Two remakes, two sassy shout-outs and a whole lotta Daddy drama. Sprinkle it all with a dash of Summer Pop and you have this week’s column. But enough intro. I missed y’all last week, so let’s dive right in!
“Daddy” – Emeli Sandé
The divine debut album by Scottish singer Emeli Sandé, Our Version of Events, has been on practically non-stop repeat on our iPod since its release earlier this year. In a short amount of time, the R&B chanteuse with the memorable coif has already racked up an impressive string of singles in the UK, including the soulful “Next To Me” and the rat-a-tat-tat percussive “Heaven.” Sadly, none have dented the charts here. And while that may not necessarily change anytime soon, one of her earlier UK hits, the heartfelt “Daddy,” has been given a fantastic reworking by the always-stellar British outfit 7th Heaven. No daddy issues here, this full journey is a keeper.
“Marihuana” – Vodka n Raki
Atención! If this is our week for covers, we couldn’t have asked for a cheekier example. Here with a charge of brass comes an updated version of the smokey chestnut “Mariguana Cha-Cha-Cha.” Produced by German duo Vodka & Raki, and now simply titled “Marihuana,” the bouncing redo takes its cue from last year’s rash of dance songs featuring exotic instrumentations (think: the accordion-crazy “Stereo Love”). In addition, the track is mostly in Spanish, except for the high-lariously blunt bridge “No coke / No heroin / Just (cush, cush) me and my weed.” This may be a novelty tune, but it’s catchy enough to move butts to the dance floor. In a bid for airplay, the radio version has been cleverly amended to “Maria Johanna,” though if they’ve actually edited any lyrics, it’s imperceptible. Light it up!
“Boys” & “Girl” – OMG Girlz & Miranda Lambert
Boys…Girls…this week we’re calling everyone out! Atlanta-based girl group OMG Girlz hadn’t made an impression on us before, but their new single “Where The Boys At?” has our rapt attention, This R&B groover makes a good bookend to 1999’s “Where My Girls At” by Vegas female trio 702. This equally in your face call-to-arms has our girls on the hunt for some fine dudes. Each time the hypnotic refrain – a staccato repetition of the same note – unexpectedly releases an octave higher, we swoon. This one will have you grinding at 2AM – sliding in perfectly between slower Nicki Minaj jams and early Detsiny’s Child. For a different slice of sass, check out what the boys at Flaming Saddles have known for months: Miranda Lambert’s “Fastest Girl In Town” – a sassy, salty tribute to bad girls everywhere. We like ‘em crazy!
“You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” – Frankie Knuckles feat. B. Slade
We’re feeling MIGHTY real about a new cover of Sylvester’s classic Disco anthem “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real).” Subsequently recorded by the likes of Jimmy Somerville, Byron Stingily (a Dance #1) and even Sandra Bernhard, it’s now in the hands of legendary DJ Frankie Knuckles. To be honest, we didn’t think anyone needed yet another version, but this one (co-produced by DJ Eric Kupper via Knuckles’ & Kupper’s Director’s Cut) is simply Fabulous. It’s absolutely the best of the lot since the original and the reasons are two-fold: 1) a superb modern-day production that still pays homage to the original and 2) an out-of-this world vocal performance by B. Slade, the former Gospel singer once known as Tonex. His pyrotechnic riffs up and down the scale are both effortless and mind-blowing. We’re savoring every second of the original 9-minute version. In addition, DJ Meme’s higher-energy “Mix of Epic Proportions” features a unique vocal intro of RELIGIOUS proportions. Everything about this project is highly, highly recommended.
BPM BITS: I wouldn’t have predicted this, but the latest installment of the trashy Step Up franchise is now responsible for three great current dance tunes, including the recently-released to radio “Hands In The Air.” Timbaland’s ode to an out-of-control house party features the silky smooth Ne-Yo… “Emergency” by Ann May (an original tune and not a remake of the Kool & the Gang track) and “Love Actually” by Cady Groves are two fun slices of Summer Pop…We are so tired of Pitbull’s megalomania. Does his ego know no bounds? Who enjoys listening to his silly and by now tired rap boasts?? Yeah, we get it. Worldwide. Whatever. But we’re forced to listen to his latest “Get It Started” because of the great vocals from the always-welcome Shakira. Do what I do and just cut his sections right out …We previously touted Olly Murs’ Island-flavored “Heart Skips A Beat.” Now comes the nicely pumped up “Smash Mode” mix…New mixes of deadmau5’s “The Veldt” are out, though we’re obsessed with the 11-minute Original Mix. All the majesty of The Lion King without any of Julie Taymor’s pretension!
Ann May (original rock cut)
You don’t see this every week: all top 5 songs on this week’s TOP 20 DANCE CHART are holding their positions from last week. This includes the Scissor Sisters’ Kiki-licious phenomenon now in its 4th week at #1 – the longest stretch for any song this year. Rihanna’s hoping her cake doesn’t get too stale, still waiting one position below. Last week’s re-entry of Gossip’s “Perfect World” is sitting pretty at #7 and Emeli Sandé leads this week’s debuts with the above-mentioned “Daddy.”
1) Let’s Have A Kiki (Original & DJ Nita Mixes) – Scissor Sisters (4 at 1) *
2) Birthday Cake (John Michael’s Bootleg) – Rihanna feat. Chris Brown (2)
3) Timebomb (Original & Peter Rauhofer Mixes) – Kylie Minogue (3) *
4) Turn Up The Radio (Original, Leo Zoren & Marco V Mixes) – Madonna (4)
5) Euphoria (Original & Wawa Mixes) – Loreen (5)
6) I Don’t Like You – Eva Simons (7)
7) Perfect World (Seamus Haji Mix) – Gossip (9)
8) Goin’ In (Extended & Gustavo Scorpio Mixes) – Jennifer Lopez feat. Flo Rida (8)
9) Now Or Never (Jason Nevins & Johnny Vicious Mixes) – Outasight (13)
10) Dark Side (Ean Sugarman & Timofey Mix) – Kelly Clarkson (14)
11) Daddy (7th Heaven Mixes) – Emeli Sandé (DEBUT)
12) Wide Awake (Kaskade & Jump Smokers Mixes) – Katy Perry (12)
13) Guns & Roses (Original & Riddler Mix) – Tora (15)
14) Good Time (Original Mix)– Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen (17)
15) You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) – Frankie Knuckles feat. B Slade (DEBUT)
16) Don’t Wake Me Up (Benny Benassi Mix) – Chris Brown (10)
17) Want U Back (Cahill Mix) – Cher Lloyd (18)
18) Spectrum (Calvin Harris Remix) – Florence & The Machine (19)
19) Heart Skips A Beat (Smash Mode Remix) – Olly Murs feat. Chiddy Bang (20)
20) Marihuana / Maria Johanna (Original Joint & Angel Dust Mixes) – Vodka n Raki (DEBUT)
*Indicates current/former #1s