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Monumental

Royksopp & Robyn – Do It Again EP/Mini Album

Royksopp & Robyn have joined forces again to produce an EP/Mini Album called “Do It Again” is this a monumental collaboration or a collaboration too far?

The Do It Again EP (mini album) is bookended by two pieces of melancholy both nigh on close to 10 minutes long , the final track “Inside The Idle Hour Club” is a dreamy , layered ambient instrumental. The opening track “Monument” is probably the most atmospheric/ sad song VeReVieWs has heard this year, on this brooding dark opener; Robyn sings “Make a cast of my body ………. this will be my monument when I’m gone” The gentle sax at the end of the adds warmth to a monumental track. Events take an upward turn musically on the mostly instrumental track “SayIt”

“SayIt” is a slice of Progressive House which contains very little by the way of vocals apart from a distorted mans voice akin to a robot which says I want you to which Robyn confidently replies I Want You Too; VeReViewS was not totally sold on this track until they witnessed the brilliantly bonkers video , talking and barking dogs , hissing snakes, stomping chickens and some gravity defying dancing by Robyn, shot in black and white, I defy you not to have the clip on repeat.

The most immediate song on this EP (mini album) is the title track “Do It Again” it is quite simply pop perfection, once you hear “Do It Again” the melody stays in your head.

“Do It Again” The song – is as joyful as this EP (mini album) gets as it is rounded off “Every Little Thing” another slow burner of a song and the previously mentioned “Inside the idle Hour Club”

Do it Again merges the talents of Royksopp & Robyn to good effect, it’s a collaboration which makes sense and not one thrown together for purely marketing reasons. The quality of the songs shine through, it’s a pity that they did not make a full blown album now that would be monumental!

VeReVieWs Rating: VVVV/5

VeReView SayIt

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Again & Again

Royksopp & Robyn – Do It Again (single)

Royksopp & Robyn have collaborative history on The Girl and the Robot from Royksopp’s 2009 album Junior and also on None of Dem from Robyn’s 2010 release Body Talk Pt1 they have again joined forces and have now recorded a mini album called (how aptly) Do It Again, which is also the title of the lead off single.

On first listen the lyrics to Do It Again may seem to be without depth but VeReViewS suggests that they contain deeper hidden meanings the first one is when you are at a club and the DJ plays a big tune and then it arrives, the anticipation is like MMM MMM MMM wait for it wait for the build up & the second one VeReViewS will leave that to your imagination!!

The inspiration behind Do It Again was apparently a night out together that Robyn & Royksopp had, it must have been a brilliant night as Do It Again is as close to pop perfection as one song can be, an ice cool electro/trance banger with more hooks and bounce than any one song should have

Both Royksopp & Robyn have found official chart action a little hard with their previous solo releases, here’s hoping that Do It Again takes them to the top of the summit

VeReVieW Star Rating VVVVV/5

VeReVieW the lyric video to Do It Again

Katy B Won’t B Still!

Katy B – Still(Single)

What do you do if you are predominantly known for dubstep and garage and have your biggest hit with the ballad, Cryin For No Reason, and have an album full of club bangers (Next Thing, Aaliyah)? You release more of the same and in the case of Katy B its no bad thing as the follow up is the sublime Still!

In a shrewd move by the record company, instead of hanging onto this track and release it at Christmas, it will hit the shelves prior to Katy’s festival appearances this summer. Still, is a slow burner of a song which will slowly captivate and win over new fans and may propell Katy B to the number 1 slot, it is also the kind of track that Leona Lewis would kill for and marvel at the lusciousness of Katy B’s hair in the video.

VeReView Star Rating VVVV/5

VeReView Still

Keep On Writing

Metronomy – Love Letters (Single)

Metronomy could be famed by their remixes; Lady Gaga, Goriilaz, Goldfrapp & Franz Ferdinand to name a few, however, this could all be about to change with the release of Love Leters, taken from the forthcoming album of the same name.

Metronomy currently consisting of;Joseph Mount, Gbenga Adelekan, Oscar Cash & Anna Prior have delivered a slice of feelgood pop with a nod and wink towards the Mamas and Papas especially during the chorus.

VereView Star Rating VVV/5

VereView Love Letters (Directed by Michel Gondry)

Antony Unleashes His Angel

Angel On Fire – Antony & The Johnsons (Single)

Tucked away, the last track on the soundtrack to the Hunger Games:Catching Fire (Deluxe Edition) is a little gem by Antony & The Johnsons titled “Angel On Fire” According to Antony & The Johnsons News the song harks back to 1992 and the backing track for the song is partly comprised of a 4 track recording that Antony once used for club performances in New York City.

Antony transfixes the listener when he sings in his otherworldly voice, he emits emotion by the bucket-load without even trying. The strings are glorious and add to the haunting ethereal feel to this song.

Everything about “Angel On Fire” screams quality; the dramatic opening, the production, the glorious strings and the beguiling vocals. VeReViews has only heard one song this year that matches the emotional pull of “Angel On Fire” and that is Woodkid’s “I Love You”

It’s heartening to see Antony & The Johnsons music reaching a wider audience with Avicii covering “Hope There’s Someone” on his current album “True” and with the inclusion of “Angel On Fire” on the Hunger Games soundtrack.

