Sunday, May 31, 2009

Calling all theaudience fans

Here's a treat for you:

1. The Greatest Gift
2. Grey With The Dusty Rain
3. I Got The Wherewithal - PMFF Remix
4. Keep In Touch - PMFF Remix

If we're lucky, we will get some more of these, enough to compile an album of our own, the HQ versions will be available for download shortly, but for now, enjoy listening to them on youtube..

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

another version of heartbreak

For those of you (like me) who thought the radio edit was too short, here's some good news. There is a proper (probably 4 minute) version of the song which will appear on the Freemasons album (Shakedown 2). This will feature a double chorus in the end, God bless them for doing that!! That gives you another reason to buy Shakedown 2.

I also have a little secret, which i'm not sure if i'm allowed to share or not...
The Freemasons have written another track for Sophie, hopefully she'll include both the Freemasons songs on her album.. Shh!!

AND... there seems to be a change in the tracklist for the CD single. The remixes don't feature on the CD anymore... too bad, the BitRocka Italo Mix is worth listening to, at least 200 times a day!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Heartbreak is other news..

POP STAR Sophie Ellis-Bextor was among the special guests at an open day at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. The Fulham Road institution threw open its doors on Saturday to show the community its good work. Live jazz and a puppet show entertained, while celebrity Sophie Ellis-Bextor opened a new private maternity unit called The Kensington Wing. The singer-songwriter gave birth to her second son, Kit, at the hospital in February by emergency Caesarean nine weeks early. Doctors discovered she was suffering from the potentially life-threatening condition pre-eclampsia. Sophie says: “I was delighted to accept an invitation to come back to the hospital to officially open The Kensington Wing as a way of saying thank you to the doctors, midwives and all the other staff who have cared for me and my family."

Singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor arrived at the prestigious Ivor Novello awards on Thursday (21.05.09) wearing the same make-up she had applied the previous evening.
Sophie Ellis-Bextor attended the Ivor Novello awards in day-old make-up.The 30-year-old singer - who was accompanied to Thursday's ceremony (21.05.09) by her musician husband Richard Jones - boasted flawless skin and smoky eyeshadow on the red carpet, making her admission all the more surprising.Richard let slip his wife's secret, telling BANG Showbiz: 'I'll let you in on a little secret. Sophie's got last night's make-up on!'
To which Sophie quickly replied: 'Well I didn't have time to change, but it works, doesn't it?'The singer attended the prestigious awards - which were held at London's Grosvenor House - wearing a simple black dress and heels.On Wednesday (20.05.09), Sophie performed her new single 'Heartbreak (Make Me A Dancer)' on UKTV show 'The National Lottery Draws'.She later attended Island Records' 50th birthday party in London, where she sported smoky purple eyes complete with black eye liner and peach blusher.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor wouldn't date an unsuccessful man.
The 'Murder on the Dancefloor' singer, who is married to The Feeling star Richard Jones, insists she couldn't be happy with someone who didn't have their own career.
When asked why their relationship works, she said: "We're both passionate about our work and its better to be married to successful happy people than people who have too much time on their hands. And I think it helps that we like each other."
The couple - who have two sons, Sonny, five and Kit, three months - have also instigated ground rules in their relationship to make sure they don't focus too much on their careers.
Bassist Richard, who married Sophie in June 2005, explained to BANG Showbiz: "We're very similar and our relationship is not particularly hard because we have a two week rule. Whenever we go on tour or were away, we make sure we always find the time to see each other at least every two weeks."
Meanwhile, Sophie has spoken out about the premature birth of Kit - who was two months early - saying his arrival was "a surprise".
She added: "It was a surprise and in the beginning it was very hard but we were lucky because we'd had it with Sonny and fortunately it's all turned out OK."

