Thursday, April 30, 2009

Billboard Hot 100, 02/05/09

1. Black Eyed Peas - Boom Boom Pow
3. Kid Cudi - Day 'n' Nite

Black Eyed Peas manage to cram in another week at #1 with "Boom Boom Pow," bringing its digital sales to 1.2 million according to Yahoo. Whist "Poker Face" begins its fadeout, it hangs on to the #2 position, holding of Kid Cudi's "Day 'n' Nite" which rises a a sharp 3 notches, earning the rapper his first top 3 single. I still don't like the U.S. remix of the song, it's too mellow. 

4. Jamie Foxx - Blame It

Jamie Foxx scores his first solo U.S. top 5 single with "Blame It" which had been hovering around the bottom half of the top 10 for weeks now. Foxx has previously scored 2 #1s on the feature circuit, Twista's "Slow Jamz" released back in 2003, which topped the chart 1 week and Kanye West's "Gold Digger" released in 2005, topping the chart for a staggering 10 weeks. I can definately see "Blame It" rising even higher, a possible top 2.

7. FloRida Featuring Wynter - Sugar

My favorite song of the moment, FloRida's "Sugar" finds the strength of digital sales, fueling its 8 notch rise. This marks the rapper's 4th top 10 (following "In The Ayer" and the 2 #1s "Low" and "Right Round"). 

10. Beyonce - Halo

A couple weeks back I would've dubbed "Halo" a flop, but luckily it's caught on scoring Beyonce her 12th top 10. 

19. Britney Spears - If U Seek Amy

After, what I think was, an unfair one notch dip last week, Britney's "If U Seek Amy" finally enters the top 20 at #19, rising a healthy 3 spots, scoring her 13th top 20. Over at top 40 radio the single looks like it's going to be another hit, entering the top 10 on the Mediabase chart.       

Black Eyed Peas unveil album cover

Black Eyed Peas unveil the cover of their forthcoming 5th studio album The E.N.D. (The Energy Never Dies). Very nice. 

Personal Airplay, 30/04/09

TW LW Title - Artist
1 .... 1 .... Poker Face - Lady GaGa (7 weeks @ #1)
2 .... 2 .... Halo - Beyonce
3 .... 3 .... Day 'n' Nite - Kid Cudi
4 .... 4 .... Beautiful - Akon
5 .... 7 .... Not Fair - Lily Allen
6 .... 5 .... Dead and Gone - T.I. Featuring Justin Timberlake
7 .... 8 .... Jai Ho - A.R. Featuring The Pussycat Dolls
8 .... 9 .... Right Round - Flo Rida
9 ... 10 ... In For The Kill - La Roux
10 .. 6 .... My Life Would Suck Without You - Kelly Clarkson

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Singles Roundup

Haven't done this in a while, Here are this weeks single reviews...

N-Dubz - "Wouldn't You" (4.5/5) - Surprisingly more tame than their previous single releases, but a very nice mid-paced song, I especially like how the beat picks up towards the end. What bugs me is, despite this song being very good, there are better songs on their albumUncle B just waiting to become singles ("Don't Get Nine" and "Sex" are prime examples).

Eminem - "We Made You" (4/5) - Eminem's new single finds him returning to his more playful ways --after the more serious "Crack A Bottle"-- picking on the likes of Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson, "We Made You" is a faint reminicent of his "Without Me" days, supporting a coltish beat and comedically sung chorus. I'm really looking forward to the release of his forthcoming album Relapse which finds a May 15 release date.

Green Day - "Know Your Enemy" (4/5) - I just watched the premier of Green Day's new single on TMF just minutes ago. Very happy to find "Know Your Enemy" has a very similar sound to the stuff on their monster hit album American Idiot, which sets a very positive tone for their forthcoming album 21st Century Breakdown which drops May 15 --going head to head with Eminem for a #1 debut on the U.S. Billboard 200. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sugababes sign US deal

Digital Spy report that UK pop group, Sugababes have signed a US record deal on rapper Jay-Z' label Roc-A-Fella. The girls are currently working on their 7th studio album, currently untitled. Their latest album Catfights and Spotlights unfortunately became a commercial failure, despite being their best work in years --hopefully this new offering will revive sales for the group now with an opportunity to hit the US.

Album Review: Forever In A Day - Day26 (3/5)

Products of Sean "Diddy" Combes' hit MTV reality show Making The Band 4, Day26 return with their sophomore effort Forever In A Day only a year after their eponymous debut, which was a mediocre effort at best, but did spawn some nice cuts ("Get Me Going" and "Since You've Been Gone") but was collectively lacking. Although there isn't much distinction but Forever In A Day does point to signs of maturity. The album isn't as equable as it should be, venturing on a lengthy 15 track set, no doubt there are many clunkers unfortunately.

