Inside Music with Melinda Newman

Fiona Apple, Avett Bros., Norah Jones and more on 'This is 40' soundtrack

And, of course, Graham Parker

<p>Fiona Apple</p>

Fiona Apple

The previously announced Fiona Apple will be joined by Ryan Adams, Norah Jones, the Avett Brothers, and, of course,  Graham Parker, on the soundtrack for Judd Apatow’s “This Is 40.”

While tracks from some of the artists, including Paul Simon, the Avetts, and Loudon Wainwright, have been released before, the cuts from Jones, Apple, Parker (who plays heavily into the plot), Lindsey Buckingham, Wilco, and Adams are all original.  Jon Brion composed the score and produced several of the new cuts, including Apple’s “Dull Tool.” The soundtrack comes out Dec. 11.

Read Drew McWeeny's review of "This is 40" here.

The track listing for "Music From The Motion Picture This Is 40" is as follows:
 
1.   I'm Your Angel – Yoko Ono  
2.   Always Judging – Norah Jones 
3.   What Do You Like? – Graham Parker with Punch Brothers
4.   Sick Of You – Lindsey Buckingham 
5.   Rewrite – Paul Simon  
6.   Shining Through The Dark (Live) – Ryan Adams  
7.   Lunch Box Odd Sox – Paul McCartney
8.   Brother & Sister – Lindsey Buckingham Featuring Norah Jones  
9.   Theme 1 (Debbie & Oliver) – Jon Brion   
10. Watch The Moon Come Down – Graham Parker & The Rumour 
11. Days That We Die – Loudon Wainwright 
12. She Acts Like You – Lindsey Buckingham 
13. Dull Tool – Fiona Apple
14. Lucky Now (Live) – Ryan Adams 
15. I Got You – Wilco
16. Live & Die – The Avett Brothers 

Bonus track (digital only):
17. Protection (Live) – Graham Parker & The Rumour




 

Maroon 5's 'One More Night' spends its eighth week atop the Billboard Hot 100

Psy's 'Gangnam Style' horses around at No. 2 again

<p>Maroon 5</p>

Maroon 5

Maroon 5’s “One More Night” makes it eight weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, once again locking Psy’s “Gangnam Style” out of the top spot.

The group is on a roll as “One More Night” now spends twice as many weeks at No. 1 as Maroon 5’s 2011’s hit, “Moves Like Jagger” featuring Christina Aguilera, which was No. 1 for four weeks.

As far as Psy’s “Style,” it falls in radio listenership, digital sales, and streaming (although it remains No. 1 on both the sales and streaming charts), so the likelihood of it bouncing up to the top of the Billboard 200 are looking rather slim.

There’s only slight movement in the rest of the Top 10: Fun.’s “Some Nights” holds at No. 3, while Rihanna’s “Diamonds” sparkles its way to No. 4 from No. 5. Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” is at No. 5 and Ke$ha’s “Die Young” falls two spots to No. 6.

Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out Of Heaven” stays at No. 7, Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me” featuring Big Sean falls from No. 6 to No. 8, while Alex Clare’s “Too Close” and Ne-Yo’s “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself”) each slide down one spot to No. 9 and 10, respectively.

Listen: Mariah Carey's new track, 'Bring It On Home'

Written for Obama, it works as an uplifting ballad for any occasion

<p>Mariah Carey</p>

Mariah Carey

Credit: AP Photo

Mariah Carey may have written her newly-released tune, “Bring It On Home” for President Obama’s re-election effort, but it’s a soulful ballad that members of any political party can get behind.

The piano-based tune starts with Carey singing “We’re just every day people trying to make it through the pain.” While it’s a little tough to buy Carey as “every day people,” the rest of the slow jam easily translates into an uplifting, inspirational tune about overcoming adversity in any circumstance.

[More after the jump...]


Backed by a gospel choir (of course), Carey sounds strong, but keeps the call-all-dogs high notes at bay here (until the end) in service of the song’s simple message. The tune, recorded live at a campaign event earlier this year, showed up on Carey’s producer Jermaine Dupri’s website this morning.

No word on it if will appear on her forthcoming album, which still has no announced release date or title. The first single, “Triumphant (Get ‘Em),” didn’t fare well at pop radio, but did notch the “American Idol” judge her 16th No. 1 dance hit. 

What do you think of “Bring It On Home?” Does it work outside of its original context?

