Inside Music with Melinda Newman

Kings of Leon set dates for 2014 Mechanical Bull run

Tour kicks off in Atlanta

<p>Kings of Leon</p>

Kings of Leon

Kings of Leon, whose new album, “Mechanical Bull,” debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, will kick off a tour in support of the album Feb. 5, 2014 at Philips Arena in Atlanta. Gary Clark Jr. will open the shows.

Hopefully the tour will go better than the group's last outing in 2011: the North American leg ended after lead singer Caleb Followill left the stage, telling the audience he had to go "vomit" and "drink a beer," in that order. The band canceled the rest of its U.S. tour that year, but completed some international dates.

As HitFix's recent interview with Jared Followill revealed, the band seems to be in a much better place now.

Tickets go on sale Nov. 1 for the outing.


Kings of Leon tour dates:

February 5 Atlanta, GA Philips Arena
February 7 Nashville, TN Bridgestone Arena
February 9 Louisville, KY KFC Yum! Center (on sale Nov 2)
February 11 Auburn, MI The Palace At Auburn Hills
February 14 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
February 15 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Arena (on sale Nov 2)
February 18 Columbus, OH Schottenstein Center (on sale Nov 2)
February 19 Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center
February 21 Washington DC Verizon Center
February 23 London, ON Budweiser Gardens (on sale Nov 2)
February 24 Montreal, QC Bell Centre (on sale Nov 2)
February 26 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre (on sale Nov 2)
February 28 Boston, MA TD Garden
March 5 Kansas City, MO Sprint Center
March 6 Minneapolis, MN Target Center (on sale Nov 2)
March 8 Chicago, IL United Center (on sale Nov 2)

Lorde's 'Royals' rules at no. 1 for fourth straight week

Eminem's "Rap God" flies into Top 10

<p>Lorde</p>

Lorde

Lorde’s “Royals” logs its fourth week atop the Billboard Hot 100, giving the New Zealand singer the longest reign by a female artist in the top spot this year.  We have to go back to last summer when Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe”  ruled at No. 1. for nine weeks to find a longer stint by a female.

Katy Perry, whose new album, “Prism,” came out Tuesday (23), claims two spots on the Hot 100- her former No. 1, “Roar,” is at No. 2, while new single “Unconditionally” bows at No. 54.

“Roar” switches places with Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball,” which drops to No. 3.

Avicii’s “Wake Me Up!” remains at No. 4, while Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home” (featuring Majid Jordan)” holds at No. 5, according to Billboard.

Ylvis’s “The Fox”  stays at No. 6, while Eminem’s new single, “Rap God” bows on the chart at No. 7, the only new entry into the Top 10.

Otherwise, Jay Z’s “Holy Grail” (featuring Justin Timberlake) slides 7-8, Lady Gaga’s “Applause” drops 8-9 and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”  slips 9-10 in its 21st week in the Top 10.

Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong's new album: Everly Brothers covers with Norah Jones

Pair reinterprets traditional songs from 1958 Everlys' classic

<p>Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones, &quot;Foreverly&quot;</p>

Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones, "Foreverly"

They may not be siblings, but we bet they come up with some pretty sweet harmonies:  Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones have joined together to record “Foreverly,” a 12-track collection inspired by The Everly Bros. 1958 collection, “Songs Our Daddy Taught Us.”

The Everlys’ set featured interpretations of traditional American songs, such as “Roving Gambler,” “Down In The Willow Garden,” “Long Time Gone” , That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine” and “Kentucky,” all of which Armstrong and Jones have re-recorded for “Foreverly.”

Armstrong discovered the album a few years ago and was keen to remake it, but with a female artist. “I thought of Norah because she can sing anything,” he said in a statement. “I knew her harmonies would be amazing. I thought the songs would take on a different meaning working with her.” 

For her part, Jones says “Billie Joe’s enthusiasm about the songs and his low-key open approach to the music was very inviting. He wasn’t set in his ideas, which iade it fun for us both to sort of discover what felt right for us musically.”

The pair recorded the album in New York over a nine-day period with bassist Tim Luntzel, drummer Dan Rieser, fiddle player Charlie Burnham and pedal steel player Johnny Lam. “When we were done with the album, Norah looked at me and said, “I bet you didn’t think you were going to make a country record, huh?’,” Armstrong said.

“Foreverly” will come out via Reprise Records on Nov. 25. In the meantime, you can hear Armstrong and Jones’ version of “Long Time Gone” below.

