July 30, 2009

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Madonna - Celebration

This is the first of two singles from her upcoming Celebration greatest hits collection which will wrap up her time with Warner Brothers. Produced by Madonna with Paul Oakenfold, this one is trance/dance/pop perfection. It may not be overly groundbreaking, but this will be quite the floorfiller in clubs. With the playful lyrics and catchy melody, this will be huge internationally.

This will be hitting U.S. radio next week.

is selling it for download right now as is Masterbeat.

Listen to the original here (YouTube)

Grade: A
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Basement Jaxx featuring Sam Sparro - Feelings Gone

This is the second single from Basement Jaxx's upcoming album Scars (due in September). This features vocals from 2008 breakthrough artist Sam Sparro. He sounds great, as usual. "Feelings Gone" feels like some thing that could have easily appeared on his own album. The Electro/Disco/Pop production is really great. A little busy at times, this one will be quite the floorfiller. It comes ready with several remixes by Joachim Garraud, Rusko, Spor, and Adrian Lux, so far. Joachim's is a bit more electro-ish. Rusko's has a really sleazy (in a good way) feel. Very 80's. Spor's is a high tempo drum n' bass rework. It actually works well. Adrian Lux's is a nice chilled, electro mix. The Alternate Version is a lot more minimal than the original. It allows listeners to hear Sam's great vocal performance a lot better. Excellent second single.

Listen to the original and the remixes here (MySpace)

Grade: A+

July 29, 2009

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Yinon Yahel featuring Maya Simantov - Bringing You Home

After this was premiered more than half a year ago, this finally gets a release. "Bringing You Home" is yet another Maya Simantov vocal track that that strikes an emotional chord with the listener. Many of the songs her and Offer Nissim recorded in the past dealt with the subject of love and loss, topics that they turn into some really mesmerizing songs. Yinon's production is progressive/electro/tribal. The beatless parts are absolutely stunning. The main riff is reminiscent of the riff used in Offer's mixes of "Home" by Suzanne Palmer nearly 4 years ago. It's a nice nod to the past. This is a great track overall.

Buy the main mix here (Amazon)

Grade: A
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Samantha Jade - Secret

This is the latest single from the Australian R&B/Pop singer. Her debut album has yet to be released in the U.S. 2007 was when it was supposed to be after the lead single "Turn Around." The uptempo number gives off a really fun and sexy vibe. It immediately calls to mind Britney's "If U Seek Amy." It too has the swing beat and similar synths. However, this one is different enough that it can't be called a knock-off. Samantha's vocals are great on this. This will hopefully get her established as a bonafide powerhouse in the future.

This will be released digitally on August 4.

Watch the music video here (YouTube)

Grade: A

July 21, 2009

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Chicane - Poppiholla

This is one of several songs on the Rework EP that will be released soon. "Hoppipolla" was originally recorded by Sigur Ros (watch here). Even though this is a remake, this song translates well into the style Chicane (Nick Bracegirdle) became known for especially during the 90's. This has that chilled, Baleric sound. It's absolutely stunning. The remixes are decent but the original and single versions are the best of the bunch.

Watch the video here (YouTube)

Grade: A
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Blake Lewis - Sad Song

After the lukewarm response and reception to his debut Audio Day Dream nearly two years back, the former American Idol runner-up is back with a second album on a new label (Tommy Boy Entertainment). He collaborated with Finnish artist Darude for a cover of the Flock Of Seagulls hit "I Ran So Faraway" and one other song last year which got a warm reception on the Dance radio format.

However, "Sad Song" is not a step in the right direction. It is a tepid choice for a first single. It lacks that extra something that would take ahold of a listener. At best, it is a filler track. Here's to hoping the album will have some more single-worthy tracks.

Buy it here (iTunes)

Grade: C
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Paul Van Dyk featuring Johnny McDaid - Home

"Home" is the lead single released in support of his recently released retrospective Volume. Featuring the vocals of Johnny McDaid, "Home" is really great. It is in the style of some of Paul's recent work which has been more electro-oriented. However, an alternate club that is more in line with Paul's harder, trance-oriented sound is included. The real gem is the Kaskade mix. It's interesting how some of these trance songs really translate well into a Kaskade mix.

A great release overall.

Buy and listen to the release here (AudioJelly)

Grade: A
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Ralphi Rosario featuring Shawn Christopher - Everybody Shake It

Featuring the vocals of legendary House vocalist Shawn Christopher (of "Another Sleepless Night" fame), "Everybody Shake It" is yet another song that will soon become a classic. It could be thought of as this Summer's next big anthem the way Oceana's "Body Rock" was the anthem of the Spring.

