Drake has trust issues. See, he’s looking for love, but but he’s been burned by so many “bitches,” that he’s feeling a little wary on his new track, “Trust Issues.” You know what's a bitch? Fame.
The slow groove opens with a Drake singing his lines from DJ Khaled’s “I’m On One” in a langerous, quite lovely, fashion, despite some of the harsh words.
It’s the third new tune the Canadian songwriter has posted recently on his website, October's Very Own, following May’s “Dreams Money Can Buy” and “Marvin’s Room” earlier this month.
Drake’s got a sleepy voice that serves the track well, and he is equally adept at singing as rapping, but he just seems downright grumpy. Between this track and “Over,” it all just seems a bit overwhelming for him. As he raps here, “You can look me in my eyes and see I ain’t myself" and then confesses "I hate myself." That's after he's blasted other folks for not appearing as they seem anymore.
Drake, who received the Hal David Starlight award at the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame last week in recognition of his burgeoning talent, is supposed to drop his new album, “Take Care,” in October. An official single is reportedly coming in July.
What's he bummed about now?
Drake has trust issues. See, he’s looking for love, but but he’s been burned by so many “bitches,” that he’s feeling a little wary on his new track, “Trust Issues.” You know what's a bitch? Fame.
Plus, when are the 2012 Grammy Awards?
Get ready for more Justin Bieber and less Yo Yo Ma.The Grammy Awards and CBS have signed a pact to keep the music awards show on the Eye network for another 10 years, as well as create a new series of two-hour Grammy related specials.
So what does this mean and how did it happen? After a few years of flagging ratings, the Grammys rebounded mightily recently 2011. This year’s February broadcast drew 26.7 million viewers, the show’s largest audience since 2000. It also had its highest ratings in the 18-34 demographic--the holy grail-- since 2004.
It’s a laudable feat and showcases more of what’s in store. As a way to boost ratings, the broadcast has focused heavily on featuring the top pop names. If it can’t find a way to give them a performance slot based on a nomination, such as Lady Gaga’s egg-citing entry this year, it finds a way to shoe-horn them in via catch-all tributes. For example, Christina Aguilera and Jennifer Hudson both found a warbling spot in the Aretha Franklin salute. We can see more of that and more pairings of often non-sensical bedfellows to up the name quotient.
Is this necessarily a bad thing? For purists, of course it is. But the simple fact is when the Grammys tried to give as much time to jazz and classical genres, the roar of viewers changing channels was deafening. In the press room, we used to talk about the dead zone, which was the portion of the show, usually in the last half, that featured a classical salute, possibly jazz, and maybe a Latin number, and the NARAS chairman’s speech. Who knew we’d long for those days? It’s always been a near impossible mission: to try to highlight as many of the different genres as possible in the broadcast to attempt to show that best Native American recording is just as important as Album of the Year. That may be true in some utopian world, but on the Grammy broadcast, just as in Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” some animals are more equal than other.
As you may recall, the Grammys also streamlined the voting process this year by cutting more than 30 categories and combining niche musical genres that used to have their own home. These genres weren’t generally represented on the television show anyway, but now they will be forever banished to the pre-show telecast.
CBS has been the home of the Grammys since 1973, the extension is not that surprising. The agreement also includes the Grammy Nominations Concert Live!! (the Grammys’ exclamation points, not mine). That is the one-hour primetime concert/nominations show that happens in late December (or early January) to announce nominees in key categories and throw in some performances. This year will mark its fourth year.
We’re intrigued to know what the two-hour series of Grammy specials will be but aren’t totally surprised by that. A number of award shows have been spinning off ancillary programming. For example, April’s Academy of Country Music Awards now feature an additional two-hour themed special that airs in May that tapes the night after the ACMs. The Country Music Assn.’s Fan Fest spins its four nights of concerts into an ABC TV special.
The 2012 Grammy Awards will air live on Feb. 12.
Cuban-American rapper aims to win you one beat at a time
It’s understandable that Pitbull, who calls his new album “Planet Pit,” would think it’s his world and the rest of us just live here. In addition to his massive hit “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho),” he’s been the go-to guest of choice for artist after artist, including Enrique Iglesias on his comeback track, “I Like It”; Usher’s “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love,” and Jennifer Lopez’s “On the Floor.”
Now with his sixth studio album, and first since last year’s Spanish-language “Armando,” the Cuban-American rapper has made a non-stop party set that is chock-full of potential hits. Though primarily in English, “Planet Pit,” out June 21, compellingly draws upon Latin and Island beats to prove Pit’s point that he’s worldwide. It’s not just wish fulfillment that he wants to go from “Mr. 305,” (the area code for his Miami hometown) to “Mr Worldwide,” as he frequently calls himself.
