Friday, January 25, 2013

MY FAVORITE MOMENTS IN MUSIC OF 2012

Another year has come and gone but what we have left is the music; songs that inspired and some that were just plain. dumb fun.

I have already shared some of my personal favorites throughout the year, so here are the rest of the best:

Carly Rae Jepsen - "Call Me Maybe" from "Kiss"

Goyte featuring Kimbra - "Somebody That I Used To Know" from "Making Mirrors"

Chris Brown - "Turn Up The Music" from "Fortune"

Chris Brown - "Don't Wake Me Up" from "Fortune"

Marina & The Diamonds - "How To Be A Heartbreaker" from "Electra Heart"



Lana Del Rey - "Ride" from "Paradise" EP

Icona Pop - "I Love It" from "Iconic" EP

Alex Clare - "Too Close" from "The Lateness Of The Hour"

Scissor Sisters - "Let's Have A Kiki" from "Magic Hour"



Sky Ferreira - "Everything Is Embarrassing" from "Ghost" EP

Angie Stone - "Backup Plan" from "Rich Girl"

Diplo Featuring Nicky Da B - "Express Yourself" from "ExpressYourself" EP



Jessie Ware - "Sweet Talk" from "Devotion"

Miguel - "Adorn" from "Kaleidoscope Dream"

David Guetta featuring Sia - "Titanium" from "Nothing But The Beat"

Finally, I know this is old but I'm always late to the game. Enjoy Duck Sauce's "aNYway" that perfectly spoofs "The Midnight Special' and the soul groups of the 70's. I just love this song and video:

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

NEW SOUNDS

Three artists, who have been silent for a long period of time, have recently resurfaced with some new music:

DAVID BOWIE

(By the way, this will be the actual cover of the album)

The veteran rocker has quietly announced that he is releasing his first album in ten years, "The New Day" which is scheduled to come out in March. According to Tony Visconti, David Bowie's long time producer, they have been secretly working on this project for the last two years and the songs will be a pretty eclectic mix but will most certainly satisfy fans.

The first single, "Where Are We Now?" may be a melancholy ballad but Visconti promises that Bowie rocks out on the rest of this album. The only bad news out of all of this is that Bowie swears he will not tour but Visconti indicates that he might possibly consent to a single show, depending on his mood.

"Where Are We Now?" - David Bowie

DESTINY'S CHILD


With Beyonce being named the half-time act at this year's Super Bowl, I guess it seemed like the perfect time for her former band, Destiny's Child to re-group. "Nuclear" is the new single for the group which will be a part of a compilation album, "Love Songs" that will out on January 29th. The collection will feature some of Destiny Child's classic romantic songs from their previous albums with the new song (produced by Pharrell Williams) perfectly taking us back to the classic sound of their glory days in the 1990's. Rumor has it that the trio will make their first appearance together since 2004 at the game as well.

It seems odd that Miss B would do this now as she has her own forthcoming solo material on the way later this year. You would think it would be unnecessary competition but perhaps it may also be a way to help keep her name out there throughout 2013.




JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE


The biggest surprise is this new song by Justin Timberlake as he had just recently indicated that he was in no hurry to return to music as he wanted to focus on his film career. It has been since 2006 that his last solo venture, "Future Sex/Love Sounds" was released and now it appears he's been secretly working on new material with Timbaland, the producer of that album

The interesting single, "Suit & Tie" is a funky mish-mash of sounds that brings to mind 70's soul and disco but the contribution of Jay Z brings the song up to date. This will most certainly whet the appetite of his music fans before the release of his upcoming album, "The 20/20 Experience" later this year.

"Suit & Tie" - Justin Timberlake featuring Jay Z

Friday, January 4, 2013

HOT AND FRESH OUT THE KITCHEN

"GIRL ON FIRE" - ALICIA KEYS



Alicia Keys has recently become a wife and mother, which has unavoidably changed the musician and that is reflected on her fifth studio album, "Girl On Fire". She's ready to explore new sounds as she's taken the classic soul structure that is her claim to fame and mixed in experimental textures that fits in to the alt-r&b movement currently in the works.

While many have responded favorably to this latest recording by Ms Keys but unfortunately I am not one. Although I've warmed up slightly to the title track but otherwise, I'm not really feeling this album and I'm very disappointed to say that as I am a big fan. The singer has once again written songs that are deeply personal and thoughtful but musically, this ballad heavy set fails to - well, catch fire.

