Saturday, January 31, 2009

Something Kinda ... NEW!


I believe in sharing music with other music fans so that we can discover new artists, share the music we love and promote artists around the world. I also believe in supporting artists who release this music by purchasing their albums and seeing them on tour.

Living in North America where there isn't a lot of good ole fashioned pop music around you can go your whole life unaware of all the amazing acts and songs that are around out there.

That's why I started this blog and to keep this goal alive I have a MASSIVE change coming to "You Don't Know Pop."

I hope to reveal it very soon, so although there haven't been a lot of updates in the last week... keep your browsers here so you'll catch the announcement when it comes!


Sunday, January 25, 2009

You're Up Then You're Down

We interupt this list of farovite songs from 2008 for an exclusive with Katy Perry!

Yesterday some friends and I won tickets to the Virgin Radio launch party and were treated to an acoustic performance from the singer.

We also won a chance to go backstage which we used as an opportunity to confirm that Katy Perry has indeed named her cat... Kitty Purry.

Katy Perry has one of my favorite tracks of 2008 with the Max Martin written - Hot & Cold.

Thanks Katy!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

2008 - Favorite Singles

So far you've seen some of my favorite breakthrough artists, my favorite Swedish singles and some of the best not quite pop songs of the year.

Now here's a top 20 selection of some of my favorite miscellaneous pop songs of the year. It's just a coincidence that most of the tracks come from British artists! I tried to organize and rank them from high to low but all of these songs got a lot of play from me this year and I like them all for various reasons.

Disclaimer - I find it far too difficult to rank my favorite songs overall that's why I've been splitting my posts up into different categories :) If you take the top 2 songs in each post then you'll have a good idea what my ultimate top 10 of the year would have been.

Disclaimer #2 - I know I'm going take a lot of flack for putting Westlife so high on this list... I guess I just can't get enough of boybands!

UPDATE: Mp3's have been removed by request.

Brian McFadden - Twisted
I posted this track recently and I remember one of the comments that a reader left was how surprised they were that they actually liked it as much as they did. If you missed that post or you failed to listen to the song... give it a chance and see what you think.

Westlife - Something Right
The band are currently on a hiatus and I miss them already. Haha... I'm a loser. I absoutely love this song. Am I the only one out there that LOVED this song? Please leave a comment and let me know that I'm not alone. Although let's not talk about the disgusting video that was made for it.

McFly - One For The Radio
I absolutely love this song from McFly. Last year it was 'The Heart Never Lies' and this year they had me shouting along to 'One For The Radio.

Craig David - Insomnia
Finally Craig David releases a truly amazing pop song and it's completely overlooked by almost the entire world?! Sigh. I hear ya Craig... I hear ya!

Kate Ryan - Ella Elle La
Probably one of the biggest international pop hits of the year. Kate Ryan continues to improve with every release. Ella Ella La was the perfect song to dance to this summer.

Katherine McPhee - All I Need Is You
So it might not have been an official single and she may be washed up but this song was beautiful.

Pink - So What
I've never been a huge Pink fan and even this one took some time to grow on me. But after hearing it for the 10 thousandth time on the radio I finally joined in the fun.

Matchbox 20 - How Far We've Come
This track probably should have been on my "not quite pop" list. If it had been it would have been very high on that list.

Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown - No Air
I still remember the first time I heard this song... I was eating lunch and I heard it on the radio. The DJ never announced who it was singing and it drove me crazy trying to find out who sang it! The remix I posted last year remains one of my favorite mixes of 2008.

Nixon - Tiffany
THANK YOU to PPG for introducing us all to this track. It's very retro in all the right ways.

Boyzone - Better
Boyzone - Love You Anyway
Boyzone came back this year and stole some of the Take That thunder! If you read my blog regularly you'll remember that last year Take That had one of my top 5 songs of the year with "We Love To Entertain You." This year Take That are nowhere to be found on my list and Boyzone had two of my favorite tracks with both of their singles.

The Saturdays - If This Is Love
A band that includes two original members of S Club 8 was destined to be amazing. The Saturdays are the best girl band since Girls Aloud. They still have a lot to learn but their debut single was a great introduction to the band.

David Jordan - Sun Goes Down
You tend to either love this track or despise it. I have a soft spot for this funky track.

