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?).

#BILLCSTop75Songsof2015

Onward and upward to 2016!  However the music in 2015 was really strong compared to other recent years.

Chart: BILLCS Top 75 Songs of 2015

01 BRANDYN BURNETTE I Wanna Be (Free)
02 YEARS & YEARS Shine
03 ADELE Hello
04 COREY NILES F/ ALEX LACASSE Chasing Stars
05 YEARS & YEARS King
06 RIVER TIBER Let You Go
07 BRANDYN BURNETTE Sleeve
08 RIVER TIBER No Talk
09 COLOR THEORY Headphones (Matt Mancid Retro Crossover Mix)
10 DAN TALEVSKI Guilty As Sin
11 DENIZ KOYU VS TWOLOUD Goin’ Down
12 THE CHAINSMOKERS F/ GREAT GOOD FINE OK Let You Go (Tiesto Remix)
13 REIGEN Come Back To Me
14 ERIK HASSLE No Words
15 DNCE Cake By The Ocean
16 NATHAN SYKES Kiss Me Quick
17 CHRIS JAMISON Velvet
18 BRANDYN BURNETTE Life’s A Beach
19 THE KNOCKS & MATTHEW KOMA I Wish (My Taylor Swift)
20 TRIBE SOCIETY F/ KIESZA Pain Told Love
21 JESSIE WARE Pieces
22 SMASHING SATELLITES Waterfall
23 ADAM LAMBERT Ghost Town
24 ERASURE Sacred
25 SANDER VAN DOORN, MARTIN GARRIX & DVBBS F/ ALEESIA Gold Skies
26 JESSIE WARE Champagne Kisses
27 ANTONIO GIACCA Sensation
28 PARRALOX Aeronaut
29 DAN TALEVSKI My Religion
30 PENGUIN PRISON Show Me The Way
31 ERIC SAADE Sting
32 GREAT GOOD FINE OK F/ ST. LUCIA Something To Believe In
33 ELI LIEB Lightning In A Bottle
34 BRANDON FLOWERS Can’t Deny My Love
35 CHIC F/ NILE RODGERS I’ll Be There
36 GRAHAM ALEXANDER She’S A Chameleon
37 BOJANA STAMENOV Beauty Never Lies
38 NERVO F/ KYLIE MINOGUE, JAKE SHEARS & NILE RODGERS The Other Boys
39 LUCIEN DANTE Black Water
40 FRANCESCO YATES Better To Be Loved
41 GIORGIO MORODER F/ SIA Deja Vu
42 ERASURE Reason
43 TYLER SHAW Dizzy
44 FALL OUT BOY Uma Thurman
45 YEARS & YEARS Desire
46 GIORGIO MORODER F/ KYLIE MINOGUE Right Here, Right Now
47 MIKKY EKKO Riot
48 CHARLIE PUTH F/ MEGHAN TRAINOR Marvin Gaye
49 LIFEHOUSE Hurricane
50 DATABOY F/ NIKO THE KID When It Rains, It Pours
51 SHIFT K3Y I Know
52 ANTONIO GIACCA Ignited
53 NEW ORDER Plastic
54 SAM SMITH Writing’s On The Wall
55 KRISTINE W. Love Come Home
56 MARTIN LUKE BROWN Take Out Of Me
57 ANTON EWALD Save The Last Dance
58 DISCLOSURE F/ SAM SMITH Omen
59 JULLY BLACK Fever
60 THE WEEKND I Can’T Feel My Face
61 SAM SMITH Lay Me Down
62 SMASHING SATELLITES What It’s All About
63 GIORGIO MORODER F/ FOXES Wildstar
64 STEVE GRAND Time
65 ELEVEN PAST ONE There’s Nothing Wrong
66 THE WEEKND Earned It
67 BOYCODE It’s A Mistake
68 JAMES BAY Hold Back The River
69 MATTHEW KOMA So F**Kin’ Romantic
70 ADAM LAMBERT The Light
71 LAWSON Roads
72 SAM SMITH Like I Can
73 DANIEL ROBINSON Moonmolt
74 TRISTAN THOMPSON Burn Again
75 MI DISGUISE East Side Bay

