Rihanna – We Found Love (Listen)
Did I misunderstand or is Rihanna supposed to be a boundary-breaking popstar? I don’t exactly dislike We Found Love, there’s just nothing to it. The chorus sounds like the fade out of a song, rather than its centrepiece. Has she just picked the Calvin Harris-produced track as her lead single because she wants to get one up on her ex Chris Brown, who unintentionally sampled Calvin on Yeah 3x? I’ve never been a Calvin fan, but even I know he’s capable of better than this, especially when tasked with creating a hit for one of the world’s biggest stars. This is his opportunity to make a huge worldwide breakthrough, and just the fact that Rihanna chose to release his song will be a massive boost to his career, but he definitely could have made more of this opportunity. Then again, American pop fans aren’t as used to this sound as we are in Europe, so perhaps they will lap this up. I don’t think it’ll be remembered as one of Rih Rih’s best though, however well it does.
Ximena Sariñana – Different (Video)
I’d never heard of this Mexican singer until I read just now that she’s got a gig in London tonight. I’d quite like to go after seeing her new video, but alas I’m feeling lazy, so hopefully she will return for another visit soon. Ximena’s music is described on Wikipedia as adult contemporary pop-rock/vocal jazz, none of which sounds very appealing apart from the pop bit, but in fact it’s all rather jolly. She’s a quirky poppet who would fit in well with the type of female singers Australia seems to produce a lot of recently – Kate Miller-Heidke, Lenka etc. It’s jaunty indie-pop but the silly dance routines and synchronised swimming in the video make it seem much more pop than it really is. Different is actually the first single from her second album, so there’s two albums worth of Ximena to delve into if you like what you hear. I don’t think she stands the slightest chance of mainstream UK success (artists like this never do, except for the odd one hit wonder) but I can see her picking up a following as there’s always an audience for these fun foreign pop ladies with slight indie leanings, just not a very big one.