"Foreverly" track listing:

"Roving Gambler"
"Long Time Gone"
"Lightning Express"
"That Silver Haired Daddy Of Mine"
"Down In The Willow Garden"
"Who's Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Little Feet"
"Oh So Many Years"
"Barbara Allen"
"Rockin' Alone (In An Old Rockin' Chair"
"I'm Here To Get My Baby Out Of Jail"
"Kentucky"
"Put My Little Shoes Away"

Listen to a new 'Hunger Games: Catching Fire' song by Of Monsters and Men

Song captures Katniss' isolation

Listen to a new 'Hunger Games: Catching Fire' song by Of Monsters and Men

Of Monsters and Men may be from Iceland, but they sound like they could be residents of The Capitol on this song snippet from “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” soundtrack.

“Silhouettes” captures the Nanna Bryndis Hilmarsdottir’s unique vocals, use of percussion and non-traditional rock instruments like the melodica that helped make them one of last year’s breakout artists with such songs as “Little Talks” and “Mountain Sound.”

The band used the sense of isolation that comes from being on the road to relate to Katniss’s struggles, the group’s Ragna Porhallsson told MTV News. “We had been traveling for a long time and away from our family and doing something we had never done before, so that was kind of how we related to the story,” he said.

Of Monsters and Men based the song on the overall feel of the book the sequel is based upon. “I think that’s stronger than...writing a song about one scene,” Porhallsson said.

Listen to a snippet of Lady Gaga's quirky 'ArtPop'

The two belong together, according to Momma Monster

<p>Lady Gaga</p>

Lady Gaga

Credit: AP Photo

There’s more Art than Pop on the title track to Lady Gaga’s “ArtPop.”

After releasing the catchy, if somewhat  generic pop/R&B track, “Do What U Want,” featuring R. Kelly earlier this week, she returns with this esoteric 90-second snippet of “ArtPop.” It has real possibilities as a dance track if some smart remixers get their hands on it, but it’s too quirky for much else.

As she sings, “We could, we could, we could belong together. ArtPop, ArtPop,” she seems determined to convince us on this project that Art and Pop aren’t mutually exclusive. I’m not sure who she’s trying to persuade...

“ArtPop” comes out Nov. 11. Are you excited to hear the full album?

 

Katy Perry's 'Prism' reflects her heart and soul set to a beat: Review

Her fourth album reveals a new dimension

HitFix
B+
Readers
n/a
<p>Katy Perry's &quot;Prism&quot;</p>

Katy Perry's "Prism"

Credit: Capitol Records

Katy Perry’s fourth studio album, “Prism,” finds her recovering from her divorce from Russell Brand and headed straight into love again... this time with John Mayer and, hopefully, with better results.

“Prism,” out Tuesday (22), is filled with lessons learned and self affirmations, and part of the fun is voyeuristically listening to tracks and knowing they’re about Brand or Mayer. The pop priestess lays herself bare on a number of these tunes including the confessional “By the Grace of God” and jubilantly romantic “Double Rainbow.”

Working with a range of producers from Dr. Luke to Stargate, Cirkut, Benny Blanco and Klas Ahlund, Perry pushes herself melodically here, with many of the songs seemingly influenced by the ‘80s and ‘90s. Tempos shift, synths weave in and out, and her voice rides the musical tide, often soaring on “Unconditionally” and “Double Rainbow.”

Just an any Perry album is a bit of a deep dive into her diary (she just doesn’t catch as much flack for it as Taylor Swift does... ), her sets are also a chance to cut loose, forget your cares and hit the dance floor. All your boogie needs are met as well with the playful “Walking on Air” and “International Smile.”

At this point into her career, Perry should be stretching herself a little more than she does, especially lyrically. Some of her phrases are often sound like a school girl’s, but it’s a small quibble when she admirably remains willing to reveal her soul.

Here's our track-by-track review of "Prism."

Roar:  Perry asserts that she is back and she is better than ever on this feisty first single from “Prism.” The steady stomp keeps the former No. 1 track  grounded, while much of the rest of hand clap and mid-tempo piano production sound straight out of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. In fact, if you’re old enough it may remind you a little bit of the chorus of  Martika’s “Toy Soldiers” crossed with M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes,” with some Avril Lavigne thrown in for good measure. GRADE: B+

“Legendary Lovers”: Set against a middle-eastern beat, Perry’s words rush out in a torrent as she declares her intent to be part of a pair of lovers who are legendary in their ardor. The song shifts tempos and styles throughout. More intriguing than catchy. “Legendary Lovers” is “Prism’s” “E.T.” GRADE: B-

