Oh, hello! My name’s Bradley Stern. You probably already know me from “The Voice,” where one of my tweets was once prominently read aloud on air. (All fan letters and gifts can still be sent to my PO box–thank you in advance.)
But if you somehow didn’t catch that, I’m also the writer behind MuuMuse, a sassy, classy music blog devoted to all things pop. I’m an unabashed pop music fan with love for all sorts of artists from across the world — especially the UK and Sweden! — and I’m always on the prowl for up-and-coming artists on the scene. Oh, and I harbor an unhealthy obsession with Britney Spears.
In an effort to share some of the juiciest pop songs that may not be popping up on your local Top 40 radio stations anytime soon (yet, anyway), I’ll be posting a weekly wrap-up of five of my favorite pop songs, free of charge. I’m cool like that.
So now, without further ado: Here’s a rundown of the top four smashes (and a rehash) of the week!
1.) Will Young, “Jealousy”
If the name Will Young rings a bell, you may have just outed yourself as a major “American Idol” buff: The original winner of the UK’s “Pop Idol” teamed up with OG “Idol” darling Kelly Clarkson back in ’02 for a duet during the show’s first-ever finale. Aside from that brief cameo however, Young’s visibility in America has remained more or less… well, invisible.
Nonetheless, Young’s had lasting success in the UK for a decade (like our beloved Clarkson stateside), which leads up to his sensational fifth studio album Echoes, released earlier this week. “Jealousy” is the album’s gorgeous lead single; a haunting cross between a piano-led torch track and a heartbreak disco anthem (think the male companion piece to Swedish pop princess Robyn‘s “Dancing On My Own”.)
2.) David Guetta featuring Sia, “Titanium”
Sending indie acts into the studio with top dance producers looks troublesome on paper, but the tunes that result are almost always some of the finest work from both parties. Case in point? “Sexy Bitch” purveyor David Guetta snagging quirky indie-pop chanteuse Sia (of “Breathe Me” fame, the ballad you bawled your eyes out to during the series finale of “Six Feet Under”) for a quick go on the dance floor.
The result is one of, if not the most, massive club cuts of the year. Don’t believe me? Just wait until the song’s soaring lift-off of a chorus — an unstoppably ferocious call-to-arms — as Sia lets out an epic battle cry: “You shoot me down, but I won’t fall…I am titanium!” Go ahead: Try and stand your ground after the beat drops. I defy you. + LISTEN TO DAVID GUETTA FEATURING SIA, “TITANIUM.”
3.) The Saturdays, “All Fired Up”
Girl groups aren’t really so much a thing in America these days (RIP Danity Kane, forever and always), but across the pond, they’re still going (somewhat) strong. Perhaps the hottest group du jour? The Saturdays: A bubbly, more commercial version of the UK’s greatest pop export since the Spice Girls, Girls Aloud. (The Saturdays are sort of the catalog to the Aloud’s couture, you dig?)
Co-produced by Gaga hit-maker Space Cowboy and UK powerhouse production troupe Xenomania, the fivesome’s explosive dance-pop number cheekily borrows from our favorite pop starlets: We’ve got your Gaga (“Get your claws up!”), your Brit Brit (“Keep me on your radar”) and even some Ke$ha to boot (“We’re all animal, we’re all animal”).
Armed with fiery hot club production and radio-friendly rhymes, the Sats may just be packing enough heat to get it blazing over in America. + LISTEN TO THE SATURDAYS’ “ALL FIRED UP.”
+ Listen To More Must-Hear Pop Songs Of The Week After The Jump!
4.) Nicole Scherzinger, Don’t Hold Your Breath”
Her name is Nicole: Taking a breather from her judging duties on the upcoming US “X Factor,” the artist formally known as The Pussycat Dolls (well, one-fifth of ‘em, anyway) is back with “Don’t Hold Your Breath,” the second single from her oft-delayed debut due out in November, Killer Love.
Half scathing kiss-off, half asthmatic anthem, the song, which was already a No. 1 smash in the UK earlier this year, features gorgeous Swedish synth-pop production as Scherzy Baby bitterly casts off a former flame. “If you think you’re coming back, don’t hold your breath!” she cries.
With any luck, American audiences should latch onto her follow-up just as quickly as British listeners did across the pond. Just don’t forget to exhale! + LISTEN TO NICOLE SCHERZINGER’S “DON’T HOLD YOUR BREATH.”
5.) Madonna, “Nothing Really Matters”
In case you didn’t know, the Queen of Pop’s birthday was last week. (August 16, to be exact!) To celebrate, I selected one of the Almighty Madge’s greatest (and ever-so-slightly lesser known) cuts: “Nothing Really Matters,” the final single off of Madonna‘s 1998 gamechanger, Ray of Light.
Penned after the birth of her daughter Lourdes in 1996, the mystical, electronica-filled number found Madonna waxing introspective like never before: “Looking at my life, it’s very clear to me/I lived so selfishly,” she croons pensively. “I was the only one.”
While the gorgeous single would only climb to a tepid #93 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1999, the song still managed to score Madonna yet another #1 on the Billboard Dance/Club Play chart thanks to an array of remixes, further solidifying her legend as both a dance floor diva and the ultimate icon of reinvention. Long live the Queen! + WATCH MADONNA’S “NOTHING REALLY MATTERS VIDEO.”