Thursday, May 27, 2010

Personal Airplay, May 27, 2010

TW LW Title - Artist
1 ... 3 ... California Gurls - Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg (1 week @ #1)
2 ... 1 ... All Night Long - Alexandra Burke
3 ... 4 ... Ridin Solo - Jason DeRulo
4 ... 2 ... Nothin' On You - B.o.B. feat. Bruno Mars
5 ... 5 ... Alejandro - Lady Gaga
6 ... 8 ... Memories - David Guetta feat. Kid Cudi
7 ... 9 ... Good Times - Roll Deep
8 .. 16 .. Guns and Horses - Ellie Goulding
9 ... 6 ... Dirty Picture - Taio Cruz
10 .. 15 .. Airplanes - B.o.B. feat. Hayley Williams

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ne-Yo "Beautiful Monster"

Ne-Yo is back with "Becautiful Monster," another European dance-pop inspired number similar to 2008's "Closer," only not as captivating. It's the lead single from the singer's forthcoming fourth studio album Libra Scale.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Album Review: Gorillaz - Plastic Beach (3.5/5)

I've never been a big Gorillaz fan, sure admiring the cool animated videos and awesome album covers (this one in particular) could in theory make me a mild fan, but really I've only ever really got into their two mostly well-known singles, "Clint Eastwood," back in 2001 and 2005's "Feel Good Inc." And briefly simmered through their self-titled debut, which after listening to in depth recently I thought was pretty good. Whether I've listened to their music much over the years or not, the fact that their an animated band has always spawned an interesting essence about them.

Plastic Beach is their third album, possibly the most experimental they have been on any of their albums. Whilst for the most part, this is a solid album--there's nothing awful about the record, Its lengthy self probably doesn't make it as gripping as I thought their first album was, however there a lot of cool moments. Starting things off is an atmospheric introduction, aptly titled "Orchestral Intro" laced with strings, weaving into "Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach," an old-school-tinged track with horns, drums and snares featuring Snoop Dogg, which sounds pretty good.

"White Flag," is a tribal-influenced almost tropical douped number featuring grime artists Kano and Bashy, opening with pulsing bongos, flutes and orchestration, before ascending into a more syth-based hip-hop inspired sound. It's different, but I like it a lot. Next up is "Rhinestone Eyes," a vocally distorted, beepy-bass tinged number--it's sound good but also sounds like it's missing something to complete the sound, in other words it could be better.

Unsurprisingly, "Stylo" is the albums biggest highlight--as well as having a cool video, which features Bruce Willis, I also like the '80s inspired synthesized keyboard and pondering bass line. Following swiftly is "Superfast Jellyfish," which is another highlight. It's very hip-hop inspired, the song probably has one of the albums most strongest chorus'. "Empire Ants," is a calm almost experimental ocean music-inspired number--but it sounds like elevator music to me.

More of the albums more experimental moments are, "Glitter Freeze," which rocks a futuristic, electronic romp--cluttering with different layered laser synth inspired bass lines. Yes, it is as epic as I've described it. Lou Reed is the vocal lead on "Some Kind of Nature," it as a rigorous processed bass line driven over a mash of flutes and piano keys, however even better is the calming "On Melancholy Hill," a synth grounded number with lovely melodies.

With Plastic Beach extending way over 15 tracks--making the album indeed too long for its own good, a couple songs towards either just don't work or emerge as a tedious approach to the albums end. "Broken" isn't bad, it sounds very middle of the road but I do like hose electronic undertones. I'm not quite sure what the bleepy "Sweepstakes" is trying to do. The title track "Plastic Beach," goes for that off-beat electronic sound but doesn't quite hit the mark as by this point it sounds like its been cut from the same vein as previous tracks on here. "To Binge" is vocally fronted, one of the few songs on here that haven't had any weird vocal treatment.

"Cloud of Unknowing," is an angelic number--piano keys and warbling strings intact. It ends the "Orchestral Intro" that opened the album. Apart from a haul of straining synths and a bleepy bass line, nothing more seems to be going on in the plodding "Private Jet." Closing the album are "Pirates Progress" and "Three Hearts, Seven Seas, Twelve Moons," which are atmospheric orchestrated pieces of music like the albums opener, but longer.

The Gorillaz sure delivered one heck of a third album and whether it's perfect or not doesn't matter as surely there is something here for either an experimental or hip-hop listener of the Gorillaz, however whilst critics rave about Plastic Beach, as a whole record I'm not convinced it's as good as their last two albums, particularly their first.

