Sunday, April 29, 2007

This is the Remix... Part 1

The remix is a tool used by record labels to let a particular song reach a broader audience or to have the song suit a particular muasic genre or radio format. The problem is record labels often fill up the cd singles with lacklustre remixes that all end up sounding the same and ruin the song.

But once in awhile a remix comes along that really brigns something new and sometimes even makes the song better than the original. So today I dedicate my blog to some of my all time favorite remixes.

When 5ive split up Abs was the first to venture out on his own with a solo album. He had mild success with his singles but when his album tanked that was the end of his solo career. Originally intended to be his 4th single in the Uk back in 2003 but the single release was cancelled due to a dispute with his record label. '7 Ways' has amazing lyrics and this remix brings it to a whole new level. This song is still one of my most played tracks on my iPod. The chorus and hook are sung by Eve Bicker.

Sometimes a song is perfect the way it is and all you need to do is extend it a bit. This classic Ace of Base song gets even better when you add the "ALRIGHT!" at the beginning!

One of the biggest mistakes record labels make is taking a ballad and turning it into a remix. This hardly ever works except for extreme exceptions. 'Back When' is one of those exceptions. The original version of this song is bland and emotionless. This remix is one of my favorite remixes of all time.

Never Gone was one of my all time favorite albums when it was released back in 2005. This remix gave 'I Still' some spunk and helped get the boys some more airplay during their "comeback."

The name speaks for itself. I know it's Cher... but this remix totally makes you want to get up and dance.

Now THIS is a remix!

By taking Danni's version of I Begin To Wonder and mixing it with the music from Dead or Alive's 'You Spin Me...' Danni turned the bland original into an international hit with this remix!

Another example of a slow song made better with a soft, radio friendly remix.

What do you get when you mix country and dance? PURE POP GENIOUS! This track becomes perfect when you tweak it with this remix.

I HATE the original verison of this song... but this remix became one of my favorite tracks from Justins debut album. I've been known to dance on stage and tabletops when this ones comes on at a club.

This is the shortened version of the club remix to this. It's hard to improve on a song like this but Jason Nevins comes close.

Poor Lisa. Did anyone watch her MTV show 'Totally Scott-Lee?!' It is HILARIOUS! Anyways Lisa's neverending quest for a solo career has had its ups and downs... this remix is an Up!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Don't Stop The Music

I know many blogs have posted about Robyn before, so I figured I would take my turn and post some music from this wildly successful swedish superstar.

Robyn had her big break back in 1995 when she was signed to RCA Records. Soon after her debut single 'You've Got That Something' was released in Sweden she had her breakthrough single in Sweden with the release of 'Do You Really Want Me (Show Respect).'

It didn't take long before the whole world was singing along with Robyn. In 1997 'Show Me Love' & 'Do You Know What It Takes' hit North America and ended up on the billboard top 10. It was clear that Robyn had arrived. 'Show Me Love' was wildly successful across the globe. In 1998 Robyn had been signed to go on tour across the globe opening for the Backstreet Boys. Unfortunately before the tour began Robyn was diagnosed with exhaustion and she returned to Sweden to recuperate. What the world didn't know is that this would be the last time they would hear from Robyn for a long time.

In 1999 Robyn's second album 'My Truth' was released in Sweden and again was a hit, reching #2 in Sweden with the first single 'Electric' hitting charts across Europe. Instead of releasing the album internationally, RCA records decided her new sound wouldn't be well received in North America and the Uk and RCA decided to have Robyn re-record the album with a more 'US friendly sound." Robyn valued her artistic credibility over album sales and refused to re-record the album. As a result the album never saw an international release. Robyn simply dissapeared from the public consciousness.

2002 saw the release of 'Don't Stop The Music' was released in Sweden and again was promised a US release. Tracks were re-vamped for an international release but it never happened. Her single 'Keep This Fire Burning' was covered by 'Play' in the U.S and Beverly Knight had a Uk radio hit with her version of the song as well.

This is where things got interesting... Robyn had had enough. As an artist she was tired of working for record labels who were only interested in controlling her work and financial gain. Robyn bought herself out of her contract with her record label and in 2005 she formed her own record label...Konichiwa Records.

