February 27, 2013

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Blake Lewis - Your Touch

Blake was the runnerup on American Idol during the season in which Jordin Sparks won. He went on to release one album, Audio Daydream on the label he was signed to after AI, and then he released the critically acclaimed Heartbreak On Vinyl on Dance/Electronic label Tommy Boy Records which spawned several Club Play hits. He is now signed to Republic Records. His 3rd album Portrait Of A Chameleon is due out later this year. The lead single is Dubstep-influenced Pop song in the same vein as Justin Bieber's "As Long As You Love Me", though this is far catchier and Blake is a much better singer. This has the potential to be as massive as that and help him to finally make a breakthrough.

Listen to the song here (YouTube)

Grade: A

February 25, 2013

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Special Amazon MP3 $1.99 Deals

For today, February 26 only, Amazon's MP3 store is offer 20 specific albums for $1.99 each! The albums included in the deal by the following artists: Muse, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Bruno Mars, Earth, Wind, & Fire, Tegan & Sara, Trey Songz, Passion Pit, Train, john Denver, Billboard #1 Hits: The 70s, Flo Rida, The Lone Bellow, Led Zeppelin, Fiona Apple, Aerosmith, Band Of Horses, Jennifer Lopez, Frank Sinatra, Ricardo Arjona, and Britney Spears.

View the deals and buy the albums here: http://kwn.me/4qg4

February 22, 2013

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Tomcraft - Loneliness 2K13

This song was released 10 years ago. It has been remixed and reinvented a few times since then. Built around a vocal loop of part of the verse from Andrea Martin's "Share The Love" (which was remixed to perfection by Hani), the song relies on a strong instrumental hook in addition to the vocals. The new main version stays very true to the original. There are additional remixes by Tujamo and Jaxxon. Tujamo's mix is minimal and has a few nice electro breaks. Jaxxon's mix on the other hand is a far more aggressive take on the main version, resembling the Benny Benassi mix of the original. Overall, the main version is the best of the bunch.

Listen to these versions here:

Grade: A-
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Mariah Carey - Almost Home

This is a new song specially composed for the new Disney movie Oz The Great And Powerful. The poppy midtempo might be a tad too sweet for some, but within the context of a Disney film, one would expect it to be like that. Mariah really sings her heart out on this. She sings with her full voice versus some of the breathy whispering she has done on some of her songs throughout the last decade. She really lets loose in the final parts of the song with the thundering ad-libs one would expect from her. Overall, this song is really beautiful.

Listen to the song here:

Buy the song here (iTunes)

Grade: A

February 20, 2013

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Avicii vs Nicky Romero - I Could Be The One

Although released last year, this song has begun to gain traction in the U.S. and around the world, recently topping the UK charts. Though the song's lyrics aren't exactly groundbreaking, but coupled with the hypnotic production, it all works well. There is a really great remix of this by the Bent Collective (Danny Verde, Guy Scheiman, and Steven Redant) coming soon that significantly improves upon the original. It is much harder and gives the song some much needed drama.

-Watch the music video here (YouTube)
Listen to the preview of Bent Collective's mix here:

Grade: A- (for the original)
            A for the Bent Collective mix

February 15, 2013

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P!nk - Try (Remixes)

It took a little time for the song to gain momentum, by P!nk's "Try" is a certified hit. Many had been wanting some club remixes for the song. There have been a few uncommissioned ones. Here are 3 of the best ones by Cosmic Dawn and Peter Rauhofer.

Cosmic Dawn's mix maintains most of the elements of the original, making it just a little faster. Fans of remixes that don't stray too far from the original will love this.

Peter Rauhofer remixes this into a gorgeous peak hour transformation. He did change up the structure of the verses and the chorus, but it works quite well.

Both of these mixes are extremely well done.

Grade: A
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Yinon Yahel - Who Da' Fuck?

This is the latest track from the Israeli producer/remixer/DJ. The somewhat brazen title isn't 100% indicative of the song's lyrics. The song is mostly instrumental with the title lyric only appearing in some of the buildups. It has a quirky, almost sax-like electro synth hook with some tribal beats. There are 3 main versions of this. The New York mix is longer and has a dark feel while the TLV mix is a minute shorter. It starts up a little quicker. Last but not least is the GDL mix which is the darkest of the 3. This will fit into a variety of DJ sets.