Best: Stylo, Superfast Jellyfish, White Flag, Glitter Freeze, On Melancholy Hill

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Personal Airplay, May 20, 2010

TW LW Title - Artist
1 .... 2 .... All Night Long - Alexandra Burke (1 week @ #1)
2 .... 1 .... Nothin' On You - B.o.B. feat. Bruno Mars (2 wks @ #1)
3 ... 13 ... California Gurls - Katy - Perry
4 .... 7 .... Ridin Solo - Jason DeRulo
5 .... 9 .... Alejandro - Lady Gaga
6 .... 4 .... Dirty Picture - Taio Cruz feat. Ke$ha
7 .... 3 .... OMG - Usher (2 wks @ #1)
8 ... 15 ... Memories - David Guetta feat. Kid Cudi
9 ... 16 ... Good Times - Roll Deep
10 .. 5 .... She Said - Plan B

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Billboard Hot 100, May 29, 2010

1. OMG - Usher feat. Will.i.am
2. California Gurls - Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg

Usher returns to #1, extending his reign atop to 2 weeks. Katy Perry joins a line of recent big debuts on the Hot 100 with her new single "California Gurls" featuring Snoop Dogg, which debuts at #2 this week, following Eminem's #1 debut last week with "Not Afraid," the single sold a cool 294,000 copies, more interestingly "Gurls" opens at #31 on Billboard's Radio Songs with 34 million listener impressions, the biggest debut since Mariah Carey's "Touch My Body" debuted at #23. Next week Miley Cyrus' new single "Can't Be Tamed," could also earn herself a top 5 debut also.

8. Alejandro - Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga ac ends into the top 10 with "Alejandro," scoring her 7th feat.

18. Billionaire - Travie McCoy featuring Bruno Mars

Front man for American band Gym Class Heroes lands his first solo top 20 with "Billionaire," the lead single for his forthcoming debut album, Lazarus. This also Bruno Mars' second feat, following his recent chart topper with Atlanta-based rapper B.o.B. on "Nothing on You."

19. La Roux - Bulletproof

Also scoring their first top 20 is UK-based electronic duo La Roux with "Bulletproof," a single which landed the duo their first UK chart topper last year.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Album Review: Toni Braxton - Pulse (3/5)

Toni Braxton's sixth studio album, Pulse, follows a series of professional and personal downfalls for the singer. Her last two albums Libra and More Than a Woman weren't received as well received as her releases during the '90s, where Braxton was at her prime. Whilst you could crown Pulse a return to form, it doesn't embrace brewing sex-driven sleek of her last successful album, The Heat, nor the classy R&B of Libra, there's nothing here that suggest restoration of Braxton's relevance.

However, despite its wish washy feel, there are a handful of great songs that suggests that if given a chance Braxton could compete with the best of the current adult contemporary acts, such as Mary J Blige and Alicia Keys. Opening is "Yesterday," pulsating with grandeur and gorgeous balladry, effectively showcasing Braxton's stunning vocal. It's a strong opener embracing the same strength as her signiture number "Un-Break My Heart."

Embracing a refreshing pop/rock sound is "If If I Have to Wait," which is probably the albums biggest highlight and my favorite on here. The clattering, club-inspired "Make My Heart" and "Lookin' At Me," aren't favorites. Their faux-disco, "Single Ladies" wannbe sound doesn't quite work, however following is "Woman," an empowering, grand drum and string laced ballad, again showing off Braxton awesome chops. Towards the end of the album things start fizzle slightly."Wardrobe," rocks a luring guitar and bass sound, which sounds pretty good. "Hero," is pretty much the same ol same ol mid-tempo R&B. A highlight is "No Way," a warm acoustic ballad (similar to "I Wanna Be (Your Baby)") from Libra. Title track "Pulse" is a pretty weak ballad and the album ends on a bum note on the plodding, "Why Won't You Love Me."

Whilst album sure isn't anything groundbreaking or anything near as good as her last album or The Heat, it does serve up a pretty strong set of songs even if some are rather hit and miss. Although it is a shame sales indicate this will most certainly not be the successful "emancipation" Braxton had hoped for.

Best: Yesterday, If I Have to Wait, Woman, No Way, Wardrobe

Billboard Hot 100, May 22, 2010

1. Not Afraid - Eminem

Straight in at #1 this week, is Eminem's new single "Not Afraid," lead single from his forthcoming seventh studio album, Recovery. Moving an impressive 380,000 copies, the single becomes the 16th song in Billboard's history to debut at #1 (the last song to do this was Britney Spears' "3," only 8 months ago). Whilst pre-digital era, it was harder for songs to debutat #1 as airplay would carry a song into the lower ranks of the chart before a commercial release, I feel we will be seeing a lot more songs coming straight in at #1. Could Katy Perry's new single "California Gurls," with Snoop Dogg be the next? We shall see.

3. Nothing on You - B.o.B. feat. Bruno Mars
5. Airplanes - B.o.B. feat. Hayley Williams of Paramore

Atlanta based rapper, B.o.B. scores his second top 5 with "Airplanes," landing two songs ("Nothing on You") inside the top 5 this week. A pretty impressive start for the newcomer.

