May 16, 2008

May Recommends

There has been so much music that I have been listening to recently, new and old, and yes, I hear you cry, shouldn't I have been revising, yes the answer is, I should have been revising but you never know what gems you can find when you shouldn't be!!! Now, first things, first, if any teachers have just read that, sorry, I am sure you understand this time is stressful and so looking at music is just a way to procrastinate and prolong the process!!!

Anyway, music, that is why we are here :D

What a lot to get through, well seen as the sun has been around for the past week, I know, the rain has come back, but there seems to be some good music to wash about the rainy blues and welcome the sun back... First on my list, I have found that over the past month, I have started to like artists and songs that I did not before and did not want to... and here is the first,

1. Madonna ft. Justin Timberlake- 4 Minutes
Despite my prolonging ambivalence towards this generic, Timberlake powered anthem, I was wondering when Madonna would get back on the music horse and realise that although sex sells, although Justin Timberlake sells, although having a good base accompanied by a rap sells, I would rather stand up for the traditional Madonna and hope that this would not sell! After the revelation that we would have at least another year of the reinvented Madonna with the release of 'Hard Candy', and that it would follow with the same old, boring, chart topping hits (as I am sure, by this point, you can guess I would prefer not to follow the trends!), after being fully informed that at the high point of Madonna's career, she was the trend setter, not follower and although, she may never have got back to the heights of 'Papa Don't Preach' and 'Like a Prayer' but even with her 'Confessions of the Dancefloor' she was trying to break into a genre that mainstream pop was being slightly weary off, despite the negative success of her previous outing (whereas, myself really enjoyed the new style), knew like every other Madonna fan, that this was not going to last to long and we would be expecting a new flavour of the Madonna collective.
And to that end, 'Hard Candy' was released, due to mixed reviews and 30 second previews on iTunes, I will probably keep as far as possible from the new sound, the RnB inspired, 'let me use every big star at the moment', top the charts, pay the bills, ignore every old lesson inspired album. Even with the likes of 'American Life' in the back of her wardrobe, lurking like the years she would rather not speak about (personally, an underrated album with great songs) and yet she would rather find what the mainstream enjoy, you would think that Madonna, could afford to keep fans happy instead of making new ones.

With names like Kanye West, Justin Timberlake and Timberland, all producing, rapping, singing, doing what they do, taking part in the collective that is 'Hard Candy', it seems to be that it's just a random collection of B-Sides. If looks could kill, then I am sure most the music-buying world would be having a fit after taking a look at the cover! At the age of 49, she is not a bad looking woman but whoever decided that to have the neon pink cover with the star wearing what she is, was definitely blind... or having a joke!

Back to the song, I was so adamant not to listen to '4 Mins' that when I actually happened to listen to it, last week, after the storm of chart rising had been and gone, I figured that this song was not too bad and since then it has not left my iTunes top played. Unfortunately for me, only a few people at school like this song and if I play it, well you would rather not hear what people say but put it this way, Madonna's latest is a lateral based symphony, a mix for the mainstream ages where the little known can only get so far without the fanship of the biggest stars. With the like of Kanye and Justin joining Madonna, it is obvious why the smaller stars can't have any airtime, all the biggest stars get their songs played and then the next song, same singers, different collaboration.

'4 Mins' starts with Timberland’s 'singing', what's the point to be honest, as a producer, I applaud but to find him appearing, it disturbs me... (OneRepublic blooper!), anyway, moving on, Madonna starts with a moving beat, Justin joins and together they produce a song of stages... despite the pointless lyrics and the tick tock dance, this song goes against the trend and in fact, get's the thumb up from me.

2. Robyn- Who's That Girl
I have not a bad thing to say about Robyn, the Swedish star who shows that despite her poor pop past, the dance industry is a whole new ball game. The new single to join the past three, finds a new level of self wonderment, does Robyn realise that in English, her lyrics are meaningful and actually show the hidden things that people are always thinking, does she believe in what she sings, by the sounds of the passion, one would think so.

3. Skunk Anansie- Hedonism & Weak
For those of us, still living in the 90's, most of us would remember Skunk, as a multicultural band of many means. Their songs cover a variety of topics and after listening to one, you wonder where you were before you first heard it. Hedonism, attacks the materialistic world, our world, the one that you live in, because you are reading this on a blog and the one I am living in... how else would I be writing this? But apart from, Skin's replenishing voice and the rhythmic beats, one can't quite understand how they would end. Weak, follows the same generic similarity but when watching the video, how come someone get away with this? Does the art of the music video have to entertain, provide a medium for the song or does it have to construct something much more- Weak does just this!

4. Alphabeat- 10,000 Nights of Thunder
When someone listens to this and enjoys it, pop music is firmly back in the place that it should be, at the top of the charts! Thinking back to the days when listening to S Club was socially acceptable or wondering when the next Steps single would be out, shows that pop music was the prime example of the 90's and despite what critics say, everyone loved it!

Well, Alphabeat, bring the old beat back in a new style, from Denmark, they have already made a mark in the UK chart with 'Fascination' (seen ages ago on this blog!), being in the charts for almost ten weeks and not leaving the top 20, one must realise that pop music is starting to make it's mark... (Britney Spears, Blackout, not as bad as I would have thought!) But here we have the cheesy, happy go lucky fun that we all craved! After music becoming too serious for a while, it seems that we need music this is just going to make you smile and love it or hate it, you will want to dance!
'10,000 Nights' is just another song to add to the profile and what a great single, this was the deciding factor as to pre ordering the album!

5. Sigur Ros- Hoppipolla
What's not to love about this song? Simple and great, powerful and beautiful, balanced and perfect, Ros finds that perfection is easy and music comes naturally and brilliantly... Simple as, listen, relax and fall into a new world!

6. (Here's a bonus!) Maroon 5 & Rihanna- If I Never See Your Face Again
A remix of a great song from M5's latest, see's the addition of synths but the similar formula that made them great. America's biggest success story of last year, Rihanna, keeps churning out the hits and with the release of her new single, 'Take a Bow', she does not rest and why not release a duet of an old song with an award winning band in a totally different genre!

The result, the same we know from M5, nothing life changing but nice to see Rihanna adding to her long list of things she has done... she looks great in the video and is a great asset to what could have been, just another M5 release.

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