Looking at this week’s Aria Chart, there are a few names that take me back in time.....
Mariah Carey Feat. Miguel - #Beautiful
I don’t know why there’s a hashtag in the name of this track. Actually I think I do. It’s a marketing thing. Anytime anyone types the name of the track in a post, instant hashtag. Anytime anyone posts the hashtag #Beautiful, Mariah’s single trends even higher. Are we to see more of this and if so will it soon reach #saturation to the point of being almost pointless, like facebook event invites?
In 1990, before we even knew what the internet was, let alone a #hashtag, a young singer with the voice of angel unleashed her debut single, Vision Of Love, on the world. That young singer was Mariah Carey. I clearly remember Mariah in this video, sitting on her window sill hugging her knees and singing her heart out.
Click to watch Mariah Carey - Vision Of Love [VEVO]
In more recent years Mariah hasn’t been seen much around the charts, instead spending more time looking breathless in the judge’s chair on American Idol, so I admit I didn’t hold high hopes for this single. I was absolutely stunned then to find that I loved #Beautiful on the very first listen. Mariah’s voice is as stunning as ever, blending fantastically well with collaborator Miguel. This ain’t no RnB track, this is a love song in the old Mariah Carey tradition. I absolutely love the background sound as if the song is being played on an old record player. (Now I’ve said that, I do hope that sound is part of the track and not my computer playing up).
Click to watch Mariah Carey Ft. Miguel - #Beautiful [VEVO]
There's also an 'explicit' version if you want to hear Miguel say 'fucking' and see a flash of pixelated knickers that may or may not belong to Mariah:
Click to watch Mariah Carey Ft. Miguel - #Beautiful Explicit Version [VEVO]
Samantha Jade - Firestarter
Samantha Jade definitely wasn’t in the charts in the 1990s, but the name of her single seems somewhat familiar? I was actually quite pleased that Samantha Jade won X Factor last year. She’s a happy, chirpy pop singer and the world needs happy, chirpy pop singers. I was a little disappointed that Samantha’s debut single What You’ve Done To Me didn’t give her a chance to showcase the vocal ability she’d demonstrated week after week on the show.
During X Factor, Samantha was often described in the press as the new ‘singing budgie’, a reference likening Samantha to Kylie Minogue. It seems the marketing guys have hung on to this thought, because last week it was announced that Samantha will play Kylie in the Seven television series Never Tear Us Apart: The Untold Story of INXS.
In the meantime, Firestarter is a pretty good pop song. It doesn’t sound like a reality TV creation at all; in fact it’s from the Gaga school of pop, as likely to be on high rotation at pre-teen birthday parties as it will be in the Oxford Street clubs. It’s not really what I’d listen to, but it’s by that nice Samantha Jade girl so I’m only going to say nice things about it.
For some reason there’s not a real video, but at least you can learn the words while you listen:
Click to watch Samantha Jade - Firestarter [VEVO]
As mentioned earlier, Samantha Jade definitely wasn’t in the charts in the 1990s, but this classic Firestarter most definitely was, in fact it was number one for three weeks in 1996:
Click to watch The Prodigy - Firestarter [YouTube]
Armin Van Burren - This Is What It Feels Like
Hurtling forward now to the turn of the century with everyone’s favourite Dutchman, Armin Van Burren.
Armin sells out stadium shows worldwide, hosts possibly the worlds most listened to radio show A State Of Trance, has been won the DJ Magazine top 100 poll five time in the last six years and on top of all that is currently riding high in the global charts with This I What It Feels Like. That’s not Armin singing by the way, that’s a bloke called Trevor Guthrie. But Armin does feature in the video, which is well worth a watch. You may have to look carefully because he’s not wearing his trademark white shirt. And yes, the guy you think looks like porn star Ron Jeremy, actually is Ron Jeremy.
Click to watch Armin Van Burren - This Is What It Feels Like [YouTube]
This Is What It Feels Like is probably an example of EDM. I’m too old to know why music marketing people decided they needed a new name for dance music, but apparently they did, and the result is that nice little tunes like this are happily displacing some of the garbage that has been forced upon mainstream music listeners for best part of the last 10 years. In which case, this EDM phase the world is going through surely must be a good thing? Great tune Armin, even if it is a little bit slow for my personal taste.
Armin scores a chart hit in his native Netherlands every couple of years but This Is What It Feels Like is his first ever breakthrough into the Australian charts and only his second into the UK top 40. In early 2000, Armin’s single Communication reached number 18 in the UK. It’s almost impossible to think that a respected club tune, with no vocal and no attempt to dilute it into a pop song, could actually make an impression on mainstream charts, but that’s exactly what used to happen and it never occurred to anyone to mind, or to call it EDM.
Click to watch Armin Van Burren - Communication [YouTube]
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Nicki Ranger is a freelance writer currently based in Perth, Western Australia.
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