Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Katharine McPhee Joins "Shark Night 3D"

Katharine McPhee has joined the likes of Sara Paxton & a bunch of other people I've never heard of in "Shark Night 3D", which starts filming later this month with director David R. Ellis, who also helmed 3D movie "The Final Destination". "Shark Night" "revolves around a group of college friends who spend the weekend at a lake house, only to find all sorts of dangerous sharks lurking beneath the waters." I can hear the Oscar buzz already! (Wait. Whatever happened to Kat's last movie "You May Not Kiss The Bride"?!)

[Source, Source]

Listen To Goo Goo Dolls' "Something For The Rest Of Us"

If you're on the fence about the new Goo Goo Dolls album Something For The Rest Of Us, then this one's for you: You can click right HERE to stream the album in its entirety. I bought my copy (of the CD!) earlier today, but still haven't had a chance to listen to it--can't wait though!

Janet Jackson Performs At 2010 Essence Music Festival

Rhythm Nation


Janet Jackson headlined the Essence Music Festival this year & as they do, TVOne has finally aired some of the footage from the show, including this pair of performances from Janet. Can't nobody say she ain't still got it!

New Music Tuesday: Goo Goo Dolls "Something For The Rest Of Us"

The Goo Goo Dolls drop their first album in four years Something For The Rest Of Us today. If their first single "Home" is anything to go by, this should be another winner from the band, so click HERE or on the widget on your right to get it (at a low price)!

New David Archuleta Promo Pics

Here's a triptych of David Archuleta's grin in the form of new promotional photos for his upcoming album The Other Side Of Down (October 5th). Alright, my regular David-fan readers, I know I'm a little late with these, but don't tell me your day wasn't brightened at the sight of these pictures (again)! It's not like I was gonna let the opportunity pass me by... oh, & you're welcome. ;)


Fantasia "Behind The Music"

Fantasia was featured on VH1's Behind The Music the night of her Back To Me album release & although it had been completed prior to Fantasia's suicide attempt, the special was updated in time to include a new interview with the singer regarding the incident, making this a must-see. Between her tool of a father, being raped at 14, & getting tumors on her vocal chords, Fantasia has been through a lot. She sure is one talented lady though & I pray that she stays strong from here on out!

Monday, August 30, 2010

*UPDATED* Brandy Joins Dancing With The Stars

Here we go again! Mario, Toni Braxton, Mya, Nicole Scherzinger... it never fails. Every season, Dancing With The Stars casts an R&B star & this one is no different. Brandy has signed on for the next season of the ABC show, which is set to premiere on September 20th. There's always something to be said when someone joins DWTS & I can't say that there's many negative things to say about Brandy strapping on her dancing shoes... three words: Promo, promo, promo! Of course, I thought this was what A Family Business was for, but double the promo can only be a good thing, right? Note: Keep an eye on this post come Wednesday, as that is when her professional partner will be announced.

UPDATE: Brandy's partner is... Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who's had successful runs on the show in the past with the likes of Mel B & Laila Ali.

[Source, Source]

Jazmine Sullivan "Holding You Down (Goin' In Circles)" Video Premiere

"Holding You Down (Goin' In Circles)" is the first single off Jazmine Sullivan's upcoming sophomore album Love Me Back (October 5th). This video came out at the perfect time because I'm currently transitioning from liking this song to loving it! I love this woman & everything she does, this retro video & all!

Christina Aguilera "Burlesque" Poster

Check out the first one-sheet poster for Christina Aguilera's feature film debut "Burlesque"! I like it. Correction: I love the right side... now, if they'll just release one with Christina on one side & Kristen Bell on the other! "Burlesque" comes out November 24th.


New JoJo Promo Pic

JoJo shows off her dark mane in this new promotional photo for her upcoming mixtape Can't Take That Away From Me (September 7th). I've included its first single, which premiered today, below. I know it doesn't show off that fabulous voice we've been missing terribly, but I LOOOVE it!

In The Dark

Christina Aguilera "Entourage" Sneak Peek

On the seventh season finale of HBO's Entourage, airing September 12th, Christina Aguilera will be serving as a guest star & you can get a short glimpse (just don't blink!) at her in the episode above. Word is that she'll be singing too, so don't miss it! Also, since I'm sure you already have, don't forget that Christina's new album Bionic is out now.


Britney Spears "Radiance" Commercial

Britney Spears has shot this ironic new ad for her latest fragrance "Radiance". She is looking good these days!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Album Review: Usher "Versus"

When Usher announced the release of Versus, the sequel to Raymond Vs. Raymond from earlier this year, I was interested to see what we were in for because although I don't despise Raymond Vs. Raymond, I'm not its biggest fan either, so Ursh was either going to make up for it or head even further in the wrong direction. Not surprisingly, Versus isn't too different from Raymond Vs. Raymond, but dare I say that the 9-song set--despite its short running time--might just be a step in the RIGHT direction..!

