Presidential elections always bring out people’s bleeding red and blue passions. Contested would be a mild word to describe the run off between Hilary Clinton and the republican nominee. Singers have picked their sides. YG put out “FDT” an acronym for “Fuck Donald Trump” and heavy metal band Bruejeria touring under the headline “Fuck Off Donald Trump” in case we didn’t know about their political sentiment.
Sheryl Crow said at her concert that she was voting for Neil Young, but certain social media postings to her standalone song “Woman In The White House” suggest she’s more decisive then that.
Woman In The White House
Released in 2012 and left off her 2013 country album Feels Like Home, the song harkens back to the political statement she made in the 90s and hasn’t really touched since her 2008 album Detours. The song is simple and straight laced and decisively more subtle then “Fuck Donald Trump”.
Sheryl Crow has recently been back in the studio working with Jeff Trott and Tchad Blake for a follow up. It’s unclear when we’ll hear anything, but an album isn’t expected until sometime in 2017. She also has another all-star guest line up album in the works. She took a page from Frank Ocean's handbook and has two albums planned to murder us. It’s unclear if Hilary Clinton is the woman, Sheryl Crow wanted to put in the white house, but it’s a rallying cry for her supporters none the less.
Most of the songs play with being on the brink of love and not quite getting there. Her attention gathering song “Touch” finds her running into a past lover and seeing the love but recognizing that something's changed. They can't be what they were.
“Touch” was released almost two years ago, but just as recently as February found itself given the video treatment with some extra verses from rapper Talib Kweli. It's jarring to find him parring off against, Shura's light breathy vocals. That's possibly the reason that version was left off the album, but it shows a record labels well defined need for a radio hit.
The well versed “2 Shy” deals with youth and friendship and a want for something more, but the fear of anything changing. It's blissful and sweet and it's no surprise it was chosen as a single from the album.
It's no surprise then that you can find Shura opening for Tegan and Sara when they tour North America this year. Her music will coincide with what their fans already listen to.
The album standout is “What's It Gonna Be?” The same questions are asked. Do I tell I love you? If you say no let me down gently. The song itself never answers the questions, but that's what we have music videos for. It has a high school setting. It plays with our heteronormative values. Shura and her best friend find love. Her with the beautifully intelligent girl in Chemistry and him with the preppy boy with the good hair on the sports team.
Buy Nothing's Real
Disappointment In October
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.
A Fashionable Obsession
This album is bound to only expand on Lana Del Rey's sound and cement her growing fanbase. The first teasings of the album we have was when Lana released the audio to the titular track “Honeymoon”. It was moody and seductive. Her voice being the centerfold to it's lush surroundings and stylistically leaned closer to Ultraviolence then Born to Die.
Honeymoon should have a similar promotional campaign to that of Ultraviolence. That means more songs (!!!) will be released. One or two more music videos will be produced. The album will sell a few hundred thousand copies worldwide in it's first week on sale, then maintain a steady stay on the chart until the next follow up.
The track list for the album has been unlocked. It features fourteen songs of love and heartbreak. Or something like that.
Some notes on the tracklist. Song number two was originally thrown around as the concept for the album. How about that for a fun fact. Track 9 has it correct. Lana is our religion. And, in true form of predecessors Paradise and Ultraviolence there is a cover song. “Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood” is an old jazz standard. Hopefully it will stand up just as well as “Blue Velvet” and “The Other Woman” did.
I won't be. But, if this Lana Del Rey collaboration pans out, I will be tempted. I'm a slut for Lana. This Friday Halsey also releases her debut album Badlands. That's certainly something to check out. The new Lana Del Rey album is set for release on Friday September 18th. And, in case anyone is counting that's 25 days away.
Miss Ester Dean
Buy "Drop It Low"
Really, what Ester Dean is known for is her song writing. She's been behind some of the biggest pop smashes of this decade. She co-wrote this one new Nicki Minaj song “Hey Mama” that is going to blow up. I am not a David Guetta fan, but this song. It's kind of everything. I love it. I am obsessed. It is super catchy. She's also working with Britney Spears on her new album. Ester Dean is songwriter to the stars.