What works exceedingly well for Pitbull —not that it’s a new concept— is blending his gruff raps, which he often delivers with tantalizing speed — with silky vocals. It’s a winning combo on the jubilant “Rain Over Me” (not to ever be confused with the Who classic, “Reign O’er Me”) featuring Marc Anthony’s oh-so-velvety tones or on current single and summer hit “Give Me Everything” with Ne-Yo crooning persuasive lines from “the world might end so sleep with me now” school. Throw in his melange of Latin rhythms, best displayed on electro-pop track “Shake Senora” featuring T-Pain and Sean Paul) and Pitbull’s distinctive freestyle and it’s a formula that escapes monotony despite a certain amount of repetition.
Pitbull has the rapper’s usual swagger— though he’s not afraid to throw his vulnerable side on “Took My Love” featuring Red Foo, Vein and David Rush. He’s never mean or misogynistic. Nothing lyrically here would warrant anything courser than a PG-13, but it never feels like he held back to give the tunes a broader appeal.
On “Come N Go,” produced by Dr. Luke and Benny Bianco and Max Martin, he gets to the point: “Mama, you’re the internet and I’m looking for a download,” if you get his drift and we’re sure you do. The robotic track sounds like a less-frenetic Black Eyed Peas tune--and that’s a good thing.
“Pause,” with its electro beat, Latin drums, and ... pauses.... is irresistible. Who can help but smile at Pitbull, on the only song that doesn’t feature guest, delivers some proclamations as “I’m such a dirty dog/ My teeth will unsnap your bra.”
Pitbull keeps the mood light throughout with the exception of the touching, autobiographical “Castle in the Sand.” It’s a mid-tempo tale, propelled by a rat-a-tat military beat, about making it despite daunting odds (thanks to his mama) and surrounded by a haunting refrain delivered by Kelly Rowland. In a rare switch, the story rather than the beats drives this tune.
Not everything works: mid-tempo “International Love,” featuring Chris Brown, is a call-out to the girls of the world and what makes each one special. While fine, it doesn’t have the undeniability of the club bangers and sounds rote, especially on repeat listenings.
But that’s a small quibble for an album that is meant to help make good times great by providing a soundtrack that will provoke a smile and a memory every time the song plays. That’s something the whole world wants.
'Weird Al' returns, as does Jill Scott
It’s the calm before the storm. Next week we’ll get new sets from Beyonce, David Cook and Selena Gomez. But this week still has its share of delights, including fresh releases from Pit Bull, Bon Iver, LMFAO, Justin Moore and Jill Scott.
Michael Bolton, “Gems: The Duets Collection” (Sony Legacy): Following his hilarious Lonely Island digital short, “Jack Sparrow,” Bolton tackles such tunes as “Pride (In the Name of Love)” and “Fields of Gold” with such duet partners as Chris Botti, Delta Goodrem, the late Eva Cassidy and Seal.
Bon Iver, “Bon Iver” (Jagjaguwar): Recorded in a cabin in Wisconsin, Bon Iver, led by Justin Vernon, releases its long-awaited follow up to 2008’s “For Emma, Forever Ago.” Read review here.
Gomez, “Whatever’s On Your Mind” (ATO): The indie group-- and past Mercury Prize winner-- produces itself for the first time in 10 years for its seventh studio album, which Tom Gray declares isn’t the least bit “stuffy.”
LMFAO, “Sorry for Party Rocking” (Party Rock/will.i.am/Cherrytree/Interscope): Pair who brought up the summer’s electropop tune, “Party Rock Anthem” gets lots of help from buddies like Busta Rhymes, will.i.am, GoonRock and Lauren Bennett. Keep the champagne flowing.
Justin Moore, “Outlaws Like Me” (The Valory Music Co.): Following his three top 20 hits from his self-titled debut, this budding country star seems set to keep hitting new marks. First single, “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away,” is already in the top 10.
OK Go, “180/365” (Paracadute): Quartet releases its first live album. Unless there are treadmills and rescue dogs involved, we’ll keep watching the videos instead (although we fully admit that OK Go’s really clever songs get overlooked by their awesome videos).
Pitbull, “Planet Pit” (Mr. 305/Polo Grounds Music/J): Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” is keeping first single, “Give Me Everything” out of the top spot on the Hot 100, but that’s okay. There’s plenty more where that came from that will could reach No. 1 from this set, including duets with Marc Anthony, Chris Brown, T-Pain, Kelly Rowland and more. Plus, he guests on everyone else’s records anyway, so he’s always on the chart.
