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Pop Music

Eartha Kitt Santa Baby

Pop Rewind: Eartha Kitt “Santa Baby”

One of the most-covered modern Christmas tunes in memory, “Santa Baby” has been recorded by everyone from Maria Muldaur to Natalie Merchant to Taylor Swift to Miss Piggy—and even by a few guys (like Michael Buble and comedy duo Homer & Jethro). But not even Madonna in her prime could match the subtly delicious delivery of the one who sang it first—singer/actress/Broadway star Eartha Kitt. Written by Joan Javits and […]

Nu Shooz

Pop Rewind: Nu Shooz “I Can’t Wait”

Between the heavy synths, drum loops, big hair and oversize pastel clothes, nothing screams the 80’s like freestyle dance-pop group Nu Shooz. While they only made a brief appearance on the mainstream charts, barely missing one-hit wonder status by logging two Top-40 hits, the husband-and-wife team of Valerie Day and John Smith got feet moving on dance floors around the world, especially with their biggest hit, “I Can’t Wait.” While […]

Lana Del Rey Tropico

Lana Del Rey Announces New Album “Ultraviolence”

Reveals album title at premiere of short film "Tropico"

Apparently, rumors of Lana Del Rey’s departure from music last summer were greatly exaggerated. At least for now. Wednesday night, at the Hollywood premiere of her 30-minute short film Tropico, Del Rey addressed the crowd: “I really just wanted us all to be together so I could try and visually close out my chapter before I release the new record, Ultra-Violence.” As has been her M.O., she gave no details […]

Britney Jean

Britney Spears “Britney Jean” –Album Review

RCA (2013)

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that there was a lot riding on the release of Britney Jean, Britney Spears’ widely-touted, much anticipated new album. Several years past a string of erratic, meltdown-like behaviors and PR nightmares in which she became the worst caricature of herself—with some of the offstage drama news as fresh as her stint last year on Simon Cowell’s X-Factor—for the past few months […]

One Direction Midnight Memories

One Direction “Midnight Memories” –Album Review

Syco Records/Columbia (2013)

“Whether they can keep up this momentum by traveling this rut-ridden road remains to be seen. But for now, they’re here, topping the charts, and wooing young hearts.” Apologies if it is narcissistic to quote yourself, but this is what I wrote about One Direction a mere year and a half ago when their debut album Up All Night was imprinting their pretty faces indelibly into the hearts of ‘tween […]

A Great Big World Say Something

A Great Big World, Christina Aguilera Release “Say Something” Video

It’s been a great big year for A Great Big World. The duo of Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino have made a splash with their brand of piano-driven pop, touring with the likes of Ingrid Michaelson and landing two charting singles before even releasing a full-length album. Their latest single, “Say Something,” got a huge boost recently when they released a new version of it with Christina Aguilera adding vocal […]

Christina Perri Human

Christina Perri Is Only “Human”—Listen

Three years ago, singer-songwriter Christina Perri won over the hearts of music fans everywhere, not just by her single “Jar Of Hearts” but also by the story of discovery and whirlwind success that surrounded it. When the demo version of the tune played on the Fox series So You Think You Can Dance in the summer of 2010, Perri was an unknown, unsigned artist waiting tables for a living; a […]

Daughtry Baptized

Daughtry “Baptized” –Album Review

19 Recordings/RCA (2013)

From one point of view, it’s hard to feel sorry for Chris Daughtry. After his shocking 4th-place elimination from American Idol Season 5, his popularity has carried him onward to become the best selling AI alumnus who didn’t actually win the competition, going platinum with his first two outings and trailing behind only Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood in total record sales. On the other hand, he does deserve a […]

Lady Gaga ARTPOP

Lady Gaga “ARTPOP” –Album Review

Interscope (2013)

“The devil whispered behind the leaves, ‘It’s pretty, but it is art?’” –The Conundrum of the Workshops You gotta hand it to Lady Gaga; she’s nothing if not creative and ambitious. You never know from moment to moment what she’s going to do, say, look like, or wear; in a sense, she’s turned keeping-people-guessing into an art form in itself. Her long-awaited, much anticipated effort ARTPOP springs from a self-proclaimed […]

Sky Ferreira Night Time My Time

Sky Ferreira “Night Time, My Time” –Album Review

Capitol (2013)

I have a confession to make. Well, more than one, actually. The first confession is that tracking the burgeoning career of model/songstress Sky Ferreira has been more than a little frustrating for me. Her look, her voice and her persona are all captivating, bearing the marks of a genuine pop star—but up to this point we have only had vague and contradictory glimpses into who she is as an artist. […]

Katy Perry PRISM

A Multi-Faceted Katy Perry: “PRISM” –Album Review

Capitol (2013)

Let me just start with this: “Roar” has got to be the catchiest single that Katy Perry has ever released—this, from a proven hitmaker. Suffice it to say that the bar was raised several notches by that single, meaning her latest effort PRISM gets to launch up against a huge wall of expectations. Remarkably, those expectations are met…with a roar. (Sorry, couldn’t help it.) As a rule of thumb, I’m […]

Richard Marx Right Here Waiting

Pop Rewind: Richard Marx “Right Here Waiting”

While Richard Marx has remained active in the music scene as a performer, songwriter and producer since being discovered by Lionel Richie three decades ago, most people remember the gritty-voiced pop-rocker for his string of radio hits in the late 1980s—and among them, the song below is likely the one we remember most. “Right Here Waiting,” a simple, piano-led ballad, was released in 1989 as the second single off of […]

Miley Cyrus Bangerz

Miley Cyrus “Bangerz” –Album Review

RCA (2013)

Listening to the first couple of minutes of “Adore You,” the opening track from Miley Cyrus’ much-hyped album Bangerz, you would almost forget that the last couple of months of controversy and pot-stirring had ever happened. “When you say you love me, know I love you more,” she sings, ever so sweetly. “You and me were meant to be in holy matrimony / God knew exactly what he was doing […]


A Huge Week for Lorde

Tops Billboard charts, live US television debut on Jimmy Fallon

This has seriously got to be the biggest week of Ella Yelich-O’Connor’s life. Known to the masses simply as Lorde, she has seen her debut album Pure Heroine drop to solid initial worldwide sales (see our review here), watched as her hit single “Royals” dethroned Miley Cyrus for the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100, and made her national television debut on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon—all in the […]

Lorde Pure Heroine

Lorde Proves Her Staying Power on Debut “Pure Heroine”

Universal Music NZ, Ltd. (2013)

From outward appearances, the sudden worldwide success of New Zealand teen-songstress Ella Yellich-O’Connor (nee, Lorde) seems like an anomaly. After all, she’s not a Disney child actress-turned-pop-star like Selena Gomez (or a Disney child actress-turned-slut like Miley Cyrus); nor is she a used-up-and-spit-out femme fatale persona like Lana Del Rey. Look at a picture of her; nothing about her says bigger-than-life. She comes across as just about as normal a […]

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