At least Afrojack has range… Last week, I wrote up what might become this year’s inspirational dance pop anthem- “The Spark” by Afrojack and Spree Wilson, so when I heard there was a new Paris Hilton record coming out, I kind of tensed up. Her first album yielded the pop crossover “Stars Are Blind” as well as a few club hits, but questions were raised on how much she was actually involved (did she actually sing or was it Kara Diagurdi ghosting the vocals?) and whether it was just her in businesswoman/mogul mode expanding her brand/image to a new market. With the help of great producers, her voice could be processed and used as an instrument to convey the message of a song. That isn’t a read, as there are several pop artists out there who are little more than puppets of their producers who sing tracks written by others and perform at big shows.
While Paris is huge internationally, her recent flirting with EDM hasn’t gone well – a well publicized DJ Fail at a South American festival and the stormy relationship with Afrojack kind of makes you wonder why she would do another album. Simple answer, dance pop music is an easy vehicle to promote products (and her brand). “Good Time” is saccharine dance pop produced with the feel and quality of a Barbie cartoon soundtrack. The song has a simple and fun message, but it feels quite dated – Did she really throw in Party Rock to be cool? Has anyone heard from LMFAO lately? It feels forced, like she is trying too hard. The swear words just sound wrong in this context – again, a Barbie-sounding dance pop record. Then there’s the featured guest rap by Lil Wayne. In no way do I consider myself an expert on rapping but even I can hear that it’s off – in flow, tone, and context. The aspirational lines he alludes to are all well and good but just feel completely fake with his execution.
Watching the video brings the point home about how dated and out of touch this all feels. Paris looks like… a gorgeous Barbie Doll- but dated with the same make-up and hair that she was wearing 5-10 years ago. Compare pictures side-by-side over the timeframe and there is no difference. (Now try that with, say, Nicole Richie and notice a progression). As bad as I am cutting on this record (and video), there IS something endearing and fun about it. As calculated and manipulative as it is, there is that Paris Hilton naive sense that it is all about having fun (cue the baby voice she speaks in). With all the crap going on in the world right now, a simple escape to clubland to party sounds like a good idea. With the dancing robot Kryoman bringing the party and light show (like he is on the current Steve Aoki tour), there is that enjoyable hypnosis of sensory overload to expand whatever substance you choose to imbibe. It’s up to you the fan to decide what you think about it. Every critic will probably relate this to Mariah Carey’s “Glitter” or Britney’s album after her meltdown, but it is worth watching and listening to. If they took out the rap and Afrojack did a 2013-sounding mix, it could be a good club record.
Image Courtesy of Cash Money.
Those of us a certain age will remember an infamous CD compilation called ‘Rave Til Dawn.” For many, it was our first introduction to techno and rave with songs by Praga Khan, Lords of Acid, and 2 Unlimited – fondly considered the gateway to the party scene. Apparently, the ’90s are back and a guy in a LED robot suit is hitting the scene, bringing back the same techno for a new generation of rave kids (maybe the offspring of the original PLUR generation). Having never seen Kryoman perform live, I can only go by the video for “Crowd Fuker” where his amazing sets inspire over the top debaucherous partying where everyone passes out until the next day when they are ready to go at it again. His energetic dancing is a cross between the box-headed guy in LMFAO videos and Steve Aoki’s shenanigans. The track itself could easily fit on Rave Til Dawn (mixed between tracks 5 and 6 maybe), but if retro house is making a comeback, why can’t old school techno music? As a DJ, the next time I get annoyed by some moron yelling at me because all I play is techno, this will be the next track because of its appropriate and uplifting message of “F*ck You.”
Image Courtesy of Con Records.