Songs That Came Out of Nowhere | The Popjustice Forum

Songs That Came Out of Nowhere

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by EnsnareTheSenses, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. Okay, so picture the scene. You're casually browsing Popjustice, when all of a sudden, you notice a whole lot of activity surrounding one particular thread. It's not concerning an artist or group that you have ever been particularly interested in, but for whatever reason, your curiosity gets the better of you, and you decide to take the plunge.

    Or picture this, you're listening to the radio coming home from work, or have just re-emerged from the bathroom at a club. After a couple of seconds, you realise that you're tapping your foot away, and really getting into the song playing at that particular moment. Hey, this isn't bad! I wonder who it's by...? I just cannot seem to place it...

    And then: BAM! It hits you. Somebody who you've actively disliked, or been completely apathetic towards before has released something that completely takes the wind out of your sales. How the hell did they get their hands on a record as good as this?!

    Now, perhaps the title of this thread is a little bit of a misnomer. I'm not really talking about records like 'Just Dance' that came out of nowhere by essentially a nobody. But I am indeed including people that you just didn't even imagine could put out something, or shouldn't even be allowed to put out something quite as amazing as their new record. It could even be that celebrity who's had a career change to singing, or an overshadowed band member whose star is suddenly shining very brightly.

    Here's a couple of examples of my own to get the juices flowing:


    After a successful début with solid, if perhaps not exemplary hits, Pixie Lott returned in the third quarter of 2011 with the safe and uninspiring, 'All About Tonight'. It was a club song, all about the club, how much fun you can have in the moment in a club, and generally just how dandy clubs really are. The record got to No. 1 here in the UK, but many members of Popjustice were left with a rather bland taste in their mouths - for good reason.

    And then she released this. 'What Do You Take Me For?' seemed a bit strange on paper - a sleazy sex-jam with Princess Pixie at the helm, with a completely left-of-field feature from Pusha T (Clipse in a former life). But we listened, and I think it's safe to say that we all really loved it. A great shift in gear from the lead single, it certainly gave Pixie that extra dimension that we hadn't seen from her thus far. Coupled with stellar production, a nice rap section, and a shocking good vocal performance from Pixie, the short and spicy jam really left us wanting more.

    Unfortunately, Pixie's management fucked it all up, and whilst it still just managed to chart inside the Top Ten, it failed to launch its parent album with any gusto due to a complete lack of promotion. Thankfully, the millions who decided to give Pixie's sophomore effort a miss really didn't miss out on much. She then released 'Kiss The Stars'.

    And the rest, as they say, is history.


    When 95% of the internationally successful girl group, The Pussycat Dolls, went solo in 2007, nobody was really surprised, let's face it. A string of pretty darn great singles had served the Dolls extremely well, and their début album 'PCD' (2005) sold a pretty staggering 9 million copies. So, with this extremely solid platform, lead (only?) singer, Nicole Scherzinger, stepped up to the plate, and started to throw out solo tracks in the hope that something would stick.

    Except nothing really did. A decent jam here, an okay ballad there, the fruits of Nicole's solo effort were just not living up to the initially exciting leaks that we were hearing, and everything started to look a little grim.

    But in the 2008, Ms. Scherzinger put her tail firmly between her legs, and returned to the group that had provided her with so much success. The group's second effort, 'Doll Domination' turned out to pretty much consist of Nicole's studio sessions from the previous few years, and whilst it spawned a few hits, it didn't really match the magic that they'd brought to the scene three years prior. So they split up, and nobody was really surprised.

    Things were looking down for Nicole until Uncle Simon phoned her at 4a.m. on the 9th of July 2010, to ask whether she wanted to fill in for Dannii Minogue as a guest judge on the UK X-Factor. Nicole, who was in no real position to refuse, took the job, and performed extremely well. Everyone warmed to her, and she was invited back to judge at the next stage of the competition, changing a crucial element of the show and helping to put together that fairly successful boy-band you may have heard of, One Direction.

    But Nicole still had to put food on the table, and with this newly found popularity in the UK, jumped on the RedOne bandwagon and put out 'Poison' in the fourth quarter of 2010. Outside of GaGa, 'Poison' proved to be RedOne's best work, and the response from the general public and us here on Popjustice was pretty positive. But was it a flash in the pan? The notoriously unlucky charm that is Nicole Scherzinger surely could not strike twice when it came to delivering the goods?

    But she did. Early 2011 saw her put out 'Don't Hold Your Breath', a song that had been bandied around the internet more times than Rita Ora in Roc Nation HQ (a.k.a. Jay-Z's Gentlemen's Club). But it was newer, fresher, and oh-so-deliciously satisfying. A little slice of pop heaven in amidst the spawning of a new 'LOLPop' phase, every part of 'Don't Hold Your Beath' came together just right. It was utterly refreshing, and the public concurred, sending the song to the very top of the charts, and also sending Nicole (alongside J.Lo) through the Time-Flop Continuum, leaving only Ciara behind. Fortunately, Nicole managed to achieve further success with her third and fourth solo singles, had a moderately successful (and well-received) solo album, and a strong headlining tour.

