Saturday, January 31, 2009

Promo?

Think my one-off 'Spur of the moment, short reviews' post, only with stuff people have sent in. These are the new artists and stuff that people have sent to me and surprisingly, I've loved all of them! haha. Poppy goodness.

Believe me when I say that I know almost absolutely nothing about British bands because it's true. Heck, I haven't even heard a single album from Keane or bands like that, let alone an Oasis album or something. One day I got sent a link for this band called The Days(who're so unknown they don't even have a wiki entry yet! I checked!) and I loved it, it sounds so Brit(at least the Brit I've heard.) and it's fun but not like the Ting Tings(The Ting Tings are in a league of their own, they're annoyingly awesome!), they're not annoying but they're pretty awesome! You can check their myspace out here, and don't forget to buy the single, I recommend it! haha.

We go from Britain to Canada, with this new song by Andi. I've seen her song all over the place but I never really bothered to listen to it until I got sent the song and believe me, the first time I heard it I was amazed. Good Morning Sun is an even poppier She&Him song and she sounds like a lighter Feist. It's catchy though, really catchy. If this is where pop is going, then I sure as hell hope the industry doesn't die before artists and songs like this finally get the attention they deserve. You can head over to her myspace here and watch the video below(it's err... cute.).. Me want more!

In other music news, I've been told that the new Radio Disney Jams is out(they're at volume 11!) and yes, a boyband has made it into the compilation! haha. Varsity Fanclub's Future Love is on the album, which is apparently out now!

And something that I just discovered a while ago, The Cheetah Girls have apparently split up. WHY am I always the last person to know these things? Shame, TCG was an amazing album full of pop/R&B confections..

The Battle of the Boybands!

Last year we had a little battle of the girl groups so why not have a boyband battle this year? Below are the 'playsheets'(yeah, yeah, I'm a huge PJ copycat.) for you guys to download, print out and answer!. At the end of the boybands special I'll post my completed sheets and you guys can send me pictures of yours! haha. Here's what it looks like:
Sounds like a good idea?


I cannot wait to see what you guys think! haha.

Deconstructing the Perfect Boyband Album

I began thinking that my boyband posts have become too video-centered and I haven't been writing enough so no videos or nothing on this post, I'll just write and write and write.

After listening to tons of boyband albums, I'd like to think that I know a thing or two about what makes the perfect boyband album. Whether I like the songs or not, there's always a formula for boyband albums, a formula that has worked for everyone from the most successful bands to the most obscure ones.

So I'll use two model albums for this post, just to see that everyone uses the same formula. The two boyband albums that best represent the formula are Westlife's Coast To Coast and The Backstreet Boys' Black and Blue, both released in 2000.

Element number one, a sappy semi-ballad/ballad. Since boybands have millions of girls swooning over them, why not cash in on that? These are the types of songs that when fans listen to them, they think their favorite member's singing to them. I call it a 'I wanna marry you' boyband song, mainly because it keeps girls wanting to and daydreaming about marry them. On Coast to Coast there are a few, but the two that really represent this kind of song is Puzzle of My Heart and Close. On Black and Blue there are a few as well but it's Shape of My Heart and Yes I Will.

Then there are the super ballads. If the semi-ballads keep girls swooning, the super ballads make them cry. If the album was a concert, they'd sing these last and the fans will start bursting into tears. You need these types of songs on a boyband album so fans can say that they experienced every emotion possible when they listened to your albums(haha..). On Coast to Coast the two super ballads are Angel's Wings and Fragile Heart and on Black and Blue it's I Promise You(With Everything I Am) and How Did I Fall In Love With You.

Of course you've got to have the midtempos. Those are the songs that have dance routines when they sing it live but don't qualify as uptempos. They're almost always melodic, mainly because they aren't uptempos(although a lot of uptempo boyband stuff have melodies!) and these are the songs that justify whether and boyband can sing AND dance. On Coast to Coast they were Dreams Come True and Somebody Needs You and on Black and Blue they were The Call and Shining Star.

I talked about the uptempos and how they sometimes don't have melodies but most of the time they still do. These uptempos are the songs with really intricate dance routines and entire productions dedicated to them, with backup dancers and pyrotechnics and everything, it's the show part of the concert. It's not designed to show the audience that the boyband in question can sing, it's designed to show that they can dance because whether we like it or not, boybands are expected to nail at least one difficult dance routine in their often times short life spans. On Coast to Coast it's When You're Looking Like That(the recorded version is a bit slow, but they speed it up a bit live.. in the early days the dance routine for this was difficult for their standards but not it's kind of reduced to a bit of running around and swinging the mic stand..) and on Black and Blue it's Get Another Boyfriend.

If you have midtempos you have the songs verging on being midtempos but are still kind of ballads. It's like this, if you change the arrangement a bit and make it a ballad, nothing much changes. The dance routine for these songs is optional, you can have them just walking around the stage maybe. On Coast to Coast it was I Lay My Love On You and on Black and Blue it was The Answer to Our Life.

The following elements aren't always on boyband albums, but I've seen a few with them.

The mandatory cover version. Some boyband albums have them, Westlife always have a few, A1 had Take On Me and Another Level had Freak Me. Sometimes fans like certain songs so to hear their favorite band singing their favorite song is kind of a plus point for them. haha. On Coast to Coast the covers were Against All Odds, I Have A Dream and No Place That Far.

I've seen quite a number of duets as well. I don't know what it is with duets but quite a number of boyband albums have them as well. I think it's got something to do with the bigger artist having a hand in launching the newer artist, I've heard that theory before. On Coast to Coast the duet was with Mariah Carey, Against All Odds.

If boybands don't write their own songs or if one member doesn't mastermind the whole thing, there's always at least one song written by a number of the members or the whole band. It's something about boybands wanting more creative control over what they're doing so I guess their record companies gave them a few songs. On Coast to Coast Shane and Brian wrote Angel's Wings and on Black and Blue the whole band wrote Time(which is an amazing song, to tell you the truth..) and The Answer To Our Life. Strangely enough, all those songs aren't uptempos!

Have I forgotten anything? haha.. Just leave a comment!

It's February!

Yes, January has officially ended and the month of virtually no album releases is gone. Have you taken the January recap quiz yet? You better!

SO, we say hello to February and wish for even a little more than what we got in January. Things are slowly coming out, so expect single and album reviews left and right!

Westlife - Back Home

You may not like Westlife but at least try giving this review a chance, please?
So while I was at the mall a while ago, this album came up on shuffle mode. I love Westlife and all but surprisingly I haven't listened to the whole album as a whole in a few months so I kept it on. In the middle of listening to the album(and shopping, duh.), I realized something.

It's album's like this that actually make me proud to be a Westlife fan.

