Category: Downloads

Throw your sticks and your stones, throw your bombs and your blows, but you’re not gonna break my soul‘ sings Perry in a haunting bass line.

By making its way to the web in late 2010, ‘Part Of Me’ garnered wide interest, and the fate of the song was questioned. Now everyone can see for what it was being saved, and for all the right reasons, who would let this pop slice go to waste in the shelves of Capitol Records?

It sounded brilliant upon first listen, and now after being properly remastered and mildly reworked lyrically, sounds even better, more felt and more suiting for where Katy is at this very moment in her life.

It tackles at getting oneself together post breaking free from a constraining relationship. Perry sounds poignant and uplifting throughout, interrupting herself at a point with an unswerving ‘No!’, and decidedly stating ‘Get away from me’. While it nods to ‘Firework’ in the break, it purposely busts the obvious Russell Brand slam, ‘You can take the diamond ring, it don’t mean nothing anyway’ (…ouch Russell, don’t date a woman who has the ability to write a one sided ‘hate you’ song and perform it at the Grammy’s for everyone to hear).

She may be capitalizing on her divorce, but if one recalls, co-writer Bonnie McKee had stated in one interview that ‘Part Of Me’ was going to be used at some point; divorce or no divorce, ‘Part Of Me’ was deemed to happen, and if her divorce publicity works for appeal, then why not (Rumors are even swirling that this track was to lead up to the debut of Teenage Dream, but then ‘California Gurls’ happened).

It carries the timelessness of ‘Teenage Dream’, and it is anything but subtle. Even though the lyrics sound bruised, they hold this sense of angst, vulnerability and a bright side all at once; it is beautifully arranged. The Dr. Luke produced cut is another winner for Katy; it’ll no doubt smash the charts.

What a way to close such a historical album; hats off, confection fulfilled.



Download ‘Part Of Me’

Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection to be released March 27th.

Madonna makes a return to the music scene with ‘Give Me All Your Luvin’, preceding MDNA, to be released this coming March. She has been busy at work promoting her self directed film ‘W.E.’, and constantly teasing a musical comeback over the past months. Now, the moment is here, and it isn’t all that.

The Martin Solveig produced cut is nothing to write home about, but an electro-synth rollercoaster that doesn’t have as many spins as it promised. It sounds like a fast paced ‘Beautiful Stranger’ with vague elements of an upbeat ‘Miles Away’, and a pulsating electric beat that predominates as base. On a positive note, the ‘Lucky Star’ reference, and the overall nod to a 90’s throwback sound are a nice touch, but aren’t enough.

The rascal chanting of ‘L-U-V, Madonna, Y-O-U, you wanna’ and its dubstep break, are the mild highlights of the track, but then again it lacks the the punch Madonna’s past first releases have had. M.I.A.’s and Nicki Minaj’s features seem unnecessary; they don’t add anything other than record time. Their verses don’t click and seem unrelated to what the song proposes.

‘Give Me All Your Luvin’ is bland in general, and sounds too similar to Solveig’s past productions; it is ‘reductive’ as Madonna herself would say. Nothing fresh has been served on the table. If a teenager would’ve dropped a single like this would’ve been understandable; but this sounds like a baby boomer who doesn’t want to let go of her time. Even the ballad ‘Masterpiece’ (included in the ‘W.E.’ soundtrack) would’ve made a better first single than this, parting from its lyrical composition, and simplistic production.

Whether the release of ‘Give Me All Your Luvin’ is contractual or not, it is still a letdown. At this point of career longetivity, one would expect Madonna to have more creative freedom concerning her music if the release was indeed contractual, if otherwise, she needs to be more keen at her single selections; or who knows maybe she’s lost the ear for a hit.

She obviously doesn’t need a hit, and has nothing to prove, she is already cemented as both an icon and legend in pop music. But if she wants to maintain and own up to that status, it is better to take careful steps to keep it consistent.

Hopes are on the William Orbit produced songs. If one recalls, Orbit was heavily involved in the making of Ray Of Light.



