July 31, 2008

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Samantha Fox - Midnight Lover

She is best known for the 80's hits "Touch Me (I Want Your Body)" and "Naughty Girls Need Love Too." She has recorded a few songs here and there, including updates of her own classics. The latest single "Midnight Lover" is all new. Written by Kostas Efepoulos (Zante Dilemma), George Georgiou and Samantha herself, this song has a distinct ethnic flavor. It's a hard-hitting dance track. Sam's vocals are great. The lyrics aren't amazing, but they're good. This has been released in Europe so far. It is possible that this song could see success all over the world. Watch Samantha performing this song.

Grade: B+
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Keo Nozari - Rewind

This is his latest single. It is the followup to last year's "Question Of Monogamy". Both songs came from his 2005 Late Nite V.I.P. album. A digital EP with remixes was released a couple weeks ago. In its main version, it's a simple, Dance/Pop track. A little retro. This feels like something George Michael would have done in his prime, however, this is even better. Remixes by The Wideboys and Jody Den Broeder give the track more oomph. Both are Electro/Dance-oriented mixes. Especially Jody's. The main vibe and feel of the original is kept though. Overall, this one has the potential to be a major hit in and out of clubland.

Grade: A

July 29, 2008

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Studio 54 TV Series?

Showtime revels in 'Studio 54' series
Bryan Singer in talks to direct pilot

By Nellie Andreeva
July 28, 2008, 01:00 AM ET
Updated: July 28, 2008, 02:27 AM ET

Neil Meron (left) and Craig Zadan (Getty Images photo) The 1970s era of disco, drugs and excess is coming back with "Studio," a drama series project for Showtime centering on the iconic New York nightclub Studio 54.

The project, from writer Chad Hodge and "Hairspray" producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, is being produced by MRC.

Bryan Singer is in talks to direct the potential pilot if his schedule permits.

"Studio" centers on flamboyant co-founder Steve Rubell and starts off in the months leading to the club's April 1977 opening.

But "Studio," which is in development, will be a fictional series and not a biopic or docudrama. Rubell will be the only real person featured, with the rest of the characters fictional or composites.

"The show is less about the history of Studio 54 than it is about New York in the late '70s, what people were going through, the political and social issues," Hodge said. "Studio 54 is the backdrop for exploring that."

For Hodge, who was born the year the club opened, "Studio" has been a passion project: He's been fascinated with Studio 54 -- or Studio, as it was commonly known -- for a long time.

"When I was about 15, my uncle told me the story of the night he took my grandparents there, complete with all the unnecessary and inappropriate details," he said. "I was hooked (and never again could I look at my grandparents the same way)."

Hodge penned "Studio" on spec and took it to Zadan and Meron, who had given him his first writing job on their ABC series "Veritas."

Zadan and Meron, who had gone to Studio 54 with friend Liza Minnelli, loved the idea.

"It really was a time that has never been seen again," Zadan said. "Socially, politically, everything about it was unique."

Added Meron: "It was the last hurrah before the era of AIDS."

"Studio" also will tap Zadan and Meron's strong musical background. "Music is going to be a very big part of the show," Meron said.

Because of Studio 54's history of hedonism -- it was notorious for rampant sex and drug use -- Hodge, Zadan and Meron took the project to Showtime, where they felt they could best tell the gritty story.

The trio, which executive produces "Studio," said they've been encouraged by the wide acceptance and accolades for another dark period drama, AMC's "Mad Men."

Singer and his producing partner Alex Garcia would exec produce.

"Studio" was packaged by WMA. Meron and Zadan are repped by CAA and attorney Kevin Yorn. Hodge is repped by attorney Michael Fuller and Singer is repped by attorney Dave Feldman.

July 28, 2008

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Nadia Ali - Crash And Burn

Formerly the voice of Dance/Electronic duo iiO (with Markus Moser), Nadia has set out on a solo career. Having appeared on singles by Armin Van Buuren, Lance Jordan and John Creamer with Stephane K, this time, it's her first, proper solo single. "Crash And Burn" does call to mind some of her work with iiO as she was heavily involved in the writing and recording process. This track showcases her ethereal vocals superbly. The main mix is similar in style to the iiO album tracks. The various remixes range from Dance/Electro to epic big room Trance and even a downtempo, chillout mix.

