Category Archives: In Music

iTunedIN | MADONNA – I Rise (Remixes)

Rising above the rest “I Rise” emerges as a lead contender for dance floor addicts eager to raise the roof with Madonna’s latest offerings from Madame X.

The Etherial Girl may not be making the waves across the radio charts, Madonna has emerged in the last decade as the artist less attracted to making Top 40 music and on a binge to explore the all-new territory and push the envelope. The Queen of Pop’s latest full-length album Madame X is a world-music exploration, more inclined to attract that audience than to feed into the ravenous appetite of her dance floor devotees, but that doesn’t mean that she hasn’t given them something to play with.

The album itself runs the gamut of styles, though not as commercially friendly as say Confessions on a Dance Floor or Hard Candy. Both of those albums were very big on dance tracks inspired by the Euro-pop scene or stateside R&B/Hip-Hop. Madame X is clearly not in that vein, nor is it as bombastic as MDNA or as disjointed as Rebel Heart. There’s an elegance in the musical styles Madonna has driven into on this album’s setlist, but most of the music does have a provocative and very definite political angle.

The single “I Rise” is profoundly centered on drawing attention to the new generation’s eagerness to take action for themselves, especially given the clearly corrupt and uncaring state our fragile democracy is finding itself in. That doesn’t mean that the Queen of Pop isn’t determined to remain most relevant to the audience that made her a star to begin with. The artist has always understood the value of music to bring the people together, especially on the dance floor — and although the club scene has all but abandoned its most devoted, the cultural wave is still in existence.

Madonna’s “Madame X” has yielded (so far) remixes for “I Rise” and “Medellín” its first single. The artist is set to begin her “Madame X” Tour in September, and will be playing smaller theaters and opera houses rather than stadiums.

“I Rise” Remixed

Ironically that track that has the most direct political connectivity, is the one that has garnered the most attention — “I Rise” has a sizable appeal as an anthem, but it needed to be taken there. Leave it to one of the dance music scene’s most profound creatives to give the track a new sheen. Tracy Young revealed the first wave of remixes for the track and gave it a suped-up summer song feel with her “Pride” Remix. The music maestro has been a long-time favorite collaborator of Madonna’s and has given her greatest hits some of their most intense redux!

Young’s reinterpretation is no exception. In addition to Tracy Young, Madonna turned over the track to several other contemporary remix producers including Offer Nissim and Thomas Gold. Offer Nissim also took an interesting stab at Madame X’s premiere single “Medellín” featuring Maluma. Thomas Gold’s Remix of “I Rise” feels the most like a Madonna song, especially with its very 90s House-feel, it emerges feeling like something that might have appeared on Erotica even inspiring renewed interest in many of that album’s setlist, still considered some of Madonna’s best.

Available now on iTunes, Madonna’s “I Rise” (Remixes) are worthy of the artist, given her proclivity to remain close to her club roots, this emerges as one of the most outstanding works from her most recent endeavor Madame X. Listen to the Tracy Young “Pride” Remix here:

Madonna – I Rise (Remixes) available on iTunes.

Advertisements

iReview | KYLIE MINOGUE Step Back In Time – The Definitive Collection

Delivering “Pop Precision” since 1987 it’s impossible to imagine a world without the musical contributions of the Pop Goddess of Love KYLIE MINOGUE back with a definitive Greatest Hits collection!

You just can’t get her out of your head. Since gate crashing her way into the popular vernacular with her cover of the 1962 classic “The Loco-Motion” (originally performed by Little Eva) Kylie Minogue profoundly made her claim on the dance music scene and commanded the charts, setting the tone for songs of the summer in 1987. The Melbourne born, soap opera actress established herself a triple threat, as a singer, songwriter and actress that would emerge as an iconic performer and international phenom.

Though her early works outside of “The Loco-Motion” and “I Should Be So Lucky” didn’t made the impact that her music label may have hoped, it was inevitable that Kylie Minogue would eventually set the trend of the Euro-Dance Pop sound, aligning herself with Matt Aitken, Mike Stock and Pete Waterman, Minogue would go on to garner success and international fame, comparatively achieving the status of another “gay icon” Madonna; the two have often been compared to one another and even shown much reverence and affection for one another.

