You can dance: @BrightLightx2 scores aces with 3rd album Choreography

BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT, Choreography

I’ve pretty much gotten away from writing about full-length albums, but there is always an exception, and Bright Light Bright Light’s third long-player Choreography is exactly that.  Bright Light x2 (Rod Thomas) first appeared in this blog not long after I began writing it in 2009 and I’ve looked forward to his music ever since.  Consistency is hard to maintain but Rod does that with the songs in Choreography.  Always writing from unique perpectives, these songs do give examples of how one choreographs one’s life, or at times, has it choreographed for them.  The bevy of guest stars – pals Sir Elton John (featuring in three songs), Mykal Kilgore, and all members of Scissor Sisters (including Del Marquis), plus Alan Cumming! – do not overwhelm or detract from Rod’s approach, they simply fit, exactly how it should be.  Standout songs are lead singles “All In The Name” (with Sir Elton), “Little Bit” (above), along with”Home” (with Alan), and especially when Rod gets to party with Scissor Sisters on club bangers “Kiss For Kiss” (with Jake Shears) and “I Only Want To Please You” (with Ana Matronic).  You can dance and sway to it all however you like, or you can listen attentively.  Bright Light Bright Light’s Choreography is as an electronic pop beauty that you can’t ignore.

“All In The Name” is new and uniquely @BrightLightx2 featuring @Eltonofficial

BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT featuring ELTON JOHN, “All In The Name”

After the long-lasting songs from the success that was Bright Light Bright Light’s 2014 album Life Is Easy comes “All In The Name”, from his upcoming third album Choreography.  All you need to do is search these blog pages to find the countless raves about Rod Thomas’ music since I first encountered it in late 2009!  “All In The Name” is no exception to the high quality of songwriting.  It’s a cheery danceable pop song for sunny summer days, featuring another appearance from his friend and mentor Elton John, after 2014’s “I Wish We Were Leaving” (Elton appears on two more songs on Choreography).  So that you remember the title of the album, the video (above) for “All In The Name” is a highly stylized affair, full of eye-catching pastel colours, fine editing, and nifty choreography (my daughter danced for 10 years so I have some insight here!).   “All In The Name” is light and memorable – with a cast featuring Alan Cumming, Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears, Ana Matronic & Del Marquis, and that soulful vocal near the end by Mykal Kilgore (who recently co-sang the Billboard Top 20 Club Chart hit “Wait” with Vinny Vero) – and everything a fine pop song should be (now onto the remixes?).

Rock and Romance: @SteveGrandMusic Is Back with “Time” and “Bennie and the Jets”

STEVE GRAND, “Time” and “Bennie and the Jets”

As a preview to his upcoming album due shortly after the start of 2015, Steve Grand has released two new songs – a new original, “Time”, and a cover of a song from my early years, Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets” – to whet your taste for more new songs.  From one of today’s most endearing, rising performers,  “Time” is a rock-tinged country song that’s all about the romance and good times, a good companion song in a lot of ways to Eli Lieb’s “Zeppelin”.  Steve’s a great storyteller, and his breezy, rooted performance hardly makes you notice a 4 minute + length.  It’s songs like these that standout because Steve really doesn’t sound quite like anyone else.  And there are more fine originals coming too!  I’m really glad Steve released “Bennie and the Jets”.  I heard it at his Toronto show in the summer and it was sabotaged by bad sound.  I really wanted to like it but couldn’t form an opinion. The enjoyable recorded version is slick enough and captures the raw essence of the Elton classic (and Elton’s a Steve Grand fan), though I think we’d have to dress up Steve in platform shoes and a bright sequined outfit for full 70’s effect 😛  Anyway, these songs are part of a great step forward for a deserving and talented singer/songwriter 🙂 You can buy “Time and “Bennie and the Jets” on iTunes.

Published in: on November 7, 2014 at 9:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

BILLCS Top 30 #431 – May 19/14

The new chart is positively shaking!  So much activity – a new #1, and 7 debuts smash onto the chart!  And because of the latter I’ll be skipping over some songs that are making headway, and we’ll catch up with them in two weeks.