Buy "Hey Mama"
Hopefully, you know what an EP is, but it's basically a teaser, like half an album that's a drum roll to a full release. Now, Ester Dean was signed to a record deal, but she pulled out of that. I haven't heard of her signing with anyone else, so I suppose this music is all an independent release. It doesn't include any of the songs she's released recently. I love both “Get My Dough” and “Twerkin 4 Birk'n” (which is just as ratchet as you think it is). Juicy J even did an official remix for “Twerkin 4 Birk'n”. I'm honestly so confused as to what Ester Dean's career is right now.
She's also touring with Nicki Minaj this summer. I think it's only select dates, but who knows. The Pinkprint Tour will be everything. Tinashe is opening Trey Songz is coming along. Rae Sremmurd is going to show up. Kill it Nicki. I can't imagine a better line up if it included Beyonce. I'm just so ready.
These are six samplers of the songs she uploaded to YouTube and I've included a link to her soundcloud page, so you can listen to the full song at the bottom.
Buy Miss Ester Dean
Her teenage lover is played by Ryan Guzman and he's certainly sexy enough for the role. According to his wikipedia page he is most well known for his role in one of the many Step Up movies. I'm sure he's a great actor.
Now, Jennifer's son in the movie is played by this kid named Ian Nelson. I had google his name,but I know exactly who this is. This is the child who plays the young Derek Hale in Teen Wolf. Now this boy is not nearly as cute as the boy that plays the young Peter Hale in Teen Wolf, but he has cute pinchable cheeks that will be great for when Ryan Guzman opens him up with a machete.
Side note. Did anyone watch the HBO special Jennifer Lopez: Dance Again. I did not. I don't have cable let alone HBO. I really wanted to see it. Hopefully it will come out on DVD. I've wanted to see this for ever.
When she started the tour it was announced there was going to be a concert film. Concert film's were all the rage, Justin Bieber was doing it, Katy Perry, One Direction. Jennifer's was even supposed to be in 3D. That as you can tell didn't happen.
There just wasn't any interest. For a little moment we thought she was back with “On the Floor” but we've made no progress since then. It kind of breaks my heart. It's J. Lo.
But, that is okay. We will all trek down to the theater on the 23rd and see Jenny all hot and bothered. And, whenever HBO reairs the special, you can watch it. I'll just keep staring at Ryan Guzman's body.
Bitch, She's Madonna
For people not invested in the process of Madonna's new studio album. It is a lot of information to keep up with. Collaborators, tracklists, instagram pictures. That is why I will try to summarize the event that is sure to hit us in year 2015.
For over a year now Madonna has been teasing us with the release of her 13th studio album. It's been a cruel process to the fans. At the start of this year, I thought there was a strong possibility that we could have a new album that summer, maybe later that year. Well, it is no longer later this year. It will be 2015. No release date within 2015, but I think the album is close to done.
From the collaborators swirling around in the studio, this album should be EDM inspired. We have Avicii, Diplo, Disclosure, Natalia Kills, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, Alicia Keys all as possibilities.
Avicii is for all intensive purposes confirmed as a collaborator. I do not approve. Although, it doesn't surprise me that Madonna likes him. His music is derivative of her American Life album. His lack of originality and his critical acclaim bother me as Madonna's similar work was derided by the critics. However. I have chosen to accept him as the Queen has graced him with her presence.
Diplo is confirmed. Diplo is just a producer. You probably know some of his work. He's the man behind “Paper Planes”, “Look At Me Now” and “Too Close”. He has guaranteed us that there are three certified smashes from the album with his name attached to it. Now when I listed those three songs earlier and said this is what you should know him for. That is literally all you will know him for. He's worked with other big names, but those are the hits he's attached to. Three.
