Saturday, December 6, 2008

20 Y.O. (2006) Janet Jackson

Being the sister of one of pop music's all-time biggest superstars hasn't intimidated Janet Jackson in the least. In fact, Janet churned out a string of successful albums throughout the 1980s, '90s, and 2000s that kept pace with the changing sounds, looks, and trends of the times (which is more than can be said for Michael). 20 Y.O. is Jackson's 11th album, and with a title that roughly indicates her tenure in the commercial limelight, Jackson's accrued confidence and strengths as a performer make a strong showing.
Janet declares on the spoken intro to 20 Y.O. that she wants to "keep it light" and "have fun," and to that end the album boasts plenty of club bangers. "So Excited" and "Get It Out Me" are cases in point, with each sporting the spare, electro grooves ubiquitous in the early 2000s. Such tracks dot the disc, thanks to top-shelf producers like Jermaine Dupri and Terry Lewis, among others, but Jackson's way with a slinky ballad hasn't diminished, as "Call On Me," a duet with rapper Nelly, proves. Jackson's music sounds fresh and modern, with its pop instincts in tune with the contemporary market, almost as if she were, herself, 20 years old.

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1. 20 (Intro)
2. So Excited
3. Show Me
4. Get It out Me
5. Do It 2 Me
6. This Body
7. With U
8. Call on Me
9. Daybreak
10. Enjoy
11. 20 Pt. 4 (Interlude)
12. Take Care
13. Love 2 Love
14. 20 Pt. 5 (Outro

Mind On The Moon (2008) Snow

UK release for one of the most commercially successful rap/reggae DJs ever. 12 tracks including the hit 'Everybody Wants To Be Like You'.

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1. Plumb Song (Over the Moon)
2. Anti Love Song
3. Joke Thing
4. Scrub Off
5. Everybody Wants to Be Like You
6. Funky Martini
7. Someday Somehow
8. Nothing on Me
9. Little Did They Know
10. Crazy Feeling
11. Everything's Fine
12. Jimmy Hat

Shady Satin Drug (2008) soulDecision

Shady Satin Drug, released October 26, 2008 from pop/rock band soulDecision. The album was their second release (Universal). The album's first single of the album was "Cadillac Dress".

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Track Listings
1. Cadillac Dress
2. Shady Satin Drug
3. Hypnotize
4. So Strong
5. Light It Up
6. Don't Dance Close to Me
7. It Must Be You
8. Sucky Love Song
9. Kiss the Walls
10. Ain't Now Way to Make a Living

For All Time (2008) Soluna

For All Time is likely to put Soluna on the pop map, with addictive choruses and the foursome's harmonizing capabilities. For All Time, the catchy title track, shot like a firecracker to the top of the charts and could serve as a makeshift crystal ball for the group's future (one of longevity if the Beyoncé of the group, Jessica Castellanos, continues writing songs for her gal pals).

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Track Listing
1. Bring It to Me
2. Hey Hey, You You
3. Nothing Looks Good on Me But You
4. For All Time
5. Don't Wanna Live My Life Wtihout You
6. I'll Be Waiting For You
7. So in Love
8. Te Vengo a Decir - (interlude)
9. Spanish Lullaby
10. All Out of Love
11. He Should Be You
12. Monday Mi Amor
13. Luna Mia
14. Bring It to Me - (spanish version)
15. Por la Eternidad :: For All Time

Hot Fuss (2004) The Killers

Hot Fuss features eleven nuggets of reel-you-in storytelling genius and musical nectar. These eleven tracks span from the "very Vegas like Ziggy came to town" first proper single release "Somebody Told Me"; "Mr Brightside" - a tale of jealousy that depicts that moment in a relationship when you realize that your other half might be playing away and this thought takes up residence in your psyche feeding the worst fears and visualisations your imagination can then throw at you. Youll find two-thirds of a murder trilogy in "Midnight Show", which starts off harking back to "Lipgloss" before veering into far darker territory than old Jarvis would ever have flirted with, in Pulp days at least, and "Jenny". These two are connected by the story of a murder of a girl by her jealous boyfriend. The first part of the trilogy, "Leave The Bourbon On The Shelf", will, you can be sure, make an appearance at some point in the future. Its a deliciously ambitious series that! belies the bands tender years. Elsewhere, meanwhile: "On Top" celebrates where Brandon feels the band is at, while stalkers tale "Andy Youre A Star" and "All These Things That Ive Done," saw Flowers realise his dream of using a gospel choir in their recordings.

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1. Jenny Was a Friend of Mine
2. Mr. Brightside
3. Smile Like You Mean It
4. Somebody Told Me
5. All These Things That I've Done
6. Andy, You're a Star
7. On Top
8. Change Your Mind
9. Believe Me Natalie
10. Midnight Show
11. Everything Will Be Alright

Who We Are (2008) Lifehouse

On its fourth full-length studio album, WHO WE ARE, the Los Angeles-based pop/rock trio Lifehouse stays steady on its adult-alternative course, offering up a guitar-driven post-grunge set that is ready-made for radio play. While this 2007 outing isn't a major departure from past Lifehouse releases, it does rock a little harder than its eponymous predecessor, a point hit home by the brooding opener, "Disarray," and the driving title track. Those worried that the band is going for Nickelback-like heaviness, however, will be appeased by the celebratory lead single, "First Time," and the chiming "Mesmerized," tunes that reinforce frontman Jason Wade's status as a remarkably consistent songsmith.

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1. Disarray
2. First Time
3. Whatever It Takes
4. Who We Are
5. Broken
6. Joke, The
7. Easier To Be
8. Make Me Over
9. Mesmerized
10. Bridges
11. Learn You Inside Out
12. Storm
13. Sign of Life

1. First Time [PBS Soundstage Performance] - (live)
2. Hangin' By A Moment [Nissan Live Sets On Yahoo!] - (live)
3. You And Me [Nissan Live Sets On Yahoo!] - (live)
4. From Where You Are [April 1, Roseland Ballroom in NYC] - (live)
5. Whatever It Takes [April 1, Roseland Ballroom in NYC] - (live)

Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (2004) Korn

GREATEST HITS VOL. 1 is a 17-track primer for Korn, a key force behind the "nu metal" tsunami that swept through pop music in the mid-to-late 1990s. Led by frontman (and former coroner's assistant) Jonathan Davis, these California natives weave low-tuned guitars, hip-hop-fueled bass lines, and bleak imagery into memorable songs like the bile-fueled stomp-fest "Right Now," goth-tinged "Alone I Break," and frenetically raw "Freak on a Leash."
Davis's struggle with family dysfunction is a consistent theme, from the band's self-titled 1994 debut (a foreboding "Clown"), right up through 2003's TAKE A LOOK IN THE MIRROR (an uber-heavy "Did My Time"). Korn also keeps pace with peers Marilyn Manson and Limp Bizkit (who both recorded unlikely covers) by adding a pair of new tracks--a faithful reading of Cameo's "Word Up!" and, in keeping with their anti-authoritarian bent, a slight tweaking of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall (Parts 1, 2, 3)." Fleshing out this package is a glimpse into the Korn concert experience via a DVD of a performance at New York City's CBGB, recorded in November of 2003.

