Thursday, October 30, 2014

ALBUM REVIEW : Taylor Swift - 1989

Welcome to the world of pop Ms.Swift!
On ‘1989’ Taylor Swift ditches her country roots and embraces an electro pop sound with interesting results.
What has always set Taylor apart from her musical rivals is her crazy songwriting skills, used to full effect on second single ‘Blank Space’. It’s essentially the application process for being Taylor’s boyfriend under an almost urban beat. Not many people could sing "Got a long list of ex-lovers, they’ll tell you I’m insane" and come out looking blasé!
Taylor also gets smart-writing points for ‘Style’, a moody electro guitar pop moment that hints to her short fling with Harry Styles.
As the album title suggests, the 1980s are an obvious influence throughout the album. We’re not quite thrilled with ‘Welcome To New York’, which flirts with an '80s Madonna sound but doesn’t quite get away with it. Far better is the summery ’New Romantics’ which is unjustifiably shuttled off to the deluxe edition.
Continuing with the '80s theme, fan favourite ‘Out Of The Woods’ perfectly captures how it feels to be in a relationship constantly on the verge of ending.
‘I Wish You Would’ has a killer guitar riff, but we can’t help but compare it to the underrated ‘Kiss’ album by Carly-Rae Jepsen, which was also '80s themed.
Elsewhere, first single ‘Shake It Off’ is everything one would want from a Taylor Swift song. It’s dorky but fun, unashamedly pure pop but with a sense of humour about it.
We were quite disappointed with ‘Bad Blood’, a song reportedly about the singer’s feud with Katy Perry. This might irk some Swifties (or whatever Taylor calls her fans), but it sounds like a bad Avril Lavigne song.
Thankfully, amidst all of the smart lyrical moments on here, Taylor is still able to write a damn good traditional love song, such as the almost educational ‘How You Get The Girl’.
‘Clean’ and ‘This Love’ both fulfill the ballad quotient quite well, with added earthy electronic influences. But not every experiment works, with bonus track ‘You Are In Love’ sounding like a poor man’s version of ‘Today Was A Fairytale’.
All in all, ‘1989’ is a smart pop record that will appeal to Taylor’s young female audience. We would’ve liked a few more up-tempo numbers but if the system isn’t broke…

Download : Blank Space, Style, How You Get The Girl, New Romantics.

JUSTICE CREW : Rise & Fall

By now you've probably heard Justice Crew's new single 'Rise & Fall' a hundred times as part of the promos for Channel 7's new show 'The Big Adventure'.
The promos feature pristine beaches, azure water and beautiful people doing their best to earn a buck. So the video, which premiered today, has more than a bit of familiarity to it.
Filmed on Queensland's Daydream Island, the boys are filmed walking along the beach, swimming, baring a bit of flesh, snuggling with some lucky ladies by the campfire and walking hand in hand into the sunset.
It's all set to the band's tribal beats and summery sounds that they no doubt hope will achieve similar success to their previous anthem 'Que Sera'.


Despite a high profile appearance and performance on 'The X Factor' grand final, the new Guy Sebastian single 'Mama Ain't Proud' premiered on the ARIA singles chart at No.17 over the weekend. In a world where appearances on the talent show have the tendency to turn mere songs into chart monsters, we presume it would have been a disappointing result.
Disappointing also will be the fact the single is currently outside the top 20 on the iTunes singles store, so there'll be a lot riding on the official video (below), which premiered this morning.
In it, Guy's back at school. With 2 Chainz. In order to choose the most amazing dancer. While there are some incredibly fierce moves right there in the middle of the basketball court, it seems they forget to pick a winner.
'Mama Ain't Proud' is a curious beast. Guy's clearly hoping to get a lil' bit more notice Stateside and if this single does nothing else, it serves to showcase the extraordinary power of his voice.

TOURING : Tinashe

US starlet Tinashe will visit Australia in February, with Live Nation this morning confirming headline shows in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Though the singer might not quite have broken through into the mainstream in Australia properly just yet (her one and only top 20 hit being '2 On' earlier this year), there's growing interest, apparently sufficient enough to warrant the headline shows.
The tour kicks off at The Triffid in Brisbane on February 15 with shows at the Metro Theatre in Sydney and The HiFi in Melbourne to follow across the ensuing days.
Tickets are on sale at 10am local time on Monday November 03.

