New Singles Battle: VIXEN – ‘Red’ vs EUROPE – ‘Hold Your Head Up’ (Review and Reaction)


Let’s try something new. We have two new singles released last week from two well-known bands. Instead of writing two separate blogs about each one, why don’t we try something a bit more interesting, like a singles battle?

In this episode, we have a brand new Vixen single titled ‘Red’ and Europe’s latest release, ‘Hold Up Your Head’.

So, the rules are as follows: we take two recently released songs and place them on our scoring board. The scoring board consists of seven categories (7-inch singles, hence seven categories). Each song can be rated as 1, 0/5, or 0 in each category, depending on how well it satisfies the given criteria. In the end, we tally up the scores and announce the winner.

As music is not a competition, it doesn’t mean that one song is better or worse than the other. It’s just for fun, as we do a type of review or reaction to those songs. So, let’s start!”

Vixen – Red (Single 2023)

This is the first new Vixen song released in 17 years. It was written and produced by Cinderella drummer Fred Coury. The song debuted on Sirius XM’s Trunk Nation with Eddie Trunk. Vixen is currently comprised of singer Lorraine Lewis, guitarist Britt Lightning, and bassist Julia Lage, as well as drummer Roxy Petrucci, the band’s lone remaining original member.

Europe – Hold Up Your Head (Single 2023)

The legendary Swedish rockers Europe released a new single, ‘Hold Up Your Head,’ as a glimpse of their upcoming documentary titled ‘Europe – The Movie,’ which is set to be available in early 2024. The movie will tell the story of the band from its beginnings, rise to fame, up to this day. The Europe lineup consists of lead vocalist Joey Tempest, guitarist John Norum, drummer Ian Haughland, bassist John Leven, and keyboardist Mic Michaeli.

The Battle (Review and Reaction)

1.Overall impression – the first impression of the song as a whole.

Vixen – 1 – It’s nice to hear a new Vixen song after all these years. The band’s last album was ‘Live and Learn’ in 2006. Very interesting for the first listen.

Europe – 1 – Although the song is for the movie, it certainly feels and rocks like a true upbeat Europe tune.

2.Musicianship – does any part of the song inspire you to pick up a guitar (or any other instrument) and learn to play it? If you are not a musician, does any part of the song impress you?

Vixen – 0/5 – The song doesn’t have much of that expected 80’s Vixen hard rock vibe. Although that’s not a bad thing, the direction of ‘Red’ leans more towards alternative pop-punk rock waters, which was certainly unexpected. Therefore, it may lack some hard-rocking riffs that could really stand out.

Europe – 1 – This upbeat tempo rocker has a great opening guitar/keyboard riff that truly embodies the spirit of the first few Europe albums. It’s nothing flashy and grand, but it does the job perfectly well.

3.Hooks and catchiness – does the song stick in your head?

Vixen – 0/5 – Slightly catchy chorus but not as much as we remember from this band.

Europe – 0/5 – Well, if we say that the actual riff is catchier than the melodies in the chorus, then we can’t give this song the whole point.

4.Rocking level – Does the song rock, and would you play it loudly in a club?

Vixen – 0/5 – The girls rock really hard on this one, and if they continue with new releases, we can surely expect something even more grandiose

Europe – 0/5 – A classic rock riff that rocks and was somewhat expected from a band like Europe

5.Is it a playlist material – Would you consider adding this song to your personal playlist?

Vixen – 1 – For sure, on heavy rotation in a private playlist, this song might grow on you even more.

Europe -1 – Same here. Definitely playlist material.

6.Hit potential – Does this song have the potential to become a hit, or is it just a filler in the catalogue (has potential – 1, filler -0)?

Vixen – 1 – It depends on what they are planning to do next. This one has the potential to be a new modern Vixen hit with this new lineup and a slightly different musical direction

Europe – 0/5 – It is a good song, there is no doubt about it, but as a song for the movie, it could easily be buried in their catalogue behind the real hits

7.Video – How about the video? Is it something you would watch again, or is it just a one-time spin?

Vixen – 1 – Cruising on Sunset Strip and rocking out to ‘Red.’ Definitely a video that should be watched over and over.

Europe – 0/5 – Studio shots mixed with some old footage. Nothing special, but if it’s for the movie, then it’s okay.

The final score is:

Vixen “Red” 5,5/7 —-VS—- Europe “Hold Your Head” Up 5/7

This marks our first Singles Battle post on this website. It is still in the experimental phase, so don’t be surprised if the format evolves in the next ones.

Now, let’s address the question: why are we doing this?

Running a website that needs to inform people about the latest music can be quite challenging these days. Every week, we are bombarded with an overwhelming number of new songs, videos, and albums. It’s simply not possible to cover them all. Not to mention, all these ‘news posts’ start with the same phrase and often repeat the same four words like ‘Band X released/unveiled/dropped/unleashed this or that.’ This becomes monotonous for us to write and for fans to read.

Now, factor in the multitude of music groups within a single genre, the number of singles released before and after an album, and the subsequent video releases that typically follow the audio releases by several days. It’s just too much to keep up with—almost impossible. That’s why we’ve decided to present new releases in a different manner.

This Singles Battle is a fusion of both a review and reaction, infused with the most crucial facts about the band and their release that you need to know. Towards the end, we’ve added a touch of competitiveness, but as emphasized, this is not the primary focus. If your favorite band ‘loses’ in the battle, it doesn’t matter. You’re always welcome to share your own review or rating of the songs!”

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2 thoughts on “New Singles Battle: VIXEN – ‘Red’ vs EUROPE – ‘Hold Your Head Up’ (Review and Reaction)

  1. This ladies have been rocking since the 80s. They’ve had several songs in the top 100. CRYING, HOW MUCH LOVE, EDGE OF A BROKEN HEART. They knocked the door down for all girl hard rock bands and are still at it. They are probably the most under-rated. These ladies deserve a long look and a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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