Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
"Mad House" ♫: This relatively short intro is incredibly infectious & just how it should be. It's really just one line repeated the entire time along with various adlibs, but I definitely wouldn't have it any other way. 4.5/5
"Wait Your Turn" ♫: This is the absolute perfect promo single. The song is scorching hot & I loved the video for what it was as well. 4.5/5
"Hard" (ft. Young Jeezy) ♫: I cannot believe how long I've been practically listening to this song on repeat & it still hasn't gotten old. It's awesome! 5/5
"Stupid In Love" ♫: This is the only song I can't stand & skip everytime I listen to the album. Sure the lyrics are appropriate, but it's unnecessary. 1/5
"ROCKSTAR 101" (ft. Slash) ♫: My goodness, I love this song. I've always said that I hate the sound of guitars, but thanks to Rihanna, I'm changing that to just acoustic guitars; RiRi, stick to rock, girl! 5/5
"Russian Roulette" ♫: I'm not quite as over-the-moon about this one, but it's still a good song. Rihanna's vocals have come a looong way since "Unfaithful." 4/5
"Fire Bomb" ♫: My favorite song on the album. (A ballad? I know!) Why? Two words: James Fauntleroy. My unhealthy obsession with his music isn't helped by the fact that he is all over this album. 5/5
"Rude Boy" ♫: One of the lone uptempos on the album, this song is straight fire. My favorite part is the "wa-wa-want" business! 4.5/5
"Photographs" (ft. will.i.am) ♫: Rihanna often tells the story of how she swiped this song from The Black-Eyed Peas & if only I knew how to properly express my gratitude. It has all the strengths of '09 will.i.am music, but without all that obnoxious BEP noise. 4.5/5
"G4L" ♫: Yes the main reason I love this song is because it's another J-Faunt joint, but I have to give some props to a friend of mine (you know who you are) for really bringing my attention to it. Don't get all uppity about the lyrics; just bask in the stylish & musical genius! 5/5
"Te Amo" ♫: I really liked this when it leaked & I still do now. 4.5/5
"Cold Case Love" ♫: This is the first Rated R ballad (due to its leak) that really made me perk up & pay attention. The longest song on the album, I wouldn't shorten it a single second. 4.5/5
"The Last Song" ♫: This one's my latest obsession. It's the only thing I can think of that breaks your heart, yet keeps you genuinely wanting to return for more. James Fauntleroy's background vocals at the end give me freaking LIFE! 5/5
Rated R truly is a magnificent album with the perfect blend of uptempos & ballads, most of the credit for which I must give to James Fauntleroy, The-Dream, & Tricky Stewart, the latter two of which produced "Hard" & "ROCKSTAR 101." I even love all the visual aspects attached to it. For the first time, Rihanna really demonstrated what makes her special as an artist & delivered a great album. That Rihanna reign just don't let up!
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Usher has shot a commercial promoting the upcoming NBA All-Star Game, which takes place in Dallas in February. It's set to the tune of "More," a new song from the Raymond Vs. Raymond (March 1st) sessions. Naturally, being that he's Usher, the so-so song has leaked in full already, so take a listen below:
Since filing for divorce, Avril Lavigne has kept busy getting those endorsement checks. Her latest is for the new Canon camera & features her song "Innocence" off The Best Damn Thing. This is lovely, but I was thinking of something more along the lines of that new album...
Spike Lee has directed a music video for Michael Jackson's song "This Is It" lifted from the soundtrack to the movie of the same name, which will be released on DVD January 26th. The tribute clip truly is touching, honoring the late King of Pop while unavoidably reminding us all that he really is gone. We must remember though that MJ will forever live on in our hearts.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Celine Dion "Don't Save It All For Christmas Day"
Celine Dion "O Come All Ye Faithful"
Kris Allen "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree"
Don't totally shake off that Christmas spirit just yet because HQ (if not perfect) videos of Celine Dion & Kris Allen's performances on the Disney World Christmas Day Parade have just surfaced & they're too incredible, in Celine's case, & fun, in Kris', to miss! In fact, I don't care if Christmas is over. I suddenly feel the urge to pull out Celine's These Are Special Times CD--if not her entire catalog!
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Right before Christmas, Mary J. Blige was gettin' that Stronger With Each Tear promo in down to the wire. She performed "I Am" directly after an interview on The View where she discussed her many, many activities from this past year. I hope you did enjoy your Christmas Day, Mary, because you certainly deserved it. I know I enjoyed it by listening to a bit of your new album!
