Monday, April 30, 2012

Why is Rita Ora not a huge star!?!?!

Last week I came across a song by a young pop singer named Rita Ora. It's called "How We Do (Party)" and it's her second single off her as yet released debut album. The album is a dance-pop-rock party anthem that features a sample from the classic "Party and Bullshit" by the late Notorious B.I.G. The song features a guitar oriented dance beat and lyrics about partying the night away.
Ora is a British singer who is signed to Jay-Z's Roc Nation record label. She has everything that other pop singers have like a great voice and attitude. She has a good look and a good style of dress. Her song is catchier than anything on the radio currently. Hopefully this single catches on and is a hit so Rita can begin to take over the music world. Below is the video for the song.

New Santigold album less than masterful

Santigold's debut album Santogold was a classic record. With new-wave/dance/reggae/pop-rock anthems like "Lights Out" and "Shove It." Yet on her second album, Master of My Make-Believe, Santi just doesn't have the punch she used to. While the album is great, nothing is as memorable as some of the songs on her first album. From the Karen O assisted first song "Go!" to the beautifully executed ballad "The Riot's Gone," this album is only just good. It takes a few listens for this album to even be good. At first listen, I wasn't impressed by any of the songs. While the album is worth buying, don't expect as much fun or any songs that make you sing at the top of your lungs. Below is the video for the single "Big Mouth."

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

For All Those Sleeping release new single

One of post-hardcore's hottest new acts For All Those Sleeping released their new single "Mark My Words" today. The song is your average post-hardcore/metalcore hybrid that has been so popular as of late. Something about the way the band do it just works though. "You're fucked now!" screamer Jerad Pierskalla shouts at the beginning. The song is about a relationship gone wrong and how the protagonist will be much better off without his ex. With "hardcore" screamed verses and clean sung choruses this song has been done a million times before in terrible ways but this song just has a vibe about it that makes it an instant jam. The band's debut album Cross Your Fingers came out in 2010 and it mixed post-hardcore with pop-punk and while it had it's share of good songs, it was only a decent album. Their best song "Favorite Liar" off of that album is still good two years later and their Taylor Swift cover off of Punk Goes Pop 4 was phenomenal so with this fantastic new single, hopefully their second album Outspoken will be as good as this single is. Outspoken comes out June 19th on Fearless Records. Below is a video of the new single.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Neon Trees grow on second record

Dance-rock darlings Neon Trees released their second album , Picture Show, a week ago and it's a clear improvement from their first album Habits. The album featured their single "Animal" but other than that there were no other truly memorable songs on it. This record has no bad songs. The band are leaning more toward their pop side but that isn't a bad thing.
The song "Mad Love," which is the best song on the album is a duet between hunky frontman Tyler Glenn and drummer/vocalist Elaine Bradley. The song is a new wave, 80s inspired dance party, featuring lyrics about two sides of a relationship.
One of the other standout sings is called "Hooray For Hollywood." This rocker is about the downside of the celebrity lifestyle. In the middle of the song he names stars who have moved on from Britney Murphy to Whitney Houston (R.I.P. GIRL!).
While there are many mid tempo songs like "Trust" and "Still Young," it's the more fast paced songs like "Teenage Sounds" and "Moving In The Dark" that will have the listener enthralled and on their feet the entire time.
This album just goes to show that Neon Trees deserve every ounce of success they've received and that the best is yet to come.

Below is the video for the first single "Everybody Talks."

Monday, April 23, 2012

William Beckett, solo star

William Beckett, former frontman of the band The Academy is... released his first of three solo EPs that are due out this year. Following suit of other frontpeople like Cassadee Pope of Hey Monday, Chantal Claret of Morningwood and Tyler Carter of Woe, Is Me, Beckett is changing up his sound by releasing Walk That Talk. The EP is features four indie pop songs and each of them are memorable. The standout track and first single "Compromising Me" is a catchy pop song that makes the listener want to dance and sing along to the chorus. "I don't, I don't care, what you're saying about me. No I don't care" Beckett sings over the groove, clearly having the most fun he's had musically in a while.
Another standout track is "Girl You Should Have Been A Drummer," a silly pop-rock jam about Beckett being played like drums by a girl. The songs have summer fun written into the lyrics and the melodies.
"Oh, Love!" is a fun song about...well love. The album closes with the ballad and weakest song on the EP, "You Never Give UP." Even though this song is kind of a dud compared to the rest of the songs, if this EP and his band's past work are any indication, Beckett will be putting out sunny pop songs for years to come and he'll be quite successful at it.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lisa Marie Presley Makes Comeback On New Single

