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Music (68)

Ronan Keating - Duet


Universal Music Australia

Fresh of his TV vehicle that was X Factor Australia - Ronan smartly thought to put together a retail product that would capitalise on his new TV audience… and its actually, apart from being a smart move, a smart album.

Consisting of tracks from previous era's in his career, along with some Aussie favourites, Duet is a disc that has not many let downs - to be honest, the only stinker is the duet with The McClymonts.

12 tracks, and each a different pairing - you can expect to hear Elton John (Live at MAdison Square Garden), Paulini, Guy Sebastian, Lulu and many more.

Design wise, the album slick is a bit on the nose -- i am not overly sure about the slick james bond dress sense mixed with the James Dean motorcycle. The two styles don't really gel well, and make Ronan look awkward and overly posed.


Mariah Carey Merry Christmas II You

Crack open the Egg Nog and put up the tree, cos this year Christmas is back with a bang, thanks to the angelic voice of Mariah Carey.

This lady has given a new life to the Christmas album, thanks to her being the only artist in modern history to create her OWN classic Christmas Carol (All I want for Christmas Is You) -- this album includes the "extra festive" version of the song, which funnily enough she re-recorded to claim back the masters that Sony Music held of the song, and why not, it goes back to number #1 every Christmas… smart smart smart Mariah!

Track after track is joyous and fills you with the Christmas cheer, and for once, makes you forget that Christmas was being destroyed by retailers popping up decorations in october and making Christmas last half the year.

Listening to the album has actually made me excited about Christmas for the first time in years.

The original tracks on the album give a fresh kick to the traditional songs you would expect to be given the Mariah treatment.

The images in the slick are tonnes better than the cover image, so don't be put off by the cheesy treatment you may see on the store shelf, the tacky "cropped" cover does NOT dictate the quality inside. (fold out the cover to get the full effect. A good rule of thumb designers is 'NEVER crop a David La Chapelle image!')

The genius decision to bring in composer/producer/arranger Marc Shaiman (of Hairspray fame) gives the disc a decidedly Broadway grandness.

Shove this release in everyones stocking this year and spread the joy.


Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow - Shame

Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow are back with their long awaited duet. If you don't know the story of the fallout, then you probably will only like the song for the camp references and gay undertone - but for anyone who followed Take That (Version 1) this is a classic and very sweet, funny and beautiful song.

Personally i am all for anything that gets Gary Barlow topless, and sees Robbie Williams joining in. You can check out the video for shame below.


Boyzone - Brother

The first album release since the passing of Stephen Gately, this album was one of Stehpens pet projects, and from all reports, something he was so intent of delivering to the fans.

Its pure Boyzone. A quality release, produced extremely well, with all the right bells and whistles to make any pop fan jump for joy.

No writing credits as of yet, but that does not deter from the fact that this album project has sourced some kick ass songs and producers to make them go to that extra level.

Its a perfect piece of current day pop music that will not just appeal to fans of the band, but for anyone interested in good performance music.



Cheryl Cole - 3 Words

Wow, this may as well be another Will.I.Am project. I first came to love Cheryl Cole when she debuted her Fight For This Love single on the UK's X-Factor - it went global, the performance was brilliant - fantastic choreography, slick styling and a good pop tune.

Pity the single's video leans more towards the "fashionista" style than the brilliant military / janet jackson-esque choreography… its was SOOO good.

Locally Universal leased the Will.I.Am duet track  BEFORE Fight For This Love, which i cant get my head around - lets release something based on the possible appeal of a producer who is working with EVERYONE, vs the viral smash hit FFTL was…  crazy - but hey.

The rest of the album is kinda ho-hum. Overall is a good pop album, but most of its blends into the next.

Not being harsh, but when you have a standout track like Fight, then its going to be hard to have 11 tracks of equal brilliance.

Search for Cheryl's XFactor performance in our videos section, so you can see the awesome routine!


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.



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.




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 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.



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)


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.


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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