Archive for March, 2013

Ten Best Unreleased/Rare Christina Aguilera Tracks

Posted in Christina Aguilera, Female Vocalists, Music, Songs with tags , , , on March 9, 2013 by Ain't No Other Tan

Below is a list of my favourite unreleased (or unofficially released/leaked) and rare Christina Aguilera songs, of which there have been quite a few over the years and ones I wish she had either included on her albums, which in turn could have been released as singles and been hits. Most songs you will not find or know about (unless you’re a hardcore fan), so here they are:


1) I Will Be

Emotional. Inspirational. Simple arrangement. Flawless vocals. This song was a B-side to the single “Dirrty”, which really showed the contrast in her musical artistry back then, but was unfortunately left off Stripped.

2) Hello (Follow Your Own Star)

Similar to the song “Soar” from Stripped, “Hello” was released as a promotional single for the Mercedes-Benz A-Class car model in 2004, when Christina began embracing her new “clean, good girl” image and looking like a modern-day Marilyn Monroe. The song has some elements of soul and blues and was a sneak preview of her new Back To Basics sound she had begun to work on. The lyrics are inspirational and vocals are on point, but the CD itself is extremely hard to find nowadays. Christina performed the song once at the launch of the new car in Germany, and although she was sick at the time, it’s also one of the rare times she showcased her whistle register.

3) We’re A Miracle

Taken from the soundtrack to Pok√©mon: The First Movie, “We’re A Miracle” was recorded around the same time as “Reflection”, before the release of her first album. Here her vocals are beautiful, her tone is pure, and you could tell back then that there was something special about her.

4) Too Beautiful For Words

Released as the B-side to “What A Girl Wants”, “Too Beautiful For Words” is another rare song that cannot be found today and was also recorded around the time of her debut album but never made the final cut. This song is one of the rare occasions in which Christina’s voice is toned way down with no belts and everything is kept pure and simple. The title of the song just captures the whole thing perfectly.

5) Nasty (featuring Cee Lo Green)

Originally recorded for her Back To Basics album and then shelved for the Burlesque soundtrack (but never made the cut), the demo for “Nasty” leaked around the start of The Voice, sparking rumours that Christina and Cee Lo were going to release the song properly. Unfortunately, they never did but it got a lot of people excited and interested in the song. The song features fierce vocals from Christina, a good cameo from Cee Lo and that dirty, funky, soulful sound that would have fit perfectly on Back To Basics, so I have no idea what it was scrapped but it makes me wonder if the demo was that good, what the full version sounded like if they ever did record it properly.

6) Don’t Make Me Love You (‘Til I’m Ready)

This song was put on the re-release of her debut album (with the radio edit versions of “What A Girl Wants” and “Come On Over (All I Want Is You)”) and also features on the soundtrack to the Madonna film The Next Best Thing. The film and the soundtrack were both massive flops so I’d be surprised you’d have heard of either of them, unless you’re a huge Madonna stan. This song was actually a pretty cool song and it’s a shame it was never officially released.

7) Dame Lo Que Yo Te Doy

Christina singing in Spanish is always amazing and it’s a shame that she doesn’t do so often enough. “Dame Lo Que Yo Te Doy” is the Spanish version of “Get Mine, Get Yours” and is on the Latin American edition of Stripped. The original English version is already a very sexy song but as they say, things always sound better in Spanish, and this is no exception.

8) Little Dreamer

This touching song was released with Bionic as an iTunes exclusive so unless you downloaded the album from there, you probably wouldn’t know of it. The lyrics to speak of when Christina is “gone” (dead) and how she’ll still be there for her son (it’s not specified but everyone presumes that’s who the song is for) in spirit when the time comes, so not usually the best topic for song, but it does still have a lovely sentiment to it and her vocals are beautiful, yet tainted with bittersweet emotion.