Lisa Marie Presley is known for many things, being a credible musician is rarely one of them. She's known for being the only child of Elvis Presley and for marrying weirdos like Nicolas Cage and Michael Jackson, but her music isn't as well known. She's had two albums 2003's To Whom It May Concern and 2005's Now What and a hit single("Lights Out," her first single ever got a little bit of radio airplay and it was even on Now That's What I Call Music Vol. 13).
During her seven year absence from the music world not many people noticed, but she's back with her third album, Storm & Grace which is to be released on May 15. Her first single is called "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet" and the title is true.
While her first two albums had a more pop-rock sound which mixed the attitude of Kelly Clarkson and P!nk with the adult contemporary leanings of Sheryl Crow or newer Liz Phair, her new record will focus on southern rock. The song is a soft rocking yet captivating piece with lyrics like "Am I a disruption to your corruption? You ain’t seen nothing yet."
This song may not make Lisa Marie Presley a pop music phenomena but it will definitely attract an audience to her. Let's hope that after this ablum Lisa Marie is back and here to stay and that it won't take her seven years to follow this record up.
Below a video of her new single.

Paramore recording fourth album

Pop-punk royalty Paramore are recording and writing their fourth studio album. Their first album All We Know Is Falling was released in 2005 and ever since then the band has been at the forefront of the pop-punk movement. They've had hit singles such as "Misery Business" and "The Only Exception" and they've toured with veteran bands such as No Doubt and Tegan and Sara.
Yesterday the band announced in a post on their website an update about their new record. Recording began over a week ago and one song called "Daydream" has already been recorded. The album will be produced by Justin Meldal-Johnsen who has produced and written for artists such as Macy Gray, Lisa Marie Presley and Garbage. The band say that they are putting the most care into this album as opposed to their other ones. There is no release date.

Below is the band's video for their best song ever, "Brick By Boring Brick" off of their album Brand New Eyes.

Katy Perry get's "fucking dark" for new album.

Katy Perry went through a divorce at the end of last year and this is sure to impact her upcoming third album. There is no set release date or even a time frame in which it could come out, but in an interview with English gossip magazine The Sun.
“My music is about to get real fucking dark," Perry said. "You’d never see my face because my hair would be in it.”
She also went on to say that she wished she could travel back in time to erase her divorce. This statement surely must be a joke. While her new album is sure to be moodier, there's no way she's going to make Otepish music. She would do well to return to the more aggressive pop-rock that was more prominent in her debut album One of the Boys as opposed to the more dance-pop-urban with a tad bit of rock influence of her second record Teenage Dream. While Katy got darker for her latest single, "Part of Me" I'm sure that her new record will be more like that song. I have no problem with Perry returning to her more edgy roots because while her last record was amazing it couldn't touch the level that One of the Boys was on. Either way I'm sure the world is anxious to get her next album which is sure to be a phenomenal breakup record regardless of how dark it is.

Below is her video for her latest single "Part of Me."

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Madonna's new album doesn't get the credit that it deserves

Madonna released her twelfth studio album, MDNA at the end of last month and it has been getting bad press ever since. The album has gotten decent reviews but the album hasn't been selling that well. Despite the two singles not getting any radio airplay and there being very little promotion. Her album debuted at the number one spot and it is now still sitting pretty at the number eight spot on the Billboard album chart. The album dropped 86.7% in it's second week. The album beat out the record previously set by Lady Gaga with her second album Born This Way which dropped 84.28% just last year.
MDNA may not be Madonna's greatest album but it's fucking fantastic, especially when looking back at her last album Hard Candy. The album featured Timbaland production and wasn't too memorable. While MDNA is not Ray of Light, it still is her best album since 2006's Confessions on a Dancefloor.
MDNA is however an enjoyable release. From the in your face attitude of "I Don't Give A..." which features Nicki Minaj to the soaring ballad "Falling Free" the album doesn't have a truly horrible song. Some highlights include "Gang Bang" which is a dark dance song about shoot her lover in the head, complete with lots of crazy whispering and a dubstep breakdown, this song is like an old school Madonna song mixed with new pop music. Other highlights include the "Beautiful Stranger" flashback of "I'm A Sinner" to the catchy dance breakdowns of "I"m Addicted," to the Golden Globe winning song "Masterpiece." This album is by far one of the best albums of the year and should be getting more attention. While the airwaves are taken over by musicians that can't hold a candle to the legend that is Madonna. This album needs to get the credit that is due to it.

