Friday, April 22, 2011

Jason Derulo readies New Single/Album Release

Pop/R&B crooner Jason Derulo is set to release his second album, with lead single Future History to be released on May 9th. Coming off an extremely successful debut album that included multiple platinum selling singles, Derulo rode the wave of Europop male R&B singers high, and stood out as one of the best in the genre. Known primarily for his collaborations with superproducer JR Rotem, it will be interesting to see the direction he takes. I am hoping it will be a mixture of the infectious jams that brought him chart success, as well as some new interesting sounds that will hopefully set him apart from the Iyazes and Sean Kingstons.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Beyoncera and "Run This World (Girls)" Single Review

Beyonce. Beyondslay. Beysus. The only female pop star that’s synonymous with just the letter “B” has finally made her return to music. After the massive success that was the #1 smash, “Single Ladies,” and the subsequent hits after, the I Am…Sasha Fierce era ended on quite a high note. Beyonce had landed another mutli-platinum album, created a viral video phenomenon, sung at President Obama’s Inaugural Ball, demonstrated the utmost class after the Kanye/Taylor VMA incident, earned 10 Grammy nominations (she won 6), embarked on her sold-out “I Am…Tour”, and became the biggest-earning entertainer in 2010 with $87 million. She does in 2 years what your fave can't even do in their lifetime. NA-NA-NA DIVA.

So…how do you top that? Not one to take more than a short hiatus, Beyonce is setting out to make 2011 her year once again in a heated return to prominence with some other less-than-worthy divas. The main 2 being Madonna Gaga and Ke$ha Britney who have proven to be solid contenders so far [though Adele's the one snatching everybody's wigs this year]. Speculation and tiny bits of info about Bey’s 4th solo album had slowly started to trickle out early this year. Hype around her next single then began to build after pics of the video shoot and short clips of the song were “released” into the public’s hands the other week. It was learned that the song would be called “Run The World (Girls)” [because she's never made a girl anthem before] and now we have finally been graced with the final version that’s ready to slay the charts! Or is it?

Even Bey knows she is a beacon of light.
At first listen, “Girls” doesn’t seem like anything too special. And after the next couple of listens, it still quite doesn’t. Lacking the punch of “Crazy In Love”; the funk of “Déjà vu”; and the sassiness of “Single Ladies”, I don’t get the instant gratification that I usually do from Beyonce’s lead singles. Her fans also seem to have mixed reactions to what is essentially another "Independent Women." The lyrics are big and bold as she boasts about everything from "girls rocking the club in the latest" to "running this motherf--" aka the world. So nothing out of the ordinary for Ms. Knowles, but she's as sharp and confident as ever.

Her vocals are on par with her other material which is to be expected. She delivers that classic Beyonce style that includes seamlessly transitioning from rapid-fire runs to her 'I demand respect' belting, and the bridges allow for her to show off some impressive harmonizing. She has always been know for the attitude in her voice, and if there's any diva that can carry a song on a her voice alone, it's Beyonce. All of this is backed by a marching band drum line beat and a looped sample of Major Lazer's "Pon De Floor"--a sample that should sound familiar if you've ever been to a club.. Unfortunately, that samples becomes the main draw of the song and for that reason you're better off listening to the original. Part of the problem of the song is musically, it just sounds pretty flat--not necessarily generic, but it's underwhelming. Granted it sounds like nothing on the radio which is refreshing, but Beyonce can do better.
Urban radio will no doubt pick up the track, but ever since "Irreplaceable" Beyonce has been able to keep the Pop charts on lock too. It should be interesting to see how an edgier track such as "Girls" will do on that front. Then there is the video. Even though MTV and BET playing music videos is a thing of the past, Youtube has become a huge reason to why songs are as successful as they are today. So it should come to no surprise when sales are spurred after the video is released (if the song ends up having trouble taking off). A teaser for the video was sown the other day…

Other rumors of the new album include a duet with her mini-me, Rihanna.
 If this is to happen, consider me slayed, dead, resurrected, and executed all over again.
Beyonce's untitled 4th album will surely give the fans and general public what they want regardless of what they feel about the lead single. In all, "Run This World (Girls)" is a welcome return to what many call the best performer since Michael Jackson. The Queen has returned to her throne and is here to show the basic bitches how it is done.

3/5 Wigs Snatched

ATTENTION: Andrew is here to crash Court's review. Because I am better than all of ya faves, and have a few things to say about this review and what I think about the song. I will keep it short because Court did a fabulous job with this review, didn't he?

1) Who cares if it is another girl power anthem? Every single big male artist more or less talks about their game and their swag on every song. All the trash like Britney and Ke$ha do is make songs about dancing and sexy come-ons. Why can't the baddest bitch and one of the strongest female singers of the last 30 years make a few songs about what she knows: RUNNING. THIS. SHIT. At least it isn't the generic love-the-rejects-of-the-world trash that Pink, Ke$ha, and Katy made. This is a very direct song stating that the strong women of the world run it.

2) I am not sure I understand loving the vocals and loving the beat and not loving the song. I will admit that every single rough demo I have heard over the last week were awful to me...but the polished, finished version gave me everything I wanted. Strong vocals, fierce (and fun ghetto) lyrics, and the beat, while a LITTLE too derivative of the song it samples, is LAVA. While I agree this song is more of a grower than other big hits of this year (Hold It Against Me, Born This Way, On the Floor), after obsessively listening all day, it might actually be my favorite. It is just ACHING to be bumped in a club at full volume.

