Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Here are those performances by Jennifer Hudson mentioned during her latest Good Morning America appearance, which was featured in my last post. Jennifer performed her first single "Spotlight" (after a short interview) & signature "Dreamgirls" song "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" in Washington DC for the show recently. J-Hud's self-titled debut album is available now, so go get it!
Monday, September 29, 2008
Check out the video premiere of "Another Way To Die," the collaboration between Alicia Keys & Jack White that will serve as the theme song for the upcoming Bond flick "Quantum Of Solace." I was never really sold on the song & the video doesn't particularly help. While Alicia looks (& actually sounds) fine, Jack White is so not even close to my cup of tea.
Considering what I said earlier today about recognizing talent, here is another example. I'm not quite sure how new this video is, but I thought I would share the latest single "Real" from the Goo Goo Dolls, which was recorded for the Olympics. The video is simple, but the song is excellent.
Britney Spears surprised New York radio station Z100 this morning with a quick interview to promote her first single "Womanizer" off upcoming album Circus (December 2nd). You can watch the interview, during which Britney discusses "Womanizer," the VMAs, & a world tour next year, above. It's so awesome to see her again! I can't wait to see what she might cook up for a tour.
Jennifer Hudson continued down the promotion trail for her self-titled debut album, which drops tomorrow(!), with an appearance & performance of first single "Spotlight" on The View. The interview was cool, which had Jennifer sitting alongside Whoopi Goldberg, one of the other only four black women who have ever won an Oscar. It goes without saying that Jennifer is one of the few artists who is typically even better live than in the studio, so I could watch her perform "Spotlight" all day long!
"Broken" is the new single from American Idol season 6 top 12 finalist Brandon Rogers that is available now for download on iTunes HERE. Brandon was one of my (many) favorites from that season, so it's cool to see him doing his thing. I like the song as it displays his voice nicely. Not sure about the video, but I'll take what I can get.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Jennifer Hudson starts off with "Spotlight," which was by no means a weak lead single, however I found it to be far from the best midtempo on the album. In fact, the track that follows, "If This Isn't Love," is easily one of the album's best offerings. I love the song's vocal arrangements & contemporary production. The Ludacris-assisted "Pocketbook" gives the album its uptempo with Jennifer's signature attitude. "Giving Myself" is a beautiful ballad that has Jennifer displaying her outstanding vocal chops just right.
Unfortunately, though "What's Wrong (Go Away)," which features T-Pain, is potentially a decent song, the choice to have Jennifer singing alongside the synthesized T-Pain was just the wrong decision. Jennifer's too good for that, so the song just doesn't quite work for me. The catchy midtempo "My Heart" gets the album back on the right track. More great production singles out "You Pulled Me Through" as another standout track. Jennifer's fellow Idol alumni Fantasia joins her on the duet "I'm His Only Woman." The two compliment one another perfectly to make for a very interesting listen.
Jennifer gets serious with "Can't Stop The Rain," which begins a nice trio of midtempo tracks. "We Gon' Fight" & "Invisible" are the other two & they represent what makes this album great: Jennifer's vocals make every song just different enough for the album to stay enjoyable & never get boring. The showstopping "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" is included here to remind everyone why we fell in love with Jennifer in the first place. The album's closer is the gospel track "Jesus Promised Me A Home Over There." Oh, what a church service led by Jennifer Hudson would be like.
Jennifer Hudson could sing the phone book & I would like it. Her talent goes so far & beyond her peers it's astounding. While I was only slightly hesitant about a ballad-heavy debut album, I'm glad Jennifer's label held off & released a more diverse offering. Jennifer Hudson is a very enjoyable debut that does the powerhouse singer more than justice. I can only hope this album gives Jennifer the lifelong career she deserves.
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Jennifer Hudson began promotion for her self-titled debut album, which hits stores next week, by appearing & performing her first single "Spotlight" on the Tonight Show With Jay Leno on Friday. The interview, during which she discussed her recent engagement & new movie "The Secret Life Of Bees," was cool. The performance was great & it's so nice to hear her amazing talent once again.
Vonzell Solomon was the third place finisher on the fourth season of American Idol. More importantly, she is my favorite contestant ever! She has yet to release an album following her stint on the show, however she recently previewed her long awaited first single "Classy" via the above video. I can't wait for the whole thing! And fear not because I will keep you all updated on anything & everything Vonzell!
Here, we have the last performance from Kelly Clarkson at this live session. Kelly performs "Because Of You," the fourth single off her sophomore album Breakaway, in this clip. I was never huge on the song, but she won me over with this performance.
