Inside Music with Melinda Newman

Childish Gambino sets release of new album, 'Because The Internet'

Listen to track, 'Yaphet Kotto'

<p>Childish Gambino</p>

Childish Gambino

Credit: AP Photo

Donald Glover’s rap alter ego, Childish Gambino, will release his new album, “Because The Internet,” this winter.

The video preview for track, “Yaphet Kotto,” features Gambino floating face down in a pool, aka  William Holden in the opening of “Sunset Boulevard,” as we hear him rapping about the criticisms he’s received  (“worst rapper to ever spit on an open mic”), while the "Community" star is busy bring in the dough and the ladies.  It also name drops other artists including Obie Trice, Wiz Khalifa and Erykah Badu.

At the end of the 90-second clip appear the words “Because The Internet” and “Winter Break.” 

Below is the 90-second video, as well as the full audio of “Yaphet Kotto.”  No idea why the song is named after the actor, who is best known for starring on "Homicide: Life On The Street." 

The album is Gambino’s first since 2011’s “Camp.” Glover is also working on his new series for FX, "Atlanta." 

Lorde's 'Royals' remains atop the Billboard Hot 100

Static Top 10 features no new debuts

<p>Lorde performing in Los Angeles</p>

Lorde performing in Los Angeles

Credit: Paul Hebert/Invision/AP

Lorde’s reign atop the Billboard Hot 100 continues as “Royals”  spends its second week at No. 1.

The New Zealander teenager also receives good news on the album front, as her debut, “Pure Heroine,” bows at No. 3 on the Billboard 200.

“Royals” leads digital single sales at 309,000 downloads, moving the song past the 2 million mark.

Katy Perry’s former No. 1, “Roar,” stays at No. 2, leading the chart in airplay.  Perry, whose new album, “Prism,” arrives Oct. 22, is also on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Walking on Air,” which debuts at No. 34.  Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball,” also a former No. 1, remains at No. 3, according to Billboard.

Avicii’s “Wake Me Up!” jumps one spot to No. 4, trading places with Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” featuring Majid Jordan, which drops to No. 5.

And yes, Ylvis’s “The Fox” continues to scoop up the chart, rising 8-6, largely on the strength of streaming and downloads, as airplay has yet to reach a significant level. 

Jay Z’s “Holy Grail,” featuring Justin Timberlake, slips 6-7, pushing Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” down one to No. 8.

Lady Gaga’s “Applause” hangs on in the Top 10 at No. 9, as it continues to gain airplay, while Lana Del Rey and Cedric Gervais’s “Summertime Sadness” remains at No. 10.

For Britney Spears’ chart watchers: “Work B**ch” jumps 41-13, following its debut two weeks ago at No. 12. The rise can be attributed largely to streaming and excitement from the video’s release last week.

Listen: New TLC song, 'Meant To Be'

Tune will make you miss the old days

HitFix
C+
Readers
n/a
Listen: New TLC song, 'Meant To Be'
Credit: LaFace/Epic

TLC honors the memory of Lisa R20;Left Eye” Lopes with new song “Meant To Be.”

“No matter what, it will always be us together,” the remaining members T-Boz and Rhonda “Chilli’ Thomas sing on the Ne-Yo penned track. Yes, it could be about romantic love, but it’s also a sweet song about the trio.

It’s a shame, however, that the mid-tempo song doesn’t hold up, despite the sweet message. Without being too harsh, the vocals sound pretty rough. Time has not been their friend. Plus the song, with its “Hey” background sounds like it’s trying to be wrongly contemparize what is meant to be an old school tune. . Ne-Yo  sounds like he's just trying to replicate their past hits instead of coming up with something memorable. Still, if you’ve been pining for new TLC, this will be a comfort to you.

The track is one of two new songs on “20,” a best-of set commemorating TLC’s 20th anniversary, as well as the trio’s VH1 movie.
 

