Who makes both lists?
With Labor Day having come and gone, we know two things for sure: it’s time to put away our white shoes and we’re ready to look at the summer’s hits and misses in music. Sure, there were much worse things going on than sinking album and ticket sales, like the BP spill and Mel Gibson’s rants, but there was plenty going on to make us smile and sigh this summer.
Check out the fancy footwork
Now that’s what we’re talking about. For all the strutting that Usher and Chris Brown have been doing in videos lately, we’ve missed having some flat out dancing (so far Janelle Monae’s clip for “Tightrope” has the best dance moves of the year).
Leave it to Ne-Yo to bring the dancy back (go ahead and groan, we are) in his new video for “One in a Million.” The song is only so-so, but the dancing is smooooooth.
We don’t know why he’s pissed off his lady, but she’s mad and no amount of trickery (and we really mean trickery--he seems to have magical powers when it comes to making roses float, transporting himself and, oh yeah, stopping traffic) is making it right.
So he puts on a show. He and some of his male buddies put on a male revue in the middle of the street, which the ex is digging until--bad call, buddy-- some of Ne-Yo’s skanky-looking dancers join the party and start rubbing against him. Uh, what part of “that is not part of a how you say you’re sorry” do you not understand, dude?
His lady friend storms off, but he teleports himself to her side where she screams, “What the hell is wrong with you?” and we fade to “To Be Continued.” Quite frankly, if she really does have to explain to him where he screwed up that last time, he’s not as bright as we think.
New album, 'Loud,' out Nov. 19
Welcome back, Rihanna! We’ve missed you. Sure, we know youve been at the top of the chart for the past several weeks with Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie,” and that it’s been only a year since the release of “Rated R,” but that album seems a little like a major detour and now you're back on the super highway.
Today, Rihanna released “Only Girl (In the World),” the first single to her new album, “Loud,” which comes out Nov. 19. The song is the perfect blend between the edginess of the songs from “Rated R” and her earlier, frothy tunes.
In the upbeat dance tune (which went to radio and clubs simultaneously), Ri-Ri asks her man to make her feel like she’s the only girl in the world, but there’s no doubt by the edge in her voice that she’s not sticking around if he’s not up to the task. You go, girl. (On a side note, doesn’t the song sound a little like Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” in terms of tempo?)
On “Rated R,” Rihanna seemed to be doing two things: working out her demons from her horrible experience with convicted felon Chris Brown and trying to show us that she’s a grown up with its over-sexualized, hardcore messages. “Rude Boy” was a radio success, but the album was too insular, too off-putting for fans who loved her mainly for songs like “S.O.S.,” “Umbrella,” or “Don’t Stop the Music” (although not such a leap from tunes like “Disturbia.”
Whether it’s her desire to swing the pendulum back a little or her record company’s, it looks like we’ve go the fun Rihanna back. “Loud,” whose producers include Stargate, will arrive Nov. 16 and is, according to the label, is “a return to the uptempo dance grooves of her earlier records.”
Rihanna’s label is spending all day taking down copies of “Only Girl” cropping up on the youtube as if they’re playing whack-o-mole. Here’s a link to hear the song on KISS-FM, which premiered it this morning. If we can find an embed, we’ll add that later. (On KISS’s home page, the Rihanna single will come up as one of the top stories).
Nov. 9 album also features Sheryl Crow, Paramore, Alan Jackson and Faith Hill
The White Stripes, Miranda Lambert, Paramore, Carrie Underwood and Kid Rock are among the artists who will appear on a “Coal Miner’s Daugher: A Tribute to Loretta Lynn,” out Nov. 9.
Other artists handpicked by Lynn for the cover collection, according to The Tennessean, include Sheryl Crow, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, Allison Moorer, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Gretchen Wilson and Lee Ann Womack.
The White Stripes’ Jack White and Lynn first worked together on her beautiful, Grammy-winning 2004 set “Van Lear Rose,” on which White produced and performed.
Will any of them knock Disturbed's 'Asylum' out of No. 1?
Alt-rockers Interpol and singer/songwriter Sara Bareilles lead a light post-Labor Day slate of Sept. 7 releases. Thereâ€™s likely nothing here that will dislodge Disturbedâ€™s â€œAsylumâ€ out of the No. 1 spot, but Bareilles, Interpol and rockers Anberlin and Stone Sour could all score top 10 debuts on the Billboard 200.
