URGH! A Music Blog


Get More Stupider!

Posted in Dance,Jupiter Rising by M on July 31, 2007

Jesse Payo and Spencer Nezey of Jupiter Rising

You know we love our electronic pop here at URGH, but do we love “Electropop”, a single by newcomers Jupiter Rising?

Sadly, I can’t give the song my blessing. As is, “Electropop” shows Jupiter Rising growing into either a less embarrassing Black Eyed Peas outfit or a less talented Nelly/Timba collaboration. They’re going to hit a wall really fast if they continue this way.

Plus their lyrics are painfully stupid.

But there’s hope! “Electropop” is delivered in a singsong, male/female counterpoint rap lifted from Prince’s “Erotic City”. They steal from the best! And I’d rather hear this pair appropriate “Erotic City” instead of The Outhere Brothers for “Boom Boom Boom”.

There’s also a Lenny B remix of “Electropop” that ups the electro! The vocal pas de deux is interrupted by a robot voice that sounds as if Lenny is holding Daft Punk at gunpoint in the studio! Plus the song gets unapologetically crunchy and nasty! I’ve never seen this side of Lenny! It suits him well. I’d like to see him go head to head with Tom Neville (who did brilliant work for Studio B and Khia) and see who can create the crunchiest, most inane pop single.

The Jupiter Rising full length debuts in September. And apparently

“The Bus”, another of Electropop’s standout tracks [is] a showcase for guest rapper Christopher ‘Kid’ Reid, of Kid ‘n’ Play.

HELL YES.

Kid 'n' Play

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Fear of A Dance Planet

Posted in Benassi,Dance,Don Diablo,Ferry Corsten,Hip-Hop,Public Enemy by M on July 27, 2007

Whatever you do, don’t believe the hype!

Chuck D. of Public Enemy giving the audience the finger.  Photo by Ross Gilmore.

If only the hype weren’t true! Public Enemy is going to get a dance remix album!

The remixes of “Bring the Noise” and “Give it Up” will be individually remixed by Ferry Corsten, Benny Benassi and Don Diablo and released by Ultra on August 21st.

You heard that right. In fact, Chuck D himself, back from a distinguished lecture series, throws laurels at the DJs:

Benny Benassi takes his trademark house/Euro sound and incorporates traces of trance to mind-bend the listener into a haze of consciousness.

Easy there, Chuck!

For those of you that may be unfamiliar with these artists, let me remind you:

  • Ferry Corsten: The guy who’s last hip-hop effort—“Junk” with Guru from Gang Starr—was not as strong as it should have been.
  • Benny Benassi: The guy whose “Satisfaction” video singlehandedly saved Home Depot from bankruptcy.
  • Don Diablo: The guy who, as Divided, combined Phil Collins and Furry Porn?

This is completely unnecessary, but at least all of the above producers are interesting musicians. And Benassi’s Stephen Hawking voicebox will make a less embarrassing hype man than Flav. But if they screw this up, I may have to begin my terrible campaign of lamping.

And lamping is a dish best served cold.

Kylie X!

Posted in Dance,Downloads,Kylie Minogue,Minogue by M on July 25, 2007

Kylie Minogue on the cover of the Kylie X bootleg.

Get yourself to your favorite illegal download site, stat! Because Kylie Minogue has some astounding new tracks!

The bootleg leak calls itself Kylie X, and is filled with possibly forthcoming material from the celebrated pop star. I’m one of the few people who thought Body Language was Kylie’s strongest album, no matter how distant and pop-single-unfriendly it seemed at the time. Every track was lush, wonderful, and knew its musical history, all while diving deeper into the waters of electronic pop.

Kylie X—which combines an EP’s worth of new music with live tracks and remixes—showcases a post-cancer Kylie that has taken all of her Body Language lessons to heart, turning up the volume and impact on all of them. I was impressed with every track. The movement in every song is perfectly crafted; Minogue is accurate to the second in knowing when to hold back and when to release a full force of pop energy!

This was a very welcome leak, and it guarantees great things in the future from Ms. Minogue. I will eagerly await the future full length.

Music Takes Me…Where, Exactly?

Posted in Dance,Music Reviews,Stonebridge by M on July 7, 2007

Stonebridge - Music Takes Me

There’s a new Stonebridge album on its way: Music Takes Me! Due to be released next week, it is instead widely available for your illegal downloading pleasure. Fire up those torrents!