Nicki Minaj's "Marilyn Monroe" vs. Fefe Dobson's "Stuttering"

Nicki Minaj released her amazing sophomore album, Pink Friday: Roman's Revenge,  at the beginning of the month and one of the greatest songs on it was "Marilyn Monroe," a Rihanna inspired R&B song pleading with her lover to take her as she is. "If you can't handle my worst, you ain't gettin' my best. Is this how Marilyn Monroe felt?" Minaj croons over the soulful, rock tinged track. The song shows a different side of the rapper that has only been seen in a few songs on her debut album, Pink Friday.
Upon first listen it becomes apparent that the melody and instrumentals were ripped from Fefe Dobson's 2010 single "Stuttering" off of her second album Joy. Both songs have practically the same piano intro in addition to similar guitars and even the same melody. This is not either singer's fault, both singers wrote their respective songs, but both songs are produced and co written by J.R. Rotem. Rotem has worked with many musicians including Lil' Kim, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. While most pop singers write their own songs, they are more often than not working with co writters and producers. Despite this, both songs are fantastic, "Marilyn Monroe" is by far one of the best songs off of her album and of the year. Below are videos for each song.

Monday, April 16, 2012

New Halestorm album, The Strange Case of...awesome

Halestorm had a rough ride to the top of the hard rock world. Eventually in 2009 they released their self titled album and the world would never rock the same again. The album had fast paced rock songs about sex, along with slow jams about, well, sex. Part of what makes Halestorm such a great band is their kick ass attitude and front woman Lzzy Hale's powerful voice, that voice is part of what makes this such a great band. So now the band is back with their new album The Strange Case of..., which brings more of the same thing Halestorm is known for. There are loud guitars and epic notes hit by Hale.
The lyrics are a little better and few of them actually depart from the topic of sex. From the soft rocking "Beautiful With You" to the song Glee made famous, "Here's to Us," both of which have Hale singing with some emotion that isn't brought about by what's between her legs. Some songs get a little weird, like "Rock Show" which is about how it feels to be in the audience at a rock concert and "In Your Room" which talks about Hale wants her lover to reveal all of the secrets in his room. The later is cheesy beyond believe and doesn't mesh well with the other songs on the album.
The only issue with the album is all of the profanity. While a little profanity is good, sometimes the band use it too much on their new album. Especially on "Here's To Us" and "You Call Me A Bitch Like It's A Bad Thing." All in all the new album is a small step up from Halestorm and it's one wild ride.

Below is the video for the first single "Love Bites (So Do I)"

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Kittie concert review, 4/10/2012

PHOTO:Juan DeLosAngeles
The is my first concert review. I'm going to go through each band and give them  rating from 1 to 10. One being shittastic and 10 being fantastic.
Kittie kicked off their latest tour two nights ago in Poughkeepsie N.Y. The show featured support from tour mates Blackguard and Bonded by Blood as well as support from local bands, Necroptic Engorgement and Mythology. The Agonist were unable to play because they were held up by visa issues at the Canadian/United States border. Besides Kittie, this is the other main band I wanted to see. Better luck next time. The band will rejoin the tour on April 19.
Necroptic Engoregement
PHOTO:Juan DeLosAngeles
The opening band Mythology(2/10), where a black metal band from New York state. While I'm not a fan of black metal, I'll be honest it scares me to death, there were at least six people in the crowd that were digging it. I can't hate on something I know little about but I'm not a fan of it. I'm sure to somebody Mythology was a 10/10...this blogger is not that person.
Next up was Necroptic Engorgement(4/10), this death metal/grindcore band were pretty decent. They had a good stage presence and the crowd seemed to love them. They had a good energy and good musicianship.
Moving on to Bonded by Blood(5/10), these thrash metallers rocked the house, too bad that every song sounded the same. They all were good at what they did, I just wasn't a fan of what they did. Variety is the spice of life fellas, so try different things.
The final opening act was Blackguard(7/10), while Kittie and The Agonist's fellow Canadians have all similar sounding music just like Bonded by Blood, their stage presence was stellar. After only knowing one song I will definitely check more of their music out.
PHOTO: Juan DeLosAngeles
PHOTO: Juan DeLosAngeles
Now onto the main attraction. Kittie(9/10), despite a few chord mistakes Kittie were flawless. Clearly being a band since 1999 and touring rigorously is good practice. The band featured newly returned bassist Trish Doan. Doan played on the band's amazing fourth record Funeral For Yesterday. She then left the band to tackle personal demons such as an eating disorder. She rejoined the group two months ago, not having ever played anything from In The Black or the band's sixth and latest album I've Failed You. The 45 minute long set included 13 songs. Songs played ranged from "Spit," the title track off of their debut album to newer songs like "My Plague" and "We Are The Lamb." The only other issue with their set was that they didn't stop between songs, often segueing from one song to another leaving the listener confused as to what song it was. When a band has six albums and around 70 songs, even hardcore fans can get confused.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Agonist release "Ideomotor"

