After two years of running the Orion Music + More Festival, Metallica will take 2014 off from the two-day fest to tour Europe instead. It is unclear if the festival will return in 2015, according to Billboard.
The metal group started launched the multi-artist/multi-genre festival in 2012 in Atlantic City, N.J. and then held the 2013 edition in Detroit. The fests featured acts from all different formats of music hand picked by the band members, as well as attractions that focused on each of their personalities, including car shows, horror film tents, etc.
Back in September, Metallica lead singer James Hetfield told Billboard that he was pleased with how the second iteration went: “We loved it. I think it went smoother than the previous one.”
Even so, he added that the band and promoter, C3 Presents, weren’t sure if they were ready to commit to further festivals. "It's the money part, man, at the end of the day... We know that festivals don't make money right away, for sure. It's not that we're out to make money; we're at least out to break even, and it certainly has not broken even yet. It's an expensive barbecue at this point."
With more dates to be added, Metallica has already announced six shows for its Spring/Summer European tour.
After two years of running the Orion Music + More Festival, Metallica will take 2014 off from the two-day fest to tour Europe instead. It is unclear if the festival will return in 2015, according to Billboard.
Today is Britney Spears’ 32nd birthday, but she’s giving her fans the present. On Dec. 3, she releases her eighth studio album, “Britney Jean.”
HitFix’s review appeared on Friday. Here’s a round-up of what some of the other critics are saying about Spears’ latest, an effort she calls one of her most personal. However, most reviewers (including me) disagree.
The New York Times says the fun has been “leached out”: “...It turns out that “Britney Jean” is about as personal as an airline preboarding announcement....While “Britney Jean” doesn’t make good on its “personal” promise, that’s not its main failing. The bigger letdown is that the music has lost its snap. Between albums, Ms. Spears traded away the teen-pop mastermind Dr. Luke — maybe she was tired of sharing him with Miley Cyrus, Rihanna and Katy Perry — for Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, who is the executive producer of “Britney Jean.” Like the Black Eyed Peas back in 2009, Ms. Spears and Will.i.am have turned to European disc jockeys who have found dance music’s lowest, least funky common denominator: the steady thump of four-on-the-floor. And they’ve settled for too many tepid tracks.
The Telegraph in the U.K. calls it “aural Botox”: If Britney Spears’ eighth album is what happens when the real Spears stands up, she might as well sit back down. When Spears promised a highly “personal” break-up album, the pitch seemed unlikely coming from modern electro-pop’s vaguest avatar, then unlikelier still when the lead single turned out to be a will.i.am-produced Identikit banger titled, touchingly, “Work Bitch”.
But it’s still depressing to find more of the disco-tooled super-producer same here, allied to faintly atypical ballads that, nonetheless, add little to Spears’s synthetic sex-doll sheen.
Rolling Stone says Spears remains the pop queen, who “out-bizarres” fellow female artists like Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga: Britney Jean continues the roll she's been on in recent years – her 2007 glitch-disco manifesto, Blackout, is one of the most influential albums in modern pop, and 2008's Circus and 2011's Femme Fatale are in the same league. In fact, you can split Britney's career into pre-Blackout and post-Blackout halves, and you've got two of the all-time great pop careers. And she's still way weirder than she might seem on the surface – Britney Jean makes Yeezus sound like a positive-affirmations workshop.
Like her excellent late-summer electro-sleaze hit, "Work Bitch," Britney Jean adds up the high price of stardom. It's a concept album about the loneliness of pop life – with a high-profile broken engagement behind her, Brit gets personal and drops her most bummed-out music ever. If the title reminds you of Elton John weeping over Marilyn Monroe, figure it's meant to, because this poor girl has been getting way too much candle up in her wind lately.
Entertainment Weekly calls her “enigmatic”: Even now, just about to celebrate her 32nd birthday, Britney Spears remains as enigmatic as the Disney-groomed, emotionally insulated teen who greeted us in the late '90s. It's part of why we treasure her: The feeling that, even as she sings her most seductive or inventive songs, the real Brit's off dreaming her unknowable dreams. Britney Jean, which takes its title from her family nickname and has been billed as the most ''personal'' of her eight albums, tells you virtually bupkus about her struggles over the years. But in just 10 tidy songs, it brings us closer than ever before to that distant dreamer.
Of course, since it's a Britney Spears album executive-produced by will.i.am in 2013, it also happily indulges the fantasies of endorphin-seeking EDM festival goers.
