Tags: Christina Aguilera, Keeps Gettin’ Better: A Decade Of Hits, Lil Kim, Mya, Pink, Redman, Review, Ricky Martin, Xtina
- Genie In A Bottle
- What A Girl Wants
- I Turn To You
- Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)
- Nobody Wants To Be Lonely (with Ricky Martin)
- Lady Marmalade (with Lil’ Kim, Mýa and P!nk)
- Dirrty (feat. Redman)
- Ain’t No Other Man
- Genie 2.0
- Keeps Gettin’ Better
- You Are What You Are (Beautiful)
Keeps Gettin’ Better: A Decade Of Hits is Christina’s first greatest hits compilation and it contains all of the major songs she has released in her first 10 years in the music business. Not only does the record contain old material but it was a platform to showcase the new direction she was heading for her fourth studio album. The record provides a great look into her past and contains two great collaborations that were never included on her albums. In addition, she has reinvented two of her classic hits and thrown in two completely new songs. Christina’s first decade of music contains a marvelous array of songs that range from delicious dance tracks to heavenly ballads. She’s gone from the bubblegum pop of her debut to the fearless and bold Stripped to the elegant and classy Back To Basics. She constantly evolves with each era and continues to innovate. While many popstars stick to the same formula, Christina does not play it safe. She goes outside of the trends, takes risks, experiments with so many different genres and demonstrates new sides of her voice. She’s one of my favourite singers and this compilation shows exactly why.
Nobody Wants To Be Lonely (with Ricky Martin) is a Latin inspired mid-tempo that starts with some lovely ad-libbing from the duo. The Latin melody is sublime and has a very infectious groove. Ricky gets the first verse and his vocals are smooth and sultry, rising with passion as it nears the hook, “there you are, in a darkened room/and you’re all alone, looking out the window.” Christina’s verse has a lot more passion as she puts more strength into her voice, “can you hear my voice/do you hear my song/it’s a serenade, so your heart can find me, ohh.” In the chorus, they give an emotional performance and their voices melt together beautifully. “Nobody wants to be lonely/nobody wants to cry/my body’s longing to hold you/so bad it hurts inside,” they sing to the melodic arrangement with glorious ad-libs and belts that make it even more wonderful. A tempo change occurs in the bridge, slowing down for the two to let their vocals shine. The final chorus is marvelous because Christina throws out some impressive belts and hits a glorious high note. Lady Marmalade (with Lil’ Kim, Mýa and P!nk) is one of the most amazing and biggest collaborations ever because it brings women from different musical styles together for a spectacular cover. “Where’s all mah soul sistas/lemme hear ya’ll flow sistas,” Lil’ Kim raps to a snapping beat for the introduction as Mýa comes in for the first verse. Although her part is my least favourite, she still gives a great performance but she’s overshadowed by the other stars. P!nk takes over the second verse with her strong vocals while Lil’ Kim spits out a slick rap in the middle of the track. Despite how great everyone sounds, Christina steals the spotlight completely and her performance is the most memorable. The entire song builds up for her moment and when she comes in, she makes a grand entrance. Belting her way into the song, she gives a marvelous performance, “touch of her skin feeling silky smooth/color of cafe au lait alright/made the savage beast inside roar until he cried.” I really like how the choruses gradually progress to include all four singers. It starts off with just one but with each passing chorus, as each starlet gets her turn, they become incorporated into the chorus. The final chorus has all of them belting, ad-libbing and giving their all. It’s sexy, erotic and irresistibly infectious. Missy Elliot gives a shout-out to each singer at the end and they all get their own vocalizing moment before they all scream out “creole lady marmalade.”
