Posts Tagged ‘Charley says LIST!’

Charley says LIST! Soundtrack To Working From Home

September 24, 2012

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

You may have noticed how I haven’t exactly been keeping you up to date this summer. (At least I left you on a killer track though!) BUT I have a very good reason… I got my first proper real life job! At Sony Music Belgium no less! I’m having the time of my life being able to make a living out of my passion. *sound the cliché claxon* On the downside however, I have next to no time left to blog… (You can thank a total of 3,5 hours of daily commute for that) However, since I notice you guys keep coming back to delve into the Charley says POP! archives, I want to keep this blog around, even if just to post every once in a blue moon.

Like today, when a truckers’ strike shut down the country, allowing me to work from home. Why is this benefitting Charley says POP? Because not only did I get to revisit some great albums in peace while working, I actually have the time to tell you about it, not spending half of my evening stuck in traffic!

So without further ado, here’s… the soundtrack to my day working from home

Artist: Hunter Parrish
Album: Guessing Games (EP)
About: The Weeds’ actor’s debut EP is properly very good. Honestly, even without a music video to ogle Hunter delivers a brand of honest singer/songwriter-y pop/rock that’s both catchy and beautif- … HOLD THE PHONE THERE IS A MUSIC VIDEO AFTER ALL. I WAS NOT AWARE. WHY WAS I NOT AWARE?!

Artist: Frida Amundsen
Album: September Blue
About: I first heard of EMI Norway’s Frida Amundsen when she duetted on EMI Denmark’s Christopher’s album. Who in turn was featured on the most recent release by EMI Sweden’s Molly Sandén. That’s some proper EMI Scandi-crosspromotion for you! Anyway, on “Closer” Frida manages to be endearing rather than the oh-aren’t-I-kooky kind of annoying these singer-songwriters sometimes end up as being. Or if you want to take no risks whatsoever can just check out her Robyn cover “Be Mine“.

Artist: Christopher
Album: Colours
About: With “Against The Odds“, “Nothing In Common” and “Mine, Mine, Mine” Danish guitar strumming popstar Christopher has managed to release a run of singles that are increasingly undeniable music-wise and increasingly adorable video-wise. Or if you want to take no risks whatsoever you can just check out his Robyn cover “Call Your Girlfriend“.

Artist: Kreayshawn
Album: Somethin ‘Bout Kreay
About: This album is way better than it ever had any right to be. Some viral hits are better left at that, but getting the “Gucci Gucci” lady in a studio with the likes of Diplo resulted in what can only be described as a SICK album. (Yes, I’m using the word sick now) Honestly, there’s some delicious production on these tracks , some, er… interesting lyrics (“Bout to burn this fucking house down like I’m Left Eye”) and a musical ride in general that mercilessly stampedes along. And while it’s far from my favourite on the album, I’ve seen “Luv Haus” being described as Ke$ha remixed by Ladytron, so that might tickle your fancy.

 
 

Artist: Various
Album: PBR&B: The Next R&B Generation (Playlist)
About: A couple of days ago I compiled this PBR&B playlist for the Sony Music Belgium Spotify channel, but when I sent it to my co-workers I was met by a giant #no1curr. Woe is me. My evening tweaking the 20 track choices and running order to perfectly showcase how this reincarnation of R&B brilliantly incorporates elements of electronic and ïndie music hasn’t been in vain though, I listened to it twice all the way through today and I can confirm that it is VERY GOOD INDEED.

Charley says LIST! The Voice Van Vlaanderen: The Aftermath

April 12, 2012

With today’s announcement that vtm will be airing the first season of Belgium’s Got Talent (let’s just ignore 2007’s Supertalent on VT4 for now) it seems as though the dust has settled on season one of The Voice Van Vlaanderen.

Late last year tv channel vtm set out to look for the best voice in Flanders, the Dutch speaking part of Belgium. (French speaking public broadcast RTBF did the same for Wallonia with The Voice Belgique, but that’s for another post) Manning the spinning chairs were four of Flander’s biggest names in music: Clouseau frontman Koen Wauters, Arid lead singer Jasper Steverlinck, Idool’s biggest success story Natalia and Hooverphonic mastermind Alex Callier.

With this post I’ll try and do a bit of a round-up on what the musical future holds for some of this season’s best loved contestants. With few official announcement available, all information was acquired from various websites, newspapers, magazines, Facebook accounts etc. If I’ve missed out on anything/anyone, if you’ve got an update on the information posted or even if you’re with a label and want to tell us about your post-The Voice plans, don’t hesitate to comment below!

So, let’s get to it, shall we?

THE FINAL FOUR

Glenn Claes, winner: Last month I already introduced you to The Voice Van Vlaanderen winner Glenn and his debut single. Since then “Knight In Shining Armour” got into the top 3 before gently starting to slide down the charts. However, Glenn is currently doing a signing tour at Free Record Shop stores all over Flanders which will surely have a positive impact on physical sales, so don’t write the gentle guitar ballad off just yet! A rush-released album was originally planned for April, but was pushed back to September to allow for a quality collection of what will no doubt be radio friendly, Kooks-ish guitar pop. A second single for the summertime seems like a given.

