New album is streaming in its entirety
Kings of Leon’s “Come Around Sundown” doesn’t come out until next Tuesday, but the band is streaming the new album in its entirety on its website here.
You already know and love (probably) first single, “Radioactive.” We’ll wait to file our official review until closer to the album’s release, but it’s sounding pretty stripped down to us as we drop in on a few tracks.
What do you think?
Strong video makes up for weak song
You know what we want from Ciara? We want an exercise video. She writhes and dances around in her videos so much and has such a great body that clearly she has an awesome work out routine. That’s the main reason to watch the new clip for “Gimme Dat,” from her forthcoming album, “Basic Instinct.”
The music, quite frankly, has been pretty non-descript since “Love Sex Magic” feat. Justin Timberlake. Okay, I lied. The only song by Ciara that really captured my attention was “Goodies.”
She’s not having sex with the floor like she does in the “Ride”video here, but there are plenty of amazing moves. They are more in the “Rhythm Nation” vein that she frequently borrows from. Later, she switches from one Jackson to another, as some of the moves resemble Michael’s writhings. Check out the action around 2:30. We’ve never seen that in a video before. She veers into Nicki Minaj territory very briefly. You’ll know exactly what we’re talking about.
There’s absolutely no song here; it’s just a collection of beats that she monotone sings over for club play. We don't want to listen to the song ever without the visual, but she's damn compelling on video.
Did we know she was an Angels fan? (Update: Oops, we've just been informed it's an Atlanta Braves hat. Thanks!)
America's Sweetheart actually apologizes in song
Taylor Swift often half-jokes about how all her songs start: “So there was this boy...” So why should we expect any different with her new track released today? Well, hold onto your hats, boys and girls: We get a major shift in theme with “Back to December,” the second track released by Swift as part of her iTunes promotion that means a new tune every Tuesday until "Speak Now's" Oct. 25 release. This time, she’s the one who did the dumping instead of getting dumped or pining away for a boy! Alert the media! Oh, wait...
Seriously, “Back to December” is a shimmery, string-laden ballad that is tailor-made for dramatic award show performances. Swift sees her old beau, whom she now has serious regrets about letting go, and she apologizes. In her mind, as she tells him, she goes “back to December” in her head to replay the conversation over and over and she takes back her hurtful words.
There are a few nice metaphors: “you gave me roses and I left them there to die” (i.e. the relationship) and “I’d go back and change it but I can’t/if the chain is on your door, I understand” (i.e.: if your heart is closed to me.)
We’re also a fan of the line “It turns out freedom means nothing but missing you.” She cops a little too much from Kris Kristofferson’s incredible “Me & Bobby McGee” line: “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose,” but it’s nice nonetheless.
Does the song have a happy ending? Listen to it in full here and watch below for Swift’s emotional explanation about the song and to hear a preview.
Whom do you think “Back to December” is about? Taylor Lautner, perhaps?
New album bundled with video game for a week
Starting Oct. 12, Lil’ Wayne’s new album “I Am Not Human” will be bundled with for free “DefJam Rapstar” at Best Buy.
The deal, which lasts only a week, is part of Lil’ Wayne’s deal with Rapstar. His song, “Milli,” is also featured in the game. Their pairing kicked off their partnership with ads featuring the still-jailed rapper in an image with unhooked handcuffs, reading “I am the Beast. Feed me rappers or feed me beats.”
The album is available at all retailers tomorrow, after coming out last week as a digital only release. Even with no physical component, the title still managed to debut at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. As Hitfix’s Katie Hasty astutely noticed in a Sept. 28 story, while other retailers such as Wal-Mart and K-Mart were touting exclusive tracks, Best Buy was very quiet. Now we know why. The retailer had a much bigger plan.
As Billboard points out, this is the second recent bundling of an album with a video game. Soundgarden packaged 1 million copies of it greatest hits collection “Telephantasm” with “Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock.”
Brad Paisley and Kara DioGuardi help Hootie with his second country set
Darius Rucker successfully reinvented himself a few ago from a pop singer and leader of Hootie & the Blowfish to a solo country singer. That’s no easy feat given that other mainstream artists like Jessica Simpson tried to make the transition and failed miserably. “Learn to Live” scored him three No. 1 hits and he was named, without the slightest trace of irony, as the CMA Awards’ top new artist last year.
He stays the course on his second Capitol Nashville album, “Charleston, S.C. 1966,” as first single, “Come Back Song,” is already No. 3 on Billboard’s Country Songs chart.
His voice is soulful, fluid and so smooth that he sounds great singing anything (more about that later). Plus, he proves himself way more country than many format longtimers, as he generously sprinkles mandolin, fiddle and pedal steel throughout many of the tunes, especially the jaunty “Love Will Do That.”
