Archive for March, 2010

Charley says VIDEO! Brandi Russell – Broken Doll

March 30, 2010

Brandi Russell shot to fame two years ago when she won a place in RED! on the first Dutch season of ‘Popstars’. Over the weeks Brandi’s performances had made her the number one favourite to win, though in all honesty it was rather slim pickings anyway. RED! was never really given a proper chance and ultimately a combination of poor music choices and no promotion led to the disbanding of the group after only three singles.

However, Brandi is determined to make it and almost immediately after the split announced a solo career. With ‘Broken Doll‘ her first solo video has finally premiered. The video may not have a Lady Gaga budget and the crazy outfits may make Kim-Lian & Linda Bengtzing’s effort seem tame in comparison, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that ‘Broken Doll’ is a properly decent popsong that nicely fits into a previously unfilled niche in the Dutch pop market.

And finally, clearly, the best moment in the entire song is the bit where the beat comes back after the note Brandi holds from 2.43 to 2.47.

Charley says SONG! Roel Vanderstukken & Isabelle A – Leven In Mijn Leven

March 28, 2010

I never really planned to feature songs in Dutch on this blog, but sometimes there’s just these songs that I feel I have to post regardless. And ok, international readers of this blog will not be able to buy this week’s Flair magazine to get Roel Vanderstukken’s second album ‘Leven In Mijn Leven’. And no, the fact that the gorgeous title track features Isabelle A will not excite you guys the way it does me. And yes, the lyrics will probably be lost on anyone who doesn’t understand the language, but can’t you just hear the emotion coming from this ballad with the words

“I would just look at you, I want that once without glass
Maybe sleep together for an hour, dreaming that you never came
Tell me how I come in, without already giving up on us
I would rescue you if I could
But do you even want to live in my life?”

Charley says ARTIST! Discovering Kim Wilde

March 27, 2010

I have a confession to make. I am a Kim Wilde n00b.

Yes, obviously I’m familiar with ‘Kids In America’, even though I have to admit that it is the Kim-Lian cover that you’ll find in my iTunes. And yes, I remember ‘Loved‘ being all over the radio back in 2001. The chorus used to confuse me so much back then, was she singing “You are loved”, “You are love”, “I love you”? Argh! I was only about 12, 13 years old at the time, though… It wasn’t until 2003 that Kim would properly pop up on my radar. It was the year she released ‘Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime‘. The song was a reworked and rewritten duet version of Nena’s ‘Irgendwie, Irgendwo, Irgendwann‘ for the ‘99 Red Balloons‘ singer’s new album. The song was a massive hit and today it still sounds as fresh and amazing as it did back then. Then 2006 brought us ‘You Came‘, an update on Kim’s old hit, and an album that brought her back to pop after all those years. I’m sad to say I never properly investigated it back then…

Fastforward to 2010, when news of a brand new Kim Wilde album left me reminiscing about my too few memories of the lady’s music career. Looking back on it now, Kim is one of those artist that I know I’d love if I would just get around to checking out more of her music. So that is what I did. Today I started by listening to this compilation on Grooveshark. ‘House Of Salome‘ immediately stood out, as did ‘View From A Bridge‘ and ‘You’ll Never Be So Wrong‘. And then there’s ‘Cambodia‘, the 1981 classic that people kept telling me is an incredible pop song and that only today I properly heard for the first time. I have some major catching up to do…

Charley says LIST! 4 Songs I Have The Hills To Thank For

March 26, 2010

It may not have come as a surprise that MTV’s semi-scripted reality show ‘The Hills’ got cancelled, but there’s no denying that for years it brought the drama, the gossip, the quotes (“YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DID!”) and… the music.

Especially the earlier seasons were like a weekly half an hour ‘what’s hot in music’ overview, so I felt that an appropriate goodbye to this show would be for me to list 4 songs, off the top of my head, that may not have been in my life if it weren’t for ‘The Hills’.

What: Garrison Starr – Beautiful In Los Angeles
When: S01 E10: Lauren has to choose whether she spends the summer with Jason or accepts an internship in Paris. This song is played while we see her driving through the streets of L.A. Is she heading for the airport or Jason’s summer house?
Lyrics: “Are you still beautiful in Los Angeles? It’s been so long, I can’t handle it…”
What I love about it: The sad lyrics over the anthemic instrumental that soars towards the end of the chorus.

What: Feist – Secret Heart
When: S01 E03: Jason calls Lauren to let her know he’s in town. This song is played when the both of them meet up on a sunny boardwalk terrace.
Lyrics: “Secret heart, what are you made of? What are you so afraid of? Could it be three simple words…”
What I love about it: No more than the opening lines of this song were played, but in an instant it managed to perfectly capture the essence of the moment. Feist went on to have hits with the likes of ‘1234‘ and ‘My Moon My Man‘.

What: Garrison Starr – Wonderful Thing
When: S02 E02
Lyrics: “I hate love, really do. Never works out quite the way I want it to…”
What I love about it: I don’t remember exactly what scene this was used in, but I do remember how the frustrated cry of the opening lines immediately caught my attention.

