Poptastic Confessions

Poptastic Confessions

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Nite Life by Glass Slipper

Dear Poptastic Readers,

Everyone's favourite deep-house duo are back with another FREE download! This time, it is a remake of the Kim English classic "Nite Life."


Lisa and Brad Electro are Glass Slipper. Photo from their Facebook Page.

As you'd expect, Brad Electro's beats are deep and a bit dark. And then contrast that with Lisa's souring soulful vocals, and you have a lovely little jam. Have a listen here ...





And you can download there, too.

Remember to like Glass Slipper's Facebook Page. New to Glass Slipper? Just type the group name in the search field of Poptastic Confessions

Cheers then,
—Davearama

Monday, March 16, 2015

Ace Of Base Hidden Gems Review

Dear Poptastic Readers,

Ace Of Base's new album is out! And you should drop everything and go buy it right now! It is called Hidden Gems. And as the title suggests, the album is made up of songs that either weren't released or songs that were used as b-sides or bonus tracks.




If you click on the title of each song, it will take you to a video were Ace Of Base members Jonas and Ulf talk about the songs. What follows is my review.




1. "Would You Believe" — This is an amazing song that was recorded in 2005 and previously unreleased. Although some demo versions were leaked a few years ago. Both Linn and Jenny singing with their own parts. Even though the song is 10 years old, it is amazing and it is a wonderful song. It is the first single and it is better than most songs out there today. There is an official lyric video. But check out this fan-made video using clips from the "Lucky Love" video. They did an amazing job.



2. "Go Go Go" — Another great song that was previously unreleased from around 2002. Although a demo called "Dr. Beat" was leaked a couple of years ago, too. This is apparently a single in some country and might just be the second single. Go Go Go Dr. Beat indeed!



3. "Into The Night of Blue" — This was actually written with the legendary Dianne Warren. And it was released as Japanese bonus track for the Cruel Summer/Flowers album in 1998 as well as a b-side on the Scandinavian version of the "Cruel Summer" single and the UK single "Every Time It Rains." This is a very ABBA-esque sounding song. A delight!



4. "Don't Stop" — This was a Japanese bonus track for the album Da Capo in 2002. It also appeared on the b-side of the German single "The Juvenile." It's a wonderful, fun song!

5. "Make My Day" — Also a previously unreleased song from around 2002! I'd heard a demo of it called "Tho Tho Thoa." Ulf says the beat is too fast, and I think I would agree with him. Having said that, it a very fun song! The chorus is great and there is a magical middle-8 section. My only complaint is that magical middle-8 section comes back for the end and the song is faded out during it, and far too early in my opinion.



6. "Mercy Mercy" — I'm very familiar with this mid-tempo number as it was one of the b-sides to the UK single "Always Have, Always Will" in 1998. It's a nice little song.



7. "No Good Lover" — This was the b-side to "Life Is A Flower" in 1998. It's very reggae and definitely has the classic Ace Of Base sound. Funny lyrics, too!



8. "Summer Days" — Another Japanese bonus track from the Da Capo album in 2002. A beautiful song about remembering good times. Bittersweet to a happy beat with a lovely melody.

9. "Giving It Up (2014 Remake)" — Never before released! It is a really old song originally called "Bad Dad." Jonas and Ulf got out the various demos of it and gave it an updated feel. It was originally recorded around the time of their first album.

10. "Come To Me" — A brilliant song from 2002 that finally gets released. It is so good that it could be a single! I think it is very uplifting. The middle-8 drops the beat out and it comes back with a key change. LOVE it!

11. "Prime Time" — This is basically the same song as the superior "Cuba Cuba Libre." The latter song was recorded in 2002, but the label didn't like it. It was reworked into "Prime Time" in 2005, but it still never saw the light of day. Until now! This is good. But "Cuba Cuba Libre" is great!

12. "Look Around Me" — An unreleased song from their album The Bridge in 1995. However, if you have their 1998 European album Flowers, then you'll notice Ulf's rap from this song was released in the song "I Pray." The song sounds like it fit right in on The Bridge.