Rucker’s sweet spot (and it’s not one he strays from much here) is his penchant for capturing details about every day life in a real, truthful way that makes you nod your head and say, “I’ve been there.” Couples fight, such as on “I Got Nothin’,” but instead of coming up with a magical quip, as they often do in song, Rucker is “just blank/I’m staring into space/praying ‘please, please let me think of something.’” On “Whiskey and You,” he can’t leave his woman or his liquor (there’s a superior tune about the same subject, “Tequila and You” on Kenny Chesney’s new album, “Hemingway’s Whiskey.”). He’s a man trapped by his own desires.
Those desires pervade other tunes on the album as well, some less successfully. The hokey “Might Get Lucky” is an ungainly tune (although possibly 100% true) about how hard it is for married men with little kids to get themselves a little sumthin-sumthin. Given that Rucker co-wrote this with one of his musical heroes, the great Radney Foster, I’m surprised there’s not a little more sense of irony and a wink in the song as he sings, “There’s a window of opportunity between when the kids are tucked in and I have a glass of Chardonnay.” The underlying message is to “treat her right in the daylight.” (In another nod to Foster, Rucker’s album title is a tribute to Foster’s fine 1992 album, titled “Del Rio, TX 1959” after his birth place and year.)
Conversely, even though it borders on novelty, Rucker’s duet with Brad Paisley (co-written with Paisley), “I Don’t Know” is hilarious as the two, growing drunker as the song progresses, pokes fun at themselves and males’ baser instincts as they don’t care whether “they’re real or fake” or which one takes the blonde, brunette or redhead.
He overdoes it on a few songs, such as album ender “In a Big Way,” where he needs “some hanging around my little town/In a big way.” There’s a good song there about life on the road and his desires (“Sometimes I want to be George Jones/Sometimes Charley Pride”) in there, but he ladles it on a little thick when he talks about what he misses. Sweet tea is the only thing missing. Oh, wait. That drink makes its appearance in “Southern State of Mind.” (As a transplanted Southerner, I do love the line about being polite).
The few lyrical quibbles aside, Rucker has a strong command of country music and what makes a fine country song. And unlike many contemporary country artists, he isn’t afraid to make something sound country with no chance of pop crossover. HIs cliches are easily forgiven.
Darius Rucker, The Orb with David Gilmour and others on tap on release day
Indie rock fans will delight in the Oct. 12 release slate that includes new sets from Antony & the Johnsons, Belle & Sebastian and Sufjan Stevens. Country connoisseurs have a new collection from Darius Rucker and from burgeoning family act The Band Perry.
Antony & the Johnsons, â€œSwanlightsâ€ (Secretly Canadian): Chamber pop group features Bjork on new set, which comes complete with an 144-page book with singer Antony Hegartyâ€™s artwork and photography.
The Band Perry, â€œThe Band Perryâ€ (Republic Nashville): Awkwardly-named brothers/sister country act already have two hits on their hands from their debut set, â€œHip to My Heartâ€ and â€œIf I Die Young.â€
Belle & Sebastian, â€œWrite About Loveâ€ (Matador): Scottish bandâ€™s eighth full-length set is its first in four years and reteams the Stuart Murdoch-led group with â€œThe Life Pursuitâ€™sâ€ producer Tony Hoffer. Guests include actress Carey Mulligan, as well as Norah Jones.
Far East Movement, â€œFree Wiredâ€ (Cherrytree/Interscope): Electro hop group has a smash on its hands with â€œLike a G6,â€ and thereâ€™s likely more where that came from with such guests as Keri Hilson, Lil Jon and Snoop Dogg.
The Orb feat. David Gilmour, "Metallic Spheres" (Columbia): Electronica pioneers pair with Pink Floydâ€™s Gilmour on this double set; the second disc is recorded in 3D surround sound, for what itâ€™s worth.
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, â€œThe Social Networkâ€ soundtrack (Null/Alliance Entertainment): Edgy, electronic soundtrack to â€œThe Social Networkâ€ has Oscar buzz.
Darius Rucker, â€œCharleston, SC 1966â€ (Capitol Nashville): Hootie & the Blowfish leader follows up his first country album with a new self-penned set that hits all the usual country cliches.
The Secret Sisters, â€œThe Secret Sistersâ€ (Beladroit/Universal): Muscle Shoals, Ala.-based siblings, Laura and Lydia Rogers bring that old family spirit to a largely acoustic classic country set. The album was produced by T Bone Burnett, while Jack White produced first single, â€œBig River.â€
Sufjan Stevens, The Age of Adzâ€ (Asthmatic Kitty): Stevens turns in his familiar, largely acoustic soundÂ for a new groove with hip-hop beats and layered electronics.