Everyone disses them and I get where they're coming from, with all the sappy ballads and all but you listen to this album and you DON'T get all these ballads. Yes, the two UK singles were ballads and more or less 50% of the album is on the slower side but what about the other half? It's those songs that make me want to tell everyone to give this album a chance. SO, I'll only be reviewing the non-sappy ballad, non-Westlife formula songs.

I'm thankful for the fact that Something Right was at least an Australia/New Zealand single because it gets the song out there and face it, after the Amazing disaster, Sony BMG DID NOT want to sell that little on a Westlife single. This is the pop that should be making the rounds, this is the pop that should get noticed more because there are people like me who missed the early 2000's pop boom. Aside from that it's an outright amazing song, even Poster Girl seems to think so!

When I'm With You is slow, but it's got a different sound so it qualifies. Out of the whole album, this was the song that stuck me right from the start. Not Home, not Something Right, not any other song, this was this one that made me go 'wow'. It seems like a lot of recent pop group albums(how many pop groups are there at the moment?) have this one R&B track, regardless of their musical direction. If I was naive enough I'd say it was to try and break the US but we all know what happened to Westlife(two years worth of promotion around the country and what did they get? One US top 30 I think, a TRL top ten video and a bubbling under chart album..) so I wouldn't keep my hopes up. Still, it's got an amazing beat and the stunning verses make up for the not so hot chorus.

Catch My Breath has been a fan favorite from the very start and to me it's like an updated and more mature version of TGF(While still in high school, Shane and Mark wrote Together Girl Forever for Shane's childhood sweetheart and now wife, Gillian, Kian Egan's cousin! haha. They recorded the song as IOU and sold like 2,000 copies..). Seriously! It sounds like Shane + Gill's love story, at least that's what I get from the interviews and the books. It's modern chart music, pop but not pop and that's what I love about it.

The Easy Way is very Motown-esque, heck they even mixed it with ABC(the Jackson 5 song?) during last year's tour(I didn't like the choreography though..)! So anyway, this is probably the fastest song on the album to they deserve some praise for not only giving us an uptempo but an amazing melody as well! It's catchy and everyone gets to sing! yay! haha.

The last song that really made me want to listen to this album and shove it in the haters' faces was Pictures In My Head. If you remember their third album World Of Our Own, there was a track on it called Why Do I Love You. If you've heard it, good, if you haven't, listen to it here. Now think of that song plus Catch My Breath and you get Pictures In My Head. It's got the most stunning melody and most of all, it's not a sappy ballad! This was the song that appeared on my iPod and this was the song that got me to write this whole thing, it's brilliant.

So there, is that enough proof that there's more to Westlife than sitting on stools and singing all these cheesy ballads? haha it better be.

The Rating: 5/5. duh!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Liberty X - No Clouds

OK, so the one that was on the Maxi single isn't the one I'm reviewing but I like how this cover looks! haha.

I've always said that Liberty X are much, much better than Hear'Say(but Hear'say's kind of a guilty pleasure for me..) but with this song they can go head to head with Hear'Say.

You know, whether they like it or not, I'm always going to compare them to Hear'Say because Hear'Say were the winners and they were the losers but who won a BRIT? Liberty X! haha.

At first listen it sounds a lot like a Hear'Say song and it's got certain elements that make it like that but you listen to it more and more and you hear a Liberty X song. Hear'Say songs are kind of one-dimensional, they are what they are but Liberty X songs make you curious, they make you think, and that's something I like about them.

I said it last night that this song is like a less sanitized Same Difference plus a TLC/3LW-type girl group song and that still stands. It's a sweet pop confection with edge, and it's got the most amazing melody.

RATING: 5/5! For sheer brilliance.

New Quiz!

It's the end of another month filled with music so why not see if you guys were really paying attention to my writings and musical adventures! haha. So take the......



...and see if you were up to date with the music this month!

The Spectacular OST

I've seen Simon Curtis around blogs and stuff but I never really paid attention to him. I cannot believe it took me a Nick movie to take notice of this guy, I mean come on. Nick movie or no Nick movie, I think he's pretty darn awesome(I've heard a minute of his stuff! haha.. that's how good he is..). Obviously there are three other main cast members but all the attention seems to be on this guy, even if it won't and will never be on the HSM level.

As I'm writing this I haven't exactly listened to the whole album yet but I'm at eight of twelve tracks so I'm pretty close.

From what I've heard, it's like a mix of Britannia High and HSM. It's got that maturity and Gary Barlow-y sound of Britannia High but it's got the commercial and American sound of HSM. Actually now that I'm thinking of it, there are some hints of Hairspray in it, On The Wings of A Dream is like the mix of all three, I love it.

It sounds like all these other stuff but it's not a direct copy, not a clone. You listen to one song and you know it's a song Nick had a hand in then you listen to the rest and slowly you hear all these influences buried in the songs. It's not an album dependent on the movie as well, I listened to it just like I'd listen to any other album.

I have this thing on iTunes that if I really, really like a certain song on an album I'm listening to and it catches my ear after one listen, I put a five-star rating on it and usually after I listen to an album about three or four tracks come out with that rating and they're usually my favorites. With this album though, I don't have any clear favorites and less favorites, I've put five-star ratings on all the tracks I've heard so far, an extremely good sign!

OK, so I'm at the last song now and the only track I really don't like is Eye Of the Tiger, mainly because I really don't like the song to start with. The rest are stunning, brilliant and every other word I use to describe songs like those.

I don't have time to break the whole album down track-by-track(that'll be extremely long and redundant!) so I'll just breaifly talk about the best of the already amazing.

Dance With Me is very I Dream/S Club 8-ish, from the instrumental, the melody down to the vocals. I love the song, the melody's brilliant. It's extremely catchy and it's got a very Brit vibe to it. Lonely Love Song is very show-y, sounds like something straight out of an updated Hairspray or some Broadway/West End production. The melody's also really amazing, I love it! haha.

Your Own Way is very pop/rock-y, undeniably Nick and it can work for both genders, I can imagine a Nick band like KSM singing it. It's very catchy as well, something you can easily bang your head to. For The First Time is the required ballad on the album, and it's not like Breaking Free, it's more Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now(the Same Difference one..)-ish.

Just Freak is like a Female version of something like Getcha Head In The Game and it's got that dance-y vibe that Dance With Me has. On The Wings Of A Dream is like the climax, the 'My dreams are coming true' song. I love the melody, very sing-along-able. Things We Do For Love is like Lonely Love Song, it's very show-y, a nice end to the album.

If I was to pick just one song from this album to listen to for the rest of my life, it would be Everything Can Change. It's that empowering song plus the Nick sound plus the rock elements and a killer melody. I'm dead serious, this is the most gorgeous melody in the whole album(OK, maybe it's tied with two other songs but still!), and I think it's a very trailer/ad-worthy song.

So, to sum up the album:
Best Track: Everything Can Change and On The Wings of A Dream are tied!.
Better Tracks: Everything else..
Least Favorite Track: Eye of the Tiger. Not a very big fan of covers.
THE RATING: 4.9/5, Eye Of the Tiger ruined the flow of the album for me...

