Watch: Matthew Morrison's video for 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow'

Watch: Matthew Morrison's video for 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow'

What would Judy Garland think?

Diehard Gleeks know that  Mr. Shuester, oops, we mean Matthew Morrison, has a solo album coming out. The "Glee" star's solo album features Morrison duetting on “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” with Gwyneth Paltrow, aka Holly Holiday, as well as a collaborating with Elton John on a medley of “Mona Lisas and Madhatters” and “Rocket Man.”

To whet your appetite, Morrison’s label, Mercury, has released this very low key Paltrow-less video of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”  Watch it here. You can buy it on iTunes starting today.  Although to use the word video is really a bit of a misnomer, since it’s a collection of stills of Morrison playing the song up against a gross, dingy white background. This has the production values of one of those little flip books that you used to have as a kid: you know, the kind that would kind you would flip the pages as quickly as possible to make the ballerina dance. 

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Paul McCartney</p>

Paul McCartney

Credit: AP Photo

Paul McCartney featured on his own covers album with The Cure, Kiss

Billy Joel, Garth Brooks and Paul Rodgers among the other guests

Well, he certainly knows the material. Paul McCartney is recording a new album composed of covers of his Wings and solo material.

McCartney will be joined by a number of famous friends for the project, including Kiss, Billy Joel, and the Cure, who recorded with McCartney's son James, according to Britain’s The Sun newspaper.

Other outlets are reporting that Garth Brooks and Paul Rodgers are also on the album. No word on if the Foo Fighters will contribute their excellent version of "Band on the Run." 

We’re reached out to McCartney’s U.S. label, Concord, to see what more we can find out.

 

Read Full Post
<p>Foo Fighters</p>

Foo Fighters

Foo Fighters, Paul Simon, TV on the Radio lead April 12 new albums

Also check out Jessie J, Alison Krauss and Low

Expect at least six new debuts in the top 10 next week from this slew of April 12 releases that holds something for everyone. Rockers have Foo Fighters’ “Wasting Light,” as well as softer efforts from  BellX1. Fans of heavenly voices can fight over new sets from Alison Krauss and k.d. lang. Anglophiles get pop’s next big thing, Jessie J, while the indie set can salivate over new collections from Low and TV on the Radio. Plus, famed singer/songwriter Paul Simon returns with his first new album in years.

Bell X1, “Bloodless Coup” (Yep Roc):
New album from melodic Irish rock group. The one without Bono.

Foo Fighters, “Wasting Light” (Roswell/RCA):
Dave Grohl and the boys are back for their seventh studio album produced by Butch Vig and featuring Grohl’s Nivana bandmate, bassist Krist Novoselic. Read review here.

Jessie J, “Who You Are” (Lava/Universe):
British pop diva with the big vocals has already stolen the show on “Saturday Night Live.” What are you waiting for? Check out first single, “Price Tag,” featuring B.o.B.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>No joke.&nbsp; Sade and Jay-Z have teamed up.</p>

No joke.  Sade and Jay-Z have teamed up.

Listen: Sade and Jay-Z on 'The Moon and the Sky Remix'

Is it a marriage made in the stars?

Last week, we got a whiff of “Still in Love With You,” one of the previously unreleased tracks from Sade’s May 3 “Ultimate Collection,” but today we got the big one: the remix of “Soldier of Love” track, “The Moon and the Sky Remix,” featuring Jay-Z. It works surprisingly well.

There’s no interaction between the two, but Jay-Z’s rap in the middle over the Kurt Weil-type melody fits in perfectly.  And the remix is truly a remix (hint, hint, Britney and Rihanna). The song opens with an accordion and then steady, militant beats transform it to a completely different song from the original except for Sade’s exquisite heartbroken lyrics.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Pia Toscano of 'American Idol'</p>

Pia Toscano of 'American Idol'

Credit: FOX

Has 'American Idol's' Pia Toscano signed a record deal?

We've got the answer

Despite rumors over the weekend that ousted “American Idol” contestant Pia Toscano has signed a record deal with Interscope, our sources tell us that is simply not true.