Music Takes Me is absolutely worth your time. Stonebridge pours his Nordic SmoothTM over each track, just like he did with his previous full length Can’t Get Enough. The new album is just as listenable—however, it may be only one-quarter of a great album.

But what a quarter! The first three tracks are killer! The title track is a very strong start. It’s breathy vocals are more breath than vocal, letting Stonebridge’s production take command immediately. Plus, the silky rhythm of “Music Takes Me” and “Close to Heaven” reveal just how nasty and insistent the beats of the third track—the megahit, Erire Obano-blessed single “S.O.S.”—really are. Stonebridge shows these songs off at their best.

After that? Nine perfectly respectable tracks that don’t have nearly the same magic.

That’s not as bad as it sounds: any song from this album could hold its own mixed at a club—or even in track order as background music driving on the freeway or fucking. Butnone of the tracks retain any distinction; they don’t announce or inform any of the forthcoming music.

Big deal, right? Top singles on an unexciting album are still top singles. And Stonebridge’s production is still as smooth and soft as tracing your finger over the top of a hotel room pillow. Music Takes Me has lots to enjoy, so get out there and enjoy it!

Bonus Questions From Illegal Downloaders With No Liner Notes: Is Therese on this album? Is DaYeene? If they are, I can’t place them. And they helped make Stonebridge the success he is today! Don’t forget the ladies, man!

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Guetta Love!

Posted in Dance,David Guetta,Music Reviews by M on June 26, 2007

David Guetta - Pop Life

I listened to David Guetta‘s new album Pop Life this weekend. Short review: it doesn’t quite get all the way up the hill!

Guetta’s Just A Little More Love was a surprisingly terrific album. I went into it knowing that the singles were excellent, but I didn’t expect Guetta to keep up that quality and lush production for every single track. There wasn’t one bad track; even the unnecessary David Bowie remix was surprisingly well done.

Based on the monotonous first single “Love is Gone”, I didn’t have the same high hopes for Pop Life. Guetta still has a strong sense for the album form; every track is tight and never lost my attention. This time around, though, everything felt perfunctory. There were no new, exciting highs!

Guetta does try some new directions, but they mostly fizzle out. “Never Take Away My Freedom” is like if the Funky Green Dogs were asked to do a song on the Braveheart soundtrack—stealing a riff from Ace of Base along the way. It’s just surreal. Meanwhile, the song “Winner of the Game” seems to mix the generic pop-rock of today’s bands with imitation Type O Negative vocals. It’s certainly unique, but it doesn’t get us anywhere.

On his second album, the unfortunately named Guetta Blaster, Guetta put out my favorite fake Depeche Mode song: “The World Is Mine.” On his new album, he comes up with “This is Not a Love Song,” which if anything is fake Armand Van Helden. I don’t want that!

Let me repeat, Pop Life isn’t bad! Each track is solid, but Guetta’s great hooks and unique production don’t develop into full-fledged songs. There are rewards here, but just one great song would juice up the entire album. Pop Life feels like a missed opportunity.

Next time around, Mr. Guetta, give us a killer single!

Erire Obano!

Posted in Dance,Erire Obano,Paul Emanuel,Seamus Haji,Stonebridge by M on June 23, 2007

I just found out there is a God: Erire be thy name!

Erire Obano

Yes, I was overjoyed to discover that singer/songwriter Erire Obano not only provides the golden-delicious vocals for Stonebridge‘s “S.O.S.”, but also for the profoundly awesome Haji and Emanuel cover of “Take Me Away”. As you’re aware, I have pledged a blood oath in defense of both of these songs. Imagine my joy to find that they benefited from the talents of the same fair maiden!

Obano’s voice is filled with uncontained enthusiasm; her words leak warmth during the verses before giving way to a flood of pure, concentrated optimism in vocal form. She’s a knockout!

According to her bio, Obano is Nigerian-Irish. Meanwhile Seamus Haji is an Irish-Indian Londoner. Ireland is officially now the world’s coolest melting pot.

Sadly, I don’t know how to pronounce Obano’s name, so I just rhyme it with “Kyrie Eleison” like Mr. Mister. I’m sure she and her top-shelf producers can make even that song a legitimate dancefloor hit.

Baby Girl I’m Feelin’ You!

Posted in Dance,Phil Collins,Pop,Supafly by M on May 18, 2007

Andrew Tumi from Supafly in the Moving Too Fast Video

I used to think that the goofy pop reggae of Supafly in the song “Moving Too Fast” was an affront to the 80s song it sampled.

