single of the week

Mark Ronson - Uptown Funk ft. Bruno Mars

 

today in history

 

album picks

Album Review: Nicki Minaj - The Pinkprint
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Album Review: Demi Lovato - Demi (Deluxe)
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Album Review: McBusted
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more album picks

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When your latest jam comes on the radio, what do you do? When your favourite band’s up on stage gracing you with their groovy presence, what do you do? When a sick bass line drops and a wicked beat kicks in, what do you do? Unless you’re a complete, utter zombie who has surrendered all emotion to the devil, you’d probably start shaking that tushie, bopping that head, whipping that hair, and go absolutely ballistic, dancing like no one’s around.

This is an ode to the greatest of dances that’s transpired in recent music history, and you should know that the best could only come in the form of perfectly synchronised choreography.   

 

#5: Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars

Coming in at number five is Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ performance of Uptown Funk on The Ellen Show. It starts off with some slightly cheesy DJ-talk, but as soon as the song kicks in, we see Bruno and his posse lined in front of the audience, dancing in sync with them. As if the boys’ smooth grooves aren’t enough, the camera moves on to Ellen herself, who flaunts some irresistible moves. Of course, we’ve got to love the two firemen that made a cameo towards the end of the video!

 

#4: Yanis Marshall

Three French men in heels, all highly likely to be inclined towards other men, dance to the greatest hits of British gem Spice Girls and pull it off with effortless sass (snap, snap!). If anything, they must be reincarnations of Destiny’s Child, retaining just their prowess of movement.

 

#3: Inmates of CPDRC

 
That acronym stands for Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Centre. Sounds banal, doesn’t it? Well, their prison flash mob is anything but. Hailing from the Philippines are 1,500 jailbirds with a criminal sense of humour, as well as an apparent appreciation for the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, and his best-known crowd-puller. Notice the cross-dressing “female” lead, gamely feigning fear and surprise – he (or, she) almost stole the limelight from those clad in orange jumpsuits.

 

#2: OK Go

It’d be a sin not to mention the cinematic concoctions of this four-piece alternative pop group. Cautiously choreographed, and meticulously timed, their music videos require more than creativity and out-of-the-box ideas. They needed talent, skill and attitude. It’s not all fun and games on set – one small mistake and it’s total trash. At least, we know that after every successful take, a fraction of humanity wakes up to their desire for unadulterated, merrymaking dance.

 

#1: Black Eyed Peas

Topping this list is the once funk-driven hip-hop outfit, Black Eyed Peas, with their appearance at Oprah’s Kickoff Party. Despite their ace showmanship, only one concertgoer appeared to be charged with enthusiasm. Straight off the bat, it’s clear a flash mob was to ensue. Skip to 2:20 if you’re desperate for proof that a sea of audience can move in matchless synchrony, but have got no patience at all to wait two minutes and 20 seconds for it.

Photo credit: EllenTube

From Miley Cyrus’ twerking revival to JLo and Iggy Azalea’s Booty collaboration to Nicki Minaj’s raunchy Anaconda music video to Kim Kardashian’s Internet breaking ass-ets, 2014 was indeed the year of the booty. But will the posterior obsession prevail in 2015, or will another part of the human anatomy take over the charts? Let’s survey some of the potential candidates.

 

Hips

A logical progression from the tush, the juicy doubles, the caboose (I could go on), this could trigger a possible resurgence of Shakira’s Hips Don’t Lie.

 

Lips

Often overlooked and overshadowed by the more attention-grabbing torso region, the lips (skinny or luscious, au naturel or pigmented) are more potent and dangerous than you think. Just ask The Flaming Lips, or Kylie Jenner.

 

Hair

The tresses trend almost took flight after the release of wunderkind Willow Smith’s Whip My Hair. But for as long as we can remember, Beyonce has been patting her weave while Nicki Minaj flaunted her gaudy, outlandish collection of wigs. A craze that’s really always been around since the beginning of time, perhaps it’ll be manifested in music this year on a larger scale.

If you’ve got your own predictions, don’t keep us in the dark!

 

Photo credits: MTV, Beyonce/Tumblr, Willow Smith/YouTube, Beyonce/YouTube

This classically trained blonde bombshell with the gigantic voice is not only easy on the eyes, she’s also painfully beautiful to the ears as well. With the release of Hunter, here are four facts about why you should check out Morgan James’ new album.

 

1. Music critics described her as a neo-white soul singer

She can shout out Aretha Franklin and be as subtle Bonnie Raitt. “What really brought out the voice that I have, my soul voice and true voice, was really not getting any work and being very sad and being poor and having to sit with that. I think that’s where the blues comes from. I started singing out in clubs and I kinda just imitated other people, like Aretha or Mariah or Chaka or Sade. I would learn how to imitate these people but I really didn’t have my own sound. You have to spend time listening and singing and practicing and you have to put in the time,” said James during an interview.

 

2. The Broadway Performer

Having studied Opera in Julliard, James went on to become a Broadway sensation with four Broadway shows under her belt including The Addams Family, Wonderland, and Godspell.

