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A Few Words About Madonna's New Single "Girl Gone Wild"

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Madonna's new single "Girl Gone Wild" has stirred up some mixed emotions on the web since its release on Vevo yesterday. Die-hard Madonna fans were instantly obsessed with the song, while others once again argued that "Girl Gone Wild" is another poor attempt by Madonna to stay relevant with today's most lucrative marketing demographic (sigh).

Let's agree on two things. First of all, if you are a star as legendary as Madonna with decades of unparalleled success, it is not likely you can please everyone all the time. Secondly, "Girl Gone Wild" is a straight up dance joint that caters to her most loyal fanbase. True to form, Madonna needs to be commended for once again being in perfect tune with her fans who exactly delivers what they like. 

In her effort to live up to people's expectations, Madonna's biggest challenge may be to create a hit tune in an era where music, trends and taste change at the speed of light. Producing a smash hit nowadays is like trying to hit a moving target. What sounded hot and totally right in the studio last summer, may be perceived as done and dated in the charts today.

One of Madonna's biggest contributions to pop culture has been that she can pick up on emerging trends, lift them out of obscurity and prep them for mass consumption with just the right amount of sizzle, sex appeal and a little controversy. It is how she always stayed ahead of the pack, and ultimately demanded the respect from critics and peers. 

And herein lies my uneasiness with "Girl Gone Wild." It doesn't push the envelop like it could have. Yes, the Benny Benassi-produced tune is a solid dance number that, yes, perfectly caters to her loyal fans, but it doesn't live up to what I believe she can deliver when it comes to a dance hit. It goes far, but not far enough. enough. 

Madonna's career is marked by her sense of adventure and comfort with risk, and in her pursuit of creating a contemporary and innovative dance record there would have been many other options available to truly blow our socks off.

Instead of collaborating with producers that are hot and happening now (or yesterday), there are plenty of young up and comers who can give Madonna an experimental, next level twist. Producers like Madeon, Rusko and Oliver are game changers for example that Madonna can perfectly align herself with for a fresh and left-field dance record to create another "Ray Of Light" moment.

Don't get me wrong. Like I said, "Girl Gone Wild" is a worthy effort that will please her base. But I feel that our Queen of Pop can push it further, turn it up a few notches and raise the bar for pop. I'm rooting for Madonna. I always will. And quite frankly there would be nothing more satisfying than Madonna shutting down her misinformed and misguided critics with a next generation club banger that cannot be ignored for all the right reasons. 

February 28, 2012 | Permalink

[VIDEO] Emeli Sande Performs New Single "Next To Me" (Acoustic)


Blogging will be a little bit lighter than usual today as I'm heading to New York City this morning to see Emeli Sande's private showcase event at The Box this evening and to meet with her tomorrow. The British singer/songwriter is stirring up a storm on both sides of the Atlantic with her debut LP "Our Version Of Events" that will be released stateside in June. The recent winner of the BRIT Critics Choice Award has also been "hand-selected" by Coldplay to open its current arena in Europe and the U.S. (together with Robyn) that will provide a steady push for her notoriety in North America. Check out a fantastic acoustic version of "Next To Me," her current U.K. Top Ten hit that is included on her debut record, which shows off her incredibly powerful and one of a kind vocals that will move you.

February 27, 2012 | Permalink

[NEW] Listen to Dante "Won't Go" (featuring Adele)


Some of you may remember Dante Kinnunen as the drummer of Swedish indie pop outfit The Conretes. But last year the Stockholm artist also developed a promising solo side project that incorporates his savvy for soulful, laid-back grooves and knack for infectious, melancholic melodies. Listen for example to his fantastic prog-pop tune "Won't Go" that samples the vocal hook of Adele's "He Won't Go" that blends seamlessly with Dante's forward production stylings. The result is a smash tune that is, quite frankly, too irresistible to be denied. The track is taken from Dante's three-track EP that also includes the very good tracks "Runners" and "Next To You" that is released on Baseline Music, a Sony Music imprint. Highly recommended.

February 26, 2012 | Permalink

Birdy to Release Self-Titled Debut Album Stateside March 20 [Album Review]


It's hard to believe that emerging British singer/songwriter Birdy (born Jasmine van den Bogaerde) is only 15 years old. Her emotionally honest songwriting, lyrical poise and heartfelt performance convey a maturity well beyond her age that has stirred both critical acclaim and chart success in Europe. Her captivating rendition of Bon Iver’s "Skinny Love" broke into the top 20 on the U.K. singles chart and the video for the song (directed by Sophie Mueller) racked up over 12 million views on YouTube.

Birdy's rising popularity should not come as a big surprise. The juggernaut success of Adele's GRAMMY winning '21" has proven that even without straight up pop songs, it is possible to rocket to the top of the charts and capture the hearts of music fans everywhere. In a time of uncertainty that is ruled by bleak news headlines and sober circumstances, people seek out artists like Adele who create music that they can easily relate to and is sung from the heart. The success of Adele now opens the door to artists like Birdy who deliver a similar sentiment and craftmanship.

After the success of "Skinny Love" in Europe, Birdy teamed up with producers Rich Costey (Muse, TV On The Radio), James Ford (Arctic Monkeys, The Klaxons) and Jim Abbiss (Adele, Arctic Monkeys) in London and Los Angeles to compile her self-titled debut album. "Birdy" was first released in Europe late last year and will be available in the U.S. on March 20 through Warner Bros Records.

"Birdy" is an impressive and carefully curated collection of ten tracks that primarily consists of her covers of other people's songs. Included are Birdy's poignant revamps of songs by The xx ("Shelter"), Naked & The Famous ("Young Blood"), James Taylor ("Fire & Rain"), Phoenix ("1901") Fleet Foxes ("White Winter Hymnal"), The Postal Service ("The District Sleeps Alone Tonight") and Francis & The Lights ("I'll Never Forget You").

Some of the disc's highlights include "People Help The People" (original by Cherry Ghost) that neatly emphasizes Birdy's moving and delicate vocals, her deeply atmospheric cover of Phoenix's "1901" and the soaring beauty of her take on The National's "Terrible Love" that spotlights her prodigious talent and ability to take a familiar song and make it her own.

Birdy's original composition "Without A Word" is another emotive tune that equals the timeless beauty and honest storytelling of tracks like "Someone Like You" by Adele. "Stand there and look into my eyes and tell me that all we had were lies," she sings. "Show me that you don't care. And I'll stay here if you prefer. Yes, I'll leave you without a word." Wise words for someone so young.

You can preview Birdy's entire debut on SoundCloud right here. You can pre-order the album on iTunes now.

February 26, 2012 | Permalink

The Daily Crunch: The Oscars, Jessie J, Gwen Stefani, Nelly Furtado, Pretty Reckless, K'Naan, Flo Rida


 Preview Pretty Reckless' Upcoming 'Hit Me Like A Man' EP
 Jessie J Covers Rihanna's “We Found Love”
 Nelly Furtado And K’Naan Perform Together On ‘Letterman’
 It's Oscar Weekend. Predictions. How Are You Celebrating?
 Gwen Stefani: 'Totally Obsessed' With Fashion Websites
 Hollywood Pics: Last Minute Touch Ups Before Oscars
 Flo Rida Learns the Proper Way to Pop Bottles
 YouTube: Famous Fred Stars in Own Nick Show
 Oscar 2012: Two Nominated Songs, Lots of Questions
 25 Awesome Movie Actors Turned Musicians 
 Follow Arjan Writes on Twitter 

February 26, 2012 | Permalink