Sara Bareilles, What's Inside Songs From Waitress © Epic

November 6, 2015 Music Releases Set To Flop Commercially

Sigh, so much for the hype of the first week of a jam-packed November. According to Billboard’s early prognostications for next week, Chris Stapleton maybe having the second best week of his career. While we are happy for Stapleton’s “come up,” the prognosticated 100,000 units for Traveller are trouble…for the newbies that is. Billboard broke the bad news about the potential totals of the highest … Continue reading November 6, 2015 Music Releases Set To Flop Commercially

Iggy Azalea, The New Classic © Def Jam

Playlist: 45 Songs With the F-Bomb in Their Title

Don’t call this list profound, call it profane! Corny yes, but true! All of the songs on this list feature every college guy’s (and probably girl’s) favorite expletive in some form – that would be the f-word if you were confused. So, here goes the list! 1) 2Pac, “F*ck The World” (Me Against The World) 2) A$AP Ferg featuring A$ton Matthews, B-Real, Fredo Starr, Onyx … Continue reading Playlist: 45 Songs With the F-Bomb in Their Title

Thoughts on the 56th Annual Grammy Nominations


The Grammys are like a musician’s Super Bowl, even if the nominations and victorious artists are flawed.  I won’t lie to you, I complain every year that someone won a Grammy that didn’t deserve it while someone else was snubbed. Just last year, during the 55th Annual Grammys, I lobbied hard for Frank Ocean (looking back, I have reservations now) while Mumford & Sons walked out with the Album of the Year trophy.  The year that Taylor Swift won for Fearless, my girl Beyoncé was on a roll until the coveted Album of the Year award was read.  You get my position though! This year,  I find myself the most pleased I’ve been with the Grammy nominations in like forever.  That isn’t to say within my colorful, opinionated commentary that I don’t have my rubs, but I’m onboard more often than not for the 56th Annual Grammys.

The Big Four

Record of the Year

Imagine Dragons land a Record of the Year nomination for "Radioactive"
Imagine Dragons land a Record of the Year nomination for “Radioactive”

“Get Lucky”, Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams

“Radioactive”, Imagine Dragons

“Royals”, Lorde

“Locked Out of Heaven”, Bruno Mars

“Blurred Lines”, Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell

The Record of the Year field for the 56th Annual Grammy Awards is quite strong – I approve of the choices in other words.  I knew that “Get Lucky” and “Blurred Lines” would score nominations here.   I think “Royals” courtesy of Lorde is extremely deserving of the nomination as is “Radioactive”.  “Locked Out of Heaven” was also a big record, though perhaps its sheen has worn off at this point since Unorthodox Jukebox came out in December of 2012.  Ultimately, excellent nominations by all mean.

Album of the Year

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis score big with multiple Grammy nominations.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis score big with multiple Grammy nominations.

The Blessed Unrest, Sara Bareilles

Random Access Memories, Daft Punk

Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, Kendrick Lamar

The Heist, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Red, Taylor Swift

The Album of the year field always sports one curveball.  There’s nothing wrong with a shocker, except that sometimes that oddball nominee ends up being the victor.  This year’s oddball in a strong field is Sara Bareilles’ The Blessed Unrest.  It was a solid album, but if you’d ask me if I thought it had a shot of being nominated, I would’ve said absolutely not – no disrespect Sara.  I had a feeling Daft Punk, Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and Taylor Swift had a shot here.

Snubs? I thought Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars stood a shot of being nominated for The 20/20 Experience and Unorthodox Jukebox respectively.  I’m not mad about it though (I think there were better albums). Now as for that snub of Vampire Weekend’s Modern City of Vampires… GRRRR!!!

Song of the Year

Katy Perry 'roars' with a Song of the Year nomination for "Roar".
Katy Perry ‘roars’ with a Song of the Year nomination for “Roar”.

“Just Give Me The Reason” (Pink featuring Nate Ruess)

“Locked Out of Heaven” (Bruno Mars)

“Roar” (Katy Perry)

“Royals” (Lorde)

“Same Love” (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert)

This is an interesting list with some solid choices as well.  “Just Give Me The Reason” was a hit and a fine song, though I’m not sure if I’d consider it ‘song of the year’ (it was a no. 1 hit though).  The reprisal of both “Locked Out of Heaven” and “Royals” is a welcome nomination here.  “Same Love” may be the biggest surprise, but feels like a smart unexpected nomination here.  “Roar” is another exceptional choice, though you wonder how it managed to miss out on a Record of the Year nod as well.

Best New Artist

Kendrick Lamar lands multiple Grammy nominations, including Album of the Year and Best New Artist.
Kendrick Lamar lands multiple Grammy nominations, including Album of the Year and Best New Artist.

