T.I. is back from prison and he wants you to know he’s a changed man and that he has a really nice set of wheels waiting for him. Like recent videos from Jay Z and Young Jeezy, he’s working primarily in black and white here (we don’t know what that trend is all about, but we like it.)
Flo Rida knows a thing or two about making records people like. His smash, “Right Round,” set a a record for the most digital downloads in one week. It broke the record he’d himself set with “Low.”
The buff rapper will now see if he can continue making history with his third album, ”The Only One,” which Flo rida tells Hitfix he’s recording right now. He’s not lacking confidence, we’ll say that much about him.
The album title comes from, well, we’ll let him tell you: “I’m the only one that every time I drop a record, I make history,” he told us. “Every time I drop an album it’s a blessing because I’m doing things big and greater.”
Guests on this album include Lil Wayne on a track Flo Rida says is a real “club banger… I’m looking forward to getting a couple more features, but right now, most of the record is by myself.”
There’s another, sweeter reason for the album’s title: it turns out that Flo Rida is the only boy in his immediate family. He has seven sisters. And they taught him a thing or two about how to treat women. Their biggest tips to their bro? “Always listening and to just respect them,” he says.
“Zoosk Girl,” a track from “The Only One” featuring T-Pain, snuck out in late March.. What do you think?
Determined to rain on Courtney Love’s parade, her ex-boyfriend and sometime collaborator Billy Corgan spent much of Monday tweeting his disdain—to put it politely—for the singer, whose new album, “Nobody’s Daughter” comes out Tuesday. (Read our review here.)
Antiquiet connected the dots, but Corgan kept going after the website posted some of his “thoughts.” (Yes, he was nice enough to enumerate them). Corgan and Love wrote for “Nobody’s Daughter” together, but he told Rolling Stone that he didn’t give his permission for the songs to be on the album.
Heads up, guitarslingers: two of the best, John Mayer and Keith Urban will shoot it out, musically speaking, on “CMT Crossroads.” The show, which pairs pop and country stars such as Taylor Swift with Def Leppard, begins airing June 18.
Taped in Nashville, the program features such Urban hits as “’Til Summer Comes Around,” and “Sweet Thing,” as well as Mayer tunes like “Perfectly Lonely” and “Gravity.” They close the show with their take on George Michael’s “Faith.” What? No “I Want Your Sex?”
Itâ€™s not Courtney Loveâ€™s fault that her life is far more interesting than her music could ever be (Oh wait; actually it probably is).Â Publicly, she seems to careen from train wreck to train wreck like a pinball traveling at high velocity.
On â€œNobodyâ€™s Daughter,â€ the first album from her band Hole in 12 years, we get a Love who, while vitriolic and lacerating (often toward herself) is never as captivating as one of her rambling missives that seem to appear out of nowhere every now and then. But that doesnâ€™t mean the whole exercise is a wash. Far from it.
But first, letâ€™s clear up this whole Hole thing. Love is the only remaining member after guitarist/co-founder Eric Erlandson decided he no longer wanted to be in the Hole business close to a decade ago. So â€œNobodyâ€™s Daughter,â€ which has precious little of the pop sheen displayed on 1997â€™s â€œCelebrity Skin,â€ is really Love with a few musicians that most folks have never heard of before now.
Love does nothing by half measuresâ€”nothing worth talking about, at least--so some of the albumâ€™s best moments are the dramatic flourishes the lyrics provide when sheâ€™s bringing the crazy. On â€œFor Once in Your Lifeâ€ she sings, â€œIâ€™ve used the last hole in my arm to gouge out the pieces of you.â€ Thatâ€™s amazing imagery. On â€œSamantha,â€ an otherwise dullard of a song, she spits out â€œPeople like you f*** people like meâ€ in a voice that is as resigned as it is angry and exhausted. Who canâ€™t relate to that?
The most touching tune is ballad â€œLetter to God,â€ in which Love confesses her sins in a way that is manipulative, vulnerable and compelling all at the same time. â€œOh God, please tell me now are you disappointed or are you proudâ€¦ Iâ€™m so sorry Iâ€™m so weak/that I turned into a freakâ€¦I am coming unglued/Please help meâ€¦ I never wanted to be the person you seeâ€¦Thank you.â€ Hello, God. Itâ€™s me, Courtney.
At her best, Love says what the rest of us are too afraid to voice out loud, or, in some cases, even admit we think.
