Friday, May 1, 2015

NSOTP Superstars: April 2015

Pop has gotten a lot more interesting in Q2. We've seen people rise from the ashes, fall apart, a couple delivering some monumental music and others just remain amazing. Here are the popstars around the world that are doing something right.

1. Madonna

One of the people who basically defined what a popstar is has also been one who has made it look very difficult recently. Madonna can always be counted on when you want some classic hits but with her last two albums, it became clear that her drive had turned to desperation. Even with the help of Timbaland and Nicki Minaj, her age and efforts in remaining relevant have made it difficult to stan for one of the original queens. 
That all changed when Rebel Heart came out. Over the super deluxe edition's 25 tracks (!!!), there were some really great anthems, intelligent songwriting, and knowledge of today's pop market. But that's only half the reason Madonna has been amazing in 2015. From crazy performances to the thought-provoking interviews, from the ridiculous social media activism to "Sock Bitch", from kissing rappers to straddling tables, Madonna has brought back what being a pop star is all about: being the center of attention, no matter what it takes. 

2. Say Lou Lou

Say Lou Lou released their debut album this month and it is genuinely amazing. It's amazing in too many ways to describe. It's majestic, danceable, gorgeous, and devastating all at once. It makes you want to laugh and cry a the same time. Considering tears on the dance floor pop is one of the best kinds, Say Lou Lou take it to astronomical levels.

3. Adam Lambert

Since unfairly losing American Idol, many of us looked to Adam Lambert to be the pop-bending superstar we knew he was destined to be. But more importantly, it looked like we might get the gay popstar the world so desperately needs right now. Especially right now. The landscape of pop has constantly changed and it would be nice to have a king of pop to take on the reins that Kylie and Gaga have become so famous for.
Even though Adam's last album was pretty great, it's the new stuff that is almost blindingly exciting. His first single "Ghost Town" is a mesmerizing, genre-less pop number that mixes Adam's cool swagger with house beats and a spooky atmosphere. It's by far the best thing Adam has done and since his new album is being produced by POP GENIUS MAX MARTIN, Adam has thrown his hat into the ring for best popstar of 2015.

4. Erik Hassle
Pop comebacks are pretty incredible. As Madonna and Lambo have demonstrated, it all comes down to just being exceedingly amazing. Even non popstars like Ed Sheeran have demonstrated their ability at not being shit. However, it has been clear for some time that Erik Hassle has not been shit. In fact, Erik was one of the better pop people in 2009, with "Hurtful" being too perfect for words.
As a Swede, it was basically a matter of time for Erik to do something that blew our socks off. Though he did some cool, downtempo R&B stuff last year, his new single "No Words" has launched Hassle into the pop stratosphere. The emotive disco track was extremely surprising from someone like Erik, and yet it makes complete sense that someone can fulfill their pop destiny. He's also been working with Icona Pop so he may be responsible for the next "I Love It" sized hit and I CANNOT WAIT.

5. Tove Lo
Just like 2014, it's looking like Tove Lo will conquer the universe in quite a surprising way. I've heralded her from the very beginning as something special but now THE ENTIRE WORLD SEES IT. "Habits" was a surprise hit last year, but new single "Talking Body" officially became a billboard hit and might make Tove into a consummate popstar that will continue to excite us for many years to come. She also co-wrote that amazing Ellie Goulding song, single-handedly orchestrated Hilary Duff's comeback, and is featured on Adam Lambert's upcoming album. The best part of it all is that "Timebomb" looks like it will be the next single (FINALLY), and in a just world this would be #1 for half the year. If anyone can do it, it would be Tove.

6. Charli XCX and Tinashe

Charli XCX is one of the only true popstars left in the world. Tinashe is one of the only true popstars left in the world. The two of them have reminded us time and time again that music gets so much better when the person singing it is a charismatic person that cares about their craft. The new single "Drop That Kitty" could be another hit for both of them and their performance at the MTV Movie Awards has been my favorite of the year so far.

7. Giorgio Moroder

Disco Legend Giorgio Moroder's comeback in 2015 is one of those once in a lifetime moments. For someone so crucial to the way music has changed the world, Moroder cannot even begin to understand how much he also changed people's lives. He will continue to do so by releasing his first new album in 30 years (!!!!!!!) with Déjà Vu. It features some of the greatest voices of this generation, with Charli, Kylie, Sia, and Britney making appearances. Disco fever may just knock Say Lou Lou off the best albums of the year list. Giorgio's second single "Déjà Vu" signals the beginning of the battle for number one and Moroder has a shot at taking the title for both Single and Album of the Year.

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