Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Black Eyed Peas "Boom Boom Pow"

The Black Eyed Peas are back with their new kinetic single "Boom Boom Pow," yet another step into the electronic age. You can here the new track on their official website. The single is taken from their forthcoming fifth album, The E.N.D.

New Rascal Flatts Single, Part Trois

"Things That Matter" is the third digital single released from Rascal Flatts upcoming album Unstoppable due out next Tuesday --I haven't been this excited for an album since Britney's Circus, I'm really looking forward to this, from the three cuts I've heard so far the album looks very promising. In the days leading up to the release of the album I may do a quick review of their last 2 albums (Still Feels Good and Me & My Gang) just to get back in that 'Rascal Flatts' mind-set. 

"Things That Matter" is a mellow number, a slick combination between strings, piano and drums. 

UK Singles Chart, 29/03/09

Sorry for the delay. Better late than never, I guess.

1. Lady GaGa - Poker Face
2. Noisettes - Don't Upset The Rhythm 

Lady GaGa spends another week at the top spot with "Poker Face" fighting off hot competition from the Noisettes who come straight in the chart at #2 with their 7th attempt at a successful single "Don't Upset The Rhythm" which has literally being played the life out of over here --I hadn't heard of them until now-- I really do like this song, their second album Wild Young Hearts is due out April 20. Their debut album What's the Time Mr. Wolf? failed to be recognized as a notable debut (peaking at a dismal #75 on the UK album chart) the album spawned 5 underground singles ("IWE", "Scratch Your Name", "Don't Give Up", "Sister Rosetta" and "Count of Monte Christo") which all failed to make any way on the charts. The first single "Wild Young Hearts" had been previously released as an buzz single for Wild Young Hearts last year.

4. Beyonce - Halo
5. R.A. Rahman & Pussycat Dolls - Jai Ho

Congrats to Beyonce, she scores her 7th top 5 single with "Halo" --I can't believe how much this songs grown on me, I find myself spontaneously humming the melody, with airplay on its side "Halo" could convert itself into a top 3 single next week. Another song thats grown on me tremendously. Pussycat Dolls score their 6th top 5 single with "Jai Ho", R.A. Rahman scores his first (but I doubt he'll be releasing anymore English singles). The song rises a hefty 15 spots this week.

9. Metro Station - Shake It

This song became a top 10 hit in the U.S. last year and that success transfers over to the UK this week, as it rises 13 spots up to #9. Their self-titled debut album saw its release here yesterday.

12. Steve Angello & Laidback Luke - Show Me Love

This song (performed by Robin S.) was a huge dance hit back in 1993, becoming a top 10 hit here, even reaching #1 on the U.S. dance charts and top 5 on the Hot 100. Steve Angellow & Laidback Luke put a raving dance touch on the song, remixing it for 2009 --I don't like it as much as the original but its okay. It debuts at #12 this week.

16. Lily Allen - Not Fair

In my review of Lily's latest album It's Not Me, It's You I said: "Not Fair" takes the album in a weird fast paced, country direction, something I've never heard Lily pursue before. Listening carefully, you can here some banjo's and faint violins running against the background." Have you seen the video to the song? It consist of a 70s television theme, based on a country set, very, very cool. The song was at #158 last week, due to early airplay, this week it rises 148 spots up to #16, but since they count it as the UK top 40 --it debuts at #16 this week.

18. K.I.G. Family - Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes

Taking the innocent children's nursery rhyme and putting a gritty Hip-Hop beat on it and altering lyrics to sexual innuendoes are K.I.G. Family, with its accompanying video it's a pretty laughable number, doesn't it take itself seriously, it's also very infectious with its annoing repetition of: "Lady's lemme see you get down low."

20. Enrique Inglesias Featuring Ciara - Taking Back My Love

Enrique scores his 11th top 20 single in the UK with "Taking Back My Love" the second release from his recent greatest hits album. After the phenomenal success of "Hero" back in 2001 --he's had a couple more follow up hits (like "Do You Know" and "Not In Love") but nothing truly matching up to the success of "Hero".

37. Jennifer Hudson - If This Isn't Love 

"If This Isn't Love" is Jennifer Hudson's 2nd top 40 single, following her debut single "Spotlight" which peaked at #11 last year. 

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Billboard's take on "Amy"

Check out Billboard's review on Britney's new single "If U See(k) Amy." Just saw the video in the UK for the first time, looks awesome in HD.

Album Review: Keri Hlson - In a Perfect World... (4/5)

Keri Hilson emerged onto the music scene back in 2001, writing songs for the likes of Ciara, Beyonce and Usher. In 2004 she made her vocal debut when she featured on rapper Xzibit's single "Hey Now" which gave the songstress her first UK top 10, although failing to connect to audiences back home. 2007 marked her mainstream debut --featuring on associated producer Timbaland's "The Way I Are"-- which became an instant worldwide hit, peaking at #1 in 10 countries and scoring her first U.S. top 10. Teaming up with Timbaland once again (and Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls) they churned out the enticing "Scream", although it wasn't as successful as "The Way I Are."

After a series of additional features and duets with the likes of Nas and Chris Brown, we finally have the official debut album. In A Perfect World... marks Hilson's accredited introduction onto the music scene --I was definitely expecting... more? I guess, an urban contemporary meets electronica vibe. I wasn't conjecturing a simple modulation between modern R&B and Pop, strangely enough.

I don't generally care for album introductions, but the intro for this album is very good --a great club ready joint backed with layered vocals and a deep hip-hop bassline. A very gritty start to the album. The opening song "Turnin' Me On" with Lil' Wayne (which became a top 40 hit in the U.S.) is an upbeat urban, hip-hop flavored number --thumping a boisterous contralto, consisting of tambourines, rhythmic handclaps, drums and recurring chanting of "aye". Fellow R&B singer Keyshia Cole and rapper Trina both team up with Keri on "Get Your Money Up" which thuds an abrasive beat and a kinetic clap and bounce motion, definitely one of my favorite cuts on here. What I feared was Keyshia and Keri would be laborious to tell apart, but fortunately that wasn't the case --seeming as their sound is so similar.

The albums current single "Return The Favor" with Timbaland, is another highlight, pulsating with a great handclap bass and a very glutinous chorus. "Knock You Down" with Kanye West, throws a grating remincent to T.I. & Rihanna's "Live Your Life" without the catchy the chorus. I really love this song, the gushes of horns in the background work wonders for the chorus, I also love the buoyant chorus. The dramatic "Energy" (which is located towards the end of the album) was originally the albums lead single, but was later pulled due to its dismal peak on the U.S. charts. I loved this song --It's climatic nature-- only backed with a miraculous piano and faint rhythmic bells.

