Jennifer Hudson sang a soulful rendition of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" in Central Park at Netflix's celebration of "The Wizard Of Oz." Bow down! Preach it, girl! Ashanti, take notes! That was incredible. Today marks the one-year anniversary of the release of J-Hud's self-titled debut album. Can't wait for album #2!
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
1. Tell Me You Love Me
2. Heard 'Em All
5. Why R U
6. Pretty Brown (ft. Trey Songz)
7. More Than Love (ft. Fabolous)
8. Swag Back
9. You're A Star (Interlude)
10. Red Eye
11. The Flowers
12. Different People
13. Dear John
14. Heard 'Em All (Remix ft. Lil' Wayne)
What can we learn from this? Well, everything we've heard/that's leaked so far made the album, as did some material--almost half--we haven't heard. As sad as it may be, that's saying something, so I'm excited for this one. I've really come to respect Amerie increasingly as more from this era leaks because she sounds good on non-Rich Harrison-produced material, something I wasn't sure she could do.
Katharine McPhee, Alyson Hannigan, Emily Deschanel, Minka Kelly (why did I think she was Leighton Meester?), & Jaime King star in "THE BOOBY SCARE" o_O for Funny Or Die. Umm... Katharine's sophomore album Unbroken will be released on January 5th.
Beyonce "Crazy In Love"
The Black-Eyed Peas "Boom Boom Pow"
The Black-Eyed Peas "Pump It"
Beyonce & The Black-Eyed Peas were among the performers at F1 ROCKS recently in Singapore. Now, Imma need the Queen Bee to release that tour on DVD & make my year already. As for the Peas... don't work too hard there, will.i.am. Ya know, I actually quite prefer "Pow" to their current 13-week chart-topper.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
After surviving the first week's double elimination, Mya returned with a vengeance this week on Dancing With The Stars. Dancing the jive, Mya lit up the dance floor & managed to keep herself in the game once again, so congrats to her! Mya has more reason to celebrate this week because her mixtape Beauty & The Streets: Vol. 1 is out now.
Ryan Leslie is the latest fresh face to be featured on BET's Rising Icons series. During the special, Ryan performed "Diamond Girl," "You're Not My Girl," new song "Never Gonna Break Up," & "How It Was Supposed To Be." This is the most I've personally seen of Ryan all at once & it's really, really cool the way he goes about his "hustle." Ryan is currently promoting the release of his sophomore album Transition on November 3rd.
Britney Spears premiered her new single "3" off The Singles Collection (November 24th) this morning & it's sizzlin'! I'm gonna have to agree with some opinions I've seen & say that "3" > "Womanizer." Not that the musical styles are necessarily the same, but this is one of those songs that feels natural for Britney (see: Blackout) as opposed to some of the stuff on Circus that seemed basically "wrapped up, packed up, ribbon wit a bow on it." Britney actually still has the ability, unlike performing, to record great music; I just hope that she slows it down a little in 2010 & gets back on track before making any more major moves because her health needs to be the top priority, especially now that she's surrounded by loved ones (at least in contrast to a few years ago). Anyway, "3" is awesome!
Monday, September 28, 2009
Kelly Price looks AMAZING!! Alright, now that I've got that out of the way: Check out Deborah Cox, Kelly Price, & Tamia doing their first interview as the super group The Queen Project. The trio describes their group's mission, working with producer Shep Crawford (Deborah's "Nobody's Supposed To Be Here"), &, well, make sure you at least take a listen to the end of that second video because the ladies play a clip of their first single "Queen." It sounds awesome, but like 90's awesome, which is so much better than just about anything the industry has had lately! An extra large dose of soul sure is overdue. Expect the group's self-titled debut early next year.
"This record obviously is gonna have tempo to it ... She dances & we always want to bring out what she does that other people don't."
