For many, the shower is the one place where we can pretend to be Beyoncé without the judgment of strangers. It’s a safe space where we can live out our wildest performance fantasies, even if our vocals wouldn’t normally get us past Simon Cowell‘s doorstep. Continue to sing in the privacy of your own bathroom if you must, but Russell Taylor prefers a more prominent stage of his own. “Performance isn’t just for the fans, it’s also for me,” our December You Oughta Know artist explains. “There’s no other place I’d rather be than onstage performing.”
You Oughta Know
Hey, did you hear Beyoncé put out a surprise album? Queen Bey majorly shakes up this week’s Top Current Albums chart with her iTunes exclusive, which shattered records at the online retailer and delivered a lump of coal to last week’s chart champ Garth Brooks. Here’s everything you need to know about Beyoncé as well as the rest of this week’s chart news:
Yesterday, we successfully brought you the VH1 staff’s favorite albums of 2013 without any bloodshed, and we’re happy to report that no one’s brain exploded while trying to narrow down the amazing albums of 2013 into a concise list. However, now it’s time to talk about how most people listen to music these days: By the song.
When we began compiling our Best Albums of 2013 list, there were many differing opinions, and after briefly toying with the idea of pitting all our staff against one another in a Hunger Games fight-to-the-death scenario against the backdrop of Times Square, we conceded that the most diplomatic and least murderous thing to do would be to each submit our own list. You know, in the name of preserving a civil work environment and whatnot (not to mention our longstanding policy of avoiding contact with the human resources department). So while we didn’t battle it out in a conference room or some such nonsense, each one of us faced an internal battle — choosing our favorite albums of the year.
Britney Spears called Britney Jean her most personal album ever, so she could take its sales folly very personally. In this week’s SoundScanner, we’re looking at Spears’ sales, as well as Garth Brooks‘ return to the top of the sales heap and the annual Christmas music bonanza. Let’s go, we’ve got work to do:
Over the course of just two albums, VH1 You Oughta Know artist Mumford & Sons have earned themselves a well-deserved spot in the “Who’s the biggest rock band in the world?” conversation. The group’s decision to “take a considerable amount of time off” before returning to the studio to record their next album notwithstanding, the group is not just sitting around on their couches playing Xbox One during their downtime. Multi-instrumentalist Ben Lovett, for example, recently introduced tourmates HAIM at the VH1 You Oughta Know In Concert special, and he’s also been working hard to get the word out about the Invisible Children charity.
We hate to say we told you so, but … we told you so! All year we’ve been bringing you the best new music so you can stay aurally informed, and if you’ve been doing your homework and keeping abreast of the hottest new acts with us, you’ll notice that more than a few of our amazing You Oughta Know artists, both past and present, scored well-deserved props when the 2014 Grammy Nominees were announced tonight.
The nominees for the 56th Annual Grammy Awards were announced in Los Angeles tonight during a live special that aired on CBS. Hosted once again by LL Cool J—does the LL stand for Lip Licker or WHAT?!?— the show featured performances from the likes of VH1 You Oughta Know artist Lorde, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Robin Thicke and more. The 2014 Grammys will go down live from Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, and broadcast on CBS at 8PM ET/PT.
HAIM joined the VH1 You Oughta Know family this fall, just as their debut LP, Days Are Gone, was about to hit shelves. It’s no surprise to us that this excellent album is racking up tons of positive buzz as critics’ Year-End lists are being compiled, including a #6 ranking by Stereogum and a Top 50 honor from SPIN. As great as critic love is, though, it pales in comparison as to when one of the greatest figures of the last 50 years in music takes the time to remix one of your songs.
One of the many reasons to love Lorde is that she doesn’t follow the normal rules that seem to govern most of today’s pop stars. Her album is wholly bereft of that whole Euro-Trance sound that has been dominating radio for the last few years, she’s not constantly posting duck-face selfies to her Instagram feed, and instead of covering “of the moment” songs to gain buzz, she instead prefers to channel Dio or Sheryl Crow. That said, now that she’s established herself as one of the breakout stars of 2013, it’s only a matter time before the paparazzi start crawling around.