The Agonist have released the first official single off of their third album Prisoners, which will be released on Century Media on June 5 in the United States. The single is called "Ideomotor" and it's basically what is expected from a song by The Agonist. The song has both death metal screams of Alissa White-Gluz along with her powerhouse clean vocals. This song, like most of their songs, is a melodic death metal masterpiece.  Their new album is just around the corner and this song will show listeners that the new record was worth the wait. Despite having to miss nine dates on their upcoming tour with Kittie and Blackguard, The Agonist will join the tour on April 19, after having issues crossing the United States border with Canada. Until then fans will have to just listen to the new song on repeat to get the The Agonist fix. The song is posted below.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Where in outer space is the new video for "Starships?"

Nicki Minaj needs to post a video for "Starships." After releasing her single, "Beez In The Trap," in the beginning of April and it already has a music video, which is lame. However her single "Starships," has been getting heavy airplay since February and it hasn't had a video. It needs to be shot. Nicki can make videos for buzz singles but not for the actual single? That makes no sense and with Nicki' crazy self this video could be fantastic, just like the song. While Minaj stated that she has shot a video it has yet to be released. Here is the video for "Beez In The Trap."

New Monica album a huge letdown

Today Monica releases her new album, New Life. Most Monica albums are classics. Her 2003 album After The Storm was full of songs about breakups and heartache, yet it featured some of her best songs ever like "So Gone" and "Knock Knock." But this new album is just the same song repeated over 12-16 times depending on which edition you buy. While the album returns to classic soul flavor, it gets boring after 3 songs. The only redeeming tracks are "It All Belongs To Me" and "Anything To Find You." These songs were singles and if you already bought these don't waste time getting her new album.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Eve is releasing new music!!

Rapper Eve came out with her last album, Evo-lution in 2002. The music world was a different place back then. Eve along with Lil' Kim and Missy Elliott were still on top of the female hip hop game. Nicki Minaj wasn't around. Lady Gaga wasn't yet popular and hip hop ruled the radio. Fat Joe and Ja Rule took over the airwaves. Now the world is different. Eve, Missy and Kim have all pushing back albums for five or six years. And dance music rules the radio. Dubstep is king right now and even rappers like Trina and metal bands are trying to harness it.
In 2007 Eve was to release Flirt, her fourth record. She had had two singles and it was to come out on September 11. Then the 11th came, and nothing happened. The album was pushed back and later pushed back and renamed Lip Lock, but it never came to fruition, until now. Eve has announced that a few buzz singles will be released in the coming month, followed by the official first single, Eve announced in an interview this week.
Times are different, but Eve is still a force to be reckoned with. She's had singles with Gwen Stefani, Amerie and Sean Paul since her last album. Her Grammy winning single "Let Me Blow Ya Mind" which featured Gwen Stefani still holds up next to rap songs as of late. Hopefully if she knows how to navigate the music world she can have a hit. Let's just hope that she doesn't do so trying to sound like a Lady Gaga or Katy Perry clone. Only time will tell if Eve can keep her credability but this blogger is sure that many people will be awaiting this album.

An open letter to Chantal Claret

Many of you may remember Chantal Claret as the lead singer of the dance/rock/punk/metal/anything you could think of band, Morningwood. After the band broke up last year they played a goodbye tour, opening for Mindless Self Indulgence. Well this past week she released her first solo EP, The Pleasure Seeker. It went from the loud rock sound of Morningwood to a very 1960s soul-pop sound. While Chantal's EP is quite good, she's no Amy Winehouse or V.V. Brown. Chantal, instead of making music your only good at you should return to what you're amazing at. Sassy, dancy, rock songs with catchy choruses that get stuck in heads for days to come. Morningwood were an amazing band and they never got the credit that they were due. While they had some success after their single "Best of Me" was used as the theme song to the VH1 show Daisy of Love and their single "Nth Degree" was used in many movies and commercials, they never really hit it big. That was a huge oversight on the part of the world and maybe if Morningwood made a stellar third album, you could probably have a hugely successful and hit-filled career. Please don't give up on such an amazing project. You guys put 10 years into it and it's a shame to see it all thrown away. Please change your minds and reunite. We need you. Below is the first video off of Chantal's EP for the single "Pop Pop Bang Bang," followed by the video Morningwood's single and best song ever, "Sugarbaby."

