Thursday, July 31, 2008

Jody Watley stops by and talks music with The Drop

Katy Perry Starts Sixth Week Atop Hot 100

Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl" begins a sixth week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, with digital sales of 151,000 copies keeping the song of the summer ahead of Rihanna's "Take a Bow" at No. 2 and Chris Brown's "Forever" at No. 3.

Another Rihanna song, "Disturbia," races 15-4 thanks to digital sales of 122,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" and Lil Wayne's "A Milli" hold at Nos. 5 and 6, respectively, while Wayne's "Lollipop" featuring Static Major slides 4-7.

Kardinal Offishall's "Dangerous" featuring Akon rises 9-8, Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love" declines 6-9 and Jesse McCartney's "Leavin'" remains No. 10 to round out the top portion of the Hot 100.

Estelle's "American Boy" featuring Kanye West is the chart's top digital gainer after selling 84,000 downloads. The cut jumps 26-16, a new peak for the U.K. vocalist.

Shwayze's "Corona and Lime" is the top debut at No. 26 after digital sales of more than 74,000. The act is the subject of the new MTV reality series "Buzzin'," with a track of the same name also soaring 93-46 thanks to sales of 55,000 downloads.

Also new this week is Miley Cyrus' "Breakout" at No. 56. It's the title track of her new Hollywood album, which debuted yesterday at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Keyshia Cole's "Heaven Sent" continues its rule over Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for an eighth week. On that tally, Lil Wayne sets a new record by placing 13 titles as a lead or featured artist this week. He surpasses T.I.'s previous mark of 11, set in February.

Alan Jackson is No. 1 on Hot Country Songs for a second week with "Good Time," while Foo Fighters begin a second week atop the Modern Rock chart with "Let It Die." Disturbed's "Inside the Fire" rules the Mainstream Rock roundup for a 13th week.

Kina (2000) Kina

This extremely impressive debut album manages to combine elements of R&B, alternative rock, and singer/songwriter confessional pop without any seams showing. Kina can belt like a soul singer or sound as introspective and vulnerable as a folkie, though her dominant lyrical persona here is a sort of feel-good self-empowerment. As the biting opener "Girl from the Gutter" proves, she's as unafraid to tell off a former lover as Alanis Morissette. The meltingly lovely romantic ballad "Give and Take" is a highlight. So are "Insanity," Kina's unlikely hip-hop update of the Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated," and "Hurt So Bad." The latter starts as a sort of twisted a cappella song, with Kina singing all vocal parts, and shifts gear halfway through with a great roar of grungy guitars.

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Track Listing
1. Girl From the Gutter
2. I Love You
3. Have a Cry
4. Stop
5. Give and Take
6. Me
7. U Don't Know
8. Loser
9. Hurt So Bad
10. Insanity
11. Still Here

McCain camp compares Obama to Spears, Hilton

John McCain's presidential campaign has released a withering television ad comparing Barack Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, suggesting the Democratic contender is little more than a vapid but widely recognized media concoction.

Obama's campaign quickly responded with a commercial of its own, dismissing McCain's complaints as "baloney" and "baseless."

McCain's ad, titled "Celeb" and set to air in 11 battleground states, intercuts images of Obama on his trip to Europe last week with video of twenty-something pop stars Spears and Hilton -- both better known for their childish off-screen antics.

"He's the biggest celebrity in the world, but is he ready to lead?" the voiceover asks, noting the Illinois senator's opposition to offshore oil drilling and suggesting he would raise taxes if elected.

It was the latest effort by the GOP hopeful to cast Obama as a lightweight with little experience in leadership or governing. It also was risky for McCain's campaign to both acknowledge Obama's worldwide fame and depict it as a weakness rather than a strength.

Campaigning in Missouri, Obama said the ad, released Wednesday, was the latest example of McCain's negativity -- a theme his campaign has tried to stress lately.

"He doesn't seem to have anything positive to say about me, does he?" Obama said. "You need to ask John McCain what he's for, not just what he's against."

The Obama campaign ad, released hours after McCain's, shows images of the Arizona senator with President Bush and accuses McCain of practicing "the politics of the past." The campaign said it could air as soon as Thursday.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince Trailor

The trailer to the 6th installment in the Harry Potter movie series has just been released. The movie is called "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" and will be released on November 21st, 2008.


Life Death Love and Freedom (2008) John Mellencamp

The man who has been called `the poet laureate of the interstate' has reached deep into his soul, bringing forth an album of unparalleled maturity powered by a piercing musical vision. Produced by T Bone Burnett ("O' Brother Where Art Thou," Robert Plant, Allison Krauss)

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Track list:

1. Longest Days
2. My Sweet Love
3. If I Die Sudden
4. Troubled Land
5. Young Without Lovers
6. John Cockers
7. Don't Need This Body
8. Ride Back Home, A
9. Without A Shot
10. Jena
11. Mean
12. County Fair
13. For the Children
14. Brand New Song, A

Next (1997) Vanessa Williams

Vanessa Williams' NEXT sees her taking yet another soulful, mature step forward in the inspiring balancing act that is her career. While starring on television, in film, and on Broadway, she has also managed to produce a steady stream of R&B hits. With NEXT, Williams calls on such contemporary R&B luminaries as R. Kelly, Jimmy Jam, and Terry Lewis, whose production and instrumental performances grace the album with a lush atmosphere and warm sound befitting its serious, mature tone.

From the acerbic "Who Were You Thinkin' 'Bout" to the mournful "And If I Ever," Williams shows a range of emotion that can only be the result of a life in the theater, injecting a dramatic intensity into her accomplished vocal performances. Taking on "Someone Like You" by Van Morrison, she gives it a gentle, soulful reading, powerful and free of pretense. Closing with the epic "Oh How The Years Go By," NEXT proves as varied and powerful as the multi-talented Vanessa Williams herself.

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Track Listing
1. Who Were You Thinkin 'Bout?
2. Happiness
3. And My Heart Goes
4. First Thing on Your Mind
5. Crazy 'Bout You
6. Lost Without You
7. Someone Like You
8. Easiest Thing, The
9. Surrender
10. Start Again
11. And If I Ever
12. Oh How the Years Go By

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

X (2008) Kylie Minogue

Kylie Minogue returns with 'X', her first studio album since she was diagnosed with cancer in 2005 and the follow-up to2003's 'Body Language'. The Australian pop-princess has enjoyed a successful music career, following her departure fromAustralian soap, 'Neighbours'. Her 1980's pop sound has developed over the years to become eclectic and sharp, switching from electro to dance to pop and 'X' is no exception. Kylie is back and stronger than ever. '2 Hearts' is an included single.

