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SINGLE REVIEW: Ingrid Michaelson – “Girls Chase Boys”

"Chase" enters the race.

“Chase” enters the race.

“I’m a little bit down but I’m not dead / There’s a little bit more that has to be said,” sings 34-year-old Ingrid Michaelson in the first verse of her latest single, and she’s sure got a point. The singer-songwriter channeled a more orchestral side on her 2012 album Human Again, and though it landed her best peak ever on the Billboard 200, little radio play for lead single “Ghost” (#20 AAA) and second single “Blood Brothers” followed and the effort disappeared relatively fast. Now, Michaelson returns with an energetic, straight-forward pop track to lead her sixth and latest album, effortlessly rhyming about the rhythm of love, a simple philosophy that “girls chase boys chase girls.”

The New York born performer is, of course, best known for her song “The Way I Am”, which was featured in a Fall 2007 campaign for retailer Old Navy. Issued on her own Cabin 24 Records (also behind her latest single, along with RED Distribution), it rocketed onto the digital surveys and crashed into the top 40 on the Hot 100. As a result, her album Girls and Boys was reissued and now stands at over 275,000 copies in sales. Several albums have followed it, including 2009’s Everybody; that landed her a #7 song on my personal chart in “Maybe”, her highest peak thus far. Now, with her latest release, she’s cruising for another mainstream hit so long as she keeps the “Chase” up.

At 3:39 in length, “Chase” pretty much sits at an average time, with an upfront chorus, followed by a verse in an ABAC fashion, then into a stripped-back Middle 8, and an end on a quick fade. Lyrically, Michaelson provides us right away with the realization that heartache is inevitable, but that giving into the depression of it isn’t worth it: “All the broken hearts in the world still beat / Let’s not make it harder than it has to be.” Yet, in the game of romance, she chooses to be strong in the face of the ones that got away: “I’ve got two hands, one beating heart / And I’ll be alright.” Overall, the message is crystal clear and the lyric set reflects that: it’s simple, yet not underwhelming.

Musically, “Chase” is characterized by a heavier drum line, a series of piano chords and a sweet and soaring vocal in the lead. Best of all, it’s pleasant. It’s my favorite single release from her in years. It has the charm of a late 90’s/early 00’s Lisa Loeb gem, though I would think people are ultimately going draw a comparison to Sara Bareilles‘s “Brave” based on the way certain elements of the song are constructed. (Don’t worry, it’s not a total copy of it.) There’s life here, and with it, a whole lot of potential for its future success at the Hot AC and AAA radio airwaves. Stay tuned to see how far it spreads.

While the change in sound is noticeable, “Girls Chase Boys” is enough Ingrid Michaelson to satisfy her core fans, while also retrieving past lovers of her material. It’s concise and to the point, while still remaining playful and adaptable to a wide audience. Soon enough, you’ll be singing along to it as well. Be sure to support the cause and download the song at the link below or stream the world premiere of it via SiriusXM’s The Pulse, located on channel 15 in the lineup.

(Purchase “Girls Chase Boys” and pre-order album Lights Out on iTunes – 11PM EST 2/3)

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“True” Twosomes: Doubling The Duets For Your Summer Playlist

Summer is all about catching up with friends and chilling out together, so why not tag team it up when it comes to music too? These are two high-profile collaborations that are sure to be all over the radio and your music player in the next few months. So, get your suntan lotion on and your board cleaned off because we’re about talk about what’s making waves in our musical ocean. Get ready to hang ten! Actually, just hang two. Surf’s up!

Flower power.

Flower power.

PINK featuring LILY ROSE COOPER (LILY ALLEN) – “True Love”
Release Date: TBD (Summer)

Coming off a #1 ballad with Nate Ruess of fun., “Just Give Me A Reason”, Pink is ready to get the summer started with her fourth single from The Truth About Love. Luckily, after two slower songs, her next release is an uptempo song, which just happens to be another collaboration. The choice is “True Love”, which features a middle section by the singer formerly known as Lily Allen, now being credited as Lily Rose Cooper after a marriage in 2011. Cooper was last seen on the charts here when her song “Who’d Have Known?” (from her second album, It’s Not Me, It’s You) was sampled in the T-Pain hit “5 O’Clock”, on which she is officially credited as a featured artist. It peaked at #10 on the Hot 100 early last year. She has yet to see one of her solo songs hit the top 40 nationally here, though several of her singles, including 2007’s “Smile” and 2009’s “The Fear”, have done slightly better on genre-specific radio charts. “True Love” doesn’t have a specific release date yet just because “Reason” is still ranking pretty highly in several countries, but the release has been confirmed by the label. Not only is it a great change of pace, but it’s perfect for the season, with a reggae-tinged beat and Pink‘s always edgy but meaningful lyrics (co-written with Greg Kurstin and Cooper) about a dysfunctional romance:  “At the same time, I wanna hug you/I wanna wrap my hands around your neck… I hate you, I really hate you/So much, I think it must be true love/No one else can break my heart like you.” Don’t be afraid to love this one; it’s one of the best on her album. Radio and retail should easily pick up on this one soon.

