<p>Colbie Caillat's &quot;All of You&quot;</p>

Colbie Caillat's "All of You"

Album Review: Colbie Caillat's 'All of You'

Southern California girl's third sun-kissed offering

Over the course of her first two albums, Colbie Caillat established herself as the Southern California ideal personified: sunny, light, relatively uncomplicated, casual and undemanding. Songs like “Bubbly,” “Fallin’ For You,” and “I’m Yours,”  her Grammy-winning duet with Jason Mraz floated away on their own pleasant airiness.

On “All of You,” her third album, out July 12, Caillat retains her pleasing guile, but she’s thrown in a small dose of reality. A naivete has been replaced with a cautious, but still dominant, optimism.

The set draws mainly from her feelings as she moves through her relationship with her bandmate Justin Young, whether its the first sweet blush of love on the ‘70s-tinged, guitar driven, “What If,” in which she admits, “Boy, you make my heart stop,” to the mid-tempo title track, which calls for her beau to understand she is offering unconditional love, or “Before I Let You Go,” which covers those first moments of doubt creep in after an ex pops back into the picture.

[More after the jump...]

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Listen: 'American Idol's' Pia Toscano's first single, 'This Time'
Credit: AP Photo/Steve Griffin, The Salt Lake Tribune

Listen: 'American Idol's' Pia Toscano's first single, 'This Time'

Can she soar above the mundane material?

It’s been way too long since we’ve had a harpsichord in a song and it’s the most refreshing part of Pia Toscano’s first post- “American Idol” single.

On the mid-tempo “This Time,” Toscano, who has signed to Interscope Records, is “mad as hell/ain’t gonna take it no more.” We’re never exactly sure what she’s angry about, but it would seem she’s had a fight with her boyfriend and she’s finally standing up to the creep. It’s meant to be empowering, we’re sure, but the Esther Dean-penned tune is clogged down in so many cliches, we bet the butterfly she mentions can’t achieve lift off. (Yep,she’s going to spread her wings).

Toscano’s early elimination stunned “AI” watchers who loved her pristine delivery. That is in strong evidence here as she sounds strong and potent. She just needs a better vehicle to showcase her vocal prowess.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood</p>
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Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood

Credit: AP Photo

Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley set to return as CMA Awards hosts

Winning duo will return for fourth stint

Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley will return as host of the Country Music Assn. Awards for the fourth time.

The country superstars announced they will once again helm the show via Facebook today. The 45th Annual CMA awards will air live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 9.

The two, who have a combined 19 CMA awards between them, have proved to have an easygoing, funny chemistry between them and from the start have been adept hosts who keep the show flowing.  Perhaps following the CMA’s lead, main competitor the Academy of Country Music Awards adopted male-female hosts this year with Blake Shelton joining longtime host Reba McEntire.

This year’s CMAs will honor music released from July 1, 2010-June 30, 2011. Nominations will be announced in early September. The CMA’s 6000-person membership determine the winners.

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Watch: Backstreet Boy Howie D's first solo video for '100'

Watch: Backstreet Boy Howie D's first solo video for '100'

Why isn't he dancing?

With the Backstreet Boys out on a very successful tour with New Kids on the Block (dubbed the NKOTBSB tour), BSBoy Howie Dorough is taking advantage of renewed interest to release his first solo album, “Back To Me,” out in November.

The specific release date for the album is still coming, but first single, “100,” is here. We’ve embedded the video below.  I was at BIllboard when BSB were at their height and I always found Dorough to be the sweetest and nicest of the Boys. He was smart, kind, and loved his fans, and managed to be pretty grounded given the hysteria swirling around him.  So it makes me happy that the single is exactly what I’d expect: a Bruno Mars, “Just the Way You Are”-type tune about loving someone for many reasons. He sounds soulful and romantic.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Miranda Lambert</p>
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Miranda Lambert

Credit: Charles Sykes/AP

Miranda Lambert set to release 'Four the Record' in November

But first, her new trio, Piistol Annies, will shoot into stores

Country queen Miranda Lambert will release her fourth solo set,  “Four the Record,” on Nov. 1.

