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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!

Kendrick Lamar's 'To Pimp A Butterfly' Tops Billboard Charts

March 26th, 2015 9:27am EDT
Kendrick Lamar Takes 'To Pimp A Butterfly' To Number One
After dropping a ‘five-star masterpiece’ with his sophomore album To Pimp A Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar reaps the benefits from topping the Billboard 200 – his first career number-one album. To Pimp A Butterfly easily topped the charts, selling 324,000 copies and impacting even more robustly with 363,000 units according to Billboard. The two best debuting albums of 2015 come by way of hip-hop efforts, an interesting fact. For Kendrick, he has definitely ‘come up.’

Kendrick Lamar might’ve been the star pupil of this week’s charts, but two others got in on some top 10 action. Modest Mous...
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New Music This Week: Action Bronson, Earl Sweatshirt, Van Morrison & More

March 24th, 2015 9:43am EDT
Action Bronson Leads Albums To Check Out: This Week In Music
Kendrick Lamar took some of the luster of this week away when he moved his sophomore album To Pimp A Butterfly up a week. It was a smart move at the time as the only other big attraction was Modest Mouse’s first album in eight years, Strangers To Ourselves. Even without Kendrick Lamar heading the bill, on an off-cycle Monday release date, there’s plenty of newbies to sink one’s teeth into, arguably led by the long awaited debut album by Action Bronson. But if AB can’t do it, maybe the task falls into the hands of the likes of Earl Sweatshirt, James Bay, Van Morrison, Kidz Bop Kidz, or St...
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How Good Is Kendrick Lamar's New Album, 'To Pimp A Butterfly'?

March 23rd, 2015 11:53am EDT
Kendrick Lamar
Albums that are hailed as contemporary masterpieces are hard to come by in modern times. Few efforts receive such high distinction, but across the board, Kendrick Lamar’s debut album "good Kid, m.A.A.d city" was considered to be one of those truly special, transcendent albums. How does one follow-up a juggernaut? The answer is to simply release yet another juggernaut – another album that has fans and critics alike raving. On "To Pimp A Butterfly," that’s exactly what Kendrick Lamar does – release another awesome, transcendent LP.

Over its brilliant course, "To Pimp A Butterfly" never ...
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15 Drunken Songs, Mostly With Some Substance

March 22nd, 2015 3:00pm EDT
15 ‘Drunken’ Songs: Music Written With A Lack Of Sobriety In Min
If a poll were taken, likely the majority of folks would state they enjoy an alcoholic beverage. If that poll were to focus merely on college students, the majority would be even larger. But this isn’t about how much alcohol is consumed, but rather about the songs that have been written with drunkenness, drinking, and a lack of sobriety in mind. Here are 15 Drunken Songs. Most are about substances, but a few play exception.

1) Kendrick Lamar, “Swimming Pools (Drank)” (good kid m.A.A.d. City, 2012)

If one gets nothing else from Kendrick Lamar’s hit “Swimming Pools (Drank),” you kno...
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'Empire' Wins The Day Over Madonna

March 19th, 2015 8:24am EDT
'Empire' Soundtrack Outpaces Madonna For Top Spot On The Billboa
Who would’ve ever thought that the iconic Madonna would miss out on a number one album? Well, that’s exactly what happened this week as Original Soundtrack From Season 1 of Empire outpaced Madge’s Rebel Heart to take the number one spot on the Billboard 200. Empire impacted to the tune of 130,000 units, while Madonna’s 121,000 units left her settling for second place.

Luke Bryan wasn’t even mentioned in the tightly contested race for number one, as Spring Break…Checkin’ Out always seemed to be aiming for third. Ultimately, the numbers aren’t earth shattering, but it is respectable the...
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Kendrick Lamar's Brilliant Move

March 18th, 2015 3:12pm EDT
Kendrick Lamar Makes A Brilliant Decision Releasing 'To Pimp A B
What is arguably the trendiest trend in the music industry as of late? Is it the liberal use of profanity or the heightened prevalence of sex? While both of those characterize multiple genres of music, arguably the trendiest trend is the surprise or semi-surprise album. The latest artist to drop a surprise album is none other than one of hip-hop’s most respected newbies, Kendrick Lamar.

The release of Lamar’s sophomore album has been very unique and nothing like the release of his Grammy-nominated debut good Kid m.A.A.d City. Everyone knew that Kendrick Lamar was working on a new pro...
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New Albums To Check Out This Week

March 17th, 2015 8:45am EDT
Sleeping With Sirens Lead New Albums To Check Out: This Week in
Last week, the music fans were spoiled by new releases from Madonna (Rebel Heart), the Empire Cast (Original Soundtrack from Season 1 of Empire), and Luke Bryan (Spring Break…Checkin’ Out). This week, things are a tad bit quieter. What does that mean? Essentially, there are less ‘highly anticipated’ releases dropping this week. Still, there are five newbies worth checking out, led by ‘post-hardcore’ band Sleeping With Sirens and capped off with Marina and the Diamonds.

1) Sleeping With Sirens, Madness (Epitaph)

Sleeping With Sirens returns with its fourth album Madness, following 20...
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Madonna Didn’t Need To Prove Anything With Rebel Heart

March 16th, 2015 7:00pm EDT
8 Takeaways From Madonna's 'Rebel Heart'
When a legend enters the room, the whole room stops – literally! Madonna is definitely a legend who has established herself among music’s visionaries, no questions asked. Even after long cementing her status as being “it,” Madonna continues to release albums placing her mark upon pop culture. Her latest album Rebel Heart is the latest slice of the pie, and honestly, it’s one of Madonna’s best albums in some time. Forget the unfortunate leak/controversy that surrounded its release; There’s plenty to love and respect about Rebel Heart. Here are eight takeaways from Madge’s latest piece of...
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Music You'll Never Run From

March 13th, 2015 2:02pm EDT
21 Songs You Don’t Wanna ‘Run’ From!
Some music turns you off the first time you hear it makes you wanna run from it, never to be annoyed or turned off by it again. And then there’s the good stuff, those songs that you would never, ever run from. This list is filled with the good stuff – songs that you embrace, and spin over and over on your iPod. Here are 21 songs you don’t wanna ‘run’ from!

1) Pink Floyd, “Run Like Hell” (The Wall, 1979)

Doesn’t the title say it all, honestly? “Run, Run, Run… you better run all day / and run all night.” It’s like “Run Forrest, runnnnn!”

2) Kelly Clarkson featuring John Legend, “...
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Best Songs From The Empire Soundtrack

March 12th, 2015 5:15pm EDT
6 Best Songs From Original Soundtrack From Season 1 of 'Empire'
What’s the hottest show on TV right now? Empire. And when a show is hot, particularly one driven by it’s music, you milk it for everything it is worth. It makes perfect sense for the hip-hop soap opera to issue a soundtrack, particularly after how successful the first season has been. One thing to remember is that the soundtrack is indeed a soundtrack.

The best songs from the Empire soundtrack are unsurprisingly those that most impact the script of the show. Even if the music of Empire makes perfect contextual sense within the show, making a compilation soundtrack into a memorable li...
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