Now Disclosure is interesting. They're a relatively new production team. I don't particularly care for the Sam Smith fronted “Latch”, still with the right backing vocals (*cough* *cough* Madonna) I'm interested. They said recently to Billboard that they are not working with Madonna, but they would “consider it”. Everyone would consider it. Are you being shady, Disclosure. Are there plans to work with Madonna that you are respectfully choosing not to inform us of. That is my question. I think they are definitely possibilities. I expect to see collaborations from them on her new album.
This brings us to a very interesting point. Natalia Kills, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, and Alicia Keys have been linked to this album. The question is are they appearing on the album as songwriters or featured artists?
Natalia Kills I am very up in the air about. She is a wise move for Madonna to team up with. Natalia has that underground pop vibe that could lure the hipsters into looking into a Madonna record. I think a duet or just some backing vocals from Natalia Kills would be great for the album.
The same goes for Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, and Alicia Keys. I like what they bring to the table. Katy Perry has been rumored to have been collaborating with her since their S&M themed V cover shoot last Labor Day. Miley Cyrus's twerking “We Can't Stop/Don't Tell Me” mash up with Madonna this year shows it as a possibility. And, I think it would be a great move. Both Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus draw from different sectors of the pop market. It is too bad that the Queen couldn't have gotten Katy during her Teenage Dream phase. Everything Katy was touching turned multi-platinum, but she will still be useful to her.
Nicki and Alicia are collaborators. No question. Who knows what song Alicia Keys will be featured on. This is a rather new announcement made through Madonna. Personally. I'm shocked Nicki is back in the studio with Madonna. I love it. It will be great. Madonna almost never collaborates twice with someone. William Orbit and the producers of her earlier records being the major exceptions.
What's great about all these women is that they all draw from different sectors of the pop market. This new album will be big. It will catapult Madonna to the upper echelons.
Word has it that Nicki Minaj is doing a rap verse for a song, tentatively titled “Bitch, I'm Madonna”. I hope this song exists. However, in the way of star power. A “Bang, Bang” style trio would be fantastic. Imagine.
Titled, either “Messiah”, “Living For Love”, “Rebel Heart”, “Sorry Not Sorry” or “Unapologetic Bitch”. I repeat. “Unapologetic Bitch”
Featuring: Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus.
Yes. Do you feel it. Can you imagine. Shaking at the thought of it. Also in case you weren't aware all of those song titles I threw out there are popular tags Madonna has been adding to her twitter and instagram. Conversely all of those tags could be the title for her new album.
It saddens me that the album won't be out this year, but I think it's a good thing for its sales. Madonna is a legend. Legend status doesn't get you on the radio. If anything it's a barrier to get on the radio. Madonna does not need to be fighting the Rihanna's for radio play this holiday season. When the music industry has slowed back down, she should strike. For all intensive purposes, though I think the album is done.
A “source” stated that if the album was done there would be sales sheets and other proof it was coming out this year. They said she would have a cohesive plans for music videos and the “look”. Now if anyone does follow her on instagram. Madonna has the look down. She's settled on what this album is. It's just not going to drop. Anyone who suggests that Madonna will drop an album like Beyonce did last year is blindly mistaken. This is Madonna bitch. She is not going to copy someone that shamelessly.
The earliest I feel we can hope for any music from this new untitled set is December. An album release in February at the earliest. The first public performance of a lead single at Dick Clark's New Year's Rocking Eve. I would push that forward to the Grammy's in February. Leaving the album to a release date in March or April of 2015.
Once, she has a large public performance of her single she can drop the album and go on tour. Drop it like MDNA and link ticket sales to the album. She doesn't need to prove herself anymore and she certainly doesn't need a song on the radio.
At this point it's more a point of pride. If however she's going to get on the radio. We need better promotion then what we got for MDNA. And, a better lead single. I love “Give Me All Your Luvin'”, but “Girl Gone Wild” was a better choice. Especially if all America was going to hear of the new album at the Superbowl was that song.
In the words of Madonna, "Music makes the people come together."