The album opens very slickly with the mid-tempo "Just Gettin Started" which features a archetypical kinetic handclap beat --most R&B and hip-hop acts thrive upon that feat these days-- this then leads on swiftly into "Imma Put It On Her" Featuring Young Joc and P. Diddy the albums seductive lead single, despite its Usher's "Love In This Club" reminiscent vibe and pornographic lyrics, funnily the most interesting thing about the song is its repetitive, catchy chorus which is really its main selling point, Diddy gives a pretty weak rap in an attempt to bulk up the song --a decent song it may be it's definitely no "Get Me Going."

There's no need to scan through the track listing to know that T-Pain is featured on "Shawty Wats Up", his vocodered, sultry vocals immediately gets the song off to a thundering start. A very synthesized number, but is backed well with recurring drums throughout the track, doubtlessly among my favorites on here. "Think Of Me" and "Perfectly Blind" are boring cuts, could have easily been left off the album, "Perfectly Blind" attempts a very sensual direction but falls very short, although I do give credit to Brian on his wonderful vocal performance on here. Resting perfectly in-between these 2 tracks are "Stadium Music" and "Bi-Polar" which are the albums' high points, "Stadium Music" has a nice harmonized vocal set on the chorus, advocated by bursts of electronic guitar, which makes it all the better. "Bi-Polar" is album first decent ballad, admittedly getting off to a very weak start, the song pulls itself together around the first chorus when the piano becomes more noticeable and vocals become more combined.

The second half of the album really drags the whole thing to a conventional level. "So Good" is another boring cut --filler than anything else. "Girlfriend" and "Babymaker" are a bit too slow for my taste, although I do like the hook on "Girlfriend", "Babymaker" sounds like something from one of R. Kelly's earlier albums, but done very unsuccessfully --comparing a sex position to an elevator can only seem creative in the dirtiest of minds. "Then There's You" rounds off well with nice rhythmic handclaps and acoustic guitar, giving the song a slight Ne-Yo-Pop edge.

Jermaine Dupree pops up on the funky, disco reminiscent "Need That" which indeed works up to the best of the album and very out of the blue. "Reminds Me Of You" another boring cut, seems like it was features as an attempt to pointlessly lengthen the album. "Your Heels" has a nice kinetic beat, but gets awfully unfulfilling and arid --a 4 minute song about heels? seriously, they must running out of ideas, but although some of this decade's biggest hits have come from random objects (Rihanna's "Umbrella" and Lil' Mama's "Lip Loss" are prime example). Expecting a really heartfelt ballad to close the album, I am a tad disappointed at "The Truth Is A Lie" a bitter, bland song with no melody.

Originally expecting the album to flop very hard in both commercial and quality, I have been proven wrong... to an extent, although the album isn't as bad as I was expecting it to be, it's not that good either, it's lengthy 16 track set doesn't help. The only good thing about it having too many clunkers is that it does feel it out with some pretty good tracks.

Best: Stadium Music, Bi-Polar, Imma Put It On Her, Shawty Wats Up, Just Gettin Started

UK Singles Chart, 26/04/09

1. Tinchy Stryder Featuring N-Dubz - Number 1

UK grime rapper (and fellow Ghanian) Tinchy Stryder scores his first #1 with the ironically titled "Number 1", a synthesized rap-meets-pop number. Including this feat, Stryder now has 2 top 5 singles, the other being "Take Me Back" with Tiao Cruz which peaked at #3 earlier this year. BBC's report that "Number 1" now marks the first time an artist has reached the top spot, acquiring that title --although titles shouldn't matter so I don't count that as a notable achievement. Prior to this Stryder released 3 underground singles, notably "Stryderman" which succumbed to the most success peaking at #73 last year. The song is also hip-hop group N-Dubz' first #1 --their current single "Wouldn't You" has yet to enter the top 40, I'm hoping it will match the success of their previous singles. A warm congrats to Tinchy Stryder. 

3. Calvin Harris - I'm Not Alone

After last weeks #1 debut, Calvin Harris' scored his second #1 with "I'm Not Alone", the previous #1 came as feature segment in last years' hit, Dizzee Rascal's "Dance Wiv Me." "I'm Not Alone" is now Harris' biggest hit, beating out his earlier singles ("The Girls" and "Acceptable In The 80's") which peaked at #3 and #10 respectively, this week it gets pushed down a mere 2 spots down to #3, I can see a #1 re-bound arising.

