Archive for April, 2010

Charley says VIDEO! Peter Luts ft. Lien Vervoort – The Rain

April 30, 2010

I love stuff like this. Radio station Q-Music has discovered that the singer on Peter Luts’ ‘The Rain‘ is Lien Vervoort. The name may not immediately ring a bell, but this lady has been on our radar before.

She first stepped into the spotlight as a contestant on the ill-fated talent show ‘Can You Duet‘. She didn’t manage to secure a place in the final, but a couple of months later she was already competing in her next reality show.

‘Let’s Go Lasgo’ saw producer Peter Luts looking for a girl to be the new lead singer of early 00’s hit dance group Lasgo. If I remember correctly Lien walked out of the competition in the end, because she didn’t feel like it was the kind of thing she wanted after all. Current Flemish ‘Dancing With The Stars‘ contestant Jelle Van Dael ended up beating Elke, another ‘Can You Duet’ alum, in the talent search’s final and Lasgo shot back to the top of the charts.

When the time came for Peter to release another solo single on the side he hadn’t forgotten about Lien. She may not be in the video, but Lien’s vocals are an integral of the song’s success. With ‘The Rain‘ entering the top 10 everything has finally fallen into place for everyone. Don’t you love a happy end?

Charley says LIST! Ke$ha: The Clone Wars

April 29, 2010

It all began in a record label meeting not so long ago. “Right, we could do with another Lady Gaga, except more drunk and skanky”. And behold, Ke$ha became a global star. Little did they know that they’d set a precedent for an entirely new breed of trashpop starlets…

What: Noa – Anonymity
Lyrics: “I’m so cheap” “I don’t even wanna know your number”
The facts: Noa came second in the talent show ‘K2 Zoekt K3’, missing out on being the new blonde member of kiddiepop trio K3. (Whose first new single after the show, ‘MaMaSé‘, was a massively amazing  massively cheesy pop anthem, by the way) The brilliant thing about the YouTube video above is that releasing a song about anonymously hooking up isn’t stopping Noa from cashing in on her newly gained young fans. The clip has Noa performing ‘Anonymity‘ on the Kids Top 20, because, really, nothing says premiering your song about casual sex like singing it in front of a room full of jumping kids.

What: Kyrah – Uh Oh
Lyrics: “Wake up wasted and it’s oops, I’m naked'”
The facts: This American pop sensation was discovered by our blog friends at Pop Trash Addicts. What I love about this whole thing, aside from the song being insanely catchy, is that Kyrah looks like a nice girl who could scrub up well enough to take home to your mother for a sunday brunch, yet her homage to Madonna’s ‘Justify My Love‘ video has her fooling around with some sleezy guy while her digitally enhanced vocals moan “Dance, sex, bed, floor…” Amazing.

What: Millionaires – Stay The Night
Lyrics: “If you get breakfast in the morning, you’ll be a lucky man”
The facts: A dark-haired Ke$ha girlband. And to think Millionaires have actually been cleaning their act up a bit for their first major release! They’ve been doing buzz singles and EPs for a while now and you might remember ‘Ooh Uh Huh‘, the theme song they did for MTV’s ‘A Double Shot At Love With The Ikki Twins’. ‘Stay The Night‘ has a bit of an Asian girl group sound going on somehow. In terms of in-your-face-ness it’s probably the tamest out of the three songs posted here, but fortunately it’s just as catchy as the rest of ’em!

Charley says ARTIST! Locnville

April 27, 2010

South Africa seems to be doing pretty well for itself on the pop scene these days. There’s Jody, one of my favourite Idol winners the show has produced internationally, there’s the insanely catchy yet ridiculously freaky Die Antwoord and now there’s these two guys.

Locnville are twin brothers Andrew and Brian Chaplin. They’re part South African, part American and yes, they’re related to Charlie Chaplin himself. Apparently their great-grandfather was the brother of the actor’s father.

Regardless, in the last few months Locnville have properly made a name for themselves, becoming the biggest new act in South Africa. Their video ‘Sun In My Pocket‘ has also been a regular on the Belgian music channels for a couple of weeks now and radio DJ’s like Studio Brussel’s Sam De Bruyn seem to have a soft spot for these musical twins. With a global Sony deal signed, Locnville are ready to take on the world.

Their music combines electro and dance with slight hiphop influences. Add the guys’ low voices and in the end you’ve got some delicious pieces of pop. Debut ‘Sun In My Pocket‘ is a laidback summer anthem. Think David Guetta and Kid Cudi’s ‘Memories‘, but fronted by two hot South African twin brothers. Meanwhile, second single ‘6 Second Poison‘ explores a more uptempo side of the boys.

You can check out three more songs of the Locnville album on MySpace. Andrew and Brian manage to bring even more hot beats without simply rehashing their success formula.