Download ‘Give Me All Your Luvin’

MDNA to be released March 26th, 2012.

Adam Lambert was obviously relegated off the American Idol title because they knew his then-competition, Kris Allen, would need it if he was going to make it (if at all). But boy they were wrong, with Lambert getting the green light for album #2, while Allen  is nowhere to be seen.

Lately, it has been hard to sustain American Idol winners’ relevancy in the spotlight. The hype and overall excitement towards the show and its contestants has been dying out over the past years, because it has become predictable and pretty much a joke (Sanjaya Malakar memories anyone?).  But Lambert, even as a runner-up,  has managed to survive in the highly competitive profile the music industry is, and his new single proves it.

The lovey ‘Better Than I Know Myself’, is a mellow, soft and romantic cut, that doesn’t hit the point where it becomes sappy. It swings between praising a relationship and admitting pitfalls. Despite Lambert being openly homosexual, the song is easy on the ears, and covers general ground.

Hauntingly steady production, vociferating cinematic drums in the chorus, and a resounding bass, compliment Adam’s gallant delivery. His vocals are consistently strong, as they build up during the progression of the song, giving it the icing it needs to really grasp one’s ears, and generate interest.

It carries vibes of Katy Perry’s ‘Teenage Dream’, not musically, but in terms of subject matter. It doesn’t have the arresting openers of Perry’s track chorus, but it is indeed arresting in a more behind closed doors level. It is a fantastic power ballad, and Adam’s sheer vocals are what pull it off mostly. Everyone knows what Adam is capable of doing with his voice, but he keeps it level and belts out where he has to, to further impact the emotional nature of the track.

Dr. Luke, who served as producer and writer, sprinkled the simplicity and timelessness many songs lack currently. This sort of less-is-more on Lambert’s already over the top persona, is a great touch for variation.

All the signs are pointing at this being Adam’s year.



Download ‘Better Than I Know Myself’

Trespassing available March 20th, 2012.

Lana Del Rey has been the most mysterious breakthrough act of 2011. By engaging in constant online teasing, and revealing minimal information (until recently), Del Rey has managed to keep everyone on the hook and on the look-out.

Now she is ready to fully shed from the mysterious tactics surrounding her musical launch, and one is treated with the formal single preceding her debut album, Born To Die, to be released late in January.

‘Born To Die’ may at first reminisce Beyonce’s 4 cut ‘I Care’ in terms of instrumentation, but as it progresses, it turns into a giant Hip-Pop number, with close elements of R&B meshed with underlying strings, featuring whispers, sighs, and an inquiring argument specifically asking for endurance while riding high on the road to love. The song focuses on taking advantage of the present and making the most out of love throughout, since what the future departs is nothing but ‘the end’.

The production is amazing and sounds apocalyptic and chaotic, retaining an element of beauty in Lana’s mellow tone. Even though its heart-breaking and a love cry-out, the song is stellar and really allows the highlight of Del Rey’s vocals. The lyrical approach is not exactly Earth-shattering, but it certainly proposes a much needed approach to love, as Lana begs her lover keep what bonds them together while they can.

Lana’s voice hasn’t unraveled in Adele-form per say, but the vocal consistency is there. Her style brings about a freshness to heartbreak, that keeps one interested, even though she indeed sounds uninterested as she melodically utters the verses. With this, she achieves bringing about a sense of genuineness in her delivery, matching the music to the fullest and conveying what she wants to put across emotionally, most effectively. It is cinematic and grand, it could easily score the ending scene of a melodramatic movie, where two failed at mutual appreciation.

There is no departure from what she offered with her two buzz singles ‘Video Games’ and ‘Blue Jeans’; it seems this style is what fits her like a glove, since her voice seems to have been tailor-made to address this somber musical spectrum.



Download ‘Born To Die’

Born To Die out January 30th, 2012.