3) A couple other notes: this was a smart song to sample. NOT everyone has heard this song. NOT every club plays it. So, the people who enjoy the song already get to see it achieve the mainstream success it always deserved. And the people who haven't, get the exposure the song also deserved. I am very happy with how it came out.

Also, one of my favorite part of the song is that Hurricane Beyonce is back. One of my biggest problems with IASF was her good, but kind of boring, vocals. Beyonce always endeared herself to me by her strong, forceful vocals in BDay on songs like Ring the Alarm, Upgrade U, and Deja Vu. This is one of the best songs of that caliber since that era, and I am happy to see Queen B back in that capacity.

All in all, this really is one of my favorite songs of the year, and I hope it has the mainstream success it deserves!!

5/5 wigs snatched

Monday, April 18, 2011

Amanda Lepore's First Full Length Album Set for June Release

It looks like I will have to eat my words from a couple of weeks ago about Heidi Montag releasing the defining album of the year. It was just announced that the already legendary, oft-delayed full length debut of the most famous transsexual in the world, Amanda Lepore, will be released this June. Good friend and fellow musician of LGBT fame took to his Twitter with this to say:
: Writting out ALL of @ 's lyrics to go with her album out in June. Finally!!!
I know I keep harping on it, but every time I think 2011's surprises are complete, another gem drops! Flawless gems such as My Hair Looks Fierce, Champagne and My Pussy have never left my iPod, and I can only imagine that this new set of tracks will only elevate Mz Lepore's status as a living wax statue legend more complete!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Judas: Second Opinion

It's loud, fast, industrial, and filled with nonsensical chants and hooks that stay engrained in your mind--essentially, it's what makes a Lady GaGa song a Lady GaGa song.

"Judas" is the reason why "Born This Way" was released as the first single. It borrows the same concept as her previous monster single, "Bad Romance" and it does so on purpose. In a brilliant move, releasing "Judas" as the 2nd single gives the song a chance for even more appeal, as it's deviates from the 80's disco/pop of the self-love anthem and gives fans what they expected to hear in the first place.

Like Andrew has already mentioned, it's "Bad Romance 2.0" but it stands strong on it's own merit. The "GaGa" chants are becoming a trademark of what is Lady GaGa's style just as Michael Jackson had his signature cues. I find the criticisms of GaGa "copying" her own sound shocking, because GaGa and her right-hand producer, Red One, have created a sound that is all their own. Again, this song is unlike anything currently on the radio. The industrial dance beat is backed by Red One's scorching synths with a dub step-influenced electro break down. Musically, the melody isn't the strongest contender especially in the verses, but GaGa still knows how to capture your attention when it comes to her hooks.

Lyrically, the song is again, reminiscent of "Bad Romance" in the sense that it speaks of being in love with someone who is bad for you--in this case, someone who is betraying you. In typical make-a-statement-GaGa-fashion, she throws in some religious undertones that's sure to stir up some controversy. Those offended will have to remain pressed and "wear [an] ear condom next time," because the song is destined to slay the radio and charts for months to come. It's impressive GaGa can continue to make these dance-heavy songs that stray away from the cliched club song lines.

Vocally, GaGa is all over the place. Giving us her best island-like impression in the verses, breezing through the stanzas in the multi-hook chorus, talking followed by manically shrieking in the breakdown, and belting at end of the bridge and last chorus. It's the type of vocals that only someone as confident as GaGa would be able to pull off.

Some people are confused and in dismay of what direction GaGa seems to be going in, but these people really haven't been paying attention. Those people need to understand that this is Lady GaGa. If you want another "Just Dance" you're sure to find it on The Top 40 chart somewhere from another inferior GaGa-clone. "Just Dance" might have been the first song to grab our interest, but it's songs like this, "Poker Face","Paparazzi" and of course "Bad Romance", that made her a household name. This is the reason why I'm so excited to see what Born This Way will offer, because you never really know with GaGa. "Judas" is a prime example of GaGa sticking to her roots, but at the same time pushing the envelope just a bit further. A fantastic entry into her already established catalog of hits.

"Judas Ju ah-ah Judah GaGa-ah"
4/5 Wigs Snatched

Jennifer Lopez LOVE? Preview Unveiled

One of the most successful comebacks in recent memory belongs to Jennifer Lopez. A couple years ago, it seemed that she would never be a presence in the music industry ever again with a series of flop singles and poor reviews. But then she left her old record company, got a new recording contract, scored a judging position on ratings juggernaut American Idol, and released the epic On The Floor. One of the most successful songs of the year, and a close second for favorite club song of the year for me (Hold It Against Me still holds that wig!), this was the hit JLo needed to remind people that at any age (Lopez is now 41), she is still one of the most gorgeous, talented, and captivating superstars we have. Since then she has released second single I'm Into You feat Lil Wayne (an island tinged, breezy song that is quite sexy and well done) and iTunes promo track Papi, a hard-hitting Kat Deluna-esque stomper that is sure to be a favorite for JLo-fans of the past.