"Many Moons" is the first single taken from Janelle Monae's major label debut Metropolis: The Chase Suite (available now). I discovered Janelle not too long ago & found her very interesting. I really like her song "Sincerely Jane." Now, I just watched this video & I've no clue what happened lol. It's interesting to see what appears to be a high budget video come from a Bad Boy artist.
Here is Jazmine Sullivan's performance of her first single "Need U Bad" off (highly recommended) debut album Fearless, out now, on her recent half-hour BET special "Jazmine Sullivan: Fearless." Jazmine killed it once again. I managed to catch a rerun of the special with my DVR, though I have yet to watch it, but I'm sure it will be amazing.
UPDATE: Well, I was right. If you would like to view the entire special, which also includes performances of "Bust Your Windows," "In Love With Another Man," "One Night Stand," & "Lions, Tigers & Bears," click HERE!
"Running Back," featuring Flo Rida, is the first single from Australia's Jessica Mauboy. I had never heard of this former Australian Idol contestant before, but I decided to give her a shot & was impressed, so here's your opportunity to check her out. I'm not sure if much will come of this for those of us who live outside of Australia, but just in case, here's her video.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Feel free to check out Britney Spears' first single "Womanizer" off her upcoming album Circus (December 2nd) now! I think it's freaking sweet. Just for the heck of it, I've attached the official single cover for "Womanizer" below:
"When It Hurts" is the first single taken from Avant's upcoming self-titled album (October 28th). I like the video & it had me appreciating the song in a whole new light. I'm getting more & more interested in what Avant will have to offer this time around.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Rihanna is still promoting her single "Disturbia" in the UK, & did so by performing it & doing an interview on This Morning. The interview was cool. I think I figured out what it is with these performances that I don't like though. For me, "Disturbia" works better on a larger scale [see: VMAs ... Hey! I liked it.], so with just Rihanna & a couple backup singers, me no likey. Still, I've decided I should be nicer to RiRi. That is, unless she releases another ballad.
So, I have a new obsession: watching Jazmine Sullivan perform. Here, she sings the gorgeous "In Love With Another Man" from her debut album Fearless, which hit stores this week, for Imeem. This has got to be the best vocal performance I've ever heard. Jazmine, if you can hear me, I LOVE YOU!!!
"Need U Bad"
Yahoo! is really proving they know how to pick 'em lately. Like Keri Hilson before her, the wonderful Jazmine Sullivan is now being featured on Who's Next?, where she performed her first single "Need U Bad" off her incredible debut album Fearless (out now!!) & did a candid interview. Jazmine gave an amazing performance of "Need U Bad" that had me seeing (or hearing, rather) the song in a whole new light & gave me a whole new love for it as well.
"We hope people understand the message in Lisa's music & appreciate her as not just a member of TLC, but as a solo artist as well. This album is Left Eye's musical gift to her fans & adds to the beauty of her legacy."
It's been a long time coming, but I'm glad we will finally get to hear one last bit from Left Eye. I'm also pleased to see that the project has been formed in a somewhat tribute-like fashion, so that puts the icing on the cake. Lisa seemed like a very special person & she deserves to be recognized.
^This week's #1 album on the Billboard 200 chart
This week's #1 single on the Hot 100 chart^
See full charts HERE.
TW: #15 - LW: #32 - Peak: #2 - Week: #6
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
"Please Don't Leave Me"
Interview (Pt. 1)
Interview (Pt. 2)
Interview (Pt. 3)
Pink actually made me jealous, if only for a moment, of Canada by performing a whopping FIVE songs & doing a lengthy interview on Live@Much for Canadian TV's MuchMusic channel. Pink not only performed her #1 hit "So What," but also two new songs "Sober" & "Please Don't Leave Me" off her upcoming album Funhouse (October 28th). They all sounded amazing & it sounds like Pink will be getting a little more personal this time around. She also performed "Who Knew," one of my favorite cuts from her last album I'm Not Dead, & "Trouble" from her underrated album-before-last Try This. During the interview, Pink did discuss her recent separation from her husband, but she was extremely entertaining. This show is a definite must-see!
So, goodness me, I don't know how this show works. It appears that the first week involved two sets of performances & eliminations, so here is the second part of Toni Braxton's debut on Dancing With The Stars. After dodging the elimination bullet, Toni danced again & scored even higher than the night before! She is safe again, so I wish her all the luck in the world for however long she sticks around. Toni FTW!
