Sunday, October 28, 2012

HOT AND FRESH OUT THE KITCHEN

"THE TRUTH ABOUT LOVE" - PINK



Despite Pink recently becoming a mother, don't think for a moment she's about to become soft and start singing lullabies. On her sixth CD, "The Truth About Love", Pink displays that she's still quite able and willing to rock out with the best of them. The singer co-wrote the entire album with Greg Kurstin (the Grammy nominated producer is also one half of the pop duo, The Bird and the Bee) who also produced a large part of the record.

Her clever first single, "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)" has reached the top five on the pop charts and there seems to be plenty of other potential hits to come with artists Lily Rose Cooper (the Brit pop artist formerly known as Lily Allen) and Eminem contributing to some tracks.

"Here Comes The Weekend" - Pink featuring Eminem

Here is the sexy music video for the second single, "Try" with Pink performing some impressive interpretive dance moves:



"PUSH AND SHOVE" - NO DOUBT



No Doubt, the Anaheim-based rock band decided to take some time off after their 2004 tour to pursue solo projects with the most visible being lead vocalist, Gwen Stefani's two highly-successful solo albums. The band, which also features Tony Kanal on bass, Tom Dumont on guitar and drummer, Adrian Young, have reunited for their sixth studio album, "Push and Shove".  With this new record, it feels like time has almost stood still as their sound is still heavily SKA punk influenced. Although there are some contemporary touches throughout however not enough to feel truly fresh.

Here is the new single from the album, "Looking Hot":



"RED" - TAYLOR SWIFT


Although the twenty-two year old, Taylor Swift has become a country music superstar in a very short period of time, she has no interest in resting on this success. With her latest CD, "Red", the singer/songwriter has decided to challenge herself by moving slightly out of her comfort zone and collaborating with talent not usually associated with her musical genre. This appears to have been a smart move as the first single (co-written and produced by pop hit-makers, Max Martin and Shellback), "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" has become her first number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

I have to admit I've never been much of a fan as I found her a little too precious but she has grown as an artist and I like much of her new work.

"State of Grace" - Taylor Swift

"TWO ELEVEN" - BRANDY


Brandy is finally back with new music after a four year absence with a new label on RCA Records. The title of her sixth album, "Two Eleven" represents the singer's birthday as well as the date of the tragic death of her good friend and idol, Whitney Houston.

This collection has returned to the feel of the classic Brandy sound much like her hit recordings as a teenager but now comes from the prospective of a mature woman. Passionate and sensual, these songs are cutting-edge r&b with production assistance by Rico Love, Bangladesh and Frank Ocean.

"Wildest Dreams" - Brandy

"FREE DIMENSIONAL" - DIAMOND RINGS


Canadian vocalist, John O'Regan who is better know by his moniker, Diamond Rings first came to attention with his first single, "All Yr Songs" in 2009 that he had written, produced and self-distributed. His debut album, "Special Affections" came out the following year and eventually released on a major label, Astralwerks Records. This lead to him opening for the Swedish pop star, Robyn on her "Body Talk" tour.

The out and proud twenty-seven year old has now returned with his exciting new release, "Free Dimensional" that is heavily inspired by the electro-pop music of the 1980's when he was just an infant. It's a really fun record and it's one of my favorites of the year

"All The Time" - Diamond Rings

"RELEASE ME" - BARBRA STREISAND


One of the most popular and successful recording artists in history, Barbra Streisand has released her latest album appropriately entitled, "Release Me". It features a collection of songs she had recorded throughout her almost fifty years in music but just didn't quite make the cut to be included on any album. Now this material is finally seeing the light of day with songs ranging from Alan & Marilyn Bergman, Jimmy Webb and Randy Newman as well as tunes from Broadway shows including "Finian's Rainbow" and "The Wiz".

In celebration of her spectacular career, the veteran songstress is even on the road with a rare concert tour to promote the album throughout North America.

