Following the news of Michael Jackson's 50th birthday this last week, I felt inclined to pay him tribute by way of one of Destiny's Child's finest performances. DC have always used a part of their song "Bootylicious," including a portion of the music video, to acknowledge the King of Pop's influence on them & this generation's group of performers. In this case, they played up the fact when they performed the song for Mr. Jackson himself. The girls showed off their talent at the height of their fame for the man himself & ended up with an excellent piece of work to look back on at, say, a time like this!
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Kelly Rowland performed the classic "Part-Time Lover" in Europe with The Script recently on T-Mobile Transmission. People seem to be liking this, but I kinda think it's a bit weird. It's still cool though to a certain extent ... & I would never hate on Kelly.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Now, as much as I love SoL-AngeL & The Hadley St. Dreams, I have to start out--only briefly--with a somewhat negative critique. The album's opener "God Given Name" might state just how Solange Knowles feels about who she is & the comparisons she receives regarding her older, *slightly* more successful sister (Beyonce, for those in the dark), but I'm more one for showing who you really are & why you deserve our attention, rather than just saying it. The good thing is: just about all the rest of Solange's sophomore album does just that--in a pretty incredible way.
Solange gets going in an excellent way with "T.O.N.Y.," a creative & enjoyable song that starts demonstrating the sound Solange is going for in a wonderful way. "Dancing In The Dark" creates a lighter & very fun mood, while one of my favorites, "Would've Been The One," is a catchy, effective mix of old- & new-school music that has Solange demonstrating those Knowles pipes quite well. The album's second single "Sandcastle Disco," which anyone who reads this blog knows I'm basically a huge fan of, is followed by the first single "I Decided - Pt. 1," another tune that's great fun.
SoL-AngeL & The Hadley St. Dreams continues into a slower & seemingly more heartfelt section with "Valentine's Day" & "6 O'Clock Blues," which, as the latter's title suggests, has a refreshing blues-influenced vibe. I feel like I should apologize for it, but everytime I listen to the album, I completely forget "Ode To Marvin." The song is as nice as the next one, but just doesn't stick out I guess. I do, however, remember "I Told You So" quite well, which has Solange singing her booty off & includes those irresistible "ba-ba-ba"s.
A bit of a different sound then arises with the Bilal-assisted "Cosmic Journey." Another one of my favorites, it brings together the electronic-type music that I like & the R&B music that I've always loved. I applaud Solange for taking a chance with this song & doing a beautiful job of it. The album closes out with "This Bird," a tune with a similar subject (&, imo, problem) to the first track. However, Solange has a small speaking part in this song that I just love because her goofy personality is one of my favorite things about her & for her to include that side of her in her album is something I admire. "I Decided - Pt. 2," the Freemasons remix of Solange's first single released across the pond, is also included, which I am thankful for.
One thing that confuses me about SoL-AngeL & The Hadley St. Dreams (& don't get me wrong--it's neither a positive nor a negative) is the sequencing &, more specifically, the songs that were (&, more so, weren't) included. For example, some of the confirmed &/or bonus tracks that were left off the final tracklisting include "Champagnechroniknightcap" (with or without Lil' Wayne), "Wanna Go Back" (featuring Marsha Ambrosius & Q-Tip), the Estelle-assisted "Same Song, Different Man," "White Picket Dreams," & even Q-Tip's feature on "Sandcastle Disco." I only mention this because, of the ones I heard, any of these songs could have easily fit in with the rest of the album. Also, they are all good &, although I haven't heard the song with Estelle, anything with her is pure fire. I do wonder though if something happened that made Solange remove both of Q-Tip's features from the album...
Anyhow, I am pretty much obsessed with Solange's new album. SoL-AngeL & The Hadley St. Dreams is such a refreshing set with solid material & excellent execution. Solange has definitely proven that she can not only be a good artist, but a groundbreaking one as well. The world really needs a talented artist who can blend all that is great about music into one incredible sound.
Rating: 4/5 Stars
As Michael Jackson turns 50 today, he talked over the phone to Good Morning America about the milestone, as well as his career & what's to come. It's quite rare these days to hear from MJ, so it was nice to get something, especially on this special day for him. Happy Birthday Michael!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Here's a video of Jennifer Hudson performing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the Democratic National Convention. For anyone who hasn't seen "Dreamgirls" in a while or thinks they've forgotten just how talented J-Hud is, this one's for you. Jennifer has surely given us the latest classic rendition of the US National Anthem. Don't forget: Jennifer Hudson's self-titled debut album hits stores September 30th.
So, as it turns out, Michelle Williams performed at the J&R MusicFest in NYC recently as well--& quite a large set at that. While her vocals during the performances were just alright, Michelle has a great energy onstage, which I love. Michelle performed four songs off her upcoming album Unexpected (October 7th) including first single "We Break The Dawn" & forthcoming second single "The Greatest," which is one of 'the greatest' songs on the album. Unexpected may not drop till October, but let's be real: the thing leaked. That said, Michelle has something very special on her hands, so I really hope Columbia can get the promotional job done with "The Greatest" in time for Unexpected to not only get released in October, but rock the charts as well. The material--& Michelle--are both worth it.
Solange performed her first single "I Decided" off her new album SoL-AngeL & The Hadley St. Dreams (out now) on The Early Show, but that's not all. Beyonce & their mother Tina Knowles were interviewed about Solange in a segment that brought Solo to tears. Good stuff.
This week's #1 single on the Hot 100 chart^
See full charts HERE.
Solange also performed at the J&R MusicFest in NYC recently. She sang the first two singles taken from her new album SoL-AngeL & The Hadley St. Dreams, which is out now. Gotta love how dedicated she is to her performances.
"Body On Me"
Ashanti performed a couple of the singles off her latest album The Declaration in New York City's J&R MusicFest recently. I thought the "A Milli" beat played during "Good Good" worked really well, while the abbreviated "Body On Me" was a bit awkward, as Nelly & Akon weren't there. However, all-in-all, Ashanti did her thing & I'm glad to see her out promoting The Declaration.
Solange recently appeared on Today & performed her first single "I Decided" (after a brief interview) off her sophomore album SoL-AngeL & The Hadley St. Dreams, which was released this week. She did a good job. After kinda obsessing over "Sandcastle Disco" for the past couple weeks, this reminded me of my love for "I Decided" as well.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
"It was produced by Tank. I’m a huge fan of his, & I thought the song was a great idea. I love the feeling of it. It’s very modern, but it has the elements of R&B."
The article also describes J-Hud's debut as having a "variety" of tracks "from blockbuster heart-renders to chic hip-hop-flavored experiments." I've been anxious for a while now to find out more about Jennifer's album, so this is quite satisfying. I am especially excited to hear that she will not only be displaying her magnificent voice on more "Dreamgirls"-like ballads, but will also be experimenting with some different sounds. I believe in Jennifer, so I know she has the talent to pull off any sound she goes for.
In related news, I thought I should mention that Jennifer has been hand-picked by Barack Obama to sing the National Anthem at the Democratic National Convention on the night Obama accepts the Democratic nomination for president. Congrats to her for that & I look forward to hearing her hit it out of the park!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Solange was very much awake (to say the least) when she performed her latest single "Sandcastle Disco" on the Late Show With David Letterman last night. She was getting her 'Sasha' on lol--& rightfully so because it is one of the highlights on her new album SoL-AngeL & The Hadley St. Dreams, which is out today.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Leona Lewis sang "A Whole Lotta Love" with Jimmy Page at the closing ceremony for the Beijing Olympics. I really enjoyed hearing Leona perform something other than her own singles, even if we didn't get to hear a whole lot due to commentators & such. It makes me excited about her talent all over again & anxious to hear what she has to offer with her follow-up to Spirit.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
In the midst of all the big awards show performances, every so often, a very special hidden gem arises. Recently, I ran across this Christina Aguilera performance from her Stripped era & fell in love. Here, Christina performs the album track "Walk Away" & creates a magical little moment for herself. This is the kind of performance that makes Christina such a special artist: every once in a while, she just 'strips' everything away & displays her amazing voice. Along with her talent, Christina brings along her emotions in the delivery of the song & it is just great. Hopefully with her next album, we will see more of this from Christina.