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Stuff to be excited about, the April 2012 edition

This year there are many artists that have albums coming out that are sure to be mindblowing.

April 10

Halestorm-The Strange Case of...
The band release their second album. They released an EP with four songs off of this record back in January. It featured the albums first single, "Love Bites (So Do I)" and the song Glee made famous "Here's To Us." This album is probably going to sound a lot like their first album which isn't bad. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Monica-New Life
After being pushed back several times, the singer releases her seventh album. After two failed promo singles she finally has a hit with "It All Belongs To Me," a duet with Brandy. The two had huge success with their single "The Boy is Mine" back in 1998, 14 years ago. While the song is nothing compared to their past work together, it is still a great R&B song. The album will probably be boring and full of slow songs like most Monica albums of late but there are sure to be some great tracks with Missy Elliott producing a few songs. Monica's last album Still Standing wasn't that stellar but it was still good. Be wary with this album if you aren't a fan of slow soulful songs with lots of feeling.

April 17

Neon Trees-Picture Show
The band released their first single "Everybody Talks" back in January and finally their sophomore album is upon us. Their first album was decent. It had moments of glory like their hit single "Animal" and it gave fans hope for a good second record. Bands are known to fumble on the second record so hopefully this band can stay on top of things.

William Beckett-Walk That Talk
Former The Academy Is... frontman William Beckett will be releasing his first solo EP after their breakup last year. His first single "Compromise Me," is unlike anything that has been heard from him before. Whereas his band were all Emo kings, hopefully Beckett will keep his crown with this EP, the first of three he'll be releasing this year.

New Nicki MInaj album, best thing ever?

Nicki Minaj came out with her second studio album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. This album is great from start to finish. From the song she scared us all with at the Grammy's, "Roman Holiday" to the Rihannaesque ballad "Marilyn Monroe" to the future gangsta rap classic "Beez in the Trap," there are no bad songs on this record.
After her single "Starships" was released in February fans have been crying sellout but since it's been tearing up the charts, Minaj could have a huge album on her hands.
Like "Starships," most of the record has a dance-pop vibe. Her club songs sound like Lil' Kim covering Jessie J... and that isn't a bad thing. The album is a fun summer record that will have anybody singing along. While some of the songs can be a bit rediculous, they're all still enjoyable. "South Africa is where I come from. Give me my banjo, give me my drum," Minaj raps in the beginning of her song "Beautiful Sinner." While sometimes her choices are weird, she is still successful at putting out a quality album. This album will have us all dancing for years to come. While Reloaded is not an instant hip hop classic, the album has Minaj going in the right, crazy direction and I for one am ready to follow.

Katy Perry needs to relax

After rereleasing her 2010 album Teenage Dream at the end of last month Katy Perry has shown one thing, she just wants attention. The rerelease comes with the entire original album, an acoustic version of her hit single "The One That Got Away," three new songs("Wide Awake," Dressin' Up," and the single "Part of Me"), remixes of "E.T." and "Last Friday Night" which feature Kanye West and Missy Elliott respectively. and a megamix of all her singles. While Teenage Dream, Perry's second album was not as good as her debut, One of the Boys, it was still fun, catchy and carefree. The album featured an insane amount of hit singles and after getting a divorce from Russel Brand, it was clear that her next album would be great. Breakups are the best thing for songwriters and Katy's future was bright. Then she came out with the Teenage Dream rerelease. While most rereleases are not worth getting some do the trick (In This Moment's rerelease of their album The Dream only added to how great that album was). While Katy's rerelease featured okay songs, they weren't great. So some advice for Katy, while you're recording your new album, take your time. You don't need to rush. Give the world time to wonder where you've gone before you come out with your new release. It'll be much better for you.

Fresh Start

I'm back to blogging. Somehow my password to my old blog was changed without my knowledge. This blog is going to be a blog where all types of music fans can come for news, reviews, new artist profiles and my opinion on the latest music. Let the blogging continue.