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Music Is My King Size Bed

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

'Best of 2010': Robyn Makes Multiple Top Ten and 'Best Of' Lists

When I think about artists who've really made an impression on me over the past year, Robyn definitely stands out.  I've been a fan of Robyn's for a long time, so to see her come back here to the States 13 years after she first debuted on the scene, and make people go CRAZY all over's rather gratifying.  Robyn has always had a fan base here in America, ever since she exploded onto the scene with "Show Me Love" - it's just that her fanbase here NOW is considerably larger, thanks in part to her 2008 self titled album which featured "Cobrastyle," "Handle Me" and "With Every Heartbeat."  This album got people talking about Robyn again.  Robyn, being the smart businesswoman that she is, kept the momentum going the following year by working on material from, what would become her Body Talk album trilogy, releasing first single "Dancing On My Own" in June of 2010.

Now, as 2010 comes to a close, various outlets are compiling their 'Best Of' lists and Robyn's name is (not surprisingly) appearing on quite a few of them.  MTV has named Robyn's "Dancing On My Own" their #6 pick for song of the year. Nice!  Even better? "Dancing On My Own" is up for a Grammy this year, nominated in the 'Best Dance Recording' category.  This will be Robyn's second Grammy nod, after being nominated last year for 'Best Electronic/Dance Album' for Robyn.  The song, which also recently closed out an intense episode of CW's hit teen drama Gossip Girl, is one of my favorites from the past year. Hands down.
"I don't know why this song wasn't the biggest hit of 2010, honestly," says MTV's  Jim Cantiello. "It's like the perfect pop song."
MTV Shows

Agreed.  Check out more on the MTV News staff's decision to include Robyn in their Top 10.  Definitely a honor, despite the fact that MTV is not the music video mecca that it once used to be.  While "Dancing On My Own" might be Robyn's most talked about single here in the States, her Body Talk album has been garnering quite a bit of praise on it's own.  Spinner, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Spin, New York Magazine and NPR have all highlighted the Swedish songstress's new record as one of the year's best and brightest.  According to Spinner:

"As her stilettos stomped across broken glass, the Swedish former teen star outclassed all comers, pairing soaring synths, thundering drums and emotion-soaked lyrics, showing sympathy for Britney-esque fembots and declaring her indestructible independence. Body Talk is epic pop for epic times. Get on board. Buckle up."

Well summed up. Body Talk, a compilation of the three volumes, is available now on Cherrytree Records (download HERE).  Check out the video for Robyn's new single, "Indestructible" HERE and check out the video for "Dancing On My Own" below.

Check out Robyn on the web:

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Hollywood Can't Get Enough of Richard Ashcroft...What About You?

Richard of my first rock star crushes as a newly out young gay man. I distinctly remember watching the music video for The Verve's Billboard Hot 100 Top 12 hit single "Bitter Sweet Symphony" on Euro MTV during my 1997 trip to Europe with the family.  Having grown up without cable TV in the home, watching MTV and other music video channels was a rare treat, reserved only for hotels, motels and Holiday Inns.  There was just something sexy about Ashcroft's swagger in the "Bitter Sweet Symphony" video. Something in the way he walked...just something about his whole "I DON'T GIVE A FUCK" attitude in the video. There are days when I feel like I have that swagger.

After "Bitter Sweet Symphony," The Verve sort of dropped off my radar, I guess for good reason, considering they broke up.  The next time I heard from the group was in 2008, coincidentally when the band reunited to release  fourth album...Forth.  Forth included the #4 UK hit, "Love Is Noise," which stuck out in my mind because of impressive dance remixes from Death Metal Disco, Tom Neville and Tong & Rogers.  While no singles from Forth charted here in the States, the album managed a relatively impressive #23 debut, matching the chart position of Urban Hymns, 11 years earlier.  Nearly a year after the release of Forth, the band called it quits once again.

Now...spotlight on Richard Ashcroft, please.  While Ashcroft did have a touch of solo success in the UK (see "A Song For The Lovers"), this will mark his triumphant return to the States. Signed to Razor & Tie (distributed by Sony Music Entertainment), Ashcroft is set to release his solo record, entitled The United Nations of Sound on March 8th.  Produced by reputable hip-hop producer No I.D. (Kanye West, Common), the 12-track album becomes Ashcroft's latest solo vehicle.  What kind of sound can we expect to hear on the new record?  How about "live orchestration" and "big beats?"  Yes please!  Excited yet? Well, chances are you've already heard some of Ashcroft's new material on TV and in film.  Lead track "Are You Ready?" is featured in a Volkswagen Jetta ad campaign (HERE) and appeared in promos for the 2010 FIFA World Cup Finals.  Sports fans also heard the song in FOX's broadcasts of Major League Baseball's postseason games, including the World Series.  Not a sports fan? No problem! Perhaps you noticed his track "She Brings Me The Music" in a recent episode of NBC's Chuck?  Not enough for you?  You can also look forward to a new song by Ashcroft in the forthcoming Matt Damon thriller The Adjustment Bureau.  Exciting stuff! Ashcroft apparently co-wrote said song with Oscar-nominated composer Tom Newman for it's inclusion in the film's opening.  As if that's not enough exposure, "Are You Ready?" will appear over the film's closing credits.

Why not go and give "Are You Ready?" a listen on Richard Ashcroft's official site.  If you like what you here, you're in luck! It's being offered as a free download HERE.  In case you miss the free download, you can always snag the track on iTunes HERE.  I am quite diggin' the song. I'm really just loving Ashcroft crooning over a big, lush-sounding rock track.  "Are You Ready?" sounds like the kind of music awesome soundtracks are made of. No wonder Hollywood is clamoring like crazy to get Richard Ashcroft good placement. Get ready for Richard Ashcroft's first U.S. solo tour in 2011.

Check out Richard Ashcroft on the web:

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