 

The Civil Wars cancel tour citing 'internal discord'

Grammy-winning pair abruptly ends European outing

<p>The Civil Wars</p>

The Civil Wars

Credit: AP Photo

We guess it wasn’t so civil after all.  After one celebrated full-length album and two Grammy Awards, The Civil Wars have announced the cancellation of their current tour because of “irreconcilable differences.”

In a statement posted on Facebook, Joy Williams and Paul White wrote: “We sincerely apologize for the canceling of all of our tour dates. It is something we deeply regret. However, due to internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition we are unable to continue as a touring entity at this time. We thank each and every one of you for your amazing love & support. Our sincere hope is to have new music for you in 2013.”

Additionally, they offer to refund anyone’s non-refundable charges incurred with the cancellation, including service charges and travel reservations. The pair were in the middle of a European tour with dates in Australia and New Zealand to come in 2013.

The last line about new music is a nice idea to hang one’s hopes on, although it’s hard to imagine that they could overcome whatever “internal discord and irreconcilable differences” they have that are intense enough to make them quit in the middle of a tour. But bands have certainly reunited after far more acrimonious situations.

White and Williams met in Nashville in 2008 and began writing together. They released an EP, produced by Charlie Peacock, that featured title track “Poison & Wine.” The song was featured on “Grey’s Anatomy” in 2009. 

The Civil Wars released their first and only full-length set, “Barton Hollow,” in February 2011. The plaudits came fast and furiously as the duo was nominated for CMT Awards, Americana Music Awards, CMA Awards and for two Grammys for best folk album and best country dup/group performance. The group won both Grammys.

The Civil Wars were also featured on “The Hunger Games” soundtrack on the tune “Safe & Sound” with Taylor Swift.  The soundtrack’s producer T Bone Burnett more recently used one of their songs, “If I Didn’t Know Better” to close the first episode.

Hail, Hail Madonna: Our all-time top 10 Madonna tracks

We celebrate Madge on the 30th anniversary of her first Billboard chart appearance

<p>Madonna</p>

Madonna

Credit: AP Photo

It’s election day, but today is special for another reason. As Madonna fans/obsessives know, today marks the 30th anniversary of the Material Girl’s first appearance on a Billboard chart

Billboard chart editor, No. 1 Madonna fan and all-around good egg Keith Caulfield put together a great primer on Madge’s chart history starting with her Nov. 6, 1982 debut on Billboard’s Dance/Club Play Songs chart at No. 40 with “Everybody.”

Since then, she amassed some amazing stats, including 156 No. 1s culled from her appearances on all of Billboard’s charts. Madonna has logged 56 Hot 100 hits, 38 of which have gone Top 10.

For fun, I compiled my own Top 10 list of Madonna songs culled from her 38 Top 10 hits. See if you agree and post your top 10 in the comments section below.

[More after the jump...]


10. “Hung Up” (2005) The perfect blend of Madonna and Abba (the song samples “Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight).” Two of the biggest artists in the pop pantheon coming together for this twirling dance hit. What could be better?

9. “Cherish” (1989): A return to the light-hearted dance pop of Madonna’s very early years.  It’s a skip-down-the-street kind of song. This is what pure joy sounds like.

8. “Material Girl”
(1985)  Madonna poked fun at her image perfectly with this peppy ode to all things materialistic. The video turned a catchy song into an iconic one. Plus, her delivery is delightful.

7. “Ray Of Light”
(1998) Simply groundbreaking at the time as it helped usher electronic music into the mainstream. If you weren’t into the dance scene, you’d never heard anything like this before coming out of your speakers. It’s also worn very well.

6. “Open Your Heart”
(1986) Again, not a great vocal performance from Madonna, but she strikes a convincing vulnerability as she pleads for a little consideration.  Yes, it sounds dated, but in the best possible way in that you remember where you were when you first heard it.

5. “Don’t Tell Me” (2000): A great change of pace for Madonna, this country-tinged track, written by Joe Henry, combines a classic country feel with a dance production by Mirwais. Throw in the lack of effects on Madonna’s voice and the occasional silence pauses and it shouldn’t work, but it does. Brilliantly.

4. “Secret” (1994): She’s not really comfortable in that low range, but there’s a wonderful aura around this mysterious, hypnotic long song. This one’s all about the slinky, sultry production more than Madonna’s vocal performance.