    Though she's had a few ups and downs since then, things look to be on the rise again for Ms. Scherzinger. Let's hope her next efforts can continue where 'Killer Love' left off.


    The mid-00s were a quite an odd time for female solo artists, when you look back on them. Whilst Beyoncé and Christina were riding high on their radio smashes (a bit ironic given their recent track records), Britney was off popping out kids, Madonna had successfully revived her career after the dangerous 'American Life' (P!nk receiving a similar, if perhaps less dramatic parallel), and two of the biggest females in recent years - Katy Perry and Lady GaGa - hadn't even made a dent on the charts yet. Aside from these ladies, the 'scene' was swimming with bubbling under females that just weren't really catching a break. Christina Milian, Ciara, Cassie, Amerie, and Keri Hilson were all knocking about, with Shontelle on the rise to join them in the 'Bubbling Unders' sooner or later. Oh, and another girl you may have heard of - Rihanna.

    Whilst her first two albums had gained her a few decent hits, nothing about Rihanna's career felt secure in the slightest (and stories surrounding the funding for her around this time only add fuel to this fire). If 'Take Three' flopped, it would be more than likely than Rihanna would face the chop - the 'New Beyoncé' just wasn't really interesting people, and her 15 minutes were well and truly ticking on.

    Having been bandied around for a number of months, 'Umbrella' nearly landed in the hands of Britney Spears, Taio Cruz (?!), and narrowly escaped the clutches of a pre-occupied Mary J. Blige. Like that desperate child in class whose hand had been waving so hard to get the teacher's attention, Team Rihanna finally secured 'Umbrella' for the songstress.

    Do I really need to explain what happened next?

    A superstar was well and truly born.

    * * *

    So, what are your thoughts? Does it pain you that 'Marry You' hit-maker, Bruno Mars, has just put out perhaps the greatest song of his career thus far? Or maybe you have a slightly less mainstream example that you'd like to share? What about a song that demonstrated the quality of an artist that you'd previously written off? Spill. Let's celebrate those smashes that, no matter how big or small, knocked us for six, and still have us reeling to date.

    * * *
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012
  2. I'm not going to write out a long diatribe like you did (mostly because I am incapable of doing so), but I have no idea how this:


    Managed to be so objectively not-shit--It's fucking Justin Bieber.

    Also, I'd like to know how in the world Demi Lovato got her hands on one of the finest constructed pop songs of the past 5 years;

  3. [video=youtube;UJtB55MaoD0][/video]

    Jessie J, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, singer of Do It Like A Dude, Price Tag, Nobody's Perfect, Who's Laughing Now and Who You Are. All either shit songs or mediocre songs ruined by her Christina-rivalling melisma. Despite having a decently-selling album and a well received public image, critics and PJ members alike tore her apart throughout 2011, be it as a reaction to strange skitting on record, monkey-grinding during live performances or a terminal case of camel-toe.

    Then Domino happened. A good song, sung with some restraint by the woman herself, which showed she can pull a proper hit out of the bag when she needs to.
  4. Gosh, yes to Domino.

    I remember hearing for the first time and being baffled that it wasn't Katy Perry.
  5. Rmx


    I have to say Something New. Obviously I love Girls Aloud and I loved them way before it, but I just simply didn't expect them to choose the straight-up club smash route. It was what I was 100% craving from them, but I was fully expecting them to come with something more organic / guitary like The Promise / Biology etc. So Something New was a complete surprise for me, and an extremely pleasant one. Maybe PJ "indies" them up too much sometimes that's why I didn't see it coming.
  6. K94


    Unpopular opinion but:


    All I was thinking was 'what the hell is this and why is it brilliant'. Also:


  7. SilverSurfer

    SilverSurfer Guest

    Definitely "Locked Out of Heaven"...I loathed Bruno's syrupy, annoying ballads before that and then he comes out with a massive sex jam.
  8. I hate Train but Drive By is a tune and a half! It really hit me when some amazing remix got played in a club and it sounded like the best song ever.
  9. I wouldn't exactly call Locked Out Of Heaven a sex jam.

    My contribution:


    Just... what?
  10. There's one song in particular that comes to mind:


    A heartwrecking and simply phenomenal ballad from the Pussycat Dolls? Say what? I had dismissed Nicole as another Ciara/Keri Hilson/Kelly Rowland, but this really made me open up my eyes for her.
  11. K94



    We all thought Beyonce would come through first but then Kelly released this amazingness.

    And then Crazy In Love came and order was restored.
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