Keep an eye on these guys. Locnville are the next big thing waiting to happen.

Charley says SONG! Natalia – How Will I Know (Who You Are) (Live)

April 26, 2010

‘Idool 2003’ diva Natalia singing Jessica Folker’s ‘How Will I Know (Who You Are)‘ at her Acoustelicious tour in Bruges.

Just because.

Charley says ARTIST! Farewell Ann Vervoort… (Update)

April 26, 2010

Well I never…

In the wake of Ann Vervoort’s passing FIRSTmusic has uncovered once and for all that it wasn’t actually Ann singing on those early Milk Inc. records. The actual credit goes to a lady that goes by the stage name Sue Price. Google sources aren’t clear on whether her actual name is Karine or Karen Boelaerts.

Sue Price sang on Milk Inc.’s ‘Apocalypse Cow’ album and its singles, but can also be heard on the first Linda fronted single, ‘Land Of The Living‘. Her voice was blended together with Linda’s, I presume to ease in the new sound of the band.

The whole thing isn’t unusual for the 90’s dance scene, but what surprised me most is that this is the same lady who was the session singer for the first few 2 Fabiola singles! Front lady Zohra would do her own vocals on later releases, but anthems like ‘Lift U Up‘ were finished long before she even joined the band. I can’t believe that all these years I didn’t know or notice that early Milk Inc. and early 2 Fabiola were essentially the same person! Then again, I was only about 10 at the time…

Oh and get this, Sue Price was basically running the entire Flemish dance scene on her own as she was also the voice behind Maurizzio’s ‘New Emotion (Here Comes The Rain Again)‘ and various other projects!

See also: Charley says ARTIST! Farewell Ann Vervoort…

Charley says SONG! Glamm – Overheated

April 25, 2010

Glamm are basically what LoveShy would have sounded like doing their own version of Cascada’s ‘Evacuate The Dancefloor‘.

Even their backstories read the same. Glamm started out in 2008 as Miss Behave, a girl group put together at the bootcamp stage of Flemish X Factor. Despite being coached by Dutch popstar Do their live show performances of songs like ‘Sway’ failed to impress and Miss Behave were quickly voted out of the competition.

Two of the original five girls left and Miss Behave tried to make things work as a three piece. Despite booking a couple of performances nothing really came of it and when Charly left things seemed to be all over. However, Anke and Leïla weren’t about to give up just yet and reinvented themselves as a brand new duo. Sound familiar?

Things finally seem to be looking up for Flanders’ newest popstars now producers Serge Ramaekers and Laurent Wery have taken it upon themselves to provide the girls with their first smash hit. Serge is the guy who brought us pop gems like Fatty K’s ‘Sophisticated‘ and Laurent Wery just had a couple of hits of his own.

Serge was also the key to finding out why the rap in ‘Overheated‘ sounds so familiar. It had been bugging me for hours since I first heard it. I even dug out some Leki, Kaye Styles and Raw Jawz songs in hope of stumbling upon it. It wasn’t until I was reading through Serge’s credentials that it dawned on me that the rap was copy/pasted from former ‘Temptation Island’ temptress Amina’s one and only single ‘Hey Boy‘! (A song which, by the way, is infinitely better in its Nils Van Zandt Remix form).

In any case, copy/pasted or not, it works. The production on ‘Overheated‘ is tight and even though the girls’ voices are drowned in autotune their recent acoustic performance shows that they do have the talent to back it all up.

If Anke and Leïla go on like this we should be expecting a whole lot more amazing pop from Glamm in the future.

Charley says ARTIST! Farewell Ann Vervoort…

April 24, 2010

Former Milk Inc. lead singer Ann Vervoort has passed away at the age of 33.

Milk Inc. had had club hits like ‘La Vache‘, but it wasn’t till Ann joined the band that they made it big. ‘In My Eyes‘ was the song that got them mainstream success. Once the public had a proper taste of Milk Inc. there was no stopping the dance duo. ‘Promise‘, ‘Oceans‘, ‘Losing Love‘… Every single they released became a top 10 or even top 3 smash.

And then there was ‘Walk On Water‘. The song was huge and gave Ann and producer Regi Penxten their first number 1 hit. The rest of Europe followed and alongside ‘In My Eyes‘ it’s also one of the few Belgian songs to reach the UK top 10.

However, despite Milk Inc. being bigger than anyone could have hoped Ann decided to leave the band in 2000. She wanted to get away from the spotlights and moved to Ibiza with her husband, 2 Fabiola producer Pat Krimson. Milk Inc. carried on with Linda Mertens replacing Ann and went on to be even bigger than before, scoring three more number 1 hits and selling out the Antwerp Sports Palace multiple times a year.