This track, "Fire We Make" features Maxwell and while it's fine but when these two powerhouses came together, I expected something with more fireworks:

"Fire We Make" - Alicia Keys Featuring Maxwell

In the video for the title track, Alicia looks absolutely amazing and the more I hear "Girl On Fire", the more I enjoy it:


"UNORTHODOX  JUKEBOX" - BRUNO MARS


First, let me say that I think Bruno Mars is a truly gifted talent and he has a long future ahead of him. Now, having said that, I have to admit that I haven't really gotten in to much of his music. That opinion may have changed as the twenty-seven year old Hawaii native has just released his sophomore effort, "Unorthodox Jukebox" and all of the songs (which he co-wrote) on the record certainly reflect that.

The album is an eclectic collection that features touches of all of the different musical styles that the artist likes. The first single, "Locked Out Of Heaven" brings to mind the early songs of The Police while "Treasure" has some nice tasty funk, and "Show Me" features some pretty convincing reggae. I have a feeling we will be hearing plenty of Bruno Mars in 2013.

"Treasure" - Bruno Mars

I love this music video for "Locked Out Of Heaven":




"UNAPOLOGETIC" - RIHANNA


You can probably call pop superstar, Rihanna many things but one thing you can't say is that she's lazy. The singer from Barbados has released a new album every year in November for the past four years with her recent seventh, "Unapologetic", surprisingly, has become the first to reach number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart.

The lead single, "Diamonds" is a smash-hit (that went to number one in fifteen countries) but the rest of the new material while adventurous, feels slightly scattered and unfocused. The usual suspects are on board: David Guetta, Stargate, The Dream along with Australian pop artist, Sia (who co-wrote, "Diamonds") and Chris Brown shows up on a duet so the two can flaunt their "true love" to the world.

After her 777 Tour, where she flew on a Boeing 777 with her hardcore fans and journalists from around the globe to perform in seven different cities, in seven different countries in seven days to promote the album, look for Rihanna on the road next year for her Diamonds World Tour.

This track spells out what Rihanna and Chris Brown wants the world to know about their relationship:

"Nobody's Business" - Rihanna featuring Chris Brown

"KALEIDOSCOPE DREAM" - MIGUEL



Miquel is one of the current artists out there pushing the boundaries of soul music by offering unexpected beats and sounds which he has done on his second studio album, "Kaleidoscope Dream".  This confident collection, written and produced by the twenty-seven year old Southern Californian native, has incorporated thoughtful ideas of love and sexuality combined with slinky rhythms of funk, rock, electronica and dub-step.

Just like another member of the alt-r&b movement, Frank Ocean, Miguel has received critical praise and Grammy love by garnering four nominations this year including the prestigious Song Of The Year category for, "Adorn".

Have a listen to the title track:

"Kaleidoscope Dream" - Miguel

"WARRIOR' - KE$HA


When Ke$ha first came on the scene in 2009 with her international smash, "Tik Tok", her rap-pop sound combined with her wild-child, party girl antics was highly entertaining. Now, a few years in and she's (more or less) still doing the same shtick and it has grown a little tiresome.

"Warrior" is her second studio album, following a couple of EPs , and features the same producers (Dr. Luke, Max Martin, Shellback and Benny Blanco) that she has used previously as well as every other current pop star out right now. However, the singer has attempted to freshen her sound by adding some rock elements which has her teaming-up with punk legend, Iggy Pop on the tune, "Dirty Love" as well as contributions from rock bands, The Flaming Lips and The Strokes with the results being semi-successful. She's even covers a track, "Old Flames Can't Hold A Candle To You", which was a number one country hit for Dolly Parton and co-written by her mother, Pebe Sebert. The song is on another EP, "Deconstructed" that features acoustic versions of Ke$ha's songs and only available on her website.

Here is the title track:

"Warrior" - Ke$ha"

After a less than stellar appearance as a judge on the U.S. version of "The X Factor", Britney Spears has returned to music and back to the top of the charts. She provides backing vocals to will i.am's latest tune, "Scream & Shout" and shows up in the music video:

ABSENT FACES IN POP MUSIC

I had read a interesting article recently in the Los Angeles Times about the difficulties of a new generation of Black female singers being...