dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.
Monday, March 31, 2008
Jesse McCartney's New Album Cover Looks About As Thought Out As Ashlee Simpson's
I couldn't name you one song Jesse McCartney does -- and in fact, has anyone ever seen him in the same room with Ryan Cabrera, who also has an album out this summer? Anyway, here's the cover art for his new LP, Departure, due May 20.
Jesse co-wrote Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love" with OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder, who worked on Blake Lewis' album. That's just way too much blond, Anglo testosterone to contemplate, and hopefully somewhere along the way, one of their c***s ended up in one of the other's mouths, otherwise who gives a flying fuck about these geeks anyway?
If You're Gonna Do it, George Michael, Do It Right
Tomorrow, George Michael's 236th greatest hits package, Twenty Five, gets a U.S. release a whole year-and-a-half after coming out in Europe. You may recall mine and MoogaBoo's rather mind-blowing banterview we did on George -- "Dissing A Fool" -- when Twenty Five dropped in England.
The British crooner is also embarking on his first U.S. tour in 17 years this summer. (XO London posted the dates last week.) But I don't know if I wanna go see this crunked-out old daddy live...I mean, what if he falls asleep, instead of the audience, while singing his old chestnuts?
Here's what George had to say to Entertainment Weekly in a small interview running in the current issue:
"I have no real intention of reawakening my career in America. I'm coming over to play because there are a million people in America that stood by me. I'm there to say thank you, then slink off. I want to divorce myself from pretty much everything public after the tour. In the future, I don't want to be making and releasing physical CDs, and I don't think I want to be charging people for my new music."
Hooker, I got charged 99 cents this past weekend when I downloaded your 1986 jam "Take Me To The Edge Of Heaven" from the Wham! days. Why the hell isn't that one on Twenty Five, instead of these six new songs no one cares about? People want the hits, George -- the hits!!
P.S. I was floored to read on Wikipedia recently that the broad singing the Patrice Rushen/"Forget Me Nots" bit at the end of "Fastlove" is none other than an uncredited Siobhan Fahey, of Bananarama and Shakespear's Sister fame. Never knew that.
Congrats to 24-year-old blue-eyed-soul crooner Sam Sparro, whose electro number "Black And Gold" jumps up from #23 to #4 on the official U.K. singles chart. I discussed Sam the other day in my weekly Towleroad music column, and in the process went off on one of my pop conspiracy theories -- this time about how the "Black And Gold" video resembles the original "Opportunities" video by Pet Shop Boys. Check it out yourself and see if I'm onto something or just hittin' the paint thinner again. (Likely the latter.)
Madonna's "4 Minutes" inches up a bit this week to #5, but in the U.K., the CD5 is still a somewhat major determinant in a single's ultimate peak position. So far "4 Minutes" is charting impressively on paid downloads alone, and the CD single isn't scheduled to be released till April 21.
Speaking of which, kudos should be given to Kylie Minogue, whose single "Wow" -- this week at #25 -- has managed to hang around within the Top 30 since late December. A long stretch of that was due to strong early download sales prior to the official release of "Wow." As mentioned yesterday, we in the States will finally see Kylie do some promotional TV appearances to coincide with the release of X this week.
On a final note, Britney Spears' "Break The Ice" modestly slips into the Top 40 at #36.
The U.K. Top 10:
1. "American Boy" - Estelle Feat. Kanye West*2 weeks* 2. "Low" - Flo Rida Feat. T-Pain 3."Mercy" - Duffy 4. "Black And Gold" - Sam Sparro 5. "4 Minutes" - Madonna Feat. Justin Timberlake 6. "Better In Time/Footprints In The Sand" - Leona Lewis 7. "Rockstar" - Nickelback 8. "With You" - Chris Brown 9. "Stop And Stare" - OneRepublic 10. "Fascination" - Alphabeat
That's right, pop chyldren! The singing budgie will grace us with her presence by doing a few television appearances over the next few days.
Kylie Minogue's X finally sees a proper U.S. release on Tuesday, and to promote it, she's being interviewed by Matt Lauer on NBC's The Today Show Monday morning, and then she's schlepping her ample rump onto Dancing With The Stars the following day to perform "All I See."
Meanwhile, you might be shocked to check out U.S. iTunes and find that the videos for "2 Hearts," "In My Arms" and "Wow" are available for purchase. Then again, what could be more surprising than Matt Lauer interviewing Kylie?
Hmmm. Maybe if she did The View and straddled Whoopi's mouth...?
I was obsessing over this all goddamn day; I mean, how mindboggling that it's really been 21 years since a solo female artist from the U.K. -- Kim Wilde, with "You Keep Me Hangin' On" -- topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart! And thanks to all the cats who chipped in their two cents on the previous post today about this, even the Leo-tards.
