Thursday, July 29, 2010

Personal Chart, July 29, 2010

TW LW Title - Artist
1 ... 1 .... California Gurls - Katy Perry (9 weeks @ #1)
2 ... 2 ... Airplanes - B.o.B. feat. Hayley Williams
3 ... 3 ... Love the Way You Lie - Eminem feat. Rihanna
4 ... 6 ... Beautiful Monster - Ne-Yo
5 ... 9 ... Billionaire - Travie McCoy feat. Bruno Mars
6 ... 4 ... Commander - Kelly Rowland feat. David Guetta (1 wk @ #1)
7 ... 5 ... Getting Over You - David Guetta feat. Fergie, Chris Willis & LMFAO
8 .. 11 ... Kiss That Grrrl - Kate Nash
9 .. 16 ... I Like It - Enrique Iglasias feat. Pitbull
10 .. 20 .. Dynamite - Taio Cruz

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The K-Pop Panel

Blogger heavyweights LeAnna of Melismatic and Nikki of Pop Reviews Now present the first ever international K-Pop panel. A blog dedicated to weekly discussions of the latest in K-Pop music. It's a very interesting idea, if your a fervent listener of Korean pop music it's definately worth a look--definately check it out.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hiatus

Tommorow I'll be taking off to Ghana, Africa for 6 weeks, of which I probably won't be blogging for 2 or 3 of those weeks, but I'm taking the laptop with me so I can keep up with the Billboard Hot 100, the upcoming chart battle between Taio Cruz and Alexandra Burke's new singles ("Dynamite" and "Start Without You") and I'll find a couple of new albums to review tonight and schedule for post in the oncoming weeks, but the only update until then will be my personal chart next week. So, Paalam, Adios, Auf wiedersehen, Adeus, Au revoir, Goodbye.

Personal Airplay, July 22, 2010

TW LW Title - Artist
1 ... 1 .... California Gurls - Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg (8 weeks @ #1)
2 ... 2 ... Airplanes - B.o.B. feat. Hayley Williams
3 .. 16 .. Love the Way You Lie - Eminem feat. Rihanna
4 ... 3 ... Commander - Kelly Rowland feat. David Guetta (1 wk @ #1)
5 ... 6 ... Getting Over You - David Guetta feat. Fergie, Chris Willis & LMFAO
6 ... 8 ... Beautiful Monster - Ne-Yo
7 ... 4 ... Dancing On My Own - Robyn
8 ... 5 ... All the Lovers - Kylie Minogue
9 .. 11 .. Billionaire - Travie McCoy
10 .. 7 .. Just Be Good to Green - Professor Green feat. Lily Alen

Album Reviews: Eminem & Professor Green

I've been listening to these two albums today and was not greatly moved nor utterly disappointed by either, so here's pretty short and sweet reviews for each:

Eminem - Recovery (4/5). The best of the two is Eminem's follow-up to last years underwhelming Relapse. Recovery isn't the lack of craftsmanship and innovation or just thorough vulgarity that Relapse turned out to be but a more positive outlook things if you will--not that you would get the same understanding from aggressive opening track "Cold Wind Blows" but the album lets up as it goes through, touching on a handful of highlights such as the unlikely rock/hip-hop influenced collaboration with P!nk on "Won't Back Down," the popular eerie lead single "Not Afraid," which I still like a lot--another highlight is "Almost Famous" which effectively stems from the same eerie vibe, ultimately leading onto what looks like to be the albums biggest highlight (and biggest hit so far) "Love the Way You Lie" the piano, guitar, bass and drum studded ballad. It's not brilliant as its current commercial success would suggest, but it does enough to patch up the gaps Relapse left. Best: Love the Way You Lie, Not Afraid, Won't Back Down, Almost Famous, Your Never Over

Professor Green - Alive 'til I'm Dead (3.5/5). English rapper Professor Green delivered an ambitious sophomore. Alive 'til I'm Dead does indeed sound like an ambitious mix of pop, hip-hop and old school R&B--which is all seems to reach further than it should as not everything works. Opening "Kids That Love to Dance" plays with a hybrid of drum and a bass guitar it's underwhelming, it's the lyrics that make the song. The SOS Band sampling "Just Be Good to Green" fills up on the electro-pop packing the synths whilst the INXS sampling "I Need You Tonight" works the funk with a cool story-line and narration. There's not much cohesion but a handful of highlights such as the drum-heavy "City of Gold," dancefloor filler "Falling Down," synth charged "Monster" featuring Example and the dubstep influenced "Jungle." Best: I Need You Tonight, City of Gold, Just Be Good to Green, Falling Down, Jungle, Monster

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Katy Perry unveils Teenage Dream cover

Here's the cover for Katy Perry's forthcoming third album Teenage Dream, out August 24. Teenage dream indeed...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

New blog

I realized that I usually have a lot of things to say that are ultimately irrelavent to what I created this blog for. So I've created a new blog, Mensah - Episodes of Modern Teen Life in which will mostly post about day to day life, rants and general thoughts.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Robbie Williams Rejoining Take That

I'm no Take That fan but even I'm relieved at this news. Following his departure 15 years ago, Robbie Williams is set to rejoin his former band Take That. There's been talk about Williams doing so for years now, so it's nice the speculations prove to be true for once.

