Monday, November 26, 2012

the French X factor

France is not one of the likeliest places to find big pop records. From time to time, the cafe strewn streets of Europe's art and fashion hub throw up some surprises.

Enter Christophe Willem, to whom I was introduced this year when "Prismophonic", his third studio longplayer, was a hit during my trip to Paris.

It was released a little over a year ago and has had three singles plucked from it - "Cool", "Si Mes Larmes Tombent" and "Starlite", the best of the lot, IMHO, which boasts some fine mixes from Freemasons even though it regurgitates the hook from "Ain't Nobody" for the umpteenth time.

"Prismophonic" also features some of Kylie's co-conspirators. Steve Anderson makes an appearance as does Richard "Biff" Stannard and Richard X. Kylie even lands a writing credit on the song, "Pas Si Loin".

Christophe first gained stardom when he won "Nouvelle Star", a television program in the "Idol" franchise. A few years ago, he went on the French edition of "X Factor" as judge. His profile has remained quite high in his homeland while being relatively unknown in the rest of the world.

He hopes that's about to change as he prepares the launch of "Love Shot Me Down", the English language version of "Prismophonic". The first single is the title track and it has been reswizzled by none other than Richard X. The original French version is called "L'amour Me Gagne".

Christophe Willem - "Love Shot Me Down" (Richard X Remix)

And here is the English language version of "Starlite".

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

the price of the future

Stuart Price, one of the most in demand producers of the last ten years, has reswizzled "Memory Of The Future", the third single to be plucked from Pet Shop Boys current longplayer, "Elysium".

That's three singles in five months. At this rate, they will be on the next album, which is also supposed to be produce by Mr. Price, before the winter frost has melted.

"Memory Of The Future" will hit the "shops" on December 31, presumable to take advantage of the all important window between Christmas and the first two weeks of January when nobody typically releases singles unless they are looking for a higher than normal chart position.

It worked for ver Boys before. Remember "You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk"? They tried the same tactic then and were rewarded with the only top 10 single from their "Nightlife" album and their first one of the 00s.

Let's hope their fortunes turn around with "Memory For The Future". Their last three singles - "Leaving", "Winner" and "Together" - all failed to crack the top 40. Perhaps its the one word titles.

And they are no stranger to Stuart Price. He previously produced arrangements for the duo’s brilliant 2009 BRIT Awards performance and their Pandemonium tour. He also created the “Viva La Vida/Domino Dancing” mashup on their "Christmas" EP. They were bound to work with Stuart again. After all, he's married to their manager, Angela Becker.

While tracklistings have yet to be revealed, “Memory Of The Future” will be available across four configurations - two digital bundles and two CD singles.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

one world

Yes, it has been a hot minute since my last update. Without electricity and heat for nearly two weeks in the wake of Hurricane Sandy caused severe delays for many of us living in the NYC metro area. Thankfully, many of us are back on line with little damage and ready to help those less fortunate.

After a-ha decided to split, it was inevitable that the voice of the Norwegian trio would strike out on his own. He didn't take long to do it. His latest solo longplayer, "Out Of My Hands", was released back in May. Only now has the owner of the world's finest cheekbones decided to lift a second single from the album.

"I'm The One" is the follow up to "Scared Of Heights". Of course, it sounds quite a lot like something a-ha would release. No surprises there.

A video has been lensed for it. It features Morten's passionate performance against the backdrop of the daily life of a transgendered/transsexual man. Throughout, the man gets himself ready to head out to the venue at which Mr. Harket is singing, eventually sitting next to him on stage at the end of the video.

It shows the ordinary side of transgendered life. We all put on our trousers one leg at a time. Or, in this case, our bra straps on arm at a time.

Slowly, the world is realizing we are all the same, it's just the outer shell that mutates with each passing day. Inside, we all share the same hopes, desires, triumphs and challenges.

"I'm The One" will be available from all fine, digital retailers on November 23.