Monday, November 16, 2009

Lady Gaga 'The Fame Monster' Album Review

Since blowing up in early 2009 after an extremely slow music scene debut in April of 2008, Lady Gaga has without doubt become more than just Pop music’s current ‘it girl’. With her first two singles “Just Dance” & “Poker Face” becoming worldwide number 1 hit singles and subsequent singles all hitting the Top 10, Gaga definitely helped start the current trend of Electro Pop/Dance music.

Shortly after “Paparazzi” became another Top 10 hit for Gaga, she released “Bad Romance” as the lead single to her new body of music The Fame Monster. Initially thought to be apart of the re-release of her debut The Fame, instead “Bad Romance” marks the first release from Gaga’s first EP (extended play). Gaga’s main collaborator RedOne produced the single that follows a similar sound to “Poker Face.”

Repaying the favor Gaga enlists superstar diva Beyonce, to have guest vocals on their second single together, “Telephone.” Currently the extended version of Beyonce’s “Video Phone,” marks their first single and video of the duo together. The Urban Pop tune features the duo singing about not wanting to be bothered by anyone calling them while they’re are in the club dancing. The only issue is they’re singing about telephones which many have long traded in for cell phones!

Straying away from the albums Electro Pop/Dance sound is the emotionally filled bluesy jazz cut “Speechless.” The song which is one of Gaga’s personal favorites was dedicated to her father whom she’s very close to. Gaga shows her vocals aren’t just suited for up-tempo club tunes as she sings “Could we fix you if you broke?/And is your punch line just a joke/I’ll never talk again/Oh boy you’ve left me speechless.”

More versatility is shown on the Electro Latin Pop tinged “Alejandro.” On the RedOne assisted song Gaga sings of a young love that’s “hot like Mexico,” but has to end because, “her boyfriend’s just like a dad” and she doesn’t want to be bothered. While on “Monster,” Gaga sings of a devilish boyfriend who’s like a monster that eats her heart and then her brain. The song lyrically explores Gaga’s more peculiar side but would still manage to be a great future single.

Overall on The Fame Monster Gaga continues to write great catchy danceable Pop tunes that fans will love and radio will eat up. With artists continuously emulating her style, a second unthought-of duet, and incorporating her now well known style Gaga continues to prove that she’s not just a music industry fad. If you enjoyed any of Gaga’s singles or debut album, The Fame Monster is a must hear.

Definite listeners:
"Telephone" [featuring Beyonce]

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Rihanna 'Rated R' Album Review

Back in August of 2005, an unknown Barbadian singer Robyn Fenty released her debut Reggae fusion influenced album Music Of The Sun in the US. Known to the world by her middle name, Rihanna the pop star was born. Less than a year later after nearly missing the Billboard Hot 100 number 1 spot with her debut single “Pon De Replay,” she clenched it with “SOS” the lead single of her sophomore album A Girl Like Me which continued to prove she was not just a one hit wonder, by scoring two more top 10 singles. The following year Rihanna earned a second number 1 single with her worldwide smash hit single “Umbrella.”

Following her breakthrough Good Girl Gone Bad era Rihanna was on top of the world with a total of five number 1 singles. Not even a very public domestic violence case could knock Rihanna down. Now, the wait is over and Rihanna is scheduled to release her fourth studio album Rated R through Def Jam on Monday, November 23rd, 2009.

Surprising fans greatly, Rihanna released a dark ballad as her lead single. “Russian Roulette,” co written by label mate Ne-Yo and herself became her twelfth Top 10 hit. The haunting track will take some fans back to 2006’s “Unfaithful,” which was written by Ne-Yo as well.

You hear Rihanna’s Caribbean accent return as she sings the verses on “Wait Your Turn.” Sadly the captivating promotional single, is about as close as Rated R comes to recreating Rihanna’s past successful Dance Pop sound.

Released to radio early, is the self-assured “Hard,” Rated R’s second official single. Rihanna doesn’t hold back at all on the track claiming, “the Rihanna reign just won’t let up.” Knowing others are “aiming at [her] pedestal” Rihanna enlists Young Jeezy to help build the street grittiness of “Hard,” making it a must hear.

Up and coming artist Ester Dean lends a creative hand by writing “Rude Boy.” The song has got to be Rihanna’s most sexual song to date. Unlike the subtle “Shut Up & Drive,” which featured car expressions as sexual metaphors “Rude Boy” goes straight in! On top of the infectious beat produced by Stargate, Rihanna sings “I like the way you touch me there/I like the way you pull my hair/Babe if I don’t feel it/I ain’t fakin’no no.”

