Wicked New Music from Ro & Simon, Frankmusik, Jerry Reid, Long Story Short, The Midway State

Ro Danishei featuring Simon Curtis “Wicked Baby”

Can’t.Get.It.Out.Of.My.Head.  I love it when a song does that to me.  But I didn’t expect that it would be this one.  There’s a perception sometimes that only throwaway songs that didn’t make the cut the first time are added on to records which have already been released.  But when an album is being put on iTunes after being available for free for most of the year, those songs had better be good, DAMN good, to change that perception.  And I even tipped you off to this one earlier (in June).  

So one of the completely unanticipated and precious gems of 2011 belongs to singer Ro Danishei with “Wicked Baby” from the ‘deluxe’ edition of End Of The Rainbow, the original version about which I blogged earlier in the year, complete with five new tracks (two new songs and three remixes, including two killer remixes of “Blackout”, by Paul Hetherington and producer Jeff “Jadion” Wells).  And while I’ve been wrapped up with songs like “Prey To The Beat”, “Drunk Txt”, and “Michelle” throughout the year, it’s her new duet with Simon Curtis (who also collaborated on “Michelle”) that now really brings the power of this record home.  

While “Michelle” was filled with high energy and anger, “Wicked Baby” is pure sizzle and joy.  It revels in reggae-tinged late 80’s and early 90’s pop which screams Sweden!!! and in particular Ace of Base’s worldwide hits.  But the real ear-opener in this song is the 18 second vocal break in which producer Jadion contemporizes the style and finishes it off in party central.  

For a smashing review that took many of my words out of my head before I could write them 😉 check out My Fizzy Pop.  I’ve run out of superlatives for “Wicked Baby”, so you’ll just have to listen to the song below and watch for my new chart on the weekend to see where it places!

Frankmusik “When I Start (To Break It All Down)” Erasure cover

Last week became a week when a performer’s worst fears come to life.  Fortunately one of the most versatile performers around, Frankmusik, had already recorded “The Fear Inside” late last year, and the theme of that song served to counter whoever so cruelly decided to leak music from his forthcoming album Do It In The A.M. (due September 27).  

Frank fought back – with incredibly cool, quickly recorded songs that he made available for free download – and fans (and particularly a bunch of NEW fans I’m sure) reaped the benefits.  He also previewed songs from the album at various blog sites, including the full version of his choice pairing with newcomer and labelmate Colette Carr, “No I.D.”, which you can hear at Arjan Writes’ blog right here.

So because Frankmusik produced the upcoming Erasure album Tomorrow’s World, and is opening for them on their North American tour, I’ve chosen to post his spot-on cover below of their new single “When I Start (To Break It All Down)”.  You may not know it, but 2011 is the year of Frankmusik…

Jerry Reid previews his new album

You first met Detroit’s Jerry Reid through the sensational Ballroom Remixed project this past Spring, when he gave the Jive some bad boy R&R style on “Out Without Your Boyfriend”, powered by Ben Waters’ zinging keys.  And you’ll get a chance to hear a Ricardo Autobahn remix with the release of the forthcoming Less Ballroom, More Remixed.  Jerry gets to show his stuff on his upcoming album, which is previewing on his website through six songs at Jerry Reid Online.  These are pretty tasty tunes, throwing you back into the late 80’s where you might swear that Jerry could cover songs by both INXS and Tommy Page in the same breath.  The rollicking “Radar” is mighty ear-catching, while “Young Wolves” I would say is simply Michael Hutchence-exy.  Songs like “The Drive” help spell out the unique charm of Jerry Reid.

Long Story Short “Girl Without A Name”

I’ve been talking up the merits of duo Long Story Short for a good part of the year since I met Daniel Luka and Nicky James back in February, and told you about their debut album What A Scene.  The deluxe version of What A Scene will be on iTunes very soon, and will include their latest single “Girl Without A Name”, which is also available on iTunes.  The song follows in the uptempo rock vein of their free download “Venom” (currently #7 on my personal chart, and it will also be included in What A Scene), but with a much more lilting and lyrical style as well as a genial melody, that climaxes with shiny strings as it rocks to a close.  So like with Ro Danishei’s “Wicked Baby”, saving some great songs to complement an already very good album is fine strategy indeed.

The Midway State “Run To You” Bryan Adams cover

If you live in Canada, you can’t watch the CBC without seeing a commercial for the show “Camelot”, and hearing a clip of The Midway State’s rendition of “Run To You”, a classic international hit from 1985 by Canada’s Bryan Adams.  The quartet previewed this song when the CBC was promoting their “Cover Me Canada” show – and quickly demonstrated how to revamp a song and make it your own.  The band had already proven this in the past when they performed with no less than Lady GaGa on a duet of Peter Gabriel & Kate Bush’s “Don’t Give Up”, as well as with their version of Michael Jackson’s “Man In The Mirror” right after he passed away.  That “Run To You” is taking on a life of its own while The Midway State promote their sophomore record Paris Or India is a testament to their exemplary choices of songs.  I’m still trying to latch on to some key songs from the well produced and thoughtful songs on Paris Or India, so until I’m ready to write about that, this cover of one of my favourite all-time Canadian songs will fare just nicely.

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. […] the only way to contain all of the insanity was to take some good listens to my favourite songs.  As much as I’ve been obsessed with Ro Danishei & Simon Curtis’ sensational “Wi…, it debuts in the stratosphere at #3.  That leaves “Just Once” by Databoy (#1) and […]


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