February 28, 2011

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Willow Smith - 21st Century Girl and Whip My Hair (Remixes)

21st Century Girl
This is the followup to her debut smash "Whip My Hair." This is a fun, family-friendly song perfect for the clubs. The hard four on the floor beats and trancey synths are really hot. Don't let the fact that it's a 10 year old singing it deter you from checking this one out. Willow's delivery of the vocals sounds rather mature for her age. She immediately calls to mind Rihanna and Katy Perry vocally. Overall, this is another fun song.

Listen to the song:
21st Century Girl - Willow Smith by HSDElliot

Grade: A

Whip My Hair (Remixes)
The song that got people whipping their hair all over the place has been remixed for the dancefloor. The original was already suitable for clubs, however, several remixers have made it more club-friendly. Fanatic (aka 
Andreao “Fanatic” Heard) and Jerome Farley with the Del Pino Brothers have done a set of circuit-oriented mixes. They tone done some of the frenetic nature of the original, keeping it fun and moving. Mark Jason provides a mix of a similar nature as well. Chew Fu also did a busy electro/house mix which runs across multiple tempos. All three are highly recommended.

-Listen to the Fanatic & Jerome Farley mix here (promoter's website)
-Listen to the Mark Jason mix here (YouTube)
-Listen to the Chew Fu mix here (YouTube)

Grade: A

February 27, 2011

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Cashetta - The Winner Takes It All

This is another remake of the oft-remade ABBA classic. Renowned stage performer Cashetta takes on this song, giving it a dark, melancholy feel. The production on Gomi's remix plays up that darker aspect as well. The energetic, Eurodance-sounding production is really lush and complements the vocals. This isn't the best cover of the song, however, it is worth checking out.

-View the music video here (YouTube)
-Purchase the digital single here (DJ Download)

Grade: B
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Inaya Day - Never Had Another Love

This is the latest release from Ms. Day. "Never Had Another Love" is not the powerful, inspiration anthem that one would expect from her, but it's still very good. However, she does sing about how wonderful her current love is. All of the versions except one are aimed at circuit and big rooms. The original is a nice mix of tribal and electro. The Alex Botar & Micky Friedmann and Audio Assembly club mixes are the closest things to a big room anthem. The former provide hard and aggressive tribal mixes while the latter adds a fun rock element. Dave Rose's mix has a tribal/synth-pop type of sound. The Oxford Hustlers mix is the lightest one of the bunch and has the greatest potential on dance radio and in mixshows. Finally is Audio Assembly's R&B mix. This has a UK 2 step, light breaks kind of sound with some of the sounds heard in the Audio Assembly club mixes. This is a nice addition to the package. Overall, every version is excellent.

Purchase the CD single here (Perfect Beat)

Grade: A

February 24, 2011

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Vibelicious and Dean Boudreau - Love Sick (Remixes)

Originally released in September, this song now has a full package of remixes by Nick Harvey, Deep Influence, Streamweaver, Bit Error, Matt Moss, QUBIQ, Halfstyle and Siense Deluxe.

Nick Harvey, Deep Influence, QUBIQ and Streamweaver all provide dark yet uplifting circuit/big room-oriented mixes. The Deep Influence and Streamweaver ones are the darkest. QUBIQ's is a little milder. Bit Error, Matt Moss, and Halfstyle remain faithful to the original with their mixes, but add a little something extra. The Siense Deluxe version is mostly instrumental with just a little bit of vocals. Overall, all the versions are really good. The Nick Harvey, Deep Influence, Bit Error, and Matt Moss mixes are the highlights.

Purchase the digital single here (Masterbeat)

Grade: A

February 17, 2011

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Josh Strickland - Report To The Floor

This is the first single off of his forthcoming EP. "Report To The Floor" is a club-ready track whose production calls to mind other floorfillers of the past including Pitbull's "Krazy" and David Guetta's "When Love Takes Over"--it's a good thing. The Broadway actor/singer shows off his vocal chops on this song, displaying multiple styles within just one song. The lyrics are fun, as is the delivery of the vocals.
This song will be used in the February 21 episode of Holly's World which airs on E!. It airs at 10:30 ET/PT.

Purchase the song here (iTunes)

Grade: A-

February 14, 2011

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Vanessa Daou - Consequence

This is the latest from the electronic artist. "Consequences" is very much in the same vein as her earlier work. Her ethereal vocals just float over the sparse production of the original. There are remixes by Eric Kupper, HarLum (David Harness and Chris Lum), Terry Lee Brown Jr., Timewriter, and Blank & Jones. Soulful and deep, Eric Kupper delivers a stunning mix. HarLum delivers two mixes, the Main one being hard yet soft, and the Peaktime Tribal one being a little more accessible. Terry Lee Brown Jr.'s mix is in a similar vein as Eric Kupper's, however, this one has a little more going on. The Timewriter mix is mostly a layered instrumental dub with just a sprinkling of vocals. The Blank & Jones mix is very sparse and uplifting. This is great for closing off a set. Overall, every single remix is excellent!

