The Swedish duo Icona Pop has released an amazing summer single called “Emergency.” This is a great one to start the morning with — it wakes you right up. The song has the iconic bounce that they are best known for, and it’s very different from most music I hear lately. People may remember Icona Pop’s platinum hit single from 2012, “I Love It.” which featured Charli XCX. I actually think this single is much better. The bass beat is mixed with some subtle piano, and the 1920s-sounding jazz trumpet livens it up. It’s clear that Icona Pop hasn’t lost any luster. I can’t wait for more, but in the meantime I’m going to play this song on repeat. Icona Pop will be coming July 28 to Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. Don’t miss it.
Breathe In, Breathe Out
I’ve always thought Hilary Duff was a classy young lady. She doesn’t take a lot of risks, but it works for her. Though I’ve never been a huge fan of her music, this CD — her first in eight years — is rather decent. Most of it sounds like rather typical pop music, just a bit better. I have to applaud her team of songwriters for that. Many of the songs are danceable, and all of them are catchy, with the power to stay in your head all day. Duff’s voice sounds good; there are times when she reminds me of Britney Spears, but this could also be the similar styling of the music. “Night Like This” is a great song, and it features accompanying vocals from Kendall Schmidt. I love a good duet — another voice often adds refreshing edge to a song, and it works here nicely. Other favorites to check out are “Sparks,” “Lies,” and “Brave Heart.”
This is Giorgio Moroder’s first album in 30 years, and it’s not surprising to see that he’s added elements of disco to this electronic dance CD. It’s a star-studded album. Among the featured vocalists are Charli XCX, Sia, Britney Spears and Kylie Minogue. Though it doesn’t sound much like Sia’s style, she sounds wonderful in the title track, “Déjà Vu.” The song “Diamonds” is upbeat and made me realize how much Charli XCX sounds like Gwen Stefani at times. A cover of “Tom’s Diner” sounds like a regrettable choice, but it manages to be not horrible. The song is updated with electronic edges and features vocals from Britney Spears. But “Wildstar” is my favorite song on the album. Its disco sound is incredibly addictive. Check it out.
Fans of slow jams and R&B love songs will love this album. There are even a few songs with pop influences, especially the upbeat ones. It’s well-produced, to a point that it almost seems too perfect to me. The bass beats are very smooth. The strong, crisp vocals are the highlight, though. Tamia can really reach those high notes. At a few points in the song “Lipstick,” I thought my glass of water was going to shatter. She can go from smooth and soulful to breathy when she needs to, and it really works for her style. The song “Sandwich and a Soda” is set to be the album’s first single for release. With an upbeat tone, it doesn’t demand too much attention and it’s paced well. Overall this is a great album. Other favorite tracks are “Love Falls Over Me,” “Day One,” and “Rise.”