A Voice That Soars: “Titanium” by @JamesPoole_

jamespoole

JAMES POOLE, “Titanium”

I often enjoy reading posts from my fellow bloggers as much as I do writing them.  And there are the times that I must write about the same performer I’ve just read about 🙂

Such is the case with James Poole, former member of London sextet Class A, who is now striking out on his own with a few online covers.  My Fizzy Pop himself has a way with words that just do not come out onto my blog pages the same way, so do check out his recent endorsement of James.  I heartily concur.  David Guetta & Sia’s “Titanium” is so often covered, and many who post You Tube videos just cannot even come close to the Sia performance (someone like Matthew John Kurz’s rendition notwithstanding 🙂 ).  James’ wide-ranging voice starts out low, gains momentum, and has such natural power in the chorus that it not only will send goosebumps through you, but it will nail you deep down.  This is a voice made to sing… whatever the heck he wants, really.  I’ll be sure to check out his other recent covers, but hopefully some originals are forthcoming that will showcase his voice.  

Picture a younger Matt Dusk sound with what My Fizzy Pop says is “classical operatic quality” to his voice… and there you have James Poole.  More – much more – please 🙂

Published in: on April 21, 2014 at 6:49 pm  Comments (1)  
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Tuned-On! Top 30 #333 – August 16/10

Elouise

It’s now a few weeks away for the release dates of what could be a few of the year’s great records.  One of those belongs to Killers singer Brandon Flowers – his solo debut Flamingo is due September 6, and “Crossfire” has wasted no time in attaining the pole position on my chart.  It steals it away after one appearance from Bright Light Bright Light’s “A New Word To Say”, which slips to #2, but Rod Thomas and friends of course have the utterly brilliant “Love Part II” coming for official release on September 13.  Expect that song to chart here in two weeks.

Two Door Cinema Club’s Tourist History is quietly becoming one of the albums that should be heard right now.  The Irish band is coming to my city (Toronto) in October, complete with Penguin Prison as opener!!  “Something Good Can Work” finds a weak part of the Top 10 and takes advantage of it, moving 9-4.  Evan Taubenfeld’s “Pumpkin Pie” and David Guetta’s “Gettin’ Over You” both move up a notch.  Three new songs join the Top 10 – the sublime 70’s disco influence of Goldfrapp’s “Dreaming”, the modern electro-punk energy of “Your Body Is A Machine” by The Good Natured, and the tears behind the pop smile of Bim’s “Head Over Heels”.

The middle of this chart continues to be log-jammed with great songs.  The ones more likely to cut through are this edition’s fastest riser, the gorgeous Steve Anderson-produced torch song “Pretender” by UK’s Elouise, climbing 27-18.  Londoners be sure to check out her show for me on September 11 at the Tabernacle! Then we have boy power pop courtesy of Adam Tyler’s “Friction” and its free propulsive Ricardo Autobahn edit.  Still awaiting the Lullabies for Rattlesnakes album! The Top 10 will also have to make way for Roz Bell’s should-be-summer-anthem “Endless Summer Night”, while other songs by Reni Lane, Lifehouse, Chris Mann, Hanson, and Kylie Minogue are all just plain solid.  Maroon 5’s “Misery” pulls up the rear and advances 28-24.

I’m going to continue to plug “The Beautiful Game” by UK singer Billy Franks, which moves up to #19.  It has a lot of hidden quiet power in its melody and emotion, and proceeds go to a charity set up by Prince Harry to help African children, and you can purchase it on iTunes.  Billy – the former leader of one of the 80’s treasures called The Faith Brothers – has also made available for free download a full album of music called Euphoria, which I expect to blog about in the coming weeks.  Download it right here.

On to the debuts.  Surely it’s no surprise after his August 3 concert that another track from Ryan Star’s 11:59 appears (while “Breathe” tumbles to #8)!  And yes it’s “Start A Fire”, which is about to blaze a path of glory in these parts, arriving at #22.  Then we have the fun and slightly eccentric dance sounds of Saint Motel.  The LA quartet lands at #27 with the Sam Sparro remix of “Dear Dictator”.  Finally, The Script haven’t been away from this chart for long, as the long legs of the band’s self-titled debut album have proven a lasting commercial success.  From their upcoming sophomore record Science and Faith comes “For The First Time” at #28.  It’s very samey-sounding to songs off the debut record but it certainly grows on you, and their audience sure enjoys the earnest and emotional style of this Irish trio.

It’s been a quiet, dull live concert scene in Toronto for me this summer.  Most of the artists I’ve wanted to see did not come to my town.  A whole bunch – Two Door Cinema Club, Penguin Prison, Florence & The Machine, Matt and Kim, Miike Snow – are coming within weeks of each other in October – and Brandon Flowers is performing a show for Virgin Mobile members only (you must be a member – which I am 🙂  – to enter the contest, so I’m crossing my fingers!!).  And I’m hopeful that others like Lifehouse, The Script, and Ryan Star, will find there way here to make the winter months more pleasant.