And now we have the sampler/preview of the album.

 Love? Track List:

1. On The Floor ft. Pitbull
2. Good Hit
3. I’m Into You ft. Lil Wayne
4. (What Is) LOVE?
5. Run The World
6. Papi
7. Until It Beats No More
8. One Love
9. Invading My Mind
10. Villain
11. Starting Over
12. Hypnotico
Additional deluxe edition tracks:
13. Everybody’s Girl
14. Charge Me Up
15. Take Care
16. On The Floor (Ven a Bailar) feat. Pitbull
For some reason, the preview for Hypnotico (a track originally done by Tami Chynn) and Charge Me Up are absent from the preview, but the rest of it sounds quite promising. She has packed the album with variety. Euro/Latin club bangers (On The Floor, Good Hit, Invading My Mind, Papi, Hypnotico), tropical mid-tempos (I'm Into You, What Is Love), urban cuts (Run The World, Take Care) and slower jams (Villain, One Love). My only concern is on a couple of song where she seems to have picked songs she is not vocally up to, such as "Until It Beats No More" and "Starting Over." This is odd because while JLo may never have been known for her outstanding vocals, she is a master at staying within her range and finding a way to always sound vocally strong. Otherwise, I think this album will smash as hard as all of us fans of JLegend have been hoping it will.

Mother Monster: Judas, Born This Way cover, and Why People Aren't Getting It

So...Lady GaGa. Darling to critics and fans worldwide alike. Chart and record smasher. Fashion and tabloid superstar. Her 2011 return, with her first full length album since her debut in 2008, has been talked up and promoed to death by GaGa and her team. And although it has been having immense initial success...why are some people having trouble "getting it?"

This era has been a long time in the making (GaGa claimed the album was complete as early as last August...this of course was not true, but at least the blueprint of the album probably was finished) and has been taking its time taking off as well. When the single, Born This Way, was released near the beginning of February, it was also announced that the album would not be released until the end of May, with 1 or maybe 2 more singles being released before the release. In comparison to "The Fame Monster" being released just a little bit over a month after its first single, GaGa is taking her time rolling this era out, and it isn't yet clear how it is going to turn out.

Born This Way was an upbeat, thunderous 80s throwback with questionably over-the-top lyrics focused on the LGBT fans, but with a love-yourself theme that is oh-so popular nowadays and could relate to anyone. It has its negatives like any big song does. This one was mostly its acute similarity to Madonna's Express Yourself, the idea that GaGa might be overusing the gay community to get popular, and its departure from what most would expect her to put out as a lead single of the era she has said will be the greatest album of the decade. Of course this didn't stop it from being massively successful, debuting at #1 and staying there for weeks.

Personally, I loved it. The sound is sonically invigorating, the lyrics while a bit heavy handed are offset by the less dramatic tone of the track, and the video was a hilariously camp production. And as for the detractors: (1) Male pop singers constantly hearken back to Michael Jackson and Prince sounds...why can't women embody their idols? And quite frankly...Express Yourself is a fantastic song, and I don't mind an updated version! (2) I am gay. We have loved GaGa from the beginning. What's so wrong with her loving us back? and (3) Would we want another typical lead GaGa single? Born This Way was refreshingly different from the Bad Romances and Poker Faces and I believe we will look back and recognize how genius a lead single the song was.

Which brings me to the second single, Judas. This is the single I think most people expected as the first one. It is essentially Bad Romance 2.0. Same "oooh-ohhh" choruses, similar nonsense yelling (RAH AH AH AH = JUDAH JUDAH-AH-AH), and same hammering industrial beats. And yet again...people accuse the GaGa of copying (herself this time) and not bringing her A-Game. And again...I love it! It is a BIG sounding song, the chorus gets me every time, and while I agree it is a little too similar to Bad Romance, it has progressed in ways that set it apart and signal GaGa's growth. I might only give it a 4/5, but it is going to be a centerpiece of the album one way or another, and I believe that once again, we will look back and see it make more sense in the grand scheme of the album.

The last of GaGa's surprises for us this week was the album covers for the standard and deluxe editions of Born This Way:

The Standard

The Deluxe

In typical fashion, when it comes to style Gaga really comes through with the unexpected yet alluring. I had to look at it for a good 5 minutes before I really came to a conclusion. LOVE IT. It is camp, it is funny, and it is unforgettable. It isn't just a doctored snapshot of GaGa looking beautiful like most pop divas release. It is ugly, over-the-top, and almost looks like it was made on a snap impulse. I imagine GaGa just laughing about how crazy it is and deciding on the spot she wanted it for the album cover. Obviously all of this has been getting people talking, and spending an extensive amount of time reading reviews, music forum arguments, and my own experiences of this era, I have noticed a theme in the negative opinions of GaGa. They don't "get it." But for once, the "it" they are being accused of not getting is not some high style, high substance, elitist presentation that GaGa so loves. In fact, it is her past dedication to layered visuals and musical output that has betrayed her in this era.

