Music video: The Ting Tings - Do it again


The Ting Tings will be making their comeback this month with their third studio album Super critical which is being preceded by the single "Do it again".

The Ting Tings came out of nowhere in 2008 with their debut album We started nothing which spawned the massive hit singles "Great DJ" and the UK number 1 "That's not my name", which is still partial to making appearances in TV shows and commercials to this day. Things went a bit wonky for the group with their second studio album Sounds from Nowheresville, which was plagued by push-backs, internal label conflicts and the group seeming to not really care a great deal about their music. Based on this I began to wonder if there would even be a third album from The Ting Tings, but here we are. A third album due for release and two singles deep.

"Do it again" follows on from the retro disco vibes of their July release "Wrong club" which sounded like something plucked straight ofr of Daft Punk's Random access memories in the best possible way. "Do it again" reminds me a lot of "We walk" which is one of my favourite songs from The Ting Tings debut album.

The Ting Tings third studio album Super critical is released on October 27th and you can listen to a sampler of it on via their official Soundcloud page.


Album review: Clean Bandit: New eyes

Album review: Clean Bandit: New eyes | Random J Pop

Clean Bandit is made up of DJ and producer brothers Jack and Luke Patterson, Celloist Grace Chatto and Violinist Milan Neil Amin-Smith. Jack and Luke are the knob twiddlers who love fusing dance music with classical, and Grace and Milan are the classically trained dance music lovers. Between them they create a sound which isn't new or revolutionary, but puts a new take on an existing genre which has gone under numerous guises and incarnations over the past 10 years. The foundations of this album are UK deep house and Garage. Everything about this album is uniquely UK. Only on Clean Bandit's break out smash hit "Rather be" is this elevated beyond being distinctly UK into being a bloody good pop record, one which has gained some traction in the US, and rightly so. It's one of the best pop records of 2014 and no matter what side of the Atlantic you sit on, there is no denying the chorus to this song. But it's a fleeting moment on their debut album, New eyes.


Music video: Yelle - Complètement fou


France just came through out of nowhere like Carmen Sandiego and left members of the pop listening public with their edges in tatters.

French pop trio Yelle (named after the leading lady in the songs and videos) dropped their new single "Complètement fou" and gave everybody Katy Perry "This is how we do", with a bit of Daft Punk, Michel Gondry, Paris is burning and a bit of Perfume.

I love every single thing about this song and video. Yelle gave more with this than Gaga and Katy both gave combined with their singles and videos from Artpop and Prism. If either of those ladies want to hit me with some delivery addresses, I will order them both a tub of edge control from Amazon as a goodwill gesture.

Yelle's third studio album Complètement fou is produced by Dr. Luke who has been hanging around on the pop charts for years like a growth, ripping off other people's songs, recycling his own shit and inflicting the public with the likes of Ke$ha and some under-age no talent having trick named Becky G. But I will give it to him for his involvement with this song right here. But enough about Dr. Luke. Let's get into Yelle serving all kinds of fabulous and whimsy in this music video.


Mariah Carey kicks off her 'Elusive struggle' tour and the struggle is very much real

Mariah Carey - The elusive struggle | Random J Pop

When Mariah announced she was going to embark on a tour, I asked Jesus why. Because if there is one thing Mariah has shown us over the past few years, it is that she does not know how to put on a show. Mariah hasn't put on a good show since she melted down on TRL.

Her split from Nick Cannon probably forced her into this tour, something she probably thought would be a good idea as a form of distraction to save herself pottering around her Penthouse with dem babies, and constantly being reminded of her failed marriage. I admire her for throwing herself into career, but Miming Mimi made the wrong call. All she had to do was shoot a fly video for "You don't know what to do" and then throw shade and have people talking by officially releasing "Faded". But Miss Struggle chose to tour, so...whatever.

Music video: Janelle Monáe - Electric lady


Janelle Monáe has released a music video for her album title track "Electric lady", in a move which is very unexpected, but very much welcomed. If there was an album which deserved to get the Beyoncé treatment in the way of music videos, it's The electric lady. I would have loved to have seen music videos for "We were rock & roll" and "Look into my eyes" and "Dorothy Dandridge eyes".