The most exciting thing about this compilation are the electronic songs that are included at the end and the first of the four is Genie 2.0. I was dying for a studio version when she performed it at the MTV Video Music Awards. This rework of her classic hit starts with a combination of amazing synths. The intro builds up with a psychedelic riff and a bunch of computerized beeps and glitches in the background. When it explodes, an intoxicating drum and synth beat takes over. In addition to the new arrangement, she offers new vocals which result in the song having a much sexier feel. While the original has an innocent but flirty and provocative sound, the remake is darker, more erotic and mysterious. The instrumentation just oozes sex and her vocals are silky and seductive. I love how the instrumental continuously changes to include a bunch of different electronic beats. The second half of the verses contain a much grittier synth beat. The hook increases the tempo slightly but it still keeps its addicting slow groove. The highlight is the breakdown during the bridge where she sexily whispers “come on, come on, come on and let me out.” She also repeats this during the outro and it’s even more infectious due to the hectic synths that join her. This remake is flawless and I enjoy it much more than the original. Keeps Gettin’ Better is the track that was used to promote the compilation and it’s a playful up-tempo. Similarly, it begins with a bunch of overlapping synth riffs that lead into her vixen-like vocals, “so baby yes I know what I am/and no I don’t give a damn/and you’ll be loving it.” The hard synths give it an edgy feel and the second the chorus hits, the synths, as well as her vocals, get a boost and become electrified with energy. “Some days I’m a super bitch/up to my old tricks/but it won’t last forever/next day I’m your super girl/out to save the world/and it keeps getting better,” she sings ecstatically to a riveting and dance-y electronic melody where she takes on a superheroine persona. She teases in the bridge to a snapping beat with a bit of vocoder which is a very rare thing for Christina. The climatic final chorus is a blast of synths, intense vocals and ad-libs. Finishing the song off is my favourite vocal moment where she sings “hold on” and I just can’t get over how addicting her voice sounds.
Dynamite is my favourite of the new songs and with its drum and synth beat, it’s a slice of futuristic heaven. Featuring an array of screeching, buzzing and static-like synths, the song is bursting with electronic goodness. The use of vocoder gives her voice a really nice effect that goes well with the melody. I love the chorus because of how vibrant and upbeat it sounds, “dynamite, electrify me all night/dynamite, just give it to me, I won’t fight.” She’s sassy, playful and the hook is just a whole lot of fun. She plays around with her voice a lot on this track and it’s amazing to see vocals like this on an electropop song. The bridge foreshadows her next project and its one of my favourite middle eights ever, “I’m feelin’ all around me that a change is ’bout to happen/the energy igniting has become my inspiration/if you take a deeper look you’ll find the information/I’m only just a figment of controlled imagination.” The vocoder on her voice is perfect and everything about it just screams futuristic pop. It’s a really cool moment. Her background vocals in the final chorus are simply stunning and the outro is beyond amazing. Her vocalizing is so catchy and fun, especially when it’s combined with her singing “dancin’ til’ the morning on a velvet sky” because she ad-libs in a higher register. She finishes with some impressive vocal harmonies that are out of this world. This is sexy and fun, all rolled into one crazy banger. The final track is another remake and this time it’s her biggest hit that gets a makeover. You Are What You Are (Beautiful) is a Goldfrapp-esque electronic ballad and it ends up being one of the most unique remakes ever. The original was an emotional anthem that resonated with many and the new version keeps all of that beauty but presents it in a truly amazing way. Gone is the human touch and in its place is a robotic and artificial one that is very dark. The remake is much more depressing and despite being electronic, it’s stripped compared to the other new songs. Her lifeless vocals are led through a buzzing synth line with the occasional kaleidoscope of electronic beats sneaking their way in. The song never strays away from its mellow tempo and the chorus keeps the droning feel of the verses. With just a simple synth beat, the bridge contains her most vocoded vocals yet. As it goes on, the humanistic qualities of her voice start to flourish and in the background, her muffled belting can be heard. It all comes together in a touching way and it’s a lovely conclusion to the record.
