Music

Ranking all of Kylie Minogue’s lead singles

With Kylie Minogue dropping her new track, “Say Something”, from the forthcoming album Disco, I thought it would be a fantastic time to do a quick little ranking of all the “singing budgie’s” lead singles. Now as Ru would say, let the best song…win.

15. Only You (featuring James Corden) – Kylie Christmas

I was in two minds if I should even include this from Kylie Christmas. Look it isn’t terrible and James Corden was actually bearable for once, but this was never going to be ranked above anything else considering it was from a Christmas album. Also how was “Every Day’s Like Christmas” not the lead single. That song has actually become a Christmas staple in the last five years.

14. Word Is Out – Let’s Get To It

If you want an indication of what Kylie thinks of this one, look no further than her greatest hits two disc collection Step Back in Time: The Definitive Collection, where “Word Is Out” could only make it onto the expanded edition. A song that is incredibly dated by the new jack swing that was popular in the early 90’s, and also from her least successful album to date, it’s no surprise I’ve ranked it so low.

13. Hand on Your Heart – Enjoy Yourself

I feel bad lumping in another PWL single this early in the rankings, considering Kylie wouldn’t have a career without these early hits, but it’s also an indication of how successful her music has continued to be. Despite being released eighteen months after her first album, there isn’t much that is distinctive between the two. Would recommend checking out her acoustic version that was released on The Abbey Road Sessions, as it’s a perfect example of the profound lyrics that can be hidden in pop songs under all the noise.

12. 2 Hearts – X

Honestly if the pop quiz question was “What was the lead single off Kylie’s album X?”, I would have got. How was it not “Wow”. I was so close to just writing about “Wow” instead, as it’s the song I think of most from the album X. Then to find out that “2 Hearts” wasn’t even her song, but instead a cover from Kish Mauve, an British electronic duo. No one can complain though as “2 Hearts” went to the top of the ARIA Charts in Australia, and cracked the top ten in the UK.

11. Dancing – Golden
Sure Golden wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it looks like it was the move that Kylie needed to make at the time. I might have this ranked higher than most, due to seeing her perform it live last year at Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl (it remains one of my favourite concerts). Honestly though with our pop princess turning 50 it made sense for her to be making a song that was a little more introspective, while still having fun singing about going out dancing.

10. Say Something – Disco

This was hard to place considering it was only released a few hours ago. One one hand I was expecting something a little more bolder from an album called “Disco”. On the other I already like it more than the previously discussed tracks. Time will tell on this one.

9. I Should Be So Lucky – Kylie

From the album that kicked it all of, this one is extremely repetitive, but I can’t knock it. A pure 80’s tune that went to number one in eight countries. It’s a little meh, and I’d admit I’d probably skip when playing a Kylie playlist on Spotify, but I’ve always got to respect where an artist started.

8. Into the Blue – Kiss Me Once

God it might have been a flop of an album, but this one is a 5/5 song. At the time it was compared to “All the Lovers”, so maybe Kylie was playing it a little too safe, but this is one of the few songs that can come on at work and lift my spirit’s.

7. Slow – Body Language

“Slow”’s minimalist production is able to perfectly complement Minogue’s seductive vocals on the lead single from Body Language, as she stepped away from the dance pop that had featured on the last two albums. One of her five Grammy nominations, Slow isn’t regarded as high as her other hits, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.

6. Some Kind Of Bliss – Impossible Princess

This will be a shock for some that it’s ranked so high, but it’s a personal favourite of mine. Rankings are subjective afterall. This song is nothing like anything else on the album, so was it a mistake for this to be the lead single? Maybe. Still she had never done anything like it so good on her for taking a step outside her lane. If you don’t like the song, or even the album it came from, don’t complain too much, as I don’t think we would have got Light Years without the mixed reviews for Impossible Princess.

5. Better The Devil You Know – Rhythm of Love

Still a staple of a Kylie concert to this day, Kylie was moving on from Neighbours and it started to show in her music. The more mature sound might also be due to the influence of INXS frontman Michael Hutchence, who Kylie was dating at the time. Listening in chronological order, you can hear the progression she is starting to make.

4. Spinning Around – Light Years

The song that turned Kylie’s career back around and cemented her in pop music history. “Spinning Around” was the first time she’d topped the charts in the U.K in a decade, with a song that defines the turn of the century. And then there is the video featuring the iconic hotpants. It was indeed a comeback, from an album that would be listened to all around the world after the Sydney Olympics performance.

3. All The Lovers – Aphrodite

How is it that so many times the song that is last recorded for an album, is one of the best. Three years on from X, pop music had changed dramatically, but Kylie still had another hit left in her. It’s a strange song that fits so well as an album opener, but also as the concert closing song.

