Saturday, October 31, 2009

Album Review: David Archuleta "Christmas From The Heart"

Happy Halloween ... or, Merry Christmas! I'm a bit confused on which to say. Either way, I'm not big on Halloween, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to embrace the forthcoming holiday season by writing my review for David Archuleta's marvelous Christmas album Christmas From The Heart. I thought now would be a good time anyway because the only thing between us & December 25th is a big meal--& while I wouldn't wanna discount the meaning of that meal, I'm that guy with the figurative 'Christmas is #1' giant finger who counts down the days every year, so why put off the celebration, especially when David Archuleta is kicking the festivities off this year?

David begins Christmas From The Heart with several familiar tunes, but have no fear! I promise you he sings them not only in such a way that you'll forget you were ever tired of them, but with such (how do you put his voice into words again?) next-to-Godliness that I simply cannot deny the fact that it is the best I've ever heard the songs sung. First up is "Joy To The World," which has an 'oo' intro to die for & sets the mood exquisitely well. "Angels We Have Heard On High" is sung with surprising maturity (yes, even for David!) & "O Come All Ye Faithful" features that clear, beautiful tone we all know & love. Mr. Archuleta enters epic territory on "Silent Night" with those strings! You feel like you're along for David's journey on "The First Noel," which with, among everything else, that "hallelujah" a little past the halfway mark makes for a personal highlight. Then comes the heartbreakingly gorgeous "O Holy Night." Goodness, this is too much.

Despite having already reached what should be a lifetime limit of singing THAT beautifully for THAT long, David continues on with "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" with guest Charice. They sound good together--even if she makes you realize just how great he is (if I'm being honest!). Alone again, Archie keeps his cool vibe going with the extra-smooth "I'll Be Home For Christmas," but throws ya for a loop with "Pat-A-Pan." As I've seen a number of you say... oh, to hear him do this live! He sings some incredible harmonies here, though they can be found throughout the album & are no small part in the reason I find this album so special.

I can't help but feel that David must be tired from taking so many epic journeys as I listen to "What Child Is This," another gorgeous track. Boy wonder continues to put those amazing pipes to work by singing the foreign language songs "Riu Riu Chiu" & "Ave Maria," the latter of which is just incredible & holds a particularly special place in my heart. David wraps things up with the album's sole newly-written track "Melodies Of Christmas." Though an unmistakable pop Christmas song, Archie does a heck of a job keeping the focus on his wonderful voice.

Christmas From The Heart is easily one of the best Christmas albums out there. There aren't even that many--even of the ones I have--that I love, as I'm not the biggest fan of Christmas music, but you wouldn't be able to tell that if you saw me listening to this one because it's just so darn lovable (just, of course, like David himself)! So, if you don't think Christmas music could possibly be as blissful as I've described above, think again.

Rihanna To Break Her Silence

Rihanna will finally break her silence about her assault next week with scheduled appearances on ABC's Good Morning America & 20/20. Chances are, she will perform & tease her interview when she visits Good Morning America Thursday, November 5th, followed by some "20/20, Barbara Walters, for real, for real" on Friday, November 6th. It was obviously a smart decision to wait until her new album Rated R (November 23rd) was ready to speak, but my favorite part about it all is that she gets the last word.

LeToya ft. Ludacris "Regret" Behind-The-Scenes

Following the pre-release chart success of LeToya's "Regret," her lazy label was forced to shoot a video to capitalize on the Ludacris-assisted song. Lucky us! The track's already beaten its Lady Love predecessors, so hopefully this video is released soon before the song starts to slip (ironically) from lack of promotion.

Beyonce To Star In Thanksgiving Special

Thanksgiving night, Beyonce will offer a helping of her "I Am... Yours" CD/DVD, which will be released three days earlier on November 23rd, as a special on ABC @ 8/7c. The intimate event, which you can preview above, will feature performances in addition to behind-the-scenes footage. Beyonce never disappoints, so this show isn't one to miss!

Solange Dropped From Interscope Records

Solange tweeted (@solangeknowles) the news last night that she had left Interscope Records amicably to go the independent route. ... Whatever. It may have been amicably (although I doubt Daddy Dearest took too kindly to the news), but nobody leaves Interscope by choice. It's too bad, but I think if anybody can make decent music independently, Solange can.


