Posts Tagged ‘Kim-Lian’

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 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 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! Now That’s What I Call 2009!

February 22, 2010

A couple of months ago I compiled my very first end of year list ever. What I did was take my 50 most played songs that were released in 2009, pick out my favourites and rearrange them for the perfect flow. I tried to not go for the usual suspects, so that I’d end up with a list that’s very… me.

You may have seen this list before, but I thought it would make for a perfect first post that indicates what you can expect here in the future.


YouTube Playlist and an overview of all the songs after the jump!