Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's friday!

Time for my weekly top ten!

1. The Loving Kind - Girls Aloud
2. Insomnia - Craig David
3. Work - The Saturdays
4. Ordinary Days - Leon Jackson
5. Forever - Chris Brown
6. Release Me - Agnes Carlsson
7. Side Chick - Sugababes
8. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing - Carrie Underwood
9. So Hard, So Far - Clique Girlz
10. Broken Strings - James Morrison and Nelly Furtado


Quite a few new entries this week, Girls Aloud zooms into number one, The Loving Kind is simply amazing! With that, The Saturdays' Work moves down to number three, but Craig David maintains his number two spot. Leon goes down as well form number three to number four. Chris Brown rises to number five from number eight last week, and Agnes Carlsson debuts at number six. The Sugababes fall to number seven while Carrie Underwood debuts at number eight with a song from the Carnival Ride Christmas EP. The Clique Girlz also fall to number nine and finally at number ten, James Morrison debuts with his duet with Nelly Furtado.

Eep! You can recap this all week on the sidebar, so don't worry!(like it's something to worry about..) Is you favorite artist missing from the countdown? Drop me an e-mail suggesting the song and if I like it enough, it might enter the top ten! haha..

Hannah Montana in 3D!

Well, well, well.

So this 3D Hannah Montana thing is premiering on October 31(halloween!) in the UK and 6PM on the UK Disney Channel(duh, UK..). It's in 3D, so you'll obviously need the glasses to actually properly watch the concert, which are apparently available in Agors Stores(please note that I have no idea what they are...) or in Sky Kids magazines.

So you guys in the UK, I know there are quite a few of you(since I do review mostly UK stuff..), WATCH IT! haha..

Well obviously, Kenny Ortega has something to do with this. I mean, how could he not? Then there's a host of other guys doing a host of other stuff like the director of photography, Mitchell Amundsen(who apparently did Transformers..) using these really, really HD 3D cameras. So it's obviously very good, technically.

And apparently, it was in cinemas in the UK on March 14 this year, so if you didn't see it then or want to watch it again, WATCH IT TOMORROW!

I saw parts of the concert, and I think it's a good concert, actually. I love the songs, pure, amazing Disney-ness! It's like HSM gone Pop/Rock/Country/Solo. Some songs bother me(with the talking and all..), but both of the soundtracks are amazing(I own them both!)!

So once again, those of you in the UK, here's everything in handy bullet form!(yes, you had to endure my torturous writing just to find out that it's in bullet-form at the bottom of the post!
  • It's on Disney Channel UK on October 31, 2008 at 6 PM.
  • You can get the 3D glasses, if you don't have them yet, at Agros Stores or in Sky Kids Magazine issues
  • Kenny Ortega thought of a produced the show so if you like HSM, then watch it!
  • It sold $29 Million on it's opening weekend and hit number one on the US Box office.
  • Just watch it, OK? OK.
I guess that's it. Did I miss anything? Have you watched it already? If so, any spoilers you wish to share(mwahahaha..!)? Just comment away!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Countdown to Fearless!

A new Taylor Swift song is out!

Absolutely amazing. Single perhaps? Maybe, maybe not. It's a brilliant song though. Can't wait for Fearless at the moment!

Wanna listen before buying it on iTunes?





strange..

My 'battle of the girl groups' post is gone..

How'd that happen?

I don't remember deleting it..

And it was still around last night..

Where'd it go?

EDIT: FOUND IT! haha.. I still don't know how it disappeared..

Billie Piper - Girlfriend

Relatively short, I don't have that much to say, although I adore the song.

Ah, yes. Gone were the days when pop looked this effortless and pop princesses came in truckloads.

I don't exactly miss that period, maybe because I didn't know anything about music then(mind you, I was maybe three or four when this was released.. although I vaguely remember saying that I liked either Baby Spice or Posh Spice during the 90's, I forgot.), but now that I look back on it, it seemed like a very fun period to be in. And when I say fun, I mean it.

Even if this song is on the slower side, it's still really fun, and dance-able. It seems to me that a lot of stuff from the 90's could be sung with a dance routine. A lot. I mean, the Spice Girls were really the epitome of fun then, but Billie Piper was pretty close, with the songs, dance routines and the over-all image, something that was apparently very important, and still is.

The concept of putting a single out back then seemed so out of reach, it wasn't as easy as it is now. I mean, nowadays we've got Myspace and American Idol or The X Factor whereas back then, you had to either know someone in the business or blow someone in the business away live.

Which is probably why people made the most out of it. I mean, look at the amount of pop stars that were constantly being 'created' by record companies, the figure's huge. Many failed, but the ones who didn't found success that unfortunately, didn't last that long. Some managed to carry over to the new millennium, but a lot of artists were stuck in the 90's. Billie was one of them.

Although her 2000 album wasn't as successful as her first album, she'll be remembered in music for her earlier singles, Because We Want To, Girlfriend, She Wants You and Honey To The Bee, four amazing singles and equally amazing songs.

THE RATING: 5/5(priceless stuff..)

Liberty X - Thinking It Over

Something I haven't done in quite a while, a single review! haha.. here goes..
I've never really paid attention to Liberty X as much as the other Popstars contestants (Hear'Say, Girls Aloud, Six), so it's a bit out of the ordinary that I'd post something about them.

If my memory serves me right, they were the five who didn't make it into Hear'Say, but they were certainly the better band. I love the cheesiness of Hear'Say songs, but it wears off, the edginess of Liberty X however, doesn't. It sounds like Hear'Say's music is stuck in the time period it was created in, and no effort whatsoever to make it the least bit timeless.

But reality show winners constrained to record company and TV executives come to learn that they're not about making music that's edgy and timeless, they're about selling records. Music, after all, has become a business. That just doesn't cut it for people like me, who look at the music side and not the business.

Look at what's happening to the companies now, they're being outwitted by people like Steve Jobs, who created iTunes, and countless pirates. The problem with the bosses is that they're not creative enough to think of ways to get people to buy the music. They're using the same tricks they were using ten or twenty years ago, but we're not living in the 80's or 90's, it's the 2000's already for heaven's sake. Are the stuck in a time warp or something?

And that's why I think Liberty X are an amazingly good band, and which is most probably why they won a BRIT instead of Hear'Say. Hear'Say could never have won a BRIT, even if they had lasted longer. With songs that cheesy, but none of them really standing out, they were left with two not so bad albums and maybe one good single. Liberty X however, just creamed the living daylight out of them, making better songs and eventually lasting longer.