Conclusion: Keeps Gettin’ Better: A Decade Of Hits is a phenomenal collection. It goes through her discography chronologically and having the songs side by side really shows how she reinvents herself with every album. The new tracks were the main reason I decided to check out this album and they do not disappoint. They were such a surprise the first time I heard them because I had no idea that she was heading into an electronic direction and it was such a different style for her. They definitely made me excited for her next project and I started to become a much bigger fan. Her take on electropop is a breath of fresh air. Everything sounds so futuristic and eccentric compared to what other popstars were doing at the time. The songs have their own unique charm and I couldn’t wait to see how far she would take that sound in her fourth album. There aren’t many pop artists out there that take such enormous leaps with their music and it makes Christina stand out amongst her peers. She always brings something new to the table and that’s what I love about her. New and old fans will find a lot to love about this compilation.
Recommended Tracks: Dynamite, Genie 2.0, You Are What You Are (Beautiful) and Keeps Gettin’ Better
Note: The reviews for the rest of the songs from this compilation can be found in my reviews for Christina Aguilera – Christina Aguilera, Christina Aguilera – Stripped and Christina Aguilera – Back To Basics
Tags: Amerie, Ameriie, Christina Aguilera, Katy B, Katy Perry, Lady GaGa, Lana Del Rey, Natalia Kills, Nicola Roberts, Review, Robyn, Sophie Ellis-Bextor
The highlight of 2011 has to be all the outstanding records that came from western artists. Month after month, I continued finding great albums from new talent and old. There are so many new artists and albums that have become part of my favourites. I was always eagerly awaiting releases and it was exciting to see how they would all turn out. I’m so happy to see western artists putting more creativity into their work. Some are even bringing music back to when it was just about the voice, vocalists who stand out amongst the crowd of pop stars who rely on auto-tune and vocoder. British artists are finding it easier to crossover to America, bringing music that is infectious but has depth to it. Overall, 2011 was an exciting year and if you’ve neglected English language releases, you’re missing out on some out of this world music.
Katy B shook up the clubs with her fantastic debut album, On A Mission, showing every pop tart in the business how to rock a club. When I first listened to the album, I wasn’t completely taken by it. Witches’ Brew ended up being a single and the video reeled me back in and I was hooked from that moment. When most people think of club music, the first thing that comes to mind is scantily clad women singing about sex. It’s not everyday you see a singer like Katy B, dressed up in jeans and sneakers, entering a genre that’s been dominated by the motto “sex sells.” She’s so appealing because she makes real club music about real experiences that go on in them. The spark that erupts from meeting someone, getting lost in the music, losing touch of everyone around you and ignoring the player that’s trying to win you over, she sings about it all. Katy keeps her emotions balanced. Depression and love are irrelevant in the club. It’s about having a good time, meeting new people and trying to make a connection. Her lyrics are so smart and mature, showing wisdom beyond her years.
Lana Del Rey
I may have only discovered Lana Del Rey at the end of the year but she’s already on her way to become one of my favourite singers. Her look and music has garnered much controversy in just a few short months. Her lips have become a hot topic and the indie scene has had a lot to say about her. Regardless of what people are saying, I love everything I’ve heard, especially Born To Die and Off To The Races. Her droning voice, at first, sounds emotionless but listening through her songs you see that there are a lot of different textures and tones to it. Her first album, Lana Del Rey A.K.A. Lizzy Grant, is an amazing record and listening to it is making the wait for Born To Die unbearable. She’s a remarkable singer and I love that she’s bringing with her a vintage look and sound. She’s been gaining a lot of attention and many people seem to be enjoying her music. It’s great to see an artist of her caliber causing such a big fuss on the internet. Hate her or love her, it’s going to be interesting to see what becomes of her. I’m so excited to see how Born To Die turns out but from what I’ve heard, I already know it’s going to be an amazing record.