She has not signed an album or a single deal and for now, there are no singles available from her other than the “American Idol” digital downloads via iTunes. There are, however, rumors floating around that Interscope has approached some songwriters and producers about providing material for her.

Interscope parent Universal Music Group has first option on signing the “AI” contestants, so there’s no rush for them to make a quickie deal with Toscano because she can’t go anywhere else until UMG makes its decision.

Plus, we’re not sure that UMG--via Interscope-- or any of their other imprints, would want to steal the winner’s thunder by putting out a new single from a voted-off contestant, no matter how shocking that elimination was.

As one of the final 11 contestants, Toscano will be on the “American Idol” tour this summer.

Read Full Post
<p>Rihanna and Britney Spears</p>

Rihanna and Britney Spears

Listen: Rihanna and Britney Spears duet on 'S&M'

Who's dominant on the remix?

 Rihanna likes being the bad girl, but she’s more than willing to share her whips and chains, especially when it comes to playing with her fellow sex kitten, Britney Spears.  Let’s just hope they disinfect those toys between usage.

As the two breathlessly  tweeted last night, they have paired together for a remix of Rihanna’s “S&M,” the original of which sits at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 right now. Hear their new version here.

The remix is the exact same musical bed as the current radio version, so it’s not a remix technically, instead they’ve turned it into a duet. The opening is now Spears singing the “C’mon, c’mon” part before Ri Ri sings the first verse as we’ve come to expect. Then Spears sings that verse about “gag and bound me.”  Oddly, she’s got a few years on Rihanna and playing the enchantress is nothing new for her, but she sounds so much more innocent than Rihanna here in her little, slight nasally coo of a voice. “S&M” features one of Rihanna’s strongest vocals so Spears has to bring her best game if she’s really singing instead of doing her talky-thing.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Britney Spears</p>

Britney Spears

Credit: Tony Avelar/AP

Billboard 200 chart preview: Does Britney stay at No. 1?

Adele's making a comeback

Like a cork bobber, Adele will rise back up to the top next week as “21” is poised to return to No. 1 for its fourth week on the Billboard 200 with sales of 95,000 copies.

That means Britney Spears’ “Femme Fatale” spends only one week at the summit, as it will drop to No. 2, from its opening frame of 278,000 thousand to 85,000.

Rap rockers Hollywood Undead come back to life with their second album as “American Tragedy” will bow at No. 3, a career high for the group. It is the only album set to bow in the top 10 other than metalcore band Asking Alexandria, whose “Reckless and Relentless” slides in at No. 10 with sales of 30,000.

The rest of the Top 10 remains fairly static as Wiz Khalifa’s “Rolling Papers” drops 2-4, Chris Brown’s “F.A.M.E.” slips 4-5, charity album “Songs for Japan” moves 5-6, Jennifer Hudson’s “I Remember Me” holds at No. 7, Mumford & Sons’ “Sigh No More” rises 11-8 and Kirk Franklin’s “Hello Fear” remains at No. 9.

Outside of the Top 10, the only other debut in the 20 will likely be “How To Become Clairvoyant,” Robbie Robertson’s first album in more than 10 years. It will likely bow at No. 17, according to Hits Daily Double, although the titles volleying for Nos. 12-19 are too close to call.
 

Read Full Post
<p>Bono and U2 perform in Argentina last week.</p>

Bono and U2 perform in Argentina last week.

Credit: AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko

Music Power Rankings The Grammys, Adele and U2 make some noise

Plus: Lady Antebellum and Miranda Lambert and more

A little gold statue of a gramophone was making a big noise this week as the Grammy Awards announced the biggest restructuring in their 53-year history.  Will cutting 31 awards make a difference to the viewers? Absolutely none. Will it have a negative effect on lots of niche indie labels? You betcha. Many of the smaller record companies can’t play with the big boys in the major labels, but they could hold their own in sub-genres like Hawaiian, Cajun and Native American music, all of which had their own categories until Wednesday’s announcement.  The other big change is that the gender categories are gone...no more best male or best female wins.