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Track list:
1. 2 Hearts
2. Like A Drug
3. In My Arms
4. Speakerphone
5. Sensitized
6. Heart Beat Rock
7. One
8. No More Rain
9. All I See
10. Stars
11. Wow
12. Nu Di Ty
13. Cosmic
14. All I See (featuring Mims)
15. Carried Away

Closer [EP] (2008) Ne-Yo

Remixes of Ne-Yo's hit single "Closer"

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Track list:

1. Closer (Album Version)
2. Closer (StoneBridge Club Remix)
3. Closer (Subkulcha House Remix)
4. Closer (Cotto's Club Mix)
5. Closer (Cotto's Can't Stop Remix)
6. Closer (StoneBridge Dub)

Whoopi Kissed a Girl, and Liked It!

Katy Perry preformed her hit single "I Kissed a Girl" on The View, and to her surprise she got a little more girl on girl action with an American Icon. After Katy's performance our pal Whoopi came over and planted a big one on Katy's big red lips!

Fergie 'thrilled' to play a prostitute in `Nine'

Fergie is excited about adding the role of a prostitute to her acting portfolio.

The Grammy-winning singer has been cast as Saraghina in "Nine," a big-screen adaptation of the Tony-winning musical. She will perform the saucy song "Be Italian" with Guido, played by Daniel Day-Lewis.

"She's basically a prostitute on the beach," Fergie told The Associated Press in an interview. "She introduces him to the world of sexuality. It's a very strong song. I'm just thrilled I get to play a character. I'm singing, but I'm not singing as myself. I'm going to be singing as a character, and that's what's really exciting to me."

Fergie, 33, joins Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Judi Dench and Kate Hudson in "Nine," directed by Rob Marshall ("Chicago"). Filming is set to begin in October. Fergie, whose real name is Stacy Ann Ferguson, had minor roles in the "Poseidon" and "Grindhouse" movies.

"I'm speechless," she said of the opportunity to work with the film's A-list talent. "I'm definitely going to be a sponge on set. I want to pick up on everything that all these brilliant actors are bringing to the table. I'm probably going to be the quietest that I've ever been while working just because I want to watch and learn."

Thriving Ivory (2008) Thriving Ivory

Debut album on Wind-Up records from POP/Rock band.

Download this album via MEGAUPLOAD:

Track list:

1. Runaway
2. Angels on the Moon
3. Alien
4. Hey Lady
5. Twilight
6. Secret Life
7. Long Hallway with a Broken Light
8. Overrated
9. For Heaven's Sake
10. Unhappy
11. Light Up Mississippi
12. Day of Rain

The New Nostalgia (2008) Christopher Jak

"The New Nostalgia" picks up where Christopher Jak's critically acclaimed debut, "Applause of the Rain," left off. With heart-of-the-matter lyrics and sweet melodies to match, this collection of songs offers pop, rock and lush ballads. Christopher's voice possesses the smoothness of today's pop artist while echoing the unpolished emotion of folk, country and bluesgrass vocal icons.

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Track Listing
1. Bound
2. Middle of Nothing
3. Me and Myself
4. Last Time, The
5. Dog Day
6. Something
7. Unbound
8. Goodnight (I'm So Sorry)
9. Yellow Rose
10. Into the Love
11. Diamonds
12. Seamless
13. Begin to Cry

Miley Cyrus To Debut At No. 1 On Billboard 200

Miley Cyrus will land her second No. 1 album on The Billboard 200 tomorrow (July 30), as "Breakout" (Hollywood) bows with 371,000 U.S. copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That's the second-biggest sales week of the year for a female artist, following the 463,000 debut of Mariah Carey's "E=MC2" (Island/IDJMG).

Cyrus' last album, the half soundtrack, half studio set "Hannah Montana 2/Meet Miley Cyrus" (Hollywood/Walt Disney), started at No. 1 last summer with 326,000.

The first "Hanna Montana" soundtrack, which launched her recording career, also bowed at No. 1 in 2006, with first-week sales of 281,000. It went on to be the best seller of that year's fourth quarter with less than three months of shelf life.

Debuting in the runner-up slot on The Billboard 200 is country duo Sugarland with the deluxe version of "Love on the Inside" (314,000). It's easily the Mercury Nashville act's best sales week and highest charting album ever. The band's previous high came with 2006's "Enjoy the Ride," which debuted and peaked at No. 4 with 211,000.

Forget You (2008) LAX Gurlz

Debut single from pop girl-group.

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Feels Like Today (2004) Rascal Flatts

If anyone in the 21st century still thinks that country music is all HEE HAW hillbilly tunes, one listen to Rascal Flatts's FEELS LIKE TODAY proves that nothing could be further from the truth. More Backstreet Boys than Buck Owens, Rascal Flatts are in may ways the musical embodiment of the true New South; these boys may acknowledge their place in a rural history, but they're just as likely to be watching basketball as rodeo riding. Throughout, lead singer Gary Levox shows off his finely honed contemporary-R&B-esque vocal chops, giving even Usher a run for his money. The production style is suitably bright and punchy, with every twanging Telecaster lick, cracking snare, and sparkling cymbal crash perfectly in place. The group is at its best on the power ballads ("The Day Before You," "Bless the Broken Road"), when the music's Nashville heart, urban sheen, and Levox's yearning vocals mesh in just the right quantities to please an unusually wide cross-section of listeners.

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Track Listing
1. Where Are You
2. Bless the Broken Road
3. Then I Did
4. Feels Like Today
5. Fast Cars and Freedom
6. When the Sand Runs Out
7. Here's to You
8. Day Before You, The
9. Break Away
10. Holes
11. Oklahoma-Texas Line

Angela Winbush (1994) Angela Winbush

When it comes to acrobatic singing and attention to detail, Winbush is the Rolls-Royce of vocalists....Throughout [ANGELA WINBUSH] she strikes a balance between stunning, try-this-Mariah pyrotechnics and emotion....

Download this album via MEGAUPLOAD:

Track Listing
1. Treat U Right
2. Inner City Blues
3. Keep Turnin' Me On
4. Too Good to Let You Go
5. Baby Hold On - (with Ronald Isley)
6. You're My Everything
7. Dreamlover
8. Hot Summer Love
9. Sensitive Heart
10. I'm the Kind of Woman
11. Inner City Blues - (radio version)

Britney, Mariah, Usher, Lil Wayne Earn MTV VMA Nods

MTV has announced the nominees for best female and best male video for the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards, with Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Usher and Lil Wayne all receiving nods.

The nominees were determined by fan voting at or by texting via Verizon Wireless phone; two new categories will be open for voting each week through the end of August. The current categories accepting nominations are best hip-hop video and best pop video.