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Track Listing
1. Word up!
2. Another Brick in the Wall (Parts 1, 2, 3)
3. Y'All Want a Single
4. Right Now
5. Did My Time
6. Alone I Break
7. Here to Stay
8. Trash
9. Somebody Someone
10. Make Me Bad
11. Falling Away From Me
12. Got the Life
13. Freak on a Leash
14. Twist
15. A.D.I.D.A.S.
16. Clown
17. Shoots and Ladders
18. Blind
19. Freak on a Leash - (Dante Ross mix, remix)

Friday, December 5, 2008

808's & Heartbreak (2008) Kanye West

West has decreed that all beats on 808S be derived from the Roland TR-808 for a more "tribal feel," and he distorts his voice at will, producing a surreal sound, one bordering on a robot having a mental breakdown. On this adventurous album, West is King Lear's Edgar, a sharp-minded philosopher lost in the forest of despair, unsure how to react, how to perceive reality. That's not to say that he's simply wallowing, even on the most despondent "Welcome to Heartbreak," a tribute to his mother. While 808S is an album that may be challenging at times, it's also often hypnotic and unquestionably catchy--basically, everything one might want from a Kanye West album.

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1. Say You Will
2. Welcome To Heartbreak
3. Heartless
4. Amazing
5. Love Lockdown
6. Paranoid
7. RoboCop
8. Street Lights
9. Bad News
10. See You In My Nightmares
11. Coldest Winter

The Script (2008) The Script

2008 release. Script is made up of three Irish lads from Dublin who are now currently based out of London, England. This 10 track album showcases the band's fine talent with a batch of beautifully written songs.

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1. "We Cry"
2. "Before The Worst"
3. "Talk You Down"
4. "The Man Who Can't Be Moved"
5. "Breakeven"
6. "Rusty Halo"
7. "The End Where I Begin"
8. "Fall For Anything"
9. "If You See Kay"
10. "I'm Yours"
11. "Anybody There" (Bonus Track)

2008 "General field" Grammy nominations

Record of the Year

* "Chasing Pavements" – Adele

* "Viva la Vida" – Coldplay

* "Bleeding Love" – Leona Lewis

* "Paper Planes" – M.I.A.

* "Please Read the Letter" – Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

Album of the Year

* Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends – Coldplay

* Tha Carter III – Lil Wayne

* Year of the Gentleman – Ne-Yo

* Raising Sand – Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

* In Rainbows – Radiohead

Song of the Year

* "American Boy" – Estelle, Keith Harris, John Legend, Josh Lopez, Caleb Speir, Kanye West &, songwriters (Estelle featuring Kanye West)
* "Chasing Pavements" – Adele & Eg White, songwriters (Adele)
* "I'm Yours" – Jason Mraz, songwriter (Jason Mraz)
* "Love Song" – Sara Bareilles, songwriter (Sara Bareilles)
* "Viva la Vida" – Coldplay, songwriters (Coldplay)

Best New Artist

* Adele
* Duffy
* Jonas Brothers
* Lady Antebellum
* Jazmine Sullivan

Only By The Night (2008) Kings of Leon

With their raw, organic sound, Tennessee's Kings of Leon emerged in 2003 as Southern rock for the indie-garage set, sort of a Strokes for the South. While there were hints of a new direction on their third album, BECAUSE OF THE TIMES, its follow-up, ONLY BY THE NIGHT, follows through with a near-reinvention of the Kings' sound. ONLY BY THE NIGHT could be mistaken for avant-indie cult heroes the Liars on a Southern vacation, as post-punk angularity, distorto-funk bass lines, and clattering percussion are processed through what sounds like the world's biggest fuzzbox. While there are old-glory moments of garagey abandon, most of these tracks sound like someone sat and carefully considered the best way to frame them. And that's what makes the difference between having a good band and making a good album.

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Track Listing
1. Closer
2. Crawl
3. Sex On Fire
4. Use Somebody
5. Manhattan
6. Revelry
7. 17
8. Notion
9. I Want You
10. Be Somebody
11. Cold Desert

Greatest Hits 93-03 (2004) 311

With its signature hybrid sound, 311 spawned scores of imitators and emerged as one of the best-loved and most enduring groups on the rap-metal scene. The band freely combines not only hip-hop and heavy metal, but liberal doses of reggae, funk, dub, Beach Boys-style harmonies, and Phish-like jam-band music. The Nebraska-based quintet steers clear of the sharp edges and angst-laden lyrics of contemporaries Limp Bizkit and Rage Against the Machine in favor of an all-inclusive, celebratory vibe. Starting with the Chili Peppers-esque punk-funk workout "Down" and progressing through the trippy Caribbean-tinged "Amber" to the surf/ska-influenced "Do You Right," GREATEST HITS '93-'03 comes as advertised, collecting all of the band's favorites into one non-stop party package.

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1. Down
2. Flowing
3. All Mixed Up
4. Amber
5. Come Original
6. Beautiful Disaster
7. Creatures (For a While)
8. Do You Right
9. I'll Be Here Awhile
10. You Wouldn't Believe
11. Transistor
12. Don't Stay Home
13. Home Brew
14. Beyond the Gray Sky
15. Love Song
16. How Do You Feel?
17. First Straw

This Is Me Then: The Best of Common (2008) Common

THIS IS ME THEN: THE BEST OF COMMON surveys the early career of the Chi-town artist formerly known as Sense. Drawing from his first three albums (CAN I BORROW A DOLLAR, RESURRECTION, and ONE DAY IT'LL ALL MAKE SENSE), this collection of 15 classic tracks gives a picture of Common's stylistic evolution. The earliest, first-album cuts show us an MC whose high-energy, conspicuously squeaky tongue-twister vocals and comedic subject matter mirrored a variety of hip-hop acts of the day (Das Efx, Redman, et al.). The RESURRECTION tracks mark a clear turning point--a move away from light-hearted content towards poetic maturity. "I Used to Love H.E.R.," with its airtight extended metaphor, remains one of the most poignant hip-hop songs of all time. By album three, Common had garnered respect from the likes of De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest, and his work heralded the arrival of a new kind of conscious super-MC, capable of speaking from the heart on subjects such as street crime ("Stolen Moments"), abortion ("Retrospective for Life"), religion ("G.O.D."), and coming to terms with one's adolescent past ("Reminding Me (of Sef)"). THIS IS ME THEN also includes the rarely heard "High Expectations" from the soundtrack to the 1997 film SOUL IN THE HOLE.

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Track Listing
1. Take It Ez
2. Breaker 1/9
3. Soul by the Pound
4. Charms Alarm
5. Heidi Hoe
6. I Used to Love H.E.R.
7. Book of Life
8. Resurrection
9. Thisisme
10. Retrospect For Life - (with Lauryn Hill)
11. Remidning Me (Of Sef) - (with Chantay Savage)
12. All Night Long - (with Erykah Badu)
13. G.O.D. (Gaining One's Definition) - (with Cee-Lo)
14. Stoplen Moments Pt.III - (with Q-Tip)
15. High Expectations

Freedom (2008) Akon

Freedom is the third studio album by singer, Akon. The album was originally named Acquitted. It was released on December 2, 2008, and as a digital download on December 1.

