dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.
Sunday, April 30, 2006
Will Young: Getting Old?
Who exactly are you these days, Will Young? Your tenth and latest single, "Who Am I," is your first not to debut in the U.K. Top 5... or even Top 10, for that matter. Hopefully you're not heading down the path Daniel Bedingfield did with his last album (i.e., career-flatline).
Perhaps the British record-buying public has moved on to younger, prettier reality show winners like Shayne Ward. Oh well, #11 still ain't bad for the third single off the album. Right?
The U.K. Top 10:
1. "Crazy" - Gnarls Barkley*5 weeks* 2. "S.O.S." - Rihanna 3. "From Paris To Berlin" - Infernal 4. "Steady As She Goes" - Raconteurs*new* 5. "Bang Bang You're Dead" - Dirty Pretty Things*new* 6. "No Promises" - Shayne Ward 7. "You're All I Have" - Snow Patrol 8. "Stoned In Love" - Chicane feat. Tom Jones*new* 9. "One" - Mary J. Blige & U2 10. "Naive" - The Kooks
You knew this was coming -- check out clips of the seven new mixes of "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" over on Nicki French's official site.
The release, billed as Diva DJs Vs. Nicki French, boasts re-recorded vocals. The "Tropicana Mix" even has some groovy new backing vocals added. It's scheduled to be out on June 5 in the U.K. Interestingly, a promo is going for $22 on ebay right now!
However, nothing will ever compare to my cherished, worn-out cassette single of her original version, released in 1995. Ah, memories. How about watchin' the video?
Don't Kids Get Excited About Things Like Shooting Up Rubber Cement Anymore?
Yesterday Billboardnoted that, 16 weeks into 2006, the High School Musical soundtrack is the year's top-selling album (at 1.7 million copies sold). For some, this is confounding. For kiddies (and, of course, les gays), it makes a little more sense. For those still confused, read this.
Meanwhile, the DVD of the Disney Channel movie is finally being released on May 23. Here are highlights from some reviews posted on Amazon.com by some passionate folks:
True 'Dat: "Yes, it's cheesy and predictable but isn't that the kind of stories people like best?"
Truer 'Dat: "A piece of advice, don't watch this movie if you are wanting to see an amazing film!"
OMG! HSM2!!!!: "I can't wait until 2007 when HSM2 comes out!"
Chilling: "I'm a 40 year old adult and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this movie. And I'm not afraid to admit it that I"ve seen this over 6 times with and without my kids."
Daniel Powter Ties Beyonce For Longest Chart-Topper Of 2006
Not much goin' on in the U.S. Top 10 this week. The Dixie Chicks' awesome new single "Not Ready To Make Nice" is the Hot Shot Debut on the Billboard Hot 100, though, coming in at #28. It's their kiss-off for all the flack they got a few years back after taking a crack at George W. Bush.
Daniel Powter has now matched Beyonce's "Check On It" by spending five weeks at #1. Again, blame American Idol. Ashley Parker Angel's Max Martin & Dr. Luke-produced "Let U Go" moves up to #12, while Nick Lachey's sappy ballad, "What's Left Of Me," finally cracks the Top 40, moving up to #33. This comes after an MTV special on the singer aired last Friday, which sent the song to #2 all week on the download chart at iTunes.
Speaking of which, Rihanna is almost guaranteed to strut to the upper echelons with "S.O.S." next week, as it became the top download after only the first day of being available at iTunes.
The U.S. Top 10:
1. "Bad Day" - Daniel Powter*5 weeks* 2. "Temperature" - Sean Paul*sales gainer* 3. "What You Know" - T.I. 4. "Ridin'" - Chamillionaire feat. Krayzie Bone 5. "Unwritten" - Natasha Bedingfield 6. "Control Myself" - LL Cool J feat. Jennifer Lopez 7. "Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It" - Dem Franchize Boys 8. "You're Beautiful" - James Blunt 9. "Ms. New Booty" - Bubba Sparxxx 10. "Dani California" - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Someone brought attention to the fact that Kim Kline is a really awesome unsigned pop singer/songwriter from Texas that does cool girl rock tunes. She lives in L.A. now, naturally, performs a lot at The Viper Room and has a sassy website. Anyway, the point is -- here's a free song for you to download! It's Kim's Sunset Strip crowd-pleaser "Inside" - sort of a WB TV show theme song-type ditty.