The Top 10

  • Yes, it’s 18 year old Martin Garrix who has scored his second consecutive #1 with the free download “Proxy”, following the so-amazing success of “Animals”.  And there always seems to be Martin Garrix news to report on every few weeks.  The latest is collaboration with Sander van Doorn and DVBBS featuring vocalist Aleesia on “Gold Skies”.  The new song is a mix between Tegan & Sara’s “Closer” and Zedd & Foxes’ “Clarity”, and the video is day in the life of  couple on a road trip.  Could be a summer sleeper!
  • Adam Tyler has a personal best this week as “Electric Valentine” climbs to #3.  His deluxe edition of his album Shattered Ice, featuring new songs and reduxes of songs from the album, plus last year’s “Fade Into The Light” and of course “Electric Valentine”, will be available on June 10.  You can stream the new songs at the link below, and I draw your attention to a really infectious piece of business called “Criminal”, which will have you singing along and humming to a melody which is a bit of a throwback to the 80’s.
  • Happy 22nd Birthday to Sam Smith, who has three entries on the chart, two of which are on the rise – “Stay With Me” rises to #4, and “Not In That Way” is up to #11.
  • Rixton is turning out to be the pop flavour of May with “Me And My Broken Heart” now heard everywhere, and up to #5 on my chart!
  • “Love Space” continues on the rise for Convulsic at #6, while “The Day You Left” is also on fire at #12!
  • They were all destined for the Top 10 and arrive this week:  “Fall Into Love” by Wrathschild at #8, FrankMusik’s “Dear Nicole” at #9, and “I Wish We Were Leaving” by Bright Light Bright Light & Elton John at #10.  New videos are in the works for both FrankMusik (“Stabilizher”) and Wrathschild, while Bright Light x2’s sophomore album Life Is Easy is on deck for July 7.

The Fastest Risers

  • Last week’s debut by DVBBS & MOTi “This Is Dirty” is the one to watch as it climbs 23-16.
  • Right behind is Andy Grammer’s heart-tugger “Back Home”, moving up 22-17.

And Now, On To Those Debuts

I’ve written about them all, so their arrival on my chart proves they have staying power, and then some!

  • Most noteworthy is Tristan Thompson’s “Tidal Wave” from the Canadian singer’s debut album Here For You.  Check out the rich, soulful style… and he’s only 15!  It’s kind of appropriate (and totally unintentional) that “Tidal Wave” makes a huge bow at #15 🙂  Stream Tristan’s entire album including “Tidal Wave” right here.
  • I’ve been having such a good time with Jason Walker’s cover of Taylor Dayne’s “Tell It To My Heart” (featuring Bimbo Jones) that the club hit blasts on to my chart at #20!
  • It’s not really readily available, but since it’s released somewhere, the explosive “Electrify The Night” by House Rockerz, Davis Redfield and UK singer Carl Man charges on to the chart at #22.  I’ve put the song on my Soundcloud site for now so you can hear it (hopefully it doesn’t get taken down) 🙂
  • One of the most inventive songs around with a contagious melody is “Good News (For People Who Love Bad News)” by Zorro Blakk (aka Daniel Volpe) featuring Deniz Oliveiri, which arrives at #25, from Zorro’s debut album The Fairy Tale Of Zorro Blakk.
  • Though I’ve been listening to SIRPAUL’s “Black Leather” for quite a while now, the arrival of its NSFW and limit-testing video in support of this latest single from the singer’s Seventh Star album sends it on to the chart at #28.  WARNING: Uncensored version – discretion advised!
  • Pop Psychology by Neon Trees is one of the year’s best surprises for me in terms of a straight forward, well done pop album that still retains its alt.rock roots.  I’m going off the beaten path though and the song that lands on my chart is “Teenager In Love” at #29.
  • Kongos’ diverse sound with South African roots has won me over with their rock album Lunatic, and the bass-laden “Hey I Don’t Know” debuts at #30.

The Full Chart

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and detailed web edition of my chart.

