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Sunday, January 07, 2007

Aargh, Internet Explorer crashed and ate my post, and it's really late. So here are the live songs I was going to post from the lovely Kylie Minogue, who is making a return from her break due to fighting breast cancer with her tour and upcoming album. If you come here, you probably know she rocks. Another time i'll probably do a bigger post, not with background because most people know that, but more of my "history" with getting to know her music that was going to go here. Anyway, check these songs out because she's genuinely good live, and not just in the production spectacle sense.

What Do I Have to Do (Live) - From 1998's Intimate and Live, a must-have 2-CD set of a concert tour. Less well known than "I Should Be So Lucky" gone torch ballad from that tour, but still good. Nearly 9 years old, but this version sounds like fresh pop rock.

Should I Stay or Should I Go (Live) - She manages to pull off this Clash cover from the same set.

Better the Devil You Know (Swing Version Live) - My own rip from the Live in Sydney DVD, this is a sweet big band makeover of the classic, which I am ashamed to admit I first heard through the Steps cover version.

Spinning Around (Live) - This is from the Body Language tour, basically sounds like the original studio recording but extended. It fits because it was her "comeback" single after several underperforming (albeit amazing) albums, and Paula Abdul co-wrote it, and American Idol is coming back on soon. Why can't she write the coronation songs?

Kids (featuring Bono) (Live) - These next two songs are from her new double CD Showgirl Homecoming Live, which shows her triumphant return continuing the Showgirl tour she was doing before she was diagnosed. Even the U2 frontman loves her, to suprise her to take the Robbie Williams part of this duet. Most likely because the real Robbie is busy cross dressing on youtube.

Burning Up / Vogue (Live) - A medley of one of my favorite album tracks from Fever and Madonna's great track, being ironic since Kylie has been referred to as the "Australian Madonna", though I feel she's her own individual pop star in several ways. Don't ask me to say which one I think is better, because I honestly can't decide.

White Diamond (Live) - If this was on a hip-hop mixtape, here's how DJ Clue would introduce it: NU KYLIE! WHITE DIAMOND! WRITTEN BY SCISSOR SISTERS! MISS MINOGUE! IT'S HOT! Thankfully, it's not on a mixtape, so we can hear it in all its glory without annoying yelling all over it. It sounds very Scissor-esque, but better than most of what i've heard from them in my opinion. It doesn't quite sound like "I Believe in You" (the other song they did for Kylie) either, but it's great. I believe this could be a hit as is, released as the live version. The vocals are on point and so is the music.

To finish it out, here's another example of why the Christmas episode of Top of the Pops is one of the best things in the universe, and why even the BBC couldn't bear not to bring it back after cancelling the proper show. This is Kylie's energetic and live 2004 medley of some of her hits.

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Last Updated @ 12:47 AM

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

First off, happy new year! Hopefully pop music continues to kick ass in '07.

Now for the actual post. Bad Candy were a rocky pop group from the Netherlands. Their MySpace profile states that they play their own instruments. I'm not sure when exactly they formed, but their first single was released in 2003 or so, the catchy "Not My Father" (click here for the video), which featured a fifth member that later left the group after their follow-up of the No Secrets/Ruby Blue cover "That's What Girls Do". Natalie (who is actually from Scotland) was then recruited as the new lead singer, although Janneke, Stefanie, and Chantal also share lead vocals in addition to their instrumental duties. A great full-length album and several singles (including "Spin Around", a song from the amazing Josie and the Pussycats soundtrack) followed, but they split late last year, shortly after the album release.

More More More - More dance-y than most of their other tracks; very Europop. This was a single, but i'm not sure how successful it was.

Girls Just Want to Have Fun - Yet more pop recycling, this time of Cyndi Lauper. This was a top 10 hit for them, seemingly their biggest hit. This is strangely on American iTunes and has recieved horrible reviews, but I think they put a fun pop-rock '60s-ish spin on it. (Also check out the b-side "Girlfriend", also on the album, a fun number in a similar style)

Bloodtype R - Another one of those "rebel" songs that you get from Ashlee Simpson and the like. It was written by Andreas Carrlson, who has worked with Britney, Backstreet, and Westlife among others; and Paul Stanley from KISS, who did "Angel to You (Devil to Me)" for Click Five, so it's like the best of both worlds. You can hear the influence of that song in this, with the handclaps in the background and all, but it's faster.

When I Made Love to Him - This is a little more midtempo, but still upbeat. Kind of think McFly as girls, except better than Faders and Love Bites combined. Bad Candy actually had their own Nickelodeon show in Europe (at least judging by the DVDs offered on Amazon), which makes it funny that this song is about cheating on your boyfriend but thinking of him during the sex. It's a sunny, younger companion to "I Heard Love is Blind" by Amy Winehouse, except that Bad Candy/their writers express regret.

Worlds Apart - Written by The Veronicas, which puts it in the esteemed line of great pop songs such as "All About Us" by TATU and Kate DeAraugo's "Faded". It's one of the few ballads on the album, and the big power ballad with some strong vocals near the end.

Stupid - One of the more rock-influenced tracks, which is slightly slower paced and a bit "harder". Probably one of the most American of the songs here. It's a bit sub-Kelly Clarkson, but sub-Kelly still makes for good songs. Bad Candy in general were pretty derivative, but their material stands up to "real" pop music, moreso than Hannah Montana, Emma Roberts (of Unfabulous), and maybe even Hilary Duff.

I highly recommend the entire album. It's available at the usual sources, as well as Amazon.com. Their MySpace page seems to be pretty active with posters for a defunct band. I only found out about this group a few weeks ago, and I wish they were still around.

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Last Updated @ 6:29 PM