Commentary #2: The Music Industry

In the year since the last time I posted one of these, we've all observed the industry try out different ideas to combat lowering music sales that I obviously attribute to the recently developed digital sales market. It's also pretty obvious that the overall economic market has done a bit of changing in the last year... but that's not to say 1) the problems within the music industry weren't already in existance & 2) I'm expecting album sales comparable to those a decade ago. Due to the (unfortunate) singles market we are currently in, it pretty much goes without saying that single choice is one of the most important decisions when it comes to marketing an artist's new music. However labels have been making these choices though is lost on me, as they seem to be either ignorning concepts that should be obvious or not willing to put their egos aside in favor of the correct decision. For example, let's put to test the 'old, but gold' saying "if it's not broken, don't fix it":

Exhibit A: Janet Jackson's Discipline
Actual Second Single Choice: "Rock With U"
What It Should've Been: "Luv"
Reasoning: Coming off the success of the uptempo first single "Feedback," which was Jackson's highest-charting single in seven years, Discipline was her first #1 album since 'the incident,' so the label naturally went with the hit-worthy uptempo "Luv" next, right? Of course not. Instead, they opted for the midtempo "Rock With U," which went absolutely nowhere.

Exhibit B: LeToya's Lady Love
Actual First Single Choice: "Not Anymore"
What It Should've Been: "Regret"
Reasoning: A few short years after topping the Billboard 200 album chart with her debut, LeToya was ready to unleash her unique urban flair once again with the radio-friendly, lyrically personal "Regret," right? Of course not. Instead, the label went with the weak "Not Anymore" solely based on its big-name producer (Ne-Yo).

Exhibit C: Ciara's Fantasy Ride
Actual First Single Choice: "Go Girl"
What It Should've Been: "I'm On"
Reasoning: After successfully continuing to dominate the charts with the thumping crossover hits on her sophomore album, it was only natural to choose the strong "I'm On" to kick off Ciara's third album, right? Of course not. Instead, the label abandoned Ciara's 'evolution' by releasing the recycled-sounding, T-Pain-featuring "Go Girl."

Now, that's not to say some labels don't rely too much on that old saying. Sometimes, you have to get creative (musically... imagine!) & who knows where the answer may lie:

Exhibit D: Mariah Carey's Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel
Actual Second Single Choice: "I Want To Know What Love Is"
What It Should've Been: "H.A.T.E.U."
Reasoning: When Mariah Carey released the follow-up to her mega-hit album The Emancipation Of Mimi, her label decided to try & mirror the success of having released a big ballad second the last time around, but "Bye Bye" ended up spelling the beginning of the end for that project. Naturally with Carey's next album, the label would take history into consideration when choosing the second single, right? Of course not. Instead, the label opted to go with the big ballad "I Want To Know What Love Is" rather than take a chance on something that might actually have a chance at success. Enter: "H.A.T.E.U." This slow jam has a fresh sound that would give listeners something they haven't heard before from the diva--in the same vein of Mimi, which took a fresher, more R&B turn as compared to some of Mariah's previous work at the time.

Exhibit E: Brandy's Human
Actual First Single Choice: "Right Here (Departed)"
What It Should've Been: "Locket (Locked In Love)"
Reasoning: Despite having been mega-successful a decade ago with ballads like "Have You Ever?," Brandy's new label realized that times had changed & decided to ease her back onto the radio with a song that would please both new & old fans, right? Of course not. Instead, they released the meaningful midtempo "Right Here (Departed)," which had no chance of radio airplay &, therefore, gaining Brandy any new fans. Enter: "Locket (Locked In Love)." The beat-driven jam would've fit right into radio & allowed a little talent to slip back atop the charts.

Probably the most interesting aspect of this analysis is one that I have yet to even mention. Almost every one of the single suggestions I've discussed was actually the choice of the artist who sings it as well! Labels are surrounded by unfamiliar waters when it comes to the marketing of an artist's new music these days & they tend to make the wrong decision when faced with a situation they aren't used to. Who might they go to to help them make these decisions? How about someone who has spent an immeasurably larger amount of time with the music in question? ... What is that I hear? You want an example of this working? At your service:

Exhibit F: Mario's Go Vs. D.N.A.
First Single Off Go: "How Do I Breathe" (Label's Choice)
Hot 100 Peak: #46
Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Peak: #18

First Single Off D.N.A.: "Break Up" (Mario's Choice)
Hot 100 Peak: #14
Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Peak: #2

And don't even make me get into how lethal it is to the buzz of an album if you wait to release it past the peak of its first single in favor of a second single release...

