Cheryl Cole – Call My Name (June 10th)

The Princess of auto-tune is gearing up to release her third solo album ‘A Million Lights in July, with the first single Call My Name due for release on June 10th. Whilst her previous two albums were released on the back on The X-Factor promotional machine, this time she’s going to find it more difficult, due to less exposure, as well as a diminished profile. The song itself is decent, but as she usually releases the best first, it doesn’t bode well for the rest of the album, especially since her first two records were 80% filler.

 

Produced by Calvin Harris, who is in dire need of some new ideas, it’ll nevertheless do well, especially since the Rihanna duet is rumored to be lined up as the second single.

 

Check out the track below:

 

 

Evanescence – New Way To Bleed (Avengers Assemble track)

Remixed rock songs are a tough thing to pull off, most of the original tracks simply not made for them. An example of a good one, would be the Linkin Park ones. Another good example is a track that appears on the soundtrack to Marvel’s Avengers Assemble, out this week. The ‘Photek’ remix of New Way To Bleed, a track that appeared on Evanescence‘ self-titled album last year is a flawlessly crafted remix, maintaining the quality of the vocals, whilst completely redoing the instrumental. Another Evanescence remix previously featured on the Underworld: Awakening soundtrack in January this year.

Meanwhile, ‘Made Of Stone’ will be released as the third single from the Evanescence record, sometime in June.

 

 

 

Take a listen to Bleed below:

 

 

Britney Spears – This Kiss (Circus leftover, 2008)

A new track from Britney Spears has surfaced online. ‘This Kiss’, a left-over track from her Platinum ‘Circus’ album, appeared online on Sunday night. A catchy track, its ruined slightly by the over-use of auto-tune on the verses, making it sound like she is literally singing under water. It’s not yet clear if this is genuine, or a tactic used by online traders, a watermark or sorts to prevent the actual song making its way online. Either way, it’s an unfortunate thing to listen to. Listen below:

 

Alexandra Burke – Let It Go (27th May)

After previous single ‘Elephant’ failed to fulfill it’s potential and spend twelve weeks at number one, Alexandra Burke will be releasing a second single from her new album on May 27th.

Like ‘Elephant’, the track is an upbeat number that serves as a throwback to the nineties dance music that seems to be popping up in plenty of 2012 releases.

After shunning the X-Factor curse, and actually doing amazingly well last time, it’s entirely possible she will see similar success this time round, especially since the material we’ve heard is promising to say the least.

Check out the track below:

 

 

Summer preview! Who’s making musical waves…

The first quarter of 2012 has seen music sales soar, due to releases from up and comers, such as Lana Del Rey, as well as bona-fide legends such as Madonna. The upcoming months promise to be just as exciting, with releases scheduled from both big stars, as well as fresh new talents. Check out who’s bringing the noise below!

Cody Draiken – Hollywood party crasher

Draiken is quickly making waves in the business, and it’s not hard to see why. His lyrics bite hard, his delivery is flawless, and the production is no slouch either. Tracks such as ‘Dirty Talker’ manage to beat Ke$ha at her own game, whilst others such as ‘Killer Bod’ seem tailor-made for a 2016 club. With new material promised for the immediate future, watch this space… Check out ‘Killer Bod’ below:

Nadia Oh – London Swag

After a pair of crowd pleasing dance albums, Nadia has been teasing new material for months now on Twitter and SoundCloud, whetting fans appetites for a possible new album in the summer. Latest single Slapper (Ayye) has received a rapturous response in the clubs, as well as being a genuine, exciting progression of her sound. Even better, a video has been filmed, and should see a release very soon.

Her official Facebook page has recently had a makeover, with stunning new pictures giving a glimpse of the video styling. Check out Slapper below:

Marina And The Diamonds – Welsh Superstar

Second album Electra Heart sees it’s release this week, after months and months of hype. Lead single Primadonna is riding high on iTunes, making long term prospects for the album seem extremely promising. Check out Primadonna below:

 

Part two next week…

Amy MacDonald – Slow It Down

During the last few years, we’ve witnessed acts such as Katy Perry and Lady GaGa rule the charts practically worldwide, leaving it easy to forget about homegrown talents. Scottish songstress Amy MacDonald is a formidable talent, managing to shift over five million albums worldwide, even without a heap of promotion and a ton of airplay.  Her first two albums, This Is The Life, and A Curious Thing, both went top five, and were received well critically. Third album Life In A Beautiful Light is due for release on June 11th, with trailer single Slow It Down recently sent to radio.

