March 30, 2010

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Christina Aguilera - Not Myself Tonight

The wait is over! The lead single off of her new album Bionic just premiered. Co-written with Ester Dean and produced by Polow Da Don, the song is an uptempo dance/pop track. It immediately calls to mind "Sexyback" in terms of the production. This however has a lot more depth to it, especially with the soaring synths. The song is fairly sexy. She sings about how she is doing things she doesn't usually do. Vocally, the full voice that many have loved is there, and then some. It's a great start to the new album era.

Grade: A-

March 24, 2010

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Suzanne Palmer - Big Love

It has been a while since we have had something new from her. She is back with "Big Love." It is based on the same set of vocals which were in Pete Heller's 1999 international club hit "Big Love". That track was based on Stargard's 1979 song "Wear It Out." Suzanne really delivers on this track. The lack of lyrics other than the two main lines throughout the song make you long for some verses and choruses. Peter Rauhofer's main mix is electro/tribal tinged. It has a lot more energy than some of his recent work. It has a nice hard, driving bassline and some pretty synths. The Muzzaik mix is in a similar direction but a lot more minimal. Etienne Ozborne & Peter Brown's mix has a little more going on but is very repetitive. Peter's is the mix of choice.

Purchase the 3 mixes here (Star 69's own store)

Grade: A-

March 23, 2010

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Anoop Desai - My Name

His claim to fame was appearing on American Idol last year and making it into the top 7. "My Name" is his first post-Idol single from his forthcoming album entitled All Is Fair. He is much more in his element on "My Name." Vocally, he sounds much better. The uptempo song is really simple and catchy. The production is R&B/Pop-oriented with light touches of traditional Indian instruments, a nice nod to his Indian heritage. This song could very well pave the way for establishing him as a bona fide radio staple. Time will tell whether that is possible, but this song is a step in the right direction.

Listen to the song here (People First Listen)

Today is the release date for the single digitally. Links to the stores will be added when available.

Grade: A

March 22, 2010

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Janet Jackson - Nothing

This song is taken from the soundtrack for her new Tyler Perry-directed movie Why Did I Get Married Too which will be released soon. It is a ballad. It calls to mind some of her work during the 90's. It has a nice throwback feel to it. Her vocals are clearer and louder than on some of her recent work. While the song isn't terribly exciting, it is nice. This could lend itself well to some anthemic dance remixes. There have been reports that this song may also be included on her next studio album.

Listen to the song here (YouTube)

Grade: B+
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Rietsa - Perfect Gentleman

Best known for the single "Cold Shower", Rietsa is back with a new single entitled "Perfect Gentleman." It is a naughty, suggestive track where she tells her man that he does not need to behave like a 'perfect gentleman' when they're together in the bedroom. She sounds great on this. This song shows another side of her. The original is urban dance/pop oriented and could easily fit in with other music on the Pop radio stations. The remixes by Magnetik Musik are more club-oriented and very suitable. This could become a spring break/summer hit.

-Listen to the original here (YouTube)
-Listen to the Dance Mix here (YouTube)

Grade: A-

March 17, 2010

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Barbara Sheree - Power To The People

Hot on the heels of "Together" which has finally introduced Barbara Sheree to clubland (and the world) comes her new single "Power To The People." Barbara's vocals are warm and uplifting on this song. The lyrics are very positive and empowering. There are plenty of remixes for both the European and U.S. dancefloors.

The European package contains mixes by Alex Petrov, Alex Volpi, Dan Walter, Gregg Morrish, Kannamix, Nwico, Phoenix, Romey Boy and Sebastien De Brito & Jordane G. The original club mix (by Jerome Farley & Floor One) is a slightly lower tempo house mix. Think of it as a modernized take on 90's hip house. Alex Petrov's is at a similar tempo as the aforementioned JFF1 mix, it has a nice 80's synthpop feel. Alex Volpi's is similar but a little modern. Dan Walter's is electro/tribal-oriented. Gregg Moorish delivers two mixes. One is a big room electro/funky house mix while the other mix is a little less gritty and more atmospheric. Kannamix's is 80's styled with a fun warped synth. Nwico's is very minimal and at a lower tempo. Phoenix's is really soulful and pretty. Romey Boy and Sebastien De Brito & Jordane G's mixes are both funky disco/house-ish. All are quite good. The main mix and the Phoenix ones are the standouts.

