Posts Tagged ‘Popstars’

Charley says VIDEO! Mandy Capristo – The Way I Like It

April 6, 2012

When I first got into Monrose, the German girl trio were just about to launch their ‘I Am‘ album. Little did I know that all this time I had been missing out on ‘Strictly Physical‘. ‘Strictly Physical‘ was the group’s second album and contained the epic ‘Hot Summer‘ which went on to be covered by artists from Australia to Korea, it had fingerlickingly delicious electropop in the form of ‘Dangerous‘, heartbreaking ballads like ‘What You Don’t Know‘, the Olive’s ‘You’re Not Alone‘ sampling ‘Just Like That‘, the self-referencing and attitude-drenched ‘Monrose Theme‘… Basically, it was one of the greatest girl group albums the world would ever be treated to.

When late 2010 Mandy, Senna and Bahar announced they were going to part ways, it was a sad, sad day for pop fans around the globe. Now, finally, we have something to fill that Monrose shaped void in our lives. Mandy Capristo, who at just 22 has been on the pop scene for 6 years now, has just unleashed her very first solo video onto the internet. ‘The Way I Like It‘ is a slow burning electropop tune that still manages to pack a mean punch. The video contrasts an abandoned setting to Mandy’s stunning gorgeousness. Yes, perhaps I’m getting a bit hyperbolic about this, but if ‘The Way I Like It‘ is an indication of what her upcoming album ‘Grace’ is going to offer then sign me up!

‘The Way I Like It’ by Mandy Capristo is available on Spotify and iTunes.
‘Grace’ by Mandy Capristo is released April 27th 2012.
‘Strictly Physical’ by Monrose is available on Spotify and iTunes.

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Charley says SONG! Eva Simons – I Don’t Like You

March 21, 2012

She’s back!

Eva Simons has unleashed her new single “I Don’t Like You“, which is set to follow in the successful footsteps of her Afrojack collaboration “Take Over Control“. Behind this club banger are the capable hands of Zedd, German producer Anton Zaslavski whose Lady Gaga remix was featured on the Deluxe Edition of “Born This Way”.

Eva Simons first popped onto the music scene in 2004 when she was a contestant on Popstars: The Rivals in The Netherlands. She was voted into girlgroup Raffish who went on to release one album and three singles before disbanding.

Eva started working on music of her own and then finally in 2009 she stepped into the spotlight again. First as the resident singer on Dutch Dancing With The Stars, then as a popstar in her own right.

Her debut single “Silly Boy” leaked as a rumoured Rihanna & Lady Gaga duet. By the time it became clear that Eva was behind the track, it had picked up so much steam that she was signed to EMI for an international release.

Despite recording a truckload of tracks which (as we learned from the leaks) were all kinds of awesome, the project stalled and Eva parted ways with her label.

Now, one of the most promising popstars of The Netherlands has finally returned, with a brand new deal with Interscope to her name.

If “I Don’t Like You” is anything to go by, those years of waiting won’t have been in vain!

“I Don’t Like You” by Eva Simons will be available online as of March 26th.
The HalfStyle remix of “I Don’t Like You” by Eva Simons is available on Soundcloud.

Charley says ALBUM! T-ara – Breaking Heart

February 24, 2012

The guy behind Popsessed has been organising an Album Shuffle over on Popjustice! Everyone sends in an album and randomly gets assigned someone else’s to review. For round two I got Breaking Heart by Korean girl group T-ara. My review was just posted and because I loved the album so much I thought I’d put it on here as well.

Put on the album, enjoy and, perhaps, see you for the next round of Album Shuffle on Popjustice!

For ages I’ve been trying to get more into K-Pop, but the number of amazing acts  and albums is so overwhelming that I always end up just putting 2NE1’s “I Am The  Best” on repeat with their “Ugly” and Girls Generation’s “Echo” played in  between every now and again. This Album Shuffle was the perfect occasion for me  to finally have someone say “Now this is where you’ll start”.

I wasn’t  that familiar with T-ara other than their thread in the K-Pop subforum on Popjustice  having their name with a fancy symbol in the title: T♔ARA. To be perfectly  honest, at first I had them confused with Monrose covering girl group f(x)  somehow. Nothing that a quick visit to Wikipedia couldn’t fix though. When  reading up about Breaking Heart it became clear that this was a rerelease  of T-ara’s debut album, originally titled Absolute First Album.

The album  starts off with the two songs that were added for the rerelease and from the get  go it was clear that this would be an awesome ride. If you don’t want to live in  a world where there’s only one of Britney’s Womanizer (or three if you count Crazy Possessive by Kaci Battaglia and Ruff Me Up by Brooke Hogan) then rest  assured, there’s another! Opening track I Go Crazy Because Of You (Neo Ttaemune Michyeo / 너 때문에 미쳐) is essentially Womanizer’s darker counterpart. This  whirlwind of a song with its delicious “Aw! AW! Aw! AW!” chorus is without a  doubt one of my favourites on the album!

The first few seconds of  follow-up I’m Really Hurt (Naega Neomu Apa / 내가 너무 아파) remind me of Metro  Station (that’s a good thing, if you were wondering) and despite being less  memorable than the previous track it still has you singing along to the chorus  despite not being able to understand a word.