Florence + The Machine came to general public interest post a performance and nomination in the 2010 VMA’s, as well as major exposure of their single ‘Dog Days Are Over’ from an episode in Glee; from there, it all just took off.

Crossing over was probably the best that could’ve happened to the band, God knows where they will be at this point if none of the aforementioned had occurred; they would’ve hopefully remained underground at least.

Florence’s approach to music is certainly unconventional and not the everyday sort of song constantly on radio, but it is something to be truly appreciated, as she brings exceptional dark lyricism and moody production which enthralls the listener into quite an experience of strings, almost constituting for a ritualistic trance.

Listening to Florence is like chanting and dancing around a bonfire on a full moon. She is carefree, dark and operatic at once, and all this makes up the newest single ‘Shake It Out’, which precedes Ceremonials, their sophomore release, longingly awaited by fans, after the encountered success of Lungs.

‘Shake It Out’ follows the theme patterns of songs meant to enhance and uplift, yet with Florence’s alternative lyricism stapled all over, referencing the devil being in one’s back, and hitting major downer states, with a catchy wailed hook followed by echoed Ooh-Whoa-oh’s.

Musically, it doesn’t move too far from the production of Lungs, which isn’t exactly a bad thing, but a smart move, which shows the sound of the band is growing steadily without either selling out or giving a whole 360 degree spin; even though one can hear a softer musical approach, with a dancier beat, their sound still remains true to elements of strings, tambourine and organs with resonating drumming.

It is a somber cut, but it oddly has its beams of sunshine plastered throughout, conveying it may it all seem dark before one gets to see the light; its uplifting, just not treated with popular motivational remarks; its more of a personal cleansing, if not a personal exorcism of all things negative.

It is a little gypsy,  a little soul, holding a tribal vibe, and a pagan ritual mood in the traces of ‘Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)’ with the punch of ‘Dog Days Are Over’, which means it is massive and grand.



Download ‘Shake It Out’

Ceremonials available October 31st in the UK; November 1st in the U.S.


Just when everyone thought Rihanna was either going all Rated R or dancey on her fans, turns out she furthers her electronic beats from Loud and takes them to straight dance gone overseas.

‘We Found Love’ serves as the first offering of her upcoming sixth release, and draws prominent influences from the European dance floors, with a 90’s beat induced by a background electric keyboard.

In terms of production and lyrical structure, it is kept simple, short and sweet. Her vocal delivery is smooth and she manages to keep the pitch, the lyrics are poor and mindless, but the song carries a consistent trance throughout the three and a half minutes it lasts. It sounds very La Bouche (a popular 90’s techno duo); ‘We Found Love’ could’ve perfectly fit then in their Sweet Dreams album.

In its whole, the track is good, the only problem is it has the exact same build-up or ascending beat as every other Euro-dance song does, which makes it predictable. It technically sounds like a looped version of a fragment of the actual song, and at times as if it were the remix of a ballad, since the song in itself is a ballad disguised in electric production; it doesn’t go anywhere, it is as if it just were there, keeping on going on.

It lacks a chorus, but does have its hook where she repeats she ‘Fell in love in a hopeless place’ (If one knows that line, one pretty much has the entire song covered). It is catchy, but it feels like something is missing, and makes one wonder if its too early for a new single, if not too rushed. It doesn’t sound half-assed, because production-wise it could swerve on the edge of brilliance for its simplicity, but it could easily be the most lacking-in-lyrics song released all year as well; the lazy lyricism from ‘S&M’ stuck on this one.

It is generic and mildly forgettable, but it will surely generate jumping madness in clubs around the globe.



Download ‘We Found Love’

Look out for Rihanna’s sixth album coming late in the fall.

Infinite leaks have surrounded Kelly Clarkson’s upcoming album Stronger, but that hasn’t stopped the singer to give up on the project like R&B singer Cassie basically did, three years ago after a handful of tracks worth at least more than 50% of an album hit the web.

