Lana Del Rey has finally released the official recording of the highly anticipated track “Born To Die” off her debut album of the same name. Until now, Lana has only played the song live, teasing fans, who until now had to satisfy themselves with “Video Games” and “Blue Jeans,” and the young performers back catalog from her days as Lizzy Grant.
“Born To Die” continues in the same vein as Lana’s previous work, continuing to uphold the Lana Del Rey illusion after a brief stumble, with retro throwback instrumentals, a tonality lending itself towards the maudlin, and emotionally wrought, sentimental lyrics. Unfortunately, however, Lana has changed some of the lyrics that had fans (the boys mostly) going crazy. In the chorus, when performing live, Lana has previously sung “let me f–k you hard in the pouring rain,” but the official version replaces the expletive with the very PG “kiss.” Never fear — the audio release comes with GIF-inspired imagery of Lana Del Rey without her top on, exposing a satisfying amount of side boob. Let the Lana fantasy continue.
If you think about it, Britney Spears is one of the last pop stars created during the “old” era of the music industry (meaning, before the advent of mp3′s). Her career as a bubblegum teen idol was launched in the late nineties, right at the same time as a little show on MTV called TRL was beginning to take off. The fortunes of these two properties became inextricably tied together, and thanks to some crazy catchy tunes and some truly iconic music videos that got tons of on-air exposure during the last gasp of MTV’s infatuation with the music video format, Britney Spears quickly became not only the biggest star in the music industry, but one of the most famous celebrities in all the world.
As everyone knows, her tabloid notoriety would soon go on to eclipse her musical output, and there was a period of time there when a lot of people thought that Britney Spears might not make it to her 30th birthday. However, to her credit, Britney was able to pull her life back together and re-dedicate herself to her music career, and her focus is now unquestionably sharp. As we look back upon her body of work on the occasion of Brit Brit’s milestone 30th birthday—an incredible six Number One albums, nineteen Top 40 singles (!)—it’s a testament to her longevity and outstanding career output that we had an incredibly difficult time putting together this list of the 30 Greatest Britney Spears Songs (which you can also listen to on Spotify).
Feel free to debate our choices in the comments below!
In the first line of Birdman‘s new track “Y. U. Mad,” Nicki Minaj declares “I am the female Weezy,” and in the video she’s wearing waist length dreadlocks, a wife beater and army fatigues, doing a pretty accurate Lil Wayne impersonation. For the rest of her scenes though, Nicki does what Nicki does best in a bondage style onesie that leaves little to the imagination. Meanwhile, Weezy is dressed in a crazy fur hat as some futuristic love child of a rap influenced skater boy and a pill popping rave attendee, while Birdman drives around in a nifty car, is surrounded by piles of money and some bikini clad women giving the camera suspiciously sexy glances.
The track itself is a roof shaker, with a dirty, heavy bass and Nicki’s chorus “that’s why you’re mad, that’s why you’re why you’re mad mad,” is hopelessly catchy. We’re thinking Nicki makes the song, her abrasive, throaty raps just perfect for the apocalyptic, oppressive bass line. The decadent visuals and flashing lights just add to the drama of the beat, making the topic of the song, the reign of Birdman, Nicki and Wayne, although unexpected, completely convincing. Although we’re still not entirely sure why super famous/rich celebrities have to sing about being super famous/rich all the time, calling out their haters based on jealousy — surely being super famous/rich is enough to allay their insecurities? The “pop ya collar” concept, in short, is getting a little tired.
VH1′s Top 20 Video Countdown is premiering Kid Rock‘s video for his new song, “Care,” featuring Angaleena Presley & T.I this weekend, and it’s just in time to get you into the spirit of giving this holiday season. The video is cast in black and white and features a moody looking Kid Rock perched in front of a brick wall, crooning and playing guitar. Footage of Kid Rock jamming is interspersed with images of the everyman, and the message is clear — there are people suffering. Kid Rock’s lyrics urge us to “care” about the less fortunate, with lines like, “I can’t change the world and make things fair, the least that I can do is care.” It’s an anthem for the holiday season to give the more fortunate some serious perspective, championing hope for empathy and humanity.
If you missed this week’s VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown, you’re in luck. Not only is it re-airing tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. on VH1, but we’ve got this week’s complete list of the week’s 20 hottest videos for you. After losing the top spot to Adele last week, our brand new VH1 Unplugged star Kelly Clarkson is sitting pretty in the top spot of this week’s countdown with “Mr. Know It All.” Check out the complete list of videos below, and be sure to visit Top20.VH1.com to vote for your favorite videos all week long.
Besides whistling, shouting-out famous musicians in song titles seems to be all the rage this year.
Here’s how they rank:
10.) “Marvin’s Room,”Drake
This dizzying, chilled-out tune seemingly has nothing to do with Marvin Gaye, except when you discover that the song was apparently recorded in a studio used by the late-great singer, aptly named “Marvin’s Room.”
9.) “Marvin & Chardonnay,” Big Sean (feat. Kanye West & Roscoe Dash)
Another ode to Marvin Gaye, this one, however, mentions him by name in the song’s lyrics.
8.) “The Lisa Lisa/Full Force Routine,” Beastie Boys
Not so much a song as it as an outro for the Beastie’s latest album, Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 2. Regardless, both musical acts from the 1980’s (Full Force and Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam) are curiously shouted out.
7.) “I Need A Doctor,” Dr. Dre (feat. Eminem & Skylar Grey)
Don’t call Dr. Dre conceited for name-dropping himself in his own song title; he appears in less than a minute of the actual track.
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.
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.
The Fray is back with “Heartbeat,” which picks up where their hit “You Found Me” (off their self-titled, Grammy-nominated sophomore effort) left off in 2009. With such a lag time between new albums, the October release of “Heartbeat” as the first single off their forthcoming album, Scars And Stories definitely got pulses The Fray fans racing again.
Now the Denver quartet has collaborated with director Justin Francis (Weezer, Eminem, Black Eyed Peas) to create a video companion to the Billboard Hot 100-cracking track. In the clip, the guys frolic on the beach with some lovely ladies. A bonfire, night swimming and a jam session ensues. For such a moving and sweeping song—the lyrics were inspired by the despair lead singer Isaac Slade witnessed while traveling through Rwanda and South Africa—the visuals are definitely on the lighthearted side, but the ethereal loveliness of the tune definitely shines through.
So, the good news is that we’ve got a new single and a new video. The bad news? The album doesn’t drop until Feb. 7. Way to dangle a carrot, guys!
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.