 

3. It took 2 years to get Prince’s approval to cover his song

“I’m a huge Prince fan and I had been singing Call My Name for several years. His lyrics are very romantic and appealing to me. I played it for LA Reid and he loved it and he knew that it probably was not going to be approved because Prince doesn’t approve a lot of songs; he doesn’t like people covering his songs. Finally LA Reid basically called Prince and asked him to listen to it and he did and he got right back to him and said he loved it,” James told YouKnowIGotSoul.

If The Purple One himself likes it, you know it can’t be wrong. She starts off with a high-pitch falsetto at the beginning of Call My Name – instantly sending shivers down the spine. In the music video, James tries to make the world a better place by stopping time and making little tweaks here and there.

 

4. A Star Waiting To Be Born

If her cover of Prince’s Call My Name doesn’t stir your musical taste buds, I don’t know what will. One voice is all it takes – to cast an unbreakable spell and transport the listener to a different time and place. Her name is Morgan James.

 

Photo credit: Soul Train

Anyone who has spent the year trying to get away from bad songs can tell you something. And that is the waves of bad songs come in three stages. First, you hear them on the radio. All. The. Damn. Time. Next, you hear your friends singing them. Out loud. Finally and terrifyingly, you hear yourself singing the songs. And the worst part is, you aren’t even guilty of it.

So if you’ve arrived at this article, don’t be ashamed. (Hush, I know, I know…) You’re not alone. The folks here at Spin or Bin Music have been there, done that. And clearly we’ve come to the conclusion that these songs have hit their expiration date. We need a clean slate. In with the new, bin with the old!

Did your favourite – I mean most hated – make the list? Let the honour roll of the worst songs of 2014 begin:

 

10. All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor

 

Whoops, there it is, a song about (plus-sized) body positivity. Hooray! Now why has it landed a spot here? It’s been overplayed, obviously. From jamming on Ellen to Fallon, this spunky track got us sidestepping and side eyeing skinny bitches. Nah, I’m just playing. Spin on!

 

9. She Looks So Perfect – 5 Seconds of Summer

 

This infectious summer hit by Australian 5 Seconds of Summer definitely boosted American Apparel’s underwear sales, but it did nothing for me. Simply put, it’s another of those factory-produced pop song. Moving along…

 

8. Rude – MAGIC!

 

This cheap reggae hit by MAGIC! had us cringing right from the start. Boy likes girl. Boy can’t get girl. Boy blames dad for being rude. Really?

Plus, “Boys will be boys” could possibly be the worst lyric ever. But there’s one thing I like about this story: there is the asking of consent, but sadly (for him) no approval.

The better alternative would be Kina Grannis’s cover – it’s a great shout out to the LGBTQ community – she doesn’t switch the gender pronouns, giving the song just the twist it needs.

 

7. Black Widow – Iggy Azalea ft. Rita Ora

 

Fun fact: this song, which is totally not about a spider or a sexy Scarlet Johansson, was supposed to be Katy Perry’s song. But it was dropped due to musical similarity to another song, yup, the one which is totally not about a four-legged animal that neighs. Speaking of neighs, I would like to say nay to both songs. They used to be real catchy, but airtime’s over, ladies.

 

6. Fancy – Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX

 

I love the whole Clueless set-up for the music video. But since then, a lot has changed. Perhaps you – or Igloo Australia – realize that you are never as fancy as you thought you were. Yes, it’s Iggy’s break out single, but will this also break her up? Stay tuned to find out.

 

5. Problem – Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea

 

The chorus just kills me. Ariana Grande hitting the high notes is just a big no-no. Anyone else feels that she sounds like she’s going into labour? No? Just me? Well, it looks like I have a problem here…

 

4. Anaconda – Nicki Minaj

 

My anaconda – just don’t. This asscellent song, which is totally not about a reptile, has got the world's booties shaking and wondering what an anaconda is. Thumbs up for the feminist subtleties in the music video, but as we all know, material from Her Minajesty is not for everyone.

 

3. Hello Kitty – Avril Lavigne

 

Ka-ka-ka-ka –cut!! We don’t know what’s more horrifying, this song or the fact that Hello Kitty is NOT a cat, but a British schoolgirl. Nevertheless, Hello Kitty still remains a well-loved global icon and this cringeworthy track pretty much massacres the image of her. (Her meaning both the singer and the character).

We still love you, Avril.

 

2. Wiggle – Jason Derulo ft. Snoop Dogg

 

Wiggle this song away from radio, please! (Even the video thumbnail says it all.) This dance music atrocity is basically a huge creepy catcall… “You know what to do with that big fat butt” Obviously we know it’s not you. Bye. 

 

1. Selfie – The Chainsmokers

 

The title says it all. This is the nightmare of every clubber (and non-clubber) – the unspeakable horror of the EDM industry. Having ‘selfie’ as an official word in the dictionary was already a linguistic scandal.

Pro tip: Blurt out “But first, let me take a selfie!” before everything you do. Guaranteed to lose all your friends by the end of the day. Well, at least you have a few thousand selfies of yourself.