"Love 'Em All": I know I've had time to get used to Usher returning to his man-whorish ways, but it's not just for that reason that I like this song better than just about every song with the same subject matter from Raymond Vs. Raymond. Here, he gives us a solid R&B song with some rockin' vocals! 4/5

"DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" (ft. Pitbull): Lord knows Mr. Raymond has no business recording with Max Martin, but this is certainly a step up from that bang-my-head-against-the-wall trash "OMG". 3.5/5

"Hot Tottie" (ft. Jay-Z): As this is another Polow Da Don joint (see: "Lil' Freak"), it shouldn't surprise anyone that it's my favorite track. It's too bad that Ciara wasn't able to top this song off perfectly, but that's my only complaint. Even Jay's verse is hot. 4.5/5

"Lay You Down": A decent R&B slow jam, if not the best; another nice vocal display. 3.5/5

"Lingerie": Again, not his absolute best work, but a solid uptempo nonetheless. 3.5/5

(I'm omitting "There Goes My Baby" here because I've already shared my thoughts on it.)

"Get In My Car" (ft. Bun B): On the surface, it's not too bad... but is this not about prostitutes?! Regardless, it's nothing special. 2/5

"Somebody To Love (Remix)" (ft. Justin Bieber): This particular version features more vocals from Usher than the remix that has a video (although less than the leaked solo version) & for that reason, in addition to the fact that I like this mix better, I like it--despite Justin's presence. 3/5

"Stranger": Usher bookends this set nicely because this is a really good R&B slow jam. 4/5

Versus is unmistakably an extension of Raymond Vs. Raymond, but weeding out some of the trash seems to work for Usher, as he certainly has a split personality--just not the one he thinks he does--trying to please both his R&B & pop fans. That said, artists take note: 9-track "albums" by themselves is not gonna cut it. There's not enough material in that short of a span to fully convey the creative message that albums are supposed to. And although I'm sure it won't happen, my hope is that Usher takes the R&B skills we know he has, & that he shows glimpses of here, & fully develops them creatively on his next (full-length) album.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

David Archuleta Performs "Something 'Bout Love" On Arthur Ashe Kids' Day

David Archuleta performed his first single "Something 'Bout Love" off The Other Side Of Down (October 5th) as-recorded for the first time on (national!) television during this year's Arthur Ashe Kids' Day, which kicks off the US Open. Dunno how you can sing so well while jumping up & down, but nice job, David!

Sean Kingston "Follow Me (Twitter Song)" Video Premiere

Sean Kingston's at it again with his "street cred" videos, this one being for "Follow Me (Twitter Song)", which will be featured on his upcoming mixtape King Of All Kings.

Beyonce Performs "Video Phone" On I Am... Tour

Apparently, one of Beyonce's dancers from her "I Am..." tour posted this footage of the "Video Phone" performance from the tour. Despite the poster claiming that this clip isn't from the rumored upcoming DVD of the show, the performance is in fact HQ. It's a shame that Beyonce doesn't sing the song, but it sure is a sight to see nonetheless!

Marques Houston "High Notes" Video Premiere

"High Notes" is the latest single lifted from Marques Houston's forthcoming album Mattress Music (September 14th). I'm not even gonna pretend like he wasn't singin' that!

Billboard Update

^#1 Album #1 Single^

On the latest Billboard 200 album chart, Eminem repeats on top with Recovery as Dondria's Dondria Vs. Phatfffat debuts @ #51. Eminem & Rihanna also continue to reign on the Hot 100 singles chart with "Love The Way You Lie".

See full charts HERE

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Album Review: Fantasia "Back To Me"

Needless to say, it's been quite an eventful ride since the release of Fantasia's self-titled sophomore effort was released four years ago. After doing "The Color Purple" musical for a while, Fantasia decided it was time to get back to her music & as a result, we were treated to her Fantasia For Real reality show as a way of getting the singer back into the spotlight. Then, of course, personal drama in recent weeks did more to get her back into the headlines than any of that. However, as the title would suggest, Fantasia's third album Back To Me is about the American Idol winner focusing on her music once again. And we can all be thankful for that!

"I'm Doin' Me": Anyone who's seen how Fantasia has taken on the role of caretaker for her entire family on her reality show knows the significance of this song. You can really feel Fantasia on this one, which naturally sets the mood for the record quite nicely. 4.5/5

"Bittersweet": The lead single off Back To Me is the definition of soulful, which is undoubtedly Fantasia's 'sweet' spot. 4.5/5

"Man Of The House": I'm not gonna lie: I think this kinda pales in comparison to the ghetto-fab uptempos on Fantasia, but I do like it. 4/5

"Who's Been Lovin' You": Another excellent offering of soul from 'Tasia. 4.5/5

"Collard Greens & Cornbread": Best song on the album, hands down. I would even go as far as to say that this old school joint is one of her best tracks to date. 5/5

"Teach Me": This laid back song features some pretty incredible vocals! 4.5/5

"Move On Me": I don't know why the label had a hard time considering this one for the album's first single because it offers the same soulful vibe as "Bittersweet", but is just more lively. 4.5/5

"Trust Him": This track may not stick out in particular, but it's a solid one with some great vocals that helps maintain the tone of the album. 4.5/5