It wasn’t until 2001 that Minogue finally cracked the glass ceiling and crossed the pond, synching her place as a stateside pop-star with her hit single “I Can’t Get You Out of My Head” from her eighth full-length studio album Fever. Since then, Kylie Minogue has enjoyed mainstream success that has teamed her up with Calvin Harris, Pharrell Williams and Stuart Price (who co-produced Madonna’s hit Confessions on a Dance Floor) and crossed genres of appeal.

Feeling really nostalgic? The album is also available in vinyl.

Definitive Collection

Minogue is no stranger to the “Greatest Hits” format. Over the course of her three decades in the music industry, she’s released several compilations but her latest Step Back in Time – The Definitive Collection is determined to illustrate just how significant an influence Minogue has made with her music. Each of the 42 singles, including the brand new “New York City” elaborates on the artist’s evolution as a performer and influencer of the myriad dimensions of the dance\pop music genre.

From her most distinct early hits, to career-defining confections like “Shocked” and “Confide in Me” before capitalizing on her newfound popularity, Minogue continued to express herself with a sound all on her own as experienced on the mainstays “Spinning Around” and “Love at First Sight”. Her more contemporary chart toppers including “Timebomb” and “Get Outta My Way” also sit comfortably amid the rock-infused “2 Hearts” and hip-hop/funk of “Red Blooded Woman”. The only obvious omissions are tracks from Minogue’s 2014 album Kiss Me Once.

The album was the only release crafted on her short-lived collaboration with Warner Music Group, a multi-million deal that didn’t live up to the expectations of the label. Minogue was released early from that deal and returned to form on her latest, 2018’s concept piece Golden which featured a contemporary country-inspired smoothness. “Dancing” and “Stop Me From Falling” are more than suitable companions for her latest and newest “New York City”. The valentine to her fans in the thriving metropolis perfectly completes this definitive collection.

The only new single is the dance hit homage to “New York City”.

Kylie Minogue | Step Back in Time – The Definitive Collection available in CD, Digital Download, and various Special Edition formats including Vinyl and Cassette on her website.

iTunedIN | KYLIE MINOGUE “New York City”

The Pop Goddess has made a definitive impression on dance music and returns with a new single — “New York City” an anthem that is sure to mean a lot to Minogue’s stateside fanbase. 

Her career has been among one of the most coveted in pop-music, Kylie Minogue has achieved international stardom that is enviable and unmatched by many of her contemporaries. Since staking her claim to the pop charts in the late 80s with her stateside hit track “The Loco-Motion”, Minogue has kept pace with the biggest dance divas, including achieving as iconic a status as Madonna; by the new millennium it appeared the US had come around as the dance anthem “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” sealed her celebrity.

Kylie Minogue continued to enjoy a renaissance with a string of catchy dance tracks and pop confections that lead to a series of live smaller-venue performances in the states. To promote her next round of full-length albums, Minogue brought her show to New York City in 2008 and opened Pandora’s Box! Although she wouldn’t attempt an arena tour of the scale to which she was so well known across Europe and the UK, she scaled down her shows including her “Les Foiles” Tour to continue her dance floor dominance.

She’s since remained a relevant component of the pop-music lexicon ever since many of her early career hits haven’t transcended or performed as well as the mainstream success of 2001s Fever. Once her again her newest fans will have an opportunity to get reacquainted with Kylie with the release of her latest greatest hits package Step Back In Time: The Definitive Collection which promises to collect the most prominent tracks of her career up to her most recent hits from Golden. The first single, an original track, is already available and pays homage to her US fans.

“New York City” is classic Kylie Minogue. Pure dance and joyfully electrifying; commandeering the best elements of her indicative dance sound, but feeling fresh and contemporary. The track will easily appeal to her stateside fanbase, while still drawing in the most faithful followers of the Pop Goddess of Love, while easily making itself accessible to a whole new audience ready to step back in time with one of popular music’s greatest entertainers.