Anyway, in said post, I mentioned Nicki French and Donna Lewis both just missed hitting #1 here, peaking in the runner-up position in 1995 and 1996, respectively. So here are some other pop babes from Old Blighty who've sprung to mind since this morning, whose jams came close.
* Lisa Stansfield (pictured above), "All Around The World": How I loved Lisa and her kiss-curl so! I bought this cassette single one frosty Friday night in January while hanging out at the mall. I was 15-going-on-16, and completely mesmerized with Lisa's androgynous image. My friends were just getting their driver's licenses, and this track was one of the many radio hits providing a soundtrack to those weekend nights of aimlessly driving around our suburban Pennsylvania hometown. (#3, January 1990)
*Cathy Dennis, "Touch Me (All Night Long)": I wasn't monogomously- enamored with Lisa Stansfield, and I soon replaced her with Cathy Dennis. Long before Leona Lewis was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, I recall rushing home from classes one weekday in 11th grade to videotape Cathy's performance on the talk show. (#2, May 1991)
* Des'ree, "You Gotta Be": This F-ing song! I swear, I heard this for about two years solid every time I turned the radio on in the mid-'90s. I do have some good memories of dating this one hot piece for about five minutes when "You Gotta Be" first came out, and always seeing the video on VH1 at about 1 a.m. when I'd stay over at his apartment on the edge of our college campus. (#5, December 1994)
I guess we can include Natasha Bedingfield's "Unwritten," from two years ago (#5), but that's all I got. Can anyone think of more?
Leona Lewis Is The First U.K. Female Artist To Top The U.S. Chart Since Kim Wilde
It couldn't happen here...or so I thought.
You know, on the morning of Christmas Eve 2006, I distinctly remember sitting in a mom and pop coffee shop up in the mountains of Idyllwild, California -- the only coffee shop in that town, and, incidentally, the only place there that offers wireless Internet service -- and typing up the post about the U.K. chart that week. I believe it was eloquently titled "X Factor Ho Leona Lewis Unwraps A Christmas #1." And I remember thinking, That's nice, luv, but you'll never, ever happen here in the States.
Of course, my thinking was for no other reason than the fact that for one week earlier that year, James Blunt narrowly became the first U.K. artist to top Billboard's Hot 100 since Elton John's re-re-vamped "Candle In The Wind" Princess Diana tribute dominated the chart during the latter months of 1997. And, as the title of this gem pronounces, it was June 1987 when we last saw a U.K. female hit #1 here -- Kim Wilde's Hi-NRG cover of The Supremes' "You Keep Me Hangin' On."
Sure, some broads came close; Nicki French's even higher-NRG cover of "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" peaked at #2 in June 1995, and Welsh-born Donna Lewis reached the same position the following summer with "I Love You Always Forever" (where it sat for nine weeks, held back by the tragic, hypnotic dominance of "Macarena"!). But it wasn't till this week that a British dame truly stole Kim Wilde's thunder.
It looks like Leona Lewis may even match the short, one-week stay at the top Kim had. "Bleeding Love" is this week's new #1 on the Billboard chart, but Mariah Carey has already knocked the single off the peak of the iTunes chart, and is looking to do the same on Billboard next week.
For a bit of a throwback, here are the vids for Kim Wilde and Donna Lewis, both of which are bringing back some great, D'luvvly memories:
Elsewhere, after six months, Timbaland and OneRepublic's "Apologize" finally drops out of the Top 10, and Danity Kane's fun pop number "Damaged" makes a crazy jump from #64 to #27.
Also, Madonna and Justin Timberlake's "4 Minutes" debuts at #68, and my next boyfriend, Ferras, enters at #84 with "Hollywood's Not America."
The U.S. Top 10:
1. "Bleeding Love" - Leona Lewis *1 week* *sales gainer* 2. "Love In This Club" - Usher Feat. Young Jeezy*airplay gainer* 3. "Sexy Can I" - Ray J & Young Berg 4. "With You" - Chris Brown 5."Love Song" - Sara Bareilles 6. "No Air" - Jordin Sparks Duet With Chris Brown 7. "Low" - Flo Rida Feat. T-Pain 8. "Don't Stop The Music" - Rihanna 9. "Lollipop" - Lil Wayne Feat. Static Major 10. "Shawty Get Loose" - Lil Mama Feat. Chris Brown & T-Pain
Rick Astley To The Los Angeles Times On Rickrolling: “It’s A Bit Spooky, Innit?"
Hot! The Los Angeles Times tracked down Rick Astley using "assists from RCA Records, the webmaster of Astley’s U.K. fan site, and his manager at Sony BMG" for an interview about the internet phenomenon known as Rickrolling that's popped up this past year. You can read this epic meeting of the minds, as well as listen to audio clips from the interview.