Zombie introduced Natalia Kills to me and it definitely kept her name in my mind. Then Mirrors came along and ignited a spark in me. When I found out her album was due out early in the year, I started looking her up and discovered amazing songs like Wonderland which made the wait for the album much harder. When it came out, I was hooked on my first listen and it continued to draw me in as I continued to listen to it. Looking back on her career, she’s changed so much. She’s gone from being called Verbalicious, Verbz and Natalia Cappuccini but the music was similar as she explored rap and pop. As Natalia Kills, her music has received a major overhaul but it’s reminiscent of what she’s done before. The raps are still there and some songs on the album were written before she became Kills. There’s been a lot of discussion on her look and attitude, people claiming that her whole persona is fake. I don’t see why people obsess over these things. I love everything about her image and from the interviews I’ve seen she’s very likable. The most important thing is the music and she’s put out an amazing debut album.
Nobody expects a surreal album to be made by a singer that’s part of a girl group, much less the one that’s thrown in the background. Nicola Roberts is the first soloist that I’ve ever witnessed to release an audacious and bizarre debut. Most would hire the most famous producers and writers, ensuring a hit that would bring them to the spotlight. Nicola took a different route, spending time in the studio writing and making sure everything was done to her satisfaction. When she announced that she was going to release a solo album, I didn’t think much of it. Honestly, I didn’t even care. Then Beat Of My Drum was released and it was somewhat interesting. It was slightly annoying but I later realized that its bratty nature is what makes it so good. It stood out to the other releases thanks to the crazy production and her vocal shrills. Her album is a collection of quirky tracks that show off her delicious voice. Her falsetto is amazing and I can’t get enough of it. Nicola always escaped my attention when she was in Girls Aloud but now she’s turned that all around, becoming the most interesting member from the group.
Sophie Ellis-Bextor isn’t a name new to me but her music certainly is. Make A Scene has a great European electropop flair that got my attention when I heard Starlight. The record is made of pure feel-good material, doing away with negativity and just bringing you into a vibrant world. There’s no time for heartbreak here. She delves into sugary love anthems and even stands up against the other woman in Homewrecker. She throws you into a synth paradise as each song boasts magical electronic melodies. Going through her discography proved her to be a formidable electropop star. Her first two albums, Read My Lips and Shoot From The Hip, aren’t great but they’re worth checking out for a few songs. Her third album, Trip The Light Fantastic, is so much better and contains very addicting songs like New Flame, China Heart, Catch You and New York City Lights. Her high voice is a pleasure to hear, blending with the electric pop melodies. It’s a delicate, soothing instrument but when she has to be tough there’s no hesitation. She’s a great artist to get into if you’re a fan of big, bright electronic songs.
Natalia Kills – Perfectionist
Natalia’s cover is eye catching and is spot-on in reflecting the concept of her album. The intro, Perfection, is a medical diagnosis and the cover portrays that visually. The chair resembles something that you would find in an old medical facility. There’s something unsettling about it and that’s why it’s so good because it’s the perfect display for her music. The black and white photo is accented by the red border and font. It looks very sharp and clean. I love how the title is placed in the x on her face. This cover stands out so much compared to others and I’ve never seen anything remotely similar to it.
Runner-up: Nicola Roberts – Cinderella’s Eyes
Natalia Kills – Wonderland
I may have heard Wonderland at the start of the year but it has resonated with me until the end. This is the darkest pop gets and its menacing ambience is intoxicating. Her vocals are so twisted and the way it builds up to the chorus is amazing. The inclusion of the gothic choir halfway into the verses makes them ominous and the electric guitar in the pre-chorus makes it edgier. It all blows up in the chorus and the infectious hook comes in, taking over your mind. Her ad-libs haunt the bridge as the heavy drums pounds away at it. This is such an evil pop song but the message behind it is incredible. It’s a realistic look at love, that it’s not always a fairy tale. This is a far cry from the love songs we’re used to hearing and her use of disturbing imagery is superb. Her dark approach on love is refreshing and it’s good to see a pop singer be brutally honest. She takes love apart and puts it into reality but this doesn’t mean that she doesn’t want love. “I believe in you and me” is the line of utmost importance because it’s hopeful and that’s the key to a relationship. It’s not holding impossible expectations but believing in each other. I was hooked on this the moment I heard it but every time I listen to it my love for it is renewed and solidified further. I don’t understand why this didn’t succeed because it’s the best pop song of 2011.