February 15 : Brisbane (The Triffid)
February 18 : Sydney (Metro Theatre)
February 20 : Melbourne (The HiFi)

TOURING : Röyksopp & Robyn

Well if this news hasn't made our millennium... Norwegian electro duo Röyksopp and Swedish pop goddess Robyn will arrive in Australia together early in the new year, with shows announced in both Sydney and Melbourne.
The two acts teamed up earlier this year for the spectacular 'Do It Again' campaign, but separately they're certainly no slouches, with Röyksopp about to release their highly anticipated 'The Inevitable End' and Robyn peppering us with timeless hits such as 'With Every Heartbeat', 'Be Mine' and 'Dancing On My Own'.
Both will perform respective solo sets before combining for performances from the 'Do It Again' project in a show Live Nation tells us will be filled with "big sounds, lasers, smoke and lights".
A succession of pre-sales kick off on Monday, with general public tickets live from 10am on Friday November 07.

January 05 : Melbourne (Palais Theatre)
January 06 : Sydney (Hordern Pavilion)


It's finally been confirmed this morning that popular 'X Factor' starlet Reigan Derry has signed a deal with Sony Music and will release a new five track EP in early December.
Though the singer was knocked out of the competition in fourth place, there was no denying either her appeal or her star power, so Sony really had no option other than to sign her, with Chairman and CEO Denis Handlin saying of the deal, "I am delighted to be welcoming Reigan into the Sony Music family. She is a very determined and skilful performer with incredible talent and we are very excited to be a part of the next phase in her career."
The five track EP will include her original single 'All Of The Pieces', which was penned by Becky Hill, Martin Brammer and Adam Argyle and, according to Sony's PR statement, will showcase Reigan's "dynamic and impressive vocals".
What's not known at this stage is what four other songs will feature on the EP, but it's expected there'll be an 'X Factor' cover or four.
The 'All Of The Pieces' EP will be released on Friday December 12.



November 07
2:45 – The Other
ABBA – Gold (40th Anniversary Steelbook Edition)
Christine Anu – Island Christmas
Eric Bibb – Blues People
Black Cab – Games Of The XXI Olympiad
Blue King Brown – Born Free
James Blunt – When I Find Love Again EP
Cheryl – Only Human
Eric Clapton – Planes, Trains & Eric (DVD)
John Denver – All Of My Memories : The John Denver Collection
Ani DiFranco – Allergic To Water
The Doobie Brothers – Southbound
Dubarray – Visions Collide
Bob Dylan & The Band – The Basement Tapes Complete : The Bootleg Series Vol.11
Earth, Wind & Fire – Holiday
Echosmith – Talking Dreams
Paloma Faith – A Perfect Contradiction (Outsiders Edition)
Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways * November 10
Alex G – DSU
Matthew Garwood – The Tattooed Tenor
Anthony Hamilton – Home For The Holidays
Jon Hopkins – Asleep Versions EP
Hookworms – The Hum
Iamamiwhoami – Blue
Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders – Playmates
Knife Party – Abandon Ship * November 10
Lost On The River – The New Basement Tapes
Lost On The River – The New Basement Tapes (Deluxe Edition)
Major League – There’s Nothing Wrong With Me
Barry Manilow – My Dream Duets
Mariachi El Bronx – III
Marlisa – Marlisa
OST – St.Vincent
Guy Pearce – Broken Bones
Pink Floyd – The Endless River
Pink Floyd – The Endless River (Deluxe Edition)
Purple – 409
Queen – Queen Forever
Queen – Queen Forever (Deluxe Edition)
Damien Rice – My Favourite Faded Fantasy
Andre Rieu – Love In Venice
Andre Rieu – Love In Venice (DVD)
The Rolling Stones – From The Vault : Hampton Coliseum (Live In 1981)
Röyksopp – The Inevitable End
Saint Saviour – In The Seams
Melinda Schneider & Beccy Cole – Great Women Of Country
Simple Minds – Big Music
Dan Sultan – Dirty Ground EP
Billy Talent – Hits (CD/DVD)
T-Pain – Happy Hour : The Greatest Hits
Tru Thoughts – Fifteenth Anniversary
Various – Countdown : 40th Anniversary
Various – Hits For Kids : Pop Party 10
Various – Ministry Of Sound : The Annual 2015
Various – Morning Of The Earth (DVD)
Various – Spirit Of Akasha (DVD)
Various – Ultimate Office Party
Betty Who – Take Me When You Go
Zac Brown Band – Greatest Hits So Far

Aqwa – Human EP
Bandito Folk – The Perimeter Fence EP
Ali Barter – Community EP
The Basics – The Lucky Country EP
Breabach – Scotland’s Winter
Broken Doll – 2014 Australian Tour EP
Cash Cash – Surrender
Pete Cullen – Saltwater Cowboy
Darlia – Stars Are Aligned
East Journey – Song Of Arnhem Land
Paloma Faith – Ready For The Good Life
Giants Of Science – What’s Wrong With You And Why? EP
Jon Hopkins – Asleep Versions
Nick Jonas – Nick Jonas * November 10
Son Little – Things I Forgot EP
Lisa Mitchell – Wah Ha
Rolla Bayce – Rolls Bayce EP
Soy Division – Soy Dogs EP
Megan Washington – Begin Again
Young & Sick – Ghost Fetish EP

