Poptastic Confessions

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Black History Month: 10 Strong Black Women

Dear Poptastic Readers,

As you might be aware, there haven't been that many posts this year due to the fact that we are so overwhelmed by the awful things happening with the current administration of the USA. However, we trying to stay positive, and we were thinking about Black History Month and strong black women, as we do, and we thought it would be nice to highlight 10 of our favourite female artists who have inspired us. Here they are ...

1. Jody Watley


If you follow this blog, then you know that Jody Watley is no stranger to Poptastic Confessions. Jody is probably most known for her megahits "Looking For A New Love", "Don't You Want Me", "Some Kind Of Lover", "Real Love", "Friends", and "Everything." We wrote a history of her career, we've seen her concerts time after time after time, Dave even met her in person. Jody had our #1 spot in 2013 with her song "Nightlife." And this past year, she reached our #1 spot with "The Mood" with her group Shalamar Reloaded. What's next for Jody? Her group Shalamar Reloaded should release their album Bridges soon. We are expecting more fabulous singles! Like Jody's Facebook page here, and follow her on Twitter. Jody's music (as well as Shalamar Reloaded) is available on digital outlets everywhere. 

2. Keisha Buchanan (Sugababes, MKS)


Keisha was the original Sugababes member who stayed in the group the longest. While Keisha was in the Sugababes, they had 6 UK #1 hits: "Freak Like Me", "Round Round", "Hole In The Head", "Push The Button", "Walk This Way", and "About You Now." After she left the group in 2009, Keisha reunited with the other two original members in 2012 and they released the single "Flatline" in 2013 under the name Mutya Keisha Siobhan (MKS). What's next for Keisha? Looks like she is in a legal battle to get the name Sugababes back. We happened to hear MKS's leaked album and thought it was great. So here's hoping that 2017 is the return of the Sugababes/MKS in some form. Follow Keisha on Twitter here. Check out the Sugababes greatest hits album on iTunes everywhere called Overloaded.

3. Lisa Cork-Twiss (Glass Slipper, Real McCoy)


Lisa joined Real McCoy in 1996 after Patsy left the group, as Lisa has a beautiful voice. She sang on three of their singles: "One More Time", "I Wanna Come (With You)" and "(If You're Not In It For Love) I'm Outta Here." Lisa was interviewed in Poptastic Confessions in 2013 about her time in Real McCoy and because of that interview, Lisa and Davearama's friend Brad formed the deep house duo Glass Slipper. They've been churning out songs every year since: "Surge" was #4 on our 2014 countdown and "Up On The Floor" also came in at #4 last year. Lisa even had a song out at the end of last year with Black Magic Disco called "Better Than Alright." What's next for Lisa? More Glass Slipper songs, we hope. Like Glass Slipper's Facebook page here and follow them on Twitter. Glass Slipper's music is available on digital outlets everywhere.

4. Alice D


I'm not quite sure how Alice D has not taken the world by storm yet. She has an amazing voice, and she is a talented songwriter. Alice did her first-ever interview with Poptastic Confessions in 2014. Alice may have a famous mother — Sara of Bananarama, but we try to focus on Alice's talent — which she has plenty of. Alice's song "Moving On" came in at #8 in our 2014 countdown. Last year, her song "Only You" came in at #11What's next for Alice? More new music! Hooray! Like Alice's Facebook page here, and follow her on Twitter. You Can get the Alice EP on iTunes, otherwise, check out her SoundCloud page.

5. Melanie Brown/Melanie B/Mel B (Spice Girls)


Last summer, Melanie B, Geri, and Emma (GEM) decided to carry on as the Spice Girls. Their song "Song For Her" was leaked, Geri got pregnant, and that was the end of that. Melanie's last solo outing was "For Once In My Life", which landed at #5 in our 2013 countdown. What's next for Melanie B? She is currently on Broadway starring in Chicago. Melanie has been very vocal about getting all 5 Spices back on board for something this year. We hope she is successful. If not, we are happy with GEM continuing as the Spice Girls. Follow Melanie B on Twitter here. Melanie B's 2000 solo album Hot is available on iTunes everywhere.

6. Crystal Waters


Crystal Waters has been packing dancefloors for years. While most famous for her hits "Gypsy Woman (She's Homeless)" and "100% Pure Love"  Poptastic Confessions fell back in love with Crystal in 2014 with her fantastic song "Be Kind" — which landed at #6 in our countdown that year. In 2015, her song "Synergy" came in a #16 on our list, and last year her song "Believe" just missed our top 20. What's next for Crystal? Apparently a new album is on the way. And we can't wait! Like Crystal's Facebook page here, and follow her on Twitter. Crystal Waters music is available on digital outlets everywhere.

