The Saturdays - Where My Heart Takes Over on Flickr.
Longtime UK primo-producer Steve Mac, who’s worked with X-Factor contestants Leona Lewis, JLS and One Direction, teams up with up-and-coming songwriter Ina Wroldsen for this amazing power-ballad. Their strength is in their vocal harmonies and here, their deliveries are spot-on. Sadly, power-ballads aren’t “in”, and the song only reached #15 on the UK Singles Chart.
Neon Hitch - Bad Dog on Flickr.
2 of the best things about music right now, Ester Dean’s songwriting and Benny Blanco’s twangy production, meet a 3rd; newcomer Neon Hitch, who’s most-known contribution to Top-40-Pop is “Blah Blah Blah” by Ke$ha. She has a great tone to her voice and even AutoTuned and vocoded, it shines through. One of the sexiest, danciest songs of the year.
Katy Perry - Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) on Flickr.
This history-making 5th #1 single from Katy’s “Teenage Dream” was the second track on the album, following the title track, for a reason; it epitomizes the rowdy, teenage-party-fun vibe of the record. With a classic Dr. Luke guitar intro, bold, powerful Max Martin melodies and flirty-fun McKee lyrics, It has the trifecta of amazing pop-music. Definitely her best offering this year.
Britney Spears - I Wanna Go on Flickr.
Another Max Martin + Shellback success that continues the exciting trend of vocal stuttering, “I-I-I wanna go-o-o”, and pairs it with a summery burst of pounding, dance-pop. If this wasn’t her signature song in ‘11, I don’t know what was, nothing screamed “summer-fun” more than this number, and the American public agreed; #7 on the Hot 100.
Kelly Clarkson - What Doesnt Kill You (Stronger) on Flickr.
The title track off her amazing 5th album is set to become her biggest hit to date, recalling the explosive chorus of ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’, this is what Kelly does best; booming, rock-pop, and this one comes equipped with a bangin’ dance beat. The track has already charted at #64 the week of the album’s release, and with the video having just been released, it should be hitting the Top 10 any week now.
Rihanna - We Found Love on Flickr.
Recently celebrating it’s 7th week at #1 in the US, noteably her 11th in the States, ‘Love’ combines many of the successful elements of pop music right now: opening with a catchy, pulsing rift that swiftly becomes a true “banger” when the hand claps come in before the chorus and cementing the current trend of electronic, trance-y production is the joyous chorus. The steam has yet to run out of this Rihanna-train.
Cher Lloyd - With Your Love on Flickr.
This Max Martin + Shellback number is insanely catchy, and a great follow up single to ‘Swagger Jagger’. The sing/rapping verses are pure Cher-Lloyd-bratty-brilliance, and combined with the Swedish hit-makers’ summery beats, it’s a fool-proof equation. Hitting #4 on the UK Singles Chart, the song was an overseas success, and with a newly-inked US record deal, it might yet be a hit across the pond.
First time I’ve been excited for Judas, sounds like a real thumper