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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!

Imagine Dragons Score First Number One Album On the Billboard 200

February 26th, 2015 12:33pm EST
Imagine Dragons
The ‘dragons’ no longer have to ‘imagine’ anything. Nope! In other words, Imagine Dragons scored this week, debuting atop the Billboard 200. Smoke + Mirrors not only impacted well overall (195,000 units), but also managed robust sales – 172,000 copies. Yes the Billboard 200 is putting more emphasis on the ‘total package’ or the 195K number cited first, but with albums selling so poorly, selling 172,000 copies itself is notable achievement.

After locking down number one last week with If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, Drake settles for the runner up slot, continuing to ‘impact’ so...
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Big Sean Leads Albums To Check Out

February 24th, 2015 9:33am EST
Big Sean Leads Albums To Check Out: This Week In Music
It’s another new week and you know what that means? New music releases to infuse life into the Billboard 200 of course! Last week, a lift to the charts itself came by way of Drake’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late and the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack. As far as new album releases, the crown jewel from last week came courtesy of Imagine Dragons’ sophomore album, Smoke and Mirrors. Who’s the crown jewel of this week’s new releases? How about I.D.F.W.U. MC Big Sean, who drops Dark Sky Paradise? Here are six new albums to check out this week!

1) Big Sean, Dark Sky Paradise (Def Jam)...
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Review: Imagine Dragons Keep The Momentum Rolling On ‘Smoke And Mirrors’

February 22nd, 2015 6:20pm EST
Imagine Dragons
How does a breakout rock band follow-up a double platinum, Grammy-winning debut album – The very best that they can in all honesty! With Night Visions, Las Vegas rock collective Imagine Dragons constructed a juggernaut, led by an even more gargantuan single “Radioactive” and a superb follow-up with “Demons.” Sophomore album Smoke and Mirrors rightfully arrives with ‘larger than life’ anticipation, and for Imagine Dragons’ efforts, for the most part, album two does well for itself.

“Shots” initiates Smokes And Mirrors epically, alluring with it synths, slick production, and addictive ch...
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15 Songs Worth The 'Wait'

February 22nd, 2015 2:00pm EST
15 Songs Worth The 'Wait'
What qualifications does it take for a song to be ‘worth the wait?’ Does a selected song that’s ‘worth the wait’ require lofty anticipation or a host of bells and whistles to make it distinct from the rest? Actually No – negative. A song ‘worth the wait’ according to our rubric just requires one word – wait, waiting, waited – you get the picture! Here are 15 songs hence that are worth the ‘wait.’

1) Kings of Leon, “Wait For Me” (Mechanical Bull, 2013)

“Wait For Me” endears itself from its signature instrumental introduction throughout it simple, yet touching concept. Among the most u...
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Drake’s Surprise Album Debuts Big Atop Billboard 200

February 19th, 2015 9:02am EST
Drake - If You're Reading This It's Too Late
What’s a winning formula to top the Billboard 200? Well just release a surprise album of course – it’s simple! Actually it’s not that simple, but for a big-named artist like Drake who is used to topping the Billboard 200, it’s no surprise the element of surprise would bode well in his favor. Drake’s surprise album If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late did well, selling 495,000 copies. Yes, that just sales – it impacted even more to the tune of 535,000 units according to Billboard. You don’t have to be well versed in Billboard’s formulas to conveying chart data to know that both 495,000 an...
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8 Takeaways From Drake’s ‘If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late’

February 17th, 2015 8:30pm EST
8 Takeaways From Drake’s ‘If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late’
The music industry got a serious lift on Friday the 13th of all days – who would’ve thought? Why – well one ubiquitous Canadian rapper/R&B singer named Drake released a surprise album entitled If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late. Anytime that Drake drops anything, it’s huge – gargantuan! After listening to Drake’s 17-track fourth album, here are eight takeaways to sink your teeth into.

1) Drake’s loaded – aka he’s rich!

One thing that Drake is NOT hurting for is money. The dude is frickin’ loaded peeps! As if everybody didn’t already know this fact about Drake, he spends plenty of...
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Imagine Dragons Lead Albums To Check Out

February 17th, 2015 8:30am EST
Imagine Dragons Lead Albums To Check Out: This Week In Music
February 2015 has been a music release month without a homerun you might say. Sure, there have been some solid newbies such as Now 53 and Fifth Harmony’s Reflection, but there hasn’t been that big-time hit with staying power as yet. Maybe that changes this week with the release of Imagine Dragons’ sophomore album Smoke+ Mirrors, not to mention the surprise pre-Valentines Day Drake album, If You’re Reading This Its Too Late. Here are six albums to check out!

1) Imagine Dragons, Smoke + Mirrors (Interscope)

Imagine Dragons’ sophomore album Smoke + Mirrors ranks among the year’s most hi...
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Review: Estelle Shows Off Impressive Vocal Prowess On 'True Romance'

February 16th, 2015 6:00pm EST
Review: Estelle Shows Off Impressive Vocal Prowess On 'True Roma
When the name Estelle comes to mind, there is one song most will cite without question: “American Boy.” “American Boy” was the British singer/rapper’s breakout hit, winning her a Grammy along the way. That said there is more to Estelle’s than “American Boy,” and on her fourth studio album True Romance, Estelle shows off immense artistic versatility. True Romance has a bit of everything, oscillating between boldness and conservativeness, all the while finding the Estelle on top of her game. Throughout its course, Estelle’s vocals are always on-point.

“Time After Time” initiates True Roma...
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15 Songs You Can ‘Believe’ In

February 15th, 2015 3:30pm EST
15 Songs You Can ‘Believe’ In
Doesn’t everybody need something to believe in? People believe in a number of things, whether it is God, good (morality), love, dreams becoming reality, or otherwise. Everyone believes in something – something! Many of us believe in the power of music and the messages conveyed through song, particularly prudent messages. This list, made up of songs featuring some form of the word ‘believe’ within its title, is all about having a belief in something. Most of the songs are truly inspiring, though there’s a slip up every now and again. Here are 15 songs you can ‘believe’ in!

1) R. Kelly...
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Taylor Swift Fends Off 'Now 53' To Stay Number One

February 12th, 2015 10:25am EST
Taylor Swift Fends Off 'Now 53' To Stay Number One: This Week in
Taylor Swift has done it again – locked up the number one spot on the Billboard 200. Yawn, right? Right. It’s no shock, even though Swift beat compilation Now 53 for second place by 9,000 ‘units.’ Now 53 did sell a respectable 99,000 copies, which Billboard notes is equivalent to all measurements of the compilation’s impact under the new formula. There’s nothing wrong with being number two, particularly when you are right next to a juggernaut. And that ladies and gentlemen is what Taylor Swift is – a juggernaut.

After Now 53, familiar titles by Ed Sheeran (X) and Sam Smith (In The Lo...
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