Whilst being her weakest lead single to date, paling in comparison to the flawless Mr Rock And Roll, it’s nevertheless a welcome reminder of both her songwriting talent and powerful voice, one that’s been sorely missed since her last single in early 2011. Written about the excitement and nerve wracking early days of a relationship, it’s radio friendly and instant, surely a medium sized hit in the making. As per the usual with MacDonald, it won’t be the strongest on the album, the very best usually don’t even see an official release. You can pre-order the album below, and listen to the track:

 

 

Marina And The Diamonds – Electra Heart

  After reaching number two on the BBC sound of 2010 poll, all eyes were on Marina Lambrini Diamandis, who works under the Marina And The Diamonds name. After a couple of well-received EP releases, her first studio album, The Family Jewels was released in February 2010. Despite a top five placement, it slipped down the charts and ended up with a Gold certification, despite critical praise.  Nevertheless, she started work on her follow up in early 2011; the product, Electra Heart, due for release next week. First single Radioactive was released in late 2011, although it’s now been delegated to bonus track status, a confusing move, as it remains one of the strongest tracks released during the last twelve months. A Stargate production, it’s a confident, excellently delivered mid-tempo that should have performed much better than it did.

The album begins with the genius Bubblegum Bitch, an outstandingly catchy song that manages to sound uncannily No Doubt, as well as very 2012, as well as different to anything currently on the radio. That may be why significant success has thus far eluded Marina; her past material stuck out like a sore thumb on radio play-lists. That may change with this album, as there are at least seven obvious single choices, with the possibility of a few growers.  Current single Primadonna is her biggest hit so far, sitting comfortable in the top fifteen on iTunes, and showing no signs of slowing down. A club ready tune about pining for adoration, it’s the poster song for the albums over-reaching theme of the American starlet and fame fascination. Promo single Homewrecker is along the same line, similarly stomping and featuring one of the catchiest choruses of recent memory.

Possibly the strongest track on the record, is the heartbreaking Starring Role, a song where Diamandis manages to be extremely vulnerable, as well as a force to be reckoned with; ”I’ve turned into a statue, and it makes me feel depressed….big fucking deal”. The instrumental takes a backseat,  letting the vocal performance take center stage, managing to avoid the mistake Lana Del Rey made and getting lost in the production. It really needs to be a single at some point, it would work wonderfully on radio. Another standout track is Lies, a similar track to Starring Role, albeit slightly cheerier.

If there is any justice this year, the album should do wonders, as apart from perhaps Del Rey, there hasn’t been an album thus far to match this in terms of quality.

 

Check out the video for Primadonna below:

 

JoJo – The return

When examining the constant stream of music related reality shows, ones that examine every corner of the planet to find exceptional voices, it’s sometimes easy to forget that a great voice doesn’t ensure equal success. For every Mariah Carey, there’s thousands of equivalents, ones that never find any kind of recognition. Joanna Levesque, also known as JoJo, should know this better than anyone. Despite a successful couple of albums, and a stunning vocal talent, record label politics have delayed the release of her third album for the last five years. After a lengthy court battle, she is due to finally release the album this summer, with a few promotional singles already released, in an attempt to both generate hype, and to remind the casual music buyer just why she is such a promising act.

Lead single ‘Disaster’, has an ironic title, as it has had one of the most incredibly muddled promotional campaigns ever seen. Normally when an act releases a single, the team behind it actually make it available for purchase. Seven months after its US release, it is still unavailable on these shores, despite the video circulating heavily on TV last year. The song itself is a stunning mid tempo ballad that showcases some truly stunning vocals. Although unlikely to blow up the charts like her debut did back in 2004, it’s baffling to imagine why it’s been dumped. It performed decently in America, and could have built on that over here with some promotion. Promotional single ‘Sexy To Me’ is a Danja produced track that evokes memories of Britney’s ‘Blackout’ record, being dark, grungy, and sexy. Despite not being strong enough to be a proper single, it’s a highly catchy three-minute cut that effectively inspires excitement for the record.

Check out the video for ‘Disaster’ below:

 

Britney Spears – Money, Love & Happiness (written by Michelle Bell)

Back in 2005 when Britney Spears began work on her Original Doll album, several tracks were completed, yet apart from a couple, have remained locked away, leaving fans anxious to hear what the sessions resulted in. Tracks such as Look Who’s Talking have leaked already, receiving a great reception from the fans. One of the writers, Michelle Bell, recently revealed short clips of two songs fans have been waiting years for; Money, Love and Happiness, and Peep Show, leaving fans foaming at the mouth to hear the full products.

Hear the Money, Love & Happiness clips below:

Britney Spears for US X-Factor?

Rumors are spreading that Britney Spears is close to signing a deal to be a judge on The X-Factor USA.  Figures of $10-$16 million are being thrown around, reinforcing her status as one of the biggest stars in the world. Both parties have yet to confirm or deny the rumors, yet it’s clear it HAS been discussed.  Watch this space…