The Video Music Awards will be held Sept. 7 at 9 p.m. on the Paramount Pictures lot in Los Angeles. Russell Brand, co-star of "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," will host the show.


Britney Spears, "Piece of Me"
Jive/Zomba Label Group
Director: Wayne Isham

Jordin Sparks, "No Air"
(Jordin Sparks with Chris Brown)
Jordin Sparks
19/Jive/Zomba Label Group
Director: Chris Robinson

Katy Perry, "I Kissed A Girl"
One Of The Boys
Director: Kinga Burza

Mariah Carey, "Touch My Body"
Island Def Jam Music Group
Director: Brett Ratner

Rihanna, "Take a Bow"
A Good Girl Gone Bad
SRP/Def Jam
Director: Anthony Mandler


Lil Wayne, "Lollipop"
Tha Carter III
Cash Money Records/Universal Motown
Director: Gil Green/D. Carter

Chris Brown, "With You"
Jive Records/Zomba
Director: Erik White/Chris Brown

Usher, "Love In This Club"
(Usher featuring Young Jeezy)
Here I Stand
LaFace Records/Zomba Label Group
Director: The Brothers Strause

T.I., "No Matter What"
Paper Trail
Grand Hustle/Atlantic Records
Director: Self/James Lopez

Flo Rida, "Low"
(Flo Rida featuring T-Pain)
Step Up 2 The Streets Original Soundtrack/ Mail On Sunday
Poe Boy Ent./Atlantic Records
Director: Bernard Gourley

Change (2008) Sugababes

International 12 track pressing of this 2007 album from the UK Pop trio, the most successful UK female act of the century Change is their fifth album overall and is destined to be one of their greatest musical triumphs to date. Standout tracks include ‘Never Gonna Dance Again’, another relationship breakdown anthem set, as many dramas tend to be, on a dancefloor - a sober reflection on the carefree first dances and final careless whispers of a failed relationship. ‘Change’, all gurgling electronic synths and William Orbit-esque production is a trademark Sugababes ballad while 'Denial’ revels in the Sugababes’ raw, rockier edge, with a nod to ‘Standing In The Way Of Control’ coupled with the trio’s unmistakable harmonies.

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Track listing:

1. About You Now
2. Never Gonna Dance Again
3. Denial
4. My Love Is Pink
5. Change
6. Back When
7. Back Down
8. Mended by You
9. 3 Spoons of Suga
10. Open the Door
11. Undignified
12. Surprise (Goodbye)

Monday, July 28, 2008

I'll Be There (2008) Mya

Mya cover's the classic Jackson 5 single "I'll Be There"

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Mamma Mia! (2008) Soundtrack

Mamma Mia! The Movie Soundtrack Featuring the Songs of ABBA is the soundtrack album for the 2008 Universal Pictures musical film Mamma Mia!, based on the stage musical of the same name. It features performances by the film's cast including Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgaard, Colin Firth, Julie Walters, and Christine Baranski.

Download this album via MEGAUPLOAD:

1. "Honey, Honey" - Amanda Seyfried - 3:07
2. "Money, Money, Money" - Meryl Streep - 3:06
3. "Mamma Mia!" - Meryl Streep - 3:34
4. "Dancing Queen" - Meryl Streep, Christine Baranski, and Julie Walters - 4:08
5. "Our Last Summer" - Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, and Stellan Skarsgaard - 2:58
6. "Lay All Your Love on Me" - Dominic Cooper and Amanda Seyfried - 4:29
7. "Super Trouper" - Meryl Streep, Christine Baranski, and Julie Walters - 3:54
8. "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)" - Cast - 3:53
9. "The Name of the Game" - Amanda Seyfried - 4:55
10. "Voulez-Vous" - Cast - 4:35
11. "SOS" - Pierce Brosnan and Meryl Streep - 3:21
12. "Does Your Mother Know" - Christine Baranski and Philip Michael - 3:05
13. "Slipping Through My Fingers" - Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried - 3:50
14. "The Winner Takes It All" - Meryl Streep - 4:59
15. "When All Is Said and Done" - Pierce Brosnan and Company - 3:18
16. "Take a Chance on Me" - Julie Walters and Stellan Skarsgaard - 4:02
17. "I Have a Dream" / "Thank You for the Music" (Hidden Track) - Amanda Seyfried - 8:37

Me (2008) Kina

New single from POP/Rock singer Kina.

Download single via ZSHARE:

1. Me (Noise Mix)
2. Me (Tim Feeham Mix)

Nas Dethrones Lil Wayne Atop Billboard 200

One rapper replaces another atop The Billboard 200 this week, as Nas' untitled Def Jam album dethrones Lil Wayne's Cash Money/Universal set "Tha Carter III." Nas' album sold 187,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, becoming the rapper's fifth No. 1 here.

Nas' prior album, 2006's "Hip-Hop Is Dead," also debuted at No. 1 but sold 354,000 over Christmas week. Meanwhile, after three non-consecutive weeks at No. 1, "Tha Carter III" slips to No. 2 with a 15% sales decrease to 105,000.

The Decca soundtrack to "Mamma Mia!," the film adaptation of the hit theatrical musical based on ABBA's songbook, experiences an 89% sales boost after the movie hit theaters Friday (and earned the highest grossing weekend opening ever for a musical); it climbs 7-3 with 91,000. Coldplay's "Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends" (Capitol) slips 2-4 with 90,000 (-20%), while the Jonas Brothers-led soundtrack to Disney's "Camp Rock" descends 3-5 with 78,000 (-12%).

Though it slips 5-6 on the chart, Kid Rock's "Rock N Roll Jesus" (Atlantic) continues to resurge with the help of the Hot AC/Adult Top 40 single "All Summer Long," selling 73,000 with a 20% sales increase.

John Mellencamp's Hear Music debut "Life Death Love and Freedom" bows at No. 7 with 56,000, his fourth top 10 album. It's his 19th charting record overall, stretching back to the Aug. 18, 1979, debut of "John Cougar."

David Banner debuts right behind at No. 8 with his third straight top 10 studio album, "The Greatest Story Ever Told" (SRC/Universal), shifting 52,000. His previous set, 2005's "Certified," peaked at No. 6.

Breakout (2008) Miley Cyrus

New album from teen-pop singer Miley Cyrus which features a cover of Cyndi Lauper's "Girl's Just Wanna Have Fun". Also included are the top ten hits "7 Things" and "See You Again".