What: Amanda Rogers – The End
When: S02 E06: Lauren and Heidi get into a major fight over Spencer. This song is played as Heidi walks out of the apartment.
Lyrics: “Did you really think you’re right this time? Look what you’ve done to me, we’ll meet the end someday…”
What I love about it: Beautiful piano ballad from which The Hills manages to once again single out just the right words that seem like they were written especially for the scene.

Charley says TV! Farewell To The Kids Top 20

March 24, 2010

The Kids Top 20 has been quietly cancelled from Flemish tv. The weekly chart show was based on online votes by the kids and was shot in schools around the country. I can’t say I used to watch it regularly, due to not exactly being the target audience and all, but the Kids Top 20 will be missed for at least the following three reasons.

1. For some artists it was sadly the only way to promote their music on tv.

2. It gave former Big Brother winner and Kids Top 20 host Ellen an excuse to release uncomplicated little pop tunes such as ‘Lucky Lucky (Scooterboy)‘ and ‘Bang Bang Bang‘.

3. It gave us performances like this one from a summer special where a bunch of 10-year-olds jump around to a chorus of “My body was in need, I thought that we agreed, just a one night stand”.

Charley says SONG! Tabitha Cycon – You And I

March 22, 2010

Tabitha Cycon hasn’t had much luck in her music career. She managed to become a finalist on Idool 2003, but got voted off in the second week. BMG considered signing her, but didn’t. I’m not exactly sure what this DIY R&B video is about, but it definitely didn’t do very much. She participated in Eurosong 2008, but had that nightmare where you forget to change out of your pyjamas come true. And then finally, when she gets the chance to release ‘You And I’ someone apparently thought it’d be a good idea not to tell anyone about it. There was no video, no promo, nothing. You know it’s a sad state of affairs when even your own official wesbite doesn’t acknowledge the existence of your new single. The song’s not even on YouTube, so all I can offer you is this sample from an online download shop and my word that ‘You And I’ is quite a nice little groovy pop tune that deserved to be at least a minor hit. Oh well…

Charley says VIDEO! X!nk – Denk Aan Mij

March 20, 2010

Today I picked up the album ‘Vergif‘ by X!nk, who shot to fame in 2003 when they represented Belgium at the very first Junior Eurovision Song Contest with ‘De Vriendschapsband‘. Seven years later it’s still one of our best scoring JESC entries, second only to Laura’s amazing 2009 bubblegum pop yodeling anthem ‘Zo Verliefd (Yodelo)‘.

By the time their sophomore album came around in 2005 the boys had grown into teenagers, with lead singer Jonas becoming the most inappropriately fanciable popstar since Calvin Goldspink. The second time round their album still had a lot of garage rehearsal rock on it, with singles ‘Hou Ons Niet Tegen’ en ‘De Andere Kant’ being slightly more polished.

However, the true highlight on ‘Vergif’, and as far as I’m concerned of X!nk’s entire output, is ‘Denk Aan Mij‘. It takes me straight back to the summer of 2005 when the video was on the music channels all the time. Pretty impressive for what was essentially a music act aimed at kids and singing in Dutch. Maybe it’s nostalgia to being a teenager myself, but don’t you wish your summers still looked like they do in the ‘Denk Aan Mij’ video?

Charley says SONG! Brian McFadden ft. Kevin Rudolf – Just Say So

March 17, 2010

Hang on, the new Brian McFadden song is an electropop anthem that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Blake Lewis album?

How did that happen?

Charley says SONG! Ingrid Mank – Song For Adrien

March 16, 2010

“Adrien, Adrien, why don’t you play me like I was your piano?”

I mentioned earlier that I bought Ingrid Mank’s debut album ‘Ingridients‘. More on that will no doubt follow, but I couldn’t wait to share ‘Song For Adrien’, Ingrid’s song for Hollywood actor Adrien Brody. It’s funny, it’s sweet and it perfectly shows off the singer’s vocals. Enjoy her YouTube rendition below!

Charley says LIST! Two Songs I Enjoy Way More Than I Ought To

March 14, 2010

What: Laura – Cowboymeisje
About: Laura singlehandedly saved the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Flanders coming in fourth in 2009 with her yodeling and bubblegum pop anthem ‘Zo Verliefd‘.
Why I enjoy this way more than I ought to: Because it has yodeling over a countrified europop beat. Because she sings things like “Will you be the sheriff of my heart?”. Because of the way she pronounces the word ‘speciaal’. Because it’s the best country gimmick in pop since Rednex. Did I mention it has yodeling over a countrified europop beat?

What: Marlous – Je Zeurt Teveel (via NLpop)
About: Marlous may not have won the Dutch 2010 Nationaal Songfestival, but she certainly made a name for herself clashing with coach Corry Konings.
Why I enjoy this way more than I ought to: Because I love trashy singers who badly want to make it. Because of the DIY video. Because of the manic eyebrow movements. Because despite the schlager cheesiness of the song, which was originally by Mouth of Mouth & MacNeal fame, it’s a singalong anthem. Because of the line “Take care, now fuck off” right before the last chorus.

*bows head in shame, but not really*