YAY! I finished my first new album release review of the year! haha. YAY!

EDIT: That's it, I'm addicted. I hate this. haha, I don't. I love it! FINALLY, something new that I actually adore, I was beginning to wallow about the lack of new albums. haha. End edit.

COMING SOON!

The Spectacular OST is HERE!
Am listening to it now..
I PROMISE to have the review done by tomorrow night.

I'M BAAACK!

OK, so I said I'd take a week break but I actually just slowed down on the posting. This was a happy week for me music-wise(DO NOT ask about how my Math 8A and 8G exams were, DO NOT.), mainly because of quite a few new stuff I've discovered and some old sought-after albums finally found. hmm..
  • I know I ranted about RedOne recently but I can't help myself, their new song is AMAZING. I'm dead serious. I know the formula is too obvious and repetitive and they can't manipulate it well yet but it's a pretty darn good formula. Jada's American Cowboy is actually quite good, but the title kinda sucks. Oh, and the girls kind of sound like Lady GaGa as well during some parts.
  • Speaking of Lady GaGa, I heard somewhere that her next single is Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say) but only in Australia and New Zealand. Hmmm. I do like the song. haha.
  • There's a new Leona unreleased track out called Stay, and it sounds a lot like a song someone from the Natalie generation would put on an album. You know, the piano-backed R&B ballad plus the thin, airy voices? Yeah. It doesn't actually go anywhere but the melody's nice. Nothing special or ground-breaking though.
  • I'm now officially addicted to a Liberty X song, No Clouds. Not in the 'I like it, it's good' then I won't listen to it for the next few months kind of way, I ADORE IT. And it's all I've been playing today(OK, maybe not but it sure seemed like that!) but I haven't gotten sick of it. It's pop, I think that's the best way to describe it. Think a less sanitized Same Difference plus an early 2000's R&B girl group song. BUT, the melody's so addictive that I was actually singing it after like 2 plays. Will have to review it sometime this weekend.
  • There's a new Lady Sovereign song out and may I say, I'm liking her new image much more than her old one. She's like Lily Allen mixed with Lady GaGa, at least that's what So Human is telling me.
  • Calvin Goldspink, yes Calvin from S Club 8, posted a couple of songs on his MySpace and I'm loving them! I must say though, he sounds nothing like he used to(as if I actually heard him.. OK I did but it's just an excuse 'coz I kind of forgot what he sounded like during the I Dream era..) and the songs are amazing! Think an edgier sounding, smoother-voiced James Morrison.
  • I'm addicted to another of these Chris Brown unreleased stuff, Takes Time. It's very commercial, I can imagine it on the ad for some kind of family-related product. I don't know, I think. haha. I love the melody though, even if the song itself is kind of short(2 minutes?).
  • I've got a hold on a not so good copy of the Spectacular! soundtrack, am listening to it at the moment and I'm liking what I'm hearing. Will review it this weekend.
  • I know it's all over the place but Kelly Clarkson's My Life Would Suck Without You has a video AND is number one in the US! Yay! I think that they're trying too much to re-create Since You've Been Gone with the video and all(look at it, it looks almost exactly like SYBG!), but it's something they'll never, ever, NEVER be able to do. Since You've Been Gone defined the generation and although I do think that this is a brilliant song, it's not as good.
Hmm.. I guess that's it, will get to the reviews now! haha.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

RedOne may be amazing but....

..they're making too many Just Dance clones.

I mean, I'm OK with them having this certain sound and a trademark loop but can't they show us anything different? Three songs they've made since last year sound exactly the same, Lady GaGa's Just Dance, Darin's Girl Next Door and now, American Cowboy by a new American girl group, Jada.

I know Just Dance is amazing and I know that they want to cash into the success of it but they've got to do better than churn out a bunch of clones to get my full respect. I love what they did for Lady GaGa though, the song is brilliant and it really launched her.

RedOne cannot keep on giving us these Just Dance sound-alikes(is that even a word?), Just Dance is brilliant enough, why annoy people by giving them the exact same thing over and over again?

They've got to have something different under their sleeves, something that'll blow us away just as much as Just Dance did and they better release it within the next few months. I hope they do, because I'm kind of scared for them.

I'm done studying, tomorrow's the last day of hell week! yay! haha. will post a lot this weekend.

Monday, January 26, 2009

My new obsession..

Now why didn't I start listening to this girl when I was intrigued by her album cover last year?

I love the song, she's like a younger Laura White mixed with a drug-free and sober Amy Winehouse. Will remember to review something by her after hell week's over.

I'm off to bed, school's early tomorrow!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

NEW!

I'm bored, I've done my homework and studied stuff so I thought of something cool.

Quizzes! yay!

So this is how it works, if I think a quiz is apt for a certain post or a series of posts, then I'll whip one up and give you guys the link. Now since we've got the boyband special ongoing(and halfway through if I may say..), I whipped up a quiz for it!

YAY! haha.

A link to the site with the quizzes will be added to the nav bar so you guys can stay up to date with all the new quizzes! eep!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

ooooooohhh..

Not a big Nick fan, I think Disney makes the more commercial songs but this is just brilliant:

Me like.. haha.

Lucie Silvas - Fall For Something Real

I can't help myself! Must. Post.

So she's British. When I first saw her I though she was American or Canadian, maybe even Australian, something in that vain. The only track from her that really impressed me, and I mean REALLY impressed was Forget Me Not. Very 'poetic' title, but melodically the song was just stunning. The stripped recording was a very nice touch, just her and the gorgeous piano part.

So now she's got some tracks up and circulating around the internet, and one in particular caught my ear. I haven't heard her second album yet(mainly because I can't find it..) but I really, really like this track. It seems like the trend last year and this year was the 40's/50's/60's thing and anything else related to that(the Sugababes and Girls Aloud had similar-sounding carrier singles and almost all of Leon's new material was like that..) and this is like the perfect marriage between that trend and what her first album had.

Actually, this could be marketed as some kind of country single in the US, as can the other four tracks(the last I checked there were five new and full tracks from her out..), you can hear the country elements in them.

Just by this song alone(there's another one that I like, but not as much as this..), I'll be waiting for the album! It sounds like something I'd remotely like.. haha.

RATING: 4/5

Friday, January 23, 2009

Break..

In the middle of studying right now, so I'll make this quick.

It was part 1 of hell week this week, half of next week for me is midterm review and the other half is the midterm set itself.

SO, I have to study(my grades are unbelievably low, everyone's are in my batch..) and ace those tests which is why I won't be around for the next week or so(as if I was around this week..)..

I'll be back bright and early next Saturday morning though with a spankin' new post. haha.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

2000 in Boyband Land..

While I'm thinking of something a little more original, why not see what was happening in boyband land during the new millennium?