3 on 3: Does Miley Cyrus finally leave her childhood behind with 'Bangerz?'

Is Miley Cyrus a punk artist?

<p>Miley Cyrus on the &quot;Today&quot; show</p>

Miley Cyrus on the "Today" show

Credit: AP Photo

Miley Cyrus’ “Bangerz” has a lock to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart next week and it is the defining album of the twerker’s career so far. But what will it mean for Cyrus going forward?

She’s already shown that she can captivate both the partying crowd, with first single “We Can’t Stop,” as well as the broken-hearted bunch, with ballad “Wrecking Ball.”  While all eyes have been on Katy Perry and Lady Gaga, is it time to say that there is a new Pop Princess in town?

3 on 3 features three HitFix editors tackling three questions about a project or artist. Today, Dave Lewis, Katie Hasty and I ponder Cyrus’s future and wave a fond goodbye, once and for all, to Hannah Montana.

Will “Bangerz” leave any memory of Hannah Montana in the dust?

Dave Lewis: Since "Montana" was aimed squarely at wee ones, there may be a generation who will always have a hard time seeing Cyrus as anything but the Disney Channel star. However, for the rest of us, her identity as "Montana" was hardly set in stone. No one remembers Mark Wahlberg as *just* Marky Mark, and Cyrus has already found enough success with her new persona that she won't face the same obstacles as, say, Vanilla Ice.

Katie Hasty: I think "Hannah Montana" still symbolically holds a place in Miley Cyrus' status as a pop singer and celebrity. Her previous album "Can't Be Tamed" had a lot of "grown up," adult-listening qualities, but her use of more childish imagery like teddy bears in ("We Can't Stop" and the MTV VMAs) and literally heading back to high school for "23" is purposely staging "Hannah" days up against her nude thongs, foul language and hip-hop production. As she said on "Saturday Night Live," "I'm not going to do Hannah Montana, but I can give you an update on what she’s been up to: she’s been murdered." Her Disney alter-ego hasn't vanished, it's only been upheld as a childhood drum on which Cyrus can now beat.

Melinda Newman: Yes. Cyrus herself declared Hannah Montana dead on “Saturday Night Live,” and Cyrus has done everything she can to besmirch the memory of her Disney character for the past few years, whether it was posing nearly nude, smoking from a bong, pole dancing, her VMA performance. Plus, most Hannah Montana fans have long outgrown their love for the show and are as eager as Cyrus, though perhaps not as aggressive about it, to put their Hannah years behind them.

Is Miley calling the shots or is she being played by producers and her record label?

Dave Lewis: This is a tougher question than it appears to be. Although she doesn't appear to be the completely compliant drone that O'Connor accused her of being, Cyrus' decision to play up her sexuality (if it indeed was her decision, as her defenders say) certainly wouldn't have met much
resistance from the execs raking in the cash every time she sticks out her tongue. She may be making the decisions, but they just happen to be the same decisions that execs have made with countless pop stars in the past.

Katie Hasty: Sinead O'Connor's open letters to Cyrus re-focused on the cold underbelly of the entertainment industry, which by and large shows little restraint on exploiting teenagers' and young women's sexuality for profit. Some women roll  with it, and some do not (and, hey, they're all allowed to change their mind, guys). That being said, Cyrus is 20 years old, and after the tightly controlled PR campaign that was her Disney life, she's ripe for a personal rebellion and obviously interested in expressing her sexuality. I don't think RCA texted Cyrus, "Nudez 4 T Richardson, y or n," but I'd be cautious to say Miley Cyrus' adoption of ratchet culture and riding on a wrecking ball naked were all her idea. There's a lab somewhere that's helping for all parties involved to come to the same conclusion.

