Saturday, October 4, 2014

Song Of The Day: "U-Huh" by Tkay Maidza

The biggest surprises often come in the smallest packages. The little Aussie firecracker known as Tkay Maidza surely fits that description. This girl has not been around that long but her single "Brontosaurus" got the blogs buzzing with its unique mix of delightful rap and quirky electronics. Thankfully, Tkay reeled it in for her newest single "U-Huh." Ms. Maidza found that sweet spot of electropop that actually enhances her rapping prowess. The best part of the song comes from the fact that it makes you feel like a badass in every way. If anyone sees me strutting down Broadway, it's probably because this song came on my iPod. It's all a little Azealia Banks rapping over an Annie song. Which can only be a good thing, mind you. If this is any indication of what's to come, Tkay may just be my new fave pop-rap darling on the scene.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Best Songs Of 2013: The Top 5

Every one of these songs are stone-cold hits. Make sure to check out the rest of the list on the blog!

5. "American Girl" by Bonnie McKee

For those of you that didn't know, "American Girl" was the very first Song Of The Day post on Nonstop On Top Pop! And rightfully so. This patriotic slice of good old-fashioned electropop comes courtesy of certified hit maker Bonnie McKee and easily takes the cake as her best work to date. Ultimately, Bonnie has all the goods to be 2014's greatest popstar and she has all of Q4 to do it.

4. "Habits" by Tove Lo

"Habits" holds a special place in my heart as I discovered Tove Lo early on and thus, knew a trendsetting popstar before most others even knew she existed. Now, Habits is sitting nicely just outside the iTunes charts and Billboard Hot 100. Come on, "I eat my dinner in my bathtub, then I go to sex clubs" is the best opening line in the history of pop. And Tove's album has shaped up to be the best of 2014. All in all, you go Tove Lo (a la Mean Girls)!

3. "Beloved" by Say Lou Lou

Technically, this was a B-side to another really amazing song. But seriously, the fact that Say Lou Lou created a B-side better than the vast majority of hits from the past decades just boggles the mind. First off, a ballad has never gotten this high in my rankings before. But "Beloved" was so devastatingly beautiful, so poignantly heartbroken, and just so fantastic it had to make it to 3rd place. And the girls already have claim to best album of 2015. Amazing.

2. "SuperLove" by Charli XCX

It happened. Out of all the hits Charli XCX has made since she was seventeen, she managed to top them all with SuperLove. How could this be possible you ask? Well, it takes all her quick fire pop hooks that made you fall in love with her and matches it with a fun pop-rock melody. And it came 6 MONTHS after her album dropped. Charli is nothing if not a hard worker and 2014 finally saw how good of a popstar she is. And that's why she will always be my favorite.

1. "I Love It" by Icona Pop feat. Charli XCX

I'm sorry to say that it was rather obvious that "I Love It" was going to be the best song of the year. A simple 2 and a half minutes of pure recklessness, joy, anger, and general fucklessness. It never occurred to anyone that Icona Pop had it in them, but I Love It seemed destined to be the worldwide hit that gave the girls a reputation as Sweden's best export of party music. But more importantly, it set the stage for Charli XCX's takeover as the best songwriter in the industry right now. It's always great when good pop is recognized and thankfully, "I Love It" will go down in history as a success story for all music. And I will forever be a 90's bitch. 

Congratulations 2013 for having amazing music and here's to 2014 for giving us the same!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Album Review: "Queen Of The Clouds" by Tove Lo

"I have my moments, I have my moments"

It finally happened. The debut album by the self-appointed #Queen Of The Clouds has released her debut album today and whatever you do, don't take this next statement lightly: THIS IS ONE OF THE GREATEST ALBUMS OF THE CENTURY! Now that we've taken care of semantics, let's break down why Tove Lo is essentially pop's savior of 2014.

The ingenious singer-songwriter that is Tove Lo first popped up at the tail end of 2012 with the misleadingly titled "Love Ballad", a majestic track telling of an all-consuming love that is worth dying for. Clearly, Tove wasn't fucking around. After a little digging around, I discovered Tove had a lot more going on than just love songs. Joining forces with fellow Swede and legendary hit maker Max Martin as well as the writers of all things amazing Xenomania, Tove Lo had a hand in writing this, this, along with this, and most importantly THIS! Therefore, Tove became one of the first to be deemed The Next Big Thing on NSOT Pop and the prophecy has been fulfilled.

"Habits", you know that little song currently sitting at #4 on iTunes and breaking into the Billboard charts? that one?, well that was released last year and signaled Tove's entrance as a true popstar ready to take over the world. I've said it many times before but that opening line is the best from recent memory. Since then, Tove's been on an upward trend and this album is a culmination of all that.

