Review: Magic! are Pleasant, Sometimes Magical on Debut


Magic! • Don’t Kill the Magic • RCA • US Release Date: July 1, 2014 “Why you gotta be so rude? / Don’t you know I’m human too?” The aforementioned lyric is arguably not only one of the schmaltziest, but also one of the most infectious and addictive. Apparently, a breezy, reggae-pop amalgam can do…

Review: Shakira, ‘Shakira.’


Shakira. is a sound, enjoyable effort, misses a “Hips Don’t Lie” caliber hit Shakira • Shakira • RCA • US Release Date: March 25, 2014 Latin-pop star Shakira returns following a five-year hiatus between English-language albums (she released Spanish album Sale el Sol in October 2010).  2009 LP She Wolf was Shakira’s previous album of…

Review: Britney Spears, ‘Britney Jean’


More mature Britney Jean is a mixed blessing of sorts…  Britney Spears⎪ Britney Jean⎪ RCA⎪⎪ US Release Date: December 03, 2013 Let’s just cut right to the chase people! Britney Jean is different from previous Britney Spears albums, period.  While Britney Jean still possesses some of the suggestiveness that typically characterizes Britney Spears (“Work B**ch”…

Review: Lady Gaga, ‘ARTPOP’


Gaga remains ‘eccentric’, goes über-risqué on Artpop  Lady Gaga⎪ ARTPOP ⎪ Interscope ⎪⎪ US Release Date: November 11, 2013 Lady Gaga can be likened to CBS’s reality television show Big Brother in one regard in particular: “expect the unexpected”.  Just when you think the pop/dance artist has topped her eccentricities and set that bar to…

Review: Celine Dion, ‘Loved Me Back To Life’


Canadian pop powerhouse Celine Dion has ‘still got it’ Celine Dion⎪ Loved Me Back To Life ⎪ Columbia ⎪⎪ US Release Date: November 5, 2013 Years ago, the name Celine Dion carried incredible weight.  For comparison, it’s kinda like in basketball when analysts call a player ‘automatic’; Dion used to be an automatic commercial juggernaut,…

According To Justin Bieber, He Ain’t “All Bad”


Justin Bieber⎪ “All Bad” – Single ⎪ Island ⎪⎪ US Release Date: November 11, 2013 I’ll say this for Justin Bieber, his Music Mondays singles are growing more and more interesting.  Yeah, I know, it’s really difficult to compliment Bieber given his attitude and immature behavior, but I do at least like the concept behind…

Review: Avril Lavigne, ‘Avril Lavigne’


Avril Lavigne redeems herself on self-titled fourth album Avril Lavigne⎪ Avril Lavigne ⎪ Epic ⎪⎪ US Release Date: November 5, 2013 “I’mma keep it real from the jump,” as Drake would rap.  Avril Lavigne’s previous effort, 2011’s Goodbye Lullaby was not her crowning achievement, no questions asked.  Goodbye Lullaby had its moments, specifically with brash…

Justin Bieber #MusicMonday: “Hold Tight” Just So-So


Justin Bieber⎪ “Hold Tight” ⎪ Island Def Jam ⎪⎪ US Release Date: October 21, 2013 I’ll try to be nice, but it’s kinda difficult, particularly when there is plenty of room for criticism and scrutinization.  Let me say it this way.  Is it just me or is Justin Bieber’s Music Mondays starting to sound pretty…

Review: Selena Gomez, ‘Stars Dance’


Selena Gomez • Stars Dance • Hollywood • US Release Date: July 23, 2013 Stars Dance is unable to match the buzz surrounding ubiquitous hit single “Come & Get It”. “When you ready come and get it / na na na na, na na na na, na na na na…” Whoa! “Come and get what” Selena Gomez? When…

Review: Skylar Grey, ‘Don’t Look Down’


Skylar Grey • Don’t Look Down • Wonderland/Interscope • US Release Date: July 09, 2013 Executive Producers: Eminem & Alex Da Kid “You blew our love like smoke into the air / but I never loved you quite enough / love you quite enough to even…” This quote epitomizes the rebellious, feisty, and strong-willed spirit that Skylar Grey showcases…