'Castle Walls' is the next single from Atlanta rapper T.I and following a string of flops from his album 'King Uncaged' ’No Mercy’ it seems like he might have a hit on his hands.
The Alex da Kid produced track features Christina Aguilera on the hook of this track which is a progression of Alex da Kid’s signature sound as it combines a slight electronic sound with his usual melody driven sound with a heavy drum beat. Christina sounds amazing on this track, which is T.I’s best in a long time. Hopefully it’s enough to give these two a hit…
After making the strange decision to change her stage name to ‘Ameriie’, Amerie is giving us the first taste of her fifth album ‘Cymatika Vol 1.’
'Outside Your Body' is the first single from the project and sees Amerie Ameriie divert from her usual R&B sound, taking on a more euro-pop sound with this new track. This synth driven track’s lyrics take us around the world as Ameriie even manages to get a few Korean lines in there.
While the track is in my opinion, a step back from her previous work, it’s a catchy song with a supposed deep meaning behind it, shown by the quote below that Ameriie gave to RapUp.com. I’d rather she didn’t fully go down a pop/dance route with this record, and if she does she really should go either more experimental or commercial as this song kind of sits in the middle a bit.
“‘Outside Your Body’ is about the recognition that we are eternal beings, that these physical bodies are not who we are, and how we should remember and celebrate our unlimited potential. We have no limits,”
That’s what Ameriie said herself about the song, so take that it how you want to really. Props to Ameriie for writing the song herself though, it’s definitely worth a listen.
The Black Eyed Peas are getting ready to release their sixth album ‘The Beginning’ on November 30 by releasing a track from the album each week to Itunes up until the album release.
'Do It Like This' is the first of these promotional tracks, and if you thought 'The Time (Dirty Bit)' wasn't up to scratch, you haven't heard anything yet. The track starts off with a Hip-Hop beat and switches up midway turning into a proper dance track. It really isn't very good though. The track is pretty tuneless and doesn't really go anywhere. I got a headache, but maybe that was just me…
'The E.N.D' maybe spelt out the end for the Black Eyed Peas in more ways than one as it was when the quality of their music dropped significantly, with it being a much weaker album than its predecessors. 'The Beginning' just seems like the start of something worse with even more autotune, less melody and the Black Eyed Peas turning into even bigger sell outs. Pity.
It’s been eleven years since Dr. Dre released ‘2001’ and it now finally looks like his long awaited and highly delayed third album might be one step closer to being in our hands.
'Kush' sees the rapper team up Snoop Dogg who features on the second verse and Akon on the chorus. The piano based track goes hard, and if it is anything to go by, then Detox may just have been worth the wait…
Jay Electronica // Shiny Suit Theory [Feat. Jay-Z & The-Dream]
Freshly signed to Jay-Z’s Roc-Nation label, there is a lot of buzz around this New Orleans rapper who may finally release a debut album. This is the first track to emerge since he was confirmed to be signed to the up and coming record label and he has some pretty big names as collaborators already.
'Shiny Suit Theory' looks like it could be the first single from his debut album 'Act II: Patents of Nobility (The Turn)'. The track is based around a looped jazzy melody and has an audience applauding throughout at different parts, which really enhances the atmosphere of the track. Jay's verse may well be the best part of the track, so check it out.
UK indie pop singer Ellie Goulding has covered Elton John’s ‘Your Song’ for the re-release of her debut album ‘Lights’, which has been cleverly titled ‘Bright Lights’. Used in a promotional campaign by UK Department Store ‘John Lewis’, this version of the song really is something.
Ellie’s voice has a certain vulnerability about it in the song, which is a very stripped back and organic version of ‘Your Song’. This gives the song a certain quaint beauty as the simplicity of this subtle version really is beautiful. You really have to hear this, it’s amazing.
I’ve never been much of a fan of Adam Lambert’s music, but even I appreciated what a catchy song ‘Whataya Want From Me’ was. When I heard that P!nk had originally recorded it for her ‘Funhouse’ album I was desperate to hear her version.
Well, hear we have it. P!nk’s version of the song is much better in my eyes due to her distinctive and more impressive vocals. The song definitely seems a lot more sincere when P!nk sings in it. This definitely should have been included in ‘Funhouse’, I would have chosen it as the second single. Check this out on her Greatest Hits album.
'Price Tag' is another great song from up and coming UK artist Jessie J. Originally intended to be her debut US single before 'Who You Are' was chosen instead, this Dr Luke produced track is a must listen, I'm just really feelin' it at the moment.
