Monday, May 31, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
"Knockout", featuring Nicki Minaj, is the single off Lil' Wayne's Rebirth that matters. I guess I like the video. I don't really know how I feel about it. I don't hate it, but I don't love it.
"Suite II Overture": This instrumental gets you in the proper mind-set for the suite to come. No complaints here.
"Dance Or Die" (ft. Saul Williams): It's interesting that the first real taste you get of Janelle on the album is the only time she really raps. That said, she does it well! 5/5
"Faster": Keeping with the uptempo vibe, this one's a very nice display of her creativity. 5/5
"Locked Inside": This song wraps up the upbeat-fest that kicks off the set well. 5/5
"Sir Greendown": A gorgeous ballad that appropriately displays her gorgeous tone. I almost wish it was longer! 5/5
"Cold War": Janelle doesn't take long to get back to jamming. This fun track is juxtaposed well by its lyrics. 5/5
"Tightrope" (ft. Big Boi): Being the album's first single, you probably know by now that it's frikkin'-frakkin' awesome! 5/5
"Neon Gumbo": To my knowledge, this is a portion of The Chase Suite's "Many Moons" backwards. It works just fine for an interlude. Nothing wrong with it. 5/5
"Oh, Maker": She slows it down again with this one & the result is pretty good. She hasn't gone wrong yet! 4.5/5
"Come Alive (The War Of The Roses)": I don't know about this song. Janelle rocks out on it, which would be fine, but I'm not too keen on the screaming. It's not horrible though. 3/5
"Mushrooms & Roses": To close out the second suite, she gets a little retro--& more in the style of the former than the latter... if you know what I mean. I'm not in love with the effect on her voice (personal preference, keep in mind), but generally, I like the song. 4/5
"Suite III Overture": An interesting way to kick off the third suite. A little on the stranger (in a good way) side as compared to the intro at the start of the album.
"Neon Valley Street": Very pretty & cool at the same time. 5/5
"Make The Bus" (ft. Of Montreal): This song is bad. In a bad way. I can't even tell when Janelle is singing! 1/5
"Wondaland": Now THIS is whimsical done well. Sweetness. 5/5
"57821" (ft. Deep Cotton): Another track with a throwback feel to it, which, while decent, is apparently not exactly my cup of tea when it comes to Ms. Monae. The challenge with this one is that it's elevator music-y (Weird to hear about her, huh?!), so I have to pay extra-close attention to it or it'll fade into the background. 3.5/5
"Say You'll Go": This song has some of the most beautiful music & vocals in it, I swear! It's funny because you wouldn't think she could truly pull this kinda track off if you just listened to the preceding song, yet she does it brilliantly here! 5/5
"BabopbyeYa": I guess I lied to you just a little bit because this one has a retro feel to it, but it's great! Well, the first part, that is. This track has multiple personalities, as it also sort of serves as the album's outro. It's long enough though (almost nine minutes!) that there's plenty of room. 5/5
To me, there is a distinct difference between Suite II & Suite III, with the second being more uptempo overall & the third having a more laid back feel to it. I would also have to say that I prefer Suite II, as it's more consistent. Due to it's vibe, Suite III could easily seem like it's full of tracks that should've been left on the cutting room floor, but I tried not to let myself look at it that way & I managed to find some treasures (see: "Neon Valley Street", "Say You'll Go"). That said--& her performances are perfect evidence of this--Janelle really shines (more often anyway) with the upbeat flair she delivers on Suite II. Overall, I personally find the many different sides of the multi-talented Janelle Monae that The ArchAndroid displays quite charming... & I'm sure you will too.
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Beyonce's third surprise video for us comes in the form of an alternate version of her "Me, Myself & I" video from 2003's Dangerously In Love. Also featuring numerous additional looks, this version is likely the original cut of the video that plays forward that Beyonce expressed her disapproval of, leading to the video that plays in reverse that we all know. It's terribly interesting to see this after so many years.
