Friday, December 31, 2010

Bring Da Beat Back's Top 10 Albums Of 2010

#1) Jazmine Sullivan Love Me Back
Album Review

#2) Ciara Basic Instinct
Album Review

#3) Toni Braxton Pulse

#4) Monica Still Standing

#5) Christina Aguilera Bionic

#6) Dondria Dondria Vs. Phatfffat

#7) Keri Hilson No Boys Allowed

#8) Fantasia Back To Me
Album Review

#9) Sarah McLachlan Laws Of Illusion

#10) We Are The Fallen Tear The World Down

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Countdown To 2011: The Top 10 Videos Of 2010

#1) Ciara "Gimmie Dat"

Kanye West ft. Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, & Jay-Z "Monster" Video Premiere

"Monster", featuring Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, & Jay-Z, is the latest single lifted from Kanye West's new album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Though unfinished, this is a much better translation to film of that twisted fantasy than "Runaway" was--or at least it appears to be. Nicki battling herself is epic!

Keri Hilson Performs For Billboard

Beautiful Mistake

Pretty Girl Rock + Interview

Let Me Down & Hustler

Keri Hilson sang a selection of tracks from (the deluxe edition of) her new album No Boys Allowed for the lovely folks over at Billboard recently. Keri, thank you for delivering (again) this time around!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Album Review: Keyshia Cole "Calling All Hearts"

Keyshia Cole has been my girl since 2005 when she released her debut album The Way It Is. With 2007's Just Like You & 2008's A Different Me, Keyshia gave me two more of my favorite albums to date. In the two years that she's taken in-between albums to get engaged & have a baby though, something happened. Maybe she just got lazy, I don't know, but as much as I hate to say it, Calling All Hearts is her worst album--by far.

1. "I Ain't Thru" (ft. Nicki Minaj): As it happens, the mastered version of this song is awesome! It's a very solid uptempo &, well, it doesn't hurt that Nicki murders her verse..! 5/5

2. "Long Way Down": A pretty standard slow jam from Keyshia, which would normally be a great thing, but, although it's still good, her sluggish vocals start showing up here. 4.5/5

3. "Tired Of Doing Me" (ft. Tank): These two sound great together on this ballad, Keyshia's terrible first run aside. 4/5

4. "If I Fall In Love Again" (ft. Faith Evans): They make a decent pairing on this very nice throwback joint. 4.5/5

5. "So Impossible": It's frustrating because this song was on the verge of greatness, but Keyshia's vocals are all over the place. 3.5/5

6. "Sometimes": I can hardly listen to this potentially amazing ballad because her vocals are so out of tune. Ron, help!?! 3/5

7. "Take Me Away": Aaahhh, like a breath of fresh air: A song that someone spent more than five minutes producing! Ya, I know Keyshia only sounds good when her vocals are over-produced. Do I look like I care? This is my jam! 5/5

8. "What You Do To Me": Her voice is shot on this track & it doesn't help that it sounds like a leftover from A Different Me. (Ya, she was lying when she said this album was a return to the dramatic tone of her first two.) 3/5

9. "Last Hangover" (ft. Timbaland): This is actually one of Timbaland's best in recent memory. Very cool midtempo. 5/5

10. "Thank You" (ft. Dr. Yvonne Cole): Good as her intentions may have been with this song, Keyshia sounds pretty awful on it. Upstaged by her mom much? 1.5/5

11. "Better Me": Where did the breathy vibrato mess come from?! And on top of not being able to stand to listen to her voice here, she's singing this heartfelt ballad to someone whose nickname is "Boobie" *blinks twice*. 1.5/5

Despite it's few highlights, Calling All Hearts is simply half-baked. It's polarizing feeling is evened out a bit in the deluxe edition with the mediocrity of "Confused In Love", the chorus of which sounds great *cough* & mastered *cough*, while the verses are painful; "Two Sides To Every Story", which is alright vocally, but horribly written; & "Where Would We"; decide for yourself if that's a good or bad thing. It's just as if they completely skipped the mastering process for most of the album in order to get it out on time or something. She could've saved half these songs, recorded for another six months, & actually put out her fourth straight incredible album, but we got this instead. This is rare, possibly a first, for me, but rather than buying the entire album this time, I would recommend just downloading the best tracks because you'll skip the others everytime anyway.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Jennifer Hudson "Feeling Good" Video Premiere

For Weight Watchers' promotion for the new year, Jennifer Hudson covered "Feeling Good" & shot this video for it. Kind of a choppy editing job, but J-Hud, of course, looked & sounded phenomenal!

Countdown To 2011: The Top 10 Videos Of 2010

#2) Keri Hilson "Pretty Girl Rock"

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The 2010 Kennedy Center Honors Performance Highlights

Jennifer Hudson "I'm Here"

No Doubt - Medley

Jennifer Hudson, only having performed there last month, sang the signature ballad from The Color Purple that we've heard her fellow third season American Idol contender Fantasia belt time & time again as a tribute to Oprah Winfrey at this year's Kennedy Center Honors. In my opinion, it would have been perfect without the choir, but it was still incredible! Meanwhile, No Doubt performed "Hello Goodbye" & "Penny Lane" during a tribute to Paul McCartney.