9) Casa de Mi Padre

“Casa de Mi Padre” (The House of my Father) is the first full Spanish song recorded by Christina in years and featured on the soundtrack to budget film of the same name, starring Will Ferrell – no, I’ve never heard of it either, but am sure with better promotion, such as the release of this song as a single, it would have got more recognition. Christina’s vocals are haunting yet gorgeous and again it makes you wonder why she hasn’t recorded and released another Spanish album again.

10) That’s What Love Can Do

Apparently a reject from Stripped, “That’s What Love Can Do” was featured on a promotional EP with Justin Timberlake (called Justin & Christina) when they both toured North America together in 2003, so is another extremely rare song to come across. The song has a Latin-pop and R&B flavour to it which was quite cool, but was definitely still below par to be put on Stripped.

Top Ten Favourite Girl Groups

Posted in Girl Groups with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2013 by Ain't No Other Tan

In light of everyone fangirling over Girls Aloud like they’re something special and the best girl group ever, I’m here with this list of ten far better and more talented girl groups to prove you wrong. These girl groups are not only cool with great music, but had more musicality individually than all five members of Hoes Aloud put together. These ladies knew had to harmonise brilliantly, sing well solo (well, most of them) and sometimes even dance at the same time without resorting to backing tracks or miming. Check them out below:

1) En Vogue


Incredibly perfect harmonies, great soloists and hot music that combined modern-day R&B and hip-hop with soul and funk (to make the new fusion genre of New jack swing), En Vogue were pretty much flawless. They also didn’t have a specific lead singer which gave each of the powerful ladies a chance to shine on their songs.

2) Labelle


Fronted by the ever astonishing, big-voiced Patti Labelle, Labelle made for one hell of a powerful girl group with probably some of the best sets of pipes of all time.

3) Destiny’s Child


Destiny’s Child are not known as one of the most successful girl groups of all time for no reason. Their blend of different voices (particularly clearer with the latest lineup that included Michelle and her raspy tone alongside Bey’s sweeter and Kelly’s huskier voices), was unique and of course their back catalogue of songs can’t be beat. Their harmonies were always good and when they performed and danced live it was always a good bonus.

4) TLC


TLC were like a mix of En Vogue’s old-school urban sounds and Destiny’s Child, added with a bit of rap and hip-hop and it worked well. Their voices may not have been to everyone’s taste but their sound was cool and unique, and what I respected about them was not to tamper with that specific sound after Lefteye passed away by recruiting a new, full-time member to take her place.


5) Eternal


With a style heavily rooted in gospel, Eternal were a force to be reckoned with and probably the best British girl group when it came to vocals (even though Mis-teeq had a wider range of better hits). Also, they were much better with Louise Redknapp who didn’t stand out (despite being the only white girl) due to much weaker vocals and it wasn’t until she departed that Eternal really improved.

6) Mis-teeq


Always called the British of Destiny’s Child may be a compliment in some ways to Mis-teeq, but this girl group were edgier and grittier, thanks to the addition of Alesha’s rapping that made this trio stand out from the other sweeter-looking, but less talented girl groups in the UK.

7) Booty Luv


Great modern dance and disco songs and a great blend of two different voices – Nadia’s deeper and richer voice against Cherise’s higher and sweeter voice – made for a brilliant duo.

8) The Supremes


The Supremes had great harmonies and a very superstar quality to them that made them stand out above other girl groups around at the time. Even though Diana Ross had the weaker voice in the band, the sweet and sometimes sexy, sultry tone she employed to sing made their music even better and against stood out against other groups who usually had the stronger singer (e.g. in Labelle and Martha and the Vandellas) sing lead.

9) Martha and the Vandellas


Martha and the Vandellas always know how to put on a good show when performing, including in recent years when they have reunited and performed, even if their vocals have unfortunately succumbed to age. But hey, at they still sing live.

10) The Marvelettes


The Marvelettes were one of the first and successful girl groups of the Motown era and it was easy to see why, with their sweet yet fun look and sound. They had nice, rich voices and good harmonies, particularly lead singer Gladys Horton.

