Listen: Ne-Yo's 'Hurt Me' hurts so good

New single from 'Libra Scale' has him working a theme

Ne-Yo’s got it bad for a bad girl and that's not good: “All she wants to do is hurt me, she wants me to feel pain…she’s taken everything but my life and she wants that too,” on “Hurt Me.”

The mid-tempo song opens with an insistent rock beat that it quickly abandons for string fills before returning to them to lead into the second verse, then back into the strings. It’s a hypnotic, if somewhat, formulaic conceit, but what makes the track so memorable is the bridge. Over classic sounding, ‘7os melody lines, Ne-Yo’s voice swoops and soars over fairly mundane, Euro beats. He sounds so great , we’d like to hear him sing this tune a capella. He’s a compelling writer and producer (usually working with Stargate), but Ne-Yo also has a beautiful voice that he knows how to use to great effect. It's always smooth, even when the song takes a nasty turn.

As he deciphers the relationship, Ne-Yo realizes he may have created this beautiful monster. “I didn’t mean to do what I did…,” he sings. “Cold hearted, cold blooded…what have I done to you?”

Like previous single, “Beautiful Monster,” “Hurt Me” is on “Libra Scale,” which comes out Sept. 21. Also, similar to that track, which peaked at No. 26 on the Billboard’s Mainstream Top 40 chart, “Hurt Me” covers the same lyrical minefield about a woman who has grown hard to love at his hand. It’s too soon to tell if the new album will be as superb as the Grammy-nominated “Year of the Gentleman,” but it looks like it may give it a run for its money.


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Soundgarden to play Lollapalooza pre-show Aug. 5 in Chicago
Credit: Don VanCleave

Soundgarden to play Lollapalooza pre-show Aug. 5 in Chicago

Register by July 29 to win chance to buy tickets to theater show

Soundgarden is headlining Lollapalooza Aug. 8 in Chicago, but true fans will want to be at the band’s private show at the intimate Vic Theater on Aug. 5. The theater, which is beautiful, holds around 1000 or so. This will mark the second time Soundgarden has held a special show for its fan club members since reuniting. The first was in April in Seattle under the name Nudedragons.Plus, this way, you won't have to decide between Soundgarden and Arcade Fire on Sunday.

To qualify for ticktets, fans need to sign up for free at Soundgarden World and request a pair of tickets. Entry will end July 29. The winners will be randomly drawn and notified on July 30. Winners must purchase their tickets that same day.

You must be 18 to atted. The show is paperless and will be distributed at will call the day of the show. No single tickets sold (also no cost on the tickets yet) and all sales are final.

Soundgarden is asking only fans who have a realistic chance of going to the show to apply. In a missive to fans they say who should not apply: “For example, if you live in Slovenia and really, really, really want to go,
but there's no frickin' way you're flying all the way to Chicago for the show, don't make it harder for someone who can attend by putting in a request.” Enough said.

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Listen: Will Sugarland's new single 'Stuck Like Glue' stick with fans?

Or will Jennifer Nettles' rapping turn them off?

“Stuck Like Glue” isn’t only the name of Sugarland’s new single, it’s the description of how affixed the tune will be on the radio airwaves. It’s a little bit like the band’s “All I Wanna Do” with its infectious sing-along chorus, yet it takes Sugarland to a different place with its funky rhythms combined with lead singer Jennifer Nettles’ twangy vocals. There’s also the quirky Hawaiian/islandy feel to the beginning (Raise your hand if it reminds you of Train's "Hey Soul Sister").

Lyrically, the song celebrates—sort of—a love that dies and then revives itself again and again. “There you go, pulling my right back in,” she sings. We’re not sure being “stuck like glue” is such a good option here, but Nettles sounds so darn happy about it that she’s convinced us. She even raps in the middle. We're sure that's going to light up the switchboards at radio stations. It's not that she's bad at rapping; she adequate, to put it nicely, but the rap is completely extraneous and makes the song a novelty. 