......98 Degrees scored their first US Hot 100 number one single with their duet with Mariah Carey and Joe.

......A1 take two singles to the number one spot AND take an album to their highest peak in their career, coming in at number 14 in the UK.

......Human Nature release their third studio album and take two singles into the top forty.

......NSYNC release No Strings Attached and all three US singles hit the top five, one hitting number one(their ONLY number one single.)

......Northern Line release two singles which both fail to hit even the top ten in the UK, their peak position being fifteen.

......Take That release their second album under a new record company, Elektra Records.

......Westlife release four singles and What Makes A Man becomes their first single NOT to hit the number one spot. Coast to Coast also defeats the Spice Girls' Forever by over 75,000 copies in a highly publicized chart battle, making it a number one album, the first of many.

......The Backstreet Boys peak at number six on the US charts this year with Show Me The Meaning of Being Lonely off Millennium.

......The release of We Will Rock You gives 5ive their second UK number one.

......Canadian boyband B4-4 release their first album.

......French boyband Alliage, who did a duet with Boyzone in 1997 release their last single.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Nine of the most underrated boyband songs.

Sure, boybands are criticized endlessly for chruning out formulaic up tempos or ballads but this post will prove that they're more than that. Boybands can actually make some of the most amazing pop songs you'll ever hear, which is the main reason why I'm so drawn to them. For me it was never the looks or the dance routines, those were second nature, I got hooked on them because of the songs, because amidst public knowledge, they're actually pretty good, better than some, at the music part of the deal.

Let's kick it off with something that for the longest time, I was quite embarrassed to mention that I absolutely adore. One True Voice, the unlucky bunch of guys who were put against the brilliant Girls Aloud, lasted until their second single, Shakespear's Way With Words, the brilliant song with the crappy title.
Has anyone else noticed that this looks a lot like Shayne Ward's If That's OK With You? The song is pop brilliance, it deserved more than a number ten position. I mean come on, the melody is amazing and the instrumental can stand on it's own for heaven's sake! Maybe people were put off by the title which I will admit, is crap. Heck, the lyrics suck but as I always say, it's not about the lyrics for me, it's the melody and the song so this is brilliance.

I have all of BSB's albums BUT I've only listened to maybe 50% of the songs, but thankfully, I heard The Answer To Our Life.
It's a brilliant pop song and from what the video's saying, the guys wrote it themselves, which is even more of a plus point. The fact that this disproves the fact that boybands can only co-write or something makes it even better! haha. It's the penultimate boyband song, and it was done in the ultimate boyband way. Still, it never saw the light of a single release. Ugh.

I've made my point about Blue before, that they have amazing solo voices and the songs to cut it but together their a capella work just doesn't measure up. Still, they've made some amazing songs during their time as a top boyband and Elements is one of them.
It was on the Asian Tour Edition of Guilty so I assume it was a b-side to something. It's an amazing song, it's got a very Another Level feel, but you know it's blue. I love the melody and the middle 8 is sheer brilliance.

So Boyzone were back last year with a Greatest Hits album + the obligatory 3 original tracks and out of those three, the only non-single, Can't Stop Thinking About You has got to be the most amazingly boyband-ish.
See? It's poppy, it's got this annoying hook and Ronan's vocals are on top of everyone else's. Standard Boyzone song, but it's not a ballad or something near one so Louis will never let it become a single. Still, I worship this song, it's a guilty pleasure and it sticks in my head for days after I listen to it thrice or something.

Now we all know that Jesse McCartney(now JMac, I've heard..) was in a boyband when he was like 12 and that boyband was called Dream Street. Their songs were actually quite good, they were pop-y and very boyband-y.
The only problem was that their voices were too young, I think. They were too kid-like, except for maybe two guys(especially the guy who sang at the start, he could've had a career in another boyband if he tried..) and the album tracks were just too awkwardly kidd-y trying to talk about love mush. Too young, I think. If you gave them another two years and different lyrics they could've at least had a top ten.

Now Take That made a comeback in 2006 and since then it's been going very well for them, they've had two albums out since then and Gary Barlow is writing some amazing songs! Including this one, which was on Beautiful World.
Amazing, isn't it? It's very now but it's very Take That. Love, love, LOVE this song! haha.

Surprisingly, I quite like Upper Street's The One, it's very edgy. Sounds a lot like a cross between Another Level and Northern Line. Ironically, Dane Bowers was in this reality-made boyband. Hmmm.
It's very 2006, a bit confused but a potential hit. haha.

Let's Make Tonight Special was a b-side to an early Westlife single, was on the Swear It Again EP and it's sheer brilliance I tell you, brilliance. It starts out a lot like Until The End Of Time with just them singing the chorus then the verse comes in and brilliance is repeated over and over again.
It's the ultimate boyband ballad that girls would want to marry boyband members with, they'd want it playing for the first dance, the first date, the wedding march, the works. Seriously! I've heard of stories like that. Plus the fact that the vocals are pristine in this song that it kills.

I can't thank SparkLee enough for introducing me to Human Nature, they're God's gift to Australian boybands. Seriously. Them and Mercury 4. Their singles were amazing but there was one track from their self-titled release that caught my ear called House Of Cards. You can listen to the song here before reading on. Melodically it could've been an NSYNC or BSB song but nooooo, it went to Human nature! It's got a brilliant hook, and the vocals are good on this track. I absolutely, positively think that this song should've been a single and people should've heard this because it's outright brilliant.

There are heaps more songs I want to put on this list but for now it'll have to do. I've got to be up at 5 tomorrow for a four-hour marathon brain mashing study session, wish me luck!

New Music!

Apologies for the lack of posting yesterday, I was recording a song! haha. Then I had to splice everything and *gasp* double track some of my friends' vocals(I know I diss it and all but it does sound a lot better! haha.) but anyway, here's what I've been listening to for the past few days..
  • I still haven't whipped up my review of the Kelly Clarkson single! I'm banging it into my friends' heads already but I STILL haven't written anything about it. I better do soon, before I hear it everywhere here and I start hating it. tsk. tsk.
  • My dad got me re-addicted to Paula Cole. I'm listening to Amen right now, and I'm loving it! Very adult contemporary, like a heavier and less pop Sara Bareilles(I LOVE her as well, don't get me wrong!) but amazing as well!
  • After seeing it all over the place last year but not actually listening to it, I finally got my hands on Christina Milian's Us Against The World and it's absolute brilliance! I'm kicking myself over and over again for not bothering to listen to this sooner. WHY? I love the chorus, it's heavy but not.
  • There's a new Michael Johns and Brooke White song, and I love it! One because we haven't heard any new material from either of them and two because the song is actually quite cool. It fits both of them but I'd like to see Michael do something reminiscent of his We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions performance. Still, the song fits both of them well, more so Brooke.
  • We finally have Natalie Bassingthwaighte's new single in HQ! For weeks I've been having to put up with a YouTube rip but yay for the HQ! I'm re-loving the song as well, I got a bit sick of it a few weeks ago but the HQ just changed everything! Definitely somewhere near a hit. haha.
  • Speaking of HQ versions, there's this Facebook group going around to petition releasing GA's Memory of You in HQ and not on vinyl so if you're on Facebook, hunt it down and join! I so want to hear it in HQ that it's killing me just listening to the vinyl rip!
  • Am still addicted to the White Tie Affair. I'm soaking all of it in before they get big here and I start absolutely despising them because they're actually very, very, very, very good. Duh. haha.
  • Well Kerli has a cute new video out for Creepshow. I love the animation and the song's OK, nothing special and not as good as Love Is Dead or Walking On Air.