13. "Pole Position" — Previously unreleased, but the demo has been around for awhile. The liner notes in Hidden Gems say that this is from their first album era. But it sounds nothing like their first album. And the liner notes, Ulf says: "We wanted this to be our first single and Jacques Villeneuve would do a feature on it when he was F1 World Champion." However, Jacques Villeneuve was world champion in 1997. And in the commentary, they say it did indeed come later. Is it me, or was the melody of the verses used again in "Doreen" from The Golden Ration album in 2010?


Here is a performance of "Southern California" with Clara and Julia.

14. "Sunset In Southern California" — Speaking of The Golden Ratio album, this is the unreleased original version with Linn and Jenny singing. The song is very different to The Golden Ratio version. Only the choruses are the same. I think I prefer this version. The Golden Ratio version always reminds me of a country song.

15. "Moments of Magic" — One of my favorite unreleased songs. I love it! It always reminds me of my wedding. So I think of it as a wedding song. There was a demo floating around that was a slow song. This one has a beat, and it is pretty fab.


A live version of "Hey Darling" ... but not the Bells Version.

16. "Hey Darling (Bells Version)" — This is an unreleased mix of the song that appeared on their 2002 album Da Capo. However, because of a glitch … there were two different version pressed on the CD in various regions. So this is a different version altogether with more music elements … like Bells.

17. "Cuba Cuba Libre" — I talked about this under "Prime Time." This is the far superior version of the song. I absolutely love it! A shame it is just now being released. But better late than never!

I really hope there is a Hidden Gems 2 album to come! And here's what I'd love to hear ..




Happy Nation/The Sign Era:

"Wheel Of Fortune (Original 1991 Version)"
The Bridge Era:





Flowers/Cruel Summer Era:

"Love In December (Alternative Disco Version)"




Da Capo Era:

"Remember The Words (Original Production)"
"World Down Under (Fast Version)"
"All Because Of You"




From 2008:





The Golden Ration Era:

"Let It Play (On The Radio)"
"Paradise"
"The Piper"

But for now, go buy Hidden Gems from Ace Of Base! You won't be sorry!

Cheers then,
—Davearama


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Lay The Rhythm Down by Go!Go!Go!

Dear Poptastic Readers,

I love it when friends tell us about music I haven't heard before, and it turns out the music is indeed poptastic! So recently my friend Thomas turned me on the UK girl/boy group called Go!Go!Go! They are kinda like a cartoon version of Steps mixed with a bit Alphabeat



Their music is 100% pure pop! And it is very sugary sweet. Their debut album is called Radio Go!Go!Go! and the songs are the perfect way to turn a frown upside down. Even though they targeted right at kids ... adults can enjoy them, too.



My favorite song is called "Lay The Rhythm Down" as it sounds similar to the songs of Alcazar. And I know my friend Thomas through Alcazar. Here's the super-cute video!




Go!Go!Go! have other fun songs. My other favourite is "This Is The Life." Click on the name to watch the video. It looks like they always wear the same clothes in all their videos ... continuing the cartoon-esque theme.

Head on over to their YouTube channel and watch all of their videos. And then head over to iTunes to buy the album.

Cheers then,
—Davearama


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Brerklin EP by Jay Huffman

Dear Poptastic Readers,

If you're a fan of techno sounds, Jay Huffman has a new EP for you! Now you might remember Jay Huffman was featured in Poptastic Confessions with his debut single "A Saav." Click on the name to hear it.




The Brerklin EP is a bit dark and moody. At 126 beats per minute, both songs won't make you lose your breath, but get you in the techno groove.







Jay's Brerklin EP is available on Beatport on No Sound Label. Click on the link to buy the 2-track EP. Don't delay! Buy it today!

Cheers then,
—Davearama

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Jody Watley and Shalamar Reloaded in Concert

Dear Poptastic Readers,

Over the weekend, my husband and I celebrated our birthdays. And we did so by seeing Jody Watley featuring Shalamar in concert. We had seen Jody in concert in the spring of 2013, and in 2014 when I met her and now for a third time. Since the show was actually on my hubby's birthday, he agreed to go if we got a large group of friends to go.




