What do you mean, "literature?"

Sorry folks, the greatest hits compilation will have to wait until tomorrow. I'm too tied up reading my new book, Murakami, about Takashi Murakami. A leading contemporary artist from Japan, Murakami is most notably responsible for the limited edition Louis Vuitton handbags covered with cute cherry blossoms and eyeballs. Frankly, all I had to hear was "smiling cherry blossoms" and I was sold. However, I'm learning that his designs are much more complicated in meaning than one could ever assume just by looking at any of his exhibitions. Who knew that a smiling panda could represent sentiments of American consumerism and post-war Japanese culture? Here I was, delighted by a joyful panda. Regardless, it's really quite fascinating, and I'll be sure to update more thoroughly during work tomorrow.

EDIT: Thanks to the Amazon reviewer who recommended taking off the dust jacket to reveal an impossibly cute smiley flower. My dreams have been realized.

And you, what do you think?

~*~ My Top Ten of 2007!! ~*~

Batten the hatches and hide your daughters, I'm compiling my Greatest Hits '07 picks...

Prepare for updates tonight!

And Now For Something Completely Related...

Girl-On-Girl Action.

Background tidbits:
Dannii is a judge on England's X Factor (Similar to America's Got Talent/American Idol).

I swear, this is my last Minogue related post for a while. It's becoming an illness, and for that I apologize.

And you, what do you think?

Swivel Chairs and Disco Lights

I'm at work. Somewhere between the third and fourteenth visit to Perez, I realized that no one else has followed suit. I am alone in my cubicle, surrounded by dark offices. Apparently, some people take holidays during the holiday season. To quench my boredom, I'm now listening to the almost perfect track, "Nervous" by Dannii Minogue off of her essential re-issue of "Neon Nights." Usually I am doing my 200 lb. bench presses at the gym during this CD's rotation, but I suppose a few toe taps and neck rolls in my comfy office chair will suffice for today. By the way, here's my favorite Dannii look featured in the Put The Needle On It video on YouTube:

On Christmas Eve, I meant to post in detail about the greatest Dannii album of all time. Blame it on the eggnog. I will now quote it in its entirety:

I was driving around town today, listening to Dannii Minogue's new outtake album, Unleashed, when an unreleased version of the sickeningly genius track "Hide & Seek" came on. As I began swerving slowly into oncoming traffic trying to nail those long notes in the "falling down like rain" bit of the song, I realized with a jump: I hadn't heard Neon Nights in almost a year. What a fool I am!! To think, I could neglect my favorite albums EVER? The title of the CD alone suggests musical and lyrical perfection, and trust me, it is. She will never do better than what Neon Nights was; this is fact. Sad fact, but fact. It remains one of the most under-appreciated and overly essential sophisticated dance pop gems of all time. Each song is unapologetically catchy. The sounds are industrial and the production is ahead of its time. If only she stayed with London Records. And don't you damn ninny-fans try and justify All Around the World Records as a real record deal...you ALL know that any Neon Nights track beats 94% of Dannii's latest releases. I'm looking at you, "Touch Me Like That." I don't want to be touched like that ANYTIME.

Buy Dannii Minogue's A+ album, Neon Nights, at Amazon.

And you, what do you think?

Close to touch like Michelangelo.

Good evenin', fellow bloggers and blogettes! I hope you and yours had a smashing Christmas. I know I did. I don't remember it, but the gifts in my room remind me that something must have happened. As I had hoped, I received the latest albums from the Minogues! Kylie's X, and Dannii's Neon Nights and Girl re-issues. Perfection.

Right now, I'm listening to Kylie - X for the very first time. Sure, I'm exactly one month later than the album's actual release date, but no one in America knows that Kylie makes music right now, so I think I'm still in the clear.

Starting now is Like A Drug. I love the urban beats. I have to say, this really is the perfect release following Body Language (2003). It combines the sophisticated dance-pop that won critical acclaim in Fever, while holding on dearly to the urban edge that Kylie's record company clearly wants her to maintain.