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Track list:

1 Breakout
2 7 Things
3 Driveway
4 Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
5 Full Circle
6 Fly On The Wall
7 Bottom Of The Ocean
8 Wake Up America
9 These Four Walls
10 Simple Song
11 Goodbye
12 See You Again - (Rock Mafia remix)

Affairs Of The Heart (1991) Jody Watley

1991 Pop/R&B album from Jody Watley featuring hit singles "I'm The One You Need" (top 20 Pop) and "I Want You" (top 5 R&B).

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Track Listing
1. I Want You
2. Call on Me
3. I'm the One You Need
4. Affairs of the Heart
5. Commitment of Love
6. It All Begins With You
7. Dance to the Music
8. Strange Ways
9. Always and Forever
10. Until the Last Goodbye
11. Stolen Moments

Acoustic Soul: Special Edition (2008) India.Arie

Cut from the same rootsy R&B cloth as Erykah Badhu, Atlanta-born India Arie's full-length debut after her first public emergence on Spike Lee's BAMBOOZLED soundtrack is a down-home affair, where acoustic guitars, live drums, and stand-up bass share space with more contemporary production devices. Arie's voice has an insinuating, seductive undertone that works its way into the listener's subconscious.
Songs such as "Video" are both catchy and centered on a subtly feminist theme, proving that Arie is up to having her cake and eating it, too, while the unimpeachably sexy "Brown Skin" is quintessential bedroom mood music. Arie's debut promises much, and delivers even more.

Download this album via MEGAUPLOAD:

Track Listing
1. Intro
2. Video
3. Promises
4. Brown Skin
5. Strength, Courage & Wisdom
6. Nature
7. Back to the Middle
8. Ready For Love
9. Interlude
10. Always in My Head
11. I See God in You
12. Simple
13. Part of My Life
14. Beautiful
15. Outro
16. Wonderful (Stevie Wonder Dedication) - (bonus track)

1. Video - (Urban Wolves/Dreamteam remix, featuring Supercat)
2. Video - (Urban Wolves/Dream Team remix, featuring Super Cat)
3. Brown Skin - (Bedroom Rockers Radio remix)
4. Brown Skin - (E-London Club mix)
5. Brown Skin - (Mind Trap mix)
6. Strength, Courage & Wisdom - (remix)
7. Strength, Courage & Wisdom - (Live From Paradiso)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Perfectly Clear (2008) Jewel

It comes as no surprise that Jewel, an acclaimed American singer, songwriter, actress, poet, painter, philanthropist and daughter to an Alaskan cowboy singer-songwriter, finds herself in the embrace of country music for the release of her seventh career album, Perfectly Clear.

Jewel's music has ranged from folky, adult alternative fare to sleek dance-pop, so it's not much of a surprise that 2008's PERFECTLY CLEAR turns another genre corner. This time out, Jewel embraces country music, a choice that reflects the time the singer-songwriter spent in Nashville prior to recording the album.

Warm, passionate, and full of keen pop instincts, PERFECTLY CLEAR still rings out with plenty of appealing country twang. "Stronger Woman," an anthem of female empowerment, is the album's lead single and a case in point. With its catchy chorus and message-driven lyrics, the song will sound right at home on the radio alongside more established country-pop artists, as will "I Do" and "Anyone but You," among other highlights.

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Track list:

1. "Stronger Woman" (Jewel, Marv Green) - 4:02
2. "I Do" (Jewel) - 4:04
3. "Love Is a Garden" (Jewel, Shaye Smith) - 3:48
4. "Rosey & Mick" (Jewel) - 3:36
5. "Anyone but You" (Jewel, Wynn Varble) - 3:55
6. "Thump Thump" (Jewel) - 3:57
7. "Two Become One" (Jewel, Guy Chambers) - 3:44
8. "Till It Feels Like Cheating" (Lisa Carver, Liz Rose) - 4:00
9. "Everything Reminds Me of You" (Jewel, Joe Firstman) - 3:15
10. "Loved by You (Cowboy Waltz)" (Jewel) - 3:28
11. "Perfectly Clear" (Jewel) - 2:56

The Breakthrough (2005) Mary J. Blige

After her somewhat lukewarm 2003 release LOVE & LIFE, Mary J. Blige returns to her rightful place as the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul with 2005's THE BREAKTHROUGH. Blige enlisted a host of guest producers to contribute tracks to THE BREAKTHROUGH, and the result is one of her strongest and most varied albums. As usual, the sound is a mixture of smooth, urban contemporary and hip-hop edge, but Blige nails it with tracks like the pulsing "Enough Cryin'" (with its rich, multi-layered vocals) and the breezy "Can't Hide From Luv" featuring a guest spot by Jay-Z.

The album's lead-off single, "Be Without You," a bittersweet slow jam, is representative of the album's themes, which focus on feelings of strength and weakness in love. But whether waxing romantic ("Can't Get Enough") or detailing the travails of the heart ("Baggage"), Blige lays down elastic R&B vocal lines that are second to none. Even a seemingly unlikely duet with Bono and U2 on "One" comes across beautifully, adding a new dimension to that familiar tune.

Download this album via MEGAUPLOAD:

Track Listing
1. No One Will Do
2. Enough Cryin - (with Brook)
3. About You - (with
4. Be Without You
5. Gonna Breakthrough - (with Brook)
6. Good Woman Down
7. Take Me as I Am
8. Baggage
9. Can't Hide From Luv - (with Jay-Z)
10. Mjb da MVP
11. Can't Get Enough
12. Ain't Really Love
13. I Found My Everything - (with Raphael Saadiq)
14. Father in You
15. Alone - (with Dave Young)
16. One Mary J. Blige - (with U2)

Monday, July 21, 2008

It's A Natural Thang (1994) For Real

Defy the cookie-cutter label by featuring audacious singers, near-flawless harmonies and...a finesse that stares down anyone daring to write them off as yet another girl group...

Download this album via MEGAUPLOAD:

Track Listing
1. Easy to Love
2. Where Did Your Love Go?
3. You Don't Wanna Miss
4. Just a Matter of Time
5. Li'l Bit
6. Don't Wanna Love You Now
7. You Don't Know Nothin'
8. With This Ring (Say Yes)
9. D'Yer Mak'er
10. Harder I Try, The
11. I Like
12. Thinking of You
13. Prayer, The

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Back Home (2007) Westlife

Westlife aren’t exactly full of surprises. If they were maybe we wouldn’t be here discussing the release of their ninth (yes, NINTH!) album, another sure-fire number 1 a staggering eight years after their first. Barely breaking sweat at any point over their career, slow and steady wins the race it seems--and song after song after song of just-so pro-forma arm-waving heartache fits that bill. Flip them over and you’ll find guarantees tattooed to their spines--and you can’t knock them for sticking to the rule-sheet like good boy scouts, can you? Of course they’re boys no longer, not that you should expect amendments owing to that fact. Their sound has been afforded maturity in recent years and we get a smooth continuation of that on Back Home, particularly evident on "I’m Already There" as they sing earnestly of missing their kids when away from home as emotions swell courtesy of climbing orchestration and cracking voices. Their voices cradle each other in their famously supportive Motown-aping style throughout, but particularly on "Have You Ever" as Shane steps ahead and aims beyond Ronan Keating’s heights with his keen lead. The album’s token upbeat song "The Easy Way" almost surges into N-Sync territory with a perky horn section, but your pulse needn’t be alarmed. There are no immediately obvious additions to their greatest hits canon (perhaps the Michael Buble penned "Home", given time), but Back Home will reinforce whatever it is you think about Westlife–-guaranteed.