7. Francine (The Face, Parralox)


Francine is probably our most unknown artist on our list, yet somehow we can't manage to look away. Francine first came to our attention when she was in a trio called The Face. Their one and only single "Love Stuck" with Dream Beats landed at #9 in our 2012 countdown. However, it was the song she recorded with Parralox called "Crying On The Dancefloor" that really made us take notice of her. That was our #2 song of 2014. What's next for Francine? We know that she has been working on new music for awhile, so hopefully 2017 will be the year she releases new music. Like Francine's Facebook page here, and follow her on Twitter. Francine's song with Parralox is available on digital outlets everywhere. I'm not sure where to get her song with The Face and Dream Beats.

9. Shaznay Lewis (All Saints)


Shaznay is part of the group All Saints — and what a comeback they had last year. Their amazing 2016 album Red Flag (which Shaznay wrote all the songs) earned the group stellar reviews and the album went to #3 in the UK. Their songs "One Strike" went to #8 on our 2016 countdown, while "One Woman Man" landed at #15What's next for Shaznay? Get busy writing the next All Saints album, please! Haha. Just don't take a long of a break since the last All Saints album! Like All Saints Facebook page, and follow Shaznay on Twitter. All Saints music is available on digital outlets everywhere.

8. Connie Mitchell/Miss Connie (Sneaky Sound System)

  
We were a bit late to the Sneaky Sound System party. And just when we got there, they went on hiatus. They have released a couple of singles the past two years under the shortened name Sneaky: "All I Need" in 2015 and "I Ain't Over You" in 2016. What's next for Connie? I think she just had a baby last year, so that might mean more time off. But we are hoping for a new Sneaky Sound System album soon. Like Sneaky's Facebook page here, and follow them on Twitter. Sneaky Sound System's music is available on digital outlets everywhere.

10. Jade Ewen (Sugababes)


Jade is probably most well known for replacing Keisha in the Sugababes in 2009. However, earlier that year she represented the UK at the Eurovision song contest with a song called "It's My Time" penned by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Jade had a single out the week she joined the Sugababes called "My Man." However, we have always loved the epic b-side "Punching Out" just a bit more. She released 3 singles with the Sugababes: "About A Girl", "Wear My Kiss", and "Freedom." What's next for Jade? Since that lineup of the Sugababes called it quits in 2011, Jade has been doing various musicals in London. She is currently getting rave reviews as her portrayal as Princess Jasmine in Aladdin. We'd love for her to return to releasing music. One of the things we love most about Jade is her infectious smile. Follow Jade on Twitter here. There are a couple of songs by Jade on US iTunes. I think the rest of her music, and her music with the Sugababes might be only available digitally in Europe.

There you have it! Ten strong black women who you should support by buying and/or streaming their music. They have all made a difference in my life, and I am so grateful to each and every one of them for it.

Download and/or stream their music today!

Cheers then,





Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Majestic by RABBII

Dear Poptastic Readers,

Sweden's RABBII is back with a new song called "Majestic" and it is quite epic.


"Majestic" is a mid-tempo power ballad with soaring vocals. They recently performed the song live on East FM. Check it out ...


Wasn't that lovely? Yes, it was! Apparently a video is on the way. Stay tuned. You can watch another live performance here.

In the meantime, "Majestic" is available on digital outlets everywhere. Buy and/or steam your copy today.

Cheers then,
—Davearama

P.S. You can like RABBII's Facebook page here, and follow them on Twitter. While you are at it, you can like Poptastic Confessions Facebook page here, and follow Davearama on Twitter.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Taped Up Heart by Kream featuring Clara Mae

Dear Poptastic Readers,

At the end of last year, Swedish singer Clara Mae released a song called "Taped Up Heart" with a Norwegian DJ duo called KREAM. We didn't hear it until this month, and we love it.



You might remember that Clara Mae first caught our attention when she was hired to be one of the new singers for Ace Of Base in 2010. We caught up with her last year and her song "Strip" came in at #19 on our 2016 countdown. Her song "Parachute" with Galavant also came in at #45 last year, too!


Clara Mae

"Taped Up Heart" is a fun dance-pop song with an amazing chorus. Clara Mae's vocals sound wonderful. There is an interesting video for the song that explores young love, a fight club, with a twist. Check it out ...



Sadly, Clara Mae isn't in that video. However, Clara Mae made a video her performing the song on a piano in an empty auditorium and it is really moving! Have a look ...



Wasn't that beautiful? Yes, it was! "Taped Up Heart" by KREAM featuring Clara Mae is available on digital outlets everyone. Buy and/or stream it today!

For the latest information on Clara Mae, please like her official Facebook page. You can also check out KREAM's Facebook page here. And while you are there, don't forget to like Poptastic Confessions Facebook page!

Cheers then,
—Davearama

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Pulling Me In by Phantoms

Dear Poptastic Readers,

There is a group called Phantoms and they have a new fantastic song that you are going to love called "Pulling Me In."


"Pulling Me In" is a lovely electropop song with a beat that will have you moving in no time. The vocals are quite nice and sound so effortless. The melody is ace. Have a listen ...





Wasn't that lovely? Yes, it was. Who are Phantoms? Well, they are a Los Angeles–based duo made up of Vinnie and Kyle. That's about all we know as their website isn't much help.