"Stuck Like Glue," the first single from the duo’s fourth studio album, “The Incredible Machine,” is for sale on iTunes and getting airplay on radio, but the label won’t let us stream it, so if you can’t hear it on your local radio station or don’t want to buy it, below is the embed of Sugarland performing it live on July 24 in Eau Claire, Wis.  We saw Sugarland two weeks ago in Los Angeles. They weren’t performing “Stuck Like Glue” yet, but it was clear from the three new songs Nettles and Kristian Bush played, that they’re trying to push the boundaries of what they do. That’s fine, but the title track, a plodding tune, went over like a lead balloon in concert that night. So much so, that Nettles thanked the audience “for indulging us.” Still, Sugarland’s fans know and love the band’s quirks and detours, and more often than not, are very happy to choose the road less traveled with them. We’ll see if they’re willing to continue on their ambitious journey.

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<p>Katy Perry</p>

Katy Perry

Listen: Katy Perry has a crush in new single 'Teenage Dream'

Is Russell Brand the man of her 'Dream?'

Will it be another “California Gurls?” Or is that only in her dreams? Katy Perry’s new single, “Teenage Dream” is a fun, Kylie Minogue-like dance romp about falling in love. “I finally found you, my missing puzzle piece,” she sings. “This is real, so don’t ever look back.” Could she be singing about anyone other than fiancé Russell Brand and the way he makes her feel?

The thumper, which also is redolent of  Ke$ha's "Tik Tok," starts off dreamy and explodes into a massive beat. It doesn’t have the immediate ear-worm quality of “California Gurls,” which spent several weeks at No. 1, but is more of a grower in that it slowly seeps into your brain. Ultimately,the title track to her Aug. 24 album may have more staying power as it is less of a novelty song and shows off Perry’s vocals more. It’s available exclusively on iTunes, but here’s a version we found on Youtube below after the track listing.

"Teenage Dream" track listing is:

"Teenage Dream"
"Last Friday Night (TGIF)"
"California Gurls" feat. Snoop Dogg
"Circle The Drain"
"The One that Got Away"
"Who Am I Living For"
"Hummingbird Heartbeat"
"Not Like the Movies"

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Avenged Sevenfold

Avenged Sevenfold

Credit: Avenged Sevenfold

Avenged Sevenfold, Tom Jones and Sky Sailing lead July 27 release slate

Will Avenged Sevenfold finally end Eminem's reign at No. 1?

We’re emerging out of the summer doldrums this week, although we’re still a bit sleepy. However, Avenged Sevenfold is sure to wake everyone up based on sheer volume alone. Plus, they are the first contender with an outside chance of knocking Eminem off the top of the Billboard 200. We don’t know what took her so long, but season two “American Idol” contestant, Kimberly Caldwell finally releases her debut album, plus Tom Jones takes us to church and Owl City shows off his early, acoustic work under the name Sky Sailing.

Avenged Sevenfold, “Nightmare” (Warner Bros.): Metalheads return with their fifth studio album--their first since the death of drummer James Sullicanon,  produced by Mike Elizondo. The title track is already a hit at active rock radio. Will the Uproar tour headliners be the ones to knock Eminem out of the top spot on the Billboard 200? They have the best chance so far.

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<p>Mike Posner</p>

Mike Posner

Listen: Mike Posner's new single, 'Please Don't Go'

Same beat, but different tune from 'Cooler Than Me'

In his breakthrough hit “Cooler Than Me,” Mike Posner is chastising a girl from his alma mater, Duke, because she was so practiced at the art of making him feel like he—and every other male without a letter jacket—was not worthy of her.

In his new single, “Please Don’t Go,” which features the same skiffling beat, he’s changed his tune and is begging a girl to stay. Morning has come and he wants to keep the magical spell cast the night before unbroken.  It’s a sweet song, but at some point, radio is going to scream uncle.

Posner is the latest in a new slew of solo male pop artists—B.o.B., Taio Cruz, Drake (to a lesser extent),  Bruno Mars, Jason DeRulo and Jay Sean—who are all—more or less—filling the airwaves with mid-tempo, synthetic, beat-driven tunes about love. If you listen to them all in a row, you’ll come out of the room screaming for real drums and a soaring guitar riff that will make your ears bleed. Music goes in cycles and for a very long time, pop music was dominated by rap/urban leaning males—it still is, but most of these gentlemen, while still combining the two genres, slide more along the pop than the urban side of the spectrum.