Listen to the 3 mixes on Soundcloud
-New York Mix
-TLV Mix
-GDL Mix

Grade: A-

February 14, 2013

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Janet Jackson - Throb (Peter Rauhofer 2013 Remix)

The sexually charged track was released as a single in only certain parts of the world, however, it managed to fairly well without being formally released as such. It is one of her most popular songs from the janet album released in 1992. The song had some delectable remixes by David Morales which were released as b-sides on certain editions of her singles. The song has minimal lyrics delivered in a breathy manner, plenty of moans, groans, and exclamations of ecstasy.

Peter Rauhofer, who had previously remixed Janet's "Just A Little While" in 2004 recently completed a new remix of this for 2013. The mix is dark and tribal with the vocals coming in at just the right times. The familiar vocals have a different feel with the new production but it's really well done.

The remix is available for listening and downloading:

Grade: A-

February 13, 2013

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Asher Monroe - Here With You

Formerly a member of the boyband V Factory, he is now trying it as a solo artist. The song was actually released as a single last year however the remixes have only been released recently. The song is cut from the same cloth as The Wanted's "Glad You Came" and "Chasing The Sun". The similarities are undeniable, but the song manages to go beyond those comparisons and is easily lyrically superior to the songs it was influenced by. The song does not try to be anything other than something fun to listen to. Asher has a really great voice and this song could help him become established as a solo artist. It has a great book and could do well on the radio with the proper push. There are several remixes by Dave Aude, Ivan Gomez & Nacho Chapado, and Sick Individuals. Dave's manages to be the best of the bunch, maintaining some of the baseline and melody of the original.

-Listen to the original here (YouTube)
-Watch the Dave Aude remix video by DJ DigiMark here (YouTube)

Grade: A-
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Rihanna - Stay (feat Mikky Ekko)

This is the much awaited second single from her album entitled Unapologetic. This haunting, gorgeous ballad showcases Rihanna's ever improving vocals. It may seem like an unlikely  choice for a single however the risk will pay off in the long run as it is one of her best ones. Guest Mikky Ekko is a perfect complement to her. This will also pave the way for him to cross over in the U.S.

-Watch the music video here (YouTube)
-Buy the song here (iTunes)

Grade: A

February 11, 2013

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Depeche Mode - Heaven (Remixes)

This is the lead single from their forthcoming new album Delta Machine. The song is a Pop/Rock midtempo not deviating too much from their usual, however, there is a subtle darkness to it. The Freemasons remixes of this bring the dark element to the forefront. They kept certain production elements from the original. The song feels more intense at the higher tempo. This is easily one of the darkest mixes the Freemasons have done to date. Overall, this song is quite the grower, and the remix is  excellent.

-Listen to the original here (YouTube)
-Listen to the Freemasons mix here (YouTube)

Grade: A
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Dirty Pop (Mashups)

Do you enjoy mashups of the latest Top 40 hits with a sprinkling of classics? Look no further than the Dirty Pop series. Expertly mashed and mixed by DJ Drew G, there are tons of fun, unusual, and seemingly unlikely mashups. The full length sets are recommended listening at the gym or when your out and about. DJ friendly unmixed versions of some of the featured tracks are also available.

-Check out the latest set here (Soundcloud)
-additional sets in the series, other mashups, and original remixes are also available here (Soundcloud)

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Justin Timberlake - Mirrors

Hours after his retro-inspired Grammys performance which had him performing "Suit & Tie" with Jay-Z and "Pusher Love Girl", two songs from his upcoming The 20/20 Experience album, another song called "Mirrors" has been made available for download. Some were unsure of how to receive the lead single "Suit & Tie", however, this song in many ways is a throwback to some of the familiar sounds of his first two albums, but with a little something new. Clocking in at a little over 8 minutes, this song has an extended coda at the end which in many ways is like the attached interludes found on his last album. If this were to be the next single. significant editing will need to happen for this to be played on radio. Overall, this is a great song.

-Listen to the song here (YouTube)
-The song can be purchased here (iTunes)

Grade: A
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My thoughts on the 2013 Grammys

In the nearly 6 years I have been writing the blog, I haven't done something like this, but after some asked me to, I decided to jot down my thoughts on this year's Grammy awards ceremony. I noted down everything as it happened live on my iPad and then posted everything uncensored, unfiltered, but with some copy editing so it's coherent. I would have live tweeted it, but I am too much of a perfectionist and it would take substantially longer to articulate my thoughts in 140 characters or less. Here it is:

February 10, 2013

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Grammys tonight!