Rihanna steps out of her comfort zone and spits a decent flow twice on “G4L” but only for a few lines. Guns N’ Roses lead guitarist Slash tries to help Rihanna become a legit rock star on “Rockstar 101,” but it just isn’t too believable. Once again Justin Timberlake lends Rihanna a hand on Rated R’s best ballad “Cold Case Love,” which features Rihanna crooning about an unhealthy relationship that went too far and resulted in death.

In the end Rated R doesn’t exactly continue or capture the edgy influenced sound of “Disturbia” or the Alternative/Rock sound of “Breakin’ Dishes” & “Shut Up & Drive.” Nor does the album feature the Dance Pop feel of “SOS” or “Don’t Stop The Music,” which is a real disappointment since much of Rihanna’s two times platinum 2007 Good Girl Gone Bad album was. Although Rated R does follows in the Rihanna formula by once again changing up her musical style by compiling mid-tempo Hip Hop-Rock tunes and Pop ballads.

With Def Jam promoting Rihanna in great deal, Rated R will most likely become another success for Rihanna. But it is not likely Rated R will produce as many hits or receive the attention Good Girl Gone Bad achieved.

Definite Listeners:
"Rude Boy"
"Hard" [featuring Young Jeezy] [credited as Jeezy]
"Cold Case Love"
"Wait Your Turn"

Amerie 'In Love & War' Album Review

Back in 2002 Amerie quietly came onto the music scene with her debut album All I Have. But after releasing her sophomore album Touch in 2005 which spawned her only major Pop hit single “1 Thing,” she still has failed to make any lasting chart impressions. After parting ways with Columbia Records, Amerie’s fourth studio album entitled In Love & War was released via her new recording home Def Jam on November 3rd.

The initial first single “Why R U?” attempted to bring Amerie fans back to her debut album sound. With an old school Hip Hop beat, you want to feel like your hearing the magic Amerie and her past producer Rich Harrison created, but the vibe isn’t the same. The song didn’t make much of an impact and became listed as buzz single to promote the album.

Heard ‘Em All,” definitely brings up the tempo. The drum heavy based track definitely has a crossover vibe intended and meant not only for R&B radio but Pop radio and dance/club airplay. Although Amerie sets the songs tone perfectly alone, the official remix adds an unnecessary verse by current hot rapper Lil’ Wayne, which is a bonus track.

Trey Songz marks one of two features on the albums third single (second official). “Pretty Brown,” blends Amerie and Songz vocals together beautifully. The duet puts a modern spin on the 90s Mint Condition classic “Breakin’ My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes),” with new lyrics and a more up tempo feel.

Amerie definitely gains her “Swag Back” on In Love & War. The Jim Jonsin (“Whatever You Like,” “Lollipop”) produced track features Amerie speaking of how she is finally over a past relationship and ready for a new start, as she declares, “My head is clear, I’m soul surviving. Cause you’re not here, but I’m not crying, no. I finally got my swag back.”

On “Higher” Amerie introduces a soulful rock edge while on “Dangerous,” she revisits a more familiar retro dance/funk sound. Majority of the album is filled with ballads mid tempos which help to make In Love & War have more of a throwback (to various decades) R&B feel, that hardcore R&B fans will love.

In Love & War compares similarly to other Amerie albums. The album has a selection of great songs, mixed in with some tracks that will grow on the listeners’ ear. If Def Jam decides to give In Love & War the correct promo and exposure, Amerie may be able to gain some more hit singles and credibility. Although if the expected happens, Amerie may continue to be one of the decades underrated female R&B singers.

Definite Listeners:
"Pretty Brown"
"Swag Back"
"Heard 'Em All"

Monday, November 9, 2009

New NOVEMBER Music! Week By Week

Get ready for a great deal of new music releases next month. November is filled with multiple highly anticipated album releases by various artists. Everyone from Country Pop star Carrie Underwood to popular producer/artist Timbaland seems to have materiel ready for public hearing.

The month gets off to a quick start with Carrie Underwood releasing her third album Play On, on November 3rd. The album’s first single “Cowboy Casanova” has already become a crossover hit, managing to peak at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100. Not to mention both of Underwood’s previous albums have become Platinum US selling albums. On the 3rd Amerie releases her long awaited Def Jam debut In Love & War. Despite little promotion and attention this marks Amerie’s return to music in the US since leaving Columbia Records.

Britney Spears’ fans will be delighted to pick up her latest compilation The Singles Collection on November 10th. The album features Spears’ greatest hits which includes three Billboard Hot 100 number 1 singles, including the current single “3.”