UPDATE: In related news (& to have this post make more sense), Disney/Pixar's new animated short series "Cars Toons," which is based on the movie "Cars" & stars the film's character Mater, is set to premiere on Toon Disney on Monday, October 27th. The John Lasseter-directed series' schedule is as follows:
- Monday, 10/27 @ 6:56 pm ET - "Rescue Squad Mater"
- Tuesday, 10/28 @ 6:57 pm ET - "Mater The Greater"
- Wednesday, 10/29 @ 6:57 pm ET - "El Materdor"
Disney Channel will air the shorts all day on Saturday, November 1st, while ABC Family will present them starting December 23rd as a part of their "25 Days Of Christmas" event. This sounds exciting!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
"When I Grow Up"
Sure enough, The Pussycat Dolls returned to the US just in time to promote their new album Doll Domination, which is finally out(!), by performing "When I Grow Up" on The Ellen DeGeneres Show & shortly discussing the song afterwards. Of course, PCD couldn't go without their signature ladder thing for the performance; I've no clue what was going on with the leg girl's hair though. The interview, though short, was HILARIOUS! Ellen & Nicole discuss the 'groupies/boobies' lyric...
Last season, we followed Mario very far into the competition. This season, we get the privilege of watching Toni Braxton on Dancing With The Stars. During her first showing, Toni danced extremely well & impressed the judges! She also looks fantastic, so congrats to her for that. She didn't get eliminated this week(!), so Toni FTW!
The threesome make it a three-peat, as Ashanti, Nelly, & Akon performed "Body On Me" yet again on Jimmy Kimmel Live! A slightly larger audience, but otherwise nothing new. Nelly is really looking to sell a copy or two of Brass Knuckles.
Rihanna is looking to join the ranks of over-promoter by performing her hit single "Disturbia" from Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded again on GMTV in the UK. The performance actually followed a short interview--WTH?! Rihanna does those? I was surprised to discover that she is infact human. Unfortunately, the performance was probably her worst so far for "Disturbia." It sounded bad & I'm not sure what she was thinking doing those psycho moves while using a microphone stand. Also, why the glasses?
Monday, September 22, 2008
The brilliant Fearless starts off with the irresistible "Bust Your Windows," the album's second single that warns of the consequences of doing Jazmine wrong. "Need U Bad" is then followed by "My Foolish Heart," a soulful track with an addictive chorus. The amazing "Lions, Tigers & Bears" is one of the best displays of Jazmine's passionate vocals on the CD. "Call Me Guilty" follows, which deals with an abusive relationship, & is both interesting & enjoyable.
"One Night Stand" is another lyrically intriguing track & one of the catchiest of the bunch. I can relate very well to "After The Hurricane," which probably contributes to my love for the song. Still, the ballad is quite the passionate masterpiece. The inspirational "Dream Big" is one of the more uptempo offerings & has a great beat. "Live A Lie" is a wonderful display of Jazmine's one-of-a-kind voice.
Fearless' next track is "Fear," which discusses things we are all fearful of, yet is infact a fearless example of songwriting. How though does one go about describing "In Love With Another Man" with mere words? The album's final ballad is not only the song that got Jazmine signed, but is the first song I heard from Jazmine & the only one it took for me to fall in love with her. It's probably one of the greatest songs I've ever heard. Jazmine wraps it up with "Switch!," a very fun end to an outstanding soul debut.
Easily compared to Lauryn Hill because of their equally flawless talent, Jazmine Sullivan is a very special artist in her own right. Fearless is one of the best soul albums I've ever heard & that has a lot to do with the amazing talent of the singer behind this project. It would be impossible to try to convey her sound with words, so by all means, buy this album!
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Rihanna continued her promotion overseas by performing latest single "Disturbia" off Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded on For One Night Only. I've gotta applaud everyone, both on- & off-stage, for a wonderful performance ... well, everyone but Rihanna. I guess she did try, but maybe it would be best if she stuck to not.
Following "When I Grow Up" on Doll Domination's tracklisting is the Snoop Dogg-assisted "Bottle Pop," which is a cool, addictive banger, a phrase that can describe many of the highlights on the album. Second single "Whatcha Think About That," which features Missy Elliott, is a radio-friendly, enjoyable uptempo as well. They switch it up a bit with "I Hate This Part," a heartfelt ballad that just so happens to be one of Doll Domination's best tracks.
The Pussycat Dolls best demonstrate their album title with "Takin' Over The World," a track with an incredibly hot beat that does actually have the Dolls contributing vocally in the chorus very effectively. R. Kelly & Polow Da Don join PCD for "Out Of This Club," another of the album's slower tracks that uses just enough autotone effect to make the song intriguing. A bit of Nicole's shelved (for now) solo album reappears here in the form of "Who's Gonna Love You," which is scorching jam no matter where it's placed. Same case scenario with "Happily Never After," a ballad that seems very comfortable on a Pussycat Dolls record.