Friday, May 15, 2009

Heartbreak: Video Review

Here's the video in HQ -

My Review:

The beginning, which i thought was lame initially is actually brilliant. It gives you the feeling that you've just stepped into a disco. And then there's Sophie in front of bright light, which is like they're trying to unveil Sophie. And then you have Sophie's face closed in, with the bright light behind her, highlighting her lovely cheekbones and her beautiful skin.. not to mention her eyebrows which constantly tease the camera.

The camera then focusses on Sophie in a place with no light, with the mic in front of her... subtle make up, hair neatly brushed and a white dress, which i think is very classy.. Sophie starts to do her hand movements, while her eyes do most of the acting job. I think Sophie is a brilliant actress, she can say so much just with her eyes. Man she's gorgeous!!

Here and there you have these random lights, which i think is supposed to portray the laser beams in a disco. Nicely done. I never liked them in the beginning, but now after watching the video in HQ, i think the video would look terribly incomplete without it.

Then as the chorus starts approaching, you have Sophie. The chorus has Sophie doing a bit of a routine, she's moving her body, her hands, her hips.. i only wish she'd move her feet as well. The backup dancers are doing a great job there with the footwork. But compared to the Sophie who never used to dance, this is such an improvement!! I love this Sophie.

Anyone think this move is something like the Green Light thing.. i mean, its a simple hip move, but so lovely to watch. Even when Beyonce did the hip movement thing on Green Light, i loved it.. Anyway..

Now you have more of the lights randomly passing by every now and then. But watch the white light carefully. Everytime the white light goes across, you see Sophie doing a different thing..and the backup dancers as well. Observe carefully..

Coming to the hair and make up, both wild. Make up is very Sophie signature, bright lips, bright eyes. Hair looks wild, its brushed back forming this lump and the sides are neatly set, curling inwards.. The dress is sexy. Kudos to whoever chose that dress for her. I don't know why people made such a fuss about the tatoo. It looks perfectly fine. I mean, i've comletely forgotten Sophie's hand without the tatoo. I love it..

As the second verse comes in, you have Sophie solo again, moving her hands and the mic, and lights randomly going around.. I love the close-ups.. They are brilliant. Sophie looks breath-taking..

The second chorus sees the bright colourful lights forming a pattern. Now this is nice. I like this chorus better than the previous.. And if you pause and observe carefully at various places, you will see how cleverly the video has been overlapped, one bit at a time. Chris Sweeny has actually done a wonderful job with this. Poor fellow must have been heartbroken when he got the initial reviews from fans.. the video is actually brilliant..

As the middle 8 comes in, you have Sophie in the James bond style silhouette thingy. Very nicely done. And wow, Sophie's figure is so perfect.. She's a pussycat, isn't she?? You have this hip thrusting move which she's doing, which i think is so sexy.

The last chorus is the most colourful of all.. Very nicely done.. Again, observe it in bits, you'll see how much effort is put into this video..

The end is quite simple, the camera closing in with Sophie posing confidently with the mic and the backup dancers bending, ending their routine..

i give it a complete 10/10!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Heartbreak Make Me A Dancer - my review

"HEARTBREAK (MAKE ME A DANCER)" has probably been on of the most highly anticipated collaborations of the year. It brought together posh pop Sexy Ellis-Bextor and the new sensation Freemasons, the production team whih previously worked their magic on Kylie's "The One", Kelly Rowlands "Work" and Beyonce's "Green Light", "Ring The Alarm", "Déjà Vu" and "Beautiful Liar". Heartbreak (Make Me A Dancer) seems to be a sum of it all, the best from all their previous work put into one song.

The song comes with a great new video from Chris Sweeny, with an electrifying performance from Sophie. As if looking simply like a goddess was not enough, Sophie has bit of a dance routine which she pulls off with style. If those James Bond movie makers are watching this video, they know who the next "bond girl" is.. The special effects in the video are worth watching over a million times. Its a simple yet effective affair which finds Lady Bextor teasing the camera and throwing sleek, chic shapes. Its the perfect accompaniment to this stomper of a song.

