P-Money's "Everything" reminds Chromeo to get back into the studio (hopefully)

Pop Heaven / Pop Hell, Video

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Credit to P-Money – “Everything” (featuring someone called Vince Harder) is going to find it difficult to be anything other than massive in the UK this summer. It’s irresistible electro-funk-house which I heard for the first time on Zane Lowe the other night and loved immediately.

But it did make me wonder where the heckfire Chromeo are at the moment, because surely they should be tearing up the charts – albeit with slightly fewer housey vibes – with this kind of stuff by now?

Anyway, P-Money is a New Zealandish chap who seems genuinely, touchingly excited by the prospect of soundtracking our summer. And why shouldn’t he? It’s quite an honour. I suppose it’s just nice to catch an artist at that point before they blow up completely and become a tad blas

Chicane's "Poppiholla" cover tackles Sigur Ros, racial prejudice

Pop Heaven / Pop Hell, Video


chicane_poppihollaIt wasn’t supposed to, but this video for Chicane’s cover of Sigur Ros’s “Poppiholla” “Hoppiholla” made me do a LOL of considerable volume.

First there’s the fact that Chicane have bothered covering this song at all. If you don’t recognise the title, it’s also known as “That One From David Attenborough’s Planet Earth Which Makes You Feel All Poignant And Misty-Eyed About The Fate Of The Polar Bear For A Couple Of Minutes On A Sunday Night Before You Turn Over To Big Brother.”

Chicane have managed to strip out all of the emotion that the original somehow made people feel, and turned it instead into a plinky-plonky trance yawnfest the like of which you may have thought died with Robert Miles. Robert Miles isn’t dead? Oh.

Anyway, the video. So there’s a BLACK MAN in a HOOD walking along kind of FURTIVELY, getting GLANCES from WHITE PEOPLE who seem to THINK that HE is GOING to BUTCHER THEIR FAMILIES OR SOMETHING. This “walking along furtively” part of the video takes up about two of the video’s three minutes, and I estimate that in this time the clip’s protagonist must cover about five yards.
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Michael Jackson: Bad meaning the best

Music News, Pop Heaven / Pop Hell

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michael_jacksonMichael Jackson died two days ago, so this is going to be a bit of a personal post. Feel free to skip it if you’re not in the mood for a spot of rambling, nostalgic, borderline weepy sincerity.

For me, loving music has always gone hand in hand with loving Michael Jackson. I can’t remember the first time I listened to him – he’s always just been there. And he always will be. His death won’t alter the fact that millions of kids are going to grow up listening to him, because their own parents grew up listening to him.

The last couple of days have felt quite surreal, with every shop and passing car blasting out MJ songs, and everyone I’ve spoken to talking about him. I can’t think of too many other singers whose death would inspire such a reaction, if only because there are so few acts out there who are so universally loved.

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Cicada's "Psycho Thrills" should be number one by now

Free Downloads And Streams, Pop Heaven / Pop Hell

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cicada_rouletteCan you imagine how great it would be if Ladyhawke hooked up wih Girls Aloud producers Xenomania? If your brain isn’t up to such popmath, fear not – there’s a song on Cicada‘s new album Roulette which shows exactly how great such a pairing would sound.

It is called “Psycho Thrills”, and if whoever makes such decisions for Cicada doesn’t ensure it is released as a single toot bloody sweet, they ought to find themselves languishing in a dole queue for the rest of the summer.

Slap my wrist for such harshness, but if you give “Psycho Thrills” a listen below you will surely come to the same conclusion – this, amongst an album of splendid electro-pop, is surely a numero one single (despite something in the synths reminding me of Eric Clapton’s “Behind The Mask (?!)).


Buy “Psycho Thrills” and other tracks from Cicada’s Roulette at 7Digital

Amerie, "Why R U" returning with such a lacklustre number?

Pop Heaven / Pop Hell, Video

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It gives me no pleasure to have a dig at the frightfully beautiful Amerie, but “Why R U” sounds sadly R&B by numbers, doesn’t it?

From the instant classic “One Thing” through to her undeservedly overlooked last album Because I Love It (which barely had a release in the States), Amerie has tended to deliver pop fare of a distinctive and infectious nature.