Beyonce - Halo
When my friend told me I HAD to hear Beyonce's new single I said... "I'll Pass." I then spent the next two weeks playing Halo on repeat. I really thought this song would be massive when it was finally released though. What's up?! Why hasn't this song hit number one everywhere?

Ace Of Base - Lucky Love 2009
So this wasn't officially a single either but it did get released on their latest Greatest Hits package and it did chart in the France iTunes chart so I'm including it on my favorite tracks. Mostly because I'm desperate for new music from Ace of Base and at this point I'll take cheesy remakes of their old hits if I have to.

Britney Spears - Circus
Britney is back! The whole craziness around her is really quite sad so I won't say anything other than I was definitely digging her new album and 'If You Seek Amy' is going to me on my 2009 chart in 12 months!

Metro Station - Shake It
Is it just me or was no other song featured in more TV shows, movies and commercials than this track. No one seems to know who sings the song or anything about them... but everyone knows the song. SHAKE SHAKE... SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE IT!

The Feeling - I Thought It Was Over
This one is for Paul over at the Zapping. I believe he loved this song for a very long time this year.

Miley Cyrus - See You Again
Two Words... I'm sorry. It's just so damn catchy.

Enrique Iglesias - Tired Of Being Sorry
I wasn't sure if I should even include this one. I feel sorta bad for the guy... so I'm including it out of pity :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Blind Item

This will only be on here for 12 hours.

Get it while it's hot.

Go into the comments section for the link.

You won't be dissapointed.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

2008 - Best Eurovision

So as most of you know I'm not a HUGE Eurovision follower as I tend to be completely consumed with Swedens national selection I tend to miss out on all the Eurovision frenzy. That doesn't mean I didn't have some songs really stick out for me and get a lof of personal airplay.

The songs listed below are my favorite NON SWEDISH Eurovision tracks that either either made it into or attempted to make it into the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest.

By far my favorite Eurovision track of 2008. There hasn't been a greater duo since Magnus Backlund and Jessica Andersson. I didn't love their album as much as I loved this track, but with outfits like this I forgive them for it. They were definitely the best dressed Eurovision act of the year. Their video is also one of the best pop videos of the year IMO.
So he stole Amy Diamonds song and his performance of this track was lame. The song is still one of my favorites of the year and easily steals second place.

Paolos performance may have been weak but at least he could sing his own song. No Angels on the other hand absolutely butchered their track - Dissapear. I really do think that if they had been allowed to lip synch their track they would have done much better. Unfortunately they came across as a pop band that couldn't produce when the time came.

4. Kostas Martakis - Always And Forever
I will never forget his fantastic performance of Always and Forever in the Greek national finals. This is also my favorite Eurovision CD cover of 2008! It may have something to do with those eyes.

5. Man Meadow - Viva La Musica
In the OGAE Second Chance 2008 competition, Man Meadow placed third overall based on fan votes. Unfortunately they never made it into the Eurovision Song Contest with this track.

6. Donal Shekan - Double Cross My Heart
Yet another song that never made it to the ESC after a miserable performance in the Irish pre-selection contest. Instead of sending this good ole Ireland chose to send a stuffed Turkey. Wow.

7. Kalomira - Secret Combination

The Greeks are on a roll at Eurovision lately! This track made it to the ESC and placed 3rd overall! It's a great track very sexy with an awesome beat.

8. Tereza Kerndlova - If You Wanna Have Some Fun
So this song is extremely 'dated' and part of me didn't want to include it on my list... but out of all the 2008 songs I did end up playing this one for about a month before I lost interest, so it makes an appearance as the last song on my Eurovision favorites list.

P.S. Apologies to Ani Lorak who I just discovered really today. I think if I had heard her track earlier it would have made it onto my favorites list!

PPS. WOW I can't believe how close the votes are in my poll for favorite Swedish single! You guys seem to be split between Agnes and Velvet!!


Monday, January 12, 2009

2008 - Best Not Quite Pop

Ok so hopefully this doesn't scare you all away because these songs are not typically the songs I would be posting but 2008 had a some fantastic songs that I happened to love that wouldn't normally be the kind of pop music that I would post on this site. These are songs that deserve to be mentioned because they're some of my favorite "Not Quite Pop" songs of the year.