Sophie will be doing a live public appearance at G-A-Y, Heaven in London on the 20th of June. The song is out digitally on the 21st and physically on the 22nd.

Is this going to take Sophie to whole new heights? Is this going to make the Freemasons finally worth all the hype. Is Sophie going to get her second #1 with this? Only you can tell... Make sure you get your copies, cos this time its doubly important - not just for Sophie, but for the Freemasons as well.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Early Reviews: Heartbreak

from here -

Edward Okulicz:
Bosh goes posh! Delightfully refined and proper yet unstoppably camp, about as nuanced as a brick to the face and the breakdown - epic in the club mix - is still pretty satisfying in the radio version. Essentially, there are few things in the world as fantastic as Sophie Ellis-Bextor in full disco diva strop mode, except perhaps brilliantly mindless songs that make you want to go out and take too much… Sudafed.

Jonathan Bradley: Sophie Ellis-Bextor reinvents classic British reserve as dancefloor abandon, cloaking her emotional frailty in pure movement. Here, dance is a way for her to retain, rather than escape, her aristocratic poise; apart from a slight quaver in her vocal, the titular heartbreak only appears in the aching synth pulse and Ellis-Bextor’s numbly distant chorus. Tears and tantrums are for commoners; the well-bred hit the disco.

Andrew Brennan: The individual parts are so ace: Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s inimitable voice, the Freemasons’s controlled steamrolling synth, the single words repeating, the vocal treatment when she sings “with. each. step.” at 1:47, the build at 2:56 that blows my mind… Altogether it’s transcendent, much more than the sum of its parts, and I want to hear it again and again for the rest of time, or at least for the rest of the summer.

Keane Tzong: La Bex is in fine form here: “Dahncer, dahncer”, and later, “ahnswer, ahnswer” leave no doubt that her beloved RP’s intact, and the rest of her vocals are a very well-executed blend of icy and insistent. Simultaneously, Freemasons toss elements that sound like everything else they’ve ever done, only better, into this song. The resulting climax is a string-fueled breakdown layered over percussive, emphatic breath sounds, and then it’s right back into that brilliant chorus.

Alex Macpherson: The “crying at the discotheque” aesthetic is always one with the potential for greatness, but it’s also such a cliché now that you won’t tap that with a track as deliberate as this, a singer as arch as Ellis-Bextor or a beat as hackneyed as the one which Freemasons are trotting out yet again.

Rodney J. Greene: The libretto is just as tortured as the title suggests (rhymes with “keep my heart beating faster”), and the beats feel rigid, like they haven’t been given enough time to stretch.

Michaelangelo Matos: I, too, remember the glory days of Hed Kandi Records.

Hillary Brown: Kind of leftover Donna Summer with the woman power stripped out, innit?

Martin Skidmore: I’ve never really got on with Sophie - something about the posh accent, I think, especially on ‘ah’ sounds - but she has done very well on the odd dance number, and this sounds like another winner. Pumping, propulsive electro-house, something like a warmer Moroder, and pretty irresistible - could easily be the kind of record to start the summer early. She’s only had one top ten hit in the last five years, but this could come close to matching ‘Groovejet’ for success.

Doug Robertson: Is “Ellis-Bextor-ishly” a verb yet? It should be. Here Sophie once again gives us her slightly bored, boarding school enunciation over a decent enough dance track and once again comes up with something that isn’t quite as good as it should be or, indeed, thinks it is. Pleasant, but that’s hardly the adjective you want attached to your song on the latest Ministry of Sound advert, is it?

Martin Kavka: The retro-disco Freemasons formula does work; I’m actually quite shocked by the effectiveness of the simple series of ascending three-note figures that make up the “violin solo.” But I’m extremely saddened by the lyric, in which Sophie goes to the dancefloor for the confidence that she can “do it alone” after the end of some relationship. Dance. Floors. Are. Not. About. Being. Alone. They are prolegomenas to sex, not substitutes for it. It’s this kind of attitude that kills club culture, and those who express it should be shunned with the same passion with which we shun those who torture.