Gathania's "Blame It On You" is part of a long term career strategy

Pop Heaven / Pop Hell, Video

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Regular readers (yeah, right) might have noticed that I can be a bit of a sucker for some zingy Europop, and this is never truer than when Mr Sunshine comes out to play.

Gathania’s “Blame It On You” fits into that category nicely, even though it’s actually a birrova sad tale if you listen to the lyrics.

Gathania, says the press release, is 2009′s “priority signing” for her label Hard2Beat, and they’ve spent time “planning a long term career strategy”. It’s a glamorous game and no mistake.

Buy “Blame It On You” on MP3 at 7Digital or

Tinted Windows: where's the love?

Pop Heaven / Pop Hell, Video

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Much sniggering was sniggered when the world learned that Adam Schlesinger of Fountains Of Wayne, James Iha ex-of Smashing Pumpkins and Cheap Trick’s drummer Bun E. Carlos would be starting a new band with Taylor Hanson of, er, Hanson. Taylor Hanson is a grown man with four children, but to many he’ll always be the fourteen year-old who looked like a girl and made a few million dollars doing it.

Tinted Windows’ self-titled debut album came out last week, and “Kind Of A Girl” is the first single from it. As the retro video suggests, it’s inspired by late 70s/early 80s powerpop like The Cars and The Knack, and it’s a suitably catchy, disposable little blighter. Not sure it’s as good as “Where’s The Love”, though, which I will defend until my dying day.

Buy Tinted Windows’ album, or individual tracks from it, here

Tinted Windows “Kind of a Girl”

Star Pilots' "In The Heat Of The Night": resistance is futile

AlternaVids, Pop Heaven / Pop Hell, Video

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Not sure what that comment up there means exactly, but it made me LAOFMAOFOLR. It’s in response to Star Pilots’ relentless hookmonster of a pop nugget named “In The Heat Of The Night”. Or, more, accurately, it’s in response to a fan video of the song which features those famously oily volleyball scenes from Top Gun.

Because “In The Heat Of The Night”, for some reason, doesn’t have an official video as yet despite having floated about on the internet for about a year already.

UPDATE: It does now, and you can see it below. It features soapy womens.

Not that it really requires one – it’s not one of those numbers where you’re like “hmm, this euro-dance single is a bit oblique, I require soothing images to ease myself into its unique world”.

Nah. It’s a stomping 80s-worshipping cheesebugger which will dominate branches of TopShop, provincial bowling alleys and – if it gets a video – The Box for the entirety of summer 2009. It’s not officially out on our shores until May 11th, but you can check it out by lowering your line of vision and clicking the play button belowabouts.

Three half-decent Gloria Estefan moments you probably forgot existed

Pop Heaven / Pop Hell, Video

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gloria_estefan.jpgGloria Estefan is retiring from music later this year. A moment of silence, please.
Although she is these days more likely to be associated with yawnsome ballads and/or that nasty prang, I feel it’s only fair that somone reps Ester’s earlier, more upbeat work.

To whit, here are three decent Gloria Estefan moments you probably forgot existed.

1. “Get On Your Feet”
If we overlook the rather bossy title, this infectious little number sounds like it might have soundtracked a wacky montage in Three Men And A Baby. I’m not sure if it actually did, but it is undeniably “fun” and would sound just delightful over shots of nappies falling off little arses and men getting piss in their moustaches. Video after the jump.

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Frankmusik's "Better Off As Two" video pioneers skin-shedding dance moves

Pop Heaven / Pop Hell, Video

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I think this is the best thing I’ve heard from Frankmusik. It is very “now”, in a non-naff electro-pop kind of way.

I am rather fascinated with young fellamelad’s dancing, too. He looks like he’s trying to climb out of his skin, doesn’t he?

Have you ever climbed out of your skin? How did it feel? Did you throw the skin away, or retain it as a skin suit? When you tried to climb back in to your skin, did you manage to cram in all your intestines and muscles and stuff? Have you ever tried to climb into someone else’s skin? Have you ever sliced off someone’s face and(Come this way please sir – The po-po)

[video: FrankmusikUK]