Saturday, July 15, 2006 

Lacuna Coil - Enjoy The Silence

Well, I never thought I'd be posting a video with the Kerrang! logo in the corner, but it seems the day has come. Of course, this is a popular European band covering an excellent 80s electropop classic, so it shouldn't be that surprising that I like it. It's certainly not as brilliant as Within Temptation's cover of Running Up That Hill, but that is a song that very little can beat at all, not just in the category of Eurorock cover versions. If you like a bit of crazy Eurorock, you should definitely watch the video for Lacuna Coil's most famous original single, Swamped - I won't give too much away but it is quite a masterpiece!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 

Shampoo - Trouble (on TOTP)

Any true pop fan can tell you how legendary this girl group were, although they rarely seem to be mentioned without a reference to the Spice Girls. Here is a performance I'd never seen before I found it on YouTube, of Carrie and Jacqui performing their most famous single Trouble on the recently deceased Top of the Pops. Shampoo encapsulated the spirit of their time with garish outfits, tuneless singing and everything that annoys the boring old men who think they can manipulate the public into buying the subtle, sensible music they like. But pop music is the music of the youth and Shampoo represented teenage rebellion better than any 'controversial' rapper or drugged-out rocker. They were unique and overflowing with personality and, of course, girl power!

Thursday, April 20, 2006 

Dixie Chicks - Not Ready To Make Nice

The Dixie Chicks might be a country act but they sure ain't boring, y'all! In 2003 they caused controversy when they criticised George Bush. It all began at a concert in London when singer Natalie said "Just so you know, we're ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas" - the remark was mentioned in a review in the Guardian and quickly picked up by US press. Madness ensued as fans and radio stations boycotted their music and there was even a mass bull-dozing of their CDs! They gained support from Madonna and appeared on front of an American magazine almost naked with the names they had been called printed on their bodies. Finally Bush responded saying that he didn't really care and they were free to speak their mind - rather a contrast to the reactions of his supporters. The girls had upset many of their conservative American fans but won respect from many people who felt the same or just supported their right to free speech. The band have been making music for only a couple of years less than I've been alive but they look pretty sprightly for their age and their 7th album, released last month, has wielded this surprisingly excellent song. It's their response to the George Bush debacle, and the lyrics (including my favourite - "How in the world can the words that I said send somebody so over the edge that they'd write me a letter saying that I better shut up and sing or my life will be over?") and video are pretty interesting in that respect. It retains the country style of singing but there's definitely a more commercial approach, and I know they worked with Rick Rubin (producer who has recently worked with Shakira and Justin Timberlake). There's something really poignant and stirring about this song in both the lyrics and its overall sound, so forget about the country and give it a chance!

Thursday, April 13, 2006 

Vanilla Ninja - Dangerzone

This is the brand new single by Vanilla Ninja, their first with only 3 members and with a new manager replacing David Brandes, who they cut ties with when his bulk-buying of the music of the acts he worked with (also including German singer Gracia) caused them to be banned from the German charts for 3 months! You may know Vanilla Ninja from their appearance in last year's Eurovision representing Switzerland, although they are actually Estonian. This single comes from their fourth album Love Is War and despite David Brandes claiming their career is over and their new management are amateurs (no bias there at all, I'm sure), I think it's a great song. It's not a huge departure from their earlier work but it's catchy and I prefer it to many of the other singles they have made in a rocky style (they began as more of a pop act). I hope they can prove their old manager wrong and continue to be one of Europe's most popular female acts. Meanwhile, original Vanilla Ninja member Maarja is soon to release a solo single named Could You, which you can find out more about here.