Personally, I think it's pretty classy that they bothered poor ol' Rick at home for this trash, as if his career began and peaked with "Never Gonna Give You Up." Hello!? He totally did backing vocals on the 1994 Elton JohnLion King songs -- where his name is misspelled in the liner notes -- along with Gary Barlow! At any rate, Rick comes across as being pretty embarrassed about the whole thing.
He even manages to toss out a zinger at Debbie Gibson, when trying to state how cheesy he thinks "Never Gonna Give You Up" is now in retrospect: “For me it’s a good example of what some of the ’80s were about in that pop sort of music way. A bit like you could say Debbie Gibson was absolutely massive, but if you look back at it now ... do you know what I mean?”
I agree, Rick. Everyone knows "Together Forever" was the true hands-down masterpiece. (followed closely by "Take Me To Your Heart"!)
This really is the best day ever -- there's new music from mondo-diva Heidi Montag, in the form of her single, "No More"! After this hit, available now on iTunes, Heidi will surely join the ranks of pop's soul powerhouses of recent decades, like Samantha Fox, Willa Ford and Traci Lords.
In the second clip above, Mariah Carey is asked a series of spellbinding questions during last night's premiere of Heidi Montag's trash program, The Hills. Mimi's really going to any length to promote "Touch My Body."
I was personally let down that Mariah and Heidi didn't duet together, but maybe the blonde Hills party slut didn't want to show up The Songbird with her own 12-octave range.
Gosh, it makes you wonder what Heidi must gargle to keep her pipes sounding so pristine?
Timbaland! No!! Put down the old woman with the bad English accent! Those aren't Chips Ahoy -- they're just the dark circles around her eyes!
Madonna and Mariah Carey are set to slug it out this week on U.S. iTunes, as both the pop dames' lead singles off each of their forthcoming LPs became available. Mariah got the upper hand, as "Touch My Body" was thrown onto the online music store sometime Monday afternoon (along with pre-orders of E=MC²), while Madge's "4 Minutes" went up shortly before midnight, as did pre-orders of Hard Candy.
After so many listens to Mimi's piano jam, I'm kind of over it. But "4 Minutes" is still giving me downstairs sparkle.
Meanwhile, is it just me, or does Timbaland have Nelly Furtado, Justin Timberlake, TweetandMissy shoved up his T-shirt in that pic?
Not content to sit back while all the other big ladies of pop release new albums this spring, Clay Aiken will unleash third studio album On My Way Here May 6, two days after his run in Broadway's Spamalot ends.
But these days, it's a new, softer D'luv. Whereas I'm learning to like Girls Aloud after releasing two decent singles, I'm also loving Clay's new look. I think Futuristic Space Lesbian is really going to be "in" this year.
Clay now totally looks like this old broad Irma that lived across the street when I was a kid. Yeah, she's dead now. Irma let me come over and play Pitfall on her Atari. I was pretty hot at it, and even turned it over one time!
But enough about this mincing, feather-wigged carrot top! Here's a shameless new Chart Rigger promo clip!
Estelle And Sam Sparro Take Madonna From Both Ends On Easter Sunday
An new U.K. #1 single this week!
I've thought Estelle's "American Boy" is a hot jam since it was made available on U.S. iTunes at the end of January. Kanye West's rap at the beginning is suprisingly not that annoying, but then he kind of overtakes the song halfway through -- and even spits out the word "rubbish" -- and it's time to tune out.
Regardless, off the strength of downloads ahead of a physical CD single release, "American Boy" has ended the five-week reign of Duffy's "Mercy" at the top of the U.K. singles chart this week.
Madonna and Justin Timberlake's horn-riddled toetapper "4 Minutes" also enters the Top 10 based on downloads, at #7. This is just a solid, much-needed pop song for the times, and I gotta admit, Madge did right by letting go of the reigns for her comeback. And by that I mean she only used the strap-on with Justin until he cried.
Elsewhere, Girls Aloud's "Can't Speak French" only scrapes up to #9, but I'm not gonna say anything bad about that pack of transvestites -- I actually like them this album.
And speaking of transvestites, that Sam Sparro character everyone's crowing about makes a cameo at #23 with "Black & Gold." Sam's video made with Universal's money is classy, but let's hope for his sake that the crap-trash clips like this one that he made before the major label disappear quietly soon.
Finally, HAPPY EASTER!
The U.K. Top 10:
1. "American Boy" - Estelle Feat. Kanye West*1 week* 2."Mercy" - Duffy 3. "Better In Time/Footprints In The Sand" - Leona Lewis 4. "Stop And Stare" - OneRepublic 5. "Rockstar" - Nickelback 6. "Low" - Flo Rida Feat. T-Pain 7. "4 Minutes" - Madonna Feat. Justin Timberlake *new* 8. "Something Good '08" - Utah Saints 9. "Can't Speak French" - Girls Aloud 10. "What's It Gonna Be" - H Two O feat. Platinum
I got a press release stating Kelly Rowland's Ms. Kelly is being re-released Tuesday, but only on iTunes and other digital stores. Newsflash, baby: no one's buyin' this shit the second time around, either!