So we made some inquires among our friends and put it out on Facebook that we were going. Pretty soon we had 17 friends confirmed and going to the show. Unfortunately, two friends had to cancel the day before due to illness. 



This time around, Jody is touring with a "reloaded" Shalamar. Now, I became a fan of Jody in 1987 with her debut solo album. It wasn't until much later in life that I bought a "best of" Shalamar CD. And while I know a few songs, it's fair to say I love Jody Watley's music, and I like Shalamar's music.


The reloaded Shalamar (Nate, Jody and Rosero). 

So when it came time for the show, the first half of the show was dedicated to Shalamar with new members Nate Allen Smith and Rosero McCoy. I did enjoy the songs, and it was great to see so many people in the audience react to the songs. And even Jody got a bit emotional singing a song that she had written as a teen in Shalamar. It was all rather exciting. And I've been singing Shalamar songs ever since!




After the Shalamar part of the show was over, the audience was treated to video homage of Jody's solo career. And then Jody came out to play hit after hit! And it was during her monster-hit song "Don't You Want Me" that Jody shouted out "Happy Birthday Dave and Arturo!" And that made our group scream with joy! 


I had to honor to meet Jody last year!

Jody teased us by saying "Nightlife" was coming, but she played the wonderful "Sanctuary" instead. She said she was short on time (there were two shows and we were at the first show) and so she didn't perform "Nightlife." Hopefully the second show got it!




Because both shows sold out, another date has been added for March 21. So if you haven't seen Jody in concert yet, head over to Yoshi's website and get your tickets because that looks to be sold out soon, too.

As a special treat, I thought I'd ask some of our friends who went to the show with us what they thought of the concert ...


**



Arturo B:

When you see Jody Watley in concert, you know she will not disappoint. But when she shouts out your name and wishes you a happy birthday, you know why she is so loved by her fans!

Thank you, Jody … for yet another unforgettable performance and a very special always-to-be-remembered night!



Janice A:
It's always a treat to hear Jody's beautiful voice, to see her gorgeous smile and smooth dance moves, and to feel the emotions her songs convey. She is one of the most ageless and timeless performers I've had the pleasure of seeing. The musicians in her band are amazingly gifted, her dancers are not only talented but very pleasing to the eye, and the small venue at Yoshi's makes me feel like I'm the lucky recipient of my own show! I will continue to go to Jody's performances for as long as she graces us with her presence!

Matthew M:
Jody Watley and Shalamar Reloaded, a wonderful mix of old school disco and fresh pop sounds. Jody's vocals were effortlessly on point, and her back up dancers/vocals don't disappoint! Her aura of love and happiness leave you with a smile on your face and song in your head.

Maisee S:                             
I thought the show was wonderful. I was very impressed! She was entertaining, enlightening and upbeat. And she is still as gorgeous as ever with a voice of gold to boot! I will definitely see her perform again.

Heather M:
I found Jody Watley's and Shalamar's performance very entertaining, especially as I was not familiar of her history as a great performer. She knew how to put on a show and connect with her audience, young, old, long-time fans or those of us seeing her live for the first time. Would recommend seeing her again!

Eric R:
I enjoyed the section with the songs I knew as it took me back to high school.

Jim D:
Jody Watley & Shalamar were awesome! From Jody's amazing voice to her costars and their fantastic dance moves. A great time was had by all! I'm glad I was there.


**


If you are in the Bay Area, get tickets for her March 21 show at Yoshi's! Unfortunately, we won't be able to make it. I'm sure it will be an amazing show!


And now is as good of time as any to buy her music. I would suggest Jody's latest effort Paradise. Click on the name to read my review.




Cheers then,

—Davearama

Please like Jody's official Facebook page.

You can follow her on Twitter.

Bookmark her official website.

Visit her blog!

Watch her videos on YouTube.

And purchase Jody's music on iTunes.