Single Review: Mark Ronson & Miley Cyrus – Nothing Breaks Like A Heart

Mark Ronson teams up with Miley Cyrus for ‘Nothing Breaks Like A Heart’, the first single of his new solo project. Continue reading

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The 20 Best Pop Albums of 2017

These are the 20 best pop albums of 2017 according to A Bit of Pop Music! Continue reading

Gig Review: Miley Cyrus at Ziggo Dome

Miley Cyrus Ziggo Dome

Miley brings Circus Cyrus extravaganza to Amsterdam

Not even a year ago Miley Cyrus went from being an innocent Disney girl, to one of the most talked about pop stars in the world. Her new coupe, risky outfits, provocative dancing and other stage antics were a constant topic of conversation and discussion. When seeing her concerts for the worldwide Bangerz Tour, it is not surprising that people tend to forget Miley is actually a very talented singer, because after the show it is not really her voice that will be remembered, but all the crazy stuff that happened in almost two hours of Circus Cyrus Extravaganza. On sunday night, Miley finally brought her show, that was delayed in May, to the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam.

Miley Cyrus Ziggo Dome

Miley would not be Miley if she did not start her show with some kind of wacky and memorable entrance. She enters the stage on a slide that symbolizes her tongue that comes out of her own portrait. This was only the first act in a long row. Miley changes one racey outfit for another almost every two songs and so do the dancers. We see them as monsters, animals and half naked in some occasions. Stage props vary from a huge dog to a dancing bird and from a car to a flying hotdog. To be fair, the Bangerz show needed all this distraction during the first part, as it all started with some of the weaker tracks on her most recent album, like ‘SMS (Bangerz)’ and ‘Love Money Party’. From the very strong power anthem ‘F.U.’ onwards, everything goes in a much better direction musically.

Miley Cyrus Ziggo Dome

She gives very strong vocal performances of beautiful songs like ‘Drive’ and ‘Someone Else’ and she finds the perfect balance between performing a song and hosting a freak show on tracks like ‘We Can’t Stop’ and ‘Do My Thang’. When two thirds of the show are done, Miley walks to a small stage in the back of the venue to perform a few acoustic tracks. She starts with a Flaming Lips and Smiths cover and adds a rendition of The Arctic Monkeys’ ‘Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?’. The singer admits she cannot hear herself over there and her microphone seems to have some troubles as well, but, as Miley reckons, nobody would even notice, because she firmly believes everybody in Amsterdam is stoned 24/7. She proudly presents her country roots on a cover of ‘Jolene’, whom Miley of course calls a ‘slut’ in her modern take on the song.

Miley Cyrus Ziggo Dome

When Miley says goodbye on her flying hotdog everybody knows she will come back once more to sing her biggest hit to date, ‘Wrecking Ball’. When the first notes of the song are finally played, the Ziggo Dome explodes and almost 15.000 people sing along passionately, which is quite the goosebumps inducing moment. Miley once again proves she is a very strong vocalist, but of course this is not really enough to close this show. She comes back once more with all her dancers dressed in typical American monuments, singing ‘Party In The U.S.A.’, back from when Miley was still a school girl with long brown hair. Although Miley did find a good balance between the freak show and the at times really good pop music, she absolutely is aware of the fact that she is more of an entertainer than a singer in this stage of her career and judging by the funny and self mocking graphics on the background she does not take herself to seriously either. This makes The Bangerz tour a highly entertaining self aware, musical circus.

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Concert Recensie: Miley Cyrus in de Ziggo Dome

Miley Cyrus Ziggo Dome

Miley Cyrus brengt extravagant Circus Cyrus naar Amsterdam

Het verhaal van Miley Cyrus is zacht gezegd opvallend. In minder dan een jaar tijd wist ze van een braaf Disney meisje te transformeren in één van de meest veelbesproken popsterren. Haar blonde korte coupe, de uitdagende outfits, de provocerende dansjes en andere gekkigheid op het podium waren allemaal het gesprek van de dag. Als je haar shows voor de Bangerz tour bekijkt, is het ook niet vreemd dat mensen af en toe vergeten dat het hier eigenlijk om een heel getalenteerd meisje gaat. Want laten we wel wezen, uiteindelijk is het toch vooral de opeenstapeling aan bizarre taferelen op het podium die de aandacht krijgt in plaats van haar stem. Op zondagavond bracht Miley haar extravagante circus eindelijk naar de Amsterdamse Ziggo Dome, na een uitgestelde show in mei.

