mardi 20 février 2007

Another Michal's CD, the australian angel boy's

Another Michal's record in my music reviews today but this time we're flying away from Europe to Australia to read about his first long play CD from (already!) 2004... So it is nothing new but released on an independant label and available only from CDbaby.com, it's never too late to order.

I've ordered mine a couple of days ago and received it today. Shall I say that the CDbaby team is very friendly and efficient? They're suppliers for hard to find (because not released by major companies) stuff and they use humour in their mails, pack CDs well and I've never been deceived.

First, let's solve out who's Mr. Nicolas?
Well, let me say the important things about him only :
1/ He's got a marvellous voice of an angel, sometimes sounding warm and deep, sometimes higher and nearly feminine
2/ He looks like a greek god statue come to life
3/ He produces anthemic dance that fits perfectly every Sydney's gayfest Mardi Gras OR a dance music lover's CD player

If you're curious enough and want to read/see more of him, just go to his site
www.michalnicolas.com or to his MySpace page http://www.myspace.com/michalnicolas if you want to hear some.


Now, let's get back to his album called "UnCovered", what sounds tacky as he show off his muscular body on the cover and booklet and there are 6 cover versions out of 13 tracks.


The first one that springs to my mind is the song that made me know of him, his wonderful version of Billie Ray Martin's 1994 anthem "Your loving arms". It is included in its wonderful Wayne G anthem radio version and in a longer (and darker) DJ Anim remix.
Maybe it's because of this song I ADORE and that always makes me sing along like a Jimmy Somerville in heat (to great shame from my neighbourhood), but I really think he gives it justice and can really compare to the original version, giving it a more festive and instant feeling, while Billie's version was more introspective and warm. The Wayne G heaven anthem should have been called orgasmic mix to tell the truth about it!

Now there are other covers, Pat Benatar's "Love is a batterfield", Bronski Beat's "Smalltown boy" (Michal's voice is incredible on it!), Lou Reed's & Queer As Folk UK theme's "Perfect day" and Maria McKee's "To deserve you".
The last one has been his second single and it is included in a Chris 'The Greek' radio version that is perfect for the dancefloor, more americanized than the versions Almighty did for Deja Vu feat. Tasmin. "Perfect day" finishes like a full on vocal gospel choir house anthem and makes you want to join a dancing crowd and put your hands up in the air singing along with Michal.

But Mr. Nicolas is not just a cover boy and he co-wrote the 7 other songs, mainly with his aussie producer Steve Peach (he worked with Tina Cousins, Lonnie Gordon, Märy Kiani & Deep Obsession to name a few I have in my disco).
There is a tribal deep house number "Feels like love", a seductive hypnotic trance anthem "I'm addicted", a trance aerial & epic journey called "That's the way I miss you", a beautiful EBTG inspired "Only if you love me", an electro disco & too much vocoderized "I lost my baby (to the DJ)" that is (to my ears) the only letdown of the album and... as I saved the best for last, two WONDERFUL angelic trance perfect songs that have been touched by a heavenly grace when they were in studios, "I will find you" and "The morning after", on which Michal' voice divinely melts with his background vocalist Erika.

For those who think pleasure depends on the size, I must add that there are only 4 tracks out of 13 that fit in the "radio edit" format while all the other are from 5'30 to 8'15 mixes (and that annoyed me a little at first listen cos I'm a true radio edits addict myself... but to my surprise, the songs don't seem too long, nor that long).
Some are quite melting into each other too and that irritates me a little but hey, that's a party album and they're not mixed, they just start when the prior ones cut. I only like it when there's an intro, a middle and an end, like for making love there's prelude, in-and-outs and cooling in each other's arms after gettin' off.
I guess this CD would then be, if transposed to love life, an orgasmic multi-partners orgy ; some tracks are seperate and others joined, some long and some short, and they cover many different styles, but all in a same dancing goal.

There are some big names on remix duties. I've already said it but let's do it again, Wayne G, Chris Panaghi, Julian Marsh, Paul Goodyear... Michal Nicolas has worked with Gerry DeVeaux & Rozalla on the (Ultra) DeVoted single's project too and I expect greater things to come from a singer that's so vocally talented and that's looking gorgeous & sexy!

So what am I hoping for now?
See Michal release a new album full of new songs in shorter versions. After this first CD for the clubs, I'd love to see a CD with dance/trance songs, some covers for good measure among them, and some slow ones too (his voice would sure fit well a drama ballad that will get our eyes all wet and nose sniffing) that could appear in a remix for dance form at the end of the tracklisting too for sure .
That is to say that after meeting him first with this sonic orgy, I'd hope next time we meet on CD, there'll be more intimate moments to dance to with him, at the beach, at the gym, on the road, at the club, in a disco, at Mardi Gras, on the couch, by the window while it's raining, same changing moods, but in more episodes 'cos 13 tracks are not enough!

