August 29, 2012

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Nicole Moudaber and Victor Calderone - The Journey Begins

They are two underground house DJs/producers who have collaborated on two new recordings released last week. "The Journey Begins" is a 12 and half minute largely instrumental track with and uplifting synthline, twisted filtering, and a hypnotic male vocal. It changes throughout. Although quite well-produced, it could be a bit shorter. "Vertical Limit" is over 11 minutes and is something suitable for play during afterhours. However, the track is extremely repetitive. It could work well with an acapella played over it though.

Purchase the digital single here (Beatport)

Grade: B+

August 28, 2012

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Avicii vs Lenny Kravitz - Superlove

The original song was on his album released last year. The guitar-driven R&B/Pop/Rock track features a really lovely vocal by Lenny. The Avicii remix has gotten a lot more attention as this has been a fixture in his sets for some time now. The rocker's vocals are heavily manipulated and appear in the middle. The main riff sounds like it is based on Loleatta Holloway's "Love Sensation".

There are additional mixes by Carl Tio & Morjac, Andy Caldwell, Fred Falke, WAWA, Taped & Redtop, Stefan Dabruck, Teddy Douglas, Whatever Whatever, and Redtop. Carl Tio & Morjac's mix is much poppier than the original, however the tempo is almost the same. Teddy Douglas' mix is very hard and tribal. Redtop's solo mix is an extended version of the original.

-Watch the eye-catching music video for the Avicii remix here (YouTube)
-Buy the remixes here (iTunes)
-Buy the Avicii remix here (iTunes)

Grade: A
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Exposé - Shine On

The Dance/Pop trio in its original hit configuration is back with their first new single in over 20 years! They released a new version of their big hit "Point Of No Return" last year. "Shine On" is a beautiful, uplifting track featuring the ladies' signature great vocals. The production is very simple and effective on the main Drew Pearson mix. There are remixes by DJ Amy Alderman, Chris Thomas, Klubjumpers, and Oliver Watts. DJ Amy Alderman's mix is really hard and dark, making it perfect for the circuit floors. The Chris Thomas mix is aptly named as the mix is very light and pretty. The Klubjumpers mix is good, however, it feels very basic in its construction. The Oliver Watts mix is the best of the bunch with its uplifting circuit-oriented production. The synthwork really complements the vocals nicely. Also included on the single are re-recorded versions of their hits "Come Go With Me", "Let Me Be The One", "Seasons Change", and "Point Of No Return."

Purchase the CD maxi single for "Shine On" directly from the group's website (a digital download release is expected to happen eventually)

Grade: A

August 26, 2012

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Kristine W - Everything That I Got

This is the latest single from the veteran Dance diva. The song is sassy and festive, recalling some of her earlier songs such as "Clubland", however, it lacks the excitement of her earlier work. Vocally she sounds great though. Bimbo Jones, Stonebridge, Subgroover, and Twisted Dee provide the remixes this time around. Bimbo Jones' mixes are straight-forward mainstream ones. Stonebridge's organ-driven mixes are surprisingly hard-hitting. Subgroover's are string-driven with a hint of electro. Twisted Dee's mix is the most anthemic of the bunch. Overall, Twisted Dee and Stonebridge deliver the best mixes of the bunch. It must be noted that the club mix and dub versions are very short (the longest version on the package is 6:23).

-The digital single is available for purchase here (iTunes)
-The CD maxi is available for purchase from Kristine's website here (purchase includes a free download of a previously unreleased remix of "Shower The People" by Welcome)

Grade: B+

August 25, 2012

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Justin Bieber feat Big Sean - As Long As You Love Me (Remixes)

This is the second single off of his Believe album. The dubstep influenced track marks a major change in the popstar's sound. This is far more infectious than the previous single "Boyfriend." Rapper Big Sean's appearance on the song is pretty good.