VeReViews Star Rating VVVVV/5

HearView Angel On Fire (Audio only)

Holding On For Broken Bells

Holding On For Life – Broken Bells (Single)

Broken Bells are a super group consisting of vocalist & guitarist James Mercer from the group The Shins and Brian Burton (you may be more familiar with his stage name Danger Mouse ( half of the duo Gnarls Berkley with CeeLo Green or in demand producer who has twiddled thr knobs for Beck, Gorillaz, Norah Jones and is rumoured to be working on U2’s much anticipated album).

Holding On For Life is the lead off track from the forthcoming album titled After The Disco which is scheduled for the end of January 2014 which is the follow up to 2010 self titled album Broken Bells.

Holding On For Life is a mellow slice of psychedelic Americana with an addictive chorus sounding like a butched up Scissor Sisters track crossed with the Bee Gees. Burton’s production is crisp and Mercer’s falsetto is mesmerising.

VeReViewS Star Rating VVVV/5

VeReView the Pseudo Video for Holding On For Life

Broken Bells Present “After The Disco” Part 1: The Angel and The Fool

Juicy Blood Orange

Cupid Deluxe – Blood Orange

Devonte Hynes (Dev Hynes) has released music under various guises; Test Icicles, Lightspeed Champion and more recently Blood Orange, however, you may be more familiar with his production duties as he has twiddled the knobs for Solange “Losing You” and MKS debut/comeback single “Flatline”. Now Blood Orange/Hynes unleases the follow up to 2011 “Coastal Grooves.”

“Cupid Deluxe” features a number of artists who are as left field as Hynes himself; Adam Bainbridge, Despot, David Longstreth, Caroline Polachek & Samantha Urbani.

Chamakay opens proceedings, its lush instrumentation sets the scene for the rest of the album. This slinky number gets embedded in your brain. The lyric “I’m nothing if not subtle..” suits this song to a tee. Hynes’s breathy vocal weaves around Caroline Polachek’s understated vocal throughout the track. The video features Hynes throwing some slinky shapes in Georgetown Guyana.

You’re Not Good Enough feat Sam Urbani sees Hynes getting his funk groove on & channelling some serious Prince vibes! If you listen very carefully then you just might pick up the similarities to Solanges’s “Losing You.”

On “Uncle Ace” we get funky spoken word, not quite rapping with liberal use of the saxophone courtesy of Jason Arce. “No Right Thing” is nu soul with an edge. “It Is What It is” what it is-is sublime! Hynes’s breathy vocals are so sensual that they could make a girl quiver.

Hynes takes an old Mansun track “I Can Only Disappoint U” and effortlessly turns it into “Always Let U Down.” Hynes ends the album with “Time Will Tell” which is basically It Is What It Is part 2.

Cupid Deluxe just oozes cool & quality, even though there is a retro vibe on this album it is to Hynes’s talent that he makes it sound fresh and exciting.

Blood Orange/Dev Hynes-a Prince for our current times! Cupid Deluxe may not have the marketing budget behind it like so many recently released underwhelming albums therefore may not chart highly, however, VeReViewS reckons that Cupid Deluxe will be a fixture on critics end of year charts as being one of the best albums of 2013

VeReViewS star rating VVVV/5
VeReView Chamakay

Muted ARTPOP Applause

Lady Gaga – Artpop (Album)

We have had the title for nearly a year, we have also had the following; An I-Tunes performance consisting solely of tracks from “Artpop,” a pop emergency, a drip feed of promotional singles, the underwhelming comeback single, X Factor performance, Graham Norton show and finally artRave now the album “Artpop” has landed but does it deserve your “Applause” or should it be banished to “Venus”

Gaga enlists some of the cream of EDM to collaborate with on “Artpop” ;Hugo Leclercq (Madeon), Anton Zaslavski (Zedd), Dino Zisis, Infected Mushroom, Paul Blair (DJ White Shadow)along with a twist of R&B and Hip Hop; R Kelly, T.I., Too Short, Twista along with long time collaborator Redone, but has Gaga forsaken melody and tunes for beats? Here is a track by track take on “Artpop”

Aura -take away the crashing beats and then we have a passable song, however, this track is easily forgettable

Venus- electro throbber, before we get to the chorus of take me to your planet leader, take me to your leader; take me to your venus, however, this track takes too long to reach any kind of melody.

G.U.Y (Girl Under You), probably would have served better as the lead off single, less gimmicky than other tracks, this is a mid tempo grower and one of the tracks that has an actual melody

Sexxx DREAMS – one of the tracks played at I-Tunes festival which appeared to have hit potential, with a tasty bass line to boot!

Jewels N’ Drugs (feat T.I. Too $hort) Gaga ventures into electro Hip Hop, this track is a hip hopping mess, this track may be better received in the states.