Tuned-On! Top 30 #332 – August 2/10

Bim "Scatterheart"

This will be a quick and early blog as I am off to New York City tomorrow for 5 days with my daughter, during which time we will see Phantom Of The Opera, Ryan Star’s CD release show (Ryan hangs at #5 with “Breathe”), and perhaps visit the Jewish history museum as well as other sites.

That new pop meister extraordinary, Rod Thomas, aka Bright Light Bright Light, grabs #1 on the new chart with “A New Word To Say”, a free download that will hopefully be on BrightLightx2’s upcoming album.  That having been said, I can’t wait for the official release of “Love Part II!

It looks like Brandon Flowers’ “Crossfire” is destined for the top, as it zips into the Top 5 at #2.  “Pumpkin Pie” by Evan Taubenfeld and “Gettin’ Over You” by David Guetta move up in the Top 10, and Two Door Cinema Club’s “Something Good Can Work” does get there amid stiff competition.  As you will see, every song from 11-19 moves up, and really good stuff like “Broken Tonight” by Armin Van Buuren featuring VanVelzen gets stuck at #13 in a year rife full of grand pop songs.  So how does one compete with songs that rev in my mind like those on the chart from Goldfrapp, The Good Natured, Reni Lane, Lifehouse, and Roz Bell?  Last week’s debuts by Adam Tyler and Chris Mann shove along into the lower teens, with Bim’s gorgeously contagious “Head Over Heels” as the fastest riser (and congratulations on the release of the Scatterheart album, now available in iTunes!), moving up 27-17.  Still further down, songs by Hanson and Billy Franks continue to make inroads.

The debuts will continue to bend my ear for months.  How can one resist the happy feet dances generated by Kylie Minogue’s “Get Outta My Way” (her first appearance on my chart since 2004’s “Slow”), the powerful show-stopping drama of Elouise’s “Pretender”, and the sarcastic wit of Maroon 5’s “Misery”?

To see the full chart, click on the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or click right here.  Any comments are more than appreciated 🙂

I don’t know if I’ll get a chance to blog while I’m away but you can check in on me on Twitter.

Tuned-On! Top 30 #330 – July 5/10

As we now sit two weeks into summer and into the second half of 2010, Simon Curtis returns to #1 after a month’s absence, this time with the title track to his mixtape 8-bit Heart – view the charming acapella video here.  While the song initially struck me during my first few listens earlier this year, I set it aside in favour of  the excellent “Beat Drop”, “Delusional” and “Joystick”.  It wasn’t until I realized that the song was the emotional core of the mixtape that my initial perspective returned, hence it arrives at the top of my personal chart.  That makes it 3 #1’s for Simon since last December 🙂

Mike Posner’s “Cooler Than Me” and Christina Aguilera’s “Not Myself Tonight” look to be peaking in the Top 5, while Bright Light Bright Light’s “A New Word To Say” looks to charge up the middle and end up in the Top 5 in two weeks.  Justin Nozuka’s beauty that is “Unwoken Dream (King with Everything)” – though I’m becoming awfully partial to “Heartless” from his You I Wind Land And Sea CD – and Ryan Star’s “Breathe” arrive in the Top 10.  I’m looking forward to the release of Ryan’s full length major label debut 11:59 on August 3, the same date as his concert at Irving Plaza in NYC which I will be attending.

The Top 10 looks to be an interesting place in two weeks as two Evan Taubenfeld tracks, “Pumpkin Pie” and “It’s Like That” are held at bay, followed below by summer party jam “Gettin’ Over You” by David Guetta, Chris Willis, Fergie and LMFAO.  Two Door Cinema Club’s “Something Good Can Work” sends positive thoughts through to summer listeners in the Top 20, while solid second chart moves come from Goldfrapp’s “Dreaming” (the fastest riser), Reni Lane’s “Place for Us”, and The Good Natured’s “Your Body Is A Machine”, which is now available on iTunes.

I’ve already discussed at length recently this week’s debuts by Roz Bell “Endless Summer Night”, Billy Franks “The Beautiful Game”, and Hanson “Thinkin’ ‘Bout Somethin'”, so I’ll move to the other debuts.  Lifehouse’s Smoke & Mirrors CD has been keeping me plenty company since its arrival last Spring, and the second official single arrives on the chart, “All In”.  It’s a tougher single than “Halfway Gone” but pop radio needs a good rocking charge right now anyway.  And last but by no means least is the debut single from Killers lead singer Brandon Flowers.  “Crossfire” simply said strikes the listener so immediately with piano hook, straight forward melody, and highly identifiable vocal that it becomes an instant classic.  If by chance you haven’t heard it yet, please listen below and watch for the video on July 8 (starring Oscar winner Charlize Theron).

