Limmy’s Hot Take: What we can learn from Vanessa Amorosi’s comeback in a Trump PTSD week, Alicia Keys and Turning 30 with T-ARA

This week on Limmy’s Hot Take: I have been thinking a lot about fear over the past few days. I mean, where do we even begin with a week that left us with Donald Trump as the new President of the United States?

Fear is such a powerful feeling. Fear changes people; it cripples you and cuts you down. It eats away at your self-confidence. They are the words that put you back in your box and keep you in your place; from progressing, from changing, from becoming a better version of yourself, and from making moves that you know are ultimately right for you.

After awhile that fear becomes real comfortable and familiar. It might even start to sound like common sense to you. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” “Why would you leave all this behind and start over?” “You can’t stop now! If you do, your fans will forget about you.” “‘You know it’s true what they say, it’s better the devil you know!” Nope. Maybe that last one was Kylie.

One who has grabbed fear by the ball sack and given it a firm-but-threatening squeeze is Aussie popstar Vanessa Amorosi, who shortly after the height of her 2009 comeback decided to change direction and give up the comfort of Australia for a new life in Los Angeles.

Widely regarded, yet lately often forgotten, as one of Australia’s most powerful vocalists of this generation (even Mary J. Blige fucks with her), Vanessa reached national treasure status by the time she was 18. Mostly thanks to the ubiquitous banger ‘Absolutely Everybody’, which probably still haunts regional community centre aerobics classes frequented by about five retirees.

Even better yet, Vanessa came smashing back A DECADE after with a multi-platinum-selling #1 hit ‘This Is Who I Am’ and an equally popular album. That was her last album.

 

In the seven years that passed, she could have remained in Australia where she would have been guaranteed work for a lifetime to keep her profile up as a minor celebrity. She could have appeared on Dancing With The Stars (Down Under’s version of Strictly), she could have been a judge on The Voice (imagine the tabloids jizzing over a rivalry between two of Australia’s greatest pop divas! ARE YOU TEAM DELTA OR TEAM VANESSA? *Cuts to cleverly edited side eyes and stony-faced hair flicks*). Vanessa Amorosi could have even gone into the jungle! Because we now have I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! in Oz too. But instead, she followed her gut and took a massive risk by moving to L.A. and disappearing from the limelight. In the entire time Vanessa Amorosi had been away from the public eye – Snapchat was launched, One Direction was created and disintegrated, “Tindering” had become a thing, and humans have now evolved to screen grab at lightning speed.

This week she emerged to announce a soul gospel album due for 2017, which she has worked on for the past five years with Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics (!!). By the sounds of things, it’s a labour of love she is very proud of. Will it be a massive success? Will she top the charts again and sell out arenas? Maybe! But that almost doesn’t matter. Perhaps, quite admirably, what we can take away from her story in this Trump PTSD week where many of us feel perhaps quite helpless and uncertain of the future, is that we need to have courage to rebuild. Change is inevitable, and life is too short to stay unhappy and comfortable in the fear of the unknown.

The Gospel according to Alicia Keys

I’ve been massively impressed with the new Alicia Keys album. Listened to it from start to finish and again yesterday. I said a couple of weeks ago, in relation to Tove Lo’s album, that there’s a wave of realism coming to mainstream music and that is what we are all connecting with right now, and it couldn’t be truer of HERE.

Alicia’s musical output has always remained very close to her Harlem roots but this particular album just feels more like home. It is almost quite documentary-like in its execution, in the way it invites you in and has you completely immersed in its world without leaving your seat. The beauty of which is brought to life visually in this mini-movie that accompanies the record. It won’t take up as much time as the Lemonade movie but it is just as important viewing.

 

Top Tunes of The Week

St. Beauty ‘Borders’

Is anyone else watching the Issa Rae HBO series Insecure? Solange has done an A+ job curating music for this because I swear I’ve got Shazam running every episode. One of the gems uncovered through the show this week was St. Beauty, an American soul duo signed to Janelle Monae‘s Wondaland Records. ‘Borders’ is one for the midnight drives.

 

Washington ‘Saint Lo’

Australian singer-songwriter Megan Washington is back with her first new material in two years, ‘Saint Lo’. The whispy electronic pop piece came about from her songwriting sessions in the States. This actually sounds like it could slot quite nicely between Tegan & Sara and Shura‘s latest albums!

 

 

Gabrielle Aplin ‘Miss You’

Okay, there’s definitely a theme emerging with this week’s Top Tunes. Gabrielle Aplin is not one I thought I’d be checking for but since the surprisingly good deep house remix of her 2013 single ‘Salvation’ that dropped earlier this year, it shouldn’t come as a shock that she’s headed in a dancier direction. ‘Miss You’ still bears the signature of her piano-based singer-songwriter brand but just every so lightly sprayed with a mist of bubblegum-flavoured, tropical house production.

