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R & B

Prince Is At His Eccentric Best On 'Art Official Age'

October 1st, 2014 7:04am EDT
Prince Is At His Eccentric Best On 'Art Official Age'
Calling Prince ‘orthodox’ or ‘traditional’ would be nothing short of an insult; a big-time middle finger. Throughout his lengthy, innovative career, Prince has always pushed the boundaries, fusing rock, pop, and R&B (among other genres). Additionally, Prince’s promotional strategies have been as unique as his style and albums. Once more affiliated with Warner Bros, Prince drops not just one album, but two – Art Official Age and PLECTRUMELECTRUM with 3rdeyegirl.

Despite issuing two albums, Prince’s solo album, Art Official Age, earns the most buzz. Over its course, Art Official Age is d...
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Blake Shelton, Prince, & Lady Antebellum Lead Albums To Check Out

September 30th, 2014 11:10am EDT
Blake Shelton, Prince, & Lady Antebellum  Lead Albums To Check O
Talk about being spoiled on Tuesday, September 23. No shortage of new albums was available, restoring hope after a year of down album sales. September 30 may not be the ‘super Tuesday’ of the former week, but there are still some exceptional choices. Among the biggest artists dropping new albums: Blake Shelton (Bring Back the Sunshine), Lady Antebellum (747), and Prince (ART OFFICIAL AGE and PLECTRUMELECTRUM with 3RDEYEGIRL). Here are nine new albums to check out this week.

1) Prince, ART OFFICIAL AGE (Warner Bros)

2) Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL, PLECTRUMELECTRUM (Warner Bros)

The Purp...
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Review: Lenny Kravitz Is On Autopilot On 'Strut'

September 29th, 2014 3:45pm EDT
Review: Lenny Kravitz Is On Autopilot On 'Strut'
At 50, Lenny Kravitz has been around for a minute – a ‘lengthy’ minute to be exact. Even though Kravitz’s heyday has passed, age truly “ain’t nothing but a number” on his exhilarating new album, Strut. Arriving three-years after sensation LP Black and White America, Kravitz’s consistency and energy are nothing short of magnificent.

Strut opens ferociously with standout single “Sex,” which is an incredibly funky, attention-getting record. “Got that feelin’ coming over me / sex, sex, sex,” Kravitz sings enthusiastically on the catchy, rocking chorus.

Kravitz remains on autopilot o...
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10 Deceptively Written Songs

September 28th, 2014 4:00pm EDT
10 Deceptively Written Songs
Some songs just aren’t intended for literal interpretation. Some of the best-written songs are actually best interpreted figuratively. The 10 songs gracing this list are written cleverly, in a deceptive fashion. In other words, the lyrics (and sometimes title) transcend what’s literally being said. These 10 aren’t ‘classic’ examples – all are contemporary – but, the figurative, deceptiveness is definitely notable.

1) Hozier, “Take Me To Church" (Hozier, 2014)

Sure, the biblical book Song of Solomon is something else, but it’s highly doubtful that Hozier’s “Take Me To Church” has an...
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Barbra Streisand’s 'Partners' Beats Chris Brown for Top Spot on Billboard 200

September 25th, 2014 8:28am EDT
Barbra Streisand’s 'Partners' Beats Chris Brown for Top Spot on
Few 72-year olds can do it like Barbra Streisand. Who just landed another #1 album – Barbra Streisand! Duets album Partners not only debuted at #1, but did so with larger than expected numbers (196,000 copies). It also made history giving Streisand at least one #1 album in the past six decades. Go Barbra – it’s your birthday… well not really!

Chris Brown settles for the #2 spot behind Streisand, as X sells 146,000 copies. While Brown might be disappointed he didn’t score his third number one album, X performed better its first week than Fortune, which sold 135,000 copies. Maybe even ...
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Review: Jennifer Hudson's Vocals Remain Impressive On ‘JHUD’

September 24th, 2014 12:30pm EDT
Jennifer Hudson
How many people would’ve predicted that a big-voiced R&B diva like Jennifer Hudson would release a dance R&B album? The better question might be, who would’ve guessed someone as remarkably talented as Jennifer Hudson would’ve only made seventh place on American Idol, let alone been voted off at all? Don’t shed tears for Hudson, as her entertainment career has easily atoned for an untimely exit on Idol – namely in the form of an Academy Award (Dreamgirls) and Grammy (for Best R&B album for Jennifer Hudson).

Now on album three, the established R&B chanteuse, who’s dropped two gold albums, ...
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Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga Lead Albums To Check Out: This Week in Music

September 23rd, 2014 10:10am EDT
Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga Lead Albums To Check Out: This Week in
Call Tuesday, September 23 what it is – super Tuesday. Truly in the music industry this fourth Tuesday in September, there is something being released for everybody. That said, arguably Tuesday’s most exciting album is a covers album – an album of standards released by Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett. Still, there’s no shortage of albums to check out, namely the other 12 albums that grace this list!

1) Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga, Cheek to Cheek (Streamline / Columbia / Interscope)

What happens when you pair an eccentric dance-pop artist and a veteran jazz crooner – magic and tremendous buzz. ...
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10 Of The Most Controversial Songs Of The 10s

September 20th, 2014 1:00pm EDT
10 Of The Most Controversial Songs Of The 10s
Controversy has become commonplace in music, particularly in the 10s. Musicians are certainly taking more liberties, pushing the envelope more than ever before. Often, the weapon of choice is sex, but ultimately, there are few limitations to controversy anymore. Below are 10 of the more controversial songs of the 10s. Perhaps these don’t necessarily rank as the biggest offenders, but they have all raised eyebrows and/or drawn skeptics for some reason or another.

1) Robin Thicke featuring Pharrell Williams & T.I., “Blurred Lines” (Blurred Lines, 2013)

“Blurred Lines” has controversy ...
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Review: After Many Delays Chris Brown's 'X' Is Stronger Than Expected

September 18th, 2014 3:30pm EDT
Chris Brown - X
What’s a deadly disease that damages a musician’s career? The correct answer is the delayed album. Sure, controversy does the same (Chris Brown might know something about that), but the delayed album can be truly devastating. Brown’s sixth studio album X has been delayed several times. That said, even at its most imperfect, X is better than previous LP Fortune. Not only was Fortune filled with curse words, it also incited curse words…

"X" opens the effort mysteriously, gradually evolving into electro-R&B. It sports repetition and gimmickry commonplace to contemporary R&B and pop. Eve...
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Christian Rapper Lecrae Takes ‘Anomaly’ To The Top Of Billboard 200

September 18th, 2014 8:31am EDT
Lecrae Anomaly
It’s rare that the Christian rapper debuts atop the Billboard 200. How rare – well it never happens – like “never ever.” Anyways, Lecrae made it happen this week as Anomaly outperformed early prognostications and sold 88,000 copies. Lecrae was able to hold off a strong second week from Maroon 5’s V (80,000 copies, #2) as well as what was thought to be a tight race with Jhené Aiko (Souled Out sold 70,000 copies, good for #3).

While Lecrae’s debut is celebratory, it is also another week where no albums moved 100,000 copies. Throw in the fact that besides Lecrae and Jhené Aiko, the top ...
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