<p>A moment from the new video</p>

A moment from the new video

Credit: Universal Island Records

Listen: U2's new song, 'Ordinary Love'

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Track is featured in 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom'

U2 has released its first new song in four years:  “Ordinary Love” is from the soundtrack for “Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom.”

The tune, which the band released Thursday on its Facebook page, is instantly recognizable due to Bono’s vocals, but unlike so much of U2’s material, it’s keyboard driven. In fact, The Edge’s guitar work isn’t really prominent until around the 2:30 mark.

Thematically, the song covers familiar terrain for U2: love, respect, community —all of which are certainly shared by Mandela.

Bono’s the only band member whose face is scene in the lyric video and that’s only very briefly. There’s no movie footage, though a paintings of Mandela crop up occasionally.

It’s a good song, but it doesn’t have U2’s trademark anthemic feel.

“Ordinary Love” will be released as a 10” on Record Store Day, Nov. 29, with a new version of “Breathe,” a song originally released on U2’s 2009 album, “No Line On the Horizon.”

U2’s new album is tentatively slated to come out in April, as previously reported. The majority of the set was produced and mixed by Danger Mouse.
 

 
Post by U2.
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Demi Lovato turns back the clock in video for 'Neon Lights'
Credit: Hollywood Records

Demi Lovato turns back the clock in video for 'Neon Lights'

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Day-glo colors don't save the day...or night

Demi Lovato’s new video for “Neon Lights” plays out like a Samsung commercial that flashes back to the ‘80s. Between the neon bracelets and neon lipstick all enhanced by black light, all that’s missing to complete the set is a Swatch.

There’s not much to the clip: The “X Factor” judge dancing in the club in her ‘80s wear straight ouf of Ltd Express,  poses of her in the water apropos of nothing, and beautiful bodies in provocative poses. Add in the Samsung product placement and it’s a wrap.

The song, from her current album, "Demi," is a bit of a cross between Rihanna’s “Diamonds” and Katy Perry’s “Fireworks” and Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite,  and feels inferior to all three.

Lovato is talented and capable of really nice music, but this does nothing to prove that. It is, however, an excellent set up for her "Neon Lights" tour, which kicks off in February. The outing also features Cher Lloyd, and "X Factor" alums Little Mix and Fifth Harmony.

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Watch Arcade Fire's sweet new video for 'Afterlife'

Watch Arcade Fire's sweet new video for 'Afterlife'

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No, you don't have to wear formal attire or a costume to view it

Arcade Fire’s new video for “Afterlife” couldn’t be more different than the clip for “Reflektor’s” title track.

Instead of showcasing the band in oversized masks and white suits,  the Emily Kai Bock-directed video plays out like an indie film about the life of a Hispanic family trying to get through life day-to-day.

The clip, which does not feature the band,  starts with a long Spanish-spoken intro with a man, presumably a single dad, having dinner for his two sons after a day spent selling flowers by the roadside—a very familiar sight in Los Angeles, by the way.

They then all have their dreams, seemingly all about the same women: the father’s love of his life, who is the mother of his two children. She’s absent from their lives now for unexplained reasons, but weighs heavily in their thoughts.  It’s sweet and poignant and beautifully shot, especially the black and white portions from the father’s dream. But the nightmare of the little boy being put in the washer almost sent me over the edge.

Better yet about the video: you don’t have to dress in a costume or formal wear to watch it. As you heard, Arcade Fire’s request that fans wear “formal attire or costume” to their arena shows was met with a bit of a backlash from fans who thought paying for a ticket should be all required for their entry.

Yesterday, Arcade Fire took to its Facebook page to tell everyone to calm down a little bit; they were just trying to liven up the festivities:

“To everyone really upset about us asking people to dress up at our shows… please relax. It's super not mandatory. It just makes for a more fun carnival when we are all in it together. So far these have been the best shows we have ever played.
See you soon.
Love,

Arcade Fire”

 

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<p>Lorde</p>

Lorde

Credit: Andy Kropa/Invision/AP

Lorde's 'Royals' continues its reign atop Billboard Hot 100 for eighth week

Will Eminem's 'Monster' finally topple 'Royals?'

Lorde’s “Royals” spends an eighth week atop the Billboard Hot 100, tying Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” for most weeks at the summit this year.  “Royals” also continues its rule on Billboard’s Hot Rock Songs, spending its 12th week at No. 1.

However, it looks like Eminem’s “Monster,” featuring Rihanna, will knock Lorde off her lofty perch next week on the Hot 100. The song, which remains bulleted at No. 2 for the second week, is gaining speed at airplay and sales, according to Billboard.

Rounding out the Top 5: Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball” stays at No. 3, while Avicii’s “Wake Me Up!” switches places with Katy Perry’s “Roar,” at the DJ’s tune rises one spot to No. 4 and “Roar” falls to No. 5.