02 01 PROXY Martin Garrix
01 02 LATCH Disclosure featuring Sam Smith
04 03 ELECTRIC VALENTINE Adam Tyler
06 04 STAY WITH ME Sam Smith
09 05 ME AND MY BROKEN HEART Rixton
07 06 LOVE SPACE Convulsic
03 07 CANNONBALL (EARTHQUAKE) Showtek & Justin Prime featuring Matthew Koma
11 08 FALL INTO LOVE Wrathschild
13 09 DEAR NICOLE FrankMusik
12 10 I WISH WE WERE LEAVING Bright Light Bright Light & Elton John
15 11 NOT IN THAT WAY Sam Smith
17 12 THE DAY YOU LEFT Convulsic
05 13 FINEST CLOTHES IN TOWN Nick Hagelin
16 14 SHE LOOKS SO PERFECT 5 Seconds Of Summer
New 15 TIDAL WAVE Tristan Thompson
23 16 THIS IS DIRTY DVBBS & MOTi
22 17 BACK HOME Andy Grammer
08 18 FIND YOU Zedd featuring Matthew Koma & Miriam Bryant
10 19 BACK TO CALIFORNIA Steve Grand
New 20 TELL IT TO MY HEART Jason Walker featuring Bimbo Jones
25 21 BE MINE Kendal Thompson
New 22 ELECTRIFY THE NIGHT House Rockerz featuring Davis Redfield & Carl Man
14 23 MONEY ON MY MIND Sam Smith
18 24 HORNY Lonnie Gordon
New 25 GOOD NEWS (FOR PEOPLE WHO LOVE BAD NEWS) Zorro Blakk featuring Deniz Oliveiri
19 26 LOVE ME AGAIN John Newman
20 27 ADDICTED TO YOU Avicii featuring Audra Mae
New 28 BLACK LEATHER SIRPAUL
New 29 TEENAGER IN LOVE Neon Trees
New 30 HEY I DON’T KNOW Kongos

 

 

BILLCS Top 30 #429 – April 21/14

If it’s one performer that this edition of my new personal chart is all about, it’s UK pop/soul singer Sam Smith.  There are 4 Sam Smith entries, including a former #1 (now at #8) and another debut!  Plus, I get to see him in concert on Wednesday April 23 at the Virgin Mod Club in Toronto 🙂

 The Top 10:

  • The killer dance tune that is “Cannonball (Earthquake)” holds #1 down handily for Showtek, Justin Prime & Matthew Koma, as the song debuts at #29 in the UK 🙂
  • We may be a touch late on it in North America, but “Latch” by Disclosure and Sam Smith vaults to #2 to challenge for the top in two weeks.
  • Martin Garrix may have a say as to who succeeds “Cannonball (Earthquake)” at #1.  His free download of “Proxy” soars 13-3 to tie for the fastest riser on the chart.  And Martin has plenty in store for us over the next few months to keep us busy!
  • All of this activity has left “Find You” by Zedd, Matthew Koma & Miriam Bryant at #4, and free download “Electric Valentine” by Adam Tyler at #5, each holding for a second appearance.
  • It looks like Nick Hagelin’s long-awaited EP City Lights will see release in the first week of May.  His fun and ace pop/soul/hip hop song with an old school sample or two “Finest Clothes In Town” (available again as a free download) moves up 9-6 🙂
  • “Love Me Again” by John Newman continues to climb, moving 8-7 on the new chart.
  • The only other new Top 10 entry is a zinger for San Diego’s EDM/dubstep rising star Convulsic.  “Love Space” jumps 12-9 while another of his songs debuts below…

Onward and Upward:

  • It’s a stellar week for Sam Smith, two songs in the Top 10, and the soul ballad “Stay With Me” ties with “Proxy” as the fastest riser, soaring 21-11.
  • It’s release week for the Aviation album for Semi-Precious Weapons amid shows throughout the U.S.!  “Drink” continues to climb my chart at #12.
  • May and June will be important months for Steve Grand as his All American Boy album will see release and then he will be touring the blazes out of it, appearing at numerous Gay Pride events in North America.  The pensive “Back To California” jumps 17-13 on my chart.
  • This past week Rod Thomas (aka Bright Light Bright Light) will in fact be opening for Elton John on some dates on his European tour!  That’s an amazing feat for an independent performer and Elton has shown great interest in new acts this past year.  Their marvellous duet on “I Wish We Were Leaving” moves up 19-14.
  • The engaging and colourful video for Wrathschild’s “Fall Into Love” continues to attract new fans.  The song rises 22-15 as the duo of Simon Curtis and Wolfy record another new song.
  • Rixton’s “Me And My Broken Heart” is one of those songs that has you reeled in from its first note, very remiscent of Maroon 5 meets Lawson for the UK band.  It moves up 26-17 – let’s get these boys over here in North American for shows!
  • FrankMusik announced that his By Nicole album will be issued on Monday, April 28.  So many releases to look forward to over the next few weeks!  In the meantime, “Dear Nicole”, which features one of the singer’s most powerful vocals just past the half way mark, moves up 24-18.
  • I suppose over 2 million Twitter followers might signal a sell out, which indeed 5 Seconds Of Summer had with their Toronto show last Saturday.  The song with that underwear video, “She Looks So Perfect”, rises 27-21.

 New to the Chart:

  • Not to sound like a broken record, but leading the way once again on the new chart is another beautiful Sam Smith song, this time it’s “Not In That Way” from his upcoming album In The Lonely Hour, which is slated for a June release, which seems a long way off, though you can get “Not In That Way” on iTunes already.  Check out the live performance of the song at the top of this blog post.  “Not In That Way” bows at #22.
  • Next up is “The Day You Left”, another infectious EDM single from Convulsic, which has a steadier female vocal than “Love Space” and is full of powerful drops that will make your eardrums pop.  It arrives at #24 and is available on iTunes.
  • Andy Grammer’s positive vibe of “Keep Your Head Up” sent the song to #9 on my chart back in 2011, and after one album and an EP, the heartwarming “Back Home” leads the way for a new album.  The song debuts at #28.
  • Toronto-based singer Kendal Thompson dropped “Be Mine” as a free ‘thank you’ download on Valentine’s Day, along with a mysterious and eye-catching video.  “Be Mine” enters the chart at #29.

The Full Chart

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and detailed web edition of my chart.

 

01 01 CANNONBALL (EARTHQUAKE) Showtek & Justin Prime featuring Matthew Koma
06 02 LATCH Disclosure featuring Sam Smith
13 03 PROXY Martin Garrix
04 04 FIND YOU Zedd featuring Matthew Koma & Miriam Bryant
05 05 ELECTRIC VALENTINE Adam Tyler
09 06 FINEST CLOTHES IN TOWN Nick Hagelin
08 07 LOVE ME AGAIN John Newman
02 08 MONEY ON MY MIND Sam Smith
12 09 LOVE SPACE Convulsic
03 10 ADDICTED TO YOU Avicii featuring Audra Mae
21 11 STAY WITH ME Sam Smith
14 12 DRINK Semi-Precious Weapons
17 13 BACK TO CALIFORNIA Steve Grand
19 14 I WISH WE WERE LEAVING Bright Light Bright Light & Elton John
22 15 FALL INTO LOVE Wrathschild
16 16 READY FOR YOU NOW Sean O’Reilly
26 17 ME AND MY BROKEN HEART Rixton
24 18 DEAR NICOLE Frankmusik
20 19 HORNY Lonnie Gordon
07 20 DARE YOU Hardwell featuring Matthew Koma
27 21 SHE LOOKS SO PERFECT 5 Seconds Of Summer
New 22 NOT IN THAT WAY Sam Smith
18 23 TALK DIRTY Jason Derulo featuring 2 Chainz
New 24 THE DAY YOU LEFT Convulsic
10 25 F FOR YOU Disclosure featuring Mary J. Blige
11 26 TAKE COVER Neverest
15 27 COLLIDE Jake Miller
New 28 BACK HOME Andy Grammer
New 29 BE MINE Kendal Thompson
25 30 HAPPY Pharrell Williams

 

BILLCS Top 30 #428 – April 7/14

Dance music rules the ascending songs on my new personal charts, while some striking new pure pop songs debut 🙂

The Top 10

All but one of our songs in the Top 10 move up, and that’s because the only song that moves down was #1 two weeks ago…

