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Brent M Faulkner Brent M Faulkner
Starpulse Contributing Writer
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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!

Justin Bieber Vs. Shawn Mendes

May 3rd, 2015 7:00pm EDT
Teen-Pop Head To Head: Shawn Mendes Or 16-Year Old Justin Bieber
Recently, Canadian teen-pop artist Shawn Mendes landed his first number one album on the Billboard 200 with Handwritten. Handwritten arrived after an EP entitled The Shawn Mendes EP, which debuted at number five. Overall, Handwritten was an enjoyable album, though by no means the second coming. But who would expect at 16-year old musician to turn the music industry upside down at such a young age? The answer is no one, hence why Mendes’ album is sound without reinventing the wheel.

Another former 16-year old artist managed to achieve similar accolades to Mendes by the name of Justin B...
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Songs With Odd Standout Titles

May 3rd, 2015 12:30pm EDT
15 Awesome Songs With Odd Titles
There have been many awesome songs that have been written throughout the course of music history. Many such songs sported titles that were memorable, but not necessarily distinct. For example, many songs have explored beauty or love, with the simple, generic “Beautiful” serving as the song title or something similarly common. Other songs, however, take their creativity to the next level, featuring unique, unforgettable titles. This list features 15 AWESOME songs with odd titles that make them standout from the rest.

1) Lady Gaga, “Scheiße” (Born This Way, 2011)

One of the most f...
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Josh Groban's Latest Album Should Please His Fans

May 3rd, 2015 11:00am EDT
Review: Josh Groban Remains Consistent On ‘Stages’
Few would characterize Josh Groban as an innovative musician – that’s not his ‘artistic lane’ you might say. What the classical pop/classic crossover vocalist is however is a terrific musician who possesses one of the very best voices in the game. Groban’s vocal tone is celestial; he definitely knows how to captivate with prodigious talent. Stages, an album where Groban covers film and theater classics, finds the musician in top-notch vocal form as always, accompanied by terrific orchestrations. It’s not a ‘sexy’ album per se, but sound.

“Pure Imagination” opens things lushly, as Groba...
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This Rock Band Has Its First No. 1 Album

April 30th, 2015 9:11am EDT
Alabama Shakes’ Sophomore Album Rocks To The Top Of The Billboar
Alabama Shakes have great reason to celebrate as their sophomore album Sound & Color tops the Billboard 200 this week. Sound & Color didn’t exactly break sales records with the 91,000 copies it sold (96,000 overall units per Billboard), but it was enough to give the rock band its first number one album and best sales week. Alabama must be proud!

Alabama Shakes’ album was definitely the most popular of the week, but Yelawolf got some love this week too. And guess where he’s from – Alabama! After his debut album Radioactive flopped, Yelawolf’s sophomore set Love Story debuts at #3. Of ...
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Albums Releases To Check Out This Week

April 28th, 2015 9:30am EDT
Josh Groban
If it hasn’t already been noted, April has been something of a slower month for marquee album releases. That’s no disrespect to a breakout artist such as Shawn Mendes who added a little more oomph to album sales and the top of the Billboard Charts, but most of April had few surefire smashes. This week, the ante is upped a bit with ‘popera’ sensation Josh Groban and country band smash Zac Brown Band dropping new albums. Three other albums join those two juggernauts to make up the five albums to check out this week.

1) Josh Groban, Stages (Reprise)

Stages marks the classical-crossov...
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Lili K's Ruby Is A Must Listen

April 27th, 2015 8:40am EDT
Review: Lili K Delivers A Jazzy, Soulful Smash On 'Ruby'
Chicago musician Lili K represents fresh blood in the music game with a distinct throwback vibe. On her debut Ruby, Lili K showcases her exceptional musicianship, producing the effort herself and most of all, sharing her prodigious pipes for all to hear in their nuanced glory. Lilli K blends jazz and soul music like a champ throughout her debut, and her classical vocal training is always apparent; she’s flawless when it comes to developing a complete performance. Given her fine talents, Ruby proves early on to be a ‘must hear.’

“Mama Told Me” opens Ruby soulfully, offering a taste of wh...
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Songs Of Beauty To Enjoy

April 25th, 2015 4:30pm EDT
15 Truly 'Beautiful' Songs
Music causes folks to experience all sorts of emotions: happiness, sadness, jubilance, anger or otherwise. Illustrious beauty characterizes some songs, giving those “goosies” which Jennifer Lopez references on American Idol. Those that aren’t characterized by beauty or their ugliness just MIGHT have some form of the word beautiful or a synonym within their title – hint, hint, HINT!

Yes, this epic list features songs of true beauty – at least in regards to song title. Some songs are considered classics, others contemporary gems, and others are, well otherwise! Regardless of the charact...
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Alabama Shakes Latest Album Delivers

April 24th, 2015 1:34pm EDT
Alabama Shakes, Sound & Color © ATO
Back in 2012, Alabama Shakes seemed to come out of thin air. Who would’ve thought that the Alabama based alternative band led by front woman Brittany Howard would score a top ten album, a gold-certified album (Boys & Girls) and Grammy nominations? The aforementioned accolades have made the band’s sophomore album Sound & Color one of the most anticipated efforts of 2015. Is the anticipation deserved? Take one listen to Sound & Color and the answer is a resounding YES. YASSS may better describe it!

“Sound & Color” opens the album with an extended instrumental introduction – the first v...
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Shawn Mendes Debut Album Is Tops

April 23rd, 2015 9:25am EDT
Shawn Mendes Takes 'Handwritten' To No. 1 On The Billboard 200
Shawn Mendes wasn’t lying when he was singing “Something Big.” Surely he was anticipating his pending #1 album on the Billboard 200. That’s right Handwritten outperformed the competition to the tune of 119,000 units, most of which were album sales. Shawn Mendes, indeed is doing big things at a young age – he’s all of 16.

Mendes beat out more established artists who dropped new albums. Reba McEntire – a veteran by all means – settles for #3 with Love Somebody, moving a modest 62,000 units. As for Tyler the Creator, Cherry Bomb landed at #4, only producing 58,000 units. Interestingly...
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New Album Releases

April 21st, 2015 8:48am EDT
Hard Rock Calling - Day 2 - Performances at Queen Elizabeth Olym
C’mon April! Where is the abundance of new album releases – sheesh! The week of April 21st is another quiet week on the album release front, with a modest four albums standing out. Those albums arrive courtesy of a southern rock band, a southern rapper, and indie-pop dude, and a Christian rapper.

1) Alabama Shakes, Sound & Color (ATO Records)

After a three-year hiatus, alternative breakout band Alabama Shakes returns with its highly anticipated sophomore album, Sound & Color. Sound & Color follows up Boys & Girls, which peaked at #6 on the Billboard 200. Three songs were available ...
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