tones down some of the beats could do the trick on some stations that are not quick to embrace this one. But given the success of Rihanna's recent "Don't Stop The Music", they probably will eventually.

Grade: A-

March 27, 2008

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Madonna - 4 Minutes (Remix Update)

The iTunes and Amazon releases of "4 Minutes" happened just 2 days ago. The song is already at number 2 on the iTunes sales chart, along with two other versions that are at other positions. On Amazon, the song has topped their MP3 store charts.

Remixes by Peter Rauhofer, Junkie XL, Bob Sinclar and Tracy Young will be on the U.S. CD maxi to be released on April 29. A digital release may happen in two weeks.

Listen to both Junkie XL mixes here.

A special event is being held in New York tomorrow night at Highline Ballroom. Peter Rauhofer will be DJing. And he will be premiering the 3 remixes he did for "4 Minutes" (in New York, Paris and London flavors). Get all the details here.

March 19, 2008

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Nelly featuring Fergie - Party People

This mega duet has had considerable buzz even before it was first heard. This one is to hit radio in the next few days. It is an uptempo Urban club-banger that is sure to be with us for the rest of the Spring and throughout the Summer. The song is really busy-sounding, however, in a club environment, that won't matter so much. Fergie's hook is really catchy and sexy. With the right video and proper promotion, this one has the potential to be massive.

Grade: B+

March 14, 2008

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Rihanna - Take A Bow

This is not a remake of the Madonna ballad from Bedtime Stories. This is the just-announced single off of the May 27 re-release of her acclaimed 3rd album Good Girl Gone Bad. So far, this is the only new song on the re-release. Additional bonuses may be announced in the coming weeks. "Take A Bow" is a ballad a la Beyonce's "Irreplaceable." It is written by Ne-Yo and Stargate who also were a part of that song. It is also thematically similar, however, this is not simply a knock-off or carbon copy. While this one isn't overly new, it is decent. Rihanna's vocals have improved considerably since her last album and they are showcased nicely on this one.

Listen to it here.

Grade: B+
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Madonna - 4 Minutes (an update)

"4 Minutes", the lead single off of Madonna's next studio album Hard Candy will be officially hitting radio airwaves in the U.S. on Monday, March 17!!

Don't forget to request it on your favorite stations!

The digital download release will happen on March 25, 2008 through stores such as Amazon and iTunes.
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Britney Spears - Break The Ice

This is the 3rd single from the fallen Pop-tart's latest album Blackout. Since the album was released, this has been a fan favorite, and now it is a single. The Electro/Pop vibe of the original will translate well into Dance remixes. A number of official remixes are coming soon.

The video premiered a couple days back. It is an anime styled video

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Don Philip - There Is No Us

Some may remember Don Philip from Pop icon Britney Spears' debut album ...Baby One More Time. He was featured on the song "I Will Still Love You." He was signed to a major label, but after the lead single didn't fare well, he was dropped. He continued to record. He is back with a new album and the stunning single "There Is No Us", a ballad. In addition to the main version, there are several forthcoming remixes by Whitechild, Tony Moran and Junior Vasquez. The Whitechild mix is currently streaming on Don's MySpace. It is a simple, straightforward circuit mix. It complements the ballad type arrangement of the original. The song works better as a dance mix.

Grade: A-

March 9, 2008

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BWO - Lay Your Love On Me

This is the Swedish Dance/Electro trio's entry into Melodifestivalen 2008. This is their 3rd entry. Previous entries included "Gone" and "Temple Of Love." An uptempo, retro Electro/Disco song, this one is significantly catchier than the previous attempts. It immediately calls to mind the instrumental portions under the verses in Madonna's international hit "Hung Up" (which sampled from Abba's "Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight)"). The soaring strings are a great touch. Martin's vocals are fresh. Overall, this song has the makings of a big hit. Hopefully this one will take the Melodifestivalen 2008.

Grade: A

Watch the video:

March 3, 2008

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Offer Nissim featuring Maya - Happy People

This is the latest single from the Israeli duo who brought us a number of club hits including "Searching", "First Time", "Perfect Love" and many more. This one has had considerable buzz since Offer began playing this last year at his many club engagements. The song is a semi-cover of the mid-90's European hit "Happy People" by Prince Ital Joe and Marky Mark. The main hook and some of the instrumental sounds are kept in this remake, however, there are new lyrics by Maya that make up the verse in between the choruses. The dubbish style track is very uplifting and happy. It would be a good fit as a set opener or later on in the middle. It looks like this one will still be getting tons of spins into the Pride events coming up in the next few weeks. Purchase the main version here. Listen to the edit here.

Grade: A+
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