In this week’s roundup, we head over to the other side of the world for a smashing “X Factor” debut, across the pond for a disco gem from one of the U.K.’s greatest girl groups, and turn back time for the return of a true music icon. Do you believe?
1.) Cher, “Woman’s World”
Nearly 50 years after her recording career first started (marinate on that for a moment), the prolific entertainer, eternal LGBT icon, Twitter messiah, and endless fountain of inspiration for the drag queen population known as Cher is back once again with a blazing new empowerment anthem: “Woman’s World.” And like her timeless 1998 techno Auto-Tune opus “Believe,” the iconic songstress has found refuge on the dance floor once again for her 2012 comeback. “Tell the truth/ This is a woman’s world!” she yelps with her signature, oh-so-Cher warble on the almighty Paul Oakenfold-produced club thumper. It’s a genuinely massive, hands-aloft raver that proves that Cher — even at 66 years young — still has the fiery chops and ferocious conviction to lead the pop pack.
Listen to more Must-Hear Pop Songs after the jump.
2.) Girls Aloud, “On The Metro”
After seven years of 21 consecutive Top 10 singles in a row (plus a crippling three-year hiatus, in which life quickly got cold), the girls-turned-women of Girls Aloud have just released Ten, a greatest hits compilation complete with four killer new tracks. “On The Metro” is one of them, and it’s just about as flawless as an electro-pop gem could possibly be: “Left my heart at the disco/ now I’m crying on the metro,” the girls chant along, like a subtle, empathetic nod over to Robyn sobbing in the corner. It’s got everything you could ever need: diva-size vocals from Queen Nadine, a writing credit from the Aloud’s own Nicola Roberts, the rhyming of the word “ridiculous” with “meticulous” — everything! The song’s impossibly amazing and easily one of the greatest pop songs of 2012. But what did you expect? It’s the Almighty Aloud.
3.) Dangerous Muse, “I Can’t Help It”
NYC electro-rockers Dangerous Muse have been around the indie scene for years, delivering razor-sharp, brooding, new wave cuts like “The Rejection” and “Give Me Danger” and remixing for the likes of Lady Gaga and Adam Lambert. Last week, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, the troupe released a free five-track EP on their website called Red (and no, don’t expect any odes to Taylor Swift, sorry). “I can’t help it/ You must have put a spell on me,” frontman Mike Furey cries on the Depeche Mode-esque “I Can’t Help It,” one of the new cuts from the collection. It also doesn’t hurt that Furey’s, like, completely gorgeous. What? I can’t help it!
4.) Nikki Williams, “Glowing”
She’s two for two now: Last week, 23-year-old pop newcomer Nikki Williams killed, f*****, and married us all (metaphorically speaking) with her enormous Sia-penned debut power ballad. This week, she’s back, and this time with far less murderous intent. In fact, she’s positively glowing! The second selection from her upcoming 2013 debut sees the songstress sparkling and swooning on an uptempo dance anthem: “A million hearts/ you’re the only one who lights me up/ like I’m glowing in the dark,” Williams howls, proving that she shines — err, glows — just as brightly as a dance floor diva. That anticipation for her 2013 debut? Growing stronger by the second.
5.) Samantha Jade, “What You’ve Done To Me”
While “The X Factor” continues to slowly whittle down its remaining contestants here in the U.S., “The X Factor Australia” has just crowned its very own winner this month: Samantha Jade. The talented songstress actually had some major success prior to the show, including penning tracks for JoJo and Ashley Tisdale and a debut record with the likes of Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins and Max Martin, which was ultimately scrapped. Now, she’s getting a second chance with “What You’ve Done To Me,” her surging dance-pop (re-)debut: “I’m a rocket to the sun/ I’m a heartbeat on the run/ that’s what you’ve done to me,” Jade declares on the chant-ready, anthemic chorus. She’s already conquered Australian radio, shooting straight to No. 1 last week, and with such a radio-friendly smash on her hands, she might very well be bound for worldwide success.
Photo credit: Getty Images
Bradley Stern lives in New York City. In his spare time, he enjoys organizing his Britney Spears CD collection in reverse chronological order and plotting ways to marry into the Minogue family. But most of all, he spends his time tweeting and musing daily about pop music on his blog, MuuMuse.