December 31, 2013

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Lady Gaga feat. Christina Aguilera - Do What U Want (Remix)

There had been some rumors swirling since late 2008 that the two divas had a feud after Christina made some comments about Lady Gaga, however, it looks like any animosity that existed has subsided. Lady Gaga performed this song as a duet with Christina on The Voice earlier last month sparking discussion of an official remix. The wait is over and the remix has been released. Christina replaces controversial R&B star R. Kelly on the second verse and adds her signature growls and high notes throughout the song. Many had pointed out how Gaga's voice bore a striking resemblance to the Christina's when the song first came out. The two singers' voices blend perfectly resulting in a great remix.

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


December 22, 2013

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Melissa Etheridge - Uprising Of Love (Bent Collective Remix)

This is a special new single recorded by the veteran rocker. The timely lyrics speak of getting together and spreading love so it overcomes hate. The positive message is always welcome and is particularly relevant right now. This song surfaced via a couple of remixes by Bent Collective (a remix trio made up of Danny Verde, Guy Scheiman, and Steven Redant). They make this song into a rollicking anthem. Melissa's vocals are awesome and inspiring. These are also maybe the first official club remixes that have ever been done of Melissa's work. Proceeds generated from the sale of the single will go to charity. Read more about the Uprising Of Love initiative here.

Listen to the Bent Collective remix here:

Grade: A+

December 17, 2013

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Kimberly Davis - With You (Remixes)

This is the latest single from the big voiced diva who broke out in 2010 with "Get Up" and "Twist Of Love." Kimberly delivers yet another great vocal performance. There are 33 remixes, dubs, and edits spread out over 3 digital singles representing multiple styles including Dubstep, Electro House, Freestyle, Funky House, Big Room Tribal, and and Soulful House. Dave Aude, DJ Escape & Tony Coluccio, Paul Goodyear, Soulbeats, and Twisted Dee's mixes end up being the best of the bunch though all are pretty good.

Listen to clips and purchase the remixes: (JunoDownload)
Single #1
Single #2
Single #3

Grade: A

December 13, 2013

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Beyoncé - BEYONCÉ (Album Review)

Many had expected the R&B superstar to release her new album a short time after her Superbowl performance earlier this year, however, she announced a new tour during which a few new songs were performed in addition to her biggest hits. Stories about the songs from the 5th album's recording sessions being scrapped surfaced and the album had no definite release date. But that was until last night.

Beyoncé ceremoniously unveiled her self-titled visual album that was available immediately on iTunes with both the songs and accompanying music videos for every song. This is a major gamechanger as most artists tend to release at least one or two singles to radio before their album is officially released along with multiple promotional appearances, interviews, and other things to build anticipation and interest in the album. Only a few artists have released an album without a single preceding it. Prince's Around The World In A Day was released in that fashion after the massive Purple Rain, with a first single only being released a full month after the album had been on store shelves. The inclusion of the video album is nothing new as other artists including Beyoncé herself did something like that for B'Day several years ago, but to release it with the album at the same time is different.

The album does not stray too far from the R&B sound she is known for, but this is her most experimental effort to date with Ambient, Electro, Dubstep, and even some Disco being represented in varying degrees. There are nearly a dozen producers and songwriters involved in the 14 tracks.

Overview of all of the songs:

Pretty Hurts This Dubstep inflected song is a dark song about paying the price of fame and is a commentary on society's notions of perfection and superficial beauty. Perhaps this is a window into her much guarded private life.

Haunted Composed as a suite with multiple tempos and different styles throughout, this one is similarly dark as the prior track. It's a bit all over the place but it's so well sung.

Drunk In Love (Featuring JAY Z) The super sensual slow jam features her husband joining in the fun.

Blow This porntastic Disco/R&B club banger is all about the carnal pleasure she is receiving courtesy of her lover. This is cut from the same cloth as Madonna's "Where Life Begins" which is about this same type of 'special love'.

No Angel Sung mostly in her breathy falsetto voice, this song has you craving that special someone to be there with you right now.

Partition This track opens with the "Yonce" interlude setting the stage for one of the most sexually explicit songs she has ever released. The interlude is half rapped, half sung. It builds up with a siren like synth before "Partition" comes in.

Jealous This highly relatable song about how two can play the jealousy game is loads of fun.

Rocket This is yet another erotic, playful song.

Mine (Featuring Drake) The R&B/Electro midtempo packs quite the punch with its various sounds.

XO The Ambient/Electropop track is easily the catchiest song from the record.