“Birthday”: Perry gets her Prince on in this delectable pop confection. Bouncy and fun as it gets, with a winking, sexy nod to bringing out the “birthday balloons.” GRADE: B+

“Walking On Air”: Perry enlisted the air of Swedish producer, Klas Ahlund, best known for his work with former Perry tour mate, Robyn, for this ‘90s-inspired fluffy house twirler. The juxtaposition of Perry’s airy vocals with her big-voiced, Martha Wash-like collaborator are heavenly. GRADE: A

“Unconditionally”: A big mid-tempo power ballad, propelled by Dr. Luke and Cirkut’s wide-open synth and percussion production. The title is a bit of a mouthful for Perry to get around over and over, but the theme of unconditional love resonates in part because of her convincing delivery. Is this song, the second single from the set, about John Mayer? We say yes. GRADE: B

“Dark Horse” featuring Juicy J: It’s not as out there (literally and figuratively) as “E.T.,” but it’s definitely not Perry’s standard pop, though with its finger snaps and pulsating, hypnotic beat, it will certainly fit in at radio. Juicy J’s rap —outside of regrettable line “She cuts your heart out like Jeffrey Dahmer”—fits in smoothly, though makes the cut sound a little dated. GRADE: B

“This Is How We Do”:
It’s hard not to raise your arm in the air and wave it back and forth in this old-school sounding track about partying. Perry name drops Mariah Carey and Backstreet Boys in a song that would border on Ke$ha-like novelty if it weren’t for the more infectious beat. Unlike anything else Perry has recorded before. Could be a sleeper hit. Klas Ahlund is also behind this partially spoken track.  GRADE: C

“International Smile”: A musical cousin to “California Gurls,” this ode to a girl who is making the most of the mile high club as she traverses the globe is a bit of a jumbled mess, though it will make a cute video, and the upbeat track could make a strong live set piece. GRADE: C

“Ghost”: “You sent a text, it’s like the wind changed your mind,” Perry sings in the opening line of this touching mid-tempo tune about her split with Russell Brand. “My vision’s 20/20/I see through you now,” she sings without a trace of vitriol, except when she delivers the line, “So rest in peace/I’ll see you on the other side.” Last album’s “E.T.” is this album’s “Ghost.”  GRADE: B+

“Love Me”: Hushed synth droplets open the track as Perry sings about getting lost in someone else (possibly about Brand but more likely about Mayer from the first go-round) before turning the song into a self-love anthem (no, not that kind silly!) about how “I have to love myself the way I want you to love me.” A vulnerable, stripped-down song, despite a few awkward turns of phrase. Nice production by Swedish producer/songwriter Bloodshy. GRADE: B

“The Moment”: A treacly mid-tempo tune about how all we have is this moment, “so why don’t you be here with me.” The melody doesn’t really suit Perry’s range and the lyrics are straight out of a bad Hallmark card. However, if you are a high school girl looking for a prom theme song, here you go. GRADE: C-

“Double Rainbow”: She’s learning to love again in this sweet love letter to John Mayer, produced by Greg Kurstin and co-written by Sia. “When I found you, it was all pitter-patter,” she sings. Great raw, emotional vocal delivery by Perry here. Big drums come in giving it an ‘80s feel. Unabashedly uncynical. GRADE: B

“By The Grace of God”: Gut-level honest ballad about her divorce and how she  felt it was all her fault until she realized in some ways, it had nothing to do with her, and that she made the decision to go on: “I put one foot in front of the other and looked in the mirror and decided to stay. I wasn’t going to let love take me out that way.” On the piano/synth track with ‘90s production, she thanks those who helped her through, like her sister. This is autobiographical as it gets. More appealing for her honesty than for the melody.  GRADE: B

Justin Bieber's new sexy jam, 'Hold Tight': Listen

Those are some powerful kisses his lady is delivering

HitFix
C
Readers
n/a
<p>Justin Bieber's 'Hold Tight'</p>

Justin Bieber's 'Hold Tight'

It’s seksi time for Justin Bieber in his new track, “Hold Tight,” his third track in his series of #MusicMondays releases.

Backed by a R&B slow jamming click track, Bieber brings out his falsetto to talk about his lady’s great kisses.

Between lyrics like “That thing is swollen/you got me oh so in a trance,” “So hard/work it out” and “trying to maintain, so don’t mind if I turn away” we’re trying desperately to get certain mental images out of our head. 

The song has no change in tempo at all and Bieber’s delivery instead of sounding sexy, just seems forced, but if you’re a Bieber fan who dreams of getting your boy in a lip lock, this song will probably work for you.

Have you started your countdown clock until Dec. 25, when Bieber's movie, "Believer" opens? 

