President Obama may have flubbed the spelling of “respect” during the White House’s Women of Soul event last night, but that doesn’t mean he and the First Lady don’t have a deep appreciation for soulful divas! Jill Scott, Tessanne, Melissa Ethridge, Patti Labelle, Janelle Monae and Ariana Grande all performed in front of the First Family during the event, both as solo artists and collaboratively.
If you don’t start shouting the minute mama Labelle or Franklin’s feet touch the stage, you’re going about this viewing experience all wrong. Newcomers Monae and Grande even hold their own, performing their own material and popular covers.
Women of Soul: In Performance at the White House will air on PBS on April 7. Until then, watch a few of the performances, including “Lady Marmalade,” “I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You),” “Tightrope,” a cover of “I Have Nothing” and a group performance of “Proud Mary” below. Continue reading
Timbaland may not be a fan of new artists working with old Aaliyah records, but he doesn’t seem to have a problem having a hand in a posthumous Michal Jackson album. The producer, who is working on the project with L.A. Reid, says the first single will be “Chicago,” but yesterday he teased a previously unheard track, “Slave To The Rhythm,” instead.
The minute-long snippet focuses on the production, clearly influenced by Timbaland’s signature sound, but towards the end fans can hear about 15 seconds of Jackson’s vocals. I’m usually not a fan of posthumous records, but a smile definitely crept on my face when I heard MJ’s voice. So unparalleled.
Are you interested in hearing more? Continue reading
Fresh off the release of her solo debut album LOUDER, Lea Michele stopped by Good Morning America yesterday to perform the album’s strongest cut “Battlefield.” As expected, the emotional ballad came to life nicely live.
LOUDER isn’t a bad album, but “Battlefield” is one of the few tracks on the release that Michele really manages to make her own. The rest, especially the uptempo dance songs, sound like predictable pop songs that could’ve been given to whatever pop star was in the market for a new single at the time of it’s creation.
Watch the “Battlefield” performance below and let me know what you think of the track. Continue reading
Elle Varner is gearing to release her sophomore album later this year and it definitely won’t be all sweet and innocent. After debuting “Rover,” the sexy first taste of the new project, in December, the singer has returned with an absolute BANGER.
Varner sings about getting revenge on her cheating ex over a booming trap beat in “Cold Case.” The is amazing. Everything from the ominous background vocals to the easily accessible “oohhh” refrain and the angrily crafted lyrics is well done. If you weren’t looking forward to Varner’s second album this should change your mind rather quickly.
Best listened to while: Considering pulling a Left Eye on your cheating beau. (You may want to remember how that turned out for her, though). Continue reading
Jennifer Lopez debuted her new single today on Power 106 in New York. The American Idol judge sing-raps about loving her Papi because he stays down over the warped production. It really is that simple.
The hook will probably be stuck in your head for the next 24 hours because it’s so repetitive, but this song definitely isn’t one of Lopez’s stronger singles.
Best listened to while: Trying to tell someone who French Montana is. Continue reading
English singer Alexa Goddard is known for covering popular songs on YouTube and this week she took on Disclosure’s “Help Me Lose My Mind.” The electronic track was originally sung by London Grammar, but in Goddard’s version the main instruments are an acoustic guitar and piano. Her voice is both delicate and strong during the cover, providing a great balance and giving weight to the song’s beautiful lyrics.
Best listened to while: daydreaming.
Listen to Goddard’s version and the original version below and share your thoughts below! Continue reading
I can’t think of a song on the radio that will change your crummy mood faster Pharrell’s current hit “Happy.” Everything from the retro soul instrumentals to the uplifting lyrics makes this song the perfect pick-me-up…unless of course you change it to a piano ballad and mix it with a song called “Teardrops.”
Doing so would probably suggest that there is something fundamentally wrong in your life, but That’s exactly what Foxes did when she covered the song for BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge. “Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof,” Foxes sings, her vocals somber. There’s a brief moment of happiness toward the middle of the cover and then she switches gears, singing Massive Attack’s “Teardrops.”
Best listened to while: Brooding over something trivial. (Afterwards you should snap out of it and listen to the original version). Continue reading
Iggy Azalea pays homage to the 90s classic Clueless in the music video for her latest The New Classic single “Fancy.” The rapper plays Cher Horowitz (originally played by Alicia Silverstone), a Beverly Hills High School student and socialite, in the clip, reenacting many of the popular scenes from the movie with the help of Charli XCX. According to behind the scenes footage, the X-directed video utilized 250 extras, including many of Azalea’s fans.
It’s pretty amazing, honestly, but Azalea’s videos are always over-the-top so I’m not surprised.
The New Classic will finally be released this April. Continue reading
Lea Michele’s life revolves around a role in which she covers the songs of major pop acts. And she’s pretty amazing at it. When Glee first aired no one on the show seemed more destined for pop stardom than Michele. But emulating big stars and actually being one are two different things.
Michele certainly has the vocal prowess to take on most of the pop girl’s but on her debut album LOUDER she still seems to be playing a role, releasing a collection of average, emotionless dance songs and ballads that beg to be overlooked. Continue reading
Lykke Li has revealed that her forthcoming album I Never Learn will be a “slow burner” full of power ballads. First up is “Love Me Like I’m Not Made Of Stone.”
Yes, it’s as devastating as it sounds. Over an acoustic guitar, Li begs her beau to love her even through the rough times (which is basically every moment in her entire life).
I Never Learn will be released in May. The album is the last in a trilogy that includes Li’s first two albums Youth Novels and Wounded Rhymes.
Best listened to while: Repeatedly calling your ex following a long drawn-out fight and pleading your case through tears and snot because still haven’t learned. Continue reading