A week later, on the 17th, America gets to hear from its current Idol winner Kris Allen who will release his self titled major label debut album including the thought provoking “Live Like We’re Dying”. X Factor winner Leona Lewis drops her sophomore album Echo; on which Lewis worked with big names including Justin Timberlake and Ryan Tedder. Janet Jackson releases her second greatest hits compilation album titled Number Ones, which features many of her biggest past singles plus the new single “Make Me”. Alternative pop artist John Mayer releases his fourth studio album Battle Studies, which is his first studio album since 2006’s Continuum. The Colorado based OneRepublic, will release their sophomore effort, Waking Up which the bands new sound on the lead single “All The Right Moves.”

November 23rd definitely marks one of the biggest new release weeks in music. Electro Pop singer Lady Gaga will re-release her debut album along with eight new songs. The Fame Monster includes the new single “Bad Romance,” and a song titled “Speechless” which Gaga dedicated to her father. Beyonce re-releases the deluxe version of her I Am… Sasha Fierce album as well. Ironically Beyonce will release a remix and music video to “Video Phone” which will feature Gaga. Latin Pop star Shakira returns will her first release since 2005, with her album She Wolf. The Second single “Give It Up To Me,” features Lil’ Wayne & Timbaland and was initially slatted for Timbaland’s album Timbaland Presents Shock Value II*, due out the same day. On Timbaland’s album, he worked with a large number of artists including Miley Cyrus, The Fray, Justin Timberlake, and others to create Part II of Shock Value which was released back in 2007. New to the US charts, Jay Sean releases his debut album stateside All Or Nothing, which will include the Hot 100 number 1 “Down,” [featuring Lil’ Wayne] and second single “Do You Remember” [featuring Sean Paul & Lil’ Jon]. American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert will release his debut album For Your Entertainment which is set to have songs written by Lady Gaga, Max Martin, & Ryan Tedder. But among all of these new albums, the most anticipated has got to be Rihanna’s latest. Rated R is set to be released as a double disc and will feature the lead single “Russian Roulette” which was written by Ne-Yo and Rihanna, herself. This marks the first Rihanna single and album since her February altercation with Chris Brown and 2007’s multiplatinum Good Girl Gone Bad.

Finally on November 24th, Britney Spears fans will be able to show their love by purchasing a box set of all Spears’ singles. The Singles Collection ultimate fan box set will include all 29 CD singles, and other items too.

So November definitely looks like it will be a good month for new music releases. Fans of Country, R&B, Pop, Hip Hop, and Alternative music will be able to purchase and support new highly anticipated music from various popular artists. Fans of music, enjoy!

*UPDATE This was written before Timbaland's album got pushed back until December 2009, but the article went well how it was written so I decided to leave in the information about his album. Know that his album has been pushed back until December 8th, 2009.

Mariah Carey 'Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel' Album Review

After working with The-Dream and Tricky Stewart on her 18th Billboard Hot 100 number 1 “Touch My Body,” the 20 year veteran diva decided to create an entire album with the current production duo; whose been creating hits for many artists. Mariah Carey’s twelfth studio album Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel was released via Island Def Jam on September 29th.

To set the summer off right, Mariah Carey released the fiery “Obsessed,” which found the singer making not so subtle jabs at an unnamed male; thought to be rapper Eminem. The lead single features Carey’s auto tuned vocals, singing over a thumping bass filled track. Mariah shows she’s not holding back as she declares “you a mom and pop, I’m a corporation; I’m the press conference, you a conversation,” regarding this mystery man who’s obsessed with her.

Separating from the more up-tempo Mariah Carey, Mariah covers Foreigner’s “I Want To Know What Love Is,” as the second release from Memoirs. The cover definitely tires to take Mariah Carey fans back to her big ballad glory days, but fails to make a lasting impression as a single, such as her 1989 debut “Vision Of Love.” The covered tune nicely features a gospel choir backing Carey to help her close out the song and album.

While Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel was initially thought to bring Mariah fans back to her classic 90s sound, Memoirs fails to do so in great amount. Though the albums standout track, “Angles Cry” could be considered an attempt to do so. Carey even still manages to give a dose of her ability to still hold a note as “Angels Cry,” ends. Carey carries a similar feisty attitude from 2005s “Don’t Forget About Us,” on “Up Out My Face.” The most memorable line from the song has got to be when Carey states, “even if we were two Lego blocks, even the Harvard University graduating class of 2010, couldn’t even put us back together again.”