So, I'm on the fence about this. Not a new album from CiCi, but one produced exclusively by the pair behind Mariah Carey's recent masterpiece Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel. That might sound odd to you, but how many bangers were on that album? As much as I love Ciara, she can't pull off material like that. Also, did you SEE what these two did on Fantasy Ride? Not to mention "Lover's Thing" & "Keep Dancin' On Me," which are nothing but decent filler that simply aren't going to cut it this time around. Ciara & Danja cooked up pure brilliance with "Echo" & Darkchild served up a scorcher in "Pucker Up," so I'm baffled as to why she isn't returning to them for uptempo stuff. NOW, with that said, thanks to Memoirs, I have a faith in The-Dream & Tricky that I didn't before & I must admit that I've had a good feeling about them being behind Christina Milian's Elope for quite some time now, so maybe they can pull this Ciara record off. I am reeeally looking forward to seeing her dance some mo'!
"How I Do" is the third song taken from Marques Houston's fourth solo album Mr. Houston, which is released tomorrow. The clip is really boring, which is a shame because "How I Do" is probably the best track on the album... which is a shame because Marques doesn't need autotune.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
"Cowboy Casanova" is the first single taken from Carrie Underwood's forthcoming third album Play On (November 3rd). Sure I've seen better quality video before, but this'll do. Carrie looks great in the clip & I actually like it, so much so that it got me enjoying the song more than I previously have. Don't let the title scare you off either if you're not into country (like me) because it's a good song with, of course, excellent vocals!
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel starts out with "Betcha Gon' Know," a prologue that sets the mood very well. Mariah's personal touch lyrically on this one is particularly special. We then head straight into the album's first single "Obsessed," which demonstrates Mariah's uncanny ability to create a hit in the only real E=MC²-ish track on the album. Next up has to be my favorite song on Memoirs: "H.A.T.E.U.," or 'having a typical emotional upset.' Dare I say its brilliance is subtle, "H.A.T.E.U." features Mariah's lower & whistle registers in ways better than I ever thought possible. Then, after a few listens, throwback slow jam "Candy Bling" even gave me Butterfly vibes. Keeping with the mood, "Ribbon" hits hard & by the time "Inseparable" is playing, you'll feel like you've rediscovered real music.
When Mariah turns the tempo up a couple notches on "Standing O," the result is straight fire. The lyrics are the truth & the chorus will have your arms up in the air! Next up is "It's A Wrap," one of the best vocal showcases on the album; I promise you it's that Mariah voice we all know & love. In no small part due to the leaked demo, The-Dream's influence can be heard on "Up Out My Face," but don't let that scare you off. The attitude-driven smash shows that Mariah can do his style much better than he could ever wish to. More evidence of this theory can be found in the scorching verses of "More Than Just Friends."
I don't think this is the first time I've addressed the fact that many, including myself, tend to think when an artist is in love, the creativity put into their work tends to suffer. Well, feel free to rejoice that Mariah & Nick have found eachother because "The Impossible" is a gorgeous dedication to her boo. The song's preceding reprise & the "Angel" prelude are representative of some of Memoirs' best offerings. They create an atmosphere of beauty &, in the latter, Mariah puts that outstanding whistle register to work in the best way once again. That one leads into what is undoubtedly a highlight of the album, "Angels Cry." This is that phenomenal big ballad that we've come to expect from Mariah & only Mariah. Also, yes, that big ol' note at the end is there & will make you lose your mind. The Butterfly comparisons continue with the "Languishing" interlude, which gives me the most old school MC vibes on the album. It's heartbreakingly beautiful, especially as it brings us into Memoirs' closer, the cover "I Want To Know What Love Is." If you consider yourself someone who can appreciate an exquisite vocal offering or just a person that enjoys good music, you can't not love this.