November 14
5 Seconds Of Summer – Good Girls EP
Bertie Blackman – The Dash
James Blunt – Moon Landing (Apollo Edition)
Alfie Boe – Serenata
Garth Brooks – Man Against Machine
Cold Chisel – The Live Tapes Vol.2 : Live At Bombay Rock 1979
Brooke Fraser – Brutal Romantic
Fryars – Power
Lij Gilmour – Where I Stand EP
Whitney Houston – Live : Her Greatest Performances
Whitney Houston – Live : Her Greatest Performances (DVD)
Katherine Jenkins – Home Sweet Home
In This Moment – Black Widow
Mary Lambert – Heart On My Sleeve
Idina Menzel – Holiday Wishes
The New Basement Tapes – Lost On The River
Nickelback – No Fixed Address
One Direction – Four * November 17
One Direction – Four (Ultimate Edition) * November 17
OST – Beyond The Lights
OST – Christmas At Downton Abbey
OST – The Hunger Games : Mockingjay Pt.1
OST – Wild
Dolly Parton – Blue Smoke (Deluxe Edition)
Madeleine Peyroux – Keep Me In Your Heart For A While : Best Of
Ariel Pink – Pom Pom
Sol3 Mio – Sol3 Mio : Live In Concert (DVD)
Tempest Rising – Transmutation
Trust Punks – Discipline
TV On The Radio – Seeds
Various – The Art Of McCartney
Various – Countdown : 40th Anniversary (DVD)
Various – Punk Goes Pop 6
Various – So Fresh : Songs For Christmas 2014
Various – Superstar Christmas
Various – We Love Disney
Robert Wyatt – Different Every Time

David Bowie – Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime)
Brave – Brave EP
Ceres – Selfish Prick EP
Dusky – Yahoo
Pluto Jonze – Sucker EP
Paul Kelly – The Merri Soul Singles Vol.3
The McClymonts – Forever Begins Tonight
Tom Piper – You Don’t Know
Joe Robinson – Gemini EP

November 21
Asgeir – In The Silence (Extended Deluxe Edition)
Iggy Azalea – The New Classic : Reclassified
David Bowie – Nothing Has Changed (The Definitive Collection)
Boyzone – Dublin To Detroit
Captain Beefheart – Sun Zoom Spark : 1970-1972
Coldplay – Ghost Stories Live (CD/DVD)
Neil Diamond – All Time Greatest Hits
Bryan Ferry – Avonmore
David Guetta – Listen (Deluxe Edition)
Ella Hooper – In Tongues
Il Divo – Live In Japan (CD/DVD)
Illy – Cinematic Uncut
The Kinks – The Anthology : 1964-1971
John Legend – Love In The Future (Special Edition)
Pixie Lott – Platinum Pixie : Hits
Johnny Mathis – The Complete Global Albums Collection
Jessica Mauboy – Beautiful : Platinum Edition
Olly Murs – Never Been Better
Olly Murs – Never Been Better (Deluxe Edition)
OST – Annie
Dean Ray – Dean Ray
The Rolling Stones – From The Vault : LA Forum (Live In 1975)
Guy Sebastian – Madness
Simon & Garfunkel – The Complete Albums Collection
Bruce Springsteen – The Album Collection Vol.1 (1973-1984)
Various – 100% Hits : Best Of 2014
Various – 100% Hits : Christmas 2014
Various – Ministry Of Sound : Chillout Sessions XVII
Various – ShadyXV * November 24
The Veronicas – The Veronicas
Wilco – What’s Your 20? : Essential Tracks 1994-2014
Xtrmst – Xtrmst
Trisha Yearwood – PrizeFighter

Iggy Azalea ftg. Mø – Beg For It
Ariana Grande – Love Me Harder
The Kite String Tangle – Stone Cold (remixes)
Lion Babe – Jungle Lady
McBusted – Air Guitar
Take That – These Days
Uberjak’d – Portland
Years & Years – Desire

November 28
AC/DC – Rock Or Bust
Mary J Blige – The London Sessions
Leonard Cohen – Live In Dublin
Leonard Cohen – Live In Dublin (DVD)
Jethro Tull – Warchild (40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)
Jethro Tull – Warchild (40th Anniversary Edition)
McBusted – McBusted
One Direction – Where We Are : Live From San Siro Stadium (DVD)
Pitbull – Globalization
Simon & Garfunkel – The Complete Albums Collection
Take That – III
The Vamps – Meet The Vamps (Christmas Edition)
Various – Sounds Of The 80s
W-Tang Clan – A Better Tomorrow

