Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Song: Celebrate
Artist: Mika
Album: The Origin of Love

After bursting onto the scene with his debut album "Life in Cartoon Motion," in 2007, British singer-songwriter Mika had a bit of a sophomore slump with '09's "The Boy Who Knew Too Much."  He's gearing up to release his third album, "The Origin of Love" in September.  It's said to be "less child-like, and more serious," "a mix of Daft Punk and Fleetwood Mac," (!!!) and more simplistic and less layered than his previous efforts.  There are also a couple tracks in French, including "Elle me dit," which served as the first single in French-speaking countries.

Everywhere else the first single is the Pharrell Williams featuring "Celebrate," a track that came out in June.  It's been a slow-grower for me but I do like it.  Mika's been much more attention-grabbing in his singles in the past so it seems like a bit of a non-event.  But again, it's a grower.  The track is produced by non-other than hot-as-anything Nick Littlemore of PNAU and Empire of the Sun fame.  It's got a lush, electro-pop feel that's quite nice.

I recently got to hear the title-track from the album which was also... okay.  I loved his debut quite a lot but recent output has just been so-so to me.  I'll reserve judgement until I hear the whole album.  He's got an insane amount of collaborators on this album, so he is shooting for the gold.


Make You Happy
Elle me dit

Monday, July 30, 2012

I'll Get You (Feat. Jeppe)

Song: I'll Get You (Feat. Jeppe)
Artist: Classixx
Album: I'll Get You

I've had this track for over two years, and a couple months ago it was on deck to be highlighted here, but I honestly kept forgetting about it.  Oddly, I heard it several times while on vacation at different parties, and it clicked even more for me.  (something about set and setting no doubt.)

Classixx are a DJ and production duo out of Los Angeles, comprised of childhood friends Michael Taylor and Tyler Blake.  Best known for their remixes, the duo have reworked tracks for Yacht, Gossip, Drop the Lime, Major Lazer, Ladyhawke, & Fisherspooner.  Their remix of Pheonix's "Listomania" put them on the map.

"I'll Get You," their first stand-alone single was released way back in 2009, but it's obviously still getting play and/or just catching on.  I didn't realized that the vocalist was Jeppe from Junior Senior.  It's a hot, hot track.

They released a second single, "Into the Valley" last year featuring vocals by Karl Dixon.  No word if a full album is expected.


I'll Get You
Into the Valley
Listomania (Classixx Remix) - Phoenix

Friday, July 27, 2012

See U Later

Song: See U Later (Feat. Ida Corr)
Artist: Bimbo Jones
Album: See U Later

Here's a nice, tasty club track to get you fired up for the weekend...

Bimbo Jones are one of the hottest pop remix production duo's working today, re-working top hits for the likes of... honestly it's like everybody.  I'm not at all familiar with their own songwriting efforts, but it seems they only have one album from 2003.  But they've released a handful of their own singles over the years and "See U Later," featuring vocals from Ida Corr is their latest.

I've had the song for a couple months but it didn't really grab me, but just this week I was cleaning the bathroom, (seriously) it popped up in my playlist, and while scrubbing the tub with some Comet it all clicked.  It's got a pretty standard club beat, sounds like one of their remixes, but is sold by a killer chorus and that "dum-da-dum-dum/bum-da-bum-bum" bit.  Very fun.

It reminds me a little of the Freemasons' "When You Touch Me," and of course the presence of the bigger-than-life voice of Ida Corr is a win, though probably falls a bit short of her amazing single "Let Me Think About It" with Fedde Le Grand.

Add this one to your treadmill mix.


See U Later
Sweet Like Chocolate

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Song: Crazytown
Artist: Aimee Mann
Album: Charmer

I must admit I haven't followed Aimee Mann like I used to, but I've gotten a chance to hear her upcoming eighth studio album "Charmer" and let's just say... I've been charmed!

I've only half paid attention to her post-"Lost in Space" (2002) output, but "Charmer" is pure Aimee, deceptively simple-sounding guitar-based rock that repeated listens unfurls clever wordplay, inescapable melodies, and moments of true lyrical genius.

Not knowing her last two major releases, I'm not sure if this is a return to her "Magnolia Soundtrack" / "Bachelor No. 2" heights, or simply a continuation of her growing body of work.  Regardless, it's great.

The album will be released in mid-September, and according to her website, the title track is the first single.  I'm really loving "Labrador" and "Crazytown," but honestly after about six or so listens to the full record, this AM's complete listen proved that it's pretty solid from start to finish, with melodies and lines popping in a way that as-heard-thru-computer-speakers did not allow.

