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Date: Saturday, 13 Sep 2014 21:44
Kiesza Sound Of A Woman album cover

What does Sound Of A Woman sound like? Well, Kiesza‘s debut LP isn’t out until October 21, and so far we’ve only heard deep house cuts like “Hideaway,” “Giant In My Heart,” “No Enemiesz” and “So Deep.” Also, the tracklist for the album has yet to be revealed (though we’ll go out on a limb and assume all of the mentioned tracks will be included).

What we do have, however, is the cover artwork for Kiesza’s full-length release. The flame-haired Canadian unveiled the image across her social media channels today, and here we see her face, hands and blinged-out nails against a stark black background. It’s kind of perfect in its simplicity, really.

We’re getting more excited by the day for this album, as Kiesza continues to prove through each successive song release and performance that she’s a pop star worth championing in 2014.

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.

Author: "Robbie Daw" Tags: "Cover Art"
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Date: Saturday, 13 Sep 2014 16:02

Chris Brown teamed up with Trey Songz for “Songs On 12 Play,” a new song from Brown’s upcoming sixth album X (out September 16).

The match-up isn’t just arousing mood music, as to be expected from two young R&B stars. Instead, Brown and Songz weave in references to R. Kelly‘s singles off 1993 debut 12 Play (“Sex Me,” “Bump ‘N Grind,” “Your Body’s Callin’”), plus later hits like “Fiesta” and “Ignition,” in efforts to sound more explicitly adult.

If anything, “Songs On 12 Play” brings to mind how much Brown and Songz (who recently released his own sixth album, Trigga) owe to the still-controversial R. Kelly. Following a brief, almost forgettable stint with new jack swing, the raunchy R&B singer still manages to find new ways to surprise with his dreamy songs of explicit bedroom instructions, from sung-rapped vocals to truly outlandish metaphors.

Neither Brown nor Songz sound as impassioned in their tribute as R. Kelly would on his own, though “Songz On 12 Play” still sounds like an earnest effort. Hear the X song below.

[via Rap Radar]

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.

Author: "Christina Lee" Tags: "Music News, Chris Brown, R. Kelly, Trey ..."
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Date: Saturday, 13 Sep 2014 15:13

Miley Cyrus has flaunted her surprising range as of late by covering Fleetwood Mac, OutKast, The Beatles (alongside The Flaming Lips, no less) and The Smiths. Now she continues to surprise with a new, lo-fi cover of “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You,” as made famous in 1969 by Led Zeppelin.

Rolling Stone initially panned Led Zeppelin’s version of the Anne Bredon-written song upon its 1969 release. “The song is very dull (especially on the vocal passages), very redundant, and certainly not worth the six-and-a-half minutes the Zeppelin gives it,” writer John Mendelsohn said.

With her version (titled “Baby, I’m Gonna Leave You”), though, Cyrus reminds us why Led Zeppelin’s take would later be hailed as one of the band’s finest moments. Each time the Bangerz star sings the driving hook, her loud wails cut through the heavy guitar riffs and drums — a bold reminder that yes, she can sing.

Hear Cyrus cover “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” below.

[via MTV]

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.

Author: "Christina Lee" Tags: "Music News, Led Zeppelin, Miley Cyrus"
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Date: Saturday, 13 Sep 2014 14:17

Chris Brown‘s dance-pop duet with Ariana Grande, “Don’t Be Gone Too Long,” was announced last spring, before it was postponed due to Brown’s incarceration. Then the song appeared to have been scrapped entirely. (“My duet partner isn’t available at the moment to put the song out with me,” Grande had said.) A version without Grande will now appear on Brown’s sixth album X, out September 16.

Days before X‘s release, though, Brown released the “Don’t Be Gone Too Long” video that he directed months ago. While a previous teaser showed only him silhouetted in a dark room while dancing to the song, the full video isn’t as straightforward. In this storybook romance gone wrong, Grande plays a princess who falls in love with Brown. After the two are caught seeing each other, though, knights lock Ariana’s object of affection away in attempts to keep them apart.

The differences between the duet and X versions of “Don’t Be Gone Too Long” are slight, but still noticeable. The X rendition features another, unidentified female voice, who matches Brown’s hushed and wistful vocals almost note for note. Meanwhile, with the addition of Grande’s airy upper register, “Don’t Be Gone Too Long” actually sounds as if the whole affair could lead to a happy ending.

Watch the video above.

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.

