January 31, 2013

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Carrie Underwood - Two Black Cadillacs

The third single from her Blown Away album had been quite the fan favorite before being officially announced as a single. The song takes on the subject of a woman finding out about her husband having an affair and then she takes revenge--but this time with a twist. The song continues in the dark direction of the past single "Blown Away." Carrie is in fine form vocally. This exciting song is equal parts Country and Pop, and could crossover with the right push. The music video for the song is in a cinematic style depicting the story being sung about. It is also extremely well-done.

Watch the music video for the song here (YouTube)

Grade: A
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Jewel feat Kelly Clarkson - Foolish Games

Originally released in 1997 as a single off of her Pieces Of You album and the Batman Returns soundtrack, the song has been re-recorded as a duet with Kelly Clarkson for Jewel's new greatest hits collection. The result is absolutely amazing. Jewel and Kelly complement each other so perfectly. The second verse where they sing the lines back and forth which then leads into a chorus with both of them is wonderful. The song takes on a much darker tone in this new version based on the 1997 radio version. Overall, this is a great revisit to the classic.

Listen to the new version here (YouTube)

Grade: A

January 28, 2013

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Britt Nicole - Gold (Remixes)

The Christian/Pop singer has released several albums already, but now she is ready to make her mainstream debut with this single. "Gold", sung so nicely by Britt is a very positive, uplifting Pop song. The themes of it are universal for people of all ages everywhere. This should easily be a top 10 hit in the U.S. There are some remixes of this for the clubs by Jason Nevins, N.V.N.Z., Reidiculous, and The Wideboys. Overall, Jason Nevins manages to transform this one just right.

Listen to the original here (YouTube)

Grade: A-
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New Kids on the Block - Remix (I Like The)

The boyband of the 80s is back with a new single from their album 10 which is due out in April. They will also be embarking upon a tour in support of their new record. This song's title is misleading as this song is not a 'remix' at all. The retro-sounding record is very much in the same way as Bruno Mars' recent smash hit "Locked Out Of Heaven."  The guys' signature harmonies are all over the song, sounding great. Despite having taken so many periods of time off for breaks and other projects, they have managed to come back again with something that sounds very hip and current. Overall, this is a great track.

Listen here:

Grade: A-

January 22, 2013

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Suzanne Palmer - Joy

The club scene would not be complete without a current release from Suzanne Palmer. The legendary big voiced diva is back with a song she co-wrote with Georgie Porgie. "Joy" is quite the anthem. The Gospel style vocals she is known for are on full display here. The song has a 'classic' sound to it already. The lyrics are great. There are plenty of remixes by Georgie Porgie, Funk 3D, and Tommy Love. Georgie's Anthemic mixes are circuit-oriented. Those loving the sounds of DJ Paulo, Ralphi Rosario, Tony Moran will love these. Georgie's Electro House mixes are a little lighter but the beats are similar to that of the Anthemic mixes. Funk 3D's mix sounds like a meatier Freemasons mix. Tommy Love's mix is also in the circuit style. The added piano and electro elements give it a different feel. It's the most mainstream of the bunch. Overall, every version is great with Georgie's Anthemic being the best.

Listen to clips of the mixes and buy the release here (Beatport)

Grade: A
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Chris Cox & DJ Frankie feat. Crystal Waters - Oh Mama Hey (Remixes)

The main versions for this mega-collaboration were released a few a weeks ago. Chris Cox and DJ Frankie's production is very poppy, with the usual blend of electro house. The lyrics especially delivered in Crystal's voice just make this track so infectious. The main version could easily be on radio right now.

There are remixes by Stonebridge vs. J-C, Koko, Vanity Police, Trent Cantrelle & Jquintel, Steven Redant & Phil Romano, and Rosabel. Of the main versions, the Chris Cox Dub has just enough of the vocals and the dark production makes for a great tease into the original. Of the remixes, the Redant & Romano and Rosabel mixes are the best. Redant & Romano's mix is really synthy and tribal. Rosabel deliver two dark circuit/tribal mixes. The dub is particularly exciting with all the loops, buildups, and drops, but overall the vocal mix works the best.

This is a great track.

