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R & B

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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5 Musicians Experiencing A Horrible 2014 (With Bonus Tracks!)

September 17th, 2014 4:00pm EDT
5 Musicians Experiencing A Horrible 2014 (With Bonus Tracks!)
Not everybody is having a swell 2014. Some people are searching for employment, grieving over a loved one, or dealing with the heartbreak of a relationship. Others – those creatures called musicians – are dealing with some of the same things, not to mention flopped albums and a boatload of controversy. Here are five musicians experiencing a horrible 2014, with three honorable ‘bonus tracks’ thrown in.

1) Robin Thicke

It should take an army to beat Justin Bieber at the coveted top spot, but Robin Thicke has it “signed, sealed, and delivered” following nothing short of a dreadful yea...
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Chris Brown, Tim McGraw & Train Among Albums to Check Out: This Week in Music

September 16th, 2014 10:40am EDT
Chris Brown, Tim McGraw & Train Among Albums to Check Out: This
The fourth quarter is underway in the music industry, with bigger, more coveted artists/albums dropping. September 16 again sports some big names, all looking for a slice of those lucrative sales that only occur during the September, October, November, and December months – sigh*. While this week doesn’t sport an album that looks to completely ‘slay’ the charts with robust numbers, many of the albums listed will certainly impact it. Here are seven albums to check out this week!

1) Chris Brown, X (RCA)

After multiple delays, Chris Brown releases his fifth studio album, X. Delayed al...
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Review: Jhené Aiko Maintains Poise On 'Souled Out'

September 15th, 2014 2:27pm EDT
Review: Jhené Aiko Maintains Poise On 'Souled Out'
Jhené Aiko definitely takes a different approach than many female R&B artists. Rather than delivering big, dramatic vocals, Aiko takes a cool, calm, and more poised approach. This contrast sets her apart, but at times, also leaves the listener desiring Aiko to push just a bit more. Still, her first full-length album for Def Jam has plenty to offer, showcasing Aiko’s tremendous artistic potential.

“She was born in limbo,” sings Aiko, “With the need to be as simple / as her makers and the made up things she dreamed.” “Limbo Limbo Limbo” kicks off the contemporary, alt-R&B affair uniquel...
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'Maroon 5' Earns Second #1 Album With ‘V’: This Week In Music

September 11th, 2014 8:32am EDT
'Maroon 5' Earns Second #1 Album With ‘V’: This Week In Music
Expectedly, rock/pop band Maroon 5 debut atop the Billboard 200 with their fifth studio album, V. Until V arrived, it had been seven years since Maroon 5 first reached the penthouse of the Billboard Album Charts, when It Won’t Be Soon Before Long sold a robust 429,000 copies. V doesn’t open nearly as hot, but does sell a respectable 164,000 copies. Those numbers are in line with other first-week sales in 2014, including Ariana Grande’s My Everything (#1, 169,000) Sam Smith’s In the Lonely Hour (#2, 166,000).

Thankfully, Maroon 5 wouldn’t be the only big name dropping respectable number...
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Jhené Aiko, Lee Brice & Ryan Adams Among Albums To Check Out: This Week In Music

September 9th, 2014 11:07am EDT
Jhené Aiko, Lee Brice & Ryan Adams Among Albums To Check Out: Th
There’s nothing like the fourth quarter, a time when label executives know that sales will flourish more than any other time of the year. A host of albums are always dropped during this most exciting and lucrative time, and this week certainly doesn’t break way from that trend. Led by particularly notable releases from Jhené Aiko, Lee Brice, and Ryan Adams, here are nine albums to check out this week.

1) Lee Brice, I Don’t Dance (Curb)

Country artist Lee Brice returns with his third studio album I Don’t Dance. I Don’t Dance follows up his 2012 album, Hard 2 Love, which debuted at #...
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Ariana Grande Made News Not Related To Her Nude Photo Leak... Guess

September 4th, 2014 8:55am EDT
Ariana Grande Tops Billboard 200 With ‘My Everything’: This Week
Unsurprisingly, Ariana Grande scored the second #1 album of her short recording career with My Everything. My Everything opened impressively selling 169,000 copies, trumping the opening sales of 2013 effort, Yours Truly (138,000 copies). 169,000 copies is robust by today’s standards by all means, but had My Everything came out a couple of years ago, think about how many hundred thousands of copies it might’ve sold. To quote Mary J. Blige (at least partially), “Reminisce on the” sales of the past…

Grande was the main attraction, but she wasn’t the only big name artist who dropped new m...
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12 ‘Work’ Songs For Labor Day And Beyond

September 1st, 2014 1:40pm EDT
Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora film the music video for their single '
Ah, the rewards of hard work – nothing like it. Yes, work can be a total bummer, one characterized by four letter words that rhyme with the word ‘buck’ or ‘quit’, but work can also be fun and make great ear-candy, much like these 12 ‘work’ songs. The only requirement for these songs to make the list – the word work had to be used in some form within the title. The results are…well an interesting, scattered playlist. Enjoy fellow workaholics!

1) Michael Jackson, “Working Day & Night” (Off The Wall, 1979)

What better way to initiate a work playlist than with a soul classic? MJ was r...
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Wiz Khalifa Takes ‘Blacc Hollywood’ To The Top: This Week in Music

August 28th, 2014 7:45am EDT
Wiz Khalifa, 'Blacc Hollywood'
Wiz Khalifa has been high many times in his life – he’d probably say the same thing – but he’s never been #1 on the Billboard 200. This week, after two previous albums, Wiz Khalifa’s latest album Blacc Hollywood sold 90,000 copies, easily sufficient for #1. While Wiz had never debuted at the penthouse, both his previous albums actually moved more copies their first week. 2011 effort Rolling Papers sold a robust 197,000 copies, while 2012 LP O.N.I.F.C. sold 148,000. Each album by the kush lover has sold less. Still, Wiz should celebrate…then again maybe he should ease up on Mary Jane. ...
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