Friday, August 22, 2008
"Official Girl," featuring Lil' Wayne, is the first single taken from Cassie's forthcoming sophomore album, which is due early next year. I like Cassie to a certain degree, but it's never been because of her talent. Some of her material has hot production that flows great with her soft vocals. "Official Girl," imo, is not one of those songs. I'm not all that impressed with the video either. Though it appears to be high budget, the money seems to have been wasted. Sure, she's doing what she does best the whole time--looking good--but that's all. No emotion, practically no story. While I'm not trying to bash Cassie, I would hate for her to see more success than the (many) more deserving artists.
"Green Light," featuring Andre 3000, is the first single from John Legend's new album Evolver (October 28th). I've always felt about John Legend, well, the way he demonstrates at the beginning of the video. However, I'm really feeling this new one of his. Andre 3000 definitely adds a lil' something special. Also, look out for John's artist Estelle to make a cameo towards the beginning.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
"Goodnight Goodnight" is the latest single off Maroon 5's sophomore album It Won't Be Soon Before Long. I think it's cool that they took a creative angle at making this video & I like it ... even if it is a bit overwhelming.
See full charts HERE.
- The highest debut on the Hot 100 of 2008
- The highest debut ever on the Hot 100 for an American Idol song not performed on the series
- Archey’s peak position to date on the Hot 100 is higher than the winner, David Cook
...& that's just some of them! Well, let me be the first (doubtful--lol) to say: YAY!! Go David Archuleta!!! :) (I told the world he was the better David. They finally listened!)
"I'll Be Lovin' U Long Time" Watch
TW: #58 - LW: #61 - Peak: #58 - Week: #6
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
My future wife Jordin Sparks appeared this morning on Good Morning America to give a short interview & perform her current single "One Step At A Time," the third off her self-titled debut album. Jordin looked & sounded great, but she never doesn't. Yay for finally finding something worthwhile to post about today!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
First Love starts off with the banger "90's Baby." As the sucker that I am for a good uptempo track, I found this to be the perfect way to grab the listener's attention, as well as describe to her audience just who they are dealing with. The upbeat feel continues with the Lil' Mama-assisted "Baby, Baby," another solid & enjoyable song. Second single "Can't Find The Words" slows it down a bit. If radio would pay attention to this song, it would light up the airwaves. The album's first single "16 @ War" is next, followed by "Winner," which just so happens to be quite an appropriate title. It really hits hard & seems like a track that belongs to, & only to, Karina.
"Can You Handle It" comes next & is a nice tune that deals with issues that are appropriate for Karina's young age. The catchy slow jam "The Love We Got" & cool uptempo "They Ain't Gotta Love You" compliment eachother well with their similar subject matter & excellent vocal display. Karina really starts showing off her vocal chops with the ballad "Slow Motion." Then, her two aforementioned attributes are displayed well in the album's last two tracks. "Can't Bring Me Down" is a declaration of the strength Karina has developed at this point in her life & the title track "First Love" is a very enjoyable finale that has Karina describing what music means to her.
Most of the tracks on First Love are great, some are just good, but the talent of this new artist is nothing short of extraordinary. Karina's debut is a fun & interesting listen that brings a fine young vocalist to our attention. With any luck, the world will look up & recognize a real singer when they hear one. Either way, I plan to enjoy First Love & look forward to what Karina has to offer us in the future.
