Archive for the ‘Charley says LIST!’ Category

Charley says LIST! My Secondhand Singles Spree

September 16, 2010

To celebrate a successful year at uni, I treated myself to a full-on visit to the secondhand record store in Ghent which I have stupidly ignored for the past four years. 

Today for my first proper visit I took my time to check out the entire store. With result, as I came home with a pile of rare singles for a ridiculously bargainous price!

Come and take a look! 

Zohra – Serious
One of former 2Fabiola singer Zohra’s solo efforts, which were sadly never collected on an album. 

Zohra – Surrounded By A Dream 
ZohraLook Up
Nunca ft. Pat KrimsonHouse Of Doom
Nunca ft. Pat Krimson
ZipporaWhat About U

La Luna – Kisses Of Fire
Another Belgian dance singer from the late 90’s / early 00’s who despite being rather amazing never got round to releasing an album. Sofie Lambaerts, as La Luna is known off stage, later competed for the crown of Miss Belgian Beauty in 2005.

La LunaKisses Of Fire
La LunaTake Me 
La LunaVenus 
S-plendid – Harem Of Love
Girlz?! ft. Duchi Davoy – This Is My Life
D-Zire – Dippy-Do

Steffen – Gonna Lose You
Debut single by Stef Caers from ten years ago. Back then he was called Steffen, today he’s working on an album as Gustaph to follow up the Sam Sparro-ish ‘Try Something New‘.

SteffenGonna Lose You 
Linda, Roos & JessicaAdemnood 
Britney, P!nk & BeyoncéWe Will Rock You 
The Tamperer ft. MayaHammer To The Heart 
DJ Peter Project2 New York 
EstherWanna Be A Star 

Esther – Wanna Be A Star
Belgian Stars In Their Eyes 1998 winner (as Janet Jackson with ‘Together Again’) and Idool 2007 runner-up Esther Sels’ debut single, released in 1999 and co-written by Lasgo producer Peter Luts.

Charley says LIST! Songs I Heard At Work Today 23/06/2010

June 23, 2010

Summer’s here and I wanted to let you guys know that I’m quite fond of the instore sound system at my summer job. Here are four songs I secretly sang along to today.

What: Natalia – You Are (Live)
About: Idool 2003 diva Natalia’s live cover of Dolly Parton’s ‘You Are‘. I was surprised to hear this as it was only ever released as a b-side and a bonus track on the ‘Back For More’ rerelease.

What: Safura – Drip Drop
About: The song that represented Azerbaijan at the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest is still very much amazing. I should really look into getting the album as the samples on Amazon sound amazing.

What: KT Tunstall – Other Side Of The World
About: Basically just a gorgeous song that got featured on the soundtrack of the Dutch movie ‘Alles Is Liefde‘.

What: Joe Cocker – N’Oubliez Jamais
About: One of those songs I’ll forever remember as something my mom loved when I was a kid.

Charley says POP! My First Press Releases

May 31, 2010

A little over a month ago I received my very first press release.

While Charley says POP! specialises in Belgian pop, I love finding out about artists from all over the world. Especially if they’re as nice as gorgeous new popstar Marla, but I’ll get back to that later on.

The person sending me this press release was super friendly and what I loved most about it all was the personal approach. The e-mail she sent me wasn’t just a copy/paste job, she started it by telling:

“First of all, I had forgotten all about Milky’s ‘Just the Way You Are’ but I just listened to it and it has transported me right back to the summer when I was 19.  Happy times!  It was a complete blast from the past and very glad to have heard it on your blog!”

So not only did she bother checking out what my blog is about, she browsed further than simply what was the latest post at the time!

In any case, the music would have done the talking regardless. You may remember Marla from the Hollyoaks Music Show. Her debut single ‘Lipstick For The Vampires‘ is out now and while comparisons to a slightly darker Lily Allen would be lazy, it gives you an idea of what Marla is about. Her music is undeniably British, but has that certain groove that would have it being played on an episode of ‘The Hills’. In fact, songs like ’40 Winks’ and ‘Home’, have been featured in the likes of ‘Labor Pains’ and ‘Off The Hook’. Another track to listen out for is ‘One’, which was recently added to Marla’s MySpace profile.

‘Lipstick For The Vampires’ comes with a Ladybugz remix, which I was curious to hear. When there was some sort of delay when it came to that I got to hear the brilliant Prince Vince remix instead. Fresh from remixing Sia’s ‘Clap Your Hands‘, Prince Vince took all the best bits from the song and turned Marla from a sultry Lily Allen into a female Frankmusik. I’ve basically had it on repeat for ages. Brilliant.

Another thing I love about the press releases I’ve been getting over the last few weeks is that it gets me listening to music that I otherwise may not have checked out.

For example, I got sent a copy of ‘We Are…‘ by Cha-Cha. I have to admit it, at first sight I didn’t think I’d enjoy it very much. However, when I gave it a spin I turned out to really like lead single ‘Phonographic Love‘. Which, by the way, has a really cool looking video. Another favourite of the album is ‘Second Chances’. It has lead singer Blain McGuigan singing a song that reminds me of the verses of Taylor Swift’s ‘You Belong With Me‘, ending with a guitar bit reminiscent of Luv’s ‘Trojan Horse‘. Which is always a good thing as far as I’m concerned.

