Believe —Justin Bieber‘s second full-length album, which is out today on Island Records— is a bid bid by a teen star aiming for continued relevance. Will the kids still love him? Can the adults love him, too? Will this be an acceptable substitute for another Justin Timberlake album that will probably never arrive? The critics, all too old to be count themselves as Beliebers, are split:
“Bieber has had to go through cultural puberty and actual puberty — a tough gauntlet by any measure. Luckily, his instincts (or at least the instincts of the small republic of people employed to steer the USS Bieber) are strong, and Believe works surprisingly well as a reinvention and a reintroduction. It’s the rare album that tries to be everything to everyone and largely succeeds.” – Kyle Anderson’s B+ review for Entertainment Weekly
“I let down my hair…and got in touch with my inner tween. And then a funny thing happened: I kind of fell in love. Which is pretty much the point of the whole album.” — Melissa Locker’s review for Time
“Bieber seems to be staking a place in pop history. There’s the Timberlake nod of ‘Hey Senorita’ on ‘Take You,’ a Prince homage (“We all party like it’s 3012 tonight”) plus a shout-out to Beyoncé’s beginnings with the words: ‘You can be my Destiny’s Child’. The blissfully descending melisma of a five-syllabled ‘die’ in ‘Die in Your Arms’ sounds like a forgotten Jackson 5 gem. In fact, the track samples Michael Jackson’s ‘We’ve Got a Good Thing Going’ and bonus track ‘Maria’ is another MJ-esque treat – a paternity-protesting song to file right next to ‘Billie Jean.'” — Hermione Hoby’s 4-star review for The Observer
Nobody messes with the Young Money camp unless they want to deal with Papa Bear. And by Papa Bear we mean the top boss Birdman. Lil Wayne has had much to say about the OKC denying him entrance into the stadium for the NBA playoffs game. Weezy took to Twitter once again after the second time he had a run-in with the team. He tweeted, “Again I was treated like sh!t by the Thunder arena staff…dam..I hope da Heat beat da dog sh!t out em!!” It such a coincidence that Weezy was denied twice by the team his ex’s new boo plays for. It’s one thing to upset Wayne, but quite another to tick off Birdman. Read more…
Lawsuits filed against celebrities are a dime a dozen. But we never thought we’d see a handwritten lawsuit, let alone one filed against Jay-Z.AllHipHop.com reports a lawsuit was filed on June 13 against the rapper/entrepreneur/author claiming parts of Decoded were stolen. Wait just a minute. Decoded is a book where Jay decodes some of his own songs. Allegedly stealing material to write a book about your own tracks doesn’t quite add up. Read more…
What’s going on in 2 Chainz’s “No Lie” video featuring Drake? We haven’t quite figured that out, but we can’t stop watching. Shot in black and white, the camera lens captures the illusion of paint dripping down the wall and the same paint being poured onto a beautiful muse. This has to be the only place where a polygraph test, skateboarding and masquerade masks paired with a wedding dress exists in the same room. Director X is no stranger to creating aesthetically pleasing videos that don’t have meaning that one can easily pinpoint. “No Lies” is beautiful artwork within cinema. Read more…
Do you want to “Rock and Roll All Nite” and party every single day for 5 days straight? What if we gave you airfare for two so you could ‘Rock And Roll All Nite’ while singing that song by the band who wrote it? (Now we’ve got your attention!)
VH1 Classic is giving you the chance to go overboard (not really) with Kiss this fall on the Kiss Kruise II. The Kiss Kruise will set sail on the Norwegian Pearl from Miami, Fla. to Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas on October 31 through November 4 and we do not want you to miss this, so be sure and enter the VH1 Kiss Kruise Sweepstakes today for a chance for you and a guest to spend a week on the high seas with Gene, Paul, Tommy and Eric!
After six years in record label limbo or hiding or love and hearbreak or anywhere but the spotlight, Fiona Apple has returned. Her much-anticipated fourth album, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver Of The Screw And Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do, is out today, and it has critics pretty universally in awe. Here are some of the nice things they’re saying:
“The stories do say something about obsession and control, and are indicative of how exacting an artist she is. After four albums in sixteen years, Apple has racked up maybe five bad songs, total. “Idler Wheel” is less crammed with detail than her last record, Extraordinary Machine, but it has the same effect: once heard, a song lodges in the mind, melodies take root, and words loop of their own accord. It is an astonishing album. ” – Sasha Frere- Jones’ review for The New Yorker
“This is the most distilled Fiona Apple album yet … It’s an old-school approach, though it rises well above mere sepia Instagrams. Instead of being far-off and dreamy, her throwback moves are the opposite– intrusive, corporeal. This is not background music. It demands attention. ‘Look at! Look at! Look at! Look at me!’” – Ryan Dombal’s 9.0 review for Pitchfork Read more…
Weezy recently broke his silence on his executive decision to yank Nicki Minaj from the Summer Jam lineup. He told MTV, “females deserve the ultimate respect at all times no matter, when or where or how.” Hmmmm. Is that the same type of respect Weezy shows when rapping about all his “b*thces” and “h*s?” The irony! Hot 97’s DJ Peter Rosenberg, who is the man responsible for all of the pre and post Summer Jam drama, responded to Wayne’s tirade about respecting females. And Rosenberg basically takes the head guy of YMCMB to task on perhaps practicing what he’s preaching. Read more…
We always suspected she had it in her, but now we have proof: A seven-year-old British girl was roused from a coma by “Rolling in the Deep,” and now Adele is not just an eight-time Grammy Award winner, but also a life saver.
When Charlotte Neve slipped into a coma on April 13, doctors told her mother, Leila, to prepare for the worst. Wired up and unresponsive, Leila says she “thought I was going to lose my little girl.” But then, a week later, “Rolling In The Deep” came on the radio. Leila sang along like she used to with her daughter; and, miraculously, Charlotte began to show signs of life.
“Charlotte started smiling, and I couldn’t believe it,” Leila tells the Telegraph. “It was the first time she had reacted to anything since the hemorrhage. The nurses were astounded and told me to keep singing, and she smiled again. The nurses said it was like I ‘unlocked her’ and from that day she started getting better and better.”
Charlotte has continued to recover and is home now, learning to walk and talk again and feeling lucky, thanks much to Miss Adele. Your move, LMFAO!
When our June You Oughta Know artist Emeli Sandé isn’t making people cry from the beauty of her voice and lyrics, her cool, mellow demeanor makes you feel at ease. On the day she stopped by VH1 Headquarters she was spunky and full of energy. Her smile was radiant, her laughter infectious. There was no inner diva with this British soul singer whose debut album topped the UK charts at #1. Our photographer Michele Crowe captured a range of Emeli, from the songstress cackling with laughter before a pose for her live set to prepping for a show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg earlier this month. Speaking of live sets, the strength of her vocals are exemplified in her performance of “Heaven.” The clarity and sound of her voice, yes, heavenly indeed.
Its been all about Watch(ing) The Throne for Kanye West for nearly the past year. Shortly following Kanye and Jay-Z’s Europe stint of the tour, Atlantic City’s Revel Resort and Casino announced that Kanye will perform for two nights for the opening of its HQ Nightclub. If Revel sounds familiar its because Memorial Day weekend at Revel was when the First Lady of the U.S. showed up to Beyonce’s big comeback performance since having baby Blue Ivy. And since everyone in the Carter’s friends-family circle does it way big, Kanye West is following in Bey’s footsteps with his first solo performance since Coachella 2011. Read more…