Jill Scott, “The Light of the Sun” (Blues Babe/Warner Bros.): Following some legal disputes with her former label, breakthrough acting roles and the birth of her first child, Grammy-winning soul singer returns with her fourth album and first since 2007’s “So In Love.” She’s joined by Eve and Anthony Hamilton, among others.
“Weird Al” Yankovic, “Alpocalypse” (Volcano/RCA): The master of the parody returns with his first album in awhile. Opening track, “Perform This Way,” is a take off on Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.”
My tribute to Bruce Springsteen's saxophonist
There was a moment that came every night during a Bruce Springsteen concert that was sure to get an ecstatic roar from the crowd. Following sometimes short, sometimes long, but always amusing introductions of the rest of the members of the E Street Band, Springsteen would pause and take a breath. Everyone knew what was coming next and the cheering would begin before a word was spoken.
All manner of superlatives would flow as The Boss described saxophonist/band mascot Clarence Clemons, but it often ended this way: “You wanna be like him, but you can’t.”
The thought that Springsteen will never say those words again feels, as I write this the morning after Clemons’ death, incomprehensibly sad. Six days after suffering a stroke, Clemons, 69, died on Saturday, June 18.
Who comes in at No. 1 showdown between Eminem/Royce and Jackie Evancho?
Bad Meets Evil could have it very good on next week’s Billboard 200 as the Eminem/Royce Da 5’9 duo are in the lead to top the chart.
To do so, “Hell: the Sequel” has to hold off a surge by the angelic Jackie Evancho and her new album, “Dream With Me.” That’s a celebrity death match just waiting to happen. As of Friday, “Hell” was on target to sell between 155,000-165,000 copies, according to Hits Daily Double, while “Dream With Me” was looking good for 145,000-155,000.
That means Adele’s “21” will likely drop to No. 3, but it still poised to surpass the 100,000 mark. Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” continues to decline, looking to sell only 70,000 copies or so.
The third debut in the top 10 belongs to Owl City’s “All Things Bright and Beautiful,” which will likely bow at No. 5.
Rounding out the top 10 are Jason Aldean’s ‘’My Kinda Party’’ at No. 6, “Now 38” at No. 7, “Book of Mormon” original cast album at No. 8, Brad Paisley’s “This is Country Music” at No. 9 an Top 10 mainstay, Mumford & Sons’ “Sigh No More.”
Who is Kreayshawn and why does she make the list?
1) U2 (not ranked): Not only does “Spider-Man,” with music from the band’s Bono and The Edge, finish spinning its long-gestating opening web (see No. 8), U2 leads Forbes list of the 25 highest-paid musicians. The Irish lads made around $195 million between May 2010 and May 2011--and that’s with having to take time off for Bono to recuperate from back surgery.
2) Britney Spears (not ranked): The Femme Fatale tour kicks off in Sacramento to strong reviews. If you want real singing with your live shows, proceed to No. 5.
3) L.A. Reid (not ranked): After leaving Island Def Jam, the “X Factor” judge follows his former boss, Doug Morris, to Sony Music Entertainment to try to revive Epic Records. The label will now include some acts now on Jive Records. But the big question is does this mean “X Factor” releases will go through Epic? TBD.
4) “Book of Mormon” (not ranked): The musical, masterminded by “South Park” and “Avenue Q” creators, not only sweeps the Tonys, but the original cast recording bounded to No. 3 (up a staggering 2,116 percent) on this week’s Billboard 200 following the wins and a 3-day Amazon stunt, which pushed the album for $1.99. It’s the highest charting original cast album since “Hair” in 1969. That's longer than Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber have been alive combined.
5) Sade (not ranked): The band fronted by the British-Nigerian singer of the same name plays first U.S. dates in more than a decade to over-the-top reviews. What a smooth operator.
6) Lucian Grange (not ranked): The Universal Music Group chairman and his second in command Barry Weiss really start to put their stamps on the record company as trims and combines facets of Motown Universal and Island Def Jam. We bet there’s more coming.
7) Kreayshawn (not ranked): White female rapper, whose “Gucci Gucci”has already received 3.1 million views on YouTube, signs with Columbia Records. No more Arby’s for her. Nicki Minaj checks her watch.
8) “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” (not ranked): In what became a survival mission, the little play about Spidey with songs by U2 and Bono finally manages to open on Broadway after 177 preview performances. Better yet, no one from the cast landing in the hospital opening night.
