Thursday, April 14, 2016

A Beautiful Pop Phenomenon: Single Edits Featuring Friends

Literal pop fan fic come true

Back in the magical days of 2008, pop stars would do this thing with their music that involved revamping amazing music before releasing it as a radio single. A prime example of this is Kylie Minogue's "The One" which began as a guitar-driven ballad before being turned into a disco monster banger of galactic proportions.

It seems 2016 is bringing this idea back, if only through the addition of new features on older songs. A couple of A-list pop stars have brought some friends to be put on their singles, creating collaborations that push their music that extra bit over the pop cliff. So let's dive over that cliff with them and look at the amazingness in action.

1. Title: "Cheap Thrills" Main Artist: Sia / Featured Artist: SEAN PAUL

This was one of the songs Rihanna rejected for Anti so Sia decided to keep it and make an unexpected party jam. But you know what, Sia doesn't really know how to party unless light fixtures, plastic cardiac surgery, or arson is involved. So she phoned up her good friend and ours, Sean Paul, to add an extra island twist the already bouncy track. While the improvement is minor, the track is already at number 4 on the UK charts and could be one of Sia's biggest hits ever. And what is pop without "cheap thrills" anyway?

2. Title: "Rock Bottom" Main Artist: Hailee Steinfeld / Featured Artist: DNCE

Hailee Steinfeld could easily become one of the top 10 pop stars in the entire world by 2017. She had that amazing "Love Myself" song from last year, which as we all know is about self-love and NOT masturbation... Her EP is also quite great but the best track is hands down, the emotive banger ballad "Rock Bottom". It's about the ups and downs of a relationship, which is not treading new ground in pop, but the "we're on the right side of rock bottom" is quite a good lyric. Hailee decided to get her friend and the best Jonas brother and his band to come in and add a few more guitar licks, turning "Rock Bottom" into a duet. It doesn't make much of a difference until the last chorus, when things just kind of explode in the best way possible. I hope both of these acts continue with this trajectory because they seem to just be brushing the surface of this whole global pop act thing.

3. Title: "Desire" Main Artist: Years & Years / Featured Artist: TOVE LO

When Olly from Years & Years tweeted this announcement, I must have screamed a little.

"Desire" was first released in 2014 and signaled big things for Y&Y, which came to fruition in 2015. But with the addition of Tove Lo in 2016 during the second verse and bridge, you get a sense that the song has finally reached its full potential. Seriously, the words haven't changed, but Tove's delivery is genius, which shouldn't surprise you because it's Tove. The video is also a triumph, although we would have loved seeing Ms. Lo in partying up with Olly. Regardless, when one of your favorite singer-songwriters decides to sing with one of your favorite pop bands, it will always be a cause for celebration. 

I wonder what could be next on the whole pop collab horizon. 

Dragonette feat. Carly Rae Jepsen?

Pet Shop Boys feat. Charli XCX?


The possibilities are literally endless.

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