August 29, 2009

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Alphabeat - The Spell

After their breathrough first album last year, they are back with the followup entitled This Is Still Alphabeat which is due later this year. A few weeks ago, the Danish group announced that their new album will be a bit retro-sounding in that they have been inspired by some of 80's and 90's Dance/Pop music. "The Spell" is definitely all that and then some. It is perfectly uptempo, but not too fast (in the 115 BPM range). If some of those 90's boybands and girlbands got together with the Scissor Sisters, this song could be thought of as the product. It's modern, yet retro. It's fun overall. It's a great introduction to their sophomore album.

Listen to the song here (YouTube)

Grade: A

August 28, 2009

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Fedde Le Grand - Let Me Be Real

This is the latest single from the Dutch producer/remixer. Having had a single or two out at any given time, "Let Me Be Real" is a more vocally-oriented track. Featuring his signature electro/dance sound, this one is really catchy. The vocals by Mitch Crown are really good. It calls to mind some of the really good male-vocalled tracks of the 90's which are a rare thing these days.

Purchase the digital single here (iTunes)

Grade: A

August 27, 2009

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Mariah Carey - I Want To Know What Love Is

There has been talk about this being the second single in the U.S. This is indeed a cover of the Foreigner classic. It has been remade several times during the last few years, most recently by Wynonna Judd. Throughout her career, Mariah has covered a number of songs such as "Against All Odds", "Bringin' On The Heartbreak", and "Without You" and truly made them her own. This is yet another one. With this one, it is meant to be gospel-tinged. The production is minimal with light percussion and a lush piano, so there's plenty of room for Mariah's vocals to shine. Vocally, she sounds amazing. Those signature vocal acrobatics and notes of are here. The song builds slowly to an epic climax. This is a great cover overall. The only minus is that it's over too quick. The song could easily be one minute longer.

Listen here (YouTube)

Grade: A
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Kim English - Nothing's Impossible

After a short break, she is back with a new single entitled "Nothing's Impossible." It is a nice inspirational, soulful track. It almost calls to mind the earlier part of her career in the 90's. It has a classic feel to it already. The remix package has a little something for everyone. The Str8jackets Asylum Dub is electro/house oriented while ATFC's mixes are slightly electro, but mostly piano house. Really good. Maurice Joshua's Club mix is different from his Nu Soul mix. The Club mix circuit/tribal-oriented while his Nu Soul one is more in line with his usual productions. It's an elegant mix. The Duwayne Motley mix is also quite soulful.


01. The Str8jackets Asylum Rub (8:37)
02. ATFC Main Mix (10:46)
03. ATFC Dub (7:11)
04. Maurice's Club Mix (6:50)
05. Nu Soul Club Mix (7:27)
06. Maurice's Club Instrumental (6:50)
07. Duwayne Motley's The Counselor Remix (7:50)

Buy the release here (TraxSource), here (Masterbeat)

Grade: A-

August 23, 2009

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Agnes - Release Me

This song had a considerable amount of success in Europe earlier this year, and now it looks like it may do the same in the U.S. Agnes was the winner of Swedish Idol back in 2005. "Release Me" is from her third album. She was recently signed to a label in the U.S. The Dance/Pop track is light and pretty. It is very catchy. Agnes' vocals are pretty good too. The various remixes, particularly the Cahill and Moto Blanco ones are great. Additional mixes for the U.S. release are in the works.

Purchase the original here (iTunes)

Grade: A-

August 19, 2009

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Chad Jack & Tim Letteer V. Fawn - Wish U Love

This is the latest from the up and coming producers Chad Jack and Tim Letteer plus new talent Fawn. "Wish U Love" is a pretty, positive vocal track. Fawn's vocals are quite good. The production on the main versions is Electro/Circuit-oriented, however, it could easily fall under the Dance/Pop catergory. This could be a hit on the Dance Radio format if promoted there.