Runner-up: Natalia Kills – Free (feat. will.i.am)
Natalia Kills – Wonderland
Being obsessed with the song, I could not wait for the video to be released. Two versions of the video were made, one censored and a director’s cut. The first is worth watching just because of the way they incorporated the censoring. It’s done well and in a way that makes it very mysterious. The video begins with Natalia wearing a red hood and being dragged by a group of soldiers. When the music starts, words are flashed across the screen, “nobody warned you” and “fuck love,” and they’re aligned with her entire message. Fairy tales are all lies and we’re constantly fed these happily ever after stories. Scenes of gore and war are also flashed and they add to the overall dark atmosphere. The most crucial part is the dining room scene and the majority of the video takes place in it. This is where elements of Alice in Wonderland come into play as all the women sitting at the table are wearing a rabbit mask. This isn’t like the tea party in the story though. While the Mad Hatter’s table was filled with tea and sweets, this one demolishes that and turns it into a gruesome scene. The cupcakes are decorated with drugs, the women are smoking and the cups are filled with alcohol. It’s the complete opposite of the fairy tale and it’s such a horrific scene. Natalia is the only one with a heart on her plate and throughout the second verse she’s hacking it up. The ideas of control and defying authority come up as she revolts against the fantasy. This leads into one of the most brutal scenes in a music video ever. The soldiers come down ripping the masks off of their faces, a sign that the fairy tale has been deconstructed, and horrifically beating them. She’s eventually dragged away screaming. She’s laid down with the camera rotating as the executioner runs his hand down her neck and this scene is just chilling. It’s beautiful but absolutely disgusting. The video ends with her beheading and her decapitated head is shown lying on the grass. There’s no other artist that I known who’s put scenes like this in a music video and I have to applaud her for it. Her horror-like videos are unique, matching her image and music. Natalia keeps her music videos to the length of the track but they’re filled with symbolism and meaning.
Runner-up: Lana Del Rey – Born To Die
Natalia Kills – Perfectionist
I didn’t expect to love Perfectionist the way I do when I was waiting for it to be released. When I heard it, I couldn’t stop playing it and every day I became more enthralled by it. It’s my most played album in 2011 and one of my favourite albums ever. It’s so cohesive and sticks to its thematic concept for every single song which is rare nowadays for a pop album. Every song relates back to the overall message. Going through it, you can see how the songs work around the ideas that are presented in the introduction. The album deals with the frustrations, disappointments and aspirations that one experiences while trying to strive for perfection, ultimately discovering that it doesn’t exist. This is where her realistic approach to pop music comes into play. She’s labeled her music as “pop with an opinion” and you can clearly see that as you listen to the songs. The music is so brutal with imagery associated with death, blood and gore. However, there are songs that show her at her most vulnerable state. Broke is my favourite ballad of the year and it’s so dramatic, wrapped up in incredible metaphors and analogies relating to money. Heaven tears your heart apart with its warmth. It’s a song that effects your emotions in so many ways, moving between happiness and depression. The album was released in Germany at the beginning of the year and when it came out in North America, it was packaged with a new song called Kill My Boyfriend. It’s a bubbly love song that’s mutilated by her sadistic mind. No one else is signing songs like this but it’s something that comes across everyone’s mind. People are afraid to admit it but Natalia isn’t afraid to say what’s on her mind and that’s what makes Perfectionist so amazing.