The Boston Globe says Spears “barely registers” on the album: “Scream & Shout” turns out to have been a fitting setup for “Britney Jean,” where Spears barely registers on the product with her name on it (twice). With 20 or so producers elbowing each other for focus on 10 tracks (two songs have six listed producers each), it’s no wonder there’s barely room for the singer in the swirl of swerving Ibiza keyboards (“It Should Be Easy”), dubstep bumpers (“Til It’s Gone”) and Selena Gomez castoffs (“Alien”). Her choruses to “Body Ache” and “Work Bitch,” meanwhile, sound like holding-pattern preludes to the club riffs that follow, rather than vice versa, leaving the impression that she’s merely guesting on her own material.
USA Today damns it with faint praise, saying the album offers “ as much grace as anyone could have expected”: Britney Jean (*** out of four), streaming now on iTunes a week ahead of its Dec. 3 release, aims to present this modestly talented young woman who has somehow managed to sustain our interest for 15 years as a cool but accessible dance-pop diva — willing to dangle the occasional profanity to keep us alert, but ultimately more into the groove than anything else.
What do you think of "Britney Jean?"
As we head toward the end of Justin Bieber’s #MusicMondays, the pop idol turns in one of his sparest tunes yet. On the soulful ballad, “Change Me,” Bieber, accompanied only by a piano for most of the song, yearns to believe that the love of his life can be the one who makes him the man he wants to be. She is his mirror and his salvation.
“Maybe you could change me/maybe you could change me for good/Maybe you could be the light that opens up my eyes,” he sings in a plaintive voice. He needs her patience and love, as he pleads for her to be his serenity.
Alternating between his regular singing voice and his falsetto, Bieber declares he’s as ready as he’s ever going to be.
It’s a simple song, but it’s also one of the better tunes we’ve gotten out of #MusicMondays and it’s almost possible to imagine how someone like Teddy Pendergrass could have lifted it up to something sublime.
Throughout #MusicMondays, Bieber has attempted to show his vulnerability by releasing songs mainly about love and where he’s fallen short. It’s possible to see the series as a song arc about his relationship with Selena Gomez and that, in some ways, these are letters to her. If that’s the case, “Change Me” is certainly one of his best efforts to win her back.
For months now, Britney Spears and her manager, Larry Rudolph, have been touting “Britney Jean” as Spears’ most personal album, even naming it after her first and middle name to connote a sense of intimacy. While there are certainly nods to what could be private statements about her life, such as on “Perfume,” “Passenger” (which features Katy Perry as one of the co-writers), and “Don’t Cry,” for the most part, Spears sounds more like she’s the muse, not the master here.
If Spears’ vision is on here -and she’s listed as co-writer on all 10 tracks-it often gets overshadowed by the dominant beats and production from the album’s executive producer Will.i.am and such DJ/producers as David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia’s Sebastian Ingrosso and Anthony Preston.
Executive produced by Will.i.am, the 10 tracks, spread out over 36 minutes, are lean and trim, with little bloat, which keeps the album moving nicely from one song to the next, even if some of the beats sound dated. You can’t blame a girl for wanting to move on, but the absence of past collaborators like Max Martin and Dr. Luke is felt.
The album’s release comes one day after Britney Jean turns 32 and a few weeks before she starts a residency in Las Vegas’s Planet Hollywood and in many ways, it has a maturity that some of her past albums have not, including featuring her singing in her shaky alto for much of the set instead of speak/singing such as on “Work Bitch.” “Britney Jean” won’t go down as a Spears’ classic, although it does capture a moment in time — in her life and in pop’s continued fascination with beats.