Broken into three parts with spoken interludes in between (GENIUS), we start our journey in the sky with "The Sex." It's pretty clear Tove Lo's "been around and seen it all." With songs like "My Gun" and "Like Em Young," we get Tove shifting from cheeky to desperate as she recounts her sexperiences. The best parts of The Sex section comes when Tove gets scandalous with retorts like "Girl why you looking at me, when your man's turning 53" or like "If you love me right, we fuck for L-I-I-IFE" in "Talking Body". Her ability to honestly tell stories and feelings certainly puts Tove leagues above other singers who aren't nearly as involved in the songwriting process as The Queen Of The Clouds.

Before moving on to "The Love," Tove decides to pull a classic Swedish move and throw us possibly the best song of the year: "Timebomb." Though not as tongue-in-cheek as most of the other Sex songs, Timebomb doesn't need to be. Timebomb just needs to be majestic, epic, explosive, just like a Timebomb. Starting off with a twinkly piano while Tove basically talks her lyrics shows just what kind of ingenuity and novelty Tove brings to the table. "The worst thing that could happen could be the best thing ever" is a REALLY good lyric right?!?! Then the chorus comes in with no warning and you're left standing there in awe of what you just heard. It fills every criteria for Song Of The Year: unexpected, novel, and the essence of what pop should be.

Going into "The Love," we get cuts like "The Way That I Am" and "Moments" displaying the insecurities we all feel when falling in love and Ms. Lo's voice has never sounded better. She uses the gravelly tone of her voice to great effect in these songs where emotions are put at the forefront, though there is no shortage of pop hooks like "I can get a little drunk, I get into all the dont's, but on good days I am charming as fuck." Hopefully, that line ends up on most of her merch! Before getting too depressed, Tove indulges in her happiness on "Got Love", a reinvention of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" that screams euphoria thanks to Tove's man.

Once again, Tove saves one of the best for last with her newest single "Not On Drugs." A stadium-sized anthem that challenges Kesha's own hit on whether love is better than drugs. With those synthy guitar chords and tribal beat, Tove is clearly not messing around with her feelings. She is in LOVE, something most people can't express nearly as well as the young Swede.

Ultimately, we must deal with "The Pain," the section with the most hit potential actually. "Thousand Miles" is one of the best ballads of the year and should really give Adele some ideas on where her next album should go (aka have Tove Lo right at least 4 songs for it). "Habits (Stay High)" has already been named one of the best songs of last year and will probably make a reappearance this year, based on the sheer brilliance of everything going on: the lyrics, the stoner pop feeling, and the honesty we seem to continuously get from Tove. It is her breakthrough after all. Though "This Time Around" has its catchy moments, it probably should have been put after "Thousand Miles" as it is sandwiched between a hit and a banger. And really, the only reason I said that is because it is the ONLY criticism I could muster for this review.

Thankfully, Tove doesn't forget the number of dance singles she's featured on over the past year and includes her own edit of the Lucas Nord hit "Run On Love." The Queen Of The Clouds edit strips away most of the synthy glitz of the original but keeps the pulsing beat and Tove's vocal sounds much more at home. The remix that started it all is also included, with Hippie Sabotage upping the stoner quality to create a hypnotic and distorted "Stay High" that has mesmerized us since the beginning of the year. Finally, you know it's a killer album when the bonus tracks "Love Ballad" and "Crave" are so amazing that you have to wonder what else was recorded for this beast.

Queen Of The Clouds was always creeping up on 2014 as raising the bar and redefining where pop was heading. Gone are the days of hands in the air, EDM jams in the club. Now we have hazy electronic production and honest lyrics of all our romantic vices. It's an album of heartbreak and reflection that sets Tove up as that friend you can share all your secrets with. Charli XCX started the trend last year with her debut album but Tove Lo takes it to the next level. That Swedish sensibility got mixed with the wild child in Tove to provide us with the catchiest, most hook worthy songs this side of the globe and has indeed launched Tove Lo as a proper popstar (finally). It's hard to think of a way that someone could top the first amazing album of Q4, so better step up your game Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, because Tove Lo has also claimed the title of Queen Of Pop.

Best Listened: During any part of your relationship with someone special
Best Songs: ALL OF THEM! Special Note: If Timebomb is not released as a single, I'm just gonna have to give up my faith in humanity as a whole.
NSOTP Rating: 100000/10

Best Songs Of 2013: #10-6

10. "What I Like" by Charli XCX

2013 was the year Charli XCX signaled her true destiny as queen of all things cool and amazing. "What I Like" is a dizzyingly fantastic rap/pop song about a modern relationship. Her debut album was the best of last year and this song is just one of 13 amazing songs off that album. Charli "knows just what I like!"

9. "Trouble" by Neon Jungle

Neon Jungle came storming in last summer with this legitimately insane pop song that introduced them as the newest girl band in town. How it was not a number 1 I will never know but "Trouble" will forever go down in history as one of the most innovative and ridiculous songs ever created.