What this all comes down to is that in order to make an effective decision creatively in a changing market, consulting with and considering the choices of the creative party is of vital importance. In the end, the general public doesn't care how many big names you have working behind-the-scenes on the track & they certainly aren't interested in listening to stale regurgitations of the songs they heard a few years ago. They keep the radio on if they like what they hear & turn it off if they don't.

Friday, October 30, 2009

*UPDATED* Adam Lambert "For Your Entertainment" Tracklisting

It's been quite an exciting few days for us Adam Lambert fans. Today, to go along with the release (finally!) of his first single, the tracklisting for Adam's upcoming debut album For Your Entertainment (November 23rd) has been uncovered. Enjoy:

1. Music Again
2. For Your Entertainment
3. Whataya Want From Me
4. Strut
5. Soaked
6. Sure Fire Winners
7. A Loaded Smile
8. If I Had You
9. Pick U Up
10. Fever
11. Sleepwalker
12. Aftermath
13. Broken Open
14. Time For Miracles (Bonus Track)

Unlike Kris Allen's tracklisting, there's a lot of familiar titles here, so that's cool. We've already learned the background of a number of these songs, but here are a couple new tidbits: "Fever" is the track from Lady Gaga & Ryan Tedder produced "Sleepwalker." Now, back to blasting "For Your Entertainment" on repeat...

UPDATE: Another track, titled "Pick U Up," was added to the tracklisting! I've slipped it into its place above @ #9.


Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys "Empire State Of Mind" Video Premiere

"Empire State Of Mind," featuring Alicia Keys, is the third single off Jay-Z's latest album The Blueprint 3. You already know I'm digging the song & although the video isn't much to write home about, just having visited NY once, I recognized a lot of places that I went & made memories at, so that's really cool!

Melanie Fiona Collaborates With Wale

In addition to Jazmine Sullivan, Melanie Fiona will be featured on Wale's upcoming debut album Attention: Deficit (November 10th). Melanie lends her vocals, alongside J. Cole, to the track "Beautiful Bliss." Listen below:

The song's got a great vibe to it & Melanie was the perfect choice to do the hook!

Karina In The Studio

Recording "Perfectly Different"

Listening To "Perfectly Different"

Watch Karina record a new song she penned called "Perfectly Different," then listen to the final product. This young'n is so talented! I have high hopes for her sophomore album, due next year.

Britney Spears "3" Video Premiere

"3" is Britney Spears' first single lifted from her forthcoming compilation album The Singles Collection (November 10th). The video had a little more promise than the final product. I mean, I like it & Britney is dancing to a degree, but as was/should've been expected, her heart's just not in it like it used to be. The girl sure can make a mean pop song though!

Adam Lambert "For Your Entertainment" Song Premiere

Adam Lambert premiered "For Your Entertainment," his first single off the album For Your Entertainment (November 23rd), this morning. I looove it! Pop brilliance. The single cover is amazing too! I can't even put into words how excited I am for his debut album. It will NOT disappoint!


Adam Lambert Appears On Oprah

After being voted as the reality star Oprah viewers most wanted to see on the show, Adam Lambert was interviewed via Skype by the lady herself on yesterday's show. Not only was Adam on the show, but Oprah requested that he stop by in person next month... wow! Definitely a good look! Want some more good news? The first single & title track off Adam's upcoming debut album For Your Entertainment (November 23rd) will premiere via the man himself on Ryan Seacrest's radio show later this morning! Expect that to (possibly) be my very next post... :)

Rihanna "Rated R" Update

Remember that Rihanna track Tricky Stewart teased about that features some rapper? Well, his production partner The-Dream has spilled the beans. The song is called "Hard" & is assisted by Young Jeezy. Also, the duo ended up doing another song for her called "Rock Star." Lastly, you can add Polow Da Don & Sean Garrett to the list of collaborators for Rated R (November 23rd). So many albums are arriving very soon, so expect a lot to happen fast with them. All I'm saying is RiRi better come 'hard'er than "Russian Roulette"...


Brandy Collaborates With Audio Push

Brandy joins Audio Push on their new mixtape "The Soundcheck" for the track "Aviator." I recently tweeted the making of this flipping hawt joint, so c-c-check it out:

"I'm flyer than a muthasucka like an aviator" ... "baby, I'm so fly--no touchin' my swagger" ... Brandy, you can have me. I'm yours for the taking.


