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NOW #KPOPPING: SHINee's Back with a New "View"

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

L to R: Onew, Key, Taemin, Jonghyun, Minho
Guys, I'm overwhelmed. So much good is happening all at once. The Eurovision final is on Saturday. Little Mix's ace new single leaked early and will be released early (post coming soon) and my favorite no-longer-underaged darlings in SHINee are back on the KPOP scene. FINALLY...(Minho Voice, say it with me) SHINee's Back!

It's been a year and a half since SHINee's last Korean release -- dancey "Everybody" back in 2013. Since then, they've released a fresh full length album in Japan (I'm Your Boy) and members Taemin and Jonghyun have both offered up solo EPs. But now they are back in five-piece choreography formation for a new summer jam and a new album.


The song is called "View" and if you were like me and were just waiting for a KPOP act to get this 90's dance groove thing right, wait no longer. SHINee is known for being trendy so this shouldn't have been too much of a surprise, albeit a pleasant one. Choreography was not forsaken, the tempo is good, all of them sound great, and its a grower in the best way. Oh, and my guy Jonghyun wrote the lyrics -- allegedly beating out over 20 other compositions for that bragging right.

"View" is the lead jam from their fourth official full length album, Odd, which I'm placing side by side to their transition breakthrough piece, Lucifer. The album is all over the map in terms of genres -- some of it works, some of it doesn't (at least not for the time being). It's the sheer force of energy that really solidifies it as a set and is yet another proof positive that SHINee isn't afraid to tweak and experiment. 

That being said, if you adored their super shiny (pun very much intended) earlier jams like "A.Mi.Go" or even arguably their best work with "Sherlock", you might feel a little underwhelmed. Odd is exactly that and doesn't try to be mainstream accessible. In much of the same way that I feel Big Bang works on an international level for being both a boy band as we come to know the term and something else entirely, SHINee seems to be reaching for a similar feel. Much of this album doesn't feel like a typical boy band album -- in fact, much of it doesn't even really feel like KPOP as I've come to know it to be. There is no straight-ahead pop jam like "Dream Girl" on this record. It's decidedly other and that's exciting because as I've said before -- SHINee can walk both paths. This something that few other KPOP groups can do and do well.

Like with Lucifer before it, I adore the lead single and a smattering of the rest of the material. When I first heard both albums, I was a bit perplexed. After a few spins, I found a handful of album cuts I really loved. In the case of Odd, these currently seem to be ethereal, everything-and-the-kitchen-sink "Trigger" and its polar opposite (which coincidentally appears adjacent in the track listing) "Farewell My Lover". The latter is an early 90's love-soaked R&B power ballad and might just be SHINee's elusive "Before U Go" moment (or at the very least a worthy followup to the under-promoted "Symptoms").

Basically, Odd is the album I wasn't expecting to get from SHINee and I'm happy about that. I'm also really excited to see these boys perform the hell out of this odd new material.

Given the fact that SHINee's Back and with a music video not set in a SM dungeon box to boot, it's definitely time to resurrect my patented...

For the Fangirls & Fanboys:
  • Is Minho really walking around a forest in a striped suit? And while we're on the subject of Minho, HOW GOOD DOES MINHO LOOK, GUYS? SHINee, you bewilder me. Every era, I find a different member attractive. This time round, it might be Minho. Who would have thought. Seriously though. Seriously.
  • That being said, Taemin still looks really good even with the strange hair. How does this child pull off any look regardless of how ridiculous it is? Also -- he's almost 22 now so I feel less weird about finding him attractive (but it still feels pretty weird, NGL).
  • NO MORE WEIRD COLORED CONTACT LENSES. EVAR.
  • Um...is SHINee being kidnapped by white girls right now? Should we call someone?
  • Also, anyone else surprised by the sheer amount of non-Asian girls being featured in (male) KPOP videos? I sure am. Is this how they avoid the expected onslaught of vitriol by fangirls? And on a related note, how can I be said non-Asian girl featured? Let me know in the comments, kthanks.
  • So much undressing in this video. My eyes. It's weird to see SHINee so...non-idol on a pedestal. I can't be the only one. You mean they are human men in their twenties?!? I know! I'm shocked, too!
  • A+ Jonghyun for your Guns & Roses T-shirt. And given that he likes rock music, I'm not judging him for wearing it. And in another shot he wears a Curtis Mayfield shirt! Man, I knew you were my "technical" bias for a reason. I promise I will try to adjust to this platinum blonde on you.
  • As expected, Key looks...like Key. But I give him bonus points for wearing a jersey that says "Girl Power" because yaaaass gurl.
  • For the first time in what feels like literally forever, let's all give a round of applause to the stylist for putting (let's call a spade a spade for this era) the hot 3/5's of SHINee into tank tops with the low-cut/large cutaway sleeves. 
  • Nerd Alert: the hipster cinematography here is pretty on fleek. (Kids, did I use that right?)
  • Wait, so Onew has a hot girl alone, she takes her top off, and he looks visibly uncomfortable? Oh Jinki, why? Furthermore, why do Onew and Minho get scandalous solo shots with girls and no one else does? Did the other three object because they have real life girlfriends(/boyfriends)? (Sorry, did I just get too real?)
  • Say it with me, the shirtless pool bit was way too short.