"The Thrill Is Gone" (ft. Cee-Lo): Fantasia goes IN on this song, there's no denying it. In addition, it's meaning has obviously become enhanced due to recent events. And, although I'm not usually one for "slam poetry" or what have you, I find Mr. Green's part a welcome addition to the track. 5/5

"Falling In Love Tonight": I kinda consider this one album filler, although there's nothing really wrong with it. I really like the instrumental outro actually. 4/5

"Even Angels": I've loved this one ever since they previewed it on Fantasia For Real. She turns what could be considered run-of-the-mill production & turns it into somewhat of a masterpiece! 5/5

"I'm Here": I'm super thankful that they included a recording of her character's signature tune from "The Color Purple" here at the end. As we've seen in previous performances, it's simply breathtaking! 5/5

So, as you can see, Back To Me is one heck of a solid album. Now, I wish they had included "The Worst Part Is Over" because that's one of my favs from this era... & why they didn't include "Overhead" (leaked or not) is a mystery to me, considering how relevant its subject matter is... but at least we have them! For me personally, Fantasia had a lot to live up to with this record because I adore her self-titled album. However, I think she did a fine job with it--& not only that, but the fact that she succeeded (...duh...) at a retro-soul album when she did current/trendy so well back in '06 just goes to prove that she can, in fact, sing anything!

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Jazmine Sullivan "Holding You Down (Goin' In Circles)" Behind-The-Scenes

Jazmine Sullivan recently shot the video for "Holding You Down (Goin' In Circles)", her first single off Love Me Back (October 5th). The retro song got an equally throwback concept for its accompanying video, which features cameos from a number of '90s stars, including the song's producer Missy Elliott. In related news, you gotta check out the single's brand new Swizz Beatz-helmed remix:

Holding You Down (Goin' In Circles) (Remix ft. Mary J. Blige)

Nicole Scherzinger To Guest Star On How I Met Your Mother

Like Britney Spears & Jennifer Lopez before her, Nicole Scherzinger has landed a guest-starring role on an episode of the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother. The Dancing With The Stars winner is set to play a character named Jessica Glitter in an episode simply titled "Glitter" (lol). Apparently, this Jessica chick has something to do with a one Robin Sparkles, so if that name means anything to you, head on over to Mr. Ausiello via the (first) source below & check out the deets. Nicole's episode is slated to air this November.

[Source, Source]

Alexis Jordan Performs "Happiness" On Good Day New York

Alexis Jordan performed an acoustic version of her debut single "Happiness" on Good Day New York following a short interview about her background. I'd never seen Alexis sing live, so it was nice to see that she's the real deal. I also like this "unplugged" version of the song as well.

Listen To Esmee Denters' "Outta Here"

So, guess who (digitally) released their debut album Outta Here this week in the most secretive way I've seen in years?! That sneaky little Esmee Denters, that's who! (This ain't gonna cut it, JT!) The cover art, which is being recycled, can be seen above & although we've heard all 10 songs before, check out what made the cut HERE, where you can listen to the album (legally of course) in full. You probably didn't notice that I added her album to my New Music Tuesday post & I don't blame ya: I had no idea it was dropping this week--& that's saying something, considering how much time I spend online trying to figure these exact things out. #whatamess


Fantasia Performs "Free Yourself" At VH1

Fantasia visited the offices of VH1, the network that airs her reality show, to sing for the staff (I see you, Jim Cantiello!) in conjunction with the release of her third album Back To Me. The first video they have released of her performance--with more to follow next week--is of the singer gettin' it to the title track of her debut album, "Free Yourself". Hands down, one of the best live performers out there right now vocally.

Listen To Usher's "Versus"

It may have arrived earlier this week, but if you haven't had a chance to pick it up yet, give Usher's new release Versus a stream HERE to help yourself decide. Maybe I've just gotten used to the idea of him using his horniness as his primary musical inspiration, but I kinda enjoy this better than Raymond Vs. Raymond.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

David Archuleta Performs "Something 'Bout Love" On Good Day New York

David Archuleta stopped by Good Day New York to give the first televised performance of his first single "Something 'Bout Love" off his upcoming sophomore album The Other Side Of Down (October 5th), as featured in the clip above, which has more to offer than meets the eye! Before he gave his wonderful, albeit shortened, performance, David offered up a sneak peek at a new song called "Elevator" that will almost surely make his new album. Then, during the brief interview before his performance, Dave revealed that he wrote 10 out of the 12 songs on The Other Side Of Down. Pretty cool, huh? As for his acoustic rendition of "Something 'Bout Love", I like it & WOW at him hitting all those high notes! I know I shouldn't be surprised at this point, but I can't think of anybody else who could hit notes like that live so easily.

