Last year I pulled some of my favorite pop bloggers together to discuss the best (and, sometimes, worst) of the new releases in pop music in a monthly series called the Popologist Panel. It’s been a success, inspiring lots of conversation and argument. We fought amongst each other overTaylor Swift, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minajand theBiebs, and started unexpected ire onAdam Lambertfansites; we reveled inPSY, Carly Rae Jepsen, Katy Perry, Marina and the Diamonds, andChristina Aguilera,and lambasted Mariah Carey, Jessie J,andMadonna. We found fun newcomers like Brittany McDonald, Daley, and Luke Christopher, and hidden gems likeEsthero andAnjulie. We talked aboutKe$ha a lot, even when she wasn’t on the panel.
To close out our debut year and start off 2013 (I know it’s March), I asked each panelist to select his or her favorite picks from panels past as well as some favorites we didn’t mention. Here’s what we came up with. Enjoy!
After releasing three very solid singles and making Canadian pop music lovers wait for what seems like an eternity, British Columbia’s own Victoria Duffield released her new album/EP: “Shut Up and Dance” with Warner Music Canada on August 21st, 2012!
While I would honestly hesitate to call any release that boasts only 8 tracks an “album,” as an EP, “Shut Up and Dance” displays a lot of potential from the 17 year old pop starlet and Duffield displays the dancing prowess and delightfully listenable vocals of Britney Spears circa 1999 (as in “Baby One More Time.“) Much like Spears’ debut, “Shut Up…” has hits and misses, but one can’t reasonably expect someone to have their sound perfected at the tender age of 17, even if presently her sound can be defined as distinctly POP – as in bubblegum. Before you make a flash judgement about my intentions in using this description, I would like to add that as far as the Pop Gods are concerned, there is absolutelynothing wrong with bubblegum!
They say the third time’s a charm. So for the third edition of the Popologist Panel, we have gone far and wide to tackle our most ambitious batch of new music yet. As always, we examine selections both large and small: on one end we discuss the comeback singles from pop icons Pink and No Doubt, as well as new work from indie darlingsThe Noisettes and Dragonette, recent UK successes (and frontwomen of imaginary bands) Marina and the Diamonds and Florence + the Machine, and from the Queen of Pop herself, Madonna. On the other end we take a look at the newest kids on the block: Cherrytree tadpoles Colette Carr and My Name is Kay, Australian DJHavana Brown, and the undiscovered pop sensation and dancer extraordinaire Kimberly Cole teaming with an unlikely artistic partner, known to YouTube fans as Keith Apicary. Finally, we examine debut works by Frank Ocean and Luke Christopher, a pair of innovative, silver-tongued hip hop/R&B artists with prodigious and wide-ranging talents who look to challenge the norms, limits, and ultimately perceptions of genre.
In my defense, I have made multiple attempts to finish and post this piece and somehow just never managed to sort out my thoughts to complete it until now. Luckily, the album was released today (7/10/2012) in North America and since I happen to call Canada my home and native land, it’s only suiting that I post my thoughts on “Electra Heart” on the day it becomes available for purchase on my shores.