Sunday, August 12, 2012

HOT AND FRESH OUT THE KITCHEN

"CONFESS" - TWIN SHADOW


New York based musician, George Lewis, Jr. , who is better known as Twin Shadow, has written and produced his new album, "Confess", the follow-up to his 2010 release,  "Forget".  His sound combines elements of 1980's new-wave with breezy dance pop but his music stands out because of his elegantly poetic lyrics.

"Five Seconds" - Twin Shadow

"ELECTRA HEART" - MARINA AND THE DIAMONDS


Marina and the Diamonds is not actually a band but merely consists of twenty-six year old, Welsh singer-songwriter, Marina Diamandis. She came up with the stage moniker with the help of her last name as Diamandis means "Diamonds" in Greek.

Marina's 2010 debut album, "The Family Jewels" was a critical success in the U.K.and with the release of the second, "Electra Heart", it features more of her offbeat but very catchy pop songs. This time she has production assistance from some of pop music's usual suspects; Dr. Luke, Diplo, Stargate and Guy Sigsworth, so perhaps this solid album will hopefully broaden her U.S. audience.

"How To Be a Heartbreaker" - Marina and the Diamonds

"LOOKING 4 MYSELF" - USHER


Usher has returned with his seventh studio album, "Looking 4 Myself" which features what he describes as "revolutionary pop" that combines r&b, hip-hop, electronic and europop. With the assistance of some of today's top producers such as will i am, Danja, Salaam Remi, Diplo and Swedish House Mafia, Usher creates some risky and innovative songs. While not all of them work but the album is an admirable attempt to broaden his sound and the genre.

"Numb" - Usher

"CHANNEL ORANGE" - FRANK OCEAN


Although r&b/hip-hop artist, Frank Ocean has been in the news recently due to his personal revelations but he has been creating music for a while now. He has worked with the hip-hop group, Odd Future, written material for such diverse talent as Beyonce, Justin Bieber, Kanye West and John Legend and he recorded a solo mixtape last year.

After two songs, "Novacane" and "Swim Good" created some buzz for the artist but his label, Def-Jam delayed the release of the complete work, so a frustrated Ocean decided to offer, "Nostalgia, Ultra" as a free download to great acclaim. Now, the twenty-four year old, New Orleans native has his first official release, "Channel Orange" out now and it's a raw and honest collection  that at once feel fresh yet familiar. He evokes the sounds of Prince and Marvin Gaye but manages to create music in his own clear, distinctive voice.

"Lost" - Frank Ocean

"THE IDLER WHEEL . . . " -  FIONA APPLE


Fiona Apple has never followed any musical trends and has only created music whenever she was truly inspired which makes her an unusual presence in today's pop music scene. It's been seven years since her last release but Apple is finally back with her fourth CD which features the lengthy title "The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do".

The thirty-four year old artist has crafted another collection of her signature eccentric songs that are spare, thoughtful and introspective, as she shares with us her emotional journey during the time she's been away.

"Valentine" - Fiona Apple

The latest female MC receiving plenty of media attention these days is twenty-one year old, Azealia Banks from New York. She just dropped an EP, "1991" with her debut album due out later this fall. I love this video for the song, "Liquorice" which brings her urban fabulousity to the wild west:



This is the wild new music video by Florence and the Machine for "Spectrum", one of my favorite song off their latest album :



Finally, here is the video for Mika's latest single, "Celebrate" from his forthcoming album, "The Origin of Love". I think this is a really great pop song that should become a big hit for him:

YOUR SONG

Americans probably know Rita Ora  more for her fashion-forward looks on a red carpet (including her recent appearance at the Met Ball),...