If you’re over TV talent show audition rounds, say “do-re-mi!” That sounded a little off-key, but we won’t judge. What we will critique are the skills of our favorite pop-stars-turned-reality-TV-judges, X Factor‘s Britney Spears and The Voice‘s Christina Aguilera.
We’ve been pitting them head-to-head each week to decide who is the master star spotter on her respective show. As always, we name our winner, but feel free to affect your best Simon Cowell impression and rip into both in our comments section.
Sassiest Comment: “I think Sister C’s annoying. Really not likeable.” While everyone else was gushing over the new generations’ Dixie Chicks, Britney was the lone voice of dissent Read more…
Topping the charts, launching a global phenomenon, topping the charts, breaking records, and today the New York Daily News informs us that K-pop’s unassuming star Psy is working miracles now, too. Because, babies they just love him! As The New York Daily Newshas found, babies go “gaga for Gangnam,'” and so parents the world wide have turned to the satirical video to calm their cranky kids. As evidence, they present two such babes: the adorable Benjamin of London, who seems to figure lunch is best served with a little giddy-up; and little Claire of West Virginia, above, who knows that tears are a major “Gangnam Style” faux-pas. It’s hard to say what exactly these kids like — the bounce, the bright lights, the sharp satire of Korea’s nouveau riche — because the parents in the story seems most interested in the fact that it works, and every time. And who could blame them?
Because there’s nothing better than getting your groove on and your kid quiet at the same time, we’ve found five other artists that seem to possess the same magic that calms a cranky baby. Like all the parenting manuals say: YouTube, a real modern parents’ helper!
Kaleidoscope Dream is the magical sophomore album by Miguel, an LP in which he infuses the sounds of rock, soul and funk into the expanding box that is modern R&B. On “Adorn,” which is currently No. 1 on the Hip-Hop/R&B charts, he croons about love and intimacy over the funky bass line. “‘Adorn’ is romantic, but it’s dirty at the same time,” he told us the day his album dropped. “It’s all the highs of love with all the coolness of the party.” Then there’s “Use Me,” “Do You,” “Arch & Point,” and “Pussy Is Mine” that explore the beauty of intimacy. While “Do You” is as much about the sensuality (“Do you like hugs? Do you like love?”) as it is about sex (“I wanna do you like drugs tonight”), the provocative “Pussy Is Mine” is completely about Miguel’s friend with benefits making him feel like it is all his. Read more…
He told us back in 2001’s “U Don’t Know,” “I am a hustler baby, I’ll sell water to a well.” Jay-Z wasn’t speaking in hyperbole either. Today he’s one of rap’s greatest moguls due to his entrepreneurial (aka hustling) ethics. According to Heavy, the bus-iness man’s latest venture includes launching a new YouTube channel named after his website Life+Times. Hold on to your chairs because the good news gets even better. On Saturday, October 6 the channel launches at 9:30 with a live stream of his final show of the eight-concert series at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. That’s right, folks. You can watch Jay-Z perform your favorite hits from the comfort of your living room sofa. Read more…
British dance-floor darling Ellie Goulding has joined forces with Scotland’s club king Calvin Harris for “I Need Your Love,” a shimmering new cut from Harris’ upcoming album 18 Months and a bonus track off of Goulding’s own Halycon. It has only ever been a matter of time before these two found one other, and it was inevitable that their meeting would result in such a spark. They shouldn’t have to ask, though — of course they can have our love!
The stripped vocals on “Anything Could Happen” had us thinking that Goulding might be edging out of “Lights” Lite-Brite like glow for this second round, but Harris seems to have dragged her back to the dance floor, and to an ecstatic effect. “I Need Your Love” bleeps and bloops and bounces along an electronic beat, which might have sounded two-bit if not for that piano line. Goulding meanwhile returns to her signature smoky-cooing, begging that: “I need your love, I need your time/ When everything’s wrong, you make it right/ I feel so high, I come alive/ I need to be free with you tonight.”
What do you think, does “I Need Your Love” earn your love?
Adele‘s much anticipated Skyfall theme song is at last a mission accomplished. The titular song’s reveal has been less than stealthy, months of speculation as to Adele’s part in the project giving way to a Tweeted clue and then a substantial week earlier this week — a falter that we imagine 007 might have gotten a finger wagging for. But all is forgiven now that the thing’s landed, because the song does better than well to uphold the mission and is as Bond-y as a James Bond theme song need be. And as a bonus, it also serves well as a new Adele song, something we’ve all been jonesing for.
Adele sounds ever so glamorous singing over the cinematic strings and wide-screen orchestration, but she also plays it cool, saving the rousing “Rolling In The Deep”-scale vocal show until the end of the song. It’s like she spent the first two thirds of the song cooing over martinis — shaken, not stirred — in a dusky bar, just waiting for the right moment to break out the big guns. You know, Bond style.
On Tuesday, rising R&B star Miguel dropped his new album Kaleidoscope Dream to critical acclaim. On Wednesday, he introduced us to his hot girlfriend Nazanin Mandi with his “Do You…” Video. And yesterday he shared a second video, this one for “The Thrill,” a song so giddy as to be almost woozy. Miguel’s ride is only just getting started.
The quick-clipped, black-and-white visual finds Miguel reaping the benefits of Miguel’s many years of patient work — flashing lights and glasses always full, hotel suites and all the pretty ladies he needs to fill them, and etc. And it may be because all the footage was shot at Naz’s last birthday, or it may just be that thrill, but the surest sign of all that Miguel is living the life these days is that big, cheesy grin he’s beaming all the while. It’s that thrill you can feel, you know?
Aspiring songwriters: listen up! NSAI Song Contest presented by CMT is offering novice songwriters the chance to submit your work, win awesome prizes and advance your career. This year’s winner will receive a 60-minute session with legendary songwriter and artist Lionel Richie. Other prizes range from your song pitched to music industry executives to a three day trip to Nashville to a private tour of the CMT studios. CMT encourages contestants to enter songs of all genres of music. Read more…
The new video for Walk The Moon‘s “Tightrope” drops the boys into a campy camp-ground dance party, complete with face-paint like they wont and woodland creatures seemingly still dancing off Taylor Swift’s last break-up. The boys are joined round the roaring orange campfire by dancing lions and tigers and zebras, and also some warriors carrying worrisome weapons and looking hungry for the blood of a You Oughta Know artist. Looking only a little concerned, the boys get on their trademark face paint — which, for the record, looks seriously expert compared to the smeared on war paint-style look they wore in the “Anna Sun” video — and start rocking. Are these guys ever not having fun? So serious as they are about making good music, they are about having a good time — and here, that really shows.
“I used to tell myself that I must be an artist because I am f-ed up,” Scherzinger laughs, recalling her bumpy road to stardom. This first act finds Nicole back in the studio where she first auditioned for the Pussycat Dolls all those years ago, this time laying down vocals for her forthcoming sophomore solo album. Music — or as she calls it, “prescription music” — has long served as her “emotional outlet,” helping her through eating disorders and identity issues before propelling her to unthinkable heights with the Dolls.
Growing up in the Midwest with dark Polynesian, she always felt “less than.” And so she picked up a mic, honing her skills in school plays, at local fairs and as back-up singer for a rock band. Onstage she “felt accepted,” she says. “And that’s when I knew, I must not suck at this. We might have something going on here.”