Listen to clips and buy the remixes here (Beatport)

Grade: A

January 14, 2013

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Paulo & Jackinsky feat Michael G - Chicky Boom! (Remixes)

The main versions of this dark tribal track were released last year. Some additional mixes have been released. DJ Paulo, Nick Harvey, Stephan Grondin, and Tony Moran with Mauro Mozart provided the mixes. DJ Paulo's own Runway mixes are hard and tribal with the occasional tease of those "Love Is The Message" flourishes and that hypnotic male vocal. Nick Harvey's mix is quite the anthem with a big buildup to a long break and then more of a buildup, then it's over. Stephan Grondin's mix is drummy and minimal. Tony Moran & Mauro Mozart's big room mix is the most mainstream of the bunch. Overall, DJ Paulo's mix is the best of the bunch with the others being great too.

-Listen to clips and purchase here (Beatport)

Grade: A-

January 13, 2013

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Justin Timberlake feat Jay-Z - Suit & Tie

It has been nearly 6 1/2 years since the former member of N Sync has released new music from his own album. There have been a handful of duets and appearances on other artists' singles here and there. His last album FutureSex/LoveSounds spawned nearly half a dozen hits. Since then, Justin has put music on the backburner opting to work on a clothing line and acting in feature films.

The wait is over. Produced by Timbaland, the uptempo R&B track has a lovely 'old school' sound that will really help to make this stand out on radio amongst all the other music out now. Justin sounds divine. Jay-Z is a great accompaniment. This should be massive for him. His new album is called The 20/20 Experience and is due out in the next few months,

-Listen to a clip and purchase the song here (iTunes)

Grade: A
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Irina - Something About You (Remixes)

This single was actually released in 2012 by the Russian singer/songwriter. Some new remixes were released last week. The original song is a fun electro/pop track. It is so catchy. It has the potential to be crossover to mainstream radio. There are tons of remixes by Alexey Romeo, Automatic Panic, Bill Hamel, Bimbo Jones, Dave Aude, Eddie Amador, Mike Newman, Razor N Guido, and Rich Morel. All of the mixes are great, however, Dave Aude, Eddie Amador, and Razor N Guido's mixes are the standouts. 

-Watch the sexy music video here (YouTube)
-Listen to clips of and purchase all the mixes (except the Aude ones) here (Beatport)
-Listen to clips of and purchase the Dave Aude mixes here (Beatport)

Grade: A-
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Bruno Mars - Locked Out Of Heaven (Remixes)

This was the lead single from his highly anticipated Unorthodox Jukebox album. The song's verses instantly call to mind Alcazar's club classic "Crying At The Discotheque" which sampled Sheila B. Devotion's "Spacer." The electronic/rock/pop song is insanely catchy.

There are some remixes by Cazzette, Late Night Hustle, Major Lazer, Paul Oakenfold, and R3hab. Cazzette's mix is a straightforward big room electro/house mix. Late Night Hustle's electro mix has an 80s synthpop type of sound. Major Lazer's mix is laidback with a light reggae sound. Paul Oakenfold opts for a heavy electro sound with only the verses having a lot of melody. R3hab deviates from the usual for a hip hop meets dubstep styled mix. Overall, Cazzette and Major Lazer's mixes are the best of the bunch.

-Listen to the Cazzette mix here (YouTube)
-Listen to the Major Lazer mix here (YouTube)

Grade: A-

January 12, 2013

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Prince - Rock and Roll Affair (Remixes)

The legendary R8B/Funk/Rock's throwback single has a remix package. Official remixes of his songs have been especially rare in the last few years. Swiss House impresario Jamie Lewis who had done remixes of Prince's "Dance 4 Me" in 2011 provides 2 different sets of mixes. The Club Mix is a big room styled mix with large synths and plenty of bass. The vocals are hypnotic and fit well with the production. The Stripped Down mix has a similarly hard beat, but the addition of recreated Disco/Funk instrumental elements straight out of Prince's early 80s work gives this one a major edge. This one just works a lot better. The extended instrumental guitar break is so lovely and unexpected. Also included on the package are edits of the two Jamie mixes, the radio edit of the original, and an extended version. Overall, the Stripped Down mix is the best of the bunch.

