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Category Archives: Pop

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REVIEW: HURTS: EXILE

This Manchester duo’s 2010 debut album, Happiness, garnered them almost universal acclaim. I don’t think I ever read a single review of the album that wasn’t at least 90% positive. And so I was shocked when reviews of Exile, their just-released sophomore effort, started surfacing and were almost 90% negative. By the time...
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SINGLE REVIEW: NATALIA KILLS: “PROBLEM”

It begins with what sounds like a military air-raid siren before a massive beat begins stomping all over the place like it’s a lost Ice Cube track from 1991. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think it was a new hip-hop track. But wait — she actually does kind of rap this...
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REVIEW: DAVID BOWIE: THE NEXT DAY

The cover art for The Next Day is the cover of Bowie’s 1977 album Heroes with a white box that simply reads “The Next Day” in the center, concealing 90% of the original cover art by Masayoshi Sukita. This obscured album cover comes courtesy of Jonathan Barnbrook, who also designed the art for...
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REVIEW: RIHWA & MICHELLE BRANCH: GOOD LOVE

Japanese singer/songwriter Rihwa teamed up with American singer/songwriter Michelle Branch for this lovely duet, which Branch wrote after asking Rihwa if she’d be interested in collaborating, something Rihwa became extremely excited about, having become a fan of Michelle’s music when she was attending school in Canada.  The mid-tempo, guitar-centric track is entirely in...
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REVIEW: KATE NASH: GIRL TALK

Kate Nash’s new album, Girl Talk, couldn’t be any further removed from her 2007 debut, Made of Bricks. But those who liked the new direction she took with her 2010 album My Best Friend Is You, which featured raw songs like “Kiss That Grrrl” and “Do-Wah-Doo,” will likely appreciate it. If not, well,...
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REVIEW: SALLY SHAPIRO: SOMEWHERE ELSE

Sally Shapiro is not a solo artist. We only see the beautiful blonde, fairy-like girl, who does use the pseudonym Sally Shapiro, but technically Sally Shapiro is a duo, the other half consisting of musician/producer Johan Agebjörn. That might sound a little confusing, but I think they like it that way. There’s always...
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REVIEW: JAMIE LIDELL: JAMIE LIDELL

Jamie Lidell’s last album, Jim, was a fantastic mix of soul, R&B and pop. There were even hints of country and bluegrass. The one thing the album wasn’t? Electronica. But his new self-titled album is a gorgeous, electro-pop/futuristic R&B masterpiece. Jamie was one half of the electro duo Super Collider and here he...
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REVIEW: ROBBIE WILLIAMS: TAKE THE CROWN

“They said it was leaving me, the magic was leaving me, I don’t think so,” Robbie Williams sings triumphantly during “Be A Boy,” the opening song on his ninth studio album, Take The Crown. Having followed Robbie’s career for well over a decade I feel confident in saying that that statement is directed...
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REVIEW: LISA LOEB: NO FAIRY TALE

Two critically acclaimed children’s albums aside, No Fairy Tale is Lisa’s first album since 2004’s The Way It Really Is. Having waited so long to record a new album, you’d think she would have went into the studio armed with an acoustic guitar and an arsenal of songs in the vein of her...
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REVIEW: HAIM: FOREVER – EP

Haim is a group formed by sisters Este, Danielle and Alana Haim with drummer Dash Hutton. They formed the group in 2006 in Los Angeles, California, but they didn’t actually start releasing music until 2012, taking time to perfect their very distinct sound. From the opening of “Better Off,” which features the girls...
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REVIEW: GABRIELLE APLIN: PLEASE DON’T SAY YOU LOVE ME

Gabrille Aplin is a British singer/songwriter hailing from Sutton Benger, Wiltshire who first rose to fame by posting acoustic covers of various songs on Youtube. Please Don’t Say You Love me is her fourth EP and her first for Parlophone Records. “Please don’t say you love me, ’cause I might not say it...
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REVIEW: AZURE RAY: AS ABOVE SO BELOW

When Maria Taylor and Orenda Fink, otherwise known as Azure Ray, reunited in 2009 and set to work making their fourth album, Drawing Down the Moon, they used their very first album as a blueprint. “That approach facilitated Orenda (Fink) and I bringing our sound together stylistically and emotionally after working so many...
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REVIEW: SKY FERREIRA: GHOST

Just a couple of years ago Sky was supposed to become an overnight sensation with her song “Obsession” appearing on everything from The Vampire Diaries soundtrack to one of those infamous NOW CDs. But the song’s failure to make much of an impression on anyone was likely a source of amusement for Sky,...
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REVIEW: CHRISTINA AGUILERA: LOTUS

Let me begin this review by stating that I was a huge fan of Christina’s last album, Bionic. I realize that most of the critics hated it and that it was a commercial flop, but I consider the majority of it to be forward-thinking, artsy pop. And that’s exactly what she was aiming...
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