The album takes a lustful turn on "Slow Dance" and "Tell Him The Truth" which makes up its more sensual moments, reverberating through a drum and synthesized beat. "Make Love" carries the same type of mid-tempo-ness, except very more melodic and more ballad-like, thanks to the piano.

The albums has couple duds like "Alienated" which is a very odd (and synthesized) number, It has no noticeable melody and a very humdrum chorus. "Change Me" with Akon is suppose to be the Pop contemporary of the album, but lacks a good hook and a noticeable inflection. "Intuition" and "How Does It Feel" are the albums unknowns, songs that aren't bad but don't particualy stand out. In A Perfect World... is a satisfying album, nothing too spectacular or compelling, just very good for what it is. I think it could've been better.

Best Tracks: Return The Favor, Knock You Down, Turnin' Me On, Tell Him The Truth, Get Your Money Up, Energy

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Billboard Hot 100, 28/03/09

1. FloRida - Right Round
2. Lady GaGa - Poker Face

FloRida pulls out another triumphal week atop the Hot 100 --his single "Right Round" maintains the top spot for a 6th week, only 4 more weeks to go to match last years hit "Low". This will be probably hard to do as Lady GaGa's "Poker Face" ascends up to #2 --most likely looking towards an ascend to #1 in the forthcoming weeks.

3. Soulja Boy Featuring Sammie - Kiss Me Thru The Phone

What is so good about this song? Soulja Boy's "Kiss Me Thru The Phone" has become is biggest hit since 2007s "Crank That" topped the chart 7 non-consecutive weeks.

9. Carrie Underwood Featuring Randy Travis - I Told You So

Thanks to a vocally astonashing performance on American Idol last week, Carrie Underwood's "I Told You So" taken from her sophomore album Carnival Ride which has remixed as a duet with fellow country singer Randy Travis, rises 48 spots up the chart, scoring Carre's 3rd top 10 (previous top 10s being "Before He Cheats" (#8) and her debut and #1 single "Inside Your Heaven"). This is Randy Travis' first top 10, his highest charting single prior to this was 2002s "Three Wooden Crosses".

18. Kid Kudi - Day 'N' Nite

I LOVE this song right now! It's already been a top 10 hit in the UK and now it seems to be catching on in the U.S. --hopefully an equivalent top 10 soon.

25. FloRida - Sugar

Another song I really love at the moment is FloRida's "Sugar" which makes a digital debut at #25. It should've replaced "Right Round" at #1 --I just think it's way better.

26. Britney Spears - If U Seek Amy

Go Brits! Britney's "If U Seek Amy" scores the pop princess her 15th top 30 single. It's also sales gainer of the week, a top 20 next week is more than likely.

27. Ciara Featuring Justin Timberlake - Love Sex Magic

Ciara's new single "Love Sex Magic" rises 59 spots up the chart this week, scoring her 8th top 40 single and Justin's 10th.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New Green Day Album In May

Billboard are reporting, American Rock band Green Day's new album titled 21st Century Breakdown will arrive May 15. Another album I'm very excited for. 2004s American Idiot was brilliant. 

New Rascal Flatts Single, Part Duex

Country Band Rascal Rlatts release their second single "Love Who You Love" through iTunes --It's their second release from their forthcoming album Unstoppable which I'm VERY excited for. The songs more upbeat and country-orientated than "Here Comes Goodbye", consisting of violins, drums and strings.  

Personal Airplay, 26/03/09

TW LW Title - Artist
1 .... 1 .... Poker Face - Lady GaGa (2 weeks @ #1)
2 .... 5 .... Watcha Think About That - The Pussycat Dolls
3 .... 2 .... Love Story - Taylor Swift
4 .... 3 .... The Fear - Lily Allen (2 wks @ #1)
5 .... 6 .... Day 'n' Nite - Kid Cudi
6 .... 4 .... Circus - Britney Spears (2 wks @ #1)
7 .... 8 .... My Life Would Suck Without You - Kelly Clarkson
8 ... 10 ... Halo - Beyonce
9 .... 9 ... Beautiful - Akon
10 .. 11 .. T-Shirt - Shontelle

Monday, March 23, 2009


Just noticed that Billboard have the credits for the single "Jai Ho" (which drops 36-48 this week) noted as "A R Rahman & Pussycat Dolls Featuring Nicole Scherzinger", I may be doped up on paracetamol at the moment but isn't Nicole apart of the Pussycat Dolls --singing the lead and background vocals all the time.

Album Review: BoA - BoA (4/5)

Korean Pop singer BoA releases her eponymous English debut. Bringing in help from Bloodshy & Avant, who've produced for the likes of Britney Spears and Kylie Minogue and Sean Garrett to help make a successful transition from J-Pop to well crafted, contemporary, mainstream dance pop. With no standards set, I'm pretty impressed with BoA, it's a solid pop album, drawing in comparisons from Lady GaGa and Madonna at their more electronic moments.

The album opens solidly with the heavy snyth-based "I DId It For Love" which has a fulfilling pulsing bassline. It has a killer chorus, which throws a harsh reminiscent to Madonna's "Give It 2 Me." This is swiftly followed up with "Energetic" which sounds vaguely like Lady GaGa's "LoveGame", it's another synth based number, but not one of my favorites, the distorted repetition of the lyric: "Put me on", puts me off. "Did Ya" adopts a distinctive euro-pop sound. It's among the best cuts on here, the song is very basic, consisting of spanish guitar, drums, rhythmic handclaps and a very catchy chorus.

With no ballads in place, the album does well at keeping the pace flowing. "Look Who's Talking" and "Touched" are couple of the highlights --Indulging in a satisfying retro theme, particually "Look Who's Talking" which completely excellerates with its electronically fueled chorus. "Obsessed" is another of my favorites, it's the slowest song on the album, it carries through a distinctive spacey vibe --even incorporating a surprise vocoder.

Unfortunately there are couple of duds. "Scream" is lyrically lacking, but production on the song is great. "Girls On Top" which has a more urban vibe than anything else on the album sounds a tad empty and very Vanessa Hudgens. The playful "Dress Of" comes off very annoying with its lengthy, pointless repetition towards the round off of the chorus.

