One of the reasons I still like buying CDs is that I love reading the credits in the sleeve. Having been an avid pop fan for about a decade now (I should really celebrate that sometime), I recognise many of the names that regularly appear and like to keep track of which songs share writers and producers so I can follow the progressions of my favourite writers, and compare their work to see how similar they are. It’s also great once you find that some of your favourite tunes share a writer, as you can look up everything they’ve done and find lots of new favourite songs. So here for you are some of the hidden gems created by some of pop’s most brilliant songwriters, which are often just as ace as the big hits.
Mikkel SE & Tor Hermansen: Stargate – Easier Said Than Done (Video)
Mikkel and Tor, as the production duo StarGate, have absolutely ruled the genre of r’n’b-pop throughout the 00s. Their credits range from Beautiful Liar and Too Little Too Late to Always Come Back To Your Love and S Club Party. Would you believe that the same people who penned Blood, Sweat and Tears for the boyband V also wrote most of Rihanna’s new album? Towards the beginning of their career they attempted to launch a band in their name, and this single was released in the UK but sadly gained very little success, although I did recently hear it in a Brighton club!
See also: Mikaila – So In Love With Two
Karen Poole: Lene Nystrom – It’s Your Duty (Video)
I followed Karen (who you may know as one of Alisha’s Attic) religiously a few years ago as she gave us ace tracks such as Amy Studt’s Misfit and Dannii Minogue’s Put The Needle On It. She’s been rather more quiet recently, with Beware of the Dog by Jamelia being the only single I know of her working on in 2006, and I had all but forgotten about her until suddenly her name came up again in conjunction with the new Groove Armada single, Song 4 Mutya. So she’s back in the top 10 and does it with one of the absolute best pop singles of 2007 – hooray!
See also: Rachel Stevens – Fools (in the good old days of TV miming!)
Max Martin: Marion Raven – Break You (Video)
If any of you don’t know by now who this man is then you should be severely reprimanded for not paying attention properly! Max Martin is the king of pop songwriting, creator of Baby One More Time and I Want It That Way – I could go on but I think those 2 are enough to explain his importance. In recent years he’s gone for a more rocky sound, producing great songs for Kelly Clarkson, Backstreet Boys, the Veronicas etc. My absolute favourite of his rock-pop songs is this one, a powerful angst-ridden brawl of a song, exploding with emotion, and showing perfectly the mix of hurt and cathartic strength you feel when betrayed by someone you love.
See also: Lambretta – Bimbo
Dr. Luke: Megan McCauley – Tap That (Clip)
Max Martin’s regular writing partner Luke Gottwald has come into his own in the past few years and become just as sought-after, as he’s brought huge hits for Avril Lavigne and P!nk. Megan McCauley was supposed to release this amazing single last year but it never took off and she gave up on it until recently when it was rumoured she may give it another try. This song is girl power in its finest form and brilliant to sing along to – why is it not a hit yet? In fact there’s so much girl power in Luke’s songs, I have to wonder if he secretly used to be a girl. Anything you want to tell us, Mr Gottwald?
See also: Ashley Parker Angel – I’m Better