And then there's Joanna. She's kinda like a cross between Jo Jo (remember her?) and Michelle Branch (remember her?). Her single "Let It Slide" is out on Geffen Records, so if I posted it here, I'd probably get sentenced to the electric chair.
However, you can download it from iTunes or take a listen at her website.
Poor Rihanna. I bet no one at Def Jam had anticipated the Gnarls Barkley phenomenon when they were carefully planning what should have the sure-fire single release for "SOS." Here in the U.S., the label isn't even putting the single up on iTunes until Tuesday, when her album A Girl Like Me is also released. We'll see what happens here next week. But in the U.K., "SOS" has to settle for the runner-up position on the singles chart.
Elsewhere on the U.K. chart, much to Mr. Brady's chagrin, Infernal make a strong Top 5 showing with "From Paris To Berlin." Last week, both the Rihanna and Infernal singles debuted due to the recent change in U.K. chart rules allowing digital singles entry (provided a physical single is released the following week). Therefore, the times officially are changing for the survey, as this is the first week since the change without a new entry in the Top 10. And can anyone point me in the direction of these supposed shirtless pics of Shayne Ward that are zipping about the internet? All in the name of research, mind you...
The U.K. Top 10:
1. "Crazy" - Gnarls Barkley*4 weeks* 2. "S.O.S." - Rihanna 3. "No Promises" - Shayne Ward 4. "From Paris To Berlin" - Infernal 5. "One" - Mary J. Blige & U2 6. "Naive" - The Kooks 7. "No Tomorrow" - Orson 8. "Dance, Dance" - Fall Out Boy 9. "So Sick" - Ne-Yo 10. "Pump It" - Black Eyed Peas
No More Feuding For Pete Wentz And Brandon Flowers As Romance Blooms
Just what we need on a Friday morning! It looks like the bitch-slapping between Island Def Jam's Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy and Island Def Jam's Brandon Flowers of The Killers is so yesterday! (Hmmmm...Island Def Jam is now headed by Jay-Z, whose years-long feud with Nas resulted in massive sales for both rappers. Hey, we might be onto something here! )
Just glancing at this controversial cover, you can tell that this is what Americans have been waiting for. Finally, one of our publications delves deep into one of the greatest debacles of our time...
...the divorce of Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey! In his first interview talking about the breakup, 31-year-old Nick reportedly broke down in tears several times. Awww... You can read some of the highlights here.
Daniel Powter Still #1 As A Couple Veterans Return To The Top 10
If Daniel Powter remains at #1 for one more week on the Billboard Hot 100, he'll tie Beyonce for the longest stretch at the top in 2006.
And while it looked like he was going to give it up to LL Cool J this week based on digital downloads, "Bad Day" overtook LL a few days ago as the most-downloaded song once again. Blame it on American Idol, which plays the song every week. Instead, LL actually re-enters the chart at #4 with "Control Myself" after a previous brief stint in the lower reaches.
Also new to the Top 10 is "Dani California" from Red Hot Chili Peppers. And with Natasha Bedingfield moving up to #5 with "Unwritten," she's officially charted one notch higher with the song here than she did in the U.K. Down a bit further at #17, Ashley Parker Angel has the Hot Shot Debut with "Let U Go."
The U.S. Top 10:
1. "Bad Day" - Daniel Powter*4 weeks* 2. "Temperature" - Sean Paul 3. "What You Know" - T.I. 4. "Control Myself" - LL Cool J feat. Jennifer Lopez*re-entry* 5. "Unwritten" - Natasha Bedingfield 6. "What Hurts The Most" - Rascal Flatts 7. "You're Beautiful" - James Blunt 8. "Be Without You" - Mary J. Blige 9. "Dani California" - Red Hot Chili Peppers*sales gainer* 10. "Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It" - Dem Franchize Boys
That Nick Lachey, boy, what a looker. Now, isn't this a nice, classic-looking pop album cover?
But, really, who's in charge of the marketing for this album? Why isn't he shirtless, draped over a couch and seductively licking a candy cane? Or buck-naked, riding a see-saw with sun beaming down on his glistening, washed-up, divorced boyband flesh?