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Track Listing
1. I'm So Paid - (featuring Lil Wayne/Young Jeezy)
2. Right Now (Na Na Na)
3. Trouble Maker
4. We Don't Care
5. Go Go Dancer
6. Holla Holla - (featuring T-Pain)
7. Against The Grain - (featuring Ray Lavender)
8. Be With You
9. I Love It
10. Where Would We Go
11. Birthmark
12. Freedom
13. Sunny Day - (featuring Wyclef Jean)

David Archuleta (2008) David Archuleta

In the Spring of 2008, just barely past his 17th Birthday, David Archuleta, the soulful crooner with the cherub's face, found himself the talk of America, locked in a battle with rocker David Cook for AMERICAN IDOL's seventh season's grand prize. While he would wind up placing in the battle of the Davids, like many an AI runner-up, Archuleta suffered few long-term ill-effects as a budding pop artist. With an earnest, wryly mournful delivery, Archuleta was a natural for the pop love ballad and found a match in the perfectly wrought "Crush," the top ten antecedent to his debut self-titled album.

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1. "Crush" Jess Cates, David Hodges, Emanuel Kiriakou 3:32
2. "Touch My Hand" Steve Kipner, Steve McEwan, Wayne Wilkins 4:21
3. "Barriers" Steve Kipner, Steve McEwan, Wayne Wilkins 3:50
4. "My Hands" Zukhan Bey, James Fauntleroy, Emanuel Kiriakou 4:04
5. "A Little Too Not Over You" David Archuleta, Mathew Gerrard, Mike Krompass, Robbie Nevil 3:18
6. "You Can" Antonina Armato, Tim James 3:42
7. "Running" James Fauntleroy, Konttinen Risto, Wayne Nugent, Steven Russell, Dapo Torimiro 3:35
8. "Desperate" Andreas Carlsson, Desmond Child, Konstantin Rethwisch, Alexander Rethwisch 3:41
9. "To Be with You" Kara DioGuardi, Emanuel Kiriakou 3:25
10. "Don't Let Go" David Archuleta, JC Chasez, Jimmy Harry 3:47
11. "Your Eyes Don't Lie" Antonina Armato, Tim James, Devrim Karaoglu 3:04
12. "Angels" Guy Chambers, Robbie Williams 4:09

David Cook (2008) David Cook

In the epic David vs. David face-off at the end of AMERICAN IDOL's seventh season, teen pop sensation David Archuleta was decisively defeated by more experienced rock performer David Cook, who issued this 2008 self-titled debut a week after Archuleta's own album. Aided by a veritable army of veteran alt-rock songwriters, including Johnny Rzeznik (Goo Goo Dolls) and Raine Maida (Our Lady Peace), Cook shines brightest with "Light On," a soaring anthem co-penned by Chris Cornell (Soundgarden, Audioslave).

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Track Listing
1. Declaration
2. Heroes
3. Light On
4. Come Back to Me
5. Life on the Moon
6. Bar-ba-sol
7. Mr. Sensitive
8. Lie
9. I Did it for You
10. Avalanche
11. Permanent
12. A Daily Anthem
13. The Time of My Life (Bonus Track)

To Remember (2008) Josh Kelley

Latest album from Josh Kelley!

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Track listings:
Just to be Me
A Real Good Try
To Remember
Walk Right In
Under the Covers
More than Love
Secret Criminal
It Breaks My Heart
Kink in the Chain

Ghetto Rose (2008) Keke Wyatt

New single from R&B diva Keke Wyatt called "Ghetto Rose" taking over R&B radio in the US. In 2002 her debut album was nominated for the Soul Train Award for Best R&B/soul or rap new artist.

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Whoa, Nelly (2001) Nelly Furtado

On WHOA NELLY, young songstress Nelly Furtado defies expectations by mixing and matching styles and approaches. The overriding production aesthetic includes R&B/hip-hop loops, beats, and samples mated with pure pop touches and some quirky electronic swoops and lurches. Furtado's songs combine hip-hop attitude with occasional Latin rhythmic accents, but the most striking aspect of this recording is the lyrics.
While it wouldn't be difficult to imagine these arrangements being completely effective framing generic pop sentiments, Furtado places no constrictions on her lyrical muse, using unusual imagery, odd syntax, and inventive scenarios that immediately set her apart from the Top 40 crowd. References to a "Mobius strip," "proper grammar," and the "North American dream" are the rule rather than the exception in Furtado's pleasingly left-field style. Her vocals and the production are so seamless that if you're not paying attention, the unusual lyrics might slip right by. If that happens, Furtado will have made some real headway in subverting the pop mainstream.

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Track Listing
1. Hey, Man!
2. On the Radio (Remember the Days), ...
3. Baby Girl
4. Legend
5. I'm Like a Bird
6. Turn Off the Light
7. Trynna Finda Way
8. Party
9. Well, Well
10. My Love Grows Deeper Part 1
11. I Will Make U Cry
12. Scared of You - (Portuguese)

Let It Snow! (2003) Michael Bublé

1. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! - (with Michale Buble)
2. Christmas Song, The - (with Michale Buble)
3. Grown-up Christmas List - (with Michale Buble)
4. I'll Be Home For Christmas - (with Michale Buble)
5. White Christmas - (with Michale Buble)
6. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! - (Live, with Michale Buble)

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

2008 American Music Awards Winners and Performances

Performances at the American Music Awards:

Beyonce - Single Ladies
Leona Lewis - Better In Time
Alicia Keys featuring Queen Latifah and Kathleen Battle - Superwoman
Pink - Sober
Ne-Yo - Closer / Miss Independent
Christina Aguilera - Dirrty, Keeps Getting Better, Beautiful, Fighter, Genie In A Bottle, Ain't No Other Man

Pop/Rock Awards

Favorite Male Artist:

* Chris Brown

Favorite Female Artist:

* Rihanna

Favorite Band/Duo/Group:

* Daughtry

Favorite Album:

* As I Am - Alicia Keys

Country Music Awards

Favorite Male Artist:

* Brad Paisley

Favorite Female Artist:

* Taylor Swift

Favorite Band/Duo/Group:

* Rascal Flatts

Favorite Album:
* Carnival Ride - Carrie Underwood

Rap/Hip-Hop Music

Favorite Male Artist:

* Kanye West

Favorite Band/Duo/Group:

* Three 6 Mafia

Favorite Album:

* Graduation - Kanye West

Soul/Rythm & Blues Music

Favorite Male Artist:

* Usher

Favorite Female Artist:

* Rihanna

Favorite Album:

* As I Am - Alicia Keys


Favorite Album:

* Alvin and the Chipmunks

Alternative Rock Music

Favorite Artist:

* Linkin Park

Adult Contemporary Music

Favorite Artist:

* Jordin Sparks

Latin Music

Favorite Artist:

*Enrique Iglesias

Contemporary Inspirational

Favorite Artist:

* Third Day

T-Mobile Breakthrough Artist

* Jonas Brothers

Artist of the Year

* Chris Brown

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Sugababes - No Can Do

Allure (1997) Allure

This debut by an all-female R&B quartet with four-part harmonies reminiscent of En Vogue is the first album on Mariah Carey's Crave Records. Like Carey, Allure's crossover success can be attributed to its blend of R&B with hip-hop beats, and to an album that includes both hot dance tracks and smooth ballads. The album gets an added boost from production by the Track Masters (Poke and Tone) and guest appearances by L.L. Cool J, Nas and Raekwon.