Author: "Christina Lee" Tags: "On The Tube, Ariana Grande, Chris Brown"
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Date: Saturday, 13 Sep 2014 00:30

Well, this week certainly was pop drama, wasn’t it?

Taylor Swift and Katy Perry (maybe?) swapped subtweets and shady songs, U2 dropped an unwanted (for some of us?) album on us via Apple and Ariana Grande is (possibly) a diva who only likes to be interviewed and photographed on one side of her face. Hmm…

In less dicey news, we premiered AJR return with “Infinity,” launched a contest for BANKS‘ gorgeous Goddess, premiered some stunning artwork to coincide with Kimbra‘s The Golden Echo and took a look back at 13 pop albums that deserved a lot more love than they were originally dealt.

As always, you guys had plenty to say. Check out some of the week’s best comments after the jump.

:: Kristin was absolutely bowled over by the new U2 album on The Internet Is Pissed About U2′s Free ‘Songs Of Innocence’ Album, And Critics Are Divided: Review Revue: “Best album I have ever heard. Ever. Fantastic. Epic. I can’t stop listening. I’m actually listening to a whole album over and over again because it is an experience in and of itself. It’s been years since a musician has swept me up this way. I have absolutely no care to get on my iPhone or be on Facebook all day. I’m thinking, I’m dreaming, I’m remembering and I’m so thankful for a return to the years of my youth. Wow. Thank you.”

:: azke was also appreciative: “Great album. One can either try to find identity in being a technology and music critic, or one can simply say ‘thank you’ to Apple and relax and listen to the genius that has made U2′s music a gift to humanity for four decades.”

:: And Android fan could find no sympathy whatsoever: “More first world problems. Sucks to be you, Apple users.”

:: Ebony B. didn’t care for Giuliana Rancic’s comments on Giuliana Rancic Confirms That Ariana Grande Will Only Be Filmed From The Left: “If Giuliana was a true women who was wise and smart wouldn’t talk about some whose younger than her on national television to where she can’t even defend herself. That doesn’t sit right with me at all. Not a huge fan of Ariana Grande but everyone’s quick to judge someone they don’t even know or speak to. Giuliana could’ve talked Ariana in private for what happed at the interview but no she didn’t. Come on now.”

:: Cam got pissed: “Wow this makes me so mad. So she’s a new comer? She’s certainly been showing that she’s one hell of a pop force lately, so if she thinks she looks better from the left, then film her from the left! sorry about it if you’re gonna pout about it and call it ‘being a diva’, I don’t see it as a bad thing.”

:: And Brant N. broke it down quite bluntly: “It’s the same old story. Ariana is hot (on all sides) and Giuliana is not (on any side).”

:: Barley B. broke down the legalities of the alleged Katy-Taylor rift on Taylor Swift Fired The Dancers That Katy Perry Allegedly Stole: More Details On Their Feud: “It’s called Tortious Interference. As the dancer said, they were contacted to leave the tour half-way by Perry. That interferes with performances and provides potential proprietary business knowledge, interfering with a competing business. In terms of millions invested, that is a big deal. It’s just being translated into more high school terms.”

:: Dan E. encouraged everyone to calm down with the rumors: “I don’t think we should take the TMZ version of the facts and the motivations as gospel. That would be a big error. There’s much more to be known about this before a judgement could be rendered.”

:: And Michael G, like many of us, just couldn’t find a f**k to give about any of this: “Children starve to death everyday, elderly are suffering and these two rich gross little women are in the news? what stupid lives….”

:: Mark felt Ari’s pain on Ariana Grande’s Diva Demands: No Mariah Carey Questions Or Photos From The Right: “I’m not famous and I absolutely refuse to be photographed on my right side. It’s never been a good angle for me, and I’m not afraid to make friends re-arrange photo opps around my demands. So I get that part. As for the Sam & Cat cancellation, we don’t know that it had anything to do with diva demands. Could it possible be that she’s 21 years old now and tired of playing a character with the mentality of a 10 year old?”

:: And Chandler S. agreed: “Those requests….are actually all quite reasonable. She’s asking not to be harassed with troll questions (that she’s answered many times before) and has given two small guidelines on how she wants to be photographed. This is a non-story.”

:: And finally, The Harajuku Girls made a cry for help on Gwen Stefani Is Recording A Solo Album AND A No Doubt Album At The Same Time: “Help! Gwen’s had us locked in her L.A.M.D. (Love. Angel. Music. Dungeon.) since 2004!”