Fantasia On Lopez Tonight

"Man Of The House"


Fantasia tore the Lopez Tonight house down with a performance of her latest single "Man Of The House" off her new album Back To Me after sitting down for a heart-to-heart with host George Lopez. He seems like such a genuine guy! I think this promo round actually came at the perfect time for 'Tasia because it allows her to release through her performances & see all the love that her fans have for her.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Usher ft. Pitbull "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" Video Premiere

"DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love", featuring Pitbull, is the first single lifted from Usher's new release Versus. Although I'm already getting tired of the song & despite the fact that it is a club video, I like the whole slo-mo effect. So, not bad.

New Nicki Minaj Promo Pic

The "Your Love" video Nicki Minaj has resurrected & is ready to kick some A in the latest promotional photo for the Harajuku Barbie's upcoming (feature-light!) debut album Pink Friday (November 23rd). Love it! But I'm ready for some new music!!


Kelis "4th Of July (Fireworks) (Alternate Version)" Video Premiere

Check out this odd, yet creative new video for Kelis' latest single "4th Of July (Fireworks)", the second off her new album Flesh Tone. This special edition features every tweet that included the words "4th of July" that was tweeted on July 4th, 2010. I'm pretty sure everybody has moved past Independence Day by now, but hopefully this will get "tongues wagging" as they say nonetheless.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fantasia On AOL Sessions

"Even Angels", "Bittersweet", & "Man Of The House"

"When I See U" & "Free Yourself"

Fantasia got back to what won her American Idol back in 2004 indeed at AOL Sessions, where she performed my jam "Even Angels", "Bittersweet" (the ending of which you HAVE to see), "Man Of The House" (which has me liking the song more now), "When I See U" (which she KILLED), & "Free Yourself" in support of her newly released album Back To Me. You can check out the Q&A as well &, honestly, I think Fantasia could stand to listen to her OWN albums #noshade!

*UPDATED* Fantasia On GMA



In her first live appearance & interview since her suicide attempt, Fantasia showed her human side--& that talent we all know & love--on Good Morning America. Now that it's clear that Fantasia's recent actions were intentional, above all--even her questionable wardrobe choice, I'm just glad to have her here. She is far from perfect, but she is certainly right about one thing: Let's keep the focus on her talent from now on, people! Well, that & belated congratulations, 'Tasia, for graduating from high school! Her new album Back To Me is in stores now.

UPDATE: Fantasia also performed "Man Of The House" while she was there:

New Music Tuesday

It's a double dose of R&B this Tuesday as two of the genre's best & brightest release their latest efforts today. First up is Fantasia's long-awaited third album Back To Me, which includes lead single "Bittersweet" as well as buzz single "Even Angels". The album is arguably her best to date, so feel free to treat yourself HERE or via the Amazon widget to your right. Also dropping is Usher's Versus, the continuation of & sequel to Raymond Vs. Raymond, which was released earlier this year. The EP (more or less) features the Pitbull-assisted first single "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" & can be purchased either HERE or via the Amazon widget to your right. I plan on reviewing both of these titles pretty soon, so keep an eye out for that!

Also out...
Esmee Denters Outta Here (Digital Exclusive) BUY
Usher Raymond Vs. Raymond: The Deluxe Edition BUY

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Album Review: Dondria "Dondria Vs. Phatfffat"

It's been quite a road to Dondria Vs. Phatfffat. Originally due in 2008 on Island Def Jam, Dondria weathered the storm of Jermaine Dupri, who discovered her on YouTube, going indie with his So So Def label to finally get her album out. Fan support has driven the project ever since--& for good reason because, like Monica before her, Dondria is part of a movement to bring real talent & good ol' R&B back into the spotlight.

"You're The One": Her hit first single is a retro-tinged ballad that properly introduced us to those powerful pipes of hers. 4.5/5

"Saving Myself": This slow jam doesn't pop quite as much as its preceding track, but is still nice. I like the message as well, contradictory as it may be (but that's JD for ya). 4/5

"Shawty Wus Up" (ft. Johnta Austin & Diamond): Although Dondria doesn't get to show off her vocals as much on this one, I must say that I enjoy listening to her tone on the track. We don't get to hear much of her though, as Johnta the manwhore (who doesn't sound half bad, I'll admit) had to take up half the song. I did kinda like the rap though. 4/5

"Making Love": Another solid cut that has Dondria showin' off that voice! 4.5/5

"Can You Help Me": And now, the album REALLY begins! One of my favorites, this song is straight-up R&B right out of the '90s. Love me them "oh"s! 5/5

"Where Did We Go Wrong": (I'm always trying to get this one confused with the previous track, as she says "where did we go wrong" in the chorus of it. lol) Pretty sure this is everyone's favorite track, & rightfully so. Veterans, take note: This is how you do a slow jam. 2:07, baby! 5/5

"No More": What can I say? Life! She rides the sample (50 Cent's "21 Questions", I believe) exquisitely. 5/5

"Still Be With Me": She doesn't go in quite as much on this one, but who says you have to be wailing all the time? This is a gorgeous song & she sings it beautifully. 5/5

"You're The One (JD's Jeep Mix)": I'm not gonna say that I like this version better than the original... but I don't like it any less. It reminds me of the good ol' days! 4.5/5

"Believer": I love the vibe of this song! It's laid back &... what other song is like this?! Plus, her vocals are on-point as always. 4.5/5

"Kissed By The Sun": Lovely way to cap off the album. Wonderful vocal display from Dondria & beautiful piano playing from B. Cox. 4.5/5

Dondria ain't playin' around with her debut. She sings her butt off & we thank her for it. It sounds like she's found a lane that works for her, if more people would just get behind her.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ciara "Basic Instinct" Webisode #1

As with Fantasy Ride, Ciara has begun releasing webisodes to promote her forthcoming album Basic Instinct (October 5th) & this one focuses on her trip to Dallas for this year's K104 Summer Jam. I see you, CiCi, performing my jam "Get It Girl"! This was beautifully shot & is definitely a worthwhile watch.