Despite a couple clunkers, I'm pretty impressed with this album --a very solid debut. What bothers me is the similarities I can draw from most of the songs, we've already established that the album draws inspiration from Lady GaGa and Madonna (at her more electronic moments) but I can also draw comparisons from Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale and Hilary Duff, which leads me to the point that BoA isn't that original, but to be honest in this once case I couldn't care less, It's a simple, solid Pop album.

Best Tracks: Obessed, Did Ya, I Did It For Love, Look Who's Talking, Touched

UK Singles Chart, 22/03/09

1. Lady GaGa - Poker Face

Something I wasn't expecting. Lady GaGa scores her second UK #1 with "Poker Face", the second international single released from her debut album The Fame, following up to her previous #1 "Just Dance" which topped the chart for 3 weeks earlier this year. It displaces Comic Relief single "Islands In The Stream" down 2 spots to #3.

6. T.I. Featuring Justin Timberlake - Dead and Gone
8. Akon Featuring Colby O'Donis & Kardinal Official - Beautiful

I've been hearing this song all over the radio this week. T.I.'s "Dead and Gone" rises 1 spot up the chart this week - 1 more notch an he scores his second top 5 single, following "Live Your Life" with Rihanna which peaked at #2. Also moving 1 spot up the chart is Akon's "Beautiful" which has grown on me a lot throughout the course of this week.

9. Beyonce - Halo

This song has only begun receiving airplay here, it's all over the Pop music channels. This week it rises a solid 11 spots up to #9 on download sales alone, scoring her 12th solo top 10 single.

13. James Morrison Featuring Nelly Furtado - Broken Strings

I wonder what James Morrison owes this dramatic rise back up the chart with his hit "Broken Strings" with Nelly Furtado. It peaked at #2 on the chart last year, becoming his highest charting single to date.

20. Ar Rahman Featuring Pussycat Dolls - Jai Ho

Taken straight from the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack, the raging indian themed "Jai Ho" makes a top 20 debut this week. This is Pussycat Dolls 9th top 20 single in the UK (they've only released 9 singles in the UK). I still haven't found love the song yet.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Recent X-Factor winners tidbits...

Here a few recent tidbits regarding the winners of the UK's biggest talent show The X-Factor.

  • Leon Jackson, winner of the 2007 series, has been dropped by Sony BMG due to the poor sales of his debut album Right Now. Sales for the album have stalled 130,000 units moved in the UK alone. The album spawned 2 singles, "Don't Call This Love" which peaked at #3 and "Creative" which bowed at a dismal #94. Very disappointment after Leon joined a string of X-Factor winners to nab to Christmas #1 with their debut single. His remake of Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey's "When You Believe" topped the UK singles chart for 3 weeks, moving over 490,000 copies. 

  • Last years' winner Alexandra Burke has reported signed a £3 million, 5 album U.S. record deal with Epic Records. Her debut album due out sometime at the fall of 2009 has sparked interest from the likes of Pharrell Williams, who has recently produced songs for Madonna ("Give It 2 Me") and Solange Knowles ("I Decided") and Akon, who also produced for fellow winner Leona Lewis. I think Pharrell is perfect for the job, his sound is very retro meets urban. I particually liked his work with Britney Spears, on 2002s remix to her hit "Boys" and more recently "Why Should I Be Sad" taken from her Blackout album. With Alexandra, I'm expecting a hot debut single to launch her as an international artist, like what "Bleeding Love" did for Leona. Something upbeat with a nice piano riff running through it would be good (a bit too specific for these early stages, but anyway). 

  • Leona Lewis' sophomore album is also in the works. She's reportedly bringing in the producing skills from the likes of Timbaland and Justin Timbaland. Allegedly also seeking the work of Chris Martin of Coldplay to give her a rockier edge. News Of The World report that Leona is also prepping a £15 million, 24 date world tour in 2010. Her debut album Spirit was outstandingly successful, lets hope the sophomore slum doesn't greet her at the deadline.

  • Lastly, although not confirmed --Both Alexandra and Leona's albums are set to be released 1 week apart, giving both stars a shot #1. Really? we'll see.  

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Singles roundup

Happy Birthday to me!

Heres a quick roundup of singles that have caught my eye... ear this week:

"Sugar" FloRida. Brilliant! Amazing, catchy chorus, rock solid versers. Definitely better than "Right Round".

"I Love College" Asher Roth. Asher Roth makes his mainstream Hip-Hop debut with "I Love College", this songs been out for awhile now, but I only checked it out earlier this week. His rap-style is tad awkward but I like it, the songs chorus is great, consisting of strings and handclaps. His debut album Sleeping in the Bread Aisle drops April 24th.

"Here Comes Goodbye" Rascal Flatts. I really love this, very melodic and very nice piano work, accompanied by a wonderful vocal performance by Rascal Flatts.

"Hot Revolver" Lil' Wayne ."Hot Revolver" is the latest from Lil' Wayne and the latest from his upcoming album Rebirth which is set to mark Wayne's rock debut. "Prom Queen" was a good introduction, but it was messy. "Hot Revolver" is slightly better, Wayne's nauseating moaning and murmuring throughout the first half of the song doesn't really sit well behind the electronic guitar and drums. The second half of the song is more intense and solid. Rebirth looks to be a very interesting offering.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Album Review: Chris Cornell - Scream (4/5)

After more than 10 years with former grunge band Soundgarden, Chris Cornell re-merged as a solo artist back in the fall of the 90s with his debut album Euphoria Morning which was hailed upon critics, noting its organic blend of textured rock and alternative. His second album Carry On which arrived almost 7 years later, wasn't as well received as his first, but it was still a great rock album. Now we have Scream and what a complete makeover. Bringing the help of producer of the moment Timbaland, who's recently produced hits for the likes of Madonna ("4 Minutes" and "Miles Away") and Rihanna ("Rehab").

As you may have guessed Scream is more Hip-Hop orientated than his previous efforts. Something that I don't have a problem with, but critics and dedicated fans certainly do. Scream is Chris Cornell's worst received album out of the 3 his released.

The album opens with its biggest highlight "Part Of Me" which in-fact, persuaded me to give the album a listen (due to the awful reviews I wasn't planning to). The song has a great, funky synthesized bassline building up to that killer chorus, churning out the raging repetition of: "no that bitch ain't a part of me" with a distorted electronic guitar running behind it. I generally don't gravitate towards repetition in choruses, I actually find it quite annoying. (Britney's "Womanizer" was a major exception). Maybe I just find the curse-word the chorus very sexy.