"Home (From "The Wiz")" - Barbra Streisand

Beyonce's younger sister, Solange is back with some new music. "Losing You" is a funky song with a great video shot in South Africa:



Tuesday, October 16, 2012

TAKE TWO: KARYN WHITE


Los Angeles native, Karyn White first became noticed when she provided vocals for jazz artist, Jeff Lorber's single, "The Facts of Love" in 1986. This lead to her being signed to Warner Bros. Records and releasing her first self-titled album in 1988 that featured four highly successful singles; "The Way You Love Me", "Superwoman" and "Love Saw It" (a duet with Babyface) each reached number one on the r&b chart with "Secret Rendezvous" making the top ten on both the pop and r&b charts. The album went on to sell over a million copies and White received two Grammy Award nominations for her work.

The follow-up, "The Ritual of Love" was released in 1991 with hit-makers, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis producing several tracks. Not only did their collaboration on the lead single, "Romantic" top the pop and r&b charts but during the recording of the album, White and Lewis became romantically involved. The couple married the following year and had a daughter, Ashley. White's next album, "Make Him Do Right" in 1994 was not a great success and soon decided to take some time off to focus on her family.

Now that her daughter is in college, Karyn White has finally decided to return to music and has released her fourth studio album, "Carpe Diem- Seize The Day" after seventeen long years. It is now available on ITunes and her website, Karyn's World

Enjoy two of my favorite classic Karyn White songs:

"The Way You Love Me" - Karyn White (1988)

"The Way I Feel About You" - Karyn White (1991)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

R. B. GREAVES (1943 - 2012)


I was out of town when I heard that singer, R.B. Greaves past away on September 27th at the age of sixty-eight but I wanted to still pay tribute. He only managed to record one self-titled album and had only one hit song during his entire career but whenever I hear "Take A Letter, Maria", it brings a warm feeling, taking me back to my childhood. I just thought it was a fun song but clearly I didn't really understand the lyrics which is about a man dictating to his secretary to write his wife, informing her that he's leaving after discovering she had cheated. It's a pretty odd thing to do as well as a strange subject matter for a pop song but regardless, I still think it's really a great tune

Ronald Bertram Greaves (a cousin of r&b artist, Sam Cooke) began his career performing with the group, The TNTs before going solo. He had to be convinced by his label to record this song he had written as his first single because two big artists, Tom Jones and Stevie Wonder, had already previously performed it. However, his version (which had a bit of a Latin flavor and was produced by Atlantic Records president, Ahmet Ertegun) was the only one that became a smash. "Take A Letter, Maria" just missed topping the U.S. pop chart in 1969 but it remained on the chart for fifteen weeks and went on to sell over a million copies.

Let's have a listen to his classic song:

 "Take A Letter Maria" - R.B. Greaves (1969)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

ADELE MEETS BOND


It doesn't appear that Adele, one of the biggest (and most unlikely) pop stars currently on the planet will be releasing a new CD anytime soon but there is a new song just out to help ease the wait.

"Skyfall", is title of the latest 007 movie (due out in the U.S.on November 9th) and Adele has been given the honor of performing the theme song of the same name for this movie. The tune (written by Adele and her producer, Paul Epworth) fits perfectly in the tradition of the previous James Bond theme songs yet still feels quite fresh and modern. Let's be honest - most of these songs tend to land more on the cheesy side but I think this is one of the better tracks created for this long-running series which is celebrating it's fiftieth year since the release of the first film, "Dr. No".

Have a listen:

"Skyfall" - Adele (2012)

Here are a few of some other classic Bond theme songs that I luv:

"Live and Let Die" - Paul McCartney & Wings (1973)

"Nobody Does It Better" (From "The Spy Who Loved Me") - Carly Simon (1977)

"For Your Eyes Only" - Sheena Easton (1981)

ICONA POP ARE "GIRLS GIRLS"

Those Swedish musical party-girls, Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo, otherwise known as  Icona Pop are back with a new club-banging anthem. ...