The albums main creative team Carey, The-Dream, and Tricky Stewart seem to embark Memoirs as an advertisement more so than an album filled with deep lyrics. The album features a great deal of gimmicky lyrics, which seem to advertise products and services rather offer signature exemplary Mariah songs. On “The Impossible” Carey sings “love you like kool-aid…love you like a Holiday Duncan Hines yellow cake.” Another example of the almost child like lyrics, is heard on “More Than Just Friends.” Where Carey sings, “Steady feenin’ for you like them fries at McDonald’s, I wanna be all up on your lips like gelato (ice cream).” Lyrics like these don’t allow Carey seem true to her age (39) or let her mature as a lyricist.

The album cut, “H.A.T.E.U.” which quickly became a fan favorite is Memoirs proposed third single. Throughout “H.A.T.E.U.” Carey proves that she still has great vocal control, by entering her whistle register, which suits the song well. The title which is actual an acronym for Having A Typical Emotional Upset, explains the songs meaning extremely well; about a relationship that’s has ran its course and starting to fizzle out, as the narrator prepares for heartbreak.

While Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel will leave devote Mariah Carey fans, (AKA Lambs) ecstatic, the album doesn’t offer much for others. Memoirs is filled with a bunch of mid-tempos and ballads but as a whole the album seems a bit rushed. It seems as though Mariah is at her best when her albums are released after her musical breaks. Even though Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel isn’t comparable to older Mariah materiel, Mariah still manages to add great songs to her 20 year and counting catalog.

Mariah Carey in 2009, recreating the 1997 photo shoot an cover of Butterfly.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Whitney Houston 'I Look To You' Album Review

After a period of time where there was much speculation of drug use, anorexia, an outlandish reality series with her then husband, and a divorce, an artist who many loved from the 80s and 90s decided to make her musical comeback. Whitney Houston released her sixth studio album I Look To You, on August 31st, which was pushed up from its original date, to most likely make the 2010 Grammy Awards deadline. I Look To You debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 selling 305,000 copies in its opening week

The emotional title track written by R. Kelly, which was initially up for free download, speaks on how someone can find someone to turn to even during their hardest struggles. “I Look To You”, is definitely a song that will remind fans of Whitney’s covered hit “I Will Always Love You.”

Whitney Houston changes up the tempo for the retro sounding first single “Million Dollar Bill,” which actually has a slight 70s disco feel to it. Written by Alicia Keys and produced by Swizz Beatz helps to give the song a modern day touch alongside classic Houston vocals. A great choice for first single “Million Dollar Bill” showcases vocals fans love from Whitney, and has a nice mellow groove, all while still being able to get people on the dance floor.

Popular singer songwriter and producer Akon, marks the only featured vocalist on the I Look To You. The title, “Like I Never Left,” will initially make fans think the song will be about Houston’s return to music, though its actually a love song; about a couple who’s trying to mend and turn things back to how their relationship was. The slight island vibe compliments Houston and Akon’s duet well. Besides “Like I Never Left” Akon also produced “I Got You,” off the album as well.

Houston does a great job of keeping her music on the album youthful yet mature. On “Nothin’ But Love,” Houston tells those who love and hate her, she “ain’t got nothin’ but love for ya.” While the dance oriented “For The Lovers,” features slick lyrics and a catchy beat; as a fierce Houston sings, “to all the haters in the place, I ain’t singing to you baby.” Both songs were produced by Nate “Danja” Hills, who’s worked with everyone from Britney Spears to Madonna.

The majority of the eleven track album is comprised of mid-tempo songs, with, Pop, R&B, and Dance influences. Aside from the title track, “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength,” is the only other belted out ballad by Whitney Houston included on the album. StarGate who’s produced hits for Rihanna and Ne-Yo locked in two of the songs on I Look To You as well. The mid-tempo love song “Call You Tonight,” blends Houston’s vocals well with the guitar influenced production from StarGate. On the second, Houston covers “A Song For You,” originally by Leon Russell. The complex song starts off as an expected ballad, but quickly shifts into a Dance Pop song, which even adds vocals from a gospel choir near its end.

Overall, Whitney Houston delivers a solid album that both new & old fans and young & older people could definitely enjoy. I Look To You maintains Houston’s poise and doesn’t simply feature her trying to fit in with new day Pop stars, but finds a unique way to still make her music young. With already good sales, necessary promotion, and the right singles, this album could allow Whitney to take over the 2010 Grammy’s and regain her prominent spot in Pop music, which she truly never left behind.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Nominations for the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards

So the 2009 MTV VMAs air next month, on Sunday, September 13th, with invited back host Russel Brand. Who knows why MTV asked him to host again, he did a horrible job last year, but maybe they're giving him a chance to redeem himself. Which I doubt he'll do, but hey!