Melinda Newman: Sinead O’Connor’s open letters to the contrary, for better or worse, Cyrus seems to be in complete control of what she’s doing. What she could use is some good advice and a few more people around her who aren’t yes-men. When someone’s star is so ascendent, it’s hard to find people who will do anything but scrape and bow in the star’s presence and preside in the echo chamber. Having said that, Cyrus has been a star since she was little and she may know her brand better than anyone. However, if she wants to appeal to more than fellow 20-year olds, she may want to listen to someone who’s not 20 and who isn’t dropping Molly and smoking pop at every opportunity.

One critic called Cyrus the "most punk artist" out today. Agree or disagree?

Dave Lewis: Since the term "Punk" hasn't really meant anything specific in more than 30 years (if it even meant anything specific in 1977), then,sure, making millions of dollars for yourself and for faceless corporate overlords while jumping on every new trend in sight is "punk." But it's also clearly not.

Katie Hasty: "Punk" being a highly subjective term these days, calling a major label-signed female pop star doing what major label-signed female pop stars are expected to do is hardly counter-cultural or fiercely independent. Punk makes me think Cyrus would stand for something: a subversion of norm, a way of life, a community standard. I see a hodge-podge of fun cultural references pinned on a performer with some raw talent struggling to know where to stick it.

Melinda Newman: That’s a ludicrous, laughable notion. She’s about as punk as Hannah Montana. A key element of punk is rebellion and there is nothing that Cyrus is rebelling against... other than clothes. She is not thwarting society’s norms in anyway, in fact, in many ways, she’s playing right into them.






 

Album Review: 'The Voice' winner Cassadee Pope's 'Frame By Frame'

Can the Season Three winner be the first to score a hit?

HitFix
C+
Readers
n/a
<p>Cassadee Pope &quot;Frame By Frame&quot;</p>

Cassadee Pope "Frame By Frame"

Has “The Voice” finally produced a winner who will turn into a  true radio star?

Though “The Voice” now outdraws “American Idol,” unlike “Idol,” it has yet to produce an artist who has caught hold at radio. The coaches remain the stars of the show rather than the contestants. Season One and Two winners Javier Colon and Jermaine Paul gained no traction following their wins.

With Cassadee Pope, “The Voice” may have come up with a winner whose career extends beyond the end of the television season.

Pre- “The Voice,” Pope had a pop background with the group Hey Monday, who toured with such groups as Fall Out Boy and All Time Low. She also sang on a number of other artists’ songs, including The Cab, We The Kings, and Cobra Starship.

Now, she’s traded in her pop career for a country one... sort of.  “Frame By Frame,” out today, is such generic, slick country pop that the label’s intent to cross her over to pop given half the chance is painfully obvious. It’s all more the shame because Pope has a strong voice. It’s not particularly distinctive and she tends to sound like Taylor Swift a bit too much, but it’s powerful and rich.

Pope co-wrote five on the songs on here, but mainly relies on the top tier of songwriters here, including Max Martin and Shellback, best known for their work with Britney Spears, and Nathan Chapman, one of Swift’s main collaborators. That’s fine to bring in ringers, but when their songs sound like they could have gone to any number of female pop singers (“Proved You Wrong” sounds like it was written for Demi Lovato; first single, “Wasting All These Tears,” for Avril Lavigne), it’s time to look for something a little more distinctive.

Speaking of  “Wasting,” the tune is  No. 25 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart. That would not be such a feat except for the chart is totally male dominated right now (she is only one of four women in the Top 30), so the fact that she has any traction is a positive sign.

It’s a shame that so much of the material is so cookie cutter, because when Pope turns personal, such as on “11,” a genuine song about how her life changed when her father deserted the family, she shows what she can do when she opens up. It’s emotional and it doesn’t sound like every other song on the radio. Similarly, “You Hear A Song,” a song about how hard girls are on themselves—  “I see a mess in the mirror/you see the girl of your dreams”—could resonate with young country female fans for its sweet sentiment.

Pope also has the push of CMT behind her: she stars in her own reality show on the cable outlet about her post- “The Voice” life as she navigates trying to make it as a solo artist.