-Listen to clips of all the versions and purchase here (Beatport)

Grade: A+ (for the Stripped Down mix)
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Mayra Veronica - Ay Mama Mia (Remixes)

This is the latest single from the sexy Latin diva. Armed with an arsenal of remixes by Chocolate Puma, Dave Aude, Razor N Guido, Robbie Rivera, and Sick Individuals, it's a extremely fun Summery song to warm us up during these cold Winter months. It has a convivial carnival type of feel. Every mix is great, but the standouts are the Dave Aude and Razor N Guido mixes. Dave's keeps the Latin feel but adds some big stacky riffs to it. Razor N Guido's follows that style too but they inject some of their signature NY edge to it. This should be filling dancefloors all the way through the Summer.

-listen to the Dave Aude mix here (YouTube)
-listen to the Razor N Guido Duhb here (Soundcloud)

Grade: A-
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Carmen Electra feat Bill Hamel - I Like It Loud

The actress/dancer/model/television personality/singer is back with a new single. It was released in the later part of 2012. Carmen had released an album of Dance/Hip Hop/R&B/Pop in the early 90s with productions by Prince, Junior Vasquez, and Keith Cohen. Although the album wasn't a commercial success, it became a cult classic spawning a couple of minor club hits. "I Like It Loud" is a very simple, straightforward half sung, half rapped track. Carmen sounds great and gets one in the mood to just let loose and have fun. Bill Hamel's production is very contemporary and the song could easily be played on Pop radio and in the clubs. Hector Fonseca & DJ Theresa have done some remixes. Hector's main mix isn't as hard as the original and makes it just a little clubbier. His dub with Theresa is harder-hitting. Overall, every version is great.

-Listen to the original version here (YouTube)
-Purchase the digital single here (iTunes)

Grade: A-

January 11, 2013

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Destiny's Child - Nuclear

The trio's Love Songs collection featuring ballads from their previous album will be released soon. "Nuclear" is the only new, or previously unreleased song. It is not known when this was recorded. It's a  midtempo R&B/Freestyle sounding ballad that could be straight out of the 90s. Vocally, all three singers sound great. Overall, the song is good for what it is, but it's nothing quite like their earlier material.

Listen to the song here (YouTube)

Grade: B

January 7, 2013

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Rihanna - Diamonds (Peter Rauhofer remixes)

The song has been a smashing success all over the world for the last couple of months. There have been plenty of official and unofficial mixes so far. Most of the official mixes were at a tempo slightly faster than the original as the vocals are such that speeding them up to a traditional House tempo may not work out too well.

Peter Rauhofer delivers two slamming mixes that work so well. Better late than never right? His aptly titled Beautiful Anthem mix has full vocals. The vocal stretch is so incredibly well-done that it almost sounds like Rihanna recorded new vocals. The production is driving and dramatic, recalling his Club 69 days, but within a modern context. This is the quintessential club mix. The Makes The World Go Round Dub has an underlying bassline which calls to mind the legendary Deep Dish mix of Sandy B's song of the same name. Just a handful of vocals have been used, but this dub could serve as a nice tease for the vocal mix.

Both mixes are available to download for a limited time only:

Grade: A

January 2, 2013

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Christian Burns, Paul Oakenfold & Jes - As We Collide

This is a unique collaboration between the two vocalists and the legendary producer. The electro/house/trance duet is absolutely stunning. Christian Burns and Jes Brieden complement each others' voices perfectly. The main version's production has some possibly unintentional references to the Bronski Beat classic "Smalltown Boy", especially the main riff.

There are additional mixes by Andy Caldwell, Jesse Voorn, and Orjan Nilsen. Andy Caldwell's mix is much more progressive and a little noisy at times. However, the part with the "Smalltown Boy" reference sounds really good. Jesse Voorn's mix is very noisy as well. Only the sections with the vocals sound good. Orjan Nilsen's mix ends up being the best of the bunch. It's a euphoric mix with a nice drop and riff using the "Smalltown Boy" riff. It's played up even more on this version than on any of the other ones. This could be absolutely massive worldwide.

-Listen to the Orjan Nilsen mix here (YouTube)
-Listen to clips and buy the main versions here (Beatport)
-Listen to clips and buy the remix here (Beatport)

Grade: A
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