This is probably spurred on by the recent chart success in Europe of the "Work" remix. Anyway, here's the biz:
Ms. Kelly: Diva Deluxe premieres five new Kelly Rowland tracks as well as remixes of Kelly's co-compositions "Come Back" (Karmatronics Remix) and "Like This" featuring Eve, a Redline Remix of Kelly's international smash and #1 Billboard Hot Dance Club Play recording.
"The tracks on Diva Deluxe are too hot to hold onto," said Kelly Rowland, "so I decided to release them digitally so my fans could get into them as soon as possible. I hope everyone enjoys the new songs as much as I did recording them."
Stripper, get back to what you're good at -- starring as fifth banana in Friday The Thirteenth movies!
Dreamy! I stumbled upon Tay's cover of Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" last year, and that's when I realized -- yeah, I'd hit it.
Ferras, whose album was released digitally last week (CD out April 1) appeared on TRL Monday. Here are pics, courtesy of ONTD:
I can't really find a vid clip anywhere, and I did see someone complaining on his MySpace blog that maybe they cut his bit?
Michael Stipe made an important announcement today, regarding the sexuality of R.E.M. bandmates Mike Mills and Peter Buck:
Billboardreported that last year's American Idol diva, Sanjaya Malakar, moved to Los Angeles recently with his sister "to work on music and hone his sound." Something tells me the only sound Sanjaya's gonna hone is how loud to scream for grandpa's cash at Numbers. The 18-year-old also contributed a chapter to Chicken Soup For The American Idol Soul. Damn, the sky's the limit for this kid. Equally inspiring: "[Bo Bice, fourth season runner-up] is promoting his second album, See the Light. Released on an independent label and available exclusively through Walmart, the CD returns Bice to his southern rocker roots."
Finally, can I get a big WTF!? for Easter being so early this year? G.D. equinox. I'm gonna let Miss Pussy loose on that bunny if I see it.
As much as I'm tired of typing about this dame, the big news is that, post-Oprah, Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love" jumped into the Top 10 of Billboard's Hot 100 -- the only single to do so this week. "Bleeding Love" is at #8, trumping the peak position of Amy Winehouse's "Rehab" (#9), which was the last U.S. Top 10 single by a British artist.
Like Barack Obama sneaking up behind an unsuspecting Hillary Clinton and ripping off her skirt (you know, if she were to ever actually wear one), Leona thus far has fulfilled the prophecy of becoming "the next Mariah Carey," by completely leapfrogging over Mariah this year. Mimi's "Touch My Body" moves up two spots to #14, and I can't help feeling that her label was too slow on the draw in getting the song onto iTunes. "Bleeding Love" sold 120,000 downloads last week.
Now for the dark secret I've been harboring for weeks: I actually like Danity Kane's "Damaged," which is this week's Hot Shot Debut at #64. Does that make me a pole-dancing slut? (Please, God, say it does!!)
I like everything about this trash track -- from the overabundance of synths and the over-produced vocals to the silver hot pants in the video. These strippers are shaping up to be this country's version of their whored-out, TV-show-assembled U.K. counterparts, Girls Aloud.
Here's the vid for "Damaged":
The U.S. Top 10:
1. "Love In This Club" - Usher Feat. Young Jeezy*3 weeks*
2. "With You" - Chris Brown
3. "Low" - Flo Rida Feat. T-Pain
4."Love Song" - Sara Bareilles
5. "Don't Stop The Music" - Rihanna
6. "No Air" - Jordin Sparks Duet With Chris Brown 7. "Sexy Can I" - Ray J & Young Berg *airplay gainer*
8. "Bleeding Love" - Leona Lewis *sales gainer*
9. "Apologize" - Timbaland Feat. OneRepublic 10. "Superstar" - Lupe Fiasco Feat. Matthew Santos
Okay, look at this shit. Mimi looks like a scarecrow that some horny old farmer shoved a pitchfork in and ripped all the hay out of on the cover of upcoming album E=MC². It also appears as if someone yanked her arm out of its socket and then tried to shove it up her ass. In other words, I'll be buying two copies of this trash, thank you!
But here's what I don't get...when the hell is Island gonna put "Touch My Body" on iTunes? Mimi's window of opportunity to hit #1 might be over now that Leona Lewis is taking off. Plus, Madonna's "4 Minutes To Save The World" is rumored to be hitting the online store next Tuesday.
I really can't wait for the diva album throwdown next month, though: Mariah, Leona, Madonna...and good luck to Robyn, whose album finally arrives in the States on April 29. Who knows, maybe she'll outlast them all.
