MICHAEL LEARNS TO ROCK - SILENT TIMES
The first thing that struck me about this new single by Danish soft-rock balladeers Michael Learns To Rock (MLTR) is just how extremely un-MLTR it sounds.
MLTR gained a huge following in Asia because of their schmaltzy, karaoke-friendly tunes. Silent Times doesn't boast any of the aforementioned trademarks. It's a staid, mid-tempo song that wouldn't be out of place among the current pop shtick on radio. Old-time fans don't need MLTR to be current though. If it ain't broke, why fix it?
AVICII FEAT. WANG LEEHOM - LOSE MYSELF
Swedish DJ-producer Avicii has collaborated with many vocalists to stunning success, from soul singer Aloe Blacc (Wake Me Up), Coldplay (A Sky Full Of Stars) to Wyclef Jean and Carlos Santana (Fifa World Cup anthem Dar Um Jeito). But now Wang Leehom?
Lose Myself, featuring the Mandopop stalwart singing in Mandarin, is sweeping and emotive, and with a strong melodic focus at the core of Avicii's addictive house beats. It's fantastic.
DAUGHTRY - UTOPIA
North Carolina quintet Daughtry, fronted by American Idol Season 5 alumnus Chris Daughtry, might not be the most imaginative of musicians. But they make invigorating, feel-good pop rock, which works well for prime-time TV.
Utopia is the theme song of Fox channel's similarly-titled new reality series, featuring 15 men and women putting their survival skills to the test in an isolated area.
- Tan Kee Yun