Nicki Minaj "King" Magazine Cover

Nicki Minaj isn't shy about her curvy figure (& rightfully so!) on the cover of the latest issue of King. Her debut album Pink Friday is out now & I have the secret to making it sound incredible...


Countdown To 2011: The Top 10 Videos Of 2010

#3) Mariah Carey ft. Nicki Minaj "Up Out My Face"

Monday, December 27, 2010

Album Review: Keri Hilson "No Boys Allowed"

After a slow start, Keri Hilson blasted onto the scene with her debut album In A Perfect World... last year. She had hits with the help of Lil' Wayne & Kanye West, but can she have similar success flying solo with tracks from her sophomore album No Boys Allowed? Her fresh style suggests yes!

1. "Buyou" (ft. J. Cole): This is one mighty fine uptempo! A great way to kick off the record musically & set the tone lyrically. 4.5/5

2. "Pretty Girl Rock": This undeniably hot & catchy tune was produced by Chuck Harmony, who I was turned onto by a friend & have been impressed by ever since! 5/5

3. "The Way You Love Me" (ft. Rick Ross): Despite this song's fiery beat & verses, I was completely turned off of it initially by her screaming during the chorus & the extremely vulgar lyrics, but, especially after she cleaned it up a bit, I was able to get used to/overlook the screaming & get into it. 4/5

4. "Bahm Bahm (Do It Once Again)/I Want You": The main track here is a fun one, while "I Want You" is a super cool added bonus. 4.5/5

5. "One Night Stand" (ft. Chris Brown): This slow jam is pretty good, despite the questionable presence of Chris Brown on an album titled No Boys Allowed. Their other collabo "Superhuman" is better though. 4/5

6. "Lose Control/Let Me Down" (ft. Nelly): An awesome jam & potential hit (another one from Ester!), rightfully suggested to me by a friend (yup, same one) as her next single. Nelly's voice even fits, making him sound not-tired for the first time since... *blank stare* (dunno 'bout that verse though). "Let Me Down", again, was an excellent additional treat! 5/5

7. "Toy Soldier": A slow jam with style. Love it. 4.5/5

8. "Breaking Point": Seriously slept on, this lead/buzz single was, as it was obviously going to be. Superb! 5/5

9. "Beautiful Mistake": This midtempo has a retro-done-right feel to it. It makes me happy. 4.5/5

10. "Gimme What I Want": My favorite song on the album. Keri & Ciara both went hard on track 10 this time 'round! 5/5

11. "All The Boys": A wonderful closer! Better than her last album. 5/5

12. "Pretty Girl Rock" (ft. Kanye West): Kinda pointless if she wasn't gonna release it as a single without Kanye... not that she needed to. 4.5/5

Of the deluxe edition bonus tracks, the Target-exclusive "So Good" & Timbaland-assisted "Lie To Me" (although the slight dated feeling of the latter explains why it's just a bonus) stick out, while the other three are varying degrees of alright. Anyway, Keri really impressed me with this one! I can't decide whether or not it's better than In A Perfect World..., but that in itself is a compliment. It's always impressive when an artist can put together an album that I can listen to from beginning to end without even wanting to skip a track & No Boys Allowed is just that! True R&B fans can definitely appreciate both the substance & freshness of what Keri has to offer.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Elliott Yamin "Gather 'Round" Cover

Here is the cover for Elliott Yamin's upcoming third album Gather 'Round, which is being released in Japan first. He said on Twitter that it will probably include a few different tracks when its released in the US. Elliott looks old school classy on the cover, which is fine & all, but I hope it sounds more like his last album!


Countdown To 2011: The Top 10 Videos Of 2010

#4) Christina Aguilera "Not Myself Tonight"

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Album Review: Dirty Money "Last Train To Paris"

It's taken an eternity, but Dirty Money's Last Train To Paris has arrived. I perked up when I heard that Diddy was forming a group with a pair of talented ladies, one being the awesome Dawn Richard, & officially got excited when James Fauntleroy confirmed his involvement. Now, 27,864 videos later, we have the final product &, despite his obnoxious marketing techniques, Diddy's best work to date. (The physical & digital tracklistings for the album are different, so I'm using the CD's sequence.)

1. "Intro": There was no reason for Diddy to tell us what we were about to hear an entire album's worth of material about, but the music's nice.

2. "Yeah Yeah You Would" (ft. Grace Jones): Starting on a high note, very nice. Dawn/Kaleena & Grace sound excellent together. 5/5

3. "I Hate That You Love Me": Love getting to hear more of the girls. Diddy's even bearable on this one. 5/5

4. "A** On The Floor" (ft. Swizz Beatz): The ladies sound great on this one. The beat's hot too, but Swizzy should've stayed behind the desk because the hook is a mess. 4.5/5

5. "Looking For Love" (ft. Usher): Usher's a nice touch, especially on the pre-chorus. He shouldn't have completely taken the place of the girls though. 4.5/5

6. "Someone To Love Me": The train veers off track with this one. There's no musical substance, the chorus sucks, & the Dawn & Kaleena are nowhere to be found. 1/5

7. "Hate You Now": I'm back on board here though! I have a hard time believing James Fauntleroy did not have a hand in writing, vocal arranging, or even singing backup on this one. There's some influence there for sure. 5/5