Usher On GMA

"DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" & "OMG"

Interview (Pt. 1)

Interview (Pt. 2)

Usher kick-started promo for his upcoming Versus (August 24th) with the first performance of "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" as well as another for "OMG" on Good Morning America. I'm not gonna lie: He can put on a show as good as ever. Do I think HE should be working with Max Martin? No. But is "DJ" > "OMG"? Yes.

Bad Boy "Vibe" Magazine Cover

The Bad Boy family, including Dirty Money, Janelle Monae, & Cassie, is currently featured on the cover of Vibe. Good lookin' bunch!

OneRepublic Performs For HP


All The Right Moves


OneRepublic partnered with HP to perform a concert in Times Square recently. Enjoy the results above & pick up their latest album Waking Up in stores now.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fantasia Performs On Walmart Soundcheck

Free Yourself, When I See U, & Summertime

Hood Boy & Bittersweet

Fantasia went IN during this concert in Washington D.C. that Walmart Soundcheck, luckily enough, was able to capture. The whole thing is great & definitely worth watching, but make sure you check out the end of "Bittersweet"! I do kinda wish 'Tasia had performed more new material from her third album Back To Me (August 24th), but this'll certainly do!

Mariah Carey Christmas Album Update

Mariah Carey is set to release her second Christmas album on November 2nd. Having reportedly shot the packaging with David LaChapelle already, the set is to include six new songs in addition to covers as well as a new mix of her holiday classic "All I Want For Christmas Is You". Obviously, I'm interested to hear how she follows up Merry Christmas 16 years down the line. The holidays seem to be good to Mariah, so hopefully she'll find success with this project.


Vonzell Solomon "The BabyV Show" August 19th

Billboard Update

^#1 Album #1 Single^

Eminem's got himself another 1-2 punch this week, as Recovery returns to the top of the Billboard 200 album chart & the Rihanna-assisted "Love The Way You Lie" remains atop the Hot 100 singles chart. Elsewhere on the Hot 100, the Hot Shot Debut is Trey Songz's "Bottoms Up" with Nicki Minaj, which comes in @ #22. Rounding out the chart @ #100 is Usher's "Hot Tottie" featuring Jay-Z.

See full charts HERE

Jordin Sparks Performs "Breathe" On Regis & Kelly

Jordin Sparks stopped by Live With Regis & Kelly the morning of her Broadway debut to perform "Breathe", one of her character Nina's big numbers from "In The Heights". Kiiinda sounds like she was born to do Broadway, huh? I do really wish I could see the show, but Jordy better not ditch recording for the stage!

Keri Hilson & T.I. Perform "Got Your Back" On Jimmy Kimmel

Keri Hilson joined T.I. again to perform their collaboration "Got Your Back" on Jimmy Kimmel Live! I'm sorry that I'm bringing this up here, as Keri kills her part on this song, but are you noticing how rap songs with singers doing the hook are taking over the world? I was talking to someone recently & they told me they liked some godawful song on the radio, & I got to thinking & asked them if they liked the song or the chorus. Turns out, nobody likes all these rappers or their verses on their songs--they just like the catchy choruses! How sad is that? I think singers with rap features can be brilliant, but it's just a mess the other way around. I know it makes hit songs, but then again, so can a few bored kids with a silly news report & a little autotune... One more thing: Listen to T.I. during this performance as if you've never heard him before (close your eyes if it helps) & TELL me he doesn't sound, err, mentally challenged?! And I don't even hate him...

Beyonce "Self" Magazine Cover

Why does Beyonce AKA B.B. Homemaker keep popping up everywhere?! She is currently featured on the cover of Self looking mighty fine! I'm surprised (should I be?) that she's kept so well in shape by sitting around the house... lol. One thing though: Her eyebrows are darker or something--they're bothering me!