Be my, be my beanie.

Be my, be my beanie.

TAYLOR SWIFT featuring ED SHEERAN – “Everything Has Changed”
Release Date: June 24 (U.K.), Summer (U.S.)

Raise your hand if you didn’t see this one coming… no one? Okay. The two of them are on tour together and there’s bound to be relationship rumors swirling around them for a while, so let’s take it to the next step by releasing this song which they sing together, as well as co-wrote. “Everything Has Changed” is the fourth mainstream single to be released from Swift’s Red album, which has already shipped in excess of 4 million copies in the U.S. alone. (A Country-only single, “Begin Again, was released in-between.) It has a release date of June 24 in the United Kingdom, where “22” is officially falling down the charts after a #9 peak. It looks to have hit a brick wall here in the States as well, so they may as well just rush this out. Duet partner Sheeran earned a Grammy nod for his ballad “The A Team”, which became a decent-sized radio hit, and followup single “Lego House” is taking a slow ride up the charts as well. Chances are that this duet will probably cancel out that song when it’s released, so be prepared to put your legos back in the bucket. It’s a noticeable change from the more polished-up pop product she’s been putting out lately, and thankfully this single, unlike her last two, doesn’t deal with Swift falling head over heels over some guy who looks “like bad news” or leaves her “lying on the cold hard ground”. Nope, this time both boy and girl think about each other and want to spend time together, despite their nerves. The two sing, “You’ll be mine and I’ll be yours/All I know since yesterday is everything has changed.” Sounds like things have changed for the good; hope that amounts to good results on the charts.

Don’t forget to look out for new collaborations between Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull and Mariah Carey and Miguel, both debuting next week! These new songs are coming fast, so don’t be surprised if you see a few posts pop up about them all.

Which song do you like better, “True Love” or “Everything Has Changed”? Are you in love with change and can’t choose? Let me know! Comment below or find me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (Feb. 5)

Life in the fast "Lanes".

Life in the fast “Lanes”.

It’s a “Southern Voice” versus an opera voice in this week’s edition of Turn It Up Tuesday, featuring new releases in stores today, Tuesday, February 5:

  • Separated from his old label, Curb Records, and now recording for Big Machine, Tim McGraw releases his newest album, Two Lanes Of Freedom. Second single “One Of Those Nights” is currently top 5 on Country radio. The album features a duet with label mate Taylor Swift called “Highway Don’t Care”, a full circle moment for Swift considering that her debut hit was “Tim McGraw”. (iTunes)
  • After a disappointing era with his latest release, Illuminations, Josh Groban returns with All That Echoes, featuring single “Brave”. It’s top twenty at adult contemporary radio. The album is a mix of original songs and covers per usual. (iTunes)
  • R&B singer Avant returns with his first album since 2010, Face The Music. “You And I” (featuring Keke Wyatt), the set’s first single, is the singer’s highest-charting in four years. (iTunes)
  • The 45th edition of Now! That’s What I Call Music is released today, including big hits by Ke$ha and One Direction. (iTunes)
  • Singer-songwriter Jewel puts out Greatest Hits, her first compilation of past material. It features new single “Two Hearts Breaking” and a great duet with Kelly Clarkson on a re-recorded and remixed version of “Foolish Games”. (iTunes)
  • The soundtrack to the movie Safe Haven is out this week; leadoff single is “We Both Know”, a collaboration between Colbie Caillat and Gavin DeGraw. (iTunes)
  • Rapper Joe Budden returns with No Love Lost. Lead single “She Don’t Put It Down”, featuring Lil Wayne and Tank, is a hit on the Urban chart. (iTunes)
  • The daughter of Country singer Hank Williams Jr. released a full-length album today. The Highway is the new one from Holly Williams, featuring guests like Dierks Bentley and Gwenyth Paltrow.  (iTunes)
  • Christian rock band RED is back with a new release, Release The Panic. (iTunes)
  • After the release of Afterman: The Ascension last year, Coheed & Cambria release a follow-up in the series, Afterman: The Descension. (iTunes)
  • The latest disc from jazz singer, Harry Connick, Jr., swings into record shops today, titled Smokey Mary. (Amazon)

New digital-only singles that you can buy this week include:

  • “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light ‘Em Up)”, the comeback single by Fall Out Boy. If you thought they lost those long titled songs, think again. (iTunes)
  • “Downtown”, the latest single from Lady Antebellum. It’s getting a huge response on Country radio at the moment. (iTunes)
  • “Heaven” from rockers Depeche Mode. It was released digitally last Thursday, but two track listings of a physical single (!) are out today. It’s the 90’s all over again. (Amazon)

We’ll be back next week with new albums by LL Cool J and The Cast of Smash. See you then!

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