Anberlin, â€œDark is the Way, Light is a Placeâ€ (Universal Republic): Florida modern rockers release fifth album fronted by first single, â€œImpossible,â€ which has already climbed into the top 10 of Billboardâ€™s Alternative chart. The Brendan Oâ€™Brien-produced album also includes a track called â€œThe Art of War,â€ inspired by Sun Tzuâ€™s book. The album takes its title from a Dylan Thomas poem.Â Smart manâ€™s rock.
Antony and the Johnsons, â€œThank You for Your Loveâ€ (Secretly Canadian): Five-song EPÂ from chamber pop band will tide fans over until Octoberâ€™s full-length, â€œSwanlights.â€Â Title track will also be on the new album.
Sara Bareilles, â€œKaleidoscope Heartâ€ (Epic): Singer/songwriter follows up her platinum â€œLittle Voiceâ€ (and massive single â€œLove Songâ€) with a new collection that focuses on her piano-based tunes, but expands into a more adventurous musical trip. Jaunty first single, â€œKing of Anythingâ€ is already an AC hit and thereâ€™s likely more where that came from.
Interpol, â€œInterpolâ€ (Matador): Now stripped down to a trio following bassist Carlos Denglerâ€™s departure (although he appears on the album), Interpol has returned to Matador after a three-year stint with Capitol for its fourth album. The New York arty indie band stayed close to home, recording at Electric Lady Studios ain NYC.Â
Robyn, â€œBody Talk Pt. 2â€ (Cherrytree/Interscope): The press loves her, but the Swedish electro-pop artist canâ€™t quite grab the attention in the U.S. she garners elsewhere. â€œBody Talk, Pt. 1,â€ released last in June, debuted at No. 1 in her native land, but only No. 97 on the Billboard 200. Robyn recorded â€œBody Talk, Pt. 2â€ largely during the sessions at â€œPt. 1,â€ so expect the same high energy dance tunes. This time, guest include Snoop Dogg and Swedish duo Savage Skulls.
Stone Sour, â€œAudio Secrecyâ€ (Roadrunner):Â First single â€œSay Youâ€™ll Haunt Meâ€ is No. 9 and still climbing on Billboardâ€™s Rock Songs chart, which indicates fans were ready for their first Stone Sour album in four years. The alt-metal band led by Slipknotâ€™s Corey Taylor, returned to producer Nick Raskulinecz, who producedÂ 2006â€˜s â€œCome What(ever).â€ And for good reason: that album debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200.
Various Artists, â€œWe are So Turned On: A Tribute to David Bowieâ€ ( Manimal/Carrot T)Â Where else can you find ex-moden/current French First Lady Carla Bruni and Duran Druan on the same album? This salute to the Thin White Duke benefits War Child, which provides services for kids in war-town areas. Other participating artists include A Place to Bury Strangers, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, and Keren Ann.
Do hard rockers end her 'Dream' reign at No. 1?
That means that Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream’s” stay at No. 1 is a very brief one as it looks to slip 1-3, according to Hits Daily Double. Sliding in at No. 2 will be “Now 34,” which is poised to be the only title other than “Asylum” to top the 100,000 sales mark.
This week’s Billboard 200 had six debuts in the top 10 and it is likely that next week will match that tally. Also bowing in the upper reaches will be Lyfe Jennings’ “I Still Believe,” which the rapper says will be his last album, at No. 6; Goo Goo Dolls’ “Something for the Rest of Us” at No. 7, Heart’s “Red Velvet Car” at No. 8 and alternative rockers 10 Years’ “Feeding the Wolves” at No. 9.
Oscar winner Ryan Bingham’s “Junky Star” is in a dead heat with at least four other titles for a spot in the top 15.
Will iTunes finally have competition?
Google’s music download store could launch by year’s end, giving Apple its first real competitor since Microsoft bowed the-DOA-Zune.
In addition to the music store, Google’s plans would also include a song locker service, according to Reuters. Google has not locked up any deals with labels to license music although discussions are ongoing, led by Google’s Andy Rubin. He helmed the Android mobile operation system.
Things are warming up in the music space, as Sony announced its digital music service, Music Unlimited, earlier this week at a conference in Germany.
"Finally here's an entity with the reach, resources and wherewithal to take on iTunes as a formidable competitor by tying it into search and Android mobile platform," a label executive who asked not to be identified told Google. "What you'll have is a very powerful player in the market that's good for the music business."
Someone needs a louder alarm clock
In the video, Cuomo mainly shows up to perform with B.o.B. to perform at their house party, though he has a quick cameo later on.
However, there are few shenanigans going on at the party, including the trippy part where B.o.B. comes across himself sleeping, very soundly, as the party rages on. It’s a little creepy, quite frankly. However, we like it better than the video for “Airplanes,” which, nice as it is, is, shouldn't be nominated for video of the year for the upcoming MTV Video Music Awards.