 

047 feat. Linn Öberg ‘Wilderness’

Here come the Swedes, in their element with a frosty and folky electronic pop moment. Melancholy folk singer-songwriter Linn Öberg is giving us all a bit of raw, earnest vocals for the dance floor and I can’t even pretend that I haven’t already fantasised about figure skating to this. (I do not skate. I normally even hate the thought of skating. I avoid Winter Wonderlands all together because I know there are people ice skating.)

For more of my favourite tunes, check out my NEWEST playlist.

And finally…

To kinda cheer myself up this week, I’ve made a playlist of T-ARA bangers you never thought you needed. So if you are in need of a lift with high-fructose K-pop – I got you. This was partly prompted by this lite shade interview where the band was asked about turning the ripe old age of 30!

“We do not feel pressured about entering our 30s. It does not really strike us that we are near our 30s since we live in a group rather than living alone.” – Some comfort to the hundreds of 30 somethings flat-sharing in London, I guess.

 

Tweet me shady memes about Trump on @feedlimmy.

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Feed Limmy Albums of 2012: #20 – #11

Is Robyn Fenty‘s new opus Unapologetic up in here? No, hunty. I am not part of that circle jerk committee.

Feed Limmy Albums of 2012: #20 - #11

I know I promised this post would drop, like, last Tuesday or something but let’s face it – the five of us that read this countdown could probably wait until now. I had all sorts of things going on this week that kept me occupied, which didn’t involve drinking, strangely enough (I’m making for that right now as we speak).

Let’s get on with the countdown.

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Chart Feed – 01.10.12

“Oppa gangnam style!” *drops the beat*

CHART FEED

You know when your parents start to recognise a internet viral music video that it’s well and truly time for everyone else to move on.

It has been a tremendous week for K-pop sensation PSY‘s ‘Gangnam Style’, not only is it officially the most ‘liked’ video in the history of the internet – the track has also successfully topped the Australian and UK charts to become the first Korean pop single to do so.

Its crossover chart success in the Western market is just mind-blowing, no doubt bringing a whole lot of national pride for South Koreans everywhere.

Elsewhere, it has also been a great week for Pink, Mumford and Sons, Conor Maynard, Brandy and Christina “I think you already know my weight!” Aguilera.

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Chart Feed – 24.09.12

We’ve seen the charts light up like it was Christmas this month, thanks to the heavy flow of new albums taking over the shelves.

CHART FEED

For only the second time in history, the entire top six spots on the US Billboard 200 are filled with debut entries. Here in Australia, we have eight new albums scaling our ARIA Top 20, while over in the UK, they have six.

Y’all can obviously expect for it to get even more competitive in the coming months as all the strong sellers come out to play for your seasonal spendings.

This has been a good week for Pink, The Killers, Carly Rae Jepsen, Kanye West and – definitely more than ever – PSY, the K-pop icon responsible for ‘Gangnam Style’.

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Chart Feed – 17.09.12

No need to front like you haven’t been doing the ‘Gangnam Style’ routine down the supermarket aisle.

chart feed

This has been a good week for K-pop icon PSY, Amelia Lily, Taylor Swift and Pet Shop Boys.

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Chart Feed – 10.09.12

More flash in the pan sellers falling off the charts just as quickly as they came. You really come to appreciate what Adele‘s 21 achieved last year in anchoring the music industry, don’t you?

CHARTFEED

This week the sun shines on K-pop star PSY and his incredible viral single ‘Gangnam Style’. Guy SebastianMatchbox Twenty, Flo Rida, Ne-Yo and TobyMac also come through with the goods.

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Quick Feed: Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys and Gypsy and The Cat

TayTay is coming for Gaga’s digital sales record.

TAYLOR SWIFT WE ARE NEVER EVER GETTING BACK TOGETHER

Taylor Swift‘s somewhat alright new single ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ pretty much ripped the internet a new one yesterday, and now Billboard is predicting that it’ll set a new record for biggest sales debut for a digital track by a female artist.

‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ – written by Swift and One Direction hitmakers Max Martin and Shellback – is the lead single from the country pop superstar’s fourth album Red, which is set for a global release on 22 October.

The flash uptake across multiple US radio formats meant that ‘Never’ has already reached an audience of 30 million in less than 24 hours. The song was swiftly – fuck yeah, puns – released digitally and has since gone #1 on the US and Canada iTunes stores.

Current sales projections are pitching ‘Never’ to sell somewhere between 450,000 to 500,000 downloads in the States by Sunday 19 August.

If ‘Never’ can get them download sales past 448,000 copies by the end of the week, then she would have trumped Gaga‘s ‘Born This Way’ record of biggest debut sales for a digital track by a female artist. But hold on a minute, ‘Born This Way’ racked up 448,000 copies in just three days – Taylor has a whole week and immediate radio backing. You do the math.

Listen to Taylor Swift‘s new single ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’:



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