This week’s round-up includes a second helping by a “X Factor” diva, a delicious new cut from the Princess of R&B, a soon-to-be EDM smash, the solo debut from one of Russia’s hottest imports, and some much needed soul… for the soul.
1.) Jessie Ware, “Sweet Talk”
You’ve heard of Jessie Ware by now, yes? If not, you’re about to: The rapidly rising U.K. songstress is about to make huge waves both overseas and stateside with her stunning debut, Devotion, which was released this week to major critical acclaim. Along with incredible lead singles like the U.K. garage-infused “110%” and the gorgeous, triumphant mega-ballad “Wildest Moments,” the album’s packed to the brim with sweet, soulful early ’80s jams like “Sweet Talk,” which may as well be a 21st century upgrade of Sade‘s “The Sweetest Taboo.” “You give me the sweet talk, and it works for me/ And it’s the sweet words that pull me in,” Ware gently croons above the hazy synthesizers. Go ahead and indulge — this is one kind of sweet that’ll do your mind, body, and soul some serious good.
Listen to more Must-Hear Pop Songs after the jump!
2.) Ciara, “Livin’ It Up”
Ciara‘s been gone for too long, now it’s time to bring it back! After unleashing her buzz single “Sweat” weeks ago, the “Like A Boy” chanteuse is currently prepping to unveil “Sorry,” the second single from her One Woman Army campaign. In the meantime, a little treat (or goodie, if you will!) has dropped into our laps from Ciara Heaven, in the shape of “Livin’ It Up,” a track from the new record. Penned by goddess Wynter Gordon (uh, no wonder it’s amazing), the über-infectious, uptempo song sees CiCi throwing her hands up and just loving life: “I be livin’ it up/ I be throwin’ it up,” the R&B princess croons atop the bouncy, summery beat.
3.) Melanie Amaro, “Love Me Now”
Just a few short weeks ago, U.S. “X Factor” winner Melanie Amaro premiered her long-awaited debut single “Don’t Fail Me Now.” This week, she’s right back at it with a follow-up: “Love Me Now.” As if to counter those who criticized her for going the dance-pop route rather than showing off the vocals that led her to win (or, as they’re best known in the industry, “haters”), Amaro’s latest is an almighty ballad filled with rich vocals and impressive runs that easily prove why she snagged the title in the first place. “Come love me now,” Amaro cries out above the slow-striding melodic pop number. So, if you’re following instructions so far: Don’t fail her now — just love her now!
4.) Julia Volkova, “Didn’t Wanna Do It”
It’s been a little more than a decade since the moody teen Russian duo known as t.A.T.u. first took over the world with their brooding dark-pop. Since then, the ladies have thrown in the schoolgirl uniforms to embark on solo careers, and at long last, Julia Volkova has released her English debut: “Didn’t Wanna Do It.” Ditching the moody synthesizers of her past, the songstress has decided to head into the club, pop some bottles, and wander straight into LMFAO territory. Volkova’s debut is an unstoppably infectious bout of Euro sleaze-pop with one hell of an earworm of a chorus: “I didn’t wanna do it… but I did!” Not everything’s changed, though: Volkova still can’t seem to shake that lady-lust curiousity! “One thing lead to another/ We looked at each other, then she started kissing and feeling me up,” Volkova croons. Some things really do never change.
5.) Eric Turner vs. Avicii, “Dancing In My Head”
Eric Turner, the crooner behind the massive chorus of Tinie Tempah‘s “Written In The Stars,” is back with another massive tune for the dance floor — and this time, it’s all him! Well, and Avicii. “That girl, I shouldn’t have let her go/ She’s still dancing my head,” Turner cries out during the chorus atop Avicii’s thumpin’ EDM beats. As Turner’s lamentations grow stronger, the track’s bouncy synthesizers build and build into the most satisfying of almighty beat breakdowns, as only the Swedish EDM-master could provide. Heartbreak at the discotheque — as Robyn can attest — leads to only the finest club fodder.
Bradley Stern is a writer from Connecticut. In his spare time, he enjoys organizing his Britney Spears CD collection in reverse chronological order and writing impassioned letters to Congress urging that Madonnalogy be taught in all public schools. But most of all, he spends his time tweeting musing daily about pop music on his blog, MuuMuse.
Photo credit: PictureGroup, Island Records