Posts Tagged ‘Teardrops’

Charley says TV! Axelle on The Voice Van Vlaanderen

February 10, 2012

Back in 2010 I posted how Axelle Aerts just might the new best thing in Belgian pop and come 2012 it looks like the rest of the country is starting to agree!

Having taught herself to sing by recording Christina Aguilera’s “Stripped” album over and over on a tape recorder, at the age of 10 Axelle knew exactly what she wanted in life. She took her first steps towards fulfilling that dream of singing by competing in the 2006 Belgian Junior Eurovision selection as one half of girl duo Lizz@xy and winning a support slot on Flemish superstar Natalia‘s Glamorous tour a couple of years later.

In 2010 pop stardom was just around the corner when Axelle recorded “What Do You Want From Me” and teamed up with then upcoming label SonicAngel for its release. Despite having cost her dad €6000 at the time, the video for her first release under the name Axeela is no longer up online. Despite introducing the song at Eurovision star and label mate Tom Dice’s album launch, the catchy pop anthem peaked at a disappointing #48 in the charts. After follow-up “Hump Hump” was given away as a free download on www.axeela.com things sadly went quiet around the promising singer.


Axelle – It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World
(Audition at The Voice Van Vlaanderen)

http://vtm.be/the-voice-van-vlaanderen/artikel/axelle

Enter The Voice. The talent show that brought her idol Christina back to relevance, was set to do the same for Axelle. Before she’d even finished the opening line of James Brown’s “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World” all four chairs had turned and she found herself a red hot favourite in Belgium’s best watched talent show. Under guidance of coach Natalia (yes, the same Natalia she’d toured with earlier) she got rid of her annoying “diva hands” and steamrolled her way through the battle episodes with Gaga and Beyoncé’s “Telephone”.

Tonight sees Axelle taking the stage in the The Voice Van Vlaanderen live shows. Here’s to hoping her rendition of Jessie J’s “Domino” will convince Flanders to pick up their phone, as despite being up against some great voices and likeable talents Axelle is without a doubt the proper popstar of the bunch.

However, even should she get booted off by some freak televote accident, at least we’ll have a brand new shiny studio recording from the girl. As with other international adaptations of The Voice all performances are available for purchase on iTunes right after each live show.

Even better, the first tracks by all 24 finalists have been bundled on one CD that is in stores as of today! Considering her prominent place on the album cover I can’t imagine being the only one to believe in Axelle’s popstar power…

If you can’t wait for tonight’s episode -or for international readers, tomorrow’s performance clip here– check out some more songs from Axelle’s past in this old blog post while reading my 2010 interview with her!

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

Charley says WEEK! 2010.21

May 30, 2010

Idool 2004 finalist Born Crain had some major label hits with ‘Don’t Ever Go‘ and ‘Walking In The Sun‘. Even Japan had a soft spot for the red haired Belgian with the glasses. Earlier this year uplifting pop/rock anthem ‘Tell The World‘ marked his comeback as an independent artist. Born co-wrote the song with Mark Frisch and Anthony Galatis, the people responsible for Katerine’s ‘Here Come All The Boys‘. (By now you’ve probably figured out that I may just as well retitle this blog ‘Six Degrees Of Katerine Avgoustakis’)

Charley says VIDEO! Wouter Hamel ft. Giovanca & Dox’ Family – As Long As We’re In Love
[http://tinyurl.com/3yyrc7l]

Charley says ARTIST! Yasmina Karraz aka Yazzmin
[http://tinyurl.com/38db6a5]

Charley says SONG! The Tamperer ft. Maya – I Love Being A Girl
[http://tinyurl.com/2v683ca]

Charley says LIST! If You’re Only Just Joining Us
[http://tinyurl.com/358z9zb]

Charley says ARTIST! Katy Satyn
[http://tinyurl.com/32p3hpd]

Charley says SONG! Dean – Someday
[http://tinyurl.com/39wy6mf]

Charley says SONG! Nicole & Hugo – Baby Baby
[http://tinyurl.com/2w8qh7s]

Charley says ALBUM! Tom Dice – Teardrops
[http://tinyurl.com/38dhzuv]

Charley says ARTIST! Louis Talpe
[http://tinyurl.com/3xwv5b6]

Charley says SONG! Femme Fatale – Décadence
[http://tinyurl.com/32gtoyd]

Charley says EUROVISON! The Year Flanders Saved Itself
[http://tinyurl.com/3453e6l]

Charley says EUROVISION! Oslo 2010 In A Tweet (Parts 1-8)
[http://tinyurl.com/34vuykf]

Charley says ALBUM! Tom Dice – Teardrops

May 28, 2010

I’d promised you a review of the Tom Dice album and what better day to do it than the one on which he will be singing in the big Eurovision final after becoming the first Belgian ever to make it out of the semi final?

This post will focus on the album ‘Teardrops‘, but if you want read about Tom’s career pre-Eurovision there’s always this one I wrote some time ago.

