I think there are plenty of people that are ready to throttle me in order to get me to shut up about Madonna’s new album, MDNA. True – I have talked about it across all social media as if it were the Second Coming. Those that didn’t expect me to go on and on (and on) about it obviously don’t know me very well. Still, there is plenty of other good music out there that has my attention, and to prove that I’m not just listening to Madonna these days, I thought I’d pull out seven songs that have managed to hold their own against the Madonna onslaught. It’s an eclectic 30 minute mix that is also very me as well.
1) “Primadonna” / Marina & the Diamonds
I said on Twitter this morning that I kind of wish Marina would just hurry up and release Electra Heart. I’ve liked pretty much all the songs I’ve heard from it so far, and although nothing touches “Radioactive” in terms of quality, this comes pretty darn close. It’s been met with mixed reviews int he blogosphere, but I think it’s a worthy addition to her body of work. Anna really grooves on this song too, although that’s not all that surprising as she liked a number of songs from Marina’s last album, The Family Jewels, most notably “Oh No!”
2) “Call Me Maybe” / Carly Rae Jepsen
I have my friend Robbie over at ChartRigger to blame for introducing me to this trash. I only have myself to blame for loving it so much. Really – this is teen girl music, but I can’t help myself. What makes this doubly shameful is that there’s a Bieber connection. Still, I can’t stop listening to it. It’s catchy and cute and pure pop fluff. In other words, it’s right up my alley. The video is cute too and while the plot twist at the end is not quite M. Night Shyamalan worthy, it’ll still make my wife plenty happy.
3) “Waiting For The Feeling” / Bright Light Bright Light
Bright Light Bright Light (aka Rod Thomas) has released a ton of songs ahead of his debut album which is scheduled to be out in June right around my birthday. Every time he releases a new song, I’m amazed because it’s better than the last. BLx2 somehow manages to craft the kind of male pop that is so appealing to me. “Waiting For The Feeling” is no exception.
4) “Tonight” / Saint Etienne
In a perfect world, Saint Etienne would be so much better known than they are. To me, they are kind of a modern-day Blondie, only less punk and more pop. Their last album was 2005’s Tales From Turnpike House and while they’ve released a random track or two in the intervening years, I’m glad to see that a proper album is coming out in May. If the lead single “Tonight” is any indication of the sound of the album, the 7 year wait will be more than worth it. Expect this song to be on my best-of list in December.
5) “Made In Heaven” / Kylie Minogue
Now it wouldn’t be a song list if I didn’t bring in something old. Kylie’s on her Anti-Tour right now and this is the opening number. If you can believe it, I didn’t even know this song before a couple weeks ago. There are still plenty of album tracks from Kylie’s SAW days that I don’t know and until now, this was one of them. A B-side to the “Je Ne Sais Pas Porquoi” single, I’m kind of in shock that they actually bothered to make a video for it. Even though it looks like it was made on the cheap, it has a very Xanadu “muses come to life” feel to it, no?
6) “Money’s Too Tight (To Mention)” / Simply Red
Continuing in my retro vibe is what is probably my favorite Simply Red song. The reason this song reappeared on my radar recently is because of a post that appeared on PopDose that featured a remix of this song – the “Cutback Mix.” Of course, I had to download the song. It’s 8 minutes of a song that seems just as relevant today as it did when it came out, mentions of Reagonomics and “the old man that’s over the hill” aside.
7) “As I Roved Out” / Loreena McKennitt
And now for something completely different. Loreena McKennitt will forever be associated with our honeymoon trip to Chicago in 1997, during which we picked up her Book of Secrets album at the now-defunct Michigan Avenue Borders. None of her other albums have stood as tall in my mind as Book of Secrets, but I have been listening to her 2010 album The Wind That Shakes The Barley quite a bit in the last couple of weeks. It always comes off as a backhanded compliment, but it’s a really good album to sleep to. I also love the “too-ry-ay, fol-de-diddle-day, di-re fol-de-diddle dai-rie oh” lyric, even though it frequently gets stuck in my head.