Keri Hilson - I Like
Keri, best known for her collaboration on Timabaland's The Way I Are and her own smash, the fantastic Knock You Down, which featured Ne-Yo & Kanye West, looks destined to be one of those stars that produces hit after hit, yet still lacks the 'star factor' that is granted to contemporaries Rihanna and Lady GaGa. Call it the Christina Milian effect, or the Kelly Llorenna effect if you will; everybody knows some of your music, but no average Joe particularly knows you by face. Anyway, following on from the brilliant and hugely underrated In A Perfect World album, she's back in Germany at least with a song somewhere between Energy and The Way I Are tempo-wise. The song is taken from the soundtrack to new German film Zweiohrküken and will hopefully make it over here eventually, although without the accompanying film clips in the music video I would expect, unless the British film industry suddenly embraces a German language film, which seems highly doubtful. I Like is a decent song, somewhere between Keri's best and more average material, but pleasant and catchy enough to be a mid-table hit. For me, she'll struggle to beat Knock You Down, but as my favourite urban song of the year, any subsequent Keri release has a lot to live up to in my eyes.
Cherine Nouri - Faithful
German film soundtracks have been quite the breeding ground for good music recently funnily enough. Recent German film hit Männerherzen led its soundtrack with the brilliant, if quickly forgotten about Wonderful by Gary Go which subsequently became a minor hit in Germany. And now homegrown disaster film Vulcan, a disaster movie involving a Volcano erupting from what I can gather from the trailers, has spawned this gorgeous ballad of the epic variety sung by rising talent Cherine Nouri. Faithful is a sort of post-Rule The World dramatic fantasy film soundtrack complete with sweeping strings, a huge key change and a massive chorus, sung by somebody who seems to model her look on Vanessa Williams. Either way, as overblown as this song is, I absolutely love it, it sounds like a perfect X Factor winner's lead single, it even has the triumphant gospel choir in the background!!! As for German film soundtracks in general though, I doubt anything will ever match the thumping atmospheric dance found in the excellent 1998 film Lola Rennt (released here on DVD as Run Lola Run).
Darin feat Kat DeLuna - Breathing Your Love
I use the term 'new music' loosely for this one, seeing as I was first aware of it around this time last year as one of the first RedOne productions that caught my attention, before said producer decided to lend his skills to the world and his wife. Still, as far as spoken name RedOne intros go, few can beat the jumble that is 'Red One, Kat DeLuna and Darin'. Not quite as stylish as 'Red One, GaGa' but maybe not quite as impressively over the top as 'RED OOONNNEEEE, Ciara, Enrique'. Breathing Your Love still sounds effortlessly fresh and as brilliant as it ever was a year on and was probably a little bit ahead of its time, so it makes sense to try and push it out in the UK market. I have high hopes that it can make a dent here but I can't say I've noticed it on UK radio or TV so far which dampens my optimism a bit. Either way, it's always nice to see a Swedish star promoted here, even if featuring artist Kat DeLuna hasn't had the most elusive solo career here. She's a more extreme victim of the Hilson/Milian/Llorenna anonymity factor. This single, released on November 30th, still has a bit of time to gain momentum and I'm surprised to see that commercial radio, who still can't get enough of Poker Face and Takin' Back My Love, aren't hammering this out at all hours. Still, I expect it's on the playlist of the Starz channel so I'd better get my phone out and leave a message resembling 'HEY STARZ PLAY DARIN + KAT PLZ. FANKS' to start whipping up some support.