Dreamy electro that sounds like Annie and Florrie and Ladytron from a lady who’s written for Britney and is working with Sky Ferreira and Miike Snow. Can’t really go wrong.
Coco Morier – Ambulance
Coco Morier – Explosions
Coco Morier – Player Of Love
Coco Morier – Journey To The Centre Of The World
All really REALLY brilliant. If I shut my eyes, this is exactly what Cheryl Cole’s solo career sounds like. I can dream.
This sense of grandeur and importance is what I’ve always loved about her, she’s not nice, she’s not approachable, she’s fucking terrifying and she knows it.
This attitude is how she became the Queen of Pop and she has a right to act this way but it all hinges on her new album MDNA, a brilliantly playful title which says ‘LOL at me trying to be youthful’ but also ‘I was double dropping before you were born you useless wannabes’ it’s promising that for the first time in ages she’s not taking herself so seriously.
Now Madge’s laughable film-making and acting endeavours throughout her career have always, correctly, been overshadowed by her pop prowess but not since 2005’s Confessions On A Dancefloor has she really made a record worthy of a global superstar.
So after the underwhelming Hard Candy and various other projects that no one really cares about, clothes, books, films, her profile is at the lowest it’s been in years.
So I’ve decided, as I’m the only person to challenge her ‘Queen of Pop’ title, that after a disappointingly safe last album, what her new album needs to be:
- Fearless – Madonna has always been one step ahead through out her career (and all the other clichés that are attached to her.. reinvention, boundaries, blah blah blah.. ) and this is down to her fearlessness. Not afraid to go her own way, work with whom she wants, sing about what she wants and make a record that sounds the way she wants it to.
- Age Appropriate – She looks great and by ‘age appropriate’ I don’t mean she should put her fanny away it means she should stop asking Lourdes what’s cool, what’s hip, what the 411 is as if she’s Regina’s mum in Mean Girls. She doesn’t know! When I was 15 I was pretending to like Panic! At The Disco and 50 Cent, because that’s what all the kids at school were listening to, when really I was spinning around my room to Hung Up. Don’t try and be something you’re not, we can tell.
- Pop – As the Queen of Pop she should make a pop record. Chart fads come and go, whether it’s clattering Timbaland beats, swooping Guetta trance or wobbly dubstep but good pop surpasses these phases. It needs to be big, confident pop music form a big, confident artist.
The disingenuous persona Natalia Kills (Natalia Kills people) has created for herself, via a British sitcom and a mid-noughties (highly brilliant) one hit wonder, is so lightweight and desperate I CANNOT wait for her to jack it all in and restyle herself as a vegan folk singer.
So far she’s released mediocre tunes with mediocre videos with mediocre success, her new single Kill My Boyfriend, from the deluxe edition of her mediocre album, is amazing though. It seems that finally the meticulous positioning and styling is beginning to pay off.
Produced by French DJ Junior Caldera; Kills’ empty and soulless delivery fits the dark lyrics: “He’s only nice when there’s somebody there, I’m gonna kill my boyfriend yeah” juxtaposed with the chirpy piano led production and Stepford wife influenced video work really well.
10. Florence & The Machine – Shake It Out
Flo’s triumphant comeback single full of tambourine bashing and signature shouty wails a KILLER bridge and an even bigger chorus it’s what she does best. The rest of the album was meh.
9. Willy Moon – I Wanna Be Your Man/She Loves Me
Brilliantly odd pop, this truly sounds like nothing else I’ve heard before. A sickly sweet Buble-esque throwback vocal is saved by insane clipped beats and loops it stutters and shouts and is gone as quickly as it began.
8. Beyonce – 1+1
In an era when the charts are full of euro LOL-pop and bore-off acoustic shit Beyonce did what she wanted and made an album full of classy retro rnb. This is the choice cut, a towering Prince sounding ballad about being so in love you don’t really know what to do with yourself. It’s simple, elegant and incredibly moving.
7. Justice – Civilization
Stabbing electro beats in the verses burst into a massive disco strut of a chorus, accompanied by Ali Love’s brilliant Soft Cell impersonating vocals. Hello all future boy-pop? You should sound like this.
6. The Saturdays – Notorious
This, the first single from their awful On Your Radar album, was a glimmer of individuality and progression from a pop-act so beige and anonymous even the golden touch of Xenomania couldn’t help them. The Nintendo beats, operatic chorus and stop-start structure courtesy of Steve Mac make it the most inventive and brilliant Sats ttrack ever.
