Pop

Review: Ariana Grande Shines Vocally on ‘My Everything’

August 27th, 2014 9:50am EDT
Ariana Grande
On Ariana Grande’s sophomore album My Everything, things feel different from her debut Yours Truly from 2013. The voice still soars commandingly – there’s no difference there – but My Everything has more of the feel of a big pop album. Sure Yours Truly had some exceptional records itself and blended pop and R&B sensibilities much like this album, but My Everything feels as if Grande has better established her niche and is flexing.

My Everything is a solid second effort from Grande, feeling like the right album for the right time. That said, the album itself, while good, is by no means...
READ MORE

Ariana Grande Leads New Albums: This Week In Music

August 26th, 2014 9:12am EDT
Ariana Grande Leads New Albums: This Week In Music
After some rather unexceptional release weeks, the music industry looks to be picking up some steam in regards to bigger album releases. This week, many new titles were released off-cycle, hitting stores on Monday, August 25. Some of the artists dropping new music this week included Ariana Grande, Kem, and Brad Paisley. Grande, who’s had big hits this summer, leads the charge this week with My Everything.

1) Ariana Grande, My Everything (Universal Republic)

Pop’s new ‘it’ star releases her highly anticipated sophomore album, My Everything, which follows up 2013’s #1 debut, Yours Tru...
READ MORE

Caleb Johnson Becomes The Latest Casualty Of The Diminishing 'American Idol' Franchise

August 25th, 2014 10:50am EDT
Caleb Johnson
The profitability and lucrativeness of the American Idol franchise in regards to its album sales seems to be done. It is finished people – F-I-N-I-S-H-E-D! It’s sort of like overcooking bacon…not very tasty and certainly not edible. Why this post now – well another Idol winner has fallen, epically. Technically, maybe you can’t fall before you ever ascended, but a recording career can definitely be done before it begins. Lately, this has been the disconcerting trend of American Idol.

Caleb Johnson has successfully stolen Candice Glover’s crown as the lowest selling American Idol wi...
READ MORE

10 Best Taylor Swift Songs

August 24th, 2014 12:00pm EDT
10 Best Taylor Swift Songs
Ah Taylor Swift – the same musician who made the 10 Musicians You Either Adore Or Loathe list – has certainly put her thumbprint on the music industry within recent times. Everyone should just admit it: Swift is nothing short of a beast. Throughout a relatively young career, Swift has released plenty of noteworthy material. While every song about a broken relationship can’t make the list, here are 10 of Swift’s best songs.

1) “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” (Red, 2012)

If saying “we are never getting back together” wasn’t enough, Swift makes sure everybody is fully aware of...
READ MORE

Music Spotlight: Troye Sivan – Youthful Alt-Pop Warrior

August 21st, 2014 11:15am EDT
Music Spotlight: Troye Sivan – Youthful Alt-Pop Warrior
Often times, a teen musician offers one of two things as a recording artist – bubblegum and more bubblegum. Call it schmaltz. Maybe that assertion is over simplistic, but typically, teen musicians tend to appeal to audiences of their peers or even younger. Not many youngsters have the ability early on to crossover or appeal to more mature, older listeners. With numerous EPs released from burgeoning teen acts, most appealed to, well teens. No shade 5 Seconds of Summer, The Vamps, or Shawn Mendes.

For Troye Sivan, the script is a bit different. With Sivan, a multitalented 19-year ol...
READ MORE

The Gaslight Anthem Land at #4 on Billboard 200 : This Week In Music

August 21st, 2014 9:20am EDT
The Gaslight Anthem
In a blasé August release week, Guardians of the Galaxy Soundtrack remains at #1 on the Billboard 200 selling 93,000 copies. The numbers are solid considering the soundtrack sold 109,000 copies last week (no substantial drop), but worth noting is no album moved 100,000 copies this week. The next closest album, Now 51, was distant second place, selling 52,000 copies. Ouch!

Despite sluggish numbers, there were some new debuts. The Gaslight Anthem landed at #4 with its latest album, Get Hurt. Get Hurt sold 33,000 copies, which by no means is the second coming. Troy Sivan’s numbers ar...
READ MORE

10 Most Regrettable Albums Of 2014

August 17th, 2014 4:00pm EDT
10 Most Regrettable Albums Of 2014
Have you ever had the reaction OMG – or maybe better yet, OMFG? (The answer should be “like totally” because it’s rhetorical). Well, some poorly conceived albums in 2014 brought the same sort of personal reaction. Sometimes albums – specifically the music on them – are like incredible beings that can satisfy and fulfill. And then other times, albums leave you wishing you hadn’t invested the time and/or the money.

The following albums, regardless of commercial success or non-success struck out – four strikes if possible. In other words – do NOT “pass go and collect $200.”

1) Robin Th...
READ MORE

Guardians Of The Galaxy Soundtrack Ascends To #1: This Week In Music

August 14th, 2014 8:55am EDT
Guardians Of The Galaxy Soundtrack Ascends To #1: This Week In M
On the Billboard 200, only one album managed to surpass the 100,000 copies mark. Most surprising is the fact that it’s an album that seemed to come out of nowhere. The Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack ascends to #1 after outperforming expectations it’s first week, debuting at #3 selling 60,000 copies. This week, Guardians of the Galaxy, Awesome Mix Vol. 1 sells 109,000 copies.

Guardians of the Galaxy definitely killed the vibe of Now 51, which settles for second place, selling 94,000 copies. 94K is respectable, particularly given album sales throughout the course of 2014. Godsmack ...
READ MORE

Review: Porter Robinson Captivates On Electronic Album ‘Worlds’

August 13th, 2014 11:31am EDT
Porter Robinson - Worlds
It could be argued that the ‘drop’ is the most anticipated moment in electronic music. In EDM, there are some ‘benchmarks’ that the music itself generally tends to meet. One of the criticisms of electronic music is that it can be somewhat predictable, despite the rich palette of synths available. Porter Robinson seeks to give electronic music something of a different look on his debut album, Worlds.

Unlike so many of his colleagues, Robinson seems to give more thought to melody, shaping, and contrast. Sure, there are some of the expected ‘benchmarks’ throughout Worlds, but it is the...
READ MORE

The Gaslight Anthem Leads New Albums: This Week in Music

August 12th, 2014 11:02am EDT
RiotFest Chicago 2012 - Day 2 Humboldt Park Chicago, IL, USA 09/
Summer continues to drag on in music circles. This week marks no difference in the trend that dominated July 2014 – generally, a lack of blockbuster releases. Still, August 12, 2014 has some interesting albums being released that shouldn’t be overlooked. The Gaslight Anthem, Tank, and Porter Robinson are among the most notable artists dropping new music this week.

1) The Gaslight Anthem, Get Hurt (Island)

Continuing to gain in popularity, The Gaslight Anthem releases their fifth studio album, Get Hurt. Get Hurt follows up the band’s 2012 effort Handwritten, which debuted at #3 on t...
READ MORE