Silke Mastbooms, runner-up: With her single ‘Awake‘ peaking at number 2 and, to this day, still clinging on inside the top 10, Silke is doing impressively well in the charts despite not winning. It’s no surprise she was offered a record deal as well. Silke impressed on a weekly base with her clear vocals, but the challenge for her will be to find her own musical niche. Will she be a Belgian Leona? Will she do quirky girl-pop like Carly Rae Jepsen? Will it be something completely different? I for one can’t wait to hear what Sony Music comes up with for this girl! (And, you know, if she wants to cover Jesper Nohrstedt’s “Take Our Hearts” then I’m not complaining at all…)

Iris Van Straten: Before she entered The Voice Iris was best known for playing Sabrina on the 90’s sitcom “De Familie Backeljau”. However, come 2012 the ditzy blonde had become a crazy-in-a-good-way smoky-voiced chanteuse. With Iris it wasn’t so much about every note being perfect, it was the unique sound of and character in her voice. Combined with coach Alex Callier’s impeccable song choices (Springsteen’s “The River”! Cash’s “Hurt”! Boy George’s “Somebody To Love Me”!) it was a story of success. Despite her single “Teasing” going top 10, she was deemed too much of an acquired taste at first, so an album seemed uncertain. Luckily, Alex stepped in and promised to write and produce it for her.

Bert Voordeckers: His “Come” was the least successful of the finalists’ singles, but that isn’t stopping Bert from making musical plans. He is said to release a studio version of his audition song, “Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon”, and has announced a theater tour with sports commentator Michel Wuyts. First though, he is recovering from getting a gastric band put in, in a bid to lose 70 kilograms.

THE 24 FINALISTS

Axelle Aerts: Going into it, Axelle Aerts seemed to have it all going for her. I even said as much in a post on this blog. She had talent show experience from when she did Junior Eurovision, she was the opening act on coach Natalia’s SingStar Glamorous Tour, she’d shown some major pop promise with her first proper single as Axeela and her The Voice audition was impressive to say the least… And yet, she had to leave the show in the first week. After forgetting to put in her in-ear monitors during her rendition of Jessie J’s “Domino”, the public chose not to send her straight through to next week. And when it came to it, Natalia decided to save Yass Smaali over Axelle, because she felt the latter still had a life of other opportunities ahead of her. And it does seem that Axelle’s talent didn’t go unnoticed… Not only will she part of the upcoming The Voice tour, she has been tweeting about being in the studio! It is however unclear if a future single will be released through Sony Music or her old label SonicAngel.

Charlotte Buyl: Charlotte is another contestant who didn’t make it out of the first live show. Since leaving the show she’s hinted at a possible new single for her dance project Pearl. You may remember their excellent singles “Like A Video Game” and “Speechless“. Nothing’s been confirmed yet, but with Charlotte more famous than ever, why wouldn’t N.E.W.S Records revive the Peter Luts produced project?

Stéphanie Onclin: Stéphanie may have stranded in the semi-final, but her rocking performance of Skunk Anansie’s “Weak” seems to have struck a chord with the Flemish public. Stéphanie will be part of “The Voice On Tour” and is said to have a single coming up. Here’s to hoping we finally have a new Laura Ramaekers!

Zusjes Vinken: The Vinken sisters’ rendition of “Hallelujah” managed to enchant the nation and even got The Voice to bend its rules and allow a musical trio. Surprisingly, Elisabeth, Gabriëla and Alexandra only lasted two live shows despite their “Bang Bang” being one of The Voice’s first chart hits. No announcements have been made, but considering the pre-live show hype and support from the likes of radio station MNM, it would surprise me if no one signed them eventually. Oh, and can I put in a request for them to do an Appleton and simply go by Vinken from now?

THOSE THAT STRANDED IN THE BATTLES

Claudia Decaluwé: I was so happy to hear Claudia auditioned for The Voice. When I was a kid her 90’s girl duo Sha-Na was perhaps the first act I was ever a fan of. After leaving the group Claudia went on to Eurovision fame, forming the band Spark with her then husband. They came second with the catchy “Someday” in 2002’s national final. Later she would also join Ameerah (of “The Sound Of Missing You” fame) in the Twinsband. Since not making it out of the Battles in The Voice, Claudia has restarted Spark, posting a cover of “Boys Of Summer” as a first taster.

Eva Jacobs: With an impressive rendition of “If I Ain’t Got You” Eva seemed a certainty for the live shows. Surprisingly, coach Koen opted to send through Pistice Yoka Mpela instead. But not to worry, Eva had her album recorded even before she auditioned. A single will be released just three weeks from now, with a Wouter Van Belle produced album to follow. If you’re curious as to what it’ll sound like, check out her 2011 single “Shine” (written by Das Pop’s Bent Van Looy!) and a sample of “Stay With Me” on her official website.