In addition to this song, there's talk of a second iiO album being released towards the end of the Summer which may consist of recordings completed prior to Nadia and Markus' departure from iiO. It is tentatively titled Exit 110.

Overall, this is one of the best releases of the year. This one is sure to be a classic.

Grade: A+

July 22, 2008

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Natasha Bedingfield - Angel

This is the 3rd U.S. single off of Pocketful Of Sunshine. Produced by Rodney Jerkins, this midtempo R&B/Pop song has been a fan favorite since the album's release. This one does call to mind Mary J. Blige's "Be Without You" in some places, however, the songs are very different thematically and lyrically. This one really showcases Natasha's impressive vocals. This one hits radio on August 12.

Grade: A
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Amber & Zelma Davis - No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)

This is indeed a cover of the Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer song, with Clubland legends Amber and Zelma Davis delivering the vocals.

There have been a few covers of this song over the years that have attempted to recapture the magic of the original, but none have been able to do so until now. Kym Mazelle with Jocelyn Brown and k.d. lang with Andy Bell have done covers that were fairly decent.

Pathos V2 and Solar City provide the remixes this time around.

Watch Amber and Zelma talk about how they got together and the process of recording this song. There are also some clips of the song.

The digital release of the mixes will be happening on August 12, 2008. A special limited CD single is going to be made available, however, it is only available if pre-ordered by August 1, 2008 following the directions on this page in the first post by JMCA.

The tracklisting of the single:

01. Pathos V2 Classic Mix (5:12)
02. Pathos V2 Kick Out Radio Edit (3:48)
03. Pathos V2 Kick Out Video Edit (5:11)
04. Solar City Radio Edit (3:53)
05. Solar City Album Edit (5:12)
06. Solar City Epic Mixshow (6:38)
07. Solar City Epic Club Mix 10:49)

Based on the first previews of this song, it sounds quite promising and could prove to be quite successful.

A more thorough review will be posted here after the release happens.
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Sam Sparro - Black And Gold

This is the Australian Pop/Soul/Electronic artist's first single off of his self-titled album. It's a soulful Electronic/Pop song with hints of Disco. The lyrics do have a slight spiritual feel to them, but they work very well. They're uplifting. Sam's vocal performance is very controlled. This is the beginning of a great career for him.

There are some remixes of this song which transform it for the dancefloors. Sanna & Pitron's remix is the mix of choice. It eliminates the chill vibe of the original and replaces it with a great hands in the air, anthem vibe. It's one of the year's best mixes.

The music video is also pretty cool.

Check out both the single and the album. Don't sleep on this one!

Grade: A+

July 13, 2008

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Tina Sugandh - Break Me

The Indian-American singer songwriter is ready to maker her proper U.S. debut. Signed to Razor & Tie, her first album will be released in the late Summer/early Fall. Having gained prominence from exposure on Asian Variety Show, the South Asian version of Entertainment Tonight as a contributor and from her colorful performances. She has contributed songs to some Hollywood movie soundtracks and even sang the theme song for the ABC comedy Hope & Faith. "Break Me" is a Dance/Pop song with plenty of Indian instruments. Sitars, tablas and dholaks are there in plentiful supply. Her vocal performance is pretty good. She could be compared to Shakira in some parts of the song because of some of the vibrato, however, the similarity ends there. This one could be a floorfiller in Dance clubs just as Greek Despina Vandi did with "Gia" nearly four years ago. Remixes by Chris Cox are to be released at the end of the month. Tina is one to look out for in the coming months. Listen to "Break Me" here.