The lead-off single, "Head Over Heels," lays Allure's vocals over the MC Shan classic "The Bridge." Popular samples abound, giving the music an instant appeal. "Anything You Want" uses the O'Jays' "Cry Together" for its background, and "No Question" builds on Mtume's "Juicy Fruit." Paying further tribute to the old school, Allure teams up with 112 for a remake of Lisa Lisa's "All Cried Out."

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Track Listing
1. Introduction
2. Anything You Want
3. You're Gonna Love Me
4. Head Over Heals - (featuring Nas)
5. No Question - (featuring LL Cool J)
6. All Cried Out - (with 112)
7. Story, The
8. Come Into My House
9. When You Need Someone
10. Give You All I Got - (featuring Raekwon)
11. I'll Give You Anything
12. Wanna Get With You
13. Last Chance
14. Mama Said

Chain Letter (2005) Brooke Valentine

While CHAIN LETTER boasts some high-profile cameos, not one of them is phoned in or wasted. Valentine's sultry, decisive voice stands on its own, and guests are only brought in as embellishments. The late Dirt McGirt (AKA Ol' Dirty Bastard) offers another reminder of why he was such a sought-after collaborator on "Blah Blah Blah," an immediate classic where Valentine spins around the usual male "playa" song as she toys with a pleading boyfriend. Throughout the record, Valentine possesses the control of Janet Jackson at the top of her game, whether touting her own sexuality ("Taste of Dis") or giving the ultimate kiss-off to an ex ("I Want You Dead"). A hip-hop chanteuse with spark to spare, Brooke Valentine opens her solo career on a strong note with CHAIN LETTER.

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1. Girlfight (featuring Big Boi and Lil Jon)
2. Taste of Dis
3. Long As You Come Home
4. Blah Blah Blah (featuring Dirt McGirt)
5. Cover Girl
6. Playa (featuring Jermaine Dupri) 7. Ghetto Superstarz
8. Tell Me Why You Don't
9. Million Bucks (featuring Queenz Deliz)
10. I Want You Dead
11. Dying Of A Broken Heart
12. Pass You By
13. Thrill Of The Chase
14. Laugh Til I Cry
15. American Girl
16. Whatcha Lookin At (featuring Kilo aka J.R.K.)

Evolver (2008) John Legend

The third full-length from John Legend finds the neo-soul singer-songwriter mixing it up a bit. Whereas its predecessor, the excellent ONCE AGAIN, stayed the course of smooth yet passionate retro-themed R&B, EVOLVER experiments with different sounds and styles. The lead single, "Green Light," with its amped-up programmed beat, synths, and cameo from Andre 3000, sounds more like a 21st-century club jam than an old-school throwback. Reggae, ballads, adult contemporary, and digitized contemporary R&B all make their way into the album's diverse musical stew. Whether it's the mellow, low-key funk of "It's Over," the synth-pop of "Satisfaction" (one can imagine the song being performed by Depeche Mode), or the guest spots from Brandy, Estelle, and Kanye West, EVOLVER keeps the listener guessing. It may not have the consistency of Legend's first two releases, but its cornucopia of interesting sounds and directions offer something for everyone.

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1. Good Morning Intro
2. Green Light - (featuring Andre 3000)
3. It's Over - (featuring Kanye West)
4. Everybody Knows
5. Quickly - (featuring Brandy)
6. Cross The Line
7. No Other Love - (featuring Estelle)
8. This Time
9. Satisfaction
10. Take Me Away
11. Good Morning
12. I Love, You Love
13. If You're Out There

Ciara Wins Billboard's Woman of the Year Award

No Doubt Regrouping For Tour, Album

No Doubt will return to the road in 2009 while it finishes its first studio album in seven years. The group made the announcement via an instant message transcript posted on its official Web site, but did not provide specific details.

"I have cabin fever. Maybe we should play some shows or something," guitarist Tom Dumont wrote. Vocalist Gwen Stefani answered, "I think we should go out now. I don't think we should wait. Pack up the babies and get a bunch of nannies. So fun! Would be so inspiring to get out there and play all those songs again."

The group then discusses how continuing to write new music on the road would be inspiring, and vows to alert management to its plans.

No Doubt has been in the studio on and off throughout 2008. But Stefani's participation has been limited of late, having given birth to her second son in late August.

The group hasn't played live since mid-2004, and its last studio album was 2001's "Rock Steady." Since then, Stefani has released two critically acclaimed solo albums, while the other group members have pursued solo and session work as well as producing. Most recently, they appear on Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland's solo album, "'Happy' in Galoshes."

Funhouse (2008) P!nk

Pink's insistently hooky, attitude-filled pop-rock has kept the singer a fixture on the radio and on singles charts since the early 2000s. The artist's fifth effort, FUNHOUSE, doesn't tamper with the formula: Pink's powerhouse vocals and in-your-face approach, backed by stadium-sized production, are in full effect on all 12 tracks. Even though the album deals primarily with aftermath of her divorce and includes serious moments of self-confrontation like "Sober," fans needn't worry that Pink has lost any of her chutzpah.
If anything, there's an increased sense of confidence and newfound liberation on tracks like the chest-thumping "So What" and the mischievous, bouncing "Bad Influence." In softer moments, like the ballad "I Don't Believe You" and the soulful "One Wrong Foot," Pink channels her personal experience into expressions that carry no less strength or muscle. But FUNHOUSE is a pop album first and foremost, and its catchy choruses, rollicking beats, and memorable vocal performances won't disappoint.

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Track Listing
1. So What
2. Sober
3. I Don't Believe You
4. One Foot Wrong
5. Please Don't Leave Me
6. Bad Influence
7. Funhouse
8. Crystal Ball
9. Mean
10. It's All Your Fault
11. Ave Mary A
12. Glitter In the Air

Justified (2004) Justin Timberlake

JUSTIFIED may represent Justin Timberlake's attempt to break out of the boy band mold and be taken seriously as a musician, but N Sync and, more specifically, ex-beau Britney Spears continue to serve as red flag reminders of these specific times. Ballads like "Never Again" and "Nothin' Else" bear the markings of classic break-up songs but, far from licking his wounds throughout the rest of this debut, Timberlake includes a number of cuts that celebrate being single including the Timbaland-produced cut "Right for Me" and equally the thumping "Rock Your Body." Other names this teen idol nabbed in a quest for credibility are red-hot producers the Neptunes and P. Diddy.
In keeping an R&B element as the touchstone for this debut, Timberlake dishes out a number of surprisingly stellar songs including the very mellow, Stevie Wonder-flavored "Nothin' Else," Latin-soaked "Senorita," and infectious "Like I Love You." In delivering such a mature record, Justin Timberlake has created a springboard to bigger and better future projects.