If you're a fan, this is sounding like a must listen.


Labrador (live)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Waiting Alone

Song: Waiting Alone
Artist: Shiny Toy Guns
Album: III

Haven't really followed this band since their debut and their semi-hit "Le Disko" from way back in 2006.  I stumbled upon their latest track, "Waiting Alone," and really like it.

The song is their second released from their third record, "III" which is scheduled for release in October.  "The Sun" was released back in March, you can hear it below.

Seems the band has gone through some lineup changes recently, according to their Wiki page.


Waiting Alone
The Sun

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Good Morning to the Night

Song: Good Morning to the Night
Artist: Elton John vs. PNAU
Album: Good Morning to the Night

Last year when creating my "Best of 2011" list, Penguin Prison's self-titled debut album just edged out PNAU's "Soft Universe" for the last spot.  I really loved "Soft Universe," at first not realizing the Empire of the Sun connection, and then discovering their self-titled third album, which was what put them on the map, and got the attention of Mr. Elton John.

Early last month I discovered the Cahill remix of "Good Morning to the Night," which was credited to "Elton John vs. PNAU," began hearing it out by some discerning DJ's, and my interest was tweaked.  Now the full album is out, I love it, it's Elton's first number one record in the UK in over twenty years, and only just this AM have I realized exactly what this record is...

Elton, as a mega-fan, gave Australian duo PNAU full reign of his 1970 - 1976 back catalogue, which they took snippets, remixed, added music, and created new songs from these bits.  So "Good Morning to the Night" isn't just remixes of older, more obscure, John tracks from the 70's, some of these tunes contain samples of up to nine different songs.  And the results are amazing.

This is a current-sounding electro record with a distinct Elton feel, and a slight wash of 70's over it.  It's rather amazing.

"Good Morning to the Night," the first and title track is already a club hit in the UK, hence the #1.  It contains parts of "Philadelphia Freedom," "Mona Lisa's and Mad Hatters," "Funeral for a Friend/Love Dies Bleeding," "Tonight," "Gulliver/It's Hay Chewed," "Sixty Years On," "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," AND "Someone Saved My Life Tonight."  And yet, it doesn't sound like decoupage'd mess.  It sounds like a song.

I'm still getting into the record but there is a lot to love.  Check this out.


Good Morning to the Night

Monday, July 23, 2012

Red Lips

Song: Red Lips
Artist: Sky Ferreira
Album: I'm Not Alright

Upon hearing her first song "One" I was immediately interested in American singer, songwriter, actress, model, Sky Ferreira who was working with some great electropop production talent, and had a very promising EP, "As If!" released early last year.  So where is the album?

Well, her official debut, "I'm Not Alright" (originally "Wild at Heart") is scheduled to come out sometime this year, but she's moved away from the dance-pop to a Blondie-esque, semi-edgy rock sound.  I'd be a little disappointed, if the first official single wasn't so good.

"Red Lips" was written by Garbage's Shirley Manson and sounds... well, just like Garbage.  Oddly, I've immediately connected with this and yet I couldn't find anything I really loved from the latest Garbage reunion record.  Oh well.

Check out the creepy Terry Richardson-directed video below.


Red Lips
Lost in My Bedroom

Friday, July 20, 2012


Song: Mercy
Artist: Dave Matthews Band
Album: Away From the World

Never have been a huge fan aside from a single or song here and there, but it's important to note than after a three-and-a-half (?) album absence, the band is reuniting with super-producer Steve Lillywhite, who helmed all of their most popular output, as well as shelved material for their supposed-to-be fourth album, known as "The Lillywhite Sessions," that ended up on 2002's "Busted Stuff."

I got, but don't honestly remember anything from their last record, 2009's "Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King."  First single from the new record, "Mercy" sounds like vintage, pretty, D.M.B.  It's a slower track, but quite nice.

Not blowing me away by any means but something a bit different and quiet to get you into your weekend.  I will say, I've been playing this quite a bit, like it more and more.



Thursday, July 19, 2012

Oh Love

Song: Oh Love
Artist: Green Day
Album: ¡Uno!

After the high-concept rock opera smash albums that raised Green Day from being just a trio of punk rockers to major rock players with critical success and even a Broadway show, it was assumed that the band would probably scale things back a little for their next project.  "American Idiot" and "21st Century Breakdown" changed the game for Green Day... and while it's too soon to tell how this will all unfold, the news that the band plans to release three records between now and next January is pretty daunting.  What are they thinking?

