Hi, kids! During my month-long sabbatical, I’ve missed each and every one of you. It’s terrific to be back home. As a recap and to make sure you didn’t miss anything, this week we’re looking at 3 notable songs that came out over the last few weeks, as well as some upcoming releases. Let’s do it!
“Triumphant (Get ‘Em)” – Mariah Carey
Surely you know that Miss Mariah is back. If not for her new single, the sadly fizzling “Triumphant (Get ‘Em),” then at least for her signing on as the latest judge on American Idol. But despite the former’s false start at radio, the song deserves attention. I long ago embraced MC’s trashy/slutty, nouveau riche style (which she still seems oblivious to), immature attachments to rainbows and butterflies and deluded pronouncements to the press. The original version of the new song was met with almost universal critical disdain, mostly because it was hijacked by two rappers, barely showcasing the returning songbird. But our girl pulled another rabbit out of the hat by recording new vocals for uptempo dance mixes – a la the glory days of her singles working with David Morales in the 90s. If the original version is forgettable, the Vintage Throwback and (even better) Pulse Club Mixes keep things lively and showcase The Voice. Reportedly written in honor of her husband Nick Cannon’s recent kidney battle and the death of Whitney Houston (a shameless move if ever there was one), the timing better suggested an attempt to cash in on the Olympics, not unlike when “100 Percent” got used for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Still, there are fewer voices you’d rather hear backed up by a throbbing dance beat than Ms. Carey’s. Special attention must be paid to the hilariously photoshopped single cover, evoking that of her earlier album The Emancipation of Mimi. But don’t let any of our gentle ribbing disturb you. We adore the diva – gifts, flaws and all.
“Madonna Has A Kiki” – Madonna vs. Scissor Sisters
It was an idea so obvious, it took someone named Captain Obvious to assemble it. But the song most compared to Madonna’s “Vogue” has now been fabulously mashed-up with…well, “Vogue.” Madonna’s dance sensation had taken orchestral elements from both Salsoul Orchestra’s “Ooh, I Love It (Love Break)” (originally mixed by “Vogue” producer and then-frequent Madonna collaborator Shep Pettibone) and Larry Levan’s rework of MFSB’s “Love Is The Message.” Madonna herself , meanwhile, would cheekily repurpose a few lines from her #1 hit into her later dance tune “Deeper and Deeper.” Which takes it all rather full circle, doesn’t it? We especially love that this new version of “Kiki” kicks off with a sample from the Junior Vasquez classic “If Madonna Calls” and the (fake) answering machine message meant to be from her Madgeness. Fire up the smoke machines, because this one not only extends the life of 2012’s Gay Summer Anthem, but takes it to a whole new level.
“How Deep Is Your Love” – Sean Paul feat. Kelly Rowland
A Kelly Rowland vocal makes for a good dance tune, even when the original song isn’t up to snuff. That’s certainly the case with “How Deep Is Your Love,” the bland new track from Sean Paul. Unfortunately NOT a remake of the Bee Gees tune of the same name, the song in its original form is essentially a throwaway, meandering Caribbean tune. But spiced up by such mixes as the one by Johnny Mac, it’s given a new lease on life. Drums are marching-band-terrific and the song rises and falls on electronic music crests. We hope this one’s shelf life will be deep.
“Don’t You Worry, Child” – Swedish House Mafia feat. John Martin
An unexpectedly softer, gentler Swedish House Mafia emerges on their upcoming fourth single from the One Night Stand album. Instantly more accessible than most of their previous and aggressive House hits, the song starts off slowly and features mellifluous vocals by John Martin, who handled the same chores on SHM’s “Save The World.” Up until now, we’d been mostly immune to the Mafia’s charms, but “Child” may be the emotional break-through that could extend their reach beyond dance circles.