Thinking It Over is just amazing, and it's miles better than Pure And Simple(although I liked the Girl Thing version). It's very 2001, but it sounds like it could've been released later, say 2006 or 2007 and it would still be a hit. The song sounds like Craig David's Fill Me In(not as good as that, but still amazing..), but they have their own take on it, and they made a song that kick-started their entire career, the career that outlasted Hear'Say.

RATING: 4.8/5

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New Music...

So after even more back-to-back releases and the battle of the Girl Groups coming to a close this week, let's catch up on all the new music that's been circulating around the internet these past few days, shall we?
  • Well, the version of Hero by the X Factor top 12 that they performed on the results show last Saturday was released earlier this week. It's actually not that bad, although Diana could've sung more, like in the live performance but all in all, it's a not bad version. If I was in the UK, I'd buy the single!
  • Britannia High premiered last Sunday in the UK, and I'm slowly getting addicted! It wasn't as bad as I expected it to be, and I'm loving the song Lauren and Claudine sang right after the principal asked Lauren if she was gonna give up or carry on with the whole thing. Lemme guess, the title is You Just Wait(or something to that effect..). I just hope it's on the soundtrack!
  • Carrie Underwood has a new Christmas EP out and I love it. I'm particularly adoring the arrangement on her version of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, but one every song, her voice is just flawless and really, really smooth. Amazing stuff!
  • Taylor Swift has a new song out called You're Not Sorry. The song is strong, it's got a nice melody but the album cover is just all messed up, she looks nothing like herself and her feet look huge in the picture!
  • Another David A. song is out in HQ, Angels. I haven't had the chance to listen to it yet, but I'll get to doing it sometime this week. EDIT: I've only realized now that the song is the Robbie Williams cover he did for Idol Gives Back week. Garr, and here I was thinking it was an original. OK cover, but not so hot about him recording a song he did on Idol.
  • And the new Hilary Duff song, Reach Out, is also out in HQ. When I heard it in medium quality, it was so-so, but now it's kind of growing on me. It sounds a lot like a cross between Girls Aloud song back in 2003, The Saturdays' Set Me Off and something else, though. That something else it at the very tip of my tongue, but I just can't put my finger on it, garr. I've heard it before but I can't remember!
  • I'm loving Amy Pearson right now. After one of my favorite blogs posted about her, I dug up her album from my collection(another one of those albums that I have but never listened to) and played it form start to finish. I love the album, she's like a cross between Stacie Orrico and Christina Aguilera, both vocally and stylistically.
  • Westlife's Miss You Nights was covered by an American boyband(thanks to It's About Music) recently and it's not that bad. Still not as amazing as the original(with Shane's flawless, smooth vocals), but good enough. I just hope that if they become successful with that song, it doesn't become another FWW(Flying Without Wings, Ruben of AI 2 stole the song, then murdered it, but it was still a hit in the US..)..
  • Ever since the Carrie Underwood Christmas EP came out, I've been looking around for classic Christmas songs with arrangements are gorgeous as hers but I can't seem to find any. Any suggestions?
  • And finally, the new Take That video is out, I love the song but the video reminds me too much of Westlife's Fool Again! Still, the song is amazing, when can we get it in HQ? Gar.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Agnes Carlsson - Dance Love Pop

If Brits make amazing R&B(right now..), then Swedes make brilliant, mind-blowing pop. Pop that's all about the melodies, all about the songwriting and all about the vocals. Dance Love Pop, as the title states, is literally a treasure trove of amazing pop songs that just make you go wow. Agnes is already an experienced artist by now, and with that comes some amazing stuff. Obviously, the more you know, the better you'll be able to make an album.

I'm all praises for this album, but that's because it really earned them. Like the Girls Aloud album, every song is different, every song has distinguishing qualities, but every song shows who Agnes is, every song has something about it that ties the whole album together. In short, every song deserves to be a single, every song is amazing.

From the very first track, it's made clear that this is a pop album, a very good one at that. Release Me is possibly one of my favorite songs from her, it's amaaaaazing! It starts out with the amazing violins and all that monumental instrumentation before it launches into a disco-y but not over the top pop song, brilliant. On and On, the carrier single, is another strong song from the album, although I may have heard it too much for my liking. It's an amazing song, and a brilliant single choice though.

Now, Love Me Senseless may sound like a super cheesy disco-inspired track at the start, but it's not! OK, it may be disco-influenced but the songwriters manage to balance out the cheesiness with an amazing melody. How Do You Know isn't disco-influences like the tracks before it, but it's just as amazing. The melody, the instrumentation and the vocals make it one reason why this album is so amazing.

I Need You Now, Sometimes I Forget and Big Blue Wall are the ballads on the album, and they're done beautifully, melody-wise and vocally. I mean, who can write such amazing songs then have it performed by an amazing singer? Garr... I think it's safe to say that Swedish make the best pop music nowadays.

Whenever I hear Look At Me Now, I feel like I'm listening to Love Is All Around Part 2, seriously! The happy lyrics and tempo, the brilliant melody, and the catchy chorus are qualities that this song shares with Love Is All Around. Plus the fact that it's just amazing, like the rest of the album. Possible single choice perhaps? I hope so..

Don't Pull Your Love Out has these Spanish elements in it, but once again, we're given a brilliant song with an amazing melody. If Don't Pull Your Love Out has Spanish elements, the start and some parts of Open Up Your Eyes have Oriental elements infused into them. Amidst all that, Open Up Your Eyes still comes out as an amazing song, up to par with the rest of the album.

Let's take a moment to worship the people who wrote this album. They've done an amazing job, and they've made of of my top albums for 2008! It'll be really, really hard for me to choose my favorites, but hey, it has to be done, so here goes.

So, to sum up the album:
Best Track: EDIT Release Me END EDIT
Better Tracks: Everything Else
Least Favorite Track: I'm not that fond of I Need You Now at the moment, but it's still at the level of the rest of the album..
The whole album in one sentence: An amazing pop album that just proves that people can still make pop like this, it just takes a little effort and a lot of talent.
THE RATING: 5/5(Perfect!)

Click here to stream the whole album before you(possibly) buy it!

Coming soon..

DANCE LOVE POP HAS ARRIVED!
Watch out for my review sometime tomorrow
I adore the album! Big time!

The Battle comes to an end..