 

Bonus: Let It Go – Idina Menzel

 

The movie was released in 2013, but it still lives on through this one song that can send chills down parents’ spines. Kids will only stop singing Let It Go… If hell freezes over! Oops, I’m sorry. Even the director is sorry.

But come on; don’t pretend you haven’t sang along. Even if your heart were a frozen block of ice, it would have melted at the sight of Elsa and Anna’s true love for each other.

And what’s truly magical is Demi Lovato’s cover! I genuinely thought it was Adele Dazeem’s Idina Menzel’s original track. With that said, both songbirds are as unique as snowflakes.

 

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Photo credit: agora.com 

Let's be real; 2014 was a year to remember especially for you concert-lovers and gig-goers. We had the honour of hosting many memorable performances from the likes of Taylor Swift to The 1975 and to our more recent guests, Yellowcard; to name just a few.

This amazing year could just be a preview for what's to come in 2015, so take a look at our Top 10 music acts we want to see rocking our little island in the upcoming year!

 

10. Charli XCX

Nobody seems to get Charli XCX's catchy songs out of their heads. The rising British pop star who recently released her 3rd album, Sucker, has definitely got what it takes to be big. With her hits like Boom Clap, Break The Rules as well as lending her unique pop voice to even bigger hits like Iggy Azalea's Fancy and Icona Pop's I Love It (which she co-wrote), we'd love to see her bring a Singapore stage alive and dancing on their feet.

 

9. U2

Now we all may have hated this band their involvement in a certain iTunes marketing scheme regarding their latest Songs Of Innocence record, but come on this is U2 we're talking about. Besides that really poor, poor, poor decision, U2 still remains one of the best live bands in the world to this day and who knows? We may be seeing the last of this iconic quartet because they have rocked this business a long time and trust them, they know how to rock a stage.

 

8. 21 Pilots

This American musical duo has quietly gained the interest and support from many growing fans in the world, including Singapore, for their special indie pop sound. And I know a number of fans here that have been waiting a long a while to see a 21 Pilots concert. They have sneaked in the bandwagon of the rising indie pop/electronica movement and hopefully with their recent breaking into mainstream music, we'd see Tyler and Josh garner more support till they step on our soil.

 

7. Bruno Mars

Yes, we know we've seen Bruno Mars this year already! But who doesn't want him to come back next year? The pop sensation has already made himself a household name and still he's improved himself particularly in terms of performing. He sings, he dances, he plays the drums, he's just a born entertainer.

His performance in this year's Superbowl half-time show really showcased his raw showmanship. With his latest hit Uptown Funk LSS-ing many people, we'd love to see Bruno and his Smeezingtons do their thang on a Singapore stage. He definitely could take on our new national stadium, which probably isn't big enough for him.

 

6. Muse

When Muse puts on a show, they put on a show. This trio has rocked arenas and stages many thought were too big for just 3 men, but with their larger-than-life sound of Matt Bellamy's vocals and guitar effects as well as the thumping drums grooving with the bass sometimes backed by huge orchestration, they've got the power to control a crowd - no matter how big. And it's absolute magic whenever they play the slow anthemic Starlight and we definitely want to see that magic here again.

 

5. Beyoncé

Queen Beyoncé is THE pop icon of the century. With countless hits, successful albums and not to mention as a fantastic crowd-pleaser, there are millions who adore this diva queen. And there are also millions who'd love to see her live and upclose (as seen in the picture above), immersed in her majestic aura. So a quick no-brainer question: why isn't she here yet? Enough said, just get her here ASAP in 2015.

 

4. The Vamps

The Vamps have been one of the better pleasant surprises this year and they have the numbers to prove that. Their hits like Wild Heart and Can We Dance are so catchy and singable that they have become the guilty pleasures of many. Definitely an up and coming group that has a big musical potential and we'd love to catch these boys live while they're still young.

 

3. Taylor Swift

America's Number 1 sweetheart has proved this year that she has a whole different side to her music with even more attitude and energy in her songs and concerts! She has undoubtedly one of the year's best songs with Shake It Off and her 1989 album is powerfully promising with incredible tracks.

With the 1989 Tour kicking off very soon, Swifties in Singapore will have their fingers crossed that Tay will cross oceans just to grace our shores and perform for us again.

 

2. Jack White

We haven't see this genius madman in Singapore yet. Be it with the Stripes or The Raconteurs or The Dead Weather, we still haven't had the privilege of hosting this talented musician. Everybody knows the Seven Nation Army and what a sight it would be to see that song rocking a Singapore stadium.

Jack White has gone solo now, but maybe just maybe - we get to see one of the greatest enigmas of rock and roll bring out his wild personality on the guitar in front of the loyal Jack White fans in our country.

 

1. Arctic Monkeys

2014 has been the year for UK indie rock band Arctic Monkeys. The Monkeys have been in the rising indie rock scene from the very start and have quietly worked their way into mainstream music especially with songs this year like Do I Wanna Know? and Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High? from their critically acclaimed AM album. (What's with the questioning titles guys?) Singapore has yet to see this band and now that they are one of the best bands in the world right now, we can't help but hope that they bring an epic performance to one of our stadiums.

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Photo credits: Google Images