Monday, December 22, 2014

ALBUM OF THE YEAR : No.09

One of the reasons we decided to create auspOp six and a half years ago - and pretty much our raison d'être - is to champion pop music, particularly Australian pop music that might not ordinarily get a look-in over in the big bad commercial world where they're often more concerned about profit than supporting local talent.
So it gives us great pleasure to announce that our No.9 pop album of 2014 belongs to one of our own... Taylor Henderson.
Brad said of the LP on its release in the middle of the year that it was "a bit like a nice big bowl of chicken soup; simple, but it makes you feel warm and cozy."
He went on to say that 'Burnt Letters' is "a pretty reliable album. There are enough flecks of variety to appeal to a wider demographic whilst giving Taylor’s existing fans more of his signature acoustic pop/rock that they love so much."
auspOp's No.9 pop album of 2014 is Taylor Henderson's 'Burnt Letters'.

THE VERONICAS : If You Love Someone

The Veronicas made a very welcome return to the pop charts earlier this year with their No.1 smash 'You Ruin Me' and quickly followed that up with the release of their long-awaited new self-titled album.
Now they're launching headlong into the campaign for the second single from 'The Veronicas' project, 'If You Love Someone'.
Revealed to the world over the weekend, the official video (below) is like a beacon of positivity; a fight of the good fight; of always allowing the possibility of positivity win over the relentless negativity that's so often rammed down our throats, particularly in the mainstream media. To that end, the girls also encourage the viewer to seek out alternative channels of news reporting that aim to debunk a lot of the mistruths we're often fed by the mainstream.
As for the song itself, we didn't even need to attempt an APRA search to know that this little ditty has DNA's pop paws all over it.


http://youtu.be/Mc5V51_kpw4

Sunday, December 21, 2014

SINGLE OF THE YEAR : No.10

It's been an incredible year for British singer Sam Smith. After being named last year's 'Critics Choice' from the people at the Brit Awards (usually a sure-fire sign that big things are to come), he's gone on to conquer charts across the globe with his grown-up, intelligent, soul-filled pop music.
We were tossing up between 'I'm Not The Only One' and 'Like I Can' for tenth favourite pop single of 2014. But in the end (and despite its newness), it was the latter which fell across the line, due in part to its uplifting, almost gospel-like choruses and stylish black and white video postcard from New York (below).
Presenting our No.10 pop single of 2014; Sam Smith's cracking 'Like I Can'.


http://youtu.be/xeugznpGKPA

FANS GO MAD FOR MADONNA

It appears that Madonna's Australian fans just can't get enough of the tracks from the singer's forthcoming 13th studio album 'Rebel Heart'.
Word of the new Madonna LP broke late yesterday afternoon, with six songs made available for immediate download ('Living For Love', 'Devil Pray', 'Ghosttown', 'Unapologetic Bitch', 'Illuminati' and 'Bitch, I'm Madonna'). Each of the six tracks is currently sitting back to back in positions 12-17 on the iTunes singles chart and it would appear that the vast majority of Madge's global fandom likes what she's serving up.
Of course, the release of the six tracks yesterday was in reaction to the recent leak of these (and more) songs onto the net; Madonna confirming that she had planned to drop the lead single on February 14.
"I was hoping to release my new single "Living For Love" on Valentine's Day with the rest of the album coming in the Spring," she said in a statement. "I would prefer my fans to hear completed versions of some of the songs instead of the incomplete tracks that are circulating. Please consider these six songs as an early Christmas gift."
Producers whose work features on the album include Diplo, Kanye West, Billboard, dahi and Blood Diamond, along with Madonna herself.
More music from 'Rebel Heart' is set to be released on Monday February 09, with the album currently slated for a global March 10 release.

