While I'm sure that blogging Swedish fans of the Pet Shop Boys have know this for ages I must pass this along for the benefit for others that the girl group West End Girls are about to launch their second album Shoplifters. The first single finds the Girls, actually one of the original duo was replaced but who is paying close enough attention to notice, taking on "What Have I Done To Deserve This?" with Magnus Carlson of Weeping Willows (the 99'th most successful band in Sweden as if you didn't know) doing the Dusty Springfield bits. Perhaps because it sounds so awfully familiar the song has inspired a post with no words at PSB blog Very and one sentence of nonsense at Popjustice. Can't find too much to say about it myself:
: Stop by their myspace for more on West End Girls and the new album.
As someone who usually ignores flashmobs I have to admit that this is a pretty amazing tribute to one of the greatest music videos of all time:
: The performance took place earlier this month in San Francisco's Union Square and the location and the way some of the video was shot reminds me of the film Francis Ford Coppola made between the first two Godfather installments: The Conversation. Trust me and Netflix it.
Some blogs have frequent updates and proper reviews. That couldn't happen here...
Miss Kittin BatBox
Is disappointment of the year too big of a statement? Miss Kittin is one of those artists who could clearly make brilliant pop music anytime she wants but chooses not to out some need for underground integrity. Depending on your perspective this makes her a saint for not selling out or a fool for hiding her talent. The overall sound recalls her First Album with The Hacker but unlike that genre staple there is almost nothing here that draws you in as even promising tracks like "Sunset Strip" never truly develop. In political terms she is simply playing to her base and doing very little to interest anyone else. Even those who gave the album a couple of months to sink in. Best Bets: "Kittin Is High", "BatBox"
Client Untitled Remix
While remixes from the four singles taken from last year's lacking Heartland are found here the real selling point of Client's Untitled Remix album are the band's collaborations with other artists. Both "Suicide Sister", their cheery duet with Douglas McCarthy, and their venture into house-gone-electropop "Sorry" with Mexican band Réplica are miles better than 95% of Heartland which suggests to me that Client need to rethink their track selection process when releasing proper albums. The remixes are mostly from parties with less than four discogs credits to their names and unfortunately it shows with only three or so interesting remixes in the set. Best Bets: "Suicide Sister", "Sorry", "Zerox (N Joi Radio Edit)"
Chemical Brothers B-Sides Volume 1
When this turned up on itunes I knew that Astralwerks had given up on We Are The Night which is shame because it is much better than it has generally been written off to be. While a b-side collection is not entirely unwelcome the Chemicals can be a bit hit and miss as they often use alternate versions of album tracks to pad out singles. If you've been missing the straight dance tracks from the recent albums there is plenty to keep your interest with the subtle acid of "Nude Night", the rumble of "Base 6" and the thundering hip hop jam "Prescription Beats" almost making up for unlistenable experiments like "Scale". Even some of the alternate takes fascinate as we learn "Snooprah", which appears as the brief ambient interlude "Harpoons" on We Are..., also has a secret life as a seven minute dance track complete with disco sirens. The biggest problem here is the Volume 1 thing which keeps the Brothers best b-side, the amazing "Hot Acid Rhythm 1", off the compilation. Check that one out: found on the "It Began In Afrika" single it's well worth the 99 cents. Best Bets: "Hot Acid Rhythm 1"(well obviously not on the album but if you're only getting one get this track), "Prescription Beats", "Base 6"
Those adventurous enough to scour the deepest darkest depths of the new releases on itunes already know of the unlikely return of The Orb. Despite being completely off my radar since buying their greatest hits album back in 1998 it appears that Alex Paterson and friends have kept up an ambitious schedule, given the project's original goal was to get people to stop dancing at the end of raves, releasing four studio albums in the 2000s including one of the most annoyingly named albums of all time: Okie Dokie It's the Orb on Kompakt. Melding the band's original vibe with what could be called a proper pop song "Vuja De" is something of revelation. Let's give it a listen:
: The single is taken from album The Dream which is due out shortly in the US and appears to have been put out sometime last year in the UK. Considered a return to their original sound by a wikipedia entry the album features such artists as Youth, Steve Hillage and a guy from Dreadzone. Listen to a few tracks for yourself at their myspace to hear why it received a positive review from nme.