Alicia Keys & Jay-Z Perform "Empire State Of Mind" On World Series

Alicia Keys helped Jay-Z encourage the Yankees after their loss with a performance of the pair's hit "Empire State Of Mind" off The Blueprint 2 during the second game of the World Series. I ain't even from New York, but Alicia always gets me actin' all Lil' Mama-like on my couch when she belts that hook! Derek Jeter seemed to be enjoying it too... & it must've worked because the Yankees went on to win!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Billboard Update

^#1 Album #1 Single^

Because the world has lost their collective mind, the "New Moon" soundtrack tops this week's Billboard 200 album chart. Owl City's "Fireflies" makes its way to the top spot on the Hot 100 singles chart this week, where there is quite a bit of action. Beyonce earns her 13th top 10 hit this decade as "Sweet Dreams" jumps up to #10 as Airplay Gainer. Making the chart's biggest jump however is Usher's "Papers" (92-31) with first week digital sales of 31,000 downloads. Adam Lambert debuts at #50 this week with "Time For Miracles," while Rihanna's "Russian Roulette" comes in at #100 thanks to airplay alone. Meanwhile, Mariah Carey scores her 20th top 10 hit on the Adult Contemporary chart as "I Want To Know What Love Is" moves 11-10.

See full charts HERE

(Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

Britney Spears "3" Video Previews

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

In what I'm absolutely sure is a complete coincidence, three short clips of Britney Spears' new video for "3" were tweeted on her behalf earlier today. I've posted them in such a way that they basically create the opening sequence of the video, so check them out! Britney's The Singles Collection arrives November 10th, but be on the lookout for the "3" video to premiere tomorrow!

Brandy To Be In New Reality Show With Ray J

Brandy will participate in a new reality show being executive-produced by her brother Ray J. The show is actually set to include the entire Norwood family. An air date & even a network are TBA, but I look forward to it! Ray J is quite a character, but I'm on board if Brandy is! Speaking of which, Ray J has also mentioned an upcoming sitcom featuring himself & his sister. Interesting. Hopefully, the show(s) will give Brandy the exposure she needs for her next album to really take off!

[Source, Source]

Mario & Gucci Mane Perform "Break Up" On 2009 BET Hip Hop Awards

Even though it's his song, Mario seemingly assisted Gucci Mane in a performance of "Break Up" earlier this week at the 2009 BET Hip Hop Awards. As the performance continues, Gucci gets into one of his own songs (though it might be worth sitting through to watch Plies' chain snap!) This particular one was alright (the first half anyway), but how long was this show--2 hours? Oh, the migraine it would've given me. On the contrary, be sure to pick up Mario's fourth album D.N.A. soon!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys "Empire State Of Mind" Video Preview

Here's a 30-second sneak peek at the video for Jay-Z's new single "Empire State Of Mind" with Alicia Keys off The Blueprint 3. The black-&-white doesn't 'inspire' me, but the video looks promising nonetheless. Definitely epic-y. See Alicia? THIS is how people wanna hear you sing!

Adam Lambert "For Your Entertainment" Update

Adam Lambert, being the awesome dude that he is, tweeted (@adamlambert) news galore today regarding his upcoming debut album For Your Entertainment (November 23rd). The biggest update was that his first single will be the Dr. Luke-produced title track "For Your Entertainment." The uptempo joins another track on the album called "Soaked," which was written by Adam's favorite band Muse. Mr. Lambert himself had a hand in writing the songs "Aftermath," "Strut," & "Broken Open" on the album as well as the iTunes bonus track "Down The Rabbit Hole." All of these songs will accompany the also-confirmed "Music Again" & "Winners" on For Your Entertainment. Hopefully the tracklisting will just be revealed soon so I don't have to chase down any more confirmations (though... who knows what you might find searching through the archives of this very blog?!). Actually, I'm pretty sure it's about time we hear that first single!


Usher Collaborates With DJ Khaled

Usher has apparently decided to concentrate on singing hooks now instead of getting a real first single out there for his new album (which I think will probably be a 2010 release now...). His latest collaboration is with DJ Khaled alongside Young Jeezy, Rick Ross, & Drake on "Fed Up," the first single taken from the DJ's 2010 album Victory:

So, I actually like Usher on the chorus & even more during his part towards the end. The main problem I have with this song is that I kept thinking "Why are you yelling at me?!" the whole time...


We Are The Fallen Signs Record Deal

Carly Smithson's band We Are The Fallen announced today that they have signed a record deal with Universal Republic Records. They are currently recording their debut album for release early next year. It's a great thing to hear that there's a solid foundation supporting this band now! I just know Carly's powerhouse vocals are gonna be stellar on this project.