Miley zou Miley niet zijn als ze niet met een in het oog springende opkomst zou komen. Die volgt dan ook zeker in de vorm van een glijbaan die dient als haar tong in een portret. Dit is de eerste in een lange rij opvallende podiumfratsen van de slechts 21-jarige zangeres. Miley wisselt om de twee nummers van gewaagd outfit en de dansers doen gezellig mee. We zien ze voorbij komen als dieren, monsters en vooral ook regelmatig halfnaakt. De attributen op het podium variëren van een immense hond tot een dansende vogel en van een auto tot een vliegende hotdog. Om eerlijk te zijn was deze afleiding in het eerste gedeelte van de show wel welkom wanneer vooral wat zwakkere liedjes van haar meest recente album worden gespeeld, zoals ‘SMS (Bangerz)’ en ‘Love Money Party’. Vanaf de uitstekende, krachtige popsong ‘F.U.’ komt de show ook muzikaal wat beter op gang.

Miley Cyrus ZIggo Dome

Ze geeft vocaal foutloze optredens van de mooie liedjes ‘Drive’ en ‘Someone Else’ en weet uiteindelijk ook de perfecte balans te vinden tussen het zingen van liedjes en het hosten van een freakshow tijdens ‘We Can’t Stop’ en ‘Do My Thang’. Na twee derde van de show verplaatst Miley naar een klein podium achterin de zaal waar ze een akoestische set vol covers speelt. Ze begint met liedjes van The Flaming Lips en The Smiths en speelt vervolgens ‘Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High’ van The Arctic Monkeys. Er zijn wat problemen bij het geluid, want Miley kan zichzelf niet horen, maar volgens haar maakt dit allemaal niet zoveel uit, omdat iedereen in Amsterdam toch constant stoned is. Ze sluit het akoestische gedeelte af door terug te gaan naar haar country roots met ‘Jolene’, die ze in haar moderne versie voor het gemak maar even een ‘slet’ noemt.

Als Miley na ruim anderhalf uur show vaarwel zegt op haar vliegende hotdog, weet de hele zaal dat ze nog eens terug zal komen om haar grootste hit tot nu toe, ‘Wrecking Ball’, ten gehore te brengen. Als de eerste tonen klinken ontploft de Ziggo Dome bijna als vervolgens bij 15.000 mensen uit volle borst meezingen, zorgt dit wel voor een kippenvelmoment. Miley laat wederom horen toch wel een erg sterke zangeres te zijn, maar natuurlijk is dit niet genoeg om de show mee af te sluiten. Ze komt nog één keer gezamenlijk met al haar dansers in Amerikaanse monumenten gehezen om ‘Party In The U.S.A.’ te vertolken, een hit van toen Miley nog een braaf meisje met lange bruine krullen was. Hoewel Miley uiteindelijk de juiste balans tussen show en muziek wist te vinden, lijkt ze zich er maar al te goed van bewust dat ze in deze fase van haar carrière meer een entertainer dan een zangeres is. Oordelend op de vaak grappige, karikatuur-achtige plaatjes op de achtergrond van het podium, lijkt Miley zichzelf ook niet al te serieus te nemen en dat maakt van de Bangerz tour een zeer vermakelijk, zelfbewust, muzikaal circus.

Miley Cyrus Ziggo Dome

Valentine’s Day: Ten lovely current love songs

Mariah Carey You're Mine Eternal cover

It’s that time of the year again! It’s Valentine’s Day! A romantic day for some couples, a nightmare for some single people out there, but either way it is a good excuse to listen to some great songs about love! I collected ten lovely current love songs for you to enjoy during a romantic date or a night alone.

10. Mariah Carey – You’re Mine (Eternal)
If there is one lady who knows all about all kinds of love songs, it’s Mariah Carey. She performed lots of songs about break-ups and heartache, for example ‘Without You’, ‘We Belong Togeter’ and the recent ‘The Art Of Letting Go’, but she also recorded tons of happy love songs like ‘Always Be My Baby’, ‘Dreamlover’ and ‘#Beautiful (feat. Miguel)’. Now she is back with a song, especially released for Valentine’s Day, called ‘You’re Mine (Eternal)’. It is a traditional R&B ballad which suits Mariah perfectly. The great thing about a Mariah ballad is that you know that there is a huge note about to come in the last chorus and when that moment finally happens, I am a happy man!

