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warrior

Ke$ha “Warrior”: Album Review

Kemosabe Records (2012)

Still riding on the dual waves of success and controversy from her debut album Animal, party frat-girl songstress Ke$ha seeks to keep riding both waves with her second full-length album Warrior—a record that breaks no new ground, but essentially digs deeper ruts into the path she’s currently traveling. A bit of a disclaimer is in order here: I’m probably not the best guy to be reviewing this record, because although […]


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Pop Rewind: “The Christmas Song”

For this week’s rewind, we’re going to rewind a loooong way…back to 1944, when Mel Torme first penned what we now call “The Christmas Song.” (Back then, it was titled, “Chestnuts Roasting On an Open Fire.”) Interestingly, Torme didn’t set out to write a Christmas song; by his account, it was mid-July, and he was just writing down mental images to try and keep cool (“Jack Frost nipping at your […]


world from moon

Phillip Phillips Views “The World From the Side of the Moon”

19 Recordings (2012)

Since vocalist Phillip Phillips first arrested America’s attention with his victory on American Idol Season 11, his advance single “Home” has further solidified his place in current pop culture. (You probably recognize the tune even if you don’t know who is singing it.) Now, with the release of his debut album The World From the Dark Side of the Moon, Phillips gives us an even greater taste of who he […]


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Lana Del Rey–“Paradise” Lost

Interscope (2012)

The title of Lana Del Rey’s new EP Paradise presents a bit of irony, because its dark, haunting and troubling themes really speak of anything but. Let me start by saying Lana Del Rey as a persona seems like a real dichotomy to me—a blending of two seemingly incompatible vibes. On the one hand, she comes off as this elegant retro-style torch singer, her low, sultry voice lilting over lush […]


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Christina Aguilera “Lotus”: The Three Sides of Xtina

RCA Records (2012)

To say that the stakes are high for Christina Aguilera with the release of her new album Lotus would be an understatement. Coming off of a string of public mishaps, including the wide panning in 2010 of her album Bionic and her film Burlesque—not to mention a divorce and ongoing discussions/jabs about her weight—Aguilera’s role on The Voice has been perhaps the one bright spot in her career for the […]


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One Direction “Take Me Home”: Album Review

Syco Records (2012)

Let’s start with a bit of honesty: I am most definitely NOT in One Direction’s target demographic. Not only am I not a teenage female, but I am still reeling from the boy-band market over-saturation of the ‘90s, and I’m not at all excited about its apparent resurgence. Suffice it to say that with their sophomore album Take Me Home, One Direction had a long way to go to impress […]


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Kylie Minogue “The Abbey Road Sessions”: Album Review

EMI Records Ltd. (2012)

Let’s face it: when any dance/pop star decides to release mellowed, orchestral versions of her hits—even in a studio as amazing as Abbey Road—it’s not without some risk. Suffice it to say when Aussie pop songstress Kylie Minogue went in to do The Abbey Road Sessions (released last week in the U.K. and this week here in the States) as the pinnacle of her year-long celebration of a 25-year career, it […]


hello my name is

With “Hello, My Name Is…”, Bridgit Mendler Faces Some Challenges

Hollywood Records (2012)

Disney has a long-established reputation of turning its young, up-and-coming television personalities into singing stars; Annette Funicello, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus and Hilary Duff are just a few of its alumni. But the newest comer to the list, Bridget Mendler, despite having an obvious amount of vocal talent, faces some unique challenges with her debut release Hello, My Name Is… Indeed, one would think that someone […]


Michael Jackson Thriller

Pop Rewind: Michael Jackson “Thriller”

Given the time of year, it simply makes sense to bring out Michael Jackson’s video for “Thriller” as this weekend’s pop rewind. Despite the controversy that swirled around the “King of Pop” over the years, Jackson remains an icon, not because of the hype surrounding him, but because of his talent. He is one of those artists whose work changed the musical landscape, influencing and altering the way people after […]


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Tony Bennett Tips His Hat to Latin Singers on “Viva Duets”

Columbia (2012)

You gotta hand it to a guy who not only keeps singing after a 60-year career, but who apparently has yet to peak. At 86, Tony Bennett is a music icon who just continues to have a stunningly successful career, his popularity easily matching what it was in his early years, if not surpassing it. At this point, singing with Bennett on his recent “Duets” series of albums has become […]


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Shiny Toy Guns “III”: Album Review

Five Seven Music (2012)

Since electro/dance/rock outfit Shiny Toy Guns first gained worldwide renown with their debut We Are Pilots in 2005, the road has been rocky, to say the least: burnout, imploding relationships, and a rather confusing venture away from their signature sound for their sophomore album. Even the release of their new album III has been plagued by so many false release dates that it is easy to lose count. Now, finally, […]


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Pop Rewind: The Jackson 5 “I Want You Back”

While it’s not a major milestone anniversary, 2012 marks 43 years since Diana Ross first introduced America to The Jackson 5, and this week in particular marks the anniversary of their national television debut on The Hollywood Palace, where the group sang their very first single “I Want You Back,” on October 18, 1969. That first single has remained one of the signature songs of The Jackson 5 over the […]


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Madonna’s Tactless Antics: Plea For Attention?

You gotta hand it to Madonna: she knows how to keep her name in the headlines. Even if it’s for all the wrong reasons. Never one to shy away from controversy, Madonna seems to be on a streak of outrageous and tactless behavior, her worldwide MDNA Tour apparently turning into an equal opportunity offender. From wielding an AK-47 onstage in Israel, to flashing and/or mooning audiences in Italy, Turkey and […]


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Who Is Sky Ferreira? And Should We Care?

Twenty-year-old pop songstress/model/actress Sky Ferreira seems to be one of those people who generates lots of interest and buzz on the Internet without a lot of substance as to who she is or what she’s about. We can ascertain that Michael Jackson was a friend of the family while she grew up, that Swedish producers Bloodshy & Avant took an interest her as a teenager from her self-promotion on MySpace, […]


enjoythesilence

Pop Rewind: Depeche Mode “Enjoy the Silence”

Once called “the quintessential Eighties techno-pop band” by Rolling Stone, Depeche Mode has definitely been one of the most successful New Wave bands ever, having sold over 100 million albums worldwide. First appearing on the album Violator (1990), “Enjoy the Silence,” recorded ten years into Depeche Mode’s career, has ended up being one of their most memorable and most played songs to date, along with another single on the album, […]


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