Admittedly, Scream isn't as bad as the masses have made it out to be, it might be considered as a shame to some that it isn't a traditional rock meets alternative album, but I really like it -- I definitely think it's better than 2007s Carry On although it's a tad unfair to compare albums from completely different genres. A couple highlights are "Sweet Revenge" which maintains an urban vibe but sounds authentically spacey. "Long Gone" has a very eerie but catchy chorus, the verses sound a bit like OneRepublic's 2007 hit ("Apologize") produced by non other than Timbaland, who also puts his stamp all over this haunting number.

"Never Far Away" is one of the more slower numbers, still augmenting the key eerie component. "Two Drink Minimum" is another slow one, a tad depressing but it's the best ballad on here. The album doesn't completely rid the alternative "Climbing Up The Walls" is one of the few tracks Timbaland has no credit on, which is kinda refreshing, consisting of the typical drums and strings.

The album has it's duds, "Time" and "Ordinary Girl" are very boring, but no biggie. I was a tad skeptical about Scream but I'm pretty pleased with it. To save Cornell from complete blacklist from his fans, I'll suggest he returns to his rock orientated work.

Best Tracks: Part Of Me, Sweet Revenge, Get Up, Ground Zero, Climbing Up The Wall, Two Drink Minimum, Long Gone

Katy Perry "Waking Up In Vegas"

I'm in love with Katy Perry's new single "Waking Up In Vegas" the fourth single from her debut album, One of the Boys. Check out the video here.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Album Review: The-Dream - Love vs. Money (4/5)

Love Vs. Hate is the sophomore album from the latest singer from R&B, The-Dream. I wasn't planning on giving this album a listen, but the remarkably positive reviews from critics provoked me to. Love vs. Money follows up to his debut album, which had a similar title, Love/Hate back in 2007, I only just gave that album a listen earlier today and I was neither impressed or disappointed. This new effort however is a very solid offering, much better than its predecessor.

I'm surprised The-Dream didn't jump on the double-disc bandwagon and make 1 CD "Love" a second one "Money", like Beyonce's done on her latest album I Am... Sasha Fierce. The album draws inspiration from notable R&B singers, like J. Holiday, R. Kelly and Usher, at times sounding too similar, which unfortunately brings down the albums originality level.

"Rockin' That Sh.." (which has been editied to "Rockin' That Thang" for commercial release) lends the album a very mellow opening, backed with synthesizers, faint tambourines and a very soothing chorus, consisting of soaring, high pitched "oohs" throughout the backing track, moving on swiftly into "Walkin' On The Moon" which racks up as the 'dance' of the album, I don't really like, but it's something new so I'll give him that. The song is very tingy, sounding a tad empty - admittedly it has very good groove, but lacks a melody that sticks.

One of the albums more obvious high points include "My Love" Featuring Mariah Carey, which contracts a bouncy bassline, accompanied by a sultry vocal from Mariah and an enticing one from The-Dream. Match made in heaven. The next 2 tracks take their inspirations from fellow R&B singer. "Put It Down" is an instant reminiscent of J.Holiday's hit "Bed" and "Sweat It Out" sounds like something from R. Kelly's 2005 album TP3 Reloaded, preferably a cut called "Remote Control". "Take U Home 2 My Mama" is pure fun - complete with synthesizers and a catchy chorus. I also like the rhythmic clicks in the background.

The title track "Love Vs. Money" follows up in a 2 part series, I don't particularly like any of them, but I do prefer the second part, which is much slower than the first, adopting a Justin Timberlake-ish sound. "Fancy" is the albums first proper ballad, and an unusual one at that (unusual in a good way). Combining traditional piano chords with rhythmic handclaps, it sounds very creative, just a tad bland, but nevertheless a solid track. "Right Side Of My Brain" is another slow number, with Timbaland like murmuring in the background - but "Fancy" is better.

"Mr. Yeah" is a mid-tempo number -- taking its roots from Usher's "Trading Places" but endorsing a more richer sound. It's very piano backed just like "Trading Places" is, the chorus is more enthusiastic than and fulfilling than "Trading Places". "Kelly's 12 Play" is another unusual number, the song makes strong references to R.Kelly's 1992 blockbuster album 12 Play. The song is very weird indeed, the backing track sounds like it's in reverse, giving the song a spacey theme. One of the most interesting cuts I've heard from an R&B album in a long time.

"Let Me See That Booty" and "Hater" I don't particularly care for, "Kelly's 12 Play" should've ended the album. Overall, I'm very impressed with Love vs. Money although I didn't think I would be. Their a couple duds but it's a very solid effort.

Best Tracks: My Love, Kelly's 12 Play, Rockin' That Sh, Sweat It Out, Take U Home 2 My Mama, Put It Down, Fancy, Mr. Yeah

Billboard Hot 100, 21/03/09

Yet another boring week on the Hot 100, It's a shame because the week ending is my birthday :(
  • FloRida spends a fifth week at #1 with "Right Round." Get use to it, it's not going anywhere soon.
  • Lady GaGa stays in the same position for a second week, once again claiming the airplay gainer award.
  • The new Rascal Flatts single "Here Comes Goodbye" rises 65 spots up the chart to #11, scoring the bands second top 20 single.
  • In more country, Carrie Underwood's "Home Sweet Home" debuts at #21.
  • The-Dream's previous single "My Love" with Mariah Carey may have flopped, but his next single "Rockin that Thang" rises 2 spots up to #22 giving the singer his third highest peaking single to date. Following "I Luv Your Girl" (#20) and "Shawty" (#17)
  • Britney Spears earns her 16th top 40 with her new single "If U Seek Amy" which rises to #35.

