Hotel Cabana – Produced & Directed by Naughty Boy
Shahid Khan has collected and directed the top drawer British talent plus Whiz Khalifa to feature on his new album . You may be already familiar with 4 songs as Hotel Cabana is home to Daddy (Remix), Wonder and Lifted all featuring Emeli Sande and the Number 1 hit LaLaLa featuring Sam Smith, but is the rest of Hotel Cabana worth checking in for?
On One Way feat Mic Righteous & Maiday; Maiday sings “What If the very thing that threatens you is the very thing that beckons you” leads into an accessible rap by Mic Righteous. So Strong featuring Chasing Grace is a mid pace grower
One of the highlights on this collection is No Ones Here To Sleep feat Dan Smith from Bastille, the track hints of sinister going ons at the Hotel Cabana; considering it’s a hotel you would expect there to be some sleeping.
With all the creative talent at Naughty Boy’s disposal its puzzling why he should want to include a cover of one the biggest hit singles of the year, although stripped down and classy his take on Daft Punk’s Get Lucky is in my thoughts superfluous
Dan Smith from Bastille , Ed Sheeran,Emeli Sande. Gabrielle, Professor Green, Sam Smith,Tinie Tempah, Wiley, Wretch 32 & Whiz Khalifa are just some of the artists who have checked into Hotel Cabana. Have you made your reservation -it would be Naughty of you not to!
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Hotel Cabana Trailer Part 1
Hotel Cabana Trailer Part 2
Jody Watley– Nightlife (Single)
The last time Jody Watley made the Official Charts was April 1998 when she reached number 51 with Off The Hook, there have been singles released stateside but none of them have been released in the UK, could this change with Nightlife?
A brief recap of Jody Watley’s career; between the years 1977 to 1983; Watley was a member of the group Shalamar who had hits with Friends, A Night To Remember, There it is and Friends. Watley released her debut solo album in 1987, her biggest hit in the UK was Looking For A New Love which reached No.13 in May 1987. In 1989 Watley reached No.21 with Friends, subsequent singles have been released but have made little inroads in the Official Charts.
Nightlife written by Watley together with Julien Aletti and Ralph Aletti, harks back to the feel good disco of her Shalamar days , its as if Watley has gone full circle as Nightlife features backing vocals from Gerald Brown (who was the vocalist in Shalamar before Howard Hewitt replaced him) and it also references waacking ( a street dance which came into prominence during the time that Shalamar were having their greatest successes).
Promoted rightly this could be Watley’s biggest hit in the UK as disco has come back to the forefront thanks to the recent successes of Daft Punk and Nile Rodgers, clubbers will be waacking from New York, London , Tokyo, Paris, Madrid and Shanghai. A worldwide phenomenon perhaps.
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Lyric video for Nightlife
London Grammar – Strong (single)
Following on from the excellent Wasting My Young Years; London Grammar release their new single Strong, both singles will feature on their highly anticipated debut album If You Wait.
Hannah Reid possess one of the most emotive expressive voices I have heard in a long time. And the band deploy it tomits best effect, with Dot Major and Dan Rothman’s minimalist backing levelled just right to allow Reid’s vocals to take centre stage. You never feel that Reid over sings, she gently cossets your ears with her eethereal vocal style.
London Grammar seem to specialise in haunting tracks which are perfectly pitched for a blissful chill out session. Whilst Strong may not be as instant as Wasting My Young Years, you cannot but admire the quality of this song and for a band which gets stronger with each release.
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Aiden Grimshaw – The Way We Are (single)
Aiden Grimshaw finished ninth on the seventh series of the X Factor, he came across as an angst filled teenager, who seemed more comfortable singing songs with great intensity than smiling. Grimshaw released his debut album Misty Eye; which reached number 19, two singles were released; Is This Love and Curtain Call which reached number 35 and 49 respectively, can The Way We Are eclipse these?
The Way We Are was cowritten with Dimitri Tikovoi (Goldfrapp, Nicola Roberts & Sophie Ellis-Bextor) together they have created something quite unexpected for someone who graduated from the karaoke & popularity contest that is X Factor. Grimshaw’s vocal glides over Tikovoi’s soundscapes, which sound at times like a mixture of Loose Ends and Freeze.
There have been a number of X Factor finalists releasing decent singles, but not shifting significant units; Amelia Lily, Diana Vickers & Misha B, come to mind. It remains to be seen whether The Way We Are can eclipse the chart placings of the aforementioned artists and of Grimshaw’s earlier offerings, if the record buying public take an open mind then The Way We Are just might.
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Annie – A & R EP
Anyone brave enough to use @annieponannie as part of their twitter handler deserves closer attention. Annie is not the most prolific of artists since coming to prominence in 1999 with the single The Greatest Hit; she has only produced 2 albums; Anniemal (2004) & Don’t Stop (2009); judging by this pattern a new studio album may not be with us until 2014, so as to bridge the gap we have the A & R EP.
The lead track is the aptly titled Back Together as Annie has again teamed up with Richard X, who was responsible for chewing Gum and I Know Your Girlfriend Hates Me. Back Together is an excellent composite of the best rave tunes of the 1990’s brought right up to date, it even comes with a funny chart show style video. If you thought the song sounds Little Bootsesque you would be spot on as Little Boots co-wrote this track; Annie + Richard X + Little Boots = pure pop perfection in my book.
Hold On is reminds me of a combination of Break 4 Love and Italo house. Annie’s seductive vocal urges us to Hold On as she is here to take the strain.
Ralph Macchio is a sweet song about the actor who placed the Karate Kid. Annie lets us into a secret that she has never told; Ralph Macchio was her Romeo. Never let me go Ralph Macchio – sings Annie over the backbeat of a Chicago house track, I half expected Paris Grey– to interject Good Life on this track!
Invisible- is slightly harder & darker than the previous 3 tracks. A pumping industrial opening gives way to a familiar house sound. This track would not be out-of-place on Disclosure’s album Settle.
Mixed Emotions is a track that grows on you with each listen, it could be a lament to lover & also a realisation to Annie that she wants more out of this relationship than her partner does.
For those of you old enough to remember, the A & R EP distills all the best parts of he Deep Heat collections, which came out in the late 80’s- and early 90’s, into 5 pop dance nuggets that will keep hs satisfied until her next studio album.
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