April 30, 2011

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Cascada - San Francisco

After the underperformance of "Night Nurse", Cascada is back with a new single entitled "San Francisco." A cute ode to the city by the bay, the catchy song calls to mind last year's Summer smash "California Gurls" by Katy Perry in select portions. That isn't necessarily a bad thing as that was a cute, fun song. The original version has not been released yet, however, remixes by Cahill, Wideboys, and Frisco have been. Cahill's is their usual commercial house mix. This one especially has the "California Gurls" feel. The Wideboys harden things a bit with their bassline driven mix. Frisco's mix is in the hard jump-up style of Cascada's first two albums. All three are quite good, but the Cahill mix is the best of the bunch. Their 4th album entitled Original Me is due for an early Summer release.

Grade: A-

April 29, 2011

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Matthew Morrison - Summer Rain

This is the lead single off of the Glee star's upcoming self-titled album. The midtempo pop song is a bit cheesey lyrically, but Matthew's vocals manage to be the saving grace. He delivers a wonderful vocal performance. Thankfully, Almighty has remixed this. The cheesey nature of the song lends itself extremely well to Almighty's Euro-house styled remixes. The remix is far better than the original. The album will be released on May 10.

-Listen to the original version here (YouTube)
-Listen to a clip of the Almighty mix here (Almighty website) <--- it's track 2 on the player

Grade: C (for the original)/A- (for the remix)

April 24, 2011

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DJ Meme Orchestra feat Tracey K - Love Is You

Thrust into the mainstream's consciousness nearly a decade ago when Spiller sampled it on his breakthrough hit "Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)" featuring the vocals of Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Carol Williams' "Love Is You" has been covered in full. Uplifting and beautiful, the original was one of many gems in the Salsoul catalogue. House diva Tracey K's vocal performance is somewhat faithful to the original, however, she change some things up. The production on the main mix is exquisite, with much of the original disco flavor left unchanged, but it has been modernized ever so slightly. The Knee Deep Dub is beautiful as well. Also included are a TV track and instrumental of the main versions. Do check out the Carol Williams original as well.

Listen to the main version here (YouTube)
Purchase the digital single here (TraxSource)

Grade: A+
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Beyonce - Run The World (Girls)

This is the lead single off of her first new album in almost 3 years. It is a busy uptempo in which the diva sings about women dominating and running the world. The song samples extensively from the electro track "Pon De Floor" by Major Lazer. The result is a noisy, non-cohesive track lacking focus and listenability. There is a clear chorus, but it feels forced. Hopefully this is not indicative of the rest of the album.

The lush Masters At Work-styled throwback remixes by Streamweaver lost all of the noisy elements of the original, leaving just the vocals over a gorgeous production. This is a perfect example of salvaging a mediocre to bad track and making it into something good.

Listen to the original here (YouTube)
Listen to the Streamweaver mix here:
Beyoncé - Run The World (Girls) (Steamweaver Who Run The House Radio Edit) by Steamweaver

Grade: D+ (for the original)/A- (for the Streamweaver mixes)

April 16, 2011

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Sade - Still In Love With You

New material from the velvet-voiced singer is always welcome. This song is actually a cover of a song by Thin Lizzy. Sade's interpretation is simply sublime. It is simply spectacular. Do check out the original as well. This song is one of three new additions to their upcoming second retrospective Ultimate Collection due for a release on May 3.

Listen to the song here (YouTube)

Grade: A+

April 15, 2011

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Lady Gaga - Judas

This is the highly anticipated second single from her sophomore album. "Judas" calls to mind some of the sound of her debut, production-wise, especially the songs "Poker Face", "Paparazzi", and "Bad Romance." Gaga sings about how she is still in love with Judas even though she knows he's bad for her. It is instantly catchy with its many hooks. Those fearing the religious aspect of the song will be relieved to know that it's rather limited. Overall, this is a much stronger single than the previous "Born This Way."