3. “Express Yourself” (1989)” One of the greatest female empowerment pop anthems, despite the fact that she’s chained up in the video. But as she explained at the time, she’s the one doing the restraining, so it’s still empowering.

2. “Like a Prayer”
(1989): Everything about this single is perfect: Madonna’s delivery, the production, the shifts in tempos and instrumentation throughout.  One of the best records ever made. The choir: perfection.

1. “Borderline” (1984): It’s an oldie, but a goodie. Madonna still had a sweet innocence that  was soon left in the dust, but here it’s present and delightful. Besides, who hasn’t had a love who deliciously makes them feel like they’re going to lose their mind?

 

Which songs make your top 10?

 

J Cole sets release date for second set, 'Born Sinner'

Guests include Melanie Fiona

<p>J. Cole</p>

J. Cole

J Cole, whose 2011 debut, “Cole World: The Sideline Story,” bowed at No. 1, will release his sophomore set, “Born Sinner,” on Jan. 28, 2013.

[More after the jump...]

Rihanna's 'Unapologetic' tracklist features Eminem and Chris Brown

Who else is on the Nov. 19 release?

<p>Rihanna</p>

Rihanna

Credit: AP Photo

Rihanna’s “Unapologetic” doesn’t come out for two weeks, but today she tweeted fans a hand-written track listing.

And yes, the album includes the tune “Nobody’s Business” featuring Chris Brown. Can’t wait to hear the lyrics on that one. God bless her, she knows she’s just ratcheting up the hype at this point and that we’ll all get our panties in a twist about her collaborating with him again following their partnership on “Birthday Cake” and “Turn Up The Music.”

She reteams with Eminem on a track called “Numb,” which would be awesome if it’s a sequel to “Love The Way You Lie.” Other guests include Future on “Loveeeeeee Song” and Mikky Ekko on “Stay.”

The album contains 14 tracks, plus a bonus track called “Half Of Me.” First single, “Diamonds,” has already hit No. 1 on Billboard’s R&B Songs chart.

As we previously reported, a few different versions of “Unapologetic” will be released including a limited edition box set for $250 that includes a diamond bracelet and exclusive photos.

Tracklist for Unapologetic


 

Album Review: Aerosmith time travels on 'Music From Another Dimension'

First set of new material in 11 years is solid slab of rock

HitFix
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Readers
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<p>The cover of Aerosmith's new album</p>

The cover of Aerosmith's new album

Few bands that are still standing have as twisted and troubled a history as Aerosmith  It’s nothing short of a miracle that the five principals are still alive, no less still together, making music.

It’s been 11 years since Aerosmith released an album of new material (the last studio album was blues cover set, 2004’s “Honkin’ On Bobo”). “Music From Another Dimension,” out Nov. 6, is a welcome return that sonically spans that band’s full history, usually for the better than for the worse.

Given the title, it should come as no surprise that the album opens with a “Twilight Zone”-like voice over that heralds, “you’re about to enter a great adventure...from which you may never return.”

Then the band is out of the chute with “Luv XXX,” a Beatlesque track that also incorporates elements of “Love In and Elevator” without the sharp sparkle. Still, it’s a strong opener: a cohesive, inviting track that shows off Steven Tyler’s still healthy rasp.

From there, the band leaps into “Oh Yeah,” a track that crosses The Stones with Blur. It’s one of the album’s catchiest tunes and should be a single contender, even if it doesn’t have a strongly memorable chorus.

The members of Aerosmith can do mid-tempo rockers like “Tell Me” in their sleep, but the acoustic-leaning “Tell Me,” still has its appeal, with Joey Kramer’s hypnotic drumming and the band’s background vocals hitting all the right beats.  A similarly heard- this-before vibe penetrates the loose-limbed “Out Go The Lights,” a rock slab that includes the classic Tyler lyric, “Liquor in the front/poker in the back” (if you don’t get it from reading it, read it outloud...Tyler’s harmonica ending is a welcome coda. First single, the rollicking “Legendary Child,” which details the band’s history, should have done better at radio,  given Joe Perry’s  blazing guitar and the steady, welcoming rock thump.