Jennifer Lopez "Love?" Update + More

Following the release of Jennifer Lopez's Pitbull-featured buzz single "Fresh Out The Oven" & the announcement that she will be performing at the 2009 American Music Awards comes the inevitable news of her first official single off Love?, which is due in January. The song is called "Louboutins" & was produced by The-Dream & Tricky Stewart. I would be ecstatic about this... except that Brandy recently confirmed that she originally recorded the song. It's not even simply the fact that I am now DYING to hear Brandy's version of the track, but this isn't even the first time Jennifer has taken a Brandy leftover (see: "If I (I'll Do Anything For You)" --> "Ryde Or Die"). I'll get over it though because I'm really excited for Love?! In related news, Jennifer's forthcoming movie "The Back-Up Plan" was recently pushed from January to a new release date of March 12th. So much for coinciding with the album!

[Source, Source, Source]

Melanie Fiona "Subway Series" Canada & NYC

Melanie Fiona has put together a pair of really cool clips from both Canada & NYC where she sang some of the songs off her debut album The Bridge (which hits stores November 10th) with talented musicians she found on the street. In the Canada video above, Melanie sings "You Stop My Heart" & "It Kills Me," while she performs "Sad Songs," "Bang Bang," & "Please Don't Go (Cry Baby)" in the below NYC video. Ms. Fiona never ceases to amaze me with her outstanding talent & her ability to sound exactly like, or better than, her recordings. I also wanna mention that I think the instrument the guy plays during "Sad Songs" is freaking awesome. Once again, if you like what you hear, Melanie's album The Bridge is available on iTunes now.

New Monica "Still Standing" Promo Pics

Here is the entire Derek Blanks photoshoot Monica did for her new reality show Still Standing. I like the different looks & I love the show! I am sooo beyond hooked. One thing I need explained to me though is this 10 song cap CRAP! Seriously, somebody needs to give me a reason why such a RIDICULOUS rule should exist. I'm waiting. ... Anyway, I am incredibly hyped for Monica to drop her fifth studio album Still Standing on January 12th!

Mya On Dancing With The Stars: Week 6 + More

Mya amazed with the Jitterbug during her sixth week on Dancing With The Stars & survived a double elimination, but with no help from two of the three judges. Aside from Bruno, the judging panel has lost their minds! Seriously, guys, if you've never watched one of these videos, now is the time. Vote Team D-Mya! I've also included Mya & her partner's recent visit to The Ellen DeGeneres Show below as a bonus. Mya's mixtape Beauty & The Streets: Vol. 1 is out now.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Stuff Tuesday

^Click To Purchase^
First of all, I've really been looking forward to seeing this show & now we ALL can because Pink's "Funhouse Tour: Live In Australia" CD/DVD has been released! Or, at least, I think it has... I went to my local Best Buy & Target, & NEITHER of them had it. In any case, Amazon DOES, so feel free to get your copy! What also has been released (& for sure!) is "Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs." This third installment in the franchise is exciting & very entertaining, so be sure & check it out as well!

Also out...
Michael Jackson "This Is It" Soundtrack BUY
Brian McKnight Evolution Of A Man BUY

Christina Aguilera On Project Runway

Pts. 1 & 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

On a recent episode of Project Runway, the designers had to create a dress that would be appropriate for Christina Aguilera to wear on stage. Christina made an appearance on the show as a guest judge. Above, I've included the entire episode, but since Christina doesn't appear until the end of the third part, you won't really miss anything if you simply start there. Now, I've never seen the show before, but I got into this! I'm no fashion expert, but after watching this, it appears to me that no one REALLY is... it's all just a matter of opinion. For example, I thought the worst outfit of the bunch was that sleeping gown-looking thing Irina made. I also thought the dress that was designed by the eliminated contestant was good! Ah well.

Adam Lambert "For Your Entertainment" Cover

So, this IS the cover of Adam Lambert's upcoming debut album For Your Entertainment (November 23rd). Trying to come up with what to say, I ended up looking something like this. Anything I could say would just cancel itself out anyway, so I'll leave it at this: It is about the music after all!


*UPDATED* Dondria To Release 'Duets' Mixtape

On November 6th, Dondria will FINALLY release SOMETHING! She'll be presenting to us her mixtape titled "Dondria's Duets." Above, you can check out a sneak peek at what's to come. If you're hungry for more though, you might wanna check out the blog's Twitter. You may, however, want to skip from 2:22 to 5:00; I'm only being honest because 1) it has nothing to do with Dondria & 2) I wish I hadn't sat through it.