Personal Airplay, 19/03/09

TW LW Title - Artist
1 .... 2 .... Poker Face - Lady GaGa (1 week @ #1)
2 .... 5 .... Love Story - Taylor Swift
3 .... 1 .... The Fear - Lily Allen (2 wks @ #1)
4 .... 3 .... Circus - Britney Spears (2 wks @ #1)
5 .... 6 .... Watcha Think About That - The Pussycat Dolls
6 .... 7 .... Day 'n' Nite - Kid Cudi
7 .... 4 .... I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
8 ... 12 ... My Life Would Suck Without You - Kelly Clarkson
9 ... 18 ... Beautiful - Akon
10 .. 13 .. Halo - Beyonce

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Album Review: Mariah Carey - Butterfly (1997, 4.5/5)

I've been craving Mariah lately, throughout the course of mid last week I've been playing random cuts from Music Box (1993) and Daydream (1995) a lot on my iPod, but the album I was most excited to rediscover was 1997s Butterly, which arguably, I think vergers on an urban masterpiece, it only makes sense for me to churn out a lengthy review of the album. Butterfly marked Mariah's departure from clean cut adult contemporary offerings, emerging into a more free indulgence in 90s R&B. Prior to this Mariah had experimented with urban sounds on 1995s Daydream notably on the track, "Long Ago" which carried a melodic eerie vibe. I find it hard to rank both albums Daydream and Butterfly as their both just as spectacular as each other --Daydream was solid adult contemporary pop and Butterfly is a mellow coddling in great R&B.

The album obtains a very delicate opening. "Honey", introduces the urban contemporary feeling to the album. The song begins with rhythmic clicks, ablibs and a catchy piano riff before breaking into a funky bassline accompanied by Mariah's mellow vocal work. What I love most about this song is the breezy chorus, admittedly at times her annunciation is very inaudible without the lyrics at hand, but this is made up for by the strong verses. The title track, "Butterfly" finds itself taken in a more traditional ballad moment – consisting of archetypal piano chords, drums and a large choir.

The best cut from the album has to be, "Breakdown" Featuring Hip-Hop group Bone Thugs 'N' Harmony. The song gratifies in a mellow rich, deep basslined R&B vibe – showing off the more determined urban cuts off the album. Bone Thugs add a sense of aggressiveness to the song. Their 1 minute or so verse in the song is very fulfilling. Melodically the chorus does it all, although it doesn't stick as well as it should, it is made up for by Mariah's crafty yet breezy vocal work – singing through her nose before breaking into random ablibs. This was lived out way too much on 2002s disaster Charmbracelet. "Babydoll", is another great cut, it follows up to, "Breakdown" complimenting it very well – carrying through a very sultry essence as well as adding in a hard hitting bassline with corny DJ scratches throughout portions of the song. The song is also very lyrically fueled (I don't generally notice these things) I particually like the line: "The I'll try and drink you out of my head."

"My All", is a spanish guitar backed number – breaking into some faint drums in the second half the song. "My All", was one of 2 U.S. #1s spawned from the album, following, "Honey". "The Roof", is the albums darkest moment – consisting of a very haunting but breezy chorus and a very melodic but spooky bridge. Mariah's infamous ablibing towards the end on most of her songs is non-existent which is a tad refreshing. The dark nature of the song was also experimented with on Daydream, on its closing song, "Looking In" which was more piano based.

Other cuts on the album aren't bad, just not as noteworthy. The cheery, "Fourth Of July" which takes the album in a nostalgic mood is a highlight. There's bird's chirping and faint bells ringing throughout the song, Mariah's whispery vocals on here does help carry through the fragile melodic vibe of the song. The introspective, "Close My Eyes" is another highlight, again very lyrically fueled as Mariah reminisces on her childhood, she says: "I feel like a child as I look at the moon, maybe I grew up a little too soon." Her duet with Brian McKnight on, "Whenever You Call" in general should be very good – but unfortunately I do find just a bit boring, but it is decent. Brian does a good job on his part, but its definitely no, "One Sweet Day".

The album takes an unusual twist on, "The Beautiful Ones" which is truly unlike anything I've heard before, aside from the fact that it lingers on for 7 long minutes – it features R&B group Dru Hill, which makes it even weirder because this sounds is such a massive departure from their normal music. The song features a freaky almost sci-fi theme, consisting of a recurring piano chord, which seems to be only one key and a paced drums. The song may be boring during the first half, but it does get more interesting as it approaches the halfway mark, it indulges in some intense vocal matches between Mariah and Dru Hill and the music gets more haunting and eery.

I love every song on here, but the albums only downfall is the pointless remix of, "Butterfly" retitled as "Fly Away (Butterfly Remix)." This could have been easily left off the album, it's pretty useless, since the album was indulging in a more urban feel, I think it should've been a R&B / Hip-Hop orientated remix and not a whimsical one. The album closes with a bang. "Outside" is one of my favorite Mariah ballads ever. I love the old school motown throwback vibe on the song – Mariah's ablibbing can get annoying, but it works wonders here, especially towards the end, the choir also help give the song a solid feel.

Overall, Butterfly is an almost faultless album, following up to Daydream perfectly, pursing a more edgier, darker R&B territory, it's flaws makes the album that much more enjoyable.

Best Tracks: Breakdown, Babydoll, Honey, Butterfly, My All, The Roof, Outside

Monday, March 16, 2009

The-Dream Rakes in Rave Review from Critics

R&B singer, The-Dream, released his sophomore album Love vs. Money March 10th. Since then the albums received some pretty remarkable ratings from notable critics like Rolling Stone, who award the album a generous 4.5/5 rating, Allmusic who also give the album 4.5/5 rating and Billboard who give the album a pretty impressive review, sounding very favorable of the offering. 

Sounds like an album I should be checking out --I haven't really paid much attention to The-Dream, his debut album, Love/Hate, just went by me, I did, however manage to catch the singles, notably "I Luv Your Girl" which received regular play on BET. Could this be the album to revive the recent underperformance of R&B? 

The albums current single "My Love" Featuring Mariah Carey, isn't doing as well, Mainstream as expected, but I would expect to rise up the U.S. Urban AC chart soon. 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

UK Singles Chart, 15/03/09

1. Rob Brydon, Ruth Jones Featuring Tom Jones - Island In The Stream

Actor's Rob Brydon and Ruth Jones from UK hit show Gavin & Stacey collaborate with Tom Jones on the remake of Kenney Rodgers and Dolly Parton's 1983 hit "Island In The Stream" --the single opens at #1 this week, scoring Comic Relief's 11th chart topper, this making up for The Saturdays "Just Can't Get Enough" also in aid of Comic Relief, which opened at #2 last week.

5. Taylor Swift - Love Story

Taylor Swift's "Love Story" holds strong at #5 for a second week, airplay has been very strong this week, it was one of the more played songs on TV and radio (along with Pussycat Dolls "Watcha Think About That" which strangely falls down to #19).

8. Kings Of Leon - Use Somebody

Kings Of Leon's "Use Somebody" enters the top 10 for a third time, last year it peaked at #2. The last time it entered the top 10 was due the groups appearance at the 2008 Brit Awards.