Tuned-On! Top 30 #329 – June 21/10

Summer is upon us, and the music in this edition of my personal chart is generally very sunny and Popervescent!  And that’s always something I can turn to, especially during the past few weeks where life has been full throttle and I’ve just been unable to find the words to write… hence this is my first blog since June 7!  Well that’s an exception… Tomorrow, I hope to write about a few more tunes and artists that have interested me over the past while.

Penguin Prison’s “The Worse It Gets” puts me in a good mood whenever I play it, so it hangs onto the #1 spot for a 3rd chart (6 weeks).  Just below it, Simon Curtis’ “Beat Drop” stays put at #2 and I’ve now resigned myself to the fact that it is indeed my favourite track from Simon’s 8-bit Heart mixtape – I had previously wrote that “Delusional” (which like “Beat Drop” held court at the top for 4 charts) was my fave… but they’re awfully close!  Simon’s got some new music up his sleeve for sometime during the summer too.  The title track from his mixtape also lands at #4 and is surely a contender for #1.  Right behind him at #5 is Mike Posner, whose “Cooler Than Me” is now a North American hit.

The more negativity I read about Christina Aguilera’s “Not Myself Tonight”, the more it seems I appreciate it.  The song jumps 10-7… flashy and edgy video aside, you folks are missing a good song with a terrific vocal if you shunt it aside.  The Gossip lands in the Top 10 with “Pop Goes The World”, and Welsh singer Rod Thomas, aka Bright Light Bright Light, has the fastest riser on the chart with the taste he’s providing of his upcoming album, “A New Word To Say”.

Below the Top 10, there’s a great deal of activity with songs pushing their way to the Top 10, including those by Justin Nozuka, Ryan Star (whose album release show in NYC I will be attending on August 3!), Evan Taubenfeld x 2, Armin Van Buuren, David Guetta, Drake, Travis Garland, and Two Door Cinema Club.  You will certainly get an infectious case of good cheer by listening to many of these songs successively!

The debuts this week all belong to women with unique vocal stylings.  First up is actually a UK trio called The Good Natured, fronted by lead singer Sarah, who could be the happy result of Adele-meets-Tracey Thorn with her own brand of intrigue.  Their track “Your Body Is A Machine” as remixed by Baby Monster debuts at #26 – a delightful acoustic video clip of the song is at the top of this page.  Next up, Goldfrapp arrives on this chart for the first time with “Dreaming”, a track from the duo’s latest album Head First.  I’ve never truly got to appreciate Goldfrapp’s past efforts beyond passing listens, and the songs from Head First have yet to really gel with me – almost an about-face for the duo to create a record that might be over-the-top commercial.  But within it is “Dreaming”, which captured me with it’s heavy late-70’s disco influence while also giving a tip of the hat to Kate Bush along the way.  Last up, Reni Lane is an American singer whose album Ready dropped last Fall.  “Place for Us” has been gracing my iTouch for a while now, and the haunting quality of her voice in the Will Eastman remix has sunk in.  You can check out the video of the original mix at the bottom of this page.

You can view the chart in its entirety by clicking on the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or by clicking right here.

Thanks for reading and any comments that you have are greatly appreciated!

My next chart will be posted early in two weeks as I will be on a family vacation during the first week of July.

Pop Goes The Summer?: Tuned-On! Top 30 #328 – June 7/10

There’s way too much going on in my life right now… including a ‘magic’ birthday of mine later this week… but Music is  among a select few things that I can count on 🙂

Penguin Prison’s “The Worse It Gets” hangs on to the #1 spot for a second chart, and despite its melancholy sounding title, it’s a rather chipper song for a long drive… I like to think of driving along the ocean in L.A.  And there’s a great late-70’s-sounding remix by Starsmith that’s perfect for the sunniest of days.  Kelis’ knowing “Acapella” moves up to #3, so we’ll see if she can challenge Mr. Chris Glover for the top.  Clayton Senne’s energetic “Wonderland” has been patient but gets up to #4 – worth the wait!

Simon Curtis had his second live set in Kansas City this time, and while the glorious “8-bit Heart” continues its rise to #6, he also got to perform “Joystick” for the first time (definitely nice to hear more of Simon in the live mix this time too)… video is at the bottom of this blog.  A guy he’s praised, who is also his competition in some ways, is Mike Posner, whose playful “Cooler Than Me” glides  up to #7.  Even though the movie fell short at the box office – and I still want to see it – Mika’s “Kick Ass” climbs to #8.  And a needlessly maligned “Not Myself Tonight” by Christina Aguilera lands in the Top 10 – it’s only her fifth chart appearance in Tuned-On! land, but they’ve all gone Top 10, too.

