He and his great pal Chris (combined they were known, quite brilliantly, as Cake) were my definite favourites on American Idol this year, although I also loved the eventual winner, Jordin. In fact, it was surely the most satisfying final 5 on any reality show, since I supported all of them and hated none. I was excited by the prospect of Blake’s post-Idol releases, as his performances included songs by Jason Mraz and Maroon 5, and I was especially pleased to hear he was working with BT, who produced Pop for *N Sync, and some great singles of his own. Also involved, quite randomly and yet fittingly sound-wise, is Rich Cronin from ex-boyband LFO! His first single is called Break Anotha, and I must say I’m not amazed by its greatness, but it is a good track. I think JC Chasez, who he sounds similar to, has made many better songs in this style, but it’s still nice to have someone new and high profile making this sort of music.
Hit Potential: 80% (in the USA anyway) Poptasticness: 75%
Ben Garrett is the teenage boy behind the strangely-cased FrYars, who is beginning to get some notice in the UK and even here in Sweden (well, The Ides was just on the cool radio station, P3). According to MySpace his talents are rather widely spread, as he is responsible for “piano, drums, computer, acordian drone, voices, synths, bells”. He has been compared to David Bowie and Nick Cave, but my immediate reaction to his deep, dark voice and sharp wit was to think of my indie-electro-pop faves, the Magnetic Fields and Patrick Wolf. While I’m usually not one for moody music, The Ides is rather catchy in fact and it’s great to hear thoughtful lyrics about geeky things like Pascal’s triangle, and very British droll humour. He even has one song called HappY, which says “if it’s making you happy, then there’s nothing wrong with the state your in”. I’ll definitely be looking out for him and hoping he’ll be the next big thing in the music press instead of another terrible Razorlight/Fratellis/Babyshambles etc. type of act. It’s a bit upsetting, though, that he is younger than me…
Hit Potential: 65% Poptasticness: 75%