8. "Yesterday" (ft. Chris Brown): Musically, this song is on-point, as is the album in general, but I definitely would've gone with the girls over Chris. 3.5/5

9. "Shades" (ft. Lil' Wayne, Justin Timberlake, Bilal, & James Fauntleroy): It should come as no surprise to you, considering that this is James Fauntleroy's first official feature, that it's my favorite track on the album. It's no coincidence though, as it's the peak of & most innovative song on the LP. There's no reason I should, but I love Lil' Wayne & Justin Timberlake's slam poetry-like offerings. Of course, James SMASHES the chorus. I could do without Bilal, but I don't really have anything against his presence either. 5/5

10. "Angels" (ft. The Notorious B.I.G. & Rick Ross): Diddy was awfully ambitious to release this (partially) James Fauntleroy-penned track as the album's lead single because it's quite the grower--even I just came around to really liking it. It really is a good song though. They should've left Rick Ross off the album version, as it was originally anyway, but the girls sound great on it, especially at the end, which is also different from the original version. 4.5/5

11. "Your Love" (ft. Trey Songz): Trey, though another unnecessary feature, isn't too bad (as much as I hate him). This one goes pretty hard..! 4/5

12. "Strobe Lights" (ft. Lil' Wayne): I either wouldn't have had Lil' Wayne feature on this song at all or wouldn't have put him at the beginning because, no matter which sequence you choose for the album, there's never a smooth transition into it. That said, the beat's sick & it's a solid track overall. 4/5

13. "Hello Good Morning" (ft. T.I.): I'm not gonna lie: I miss Nicki on this, but T.I.'s verse is good too & even though it's been the better part of a year, this song is still hot! 5/5

14. "I Know" (ft. Chris Brown, Wiz Khalifa, & Seven of RichGirl): Although it fits in with the rest of the album alright, this is essentially a Diddy ft. So-&-So song, not a Dirty Money song... do I sound like a broken record yet? Good because there's no reason to bench Dawn & Kaleena in favor of giving Chris Brown the opportunity to pout, which Lord knows I have absolutely no interest in hearing. 3/5

15. "Coming Home" (ft. Skylar Grey): I didn't like this song at first--& Skylar starting it off still bugs me--but it's been growing on me, especially because Dawn & Kaleena join her on the chorus throughout the rest of the song. It's been KILLING me not to point this out though: "A house is not a home, I hate that song. Is a house really a home when your loved ones is gone?" (beginning of the second verse) -_- He can't be serious. Has he even heard that song before?! 3.5/5

16. "Loving You No More" (ft. Drake): I don't really care for this song in isolation, but seeing as how the album ends so quickly following the jolt of life given back to it via "Hello Good Morning", I actually don't mind this being tacked onto the end (it's a hidden track on the standard edition of the CD). 2.5/5

With track ratings ranging from 1 out of 5 to 5 out of 5, you'd think that Last Train To Paris was all over the place, but, it's the strangest thing really, because it isn't. This feature or that verse from Diddy may bug me, but I can still listen to the album from beginning to end without skipping a single track & still enjoy myself, the music is that strong. As for the two bonus tracks on the deluxe edition, "Last Night Part 2" is decent, while "Change" is a throwaway. They could've included "Love Come Down" or even "I Want Your Love", but again, overall, I'm not upset with what was or wasn't included; the sequence doesn't matter either (they aren't different enough). Bottom line: Last Train To Paris is a musical triumph, especially for Diddy, moreso behind-the-scenes than in front of the mic. It's close to being almost as good as a (...yup) James Fauntleroy album would be! ;)

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Mya "Love Is The Answer" Behind-The-Scenes

Here's some footage of Mya shooting the video for her new single "Love Is The Answer" recently in Washington D.C. If this godawful electro mess is what she has to resort to recording to find any ounce of success as an indie, then never has there been better evidence that she NEEDS to sign with a major again pronto!

New Jennifer Lopez "American Idol" Promo Pics

Jennifer Lopez has done a new promo shoot for American Idol, which premieres on Wednesday, January 19th, @ 8/7c on FOX. Lookin' good as always, J.Lo!

Countdown To 2011: The Top 10 Videos Of 2010

#5) Beyonce "Why Don't You Love Me"

Billboard Update

^#1 Album #1 Single^

In what was no doubt bad news as far as the prospects for Christmas for the kiddies were concerned, Taylor Swift's Speak Now returned to the top of the most recent Billboard 200 album chart, where Michael Jackson debuted @ #3 with 228,000 copies sold of Michael. Dirty Money's Last Train To Paris enters @ #7 after shifting 107,000 copies, while Ciara sadly only manages a #44 debut with Basic Instinct. Katy Perry maintains atop the Hot 100 singles chart with "Firework", while Dirty Money's "Coming Home" notches the Digital Gainer title again, jumping 24-19. Debuting this week are Nicki Minaj & Drake with "Moment 4 Life" @ #83, Pink @ #86 with "F**kin' Perfect", Mariah Carey's "Oh Santa!" @ #100.

See full charts HERE

Katharine McPhee Performs "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" On The Early Show

Yesterday, Katharine McPhee's performance of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" off Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You aired on The Early Show. It's a little late now, but she sounded lovely, so extend your holiday a little with Kat!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Mariah Carey Performs On Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade

Oh Santa!

