DARUSO - Since You Been Gone
Set to be released on the August 1st on AATW offshoot 3 Beat, who were behind recent hits from Agnes, Inna and Edward Maya, this is proper old school pop dance. I've heard of this band before, the producers are in fact none other than Jewels and Stone who have been responsible many dance remixes of pop songs, particularly in the last decade for acts such as S Club 7 and Girls Aloud. DARUSO's song Closest Thing To Heaven and indeed the whole set up of the act (two background producers, female lead singer) reminded me of Cascada, but this is slightly less like them. An instantly catchy song, it's nothing groundbreaking but songs like this always sound better in the summer, a time when I tend to listen to far more dance music than any other period of the year for some reason.
Christina Aguilera - Little Dreamer
Christina has set an undesirable new record in the UK yesterday when her long awaited fourth stuido album, Bionic, crashed from #1 to #29 in its second week, by far the biggest fall from the top of the charts of all time. Being one of the biggest fans of her eponymous 1999 debut album and 2002 opus Stripped possible, I was slightly underwhelmed by 2006's Back To Basics to say the least. Still, I'd been looking forward to a return to form with Bionic considering the star names she'd worked with, but the main album didn't really excite me as much as I'd hoped, and some tracks are just pure awful. However, being the loyal fan that I am, I bought the deluxe edition complete with bonus tracks, and downloaded iTunes only bonus track Little Dreamer, to ensure I had all 24 songs from the project. Safe to say that everything on the bonus disc deserved a place on the main album, not to mention this glorious Ladytron produced song. I have no idea why Stronger Than Ever and Birds of Prey weren't considered for the album when Prima Donna and My Girls were. But the biggest joke is that Little Dreamer, possibly the best song of hers I've heard since Candyman, not only didn't qualify for the album, but didn't even qualify for the bonus disc, and will forever be an iTunes only oddity. Maybe if the rest of Bionic had been more like this sound, it wouldn't have been such a relative flop worldwide. Recommended.
Agnes & Bjorn Skifs - When You Tell The World You're Mine
Billed as the biggest royal wedding in Europe since Charles and Diana, Princess Victoria of Sweden married her gym instructor Daniel, now prince, at the weekend. The event spawned a load of pop singles from the country's biggest stars. Carola and Darin both have singles for the event as does one of my stars of the year, Salem Al Fakir, whose All Day Love's main hook sounds strangly like Timewarp!!! But my favourite, and the official wedding single, is this duet between Swedish veteran, former Eurovision entrant and legend Björn Skifs and now international star Agnes Carlsson. It shouldn't work but it really does, and this ballad is a classic, almost like it could have been taken from a timeless Disney animation. It's already shot to #1 on iTunes in Sweden, which is no shock really considering that the pair performed it live at the wedding to the princess and prince, and I really wouldn't rule out the song being covered by an X Factor act or SyCo star in the near future. The songwriter is, after all, behind many of Westlife, Leona Lewis and many others biggest hits.