I promise to post some fantastic cheesy pop songs very soon! I've got a bunch of new stuff to share with you all as soon as we get through these posts about 2008!

Coldplay - Viva La Vida

Coldplay proved again that they are the biggest band in the world thanks mostly in part to this track which is has to be my favorite "Not Quite Pop" song of the year. I had never even heard it until one day I saw them performing the track live on tv and my favorite part was the bell. The next night I bought the track on iTunes and it's been playing non stop for most of the year.

Jason Mraz - I'm Yours
If you're a fan of music there's no way you can't fall for this track. Jason Mraz has a sweet voice, the song is fun and summery and very sweet. This song should be on everyones playlist this year.

The Killers - Human

Where did this song come from?! The Killers came back in a big way this year when Human was released. Did anyone else catch their amazing performance at the MTV Europe awards this year?

The Rasmus - Livin' In A World Without You

Most of you may have heard of The Rasmus with their international hit -In The Shadows. Earlier this year they released a new album and this was their first single. It was a huge hit in their native Finland with at least 6 weeks at number 1 there.

Kanye West - Love Lockdown

I cannot believe I'm supporting Kanye West in any way, but Love Lockdown is a unique track, very well produced and written. He may not be able to sing it live! But it is a fantastic track. The fact that he was able to appeal to a different kind of music fan with this track shows that despite how much of an ass he is... he is a talented musician.

Fall Out Boy - I Don't Care

A great track to YELL to!


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

2008 - Favorite Swedish Singles

2008 gave me some favorite songs that weren't all from Sweden for the first time in a long time! Ok so a lot of them were from Sweden... I can't help it! Is there something in the water there or what? Everything they touch turns to gold!

This posting of my favorite songs has really turned into a mish mash and a bit unorganized. I thought about ranking the songs but after I got halfway I couldn't decide which ones I loved more. So the higher the song the more I like it basically!

First off you need to know that this list does not include any of the 2008 Melodifestivalen songs as I will have a post dedicated strictly to Melodifestivalen tracks next.

Danny - Radio
What a comeback! I think that 'Radio' is his best solo song to date don't you?

Agnes - On and On
Speaking of comeback, Agnes really surprised me with this track. I wasn't expecting it from her at all and wow what a pleasant surprise.

Amy Diamond - Stay My Baby
Remember back at the beginning of the year I was going crazy for Amys album 'Music In Motion?' Little did I know when I was playing this track on repeat all day that in 2 short month's I'd give it all up for her next single.

Sanna Nielsen - Nobody Without You
If Kelly Clarkson hadn't released 'Since U Been Gone' already this song could have easily been my favorite non Melodifestivalen track of the year. It was her most upbeat track on her album... if only she could do more tracks like this.

Jonathan Fagerlund - Playing Me
If it wasn't for PPG I never even would have heard of Jonathan Fagerlund. This song almost completely passed me by! I absolutely love the chorus and if you were to follow me when I'm walking outside by myself with my iPod and I thought I was all alone you'd probably hear me belting this song out. It's one of my top played tracks on my iPod this year.

Mans Zelmerlow - Miss America
Technically this track charted in the Swedish Singles chart in 2008 which makes it eligible for my favorite swedish singles list! It's a younger and more fun version of Fredrik Kempes original. Let's be honest... it's only on my list to tide me over until his new single is heard for the first time in a few weeks!

Velvet - Take My Body Close
Where did this come from? The Swedish Lisa Scott-Lee pulled this hit from out of nowhere! I've always appreciated Velvet for what she is. She's had some fun songs and she really tries so hard! After failing to get very far with 'Deja Vu' she could have given up but instead she released this Ace track! Can we please get an album this year!?

Ola - Feel/Good
I really didn't like this song at first! But I think it was only because I was still stuck on 'Love In Stereo.' Now that i've had time to let the song settle in it's really become one of my favorites of the year, especially during the summer. It's a great track to play when you're out at the beach with your friends.

Alcazar - We Keep On Rockin'
Alcazar are going to explode in 2009 just you wait. The debut single from the new 'Alcazar' was really just a way to get audiences to warm back up to the band. I predict big things from Alcazar in 2009.