Today Robyn is in control of her career and continues to be successful across Europe. Her self-released album 'Robyn' was her first album to debut at #1 in Sweden in 2005. In 2006 she won 3 Swedisn Grammy awards for Best Album, Best song-writer & Best Female.' In 2007 Robyn finally returned to the Uk releasing the album 'Robyn.'

I think Robyn's story is not only interesting but you can't help but show her respect for what she has been through. She is incredibly talented and I can't wait to see what she does next.

WOW - What a perfromance - Catch it below

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Pa Svenska

Mathias Holmgren

Well the votes are in and an overwhelming number of you want me to post more Swedish Music! Well your wish is my command! I still have a ton of cd's from Sweden I haven't even had a chance to listen to all the way yet!

I know blogs like Poppostergirl have posted about Mathias Holmgren before, but I've been listening to his debut album and I'm really impressed with acouple of his album tracks so I HAD to share!

Mathias Holmgren rose to fame via the popular television show 'Fame Factory' in Sweden. After his appearance on the show he took over lead singing duties for the band 'Barbados' when Magnus Carlsson left in 2002.

For reasons I can't figure out Mathias was forced to leave Barbados in 2004 (If you know why and let me know that would be awesome.)

He went solo soon after that appearing in Melodifestivalen and releasing his first solo album 'Vagen Hem.'

His album has acouple covers, most notably a cover of Gareth Gates - Stupid Mistake and a cover of Jostein Hasselgaard's Eurovision entry - I'm Not Afraid To Move On. But where Mathias really shines is on his pure pop thumpers like 'En Risk Jag Maste Ta' & 'Alskar, Alskar Inte.'

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Have Your Say!

What Do You Want Me To Post Next?!
Pop Goes Rock?
Something In Swedish?
Pop from the 90's?
Pop from 2000 - 2004?
Something British?
Something from the US?
Something Canadian?
Free polls from

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Arms Of Love Can Only Carry A Lie For So Long...


At what point does a band decide they're giving up and no longer going to try to release music? Meet Clea... The band that doesn't seem to know when to quit!

Back in 2002 4 girls were booted off of 'Popstars - The Rivals' in the Uk (The show that created Girls Aloud.) The 4 girls decided to create their own band and Clea was born! In 2003 their debut single 'Download It' hit the charts at a respectable 21. The band went on an extensive club tour to promote themselves across the Uk. Their second single 'Stuck In The Middle' was released in Feb. 2004 and entered the charts at #24. It seemed all the promotion hadn't done much to boost the bands profile. But they didn't give up and continued to tour around the country playing any show they could book! In May 2004 band member 'Chloe' decided she'd had enough and quit the band. Their record label released a debut album 'Identity Crisis' in select European markets where some interest was shown toward the band. But when the album flopped in every country in which it was released they were dropped by their record label.

This is where most groups would call it quits! But Clea stayed together and under new management began to release music independently! In 2005 the band released a new single as a collaboration with 'Da Playaz' The single 'We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off' was realesed across the Uk and Europe and reached #35 in England. A 4th single was then released, 'Lucky Like That' which reached #55 in the charts. Do you see a pattern here? Every single managed to chart lower than the one before. Finally a new album was released in July 2006, reaching #258 in the Uk.

The band news was countered by their first major success. Over in Hong Kong their management had just released '...Clothes Off' and it had reached #1 on a radio chart! They also saw I Surrender released across Scandanavia as a double A-side with 'Stuck In The Middle.'

In November 2006 Lynsey Brown announced she too had had enough and was leaving the band.

According to management the final 2 members are staying together and there are rumours a new single could be released very soon. There are rumours the new single could be a re-worked version of the fan favorite 'The Lie.' This is by far the BEST song the band ever recorded and I can't believe it was never released. I think it has hit written all over it. The lyrics are spectacular!

What do you think? Should Clea give up?

Clea vs Da Playaz - We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off

Clea - The Lie (A MUST Download)

Clea - I Surrender

Clea - Stuck In The Middle

Clea - Lucky Like That

I Can't Be With Anyone...

JC ChasezI can't help but feel a little bad for JC Chasez. No matter how hard he tries he will always be compared to Justin Timberlake and he will never be able to achieve the success that Justin has.

But that doesn't mean he isn't doing anything worth listening to! His debut album spawned 3 hit singles... A.D.I.D.A.S was a rockin' track that never really found it's audience. While his debut album failed to light up the charts JC is giving it another chance with a 2nd album.