Download this album MEGAUPLOAD:

1. Home
2. Us Against the World
3. Something Right
4. I'm Already There
5. When I'm with You
6. Have You Ever
7. It's You
8. Catch My Breath
9. Easy Way
10. I Do
11. Pictures in My Head
12. You Must Have Had a Broken Heart

Saturday, July 19, 2008

NaS On Track For Fifth No. 1 Album Next Week

Nas' new Def Jam album may not have a title, but it will have a home at No. 1 on The Billboard 200. The veteran rapper is on course to notch his fifth topper on the big chart, as he leads Nielsen SoundScan's Friday Building chart with 113,000 copies.

That total represents un-weighted sales at nine leading music merchants, through close of business Thursday. Those accounts -- Trans World Entertainment, Apple, Best Buy, Circuit City, Borders, Starbucks, Target, Anderson Merchandisers and Handleman Co. -- account for about 80% of the U.S. album market. Anderson now services all Wal-Mart stores.

Nas' interim total is a tad behind the 116,000 that another rapper, Rick Ross, rang on "Trilla" on the Friday Building chart in March, on the album's way to a chart-topping total of 198,000.

The artist's last No. 1 album, "Hip-Hop Is Dead," arrived in late December 2006, selling 354,000 copies during Christmas week.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Best of Mandy Moore (2004) Mandy Moore

At the age of 20, Mandy Moore had only one major hit, (2000's "I Wanna Be with You"), not exactly the usual resume for a greatest-hits album; however, Moore is hardly your typical teen-pop idol. She followed her initial smart, flashy, and lavishly produced records with the covers album COVERAGE, where she revealed a musical appreciation beyond her years (XTC, John Hiatt, Todd Rundgren). THE BEST OF MANDY MOORE wisely features four tracks from that outing, including her dizzyingly fun reworking of XTC's "Senses Working Overtime," along with the best songs from previous records and soundtracks.

While early tracks ("Candy," "Crush") play off of simple themes, they are well crafted and perfectly suited for Moore's appealing voice. Though she's not a songwriter, Moore knows her way around a good tune, a fact that COVERAGE punctuated with a bold exclamation point. One of the hidden joys of this compilation is hearing Moore progress musically (a growth matched in her movie career, where she turned heads in the biting 2004 satire SAVED!). The two newest songs here run the gamut from the gentle melody of "Top of the World" (from STUART LITTLE 2) to the Broadway pomp of "Secret Love" (from MONA LISA SMILE). Moore's BEST OF serves as both a fun pop collection and a way to pique interest in the next chapter of her career.

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Track Listing
1. Candy
2. Walk Me Home
3. So Real
4. I Wanna Be With You
5. In My Pocket
6. Crush
7. Cry
8. Only Hope
9. Have a Little Faith in Me
10. Can We Still Be Friends
11. Senses Working Overtime
12. I Feel the Earth Move
13. Top of the World
14. Secret Love

Dusk & Summer (2006) Dashboard Confessional

On his fourth studio album, Christopher Carraba expands his personal vision and sound into a collection of emo anthems and slow-burning ballads that feel denser and larger than any of Dashboard Confessional's previous work. The title track is the only acoustic number on DUSK AND SUMMER; the rest of the acoustic guitars are folded into a richer, more epic sound courtesy of producers Don Gilmore and Daniel Lanois. There is an elegiac feel to this disc; it is an album full of songs about endings, fading light, and last chances. But Dashboard Confessional is typically unwilling to go gently into that good night. The disc begins with an ode to vulnerability, "Don't Wait," with the rhythm section driving steadily ahead while plaintive vocals tell a cautionary tale of days passing by. "The Secret's In the Telling" is a more defiant strain of melancholy, with Carraba resigned but still romantic among the power chords and pounding drums. Even last chances, he suggests, are chances worth taking. Or, as he sings on the slow rocker "Currents," "If it's gonna end/then let it end in flames."

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Track Listing
1. Don't Wait
2. Reason to Believe
3. Secret's in the Telling, The
4. Stolen
5. Rooftops and Invitations
6. So Long, So Long
7. Currents
8. Slow Decay
9. Dusk and Summer
10. Heaven Here

This Time (1999) Chantay Savage

The third album from R&B vocalist, composer, producer and musician Chantay Savage is more than just another soul album from a wanna-be diva. THIS TIME is an exercise in stunning production and winning arrangement, one of the better R&B offerings of the late '90s. The multi-talented Savage plays piano and drums throughout the album.
The lead single, "Come Around," is a slow-moving, passionate ballad produced by Keith Sweat. Savage bridges the gap between old school soul and contemporary R&B with the head nodding "My Oh My." Other highlights are "If You Like," "Stay With Me" and "Round and Round." An album like THIS TIME from a sweet-voiced, multi-talented singer/songwriter like Savage is always a welcome addition to the over-crowded world of R&B.

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Track Listing
1. My Oh My
2. If You Like
3. Come Around
4. This Time
5. Round and Round
6. Can It Be
7. Stay With Me
8. For Your Love
9. Funny Ways
10. Just Can't Take This
11. My Oh My - (Smoothed Out)
12. Pillow Talk

Album (1997) Angel Grant

The superstar production team Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, known for producing hits for Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige and numerous others, put together the debut album from Angel Grant, a sweet-voiced, lyrically centered artist. Grant explores diverse issues on her album, with songs like "Lil' Red Boat," which speaks of maintaining self-determination and faith while navigating sometimes-troubled waters, and "Anyway," which finds Grant educating a slick-talking player. Stevie Wonder makes an appearance on harmonica on the beautiful "I'm In Love With You." Grant even takes a shot at alternative R&B with "Illusions," a guitar-based song that sounds as if it could be from Alana Davis or Fiona Apple. With such a strong production team behind her, the sky is the limit for this Angel.