5. Eminem - We Made You

Emimen scores his 13th (excluding his feature on Akon's #1 hit "Smack That") top 5 with "We Made You" --which is now being used as the lead single from his forthcoming album Relapse, "Crack A Bottle" has been scrapped --despite its success, although I do prefer Eminem returning to his more taunting and playful ways, although "We Made You" is definately no "Without Me."

13. Pink - Please Don't Levae Me

Pink's third single "Please Don't Leave Me" taken from her latest album Funhouse finds a significant boost this week, powering up to #13, scoring her 15th top 20, with its single release yesterday I'm sure we can expect a top 10 entry next week.

20. Keri Hilson Featuring Timbaland - Return The Favor 

Keri Hilson's "Return The Favor" becomes her first solo effort to chart on the UK chart, the single comes in at a safe #20 this week. Although prior to this, she'd been featured heavily on the collaboration circuit, scoring 4 top 40 singles ("Hey Now" with Xzibit, "The Way I Are" and "Scream" with Timbaland and "Superhuman" with Chris Brown)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Personal Airplay, 23/04/09

TW LW Title - Artist
1 .... 1 .... Poker Face - Lady GaGa (6 weeks @ #1)
2 .... 3 .... Halo - Beyonce
3 .... 2 .... Day 'n' Nite - Kid Cudi
4 .... 5 .... Beautiful - Akon
5 .... 6 .... Dead and Gone - T.I. Featuring Justin Timberlake
6 .... 4 .... My Life Would Suck Without You - Kelly Clarkson
7 .... 7 .... Not Fair - Lily Allen
8 .... 9 .... Jai Ho - A.R. Rahman Featuring The Pussycat Dolls
9 ... 10 ... Right Round - Flo Rida Featuring Kesha
10 .. 14 .. In For The Kill - La Roux

Monday, April 20, 2009

New videos this week

Blog's been kinda quiet lately, hmm... where is everyone? 

Anyway, Ne-Yo is still churning out singles from Year of the Gentleman "Part Of The List" is his 4th release from the album. 

Black Eyed Peas now have their video for "Boom Boom Pow" which has now spent 2 consecutive weeks atop the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Very interesting video. 

It's a shame you don't need a video to receive chart success these days --I'm predicting in the future first singles will stop having videos made for them.  

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Billboard Hot 100, 18/04/09

1. Black Eyed Peas - Boom Boom Pow

Black Eyed Peas manage to cram in another stay at #1 this week, thanks to some additional heavy download sales last week, surprisingly the song still rests on top of the iTunes top 100 and is currently working its way to the top of the Mediabase chart which measures top 40 airplay in the U.S.

9. Miley Cyrus - The Climb
28. Miley Cyrus - Hoedown Throwdown

Miley Cyrus' "The Climb" rebounds 10-8 this week and is also this weeks sales gainer, thanks to the opening of her new, Hannah Montana movie last week (which raked $34 million at the Box Office). Also enjoying chart success due to movie is "Hoedown Throwdown" featured its accompanying soundtrack, which rises 62-28 this week scoring her 4th top 40 hit.

13. Beyonce - Halo

Whilist before the success of Beyonce's "Halo" was looking bleak; this week it takes a leap up to #13, a top 20 soon I'm sure. It's amazing how much the song has grown on me. "Halo-o-oh!"

Not a very interesting Hot 100 this week. I'm kinda sad "Amy" still resides outside the top 10 despite its rapid rise on the Mediabase chart.

Personal Airplay, 16/04/09

TW LW Title - Artist
1 .... 1 .... Poker Face - Lady GaGa (5 weeks @ #1)
2 .... 3 .... Day 'n' Nite - Kid Cudi
3 .... 4 .... Halo - Beyonce
4 .... 2 .... My Life Would Suck Without You - Kelly Clarkson
5 .... 5 .... Beautiful - Akon
6 .... 8 .... Dead and Gone - T.I. Featuring Justin Timberlake
7 ... 10 ... Not Fair - Lily Allen
8 .... 6 .... Love Story - Taylor Swift
9 ... 13 ... Jai Ho - A.R. Rahman Feauring The Pussycat Dolls
10 .. 11 .. Right Round - Flo Rida Featuring Kesha

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New Busta Rhymes Single

Wasn't expecting a new Busta Rhymes single just yet, due to his upcoming eighth studio album Back on My B.S. being pushed back to a May 19 release date. "Hustler's Anthem '09" Featuring T-Pain, is the latest rapper --a very decent offering-- backed with a brisk handlcap and click bassline, followed by some deep piano chords. It's definitely no "Touch It" but it's very befitting.