Below is a track-by-track review:
“Alien”: The album opener, co-produced by William Orbit, has an inviting galloping feel as the latest entry into the folktronica genre. After years of feeling like an alien, Spears sings that she no longer feels alone as the stars guide her home as a mesmerizing backwards loop draws the listener in. It’s one of many tracks on the set that feature Spears signing as opposed to her more familiar speak singing. GRADE: B+
“Work Bitch”: Polarizing single is a deep dance cut with Spears bringing the trouble as she advises how to get that Maserati, hot body, look hot in a bikini, or living in a big mansion: Work bitch. Sounding more like a commercial for 24-Hour Fitness than a classic Spears’ song--or at least until the interesting break in the final third-- she nevertheless brings the attitude and heat that a certain faction of Spears’ fans love about her. GRADE: C
“Perfume”: The current single from “Britney Jean,” the Sia co-write is Spears as we haven’t heard her—or at least not for a long while: singing a straight-ahead ballad with no talking and no heavy beat behind her as on past semi-ballads like “Unusual You” or even all the way back to “Sometimes.” Though still slickly produced, on “Perfume” the focus is on her vocal and the emotional weight of the lyrics as Spears hopes that the next woman to touch her man can smell her perfume on him. The album’s best track. GRADE: A
“It Should Be Easy” featuring. Will.i.am: Heavily auto-tuned Spears is back after “Perfume’s” respite. Spears and her “Scream & Shout” partner reunite or this dance/electro-clash track. “If there was a scale from one to 10 on my love for you, it’s a million billion/I love you until the day I’m dead,” Spears sings as she and Will.i.am wonder why love has to be so complicated. There’s an interesting song in here, especially given the juxtaposition of the deeper thoughts and the dance beats, but they can’t seem to excavate it. GRADE: C
“Tik Tik Boom” featuring T.I.: Spears positively moans and coos during this dance track about getting horizontal and if you haven’t gotten that point, you will when T.I. lays down a rap about making your toes curl. GRADE: B-
“Body Ache”: Produced by David Guetta and Will.i.am, it’s almost possible to pick out each part the two DJ/producers contributed, from the staccato, layered beats to the crescendos. Sex is on the menu as she wants to show us how she wants us. One of the more accessible tracks, but it’s missing Guetta’s knack for throwing in a irresistibly catchy hook among the beats. GRADE: B-
“Til It’s Gone”: Throbbing disco beats and space-age synths weave in and out of Spears’ stuttering vocals as she’s a slave to the rhythm. “All the memories I’m saving so your love is never fading,” she sings in this tune about, well, “You never know what you’ve got til it’s gone.” It’s hardly an original sentiment, but she makes the cliche sound good, in one of the album’s most diverse vocal performances. GRADE: B
“Passenger”: Co-written by Katy Perry, “Passenger” is a straight-ahead love song lyrically about finding happiness after being willing to cede control. Diplo’s production includes a synthesized, Who-like intro. “It’s hard to jump with no net, but I jumped in and got no regret,” she sings, as the pounding, synthetic melody takes off. “This is living,” she proclaims over and over as her liberation is complete. GRADE: B
“Chillin’ With You” featuring Jamie Lynn: Spears and her little sister go from sweet country to rap in this ballad that goes from bad to worse, whether it’s the rap of the constant repeating of “Chillin’ wich you.” That’s sweet that Spears wants to help lil sis get her career restarted, but this won’t be the song to do it. GRADE: D
“Don’t Cry”: Spears delivers her finest vocal performance on the mid-tempo album closer about moving on. “Adios, I’m out the door,” as she admonishes her ex to not cry in a nice twist. Fun whistled intro and outro with a heavy beat complementing her kiss off. GRADE: B
The holy grail of music awards for most artists is the Grammy Award for album of the year. The contenders for this year will be announced Dec. 6, with the trophy handed out Jan. 26. While Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience” is pretty close to a sure bet, HitFix’s music writers highlight many other worthy contenders vying for the five spots. The eligibility period runs Oct. 1, 2012-Sept. 30, 2013, which means strong albums like Arcade Fire’s “Reflektor” or Eminem’s “The Marshall Mathers LP 2” won’t be up until next year.
What do Lorde, Debby Boone, Ashanti, Carly Rae Jepsen and Ke$ha have in common?
All five females took their debut single to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for at least nine weeks. Lorde accomplishes the feat with “Royals” this week, keeping Eminem’s “Monster” at bay, narrowly, for at least one more week. The New Zealander’s breakthrough hit also logs its 13th week atop Billboard’s Hot Rock Songs chart.
Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball” holds at No. 3, while OneRepublic scoots up two to No. 4 with “Counting Stars” to give the Ryan Tedder-led band its second Top 5 hit. “Stars” pushes Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” 4-5.
Imagine Dragons’ “Demons” rises 7-6, Katy Perry’s “Roar” falls 5-7 as follow-up single “Unconditionally” hold at No. 16, according to Billboard.
Following their performance of the song on Sunday night’s “American Music Awards,” Pitbull’s “Timber,” featuring Ke$ha climbs 10-8. Drake’s “Hold On, Were Going Home,” featuring Majid Jordan, falls 8-9. The only newbie in the top 10 belongs to Passenger, whose sensitive ballad “Let Her Go” moves 11-10.
Just below the Top 10, two tracks from One Direction’s “Midnight Memories” strike big: “Diana” bows at No. 11, while the title track comes in at No. 12.
