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Views At A Glance: Kylie, Black Keys & RZA, Ciara, Calvin Harris, Dawn Richard and More!

Views At A Glance: Kylie, Black Keys & RZA, Ciara, Calvin Harris, Dawn Richard and More!

on Oct 25 in Calvin HarrisCheryl ColeCiaraDanity KaneDawn RichardDanceFlorence and The MachineGirls AloudKevin MichaelKylie MinogueNicola RobertsPassport TunesPinkPopR&BRZAThe Black KeysVideos

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Calvin Harris featuring Florence Welch - “Sweet Nothing” (Diplo & Grandtheft Trapstyle Remix)
A Machine-less Florence teams up with DJ/producer du minute Calvin Harris following his recent re-working of Flo’s U.K. #1 hit “Spectrum” though the original production of “Sweet” was a bit of a letdown.  The album version is a by the numbers re-tread of what has worked for Harris in the past but in the hands of Diplo (and Grandtheft, fine), the single becomes a neck snapping series of bleeps and beats that could quite conceivably get a little hood love as well. 

Dawn Richard - “Wild N Faith” (Video)
OK, so I never got around to blogging about this video—- though I meant to—- but seeing her shut it down live last night at SOB’s has me back in Team Dawn mode.  Taking into account that she is making this solo thing happen “with no budget and no label”, her words mind you, makes the “Wild N Faith” video even more impressive.  Meager means doesn’t get in the way of D. Rich giving us an epic six minute vid full of McQueen-esque fashion—- LOVE that two mic headpiece ol’ dude is rocking—- as well as tireless choreo with an army of dancers.  Add to the mix that momma is stylishly two stepping with the kids in pencil thin stilettos that would be hard enough to walk in, and it becomes even more puzzling that artistically stunted chicks like Ciara (see video below) still somehow get the major label love and promo budgets.  Be sure to pick up Dawn’s stellar Armor On EP from iTunes as the appetizer to her forthcoming GoldenHeart album, due in January 2013.

The Black Keys and RZA - “The Baddest Man Alive” (Video)
“The Baddest Man Alive” video is essentially the ultimate food fight, Mortal Kombat-style, with lyrics that suggest that the Dos Equis dude is a punk with mouse balls compared to RZA ‘n’ Tha Keys.  That “...date rape Beauty in front of The Beast” line is unfortunate and the violence gets a little extreme towards the end but if you can get past the misogyny, then “Baddest Man…” is good, clean graphic fun. 

Kylie Minogue - “Slow” (Abbey Road Sessions Version)
I really have been digging this whole K25 era, a celebration of KyKy’s 25(!) years in the music business with a series of well thought out retrospectives.  The recently released Abbey Road Sessions album takes a handful of hits from Minogue’s impressive catalogue and re-imagines them as orchestral/unplugged soundtracks for a Sunday of mimosa brunches and house cleaning.  Though the album works as a whole, some tracks really stand out and “Slow” is one of the highlights for me.  This Abbey version does away with the sleazy electro thump of the original for a sleazier red light special bump ‘n’ grind club vibe that is decidedly more burlesque-ian.  Moulin Oooooooh!

Pink - “Try” (Video)
I know I’m so late with this as it’s been out for a couple of weeks now.  Timeliness aside, “Try” is basically So You Pink You Can Dance as Miz Moore-Hart gets her Mia Michaels on (though Momma Mia isn’t responsible for the ‘ography) in this inspired clip detailing what seems to be a beautifully dysfunctional and violent relationship.  Some have cited Kate Bush as visual inspiration for “Try” and while I don’t necessarily agree, it’s definitely worth checking out Kate’s 80s clip as yet another inspirational artist/dancer video pas de deux.

Girls Aloud - “Something New” (Video)
I’ve never been a huge fan of U.K. pop group Girls Aloud but I have been kinda into a few of their past hits—- the Manson/Aguilerian “Sexy No No No!” clip is a highlight for me.  I thought the trailer for the new video was dope as it used that clipped group reveal at the end to suggest that “Something New” was gonna be something epic.  As it turns out, the teaser is better than the clip it hyped as the full length video is a simple series of slo-mo wind blown hair tosses, repetitive basic choreo and quick cut, blurry shots that make it hard to make differentiate one Aloud Girl from the other.  They, like Kylie, are celebrating a milestone this year with a planned greatest hits album to mark their ten year recording career which probably explains why the three members with varying successful solo careers (Cheryl, Nicola and Nadine) were down to get back together one mo’ time. 

Kevin Michael - “Memory Lane”
Kevvy Kev was last on my radar this past summer when he was running around in his underwear profanely singing about his love of puhnanny in the video for “Cherry Bomb”.  It was, for me, an odd direction to go in as the trying too hard bad boy shenanigans seemed more “early Prince”—- sorta—- when Kev’s previous output suggested that he might be an R&B artist more musically and visually aligned with someone like Miguel… but go on and ‘spress yourself, I guess.  This new track sounds like a return to form and it’s from his forthcoming multimedia (sounds artsy… we’ll see) mixtape b r a i n w a $ h.

Ciara - “Got Me Good” (Video)
Oh CiCi… what is going on with this project???  Sure, “Overdose” found Ciara in full on Britney pop mode, but it was the only thing that has sounded like a legitimate hit in a seemingly never-ending parade of “meh” single releases… and that was just a snippet!  So instead of releasing the track that would return the “Princess of Crunk ‘n’ B” to the charts, the label has oh so wisely decided to go with the been there, slept through that dated blandness that is “Got Me Good”.  The desert-themed video is something we’ve seen done better many times before and while I appreciate that its sole focus is choreography, the moves were just as OK as the song they were meant to highlight.  How many more chances is this girl gonna get before she joins Teairra Mari at the makeup counter at Macy’s?




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