Originally sent to U.S. radio February 10, "Hustler's Anthem" only started receiving airplay in the UK these few past days. The video's very comedic --I'm glad to see that even with the whole economic mess going on, Busta can see a more facetious approach to life. 

Brilliant "Kill The Lights" Remix

Came across this brilliant remix of Britney's "Kill The Lights" from her Circus album. Not being too keen on the original version, I never thought you could carve out an alternative edge from this. A definite must-see. 

Monday, April 13, 2009

Album Review: Keith Urban - Defying Gravity (4/5)

Still adequately enjoying the new Rascal Flatts album, I thought I give fellow Country singer Keith Urban a listen --wasn't originally planning to, but I remembered enjoying his last 2 albums-- which consisted of nothing more than emblematic and bromidic Country music (banjos, drums, strings and the occasional paino.)

Defying Gravity keeps up a comfortable level of consistency, although the title is a bit fulsome --not as dramatic as it seeks out to be. Limited to a befitting 11 tracks, the album maintains a high degree of aptness. The opening number "Kiss A Girl" is a very strong opener, pacing with strings, a faint electronic guitar and drums. "If I Ever Could Love" follows up well, patrolling with a daring mid-tempo edge, backed with hazy horns, a twangy guitar and a almost archetypical Scotland-bagpipes.

"Sweet Thing" is a charming, fast paced number, backed with a glistening reverb-laden guitar. Personal favorite "Til Summer Comes Around" is a very eerie number, chimerically textured with gaited strings and drums. "My Heart Is Open" just fits in into the more upbeat of the album, churning out a slick, downbeat composition -- "Hit The Ground Runnin" compliments "Heart Is Open" very well, as it kicks up the tempo a notch, introducing a fun sense of Rock 'n' Roll, endorsed with a very catchy and fiery chorus.

The sentimental "Only You Can Love Me" is surprisingly supported by a LeAnne Rimes reminiscent, deep-edged bassline, also incorporating the typical country instruments. "Standing Right In Front Of You" is the more melodic of the album, bolstered with breezy, gleaming dissertation.

Next 2 tracks ("Why's It Feel So Long" and "I'm In") aren't really noteworthy --just think drum, strings and electronic guitar-- Closing the album is the "Thank You" is furthered by a nice rhythmic bassline, conisting of mostly drums and admirable piano chords running through. Defying Gravity is a very good country album indeed, although not breaking any new ground or "defying" any "gravity", but nonetheless it's a very good album --albeit, the new Rascal Flatts album is however the best country album so far, this year.

Best Tracks: Kiss A Girl, Thank You, Hit The Ground Runnin', Til Summer Comes Around, If I Could Ever Love

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Green Day's 21st Century Breakdown

Green Day's eighth studio album 21st Century Breakdown finds a May 15 release date. In the meantime you can check out a 1 minute teaser of the title track on their official website.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Billboard Hot 100, 11/04/09

1. Black Eyed Peas - Boom Boom Pow
2. Lady GaGa - Poker Face

As I predicted, Black Eyed Peas score their first U.S. #1 with their 'comeback' single "Boom Boom Pow", which I've grown to love. I still find it hard to imagine that their previous singles, like ("Don't Phunk With My Heart", "Hey Mama" and especially "Where Is The Love?") never managed to nab the top spot. "Pow" raked up to 465,000 downloads, which fueled its 38 spot rise to the top, knocking Lady GaGa's "Poker Face" only down a notch to #2 --which could see to the top spot again-- after the digital sales of "Pow" die down next week.

7. Kid Cudi - Day 'N' Nite

Kid Cudi earns his first U.S. top 10 with his debut single "Day 'N' Nite" rising 11-7 this week. I've heard the American version of the song and I really don't like it, I prefer the UK "Crookers" remix. The song is also sales gainer of the week.

18. Beyonce - Halo

Beyonce scores her 13th top 20 single with "Halo" (although at top 40 radio, it's still pacing outside the top 20). At the moment I'm very uninterested at how well "Halo" will do. I'm looking forward to see how "Brokenhearted-Girl" will fare.

21. Britney Spears - If U Seek Amy

How is this still outside the top 20? Britney's "If U Seek Amy" is #15 at top 40 radio and #15 on the iTunes Top 100, so this is a weird position to end up at, but any-hoo, as Billboard noted, it's good to see Britney rising up the chart the old-fashioned way, airplay and steady sales-- her last 2 singles owe their success to large one-week digital sales.

