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Cameron
post Aug 30 2016, 03:25 PM
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Hi all!
Welcome to 'Pop Forum Recommendations'. This is a thread that allows you to share your favourite pop artists which are perhaps not known to many members on Buzzjack. This is a place where you can post reviews of songs and albums that you love.
I look forward to reading and discovering new must have albums cheer.gif
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Cameron
post Aug 30 2016, 03:53 PM
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What Cameron is listening to...
"Lauren Aquilina - Isn't It Strange?" - Released August 2016 via Island Records

Lauren Aquilina is British singer of Maltese descent. Aquilina was born in Bristol and is known on the internet for her successful trilogy of EP's. In August 2016 Lauren's debut album "Isn't It Strange?" was released via Island Records, this is my personal review of this album.


The first 'official' single taken from the album is a track called "Kicks". The song tells of Aquilina's struggle with bullying and trolls within her life. On Twitter, the singer revealed that the song was originally much darker than it is now, but Aquilina decided to change the lyrics and turn it into an upbeat song about fighting against those who cause her pain and grief. From a personal point of view, this track is everything I love in a pop song. The catchy hook and the chanting of 'Hey' in the chorus gives off nothing but empowerment, guaranteeing it's listeners a boost in confidence and the knowledge that they can fight against the struggles that dominate their lives.


The album opens with the stunningly beautiful Midnight Mouths. From a personal perspective, the instrumental has some tropical influences but still stays true to the pop vibes that Aquilina shows throughout the album. A mid-tempo song, Midnight Mouths talks about the struggle of being with someone who twists their words in order to get what they want, influencing the emotions of the person who they are playing like a puppet.

Moving on from this, "Wicked Game" continues the upbeat tempo before introducing the third track, "Kicks". "Wicked Game" shows influences of tracks done by singer 'Foxes'. It hints that Aquilina has been influenced by the sound that is present in both albums released by Foxes.



After "Kicks", the album travels towards the more 'adult pop' route with heart-wrenching ballad's such as "How Would You Like It?" and "Fools". Aquilina still manages to slot upbeat tracks such as "Hurt Any Less" and "Way Too Good" to break up the running order of the album in order to keep the listeners attention.



"Suddenly Strangers" see's the album's title crop up with the chorus featuring the line "Isn't It Strange". Following on from this, the exquisite "Thinking About" leads to the album closer "Ocean", which see's the singer experiment with different vocal effects to create an effective album closer which leaves the listener wanting more.



Overall, this album is perfect for those who are looking for something simple but is effective in all definitions of pop. A solid debut from a rising star!
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JosephStyles
post Aug 30 2016, 10:15 PM
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That's a great review of Isn't It Strange, Cam! It's a stunning album and I hope more people get the chance to have a listen heart.gif I actually think Kicks and Ocean are two of my least faves on there ohmy.gif Fools is an absolute stunner though and to hear it as part of the album was such a proud moment as someone who's been a fan since the Fools EP!

Hope I'm OK to do my own review heehee.gif


What Joseph is listening to...
"Benjamin - Fingerprints" - Released April 2016 via Warner Music

Benjamin Peltonen is a Finnish singer, best known on Buzzjack for being sent to BJSC by Martyn and myself with his singles Young & Restless and Body (respectively). He released his debut album Fingerprints in April 2016, after the Square One EP in May 2015.

The first single from the album, Underdogs, was released back in September 2014, and despite the lengthy amount of time between the release of the single and its parent album, it's vibe is very much reflective of the rest of the album. Underdogs is a song essentially about youth and having fun, with a catchy chorus exclaiming "if there's an ocean, we'll jump in, if there's a tree, we'll climb". Underdogs was followed by three further pre-album singles: Unbreakable (which only made the deluxe edition), Young & Restless and Body.



Despite the vibes of Underdogs and the album in general, it opens with Hold On, a more mid-tempo track, but the theme of the song is no different to the rest of the album - love. As you'd expect from a 19 year-old male pop singer these days, every song talks about teen love. Hold On sees Benjamin sing about truly loving someone, saying "if it falls apart, don't walk apart cause if love could talk, I know it would say hold on". It's a great and slightly unexpected start to the album following the singles that came first. In fact, I don't think Hold On would sound out of place on a One Direction album, which is no doubt a good thing going by his target audience.



Where the album really excels though is through the choruses. More often than not, they are loud and perfect to sing along to, making Benjamin perfect listening if you're up for some carefree pop. Not every song is a perfect example of this - To Be With You generally lacks oomph alongside some odd wording ("hold on little girl"). This seems to just be a blip on an otherwise top notch album, and the strong chorus return immediately after with a 1-2-3 punch of Rush, Underdogs and Young & Restless. Rush in particular is one of the highlights and surely a potential future single from the album. However it's the latter song in that list that is my highlight. Young & Restless was single #3 from the album, and it totally encapsulates the concept of being carefree and embracing your youth. The chorus is without a doubt the best on the entire album and is totally irresistible, it's exactly what I want in a pop song too.



