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Once again i am agog i am aghast (is marius in love at last?) that the weekend has chosen to go by so freaking quickly. And i had no success with my car purchasing - i am far too picky and everything is the wrong colour, or the mileage is too high, or i don't like the sales person, or the showroom smells of pussywillow, etc., etc. So my soccer moms Mercedes A Class car is still not sitting in my possession, but i continue to have a good old look. I was going to have another look yesterday afternoon but i fell asleep instead and didn't even get to finish the B-Flo interview in Q magazine which i have had for over two months now (other magazines i flicked thru ~ nearly typed flicked off to then! :O ~ but not read yet are AXM, Attitude, The Works and Esquire. Good lord). Plus yesterday I realised I have 23 unread books in my cupboard and I keep buying more almost weekly. Life is so busy and fast sometimes, you don't realise how quickly it passes by! Remember when you were young and Christmas took forever to arrive, and birthdays never came? Now it seems to be Christmas every few weeks and I'm getting weeks older by the second (my crows feet are horrific!!). I'm not really sure where i was going with that, other than i think i am still suffering from feeling lack of time, due to having a couple of weeks off work and then starting busy new job! I haven't even looked at Pink! Is The New Blog for days. Oh well, can't complain I suppose. Instead I should just get on with the post and quit whining :)
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THE JADION FACTOR - INTERVIEW:
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I have now done four interviews on this site, with more to come when it relaunches on Feb 28th. First up was the lovely Switch22, then there was Emo Dagger, then a MAMMOTH simon interview and now I have cornered Jadion, his producer, for a natter. It's a very interesting read and a great insight into how the music business works...
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1 ~ it's not often thezapping becomes a fan of a producer, but since discovering Simon, and subsequently Fayden and Bliss, i've really enjoyed your sound. How did you get started in this industry and what are your long term goals?
Well like most producers, I once wanted to be a singer. I ended up having a family and put all that on the back burner so to speak. In 1999, a lot had happened in my life, I lost my first wife to Leukemia. It was then I decided that my dreams had to come true one way or another and after many "blessings in disguise", I decided that perhaps it was best if I went in a producer direction. After many struggles and the help of my best friend (my wife now) I was able to start a studio in Tulsa, OK in 2002 where I lived, and Jadion Music was the name I came up with. Clients started calling me Jadion, so that explains my name. Ever since I started, I have constantly looked to improve my sound being careful not to "bite" off other producers, but use their skills as an influence. My long term goal is to be on a level with Max Martin, Kristian Lundin, Babyface, and the newest superproducer Timbaland. I want to rule the charts long term with many artists. There are a lot of engineers out there posing as producers. Their music is technically clean, but it has no distinctive style or art put into it. When you hear the music from the guys above, you KNOW IT. I try to make the same impact. If my song doesn't cause you to have some emotional or physical response, I am not happy and frankly, I have failed to do my job.
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2 ~ can you describe how you work with Simon and how much input you have into the final song for us?
That has really transformed over the last 4 years. At first, Simon was very inexperienced and in retrospect I was too frankly. But it was my studio, so he basically listened to whatever I told him to do haha. As time went on, he got more experienced, more mature. I got better and more knowledgeable about my equipment and songwriting. He began to develop his sound more. 2 or 3 years and many songs later, he and I have it down to a well oiled machine. I almost always come up with the music before anything. 95% of the time the music is almost completely done to the song and Simon will sit down and write to the music in half an hour or so, and we will record it. It takes about 1-2 hours to record the song and about 8 hours in total for me to mix it completely over a period of 2 or 3 days. Recording the song and the general "sound" is my responsibility. It is a producer's role to be the head coach and make the song what it needs to be. Simon knows I do what I do well, so he just puts his input here and there. Much like I do with his lyrics. Occasionally we will disagree. We have both had our diva moments :) Simon is a lyrical genius, no question. Sometimes he forgets the rest of the world isn't and he has to be tamed or else his writing would end up sounding like a Shakespearean masterpiece instead of a pop song lol. But overall it is a very smooth process. It is my vision that Simon and I write as much as we can for his material and other groups and do our best to be what Cheiron was 10 years ago.
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3 ~ How did you meet Fayden and how did you get to work with Bliss? What's next for those guys (especially as TMHT seems to be taking off at radio)
