Category Archives: Album Review

Kenny & Dolly’s “Once Upon A Christmas”: The Greatest Gift of All!!

I used to think it was something to be terribly ashamed of; I thought that admitting my favorite-ever Christmas album would be globally reviled as the ultimate sign of being a redneck. In place of the truth I would pick a super safe bet like Mariah Carey’s “Merry Christmas” to which everyone (of course) would simply agree because Mariah’s was one of very VERY few holiday albums in the last 20 years to produce a true, original holiday classic. Over time I have come to realize that my favorite Christmas album of all time is shared by many and I’m no longer afraid to admit it so today, on Christmas Eve 2011, I share it with all of you: my fellow disciples of the Church of Pop.

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Judgement Day: Pop Heaven or Hell? Victoria Duffield – Shut Up and Dance

After releasing three very solid singles and making Canadian pop music lovers wait for what seems like an eternity, British Columbia’s own Victoria Duffield released her new album/EP: “Shut Up and Dance” with Warner Music Canada on August 21st, 2012!

While I would honestly hesitate to call any release that boasts only 8 tracks an “album,” as an EP, “Shut Up and Dance” displays a lot of potential from the 17 year old pop starlet and Duffield displays the dancing prowess and delightfully listenable vocals of Britney Spears circa 1999 (as in “Baby One More Time.“) Much like Spears’ debut, “Shut Up” has hits and misses, but one can’t reasonably expect someone to have their sound perfected at the tender age of 17, even if presently her sound can be defined as distinctly POP – as in bubblegum. Before you make a flash judgement about my intentions in using this description, I would like to add that as far as the Pop Gods are concerned, there is absolutely nothing wrong with bubblegum!

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Judgement Day: Pop Heaven or Hell? – Marina & the Diamonds – Electra Heart

Forgive me, Dear Readers, for I have once again sinned.

Somehow I have yet to post my thoughts about Marina and the Diamonds sophomore release “Electra Heart”, despite having written a rather lengthy piece about it’s concept and marketing plan prior to it’s European release nearly three months ago.

In my defense, I have made multiple attempts to finish and post this piece and somehow just never managed to sort out my thoughts to complete it until now. Luckily, the album was released today (7/10/2012) in North America and since I happen to call Canada my home and native land, it’s only suiting that I post my thoughts on “Electra Heart” on the day it becomes available for purchase on my shores.

It seems that a frequent criticism of concept albums is that the music is overshadowed by the pressure to understand the conceptual context of each song, rendering a body of work “lost” in it’s own conceptual fog. Given that Diamandis has gone to such lengths to present the release as a concept album, even adopting an entirely new character & image, I feel the concept should be a significant part of the discussion despite the inherrent risk of this possibility.

Diamandis has discussed “Electra Heart” in great detail as a kind-of character study channeling four female Archetypes and telling a story about dysfunctional love, using elements of Greek  Tragedy. When analyzing the entirety of “Electra Heart” within the multi-faceted concept some may argue that it’s much easier to find fault in the project than if  you choose to disregard its concept and listen solely as a fan of pop music. In the name of fairness, I have decided to present my thoughts on the album within each of these contexts; it’s strength as a concept album and it’s strength as a body of what I believe to be rather brilliant pop music.

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Popologist Panel: Justin Bieber, Fiona Apple, Diplo, Katy Perry (July 2012)

Check out the all-new second installment of the Popologist Panel on Vertigo Shtick, of which I am honored to be a part of!

This month, we tackle the latest releases from Justin Bieber, Fiona Apple & Diplo, music videos by Katy Perry & Sky Ferreira and singles by Alexandra Stan, Esthero, NERVO and Carly Rae Jepsen!


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Popologist Panel: Adam Lambert, Azealia Banks, Ke$ha

Popologist Panel: Adam Lambert, Azealia Banks, Ke$ha

I was recently asked to take part in a monthly panel reviewing some of the latest releases and leaks from a variety of popular and up-and-coming artists on Vertigo Shtick. Check out the first installment of the Popologist Panel, where we discuss the latest releases from: Adam Lambert, Queen of Hearts, Azealia Banks, Florrie, Cher Lloyd, Luciana, Kylie Minogue, Cheryl Cole and a demo/leak from Ke$ha!

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