FRESH OUT THE BOX: Disclosure, Tori Kelly, Blonde, Elliphant, Kiesza, Grace Potter, & More

Tuesday, May 19, 2015



The summer months always seems to bring better music. Maybe it's the weather but it's hard to not want to go out and dance the night away. Here are some of my current faves in the pop landscape. As always, click the titles to hear the song.



Dance's heavy-hitters are back with this saucy track.

A sparse, modern re-take on the dance classic by Robin S. This 90's revival is real and legit and I'm loving it.

Ditto to this jam. Vocalist Alex Newell is shaping up to be one to watch. He was a regular on Glee's later seasons as the transgendered character Unique and provided vocals for Clean Bandit's "Stronger". I'm getting the same kind of excited vibes as when I first discovered MNEK and that's a great thing. His debut album is due out on Atlantic Records soon.

Man, can this girl write a hook. Not only that, but there are times when Tori's lyrics hit so close to home how I felt growing up (and now) that it almost overwhelms me. It's not just for her perfect curly hair that makes wish Tori was my real life BFF. Looking for a fab, chill female popstar-in-the-making with self-written lyrics that are relatable and idyllic in terms of a modern day role model for young women? Look no further. "Who knows / Maybe I could sell out shows without my clothes? / God made me sexy and I don't care if only I know." Dear today's youth...

These boys swing from strength to strength. 

There are a few different bands named Phases but this LA-bred one sounds a bit like Scissor Sisters meets Roxette to me. They've released a handful of sparklers including their single "I'm In Love With My Life" but I like "Betty Blue" because it kinda sounds like Huey Lewis & the News' "The Power of Love" and Lady Gaga's "Swine" mashed up and repackaged as lite-pop fare. If that doesn't intrigue you, I don't know what will.

PopJustice referred to this being like the Rihanna 2015 single that the wanted but didn't get. Apropos. 

This song is from the upcoming Finding Neverland musical celebration album but don't let that deceive you if you're not a Broadway nerd like me (or for that matter, not a Peter Pan aficionado). It's glittery Disney Pop for sure but in the best way and still very much in Kiesza's 90's pop wheelhouse.

Carefully sandwiched somewhere between first album Charli XCX and second album Charli XCX, Bebe Rexha's debut EP has hit the ether and it's a good kind of grower. "Pray" is easily my favorite.

As the leader of Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, she was kind of like a modern day Janis Joplin -- so if you're expecting alt-pop rock, please disembark from the bus now. Grace's solo album, dubbed Midnight, is due for release soon and if "Alive Tonight" is any indicator, it's much more pop leaning. I haven't been able to stop hitting the repeat on this one -- it's the perfect kind of summer anthem with a chorus that is super singable without forsaking her rock vocal roots. (But beware the inevitable whining of "selling out". Pshhh, Bye Felicia.)

It's already gained a few synch features and is quickly rising up the Hot 100. Newcomer Rachel Platten sounds a bit like a Taylor Swift/Sara Barielles/Megan & Liz fusion in the best way.

HEAR THIS: M.O's "PREACH" Is THE Jam

Monday, May 18, 2015

Happy #MusicMonday!

While I impatiently wait for
Little Mix to return to the pop marketplace, my other fave "current" UK gal group provide us with yet another smash.

Now signed to Operator Records in the UK, trio MO (or M.O) have already racked up quite a few bangers while still staying relatively under the radar even in their native UK. I'm talking about "Ain't Got Time", "For A Minute", "Hot", and "Wait Your Turn". They stayed firmly wedged on that line between lush harmonies and singable choruses, from funky R&B to pop perfection that Sugababes did so well in their heyday.