THE auspOp DIARY



WEEK COMMENCING DECEMBER 22, 2014

TICKETS ON SALE
Tuesday : Sun Kil Moon (East Coast)


Dec 22 : BATEAU BAY – Scott Russo/Phil Jamieson (Entrance Leagues Club)
Dec 23 : WOLLONGONG – Scott Russo/Phil Jamieson (Waves)
Dec 26 : ADELAIDE – Derrick Carter (Mr Kim’s)
Dec 26 : PERTH – Knife Party (The Pavilions)
Dec 27 : BRISBANE – Derrick Carter (TBC Club)
Dec 27 : DOYALSON – Brothers3 (Doyalson RSL)
Dec 27 : MELBOURNE – The Basics (Corner Hotel)
Dec 27 : MELBOURNE – Salt N Pepa/CDB (Forum Theatre)
Dec 28 : BANKSTOWN – Brothers3 (Bankstown Sports)
Dec 28 – Jan 01 : LORNE – Falls Festival
Dec 28 : PERTH – Derrick Carter (Stables Bar)

ALBUM OF THE YEAR : No.10

Can we just get this out there right now and sing his praises... our resident reviewer Brad has been an incredible and most welcome addition to the auspOp team throughout the past 15 months and, agree with him or not, his album reviews have certainly had you talking.
So we've thrown it over to him to break 2014 down with a list of the top ten pop albums of 2014.
In tenth place is what will wrestle for the year's biggest selling album - and a favourite in Christmas stockings come this Thursday morning. Yes, it's Taylor Swift's '1989'.
Reviewed back in late October, Brad said of the album, "‘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…", encouraging readers to pop out and download (now second single) 'Blank Space', along with 'Style', 'How You Get The Girl' and 'New Romantics'.
Here 'tis then... auspOp's No.10 pop album of 2014... Taylor Swift's '1989'.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

CHART WATCH

The 'Christmas Number One' might not carry the same sort of prestige here in Australia as it does over in the UK for example, but there'll still be a few champagne corks popping over some of our chart stars' 2014 success.
So who's on top for Christmas down under? That's the kind of information your Chart Watch is about to divulge...

SINGLES
Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars reign supreme for a second week on the Australian singles chart with their (now) global smash 'Uptown Funk'. But they'd best not be getting too comfortable, because there are a couple of challengers below them who are keen on taking the crown.
Closest this week with AronChupa's 'I'm An Albatraoz', which edges Taylor Swift out of the No.2 position and achieves a gold certification after three weeks of chart action. And Hozier... well Hozier's also looking to shake things up with 'Take Me To Church', which bullets from No.33 to a new peak of No.5.
Nicki Minaj and Skylar Grey's 'Bed Of Lies' solidifies its top ten chart credentials by shifting from No.10 to No.7, while Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding's 'Outside' may now be residing outside the top ten, but it's picked up a shiny little platinum certification so it shouldn't feel so bad.
Bullets this week from both Clean Bandit & Jess Glynne's 'Real Love' (No.18 to No.13) and Jeremih's 'Don't Tell 'Em', which has taken almost six months to reach the top 20. Talk about a slow burn. Ariana Grande's 'Love Me Harder' also pops into the top 20 (No.25 to No.20).
Further down the list, it's bullets for George Ezra's 'Blame It On Me' (No.35 to No.22), Band Aid 30's 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' (No.39 to No.23, thanks to the physical release), Yolanda Be Cool & DCup's 'Sugar Man' (No.44 to No.27) and Mariah Carey's 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' (No.43 to No.28). Spookily, it's the highest chart peak for Mariah's festive favourite since January 08 in 1995.
While she'll take some comfort from the fact it's the week's highest debut, it's certainly not a spectacular debut; it's Reigan Derry's single 'All Of The Pieces', which drops into the countdown at No.33.
James Newton Howard's 'The Hanging Tree' enjoyed a short-lived bask in the top 20 sunshine (No.16 to No.34), but One Direction's 'Night Changes' is headed in one direction... and that direction is 'up'... 16 places to be precise (No.52 to No.36).
Imagine Dragons' 'I Bet My Life' finally gets another breath of chart wind (No.95 to No.43), but is still seven places shy of its No.36 peak thus far.
The Avener's 'Fade Out Lines' also charges up 17 spots to No.44, but not a bullet in sight.
Further down, Taylor Swift's 'Style' is back in chart action (a new peak of No.51 on re-entry), the Brits' Critics Choice of 2014, James Bay, sees his first Australian chart action with a No.54 debut for 'Hold Back The River' and Sam Smith's gorgeous version of 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas' pops into the countdown at No.63.
Headed in the other direction this week, however, are Chet Faker's 'Talk Is Cheap' (down 36 spots to No.67), Bring Me The Horizon's 'Drown' (down 42 places to No.69) and Ed Sheeran's 'Make It Rain' (down 45 spots to No.71).
Further top 100 debuts come courtesy of Seth Sentry's 'Run' (No.76) and Nicki Minaj ftg. Ariana Grande's 'Get On Your Knees' (No.80).