Track number three, the  album opener for the original release, makes as much an impact as I Go Crazy Because Of You does. I put a YouTube link at the bottom of this review, but you  simply have to track down a glorious HQ version if you can! One & One  has the best intros I’ve heard in ages. Seriously, it’s awesome. I suck at  recognising instruments so I’m just going to guess they’re synths? What makes  them so amazing is that they have this sharp, steely quality to them that  pierces right through your speakers and sucks you into the song even before it  properly explodes. The song’s bridge is so effective that it has you at the edge  of your seat for what’s next. This is one of those songs that if released by  Girls Aloud would have people fawning over multiple choruses or added hook-parts  and whatnot. Now, I also suck at recognising a song’s structure, but I can  confirm that this one is brilliant however you choose to identify the different  parts of it. When the sharp synths shoot back to the forefront for the final  notes it seems like the only appropriate course of action is REPEAT REPEAT  REPEAT.

Inevitably any track that would follow One & One would seem  like a slight disappointment at first, but given the time the chorus of Like  The First Time (Cheoeum Cheoreom / 처음처럼) sneaks up on you as well. It’s a  song that really uses those typical K-Pop vocals to its advantage.

Bo  Peep Bo Peep was T-ara’s big breakthrough and it’s easy to see why. After  the computerised “Don’t lose your temper so quickly” intro, it bursts straight  into its insanely catchiness. Although beware, if you’re not a fan of repetitive  choruses (something not uncommon throughout this album) this one takes it to  another level. As in other K-Pop tracks English words are scattered among the  lyrics, so being able to shout “MAN TAKE A BOOTY CALL” among the gibberish  you’re singing is an added bonus.

The album continues being great with  the likes of Tic Tic Toc (thumping distorted disco beats) and Bye  Bye (super singalongable). Apple Is A, originally from a commercial  for apples, sees T-ara at their bubblegum poppiest, while Falling U is  the obligatory girl group ballad.

Unfortunately the album falls a bit  flat after that. The songs aren’t awful, but from what I understand tracks 11 to  16 are songs from before T-ara made it big with Bo Peep Bo Peep and you can kind  of tell. Most of them sound pretty dated in a mid 00’s kind of way. Others just  don’t really fit with the rest of the album, like Good Person (Joheun  Saram / 좋은 사람) which they recorded for a soundtrack and actually reminds me of  Dana Glover’s It Is You (I Have Loved) from the Shrek OST. Fortunately Breaking  Heart ends on a high with Wanna Play? (Norabollae? / 놀아볼래?) which has a  cool “Eyo, what time is it? It’s time for T…AR…A” spoken bit at the start.  It doesn’t reach the heights of the first part of the album, but would make a  nice theme song should T-ara ever have their own tv show.

Now don’t let  this last paragraph put you off checking out Breaking Heart. Just consider the  last six songs bonus tracks to an amazing 10 track album. On it T-ara have put  together a collection of super catchy girl group tracks with some of the  slickest production many a pop act could only dream of. The album has its unique  K-Pop touches, but remains accessible enough for those of us mainly familiar  with western pop. It is awesome.

Be sure to check out I Go Crazy Because Of You, One & One and Bo Peep Bo Peep!

Breaking Heart by T-ara is available on iTunes.

Charley says SONG! Elle Oui aka Elvira Michieva – Blood On My Face

February 11, 2012

Elvira Michieva is probably best known for being the German Popstars contestant that got into a fight with Senna Guemmour after the latter spoiled the launch of Bisou, Elvira’s girl trio formed of singers that didn’t make the final Monrose lineup. The Clea to Monrose’s Girls Aloud, if you will.

Bisou went on to score two minor hits with “Die Erste Träne” and “Die Sonne Geht Auf“, both from the album “Hier Und Jetzt“. After the group split up Elvira tried to represent Azerbaijan at the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest, participated in a German reality show comparable to Paris Hilton’s My New BFF and has had several songs floating about.

The definite highlight of her attempts at a pop career however remains “Blood On My Face“. Back in 2009 it was meant to be her big breakthrough under the name Elle Oui and considering how catchy it is, I wouldn’t have minded her succeeding one bit. I mean, try it. Try not to sing along to the “show you… what is… right and what’s wrong” bit!

Impossible indeed.

Charley says VIDEO! Dewi – Just The Way You Are

November 24, 2010

Former Idols 2003 and Popstars 2009 finalist Dewi Pechler, who recently made a return to the Dutch top 10 with ‘Sour‘, singing an acoustic studio version of ‘Just The Way You Are’ by Bruno Mars.

Just because.

Charley says ARTIST! Simon Sinnaeve

October 1, 2010

Because every self respecting tv channel needs its own talent show, TMF launched Wanna Sing? in 2007.

The Flemish music channel used the same concept as it did for Rate The Video and Rate The VJ. While each contestant does their bit, viewers get to text in their comments and a score from 0 to 10. The person with the highest average score gets to progress.