That aside, here are the videos/artist I THINK should win (in red), the artists who I WANT to win (in orange), and nominations who I THINK and WANT to win (in green). With Commentary on the categories below each

Beyoncé: "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)"
Lady Gaga: "Poker Face"
Eminem: "We Made You"
Kanye West: "Love Lockdown"
Britney Spears: "Womanizer"

  • Hands down I think this will go to Beyonce. IMO the only other contenders would be Spears and Gaga. But "Poker Face" wasn't a huge video at all-song, yes. Video, no! It'd be nice to see Spears win, but there is little to no chance up against "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)"

Lady Gaga
Kid Cudi
Asher Roth

  • I think this is another obvious category. Winner being Gaga. She has had the biggest year out of all of these artists. Yes Drake is currently big, and has a hit with "Best I ever Had," but that's more current compared to the massive singles "Just Dance," and "Poker Face." Though it would be cool to see 3OH!3, a Colorado based group/artist win this category!

Eminem: "We Made You"
Kanye West: "Love Lockdown"
Jay-Z: "D.O.A (Death of Auto-Tune)"
T.I. featuring Rihanna: "Live Your Life"
Ne-Yo: "Miss Independent"

  • I find it kind of funny that there aren't any Pop videos in this category. And Ne-Yo reps the only R&B nomination. I didn't really like any of these music videos personally, too much. But song wise, "Live Your Life," should definitely win.

Beyoncé: "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)"
Lady Gaga: "Poker Face"
Taylor Swift: "You Belong With Me"
Kelly Clarkson" "My Life Would Suck Without You"
Katy Perry: "Hot 'N Cold"
Pink: "So What"

  • To me this is probably the biggest category of the night. Because in their own right all of these songs were huge successes, I mean they all reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 except "You Belong With Me" [Peak #3], and "Hot 'N Cold" [Peak #3]. Also all of the artists, have had a decent or great year with their recent music. So it could be a toss up, or it could be obvious with Beyonce winning, maybe Gaga has a chance to win.

Eminem: "We Made You"
Kanye West: "Love Lockdown"
Flo Rida: "Right Round"
Asher Roth: "I Love College"
Jay-Z: "D.O.A (Death of Auto-Tune)"

  • This category I would think that MTV would just give the award to Eminem, since he has made a musical comeback; and really is an "MTV artist." But with Kanye's tantrums maybe they'll award him-thought that video was lame. Kind of a lack luster/boring category to me. I just don't want Flo Rida to win, song is beyond annoying by now! Jay-Z maybe...huh?

Beyoncé: "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)"
Britney Spears: "Womanizer"
Cobra Starship featuring Leighton Meester: "Good Girls Go Bad"
Lady Gaga: "Poker Face"
Wisin y Yandel: "Abusadora"

  • I have no idea who the last nominee is or song... How did Cobra Starship get nominated song is just finally hitting on...? Think it'd be nice to see Spears win (at least one award on the night), but again would surprise me one bit if Beyonce takes this home...or maybe Gaga-seems to be the theme of the night (probably Beyonce, maybe Gaga)!

Coldplay: "Viva La Vida"
Kings Of Leon: "Use Somebody"
Green Day: "21 Guns"
Fall Out Boy: "I Don't Care"
Paramore: "Decode"

  • Coldplay had the biggest song, and year, but Kings Of Leon have rebounded with "Use Somebody." I will say, "Viva La Vida," is another song, beyond overplayed by now. It'd be interesting to see Fall Out Boy, or Green Day win. My guess is Coldplay! Some of these songs I really do like, but I don't really 'want' or care which one wins...sorry!

Beyoncé: "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)"
Britney Spears: "Circus"
Ciara featuring Justin Timberlake: "Love Sex Magic"
AR Rahman & Pussy Cat Dolls featuring Nicole Scherzinger: "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)"
Kristina DeBarge: "Goodbye"

  • Seems like Beyonce has the category hands down again. Brintey's video came off more as a performance routine, Ciara's video was purely sexual (I really wanted to see her dance along side Justin-now that would be winnings worth in my eye), Pussy Cat Dolls, just didn't have a big enough year to win IMO, and oh boy Kristinia doesn't even deserve to be nominated-get out of here with that! Beyonce's video was 100% dancing- and huge (success wise), screams winner.