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Track Listing
1. Hey You
2. Knockin'
3. OM
4. Lil' Red Boat
5. Kisses Luv Lips
6. Not Here
7. Illusions
8. Anyway
9. Not Afraid
10. Well Okay, I'll Say It (I'm N Love W/U) with Stevie Wonder
11. Deeper
12. Whenever You Cry
13. For the Babies
14. Live Your Life
15. I Love You

You Wanna Dance With Me? (1989) Jody Watley

This contains new 1989 remixes of her 1987-88 greatest hits.

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Track Listing
1. Still a Thrill
2. Friends
3. Looking For a New Love
4. Real Love
5. L. O. V. E. R.
6. What 'Cha Gonna Do For Me
7. Don't You Want Me
8. Most of All
9. Some Kind of Lover

Xanadu on Broadway (2007) Original Broadway Cast

Based on the campy 1980 film starring Olivia Newton-John, the 2007 Broadway musical follows Greek muse Clio (here played by Kerry Butler) as she attempts to inspire an artist (Cheyenne Jackson) to build a roller disco. In addition to songs originally performed by Newton-John (the dreamy "Magic," the romantic title track), the cast recording includes classic tunes by the production's songwriter, Jeff Lynne, and Electric Light Orchestra, most notably a wacky version of "Strange Magic" and a funky take on "All Over the World."

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Track Listing

1. I'm Alive - Original Broadway Cast
2. Magic - Original Broadway Cast
3. Evil Woman - Original Broadway Cast
4. Suddenly - Original Broadway Cast
5. Whenever You're Away From Me - Original Broadway Cast
6. Dancin' - Original Broadway Cast
7. Strange Magic - Original Broadway Cast
8. All Over the World - Original Broadway Cast
9. Don't Walk Away - Original Broadway Cast
10. Fool - Original Broadway Cast
11. Fall, The - Original Broadway Cast
12. Suspended in Time - Original Broadway Cast
13. Have You Never Been Mellow? - Original Broadway Cast
14. Xanadu - Original Broadway Cast

3D (2002) TLC

Considering TLC's ubiquity, 3D stands surprisingly as only the fourth album in 11 years for the trio consisting of T-Boz, Left Eye and Chilli, and tragedy marks it as the last. After eternally troubled but ever-talented Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes perished in a car crash in Honduras in April 2002, the remaining members of TLC decided to finish work on the record they started. Released seven months later, 3D continues along the basic thread of their earlier albums. While recalling some of the over-the-top quirkiness of their debut, the threesome stirs in plenty of contemporary hip-hop flavor, creating an invitingly jagged sound, particularly on the Southern-tinged "Dirty Dirty." Infectious first single "Girl Talk," a song both funny and sharply on point, could be seen as a companion piece to and a combination of "Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg" and "No Scrubs," as the three rag on men who get lazy when it comes to fulfilling the obligations of love. The mellow twist of the alluring ballad "Turntable" stands with the group's best ballads, while "Over Me," offers up the defiant side. 3D is a solid coda to one of the better R&B and pop acts of the 1990s.

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Track Listing
1. 3D - (intro)
2. Quickie
3. Girl Talk
4. Turntable
5. In Your Arms Tonight
6. Over Me
7. Hands Up
8. Damaged
9. Dirty Dirty
10. So So Dumb
11. Good Love
12. Hey Hey Hey Hey
13. Give It to Me While It's Hot

Seeing Things (2008) Jakob Dylan

Seeing Things is singer-songwriter Jakob Dylan's first solo studio album. The album was released on June 10, 2008, by Columbia Records, and was recorded at the Hollywood Hills home of producer Rick Rubin.

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Track list: 1. "Evil is Alive and Well" - 3:56
2. "Valley of the Low Sun" - 3:57
3. "All Day and All Night" - 3:28
4. "Everybody Pays as They Go" - 3:00
5. "Will It Grow" - 4:49
6. "I Told You I Couldn't Stop" - 4:14
7. "War is Kind" - 3:08
8. "Something Good This Way Comes" - 3:39
9. "Up on the Mountain" - 3:45
10. "This End of the Telescope" - 3:59

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Natalie Cole Reveals Liver Disease

Singer Natalie Cole has been diagnosed with Hepatitis C, she revealed.

Cole, 58, the daughter of crooner Nat King Cole, is thought to have contracted the potentially deadly virus from past drug use.

The disease was discovered during a routine examination, the US star's spokesman said.

Cole was addicted to LSD, cocaine and heroin before becoming clean of drugs in 1984 following a long stay in rehab.

Her doctors said she is suffering from fatigue, muscle aches and dehydration - side effects from the treatment for Hepatitis C.

The Grammy Award-winning singer said: "I've been so fortunate to have learned so much from my past experiences. I am embraced by the love and support of my family and friends.

"I am committed to my belief in myself and in my abiding faith to meet this challenge with a heartfelt optimism and determination."

The star, whose father died of lung cancer when she was 15, said: "This is how I intend to deal with this current challenge in my life."

Dr Graham Woolf, associate clinical professor of medicine at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in the US, said: "Natalie has had a terrific response to her medication and is now virus negative.

"This gives her an increased chance of cure. But, she has also suffered significant side effects from the anti-viral medicine".

TWA Flight 800 resassembled wreckage in Ashburn, Virginia

The recovered wreckage of TWA Flight 800 stands reassembled at the National Transportation Safety Board Training Academy where it is used for training new investigators in Ashburn, Virginia on July 16, 2008. The Boeing 747 crashed into the Atlantic after passing over Long Island Sound and Long Island, New York in 1996, after a flammable mixture of fuel and oxygenated air caused a catastrophic explosion. The Department of Transportation announced that almost all U.S. commercial airliners will be required to install a new air separator to help prevent oxygen from entering an aircrafts' fuel tank, the cause of the TWA Flight 800 disaster.

Lil Wayne Remains King Of The Billboard 200

For a third non-consecutive week, Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter III" (Cash Money/Universal) tops The Billboard 200. The set moved 125,000 copies during the tracking week, according to Nielsen SoundScan, a 20% drop in sales from the week previous.

Coldplay's "Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends" (Capitol) sits tight at No. 2 for a second week with 113,000 (-25%) while the Jonas Brothers-led soundtrack to Disney's "Camp Rock" keeps the No. 3 spot warm with 88,000 (-23%).

Arriving at No. 4, Beck's "Modern Guilt" (Interscope) debuts with 84,000. His previous set, 2006's "The Information," bowed at No. 7 but sold 99,000.

Kid Rock's "Rock N Roll Jesus" (Atlantic) continues to resurge with the help of the Hot AC/Adult Top 40 single "All Summer Long," climbing 7-5 with 61,000 (+34%). The multi-label "Now 28" compilation stays at No. 6 with a 17% decrease to 48,000.