We’re rather focus on the B.o.B.’s rapping, which is incredibly engaging on “Magic.” In less than a year, he’s really started to create a career that’s highlights different facets of his rapping talents and, through his pairings with Cuomo, Paramore’s Hayley Williams (on “Airplanes”) and Bruno Mars (on”Nothin’ On You), shows he’s declaring attempting to pigeonhole him is off-limits from the start.
Tell us what you think.
Appeals court overturns 2009 district court decision
Eminem has won his lawsuit against Aftermath/Universal Music Group on appeal. On Friday, a U.S. Court of Appeals in Pasadena, Calif. ruled that UMG owed the rapper royalties from iTunes downloads and ringtones.
The decision overturned a March 2009 jury trial that ruled in favor of Aftermath and UMG, according to The Wrap.
At question was if royalty rate agreed upon under the term “masters licensed” also applied to downloads and master ringtones as it did to records sold, per the contract. Last March, the court ruled that it did not. On Friday, the Appeals Court ruled with Eminem, writing, “ On appeal, F.B.T. reasserts that the Masters Licensed provision unambiguously applies to permanent downloads and master-tones. We agree that the contracts are unambiguous and that the district court should have granted summary judgment to F.B.T. We therefore reverse the judgment and vacate the district court’s orders awarding Aftermath its attorneys’ fees.” (The attorneys’ fees were $2.4 million, according to court papers.)
F.B.T. is the company that originally signed Eminem in 1995, before transferring those services to Dr. Dre’s Aftermath, which became part of UMG.
The Wrap also posted the court decision, which we’ve tried to chunnel through, but the upshot is that the district court believed there was sufficient evidence to consider the wording in the contract to be ambiguous when it came to royalties paid for downloads vs. records sold. The Appeals Count found the F.B.T.’s definitions used in the contract “broad,” but not ambiguous.
The papers only reverse the district court decision and do not say how much F.B.T. is owed in royalties, although The Wrap reports that F.B.T. won close to $160,000 from UMG in a separate claim over the accounting errors by the UMG.
Read what the reviewers have to say about their opening night
Most reviewers didn’t like the one-two punch provided by Eminem and Jay-Z’s opening night of a four-date tour Sept. 2, they loved it. The rap titans are playing two shows at Detroit’s Comerica Stadium before taking their road show to New York’s Yankee Stadium.
“You wanted history? They gave you history,” wrote Detroit News pop music writer Adam Graham. The pair, who did not perform together, were joined by a number of other artists, including Drake, 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks and Dr. Dre.
Near the end of his set, an emotional Eminem nearly teared up while introducing ‘Not Afraid,’ Graham continued. “He dedicated the song to fans who stuck with him through years of career turbulence, and dedicated the song to his hometown. He closed the show with "Lose Yourself," toying with his live band during the extended outro before a flurry of fireworks marked the close of the show.
The love from the crowd was not lost on Jay, and he gave it right back at the end of his 82-minute set. "I wanna say I had an incredible time with y'all tonight, this is one of the best experiences of my entire life," he said. He closed with "Encore" and raised his arms in victory as he walked off the stage.
Billboard’s Gary Graff writes that He also praised Jay-Z , for doing “his part to get the stadium shows off on a good foot with an energetic, aggressive and loud 80-plus minutes, during which he and his band throwed through more than 30 songs -- all without making the set feel crammed or rushed. Dressed all in black (of course) and sporting sunglasses (of course), Jay-Z came out swinging hard with an opening salvo of "Dynasty," "Run This Town," "Free Mason," "On to the Next One" and "D.O.A.," prowling the front of the centerfield stage as a large oval screen mixed live close-ups with video images.”
“Eminem set out to confront his past demons, put them to rest and claim a victorious and potent present,” Graff continued, “which he largely did during an exhaustive, guest-filled 100-minute performance at Detroit's Comerica Park that spanned his entire recording career with full or partial performances of 33 songs.”
MTV’s Sway and Shaheem Reid live blogged the show. Sway wrote: “Wow the crowd explodes when Jay does "99 Problems." Detroit has one of the most diverse hip-hop demograpics in the country. People from age 11 to 55 are dancing on the field. Its a party in Motown!”
Sway later writes: Eminem is seriously making a case for the top slot in this year's Hottest MC's round table! This Forever verse sounds ridiculous! Em shouts out Drake, "this is history in the making," says Drake "make some noise for the legend Eminem!"
It will be interesting to see how the dynamic changes once the two-some hit Jay-Z’s home turf on Sept. 13-14 at Yankee Stadium.