Beyoncé: "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)"
Lady Gaga: "Paparazzi"
Green Day: "21 Guns"
Cobra Starship featuring Leighton Meester: "Good Girls Go Bad"
Britney Spears: "Circus"

  • OK seriously how much direction did it take to make the music video to "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)." Not much IMO, this is a category where I think Britney's "Circus" is a perfect winner. Most likely Gaga could take it home since MTV is trying to make her a huge VMA winner-my guess is she'll be the nights biggest winner (especially after someone mentioned the fact that Beyonce won't be attending the awards, and MTV is big on giving awards to attendees).

Beyoncé: "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)"
Britney Spears: "Circus"
Miley Cyrus: "7 Things"
Coldplay: "Viva La Vida"
Lady Gaga: "Paparazzi"

  • Again, how much edited did it take to create Beyonce's video. And no, photo shopping does not count ("If I Were A Boy" would be a better nomination)! Wow Miley is nominated, won't win! Kind of a toss up on this one between Spears and Gaga who should win, and who I think will. This is one category where I would be mad to see Beyonce win!

Beyoncé: "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)"
Gnarls Barkley: "Who’s Gonna Save My Soul"
Lady Gaga: "Paparazzi"
Eminem: "We Made You"
Kanye West ft Mr. Hudson: "Paranoid"

  • WOW, again! What special effects did "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)," have, please tell me(what that little ramp Beyonce ran up)? I think Gaga will win this category...maybe Eminem, but kinda doubt that! Would have me mad if Beyonce wins this too!

Beyoncé: "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)"
Coldplay: "Viva La Vida"
Green Day: "21 Guns"
Britney Spears: "Circus"
Lady Gaga: "Paparazzi"

  • Gaga's "Paparazzi" video was most movie like, but I do think "Circus" was filmed in a movie (performance) like concept, so those two would be good picks. Beyonce again should not win this category, because...just no, no need for an explanation (now if "If I Were A Boy" was nominated, OK- that would make more sense)!

Beyoncé: "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)"
Britney Spears: "Circus"
Lady Gaga: "Paparazzi"
Gnarls Barkley: "Who’s Gonna Save My Soul"
Coldplay: "Viva La Vida"

  • Oh goodness by now it seems like I'm ragging on Beyonce for these nominations- but what art, besides the black and white concept did "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" have, the leotards? To me, Britney Spears "Circus" had an artsy quality about it. Also "Paparazzi" was also a well thought out video, with specific art and direction in mind, so either of those are winners in my mind! [I could see Britney win this award, and it not be televised, if she doesn't attend!]

Death Cab For Cutie: "Grapevine Fires"
Gnarls Barkley: "Who’s Gonna Save My Soul"
Anjulie: "Boom"
Cold War Kids: "I've Seen Enough"
Chairlift: "Evident Utensil"
Bat For Lashes: "Daniel
Major Lazer: "Hold The Line"
Passion Pit: "The Reeling"
Matt & Kim: "Lessons Learned"
Yeah Yeah Yeahs: "Heads Will Roll"

  • Point simple, I'm not excited about this category! Haven't heard any of these songs, let alone seen their videos!

U2: "Where The Streets Have No Name"
Dr Dre: "Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang"
Beastie Boys: "Sabotage"
Bjork: "Human Behavior"
Radiohead: "Karma Police"
George Michael: "Freedom"
Foo Fighters: "Everlong"
Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers: "Into The Great Wide Open"
OK Go: "Here It Goes Again"
David Lee Roth: "California Girls"

  • This is a lame new category to me. NEXT! I mean seriously, Monster Single Of The Year (2007) was a better lame idea category than this!

Well, overall the night will be a big way for MTV to show how much they love Lady Gaga, by giving her the most amount of awards. I think this was a obvious thought, because MTV put Beyonce into categories with "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)," where it clearly would have been a better option to nominate "If I Were A Boy." Beyonce should be mad at MTV for that! Or was it because the video was released to early, before the deadline, cause I thought it came out alongside "Single Ladies" hmmm (and I just checked it did)! Be mad Bey, cause MTV is posing to make Gaga look like she had a way bigger year than you. I'm just hoping Britney can win some for her year too, cause "Womanizer" and "Circus" were huge songs, and deserve to win. Let's hope the show will be good this year will great!

So what DO YOU THINK of the nominations, and VMAs in general?

Leave comments below!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Clearly Inspired by The King Of Pop

Michael Jackson has inspired so many current artists. In remembrance and memorial to Michael Jackson, here is a look at a few (in no particular order)...

