I love to take surveys, not because I particularly want to be helpful, but because I think my opinion is far better than yours. That is also why I can tell you without the slightest hesitation that you must buy the following music that is currently in heavy rotation on the Trading Faces IPod:
Do you like Amy Winehouse? If you don't, get the hell off my blog! If you do, then you might find Duffy appealing. They both have this fantastic twist on a 60s sound, though the similarities end there. Think of Amy as the bad girl Ronnie Spector to Duffy's moody drama with crystalline perfection Dusty Springfield. The first sinigle, "Mercy," is a bouncy and soulful little ditty, but the rest of the album is far more somber and introspective. There isn't a bad song on this gem. It's no "Back to Black," but it is pretty easily the best thing I have purchased in 2008.
Bring Ya To The Brink, Cyndi Lauper
She's back, and we're happy to have her around! I love love love this CD, and if you like dance pop, you will too. Cyndi's new musical direction takes her old quirky and sassy lyrical content and sets it to an edgy beat. Imagine if you had the music Madonna has put out lately (more on that in a moment), but with a sense of humor and a bit more humanity (because I love Madge, but you can't imagine that she's a particularly friendly lady). Shake your butt to her new single, "Into The Nightlife."
Funplex, The B-52s
I've been a fan of The B-52s since about 1986, and had the good fortune to see them earlier this summer here in The Ville. Every one of them is 50+ years old, and except for Fred, they all look younger than me. Bitches. There isn't anything on this album that is as commercial as "Love Shack," but several of the songs will easily be among my favorite tunes by the World's Greatest Party Band. Perhaps one of their top 3 albums they have made. The title track is the first single, but my favorite on the album is the surf rock guitar of "Pump," which was featured on Showtime's "The L Word."
Hard Candy, Madonna
Oh Madonna, goddess of the gays, how many ways do I love thee? I recently put the remastered version of her self-titled debut back into circulation, and it is amazing how she and Shannon really were the blueprint for club music for years after the death of disco. That album really holds up. We'll see how well this one does. Don't get me wrong, I really love it. I'm just not so sure that in a few years it won't be completely dated. That's what happens when you bring on producers who sort of define a particular time in sound like Timbaland. The first single, "Four Minutes," is fantastic, the only problem with it is that it could have been recorded by Rhianna, Beyonce, Ciara, or anyone else for that matter. Usually when Madge collaborates, she takes a bit of someone's sound but makes it distinctively her. She gets lost in this and a few other tracks that are undoubtedly brilliant pop. Best song on the album is the one I dreaded most, "Beat Goes On," her duet with Kanye West, which is a little reminiscent of "Car Wash" to me for some reason . I think he's brilliant, but he annoys the hell out of me throwing hissy fits when he doesn't get showered with awards, so I thought this would be another of his massive ego overloads. Never doubt the power of Madonna's ego, though, because this track she completely owns, and she's a fool if she doesn't release it as a single. Final word, it is no "Madonna," "Like a Prayer," or "Ray of Light," but it is good pop music that definitely improves on lesser works like "Erotica," "Bedtime Stories," or "American Life."