Personal Airplay, 09/04/09

TW LW Title - Artist
1 .... 1 .... Poker Face - Lady GaGa (4 weeks @ #1)
2 .... 5 .... My Life Would Suck Without You - Kelly Clarkson
3 .... 4 .... Day 'n' Nite - Kid Cudi
4 .... 6 .... Halo - Beyonce
5 .... 7 .... Beautiful - Akon
6 .... 3 .... Love Story - Taylor Swift
7 .... 2 .... Watcha Think About That - The Pussycat Dolls
8 ... 10 .. Dead and Gone - T.I. Featuring Justin Timberlake
9 .... 8 .... The Fear - Lily Allen (2 wks @ #1)
10 .. 19 .. Not Fair - Lily Allen

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Rascal Flatts' Unstoppable

I listened through the new Rascal Flatts album today and it's awesome. I'm completely smitten. Now the album isn't as good as Me and My Gang, but it's definitely up there. So far my favorite cuts are the breezy "Close" which is backed with pacing drums, strings, twangy banjos and bursts of electronic gutiar during the first half of the song. The melodic "Why" is another favorite, accompanied by a beautiful piano. Review coming soon.

Album Review: Jadakiss - The Last Kiss (4 / 5)

Jadakiss' last album release was 2004s Kiss of Death which spawned the sultry duet with Mariah Carey ("U Make Me Wanna") became his biggest hit to date, giving him his first U.S. top 10. The album itself was a very satisfactory affair but still making Jadakiss one to watch on the Hip-Hop scene. The Last Kiss (originally titled Kiss My Ass) is the third installment (and presumably last) in the Kiss series -- Death would've been given a 3.5, which would make The Last Kiss a fair 4 as it follows up very well, although not widely better.

Opening with "Pain & Torture", the album gets off to an aggressive start --althought not as daunting as the title suggests. The song pulses a very brisk beat, followed by a smartly crafted chorus, awkwardly rhyming words with 'pain' and 'torture'. Following it up is "Can't Stop Me" which is a drum, tambourine and synth avocation --proving vocals from Ayanna Irish on the repetitive, jump chorus.

"Who's Real" is among my favorites. It joins in a string of Hip-Hop songs using nursery rhymes and throwing a catchy, kinetic beat on it, in this case it's "If Your Happy And You Know It" --which gets its lyrics changed to: ("If your real and your know it clap your hands") backed with an infectious clap and click bass. Mary J. Blige lends her vocals on "Grind Hard" which consists of an astonishing combination between gospel, synth and raw Hip-Hop.

Styles P and Young Jeezy, who are often compared to Jadakiss, pop up on the tracks "Something Else" and "One More Step" --the songs don't sound alike but their structured the same. "Something Else" presents flattering bursts electronic guitar in the backing track.

Kiss of Death is a very lengthy effort, running up to 19 original tracks --which causes the album to start to drown itself with fillers once it reaches its halfway point. "Be My Side" featuring Ne-Yo is best from the second half --a very distinctive highlight, backed with a funky bassline, blistering synthesizers and soaring, layered background vocals. Ghostface (another artist I often compare to Jadakiss) appears on "Cartel Gathering" which is a very retrospective number.

Other good cuts from the second half include "Letter To B.I.G." with Faith Evans, which is backed with a very mid-paced beat and a complimentary electronic guitar --this could've been easily been included on the Notorious movie Soundtrack-- only 4 months too late. The aggressive "Come and Get Me" is another good cut.

Dry spots on the album come from "Respect My Conglomerate" with Busta Rhymes, which sounds like an unlikely grower, but for the time being doesn't stick that well with me. Lil' Wayne's appearance on the dark "Death Wish" is very unfulfilling --I generally like anything Lil' Wayne appears on.

Whilst The Last Kiss is a wide improvement from Kiss of Death --it's not great-- which makes me wonder if a 4 is too generous, but then again I like most of the tracks, so I'm on the fense with this one.

Best Tracks: Who's Real, Be My Side, Grind Hard, Something Else, I Tried, Somking Gun

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Eoghan Quigg's debut album

Irish singer, Eoghan Quigg (pronounced Owen Quigg) came in third place (behind winner, Alexandra Burke and male-group, JLS) on the UKs biggest talent show X-Factor, which discovered british pop sensation Leona Lewis, now he's ready to release his eponymous debut album. 

The single "28,000 Friends" is currently receiving minimal airplay in the UK --It's strangely not proving that popular here (from what I can tell anyway)-- The songs a tad too cheesy for me, but that's the most of its downfalls as it does its job, appealing to its set audience --young teenage girls and young boys and girls who don't know any better.   