When her marriage stranded Ann came back to Belgium but would never return to the music scene. She only made headlines again for not being specially invited to Milk Inc.’s first arena concert. She was only seen on tv again for an awkward appearance on ‘Cityhoppin”, a show where celebrities guide music channel JIM round their hometown. On an episode following Regi they stumbled upon Ann working at a local store.

Drugs are rumoured to be involved in the singer’s death, though an official cause hasn’t been announced yet.

Goodbye Ann…

See also: Charley says ARTIST! Farewell Ann Vervoort… (Update)

Charley says LIST! My €0,50 Singles Bargain Bin Spree

April 24, 2010

I’m a sucker for a good bargain bin. The other day I came home with a bunch of singles I got for €0,50 each. My best buy was Milky’s ‘Just The Way You Are‘, a summery little 2002 dance tune from Italy. Other purchases included ‘Acrobats (Looking For Balance)‘ by dance act Moony, ‘Nice & Nasty‘ by Dutch girl group Close II You, ‘We Live‘ by Swedish popstar Bosson, ‘Real Life‘ by Belgian dance singer Pascale Feront, ‘Don’t Waste Your Love On Me‘ by pop/rock singer Dear Liza, Swedish produced ‘Rhythm Of Flames’ by Flemish actor Paul Matthew and the slightly-country-but-not-really ‘Do It Again’ by Wendy Fierce.

Charley says LIST! 5 Things We Have Aqua To Thank For

April 19, 2010


When I did my first test run of this blog I was thoroughly underwhelmed with ‘Back To The 80’s‘, the Aqua comeback song. I decided to remind myself what I loved about the Danish band and count down the five best things we have them to thank for. So, if you will, here’s one I made earlier…

 Aqua - Aquarium

1. Aqua – Aquarium

The best thing we have Aqua to thank for is obviously their debut album ‘Aquarium’. It stands out from its bubblegum peers because not only does it have just that, perfect bubblegum pop, it also leaves room for ‘proper’ pop. Deliciously cheesy tracks as ‘Doctor Jones‘ and ‘My Oh My‘ stand alongside, for example, one of the ultimate pop heartaches of all time, ‘Turn Back Time‘.

Lene - Play With Me

2. Lene – Play With Me

An album that proves that ‘lead singer gone solo’ can deliver the goods. From naughty first single ‘It’s Your Duty‘, over dark 5 A.M. pop songs ‘Bad Coffee Day‘ and ‘Scream‘ to the roar-sampling ‘Bite You‘. From the just-the-right-level-of-rockiness seductions that are ‘Virgin Superstar‘ and ‘Play With Me‘, over the slightly out of place ‘Pretty Young Thing‘ to ‘Here We Go’ and ‘We Wanna Party’ which would later find fame as Girls Aloud anthems. This album is everything a pop solo debut should be.

 Aqua - Cartoon Heroes

3. Aqua – Cartoon Heroes

Cartoon Heroes‘ is easily the best track on Aqua’s sophomore album. A final moment of bubblegum genius that unfortunately didn’t translate into an album of the same quality. Although we must admit ‘Aquarius’ also brought us the touching simplicity of the ballad of the same name.

 Toy-Box - FanTastic

4. Copycat Bands

Aqua’s mega success opened the gates for a string of similar pop groups. Squeaky voiced girl + grumbling guy(s) = $ucce$$. Though no one ever managed to do better than Aqua we did enjoy Toy-Box’ tales of ‘Tarzan And Jane‘ and ‘Best Friend‘. (“It tickles in my tummy, he’s so yummy yummy, hey, you should get a best friend too!”) There was also Daze, a group that wanted to be ‘Together Forever‘ as your Tamagotchi, while being in need of a ‘Superhero Lover‘. And maybe even Cartoons owe Aqua for enabling them to unleash ‘Doodah‘ and ‘Witch Doctor‘ upon the world.

 Eurovision Song Contest 2001

5. The Eurovision Song Contest 2001 Interval Performance

When Denmark hosted the 2001 Eurovision Song Contest it used the voting interval as an opportunity to showcase their biggest pop export to Europe. Alongside Safri Duo, of ‘Played-A-Live (The Bongo Song)‘ fame, Aqua performed a medley of their greatest hits. This beats any kind of ‘national dance’ interval anyday. Even if only to hear Barbie tell Ken to fuck off.

Charley says VIDEO! Stromae – Alors On Danse

April 17, 2010

The story of Stromae’s ‘Alors On Danse’ just goes to show what an odd little country Belgium is. The sedated beats of this rapper from Brussels were a massive number one hit in Wallonia, but barely bothered the chart in Flanders upon its initial release. However, the song now seems set to be the summer smash of 2010, getting to number one in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and France and already making waves in Greece, The Netherlands and countries all over Europe. And behold, ‘Alors On Danse’ has crept into the Flemish chart at a careful number 35. Expect this to be huge, even if with a slight delay.