Of all the One Direction boys, I probably had the lowest expectations for Liam Payne. He proved me wildly wrong. He eschews the artistry that dominates Harry Styles, the serious R&B of Zayne, and instead goes for fun. Thank God that 1D didn't take everything from him.
Not everything is so serious and Liam stirs mild controversy with the much hyped line, “I used to be in 1D / Now I'm Out Free”. The track is danceable (actually danceable) and it doesn't take itself too seriously. It follows mainstream sounds, even bringing in Ed Sheeran for a cowrite.
Key Lyric: I Love It When The Music's Loud / But C'mon Strip That Down
The song has HIT all over it. If that's not enough Quavo has a guest verse. I was past my limit with Migos / Quavo by the time their Katy Perry collaboration dropped, but the world still wants more. The music video is drenched in color and dancing girls. Liam isn't reinventing the wheel, but he's playing the newly minted popstar perfectly.
Brandy Clark has written for some of the biggest names in country music. Reba, LeAnn Rimes, The Band Perry, Darius Rucker, Kacey Musgraves, and even Sheryl Crow when she took a turn to country music with her Feels Like Home album.
She's behind one of my personal favorite, Miranda hits “Mama's Broken Heart” and the Band Perry smash “Better Dig Two”.
The song has received positive critical acclaim and received public support from Sheryl Crow, who has also called for an end to bro country.
Conservative country radio listeners may also not appreciate that Brandy Clark is an open lesbian, even though “Girl Next Door” makes no direct reference to this. It may skewer some listeners from her. Melissa Etheridge is the only gay artist to have had continued success in country music even after she came out.
Buy "Girl Next Door"
Brandy Clark's music is a refreshing change of pace to what country music has been saturated with and hopefully Big Day In A Small Town shifts a change in taste.
Lead single “Used To Love You” is a bombastic return to the form and the fluttery second single “Make Me Like You” assures us that the album isn't entirely built on tears. Gwen is also be touching on her budding romance with country superstar Blake Shelton, who according to Gwen is only her second boyfriend. “Make Me Like You” also marked the first live music video to ever be aired on the Grammy's with all it's colors and car crashes.
Your favorite blogger will not be buying this album, but I will certainly be listening. “Pillowtalk” is sexy and slinky, but this faux R&B pop star hasn't released an inescapable banger yet. I also sincerely hope that this music video he released was his idea of “artistic vision”. He looked much like a lost boy amongst the naked embrace of his female costars.
The fall is usually the month of stellar or at the very least high profile music releases. This year October has chosen not to pull it's weight. As your favorite blogger, I feel like it's my duty to keep you updated on the music scene. Unless, Rih Rih or Kanye decided to drop their albums this month there's not much to talk about. Who knows, maybe Shania Twain will finally released her long awaited fifth studio album.
The only other R&B album of note worth mentioning in October is Tamar Braxton's Calling All Lovers that's bound to be more of a commercial disaster then her three other albums.
It was with the released of “Cool For The Summer” that I decided to reevaluate her career. I still don't like Demi, but I'm giving her a second chance. Including Iggy Azalea on the track list is not helping matters. Second single “Confident” hasn't completely thrown me off, but still here we are. This would be the first Demi album I've purchased.
OMI is heralding in this concept of “reggae fusion” into the music market. His follow up single “Hula Hoop” does little to differentiate itself from it's predecessor. It works. It's perfectly catchy, but it makes me reticent to purchase this album. I don't need a full length of “Cheerleader” rearrangements.
I'm hoping that OMI will surprise me. I might get the album if I find it in a CD bin for five dollars. Other notable albums out this month include acapella group Pentatonix's first full length of original material. Lead single “Can't Sleep Love” did little to impress. Boy band 5 Seconds of Summer is also charting new material. It's bound to be one of the big sellers and lead single “She's Kinda Hot” bears more then one repeat.
Let's also not forget Carrie Underwood's new Storyteller due out October 23rd that started with disappointing lead single “Smoke Break” will herald the peak moment in Country music.