MANICURE, opens with a football style chant along, which continues throughout the song which sounds like a second rate “Hollaback Girl

Do What U Want feat R Kelly – an usual hook up, but it works. It is a shame that this wasnt the lead off single as this track has everything that’s missing from most of “Artpop” – a track with melody and sing-along potential plus a gritty/aggressive vocal from Gaga and an impressive turn from R Kelly. This is Gaga’s I Will Survive moment!

Artpop evokes Debbie Harry – Artpop could mean anything sums up the album!!

Swine – industrial Hi-NRG, lacking a real tune

Donatella -Gaga taking the rise out of herself at the beginning of the track and a good way 0f getting free dresses for life or having a track used on the runway of fashion shows, however, it is not the greatest tune to be remembered by!!

Fashion! Following the fashion theme with “Fashion” A cross between “Lets Dance“, “Fashion” and a myriad of early Madonna tracks a lovely piano intro- all of the aforementioned ingredients make it one of the better tracks on “Artpop”

Mary Jane Holland at the end the sound of someone lighting up, this track is somewhere between Garbage and Lady Gaga

Dope (originally known as -I Wanna Be With You)-A lovely piano intro, this is one of the slower tracks on the album, without the EDM backing  which is a relief on the ears. It also  shows Gaga at her most vunerable

Gypsy – a stand out track but sounds like what David Guetta has done many times before

Applause -you either get applause at the beginning  or the end of a show and Gaga has chosen to add it on the end of “Artpop”.  Gaga comes over like a cross between Hazel O’Connor and David Bowie.

Mary Jane is a slang word commonly used for Marijuana and Holland is known for it its liberal cafes, so Lady Gaga titles a track Mary Jane Holland and then follows this with a track called Dope, go figure

“Artpop” is high on beats and energy but is low on killer tracks. After seeing Lady Gaga’s I-Tunes show VeReViews was convinced that Artpop was going to be an Artflop, whilst not the flop it could have been as the little monsters will lap it up and profess it to be her best album yet!  VeReViews reckons her best album is ahead of her, no doubt there will be a number of singles lifted from “Artpop” in the new year and possibly an Artpop Tour.

As Lady Gaga sings My Artpop could mean anything, however for VeReViews it means a just above average album.

VeReViews Star Rating VVV/5

VeReView Applause

Freemasons vs Rubylux

The World Goes Quiet – Freemasons vs. Rubylux

The original version of The World Goes Quiet was released in May 2013 as Rubylux’s lead off single to their second album of the same name. Similar in what Timbaland did for OneRepublics’s Apologize (i.e. take a song from a different genre and totally transform the song) Freemasons have taken this track and turned it from an anthemic pop number to a big club banger.

Rubylux are a Brighton based 4 piece band, consisting of Lead singer and guitarist Rob Irving, keyboard player Adam Harris, Drummer Mike Hall and bassist Clark Coslett-Hughes famed for their cross country guerrilla style street gigs, so catch them before the council or police do!

A poignant song written by the band for a friend who was unable to cope with the excesses of fame, The Freemasons have kept most of the tune of the original however they have substituted the insistent bass line with a rave hook that draws you in

VeReView Star Rating VVVV/5

HearView The Freemasons version of The World Goes Quiet (audio only)

VeReView the Original version of The World Goes Quiet

Marcus Reeves– The Masquerade Macabre (Album)

The title indicates that this is not going to be an ordinary album; part show – think Cabaret & Phantom Of The Opera; part glam rock – think Marc Bolan and T.Rex & David Bowie, with a generous measure of torch songs and a soupcon of jazz.

The first half of the album sets the scene, it introduces the listener into Quicksilver’s world. On the opening track “Ghosts” Reeves spits out acerbic lyrics in the verses, then we get “Welcome To The Underworld” a track that could easily grace the soundtrack of Cabaret. Reeves is on playful mode and gets his groove on on the track “Masquerade”

Not only does Reeves pay vocal tributes to the artists who have influenced him, he also pays a photographic homage to David Bowie’s album “Pin Ups” on the cover of the single Smoke & Mirrors.

The last of the more show orientated songs “The Disappearing Man” really highlights the central themes of the album; lust, love and loss. Who hasn’t seen a relationship flounder by saying those three little words too early? “Gone” a track which wouldn’t sound out-of-place on the second half of Primal Scream‘s seminal album Screamadelica, revisits these themes.

“Mistaken Identity” Reeves channels his inner Marc Bolan & T. Rex, a song about loss and moving on, Reeves dryly sings “I Knew you wanted success but soon it was clear you wanted me less” On “Mad Bad World” Reeves successfully ventures into jazz.

The wistful “After Life” closes the album. A simple and effective piano led ballad. Reeves ponders “What comes after love and the poetry of pain? What comes after life, one chance to do it all again”

An album is usually a collection of songs, however, Reeves delivers a collection of vignettes, stories that capture, entice and move you with a myriad of musical styles.

What comes “After Life?” A chance to listen to Quicksilver-The Masquerade Macabre again and again.

VeReView Star Rating VVVV/5

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