That would be heaven on earth for sure but for now, I think I'm gonna take this CD to my car cos it'd make me feel good for the day while driving me to work tomorrow morning!

jeudi 15 février 2007

Now That's What I Call A Great Compilation! (Freemasons' Shakedown)

Freemasons, a duo of producers/remixers formed in mid 2004 by Russell Small, one half of hitmakers Phats & Small, and James Wiltshire, have just released their first album, "Shakedown", and it is a double CD compilation of their best remixes with a huge portion of self-made funky disco house anthems they've produced with great female vocalists like Siedah Garrett (of Michael jackson or Brand New Heavies fame), Sylvia Mason-James, Katherine Ellis or their usual favourite Amanda Wilson.

Here is the full tracklisting :

CD1 (mixed)
1. Intro
2. Beyonce : Déjà Vu (Freemasons remix)
3. Trick vs Freemasons : Zap Me Lovely
4. Freemasons feat. Amanda Wilson : I Feel Like
5. Freemasons : Atlantic *
6. Freemasons : Pacific (Saxapella)
7. Fatboy Slim : Right Here Right Now (Freemasons remix)
8. Loleatta Holloway : Love Sensation '06 (Freemasons remix)
9. Faith Evans : Mesmerized (Freemasons remix)
10. Freemasons feat. Sylvia Mason-James : Nothing But A Heartache
11. Angie Stone : I Wasn't Kidding (Freemasons remix)
12. Freemasons feat. Siedah Garrett : Rain Down Love
13 Blaze feat. Barbara Tucker : Most Precious Love (Freemasons remix)
14. Dirty Old Ann feat. Kathy Brown : Turn Me On (Freemasons remix)

CD2 (mixed)
1. Heather Headley : In My Mind (Freemasons remix)
2. Freemasons feat. Amanda Wilson : Love On My Mind
3. Freemasons : Vacancies *
4. Freemasons feat. Judie Tzuke : Love Don't Live Here Anymore
5. Disco Freaks feat. Rob Li & Amanda Wilson : Take Me To The Sun (Freemasons remix)
6. Studio B : C'mon Get It On (Freemasons dub mix)
7. Walken : Boy (Meets Girl) *
8. Freemasons feat. Katherine Ellis : When You Touch Me
9. Luther Vandross : Shine (Freemasons remix)
10. Freemasons feat. Amanda Wilson : Watchin'
11. Freemasons : Desperados *
12. Freemasons feat. Julie Thompson : I'm Not Alone Now *
13. Herd & Fitz feat. Abigail Bailey : I Just Can't Get Enough (Freemasons remix)
14. Freemasons feat. Siedah Garrett : Rain Down Love (After Hours mix)

Note that five tracks (noted with an * above) are included as bonus encoded tracks in full length versions.

Apart from the artists whose remixes are included on their album, Freemasons have remixed other peoples like Jamiroquai, Black Fras, The Disco Boys, Xavier, Steve Smith, Supafly Inc., The Beach & Tia, but since their version of Beyoncé's "Deja vu" has been airplayed as usual version in the UK, they must be in BIG demand for new remixes so I'd bet this list will soon expand...

So what's good with this compilation?
Well, all the tracks sound like hits, even the new Freemasons ones. Their choice of songs and vocalists is great. Some songs are pure disco house next-to-be singles like "I feel like" or "Nothing but a heartache" and some others are more indie balearic house numbers like "Atlantic" or "Vacancies". It sounds like there ain't a single track out of place here but I suppose it's the least for mixed CDs .

Naturally included are Freemasons first three singles, "Love on my mind" (UK#11), "Watchin' "(UK#19) and "Rain down love"(UK#12) and I can't help but wonder which song will be their fourth...

What's wrong then?
All I can say is that I don't really like mixed CDs because the song are mixed into each other and there's no intro and no ending to each track and this kind of album is best listened in one continuous play.
But apart from that letdown (for me), all I would say is that I miss some of their remixes like "Moving into light" by Black Fras and Jamiroquai's "(Don't) Give hate a chance" and I would have loved to see them included in the mix, maybe more than Studio B or Fatboy Slim but these ones have been greater hits in the UK charts... In fact, Russell & James have just let me know that they haven't been able to clear the rights for these two remixes and licence them for this Mix. That makes me think that it must have been a piece of hell to get all copyrights from mother record companies of the artists whose remixes are included here! .

Now the best you can do is go to their MySpace page and hear more of them and decide to check it out :
http://www.myspace.com/freemasons
I have to say I won my "Shakedown" copy and would like to thank their label Loaded Records once more for picking me up .

mardi 13 février 2007

Disco Revival from Australian Divas

Give me a decade that hasn't had its disco revival full of cover versions sung by much or less talented vocalists than the originals, compilations trying to list the eternal disco classics and selling us always the same clichés, discoballs all over the TV shows and things like that...
There ain't a single one all around the planet and at the end of 2006, a Disco Revival Festival took place in Australia without a doubt!