Current single Man On the Moon is the only collaboration on the album, and sees Benjamin hook up with Spanish girl group Sweet California. The song was an instant highlight on the album, with the voices of both artists going exceptionally well together, particularly throughout the choruses.



Overall, if you want a strong pop album, look no further than Fingerprints. Not every move on the album is perfectly executed but overall there are way more hits than misses, and the highs are exceptionally high. What's even more impressive is that this is just a debut album, meaning there is a bright future ahead for Benjamin and hopefully a load of fantastic songs still to come.
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UltraRedLight
post Aug 31 2016, 12:17 AM
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Loving this, will do one at some point!

My first thought was Lauren's album and you've summed it up perfectly Cami Li! How Would You Like It is definitely in my top 5 of the year and the album is fabulous, highly recommend heart.gif
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Cameron
post Aug 31 2016, 02:41 PM
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Fab review Joseph! I might give it a listen, you do seem to introduce me to great male singers (as you know I am so picky with male vocals laugh.gif )
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JosephStyles
post Aug 31 2016, 09:01 PM
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QUOTE(Cameron @ Aug 31 2016, 03:41 PM) *
Fab review Joseph! I might give it a listen, you do seem to introduce me to great male singers (as you know I am so picky with male vocals laugh.gif )


laugh.gif Indeed, but honestly it's such a great album, my album of the year so far. I actually think Body is one of the weakest on there, it's great but there are many better tracks I think. Let me know what you think if you do listen!!
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Liаm
post Sep 1 2016, 04:04 PM
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Natalia Kills - Perfectionist



Even before she is sensationally fired from X Factor New Zealand, Natalia Kills was no stranger to controversy. Her 2011 debut was lashed by some critics and fans for sounding too formulaic; too much like a Lady Gaga clone. But Lady Gaga clone is never a bad thing, and for a pop filler to plug the gap between Gaga albums, anyone could do much worse than going back to this.

The album's opener and lead-off single (2nd after Mirrors) Wonderland is perfect to set the scene. The self proclaimed perfectionist is begging for her perfect ending, but she's already achieved pop perfection with a mixture of moody but whimsical synths and fairytale-esque lyrics that twists tropes and cliches. It's also somewhat encouraging and empowering, eschewing the typical happy fairytale ending in favour of real, honest love - whatever is your own version of that perfect happiness. The Gaga comparison is most apparent on first single Mirrors, which sounds like it's lifted straight off of The Fame Monster with its dark, gothic feel aided by stadium rock guitars and 80s sounding synth backdrop. It's a wonder that it never smashed as hard as it deserved to.



One of the biggest successes from the album was European single Free, which reached top 20 in multiple countries with the help of will.i.am.. Whilst not the album's strongest moment, it's certainly the most commercial. The fun, breezy demeanour makes it perfectly radio ready and the lyrics are endlessly quotable, with Kills' confidence proclaiming that she can "look fresh in a potato sack". Similarly breezy is Kill My Boyfriend, which is deceptive in its carefree production. Deranged Natalia comes out in this song, with her dedication for an ex she never wanted her to lose driving her to kill her current beau to be with her true love.

Single potential was in abundance on this set, with the hopeless tale Love Is A Suicide perhaps being the biggest missed opportunity. The lyrics detail the inevitable feeling that you're going to get hurt, but being too far into things to get out. The ballsy rock tinged number Break You Hard is a fierce declaration of independence; this is a woman who doesn't need the lovey dovey. The album is far from all as perfect as these though, as the album does hit a couple of lows in its second half. The lifeless Not In Love feels like the confident and independent woman has given up, and Broke is laden with cliches and a dreary, dull melody.



Overall though, the pop perfection is strong with this one. This won't be the most inspired or unique album you've ever heard, but just because Lady Gaga did this sound, it doesn't mean that other artists can't have a fair crack. And as far as Lady Gaga impersonations go, this is a bloody brilliant one that makes for a very underrated and overlooked album.
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Cameron
post Sep 8 2016, 09:20 PM
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What Cameron is listening to...
"Ward Thomas - Cartwheels" - Released September 2016

Ward Thomas are a British, Country duo formed of twin sisters Catherine and Lizzie Ward Thomas. "Cartwheels" is the follow up album to the duo's debut "From Where We Stand" which charted at a mildly disapointing 41 in the UK album chart. The album is genuinely unknown.


The first single taken from the album is a track called "Carry You Home". The song is perfect for those who want to find a country track that is considered 'light'. The stunningly beautiful melodic harmonies of the sisters voices make the track such a joy to listen to and is a perfect opener, and indeed, introduction to the album. Some of you may even remember this track from a recent edition of BJSC.



Following on from the debut single, the next tracks on the album are the catchy "Almost Easy", and my personal favourite "Material". Both song's again show the pitch perfect vocals of the twin's and continue the incredible harmonies that the pair share.

Following on from this, the title track "Cartwheels" is followed by the second single from the album - "Guilty Flowers". The song takes a much softer approach to country than "Carry You Home" did. I personally find the song rather sassy and love it lots!



Moving onto the latter half of the album, stand out tracks "Boomerang" and "Who I'm Not" continue the flow of soft, beautiful harmonies and bring the album to an effective close.