For as long as I can remember & for a longer time than any other artist, I have loved Mariah Carey. I have heard all of her slightly different musical styles over the years, from the ballad queen to the R&B diva with originality to the pop star to the modern-day chart-topper, & I feel like the best aspects of all of them have come together alongside creativity to reveal the masterpiece that is Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel. If you like R&B, you'll like Memoirs, & if you love Mariah, you'll love it, but there's a level of brilliance & sophistication there that should you get to it, will put you in a state of bliss beyond words.
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Supernova (Mr. Hudson Cover)
Keri Hilson continued her UK promo tour with a stop at BBC's Radio 1 Live Lounge, which always turns out some great performances. In addition to singing her new overseas single "Energy," Keri covered Mr. Hudson's "Supernova." I thought she did a great job of it, though I don't believe I've heard the original. Nonetheless, Miss Keri Baby's debut album In A Perfect World... is out now.
India.Arie dropped by the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien to perform "He Heals Me," a Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics cut, & did a magnificent job of it. She really did sound amazing & you already know I love that album!
"It Kills Me" is the second stateside single off Melanie Fiona's forthcoming debut album The Bridge (November 3rd). For this new one, Melanie slows things down with the help of actor Adam Rodriguez. A powerful video for a powerful song!
Following a chat on the couch, Keri Hilson took the GMTV stage to perform her new UK single "Energy" off In A Perfect World.... I'm so glad "Energy" has been given a second chance across the pond! I have loved the song since I first heard it & was bummed when it didn't do much damage here in the US.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Christina Aguilera is doing her part in the fight against hunger by starring in the new From Hunger To Hope public service announcement. In the clip, Christina sings her mega-hit "Beautiful." Cool ad.
UPDATE: So, a bit of discouraging news. Leona's work with Timbaland will not be included on Echo. Hopefully that just means she saved room for even hotter material!
Ashanti promoted her "Wizard Of Oz" tribute recording of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" (available now for digital download) with a performance on The Early Show. She actually did a great job. Very nice.
UPDATE: Here's her interview from the show:
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Mary J. Blige sang her heart out on the Late Show with David Letterman earlier tonight with a performance of "Stronger." That's raw talent right there. Don't ever underappreciate it! I look forward to MJB's new album Stronger (November 24th).
"Heard 'Em All" is the second single taken from Amerie's forthcoming album In Love & War (November 3rd). The Anthony Mandler-directed clip kinda looks like a Rihanna video--except people would be wondering where she got those moves from! I like the video, though it does seem a slightly odd fit for the bouncy club banger, but the song is hot & hey, "Amerie's back!"
Finally, we have some footage of Ciara's movie "Mama I Want To Sing" with this new trailer for the film. I'm looking as forward to it as ever, but there's still no release date, so who knows when we'll see it. Meanwhile (although Ciara seems to have no interest in promoting it herself), CiCi's third album Fantasy Ride is available now.
In the new commercial for Christina Aguilera's latest fragrance "By Night," she seems to have created a sequel of sorts to the spot for her self-titled one a couple perfumes back. iLike. Of course, stuff like this is the reason we aren't getting that new album, isn't it..?
Sean Kingston stopped by The Wendy Williams Show to perform the hit single "Fire Burning" off his sophomore album Tomorrow, which hit stores ... yesterday. Poor Sean. He works hard to create a solid album--even gets a hit single--but is only supposed to sell an estimated 15-18K. I'll admit that they've given a halfway decent push for "Face Drop" so far, with the video & all, but maybe they still would've been better off just releasing the album when "Fire Burning" was burning up the charts. I keep saying this two-single thing isn't gonna help... if people aren't big fans & you want them to buy the album, they'll only get it when it's hot, not two months old.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Miss Mya took to the dance floor during premiere week of the ninth season of Dancing With The Stars. It may be coming from an untrained eye, but I completely agree with that judge--Mya looked outstanding! Here's to Mya having a long run on the show! On the music front, her new mixtape Beauty & The Streets: Vol. 1 comes out September 29th.