Musically, â€œNobodyâ€™s Daughterâ€ features fairly straight-ahead rock and roll with the usual tropes of starting slowly and the speeding up or getting louder toward the end of the song to symbolize heightened passion, Certain tunes, including first single, â€œSkinny Little Bitch,â€ and â€œLoser Dustâ€ come roaring out of the gate to strong effect. Is it just me or does the guitar on the title track remind anyone else of Camper van Beethovenâ€™s â€œPictures of Matchstick Men?â€
There are also times when the whole effort falls apart, such as on â€œHoney,â€ where Love talks about opening up, but then just resorts to screeching to get some point across that I still havenâ€™t deciphered. Plus, her vocal delivery is so mannered; it often sounds more like a phonetics tutorial gone awry. Iâ€™m still trying to get my head around album closer, â€œNever Go Hungryâ€ in which Love, accompanied primarily by an acoustic guitar, would seem to be channeling her inner Scarlet Oâ€™Hara as she declares, â€œI donâ€™t care what it takes my friend, I will never go hungry again.â€ Perhaps itâ€™s a metaphor for her travails through the music business, although unlike many of her counterparts, she has survivedâ€¦ no matter what. God as her witness.Â Â
Young Jeezy is back with the first video from his forthcoming album, “Thug Motivation 103.” “Lose My Mind,” featuring Plies, is an, at times, gritty, urban slice of life that opens with a scene straight that looks like it could have come straight out of “The Wire,” if the show moved from Baltimore to the ATL.
Despite the great time he’s having in much of the artfully shot black-and-white video, he can’t forget the ghosts that haunt him from the past and the dark ending shows the good times never last. He tells MTV that “Lose My Mind” is also a metaphor for going crazy in the club (though it feels and sounds a lot heavier than a fun night out to us). Plus, how fun can any night that ends in the morgue be, even if it's in his mind.
"'Lose My Mind' is doing what the hell I wanna do in the club,” Jeezy tells MTV News. “If it's 100 bottles of rosé, if it's 40 bottles of Belvedere, if it's all the kush in the world. Im’ma do what I wanna do. When I leave there, I don't wanna remember nothing. I just wanna wake up and do the same thing again. That's what 'Lose My Mind' is about. You gotta have life your way. If you ain't losing your mind, you ain't partying right."
There’s a little something for everyone with Tuesday’s album release slate. We’ll hear what B.o.B. has to offer beyond “Nothing On You” and a few leaked tracks when we get his full length set. Plus, Hole returns with its first set in 12 years, while veteran rockers Melissa Etheridge and Peter Frampton also serve up new material. Popsters will eat up “iCarly” star Miranda Cosgrove’s debut album. Dig in.
B.o.B: “B.o.B. Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray” (Grand Hustle/Rebel Rock/Atlantic): He’s already scored his first number one with the sweet “Nothing on You” and seems to be everywhere with his cover of Vampire Weekend’s ‘The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance” with Janelle Monae, plus his collaboration with Eminem and Hayley Williams. Our colleague Katie Hasty is already over him. We’ll see if the rest of America feels the same way when his album comes out Tuesday. We’re predicting a top 5 album debut.
Bullet for My Valentine, “Fever” (Jive): Welsh metal band unleashes the hounds on its third album, produced by Don Gilmore (Linkin Park, Good Charlotte). “Fever” doesn’t necessarily rock harder than “Scream Aim Fire,” but it lands its punches with more pinpoint accuracy, especially on such tracks as “Your Betrayal.”
Mary Chapin Carpenter, “The Age of Miracles” (Zoe/Rounder): Singer/songwriter whose light seems to have dimmed lately after a strong ‘90s run, but she’s back with a strong new set featuring the likes of Alison Krauss and Vince Gill.
Miranda Cosgrove, “Sparks Fly” (Columbia): She’s 16 and she’s already richer than you’ll ever be. Nickelodeon power house and star of “iCarly” goes for world domination with her solo full length debut and enlists such top-flight producers as Dr. Luke (Britney, Katy Perry) and the Matrix to realize her plan. Writers on the project include Ke$ha and Avril Lavigne. First single is “Kissin’ U” is exactly what you’d expect: a sweet, innocent, poppy ode to the joys of making out. Where’s the duet with Justin Bieber?
Melissa Etheridge, “Fearless Love” (Island): Veteran rocker’s 10th studio album is a celebration of rock produced by her friend/former guitarist John Shanks. Drawing deep on her influences, such as the Who, Springsteen and the Stones musically, Etheridge tackles love and fear lyrically.
Peter Frampton, “Thank You Mr. Churchill” (A&M/New Door/Ume): Heralded rock guitarist returns with his first set since snagging a Grammy a few years ago for his instrumental set, “Fingerprints.” This time, he’s singing about everything from his sobriety to Wall Street corruption to a Japanese teenager kidnapped by North Koreans 30 years ago.
Gogol Bordello, “Trans-Continental Hustle” (American Recordings): Rick Rubin produces this undefinable collective’s fifth studio album. The New York-based group, led by Eugene Hutz, combines punk rock with world music with a flair of the gypsy thrown in. Its commercial high point remains joining Madonna on stage in 2007 at the London Live Earth concert.
