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Sigh. It was my last day at work today. I can't say it's been the most fun place i've ever worked and sometimes I've been frustrated with not being able to do all i can, but often it's people that make the job and i made some amazing friends there who i will miss lots and be bombarding with texts and emails regularly until they give in and meet me for a drink. So Cat, Nick, Anne, Kathy, Sudesh, Inderjit and everyone else, i was surprised how sad I was today when i actually left. Still, it's time to try new things so as a slightly screechy Idina once said "it's time to close my eyes and leap"! And i have a great two weeks coming - the history boys tomorrow, Sky+ (UK Tivo) on Monday, Darren's birthday on tuesday, the hard rock showcase on weds and NYC on thurs! Bloody Marv. I feel so melancholy and reflective in times of change, yet these things always work out for the best... so i will end this slightly morose "preamble" and get on with the post...

Usually, it's a bit rubbish in January isn't it? The wind means that all the trains are cancelled, no one has electricity in Birmingham and the nation gets in an uproar about Celebrity Big Brother which i can't even begin to start watching as I feel it's now beneath me. And of course I get my post Christmas blues which are always a bit of a nightmare. So rather delightfully and thanks to the slowness of the european mail and Deborah Gibson's myspace being cutting edge I got some Christmas gems on my computer today. First up is Magnus Carlsson who Poppostergirl alerted me to with her infinite knowledge of world pop. She's like google girl on Heroes as well as Veronica Mars. Anyway his mainly swedish language Christmas album Spar i Snon is an absolute delight and joy. I'm just going to mention the English language tracks here - Wrap Myself In Paper could well be the male equivalent to Emma Bunton's Free Me. Swirling strings, jaunty organ keyboard and a very gorgeous sixties vibe. And despite the seasonal lyrics, it's the sort of tune that you could listen to at anytime of year. It may be the greatest non-Christmas Christmas song since Jason's When You Come Back To Me... Wonderful Dreams (holidays are coming) may remind everyone of the festive coca cola advertisements but is actually a lovely seasonal uptempo pop song with a great vocal performance for Magnus. And any Christmas medley that utilises Cliff Richard is both brave and amazing in one fell swoop. Bonus of one of my favourite Disney songs (When You Wish Upon A Star) is just the icing on the (Christmas) cake... And my lovely Deborah (see retrospecticus below) has put up a simply stunning version of White Christmas on her myspace and a 50s Rosemary Clooney inspired medley. Lord luv er. Getting some seasonal sparkle in the most depressing month of the year is never a bad thing! .
LINK: Purchase Spar i snon
LINK: Watch Deb's myspace christmas video
Don't get alarmed everyone. I couldn't be happier or my lucky to have my stunningly foxy and lovely and amazing in bed DazPerformer. But sometimes you come across a new singer on myspace who stands out from every other bugger who is trawling their coffee house standard demos. First up, I came across the visually stunning and audibly creative Matthew G. On his main site page he describes himself as piano, voice, image, perfection. Mighty claims for one so young, but when you hear his stunning ballad Dear John - a masterpiece of subtlety yet brimming with powerful emotion - you can't help but be impressed. Seriously, when I heard this song last night I sat in silence until it had completely finished and then had to listen to it again instantly. The piano is flawless and beautifully melodic and Matthew delivers a soothing emotive vocal that made the hairs stand up on my arm. Another original composition is The Man Who changes the tempo slightly and indulges with an electro-ambient beat, horns and a haunting female (i think) backing vocal. I can see this ending up on the sort of album that sells by the bucketload because it's critically acclaimed, loved by the press and taken to the bosom of the nation because it's different enough not to be "pop" but accessible enough to be thoroughly enjoyable. Oh and a cover of Howard Jones' What Is Love is another corker... I may seem a little enthusiastic in my writing of this, but usually I am so "pop" orientated (which i am happy being) that when something as beautiful as this comes along and touches me, i'm geniunely stunned and eager for more...