The Black-Eyed Peas have recorded the theme song for the new movie "Knight & Day", which opens June 25th starring Tom Cruise & Cameron Diaz. Entitled "Someday", the song was recently premiered by the Peas themselves in front of a lucky crowd in London. Tom Cruise also made an appearance to show his support. "Someday" is a little easier on the ears than their recent series of obnoxious uptempos... I'll leave it at that.
Christina Aguilera "You Lost Me"
Janet Jackson & Finalists - Medley
Idols Tribute Simon Cowell
Carrie Underwood "Undo It"
Kris Allen "The Truth"
Christina Aguilera & Top 6 Girls - Medley
Paula Abdul Roasts Simon Cowell
General Larry Platt & William Hung "Pants On The Ground"
"Te Amo" is the new international single off Rihanna's fourth album Rated R. The video is directed by Anthony Mandler & while I don't particularly care for the videos they do together, the fact that RiRi's love interest is a woman in this one is undoubtedly a point of interest. Props to my dude James Fauntleroy for snagging Rihanna's latest single!
"All The Right Moves"
Interview (Web Exclusive)
OneRepublic took part in the Today show's summer concert series by performing a few songs, some of which were lifted off their sophomore album Waking Up. I particularly enjoyed the "Secrets" performance myself.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Janelle Monae performed her lead single "Tightrope" off The ArchAndroid, which was followed by a short interview, on Lopez Tonight. She killed another performance!
"Everybody (Backstreet's Back)"
"Bigger" + Interview
"I Want It That Way"
The Backstreet Boys kicked off The Early Show's summer concert series (Have they always had this?) with some of their biggest hits as well as the latest single "Bigger" off This Is Us. Ah, reminiscing. I don't know why, but it always depresses me. lol
Almost Doesn't Count
Brandy recently performed some songs at RnB Live Hollywood, including "Almost Doesn't Count" & Etta James' "At Last", which Bran is famous for covering in her bathroom. These phenomenal live performances further prove how untouchable her unique singing skills are. Brandy is everything!
Toni Braxton stopped by Lopez Tonight for a chat & to perform her latest single "Hands Tied". Hair's a mess, but she KILLED that performance! Toni's new album Pulse is out now... best R&B album so far this year..!
The incomparable Janelle Monae lit The Ellen DeGeneres Show's stage on fire displaying her signature moves & on-point vocals with a performance of "Tightrope". Janelle's new album The ArchAndroid is available now.
Live With Regis & Kelly
Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Pt. 1)
Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Pt. 2)
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Keri Hilson has to say goodbye to her man Trey Songz & baby, & head off to war in the video for Trey's "Yo Side Of The Bed" off his third album Ready. (Keri's not featured on the song.) I have to hand it to them--they put together a nice little mini-movie. An emotional one, at that.
*Sigh* I am just not a Drake fan. I didn't even feel like I was listening to a song... it was more like slam poetry or something--& I hate slam poetry. Just my opinion though...
Check out this footage on the set of Dirty Money's "Hello Good Morning" video, which includes our first look at the remix video with Nicki Minaj. I'm really excited to learn that there's going to be a remix video that features Nicki Minaj's verse! Dirty Money's album Last Train To Paris drops June 29th.
While we're on the subject of VH1, the network is revamping one of its signature series, Behind The Music, to feature some younger artists. Check out the list below for the artists they will be featuring & when each of their episodes will air:
- Sunday, June 13th (9/8c): Christina Aguilera
- Monday, June 14th (9/8c): Eve
- Monday, June 28th (9/8c): Jennifer Hudson
- Sunday, July 4th (9/8c): Jennifer Lopez
- Monday, July 19th (8/7c): Usher
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Lil' Wayne is finally releasing the video for "Knockout", his Nicki Minaj collaboration from Rebirth. Obviously, they shot it a while back since he's currently in jail, so a lot of the video was put together in post. We should see the video in full sometime during or around this weekend.