At any rate, the album is released May 9. Pick up your copy at a Tower bargain bin this June.
How lame were O-Town? They were like boy band crud that the record label scraped off JC Chasez's tennis shoe and flung into a recording studio.
They vomited up two hits about 6 years ago -- "Liquid Dreams" (class) and "All Or Nothing -- then rightfully got sucked into the vortex of obscurity.So when Ashley Parker Angel (the spikey-haired blond one) ended up down and out in Beverly Hill$, it was no surprise. However, when he showed up on an MTV reality show called There And Back earlier this year, telling his tale of the fight back to financial security (and his fight to move out of his pregnant wife's mom's house), that was a bit more eyebrow-raising.
So now, against all odds, his liquid dreams are coming true as his "comeback" single, "Let U Go" (produced by none other than Max Martin and Dr. Luke), is currently the 3rd most-downloaded single in the country.
Well, despite all the hype over at PopJustice -- and the song actually being good -- the Duran Duran-sounding "I Feel It" by Lorraine barely made the U.K. Top 30, entering the singles chart at #29.
Further up above, the new single from boring balladeer Shayne Ward was no match for Gnarls Barkley, whose "Crazy" has continued to covet the #1 position for three weeks in a row now. At least Rihanna finally got "S.O.S." out, although after months of that song floating around online, the official entry of it in the charts seems well after the fact.
The U.K. Top 10:
1. "Crazy" - Gnarls Barkley*3 weeks* 2. "No Promises" - Shayne Ward*new* 3. "One" - Mary J. Blige & U2 4. "No Tomorrow" - Orson 5. "S.O.S." - Rihanna*new* 6. "So Sick" - Ne-Yo 7. "Naive" - The Kooks 8. "Pump It" - Black Eyed Peas 9. "Beep" - Pussycat Dolls feat. will.i.am 10. "Put Your Records On" - Corinne Bailey Rae
A few days ago it was announced by Dannii Minogue's official label, All Around The World, that the stripper-friendly pop vixen would have a new single out June 5 in the U.K., titled "So Under Pressure." Yay! Also, her official site has finally been revamped and updated. Yay!
The label says that the new single is produced by LMC and features mixes by Soul Seekerz, Steve Pitron, Thriller Jill and Riffs and Rays -- and is to be included on her new album along with her 2004 single "You Won't Forget About Me" and last year's "Perfection."
However, on her official site, clicking on the single sleeve for "So Under Pressure" (pictured above) reveals that the album is to be titled The Hits And Beyond (out June 12). What ever happened to a new full-length album? Is it a greatest hits with a few new tracks? A 2-disc set with hits one one and new album on another?
Gareth Gates, The Clay Aiken Of England, Officially Dropped By Sony
Okay, maybe that's an unfair comparison since, after all, it's highly unlikely that Gareth Gates bats for the other team -- he did date that Jordan minx. But Gates, who landed in the runner-up position behind Will Young during the very first ever season of Britain's Pop Idol (which, in turn, begat American Idol, yanks) has been officially dropped by Sony after two albums.
Four years ago, it all started out promisingly enough. Like most young males that come through the Idol machine, Simon Cowell perversely made Gates cover "Unchained Melody." But, hey, it went to #1 in England. A god-awful cover of "Spirit In The Sky" proved just as successful. But a rare great moment in pop happened when Gates was hooked up with the underlings from Sweden's former Cheiron Production factory, and the single "Anyone Of Us (Stupid Mistake)" was unleashed. It also went to #1, and deservedly so. Next to "Since U Been Gone," it's probably the best song to come from anyone related to the Idol franchise.
The British press made much note of the fact that in between their first and second albums, Gareth Gates took much pleasure in partying and shagging, while Will Young locked himself away and actually wrote the bulk of his follow-up. Thus, Young soared past any worries of having to prove himself as more than a flash in the pan, while Gates' next two singles failed to reach the life-or-death position of #1 in the U.K. charts.
Now, three years later, a "source" has toldThe Sun "he had been working hard on trying to relaunch himself with a new sound and new image.But his latest material wasn't strong enough to compete with fresh talent being churned out on programmes like X Factor."
