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24 May 2011
1) Beyonce - Run The World (Girls)
Earthy beats, hypnotising hooks and militant drums pound relentlessly as Queen B declares it's "GRLZ who run this mutha". With no identifiable structure, the uber-trendy, uber-squiggly Major Lazer 'Pon De Floor' sample - a staple on the underground scene since 2009 - is free to roam as it sees fit; adding up to an aggressive, head-spinning and ferocious club stomper that doesn't quite fulfill the task in hand, but it's not for want of trying.
2) Lady Gaga - The Edge Of Glory
This single is a song about Lady Gaga’s late grandfather and the celebration of life in the face of death. With the seamless blend of power ballad, smooth jazz, and electropop, “Edge of Glory” is a single with a moving theme, synthesizers that sometimes work, and a great saxophone solo courtesy of musician Clarence Clemons.
3) Calvin Harris feat. Kelis - Bounce
Calvin Harris has teamed up with R&B-turned-Eurodance diva Kelis for this thumping, '80s-flecked trailer from his forthcoming third studio LP.
4) Example - Changed The Way You Kiss Me
"Our love feels wrong, please wind me back/ Our love feels wrong can't hide the cracks," the 28-year-old sing-speaks over a hard-hitting bassline and techno synths - thrashing emotive lyrics about a failing relationship with a bang-on-trend Euro-trance backing track. The result? A euphoric yet bittersweet ensemble proving a bit of lyrical depth once in a while won't harm a raver's street cred.
5) Christina Perri - Jar Of Hearts
In a nutshell, the song could be described as an emotionally sweeping piano ballad. The lyrics are one of the best that I have ever heard in recent memory. Who do you think you are? / Runnin’ around leaving scars / Collecting a jar of hearts / Tearing love apart / You’re gonna catch a cold / From the ice inside your soul . . .
6) Frankmusik - Do It In The AM (feat. Far East Movement)
After the success of his top ten UK debut, Frankmusik is preparing to release his fresh blend of synth-pop, hard-knocking beats and flowing melodies in the US with "Do It In the AM", a new album inspired by the energy of his adopted hometown of Los Angeles.
7) Lady Antebellum - Just A Kiss
Lady Antebellum is about as close to a sure thing that country radio has, and the group is certain to add "Just a Kiss" to their list of country top 10 hits. If the enduring popularity of Taylor Swift at pop radio is any indication, it may not take much for Lady Antebellum to have another crossover hit with "Just a Kiss."
8) Avril Lavigne - Smile
Backed up by a punchy drum rhythm and electric guitars, Lavigne offers reasons why most normal guys would run in the other direction, then praises her guy for sticking around: “And that’s why I smile / It’s been awhile / Since everyday and everything has felt this right / And now you turn it all around / And suddenly you’re all I need / The reason why I smile.”
9) Take That - Love Love
Their latest single sees them hooking up with the new X-Men movie. "You bring me right back down to the earth from the promise land," they announce in the opening bars over mud-squelching synths in a camp, Pet Shop Boys-style operatic manner. Like their recent offerings, it's a style that has transformed them from cheesy boyband to tough manband.
10) Foo Fighters - Rope
Lead single 'Rope' is a great example of what their latest record 'Wasting Light' is all about - it's massive with smooth vocals, stop-start verses and a big hands-in-the-air-stadium chorus.
11) Benny Benassi - House Music
When asked how does his upcoming album 'Electroman' differs from the previous ones he has released, Benassi replies: "We wanted to work with American and British singers and writers from a variety of genres to bring our sound to the worlds of hip-hop, pop and rock. In this sense, it’s a continuation of what we were doing on the “Rock ‘n’ Rave” album, but we’ve got a bit better at it, I think, and we’re really happy with the result. We’ve also included a few club tracks not to forget where we’re coming from."
12) Vanessa Carlton - Carousel
In the words of Vanessa Carlton: "'Carousel' is the only song I've ever written in a dream that sounded lovely the next morning. [...] The origin of 'Carousel' is a dream, hence the dreamscape of the visual. I worked with an inspiring group of artists with impeccable taste. We were careful with its visual symbolism. There is nothing meaningless about it and I hope that comes across. The song is hopeful and it grew out of a very dark place."
13) Panic! At The Disco - The Ballad of Mona Lisa
Back after a three-year hiatus, the rock duo are looking to muscle their way into a chart currently saturated with electro-dance with their pop-rock powerhouse 'Ballad Of Mona Lisa'. The production is a bravado of punchy guitar strums and bolshy beats garnished with a haunting melody and an anthemic "Wo-oo-wa-oo-aah" chant from Brendan Urie.
14) Christina Perri - Arms
Much like her previous song, Arms is a stunning ballad that starts off docile and builds up to sweeping melodies, only this time around, Perri is crooning about insecurities and uncertainties that she feels when venturing into a relationship. While Arms doesn't possess the same pain that Jar of Hearts laid out, it's a clever narration of a very relatable story, and this kind of familiarity that Christina Perri's music holds makes it all the more beautiful.
15) Black Eyed Peas - Don't Stop The Party
The Black Eyes Peas have been becoming a staple in dance, electro-rap music as of late and their new single "Don't Stop The Party" leads them more into that direction.
16) Parachute - You And Me
'You And Me' set the direction for how the band wanted the rest of the record to sound: big, ambitious and soulful rock and roll.
17) Jason Derulo - Don't Wanna Go Home
Pushing on with his second album Future History, Jason Derulo is embracing the current trend of sampling early '90s dance classics by bravely utilising Robin S's timeless hit 'Show Me Love'... though it's not without obligatory "Jason Derulooo" intro, of course.
18) Matthew Morrison - Summer Rain
The lead single off his debut album, 'Summer Rain' is a good indication of what to expect from the rest of the album. Although not a bad single, with a nice melodic sound and progression, with good vocals from Morrison, it just fails to come together as this summer's pop song.
19) Jordin Sparks - I Am Woman
A newly-defiant Jordin proclaims over the crunchy, uptempo, beat of “I Am Woman”. This is a female empowerment anthem released to mark the arrival of a new Jordin Sparks; sexy, skinny, in charge, and all grown up. However, it feels as tough she is playing dress up as Beyonce: Like a little sister trying to emulate the older sibling whom she idolizes.
20) Steven Tyler - (It) Feels So Good
Just like J Lo, Steven Tyler is riding on the waves of Idol success as he releases a single after a hiatus. The punchy rock tune is fresh and fun, with heavy breathing, harmonica, cowbell and hand claps complementing Tyler’s animated vocals as he sings the hook.
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