Various Artists, â€œThe Vampire Dairiesâ€ soundtrack (Virgin/EMI): Why should â€œTwilightâ€ and â€œTrue Bloodâ€ have all the fun? Hit TV showâ€™s soundtrack features previously-unreleased tracks from Smashing Pumpkins and Gorillaz, as well as cuts from Tears for Fears, Kate Bush, Bat for Lashes and others.
She can't seem to find her pants
Wouldn’t it be funny if when Miley Cyrus turns 18 next month, she turned into this chaste thing who doesn’t feel the need to force her sexuality on anyone who comes within 100 yards?
In the video for “Who Owns My Heart,” the new single from the already DOA “Can’t Be Tamed” album, little Miley is hangin’ in da club and writhing away in a limo one crotch shot away from being a Perez Hilton post with rude little drawings on it.
We see Miley in a doo rag getting ready to go out. She looks great. The girl has awesome, awesome legs and we see every inch of them....repeatedly.
In the club scenes she’s basically rubbing up against anyone who will let her-- guys, girls, guys and girls together in a Miley sandwich... it doesn’t matter.
The song has a very retro, ‘80s, Euro-disco feel--think Stacey Q’s “Two of Hearts.” In a different time, it would have been a huge radio hit and is one of the best tracks from “Can’t Be Tamed.”
We know we’re pretty harsh on Cyrus, but once she’s an adult, we can’t rag her for being a teenager-going-on-35, as she has ever since she pole-danced in the video for “Party in the U.S.A.” Maybe with the right to vote, she’ll also develop a sense of knowing that a little bit goes a long way and that sometimes the sexiest thing is to leave a little to the imagination.
Eminem hangs in there in the top 5
Kenny Chesney is poised to spend a second week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 next week as “Hemingway’s Whiskey” will sell around 80,000 copies. That’s enough to keep fellow country superstar Toby Keith and his latest, “Bullets in the Gun,” from reaching the summit. That title will shift around 70,000 units, according to Hits Daily Double.
In addition to Keith, two other sets will bow in the Top 10: Bruno Mars’ “Doo Wops and Hooligans” will come in at No. 4, right below Eminem’s “Recovery” (although as of Friday, Mars is in a dead heat with Zac Brown Band, so he may come in at No. 5).
Rapper and Gucci Mane compadre Waka Flocka Flame will bow at No. 7, nestled between Linkin Park and Katy Perry, with “Flockaveli,” our favorite title of the week.
Debuting within the top 15 will be rapper Faith Evans’ first album in five years, “Something About Faith.” http://www.hitsdailydouble.com/home/home.cgi
Kenny Chesney and Nas make their first appearances on the list
It feels a bit like we’re in topsy-turvy land in the music industry this week as the “Glee” cast surpasses the Beatles for charting the most songs on the Billboard 100 by a non-solo act and Lady Gaga lands in the Top 10 of Forbes’ list of most powerful women alongside Michele Obama and ahead of Supreme Court justices. In a year when ticket sales take a nose dive, England’s Glastonbury Festival manages to sell 140,000 ducats without announcing a single participating act.
How does 'Live It Up' sound?
Hitfix got a sneak peak at four songs from “American Idol” season 9 winner Lee DeWyze’s forthcoming album today and we couldn’t wait to share it with you. “Live It Up” will come out Nov. 16, but first single, the title track, will hit radio on Oct. 13.
Here are the four songs we heard:
“Live It Up” (Written by Lee DeWyze, Toby Gad, Lindy Robbins; Produced by Toby Gad): The first single is a positive, mid-tempo tune about making the most of the time that you have. DeWyze’s raspy vocals work well here; he’s got a little bit of a John Mayer-thing going on. We’re not sure we would have picked it as a first single, but conventional wisdom is you never release your strongest single first and this tune will be a good bridge from his “Idol” to his post-”Idol” career.
“Beautiful Like You” (written by Thomas "Tawgs" Salter & Andy Stochansky, produced by Chris DeStefano): This mid-tempo love song opens with a solo piano and builds. There’s a certain wistfulness to the lyrics as he is waiting for his love to come around. DeWyze sounds more confident here than he ever did on “American Idol.”
“Me & My Jealousy” (written by DeWyze, John Shanks, Zac Maloy, produced by Shanks): A nice shift from the previous two tracks, “Jealousy” is a fast-paced, dynamic tune that starts with a synthesizer and builds to a full-bodied production, complete with strings. The cascading chorus gallops along and DeWyze’s spirited vocals show off some considerable chops.
“Dear Isabelle” (written by DeWyze, Gad, Robbins, produced by Gad). If you liked the Plain White T’s’ “Hey There Delilah,” you’ll love “Dear Isabelle.” The loping, acoustic guitar intros a bittersweet tale about losing a love because of your own doing.
"Live it Up" comes out on Nov. 16. Will you buy it?