9. Akon Featuring Colby O'Donis - Beautiful

Akon racks up his 8th solo UK top 10 with his latest single "Beautiful" which I've been hearing a lot this week. The previous single "I'm So Paid" flopped, peaking at #59. Heres a quick roundup of his previous top 10 hits:

2004: "Locked Up" (#4)
2005: "Lonely" (#1), "Belly Dancer" (#5)
2006: "Smack That" (#1), "I Wanna Love You" (#2)
2007: "Doesn't Matter" (#3)
2008: "Right Now" (#8)

10. Oasis - Falling Down

Oasis score their 23rd top 10 with "Falling Down" the third single released from their latest album Dig Out Your Soul.

27. Katy Perry - Thinkin' Of You

Katy Perry's "Thinkin' Of You" has been on radio for awhile now, this week it makes a debut at #27. I wonder why it took so long to enter the top 40. Katy's previous releases (the #1 smash "I Kissed A Girl" and "Hot N Cold") have all proven success' but will "Thinkin' Of You" follow up the success.

32. Leona Lewis - Run

I wonder what Leona owes this dramatic rise back up the chart with her remake of Snow Patrol's "Run" which topped the chart for one week, last year.

New Rascal Flatts Single

"Here Comes Goodbye" is the new Rascal Flatts single, released through iTunes a couple days ago. The single was released to U.S. radio back in January. It's taken as the lead single from the groups upcoming 6th studio album Unstoppable, It's a slight departure from thier usual offerings, no violins, strings or drums but a breakdown of vocal and remarkable piano work, which is fairly refreshing. Their last album 2007s Still Feels Good was slightly more of a contemporary pop meets country offering, their 2006 knockout Me & My Gang was album of the year for me. Brilliant stuff. 

Album Review: Corbin Bleu - Speed of Light (3.5/5)

High School Musical star, Corbin Bleu returns with his sophomore effort, Speed of Light which racks up as a wide improvement from his debut album, 2007s Another Side, which was mainly packed with typical --cheesy Dinsey star going R&B stuff. The uptempo, ubran flavored "Deal With It" was the best cut on there. Corbin is the last of the 3 High School Music cast to emerge with an attempt at a solo career. The first of the bunch to emerge was Vanessa Hudgens with her debut effort, V, which admittedly carried some highlights like the glassy, "Say Ok" but nothing else noteworthy. Ashley Tisdale's 2007 debut Headstrong is possible the best of the bunch, the offering churned out the fiery single "He Said She Said" which I thought was brilliant.

Speed of Light marks an improvement from his last effort --it has more rich and polished feel, but still doesn't mark Corbin as a notable solo-artist. The album opens with the title track "Speed of Light" which is unusually melodic carrying through a nice electronic feel, but locking in the key urban feel. "Paralyzed" contains some distorted and breathy vocals from Corbin and synthesized noises in the background, the verses are notably lacking, the song is saved by the catchy chorus. "Moments That Matter" is built on nice piano work and a thundering bassline, additionally the song also holds a killer chorus.

The album doesn't contain that many slow moments, but more melodic which is 1 thing I really love about it. The cartoonish yet futuristic "Willing To Go" is a favorite. I love the layered vocals at the end of the chorus, with the repeat of the song title. "My Everything" is accompanied by distorted, but wonderful vocal performance carrying through a very rich feel. "Angel Cry" has a very angelic chorus, other parts of the song don't stick as well as they should, but it's a good attempt at an electronic meets balladry number. I like most of the stuff on here, but there are some duds, "Rock 2 It" is very cheesily sung, holding a reminiscent of one of those chanting cuts on the High School Musical soundtrack. "Close" is very messy, sounds more filler than anything else.

The album closes with the cheery "Celebrate You" which is another futuristic number. It features some bleeps and space-ish telephone rings aligned with the backing track, a very weird yet interesting closing number. I'm impressed with Speed of Light because my expectations weren't that high to begin with, it's a definite improvement from Another Side. A Definite must-buy? I'm not too sure.

Best Tracks: Speed of Light, Moments That Matter, Whatever It Takes, Willing To Go, Angel Cry

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Billboard report on Britney's Circus Tour

Billboard have put up a review on Britney's ongoing comeback tour, The Circus. Their review is based on the yesterday's show in Long Island, New York at the Nassau Coliseum. It's a pretty positive review, even joking on her infamous pre-recorded vocals and how the likes of Beyonce and Ashlee Simpson wouldn't dare do that. From the LQ videos I've seen on YouTube, the tour looks like a triumph. Comeback completed. 

Friday, March 13, 2009

Album Review: J. Holiday - Round 2 (2.5 / 5)

R&B singer, J. Holiday was one of the biggest success stories of 2007, his debut single "Bed" became one of the biggest R&B singles of that year, although his debut offering Back of My Lac' failed to connect commercially, the album was more enjoyable that I had previous intended it to be (along with "Bed") the album also churned another single out "Suffocate" which wasn't a commercial success, but one of my favorite songs of 2007. "Pimp In Me" and "La La" were more enjoyable cuts from the album. With all respect, some of the greatest R&B artists today didn't hit hard with their debut albums but then went on to release some great offerings. Usher's 1993 self titled debut was pretty poor. Jamie Foxx's Peep This had a handful of good cuts but nothing noteworthy.

This shows how good of a start J. Holiday got off to, he joins the likes of R. Kelly and Montell Jordan who excelled with their debut offerings. After only a years break, does J. Holiday still carry that key spark he did with his debut offering? well... with the "It's Yours" released as the albums lead single, there wasn't much to go on --despite how good it might be, it sounds like a cheap remake of "Bed" --despite how good it was it failed to make any way on the main U.S. charts, which was a disappointing, hopefully the second single will fare better --that situations reminds me of when Chris Brown released "Wall to Wall" from his sophomore effort Exlusive and it peaked at just outside the top 90 on the Hot 100 but he quickly followed it up with his #1 hit "Kiss Kiss."

To get the main gist of the album, Round 2 falls very short in comparison to Back of My Lac' --the album as a whole seems more like recycled left overs from that album. Whilst it does have some good cuts, the albums clunkers are an earsoar. The best track on here is the closing number "I Tried" which is very dramatic number, even incorporating an electronic guitar backed with rhythmic handclaps and drums and a wonderfully layered chorus. "Fly" is another good one, it's a very mellow cut with a very angelic chorus. Following up on the good is "Homeless" which brings in the electronic guitar again, the verses compliment the chorus very well, I can't fault it if I tried.