Kelly’s delivery is smooth, and rich in all way possible. The opening strings portray a lot of vulnerability, and give the song rough emotion that makes it relatable. Lyrically, its everything a Kelly Clarkson record should be, it has its dose of angst and anthemic shreds. It somehow never gets old for her.

Clarkson doesn’t deliver the 3rd version of  ‘Since U Been Gone’ (just yet), but instead brings about a musical style similar to that of Bruno Mars (meaning a pop-piano driven number), specifically sounding striking to the composition of his debut single ‘Just The Way You Are’; percussion and chord progression are about the same, she might as well credit a sampling already.

This is almost hypocritical, considering the widely talked about feud between Clarkson and producer Ryan Tedder, regarding the resemblance in Clarkson’s All I Ever Wanted cut ‘Already Gone’ and Beyoncé’s ‘Halo’ off I Am…Sasha Fierce. Wasn’t Clarkson supposed to be against plagiarism and anything of the sort, even going as far as recording a song (which subsequently leaked) titled ‘Wash, Rinse, Repeat’?; it is no rocket science it obviously addresses Tedder’s recycling of beats, when she just allowed Bruno Mars’ ‘Just The Way You Are’ to be pretty much recycled as well.

Don’t be misled, the song is quite good, since its Kelly Clarkson we’re talking in here, but that does not justify a lack of creativity. Many other leaks from her would’ve served a more stellar pace to her upcoming album; expect the bang in the second single.



Download ‘Mr. Know It All’

Stronger out Oct. 24rth.

Jessie J is giving the U.S. market one more try with an even poppier sound with ‘Domino’, a Dr. Luke production, which sounds like it was meant for Katy Perry originally.

The song in itself is amazing, not only from the guitar strums to the stop-and-go synths that fill the infectiously catchy chorus, but because Jessie does not oversing a note, and when she tries, it appears she’s aware of keeping it low key. The song has a relatively cheesy metaphor with dominoes, but at least it doesn’t sound as cheesy when sung in the midst of the great production, and the leveled consistent vocal execution on Jessie’s part.

It is a typical love song, with a table game metaphor, but as simple as it may sound by the previous description, its actually really good, and induces extremely gratifying body movement without a proper structure; its super blissful.

Lyrically, Jessie addresses the perfection of a counterpart labeling it as ‘a shot of pure gold’, and making her inner emotional reactions known in lines like ‘I think I’m about to explode’ and ‘You got me losing my mind, don’t you know, you spin me out of control’, before begging to be taken ‘down like a domino’. Its got that cutesy factor, but without being too exasperating to the ear, on the contrary invades the ear and is there to stay; the ooh-ooh’s that introduce the pre-chorus are insane and a definite winner.

The slight problem with the song is it is too much in the vein of the marvelous work Katy Perry did on Teenage Dream. It almost sounds like a reject rough base beat for what was to become ‘Last Friday Night (TGIF)’; even the song’s breakdown reminisces the one in ‘Teenage Dream’ and ‘TGIF’, but just not as climatic, even though it scratches the surface well.

Sonically, the song isn’t as original as it may sound like, but Jessie is not to blame but Dr. Luke for apparently taking down a few notches off the Perry formula. It compliments pop greatly, and Katy’s work, but it doesn’t really push further, but instead comes across as a production washed on bleach to drain it from the Perry essence. Perry’s essence must be perfection though, because regardless the song not matching the quality of the aforementioned work fully, its still pretty damn good.

Its no news the girl is aiming for a hit, and what better to assure one with mirroring the biggest hit maker of the entire year than Katy Perry herself. It is very enjoyable and is definitely a must-repeat since one grows fonder of it with each listen, but once in a while, one forgets who’s really singing in here, and that doesn’t go in Jessie J’s favor.



Download ‘Domino’

Kelly Rowland is definitely the embodiment of endurance. Not only can she endure in the business, but apparently in receiving a long session of, well, ‘head’, among other things as her most recent single describes.