UPDATE: JD posted a second video featuring clips of songs from Dondria's upcoming mixtape. It's nice while it lasts, but once again, be warned: The last two minutes have nothing to do with Dondria:

UPDATE #2: You know the drill (plus you might wanna drop by the blog's Twitter one more time...):

Monica "Still Standing" Update

Monica's new reality show that shares the name of her upcoming album Still Standing (January 12th) may have premiered tonight, but that's not the only move Mo is making today. She announced that preceding the album's release will be not one, but two lead singles. The first is a ballad entitled "Here I Am," which was written by Ester Dean. Another, an uptempo, is called "Nothing Like" & features T-Pain. Polow Da Don produced both cuts. Get it girl! I am so excited for Monica right now. As soon as I finish posting, I'm gonna go watch that premiere!

[Source, Source]

Leona Lewis "WSPA" PSA

Leona Lewis shows her support for animal welfare in this new public service announcement for the World Society for the Protection of Animals. Yay animals! Leona's sophomore album Echo drops November 17th.


Rihanna "Rated R" Cover

Rihanna has unveiled the cover art for her upcoming fourth album Rated R (November 23rd). I'm on the fence about it. On a positive note, it is kinda cool & I can really see it standing out if they release it in a glossy fold-out case. However, it's not the greatest, especially because it basically just seems like an Italian Vogue outtake at this point.


Mario Performs On Good Day New York

Mario performed his medley of "Thinkin' About You" & "Break Up" solo on Good Day New York following a short chat with the hosts. Mario sounded excellent & did a great job with this show's 19th century technology. Why is someone who has a huge hit right now & is on their fourth major label album doing this show anyway? Actually, here's a better question: Why can't he sing Sean's verse all the time?! Mario's talent shines through even more on his new album D.N.A., out now.

Jordin Sparks On The Suite Life On Deck

Jordin Sparks' episode of The Suite Life On Deck aired this past weekend & here are all her scenes from it. It sure is too bad that song didn't make her album..! Speaking of which, Battlefield is available now.

Monday, October 26, 2009

JoJo "No H8" Campaign

JoJo becomes the latest celebrity to support the NO H8 campaign. She "effin LOVE[S]" her photo! I concur. Hopefully we won't have to wait too much longer to fall in love with her third album All I Want Is Everything.


Brandy Collaborates With Surf Club

For her latest collabo, Brandy has teamed up with the rap group Surf Club, which includes member Hit Boy whom she tweets quite often, for their new single "Change." Do listen HERE. All it took was the intro to melt me, but Brandy KILLS that hook! Oh how I love you, Ms. Norwood!


"Precious" Update

Check out this new promotional photo of Mariah Carey for her upcoming movie "Precious," which opens in select cities on November 6th. Another R&B songstress has more recently become attached to the film in a different way. Mary J. Blige has recorded the soulful song "I Can See In Color" for the movie's soundtrack. MJB is definitely sangin' on the track! I'm fine with this being the 'theme' for "Precious" as long as we get Mariah's "100%" (soon!) on the Memoirs remix album or something because this song seems like it would fit with the gritty vibe of the film better. It doesn't really qualify as a "theme song" though, but that's ok. Listen below:

I Can See In Color

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Leona Lewis Performs "Happy" In Switzerland

Everybody is doing things today involving foreign countries & words that aren't in English! Anyway, Leona Lewis performed the first single "Happy" off her upcoming sophomore album Echo (November 17th) again recently on something in Switzerland. Hey, the song's no "I Got You," but it's alright. Alongside the new albums from Adam Lambert & Monica, Echo is one of my most anticipated releases before the year's end.

*UPDATED* Oi Fashion Rocks Performance Highlights

Mariah Carey - "Touch My Body" & "Obsessed"

Mariah Carey "Fantasy (Remix)"

Ciara "Love Sex Magic"

Ciara "Promise"

Ciara - "1, 2 Step" & "Work"

Estelle "American Boy"

Dirty Money "I'll Be Missing You"

Mariah Carey, Ciara, Estelle, & Dirty Money were all in Brazil to perform at the Oi Fashion Rocks event. I love that Mariah brought out that "Fantasy" remix, even if I'm not too sure of the point if she wasn't gonna sing it. Ciara's set was nothing short of scorching! Happy Birthday to one of today's best performers! Dirty Money also performed "Mo Money Mo Problems," but 1) the only video online, well, sucks & 2) the girls didn't sing. As for Estelle, I can hardly wait for her next album!