A few years before I met him, in the 2000 time frame, he had a fairly promising situation with his former manager, Maurice Starr of New Kids on the Block fame. He toured Europe for a couple of months in a male pop group, or better known as the very derogatory title, a "boy band". They had some major label deals offered to them, but as so many stories of the past, egos and drama set in and destroyed that situation. Then, about 2-3 years after that fell through, I got an email from Fayden through a worthless musician networking website.. We talked for a very long time and became great friends. He was LITERALLY the only person I ever met off those so called networking sites. We were talking on the phone for a long time all the while he was trying to find like minded people to pursue a new group with only to be disappointed again and again. During that time I moved back to LA where I am from. He is from NYC, the birthplace of techno dance music. Eventually he had an opportunity to release a dance record. The label he signed to was not ideal, to be diplomatic. They released his first single with some other producers and it did pretty well. But he wanted something produced by me, so FINALLY, after 3 years of talking on the phone, he flew to LA and we actually met in person for the first time. Weird huh? We recorded 3 songs, including Hypnotic. His second single is one I helped produced, and mixed, "When I look In Your Eyes". It did well in the dance world, going number one in radio in several countries, albeit obscure ones lol. That gave him enough notoriety to get the attention of Bliss (who's name will VERY likely be modified BTW due to other group releases with that name, stay tuned) The girls emailed us and eventually we signed them to our production company and recorded the first single which has just been offered a single deal through a well established dance indie label for distribution. It should be a big hit at the Winter Music Conference in Miami next month. We will keep you updated.
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4 ~ what are your thoughts on American Idol? Here, the winners seem to be given such bad material it's hard for them to make a long term career out of it...
American Idol has only two true stars.. Kelly Clarkson, and Carrie Underwood. Daughtry is a PHENOMENAL singer, but as you said, the material kills him. Katharine McPhee is one of the most beautiful women on the planet and her lead off single is very good, but the rest is terrible. They have tried to make her an R&B act, and that poor girl is about as white as you can be (can I still say that without the PC police on me?). I watched every year, except for the atrocious Fantasia year (which this year is on its way to being so far) and I have accurately picked the top 2 every time. I watch avidly this year, and I have seen no one that strikes me as amazing or the winner. Kelly was smart, she got as far away as possible from the people who make the Idol's decisions. I never cease to be amazed at the poor choices these labels make. That's why they are all broke. In my most humble of opinions :)
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5 ~ you know i would kill for you to revive Debbie Gibson's sound - what do you think of her latest songs Famous and Rich Girl, and who elses career do you think needs the Jadion touch??
Debbie could certainly use a revamp. Not liking her new stuff at all. I would love to work with Britney, that would be interesting. I would really like to work with Chris Daughtry also. Katharine McPhee would be up there on my list. But my dream artist would be Celine Dion. Many of her songs are so unworthy of her perfect voice. I have to sell a few million for her to take notice I am guessing.
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6 ~ time to trash people - who do you like and dislike on the music scene at the moment??
Why do you do this to me Paul? lol. I am VERY VERY picky about what I like. I don't like too much out there to be honest with you. I almost NEVER listen to the radio. I don't like much of anything that plays on mainstream radio right now (except the Katharine McPhee song, and the new Hilary Duff one is cool). Most of it is pure garbage. Rap is so over. Most people are sick of ghetto; guns, bitches, hoes, and the racism in rap music (see Simon's Sugar Sugar White). Let's be honest, how many damn times can you rehash the topic "I want to fuck you and all your friends because I was a drug dealer and now I have a nice car because I bought my way into the music business with drug money".
When I read blogs like yours or read letters from fans, the ACHE that they have for good pop music is very encouraging. It runs in 10 year cycles. Starting in the mid-late 50s with Doo Wop, mid to late 60's, the Beatles, Elvis, mid to late 70's, the Bee Gees (thanks Robert, their manager and Simon's as well) mid to late 80's, New Kids on the Block, mid to late 90's, the greatest music ever made, BSB, NSYNC, BRITNEY and now, mid to late 00's, hopefully it will be US who bring it back.
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7 ~ When you finally get some downtime in your LA mansion, is it chill out time with the mrs, games, movies, reading or tv?? And are you really like Ari Gold?!?
I soooo do not have a mansion, but someday maybe. I play xbox360 with Simon A LOT! Halo 2 in Slayer mode is still the most fun in video games. He wins usually, he's a game nerd. I like to travel and hang with my boys.
For those reading this who have never seen Entourage, you are probably saying, "Who the hell is ARI GOLD?" It is the best show on TV, that and The Shield. I NEVER miss either. They say I am like Ari in the way that I am VERY blunt, very witty and have no problem telling anyone what to do to themselves when they rightfully deserve it. I am very decisive, I know what I want, I usually know the answers, and I'm not afraid to share them with those who do not lol. Simon has sarcastically dubbed me the "King of Tact" as I have the tendency to speak my mind regardless of the situation. Simon thinks I am also a bit like Turtle because I like some flashy things, like diamonds on my watch (my watch has 24 small diamonds around the bezel, they act like I have a Nelly, Jacob the Jeweler watch!). I am also quite flirty with the girls and I really enjoy getting VIP treatment.