There's no shortage of remixes. Tim Letteer provides a nice chilled, electro/tribal dub. It's really pretty. Nick Harvey does his usual tribal fierceness. All sorts of fun vocal loops and effects can be found throughout the mix. Nick Wax's mix could be thought of as an electro/dance mix meets mild big room mix. The lush pianos in certain parts are really great. Danny James' mix is a twisted electro affair. KJ Sawka's mis is a total departure of the other mixes. It's at a higher tempo and a lot more trance/break-oriented even though it is labeled as a Drum & Bass mix. It is very drummy and bassey. Finally is Jeff Poirier's mix which is also a circuit/electro/tribal, almost big room mix. The whole package is quite strong and there's something for everyone.

Purchase the digital single here (Masterbeat)

Grade: A

August 18, 2009

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Mams Taylor - Girl Gotta Girlfriend

Hailing from the UK, Mams Taylor is all set to make his proper U.S. debut. "Girl Gotta Girlfriend" is an R&B/Hip Hop/Pop track featuring Snoop Dogg and Bobby V. While this is not a groundbreaking song, it is a lot of fun and will go over very well in the clubs and on Rhythmic stations, and perhaps Pop stations if this were promoted there or if it naturally crossed over. And, club mixes will be released soon.

Buy the song on Amazon and iTunes (both clean and dirty versions are available)

Check out his official website for updates and some other fun stuff.

Grade: B+
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Cascada - Dangerous

This is the followup to their UK number one hit "Evacuate The Dancefloor." After a departure from the hard jumpstyle sound that had been characteristic of their earlier singles and albums, "Dangerous" is in that very style. Despite the similar production, this song is fun and a little different from the usual. Given that there will be plenty of remixes, fans will be able to find at least one mix that will work for them. This song is really screaming for a Dance/Rock mix. This is to be released in September in the UK.

For the U.S., "Evacuate The Dancefloor" is just beginning to take off and the album of the same name will be released very soon.

Watch the music video here (YouTube)

Grade: B+
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Nick Harvey - House Muziek

Swiss producer/DJ/remixer Nick Harvey's first release on his own label Nick Harvey Music is entitled "House Muziek." Stylewise, this will be familiar to his fans, however, this is something fresh. It has the feel of an old school classic but with modern, underground sensibilities. All versions are very hard and driving. The Tribal Club Mix is a little extra tribal. The Club Mix is a bit milder. The Tribalelectric Club Pitch Mix has a nice old school feel. It's in-between. And the Tribal Beats are palatable as well. Overall, this is a good, solid first release from the label.

Purchase the release at the following retailers Amazon, Juno

Grade: A

August 12, 2009

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David Guetta, Sebastian Ingrosso, Dirty South & Julie McKnight - How Soon Is Now

This is not a remake of the classic by The Smiths. It is a new track produced by three of Europe's electronic music legends including David Guetta, Sebastian Ingrosso, and Dirty South featuring the vocals from Julie McKnight (of King Of Tomorrow's "Finally" fame). This is very much in the same vein as the "Leave The World Behind" track which was released in the middle of Spring. However, this one goes a bit further. The instrumental isn't as aggressive and it has an old school vibe. It has a classic feel to it already. Julie McKnight sounds amazing as usual.

Grade: A

August 11, 2009

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Tina Cousins - Sex On Fire

British singer Tina Cousins has had a number of hits during her decade long career. Her latest single after a bit of a break is a remake of the Kings Of Leon hit from a few months back. It is an unlikely choice for Ms. Cousins to take on, but the result is actually decent. The original mix is kind of Cascada-ish. The Fugitive mix is a bit more electro-ish. The Fugitive mix works better overall.

