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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.

“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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Review: Martina McBride, ‘Everlasting’

April 15th, 2014 9:15pm EDT
Martina McBride - Everlasting
Martina McBride balances soul music and her country roots soundly on Everlasting

Veteran country superstar Martina McBride’s 12th album, Everlasting, is certainly a surprise. No, McBride doesn’t go radical and become a pop artist or anything like that, but rather than opting for new original material, she hearkens back to the past. What specifically from the past one asks does Mrs. McBride hearken back to? Soul. While a country artist singing soul music seems somewhat far-fetched given the contrasts of styles, Everlasting proves to be an enjoyable and effective album. McBride isn’t suddenl...
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Review: The Chewers, ‘Chuckle Change And Also’

April 14th, 2014 12:00am EDT
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 On Chuckle Change And Also, The Chewers show the beauty of being ‘off-kilter’
The Chewers • Chuckle Change And Also • Cimmerian Shade 
The Chewers are: Travis Caffrey & Michael Sadler
Sometimes, when you hear something wild and whacky in life, you find yourself looking in bewilderment like WTF? My friends, after listening to the 22-track album that is Chuckle Change And Also by West Virginian duo The Chewers (by way of Nashville, TN), I found myself expressing this sentiment after every track. Folks, Chuckle Change is definitely some kind of a ride. Throw the idea of ‘standard’ out the doo...
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[Single] Review: Future, “I Won” (ft. Kanye West)

April 11th, 2014 12:00am EDT
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Future Continues Relying on Autotune on Latest Single “I Won”
Future featuring Kanye West • “I Won” (Single) • Epic • Release Date: April 8, 2014 
Future has to be one of hip-hop’s more divisive artists – and NO I’m not throwing any shade.  It’s not because of the content of his music, but rather his reliance on such a heavy dosage of autotune.  The use of autotune is a divisive topic in itself, but even more so in hip-hop circles.  Future definitely has developed his career around relying on the effect, but other artists have used it as well.  Even though Jay-Z proclaimed “D.O.A.” (‘Death ...
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Review: SZA, ‘Z’

April 10th, 2014 12:00am EDT
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SZA leaves a superb first impression on her full-length debut album Z
SZA • Z • Top Dawg Entertainment • US Release Date: April 8, 2014
For many up and coming R&B artists, alternative R&B seems to be a sound choice for establishing artistry. With R&B going through an identity crisis (not unlike other genres to be fair), the more eclectic-based alt-R&B style allows more flexibility and crossover. It contrasts the crossover of more pop-based R&B, generally feeling more true to the innovative spirit that characterized classic soul – R&B in its heyday. 23-year old SZA, signed to Top Dawg Ente...
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5 Seconds of Summer Settle For No. 2

April 9th, 2014 4:53pm EDT
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5 Seconds of Summer, the new Australian teen band, has nothing to hang their heads about; debuting at no. 2 with 143,000 copies of a four-song EP (She Looks So Perfect) is definitely notable.  Settling for that no. 2 spot behind the unstoppable Frozen Soundtrack (149,000 copies sold) – well that should boost confidence even more considering no one can end Frozen’s run.  After the slim margin separating album nos. 1 and 2, there is a huge gap.  Chevelle’s La Gargola sold 45,000 copies, good for the no. 3 spot.  Former “Jar of Hearts” pop singer/songwriter Christina Perri debuts at a famili...
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Review: SoMo’s Major Label Debut Leaves The Listener Underwhelmed

April 9th, 2014 10:45am EDT
SoMo
YouTube has become the ‘it’ means of being discovered as an artist these days. Honestly, the art of self-promotion is truly savvy, aggressive gameplay personally. Where so many talented artists don’t have the confidence or the moxie to put them self out there, those that use a platform like YouTube deserve success. Even so, that doesn’t mean that what they have to offer is necessarily exceptional or laden with swag. SoMo, a burgeoning R&B/pop artist, takes his stab at fame with his major label debut, SoMo. Being signed to Republic is definitely a come-up from YouTube uploads. While SoMo sho...
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