Following the release of her best-of collection this week on RCA, Dido is officially out of her record contract and a free agent.
“I’m like an overexcited kid,” the British singer/songwriter tells HitFix. “I have so many ideas. ‘I can do this, I can do that.’ I’m like ‘take a breath’.”
More about what’s next for Dido a little later, but first she spent a few minutes looking back with us over her nearly 15-year career covered on “Greatest Hits,” a compilation of all her singles from her 1999 debut, “ No Angel,” on. Among the selections are “Here With Me,” “Thank You,” “White Flag,” “Life for Rent,” and Eminem’s “Stan,” which samples “Thank You,” and helped catapult Dido to stardom.
She listened to the album from start to finish while mastering the project. “It was this crazy, emotional 15-year diary in an hour,” she says. “When you write a song, you’re so clear about where you were and what you were feeling, even more so than when I see a picture. I have such clear memories.”
As often happens, the songs take different meaning and shapes as life progresses. “Everything to Lose,” originally featured on the 2010 “Sex and the City 2” soundtrack, “is probably more relevant now,” Dido says. “When you do finally really fall in love, having a kid, and having the fear” of losing it all.
Indeed, the birth of her son in 2011 has changed the prism through which she views life. “I’m a more emotional person since having Stanley. I was never the big cry person. Now I’ll be in the cinema and I start crying. I was crying at ‘Philomena’ 10 minutes in. My husband was like, ‘Are you alright?’ So any of these songs that are emotional, I feel it all bigger because of Stanley. It opens up a part of you.”
The collection includes a new track, “NYC.” Though written recently, it is about an era, pre-1999, when everything was still possible for her, including failure. “It’s about a time back at the very beginning when I came to New York City with the words of my brother ringing in my head: ‘This is probably not going to happen for you, but good luck’.”
Even after all her success —she’s sold more than 30 million albums worldwide and garnered an Oscar nod for “If I Rise” from “127 Hours”—the uncertainty remains. And she’s fine with that. “I’m still unsure of where the road ahead goes,” she says. “I’ll always be that person. I feel more comfortable not knowing. I crave those feelings. There’s room for magic to happen.”
While being without a record contract would strike fear in some, for Dido, it strikes a sense of possibility where music dictates every decision. “You can just put music out. For me that’s extremely exciting,” she says. “Sometimes [on a label] I feel like you make things and you have to wait for ages and you just play this big waiting game. Now, you can do this project here and that project there. It’s dictated by what you’re doing creatively.”
She’s coy about what’s next as she has material now that is taking her in two “extremely different ways,” and she hasn’t chosen which path to take yet. “It all becomes about the music and that’s the world I live in.”
One Direction has been tremendously prolific during its short shelf life as dominant boy band of the 2010s. Out today, “Midnight Memories,” their third full studio album released in 20 months in the U.S., tries to extend the British quintet’s 15 minutes of fame by pushing them into a rockier direction with mixed results. Gone, for the most part, are some of the dance/pop elements that guided the past two efforts.
On the plus side, Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, and Louis Tomlinson deliver their most self-assured strongest vocals yet, which is no surprise as they’ve grown more comfortable with each other since being packaged by Simon Cowell for “The X Factor.” On many of the tracks, they’ve embraced an Americana/folk vibe popularized by Mumford & Sons and the Lumineers, and it works well for them. On the negative side, too many of the edgier songs here sound forced as if the addition of a jagged guitar will suddenly make them a rock band. That’s not going to happen, though as songs like “Midnight Memories” show, they are capable of pushing themselves a little. Additionally, too many of the songs are generic. Their material doesn’t rise to the level of what their voices can do.
By their very nature, acts like One Direction flame out so no one came blame 1D for trying to stoke the fire as much as they can. But the way to do that isn’t to keep flooding the market with albums that have as many weak songs as strong ones. The key is to take a little more time and come back with an album that is undeniably consistently good throughout. There are some very worthwhile tracks here, but the group needs to focus more on upping the overall level of the material.