Janelle hasn't done a great deal to push The electric lady album itself, but has instead been busy venturing into collaborations, partnerships and deals. Over the past 6 months we've seen Janelle (Miss Monáe if ya nasty) lend her talents to Audi, Pepsi and also make an appearance on Sesame Street. So it's nice to see she's not forgotten about her album and that even this late in the albums cycle (at a time when I thought it was dead) she is still pushing it. Even if it is by way of Samsung. Yes Janelle, we peeped that S5 and that Gear watch.

Every visual from The electric lady thus far has seen Janelle sport new styles we've not seen her sport before; shedding her tuxedos and suits, but still keeping her signature colour palette of black and white. It's great to see, because on each occasion it feels like we're getting something completely new. Despite fending off comments from those saying that she never wears dresses and looks like 'a normal woman' (whatever that is) Janelle looks just as comfortable in skinny jeans, heels and a midriff baring top with her hair out, as she does in a suit and a pompadour. Not to mention that Janelle is stunning. I love me some Lupita Nyong'o. But Janelle needs to be getting put on some fashion magazine covers.


Listen to... Namie Amuro - Brighter day

Namie Amuro - Brighter day | Random J Pop

Chicks in Japan had better grab a wool hat, because their heads are about to get cold. Not because Winter is approaching, but because Namie is readying a new single and it is tied to a J-drama, which means she will be offering a short, back and sides to a whole bunch o' women in the pop game, whether they like it or not. I hope Ayu's ready to get faded.

Namie's new single "Brighter day" will feature as the theme to Erika Sawajiri's new drama First class. Erika's career had become a heap of shit that nobody in Japan was willing to poke a shovel at over the past 7 years. Her legacy in 1 litre no namida was probably the only thing that saved it. Namie's song being tied to the drama is probably to help offset the Erika Sawajiri effect - which is everything she's involved in becoming a mess. Namie has the midas touch, so even if the drama bombs and the ratings figures read like the calories of Kale, the song will probably be a hit. Namie will get paid regardless. That's all that really matters.

With Ballada still continuing to sell after 46 weeks and "Love story" having been a mammoth hit for her, chart success for "Brighter day" could bode well and may also help push a few extra units of Ballada. The music video will be as dry as hell. She will be walking around some house, or some warehouse in skinny jeans, those tired ass boots and a coat with the hair did straight. But we will still be searching Jpopsuki like a mo'fucka to find it once words gets out that Space shower aired it.

I'm finding it difficult to really get into "Brighter day". It's like a weird hybrid of "Baby don't cry" and "Contrail" with a bit of "Stardust in my eyes", although it never quite reaches the heights of any of these songs. But I'm willing to give it time. I might like it more once I hear it in the drama itself. I am hoping Namie will hit me with a double A-side though and give me something ratchet. That would make everything right.

Reviews: 60s 70s 80s | Past < Future | Sit! Stay! Wait! Down! / Love story | Uncontrolled | Feel

Music video: FEMM - Whiplash


FEMM have seen their online popularity soar and gain a sizeable following in the West in a short space of time as a result of the life anthem "Fxxk boyz get money" going viral. Ever since they have released a steady stream of songs, each one completely different from the last. Punk pop jam "Whiplash" is no different and contrasts as starkly to "Fxxk boys get money" as their ballad "Unbreakable" did.

"Whiplash" isn't my favourite song from FEMM (that would be "Dead wrong") but it grows on me more with each listen. It's a good pop song, and much like "Dead wrong" it's very familiar in its sound and subject matter which makes it easy to latch onto. Much like the song, the visuals are also feel familiar - looking like a cross between Tron, The Matrix and Mel B's Hype Williams' directed video for "I want you back".

FEMM's debut full length album Femm-Isation is released on October 1st and I'm quite looking forward to it. If the singles are anything to go by, it should be a hot, fun pop album. Potentially everything Kumi's Bon voyage and Ayu's Colours should have been.

