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.
Italian producer/DJs DJs from Mars, the duo of Max Aqualuce and Luca Ventafunk, are quite hard to pin down. Pure pranksters at heart, they are difficult to spot in a crowd because they don’t reveal their identity, choosing instead to wear boxes over their heads (inspired by their first single, “Who Gives A Fuck About Deejays”). It took some effort to find them, but with a bit of effort and a little luck, I interviewed them at the Amsterdam Dance Event and can honestly say that the infectious energy and humor of their tracks and videos are true reflections of their animated personalities.
RS:How did you two guys meet up?
Max Aqualuce: We met at a recording studio about ten years ago, and in 2004 we started the project “Djs From Mars” as producers. A couple years ago we started with the bootlegs and continued that for years; right now, we are trying to focus mostly on production.