According to the track-list have put up, Eoghan Quigg only has 1 original song --the single-- the rest are covers which is a bit disappointing, but expected. I can't be bothered to research to tonight, so here are the obvious covers I can pick out: High School Musical ("We're All In The Together"), McFly's ("All ABout You"), Jonas Brother's ("When You Look Me The Eyes", I love this song) and Michael Buble's ("Home"). 

The album hits stores tomorrow. Will I be buying? probably not --I expect it to be very corny and kiddish, which wouldn't help my struggle to move from listening to kiddish pop music to adult contemporary. 

Saturday, April 04, 2009

The Fast & Furious

Not really my thing to talk about movies but I couldn't resist. I've been seeing adverts about the fourth installment in The Fast and Furious series. The Fast & Furious, is a movie I definitely want to catch before the end of the first half of the year. 2006s Tokyo Drift, was in no way as compelling as 2003s 2 Fast 2 Furious, which is the best offering from the series. Hopefully I'm not disappointed with this one.

Other movies I want to see:
  • 17 Again (Zac Efron put on a very good performance on the High School Musical series, It would be nice to see what he can do in an non-musical and personal reviews from friends have been very good too.) 
  • Monsters vs. Aliens (I enjoyed Kung Fu Panda, and of course Shrek, very very much and Monsters vs. Aliens, seems like the kiddish DreamWorks nonsense I so love.)
  • I Love You, Man (Another DreamWorks production, it hasn't received any promotion in the UK yet but when it does I'll very inclined to see it as Britney Spears twitters she has too.)
  • Watchmen (There was a lot of positive talk about this film in early March. I Haven't seen a good superhero film in awhile, Batman, was the last, and this looks very cool. It's based on the 1986 comic book series, Watchmen.)

Album Review: FloRida - R.O.O.T.S. (3 / 5)

R.O.O.T.S. (Route of Overcoming the Struggle), is the title of FloRida's sophomore album, following up to the rusty Mail on Sunday which admittedly had a handful of highlights ("Low," "Elevator," and "In The Ayer") but contained way too many dry spots --I think the title of the album is way to benevolent for its own good. It's not as contemplative as it seeks out to be, however it does score on a very high standard when you take into consideration the 'fun' factor. Doped up with infectious vigorous beats and very fetching choruses R.O.O.T.S. is indeed a very well structured improvement from its predecessor.

The album opens with "Finally Here" a mid-paced number, backed with drums and synths --the melodic chorus is what ties the song together, a great prep for the follow up track "Jump" with Nelly Furtado, is a fast paced number, which indulges in an interesting collection of synthesizers, drums, tambourines and kinetic clicks and handclaps, Furtado's nasally sang chorus is very infectious --this could well be a single, or rather it should be. "Gotta Get It" is another interesting cut, also very fast paced but includes a retro, almost 80s reminiscent, robotically sung chorus which is really cool.

If "Low" was the highlight of Mail on Sunday then "Right Round" is the "Low" of R.O.O.T.S. at first I didn't think so, but it's equally as annoyingly catchy, thumping an infectious drum-clap bassline backed with synthesizers. Amongst the best on the album is "Sugar" which I've been in love with for quite a while now --I love the breezy, summery vibe the song carries through backed with dazzling piano chords. "Be On You" with Ne-Yo is another highlight, emerging in a more bleepy R&B flavored venture-- aside from the fact that Ne-Yo is absolutely brlliant-- I'm very impressed with FloRida's lyrical work on here, just a tad more sultry and meaningful on here.

"Mind On My Money" is a phrase used a lot by artist within the hip-hop genre, so I'm immediately inclined to think this one of those same 'ol, same 'ol cuts--nothing original-- but it's actually a pretty decent cut. Very melodic, just a bit too drum backed for my taste but I love how almost every chorus in his songs always stick. "Available" with Akon is a funky number, with a pulsating synth bassline--backed with rhythmic handclaps. I spot some commercial activity on the lyric: "Let me put your number in my iPhone, baby", tsk tsk tsk.

"Shone" and "Ha" are typical synth, handclap and click hip-hop numbers, nothing too praiseworthy. "Rewind" with Wyclef Jean is amongst my favorites on here, It's the piano that really holds the song together and also its contemplative message. "Touch Me" isn't that great but it features a Stephen Hawking inspired chorus with the repetition of its title. "Never" is another piano backed number, it's the 'uplifting' of the album and the more serious, really rounds off the album well.

Flo Rida may not be a genius lyricist like Kanye West but his lyric-work can be creative when he wants them to be, especially when it's backed with such great beats and R.O.O.T.S. may not be perfect and may not be that original but it's a very good hip-hop album and nothing more.

