<p>Grizzly Bear</p>

Grizzly Bear

Credit: Barbara Anastacio

Listen: Grizzly Bear's straight-forward 'Yet Again' is a different taste of 'Shields'

HitFix
A-
Readers
A
How is it comparte to 'Sleeping Ute?'

Grizzly Bear have released another new track from their new album "Shields," which will be among the best-selling albums out in September. How is it a guarantee it'll sell well? Listen to "Yet Again."

While the first song the Brooklyn-based crew released had much more attack and more confrontation in its production, "Yet Again" has one of the best melodies I've heard yet from the quartet. It's all washy and panned electrics, and that voice dreamily floating over tom-heavy drums. It's catchy enough to attract new listeners, and has enough of an advanced arrangement and stacked harmony to satisfy longstanding fans.

And by longstanding, I mean since the band has started putting out material in 2004.

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<p>Mariah Carey's &quot;Triumphant (Get 'Em)&quot;</p>

Mariah Carey's "Triumphant (Get 'Em)"

Credit: Island

Listen: Mariah Carey's new 'Triumphant' is more glory for Meek Mill and Rick Ross

HitFix
C+
Readers
B
New 'American Idol' judge mostly gets the hook

Mariah Carey's brand new song "Triumphant (Get 'Em)" arrives right in time for the Olympics, and in the week following her confirmed appointment to the judgeship of "American Idol." Predictably, it's a track about rising to the top -- which Carey did years and so many years ago -- but she barely makes a victory lap with lab partners Meek Mill and Rick Ross.

The Maybach Music cohorts have sole claim over the verses and Milly kicks the whole thing off after the bounce-bounce of Carey's repeated rhythmic "get 'em get 'em get 'ems." He keeps the game pretty clean -- something about mountain climbing and sticking it to the haters. The Island folks are aiming hard at top 40 with this inspirationally PG song, and that point it driven home further by the fact that Ross edits his line about throwing "big money" at strippers and keeps the action with his "blonde bombshells" to a minimum. Instead, Rozay rehashes how hard he can make it rain and then rhymes "humble beginnings" with... "beginning."

Carey softly and sweetly tackles her inexplicably short bridge. But, for fans, you'll get your infamous high note runs as she battles an army of clicks and thumps from the drum machine.

Listen to the complete song here, on Mariah Carey's website.

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<p>Justin Bieber in &quot;As Long As You Love Me&quot;</p>

Justin Bieber in "As Long As You Love Me"

Credit: VEVO

Watch: Justin Bieber and Michael Madsen get violent in 'As Long As You Love Me'

Tears, blood, dance and a mob dad

Actor Michael Madsen's best-known roles are from "Reservoir Dogs," "Kill Bill" and "Donnie Brasco." Just what kind of character do you think he'd play in a Justin Bieber music video?

That's right, in "As Long as You Love Me," Bieber gets roughed up by Madsen, who plays his video girlfriend's ultra-intimidating father, who appropriately dons a lot of gold rings, smokes cigars and beats the living snot out of the love-sick 18-year-old.

"I love her," JB tells Daddy Fearest at the beginning of the clip.

"Sure you do..."

"... you don't know us."

"I don't want to."

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<p>Drake, Lady Gaga and Rihanna</p>

Drake, Lady Gaga and Rihanna

Credit: AP Photos

2012 MTV VMAs nominations: 5 questions we have

Where is Lady Gaga? Lil Wayne nominated for what? Will Chris Brown, Drake and Rihanna all show up?

The 2012 MTV VMAs are arriving on Sept. 6, and five weeks out, the short list is in. As previously reported, Rihanna and Drake culled the most nominations with five a piece. Katy Perry earned four. Lady Gaga...

1) Well, Lady Gaga earned zero nods. She had "Marry the Night" and "You and I." The former is a killer dance track with a clip directed by Mother Monster herself, but -- granted -- it was eight full minutes of non-music footage that likely served as her reel for her first acting role in "Machete Kills." And the latter was a not-very-good-song with a video that was... interesting?

Regardless, the MTV VMAs have kind of been Gaga's thing: she donned a meat dress, she spent her camera face-time in 2010 kicking off her "Born This Way" album promo, trotted out Joe Calderone last year and has mega-plans to announce details on her new set some time in September.

Gaga has the superstar name that organizers wouldn't need to announce as a performer until way later into August but... would Gaga agree to play the show that snubbed her? Will she even hit the red carpet?

2) For best new artist, there are two boy bands, two chart-toppers and a newly developed, certifiable Def Jam R&B superstar who recently, popularly and publicly came out of the closet. One Direction and The Wanted may cancel each other out, fun.'s "We Are Young" have been out of rotation for about six months... is this a contest between Summer Jam winner Carly Rae Jepsen and Frank Ocean?

3) You know what's adorable? The majority of categories only have five nominees each, but it's Video With A Message that got a good-natured six. Why? Because why/how the hell else would they fit Lil Wayne's well-intentioned but poorly developed and badly acted "How to Love" in there?