Listen for yourself and tell us what you think.


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U2 pulls it out over Eminem to hit No. 1 on HitFix's Music Power Rankings list.

Credit: AP Photo

Music Power Rankings: Who comes out on top - U2, Eminem or Lady GaGa?

They all have a great week, but they aren't the only ones

Even with a bad back, Bono still has more power than the rest of us. He and his Irish band mates in U2 land at the top of Forbes annual Top-Earning Musicians with net earnings of $130 million for July 1-June 31. The only new artist to make the Forbes list is Lady GaGa, but she makes our list this week for a totally different reason that has nothing to do with money or fame, but with humanity.

1. U2: The Irish rockers top Forbes list of top-earning musicians. I believe they’ve found what they’re looking for.

2. Eminem (No. 1): Not only does “Recovery” log its fourth week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, for the first time in his career, Eminem lands back to back No. 1s. After “Not Afraid” went to No. 1 in May, “Love the Way You Lie” goes to No. 1 this week, bumping Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” out of the top spot after six weeks.

3. Rihanna (not ranked): The news is good for Eminem, but it’s great for Rihanna. “Love the Way You Lie” is her seventh No. 1 since she first debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 in June 2005, giving her more No. 1s in that time frame than any other artist. Lady GaGa is plotting as we speak.

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<p>Good Charlotte</p>

Good Charlotte

Good Charlotte moves to Capitol Records for new album, 'Cardiology'

Will the move help revive the pop punksters' career?

After a decade on Daylight/Epic, Good Charlotte has signed with Capitol Records.  The group, best known for such hits as “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” and “The Anthem,” will release its fifth studio album, “Cardiology,” on Oct. 26.

Led by twins Joel and Benji Madden, Good Charlotte had a great moment in the sun during the early-mid-2000s, when punk-flavored rock by their fellow practitioners such as Blink-182 and Lit was still flourishing (We put Green Day in its own class).

The Maddens, who have always had side careers as DJs—and as suitors/baby daddies of celebutantes—haven’t put out a full album since 2007’s “Good Morning Revival,” which had more of a dance flavor and spawned the hit, "Dance Floor Anthem."

Word is they’re returning a little more to their roots on “Cardiology.” They first worked with producer Howard Benson on the set and then switched to Don Gilmore, who produced the band's first and fourth albums.  In the meantime, the band—which also includes guitarist Billy Martin, bassist Paul Thomas and new drummer Dean Butterworth—headlined the Bamboozle Roadshow this summer, as well as opened European dates for Pink. A full U.S. tour will happen next year in support of “Cardiology.”


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Do Eminem and Rihanna finally end Katy Perry's 'California Gurls' run at No. 1?

We have a new champ on the Billboard Hot 100

Not that there was any doubt that Eminem’s “Recovery” from his “Relapse” was any less than complete, but just in case, the rapper scores his second No. 1 from the set on the Billboard Hot 100 as “Love the Way You Lie” feat. Rihanna moves into the top spot. Following the ascension of “Not Afraid” in May, it marks the first time in Eminem’s career that he has landed consecutive No. 1s on the Billboard Hot 100, according to Billboard. The song spends its fourth week at No. 1 on the digital songs chart.

There’s a little good news for Rihanna as well as “Love the Way You Lie” is her seventh No. 1 in five years, making her the artist with the most No. 1s on the chart since she first debuted in June 2005. (We have a feeling Lady GaGa’s  not going to be too happy about that).

Furthermore, Eminem knocks out Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” feat. Snoop Dogg. The undisputed song of the summer spent six weeks at No. 1. But don’t cry for Perry over losing the Hot 100 summit as the song goes to No. 1 on the Radio Songs chart.

The rest of the top 10 on the Hot 100 features no debuts, although Taio Cruz looks like he’s on his way to his second No. 1 as “Dynamite” skips from 6-4. Usher, whose former chart topper “OMG” drops 4-5,  lands the Hot Shot Debut on the chart as “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love” feat. Pitbull comes in at No. 19.

