Sufjan Stevens, Carrie & Lowell © Asthmatic Kitty

10 Songs That Possess Overwhelming Emotions

Some songs are “empty,” while others are “full” – or something like that! The 10 songs compiled on this list are all “full” of emotion and depth. Each song has a deeper meaning or larger purpose which makes it truly unique, special, and memorable. Here are 10 songs that possess overwhelming emotions. 1) Father John Misty, “Holy S**t” (I Love You, Honeybear, 2015) Despite the … Continue reading 10 Songs That Possess Overwhelming Emotions

Drake, If You're Reading This You're Too Late © Cash Money

25 Chart Takeaways: Drake Scores Fourth Number One Album 

Taylor Swift slipped to #5 on the Billboard 200! Isn’t that fact enough to make you want to read these chart takeaways? It should BE!  1) Drake hit the big time for the fourth time in his career. Surprise album If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late debuts commandingly atop the Billboard 200. Was there any doubt? Nothing Was The Same also sees a bump … Continue reading 25 Chart Takeaways: Drake Scores Fourth Number One Album 

Beyoncé, Beyoncé © Sony

Reasons Why Each 57th Grammy Nominee for Album of the Year Might Win

Sunday night marks music’s grandest occasion – the Grammy Awards! While there are four big categories, none is more coveted than album of the year. Not only is it the most highly desired, it almost always ranks among the most questionable. Save for a few homeruns (OutKast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below and Adele’s 21), one could question the voting. Below are rationales for why each album … Continue reading Reasons Why Each 57th Grammy Nominee for Album of the Year Might Win

One Direction, Four © Columbia

25 Chart Takeaways: “No New Friends”

The theme of this week’s chart takeaways – “No New Friends.” Why “No New Friends” you ask? Because there are no new debuts of note on the Billboard 200 – it was a quiet week. 1) Taylor Swift and Nick Minaj remain atop the Billboard 200. This marks Swift’s eighth nonconsecutive week atop the Billboard 200 and Minaj’s third consecutive week at #2. 2) Ed … Continue reading 25 Chart Takeaways: “No New Friends”

Fabolous, The Young OG Project © Def Jam

Chart Takeaways: Taylor and Nicki Remain Numbers One and Two

25 chart takeaways – here goes nothing! 1) It’s all about girl power within the top two spots of the Billboard 200. Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj keep the #1 and #2 spots warm this week. 2) One Direction’s Four rose from #7 to #4 this week – coincidence? 3) Sam Smith’s In The Lonely Hour rises from #6 to #5, though J. Cole’s hot-selling … Continue reading Chart Takeaways: Taylor and Nicki Remain Numbers One and Two

K. Michelle, Anybody Wanna Buy a Heart? © Atlantic

The Numbers Don’t Lie – The R&B Album Is Dead Commercially (UPDATED!) 

As they say, “the proof is in the pudding.” What pudding you ask – R&B album sales ladies and gentlemen. It’s one thing that album sales are down across all genres, but if you examine R&B albums themselves, you’ll see that R&B sales are nothing short of abysmal. Basically, the commercially successful R&B album seems to be dead as it is. Below are a list … Continue reading The Numbers Don’t Lie – The R&B Album Is Dead Commercially (UPDATED!) 

Pharrell Williams, G I R L © Columbia

Mock Grammys – in July!

Beyoncé, Beyoncé

It’s July, but it is never too early to predict which artists/albums might be nominated for Grammys come December. 2014 has some strong candidates for the big categories, but there is also plenty of uncertainty, meaning that albums released late within the eligibility period could very well ‘change the game.’ But as of July, see Mock Grammys.

Record of the Year

Pharrell Williams, G I R L

“Fancy,” Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX

“All of Me,” John Legend

“Wrecking Ball,” Miley Cyrus / “Dark Horse,” Katy Perry ft. Juicy J

“Happy,” Pharrell Williams*

“Stay With Me,” Sam Smith

So far in 2014, a big-time rock record seems to be missing. Often, a rock (or alternative) record comes out victorious in this category. Urban records don’t usually win here, but some of the more notable records as of yet come by way of urban/pop artists. If this were the field, Pharrell Williams would be hard to bet against, with competition from Sam Smith. Legend is more suited for the “song” field.