The U.S. package features mixes by JMBW & Joel Dickinson (JMBW is the duo of Billy Waters and John Michael). They deliver a hard, tribal, hands in the air anthem. It has a cute little reference to Black Box's club classic "Everybody Everybody" worked in. Also included are some dubs, beats, a synthapella, and a tribeapella.

Both packages are really great.

-Purchase European remix package here: Juno | iTunes
-Purchase the U.S. remix package here Juno | iTunes

Grade: A

March 16, 2010

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Ananda Project - Kiss Kiss Kiss

Originally released back in 2004, "Kiss Kiss Kiss" was an underground classic. Now it's back with some new mixes courtesy of Frankie Feliciano. In his usual soulful, elegant style, he revitalizes this song. In his Classic mix, it has all the makings of a light, early evening or late night floorfiller. His Ricanstruction mix adds a bit of Latin percussion but it isn't overly hard. Both are absolutely stunning, classy pieces of house music. The vocals by Heather Johnson and Terrance Downs are wonderful. Also included on the package are mixes by Eric Kupper, Sir Piers and The Mischievious Two from the 2004 release.

Listen to clip and purchase the single here (TraxSource)

Grade: A+

March 10, 2010

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Tomcraft - Loneliness 2010

Originally released in 2002, centering around a replayed vocal taken from Andrea Martin's "Share The Love" (which has some hardhitting remixes by Hani) the techy trance track has been given an update. Lissat & Voltaxx, Adam K & Soha and Genji Yoshida go in a chilled electro direction. While Myon & Shane, Niels Van Gogh, Mario Da Ragnio, and Roy Rosenfeld all opt for a harder electro sound. Tai & Tim Healy's mix has elements of the original 2002 version. It's a totally twisted electro take. Per QX's is very similar to the original as well. Armin Prayd's has traces of it as well. Overall, all are pretty good. The standouts are Tai & Tim Healy and Per QX's. Check out the Benny Benassi mixes of the original as well.

Listen to the original here (YouTube)

Grade: A-
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Ryan W - Crave

"Crave" is the debut single from up and coming singer Ryan W. Ryan delivers a warm, unforgettable vocal on "Crave." Remixes by Nick Harvey, Ruben Vega, Fumi Kondoh, Taz, and Streamweaver make this dancefloor ready. Nick Harvey's main mixes a bit more accessible this time around with the soaring synths and pounding beats. His Sunday Morning mix is a bit more big room-ish. The dubs of his main versions are nice as well. Ruben Vega's mixes are a bit more drummy. Fumi Kondoh's has plenty of 'drama' in it with its various ups and downs in energy level. The old school vibe of it is really great. Taz's mix is indeed a 'wild ride' as the mix name indicates. It hits hard in all the right places. Streamweaver's is very big room-ish as well. The entire package is great. "Crave" could soon become a club classic.

Purchase the digital single here (Masterbeat)

Grade: A
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System F - Cry

Ferry Corsten has produced, remixed and DJed for many years now. Best known for the songs "Out Of The Blue" and "Cry" under the System F alias, there are new mixes of "Cry." The song originally came out in 2000. Featuring the vocals of Saskia Lie-Atjam, the song still sounds just as fresh as it did 10 years ago. Most of the mixes on the package are in a similar vein as the original. However, the Semi-D remix is the standout. It's at a house tempo and slightly electro-tinged. It's a nice update to a song that has received numerous revisits over the years. For those discovering the track now, the original mix is worth checking out plus the new Semi-D one.