Lien Vervoort: Lien was no stranger to talent shows when she signed up for The Voice. She’d already taken part in Can You Duet and Let’s Go Lasgo, which had resulted in providing vocals on the Peter Luts hits “The Rain” and “Hands Up“. For her first release after The Voice Lien has teamed up with Peter’s former Lasgo colleague Dave McCullen. Lien is the voice on dance anthem “Calling Your Name” which hit iTunes at the end of last month.

Zippora De Brauwer: Being responsible for the epic “Lotus Eater“, Zippora will always be an early 00’s dance legend no matter what. Since stranding in the Battles of The Voice Van Vlaanderen she’s gone right back to her dance roots and we wouldn’t want to have it any other way! She released “Never Again” with producers Nils van Zandt and Sergio Silvano and considering she’s put out a couple of singles with BIP Records in recent years, I’m confident that there’s more to come.

spotify:track:3cHLqcPKi887E5pYKdlZyy

Update 4.5.2012: Sony Music has announced that Glenn, Silke, Bert, Axelle and Stéphanie will all be releasing a single before the summer.

See also: Charley says TV! Looking For Pearl
See also: Charley says INTERVIEW! Peter Luts
See also: Charley says VIDEO! Pearl – Like A Video Game
See also:
Charley says TV! Axelle on The Voice Van Vlaanderen
See also: Charley says ARTIST! David Vervoort (Formerly Of Lasgo)
See also: Charley says VIDEO! Peter Luts ft. Lien Vervoort – The Rain
See also: Charley says SONG! Peter Luts ft. Lynn Larouge – Hands Up
See also: Charley says ARTIST! Glenn Claes (Winner Of The Voice Van Vlaanderen)

Charley says LIST! Meanwhile In Belgian Dance Music – Part 3

March 19, 2012

There seems to be no stopping the Belgian dance scene at the moment! Less than two weeks after posting a first and second update on the hottest new releases, here’s a third one!

The opening track to this post comes courtesy of Peter Luts, the mastermind behind Lasgo and AnnaGrace. With production and remix duties on many projects, Peter’s days must be jampacked. Yet he still finds the time to take on a solo project of his own and make himself as much of a household name in the charts as he is behind the scenes.

With his new single Peter sets out to top his biggest success to date, top 10 hit “The Rain” featuring the vocals of The Voice Van Vlaanderen contestant Lien Vervoort. Whereas his last release “Cayo” was an instrumental club anthem, Everyday marks a return to (as of yet unidentified) female vocals over those breezy, summery synths we all know and love! The track comes with an appropriately sunny video, although its love interest might surprise you!

Update 21.03.2012: According to CL in the comments to this post, the singer on Peter Luts’s “Everyday” is Chantal Kashala, one of Belgium’s best loved backing vocals!

A surprising addition to the latest dance releases is the return of Rank 1! Over 10 years since their biggest hit in Belgium, trance gem “Such Is Life“, the Dutch DJ duo is prepared to rule the charts once more. On Wild And Perfect Day they’ve teamed up with trance musician Jochen Miller and, surprisingly, Sarah Bettens!

You may remember Sarah as the leading lady of internationally successful Belgian rock group K’s Choice whose “Not An Addict” is probably one of the most iconic songs ever to come out of this country. Sarah’s vocals complement the blast-out-of-your-car-speakers-with-the-top-down-on-a-sun-filled-roadtrip-ness of “Wild And Perfect Day” perfectly.

Lastly, the brand new Sylver single I talked about in my earlier update now comes with a brand new video! Silvy -who’s really rocking that new hair- went to shoot the City Of Angels video in, well, the city of angels! We see her driving around Sunset Boulevard and Rodeo Drive only stopping to ogle a ripped, shirtless man working out. As you do.

“Everyday” by Peter Luts is available on Spotify and iTunes.
“Wild And Perfect Day” by Rank 1 & Jochen Miller ft. Sarah Bettens is available on Spotify and iTunes.
“City Of Angels” by Sylver is available on Spotify and iTunes.

See also: Charley says LIST! Meanwhile In Belgian Dance Music
See also: Charley says LIST! Meanwhile In Belgian Dance Music – Update

Charley says LIST! Meanwhile In Belgian Dance Music – Update

March 14, 2012

Just a couple of days ago I brought you up to speed on everything that’s happening on the Belgian dance scene and already there’s new things for me to report on! So without further ado, an update!

When we last spoke only a preview of Jessy’s 2012 remake of her classic “Innocence” had been online. Now, I can present you the diva’s shiny new video for “Innocence ’12“! Having heard the full thing now, we can assure you that producer Regi has found a way to make Abie Flinstone‘s rap blend in seemlessly with all the things you loved about the original song. And yes, the epic “it feels so good… come on and take me” bit is still there!

Oh, and be sure to compare my earlier write-up of the song with the YouTube description for the “Innocence ’12” video! Someone at Jessy’s label Mostiko must be reading Charley says POP!