You gotta hand it to MTV who wants to hand a statue for "messaging" to a man who also goes by the name Pussy Monster. Now that he's in the race next to B-listers like K'Naan, Rise Against and Gym Class Heroes, plus lesser-known tunes from Kelly Clarkson and Demi Lovato, does anybody stand a chance against Weezy?

4) Video of the Year: M.I.A.'s "Bad Girls." Really? I mean, I personally love that thing, but no "Otis?" Or something funny like "Big Bad Wolf?" Or a new artist or truly underdog artist like Childish Gambino or Of Monsters And Men? This is now a race of four, and everybody already knows "Take Care" wasn't Drake or Rihanna's song.

5)  Drake, Chris Brown and Rihanna: all up for a significant number and caliber of awards. Breezy seems to show up to any awards event he's invited to perform at, and still has face to save and singles to sell. Drake and Rihanna both have the same number of nominations, which sounds like they, too, would show up. Glass bottles, as a rule, are not allowed into L.A.'s Staple Center.

My question is: when can Adele put out another album so we can just give all the air time to her?

Here are the nominees for the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards:

Video of the Year
Katy Perry, "Wide Awake"
Gotye, "Somebody That I Used To Know"
Rihanna, "We Found Love"
Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care"
M.I.A., "Bad Girls"

Best New Artist

Fun. feat. Janelle Monae, "We Are Young"
Carly Rae Jepsen, "Call Me Maybe"
Frank Ocean, "Swim Good"
One Direction, "What Makes You Beautiful"
The Wanted, "Glad You Came"

Best Hip-Hop Video

Childish Gambino, "Heartbeat"
Drake feat. Lil Wayne, "HYFR"
Kanye West feat. Pusha T, Big Sean & 2 Chainz, "Mercy"
Watch the Throne, "Paris"
Nicki Minaj feat. 2 Chainz, "Beez in the Trap"

Best Male Video

Justin Bieber, "Boyfriend"
Frank Ocean, "Swim Good"
Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care"
Chris Brown, "Turn Up the Music"
Usher, "Climax"

Best Female Video

Rihanna, "We Found Love"
Katy Perry, "Part of Me"
Beyoncé, "Love on Top"
Nicki Minaj, "Starships"
Selena Gomez & The Scene, "Love You Like a Love Song"

Best Pop Video

One Direction, "What Makes You Beautiful"
Fun. feat. Janelle Monae, "We Are Young"
Rihanna, "We Found Love"
Justin Bieber, "Boyfriend"
Maroon 5 feat. Wiz Khalifa, "Payphone"

Best Rock Video

Coldplay, "Paradise"
The Black Keys, "Lonely Boy"
Linkin Park, "BURN IT DOWN"
Jack White, "Sixteen Saltines"
Imagine Dragons, "It's Time"

Best Electronic Dance Music Video

Duck Sauce, "Big Bad Wolf"
Calvin Harris, "Feel So Close"
Skrillex, "First of the Year (Equinox)"
Martin Solveig, "The Night Out"
Avicii, "Le7els"

Best Video With a Message
Demi Lovato, "Skyscraper"
Rise Against, "Ballad of Hollis Brown"
Kelly Clarkson, "Dark Side"
Gym Class Heroes, "The Fighter"
K'Naan feat. Nelly Furtado, "Is Anybody Out There?"
Lil Wayne, "How to Love"

Best Art Direction

Katy Perry, "Wide Awake"
Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care"
Lana Del Rey, "Born to Die"
Regina Spektor, "All the Rowboats"
Of Monsters & Men, "Little Talks"

Best Choreography

Chris Brown, "Turn Up the Music"
Rihanna, "Where Have You Been"
Beyoncé, "Countdown"
Avicii, "Le7els"
Jennifer Lopez f/Pitbull, "Dance Again"

Best Cinematography
M.I.A., "Bad Girls"
Adele, "Someone Like You"
Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care"
Coldplay feat. Rihanna, "Princess of China"
Lana Del Rey, "Born to Die"

Best Direction
M.I.A., "Bad Girls"
Duck Sauce, "Big Bad Wolf"
Coldplay feat. Rihanna, "Princess of China"
Frank Ocean, "Swim Good"
Watch the Throne, "Otis"

Best Editing
Beyoncé, "Countdown"
A$AP Rocky, "Goldie"
Gotye, "Somebody That I Used to Know"
Watch the Throne, "Paris"
Kanye West feat. Pusha T, Big Sean and 2 Chainz, "Mercy"

Best Visual Effects
Katy Perry, "Wide Awake"
Rihanna, "Where Have You Been"
David Guetta feat. Nicki Minaj, "Turn Me On"
Linkin Park, "BURN IT DOWN"
Skrillex, "First of the Year (Equinox)"

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<p>The &quot;Sparkle&quot; soundtrack</p>

The "Sparkle" soundtrack

Credit: RCA

Review: Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks lead 'Sparkle' soundtrack

HitFix
C
Readers
A+
A remake, a tribute, spiritual, profane, a labor of many masters

The remake of the 1976 musical film “Sparkle” isn’t intended to serve as a historical document, but it does attempt to invoke the sounds and feel of the Motown era along with race relations in 1960s Detroit. It’s “American Idol” winner Jordin Sparks’ first significant film appearance as its title role, and was to be the late Whitney Houston’s return to the big screen (and now it serves as her swan song). It gets further wattage from freshly penned contemporary R&B songs from R. Kelly, as well as an ample opportunity reintroduce Curtis Mayfield classics like “Something He Can Feel.” It's got the sacred, the profane, and some soul.