The lyrics convey how money shouldn’t be so important and how we should be bringing happiness into our lives and each-others lives without the need of the money, money, money. This cool, laid-back summery track really shows what an amazing talent this girl is with it’s great message, lyrics, melody and production. Can’t wait to hear the final version with none other than B.o.B; check it out.
Rolling Stone Album Review: Kanye West // My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
When Kanye West sings about “jerk-offs that’ll never take work off,” you’d best believe he means himself. Being crazy is this guy’s job, and judging from the sound of his music, business is booming. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is his most maniacally inspired music yet, coasting on heroic levels of dementia, pimping on top of Mount Olympus. Yeezy goes for the grandeur of stadium rock, the all-devouring sonics of hip-hop, the erotic gloss of disco, and he goes for all of it, all the time. Nobody halfway sane could have made this album.
Last time, Kanye went minimal for the electro melancholia of 808s & Heartbreak. But on Fantasy, he gets ridiculously maximal, blowing past all the rules of hip-hop and pop, even though, for the past half-decade, he’s been the one inventing the rules. There are hip-hop epics, R&B ballads, alien electronics, prog-rock samples, surprise guests from Bon Iver to Fergie to Chris Rock, even a freaking Elton John piano solo. It’s his best album, but it’s more than that — it’s also a rock-star manifesto for a downsizing world. At a time when we all get hectored about lowering our expectations, surrendering our attention spans, settling for less, West wants us to demand more.
Nobody else is making music this daring and weird, from the spooky space funk of “Gorgeous” to the King Crimson-biting “Power” to the paranoid staccato strings of “Monster.” Nearly six minutes into “Runaway,” long after the song has already sealed itself in your brain, the sound cuts out and you think it’s over. Then there’s a plinking piano, the feedback of an electric guitar plugging in, some “Strawberry Fields”-style cellos and Yeezy himself singing a poignant Robert Fripp-style solo through his vocoder. There’s no way it should work, but it keeps rolling for three more minutes without breaking the spell.
Coming off a string of much-publicized emotional meltdowns, Yeezy is taking a deeper look inside the dark corners of his twisted psyche. He has sex and romance on his mind, but he comes clean about his male angst like never before. In confessions like “Runaway” and “Blame Game,” he honestly struggles to figure out why he has to be such a douchebag. Yet the songs are also his funniest ever, with Kanye showing off lethal wit on the mic: In “Dark Fantasy,” he rhymes “mercy, mercy me, that Murcielago” with “diablo,” “bravado” and “My chick in that new Phoebe Philo/So much head, I woke up in Sleepy Hollow.”
There’s a famous story about Queen making “Bohemian Rhapsody”: Whenever the band thought the song was finished, Freddie Mercury would say, “I’ve added a few more ‘Galileos’ here, dear.” But nobody can out-Galileo Kanye. With Fantasy, he makes everybody else on the radio sound laughably meek, but he’s also throwing down a challenge to the audience. Kanye West thinks you’re a moron if you settle for artists who don’t push as hard as he does. And that means pretty much everybody.
Nelly and Kelly have teamed up once again after their massive 2002 Dilemma, to provide us with new track ‘Gone’. Lyrically this is the follow up to ‘Dilemma’ as Nelly still loves that girl that he grew up with on his street.
The smooth pop tinged R&B track is very reminiscent of ‘Dilemma’, being very soft and laid back. It’s definitely a great song it it’s own right and not just ‘Dilemma Part. 2’. Nelly and Kelly work well together so give it a listen.
'Breaking News' is the first single from 'Michael', a collection of never heard before recordings due December 14. While there has been much controversy over whether this it is actually Michael on the track, despite what some family members have claimed, Sony assure us that it is Michael on the track…
'Breaking' News was recorded in 2007 and deals with Michael's feelings on his scrutiny in the press. Various news reports can be heard and the track opens and a hot beat kicks in along with some strings. This smooth R&B track really sounds like something Michael would record, and it's really good. Check it out.
It looks silly that I’m posting two Rihanna tracks in a row, but she’s got a lot of great material coming out at the moment and today has been a slow day, so please forgive me. Luckily ‘Cheers’ is a good enough song to warrant getting posted anyways.