“Best Song Ever”: Parents got drawn in by the “Baba O’Riley”-like intro, while their daughters were captivated by the high energy song that brought both a pop sheen and a live verve to the otherwise bubblegum track. The album’s first single peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. GRADE: B+
“Story of My Life”: One Direction meets Mumford & Sons and Lumineers and Ed Sheeran on this elegant, spare, largely acoustic mid-tempo, chugging track about the pasts that we all carry around with us. Peaked at No. 6 in the U.S., but should have been bigger. It will become one of the band’s defining songs. GRADE: A
“Diana”: The band bounces back to the ‘80s with a drum beat straight out of the Police’s “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” on this track about a missing girl the protagonist wants to save, but it turns out she’d really be saving him. The words and the Robin Sparkle vibe don’t really mix. Peppy track gets dragged down by clumsy lyrics. GRADE: C
“Midnight Memories”: Well, here’s something we haven’t heard from 1D before: a rock and roll tune that delightfully recalls ‘80s rock, complete with the hand clapping and guitar that wants to rock harder than the song warrants. The execution isn’t quite what it should be and they’re punching above their weight here, but it’s such a fun change of pace for them and its anthemic feel will make it a live stand out. Just “sing it, sing it, sing it.” GRADE: B
“You and I”: It should be “between you and me,” boys, not “you and I,” but who are we to let grammar get between us and an elegant ballad that will have the long time fans waving their cell phones in the air as the boys sing, “You and I, we don’t want to be like them. We can make it to the end. Nothing can come between you and I. Not even the gods above can separate the two of us.” This is the kind of song that 15-year old girls put on repeat as they clutch their pillows. Having been a 15-year old girl once, trust me, that is a big compliment. Could be massive. GRADE: B+
“Don’t Forget Where You Belong”: This mid-tempo track could serve as a letter to themselves about remembering where they came from and a reminder that, just like at a Motel 6, there will always be a light on to guide you home. Pedestrian and generic, but still catchy. GRADE: B-
“Strong”: His weakness is his greatest strength in this mid-tempo tune about being a better man when his girl is by his side. GRADE: C
“Happily”: Back to the Lumineers-like guitar/banjo acoustic stomp on this track about chasing a girl who belongs to another. There’s even a “hey!” in the background. One of the catchiest tracks on the set, it’s a pop hootenanny that feels like it should be paired with Taylor Swift’s “Mean.” The “We’re on fire” now refrain into the chorus is pretty irresistible. GRADE: B+
“Right Now”: Echo-y atmospherics and strong vocals take precedence over a catchy melody in this moody, big-drummed mid-tempo tale of longing co-written by OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder (and, boy, is his handiwork all over it). When they sing, “Let’s go crazy together” it conjures up images of staying out 30 minutes past curfew than truly letting loose. Even GRADE: C
“Little Black Dress”: The tune ultimately doesn’t work, but One Direction is trying so hard to break out of the pop mold that you have to give them props for this song that takes a swaggering guitar rock part and molds it around a line about “I want to see the way you move for me baby.” A loose-limbed delivery helps, but ultimately they can’t sell the promise of the song, though it sure is fun to see them try. GRADE: B-
“Through The Dark”: An acoustic guitar-based strumming mid-tempo track that, like “Story of My Life,” recalls Mumford & Sons in both tone and message: “When the night is coming down on you, we will find a way through the dark.” This is 1D’s sweet spot. It’s effortless and doesn’t feel forced. Should be a definite single. GRADE: A
“Something Great”: Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody is one of the co-writers here, along with 1D’s Harry Styles and Snow Patrol producer Jacknife Lee, which explains the overall sweep and grandeur of the song. It’s hard to hear the ringing refrain and not imagine Lightbody singing it. The opening choral sounds are already being used in commercials so expect this one to grow on you as you hear it more and more. GRADE: B
“Little White Lies”: Some vixen has captured the guys’ hearts in this driving pop track that shifts gears into a dub-step feel. Their vocals are fine, but the mid-tempo song never gets out of first. GRADE: C
“Better Than Words”: Wave your hand in the air like you just don’t care on this mid-tempo tune about trying to describe the indescribable joy your love brings. One of the more disposable tracks on the set. GRADE: C
Not only is Eddie Vedder Pearl Jam’s mesmerizing front man, on Saturday night (23) at the first of the band’s two shows at Los Angeles Sports Arena, he was the audience’s protector-in- chief.
Four songs into the set, during crowd favorite “Corduroy,” Vedder noticed some disturbance in the first few rows of the pit. Though the band somehow never lost its stride or intensity he commanded that the woman causing the strife get out. After the song finished, he looked over the area like a benevolent dictator and saw the agitator was still there. The house lights went up. “We’re not fucking around here,” he said. “You had a chance to make friends with these people. You fucked it up. Go watch the show from over there,” he said gesturing to the sidelines.
It was endearing as it was startling. Pearl Jam and its fans have always had a tight connection, but as the band settles into its 20s —Vedder fondly recalled the last time the band played the Sports Arena in 1991, opening for Red Hot Chili Peppers— and its loyal audience grow older together, that sense of community seems somehow more precious. Stronger and yet more fragile at the same time.