And, if we're to believe this, at the ripe old age of 21 Gaz is aiming to hang up music altogether and become a gym instructor.
Infernal: From Paris To Berlin To The U.K. And U.S.
Wow! Hot Danish duo Infernal have been around for awhile now, but their groovy track "From Paris To Berlin" is just now getting a single release in the U.K. on April 17. Meanwhile, the song became available for download from the British iTunes store this week, and it's currently the 8th most downloaded tune there. Looks to be going well! "From Paris..." is actually off the group's third full-length album, but it's their first single to be released worldwide. The U.S. dance label Ultra actually released it last April as a download single available from iTunes.
Mixes included on the U.S. release include the radio edit, extended mix, INF: Club Mix and DJ Aligator Club Mix.
For more on Infernal and to hear their music, check out their official site.
Pop/country act Rascal Flatts not only have the #1 album this week, with sales of over 700,000 copies, but their single "What Hurts The Most" jumps all the way from #52 to #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart.
[UPDATE]: Thanks to Mr. Brady for pointing out that this is indeed -- depending on who recorded it first -- either a cover or at least the same song that former S Club member Jo O'Meara released as a single in the U.K. back in September. Her version got to #13 in the British charts.
The rest of the Top 10 is pretty much the same as previous weeks. Natasha Bedingfield is now certified with 3 million downloads of "Unwritten," while James Blunt has 2 million with "You're Beautiful." Look for LL Cool J & Jennifer Lopez to debut high -- possibly at the top -- next week with "Control Myself," as it's the most-downloaded single after only two days of release.
Meanwhile, Jennifer Lopez... wasn't her music career supposed to have died by now?
The U.S. Top 10:
1. "Bad Day" - Daniel Powter*3 weeks* 2. "Temperature" - Sean Paul 3. "What You Know" - T.I. 4. "You're Beautiful" - James Blunt 5. "Be Without You" - Mary J. Blige 6. "Unwritten" - Natasha Bedingfield 7. "Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It" - Dem Franchize Boys 8. "What Hurts The Most" - Rascal Flatts 9. "Ms. New Booty" - Bubba Sparxxx 10. "So Sick" - Ne-Yo
What's with these critical darling Anglo ingenues and their cryptic messages regarding the fate of their bands? First Chris Martin hints at The Brits about Coldplay taking a long time off, and now Damon Albarn is yammering about retiring cartoon band Gorillaz. Here's what he said in an interview with The Independent published today:
"At the moment, we're like, 'That's probably the last album we'll make. I don't think we could make a better album than Demon Days, really, for what this is and how it works."
He went on to comment on recent rumors of his original band Blur releasing a new album this year:
"There could be a new Blur record, but it's not going to be for a while because as soon as I finish here I'm locked into working at the National Theatre, and that's not an easy thing to do, to write a musical. It's really not."
Probably figuring that the time was right for a crappy British emo/pop band to invade America (hey, we have enough of our own already!), Universal is pushing McFly as the next lackluster sensation from abroad over here.
The lads just spent 8 days over here promoting the May 9 release of their debut album in the U.S. According to Billboard, the set will contain new tracks plus songs from their previous two British records. Now, sit down, because here's the exciting part! Their album is called Just My Luck, which just happens to be the name of the forthcoming Lindsay Lohan movie the band also makes an appearance in.
McFly have had four #1 singles in the U.K. Look out, James Blunt!
Chris Martin Accosted By One Of Mariah Carey's Jugs
Coldplay singer Chris Martin performed for winners of a U.S. radio contest recently, then did a classy tribute song to Mariah Carey's breasts.
Martin made up the song after a reporter asked him if he thought Mimi was "on his tail" in the race to have 2005's best-selling album (weren't the best-selling albums of 2005 already determined in December?). "She's not, but one of her boobs is," he answered. "They do most of her work. Last week I was chased down the street by an enormous boob. I think it was hers."
He then broke into song: "Mariah Carey's boobs are so nice, and she doesn't mess around. If she had been aboard the Titanic, there's no way that ship would have gone down."
Hot. Meanwhile, looks like about 25 lbs. were photo-shopped off her in that picture.