#BILLCSTop30 #466 – September 21, 2015

The top of the chart continues to be difficult to dislodge though that will likely change in October.  For we have an impressive debut in the Top 10, and a fast riser from one of the last chart’s debuts.  Two debuts are also album cuts where I dive deeper into the album hoping for additional singles 🙂

The Top 10

  • Uno, dos, tres, quatro… Y&Y, Brandyn, Nathan, and PP, once again all comfortably atop the chart.

I thoroughly enjoyed Years & Years in concert last week.  They were able to pretty much replicate the songs from Communion, with “Shine” (my current #1), “Real”, “King”, “Memo”,  and “Foundation” all standouts, plus a cover of Blu Cantrell’s 2003 UK #1 “Breathe”.  Olly Alexander has a genuine and affecting stage presence that will take him far 🙂

  • A definite contender for the top of the chart is “Pain Told Love” by Tribe Society featuring Kiesza, which climbs 9-6.  It definitely marks the transformation of the former pop/rock Gentlemen Hall into the darker and thoughtful alt.rock songs of Tribe Society.

  • It baffles me why this song isn’t being played in every club everywhere, but “The Other Boys” by NERVO featuring super-friends Kylie Minogue, Jake Shears, and Nile Rodgers, advances 11-8 from the dance production duo’s album Collateral.

  • Just can’t get enough of songs by The Weeknd right now.  My fellow Torontonian is now at superstar heights, with three almost sold out dates in November at Toronto’s own Air Canada Centre.  “Can’t Feel My Face” climbs 14-9.
  • Another Torontonian, Tommy Paxton-Beesley, definitely has created some of his best music for his brand new EP as River Tiber called When The Time Is Right.  He’s shifting from progressive alt.rocker to an inventive mix of EDM, rock, soul, and hip hop.  No more is that evident on the new River Tiber single “Let You Go” (up top), which bows at #10, following the #2 “No Talk” also included in When The Time Is Right.  “Let You Go” is River Tiber’s 8th BILLCS Top 30 entry which includes two previous #1’s “Someday” and “The City”.  Simply not to be missed – and a contender for #1 on my chart – get When The Time Is Right on iTunes! 🙂  
    • And now for a bit of BILLCS chart geekery:  “Let You Go” arrives in the Top 10 at the same time as “Let You Go” by The Chainsmokers & Great Good Fine OK is at #5.  It’s the first time two different songs with the same title have been in the Top 10!

Movin’ on Up

  • After a wonderful set at his release party last week for his debut album Yesterday, Tyler Shaw makes no hesitation to weigh in as the Fastest Riser on the chart with “Dizzy” soaring 21-11.

  • While UK brother duo Disclosure continues to unveil new songs from their upcoming album Caracal, their partnership with Sam Smith continues to build with “Omen” rising 18-12.

  • NYC duo (a five piece band in concert though!) Great Good Fine OK are both Top 5 with The Chainsmokers on “Let You Go”, and Top 15 with their pairing with St. Lucia on “Something To Believe In” from the EP 2M2H.  The busy and prolific GGFO premiered their new richly produced song “Take It Or Leave It” on Soundcloud last week (below).

  • I absolutely adore the mystery of a Jane Badler song!  Her latest single from Opus, “Dead Eyes”, is dollied up in a well-matched remix from Eel Eye to put the mystery front and centre.  “Dead Eyes” climbs 22-18.

  • Matthew Koma’s delightfully punkish stab at lovelife, “So F**kin’ Romantic”, moves up 24-19.  The singer’s new album is finished, can’t wait to hear what’s been in the works now for so long.

The Rest of the Debuts

Three additional songs premiere on the chart.