In short, the Tom Dice album is very good. It’s not perfect, but it’s very good. I usually listen to a selection of the tracks as posted below. The other songs aren’t bad, but I mostly feel they either don’t fit (‘A Soldier For His Country‘) or just add too little to the album (the Isbells sounding intro ‘Start Without The Ending‘).

1. Me And My Guitar
2. Lucy
3. Too Late
4. Murderer
5. Why?
6. Always And Forever
7. Broken
8. Bleeding Love (Bonus Track)

There’s little need to introduce ‘Me And My Guitar‘. When Tom was announced to be Belgium’s 2010 Eurovision contestant reactions varied between “Who?” and “Why?”. Suffice to say that expectations weren’t exactly sky high when he premiered his entry. However, with the simple tale of a boy and his guitar he managed to convince Flanders and the song ended up topping the charts. ‘Me And My Guitar’ was co-written by Tom, Ashley Hicklin and producer Jeroen Swinnen. Jeroen previously had a hand in songs like Ellektra’s ‘I Hate It But I Love It‘ and Born Crain’s ‘Tell The World‘.

Lucy‘ is set to be the follow-up single from ‘Teardrops’. The summery track was co-written by Tom Helsen, a singer/songwriter we mentioned earlier when he released a track with Belgium’s 1993 Eurovision entrant Barbara Dex. With a chorus that has Tom pleading “Lucy, I love you, why don’t you love me?” the song sounds like a male version of Colbie Caillat’s ‘Realize‘.

People who followed Tom on X Factor may recognise ‘Too Late‘. Tom performed the selfwritten track in the final episode of the show. It may not have won him a record deal at the time, but I’m glad it’s included on the album. The song was given a makeover by Erhan Kurkun, who produced nearly the entire album. The new version sounds a lot ‘fuller’ than its acoustic original. A definite favourite with a chorus so catchy that we can even forgive the wonky lyric “I still love you, even if you slap me every day”.

Murderer‘, ‘Why?‘ and ‘Broken‘ continue the theme of great pop/rock tracks with catchy bits, bits where the music drops out on Tom’s vocals only to come back full force and bits where Tom asks “I’ve been searching for a girl like you, why did you leave?”.

My favourite song on ‘Teardrops’ however is ‘Always And Forever‘. It basically makes Tom sound like the most romantic boyfriend ever. He may be always on the road, but finally Tom gets to announce “I am on my way to visit you tonight, but the detail you don’t know is that I’m staying for a while”. And how does Tom tell you? “Now what’s your favourite movie, cause I’ll be coming home soon…” However, tragedy strikes before Tom and your DVD of choice ever get to arrive. The song builds to its finale with Tom defeatedly asking “But I wanted to stay?” Oh, Tom…

See also: Charley says ARTIST! Tom Dice

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 ARTIST! Tom Dice

May 10, 2010

I am absolutely loving the Tom Dice album.

Before I give you guys a proper review of ‘Teardrops‘ I wanted to put together a full artist profile of the young singer who will be representing Belgium at the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest with ‘Me And My Guitar‘.

Back in 2008 Tom auditioned for the second season of Flemish X Factor.  He got through to the live shows where he immediately impressed with an acoustic rendition of Leona Lewis’ ‘Bleeding Love’. From then on he was the one to beat and sailed through to the final.

However, in the final school teacher Dirk De Smet was the one who ended up taking the record deal home. Not that it was anything to be jealous of, Dirk only got offered a two single deal. His winner’s song ‘Walk And Don’t Look Back‘ only got to number 4 and sophomore release ‘So Little‘ didn’t even bother the Bubbling Under chart.

Since Sony was barely interested in the show’s actual winner, it seemed like there was no hope for runner-up Tom. Luckily, his X Factor coach Maurice Engelen, the man behind Lords Of Acid, stepped in, started up a new label and signed Tom as one of his first artists. The other act being Mathieu & Guillaume, two brothers who had also been X Factor finalists.


Bleeding Love (Live)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2W-_5Jm3jYQ

In the summer of 2009 Tom released his debut single. The aforementioned cover of ‘Bleeding Love’ would have also been his winner’s song had he won the show, so it was decided to release it after all. While Tom’s version isn’t bad, I think it’s a shame they didn’t stick with the stripped down backing music that made his X Factor performance stand out. With a little help from a couple of instore signings ‘Bleeding Love’ managed to scrape into the top 10 for a week at number 7.

We’ll get to the success of ‘Me And My Guitar‘ and Tom’s debut album ‘Teardrops‘ next time, but before I end this post there’s one more thing I’d like to tell you about.

Network vtm doesn’t seem to realise that having guest performers benefits both the show and the Flemish music industry, so it was a bit of a surprise when one week they announced that Craig David would be appearing on the show. That week’s show even got a Craig David Week theme. Yes, seriously. Rather unexpectedly Tom gave his best performance that week. He managed to turn ‘7 Days‘ into a brilliant pop/rock tune that I still revisit every now and again. Also: judge Do‘s thumbs up face in that clip.

See also: Charley says ALBUM! Tom Dice – Teardrops