Ugh. That's it? I'm so annoyed with the lack of new music. Where're all the amazing albums and new songs we've been promised this year? They better come up with a good excuse for not releasing them now! haha.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Best Boyband Debut Singles EVER.

A debut is the most important part of an artist's career, it has the power to make or break the future of your career so which boybands got it spot on? Let's find out!

Unlike the 'Boybands that Demand Your Attention' post, all these singles were AT LEAST a top ten hit in the country they have a record deal for and have a video available on YouTube for sampling purposes.

So what'd I put on my list? This is once again in no particular order whatsoever.

Sadly, BSB DO NOT qualify for this post, their debut single only came in at number sixty-nine in their home country, the US. Neither do NSYNC, they narrowly missed the top ten, their debut single coming in at number thirteen in the US. NKOTB did even worse, their debut single failed to even CHART in the US.

While I was doing the obligatory research I do for any special(except if it's Westlife, duh.), I stumbled upon Another Level. I remember watching their stuff on YT when I had just gotten addicted to Westlife but I didn't like their songs so I pushed them aside. So as I said, I stumbled upon them again a few days ago and the songs just had something so boyband but not boyband but still boyband about them(did that make any sense at all?).
So why is this one of the best debut singles ever? In addition to charting at number six on the UK charts, it's very standard boyband AND it's got an amazing hook with lyrics that teenage girls can scream and fantasize to. haha.

5ive were also Simon Cowell's doing, as his revenge for not signing the Spice Girls. He didn't beat the Spice Girls with them though(he did it with Westlife!), but he did make a British NSYNC!(their second single was a US Top 10 hit as well!)
Why is this such an amazing debut single? Simple, it's got a killer dance routine AND a hook. I really mean it when I say they're the British NSYNC. This single peaked at number ten in the UK.

Boyzone. They were the big Irish band before Westlife, and they had none other than Louis Walsh behind them. Love Me For A Reason came in at number two on the UK singles charts, and it started a long string of top five hits, six of them number one.
Do I still need to say why it's on the list? It's a freakin' top two single! Oh, and it's the standard boyband ballad, teenage girls will want to marry the guys singing this song.

A1 were one of Westlife's biggest rivals when boybands were a big deal in Britain, and this single came in at number six.
Come on! The video has some of the guys topless and in tight shirts, of course this is gonna be a hit! And it's got a very annoyingly amazing hook that's a very guilty pleasure. haha.

Now, D-Side were being tipped as the new Westlife for a while, but after two albums everything went downhill. They started out in ireland the standard Irish boyband way, a ballad debut but their first UK and Ireland single, they chose to go with a very Five-sounding song.
Heck, the music video even looks Five-like! It gave them a UK number nine single, not bad.

So EMD are a relatively new boyband, they debuted in 2007. Still, they're one of the few boybands to have their debut single top any major chart(theirs being Sweden.) and they now have three consecutive number one singles. Four more and they'll be tied with Westlife!
It's a cover. Very Westlife, except Westlife didn't debut with a cover. STILL, it's a ballad and it's a cover, I think they've learned something from a certain two Irish boybands who've had massive success from cover ballads. I was surprised though when I heard DANNY(yes, that Danny) is in this band. Whoa. I actually kinda like this song.

Ah yes, East 17, the rapping boyband who had this really sappy(but amazing) song top the UK charts later in their career. This song was a UK number ten single.
Now does anyone realize that the start sounds a lot like (Everybody) Backstreet's Back? Still, Tony Mortimer is goooood. They were the edgy boyband at the time, but this song is really growing on more.

Obviously One True Voice were put against the wrong girl band, Girls Aloud, one guy is just too tall and they don't LOOK like a boyband at all but you gotta hand it to them, they went the formulaic boyband way. Release a ballad first then slowly introduce the uptempos to your audience. They only lasted until their second single though.
Still, this was Christmas Number Two. A very good one at that. It probably would've been number one if they had replaced the tall guy(sorry, I know he can sing and all but boybands are half-aesthetics-based..) and weren't put up against the girls.

Now can anyone tell me why the crap V never made it big? Is it because they're so hard to Google or something 'coz their songs were amazing, their vocals were top class and they look like a 2005 version of Varsity Fanclub or V Factory.
Look! It was a number six single for heaven's sake, and they looked the part! I don't get it.

Blue. I love these guys, they're like a newer Another Level with less 'gang'+'make the girls scream' songs and more R&B. They might suck at a capella work but they had the songs to catapult them into stardom.
It actually even reminds me of the Another Level single, only that there's a dance routine to this and it charted at number four on the UK charts.

O-Town are one of the few American boybands I know that have had a US top ten debut single. Of course I think BSB and NSYNC deserved to have top ten singles at the very least but this is the closest you'll get.
It was number ten in the US and I find it very 2000, with band names and stars in the lyrics. The song is very BSB, and a lot of the song has a dance routine so check on that, they can dance.

Apologies, but I just HAVE to put Westlife in. It's not because I'm a huge fan or anything, but because they were the first boyband EVER to debut at the number one spot, making way for bands like EMD who've done the same.
Still, it's a very important song for the band, the fans and the industry. It was their debut, and it did extremely well. They went on to become the biggest boyband for the 21st century along with tons of other records. Behind all those achievements is a very simple formula, a formula that was perfected with the release of Swear It Again. Gosh, they look so young.

This list is incomplete. I might complete it or leave it as it is, just watch out! haha.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Westlife Vs. Human Nature - She's Back(Again)

Yes! Another Westlife vs. other random boyband post, this time with a song that was first released by that other random boyband, Human Nature.

The original:
Human Nature are an Australian vocal group and until 2004 they were releasing original material. This song was off their last original album before they started releasing back to back Motown cover albums(*yawn*) so this was released in 2004, a year before Westlife did it. The original is a bit less over-produced than the Westlife one, but the vocals were obviously double-tracked. The song itself is growing on me, and these vocals are very standard boyband, nothing special.

Listen to it here.

The cover:
The instrumental of this is much more processed but I obviously like the vocals better on this so I call this battle a tie. haha.