Britney Spears
Spears has become one of the biggest selling artists in the 2000s and partly because of her tours which feature what many think Spears does best, dance. A lot of her dancing has been influenced from Michael Jackson.

Chris Brown
Brown has been labeled in some cases a younger version of MJ. Once again his dance moves catapult him towards this comparison. At the 2007 MTV VMAs he performed to "Billie Jean," in tribute to MJ.

Justin Timberlake
Timberlake has become another entertainer who's gained many MJ comparisons from his particular dancing. Along with 'N Sync, he even performed with one of his idols, MJ.

Very similar to MJ, Usher grew up in the spotlight and became the star he is today right in front of the public. As he grew up, his dancing became more respected and appreciated; from his distinctive moves such as his handstand, he's obviously been influenced by MJ.

Ne-Yo alike MJ has became a prominent and popular songwriter. As he has been dancing for some time now, he really showed off his MJ moves and swag with the live performances and music video to 2008s "Closer."

While Rihanna isn't really the dancing music superstar, she sampled the MJ made famous "Ma Ma Se, Ma Ma Sa, Ma Ma Coo Sa" chant in her hit "Don't Stop The Music." Following, she also used the dark eerie vibe from "Thriller" in her music video to "Disturbia."

Unlike many others Ciara has listed both MJ and his younger sister has big influenced to her style of dance. While some label her the new era Janet, in a recent interview with ThatGrapeJuice she actually picked MJ over Janet!

While Ashanti isn't really compared to MJ for her dancing, she was definitely lyrically inspired by The King Of Pop. Her 2003 hit single was titled "Rock Wit You (Awww Baby)" similar to MJs 1979 hit single "Rock With You." She also remixed the song to feature a beat more similar to MJs version and a bridge featuring his lyrics.

Beyonce is one of the biggest females when it comes to putting on a show filled with dance routines and memorable performances. Similar to MJ's moonwalk, Beyonce's dance routine for "Single Ladies" was inspired from a past similar number she saw. She has recently claimed him as one of her heroes.

Even though Omarion isn't currently in the spotlight as he used to be, Omarion's dancing has been clearly inspired from MJ. If you watch his videos including "Touch" you can see resemblances to how MJ would effortless move in Omarion as well.

As you can see many artists have been and continue to be influenced and inspired by The King Of Pop. Michael Jackson will stand forever as the guideline of what an ultimate global star is and should be like. And if that statement seems to big for me to make, just look at some of the extremely popular stars who have emulated Jackson in some way, shape or form. [Do you know someone who deserves to be on this list? Drop a comment, and list your name and you will receive credit if added to the list]

R.I.P. Michael Joseph Jackson
August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Barbadian Exploration: Livvi Franc "Now I'm That Bitch"

So ever since Rihanna came into super stardom, the U.S. has gotten other female variants from her native Barbados. First we had Shontelle, who had mediocre success with her song "T-Shirt" (which actually was a good catchy song to me). Sadly her follow singles "Battle Cry," and "Stuck With Each other" [featuring Akon] which actually sounded like a "Hate That I Love You" knock off (but still good), didn't receive much attention at all.

Next up from Barbados, is Livvi Franc. Who actually writes her own lyrics. Which is a plus to all of the people who always bring up the fact that Rihanna is a Def Jam puppet. Franc's debut single, "Now I'm That Bitch" features Latino Hip Hop star Pitbull, and brings a fierce attitude to men all around the world, as she claims to be 'that bitch;' but in a positive way of course.

I must admit the song is rather catchy, and already has became a U.S. dance hit. The line in the song that I must say makes the song, is not the title, "Now I'm That Bitch," it's when Livvi Franc says, "You were to fly then, so fly away now." Gotta love that line! We'll see what the future holds for this Barbadian artist. Will she become as successful as Rihanna, I doubt it, but who knows she may have a better first round than Shontelle...maybe!

Monday, June 29, 2009

BET Awards 09: Monica Outshines Keyshia Cole (Without Trying)

It was really something when Keyshia Cole and Monica sang their duet live on the 2009 BET Awards. You think since they were performing a sincere ballad that it would have been one of the nights highlight performances. Well it was for one of the two.

I personally think Keyshia Cole was up on stage trying to out-sing Monica. Which is just wrong. Monica has been in this game for so many years, and to her, Keyshia is a baby! Well too bad for Cole because she ended up sounding off, very "screamy" with her vocals; as Monica just glided through her vocals (and was even told in the post show by Foxx and Latifa to put out an album now!). Not to mention what was up with her [Keyshia's] hair-do!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

BET Awards 09: Janet Speaks On Michael

Sadly, the best part of the 2009 BET Awards was actually its saddest part! Near the end of the program they've had Janet Jackson come out on behalf of the Jackson family and speak on how the family is coping and showing respect for her brother, Michael. Janet was completely shaken, and you could visibly see the pain she was going through. You could tell how close they were as siblings, and the moment was very touching.