This is his second consecutive single to have a full package of remixes for the clubs. There are remixes by Paulo & Jackinsky, Ferry Corsten, Audien, and Audiobot. DJ Paulo & Alain Jackinsky's signature big room sound works very well with the song. Ferry Corsten's electro-house mix feels a tad too aggressive for such a light-hearted and fun song. The Audien and Audiobot mixes are in a dubstep style. Audien's mix is a bit more uplifting while Audiobot's is very dark and aggressive. Fans of the original wanting something similar to that will enjoy the latter two.

Watch the music video for the original version here (YouTube)

Grade: A-
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Christina Aguilera - Your Body

There had been some rumors since late last year that this single would be released to start off Christina's new album era, however, it remained unreleased and unheard until now. The Max Martin-produced song is a Dance-oriented R&B midtempo. The sexy song is far catchier than some of her earlier first singles. Compared to her last outing with "Not Myself Tonight", this one is much more subtle. "Fuck Your Body" was the original name for the song as she sings that line in the chorus, but there are edited versions coming out that reportedly change "fuck" to "love". Vocally, Christina shows a bit more restraint limiting her signature runs and ad libs. Overall, this is a really strong lead single.

Grade: A

August 21, 2012

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Kathy Griffin - I'll Say It (Remixes)

Known for her outrageous and hilarious brand of comedy, the comedienne, actress, and now talk show host is releasing a song. This is actually the theme song for her new Bravo network show Kathy. The original is a Country/Rock/Pop track. Despite the use of some autotune on the vocals, Kathy sounds pretty good. She sounds far more convincing than some of today's popstars. There is a full package of remixes by the Majik Boys, Razor N Guido, Sted-E & Hybrid Heights, Gustavo Scorpio, and Keisha My Ash. The Miami Radio mix is a clubbier version of the original. The Majik Boys mixes have that "Tik Tok"/"California Gurls" type of synth running through them. These are nice electropop mixes. Razor N Guido provide a nice big room synthy mix with some hard beats. Sted-E & Hybrid Heights provide and uplifting electro mix with some pretty piano sections. Gustavo Scorpio's hard circuit-oriented mix makes the song into a dancefloor anthem. The Keisha My Ash mix is a techy, aggressive electro mix. Overall, every version works well with the Majik Boys, Razor N Guido, and Gustavo Scorpio mixes being the best of the bunch. This is a very fun release.

Listen to clips and buy the remixes of the song here (iTunes)

Grade: A

August 19, 2012

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Aiden Leslie - Diamond Dreams

This is his latest single. Stylewise, this marks a bit of a departure for him as the song has strong Rock influences coupled with his usual Dance/Pop. Aiden's vocals are much stronger on this song demonstrating his growth since prior singles. The song has more lyrical depth as well. Overall, this is his strongest single to date. It is perfect for the clubs and radio.

Watch eye-catching the music video here (YouTube)

Grade: A-

August 15, 2012

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Brook Penning - My Heart!

This is the singer-songwriter's new single produced by the legendary Robert Clivilles (of C+C Music Factory). Brook's vocals are comparable to Beyonce and Kelly Rowland in terms of abilities and style. The production on the song is a throwback to Enur's "Calabria 2007" which was a big hit throughout much of the world. The sax hook in the back and the programming bears a striking resemblance to it. The Samba After Hours mix gives the song a nice tribal workout. Overall, the song is very catchy and fun.

Listen to the song here:

Buy it on iTunes

Grade: A

August 14, 2012

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Swedish House Mafia feat John Martin - Don't You Worry Child

This is their latest single. It is vocal-oriented track in a similar vein as last year's "Save The World." Lyrically it is very positive and hopeful. The vocals by John Martin are beautiful. They call to mind some of Bryan Adams' earlier work. The instrumental production is ethereal and uplifting. The main riff calls to mind the ones used in Coldplay's "Every Tear Is A Waterfall" and Avicii's "Levels." This one would find success in both clubland on mainstream radio.