Weirdly the second half of the album is better than the first. The first half contains more bland R&B including the lead single "It's Yours." The mid-paced "Wrong Lover" is my favorite from the first half - Caribbean drums and handclaps. Great. "Fall" is another good one, nothing remarkable though. I've held back the bad cuts for a while now, here goes: "Don't Go" sounded very good on the preview, but the repetition of the lyric: "difficult" makes the chorus very lacking.

"Run Into My Arms" has a nice breezy chorus but that can only do so much, it gets annoyingly boring after a while. "Sing 2 U" isn't any better, the deep bassline should tweak the song a tad, but it adds nothing new. The worst on here is "Lights Go Out", I don't like this at all, I don't understand the use of the tuneless, multiple monotone vocals. "Make That Sound" is better, a tad vulgar, but portrayed in a sultry way. "Forever Ain't Enough" is a nice melodic number, definitely one of the better offerings on the first half.

Unfortunately Round 2 is essentially a bad follow up to Back of My Lac', which is a real shame as its predecessor was really good and deserved a good follow up. It continues a string of recent R&B albums that have fallen very short of decent. A real disappointment indeed. Hopefully the next album is better.

Best Tracks: I Tried, Homeless, Fly, Forever Ain't Enough, Wrong Lover

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Billboard Hot 100, 14/03/09

Pretty boring chart this week...
  • FloRida's "Right Round" spends a fourth week at #1. Quickily working its way to be as big of a hit as his previous chart topper "Low" which stayed atop the chart for 10 weeks.
  • Miley Cyrus debuts at #6 with "The Climb" the lead single from her forthcoming Hannah Montana Movie soundtrack. This also marks her highest charting single in the US.
  • Lady GaGa remains at #3 with "Poker Face" but is still this weeks airplay gainer.
  • Lastly, Britney Spears' new single "If U Seek Amy" rises 19 spots up to #53.

Personal Airplay, 12/03/09

TW LW Title - Artist
1 .... 1 .... The Fear - Lily Allen (2 weeks @ #1)
2 .... 4 .... Poker Face - Lady GaGa
3 .... 2 .... Circus - Britney Spears (2 wks @ #1)
4 .... 3 .... I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
5 .... 8 .... Love Story - Taylor Swift
6 ... 11 ... Watcha Think About That - The Pussycat Dolls Featuring Missy Elliot
7 .... 9 .... Day 'n' Nite - Kid Cudi
8 .... 5 .... Let It Rock - Kevin Rudolf Featuring Lil' Wayne (1 wk @ #1)
9 .... 7 .... Single Ladies - Beyonce (1 wk @ #1)
10 .. 6 .... Breathe Slow - Alesha Dixon

Monday, March 09, 2009

U2 "Unknown Caller"

A chosen album cut from U2's latest album No Line On The Horizon, I've played "Unknown Caller" so many times today, it's currently my favorite cut from the album. A brilliant dark number. 

Nick Lachey works on new album

Former 98 Degrees member, Nick Lachey is apprently working on his third album tentatively titled, Coming Up for Air. Interesting. I liked his last album, What's Left of Me, a lot, but I'm still not a solid fan of Lachey -- I think he's still got a lot to prove as a solo artist.

UK Singles Chart, 08/03/09

1. FloRida - Right Round

Dethroning Kelly Clarkson's #1 triumph with her latest single "My Life Would Suck Without You" is FloRida who makes a remarkable return to the UK charts with his new hit "Right Round" which manages a #1 debut this week (additionally, the song also tops charts in Australia and Canada this week) this is his most successful single since his debut single "Low" peaked at #2, it still surprises me that, that song didn't ascend to #1, it was all over the radio at its time of release. Now with 2 worldwide hits in the bag, the question is when will he release a single without any features?

2. The Saturdays - Just Can't Get Enough

With Comic Relief just days away, The Saturdays assigned song for the event makes a debut at #2, becoming their highest charting effort to date, prior to this, their previous single "Issues" was the highest when it peaked at #4.

5. Taylor Swift - Love Story

Unfortunately Taylor Swift's "Love Story" didn't have enough power to ascend to #1, it falls down 3 places this week --a #2 peak will just have to do.

10. Pussycat Dolls Featuring Missy Elliot - Watcha Think About That

I was so sure this was going to be in the top 5 this week, the song being played all over the radio and all over the music channels, but instead it takes a 1 notch slide this week --but it most likely will be #1 on my personal chart this week.

13. Akon Featuring Kardinal Official and Colby O'Donis - Beautiful

I wonder what Akon owes his sudden rise in the chart this week with "Beautiful" the third single taken from his latest album Freedom. "Beautiful" is Akon's 8th top 20 in the UK.

21. Chipmunk - Chip Diddy Chip

God! what an annoying song. New UK grime rapper Chipmunk makes a debut at #21 with his latest offering "Chip Diddy Chip" --the lyrics are horrid, sorry to any fans. I much prefer Tinchy Stryder, not because we're both Ghanaians, but I think his music's better. Chipmunk's collaboration on fellow UK grime group N-Dubz song called "Deafeat You" was AMAZING, showcasing wonderful vocal skills, which makes "Chip Diddy Chip" even more disappointng.

40. Beyonce - Halo

Beyonce pulls a double at the bottom end of the chart, her #1 hit "If I Were A Boy" drops down to #39 and her upcoming single "Halo" debuts at #40, I wonder why? I've been hearing "Diva" much more.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Day26 prep 'Forever In A Day'

Products of Sean "Diddy" Combs' hit show MTV's Making The Band, Day26 plan to release their sophomore effort titled, Forever In A Day. R&B hasn't been at its best recently, efforts from the likes of Brandy, India.Arie and Musiq Soulchild have all underperformed.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

New FloRida Single

Billboard are giving an exclusive preview of FloRida's new single "Sugar" taken from his forthcoming sophomore album R.O.O.T.S. I'm in LOVE with this song! it's very summery, backed with nice piano chords and rhythmic handclaps, complimenting "Right Round" very well. Can't wait for the digital release. 

Miley Cyrus "The Climb"

Check out "The Climb" from Miley Cyrus, taken as the lead single from her forthcoming soundtrack to her upcoming, Hannnah Montana Movie. I've never really been a fan of anything Hannah related but this really good, she brings an astonishing vocal performance on here and the songs good in general too.