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Track Listing
1. Senorita
2. Like I Love You - (with The Clipse)
3. What You Got, (Oh No)
4. Take It From Here
5. Cry Me a River
6. Rock Your Body
7. Nothin' Else
8. Last Night
9. Still on My Brain
10. Take Me Now, (And She Said) - (featuring Janet Jackson)
11. Right For Me
12. Let's Take a Ride
13. Never Again

CONTROVERSY (1981) Prince

CONTROVERSY is the fourth release from Prince, and it continues in the tradition of his debut DIRTY MIND, with funky rhythms, throbbing electronic accents and titillating lyrics. Featuring the successful title cut and the club hit "Private Joy," CONTROVERSY works off Prince's infamous juxtaposition of sex and religion. This is explicitly depicted in songs such as "Annie Christian" and the sultry ballad "Do Me, Baby" where during a long instrumental sequence, his sighs blatantly indicate carnal activity. As with many of his recordings, Prince maintains complete creative control here by handling all the writing, playing and production himself.

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Track Listing
1. Controversy
2. Sexuality
3. Do Me, Baby
4. Private Joy
5. Ronnie, Talk to Russia
6. Let's Work
7. Annie Christian
8. Jack U Off

Paper Trail (2008) T.I.

After a year on lock-down for illegal machine gun possession, the self-proclaimed king of the south channels his personal strife into his introspective sixth studio album, PAPER TRAIL. The title stems from T.I.'s decision to return to writing his rhymes down on paper; the lyrical craftsmanship shows as the ATL icon delves into personal issues--speaking on his legal troubles ("Ready For Whatever"), his prison experience ("You Ain't Missing Nothing"), and his fallen homies ("Dead and Gone"). T.I. also collaborates with former rival Ludacris for the grandiose "On Top of the World," speaks on the cannibalistic relationship between rappers' personal lives and their art on "My Life Your Entertainment," and joins Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Lil Wayne for the bombastic posse cut "Swagga Like Us." Production comes courtesy of Drumma Boy, DJ Toomp, Rob Knox, Jim Jonsin, Just Blaze, and Swizz Beatz, among others.

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Track Listing
1. 56 Bars (Intro)
2. I'm Illy
3. Ready For Whatever
4. On Top Of The World - (featuring B.O.B./Ludacris)
5. Live Your Life - (featuring Rihanna)
6. Whatever You Like
7. No Matter What
8. My Life Your Entertainment - (featuring Usher)
9. Porn Star
10. Swing Ya Rag - (featuring Swizz Beatz)
11. What Up, What's Haapnin'
12. Every Chance I Get
13. Swagga Like Us - (with Jay-Z, featuring Kanye West/Lil Wayne)
14. Slide Show - (featuring John Legend)
15. You Ain't Missin' Nothing
16. Dead And Gone - (featuring Justin Timberlake)
17. 56 Bars (Intro)
18. Whatever You Like
19. Slide Show

The Story Goes... (2005) Craig David

The Story Goes... is the third album by British singer Craig David, released in 2005 via Warner Music in the UK. The album entered (and peaked) in the UK Albums Chart at #5 in late 2005. The album peaked at #9 on the Australian ARIA Albums Chart in mid-2005. It was not released in USA. The reason being was because people at Atlantic Records were not sure if the album was right material for America

Download this album via MEGAUPLOAD:

1. "All the Way"
2. "Don't Love You No More (I'm Sorry)"
3. "Hypnotic"
4. "Separate Ways"
5. "Johnny"
6. "Do You Believe in Love"
7. "One Last Dance"
8. "Unbelievable"
9. "Just Chillin'"
10. "Thief in the Night"
11. "Take 'Em Off" (produced by The Underdogs)
12. "My Love Don't Stop" (produced by The Underdogs)
13. "Never Should Have Walked Away"
14. "Let Her Go"

Thriller 25 (2008) Michael Jackson

Thriller 25 is a 25th Anniversary special edition reissue of the Michael Jackson album Thriller, the world's best selling album. The prospect of a "second chapter" to Thriller was first publicly discussed on Access Hollywood in late 2006. Jackson said he would discuss the idea with collaborator It was released in Australia on February 8, 2008, then internationally on February 11, 2008 and the following day in the United States.

Download via MEGAUPLOAD:

Track listing

1. "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'"
2. "Baby Be Mine"
3. "The Girl Is Mine" (with Paul McCartney)
4. "Thriller"
5. "Beat It"
6. "Billie Jean"
7. "Human Nature"
8. "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)"
9. "The Lady In My Life"
Thriller 25 bonus tracks

10. "Voice-Over Session from "Thriller" Vincent Price (Temperton) – 0:24
11. "The Girl Is Mine 2008" with (Jackson/ – 3:11
12. "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) 2008" with (Jackson/ – 4:17
13. "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008" with Akon (Jackson/Akon/Tuinfort) – 4:11
14. "Beat It 2008" with Fergie (Jackson) – 4:10
15. "Billie Jean 2008" Kanye West Remix" (Jackson) – 4:34
16. "For All Time" (Sherwood/Porcaro) – 4:03

Catfights and Spotlights (2008) Sugababes

Catfights and Spotlights is the sixth studio album by British pop band Sugababes, released by Island Records in the Netherlands and Ireland on 17 October 2008 and in the United Kingdom on 20 October 2008. It was primarily produced by Klas Åhlund, Steve Booker and Orson, with additional contribution from Si Hulbert, The Invisible Men, Melvin Kuiters, and Max Martin.

Download via MEGAUPLOAD:

1. "Girls" (Allen Toussaint, Anna McDonald, Nicole Jenkinson, Keisha Buchanan) — 3:11 1
2. "You on a Good Day" (Klas Åhlund, K. Buchanan) — 3:26
3. "No Can Do" (Jason Pebworth, Jon Shave, George Astasio, Geeki) — 3:11 2
4. "Hanging on a Star" (J. Pebworth, J. Shave, G. Astasio, Geeki, K. Buchanan) — 3:22
5. "Side Chick" (K. Åhlund, Alex Purple, K. Buchanan) — 3:40
6. "Unbreakable Heart" (K. Åhlund, Max Martin) — 3:52
7. "Sunday Rain" (Steve Booker, Karen Poole, K. Buchanan, H. Range, A. Berrabah) — 4:01
8. "Every Heart Broken" (K. Åhlund) — 4:09
9. "Beware" (K. Åhlund, A. Berrabah) — 2:55
10. "Nothing's as Good as You" (J. Pebworth, J. Shave, G. Astasio, Geeki) — 3:03
11. "Sound of Goodbye" (S. Booker, K. Poole, K. Buchanan) — 4:23
12. "Can We Call a Truce" (K. Åhlund, A. Purple, Deanna, K. Buchanan) — 4:33

Bonus tracks

13. "About You Now" (Acoustic Version) (Cathy Dennis, Lukasz Gottwald) — 2:46
14. "She's Like a Star" (with Taio Cruz) (Taio Cruz) — 2:43

Thursday, November 20, 2008

August and Everything After (1993) Couting Crows

With their stunning craftsmanship and a classic sound DEEPLY rooted in whistlestop America, the anthems and rural overtones which distinguish the songs on AUGUST AND EVERYTHING AFTER evoke the same kind of visceral reaction which once greeted The Band. But AUGUST AND EVERYTHING AFTER is not an exercise in nostalgia.