2. Confide In Me – Kylie Minogue

“Confide In Me” is such a leap from all of her previous work, but a leap that was successful unlike “Some Kind Of Bliss”. One of the best songs of the 90’s is ironically nothing like what the average punter would think of, when Kylie Minogue would come to mind.

1. Can’t Get You Out Of My Head – Fever

I’m sure it’s no shock that this is number one. Her most well known song. Everyone knows the song’s pulsing baseline. Everyone can recite the “la la la”. It took the music made on Light Years to a new level. Right now sitting in the middle of her career, it’s a peek that she wasn’t able to get back to again. It’s one of the highest selling singles of all time, and one that lives up to its title, when people really can’t get it out of their head.

The rise & fall & rise of Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga becomes a world wide pop sensation just as I begin my ascent into being pop culture obsessed teen. In fact the first issue of Rolling Stone I ever brought was Gaga’s first cover issue, were she stripped down to nothing, wearing a now famous see through bubble dress with some of the bubbles being conveniently placed. This is 2009 when Gaga would take the crown of biggest pop star in the world (if critics had any doubts after The Fame in 2008, they were proven wrong with her follow up, The Fame Monster, which yields the hit single ‘Bad Romance’). Come 2014 things couldn’t be more different. Names like Grande, Azalea, Perry, Swift, and Minaj are among the group of females dominating the music charts, and while Gaga is also dominating the charts, having just scored her second Billboard number one album in a twelve month period, she is nowhere near being apart of that group. Somewhere along the way something changed. Gaga discovered you really can have both the fame and love (the love I’m talking about here is her music), the theme of her debut album, but the fame would have to be different to the kind she got used to back in 2009.

Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’

A few of my favourite tracks on ‘1989’

.01 Welcome To New York – Taylor is so on point here in saying how inspirational New York can be. Ryan Tedder’s work on this one isn’t lost, and it’s a great introduction to what Taylor called her first “documented” pop album. To those saying that it’s no Sinatra or Jay-Z anthem, I don’t think she was ever trying to out do the greats. Also love the shout out to the LGBT community.

.03 Style – This is almost like two songs have been put together, as the first minute of the song is a snooze fest, while the chorus is one of my favourite moments of the album.

.04 Out Of The Woods – Easily the best track of the album. Got me and many other super excited for 1989. One of three tracks Taylor did with Jack Antonoff, lead guitarist of the rock band Fun, and he has helped her take her synthpop ventures to the next level.

.07 I Wish You Would – This is about Harry, right? Because when ever I listen to Taylor I automatically think it’s about a recent ex-boyfriend, but it’s not always the case. Every song on 1989 can’t be about Harry right?

.08 Bad Blood – It is well known by know that this is a dig at once friend Katy Perry, not a former boyfriend. She took things even further by including a picture of Grammy next the the song lyrics in the album booklet. For the record Grammy count is Taylor Swift 7, Katy Perry 0.

.10 How You Get The Girl – Feels like a mix of the old Taylor with the new Taylor. Nothing bad about that. More low-key than some of the other tracks, but after a few listens I came to appreciate it.

Abbey Road

In a review for Rolling Stone, Ed Ward called it “complicated instead of complex”. Over at The New York Times, Nik Cohn said “individually, the album’s songs are nothing special”, while Albert Goldman boldly declared “[it] is not one of The Beatles’ greatest albums” in Life magazine. It was clear Abbey Road obtained mixed reviews, at best, back in 1969, but somewhere along the way, in between the forty-five years since its release, it became one of the most beloved albums of all time, not just in The Beatles back catalogue, but among the other great albums in music history.

Abbey Road was the first full LP from The Beatles that I had ever listened too. My Dad tried to pursued me from going further than their Greatest Hits collection, believing many albums contain to many throwaway tracks. Me on the other hand, for some reason, believed that albums were like books, and only listening to the hit singles, would be like only reading the most exciting chapters. It is astonishing I still think this was to this day in the digital age, when it is so easy to grab select tracks from the iTunes store. Anyway I’m glad Abbey Road was the first of the band’s I got to enjoy. If I had started with say “Please Please Me” or “Beatles For Sale”, I might of really found some fillers. But not here. Not on Abbey Road.