Yes people, the battle of the girl groups has now come to a close in my books, as the last of the albums has been reviewed. To recap on my thoughts about the albums, check out these reviews in the order they were released:

Notes on each album:
  • Catfights and Spotlights is a very consistent album from The Sugababes, and it's possibly their most mature album yet. Side Chick may indicate them trying to break the US, but we won't know until it's officially announced. For now, Catfights and Spotlights is an amazing album from the girls.
  • Chasing Lights is a strong debut from The Saturdays, but there's a lot of work to be done on the girls' part. Although it's not the stellar album I was expecting, it's turned out to have some very strong songs, enough to make it a hit.
  • Out Of Control has got to be my favorite album of the year so far(I won't make my decision on my favorite until the year ends and all 2008 albums have been released..). With every song amazing, but a select few absolutely brilliant, the album is certainly mind-blowing. Mind-blowing enough to be iconic for years to come.
Now, here are some pictures and the final result of the score sheet I put up for download a few days ago. To download and fill it up for yourself, click here. To view bigger versions, click here.






AND THE WINNER IS.........

Now, because GA won the battle and I really can't stand the album cover, I decided to make one myself. How does it look?

I'd love it if you guys send in pictures of your score sheets! To do so, just sent those pictures to samanthaparkington@gmail.com and if there are enough pictures, I might post them here! haha.. fun, fun, fun!

Something to look out for..

With just two months left for 2008, here's something to look out for later in the year. This December, I'll be looking back on the past 12 moths by counting down my top 60 songs of 2008. The list is almost final, but I won't post anything until everything's final. So for now, just wait and count the days until then..


I made this widget at MyFlashFetish.com.

Girls Aloud - Out Of Control, some post-review notes..

So I listened to the album today while I was out of the house and I've noticed some things that I didn't when I wrote my review. Here are some notes and random thoughts about the album.
  • The verses of Love Is Pain are amazing! I'm slowly getting hooked to the whole song. The chorus right now is OK, but since the verses are amazing, I might grow to adore the song!
  • The album reminds me a bit of What Will The Neighbors Say? for some strange reason. I can't quite point out what makes it sound like WWTNS but it does remind me a lot of it.
  • The songs all take a few listens to set in, but when they finally do, they just outright blow your mind.
  • The amazingness(is that even a word?) of The Loving Kind was there during the first few listens but now, it's probably the most brilliant song they've done.
  • Untouchable is proving to be one of the stronger songs(out of the strong ones...) on the album, it's unmistakably Girls Aloud.
Check out the full review here.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Girls Aloud - Out Of Control

Yes! It's here! All the fuss over this album is certainly well deserved, I hail this my favorite album of the year so far!

You see, Girls Aloud, like the Sugababes, have managed to add hints and influences of another genre(60's-ish stuff..) but keep their trademark sound. It's that identity thing again, but your heads might be bursting with that so let's move on.

The other thing they've done was baffle all the copycats. Tangled Up was very dance-y, very pop/dance, but this year, they've moved away from the Sexy! No, no, no...'s and moved over to The Loving Kind's, catching all the wannabes unaware. Take the Saturdays, you can see how much they want to be Girls Aloud. Work is an amazing song, but there are elements of a certain GA period in it.

I've got to admit, Girls Aloud is an 'acquired taste', it took me a long time before I actually started adoring them. Maybe it's because their sound is so different from the US stuff and they change so rapidly that no one in the UK scene has time to take influences from them. But still, they're not the biggest girl group in the world for nothing, and this album just confirms the title.

Each and every song on this album sounds very Girls Aloud, each and every song has something different about it, but each and every song is amazing, there are no weak songs on the album. The most outrageous song on the album is probably The Promise, it's the one that sounds least like a Girls Aloud song, but it's a strong start to the album, and an amazing single choice(have you seen the X Factor performance? amazing.)

Rolling Back the Rivers is an amazing song, it starts out with hardly anything, then turns into a Call The Shots-ish song before launching into an amazing(and addictive) chorus. Love Is The Key starts out with this choral thing, then just stars getting very 60's-ish, then becomes something like Fling, when they talk instead of sing. I can sense a pattern here, can you?

And now I see why Popjustice said not to listen to the album clips. They indeed didn't do justice to the album, and didn't give us clips to process. I wasn't that convinced by the clips, to tell you the truth, but the minute I finished listening to this album, I wished I hadn't heard the clips. Anyway.

Turn To Stone is very clubb-ish, the instrumental could be playing in a club or during a fashion show. And as usual, the chorus is just amazing! Nicola's vocals were the perfect choice to start off Untouchable, one of my favorite songs on the album. Plus, it sounds a lot like Call The Shots, again.

Let's take a moment to worship the ground Xenomania walk on, shall we? They've once again created amazing songs that highlight Girls Aloud's voices, and the style they've created for the amazing girl group.

Moving on, the rest of the album is just amazing, I can rattle on all day about how much I adore the songs, but I won't. So let's move on to my ultimate favorite song on the album.

The Loving Kind is the absolute best song on the whole album for me. A few weeks ago, Popjustice streamed a clip of the song and I just adored it! The song is gorgeous, the tempo accents the melody very well, and the melody in turn, accents the vocals amazingly. I just can't get enough of this song, everything about it is just amazing, my ultimate favorite Girls Aloud song, that's for sure! Edit: I can't get the song out of my head! I just keep humming and humming and humming and humming! And then I just keep on listening to it. It's not on gorgeous, it's addictive!

Girls Aloud has once again defied the boundaries of UK pop, and they've done it amazingly. Not some haphazard, scared and confused album, they've made something that will be stashed in record collections for many years to come!(corny?!)

So, to sum up the album:
Best Track: The Loving Kind
Better Tracks: Everything else
Least Favorite Track: none, to tell you the truth.
The whole album in one sentence: The best album of 2008 so far, it's drop-dead gorgeous, brilliant, amazing, mind-blowing and any other positive word I can think of.
THE RATING: 5/5(YES! Perfect!)

Buy it when it comes out in Ireland on October 31 and in the UK on November 3!

OMG.

OUT OF CONTROL HAS ARRIVED!!!!
Watch out for my review tomorrow morning
I'm literally dying with anticipation. I've heard the whole thing already and I'm dying to write about it!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

X Factor 5 Live Shows - Week 3

So what happened this week? Who rocked, and who totally sucked? Let's find out!(No photos of the Popjustice playsheet this week, I got bored..)

The Boys: There's nothing better than hearing Simon and Louis fight over whether the Westlife version of That's Life was better or not than Scott's no so hot performance this week. I love how Simon said that he didn't pick all their hits, as if saying that he wasn't the only one responsible for their success, which he says a lot. Eoghan's song was so corny, if you ask me. I mean, an Archuleta-minion trying to sing a song that's possibly cheesier than what Girlband did last week? Disaster in the making. Austin's performance was strong, nothing special though, but enough to get him through to next week.