Author: "Bradley Stern" Tags: "Highlights, Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, T..."
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Date: Friday, 12 Sep 2014 22:23

You’re probably wondering where you know the name Robin Schulz from. He’s the guy that remixed Mr. Probz‘s “Waves”, turning it into a global hit. Well, lightning has indeed struck twice for the German DJ. His remake of Lilly Wood And The Prick‘s (they wisely revised their name!) “Prayer In C” has already topped the charts in over 20 countries.

The appeal of the worldwide smash is easy to understand. Robin breathes just enough life into the French duo’s sad and depressing folk song to make it palatable. The end result is a curiously catchy but still defiantly gloomy earworm. Interestingly, the collab almost didn’t happen due to the DJ remixing the track without permission. They sorting things out and now everyone is rolling in cash. And they say there’s no such thing as a fairytale ending! Watch the very German video up top.

Is this going to conquer the Billboard Hot 100? Have your say in the comments below.

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.

Author: "Mike Wass" Tags: "Video, Future Hit, LILLYWOOD, Robin Schu..."
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Date: Friday, 12 Sep 2014 22:11
Big Sean 2014

Guess what? Big Sean has signed up with Roc Nation. And guess what else? The Detroit rapper is celebrating his new home by popping four brand new tracks onto his SoundCloud. The first one, “Paradise,” was produced by Mike WiLL Made-It. That flows into what is easily the eyebrow-raiser of this collection: the DJ Mustard and Kanye West co-production “I Don’t Fuck With You,” which finds Sean verbally slamming his ex, Glee star Naya Rivera, left and right.

“I heard you got a new man, I see you takin’ a pic / then you post it up thinkin’ that it’s makin’ me sick / I see you callin’, I’ll be makin’ it quick / I’mma answer that shit like I don’t fuck with you,” Sean spits on the track. Later he adds, “Every day I wake up celebratin’ shit / why? / ’cause I just dodged a bullet from a crazy bitch!” Stare into your future, Ariana Grande.

Catch all four of Sean’s new songs below, including the Fall Out Boy-interpolating “Jit/Juke” (produced by Da Internz, Nate Fox and L&F) and “4th Quarter.”

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.

Author: "Robbie Daw" Tags: "Music News, Big Sean, DJ Mustard, Kanye ..."
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Date: Friday, 12 Sep 2014 21:47

After a brief detour into the world of folk-infused dance music, which produced one killer anthem (Kesha collaboration “Timber”) and one piece of filler (“Wild Wild Love”), Pitbull returns to more familiar territory on “Fireball”. The John Ryan-assisted smash features the sultry Latin rhythms we’ve come to expect from Mr. Worldwide — albeit with a distinctive twist from producer Wallpaper.

The sexy party jam demanded an equally evocative visual and it looks like Pit is going to deliver. Today’s (September 12) preview finds the rapper hanging out in a club with his co-star and a bunch of scantily-clad women. So it’s like every other Pitbull video ever made only with really obvious product placement for the hitmaker’s vodka brand. I’m here for it. Watch up top.

Is “Fireball” Pitbull’s next big hit? Have your say in the comments below.

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.

Author: "Mike Wass" Tags: "Video, John Ryan, Pitbull"
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Date: Friday, 12 Sep 2014 21:34

Ever wonder what the young ladies of Fifth Harmony — who are, mercifully, not named CANDL — do when they’re gearing up for a performance backstage?

As part of Myspace’s ongoing Five Minutes To The Stage series, which gives fans an inside glimpse into an act’s “rituals, superstitions and experiences” seconds before hitting the stage (like JoJo!), the girls revealed their obsession with their (equally obsessed) fans. At one point, they pass around Ally‘s phone, as she scrolls through her Twitter timeline and giggles at Vines. (You see, Harmonizers? They could be doing that right now if you tweet them.)

5H also talk about their pre-performance rituals, including a group prayer (this time with Dinah‘s family included!), as well as a quick rehearsal of their opening moves and some vocal warm-ups. Even with those pre-show jitters, they’re still on point.

Check out Fifth Harmony’s pre-stage rituals up top, and let us know what you think in the comments below.

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.