 

Listen: Taylor Swift's new track 'Sweeter Than Fiction' from film 'One Chance'

Singer co-wrote track with fun.'s Jack Antonoff

HitFix
B
Readers
n/a
<p>Taylor Swift</p>

Taylor Swift

Pair Taylor Swift with fun.’s Jack Antonoff and the result is just as one would expect: an upbeat pop track with swelling choruses and a peppy message. So it is with “Sweeter Than Fiction,” the tune the pair wrote for “One Chance,” the British film about “Britain’s Got Talent” winner Paul Potts’ rags-to-riches story after he went from store clerk to chart-topping singer.

The song, which will run over the end credits, is a sweet tale about loving someone before they were famous and how glorious the success is after all the rejection that came before it. Of course, in the song, the pair stand united after fame hits instead of his dumping her for a younger super model.

The opening guitar strum will remind Swift fans of “You Belong With Me” run through fun.’s synthesizers and an '80s  British  synth pop filter. It could almost be in a John Hughes movie, though it's too mainstream.

Having just finished her world tour, Swift continues work on her next album the follow-up to 2012’s “Red.” She pretty reliable releases an album every two years in the fall, so expect her fifth studio album next fall.

This trailer features Swift talking about being inspired by Potts' struggle to write the song, as well as footage from the film and Swift and Antonoff in the studio.  Below is the full version of the song.

Music Power Rankings: Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber and Hall & Oates top the list

Marilyn Manson makes the tally for the first time

<p>Miley Cyrus</p>

Miley Cyrus

1. Miley Cyrus: “Bangerz” slams its way to No. 1 on the Billboard 200, crushing the competition. Even Sinead bought a copy.

2. Justin Bieber: His new movie, “Believe,” will open on Christmas Day. God gave us his only begotten son that day, Bieber gives us his latest film.

3. Morrissey: His autobiography finally comes out and it turns out you’re nobody if he hasn’t had a spat with you. And, for the last time, there will be no Smiths reunion.

4. Hall & Oates: The beloved duo finally lands a nomination for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame after years of lobbying from its fans. But will they lose out because a Kiss is on the list?

5. Lady Gaga: She’ll be spending her Thanksgiving with the Muppets in new TV special. That’s so much better than dried-out turkey with feuding relatives.

6. Taylor Swift: The 23-year old is honored for the sixth time by the Nashville Songwriters Assn. International as Songwriter/Artist of the year. They are never, ever breaking up.

7. Marilyn Manson: In what is actually a perfect fit, Manson is joining the cast of “Once Upon A Time.” The show creator said they wanted someone “with the vocal ability to make our skin crawl.” Oh, so he’ll be singing his lines, then...

8. Robert Plant: He went up to Misty Mountain and came down with some previously unreleased Led Zeppelin recordings. Is the new Beyonce album in the same hiding place?

9. A Tribe Called Quest: Following its Nov. 24 Madison Square Garden show with Kanye West, the seminal hip-hop collective will disband for good... at least until they reunite again.

10: Maxine Powell: Powell, who died this week at 98, held the unofficial title of Chief of Charm for Motown, training artists like the Jackson Five and Smokey Robinson how to dress and treat people. Can you imagine what she’d say to the likes of Rihanna and Miley Cyrus?

Pearl Jam's 'Lightning Bolt' will blaze onto Billboard 200 next week

Seattle band's latest is one of seven debuts in the Top 10

<p>Pearl Jam</p>

Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam will claim the top spot next week with “Lightning Bolt.” The group’s 10th studio set will move close  to 180,000 copies. That’s 100,000 more than  Miley Cyrus’s “Bangerz,” which drops to No. 2 with sales of around 80,000.

The Seattle rockers are seven acts debuting in the top 10 next week:  Paul McCartney’s “New” will launch at No. 3 (75,000), Avett Brothers’ “Magpie and the Dandelion” at No. 4 (65,000), Scotty McCreery’s “See You Tonight” at No. 6 (50,000), The Head and the Heart’s “Let’s Be Still” at No. 8 (40,000), Willie Nelson’s “To All The Girls...” at No. 9, and Gavin DeGraw’s “Make A Move” at No. 10, according to Hits Daily Double.

There’s barely room for holdovers from this week, but in addition to Cyrus, Drake’s “Nothing Was The Same” is at No 5 and Lorde’s “Pure Heroine” is at No. 7.

Look for Pearl Jam’s stint at No. 1 to be brief as Katy Perry’s Prism, which comes out Oct. 22, is a lock to grab the top spot week after next.

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