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|Written by Mike Cullen|
|Wednesday, 07 April 2010 00:00|
Michael Bublé -- Special Delivery EP
Just in time for Valentine's Day, Michael Bublé releases an EP of new material. All tongue-in-cheek comments aside, this six-track EP only adds to Bublé's amazing repertoire of music. Presumably this is all material that hit the cutting room floor during the Crazy Love sessions. And the entire package does indeed sound like a B-sides collection, especially "Dream a Little Dream of Me," which, though it should be a shining moment for the crooner, falls a little flat. The other disappointment with this collection is the inclusion of "Mack the Knife," made famous by the likes of Louis Armstrong and Bobby Darin. Unfortunately, I think the record execs forgot that Bublé's version of the popular track has already been released -- it was a bonus track to his 2005 album, It's Time.
Regardless of the lackluster song choices -- or even the duplication of songs already released -- this extended play still adds to the richness of Michael Bublé's musical tapestry. This EP, as far as I know, is available only digitally through iTunes.
Hot Chip -- One Life Stand
There's a definite sense from the opening track, "Thieves in the Night," that the latest Hot Chip album is going to be something special. And special it is. While not the ball of kinetic energy that Made in the Dark was, One Life Stand manages to stand on its own merits. There are still those signature Hot Chip-sounding tracks, especially "We Have Love" -- but there are also a lot of slower numbers and, though we as avid listeners are typically accustomed to these, surprisingly none of them are snoozers.
While it may lack that hyperactive, quirky sound that Hot Chip has become synonymous with, credit needs to be given where it's due; the lads have managed to grow not only as musicians but also as lyricists, giving us a mature album and a sense of where they could go next. A great album to start or end any party with.
Calvin Harris -- "You Used to Hold Me"
The fourth track for Harris's sophomore album, Ready for the Weekend, is not the strongest choice for a single, but when compared to the songs that haven't already been released this is one of maybe two tracks that have a full vocal to it. So it's slim pickings, as it were, if Harris is looking for another radio hit.
Regardless of the lackluster impact it will have on his career, the song is a bit unusual. It has a thumping bass that will get you moving in a club yet the lyrics are melancholy, the title pretty much summing up what you'll hear in the lyrics. It's not his best, it's not his worst, but this will likely be the one that even fans forget was released as a single.
Lady Gaga Ft. Elton John -- "Poker Face/Speechless/Your Song" (Live at the 2010 Grammy Awards)
I honestly can't remember the last time I watched the full Grammy Awards (2003, maybe?). In a world where we have immediate access to the likes of YouTube, Google and PVR, watching live telecasts is largely unnecessary. I actually forgot about the Awards until a friend texted me to find the Lady Gaga number.
This was an incredible awards show in terms of performances. Gaga with the legendary Elton John, Beyonce sampling Alanis Morissette, and people are still talking about P!nk's performance as well. But let's discuss Lady Gaga for a moment.
This was an incredible medley showcasing her as a singer, musician, and pop artist. Teaming her up with Elton John was inevitable and something that should have happened a long time ago. Here was an opportunity to showcase a song that got her recognized in a big way by the Grammy panel ("Poker Face"), promote her new album ("Speechless"), and probably fulfill a dream of hers ("Your Song" with Elton John). In terms of performance this was perfection, and thankfully someone, somewhere had the brilliant idea of releasing this and many other performances from that night on iTunes. Pick it up.
I doubt many people conjure up "ballad" when they think of the style of music P!nk typically performs. "Glitter in the Air" doesn't sound like a P!nk song, yet she owns it in a big way. I never thought that she could do a straight-up ballad without snark, without rasp or some need to highlight the crappier parts of her adolescence. Tearing all of that away and just letting her sing a simple song such as this to an audience of her peers, for one of the biggest awards shows around, will probably be a career highlight for her.
Not a sour note in sight, and managing to keep her voice strong even when spinning dozens of feet above the audience in an art form known as silking, one can only imagine the amount of physical prowess, fearless fortitude and artistic talent required to pull off such a feat. And then you realize only someone like P!nk could actually pull it off. Though equally as entertaining as Lady Gaga's performance earlier in the night, this simple performance was probably the best of the evening due to its awe-inspiring mastery of art, music, and physical beauty. This one is also available on iTunes, both in audio and video format.
Tags: calvin harris, elton john, ep, glitter in the air, hot chip, lady gaga, michael bublã©, music, one life stand, p!nk, play, poker face, review, special delivery, speechless, you used to hold me, your song