  • Following up the sensual intrigue of “Guilty As Sin”, which peaked at #3, Toronto’s Dan Talevski continues his audio seduction with “My Religion”, which in turn is featured in another sexy video.  Ain’t nuthin’ wrong with that!  And the beautiful Spanish scenery makes a lovely backdrop.  “My Religion” bows at #24.

  • “Wildstar” is a standout song from Giorgio Moroder’s album Déjà Vu featuring a charming vocal from Foxes that in some ways recalls Donna Summer in her heyday from my favourite album by her called I Remember Yesterday.  So it’s a no brainer for my chart, whether or not it’s released as a single!  “Wildstar” arrives at #25.  It’s Foxes’ second appearance on the chart following 2013’s #2 “Clarity” with Zedd.  “Wildstar” also follows Giorgio’s chart successes here with the title track featuring Sia peaking at #6, and “Right Here Right Now” with Kylie Minogue landing at #4.

  • There is no doubt that Adam Lambert’s The Original High is one of my most unexpected favourite albums of 2015 so far, with brilliant production nursing Adam’s wide-ranging voice to excellent effect.  It’s so rich in songs yet I don’t see a whole lot of attention being paid to them other than of course “Ghost Town”, which should have done better as a lead off single.  Nonetheless in my chart world that song peaked at #4, and “The Light” is a riveting EDM song that would make a perfect follow up!  “The Light” debuts at #26.

You can hear me online on http://www.planetradio.ca every Monday at 10:15 pm EST counting down a Toronto Top 10 chart from yesteryear!

#BILLCSTop30 #463 – August 10/15

The amount of posts I write seems to have slowed down, but I do make them count 🙂 And my chart brings some of them full circle and also introduces you to some songs I adore that I haven’t written about (usually major name performers).  So the new chart has five debuts – don’t let the lower chart position belie how well these five will do in the coming weeks 🙂  As usual, current faves have to give up the ghost first!

The Top 10

  • What more can I possibly say about Brandyn Burnette’s “I Wanna Be (Free)”?  How about a fourth appearance (eighth week) at #1!  Just in time for the remix by The Bravos which I wrote about recently.  It’s going to be very hard to beat the Top 2 songs in this chart at year end!

  • And then there’s “Shine” by UK trio Years & Years.  I can’t understand why radio will not play this one in North America.  There’s a really powerful emotional undercurrent to “Shine”, which didn’t sink in until well after I stopped hearing it with one ear on a similar-sounding melody to Erik Hassle’s “No Words”.  It holds at #2 again, but “Shine” is looking to take over from “I Wanna Be (Free)” whenever that song surrenders #1.

  • It does have an ‘earworm’ of a chorus as my friend David kindly put it.  Toronto’s Dan Talevski has released a follow up called “My Religion” which I have not heard yet (but will in the next while undoubtedly), probably because I’m too wrapped up in “Guilty As Sin”, which rises to #3 for the talented singer.

  • I get the feeling of triumph every time I hear “Beauty Never Lies” by Serbia’s Bojana Stamenov.  The Eurovision finalist climbs up to #5 to anchor the Top 10 midway point 🙂

  • There is no doubt that “Kiss Me Quick” by Nathan Sykes (which climbs to #1 on Billboard’s Dance Club Play chart this week) has its druthers aimed for the top spot on this chart, and for now it bounds 12-6 while the UK singer continues to promote the song throughout the US.

  • Toronto quartet Smashing Satellites follow up their #3 chart hit “Waterfall” with the very different and ebullient “What It’s All About”, which has taken its time but lands at #8.

