Summer Tunage!

It’s time now to post what’s on my Songs of Summer 2009 playlist so far!

First, though:

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The Minogue sisters!
  • I’ve been listening to Dannii Minogue non-stop for the last few days. I just got in the mood to listen to her and simply couldn’t stop! Dannii, please come out with some new music sometime! :) I’ve particularly been enjoying listening to some of my old favorites like “Hide & Seek,” which next to “I Begin To Wonder” is my favorite Dannii ditty.
  • I also went on a Kylie Minogue binge about a week ago. She’s only about 200 songs away from topping Kate Bush on my last.fm charts!! :O Never thought I’d see that happen. Anyways, I really enjoyed listening to Impossible Princess again. Despite this being my favorite Kylie album ever and placing in my Top 5 fave albums of all time, I don’t listen to IP as often as you’d think. To put it simply, it tends to get me down because it reminds me so much of a bittersweet time in my teen years. Bitter, because I had just dealt with my first round of OCD badness; and sweet, because I have good memories of school and friends from that time. Hearing the darkness of “Too Far” and the frantic “Limbo” again remind me of how far I’ve come since I first heard the album at 16.

Sorry for getting depressing there! OK, now onto the Songs of Summer 2009. :)

  • “Who Do You Love Now (Bart Claessen FM Edit)” by Riva, featuring Dannii Minogue, is a 2009 reworking of the classic club stomper. This remix is not as epic as the original – but it’s still a good, trance-y mix with lots of blazing synths. There’s also a rejigged version of the video to match – check it out here!
  • Sophie Ellis-Bextor‘s distinctive vocals can be heard on Freemasons‘ “Heartbreak (Make Me A Dancer),” a stonkingly great dancefloor anthem. (I’m not even sure if “stonkingly” is a word, but that’s just how good this song is – it makes you invent new words!) The video edit has an awesome breakdown and buildup with some lovely strings. Well worth a listen!
  • I had listened to “When Love Takes Over,” by David Guetta featuring Kelly Rowland, a couple of months ago but it didn’t really make a dent with me then. After reading an entry singing the praises of the song over on Pop Trash Addicts, I thought I should give the song another listen. Now it has earned a place on my Songs of Summer 2009 playlist! The keyboard in the song reminds me of great big dance tracks of the 90s, which is a very good thing. :)
  • I have been absolutely adoring “Berlin” by French singer Christophe Willem. The album it comes from, Caféine, features Christophe singing with Kylie (or singing with her recording, whatev!) on a new version of “Sensitized,” which prompted me to give the album a try. Now I adore Caféine too! Caféine is perfect electro-pop and I’ll probably review it soon! :)
  • The Black Eyed Peas are back and I quite like their new single, “Boom Boom Pow.” It’s pretty minimal electro-hip-hop, but it’s highly addictive! :)
  • In-Grid, another fine French singer, has a song called “Le Dragueur” out right now that I really love. The accordion or whatever works so well with the beats, and the “yeah yeah yeah”s of the chorus are cool too.
  • Dragonette are back with a new single! “Fixin’ To Thrill” is full of awesome deep bass, synths, guitars, and fierce vocals from the lead singer. Can’t wait for their new album!
  • I’m really liking Pop Levi‘s new glam grunge single, “Terrifying.” Different in that it’s not nearly as upbeat as last year’s Never Never Love singles were, it’s still awfully catchy! I actually prefer it to the other single he’s got out now, “Police $ign.”
  • BWO has a new single out, titled “Right Here Right Now.” All the usual BWO bits are here: light but infectious beats, pretty synths, and and anthemic chorus. A fine slice of pop, perfect for the summer!
  • I’m kind of on the fence about Niels Van Gogh‘s revamp of Livin’ Joy’s 90s hit “Dreamer.” The extended remixes are great, but the only radio edit of the song I can find is the Denis Koyu & Micha Moor Radio Mix (for my summer playlist, the songs have got to be short and sweet!) – a good mix, yes, but a little long at 4:30. Otherwise, it’s a dancefloor-ready tune!
  • Speaking of the dancefloor – Cascada has a new song out called “Evacuate The Dancefloor.” It’s kind of a carbon copy of Lady GaGa’s “Just Dance,” but it’s got a charm all its own. The Wideboys Radio Mix really takes the song to the club, and has found a space on my summer playlist. :)
  • Last but not least is “The Wind Blows (DiscoTech Remix)” by The All-American Rejects. I’m not a big fan of them but I seem to always like their singles. I really would have liked a big club mix of this track but this electro mix is good too; the deep synths and fat beats beef up the ballad-like original.
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Dannii Minogue – Neon Nights (2003)

untitled589Dannii Minogue, born October 20, 1971, in Australia, has had a long and varied career. She sings, she acts, she dances – but most people know her only as ‘Kylie’s sister’! Of course, being associated with Kylie Minogue would be welcomed by most pop artists, but when Kylie’s your own sister, eh… not so much.

To sum up what Dannii’s been doing all these years, she began her career on television, then dabbled in fashion design, then released an album, then featured in a film, then released another album, then went back to television, then added ‘stage actress’ to her resume, then released her third album, then went back to the stage, then…

*phew!*

…released Neon Nights, her fourth album, in 2003. With Neon Nights, Dannii proved that she’s not deserving of that dismissive title of ‘Kylie’s sister.’ The album went gold in the UK one month after its release and in Australia the same month it was released. And for very good reason!

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The album was strongly influenced by 80s music, dance music, and electronica, and exuded a ‘party!’ vibe. This was fun music – catchy tunes, innuendo-laden lyrics, and synthesizers aplenty. The production on Neon Nights is flawless, which makes sense, as it was helmed by some of the best names in the biz. Ian Masterson, Korpi & Blackcell, Jewels & Stone, JCA… like some kind of an electro-dream-team.

You know how sometimes, you listen to an album, and think that the songs are good but they just need that little extra ‘oomph’? This is one album that came bursting with ‘oomph’. Each song has something great to recommend it, but I’ll just mention a few: ‘Put The Needle On It’ has a darn catchy chorus, ‘I Begin To Wonder’ is just pure greatness, ‘For The Record’ is very 80s-tastic (but in a good way!), ‘Vibe On’ has its tongue firmly in cheek (or elsewhere…!), ‘A Piece of Time’ has neat chopped-up production, ‘Who Do You Love Now?’ (Riva ft. Dannii Minogue) is just superb… Even the sole slow track on the album, ‘It Won’t Work Out,’ is lovely.

If you’ve never picked up a Dannii album before but want to hear what she’s all about, I recommend checking out Neon Nights. You won’t be sorry! :)