The Amazing Snakeheads – Can’t Let You Go
Bastille vs Grades – Torn Apart

December 05
Bastille – VS. (Other People’s Heartache Pt.III)
Willie Nelson – December Day
Carrie Underwood – Greatest Hits : Decade #1
Various – Home For Christmas
Various – Ministry Of Sound : Running Trax Summer 2015
Various – Ministry Of Sound : Summer Anthems

Bring Me The Horizon – Drown
Professor Green ftg. Mr Probz – Little Secrets

December 19
Charli XCX – Sucker

December 26
Just A Gent – Stories To Tell EP

January 09, 2015
All We Are – All We Are
Panda Bear – Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper
Meghan Trainor – Title

January 16, 2015
Belle And Sebastian – Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance
The Go-Betweens – G Stands For Go-Betweens : Anthology Vol.1
O’Shea – The Famine And The Feast
Jason Owen – Friday Night
Sleater-Kinney – No Cities To Love

January 23, 2015
Funeral For A Friend – Chapter And Verse
Pond – Man It Feels Like Space Again

January 30, 2015
Diana Krall – Wallflower

February 20, 2015
José González – Vestiges & Claws
Mary Lambert – Heart On My Sleeve
Bette Midler – It’s The Girls
Paulini – Come Alive

February 27, 2015
Rixton – Let The Road

All release dates subject to change & list is updated weekly.

ALBUM REVIEW : Karise Eden - Things I've Done

Momentum is usually everything in the music industry. So Karise Eden’s exile from music after winning 'The Voice' in 2012 was seen by many as career suicide.
But the break, which Karise recently admitted was more for her sanity than anything else, has seen her deliver a truly stellar album in ‘Things I’ve Done’.
Maybe it’s her voice, which is part Joplin, part Aretha and all heart, or maybe just the classy production throughout, but this feels like an ‘artist’ album in a way her contemporaries only wish they could pull off.
From the first bars of ‘Black Heart’, Karise effortlessly reclaims her position as THE voice, not just 'The Voice' Australia 2012. The song is her ‘Rolling In The Deep’ moment; piano rock/pop with horns and a soulful choir.
First single ‘Dynamite’ may have been all but ignored by commercial radio, but don’t let that trick you into thinking it’s not good. Lyrically it asks a lover to jump into a relationship and let it explode, just as Karise does throughout the album’s consistently strong twelve songs.
Most of them are straight rock/pop; all made unique by Karise’s one-of-a-kind vocal interpretation. Her voice has the pain and wisdom of someone far older than her 22 years.
The title track is a bit more soulful, and has a slight Norah Jones feel, whereas ‘We Got The Night’ has a cool funk influence.
‘House On Fire’ sounds like a house party gone wild; fit with a raw-ish production, tonky piano and lively ‘burn this mother down’ refrain.
We also quite like the jazzy ‘Don’t Ask Me’ which feels like something Sam Smith could’ve put on his album.
Our favourite song, however, has to be ‘She Don’t’; perhaps due to its brutally honest lyrics describing the pressures Karise faced post instant stardom.
For those after the dramatic ballads Karise did so well on 'The Voice', ‘Taking It All’ and ‘Broken Hearted’ throw Karise through the musical wringer.
Quite frankly, this is one of the best reality show-related albums we’ve heard in a while in terms of artist development. The songs are tailor fit for Karise and Karise only.
Indeed, ‘Things I’ve Done’ is a triumphant celebration of both Karise’s extraordinary voice and the personal obstacles she's had to overcome. Even if you never watched 'The Voice', we implore you to give this a listen if you appreciate soulful pop/rock with world-class vocals.

Download : Black Heart, Taking It All, Don’t Ask Me, She Don’t.


We're kicking off a special #TBT Thursday by looking back at some of our old logos and features here on the site, including the old Lookback segment.
Lookback was a weekly feature on auspOp from the middle of 2008 through to late 2012, unearthing some of those forgotten nuggets you perhaps thought you might never see again. Take this special #TBT Lookback from winners of the first Australian season of 'The X Factor' way back in 2005, Random.

RANDOM : Put Your Hands Up

Aaah 'The X Factor'. More than five years before Channel 7 got their mitts on the international hit TV talent show, Channel 10 gave it a shot for one solitary, largely forgettable year. Hosted by Daniel McPherson, a slew of contestants from across the country paraded in front of judges Mark Holden, Kate Ceberano and John Reid.
Though contestants that year included Jacob Butler, Vincent Harder and Jack Byrnes, the competition was won by R&B group Random, who went on to release this, their debut single 'Put Your Hands Up'.
How did it fare? It debuted at No.7 on the ARIA charts, stayed there for a second week and progressively dropped through the top 50 for a further seven weeks, after which it was relegated to chart history.
Looking back now, the track sounds a bit dated, but we can still easily imagine the appeal at the time.