OneRepublic’s “Counting Stars” shoots 7-6, Imagine Dragons’ “Demons” leaps 9-7, Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home” slips 6-8, after rising as high as No. 4, and Lady Gaga’s “Applause” spends its 14th week in the Top 10, moving 10-9.

The lone new entry into the Top 10 belongs to Sunday night’s American Music Awards host Pitbull, whose “Timber,” featuring Ke$ha,” leaps 15-10.

 

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 A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera's stirring  'Say Something' video: Watch

A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera's stirring 'Say Something' video: Watch

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What you need to know about the New York duo

You know it seems like you’ve never heard of an act and then, in a flash, it seems like they’ve everywhere? So it is with A Great Big World.

The New York duo composed of Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino first caught people’s  attention with their viral hit “This Is the New Year,” which was covered on “Glee” earlier this year.

Then on Nov. 4, they performed their fragile, sad piano ballad, “Say Something,” with Christina Aguilera on “The Voice.” A studio version of the tune, also featuring Aguilera, was released that night on iTunes and sold enough copies for the song to soar to No. 2 on the ITunes Songs chart, according to Billboard.

And now the video of the song, released last night,  takes its anguish to a new level. If you’re not reduced to tears by the elderly couple, your last name is clearly Grinch and your heart needs to grow three sizes immediately. While Aguilera over-emotes a little in the video, she shows admirable restraint vocally, beautifully pairing with Axel’s vocals. The tune, which is No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100,  could have the sustaining success of Pink’s “Just Give Me A Reason,” featuring fun.’s Nate Ruess.

Following a self-released, Kickstarter-funded EP, A Great Big World has since signed with Black Magnetic/Epic Records, and will release its full-length debut album, "It There Anybody Out There,"  early next year.

As for Aguilera, she seems to be having more success as a featured artist right now than as  the main attraction. She and Pitbull took “Feel This Moment” to No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 earlier this year and it topped Billboard’s Dance/Electronic Songs.

A Great Big World and Aguilera will perform “Say Something” on the American Music Awards Sunday night (24).

 

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Watch: Katy Perry's  gorgeous 'Unconditionally' video
Credit: Capitol Records

Watch: Katy Perry's gorgeous 'Unconditionally' video

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She has never looked more beautiful or vulnerable

Katy Perry is the fairest of them all in the beautiful video for new single, “Unconditionally.” She travels through time and different scenarios —outside in the snow, at a ball — as her love burns through her (literally).

With frozen scenes that look like lavishly photographed tableaux, the video is a sumptuous visual feast with looks inspired by films like “Dangerous Liaisons” and “Anna Karenina,” according to Perry.

Love is a serious matter and it can feel like you’ve gotten hit by a truck when the right one comes along. In a beautiful explosion of color, the outdoor Perry gets hit by a car and the hit causes another version of herself to be immersed in flower petals that flow around her until the two images meld into one stunning final image.

It’s an intense video that attempts to capture real love. Perry isn’t winking to the camera. She is at her most vulnerable and her most beautiful. We never see the object of her desire and we don't need to. We know her love for him is complete.

"Unconditionally" is the second single from her No. 1 album, "Prism." 

What do you think of “Unconditionally?”

 

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Don't leave Britney Spears alone in your bedroom: 'Perfume' lyric video

Don't leave Britney Spears alone in your bedroom: 'Perfume' lyric video

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Stalking, or looking out for what's yours?

Don’t leave Britney Spears alone in your bedroom. That’s the takeaway from the lyric video from her new ballad, “Perfume.”

The clip features time-lapse Los Angeles traffic footage (see, we do have a skyline!), as the words to the song pop up on screen. “I’ll never tell, tell on myself, but I hope she smells my perfume,” Spears sings as she (or at least her hands) trawl through her lover’s things. She leaves her lip print on a book of matches, goes through his drawers, leaves love notes where they can easily be found, and even spritzes a sheet of paper with her perfume and hides it in her bow-tie-wearing beau’s shirt jacket. To her credit, the cologne she sprays doesn’t even look like it’s one of her signature scents. It’s rare these days for an artist to bypass a product placement, but it looks like Spears did...

There’s a fine line between stalker and just looking out for what’s yours and Spears comes a little close to stalking here, given that her boyfriend is nowhere in sight, but we’ll wait to see how the full video unfurls to decide whether he needs to take out a restraining order.

"Perfume" is the second single from "Britney Jean," Spears' eighth studio album out Dec. 3. Another track, the William Orbit-produced  "Alien," leaked yesterday. Like "Perfume," it features Spears signing rather than her breathy talking vocals as as  on "Work Bitch." She's questioning life beyond earth in the new tune.  Hear "Alien" here.