Their latest is "Preach" and it's everything I wanted it to be. It's a little bit 90's, a little bit island meets mainland, a little bit modern trap, the modern day TLC mass appeal hit we were waiting for.

But -- and it needs to be said -- as much as love the main original version, I utterly adore the Cahill Remix edit. Why? Because it gives me so much Mini Viva vibes. Basically, it makes DJs lives super easy because they would only need to put that edit on infinite repeat and people would still be out dancing on the floor. So c'mon, PREACH!


LIVE FROM NEW YORK: Lo-Fang Scorches at LePoissonRouge

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Do you enjoy talented, handsome men who can play multiple instruments? (That should be rhetorical but if you just said 'no' in your head, what's wrong with you?)

Lo-Fang has opened up for Lorde and has quickly creeped up on me, mostly thanks to the suggestion by my friend over at Music Is My King Size Bed. This past week, I finally saw the man live and the rumors are true -- he's an incredible live act and it's really incredible how he can breathe life into his under-appreciated Blue Film album on the stage.

Lo-Fang (real name: Matthew Hemerlein) literally built a musical masterpiece around his haunting vocals through a series of soundscapes and loops made of live performance on the cello, the guitar, and the violin (the latter getting me every time). Seeing these songs live deconstruction sheds new light on their recorded counterparts, in particular jams like "Look Away", "When We're Fire", and "Animal Urges".


And then there's the beast that is his beautiful, sultry cover of "You're The One That I Want" that was somewhat recently used in a Chanel ad. Sigh.

If you're unfamiliar, remedy this now. This is a genius musician at work. 

STOP EVERYTHING: JANET JACKSON IS BACK

Saturday, May 16, 2015

We're living in a crazy time if you're a fan of the divas as I obviously am. Britney just released a single. Mariah and J.LO are doing Vegas shows. Mary J. dropped a UK-dance focused album that was incredible. And now...

Our Queen -- Janet. Ms. Jackson if you're Nasty -- is coming back. Not just for an album but for a tour, too.


Announcement from Janet Jackson on Vimeo.

Oh Sweet Queen of the Rhythm Nation, finally. FINALLY. It's been seven years since Discipline, fam.

And to be honest, now is an incredible time for a new Janet Jackson album. Can you imagine if we got something like this now in such a politically charged climate? Or what if we got something like this? Or like this since 90's is so hot? OR LIKE THIS? I might die. I literally might.

I'm overwhelmed with the possibilities. I'm so ready for this. SO READY.

HEAR THIS: Britney & Iggy Are "PRETTY GIRLS"


I'll be honest. I wasn't expecting to really like this but now -- like a proverbial moth to a flame -- I can't get it out of my head.

News of The Invisible Men-produced summer pop-trap jam "Pretty Girls" first started making the rounds last year as a supposed possible album cut/single for my girls in Little Mix's upcoming third album (that era will be officially beginning soon via the new single "Black Magic" and I. Can't. Wait.). The excitement for it was mainly because the writing credits included rapper-of-the-moment Iggy Azalea. However, just as the news broke, Iggy herself confirmed that the song has nothing to do with Little Mix and I went back to not caring a fig.

However, the possibility of a Britney Spears/Iggy collabo was running rampant in the pop machine for months and when it was confirmed that this "Pretty Girls" song was said collabo, the excitement returned. I couldn't tell you why -- I'm not your typical Britney fan. I enjoy her uptempos and I like to see her happy but during her heyday I wasn't what you'd call a stan, mostly because I wanted to marry her then boyfriend Justin Timberlake. You see where I'm going with this.

"Pretty Girls" has since officially dropped to the public and will be performed live for the first (and probably only) time with Brit & Iggy at the Billboard Music Awards. Yes, it does sound a bit like a "Fancy" retread -- it's kind of what The Invisible Men are known for to the mainstream American marketplace at this point, which is kind of disappointing since they also gave us Jessie J's "Do It Like A Dude" and The Noisettes's "Don't Upset the Rhythm" among other Brit-Pop smashes.

(In Brit's first verse, she sings "Don't you know that it's always the same / From Australia down to L.A...." -- they easily could have switched the "L.A." reference to "U.K.". I'm just saying. I think Iggy saying this never was meant for Little Mix is a bit far fetched. Both Iggy and Britney need a hit in 2015 but of the two, Britney is the only icon. A part of me is glad that Little Mix didn't have to rely on the "relevant rapper" approach for their next single especially if they plan on an American rollout again. Just my two cents.)