The show attracted some familiar faces like Popstars and Eurosong 2008 contestant Kenza. Also taking part was Miss Belgian Beauty finalist Tamara Opdebeeck, who was already recording as Noa Neal and went on the be the runner-up in ‘K2 Zoekt K3’ in 2009.

However, there can only be one winner and for Wanna Sing? that was Simon Sinnaeve.

The West-Flemish boy won a performance at the TMF Awards and got to release ‘Your Eyes‘.


Simon Sinnaeve, popstar and Belgium’s first national beerpong champion.

While the song isn’t particularly spectacular, I do love this pop/rock-ish tune. It’s refreshing to have a winner’s single that sounds current enough, fits the singer well and has a lovely looking video. Three points not many Belgian talent show debuts manage to tick off!

Wanna Sing? being on a small channel may not have stopped the product from being a bit amazing, but it did mean few people got to know about Simon’s music career. ‘Your Eyes‘ unfortunately never made it out of the Bubbling Under chart.

With no plans for a second single at Universal, Simon took to MySpace profiles and various YouTube accounts to have his voice be heard. An overview of his many projects can be found here on what I’m assuming is his personal MySpace.

Earlier this year he uploaded a video onto the SonicAngel and Joepie Talent Booth site. A girl by the name of Laura van den Bruel beat him to the top spot of the competition, but does this video shot at the SonicAngel studios indicate that Tom Dice’s label has a spot ready for Simon?

We may still be waiting for news on his music, but Simon was in the papers just a couple of days ago! What for? He hosted and won the very first Belgian beerpong championship.

That was a bit random.

Charley says WEEK! 2010.19

May 16, 2010

Move over, Jasper Erkens and Freaky Age. Here’s Breathe The Sound! Above is lead singer Simon Nuytten. Below is their song ‘Dance‘. Over here is a live cover of Michael Jackson’s ‘Man In The Mirror‘. And this is the band’s MySpace profile. This isn’t usually my kind of music, but I find myself liking this quite a bit.

Charley says ARTIST! Tom Dice
[http://tinyurl.com/37yv8wu]

Charley says COVER ART! Monrose – Like A Lady
[http://tinyurl.com/32jyq4p]

Charley says VIDEO! Petra – Angel
[http://tinyurl.com/38v9fmg]

Charley says ARTIST! Axeela
[http://tinyurl.com/34qmepa]

Charley says VIDEO! Lio – Le Banana Split
[http://tinyurl.com/32xv6wu]

Charley says LIST! 3 Unlikely Yet Rather Amazing Samples
[http://tinyurl.com/35uczzz]

Charley says LIST! 3 Small Updates
[http://tinyurl.com/3y8dmru]

Charley says COVER ART! Monrose – Like A Lady

May 11, 2010

This doesn’t require a lot of words. It’s the cover art for German über girl group Monrose’s new single ‘Like A Lady‘. It’s amazing.

After a couple of listens, so is the song itself, by the way.

See also: Charley says LIST! 3 Small Updates

Charley says WEEK! 2010.18

May 9, 2010

Dutch YouTube-sensation Esmée Denters featuring on a duet version of German rock band Stanfour’s ‘Life Without You‘.

Charley says SONG! Tom Helsen presents Barbara Dex – I Am [http://tinyurl.com/37qfz6l]

Charley says SONG! Nikki – Can’t Stop Thinking About You [http://tinyurl.com/2usul6r]

Charley says SONG! Betty – Déjà Vu [http://tinyurl.com/3yrl68e]

Charley says SONG! Bliss – Buttons (Live) [http://tinyurl.com/2v56rer]

Charley says SONG! Andes ft. James Walsh of Starsailor – Een Dag Meer / One More Day
[http://tinyurl.com/2u8wvmj]

Charley says SONG! Whatever – Scream [http://tinyurl.com/3a6d3fu]

Charley says SONG! Robert Ramirez – Sick Of Love [http://tinyurl.com/2uatvuc]

Charley says SONG! Bliss – Buttons (Live)

May 6, 2010

Back in 2003 Dewi came fourth in the first season of ‘Idols’. She went on to release ‘Left Of Center‘, one of my favourite songs to come out of a Dutch talent show. Earlier this year she returned to tv on the second season of ‘Popstars’. She was one of the Mystery Popstars, established singers who auditioned anonymously. Her identity remained hidden from the audience and judges until the liveshows. In the end Dewi narrowly missed out on a place in the final.

The singer’s not one to sit around and do nothing though. She went back to hosting her Dewi’s Jam concerts,  a regular event where her musician friends come over for some great performances together.

On the most recent Jam night Dewi performed with Anna Speller and Bouchra Tjon Pong Fong as Bliss. You may remember these ladies from K-Otic, the band that came out of Starmaker. Below is the video of Dewi, Anna and Bouchra doing a lovely laid-back version of ‘Buttons’, originally by the Pussycat Dolls.

As much as I’m looking forward to new material from Dewi, I definitely wouldn’t mind hearing what these three ladies could come up with in a studio together.

See also: Charley says COVER! I Really Don’t Think So
See also:
Charley says YOUTUBE! Starmaker – Damn (I Think I Love You)