  • The irresistible house banger collaboration of Showtek & Justin Prime with Matthew Koma, a reworking of last year’s instrumental “Cannonball” with Koma vocals and lyrics on “Cannonball (Earthquake)” (video up top) grabs #1!  The rest of my active Top 10 however responds to their catch line of ‘Show us what you got / When the m***erfuckin’ beat drops’… It’s also Matthew Koma’s 4th #1 entry, following “Spectrum”, “Parachute”, and “1998”.
  • It looks like “Addicted To You” by Avicii featuring the unbilled Audra Mae is smashing it worldwide too.  It rises to #3 and watch the new video for it below.
  • Ascending into the Top 5 are “Find You” (6-4), which has cracked the Top 40 for Zedd, Matthew Koma & Miriam Bryant, and Adam Tyler’s poptastic free download “Electric Valentine” (7-5), becoming the singer’s 3rd Top 5er on my chart 🙂
  • Sam Smith’s “Money On My Mind” gives way and falls from first to second place, but his entry with Disclosure, the affecting “Latch”, has its eyes on the top of the chart, moving 10-6.
  • The third and last Matthew Koma entry remains in the Top 10 – it’s Hardwell’s “Dare You” up 9-7.
  • The three new entries to the Top 10 breakaway from the log jam on the last chart:  John Newman’s “Love Me Again” climbs 13-8, with Nick Hagelin’s “Finest Clothes In Town” catching fire 14-9, and Disclosure x2, featuring Mary J. Blige on the redone “F For You” at #10.  Listen/watch the latter two below.

Also On The Rise

  • San Diego’s Convulsic brings his inventive EDM/dubstep game with “Love Space” climbing 17-12, with more to come from this talented newcomer.
  • Right behind is Martin Garrix, whose free download of  EDM/trap song “Proxy” is on fire, and packs a wallop on the chart, moving 23-13 as the fastest riser 🙂
  • Semi-Precious Weapons’ “Drink” moves 15-14 behind some heavier songs now, but the band recently released its lyric video to “Look To The Stars” as their full album is on deck for release.  Watch below.
  • Jason Derulo has apparently only teased us with his Tattoos EP, so a full album called Talk Dirty will be coming soon.  While the title song is a lot of fun and climbs 22-18, I’m hoping the new album continues along the lines of some of his pop successes too like “Whatcha Say” or “In My Head”.
  • And talking dirty and “Horny” seem to fall hand-in-hand on this chart, so Lonnie Gordon’s could-be dance club hit moves up 24-20.
  • Sandwiched rather adroitly in-between, “I Wish We Were Leaving” by Bright Light Bright Light and Elton John climb 25-19 while BLx2’s EP of the same name arrived today on iTunes with two remixes of “I Wish”.  Also give a listen to a new song on the EP “She Carves Her Desire” below.
  • FrankMusik continues with his prolific releases in anticipation of his full album called By Nicole.  His opening single “Dear Nicole” advances 28-24, while the video for a new song “These Streets”, with an interesting mix of jaunty melody and affecting lyrics, arrived this past week.  Watch below.

Debuts!!

  • I cannot get enough of Sam Smith, cannot wait to see his show on April 23, and thoroughly enjoyed his two performances on Saturday Night Live.  One of these was for the R&B-flavoured ballad “Stay With Me”, and this stunner bows at #21, from his upcoming In The Lonely Hour album, not due till June (but maybe Capitol/Universal will move it up on the sked…).
  • It’s already caused a stir online, and if you’ve been in hiding then you’ve missed the new project brought to us by Simon Curtis and Wolfy (Ro Danishei) called Wrathschild.  “Fall Into Love” is a gorgeous pure pop testament to those feelings when you’re on that cusp, and it arrives at #22.  And with the pair’s already fine chart pedigree – Simon with 5 #1’s, Wolfy with one of those plus another Top 10er – “Fall Into Love” will do very, very well.
  • It appears we’re on another roll in the boy band genre, but this time with guys who play their music as well as sing it.  England’s Rixton has “Me And My Broken Heart” at #26, and like Martin Garrix, has Scooter Braun management in their court.  Then there’s Australia’s 5 Seconds Of Summer with the extremely fun, catchy “She Looks So Perfect” nabbing #1 in the UK last week and premiering on my chart at #27.

The Full Chart

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and detailed web edition of my chart.

