"CIARA" - CIARA
To be honest, I never paid much attention to Crunk&B goddess, Ciara as I thought her music was just too generic for my taste. With the release of her self-titled fifth album, this artist has now gotten my full attention. I was already loving the sexy single, "Body Party" and Ciara has delivered a beat-heavy collection that is from the heart.
L.A. Reid (who first signed her to his own label, LaFace back in 2004) is now the president of Epic Records and brought Ciara on to the label and executive produced this new project. The singer co-wrote and produced much of this adventurous record along with production assistance from Rodney Jerkins, The Underdogs, Mike Will Made It and rap vocals provided by 2 Chainz, Future and Nikki Minaj, who is featured on the second single, "I'm Out".
Have a listen to the track:
"I'm Out" - Ciara featuring Nikki Minaj
"ELECTRIC" - PET SHOP BOYS
Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have been performing together as Pet Shop Boys for an incredible thirty years and have just put out their twelfth studio recording, "Electric". This is their first album to be released on their own label, x2 and the duo have enlisted Grammy-winner, Stuart Price to handle production duties on this dance-heavy record.
The album reliably delivers everything you love about Pet Shop Boys but the boys have always offered something a little unexpected and this new release is no exception. They have included rap for the first time to their electro sound with Example providing his vocals to the track, "Thursday" and have taken on rock-god, Bruce Springsteen with their own spin of his song, "The Last To Die".
Enjoy the first single from the new album:
"Vocal" - Pet Shop Boys
Take a look at the trippy video for the follow-up single, "Axis":
"WHERE DOES THIS DOOR GO" - MAYER HAWTHORNE
With the release of his third album, Mayer Hawthorne has decided to shift directions and expectations on "Where Does This Door Go". He first made his name as a retro soul artist so, now he's ready to show the world what else he's got to offer. While classic r&b is quite present on this record but there is also 70's style rock, hip-hop beats and more modern soul sounds. The hot producer of the moment, Pharrell Williams contributed his skillz to a few tracks but his presence doesn't overwhelm this record. The end results remains a impressive collection that is still pure Hawthorne.
This track features one of my favorite singers of the moment, Jessie Ware:
"Her Favorite Song" - Mayer Hawthorne featuring Jessie Ware
"YEEZUS" - KANYE WEST
Kanye West has made it clear that he's now no longer interested in following any musical trends, winning awards or even if the public buys his new music. With this proclamation coming from the man with the biggest ego on the planet, you would have every reason to be highly skeptical. However, the controversial title of Mr. West's latest disc and his insistence that there be no traditional promotion indicates that his self-destructive tendencies are working on overdrive. Sales began briskly but soon dropped off just as quickly with the album becoming his lowest selling ever of his career.
"Yeezus" is the name of his sixth studio release and presented without album art. Mr. West has assembled an impressive list of producers and musicians including Daft Punk, Mike Dean and Rick Rubin who came on board as an executive producer just fifteen days before the release date of the album. Frank Ocean, Bon Iver, Kid Cudi and Charlie Wilson (formerly of The Gap Band) lend their voices to a few tracks. As for the music, it is just barely over forty minutes of stripped-down, wildly experimental sounds and noises. The lyrics of these songs are clearly meant to provoke as they are filled with rage, aggression and an abrasive sexuality that will most certainly be off-putting to some listeners. I greatly appreciate his willingness to take chances, begin conversations and shake up pop music but most of the tracks are just too out there for my taste.
Here is one tune that I really like, "Bound 2" which features Charlie Wilson:
"Bound 2" - Kanye West Featuring Charlie Wilson
This is the dark and eerie music video for another song I like, "Black Skinhead" or as it's also known, "BLKK SKKN HEAD". This is really fantastic clip that features a computer generated version of Kanye (with a body he wishes he actual had):
It appears that Disney pop princess, Miley Cyrus has officially and completely shaken her good-girl image. In the video for her latest single "We Can't Stop", the heavily tatted Miley is now a hardcore party chick as she "twerks" and makes out with a female mannequin. I don't know how accurate all this bad girl behavior is to the real-life Cyrus as it comes across as she's trying just a little too hard but it's still a great vid:
Finally, here is the powerful clip for "Same Love", the latest single by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. The song already touched me deeply but this music video just enhances it even more. I'm so glad that radio is beginning to play this important tune about love and tolerance:
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