Gasp! She just said "radar," like in Britney's "Radar." Take note songwriters, the word "radar" often improves a song's performance, as just documented. I love the chorus going on in this track. Here's Kylie - Like A Drug:

Oh my God. Speakerphone? This is the next step in electro-pop. All of the sounds and nouns being flung about, it's so layered and wonderful! This one could make some mean remixes as well. I love the vocoder! Too many people complain that the vocoder is an excuse for artists not to sing. I think it only enriches the song, makes it more fun. I can't wait to learn all of the lyrics to this one.

Oh, and about "The One." It's rapidly becoming my favorite track from Kylie, ever. It's got everything I need, plus an impeccable performance from the Kylie Show that aired during Thanksgiving break. It's absolutely heavenly. I cannot speak more highly of this song, so I shall provide the link to watch the performance:

X, though often dismissed by more hardcore fans with years of fan-ness under their fannies, complain heavily about the "try-too-hard" lyrics and sexified overtones; Because Kylie is older now, she should be moving on to more appropriate material, etc. As far as the music is concerned, I have no issues with Kylie continuing to sing about disco moves and rude suggestions. Sure, substance is appreciated, but that's not what a comeback album should contain. Even the missteps that her fans claimed on the album, such as "Heart Beat Rock," are a lot of fun. The only slip-up I can see is "All I See," which is a rehashed R&B jam that I've heard many times before. Otherwise, I don't see what all the fuss was about. I know many people expected this to be an album about overcoming cancer, and while there are tidbits thrown into assorted songs, I have a feeling Kylie had no desire to intermingle her personal life with her pop life persona. Yet another reason to admire both her strength as a person and showmanship as an entertainer.

No, X is not confessional. This is sheer funk pop, and occasionally gay-glam, fooling around with sound and testing the limits of pop. She needed to prove that she's still got "it," and she does. I love this much more than Body Language, and it's almost on par with what Fever was. Next step, another Impossible Princess perhaps? I could only dream.

Please do yourselves a favor and buy Kylie Minogue's X at Amazon.
Suggested Rating:A

And you, what do you think?

On this merriest of eves, I would like to introduce another unknown artist that deserves recognition. Paris,(not the spoiled one), is a group from Sweden. They make music. It's rather delightful. I don't remember how I found them, but all I know is that their music is primarily sold from their online website, which is in Swedish. Helpful. They're really hard to find.

Anyway, their sound is similar to transporting the Cardigans into the 1980's with a Casio keyboard and few glasses of wine. Take a moment to enjoy their songs, "Millions of Tears," and "You And I." "Millions of Tears" features a direct sample from my old Casio keyboard, so it made me all tingly when I heard it first. It still does, but that's only because it sounds like baby kittens dying. Seriously though, it's an absolutely beautiful song. "You and I" is a sweeping rock-ier number, but the vocals are equally beautiful.

Enjoy, and please support Paris buy buying Secrets on Tape!

And you, what do you think?

Meat Pies!

Just got back from a screening of Sweeney Todd. As a horror movie enthusiast and worshiper of the darkness, I loved this movie dearly. In my eyes, Tim Burton can do no wrong. All of the characters were deliciously morbid, as though the creatures from A Nightmare Before Christmas came alive. But to warn you, and this one is obvious, there will be blood. Obscene amounts. As Depp whispered to his dearest friend (his blade) "You shall drip rubies, you'll soon drop precious rubies." My personal favorite was of course Mrs. Lovett, though I can't help but wonder what it must have been like for Tim Burton to film his off-screen wife with his on-screen leading man? Anywho, the cast was bloody, and I do mean bloody, brilliant. I loved every moment of it, though I was grimacing through most of it.

See Sweeney Todd in theaters today.

And you, what do you think?

