Florence + The Machine‘s cacophonous new album, Ceremonials, is anything but light, with huge, roaring vastness and a grandness reminiscent of epic movie soundtracks. The new video for “No Light No Light” matches the tone of the song to perfection, with a twisted fairytale storyline, otherworldly, dark magic at play and the dramatic attitudes of the flame-haired Florence Welch. Consuming and pervasive, the song has a certain open-endedness, as if it were constantly chasing an elusive rainbow, racing past blurs of cities and forests on a never-ending mission. This elemental sense of infiniteness is mimicked in the video, with Florence running away from an indefinable pursuer, which is where the song and the video differ — Florence’s reverent, soaring vocals suggest a race towards something, a propelling force, a search and hope, whereas the visual suggests tumult, chaos, evasion and escape from an ambiguous, phantasmal menace.
The video introduces us to three characters: Florence, the beleaguered angel, perhaps fallen from grace in her diaphanous black gown; the voodoo master, a contorting specter, haunting Florence’s every movement as a metaphor of a broken relationship; and the choir of pre-pubescent boys inside a cavernous, medieval church, offering Florence redemption. As the voodoo master torments Florence with pokes and prods, she looks out over the iconic New York skyline, before allowing herself to fall towards the street. Luckily Flo is saved by the boys’ choir, which not only catches her but holds her high above their heads in a Christ-like motif of resurrection. The intention of the video is glaring, and, like the song itself, there are no subtleties.
Look, we know the Gym Class Heroes track “Stereo Hearts” features Adam Levine, and we’re defintely fans, but the band’s performance last night on Leno with Estelle singing Levine’s parts… well… it was pretty amazing! Estelle brings a summery soulfulness to the song with her gravelly vocals, and the female voice adds an extra layer to the track — a certain mystique and romance. Not to mention how beautiful Estelle looked in a red maxi-dress (we’re sure you’d look just as pretty in a dress too, Adam!). Should Adam Levine be afraid?
Die Hard Rihanna Fans Shows Off Album Art For Talk That Talk Rihanna‘s new album, Talk That Talk, will be officially released on Monday November 21, but if you can’t wait, you can watch this die hard RiRi fan showing off the art work (read: racy pictures of Rihanna posing provocatively) that comes with the deluxe album. [Idolator]
NME Imagines What Pop Stars Would Look Like If They Joined In For “Movember”
Ever wanted to know what Lady Gaga would look like with a dirty old mo’ on face? Wonder no more, gentle reader — NME have used their Photoshop skills on your favorite stars to line their upper lips with fuzz. [NME]
Demi Lovato began her Unbroken tour last night in Detroit, and in a gossamer gown, sashaying back and forth across the stage before her screaming fans, she let it rip. While Demi didn’t necessarily have moves like Jagger—her performance lacked any sort of dancing other than the occasional sway—she did have the song, covering Maroon 5 and Christina’s Aguilera‘s upbeat number “Moves Like Jagger.” She may not have bought the moves, and the super sweet Disney princess certainly didn’t bring the sexy the way Adam Levine and Christina do, but she did belt it out with her strong, confident vocal, which in our books, totally rocks.
Oh Beyoncé! Why do you fill our work days with so many delicious videos to distract us from our jobs? With the much anticipated release of Bey’s Live At Roseland: Elements Of 4 DVD just on the horizon (the DVD will be released on November 21 exclusively at Walmart stores and online, and then worldwide on November 29), King B has gone ahead and released two live music videos for “End Of Time” and “I Was Here.” Both videos include footage of Bey performing at the Roseland Ballroom, and both have some titillating extras — most notably, the first ever images from Beyoncé and Jay-Z‘s wedding. Blink-and-you’ll-miss-it, the quick glimpse of Bey getting into her wedding dress is gasp-inducing, as all imagery from her nuptials have (until now) been famously kept under tight wraps.
While the “End Of Time” video features clips of Bey performing at Glastonbury Festival earlier this year, the “I Was Here” clip (below) has some decidedly more nostalgic footage. With footage of Beyoncé as a child, a teenager, and during the glory days of Destiny’s Child, the clip is a moving homage to Beyoncé’s full life. It’s a touching ode to the pop-star on a mission to change the world, simply by making people smile and dance, and we had to hold back a tear or two as Bey voice over the revealing imagery gave us chills.