UPDATE: Turns out, Estelle read my mind & decided to perform a new song titled "Back To Love Again" as well! I love how she's able to find the perfect medium between staying fresh & using old school influences:

Keri Hilson "I Like" Song Premiere

Keri Hilson has a fresh song called "I Like" on the soundtrack for some new German movie. I do actually quite like the song, especially the chorus. My only problem with it is that is doesn't really feel like a Keri song, being that there's no urban influence to it whatsoever (...which is also the case with today's Usher leak--I'm pretty sure they were separated at birth, actually.) I'm a pop fan too though, so I can appreciate it for what it is.

Mariah Carey Performs In Korea


I Want To Know What Love Is

Mariah Carey recently visited Korea & performed a pair of songs lifted from her new album Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel on a TV show called Sketchbook-something-or-other. There was also an interview in Korean, which I will not be posting for obvious reasons, but you can check the blog's Twitter for more about that. I don't care if it's lipsynched--that live ending of "H.A.T.E.U." is LIFE! Her label is really pissing me off at the moment, completely allowing all of the buzz from "Obsessed" die away before they make another move. Mr. Reid, here's what you're going to do: release "H.A.T.E.U.," shoot the video for it, & promote the song until the wheels fall off. Any questions? Didn't think so.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Mario Performs On Alexa Chung

Mario has finally, at the end of the week after his new album's release, performed in support of D.N.A. He sang "Thinkin' About You," followed by "Break Up" with Sean Garrett on It's On With Alexa Chung. It's good to finally see him doing some promo. Don't sleep on D.N.A. now!

*UPDATED* New Alicia Keys Promo Pic

Alicia Keys edges it up a bit in the first new promotional photo for her upcoming fourth album The Element Of Freedom (December 1st). I hope all is well for Alicia though because her single "Doesn't Mean Anything" not going anywhere has resulted in murmurings of an album pushback...

UPDATE: It turns out the album WILL be pushed back to December 15th, according to Alicia herself, who tweeted that the delay is to allow for the recording of additional material. Sure, Alicia, whatever you say.

2009 Soul Train Award Nominees Announced

Beyonce, Keri Hilson, & Maxwell lead the nominees for the 2009 Soul Train Awards with four nods each. Also multiple nominees are Kanye West with three & Jennifer Hudson with two. They will even honor Michael Jackson with the Entertainer Of The Year award. Performers for the show will include Toni Braxton & Melanie Fiona. You can view a full list of nominees HERE. Now THAT's what I'm talking about! Excellent nominees, excellent performers, & an excellent way to honor the late King of Pop. You listening, AMAs? The 2009 Soul Train Awards will air on BET November 29th @ 9/8c.


New Katharine McPhee Promo Pics

A few more promotional photos of Katharine McPhee have been unveiled for her upcoming second album Unbroken (January 5th). What I really like about these pictures is that you can really see Kat embracing her new look, which is important for those of us, like myself, that feel she looked great to begin with & a drastic change wasn't really needed--even though I'm now fine with the blonde & I think she looks good with it too. I'm excited for the different styles she's going to bring this time around musically as well.


*UPDATED* Karina In The Studio

Check out this brand new clip of Karina in the studio listening to her just-recorded song "When You're In Love." The ballad was produced by Gordon Chambers & Barry Eastmond, the duo behind Karina's own "Slow Motion." I think the song is absolutely gorgeous & just might be better than their previous collaboration. I'm really, really anticipating Karina's next album.

UPDATE: Here's some actual footage of Karina recording "When You're In Love." Wow! I also replaced the above video (the original one was deleted) with a shorter one that still plays the song. I have to say that the glare she gives the camera (above) is adorable.

Katharine McPhee On FOX 5

"Had It All"


Katharine McPhee performed "Had It All," the first single lifted from her upcoming sophomore album Unbroken (January 5th), & sat down for an interview on FOX 5 a little while back. It's no surprise that she sounded great live & that undeniable talent is the main reason I'm looking forward to her new album!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Tiffany Evans "Ms. Tiffany" Update

Tiffany Evans has been working hard on her forthcoming sophomore album Ms. Tiffany for quite a while now, preparing it for release next year. Via Twitter, Tiffany has revealed that the first single is set to drop before the year's end, but more recently provided the names of several producers she has worked with while recording the 70 songs being considered for inclusion on the album. They include Danja, Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, Claude Kelly, Cri$tyle, Brian Kennedy, & Warren "Oak" Felder (Mario, Jennifer Lopez). What sticks out the most to me about this list of producers is that many of them have worked with Brandy [Rodney Jerkins (Human), Claude Kelly ("Camouflage," "True"), Brian Kennedy ("Fall," "One Thing," "Locket (Locked In Love)," etc.)] & that's awesome! Tiffany is one of the most underappreciated talents in the industry today & I think with the right material this time around, she can prove that to the rest of the world. I'm very excited!