In a couple of weeks have been released in these territories two incredibly good albums full of party anthems & disco stompers. The first one is by four girls from Real TV world, the "Young Divas", the second from a real disco queen coming back, Marcia Hines, and is called "Discothèque".

I won't try here to choose between the two of them as I like them both. They enlist good songs, the ladies can sing, the production makes them sound fine and they should both belong to every disco lover around the world collection for sure. That's said!
I will only try to give you more infos on these ladies and the songs they chose to re-do on their albums.

So first, there's the self-titled Young Divas album.

Who are they?
From left to right, they are Emily Williams, Ricki-Lee Coulter, Paulini Curuenavuli and Kate DeAraugo. They were all contestants on Australian Idol TV Show and all but Emily already have had solo album(s) released.

The story of their partnership is that Sony-BMG wanted to promote a summer tour of them all with a single and the "Young Divas" were born.

The song chosen is not a disco classic but a 80's hit by disco queen Donna Summer, the Stock Aitken & Waterman song that relaunched her career back in 1989, "This time I know it's for real". It reached #2 on the ARIA charts and the tour was a huge success so they decided to record a full album and here are the songs that matched the concept :

- "What a feeling", everybody knows this classic from the soundtrack of the 1983 film "Flashdance" but who does remember its original singer was Irene Cara and that it is a Giorgio Moroder song? (UK#2)
- "This time I know it's for real", I already said it : a Donna Summer song from 1989 written by UK Hit Machine Stock Aitken & Waterman (UK#3).
- "Right about now", this one is more edgy as it's a 2004 original song by german funky house producer Mousse T.
- "Gloria", the Umbertto Tozzi song that Laura Branigan immortalized in 1982 (UK#6).
- "Happenin' all over again", another Stock Aitken & Waterman hit from 1990 by house diva Lonnie Gordon (UK#4) and the second single off this album (ARIA#7)
- "Searchin' ", a hit of 1984 by Hi-NRG lady Hazell Dean (UK#6) and the third single off their album in Australia.
- "Woman in love", the 1980 classic by Barbra Streisand (UK#1).
- "It's raining men", the forever gay anthem of the Weather Girls, hit of 1983 (UK#3).
- "Let's hear it for the boy", another gay classic of 1984 by Deniece Williams, UK#2.
- "She works hard for the money", another Donna Summer single from 1983, a minor UK hit but a US #3.
- "Say I'm your number one", a soul ballad written by Stock Aitken & Waterman (again!) for Princess in 1985 (UK#7).
- "You'll never stop me loving you", #1 hit for Sonia in 1989 and the fourth Stock Aitken &Waterman song on the album, that must've been a tribute!
- "I will always love you", the Dolly Parton song that is well-known for being the #1 song from the Whitney Houston film "Bodyguard" from 1992. Note that this song, a solo from Emily, was not on the original release and has been included on re-editions of their album but is downloadable for free from their official site .

So what's up? Not that much of disco anthems on there. Considering the age of the ladies, it's more of a 80's tribute album and the songs go from Disco to Hi-NRG with some ballads too.
But I can't help but think there's a huge disco feeling spread all along the tracks that may have to do with the powerful mix of their four strong voices roaring like 70's disco divas...

Now comes the time to turn the interest to a real disco diva, a woman that started her career back in these days, released successful albums from 1975 to 1982 in Australia then came back to the music scenes in 2000.

If you remember the 1997 hit "It's alright" by Deni Hines, you may be interested to know that Marcia is Deni's mother, so talent is in the family for sure .

Here we get a full rendition of real disco hits from her time but none are unknown to our ears for they've already been covered by many peoples since their first release.

- "Disco inferno", a 1977 hit by The Trammps that's been covered by Tina Turner in 1993 for the soundtrack of the film on her life "Tina".
- "Never knew love like this before", the 1980 UK#4 for Stephanie Mills that's been covered by so many people since then that you know this song for sure, if not her original version.
- "Stomp!", the 1980 Brothers Johnson disco funk classic, Mr. Quincy jones himself did its rendition of the song in 1996. Deni Hines joins her mother on vocals here for a stompin' duet!
- "Right back where we started from", a 1976 disco UK#8 hit for Maxine Nightingale, that's been covered in 1989 to #4 by Miquel Brown's daughter, Sinitta.
- "Best of my love" a 1977 US#1 for The Emotions and co-written by Earth, Wind & Fire.
- "You should be dancing", nothing more to say for this one but two words : Bee Gees.
- "Shake your groove thing", a Peaches & Herb disco funk hit from 1979 that regained popularity when featured on the soundtrack "Priscilla, Queen of the desert".
- "Never can say goodbye", the Gloria Gayner eternal track (after "I will survive") that's been immortalized again by Jimmy Somerville & The Communards in the 80's.
- "Last dance", the Donna Summer disco anthem of 1978.
- "I can't stand the rain", the Eruption greatest hit that, then again, has been covered by Tina Turner.
- "You to me are everything", 1976 #1 single for UK group The Real Thing. Funny enough, it was covered in 1991 by the same Sonia the Young Divas are covering the "You'll never stop me loving you".
- "Blame it on the boogie", the Jacksons 1980 hit, UK trio Big Fun covered under the wings of producers Stock Aitken & Waterman back in 1989.
- "Let's groove", a 1981 hit for Earth, Wind & Fire.
- "I'm coming out", the forever gay anthem of Diana Ross written by Chic in 1980.