Caterpussy Is Back, And Paris Hilton Is Working On A Dance Album
Ten-legged ho machine Danity Kane, aka Caterpussy, unleashed their opus Welcome To The Dollhouse today, and chyldren -- what a bargain! -- 16 tracks! That's a lot of lap dances they must've done for P. Diddy and his crew of flamboyant producers!
Granted, some of these are "interludes"; in other words, the type of lame between song filler Janet Jackson is so fond of. But they more than make up for it with real lyrical masterpieces, like "Bad Girl," "Strip Tease," "Lights Out" and "Ecstasy." Looks like I've got the old lady's Mother's Day present taken care of, then!
"Actually I just put a recording studio in my new house, so I’ve been working a lot in there and, um, next I want to do a dance album. I love Bob Sinclair, I love that kind of dance-music vibe, and I’m part of the club scene a little bit, so I think doing a dance album is my next move."
Yeah, baby, you're part of the club scene a little bit like getting getting crabs from the nasty public toilet is part of the club scene a little bit. But this is great news, because if you ask me, her last album was the best thing since Revolver.
Simon Cowell Has "Been Dying" To Dangle Leona Lewis In Front Of Oprah
Here's Leona Lewis performing "Bleeding Love" from today's episode of Oprah. This is the only clip (Zzzzzzzz) online right now, so I don't know if Oprah three-wayed Leona and Simon on camera after the song or what. Okay, the whole damn thing was added to YouTube, interview and all:
How about Simon's botox face? As pretty much anyone could have predicted, "Bleeding Love" has jumped to the top of the U.S. iTunes chart.
Other than producing some of my D'luvvly ancestors, Ireland is most noted for the below two works of cultural significance.
Good ol' Keavy. While I'd like to say I'll be out shoving my face with cabbage and getting fluthered tonight, I'll more likely be doing something sexy like scooping the cats' shitbox and watching Maude on TV Land.
I had to file my D'luvvly taxes today, so there was bit of a delay getting the U.K. chart post done. That said, there's not much to crow about, anyway. It's a fifth straight week for Duffy's "Mercy," which ties her with Basshunter for the longest run at #1 on Brit chart this year so far. If she manages seven weeks, she'll tie with Leona Lewis' run with "Bleeding Love" last fall.
Speaking of which, that moaning dame's latest, the Sports Relief charity double A-side, "Better In Time/Footprints In The Sand," has to settle for the runner-up spot this week.
Don't forget, it's the Leona/Oprahmeeting of the minds tomorrow, which should annoyingly propel that ho to #1 here. She's already #2 on U.S. iTunes.
The U.K. Top 10:
1. "Mercy" - Duffy*5 weeks* 2."Better In Time/Footprints In The Sand" - Leona Lewis 3. "What's It Gonna Be" - H Two O feat. Platinum 4. "Stop And Stare" - OneRepublic 5. "Rockstar" - Nickelback 6. "Alphabeat" - Fascination 7. "Low" - Flo Rida Feat. T-Pain 8. "Come On Girl" - Taio Cruz Feat. Luciana 9. "Something Good '08" - Utah Saints 10. "Now You're Gone" - Basshunter
Here's Mimi on SNL last night, doing "Touch My Body" and "Migrate," along with T-Pain. She's pretty lifeless for the first one, but once T-Pain comes out, she gets all kinds of ghetto and starts jiggling around.
These kept getting yanked off YouTube by NBC, so thanks to Ali's Blog for posting. We'll see how long they last!
I think this is fantastic! She looks like an old prostitute that got nailed by Mack Truck. It's great that she's embracing who she is.
In fact, it's probably Madge's best sleeve art since 1994's Bedtime Stories, where she looked like an old prostitute that got nailed by a Toyota Prius.
And fret not, Madonna queens. You should be happy she's letting her real self show. The Hard Candy cover says, "This is me, the Material Senior, and you're going to eat my mothball-flavored Jolly Rancher and love it!"
At least that's probably what she said to Justin Timberlake during the recording sessions. And he probably did it. How else do you think he got so much airtime on "4 Minutes To Save The World"?
Mariah Carey's filling in for Janet Jackson's flu-riddled puxxy on Saturday Night Live tomorrow night. Here's a picture of her in New York last week, with Donnie Osmond, Raven Symone and a pig staring at her ass.
SNL shot a couple promos (below left) of Mimi with Jonah Hill, the hot fox from all the Judd Apatow movies who's hosting this week. But I also unearthed a forgotten gem from Mariah's Rainbow days, circa '99/'00.
Yes, chyldren, before "Mimi"....and even before Glitter....there was Bianca! And Bianca was a Grade A bitch! Check this trash out.
And, yeah, that's Mariah playing both Bianca and the slut in the sleeveless rainbow top.