ALBUMS
Despite its charge to No.1 on the albums chart last week and despite the fact that the festive season is upon us, Michael Bublé's 'Christmas' has relinquished top spot on this week's albums chart, being outsold by... Taylor Swift's '1989', takes back the No.1 position in the all-important final sales week prior to Christmas.
Bubés is down No.2, with the rest of the top ten remaining relatively stable, except for a No.7 debut for 5 Seconds Of Summer's new live album 'Live SOS'.
As reported in this morning's Saturday News Wrap, EMI has confirmed that Katy Perry's 'Prism' is now five times platinum here in Australia, but that new accreditation has yet to show up on the official chart (it's in position No.12 this week).
The tenth version of Triple J's 'Like A Version' looks like it'll be found in a number of stockings this coming week (No.19 to No.14), while Paul Kelly's 'The Merri Soul Sessions' album debuts at a respectable No.17 in amongst the rest of the pre-Christmas din.
Nicki Minaj's new album 'The Pinkprint' debuts at No.19, an Eagles best-of jumps from No.30 to No.23 and although there's a big jump for Hozier's album (No.75 to No.42), it's still 22 spots below its chart peak thus far.
New at No.49 is Carrie Underwood's best-of 'Greatest Hits : Decade #1' and despite slamming the No.1 spot on iTunes on its surprise release earlier this week, D'Angelo's new album 'Black Messiah' only manages a No.50 debut on the chart that matters.
Smashing Pumpkins' 'Monuments To An Elegy' debuts in the No.55 spot, Andre Rieu's 'Best Of Christmas' drops 33 places from last week's No.46 debut and the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra claims a chart place at No.81 on debut with 'A Celtic Christmas'.
Will Sparks' 'Another Land' EP plummets from No.35 on debut to No.94 in what's an otherwise steady week on the ARIA albums chart.

For a full run down of the ARIA top 50s, head over to the ARIA CHARTS WEBSITE, now every Saturday from 6:00pm AEDT.

MADONNA READIES REBEL HEART

Pop queen Madonna will release her new album 'Rebel Heart' in March.
The album, which is now available for pre-order via the iTunes store, is the singer's 13th studio album and follows on from 2012's 'MDNA'.
The pre-order comprises six grat tracks; 'Living For Love', 'Devil Pray', 'Ghosttown', 'Unapologetic Bitch', 'Illuminati' and 'Bitch, I'm Madonna' (featuring Nicki Minaj), while 'Joan Of Arc' also features among the 19 strong tracklist, the titles for most of which are still under wraps.
There's been plenty of excitement in the lead-up to the release of the LP, a number of leaks and confirmation that she's been working with some of the biggest names in the EDM game, including Diplo and Avicii, along with pop songstress Natalia Kills.
But now we know for sure... Madonna's album 'Rebel Heart' is slated for global release on Tuesday March 10.