Purchase the song here (iTunes)

Grade: A

April 14, 2011

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Mory Kante vs Loverush UK! - Yeke Yeke 2011

Originally released in 1987, this international smash is considered a classic in many circles. This has been updated this year courtesy of Loverush UK!. Certain key elements of the original and the 1992 Hardfloor mix have been kept while freshening it up. There are additional mixes by Robbie Rivera, Rinaldo Montezz, Timothy Allan, Chris Sen, and Bluestone. Robbie Rivera's piano-drenched electro treatment starts off promising but doesn't really go anywhere. Rinaldo Montezz's Offer Nissim-esque mix is a little better, but works better as a radio edit. Timothy Allan's mix is basically a tribal/electro dub which has some good moments. The electro Chris Sen mix channels some of the Afro Acid mix from the original release. The Bluestone mix emphasizes the vocals, but isn't that exciting. The Loverush UK!, Rinaldo Montezz, and Chris Sen mixes are the ones to check out.

Grade: A-

April 11, 2011

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Lady Gaga - Born This Way (2 new Indian remixes)

2 new remixes of her international smash made especially for her fans in India have been released.

Mega Bollywood composers Salim-Sulaiman are behind the first version--entitled the Bollywood Remix--adding some traditional instruments including dholaks and sitars. Much of the frenetic edge of the original has been toned down.

Culture Shock provides the second mix. The "Clocks"-esque "When Love Takes Over" strings pop up all throughout it. This one fuses modern Punjabi pop and dance music together.

Both of these remixes are well done, with the Bollywood Remix coming out ahead.

Listen to both of the remixes here (Desi Hits)

Grade: A
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Rihanna feat Britney Spears - S&M (Remix)

The sexy third single off of Loud gets even hotter with the addition of Pop princess Britney Spears. She performs vocal duties on the second verse, the bridge, and throughout. Overall, Britney's added vocals complement Rihanna's and do add a little something. Brit's vocal on the chorus sound really good though. However, it feels really phoned in and rushed as a whole. A duet of this sort could have been something better had a little more time been put in. Fans of both Pop divas will definitely want to check this out.

Purchase the remix version here (iTunes)

Grade: B

April 10, 2011

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Dalal - Taste The Night

Austrian singer Dalal is all set to make her U.S. debut with the enticing new single "Taste The Night". Her soaring vocals plus catchy lyrics make this a really great song. The lush circuit/electro-pop production by Tony Moran and Warren Rigg makes this suitable for both the clubs and Pop radio alike. This would be perfectly at home with the dozens of other electro/pop songs flooding airwaves right now, except this one has that extra something. This is a great wonderful song.

Listen to the Tony Moran & Warren Rigg radio edit here (YouTube)
Purchase the Tony Moran & Warren Rigg radio edit here (iTunes)

Grade: A

April 6, 2011

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Robyn - Call You Girlfriend

This is her latest single from the Body Talk album. On "Call Your Girlfriend", Robyn is telling her man to inform his other girlfriend that he is leaving her. The synthpop drenched song has a similar tone as earlier smash "Dancing On My Own", however, this one isn't so melancholy. The original is pure dance/pop perfection. There are remixes by Sultan & Ned Shepard and Kaskade. Sultan & Ned Shepard harden things up with their aggressive electro-house mix. Kaskade's mixes pack the same punch but are a little mellower. There is also the bass-heavy electro Feed Me mix. Overall, the Kaskade mix is the best of the bunch.

Grade: A

April 2, 2011

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Nightcrawlers feat Taio Cruz - Still Cryin'

This is a club-oriented update to a song sung by Taio and John Reid a couple of years back. Both singers' voices complement each other nicely. The Freemasons, Cahill, LMC, Kenny Hayes, Jorg Schmid, and Hypasonic provide the remixes. The Freemasons keep things simple with a slightly slower mix than usual. Cahill's slightly trancey mix is beautiful as well. LMC and Kenny Hayes make things a little funkier. Jorg Schmid and Hypasonic's mixes are both in that jump-up trance style. Each a little faster than the last. Overall, the Freemasons, Cahill, and Kenny Hayes mixes are the best of the bunch. The Freemasons mix sounds perfect for U.S. CHR/Pop radio right now.

Grade: A
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