So to sum it up, on this one, there's a lot of funky roots added to the disco rhythms and the girl can touch soul too. But your feet will be moving all time the CD plays. "Discothèque" says it all !


In the end, two complementary albums, Marcia's covering the 70's to 80's while the Divas go from 80's to 90's, but with the same disco vibe and dance energy you can't help but get up and dance to.
So go have a listen at their offical site if you care :
http://www.youngdivas.com.au/ and http://www.marciahines.com.au/
and a nice place to buy on line australian CDs is http://www.sanity.com.au/
and don't forget...
"We spent the night in Frisco
At every kind of disco
I just can't control my feet..."

lundi 12 février 2007

Un texte, une chanson, une suite de mots qui résonne dans ma tête depuis longtemps...

C'est il y déjà pas mal d'années de celà, qu'après avoir écouté un album fort en thème (où l'on découvrait notamment pour la première fois le talent d'auteur de Lionel Florence) que me sortait presque d'une traite le texte que j'ai décidé de partager avec vous aujourd'hui. Il est attaché à une mélodie (connue de moi seul, ça va pas être facile à suivre pour vous, désolé!) et ne vous touchera peut-être pas mais il fait partie de moi et j'avais envie de le partager : la chanson se nomme "Plus le temps"...

Je n'ai
Plus de temps
A perdre avec
Toi
Avec
Tout ce qui ne
dure pas,
C'est comme ça,
On ne choisit pas.

Je n'ai
Plus le temps
De vivre comme
Tout autre homme
Vivrait
J'ai
Plus le temps
D'faire semblant,
Je vis au présent.

Je sais bien que ça prend de court
Tes rêves d'av'nir, tes rêves d'amour

Mais moi,
J'n'ai plus d'av'nir
A construire,
Juste la peur
De n'pas finir
Le meilleur,
Est à vivre
Tant que bat le coeur.

Ne m'demande surtout pas c'qui m'arrive, ce qui m'a changé, tu sais,
On n'a pas toujours l'choix de sa vie mais je n'veux rien regretter

Je n'ai
Plus de temps
A perdre, si
Tu m'comprends
Fais un si-
-gne, de la main,
Car demain,
Tout s'ra p'têt' fini.

Je n'veux pas que tu pleures pour moi,
Pas de pitié, de peur, crois-moi,


La vie
Ne fait pas
De cadeau,
Si
On fait pas gaffe,
Il prend l'eau,
Le bateau,
Et l'on coule
Sans plus dire un mot.

La vie est trop cruelle, on se dit qu'ça n'arrive qu'aux autres mais
C'est pas vrai, c'est pareil pour tout l'monde mais on préfère oublier.


Mais j'n'ai
Plus de temps
A espérer
Qu'un délai
M's'ra accordé
Je sais bien
Chaque matin,
Que mes jours sont comptés.

Je n'ai
Plus le temps
Que de penser
A c'que j'veux faire,
A rêver
Que le jour
De mon tour,
J'n'aurai rien oublié.

Je veux vivre chaque seconde
Comme si c'était la fin du monde
Et surtout sans rien oublier,
J'voudrais ne pas trop y penser.

Je n'ai
Plus le temps,
Je sais
Qu'tu sais.
Maintenant,
J'peux m'en aller,
Libéré,
L'amour, c'est
C'est fait
Pour partager...
Toute réaction sera bienvenue même si je pense toujours que sans cette petite musique qui me trotte dans la tête et rythme ces lignes, ça ne doit pas rendre grand-chose...
Alors si un surdoué du piano veut que je lui fredonne mon air et se propose de me faire l'accompagnement, je posterai le texte et la musique . Avis aux amateurs!

JOHNNY HAZZARD's musical side

For my first music review in english, I've chosen to link you to an artist usually working in the adult films industry and who is a STAR there.

It's not that he is my usual type of guy - he has way too much tatoos on him to my tastes - it's just that when he is in a scene, whatever role he plays, top or bottom (he is versatile you see), he takes you away with him and you can only focus on him, his smile, his seducing eyes, his animality when he's making love for the cameras. That's it! He's not just fucking for money like some east european actors do, mecanically, without giving anything... He feels what he acts! He gives and he takes and every actor that has been involved in a porn scene with him must agree with that!