So if you’re a popstar, signed or unsigned, if you’re a manager, if you’re a PR company… Whoever you may be, if you’ve got pop you think I’d like, send me an e-mail at charleysayspop[a]!

However, I don’t want to turn this blog into a copy/paste press release kind of affair, so while I can’t promise that I will definitely feature everything I get sent, I can promise that I’ll listen to it all!

I look forward to hearing from you!

Charley says LIST! If You’re Only Just Joining Us

May 26, 2010

I am very excited to have gotten a mention on Don’t Stop The Pop‘s ‘Blog Love‘!

I’ve been reading DSTP for a while now. It’s the blog that introduced me to Agnes, Elouise and Pauline, to name just a few acts. It’s also the blog that I hope I can achieve the same level of ongoing quality as.

For those of you who’ve now come here for the first time, be it thanks to DSTP or for any other reason, I wanted to fill you in on what I’ve been doing these last few months.

Over the last few days I’ve been posting the eight parts of Oslo 2010 In A Tweet, a Eurovision review which I’ve absolutely loved doing with my equally as ESC obsessed friends MadeInHeaven and Greg Baker.

However, these posts have left this page a bit clogged up. So without further ado, here’s a sample of what you’ll find beyond the first page of Charley says POP!

Charley says ARTIST! Axeela
Why: I think Axeela might just be the next big popstar from Belgium.

Charley says LIST! Ke$ha: The Clone Wars
Why: This post got picked up by StumbleUpon, it’s an introduction to some great lesser known pop acts who may have been a little influenced by the current Ke$ha craze.

Charley says SONG! Glamm – Overheated
Why: I love talent show acts and former popstars who decide to give it another go. Especially if the result is as good as this ‘Evacuate The Dancefloor’ sounding pop tune.

Charley says VIDEO! Cinérex – Bring Up The Sun
Why: It’s fun to piece together information about a brilliant act that seemed to have gone unnoticed by the internet. It took me some time to collect all the facts, but this is one of my favourite posts.

Charley says ARTIST! Harel Skaat
Why: You may have noticed that this blog has extra attention for, as DSTP put it, Benelux Pop. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t like to discover artists from all over the globe. A perfect example is this post I wrote on this year’s Israeli Eurovision contestant Harel Skaat.

Charley says WEEK!
Why: Since a couple of weeks I do a roundup on Sunday of all the posts I put up in the last seven days. Accompanied by a video that hasn’t yet made it on the blog, it’s a nice way to catch up with the pop you may have missed.

I hope that you have may have found something you like on Charley says POP! I’ve got some exciting stuff planned for the blog, so I hope that you come back soon. For those of you who have already been reading along these last months, I hope you keep coming back!

Thank you for visiting!


Charley says LIST! 3 Small Updates

May 16, 2010

1) Nikki‘s ‘Can’t Stop Thinking About You‘ has a video now. It looks a bit like Ida Maria’s ‘I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked‘.

2) The studio version of ‘I Am‘ by Tom Helsen presents Barbara Dex is up on YouTube.

3) The video for Monrose‘s ‘Like A Lady‘ is online. The album cover is as brilliant as the single cover, by the way.

See also: Charley says SONG! Nikki – Can’t Stop Thinking About You
See also: Charley says SONG! Tom Helsen presents Barbara Dex – I Am
See also: Charley says COVER ART! Monrose – Like A Lady

Charley says LIST! 3 Unlikely Yet Rather Amazing Samples

May 15, 2010

1. Song: Lumidee – Insomnia
Sample: Faithless – Insomnia
About: The Queen of Spanish Harlem is back! Over the past few years Lumidee has been making sure that’s she’s not going to be the ‘Never Leave You (Uh Oooh, Uh Oooh)‘ girl for the rest of her life. I’m particularly fond of her Speedy collaboration ‘Sientelo‘. (“Classy, but sexy without no tongue ring […] Straight from the gutter, but I shine like a pearl”) With a cheeky “They say God is a DJ” added, this new song is the best use of ‘Insomnia’ since the 2003 TMF Awards opening performance.

2. Song: The Crybabies – Wherever I Go
Sample: Zombie Nation – Kernkraft 400
About: Looks like someone Eva Simons’ed Eva Simons herself! The former ‘Popstars: The Rivals’ winner shot to international fame when ‘Silly Boy‘ was leaked as a Lady Gaga and Rihanna demo. ‘Wherever I Go‘ just hit the web as Eva’s alleged new single. However, a little digging revealed that it’s actually The Crybabies who get to take credit for it!

3. Song: Auburn – La La La
Sample: ATC – Around The World (La La La La La)
About: Auburn, formerly known as Gabby G, is already being dubbed the Princess of Beluga Heights. J.R. Rotem seems to be on a roll when it comes to sampling. After Jason Derülo’s Imogen Heap-sampling ‘Whatcha Say‘ he turned the cheesy (yet nonetheless amazing) ‘Around The World (La La La La La)‘ by German pop group ATC into a proper R&B tune.

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 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 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.