Lights and Voices

You'll have to excuse the looks of this place. I'm trying to remain simple and yet modern, which is causing some issues. The background will probably be changing daily until I stumble upon something I'm moderately pleased with.
Okay. Time to go underground. Well, sort of. In the Japanese pop scene, you can't be hot for longer than about a week. Even the pop titans cannot control the fact that an album or single will typically debut at number one, only to fall in the following week. J-Pop is just that competitive. So when you've got an artist that isn't a household name, sometimes it's difficult to chart at all.
Take Eri Nobuchika. She's never made it too big, though she remains one of the most underrated voices of Japanese pop music. Her voice is absolutely haunting, and probably the best out of all of the singers I've heard. Yet she's relatively unknown. So, this is for Eri. My favorite track off of her first and only studio album, nobuchikaeri, is the song "Voice." The song starts off with an electro-salsa beat along with tiny hand-clap beats, slowly rising and falling, but never losing its steam. The song's intensity starts to build, and the climatic crescendo is something indescribable. It's almost cathartic, really. The song is epic, and one of my favorite J-Pop songs ever. It's long, but it's worth it, trust me.


And you, what do you think?

Rebel Am I, Who Me? Oh, no.

I almost forgot. Before I go off to slumber, I really need to address Iio. The group formed a billion years ago and gained worldwide success with their still perfect single, "Rapture." Even if you don't think you've heard it, you have, you just haven't made the connection. Don't believe me? Give it a few seconds of play. Regardless, their album, Poetica, is equally impressive. One of my favorites off of the CD is "Rebel," a mid-tempo track featuring Nadia Ali's ever impressive, unique vocals. It's really wonderful.

EDIT: Actually, "Is It Love?" is a necessary post as well. The song is even slower than "Rebel," though there are plenty of club mixes out there from the time it was released as a single. The song is repetitive and chilled. The chorus' only line, "Is It Love?" is repeated endlessly, but it flows beautifully...I personally love it. I even heard the song on mainstream radio once while driving with my mother, who abruptly switched the station due to Nadia's inability to distinguish if it is in fact love. I couldn't find any YouTube links to the slower album version, but it's really quite fantastic, so I made a link for it.

DL: Is It Love? (Album Version).

You can buy Iio's Poetica at Amazon.

And you, what do you think?

Sexy Dance

Ay--Ayumi dancing sexily? That's Ayu's shameless! Seems Ayumi has decided to do a few choreographed moves in her latest promotional video for a song from GUILTY called "(don't) Leave Me Alone." A pretty simple music video...so to make up for the lack of visual stimuli...sexy dance!! It's like the "REAL ME" video revisited. Shock and panic follow. For non-Asian wannabes, Ayumi is known for song, not dance. That's why everytime so busts a move, an entire branch of her fanbase shudders and collapses. But yeah, cute video.

Be sure to buy Ayumi's upcoming album, GUILTY at Amazon.

And you, what do you think?

Bad Decision

For God's sake ladies, get it together. You all know it's not the best track for the next single, so why bother? The song is too low in register! Here's the Girls warbling "Can't SingSpeak French" on the Friday Night Project.

You can buy Girl's Aloud fantastic Tangled Up at Amazon..

And you, what do you think?

If Only...

Let me take you back to a time...A time where a girl named Britney had the possibility of a worldwide tour. A time where her nether regions weren't granted as many photo spreads as her face. A time without babies and divorces. Well, at least the last one. The time was 2006. The album, the horribly titled B In The Mix: The Remixes. Track six, the only newly recorded song from Ms. Spears, "And Then We Kiss." Well my friends, the day that the song leaked onto the Interweb, I happened to be home from school (some may call it coincidence, I call it my Britney-sense.) Once I heard the strings start up and the ambient songs swirling behind them, I knew this would be different. And it was. "And Then We Kiss" is where I wanted her to move toward. It features a more complex, adult sound that is still dance-ready and marketable, yet more sophisticated. I love everything about this song. It's one of my favorites, if not my favorite track from her. Come back to this, my sweet. You know you want to. Well...or--okay. Keep going to Starbucks. But then record more like this, please.

Buy Britney's B In The Mix: The Remixes here at Amazon.

And you, what do you think?