Johnny Hazzard (that's him I was talking about, you must have guessed now) turns to music now. Well, I doubt he thinks he can have a real career there, it's just that he loves to dance, party all night and feedback from fans to his YouTube videos where he danced to a BlackFras tune led him to please himself and ourselves at the same time...

So Johnny has just released on download legal platforms his first single. It's called "Deeper into you", it's as sexy as he is in his films, it's housy, it's bouncy, and you can't help but want to press the replay button after having listened to it once.
It's no big deal saying his music follows the step he took on films. It would have been the ideal soundtrack for one of Johnny's latest films, "Bolt", directed by ChiChi LaRue. There are metallic sounds, hypnotic loops, and the song wouldn't have sounded out of place in QAF's Club Babylon either. His whispering sexy voice and the meanings of the lyrics will make any gay man want to be the person he's singing to so come on guys, click to iTunes and buy youself 4'10 of music you ought to listen to the next time you're watchin' a Johnny Hazzard film!

If you want to judge by yourself, I can give you the link to an extract of the song on his personal (and non-sexual) blog :
http://www.hazzardahead.com/archives/326 and you can either search for his videos on YouTube.
The video for "Deeper into you" has been filmed by ChiChi LaRue and he's sexy as always but in this scene, Johnny keeps (nearly) all his clothes on! And that's the first time in a ChiChi film .


samedi 10 février 2007

Nouveau Visage for Nouveau Riche, a new face in the Army Of Lovers' children

Once upon a time, in a land where the snow covers the fields, there was a boy named Alexander who decided to be a pop star when he grow old. Not only has he decided to become a pop star but he wanted to leave his print on the worldwide music kingdom. In hope to conquer this crown, to find the Graal of the perfect song, he united a couple of friends around him.

Their names were Jean-Pierre & LaCamilla. They soon were joined by Michaela and Dominika and all together they recorded what will stay for ever as an anthology of pop heaven, glamour extravaganza & music luxury.
They were called Army Of Lovers and between 1990 to 1995, they released 4 albums and a greatest hits of pure bliss followed in 2001 by their anthology, "Le grand docu-soap".
You should remember them for their finest moments, from their universal hit "Crucified" to their carnaval-esque "Give my life", not forgetting the schizophonic "Obsession", the intimate "I am" or the orgasmic "Sexual revolution" and controversial "Israelism".


Who can forget a band that have put a dildo at the feet of a queen of Sabbah crucified on the sleeve of his final release?
Apparently, nor me, nor the rest of the world, for Alexander Bard's musical genius is still a source of inspiration for more decades to come.

After Army of Lovers disbanded, Alexander created, along with new vocalist Mattias Lindblom, Marina Schiptjenko and his music partner Anders Wollbeck, a new entity called Vacuum, leaving the extravaganza to concentrate on the music. They released two albums "The pluthonium cathedral" and "Seance at the chaebol" before nature calling was stronger and Alexander gave his wild midas touch back to a new swedish band fronted by gorgeous Andreas Lundstedt with angels Tess and Annikafiore. Alcazar was born!
And Alcazar was a pop Phoenix flying right to the top of the charts from the ashes of Army Of Lovers. "Crying at the discotheque", "Ritmo del amor", 'Don't leave me alone", "Sexual guarantee", all first singles had Bard's signature and even after Alcazar was joined by fourth member Magnus Carlsson and worked with other producers, the influence was recognizable...

In 2004, Alexander was busy elsewhere anyway as he reunited with Martina to create a new pop phenomenom around a new vocalist Martin Rolinksi, of recent swedish real TV stardom. They soon released the album of the year under the alias "Bodies Without Organs", later renamed BWO. There was 7 (!) singles released from "Prototype" : "Living in a fantasy", "Conquering America", "Sixteen tons of hardware", "Gone", "Open door", "Sunshine in the rain" and "Voodoo magic".
In 2006 they released their second opus "Halcyon days" along with singles "Temple of love", "We could be heroes", "Will my arms be strong enough" and the latest one "chariots of fire", with a new album of remixes "Halcyon nights".
For sure there are still plenty of pop gemms on "Halcyon days" that could be singles too... So beware! The next hit could be their cover of the Army Of Lovers track "Obsession" or the addictive "Juggernaut".

And what's all this subject about new face for new rich and so on then?
I've kept the best for last, sweetie...

Last in the raw to conquer the crown that the Army's left is "Nouveau Riche".
It's not really new in fact as their first single "Oh lord" was released at the end of November, 2005.
Started by Dominika Peczynski (of Army Of Lovers) and Ulrich Bermsjö, this duo climbed to the #7 of the swedish charts with their debut single, which was very pure pop but with a gospel flavoured inspiration in it too, like "Crucified" was.


Their second single, "Hardcore life" was released on 15th March 2006 but the departure of Dominika from the group just a couple of weeks before that date must have put trouble in the media campaign to promote it well. It is a shame cos' it was a step forward into pure bliss, with its synthe loops a la "I feel love" and a killer chorus. The verses reminded me a little of Dieter Bohlen too and none other than Stonebridge added remixes to the full package!

