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Old 10-11-2016, 08:25 AM   #21 (permalink)
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97



Girls Aloud - Tangled Up (2007)

Tracklist:

Call the Shots
Close to Love
Sexy! No No No...
Girl Overboard
Can't Speak French
Black Jacks
Control of the Knife
Fling
What You Crying For
I'm Falling
Damn
Crocodile Tears

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Summary

I distinctly remember watching Popstars: The Rivals back in the early 2000's and thinking Javine Hylton was by far the strongest vocalist in the female category (in fairness, the vocal ability back then seems to be abysmal compared to current talent shows) but for whatever reason she didn't make the cut and it has proven to be a God-send.

By 2008 the group had gradually matured and started releasing more sonically cohesive and balanced records. However, there is severe inconsistency on here. The tracks between Black Jacks and Damn truly put a dampener on what was looking like a really solid Pop album. But thanks to the skip button, you're free from that pain and suffering.

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Old 11-18-2016, 06:21 AM   #22 (permalink)
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96


Michael Jackson - Bad (1987)

Tracklist:

Bad
The Way You Make Me Feel
Speed Demon
Liberian Girl
Just Good Friends
Another Part of Me
Man in the Mirror
I Just Can't Stop Loving You
Dirty Diana
Smooth Criminal

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Summary

Michael was going through a transition in the lead up to, and after, releasing Bad. Or more precisely, his skin and nose were. As somebody who was born three years after the album release date, it's hard to really grasp the impact MJ had on the public both as a musician and his physical image changes. But I don't think anybody can deny that he has released some of the greatest singles in the history of recorded music.

I'd consider Bad to be his best album, but it is flawed. The highs are incredible, but when you have trash like 'Speed Demon' and the less trashy 'Just Good Friends' (which would have been a great Cyndi Lauper single btw) it takes away from what could have been a masterpiece. And shout out to 'Dirty Diana' for being the best solo track he ever made.

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Old 11-18-2016, 08:33 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Tangled Up is pop ****ing gold, man. I don't know what compelled me to listen to it in the first place, but the doors on mainstream pop music busted wide open for me after that. If you haven't heard it yet (HAH unlikely) Nicola Roberts's solo album is as good if not better.
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Old 11-19-2016, 04:22 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I actually haven't. She had one or two good singles around the time of her album release. Will listen today on the way to work.
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Old 11-28-2016, 07:07 AM   #25 (permalink)
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95



The Ronettes - Presenting The Fabulous Ronettes Featuring Veronica (1964)

Tracklist:

Walkin' in the Rain
Do I Love You
So Young
(The Best Part Of) Breakin' Up
I Wonder
What'd I Say
Be My Baby
You Baby
Baby I Love You
How Does It Feel?
When I Saw You
Chapel of Love

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I can't quite remember the first time I listened to either Be My Baby or Baby I love You, but what I am sure of is that I immediately formed a deep connection to both. The whole "wall of sound" vibe was so intrinsically aesthetically pleasing to me, and their collective vocals just sent shivers down my spine. So when I eventually got round to listening to the album as a whole I was expecting more of the same, with great harmonies and production. And I think it does.

Of course the two stand out tracks hit almost unattainable highs, but there's several songs on this album that are fantastic in their own right, especially So Young. Even What'd I Say - which is a complete departure from the Pop/Soul ballad trend - works as a nice break at the end of Side A, leading into Be My Baby. Overall this album just hits the right sweet spots and has a consistent high standard.

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Old 12-01-2016, 07:22 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Years & Years - Communion (2015)
Finally have the chance to run through this thread and check out a few of the albums, this one is pretty ****ing tight. Didn't realize how many songs I had already heard by them. Definitely a solid listen.
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Old 12-12-2016, 11:17 AM   #27 (permalink)
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94



SOPHIE - Product [Compilation] (2015)

Tracklist:

Bipp
Elle
Lemonade
Hard
MSMSMSM
Vyzee
L.O.V.E.
Just Like We Never Said Goodbye

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Summary

So that Bubblegum Bass eyy? It's been about two years since I started listening so this funky ass music spawning from the UK. Bloops, blips, bips and bounces. And it's been two years in which I have not yet gotten bored of the vast majority of it - even the stuff most would throw into the digital trash can. And SOPHIE is the supreme overlord of the genre, to the point where he produced a song for fucking Madonna and Vroom Vroom for Charli XCX.

This compilation is basically a collection of tracks that were either widely known, or had been leaked before the official release date. Songs such as BIPP and Lemonade had even reached some level of mainstream attention. That said, I consider it to be an album, and it flows like one. Obvious bangers running from top to bottom as highlighted above, but every track other than L.O.V.E. is of high quality in my opinion. If you have ever plugged with me, you will probably know what Bubblegum Bass sounds like, but if you don't... just click the links.

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Old 01-15-2017, 06:56 PM   #28 (permalink)
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93



Ariana Grande - Dangerous Woman (2016)

Tracklist:

Moonlight
Dangerous Woman
Be Alright
Into You
Side to Side
Let Me Love You
Greedy
Leave Me Lonely
Everyday
Bad Decisions
Thinking Bout You

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Summary

You know it's real life when Ariana Grande not only releases an album with a few bangers on, but actually smashes the whole damn thing. Kicks it in the arse and twirls it around a bit. Maybe I'm too much of a Poptimist, but these songs are just so damn good.

Singles like Side to Side and Into You give you a taste of what this album has to offer, but there's much more. Greedy, for example, offers up a more old school R&B vibe. Leave Me Lonely, featuring Macy Gray, is a soulful change of pace which I particularly enjoyed. And the album consistently offers up tune after tune of great material. It's a fine example of mainstream pop artists making that extra effort to create a cohesive and thought out album. I love it.

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Old 02-14-2017, 10:30 AM   #29 (permalink)
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92



Mew - Frengers (2002)

Tracklist:

Am I Wry? No
156
Snow Brigade
Symmetry
Behind the Drapes
Her Voice Is Beyond Her Years
Eight Flew Over, One Was Destroye
She Came Home for Christmas
She Spider
Comforting Sounds

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Summary

I first listened to these guys back in 2012 after one of their albums was suggested on a YouTube video. I instantly took to the combination of Dream-Pop and what seemed like Post-Rock to me at the time. But It seems to be tagged "Progressive Pop", which feels far more appropriate. Luscious melodies and song structures. They are the kind of band you binge on for a few months and then forget about their existence.

The opener is one of my favourite songs of all time. Nice riffs, changes in pace and packed with energy. Song after song the album delivers, offering up some slower tracks and even a cheeky little Christmas number. The final track is a superb piece of dreamy pop, gradually blending in the Post-Rock vibe I mentioned earlier. Beautifully closing out what is a fantastic album.

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Old 02-24-2017, 04:25 PM   #30 (permalink)
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91


Oscar - Cut and Paste (2016)

Tracklist:

Sometimes
Be Good
Feel It Too
Good Things
Only Friend
Breaking My Phone
Daffodil Days
Fifteen
Beautiful Words
Gone Forever

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Summary

So I'm listening to this for the first time right now, although I had heard a few singles a month or so back and enjoyed them. I was reintroduced to him today because I signed up to a UK based Vinyl subscription and saw his name amongst other artists that had been featured in previous boxes. So I looked him up again on Spotify and was surprised to see that he actually had an album out.

It's pretty much Indie Pop, with some rock influences, that has very modern production. Catchy and fun, with some obvious stand out tracks (all in the choice cuts). Nothing remarkable or earth shattering to learned Indie heads, but it's the type of record I would tell my girlfriend about if we were on that particular alternative timeline.

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