Disney is going above & beyond with the promotional campaign for the new Pixar film "Toy Story 3" before it hits theaters on June 18th. The characters we all know & love are currently being featured in a commercial for the United States Postal Service. I love how Pixar went all out & actually created an ad, rather than just having the USPS use a few scenes from the movie.
She did it! Nicole Scherzinger took the crown on the tenth season of Dancing With The Stars!! On the final performance night of the season, Nicole danced (a redemptive) Rumba & left it all on the floor with an incredible, underrated freestyle. It was a joy to watch Nicole & her partner Derek Hough & get blown away every week, so congratulations to the very deserving pair! Meanwhile, check out Nicole's new single below (I love it!):
Nobody Can Change Me
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
She sounds good & all, but I wonder when we're gonna get her sophomore album!
Monday, May 24, 2010
"Rockstar 101" is the fourth single off Rihanna's latest album Rated R. Let's start off with the positives: I love the different looks throughout the Melina-directed video & I think the clip fits the song well. That said, I'm disappointed that it's not in color. I mean, even the preview was! It just comes across as lazy. Also, while her imitation of Slash is amusing, it doesn't fit in with the mood of the video, ya know? It ain't that serious though. Keep an eye out for a cameo from Travis Barker... behind the drums, of course.
We Are The Fallen participated in Billboard's Mashup Mondays with a cover of U2's "With Or Without You". I don't know much about U2, but after Mary J. Blige fit right in doing "One", I think Carly has an excellent voice to sing Bono's vocals, as she displays well here. We Are The Fallen's debut album Tear The World Down is out now.
Jennifer Hudson tried her hand at country music when she performed at Brooks & Dunn: The Last Rodeo, singing their tune "Believe" as a tribute to the retiring duo. I don't know the original, but lemme tell ya, if country music sounded like that..! This woman is incredible!
Rihanna - Hard & Disturbia
Rihanna - Rude Boy & Te Amo
Rihanna - Russian Roulette & Don't Stop The Music
Rihanna - SOS & Umbrella
Alicia Keys - Empire State Of Mind (Part II) Broken Down
Alicia Keys - No One
Rihanna & Alicia Keys both performed during Radio 1's annual Big Weekend. Rihanna's set was full of shiny distractions so that we might not notice her inability to perform, with the results varying from decent (see: "Rude Boy"... she didn't perform that song enough times when it was #1. I know she didn't have to. Still.) to boring (see: "Don't Stop The Music")--except for "Russian Roulette", which was downright painful. Meanwhile, Alicia Keys stayed trying to hide her obvious pregnancy & singing about how awesome New York is to a crowd of Europeans. That backup singer was sure beltin' though!
In addition to singing "Yesterday", Toni Braxton performed "Woman" for the first time at a private show in Austria recently. I love her so much! Toni, you give me so much life!! Her wonderful new album Pulse is in stores now.
Take A Bow
I Got You
Better In Time
Leona Lewis performed a lengthy set as a part of this year's Rock In Rio in Lisbon, Portugal. The main thing to take away from these performances is that Leona, who is currently prepping for her first tour, has improved her stage presence immensely (see: "Take A Bow"). Unfortunately, during the moments when she is the most entertaining, her vocals are uncharacteristically lacking... but they do make a comeback on the duller ballads. That said, I'm liking how some of the songs' tempos have been brought up a bit (see: "Better In Time"). I'll bet her tour would actually be worth watching--& not just listening to--now. Leona's latest album Echo is available now.
Adam Lambert performed a set at KISS 108's concert on Saturday night in Boston. The songs included were "Whataya Want From Me", "Music Again", "Strut", "Sleepwalker", & "If I Had You". Adam did his thing during the well-rounded set. His debut album For Your Entertainment is out now.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
During her recent Pulse promo tour throughout Europe, Toni Braxton stopped by Loose Women in the UK to perform her single "Yesterday". See, Toni? You can sing live & sound great! Was that so hard?! lol
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Dreamworks Animation: I've been meaning to mention for a while that the sequel to "Kung Fu Panda", which hits theaters on June 3rd, 2011, has received a new name: "Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom Of Doom". And just so you have an idea, the Dreamworks peeps have more up their sleeves as far as their franchises are concerned (a "Shrek" spinoff for Puss in Boots & a third "Madagascar" movie) for 2012!
