5/24/12 4:15 pm EST by Sam Lansky
Oh hey! I'm Sam Lansky -- music writer, Twitterlebrity, and occasional celebutante (those last two aren't true) -- and this is my column, Pop Think, dedicated to documenting the most valuable corners of the pop music universe. And in that universe, there's one star who shines brightest of all for me: The inimitable Paris Hilton, celebrity socialite-turned-media mogul, whose self-titled debut album from 2006 remains on heavy rotation for me even after six years.
See, even though a lot of people directed shade at Paris when she announced her intentions to record a pop album, there's no denying that she has star quality, which came through loud and clear on her first record, which hit the Top 10 on the Billboard 200. The occasional leak or promotional single continued to suggest that her musical output would be reliably flaw-free, even if it's been a minute since she's had an official release.
If anyone can deliver another killer pop album, it's probably Paris, which is why I'm beyond excited about her upcoming musical project, including a new single featuring LMFAO and an album executive-produced by her boyfriend, uber-hot DJ Afrojack. Brace yourself for some serious pop realness: The music according to Paris is now in full swing.
No one expected a song like "Stars Are Blind" from Paris Hilton. The synth-spangled, '80s-inspired track, produced by the genius popsmith Fernando Garibay, sounded like nothing else on radio at the time (way back in 2006), with its spunky reggae groove and pleasantly thin vocals; the video announced Paris' arrival as not just another reality star-turned-singer, but as someone who could actually make good, interesting music. (Even Pitchfork begrudgingly admitted that the song was “so lovely and decent, I want to stab out my eyeballs.” High praise, no?)
And even if nothing else on her debut album approached the heights of "Stars Are Blind" in terms of critical weight, the urban-pop confections on that record remain an absolute delight: The slick, Scott Storch-produced sleaze of "Turn It Up" and the laughable swagger of "Fighting Over Me" eventually give way to some of the most enjoyable pure pop songs of the last decade, like Dr. Luke's soaring "Nothing In This World" (featuring background vocals from Ke$ha, who was then a session singer on her grind in L.A.) and "Screwed," a Kara DioGuardi-penned pop gem with a cleverly drawn chorus.
And while I'm not going to claim that Paris is coming for Adele or Beyoncé's wig with her natural vocal prowess -- Paris is a pop star, not a vocalist -- the fact remains that there is some fine musical talent there. Even if it's composed primarily of a good curatorial eye -- the ability to spot trends, ride waves and shape the right artistic vision for a project. Paris sounded pretty damn good upon Paris' release, and it's aged unusually well. (Try listening to most of what what was on the radio in 2006 and see if it sounds as fresh as "Stars Are Blind.")