This weeks’ roundup features a cut from one of rap’s most promising new stars, a deliciously danceable new single from the Goddess of Pop, Eurovision’s reigning champion, a throwback track from one of the decade’s most influential pop records and the return of Ellie Goulding in the form of a weird, warbling cover.
1.) Kylie Minogue, “Timebomb”
Kylie Minogue: Stiletto Enthusiast, Glitter Aficionado and one of pop’s true reigning Queens. The dancing diva has spent the bulk of 2012 merrily celebrating 25 years in the music industry (a campaign affectionately titled “K25″) by releasing gifts to her fans monthly, including acoustic renditions of lesser-known album tracks and live concert footage. But just in time for her 44th birthday earlier this week, the iconic songstress has just unveiled her greatest surprise yet: a brand-new single!
“Timebomb” is a pure, sparkling Kylie anthem, full of gritty electronica pulsations and Kylie’s signature breathy coos, recalling the searing electro-energy from her 2007 studio effort, X. “Wait…please don’t make me wait,” Minogue breathlessly urges. Coupled with an utterly killer video, in which Minogue zips up into a moto jacket, struts down the street and bends-and-snaps against a wall in a barely there black number, Minogue has yet again asserted her position on the throne of pop royalty. She may not be new to the game, yet she’s still running laps ’round every other pop chick in the game. Whoop! Happy birthday, Kylie!
Listen to more Must Hear Pop Songs Of The Week after the jump!
2.) Azealia Banks, “Van Vogue”
Harlem-bred rapper Azealia Banks, 20, has covered more than a little ground since releasing her breakout single, “212,” late last year. Since then, she’s signed to Interscope, cowritten for the Scissor Sisters, feuded with T.I. and Lil Kim and shot videos with esteemed fashion photographer Rankin. Not too shabby.
This week, the skyrocketing “It” girl lives up to the hype with the 1991 EP, a stellar collection of cracking rap tunes backed by the throbbing beats of early ’90s house samples. “Van Vogue,” one of the two new cuts off of the record, sees Banks sauntering along with bright key work and finger snaps. With fierce, cocky energy and mile-a-minute flow, there’s no doubt Banks is serving next rap sensation realness on this ballroom-ready groove. “When I twist that hip and lick that lip/Damn, I bet your man wish you looked like this,” she brags. Utterly ferocious.
3.) Loreen, “Euphoria”
Ever since Swedish Queen Loreen first sang “Euphoria” during Sweden’s “Melodifestivalen” months ago, I knew she’d wind up taking the crown at this year’s “Eurovision.” Not familiar with the massive international event? In short, it’s basically the original singing reality TV competition that began more than 50 years ago — sort of like “American Idol,” but with more complicated voting rules and deliciously tense international relations. Check out Buzzworthy’s in-depth explanation.
Anyway, there’s “Euphoria”: With its soaring (dare I say…EUPHORIC!) chorus and rallying cry (“Tonight we’re going up-up-up-UPPP!“), there was simply no doubt that this monster of an earworm was destined to do damage at the competition. Sure enough, Queen Loreen absolutely wiped the floor with her competition earlier this week, thanks to her powerhouse vocals and a stunning, dramatic performance. (The wind machine probably didn’t hurt, either.)
4.) Ellie Goulding, “High For This”
It’s been a minute since we last heard from one of Britain’s brightest new exports, indie-electropop darling Ellie Goulding. While she’s been busy hammering away at a follow-up to her ridiculously brilliant, twinkling debut Lights from back in 2010, the fluttery-voiced crooner has just made a brief reappearance with “High For This,” a cover of Canadian spook-hop master The Weeknd.
With her weird, warbling vocals, mixed with the very capable production stylings of Mr. Xaphoon Jones, Goulding’s given fans something they’ll undoubtedly be gagging over. And if The Weeknd is any indication of the kind of stuff she’s been listening to while recording (she’s also been in the studio with her side-buzzed BF Skrillex), chances are she’s about to release her most ambitious set yet.
5.) Britney Spears, “Perfect Lover”
Back in 2007, Britney released her objectively free-of-flaw fifth studio album, Blackout. And despite being one of the most innovative pop records of the decade, B’s masterpiece never got its due credit at the time due to the living legend’s, erm…unavailability at the time. But now, according to a news update from Billboard, it’s official: Blackout finally went platinum, y’all!
To celebrate, I chose just one of the many gems off the album: “Perfect Lover,” a chilly urban-pop production that nods to Miss B’s inner Miss Janet. “I love it, everything you do is so seductive,” The Holy Spearit purrs. Complete with an unstoppably ferocious beat and a bridge that catapults us into the dark depths of space and never returns, “Perfect Lover” is but one of the many pieces of evidence of Blackout‘s brilliance. Viva la Britney!
Bradley Stern is a writer from Connecticut. In his spare time, he enjoys organizing his Britney Spears CD collection in reverse chronological order and plotting the various ways in which he will bring down Katy Perry to become Rihanna’s best friend. But most of all, he spends his time tweeting musing daily about pop music on his blog, MuuMuse.
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