Blasphemy! But someone had to do it. Everyone calm down, I’m not saying that you can’t play Mariah Carey‘s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” until your iPod breaks. All I’m saying is that there is so much more out there in terms of cheerful spirited holiday-themed music that is both modern and mostly listenable.
Let’s put aside our differences and agree that lists are fun. They are also only definite if you actually add them to your holiday playlist. SO: WILL YOU?
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 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:
Last night, country music elite gathered in Nashville to celebrate their craft and their genre at the 46th edition of the Country Music Association Awards. Blake Shelton was the night’s biggest winner, taking the Male Vocalist of the Year award and the top Entertainer of the Year honor, as well watching a trophy to be shared with his wife Miranda Lambert for Song of the Year. Check out a full list of winners below.
Arguably country’s biggest star, Taylor Swift has taken the top prize twice before, but walked empty handed this year. The night was far from a bust for her, though, as she was given the stage for a dreamy performance of “Begin Again.” “Begin Again” is is about as country as Red gets, but still, it tests her bounty bonafides when it finds her counting her “James Taylor” records. The performance was even less country yet, as the stage set swept her from Nashville to a petite Parisian cafe. She wore a pretty red dress, and she sounded strong and confident coo-ing those “I do’s.” The crowd seemed to agree: they stood in ovation at the end of it, and of course Tay was struck once again by a case of the surprise face. Aww! Read more…
There’s an adorable bromance brewing at The Voice, with Blake Sheltonprofessing his love for Adam Levine to MTV. While Shelton’s dealt with accusations of homophobia in the past, it seems that if he ever did harbor any ill feeling towards same sex attractions, they’re well and truly conquered now. Shelton talked about how every day on Twitter fans ask him about his “bromance” with Adam, declaring, “All I have to say is, it’s true: I have a man crush on Adam… It blows me away people can pick up on that just by watching that on television. I want to kiss him. I want to kiss him so bad. I don’t care if it’s mutual or not. Can you honestly tell me that you don’t have a little bit of a crush on Adam? He’s sexy, is the word I’m using.” We think it’s super cute, and while we’re pretty sure Shelton’s wife, Miranda Lambert, doesn’t have anything to worry about, it’s still a kiss we’d love to see happen — can anyone say “ratings”?
Blake Shelton played a gorgeous “Drink On It” on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. With something of the weariness of heartache, the song it still wistfully romantic, and even more so as Blake croons into the microphone, smiling every so often in a way that will have you literally swooning, a little weak at the knees. The luxuriously meandering song, coupled with Blake’s irresistible charm and the fact that he’s playing a guitar (give a man a guitar and you make him at least 6 times easier to fall in love with), will have you day dreaming of country bars and cowboys all day long.
Kelly Clarkson is all set to get patriotic for the Super Bowl on February 5th. While it hasn’t been officially announced, a source has confirmed that the “Mr. Know It All” singer will perform “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and we can’t think of anyone better than the vibrant Kelly to sing the National Anthem. Joining Kelly in the festivities is Madonna, whose much anticipated half time show will include guest appearances from M.I.A and Nicki Minaj. Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton will also perform a duet version of “America The Beautiful,” so really, what is there not to be excited about? Sports and stars — bring it on!
From L to R: Javier Colon, Dia Frampton, Vicci Martinez and Beverly McClellan.
Thanks to a combination of high wattage star power and a weakened roster of American Idol candidates, NBC’s The Voice was able to capture the fancy of American television audiences this springtime and delivered huge viewership numbers to its network. Last night, the judges and audience voted to select the show’s four finalists. If you haven’t been watching (or even if you have!), we put together a quick primer for you on who the remaining candidates are and why you should root for them, which you can use to prepare for next week’s finale, airing on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.
WHO:Javier Colon (Top Left) COACH:Adam Levine SOUNDS LIKE:Brian McKnight WHY YOU SHOULD ROOT FOR HIM: Funny, the reason you should root for him is the same as why some are rooting against him. You see, Javier Colon released two albums —he was simply called Javier at that time— on Capitol Records in the mid-aughts. Some would argue that he never really got a fair shake from his label during those tumultuous years for the industry, while others would say that he’s already got his shot and doesn’t deserve another one.
WHO:Dia Frampton (Top Right) COACH:Blake Shelton SOUNDS LIKE:Vanessa Carlton WHY YOU SHOULD ROOT FOR HER: Much like her competitor Javier Colon, Frampton has a major label background; along with her sister Meg, the two released the album Here, Here, and Here on Sire Records in 2009. They were later dropped by Warner Bros., Sire’s parent company, in July of 2010. Will America give her another chance to make it big?
To usher in the next stage of the Rube Goldberg competition structure on NBC’s The Voice, the show opened with another judge-quartet performance, this time a medley of three of Queen‘s biggest hits. For the myriad sing-alongs the band inspires, Queen is really tough to cover, and unfortunately, it shows a little in this performance. Read more…