  • Rounding out the trio of Torontonians in the Top 10 is star-on-the-rise singer/songwriter/guitarist Francesco Yates with “Better To Be Loved” at #9.  Francesco sings on one of the debuts too!
  • The fastest riser on the chart belongs to Penguin Prison with the effortless-sounding and breezy “Show Me The Way”, soaring 22-10, and the Top 10 is no stranger to PP who have cracked #1 twice before.  In the US, you can catch “Show Me The Way” in the latest Hulu ad 🙂  Not yet a single, but soon-to-be… I hope… pretty please…

Movin’ On Up

  • I can’t get enough of UK singer Martin Luke Brown’s vocal on “Take Out Of Me”.  This searing piece of soulful pop rises 19-11.

  • Another unique vocal appears in “East Side Bay” by L.A.-based producer/DJ – and yes vocalist – Mi Disguise.  This is one sneaky club track that deserves exposure, and climbs 15-12.

  • Amid fierce competition, Cobi Mike’s thoughtful and affecting “Walking Through The Fire” continues to move up 14-13 – check out the intriguing video (you’ll get past the point that the singer is naked throughout, really, you will).

  • When in doubt gain brownie points by using your country in your latest song title 😉  Seriously, “Girl From Sweden” by Eric Saade is a catchy singalong, and I’m sure you’ll find the singer dancing in the Swedish countryside one day with pretty girls in hand 😉  The song rises 18-15.

  • Performers who collaborate with their significant others often make fine music together.  Such is the case with Molly Moore, whose “Natural Disaster” climbs 25-19 (Brandyn Burnette is a co-writer).  I wrote about another top notch song by Molly not long ago called “Don’t Believe It”, which saw official release on iTunes last week. Much more new music to come!

  • Canadians J-Mi and Midi-D are off to a great start with their recent single “So Much For That”.  Not only is it loads of fun, with its 90’s Europop backdrop, but these underdogs, remixers and ravers alike, have created a song that absolutely anyone can identify with.  The video is a hoot and the nerd in us all will appreciate it.  “So Much For That” climbs 26-21.

Those 5 Debuts

  • I must admit to have been totally blown away by the collaboration of New York producer/DJ’s The Chainsmokers with fellow New Yorkers Great Good Fine OK on “Let You Go”.  But the song IMO has been immensely improved with a throttling Tiesto remix which is available for free download on Soundcloud!! “Let You Go” is the highest debut, arriving at #22.

  • It was a fine few weeks for dance music and NERVO land their first chart entry with “The Other Boys” at #23 from their new album Collateral.  The powerful mix plus Kylie Minogue and Jake Shears on vocals, carried by propulsive guitar work by Nile Rodgers should send this to the top of the national dance charts in short order.  I wish that pop radio would be open to playing it but alas I expect not.

  • The Weeknd doesn’t need my blog’s help with all of his success, to be seen in December come Grammy Awards nomination time.  His latest single, “I Can’t Feel My Face”, from the upcoming Beauty Behind The Madness (which I predict will be the #1 album of 2015), arrives at #25.  Despite all of his obvious influences, The Weeknd makes every song his own and that’s part of his appeal!  That he comes from my part of Toronto speaks volumes too 😀

  • Meanwhile, back to Francesco Yates… who sings lead on the latest single from Grammy nominee Robin Schulz on “Sugar”, the title song from Robin’s upcoming album.  The inclusion of lyrics from Baby Bash & Frankie J’s “Suga Suga” is a bonus, but kind of interesting in a roundabout way when you think that Francesco himself (who is 19) was a mere lad when the original came out in 2003.  “Sugar” premieres at #27 and the video is quite slaptsticky-funny if you suspend your disbelief.

  • The final debut belongs to Disclosure featuring Sam Smith once again on “Omen”.  This trio must get into a room and just know when they’ve written a hit.  Although “Latch” did take a while to catch on in North America (eventually climbing to #1 on this chart), “Omen” arrives signed and sealed for success.  It debuts at #28 and comes from Disclosure’s forthcoming album Caracal.

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 chartGo on, have a look and listen/watch 🙂

You can hear me online on http://www.planetradio.ca every Monday at 10:00 pm EST counting down a Toronto Top 10 chart from yesteryear!