January 29, 2009

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Taylor Swift - Love Story

This is the first proper single from her second album Fearless. The midtempo original is absolutely stunning. The song's title is perfectly descriptive of what she is singing about. The original is a nice traditional Country/Pop track. A Pop Mix was done, toning down some of the Country elements. It is a bit more Pop/Rock. It preserves the integrity of the original though. This is a good thing. Those who may have refrained from trying out Taylor Swift's music will want to give this a listen. They may get into her non-remixed songs.

Some Dance remixes for the clubs have been done by Digital Dog and J-Stax. Both emphasize the vocals, however, the J-Stax one does it a lot more effectively.

-Listen to the album version here (YouTube)
-Listen to the Pop Mix here (YouTube)
-Listen to the Digital Dog mix here (YouTube)
-Listen to the J-Stax mix here (YouTube)

Grade: A

January 26, 2009

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Alina - When You Leave (Numa Numa)

"Dragostea Din Tei" was originally released by Moldovan boyband O-Zone in 2004. It was a pretty big hit all over the world. It got some attention in the U.S. via that video made by Gary Brolsma. Shortly after, Dan Balan of O-Zone teamed up with singer Lucas Prata to record an English version. It had minimal success in the U.S. In 2008, T.I. and Rihanna's "Live Your Life" sampled some of the O-Zone song and it gave it some more attention. "When You Leave (Numa Numa)" is basically a cover of the English version with some slight changes to the lyrics. While it isn't overly special, it is fun. She brings a little freshness to this. The production by Basshunter works quite well with this song.

Watch the video here (YouTube)

Grade: B

January 21, 2009

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Cahill featuring Nikki Belle - Sex Shooter

This is their latest single, which happens to be a cover...again. This time, they take on Apollonia 6's "Sex Shooter" which originally came out in 1984. Apollonia 6 was basically Vanity 6 (best known for "Nasty Girl") with Apollonia replacing Vanity (nee Denise Matthews). Singer Nikki Belle's vocals are pretty decent on this cover. The instrumental production of the main version stays very true to the original and just freshens it up. There are over half a dozen remixes on the single that will help this song fit into a variety of sets.

Listen to the main version of the Cahill one here (YouTube)

Grade: B+

January 20, 2009

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Britney Spears - If U Seek Amy

This is the third single off of Circus. Ever since the song first leaked several months back, this one has been a fan favorite. Aside from the fun, electro/dance/pop production of it, the tongue-in-cheek chorus has created a small stir. It began a "did she or didn't she just sing that?" debate. The chorus can be interpreted two different ways. Just in case some people interpret it in the 'dirty way', a radio edit will be released to make it more suitable. This is pure cheeky fun.

Listen to the song here (YouTube)

Grade: B+

January 17, 2009

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Lady GaGa - Poker Face

"Just Dance" finally caught on in the U.S. after nearly eight months. The followup is "Poker Face." It is just as catchy as "Just Dance." While it does call to mind the style and structure of "Just Dance", this one isn't just a copy or knockoff. With this one, She shows her vocal range and her ability to write fun but thought-provoking lyrics. This one will be huge as well.

Watch the video here (YouTube)

Grade: A-

January 14, 2009

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Blu Cantrell - Boy Crazy

After coming onto the scene with the smash hit "Hit 'Em Up Style (Oops!)" in 2001, she managed to have a couple of more hits including "Breathe" "Make Me Wanna Scream." After some time away, she is back with a new single and a whole new sound. "Boy Crazy" is a Dance-oriented club track that showcases Blu's impressive vocals. The lyrics are pretty sexual. While this one does have potential in the Dance clubs and on Dance radio, this maybe a little too over-the-top for mainstream radio. But this could generate some buzz for her upcoming new album.

Listen to the song here (MySpace)

Grade: B+

January 13, 2009

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Kelly Clarkson - My Life Would Suck Without You

This is the highly anticipated lead single from Kelly's upcoming fourth album All I Ever Wanted. Produced by Dr. Luke, Max Martin and Claude Kelly, this one does call to mind the sounds heard on her Breakaway album, however, this is not just a carbon copy of that era. The first few bars recall "Since U Been Gone", but the similarity ends there. Kelly sings about how her life wouldn't be great if her man isn't there to share it with her. It's a happy, fun, sing-along song. This one will make for some really good Dance remixes. The new album will be released on March 17. The digital single for "My Life Would Suck Without You" will be released on January 16 as an exclusive at Amazon's MP3 store. It will be available everywhere else shortly after.

Grade: A

January 6, 2009

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Rick Corbo featuring Krystal Cruz - Love You Tonight

This is the latest from producer/remixer Rick Corbo and singer Krystal Cruz. Krystal's first single "Shadows Of Your Love" was released in early 2006. It got wider attention in the second half of the year after the legendary Junior Vasquez began to regularly play a new mix by Altar on his XM Radio show.

"Love You Tonight" is the followup. This one is not as dark and melancholy. It's far more anthemic. It showcases Krystal's impressive vocal range. The main version is really energetic. The Latin type percussion in it is really good. Altar's Glamorous Mix is hard and synthy. This one is the most anthemic of the package. Midnight Society's mix is in a similar direction, but not as synthy. DJ Petzi's are a bit more Electo and could be more suitable for early afterhours.

Overall, this is a very strong release.

Grade: A

January 5, 2009

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Nelson Polanco - Caña Dulce

"Caña Dulce" is the debut single from the Dominican singer. The original version is a good mixture of Latin Pop, Reggaeton and a little Hip Hop. The song is sung mostly in Spanish, however, there is a Spanglish version as well. It's a nice club-oriented song in its main versions. There are some full-on Dance remixes by Hex Hector and Tim Letteer. Hex's versions are really hard and tribal. He maintains the Latin vibe from the original by keeping some of the instruments. This is incredible. Fans of the tribal-oriented Latin House will love this one. Tim Letteer's mixes are a bit more tribal/electro-ish. While both are quite good, Hex's mix is a bit more exciting.

-Check out Nelson on MySpace.
-Buy the CD maxi or digital single at CDBaby.

Grade: A

January 1, 2009

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Room For Two - Roots Before Branches

Room For Two is a husband-wife duo made up of Adam and Nikki Anders. They have written and recorded a number of songs. Their latest single "Roots Before Branches" is a simple Acoustic/Pop track. The vocals are just exquisite. There are some club remixes of this song as well. Studio Crashers took this in an Electro/Pop direction. Almighty and Valentin both make their mixes uplifting. The radio edits of both mixes are a bit lighter while the extended ones are a bit more hard-hitting. Overall, the entire package is solid.

Check out Room For Two on MySpace

Watch the music video here (YouTube)

The original as well as the original is available for purchase at most of the digital music stores.

Grade: A
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Happy New Year!

Wishing the readers of this blog a very Happy New Year! Hopefully 2009 will be filled with more happiness, joy and prosperity, and most importantly, lots of great music!
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