In the meantime, MTV is offering you a chance to attend Spears' new Las Vegas residency at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino as part of a new contest. Fans can enter between now and Dec. 1 at Britney.MTV.com

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<p>Bruce Springsteen, &quot;High Hopes&quot;</p>

Bruce Springsteen, "High Hopes"

How quickly will a new Springsteen album follow Nov. 25's 'High Hopes' release?

We have 'High Hopes' for an early 2014 arrival.

Bruce Springsteen will release a new single, “High Hopes,” next Monday. The bigger question is how quickly will a new studio album, his 18th, follow?

Yesterday, the internet ran wild with rumors that Springsteen would put out “High Hopes” today, but last night his website, brucespringsteen.net, squelched that by putting up a single cover and news that the tune will come out next Monday, Nov. 25.

Now speculation is that a new Springsteen album, his first since 2012’s “Wrecking Ball,” could come out as early as January, according to Billboard.

Fans know that Springsteen has been in the studio, including while he was on the road in Australia, where it seems that “High Hopes” was recorded.  “We’ve never had a recording session during a tour in our lives,” he told Rolling Stone. “We did a couple of things that I wanted to put down. So that was very exciting.”

Springsteen included a version of the tune in the 1996 documentary, “Blood Brothers,” but next Tuesday’s rendition was recorded this summer with Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello. The guitarist was filling in for Steven Van Zandt, who was filming “Lillehammer.” 

Since 2002’s “The Rising,” Springsteen has released six studio albums and he told Rolling Stone that he’s feeling prolific. “I have a lot of material. I still feel like I’m in the middle of the well.”

Springsteen is on a little break from touring right now, and presumably in the studio. After coming off the road in late September, he said, “A week or two later, after stopping [touring], I’m in the studio working, making a demo.”

 In January, Springsteen and the E Street Band will play South Africa for the first time, which makes it a little doubtful that we’ll see the new album before those Jan. 26-Feb. 1 shows, but it’s good to know it’s coming. His last two sets were both released in the first quarter. Given that he is playing in South Africa the night of the Grammy Awards (Jan. 26), he won't have that platform to kick off the new set like he did "Wrecking Ball," or the Super Bowl half-time, which he used to promote 2009's "Working On a Dream," which came out a few days before the game.

Below is a loose-limbed version of the song performed by Springsteen and the band in Australia earlier this year.Under that is the Havalinas' original version. Unlike Springsteen's take of Jimmy Cliff's "Trapped," he stays pretty faithful to the original here.

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Kanye West's 'Bound 2' video is an instant classic and not in a good way

Kanye West's 'Bound 2' video is an instant classic and not in a good way

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See Kim Kardashian's assets on display in new clip

Kanye West lets his wild horses run free in his new video for “Bound2,” while his fiance Kim Kardashian lets her breasts run free. It’s as cheesy a video as we’ve ever seen. So much so, I’m a little in awe of just how bad it is.

The Nick Knight-directed video, which premiered on “Ellen” yesterday, has some of the worst green screen work (perhaps intentionally?) I’ve ever seen as West rides his motorcycle through very scenic America, but only has eyes for a topless Kardashian who straddles the bike and him and reclines on his ride, seemingly not caring at all that she’s gliding past the Grand Tetons. She also looks sexily into the camera and hugs her man...because, really, no sight can compare to the sight of her man.

It’s an instantly iconic video but not for a good reason. Unlike the other famous video it has recalled for me and some other bloggers—Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again,” which featured lead singer David Coverdale’s then girlfriend, Tawny Kitaen, having her way with a car hood —this one isn’t the least bit sexy except maybe to Kimye. Their combined narcissism runs as rampant as the flowing rivers. And it’s a bad song to boot. And yet, I cant stop watching it...

What do you think?

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<p>Justin Bieber with R. Kelly</p>

Justin Bieber with R. Kelly

Listen: Justin Bieber and R. Kelly duet on new song, 'PYD'

It doesn't stand for what you may think it does

Lady Gaga isn’t the only one making music with R. Kelly. In his latest  #musicmonday offering, Justin Bieber and the singer come together for “PYD.” No, that doesn’t stand for “Pretty Young Ding” (sorry, bad Michael Jackson joke). It stands for “Put You Down.”

However, “Put You Down” doesn’t refer to putting an animal to sleep or saying something bad about someone, in Bieber-speak it means laying some love on his lady...whether he’s “putting you down” in every room in the house or on a plane or train or roof or balcony. It’s Bieber meets R-rated Dr. Seuss.

Kelly comes in about midway through the slow jam. “I’ve been doing forensics on your body in this club and I can tell by how you’re walking your body ain’t been touched the right way,” Kelly sings.

It’s meant to be sexy, but it all felt a little too much like a The Lonely Island sketches with Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake as the badly-clothed douchbags from "Dick in a Box" and "Motherlover."  Can’t you see it?

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