It’s almost impossible now to bring up Pearl Jam without mentioning Vedder’s spirit animal, Bruce Springsteen. The two men are very close (check out their great live version of “Better Man” on YouTube from a few years back) and while Pearl Jam has always been a commanding live act over the 22 years I’ve seen them, the Boss’s influence has seemed to grow over the years from the care and attention paid to the crowd (sadly, the 2000 deadly Roskilde concert could also have plenty to do with that) and the duration of the the shows. Saturday’s show easily blew past the three-hour mark. Vedder even name checked Springsteen, who loves the decrepit, concrete Sports Arena, as the reason the band was playing there.
Despite its ability to fill arenas for two decades now, at its heart Pearl Jam remains a great club band but with better lighting and the tightness that only time and talent provide. They have, against the odds, retained a kinetic energy that makes them still seem fresh and somehow keeps even old chestnuts like “Jeremy,” delivered here in a more foreboding atmospheric version than on record, interesting.
Opening with “Pendulum,” from the band’s new chart topper, “Lightning Bolt,” Pearl Jam agilely slide from one song to the next. While Vedder remained largely static veering from his trademark two-fisted microphone grip to awkwardly dancing when he was not singing, the other members were almost constantly in motion with guitarist Mike McCready and bassist Jeff Ament literally running circles around each other during “Spin the Black Circle,” and Stone Gossard putting his whole body into his guitar solo during a erupting “Do the Evolution.”
A few songs after dedicating a lovely, mournful “Garden” to Tim Robbins, Vedder turned reflective. “2013’s been a real fucking son of a bitch,” he said. “If you avoided tragedies, you should be very grateful, but you should know you’re probably next.” He took the time to point out fans who had crossed continents to be at the show, including their friend Rob from the Philippines, as Vedder pledged that money from the Los Angeles shows, as well as the San Diego show on Nov. 22, were going back with Rob for Typhoon Haiyan relief. He elliptically also thanked “some very good doctor friends who have given us hope in very dire times,” before launching into, appropriately enough, an elegiac version of “Sirens.”
The 20-song main set closed with an intense “Rearviewmirror” that built and built until it felt like it spilled over into every corner of the Sports Arena.
For the first encore, the band members sat down for the first time all evening (other than, of course, drummer Matt Cameron), for a strong 8-song mini-set that included a haunting “Footsteps,” rarity “All or None” (played as an audible after Vedder saw it on a sign a fan held up), and a spirited cover of the Ramones’ “I Believe in Miracles.”
By the time they closed with “Porch,” it seemed that the show was destined to be done as it was approaching 11 p.m., but, remarkably, they returned for a second encore with tremendous verve and energy. Vedder, by now well lubricated from his constant sipping from at least one bottle of wine, and the band tore into ferocious versions of “Unknown Thought,” “Black” (McCready’s solo was as emotionally piercing as always), “Alive” and a very lively cover of The Who’s “Baba O’Riley” with Ament giving his best Pete Townshend-like leap at the end as Vedder passed out the two tambourines he’d been bashing. The show concluded with a rambunctious “Indifference.” It was hard to tell who was more exhausted, the band or the fans... but everyone was smiling.
We got 90-seconds of Beyonce’s new song, “God Made You Beautiful,” on Friday and today, we get the whole song. It’s a majestic ode to daughter Blue Ivy that is filled with a mother’s pride and wonder at her new child.
If you don’t listen to the verses at all, it’s possible to hear this as a romantic love song in the choruses, but lines like “When you were born...” or “I kissed those little feet” make it pretty clear that
Gorgeous African chanting at the beginning and heavy percussion elevate the ballad to a stately crescendo.
Every parent acts like he or she is the first to have ever given birth and while Beyonce’s sentiments may seem over the top, she’s just a mom with a microphone and the means to get her feelings out worldwide.
She’s certainly not the first to write a song about the overwhelming rush of love that a new parent feels. She’s not even the first in her own family to do so, since Jay Z put out “Glory,” featuring Blue Ivy, within a week of her birth.
Overt songs about becoming a parent tend not to zoom up the charts, Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” is certainly an exception, as was Creed’s “Arms Wide Open.” No word of if “God Made You Beautiful” will be worked to radio, but expect for it to be a major hit with parents across the land regardless.
The song will be offered as a free download to those purchasing Beyonce’s HBO documentary, “Life is But A Dream,” which comes out on DVD today.