“I Wish U Heaven”, a YouTube playlist tribute to Prince, features @DarrenHayes’ stunning cover

DARREN HAYES, “I Wish U Heaven”

Rarely do I write about songs made available online-only, but when it means a new Darren Hayes vocal, then exceptions are made!  We’ve had no new music from Darren since 2011, while he works on other projects, making the occasional brief live appearance (such as the one I was lucky to see in April 2016 in L.A.).  Debuting on Christmas Day, in case you missed it, Darren seamlessly covers Prince’s brief “I Wish U Heaven”, originally from the 1988 Lovesexy album.  The song wasn’t a North American hit but did well overseas, particularly in the UK.  With a minimal arrangement of strings and piano, Darren’s vocal lovingly pays tribute to pop’s purple hero.  It’s not the first time Darren has covered Prince.  In concert 10 years ago as part of the Time Machine tour, which I saw in Toronto, he dazzled us by incorporating Prince’s “Baby I’m A Star” into a medley with his own playful funky pop of “Pop!ular”.  Perhaps we will see a video of it one day.  While I encourage you to check out Darren’s cover above, you can also listen to the entire “I Wish U Heaven” playlist right here.

Published in: on January 3, 2018 at 8:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Sexy Never Went Away: “Breakfast Can Wait” by Prince (@3rdeyegirl)

PRINCE, “Breakfast Can Wait”

Prince continues to make great music almost 35 years into his Grammy and Oscar-winning career.  While perhaps recent albums haven’t been so consistent, there are often standout songs that dazzle.  “Breakfast Can Wait” doesn’t sound like it’s bent on making pop radio waves, its groove is firmly entrenched in R&B/Urban music.  And boy has Prince got his sexy on.  He chose 18 year old Danielle Curiel to direct and star in the video alongside handsome dancer CJ Salvador, and the result is quite a treat.  The two have great chemistry together, and I believe it’s Danielle in the Prince-ly disguise too.  Although he’s used vocal effects in other songs successfully, such as “U Got The Look”, it’s the only downpoint at about the 2/3 mark in an otherwise very successful song.  The video’s choreography is slick and the result is exactly what Prince might suggest … that breakfast can indeed wait…mission accomplished! Watch and be won over.  “Breakfast Can Wait” is available on iTunes.

Published in: on October 16, 2013 at 9:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Autumn Popervescence #2 featuring Cher, Prince, FrankMusik, River Tiber, and Monti Montanez

Usually I don’t write about some of the biggest names in the biz unless they happen to land on my personal chart.  But two of my favourites are back and I can’t resist.

Cher, “Woman’s World”

Cher’s music has been a part of my life since I was a wee lad, and I like others of my AM Top 40 era thoroughly enjoyed her solo hits like “Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves”, “Dark Lady”, “Half-Breed”, “Train of Thought”, and her disco entry “Take Me Home”.  I couldn’t get into her 80’s soft rock, but “Believe” arrived about a year after I had been publishing my chart online and it, along with “The Music’s No Good Without You”, would find their way to my Top 10.  The great thing about “Woman’s World” (from her upcoming still-untitled 26th album and first in 11 years) is that it sounds slick without being overproduced to the point that the vocal is over-enhanced.  The message of the song will put Cher back up near the top of the charts again with Britney, Christina, Katy, Jessie J, and Pink, which proves these days at 66 you can release a song that’s as solid as for someone much younger.  If Cher charts at pop on Billboard, she will be the only artist to chart in six consecutive decades (though she already accomplished it on another chart – the dance club play chart last year with “You Haven’t Seen The Last Of Me”.  Listen below.

Prince, “Rock And Roll Love Affair”

After premiering the song on the Jimmy Kimmel show this past week, it looks like eternally young 54 year old Prince is back in classic 80s/90s form with “Rock And Roll Love Affair”.  Highlighting his always wicked guitar work, the otherwise stripped down sound is highly reminiscent of songs from Around The World In A Day or Diamonds & Pearls.  What can you say – this is probably his best song in about 15 years, though I know there are many fans of his Grammy-winning 2004 album Musicology as well as 2006’s 3121.  Watch below.

FrankMusik, “Fast As I Can”

Things are looking much brighter for FrankMusik (aka Vincent Frank), who is poised to release his third solo album independently early next year, titled You Are Here.  He posted the track listing on Twitter, which will include one of my absolute faves by him, the 2011 ballad “Hurt You Again”.  It also includes his latest single “Fast As I Can”, which features a gruffer voiced Vince which gives the song a more soulful feel than usual.  The lyrics tell about a needed escape from a relationship, and the video shows Vince all dressed up as he heads on to better times down at the beach.  As usual his inventive production keeps “Fast As You Can” stuck in your head.  Watch below.

River Tiber, “I’m Not Here”

I can’t wait for River Tiber’s new album Synapses to see release.  An Edge 102 new music showcase at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto almost two weeks ago apparently went well, and the Toronto band is playing again at the Silver Dollar on December 7.  If I can get to that gig I hope to hear more.  First we had the experimental “What Are You Afraid Of”, and now you can hear “I’m Not Here” below.  Tommy Paxton-Beesley is the uber-talented vocalist and multi-instrumentalist behind this project, and the jazz-inflected quiet behind “I’m Not Here” explodes with his startlingly Jeff Buckley-infused vocal around the 2:15 mark which not only gives shivers up your spine but brings the loneliness and isolation in the lyrics all the way home.

Monti Montanez, “En El Oscuridad”

Monti’s song “Turn Up The Radio” was one of the more pop-flavoured highlights of the must-have EDM compilation from this past Spring, This Beat Is… Poptronik Volume 1 (and yes, Volume 2 is coming next year!), featuring his guy-next-door vocal and a couple of neat hooks to make the song a tidy under three minute listen.  He’s back with a busy and fun dance record this time all in Spanish called “En El Oscuridad”, which is more designed to get your attention the way that “On The Floor” did for Jennifer Lopez.  Could he be the next Enrique Iglesias?  “En El Oscuridad” is a game effort.  Watch below.

Published in: on November 25, 2012 at 12:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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