Listen to... Perfume - Spending all my time (DV & LM remix)

Perfume - Spending all my time (DV & LM remix) | Random J Pop

In early September Perfume had signed a deal with Astralwerks for the distribution of their LEVEL3 albums across the US, just in time for their World tour 3rd, which a momentous moment in their careers and also for their fans in the States - as it will mark the first time the girls have ever performed there.

The US release of LEVEL3 will be re-branded as a Bonus edition which will release across the US and Europe on October 27th. It will feature 2 remixes of "Spending all my time" one of which I don't think is that good and one which puts a new twist on the song and legitimately feels like something Nakata would have given the girls himself. The Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike remix of "Spending all my time" flips the song into a dark groove which is quite seductive, especially at the very end when the repetition in the bassline starts dropping - with a vibe akin to the likes of "Game" or "Edge".

The girls themselves had stressed concern at releasing an album which features material produced by somebody other than Nakata as to them it felt like a betrayal. But these girls needs to get paid and you can't be thinking about every bodies feelings when there's money to be made. Plus, Nakata's busy chillin' at Okonomiyaki joints with Pamyu Pamyu. I doubt he's caring that somebody remixed one of his songs and shitted on his album mix of it in the process. Or it may have cut him deeply. Perfume need to be careful. He's already making Toshiko look redundant by barley featuring her on Capsule's songs and he's still not forgiven Nocchi for whatever she did, for him to be side lining her on songs. A-chan and Kashiyuka had better stay acting cute and keep telling him his smile looks beautiful.

I would love for the girls to perform this remix on their World tour 3rd. Given that Europe was treated to a physical release of the original issue of LEVEL3, as well as World tour 2nd - I will send my prayers to all Perfume fans for tickets to Perfume's LA and NYC stops of their World tour 3rd that Perfume perform this remix of "Spending all my time" for you. Honestly, I will.

Note: The file below is a bit raggedly and jumps in places. But the bassline stays poppin'.

Album reviews: Game | JPN | LEVEL3


Album review: Ariana Grande - My everything

Ariana Grande - My everything | Random J Pop

When Ariana skipped onto the scene in 2013 with her debut album Yours truly, she filled a void that none of us really knew was there, as nobody ever occupies this void for long and end up gone as quickly as they arrived. Before Ariana, there was Esmée Denters. Before Esmée was JoJo. And in between this there were the likes of Samantha Jade, Nikki Flores and Staccie Orrico, all of whom succumbed to the struggle or remaining commercially relevant and holding the title of the young 'white' girl who dabbles with R&B. But where-as the likes of JoJo has transitioned on the sidelines into a young woman with a self assured sense of style, being and her sound, and Esmée is...well...back to doing covers on YouTube after being dropped like a hot brick by Justin Timberlake - Ariana still feels like a bit of a wandering girl. Coming off way younger than she is and lacking the substance to go with the vocals. When you think about what girls her age were putting out in R&B in the early 2000's and how JoJo was handling her business on her debut at the age of 14, Ariana can not even.


Listen to... Jessie Ware - Kind of sometimes maybe

Jessie Ware - Kind of sometimes maybe | Random J Pop

Every song which Jessie has shared from her upcoming album Tough love has been a winner. As much as I was enjoying Jessie's generosity, I was hoping Jessie Ware wouldn't release anything further off of this album, so that I'm left with some surprises when it drops. But here she is. Dropping yet another song. As silent and unassuming as Jessie is, I think she's doing this because she knows her shit is hot like fuck.

Her latest offering "Kind of sometimes maybe" following in the theme of everything she has shared from the new album thus far, in that it doesn't sound like anything she's done before. R&B singer, songwriter and serial crowd scissor kicker Miguel has co-written 2 songs for Jessie Ware's new album and this song right here is one of them. This song is straight R&B and has Jessie getting a little coy and sexy, exhibiting a side of her we've not gotten on a song before. I think the closest we've gotten to something like this is "Sweet talk" and possibly "110%".

