Tuesday is here again and I’m doing my best to stay warm while visiting home for the first time since moving to New York. It’s been great to see my family but I’m ready to head back to the land of privacy and very few questions about how to work a computer. Let’s check out this week’s (abbreviated) list of new music shall we?
Christina Aguilera — Lotus (RCA Records)
Christina Aguilera is infinitely interesting to me and I love her ability to take risks while remaining one of the biggest pop stars of our time. Her talent as a vocalist is undeniable, which makes me turn up an eyebrow when the auto-tuned intro to this album rears its ugly head. Thankfully the artificial electronic additive (with a bit of a nod to Lana Del Rey‘s sound – amiright?) only makes a very brief appearance and we’re quickly treated to the passionate, soulful, empowered Aguilera vocals that have bitch-slapped haters and nay-sayers into submission for the past decade.
Aguilera’s last album, Bionic, wasn’t a commercial success and got panned by many critics, much to my chagrin. I was one of the few who celebrated her new direction and ability to move outside of her comfort zone while remaining authentic. Lotus brings her, for lack of a better phrase, back to the basics — and I ain’t mad at her. This is a lively dance-pop record filled with the kind of vocal power and range only a few pop stars can actually bring. Once again, Christina has given me reason to be a proud member of her team forever. Standout tracks include the Bjorkly-named “Army of Me,” “Make The World Move” and the Blake Shelton collaboration “Just A Fool.”
Midnight Magic — Walking The Midnight Streets (Midnight Sun Sound)
To put it simply: If you aren’t a fan of this album and its smile-inducing combination of funk, disco, big band and ultimate fun times, I’m not really sure we can hang out. Walking The Midnight Streets has greatness oozing from each of the album’s ten tracks and practically begs the listener to get up and get embarassingly sexy. It’s OK everybody, you should go with that feeling. I can’t speak from experience but I have to imagine the live concert experience of watching this 9-person ensemble on stage would be a party and a half. If these kids went on tour with Rhye, I might quit whatever I’m doing and beg to hop on their tour bus as a roadie. You can stream the album in its entirety over at Spinner.
Crystal Castles — III (Polydor)
Alice Glass may be a reluctant electro-punk icon, but she ranks highly on my list of hot babes who scare the shit out of me. She and her partner in beats, Ethan Kath, create music for moving. There is an urgency built in to the group’s sound which borders on the feeling of paranoia and the need to flee. While that may not be the description some of you are looking for in the music your playlists are built upon — others of you, like myself, sometimes need that eratic chaos to forcefully propel us to the next thing we need to concentrate on. Crystal Castles doesn’t just make music; they create a cinematic soundscape for the chase and heroin-chic dance party scenes in your mind. Stream the album in its entirety over here.
More Music Extras: Check out the steamy first single from up-and-coming electro-pop singer Roxiny. She’s got a few remixes for “Belong” which you can also stream on her Soundcloud page.
Madison has shared her track “Sweet Life”. If there were someone comissioned to write an anthem for innocent-looking dirty girls – I’m pretty sure she’d be the one to do it.
Let’s continue my obsession with MSMR shall we?
It’s been a hot second since Wild Belle has been in my ears and it was just too long. “Keep You” is a chillaxed, Carribean-style indie-pop jam making me wish I were holding a margarita by the poolside. Of course, I am always wishing I were holding a margarita by the poolside somewhere.
That’s all for this week’s new tunes – I hope you found at least a few to keep you company until next week. If you’re feeling frisky, feel free to shout me out on Twitter, add me as a friend on Facebook or stalk my Spotify playlists. In the wise words of Jerry Springer, “Be good to yourself and each other.”