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Another newcomer currently featured on "Discover & Download" is Keri Hilson. After establishing a successful career, Keri has now set her sights on a singing career. Her debut single "Energy," taken from her upcoming debut album In A Perfect World... (October 7th), can be downloaded HERE as well. Keri Hilson has also proven herself to be an exceptional talent by establishing a decent-sized internet fanbase. Note: Check out the alternate single cover for Keri's "Energy" to the right. I has posted the original cover, so I thought I'd (finally) share the new one with you.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Jennifer Hudson stars in this adaptation of the best-selling novel "The Secret Life Of Bees." Also starring are Alicia Keys, Dakota Fanning, & Queen Latifah. Looks like a winner. "The Secret Life Of Bees" opens October 17th.
Here's the video premiere for "I Know What Boys Like," the Katharine McPhee (& cast) song taken from her new movie "The House Bunny," which hits theaters Friday. Good to know that Kat doesn't contribute to the strange rap portions of the track. Still, I am hoping her forthcoming sophomore album will consist more of material similar to her leaked track "I Will Be There With You."
"Pretty Please (Love Me)," featuring Cee-Lo, is the fourth single off Estelle's recent album Shine, my review for which can be read by clicking the 'album reviews' label on the right. At first I was somewhat puzzled by the single choice, as it is a track placed later in the tracklisting, but I figured, with Cee-Lo in the mix, the track has a shot at success. It also appears that singles are dropping fairly quickly from this project ... while "American Boy" (the second single) is still riding high over here in the US. Nonetheless, Estelle has a worldwide audience, so the more music videos, the merrier. I quite like this one, though Cee-Lo doesn't appear in it; however, many other celebrities do.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
1. Bust Your Windows
2. Need U Bad
3. My Foolish Heart
4. Lions, Tigers & Bears
5. Call Me Guilty
6. One Night Stand
7. After The Hurricane
8. Live A Lie
9. Dream Big
12. In Love With Another Man
Too awesome! It's like all the songs on my playlist right now along with a whole batch of songs sure to be amazing that I haven't even heard yet! Jazmine Sullivan is truly an incredible talent & I'm really anticipating her debut.
1. God Given Name
3. Dancing In The Dark
4. Would've Been The One
5. Sandcastle Disco
6. I Decided
7. Valentine's Day
8. 6 O'Clock Blues
9. Ode To Marvin
10. I Told You So
11. Cosmic Journey (ft. Bilal)
12. This Bird
13. I Decided, Pt. 2
From what I've heard so far, Solange appears to have a winner on her hands with this project. I am loving these artists who have been doing their own thing lately.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Ah, the days when DC3 reigned. Last night, I suddenly had the urge to watch "Charlie's Angels," so I pulled out my DVD & did just that. Courtesy of the credits at the end, I felt inclined to head straight to the special features menu & select Destiny's Child's "Independent Women Part 1" music video. As I enjoyed, I began to realize just how much I miss the group. Beyonce's B'Day, Kelly's Ms. Kelly, & Michelle's Unexpected have provided some of my favorite music of the last couple years, so Destiny's Child has become what would be somewhat of a supergroup. Naturally, I was reminded of their 2001 Grammy Awards performance, a medley of "Independent Women" & "Say My Name," which took place on a very special night for the group--the night they won their very first Grammys. An irreplaceable magic was created when these talented ladies were together, so it's always fun to relive the good ol' days. (Note: Sorry about the tags...)
Friday, August 15, 2008
"Sandcastle Disco" is the second single off Solange's sophomore album SoL-AngeL & The Hadley St. Dreams (August 26th). First off, lemme just say: how can anyone not LOVE this song? Anyway, the video, which Solange directed herself, is really incredible. It fits the song perfectly, visually creating what a 'sandcastle disco' just might be. Very entertaining.
“Human is my most personal album to date,” said Brandy. “I have grown so much since my last album. Being able to express myself & my journey through my music is a feeling I can’t describe. With this new chapter of my life it feels good to have Rodney, a familiar face, by my side again. He brings out emotions in me like nobody else.”