Now it seems like Ulrich recruited another beauty to re-vamp the duo and it looks like 2007 will be the year of their comeback, and greater success, with a new single "Angels" and for sure a forthcoming album "Matters of the heart".

The new face in Nouveau Riche is called Camilla Brinck and she already had her minute of fame in 2001 when her singles "Bye bye forever" and "Heaven" from her album called "Heaven" too charted in Sweden. She tried to get to Eurovision in 2005 by presenting her song "Jenny" to the swedish MelodiFestivalen but failed. She laid backing vocals on the "West End Girls goes petshopping" album last year too.



The new song, that Ulrich co-wrote with the two remaining boys of Vacuum, starts with a little piano and is a stormer ballad but you gotta check out the Soundfactory remixes too! Another song, "It's my party", which was to be the second single before being shelved for "Hardcore life", can be heard on their music player on their MySpace page so the less you can do is go check it out :
http://www.myspace.com/nouveaurichesweden
And if you want to see more of them (first and new visages), you can go to their old and new sites too :
http://www.nouveau-riche.de/
http://www.nouveauriche.se/
I'd be happy to read what you think of their songs so don't be shy!

jeudi 8 février 2007

Nemesis or the return of Savage Garden

A couple of days ago, when I followed the link to the video of the first Nemesis single "Number one in heaven", I thought "hey! Savage Garden have re-united but why did they change their name?" Then, looking closely at the video player on my computer, I realized my mistake...
They look like them, they sound like them, they work with the Almighty remix team like them but Darren Hayes & Daniel Jones they're NOT!

So I searched my Wikipedia to find out that Nemesis are twin brothers Joshua & Jacob (the blond). They're american from Montana, born of Jehovah witnesses parents and to launch their career, they've appeared in a real TV program called "Nemesis Rising" where during seven episodes, they've made their coming out to their family and, from then, have been promoted by their record company as a gay act.
That led them to be excommunicated by the Jehovah's Witnesses as homosexuality is considered a sin ( sigh!) but they may survive this shock 'cos their first single is out and is number one in God's heavenliPod .

You can check it out on iTunes where the single, the numerous remixes and some other exclusive tracks are available and a forthcoming album 'Rise up" is to follow.

Tracks can be previewed on the twins' official site
http://www.nemesisrising.com or on their MySpace page http://www.myspace.com/nemesisrising but compared to the single, I have to admit that the other tracks sound pleasant but nothing special, and maybe too american pop-rock for my tastes.
What's interesting though is that Curb Records have managed these years to have some of their artists remixed by the crème de la crème of dance remixers and Nemesis are just next.

In fact, "Number one in heaven" didn't need that because its original version is already a pure moment of pop momentum with good verses and a killer chorus you can't help but sing-a-long all day after just one listen.
But I won't complain anyway as they've invited mix maestros on board :
On the US map, there's Tracy Young (she's dealt a lot with Madonna recently), Dave Audé (he got his hands on Sting for example) and Curb affiliates Matt Bronleewe & Jeremy Bose (they worked for Curb's star LeAnn Rimes) and from old Europe, Soul Seekerz (Dannii's "Perfection", that was them) and our beloved gayfest-ish Almighty (just to name a few, they remixed Pet Shop Boys, Cher, Kylie Minogue or Savage Garden...)


Remixes are available in radio edits as well as extended so everybody should get lucky at the end of its shopping at iTunes. I confess I love edits best 'cos a good pop song should clock at a max 4' for me but hey, like a friend of mine recently said to me, you gotta have longer remixes for the clubs... shout-out to "K"!

What else? I hope this song will get them the stardom an openly gay singing act should deserve. I hope Curb will keep on having their material remixed by the best remixers around too but I'm confident in their future...

They must not have chosen their name by pure coincidence. In greek mythology, Nemesis was the goddess of revenge. She got two pairs of twin children from Zeus, two boys and two girls, and the boys were Castor and Pollux. Couldn't Jehovah's witnesses born twin brothers find a better name to become the gay band number one on earth ?

By the way, "Nemesis" is the name of one of the latest books my Sci-Fi forever God Isaac Asimov wrote back in 1989 too, where it was the name of a planet, so I guess It is just another sign that Nemesis' music has just to be all around the world ; it's written in the stars .

mardi 6 février 2007

All alone with Michal's gueule... et c'est un plaisir!

On nous avait annoncé son deuxième album depuis quelques mois et il est enfin sorti dans les bacs début janvier. Comme il n'a pas quitté ma platine 3CDs depuis, j'en profite pour en parler : "All alone with my gueule", le deuxième album de Michal, le prodige polonais du piano qui avait sublimé les lives de la Star Ac' 3 et partagé sa victoire avec Elodie Frégé, est là, bien reconnaissable à sa pochette noire et blanche lookée années 80's, et n'attend que d'être déballé de sous son cello pour vous livrer les 12 titres qui le composent.