There may not be a video for her group Sylver’s new single “City Of Angels” yet, but Silvy De Bie has shot scenes for her latest solo song. The result of that is now on YouTube! Newly redhead Silvy looks gorgeous in the video for “Without You” which is credited to David Latour ft. Sil!

Lastly, here’s one I missed out on in my previous post. You may recognise Elisa Guarraci from her time on Topmodel, her 2008 Eurovision effort or her audition for The Voice Van Vlaanderen. These days though she’s mainly busy with her girlgroup Fourlicious, who are promoting “Over You” and are said to be working with former Lasgo co-producer Dave McCullen on new material.

In between all of that she’s found the time to record “In My Arms“. The song marks the Belgian/Italian singer’s second collaboration with producer Philip D. Earlier the two worked together on the breezy “When Love Takes Over” soundalike “The Last Goodbye“.

So there you go, until further notice, consider yourself updated on the main new releases in Belgian dance music!

“The Ultimate Jessy: Best Of 1995 – 2012″ by Jessy is available on iTunes and Spotify.
“Innocence ’12″ by Jessy ft. Abie Flinstone is available on iTunes.
“Without You” by David Latour ft. Sil is available on iTunes.
“In My Arms” by Philip D ft. Elisa is available soon.

See also: Charley says ARTICLE! Life After Jameerah
See also: Charley says LIST! Meanwhile In Belgian Dance Music

Charley says LIST! Meanwhile In Belgian Dance Music

March 6, 2012

There’s a truckload of new releases from the Belgian dance scene, so why not bring you up to speed in one big post?

Let’s kick things off with AnnaGrace, formerly known as the lady who sang the likes of “Will I?” into the UK top 10 with Ian Van Dahl. Since 2008 Annemie Coenen has reinvented herself as AnnaGrace. She’s had her fair share of club hits, but her main achievement under this new moniker remains “Let The Feelings Go“, which brought her into the Flemish top 5 for the very first time. Now the dance diva is back to kickstart her new album campaign with Ready To Fall In Love. The track doesn’t stray too far from the familiar AnnaGrace sound, but why should it? Annemie’s vocals over those Peter Luts produced beats is exactly what we wanted and it doesn’t disappoint.

Another legend that has been around since the very start is Jessy. She’s been celebrating her legacy in Belgian dance with a best of release, “The Ultimate Jessy: Best Of 1995 – 2012“. Lead by the Kaliq Scott & DJ Rebel featuring “Angel“, this compilation collects the best tracks from Jessy’s time with The Mackenzie, her solo hits and four brand new tracks. As an extra treat for her fans, she’s now given “Innocence“, the biggest The Mackenzie ft. Jessy hit, a 2012 reswizzle. Jessy is joined on Innocence ’12 by Abie Flinstone, Belgium’s upcoming answer to Nicki Minaj. The brand new production comes courtesy of Milk Inc.’s Regi Penxten.

And that’s not all Regi‘s been up to. He’s also teamed up with Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike. You may remember them from remixes for the likes of Katerine Avgoustakis or “The Way We See The World“, the mindblowing theme song to dance festival Tomorrowland. Their collaboration has resulted in Momentum, an instrumental track that has shot straight into the Flemish top 10 in its first week on the charts.

More male music is brought to us by Danzel who is featured on DJ Rebel‘s new offering. Who’d have thought that almost 10 years after not making it out of the final 50 in Idool 2003 Johan Waem aka Danzel would still be releasing music? His Black & White Brothers cover “Pump It Up” even made it to number 11 in the UK singles chart! The DJ Rebel produced You Make Me Happymashes the feel of “I Gotta Feeling” with Guetta synths while at the same time sounding like vintage Sash!

Silvy De Bie has been a busy lady as well. She’s reportedly filming for her own reality show and has two new singles coming up. The first is a collaboration with David Latour. This Belgian DJ scored himself a dance hit in 2011 with “Venus vs. Mars” and recently remixed girl group About E’s second single. His collaboration with Silvy, under her solo stage name Sil, is called Without You and despite being released on iTunes last month, only a teaser seems to be online for listening so far.

Finally, Silvy’s also been busy recording a new album with Sylver, the band that shot her to international fame with “Turn The Tide“. It’ll be the group’s first new studio album in three years, not counting their 2011 Best Of “Decade“. Last year we were treated to “Stop Feeling Sorry“, a first taste of what’s to come, and now there’s the brand new City Of Angels to whet our appetites even more!

“Ready To Fall In Love” by AnnaGrace is available on iTunes and Spotify.
“The Ultimate Jessy: Best Of 1995 – 2012” by Jessy is available on iTunes and Spotify.
“Innocence ’12” by Jessy ft. Abie Flinstone is available on iTunes.
“Momentum” by Dimitri Vegas, Like Mike & Regi is available on iTunes.
“You Make Me Happy” by DJ Rebel ft. Danzel is available on iTunes.
“Without You” by David Latour ft. Sil is available on iTunes.
“City Of Angels” by Sylver is available on iTunes and Spotify.

