Inside Music with Melinda Newman

Is Whitney Houston headed back to the big screen with Jordin Sparks?

Sparks set to star in remake of music-themed 'Sparkle'

<p>Whitney Houston performing at the pre-Grammy&nbsp;Clive Davis gala in&nbsp;February</p>

Whitney Houston performing at the pre-Grammy Clive Davis gala in February

Credit: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Could Whitney Houston be headed back to the big screen?  Variety reports that the diva, whose last starring theatrical role was 1996’s “The Preacher’s Wife,” is in negotiations to join a remake of “Sparkle.” (Not to be confused with Mariah Carey's dreadful "Glitter.")

The original, which came out in 1976, focused on three sisters in the late ‘50s who go from their church choir to forming a successful girl group. Sounds perfect for Houston, given her background singing in the church.  The remake will be set in Detroit in the late ‘60s, to coincide with Motown’s heyday. Supremes anyone?

Listen: Pearl Jam's 'Twenty' and Tori Amos's 'Night Of Hunters'

Stream them now, a full week before their release

<p>Tori Amos</p>

Tori Amos

Although Pearl Jam’s “Twenty” and Tori Amos’s “Night Of Hunters” aren’t out until for another week, you can stream both of them starting today.

Hear all 29 tracks on Pearl Jam’s  two-disc career retrospective on The collection includes live recordings, demos and previously unreleased material mean to shed light on the band’s creative process. It is a companion to the same-named documentary by Cameron Crowe that chronicles the groups first two decades. The doc premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 10

Amos’s “Night Of Hunters,” streaming on, is a concept album based on compositions by such composers as Chopin, Schubert and Bach, which Amos has amended and formed to tell a story of a woman’s journey through a relationship and then on her own. (Amos fans, of course, understand that it’s never that simple in her world and that this project brings in shapeshifters, poets, and the like, according to NPR.

We'll have reviews of both projects closer to release time, but in the meantime, enjoy and tell us your thoughts.


Album Review: Does Lady Antebellum rule on 'Own The Night?'

How does the trio's third album stack up to the past two?

Album Review: Does Lady Antebellum rule on 'Own The Night?'

A lot  of living has happened in Lady Antebellum’s world since they delivered 2010’s “Need You Now”:  their sophomore set garnered five Grammys and became the second best-selling album of 2010. They have grown from an opening act to headlining their own arena tour later this year. Plus, Charles Kelley settled into married life (having gotten hitched shortly before “Need You Now’s” release), and Hillary Scott got engaged this summer.

Those experiences all color Sept. 13's  “Own The Night,” the country pop  trio’s third set (Dave Haywood rounds out the group). Their confidence continues to grow both as songwriters and performers.

Lady A’s trump card has always been the dual vocals of Kelley and Scott. They are most effective when providing a counterpoint to each other, such as on “Need You Now” or, on this set, on “Dancing Away With My Heart,” a wistful tale of a past summer love, and “Cold As Stone.”

As the members of Lady A grow older and gather more life experience --Kelley just turned 30— they’re aging beautifully. They may not have been able to carry off a heartbreaker like “Cold As Stone” on their debut album, but they’ve weathered enough to pull it off now. Kelley’s voice has always had an older-than-his years, lived-in feel, which suits the song. And, as on “Dancing Away,” Scott’s delicate vocals provide the perfect flip side of the coin. A string/flute outro adds a nice touch, ending before it threatens to take the song over the top. The sweetness in Scott’s voice also served her well on first single, the innocence of “Just A Kiss.”

There are a number of other mid-tempo salutes to love that didn’t work out, such as “When You Were Mine” and “Wanted You More.” They’re balanced out nicely by the album’s uptempo numbers such as current single, the rule-the-world feel of “We Owned The Night,” as well as the jubilation of riding with your best girl on the gently swaying, toe-tapping, Zac Brown Band-like “Singing Me Home.”

Nowhere is the exuberance more evident than on “Friday Night”: it’s  one of those songs, like Rascal Flatts “Summer Nights,” that is little more than an upbeat jumbled rush of words all concocted to take you to your happy place:   “I want to be your friday night sweet ride/summertime sunshine/barefoot in the moonlight/I want to be your jackpot hotspot/wide open road in a candy apple rag top.”  Pair that with the crunchy info and driving guitars and you’ve got the perfect live anthem.

Lady A once again paired with Paul Worley to produce the set. There are nice flourishes: a mandolin here, a B-3 organ riff there, to keep it all interesting, but the album overall could sorely use a dose of grit to give the tracks that extra oomph that made such past tunes as “Love Don’t Live Here,” “Need You Now” and “Run To You” the jewels they are. For the most part, the tunes here feel a little too freshly scrubbed of their rough edges.

As much as the members of Lady A are developing into prime songwriters for themselves and for other artists (Kelley and Haywood co-wrote Luke Bryan’s hit, “Do I”;  Scott co-wrote Sara Evans’ smash “A Little Bit Stronger”), they’re smart enough to recognize a smash when they hear it. They end the album with “Heart of the World,” a song co-written by Tom Douglas, who co-wrote “Hello World,” previously recorded by the band, as well as  Miranda Lambert’s “The House That Built Me.”  In the tradition of great country tracks that celebrate quotidian life, Douglas salutes the every man (and woman), who fuels up for the day with coffee and the love of family to get through the day.

Adam Lambert unveils details on new single and album

When can Glamberts expect to hear new music?