Friday, December 25, 2009
Happy Holidays From Woody & Buzz
Melanie Fiona & Brian McKnight "Someday At Christmas"
Melinda Doolittle & Friends "Jingle Bells"
Jordin Sparks & Gang "I'll Be Home For Christmas"
Thursday, December 24, 2009
[Source, Source, Source, Source]
Nicole Scherzinger, who helped judge NBC's 4-night event The Sing-Off, performed "You Don't Own Me" with finalists the Beelzebubs on the show's finale. This one's for those who wonder why I love Nicole so much!
"More Than Love," featuring Fabolous, is the third single lifted from Amerie's new album In Love & War. "More Than Love" is neither my favorite nor my least favorite song on the album, so its being chosen as a single is fine. This video is much better than I thought it would be. I really like videos like this that have a storyline & are interesting to watch. I really hope Amerie finds some success with this single or that'll probably be case closed, so somebody request this somewhere or something! lol
In news that makes me especially giddy, Angels & Airwaves have just premiered the first single "Hallucinations" off their forthcoming third album Love, which, as you can see, is set to be released on Valentine's Day 2010. As you can also see via my Songs Of The Moment, I kindasorta LOVE it! This is such a perfect opportunity for you to jump on board as well because AVA are offering a FREE download of "Hallucinations" right HERE. In other words, get to listenin' & feel the LoVe!
David Archuleta "Pat-A-Pan"
Katharine McPhee "I'll Be Home For Christmas"
Both with new albums to promote, David Archuleta & Katharine McPhee performed Christmas songs during Larry King Live's holiday special last night. So, who's stalking who here? (jk!) They both did well, but I'm particularly excited about having a televised performance of "Pat-A-Pan" from Mr. Archuleta. David's Christmas From The Heart is out now, while Katharine's sophomore album Unbroken drops January 5th. Thanks for reminding me that I need to listen to your album, Kat!
Mary J. Blige gave her millionth performance of "I Am" off Stronger With Each Tear at the 11th annual A Home For The Holidays special. A million times, yes, but still doin' it well!
David Archuleta sang his rendition of "Angels We Have Heard On High" beautifully on FOX & Friends in support of his Christmas album Christmas From The Heart. Will ya look at that? Yay for 100 David Archie posts!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
The machine known as David Archuleta kept that Christmas promotion going, err, spirit alive with a performance of his very own "Melodies Of Christmas" on Live With Regis & Kelly. He sounded great & with all that recent touring & it being a morning show, I simply don't know how! (lol) I'd also like to mention that I finally got (my mom to sit down long enough) to finish David's Billboard concert & WOW! That second half with the classic Christmas songs & those strings accompanying him was simply breathtaking. I'll for sure be pulling out my Christmas From The Heart CD to enjoy as many more listens as possible before Christmas!
UPDATE: Check out JoJo singing part of "Winter Wonderland":
Keri Hilson helped administer Plies' "Medicine" during their recent video shoot for his new single off the forthcoming Goon Affiliated. Keri absolutely kills this hook! She looked fine too. It's too bad the video looks painfully horrid. I also happen to despise Plies; a 'goon' indeed.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
"Angels We Have Heard On High"
David Archuleta did right by his holiday album Christmas From The Heart with this appearance on the Today show, which included a showstopping performance of "Angels We Have Heard On High." Let's see, Archie... by my count, you went on three full-fledged tours, recorded this album, & began writing for your sophomore pop album this year. Sir, I believe you have earned the right to relax & enjoy your holiday!
Interview (Pt. 1)
Interview (Pt. 2)
Baby, It's Cold Outside
...& download them for FREE on her site! It's also worth noting that she is offering a FREE download of a snippet of her new single "D.I.R.T.B.A.G." as well. What a perfect opportunity to (re)discover the outstanding talent that is Vonzell Solomon! I was so very pleasantly surprised when I discovered these tunes today. God bless you, Vonzell!
"Whataya Want From Me"
Adam Lambert made a refreshing appearance on The Jay Leno Show, where he performed "Whataya Want From Me" off For Your Entertainment & sat down for an interview. I say refreshing because while ABC was again discussed, the majority of the interview was about *gasp* Adam's background & passion for music! I also must say that despite initially sighing at the thought of watching yet another "WWFM" performance (I do think they pounced on this song too soon & should've promoted the title track here & there instead; heck, it was doing better than his new single for quite a while on iTunes with no promotion whatsoever), this one was very impressive! Not that they aren't all... I also have to mention that I think his hair looks phenomenal!
Monday, December 21, 2009
Usher "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"
Usher "I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day"
Mary J. Blige "O Holy Night"
Mary J. Blige "The Christmas Song"
Sunday, December 20, 2009
The album kicks off with "Tonight," a cool track that seems to fit perfectly as the opener. Her ill-fated first single, the Drake-assisted "The One," is still blazing & still terribly underappreciated. Ryan Leslie then hits the keys for "Said & Done," which is pretty good & works well in between "The One" & the T.I.-featured "Good Love." Although it's been leaked for a while, this Stereotypes-produced song is one of my favorite tracks on the album. The uptempo has a very nice past-meets-present vibe to it thanks to some live instrumentation.