All I Want For Christmas Is You

Mariah Carey took part in the Christmas parade at Walt Disney World this year to perform a pair of her holiday hits, both of which can be found on her Merry Christmas II You album. That was quite the production! It was nice getting my holiday jam on one last time this year. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Teairra Mari "The Night Before X-Mas" Mixtape

Look who's got a present for us just in time for Christmas! The Night Before X-Mas is the latest mixtape from Teairra Mari, who gives me everything I need every time! You can listen to it below on a widget provided by the hoster of the mixtape, who also provides a FREE download of it!

Countdown To 2011: The Top 10 Videos Of 2010

#6) Nicki Minaj ft. Sean Garrett "Massive Attack"

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Avril Lavigne "Goodbye Lullaby" Tracklisting

We haven't even entered the first month, let alone the third month, of 2011, but the tracklisting for Avril Lavigne's upcoming album Goodbye Lullaby (March 8th) has been unveiled. Check it out below:

1. Black Star
2. What The Hell
3. Push
4. Wish You Were Here
5. Smile
6. Stop Standing There
7. I Love You
8. Everybody Hurts
9. Not Enough
10. 4 Real
11. Darlin'
12. Remember When
13. Goodbye
14. Alice (Hidden Track)

Looks good. I'm glad we'll still be getting the full version of "Black Star" & that they included "Alice" at the end. Hopefully that release date gets pushed up!


Sean Kingston "Party All Night (Sleep All Day)" Video Premiere

"Party All Night (Sleep All Day)" is the latest single lifted from Sean Kingston's as-yet-untitled third album. It's not a cover of a Black-Eyed Peas song... it's worse.

Countdown To 2011: The Top 10 Videos Of 2010

#7) Mariah Carey "Oh Santa!"

Ciara On The Mo'Nique Show


"Gimmie Dat"


Ciara brought the house down at The Mo'Nique Show by giving what was, disgustingly enough, her first televised performance of "Ride" & an all-female performance of "Gimmie Dat", both off her excellent new album Basic Instinct, in addition to sitting down for an interview. The woman killed it. I mean, she SLAYED! I don't think there's a better performer in the industry today. Period.

Listen To Keri Hilson's "No Boys Allowed"

Keri Hilson's sophomore album No Boys Allowed is currently streaming in its entirety HERE. It's quite good, I must say.

Estelle Performs For MySpace's The Release

Estelle debuted her new long locks at an LA show that just so happened to be streaming live by MySpace's The Release. Not particularly feeling the look, but you warm up to it as you watch the show. Her hour-long set was energetic, entertaining, & even included some new material off her upcoming album All Of Me, which is due next summer. Check out the setlist below:

No Substitute Love
So Much Out The Way
Come Over
Midnight Hour
Pretty Please (Love Me)
Get Ready (The Temptations Cover)
DJ Play The Beat
Back To Love Again
All Day Long (Blue Skies)
You Are
Wait A Minute (Just A Touch)
Let Him Know*
One Love
Fall In Love
American Boy

* = New song, unsure of the title

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Keri Hilson Performs Mini-Concert On 106 & Park

Keri Hilson also dropped by 106 & Park to promote the release of her second album No Boys Allowed with a mini-concert. Keri has proven herself to be a good performer & this time is no different. The songs she chose to perform, as listed below, were unexpected ("Hustler" being one of the four tracks that is only available on the album's deluxe edition, which is exclusive to Target & iTunes)--which is always welcome!--& she sounded great (almost) the entire time *cough* thug me, thug me, it's the way you thug me... *cough*.

Let Me Down
Gimme What I Want
The Way You Love Me
Pretty Girl Rock

Christina Aguilera "Cosmopolitan Russia" Magazine Cover

Christina Aguilera, dressed in festive red, covers teh latest issue of Cosmopolitan in Russia. Go see "Burlesque"--you won't regret it!

Keyshia Cole Performs Mini-Concert On 106 & Park

On the Calling All Hearts promo trail, Keyshia Cole stopped by 106 & Park to perform a mini-concert of songs from her new album, which are listed below. I'll give her an A for effort! Really though, despite having misplaced it throughout the entire recording process for the new album, Keyshia began to find her voice again during this mini-concert, possibly even succeeding towards the end of the last song.

I Ain't Thru
If I Fall In Love Again
Tired Of Doing Me (ft. Tank)
Long Way Down

Countdown To 2011: The Top 10 Videos Of 2010

#8) Nicole Scherzinger "Poison"

Keri Hilson Performs "Pretty Girl Rock" On Ne-Yo & Friends

Keri Hilson performed her Ne-Yo-penned single "Pretty Girl Rock" at his VEVO concert recently & did a fine job! Her second album No Boys Allowed is out now.

Katharine McPhee Performs On Regis & Kelly

It's Not Christmas Without You

Jingle Bells

Katharine McPhee stopped by Live With Regis & Kelly to spread some holiday cheer with a performance of her purdy "It's Not Christmas Without You" as well as a little sing-a-long to "Jingle Bells", both off Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You. Well, Kat sounded good!