8. "Music to Make Boys Cry" by Diana Vickers

What happens when you mix one of X Factor's best singers with one of Norway's best pop groups (Donkeyboy for those curious)? We get the best song off Diana Vickers' newest album! How ingenious is it to write a love song about writing love songs to make boys cry? Diana really should just sing every Disney soundtrack going forward right? Right.

7. "Release You" by Megan & Liz

It wouldn't be a good year in pop music without a one hit wonder from someone who really didn't deserve it. "Release You" was one of the greatest Max Martin written singles to ever be created but it unfortunately went to Youtube sensations, acoustic-loving Megan & Liz. If you're going to give songs to twins, just hit up Say Lou Lou or Tegan & Sara. OMG, this would have been the best comeback single for The Veronicas! Oh well, so let's just remember it for what it was and move on (for the record, it was amazing).

6. "You Don't Love Me" by Whinnie Williams

There is literally nothing wrong with this song. In fact, everything about this Parisian soundtrack to a heartbroken love is spectacularly brilliant. This reinvention of Sunday Girl as the Saint Etienne-esque, puppy-loving Whinnie Williams was one of the best things to happen last year and she has continued to do so until today. Cheers!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Best Songs Of 2013: #15-11

15. "Strangers" by Seven Lions & Myon & Shane 54 feat. Tove Lo

This is where things start to get really good. "Strangers" is an amazing dance song that starts off like a love song, then goes into fun dub step part, then gets all quiet and you can feel all the emotions Tove Lo is bringing, before properly going off into a dance floor belter. All in all, a magnificently romantic EDM song that brings Seven Lions, Myon & Shane 54, and Tove Lo to the top 15.

14. "Sweetness Alive" by Goldroom feat. Say Lou Lou

If there was a song where paradise was personified, it would be Sweetness Alive. Goldroom takes all the heartwarming synths to a tropical land of mystical romance and happiness. He even knew that Say Lou Lou could bring it to the next level thanks to their heavenly vocals. Ultimately, this song should have been number 1 in at least 80 countries. But at least it was number 1 in my heart (this was a really cheesy post I'm sorry, this song is really just that magical).

13. "Gentlemen" by The Saturdays

Oh dear god, now THIS WAS UNEXPECTED. This throwback song by The Saturdays was definitely not something anyone expected. Basically, each Saturday takes a turn talking about how guys are dicks and gentlemen are only from 1995 (the year I was born in may I add!!!) before going into a rap about hot guys. Brilliant. "GO GO GO 90's!"

12. "Work Bitch" by Britney Spears

You wanna hit single? You wanna become an icon again? You wanna create one of the best songs ever? You better work bitch! And that's exactly what Britney Spears did. 10/10 Godney, well done!

11. "Rough 'n' Soothe" by Ronika

Ronika has always been a favorite of mine and once again brought an amazing 70's disco throwback with a tropical twist this time. Even though I have no idea what the hell a Rough and Soothe is. Now, this song is spectacular, which means the top 10 must be really fucking good. Get excited!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Best Songs Of 2013: #20-16

20. "Underneath The Tree" by Kelly Clarkson

Who could bring a holiday song to the Best of 2013 list? What, Mariah who? NO! It's everyone's favorite Kelly Clarkson! Her Christmas album wasn't as spectacular as Leona Lewis's but Underneath The Tree is a holiday classic in the making and could easily overshadow "All I Want For Christmas Is You" if people would just give it one listen.

19. "Party Over" by Amelia Lily

This was the last great song Amelia Lily has had. It's also the last song she made with Xenomania. Unfortunately, those two facts appear to be connected. This fast-paced killer of a song was Amelia's third single and never reached the heights of her past songs despite being her best work yet. This led to Xenomania dropping her from their label and scrapping her potentially amazing album. Boo hoo, it was fun while it lasted right?

18. "Heart Attack" by Demi Lovato

Out of all the post-Disney stars to become musicians, Demi Lovato is really the only one that has true pop wonder at work. She has a killer voice that can tackle ballads as well as bangers. As with most people, the latter is much better and "Heart Attack" sealed the deal. If the chorus was just repeated for 4 minutes, it would still be in the top 20. Amazing.

17. "The Way" by Ariana Grande feat. Mac Miller

When you have a song that shoots straight to number one on iTunes in 3 hours, clearly you're doing something right. Ariana Grande had a lot of things going for her and thanks to her fans and that insane voice, she really has taken over the world. "The Way" just happened to be the beginning.

16. "Somebody Loves You" by Betty Who

Betty Who has been milking this song for well over a year now. It makes sense because the song is exceptional and made Betty a household name based on pure talent. And gay marriage proposals can only help careers. So all in all, good for you Betty Who!