9) I.R.S. (not ranked): The dormant indie label that was home to the likes of R.E.M., Go-Gos, The Alarm and The Buzzcocks will be revived at EMI, which owns the name. Founder Miles Copeland won’t be involved. Really, were there no other names out there left? Sometimes, a label and its legendary history should be allowed to rest in peace.
10) Morrissey (not ranked): The former Smiths frontman and vegetarian, who walked off-stage at Coachella in 2009 because he could smell “burning flesh,” is insisting that venues he plays do not prepare or serve meat on the day of his performance. Not just to him or his crew...to anyone. So far, U.K. venues are complying. Let’s see him try that in Texas.
11) Clarence Clemons (not ranked): The E Street Band saxophonist suffers a stroke just as he’s getting introduced to a whole new audience through Lady Gaga’s The Edge of Glory.” Get better Big Man!!!
She's left brokenhearted and bleeding on '4' tune
So far, the handful of songs that have slipped out from Beyonce’s “4” have each showed various facets of her personality. On the synth-heavy “I Care,” it’s the burned and bleeding Beyonce, who’s been spurred and left for dead by her lover. Despite her best efforts, she still cares.
Awash in a keyboard opening and a repeating drum loop, Beyonce rails against her ex, who’s “immune to all my pain,” in the mid-tempo ballad.
“I care/I know you don’t care too much.. even since you knew your power/you made me cry/ And now every time our love goes sour/you won’t synthesize,” she sings.
He’s such a meanie, he even likes it when Bey is in pain, she sings.
Like Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory,” the song sounds like it could come straight from the ‘80s. Think Phil Collins-type, echo-chamber beats.
It also sounds very much like something that Leona Lewis would sing... so much so that I checked to see if Ryan Tedder, who penned “Bleeding Love,” wrote it. He didn’t, but the Neptunes’ Chad Hugo, Beyonce and Jeff Bhasker, who also produced, did.
What do you think? How does it compare to the other tracks we’ve heard from June 28’s “4”: “Run the World (Girls),” “Party,” “(1 + 1),” “Love on Top” and “Best Thing I Never Had.”
Critics lavish no ordinary love on singer and band
Britney Spears wasn’t the only one kicking off a tour Thursday night.
Sade, the woman and the band, returned to the U.S. for their first shows in more than a decade to downright ecstatic reviews.
The two-hour, Sophie Muller-directed concert at Baltimore’s 1st Mariner Arena, site of where Rihanna launched her U.S. tour only a few days before, is a visual stunner, according to reviewers.
Rolling Stone’s Evan Serpick felt time had stood still for the British-Nigerian singer, who first appeared on stage in her trademark ponytail and black turtleneck: “And that luxurious, smoky voice – the one that earned Sade (the singer) a reputation as an aural aphrodisiac, the female counterpart to Barry White – is as glorious as ever...The set continued to jump around among the band's six albums, maintaining a flow that highlighted their well-honed formula of diverse, syncopated percussion, jazzy instrumentation and hard-hitting, passionate lyrics, all held together by that one-in-a-million voice.
USA Today’s Korina Lopez said, “These days, pop stars strutting the stage in barely-there thongs and doing crotch-grabbing routines are common,” wrote Korina Lopez. “So it was refreshing to see a beautiful woman with a beautiful voice just simply singing.”
The Baltimore Sun’s Erik Maza called it “the best concert of the year...Rihanna's was good, but it was amateur hour in comparison. U2's will be bigger, but it will not exceed the sheer transcendence of the Sade live experience....The singer, however, did not coast on the adulation of a crowd that would have swooned even if she'd sung Creed covers. Her two-hour show was a success because, after all the flashy, gimmicky shows pop stars have been staging this past year, this was a palette cleanser."
The outing, which supports last year’s “Soldier of Love” album, lasts until mid-September and includes three nights at Los Angeles’ Staples Center. Someone was clearly missed.
SETLIST (courtesy of Baltimore Sun)
Soldier Of Love
Your Love Is King
Kiss Of Life
Love Is Found
In Another Time
Bring Me Home
Is It A Crime?
Still In Love With You
All About Our Love
Nothing Can Come Between Us
King Of Sorrow
The Sweetest Taboo
The Moon And The Sky
No Ordinary Love
By Your Side
Cherish The Day
Reviewers praise the show's spectacle
Britney Spears kicked off her “Femme Fatale” tour Thursday night at Sacramento’s Power Balance Pavilion with what reviewers are calling “her flashiest, fastest moving” production yet. Pink is the New Blog, which had seen a rehearsal, went so far as to proclaim, “Our dear Britney slayed the audience on opening night!”