Listen to the main version here:

Grade: A

August 12, 2012

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Kate Bush - Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) [Remix]

Originally released in 1985, the song was a big hit in many parts of the world. Kate has re-recorded the song. It was featured during the 2012 London Olympics closing ceremony. The new version is based structurally on the original 12" version. It feels a bit more modern, while retaining the original flavor. Kate's vocals are noticeably different as her voice has changed a bit over the years, however, the deeper vocals give the song a totally different feel. The song was wonderful in its original version, however, this remix is quite lovely as well.

Purchase the song here (iTunes)

Grade: A

August 7, 2012

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Aaliyah - Enough Said (feat Drake)

During her brief career that was cut short by her tragic death in 2001, Aaliyah had left quite an impression on the R&B music scene with her unforgettable voice. A previously unreleased song has now been produced by Noah "40" Shebib and adds in red hot rapper Drake. The song is dark and haunting with Aaliyah's beautiful vocals bringing it all together. Her "yeah yeah yeah  yeah yeah yeah" hook is so simple yet so devastating. Drake's rap verse works, but the lyrics throwing shade at rival Chris Brown feel really out of place and inappropriate. There is also a solo version that limits Drake's vocals to just some shoutouts in the background. Hopefully there is more unreleased music to come.

Listen to the solo version here:

Grade: A-
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David Guetta feat Sia - She Wolf (Falling To Pieces)

This is a new single from the upcoming re-release of his Nothing But The Beat album. Just as the song "Titanium" featuring Aussie vocalist Sia has finally found success in the U.S. comes this new one. This is an incredible aggressive Electro/Dance/Pop track with a hint of Rock. Stylewise, this is a bit different from some of the other singles released from the album. Sia's vocals are stunning as can be expected. With the right push, this could be another hit for both artists.

Listen to the original here (YouTube)

Grade: A-

August 4, 2012

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Peter Rauhofer feat Zander Bleck - The World Is Mine

Originally released in 2004 by David Guetta featuring the vocals of JD Davis, the song went on to be pretty huge in clubland. Peter Rauhofer has teamed up with vocalist Zander Bleck to do a remake. Zander manages to capture the vocal nuances of the original vocalist, although nothing compares to the original. The new production is electro with some big room synths. It's a really energetic take on the song.

Listen to a clip and purchase the mix here (Beatport)

Grade: A-

August 3, 2012

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Christophe Willem - Starlite

This is the latest single from the French popstar who is best known for winning on Pop Idol in France 6 years ago. The song is a throwback to the heyday of Disco music. The song interpolates Rufus & Chaka Khan's classic "Ain't Nobody" both in terms of the production and the main refrain ("ain't nobody, loves me better, makes me happy, makes me feel this way"). The stunning production is modern yet has a classic feel making it appealing to a wide variety of audiences. The song's lyrics are a mixture of French and English. Christophe's voice is impressive, immediately calling to mind George Michael and Darren Hayes. The remixes by Freemasons and Priizm are great too. The Freemason mixes basically soup up the original making it more suitable for the dancefloor. The Priizm mix is a lush piano house mix.

-Watch the original music video here (YouTube)
-Listen to the Freemasons remix here (YouTube)

Grade: A+

August 2, 2012

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Mariah Carey - Triumphant

This is the highly anticipated new single off of her new album due later this year. She teams ups with rappers Rick Ross and Meek Mil on this inspirational hip hop song that is co-written and co-produced by Jermaine Dupri and Bryan Michael Cox. The song is inspirational in nature and bears some resemblance melodically to her critically acclaimed "Fly Like A Bird". Mariah's singing is limited to the hook, chorus, and bridge on the album version as the guest rappers perform the verses. However, it has been announced that there will be additional versions featuring more of Mariah. With Mariah basically guesting on her own song, it just doesn't work that well.

The song will be available for purchase next week.

Listen to the song on her website here

Grade: B
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