Again Ed Ward said of the album, “complicated instead of complex”. By this point in the bands short time together, the relationship between the four Liverpool lads was already so complicated, and they didn’t need for their music to be complex anymore. All they need to do was to find simplicity. Songs like Come Together, Something, Oh Darling, and Octopus’s Garden are what make the album. There isn’t much to them, other then being really good rock tracks, but because they were made by John, Paul, George, and Ringo they became something more than just songs.

iTunes Top 100

I always find it hard to discuss what music I like because it can be quite varied. Now I’m not saying my music tastes are that disperse, or that I’m “sa indie” for having a mix of Kanye, John Mayer, The Beatles, and Taylor Swift in my most played, but at they end of the day it is quite a mix of artists. So I thought I share my top one-hundred most played on iTunes, as it is a peek into what I listen to most, and also as these songs kind of form a collection of the sounds coming out of bedroom over the last two years.

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No new U2 album till 2015 (Update: Rep denies these claims)

According to Billboard, U2 are delaying the releases of their next album, so they can book in new recording sessions with producers Ryan Tedder and Paul Epworth, meaning the follow up to No Line On The Horizon, won’t be seen till 2015. This also pushed back the accompanying tour to Summer of 2015.

It was expected for the Irish rock group to release new music late last year, when dates got moved to Summer this year. Now the new arrival date could be in the early months of 2015.

Read more at Rolling Stone: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/u2-delay-new-album-and-tour-to-2015-20140307

Update: A representative for U2 has told that the bands 13th album is still planned to be released this year. Billboard last week broke the news that the band would have to delay any new material, due to extra recording sessions with Ryan Tedder and Paul Epworth, till next year. While the sessions with Tedder and Epworth will still happen, it looks as though we will hear the currently untitled album in Summer which, according to Bono who spoke to USA Today, was the original date.

Sounds so soulful, don’t you agree?: Kanye West’s The Collage Dropout turns ten!

2004 was a big year for popular culture. We saw the launch of Facebook (then known as the Facebook), endured a nipplegate at the Superbowl, was introduced to some Desperate Housewives, and said goodbye to out Friends. But nothing can complete with Kanye West’s arrival onto the music scene, not just as a talented producer, but as a rapper of the kind we hadn’t seen before. Nobody knew back then, I don’t think even Kanye truly knew, how much of a iconic figure, on stage and off, the 27 year old “Through The Wire” singer would become.

Recorded over four years beginning in 1999, his debut was a struggle to get to the shelves. Kanye began to find success when he produced a track on Jay Z’s The Dynasty: Roc La Familia as a up-and-coming artist, and received even more recognition for his work on The Blueprint, released in 2001, when he crafted hits like “Izzo (H.O.V.A)” and “Heart of the City (Ain’t No Love)”. Even with his mainstream success, “Izzo” making it to number eight on the Billboard Hot 100, Capitol Records decided against taking him on after a series of meetings, and Roc-A-Fella Records reluctantly took him onboard in fear of him taking his work elsewhere. On October 23, 2002, Kanye fell asleep at the wheel while driving home from a California recording studio, which left him with a shattered jaw. The crash was near-fatal, so Kanye was lucky for only his jaw to be wired shut in reconstructive surgery. All of this lead to “Through the Wire”, the first song to be heard out of his work, where he expressed his experiance in the accident, and took Kanye in the right direction for his debut saying, “all the better artists have expressed what they are going through”, and that is exactly what he intended to do. When “Through the Wire” became available on the Get Well Soon… mixtape, Kanye also announced he was working on a album called The Collage Dropout, and told that its overall theme was “make your own decisions. Don’t let society tell you, ‘This is what you have to do.’” This instantly drew me in towards the album and all it represented.

You could say I was a latecomer to the genre of hip-hop. Before I first downloaded Yeezus, I had listened to Watch The Throne (West’s full album collaboration with mentor and friend Jay Z), and of course had heard of Kanye’s commercial hits like “Stronger” and “Gold Digger”, but never dug deeper. I remember the first time I listened to Kanye’s experimental 2013 album. I was at school. It was a cold morning. I had a free period, when I was meant to be studying, but wasn’t. I, within an hour, was hooked on this work of art. Getting home I had to have more. Over and over again I listen to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, till I became sick of it. The next Kanye West LP that received heavy rotation from me was his first.

The Collage Dropout is a great achievement in its own right. His music was about family,  religion, consumerism, and his other personal struggles. He was able to shake of the gangster tag that came along with being a rapper at the time, all while crafting his debut album. People forget that his first album peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 (only being held off by Norah Jones’ Feels Like Home) and was nominated for both Album of the Year and Best Rap Album at the 2005 Grammy Awards (he would go on to win Best Rap Album, while losing Album of the Year to Ray Charles for Genius Love Company). All this was from a guy that nobody wanted to take a chance on. These days Kanye West receives most of the medias attention for punching photographers every second day and being part of the force that is Kimye, which can be considers the 2010’s version of Brangelina. But on the 10th of Febuary, 2014, Kanye West needs to be seen as the incredible artist that he truly is.