New York City is the first single from the latest greatest hits package from Kylie Minogue. The 2-disc album is set to release wide on June 28 and his called Step Back In Time: The Definitive Collection.

iTunedIN | MADONNA Introduces MADAME X

For her latest album project, the Queen of Pop is gearing up to present to her fans to her newest incarnation. On Madame X audiences will get a globe-trotting experience and a far more exotic Madonna than we’ve ever had before.

It would appear that even on vacation there’s no keeping Madonna down. While taking some personal time to reinvigorate her creative juices, the Queen of Pop dove into the multi-cultural diversity of Portugal and found the inspiration for her fourteenth studio album. Madonna is no stranger to reinvention, and has taken on several new personas to express herself on the album project entitled Madame X which she promises will highlight many of the spectacular new sounds she has been exploring.

The artist has commented on how homogenous popular music has become; Madonna has said that everything sounds the same, and the idea of releasing a new project that didn’t stand out just wouldn’t do. Collaborating with Mirwais on the new album also provided a creative safety net for the artist. The pair worked together on her Grammy® Award-Winning Ray of Light and its follow-up Music. The premiere single “Medellín” also features Colombian pop-singer Maluma. The controversial singer approached Madonna backstage at the VMAs and insisted they work together.

Intrigued by the invitation, Madonna and Mirwais familiarized themselves with Maluma’s work and found the perfect track bring him in on. The result is the world-dance sounding “Medellín” which immediately sets the tone and pace for what fans can expect from Madame X. Releasing a tease of the album’s themes via social networking, Madonna insists her newest incarnation is many things. “Madame X is a secret agent; traveling around the world — changing identities, fighting for freedom, bringing light to dark places.”

Madonna teaming up MIrwais and Colombian signer Maluma for her latest album project “Madame X” hitting stores in June.

“X” Hits the Spot

The last decade has suggested that Madonna is less interested in commercial success and far more focused on nurturing her creative animal. Her last two ventures 2012s MDNA and 2015s Rebel Heart proved exercises in experimentation. Madonna has always ventured the push the envelope especially when its come to her music, always preferring to take risks. Though critically well interpreted, these most recent offerings are perhaps the artist’s least cohesive explorations. Both albums featured multi producers and ran the gamut of genres, from dance to folk.

Though the details of Madame X have still appeared scarce, with Madonna taking a more reflective approach, perhaps this will be the album to present her best as the constant innovator she has demonstrated over the course of her legendary career. The track list on Madame X also suggests that Madonna still pursuing complex narratives of religion and soul searching, but only time will tell, and fans won’t have long to wait. Madame X will be dropping on June 14 and features guest collaborations with Maluma, Quavo, Swae Lee and Anitta.

A video for the debut single is expected to hit the airwaves the week of April 22 and will be introduced in traditional Madonna fashion. The artist is hosting a record listening and video premiere on MTV to air on Wednesday, April 24 to air live from London.

Madame X | Madonna will be released on June 14. The first single “Medellín” is available now. Check it out on iTunes here.

iTuneIN | Sean Finn & Corona THE RHYTHM OF THE NIGHT

The club anthem is given a nice new gloss from Sean Finn featuring the original vocalist that took the track to the top of the dance charts!

The year was 1994. Dance music was experiencing a renaissance and invigorating popularity brought upon by a resurgence of the club culture. Nightlife was booming and the circuit scene was being perpetrated across the globe. This was before the rise of EDM, the music festival magnificence that inspired and elevated the DJ/music producer to the high on heights of near god-like reverence, and techno was starting to invade the dance floor lexicon. Dance anthem artist Corona had a hit on her hands with “The Rhythm of the Night”.

Cut to 2019 and dance music is enjoying new popularity, albeit subversive celebrity. The club scene isn’t what it used to be. Major cities are no longer drawing big room attendances, but that hasn’t prevented hit-makers like Sean Finn from reigniting interest in Corona’s club anthem and giving “The Rhythm of the Night” an injection of the contemporary. The German-born Finn has joined ranks with the likes of Eric Prydz and Benny Benassi, music producers who are taking upon themselves to revive the House genre, pushing the sound to a new evolution.