Lady Gaga reclines on a couch in a spangled dress and lavish hat, reading the foreword for her forthcoming collaborative photo book, which she worked on with the king of creep, photographer Terry Richardson. Dedicating the book to her “little monsters,” Gaga is every bit the Mother Monster we expect her to be, and the foreword is both eloquent and inspiring in the left of center way that Gaga has become renowned for. And while we’ve always been a bit wary of the controversial Richardson, hearing Gaga speaking of him so whimsically and reverently has piqued our interest in the joint project.
Gaga reads, “I’m convinced that we much push the boundaries of culture through love and acceptance. There is not moment to strange, no angle unflattering, no circumstance relying on blind artifice and never a time that I feel embarrassed or unsafe. Awakened into me is a perverse liberation, inspiring me to feel that it is OK to view yourself as hyper-human. This is how Terry views me. I am so real, he says, that I am unreal.” The book itself is said to be revealing, with the no-holds-barred visuals that Richardson and Gaga have built their names on.
Swedish songstress Lykke Li performed “Silent My Song” from her newest album, Wounded Rhymes, on Letterman last night. Ignore Letterman’s cringe-worthy introduction to the performance, and you’ll find a hauntingly different Lykke Li. Experimenting with a darker side in Wounded Rhymes, Lykke Li metamorphosed from the saccharine sounds of Youth Novel with an naturalness that is soul baring in its honesty. From “Get Some” to “Sadness Is A Blessing” and now “Silent My Song,” Lykke Li is turned inside out in a marvelously macabre transformation.
Katy Perry Posts Photos Of Her 27th Birthday Party In LA Last Weekend Katy Perry celebrated her 27th birthday last weekend and with a Wild West themed party. The birthday girl looked uber cute in her pink cowgirl get up and matching pink pigtails. If we were Katy, we’d be living out all our teenage dreams too. Sigh. [Idolator]
Nicole Scherzinger’s Debut Solo Album Is The New Detox X-Factor host and ex-Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger has been working on her debut solo LP since 2006 but, apparently, it still needs some work. Earlier this year, Interscope had announced that it would be released November 15, but then they pushed it back to December. Now, the record is scheduled to come out “sometime in 2012.” [Billboard.biz]
Internet memeRebecca Black has just released a video for her third single, “Person Of Interest,” and we’re scratching our heads about what this all means. After her first single, “Friday,” literally devoured the Internet back in February and racked up 167 million views, Black found a strange sort of fame as a viral sensation. In short, Black didn’t necessarily become famous because people liked her music (although we’re sure there were some who did), but because people were intrigued by her.
In July, Black released her second single, “My Moment,” which was no “Friday,” but not exactly a sophomore slump, either. It has been viewed almost 30 million views, which is less than 20% of her “Friday” total, but still, that’s 30 MILLION VIEWS. But now that’s she’s released her 3rd single under her own label, RB Records, we’re curious to see if the Law Of Diminishing Viral Returns will hold true, or if Rebecca Black can figure out a way to truly succeed.
The main issue at hand seems to be this: Rebecca Black is not content to be William Hung. Instead of embracing (or completely retreating) from her viral infamy, Rebecca instead decided to pursue the path of becoming a “serious” artist. No, not “serious” like a Thom Yorke or PJ Harvey, but “serious” in the way that pop stars like Katy Perry are serious about their brand and the artistic choices they make. To that end, both the video and the song “Person Of Interest” are intentionally inoffensive and innocently youthful, complete with Black’s flair for overly-obvious lyrics and matching visuals. The song seems designed to appeal strictly to tweenagers, and it very well may end up doing so. It most certainly does not, though, hold any sort of appeal for the cooler-than-thou hipster quotient who embraced the over-the-top ridiculousness of “Friday” and helped propel her into the spotlight in the first place. Who knows if this gambit will end up paying off, but at this point, it seems pretty clear to us that Rebecca Black is savvy enough to recognize that in order for her to build an audience, she first has to destroy the one she already has.
We love a good hunk of beef, and it seems like veteran rapper Ludacris has slapped new-kid-on-the-block Drake in the face with a big, fat, juicy steak’s worth. On his new track, “Bada Boom”, Ludacris not only samples The Fifth Element with Leeloo’s iconic line, “big bada boom,” he throws down against Drake — lyrically, of course.
The beef began after AllHipHop interviewed Drake and asked, “How much do Young Money artists bounce off each other? I noticed you have similar inflections and cadences or rhyme patterns.” Drake attributed the style to Big Sean and tacked on some cryptic, but not so cryptic so as not to ruffle any feathers, editorial, “I don’t want to offend somebody. I hate that rappers picked that flow up. I wish they had left that for people that know how to use it. [They go like] It’s a parade! MACYS!”?