09. Annalisa – Tutto Sommato
A song in the lovely Italian language could not be excluded from this list. Annalisa’s ‘Tutto Sommato’ was recently used in the Dutch movie De Toscaanse Bruiloft (The Tuscan Wedding) and it is a very catchy and infectious little track. The upbeat and feelgood vibe of the song matches perfectly with the movie and it instantly gives you butterflies. Annalisa sings that love gives her life and that is exactly what we need to hear today!

08. Miguel – Adorn (feat. Jessie Ware)
Of course duets are probably the most romantic form of songs. Especially the smooth and sweet R&B kind. When making this list, I found out Miguel is a master in this craft. He recorded the lovely ballads ‘PrimeTime’ and ‘#Beautiful’ with Janelle Monáe and Mariah Carey, but he also re-recorded one of his own tracks to make it into a duet. He invited Jessie Ware to add her vocals to his biggest single to date, ‘Adorn’. The result is smooth, sweet and sexy.

07. Coldplay – Atlas
Although Coldplay’s ‘Atlas’ is not really a love song in the most traditional sense, it is one gorgeous track that deserves every recognition it could get. It was featured on the soundtrack of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which worked surprisingly well. But let’s be fair, did anybody every tell you something more romantic than: ‘I’ll carry your world and all your hurt’. No exactly, that is what I thought!

06. Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Young Blood
Sophie Ellis-Bextor is back with her new album Wanderlust, that performs pretty well in the UK charts as it already stayed in the album top 10 for three weeks. The leadsingle ‘Young Blood’ is an exceptionally romantic song about growing old together but never losing the feeling of youth, because the other keeps you young. Other than the beautiful lyrics, the song itself sounds sweet and lovely and we hear a whole different side of Sophie’s gorgeous vocals.

05. Ellie Goulding – How Long Will I Love You
Ellie Goulding and her wonderful cover of ‘How Long Will I Love You’ absolutely deserves a place in this list. The lyrics could not be anymore romantic and Goulding’s delivery with her soft and cute voice take this to a whole other level. One could say the song sounds kind of cheesy, but I would like to disagree, because she made this song completely her own and managed to keep the honest sound. And even if it is a little cheesy, it is Valentine’s Day!

04. Beyoncé – Drunk In Love (feat. Jay-Z)
Who said Valentine’s Day always needs to be about romantic things? For Beyoncé and Jay-Z it is probably another hot, steamy and passionate day at their office full of surfboarding and waking up in the kitchen wondering what happened before. And why wouldn’t they? After the fancy dinner by candle light, you might take your date home and that is the point where the sensual and sexy ‘Drunk In Love’ could be helpful as a soundtrack…

03. Clean Bandit – Rather Be (feat. Jess Glynne)
‘As long as I am with you, there is no place I’d rather be.’ That is quite a romantic statement. And when this statement is packed in such a swinging and catchy track, it is not a surprise that this song performs so exceptionally well. Clean Bandit already charted three weeks on number 1 in the UK and they are coming to take over the rest of Europe and probably the rest of the world. What a tune!

02. Miley Cyrus – Adore You
Who would have thought that the controversial popstar who shocked the world with her twerking to her own track ‘We Can’t Stop’ and riding a wrecking ball naked, would follow those releases up with a stunning ballad about love, called ‘Adore You’. Of course the accompanying video had to be a little naughty, but the song itself is beautiful and Miley’s voice does it absolute justice. Absolutely one of the most beautiful, honest and heartfelt love songs released in the last couple of months.

01. John Legend – All Of Me
I honestly could not think of a song that is more romantic and full of love than John Legend’s ‘All Of Me’. In The Netherlands this song has been a huge hit for quite some time now and I would expect the rest of the world to follow sooner or later. ‘Cause all of me, loves all of you.’ This song just screams to be played at weddings! Melodically the moment he sings ‘my head’s underwater, but I’m breathing fine’ is gorgeous. If this song does not give you Valentine’s Day vibes, I don’t know what will!