Ian Mathers: Ellis-Bextor’s voice continues to be a very love-it-or-hate-it proposition, but the Freemasons aren’t exactly giving her much to work with. The production is pretty generic, and the chorus remains stubbornly earthbound. A frustrating waste of potential.

David Raposa: Sophie glides effortlessly through the verses like the enchanting disco wisp she is, but can’t get out of her own way during the chorus; the Freemasons’ pro-forma oompa-loompa doesn’t lack for glamour or glitter, but it’s not nearly robust enough to help this track regain its footing.

Heartbreak Make Me A Dancer: Video Link

When i first saw the video, my jaw dropped. I've already watched it over 50 times, and i'm crazy about the video. But here are my thoughts:

1. It had a stupid start, with the light effect on the walls.. lame. I would have preferred the name FREEMASONS in lights on a background and immediately changing to SOPHIE ELLIS-BEXTOR and Sophie is in the shadow in front of the light, and when she begins saying "heartbreak heartbreak", the signboard should have read HEARTBREAK (MAKE ME A DANCER)... now that is what i call a beginning to a video which is like this

2. The whole "special effects" is crap. Why are the lights going on Sophie's face? I wish the lights were in the background, on the walls only, and Sophie and the back-up dancers were in the foreground. That said, the light effect during the second chorus is amazing. I wouldn't change anything there. The whole concept is to have the lights building up towards the end of the video. But i don't see why it should cover Sophie's face.

3. Sophie looks amazing as usual. And bravo for her acting skills. She portrays emotions so well. And i'm also glad she's dancing more than she did on her solo videos (apart from MOTD of course). Its definitely an improvement. Its a video which will get you watching it over and over again. Non-story, non-concept, random videos are the ones that get played the most

4. The silhouette look during the breakdown etc., is amazing. I've always wanted Sophie to do something like that and i'm really glad she finally did it! She looks awesome as a Silhouette. I wish she would do more of that in the future

5. The end is epic!!

6. The back-up dancers did a very good job.

7. Sophie's make up, clothes, hair are perfect for the video.

In all, i'd probably rate the video 7.5/10 and an extra 0.5 just for Sophie's determination to do the video just 2 months after her pregnancy.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A catch-up with Sophie

As the release of Sophie's new single with the Freemasons approaches, we gave her a call to chat about the track, as well as baby Kit and future album plans...

Hello Sophie, how's it going?
Really good thank you.

How's baby Kit?
He's very sweet and lovely. He's still tiny though. All his milestones are from his due date, rather than from when he was born. So even though he's nearly 12 weeks old, he's not smiling or anything like that, because he's still like a three week old really. It's quite good though, cos you get the cute tiny baby for longer!

And as well as a new baby, you've got a new single - Heartbreak (Make Me A Dancer).
I know, it's funny. I was literally in my hospital bed when my manager was going, "So, it looks like the Freemasons thing is happening. Do you think you'd be able to do a video in April?" But I'd had to cancel a lot of things when I got ill and had Kit, so it was actually quite nice to have something to look forward to. And it felt like quite far off. Although it obviously came round very quickly!

There was some sort of talk in the papers that you'd jumped straight out of a hospital bed into a studio to record vocals for The Feeling. Presumably that wasn't quite the case.
No, not at all. We've got a little studio in our house and I was just pottering around in-between Kit's feeds and did a bit of singing for them. It was very easy and very quick.

So your work commitments aren't too heavy at this point?
No, they're really not. I've done a couple of days of press for the single and the video, but now it all goes quite quiet until nearer the release, which isn't until mid-June. Although having said, I do really want to get the album finished, so I might do some songwriting in May.
But it's all very gentle and I'm not going to work too hard. I'm still feeding Kit myself, so I'm never too far from him.

And making videos is presumably quite fun?
Absolutely! It was lots of fun. I love having Kit and Sonny, but sometimes it's nice to do something which stimulates a different side of your brain. I think it's quite healthy, to be honest.