Everyone expects an overarching message, some trite preaching and soap-box lecturing, from GaGa. So when she puts out something like the Born This Way video, the same people who hated all of her melodrama were quick to say that she didn't make enough of a statement, and that she was "trying too hard." I have seen this whole era in a different way. I truly believe she is just having fun! Upbeat 80s songs. Songs that play with religion and have big choruses. Videos with horns and good vs. evil references. Award show entrances within an egg. It's all a production...and GaGa enjoys nothing better than a big production. I have been laughing along with her. The egg was ridiculous, giving birth in a video is too much, Transformer and hair band inspired album art is unnecessary: but it's a good time! Gone are the oppressed and dark times of The Fame Monster. She is being reborn (this way) in an upbeat light!

If anyone thinks that means she will simplify her presentation or let go of the antics, they don't know GaGa. If anyone believes that the low-key time of poker games and disco sticks will ever be GaGa again, they haven't been paying attention. If they just give in and remember that at the core of GaGa-mania is 25 year old Stefani Germanotta, a young woman who is trying to find her place in pop music...well then maybe they will be able to laugh along as well.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Emmylou Harris Releases Lead Single, Good Night Old World

Country legend and one of my all time favorite singers, Emmylou Harris, has released a video for her new beautiful single, Good Night Old World. It is a classic Emmylou song, with subtle instrumentation and vulnerably gorgeous vocals. It is the lead single for her upcoming album, Hard Bargain which will be released April 26. Are ANY of my favorites not releasing new music this year?? Catch the single and its understated video below!

RuPaul Is Here To Show Basic Bitches How It's Done

RuPaul, Queen of Everything I Love In Life, is about to release another flawless album. Her last album, Champion, made all other albums sound cheap and tacky. I suspect she looked around at all of the flops desperately attempting to get a #1 hit and decided to join the party and take back her rightful throne. Today she released her defining album cover, which serves enough disco ferocity to make Donna Summer irrelevant.


Idol Has Good Performers On For Once

While I'm sure there have been a couple of good performers on this season, they have mostly been awful (, Jamie Foxx, Constantine etc.) but tonight they really delivered!!

First up was the original Idol, Kelly Clarkson, singing her platinum selling country single with Jason Aldean, Don't You Wanna Stay. I have heard them do it better, and much like last week on Ellen, Kelly's voice sounds a littttle bit raspier than I think it should be. What's going on? But luckily, a Kelegend at half force is still better than all of our other flop faves! Catch the video below!

Next up, was Rihanna with her first solo performance of future #1 smash hit, California King Bed. I am always just a little nervous before a Rihanna performance because I want her to succeed always because I am a huge stan. Luckily, I had nothing to be nervous about! Rihsus brought it with strong vocals, great delivery, and a cute stage production. I am continually happy that Rihanna is clearly put in more work to become a better live singer. I think that over the years she will become a true tour de force!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Britney Is Doing Things...No One Cares

Sigh. So...Britney has been making a couple phone calls in between shoveling whole handfuls of Cheetos into her non-singing gullet. As Court reported earlier today, one of these calls was to Rihanna to make their truly awful and unlistenable remix to the previously amazing "S&M." (At least it highlighted how much of a better singer Rihanna is!!) That's not all she has up her Wal-Mart daisy dukes though!

Apparently she called Nicki Minaj, the Nervo Twins, and Jessie and the Toy Boys to open for her. Also there is a rumor that there will be a remix of Til The World Ends with a big female artist on it. Is it another RiRi duet? Maybe a Nicki feature? Maybe Ke$ha will show up and show Britney how the song was meant to be sung? Who knows? Who really cares? Who the fuck really could care about the Femme Fatale era any more? Let's see...

That's what I thought.

Goldfrapp Returns to the Studio

Goldfrapp has returned to the studio to follow up their gorgeous 80s inspired Head First! One of the best things about this dynamic duo is that each album they bring something different to their sound, but the one thing that is constant is their gorgeous delivery. Will Gregory told BBC:
"I am ready to do it now, to get back to Goldfrapp will be a very refreshing change. We have, as usual, lots of stuff in the bottom drawer which we rejected the first time round, but I expect we'll want to start a fresh this time round."
Could we be so fortunate as to get a release this year?! I do feel like Goldfrapp are the type to take a long time in perfecting their next sound, so I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't until early 2012. Keeping my fingers crossed anyway!

Beyonce Anticipation (aka HYPERVENTILATION) even though my personal Holy Trinity of Music is Madonna, Kylie Minogue and Lady GaGa, I cannot lie that no top bitch gets me excited the way Beyonce does!!

After months of desperate grabs at details about Beyonce's upcoming single/album...little details have begun to leak out. Late last week, rumors began to swirl that Queen B was going to be flying close to 200 African dancers to LA for the video shoot. Needless to say I have been having to take some deep breaths since hearing this. Today the video began shooting, and along with it some more defined details.
A lot of Bey’s old dancers and probably every major dancer and choreographer you could think of. The song is called “Girl”. The video is being directed by Francis Lawrence. He was also there. 8 or 9 choreographers contributed to the routine. Danielle Polanco and Luam were 2 of those choreographers. Beyonce was there of course going over the routine and they were figuring out which pieces of the choreography they would be showcasing in the music video. The theme of “Girl” is like a female empowerment/girl power type of song that is a definite club banger with Top 40/Worldly appeal. The beat is driven by a sample of a popular club song that a lot of you will probably recognize. There’s a breakdown in the song that is described as absolutely fucking disgustingly sick! Definitely an anthem in the style of her singing. My friend couldn’t remember exact lyrics, but “Girl…girl….girl” is repeated a lot through out the song.
The most popular rumor is that the popular club song is Pon De Replay by Major Lazer, one of the hottest songs to come out in the last couple of years. It has a very updated, club-driven African vibe and would fit perfectly with the dancers and Beyonce's past hints that the album will have a Fela Kuti vibe to it.