She has been struggling for years to release her third album, announced to be titled Here I Am. After countless digital single releases, ‘Motivation’ was tipped to lead the way into her new record. It is a very soft paced anthem of lust. One would think she is recurring to sexual themes to work her way towards fame and sales, but this is surprisingly a smooth move instead; it is not subtle, but it doesn’t feel contrived.

Rowland coos and lets her bold voice take over at the end of verses, while she sings about guiding her lover into satisfying her every need. The track gives Keri Hilson vibes, but it doesn’t come across as trashy and ‘sincere’ as Hilson’s ‘The Way You Love Me’. Lyric-wise, Rowland (Rico Love in this case) may be just as graphic as Hilson, but Rowland achieves some eerie sense of ‘class’ in terms of delivery.

The track pulsates slowly and abruptly hits an arresting beat. Its danceable, but its definitely more of a grind or a hip-thrust than actual dance. It makes the listener work up a sweat, as Rowland sheds from all innocence and admits to wanting to go ‘deeper’ and willing not to ‘feel her legs’ when she’s done. In a nutshell, she challenges boys’ point of resolution.

The sound is casual but at the same time pounding; it is a nice blend of R&B with mild Hip-Hop. The production by Jim Jonsin is simple yet slick. Lil Wayne throws in a verse in the midst to corroborate and answer to Rowland’s desires.

It is a different musical route for Kelly, who has always kept her sexy-ness all to herself (until now), the message she is probably sending is she is a grown woman who apparently doesn’t feel ashamed in flaunting her womanhood and control on bed (best believe those breast implants brought in some self-confidence).

It is definitely an experience to listen to Kelly playing a sex siren, and it gives a taste of what to expect on Here I Am, which by the looks of this, it is looking interesting so far.


C. Perez

Download ‘Motivation’

Here I Am in stores July 26th.

After the moderate success of Maroon 5’s third studio album, Hands All Over, and Adam Levine’s coaching position in the panel of televised singing competition The Voice (along Cee-Lo, and Christina Aguilera), it was only natural this would happen: a single release from any of the artists involved (in the likes of Paula Abdul, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez from American Idol). First, to promote the TV show, and second, to undust and shed some light in the pretty much stale careers of Levine’s band (whose singles have under-charted) and Aguilera’s (who tanked with last year’s release, Bionic and its ensuing singles).

Maroon 5 has teamed with Aguilera to deliver probably one of the catchiest songs released in the course of the year. Aside the fact Maroon 5 and Aguilera haven’t been the charts hot rods in the past year, their collaboration is a sure fire winner. ‘Moves Like Jagger’ is a Saturday Night Fever strut; an 80’s throwback with its hyperactive strumming and addictive melodic whistle. It is a little disco with a slight house-like throbbing beat, a little rock n’ roll, dipped in pop and drenched in sensuality.

The song follows a male figure enticing a female with his moves alluding to Jagger’s hip swivels (though the narrator adds his ‘ego is bared’). This is not the first time the band has incorporated teasing subject matter in their songs, but this certainly takes the notion of masculinity to a whole new level, and shows males can also be sexy and suggestive without being too on the surface or crude. It is a very subtle foreplay.

Musically, it has Maroon 5 stamped all over, but that doesn’t mean it is 100% reminiscent of their past work, it is much fast paced than their usual style, and somewhat matches the sound of Jamiroquai, and Dirty Vegas, which are definitely good references.

Aguilera, for once, does not oversing, and keeps it leveled and in tone with both the melody and moody sexual tension of the song. Her delivery is strong and proves she is one of the top vocalists of our time without coming across as pretentious or overbearing to the ears; it seems the vain nature of Bionic and its underperformance gave her a lesson. She does not take away any spotlight from the smooth, flawless falsetto delivery on Levine’s behalf, and reminds everyone this is mainly a Maroon 5 record, not Aguilera’s.

It is deliriously dancey and it is the perfect ‘to set the mood’ kind of song, and it’ll surely make its mark in pop culture with the deemed-to-happen iconic line: ‘Ive got the moooooves like Jagger’.