James Blake

Kendrick Lamar

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Kacey Musgraves

Ed Sheeran

No complaints here.  James Blake is actually on his second album, but 2013 effort Overgrown really elevated the British electronic artist’s stock.  Kendrick Lamar and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were locks with no explanation needed.  Kacey Musgraves, who I personally have not heard, has been getting some buzz, so her nod seems well representative of country.  Ed Sheeran seemed to have a bigger year previously when “The A Team” was nominated for Song of the Year, but whatever.

Snubs? Lorde.  Lorde received plenty of love for “Royals”, so why none in the Best New Artist? You could also argue A$AP Rocky, though rap is well covered here.

Continue reading “Thoughts on the 56th Annual Grammy Nominations”

Short Take: Goodie Mob, ‘Age Against The Machine’

Goodie Mob stretch the definition of the standard rap album Goodie Mob⎪Right Records⎪Age Against The Machine⎪⎪ US Release Date: August 27, 2013 Goodie Mob’s first new album since 1999 is nothing short of a fascinating listen.  Face it, the minute it begins, it’s obvious who took the reins… one idiosyncratic, unique genre-bending artist named Cee Lo Green.  Because it is such a unique affair, it … Continue reading Short Take: Goodie Mob, ‘Age Against The Machine’

Review: Alice Smith, ‘She’

Alice Smith⎟ She⎟ Rainwater⎟ US Release Date: March 19, 2013 Alice Smith will be considered ‘new’ to most of the world.  That said, the indie R&B singer has previously been nominated for a Grammy (Best Urban/Alternative Performance, “Dream”) as well as released her debut album, For Lovers, Dreamers & Me back in 2006.  Seven years later, Smith, formerly signed to Epic, arrives with She, released independently … Continue reading Review: Alice Smith, ‘She’

Case Study: K. Michelle – Too Blunt For Star Status?

I’m going to be positive first. I think K. Michelle has a nice voice and is a potential talent. That was nice.  However, I am afraid that ‘ghetto-tactics’ may ruin/undo her before she even takes off.  Recently I discovered this video that was quite shocking of her singing a song she wrote entitled “I Just Wanna F**k.” The title nor the song leaves nothing to the imagination. … Continue reading Case Study: K. Michelle – Too Blunt For Star Status?

Impressions: Christina Aguilera, Lotus

Christina Aguilera, Lotus


Christina Aguilera, Bionic

I have no doubt that Christina Aguilera would take back 2010’s Bionic if she could. It was her weakest selling album to date, failing to go gold.  I was one of few people who liked parts of the album, but most critics were quick to chastise and pan it. Aguilera’s voice was not enough to get past the futuristic pop stylings and the ‘copycat’ lead single “Not Myself Tonight.” Add to the bombing album an overall horrible year for Aguilera including a bombed National anthem at the Super Bowl (which she practiced flawlessly) and a bombed film via BurlesqueThe best of the best truly took a tumble, but things since that turbulent time have looked up for the pop/R&B chanteuse.

Aguilera managed to snag a judging post on NBC‘s The Voice, which has really elevated her falling star back

The Voice Judges and Host Carson Daly

up to its rightful place.  The question is, can 2012’s comeback effort Lotus translate into minimally gold sales? First single “My Body” may not have been the best choice to lead the excellent comeback effort, but it did showcase that Aguilera lost none of her vocal appeal or savvy.  Perhaps The Voice performance of  “Make The World Move” with Cee Lo Green will give Aguilera more traction in an ultra competitive week, where she is prognosticated to sell 75,000 copies.  For Aguilera, those numbers are underwhelming as 2010’s Bionic did better with 110,000 sold at no. 3 only to bomb ultimately.  Add to that notion she may sell equally or less equal than Lana Del Rey (Paradise) and the numbers get plumb bothersome.

While her days of platinum selling albums seem behind her, sad given the breadth of her voice, 2012’s Lotus ends up being a pleasant surprise. Ignore “Your Body” as there are better cuts than run circles around the obligatory modern pop single. Too bad only 75,000 or so will join for the enjoyable ride that is Lotus.

Continue reading “Impressions: Christina Aguilera, Lotus”

Slaughterhouse, Welcome To Our House – Extended Analysis

Yes, I have done extended analysis on a lot of urban releases, but hopefully I can spread the wealth to other genres considering I listen/review all different types of music.  I finally finished listening to Slaughterhouse‘s Welcome To Our House and penned this lengthy, unfiltered analysis.  As always, a shorter version will make its home on my review page. Slaughterhouse, Welcome To Our House Slaughterhouse is a … Continue reading Slaughterhouse, Welcome To Our House – Extended Analysis