The Girls: These girls just don't stop, do they? Alexandra's performance was consistent, but still, I don't see anything out of this world from her. She's not as good and different as the other two girls, but she has a voice, and she uses it. Laura was, in one word, amazing. She took on a Billie Holiday song, and did it amazingly. And once again, Diana was one of my favorites, she just keeps on giving us strong performances and with that gorgeous voice of hers and the fabulous song choices, she'll go far in this competition. My only worry though is that if she wins, Simon might turn her into this stereotypical 'jazz' singer, which I don't want her to become.

The Group: JLS were strong tonight although I'd have to agree with Cheryl, those capes at the start were not only hideous, they were a nuisance. What did they have to do with the performance? But the song was good and the vocals were strong, considering they're an R&B group. They've just glided their way back next week, that's for sure.

The Over 25's: Daniel was horrible, again. I can't seem to think why anyone would want him in the competition, is it pity or something? I mean, I know the guy's wife died, but the fact that he dedicates almost every song to his wife is kind of too much. Maybe dedicate one or two songs, but every time you ask him why he chose a song we get the same reply, 'It's for my wife'. And he doesn't have a grip on his voice, he doesn't know how to use it properly. Rachel was strong this week, and she definitely deserves to come back next week. Ruth though, stole the show. Her vocals were drop-dead gorgeous, and the song fit her like a glove, just as good as Fantasia's version.

The results show performance(new!): Hero by the top twelve. It was OK, but I wish Diana got more solo parts.

The sum-up in one sentence: Nothing much happened this week, but my prediction last week came true, Daniel and one of the boys were the bottom two, but Daniel should've went.

What I want to happen next week: Daniel to suck, again, but JLS, Diana and Ruth to be amazing again.

Flashback: Craig David

With the release of his Greatest Hits just around the corner, why not go back, way back, to his first album, the album that made his career.

I've said before that Brits make amazing R&B, but what makes it amazing is that they don't just copy US trends, they take some and make it into something the British public will adore. The issue of identity has always been a big factor for me liking a certain artist. Unlike some American artists, British know who they are(at least from most of the British albums I've heard). They change, yes, but you can hear how much they stick to their roots, because from the start, they know who they are as artists.

Fill Me In(which he was Nominated at the Grammies for..) is an amazing song, and it's become the standard for every other Craig David song. This song was the perfect single, it highlighted his voice, set his standards and showed that he could really write a song, and do it well. Here's one of my favorite performances of Fill Me In, it's just genius!



When you listen to the album, you hear fourteen different songs, but in each song is a similarity in genre and style that, by just listening to it once, you know is Craig David. The similarities aren't spelled out, but listen carefully enough and you'll hear them. Once you hear them, you begin to appreciate Craig David even more, and you see just how much work he put into the album.

After Fill Me In, we got 7 Days as a single, which became his most successful single since. It was nominated for 2 BRITS and ANOTHER freakin' Grammy! How many people his age, and in his genre can do that? Plus that fact that he's British, and not a lot of Brits crack the US market.

This is what I meant when you don't really hear the similarities between the songs if you just listen to the surface, but when you listen carefully, you can hear that Craig David really knows who he is, and he shows us that, something not a lot of artists can actually do.

It's amazing how a guy like Craig David, at such a young age, could achieve that amount of success with just his first album. I mean, 2 self-written UK number one singles, six BRIT nominations, 2 Grammy nominations and heaps of other awards just for that album are testament to just how amazing he is.

Born to Do It has become one of the biggest albums by a UK R&B artist, 6x Platinum in the UK and Platinum in the US. I think that's enough proof that Craig David knows what he's doing, and he does it well.

NOTE: I wrote this review before I read this interview, which made me admire Craig David even more than I already do. So check the interview out, OK?

Don't forget to get your copy of his Greatest Hits when it comes out on November 24!

Friday, October 24, 2008

New Music!

This week was full of amazing album leaks and releases, so what better way to celebrate than to look back at all the releases I've written about, and write about some more!
  • Some amazing releases from Leon Jackson, The Saturdays and Craig David and the Clique Girlz came out/leaked this week. Check out my reviews!
  • On the subject of the Clique Girlz, their album is worth at least one listen for you, but there are songs like So Hard, So Far and Who Wouldn't Wanna that are worth careful consideration, they rock! One issue I have though, is the amount of covers on the album, and the fact that there are two covers from one artist.
  • The new Lady GaGa tracks from her US release are goooood! It's a nice shift from her regular album that I kind of got a bit sick of..
  • HSM3 hit theaters here yesterday, and I was in one of the big malls. Tons and tons of kids watching! It's a good thing I won't be watching for the next week or so, mainly because there are too many people.
  • Clips of the new Girls Aloud album have surfaced. Popjustice said not to listen to them, but when I read it, I had already heard the whole sampler. Still, it's proving to be a strong album, a worthy opponent to The Sugababes and The Saturdays.
  • BoA has been planning a US launch, and Eat You Up is proving well with the music blog circuit. Some of the lyrics(yum, yum????!!) are strange, but the melody is good and the dancing is amazing, as usual.
  • Britannia High starts Sunday night in the UK, I don't know what to expect, really. Start Of Something is not bad, but it sounds like an attempt to make another I Dream. I adore I Dream, but I don't see the point in another one.
  • The new weekly top ten is up, a lot of new entries and a lot of exits, but all of this week's new releases are represented! Last week's number one song, Side Chick slips to number four, behind Leon Jackson's Ordinary Days, which enters at number three Craig David's Insomnia, which retains it's number two position, and The Saturdays' Work, which zooms into the coveted top spot. To see the whole thing, look for the chart on the sidebar!
What to expect this week:
  • An X Factor Live Show Recap
  • Some Taylor Swift?
  • And let's hope we get more new releases!

Just a random post..

OK. Not a review this time, but it has something to do with the blog. Why don't I tell you guys a story of how I came to start this blog? I don't wanna start from the very beginning, so let's cut the story short.

There were a few blogs that started along with me, and I remember them very clearly. Singin' Stars, The Music Inferno and Uh Like That all started around the same time I started Pop Addicted!, and we've more or less achieved the same amount of success.

I started gaining a small but loyal audience maybe after a month. A few people leaving comments and requests here and there, and maybe around 1,000 hits, I was getting somewhere. I kept on posting, kept on granting requests until one day, I met a friend of a co-contributor at Poptastic!(I eventually became a contributor for the blog that started everything, but I had to leave later once Pop Addicted! took off..), Angel_BR, who eventually became one of my most important contributors.