"Pulling Me In" is available on digital outlets everywhere. Stream and/or buy it today!

You can like their official Facebook page for the latest information. While you are there, don't forget to like Poptastic Confessions Facebook page!

Cheers then,
—Davearama

Friday, February 3, 2017

Subculture by Parralox

Dear Poptastic Readers,

If you haven't bought any albums in 2017, you are going to want to buy Subculture by Parralox. It is fantastic!



This is their first album of original material since their 2015 album Aeronaut. Since then, they have released Holiday '15 and Holiday '16. As always, click on the name to read our reviews. And if you don't know Parralox, check out our interview with John back in 2015. And here is our review of Subculture.



1. "Paradise" featuring Marcella Detroit starts off the album. The track is light and airy with a Spanish flamenco feel to it. It's a lovely song that just happens to be about breaking up with someone.



2. "Electric Nights" featuring Johanna Gervin. This is the Parralox song that fans have been waiting years for. The first version was recorded in 2008 with original singer Roxy. However, the song was never officially released — only in Megamix 2008. Some of Roxy's vocals remain on the new version. Johanna takes the lead vocals for the first time, while Louise and John chime in with backing vocals. This will be the first single from the album. Such an amazing song! We can't wait for the single release!



3. "Key to the Door of Heaven" featuring Louise Love takes all of the great elements of early 90s dance music while bringing it current to 2017. I absolutely love how the chorus wraps the lyrics so smartly around the melody.



4. "Give Me Back My Lovin" featuring Lilla sounds like it has a bit of a Stock Aitken Waterman feel to the track. It even has a glorious key change. Now, you might remember that singer Lilla was in John's former band Nova.



5. "Change Of Heart" is definitely one of the best songs on the album, and it is sung by John himself. We love, love, love this song. It very much deserves to be a single.



6. "A Question of Love" featuring Louise Love. The best way to describe this song is to imagine it is a Depeche Mode song in which Susan Ann Sulley from The Human League is singing along with them. It's definitely a darker song on the album, but we think it is amazing. This one deserves to be a single, too!



7. "Jupiter" featuring Louise Love is a space-age love song. It definitely is the track that lets you catch your breath. Beautiful and haunting.



8. "Pressure Point" by Louise Love picks the pace back up. The music reminds me of the Pet Shop Boys. Louise just makes the vocals sound so effortlessly. Is that Speak and Spell in the middle? The song never mentions the words "Pressure Point" so when I look at the title, I have a hard time recalling the tune — but it is a good one!



9. "Overdrive" featuring Ian Burden. Who is Ian Burden? Well he used to be in The Human League! And he plays the bass on this song. John is on vocals with Louise on backing vocals. The song also has subtle key changes. The bass guitar with the synths is great.



10. "Last Year at Marienbad" featuring Louise Love is so AMAZING! This has to be single because I just can't get enough of it. It is a duet sung by John and Louise. It reminds me of The Human League in the best possible way! We featured the song last year in Poptastic Confessions when it debuted on a radio show.



11. "Last Man Standing" featuring Peter Wilson is a fun track. Who is Peter Wilson? Well he is an Australian singer who loves Bananarama! (Who doesn't love them?) Anyhow, "Last Man Standing" starts off sounding a bit like Kylie in her Stock Aitken Waterman days — only with Peter singing. Having said that, it's not that retro. It's got a great melody and it will have you singing along in no time. Peter does a great job on vocals.



12. "Voyager II" featuring Louise Love was originally released in a shorter version on the Holiday '15 album. In the past, "II" has been designated for Parralox songs that have the same name, but are indeed different songs. "Voyager II" is the same song as "Voyager" so this new version is really more like an extended version. Regardless, both versions are great. "Voyager" came in at #42 in our 2016 countdown.



13. "Rocket Science II" is also the same song as "Rocket Science" that was featured on Holiday '15. This is also like an extended version. Both versions are amazing as John sings the lead vocals. "Rocket Science" came in at #28 in our 2016 countdown.



14. "86G" featuring A7-H is really the odd track on the album. It reminds me of the Eurythmics soundtrack album 1984 (For The Love of Big Brother). However, this is much more modern sounding.

Listen to the album sampler here ...



Subculture is an amazing album. John really did a wonderful job here. The only thing that would have made it better is if it had included their 2014 song "Crying On The Dancefloor" featuring Francine, as that song never appeared on a Parralox album. Having said that, the album is pretty perfect. And we love Parralox. You should, too!

Our single picks are:

1. "Electric Nights"
2. "Last Year At Marienbad"
3. "Change Of Heart"
4. "A Question Of Love"




Subculture is available on digital outlets everywhere as of January 29. You can even buy the physical CD at Conzoom, if they have any copies left. My physical CD arrived on Christmas Eve! Don't delay! Buy your copy today!

For more information on Parralox, check out their official website. You can also like their official Facebook page, and while you are there please like our Poptastic Confessions Facebook page!

Cheers then,
—Davearama