Thursday, December 17, 2009

[WGO] Do They Know It's Christmas Time?

Yes, I'm interrupting my Top 2(00)9 of 2009 -- mostly because I'm scheduling these posts ahead of time (as I'm going back up north to visit family for the holidays), so I figured I wouldn't have much time to discuss the following mishmash o' topics till 2010. To everyone who's supported the blog over the past year, thank you so much -- and keep it coming! ;) To everyone who's submitted artist material for review -- I haven't forgotten about you, and you will be my first priority in January. So without further ado.

  • So, how about that Susan Boyle, huh? If Taylor Swift was last year's little engine that could, SuBo definitely takes the cake. Her debut record has only been out for a few weeks and is already in competition to be the biggest seller of the year. Her physical sales aren't what's surprising to me, considering her key demographic is generally ones that would still buy albums and not pirate them as other more "typical" popstars would pitfall to. No, what surprises me is the sheer amount of support in the United States -- considering we didn't discover her persay. No one here watches 'The X Factor' or 'Britain's Got Talent' unless its through webrips, and I don't feel like her promo campaign has been that heavy...It kind of blows my mind, actually. I'd love to pick the brain of her PR reps.

  • Chris Brown has up and pulled a Miley Cyrus by leaving Twitter following a curse-filled rant rage over his new disc Graffiti being "blackballed" at major retailers like Walmart (Considering Walmart's strict regulations regarding music censorship, I'm sure they were a bit nonplussed by Brown's incredibly articulate arguments). Apparently, this all stemmed from CB attempting to find his own CD at the retail giant in Connecticut, and couldn't find it. So he threw a big hissy fit and quit Twitter after looking a giant fool. His main question was "What do I gotta do?" (This shows me his multiple attempts at public apology via "tell all" interviews were obviously just publicity fautter -- and they hardly seem legit after he pulls this level of whining.) Well buddy, considering your sales are somewhat decent in a recessive sales market despite the fact that you viciously beat up your ex-popstar girlfriend, you should be keeping your mouth shut and being thankful for the support you are already getting. As a music retailer wrote recently, the idea of buying an album of love songs performed/written by an artist who gained the majority of his press this year for attacking his girl is kind of...strange.

  • Rihanna's new video for "Hard" has surfaced, complete with sexualized military imagery. That was the nail in the coffin for Rated R for me. I'm done until "Cold Case Love" is released. And I'm not joking. End of story.

  • Speaking of Miley Cyrus (kinda), she's in a bit of hot water recently (after her now notorious statements of never hearing a Jay-Z record but namechecking him in her hit "Party in the USA") when she stated she wanted to stop making pop music in favor of more "edgier" material. Right -- because that worked so well for Ashley Tisdale and Vanessa Hudgens. It pains me that so many artists who tend to do pop music well shrug off the label once they recieved a level of respect. Pop just doesn't get the kudos it deserves, and as a fan of some of Miley's music, it kind of hurts my feelings that she would consider the sound that made her famous not worth her time. I understand that all artists evolve and change with time, and that is most definitely for the best, but I wish the whole "Pop is for little kids" thing to just go away. For those of you who dug Miley's sound and are annoyed by her nonchalance, I suggest Selena Gomez & The Scene's new single, "Naturally". It has very similar elements to "See You Again", and works as a fairly good substitute. Plus, I love that little girl.

  • In Girls Aloud news, a press statement has been made that Nadine Coyle's solo record is due in the Spring of 2010. As sort-of-excited as I am (after Cheryl's debacle...I'm a little leery of the Alouds going it alone), I'm translating this to mean that 2010 will be another Girls Aloud free year? ....

  • Sade's brand spankin' new single "Soldier of Love" is making the rounds, and I know it seems like a reptition of everyone on your blogroll when I state the song is AMAZING, but it really is. And you don't even have to take my word for it -- the world pretty much agrees already.

  • Billboard Magazine has named Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together" the 'Song of the Decade'. I suppose I can live with this. I can even live with Usher's "Yeah" being at #2. However, Flo Rida's "Low" at #3? This I cannot, nay will not tolerate. Rolling Stone has gone a different way entirely, giving the top spot to Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy". Definitely more worthy than "Low". Definitely.

  • Timbaland's Shock Value 2 has seen release, and as I expected, it pretty much went right through me. There are high points, however. First single "Morning After Dark" (feat. SoShy and Nelly Furtado) still sounds awesome, and his other cut with SoShy, "Ease Off the Liquor" is fun too, if only for the opening blare of "Timbo is back...Timbo is back, babe." The truth of that statement is yet to be seen however. The two other premo cuts: second single "Say Something" featuring the rapper of the moment Drake (but I like it mostly for Drake's chorus), and "Lose Something" featuring an all-growed-up-now JoJo. The latter makes me so psyched for her upcoming third disc. Sadly, I'm afraid it will be overshadowed, as word is already starting to percalate that "We Belong To the Music" (featuring the aforementioned Cyrus) will be given single status soon. Buzzcut "Carry Out", featuring Justin Timberlake, is being prepped as the next US single, and a lot of people seem to be digging it...but I'm not one of them. First time ever I've said that about a JT/Timbo collab. I've said it before, I'll say it again -- end of an era.