Chyldren, this Leona Lewis phenom -- I'm telling you, I never thought it would actually happen here. After all, when was the last time a young, sparkly-eyed British singer who made it big on a U.K. television show actually crossed over in the States. And why couldn't it have been the much more interesting (read: hot) Shayne Ward -- or even Jordan! -- instead of Leona Lewis? Sigh.
But then it dawned on me; of course she would happen here. Simon Cowell and Clive Davis have infused her with just enough blandness and thrusted just the right lifeless ballads upon her in the studio to perfectly pre-package Leona for the American market.
"Bleeding Love," Leona Lewis' debut U.S. single, is this week's Sales Gainer on the Billboard Hot 100, zipping 20 positions to #21.
Elsewhere, Mariah Carey's "Touch My Body" jumps from #24 to #16, Janet Jackson's "Feedback" plunges like Alexandra Dupre into Eliot Spitzer's shorts from #19 to #28 and Cascada's Perfect Day debuts on the album chart at #70. The Eurodance act's cover of "What Hurts The Most" appears to have peaked on the Hot 100 at #52.
And that's really what hurts the most: Cascada's Natalie Horler, who has the voice of a celestial choir of heavenly angels on Christmas morning, gets trumped over here by Leona Lewis. As Ace Of Base once taught us so very well, life is truly demanding without understanding.
The U.S. Top 10:
1. "Love In This Club" - Usher Feat. Young Jeezy*2 weeks* 2. "With You" - Chris Brown 3. "Low" - Flo Rida Feat. T-Pain 4."Love Song" - Sara Bareilles 5. "Don't Stop The Music" - Rihanna 6. "No Air" - Jordin Sparks Duet With Chris Brown *airplay gainer* 7. "Sexy Can I" - Ray J & Young Berg 8. "Apologize" - Timbaland Feat. OneRepublic 9. "Independent" - Webbie, Lil' Phat & Lil' Boosie 10. "Superstar" - Lupe Fiasco Feat. Matthew Santos
Thank God Britney Spears' video for "Break The Ice" is anime, because who wants to watch her stumble through the motions half-asleep again?
"Break The Ice" is one of my favorite tracks off Blackout, and the video is...interesting. I used to really like anime when I was a kid. Robotech and Tranzor Z were totally my after-school jams all through fifth grade.
In fact, they should have had Britney staddle Tranzor Z's face in the video, then had Tommy's hovercraft land on top of her and chop her head off.
Look Out, Madge And Mariah: This Spring's Log Jam Of Diva Releases Just Got A Lot Sexier
That's right! Look which disco hooker's got an album full of sexy jams out on May 20 -- Donna Summer. And she's got rainbow hair.
Sure, they Photoshopped about 3,000 years off Donna's mug here, but who cares -- her album is called Crayons!
In the press release, Donna says, "My dream is that when people hear the music it will remind them of their youth, their childhood and the joy and wonderment they felt exploring their first pack of Crayons.” Baby, my dream is that when I hear this trash, I'll put on my stiletto heels, snort a line of glitter and start doing gazelle kicks up and down the sidewalk outside!
The best part is that Donna worked with Greg Kurstin, who co-wrote and produced Kylie Minogue's "Wow" and "No More Rain," Lily Allen's "Alfie" and All Saints' "Rocksteady."
JR Rotem, who produced Rihanna's "SOS" and who banged Britney Spears, worked on Crayons as well, along with Evan Bogart, son of Donna's old Casablana Records label boss, Neil Bogart (Evan also co-wrote "SOS.")
Ferras' Aliens & Rainbows: The First Great Pop Album Of 2008
Last month I mistakenly wrote that "Hollywood's Not America" by Ferras would be the song played when American Idol contestants get the boot this season. Turns out it was only that one week -- "Hollywood week" -- that it played. But fuck that show. The 25-year-old singer's album, Aliens & Rainbows, was added to iTunes yesterday ahead of its official April 1 release date, and there are so many great jams that I'm officially calling it the year's first great pop LP.
The album was produced by The Matrix, who are responsible for foisting Avril Lavigne and Hilary Duff onto the charts five years ago. Key tracks to check out: "Aliens & Rainbows,""My Beautiful Lie" (sounds like old-school Howard Jones!) and the U2-esque "Something About You."
Ferras has a great sound reminiscent of early Elton John and David Bowie, but even more imporatantly, he has a hot mouth. Say ahhhh, sexy.
Ferras comes from Illinois, but I'd like to throw him over my knee and teach him about L.A. Actually, he's been here as long as I have, and he's probably been bitch-spanked more times than Heidi Montag at an Eliot Spitzer hooker throwdown. Maybe I'll snag him in his sophomore slump.
Is this "4 Minutes" single artwork real? One can never tell with Madonna and her crazy Photoshop-friendly fans. It was posted at ONTD today.
Hmmm. Maybe she's just trying to out-cheap Ashlee Simpson. Elsewhere, today I covered Madge's induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in my Towleroad column for the week. Justin Timberlake's intro was a bit iffy, but M's speech was quite good.