Mandisa Underestimates The Gays, Gets Voted Off American Idol
American Idol contestant Mandisa was voted off the show last week after declining to perform at an event in support of the gay community.
"Based on what I believe, I'm not an advocate for (being gay), so it's nothing I would take part in," she told gay news mag The Advocate.
Now first off, has anyone told this bitch she looks like six Christmas trees in one? Ain't nobody gonna befriend a fat ho like the gays do. And also, who the hell does she think makes up the majority of the AI viewing audience? Bitch, we have the disposable income for the calls that kept you on the show until you opened your giant, anti-gay trap.
Oh well, good luck at McDonalds, hooker. Maybe you can sing into the deep-frier.
Gnarls Barkley had little trouble staying at #1 for a second week in the U.K. after physical singles of "Crazy" went on sale this past Monday. Meanwhile, I wonder if the Sony exec that came up with the bright idea to re-release Michael Jackson's singles has been sacked yet? The latest, "Dirty Diana," didn't even make the Top 15 this week. Sha-moan.
The U.K. Top 10:
1. "Crazy" - Gnarls Barkley*2 weeks* 2. "One" - Mary J. Blige & U2 3. "So Sick" - Ne-Yo 4. "No Tomorrow" - Orson 5. "Naive" - The Kooks 6. "Pump It" - Blackeyed Peas 7. "Nature's Law" - Embrace 8. "Beep" - Pussycat Dolls feat. will.i.am 9. "Why Won't You Give Me Your Love" - The Zutons*new* 10. "Stupid Girls" - Pink
Daniel Powter Still Charming The Pants Of The U.S.
Pop crooner Daniel Powter is so ugly that I couldn't possibly torture you all by posting another picture of him. However, his single, "Bad Day," remains atop the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart for a second week. The rest of the chart is beyond being a drag. In fact, like, whatever! Daniel Powter. What? Why hasn't someone dropped a piano on him from a 12-story building yet?
The U.S. Top 10:
1. "Bad Day" - Daniel Powter*2 weeks* 2. "Temperature" - Sean Paul 3. "You're Beautiful" - James Blunt 4. "What You Know" - T.I. 5. "Be Without You" - Mary J. Blige 6. "Unwritten" - Natasha Bedingfield 7. "So Sick" - Ne-Yo 8. "Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It" - Dem Franchize Boys 9. "Ms. New Booty" - Bubba Sparxxx 10. "I'm N Luv (Wit A Stripper)" - T-Pain feat. Mike Jones
Annie (aka The Most Over-Hyped Artist Of 2005) To Put Out New Album!
Ah, Annie. She was quite the critical doll last year, no? Her album Anniemal made dozens of year-end Top 10 lists, yada yada. Anyway, her new one is set for release this fall (preceded by new single "Crush") and she's working withRichard X again! But only on two songs, one being a cover of "Two Of Hearts."
Speaking of which, Pet Shop Boys announced on their official site today that the forthcoming remix album Fundamentalism (to be included in a limited release with new studio album Fundamental) will include the Richard X collaboration "Fugitive."
Morrissey proved to be no match for the download-only available single "Crazy" by duo Gnarls Barkley in the U.K. chart race this week. Instead, The Moz has to settle for #3 with new single "You Have Killed Me," just behind Ne-Yo. Meanwhile, time was when a new single by The Streets was at least guaranteed a Top 5 entry. But times do change, as the #8 placing of Mike Skinner's latest, "When You Wasn't Famous," shows. One question, though. Why is Sony still bothering with the Michael Jackson single re-release campaign? Not one has made it in the Top 10 yet, and this week's "The Way You Make Me Feel" release enters at a disappointing #17. I guess the bigger question is, who's actually buying this trash?
The U.K. Top 10:
1. "Crazy" - Gnarls Barkley*1 week* 2. "So Sick" - Ne-Yo 3. "You Have Killed Me" - Morrissey*new* 4. "Nature's Law" - Embrace 5. "No Tomorrow" - Orson 6. "Naive" - The Kooks 7. "Pump It" - Blackeyed Peas 8. "When You Wasn't Famous" - The Streets*new* 9. "Beep" - Pussycat Dolls feat. will.i.am 10. "Stupid Girls" - Pink