Download ‘Moves Like Jagger’

Hands All Over already available. ‘Moves Like Jagger’ available in the iTunes Store and Digital Deluxe 2011 Edition of Hands All Over.

Coldplay have broken their silence. Ever since Viva La Vida And All Of His Friends was released, a body of work composed with several instrumentals, an unconventional track listing format, along with the band’s mellow trademark sound and overwhelmingly positive reception, where else could they go? The answer to that is to the sublime, uplifting and joyful side of pop rock music. Yes, pop. The band’s latest offering preceding their upcoming album has an edge of pop, meshed with heavy guitars and underlaid beats. It is almost danceable, if not plain ready for a throw-hands-in-the-air mood.

It is a very sunny tune, even though it sounds a tad melancholic in certain parts. Lyrically, it still holds what one would expect from Coldplay, very well structured hooks and memorable liners. It is an extremely descriptive visual composition; it feels as if it were a look into the meadows at sunrise, while it warms one’s face. It is paramount feel-good in the same vein of the instrumentation of ‘Strawberry Swing’. Chris Martin’s voice softly soars along the impeccable production, where one clearly hears every single string strum in the chord progression.

To a certain degree it sounds like a subtle protest towards negativity (‘I turn the music up, I got my records on, I shut the world outside’). Once Martin claims ‘Don’t want to see another generation drop’, the tinge of motivational drive and positive outlook towards the future is more than crystal clear. It is interesting how once the music starts it sounds like mere half sung words, but then once the same words are repeated and furthered in the second segment, they sound more powerful and stated with much more conviction. The build-up of the song is mesmerizingly engaging.

‘Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall’ might throw fans on the fence as of the band and where they’re headed with their music, since they might take the new musical route as selling-out, but in reality it is just Coldplay seen from another angle and in a different light.

The band has managed to push yet another boundary in their musical reinvention. It doesn’t sound rehashed from their past work, it comes across as a ramification of what they accomplished with ‘Strawberry Swing’ and the stadium-like whoa-oh’s predominant in the Viva La Vida record, with a stint of positivity and connoted hope. It actually sounds like something Natalie Imbruglia would record, and could serve as the perfect soundtrack for a triumphant ending in a film, or a personal victory.



Download ‘Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall’

Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall – EP already available.

Jennifer Lopez had been struggling to release her long overdue album Love? since 2008. As the record is finally going to hit shelves and online retailers, Lopez has released a series of promotional singles through iTunes, anticipating the release of the full album.

‘Papi’ might sound as a saucy Latin flavored number, oozing sexiness to the core, but on the contrary it isn’t any of that. It sounds like a Kat Deluna knock off, to the point of being strikingly similar to Deluna’s ‘Whine Up’ opening; though Lopez makes it sound credible at least. Deluna is not a good reference, if a reference at all, considering she is probably one of the most unsuccessful Latin acts to hit the U.S. scene. Comparing Deluna to a star of Lopez’s stardom status is murder, but that doesn’t take away the song being definitely Deluna sounding. Maybe blame can be attributed to the producer, RedOne, who crafted all of Deluna’s early work for 9 Lives released in 2008, and was also in charge of reviving Lopez’s then ill fated Love? project after a label drop and move to Island Def Jam.

The chorus is poorly written consisting only of repeated ‘Move your body, rock your body, dance for your Papi’ sequences in between dance beats, before she invites women to get their hands up in the air if they care. It isn’t all that really. The opening percussion might sound massive and appealing, but when the underlaid beat synth kicks in is a major turn off. The breakdown is the only diverse segment of the song, where she fastly recites a bunch of seductive ways to ‘dance for your papi’ where she also does them in a breathy Spanish tone, but other than that is it just major blah. It is listenable, it is certified fun but when not really paying much attention to its content.