Hole, “Nobody’s Daughter” (Mercury): Courtney Love-fronted band returns with its first album in 12 years—although that’s a bit of a misstatement since Love is the only remaining member from the last album. Album review coming shortly.
On the face of things, it would seem that Justin Timberlake and veteran artist Bill Withers, best known for his early ‘70s hits, “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Lean on Me” and “Use Me,” wouldn’t seem to have much in common given the 40 + year-age difference. However, they displayed a stirring number of similarities as they discussed their creative processes and record company struggles during a joint session during the April 22-24 ASCAP Expo, a three- day conference organized by the performing rights organization for songwriters and producers in Los Angeles.
“If anyone tells you they know how to sell 60 million records, they don’t,” stated the legendary Quincy Jones during an engaging Q&A conducted by rapper Ludacris at the ASCAP Expo in Los Angeles, April 23.
And he should know. Jones, who is the mastermind producer/arranger/composer behind such projects as Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and “We are the World,” stressed to the audience of songwriters and producers that the only righteous artistic path is following your heart, not the money. “You do something that gives you goose bumps and you love. It works out or it doesn’t.”
Of course, it’s “worked out” a lot for Jones, who, at 77, is celebrating six decades of making music. Like John Mayer, who was interviewed at the Expo on Thursday, Jones stressed the importance of learning your craft to build upon your talent, not suppress it. “There are only 12 notes,” he said. “I spent 20 to 30 years learning to be a good musician.”
There is simply no substitute for knowledge—or what Jones referred to as “science.” When asked how he deals with pressure, he replied “Learn your science. Science is what provides the [ability] to express your emotion…Your chops get you out of pressure.”
Jones took his innate talent as a musician—he plays at least seven instruments—and then studied orchestration in Paris under the acclaimed Nadia Boulanger, who declared him “corrupted” from his jazz training with such artists like Ray Charles.
Jones’ career has been so vast and spans so many different areas, that he was only able to touch on a few areas. But here are some of the highlights:
**Scoring films is a discipline totally different from writing songs. “The sprockets don’t line. The image is not going to change because you want to add two bars,” he said. Music is the “emotion lotion” for the film, as he said Steven Spielberg calls it.
**His cure for writer’s block: Relax, put up your feet, keep what you’re working on nearby and “know it’s not about you, it’s about your higher power…Have humility in your creativity and grace in your success. Be humble enough to accept God’s whisper.”
**Knowledge extends far beyond traditional schooling. As a young man, Jones traveled the world with Lionel Hampton as his trumpet player and arranger. “When I traveled overseas, I learned eat what they eat, listen to the [local] music and learn 30-40 words in their language.”
**Epic Records did not want Jones to produce “Thriller.” He and Michael had worked together on the Broadway play “The Wiz.” “Back then, Michael was listening. I started watching him at rehearsals. He knew everyone’s moves,” said Jones. When it came time to go into the studio, Epic felt Jones was too “jazzy. They said ‘Get Gamble and Huff.” That’s when I learned the power of being underestimated,” Jones said with a laugh.
**His advice for aspiring singers (although it translates to any instrument) is “take your 10 favorite singers and put them on a disc and learn every note. Walk in the shoes of giants.”
**Use your pain to fuel your art. “I didn’t have a mother. At 7, my mother was taken away in a straight jacket. At 12, I thought, if I don’t have a mother, I don’t need one. My stepmother was a pain in the booty. Music is my mother.”
*8His favorite recording he ever worked on is “Somewhere” with Aretha Franklin from the early ‘70s. “I play it every day at my house,” he said, adding that he’d like to have it played at his funeral.
**During their early days as teens in the Northwest, he and Ray Charles would repeat every day--in part, to counteract the discrimination they faced—“Not one drop of my self-worth depends upon your acceptance of me.”
Gleeks, rejoice: Such is the power of Madonna that she doesn’t even have to open her mouth to land on top of the album charts. The “Glee” cast’s karaoke versions of Madge hits, highlighted in Tuesday’s episode of the popular Fox show, will top the 100,000 mark next week, making it a lock for No. 1, according to Hits Daily Double. The seven-track set, dubbed, appropriately enough, “The Power of Madonna,” includes the show’s take on “Vogue” “Express Yourself,” “4 Minutes,” and “Like a Prayer.”
Also likely to debut in the Billboard 200’s Top 10 next week is AC/DC’s “Iron Man 2” (CD/DVD set, which features 15 classic AC/DC tunes, many of which are featured in the Robert Downey Jr. blockbuster. It may debut as high as No. 3, while the latest from rockers Sevendust chimes in at No. 8.
Last Sunday’s Academy of Country Music awards appears to have boosted sales for two of the big winners: Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now,” which has been in the top 10 since its January release, bounces back up to No. 2, while Miranda Lambert’s “Revolution,” which was named album of the years, soars back into the top 10.