Ralphi's main mix is a nice disco/house affair. Really light and classy. His Big Room mix is really hard and driving. Dave Aude's is pure electro/house bliss with the "French Kiss"-esque production that is so apropros given that Shawn Christopher was the vocalist on the Songbird Sings version of the Lil' Louis club classic "French Kiss." The Lego mix is much more electro-ish. DJ Paulo's is tribal/electro-0riented. Not as dark as some of his other work, but effective.

Buy and listen here (Amazon)

Grade: A

July 15, 2009

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Shakira - She Wolf

This is the highly anticipated new single off of her upcoming new English album. Produced by John Hill who worked on Santogold's last album, "She Wolf" is a Disco/Electro track. During many parts of the song, one may think that this is something out of the 70's Disco era. However, this does not sound dated. The lyrics are a bit unusual but they work. The vocals are heavily computerized and manipulated, but Shakira still sounds quite good. A really sexy music video is to be released in the next few weeks. This is a great start to her next album era.

The single is available for purchase at all the usual digital stores.

Grade: A

July 8, 2009

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LeToya - She Ain't Got...

This is the latest single from the former member of Destiny's Child. On "She Ain't Got...", she sings about how the other woman in her man's life does not possess the many qualities she has. It is the latest song to follow in the trend of doing songs with this sort of subject matter. It is an uptempo clubbanger with a fun, sing-along chorus and great hook.

Listen to the original here (YouTube)

Buy the song here (iTunes)

Grade: A-

July 3, 2009

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Andy Caldwell - Its Guud

San Francisco-based producer Andy Caldwell's latest single "Its Guud" has garnered tons of radio spins on Energy 92.7 as it was an exclusive since December. A proper release is finally happening. This electro/house track has both modern and classic influences. The vocals call to mind some of the Hip House type music that was popular in the early 90's while the production is totally modern. The male rap vocals work well. The blippy synth riff is really cool. A great track overall.

This one will be huge on both sides of the Atlantic.

TraxSource is selling the digital single right now. Other stores will have it for sale towards the end of the month.

Grade: A
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Whitney Houston - I Didn't Know My Strength

After lots of different information about a possible comeback making the rounds for the last couple of years, it looks like the time is now. A release date of September 1, 2009 has been set for her album entitled I Look To You. There had been all sorts of rumors about the present state of Whitney's vocals. She still sounds pretty good. Not as amazing as she used to be, but what many loved about her vocals is still there. The song is very confessional and honest. However, the verses and choruses do not build up to any sort of climax as she did on earlier work. Even then, this is still great.

Listen to it here (YouTube)

Grade: A-

July 1, 2009

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Britney Spears - Radar

This is the fourth single off of her Circus album. This was supposed to be the fourth single off of her Blackout album back in 2007, however, it was canceled. It has been said that the song had to be released as a single at some point in the U.S. due to contractual reasons with the songwriters/producers.

It is an uptempo Electro/Pop track that doesn't stray too far from the other songs on Blackout. Lyrically, it isn't anything special, but the hook really gets stuck in your head and it's fun to dance to.

Watch the music video here (YouTube)

Grade: B
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Nicki Richards - Why You Wanna Hurt Me So Bad?

Known for her powerful vocals as both a backing and lead vocalist, Nicki Richards is back with another single from her current album. It is a smooth R&B midtempo in its original version. Nicki's vocals are excellent. The lyrics are quite deep.

The remixes by Tony Moran & Warren Rigg, Matthias Heilbronn, Eric Kupper, and Daryl James take this to the clubs and back. Tony and Warren deliver their usual fierce club anthem. With it's hard driving beats and soaring synths, the production meshes flawlessly with Nicki's vocals. Both Matthias Heilbronn and Eric Kupper take things in a more soulful direction. Very elegant. These have a very 'classic' feel. The Darryl James mix is an R&B/Hip Hop type mix. This plus the original could plenty of radio airplay if they were promoted to the mainstream. It's great.

The CD maxi single can be purchase here (CD Baby). Previews of all versions can be heard. Other digital stores may have the single for sale at some point too.

Check out Nicki on MySpace. The album version of this song can be listened to there also.

Overall, this is yet another great single from Ms. Richards. Here's to many more.

Grade: A
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