Grade: A+

February 12, 2011

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P!nk - Perfect

This is the second single of two new songs off of her Greatest Hits...So Far! collection. In a similar vein as the previous single "Raise Your Glass", "Perfect" (aka "Fuckin' Perfect"--the original unedited version) is also a song about celebrating and being yourself. The pop/rock midtempo is really beautiful. The censored version loses just the profanity and has amended lyrics which do not affect the overall flow of the song. So far, there is a dance remix by Riddler which preserves the integrity of the song. Wonderfully underproduced, the vocals have a chance to remain as the focal point. Overall, this is a great song with an excellent remix.

Purchase the unedited version here (Amazon)
Purchase the edited version here (Amazon)
Watch the music video here (YouTube) NSFW

Listen to the Riddler remix here:
Pink Perfect Riddler Mainstream Radio Remix by djriddler

Grade: A+ (for both the original and Riddler remix)
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Britney Spears - Hold It Against Me (Remixes)

This debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 based on just a week of sales, and has now begun to take off on radio. Remixes for this have begun to be promoted. Abe Clements, Adrian Lux & Nause, Jump Smokers, Mike Rizzo, Ocelot, Smoke n Mirrors, The Alias, and Tracy Young have remixed this so far. Since there are so many mixes, it would be a bit much to describe all of them in great detail.

The Abe Clements, Mike Rizzo, and Tracy Young's mixes are the best of the bunch. All are equally energetic, especially Mike's. Abe's incorporates the dubstep section nicely. Tracy's is dark and tribal, and her handling of the breakdown is a bit unexpected. Adrian Lux & Nause, Jump Smokers, Ocelot, and Smoke n Mirrors mixes are a bit on the busy and noisy side, and are just okay. The Alias mix sounded promising but feels a bit too metallic and is painful to listen to.

An extended version of the original is desperately needed and would be a great addition to this package.

Grade: B (for the package overall)/A- (for Abe, Mike, and Tracy's versions)
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Ultra Naté - Turn It Up

Club diva Ultra Naté is back with a new single entitled "Turn It Up", just as "Destination" (her collaboration with Tony Moran) continues to be on DJ's playlists and top 10's almost half a year after its release. Produced by Brinsley Evans (of "I'm Beautiful Dammit" and "Make The World Go Round" fame), the song is a light electro/soulful house hybrid with super catchy lyrics. Ultra's vocals are great as usual. Remixes by Paul Oakenfold, Wawa, Ruff Loaderz vs. Scott Giles, Muthafunkaz, and Ruben Macias & Raffa Scoccia are coming soon. Based on the two previews Ultra posted on her label's YouTube channel, the Oakenfold and Wawa mixes sound really promising.

Listen to previews of the Oakenfold and Wawa mixes (YouTube)
Listen to the original here (MaxiPromotion)

Grade: A
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Jennifer Lopez feat Pitbull - On The Floor

Just as she begins her tenure as a judge on American Idol, the singer/dance/actress/entrepreneur is back with a new single. Taking a bit of the melody from what is known as the "Lambada" song, this song fuses a slice of the old with a bit of the current electro/pop craze. Pitbull's sections on the track feel unnecessary. It almost feels like JLo is guesting on her own song. Her vocals are cute. There are remixes for this by CCW, Low Sunday, Mixin Marc & Tony Svejda, and Ralphi Rosario. CCW and Ralphi provide circuit-oriented mixes. CCW's is dark and energetic, perfect for peak hour play. Ralphi's mixes are slightly electro-ish with some melodic piano elements. Both Low Sunday and Mixin Marc & Tony Svejda's mixes are a mix of tribal and electro. All of the versions are good, but CCW is the clear winner of this package.

Listen to the original here (YouTube)
Purchase the digital single with all the remixes here (Masterbeat)

Grade: B (for the original)/A- (for the remixes)
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Nicole Scherzinger - Don't Hold Your Breath

This is her latest single from her yet to be released solo debut album. Produced by Dave Aude, this song is based on a demo track composed by Timbaland and Keri Hilson. The chorus is the only part which is identical. The midtempo has an 80's synthpop with modern electro sound to it. It is one of the better songs Nicole has come out with as a solo artist. There are remixes for this by Bimbo Jones, Cahill, Dave Aude, and The Alias. Bimbo Jones delivers an atmospheric, big room-ish, funky house mix. Cahill's is in a similar vein as well. The lush "Clocks" sounding piano section is really beautiful. Dave Aude's mix is the most aggressive, and much harder-hitting. The Alias remix is sort of the middle ground between all of these mixes, with a slight 80's feel. Overall, all versions including the original are great. The Alias and Cahill's mixes are the standouts.

Grade: A-

February 11, 2011

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Mary Mary - Walking

This is the latest single from Gospel/R&B sister duo Mary Mary. In terms of lyrics and themes, this doesn't deviate too far from their usual. The sisters deliver a good vocal performance. There are remixes of this by Dave Aude, DJ Escape & Tony Coluccio, Harlan Pepper & AG, and Karmatronic. Dave Aude delivers a funky house mix with some lovely atmospheric elements. DJ Escape & Tony Coluccio provide a slightly harder mix with some nice synth-work. Harlan Pepper & AG's mix is a bit more soulful, calling to mind the work of legends like Steve "Silk" Hurley. Karmatronic's synth-laden mix is the hardest-hitting of bunch. Overall, every mix is well-done.