Some more cutting edge production come along with "Magic," another banger with one of the Dolls' signature catchy choruses. "Halo" is hard-hitting & one of the better slow offerings. Then, there's "In Person." Nicole Scherzinger: a woman after my own heart. This one has the lead Pussycat demonstrating all the sass that makes her worthy of leading these Dolls. Darkchild offers up a hot beat on "Elevator," while PCD proves they can do anything with the slow jam "Hush Hush."
Interesting lyrical content carries the midtempo "Love The Way You Love Me." Doll Domination's last uptempo is "Whatchamacallit," which is just as hot as the others while featuring my favorite word on the album: Madrid (you have to hear it to understand.) The Pussycat Dolls call it a sophomore album with "I'm Done," which gives yet another example of Nicole's underrated vocal ability.
Doll Domination is a much better album than I could have ever expected from The Pussycat Dolls. The production is excellent & there is a perfect blend of tracks. In fact, there isn't one dud amongst the generous 16 songs. For those interested in pop music, this is the album for you.
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Saturday, September 20, 2008
I assure you that it's not deja vu. The Pussycat Dolls did indeed perform "When I Grow Up," the first single off their forthcoming sophomore album Doll Domination, which is due Tuesday, yet again at the Vodafone Live Music Awards. While it may have been on a slightly grander scale, the performance was no different than what we've seen time & time again already. I understand that they need to promote the song people know around the time the album is dropping, but since they've already done that numerous times, it would have been nice to see them perform their second single "Whatcha Think About That" since this was a slightly bigger deal than the morning shows & such. Oh well.
"When I Grow Up"
The Pussycat Dolls appeared & performed "When I Grow Up" from their upcoming album Doll Domination (Tuesday!) on Sound overseas recently. Poor PCD had to perform their usual routine in an odd little corner. I have a feeling we will be seeing them do it many times this coming week back in the US to promote Doll Domination during its release week anyway, so it's whatever. The interview was pretty entertaining. Nicole's a really good winker! lol. Be on the lookout for my (VERY positive) review of Doll Domination soon.
Watch Kelly Clarkson flawlessly perform her third single & one of my favorite tracks off her sophomore album Breakaway, "Behind These Hazel Eyes."
"T-Shirt" is the first single off Shontelle's upcoming debut album Shontelligence (November 18th). Shontelle is a Barbados native, which explains her resemblance to Rihanna. While the song isn't groundbreaking, it's an enjoyable enough debut from this promising new artist. She is, at least, the more talented Bajan.
Don't Stop The Music
Rihanna is currently doing some overseas promotion, as she performed her singles "Disturbia" & "Don't Stop The Music" from her recently re-released album Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded on Star Academy. While "Don't Stop The Music" was blah as expected, I think "Disturbia" is a good song for Rihanna live (finally) because all she really has to do is what she did in the video & what she does best--stand there & act awkward--& it comes off great for the song.
Friday, September 19, 2008
"Body On Me"
Ashanti, Nelly, & Akon appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to perform their single "Body On Me" & give a quick interview. The performance was the same as the other day except that Akon danced with Ellen lol. The interview was pretty funny cause Ellen tried to get Nelly & Ashanti to admit their relationship, but they kept quiet. Good stuff.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
^This week's #1 album on the Billboard 200 chart
This week's #1 single on the Hot 100 chart^
See full charts HERE.
TW: #32 - LW: #32 - Peak: #2 - Week: #5
Keri Hilson is the latest artist to be featured on Yahoo's Who's Next?, which showcases "tomorrow's music today." She performed her first single "Energy" off her forthcoming debut album In A Perfect World... (November 4th) & did an interview as well. The interview was nice, while the performance was great! Keri sounded really good. Correct me if I'm wrong, but is Keri's backup singer not Leah LaBelle, the former American Idol contestant who recently covered "Energy" on YouTube?
Fantasia performed "Lady Marmalade" & Jennifer Hudson sang "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" during a tribute to Patti LaBelle at "An Evening Of Stars." Clips of both performances can be viewed above, while the annual special will air at the top of next year. Sounds like both ladies did their thing. Both J-Hud & Fantasia can be heard on the song "I'm His Only Woman," which will be featured on the former's upcoming debut album. Congrats also goes out to Jennifer for her recent engagement!
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
For those who have yet to hear The Pussycat Dolls' new album Doll Domination via extraordinary means, snippets of every track from the CD can also be heard HERE. I am really digging PCD this time around. Doll Domination also hits store this coming Tuesday, September 23rd.