The Grammys will be happening tonight! Here are the official Sweet Muzik predictions. This post will be updated after the telecast to indicate which ones were predicted correctly/incorrectly. Correct ones will be highlighted in blue, incorrect ones will be highlighted in red.

(last updated at 12:40 AM PST, 2/11/13 )

Record of the Year: fun. feat. Janelle Monae, "We Are Young"
Album of the Year: Frank Ocean, channel ORANGE
Song of the Year: Ed Sheeran, "The A Team"
Best New Artist: Frank Ocean
Best Pop Solo Performance: Kelly Clarkson, "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)"
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: Gotye feat. Kimbra, "Somebody That I Used to Know"
Best Pop Vocal Album: Florence + the Machine, Ceremonials
Best Dance Recording: Avicii, "Levels"
Best Dance/Electronica Album: Deadmau5, "Album Title Goes Here"
Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical: M83, "Midnight City (Eric Prydz Private Remix)"
Best Rock Performance: Bruce Springsteen, "We Take Care of Our Own"
Best R&B Performance: Miguel, "Adorn"
Best Traditional R&B Performance: Beyonce, "Love On Top"
Best R&B Song: Tamia, "Beautiful Surprise"
Best Urban Contemporary Album: Frank Ocean, channel ORANGE
Best R&B Album: Tamia, Beautiful Surprise
Best Rap Performance: Jay-Z & Kanye West, "N's in Paris"
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration: Flo Rida feat. Sia, "Wild Ones"
Best Rap Song: Nas, "Daughters"
Best Rap Album: Drake, Take Care
Producer of the Year, Non-Classical: Jeff Bhasker
Best Short Form Video: Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris, "We Found Love"

February 8, 2013

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Yinon Yahel feat Alon Sharr - Reach Out

After the surprising success of Swedish House Mafia's recent single "Don't You Worry Child", there is a greater opportunity for Electro/Pop songs with male vocals to cross over as well. The Israeli producer/DJ's latest release is exactly one of those. The production is lighter than his usual, but it still packs quite the punch especially during the break. The deep voiced Alon Sharr's vocal performance is great too. The song sounds like it would work well in a ballad arrangement if such a version existed. With the right push, this could be a hit.

Grade: A-
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The Chainsmokers feat Priyanka Chopra - Erase

This is another collaboration involving the Bollywood actress (the other being "In My City" with will.i.am). This Electro/Pop track really shows off Priyanka's lovely vocals. As mentioned with the other single, it was a pleasant surprise to hear how great she sounds. This song is much catchier and has greater crossover potential than IMC. The main version's production is very club-oriented and a tad noisy during the instrumental breaks, however, the remix by Samantha Ronson (yes, that one!) softens things and is so pretty and laidback.

-Listen to clips and purchase the original version here (Beatport)
-Listen to clips and purchase the Samantha Ronson mix here (Beatport)

Grade: A

February 7, 2013

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Superbowl Halftime Show Poll Results

Here are the results of the Superbowl Halftime show poll opened on Sunday evening. There was a slight delay in posting the results as there were several ties initially that have since resolved themselves. Several of the choices that the readers could vote for received no votes so those are not included in the final results shown below.

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Sarah Brightman - Angel (Remixes)

This is the lead single from the mezzo soprano's new album. The building ballad-style production of the original is so beautiful. Sarah's lovely vocals are the main focus as the production is subdued enough in all the right places. It builds up bit by bit to an epic climax.

There are remixes for this by Stefan Dabruck, Von Ukuf & Dylon, and Wawa. Stefan's mix is synthy and really pretty. The Von Ukuf & Dylon mix has a big room trance feel with the synthwork and the vocals are used to great effect. Wawa's mix has a Giorgio Moroder esque "I Feel Love"-styled riff running through it. Overall, the Von Ukuf & Dylon and Wawa ones are the best of the bunch. This song is begging for a proper big room trance mix, possibly something in the style of what Giuseppe Ottaviani is  doing lately.

-Listen to the original here (YouTube)

Grade: A
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