Making her first appearance in 2009 as Natalia Kills, it took her two years to craft her debut album but everything fell into place for her in 2011. Even though her album is unknown to some and didn’t blow up as fans hoped, she’s not letting it faze her as she’s already working on her second album. Last year was quite a busy year for this new pop star. She toured with Robyn, The Black Eyed Peas, Ke$ha and Katy Perry which brought her music to large audiences of people. Her collaboration with will.i.am, Free (feat. will.i.am), sparked up an interest in her and it quickly became her most watched video on the internet. Her videos have all been on-point and perfect representations for her songs, following her conceptual vision. Her dark approach to music is refreshing and her total embrace of it is remarkable. The album, from start to finish, is a debauchery on pop music and all the songs stand on there own. Filler tracks are absent and each song provides a different look into the obsession of perfection. I haven’t been crazy about a singer like this in a long time and I just love everything she’s done and continues to do. She’s become one of my favourite singers ever and she’s already begun 2012 with a bang, releasing her music video for Kill My Boyfriend. I cannot wait to see what’s next for this axe-wielding artist.
Runner-up: Nicola Roberts
2011 was a spectacular year, right from the beginning all the way to the end. So many singers blew me away and turned me into a huge fan. I’ve added so many new singers to my all-time favourites and it’s great to see artists who challenge the mainstream. There were many albums, too many, and I wasn’t able to mention them all here, hence my “Best Of 2011: Honourable Mentions” post. Having release after release of phenomenal albums has made 2011 one of the best years of music in my life. I’m not saying that past years have been bad but I have discovered and fallen for so many great singers. This year is shaping up to be as exciting already. Rumours of Christina Aguilera’s new single have been flooding the web and I’m looking forward to seeing her on The Voice, Ameriie is set to release her next album in the spring, Lady Gaga might release a new album, Natalia Kills is already working on new material and Lana Del Rey is set to take over in a few weeks. I’m excited to see what happens this year and I hope it’s full of surprises.
Tags: 2NE1, Adele, Ayumi Hamasaki, BENI, Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Brown Eyed Girls, Christina Aguilera, f(x), Florence and the Machine, Genki Rockets, Girls' Generation, IU, Kana Nishino, Katy B, Katy Perry, Koda Kumi, Lady GaGa, Lana Del Rey, LIL, MAA, Maki Goto, Marina and the Diamonds, Maroon 5, MiChi, MISIA, Miss A, Namie Amuro, Natalia Kills, Nicola Roberts, Rihanna, Robyn, Secret, Wonder Girls
I wanted to try something different with my “Best Of 2011” posts so I decided to make some polls to get you all involved! This is completely separate from my own “Best Of 2011” posts which will be up next week. The polls last for one week and they’re multiple choice so you can vote for three options. I tried to make them as inclusive as possible and tried to add albums other than the ones I’ve enjoyed. I hope you all participate!
Tags: Avril Lavigne, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Ivy, Kelly Clarkson, Lady GaGa, Madonna, moumoon, Rachel Stevens, Robyn
Even though it’s only the beginning of the year there are already some things I’m highly anticipating. There are going to be some big artists releasing albums this year and a few of my favourites are making their comeback.
Kelly Clarkson: Her new album is set to be released sometime this year and I can’t wait. I didn’t love All I Ever Wanted when it first came out and I was disappointed that she dropped the sound from her previous album, My December. The album grew on me after a while and there are a few songs on it that I consider her best songs like Already Gone, Tip Of My Tongue and The Day We Fell Apart. I’m curious to see how her new album will sound. I hope there are few tracks that have a My December feel.
Lady Gaga: She announced on twitter that her new album, Born This Way, will be out in May and this had many people freaking out. I’m not crazy about her but I enjoy her music and I’m excited to see how the album will turn out. I haven’t disliked anything she’s put out so I’m not worried that I won’t like it because I’m sure it will be amazing like all her other releases.
moumoon: Their second album, 15 Doors, is going to be out in March. I discovered them last year and I loved their two mini-albums so I can’t wait to hear the album. I’m so happy that the iTunes exclusive track, Destiny, is included on the album because I love it.