  • The annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominations are in, and Kiss has been snubbed for the 800349384239th time. However, in the ultimate of "twists", ABBA has been nominated, getting a lot of music snobs all up in arms, as they are a 'pop' act, and not 'rock and roll' enough for the Hall. Can we all just say BS? (Once again,) Since when has pop not been considered influential enough? Virtually all of the artists featured there can be arguably labeled as pop -- as they appeal to the masses. SMH. And as if we needed a reminder of ABBA's greatness, I present to you Exhibit A. Tell me that's not rockin'!

  • Rumors are swirling that the Pussycat Dolls are on the verge of imploding. Gasp, say it ain't so! These are hardly new thoughts -- several of the members have voiced their disdain over the fact that Nicole Scherzinger gets all the solos (and recently even got "featuring" tags in songs recorded by her own group -- ridiculous). If I was one of them, I'd be mad as hell, too. I draw the line at various group members wanting to branch out on their own, as I don't have much to judge their vocals on (I firmly remember when I saw them live opening for the Black Eyed Peas that a few of them didn't even have microphones -- glare). However, the sheer fact that Interscope and Robin Antin insist on making Nicole be the supposed star so overwhelmingly is definitely not cool, and is one of my main beefs with the group. I don't understand where this sense of self-entitlement even comes from -- did homegirl forget she was pretty much discovered on a failed reality show about forming a wannabe Girls Aloud? (I'm not hating, I had the single -- at least all five of them got to sing there. Hurumph.) Hmm...Word is a few of the other four of PCD may be "switched out" in favor of new girls by request of creator Robin Antin, but Scherzinger's involvement will not cease to exist completely as Interscope attempts to relaunch her failed solo project at the same time. Drama, drama, drama. Can I just say -- all this blahblahblah about PCD being a "brand" first and foremost is the part of mainstream music that really makes me sick. It's not that none of these girls were talented. Anyone else getting Sugababes flashbacks?
    UPDATE: Kimberley Wyatt has confirmed her departure from the group, and it seems likely that the only other Doll aloud to emit "solo" vocals during PCD songs, Melody Thornton, has also left. Good on them. Looking forward to the new post-PCD music!

  • On a slightly more positive (however still drama-involved) topic, early 00's Swedish girl group Play is reuniting and will be showcasing their attempt at a return to form in a Swedish reality show, recording their album in only four weeks time. However (you knew that was coming), the group will only feature two of the group's original members (the main singers), Anais Lameche (younger sister of one-hit wonder, about abstinence no less, Amanda -- remember her?) and Faye (now nicknamed "Fanny") Hamlin, along with new group member Sanne Karlsson. The two other original members, Anna Sundstrand and Rosie Munter, are both pursuing solo careers (Munter as "Rosanna"), and Sundstrand herself has stated she was basically told she was not allowed to take part in the new Play, even though she expressed interest. Hamlin first left the group in 2003 to pursue college, and was replaced by another now solo singer, Janet Leon, until the group called it quits in 2005. I was a fan of the group until Hamlin left, and even after she did, the group always produced quality pop jams -- the majority of which produced by epic Swedish producer Andreas Carlsson (part of the Cheiron Collective who brought us "I Want It That Way" and "Bye Bye Bye", amongst so many others). This could prove to bring us more sassy tunage -- as Lameche and Hamlin have already demonstrated their keen vocal abilities at a young age (especially on their sophomore record, Replay). Now older and wiser, this could prove to be very exciting indeed.

  • Black Eyed Peas' latest single off The E.N.D., "Imma Be", is officially the most added song to Top 40 radio this week. Do you think it'll be yet another hit for them? Sade is top dog at Urban AC, and Trey Songz "Say Aah" is top pick at Rhythmic. Iyaz's Jason DeRulo-penned hit "Replay" (also produced by Beluga Heights producer JR Rotem) continues to make a huge wave (and is apparently on serious 'replay'...bad pun? ::sigh::) as it takes over the Top Spot at Top 40/CHR Radio with over 2.6K spins this week. Ke$ha jumps to #3 with "Tik Tok", and Gaga zooms to #6 with "Bad Romance".


Myfizzypop said...

ooo you totally have me sold on selena after your See You Again comparison! Aces. And Play reforming! Must not chase the boys was classic.

Chris Brown is a knob. End of.

Mike said...

Don't even start with R&R HOF snubs. RUSH still hasn't gone in yet, so those assholes in cleveland can shove it!

rcLoy said...

I don't why people still buy that ASS album. That is just wrong, in so many way even though some argue that what an artist do in his personal life have nothing to do with his music. Ugh. No thank you.

Btw, I have to agree on the "Pop music is for kids" part, my friends shrugs me off just because I am a fan of pop. Uh, and his faves is Radiohead and Muse. Pretty good stuff if you ask me. LOL

Mel said...

Paul - I'm sure you'll dig it. I was pleasantly surprised. Same with Play. :)

Mike - Sigh. I knew you'd give me grief. LOL. How can you hate on ABBA? I agree Rush probably deserves a spot, can't please everyone.

Loy - Honestly, I don't know. If he was smart, he would have waited and payed true respect to the fact that he acted a fool. I know that Graffiti was a long time in the making, long before last Feb, but...I'm hardly ready to forgive this quickly, especially not after his half-assed apologies.

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