Alternative

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...
READ MORE

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...
READ MORE

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 ...
READ MORE

Who Took The Top Spot On The Billboard 200 This Week?

April 16th, 2015 11:56am EDT
‘Furious 7’ Soundtrack Bests All Time Low For Top Spot On The Bi
It was a good week to be a soundtrack, specifically the soundtrack to Furious 7. After ascending to the #2 spot on the Billboard 200 last week, Furious 7 sits atop the charts this week. The improvement in units from the previous week are quite substantial – 111,000 units this week versus 74,000 the previous week. Making Furious 7’s ascent on the Billboard 200 is what the soundtrack did on the Billboard Hot 100, namely “See You Again.”

“See You Again” did the unthinkable – killed Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ vibe. How so? “See You Again” stopped “Uptown Funk” from breaking a tie for th...
READ MORE

Wale Vs 'Furious 7' Soundtrack For No. 1 Spot

April 9th, 2015 8:22am EDT
Wale Takes ‘The Album About Nothing’ To Top of the Billboard Cha
The title of rapper Wale’s latest album is an unfortunate one – The Album About Nothing. From a critical standpoint, The Album About Nothing is another captivating effort from the MC who has compelled the world with three previous LPs. From a commercial standpoint, Wale claims his second consecutive number one album, following 2013’s The Gifted. While The Gifted performed better, Wale’s impact at 100,000 units is impressive given seemingly less aggressive promotion compared to The Gifted (single “Bad” was a sizable single at the time).

Wale led a number of ‘impactful’ new releases, th...
READ MORE

‘Future Hearts’ Is Another Enjoyable All Time Low Album

April 8th, 2015 1:10pm EDT
Review: All Time Low Keeps Things Fun On ‘Future Hearts’
Sometimes the kids just don’t grow up – and that’s perfectly acceptable! For pop-punk/emo band All Time Low, growing up would cause them to lose some of their luster and fun. Known for grandiose, over the top records atoning for the lonely, disrespected, and ‘voiceless’ kids everywhere, All Time Low deliver another captivating set of such on Future Hearts. Much of the formula is the same: F-bombs perfectly placed, irresistible choruses, ‘emo’ lyrics, and slick production.

On “Satellite,” All Time Low recollects their ‘youth’ as a band with front man Alex Gaskarth singing, “We were jus...
READ MORE

Albums To Check Out This Week

April 7th, 2015 10:07am EDT
All Time Low Leads Albums To Check Out: This Week In Music
After a star-studded assortment of new albums last week, this week is much more subtle. The same bombast that greeted a long-awaited comeback by Ludacris, The Album About Nothing courtesy of Wale, and an album named after a Japanese repair technique (Kintsugi) by Death Cab For Cutie isn’t apparent this week. Even so, there are some interesting new efforts, led by irresistible Baltimore quartet All Time Low with their affinity for emo lyrics and the occasional dash of salty language. All Time Low and four others lead albums to check out this week.

1) All Time Low, Future Hearts (Hopele...
READ MORE

Some High-Flying Songs!

April 5th, 2015 11:30am EDT
12 High-Flying Songs To Brighten Your Day
Ah, there is nothing like a good ole ‘high-flying song’ to get the day going! When flying comes to mind, one thinks of soaring like a bird – specifically an eagle, being free, and of course migrating to new places. Flying can be literal in meaning or figurative, with a figurative meaning playing a notable role in the songs that follow. Whether it involves a jet, an eagle, or simply being a beginner who is “learning to fly,” these 12 high-flying songs will never crash, like “never ever!”

1) Paul McCartney & Wings, “Jet” (Band On The Run, 1973)

Listen to “Jet” and you have to ask your...
READ MORE

Kendrick Lamar Keeps The Top Spot

April 2nd, 2015 9:33am EDT
Kendrick Lamar Keeps The Number One Spot Warm For A Second Week
In one of the least shocking weeks on the Billboard 200, Kendrick Lamar’s critically lauded To Pimp A Butterfly sits atop the charts for a second week. Shocking right – of course not – who was about to stop it? Sales and overall impact dropped, but not too harshly for a second week on the charts – the tune of 123,000 units and 107,000 copies (sales). Sales alone have nearly given Lamar a gold album at 431,000 copies.

Basically, examining this week’s charts, the competition wasn’t there. Yes, there were newbies, but the highest bowing new album – Action Bronson’s Mr. Wonderful, settled...
READ MORE

This Week In Music

March 31st, 2015 9:52am EDT
Wale And Ludacris Lead Albums To Check Out
Ah, March 31st is turning out to be quite a big new release day – by no means is March ending like a ‘lamb.’ Arguably, there is not a surefire juggernaut release the likes of Kendrick Lamar dropping this week, but there is a healthy dose of big names ending March on a high note. Led by Wale and a comeback album by Ludacris, here are seven newbies to check out this week!

1) Wale, The Album About Nothing (Atlantic)

Wale returns with his fourth studio album, The Album About Nothing. Nothing follows up Wale’s 2013 LP The Gifted, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200. The Album About...
READ MORE