Commercial pop music gets a bit of a bad rep, but there are plenty of fantastic artists out there to choose from, making catchy tunes that will get underneath your skin straight away. I wanted to shine a bit of a spotlight on the genre to show that it does have its merits – all the artists here are a little different, ensuring popheads should find something to love.
Review by Jane Howkins
Photo by Allegra
Allegra – Round & Round
Pop songstress Allegra starts things off nicely with Round & Round, also featuring superstar DJ Tiesto. It’s catchy from the off, featuring a range of gorgeous synths that play along in lovely style with the funky bassline. The bass is really prominent here, providing a cool undercurrent underneath the rest of the music. Allegra’s vocals are absolutely on point, following the main melody in a sultry way on the chorus. I’m not normally a big fan of autotune, but it really works well here, adding extra tone to the track.
Wallis – Skin
Wallis is a Brit School educated artist, showing the pure talent on offer here. Skin opens with some gorgeous synth chords played in the background, adding an awesome texture to the track. Wallis’ vocals are quite unique – they’re a little mumbled sounding at times, but they work well with the music, and she clearly has a great voice. The bassline is pretty funky too, creating a cool retro pop sound here. It’s suitably catchy as well, despite the fact the track is a little divergent from the current mainstream pop norms.
Rusty Reid – Our Love’s With You
Texas-based singer-songwriter Rusty Reid brings a slightly different sound to this list, with his piano-based track, Our Love’s With You. It’s got more of a classic pop sensibility, but I felt it belonged here, due to the marvelous songwriting skills displayed within this track. A gorgeous array of synths swirl around in the background, building up over the course of the piece. Rusty’s vocals are quite unique, but they suit the style of music well, adding a great deal of soul and character to the music. Why not try something different?
Natalie Clark – Late Train
Natalie Clark is a Scottish singer-songwriter currently based in LA – her new release Late Train is actually quite folky, but I felt it also had a commercial pop vibe. The track opens with some lovely guitar arpeggios, before the piano and beat kicks in properly, creating something very anthemic. Natalie’s vocals have a really nice tone, drifting through the music in a passionate way. You can really feel everything she’s singing about here, making for a perfect song. If you like your pop with more of an organic sound, this is for you.
Janet Noh – Do What You Want
Do What You Want brings the tempo back up, as it’s infectiously catchy from the very start. It’s another track that mixes noughties pop with a more modern sensibility, crafting a wonderful mix of the two styles. The beat sounds awesome when combined with the strings and piano, creating something that creeps inside your brain in an instant. Janet sings with a soaring clarity, compelling the listener to sing along on to the catchy hook on the chorus, as she repeats the title of the track over and over again. The flowing piano on the chorus adds an edge, making it sound suitably unique.
2Slav – This Is What You Came For
The main melody on 2Slav’s This Is What You Came For is irresistible from the moment the song kicks in, creating a proper earworm for the listener. It’s more of an EDM style pop song, featuring a slew of pulsating synths, throbbing along in time with huge bassline. The beat is fairly fast, as you might expect from this sort of song, although it does break down every often, creating more versatility. The vocals are a little monotone at times, but they suit the genre well, allowing the music to truly shine through with style.
Fox Revett – That Bad
That Bad starts out in quite a mellow fashion, with some pretty piano chords and synths that underpin Fox Revett’s vocals perfectly. However, the track soon starts to build up into something harder and faster, with a rapid drumbeat that will get your feet tapping in no time. The verses and choruses are rather different from one another, particularly in terms of tempo, adding more variety to the piece. The vocals are pretty good too – I’m not normally a fan of autotune, but they work really well with the style of music portrayed here.
K-Syran – Sunny
K-Syran has created a brand new cover version of well known song Sunny. Whilst the main melody is still extremely recognisable, it’s been changed a lot, making for a really cool remix. The disco elements are still there, but this version has more of an EDM/dance-pop sound, bringing the tempo right up into something more modern. The beat makes you want to get up and dance straight away, sounding like something perfect for a late night night club. I’m not normally one for covers, but K-Syran has really done the track justice, making this a must listen.