Shoulda, coulda, woulda they say, and if we were heading up things at these labels, we might’ve done things a bit differently. But alas, we do not so we do what we do best and make a catchy end of year list that points out songs that deserved their run at the pop charts. Even if they never see the light of Billboard glory, they’re certainly some of the best songs of the year and should get your listen. Who knows! Did you know “Starships” wasn’t even on the original run of Nicki Minaj‘s Pink Friday? That’s right, and mostly why there was a “Pink Friday 2″ aka Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. So there’s always a chance for long-lost songs to see new glory. Here are the ones we think deserve it.
Talk about a missed opportunity, Ciara’s “Livin’ It Up”, a tropical romp across a Kid ‘N Play sample, isn’t even included on the final version of her album One Woman Army. Snatched from a Cosmopolitan Magazine sampler CD, blogs went nuts over the track after it leaked across the web in anticipation for the album. Too bad that when Ciara released her first single, the apty-named, and decidedly down-beat “Sorry”, turned out “Livin’ It Up” was more of what everyone wanted.
channel ORANGE received a whole bunch of attention this year, although it was Frank Ocean’s sexuality that managed to steal the spotlight most of the time. The album ended up being a gorgeous collection of songs that perfect flowed in and out of each other–even the 9+ minute “Pyramids” shined. But if any song had a chance at the pop charts, it would’ve been “Lost” a song that tells the tale of a drug-cooking girlfriend atop a catchy pop melody.
This morning on Ellen, Christina Aguilera unwrapped “Just A Fool,” a lazy belter off of Lotus, an album we actually quit liked, that has her duet-ing with country superstar and her fellow The Voice judge Blake Shelton. Aguilera has tried a lot of genres and styles in her many years of pop stardom, and one thing that’s remained true through it all is that the woman can sing. “Just A Fool” makes good use of that talent, giving her (and Shelton!) space to hit all the really big notes. And hit them they did on Ellen’s festive sound-stage today. Mostly they kept things casual — both wearing jeans, neither letting go of their mics — but there is nothing casual about how good they sounded.
You’ll want to know, “Who’s this Midian chick?” after watching the VH1 premiere of the video to her debut single “Bitter.” Her chilling voice is soulful to its core. Vocally she’s a mix between Adele and Christina Aguilera. Those are not comparisons of her artistry as it’s much too early in her career for that. In what may be her breakout song, the R&B singer/songwriter pours her transparency over the soft piano keys and drum beat. “You don’t know how I feel when I see you out with your new girl/And knowing that you don’t love me anymore makes me so bitter.” Vulnerability is a gamble. No one wants to to admit to the feeling of bitterness after a failed relationship, especially when the ex has moved on. But vulnerability can also be relatable. Read more…
We’ve acknowledged that the haters are in full force when it comes to Christina Aguilera‘s Lotus. And they’re doing what haters do. But Xtina’s resilient. And like a lotus, she’s determined to bloom regardless. “Lotus to me is the culmination and definition of the unbreakable flower,” she tells VH1. “No matter what its surroundings or the harshest of weather conditions, it survives and continues to thrive.” Read more…
You heard me correctly. Despite the haters (and, boy, do they come out in droves for any Christina Aguilera-related event), I am rather enjoying Christina’s newest effort. Lotus follows Christina’s first flop, Bionic, which so confusing followed the two-disc Back To Basics — which single handedly allowed her to hit the top of the chart with the likes of “Dirty” and let her vocals shine with songs like “Save Me From Myself”. The aforementioned flop, Bionic, seemed to come out of nowhere and while die-hard Xtina fans stayed by her side, the rest of us were baffled by Bionic‘s lack. “If you don’t like it, f*** you,” she sang on “Not Myself Tonight”, a boast perhaps unvalidated by the rest of the album.
But past is past, and after Christina joined the ranks of Cee-Lo, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton (three good influences!) on NBC’s The Voice, it felt like everyone thought that boost of celebrity would force her newest album Lotus to be as good as we all hoped it would be when it hit stores (and streams) this week.
Busy? Which tracks should you really listen to? Here:
Party president of the 305 Pitbull has a new album called Global Warming out next week, and on it he’ll be joined by some of pop music’s biggest names, Jennifer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias, Usher and Chris Brown included. There’s got to be something on here for everyone. Two tracks made there way onto the internet last night, the Christina Aguilera collaboration, “Feel This Moment,” and “Have Some Fun,” featuring the The Wanted and superstar DJ Afrojack. And worry not that Mr. Worldwide may switch things up for lucky album number seven — Global Warming will be perfect kindling for all the season’s parties. It’s going to be a hot fall after all.
Called to Jimmy Fallon‘s office pre-show Friday night, Christina Aguilera put on the week’s best late night performance without even so much as a mic or a stage set to assist her. Rather, Jimmy on the iPhone dial-tone, The Roots with the office supplies — like, the full Staple’s circular’s worth of office supplies: pencils, scissors, tissues, a water cooler, legal pads, etc. — and Christina with the stapler, the motley crew jammed out Lotus single “Your Body” desk-side. Of course she’s got a good sense of humor and a cool die-job, but what really makes this office space performance work is Christina’s killer voice. And maybe a little bit Jimmy’s sexy moves? But mostly that voice, because caught up with her judging on The Voice or man-splattering videos as we can get, we really shouldn’t forget that that Christina’s a real powerhouse ready to bring down whatever space you give her!
Still, though, we wonder if we should add that stapler to this list.
Thankfully we survived Hurricane Sandy. Aside from a few power outages, flooded subways and cabin fever we weathered the storm with our Hurricane Sandy playlist. Surviving is one thing, but damage to the states of New Jersey and New York City is another. It’s going to be a long road to rebuilding and restoration. In an effort to help victims affected by the storm NBC Universal announced it will hold an one hour telethon with funds donated to the Red Cross. Read more…
We’re getting freaky with our Friday Face-Off Music Video poll this week, because Halloween is here and we know at least half of you will be barely dressed as sexy-somethings, tricking for adult treats this weekend. Don’t lie. It’s okay, because Lady Gaga‘s “Judas” and Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mýa and P!nk‘s collaboration “Lady Marmalade” feature costumes worse than yours. Nothing tops pop stars posed as prostitutes: Gaga as Mary Magdalene and X-tina’s crew (un)dressed as Moulin Rouge’s best. So, who has the freakier video?
You don’t have to be a Little Monster to freak over this racy clip. It has everything you want in a Lady Gaga spectacle. Religious imagery ala Madonna? Check. Sassy dance moves courtesy of Miss “Boom Boom Kat” Laurieann Gibson? Check. Dramatic, skin-baring, Haute couture costumes? Take it to the bank and cash that check, because “Judas” has all of the aforementioned and then some. Take the poll and read our case for
How are you feeling today? Each year, GLAAD sets aside a day called Spirit Day for speaking out extra-loud against bullying and to show support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. This year, that day is today; and so to celebrate, we have got eight of our favorite anti-bully anthems. Each should remind you that you are strong and beautiful, even when maybe you don’t feel it and no matter what they say. Won’t you listen with us?