BPM BITS: Karmin follows up their under-appreciated “Crash Your Party” and mega-hit “Broken Heated” with third single “Hello.” Hugely dissimilar in sound to their earlier singles, but still showcasing singer/rapper Amy Heidemann’s acrobatic wordplay, the busy “Hello” is a bit of a hodge podge in its original form. Most of the mixes are equally cacophonous, though we like the Razor & Guido mix. Presumably unintentional, the main refrain sounds oddly similar to Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Unless you like in-your-face Electro-House, the Laidback Luke and Jumpsmokers mixes should be gently avoided…British soul singer Rebecca Ferguson has mixes for a third cut from her debut album Heaven, the torchy ballad “Nothing’s Real But Love.” While it was the initial single off the album – preceding “Too Good To Lose” and “Glitter & Gold” – it’s only now having its mixes promoted here…We’re always happy to welcome back diva Kimberly Locke, who hit the dance floor hard in 2007 with her remake of the classic “Band of Gold” and in 2010 with the original foot-stomper “Strobelight.” The newer song “Finally Free” has some terrific mixes, the best being those from Almighty, now being pushed here in the U.S.
NEWS: I’ve hated being away and am looking forward to more NYC spinning! My upcoming dates include Weds, Sept 12 “MATINEE” the 80s/Disco Happy Hour, 5-8PM; Thurs, Sept 13 the monthly dance party “GET YOUR MESS ON!” 9PM-3AM; and Weds, Sept 26 the next “MATINEE.” All three are at Pieces Bar (8 Christopher Street), where there are always drink specials and never cover charges, so come on down.
Last time we were together, Scissor Sister’s “Let’s Have A Kiki” was spending its 4th week at #1 on the Top 20 Countdown, which still stands as the longest run at the top so far in 2012. Since then, Rihanna’s “Birthday Cake” (1 week), “Madonna’s “Turn Up The Radio” (3 weeks), France Jolie’s seemingly ubiquitous remake of “Hallelujah” (1 week) and Frankie Knuckles’ remake of “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” have all hit the top. This week, the euphoric anthem “Euphoria” by Loreen claims pinnacle placement. Mariah is just below her, and if she can hit the top, “Triumphant” will be her 20th chart topper on the countdown. Her last time at the peak was with “Obsessed” in the summer of 2009.
1) Euphoria (Original & WaWa Mixes) – Loreen (1 at 1)*
2) Triumphant (All Mixes) – Mariah Carey
3) Turn Up The Radio (All Mixes) – Madonna *
4) You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) – Frankie Knuckles feat. B Slade (1 at 1)*
5) Timebomb (Original Extended & Peter Rauhofer Mixes) – Kylie Minogue (2 at 1)*
6) Let’s Have A Kiki (Original & Madonna Mixes) – Scissor Sisters (4 at 1)*
7) Pound The Alarm (Original & Liam Keegan Mixes) – Nicki Minaj
8) I Don’t Like You – Eva Simons
9) How Deep Is Your Love (Johnny Mac Mix) – Sean Paul feat. Kelly Rowland
10) Hallelujah – France Joli (1 at 1)*
11) Goin’ In (Extended & Gustavo Scorpio Mixes) – Jennifer Lopez feat. Flo Rida
12) This Is Love (Original & DJ Shamoon Mixes) – will.i.am & Eva Simons
13) I Can Only Imagine – David Guetta feat. Chris Brown & Lil Wayne
14) Summer’s Calling – Liam Keegan feat. Charlie G.
15) As Long As You Love Me (Ferry Corsten Mix) – Justin Bieber
16) Spectrum (Calvin Harris Remix) – Florence & The Machine
17) Blow Me One Last Kiss (Original & Funk3d Mixes) – Pink
18) R.I.P. (Seamus Haji Mix) – Rita Ora feat. Tinie Tempah
19) Never Close Our Eyes (Almighty Mix) – Adam Lambert
20) Don’t Wake Me Up (Benny Benassi Mix) – Chris Brown
*Indicates current/former #1s
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