In the Cookie Jar
From hippie, to disco diva, to 1980’s hair queen and back to dance diva at the turn of the century, Cher has gone through every possible career incarnation; or so we thought. That is, until she stepped down a flight of steps at the climax of Mamma Mia 2 and into a brand new career path, this time re-imagineing the songs of the iconic group ABBA on her new album Dancing Queen. The package is absolutely everything you could expect from a fusion between music as distinct as ABBA’s, and an artist in a class of her own like Cher. Her rendition of “Gimme Gimme Gimme” is an electronic dream, with the standard vocal effects that have become Cher’s signature and giving the classic arrangement the update we did not know it needed. Her version of “SOS” adds a layer of yearning to it in Cher’s hands, and “Fernando” is a true love song for the ages in the hands of Cher. An added treat is included on the Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again soundtrack, where Cher is joined by soul sister (and Mamma Mia 2 daughter Meryl Streep) with a rendition of the ABBA classic “Super Trouper” with this rendition keeping the high camp factor of the original, but giving it’s vocalists the ability to shine on their own.
Matt Nathanson continues to be one of the most prolific and introspective songwriters in the game today. From upbeat anthems like “Giants” to the R&B tinged “Headphones,” Nathanson shows his versatility throughout his musical catalog. On his latest offering Sings His Sad Heart, Nathanson has a slicker vibe on this album, evident when the album kicks off with the uniquely percussion heavy “Mine,” while “Long Distance Runner” is the simple and yearning song we have gotten to know and love from Nathanson. Tracks like “Way Way Back” though, show a growth in both Nathanson’s musical style, as you could almost hear this one at a New Orleans speakeasy or sorts. A standout on this package is “Used To Be”, which serves as a love song written for a very specific former flame, and Nathanson let her know that “he has a king size and a PHD in the way it used to be.” You would be hard pressed to find a more swoon worthy verse in today’s music.
Troye Sivan has been one of the most polarizing and provocative artists to emerge in the last few years, and this South African born and Australian raised latest offering Bloom is his most dynamic packages yet. Tracks like the radio friendly ear worm “My My My” and the pop-tastic “Bloom” are balanced with almost experimental tracks like the luminous “What A Heavenly Way To Die” and the indie inspired “Good Side.” There are several guest stars on this offering from Sivan, with future pop royalty Ariana Grande joining Sivan on “Dance To This” and Gordi joining on the piano driven ballad “Postcard.” The entire package is weaved intricately, with tracks like “Lucky Strike” having some of the most glorious metaphors put to Sivan’s signature hypnotic style vocals.
Ada Vox may not have won season one of the rebooted American Idol but rest assured, this soaring vocalist has a long career ahead of her, reality television or not. Her eagerly anticipated first single “Because Of You” is the soaring hands in the air anthem we all needed from this vocalist. Wisely teaming up with the legendary Bimbo Jones, who have remixed every top diva out there, puts Vox in good company indeed. Her smooth vocals on “Because of You” lead to the epic chorus that many of the fans of “Idol” knew Vox was already capable of. Expect the official remixes on this one to be equally as epic.
Top Ten from DJ Matt Bailer
- TRACEY THORN – Dancefloor (Powerdance Remix)
- RYAN BLYTH ft. BB DIAMOND – Raise A Glass (Extended Mix)
- BIG FREEDIA ft. LIZZO – Karaoke
- WOLFGANG GARTNER ft. RUSH DAVIS – Ching Ching (Extended Mix)
- KIESZA – Phantom Of The Dance Floor
- TROYE SIVAN – Bloom (Craig Welsh Remix)
- CELINE DION – Ashes (Steve Aoki Remix)
- KAV VERHOUZER ft. BULLYSONGS – Get What You Came For (Extended Mix)
- CLAPTONE ft. CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH – Animal