Best Tracks: Jump, Right Round, Sugar, Be On You, Mind On My Money, Available, Rewind

Friday, April 03, 2009

Single Reviews, 03/04/09

Noisettes - "Don't Upset The Rhythm" (4.5/5) I absolutely love this song --after many mediocre efforts the Noisettes land their breakthrough single. "Don't Upset The Rhythm" is great retro, 70s inspired song, backed with nice drum work, synthesizers and faint strings. 

Metro Station - "Shake It" (4.5/5) This song has been out since mid-last year, but its only started receiving airplay in the UK now. I check out their album last year and it nothing less than decent, but I kinda forgot about it for awhile. "Shake It" is a fun alternative number, held up by string, drum and snyth. 

Akon Featuring Colby O'Donis & Kadinal Official - "Beautiful" (4/5) Akon really does well on these eerie numbers. His single "Right Now" is very similar to this --backed with beeps and kinetic clicks and handclaps "Beautiful" holds up Akon's consistency through his singles very well. 

Lily Allen - "Not Fair" (4/5) This was one of the highlights when I first listened through Lily Allen's latest album, It's Not Me, It's You, although my love for the song has died down a bit, I still admire her departure from retro, contemporary cuts, venturing in a more country vibe. 

Girls Aloud - "Untouchable" (4/5) Brilliant piece of british pop. Girls Aloud have really remained through their single choices from their latest album Out of Control -- "Untouchable" is a very spacey number accompanied by a very retro feel. The new remix that's been issued for the songs commercial release isn't as good as the album version, which is tad disappointing. 

September - "Can't Get Over" (4/5) September conquered the UK Dance scene with their fiery dance hit "Cry For You" which I happily bought the EP to. They return with "Can't Get Over" which is just as good as "Cry" --a nice catchy chorus and solid verses backed with snyth and other noises. 

Shontelle Featuring Akon (4/5) Shontelle returns with "Stuck With Eachother" which is taken from the re-issue of her debut album Shontelligence. It's a typical urban contemporary, guitar backed number --similar to most of the stuff on Rihanna's Good Girl Gone Bad. The song may be good, but the sooner Shontelle finds her unique touch the better.

Just Jack - "Embers" (3.5/5) Just Jack hit the big time when he scored his first UK top 5 with 2006s "Starz In Their Eyes" --a breezy, catchy, easy listening number-- This year he returns with "Embers", not as good as "Starz" but it's decent alternative number, It consists of recurring handclaps, violins, drums and layered vocals. "Embers" is taken from his upcoming sophomore album All Night Cinema.

Kelly Clarkson's "I Do Not Hook Up"

R&R report that Kelly Clarkson's new single "I Do Not Hook Up," taken as the second single released from her latest album All I Ever Wanted, is scheduled to impact U.S. radio April 13. I'm curious to find out how well it'll follow up "My Life Would Suck."  

Cool "Shadow" Remix

I found this really good remix of Britney's "Shadow" (taken from from her 2003 album In the Zone). This among my favorite Britney songs ever and this remix is one of the best that's been made of the song. It's very enticing.

Prince update

I just learned that Prince's upcoming studio album LOtUSFLOW3R will be part of 3 album box set, featuring 2 more albums (MPLSoUND and Elixer) all set to venture in a Psychedelic, rock orientated direction. A 3 in 1, what more can you ask for. 

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Prince's Lotus Flower

Another album release I knew nothing about. I can't wait to get my hands on Prince's 25th studio album LOtUSFLOWE3R (Lotus Flower). I've been a fan of his for quite awhile now, ever since Musicology, which spawned the R&B hit "Call My Name". The album has been released exclusively through Target Stores in the U.S. It finds an April 7 release date in Europe. 

Album Review: Bow Wow - New Jack City II (3.5 / 5)

Bow Wow sure kept the release for his 7th studio album New Jack City II tight-lipped, I didn't even know he was planning an album release this year. New Jack City II is Bow Wow's first album since 2006s The Price of Fame which spawned the U.S. top 10 hit "Shortie Like Mine" with Chris Brown.

His last album release was a collaborative effort with R&B singer Omarion, Face Off, aside from a few highlights (notably "Girlfriend" and "Hey Baby") the album was very disappointing. New Jack City II is a very courteous representation of old school hip-hop, associating the typical modulation between well crafted and fastly sung lyrics with catchy hardcore beats.