Below is his new single 'You Ruined Me For Life.' While the song is nothing new and not particularly experimental it's smooth and easy to listen to. I liked him better when he was trying new sounds. He is obviously trying a song that will appeal to mainstream radio and will sell records, but I can't help but feel like he's selling out. I don't mind the song, but I find his voice a little annoying when he trys to hit higher notes, but maybe that's just me?

JC Chasez - You Ruined Me For Life

Monday, April 16, 2007

2007 - Year Of The Comeback

No Angels

Formed back in 2000 through the German 'Popstars' show, No Angels have to be the oldest and most enduring group formed from the show. 2nd place would go to 2002's Girls Aloud who are still the biggest girl group in the Uk.

Between 2001-2003 No Angels sold over 5 Million albums as a group. Over 3 years the band released 3 albums and 12 hit singles. In 2001 their debut album went 3x Platinum. In 2002 No Angels were the best selling group in Germany.

But the fairytale was not meant to last. In February 2003 Jessica Walhs announced she was pregnant and the band had agreed that she would take the next year off to have her baby but that she would return to the band the following year. In March 2003 their management announced Jessica would not be returning to the band and they would continue on as a 4-some. It was the beginning of the end for No Angels.

In August 2003 the band released their 3rd album 'Pure' as a 4-some. While the 3rd album failed to sell as strongly as the first two it was well received and the first single gave the girls their 4th #1 in Germany. But on September 4th 2003, after 3 years of non stop touring, promoting and recording the band announced they would not be working on any new material as a group in 2004 and that they were going to prepare to disband. They cancelled their planned 'Pure Acoustic Tour' and further single releases from 'Pure' were cancelled.

As the band prepared to officially break up Jessica re-joined the band and they re-recorded one of their first album tracks - Reason. It was released as their farewell single in November 2003 with a Best of No Angels album released in December. Their last performances together were a farewell concert on Nov. 28th and a private unplugged show on Dec. 12th 2003.

All that changed in mid-2006 when the band met together to talk about re-forming. 4 of the original 5 agreed and they began to work on a comeback album in complete secrecy. On January 1st 2007 news leaked that the band was working together again. The band and their management refused to make any statements until january 31st when the band held a press conference to announce details of the No Angels comeback. On April 13th the bands 4th studio album - Destiny was released off the success of their comeback single - Goodbye to Yesterday which reached number 4.

Below you can hear No Angels as they were then and how they are now.

No Angels - 2007

No Angels - Been Here Before

No Angels - Back Off

No Angels - I Believe In You (If you read my blog you'll find this song is familiar. It's a cover of the song originally released by Swedish Idol - Agnes Carlsson)

No Angels - I Don't Wanna Talk About It

No Angels - 2001 - 2003

No Angels - Feel Good Lies (One of their BEST singles ever released! A MUST download)

No Angels - You Lied

No Angels - All Cried Out

No Angels - Daylight In Your Eyes

No Angels - Go Ahead & Take It

No Angels - Still In Love With You

Saturday, April 14, 2007

No One's Lost In Heavens Eternity

Magnus Carlsson After a dissapointing finish in Melodifestivalen, Magnus finds another way to rub in our face the fact that he should have made it through to the final.

This is perhaps one of the best performances I've ever seen from him. He MUST record this in the studio! He has such amazing control over his voice! Enjoy!

Friday, April 13, 2007

For All That You Need... I Will Be Waiting

Gary Barlow

By the end of 1999 Gary Barlow had written no less than 16 hit singles and been a part of the biggest boyband the Uk had ever seen. When Take That split back in 2006 Gary immediately set out on his own and in July 1996 he hit #1 with his debut single - Forever Love. His debut album 'Open Road' was released in 1997 and spawned an impressive 6 hit singles in the Uk! The album included songs written by Dianne Warren, Max Martin & a song written by Madonna that she never used on her own album.

In 1999 Gary returned to the spotlight with a new album and a new sound. Despite the fact that the album included some of the best songs he had ever written the music industry had turned their backs on the singer. A media backlash ensued as radio and other media gave support to Robbie Williams over Gary's new album. After dissapointing sales of the album a 3rd single was cancelled and it was announced that Gary Barlow would no longer release songs as a solo artist. Instead he began to write for other artists.