The music video also dropped this week and it's ridiculous. It's yet another busy Iggy-"directed" video homage to a film classic (in this case, it's Earth Girls Are Easy). But if you're not an Iggy fan or even an Iggy tolerator, it's worth watching if only because Britney looks incredible.

I mean it -- she really looks incredible. Like her former glory incredible. And when the dance breakdown bit happens and she begins to dance in formation, a part of me got really excited. Sure, it lasted all of five seconds but who's counting?

The song itself is silly and goofy and super catchy in a chanty kind of way. But it's not really about that or the tacked-on Iggy bit at the end. It's about Britney looking and sounding happy for the first time in a while and it warms my heart. Not all pop has to be highbrow, as we all know, and this definitely isn't. But does it deliver on the syrupy fun? Yes.

LIVE FROM NEW YORK: #SoundOfAWomanTour with Betty Who & Kiesza

Friday, May 8, 2015

Kiesza (left) and Betty Who (right) hug it out.
We're almost midway through 2015 but I've already set the bar high for The Best Concert of the Year. 

On Monday night, I headed to Union Square's Irving Plaza* (where I had also seen Danity Kane and Iggy Azalea perform last year) to see two female acts I'd already seen once before but loved so much I had to see again (with longer sets) -- Betty Who & Kiesza.

Both Betty and Kiesza embody to me the Power of Pop Potential. Both artists have successfully culled a following despite being somewhat under the radar of the mainstream. This is thanks to the fact that both have released stellar full length albums within the past year (Take Me When You Go and Sound of A Woman, respectfully) and both are dynamite live performers. Add to this fact that both ladies are currently NYC residents and you're in for a rowdy night of pop.

Right on time, Betty Who was on deck first with her single "Heartbreak Dream" and the energy was palpable from the start. Gems like "Dreaming About You" and "Glory Days", my personal fave from Take Me..., prompted the audience to jump and dance along -- causing utterly shaky video on my end because the balcony was literally shaking with excitement. The sparse, emotional "Missing You" incited one of the loudest crowd sing-a-longs of the night. She closed her set with her hit "Somebody Loves You" to a roar of screams and applause.

Perhaps it was the crowd that was around me but it seemed that a pretty admirable percentage of attendees were there mainly to see Betty, despite her being the "special guest" to Kiesza's headliner status. Not really surprising, though, since Betty's New York concerts have seemed to be quite legendary the past few years -- she's consistently been an "artist to see", even before I saw her perform live for the first time back in 2013 at CMJ. Oh, I scored this shirt which features lyrics to her song "High Society".

We didn't have to wait too long for Ms. Kiesza to take to the stage alongside her two backup dancers. Both she and Betty are true stars waiting in the wings but while their catalog pairs them well, their stage presences are quite distinct. While Betty is loose, oozing charm and a generally sunny disposition, Kiesza has her jams choreographed to a T like a modern day Janet Jackson-in-the-early-90's, pointing and vouging with an underlining sense of passion and emotionalism.

I've had only a mere teaser taste of what a live Kiesza experience was like when I saw her perform a way too short set opening for Demi Lovato late last year. It was a mere hint of what was to come and I couldn't be happier that I did get the chance to see her really step into the spotlight. Homegirl has a fully realized, tight live set complete with dancers, strobe lighting, choreography, and posing. Oh, the posing! She brings the drama back to Pop Concerts, something that is sorely lacking from today's live music scene given that so many pop artists focus way too much on being taken "seriously" as an "artiste". Both Kiesza and Betty sound incredible on their recording, but even better live. Given that Ms. Kiesza is dancing her ass off while hitting those high notes is worthy of serious legitimacy brownie points. Own it, girl. Own it.

Kiesza opened her set with my current favorite off Sound of A Woman -- "The Love" -- but what followed was like jumping from strength to strength. She brought out a light-up microphone for "Sound of A Woman", light up Tron rings for the "Giant In My Heart" dance breakdown bits, and a keyboard for "What Is Love". As her set wound down and fans anxiously awaited her signature banger "Hideaway", she instead offered up a surprise cover of Michael Jackson's "Human Nature". She breathlessly said that she and her band often would freestyle the song during soundcheck and since she was in New York, she wanted to give it a spin. As the second verse started, she was joined on stage by Betty once again, and the two riffed with each other for the final chorus.