02 01 CANNONBALL (EARTHQUAKE) Showtek & Justin Prime featuring Matthew Koma
01 02 MONEY ON MY MIND Sam Smith
04 03 ADDICTED TO YOU Avicii featuring Audra Mae
06 04 FIND YOU Zedd featuring Matthew Koma & Miriam Bryant
07 05 ELECTRIC VALENTINE Adam Tyler
10 06 LATCH Disclosure featuring Sam Smith
09 07 DARE YOU Hardwell featuring Matthew Koma
13 08 LOVE ME AGAIN John Newman
14 09 FINEST CLOTHES IN TOWN Nick Hagelin
12 10 F FOR YOU Disclosure featuring Mary J. Blige
03 11 TAKE COVER Neverest
17 12 LOVE SPACE Convulsic
23 13 PROXY Martin Garrix
15 14 DRINK Semi-Precious Weapons
05 15 COLLIDE Jake Miller
19 16 READY FOR YOU NOW Sean O’Reilly
20 17 BACK TO CALIFORNIA Steve Grand
22 18 TALK DIRTY Jason Derulo featuring 2 Chainz
25 19 I WISH WE WERE LEAVING Bright Light Bright Light & Elton John
24 20 HORNY Lonnie Gordon
New 21 STAY WITH ME Sam Smith
New 22 FALL INTO LOVE Wrathschild 
11 23 INTO THE BLUE Kylie Minogue
28 24 DEAR NICOLE FrankMusik
08 25 HAPPY Pharrell Williams
New 26 ME AND MY BROKEN HEART Rixton
New 27 SHE LOOKS SO PERFECT 5 Seconds Of Summer
16 28 MOTEL POOL Travis Garland
21 29 INVISIBLE U2
27 30 MANiCURE Lady GaGa

 

 

BILLCS Top 30 #427 – March 24/14

Spring has sprung and more great new music seems to be out there than ever.  If I didn’t have a 10 appearance (20 week) chart rule, songs would never leave!  And so, three favourites will be departing after the current chart.  But there are so many songs on the rise that a number get stuck on this chart, which will make the chart in two weeks that much more interesting!  The strong debuts in the 20’s would have normally bowed even higher…

The Top 10

  • All things Sam Smith are happening in pop music right now!  Our boy got a gig on March 29 on Saturday Night Live no less.  Now that meant that he had to postpone the show I was supposed to go to the day before, but fortunately I don’t have to repurchase tickets and it’s at the same venue on April 23.  So Sam stays at #1 with “Money On My Mind”, but bounds into the Top 10 at #10 with Disclosure on “Latch”, which has its sights set much higher than #10…
  • “Cannonball (Earthquake)” by Showtek & Justin Prime featuring Matthew Koma holds strong at #2 as the song is gradually getting release around the world, so check your iTunes!
  • Neverest’s rollicking change of pace “Take Cover” climbs to #3.  The group is currently down to a trio as drummer Mykey Thomas found a must-take gig in the States, but I know they’ll find a successor who will make an equally great anchor to their sound 🙂  “Take Cover” is still available as a free download through Neverest’s Facebook page.

  • I cannot resist Audra Mae’s vocal on Avicii’s “Addicted To You”, which not only climbs to #4 on my chart, but it’s in the Top 20 on the UK Singles Chart.  North America, what are you waiting for?  SMASH.

  • The rest of the songs featuring the amazing Matthew Koma still climb up within the Top 10, so we see “Find You” by Zedd and also featuring Miriam Bryant up 8-6, bound to be a huge hit by summer, while Hardwell’s “Dare You” is #9.   The new video for “Find You” is above.
  • The fastest riser on the chart is one of the year’s most pleasing surprises so far, and still available for free download!  That it’s by Adam Tyler is even better… “Electric Valentine” zips up the chart 14-7!

Movin’ On Up

  • Nick Hagelin’s “City Lights” EP is coming to you in early April, in the meantime do listen to the snappy song rooted in old R&B, “Finest Clothes In Town”, which rises 15-14.
  • Semi-Precious Weapons also have their album on deck for next month, but until then the party-hardy “Drink” moves up 19-15.
  • I’m absolutely loving the creative EDM by San Diego’s Convulsic – particularly on the car stereo 🙂 – and “Love Space” makes its presence known by climbing 23-17.  Video to follow soon!

  • Sean O’Reilly’s video for “Ready For You Now” was shot as Hurricane Sandy was coming, and the intensity of inviting something big to happen prevails in the song too.  It moves up 22-19.

  • Steve Grand’s campaign to raise funds for his “All American Boy” album is way past doubled right now, which means more great things to embellish the album or accompany it will be in store for fans.  The lovely story of “Back To California” takes the song to #20 on my chart this week.
  • It’s a club smash in the making, and Lonnie Gordon’s “Horny” is now available on iTunes.  It rises 29-24.  Check out the Paul Goodyear radio edit video below.

