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Brent Faulkner Brent Faulkner
Starpulse Contributing Writer
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Bio/Profile
Brent Faulkner is a music educator, composer, music journalist, blogger, and all around music enthusiast. Faulkner holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education as well as a Masters degree in music theory/composition. Faulkner contributes his pen to several sites.

Review: Iggy Azalea, ‘The New Classic’

April 24th, 2014 12:00am EDT
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Aussie newcomer Iggy Azalea shows potential on her debut rap LP 
Iggy Azalea • The New Classic • Island • US Release Date: April 22, 2014
“Oh what, a white girl with a flow ain’t been seen before?” Um, well, not really – at least not that much?  Fact – you can name how many Australian rappers are killing the game stateside – yeah, few NONE come to mind.  Newbie Iggy Azalea hopes to breakthrough in the US.  The barriers certainly lie in front of her as the white girl legit rapper from “down under”, but as she proves throughout her debut The New Classic, she ain’t never been scurred.  If she ...
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August Alsina Finds His ‘Testimony’ Stuck Behind Frozen at No. 2

April 23rd, 2014 5:25pm EDT
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No one can stop the unstoppable Frozen Soundtrack – it grows sales to a whopping 259,000 copies! It’s nearly May, but the winter hit continues to be the much-needed gift that keeps on giving to the music industry, keeping it afloat.  August Alsina sells 67,000 copies of his full-length debut album, Testimony.  To be the closest to Frozen (no. 2)is to be “oh so far away” as it wasn’t even a close contest in the least.   While 67,000 copies are great for an R&B upstart, I wish that Alsina could’ve moved even more – Testimony is truly a great album (in my opinion).  NEEDTOBREATHE move 49,000 c...
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Review: Asher Roth, ‘RetroHash’

April 23rd, 2014 4:20pm EDT
Asher Roth - RetroHash
It’s pretty safe to say Asher Roth is one high mellow dude on RetroHash

“That party last night / was awfully crazy, I wish we taped it / I danced my a** off / and had this one girl completely naked,” sings Roth on one of the more memorable songs of 2009, “I Love College”. Yep, “I Love College” was Roth’s ‘ace in the hole’ for debut album Asleep in the Bread Aisle, which managed to debut at in the top five of the Billboard 200 Albums Chart. Even so, Asleep in the Bread Aisle didn’t exactly set up Roth to be the next great MC. Until his 2014 LP RetroHash, Roth hadn’t released a proper soph...
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Estelle Shocks A Little Too Much On 'Make Her Say (Beat It Up)'

April 23rd, 2014 3:45am EDT
estelle
Something has clearly happened to my girl Estelle. Even that statement is an understatement. Estelle’s new single “Make Her Say (Beat It Up)” is nothing short of shocking and I do mean NOTHING short. Estelle has fooled around (no pun intended) with being risqué on songs such as “Wait A Minute (Just A Touch)” (Shine), but nothing to the extent of “Make Her Say”. “Make Her Say”, like the majority of contemporary R&B these days, relies on its explicitness. Perhaps what’s more shocking about this is that a female rather than a male leads the blunt, hypersexual approach. There is a clear do...
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Music Shopping List: Albums for Your Consideration, April 22, 2014

April 22nd, 2014 12:00am EDT
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 Keeping things 100, April hasn’t been the best month of new music releases.  While April has saved my budget, still I’d love to see a gargantuan week of new music releases –  “Do it for the music industry!”  This week’s releases (new release day being Tuesday, April 22) don’t have any monumental releases necessarily, but does have some interesting albums to check out.
 Pop Psychology
Neon Trees
Island / Mercury 

It wouldn’t be far-fetched to see Neon Trees make a bigger splash with latest LP Pop Psychology.  “Everybody Talks” certainly did just that (a no. 6 Billboard Hot 100 hit), elevat...
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Ranking 20 R&B Albums: January – April 2014

April 21st, 2014 12:00am EDT
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It’s near the end of April, and as a music journalist, I have been privy to listen to a number of albums in differing genres. Even so, I have a soft spot for R&B, but am also very hard on it. Despite my criticisms, R&B and I have a relationship like a Whitney Houston song written by Dolly Parton: “I Will Always Love You”. That said, after listening to a number of R&B albums, I ranked 20 from 2014 (EPs and mixtapes included) in order from favorite to least favorite. Here goes nothing!
1
Z
SZA 
It took a juggernaut to knock John Newman from the top spot of the R&B rankings – his Tribute is a ...
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“Where Is the Love” in R&B Music? 

April 18th, 2014 12:00am EDT
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Contemporary R&B music has explicit physical pleasure covered, but what about genuine emotion and relationships?
An up and coming voice in R&B by the name of August Alsina released his full-length debut album entitled Testimony. Testimony is street-savvy, sporting titles including “Porn Star”, “Fml”, “Ghetto”, and “I Luv This Sh*t”. Rightfully, Alsina, a rough-and-tumble artist with a difficult background, delivers an album based on his life experience. That said, perhaps using  examples other than Testimony, R&B in general seems to be trending more towards the ‘dark side’. If you ignore th...
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Review: August Alsina Shows Tremendous Potential On Full-Length Debut 'Testimony'

April 17th, 2014 10:10pm EDT
August Alsina
The moment has finally arrived for up and coming New Orleans contemporary R&B singer August Alsina to take center stage. Sure, the 21-year old represents the new generation who prefer boldness to subtlety, but ultimately the brasher style suits the hardships he’s enduring in his personal life. “Through the pain”, Alsina seems to find the positives, even if it seems overcome with pessimism on full-length debut Testimony. A true testimony the LP ends up being, Alsina builds off the momentum of 2013 EP Downtown: Life Under the Gun, upping the ante.

“Testify” sets the tone for Testimony exce...
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'Frozen' Proves To Be The Shining Moment On An 'Ice Cold' Albums Chart

April 17th, 2014 9:08am EDT
Frozen
Well, another week and another chart and guess who’s on top – yep you guessed it, the Frozen Soundtrack. While sales aren’t exactly hot across the board, the additional 133,000 copies that the unstoppable soundtrack sold are solid, particularly compared to the rest of the albums. How sound is 133,000 copies? Well according to Billboard, Pharrell ascended back to his peak position (no. 2) this week, selling 29,000 copies. Talk about April being the month of the music sales drought!

Honestly, the news on the charts isn’t good, particularly since a holdover like G I R L outsold the new entr...
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Review: Jason Derulo, 'Talk Dirty': Over-Reliance On Sex And Swagger Holds Album Back At Times

April 16th, 2014 3:30pm EDT
Jason Derulo, 'Talk Dirty
It has been a minute since “Whatcha Say” had this music enthusiast excited about new pop/R&B artist Jason Derülo. Nah, I wasn’t a ‘fan girl’ as any number of YouTube personalities might put it, but I did think ole boy had something fresh about him. Judging by the uniqueness of that number one hit, it seemed he was well on his way to conquering the music industry. Things didn’t quite work out that way for a number of reasons. Sure, Jason Derülo hasn’t exactly set the Billboard 200 on fire (understatement), but nor has his music since his debut truly stacked up either (no shade – or at least ...
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