American Idol Auditions - Week 1

American Idol may now have the reputation for destroying and sanitizing the winners but we can't deny the fact that it's so fun watching a 'star' being made, even though we know they're gonna be murdered.

Well guys, it's my first live blog thingy, so take it easy on me!

OMG! Eeew. Simon Cowell during the first season. What was he thinking? Then a montage of auditions and 'special idol moments', very predictable. AND a montage of Ryan saying 'This is American Idol'..haha. Yeah, yeah, Idol changed Cook's life, but they murdered his music! Gar. Montages everywhere, can they think of anything more interesting? Why do they have to cut to a break after the flashback? Garrrrrr.

So they're in Arizona for this episode. I like the guy in a can costume thingy! They're introducing Kara DioGuardi. Look, I know her and I can name five other people who know her, so why did Ryan just say that you probably don't know her if you're Jewel or the other artists she worked with.

The first contestant of the year! Eep! Haha. Love his hair and he's Vietnamese! Twan Win. OK, he's not very good at all, and he's like going out of tune! Corny dance though. What is it with unconventional hair this season?

Well the next contestant's mom's a singer, she might be anywhere near good. Hmmm. Not bad but the high notes are a bit awkward. She can sing though and she is different. She's in a band, and she hasn't told them. OOOH.

The first rocker of the season. Nope. Not very good. He's crying? Already? They're fighting? Strange. So no yes' yet. Hmmm. There's another guy, nice voice. If he doesn't murder the melody of FLYING WITHOUT WINGS that much. HE GOT THROUGH! He seems Pinoy. oooooooh. YES! But he should really stop murdering songs.

Then there's a really nervous guy. He's got the strangest voice, it sounds so strange. Can he even sing? Haha Bulgarian. He sang a Kara song? Whoa, and he's having a panic attack.

An ad, again? What the? And it's back!

Haha. Another auditionee murdering a song, and another one and another one. Guy with a guitar! X-ray. That's his name. That is straaaaaaaaaange. Did he even use that guitar? So this next girl founded an organization. She reminds me of Marie Digby. HEY! She's good. I like her, she'll be a very good popstar! haha. Will remember her, Arianna.

Ad break. Back from break and it's day two! An hour has passed already? haha.

Guy with a deep voice. Elijah. Not very good, can he even sing? Next up, girl who just turned sixteen, she's like the typical giggly 'like, yeah, like um, duh.' girl. OH. She's Kara's biggest fan. Is she any good? Maybe if she was picked up by Disney(note: I just wrote that before Randy said HSM..), it would work but no, not for the mainstream market, no. A girl who was named after Stevie Nix(is that the right spelling?). They like her. OOOH.

Is back. haha.

Oil/builder guy! haha. He's kinda good, a few technical problems here and there but he has a voice! Will watch out for him. Ah yes, the obligatory montage of bad auditions.

Bikini girl. She can't really sing well. I mean, there are good parts but she's more for Disney, I think. Maybe her and giggly girl can star in a TV show. I agree with Kara, she doesn't have any soul or 'groove'. OOOOH. Catfight. THEY PUT HER THROUGH TO HOLLYWOOD? NO! WHY? GAR.

They're saying how to pronounce Kara's name. haha. Next guy. No. Not good enough, his voice is too weak. Girl who can't believe this is happening! haha. No for me. There's something shaky about her. She called him Sim-y? What the? OH! She's through? I have my reservations.

Girl with no family with her, she's interesting. I like her! YAY! She's through! Emo-looking guy's next. He makes horror films! He's not bad, I can see him out with an album anytime soon. YAY! He got in too! AAAAHHHH! I LOOOOOVE him! haha.

And they're back!

Blank guy who sang in the closet late at night. His voice is like a higher and less better James Morrison. So he's through? haha.

And the episode's almost done, I can tell. There's the sum up thing and the worse auditionees singing the same song. One last audition!

And we're back!

The guy's got really bad tunnel vision, and he's a singer songwriter. Is he any good though? He reminds me a bit of Guy Sebastian, I'm liking him! I like him! He's good! haha. YAY! He's through! WHOOT! I'm rooting for him! Scott. Will remember that name.

And the live blog is done! Was it any good? haha.

American Idol!

Well, American Idol starts in exactly four minutes here so for the first time in at least a couple of months, I am sitting in front of the TV and waiting for the show to start.

How this season's Episode Recaps will work:

I will do a live blog, which means the stuff I write will be written as I watch the show, making it 'fun' to a certain extent.

So, the first live post will come in the next two hours but I'll start writing in like 4 minutes.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

The. New. Kelly. Clarkson. Song. Is. AMAZING.

It's like an even poppier Since You've Been Gone!

Will review the whole thing sometime later this week, I just wanna keep listening to it's brilliance! ah-mazing!

4 boybands today.

Boybands come and go, members leave and teenage girls grow up. Longevity in the boyband world is reserved only for an elite group, and even those bands aren't as popular as they were when they started out. New boybands are sprouting out from everywhere and now the US is getting back into the boyband market.

We all know that the world of boybands is a never ending cycle of line-up changes, hit singles and formulas left and right for every genre possible so which new boybands are currently nestled atop the throne of boyband royalty? Here's a lowdown on who to watch out for in the coming months and even years.

1. If you don't know about NLT yet then you must be hiding under a pretty huge rock. They were really hyped up early last year for working with Timbaland and all the superstar producers of today. They've got a bunch of amazing melodies out, but I think it's nothing we haven't heard before, there's nothing that really separates them from the other boybands right now or even R&B solo artists.
They're like the NSYNC of this generation, very R&B, very complicated dance routines and sort of vocally they're kinda like them. As far as I know, they have two singles out and their album is due this year. It better come or else they'll have to face a very angry blogger!

2. If you're looking for something a little less NLT-ish, then check V Factory out. Their debut single was written by none other than the amazing Darin so you've got some Swedish stuff mixed in as well and we all know how amazing Swedish pop songs are.
They released an EP earlier last year and it was amazing. You had three songs that were all really single-worthy, in my opinion.

3. Like Lady GaGa? Check Varsity Fanclub out. The first song was produced by the same team that did Lady GaGa's Just Dance and Darin's current album, the amazing RedOne. *worships*
Brilliance. So two days ago, it was announced that their album is to be pushed back a FEW MONTHS. Here I was thinking that they're probably the most productive of all the current boybands but noooooo. It might not be the chart domination that we're all hoping for(most boyband debuts aren't but you never know, they might just channel some Westlife success!), but we can at least expect some amazing songs!

4. Now the only new UK boyband(If you know of any that I don't know of, tell me!!! Wait. I forgot Avenue! NOOOOOO!) at the moment is JLS. Straight off the X Factor, they already have a contract from Simon and Louis Walsh(yes, THE Louis Walsh of Westlife and Boyzone managing fame..) wants to manage them. Let's just put it this way, when the two guys responsible for the most successful boyband in the world want to back your band, then you're pretty special.
So with Louis Walsh and Simon Cowell behind them, these guys are assured a chart domination. If they don't get a number one with their first single, it'll most probably hit the top ten or five, it's a given. I've said this many times before, but the British public doesn't even have to like them, they'll still sell millions.