Ivy: The craziest female singer in Korea is making her comeback this year. Her 2009 album, I Be…, was one of the best releases of the year. Her voice is unique and sometimes she sings in this bizarre tone that is literally crazy. In my opinion, she’s the best singer in Korea because of her insane vocals and she’s one of the few artists in Korea that has great ballads.
Rachel Stevens: I’m not sure if she’ll release anything this year but she did say that she’s planning to go back to the studio to record some new music. This is probably the most exciting news of 2011 for me so far. Come And Get It was released in 2005 and it didn’t do well at all and she eventually stopped releasing music. Now that she’s back I’m super excited to see what kind of music she’s planning to release. I hope she works with Richard X again because they worked magic together on her last album.
Robyn: Body Talk was released only a few months ago and Robyn has already stated that’s she planning to go back in the studio to record new music. Her album was a fantastic collection of electropop songs and hearing that we might get some more songs from her this year has me very excited.
Christina Aguilera: I’m surprised that she went back into the studio so quickly this year. Many fans are speculating that because of the bad year she had in 2010 she’s going to release music faster this time instead of taking a four-year break. She should definitely release her next album sooner rather than later because waiting four years isn’t going to help her rise back on the charts. I’m curious to see if she will release anything this year but I’m not going to get my hopes up.
This is pretty much what I’m anticipating for 2011 right now. I’ll probably end up checking out Britney Spears’, Madonna’s, and Avril Lavigne’s new album when they’re released but I’m not really anticipating these albums. So, what are you all excited about for 2011? Let me know what releases you’re anticipating!
Tags: Amerie, Ameriie, Christina Aguilera, Eternity 8, Eternity ∞, Florence and the Machine, iamamiwhoami, Jade Valerie, Janelle Monáe, Jonna Lee, Little Boots, Marina and the Diamonds, Rachel Stevens, Review, Robyn, Sweetbox
This is the last “Best Of 2010” post! I’ve always had a hard time finding English artists to add to my library. I do enjoy some of the mainstream music that comes out in North America but it loses its replay value and gets old fast. I’ve always been on a search for more English artists to add to my library and in 2010 I added the most English artists I’ve ever added to my library in previous years.
Amerie, now going by the name Ameriie, is another artist that grew on me. In 2009, when her fourth album, In Love & War, came out I thought it was pretty good. I eventually removed her from my library but in 2010 I heard her new song, Outside Your Body and thought it was weird so I went back and checked out In Love & War again. Just like Rachel’s album, it was much better than I remembered and I went through her whole discography and now she’s my favourite R&B artist. She has a great voice, it’s very powerful and she has tons of hot tracks.
I was in need of some new music in the summer and I decided to revisit Rachel Stevens’ album Come And Get It. It was better than I remembered and I became addicted to it. She’s one of my favourite artists now and Come And Get It is one of the best albums I’ve heard in a while and it’s six years old. Crazy Boys, Some Girls, I Will Be There and Secret Garden are still part of my musical obsessions and the more I listen to them the more I love them. Rachel gave birth to her first child, Amelie, in November so congratulations to her!
I’ve been hearing about Robyn for ages and I listened to her self-titled album, Robyn, but I can’t remember what I thought of it. After hearing about her Body Talk series I finally decided to listen to the album and that was all it took. I fell head over heels for her and immediately went after the rest of her discography. I love her albums and Body Talk is one of the best releases of 2010, hands down. She’s an eccentric artist, her electropop music is contagious and she’s just so darn lovable. I’m definitely going to keep my eye on her from now on.