Nicole Scherzinger Performs "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" On The Sing-Off

Nicole Scherzinger returned to her place on the judges' table for the second season of The Sing-Off, which just ended, but not before she took the stage to sing with Jerry Lawson & Talk Of The Town. They didn't win, but it was still a pleasant performance. I do wish she could've snuck in a performance of "Poison" though... As for the show itself, I watched it last year when no one did, but didn't this year when everybody did... go figure, but I just couldn't bring myself to care enough to watch it.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New Music Tuesday

The year's final New Music Tuesday brings a pair of new releases. The first is Keri Hilson's sophomore album No Boys Allowed, which features the singles "Breaking Point", "Pretty Girl Rock", & the Rick Ross-assisted "The Way You Love Me". Also, we have Keyshia Cole's fourth album Calling All Hearts, which includes the singles "I Ain't Thru" featuring Nicki Minaj & "Long Way Down". So far, I'm enjoying Keri's album more than Keyshia's (something I did not expect), but feel free to test either or both of them out by using the purchase links either below or via the widget on your right.

Keri Hilson No Boys Allowed BUY
Keyshia Cole Calling All Hearts BUY

Countdown To 2011: The Top 10 Videos Of 2010

#9) The Black-Eyed Peas "Imma Be Rocking That Body"

Monday, December 20, 2010

Album Review: Ciara "Basic Instinct"

Recorded soon after last year's Fantasy Ride was released, Ciara's fourth album Basic Instinct is a return to her roots... or that's what it was initially marketed as at least. Having executive produced the project with Tricky Stewart & The-Dream, Ciara certainly looked to some of her breakout hits for inspiration, but what they came up with is much more sophisticated than her debut. Basic Instinct finds Ciara right where she should be, ready to offer up her most polished work to date.

1. "Basic Instinct (U Got Me)": Obviously I don't think Ciara should be rapping, but the attitude is just right on this track & she sounds great on the latter half. 4.5/5

2. "Ride" (ft. Ludacris): The album's first single channels one of my favorite CiCi hits "Oh" & although it's stale at this point (the album should've come out in August when this was rising up the charts), I still love it. 5/5

3. "Gimmie Dat": Quite honestly, I haven't had this banger off repeat for months. The brilliant accompanying video doesn't hurt either! 5/5

4. "Heavy Rotation": This jam features Ciara's gorgeously soft vocals on full display (see: the very end of the song), one of the outstanding qualities of Basic Instinct. 5/5

5. "Girls Get Your Money": "They always wanna holla, but they ain't got no dollas!" CiCi sure GETS it on this one! 5/5

6. "Yeah I Know": She certainly figured me out..! I love the way she rides this beat! 5/5

7. "Speechless": Her vocals on this song are stellar! 3:25 - 3:31 are my favorite! 5/5

8. "You Can Get It": In a perfect world where Basic Instinct were to receive the success it deserves & Ciara had a label that properly supported her, this fabulous slow jam would be her next single, not... 5/5

9. "Turn It Up" (ft. Usher): At first, I wasn't excited about the idea of Usher taking CiCi over to the dark side & turning her into a pop star, but seeing as how her album turned out, I don't mind this song after all. I actually enjoy hearing both of them on the same track, although my favorite part is her lead-in to the chorus ("they play it loud"). 4.5/5

10. "Wants For Dinner": Her adlibs on this song absolutely make the album for me. Oh, who am I kidding... so does the chorus... & her accent. Need I go on? 5/5

11. "I Run It": It's been no secret since this track leaked that it's a work of genius. 5/5

If you're anything like me, at this point, you've been non-stop jamming & you simply cannot accept that the album is over yet. My suggestion would be to tack the iTunes bonus track "Listen To My Song" onto the end of the album because it fits & it's terrific! Now, while I love everything about Basic Instinct, if I could add to it a little bit, I would stick a few more bangers in there a la "Get It Girl" & "Shut 'Em Up". Why she would leave these two fantastic tracks off the album (besides the fact that I griped her butt out last time about putting almost all leaked songs on the album...) is beyond me, as they are two of the best songs from this era, but at least we have them! All-in-all, Basic Instinct is an excellent album & I believe that this era is Ciara's strongest thus far.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Countdown To 2011: The Top 10 Videos Of 2010

#10) Lady Gaga ft. Beyonce "Telephone"

Album Review: Fefe Dobson "Joy"

It's only taken poor Fefe Dobson seven years to release a follow-up to her self-titled debut. After getting dropped from her label Island Def Jam & having her sophomore album Sunday Love (which was set to include my favorite song by her to date, "Don't Let It Go To Your Head", which has since been released by Jordin Sparks) shelved, Fefe was getting her songs featured on TV left & right, resulting in her former label taking notice, re-signing her, & finally releasing a second album from the pop-rocker. Joy shows that Fefe has done a considerable amount of growing since 2003 & deserves at least as much, if not more, success than she had back then.