About the only one who didn't totally go off the wall was Tinashe. She released Aquarius as expected. I wasn't sure how I felt about it. Thunder and I listened to it on the way to school and we weren't that impressed. Then, we were like, maybe. We like it. I really like the concept of the album, even though I can't figure out what it is. I think it's sort of about the rebirthing effect of water. But, I don't know. Do not quote me.
At the moment there are only three scheduled albums I'm excited about.
This is a very traditional pop album. If you like electronic bleeps or some hard guitar strumming. This is not for you. If you want that guitar, may I suggest one of the many scheduled releases by Nickleback, Pink Floyd, Monster Magnet, R.E.M., Machine Head. You will find someone.
Bette's album will be out November 4th in the United States and the 17th in the United Kingdom.
Pre-Order It's The Girls!
This does surprise me. I was not here for the Jonas Brothers as a child. I had no interest in Nick Jonas. None. Then, I heard “Jealous”. He slayed me. And, I don't want to be that person, but that body. That is a legitimate reason I am buying this album on the 11th.
That and the music is so good and R&B sort of. I just love him and his body. You should also check out his song “Chains” if “Jealous” did not convince you to buy this album the moment it comes out. I am ready for it. I like grown up Nick. The only thing I am not for sure on is that there is supposed to be a Demi Lovato duet on this album. And, I do not like her. I shamelessly jam out to “Neon Lights” and “Really Don't Care” on the radio, but I do not like her. I don't even know how to spell her name. She is irrelevant. Nick could hire a different. Better Disney star.
To sing instead and I think that would slay. So, Nick get on that. I know the album will be out in a few weeks, but she will find the time to slay with you. I believe she has that power.
Pre-Order Nick Jonas
The final album of the month we all will be buying is Nicki Minaj's The Pinkprint on the 24th. I do not need to explain to you why you should buy this album. Have you heard “Pills N Potions” and “Anaconda”?.
But, these are my reservations. The album will kill it. I know it will. However, the name worries me. She is setting the bar very high for herself. You all may not be rap fans. I wouldn't call myself a rap fan, but I know about this. It was monumental. Jay-Z's Blueprint. I know she is a big fan. I'm just worried that critics will be expecting Blueprint quality music and if they don't get it. How will that hurt the album.
Nicki has also never had an album not hit number on the albums chart. The week The Pinkprint is being released is the week Eminem is dropping an album. Eminem sells like crazy every time he releases something. Nicki will need to be selling about 800,000 copies of this album in a week to beat the kind of sales Eminem can bring. This is also the week that Rihanna is rumored to be dropping R8.
Rihanna and Nicki share the same fanbase. These people will have to choose if they are poor like me, what they are going to buy. Who will they pick. I don't have to answer this question, because I will rob a bank to own both of these albums. However, other people will have to choose. I just don't see Nicki Minaj getting that number one album.
And, as long as she is okay with that. I guess it doesn't matter. I also hope she plans on dropping another buzz single before the album. No one will buy this album, because of “Anaconda”. America is over that song.
That is something Charli XCX does not understand. She's all like, I don't want people buying Sucker to expect 13 “Boom Clap”. What she does not get. Is that she is banking on “Break The Rules” to be that hit that will drive Sucker's sales in December. “Break The Rules” may never chart. Then, she has lost the chance to make that money off this album. She is also being a dumb bitch releasing it in the middle of December. Europe does not buy music like that in the middle of December. The end of October was a much better moment to release it.
Other Major Albums Out in November:
No Fixed Address Nickleback, November 4th
The Endless River Pink Floyd, November 7th
Four One Direction, November 17th
Coming Home Kristin Chenoweth, November 18th
The Gold Album: 18th Dynasty Tyga, November 18th
Shady XV Eminem, November 24th
In the following months, new music is going to be coming down from the god's above. Taylor Swift's 1989 will be a sure fire hit as will Nicki Minaj's The Pinkprint whenever she gets around to releasing it. Madonna is certainly going to shake ground if she ever does release any music from her as of yet, untitled, thirteenth studio set. Scottish DJ Calvin Harris should not fail to impress. T.I.'s Paperwork: The Motion Picture may be his most inspired set, yet. And, Rihanna has yet to claim ground in this years market, it's unlikely she's going to ignore a release. Rihanna has never gone two years before without a new album. Ke$ha is also a contender. Since, she got out of rehab, she's also been working on a comeback.
