It's Tuesday! Time for another round of "5 Must-Hear Pop Songs of the Week"! This week's wrap-up includes offerings from an Estonian goth-pop princess, a Danity Kane solo star and the one and only: Madonna. If I had my way, every song on this Top 5 would be from her new album, MDNA (which came out yesterday -- check out our track-by-track review), but I'm retraining myself. After all, there's still plenty of solid tunes from amazing artists NOT named Madonna out this week, too!
1.) Madonna, "Love Spent (Acoustic)"
One of MDNA's major highlights, "Love Spent," sees the prolific superstar bemoaning a relationship strained by finances. "If we opened up a joint account, would it put an end to all your doubt?" she woefully ponders. (Mo' money, mo' problems indeed.)
In this gorgeous acoustic makeover, available as a bonus iTunes track for those who preordered the album, Madonna's crisp vocals are stretched across several slow-strumming guitars, dramatic strings... and more banjo! The mix also includes a new spine-tingling New Age chant by songwriter Priscilla Renea, who collaborated with producer William Orbit during the creation of MDNA. The result is a much sadder, more introspective take on the electronica-encrusted original that underscores how incredible the song actually is.
Listen to more Must-Hear Pop Songs Of The Week after the jump!
2.) Kerli, "Zero Gravity"
It is a well-known fact that Estonia's greatest exports are machinery, textiles and bubbly Goth-pop chanteuses named Kerli. The blonde Björk-gone-supa kawaii, responsible for penning Demi Lovato's devastating "Skyscraper," returns to the spotlight in 2012 with her brand-new single "Zero Gravity," the lead of her follow-up to 2008's Love Is Dead.
"Feels like coming home after traveling a million miles," Kerli croons across her new single's thundering electronic beat, vaguely recalling Alexandra Burke's equally mile-a-minute club-pop track, "Elephant." Suddenly the beat drops completely: "Oh, I'm in zero gravity!" she cries, as a storming beat suddenly comes blaring into the speakers. If you think the song's a trip, you should check the spacey-geisha-'90s club kid-butterfly inspired video. (Nope, I have no idea what just happened either.)
3.) Garbage, "Battle In Me"
Get ready for war: After unleashing their U.S. single "Blood for Poppies" weeks ago, alt-rock outfit Garbage have just premiered their brand-new single due for release in the U.K.: "Battle In Me."
"What a joke/ Do you hear me laughing?/ Get out my face before I lose my patience," rock goddess Shirley Manson declares on her band's ferocious new track. Complemented by searing guitars and delicious flairs of electronica, the group's latest from their first studio album in seven years sounds just as vicious and wicked as anything off of Version 2.0 and beyond. Hell hath no fury like a Shirley scorned.
4.) Dawn Richard, "Bombs"
Danity Kane was one of the last truly amazing girl groups to grace the pop landscape in the past 10 years. Each night to this very day, I light a candle, press play on my copy of Welcome To The Dollhouse and twerk my hips around my room in honor of the legacy of Aubrey, Aundrea, Dawn, D. Woods and Shannon.
But even if DK is no more, the girls have gone on to several exciting solo endeavors, including Dawn Richard, who just released her debut EP, Armor On, on iTunes today. Richard, who briefly transitioned into Diddy Dirty Money following the demise of Danity Kane, is now in a far more experimental state of mind, working with R&B producer Druski on nine of the 10 tracks off of her latest effort.
One of the best tracks of the collection, "Bombs" finds Dawn throwing on her armor and heading into battle: "I'm going mutant on these ninjas, cowabunga!" Richard calls out on the slick, tripping R&B beat -- her first breath of fresh (solo) air in about six years. Bombs away!
5.) Patricia Kazaki and M. Pokora, "Wanna Feel You Now"
Patricia Kazadi is a Polish singer-songwriter/ TV personality. Matt (M.) Pokora is like the sexy French equivalent of Justin Timberlake. (You know, if JT would stop being stubborn with the whole acting thing and just get back into the studio already.) Somehow, the two have just joined forces for "Wanna Feel You Now," the bouncy new club-pop single from Kazadi's upcoming studio album, Globetrotter. "The way that we get down, I wanna feel you now," the two croon in unison during the hook-heavy chorus, sort of like Taio Cruz's "Higher." (Just try getting that "oo-whoa, oo-whoa" out of your head for the next hour.)
These two should really keep feeling on each other -- the result is pure fire.
Bradley Stern is a writer from Connecticut. In his spare time, he enjoys organizing his Britney Spears CD collection in reverse chronological order and plotting the various ways in which he will bring down Katy Perry to become Rihanna's best friend. But most of all, he spends his time tweeting musing daily about pop music on his blog, MuuMuse.
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