Download via ZSHARE:

1. Round Here
2. Omaha
3. Mr. Jones
4. Perfect Blue Buildings
5. Anna Begins
6. Time and Time Again
7. Rain King
8. Sullivan Street
9. Ghost Train
10. Raining in Baltimore
11. Murder of One, A

Aliens & Rainbows (2008) Ferras

ALIENS & RAINBOWS, the first album from singer-songwriter Ferras, brims with sprightly pop hooks and lush, elaborate production. Ferras's piano-driven tunes borrow from the Beatles, Elton John, and adult contemporary of the AMERICAN IDOL variety, and as such the music is incredibly catchy, layered, and fun to listen to. "Liberation Day," the aching ballad "Rush," and the sweeping title track are among the highlights on this promising debut.

Download via ZSHARE:

Track Listing
1. Liberation Day
2. Aliens & Rainbows
3. Something About You
4. Hollywood's Not America
5. Everybody Bleeds the Same
6. Rush
7. My Beautiful Life
8. Soul Rock
9. Blame, Blame, Blame
10. Dear God
11. Don't Give Up
12. Take My Lips

Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces (2007) Seether

With 2007's FINDING BEAUTY IN NEGATIVE SPACES, the Los Angeles-based heavy-rock band Seether tones down the dark mood of KARMA & EFFECT in favor of a more energetic, straight-ahead sound. Reinvigorated by a stint in rehab, South African-born vocalist/guitarist Shaun Morgan, whose singing often recalls that of Metallica's James Hetfield, has an enthusiastic intensity that's evident on the swaggering "Fake It" and the urgent "6 Gun Quota," making for one of Seether's most lively albums.

Download via ZSHARE:

1. Like Suicide
2. Fake It
3. Breakdown
4. Fmlyhm
5. Fallen
6. Rise Above This
7. No Jesus Christ
8. Six Gun Quota
9. Walk Away From the Sun
10. Eyes of the Devil
11. Don't Believe
12. Waste

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Jennifer Hudson (2008) Jennifer Hudson

Debut album from Oscar-winning actress/singer Jennifer Hudson.

Download via ZSHARE:

1. Spotlight
2. If This Isn’t Love
3. Pocketbook featuring Ludacris
4. Giving Myself
5. What’s Wrong (Go Away) featuring T-Pain
6. My Heart
7. You Pulled Me Through
8. I’m His Only Woman featuring Fantasia
9. Can’t Stop The Rain
10. We Gon’ Fight
11. Invisible
12. And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going (Highlights Version) Dreamgirls (Motion Picture Soundtrack
13. Jesus Promised Me A Home Over There

Beautiful U R (2008) Deborah Cox

R&B diva is back with a new single from an upcoming album. Check it out via ZSHARE:

Saturday, September 20, 2008

R&B singer Christina Milian signs with MySpace Records

R&B/pop singer-songwriter Christina Milian, who departed the label Def Jam in 2006, has signed a deal with MySpace Records, Billboard has learned.

Her label debut is due next spring. The first single, "Us Against The World," is a "cinematic power ballad" and will be available via the social networking site on October 6.

"I've been out of the game for one and a half years, and I think I'm long overdue for a comeback, so I'm treating this album like it's my last chance to make an impression. I'm competing with myself and being very detailed," the 26-year-old Cuban-American told Billboard. "Before, I had a label telling me what direction to go in. Now, it's my choice, so I'm being very particular about it and I'm really excited."

Kanye West is the sole guest artist so far, but Milian, who wrote most of the album, hints at potential collaborative surprises down the line.

Milian's stint with Def Jam did not end well. She was dropped just a month after the release of her third studio album, 2006's "So Amazin'," allegedly because of poor sales. The set has shifted more than 163,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen Soundscan.

But she views the MySpace deal as a chance for a fresh start. "I have a lot of support from my peers. I have lots of people that love me and want the best for me," she said. "Sometimes things don't work out the right way, but I know I work my butt off on my end. As long as you know you worked hard, you feel accomplished. Thankfully, I took the time off to check out what's going on and now I'm back, and MySpace is allowing me to do tons of different things creatively."

Milian will appear on the big screen in the romantic comedy "The Ghosts of Girlfriends," starring Matthew McConaughey and scheduled to hit theaters in February. She is featured as the lead in a live-action film made for the EA videogame "Need for Speed," due November 28.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Do You Know (2008) Jessica Simpson

With 2008's DO YOU KNOW, singer/actress Jessica Simpson wanders from her comfortable pop confines into country territory for a set of twangy crossover tunes. Born and raised in Texas, Simpson certainly has more built-in country cred than many performers, and she uses it to offer up an appealing album proudly in the Shania Twain/Faith Hill vein. Although many of these songs feature pedal-steel guitar, fiddle, and other telltale country instrumentation (see the lively opener, "Come On Over"), Simpson never pretends that these tracks are anything but Nashville-honed pop numbers. Simpson also uses DO YOU KNOW as way to return to her Christian-music roots, as most readily embodied by the celebratory "Pray Out Loud." The record's crowning moment, however, is easily the title track, both written by and featuring the legendary Dolly Parton, who helps to cap off DO YOU KNOW with an extra dose of energy and passion. While some country traditionalists may scoff at Simpson's Music City makeover, the album is remarkably assured, and stands as one of the pop star's finest outings.

Download this album via ZHSARE:

Track Listing

1. Come On Over
2. Remember That
3. Pray Out Loud
4. You're My Sunday
5. Sipping On History
6. Still Beautiful
7. Still Don't Stop Me
8. When I Loved You Like That
9. Might As Well Be Making Love
10. Man Enough
11. Do You Know - (featuring Dolly Parton)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Janet's Tour Is A Big Hit On The Road

In the fad-hungry world of pop music, seven years is a lifetime.

Many who make it to the top of the charts one year will be nothing but a frothy memory seven years after their career climax.

But Janet Jackson -- who launched her first tour in seven years Wednesday night with a high-voltage performance at GM Place -- has a secure place in the pop world. The soft-spoken diva has a fan base and track record that allow her the rare privelege of hiding from the spotlight for years at a time before breaking out again.

But when she decides it's time for a tour, Ms. Jackson makes sure it's done right. And when she promises fans the show is going to be packed with hits, costumes and dancers, she doesn't disappoint. Within the first 10 minutes of the show, Jackson powered through four hits, covering material that spanned an impressive 22-year range. The opening set made it abundantly clear that Jackson has weathered many different musical trends and eras, but has always remained an individual.

Blasting off with The Pleasure Principle, off her 1986 breakthrough album, Control, Jackson quickly set the tone for a show that had a serious dance-club party vibe. The 42-year-old danced and sang her way through What Have You Done for Me Lately and onto Feedback, the lead single off her most recent album, Discipline.