Sophie Ellis-Bextor's Long Awaited Album Coming Soon!

Late last week it was announced that British pop ice queen, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, will FINALLY be releasing the album we have all been waiting for! Make a Scene will be released by Universal on April 18th, and will include past singles such as "Bittersweet", "Not Giving Up On Love" and "Can't Fight this Feeling."

The album cover is muted but typically beautiful for Sophie. This news has me so amped!! Every time I think that 2011 can't get any better for music, something else is announced! Sophie has such a trademark icy and sophisticated way of delivering her brand of pop that there is no doubt that it will be another triumph!

Single Review: Rihanna ft. Britney Spears "S&M Remix"

Last week Princess Rihanna hinted on twitter that a remix to "S&M" would be releasing and rumors had penned a certain femme fatale would be the featured artist. Yesterday, it was confirmed that Britney Spears would indeed be on the "rihmix" through a series of tweet exchanges between Ri and Britney's people. This generated excitement among Britney stans while some Rihanna stans felt pressed that they were given a hasbeen. Early this morning the song premiered on New York's z100 radio station.

This is the first time Ms. Spears has been a featured artist. Ever. Most likely because Xtina/Beyonce were always available. As "monumental" as this is, the result is less than favorable. "S&M" is one of the LOUDest tracks Rihanna has recorded but she's able to handle the heavy synths and percussion due her distinctive tonality. Unfortunately, Britney doesn't manage to do so well. She sounds as nasally as ever and her over-processed, auto-tuned voice doesn't mesh well with Rihanna's natural studio voice.
In the new extended 2nd verse, Brit snorts:
Just one night full of sin, feel the pain on your skin... 
Tap out or scream mercy, it's your time to hurt me...yeah 
If I'm bad, tie me down...shut me up, gag and
Cuz the pain is my pleasure, nothing comes better
o_O Who thought this sh*t was cute?! Those lyrics take the song to another level so if British radio had problems with the original, it'll be interesting to see how they like the remix. Some of Britney's moans and ad-libs give the song a more sensual feeling and her "oh-oh-oh-oh-oh"s sound decent, but overall it's nothing too special.

When I first heard the idea of Britney I knew she didn't have the vocal capacity for it, but still was excited to see the outcome. Katy Perry and her BFF-status seemed like a more appropriate choice for the song. Listen to "E.T." or "Peacock" and it's clear that Katy has enough attitude in her voice to deliver a better performance--and one that would have complemented Rihanna's. Not sure what the real reasoning behind this remix was--promotion to help Flop Fatale or an extra push to get "S&M" to #1 on the Hot 100 (it currently sits at #2)? If it's the latter, then drafting Perry who's had, count it, 4 #1's from her Teenage Dream album definitely would have made the most sense. If you're a fan of both artists, then you've already downloaded the song before reading this review--but I'll be sticking to the original.

2/5 Wigs Snatched

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Kelly Clarkson Continues to Be Flawless

Well...maybe not completely flawless. Kelegend took to the stage today on Ellen and performed a medley of "Miss Independent" "Walk Away" and "Since U Been Gone" for a huge audience. While it was a nice reminder of how much more talented Kelly is than almost all of her pop peers, I do kind of disagree with some of the other reviews of the performance. Didn't her vocals seem a bit strained/raspy? I mean we all know that the original American Idol's voice isn't the brute force crystal clear weapon it was during the competition, but even during her last album promo it sounded better than this. It does of course always highlight how even on her off days that she is still one of the greatest vocalists of our time. Either way it is great to see her back on stage and getting back into the spotlight where she belongs! Watch below!

Plastic Princess of Pop Ready To Put The Lessers to Shame

I hope there is a sale on super glue so that all of the poor flops of the music industry like Britney, Beyonce, GaGa and Adele can make sure their wigs are glued in SUPER tight! Queen Heidi Montag, had a genre and century defining debut, Superficial, that still causes tears and shakes at night in the bedrooms of vocal midgets Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson. It garnered such classics as Turn Ya Head, More is More, and Twisted. And now she is coming back with not just a star studded reality TV show with Danielle Staub and Jake Pavelka, but also her sophomore album!

In an interview on Entertainment Tonight, Heidi was seen saying that she has been in the studio and has her eye on a new video. You would think that she would want to wait until later in the year so that she doesn't have to compete with the top Pop Throne usurper, Paris Hilton, who also has a sophomore album coming out this summer. But Heidi remains unbothered by the competition, and will crush the competition. She might even sell 1,000 copies opening week!

Consider me beyond excited!!

I Might Need Anti-Seizure Meds for April 19

In the wee hours of last night, GaGa premiered her Gagavision 41 video which had some nonsense about arguing with a religious zealot outside of one of her concerts, but that isn't important. What IS important is...