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8 ~ I think the British music scene is more primed for you and Simon than America. What can we do to get you over here?? Is that a consideration?
We are trying to get EVERYWHERE. Simon's manager is shopping the major labels as we speak. We feel pretty confident we will get signed, hopefully as a distribution deal of the record as it is. Even so, this business moves at a snail's pace. If we signed today, depending on the label, it could be 6-10 months before a worldwide release. We will just have to see. I have never been over there, so I am anxious to go. Really want to go to Tokyo also.
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9 ~ You let me listen to a great track called London a while back which has grown on me more and more. Any plans for that particular song?
As of now, it's just another song in the repetoire. No real plans just yet. If you meet anyone who wants to record it, we are all ears.
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10 ~ You have worked on some amazing songs on Simon's forthcoming album. Which are you most proud of and why? (my fave - still Broken, though I am currently loving Purgatory and Sugar Sugar White)
Left Right Left is probably my favorite. I just love the beat in it." Broken" I wrote the chorus to, I like that one a lot. That was one of those "SIMON, WE HAVE TO DO A LIGHTER TRACK THAT DOESN'T INSPIRE REVOLUTION OR CECESSION FROM ONES FAMILY!" I love Casual Encounter too. I have heard them all a MILLION times, so it is hard to speak to that really because I DID IT. I am not a good judge of my own work. I ALWAYS hear something I could have done better.
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11 ~ Finally, if you were given the task of saving Britney Spears (from herself as much as anyone else) what would your advice be??
Anna Nicole Smith…….that's all a normal person would need to hear. But the fact is you can't save ANYONE… only they can.. I wouldn't be surprised to see Lindsay Lohan end up like Anna as well. If there is one thing I HATE about this business is the professional liars called the Public Relations department. No one EVER tells these people NO. No one cares enough about these girls to TRY to stop them. Simon would NEVER end up like these girls, but if he ever did, I would be the first to stand up and say STOP NOW OR I TELL EVERYONE WHAT YOU ARE DOING TO YOURSELF. Problem is, if anyone in their entourage ever actually SAID THAT, they would be shunned and no mainstream "reporter" would ever run the story because of the power of the PR firms. Remember this little known fact… the ever hated tabloid the National Enquirer is sued for libel LESS THAN TIME MAGAZINE. Why is that? Because they usually tell the truth. I love Dlisted, because it is the only place that tells what these people are doing in real life, not what the PR firm wants you to know. There is no such thing as being hospitalized for "exhaustion". Funny how guys who work 30 years in a 100 degree steel factory 12 hours a day NEVER seem to go to the hospital for exhaustion. Contrarily, a pampered multi millionaire who sits in an air conditioned Star Wagon trailer for ¾ of her grueling 18 hour a day movie shoot ends up there several times, before her 20th birthday. Doesn't that bother anyone? My advice to Britney is the same advice I give to anyone who is at their lowest point. It is my favorite quote … "All of your problems AND your answers are in the mirror."
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Thanks to Jadion for taking the time out to do this interview. For those who didn't know, the amazing Entourage is on HBO in America and airs on ITV2 in England :) And just to point out, i think the answer to number 11 is incredibly relevant and profound. Celebrity seems to be a dangerous profession :( And finally, i can testify to his King of Tact title - i've corresponded with Jadion for a while now and occasionally I will write about something and he will tell me it's a load of old shit! LOL! Which is probably why I like him as well as his music. I prefer straight up people!! Check out the plethora of links below:
LINK: Jadion's myspace site (with a free download!)
LINK: Jadion's official webpage
LINK: Iced Entertainment's myspace site
LINK: Iced Entertainment's official webpage
LINK: Fayden's myspace site
LINK: Fayden's official webpage
LINK: Simon's myspace site
LINK: Simon's official webpage
LINK: Bliss' myspace site
LINK: Bliss' official webpage
LINK: Purchase Entourage here (USA) and here (UK)
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THEZAPPING RECORD COMPANY PROJECT - WEEK FIVE:
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Well, indeedio, I announced yesterday that Justin Lanning's first single would be the Coldplay meets Snow Patrol ballad Take My Breath Away. Which is a perfectly valid choice. I still prefer the upbeat stylings of Voices that is on Justin's myspace page in demo format. This is a great guitar driven song with a strong chorus and a perky sound. I can't help but feel with some strong production values behind it and given a fresh overhaul, it could be America's answer to The Feeling. As it is the potential is certainly there for this to be a huge radio smash. (edit - a full version was put on Justin's myspace site today and is a corker!)Lets see what other people have to say, including thezapping's very own Simon Cowell ~ Nick-alienhits ;)
NICK: Definitely a catchy pop song, but I'm not sure if it's got that special something that grabs me. It is nice, though, and I can see me getting into this after hearing it on the radio (as if that's gonna happen) a few times. Actually, after two listens I'm already liking it more.
DIGITAL TECHNIQUE: Even though this is a demo, you can totally hear what a great song it is! Another one of those songs that I would have on in my car in the Summer, perfect for those rare sunny days in Scotland!! He has such a great voice, that really fits with the song - another incredible artist you've introduced me to!!
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LINK: You can listen to a non demo stream of this track on thezapping myspace site :)
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THE SINGLES SELECTION COMMITEE:
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~ Hilary Duff, With Love: I have had a bit of a hit and miss affair with Hilary. I think apart from some of her earlier choices, she has released a dire range of singles which is completely unnecessary when there were great tracks on her first two albums (which is apparently all you need to release for a greatest hits now). The Math and Haters were amazing thrashy pop songs that SO deserved a wider audience. So colour/color me as surprised as anyone as little Hil joins the contest being waged by Bliss and Ashley Tisdale to become the new Kylie pop princess of the States. And this tune is just darling. Can't wait for the album...
NICK: Wow, how did Hilary Duff become kind of cool? There's been a strange progression in her career from cheesy teen pop to more of an electro sound, and I for one did not see it coming at all. I have to say that this track surprised me. I didn't expect to like it at all but it's actually quite nice. Excellent song for the Spring.
DT: Have been waiting to hear this song for ages and I wasn't disappointed - it is a really strong pop song. If the album is as good as this song and previous single Play With Fire, then I for one will be pleased!! Definitely sounds like Hilary has found her sound, after attempting pop-rock on her previous albums, this style of pop really suits her voice.
POPPOSTERGIRL: this song confuses me. I definitely like the backing track, but I feel like the song could be so much better. I'm not sure how; maybe the music just overpowers her voice too much for me? Compared to, say, Girls Aloud's "Something Kinda Ooooh" or Rachel Steven's "Some Girls," it just doesn't pop enough for me--there's definitely a great beat in "Something Kinda Ooooh" and "Some Girls," but the vocals are catchier or more prominent or something. "With Love" might be a grower, though.
~ Robbie Williams, She's Madonna: I've noted several times how disappointed I have been in Robbie's career ever since he got done with Escapology and Guy Chambers. Rudebox is kind of like a mix tape your friend made you of varying styles, with this being one of the infinitely better ones. Sadly after years of being public darling, it seems fashionable to dislike Robbie now, so Nick's comment at the end of his mini review below may well be valid...
NICK: This is one of my favorite tracks off of Rudebox. I think Robbie does this kind of synth pop fantastically, and the track's just so damn catchy! Most importantly, the melody and lyrics are spot on. This track's already popular in Scandinavia, but I doubt whether it'll do that well in the UK, even though it should.
DT: I really wasn't a big fan of the any of the tracks on Rudebox when I first got it, but the more I listened to it the more a couple of the tracks started to really stand out, this being one of them!! You can definitely hear the Pet Shop Boys influence in the song but at the same time it still manages to be classic Robbie. Not sure whether it is going to prove a successful single though, as the album has not been the massive seller that you would expect for a Robbie album.
~ Avril Lavigne, Girlfriend: Hurrah! The original Canadian trailer trash is back and I love her. I really adored her first album, and then her second album i liked a lot, but not til after she was done promoting it. So i am eager for a third cd, and this is a great catchy pop tune that doesn't take itself too seriously at all. Huzzah, etc.