The likes of "Tough love" and "Want your feeling" have shown Jessie step way out of her comfort zone vocally by singing in a higher range than she did for most of her debut album Devotion. But "Kind of sometimes maybe" has Jessie slink back into her mid-range croon and she never steps outside of it which is actually a shame, because Jessie sounds great when she floats around the higher keys. In the true nature of the song and give it a sense of climax, Jessie reaching for those notes and really pushing it towards the end would have made "Kind of sometimes maybe" even better and brought the sexiness of the groove to a head, because it feels lacking without it. But with that said, this is still another great song from Mrs. Ware.

I'm was sold on this new album the second she released "Tough love". All of this now is just injury time until the album finally drops.

Music video: TaeTiSeo - Holler


I still don't see the true point of TaeTiSo. But if it means getting Girls' generation hotness without Jessica acting like she has vocal prowess on a track and those back-up 'dancers' trying to contribute with their crusty vocals, then so be it. I will entertain this sub unit.

"Holler" is hot on a first listen. I heard it for the first time this morning and I was working my head, shoulders, knees and touching toes to this shit as I was getting ready to leave the house. The song doesn't have much lasting appeal though. "Holler" does its job for providing something catchy and fun, and it is better than "Twinkle", but it's nothing special and is actually one of the weakest songs on their new mini album.

The video looks like a H&M commercial for some clusterfucked Conscious range by Versace, but the girls look good. Although I'm wondering what it is going to take for Seohyun to give me something because the girl has NO presence, sass, swag. Nothing. Whilst all 3 girls looked nice and got equal billing on the song, "Holler" is really all about Taeyeon. I'm not here for her thigh gap. But she looks like she's glowing in this video, which is no doubt because of the D she's been getting from EXO's Baekhyun.

I know Namie Amuro is watching this and is low key mad that she didn't get this song, because she could see herself dancing all up in that hotel lobby in her Amura boots and some ruffled one sleeve top, and so could I.


Playback: Mirei Toyama - Hysteric girl

Mirei Toyama - Hysteric girl | Random J Pop

Mirei Toyama is only 15 years old, but we know well enough by now that age ain't a young age is nothing to immediately turn a nose up at when it comes to music. We have had enough young artists come up around this age with legitimate hits and classics to have a margin for acceptance. Aaliyah, Destiny's child and JoJo to name a few of the more credible artists who started snatching wigs at a young age.

Another name we can not leave out of this is or course Hikaru Utada, who didn't just snatch at the age of 15. She left an entire nation bald, broke and hungry, and dropped one of the best selling albums in Asian history as a result. 

Hikaru Utada is significant here. Not just because she is the absolute shit, but because her scent lingers all over Mirei Toyama's song "Hysteric girl" like she cocked her leg over it.

The first thing that struck me about "Hysteric girl" was how much it reminded me of Hikaru Utada in her First love phase. More specifically, "Automatic". The music, the way Mirei rides sections of the song; it's...AU-TO-MAAAAAATIC. As much as I love Hikaru Utada, Mirei's vocals are much stronger and stable here than Hikaru's were at the age of 15. (Let us not forget that horrid note at 4:39 when she tries to go in on a vocal ad-lib.

♪ Tell my wwhh-hyyy *voice crack. Note goes off key* Ooooooo-yeaaaaaaaa-eeee-yeah! ♪ 

Never forget.

Mirei Toyama has been drifting in limbo for a short while. She did a stint at some BET thing and released a new song and video to YouTube last month, but generally all has been pretty quiet,  with no sign of an album or EP in sight. She just...does stuff once in a blue moon. When you're 15, in Japan and want to break into the music, talent isn't what will get you national exposure and a record deal. at least not any more.  Signing your life away to a 10 year contract of never being able to date, wearing school girl uniforms, Lolita outfits and boots which lace way too far up a leg for a 15 year old is how you go about it in 2014.

Mirei doesn't have much of a presence in music yet, which is a shame because it's nice to have a young girl come into the J-music game at such a young age with such a good voice and a love for R&B. But she's riding solo in a lane that nobody is really paying a great deal of attention to. She's not tantalisingly cute enough, her socks aren't high enough and none of her songs sound like Eurobeat from 20 years ago which could be put into a DDR or Sega Saturn rhythm game. But I will be keeping a tab on her in the meantime before she fades completely into obscurity.