Thursday, March 23, 2006 

BWO - Temple Of Love

Bodies Without Organs are BACK and they may have had Eurovision snatched out from under their noses by a woman who refuses to admit that she has had sex despite the fact that she has given birth, but that does not stop them from being better than ever! This video is a little more sane than the previous BWO visual offerings, since it does make some sense with there being pictures of temples in the background, although I have absolutely no idea what table tennis has to do with it all - my only suggestion is that the "Love" in the title is in fact referring to tennis rather than a feeling of great affection, which would in fact make some sense if the words were "we are one love" as I first thought and not "we all want love" as I have been told they are. Maybe I was right and this is a song about tennis scores! It's a certainly an original choice of subject, that you can't deny. Martin looks equal parts beautiful and ridiculous, Alex provides us with some jolly smiles and Marina looks lovely if a little bit annoyed at having to do such ridiculous dance moves. But aren't all great things a little bit ridiculous?

Thursday, March 16, 2006 

Snow Patrol - You're All I Have

Those of you who haven't known me very long (or if this is your first visit any of my sites and you've noticed that everything is cheesy pop) will probably be very surprised to hear that I was a huge fan of Snow Patrol's last album. They do seem to get a lot of criticism from pop lovers, and I can understand why - they're not the most attractive of bands, they're not particularly familiar with the synthesizer and they tend to wear a lot of dark colours. However, somehow these random blokes manage to make really fantastic music, and when I'm calling music of this type "fantastic", it must be true. This is their brand new single, it's not much different to their last album's sound, but it doesn't sound like the stuff they did before which is the good news, cos that was as rubbish as I had expected their last album to be. Go on, give them a chance - you might just be converted!

Saturday, March 04, 2006 

Najoua Belyzel - Gabriel

What with Kate Ryan's fanastic Eurovision entry and now this, the Francophones are really outdoing themselves this year so far. This is the latest single by 24 year old French lady singer Najoua Belyzel, and it's absolutely excellent. In the video she dresses as an angel in search of a statue which I guess must be of Angel Gabriel. When she finds him she kisses him and he becomes real, but sadly the opposite happens to Najoua and she ends the video as a statue, just like that poor girl in Lionel Richie's hilarious Hello video.

Monday, February 27, 2006 

Magnus Carlsson - Lev Livet

At the risk of turning into a Melodifestivalen fan site (but would that be such a bad thing?), here is my favourite performance from last Saturday's show. You may recognise Magnus as one of the boys from fabulous Swedish pop group Alcazar - this is actually Magnus' 4th or 5th (I can't remember which) attempt at Eurovision success. Will this at last be Magnus' year? He's doing well so far, with a pretty good song and a dance routine channelling Rachel Stevens.


BWO - Voodoo Magic (LIVE)

To see the video scroll down past "Se allt från galan" to "Bodies Without Organs uppträder". This is a performance from a recent awards show in Sweden where BWO won Best Swedish Group, a fantastic achievement for a band whose first single, Living In A Fantasy, was hardly noticed by the Swedish public and their 2005 Melodifestivalen entry Gone failed to even get through the first round. However, their fortunes have been improving constantly since then, and this year - this week in fact - they return to Melodifestivalen for a second try with their brand new single (also the first release from their hotly anticipated 2nd album), Temple Of Love. I am more excited than words can say! I hope that any Swedes reading this will be kind enough to vote for BWO this weekend, and I in turn will be voting A LOT if they do become the Swedish Eurovision entry. Most of all I cannot wait to hear their new song, as I've not disliked a single thing they've done so far and I highly doubt I'm about to start now!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006 

Linda Bengtzing - Jeg Ljuger Så Bra

The semi-finals of Melodifestivalen, the Swedish Eurovision selections, have begun and the first week welcomed back the singer of one of last year's best entries, Linda Bengtzing. She sings in Swedish but manages to make this not matter in the slightest. As this video shows, she has really grown in professionalism since last year, she looks fab and as she, along with Andrea Johnson (yes, the guy who had a hit with Glorious in 2000), is through to the finals, she has a good chance of doing very well out of this and perhaps even becoming the Swedish Eurovision entry for 2006. However, Bodies Without Organs are also entering so I sadly have to say I hope she doesn't.

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