Singles roundup

"Revelry" Kings of Leon. A great string and drum offering from the best alternative band of the moment, "Revelry" is another great single from the Only by the Night album, maybe as good as the previous "Use Somebody" or "Sex on Fire."

"Weight of the World" Lemar. I wanted to love this song, but I just can't get behind it. It lacks a melody that sticks and the chorus is very lacking too. Hopefully it will grow on me, I'm normally a fan of Lemar's music, but his current single releases don't seem to be doing the job, he just needs another "It's Not That Easy" or "Justice".

"I Just Can't Get Enough" The Saturdays. The highest rated of the week. The Saturdays churn out a very sexy offering for Red Nose Day, "I Just Can't Enough" is a fiery electro number, with a kiddish hook and a catchy chorus. Its accompanying video makes the song that much better.

"Right Round" FloRida. Took a while for me to draw to this but now I really like it. "Right Round" is certainly no "Low" or "In The Ayer" but it gets its job done, it's a fun, hip-hop club number, fueled by FloRida's jaunty vocal rap style.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Dardos Award: Bloggers Choice

Very happy to find that Nikki of Pop Reviews Now gave me a Dardos Award. Thank You! 

"The Dardos Award is given for cultural, literary, and personal values in the form of creative and original writing. These stamps were created with the intention of promoting fraternization between bloggers, a way of showing appreciation and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web."

The Rules:
  • Accept the award by posting it on your blog along with the name of the person that has granted the award and a link to his/her blog. 
  • Pass the award to another five blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment, remembering to contact each of them to let them know they have been selected for this award.

The 5 I've chosen are...

Billboard Hot 100, 05/03/09

1. FloRida - Right Round

FloRida's "Round Round" remains the Hot 100s chart topper for the third week in a row. I really like this song now, it took me a while to -- its not as infectious his first chart topper "Low" which spent 10 weeks atop the chart, will "Right Round" be able to match?

3. Lady GaGa - Poker Face

Lady GaGa looks set for yet another U.S. #1, "Poker Face" the second offering from her debut album The Fame could indeed follow in the steps of her first single "Just Dance" which topped the chart for 2 weeks.

4. Soulja Boy Featuring Sammie - Kiss Me Thru The Phone

I still don't see the big deal behind this song, its just blahh... It continues to ascend up the chart, breaking into the top 5 this week, becoming his 2nd since 2007s monster hit "Crank That" to do so. The worst possible fate is that this beats GaGa to the top spot next week.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Personal Airplay, 05/03/09

TW LW Title - Artist
1 .... 6 .... The Fear - Lily Allen (1 week @ #1)
2 .... 2 .... Circus - Britney Spears (2 wks @ #1)
3 .... 5 .... I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
4 ... 10 ... Poker Face - Lady GaGa
5 .... 1 .... Let It Rock - Kevin Rudolf Featuring Lil' Wayne (1 wk @ #1)
6 .... 3 .... Breathe Slow - Alesha Dixon
7 .... 4 .... Single Ladies - Beyonce (1 wk @ #1)
8 ... 18 ... Love Story - Taylor Swift
9 .... 8 .... Day 'n' Nite - Kid Cudi
10 .... 7 .... Issues - The Saturdays

Monday, March 02, 2009

UK Singles Chart, 01/03/09

1. Kelly Clarkson - My Life Would Suck Without You
2. Taylor Swift - Love Story
3. Lady GaGa - Poker Face
4. T.I. Featuring Justin Timberlake - Dead and Gone

Check out this very Americanized top 5 this week, funnily enough their singles that are currently doing very well in the U.S. at the moment, hopefully the top 5 won't be so U.S. orientated in the weeks to come. Kelly Clarkson scores her first UK #1 this week with "My Life Would Suck Without You", making her the first American Idol winner to score a #1 in the UK, prior to this Jordin Sparks' duet with Chris Brown on 2007s "No Air" peaked at #3 making that the highest charting American Idol winner single. This is also Kelly's second top 5 single following 2004s "Since U Been Gone" which peaked at #5. Many of her top 10 singles could have easily been #1, it's not really not really understandable why they weren't. Her first single ever to chart in the UK, "Miss Independent" just missed the top 5, peaking at #6. "Behind These Hazel Eyes" which was really popular at its time of release only managed a top 10 peak at #9. "Because Of You" which again was remarkably popular during its time of release only managed to peak at #7 and lastly her fifth top 10 "Never Again" peaked at #9, but that song was never that popular.

Taylor Swift's "Love Story" rockets up to #2, I never expected country to do so well in the UK, the song has been getting a lot of airplay this week, should we expect a #1 next week? The rise of Lady GaGa's "Poker Face" is very understandable as I've been hearing this a lot on the radio this week too, this marks her second top 5 following her #1 smash "Just Dance" which falls 4 spots to #6 this week. Rounding off the Americanized top 5 is T.I.'s "Dead and Gone" with Justin Timberlake, which yet another thats been receiving regular rotation on the radio this week. This is T.I.'s second top 5 following "Live Your Life" with Rihanna which peaked at #2.

9. Pussycat Dolls Featuring Missy Elliot - Whatcha Think About That

"Watcha Think About That" may have flopped in the U.S. but it's definitely catching on the UK, it continues it ascent up the chart, rising 1 notch up into the top 10.

25. N-Dubz - Strong Again

I wonder what N-Dubz owe this 3 notch rise on the chart this week. "Strong Again" peaked in this exact same position last year.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Reviews for new U2 album

New reviews emerging for U2's upcoming album No Line on the Horizon point to a very promising offering. I've been listening to cuts off 2004s How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb all day today, just to get back in that U2 phase.

Rolling Stone give the album a generous 5/5 review, calling it "their their best, in its textural exploration and tenacious melodic grip, since 1991s Achtung Baby." Rolling Stene are generally generous when it comes to rating a U2 album, but this is their first 5 star they've received from the magazine, prior to this, their highest rated album was 1983s War and 1980s debut Boy which both received 4.5.

Allmusic gives the album a harsh 3/5 despite sounding very pleased with the offering in their review. They gave How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb a 3.5, which I thought was also a tad harsh.

They're plenty more reviews from the likes of Blender, Entertainment.ie, The Observer and NME, who all sound generally pleased with the album. I'll be purchasing a copy of the album sometime next week (along with Kelly Clarkson's All I Ever Wanted).