Comme pour Elodie, ce deuxième album est l'heure de la prise en main artistique et pour assumer sa nouvelle pop-rock attitude tendance eighties, Michal a confié la réalisation et l'écriture de deux tiers des titres à Luka, dont les "rêves polyester" avaient fait un passage remarqué sur les ondes radio il y a déjà quelques années... Michal se garde le dernier tiers et quelques convives participent à l'effort de co-écriture, les plus connus étant Patrice Guirao et Axelle Renoir.

Alors, résultat des courses?
Un premier single "All alone with your gueule" electro rock entêtant qui malgré ses atouts n'a pas pour l'heure mis le feu au Top singles (meilleure place actuelle : 68). J'aurais peut-être aimé un peu plus de couplets et un peu moins de "na na na" mais après une seule écoute, on est dompté et acquis à la cause de ce boulet radiophonique, moi comme les autres .
Le deuxième titre, "Le jour reviendra", dès les premières mesures, fait irrésistiblement penser à Indochine, époque "L'aventurier", puis s'en libère un peu mais Michal revendique bel et bien pour cet album les Indo et Daho comme influences et ça s'entend donc, tout en restant du Michal.
Les titres s'enchaînent ensuite, mélangeant les humeurs, tantôt lyriques avec des avalanches de cordes (superbe "Quelle belle espérance"), tantôt rockeuses, avec même guitares saturées et pétage de cordes vocales sur "Et le monde". Comme le titre la plage 6, Michal se révèle parfois "Ecorché" mais "Ca" n'est jamais du "N'importe quoi" .
Pour preuve, l'album se termine par deux titres plus intimistes où l'on retrouve Michal au piano comme on pouvait s'en souvenir de la Star Ac'. Tous deux écrits et composés par lui, l'aérien "Etre" et le polonais (grrrr, je ne comprends rien!) "Skorpion" calment le jeu de la batterie et des guitares électriques pour la fin si bien qu'une fois le CD arrêté, on se surprend à rappuyer sur la touche "Play".

Que dire donc de négatif?
Que j'aurais aimé que son single de 2005, "Mon tout" (13 semaines au Top Singles mais meilleure place 50ème...), figure au tracklisting de "All alone with my gueule", même si, côté arrangements plus sirop que rock, il aurait plus eu sa place sur le premier album.
Que j'aurais aimé justement que son album dure plus longtemps parce que les bonnes choses, ce n'est jamais trop long . Mais à quoi pensez-vous donc? Je parle du nombre de titres... Après tout, sur son premier opus, Michal s'était quand même fendu de 15 titres !
Que j'aurais aimé que "Skorpion", à l'origine face B de "Mon tout", se refasse une beauté pour cet album et ait été adapté version française, pour que des cons comme moi qui n'aiment souvent que ce qu'ils comprennent apprécient plus ce titre. Parce que côté musique, c'est une petite douceur pleine d'émotion et que ça m'énerve de ne rien comprendre à ce qu'il raconte, quoi! J'dois pas être le seul?
...

...

"C'est votre dernier mot, Hervé?"
"Oui, oui, Jean-Pierre"

Rien de bien méchant en somme. J'y peux rien, je l'aime bien, moi, cet album... Enfin, si tiens, je voudrais rajouter que quoique j'en ai dit plus haut, "All alone with your gueule" est une de mes chansons préférées de ce début d'année et on se reverra fin 2007 pour voir si elle fait partie de mes tubes de l'année perso (mais y'a des chances).
J'aimerais bien aussi que "Ca" et "Qu'elle belle espérance" soient les singles suivants extraits de l'album mais vous savez aussi bien que moi qu'aujourd'hui, le marché du single étant restreint, il vaut mieux ne pas trop attendre des maisons de disques à ce niveau là... Alors mon conseil avant vous quitter pour aujourd'hui, c'est de vous acheter l'album complet et de vous choisir vous-même vos chansons préférées : il y en aura forcément plusieurs!

PS spéciale dédicace à Michal : J'espère bien que je ne finirais pas seul comme tu le chantes si bien. Mais toi? Est-ce une chanson de rupture? Et dernière question : Christophe ne t'écriras plus de chanson?

dimanche 4 février 2007

"What have you done today to make you feel PROUD?" or good songs have more than 1 life

When the lead vocalist of UK dance act M People chose to go solo, she did it with a marvellous and soulful tune she cro-wrote with Peter-John Vettese : it was called "Proud".
Released in May 2000 in the UK, it charted at #14, much better than it's follow-up "Holding on" which only made it #54 in the following summer, but it wasn't the hit it deserved to be.
In the same year, it was chosen to musically illustrate a strong scene in the Queer As Folk US first episode, when Brian & Michael are together on the hospital rooftop, just after the birth of Brian's son.
I suspect this song has been a QAF fans' favourite because a new exclusive remix by Peter Presta was chosen to close the fifth season of the series, broadcasted in July 2005 in the US.
His clubby remix takes the song to another level and suits the magical ending scene at Club Babylon. Both versions are available on the QAF soundtrack CDs.