Top Ten Favourite British Female Vocalists

Posted in Female Vocalists with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2013 by Ain't No Other Tan

After my list of twenty favourite female vocalists, I have now completed a list that focuses on British females. Again, those on the list were chosen and ranked based on my own opinion and looks at the ladies’ timbre, vocal ability, power, versatility and live performances.

1) Beverley Knight


Type: Coloratura mezzo

She may be highly underrated but Beverley is an amazingly talented vocalist, whose style is rooted in gospel singing. She has an incredible range, great technique and is a very powerful belter, giving it her all in all her performances, and is very much like a younger, British version of Aretha Franklin. It’s such a shame she isn’t as widely recognised when she is far superior than the likes of Adele and Leona Lewis.

2) Annie Lennox


Type: Coloratura contralto

Annie Lennox’s musicality is astounding; classically trained with an almost operatic-like singing voice (she’s a contralto but has a phenomenal range for one), she is not only a very skilled technical singer but also an emotive one. She has a very rich and warm tone to her voice but her high notes are also very full and clear, and she could definitely show some of the younger generation how it’s done!

3) Gabrielle


Type: Low lyric mezzo

What I liked about Gabrielle’s voice, which reminded me a lot of Mary J Blige and Macy Gray rolled into one – like a British version of both of them, was the sweet and soothing yet raspy tone to it, and the cool edge she had to her sound and music.

4) Heather Small


Type: Lyric contralto

Astonishingly deep and extremely rich, Heather Small’s powerful gospel-influnced voice is distinctive and full of soul. Her voice may not be to everyone’s taste but there’s something about her that makes me love the bombast way in which she sings.

5) Jessie J


Type: Spinto soprano

Jessie J is a vocal beast and definitely one of the best young singers in the UK out there today (well, there aren’t many to compare with… I mean, look at Ellie Goulding, for example). Sometimes her vocal styling isn’t to everyone’s taste and her upper belts can be rather screechy but overall she has a great technique and there is a lot of power in her voice.

6) Adele


Type: Low lyric mezzo

A deep, rich and soulful voice, Adele certainly knows how to deliver her songs well with a lot of emotion (even if they are all very similar and monotonous). Although I don’t think she’s as phenomenal as a lot of people seem to believe her to be, she’s certainly great at what she does, so let’s see if in the long run her recovery from vocal surgery and after quitting smoking she further improves.

7) Leona Lewis


Type: Light lyric soprano

A very sweet voice (almost too sweet perhaps, sometimes), Leona made a name for herself trying to impersonate her idols Whitney and Mariah on The X Factor. However, when she broke away and did her own thing and didn’t attempt iconic songs that were too big for her to handle, she really exceeded. She has a impressive range and the best parts of it are her pretty falsetto and head voice.

8) Jamelia


Type: Lyric soprano

Another underrated singer and of the last proper British female R&B singers, Jamelia deserves more recognition than she gets, especially when it comes to the ballads she recorded, where her real talent for singing and her and gorgeous tone shone through.

9) Joss Stone


Type: Lyric mezzo

I could never tell whether the way Joss Stone sings is actually her real voice or just totally fake, which was slightly annoying, but either way she is good singer and an emotive one at that and one of the first pioneers of British blue-eyed soul singers since 2000 onwards.

10) Amy Winehouse


Type: Contralto/low lyric mezzo? (debated)

The thing about Amy Winehouse’s voice is that you could never tell if she was drunk or sober or not at the time of singing, whether it was in the studio or live, yet at the same time she had a very compelling voice that told the story of her songs with a lot of emotion. She was far off from being a great vocalist, especially when she definitely wasn’t in the best of health due to alcohol, smoking, drugs and other illnesses, but there was certainly something about her that was interesting, particularly her rich, almost sickly sweet lower register and drawl.