Ever since the band landed its first No. 1 with “Don’t Want To Miss A Thing,”  syrupy sweet love ballads have become part of their legacy. It’s already looking like the band will have an AC hit with “What Could Have Been Love.” The song sounds straight out of the Diane Warren playbook, even though it was written by Tyler, Marti Frederiksen and the album's co-producer Jack Douglas (who also produced "Rocks").  However, Warren does make an appearance with the keep-the-faith, inspirational ballad, “We All Fall Down.” It screams for a major movie placement (just as “Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” appeared in  1998‘s “Armageddon").

Carrie Underwood, who previously duetted with Tyler various television shows, returns for a second helping on the mid-tempo, heavy track, “Can’t Stop Lovin’ You.”  They are both belters, but they do a good job of not working together instead of out-shrieking each other. Still, unless there’s some major remix, you won’t be hearing this alongside Underwood’s other tunes on country radio.

There’s something comforting in the fact that after 40 years together, Aerosmith remains  composed of the same bad boys making the same blues-based rock after all these years. To be sure, the musicianship feels strong, but more economical, these days and Tyler’s voice has yielded a small bit of its rubbery flexibility to time, but the band is still vitally and nicely intact. Furthermore, despite all the break-ups, the rough and tumble years, and times of personal enmity, they still sound like a band, very capable of leaving whatever issues still haunt them outside the studio door.  Just listen to “Freedom Fighter,” a song featuring Perry on lead vocals, and the groovy pocket the band slides into towards the end. That’s something only time and triumphing over tribulations brings.

For older fans, “Sweet Jesus” provides the money shot. With its rumbling freight train vibe and long, propulsive outro, it would have sounded right in place on an early Aerosmith album from the mid-'70s.

The album closes with the gorgeous, dreamy “Another Last Goodbye” co-written with Desmond Child, who helped pen some of the band’s biggest hits during its ‘90s resurgence. A more restrained vocal by Tyler may have made it more radio friendly and help match his delivery with  the lovely piano and strings, but his alley cat screeches sound authentic. To be able to say that after everything Aerosmith has been through feels like some kind of major victory.

This is the band's last album on their contract with Columbia. Should it be a swan song-- and hopefully it's not-- it represents Aerosmith and its legacy well.

Watch: Brandy's boots are made for walking in 'Wildest Dreams' video

R&B singer continues on comeback trail with new single

<p>Brandy in &quot;Wildest Dreams&quot;</p>

Brandy in "Wildest Dreams"

Brandy brings it old school with the new video for “Wildest Dreams,” the current video from her comeback album, “Two Eleven.”

[More after the jump...]

Music Power Rankings: Taylor Swift, Rihanna and Britney Spears top the list

Blake Shelton and Eminem also make the cut

<p>Rihanna</p>

Rihanna

Credit: Richard Shotwell/AP

1. Taylor Swift: “Red” sells 1.2 million in its first week. It's the strongest opening frame since Eminem’s “The Eminem Show” 10 years ago. Can a duet between the two be far behind?

2. Blake Shelton: His win for CMA male vocalist of the year? A sure thing. His win for CMA Entertainer of the Year? A total shock—to him just as much as to anyone else. He is “The Voice.”

3. Bruce Springsteen:
He proves himself a true son of New Jersey as he headlines a benefit for Hurricane Sandy along with Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Joel and that Englishman in New York, Sting.

4. Britney Spears:
She makes it through the first live episode of “The X Factor.” Of course, all she had to do was not drool or face plant. And Sam Lufti's lawsuit against Spears and her parents is thrown out.

5. Kid Rock:
He finally joins the new millennium and offers his new album, “Rebel Soul,” on iTunes. Welcome to 2004.

6. Rihanna: She will promote her seventh album in seven years by playing seven shows in seven days in seven countries. She’s no doubt traveling on a 777.

7. Eminem:
His Eminence hints that a new album will be forthcoming in 2013... via the side of a baseball cap. Hey, it will probably turn out better for him than or the Tigers.

8. Tim McGraw
Finally unshackled from Curb Records, he announces the title of his first album for Big Machine, the not-so-cryptically titled “Two Lanes of Freedom.”

9.Alt-J: British quartet who’s starting to find favor on these shores grabs the the U.K.’s prestigious Mercury Prize for its debut album, “An Awesome Wave.”

10.Chris Brown: He dresses as an Arab terrorist for Halloween. Oh Chris...every time we think you may have turned the corner, you do something unbelievably stupid. When “Suburgatory” makes you a punch line twice within first two minutes, you are not yet forgiven.




 

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