The set follows 2009’s “Revolution” which was also named CMA album of the year, and featured the hits “The House That Built Me,” “White Liar,” Heart Like Mine” and “Only Prettier.”

"'Four The Record' has so many meanings,” explains Lambert in a statement.  “I love the play on words and my records always have a little crime in them and this is the fourth record of my career. This album pushes the limits for me in many ways and I collaborate with friends and heroes. It builds on my previous albums with a whole new flair.” That’s all great, but we would have loved a little more info, like who is producing, whom she wrote with, if new hubby Blake Shelton is on the record, etc.

We won’t have to wait until November to get new Lambert music, however.  Pistol Annies, the trio featuring Lambert, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley, will release their debut album on Aug. 23 via digital download and via the group’s website, www.pistolannies.com. The threesome debuted at the taping of the  ACM’s “Girls Night Out: Superstar Women of Country,” which aired in May.

And what must only happen to a handful of married couples, she and Shelton found themselves on dueling morning shows on Friday: Pistol Annies were on “Good Morning America,” while Shelton was on “Today Show.” At least they got to be in the same city. The twosome engaged in some friendly tweet banter of which act people should watch, with Lambert ultimately declaring that people would watch her instead of Shelton because “I have boobs.”

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LMFAO parties its way to No. 1 on the Hot 100

'The Voice' scores big on the chart

LMFAO is having the last laugh as the Los Angeles duo scores its first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Party Rock Anthem” featuring Lauren Bennett and GoonRock.

The song ends Pitbull’s “Give Me Everything’s” one-week reign at the top as “Give” moves to No. 2. In a solo artist-dominated pop world, LMFAO is the first duo or group to hit No. 1 since Far*East Movement’s “Like a G6” in November, 2010. Both groups are on Cherrytree/Interscope. Previous to “Like a G6,” it was wasOutkast’s “The Way You Move” in 2004.

In a handy bit of trivia unearthed by Billboard, LMFAO’s Stefan Gordy is the younger brother of Kennedy Gordy, who reached No. 2 with “Somebody’s Watching Over Me” as Rockwell. Stefan is the son of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, while the other half of LMFAO is Gordy’s grandson.

Former No. 1, “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele slips 2-3. The next four spots remain the same as last week: Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” stays at No. 4, Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass, No. 5; Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory,” No. 6; and Perry’s “E.T.” featuring Kanye West, No. 7.

Rounding out the bottom third, Lil Wayne’s “How To Love” rises 10-8, OneRepublic’s “Good Life” jumps 18-9 (following Ryan Tedder’s performance of the tune on “The Voice” With finalist Beverly McClellan, and Hot Chelle Rae makes its first top 10 appearance with summer favorite “Tonight, Tonight,” which vaults 13-10.

Speaking of The Voice, the highest debut in the Hot 100 belongs to winner Javier Colon, whose “Stitch By Stitch” starts at No. 17.

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<p>Adele and Katy Perry</p>

Adele and Katy Perry

Credit: AP Photos

Adele, Katy Perry lead 2011 music top-sellers: Where's Lady Gaga?

Who comes in first?

It’s the year of the ladies so far: The biggest selling album for the first half of 2011 belongs to Adele and the best selling digital song to Katy Perry.

Adele’s “21” has sold 2.5 million copies since its Feb. 22 release in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan via Billboard. The second best-selling album so far belongs to Lady Gaga. “Born This Way,” which has shifted 1.5 million copies since it came out May 23. They are the only two albums released in 2011 to surpass 1 million in sales.

Coming in at No. 3 is Mumford & Sons’ “Sigh No More,” which has sold 982,000 since Jan. 1 (for a cumulative tally of 1.6 million since its release 71 weeks ago.  No. 4 is Jason Aldean’s “My Kinda Party” at 763,000 (1.4 million total in 34 weeks).