With an ear-piercing blast of pyrotechnics, a fog of thick cloud and dancers that popped up out of the stage and runway, Jackson proved within the first minutes that she didn't choose the low-budget route for her Rock Witchu Tour.

The costume changes came fast and furious, ranging from futuristic space wear to a sailor-inspired number that included a curious corset to a long red sequined gown -- which she wore for her slowed-down set of four ballads (including Come Back to Me, Let's Wait Awhile and Again).

The crowd -- which didn't quite fill the stadium -- was on the quiet side to begin with, but exploded with high-pitched cheers for mega-hits like Nasty, Miss You Much and Together Again.

But it was after that last tune -- Janet's eighth No. 1 hit on the Billboard charts -- that the audience went wild.

Jackson stood alone, at the end of the runway, making expressions of gratitude and allowing a few tears to roll down her cheeks.

Britney Makes December Date For 'Circus'

Fresh off winning three top awards at last weekend's MTV Video Music Awards, Britney Spears has confirmed she will release a new album before year's end. "Circus" is due Dec. 2 via Jive; the first single is "Womanizer," produced by the Outsyders.

Among the other contributors are Dr. Luke, who wrote and produced the title cut, Danja, Guy Sigsworth, Max Martin and Bloodshy & Avant. The album's release coincides with Spears' 27th birthday.

Last month, Spears told OK Magazine of the new album, "I think it is more urban," adding that she'd been writing everyday on a piano in her living room.

"Circus" is the follow-up to last year's "Blackout," which has sold 894,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The project was largely overshadowed by Spears' tabloid-fodder personal life and her disastrous performance of the single "Gimme More" during the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards in Las Vegas.

Polaroids: A Greatest Hits Collection (2004) Shawn Colvin

Grammy-winner Shawn Colvin came up on the East Coast folk scene in the '80s, finally scoring a major label deal toward the end of that decade. Despite consistently strong work centered around her resilient voice and folk-rock songwriting, she didn't hit it big until her 1996 album A FEW SMALL REPAIRS, which put her on the pop map, though the singer-songwriter crowd had been cooing her praises for years.

Download this album via MEGAUPLOAD:

Track Listing
1. Steady On
2. Diamond in the Rough
3. Shotgun Down the Avalanche
4. Round of Blues
5. Polaroids
6. I Don't Know Why
7. Every Little Thing (He) Does Is Magic
8. This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)
9. Sunny Came Home
10. You and the Mona Lisa
11. Get Out of This House
12. Facts About Jimmy, The
13. Whole New You
14. Matter of Minutes, A
15. I'll Be Back - (Bonus Track)

August Rush (2007) August Rush Soundtrack

For the soundtrack to the 2007 drama AUGUST RUSH, the filmmakers enlisted an impressive array of talent to enhance the story of a musical prodigy and his long-lost parents. Highlights of the collection include the gentle, folk-tinged "This Time," one of a few tracks performed by actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and "Ritual Dance," a deft six-string number by Kaki King, who served as a guitar-playing double for actor Freddie Highmore.

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Track Listing
1. Main Title - Mark Mancina/Hollywood Studio Symphony
2. Break - Steve Erdody/Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Prelude From Partita No.3)
3. Moondance - Jonathan Rhys Meyers
4. This Time - Jonathan Rhys Meyers
5. Bari Improv - Kaki King
6. Ritual Dance - Kaki King
7. Raise It Up - Jamia Simone Nash/Impact Repertory Theatre
8. Dueling Guitars - Doug Smith/Heitor Pereira
9. Something Inside - Steve Erdody/Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Cello Concerto In E Minor, Op.85, Adagio-Moderato)
10. August's Rhapsody - Mark Mancina/Hollywood Studio Symphony (Includes an Interpolation Of 'Moondance')
11. Someday - John Legend
12. King of the Earth - John Ondrasik
13. God Bless the Child - Chris Botti/Paula Cole
14. La Bamba - Leon Thomas III
15. Bonus Track 1 - Various Artists

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Natasha Bedingfield, Pussycat Dolls, Black Eyed Peas, Eric West, Hanson attend "Fashion Rocks" Pre-Party

Spotted at the big pre-party to Sunday's Fashion Rocks show was Natasha Bedingfield, the boys of Hanson, Tyra's BFF Miss Jay Alexander, Eric West, The Pussycat Dolls, Zachary Levi, One Republic, Will.I.Am of The Black Eyed Peas, and many more.

Check out all the latest celebrity photos taken straight from the red carpet at last night's celebrity studded event.

Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls performing on stage at the Fashion Rocks pre-party hosted by Condé Nast Media Group.

Singer Natasha Bedingfield at the Fashion Rocks pre-party.

The band members of Hanson at the Fashion Rocks pre-party.

Eric West at the Fashion Rocks pre-party.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Still One In A Million

It’s been 7 years since Aaliyah’s untimely death. But, she’s still one in a million.

Aaliyah, pronounced Ah-Lee-Yah, burst onto the music scene in 1994 at the age of 15 with her debut album Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number. By 2001, she was on the verge of super stardom as a budding actress and R&B veteran when tragedy struck. On August 25, 2001 Aaliyah was taken from us leaving behind her best album ever: the self-titled Aaliyah living up to the promise of her name, highest, most exalted one.

Aaliyah Dana Haughton was born January 16, 1979 in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. At the age of four, her family relocated to Detroit, Michigan. There, Aaliyah attended a Catholic school, Gesu Elementary, located on the north-west side of Detroit. Even at the young age of six, Aaliyah realized her potential, when she auditioned for a role in her elementary school play Annie. Although her role was small, Aaliyah was inspired to sing from that day forward. She started to perform at school functions and talent shows around the Detroit area. At age 8, Aaliyah began making a name for herself as a vocalist outside of family affairs and school events as she began singing at weddings. By age 10, Aaliyah began working with a vocal coach. The hard work paid off as Aaliyah landed a spot on Star Search hosted by Ed McMahon. On the show she sang “My Funny Valentine,” a song her mother performed often. Like many others before her, Aaliyah lost. While that was a mild setback, her uncle, Barry Hankerson, came to the rescue that same year. Barry arranged for Aaliyah to perform with his former wife, R&B diva Gladys Knight. That year, Aaliyah performed with Knight and enjoyed a five night run at Bally’s Las Vegas Casino.

The following year, Barry formed the record company Blackground Records and signed a distribution deal with Jive Records. He signed Aaliyah as his first artist and introduced her to R. Kelly, then a young artist he was managing. At the age of 14, while still attending the Detroit High School of the Performing Arts, Aaliyah recorded her debut album, Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number. Kelly wrote and produced nearly every song on the album. The contrast between her relaxed vocals and harder, urban rhythms was intriguing and caught the ear of many. The album produced US Top 10 singles "Back & Forth" and "At Your Best (You Are Love)". While still in school and recording, Aaliyah found time to appear in an advertising campaign for Tommny Hilfiger jeans where she met her best friend, Kidada Jones, Quicy Jones’ daughter. That same year, after the nature of their relationship came under fire in the media, Aaliyah ended her partnership with Kelly and searched for a fresh sound until she came across a demo tape of producer Timbaland. In 1996 Aaliyah collaborated with Timbaland to make her second album, the critically acclaimed One In A Million which was certified double platinum. During the success of her sophomore album, Aaliyah continued to attend the Detroit High School for Fine and Performing Arts. She graduated from school in 1997 with a 4.0 G.P.A.