Since his departure things haven't been nessicarily bad on either party. Williams became one of biggest European artsits of all time--57 million albums, 7 UK #1 albums and 6 chart topping singles and what was left of Take That staged a successful comeback in 2006 with the release of their successful fourth album Beautiful World and followed it up with the equally successful The Circus, 2 years later.

Album Review: Bombay Bicycle Club - Flaws (4/5)


Unlike their last album, I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Off, British alternative band Bombay Bicycle Club have watered down their sound. Their second album Flaws finds the band shedding the electronic guitars and raw indie-rock sound for a more subtle folky acoustic venture and it works! There's enough melody and cohesion to make this collection of tracks work and work well.

The album is mainly built around soft guitar work, drums and the occasional piano keys. Setting the tone is "Rince Me Down" a soft collision of drums, guitar strings and vocals, following is "Many Ways" which picks up a more lighter ambiance and more complex guitar work in comparison. "Ivy & Gold" cranks up tempo but the rather hollow (but effective) layered guitar technique still evokes that sense of delicacy.

The irony in "Leaving Blues" is that it borrows a part of the title from the last album however sounding completely different to anything on there, it's possibly the most subtle number on here. The aptly titled "Fairytale Lullaby" cooes a soft melody as embracing tamborines pound over the top of the gutiars, possibly recalling the same acoustic-pop as Kate Nash experimented with on her album My Best Friend Is You, preferably "Do You Want to Share the Guilt?"

Unlike the previous two tracks, "Word By Word" adopts a more complex compistion even if like the previous two it's really only playing with layeres of guitar strings, which still sound pretty good. Following is the more muscally simple "Jewell" which is a perfectly contrast the follow-up "My God" which bleeds with distortion from the guitars and vocals, it different but it works somehow.

Title track "Flaws" is another melody-heavy winner, not as good as "Fairytake Lullaby" but still a winner. Closing the album is the haunting "Swansea." Bombay Bicycle Club delivered a satisfying follow-up, as I've said before: it's different but it works really well. Depending on what you look for in music in general, this album could be even more satisfying if you look into the lyrics.

Best: Rince Me Down, Fairytake Lullaby, Leaving Blues, Many Ways, My God

Personal Airplay, July 15, 2010

TW LW Title - Artist
1 ... 2 .... California Gurls - Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg (7 weeks @ #1)
2 ... 3 ... Airplanes - B.o.B. feat. Hayley Williams
3 ... 1 ... Commander - Kelly Rowland
4 ... 4 ... Dancing On My Own - Robyn
5 ... 6 ... All the Lovers - Kylie Minogue
6 .. 10 .. Getting Over You - David Guetta feat. Fergie, Chris Willis & LMFAO
7 ... 5 ... Just Be Good to Green - Professor Green feat. Lily Allen
8 .. 11 .. Beautiful Monster - Ne-Yo
9 ... 7 ... Not Afraid - Eminem
10 .. 8 .. Kickstarts - Example

Billboard Hot 100, July 24, 2010

1. California Gurls - Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg
2. Love the Way You Lie - Eminem feat. Rihanna

This is only the second time I've done a Billboard Hot 100 chart commentary since Katy Perry landed her second chart topper with "California Gurls," so it doesn't feel like Perry's occupied the top spot for more 2 weeks let alone 6. Whilst "Gurls" is in fact in its sixth week at the top, nipping at her heels is Eminem's "Love the Way You Lie" featuring Rihanna which is a non-mover at #2--a subtle non-movement, this is not. The single sold a whopping 314k this week and has thus far gained almost 74 million listener impressions. Perry's reign at the top is surely numbered.

8. I Like It - Enrique Iglasias feat. Pitbull

Spanish singer Enrique Iglasias makes a glorious return to the top 10 with his comeback single "I Like It" featuring American rapper Pitbull. Astonishingly, it's the singer's first top 10 since 2001's signature ballad "Hero" charted at #3, since then the closest he's been to a top 10 was follow-up single "Escape" peaking at #12 released in the same year.

9. Find Your Love - Drake
10. Ridin Solo - Jason DeRulo
11. Not Afraid - Eminem

Iglasias' rise means a one-spot fall for Drake's "Find Your Love", Jason DeRulo's "Ridin Solo" and Eminem's "Not Afraid"--however the last two remain bulleted.

