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Pop Up #1
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  • While Perez Hilton may have built his online empire with gossip, the blogger spends nearly as much time championing under-the-radar pop and dance acts as he does dishing the dirt; Dan Black, Mika, and Sam Sparro are among those Hilton shone the spotlight on during their early days. Pop Up! #1 features songs by some of his favorite artists, ranging from the Top 40-friendly sounds of Kerli's "Zero Gravity" and Kat Graham's "Put Your Graffiti on Me" -- which sounds like the result of genetically splicing Rihanna and Christina Aguilera together -- to the sleek synth pop of Capital Cities' "Safe and Sound [DiscoTech Remix]" to Fedez's Italiano pop-rap on "Jet Set." Songs such as these and tracks by Chantal Claret, Alphabeat, and the Cataracs will probably be familiar to many pop-savvy listeners, but the collection digs a little deeper with lesser-known standouts such as "Yo Vogue" by French Fries, one of the leading lights of the French Touch dance music style, and Zowie's brisk electro-pop single "My Calculator." Other highlights include Hi Fashion's snotty-fabulous "Amazing!" and Breedlove's power-poppy "I Never Had." Not every track is a winner, but enough clicks that even those who aren't Hilton fans but like this kind of music should find quite a bit to enjoy. ~ Heather Phares
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