Overall, this album is incredibly strong! I was very shocked at how much I enjoyed it and definitely think it was worth the purchase.
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Cameron
post Sep 27 2016, 02:04 PM
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What Cameron is listening to...
"Michelle McManus - The Meaning Of Love" - Released February 2004

Michelle McManus is one of Scotland's national treasures with a career spanning over a decade. Michelle is best known in the UK for winning Pop Idol and being a vodka enthusiast.

Michelle opens the album with the number 1 - the timeless classic "All This Time". The album version of the song features a longer introductory instrumental which smoothly settles our eardrums as we await the Scottish powerhouses pipes to start singing. What a start to the album!



Following on from the debut single, the FLOP follow up "The Meaning Of Love" follows. The song was a top 20 hit in the UK and see's Michelle's vulnerability come through as she isolates her vocal talent from the instrumental. Slaying the weaves of all who listen.

Further on in the album, a cheeky cover of "Feeling Good" is added in to prove that the queen should really be a jazz singer... McManus >>> Bublé



Tracks written by lyrical gods Diane Warren and Lucie Silvas bring the album to an end with Michelle once again showing her emotions.



5/5 queen
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*Tim
post Oct 1 2016, 08:49 PM
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Omg
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Cherry.
post Oct 1 2016, 11:02 PM
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fire it
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Hiß
post May 26 2017, 11:45 PM
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What a song this was, from early 2003 (reaching #2) just rediscovered it, definitely one of my favourite pop songs ever. wub.gif
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Addy K!ng
post Aug 9 2017, 02:19 PM
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Hi everyone,

I decided to bring back this thread with a help from Liam and post some pop recommendations...I will try and do 2 or 3 songs in a weekly basis.

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Addy K!ng
post Aug 9 2017, 02:24 PM
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From WIKI: Aleyna Tilki (born 28 March 2000) is a Turkish singer.[3] She achieved national recognition after the release of her song Cevapsız Çınlama[4] along with its music video, which has more than 300 million views.[5] She was also a semi-finalist on the sixth season of Yetenek Sizsiniz Türkiye (Turkish version of the Got Talent series).[6] She caught public attention because of her Gesi Bağları cover on the show.[7] She got the reaction of the 65th Turkish government for taking to the stage in alcohol drinkable places due to the fact that she is 16 years old and The Family Ministry warned Tilki's family.[8] Emrah Karaduman, Aleyna's producer of Cevapsız Çınlama and friend, was stabbed by a platonic fan of Aleyna.[9]

Aleyna Tilki - Sen Olsan Bari



Ok, I know this is very Spotify hit but it has some ethnic elements that it makes it very catchy...oh and the chorus is very easy, basically it sounds like she is singing 'Else Somebody' laugh.gif..currently is at 66 million views in 10 days ohmy.gif.



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Cameron
post Aug 9 2017, 02:30 PM
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Yas! I neglected this but will also attempt to post some recommendations
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Tyler
post Aug 9 2017, 05:28 PM
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QUOTE(Addy K!ng @ Aug 9 2017, 10:24 AM) *
From WIKI: Aleyna Tilki (born 28 March 2000) is a Turkish singer.[3] She achieved national recognition after the release of her song Cevapsız Çınlama[4] along with its music video, which has more than 300 million views.[5] She was also a semi-finalist on the sixth season of Yetenek Sizsiniz Türkiye (Turkish version of the Got Talent series).[6] She caught public attention because of her Gesi Bağları cover on the show.[7] She got the reaction of the 65th Turkish government for taking to the stage in alcohol drinkable places due to the fact that she is 16 years old and The Family Ministry warned Tilki's family.[8] Emrah Karaduman, Aleyna's producer of Cevapsız Çınlama and friend, was stabbed by a platonic fan of Aleyna.[9]

Aleyna Tilki - Sen Olsan Bari



Ok, I know this is very Spotify hit but it has some ethnic elements that it makes it very catchy...oh and the chorus is very easy, basically it sounds like she is singing 'Else Somebody' laugh.gif..currently is at 66 million views in 10 days ohmy.gif.



I love how people can stan for a video like this... and still try to talk shit about Britney's dancing. 😂

Even the beginning of FF was >>>>>

Also what about the illegal drinking . Why was her producer stabbed. Why is she serving me Miley vibes.. Wanna go to Taco Bell?
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Saenerys
post Aug 9 2017, 05:37 PM
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Oh my gosh I've only just noticed you'd reviewed Cartwheels, probably one of my favourite country pop albums. Almost Easy is STUNNING wub.gif
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Liаm
post Wednesday, 02:55 PM
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Francesca Michielin - Vulcano



Francesca finally releases a banger! I knew she had it in her. This is kinda typical blog pop in a way but in Italian it sounds beautiful and I love the way it builds. She did mostly more acoustic or at least slow stuff on her albums prior to this but if this is the direction for the new album I am HERE <3 Probably my fave Italian singer regardless.
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Addy K!ng
post Friday, 07:13 PM
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Bonnie McKee - Thorns



Something different from her...I love it and lyrics are so good!!!
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