Stream Pearl Jam's 'Lightning Bolt' in full on iTunes

Eddie Vedder: 'I have the shelf life of an avocado'

<p>Pearl Jam</p>

Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam’s “Lightning Bolt” comes out Oct. 15, but fans can stream the full album now on iTunes.

We’ve already heard the punk snarl of first single, “Mind Your Manners,” and the gentle, wistful beauty of “Ballads.”

The band is giving few interviews this time around, preferring instead to parse out their interviews with some famous friends: director Judd Apatow, surfer Mark Richards, former NFL player Steve Gleason, and musician/”Portlandia” star Carrie Brownstein, but  lead singer Eddie Vedder gave a good interview to Huffington Post, which you can read in its entirety here. Our favorite line: “My shelf life in the public viewpoint, I feel like it has the length of an avocado.” Maybe that explains the cover of the 2006 “Pearl Jam” album.

We’ll have a full review of “Lightning Bolt” closer to the album’s release.

"Lightning Bolt" track listing:

Getaway
Mind Your Manners
My Father's Son
Sirens
Lightning Bolt
Infallible
Pendulum
Swallowed Whole
Let The Records Play
Sleeping By Myself
Yellow Moon
Future Days

Watch: Eminem's new video for 'Survival' ties in with 'Call of Duty': Watch

His compelling performance is the reason to watch

HitFix
B
Readers
n/a
Watch: Eminem's new video for 'Survival' ties in with 'Call of Duty': Watch

Eminem plays a commando tagger in his video for “Survival,” the second track from “Marshall Mathers LP2,” following “Berzerk.”

We first heard the song, which also features the New Royales' Liz Rodrigues on vocals, a few weeks ago when it premiered as part of “Call of Duty: Ghosts,” and the video game plays into the music clip as Eminem performs in front of a screen showing the game.

When he’s not performing in the clip, he’s a graffiti artist leaving his mark, a skull face, all over Detroit. I’m sure his hometown thanks him, as the symbol will now end up showing up all over parts of town, I bet. He also walks through a neighborhood, stopping longingly at decrepit  boarded up structure with the number 19946 on it, which is his former home. The house is current up for sale and is featured on the cover of the original “MMLP,” and now, boarded up, on his forthcoming album.

There’s not that much going on in the video, but Eminem’s performance is really all you need: it’s intense and passionate and is a reminder of what a compelling live artist he is.
 

Newlyweds Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger duet on 'Let Me Go': Listen

Sad, subdued ballad brings out the best in both

HitFix
B+
Readers
n/a
<p>Chad Kroeger and Avril&nbsp;Lavigne</p>

Chad Kroeger and Avril Lavigne

Credit: AP Photo/Vincent Yu

Do newlyweds Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger make beautiful music together?

Well, that may be stretching it, but on their new duet, “Let Me Go,” they both bring out the best in each other and dial back on the bombast.

“Let Me Go,” which will be on Lavigne’s new album out in November, is light years better than first single, the snotty “Here’s To Never Growing Up” and rambunctious second single “Rock ‘N Roll.”

The piano/strings ballad is reminder that Lavigne can really sing, and she sounds so much better when she drops the vocal affectation that is on so many of her songs. Yes, the song sounds very ‘80s-ish, but, hey, if you’ve seen “The Goldbergs,” you know the ‘80s are back.

Kroeger shows admirable restraint on his one verse and if you’re not a Nickelback fan, the good news is that you only have to hear him for about 30 seconds and during a short call-and-response section. If you are a Nickelback fan, you may find yourself wishing for more Kroeger.

There's a very long, nearly 40-second fade that most radio stations will chop, but it's a nice outro.

I smell a huge AC hit.

What do you think of "Let Me Go?" 

 

Seven things we learned from Miley Cyrus's 'Today' show interview

Was she flirting with Matt Lauer or insulting him?