1. "Ghost": This infectious single had hit written all over it & the label should've made it happen! 5/5

2. "Thanks For Nothing": A fun uptempo... ya! 4.5/5

3. "Stuttering": One of my favorite writers, Claude Kelly, did his thing with this one. Catchy as it is, everyone would have it stuck in their heads... if L.A. would just have her perform it somewhere! 5/5

4. "Can't Breathe": This epic ballad is so good, it sounds like a Ryan Tedder production. I also have to point out that there are times here when Fefe sounds just like her fellow Canadian Avril Lavigne--& that's a very good thing! 5/5

5. "You B****": Uptempos with attitude = the best kind. 4.5/5

6. "Didn't See You Coming": Unfortunately, the streak ends here. This stripped-down track falls pretty flat. 2/5

7. "Watch Me Move": This was my first taste of Joy & it sure had me take notice! It may be short--& ancient at this point--but that's what the repeat button's for..! 5/5

8. "I Want You": Though not horrible, I'm not a big fan of this one. What can I say? Just not my cup of tea. 2.5/5

9. "I'm A Lady": This track has a retro vibe to it, which isn't my favorite, but I don't mind it in small doses. 3.5/5

10. "In Your Touch": Fefe slows it down with another retro track here, but one retro song was about enough for me. It's really noisy too. 2/5

11. "Set Me Free": There's a little something endearing about this slow jam... but not much. 2.5/5

12. "Joy": Cute. 3.5/5

While Joy is pretty hit-&-miss, Fefe's a talented gal & there are some hits on here just waiting to be noticed! Not to mention that even better than some of the tracks on the album are the bonus tracks from the iTunes deluxe edition "I Made Out With Your Boyfriend" & "Johnny Cash". If you're a fan of Avril Lavigne's better work or you just want pop music with the substance of rock, try Fefe Dobson on for size!

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Sunday, December 19, 2010

David Archuleta Performs On Kaleidoscope

"Falling Stars"

"I'll Be Home For Christmas"

David Archuleta returned to Kaleidoscope this year, the annual singing-meets-skating special that he performed on last year, to sing my favorite "Falling Stars" as well as "I'll Be Home For Christmas", his rendition of which can also be found on his Christmas album Christmas From The Heart, which was released last year. The latter performance also featured skater Paul Wylie, while the former track is off his sophomore album The Other Side Of Down. Great job! David also wishes us a 'Merry Christmas' & shows off his mad skating skills below:

Dirty Money Performs "Coming Home" On WWE Tribute To The Troops

Dirty Money performed their cleverly released single "Coming Home" (if it weren't the holidays...) off Last Train To Paris during the WWE's Tribute To The Troops. I know everybody has their own opinion about it, but it excites me to see Dawn up there doing her thing!

David Archuleta Performs With Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Joy To The World

Angels From The Realms Of Glory

David Archuleta was a guest soloist for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's Christmas program this year. See his belt out "Joy To The World" & "Angels We Have Heard On High From The Realms Of Glory" above. I'm not gonna lie: They're so uniform that it's almost creepy, but David sounded fantastic!

Album Review: Jazmine Sullivan "Love Me Back"

Jazmine Sullivan blasted onto the scene two years ago with a #1 R&B single & multiple Grammy nominations. Now, to follow up her flawless debut Fearless, Jazmine has the soulful Love Me Back to offer. Her unique voice is immediately engaging, but with impeccable songwriting skills to go along with it, she is the definition of the complete package--& never has Jazmine displayed this fact more than on Love Me Back.

"Holding You Down (Goin' In Circles)": Upon first listen, the album's lead single still sounds like a song you've heard & loved all your life. The best part though is that there's something fresh about it too. 5/5

"10 Seconds": The attitude-driven second single is another one that will have you cast under its spell. 5/5

"Good Enough": Jazmine puts her heart & soul into this song, & you can sure feel it! 5/5

"Don't Make Me Wait": One of the lighter tracks on the album, Jazzy will have you lost in her "hoo-hoo"s in this tribute to the Prince-formed 80's girl group Vanity 6. 5/5

"Love You Long Time": She instantly had me with this brilliant jam! It's definitely one of my favorites on the album. 5/5

"Redemption": This one may surprise you. Jazmine tells a pair of dramatic stories by talk-singing through the verses that lead to the subjects begging for 'redemption' in the passionate chorus & the result, quite frankly, is absolutely incredible. 5/5

"Excuse Me": And you thought it was good BEFORE this song..! Jazzy moves away from singing about heartbreak for a moment to SANG one of the best love songs I have ever heard. It's retro, but somehow manages to feel fresh, which is the case of the whole album. I'm gonna go ahead & give the title of Best Song of the Year to "Excuse Me"! 5/5

"U Get On My Nerves" (ft. Ne-Yo): In the sequel to "Bust Your Windows", Jazmine's feelings toward her beau (& vice versa) don't appear to have changed. She's flawless here... the only problem with the track is Ne-Yo! 4.5/5

"Stuttering": It's possible that she has never put her particular voice to better use than she does here. Not only is she the peeerfeeect person to sing the "stu-stu-stuttering"s, but you really, really feel the emotion! Ah, I love it. 5/5

"Famous": Oh, honey! The soul! The passion! I can't get enough!!! 5/5

"Luv Back": Jazmine caps her brilliant sophomore effort off on a high note with this one. I dare you to sit still through this entire song. 5/5

I don't know how I lived without this woman's voice. There's something about this Love Me Back--the way it feels both retro & fresh at the same time--that I just can't wrap my head around. It's unlike anything I've ever heard before, honest, & all I want is more of it! If ever there were a perfect example of improving on perfection, it's this album.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mariah Carey Performs On Christmas In Washington

O Come All Ye Faithful/Hallelujah Chorus

One Child

Mariah Carey gave a pair of absolutely brilliant performances for the President & First Family at Christmas In Washington. It wasn't just her tone either--she was belting! She was SANGIN' like it was '95, chil'!! I'm so happy to see that The Voice is BACK! I swear, pregnancy is the best thing that ever happened to her vocal chords..! The two songs can be found on her festive new album Merry Christmas II You.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ciara Performs "Gimmie Dat" On Lopez Tonight

Ciara gave one heck of an incredible performance of her latest single "Gimmie Dat" off her new album Basic Instinct last night on Lopez Tonight. Her dancing was on-point as expected, but so were the vocals & I just knew she would SLAY on that stage of his! I had to DVR this one & watch it in HD on the big screen, & when she was done, I lost my mind!! She's now given me everything I needed visually this era & between the album & my own Basic Instinct mixtape, I have everything I need audibly too! Love you, CiCi!!