New to the Chart

I’ve written about all three of these stellar songs and I expect big moves in the coming weeks…

  • As “Animals” is about to leave the chart, “Proxy” by Martin Garrix debuts at #23.  It’s still available as a free download and quite honestly I’m loving this one more than his other projects.  It’s Herbie Hancock’s “Rockit” meets early Tiesto… and that’s all powerful stuff for this 17 year old Dutchman.  Love the official video at the top of this post.
  • “I Wish We Were Leaving” (#25) could be one of Bright Light Bright Light’s most downbeat sounding songs, until the powerful and hopeful message is revealed.  Having Elton John’s vocal as the other side of the story is just mind-blowing and impressive.  The video (at the top of this post) is going to make you tear up when you feel happy or sad throughout (my only critique is that the turning point happens too abruptly).  Brilliant.  Bright Light Bright Light’s new album Life Is Easy is coming, with the EP of “I Wish We Were Leaving” due April 7.

  • We finish up with “Dear Nicole” by FrankMusik from his upcoming fourth album By Nicole at #28.  This song pulls you in with its story and Vincent Frank’s build up to a positively ferocious vocal.  As always FrankMusik’s songs make you want more and more, and that’s exactly what’s to come!

The Full Chart

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and detailed web edition of my chart.

01 01 MONEY ON MY MIND Sam Smith
02 02 CANNONBALL (EARTHQUAKE) Showtek & Justin Prime featuring Matthew Koma
04 03 TAKE COVER Neverest
07 04 ADDICTED TO YOU Avicii featuring Audra Mae
05 05 COLLIDE Jake Miller
08 06 FIND YOU Zedd featuring Matthew Koma & Miriam Bryant
14 07 ELECTRIC VALENTINE Adam Tyler
09 08 HAPPY Pharrell Williams
10 09 DARE YOU Hardwell featuring Matthew Koma
16 10 LATCH Disclosure featuring Sam Smith
11 11 INTO THE BLUE Kylie Minogue
12 12 F FOR YOU Disclosure featuring Mary J. Blige
13 13 LOVE ME AGAIN John Newman
15 14 FINEST CLOTHES IN TOWN Nick Hagelin
19 15 DRINK Semi-Precious Weapons
03 16 MOTEL POOL Travis Garland
23 17 LOVE SPACE Convulsic
06 18 ANIMALS Martin Garrix
22 19 READY FOR YOU NOW Sean O’Reilly
26 20 BACK TO CALIFORNIA Steve Grand
21 21 INVISIBLE U2
24 22 TALK DIRTY Jason Derulo featuring 2Chainz
New 23 PROXY Martin Garrix
29 24 HORNY Lonnie Gordon
New 25 I WISH WE WERE LEAVING Bright Light Bright Light & Elton John
20 26 AN OPEN HEART Bright Light Bright Light
18 27 MANiCURE Lady Gaga
New 28 DEAR NICOLE FrankMusik
17 29 IN YOUR CARE Bright Light Bright Light
25 30 GOLD Eurielle

@EltonJohndotcom joins @BrightLightx2 for “I Wish We Were Leaving”

BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT and ELTON JOHN, “I Wish We Were Leaving”

The deeper “I Wish We Were Leaving” gets, the more wrapped up you will become in all that’s going on in this latest surprise from Bright Light Bright Light.  It’s just incredible to hear Elton John on an independent release, and as different as his voice is to that of Rod Thomas, they truly mesh in the song.  Elton’s lower register in particular resonates in a lovely way.  Once you can get past this you’ll find a sad, earnest story, carried by a dreamy, soft melody, with an open door to hope – never something anyone wants to hear when they’ve just split with someone – but putting that aside, this is one huge and delicious box of chocolates that comes with tissue paper if you need it.  Kudos to Rod and Elton on this real stunner of a collaboration.  Chart bound!! The EP of I Wish We Were Leaving is set for release on April 7, so play it to death on the Soundcloud link above in the interim.

Published in: on February 22, 2014 at 12:02 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

What’s THAT You’re Hearing on Pop Radio??

It’s a decades old debate that keeps rearing its head.  And with the release of Lady GaGa’s “Born This Way” yesterday, the subject came roaring back, and precipitated me putting together my thoughts about what you’re hearing on pop radio these days, and how it all got there.