NICK: I'm glad that she decided to come back with a poppier sounding song, and the chorus is definitely catchy. What I'm afraid of, though, is the catchiness is going to wear off quickly and become annoying sooner than it should. Still, the track's miles ahead of where I thought it was going to be.
DT: Really not sure what I think of this song! After her last album I thought Avril had grown up and was doing mature sounding songs but then this is right back to style of Sk8r Boi and Complicated. It reminds me of both 80's song Mickey and the movie Bring It On. Think this probably would have been a massive hit if included on her debut album in 2002 but think music has moved on since then and not sure it is going to be as successful in 2007.
PPG: I love this. I don't care if the beat is ripped out of "Hey Mickey" and the "No way, no way" vaguely reminds me of that Vanilla song--this works so well. Let's see: handclaps, repetition, catchiness, upbeat, fun...I feel like a lot of pop artists using guitars just don't get it, but Avril does. For a song that feels like guitar pop, the guitars aren't really that noticeable, which is actually a very good thing, making the song all the more singalongable (which is pretty dangerous for a song that already demands to be jumped around like a crazy person to and clapped along with). Anyone who writes off this song because of the lyrics (I've already seen people criticizing "she's like so whatever/you could do so much better"), clearly, like all the wannabe pop-guitarists out there, doesn't get it.
~ Westlife, Total Eclipse Of The Heart (the mixes): I was eager for this to be their second single and they didn't disappoint. I was eager for it to have some dance remixes that weren't Bop Bop Baby bad and they haven't disappointed there either. So I am all over the Life at the moment. Particularly Nicky. RAR!
NICK: It's not something I would really listen to. I just don't think that Total Eclipse was a good choice to use for this kind of remake. I can see this being big, especially in the clubs, but I just don't really like the sound of it.
DT: One word - amazing!! Not a big fan of either Westlife or the song really (although I did like the Jan Wayne cover from a few years ago!!) but this is really good! If only they would release an uptempo song once in a while rather than a ballad/cover with the key change 3/4 of the way through so that they can get off their stools!! Even if you're not a fan of Westlife, this is definitely worth a listen!
PPG: Total Eclipse (Sunset Strippers Radio Edit)--to begin with, this has nothing on "Falling Stars," but maybe that was starting with such amazing source material that it had automatic higher potential? Regardless, the original version Westlife's cover of "Total Eclipse of the Heart" is good, but I wonder if I would enjoy this if I didn't enjoy that; luckily, I do enjoy the cover, so this is pretty fun, though it's not about to challenge for best dance song of the year. It'd be better if it had more of an ending, as opposed to just sort of stopping randomly.
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Thanks once again to the contributors. You guys rock the very most :)
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QUICK BITZ/BLOG WATCH:
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~ Dear Lord! Hollyblokes goes all gay on our asses and totally steals thezapping's style. The pic directly above is almost a direct replica of what DazPenetration and I did in the hotel room a few hours after our pic was taken! Thieves!!
~ Dear Lord part II! What the fuss was Duncan James' hair all about on Saturday's Dancing On Ice? And why are the ex boybanders not storming ahead with their dance routine training? Stephen Gately was shockingly bad!
~ Dear Lord part III! Primeval was scary. In terms of how bad it was. I can't wait to see what DanProject76 has to say about it all...
~ thezapping is doing a photoshoot! Any ideas anyone???
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~ here is some twat who decided walking home in the blizzardy snow in trendy gloves would be a good idea. It was not. His fingers nearly fell off. Cool jacket and scarf tho...
~ The Feeling's Rose debuted at 73 :( Physical release is today and the b-sides are as magnificent as you should expect. Especially the Sewn demo...
~ J'Ason has all the usual amazing british chart round ups, grammy winners and some startlingly similar gwen/fergie lyrics. Despite what he says they are both crap ;)
~ we find Måns Zelmerlöw who is sitting pretty over at poppostergirls ever such a little bit RAR!
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Coming tuesday ~ some new artists for you to peruse; some info about theallnewzapping; some old hits that should really be covered and revived; and something else maybe....
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PLUS! THE NYC FILES ARE STARTING TO APPEAR - click on holiday diaries tab!