1. The Grammys (not ranked last week): Music’s most prestigious awards undergo their first major restructuring in decades, dropping the number of categories from 109 to 78. Does this mean the show will come in under three hours? Not a chance since the televised broadcast only hands out 10 or so awards anyway.

2. U2 (not ranked): This weekend while the rest of us are goofing off, U2 will be making history as its “360” tour becomes the highest grossing tour ever. On Sunday at a stadium show in San Paulo, Bono and the boys will get even richer as “360” hits the staggering $558 million mark. That tops the Rolling Stones’ “Bigger Bang” tour. And the Irish band isn’t done yet. By the trek’s conclusion, the total take will be $700 million. Luck of the Irish, indeed.

3. Adele (not ranked): Move over Madge: Adele’s  sophomore set, “21,” celebrates its 10th week atop the British album chart surpassing Madonna’s record for the most weeks spent consecutively at the top of the chart by a female artist.

4. Lady Antebellum (not ranked):
The Grammy and ACM winners now have another feather in their cap: “Need You Now” just surpassed Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” as the most downloaded country song. Taylor needs to date someone uberfamous, get dumped and write a song PDQ.

5. Miranda Lambert (not ranked): She was the big winner at the ACMs with four as her juggernaut started with last fall’s CMAs continues. But she’s not content to stick with music: she’s developing a drama for ABC Family. No, it’s not a reality show about the family that hunts together stays together.

6. Warner Music Group (not ranked): the second round of bidding for the label group closes with Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Companies leading the way with a $3 billion bid, according to the NY Post. Does that mean he might ask BFF Bill Clinton to run WMG? We just made that up, but how awesome would that be?

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Foo Fighters</p>

Foo Fighters

Album Review: Foo Fighters' 'Wasting Light'

Is Dave Grohl feeling the passage of time?

On “Wasting Light,” the Foo Fighters’ seventh studio album, founder Dave Grohl  has the sands of time running through his 42-year old mind. And he’d like to make one thing perfectly clear: he’s not going without a fight.  The album’s first line, “These are my famous last words: my number’s up,” on the spiky “Bridge Burning” is just the first clarion call. On “These Days,” one of the album’s strongest tracks, he sings, “one of these days, your eyes will close and the pain will disappear.” That may be OK for some, but not so for Grohl, who’s taking his heartbroken, bruised pride self with him kicking and screaming.

Nowhere is that more evident on album closer, “Walk,” where he rails and wails against time, “I’m on my knees, I never want to die, I never want to leave, I never want to say goodbye.”

Out April 12, “Wasting Light” is the band’s first studio album since 2007’s Grammy album of the year nominee “Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace,” an effort that many longtime Foo fans didn’t take to but that included the band stretching out a little on tracks like “Ballad of the Beaconsfield Miners." While "Echoes" had its high points, including terrific track "Long Road To Ruin," "Wasting Light" Is a much more focused, tighter effort.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Sade</p>

Sade

Listen: Sade's new 'Still in Love With You' from her 'Ultimate Collection'

Her heartbreak is icy blue

Sade fans got a fix last year when she released “Soldier of Love,” her first album of new material in 10 years  to great commercial and critical acclaim, but there’s more where that came from.  On May 3,  “The Ultimate Collection,” a two-disc, 29-song set comes out.  The first disc is basically a retread of “The Best of Sade” with two additional tracks, but the second disc includes eight songs not on the “Best of,” as well as four never release tunes, including the one we have below for you, “Still In Love With You.” There’s also a remix of “The Moon and the Sky” featuring Jay Z.

We don’t know the back story behind the largely-acoustic “Still in Love With You,” if it was meant for “Soldier Of Love” and didn’t make the cut or if it was recorded ages okay, but we do know it’s gorgeous as things dropped from Sade’s musical womb usually are. However, we have one big complaint (and we know this a lot of people’s issue with Sade), she is singing about getting her heart trampled on and she sounds about as emotional as if she were reciting her grocery list. (Reader Kevin below just informed us that this is a cover of a Thin Lizzy song.)

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post