New Pop on the Block

Alex Gaudino ft. Maxine Ashley – I’m In Love (Watch)
I first heard of American teen singer Maxine when she was part of a group working with Xenomania. She used to do video blogs with bandmate Katie McKenna, but since Katie is now part of a dance duo called Lite N Dark (they’re better than their name suggests, luckily!) and Maxine is the featured vocalist on this new Alex Gaudino single, we can probably assume that project didn’t work out. I’m pleased to see that Maxine hasn’t faded into obscurity, but I can’t say I’m in love with I’m In Love quite yet. It’s just a generic summer dance track, but the popstar potential that Xenomania saw in feisty Maxine is evident in the video. Hopefully it’ll do well enough for interest to be peaked in launching her as a solo act.
77% Poptastic!

MEN – Credit Card Babies (Watch)
I’ve always loved the Le Tigre attitude and aesthetic, but only a few of their songs were poptastic enough for me. Luckily JD and Johanna have upped the pop quota for their new project, and MEN have produced a great collection of pop songs. Credit Card Babies is their first single release for the UK and if the enthusiastic crowds at their recent London gigs are anything to go by, it’s likely to be very well received. MEN are never going to be frequenting the top 10, or even the top 40, but neither did acts such as CSS or Ladytron and they would surely both be considered successful. With their history and catchy, provocative songs like Credit Card Babies, I have no doubt that MEN will be collecting a large following of trendy young things as they become better known over the next few months.
90% Poptastic!

Ace of Base – All For You (Listen)
Ace of Base were one of the first Europop acts I was a fan of, but during my years of being a particular fan of Europop (since around 2002) they haven’t been part of the scene at all. This makes it difficult to see how they fit in with Europop as it is in 2010. Although they are clearly a big influence on everyone from Alphabeat and Le Kid to Lady GaGa and Katy Perry, the fact that their importance in pop history is being recognised a little more these days does not guarantee their new material success. Unfortunately, I think this new single may go the same way as Aqua and the Vengaboys’ recent comeback attempts. For the record, it’s not half as good as Back To The 80s but much better than Welcome To Uranus. In other news, I’m convinced the new singer is Sinéad Quinn putting on a Swedish accent.
78% Poptastic!


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