In the past few years the pop charts have been dominated by powerful female figures belting out hits. With the next couple of months boasting some high-profile new releases from these sought after artists, I thought I’d have a look at some of those divas’ hidden gems that were robbed of airplay or a single release.
Katy Perry – Brick By Brick
If you’re not a die-hard Perry fan, chances are you’ll never have heard of this song before as it’s not actually included on any of her albums. I first discovered this hauntingly beautiful ballad from watching Perry’s “MTV Unplugged” set which was given a CD/DVD combo release. Compared to the cotton candy, whipped-cream titted, teenage dream that Perry’s public image became in the past few years, ‘Brick By Brick’ shows a much more mellow side of the artist and really showcases her fragile yet powerful vocals. I completely understand why this wasn’t chosen as a single, but robbing it from even being an album track was just criminal, Katy!
PRISM by Katy Perry is out October 21st.
Lady Gaga – Disco Heaven
Lady Gaga turned up the camp dial a good 250% for ‘Disco Heaven’ (I know, I didn’t think it was possible either!). Taken from her debut album The Fame, it creates an insanely catchy tune – think ABBA mixed with Scissor Sisters! I think it’s impossible for me to listen to this song without completely cringing at the dance moves that I find myself doing subconsciously, and any song that has the line “there’s disco in the air and hairspray everywhere” followed by the spelling out of the word D-I-S-C-O is a surefire hit in my eyes. Completely robbed of the spotlight!
ARTPOP by Lady Gaga out November 11th.
Britney Spears – Up N’ Down
I had my first Britney ‘live’ experience at the Femme Fatale Tour in Manchester a few years ago and the one song I came away from the gig singing was one I’d completely patched on the album previously. ‘Up N’ Down’ really is modern Britney at her best – slightly raunchy and incredibly catchy. For months after the gig I found myself with my headphones in, walking down the street in time to the beat of this song and miming the words like my own music video (when there was nobody around obviously!). With Femme Fatale’s disappointing single chart positions, maybe ‘Up N’ Down’ could have performed better?
Britney’s currently unnamed eighth album drops December 3rd.
Miley Cyrus – Jolene
What with all the foam-fingering and twerking going on these days, it’s easy to forget that Miley Cyrus CAN actually sing. Using shock tactics as a method of ridding her ‘Hannah Montana’ persona is seemingly working, however I completely respect the mature route of letting the vocals do the talking much more. Miley recently uploaded a series of videos on YouTube called ‘The Backyard Sessions’ which consisted of a variety of covers. Being the Goddaughter of Dolly Parton herself, it only seemed fitting for Miley to cover ‘Jolene’ at some point in her career – and damn this is quite a cover! If Miley had focused her energy on recording tracks with this much power and talent then maybe the VMA debacle could have been avoided…
Bangerz by Miley Cyrus is released on October 7th.
Kelly Clarkson – You Can’t Win
Kelly Clarkson is highly underrated in the world of pop (along with P!nk but that’s a whole article in itself!) and is never one for releasing an album with filler tracks in it. After the self-empowering ‘Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)’ was released I can understand why Clarkson chose not to release another track with the same theme from the album. However ‘You Can’t Win’ is a much more brash and ballsy attempt at the message. Instead of taking the ‘you’re amazing, love yourself’ route, the track tells it like it is and lists everything that you could be and how someone will find a way of picking on you for it. A much less patronizing look at equality whilst being a punchy and energetic track, even Clarkson said herself recently on Twitter that she wished it had been a single!
Kelly Clarkson’s Christmas album Wrapped in Red comes out on October 28th.
Avril Lavigne – Not Enough
I find that Avril Lavigne album tracks can be a complete hit or miss. After taking a while away from recording, Lavigne returned to music with her fourth album Goodbye Lullaby, showing a softer side to the artist. The single choices from this album really annoy me as the LP boasts some other amazing material which is completely overlooked. One of my favourites shows Lavigne at her most vulnerable – ‘Not Enough’ has memorable lyrics, a drum-infused backing track and builds as the song goes on, showcasing Avril’s often under-appreciated vocals. I have very high hopes for her next album – let’s hope the singles are chosen better!
Avril Lavigne, the self-titled album has a release date of November 5th.