<p>Adam Lambert</p>

Adam Lambert

Credit: AP Photo

Adam Lambert had some very good news for his fans: they can expect a new single next month... perhaps.

Late Sunday night, the season eight “American Idol” runner up Lambert went on a tweet tear: first he teased “I’m working hard this week and next to finish up all these amazing new tunes! Thank you all for staying patient... I’m excited too.”

That was quickly followed up with I’m 90% sure the first single will be out next month(ish). Album coming early 2012.”

Lambert then added, “There is still lots of work to be done but I promise you won’t be disappointed.”

[More after the jump...]

Watch: Paul Simon performs 'The Sound of Silence' at 9/11 Memorial Service

James Taylor and Yo Yo Ma also take part

<p>Paul Simon</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

Paul Simon

Credit: AP

Paul Simon played a mournful, somber version of “The Sound of Silence” at the 9/11 Memorial Ceremony at Ground Zero on Sunday. He was originally scheduled to sing “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” but apparently switched.

The performance footage is interspersed with families of those felled in the Twin Tower attacks. As Pop Dust reminded us, Simon played "The Boxer" on the first "Saturday Night Live" that aired after the tragedy on Sept. 29, 2001.

[More after the jump...]

Watch: Avril Lavigne emotes in new video for 'Wish You Were Here'

Can the song revive 'Goodbye Lullaby?'

<p>Avril Lavigne</p>

Avril Lavigne

Credit: AP Photo

Avril Lavigne’s “Goodbye Lullaby” album has failed to resonate with a pop audience so far, but maybe the video for latest single, “Wish You Were Here” can help revive the project.

As the title implies, the mid-tempo ballad, written by Lavigne, Max Martin and Shellback,  features Lavigne lamenting that her beloved isn’t around. She expresses her dismay by rolling around on a dirty floor in what looks like an abandoned room, save a perfect Gerbera daisy, a bathtub and a lighter.

[More after the jump...]

Listen: Joe Jonas's new song, 'Just In Love'

He's got it bad and that's not good

<p>Joe Jonas</p>

Joe Jonas

Who says getting mad is a bad thing? Not Joe Jonas. As he sings in his new up-tempo, rhythmic new single, “Just In Love”: “Love is even more wild when you’re angry.”  We hope that purity ring is off and tucked deep inside a drawer where it can’t witness what’s going on.

The tune, which debuted on Ryan Seacrest’s website at midnight, is the second single from “Fast Life,” Jonas’s Oct. 11 solo album debut. It’s different from anything that he and his brothers released during their heyday.  A synthesized keyboard line and heavy synth drum beat propels the beat-heavy track, during which Jonas is trying to convince his lady that they can work out whatever issues they have because he loves her.

[More after the jump...]

Listen: Pearl Jam's new song, 'Ole'

Group debuts tune on 'Jimmy Fallon'

<p>Jimmy Fallon and Eddie Vedder</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

Jimmy Fallon and Eddie Vedder

Credit: NBC

Pearl Jam debuted a new song, “Ole,” on “Jimmy Fallon” Thursday night as part of its two-night stint on the late-night talk show. The band then immediately made the song available as a free download on its website.

The 2:33 little punk nugget is all about the attitude and not about the lyrics, which are rather inane.  Although that’s the point, as Vedder sings “I ain’t got words for what goes on/I ain’t got words for all that’s wrong.”  It’s more about Matt Cameron’s thrashing, Mike McCready’s screeching guitar and Vedder’s slightly unhinged vocal

[More after the jump...]

Check out Paramore's new song, 'Renegade'

Group debuts song live in New York



Paramore debuted a spanking new song, “Renegade,” last night at Fueled By Ramen’s 15th Anniversary party in New York.

The driving song is a straight-ahead rocker, but falls safely in Paramore’s sweet spot. As Hayley Williams’ sings, she’s a “renegade” and “always will” be.

[More after the jump...]

Adele scores her second No. 1 with 'Someone Like You' on the Hot 100

Who else seems a big MTV VMA bounce on the singles chart?



Credit: AP Photo

Adele scores her second No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 as “Someone Like You” leaps 19-1.  The wrenching ballad benefits from the British chanteuse’s singer moving performance at MTV’s Video Music Awards on Aug. 28. It is one of several songs boosted by VMA appearances.

Adele’s last chart topper, “Rolling In The Deep,” stayed at No. 1 for seven weeks.

Last week’s No. 1, “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera drops to No. 2, while Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks” stays at No. 3, former No. 1 (and Billboard’s declared “song of the summer”) LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” falls 4-2. Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass” rises 6-5.

Lady Gaga’s “You And I” continues to rebound, rising 16-6, based on her VMA performance and the two videos for the song. The song is her 11th top 10, according to Billboard. The VMA bounce also benefits Cobra Starship, who played “You Make Me Feel...” on the pre-show. That title similarly soars  10 spots to No. 8.

Elsewhere, Bad Meets Evil’s “Lighters” featuring Bruno Mars declines 4-7,  and two former No. 1s, “Pitbulle’s “Give Me Everything” and Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)”  fall to No. 9 and 10 respectively.

Notable moves below the Top 10, Beyonce’s  “Love On Top,” which she performed on the VMAs, leaps onto the Hot 100 at No. 20, and Young the Giant’s “My Body,” bows at No. 65 following the rock group’s appearance on the show.


Get Instant Alerts on Music News

Around the Web