The 'Rodney' Brandy speaks of is Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, the producer she worked with on my personal favorite B-Rocka album to date (Full Moon), so I'm glad the two are back together. More details have emerged about Human, including a few song titles: "Fall," which has previously leaked & was co-written by Natasha Bedingfield, "Long Distance," "Piano Man," & "Torn Down." Also, Brandy is collaborating with Brian Kennedy (Rihanna's "Disturbia"), RedOne (Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie"), & James Fauntleroy (Jordin Sparks' "No Air"). Lastly, Brandy's first single "Right Here (Departed)" will be released on August 26th & will impact Pop radio on September 16th. Yippee!!
- The Pussycat Dolls "When I Grow Up"
- Britney Spears "Piece Of Me"
- Chris Brown "Forever"
- The Ting Tings "Shut Up & Let Me Go"
- Jonas Brothers "Burnin' Up"
Best Rock Video
- Paramore "crushcrushcrush"
- Linkin Park "Shadow Of The Day"
- Foo Fighters "The Pretender"
- Slipknot "Psychosocial"
- Fall Out Boy "Beat It"
Well, this is quite a letdown. The best video of the year, Mariah Carey's "Touch My Body," didn't get a nomination in the top category ... & yet, Britney's only half-decent video for "Piece Of Me" got a pity nomination ... go figure. Anyway, that forces me to choose The Pussycat Dolls' "When I Grow Up" as my pick for the (unlikely) win. As far as Best Rock Video, that is one category that doesn't do much for me, but I'll have to go with the only choice I can stand: Paramore's "crushcrushcrush."
Thursday, August 14, 2008
This week's #1 single on the Hot 100 chart^
See full charts HERE.
TW: #61 - LW: #70 - Peak: #61 - Week: #5
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
"We Break The Dawn"
Michelle Williams was recently a guest on The Wendy Williams Show, where she performed her single "We Break The Dawn," which comes from her upcoming album Unexpected (October 7th), & took part in an interview with Wendy. The interviews from Wendy Williams are always the most entertaining. Michelle also did very well with the song. I also have to say that Michelle is looking very nice!
"Take Me On The Floor" is the fourth (Australian) single off The Veronicas' sophomore album Hook Me Up, which will be released physically in the US on September 16th. The girls take a page from both Kelly Rowland's "Work" visually & Katy Perry's "I Kissed A Girl" audibly with their latest.
Columbia Records are finally getting the ball rolling with promotion for Michelle Williams' third studio album Unexpected, which is set for release on October 7th. Michelle appeared on The Early Show recently for a short interview, followed by a performance of her first single "We Break The Dawn." I was very impressed by Michelle's performance, especially because of her vocals. Her new sound is definitely not just the studio magic I was afraid it would be.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
Check out these brand new TV spots Britney Spears shot to promote the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards. Also in the clips are this year's host Russell Brand & an elephant. I actually found them quite funny. The show goes down on September 7th.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Note: Here's an interesting tidbit I picked up from the article above. Mariah is set to "make a feature-length HBO musical adaptation of Merry Christmas, her 1994 holiday album." I had heard the rumors, but I guess it's actually gonna happen! Here's to it happening THIS Christmas! *crosses fingers*
Katharine McPhee has shot a video for her song "Connected," which was recorded for use in the new Barbie movie. Kat looks great in the video, which features clips from the cheesy flick. I'm glad we get to hear some decent new music from her, but I'm still waiting for that new album...
Saturday, August 9, 2008
When Beyonce set out to be a solo star, everyone knew she would be successful. However, I'm not sure if we all knew just what was headed our way. Beyonce named her debut solo album Dangerously In Love, a title shared with a Destiny's Child-turned-Beyonce song, which she performed here at the 2004 Grammy Awards. On a set made to look like a life-size portrait, Beyonce shined both visually & vocally as she stunned the audience with her rendition of the ballad. I've always loved how Beyonce uses this song to showcase her talent. The Grammys also noticed Beyonce's talent that year, rewarding her quite nicely with a whopping 5 awards. What a wonderful night it was for the hottest chick in the game.