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Pop Music

lady gaga oscars

Lady Gaga Channels Julie Andrews, Actually Sings at Oscars

Wows audience with 'Sound of Music' tribute (plus, recap of other Oscar performances)

Oscars this, Oscars that, blah, blah. Birdman, blah blah, can’t believe what she was wearing, blah blah…Save all that for somewhere else. Did anyone catch Lady Gaga’s performance??? Behind her onstage flamboyance, constantly-changing appearance and wild swings between outrageous clothing and no clothing at all, it turns out Lady Gaga can actually sing. I mean really sing, y’all. During the 87th Academy Awards last night, the surprise musical performance of the […]

leslie gore

Sixties’ Pop Legend Lesley Gore (‘It’s My Party’) Dead at 68

Lesley Gore, the pop singer best known for her 1963 smash hit “It’s My Party,” died Monday at New York-Presbyterian Hospital after a struggle with lung cancer, according to Lois Sasson, Gore’s partner of 33 years. Gore, a non-smoker, was 68. Gore was only sixteen years old when she was signed to Mercury Records by another music legend, producer Quincy Jones. Released in 1963, “It’s My Party” went on to […]

tracy chapman

Pop Rewind: Tracy Chapman “Fast Car”

If you’re like me, the first time you heard Tracy Chapman’s unique, low-timbre voice rambling along over the signature guitar riff on “Fast Car,” your first reaction was, “Hey, this is good. Who IS this?” Indeed, that was the general reaction to a young singer-songwriter who didn’t fit the mold or the expected popstar image of any who had come before her. “Fast Car,” a melancholy reflection of the cycle […]

pet shop boys west end girls

Pop Rewind: Pet Shop Boys “West End Girls”

Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, collectively known as new wave electro-pop duo Pet Shop Boys, had been generating interest in the club scene for several years before their breakout single “West End Girls” catapulted them to international fame. In fact, the version of the song most of us have heard wasn’t the first time it was released as a single. Tennant and Lowe had previously met noted electro-music producer Bobby […]

jim croce i got a name

Pop Rewind: Jim Croce “I Got a Name”

Today, September 20, marks the 41st anniversary of the death of singer-songwriter Jim Croce in a plane crash, traveling between two shows on the same day. He had just finished recording his album I Got a Name the week before his death. The title track of the album was scheduled for release as a single the following day. While Croce’s talent as a songwriter is now considered iconic, Croce’s life in […]

robin thicke paula

Robin Thicke’s Dramatic Plunge

How the “Blurred Lines” singer went from chart topper to bottom dweller in one short year

My, my, my.  If you ever needed proof of how fickle the public can be, all you need to do is look at the sales numbers from last week’s release of Robin Thicke’s latest album Paula. At this time last year, Thicke had the top song of the spring/summer.  “Blurred Lines” was tearing up the radio, and its accompanying NSFW music video was filling the screens of mobile devices around […]

ed sheeran x

Ed Sheeran “x” –Album Review

Asylum Records UK/Warner (2014)

Am I the only one who heard Ed Sheeran’s “Sing” on the radio for the first time and thought it was just pandering to get on the charts? Or is Pharrell really the goose who lays the golden eggs these days? Yeah, I was perhaps one of the few who was actually disappointed with the lead single from Ed Sheeran’s sophomore album x—not because “Sing” isn’t catchy or danceable (Pharrell […]

michael jackson dangerous

Pop Rewind: Michael Jackson “Black or White”

Yesterday, June 25, marked five years since the “King of Pop” passed away. It only seems fitting, then, to pull another Michael Jackson hit out of the vault for this week’s Rewind. “Black or White,” Jackson’s ode to racial harmony, was the lead single from 1991’s Dangerous, blending pop, dance, rap and a touch of metal into a highly catchy tune that dares you not to dance to it. The […]

lana del rey ultraviolence

Lana Del Rey “Ultraviolence” –Album Review

Lana Del Rey/Polydor (2014)

A couple of years ago, during a less-than-flattering moment in Lana Del Rey’s emerging career, I wrote an article explaining why we shouldn’t write her off just yet.  Ultraviolence is why. Since Born To Die was released (to mixed reviews but impressive sales—the music fans have the final word, after all), Del Rey has been essentially doing two things.  First, she’s been giving the world time to get used to […]

Lily Allen Sheezus

Lily Allen “Sheezus” –Album Review

Parlophone/Warner Bros. (2014)

One thing about Lily Allen—you have to take her for who/what she is. If you try to approach her latest release Sheezus from the perspective of—I dunno, artistry—you’re going to find a lot to complain about, and some critics have already done so.  Don’t get me wrong—I’m not saying it isn’t art (I’m not saying it is, either).  I’m just saying you have to take it as you find it, […]

Michael Jackson Xscape

Listen to Michael Jackson Posthumous Single “Love Never Felt So Good”

It’s been nearly five years since we lost Michael Jackson, but a team of producers headed up by Timbaland and executive producer L.A. Reid have been hard at work helping keep his memory alive, most notably with an upcoming posthumous album Xscape, a collection of “contemporized” unreleased tunes reportedly mined from about 40 years’ worth of demos. During last night’s broadcast of the first-ever iHeartRadio Music Awards, L.A. Reid officially […]

Ingrid Michaelson Lights Out

Ingrid Michaelson “Lights Out”—Album Review

Cabin 24/Mom+Pop Records (2014)

By today’s popstar image standards, Ingrid Michaelson’s popularity is sometimes a bit of an anomaly. Flying in the face of current tactics such as overused autotune, overloud mastering, controversial fashion choices and provocative public behavior (whether on or off stage), Michaelson has built a persona based on understatement, maintaining a girl-next-door look and publicly downplaying her own talent.  And yet, ask almost any aspiring singer-songwriter today (particularly of the female […]

Christina Perri Head or Heart

Christina Perri “Head or Heart”—Album Review

Atlantic (2014)

There are very few indie artists out there who don’t dream of that smash single that propels them to the top—but the truth is, it’s a double-edged sword when it happens. Instant fame comes with a huge set of expectations for musical maturity that the uninitiated aren’t always prepared for—and too often, they just can’t keep up.  Ever since Christina Perri found that instant fame with “Jar of Hearts” a […]

Shakira self-titled

Shakira “Shakira.” –Album Review

Ace Entertainment S.ar.I. (2014)

Let’s be honest from the start—it’s hard to say anything negative about Shakira because, well, she so darn likeable.  In her two seasons as a coach on NBC’s The Voice (Christina who?), the international superstar has shown America her personal side, shown us that behind those swiveling hips that don’t lie, there’s a down-to-earth girl whom everyone wishes they could just go have a froyo with, and ask her questions […]

The Buggles Video KIlled

Pop Rewind: The Buggles “Video Killed the Radio Star”

On August 1, 1981 at 12:01 AM, a new era in music was born. With more bands beginning to make videos to accompany their songs, a new network calling itself MTV (Music Television) decided the world was ready for a 24-hour music video station.  Appropriately, the first song they aired was “Video Killed the Radio Star” by new-wave act The Buggles. By the time this bit of history occurred, “Video […]

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