5. Marina & The Diamonds – Radioactive
Marina proving the chart pop doesn’t have to be meaningless ‘in the club’ shit, should’ve been number 1 for 10 weeks.
4. Nicola Roberts – Beat Of My Drum
WTF?! This single wasn’t what anyone expected from the ginger Girls Aloud’s solo debut. It shouts and bounces and screams and is fucking amazing. If this had been the debut of a super cool, hip-hop happening upstart Radio 1 would’ve been jizzing their pants over it. Alas they did not and it limped to number 27 and then left without a trace.
3. Lana Del Rey – Video Games/Blue Jeans
I heard on Radio 1 the other day that Fearne UHMAZING SKILLZ Cotton started playing this song in June (It was uploaded to Youtube in August Fearne you insufferable dickhead) It’s beautiful and what I imagine Flo’s flirtation with hip-hop beats on her new album would’ve sounded like if it had worked.
2. Joe Goddard – Gabriel
This is how you make a pop record with religious imagery (looking at you Gaga) the hypnotic drums that build perfectly into a giddy crescendo and perfect vocal from Valentina are flawless.
1. Azealia Banks – 212.
I fear that Azealia Banks may be suffocated under the weight of her own hype but lets forget that for now. This is provocative and exciting pop from a hip-hop artist who’s just having fun, doesn’t take herself too seriously. Her scattergun rapped verses fall out of her mouth as if she wrote them in 5 minutes she makes it all look so easy and effortless. Her album can’t come quickly enough.
20. Britney Spears – Hold It Against Me
Built around a very ‘Oooh err, Carry On Camping’ style innuendo, played out over a generic 90s dance beat with a ludicrous wobbly dubstep breakdown in the middle eight, this shouldn’t work on any level. But it does, and it’s brilliant. So there.
19. Studio Killers – Ode To The Bouncer
“It’s my Birthday tonight, I’m not wearing trainers not to mention knickers.” Pouts an androgynous voice over stop start euro-pop synths telling the all too familiar story of trying to get into a club when you’re fucked. This high-camp, hi-nrg Danish hit should’ve been massive over here. It wasn’t.
18. Selena Gomez – Love You Like A Love Song
Disney stars aren’t known for their emotional depth when it comes to pop music. Playing to her strengths she sings the insanely catchy chorus (in a brilliantly flat and robotic monotone) a concise observation of love and pop and how all of the “beautiful words been already sung” and we’re just “hitting repea-pea-pea-pea-peat”. She’s saying that artists are simply regurgitating the same sentiments over and over again in an increasingly repetitive and insincere manner. Or, y’know, she’s not.
17. Hyuna – Bubble Pop
Utterly mental nonsense, effortlessly charming.
16. Rizzle Kicks – Down With The Trumpets
A charming debut from the charming rap duo’s charming debut album. With the energy of a children’s TV presenter double dropping on Christmas morning this refreshing summer tune has only just started getting annoying now. Well done Rizzle Kicks.
15. Ms. Dynamite – Neva Soft
SHE’S BACK. Dyno’s debut album is one of my favourite albums of all time and with the help of a timely Katy B guest appearance and Labyrinth teaming 60’s Mowtown brass with drum ‘n’ base rumblings this brilliant comeback single was long overdue.
14. Friends – I’m His Girl
Swagger: to walk or strut with a defiant or insolent air. This is what the most hideously overused word in popular culture used to mean, before Cher Lloyd got her mits over it, and it’s the perfect word to describe this debut from Friends. Achingly confident, cool and catchy.
13. Lady Gaga – Marry The Night
She released Born This Way (patronising copy-cat Madonna), Judas (Romania’s Eurovision entry), The Edge Of Boring and You & I (A Shania Twain B Side from 1998). She’s not made the best decisions this year lacking self awareness and mistaking creativity and self expression with self obsessed pretentious wank. Born This Way was an alarmingly free and ambitious album. This single, and a few other parts of the album, is an example of her ambition paying off.
12. Martin Solvieg ft. Dragonette – Hello
Video of the year. IN YOUR FACE GAGA.
11. Tove Styrke – Call My Name
Dear Little Mix, this is exactly what your proper debut single should sound like. Much love, Tony.
New singer lady I’m obsessed with…
…Very, very amazing.
Now I can’t decide if this is genius, coy wink to camera, I’m a classy lady with sense of humour brilliance OR selling out, lost all sense of taste and decency from an amazing-but-past-it act who really wants a hit.
Either way I quite like it, but the AWFUL rap is wholly unnecessary.