Mariah Carey "When Christmas Comes" Fan Video Premiere + More

"When Christmas Comes" is the latest promotional single lifted from Mariah Carey's new album Merry Christmas II You. Through a contest put together with the help of B. Scott, fans submitted their own videos for "When Christmas Comes", clips of which are infused here with Mariah's own personal Christmas photos to create the official 'fan video' for the song, & a lovely song it is! Speaking of which, check out this newly released 'holiday mashup' from the Jump Smokers of "Oh Santa!" & "All I Want For Christmas Is You", which features new vocals & is fully awesome:

Oh Santa! All I Want For Christmas Is You


New Keri Hilson Promo Pics

Some more of Keri Hilson's promo shoot for her upcoming sophomore album No Boys Allowed (December 21st) has emerged. Photoshopped to death or not, the woman has a killer body!


Dirty Money Performs "A** On The Floor" On Jimmy Kimmel

Dirty Money performed their latest single "A** On The Floor" off Last Train To Paris on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Not bad.

Listen To Ciara's "Basic Instinct"

Listen to Ciara's superb new album Basic Instinct in full HERE. Seriously, do it. D'you think that was just an offer?! lol

Katharine McPhee Performs "Jingle Bells" On Leno

Katharine McPhee performed "Jingle Bells" off her new album Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. Why in the world she wasted a Tonight Show gig on this song I don't know, but it was fun.

Listen To Dirty Money's "Last Train To Paris"

Stream the entire Last Train To Paris album from Dirty Money HERE. The sequence they have posted is the same as the digital release & what Amazon lists for the physical release, although the CD appears to have the old sequence...

American Idol Season 10 Poster + More

Check out this poster advertising the 10th season of American Idol, which will move to Wednesdays & Thursdays this spring (from its traditional Tuesday/Wednesday slots), that features new judges Jennifer Lopez & Steven Tyler. A crop of the usual promos for the new season have been circulating the airwaves on FOX lately, but here's one featuring J.Lo:

Billboard Update

^#1 Album #1 Single^

Susan Boyle's The Gift stays atop the Billboard 200 album chart this week, while poor Natasha Bedingfield debuts at a shockingly low #103 with Strip Me. On the Hot 100 singles chart, Katy Perry earns a second consecutive week--the first artist to do so in a month & a half--with "Firework", while Rihanna's Drake-assisted "What's My Name?" comes close to returning to the top, rising 3-2 as the chart's Airplay Gainer. Meanwhile, Dirty Money's Skylar Grey-featured "Coming Home" jumps 51-24 as the chart's Digital Gainer (65,000, +92%).

See full charts HERE

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mariah Carey Expecting Twins

The rumors are true: Mariah Carey & Nick Cannon are expecting twins! The news comes after Mariah revealed the secret to none other than President Obama & the First Family at the Christmas In Washington (airing tomorrow on TNT) taping following her performance for them. Then, after a good report from the doc, Nick confirmed the news to the world on his radio show & Mariah sent out a personal letter to friends, telling them of their bundleS of joy! A big congratulations goes out to Mariah & Nick!! We wish you a healthy pair of babies come springtime!


Leona Lewis Sings Christmas Medley For Twitter Followers

Leona Lewis has posted a video of herself singing a medley of her idol Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" & "O Holy Night", the Christmas songs her Twitter followers most wanted to hear. She sounds fantastic! Between Leona & Mariah herself, Christmas music appears to have been given a break from the beatings it usually receives this time of year for once! Leona's "The Labyrinth Tour: Live At The O2" CD/DVD is out now.

Listen To Keyshia Cole's "Calling All Hearts"

Keyshia Cole's entire fourth album Calling All Hearts is now available for streaming HERE. I haven't had the chance to jump on it just yet, but trust that I will as soon as I can!

Ciara Performs "Gimmie Dat" On Ellen + More

43 days after hitting iTunes & 65 days since the video premiered, Ciara has FINALLY performed "Gimmie Dat", the latest single off her new album Basic Instinct, on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Do you have any idea how long I've waited to type the title of this post? That's right, too friggin' long! And, I would like to point out, after ONE performance of the song, it went from obscurity to one of the top 200 songs on iTunes--& her vocals weren't even that good! I hate you, Jive. In related news, even though Ciara's done four shows so far this week & three of them have only been interviews, she took it upon her wonderful self to perform for us a little impromptu "Basic Instinct (U Got Me)" while visiting 106 & Park (She co-hosted for you guys for FOUR days a few weeks back & you STILL wouldn't let her perform?!), which you can check out during the first of the two-part interview below:

Part 1

Part 2

Mariah Carey "Auld Lang Syne (The New Year's Anthem)" Video Premiere

"Auld Lang Syne (The New Year's Anthem)" is the third single off Mariah Carey's new album Merry Christmas II You. Getting a head start on New Year's Eve, Mariah has premiered this mediocre video for my JAM--& I ain't afraid to say it! Reason #91697 why Mariah is my hero: She is the only person that can take this tired old song & make it a SGSHW!!