'Cheers' is a quirky number right from the start with it's drunken intro, this celebration of the weekend is something new for Rihanna as the acoustic track has a country twang and strange accents on the chorus which certainly makes it something. The song is good fun and makes a good party song, and great use of Avril Lavigne's 'I'm With You' which it samples. 'LOUD' seems to be shaping up pretty good at the moment, but I'm worried we won't get the quality we got on 'Rated R', especially with the ballads…
Rihanna is certainly letting us know what she is releasing way ahead of time as the not-so-subtly titled ‘S&M’ is currently the choice for the third single from ‘LOUD’ before second single ‘What’s My Name’ has really got started.
This dance number has great verses with a hypnotic beat, and while the chorus isn’t quite as striking, verging on being more a generic David Guetta imitation, this song is a great party song that will surely tear up dancefloors across the globe. It’s a good, if not so original effort from Rihanna. Let’s just hope ‘LOUD’ manages to combine these party anthems with some more original work…
After the dismal performance of her amazing fourth studio album Christina is releasing ‘Express’, the first single from the soundtrack to her film debut in musical ‘Burlesque’, which also stars Cher, Eric Dance, Cam Gigandet andd Kristin Bell.
'Express' is much of what we'd expect from a musical film, especially one about Burlesque as this song is very jazzy with a definite cabaret style. Christina's vocals shine on this track which would fit in perfectly in her album 'Back To Basics', but has a slight modern twist at the end which sets it apart from the average musical number. (Along with Christina's vocals of course.)
While I can’t see myself going to see the film, I definitely will give some of the songs on the soundtrack a chance if they are even close to living up to ‘Express’. Let’s just hope Christina doesn’t have a ‘Glitter’ on her hands…
Kanye West // All Of The Lights [Feat. Rihanna, Elton John, Fergie, John Legend, The-Dream, Ryan Leslie, Tony Williams, Elly Jackson, Alicia Keys & Kid Cudi]
All Of The Lights is the highly anticipated third single from Kanye West’s upcoming album ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ and features a star studded guest list as there are ten guest features on this track.
Opening with a majestic trumpet this track sees Rihanna on the hook singing over bandstand trumpets and a marching beat, which becomes heavier during the verses. Fergie has a great verse during the breakdown of the song, but most of the guest stars have such small parts that you really have to listen a few times to hear their parts. Alicia’s notes near the end are a highlight of this anthemic track for me, which may just be the hit of the album. Check it out, it’s amazing.
Rihanna // Love The Way You Lie (Part II) [Feat. Eminem]
Rihanna assisted Eminem this year on the Monster hit ‘Love The Way You Lie’, so it was only appropriate that she took advantage of this opportunity by recording the follow up this massive hit.
'Love The Way You Lie (Part II)’ continues the trend of featured artists giving us their ‘re-makes’ of massive rap songs after Alicia Keys released her own version of ‘Empire State Of Mind’, however this follow up to ‘Love The Way You Lie’ features new verses Rihanna and a new bridge from Eminem over a more drum driven beat, reminiscent of Ryan Tedder’s typical song.
This softer version of ‘Love The Way You Lie’ is a great listen and an amazing song in it’s own right. I’m glad Rihanna decided to do this, so check it out.
I came across Jessie J (real name Jessica Cornish) on youtube about a year ago and was blown away by her amazing voice. This girl has serious talent and deserves to be massive. Her songs ‘Big White Room’ and ‘Mamma Knows Best’ are two of many on youtube highlights from her channel that show just what an amazing talent this girl is. The self proclaimed ‘Essex chick with a mystic meg hairdo’ has wrote for Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown, Christina Aguilera and Miley Cyrus is getting ready to release her debut album ‘Who We Are’ sometime in the near future.
Jessie is an amazing songwriter, which really shows in her own work as her songs are so diverse. First UK single ‘Do It Like A Dude’ has been one of my jams this month, as the urban track goes hard over an addictive guitar riff. It’s such an amazing song. ‘Price Tag’ and Who’s Laughing Now’ also show completely different sides of Jessie, while ‘Casualty Of Love’ introduces us to a more soulful Jessie.
Jessie has finally decided on her debut US single, which could see her being one of our finest exports as she really is the best UK talent I have come across in a long time. ‘Who You Are’ is an amazing mid-tempo/ballad with a beautiful message about not being afraid to be yourself and not selling yourself short for others. This song is one of the best of this year as Jessie’s vocals are strong and emotional. This song really deserves to be an anthem is the emotions conveyed are just captivating. Check her out.