***Flawless (Featuring Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie) This originally surfaced as "Bow Down" several months back, however this one is far more developed. Manic and frantic, this one has a clear Prince influence with the multiple pitch shifted vocal effects.

Superpower (Featuring Frank Ocean) This dramatic duet with rising star Frank Ocean has so many effective subtle elements. Their voices blend beautifully.

Heaven Everything about this gorgeous piano ballad is perfect from the vocals to the melody and the lyrics.

Blue (Featuring Blue Ivy) The album closer features some cute vocals from her daughter adding to the otherworldly feel of the song.

Despite the myriad of sounds and styles, this album ends up being her strongest. Beyoncé's voice is in top form as it always is. The experimental nature makes this quite a grower. The sexual nature of some of the songs may be a tad much for some, however, it is not over the top and in your face the way some other artists have lately. Every single track is well done with none feeling like filler or that they were just added in for the sake of adding it. The highlights include "Blow", "Haunted", "XO", "Partition", "Rocket", and "Heaven".

The album is available exclusively through iTunes right now, however, a physical edition with both the songs and music videos will be released in the coming weeks.

Grade: A

December 10, 2013

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Ben Manson & Gerald Henderson - Magic Orgasm

In its original incarnation released in 1997, this was one of the Twisted Records' most famous hits. The song consisting of just two words repeated over and over was hypnotic when coupled with the sleazy production by the late Peter Rauhofer. The song has been updated by Ben Manson and Henderson with the vocals being the only aspect connecting back to the original. The production is tribal, but it doesn't really go anywhere. This would work better as a DJ tool layered over another track.

-Listen to clips and purchase the mixes here (Beatport)

Grade: B+

December 7, 2013

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Haim - Forever (Giorgio Moroder Remix)

This was the trio's debut single released late last year. It has only recently begun to get mainstream attention. The lush 80s throwback vibe of the song is really lovely, especially with the dreamy production and the ladies' stunning vocals. Giorgio Moroder has produced a remix that stays true to the original but takes it to the next level with the added vocoder vocals. The remix surpasses the original.

-Listen to the original here (YouTube)
-Listen to the Giorgio Moroder remix here (Soundcloud)

Grade: A

December 3, 2013

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Ranny feat. Deepa Soul - Feva (Remixes)

This collaboration of tribal producer/DJ Ranny and soulful singer Deepa Soul (of "Nowhere Love" and "As I Am" fame) has already been doing very well on the Billboard Dance Club Play chart. Deepa Soul's vocals soar over the synthy big room production of the original versions. There are nearly a dozen additional remixes by Carlos Gomix, Deep Influence, E-Thunder, Gustavo Scorpio, Henriq Moraes & Ranlusy Louis Mor, John Rizzo, and Karim Cato & Raffa Vergara. Nearly all of the mixes are variations of the circuit and big room styles with the exception of the Disco/Funky House Shplank mix. Of the circuit mixes, the Deep Influence one is the best of the bunch along with the original Ranny mix.

Purchase the mixes here and here (iTunes)

Grade: A

December 1, 2013

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Cherie Lily - Body (Remixes) Part 1

This is the latest single from the singer and creator of Houserobics. The super sexy, bootyshaking club track recalls the glory days of Technotronic. There are plenty of remixes by Brian 'Serving' Ovahness, Eddie Martinez, Fumi Kondoh, Joshua D, and Nick Harvey in addition to Cherie's own main mix with Vjuan Allure. Serving Ovahness turns this into a pumping circuit anthem with its hard beats and perfectly timed vocal drops. Eddie Martinez's tribal reworking will push dancefloors into overdrive. Fumi Kondoh's mix is runway-ready, recalling Peter Rauhofer's mid 90s Size Queen project. Joshua D's synthy peak hour mix is contemporary. Last but not least is Nick Harvey's own tribal mixes. These are his usual big room circuit goodness. He has a special knack for working on songs of this nature. His dub has an entirely different drummy production. Overall, every remix is really great. Part 1 will be released on December 17, 2013 for purchase wherever digital music is sold. A 2nd set of remixes will be released in early 2014.

-Watch the sexy music video for the original here (YouTube)
-Listen to some previews of all the mixes:

Grade: A
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Manila Luzon feat. Jinkx Monsoon - Bring It!

This is a new collaboration involving two former contestants from RuPaul's Drag Race including season 3 runner up Manila Luzon and season 5 winner, Jinkx Monsoon. It is written by Adam Joseph and Manila Luzon and produced by Jared Jones. This divalicious track is so much fun with its infectious chorus and the big booming production. It has all the makings of a club hit.

Purchase the song at iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play

Grade: A
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