Christina Aguilera – Bionic
It was so hard to decide for this category that I had to have a tie. Bionic’s cover art is flawless. It looks crisp and is a great representation of the music. The whole concept is clever and the half human, half robot face with Christina’s signature red lipstick is stunning. She always brings it with her covers and Bionic’s photo shoot is her best yet. While the cover may look simple it’s actually highly detailed especially the robot half of the picture because there are symbols and names representing important things for Christina.
Robyn – Body Talk
Robyn also had some incredible cover art for her Body Talk series, the best one being the cover for the full album Body Talk. The font, the colours and the whole look is eye catching. I could be wrong but I’m pretty sure that the squares around her are hanging from string which is extremely creative. I love how it looks like a distorted image of her. It’s just really effective, cool and everything you could hope for in cover.
Runner-up: Janelle Monáe – The ArchAndroid
Jade Valerie – Don’t Tell Me I’m Wrong (feat. Brian)
This single literally came out of nowhere. I wasn’t expecting Jade to release anything this year so it was quite a nice surprise. I’m also excited to see that this is under her solo name, Jade Valerie. I thought that she wouldn’t release under her name for a while because her next album was said to be under her other project name, Eternity ∞. Regardless of what name her next album is going to be under I love the sound of this track. It’s super catchy and Brian’s voice goes nicely with Jade’s. I can’t wait to see what she’s planning to do in 2011 and if this track is any indication it’s going to be awesome.
Runner-up: Christina Aguilera – You Lost Me
Robyn – Dancing On My Own
This was another tough one because I couldn’t remember any of the videos from 2010. I just chose the most recent one that I love and that happens to be Robyn’s video for Dancing On My Own. It’s not as creative as some of the other videos that have come out in 2010 but I love that it’s simple. Robyn looks great and the outfits are nice, especially the white and black one that she wears for the scenes where she’s standing in front of the microphone stand. Robyn breaks out in some nice dance moves a few times during the song. It a great video that suits the song well and it’s nice to look at.
Runner-up: Robyn – Hang With Me
Robyn – Body Talk Pt. 1, Pt. 2, and Pt. 3
I wasn’t sure what I would put for this category because not many English singers I listen to release mini-albums but then I realized that Robyn not only released Body Talk as a full album but also released it as three shorter albums. By releasing it like this Robyn was able to stay in peoples’ minds longer because if she released a full album she would promote it for a few months and then eventually disappear. This way she was able to stay inspired and this format also prevented the series from having any filler. Each song on the album is a high quality and irresistible electropop tune. This set of releases was all it took for me to become obsessed with her. This is one of the best releases of 2010 and one of the most interesting concepts. This is pop music at its best.
Christina Aguilera – Bionic
This was an easy pick for me. Out of all the artists of 2010 Christina deserves this title. Bionic was my most anticipated English release and it surpassed all of my expectations. The album is everything I wanted from Christina. I wish I would have had the time to review it before this post so I could talk about it more but I’ll just say that Christina and electropop equals all kinds of amazing. What I don’t understand is how the album garnered all the hate that it did. I thought that it would be well received but it flopped badly. It’s a shame because the album has a ton of amazing songs.
Runner-up: Robyn – Body Talk
Even though 2010 was a terrible year for Christina, she’s still the best artist. Bionic was the best pop album of the year, she starred in her first movie, Burlesque, and had eight songs featured on the soundtrack for the movie. It was a great year to be a Christina fan but things didn’t go so well for her. Bionic flopped, she was labeled a copycat and she had a divorce. She became a target for many people and she was bombarded with a large amount of hate. However, despite everything that happened to her she didn’t falter once. She didn’t let any of the negative opinions about her stop her and she pushed through it all. She even went back in the studio to start recording new material. Say what you want about her but she really impressed me and I have a newfound respect for her.
The English albums in 2010 were so phenomenal and I was surprised by how original they were. Some other artists that I enjoyed include Florence + the Machine, Marina & the Diamonds, Little Boots, Janelle Monáe and iamamiwhoami. Overall, the releases in 2010 were much more interesting than the ones from 2009.