When you’ve got a signature, it’s best to stick with it. I can pretty much write the same review I did of Gala’s last single “Lose Yourself in Me” for her new single “Taste of Me.” As in “the song has all of the elements of classic Gala – that unique, tough-but-sweet voice, intelligent lyrics written above the level of most dance pop, and a catchy, repeated chorus hook.” That’s not to say the two songs are overly similar – they aren’t – but they are both high-quality dance pop. What strikes me this time around is how fans of the recent work of fellow ’90s europop singer Robyn should be obsessed with Gala as well. While they wait for new material for from the blonde Swede, they can catch a similar vibe of “Call Your Girlfriend” both in lyrical (figuratively marking their romantic territory) and visual (single take video with intense choreography) content. One major improvement from the last single is the highly impressive roster of remixers who ALL turn in strong takes – Starkillers, Hoxton Whores, Bimbo Jones, and Almighty. Each crew hit a different sound, making it perfect for just about any club DJ to work into their primetime sets. Yes, I am obviously a Gala fan and after you listen to “Taste of Me,” I bet you will be also.
As much as I loved the downtempo Axwell remix of Discopolis “Falling,” I had a feeling that Axwell wasn’t going to forsake the stadium/progressive house sound that made Swedish House Mafia so big. With “Center of the Universe,” Axwell is back to the uplifting, pretty, and anthemic with a surprisingly old school-feeling Hi-NRG production – think Almighty goes to the stadium – and you’ve got an idea. Swedish singer Magnus Carlson, frontman of indie rock band Weeping Willows, brings a fresh, emotional take to the lyrics and when he sings the “center of the universe is you and I,” the warmth of his tone will really make you feel that you are part of the song. With the deluge of pretty progressive tracks being released right now, “Center of the Universe” stands out as a shining star. Helping the track will be a “groundbreaking interactive video” sponsored by Carlsberg beer for their “Where’s the Party?” campaign. Basically, you have to launch www.wtp13.com in a Google Chrome browser and after you prove that you are of legal age, you click on the screen to keep the beat going. If you don’t fancy the mashup of midway game wack-a-mole and a pervasive beer commercial, the full video will premiere on Tuesday the 21st. Honestly, I am hoping someone puts the cool galactic t-shirt worn by the lead dancer on sale. That would be a product placement that I would gladly jump on.
As we in the United States are enjoying the delicious pop goodness of Little Mix’s debut single “Wings,” those in the UK are delving into their fourth confection – the ’90s-inspired “How Ya Doin.” Wow, is it just me, or has just about every other song I’ve written up in the past few weeks had a ’90s inspiration? The Little Mix crew camp it up with a ’90s hip-pop dance beat for a playful telling off of an unwanted suitor via modern phone etiquette. Reaching out to “Beep Me 911” rap diva Missy Elliott was a masterful decision proving that the foursome are either majorly wise beyond their years or have the best management team ever. Further proof of that is the video, sponsored by Live Colour XXL hair dye, which is highlighted with massive product placement as the girls’ colorful locks are highlighted by the just as animated backgrounds . Almighty’s hiNRG mix camps it up further by increasing the tempo for commercial dance floors without chipmunking the vocal. While the Almighty crew left off Missy’s rap, we can’t help but wonder why Missy hasn’t dropped the definitive EDM album? After all, she’s the one who first explored jungle with Timbaland and worked with producers like Basement Jaxx before anyone else in the hip-hop world did.