I persuaded Angel to become a contributor, and thankfully, she agreed. I had help, I could concentrate more on running the promotions and getting people to visit, and I did. Slowly, I gained more contributors. Yuki, my real-life best friend and Sam, who ran one of my favorite blogs(Planet Music) and who now runs Pop Addicted!, Kougra, and Gui_BR, who was a co-contributor on Poptastic!, who now runs another music blog.

So that was basically my first team, the original. Over the next few months, it kept on growing. By the start of 2008, there were maybe 7 or 8 contributors helping out. By the time I left, there were around 17 or 18 people on the team, minus those who had left and had been removed due to inactivity, which include utility members, who were there to answer any technical questions, and reviewers, who posted only reviews.

For the next few months, everything was smooth sailing. I was getting 20,000 hits a day, download statistics went into the thousands, and I had a strong team who just kept supporting the blog while I promoted, and fixed the blog and moderated everything. A few bumps along the way, like a site who was stealing our links and not crediting, a few haters and tons of spammers, but they were all part of the experience.

My decision to leave Pop Addicted! was made up when my grades started getting way too low. I tried going private, to minus the stress of everything, but it didn't work. So I left. On the month I started it. I was originally going to close down the blog as a whole, but my ever-loyal team persuaded me to keep it open and pass it on to someone.

I learned a lot from Pop Addicted!, not just about blogging, but about life in general. I learned how to deal with stubborn people, with haters and with ungrateful people. I learned that I can't do everything, that even I need a break once in a while, that if I try to do everything, I'll just end of screwing the whole thing up and it'll all be a disaster.

I learned how much effort it takes to keep a relatively popular music blog up and running first hand and I commend every single music blogger out there, because even if it was just for that precious year, I realised that nothing in life is free, even if blogger doesn't charge anything to put up a blog.

Pop Addicted! has helped me a lot for this blog. The insight I gathered during my time as admin, and all the promotions people I met via e-mail, help me every single day when I post here. All the artists I've discovered from promotions and even my own team, and everything I've learned from recurring e-mails to and from my team.

It's also taught me basically how to run a blog, what to do and what not to do(like use link lists for your affiliates, when you change your layout to a pre-made, your dead!), and a lot of technical stuff, like HTML, and all of those stuff. I learned everything first-hand, and I just dived into it, unafraid of the mistakes I would make(and believe me, I made tons of them..).

Yes, I left the blog, but it feels good to know that it's in good hands now. I thank my lucky stars that someone like Sam now runs the blog I had worked so hard for.(NOTE: This is kind of 'dedicated' to the readers of Pop Addicted!, past and present. I can't thank you enough for all I learned in the year that I ran the blog.)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Craig David's GH!

OK, So I know the tracklisting was already on Wikipedia, but I like comparing if I got my own GH right. So, what did I get right?

What I Got Right:

Fill Me In
7 Days
Rise and Fall
Insomnia
What's Your Flava?
Where's Your Love?
You Don't Miss Your Water('Till the Well Runs Dry)
All The Way
World Filled With Love
Don't Love You No More(I'm Sorry)
This is The Girl

What I Didn't Get Right:

Walking Away
Rendezvous
Spanish
Just Your Imagination
6 of 1 Thing
Hidden Agenda
Hot Stuff
Rewind

See? 11 out of 19 right. YES! So, go out and get your copy now, it rocks, big time!

What are these?

Ok. So while I was surfing my precious 2-week break away, I stumbled across posters like this:



So I was generally intrigued. I mean, the posters are cute, the use of color is adorable! I don't wanna divulge any spoilers, so just google the word and click whatever comes out first, ok? OK.

Eep!

Get ready for three of the 'hottest' new releases in the UK with this trusty chart! I know, I know, I stole the idea from Popjustice, but hey, isn't it cool? Look!

(Click to see the whole thing..)

All you have to do is download the file, print it and fill it out! When all three albums have been released/leaked, I'll post what I wrote and you guys can do too!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Leon Jackson - Right Now

It's here! Leon has certainly gown up and changed a heck of a lot since his first audition, but his voice is still stellar. The genre choice was correct, the first single choice was perfect and the albums tracks are strong.

Don't Call This Love was the perfect single choice, it's a gorgeous song with a big chorus but my fear is that since it wasn't a number one single, it might be forgotten very easily. I adore the song, but listening to it too many times can make me a bit sick of the song. A similar sounding song, Fingerprints, is strong as well, and the melody is nice, plus the mention of a John Mayer song(Waiting On the World To Change), make it one of the stronger songs on the album.

Creative has a nice melody, but a bit too cliché for me with the instrumentation and the melody, but it's a song that sets the tone for the album. The kind of big band-ish song with very Las Vegas/Ratpack-ish styles, which is obviously where he's going with the album, but he's not like some other wannabes. Surprisingly, he does this well. I mean, I knew that his voice fit these particular songs, but I didn't know he could pull them of this well.

Stargazing has a beautiful title and You Don't Know Me is a strong song, but the melodies don't win me over like some other slow songs. I mean, the tempo of a song isn't an issue for me, but these songs in particular just seem too lounge-y in the not good way, and I'm sure he doesn't want to sound like that.

Right Now, the title track, is very fun. It kind of reminds me of Candyman(which I don't like that much), with the instrumentation and stuff. Plus, there's a mention of the Westlife album title(Coast to Coast)!!! The song is cool, a strong title track, and could it possibly be a single? If he's ever gonna break the US, this might be the song to use. Could Do Better is another of the better tracks on the album, and has the possibility of becoming a signature song. With the melody and the instrumentation, plus the fact that it's more on the edgy side rather than the cliché side that some songs have shown.

Ordinary Days is, in one word, brilliant. It's the most brilliant song on the album. Seriously, everything about it just makes me want to worship whoever wrote the damn song! The song fits not only his voice like a glove, but makes me listen to the album in a different perspective after hearing this. It's not as big-band influenced as the other songs, it's a bit more pop, and this is not just because I simple adore the song, but I honestly think this could be a single, judging by the first choice. The gorgeous, gorgeous melody, the simple but effective instrumentation and Leon's amazing voice make me want to turn up the volume and burst into tears because it's one of the most gorgeous and amazing songs I've heard in ages, if not the most gorgeous.

Caledonia is extremely close, almost tied to Ordinary Days in terms of gorgeousness. The instrumentation is much more stripped down than Ordinary Days, but the melody just as gorgeous. The melody is just so freakin' gorgeous that I want to, again, worship whoever wrote this song. It's another one of those songs that make me want to turn the volume up real high and just enjoy the song(no crying this time, though..). Just one little problem though, his accent is a bit strange, but the gorgeous melody masks it, and besides, I don't really have a huge problem with it.

