There's a Top 40 trend, a few years old now, toward making pop music on the radio sound more like dance music from the club: electronic instrumentation, thumping beats, repetitive choruses, AutoTune. Lyrically, there's a violent uptick in mentions of being young, staying up late enough to see the sun, and burning things, all of which are usually described in the first-person plural—not "I want this" or "you said that" but "we did this." Tonight, we are young, so let's set the world on fire. Let's go crazy, crazy, crazy, till we see the sun. Let's make the most of the night like we're gonna die young. We gonna let it [...]
When questioned about the content of her sophomore album, Nicki held firm the entire time, consistently stating that she’s proud of her pop work, but it’s weird to see Nicki even having to explain herself. Why are we debating the merit of her foray into other genres like “Starships” isn’t incredible? Why aren’t we having a discussion about how positive her eccentricities are in an occasionally stagnant culture and why it’s necessary to not give a fuck about artistic restraints as much as Nicki didn’t on that album?
"If there is a whale version of the King of Pop, he likely resides off the coast of eastern Australia, because that is where the popular tune of the season has always originated." —Researchers have found that male whales make up fun songs that then spread like Top 40 hits throughout the ocean. Whoa, what if Michael Jackson was reincarnated as a whale and is now living off the coast of eastern Australia?
Yesterday was the official release date for Midnight Memories, One Direction’s third studio album. Aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Yessss!! No? Am I talking to the right demographic? It doesn’t matter. I’m here to talk to you about the important stuff, which is the music.
The music: holy smokes.
Our boys are still the same boys, even if they're now boys-verging-on-men, and they even helped write almost all the tracks on the new album. Let that sink in: it’s their very own words coming from their very own souls into my very own earphones.
Let's do this: track-by-track, first-but-not-final impressions.
(And if anyone can correctly list them in [...]
“You know what it is?” Braun asked me one day this summer. “My friend put it best. I’m a camp counsellor for pop stars.” Braun was in Los Angeles, where he lives, looking after his growing talent roster. His manner is amiable but volatile—half frat boy, half impresario—and he cuts the burly profile of an athlete during the off-season: he has large lips and a toothy mouth, and he has lately been wearing a close-trimmed beard. He had on his usual uniform, of a Yankees cap, jeans, and a Mickey Mouse T-shirt purchased at Disneyland, where he gets many of his T-shirts. “It’s a nonthreatening thing,” he said. “The whole [...]
NPR music blog The Record has a nice research-heavy post today running down 2010 in Billboard charts, looking at the trends and stats surrounding the best contemporary music available to our ears. Not surprisingly (irritatingly?), most of the hits this year fell into the pop category, and a lot of the credit goes to one songwriter by the name of Dr. Luke. As for the rest of the credits, they seem dominated by "an Apatovian cabal of producers and songwriters, except with buzzy guitars and handclap beats instead of pot jokes and life lessons for immature men." Indeed!
Ariana Grande is a 20-year-old Nickelodeon star who kidnapped mid-'90s Mariah Carey to record "The Way," a track with the rapper Mac Miller, back in March. If you listen to pop radio then you've likely heard this song a hundred thousand times by now. Today she released a remix with Fabolous that, save for Loso's verse, sounds almost identical to the original—but that's sort of ideal, because the only adaptation this song really needs is for Mariah to re-record it herself.
[via Nah Right]
"Breaking News" is the first song to surface off Michael, the King of Pop's forthcoming posthumous album (out Dec. 14). But Michael's nephews (and, apparently, his parents and children) are claiming the track's a fake: "Deceptively merging shady vocals with MJ samples – from prior MJ records – will never fool me," and, "I will not support Breaking News and a few others because it simply is not him." Weird stuff! Sony, however, has "complete confidence … that the vocals on the new album are his own." In any case, it's an odd song. [Via]