Thus, the soundtrack to “Sparkle” ends up serving more than one master, which makes for a muddled effort. The first pieces to arrive from the set were both from Whitney Houston, to effectively link her to the project as the movie’s promoted. She sings with Sparks on “Celebrate,” which has gotten a hard push at adult top 40 and contemporary formats at radio, but her weathered pipes sound harsh compared to the youthful saccharine of the AI star’s vocals. Houston is much more suited to heart-filled spiritual classic “His Eye Is On The Sparrow,” with its slow speed, rusty lower range and all the room in the world for her religious pining.
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Chris Brown releases cover art to next single 'Don't Judge Me'

Chris Brown releases cover art to next single 'Don't Judge Me'

Aw.

Chris Brown's "Don't Judge Me" will be his next single, but the song isn't necessarily what you'd think it's about.

"And I've been through this so many times / Can we change the subject? / You gonna start asking me questions like..."

Will you continue to be a man-child in every interview you do? Will you hit a lady again? Can you please not slut-shame Rihanna? Why did you and Drake get in a public fight at a nightclub?

"...Was she attractive? Was she an actress?"

Oh, yes. That. Those are the kind of questions I'd ask Chris Brown.

Here is the emo cover art to "Don't Judge Me," off of his album "Fortune," out now.

Chris Brown's Don't Judge Me artwork

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<p>Heartless Bastards</p>

Heartless Bastards

Credit: Partisan

Song Of The Day: Heartless Bastards' summer fun 'Only For You' vid

Swim with all your pearls on

Heartless Bastards have a funny name when you consider how damn happy their childish "Only For You" music video is.

The track and the visuals are perfect comfort for those stuck in cubicle hell and conference calls. Why don't you just grab a bottle of wine and jump in a pool with all your clothes on?

Furthermore, it's confirmation that those who have bred curly-haired children are blessed for a lifetime: you're staring down an eternity of candy commercials and music videos where joy is aim.

It was shot in Dripping Springs, Texas and was helmed by Brad Beesley (Flaming Lips' "Fearless Freaks") and Louisiana Kreutz.

"Only For You" is off of Heartless Bastards' "Arrow," out via Partisan earlier this year.

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<p>From &quot;Runaways&quot;</p>

From "Runaways"

Watch the Killers' 'Runaways' spacey music video

New single arrives ahead of 'Battle Born' September release

Do you ever just look at the stars and, like, confess your dreams? Do you see Brandon Flowers there, or is he the manifestation confession?

The Killers have unleashed their music video for single "Runaways," a combo of the abstract and performance video that leave vapor trails of fist-pumping, tear-streaming rock sonically akin to Asia's "Heat of the Moment." The band opts for brilliant pops of color with a lot of black background as frontman Flowers recounts his seemingly doomed romance. It also looks like the performance screen for "Rock Band," without the actual game. Everybody looks good, refreshed.

They should be. It's been four years since the band's last "Day & Age," and with the new album "Battle Born" due on Sept. 18, it will have been almost exactly two years since Flowers dropped his solo debut "Flamingo."

"Runaways" bowed on the Hot 100 this week after its first week of radio and sales, at No. 78.

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<p>Every opportunity I have to run this Darkness promotional photo, I&nbsp;will</p>

Every opportunity I have to run this Darkness promotional photo, I will

Credit: Wind-Up

Listen: The Darkness drop Radiohead cover on heels of 'Hot' single

'Everybody Have a Good Time': a bear in a bikini, hot girls in glasses, a Tommy gun

Finally. Cock-rockers The Darkness have released the studio version of their Radiohead cover "Street Spirit (Fade Out)." The prophecies have been fulfilled, the earth can now enter a period of raining frogs, the seven horsemen and all the trimmings of the 2012 apocalypse.

There are natural limitations to hair metal revisited, but the English band delivers in stripes on this track, particularly since "The Bends" original last for about 4:15 and this one clocks in (in my mind) at about 35 seconds, more or less. Tenacious D may have cornered the market on tongue-cheeking '80s hard-rock, but the Darkness are straight-up making out with it.

Listen to Darkness' version of "Street Spirit (Fade Out)" here.

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<p>From &quot;Give It Away&quot;</p>

From "Give It Away"

Watch: Andrew Bird's 'Give It Away' is a bummer birthday party

Piñata man is in the wrong line of work

Andrew Bird's music video for "Give It Away" features a Piñata Man who "plays" children's birthday parties. Piñata Man is obviously in the wrong line of work.

I'm sure this is a metaphor for something. Something. Also, it wasn't just your mom who was nuts growing up.

"Give It Away" is off of "Break It Yourself," a title which seems to have some bearings on piñatas everywhere. The album was released earlier this year.

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