8. Your Love is My Drug - ?
9. My First Kiss - 30H!3 feat. ?

30H!3 score their second top 10 single with "My First Kiss," following last years chart debut "Don't Trust Me," which reached #7. Some unknown whatever stays bulleted at #8 with its new single "Your Love is My Drug."

11. Alejandro - Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga gears up to score her 7th top 10 with her latest single "Alejandro." Not long now. This week is moves up a nice 4 spots up to #11.

36. Rock that Body - Black Eyed Peas

The Black Eyes Peas rocket up into the top 40 this week, rising a hefty 26 places scoring their 12th top 40 single.

Personal Airplay, May 13, 2010

TW LW Title - Artist
1 .... 1 .... Nothin' On You - B.o.B. feat. Bruno Mars (2 weeks @ #1)
2 .... 4 .... All Night Long - Alexandra Burke
3 .... 2 .... OMG - Usher (2 wks @ #1)
4 .... 7 .... Dirty Picture - Taio Cruz feat. Ke$ha
5 .... 6 .... She Said - Plan B
6 ... 10 ... Until You Were Gone - Chipmunk feat. Esmee Denters
7 ... 14 ... Ridin Solo - Jason DeRulo
8 ... 11 ... Acapella - Kelis
9 ... 14 ... Alejandro - Lady Gaga
10 .. 8 ... Need You Now - Lady Antebellum

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Billboard Hot 100, May 15, 2010

1. OMG - Usher feat. Will.i.am

Ending rapper B.o.B.'s 2 week reign at #1 is Usher's "OMG" which rises 6 notches up to #1, scoring the singer's 9th chart topper. The song's success follows a string of underperforming singles lifted from Usher's latest album Raymond vs Raymond (both "Lil Freak" and "Hey Daddy (Daddy's Home)" peaking outside the top 20. This is Will.i.am's first chart topper (without the Black Eyed Peas), prior to this the closest he's been to a #1 was with band-mate Fergie on her single "Fergalicious" which peaked at #2 in 2006.

7. Airplanes - B.o.B. feat. Hayley Williams from Paramore

B.o.B.'s latest single "Airplanes" continues to rise this week, rising a further two spots up from last week, landing at #7. In a more bittersweet piece of news for the rapper, his debut album The Adventures of Bobby Ray, debuts at #1 however only managing to shift 84,000 copies--the lowest first-week numbers for a #1 album since Chrisette Michele's sophomore release Epiphany last year.

10. Young Forever - Jay-Z feat. Mr. Hudson

Jay-Z scores his ninth top 10 single (with him on lead vocals) with "Young Forever" which pushes up two spots up to #10 this week. This is also Mr. Hudson first US top 10, prior to this, the last time he'd charted in the US was at #18 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart on Kanye West's "Paranoid." Additionally Jay-Z also furthers his feat as the rapper with the most top 10s.

16. Alejandro - Lady Gaga

As "Telephone" begins to fall, Lady Gaga's "Alejandro" begins to further itself into the top 20, rising up 4 spots to #16 this week. A future hit for sure.

15. Eenie Meenie - Justin Bieber feat. Sean Kingston

Justin Bieber scores his eighth... yes his eighth top 20 with "Eenie Meenie," It's also Sean Kingston's fifth. (Give me the gun...)

Katy Perry "California Gurls"

Katy Perry returns with her new single "Calinfornia Gurls" featuring Snoop Dogg(!). I like it better than her first summer smash "I Kissed a Girl."

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Personal Airplay, May 6, 2010

TW LW Title - Artist
1 .... 2 .... Nothin' On You - B.o.B. feat. Bruno Mars (1 week @ #1)
2 .... 1 .... OMG - Usher (2 weeks @ #1)
3 .... 4 .... Carry Out - Timbaland feat. Justin Timberlake
4 .... 6 .... All Night Long - Alexandra Burke
5 .... 7 .... I Need You Tonight - Professor Green feat. Ed Drewett
6 .... 9 .... She Said - Plan B
7 ... 11 ... Dirty Picture - Taio Cruz
8 .... 3 .... Need You Now - Lady Antebellum
9 .... 5 .... Opposite of Adults - Chiddy Bang
10 .. 10 .. Until You Were Gone - Chipmunk feat. Esmee Denters

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Robyn "Dancing On My Own"

Swedish singer Robyn returns with her new single "Dancing On My Own," the first to be lifted from her forthcoming fifth studio album Body Talk Pt. 1 (supposedly set to be released in a three-part series). Whilst I'm not into as much eletro-pop as I was before, this isn't bad. I like rapid pulsating synths that carry the song.