Well, it's all pretty clever really... the band plans to release "¡Uno!" on September 25th, their ninth album, only to follow it with "¡Dos!" on November 13th, and then completing the trilogy with "¡Tre!" on January 15th, each will feature one member of the band on each cover.  More is... more.

First single "Oh Love" drops the high-concept Green Day we've come to expect with a relatively simple and sparse rock love song.  It's taken me a couple listens but I'm really enjoying this song... it's deceptively simple, and an odd reminder that despite the nasally whine, Billie Joe Armstrong's voice comes on like an old friend.  I like this.

Lots more Green Day to look forward to in the next coming months.


Oh Love
Stay the Night (unconfirmed)
Amy (Live - unconfirmed)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Song: Octopus
Artist: Bloc Party
Album: Four

Bloc Party are returning after a three-year hiatus following the release of their third album "Intimacy" and their last stand-alone single, "One More Chance."  The band members have worked on side projects, including lead singer Kele Okereke's solo album "The Boxer," and recent EP, "The Hunter."  I really dug the more dance direction of his work, but am glad to be getting some new Bloc Party.

The new record, simply entitled "Four," is set for release later next month, but the band just released the first single, "Octopus."

It's certainly not their catchiest piece of work, but I'm really digging this song.  I just love Kele's voice, and love this rapid-fire guitar work and electro-psychedelic sound of this.  Cool.



Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Song: Runaways
Artist: The Killers
Album: Battle Born

After a brief hiatus in which band members explored other musical projects, The Killers are back with their fourth album, "Battle Born" which is set to be released in mid-September.  The first single, "Runaways," has just been released.

I enjoyed both Brandon Flowers' solo record "Flamingo" as well as drummer Ronnie Vannucci, Jr.'s side band Big Talk, though neither lived up to the best they'd done with The Killers... and I was, despite killer single (and semi-head-scratcher) "Human" a bit disappointed with their last record, "Day & Age."  I feel "Battle Born" is an important record for the band.  They need to come back hard.

At first listen, "Runaways" is pure, classic, Killers... the Springsteen aping, Americana poetry lyrics, and catchy New Wave-ish guitars and light keyboards.  It might not have the punch of "When You Were Young," but hey... what does?  That track is a stone-cold classic.  But repeated listens really bring the charm of the song out, and while it's no new ground for the band, I'm excited to have them back.

Rock music certainly hasn't seen it's share of hit songs as of late.  Can The Killers bring it back?


Battle Born

Monday, July 16, 2012

Settle Down

Song: Settle Down
Artist: No Doubt
Album: Push and Shove

A bunch of big new singles from established acts are breezing through as summer gets into full swing...

And is there one more anticipated than the return of No Doubt?  "Rock Steady," their last, was released in 2001 (!!!) and heck... Gwen's last solo record was back in 2006.  It's time.

"Settle Down" sounds pretty great to me, if not super catchy.  But I like that... it's got a slow, nice, intro and outro and sounds like a mix of the old "Tragic Kingdom" sound and newer "Rock Steady."

Glad to see you again.


Settle Down

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

White Light

Song: White Light
Artist: George Michael
Album: White Light

New music from the non-prolific, but constantly amazing, George Michael.  "White Light" is the first new music since George's recent pneumonia scare late last year, meant to celebrate the 30 year anniversary the single, "Wham Rap." (see below)

"White Light" is a sexy-eletro track about coming back from the brink, there's possible allusion to Amy Winehouse, but it's obvious George is doing what he does best... taking his life and troubles and translating it into song.  I like it, though don't understand the initial use of auto-tune on the track, which was used a bit too much on his New Order cover "True Faith" from early 2011.

No word if a new album is in the works, though let's hope.  "Patience" was 2004.



White Light
Wham Rap
Wow, I've never heard this.  Double wow.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Blow Me (One Last Kiss)

Song: Blow Me (One Last Kiss)
Artist: Pink
Album: Blow Me (One Last Kiss)

New song of Summer contender.

Pink in all her melodic-pop/rock glory.  I have a feeling this one will be difficult to ignore in the next few months.  It's what we've come to expect from Pink, and while it doesn't break any new ground... it falls right into her "So What," "Raise Your Glass" fist-pump pop songs.  (You will be at a bar, sometime in the future, raising your arm and pumping "We've had a shit day!" with friends you enjoy drinking with... my premonition.)

Got a little "Float On-esque" guitar happening in the beginning which is a little odd, as it doesn't remain a hook of the song.



Blow Me (One Last Kiss)