When You Believe ends the album with a bang, and it's like after everything he's done, he's managed to make an album worth being proud of. OK, maybe I'm taking it too seriously, but it's a gorgeous version of the song, and it certainly deserved to be Christmas Number One.

The album is what I expected it to sound like, and a bit more. I never expected to hear one of the most gorgeous songs I've ever heard from this album, let alone two! There are some things he needs to work on, to perfect, but by listening to this album, I think it's safe to say that he's got fame in the bag, it's all about sustaining it.

So, to sum up the album:
Best Track: Ordinary Days, but Caledonia is extremely close
Better Tracks: Right Now, Don't Call This Love, Fingerprints
Least Favorite Track: Stargazing
The whole album in one sentence: Leon has shown us who he is as an artist, he's done it with finesse and what seems to me like ease, and this jut proves that he's someone who can take the musical heavyweights on in the charts.
THE RATING: 4.7/5(Yes! Higher than The Sugababes!)

No, this is not the Leon review..

While waiting for me to listen over to the whole Leon album, why not read about exactly how I review an album? Yes, I'm this bored.

So obviously, the first thing I do is put the album in my iTunes library and make a playlist for it. Then, I play the album once from start to finish, putting five stars on my favorite songs after one listen.

Then, I listen to the album again, but I don't just listen to it anymore. So I open up TextEdit and make notes about each song, what stands out, what went wrong, short first impressions of the songs. So once I've got my notes and my favorites, I write a review here! While writing, I listen to the album again, and look at my notes from time to time.

And that's how I make my reviews. Interesting? Nope, boring.

It's HERE!!!

RIGHT NOW HAS ARRIVED!
Watch out for my review later today.
I'm honestly quite excited.
While waiting for mine, read this brilliant review

The Saturdays - Chasing Lights

OK, so even though I've heard quite a lot of the album before this, I still made it a point to listen to the album as a whole, just to get the whole feel of it. I've got to admit, I was expecting too much from the girls before I heard this. I mean, I couldn't have said that a debut album was going to be drop-dead gorgeous after hearing the two singles and some b-sides, could I? Nope. But still, for a debut album, I think it's good.

We've obviously heard the two singles, If This Is Love and Up, which are a bit heavier than the other songs on the album. I mean, you hear those two songs and they're so heavy on instrumentation and processing, then you hear the rest of the album and it's like a breath of fresh air. Still, I think Up is a masterpiece.

The next tracks are like heaven for me, I haven't heard this kind of pop done so well in ages! The songs are amazing, the instrumentations make the songs even pop-ier than they already were, and the vocals are spot-on! Whoever wrote these songs should be put on a pedestal.

Keep Her sounds like a possible single, judging by the previous two releases and the upcoming release(Work!), but that might not happen. Still, it's a song that shows us who The Saturdays are music-wise, a song that defines their style. Issues is a very British song, but the melody is just the icing on the cake for me. It just flows, and sounds so effortless, on the songwriters side as well as the vocal side. Work is what happens when you mix American elements with British-sounding melodies. Could they possibly use this to break the US? I mean, they have had success in the UK already, and right now there's a market for acts like them(Lady GaGa, anyone?), and this song sounds 'very US'.

Can I just take a moment to adore Work? I mean, the song is just amazing. I never though I'd see the day that I say this, but Work has just outshone Up. Seriously, the song is so damn amazing! Everything about it, the instrumentation, the melody, the arrangement and the vocals, they're all amazing! The song itself is mind-blowing.

Enough praise for the amazing song, let's move on.

Chasing Lights is a gorgeous song, but I have an issue with it. Not a big fan of Fall, but I like the instrumentation, the piano with those R&B ballad elements, genius. Vulnerable though, I like more than Fall. The melody is slightly better, the song as a whole might grow on me with time but for now, it's not up to par with some of the other songs. The verse of Why Me, Why Now sounds like something I've heard before, but I can't quite put my finger on it. Perhaps you guys can shed some light on the matter?

So, to sum up the album:
Best Track: Work(!)
Better Tracks: Issues, Up, Keep Her
Least Favorite Track: Fall(but it's OK..)
The whole album in one sentence: The whole thing is good, but there's heaps more work the girls need to do to perfect what they're trying to do.
THE RATING: 4.4/5(like I said, a lot of work to be done..)

The Saturdays - Chasing Lights: A pre-review

(Stole the title from The Beat Review, sorry!)

OK. So maybe I was a overreacting a bit this morning when I said I was hyperventilating. I was extremely excited, but I think that led to me being a bit disappointed with the outcome of the album. The album is good, with strong songs, but my expectations were too high, and I have some.. issues with a certain song.

Let's get my issue over with first, so it's clean sailing after this. For those of you who have the album, or who've heard the whole thing, turn your attention first to a song by Paula Cole, I Don't Wanna Wait. Recall the chorus, and repeat it over and over in your head. Got it? For those of you who've forgot what it sounds like, or don't know about it at all, you can listen to it here:



Got it? Got it. So now that you've got the melody of the chorus firmly planted in your mind, give the title track of the album, Chasing Lights a listen. Pay close attention to the very first line of the chorus, doesn't something sound fishy?

Chasing Lights is a gorgeous song, don't get me wrong, but every time I hear it, I can't help but think of the Paula Cole song. The similarities are a bit too much, I mean the melody and structure of the chorus? I'll say it again, Chasing Lights is a gorgeous song, but too much of it came from another song, and that's a big issue for me.

Originality. A lot of musicians take it for granted, and for a long time, I haven't heard something like what I heard earlier today, but I think I was too confident that these girls would deliver a perfect album. Let's face it, all first albums have flaws, it's just that some manage to hide it better than others.

Phew. I finally got what's been bugging me all afternoon off my chest. I know what you guys must be saying, Can we get to the review already? Indeed we will!

Monday, October 20, 2008

IT'S HERE!!!!!!!

CHASING LIGHTS HAS ARRIVED!
Watch out for my full review sometime today.
I am in fact hyperventilating.

Flashback: Girls Aloud

With their new album coming out sometime in November, I think it's a good idea to go waaaay back to the start of GA, and see just how much they've changed over the years. But before we get to the music, can I just say something? The album cover is genius! Although Kimberly's hair could use some work..

I remember saying when I reviewed The Saturdays' Up that gone were the days when reality shows just kept on cranking out pop bands, well we all know that Girls Aloud is one of those bands that were manufactured on a TV show. Not only did they become the most successful reality show-created pop band, they became the most successful girl group ever. So let's take a look at how this all started, shall we?