Seriously...this is quite exciting. I have been awaiting this announcement since, well...since Born This Way came out. My suspicion is that GaGa skipped over a more obvious club anthem with her first single to 1) throw people off the GaGa trail and 2) to continue to build excitement and then SLAY us with the club anthem of the year. While Flopney flops in the flop wings, GaGa's success this year is really only rivaled by Adele, whose high album sales and now her first Hot 100 Top 10 single Rolling In The Deep has made her the one to beat. However, I fully believe that Judas will rip all of our soul to pieces and have us dancing til the world ends...for real this time. See Gagavision below!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Curious Case of Kelendria Trene Rowland

Kelly Rowland is one of the more interesting characters in the current music landscape. She is, of course, one of the founding (and surviving) members of Destiny's Child: one of the most successful female groups of all time. The most important thing about Destiny's Child in pop culture is often thought of as the solo debut of Beyonce, who has gone on to be one of the biggest superstars of our generation before she has even hit the age of 30. With someone in the group possessing such a high level of charisma and fame, it is easy for most people to forget the other members of DC.

However, the other members have gone on to be quite amazing artists themselves. Michelle Williams has released a few mildly successful singles/albums (including the stunning We Break the Dawn) as well as tried her hand at musical theater (she played Roxie in the London production of Chicago). LeToya Luckett, one of the famed ejected members of Destiny's Child original lineup, has come into her own as a quite able R&B singer, and had a platinum selling debut album and a critically lauded follow-up.

Despite these impressive showings, it is Kelly Rowland who has ventured out to become the most intriguing alumni of Destiny's Child...perhaps ever more so than Queen B. Now, I cannot claim to be one of Kelly's biggest fans during her solo fact I am only vaguely familiar with her first two albums. However, she has had an interesting way of popping up with a smash hit, right before fading back into obscurity. Her debut single was the worldwide smash Dilemma ft. Nelly, and her sophomore album had the hot-as-fire singles Like This ft Eve and Work. However, she always seemed to be bubbling under the radar...never catapulting into someone that many people anticipated music from. In 2009, Kelly left the management of Beyonce's father, Matthew Knowles in order to pursure other opportunities (preferably good ones that didn't get snatched up for Beyonce first.) Then came David Guetta...

The first major move that Kelly made was to feature on Guetta's "When Love Takes Over." The song went #1 all over the world, and Kelly was reborn for the first time as a dance diva to be reckoned with. She was one of the first major stars to have a song in this genre be successful before the recent electro-pop explosion (in fact, it was Kelly who gave Usher the advice to get into dance music!). One of the best things about the song is that it showed off the powerful, high-octane voice that Kelly seemed to have been hiding for years. The world seemed to take notice of this single more than her past ones as it showed how truly strong a performer Kelly Rowland could be.

The decisions made since this stroke of luck have been where things have gotten a bit hairy. She signed with Universal for a new record deal, but either the label has been managing her badly or she can't decide what type of artist she wants to be. She is clearly still rooted in her R&B background, but also is not quite ignoring the idea of worldwide success with dance music. This conflict has produced a confusing series of "lead singles" (read as: flops) that have made new fans start to doubt whether Kelly is the disco queen she made herself out to be. Dance singles like the HUGE gay anthem "Commander" and the lesser, more derivative "Forever and a Day" won over some fans in Europe but did very little to impact the US. Meanwhile, her R&B singles "Rose Colored Glasses" and "Grown Woman" had mediocre success, and have since faded away. While she has kept busy with features on others' albums such as Nelly, Tinie Tempah and Alex Gaudino...the continual single misfires and lack of news about any full-length album has even those still rooting for her quite confused.

Luckily, in the past couple of months, she has taken to speaking more about the album and apologizing for the long delay, claiming that she has been working hard to make sure that when her third album DOES come out...that it is perfect. Which brings us to the present...

She is finally putting her all into her new single, Motivation, with now-exonerated feature creature Lil Wayne. It is quite a good song...definitely not a full-on smash but could do work on the R&B charts and is already getting attention for the video she has filmed. It is a breathtakingly sexy, swag-filled video that fits the song quite nicely.

Anyone else's jungle fever rising?! When she premiered the video on 106 & Park yesterday, she had this to say about her album:
“It actually starts with ‘Motivation,’ which is of course letting in on that sensual side,” Kelly said. “But the album tells the story of everything else—strength and character…friendship. It’s fantastic. I can’t wait till everybody hears the album towards the end of the summer.”
And this is what I wanted to do this post for...she is finally putting in the time to put out this fabled third album, is focusing on a lead single and promoting it...and is now saying she isn't releasing the album for another 4 months? It is possible she will be releasing multiple singles over the next few months to gain momentum...but I am worried that she will once again get buzz for a single, and then lose it by the time the album is reading to come out! If her album is pushed back once more...I have very little faith she will get yet another chance.