For me, it goes back to growing up in the 1970’s, when the sudden change in subject matter for singles on pop radio started to be all too apparent.  You couldn’t get any more obvious than sexy and seductive singles like Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On”, Sylvia’s “Pillow Talk”, Barry White’s “I’m Going To Love You (Just A Little More Babe)”… and on the flip side there were other unique-sounding hits such as David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” – this one not for the subject matter but more for the artist – and of course Lou Reed’s only charted hit, the groundbreaking “Walk On The Wild Side”.  And this, folks, was 1973!!

So while Elton John grabbed hold of glam rock for his look and perhaps inspiration for some of his songs, he was the first artist that I can remember whose song used a swear word – other than say hell or damn – in its title no less, and one describing himself!  I’m referring to 1974’s “The Bitch Is Back”, which was a Top 5 hit.  I think perhaps the song would have went to #1 because there were radio stations that refused to play it.   The swearing didn’t stop there!  Veteran R&B act The Isley Brothers released in 1975 “Fight The Power”, which sang about “All that bullshit going down” and was censored on radio (usually with a ‘beep’) but was still a Top 5 hit in the U.S.  By 1977 The Eagles exclaimed “Haven’t seen a goddamn day” in “Life In The Fast Lane” and for some reason got away with it at radio.  But Steve Miller ended up with “Funky kicks going down in the city” instead of “Funky shit” in “Jet Airliner” the same year.  And after that, changing the lyrics seemed to be the way to go.  It no longer seemed to be an issue, even in the hot and heavy days of disco when sexual lyrics and subject matter pretty much remained in clubs.

In fact I can’t think of it being much of an issue until the late 80’s, but that was with videos which were spearheaded by one Madonna.  But those videos helped promote Madonna to radio, and controversial hits like “Like A Prayer”, “Justify My Love”, and “Erotica” were all still huge hits.  And it was all about the video star… until recently since TV stations like MTV and MuchMusic long ago dispensed with music videos as their main showcase in favour of other programming.


The Internet is the new MTV for videos, and it was not until 2010 that songs that prominently featured swearing or sensitive subject matter began to find their way to success through the Internet as well.  By late 2010 this had reached its pinnacle, with some of the world’s most popular artists releasing songs that, in fact on this very day are at the top of iTunes Canada’s chart.  They are “Born This Way” by Lady GaGa, “S&M” by Rihanna, “Fuckin Perfect” by Pink, and “Tonight (I’m Loving You)” by Enrique Iglesias, which I wrote about last week as “Tonight (I’m Fucking You)” (and even Avril Lavigne’s “What The Hell” is #5 – though in Canada we had Michel Pagliaro’s hit “What The Hell I Got” in 1975).  And it’s no longer possible to cover your ears or those of your children if you want to hear pop music on the radio or online, you would just basically have to avoid it all together.


For every bit of imagery borrowed from Elton John, Madonna or perhaps Donna Summer, “Born This Way” has a strong, strong message of equality that made me immediately think of those “Walk On The Wild Side” lyrics from 1973 but I’m extremely aware that that message would not be so strongly felt without Lady GaGa’s current status on the 2011 platform shoes of pop music.  “S&M” takes Madonna’s images from “Justify My Love” and “Erotica” a few steps further with a playful video and lyrics “Well I might be bad but I’m perfectly good” which make the topic seem very – routine.  And sure Pink has used swearing before, but of course in a song title you’re not going to have retail or radio promoting the F-word so even in 2011 the song becomes “Perfect” just as in 2004 when Eamon’s “Fuck It (I Don’t Want You Back)” became a parenthetical title only – and in the UK the song was an even bigger hit than in North America, as was its reply song by Frankee which was just called “F.U.R.B.”  Ditto with Enrique Iglesias’ latest song.  A singer with such a nice-guy image as Enrique singing “Tonight I’m fucking you”?  Relegated to clubs and the online community, alas.


Only "Tonight I'm Fucking You" fan-made artwork available!

So yes, it’s the mid-seventies revisited at pop radio.  One day the swearing barrier will come down because it will no longer be an issue.  But we’ll have to see what kind of content we will hear next on pop radio, and who will bring that next step to the forefront.