Monday, January 26, 2009

Diamonds - Pedro Marin

Back in the early 80's, Spanish sex god Pedro was a teen heart-throb and found international success with some fabulous latino pop though after 2 albums and 2 million records sold in 3 years (1980-1982), he packed it in to work in finance. Returning to the limelight in 2005, Marin starred in a Spanish Survivour style reality TV show La Isla De Los Famosos, posed nude for Zero magazine and recorded a cover of Amanda Lear classic Run Baby Run - which later became part of a new album, Diamonds

Run Baby Run performed on Spanish TV

Unlike his earlier (and subsequent) work, Diamonds is recorded in English and like its precurser Run Baby Run it consists of Amanda Lear covers paying homage to the tracks disco roots and modernising them into stylish electro anthems. Pedro's distinctive vocals work well with the tracks, though the delivery sometimes seems a bit robotic though that is probably down to the nuances of singing in your native tounge not always translating into foreign langauges. Each track is lovingly reworked with rich production that always complements the vocals and tone of the track with excellent use of instrumentation and vocals. As well as ten stunning tracks, remixes of 7 of the tracks accompany the album. Not being familiar with some of Amanda's originals I can't compare all of Marin's versions to hers but for the most part they are worthy of (and in some cases better than) Lear's.

Gold (Live)

Black Holes
A stunning opener that wouldn't look out of place on a Kylie tour - like Light Years (complete with countdown) but much darker. 10/10
Follow Me
A haunting rendition of this Lear classic and the albums only single. 10/10

Run Baby Run
Annoying backing vocalist intro aside, its the kind of track the likes of The Presets and Lily Allen would kill for. Slightly more raw vocals from Pedro on this one 7/10

Blood & Honey
Sexy electro-with-guitars and smooth bassline. Sultry. 9/10

Fashion Pack
Another fabulous and catchy reworking, though slightly irritating backing vocals work against it 7/10

Both retro and modern at the same time. 7/10

The Sphinx
Taking the tempo down a few notches, this atmospheric track suffers only from beign a tad too short 9/10

Lovely production let down by some rather dodgy lyrics. While being essentially a good track, it is one of the weakest on the album. 5/10

Another brilliantly produced track that doesn't quite hit the same standards as the rest 6/10

Funnily enough, this is the only other dud on the album - and its still quite good. 5/10

Follow Me (Isaac Junkie Remix) 9/10
Gold (Juanimysterfly Remix) 8/10
Fashion Pack (Oblique Mix) 8/10
Tomorrow (Onedbshon Remix) 6/10
Black Holes (Onedbshon Alien Remix) 6/10
Run Baby Run (Pedromarinronniespectormix) 7/10
The Sphinx (Skinnyproject Remix) 9/10
Follow Me (Video) 9/10

The stunning video to Follow Me

Bap rating: Dannii's WMDD's

If you like this: look out for further posts about this Spanish stud or look for Amanda Lear originals if you aren't familiar with them.

Visit: Pedro Marin - Official Website

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Holiday Essentials #2: Calle 13

Hailing from Puerto Rico, Calle 13 are probably best known for remixing No Hay Igual for Nelly Furtado, working with Volito and for appearing on the scene during the explosion of Reggaeton. However, while dipping their toes into reggaeton and hip-hop, they have incorporated many different styles and influences in their music across their three studio albums - including traditional music and slang from various countries they have toured.

Residente's lyrics are often satirical and sarcastic with clever use of parody. With tracks that touch on the typical "urban" themes (sex, drugs, women of easy virtue), they do so in an atypical style - you wouldn't get 50 Cent or TI proclaiming that they have a small penis and premature ejeculation problems in their tepid shitefests! The band have also courted controversy with sexually explicit lyrics, references to drug use, attacks on the Puerto Rican government and the FBI, and accusations of racism & mysogyny.

Residente is rather attractive in that skinny Latino thug way.

Calle 13 (2005)

Their debut album is rather impressive, though a tad too long for my liking - what is it about "urban" acts and never ending albums? - and while it starts out strong it tends to get weaker towards the end.

Turn On: Suave Mix
Turn Off: Pi-Di-Di-Di
Bap Rating: Bionda's Buxoms

Residente O Visitante (2007)

Easily the weakest of the three, caused a stir amoung fans and critics for daring to use influences and slang from other countries and cultures! While rather ambitious, it doesn't live up the the promise of their previous effort but is never the less a solid effort. Having the four singles from the previous album tacked on to the end of the International versions only highlights the weaknesses. However, it does contain a fabulous attack on the old crone in Sin Exagerer

Turn On: La Crema
Turn Off: La Fokin Moda
Bap Rating: Paris Hilton's Pancakes

Los De Atras Vienen Conmigo (2008)

Probably their strongest and most cohesive effort, managing to switch between styles and genres yet flow nicely as a whole - indeed skipping any tracks actually ruins the flow of the album! The classy introduction, the subject matter of several tracks (Fiesta De Locos, John El Esquizofrenico) booklet pictures seem to suggest Residente is placing himself in a mental hospital, adding to the flavour. While it does have one or two weaker tracks, it doesn't have a single dud.

Turn On: Electro Movimiento
Turn Off: Ven Y Criticame
Bap Rating: Dannii's WMDD's

Visit: The official Calle 13 youtube channel, Calle 13 Website, Calle 13 on myspace

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

I feel so ashamed...

Today I gave into temptation and bought the AATW Platinum Smash Uncle B by N-Dubz.
The UK's favourite Chavs, frequently #1 on the Channel U charts, first came to the attention of Polydor records after a number of self-released singles (one of which reached #57 in the UK) and

winning a MOBO for best newcomer. Though after You'd Better Not Waste My Time peaked at #26, they parted ways with Polydor and signed to AATW, releasing the utterly shite Ouch, followed by Papa and the album which entered the UK album chart at #11 and has stayed in the Top 20 since release. Overall its actually quite good despite the occasionally dodgy lyrics. I may give it a proper review at some point in the future when I've given it a few more listens, for now this touching tribute to the aforementioned "Uncle B" is a solid 7/10

Turn On: The fabulous Strong Again - check out Tulisa's baps in the stunning video

Turn Off: Ouch - though it does contain the genious lyric "name's Shaniqua and wot?!"

If You Like This: Try Haze who I will be talking about in the next few months.

Visit: N-Dubz on myspace

Friday, January 02, 2009

You Just Got ROCKED!

The UK Big Brother house just got ROCKED!

Stunning La Toya Jackson was the first celebrity to enter the Big Brother house. The Duchess Of Dance looked resplendent in a black ensemble before changing into some sexy silky nightwear. You can see her enterance infront of a crowd of undeserving plebs below.

with feisty ex-Sugababe Mutya, Tina Malone (Mimi Maguire from Shameless) and loudmouth Terry Christian this could be the most fabulous CBB ever - shame it doesn't also include Pete Burns and Jackie Stallone.

Toy to win!