This week’s fastest riser is a song that’s grown on me immensely during the last few weeks.  Australian trio The Gossip spice up the upcoming summer with “Pop Goes The World”.  I know a lot of people prefer other tracks from Music For Men, but I really like Beth Ditto’s vocals on this one.  The glory of “Unwoken Dream (King With Everything)” by Justin Nozuka looks Top Ten bound, as does journeyman rocker Ryan Star’s “Breathe”, which is becoming a force to be reckoned with almost a year after first appearing in iTunes.  Rod Thomas aka Bright Light Bright Light is performing showcase shows in England in anticipation of his first official release.   In the meantime, enjoy “A New Word To Say”, which is the highest rising of the last chart’s debuts at #18.

This chart’s newbies are a varied lot.  We start with the party-hardy of “It’s Like That”, another track from Evan Taubenfeld’s winning Welcome To The Blacklist Club digital release.  Then we have what could be this summer’s jam.  Yes it’s VERRRRY familiar – almost a knock off of 2006’s “Love Is Gone” mixed with a few other catchy and borrowed hooks – but David Guetta has it together with fave vocalist Chris Willis, as well as Fergie and LMFAO (who also graced one of last year’s big jams, “Shooting Star” by David Rush), and it’s just impossible to resist – witness the video at the bottom of this blog.  Next up, newcomer Travis Garland’s first single is “Believe”.  I heard it before his American Idol appearance and didn’t even see it – just heard about it.  This one has mass appeal and shouldn’t be ignored.  Lastly, Irish band Two Door Cinema Club grow on you with tracks from their CD Tourist History, most notably with “Something Good Can Work”.

Enjoy the full chart using the link to the right under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** or simply click right here.

David Guetta & Chris Willis featuring Fergie & LMFAO “Gettin’ Over You”

Simon Curtis “Joystick” live in Kansas City (June 5)

Tuned-On! Top 300 of the 2000’s – FINAL (#50-1)

Here it is, the final 50 of the complete list of 300 songs, a list that I fussed over for the last few months.  I may have been a little generous overall with songs from the last year, but time will only tell, since 2009 was to me a great year for new music.  I think the best way to introduce this list is with some of my favourite lyrics.

I won’t worry my life away…

I’d go extra miles to show that you are the one thing that I’ve got…

Gimme gimme symphonies, gimme more than the life I see…

I know that after tonight you don’t have to talk about the stars no no…

If I have understood correctly velocity equals the distance traveled, divided by time…

Step into the light, this dog doesn’t bite, oh, just want to be your friend…

Simply being loved… is more than enough, yeah yeah…

I’m living for the only thing I know, I’m running and not sure quite where to go…

My baby’s got the lonesome lows, don’t quite go away overnight…

Feathered hair and lame heels, what turns me on is so surreal…

And I’m only makin’ it worse when I let her go, then I come on back every time I leave…

And I won’t call you baby anymore, won’t call you baby like I did before…

I’m miles from where you are, I lay down on the cold ground, I pray that something picks me up…

You know in 1987 I was dancin’ in a discotheque, and people were coming up to me and sayin’ “What is this shit??”…

The full updated list is available right here – please leave your comments and observations!!  Onward to the new decade… 🙂

Tuned-On! Top 300 of the 2000’s, Part 4 (150-101)

As the numbers get smaller, so the songs begin to be increasingly difficult to talk about without going into many superlatives, so I will probably save those for the Top 50 or so.   When I look at this group of 50 songs, I see mainly songs that energize me or affect me emotionally.  So for every rave up that is Madonna’s “Sorry” or George Acosta’s remix of “Just Another Day” or Nadia Ali’s “Love Story” or Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs” or Alex Gaudino & Crystal Waters’ “Destination Calabria”, there is JC Chasez’s totally underrated and hurtin’ “Until Yesterday”, Stabilo’s almost-sinister “Flawed Design”, Darren Hayes’ very dark “I Like The Way”, Mary J. Blige & The Game’s heartfelt mashup “MJB Da MVP”, the emotions-run-wild in Mika’s “We Are Golden”, Florence & The Machine’s gothic “Rabbit Heart”, and the teen love’s growing pains in David Archuleta’s “Crush”.  Don’t discount the fabulous one-off’s that are “Jerk It Out” by The Caesars or “Summer Jam” by The Underdog Project either!

This will be my last update of this list until after December 29.  I’ll be away after Christmas for a few days but may blog about this and that if I have time.  Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it!

You can find the updated list right here – don’t forget to leave your comments!