Grade: A
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Lady Gaga - Born This Way

This is the highly anticipated new single from her upcoming sophomore album of the same name. This is the song that she previewed during the American Music Awards last Fall. It just premiered on several U.S. radio stations just moments ago. Co-produced by Gaga herself, Fernando Garibay, and DJ White Shadow, the electro/synthpop track sounds like a mishmash of 80's dance/pop and current electro/house. It has positive and self-affirming lyrics about loving yourself and each other. The song is perfect for the dancefloor with the big booming bassline and delicious Moroder-esque synthwork. The spoken parts in the middle immediately call to mind Madonna's classic "Vogue." It's a very cute nod to that. Overall, the song was truly worth the seemingly long wait. This is an awesome start for her new Born This Way era.

Tune in to watch Lady Gaga perform this at the Grammys on CBS this Sunday (check local listings for channels and airtimes)

The digital single for "Born This Way" will be released today on iTunes

Grade: A

February 10, 2011

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Shayne Ward - Close To Close

This is the first single of Shayne's to be released in the U.S. It's off of his third album Obsession which was released digitally earlier in the week in the U.S.. The midtempo ballad brilliantly showcases Shayne's vocals. The song is a perfect fit for Pop radio and has been a long time coming. Hopefully, this one will finally get him the attention he deserves in the U.S.

Purchase the song here (Amazon)
Listen to the song here (YouTube)

Grade: A

February 8, 2011

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Cedric Gervais starring Mya - Love Is The Answer

French producer/DJ Cedric Gervais teams up with R&B singer Mya (of "It's All About Me", "Ghetto Superstar", "Free", and "My Love Is Like Wo" fame) to deliver a brand new song about love and positivity. Cedric's Electro/Pop production is perfect for both the clubs and radio. Mya's vocals are in top form. The main version has all the makings for a smash on Pop radio. The Second Sun remix turns the song into an anthem as does the Mysto & Pizzi mixes. DJ Ortzy & Mark M.'s electo yet sort of piano-driven mix is nice too. All the versions of the song are really great.

Purchase the digital single here (iTunes)

Grade: A

February 4, 2011

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Hazell Dean - They Say It's Gonna Rain 2011

First released in 1985, this song was a hi-nrg classic. It has seen numerous remixes and covers since its initial release. This has been remixed for 2011 by the Klub Kidz, Glamma, Sleazesisters, and PMG. The Klub Kidz mix is in a very simple electro/pop style. The Glamma mixes are bit more Eurodance-sounding with a little electro. The Sleazesisters mix is in a similar vein, but a little funkier. PMG's two mixes are housier, especially the Cats & Dogs mix. That one has a Freemasons, 7th Heaven, Nu Addiction type of sound to it. It is the best of the bunch. All of the versions are good, but only the PMG Cats & Dogs mix is the standout.

-Purchase the digital single here (Amazon UK)
-Listen to the original from 1985 here (YouTube)
-Listen to the Zulu Mix from the 1985 release here (YouTube)

Grade: B+
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Schiller - Breathless

Ambient/Electronic artist Schiller is back with a new album entitled Breathless. Spread across two discs, there are plenty of vocal and instrumental songs. Schiller teams up with a variety of vocalists including Kim Sanders, Nadia Ali, Colbie Caillat, Anggun, September, Despina Vandi, Midge Ure Xavier Naidoo, plus some more. Stylistically, most nearly all of the songs have a lush, uplifting feel. It is really hard to pick out a highlight as all of the songs are really great. The album has no filler at all. This is one of the best albums of the year so far.

Listen to previews of the album and purchase it here (the record label's website)

Grade: A+

February 3, 2011

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Whoosh! Boom! - Imitated Never Duplicated

This is a brand new release with Barry Harris and the Virgo Brothers (Andy Warren and Trypsin) at the helm. With its sassy lyrics, this one is lots of fun. The vocals by Simone Denny are just so cute. Barry and the Virgo Brothers deliver a multi-style production, dabbling in house, electro, and circuit. This will fit into a wide variety of sets. The initial release features just an edit and extended version. Additional remixes are expected to be released. For now, these versions are perfect.

Purchase the digital single here (iTunes)

Listen to a preview of the song here:
Imitated Never Duplicated - Preview Sample Snippet by Barry Harris

Grade: A

February 1, 2011

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Jason Jayma feat Nana D'Aquini - Fame

This is indeed a remake of the Irene Cara classic. After Suzanne Palmer and Naturi Naughton's takes on this song comes a cover more faithful to the original, especially with the vocals. Swedish singer Nana D'Aquini who does vocal duties this time around also covered this back in 2000, however, her version did not see a stateside release. Fans of the original should definitely check this one out as the vocal arrangement remains very faithful to the original. That said, the vocals are really good. Jason Jayma's circuit-styled production is dramatic and driving. The dub is even harder-hitting than the main version. Overall, this is one of the better covers of the classic. The single will be released on February 22 in the U.S.

Listen to a preview of the song here (YouTube)

Grade: A
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