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Kris Allen's Self-Titled Album Tracklisting

Kris Allen has settled on the final tracklisting for his upcoming self-titled debut album (November 17th). Check it out, complete with production credits, below:

1. Live Like We're Dying (Andrew Frampton & Steve Kipner)
2. Before We Come Undone* (Greg Kurstin)
3. Can't Stay Away* (Mike Elizondo)
4. The Truth (Toby Gad)
5. Written All Over My Face (Andrew Frampton & Steve Kipner)
6. Bring It Back* (Eg White)
7. Red Guitar* (Mike Flynn & Warren Huart)
8. Is It Over* (Mike Elizondo)
9. Let It Rain* (Tobias Karlsson)
10. Alright With Me* (Mike Flynn & Joe King)
11. Lifetime* (Mike Elizondo)
12. I Need To Know* (Toby Gad)
13. Heartless (Bonus Track)

A * indicates that Kris helped write the song, so as you can see, Kris had a large part in contributing to the writing duties of the album, including "Red Guitar," which he wrote all by himself a year-&-a-half ago. Also evident is the absence of several names Kris was confirmed to have worked with (Claude Kelly, David Hodges, Alex Band, Kevin Rudolf, Salaam Remi), so that's a bit disappointing, but 1) I won't knock it till I try it, 2) maybe the tracks they came up with didn't gel with the overall sound of the album, & 3) that just means the bonus tracks that are always abundant from these post-Idol releases will probably be great. With all that said, my interest in his album has increased with his recent promo, as I was mainly just concentrated on Adam Lambert's goings-on (which are still a higher priority for me).

P.S. Am I the only one that finds it funny, yet appropriate, that "Heartless," rather than "No Boundaries," is being included on the album?


Mary J. Blige "Stronger" Update

Mary J. Blige's upcoming album Stronger has a new release date of December 15th. This will give her more time to push her next single, which has been confirmed as the Ryan Leslie-produced "Said & Done," after her first releases ("The One" & "Stronger") failed to do much. More contributors to Stronger include Stargate, Ester Dean (why?), Johnta Austin (hopefully not just as the writer of "Hood Love"), & T.I. on "Good Love (Do It Again)." I haven't a clue why "The One" didn't take off because it's sure hotter than "Said & Done." I even like "Good Love (Do It Again)" better that the R-Les joint, but I don't think her other collabo with T.I. ("Remember Me") really did anything either, so their decision makes sense. I still have faith in MJB's new album though, as I loved her last two albums (which were also December releases).

Good Love (Do It Again)

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David Archuleta Goes Caroling With Jim Cantiello

Couldn't pass up the opportunity to share with you this hilarious clip of David Archuleta singing Christmas carols to the MTV staffers with their in-house Idol guru Jim Cantiello. Yes, in October. I love that David embraces the silliness of his Christmas music being released so early. That, of course, is no excuse not to pick up his excellent album Christmas From The Heart now (review coming in November!).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Preview Amerie's "In Love & War"

You can now listen to a clip of each song on Amerie's upcoming fourth album In Love & War (November 3rd) HERE. It definitely sounds solid! I can't wait to hear it.

Billboard Update

^#1 Album #1 Single^

Michael Buble's Crazy Love repeats atop the Billboard 200 album chart this week, while Mario debuts at #9 with D.N.A. sales of almost 32,000 copies. David Archuleta also came in at #30 with Christmas From The Heart. Jay Sean returns to the top of the Hot 100 singles chart this week with his Lil' Wayne-featured "Down," but The Black-Eyed Peas are once again not far behind with "Meet Me Halfway" making its way into the top tier at #9 as Digital Gainer. Also, Usher's "Papers" debuts at #92.

See full charts HERE

Ashlee Simpson Fired From Melrose Place

Due to dismal ratings, the CW is shifting the tone of their new Melrose Place reboot & as a result, Ashlee Simpson-Wentz is being let go. Producers are claiming her exit was the plan all along to save face, but I'm not buying a word of it. I feel bad for Ashlee that she's losing her day job, but I couldn't be bothered to watch that crap anyway. Let the music-making commence!

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