Tag Archives: This Is What It Feels Like

“Beautiful” Sounds: The Pretty Side Of Pop

They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that may be right, but if the beauty’s also spreading into the music world, you know these songs will be holding your attention for some time. These two acts are coming off pretty big top 10 singles in the United Kingdom, and a followup single to equal or exceed that success would be, you guessed it, simply “beautiful”. Forget the hashtag, people; that song is over now. Luckily, these two are just starting off. Let’s take a look at these stunning singles by some marvelous male musicians:

Olly olly oxen free.

Olly olly oxen free.

OLLY MURS – “Hey You Beautiful”
Release Date: August 19 (U.K.)

Hey, hey, hey, it’s a new single from the former U.K. X Factor runner-up. Hard to believe it’s been nearly three-and-a-half years since it happened, but look at all he’s accomplished since then. As the U.S. gets a remixed version of “Dance With Me Tonight” as the latest single from Mr. Murs, “Hey” will be the fourth release in Europe from the original edition of Right Place Right Time, which has been out for seven months there. It follows up “Dear Darlin'”, which went to #5, and provides a change of pace from a ballad to an uptempo summer song. It was produced by Steve Robson, who also worked on “Tonight” and his international smash “Troublemaker”. It was co-written by Murs, Robson and Claude Kelly, and that’s no surprise because “Hey” sounds a bit like Kelly’s composition for Jessie J, “Price Tag”, mixed with Nicki Minaj‘s “Starships” and a nice post-disco beat. However, it’s a little more risqué for the 29-year-old English singer. While a song about chasing down a girl is nothing new for him, it’s a bit out there in terms of its lyrical content. He states, “I feel your body calling out to me… sex is in your eyes,” and continues, “Won’t stop ’til I got you calling my name/You know you can’t resist it, baby.” Now, Murs is obviously allowed to express him however he wants, but as someone who caters to young girls, there are some issues that could come up. I guess we’ll see how that part of his fan base responds to its single release. August will be here in no time and Murs should be riding high once again.

Life's been good.

Life’s been good.

ARMIN VAN BUUREN featuring CINDY ALMA – “Beautiful Life”
Release Date: September 9 (U.K.)

36-year-old Dutch DJ Armin Van Buuren ix experiencing a sudden resurgence on the charts nowadays over fifteen years into his career on the dance circuit. His last single, a collaboration with former soulDecision member Trevor Guthrie called “This Is What It Feels Like”, recently became his biggest hit ever in The Netherlands, going to #2. It’s his third top ten single in that country in the last five years. It also broke the top ten in the United Kingdom (his first release to do so there) and is just outside that region in Australia at the #13 slot. While the United States hasn’t exactly caught onto it yet (it’s thus far only made the lower rungs on the Dance/Club Play chart), he’s moving onto his third single from his album Intense over in Europe. “Life” features vocalist Cindy Alma, who has been working with Van Buuren since at least 2011. She was born in Marseilles, France and was discovered in a singing contest at age 14 which caught the attention of record executive Jason Flom, who currently serves as the CEO of Lava Records. She cites Madonna and Whitney Houston as her influences and she herself has got some pipes. It’s a cute song, with a great synth solo about halfway through it and a hard trance vibe through the end of it. Newcomer Alma may not be established yet, but this could do it for her. It’s far more eurodance than the mainstream-sounding “Like”, so expect it to do OK over there while it does absolutely nothing on our side of the pond. That’s just the way it goes sometimes.

So, is it Olly Murs‘s dazzling ditty or Armin Van Buuren and Cindy Alma‘s charming collaboration that you prefer? Pretty hard, but let me know! Comment below or find me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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Dance Again: Making The Jump From Bubblegum To BPM

We loved them in those beautiful days of the boy band bonanza (even if they hate the term), but now, they’ve taken other routes and dramatically different ones at that. Now, I’m no expert when it comes to the world of electronic and dance music, but I certainly approve of these two guys getting a second chance at success. Both of these releases off of the Armada Music label are looking to take off as the summer season begins to sizzle. Who has the right moves and who can move over? Check these two groovy gems out.

Feelin' the power of two.

Feelin’ the power of two.

ARMIN VAN BUUREN featuring TREVOR GUTHRIE – “This Is What It Feels Like”
Release Date: at radio (Canada), May 6 (United Kingdom)

You probably don’t recognize the name, but if you were listening to radio in 2000, then you’re probably familiar with the act this guy was a part of. Trevor Guthrie is the former frontman of the Canadian trio soulDecision, who are best known for their 2000 hit, “Faded”. It actually hit #1 in Canada, while it made the top ten on the pop airplay chart here in the States. After expanding to a quartet and releasing a sophomore album that didn’t do particularly well (although I liked both singles from it), the group disbanded in 2005, with Guthrie pursuing a solo career to little attention. His foray into dance music began last year when he appeared on German DJ’s Markus Schulz‘s album Scream on one track, “Until It’s Gone”. Now, he’s teamed up with Dutch DJ Armin Van Buuren to lead off his latest album, Intense, due to be released in May. This is his first single on which he sings solo to see the light of day as a commercial release. It’s already been picking up momentum at mainstream radio in Guthrie’s native Canada, while it’ll be released in the United Kingdom in a week and a half, where Van Buuren has placed four singles into the lower regions of the chart, but hasn’t charted since 2005. Perhaps this collaboration will be the trick. Guthrie may have gone from bleach blonde highlights to his shaggier look recently, but he’s still sounding great at the microphone on “Feels”. Plus, he’s a natural fit for this new twist of genre. He sort of reminds me a bit of Erik Hassle or Mr Hudson. I think the two of them have a hit on their hands. Plus, who doesn’t love a good video with car chases in it? Don’t miss this one; it’ll be on your local station this summer.

Gotta let it burn.

Gotta let it burn.

CHICANE & FERRY CORSTEN featuring CHRISTIAN BURNS – “One Thousand Suns”
Release Date: May 27 (United Kingdom)

Just a few weeks later comes this new single, which originally appeared as just an instrumental when it was released online in the fall of last year. A video was shot and remixes were issued. However, last month, the song was essentially rereleased in a second form featuring vocals from a familiar face. Remember BBMak? Well, Christian Burns was one of the B’s in that British trio. Four of their singles managed to gain airplay here, including their first single “Back Here” from their 2000 album Sooner Or Later. A second album did moderately well in 2002, but quickly fell off the charts, and the trio disbanded by 2003. Years later, Burns made a big leap into dance music and it paid off, first hooking up with Dutch DJ Tiësto on the 2007 single “In The Dark”. It led him to appearances on other songs by top-named DJs like the aforementioned Armin Van Buuren, Benny Benassi and BT. His now finds him on this collaborative single between British producer Chicane and Dutch DJ Ferry Corsten. Chicane‘s been a regular on the Singles Chart in the U.K. since the late 90’s, charting as recently as 2009. Corsten’s had a few singles make the top 40, but 2006 was the last time he saw any kind of placement. This one’s a pretty decent record, although you’re more likely to hear this one in a club than on the airwaves. Burns sounds fine, and the production is great on “Suns”, but it’s a little too European sounding to make it anywhere outside of there. Plus, the video with the whole Twilight theme? Yeah… not my thing. That being said, let’s see if it can do anything in the U.K. on the 27th. It could catch on quickly with the buzzing EDM crowd.

Who are you rooting for to succeed with their newest release? Do you like Burns and Guthrie better as dance vocalists or back during their pop days? Let me know! Comment below or find me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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