MJB calms down a bit on "I Feel Good," an appropriately feel-good song. The album's second single "I Am" has managed to find some success, which the signature-Mary ballad is worthy of. Next up is (sorta) the title track "Each Tear," a strong slow jam. As much as I like it though, it's no excuse for leaving off the original title track "Stronger." I really like the groove of "I Love U (Yes I Du)." Mary gets it with the vocals on this song too!
So far, Mary has covered both the ups & downs tempo-wise on Stronger With Each Tear without faltering. It's the last few songs before an album's closer, however, that often make or break an album as a whole imo & unfortunately, that is where this album falls off a little. There's nothing really wrong with the Trey Songz-assisted "Hood Love" (well, besides Trey...), but it's kinda ancient. Surprisingly, while solid & not at all bad, "Kitchen" finds production duo The-Dream & Tricky Stewart, who have been doing their thing lately, not meshing quite as well with Mary. Yet another ballad, "In The Morning" is just alright, but has Mary delivering vocally as always. Lastly, we all know the album's closer "I Can See In Color." Obviously it's a different breed of song--& a good one at that.
Stronger With Each Tear is a good album. There aren't even any bad songs, which has me wondering... why isn't it longer? Mary typically serves up more & incredible tracks, such as the Jazmine Sullivan-featured "Gonna Make It," were left off for no apparent reason. That, along with the fact that this album doesn't quite live up to its predecessors, is all the criticism I have to offer though. Mary brings it across the board & if you're looking for a good R&B album, as can be expected, you've come to the right place.
Rating: 4/5 Stars
"Let The Beat Rock"
"Let's Get It Started"
"Boom Boom Pow"
The Black-Eyed Peas were also featured on Walmart Soundcheck recently, where they performed a set in support of their very successful latest album The E.N.D. Unfortunately, I'm gonna have to recommend that you NOT watch these performances, especially if you have the slightest hint of a headache, as they are just noise. (OK, fine. I enjoyed Fergie flaunting her 'lovely lady lumps' again.) I'll give you the option though... & on top of that, if YouTube rips aren't your thing, view the performances in HQ by clicking on the banner below:
Interview (Pt. 1)
Interview (Pt. 2)
Rihanna was a guest on this past week's Friday Night With Jonathan Ross while on the UK promo tour for her new album Rated R. Uh, since when is RiRi the most entertaining person in interviews?! Also, a bit of news. I've decided that since I can't stop listening to it, I'm gonna do a mini review of Rated R pretty soon!
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Updates keep pouring in about the movie half of Jennifer Lopez's 1, 2 punch of releases for next year. Here, we finally get some MOVING pictures of "The Back-Up Plan," which is set to hit theaters on April 16th. I love it when celebs return to what they do best! If you're like me & can't get enough J-Lo, her next album Love? is also due early next year.
OneRepublic performed a show at The Pearl in Las Vegas (where Mariah did her Vegas show) for Walmart Soundcheck back around the time of their sophomore album Waking Up's release & now you can watch the show by clicking the banner above. First up is the album's title track "Waking Up," which features Ryan Tedder singing notes about twice as high as I thought he could! They also perform "Everybody Loves Me" with guest guitarist Orianthi, the ridiculously good one from "Michael Jackson's This Is It." The set continues with "Secrets," my fav "Good Life," "All The Right Moves," & "Apologize." The band also discuss the making of their latest album in the interview that follows. This is practically an entire concert, so definitely check it out!
Friday, December 18, 2009
"It's A Wrap"
Interview (Pt. 1)
Interview (Pt. 2)
For two nights in a row, Mariah Carey was a guest on Lopez Tonight, performing "Obsessed" & doing a lengthy interview the first night & taking us to church on "It's A Wrap" last night. I'm about to go ape-ish on your butts, so get ready. First of all, Mariah actually sang 90% of both songs live, so that's an improvement. Seeing less Mariah-bot during the interview was very nice as well. You shoulda seen my butt a-movin' during that "It's A Wrap" performance though! You show 'em, Mimi!! Do you understand why Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel is so incredible yet?! Heck, & she didn't even perform "H.A.T.E.U."...
David Archuleta sang his rendition of "Ave Maria" from his new Christmas album Christmas From The Heart at a school in Harlem for the Univision holiday special Nuestra Navidad. Amazing! Of course! On a related note, I've only managed to make my way through about half of his Billboard concert so far, but it's excellent!