See also: Charley says LIST! Meanwhile In Belgian Dance Music – Update

Charley says LIST! My MySpace Songs

March 1, 2012

Remember when MySpace was relevant? I randomly stumbled upon a list I’d made at the end of 2007 collecting all the songs I’d put up on my page in the previous couple of months. It feels like such a long time ago that I don’t even remember if that had a particular name or anything? Default song? Profile song? Anyhow, here’s the list.

I’ve left the comments that I wrote alongside the songs back in 2007, so some of them are outdated and/or super-cringey. Some I just deleted for everybody’s sake. In the words of my own 2007 self: “have a look, download some, see if you share my taste”!

58. Maria Mena ~ Belly Up
One of my favourite singers of all time is back with the first track of her new album ‘Cause And Effect’.

57. Tommy Holmes ~ If You Came Back
As heard on Dawson’s Creek

56. Red Blooded Women ~ Colour Me Dirty
Now this is how you do electro pop! I hope they become MASSIVE!

55. 30 Seconds To Mars ~ A Beautiful Lie
Jared Leto has a band. It is very good.

54. Jordin Sparks featuring Chris Brown ~ No Air
The ‘tell me how I’m supposed to breathe with no air’ part is amazingly addictive. Jordin Sparks is an American Idol winner and her ‘This Is My Now’ is quite beautiful as well.

53. Gabriella Cilmi ~ Sweet About Me
Xenomania’s very own Amy Winehouse.

52. Wideboys feat. Shaznay Lewis ~ Daddy O
Oooo-eerrr, electro with a killer vocal by Shaznay of All Saints.

51. Quietdrive ~ Time After Time
Emo-ish rock cover of Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Time After Time’.

50. Taio Cruz ~ Come On Girl

49. KT Tunstall ~ Saving My Face
Well, you know the woman. Brilliance.

48. Dirty Vegas ~ Days Go By (Acoustic Version)
Originally a techno-ish classic, this version is stripped down to the core. Be sure to check out the brilliant video for the original.

47. Aly & AJ ~ Greatest Time Of Year
I was feeling festive and this one is a great pop/rock track for the holidays.

46. Holly Brook ~ What I Wouldn’t Give
She was the female vocal on Fort Minor’s ‘Where’d You Go’ and sings this beautiful sad piano ballad. As heard on The Hills.

45. Carrie Underwood ~ Ever Ever After
This is one to scream along to in the car… It’s the theme song for the ‘Enchanted’ movie and is sung by one of the most successful American Idol winners ever.

44. FC Kahuna ~ Hayling
‘Nip/Tuck’ is great for your knowledge of brilliant lounge-ish songs.

43. Katie Melua ~ If You Were A Sailboat
“You took a chance on loving me I took a chance on loving you”

42. Kylie Minogue ~ 2 Hearts
She has returned!

41. Elisa ~ Stay
I had already put up the ‘So You Think You Can Dance’-performance of her song ‘Dancing’ and this song of the Italian singer is equally good, though in a different way.

40. Riot In Belgium ~ La Musique
Dirrrty electro house dancefloor filler

39. Dave Spoon feat. Lisa Maffia ~ Bad Girl At Night
Another killer party tune! Sounds a bit like ‘Perfect (Exceeder)’ by Mason.

38. Sugababes ~ About You Now
These girls can do no wrong!!!

37. Ivri Lider ~ Jesse
Lounge-ish and sad song by Israeli superstar Ivri Lider.

36. Natalie Imbruglia ~ Glorious
Goddess.

35. Ida Corr ~ Let Me Think About It (Fedde Le Grand Radio Mix)

34. David Guetta ft. Chris Willis ~ Love Is Gone
“What are we supposed to do after all that we’ve been through? Now that the love is gone…”

33. Aqualung ~ Pressure Suit
I have no idea how you would describe this genre, but it’s very very sad nonetheless. Even if it features the line “I’ll be your respirator I’ll be your pressure suit”

32. Scott Simons ~ Umbrella
Because everyone is kind of sick of the original by now, here’s a lounge-ish remake.

31. Garbage ~ Tell Me Where It Hurts
“To hell with everybody else All I care about is you”

30. Kleerup feat. Robyn ~ With Every Heartbeat
Maybe the most intense dance-ish song you’ll hear this year. I love the lyrics.

29. Lisa Loeb ~ Stay (I Missed You)

28. Dragonette ~ Take It Like A Man
An excellent early-summer-song

27. The Avalanches ~ Since I Left You
Be sure to check out the music video!

26. Fool’s Garden ~ Lemon Tree
One of the first songs I remember hearing. Still a classic.

25. Jamie T ~ Sheila

24. Siobhan Donaghy ~ So You Say
I love this girl, her music is simply astonishing

23. Keren Ann ~ Lay Your Head Down
I just recently discovered this French singer. She makes these really intimate songs… Be sure to also check out ‘Not Going Anywhere’.