Blue Sky: They've announced their plans for 2012 to be... a fourth "Ice Age" movie called "Ice Age: Continental Drift", which will be released in 3D on July 13th of that year. Yay, I think.
[Source, Source, Source, Source]
I'm so pleased that this making-of footage of Rihanna's new video for "Rockstar 101" off Rated R has surfaced because I had totally forgotten that they shot this video. (No, seriously.) I can't wait for it to premiere on Tuesday!
Sarah McLachlan performed her entire first single "Loving You Is Easy" for the first time on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Still not loving the song, but I am still excited about her upcoming album Laws Of Illusion dropping on June 15th.
Check out this clip of the new Pixar short "Day & Night" that will accompany "Toy Story 3" when it hits theaters in 3D on June 18th. Pixar's shorts are the best!
Friday, May 21, 2010
Finally (& miraculously?), we have the alternate version of Beyonce's video for "Halo" off I Am... Sasha Fierce that features those mysterious dark scenes that were shown being shot during the "Above & Beyonce" behind-the-scenes featurette. This version is far & away superior to the trash that is the original "Halo" video. The dark scenes make the extreme brightness of the others make sense. Maaaybe they could have executed the dark part of the video a little better, but they certainly should have left it in if they weren't going to reshoot the entire video.
A theatrical trailer that actually gives us a clue as to what the movie's about has surfaced for "Megamind". While I'm still not seeing the intriguing plot that the movie is supposed to have displayed in this preview, "Megamind" does look kinda funny. The movie hits theaters in 3D on November 5th.
UPDATE: Check out the ..very blue.. first poster for "Megamind" below:
Adam Lambert invited Entertainment Tonight to the set of his video for "If I Had You", the third single off his debut album For Your Entertainment. By the look of it, I'd say this is definitely a Glambert video! I'm glad though--a nice change of pace from "Whataya Want From Me".
"Happiness" is the first single off Alexis Jordan's as-yet-untitled debut album, which will be released on Jay-Z's Roc Nation. A friend got me bumpin' this song a little while back & while I'm not 100% sold on her as a whole just yet, she's cute & she can sure dance, as displayed in her cool video. I'll say this though: those "mmm"s are perfection & I can't get them outta my head!
Thursday, May 20, 2010
From the creators of the "Ice Age" movies & "Horton Hears A Who" comes "Rio", which is set to hit theaters in 3D on April 8th, 2011. This looks like another winner from Blue Sky, so take a look at the film's teaser trailer above.
Teairra Mari kicks off the new video for "Will 2 Win" from Swerv, which also features Cardan. No clue who they are... Teairra, you do some pretty
ghetto strange things!
"If I Had You"
Adam Lambert premiered his new single "If I Had You" off For Your Entertainment with a performance & interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. That performance was a bit more pre-Idol Adam (if you know what I mean) than we're used to at this point, but I'm glad because you can tell it's more like what he wants to do.
Janelle Monae made her network TV debut on the Late Show with David Letterman with a performance of "Tightrope" off her debut album The ArchAndroid. After her incredible performance, Diddy made his way to the stage to show his support.
Sarah McLachlan got some great exposure for her new single "Loving You Is Easy" off Laws Of Illusion (June 15th) when she performed it following "Angel" as part of a medley on Dancing With The Stars this week. Her voice is so gorgeous. Glad to have it back!
Estelle joined Reflection Eternal on last night's Jimmy Kimmel Live! to perform their collaboration "Midnight Hour". Estelle's gonna be everywhere this year & I love it!
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Following a perfect 30 for her Argentine Tango & an equally impressive Cha Cha Cha, Nicole Scherzinger danced her way to the final three during her ninth week on Dancing With The Stars. You're so close, Nicole, & you're doing so well! Nicole FTW!!