The concept behind the song is just to please men, to be catering and attentive of their needs.  That, plus a thumping beat, just reflects another pop song, but this one does not even have any punch line, nor a climactic point where one can really say it takes it to another level. It is monotonous and lacks a proper musical build-up. It goes on and on leading nowhere. There have been many songs with amazing beats and incredible hooks without holding any sense of substance, but at least they get the catchy treatment to make up for the mediocrity in lyrics, but ‘Papi’ is really none of the aforementioned standards. It is just a dance song with random words thrown in.

‘Papi’ is just an album cut, and tries too much to revive the Latin vibe in Jennifer and re-do the vibes of ‘Let’s Get Loud’. Hopely it won’t see any proper release as an official single off Love? because it sounds too much as a rehash of ‘On the Floor’ meeting Kat Deluna. ‘On The Floor’ was something else, ‘Papi’ is simply a failed sexy try-hard.



Download ‘Papi’

Love? already available.

When one thinks of ways to get a song to the number one spot of the charts, one would think heavy promotion, a video release on the right timing, and heavy radio airplay resulting in digital sales, but Rihanna has added the remix treatment to the previously mentioned ways, as she reached out to Britney Spears to cut a couple lines for an ‘S&M’ remix and boom, it goes number one all of a sudden.

The ‘Rihmix’ is the exact same ‘S&M’, except it carries a huge ‘featuring’ with a ‘Britney Spears’ tagged along for enhancement. To be honest, the song should’ve been left as it was, not that Britney ruins it, at all, she just adds a little to it, but it just appears to be a forced act. Seductively Rihanna and Britney are toe-to-toe, but when it comes to the actual delivery, Britney’s vocals are not as ponderous as Rihanna’s, she just doesn’t seem to have reached the ‘energetic’ in it. Both sound great with their nasal tones, but there is something about the production that doesn’t feel right. The good thing about it, is the song in itself is very Britney-esque, but Britney takes the esque of it, since Spears’ verse is on perfect point for the track, it is short, yes, but very fitting and surprisingly, called for at least.

This would’ve been even more amazing, if only a real collab between these two would’ve been on the sketch book from the get-go, other than a copy and paste of vocals over the song’s original beat.

This really seemed like a desperate stunt on Rihanna’s side to keep the consecutive number ones coming. The only artist having consecutive number ones at this point is Katy Perry, who has amassed an impressive 4 consecutive #1 hits since the promotion for her sophomore album Teenage Dream began last year in June; its only clear who Rihanna wants to have running for her money. Perry first enlisted Kanye West to feature on her latest single ‘E.T.’, but it wasn’t done when ‘E.T.’ was on the 2nd position in the charts and seemingly doomed for a fall off.



Download ‘S&M (Rihmix)’

Everyone, whether they like it or not, are anticipating Lady GaGa’s upcoming album Born This Way. Every move GaGa makes has everyone’s eye on, and denied or not, becomes everyone’s guilty pleasure, or else her music would be a fail, but facing it, everything GaGa churns out becomes a hit. Despite the gimmicks, she has raw talent and the production team behind her enhances it, to make sure everything she puts out becomes the hit it is destined to be.

GaGa has given a proper taste of what to expect in the allegedly heroin inducing rest of the album in ‘Judas’. At first it might seem blasphemous or another attention seeking stunt by the pop star, but ‘Judas’ is amazing in every way possible, hell even the lyrical content is infectiously good and witty despite the biblical reference it makes. This is the real dance record one has been waiting from her since the epic ‘Bad Romance’. This is ‘Bad Romance’ taken out of context and beyond ‘bad’.

Lyrically it recounts several biblical connotations such as the washing of feet, the denying of Jesus three times (she got this one wrong though, it was Peter who denied Jesus three times, not Judas), and couldn’t avoid the obvious, hinting at Judas’ kiss of betrayal. In the track, GaGa claims Jesus as her ‘virtue’, whereas Judas serves as the ‘demon’ she clings to. She names Jesus in the track, true, but it does not transcend into anything blasphemous nor disrespectful, many might take it as it were, but it is just a pop song, and the shock value of it is intended to sell, and it is clearly doing it. It is just used as a metaphor to love betrayal going on for too long, to the point of becoming worthy of being in the same vein of the biggest traitors of them all, and whom better than Judas?

