"THIS IS. . ." - ICONA POP
Icona Pop burst on to the scene in 2012 with their worldwide smash, "I Love It" , although the song didn't reach these shores until this year. This tasty bit of Europop has the duo sing-shouting together that makes them sound like this generation's version of Bananarama. The group, made-up of Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo, released their self-titled debut in their native Sweden two years ago and have just delivered their official international first album, "This Is . . .". The album includes three tracks form the "Icona Pop" debut while the rest consists of new material that features production from fellow hit-making Scandinavians, Stargate and Shellback. If you love big electrobeats and wild, party-anthems, this is a record you should definitely check out.
"All Night" - Icona Pop (2013)
"NOTHING WAS THE SAME" - DRAKE
With his third full-length album, "Nothing Was The Same", Drake has made a thrilling work of bold artistic achievement. The twenty-six year old Canadian performer has confidently merged hip-hop and classic r&b to create a slick production that offers sounds that are richly textured and musically adventurous. Lyrically, Drake has even made some advancements as he has touched more on personal views in addition to the usual self-aggrandizing found in rap.
"For Time" - Drake featuring Jhene Aiko (2013)
"YOURS TRULY" - ARIANA GRANDE
Ariana Grande first achieved fame as a child star on the Nickelodeon television series, "Victorious" and the now twenty-year old has found recent success as a singer. Her first album, "Yours Truly" has been released and debuted at the top of the Billboard Hot 200 Chart, thanks to her first two singles, "Baby I" and the top-ten hit, "The Way". Ms Grande has stated that her musical influences included such artists as Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, so it's no surprise that you hear that on this record. While the young vocalist is not exactly in the same league as her idols, she shows great potential and delivers a strong set of songs.
"You'll Never Know" - Ariana Grande (2013)
"PURE HEROINE" - LORDE
A sixteen year old singer from New Zealand has come out of nowhere and made the most unlikely pop hit of the year. Ella Yelich-O'Connor or as she is known professionally, Lorde has taken the world by storm with her dark and moody tune, "Royals". What makes the song stand out is the minimalist sound, quirky, poetic lyrics and Lorde's mature vocals. "Pure Heroine" is the title of her first album and features a captivating collection written by Lorde and her producer, Joel Little. This is an impressive debut and one of the best records of the year.
"Ribs" - Lorde (2013)
Here is the U.S. version of the music video for "Royals" with the major difference between this and the original is that we see much more of the singer:
"THE DIVING BOARD" - ELTON JOHN
Elton John has returned to making the spare, reflective music that first made audiences stop and take notice of his amazing talent over forty years ago. He has re-teamed with producer, T-Bone Burnett and his long-time writing partner, Bernie Taupin and together have made "The Diving Board", his thirty-first (!) studio album. Mr. John has got nothing more to prove and has made a refreshing record that moves and inspires him with no interest in catering to the current trends in pop music.
"Take This Dirty Water" - Elton John (2013)
While we're still waiting for the release of her first full-length CD, Sky Ferreira has dropped another hot single. "You're Not The One" is a guitar-driven, electro-tune that has a sexy music video to enhance this great song:
The thing that amazes me the most about the career of Britney Spears is that she's managed to achieve so much by offering so little. There's no need to add any more to that statement and just present the video for "Work Bitch" the first single from her next musical endeavour due out in December. This is around the time Ms Spears will begin her residency at Planet Hollywood in Vegas:
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