Another note, you could make a strong argument for Ariana Grande’s inclusion with hit “Problem,” featuring Iggy Azalea. However, it seems unlikely Iggy Azalea would be nominated for both singles, and “Fancy” has mad more history on the charts.

Album of the Year

Pharrell Williams, G I R L

Beyoncé, Beyoncé

Jack White, Lazaretto

Lana Del Rey, Ultraviolence

Pharrell Williams, G I R L*

Sam Smith, In the Lonely Hour

There are a couple of albums omitted in the mock field that could be considered for various reasons with The Black Keys’ Turn Blue, Coldplay’s Ghost Stories, Katy Perry’s Prism, the Frozen Soundtrack, and Miranda Lambert’s Platinum among them. Honestly, Lambert’s album could knock one of the pop/urban artists out of the running – just depends on how voters see it. Additionally, once more, The Black Keys and Jack White could compete for the album of the year. There are also some long shots, also in the country field (Eric Church’s The Outsiders and Brantley Gilbert’s Just As I Am).

Based on this way-too-early field, Pharrell Williams’ G I R L could be a favorite, given how much of an impact he’s had between both 2013 and 2014. Still, Beyoncé’s self-titled album was a juggernaut, not to mention the buzz that surrounded Sam Smith’s In That Lonely Hour. G I R L wins now, but not by much.

Song of the Year

John Legend, Love in the Future

“Let It Go,” Idina Menzel

“All of Me,” John Legend*

“Happy,” Pharrell Williams

“Stay With Me,” Sam Smith

“Say Something,” A Great Big World

The songs category is usually reserved for ‘songs’ that stand out as opposed to records. However, remember that year that Beyoncé strangely won in this category for “Single Ladies” (it should’ve been considered for ‘record of the year’). This year, finding songs that have impacted audiences with some substance is difficult.

Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” is well written, but lyrically, it isn’t the most complex number. John Legend seems like a shoe-in for a nomination and potential win, depending on if they deem “All of Me” itself eligible.

Best New Artist

Sam Smith*

August Alsina

Brantley Gilbert

Jhené Aiko

Choose a fifth nominee…

Two artists stand out in this mock field – Sam Smith and August Alsina. Likely, Smith would win if this were the real-deal. Scratch the “likely,” he WOULD win.

Continue reading “Mock Grammys – in July!”

Pharrell Williams, G I R L © Columbia

12 Best R&B Albums of 2014 (Mid-Year)

It’s mid-year (or slightly past), and it’s time to catch up with some of the year’s best R&B albums. R&B is not dead, even if the Nielsen Soundscan numbers might lead you to believe otherwise. Previously, in April 2014, an early list of the best R&B albums was published. There are some noticeable changes and reconsiderations (yep we’re talking to you SZA and John Newman), … Continue reading 12 Best R&B Albums of 2014 (Mid-Year)

Lana Del Rey, Ultraviolence © Interscope

Lana Del Rey & Sam Smith Have Reason to Smile, J. Lo Not so much

Billboard prognosticates that three albums are expected to sell more than 100,000 copies this week.  This is something that the music industry desperately needs to happen, given the slow sales of 2014.  Those three artists and their respective albums expected to accomplish that feat are Lana Del Rey (Ultraviolence), Sam Smith (In the Lonely Hour), and Linkin Park (The Hunting Party).  Other albums that should … Continue reading Lana Del Rey & Sam Smith Have Reason to Smile, J. Lo Not so much

Jack White, Lazaretto © Columbia

Jack White’s ‘Lazaretto’ the Bright Spot in Slow Sales Week

In what ended up being a painfully slow sales week, Jack White’s Lazaretto was the only new album to debut in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 Albums Chart this week.  According to, White sold 138,000 copies of Lazaretto, which easily outpaced the second place album – last weeks top debuting LP Platinum (Miranda Lambert).  Otherwise, the charts are dead this week. Next week … Continue reading Jack White’s ‘Lazaretto’ the Bright Spot in Slow Sales Week