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Music (63)

Melissa Etheridge - Fearless Love

Having the pleasure of sitting down with Melissa to discuss this release, i got the inner vibe on what the album is about - her feelings and expression are 100% replicated on the disc, and this albumshowcases yet again that Melissa is a what you see is what you get artist… you know, the album sounds like what you would get at a concert, and with the brilliance of the production team and her slick soulful rock talent - its a golden combination.

Every track on this album is fabulous in its own right. Pure story telling and sublime melody.

Do yourself a favour and go and get this album - even if you don't like the genre, you will definitely learn a thing or two from the songs and I can guarantee and sonic delight your ears will be loving you forever. Its genre breaking, breathtaking and glorious.

5/5

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Adam Lambert - For Your Entertainment

Take an eclectic bunch of producers, a style that is unto his own and an ability to meld sounds, genres and imagery and you may well have a complete a&R nightmare… but in Adam Lambert's case, this nightmare is a dream.

Eclectic is the word d'jure, with an album used more as a "showcase" rather than a genre defining moment. Don't expect endlesss glam rock tracks - expect the urn expected… and thats why i love this album.

It really is a journey, rather than just a slam packed genre specific release… we know the boy is talented, so i agree, lets see lots of different styles and sounds to showcase just how FABULOUS this singer is, instead of packing in a style that may grow tired after the gimmick runs out.

Adam's talent far surpass the sparkle and the leather, his image will no doubt adapt as time goes on and this album showcases his vocal ability to do that as well… there is something on this album for ANY music fan - from the pop driven Whattya Want From Me, to the 'Swedish punk' stylings of For Your Entertainment.

The best songs however are the tracks Adam co-wrote or penned himself, giving you further insight into this creative talent.

An album that supposes any American Idol constants release to date… Adam is definitely a stayer, like Kelly Clarkson - and i look forward to his next musical offering.

5/5

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REMIXXER - Wayne G

REMIXXER - Wayne G
Centaur Music


A 12 track ditty from one of our friends has hit the United States through Centaur Music, and being the forward thinking label they are, anyone from all over the world can grab this release digitally! And there is every reason too.

With Wayne G's trademark production sound, and his brilliant ability to make you shake your booty on the dancefloor, he has collaborated with some of our other close friends for this album including Darren Hayes, Shauna Jensen, Debby Holiday, Peyton, Simone Denny… its like a Guidetogay.com reunion! lol

The album is a blast with Shauna's new take on RESPECT taking it to a new dirtier and metallic level and it really works. But then again - Shauna's vocals make anything sound good.

Darren's LOVE HANGOVER is a sultry and disco-erotic beginning to the album and really sets the stage for the quality of this disc. The 60's funk styling remix glams you up ready to take on the other 11 tracks.

The dance vocalist star power does not stop there, with a very cool journey style order of the tracks that make the fully mixed album a real party pleaser… i have a sneaking suspicion that many a wannabe DJ will be ripping this off as their own when they plug their "laptops" into a party or two… lol

There is no comparing Wayne G as his style and sounds are unique, his mixing is floorless and his ability to hear the quality in dance music from the raw elements to the vocals of all our superstar mates, just makes you crave for more.

We don;t know how he does it - the jet setting lifestyle - the endless air mails, the countless around the world trips, parties, and sets… where did he find the time to breathe let alone create this?

This disc is an essential for any dance fan, and dare i say it, dance music professional… go out and get it. you won't be disappointed.

5/5

 

TRACKLISITNG
Wayne G v Darren Hayes – Love Hangover (Original Mix)
Wayne G feat Shauna Jensen – RESPECT (Original Mix)
Jason Dottley & Debby Holiday – Party Round The World (Wayne G & Andy Allder XXL London Mix)
Pagano & Wayne G feat. Peyton – Trapped (Wayne G Betty&Ford Mix)
Wayne G – Jus Cum (Wayne G & Andy Allder Original Mix)
Wayne G feat. Michael Wheatley – When Doves Cry (Wayne G & Andy Allder Afterhours Mix)
Levi Kreis – Gonna Be Alright (Wayne G & Andy Allder Atlantis Anthem Mix)
Erasure – A Little Respect (Wayne G & Andy Allder Afterhours Dub)
Simone Denny + Barry Harris – Drama Queen (Texting U) (Wayne G & Andy Allder Atlantis Anthem Mix)
Therese – Time (Wayne G & Andy Allder XXL Club Mix)
Wayne G feat. Jonathan Hellyer – I Promised Myself (Wayne G Classic Mix)
Richard Thomas feat. Alison Jier - I Just Wanna Dance (Wayne G Lady Botox Anthem)