My advice, Kelly? Release a pre-album EP of the different sounds and songs you have attempted over the last couple of years. Give fans the chance to purchase them all together and remind everyone of what you have done. Put out at least 3 singles before the album comes out, and make sure that each of them are promoted properly and do not flop. Release an album full of club bangers of both the R&B and dance variety, as well as the slower, sexy jams you love, but get an executive producer who can tie them all together and make a cohesive, stunner of an album. I have all of the faith in the world in you...because despite your curious state, you do indeed belong at the top of the charts with your Destiny's sisters.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Lady GaGa: HBO Concert Special Trailer

The official extended preview for Mother Monster's previously-announced first HBO concert special is here! Lady GaGa presents The Monster Ball Tour: At Madison Square Garden. The countdown trailer features everything that made her tour such a massive success. Even though it's set to the tune of her newest single, make no mistake, this concert is all about the "Bad Romance" era (though you may get a surprise encore of something...). If you haven't had the opportunity to see her sold-out tour then this is definitely one HBO special you want to check out! GaGa's stage presence, dancing, costumes, and set designs are all highlighted in this 30 sec video which is enough to generate excitement all over again. Don't miss it when it airs Saturday May 7th!!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Court and Andrew Discuss Rihanna, Taylor Swift...and Britney flopping

This weekend was pretty slow on music news, but tonight Court and Andrew sat down and had a little discussion about The American Country Music Awards (aka Rihanna), UK Chart Positions, and other random musical happenings. Because we are vain, we thought our readers might enjoy some of this!


Court: Wondering how long I can endure the Country Music Awards JUST to see Rihanna perform "California King Bed"..............Yep. Not long at all. *mutes TV*

Andrew: haha i annoys me bc i love it but i am NEVER current with it. i have never heard any of this

::Taylor Swift comes on::

Court: ::mutes:: wtf is this?

Andrew: I looove this song. When it is recorded and her ppl can fix her voice. Because she is one of the worst live singers I have ever seen. And it is even worse in a country award shows where all of their voices are knockouts.

Court: I probably shouldn't say anything until after Rihanna gets ready to butcher California King Bed lol

Andrew: Hahaha I know...but at least rih has style! Taylor looked like she hadn't been introduced to a brush in years!

::Performance mercifully ends::

Court: LOL I guess Rihanna is coming out much later. Should have known...trying to keep viewers like me there (by this Court means "black people")

Andrew: Psh, imma switch over to Celeb Apprentice, get some crazy

Court: Imma go eat more chicken


::Rihanna finally comes on:: (things start getting incoherent)


Court: That awkward moment when Rihanna is on key and hitting big notes. "California King Bed" is on it's way to take the Top 40 chart.

Andrew: Uh oh...Jennifer Nettles is showing Rihanna out so hard...this isn't good for RiRi

Court: Why did she go into her lower register?? But ok ok ok...she pulling through with this ending

Andrew: Yeah the performance was great overall!!

On Britney: Femme Fatale special and UK Chart Performance

Andrew: Hahaha, "I'm a perfectionist, so I was just taking it slow." Yeah that's why Britney...

Court: Her voice is bothering me, she should have gotten her nose drained before doing this interview

Andrew: Bitch needs a Neti Pot!!

::Special drones on, shows performances we have already seen...Court and Andrew are still unimpressed::

Andrew: Wait it was only a half hour special?!

Court: Haha she only deserved about half of that

Andrew: Holy shit! Femme Fatale only premiered at #8 on the UK charts! The sales were only between 27,000-30,000. I mean even Bionic went to #1! I think it should between 30,000-40,000.

Court: But #1 with the lowest amount ever haha...and it was 24,000. Poor Flopney and Floptina. Wigs got snatched by ke$ha and gaga respectively.

Andrew: Brits know the true tea sometimes...I hope GaGa just sits in her room and lauuughs and lauuughs. Also, JLo has the #1 song there this week...Flopney remains bothered she can't snatch a #1 this era

Do you all find yourselves jealous and pressed you weren't part of these convos? Yeah..we didn't think so.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

REVIEW: Jennifer Hudson - I Remember Me

After winning an Oscar, a Grammy, singing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl, and becoming a spokesperson for Weight Watchers, Jennifer Hudson, has had quite the career accomplishments in a very short time-span. Sadly, she’s also been through a lot of turmoil in her personal life, but has emerged a stronger individual from it. Recently becoming a mother, JHud is back on the scene again with her sophomore album, I Remember Me, a memoir of sorts reflecting on love and loss.

Enlisting in a mix of current R&B and pop producers/songwriters/artists (R.Kelly, Ryan Tedder, Alica Keys, Swizz Beatz, Ne-Yo, Diane Warren, among others), I Remember Me is another solid entry in the 29 year old's discography. The thumping opener “No One’s Gonna Love You” gets the record off to a great start and the empowering throwback “I Got This” follows in suit. The first single, “Where You At” might take some time getting into, but by third listen you’ll find yourself shouting “DELIVAH!” in her signature gospel tone. Each song gives the multi-octave singer a chance to show off her powerhouse vocals, staying restrained in the verses and then soaring over the music by the bridge. Some of her ab-libs can come off as a bit too showcase-y, a style not uncommon for divas with her vocal range, but depending on who you ask that can be positive or negative criticism (i.e. I love a good growl haha).

Unfortunately, I Remember Me suffers from some of the usual filler that plagues R&B albums. "Gone" never really finds its footing and the ballads pale in comparison to the more mid-tempo tracks even if they try to illustrate a sense of melodrama. Thankfully, the co-efforts of Alica Keys and Swizz Beatz keep the album from stalling with the funky almost disco-like “Everybody Needs Love.” The uplifting, snare-driven “Angels” shares some similarities with Keys' “Wait ‘Til You See My Smile” and is another strong production. The inclusion of "Feelin' Good" is an odd choice especially it's placement towards the end of the album. It's hard to deny that JHud absolutely killed the record and one can only think of how fierce she looks in that commercial.