22. Alphabeat ~ 10.000 Nights Of Thunder
Well this is cheerful, isn’t it?

21. Rufus Wainwright ~ Going To A Town

20. Sunblock feat. Sandy ~ Baby Baby
This is how summer feels.

19. Feist ~ My Moon My Man
She’s right in between jazz and country, even though that sounds rather impossible. Be sure to also check out ‘1 2 3 4’ and ‘Mushaboom’ as well as the videos to these songs.

18. Mindy Smith ~ One Moment More
Something to cry over… She also did a brilliant cover version of ‘Jolene’.

17. Mark Ronson ~ Stop Me
Album out on the 16th of April, check out his versions of ‘Toxic’, ‘Oh My God (feat. Lily Allen)’ and ‘God Put A Smile Upon Your Face’.

16. Natasha Bedingfield ~ I Wanna Have Your Babies
First single of the sophomore album ‘N.B.’

15. Eagle Eye Cherry ~ Save Tonight
“Save tonight, tomorrow I’ll be gone…”

14. Jenny Owen Youngs ~ Fuck Was I
“Maybe I’m the lucky one who doesn’t get burnt… What fuck was I thinking?”

13. STEFY ~ Chelsea
This is what 2007 is about

12. Emilie Simon ~ Desert
France’s leading lady of triphop. ‘Desert’ is the first single of her debut album. She’s released another album ‘Vegetal’, the soundtrack to ‘La Marche De L’Empereur’ and a live album.

11. Mika ~ Billy Brown

10. Milow ~ You Don’t Know (Acoustic Version)

9. Carla Bruni ~ Those Dancing Days Are Gone
First single of the hit second album of the model turned chanteuse.

8. Margaret Berger ~ Will You Remember Me Tomorrow
Electropop form Norway’s Idol runner-up.

7. Uffie – Pop The Glock

6. Cansei De Ser Sexy ~ Let’s Make Love And Listen To Death From Above
Electrofunk… The band’s name is Portuguese for ‘Tired Of Being Sexy’. I love the lyrics to this song.

5. Lene Marlin ~ Never To Know
One of the most brilliant Norwegian singer-songwriters, I love her.

4. Clea ~ We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off
80’s cover by reality tv rejects Clea (of ‘Popstars The Rivals’)

3. Sinéad Quinn ~ What You Need Is (Acoustic Version)
Acoustic version of a song which features the sentence ‘I can’t give you what you want But I’ll give you what you need’.

2. Mason vs. Princess Superstar ~ Perfect (Exceeder)
Awesome mash-up of club anthem ‘Exceeder’ and the brilliant Princess Superstar’s ‘Perfect’.

1. Alex Parks ~ Maybe That’s What It Takes

Charley says LIST! Meanwhile At SonicAngel…

June 9, 2011

The people at SonicAngel have been busy!

Axeela finally released her second single with Maurice Engelen’s record label.

Back in May of last year Axeela got herself noticed at Tom Dice’s album launch and a couple of months later the Junior Eurovision alum had her very own single out. I got a chance to talk to her then about ‘What Do You Want From Me?‘, what the future has in store for this young popstar and how Christina isn’t copying Gaga.

The best thing about ‘Hump Hump’, Axeela’s new song, is having the anthemic chorus blast out of your speakers. In it she tells us: “I’m a saint and a sinner, a virgin and a stripper, dangerous like the Jack Ripper…” That about covers it all, no?

Right before that first chorus Axeela tells us “Let me introduce myself” and to have as many people possible hear her introduction, ‘Hump Hump’ can not only be heard on www.axeela.com, it’s available as a free legal download there as well!

From one child star on to another. If you’ve seen the excellent JESC documentary ‘Sounds Like Teen Spirit’ you may be familiar with Bab. She may have missed out on going to the 2007 international final in Rotterdam, but her ‘Laat Mij Gerust‘ became a tween favourite. A couple of singles followed and eventually an album was given away with a magazine. It’s a shame more people didn’t get to hear it as second single ‘Zo Is Er Maar Één‘ was far from the only rockin’ pop tune on there.

Having outgrown the tween rock, Bab is now signed to SonicAngel and has settled herself nicely into the singer/songwriter niche.

Bab – Wounds
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgI3rASyiL8 

Wounds‘ is her first single through her new label and her first in English. I’m in two minds about this one. On the one hand it’s a gorgeous laid back track, but it doesn’t scream ‘big comeback single’ to me. And why is it called ‘Wounds‘? That title doesn’t really trigger any specific bit of the song when thinking of it. I guess I just expected a little more instant-ness.

That being said, I’m curious to hear what else Bab and SonicAngel come up with together!

Continuing our theme of talent show acts, I’ve been meaning for ages to write an update on Simon Sins.

Since we last talked about the Wannasing? winner he got signed, but has already left the SonicAngel family again. Let’s hope we somehow get to hear some new music from him soon anyway!