Purchase the new mixes (plus some older ones) here (Trackitdown)
Watch the original music video here (YouTube)

Grade: A (for the Semi-D remix)
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Sariah - Deep N Luv

R&B/Pop singer Sariah's latest single "Deep N Luv" is a sassy and slightly edgy uptempo. With its playful lyrics and hypnotic hook, this song will become quite the floorfiller. Sariah's vocals have just the right amount of naughtiness. It has some remixes by Tony Moran & Warren Rigg, Hot Pink Delorean, and Rod Carrillo. Tony and Warren makeover the song in their familiar big room circuit style. This style lends itself very well to the song. Hot Pink Delorean take things in an electro-house direction. Rod Carrillo's could almost be thought of as souped up version of the original. Also included are a breaks version of the original, an instrumental and an acapella. A fun release overall.

Listen to the full original version here (YouTube)
Purchase the original and remixes here (Juno) [the digital single will be available at other retailers on March 23, 2010)

Grade: A-
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Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Bittersweet

The much-awaited new single from Ms. Ellis-Bextor is here! Produced and co-written with the Freemasons, who she performed vocals for on "Heartbreak Make Me A Dancer" last year. Biffco and Hannah Robinson assisted on writing duties as well. The result is a catchy and fun song. The Freemasons Extended mix is in a similar vein as earlier work however this is a bit more big room-ish than their usual. Sophie sounds great on this. Her and the Freemasons are a great match.

Grade: A
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Chicane - Come Back And Stay

This is yet another remake reportedly from the still unreleased Rework EP. "Come Back And Stay" was recorded by singer Paul Young in 1983 and that was a hit in the both the U.S. and UK. This is the next single which precedes an upcoming album. The remake features just a few vocals. The production is lightly electro-tinged and is very chilled and uplifting. A full vocal version would have been nice, however, the few vocals that are present are quite nice. An eye-catching video for this song has made its way to the internet. It appears that it is meant to look like a fanmade video that captures the essence of the song but is so appropriate and a nice change from the usual proper studio video.

Watch the music video here (YouTube)

The single is supposed to be released in mid April in the UK. A remix package with mixes by Shock One, Riley & Durrant and Sidney Samson, in addition to the original versions will be available.

Grade: A

March 5, 2010

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Tim Letteer - U Gotta Luv

The original release of this happened a couple of years back. "U Gotta Luv" is a simple, positive track, with a hypnotic male vocal chanting "If you wanna make a difference, if you wanna change the gotta love". This release features some new mixes by Michael Hades, David Ohana, Billy Waters & John Michael, and Jerome Farley & Floor One. Also included are the previously released Jamie J. Sanchez and original mixes. Michael Hades' mix is simple, minimal house with some deep synths. David Ohana takes things in a slightly darker direction. Billy Waters & John Michael stay true to the original versions with their Classic mixes. Think of theirs as a new freshened up version of the original. Jerome Farley & Floor One's mix is a bit synthier and electro-tinged. The Jamie J. Sanchez mix still sounds great. Nice and drummy. Tim's original mixes are still just as hard-hitting as they were when they were released. This is a very strong release with a little something for everyone.

Purchase the release here (Masterbeat)

Grade: A

March 4, 2010

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Estelle featuring Kardinal Offishall - Freak

This is the latest single from singer Estelle. Produced by David Guetta, this is a significant departure from her own material. Estelle also appeared on the title track of Guetta's 2009 album. "Freak" is a sexual song leaving very little to the imagination. Interpolating a little bit of the hook from Soul II Soul's late 80's Dance hit "Back To Love (However Do You Want Me)", this track is a full blown electro-pop track. This sounds a bit different from Guetta's productions of late, but it works. The song is fun in a club setting but is just too different from the Estelle material from the last couple of years to have a lasting impact.

Watch the music video here (YouTube)

Grade: B-
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