Author: "Bradley Stern" Tags: "Video, Fifth Harmony"
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Date: Friday, 12 Sep 2014 20:43

You can’t put anything over the Hive. As soon as they discovered Nicki Minaj was in Paris at the same time as Beyonce and Jay Z, Twitter exploded with speculation that the divas would perform their remix of “***Flawless”. And their suspicions were 100% correct. The “Anaconda” diva joined Queen Bey for tonight’s (September 12) On The Run tour stop, which is being filmed for HBO (it airs September 20).

Fans naturally took Instagram videos but no quality footage has emerged yet. (It’s only a matter of time). From the snippets that have surfaced online, it looks like a great performance with Beyonce in full diva mode (hairography, choreography, bodyography etc) and Nicki more than keeping up in her  colorful bodysuit. The duo are rumored to be filming a video for the collaboration during their stint in Paris. See some low quality Instagram videos after the jump.

Are you ready to be scalped by their performance? Let us know in the comments below.

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.

Author: "Mike Wass" Tags: "Headlines, Beyonce, Nicki Minaj"
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Date: Friday, 12 Sep 2014 20:14

The reigning queens of hipster-pop Elliphant and  join forces on a new track called “One More”. It sounds like a match made in heaven and the “Music Is Life” diva agrees. “People that write about Elliphant also write about MØ and I listen to her stuff and I find ["Pilgrim"] and she instantly stream into my heart,” she says in the behind-the-scenes video of their new clip.

“One More” is taken from Elliphant’s similarly-titled third EP, which drops on October 14. What can you expect from the video? Well, the Scandinavian babes rock old-school Adidas tracksuits and geisha make-up while getting high and drunk in the back of a car. It looks like they had a really good filming it! See all their crazy shenanigans in the BTS video after the jump.

Are you excited for Elliphant and MØ’s collab? Let us know in the comments below.

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.

Author: "Mike Wass" Tags: "Headlines, Elliphant, MØ"
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Date: Friday, 12 Sep 2014 19:59
Becky Hill Losing

Becky Hill is a 20-year-old British singer who most of us in the States probably are not that up on yet. She first rose to prominence overseas after appearing on the first season of The Voice UK in 2012, where she was a member of Jessie J‘s team. Following that, Hill lent her vocals to a few single by other artists — most notably Oliver Heldens‘ “Gecky (Overdrive)”, which topped the chart in England earlier this year.

Now, following her ethereal summer single “Caution To The Wind,” Becky has paired up with producer MNEK for “Losing,” which plays like a joyous throwback to ’90s pop, R&B and dance all at once. Give this irresistible gem a listen below.

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.

Author: "Robbie Daw" Tags: "Music News, Becky Hill, MNEK"
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Date: Friday, 12 Sep 2014 19:31

News broke yesterday that a sex tape featuring Iggy Azalea was being shopped to porn company Vivid Entertainment. The rap diva vehemently denied appearing in the video in a string of stinging tweets but today (September 12) her legal team confessed that it might be her but she wasn’t aware it was being filmed and was probably underage when it was made. Gross.

Not so, says ex-boyfriend Hefe Wine. He came forward to confirm the tape’s existence and the fact that he “stars” in it with Iggy. He also denied claims that she was a minor, saying she was 18-year-old when they met. The rapper also professes the tape was stolen from his computer and somehow ended up on the desk of Vivid head honcho Steven Hirsch. He is, however, willing to accept money for its release. Sounds like a great guy. See the hitmaker’s outraged tweets after the jump.

Here are Iggy’s tweets on the matter. Her legal team has since changed their position. She hasn’t commented.

[Via TMZ].

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.

Author: "Mike Wass" Tags: "Headlines, Hefe Wine, Iggy Azalea"
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Date: Friday, 12 Sep 2014 19:09

Is there anything more exciting in 2014 than the prospect of new music from Kiesza? Well, probably — but we’re hard-pressed to think of what that might be. On her Facebook wall, the flame-haired Canadian singer teased the studio recording of new song “No Enemiesz,” which, we’ll assume, is going to appear on her upcoming LP Sound Of A Woman (reportedly due out October 21). It’s a deep house cut she’s been performing live since the spring, and one that sounds utterly fantastic both when Kiesza is on stage and now in its recorded form.

“No Enemiesz” is set to premiere any moment now on Annie Mac‘s BBC radio sow in the UK. But it’s already surfaced online ahead of that. Head below to give Kiesza’s latest a listen.

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.