In Simon’s place have come  a whole bunch of new signings, including Rodwan Belkaïd and Koko Moon (aka Karim Lequenne). Between the addition of these two and already having Tom Dice, Alice Avery and Mathieu & Guillaume on their roster, it would seem that SonicAngel have nearly every X Factor 2008 contestant signed up!

There’s one more popstar you should already be familiar with that has reinvented herself and is trying her luck through this label, but I’ll be giving her a special post of her own. Be sure to watch out for that sometime soon on Charley says POP!

Right, that about concludes this update on SonicAngel.

I’ll be leaving you with the very first Airis video. Laura Van Den Bruel, as she’s known in everyday life, sang her way to a record contract in teen magazine Joepie’s Talent Booth competition. Her YouTube rendition of Celine Dion’ ‘I’m Alive’ won her the chance to record ‘Wonderful‘, the song that should make her Belgium’s very own Taylor Swift.

Enjoy!

See also: Charley says ARTIST! Axeela
See also: Charley says INTERVIEW! Axeela
See also: Charley says ARTIST! Simon Sinnaeve

Charley says LIST! Benelux Biebers (Part 2) Ralf Mackenbach

June 1, 2011

Perhaps it’s a little unfair to describe Ralf Mackenbach as the Dutch Bieber. It was a couple of months before Justin finally managed a spot in the top regions of the Dutch charts that Ralf was already going top 10.

A year before the likes of Tom Dice and Lena proved that Western Europe can still do well at Eurovision, Ralf sang the Netherlands to victory at the 2009 Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

His pop song ‘Click Clack‘, including no less than a tap break, beat the likes of Belgian yodelpop-singer Laura Omloop and Molly Sandén’s sister Mimmi. No small feat, considering the former went on to become one of Belgium’s best loved child stars and the latter had a song co-written by Alexander Kronlund of ‘If U Seek Amy’ and ‘Till The World Ends’ fame.

A couple of kiddy pop singles followed and when those did the job as well, Ralf started working on an album. This would include all singles, a medley, some tracks in Dutch, some in English and even a cover of the 2009 adult Eurovision winner ‘Fairytale’.

For the album’s lead single Ralf enlisted the creative talent of Future Presidents. This producers collective has some brilliant pop tunes to its name, having worked with the likes of Kim-Lian, Belgian X Factor alums Lester & Abdou and The Netherlands’ most underrated pop princess, EliZe. With ‘The Only One‘ Future Presidents wrote Ralf his very own ‘Baby’.

My favourite song of the album, however, is ‘Piano & Guitar‘. The minimalistic rocky beat reminds me of Roxane’s ill-fated ‘Better Part Of Me’ single and lyrically it’s the male, English language counterpart to ‘Ik Heb Je Gewist‘ by Kus.

Ralf tells how he removed you from his hard drive, erased you from his phone and how every letter that you ever sent, he gave them to the garbage man. However, he says: “But I can’t erase you from my head and I can’t erase you from my heart”.

Even if it is the seventh video of the album, I’m glad ‘Piano & Guitar‘ got the single treatment. I like it way too much for it to have remained just an album track.

Now, the album’s gone gold, it got into the Dutch top 10 and Ralf’s recent success on Dancing On Ice made him better known outside of the teen pop audience, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that album number two is currently in the works.

I’ll be sure to keep you posted and until then, here’s a little preview of what’s to come!

Update 08.04.2012:

Since writing this post Ralf has released his second album ‘Moving On’, which was lead by the single ‘Dance‘ and contained ‘Vandaag Is Het Feest‘ which got one of those “one take walk through an entire building” videos.

‘Ralf’ by Ralf is available on Spotify and iTunes.
‘Moving On’ by Ralf is available on Spotify and iTunes.

See also: Charley says LIST! Benelux Biebers (Part 1) Ian Thomas

Charley says LIST! Benelux Biebers (Part 1) Ian Thomas

April 12, 2011

America’s got the original one, Australia has Cody Simpson, so it was only a matter of time before even more Justin Bieber clones popped up on the music scene.

Spread across two posts I’ll be introducing you to the Benelux Biebers.

Different nationality, same formula: swishy hair, catchy pop and teenage girls stanning.

Ian Thomas is taking on duties for Belgium.

Launching himself through a viral video, this 14-year-old is sticking closely to the Justin Bieber playbook. The YouTube hit was shot by his stepdad, soap actor and singer Chris Van Tongelen, who secretly filmed Ian singing.

To solidify his place in pop as the Flemish Justin Bieber, his label had Ian release a translated version of Justin’s ‘Baby’. The song got him to a 15th place in the charts, just three spots down from where the original stranded.

However, being one of the most talked about new artists in Belgium has its downside too. After death threats on Facebook Ian had to have a police escort to school for his final exam.

Now, the question remains… Is Ian any good?

Well, is he the best singer ever? No. Is he the best dancer ever? No. Was that ‘Baby’ cover really necessary? Not quite.

But am I excited to hear more? Yes, I am.