Despite her performance of the song on American Idol not sparking much of a sales increase, Rihanna is going ahead with the release of a video for "Rockstar 101", the fourth single off her fourth album Rated R. I'm excited to be receiving a video for the track at all, but I'm gonna need more than a red wig & a blank background to actually get anything out of it.
Beyonce "Sweet Dreams"
Jay-Z & Alicia Keys "Empire State Of Mind"
Monica "Everything To Me"
Rihanna ft. Young Jeezy "Hard"
Trey Songz ft. Fabolous "Say Aah"
Young Money ft. Lloyd "Bedrock"
Best Female R&B Artist
Mary J. Blige
Best Male R&B Artist
Best Female Hip-Hop Artist
Best Male Hip-Hop Artist
Beyonce ft. Lady Gaga "Video Phone"
B.o.B ft. Bruno Mars "Nothin' On You"
Drake & Trey Songz "Successful"
Drake ft. Lil' Wayne, Kanye West, & Eminem "Forever"
Jay-Z & Alicia Keys "Empire State Of Mind"
Trey Songz ft. Fabolous "Say Aah"
Best New Artist
The Black-Eyed Peas
Video Of The Year
Beyonce ft. Lady Gaga "Video Phone"
B.o.B ft. Bruno Mars "Nothin' On You"
Melanie Fiona "It Kills Me"
Jay-Z & Alicia Keys "Empire State Of Mind"
Jay-Z, Rihanna, & Kanye West "Run This Town"
Video Director Of The Year
Michael Jackson's This Is It
The Blind Side
Law Abiding Citizen
The Anointed Pace Sisters
Kirk Franklin Presents Artists United For Haiti
Best International Act
Kojo Antwi (Ghana)
Dizzee Rascal (UK)
Hip Hop Pantsula (HHP) (South Africa)
Corinne Bailey Rae (UK)
Kelis gave another performance of her first single "Acapella" off Flesh Tone (July 6th) on GMTV during her UK promo tour for the album. Another solid performance & yes--I have indeed had the song stuck in my head for quite a while now.
"Empire State Of Mind (Part II) Broken Down"
Alicia Keys (& company ;) ) performed a pair of her
annoying hits while promoting her new album The Element Of Freedom in London on Later With Jools Holland. Well, at least she changed up "No One" to make it bearable.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
David Guetta keeps the hits from his latest album One Love coming with "Gettin' Over You", which features Fergie, Chris Willis, & LMFAO. Naturally, Fergie steals the show by both sounding & looking amazing! I was actually impressed by Chris Willis too though--I had never even heard of him before. Btw, keep your eyes peeled for the JabbaWockeeZ from ABDC.
"4th Of July (Fireworks)"
Interview + "Sweet Dreams" (Eurythmics Cover)
Although I already posted Kelis' performance of "Acapella" from this show, her performance of "4th Of July (Fireworks)", interview, & cover of the Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams" on what may or may not have been the same episode of Later With Jools Holland (same taping, different airdate?) have only just surfaced. While I've had time to warm up to "Acapella", I have yet to do so with "4th Of July (Fireworks)", so I feel a bit more recording > live about it at the moment. I dunno whether its Kelis' new single or not yet, but I still need to listen to her new album Flesh Tone, which is out now in the UK & drops July 6th in the US, in full, so I don't have too strong an opinion on that front quite yet.
2. Illusions Of Bliss
3. Loving You Is Easy
6. Rivers Of Love
7. Love Come
8. Out Of Tune
10. Don't Give Up On Us
11. U Want Me 2
12. Bring On The Wonder
13. Love Come (Piano Version)
So, it's not exactly longer than her last studio album--the 10-track Afterglow--since tracks 11 & 12 were featured on Sarah's previously released greatest hits collection Closer, but I'm definitely not complaining. Not to mention that there was certainly nothing lacking about Afterglow!