7 Comments:

  1. Poster Girl said...
    I saw a picture of Duncan's hair this afternoon and immediately went off to find the video...I literally could not stop laughing for five minutes after it ended. And speaking of laughter, I really had to fight it back at the "'SIMON, WE HAVE TO DO A LIGHTER TRACK THAT DOESN'T INSPIRE REVOLUTION OR CECESSION FROM ONES FAMILY!'" line.

    I think in a few weeks I am going to regret not being outright enthusiastic about the Hilary song.

    Thanks for the link :)
    Adem IAR said...
    I'm absolutely in love with the Hilary song, and I cannot stand the woman. It's evident she's maybe getting a bit more serious about this whole "pop star" thing then, eh?
    Digital Technique said...
    Another great post Paul! Still loving the Hilary Duff track but am I the only one who has noticed that like Adem said above she is starting to take this whole 'pop star' thing more seriously just as her 'movie' career appears to be in decline?? Not that I'm having a go at her, would much rather have some more great pop songs than another Cheaper By The Dozen movie!!

    Also loving The Feeling Rose - hope it shoots up the chart now it is physically available in the shops!! Can't wait only a week and a half till I am going to see them live again in Edinburgh!! Hope they are as good as they were in November and expect to see a review of the gig on Digital Technique soon!!!
    Paul said...
    PPG - i am having nightmares about the hair. Tis not good. Is a disaster of far more epic proportions than Antony Calleas hair. Which i now officially like. And i thought Jadion came out with some hilarious lines!

    Adem - i concur :) Can i still judge the top ten pop albums ever?

    DT: see above - and i am off to the feeling too on sunday for the fourth time in 12 months. bless them!
    J'ason D'luv said...
    Hey thanks for the shout out.

    I am in total agreeance with Pop Poster Girl on her comments for the Westlife and Hilary Duff singles. I actually have a 5-song sampler of Hilary's album, and they all leave you with a feeling that, with a better singer who has some emotion, it could be the Kylie-esque album that it's meant to be. Hilary's a sweet girl, I'm sure, but she just isn't a great singer. And even though dance pop is a genre that's usually not given much props, nevertheless it takes a decent singer to pull it off right.

    And PPG, "Falling Stars" is indeed a masterpiece, and somehow doesn't fall into the dull territory most of those old-songs-as-new 3-minuted mixes do.
    HotstuffFiles said...
    I also rather love the new Avril song, 'Girlfriend', and like PopPosterGirl says, people who don't get it are just fucking pissed that someone who is a bit 'chiq' can do what they OBVIOUSLY can't.

    Unless 'they' happen to be someone who has made a good rock album in the last twelve months - and there haven't been too many of them, now have there?
    Paul said...
    D'luv - hurrah for hills! Give me a good song by a mediocre singer anyday over a bad song by a good singer :)

    Samuel ~ hurrah for Avril too. je t'adore obv.

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