Kiesza had one more surprise up her sleeve, however. Rapper Joey Bada$$ jumped on stage for the two to perform his song "Teach Me", which Kiesza was featured in. She then cued up her Diplo x Skrillex (aka Jack U) dance hit "Take U There" that brought the crowd to a fever pitch during its frenzied chorus. And she of course, closed with "Hideaway".

All in all, it was a great night for pop music. Cheers and back pats all around, I think.

---------

**For those of you who frequent the blog, you may already know about my love-hate relationship with this venue but I was willing to forge ahead simply because I love these artists. With that being said, if you are also vertically challenged as I am (read: short) or also are not enthralled with General Admission "seating" (or lack thereof) that encourages close contact with pushy (and usually drunk) people, please take this #ProTip. Irving Plaza may occasionally offer a "VIP" tier of ticketing which provides you with balcony viewing. The venue is quite small in comparison to other mid-size venues in New York City, so if you can deal with not being on top of the artist while they perform, it is 100% worth the extra $$. Plus there's a bar not even 15 steps away and it's not crowded with people. #endrant

MIXTAPE: CURRENT Q2 FAVES with Brandon Flowers, Carly Rae Jepsen, Erik Hassle, Nikki Flores, & More!

Saturday, April 25, 2015


Now that the year is officially heating up (literally and figuratively), there's a ton of new music to jam to. Here's what's been topping my list lately:


Don't like The Killers? Don't be fooled by this song being attributed to the band's lead singer. It's 80's synthpop at its best. It's a little bit Genesis, a little bit Sting, a little bit Roxette, and a lotta bit awesome and is easily my favorite song of the moment.

Nikki continues to plug away posting gorgeous covers on her Soundcloud that show off her beautiful voice. None do it better than this Mariah cover. Basically what I'm saying is if you love Mariah and/or that Fifth Harmony "Like Mariah" jam, you need to blare this. Loud.

We are far from "I Write Sins, Not Tragedies" territory. Panic! has basically reinvented themselves to be much more mainstream pop instead of their emo pop-rock feels. (Considering Fall Out Boy has also done much of the same, maybe we're all just growing up, huh?)

This 90's dance revival is everything. And Max Martin doing 90's revival by way of the ever-capable Adam Lambert? Hello, Summer! And yes, it slays Madonna's "Ghosttown." There. I said it.

These big, emotional Dev Hynes midtempos can really do no wrong, at this point. "All That" is offering big Prince vibes and should be everywhere. Unfortunately for Carly, it's more of a slow burn -- but nonetheless amazing.

New from Gin but still sounds familiar. Lots of crunchy electric guitar and synth.

Hear me out. I may not be into Taylor Swift being shoved down my throat but the Imagine Dragon guys have re-invented the far too familiar "Blank Space" by playing it to the tune of the infamous Ben E. King classic and it really works. The cover mashup is available via their recent Spotify Sessions release and they also performed it at the Radio 1 Live Lounge in the UK. Like Rixton, I love these proper bands also using so much vocal harmony in their music. It just feels so full.

Adding the former DJ to this title tag aggravates me a little bit since this AlunaGeorge jam has been around for quite awhile before he only slightly re-tooled it. Still a great song (and a great album).

I guess the singer-songwriter-y acoustic vibe just wasn't catching flame, huh? Cut to Hil dying her hair blue-green and releasing this Tove Lo co-write. Well....alright.

What a great disco summer jam! Why is he so underrated?


WGO: TIDAL, SPOTIFY, & THE FUTURE OF THE MUSIC BUSINESS AS WE KNOW IT

Sunday, April 5, 2015


Reader Beware -- an opt-ed-y ranting lies ahead.

Let's take a quick second to think back to this time six years ago. Your girl was an intern at a prominent sub-label here in NYC, a newbie to the Big Apple after three and a half years spent as a Music Industry major at a small state university upstate. The experience was a golden one, one I hold very dear. Not necessarily for what I got to do on a daily basis but for the nuggets of knowledge and insight I gleaned over those precious five months. 

I feel lucky enough to say that I didn't just have one mentor -- I was surrounded by them. Young, smart, forward-thinking individuals who didn't box themselves into the prescribed Music Business Handbook that I was essentially taught verbatim in school. I remember vividly one day in particular when one such mentor sent around a email to the entire (small) office team. It was a link to an article about the launch of the music streaming service Spotify in the UK, and the succinct statement of "The future of the Music Business is now."