The Belgian music scene could do with another male popstar. Yes, we have the likes of Nelson and Brahim, but who’s going to give us our own ‘All Day‘, ‘iYiYi‘ or ‘One Less Lonely Girl‘?

I’m hoping Ian Thomas will.

PS: I’m pretty sure the video below will make some of you never want to check out an Ian Thomas song ever again, so I thought it was worth mentioning that this one was produced by AJ Duncan.

I’m assuming he’ll be on board for the entire project, so considering his past credentials as half of Duncan & Wilde, producing Kate Ryan and Zirkus Zirkus‘ first albums among other things, you may want to not write Ian off just yet.

Update 22.03.2012:

Since writing this post Ian Thomas has released two more singles. The excellent second single “Autograph” was released both in Dutch and in English.

Originally “Kiss Kiss” (which you may know in the version of Kim Hyun) was planned as a third single, but when Ian broke his wrist during the video shoot, “You Got Me Down” (whose video had already been shot) was released instead.

All singles are available on his debut album “More Than A Game” of which an expanded Limited Edition has been released. It includes four extra songs, one of which is Ian’s take on “This Is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan.

“More Than A Game” by Ian Thomas is available on Spotify and iTunes.

See also: Charley says LIST! Benelux Biebers (Part 2) Ralf Mackenbach

Charley says LIST! Christmas 2010

December 24, 2010

On the night (well, actually the 11.30 AM) before Christmas I thought I’d list you some of the brand new Christmas tunes that have come out of Belgium and The Netherlands these last few weeks!

Above we find the brilliant but un-Googleable ‘It’s Christmas‘ by Do. We first met Do when she the voice on DJ Sammy’s ‘Heaven‘,  a Bryan Adams cover she would go on to release an unplugged version of her own of. More solo success came with the release of the amazing pop tune ‘Love Is Killing Me‘. After her second album underperformed it all went a bit quiet around Do. Around 2008, 2009 things were looking up again with a Playboy shoot and a place among the judges of Belgian X Factor. We finally got some new music as well with ‘Zingen In Het Donker‘. The single can be found on the album of the same name, which was a charity release for a domestic violence cause. A cover album and one with original English songs were set to follow, but haven’t yet materialised. To ease the wait, december 2010 saw the release of  ‘It’s Christmas‘. An original Christmas tune which shows Do’s qualities as a gorgeous, fun and most of all amazing singer.

Belgium has never really had much of a Christmas pop tradition. Off the top of my head, the only recent-ish properly released songs I can think of are Laura Lynn’s remake of a Marva classic and one from the first season of Big Brother. Radio station MNM saw the time fit to make a change and instructed three Belgian pop acts to come up with some fresh material. All three songs can be heard here by clicking “>> KLIK HIER EN BELUISTER DE 3 MNM-KERSTLIEDJES”. Brahim recorded a soulful cover of ‘White Christmas’, while Lester & Abdou made ‘Jingle Bells’ sound like a cross between ‘Riverside’ and ‘The Time (Dirty Bit)’. The third artist to record an MNM Christmas song is Charley says POP! favourite Katerine Avgoustakis. Two years ago she already covered ‘All I Want For Christmas‘ as part of a free download action, so it was time to up her game. Katerine ended up getting together with producer Yves Gaillard and creating ‘Merry Xmas’. This brand new track which, as far as I know, is the only one of the three to be available on iTunes.

Finally, thank God for Disney Channel getting Sita to release music! Her fellow host Dean, winner of Idool 2007 in Belgium, is still coming out with songs of his own. Just a week ago the video for his new single ‘All I Can See‘ was put up on YouTube. Sita fans however have been have been waiting impatiently since the release of ‘Als De Nacht Valt‘. Luckily, her partnering up with Dean on Disney Channel has led to a couple of Sita & Dean releases. I’ve previously posted the fantastisc Camp Rock cover ‘Wouldn’t Change A Thing‘ and now the duo get to release ‘Winter Wonderland‘. The video was shot in Disneyland Paris and contains some familiar faces, Cheyenne & Mayleen. These former Junior Songfestival finalists won My Camp Rock earlier this year. Their rendition of ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town‘ serves as the b-side to the ‘Winter Wonderland‘ single. I know there’s some big Sita fans reading this site, so to end this post let me point you to towards the video of Sita & Dean singing ‘Something That I Want‘ from the movie Rapunzel. With multiple international versions being around, I’m surprised the two of them didn’t get to record a version of the new Narnia theme as well. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll get a full album of Sita & Dean singing Disney?

In any case, I want to conclude by wishing you all a very merry Christmas! Also, a big thank you to all the artists, their teams and record companies who have helped along the way! I’ve recently learned that in the last six months some stuff hasn’t been going smoothly with the Charley says POP! e-mail address. Some mails that have been sent to me have not properly arrived and some mails that I’ve sent out appear to not have reached their destination. I hope to sort this out as soon as possible to once again ensure a smooth stream op pop blogging! Most of all, a huge thank you to all the people who visited this site! Thank you for reading my ramblings, commenting and coming back!

Charley