Strange enough, this same song re-appears in the UK charts the same month, that is to say 5 years later than its original release. This time, it has been chosen as the anthem for the London 2012 Olympic games campaign.
Despite good radio airplay, it only charted #33 after London won over Paris but its impact was completely lost in the bomb attacks in London news of that same week.
Now if we count, the song has already achieved 4 lives from the moment it was released but as if it wasn't enough (and we never get enough of a good song), to help promote the release of her brand new album "Close to a miracle" and single "Radio on", Heather Small got the latter remixed by US remix whizard Josh Harris and for good measure he added to the package a new remix of "Proud" that is pure ecstacy.

His short and full mixes of it are only available for downloads on a Josh Harris Remix EP (I found it on iTunes but it may be elsewhere) and it is definitely worth the price!

"What have you done today to make you feel proud?
You could be so many people
If you make that break for freedom
So what have you done today to make you feel proud?"
Well... today I've tried my best to help this song be known by more people...
and if you give it a try and like it then you would make me feel proud for that .

samedi 3 février 2007

CLUB SOUCHON made in France

Je voulais juste, avant de poster une autre review fleuve internationale cette fois, partager un autre coup de coeur francophone.
Toujours par hasard en surfant le net, je suis tombé sur le lien d'un titre d'Alain Souchon intitulé "Putain ça penche (Junior Caldera remix)" et le mot "REMIX" associé avec "Alain Souchon" , chanteur français aisément porté au rang de monument sacré de la chanson française à textes par beaucoup, m'intriguait autant que... disons, d'apprendre que Cyril, le dernier vainqueur de la Star Ac', avait dans une interview donnée pour un magazine gay nié être lui-même gay.
Bref, je cliquais derechef sur le lien et ouvrait mes oreilles.
Quelle ne fut ma surprise d'aimer (que dis-je, d'ADORER! ) la version remixée de cette chanson qui à l'origine ouvrait le dernier album du sieur en question et ne m'avait même pas laissé le moindre souvenir. Je cliquais sur le bouton "panier" du site en question et me téléchargeais immédiatement ce remix savoureux où Souchon rime pour une fois avec Electro, Clubbing, Dancing, Voguing tout en restant bien évidemment toujours Chic et Choque.
Pour vous rendre compte par vous-même, cliquez ci-dessous sur le lien du mini-site du chanteur dédié à ce single qui, sous la forme d'un mini-jeu sympa, vous donne un aperçu du clip très MySpacien puisque s'inspirant du phénomène des web-cams : http://www.cherchezsouchon.com/

vendredi 2 février 2007

NOUVELLE GENERATION de Narcys

Je prends peut-être le train après tout le monde mais je suis tombé par hasard sur les titres de Narcys sur la fnac.com, les ai écoutés et... aussitôt achetés !

COUP DE FOUDRE TOTAL!

J'ai depuis un peu surfé pour découvrir qui était cet OVNI sonique et ai lu qu'il se revendiquait d'inspirations glam-pop rock neo-disco, le fils caché de Placebo & Mylène Farmer en quelque sorte. Même si les premiers sont un peu trop rock pour mes oreilles, Narcys, lui, a réussi à me rendre complètement addict à ses deux titres : "NG Nouvelle génération", l'hymne metrosexuel par excellent à mes yeux, et "Toi t'en rêves", moins immédiat mais tout aussi délectable.

extrait:"On est tous des Superman sous kryptonite
Coté pouvoirs, on est limite,
La Nouvelle Génération a changé les garçons..."

Chansons à texte fort et à mélodie accrocheuse, rythmique electro-dance et rock à la fois, look psyche-glam rock reconnaissable, tout est calibré pour en faire des TUBES mais ses propos dérangeants sûrement pour certains loin des niaiseries habituelles passées sur les radios grand public font apparemment blocage pour que "NG" ou "Toi t'en rêves" sortent en format CD pour le moment.

Je rêve de pouvoir télécharger sur quelque plate-forme légale que ce soit les remixes dance/house uniquement promo club actuellement. Je suis sûr que les excellentes chansons prendront une dimension "Club Babylonniennes" si vous suivez mes références TV .

Je ne peux donc, pour que cet artiste en essor ait les moyens de se développer et de nous sortir en vrai CD son premier album (j'en salive d'avance...), que vous inciter à aller le découvrir sur sa page
http://www.myspace.com/narcys et, si vous aimez la claque que vous vous prenez direct dans les tympans, aller les acheter en ligne IMMEDIATEMENT!

NB : il reprend aussi sur son blog "I was made for loving you" de Kiss et ça sonne pas mal du tout même si c'est du vu et revu et re-revu, ce que ne sont pas, par contre, ses titres originaux).