Did the video go well?
Really well. It was a lovely team. The director was called Chris. I hadn't worked with him before, but he was really nice and very relaxed and knew exactly what he wanted to achieve, which is always very reassuring. And it was good to do a proper dance video, with proper dancers. I haven't done anything like that for ages. It was lots of fun.

Did you have to dance?
I'd say I was more moving than dancing! It wasn't full-on choreography for me.

When will the video be ready?
Well, I saw a rough version this morning. But they've got to do quite a lot of clever tricks with light on it. It's shaping up really well, though.

And it's already been on Radio One.
Yeah, they really like Freemasons. They are brilliant, though. I genuinely love what they do.

But it was a co-write between all of you?
Yes, myself, the Freemasons and a guy called Biff who I've done songs with before. He used to write for the Spice Girls and I did a song called New York City Lights with him. I always like writing with him, cos he jumps around a lot and he's very enthusiastic. In a weird way, the song feels more relevant now than it did when it was written last year. Pop is dominating the charts again, so everything I'm working towards feels even more appropriate. So I'm pretty happy.

Are the Freemasons on the same label as you?
No, they're on their own label. But everything's been surprisingly easy to sort out. Well, unless I've just been kept in the dark about a lot of stuff! But, no, it all seems to have come together really naturally. With the third album, I spent three years working on it really hard, but this time everything's coming together a lot quicker.
I think sometimes it's quite helpful that my priority is Kit and Sonny and home life, so the work stuff has to fit around that. It seems to work more smoothly that way.

Your picture on the single artwork has a certain Betty Boo quality to it.
Do you think? I definitely take that as a compliment! I suppose she went through a similar '60s look with her second album. I liked that album, actually, particularly Love Hangover - very under-rated.

So, do you have a whole promo schedule lined up for the single?
Absolutely. There's talk of GMTV and suchlike. I'll be getting out of my bed early for that one...

Does Kit sleep well?
Not really. He goes anything from two to four hours between his feeds.
He's six pounds now, but he's still very little, so he's only got a tiny tummy.

We shouldn't forget Sonny, who's just turned five!
Yeah, he's all puffed up about that, it's really sweet. In fact, last night I noticed he hadn't gone to bed and his light was on, at about half past nine. So I went into his room and he was sat there on the edge of his bed putting on Spiderman aftershave! Obviously in his mind he's a man now.

Talking of birthdays, you turned 30 recently.
Yeah - and Richard did too. We're all grown up! We didn't really do anything too spectacular, because of the baby. But we're hoping to have a big thirty and a half party later in the year.

Are you making good progress on your new album?
Absolutely. I've got some really good stuff and we're nearly there, but I think I probably need another two or three songs. There are a couple of collaborations in the offing which might be quite good. We'll see. It's all a matter of people's diaries tallying up. I always get in trouble for saying when things are coming out, because then they change. But if everything goes to plan, I'm hoping to put out another single after Heartbreak, maybe in August and then have the album out later this year. That's the intention, anyway.

Can you give us any hints about those collaborations?
Both blokes. One an urban British male and the other a more sort of leftfield, indie American male. But we'll see. They both started the ball rolling from their side, so there's definitely a good chance of it happening.

Finally, you've got over 3,000 people following you on Twitter now.
I know! Why?! Actually, Richard's a bit jealous that I've got more followers than The Feeling. I think it's just because I'm more interesting. Well, that's what I tell him anyway!

Sophie on Strictly Come Dancing

New! Magazine reported today that Strictly Come Dancing, the British series that inspired Dancing with the Stars, wants Sophie Ellis-Bextor to sign on for the next season. Sophie hasn't responded to the report, but has stated in the past that she would never do reality television. Given the success former contestant and now pop star Alesha Dixon has experienced since her time on the show, it's no doubt a tempting offer. So will she say "I Won't Dance with You" or will there be "Murder on the Dancefloor?"



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