Author: "Robbie Daw" Tags: "Music News, Kiesza"
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Date: Friday, 12 Sep 2014 18:53

How do you solve a problem like Nicole Scherzinger without reforming the Pussycat Dolls? The stunning diva has already delivered two great singles from her as-yet-untitled sophomore LP and they have both failed to click in key markets despite having suitably sexy videos and A-List collaborators (The-Dream and Tricky Stewart).

It’s frustrating because the 36-year-old is a true rarity in the pop world in that she can actually sing and dance. Hopefully, she’ll have more luck with “Run” — a beautifully understated ballad that just premiered on French radio. Nicole’s voice soars over a simple piano arrangement and the lyrics are genuinely heartfelt. Listen to the PCD singer’s next roll of the dice after the jump.

Do you love “Run”? Let us know in the comments below.

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.

Author: "Mike Wass" Tags: "Headlines, Nicole Scherzinger"
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Date: Friday, 12 Sep 2014 18:13

With the release of his long-delayed studio album X just days away now, “Loyal” crooner Chris Brown is making his rounds to promote the forthcoming LP.

Last night, Brown and his troupe of dancers hit the stage to perform title track “X,” as well as a bit of “Loyal,” to the frenzied and passionate screams from the studio audience. Dressed head-to-toe in all red, the singer alternated between belting out the emotional track at the mic and stepping back to deliver his signature high-energy choreography.

Although the performer hasn’t had too many live performances throughout this, erm, tumultuous era, he looked right at home performing on a late night stage once again.

Check out the performance up top, and let us know what you thought in the comments below.

Author: "Bradley Stern" Tags: "On The Tube, Video, Chris Brown"
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Date: Friday, 12 Sep 2014 17:10
Taylor Swift Behind the scenes Shake It Off video

Taylor Swift‘s lead 1989 single “Shake It Off” is a certified smash, having spent two weeks atop the Billboard 100. Likewise, the perky song’s accompanying music video has racked up over 90 million views on YouTube since its debut last month — more than enough to prompt Taylor to premiere a series of behind-the-scenes videos detailing the thought and work that went into certain dance segments in the clip.

Above, Swift describes what it was like shooting the modern dance sequence. “There’s been so much cardio to wear me out,” she admits. “We do several takes of each full pass of the song and the whole time I’m full out. Like, the dancers around me are full out and so we’re all pretty wiped out.”

Watch that clip above, then catch outtakes from the cheerleader and ballerina bits in the “Shake It Off” video below.


Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.

Author: "Robbie Daw" Tags: "Video, Taylor Swift"
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Date: Friday, 12 Sep 2014 16:22
Lil Kim Hard Core mixtape cover artwork

Eighteen years ago, Lil’ Kim‘s debut LP Hard Core arrived, brandishing fierce hits like “No Time,” “Crush On You” and “Not Tonight.” The decades have taken the Queen Bee down many unexpected roads, and in 2014, she’s now in the more humble arena of putting out her music in mixtape form. Hard Core 2K14 is her (delayed) second such release, following 2011′s Black Friday, and it finds Kim corralling hip hop mainstays like Jadakiss, Yo Gotti, Cassidy and French Montana for feature duties.

You’ve already heard cuts like the Nicki Minaj-baiting “Identity Theft” and “Real Sick.” Now you can grab all of Hard Core 2K14 as a free download and see if there’s much buzz in Queen Bee’s latest.

Author: "Robbie Daw" Tags: "Music News, Lil Kim"
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Date: Friday, 12 Sep 2014 16:01

Nick Jonas, when not getting nude and exploring his sexuality in his new show Kingdom, is in the midst of a full-fledged promotional tour for his infectious jam “Jealous,” just ahead of the release of his forthcoming self-titled solo album in November.

Last night, the solo JoBro hit the stage on Late Night With Seth Meyers to croon the lead track live in his first late night TV performance of the tune. Backed by a band, the newly solo singer kept it cool in a black leather jacket while crooning his ode. (So much falsetto!) And, as it turns out, Nick commands the stage just fine all on his own.

Watch Nick perform “Jealous” up top, and let us know what you think in the comments below.

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.

Author: "Bradley Stern" Tags: "On The Tube, Video, Nick Jonas"
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Date: Friday, 12 Sep 2014 14:23

At some point or other, we, as pop fans, all fall hard for an album that completely tanks on the charts. Sure, the artist in question may eke out a hit single or two, but for whatever reason, the universe seems to reject the notion of the parent album finding any major success. Sorry, Carly Rae Jepsen.

