This week’s roundup features a brand new slice of J-Pop from the Queen of K-Pop, one dark-pop starlet’s promising debut, and a nasty reworking of a Miss Jackson classic.
1.) BoA, “Shout It Out”
K-Pop Kween BoA is preparing for yet another international takeover. To kick off 2014, the über-talented singer, dancer and all-around superstar just dropped her 36th (WUT) Japanese single, “Shout It Out.”
The punchy electro-pop party jam is basically the stuff of J-Pop dreams, including hilarious English phrases (“PARTY, IT’S SO COOL!”) and surging, sorta jazzy dance-pop production full of stabbing synthesizers and bright piano chords.
The accompanying video’s a solid display of BoA’s tight choreography skills — as well as her apparent newfound affinity for Wise Snacks beanies. Like the legendary Miss Britney Spears, BoA should see plenty of success screaming, shouting, and let it all out-ing.
+ Watch BOA’S “SHOUT IT OUT” VIDEO.
2.) Zendaya, “Replay (Monsieur Adi Remix)”
The thing about Zendaya’s “Replay” is that no matter how much you put the song on replay, it continuously begs to be put on repeat eh-eh-everywhere you go. And, luckily enough for us, she keeps giving us even more reasons to get that song on a solid, one-song playlist loop.
Enter Monsieur Adi, remixer extraordinaire, who has just delivered a lush, super-dramatic re-imagining of the icy electro-R&B original. Armed with a warm, surging synth pulse and heaven-sent strings, Adi’s take lifts the teen queen up to dazzling new heights. Keep it right there, indeed.
+ Listen to ZENDAYA’S REPLAY (MONSIEUR ADI REMIX)”
3.) Janet Jackson, “When I Think Of You (LNTG Rework)”
The grand return of the iconic Janet Jackson to the pop scene has never been more needed than now.
But, while we patiently wait for Janet — Miss Jackson, if you’re nasty — to take to the throne again, there are still plenty of reminders of her genius back catalog popping up all around. Take, for instance, this Late Nite Tuff Guy rework of the 1986 Control classic, “When I Think Of You.”
The subtle reworking manages to completely retain the essence of the original dance-pop jam, while pumping it up with some additional disco-friendly bells and whistles that keep the song sounding just as fresh today.
4.) Rebecca Ferguson, “All That I’ve Got”
The “X Factor” U.K. alum-turned-bonafide pop superstar Rebecca Ferguson has been on a winning streak ever since she first stepped out with her 2011 debut, Heaven. Two years later, she returned with a sturdy, reliably soulful follow-up called Freedom, which includes her Top 20 smash, “I Hope.” Needless to say, we were positively OBSESSED.
Now, Rebecca’s just announced the second single from the album due out in March, “All That I’ve Got.” It’s another powerful punch of defiant break-up neo-soul — in the same vein as Adele and Amy Winehouse — as she triumphantly stands tall. “Took what you wanted, but you’re leaving with nothing!” she declares. Preach, girl.
+ Listen to REBECCA FERGUSON’S “ALL THAT I’VE GOT.”
5.) Salt Ashes, “Somebody”
Salt Ashes — not only a unique name, but a name to remember.
Last week, the rising 22-year-old UK dark synth-pop princess-in-the-making dropped her official debut single, “Somebody.” The song is essentially what it would sound like if Kylie Minogue got lost in a pitch-black disco. “Somebody take me away,” Miss Ashes purrs, giving us her best breathy Donna Summer on “Love To Love You Baby” impression.
It’s one big throb fest, full of moody electronica and flashing lights — and a tantalizing taste of what’s to come.
+ Listen to SALT ASHES, “SOMEBODY.”
Bradley Stern is a writer from New York. 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 and musing daily about pop music on his blog, MuuMuse.
Photo credit: Radikal Records, Hollywood Records, SM Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment U.K. Limited, A&M Records