In honor of the 70th anniversary of "The Wizard Of Oz," Ashanti has released her version of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow." Sure it makes sense since she performed in "The Wiz" earlier this year--& it's not bad--but I think I'll stick with Katharine McPhee's version. If this is your cup of tea, you can purchase the song HERE.
"Give It To Me Right," "Monday Morning," & "Ay Yo"
Unplugged: "Bang Bang" & "Give It To Me Right"
1. I Know It's You
"Sponsor," Teairra's rumored new single, & tracks 9-12 have yet to hit the net, so that's something to look forward to. As for the other songs, I'm pretty excited they've made the album because, to put it simply, they're hot! This girl has really taken what appears to be a run-of-the-mill project & turned it into something quite special.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Some making-of footage of Amerie's video for "Heard 'Em All," the second single from her upcoming album In Love & War (November 3rd), has emerged. Choreography! Yes!! Where has that ish been?! This thing looks really good. I do hope the song catches on though, but considering it's what the people like to hear from Amerie (see: "1 Thing"), I think it has a fighting chance!
[Source, Source, Source]
Esmee Denters performed the two singles off her debut album Outta Here, which doesn't drop in the US until next year, on NRJ In The Park in Belgium recently. I can't figure out why they're waiting so long when 1) Esmee is doing a ton of promo right now that is generating buzz & 2) the whole darn thing is already online. Maybe she'll record more songs?!
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Jordin Sparks has contributed the new song "Road To Paradise" to the upcoming, umm, "Tinker Bell & The Lost Treasure" soundtrack (September 22nd). The track is good enough, though it is more Disney, rather than album, material.
Keri Hilson sang her latest single "Slow Dance" off In A Perfect World... with The Roots on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon on Friday. Miss Keri put that natural sexy of hers to work & pulled off a sizzlin' performance!
1. Need A Bigger Bag (ft. Micka Mexican & Fabolous)
2. Lights, Camera, Action
3. Slow Dance (w/ Keri Hilson)
4. Won't Tell Ya Man (ft. Young Rome)
5. Slow Grind
6. On 2 Da Next Chick
7. The Interlude (ft. Omarion)
8. Naked Part II
9. Finish Line (ft. Young Rome & K. Smith)
10. That's When You're The Prettiest (ft. Rich Rick)
11. Holla At Me (w/ Milla J)
12. Train Lover
"It's about conceptualizing," Ryan added about how the LP will shape up. "It's not gonna be a project that's thrown together. It's gonna be a real roundtable, & we're gonna talk about really putting something in the atmosphere that contributes something that's never been done before."
I'm really only a fan of Ryan out of these three--& not a huge one at that--but I've heard some of the things these guys have cooked up while collaborating with one another in the past, so this most definitely has the potential to be great. Stay tuned!
Saturday, September 19, 2009
"I Want To Know What Love Is"
Interview (Pt. 1)
Interview (Pt. 2)
Mariah Carey visited Oprah live in New York City on Friday, where she performed "I Want To Know What Love Is" for the first time on TV & sat down for her first-ever interview with husband Nick Cannon. Of course, Mariah & Oprah had to discuss their new movie "Precious" as well, which works out well for us because they show an extended clip of Mariah's part in the film. As for her performance, Mariah really did sound amazing & I'm so very glad! It was also cool that Nick joined in the fun because you can kinda tell why she loves him. Oh, & did I mention that those two guys WISH they were Mariah's biggest fans..? Nonetheless, Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel drops September 29th & I'm sorry Island Def Jam, but it needs to leak yesterday.