A shameless plug.

So I just made a new blog. If you like my writing, and if you really want to get to know why I keep writing and stuff like that, then visit it! haha.

It's pretty much the ultimate guide to my life. If my multiply is the shallow blog, then this is the serious one. I do serious writing, essays, stories, stuff to practice me and hopefully build up my portfolio.

So if you're interested, it's here.

Monday, January 12, 2009

5 boybands that demand your attention.

As in every other genre, there are those unlucky acts that sadly never matched the success of their counterparts. While bands like Westlife, BSB, NSYNC, 5ive, Another Level and Blue ruled the charts and teenage girls', these bands had very modest success, sometimes none at all. All that's left of them though are short Wiki entries, a few videos on YouTube, some members in reality shows trying to 'redeem' themselves and hardly any of their albums online.

Here's a look at 5 amazing boybands that never had a top ten album in a major music market(which means UK, US, places like that..) or even an album at all but certainly deserved to have one or two. They may have had singles as well, and they may have been successful(like in the top ten or something..), but that's not what I'm counting. Heck, one of these bands didn't even get to release a single! haha.

1. Northern Line were a boyband I discovered while making my '1999 in Boyband Land' post and after hearing their 2000 offering All Around The World on YouTube, I've made it my mission to one, know everything about them and two, give them at least a bit for credit for this utterly amazing pop song(you just HAVE to watch this, the song is beyond words!):
How much better can it get? It seems a little too ahead for 2000 but that's the point, IT'S BRILLIANT, That's the simplest way to put it. It's nothing like what the other boybands were releasing at the time. Westlife were at Coast To Coast and boybands simply didn't do this type of songs, they were stuck with Max Martin/Steve Mac songs. Whoever wrote this song deserves to be worshiped. They released three singles during their time together but all of them failed to reach the top ten and there's no record of them ever releasing an album. Shame though, they seemed to have it all, the dancing ability, the vocals and the sooooongs! haha.(Note: Northern Line was also the inspiration for this post. After seeing the video above, I just HAD to write about it!)

2. I've discovered a lot of artists via Westlife, so it's no surprise that I'd discover a few boybands in the process. I was really bored one day so I decided to scour YouTube for Childline performances of the lads. So while I was watching I came across a performance from the 2007 show(hosted by Brian and Stephen from Westlife and Boyzone respectively!) by this boyband called Streetwize.
They're very Westlife-y, mainly because they sang a cover of a ballad, AND they're wearing white suits(see: Westlife performance of My Love for the 2000 Record Of the Year or the 2000 Royal Variety Performance of What Makes A Man) and there are five of them. After some research on my part, I found out that they were from the UK, Ireland, the US and Venezuela and apparently, two members formed a new band called Stateside. A single release never materialized for this line up, let alone a single. Darn it.

3. Now MyTown are very similar to Westlife, they're Irish, they were in the 1998 Smash Hits Tour and were nominated for the Best New Tour Act Award that Westlife went on to win. Though Westlife did go on to become the most successful boyband ever and two members of MyTown formed The Script. As far as I know, Party All Night was the only single released from their debut album.
They're so unknown, I don't even know if the single or album charted if it did at all. The album itself is floating around online, it's on some music blogs(and maybe even the blogs I've listed on the sidebar..) but I have no idea if you can get a physical copy of it at present.

4. C21's debut album may have been the most successful debut boyband album in Denmark and they may have been kind of big in South East Asia but in the UK or the US, they're practically unknown. I think that's enough to qualify them for this post. Plus the fact that their album here sold for practically nothing at a CD sale(think 5-10 cents in $, haha.) and Wiki doesn't display their chart positions.
They had two albums and after their second album(which I think most likely flopped..) they just disappeared. The last time I looked, their official site is still up but it isn't being updated and I haven't heard anything new from any of the members so I guess it's over for those three.

5. I found this next band, C-Note out of curiosity, but I'm glad I did. They released an album back in 1999 and had a top 40 single(coming in at number 33..). After a long lul in releases, they released an album in 2007 and another one last year. From what I'm seeing, it flopped or was given absolutely no promotion because I would've seen the album somewhere around the internet if it did even slightly well. Crappy video, but amazing song!
I have a soft spot for Spanish songs, if you don't already know. I think the language makes the song more melodious, better in other words! There's also an English version if you wanna hear it.

See? I told you they were amazing, they should be given credit where credit is due. Whether it be amazing vocals, mind-blowing melodies or just being the ultimate boyband but failing to hit it big. Amazing stuff!

Rant: Are they completely out of their minds?

So while I was surfing through DIgital Spy just now, I saw that Atomic Kitten have plans to reform this year. But that's not the bad part, it's actually quite good. The bad part is really CRAZY.

Kerry Katona's coming back as well.

I know she was there at the very start and all but she got pregnant and left and married Brian/Bryan from Westlife then when he left they divorced. She's had a pretty public life, sort of like the even less talented Britney of the UK.

I think she even admitted that she CAN'T sing after she left the band. How can someone who already said they can't sing reform a band? Ridiculous.

Rumor or not, this is whacked out. Read the article here.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

New Music!

I interrupt the boyband special for some of my new addictions! A quick one today, I'm leaving in an hour.
  • I'm now, officially addicted to The White Tie Affair. Think Panic! At the Disco + Metro Station, amazing melodies, cool instrumentals.
  • My dad is now officially addicted to the Ting Tings. I like to think I had a hand in getting him addicted : ). Remember, annoyingly brilliant! haha. As I'm writing this, he's playing That's Not My Name on the stereo at max. YES!
  • Never in a million years did I expect to like Peter Andre. I'm liking Insania, cool song, great melody but so-so vocals. He's done pretty well in music, apparently. haha.
  • I'm liking Another Level's Freak Me as well. Amazing melody and the rest of their debut album is just brilliant.
  • The GA b-sides are awesome! I'm loving the megamix more than Memory Of You but they're both amazing! Plus the fact that it's apparently on 7" vinyl. Heck, I don't even know what that is!(Ok, I know it's one of those big black round thingies but that's it.)
  • A still addicted to the Lady GaGa acoustic thing, it's so different from the original one! Speaking of her, Just Dance is number one in the UK this week! James Morrison is number two as well, yay!
  • Northern Line ARE AMAZING. Check out the boyband post tomorrow: 5 Boybands that Demand Your Attention for more on probably the most amazing boyband in that post! haha.
  • Craig David + Monrose? Coolness! I don't like Walking Away to start with but the idea of him doing a duet with different people in different continents reminds me of the BoA/Christian Castro thing Westlife did for FWW on their GH1. haha.
Other than that, there's nothing really new or groundbreaking. Remember, the Varsity Fanclub album comes out TOMORROW!(at least that's that I saw on a few blogs and sites..) Yay! Something to review! Yipeeeeee!