Not long after, we had a "town meeting" of sorts to have a general conversation as to why music streaming was important. Physical sales had long since been on the decline. We were in this strange grey area of between. It had been eight years since iTunes had launched. The MP3 player of your choice was the preferred conduit of music listening (whereas in my middle school years -- the early era of MP3 music files -- the idea of downloading music was taboo). The idea of having a cloud-based service that allows you to play any song on-demand for one small low fee (weekly, monthly, year?) was still new and exciting and it just made sense.

(I should also mention the same mentor also would say he just "knew" that one day there would be a singular Release Day worldwide. Smart guy.)

Fast forward to now. Plenty of streaming services have begun to crowd the marketplace. Spotify has been on the market in the US for over four years. And it's presence has been felt. However, unlike when the digital age first emerged and (most) record labels -- for lack of a better phrase -- freaked the freak out at the potential lack of income from sales and the artist was immediately viewed as the victim, the divide morphs into the age old David & Goliath among the artists themselves.

Part of this discussion is brought on by Jay-Z's new TIDAL streaming service. The service is still utterly brand new, the jury is out on whether it will be as openly as embraced as Spotify was (and lest you forget, that took plenty of time and energy on their part). Like Spotify, TIDAL was crafted in Sweden (home of the good pop) and it's main marketing ploy is the "high quality" sound its streaming offers its customers. That's all well in good for audiophiles like you and me but to the Average Joe, who is lifting music for free off of platforms like YouTube, as long as the song sounds alright, you're pretty much good with that. 


The service's press conference included a who's who of musicians from every genre -- Madonna, Rihanna, Coldplay's Chris Martin, Arcade Fire, Daft Punk, Jason Aldean, deadmau5, Nicki Minaj, and so many more -- presented as "owners" of TIDAL. Here is where the service's real strength lies, in its teased exclusive content by infamous artists. Already, heavyweight Beyonce has offered up a new song exclusively to TIDAL subscribers.

While I appreciate the thought behind creating a service that's essentially "by" the artist, "for" the artist, this display of power feels much less "We Are The World" and much more like "We *THINK* We Run The World"...and they do. These artists have serious muscle in persuading music fans to shell out the $$ to subscriber, sure, but they are also brands in themselves. TIDAL's mantra is to take the Music Industry back for the artist but when artists who are already monetarily successful are used as its face, it feels less like a social movement and more like petulant strong-arming in order to pad their already impressive payouts in the existing streaming world.

The main complaint made by artists against the Spotify concept is that they make very little money per stream in a landscape that is already overcrowded and in the case of lesser-known artists, this is certainly true. Time Magazine offered up an estimated payout breakdown of the "most in demand" songs on Spotify at the time -- inevitably featuring artists that were already popular at radio and in pop culture on the whole. Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" made her an average of $335,000 in the month of October based on streams alone before she pulled her catalog from the service entirely. On paper, Taylor's complaints make sense (Spotify was claiming her material earned her millions, while Swift's camp is saying they saw a mere fraction of this payout). But they ring false when they are coming from a career artist like Swift who could essentially give away her music and still make lots of money through other revenue channels. 

To an artist like Taylor, that payout number may be considered chump change. But to an independent artist -- fighting to be heard, fighting for exposure to potential new fans -- it's life-changing. Earning less then a penny for one stream is arguably worth it if it transforms the listener of that one stream into a fan who will in turn pay to see the artist live (or at least, rave about the song to their friends who may then become fans themselves).

It's for this reason that I say, if TIDAL is for the artists, by the artists as it campaigns, it's face should be the bubbling under artists of today rather than artists like Rihanna who would already be making thousands of dollars off streaming. It's the reason why so many indie artists are staying indie -- they aren't just getting away from the too-many-cooks-in-the-kitchen mentality of many modern record labels, they can also find their one lane in an marketplace that is overcrowded by successful brand names.

I'm not alone in the camp that's suspicious about TIDAL. My girl Marina & The Diamonds said it best: 



Spotify may seem dull in comparison, just as it did when Beats Music launched -- but we all know how that turned out. At least it's a leveled playing field. What happens when two of the "owners" promotional cycle ramp up at the same time? Who gets prime real estate? This feels less like "Music For All" and more like a pure popularity contest.

Have you subscribed to TIDAL? How do you feel about it?


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