And...Sigh...I'm actually getting excited for her new album. Dammit. How does she do that?
This is either the hands-down worst album cover of all time or the best...but either way, Trashlee needs to give Pete Wentz his hoodie back.
I'm so torn on what to think about this gem. I'd try to picture it in my CD collection, to see how the artwork holds up against that of truly classic albums -- you know, like Elton John's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Angelyne's Driven To Fantasy -- but let's be honest, what CD collection? If I can't illegally download it, it ain't getting listened to!
Oh, just kidding. Everyone should totally pay for music, so folks like Ashlee can continue to hire their 11-year-old cousin to design their album sleeves by using a polaroid, some Crayolas and a bloody snot rag.
Bittersweet World's release date is April 22. It was probably a bittersweet screechfest for Trashlee when the first single, "Out Of My Head (Ay Ya Ya)," peaked at #21...on the Bubbling Under chart!
Hopefully Timbaland didn't cost too much. Second single, "Little Miss Obsessive," is available on iTunes tomorrow.
Marvel, children! Marvel at the giddy pop novelty of Alphabeat's "Fascination," which flizzy-zipp-twiddliez up the U.K. chart to #7 this week!
The joy! The flashy colors! The '80s fashions that just never get old...ever...no, never. Yes, Alphabeat have truly concocted an epic toetapper, the likes of which not seen since 2003, when Junior Senior's anthemic "Move Your Feet" propelled them to the most one-hittenest of one hit wonder poportions. And like Junior Senior, Alphabeat are fellow Danes.
But fret not -- surely pop kids will keep feeling "Fascination" for years and years to come, ensuring that Alphabeat will rack up a shedful of hits the world over.
Other than that, Duffy tops both the U.K. single and album chart, while somehow The Feeling's Join With Us has managed to drop from #1 to #18 within a matter of three weeks.
Oh, and sorry, The U.K. about that whole Flo Rida thing (#9). It's not like we thought anyone over there would actually buy it.
The U.K. Top 10:
1. "Mercy" - Duffy*4 weeks* 2."What's It Gonna Be" - H Two O feat. Platinum 3. "Rockstar" - Nickelback 4. "Stop And Stare" - OneRepublic 5. "Come On Girl" - Taio Cruz Feat. Luciana 6. "Now You're Gone" - Basshunter 7. "Alphabeat" - Fascination 8. "Us Against The World" - Westlife 9. "Low" - Flo Rida Feat. T-Pain 10. "Don't Stop The Music" - Rihanna
Hallelujah! Idol Renews Interest In Jeff Buckley And Blake Lewis
I'll admit, I didn't watch American Idol this week, thereby causing me to miss the apparent musical zeitgeist that was 20-year-old Texan contestant Jason Castro performing "Hallelujah." Within two days, Jeff Buckley's 1994 cover of Leonard Cohen's song shot to the top of the iTunes download chart. The flatlining career of last year's Idol runner-up, Blake Lewis, also got a shot in the arm when he was graciously allowed to come on and perform "How Many Words" (currently at #81 on iTunes).
Saleswise, this past week has also seen renewed interest in Jeff Buckley's Grace, the only complete studio album released by the singer before his death in 1997. Amazon is currently sold out of the CD.
Meanwhile, Randy Jackson's Music Club Volume One is released on Tuesday. His and Paula Abdul's "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow" single is at #72 on Billboard's Hot 100. Maybe Paula can sing the track live on the show to help boost sales? Well...
Warner Bros. has apparently tried to screw Linda Perry out of the James Blunt cash, and girlfriend is not having any of it! Now, I'm not gonna say anything bad about Linda because a.) she's produced some great jams, and 3.) I'm afraid I'll see her and Courtney Love at Target and they'll beat the shit out of me!
The short version is this: Linda discovered James Blunt (though if I heard that frog voice, I would have just shot him), signed him to her indie label, Custard, then got a deal for him with Atlantic. The major label didn't see the potential and therefore offered her 20% of the profits, probably thinking it would be 20% of a whole lot of nothing.
Then, when that shit song "You're Beautiful" became a smash and the album took off, Warner Bros., which owns Atlantic, tried to go around Linda and gave James a cut of the profits but not her. She's now suing for $5 million in lost royalties. (Atlantic has made over $100 million from James Blunt!!)
Linda Perry's lawsuit claims that had it not been for her, "it is likely that Blunt's album would never have been released and no one would ever have known who he was." In that case, damn you, Linda! Damn you to hell!