Check out “The Rhythm of the Night” on iTunes here.

Listen to the remixes now…

 

iEditorial | LIKE A PRAYER 30th Anniversary

Still considered the most seminal work of her career, 30 years ago Madonna released Like A Prayer her most introspective project at the time, redefined popular music and elevated her celebrity into the stratosphere.

Expressing herself has always been one of Madonna’s most enduring caveats as an artist. The Queen of Pop has never attempted to shy away from the criticism or the controversies that have followed her especially early on during her emerging career, and in 1989 the controversies were moving at a rapid-fire pace, and yet Madonna kept in step. Proving many of her harshest critics wrong she releases Like A Prayer her most honest and introspective work, the album reshaped the perception of the artist immediately.

There was her high profile divorce from actor Sean Penn. Their tumultuous marriage had been headline fodder for the tabloids since the moment the couple began to date; the distraction of having their lives constantly under the microscope inevitably led to the relationship’s downfall. Madonna emerged determined from the experience not to appear a victim of what many had conspired to describe as an abusive situation. Between her last full-length album and the release of Like A Prayer, Madonna appeared to have grown in leaps and bounds artistically.

The 11-tracks that culminate in the setlist for Like A Prayer beginning with the album’s title track read like an exercise in self-discovery and exoneration for Madonna. She’s putting it all out there and bringing her audience along with her. “Like a Prayer” proved more of a success than anyone could have bargained for. In the lead-up to the video’s MTV premiere, Pepsi had agreed to a multi-million dollar deal with Madonna to sponsor her upcoming world tour. The commercial featuring the track was the perfect marriage of artist and product typical of the 80’s branding of an image.

Unfortunately, the video for “Like a Prayer” with its profound use of religious iconographic imagery, some of which showed Madonna cavorting amorously with a man who appeared as a Christ-like reference while burning crossing raged behind her, may have been more than squeaky-clean soda manufacturer had bargained for. Madonna and Pepsi inevitably went their separate ways, though she kept the millions promised to her, and followed up the controversy of the first video with the even more flagrant “Express Yourself” directed by David Fincher.

Just Like A Dream

For the second single from Like A Prayer, Madonna threw all care to the wind and decided the video for the more up-tempo track would be her most audacious yet. Collaborating with David Fincher (the pair would work together often) the pair chose the art deco influences of the gothic futuristic film Metropolis set to the “non-stop” remix of the track by music producer Shep Pettibone, to drape Madonna in satin sheets, chaining her to a bed — a captive to her own desires — as she awaits the arrival of her oiled up, muscly laborer who toils in the depths of the city.

The imagery from “Express Yourself” alone fueled a movement and would eventually reveal itself as the opening arc of her blockbuster statement of 1990, the Blond Ambition World Tour. The album would go on to release several hit singles including “Keep It Together”, “Oh Father”, “Dear Jessie” and “Cherish” which also featured a video from fashion photographer Herb Ritts. The video which featured Madonna on the shores of a beach playing with mermen who swam amidst the crashing waves was an interesting parallel to Ritts’ other video for Janet Jackson.

Though their rivalry was never a publicly stated competition, the two artists often found themselves during the 80s and 90s battling for similar audiences. Ritts bathed Madonna in cool blues which played beautifully to her own eyes as her skin appeared wet and desirably supple in the watery backdrop, while Jackson’s video for “Love Will Never Do (Without You) placed Janet in the stark California desert, radiating a heat — both artists the lustful affection of several well-built male models; of the two videos Madonna’s the more playful and innocent, by comparison.

Keep It Together

Perhaps the most significant extrapolation of Like A Prayer comes from its significantly closing the artistic collaborative efforts of songwriters Patrick Leonard and Stephen Bray, who had been ever-present in Madonna’s early career hits. They would return to the fold, but after Like A Prayer and her next full-length album effort Erotica Madonna would begin to experiment with alternative producing and writing partners. The success of Like A Prayer would soon be eclipsed by the shockwave of a single hit song that almost ended up a B-Side. The song was “Vogue”.