When compared to her debut outing, I Remember Me feels more cohesive as a whole. It's a much more mature and traditional sounding album, and is better for that reason. Jennifer's voice is a force to be reckoned with which helps in putting this album above some of the other R&B albums out there. After seeing her and Christina Aguilera at this past Grammy Awards, I can only wish a collaboration is coming in the near future. Can you say "DIVA-OFF?!" One thing is for certain, Hudson has the voice and character to deliver that "classic" song, the problem is finding the right producer to harness it.

3/5 Wigs Snatched

Definitely Download:
- No One Gonna Love You
- I Got This
- Where You At

Friday, April 1, 2011

Two Pop Videos - One Amazing, One Half-Baked

Today I will be reviewing two pop videos. The first is Katy Perry's latest #1 smash, E.T. Catch the video below

OK, so...the video is GORGEOUS. Katy looks amazing, and the graphics are really quite breathtaking. Not sure what that random guy is doing in it, though. Is that grill his only alien type characteristic? Who let him rap in this? Definitely ruined the song/video...but let's act like whats-his-face didn't try to hip hop this great song up. ET is actually my favorite Katy Perry song and always has been since it leaked last summer. She has never sounded sexier, and it is a wonderful song. But now for the flaws in the video...

I get the storyline and it's almost cute. Katy is the Alien Queen and she is trying to figure out what Earth and humans are, while Kanye sends her images of Earth pre-Apocalypse. Great. But what it ends up being is mostly just random imagery to fill up the time and give the directors a chance to flash back to Katy flying around the galaxy looking pretty. And then the end is just odd, with her weird fucked Satyr body and the robot coming alive...I dunno. Seems a little scatter brained to me. Also, I take issue with her singing a song about being abducted, and falling in love with an extra terrestrial and being ready to run away with them, but the video switching it and her being the ET. Unnecessary role reversal. Anyway...definitely an enjoyable video, but had more than a few holes that some thought could have filled in. I will probably watch 100 times anyway lol.

Next we have Natalia Kills' video for her spectacular next single, Wonderland.

Had to watch this one a couple times. Natalia finds herself in a nightmare of a tea party, fighting to break out of this fairytale-gone-bad world. Rather than snub the sunny side of stories like Red Riding Hood and Alice In Wonderland, Natalia focuses on the dark undertones that one could read in those old stories. And my word, does she fight it! Natalia spends the entire video thrashing, doing Censor-worthy activities, and generally rebelling against the fairytale Man! It definitely is a good step in furthering the Natalia Kills' brand of dark pop noir that I discussed in my review of the album. Now, if you will excuse me, I am off to go watch the video about 10 more times!

Big Lady GaGa announcement this Monday!

Good Morning America just released an announcement that they have an exclusive announcement about GaGa's next move this coming Monday! Not sure if it will be when Judas will premiere, more details on the album, or a performance/promo schedule, but GaGa always keeps her fans excited so it is sure to be good! ::Sets DVR::

Fantasia performs "Collared Greens & Cornbread" on Idol

Fantasia Barrino performed her third single off of her latest album, "Collared Greens & Cornbread," last night on American Idol's results show. It was one of the only highpoints of the night, with the other star performance being a hideous showing by and Jamie Foxx. I can't even speak on that because it could cause me bodily harm.

Fantasia's performance was relatively played down for the Idol alum, but it was sweet, classic, and very entertaining. Even though I swear 'Tasia's voice literally gets one more helium balloon in it every time I see her perform, she is always a solid entertainer, and for that I give her props.

I do only have one thing to say about her hair though, and it is said best by my friend Adam who texted me during the performance "Fantasia's hair tonight looks like one of George Washington's slaves got jealous of his wig and LITERALLY SNATCHED IT!" And I'm done.

Kid Cudi Claims He Is Done With Drugs (Yeah Right!)

One of the music industry's most notorious drug addicts, Kid Cudi, is claiming to have given up on drugs, via a post on his blog.

First of all...not sure if a large portion of Cudder's audience will be too into his music without drugs...he has made a living making stoner anthems. Second of all, I don't really believe this to be true. He has a history of not having the best judgment or self-control. He did say, however, that he wanted to make a rock album next so maybe he is changing more than just his sound! 

Britney Wants to Duet With Kylie!

No surprise here!!

The Femme Fatale singer recently got wind that world-renowned pop queen Kylie Minogue would be interested in doing a duet with Mz. Spears. Britney had this to say on the duet:

"I think that would be brilliant. That would be so much fun. She’s great. I love her."

I believe this would be quite an understatement! It wouldn't be odd for the two to duet...they have been rumored in the past to be offered similar songs (i.e. Toxic!), they have similar vocal styles (though Kylie is clearly a much stronger singer), and I think it would help Britney get in touch with her sunny, fun side. Kylie has never had trouble tapping into her sexy side, even as she has gotten older. But Britney increasingly seems to have difficulty expressing the joy she gets out of her music. I am in full support! Aphrodite Fatale!