The Decca soundtrack to "Mamma Mia!," the film adaptation of the hit theatrical musical based on ABBA's songbook, debuts at No. 7 on The Billboard 200 with 48,000. The film hits theaters in the U.S. on Friday, so there's a good chance the album could see a sizable gain on next week's chart.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Coldplay Kicks Off Summer Tour In Los Angeles

Coldplay opened its North American tour last night (July 14) at the Forum in Los Angeles, treating the sold-out crowd to a career-spanning, 20-song set list. The 90-minute show, complete with floating video globes, confetti and flashing laser beams, went heavy on new material in various different incarnations on multiple stages throughout the venue, including a two-song jaunt up in the top most colonnade of arena seats.

"I can tell it's gonna be a good one," singer Chris Martin told the audience while catching his breath after "Violet Hill" -- the first single from the band's new, chart-topping, "Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends."

Content to let layers of pre-recorded backing tracks fill out most of the new songs, Martin was free to spend much of the evening hopping, skipping and jumping around the stage like an over-caffeinated gymnast, while his bandmates -- guitarist Johnny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, and drummer Will Champion -- tucked into their instruments behind him with satisfactory aplomb.

Barring a few to-be-expected missteps along the way, (missed instrumental cues in "Death and All His Friends," botched parts in "Speed of Sound") the show moved like clockwork, as teams of stagehands hustled to move pianos and makeshift drum kits back and forth onstage between songs.

Clever enough to try and keep the audience from getting too bored at any given time, the group successfully interjected a variety of audio and visual amusements throughout the evening. Peppering new material with at least two songs from each of its previous three albums, Coldplay offered older hits like "Clocks" and "In My Place" early in the set.

Minutes To Midnight (2007) Linkin Park

After a multi-platinum debut, Grammy nominations, a successful sophomore album, sold-out tours, and a collaboration with Jay-Z, the pressure was on for Linkin Park to deliver the goods with their 2007 release, MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT. Interestingly, the alternative metal outfit, best known for mixing rap, rock, and electronic touches, deviates from their aggressive, angst-filled sound on their third outing--opting instead to dabble in moody, atmospheric rock.
Opener "Wake" establishes the ethereal, synth-driven feel that characterizes much of the disc. Crunching electric guitars are few and far between, and most of the swirling, electronica-textured tracks weigh in at mid-to-downtempo. There are still moments of rock intensity, such as "Bleed It Out" (featuring one of rapper Mike Shinoda's few appearances), but the overall mood seems better suited to pensive bedsitting than a festival mosh pit. Co-producer Rick Rubin makes the dreamy soundscapes gleam, but longtime fans may miss the fist-pumping energy of early Linkin Park. Still, the new sonic palette of MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT shows a band willing to push past their own tried-and-true formulas.

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1. Wake
2. Given Up
3. Leave Out All the Rest
4. Bleed It Out
5. Shadow of the Day
6. What I've Done
7. Hands Held High
8. No More Sorrow
9. Valentine's Day
10. In Between
11. In Pieces
12. Little Things Give You Away, The

Fly (2008) Matt Goss

New single from Brit Matt Goss called "Fly"

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1. Fly (Ruff House Remix)
2. Fly (Gio's Remix)

For Lovers, Dreamers & Me (2008) Alice Smith

Don't let her pedestrian name fool you: Alice Smith is a unique artist with a vision that's anything but commonplace. Smith effortlessly mixes rock, jazz, blues, soul, funk, and pop--and not just from song to song, but within each song, defying categories as gracefully as she performs vocal gymnastics with her stunning voice.
Smith pulls influences from the Beatles, neo-R&B singers, Billie Holiday, Queen, and countless other points in musical history, but FOR LOVERS, DREAMERS & ME never feels willfully eclectic or scattered. In fact, it's remarkably unified; an achievement due as much to the excellent songs, arrangements, and production as to Smith's performances. Without a weak moment, this debut has all the makings of a modern-day classic.

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Track Listing
1. Dream
2. Woodstock
3. Gary's Song
4. New Religion
5. Do I
6. Fake Is the New Real
7. Desert Song
8. Know That I...
9. Secrets
10. Love Endeavor

Gravity (2002) Our Lady Peace

While Canadian rock heroes Our Lady Peace have made a name for themselves as post-grunge hard rockers (albeit with a penchant for infectious songcraft), rarely straying from their hard-hitting strengths, GRAVITY is an impressively varied effort. The undeniable pop-hook choruses of "Do You Like It" and "Innocent" are perhaps even more unabashedly catchy than the band's previous radio successes. The acoustic-guitar-driven balladry of "Somewhere Out There" intersperses contemplative folk-rock verses with a grand, Creed-like chorus ("Not Enough" bears similar dynamics). The aforementioned "Innocent" starts out with syncopated, programmed beats before giving way to full-fledged human drumming. Amidst all this relative eclecticism, the band still manages to stick in plenty of blazing guitars, cannon-like drums, and angst-ridden vocals for their faithful fans.

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Track Listing
1. All For You
2. Do You Like It
3. Somewhere Out There
4. Innocent
5. Made of Steel
6. Not Enough
7. Sell My Soul
8. Sorry
9. Bring Back the Sun
10. Story About a Girl, A

The Makings Of Me (2006) Monica

On her fourth album, 2006's THE MAKINGS OF ME, R&B star Monica returns with an assured set of hip-hop-tinged tunes. Presenting an edgier image than on past releases, the Atlanta, Georgia-based vocalist collaborates with her hometown's snap-music soldiers Dem Franchize Boys on the hard-hitting "Everytime Tha Beat Drop," but is still capable of sensual moments, as on the smooth, Curtis Mayfield-sampling "Dozen Roses."

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Track Listing
1. Everytime Tha Beat Drop - (with Dem Franchize Boyz)
2. Dozen Roses, A (You Remind Me)
3. Sideline Ho
4. Why Her?
5. Hell No (Leave Home) - (with Twista)
6. Doin' Me Right
7. Raw - (with Swizz Beatz)
8. My Everything
9. Getaway
10. Gotta Move On

Monday, July 14, 2008

Old School Video: Taral Hicks "Silly"

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My Dream (1997) Yvette Michele

Deliriously smooth soul neatly executed with the bite of hip-hop....most of MY DREAM still sounds like the work of a woman in possession of some taste, intelligence and, er, spunk.