With the success of her second album, soundtrack work followed. Aaliyah contributed the song “Journey to the Past” to the movie soundtrack of Anastasia which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song. Although the song did not win the award, Aaliyah was elated to perform the song at the 1998 Oscars, making her one of the youngest to ever perform an Oscar-nominated song in the production's history. Aaliyah scored again in 1999 with the hit song “Are You That Somebody?,” from the movie Dr. Doolittle which was nominated for the 1999 Grammy award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.

In 1999, Aaliyah began filming her screen debut, Romeo Must Die, alongside Kung Fu superstar Jet Li. In it she played the part of Trish O’Day, the daughter of a family oriented gangster. Romeo Must Die was a solid hit in the box office. The movie was released on March 24, 2000 and debuted at #1 in the box office. The film grossed over $58 million. "Try Again", taken from the movie soundtrack, went to the top of the US singles chart in June 2000 and propelled the soundtrack album to double-platinum certification. In 2000, “Try Again” won two MTV awards for Best Female Video and Best Video from a Film. Movie producer Joel Silver was so impressed with Aaliyah's performance in Romeo Must Die, he decided to sign her up for the Matrix II and III. Aaliyah's acting skills also earned her the leading role in Anne Rice's Queen of the Damned, #1 in box office sales for the opening weekend.

In 2001, while simultaniously filming Queen of the Damned, Aaliyah recorded her third album. On July 17, 2001, Aaliyah, her first album in more than five years was released. The self-titled album, which demonstrated a new maturity and confidence, debuted at number 2 on the US Billboard album chart and went on to sell over 2.4 million copies worldwide.

Tragedy struck in August 2001 when, after filming her second video, "Rock The Boat," in the Bahamas, Aaliyah and various members of her record company attempted to fly home. The small light aircraft crashed claiming the lives of Aaliyah and her entourage.

Since her untimely death in 2001, Aaliyah has maintained a strong presence. Blackground Records released the posthumous album I Care 4 U, on December 10, 2002 - a definitive collection of Aaliyah's greatest hits as well as six unreleased tracks including the aptly titled single "Miss You," later remix and dedicated to Aaliyah by Jay-Z. Despite her presence, her work has not gone unnoticed. Most recently, Aaliyah was awarded with a Billboard award for Best Female R&B earlier this month. In 2002, she picked up two American Music Awards for Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist and Favorite Soul/R&B Album In 2001, Aaliyah won a Soul Train Award for Female R&B/Soul Single ("Rock The Boat"). "Rock The Boat" also won the Best R&B/Soul Single, Solo award and R&B/Soul or Rap Song of the Year at the Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards.

Celebrities Remembrance Of Aaliyah:

"She was the best person I ever knew. ... I never met a person like her in my life," Dash said, his voice breaking with emotion. "Every day that we were together, we cherished. Every memory — every day was a special event, whether it was going to a store or going to a movie or just sitting in a house. Wherever we were was like our own little party, in our own little world."

"We were definitely gonna be married. As soon as she had time, we were getting married — like after 'The Matrix,' " he said. "She was the one — she was definitely the one for me. It wasn't an official proposal, we had just talked about it, you know?" - Damon Dash, then boyfriend

"We always knew Aaliyah could be something special. She came out of the womb special." - Jomo Hankerson, Aaliyah's cousin and Blackground Records exec

"Aaliyah was a temple of excitement, joy and peace. To me, she was my little sister, my musical inspiration ... your music will always live on through me." – Timbaland

"I'd like Aaliyah to be remembered as a role model for young women who were out there trying to achieve their goals in life, to stay focused, and you don't have to compromise yourself as a woman to do what you want to do. And to always just follow your dreams, be true to yourself, and be humble and kind to other people because it reflets and it's a good thing. Aaliyah was a great person."
- Fatima (her choreographer)

"If there's one thing I could say about Aaliyah, it's that she was consistent and never egotistical. She was a beautiful spirit that is truly missed."
- Angie Stone

"She was one of those individuals that would light up a room. She always greeted you with a smile. Her time was coming; [she] was just about to explode."
- P. Diddy

"To the world and to the fans Aaliyah was known as Aaliyah, but to us, her extended family, was known as babygirl. And I think that what we got to learn out of this is to appreciate eachother while we're here on earth, and to never take for granted that someone will be here tomorrow. And we're going to keep Aaliyah's legacy alive, and I didn't write anything because I felt like I had to come from the heart. And I love you Aaliyah, you're forever missed.
- Missy Elliott @ '01 MTV VMA's

Madonna Starts 'Sticky And Sweet' Tour In Wales

As Madonna kicked off her international "Sticky and Sweet" tour Saturday night in Cardiff, Wales, she took a none-too subtle swipe at the presumptive Republican nominee for U.S. president.

Amid a four-act show at the packed Millennium Stadium, a video interlude carried images of destruction, global warming, Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, Zimbabwe's authoritarian President Robert Mugabe -- and U.S. Senator John McCain. Another sequence, shown later, pictured slain Beatle John Lennon, followed by climate activist Al Gore, Mahatma Gandhi and finally McCain's Democratic rival Barack Obama.

The rest of the show had the usual Madonna fixtures: sequins, fishnets, and bondage-style outfits drawn from the 3,500 items of clothing reportedly whipped together by 36 designers specifically for the tour. Dancers sauntered across stage in top hats and tail coats, and Madonna tried her hand at break-dancing and pole-dancing.

Some 40,000 fans, many in pink cowboy hats and boas, were treated to a heavy metal version of "Borderline," while "La Isla Bonita" served as backdrop for a flamenco routine. The show, billed as a musical mishmash of "gangsta pimp," Romanian folk, rave, and dance, was an homage to Madonna's continuous reinventions over the past three decades.

She took a playful take on her variegated career, mocking dancers dressed as her previous incarnations -- including the "Material Girl" and "Blonde Ambition"-- before they sank into the stage to the tune of "She's Not Me." Madonna finished off the concert with her thumping "Give it 2 Me" from her new urban-inspired album, "Hard Candy."

Fall Out Boy Sets 'Deux' For November

Fall Out Boy will release its fifth album, "Folie a Deux," Nov. 4 via Island, the same day as the U.S. presidential election. The project was heralded yesterday (Aug. 25) with the release of an online mixtape, "Welcome to the New Administration."

On it were five Fall Out Boy demos expected to appear on the album, including "Lake Effect Kid," "America's Sweethearts," "I Don't Care (27)," "ALPHAdog and OMEGAlomaniac" and "Catch Me if You Can/Proclamation of Emancipation," the latter featuring Gym Class Heroes' Travis McCoy.

"Folie a Deux" is the follow-up to 2007's "Infinity on High," which has sold 1.3 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.