John Legend & The Roots ft. Melanie Fiona & Common "Wake Up Everybody" Video Premiere

"Wake Up Everybody", featuring Melanie Fiona & Common, is the first single off John Legend & The Roots' cover album Wake Up! (September 21st). As far as I'm concerned, they could've (& should've) left that song back in the '70s where it came from. If they wanna spread the same message in the 21st century, they can just write a new daggum song. The video was dull too, apart from the retro scene at the beginning of Common's rap. Sorry, just keepin' it real.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Usher "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" Video Preview

Here's our first look at the video for Usher's "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love", the first single lifted from his upcoming album/EP thingy Versus (August 24th). !@#$%^&*() NOT ANOTHER CLUB VIDEO!!! *RUNS AWAY SCREAMING*

Keri Hilson Album Update + Promo Pics

Keri Hilson is ready to get this sophomore album party started with today's unveiling of this pair (one above, one below) of promotional photos for the disc, titled No Boys Allowed, as well as its first single "Breaking Point". Take a listen:

It's different! I like it. Keri's 'bout to have me pullin' out the SERIOUS headphones! Man, I really like the creative place so many of these artists are in right now. As for the blonde hair, it was only a matter of time. I've seen better, I've seen worse--& both on her--so... I'll just leave it at that.

[Source, Source]

Marques Houston "Noize" Behind-The-Scenes

Marques Houston gives us a peek at the making of the video for his latest single "Noize" off the forthcoming album Mattress Music (September 14th). Looks like another classy one from the former(?) Immature singer.

Jennifer Hudson Album Update

Thankfully, I have some recent updates on the Jennifer Hudson second album front to report! The album is said to be due in November & will likely feature a song entitled "I Remember Me", which talks about the different walks of life Jennifer has experienced, from just being a normal girl to gaining fame to becoming an Oscar winner to dealing with her family tragedy:

"The idea behind the song is that in her lifetime, she's lived four or five different lives. She's been all these different people [&] the only way she can remember who she is is that she still has the same hands & the same eyes & the same feet."

Super interesting concept! In addition, Missy Elliott tweeted moments ago that she is finishing up a track for J-Hud, so we have that collabo to look forward to as well. Finally, with some of these talents coming back onto the scene, Jennifer would really round out the pack with her return!

[Source, Source]

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Trey Songz ft. Nicki Minaj "Bottoms Up" Video Premiere

Nicki Minaj saves Mr. S...keleton's new video for "Bottoms Up", which Trey claims is innovative or whatever, but this Anthony Mandler creation looks like every single one of his other videos. Concentrating on Nicki's part AKA the only section I didn't find myself staring at the ceiling during, my only complaint is that internet streaming (In 2010? Really?!) just can't keep up with HB!

*UPDATED* Ciara Covers "Lose My Mind" For Mixtape

The gorgeous Ciara, who can do no wrong in my book, has recorded her own cover of Young Jeezy's "Lose My Mind" (Teairra Mari recently covered "Lose My Mind" on her Point Of No Return mixtape) for her upcoming Basic Instinct mixtape, which looks like it just might see the light of day after all! I get so ridiculously hyped when CiCi is preparing to release a new album... I listened to Ciara: The Evolution today for the first time in forever. Phenomenal record! Basic Instinct hits stores on today :'( October 5th. Note: I know that when Ciara posts these tracks, they are usually accompanied by a new photo, but this one just has the picture with the A hanging out of her mouth & 'August 17th' badly photoshopped off, so I thought I'd share the "Ride" single cover photos instead. Props for overthinking! :)

UPDATE: Check out Ciara's solo version of her other second single, "Speechless", & its accompanying cover art below:

David Archuleta "The Other Side Of Down" Cover

The cover for David Archuleta's upcoming sophomore album The Other Side Of Down (October 5th) was "revealed" today... lol. I'm surprised they used the same picture that his official website deemed "not final art" some time ago & are only considering it 'final' now because they switched a few words around, however, it's a great shot of David & I'm glad they used a smilin' photo this time around.


Rihanna "Optus" Commercial

Rihanna is set to bring her "Last Girl On Earth" tour to Australia next year & to promote the outing, she is starring in a new commercial--alongside penguins!--for the Australian phone service Optus through which fans can purchase tickets to her show. Come to think of it, this commercial doesn't make an ounce of sense! But, it's cool. Hehe. RiRi's latest album Rated R is out now.

Kris Allen ft. Pat Monahan "The Truth" Video Premiere

"The Truth", featuring Train's Pat Monahan, is the *whopping* second single off Kris Allen's self-titled debut album. Jive's certainly been on top of keeping him relevent--I didn't forget he existed AT ALL. -_- The video's pretty... the chandeliers are kinda weird... as is Pat Monahan, both visually & audibly... but I think I'll give his album another listen (my first since... my first, in November).

New Music Tuesday: Dondria "Dondria Vs. Phatfffat"

Pigs have developed the ability to fly because Dondria's debut album Dondria Vs. Phatfffat was released today! The YouTube sensation's new disc features the hit single "You're The One" as well as the Johnta Austin- & Diamond-featured "Shawty Wus Up". Following in Monica's footsteps, Dondria is bringing good ol' R&B back, so support real music by purchasing Dondria Vs. Phatfffat either HERE or via the Amazon widget to your right. Aren't convinced? Let's see if phatfffat herself can talk you into it:

Also out...
Teairra Mari Sincerely Yours (Digital EP) BUY

Monday, August 16, 2010

Listen To Fantasia's "Back To Me" + More

Thankfully, it looks like Fantasia is bringing the focus back to... music with release of her third album Back To Me on August 24th & now, you can hear the album in its entirety right HERE via Facebook thanks to Amazon. I haven't listened yet, but I'm excited to! R&B is back, baby!! In related news, 'Tasia has quite a promo schedule set up for the next few weeks. See what the singer has in store re: Back To Me promotion below:
  • Tuesday, August 24th: Good Morning America
  • Wednesday, August 25th: Lopez Tonight
  • Thursday, September 9th: Live With Regis & Kelly, 106 & Park
  • Friday, September 10th: The Wendy Williams Show


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Brandy In The Studio

Check out this new footage of Brandy in the studio recording a song called "I Don't Care" alongside Stacy Barthe & Corey Chorus for a forthcoming compilation. Sounds amazing! Brandy really needs to get a single out by around the time her reality show's second season premieres because I can't wait any longer it would be awesome promotion.

Marques Houston "Mattress Music" Cover & Tracklisting

The classy Marques Houston has unveiled the cover art, old picture & all, & tracklisting for his fifth album Mattress Music (September 14th). Vocally, I'm looking forward to this album, so hopefully he won't be feeling himself so much that I can get through it.

1. Mattress Music
2. Pullin' On Her Hair (ft. Rick Ross)
3. Kickin' & Screamin'
4. Mess
5. Noize
6. Swag Sex (ft. Soulja Boy Tell 'Em)
7. He Ain't Me
8. High Notes
9. Ghetto Angel
10. Explosion
11. Waterfall

New Jazmine Sullivan Promo Pic

Jazmine Sullivan mirrors her retro singing style in this new promotional photo for her upcoming sophomore album Love Me Back (October 5th). This woman gives me sooo much life, so I'm definitely ready for that new album!


Pink "Leave Me Alone (I'm Lonely) (Tour Version)" Video Premiere

Here's the second of Pink's Freakshow Theater videos, this one being for "Leave Me Alone (I'm Lonely)" from her fourth album I'm Not Dead. Love it!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

*UPDATED* New Ciara Promo Pics

Ciara is killin' me 'em in this pair of new promotional photos for her fourth album Basic Instinct (October 5th). It's decided: I'm puttin' a ring on it!

UPDATE: In the spirit of Basic Instinct promo garb, Ciara recently tweeted a single cover for her new single "Gimmie Dat" (see: below, right)... then tweeted a revised one (see: below, left). She looks HOT on both & since they're so different, I can't choose, but the new one is a better fit for the song. I wonder if she's shot the video yet...

Listen To Dondria's "Dondria Vs. Phatfffat"

It's been 2+ years in the making, but the wait is over: Fans of Dondria can finally listen to her debut album Dondria Vs. Phatfffat (August 17th) in full HERE. I'm about to myself... care to join?!

Jay Sean ft. Nicki Minaj "2012 (It Ain't The End)" Video Premiere

Nicki Minaj travels the world with Jay Sean in the video for his obnoxious new single "2012 (It Ain't The End)". She kills it! I just never get to hear her verse because I'm not willing to sit through the rest of the song. If you, however, can manage to make it through the video, keep an eye out for cameos from Jay's boss Birdman & Mel B.

Preview Teairra Mari's "Sincerely Yours"

Teairra Mari's digital EP Sincerely Yours doesn't come out until this Tuesday, but you can listen to snippets of all seven tracks HERE. Say what you will, but I think this sounds hot!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Commentary #4: The 7 Best Producers, The 3 That Are Ruining R&B Music, & More!

#1) Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins: For over a decade, Darkchild has been producing hot tracks, but does that mean his sound is dated? Not a chance! He knows how to make both current music AND songs that will last the test of time. At least to me, singles like Toni Braxton's "He Wasn't Man Enough", Destiny's Child's "Lose My Breath", & Janet Jackson's "Feedback" are just as blazin' now as they were when they came out! Of course, the best thing about Rodney is his chemistry with Brandy. Just about everyone who has ever heard her Full Moon album will tell you that it is a modern-day classic! Their work together on Human even led to it becoming my personal favorite album. Ever.

#2) Polow Da Don: Since Polow hopped on the scene in the mid-2000s, he has carved a path all his own with his hard-hitting R&B jams, so much so that I can tell you as soon as a song starts if he produced it--& in this case, that's a good thing! From his impressive early work with Ciara on "Promise" & Mario on "Crying Out For Me", both of which have a depth that was sorely missing in R&B before he came along, to his excellent recent cuts on Keri Hilson's In A Perfect World... album & with Usher, like "Lil' Freak" & "Hot Tottie", Polow has been a leader in trying to keep a strong presence of REAL R&B on the airwaves.

#3) Max Martin: Sure he's the guy that produced all those songs from the late '90s/early '00s that you hate to love/love to hate, but he's as high as he is on this list for much more than that. Mr. Martin is for the pop world what Darkchild is for R&B: He just keeps the hotness comin'! And, while pop has evolved over the last decade, so has Max. With Kelly Clarkson's "My Life Would Suck Without You" & "Since U Been Gone", Pink's "It's All Your Fault" (a personal fav of mine from her Funhouse album), & even Adam Lambert's "If I Had You", among others, Max Martin is the king of power pop & we thank him for it! Not to mention that he continues to provide us our Britney life, with "3" & "If U Seek Amy"...