The lead single, which also happens to be the title track, is perfect for it's title. I mean, we all know that the girls aren't your run of the mill Spice Girls wannabes, they started out a bit edgier than that, thanks to Xenomania. The song just fit them like a glove, and it did them justice.

The other singles also did the girls justice, and I think it's another factor that every good album should perfect. If your singles don't do your album justice, what use is it releasing singles? Singles are meant to let people hear what your album is about, so they'll go out and buy that as well, but the real test is the debut single and album. If your debut single is light years away from your album, what's the use of releasing it? You should've just released the album already.

The album tracks are equally amazing. They're all very dance/pop of the early 2000's, which is exactly what they showed us with their singles. The album explores different styles within that genre, there's ballads, mid-tempos and uptempos, which I think is another important factor in a debut album.

The fact that you shouldn't be confined to one style in a specific genre is very important. I like continuity, but I like change, as long as the change isn't too drastic. Once you've laid down who you are as an artist, I don't think you should change. I mean, it is who you are.

So all in all, this album truly catapulted the girls to stardom, for various reasons. Plus, I can't wait to here their new album!

Some new obsessions..

Quite a few, actually.
  • Mya's new song, 'Paradise', is amazing! She doesn't have the strongest voice, but she knows which songs give her that egde. It's got that African vibe that we heard with Jordan Pruitt's 'One Love', the only catch is that this is heavier on the R&B side. Still, I have a fixation for African-inspired songs that manage to fuse those elements with other genres, most often R&B. That plus those mentions about 'jungle' and 'eden', make the song simply brilliant! I never really took notice of her last album, but now that I've heard this, could her previous effort be this good as well? I'll give it a listen sometime this week. EDIT: I heard Ridin' from her last album and I just have one word, BRILLIANT. I can't wait to hear the rest of the album!
  • Why does the lead single of Britannia High(that's being offered as a free download on the site..) sound a lot like the stuff from the I Dream soundtrack? I know a lot of people had been saying this for a long time already, but I just got the chance to actually download the song today so forgive me. Seriously, the song sounds like it could've been on the I Dream soundtrack, and I adore the songs there. This song though, I'm not so sure, it's a bit too camp-y and it's trying too hard to be a modern cross between I Dream and HSM 1. I'm afraid it's failed. OK, there are some good points in the song, like the melody of the chorus, but I don't really like the song as a whole.
  • Taio Cruz's album. Let me just say one thing, Brits make some amazing R&B. First Craig David, who's just mind-blowing and now Taio Cruz, who may even follow in Craig's footsteps. All the tracks on his debut album are worth listening to, but there are some that I adore more than the others. My favorites are I Don't Wanna Fall In Love, I Just Wanna Know, I'll Never Love Again and Never Gonna Get Us(which reminds me of a Seal song..). The songs are simply amazing! Seriously.
  • Can't Stop Thinking About You from the new Boyzone greatest hits album may be cheesy at the start and sound like something from a musical(I have no idea who's singing, is that Ronan?), but I adore it for some strange reason. The melody just makes me adore the song, but I wish the instrumentation was a bit different. All in all, it's an amazing song and I'm seriously obsessed with it.
  • The more I listen to Greatest Day, the more I adore it. As if I never did. When can we get it in HQ? Garrrr...
  • I just noticed something. My top five most listened songs for the week are all Sugababes songs! Hurrah! I guess that shows how much I'm adoring the album, and how eager I am for the new GA album!
This is me being bored, again. I don't have school for the next two weeks, face it!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Original Compilations

Original Compilations are posts that enumerate which tracks I think should've been on a certain album by a certain artist. For example, if an artist is releasing a greatest hits compilation, I make my own, and enumerate why I want them there. Even if it's an original compilation, no download links will be posted, as this blog is exclusively for reviews.

My ideal Craig David Greatest Hits

I've already planted firmly in your heads that I adore Craig David, so when I heard that his GH album is coming out this year, why not make my own and compare it to the actual album? Here are the songs, single or not, that I think should be on the Greatest Hits album.
1. Fill Me In - The song that started it all. The song that up to this day, is still amazing and ground-breaking. The song that made Craig David. Obviously, this HAS to be on the album, it's arguably his best song ever.

2. Fill Me In Part 2 - Not a single, but it's an amazing 'remix', the way the two tell a story is just mind-blowing. This should definitely be on the album.

3. 7 Days - a 'cool' song from Craig David but nevertheless, it's a UK number one, so it deserves it's place in this album.

4. What's Your Flava? - I remember seeing the video to this on the local music channel growing up. The song is strong, and very catchy, enough to spell H-I-T.

5. Rise & Fall with Sting - Not a HUGE fan of this song, but it was a number two record, and the touch of STING makes the song all the more enjoyable to listen to.

6. 2 Steps Back - Sounds a lot like Fill Me In, and it's another song that should've been a single. Seriously, everything about this song screams amazing.

7. Don't Love You No More(I'm Sorry) - This is an AMAZING song, a song a lot of people can sing along to. The melody is just gorgeous, the way his vocals were mixed add to the already amazing melody. One word, beautiful.

8. All The Way(H-Money Mix Featuring Lyracis) - The original version of this song has a lot of groove, but this remix made it more Brit R&B. Either way, it's an amazing song, so it doesn't really matter which one you listen to.

9. Unbelievable - Ah yes, the staple Craig David slow song. By the looks of this song, he could have a future in crooning, give Westlife a run for their money(and their stools!) and take teenage girls' hearts by storm. Again.

10. This Is the Girl - This took a lot of time to grow on me(a month!), mainly because I don't like rap, but seriously it's another Craig David staple, mind-blowing. The song should've done better on the charts, but even I didn't know it was a single until the album come out!

11. Officially Yours - Another staple slow song ala-Unbelievable, and yet again, Craig David delivers. It's not just any ballad, it's a ballad tailor-made for Craig David.

12. Where's You Love? - One of the new songs that leaked, it's going to take some time to grow on me. I adore the middle when he goes "pulling up to the club, where all the ladies are waiting, I can see they look hot....", but I'm not too sold on the other parts. Is this another This Is the Girl? I hope so.

13. Insomnia - To close the album off, an amazing song, worthy of recognition. The melody is infectious and the verses just make you anticipate the amazing chorus even more. All in all, an amazing song.

14. World Filled With Love - The song has another very beautiful melody. You see, even if he's this heavy R&B guy, he still manages to make these beautiful songs that catch your attention. Isn't that what an artist is supposed to do?