Grade: B+
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Lolene - Sexy People

Recently signed to Capital Records, British artist Lolene is set to take the world by storm with her new single "Sexy People." It is the lead single from her debut album The Electrick Hotel which will be released next year. It's an uptempo Electro/Pop track that immediately calls to mind Lady GaGa and Britney's recent albums. The alternate R&B mix might actually end up getting the radio airplay if released. This one will be quite the floorfiller with it's remixes by Static Revenger, Sam Sparro, and Michael Woods. Static Revenger's mix is in a similar vein as the original. It has a sleazy, gritty feel. Sam Sparro's is more mellow and Euro-sounding. It's really pretty. Michael Woods' mix could be thought of as a hybrid of the two style-wise. A great package overall.

Listen to the original and some of the remixes on her MySpace.

Grade: A-
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Bill Bennett

Two new singles off of Bill Bennett's Big Muscle album have been released. The singles are "Manhunt" featuring Pepper MaShay and "Forever Young" featuring Abigail.

Bill Bennett featuring Abigail - Forever Young

This is the latest remake of the Alphaville classic. Some may be thinking that this cover might be a bit unnecessary as this song has been done hundreds of times if not more. But this is actually a pleasant remake. Abigail (of "Let The Joy Rise" and "You Set Me Free" fame) does justice to this one. The main version has a nice Euro/Hi-Nrg feel. The addition of the male harmonies in the back are a nice touch. Electric Allstarts provide a nice Euro/Electro/Pop mix. It calls to mind some of Madonna's Confessions Of A Dance Floor album. Edson Pride & Filipe Guerra's mix is circuit-oriented and does what it's supposed to. It's not overly special. Pete Barona and Blaine Soilieu's mix is circuit-oriented as well, but it's a lot more melodic and keeps some of the instrumental elements that made the original Alphaville one such a classic.

Purchase the single here (Masterbeat)

Grade: A-

Bill Bennett featuring Pepper Mashay - Manhunt
This sexy new single features club legend Pepper Mashay. She sings about her search for that perfect man. It has an old school feel, but is modern-sounding. The Guitar Hero Edit is a Dance/Rock-hybrid. It immediately harkens back to the underrated Eurythmics single "I Need A Man." The Jose Spinnin Sex In The Office Mix stays close to the previous version, but it loses all the rock elements. The Bryan Reyes and Amy Alderman mix is a nice tribal/circuit one. Edson Pride provides a good Latin/Tribal mix. Chris Wren goes in a chilled, Summery sounding direction. It calls to mind some of Yves LaRock's recent work. The Butchers Dub is Electro/House-oriented.

Purchase the single here (Masterbeat)

Watch the video here (YouTube)
Warning: It's a little NSFW.

Grade: A-

August 10, 2009

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Eddie X presents Niki Haris - This Time Baby

This is the latest remake of the OJay's song made famous by Jackie Moore during the Disco era. Having been covered and remade many times over the years, this one was due for a good update--and this is it! Eddie X, formerly of L.E.X. teams up with Niki Haris to take on this classic. Niki's vocal performance is superb. The production on the main mix stays true to the Jackie Moore one while modernizing it a bit for today.

Listen to clips and purchase the remix package here (Masterbeat)

Grade: A

August 8, 2009

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Fredrick Ford - Life Of The Party

After some time away, singer/actor Fredrick Ford is back with a new single out now. "Life Of The Party" is a simple, fun club-oriented song. Vocally, he has improved tremendously over previous releases. There are plenty of remixes by Altar, Georgie Porgie, Josh Harris, Barona & Rafael M, Tod Miner, and G Cavelle Project. Altar's is a light, tribal mix. Georgie Porgie and Josh Harris' are light house mixes. Harris' is more disco-sounding. It's one of the highlights of the package. Barona & Rafael M provide a nice hard-hitting circuit mix. Tod Miner and G Cavelle Project's mixes are electro/house-oriented. Overall, the whole package is quite strong.