<p>Miley Cyrus on the &quot;Today&quot; show</p>

Miley Cyrus on the "Today" show

Credit: Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Hot off her ratings-winning appearance on “Saturday Night Live,” Miley Cyrus continued making the rounds to promote new album, “Bangerz,” by appearing on the “Today” show Monday morning.

During a six-minute interview with co-host Matt Lauer, a hyper, leg-jiggling, self-assured Cyrus answered questions about a number of topics, including her latest Twitter feud with Sinead O’Connor, her VMA appearance, and her parents’ unconditional love. She also performed two songs.

She also revealed that she plans to go on tour next year.

Here are seven things we learned from the interview, embedded below:

She doesn’t mind shocking, but she doesn’t mean to offend:  Of her VMA performance, she says, “I don’t ever really plan to offend people, sometimes that just happens, because I think people aren’t open to what they don’t understand”

If you don’t understand Cyrus, you’re just too old: "My fans are really young, so they all understand what I’m doing," she says.

She’s crazy like a fox:
“We’re still talking about it a month later (she says of her VMA performance), so it went as planned."

What you see is what you get with
:" This is just who I am: I think it’s only hard if you’re trying to be something that you’re not," she says of her sexualized performances.

She’s only got 20 years left to be sexy:  “I heard when you turn 40 things start to go a little less sexual. I heard around 40, around that time, is when people don’t have sex anymore,” she said to a 55-year old Matt Lauer. We still aren't sure if she was flirting with Lauer or insulting him or a bit of both.

She still loves Sinead: "I think she’s an incredible artist, I think she’s an awesome songwriter... I don’t know how someone can start a fight with somebody: I really respect you and I really love what you did. You know what, you suck'."

Her parents love her unconditionally:
  "My parents have always been about being who you are and figuring that out. What’s great about that is I trust them a lot and can go to them with pretty much anything," she says of her parents, pointing our her mother in the crowd.

Below is the full interview, as well a her performance of "Wrecking Ball." 

Justin Bieber sings about Selena Gomez break-up on new song 'Heartbreaker': Listen

Track is first offering in his #MusicMondays' series

HitFix
B-
Readers
n/a
<p>Justin Bieber's &quot;Heartbreaker&quot;</p>

Justin Bieber's "Heartbreaker"

Justin Bieber wants you to meet him under his umbrella-ella-ella.

On “Heartbreaker,” the first release as part of his #MusicMondays series—he’ll release a new song each Monday for 10 weeks—Bieber wants you back.  “Girl you don’t know how I feel/since you ran away/Any chance you could take my call/if I dialed you today,” he sings in the slow jam.

Bieber has made the right move: there are no guest on the album and the spoken part, instead of handing that over to a rapper, is handled by Bieber himself. He’s positioning himself as the sensitive, vulnerable one who is in the throes of heartache: “Girl, you see me standing here/any chance you could stay right here and never go away,” he sings as he longs to get his girl back.

It sounds like the R&B pop song is directed toward his off-and-on-again girlfriend Selena Gomez, as he speaks, “I know it hasn’t been easy for us to talk with everybody being around/but this is personal/this is from me to you/and I want you to know I still love you/I know the seasons may change/that sometimes love goes from sunshine to rain/but I’m under this umbrella and I’m calling your name.”

On Twitter, Bieber pasted a comment he made to iTunes about the song's origin: "It's a song for people going through a heartbreak - like I was when I wrote it. It means so much to me to be able to share what I was, and still am going through, with my fans. I'm very proud of this song and I hope it give[s] my fans some insight into my heart."   He has since added that "each week the songs get better" and that "maybe u might get lucky with two songs in a week." 

There isn’t much of a chorus, but this is more a transition song, one that’s meant to make us see that Bieber is growing up. With the backing vocals, he’s a one-man R&B group, but it works.  "Heartbreaker" is the first single from Bieber's forthcoming album, out later this year.

Do you like "Heartbreaker?" 

Get Instant Alerts on Music News

Around the Web