15. You Don't Miss You Water('Till the Well Runs Dry) - It's like World Filled With Love, but it's a very, very beautiful song again from him. I'm beginning to think that Craig David is synonymous for edgy, soulful songs with groove and slow songs that just give you goosebumps, which is true. A very beautiful song to close up an amazing album.

This week's top ten!

Isn't it a good idea if I review this week's top ten songs and tell you exactly why they're on the list and in the place they're in? Of course it is. I'm bored, OK? Face it. When I'm bored, I make up all these crazy ideas. I've got the playlist all sorted out, so we're ready to roll!

(Click to enlarge)

#10 - Keeps Gettin' Better by Christina Aguilera

Ah yes, everybody's trying to copy what Britney did last year, as if it wasn't bad enough. But that aside, Christina has once again bettered not only herself but Britney. The song has just enough Britney elements to become a hit but at the same time, it has enough Christina in it to leave her fans wanting more.

#9 - Will I? from the RENT Soundtrack

I adore 'Seasons Of Love', but this song is just different. It's simple, not over-the-top. It's an extremely beautiful song, starting with one voice and ending with three equally amazing and strong vocalists all together. They're only actually singing one stanza, four lines, but they make it seem like a whole song, and the melody is drop-dead gorgeous.

#8 - Can I Have This Dance? from the High School Musical 3 Soundtrack

Probably the most gorgeous song from the whole soundtrack, it's not surprising that Troy and Gabriella actually waltz to this song. It's tantamount to 'Everyday' in the second movie, in terms of how gorgeous it is, and besides, they're both 'happy' songs.

#7 - Forever by Chris Brown

This song has dropped quite a few positions since the last chart(weeks ago..), but I still adore it. Did I say that Chris Brown has created his best song yet? Seriously. Still a long way from Craig David, but all he needs now are maybe a few more smash hits and a number one album and he's solved. The song itself is genius, for combining the Doublemint slogan and the actual song and making the melody catchy yet dance-able.

#6 - Don't Give Up by Leon Jackson

Just narrowly defeating Chris Brown, Leon Jackson delivers on this song. We've heard the amazing single, and now we hear the even better b-side! I can see where Leon's going already, but I'm waiting for him to record an up-tempo. Moving on to the song, it's part of the slow development of Leon's newfound sound. Don't Call This Love is heavier, this song sounds so light and float-y, but still has an amazing melody.

#5 - Fearless by Taylor Swift

I absolutely adore this girl! Her album is probably one of my most-awaited ones of the year. I was expecting a growth in her music, enough to slowly show us who she really is, and that's what I got. This song is very catchy, and the melody is amazing! Like all the other songs I adore.

#4 - I Need a House by Marie Serneholt

So I heard this is going to be on the Same Difference album, and I surprisingly had the album in my library(untouched though..). So I gave it a listen, and I ADORE IT! The lyrics are a bit strange, but the melody makes up for everything. Have I told you how much I adore Swedish pop? Ok, I have. These guys make the best pop, and they don't seem to show any sign of stopping, which is good for people like me! more, More, MORE!

#3 - The Promise by Girls Aloud

OK, so they performed this on the X Factor results show, but I've loved it even before that. So I faced-off this and the Sugababes' Girls and this clearly won for me. The song is much more melodic, and it's less annoying, although it could do with a bit of work. But all in all, it's an amazing song, and the album is looking up to be drop-dead gorgeous.

#2 - Insomnia by Craig David

Sounds familiar? Of course. Remember I said that Chris Brown is still light years away from Craig David? This is the song that proves it. Chris Brown does his thing, and makes a fantastic song in the form of Forever but Craig David puts groove and soul into another fantastic song, in the form of Insomnia. What he does is something that has set him apart from everyone else, right from the very start. Craig David knows who he is, knows what works for him, and he uses it. The result? An amazing song with soul and substance.

#1 - Side Chick by the Sugababes

I reviewed this earlier today, so just read that review. I will say one thing though, this song is probably one of my all-time favorite songs.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

X Factor 5 Live Show - Week 2

I was meaning to start the recaps during bootcamp, but I had tons of projects and requirements to get done, so I'm only starting it now. So what in the world did I do? I(proudly) stole a playsheet from Popjustice, watched the show on my iPod, and took pictures of my ratings on my phone(crappy camera, sorry..). Note: The MacBook shown in the pictures is not the computer I usually use. I'm lazy, so I used this, the iMac is on a desk. Wanna see? Of course you do.

(Click to actually see what I wrote)

The Boys: I think as the competition advances, Simon tries harder and harder to pattern the boys after the successful American Idol contestants. Last week Eoghan sang 'Imagine', picked by Simon. Yes, he's young like Archuleta, and yes, he's vulnerable as well, but seriously Simon, WHY TURN HIM INTO ANOTHER ARCHULETA? What really hit the home run was when Austin sang Billie Jean in the same arrangement that David C. used. Yes, someone else used the arrangement before him, but Cook made it popular again. See? See? See. Scott, on the other hand, sounded a bit Leon-ish, or like a guy in a talent show here.

The Girls: Cheryl is a good mentor! Or is it just that the girls are really good to start with? Either way, the girls were strong this week. Alexandra was so-so, not much change from last week, but still good. Laura was a step better, but my favorite of the night was Diana. Her song fit her, and she did it beautifully. Based on tonight's performances alone, I think one of the final two is in this category.

The Groups: Let's face it, whatever Louis says, he's still gearing more towards JLS. Girlband sang probably one of the cheesiest songs of the night, if not the cheesiest, and those floating globes on the display? Eeew. As much as I adore Louis for masterminding Westlife(the best boyband EVER), he did all the wrong things with his girl groups. JLS however, WERE AMAZING! OK, fangirl mode, but seriously, they can sing, they can dance, and the songs they sing go well with their voices. I can imagine next year, when Westlife release their next album and JLS(hopefully!) release their debut, A CHART BATTLE! First it was Spice Girls vs. Westlife, and next year, JLS vs. Westlife, very possible.

The over 25's: Can I just get one thing straight? DANIEL SHOULD GO! I mean, from what I see, he's trying to be another Rhydian(although Rhydian was better..), but he just can't get the personality and training that Rhydian has. Plus, the songs he sing are SO CORNY! Ruth and Rachel are light-years better in terms of vocals, but I don't see Simon's point that Ruth should sing in Spanish just because she's Spanish. Simon was well aware that Jasmine Trias(AI, Season three, didn't like her that much..) is Filipino, but he didn't tell her to sing in Filipino.

The sum-up in one sentence: Girlband went, but Daniel should've gone based on tonight's performances.

What I want to happen next week: JLS and Diana to rock again, and Daniel and any of the boys to suck, so they can go.