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Track Listing
1. Intro
2. Way I Feel, The
3. Summer Love
4. All I Really Want
5. Crazy
6. Everyday & Everynight
7. Let's Stay Together
8. Only Wanna Be With You
9. Something in the Way (You Make Me Feel)
10. My Dreams
11. First Time, The
12. So We Can Get Down (Yea Yea),
13. I'm Not Feeling You
14. D.J. Keep Playin' (Get Your Music On)
15. Outro

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Twin baby joy for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

Iconic superstars, high-profile humanitarians and now proud parents of six children: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's romance could only have been forged in Hollywood.

The birth of Pitt and Jolie's twins -- a boy and a girl -- at a hospital in the south of France late Saturday is the latest chapter in a story that has transfixed celebrity-watchers since the couple became an item in 2005.

The couple -- who are among the highest paid stars in Hollywood, commanding 10-20 million dollars a film -- share three adopted kids and three birth children, a multicultural family with multiple homes that celebrates the traditions of the birth-countries of all their offspring.

Pitt, 44, was by Jolie's side for the births, by caesarean operation, of Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline at a clinic in Nice, reports said.

Gynaecologist Michel Sussmann told People magazine: "The babies are doing well. The operation went just perfectly."

"Angelina is in very good spirits. Brad Pitt was at her side. He was there and all was well."

The couple, who met while filming "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" in 2005, have seen their relationship flourish despite frenzied tabloid attention and relentless speculation about a possible split.

Much of that is attributable to the maelstrom that erupted three years ago when it became clear that Pitt and his ex-wife Jennifer Aniston were separating. Press immediately portrayed Jolie, 33, as the home-wrecking "other woman" behind the break-up.

But Oscar-winner Jolie has vehemently denied having an affair with Pitt while he was still in a relationship with Aniston, although in a 2006 interview with Vogue she admitted falling in love with her co-star during "Mr and Mrs Smith".

"Whether it was shooting a scene or arguing about a scene or gun practice or dance class or doing stunts -- anything we had to do with each other, we just found a lot of joy in it together and a lot of real teamwork," Jolie said.

"And it took until, really, the end of the shoot for us, I think, to realize that it might mean something more than we'd earlier allowed ourselves to believe," Jolie said.

Identified (2008) Vanessa Hudgens

On her second solo studio album, 2008's IDENTIFIED, HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL-star Vanessa Hudgens unveils a lively set of R&B-inflected dance-pop tunes. Hudgens's first record since her '07 nude-photo controversy, IDENTIFIED finds the Disney star going for a slightly edgier sound but still staying within the realm of Mouse House accessibility. While the lead single, "Sneakernight," and "Hooker It Up" are tailor-made for the club, the ballads "Don't Ask Why" and "Don't Leave" reveal the California native's more introspective side. IDENTIFIED's most impressive track, however, is the piano-led closing number, "Gone with the Wind," a song that fully displays both Hudgens's dynamic vocals and her newfound maturity.

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Track Listing
1. Last Night
2. Identified
3. First Bad Habit
4. Hook it Up
5. Don't Ask Why
6. Sneakernight
7. Amazed
8. Don't Leave
9. Paper Cut
10. Party on the Moon
11. Did it Ever Cross Your Mind
12. Gone with the Wind

Fever (2002) Kylie Minogue

It's more than just journalistic shorthand to refer to Kylie Minogue as the European Madonna. She's been at it as long as the Material Girl, and her mix of sexy style and dance-pop sound is very much in league with that of her American counterpart. The catch here is that, while Minogue had previously only been a star in Europe, FEVER represents her American breakthrough. Not surprisingly, the sound of FEVER will appeal to fans of Madonna's MUSIC album. It's full of bubbly synths, amiably poppy melodies, club beats and sensual vocal stylings. If anything, Minogue comes off as slightly less hard-edged than you-know-who, more concerned with immersing herself in the songs and production than in projecting her larger-than-life personality. That kind of attitude can only aid in the making of a successful pop record, which is the most accurate description of FEVER.

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Track Listing
1. More More More
2. Love at First Sight
3. Can't Get You Out of My Head
4. Fever
5. Give It to Me
6. Fragile
7. Come Into My World
8. In Your Eyes
9. Dancefloor
10. Love Affair
11. Your Love
12. Burning Up
13. Boy
14. Butterfly

No Place Like BKLYN (2006) Jeannie Ortega

On her 2006 debut, NO PLACE LIKE BROOKLYN, New York City-based actress/singer Jeannie Ortega offers up a confident collection of accessible, hip-hop-flecked R&B tunes. Opening with the catchy, beat-driven smash single "Crowded," featuring rapper Papoose, Ortega comes off as a younger, more earnest Brooklyn version of Bronx native Jennifer Lopez. However, Ortega opts for a slightly more dynamic sound than J. Lo, as evidenced by the reggaeton tune "Let It Go" and the plaintive ballad "Hear Me," ensuring that she is intent on forging her own path.

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Track Listing
1. Crowded - (featuring Papoose)
2. Pay It - (featuring Kovas)
3. Green I'z
4. Can U? - (featuring Quan)
5. So Done
6. Let It Go
7. What I Need
8. It's R Time - (featuring Gemstar/N.O.R.E./Big Mato)
9. Bling
10. Hear Me
11. Don't Stop

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Scent of Attraction (1995) Patra

Patra, the self-proclaimed queen of dancehall, delivers her patented mix of crossover reggae stylings and sexual innuendo on SCENT OF ATTRACTION. Moving further into the realms first charted by Shabba Ranks and Madd Cobra, she abandons dancehall riddims in favor of smooth R&B tracks and duets with Salt 'N Pepa and Aaron Hall. But it is still her sultry growl of a voice that holds everything together, and makes her sophomore release a sure hit. Patra begins the album with one of the most apt cover choices of 1995--a straight rendition of Grace Jones' "Pull Up To The Bumper." There is no more perfect role model for the young Jamaican transplant than Jones, who was seducing America in the early '80s with a similar combination of sex and groove. SCENT also features other reggae-inflected tracks ("Dip & Fall Back," "Mek Me Hot") and some slower-paced grinders ("Goin 2 The Chapel," "Scent Of Attraction"). "Banana," a mid-tempo boiler, echoes the sounds of Grover Washington, Jr.'s "Just The Two Of Us" and shows that Patra knows what America's young lovers want to listen to before turning out the lights.

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Track Listing
1. Pull up to the Bumper
2. Dip & Fall Back
3. Hot Stuff - (featuring Salt 'N Pepa)
4. Banana
5. Either or Either
6. Mek Me Hot
7. Scent of Attraction - (with Aaron Hall)
8. Goin' 2 the Chapel
9. Time Fi Wine
10. Undercover Lover
11. You Want It - (featuring Prince Mydas)
12. Deep Inside