David Archuleta "Contigo En La Distancia"
Sean Kingston "Fire Burning"
The 2009 ALMA Awards were on last night & David Archuleta owned the show. He blew the roof off the joint with his performance of "Contigo En La Distancia" & even won an award for Rising Male Star, so congratulations to David for that! Now, after I finished watching his performance (& subsequently picked my jaw up off the floor), I shouted WOW! Of course, that didn't nearly do Archie's masterful vocal justice, so I decided something: We should come up with a word exclusively for David Archuleta (because it can only describe him anyway) that means amazing/awesome/outstanding/fantastic/incredible, but better. Archuriffic?! I dunno.. that's what I need you guys for! Anyway, I have actually heard Christina Aguilera sing that song on the one & only Spanish album I have lol, so I know it's one for only the strongest of singers & Mr. Archuleta proved once again tonight that he belongs right up there with the best of 'em. Sean Kingston also performed a latin-inspired version of "Fire Burning" & after the show, tweeted about meeting David. Very cool!
Toni Braxton, Jordin Sparks, & JoJo join forces with Tank, Omarion, Faith Evans, Tyrese, Tamar Braxton, Steve Russell, & Charlie Wilson for "If You Dream," an all-star song featured (alongside Mary J. Blige's "Stronger") on the "More Than A Game" soundtrack, which will be released on September 29th. This is a really nice inspirational collaboration & should fit with the film like a glove.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Jennifer Hudson - Medley
The Black-Eyed Peas "I Gotta Feeling"
The Black-Eyed Peas "Meet Me Halfway"
So, I was mistaken because I thought these performances were gonna be part of Oprah's Thursday episode during her premiere week (silly me to think that the season actually started with the season premiere...), but they were actually aired the Thursday prior. With that said, definitely check them out! Jennifer Hudson killed it vocally with a medley of "Best Of My Love" & "I'm Every Woman" (which reminds me how AmAzInG Vonzell's performances of the two songs were), but you HAVE to watch The Black-Eyed Peas' performance of "I Gotta Feeling" featuring a flash mob of over 20,000 people! Yes, Oprah: Very cool indeed.
Alicia Keys dropped by BET's 106 & Park to discuss her new album & gave a little insight into the project. The album, which will drop in December, is being preceded by first single "Doesn't Mean Anything" &, by the sound of it, will feature second single "Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart." Alicia's new song is giving me the same vibe as Leona's situation: She's trying to recreate the first single from her last album, but didn't quite get there. On the other hand, Alicia's music usually grows on me over time, so by the time the video comes out, I'll probably be enjoying it a lot more.
Then There's You
Just Getting Started
Here are the remaining Forever In Your Eyes videos from Day26 in all their craptastic glory. Sadly, "Then There's You" is the best of the three, but if you want a good laugh, check out the "Just Getting Started" video (which is actually the best song of the trio unfortunately). If you feel sorry for the boys, you can pick up their second album Forever In A Day today.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Jennifer Hudson "Spotlight"
Jennifer Hudson & Stevie Wonder "All In Love Is Fair"
Jordin Sparks "S.O.S. (Let The Music Play)"
Jordin Sparks & Martina McBride "A Broken Wing"
Kelly Clarkson "Already Gone"
Kelly Clarkson & Melissa Etheridge "Bring Me Some Water"
Leona Lewis "Happy"
Leona Lewis & Cyndi Lauper "True Colors"
India.Arie & Adele "Video"
Paula Abdul - Medley
VH1 Divas returned tonight & I thought the show was great! Jennifer Hudson, Jordin Sparks, Kelly Clarkson, & Leona Lewis were all featured performers & sang duets with their idols (ironic word, eh?), while host Paula Abdul opened the show with a medley of her hits & surprise guest India.Arie performed with Adele. All the girls sang their hearts out & did an incredible job! As for my favs, Jennifer did her thang up there with Stevie & I loved hearing Jordin sing "Broken Wing" again & with the original artist! Also, Kelly rocked the house when she closed the show with Melissa & Leona's "Happy" really is growing on me. I don't particularly care for Adele, but she sounded great with India.Arie, who also did an excellent job as usual. Personally, I think Paula did a great job as host, embracing her insane side & all. Legends aside, the lineup this year was darn near perfect (that is, of the artists I'm posting) & I hope VH1 brings it back next year!