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Hitfix Interview: Creed's Scott Stapp: 'I was killing myself'

Lead singer discusses upcoming tour, new baby, solo album and the band's troubled past

After a long hiatus, Creed reunited in 2009 for a world tour and a new album, the appropriately named “Full Circle.” Fans welcomed the return of the hit makers, who have sold 35 million albums, back with arms wide open (pun intended). The new album debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and single, “Overcome,” was a hit at rock radio.

Now, Creed -- composed of vocalist Scott Stapp, guitarist Mark Tremonti, drummer Scott Phillips and bassist Brian Marshall -- is embarking on its “20-10 Tour.” Acknowledging the troubled touring season and in an effort to give fans a great deal, Creed is selling the first 2,010 reserved seats at each show for $20 with no additional service charges. The remaining seats on the amphitheater tour are either $20 or $10, plus ticketing fees.

Before the July 28 kick off in Washington, D.C., the band will play a Hard Rock Café in Nashville in a benefit for flood relief. Additionally, Creed is giving away a motorcycle and guitar, both of which will be on display at each tour site.

HitFix talked with Stapp, who called from his Florida home. The singer was very candid about his troubled past and gave us some exclusive details about his new solo album. He was also fairly glowing about the birth of his brand new baby boy, Daniel Issam (D.I.), who was born July 4.

Congratulations on your new son. Your three children range from two weeks old to 11 years old. How do you balance fatherhood with being away?

Well, I’ll tell you what, they’re going to have to understand if daddy doesn’t work, they’re going to eat me out of house and home. It may be harder for me, but knowing I’ve got a family to feed and put through school makes it real easy to go, “All right guys, Daddy’s going on tour,” because I know the goal: Just outside of loving music and being an artist and doing what I do, it is my job and I have to support my family. Although it’s tough, it’s what I gotta do.

The new tour starts July 28.  What happens right before you go on tour? Are you up all night packing like most of us before we go out of town?

I have to check everything and make sure my daughter hasn’t crawled into my road case.  My son Jagger is 11 now; he’s coming out with me. He’s going to be Daddy’s tech on this tour. It’s time for some father-son time as well, so I’m still going to be a daddy even on the road and it’s a good time we can spend together. As soon as D.I. gets the clearance that he can be exposed to the world, my family’s going to come out although that probably won’t be for a little while. I’m sure my wife will want to come out and leave the kids at home with her mom for a few days so we can have some quality time and enjoy each other. It’s good to have my family out and I love to have them all the time. It’s awesome. Thank god my son’s old enough now to help daddy remember everything to pack.

Does Jagger understand that “With Arms Wide Open” is about him and your joyous reaction to the news that you were becoming a father?

He does understand and I tell you we’ve had some really great moments watching “American Idol” or something like that and one of the contestants will sing something like “With Arms Wide Open” and you see him sitting there and his whole face turns red and he just smiles and I think he really does love and accept he’s “Arms Wide Open” boy. He has a lot of pride in that. It’s great for him. I hope my daughter will get the feeling when her song comes out, “Milan’s Song.” I have a song that I’ll be putting out when the time is right for my wife, called “Crazy in Love” and I just finished up with Desmond Child.

Is the song with Desmond Child for a new Creed album?

Right now, it’s going to be for a solo album, but we’ve got a lot of Creed stuff on the table. We’ll make another Creed album next year, an acoustic album. I’ll be doing some touring, kind of presenting the Creed songs in a different way after this Creed tour, and playing stuff from my first solo album, “The Great Divide.” The other guys will be doing some things with their band, Alter Bridge, and then we’ll get back together and do another Creed album and keep everything going.

How did the idea for the “20-10” tour come about with the discounted tickets?

[Co-manager] Paul Geary called with the concept and we were like, “Yeah, man!” [We got] Live Nation and Ticketmaster and all the people involved to cut their fees too to really make this affordable for the fans. It’s all about connecting and making where families and fans can come out and have a good time and not have to skip a month’s rent.

You’re clearly making less on the road as well at those prices. Are you scaling back production?

This is going to be a full-scale rock show…We make cuts like everybody else. It also has to do with a little self-belief in your band and in your art that you’re going to have staying power and be around and it’s not a money grab. And we care about the fans, man.  We’re not on another planet because of the success we’ve had. We’ve got families, kids, and bills and live on budgets and have all the same issues and stresses and pressures that blue collar America has. It’s another way of us saying, “Hey, we’re in there with you.