Listen to and purchase the remix package here (Music Plant)

Grade: A-

August 7, 2009

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River Ocean featuring India - Love & Happiness (Yemaya Y Ochún) 2009

"Love & Happiness (Yemaya Y Ochún)" was originally released in 1994 and is considered a classic. It has received a few updates here and there over the years, but nothing noteworthy enough that would even come close to the original. The last major update was in 2007. The newest one was released a few days back by David Penn. Only a few elements from the original are used. The mix can be best described as a hybrid between electro/house and soulful garage. The mix feels like a percapella in some parts. It lacks the ebbs and flows in energy that the original and even the 2007 mixes had. When the original and its accompanying mixes are that great, it's very hard to duplicate that greatness again. This is good for those who want a new mix to play, but the original is still quite the floorfiller.

Listen to and purchase the new David Penn remix here (TraxSource)
The original 1994 and 2007 remix packages are also available there.

Grade: B-

August 6, 2009

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Whitney Houston - Million Dollar Bill

This is the next proper single from her comeback album I Look To You. Written by Alicia Keys, this one is an uptempo. This is the first uptempo that the general public has heard from this album. It is an R&B/Disco-oriented track. It sounds like it came out of the mid 70's. But it does not sound dated (think of Mary J. Blige's "Just Fine"). It has that classic feel. Some may consider this to be a departure from the Whitney of the past, but she sounds quite at home on this track. With an extended version and some club mixes, this could be massive in the dance clubs. Whitney's vocals are in finer form on this. She just lets loose and has a great time, as will the listeners when they hear this song.

Grade: A
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Carmen Reece - Right Here

Hailing from the UK, Carmen Reece is set to make her stateside debut with "Right Here." It really showcases her impressive vocal range. "Right Here" is an uptempo R&B/Pop track. The club mixes by Dave Aude, Escape & Tony Coluccio, DJ Markie Mark, and Jason Nevins are really great as well. Dave Aude's is light Dance/Pop with some nice piano keys thrown in. This could easily be played on Pop radio. Escape & Coluccio's is hard and driving and makes this almost anthemic. DJ Markie Mark's is sort of in-between the two. Speeding up the vocals doesn't sound that good Jason Nevins' is his usual Dance/Rock goodness. It works well. Great package overall.

Purchase the original and remixes here (iTunes)
Watch Carmen performing the original version live here (YouTube)

Grade: A

August 2, 2009

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Karen Young - Rendezvous With Me (Part 2)

This was first reviewed in February.

The previously unreleased Karen Young song spent much of the Spring and early Summer on the charts and atop many DJs top tens. Now the song will dominate a second time with the two new mixes that were released last week. First up is the Billy Waters Big Room Mix. He provides a scorching hot circuit/tribal mix. The synths are massive and energetic. The effects he used on the vocals are really great. Next is the 1979 Original Sessions Tracks version which is the previously unreleased Disco version. It's a nice slice of Disco heaven. It will take listeners back to Paradise Garage and Studio 54 all at once. These two were certainly worth the wait!

Download the additional mixes here (Perfect Beat)

Grade: A+
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David Guetta featuring Akon - Sexy Bitch

This is the second single off of David Guetta's highly anticipated One Love album due at the end of the month. After the international smash that was "When Love Takes Over", this one could be an even bigger hit. Senegalese R&B/Hip Hop artist Akon is the guest on this track. Combining the best of what both do, "Sexy Bitch" is catchy and fun while being creative. This one may have greater potential in the U.S.

Buy the clean version here (iTunes)

Grade: A

August 1, 2009

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Whitney Houston - I Look To You

This is the now-confirmed lead single off of Whitney's forthcoming comeback album of the same name. "I Look To You" is a nice throwback to the Whitney of yesterday. Already rising up the Urban and Urban AC charts, this has already connected with a number of her fans who have been waiting patiently for her return. Vocally, Whitney is on-point. Noticeably missing are lots of the vocal acrobatics that made Whitney so famous, but just enough are present. This is a great start to her comeback. The album I Look To You will be released on August 31.

Grade: A-
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