BWO - Barcelona
BWO... I don't know what to say about them. Sometimes I feel like they're in a rut... othertimes they release songs that deserve to take over the entire world. 'Barcelona' is not one of their best singles of all time but it was one of my favorites from them this year.

Patrik Isaksson & Sarah Dawn Finer - Du Som Tog Mitt Hjärta
I discovered Patrik this year and I can't wait to pick up his greatest hits album when I'm in Stockholm. I don't know what it is about his voice but I can't get enough of it.

Maia Hirasawa - The Worrying Kind
Maia Hirasawa should have been sent to Eurovision instead of 'The Ark' and this version of 'The Worrying Kind' proved it to everyone.

Sibel - Walking Away
Sibel can sing an upbeat song too, see! Too bad the video was absolutely horrible and the the track really can't be classified as a hit single.

Elin Lanto - Speak N Spell
I'm really not a fan of Elin Lanto at all, but she won me over with this one.

Martin Stenmarck - Rubb Och Stubb (Bassflow Remix)
Everything Bassflow touches turns to gold, especially when it comes to Martin Stenmarck singles. It might not be as good as his 2 previous remixes with them but was still a nice addition to the collection.

E.M.D - Jennie Let Me Love You
3 number 1 singles and a number 1 album. E.M.D. are Swedens officially Swedens biggest boyband and this was my favorite track from them this year.

Magnus Carlsson - Walking In My Shoes

The new single from his greatest hits album is cute but nowhere near as good as some of his previous singles. Also is it just me or is that beat the mover overused beat in pop history. I can name at least 5 tracks that have used that exact same beat

Brolle - Det Ar Hon
I prefered this to his previous single 'Solo In Stockholm.'

Markus Fagervall - If You Don't Mean It
It's not as good as Dean Geyers version, but I still like the song and since I can now say it's swedish it can be on my list this year.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

2008 - Best Breakthrough

2008 was a great year for pop music and over the next month I'm going to look back at some of my favorite songs and artists of 2008.

If you read this blog actively you'll notice that I've already posted about most of these artists multiple times over the year. If you haven't taken the time to discover these artists you're missing out!

Lady Gaga
Favorite Tracks - Boys, Boys, Boys; Poker Face; Just Dance

She taught her self to play the piano by ear at age 4, she wrote her first song at age 13 and at age 14 she was already performing in public. Lady Gaga was born to be a performer! Did you know that at age 19 she was signed to a record deal but was subsequently dropped before releasing any material? It wasn't until 2007 that she signed a deal with 'Interscope' and was hired as a song writer. She started singing demos of the songs she had written for other artists and the rest is history.

Her debut single was released in April 2008 and is still top 10 in the USA in January 2009! Lady Gaga is what many are calling "The Future Of Pop" and she is here to stay.

I was lucky enough to see her live in November and she is one of the most high energy performers I've ever seen!

Favorite Tracks: Go Go; Ten Thousand Nights; What Is Happening

Speaking of the next big thing Alphabeat have had a spectacular year! After making a name for themselves in Denmark the band set their sights on the Uk where they've firmly established themselves as a modern pop band after earning themselves a top 10 album and 3 top 20 singles.

Despite all their achievements the band was hit with some bad news last week when it was announced that the band has been dropped by their Uk record label. What will happen next for 'Alphabeat' seems to be undertermined but something tells me we haven't heard the last from the danish sextuplet.

The Ting Tings

Favorite Tracks: Great DJ; That's Not My Name

Not only are all my favorite breakthrough artists immensely talented but they're also fantastic live performers and they've all been turned down or dropped by various record labels.

Like Alphabeat, The Ting Tings have been together since 2004! The duo originally signed a record deal under the name "Dear Eskiimo" and were dropped soon after.

Turns out their being dropped was the best thing that could have happened to the british duo as they learnt that they had to take their career into their own hands. The band spent all of 2007 touring small gigs across the Uk making waves wherever they went. Their gigs soon started to sell out everywhere they went.

In January of last year the band was voted third in an annual "Acts Of 2008" list of emerging artists.

When their debut single "Great Dj" was finally released to mainstream radio it became an instant hit. Their second single "That's Not My Name" went number 1 in the Uk in the Spring and the band continue to tour across the world in support of their debut album.