Can this hybrid of talent amount to much on its second go?
- Critic's Rating C
- Readers' Rating B-
Yoga and a smoky road
- Critic's Rating C+
- Readers' Rating n/a
The video for Ludacris' "Rest of My Life" featuring David Guetta and Usher is like one of those inspirational posters: it's a lot of monumental "moments" framed in motivational speech, but not without commerce. That is, look for the product placements inside this general message of carpe diem.
Icelandic band has big plans for its 'Valtari' film expierminet
Sigur Ros have spent the better part of the last year revealing short films corresponding to each of the track off of their latest album "Valtari." As if something so ambitious cannot stand on its own, the Icelandic band is screening the 17 films on all seven continents -- including Antarctica -- and going on tour in North America and releasing an additional new EP of three songs.
They put their own ambition to ambitious shame.
The latest short film to be released from the album-film experiment is a movement-centered piece set to "Ekki Múkk”, “Valtari,” “Rembihnútur,” and “Varúð," featuring only a pair of dancers conversant in contortion, calling and responding through motion like a very intense mating call. Visually stunning, director Christian Larson's piece a great release after the pure tension of the tracks.
The screenings of it and other officially commissioned and fan-made videos for the "Valtari Mystery Film Experiment" will occur during the second week of December in some unorthodox venues like “hardware stores, hairdresser salons, and beyond," in dozens of cities worldwide based in Portugal to South Africa to Oklahoma to Japan.
From Green Day to Feist to Nikki Reed, everybody's bumming out
- Critic's Rating B-
- Readers' Rating A-
Are you completely heartbroken that “The Twilight Saga’s” theatrical run is almost over? The soundtrack to “Breaking Dawn – Part 2” understands. The 14-track set will hand you crumpled fistfuls of tissues when it, itself, is not wearily sobbing in its jammies.
Clip right in line with 'King Animal' cover art
- Critic's Rating A-
- Readers' Rating n/a
The impressive clip is almost entirely in slow-motion, with a mental patient making her way through a ward that's between "Session 9" and "Shutter Island." The wintry setting also hosts German shepherds and gas-masked military guards and she flees through a maze of snow and skulls. It's actually pretty awesome, her attempt to escape and the shattering finale. The creepy director-genius Josh Graham helmed; the art director has also worked with Neurosis, so that makes some sense.
Hand-in-hand with other miseries 'Wicked Girl' and 'Rolling Stone'
The Weeknd's first mixtape "House of Balloons" has its name incorporated into the set of "The Zone," the tracks that features the singer's collaboration with Canadian kinsman Drake. I take the Zone, then, to mean that House of Balloons is closer to a haunted house of ex-girlfriends, sad and echoing of the horrors of empty sex. And "The Zone" itself is its soundtrack.
In the clip for recently released "Wicked Games," a beautiful girl hangs around -- again -- in lingerie, appearing as an apparition or a memory, just as the teenaged-dreamy one does in "The Zone." The same could be said of austere "Rolling Stone." They all seem to represent different women, or the "experience" of each woman, as if sex and love were happening to the Weeknd, not as a relationship or a participatory event in which he plays a part. It seems very isolating, which goes hand-in-hand with that haunted sound.
He and Drake, then, make natural partners. You've seen the cover of "Take Care," right?
'Partynausous' still M.I.A.
It was clear by the end of the summer that Lady Gaga and rapper Kendrick Lamar were gonna be friends. However, their collaborations in the studio on his stunning "good kid m.A.A.d. city" have never surfaced, until now.
Gaga has "leaked" her own unreleased contribution on his song "B*tch Don't Kill My Vibe," a track that ultimately landed on the set but with Lamar himself speak-singing the hook. Her version makes the chorus a much more feminine and purposefully hooky feel, with the subject matter folling right in line with the Gaga we knwo and love: "I am a sinner who's probably gonna sin again / Lord forgive me, Lord forgive me... I got my drink, I got my music / I would share it but today I'm yelling / Bitch don't kill my vibe."
It sounds like a singer trying to "vibe" like a an R&B singer when they're not used to doing so, which seems a bit affected. But this is Gaga we're talking about, as affectation is the signature on all songs. Plus, it could be given a better mix, a little too pointy.
Gaga reportedly worked on another song with Lamar, the unreleased "Partynausous," but that may be supressed in part maybe because Gaga hadn't time to finish a take she was happy with, or because her vocals may not have been treated to taste, or both. According to a post to a post on her website last month, there were some power factors in play:
Britney should be in there somewhere...
- Critic's Rating C+
- Readers' Rating A+
Ke$ha channels a number of pop divas in her music video for "Die Young," but none so closely as "Slave 4 U"-era Britney Spears. Sex and death have always been bedfellows, but the arcing, aching, sumptuous, dirty eventualities of a video like this seem to be nodding at that youthful peak era, where something so ridiculously indulgent and over-the-top proved to be the norm and nasty.
However, the chasm between the fun-bop of the song and the So Serious nature of the debauched clip that can't quite bridge. Ke$ha's mug flashes in tasteful black-and-white, then in early-'90s neon and in the leathery sepia tones of her semi-religious desert sex compound (a girl can dream); she's carried in as a idolatrous prop (a la Gaga), contorting in tribal furs (Shakira), introducing anarchy to a place of religious worship (Madonna) in a sea of triagles (Geometry 101). All together, this video and the Ke$ha brand hasn't a clue what it is, beyond blipping animal rule into a big pile of gropers till the world ends...
Stream the band's entire album
We already exclaimed the positives to acts like Green Day releasing their new sets -- including forthcoming "¡Dos!" -- on vinyl. In the music video for single "Stray Heart," though, not even the gift of a record can help solve one womanizer's stray heart problem.
In the silly vid, a man's most powerful organ has departed from it's holding cavity (his chest, guttermind) and has gone around to the bars and strip clubs where it frequently serves others beyond his true love. This, in a world where he is surrounded by nothing but attractive women. The lost and devestated man goes on a hunt for his own heart, finding it has ultimately returned to its regular coop.
Maybe she just didn't have a record player?
Lead single from Cudder's third rap album
- Critic's Rating B
- Readers' Rating n/a
"Just What I Am" is the lead single from Kid Cudi's new hip-hop album. And just what is Kid Cudi about?
"F*ck yes, I'm so odd... I need to smoke," he raps, with co-partier King Chip on the track. From there, it's all red solo cups, pretty firls and puffs, as the guest rapper (formerly Chip tha Ripper) rolls regular smoke-blowing and Cudi brings something a little more real.
Any way you toke it, it's an easy song to listen to, and a good sample of what might be off of "Indicud," which follows Cudder's rap-rock record WZRD. The new set will be out some time in 2013 via Universal/G.O.O.D. Kanye's imprint also feature Cudi on a some "Cruel Summer" tracks as it was released last month.
Kid Cudi's last rap album was 2010's "Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager."