JUST CAN’T GET ENOUGH: 10 ALBUMS THAT WE NEED RIGHT NOW
Arcade Fire, TBA
After winning Album of the Year with The Suburbs in 2010, Arcade Fire toured the world and are now hard at work on their fourth studio LP. Considering their first three are all genuinely perfect, we’re pretty excited.
Azealia Banks, Broke with Expensive Taste
Azealia has been great at whetting our appetites with the “1991” EP and her Fantasea mixtape, as well as a few tracks on Soundcloud, but we really can’t wait for Broke with Expensive Taste to finally drop at some point this year.
We are mad. Beyoncé performed at the Super Bowl, announced a world tour, and premiered an HBO documentary… so where the fuck is this fifth album, B? Where is the new single we were expecting in the beginning of February? WHY ARE PEPSI PAYING YOU? GIVE US BEYONCÉ OR GIVE US DEATH.
Britney Spears, TBA
Our Holy Spearit and Saviour, Britney Jean, confirmed that she was back in the studio after The X Factor wrapped up. Britney Spears is the only constant in life. You always know that a Britney album will be an amazing album. We’re sure her eighth will be no different.
Charli XCX, True Romance
Even though we’ve heard a few of the tracks before, we must admit that we don’t know all of them. So while Charli XCX’s die-hard fans are disappointed that they’ll only get a few new tracks, In Fame We Trust will get eight or so. Praise! Charli XCX will also be supporting Marina and the Diamonds on her US tour this spring.
Never one to shy away from controversy, we’re excited to see what M.I.A. has up her sleeve with her fourth LP. Not to mention that her first three albums were pretty great. Even if 2010’s /\/\/\Y/\ was not quite on par with Arular or Kala, it was still better than most artists could dream of.
While a lot of people felt that Congratulations was not quite on the same level as MGMT’s debut, particularly because it lacked hits like “Electric Feel,” we thought it was a pretty great album - especially after seeing MGMT live. We await the third with open arms!
Mutya Keisha Siobhan, TBA
WHEN ARE MUTYA KEISHA SIOBHAN BLESSING US WITH MUSIC? The original line-up of Sugababes reunited late last year and have allegedly been working with Emeli Sande and DEV HYNES. Dev Hynes who produced Solange’s “Losing You” and Sky’s “Everything Is Embarrssing.” Dev Hynes. So there’s that.
Prince may not be quite as consistent as he was in the 80s and early 90s, but he’s still great - we only have to look back as recently as “Black Sweat” to know that. “Screwdriver” sounds like classic, fun Prince so if that’s anything to go by, we may be in for a real treat.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Mosquito
Karen O is perfect and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are perfect and everything they’ve ever done is perfect, so yeah. We are pretty excited for Mosquito. “Sacrilege” may not pack the same punch as some of the tracks on Show Your Bones or the synths of “Zero” and “Heads Will Roll,” but that gospel choir is great. We have faith.
Third album from Vampire Weekend; possibility of a new solo set by Kanye; Sky Ferreira finally releasing an album, if that ever happens; the Madonna “surprise” that has been much buzzed about on her fan sites?
CHART UPDATE: Billboard Hot 100 (week ending 3/9/12)
In more not shocking news, top 40 music in America continues its downward spiral into shitdom and Internet memes as Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” spends its second week at number one.
Much thanks to the inclusion of video streaming data to Billboard’s algorithm, “Harlem Shake” rocketed to number one last week and spends its second week at the summit, ahead of Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop.”
“Harlem Shake” and “Thrift Shop” are both clearly great songs and are only marginally bettered by artists such as LMFAO and Flo Rida. Baauer should win a Grammy for his clever use of appropriation.
Bruno Mars, the new King of Pop, rises five spots to number three with “When I Was Your Man,” a song which is not annoying at all.
Meanwhile, relatively unknown artist Taylor Swift enjoys success with her new single “I Knew You Were Trouble,” which I haven’t even heard on the radio!
Thankfully, Britney Spears and Rihanna save the day at numbers five and seven respectively.
1. (1) Baauer: ‘Harlem Shake’
2. (2) Macklemore and Ryan Lewis: ‘Thrift Shop’
3. (8) Bruno Mars: ‘When I Was Your Man’
4. (5) Taylor Swift: ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’
5. (4) will.i.am ft. Britney Spears: ‘Scream & Shout’
6. (10) Drake: ‘Started From the Bottom’
7. (3) Rihanna: ‘Stay’
8. (9) Justin Timberlake ft. Jay-Z: ‘Suit & Tie’
9. (7) Bruno Mars: ‘Locked Out of Heaven’
10. (19) Lil Wayne ft. Drake & Future: ‘Love Me’
RETROSPECTIVE: Britney Spears, “…Baby One More Time”
On this day in 1999, Britney Spears spent her first of two weeks at number one in the UK with her iconic debut single “…Baby One More Time.”
JUST CAN’T GET ENOUGH: 10 tracks we can’t live without right now
Britney Spears, “Early Mornin’” (Jason Nevins Remix)
While we patiently wait for new Britney music, this cut from her 2005 remix album B in the Mix will have to suffice. We prefer this mix to the original.
Charli XCX, “You (Ha Ha Ha)”
Charli XCX will likely go the same way as fellow pop flops Little Boots and Sky Ferreira, but her music and image are both great, so that’s what’s important. “You (Ha Ha Ha)” is her catchiest track to date.
David Bowie, “Where Are We Now?”
No explanation necessary. It’s David Bowie. That’s all.
Destiny’s Child, “Nuclear”
This cute, synth-driven track from Destiny’s Child’s Love Songs compilation is the first new DC track in 8 years, and it’s helping us wait more patiently for Beyoncé’s fifth studio album. (Also, check out Kelly Rowland’s “Kisses Down Low” - dirty!)
Girls Aloud, “On the Metro”
Our favourite new song from our favourite girl group’s greatest hits collection, a.k.a. a compilation of our favourite pop songs from the past ten years!
Marina and the Diamonds, “E.V.O.L”
Given away for free as a Valentine’s Day treat, “E.V.O.L” fits right in with Electra Heart’s best moments, which is certainly a good thing. “Homewrecker” meets “Power & Control.”
Rilo Kiley, “Let Me Back In”
Jenny Lewis was the voice I heard in my head for most of my adolescence, so it’s really nice to hear Rilo Kiley back together again. A studio recording of a live favourite (“I Love LA”), this song makes me want to cry a little bit and it also makes me want to clap my hands in a kumbaya circle.
Sky Ferreira, “Sad Dream”
Sky, you little crack baby. You’re a damn mess. Your team sends death threats to fans. Your music is good though. Something about the simplicity of this track really sticks out to us.
Solange, “Some Things Never Seem to Fucking Work”
With songs like this and “Losing You,” Solange proves that she is more than worthy our praise. She’s not just Beyoncé’s little sister and, as she attested to on Twitter, she is not the anti-Beyoncé. She’s just a brilliant artist in her own right.
Unicorn Kid, “Boys of Paradise”
Okay, I don’t know what this is doing here either, but it’s really fun to listen to when the weather is getting nicer and the windows are rolled down and the sun is shining and you make dolphin noises I DON’T KNOW OKAY.
NEWS: Britney Spears agrees to Vegas residency?
Britney Spears is close to signing a £100 million deal for a Vegas residency, according to The Mirror.
The British tabloid reports that Spears has already negotiated the terms of the deal and will sign a contract by the end of the month.
Spears has agreed to a year-long residency and could earn up to £100 million if she stays for two years – around £625,000 per appearance.
She would be given at least two or three nights off per week and would stay in a complimentary hotel penthouse throughout the residency.
The Vegas residency would begin in late spring at Caesars Palace. Tickets are expected to cost £400.
Spears recently announced that she would not be returning to The X Factor; instead, she is recording her eighth studio album.
It was confirmed this week that Spears has split with fiancé Jason Trawick.
TOP 5 TRACKS FROM FEMME FATALE
Honorable mentions: Break-up sex jam “Inside Out” and the addictive third single “I Wanna Go”
5. “Trip to Your Heart”
One of very few songs that escaped the greedy hands of Dr. Luke and Max Martin, “Trip to Your Heart” was produced by fellow Bloodshy (of Bloodshy & Avant), Jonback and Magnus. A sweet, synth-driven love song, “Trip to Your Heart” is probably the closest thing to a ballad on Femme Fatale, but the tempo still doesn’t quite let up.
4. “He About to Lose Me”
What. A. Song. According to Miss Spears herself, this is one of her favorite songs she’s recorded. There’s no explaining what is so great about this song. It’s pure pop and it’s catchy as hell. Even more surprising is that it was produced by Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, more famous for R&B hits, or in Britney’s case, unnecessary cover versions.
3. “Hold It Against Me”
This was fans’ first taste of Femme Fatale, back in January 2011. What a first taste it was. Instantly addicting with its faux-dubstep wobbles, “Hold It Against Me” returned Britney to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for the third time in four years. The song’s final chorus still takes me there.
2. “How I Roll”
Although Britney is often mistaken for a puppet, true fans of both Britney and pop will know that her songs are often quite creative in the realm of pop music. “How I Roll” uses a number of unique production techniques to give the song its bubbly, fun sound. It’s also nice to imagine Britney singing “You could be my fuck tonight” instead of “You could be my thug tonight.” Due to its fun nature and creative production, “How I Roll” was even named the best pop song of the year by Rolling Stone writer Rob Sheffield.
1. “Till the World Ends”
The definition of pure euphoria. A true transcendental experience for listeners. As close to aural heaven as pop can get. “Till the World Ends” is just one of those songs, so simple in its nature yet so sublime. There’s no denying that Dr. Luke and Max Martin know their way around a hook, and with songwriting help from Ke$ha, “Till the World Ends” arguably became Britney’s most widely spread hit since “Toxic” – inescapable, but why would you even want to escape it?
TOP 5 TRACKS FROM CIRCUS
Honorable mentions: Britney’s true comeback single, the #1 hit “Womanizer,” and bonus track “Trouble”
5. “Unusual You”
Circus, or any Britney album for that matter, is generally weak when it comes to ballads. “Out from Under” could have easily been on Britney’s first three albums, and the less said about the terrible-but-touching “My Baby” the better. “Unusual You,” however, is a Britney ballad one can get behind. Okay, so it’s not a ballad per se, but amidst Bloodshy & Avant’s gorgeous, simplistic electronica, “Unusual You” makes for a loving centerpiece to the otherwise chaotic Circus.
Before Femme Fatale came to fruition, “Circus” (and “Shattered Glass”) was Britney’s first collaboration with hitmaker Dr. Luke. Unlike most of his tepid, generic productions, Dr. Luke offered Britney something special with “Circus.” The highlight of the track is the acoustic breakdown before the chorus. My only complaint is that parts of the song remind me of the theme to America’s Next Top Model. You wanna be on top?
On an otherwise “safe” comeback album, “Mannequin” is one of the most creative songs of Britney’s career, at least from a production standpoint. All hell breaks loose on this track, which is futuristic, robotic chaos. It would be interesting to see Britney work with Harvey Mason, Jr. and Rob Knox again, because this song is such a treat for the ears. Besides, “my face like a mannequin” is an excellent lyric.
2. “Kill the Lights”
No surprises that one of the album’s highlights is produced by Danja, the mastermind behind much of Blackout’s greatness. The song reintroduces us to “our very own Pop Princess, now Queen of Pop,” before picking up where “Piece of Me” left off. “Kill the Lights” sounds like the theme to a spy movie with its interjections of horns and strings. Failed music video opportunity.
Why this song was relegated to bonus track status is beyond me, when “Phonography” is easily one of the best tracks on the album. Besides “Unusual You” (and “Radar” if that counts), “Phonography” is the only track produced by frequent collaborators Bloodshy & Avant, which is even more upsetting. “Phonography” is an ode to phone sex (as we’ve already discussed with “Don’t Hang Up”). The sound here is much more in line with Blackout, although perhaps more confident, and that is never, ever a bad thing.