#4) Danja: Gaining fame as Timbaland's protege, Danja created his own sound & made it known through pure brilliance such as Fantasia's "Uneligible" (OK, not PURE brilliance, but that's not his fault lol...I think), Ciara's "Echo", & his own work on Keri Hilson's In A Perfect World..., keeping himself more relevant & less dated than his mentor. But, speaking of Britney Spears, it was his pairing with the superstar on her Blackout LP that will forever embed him in the hearts of both pop & urban fans alike. Easily Spears' best effort to date, which pretty much anyone who's ever heard it will attest to, Blackout featured a fresh Britney who seemed to mesh & flow with Danja's beats effortlessly.

#5) Tricky Stewart: Having only earned his first #1 hit in 2007 with Rihanna's "Umbrella", Tricky hasn't regressed like many of his peers, but has instead only gotten better & more creative with each project he dives into. Not only was he behind Usher's best vocal performance since Confessions, "Moving Mountains", Stewart produced Beyonce's chart-topper "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" & Mariah Carey's #1 hit "Touch My Body", which led to him almost entirely producing the latter's 2009 album Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel, at least one of Mariah's best albums to date. And, if leaks are any indication, with the help of Tricky, upcoming projects from Ciara (Basic Instinct) & *crosses fingers* Christina Milian (Elope) could potentially be the best of both their careers.

#6) Missy Elliott: This woman does soul like no other. Whether for Monica--her musical soulmate--as evidenced by the singer's 2003 album After The Storm as well as recent hit "Everything To Me", Fantasia on "I'm Not That Type" (another of my personal favs from the Fantasia album), or Jazmine Sullivan on "Need U Bad", Missy is the perfect match for a true R&B voice.

#7) Brian Kennedy: Relatively new to the game, you may recognize the Brian "You officially tuned in to a B.K. classic" Kennedy sound from Jennifer Hudson's "If This Isn't Love"; Rihanna's "Disturbia", "Fire Bomb", & "The Last Song" (the latter pair being my favorite two songs off Rated R); or even Ciara's "My Love", my favorite track & fan favorite from Ciara: The Evolution. He also did some incredible work with Brandy during the Human era on "Fall" & "Locket (Locked In Love)" as well as the unreleased "Keyed", "Freedom", &, one of my favorite songs of all time, "One Thing". His gorgeous string-inspired large sound is no surprise, as Mr. Kennedy has instrumental albums for sale on iTunes. If you didn't know, now you know!

Honorable Mention: Ryan Tedder, simply because he is the only producer in the last few years who has been able to cook up a ballad that radio would actually play (Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love", Beyonce's "Halo", Kelly Clarkson's "Already Gone").

BONUS! In addition to the "musical soulmates" I mentioned above (Darkchild & Brandy, Danja & Britney, Missy & Monica), here are five more you may or may not be aware of:

1. Amerie + Rich Harrison = Touch
2. Ashanti + Channel 7 (formerly known as 7 Aurelius) = "Foolish" from Ashanti; "Only U", "Focus" from Concrete Rose
3. Toni Braxton + Harvey Mason, Jr. = "I Wanna Be (Your Baby)" from Libra; "Hero", "Why Won't You Love Me" from Pulse
4. Cassie + Ryan Leslie = "Me & U", "Addiction"
5. Janet Jackson + Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis = "Together Again", "That's The Way Love Goes", "Someone To Call My Lover", "If", "I Get Lonely", "Go Deep", "Every Time", "Doesn't Really Matter", "All For You"...


#1) will.i.am: As if the all-too over-exposed music of The Black-Eyed Peas wasn't damaging urban music enough, will.i.am has even taken the likes of Usher, who himself has claimed that R&B music has gone to pot, over to the dark side with the bloody awful "OMG". R&B is NOT mediocre dance music! When will the madness end!!

#2) David Guetta: Speaking of The Black-Eyed Peas' insanely overrated music, does the fact that the Guetta-produced "I Gotta Feeling" is the #1 digital single of all time not scare the living daylights out of everyone else, if not simply for the sake of the quality of music?! The only reason David isn't at the top of this list is because when considered dance, his music might be slightly above mediocre... &, well, I do quite like Kelly Rowland's "Commander", but that has NOTHING to do with him because the urban remix is >>>!

#3) Ne-Yo: As if his own music wasn't bad enough, Ne-Yo is trying to infect the rest of R&B with his unoriginal mess that is neither here nor there. Is it current? No. Is it retro? No. Which is it trying to be?! And, I mean, Rihanna's "Take A Bow" or "Stupid In Love", or poor Jennifer Hudson's "Spotlight"... what's the difference?! #sityobuttdown & let the professionals work!

Honorable(?) Mention: J.R. Rotem, dated, dated, dated! Sean Kingston was fun & all while it lasted, but Jason Derulo... sheesh!