1999 in boybands

1999 as we all know was truly an amazing year for pop music in general, but what was happening in boyband land at the time?

......Another Level scored their second-highest charting UK single, I Want You For Myself which came in at number two in January.

......Ultra release their highest-charting single, Rescue Me. It peaked at number eight in the UK.

......Northern Line release their first single in October and it charts at number 18 in the UK.

......5ive scored their first ever UK number one single with Keep On Movin' in October.

......Irish band MyTown, who lost out on Smash Hits Best New Tour Act award the previous year release their debut album.

......In May, the Backstreet Boys released Millennium, their first ever number one album.

......911 release A Little Bit More and it remains their only UK number one single. They released a further two singles before disbanding.

......LFO release their self-titled debut album. It hits number 21 on the US charts and is certified platinum.

......A1 released their first album, Here We Come. It charted at number twenty on the UK album charts.

......Boyz II Men record a track for The Prince Of Egypt called I Will Get There. It peaks at 32 on the US singles chart.

......Dream Street and Natural are formed. Two years later Dream Street release their first album and Natural release their first single.

......Boyzone release three singles and claimed the top spot with two of those three singles.

......NSYNC's collaboration with Gloria Estefan, The Music Of My Heart gives the band Grammy, Academy Award and Billboard Award nominations.

......In addition to already having a top two album and three UK number ones with Swear It Again, If I Let You Go and the epic Flying Without Wings, Westlife's I Have A Dream/Seasons in the Sun is crowned Christmas Number One and is the last number one single of the 1900's.

Flashback: Aly & AJ

I've said time and time again that there are very little artists Disney actually gets right and even less that they actually give some kind of creative freedom to. Aly & AJ however, are one of those extremely lucky few.

I think in order for a debut album to work, it should be convincing and we listeners have to hear something in it that makes us somewhat believe that the artist actually had a hand in even just choosing the songs.

You see the difference is that Aly & AJ actually wrote or co-wrote about eighty-percent of the songs on their debut. They didn't just choose the songs and have other people write songs for them(nothing's wrong with that, it's just that I like artists who at least try to write their own stuff more), they actually took part in making the actual songs and have their names on the album credits not just as singers but as songwriters.

Yes, some of the songs are obviously Disney, some of them just scream 'put me on a DCOM soundtrack', but by listening to the album, you know it's them and you know that if they weren't forced to write some of those songs, they would've still written them.

Technically, Disney won't be able to create another Aly & AJ with the exact same songs and the exact same sound because most of the songs on this album weren't made by them, they were made by the sisters. They're irreplaceable, simply put.

And the number of tracks they produced is astounding. I'm talking about the special edition here with SEVENTEEN tracks(including two new versions from the original album..) which is very uncommon for an album these days. Maybe in the 90's or early 2000's this would've been normal but now the average album length is about twelve to thirteen tracks, sometimes less, sometimes more.

That just goes to show how much these two girls can write on just one album. Their second album was a more 'normal' length so to say, with eleven tracks and a remix of Chemicals React.

Writing that number of songs is amazing and all but what makes me love these girls even more is the fact that I loved every single track on the album. it's another one of those albums that I'll listen to from start to finish and not skip a single track because every track is good, every track has an amazing melody and every track shows their identity. Once you finish listening to the whole thing, it's like you know them really well musically.

The A Capella showdown

I somehow gauge how good a boyband is by looking at their a capella performances because it's very common in boybands that they're able to sing a capella in three to five parts.

So which country produces better boybands in terms of a capella work? This is UK boybands VS. US boybands!

Note: These are boybands that if inactive have produced more than two singles and at least one album. If they're active, then there's no requirement. haha.

The US Boybands..

So BSB are kind of the ultimate US boyband, along with NSYNC. As far as I know, they never recorded anything a capella apart from the tracks that they stripped the instrumental of so I got digging for some live stuff and I came across this:
They're good, but the vocals are a bit weak for me, when someone takes lead that someone has these strong vocals but the people backing him are either not blended well or have really weak voices.

Now since I got a live BSB track, that automatically bans me from judging NSYNC by their recording of O Holy Night in A Capella. Luckily, I found a live performance of it! YAY!
I think NSYNC are definitely better than BSB judging by this, there's more power to their vocals and it's more convincing for me. It sounds amazing as well, they're voices work better together than BSB, if I may say so.

Let's move over to the new boybands of the US, shall we? Mainly because I can't find any live KNOTB or 98 Degrees a capella stuff. If you guys find any though, let me know!

Now Day26 are a fairly new boyband but when I heard this performance, let's just say I'll be listening to their album a heck of a lot more than I already do.
They're gooooooood. Out of all the new boybands right now, I have to say, they're the best a capella-wise.

NLT may have the amazing, mind-blowing melodies but they're not up to par with Day26. I don't know if it's just because they're missing a fifth harmony or if their voices aren't really that strong together. Think BSB of now, that's the best description.

Now V Factory are in between Day26 and NLT in terms of vocals, they're better than NLT but they're just a wee bit not as good as Day26, I think. Amazing song though, I've never heard it before!

Varsity Fanclub however, are just that bit better than V Factory, I think. Better, more distinct and powerful voices and they most definitely blend much better than V Factory. I still love them all though!

So let's go over to my specialty, the UK boybands!

We HAVE to kick it off with Westlife, we just HAVE TO! I've said time and time again that Westlife cannot be beaten in terms of a capella o below is a very popular fan vid of a capella clips of the lads.
Now do you see why Westlife rock so much? The power and the way their voices blend is sheer brilliance people! BRILLIANCE.

A1 were around when Westlife started, and they were nominated for the same award once(The Smash Hits Best New Tour Act.., Westlife won, duh.) and I think A1 are pretty close to Westlife in terms of vocals.
It's a little too fast if you know the original recorded version but vocally they're goooooood.

Lemme just say it, Blue suck when it comes to a capella.
No soul, no power, nothing. They may have some amazing songs recorded but this was just horrible.

So at the moment, JLS are being tipped as the new Westlife, being mentored by Louis Walsh on the X Factor, plus the fact that they sang like two songs that Westlife covered. JLS are lightyears better than Blue though, if I may say so.
Amazing stuff. Still not as good as Westlife, but good enough! They're sort of between Blue and A1.

You guys DO NOT know how much I want to hear D-Side doing some serious five(or three..) part a capella! But I can't find any, so if you guys have seen ANYTHING whatsoever that resembles an a capella performance of them, TELL ME!!! haha.

So, based on the stuff I've collected(which took me about four hours..) and now shown you guys, which country produces the better boybands, the US or the UK? I know my answer..... haha.