So how does this compare to the first half of 2010? It’s not much, but album sales for the first half are up 1%  over the first half of 2010 for a total of 155.46 million. More significantly, it marks the first time since 2004 that album sales have increased.

On the singles front, Perry’s “E.T.” featuring Kanye West has sold 4.12 million copies. It is one of two singles to hit the 4 million mark: Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” which spent 7 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, has sold 4.089 million digital downloads.

Last year, no single had moved that many copies yet: the leader was Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister” at 3.38 million. So far this year 52 songs have sold at least 1 million downloads compared to 39 at last year’s midway point.  Overall, digital track sales are up 11% over the first half of 2010.


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Listen: Blake Shelton's new song, 'God Gave Me You'

Listen: Blake Shelton's new song, 'God Gave Me You'

'The Voice' mentor serenades wife Miranda Lambert

With Blake Shelton’s “Honey Bee” still buzzing at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs, “The Voice” mentor has released, “God Gave Me You,”  the second single from his July 12 album, “Red River Blue.”

It would appear that Mr. Macho has quite a soft spot when it comes to his new bride, Miranda Lambert. The ballad, which is a remake of the song originally recorded by Christian artist Dave Barnes last year, appealed to Shelton when he and Lambert were going through a rough patch.

“Miranda and I have had our ups and downs over the years and this was definitely at a low point at our relationship.” he reveals in a behind-the-scenes look at the recording, which we've embedded below.  “But I heard that song come on the radio -- for whatever reason I was flipping through stations and landed on a contemporary Christian station, and that song came on and I almost had to pull the truck over. It was one of those moments for me where I felt like I was hearing that song at that moment for a reason.”

His devotion is clear, although he’s certainly putting her on a pedestal.  You’ll always be love’s great martyr and I’ll be the flattered fool. I need you,” he sings.

What do you think about Shelton’s softer side? Hear the song, exclusively streaming on The Boot,  here.


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<p>Noel Gallagher at his press conference</p>

Noel Gallagher at his press conference

Oasis's Noel Gallagher sets release date for solo debut

Will it fare better than his brother's Beady Eye set?

Let the Gallagher Bros. rivalry continue:  Oasis’s Noel Gallagher will release “Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds” Nov. 8 on Sour Mash/Mercury Records.

Gallagher’s solo debut follows the March release of  “Different Gear, Still Speeding,” the first album from Beady Eye, a band composed of his brother Liam and three other members from Oasis.  The set failed to resonate with U.S. listeners despite working a number of tracks to radio and peaking at No. 31 on the Billboard 200.

“Different Gear” met with greater success in the U.K, where the Steve Lillywhite-produced  set reached No. 3. The band, who played four sold-out club shows in the U.S. last month,  also received a best new band nomination for the NME Awards.

Gallagher, who announced the new album at a press conference in London today, revealed he recorded the album in London and Los Angeles with co-producer Dave Sardy. Gallagher has already completed a companion set, which re corded with duo Amorphous Androgynous, will come out next year.

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Eminem's 'Recovery' becomes first album to sell a million downloads

Who will be the next artist to surpass the million mark?

Eminem217;s “Recovery” has set a milestone: the Grammy-nominated project is the first album to sell 1 million downloads in the U.S. 

To be exact, the title has sold 1,001,000 cumulative albums digitally (that means at least 10 songs downloaded from the set) and 3.9 million total in the U.S. 

While the physical CD is clearly headed out, given that almost 75% of “Recovery’s” sales have been via physical CD, its demise isn’t here yet.

Hot on “Recovery’s” heels is Adele’s “21,” which is on target to pass the 1 million mark next week, according to Nielsen SoundScan via Billboard. That means its digital vs. physical rate is much closer, which physical sales accounting for slightly more than 50% of the set’s tally.

Since 2005, the year that Nielsen SoundScan began logging digital album sales, a cool dozen titles have sold at least 500,000 downloads.

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