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Brash And Sassy No Milk For You

Brash And Sassy
No Milk For You



Electronica can be highly pretentious and a little bit ridiculous for "arts" sake, but Brash and Sassy deliver a quality arty expression without the bullcrap. They have a huge live appeal, which most electronic acts don't posses.

Cutting their teeth for over four years as a group, they deliver a solid and funky track in No Milk For Money.

Sultry and melodic vocals backed with a funky and very danceable beat makes the first offering off their upcoming EP a very friendly and fun release, sure to please punters across all dancefloors.

It's retro cocktail chill vibe is built up be remixes by The Transients and Bluesky. Picture yourself sipping a long island ice tea in Summer on the side of the harbour grooving along and your into the guts of this song.

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Barbra Streisand: 'Love Is The Answer'

The cover of Barbra Streisand's 63rd album shows the singer, highlights glossy and nails exquisite as ever, wrapping herself in a chenille throw as she sinks into an inviting-looking sofa. The only thing that's missing is the pearl white "oprah" microphone! It's a perfect indication of what many listeners will want to do as they listen to the elegant and soothing music inside - even if, as on this reviewer's couch, the throw happens to come from Primark rather than Pottery Barn.

With Diana Krall and her regular co-producer Tommy LiPuma behind the mixing desk, Love Is The Answer is an album of jazz standards recorded with Krall's quartet and a full orchestra. The song selections aren't what you'd call leftfield - old chestnuts like 'If You Go Away', 'In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning', and 'Smoke Gets In Your Eyes' all get the Streisand treatment - and the overarching theme is signposted by the title, a line from 'Make Someone Happy'. Streisand, lest we forget, has been happily married to actor James Brolin since 1998.

Krall's production is tasteful throughout, shrowding but not crowding Streisand with elegant orchestral flourishes and jazzy piano solos, and there are few changes of tempo - just a couple of tracks, 'Gentle Rain' and 'Love Dance', break into a bossa nova trot. The effect is to create an air of serene intimacy, especially on the bonus disc, which removes the orchestral arrangements to leave Streisand accompanied solely by Krall's quartet. Despite all this, Love Is The Answer manages to be rather more than beautifully-crafted and expensively-sounding aural wallpaper.

This is mainly thanks to Streisand. Would you believe she is 67, and at that age her vocals are still remarkably clear. She captures the romantic longing of 'In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning', conveys all the despair and dejection and drama of 'If You Go Away', and smoulders subtly on the sensual 'Love Dance'. Of course, she can't resist ending 'Some Other Time' with an actressy sigh of 'Oh well', but really, would we expect anything else from 'ol Babs?

Now the very good news, there arn't too many pub and club tracks for drag queens to perform to on this CD, so you can enjoy this all on your own at home!

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Gossip : Music For Men

It's easy to see why the Gossip chose an androgynous snap of drummer Hannah Billie for their fourth album cover. The Arkansas trio have become famed for two things: Beth Ditto, a frontwoman who isn't afraid of taking her clothes off and speaking her mind, and a gigantic dancefloor smash in 'Standing In The Way Of Control', as much a part of the late-noughties indie disco as skinny jeans, spilt cider and asymmetrical fringes. Music For Men's rather plain sleeve is the band's subtle way of saying they've got more to offer than Ditto's brash public image and a catchy disco riff that was on the soundtrack to Skins. The Gossip had been moulding Riot Grrrl, southern garage and art rock influences for seven years before they finally scored a smash and this record is their attempt to prove that they're more than one hit wonders.