But that’s where we, your music-loving pals at Idolator, come in. Because in the few spare moments when we’re not cranking out the daily goings-on with your favorite artists currently tearing it up in the land of pop, we often pine away wistfully for the days of yore, when we’d champion our own personal fave flops in vain. Eventually at one point we decided, screw that — let’s just make a list!

So head below to find our roundup of 13 overlooked pop albums from the past 20 years that deserve to be revisited.

Little Boots, Hands (2009)

Vastly underrated, English singer-songwriter Little Boots’ 2009 debut LP Hands effortlessly spewed synth-pop goodness. From her seismic electro-pop album opener “New In Town” to the Euro-dance soundscapes of Kylie Minogue-inspired number “Stuck On Repeat,” Hands was as vulnerable as it was infectious. It also might’ve helped that the pop singer’s collaborators happened to be producer extraordinaire Greg Kurstin and Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard, so hats off to those guys as well. Nevertheless, after premiering at #5 on the UK Album Chart, the disc plummeted to the 40th spot in its second week, which was rather disgruntling for the pop music world and Little Boots fans alike. Perhaps some felt she was trying too hard, but it’s also possible that the album was just way before its time — we chose to believe the latter. — RACHEL SONIS

Holly Valance, State Of Mind (2003)

Holly Valance State Of Mind album cover

Britney SpearsBlackout is often praised for bringing electro-pop to the masses, despite the fact that Holly Valance attempted it four years earlier on 2003’s sadly overlooked State Of Mind. At the time, the Australian diva was considered to be the second coming of Kylie Minogue. They both found fame on the same soap opera (Neighbours) and conquered the charts both at home and in the UK with their debut LPs. But then it all fell apart for Holly.

The title track, “State Of Mind” — still a dizzying rush of frantic electro — was a hit (the super sexy video had something to do with it) but most pop fans missed out on the sublimely sexy “Desire,” relentlessly catchy “Everything I Hate” and arresting Rick Nowels-produced bedroom adventure “Action.” There’s way more to State Of Mind than club bangers; Holly even succeeded at mid-tempo synth-pop! (“Ricochets” is still an unexpectedly gorgeous listening experience). Eventually, the then-21-year-old threw in the towel and returned to acting when the LP tanked. But she still has a near-perfect pop album in her discography, which is more than most veterans can say. — MIKE WASS

BoA, BoA (2009)

Well before Psy or Billboard’s K-Pop charts or any of that, there was BoA, Queen Of K-Pop, making her quiet crossover into the American market in 2009. After dominating the South Korean and Japanese music scenes for years (for the unfamiliar, she was often referred to as the Britney of South Korea in the ’00′s, in terms of popularity), the multilingual talent tapped American producers like Sean Garrett, Bloodshy & Avant and Brian Kennedy to craft her first-ever English album. The record barely scratched the charts — a criminal oversight, considering that the tightly crafted dance-pop record is essentially Britney’s Blackout Part 2. From “Eat You Up” to “I Did It For Love” to “Energetic,” the album’s non-stop top notch pop that deserves so, so much more than the dust it was dealt. — BRADLEY STERN

Richard X, Richard X Presents His X-Factor Vol. 1 (2003)

Richard X Presents His X-Factor Vol. 1

These days we know British musician Richard X as the producer behind releases by Annie, Will Young and, most recently, Erasure. But 11 years ago, way before Disclosure, Calvin Harris and Rudimental were in the pop game, X delivered a pioneering, feature-heavy album packed with top-notch collaborations with the likes of Sugababes, Jarvis Cocker, Kelis and, yes, a then-unknown Annie.

“I liked soul and R&B records, and bringing that into pop — mainly electronic synth pop,” Richard X told Idolator last year for our 10-year anniversary piece on his one and only album. “It was also as much about the imagery and how that fitted or created a new aesthetic, and that was more important than if tracks just fitted in the same musical key.”

Sadly, while singles off the LP like “Being Nobody” (with now-disbanded pop act Liberty X) and “Finest Dreams” (featuring Kelis) became sizable UK hits, the album itself failed to make much of an impact on the world’s music charts at large. That said, it’s still one of the best releases of the new millennium in our book, and it’s one definitely worth your attention — if you can find it. Alas, Richard X Presents His X-Factor Vol. 1 is currently absent from both iTunes and Spotify. — ROBBIE DAW

Author: "Idolator Staff" Tags: "Lists, BoA, Dannii Minogue, Deuce, Emma ..."
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