Usher's New Single Jumps 50 Positions To #1, Yet Still Manages To Sound Like Juvenile Claptrap
Good ol' Usher. At the age of 29, he looks like he could use more under-eye cream and less time with strippers. Still, the handsome laddie racks up his eighth #1 single on Billboard's Hot 100 this week with "Love In The Club." Last week it was at #51. I've already stated my thoughts on this one, and the only consolation is that Mariah Carey's "Touch My Body" (currently #24) is scheduled to be added to iTunes on Tuesday, so hopefully "Love..." is ushered out of the club quickly. Three cheers, though, for Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown's "No Air" landing at #6.
Meanwhile, why does everything come back to Janet Jackson lately? Yesterday it was reported she has the #1 album, and "Feedback," which moves from #53 to #19, is the Hot 100's Sales Gainer. It's now her highest-charting single since 2001's "Someone To Call My Lover."
God, remember that trash? No wonder she was sentenced to seven years of no hits afterward.
And like an alley cat crouching in the shadows, ready to pounce on a rat, Payola Leona Lewis creeps up to #41 with bland dirge "Bleeding Love."
Yeah, more like bleeding ears, slut.
The U.S. Top 10:
1. "Love In This Club" - Usher Feat. Young Jeezy*1 week* *airplay* 2. "Low" - Flo Rida Feat. T-Pain 3. "With You" - Chris Brown 4. "Don't Stop The Music" - Rihanna 5."Love Song" - Sara Bareilles 6. "No Air" - Jordin Sparks Duet With Chris Brown 7. "Apologize" - Timbaland feat. OneRepublic 8. "No One" - Alicia Keys 9. "Independent" - Webbie, Lil' Phat & Lil' Boosie 10. "Sensual Seduction" - Snoop Dogg
Hoo-ray! My two-disc special edition of The Feeling's Join With Us finally arrived today from Amazon, and it's on its third spin right now. Some pundits, like fickle XOLondon, have publicly stated their distaste for this marvelously slick and dreamy pop treasure. (Perhaps Leona Lewis' Spirit would be more up your alley, luv?) I'm not gonna do some long, track-by-track review -- we all know I'm far too lazy for that. And besides, it's not like the album's a total work of art, like A*Teens' ABBA Generation, for instance. But I will say, Dan Gillespie Sells is not afraid to let it be known that he's happier now (and getting boinked).
Speaking of albums, Janet Jackson's Discipline has topped Billboard's Top 200 chart this week. It's her first #1 since 2001's All For You. "Feedback" is also staying put in the Top 10 of the iTunes download chart, so it'll likely jump up on the new Hot 100 that is published tomorrow.
Yeah, I finally got around to listening to Discipline. I like that "2Nite" song and, uh...well, that's it. Mostly, my favorite thing about the whole project is the below picture, where Janet looks like that drowned thing that comes slithering down the steps at the end of The Grudge and every other Japanese horror movie remake. Sexy.
Finally, be sure to shuffle on over to Towleroad today, where I wax lyrical about the wonders of Sally Shapiro, as well as this summer's True Colors Tour featuring Cyndi Lauper and the B-52s.
I Wonder If Brit And Alex Do Everything Together. You Know, Like Everything...
These twin broads are called Brit And Alex, and they're former child actors turned pop stars who were born in the States but raised in London.
Brit And Alex's debut single, "Let It Go," was produced by Dallas Austin and Tricky Stewart (Rihanna's "Umbrella"), and is featured on the Step Up 2 The Streets soundtrack. It's sort of Dream "He Loves You Not"-y.
Meanwhile, is it me, or do Brit And Alex kind of look like Wham!'s old backing singers, Pepsi & Shirlie? (And by "kind of," I mean not at all, but isn't it fun to bring up Pepsi & Shirlie? "Heartache" = total jam!)
"Let It Go" was only available on iTunes if you bought the whole Step Up 2 The Streets soundtrack, but a proper digital single was added today. Yeah, and where the hell are Pepsi & Shirlie on iTunes? Nowhere, that's where!
On a sidenote, my very first job when I fell off the turnip truck in L.A. nine years ago was at Summit Entertainment, which produces the Step Up movies. They also did Penelope, which has Christina Ricci sporting a pig nose. I kinda got out when the gettin' was good.
Oh, Jesus. There'll be no escaping Leona Lewis now. She set to perform "Bleeding Love" on Oprah Monday, March 17th. Happy St. Patrick's Day.
Sure, Leona's a foxy dame and she won X Factor, but Shayne Ward is just as hot -- why doesn't Oprah have him on? Oh, that's right. She's all about empowering women -- so long as they're not running for President.
I'm guessing "Bleeding Love" will shoot through the roof after next week. Oprah had that dork Josh Groban on at the end of last year, and his damn Christmas album became the bestseller of 2007 within a matter of weeks.
On its own, the Leona hype hasn't done much for the song. It's been available on U.S. iTunes since the fall, but is only now showing up in the online store's Top 20.
Anyway, guess Clive will have no need for Whitney Houston anymore. Chuck her old rat weave the snake pit.