Lucy Hale – Run This Town (Listen)
You might recognise Lucy as the star of Pretty Little Liars and Scream 4, but she’s not just an actress deciding her fame entitles her to be a popstar. She actually has pop history as she was a member of the US version of S Club Juniors, American Juniors! Run This Town is her debut solo single and as it’s just a promotional release to support her new film A Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song, it’s actually a pretty good start. It is a bit generic, as all these kids’ film soundtrack songs are, but it’s the genre I love so I can’t complain. If Lucy launched a full singing career (for which I presume this is a test release) putting out music in this youthful, fun electro-pop style I’d say she has great popstar potential.
Jackie Boyz – Heartsing (Listen)
Male R&B duo The Jackie Boyz released their debut album to little interest a few years ago, but for their next release things are likely to be rather different. Over the last two years they’ve turned their hands to songwriting and been responsible for huge hits such as Sugar by Flo Rida, Buzzin by Mann and Eenie Meenie by Justin Bieber and Sean Kingston. They’ve also written for Peter Andre, but let’s ignore that one. Their hits so far have all been on the irritating side, but it clearly works for the public at the moment. Their own single, Heartsing, is much more grown-up, but still exemplifies their knack for a catchy melody. It’s a really sweet summery love song. It does remind me a bit of Lemar and Craig David though – not exactly the coolest comparisons!
Natalia Kills ft. Will.I.Am – Free (Listen)
The fact that Natalia Kills used to be Verbalicious is the only thing keeping me vaguely interested in her. It seems the rest of the music-buying public are showing as little interest as I am since her label have had to rope in Will.I.Am for a featuring slot on this new single in an attempt to rescue her career. She also seems to have entirely given up on her dark and edgy pop style. This is just your average urban pop song about spending money. It’s pleasant enough but I don’t believe it will make her a success, and she’s alienating her existing fanbase at the same time. The fact that Natalia has had such great opportunities and nothing has ever come of it shows me she just doesn’t connect with audiences. If she couldn’t make Don’t Play Nice a hit, what hope is there really?