It might be a surprise for fans of Britney’s “Toxic” to know the song was written by former 90s pop star Cathy Dennis, the songwriter/co-producer of “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” (among others on Kylie’s Fever). Cathy offered “Toxic” to Kylie’s album Body Language first, but it was rejected.
In fact, Cathy’s Youtube-surfaced demo sounds near-identical to Britney’s version aside from the vocals, including the signature “Tere Mere Beech Mein” Bollywood sample.
Having major creative control meant Reni Jusis experimented whenever she wanted. This resulted in several exciting twists to her already distinctive take on electro-pop (the existential “Ostatni Raz” to name one), but no Reni song surprised me as much as “Niemy Krzyk”, her most dark-sided to date.
Sometimes on the bottom of my heart I feel that
My life is beyond me again
I cannot carry [on] anymore
I went too far again
Why is it that I live faster
If I don’t enjoy the things I have
I want to run away again
Where nobody will find me
With fragile trance melodies rippling along, the lyrics reveal inner fears behind the dance-DJ glamor she adopted on the Magnes album. The impressive soar in her vocal hammers in the effect.
On Deep Cuts I highlight notable album-only/non-single tracks, especially if they differ from someone’s usual style.
This lengthy suite should surprise you if you figured Dannii’s music boiled down to a more generic/’b-grade’ Kylie. With the downbeat aquatic synths, dramatic whispers and chilly title refrains, it’s closer to a lost Impossible Princess b-side.
Image credit: Translucent Iridescent #04 by MachineEast
A fun and melodic dancefloor mix with a focus on vocal trance and trance-inflected pop: high drama, expansive cool-down interludes, ecstatic choruses, and hypnotic synth backdrops.
- GRACE – not over yet
- DANNII MINOGUE – all i wanna do
- RENI JUSIS – ocale cie
- DOSS – the way i feel
- OCEANLAB – lonely girl
- ANDAIN – beautiful things
- ATB ft. HEATHER NOVA – desperate religion
- RENI JUSIS – ostatni raz
- CYNDI LAUPER – raging storm
- OPUS III – hand in hand
- DANNII MINOGUE – who do you love now?
- RENI JUSIS – niemy krzyk
- KITTY – miss u
- GIRLS ALOUD – untouchable
synth pop / dance-pop
Thanks to a lack of English information, I knew little beyond the title of ‘Chilean queen of electro-pop’ the evening I first heard Javiera Mena, but I was right to trust the album’s shower of acclaim. “No Te Questa Nada” (a divine cross between sophisti-pop and Cocteau Twins) proved the perfect match for the fading sunlight outside my window that day, and the grandiose energy of the album’s second half kept me engrossed until the end.
Other highlights include the fierce climax of strings in “Hasta la Verdad”, the endlessly soaring choruses of “Luz de Piedra de Luna” and an A+ Miami-freestyle resurrection in “Aca Entera”. The latter is adorably kitsch but topped with affirming light and sincerity.
As “Aca Entera” demonstrates, there’s something genuine about Mena that sets it apart; like Nite Jewel and Twin Shadow, I get the impression Javiera’s approach comes more from respect for her synth-pop roots than any kind of mockery. Her strong ear for melodies and glittery synths make this a satisfying album.
♥︎ – “Hasta la Verdad”, “No Te Questa Nada”, “Luz de Piedra de Luna”, “Sufrir”, “Aca Entera”
Long story short I wound up listening to Bananarama’s 2000s album Drama awhile back out of curiosity. It’s a surprisingly good album seeing how this was long past their chart-topping prime in the 80s. The lyrics are nothing special, being the usual love+partying topics, but overall it makes for very pleasant poppy background music. Plus, a couple of songs sound like Goldfrapp (!!!) so you know I’m there.
Another surprise was that one of my favorites, “Look On The Floor”, interpolates the chorus from the cult Italo-disco single “Hypnotic Tango”. What I love is how they give it more of a mellow warmth as opposed to the more uptempo original. If you love Italo, it’s sure to sound familiar:
Look on the floor
And all is spinning around
Someone told me this was just a dance
Then take a chance and I’ll give you more
Do you really think we have a chance?