Christina Aguilera Performs "Bound To You" From Burlesque + More

Christina Aguilera recently performed the Golden Globe-nominated "Bound To You", her big ballad from "Burlesque", at a recent promotional stop for the film. That's right: "Bound To You", which Christina co-wrote, was nominated for Best Original Song (alongside Cher's ballad "You Haven't Seen The Last Of Me"), while "Burlesque" itself received a nomination for Best Motion Picture - Comedy Or Musical at the 68th Golden Globe Awards! Congrats to Christina & the whole cast on these well-deserved nominations!! Not to mention that this is Christina's best vocal showing this era!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New Keyshia Cole Promo Pic

Here's another promotional photo for Keyshia Cole's upcoming album Calling All Hearts (December 21st)... & I would be fine if it would like to leak any day now. She doesn't seem to be doing, well, anything visually this time around, which sucks.

Goo Goo Dolls Perform On Jimmy Kimmel

As I Am


The Goo Goo Dolls performed a pair of tracks off their latest album Something For The Rest Of Us recently on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Not their best, but I like the songs.

Natasha Bedingfield Performs "Strip Me" On Lopez Tonight

Natasha Bedingfield gave another performance of the title track off her new album Strip Me on Lopez Tonight. I just have not had the time to dive into her new album--there are so many new albums right now!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Keyshia Cole Performs "Long Way Down" On Wendy Williams

Keyshia Cole gave an alright performance of "Long Way Down" on The Wendy Williams Show before the two chatted it up about her baby, fiance, & mom Frankie for a bit. Keyshia's fourth album Calling All Hearts hits stores on December 21st & I'm (honestly) hoping for another over-produced smash!

Dirty Money Performs "Coming Home" On The View

Because housewives are the target audience of Dirty Money, Diddy & co. performed "Coming Home" off Last Train To Paris again on The View.

Keri Hilson Performs "Pretty Girl Rock" On Today

Keri Hilson sang a little mashup of "Pretty Girl Rock", the second single off her upcoming album No Boys Allowed (December 21st), & James Blunt's "You're Beautiful" on the Today show. Yes, Kathie! "Don't hate me 'cause I'm beautiful"--get into it!!

Dirty Money Performs "Coming Home" On Letterman

You know Diddy, so you already know that Dirty Money will be eeeverywhere this week promoting the release of Last Train To Paris. Their first stop was at The Late Show With David Letterman, where they performed "Coming Home". I'm not sure if I've said this already or not, but this song is growing on me. Diddy just needs to stop yelling out cliches & let the girls get some shine!

New Music Tuesday

We're now in the heat of the Christmas shopping season, so it should come as no surprise that this week is a big one for new releases! First up, we have Ciara's oft-delayed fourth album Basic Instinct. It really is an excellent body of work & includes the singles "Ride" featuring Ludacris, "Speechless", & "Gimmie Dat". Next is another belated arrival: Dirty Money's Last Train To Paris. Also a solid project, it contains the singles *deep breath* "Angels" featuring The Notorious B.I.G. & Rick Ross, "Hello Good Morning" featuring T.I., "Loving You No More" featuring Drake, "Coming Home" featuring Skylar Grey, & "A** On The Floor" featuring Swizz Beatz. Last but not least for the highlights is Leona Lewis' CD/DVD "The Labyrinth Tour: Live From The O2", which I'm very anxious to check out! Below, as well as on the widget to your right, are links to purchase these items & more:

Ciara Basic Instinct BUY
Dirty Money Last Train To Paris BUY
Leona Lewis "The Labyrinth Tour: Live From The O2" BUY

Also out...
Natasha Bedingfield Strip Me BUY
Adam Lambert Acoustic Live! (Digital EP) BUY
Michael Jackson Michael BUY

Mariah Carey "Merry Christmas To You" Special

Last night, Mariah Carey took over the ABC airwaves for her "Merry Christmas To You" special, which prominently featured songs from her new album Merry Christmas II You. I thoroughly enjoyed the special & I recommend you do the same, if you haven't yet, above! Because I'm a nice guy, here's the setlist:

Oh Santa!
O Little Town Of Bethlehem/Little Drummer Boy (Medley)
O Holy Night
Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)/Housetop Celebration (ft. Randy Jackson)
When Christmas Comes
Charlie Brown Christmas
Joy To The World
Christmas Time Is In The Air Again
O Come All Ye Faithful/Hallelujah Chorus (ft. Patricia Carey)
All I Want For Christmas Is You

Monday, December 13, 2010

New Beyonce "L'Oreal" Ad

The Queen Beyonce stays gettin' those checks with this latest print ad for L'Oreal makeup. The woman, not only as a singer, but as a businesswoman, is brilliant! Her "I Am... World Tour" DVD/CD is available now.