You’re playing a benefit at Nashville’s Hard Rock Cafe on July 26 for Hands on Nashville, a non-profit spearheading flood relief efforts. What’s your connection to Nashville?

It’s where we wrote the “Full Circle” album. We spent a month there doing writing and we’ve all got friends there and other artists we know. Our record company has an office there. I’ve got a voice coach there,
Creed reunited in 2009. What do you value this time around that you didn’t see so clearly the first time?
I think I did see it clearly until I made some decisions and the stress started wearing on all of us and we all made some decisions that started rubbing ourselves the wrong way. And then I made some poor decisions and became someone that I wasn’t because of drugs and alcohol. I’ve always appreciated these guys as artists and musicians and human beings and  you know, I think, being older and as time passes that that respect deepens and you don’t you know what you got ‘til it’s gone, but I never wanted it to be gone.

The one thing I can gain from that for me is during 2002, when I lost respect and just wasn’t myself and I don’t even know who I was, I obviously wasn’t respecting myself or appreciating the fans, my friends or anyone else. I was killing myself and hurting people around me. I didn’t want to do that, but it happened, and I made those decisions to do that. And now being able to just soak everything in and appreciate the guy to my left and my right and behind me and be in a place where I’m not such a rookie and naïve enough to put that stuff in my body that caused that again. I appreciate it all and respect it all and would never want to do anything to lose it.

What is your favorite moment of the night when you’re on stage?

I think it’s right at the end of the show when we all come together, arms around each other, and look at the fans and we’ve got smiles on our faces and we’re like, “Hey, guys. We’re Creed and Thank You.” We’re all there as a unit, as a band with our arms around each other and that’s a special moment for me.

Creed on tour:

MON    26-Jul    Nashville, TN    Hard Rock *
WED    28-Jul    Washington, D.C.    Jiffy Lube Live # ^
FRI    30-Jul    Mt. Pleasant, MI    Soaring Eagle Casino * ^
SAT    31-Jul    Darien, NY    Darien Lake Performing Arts Center ^
MON    2-Aug    Uncasville, CT    Mohegan Sun Arena # ^
TUE    3-Aug    Mansfield, MA    Comcast Center + ^
THU    5-Aug    Orillia, ON    Casino Rama Entertainment Casino*
FRI    6-Aug    Cleveland, OH    Blossom Music Center + ^
SAT    7-Aug    Ft. Macoy, WI    Constitution Park * ^
MON    9-Aug    Sioux City, IA    Tyson Events Center / Gateway Arena # ^
TUES    10-Aug    Sturgis, SD    Rock N the Rally * # ^
FRI    13-Aug    Cincinnati, OH    Riverbend Music Center # ^
SAT    14-Aug    Indianapolis, IN    Verizon Wireless Music Center # ^
SUN    15-Aug    Chicago, IL    First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre # ^
TUE    17-Aug    Camden, NJ    Susquehanna Bank Center ^
WED    18-Aug    Scranton, PA    Toyota Pavilion # ^
FRI    20-Aug    Gilford, NH    Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion * # ^
SAT    21-Aug    Holmdel, NJ     PNC Bank Arts Center ^
TUE    24-Aug    Wantagh, NY    Nikon at Jones Beach Theater # ^
WED    25-Aug    Saratoga, NY    Saratoga Performing Arts Center # ^
FRI    27-Aug    Raleigh, NC    Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion at Walnut Creek  # ^
SAT    28-Aug    Virginia Beach, VA    Virginia Beach Amphitheater + ^
SUN    29-Aug    Atlanta, GA    Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood # ^
TUE    31-Aug    West Palm Beach, FL    Cruzan Amphitheatre # ^
WED    1-Sep    Tampa, FL    Ford Amphitheatre # ^
FRI    3-Sep    Dallas, TX    Superpages.com Center # ^
SAT    4-Sep    Houston, TX    Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion + ^

*These select shows do not include specially priced tickets.

# with special guest Skillet
^ with special guest Theft
+ with special guest Red

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