It has the exact same structure of ‘Bad Romance’, and RedOne’s signature synth in here has a heavier electronic edge. The song is combined with a different rockier dance instrumentation á la ‘Born This Way’ plus a deliciously dubstep tinged break, which isn’t anything shorter than an incredible fierce dance thump, which does stay true to her heroin feel analogy, since it is fucking trancey, in fact it is the best ear fuck one has gotten from her in a while. The song is utmost earworm, there is no need for an ‘ear condom’ as she describes in the breakdown after the middle 8. If ‘Bad Romance’ and ‘Born This Way’ were to have a child, this would be it.

The chorus even though poor in lyrics and repetitive, is quite good regardless. It is catchy and the similar chant to ‘Bad Romance’ is a great complement, even though misleading at times. Despite it sounding like her past work slightly, at the same time it is so dichotomic to not sounding similar, in structure possibly, but sonically, it is a different experience. It has GaGa stamped all over, it is definitely classic Lady GaGa.

It is worth noting the way the song was released was insanely creative. Scheduled for an April 19th debut, the song was released 4 days before its scheduled due date, just like Jesus was betrayed four days before Easter, and throughout the day of release (April 15th), three snippets of the song were released, just like Jesus was denied three times. Clever.

GaGa’s heroin induced feel in the record is present in ‘Judas’ without a doubt, it leaves the listener on a high and eager to press repeat. The song is twisted, hard hitting, cleverly written and plain danceable. Kiss her if offended.



Download ‘Judas’

Friendly Fires are ready for round two, with the upcoming release of Pala, the British band’s sophomore release, preceeded by ‘Live Those Days Tonight’, an electronic yet at the same time organic, mildly progressive midtempo.

The sound doesn’t astray too far from the vibe of their debut, but it incorporates a more organic instrumentation. It becomes an African percussive fest towards the end making it something new for the band; the synths and percussion blend amazingly well in the track. It is insanely difficult to avoid bobbing one’s head to the beat, and dropping a step or two.

The echoed synths are magnificent, especially how they transcend into resonating underlaid waves, while they become prominent during the heavily percussive background of the song. The experimental nature of the band is present in ‘Live Those Days Tonight’ but its furthered by diving into new ground with an even more elaborate musical build up. The bridges or breakdowns in their eponymous debut were progressive, but mainly based on synths and keys, now the synths are used to completement a different organic twist, giving an edgier and harder thump to their signature. Their style is cemented and continued in here, and if the track is anything to go by, the boys are right on with what they’re presenting as their second offering.

The vocal delivery is flawless, and laid back, and could push somewhat of a minimal soul edge at times. The lyrical structure hints at a positive message of personal choice and freedom, by leaving all hindrance behind and letting yourself go, putting off worry and all negative emotion, and live what has been missed. The song manages to take the listener into a delightful journey, leaving it wanting more.

It is quite a sonic experience. It is enjoyable, and even danceable to a point. Its very consistent despite the diverse instruments incorporated. It is a little electronic disco, classic pop, house combined with soft rock and heavy percussion. By description it may sound as if it were all over the place, but in fact it accomplishes a very unified sonic whole.

The album concept is based on Aldous Huxley’s novel Island, which goes by the name of ‘Pala’ in the story, where macaws whisper motivational messages to the island’s habitants. This might denote the album’s lyrical structure will be uplifting and positive, just like the lyrics in ‘Live Those Days Tonight’. It draws musical inspiration from the legendary Bee Gees.

Pala will feature collaborations with the Harlem Gospel Choir in the album cut ‘Hurting’ and Alex Frankel (Holy Ghost) in ‘True love’. The album production is accredited to the band itself and Paul Epworth, who worked with them in their first 2008 release, Friendly Fires.



Download ‘Live Those Days Tonight’

Pala to be released May 16th.