Whilst The Price of Fame ventured in a some-what serious standpoint, New Jack City is noticeably more boisterous and diverting and also very star studded. The single "You Can Get It All" with Johnta Austin, is a wonderful mid-paced number, featuring marvelous piano chords in the background --probably the best song on the album. "What They Call Me" with Nelly and Ron Browz is another killer --incorporating horns, drums and a very gritty, infectious bass. "Been Doin' This" with T.I. is more slow but another good track --well calculated verses I should add. "Like This" is very summery, venturing in a more slow jam orientation, but it's certainly no "Let Me Hold You". Unfortunately the album does contain some dry spots. "She's My" with T-Pain should've been very good --but it's very bland and tepid. "I Ain't Playin" with Trey Songz sounds like a grower --as it's typical drum, bell and handclap hip-hop-- but for the moment it does nothing for me.

"Pole In My Basement" is another highlight --very adult and sensual-- (like almost all hip-hop is these days). "Roc The Mic" with Jermaine Dupri and "Like This" are also good cuts. New Jack City II is a good album, but not great, 2005s Wanted is his best offering --the album spawned the hit "Like You" with Ciara and collectively it was great too.

Best Tracks: What They Call Me, You Can Get It All, Rock the Mic, Pole In My Basement, Been Doin' This

Billboard Hot 100, 04/04/09

1. Lady GaGa - Poker Face

Lady GaGa scores her second U.S. #1 with "Poker Face". According to Billboard this makes the GaGa the first artist in almost 10 years (11 to be exact) to score 2 consecutive #1s with their first 2 chart entries. The last artist to accomplish this was Christina Aguilera, with her 1999 debut "Genie In A Bottle" and "What A Girl Wants". "Poker Face" is also Lady GaGa's 2nd consecutive #1 over here in the UK --coincidence much. Last year I wasn't too sure if this would match the success of "Just Dance" guess I just got proved wrong.

5. Jamie Foxx - Blame It

"Blame It" is Jamie Foxx's highest charting single ever as it enters the top 5 this week --becoming his first-- Prior to this, "Unpredictable" was his highest charting, when it gave him his first top 10, peaking at #8 back in 2005.

10. Ciara Featuring Justin Timberlak - Love Sex Magic

Ciara scores her 5th top 10 with "Love Sex Magic" this week as it rises a solid 17 spots thanks to heavy airplay this week. Justin scores his 6th (solo). 

20. FloRida - Sugar

"Sugar" rises an additional 5 spots up this week, after it debut at #25 last week. I'm expecting it to rise next week when R.O.O.T.S. drops. 

23. Beyonce - Halo
24. Britney Spears - If U Seek Amy

And the competition is on. Beyonce's "Halo" and Britney's "Amy" have both been moving at steady paces (both in digital sales and airplay) during the past couple weeks, so they're both in the same boat. Both Britney and Beyonce have already scored a #1 from their current albums ("Single Ladies" and "Womanizer"). Although I doubt a #1 for either the songs is out of the question, a top 5 is almost certain, but which one will get their first?

Personal Airplay, 02/04/09

TW LW Title - Artist
1 .... 1 .... Poker Face - Lady GaGa (3 weeks @ #1)
2 .... 2 .... Watcha Think About That - The Pussycat Dolls
3 .... 3 .... Love Story - Taylor Swift
4 .... 5 .... Day 'n' Nite - Kid Cudi
5 .... 7 .... My Life Would Suck Without You - Kelly Clarkson
6 .... 8 .... Halo - Beyonce
7 .... 9 .... Beautiful - Akon
8 .... 4 .... The Fear - Lily Allen (2 wks @ #1)
9 .... 6 .... Circus - Britney Spears (2 wks @ #1)
10 .. 12 .. Dead and Gone - T.I. Featuring Justin Timberlake

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Preview FloRida's R.O.O.T.S

I listened to FloRida's new album 2 or 3 times through yesterday and It's very good, better than I expected. His debut album Mail on Sunday had a handful of notable tracks ("Low", "In The Ayer" and "Elevator") but was collectively lacking, this is a very distinctive improvement. It's fairly more lighter and electronic than its predecessor. It features collaborations with big name artists like Nelly Furtado, Ne-Yo and Wyclef Jean. A full review will come later this week, in the meantime here are a couple highlights from the album:

"Jump" (Featuring Nelly Furtado) - Very fast paced, great kinetic bassline and well delivered catchy chorus by Furtado. 
"Gotta Get It" - Again very fast paced. Strange robotically sung chorus, but very luring.
"Be On You" (Featuring Ne-Yo) - Currently my favorite track on here. Ne-Yo is AMAZING!
"Sugar" - I've liked this song for awhile now. Very summery and infectious. 
"Rewind" (Featuring Wyclef Jean) - Nice recurring piano riff.