Until I realized it was fucking Phil Collins.

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Stonebridge and Therese

Posted in Dance,Digital Dog,Stonebridge,Therese by M on May 18, 2007

Pardon my absence. I have spent the last few weeks pitting two of my most prized musicians against each other in a battle for my soul.

The two artists? Swedish all-stars Stonebridge and Therese. Once partners on phenomenally hot songs like “Put ‘Em High” and “Time”, they are now going head to head with two separate singles: “S.O.S.” and “Feelin’ Me”.

Both songs feature deliciously high female vocals, nonsense exclamations, and artery-bursting beats. Top-shelf efforts by both! However, “Feelin’ Me” grew on me more and more, until I couldn’t go anywhere without purring to myself: “Driven by your love, I just wanna—UH!”

The people to thank for Therese’s success this outing are the boys of Digital Dog. I’ve enjoyed their past work, but this is their first stratospheric success. Keep up the good work!

Also check out the official “Feelin’ Me” music video on YouTube, where her record label calls her “Queen of the Swedish Dance Mafia.”

So if Therese is the de-facto Michael Corleone, does that make Stonebridge Sonny? Or Fredo?

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather

Don’t ask Therese about her business!

Improper!

Posted in Dance,Eric Prydz by M on April 21, 2007

Eric Prydz vs Floyd - Proper Education

I’ve tried to ignore the months-old “comeback” single from Eric Prydz: Proper Education. Prydz starts his song with a flaccid (albeit inoffensive) beat, then crashes the whole damn thing into a highway guardrail by mixing in the chorus from “Another Brick In The Wall, Part II”.

Pink Floyd?! What were you thinking, Eric?! This is painful! You ripped out the disco beats—the only pop portion of The Wall, the album that defined wank-rock—and left in dour chanting that doesn’t match your contribution in the least. There’s no excuse for this.

That’s why I was absolutely aghast this weekend when I found a mash-up of this song. “Proper Education” is essentially a failed mash-up on its own. Now Prydz (or someone on his behalf) has released “Proper Missing You” matching this song with Everything But The Girl‘s “Missing”.

I started thinking: was there a Prydz song merely called “Proper” that I was unaware of? Was “Proper Education” as much of a bootleg as “Proper Missing You”? If so, was its poor quality not Prydz’s fault?

This is the least interesting mystery in pop music since Who Killed The Zutons? And Prydz can indeed take all the credit for “Proper Education”.

It’s not like Eric Prydz isn’t responsible for dumbing down pop music in the past. “Call On Me” led to hundreds of other releases that consisted of 80s songs looped until the end times.

But now the bar has been set so low that any goddamn song can float upon the tepid soundtrack of Eric Prydz. You want “Proper 99 Luftballons”? “Proper Mmm Mmm Mmm”? “Talk Proper To Me”? Just turn on the radio, get out your tape recorder and press record.

C.C., pick up that guitar and talk to me!

Bonus Advice To Pink Floyd Remixers: Only “Young Lust” would tolerate a dance-pop remix. Just make sure to cut out all that “There must be someone else there besides your wife,” nonsense. Any phone operator that comments on my wife’s extramarital activities gets whapped!

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Gabriel & … Kansas?

Posted in Dance,Gabriel and Dresden,Music Reviews by M on April 4, 2007

Gabriel & Dresden

Sadly, not all dance covers of decades-old pop songs can be winners. Case in point: Gabriel & Dresden‘s cover of “Dust In The Wind”.

That’s right, the undying Kansas chestnut—the second song you learned to play on the guitar (the first was “Ziggy Stardust”)—is now a lugubrious dance single!

Part of the problem is that vocalist Molly Bancroft has no rock passion. She doesn’t have white boy soul; she just sounds tired.

G&D didn’t do themselves any favors by slowing things down either. Case in point: you may have seen the Alanis Morrisette cover of “My Humps.” Alanis slows down the Black Eyed Peas hit a lot, but she fills the space she creates with her quirked-out “Alanis-ness.” It never feels empty, and some of it is genuinely haunting. Bancroft’s vocals don’t have the same effect, and Gabriel & Dresden’s instrumentation might as well have cartoon tumbleweeds strolling through.

Better luck next time, guys! I hope this isn’t only because I made fun of your “pirate ships and fairy tales” lyric in “Tracking Treasure Down”. My bad!

[INSERT OBLIGATORY JACK SPARROW PHOTO HERE]

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