The appointment of Rick Rubin as producer was a promising starting point. Renowned for helping acts to(re)discover their creative mojo, he seems like a perfect fit for a group who'd found themselves a tad confused after making a sudden shift from outsiders to broadsheet favourites with just one song. Rubin has managed to nail a "new sound" for the Gossip on Music For Men, but sadly this isn't the furious dance/punk hybrid that many had anticipated. Instead it's a slightly lifeless, oddly placid mixture of funk and disco that lands a few juicy punches - an electronic crunch here and a fizzy pop chorus there - but nothing you could call a knock-out blow.

Any essence of the garage-rock beginnings that lingered on 2006's Standing... have been ditched here, as the band fully embrace the dirty disco vibe of their breakthrough hit. Only on the wiry, twitchy guitars of '8th Wonder' and energetic punk of closer 'Spare Me From The Mold' do they revisit their more aggressive, harder-rocking style of old. Elsewhere, the band's newfound love for all things dancey provides mixed results. On lead single 'Heavy Cross' they waddle along aimlessly with what's basically a watered-down, less sprightly version of 'SITWOC'. However, the loose, menacing funk of opener 'Dimestore Diamond', on which Ditto coos about a female with "low-cut sweaters [and] her skirt above her knees", does prove the band can mix grooves and guitars to winning effect.

We have to remember though that The Gossip have been having more hits with their dance and electro stuff in more recent times.

Elsewhere, 'Pop Goes The World' is a fidgety booty-shaker that throws in the electronic kitchen sink; 'Love Long Distance' sees Ditto channel Gloria Gaynor as she warbles about a failed romance over house piano lines; and 'Men In Love' is the closest the group come to matching the dancefloor glee of 'SITWOC'. Sadly, the second half of the disc slumps in quality dramatically, with Ditto's natural exuberance curtailed by flabby funk workouts and sparkle-free disco rhythms. In particular, 'Love And Let Love' and 'Four Letter Word' drag their heels rather painfully. If the Gossip don't already feel haunted enough by the spectre of 'SITWOC', Music For Men should confirm their worst fears. This album is far from a disaster, but it's hard to escape the conclusion that Ditto and co. have failed to escape the shadow of that song.

The biggest difference is that this album in Australia is being released by Sony Music, who for some reason are slashing budgets across the board, and as this release isnt a "TV" advert type release, i doubt we will hear much mroe about it... whereas the previous album, released by popfrenzy - a small indie, managed to pull off a substantial marketing budget to help the release, making it the success it was.

Its a real shame, as without advertising and promotion, this will definitely fall under the radar in Oz, and SO deserves not too.

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Freemasons: 'Shakedown 2'

Having co-written and produced Kylie's 'The One', given Kelly Rowland's 'Work' a hit remix, and teamed up with Sophie Ellis-Bextor for 'Heartbreak (Make Me A Dancer)', Freemasons have had a hand in three of the best dance-pop singles of the last 18 months. The lads have been working their asses off not only in the studio, but on tour - with their sensational appearance at this years Mardi Gras Party...

The 2 disc offering is funnily enough only on offer from the local distributor as an import - i would think that they would want to print thousands of these discs locally and get it to stay at the top of the charts for the longest time as this album will cross over all areas - from dance enthusiasts, to gyms, workout routines, loungerooms, parramata car stereos - you name it - its a dance party just waiting to happen. And you get that with disc 2 - a fully mixed session, offering up over an hour of continuous music.

Highlights include a cool electro-house remix of Ultra Naté's 'Free', a sinewy, clubby take on Eurythmics' 'Here Comes The Rain Again', and a fairly astonishing version of 'Ring The Alarm', which turns one of Beyoncé's most underrated singles into a blistering wronged woman anthem (these guys make the over exposed Beyonce bearable - DARN!)

The interesting thing about Shakedown 2, is that it DOES have its low points, but for the Freemasons, that is still standing on your tippy toes "up up up"... so dont put this album on if you intend to sit down... its definately a disc that will capture a precise moment in music history, and they really have their unique style and sound right throughout this release, so much so it is bound to become a pop culture defining release.

Stick your hands in the air and get ready to sweat those goosebumps away.

4/5


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