Grade: A

July 6, 2008

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SK8 - Amnesty

After the controversial "Tina" only had lukewarm success in 2006, she has returned with a song that will put her back on top. She began in the early 2000's with the single "My Imagination" which generated a considerable amount of buzz. She followed that one up with "Amazing Grace" and "Nation" in 2002 and 2004 respectively. She even recorded a cover of Madonna's "Crazy For You" in late 2005 which had a main mix by Chris Cox, however, it wasn't very well-received and never saw a proper release. Chris Cox has remixed this one as well. The song is not about immigration issues as the title might suggest. The lyrics are much deeper and bit more intelligent than on her previous offerings. This is her strongest vocal performance to date. The main Cox mix is a dark and tribal, calling to mind some of his work as part of Thunderpuss. Additional mixes available on the CD maxi and digital single. It's an all-around great track.

Grade: A

July 4, 2008

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Charo - Espana Cani

Charo will forever be known for her signature "Cuchi-Cuchi" line made famous on the Love Boat, however she should be remembered for her contributions to music. During the height of Disco music's popularity, Charo released a few singles and an album with the Salsoul Orchestra on the legendary Salsoul label. "Dance A Little Closer" and "Ole Ole" are two somewhat famous songs she did. She has continued her recording career. With the latest single, she takes a step back and doesn't sing or talk on the song. Instead, she plays the guitar. "Espana Cani" is a famous Spanish instrumental piece. Charo has been recording her guitar music for a number of years. This time, it's set to pulsating tribal beats and soaring synths. Aimed at the dancefloors of the world, this song has several remixes in addition to the Dancey original. Twisted Dee, Julian Marsh and Peitor Angell provide the remixes. Twisted Dee's is a hard-hitting tribal stomper that continues in the direction of the original. Julian Marsh's is a bit more Eurodance-sounding, however, it is faithful to the original. Peitor Angell's is a little milder, but the energy level never drops. Additional mixes by Tony Moran have been completed, howver, there are no additional details about a possible release of those. Overall, this package is a must-have. This can be compared in terms of its sheer brilliance to the remix package completed in 2006 for Gustavo Santaolalla's "The Wings" which was the instrumental theme from the movie Brokeback Mountain. Buy the mixes on a CD single or as a digital download here.

Grade: A+
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Mariah Carey - I'll Be Lovin' U Long Time

After "Bye Bye" failed to match the success of "Touch My Body", which has still managed to stick around, the third single from E=MC2 entitled "I'll Be Lovin' U Long Time" has been released. This is a midtempo that is "classic Mariah." It's a smooth vocal track with a great hook. It's too slow to be a clubbanger, but it's a nice end-of-evening song. It feels like something you could listen to while in a convertible or on the beach. The music video ties into the latter theme and is an all around fun video. This one should jump-start the album's momentum which was temporarily lost during the run of "Bye Bye."

Grade: B+
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Metro Station - Shake It

The L.A.-based band has made quite a splash with their clever blend of Rock, Synthpop and Electronica. Their breakout success began after they topped the MySpace Unsigned Bands charts. A record label signed them and their first album was released in the Fall of 2007. Their latest single "Shake It" has begun to get radio airplay and its sales are growing. The song is very 80's sounding. Think of a slightly Dancier Depeche Mode or Erasure with a hint of Talking Heads. The hook is so catchy and the upbeat production is just so much fun.

Grade: B+
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Alphabeat - Boyfriend

The Danish band has already made a rather significant splash in their home country as well as in some of Europe and the UK. After "Fascination" and "Ten Thousand Nights" comes "Boyfriend." It's Electronic/Rock/Pop at its best. The lyrics are just so sugary sweet, as are the vocals of the lead singer. Just as their previous singles have been remixed, this one has been treated in the same fashion. The single is scheduled to be released in August. One remix that is currently being buzzed about on the internet is one done by Pete Hammond, who was responsible for a significant chunk of the Stock Aitken Waterman productions during the 80's and 90's. The mix is done with the same equipment that was used for all the SAW stuff. From the clips, the mix is very faithful to the classic SAW sound and works very well with the song. There's no confirmation on whether this mix will be released, however, it would be a crime against music if this mix were not released. A preview of it can be heard on this page.

Grade: A
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