While it was a very sad moment to see Janet like this, it was great to hear from her and hear her respects and strength she is holding for her family, in their time of need. Rest In Peace Michael Jackson, and to his family, you are in many peoples thoughts.

I must admit, as she was first being walked out by Jamie Foxx, I definitely thought she was Diana Ross.

BET Awards 09: Keri Hilson Needs More Stamina

What do you know... Once again Keri Hilson's live performance, just wasn't cutting it. She was sounding like she was out of breath once again. She never truly dances so hard (like Ciara) yet she is always out of breath.

Her performance showed her respect and love for the late Michael Jackson which was nice, but she still shouldn't have been dancing if she couldn't sing throughout it. Work on your stamina Keri!

BET Awards 09: Jamie Foxx's Intro

So Jamie Foxx's intro was pretty much paying respect to Michael Jackson. It wasn't bad, nor anything that special. It would have been nice if he had sung the part of "Beat It" that he danced to. A rather long intro which I'm sure was because of the Michael Jackson's tribute from him.

Hopefully he makes the rest of the show more memorable. I'm already upset by how many times they've bleeped out words he said, cause sometimes it's like, huh what was he saying/did he say.

BET Awards 09: LeToya's Wrong Song Choice

So LeToya recently performed on the 106 & Park Pre-Show to the 2009 BET Awards... And I have no idea why she decided to perform her months old single "Not Anymore." Besides the fact that its old, its a slow song that didn't get the crowd hyped, and will not help her set her album off right. At least she didn't make this mistake on the actual show.

It was just a really bad decision of hers, especially when she has her new uptempo single, "She Ain't Got..." which should have been performed, to help the single at radio and in sales. LeToya...bad move!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Remembering The Times : Michael Jackson

Here's a look of Michael Jackson throughout the years

Michael Jackson was truly an icon, and probably the worlds biggest music superstar. May he Rest In Peace. Michael Jackson: 1958-2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson: The King Of Pop 1958-2009

It is truly sad to lose such an iconic musician today. Michael Jackson who was known to and by many as the King Of Pop, died at age 50: after being rushed to the UCLA hospital after being in cardiac arrest. Jackson did not have a pulse and paramedics couldn't revive him. Jackson was preparing a tour overseas which sold out extremely quick and was set kick off this year and ending by next year.

While over the years many people have taken to Michael Jackson's behavior and ways, over his undeniable talent immense popularity, he will be something the Music Industry will never forget. Artists from all genre's of music have said they've been inspired by him and you can truly see within stars such as Ciara, Britney Spears, Chris Brown, and Omarion, just to name a few.

Michael Jackson helped pave the way for artists of of all races, by his unique performances, stage presence and with help from Quincy Jones, who helped get his music videos played on MTV (at the time MTV was not playing black artists music videos), the first being "Billie Jean."

Below is a link to one of Michael Jackson's memorable music videos, that I for one remember from back when I was younger/in the 90s. Once again, Rest In Peace to Michael Jackson, and the entire Jackson family and everybody who was close to them. With the BET Awards just around the corner (this Sunday) I wonder who all they will get on stage to do a MJ tribute-should be very memorable! R.I.P.

Click Here to view Michael Jackson's "Remember The Time" mini movie music video.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

HOT MUSIC: "Radar" by Britney Spears

Ever since Britney Spears released her 5th studio album Blackout in 2007, "Radar" infectiously became a song that was on repeat. It was initially slatted as the album's fourth single, but was eventually scrapped and listed as a promo only single, since Spears had started work on her 6th studio album.

Thanks to Britney adding it as a bonus track on Circus, we finally get to see "Radar" released as an official single. The ElectroPop song, is one of her most catchy songs to date. While many may say the song is overly computer generated it only adds to it's feel, and only makes the song more danceable and catchy.

When it comes to Spears' competition on the charts, I see "Radar" competing with Lady Gaga's "LoveGame," since they both are ElectroPop songs and released around the same time; but "Radar" by far is a way catchier song, and I hope she reaches the tops of the charts with it, because it is a deserving song.

The music video has been filmed but not yet released, so until then listen to "Radar" below.

WHAT DID YOU think of "Radar" LEAVE COMMENTS below!