10 Albums Where The Sophomore Effect Was Real


Let’s cut to the chase – sometimes the second time around can be pretty crappy. For most of the musicians on this list, their second album/second album of note didn’t go as planned in the commercial department. Some of these sophomore albums are respectable, with some even being the critical equal of the debut. The…

Music Shopping List: 8 Albums To Consider Purchasing June 3, 2014


Perhaps the music industry was spoiled by May releases – perhaps that’s it.  The first week of June is loaded with releases, BUT only two seem like sure bets – Miranda Lambert’s Platinum and 50 Cent’s long-awaited fifth album, Animal Ambition.  The question seems to be, how much will either of these albums move?  Regardless,…

Ranking 20 R&B Albums: January – April 2014


It’s near the end of April, and as a music journalist, I have been privy to listen to a number of albums in differing genres. Even so, I have a soft spot for R&B, but am also very hard on it. Despite my criticisms, R&B and I have a relationship like a Whitney Houston song…

March Madness: 16 Songs For The Sweet 16


The first four, second round, and third rounds of the NCAA Tournament are over my friends, and after numerous upsets and the birth of those Cinderella teams looking for another shot to slay the giant, the tournament marches on with the upcoming Sweet 16 and Elite 8.  What better way to celebrate and prepare for…

R&B: The Good & Bad Takeaways So Far in 2014


2014 has been a mixed year for R&B.  There’s been some good and there has also been so bad.  Even though R&B is still struggling, 2014 has allowed for R&B to have its moments.  Then again, it’s also had its bombs…big time bombs.  The Good 🙂 Beyoncé gave R&B a shot in the… well she…

Review: Ruben Studdard, ‘Unconditional Love’


Studdard is in excellent voice on the relatively safe Unconditional Love  Ruben Studdard • Unconditional Love • Verve • US Release Date: February 4, 2014 On February 4th, R&B artist Ruben Studdard released his sixth album, Unconditional Love. It is hard to believe that the “Velvet Teddy Bear” has released six albums.  Unless you’re an…

Shopping List: Nine Albums to Consider Buying February 4, 2014


January has come and gone – thank goodness!  Still it’s cold and those bills keep on coming in – SMH (add a “D” or an “F” between the “M” and the “H” for extra intensity).  Still, there’s nothing like the gift of music to give us those “High Hopes” that Bruce Springsteen was singing about…

Examining American Idol Winner’s (and Some Runner-up’s) Singles


American Idol has produced better talent compared to its competitor shows by a mile.  Sure, I rant about all the issues with the aging juggernaut (there are plenty), but it has been much more effective in charting artists than The Voice or X Factor.  Where is Melanie Amaro’s debut album? How well did that Tate…

Evaluating Every Season and American Idol Winner


Yeah, maybe I’ve been on a tangent, but discussing the juggernaut that is American Idol is relevant to the music industry.  I have decided to note the highlights of each season as well as the chart performances of each winner. Season 1 Winner: Kelly Clarkson; Runner-Up: Justin Guarini; Finals Should’ve Been: Clarkson; Tamyra Gray The initial season featured Simon Cowell, Paula…