18. Your Love - Nicki Minaj

"Massive Attack" may have been American rapper Nicki Minaj's first single, but follow-up "Your Love" is looking to be her real chart debut. The single scores the rapper's first top 20, rising 5 spots up to #18... much better than the #122 peak of "Massive Attack."

21. Un-Thinkable (I'm Ready) - Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys has not had a successful run of singles recently, so far every release from her The Element of Freedom has failed to break the top 20--even her acoustic take on own and Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mine" failed to make an impact, whereas in the UK every 'Element' single has landed in the top 10. However, the fourth single from the album, "Un-Thinkable (I'm Ready)" is looking to turn things around as it became the albums highest charting single last week--rising to #24 and this week inching just outside the top 20 landing at #21.

24. All I Do Is Win - DJ Khaled feat. T-Pain, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg & Rick Ross

American hip-hop producer DJ Khaled rises 2 spots up with "All I Do is Win," to #24, it's his usual feature-heavy single. It's his highest peaking since "I'm So Hood" peaked at #19.

39. Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) - Shakira

"Waka Waka" 2010's Official FIFA WC song sung by Colombian singer Shakira scores the singer her eighth top forty single, rising 8 notches this week.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

On My iPod This Week

After months of having no iPod to listen to music on (I sold my iPod Touch to buy a BlackBerry) I finally bought back my iPod Classic. So what have I been listening to this week?

"Love the Way You Lie" - Eminem feat. Rihanna. This definately one of the best tracks off Eminem's Recovery. It's works the guitar strings, piano and bass in the same vein as B.o.B's "Airplanes" feat. Hayley Williams of Paramore. I see this becoming a trend--what's next? Lil Wayne rapping while Britney Spears sings the chorus?

"Get Outta My Way" - Kylie Minogue. Minogue's staged a successful return to pop with her eleventh album Aphrodite, even scoring her first UK #1 album since 2001. This is the albums biggest highlight for me, lighthearted dance-pop with an enticing production.

"Prayin" - Plan B. Another stunner from Plan B, awesome production; shimmering with a captivating old-school '70s inspired soul throwback sound.

"Pack Up" - Eliza Doolittle. I liked "Skinny Jeans" a lot, but I like this even better. I love the '50s doo-wop sound. It's shame it didn't make the top 10 this week.

"Bang Bang Bang" - Mark Ronson feat. Q-Tip, MNDR & The Business Intl. Mark Ronson returns with a cool '80's retro synth studded track. I like this a lot.

"What If" - Jason DeRulo. Following the fairly upbeat "Watcha Say" and "In My Head," DeRulo finally delivers a ballad. It's not better than the previous two but still a decent follow-up.

"Love Dealer" - Esmee Denters feat. Justin Timberlake. When she's not catting JoJo, she's making some some cool funk-flavored pop with boss Justin Timeberlake.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Personal Airplay, July 8, 2010

TW LW Title - Artist
1 ... 2 ... Commander - Kelly Rowland feat. David Guetta (1 week @ #1)
2 ... 1 ... California Gurls - Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg (6 wks @ #1)
3 ... 3 ... Airplanes - B.o.B. feat. Hayley Williams
4 ... 5 ... Dancing On My Own - Robyn
5 ... 4 ... Just Be Good to Green - Professor Green feat. Lily Allen
6 ... 8 ... All the Lovers - Kylie Minogue
7 ... 6 ... Not Afraid - Eminem
8 .. 14 .. Kickstarts - Example
9 ... 7 ... Alejandro - Lady Gaga
10 .. 13 .. Getting Over You - David Guetta feat. Fergie, Chris Willis & LMFAO

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Flo Rida "Club Can't Handle Me"

Atlanta based rapper Flo Rida returns with "Club Can't Handle Me," produced by the Timbaland of 2010, David Guetta. It's the lead single from his forthcoming third album. Why he's releasing another album, I don't know... nobody buys them. The song's pretty cool, kinda sounds like Guetta's other work such as last years biggest hit "I Gotta Feeling."

Friday, July 02, 2010

Personal Airplay, July 1, 2010

TW LW Title - Artist
1 ... 1 .... California Gurls - Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg (6 weeks @ #1)
2 .. 24 .. Commander - Kelly Rowland feat. David Guetta
3 ... 4 ... Airplanes - B.o.B. feat. Hayley Williams
4 ... 8 ... Just Be Good to Green - Professor Green feat. Lily Allen
5 .. 27 .. Dancing On My Own - Robyn
6 ... 2 ... Not Afraid - Eminem
7 ... 3 ... Alejandro - Lady Gaga
8 .. 11 .. All the Lovers - Kylie Minogue
9 ... 5 ... Te Amo - Rihanna
10 .. 6 .. Dirtee Disco - Dizzee Rascal