And seeing as I am off to Hard Rock Cafe to see Stewart Mac on Weds, I thought I would check out one of the other acts there called Warren Bacci, who used to be in boyband 3rd Element but is now working solo. And working well he is too. Mixing a nice blend of rock influences, pop sensibilities and a dash of electro mixed in for good measure, his smooth vocal highlights the melody in the song and the instrumentation is merely his forum for sharing a bigger story. The title track of his debut album shows an amazing understanding of how to write and perform a classic ballad - it doesn't have to have gimmicks, it just needs to have a clear hook and a pretty melody. And The Calm Before The Storm has that - plus a beautiful female backing vocal enhancing the track in the middle eight. Need something more uptemo - try Infactuated, a song about losing all control in your levis is certainly ok by me. And a song that would be ideal for Gareth Gates or Shayne Ward or even a boyband like Eton Road... and i mean that as a compliment as i love those guys. Plus Warren is one of those annoyingly beautiful people who manages to look good in every photo and seems a rather lovely person as well. Which just makes the showcase on Wednesday that much more exciting when there is music as smashing as this on offer....
Well after leaving Atlantic records following the lack of success of the Body Mind Soul pop album, Deborah signed with SBK records and released the most mature sounding and melodic album of her career. Think With Your Heart was a collection of mainly ballad tracks - all sung with deep emotion and high on quality vocal, lush production values and restraint when and wherever necessary. Title track For Better or Worse deserved to be sung at wedding and anniversaries around the globe as it detailed how love conquers all and how your loved one can indeed be your world. Didn't Have The Heart was equally as beautiful and detailed how sometimes trying in a relationship can just be trying too hard while the title track was as close to a Disney ballad as anything Deborah has sung. Over the years, Deb has sung a number of songs that have inadvertantly become gay anthems for her fans, but none more so than You Don't Have to See - a plainative plea for people to accept the lover for who and what they are, with an effective yet understated use of gospel singers, everything about this song is just sublime. There weren't many outtakes circulating from this time, though another Disney-esque Christmas song Take Me Home For Christmas was demo'd and doing the rounds. Sadly America was in the mood for Alanis and her angry girl rock (which i also loved) so Deb's comeback was put on indefinite hold :(
Or really what Adam did next... done with touring, for the moment a handful of Maroon 5 tracks popped up on soundtracks and compilations. A slightly menacing version of Pure Imagination appeared on kiddie album Mary Had A Little Amp while the boys got their r'n'b funk on a duet with Sly and The Family Stone on Everyday People which was just marv and a half. But it was Adam who was exploring his more soulful side during this maroon 5 downtime. He teamed up with Alicia Keys on a gorgeous piano driven cover of Wild Horses, provided the hook for the Ying Yang Twins rap hit Live Again (which was ok, but i did enjoy Adam#s part immensely) and got busy appearing in Kanye West videos. All the while the fans were awaiting the new Maroon 5 album, first promised for autumn of 2006, now promised some time in Spring 2007... it's meant to be a bit funkier and darker than the last record though still packed with hooks by the plenty and should win a whole new legion of maroon 5 fans. To say i'm eagerly anticipating this would be a huge understatement...
~ Apparently we should all go out and download Honey To The Bee by Billie Piper so it can be number one. On the one hand, its the only song i could tolerate from her debut album and my new buddy Matt from LostinLimbo asked me to promote it, so I don't feel too bad about it. On the other hand its a Chris Moyles campaign and i fear he might at some point consider it a "bit gay" and i loathe that useless tosser so I'm in a quandary as to what to do! Quandry?!
~ I like it when people produce far classier blogs than mine yet inexplicably still like what they see here. Check out Andrew's cultured taste in music and life and tell him i said hello good sir!
~ There is nothing I enjoy more than people's adorably dated prom pictures so head on over to the fine gentleman Dan's site and take a trip down his memory lane. Marv.
~ Talking of photo's I am starting a campaign to get some visual accompaniment to this new series of blogs from poppostergirl/veronica mars/google girl. Power to the people!
~ Hurrah! Power to the boybands! Tinkler may get chart success yet, bless him. Avenue signed an album deal this very week, but i think it's on the hush hush so keep it under your hat....
~ I think king of meme DanProject76 has done this one already (?) but i am still enjoying the modern fabulosity life soundtrack. Try it yourself. Mine was ridick. I may post it this weekend...
~ XO has news of the much awaited return of the lovely Travis. The new song is quite lovely but hardly a return that blows your socks off.
~ ooo great minds think alike! Spot the difference here and here! I mean no disrespect in pointing this out!
~ Oooo, look gang its my new popstar haircut by the magnificent PaulHair. I look all scandanavian popstar without the looks. And with that bloody george grill in the background again. Grrr.
Coming tomorrow - probably nothing as I am at the history boys! Again! But check back on sunday for a bumper post :)


  1. HotstuffFiles said...
    Ah yes, but we've got a picture of Lily Allen... hehe.
    J'ason D'luv said...
    Gadzooks, Hotstepper, for a minute that was like seeing double.

    Speaking of which, Kiehl's does great eye cream that ought to get rid of those pop star dark circles, Pablov! I say that with (D)luv, as I've got 'em, too... but mine are from shooting up nine bags of heroin a week, so there you go.
    xolondon said...
    I thought you'd never done drugs dluv? You lyin no good slag.

    Anyway, Magnus is very manly isn't he not? He makes me look like Burt Reynolds. heh heh.
    Paul said...
    samuel - and we love you for it :)

    d'luv 2 luv you baby! - OMG! RUDE ;) Why Darren will read that comment and remind me of it for years to come. It was the shadows of the dodgy camera phone i tells ya!!

    XO - yes Magnus is very manly. I think you said it all really...
    J'ason D'luv said...
    Sure it was.

    And haven't you figured it out yet that DazPringles and I are in it together?

    XO, don't believe the hype! Just say yo.
    Anonymous said...
    Whats this about Drugs????

    The grill is always in the background

    xolondon said...
    He speaks!
    Poster Girl said...
    Aww, Magnus! I like "Wrap Myself In Paper" a lot, and his version of "Wonderful Dreams" is quite sweet.

    Great news about Avenue!

    Warren Baci--great, great discovery! And really refreshing, compared to the usual "look, I've got my acoustic guitar and lost all happiness and now I'm credible!" route most ex-boy band members go down when they get MySpaces. "Infatuated" (is it an intentional misspelling on his part?) was the first song to play when I went to his MySpace, and I really like it!
    Will said...
    Like the new hair.
    Sounds like all go at the moment, New York, New Job, New Hair...anything else to add to the list?! what a cools tart to the new year!
    Paul said...
    he doesn't do it very often so I'm honoured that my gorgeous squeeze DazPulsator has commented on my blog :) I am so going to french him when he gets home...

    PPG/Veronica/Google Girl (this is getting utterly ridick!) - warren bacci is good no?! I need to find out if he is spelling infatuation like that on purpose!

    Will - yo Dude! i am uber excited about nude york! What's this about cool tart? Oh! Cool start :)
    Adrian said...
    Magnus is very sexy, but with brown hair and not blonde, please!

    Wrap Myself in Paper was my sound of Christmas '06. It's ace and ridiculously catchy.

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