There's going to be a lot of music for fans of any kind. September is the drum roll up to the frenzy that's going to be the music market this year. We're kicking it off with Lady Gaga's and Tony Bennett's collaboration Cheek to Cheek.
But, in October what should you be looking for?
Let's talk shop.
October 7th, R&B ingenue Tinashe is releasing her debut set Aquarius featuring the popular “2On” and the follow up single “Pretend”. After the release of three mixtapes Aquarius is sure to combine elements of all three critically acclaimed releases. Helmed by Mike-Will-Made-It (Producer of Miley Cyrus's Bangerz and “23”) and DJ Mustard who you should be aware of from my previous article “Last Night A DJ Saved My Life”.
Will, I be buying Aquarius. Yes. I finally decided its what I wanted in my life. I do have some qualms, but I will let you know October 7th, how I feel about it, throughtwitter, maybe tumblr. I don't know. The thing that's definitely making me kind of pumped for Aquarius is that it shares the title of an Aqua album. The hit makers behind “Barbie Girl”. With quality association like that, Aquarius is sure to be fantastic.
Buy "Barbie Girl"
The Tuesday after that comes the as of yet, untitled, fourth studio album by Hilary Duff. Ed Sheeran has been linked in writing for the album. As have Colbie Caillat and Toby Gad. This is exciting news. Now October 14th is definitely a tentative release date, I feel. As, Hilary has yet to have a radio hit. Lead single “Chasing The Sun” was not sent to radio, however second follow up single “All About You” started impacting the radio near the end of August.
I think her record label made the right decision. "Chasing The Sun" is not how people need to hear the new Hilary. I think Hilary desire to change the orientation of her album from a dance to folk is a strong game plan. She understands the pop accessibility that came with her younger years, but is fusing that into a mature sound. Something she's been working on over the years since leaving Hollywood Records. This album will be everything.
The very first album I ever owned was Dignity. I still get chills to “Gypsy Woman” and every other pop gold on that album. Hilary Duff is queen. I love her so much and I am so ready to see one of the few strong Disney role models take back the albums charts. Because if we're being honest. She never had any real hit songs. Us late 90's babies know every word to “Come Clean”, “So Yesterday”, “Why Not”. But, literally no one else does. It's only because we are addicted to the Disney Channel.
Buy "All About You"
For an article completely dedicated to "Chasing The Sun" see the Friday Favorites article "Chasing The Sun"
Buy "Gypsy Woman"
I am also freaking out over The Tings Tings third studio set Supercritical due out October 20th (more then likely the 21st in the United States). I had been so pysched about when I heard they were working on their new album in the DJ scene of Ibiza, because when they released Sounds From Nowheresville they lived in Germany and we got some good punk rock from them.
Hearing lead single “Wrong Club” I'm underwhelmed. They have been dropped from their major record label Columbia after the phenomenal commercial and critical disaster that was Sounds From Nowheresville. It isn't club music like their previous song “Hands”. As I'm saying this you don't know who they are. The Tings Tings are the band that created the ever god awful “That's Not My Name” and “Shut Up And Let Me Go”. Both of which are anthems.
I will buy it. I will let you now how I feel about it. I just know they can deliver the goods. And this faux Daft Punk bullshit is not everything. I expect great things from this album, because if I had bought Sounds of Nowheresville based off of lead single "Hang It Up" I would have run for the hills. You have to take time to invest in The Tings Tings, but they're worth it.
The worst thing that ever happened in my life was when my father refused to allow me to miss a day of school, so I could go see them in concert. It was my sixteenth birthday. It was all I wanted. It broke my heart. I love this band so much. I know Supercritcal can impress me.
Buy "Wrong Club"
Other Major Albums Out in October:
Anything Goes Florida Georgia Line, October 14th
Sucker Charli XCX, October 21st
Paperwork: The Motion Picture T.I. October 21st
1989 Taylor Swift, October 27th
Tha Carter V Lil Wayne, October 28th
In the words of Madonna, "Music makes the people come together."