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Brent M Faulkner Brent M Faulkner
Starpulse Contributing Writer
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Bio/Profile
Hi, I'm Brent – one of those eccentric musician types who live and breathe music. Kentucky bred (don’t judge). Besides being a certified music teacher, multi-instrumentalist, and composer, I've been passionate about the music industry and music journalism for years. I've contributed to various music sites over the past five years – there's nothing better than being quoted!

Review: 'Nobody's Smiling' Is Common's Best Album In Years

July 23rd, 2014 8:51am EDT
Review: 'Nobody's Smiling' Is Common's Best Album In Years
Cutting straight to the chase, Common, one of the Midwest’s preeminent MCs, delivers his best album in years with Nobody’s Smiling. Standing only 10 tracks deep (13 on the deluxe version), Common has delivered nothing short of a moody, meaningful tour de force that should get every rapper on his toes. Featuring exceptional production from NO I.D. and a couple of solid collaborations, Nobody’s Smiling has the goods to erase frowns of which it references.

“The Neighborhood,” featuring Lil Herb and Cocaine 80s, kicks off Nobody’s Smiling mysteriously and moody. James Fauntleroy’s voic...
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5 Seconds Of Summer And Common Drop New Albums: This Week In Music

July 22nd, 2014 10:05am EDT
5 Seconds Of Summer And Common Drop New Albums: This Week In Mus
July continues to be something of a slow month for new album releases. While there have been some solid, arguably even notable releases, no ‘blockbuster’ albums have been released. This week, the likely standout for younger listeners will be 5 Seconds of Summer, who release their full-length debut album. For rap lovers, they need look no further than the Midwest’s don, Common, who extends his lengthy career. Here’s 5 albums to check out this week.

1) 5 Seconds of Summer, 5 Seconds of Summer (Capitol)

After releasing EP She Looks So Perfect to an exceptional #2 bow, Australian punk/...
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Music Review: Weird Al's 'Mandatory Fun' Is A Blast

July 21st, 2014 11:20am EDT
Music Review: Weird Al's 'Mandatory Fun' Is A Blast
When Weird Al Yankovic says that the ‘fun’ must be ‘mandatory’ on his latest album, he doesn’t lie. Mandatory Fun is exactly what it says it is – while and after listening, you must have fun! The parody king definitely delivers the goods across 12 tracks. There’s no ‘fails’ to be found, but some songs ring ‘golden’ from the jump.

“Handy” is a brilliant way to kick things off, with Yankovic parodying #1 hit “Fancy” (Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX). Among the most memorable lines include “I got 99 problems but a switch ain’t one” (verse two) and “Yeah check my big staple gun, my socke...
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Music Fridays : 10 Carefree Songs to Celebrate the Weekend

July 18th, 2014 1:00pm EDT
Music Fridays : 10 Carefree Songs to Celebrate the Weekend
Whether you’re getting your weekend started early on ‘Thirsty Thursdays’ or going out with your boys (or girls or ‘boo’), here are ten songs to celebrate the weekend. Disclaimer: this list has no intentions of establishing a romantic vibe. It’s all carefree fun!

1) The Black Eyed Peas, “I Gotta Feeling”

from The E.N.D. (2009)

Honestly, any Black-Eyed Peas songs would suffice, particularly from The E.N.D. “Fill up my cup (DRANK), mazel tov!” Throw in a little “Boom Boom Pow” for some extra weekend vibe – whatever that even means.

2) LFMAO, “Party Rock Anthem”

from Sorry f...
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Sia Tops Billboard 200 in Sluggish Sales Week: This Week in Music

July 17th, 2014 8:30pm EDT
Sia Tops Billboard 200
Describing album sales as merely mediocre this week would be quite the understatement. Sales were nothing short of horrific, abysmal, and subpar. That said, Australian singer/songwriter Sia experienced a ‘good’ week contextually as her album 1000 Forms of Fear debuted at #1. The less optimistic news for the industry itself is that the #1 album only sold 52,000 copies. Think about it – the top album in the United States only 52,000 people bought!

No albums came close to the 100,000 copies mark this week – sheesh! Last week, only Trey Songz’s Trigga was able to get over the 100,000 cop...
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Review: Marsha Ambrosius Keeps It Soulful on ‘Friends & Lovers’

July 17th, 2014 3:00pm EDT
Review: Marsha Ambrosius Keeps It Soulful on ‘Friends & Lovers’
“Run it deep like a running back / make you run it back…” While British R&B singer/songwriter Marsha Ambrosius seems to be literally referencing football, she’s actually referencing sex. In fact, much of Ambrosius’ sophomore album Friends & Lovers is devoted to the three-letter word.

Even with the sensual serving as a large part of the script, Ambrosius sells it exceptionally, often backed by moody, soulful production work. Additionally, she does move away from sex at times to dabble in ‘love.’ All in all, Ambrosius delivers a sound, stimulating R&B album that ranks among the year’s most...
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Review: Jason Mraz Delivers With Incredible Poise On 'Yes!'

July 16th, 2014 10:50am EDT
Jason Mraz - Yes
“So I won’t hesitate no more, no more / it cannot wait I’m sure / there’s no need to complicate / our time is short / this is our fate, I’m yours.” Sound familiar? It should as pop singer/songwriter Jason Mraz has elevated his profile considerably over the last couple of years, namely with one hella catchy song entitled “I’m Yours.” Mraz’s last two albums, We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things (2008) and Love is A Four Letter Word (2012), were both “kind of a big deal.” The former landed Mraz two Grammys. Score!

Mraz returns with fifth album, Yes! following a two-year hiatus. Mraz’s lat...
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7 Albums to Check Out: This Week in Music

July 15th, 2014 9:00am EDT
7 Albums to Check Out: This Week in Music
After an extremely quiet week of new releases last week (July 8), This week, July 15, has more ‘weapons’ in its arsenal. Yes, the basketball team has more highly touted, long-range shooters – in other words, there are more albums with bigger chart potential. There isn’t one huge star itself, but definitely some experienced musicians who’ve previously tasted success. Here are 7 albums to check out this week.

1) Jason Mraz, Yes! (Atlantic)

Yes! Marks pop singer/songwriter Jason Mraz’s fifth studio album. Yes! Follows Mraz’s high-flying 2012 LP, Love Is a Four Letter Word. Love d...
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Fifth Harmony Go Fierce on ‘BO$$’

July 14th, 2014 3:00pm EDT
Fifth Harmony Go Fierce on ‘BO$$’
“Boss, Michelle Obama / purse so heavy gettin’ Oprah dollars.” Radio gold has been born ladies and gentlemen, courtesy of Fifth Harmony. Additionally, so has the next great “Independent Woman” female pop anthem. AND everyone knows that guys love independent women; just ask Ne-Yo on “Miss Independent” or “She Got Her Own (Remix)”.

The X-Factor alums return in a big way with a new single that screams and epitomizes swagger, almost literally. The production matches sassiness and feistiness of the lyrics and performance themselves. From the first time it’s played to listening to the ump...
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12 Best Robin Thicke Songs

July 13th, 2014 5:00pm EDT
12 Best Robin Thicke Songs
Everybody has been giving Robin Thicke grief – ‘the devil’ if you will – and justifiably so. As infectious and beloved as “Blurred Lines” was in 2013, riding high for 12 consecutive weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100, everyone kind of had bones to pick with the R&B singer. Questions ranged from whether Thicke copped the song from the legendary Marvin Gaye to the lyrics referencing rape and misogyny. Furthermore, the video clip with nude models did little to discourage the alleged objectification of women.

Then add to the mix the separation with Paula Patton and the god-awful reaction al...
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