Sunday, November 30, 2008
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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1. Hey, Man!
2. On the Radio (Remember the Days), ...
3. Baby Girl
5. I'm Like a Bird
6. Turn Off the Light
7. Trynna Finda Way
9. Well, Well
10. My Love Grows Deeper Part 1
11. I Will Make U Cry
12. Scared of You - (Portuguese)
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
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
Favorite Male Artist:
* Chris Brown
Favorite Female Artist:
* As I Am - Alicia Keys
Country Music Awards
Favorite Male Artist:
* Brad Paisley
Favorite Female Artist:
* Taylor Swift
* Rascal Flatts
* Carnival Ride - Carrie Underwood
Favorite Male Artist:
* Kanye West
* Three 6 Mafia
* Graduation - Kanye West
Soul/Rythm & Blues Music
Favorite Male Artist:
Favorite Female Artist:
* As I Am - Alicia Keys
* Alvin and the Chipmunks
Alternative Rock Music
* Linkin Park
Adult Contemporary Music
* Jordin Sparks
* Third Day
T-Mobile Breakthrough Artist
* Jonas Brothers
Artist of the Year
* Chris Brown
Saturday, November 22, 2008
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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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
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.)
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
10. Take Me Away
11. Good Morning
12. I Love, You Love
13. If You're Out There
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."
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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1. So What
3. I Don't Believe You
4. One Foot Wrong
5. Please Don't Leave Me
6. Bad Influence
8. Crystal Ball
10. It's All Your Fault
11. Ave Mary A
12. Glitter In the Air
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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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 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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3. Do Me, Baby
4. Private Joy
5. Ronnie, Talk to Russia
6. Let's Work
7. Annie Christian
8. Jack U Off
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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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... 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
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1. "All the Way"
2. "Don't Love You No More (I'm Sorry)"
4. "Separate Ways"
6. "Do You Believe in Love"
7. "One Last Dance"
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 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 will.i.am. It was released in Australia on February 8, 2008, then internationally on February 11, 2008 and the following day in the United States.
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1. "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'"
2. "Baby Be Mine"
3. "The Girl Is Mine" (with Paul McCartney)
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 will.i.am (Jackson/will.i.am/Harris) – 3:11
12. "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) 2008" with will.i.am (Jackson/will.i.am/Harris) – 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 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.
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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
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
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.
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1. Round Here
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, 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.
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1. Liberation Day
2. Aliens & Rainbows
3. Something About You
4. Hollywood's Not America
5. Everybody Bleeds the Same
7. My Beautiful Life
8. Soul Rock
9. Blame, Blame, Blame
10. Dear God
11. Don't Give Up
12. Take My Lips
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.
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1. Like Suicide
2. Fake It
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