From 2000 - 2005 Gary has contributed songs to artists like Blue, Delta Goodrem, Amy Studt, H & Claire and Atomic Kitten and Charlotte Church.

In 2006 Take That reformed and have picked up exactly where they left off. After a record breaking reunion tour (Which I saw live at Milton Keynes in the uk last June!) the band have released 2 massive hit singles, won a Brit award for best British Single 2006 and are getting ready to tour again in support of their new album.

Gary Barlow is 'Back For Good' and you can explore his solo offerings below! (wow... I'm such a geek)

Gary Barlow - Superhero
Gary Barlow - Stronger
Gary Barlow - Love Won't Wait
Gary Barlow - Yesterday's Girl
Gary Barlow - Arms Around Me
Gary Barlow - So Help Me Girl
Bonus - Gary Barlow - Back For Good (Live)

I Was Everything, Now I'm Nothing

Fredrik Kempe

As PopPosterGirl announced, Mans Zelmerlow has finally announced a date for the release of his debut album. Soon we will have a new Mans single to drool over and an entire album of pop chunes!

Until then we turn to Fredrik Kempe, who not only penned 'Cara Mia,' but also wrote 'Vagar Du, Vagar Jag' for Sanna!

Fredrik has had some success himself as a solo artist. His debut single 'Vincero' is a fusion of Opera & Pop music and catapulted him to fame back in 2002. In 2004 he entered Melodifestivalen as a solo artist with a tribute to Benny Andersson (Of AbbA fame). He writes, produces and performs his own tracks.

His tracks can best be described with words such as 'Epic' and 'Dramatic, sweeping anthems.' I'm a huge fan of his two albums and while I know a lot of blogs have covered his songs in the past, I felt I had to dedicate at least one post to him. Back when I discovered 'Vincero' I remember blasting it on my discman on the bus not realising how loud I had it. Finally someone actually stopped me and asked what the heck I was listening to. Listen to 'Vincero' and you'll see why!

Fredrik Kempe - Disco Volante
Fredrik Kempe - My Love
Fredrik Kempe - Miss America
Fredrik Kempe - Finally
Fredrik Kempe - Vincero
Fredrik Kempe - Fallen Angel

Friday, April 06, 2007

Come Closer Cara Mia...

A month after Mans Zelmerlow debuted 'Cara Mia' at the Melodifestivalen Semi-Finals the single has finally reached #1 in the singles sales chart. When it came down to the finals, although Mans was a favorite of the Swedish voting public, the various juries gave him low points and he finished 3rd overall.

The song is pure pop and is one of the best singles released so far this year. Most of you will have this mp3 so I'm throwing in a bonus for those of you who don't live in Sweden and can't go pick up this single.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

It's Like My Pride Put On A Show

Recently I posted the remix to Anthony Callea - Rain. Now I'll post another version of the track, this time covered by Swedish 'Idols' contestant - Ola.

He has had mild success in Sweden after reaching the top 10 in 2005's Idols competition. His first single the anti-racism single 'Brothers' went to number one in the singles chart. He followed it up with his own version of "Rain" which you can download below.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Take What You Get & Make The Best Of It

Amy Diamond

I can't help but feel a little 'dirty' listening to music from a 14 year old but I've been listening to her album all week and she's my new guilty pleasure!

Amy Diamond had her break when she was only 12 years old with her debut single "What's In It For Me." The song was a huge hit in Sweden, staying in the top ten for 4 months! The song went on to become throughout Europe and at one time was the most played song in Poland by the middle of 2005. At the tiem of the single release some Swedish stations refused to play her video stating that at 12 years old she was too young to be placed in the spotlight.

After the success of the single an album was released which went on to sell gold in Sweden and Amy embarked on her first national tour in support of the album. In 2005 at the age of 13 Amy won a Nordic Music Award for best nordic hit in Denmark. She's the youngest perfromer ever to win such an award. She's also the youngest to win two NRJ music awards and earn nominations for the Swedish Grammis.

2006 saw the release of her second album "Still Me Now" and the start of another tour across Sweden. She was named Swedens Summer Tour Queen last summer.

Amy is currently working on a new album for 2007.

You can listen to some of my favorite songs from her 2nd album below.

Amy Diamond - Life's What You Make It
Amy Diamond - It Can Only Get Better
Amy Diamond - Don't Cry Your Heart Out

Wow - Catch this amazing live performance below.