Results for dance pop

reviews
MDNA (Deluxe Version)MDNA available on iTunes

Madonna MDNA

No other dance pop artist has been at it successfully for as long as Madonna. With a career spanning 30 years and 300 million albums sold worldwide, she's earned the title "Queen of Pop." However, with royal status, should come different expectations. No longer is Madonna on the cutting edge, as critics of her new album MDNA have complained. But that's okay, says Greg. She's still able to bring personality, especially on the songs produced by William Orbit of Ray of Light fame. But Orbit only tackles half the record, so Greg gives MDNA a Burn It. Jim knows Greg thinks it's foolish to criticize Madonna's lyrics, but her music used to have conceptual strength in addition to pop power. Now she just goes on about being a bad girl…and at the age of 53. Jim says Trash It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 331
KindredKindred available on iTunes

Passion Pit Kindred

Frontman Michael Angelakos of the indietronica act Passion Pit has come a long way since "Sleepyhead" became a MySpace hit in 2008. He's now returned with a third album of shimmery electronic pop, Kindred. Jim is amazed by how Angelakos, who suffers from bipolar disorder, finds catharsis in making irresistible dance pop. Although he addresses his pain in Kindred, Angelakos never mopes but rather celebrates life. Electronic Dance Music rarely has real soul like this. Greg is also pleased to find this record more optimistic than the previous release, Gossamer. Angelakos has a knack for making commercial music that avoids pop cliches through his brilliant symphonic keyboard arrangements. According to Greg, it's a great pop record with finely honed songs from beginning to end. Both critics give Kindred a Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 494
UnapologeticUnapologetic available on iTunes

Rihanna Unapologetic

Reigning pop/R&B queen and hook-singer du jour Rihanna is back with a new release called Unapologetic - her first to top the Billboard albums chart. The 24-year-old Barbadian singer has been all over the news in recent weeks, though not necessarily for her music. By dueting with the man who assaulted her in 2009 (fellow R&B singer Chris Brown) on“Nobody's Business,”Rihanna ensured her seventh studio album would be everybody's business. So how's the music? Jim calls the upbeat dance-pop fare on the first half of the record“pure pop pleasure.”But when things get sappier and slowed-down on side two, her limits as a vocalist become clear. Greg agrees with Jim that Rihanna's Chris Brown collab is pure“button-pushing.”He points to her 2009 album Rated R as a more ambitious and successful exploration of that troubled relationship. While he appreciates that the singer is moving in a more serious direction, he laments that the pop hooks just aren't there. Unapologetic gets a double Try It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 366
JunkJunk available on iTunes

M83 Junk

French electronic band M83 began as a bedroom project in 2001, but its recordings have become increasingly elaborate and lush. Now based in Los Angeles, the band reached a commercial and critical peak with its 2011 album Hurry Up, We're Dreaming and has returned with its seventh album, Junk. While previous records were unified concept albums, Junk is frustratingly all over the map, according to Jim. In interviews, leader Anthony Gonzalez claims to have been inspired by 1970s and '80s sitcoms like Who's the Boss? and Punky Brewster. The result, Jim says, is a few brilliant dance-pop moments, but also plenty of dreck, earning it a Try It. Greg misses the emotional connection that M83 built on Hurry Up, We're Dreaming. He finds Junk in contrast to be cheesy and intentionally slight, with often chintzy-sounding orchestration. But Greg hears just enough worthwhile tracks to salvage Junk as a Try It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 540