November 16, 2009
I think this will be the last Idol record I ever review. This record is all the proof the Kris haters need to prove that Adam Lambert should have been crowned Idol. Yes, yes, they have different styles blahblahblah... Regardless of what you think you witnessed watching AI8, I am of the opinion that they are both artists.
This is just not a great CD. I've got Kris' earlier stuff and I love it. I was hoping for something a little more "Mraz-zy"; instead, I find myself wishing for a little less "Hootie." I'm thinking this is the result of a very restrictive contract with 19, which is not such a hard thing to believe, since it's a known fact that they aren't really "artist driven."
There are a couple of groovy tracks, like Can't Stay Away, and Written All Over My Face. The CD closes with a new version of Heartless, which is alright, but I kinda liked his iTunes version better. Unfortunately, I just hear a lot of what I call "radio filler." I'm sure I don't need to explain.
Oh, the booklet has some pretty pictures in it! ★★☆☆☆
Lady GaGa ~ The Fame Monster
November 24, 2009
I don't want to give in to this bitch, I really don't. But dammit!!! She keeps pushing!
The Fame Monster is an interesting collection of tunes. I'm not even sure why I'm reviewing it; almost every track has been leaked online. So here's a link to hear a GaGa sampler! (playlist at the end of the review)
Most of this sounds very much like her first release, The Fame. Actually, this is like The Fame's little baby.
Let's see...good things: Bad Romance is the video version so at least she doesn't launch into that Rah-Rah-Ah-Ah-Ah-Roma-Roma-Ma-GaGa-OhLaLa right out of the gate. Speechless is a great track; it's a rocky ballady Beatles meets, well, Lady GaGa. Definitely one of the most different sounding things she's pumped out of that dark, couture addicted brain. In fact, I think most of these could be singles. Even, dare I say, the Beyoncé aided Telephone. Actually, between you and me, I hope it is released as a single. I kinda want to see what GaGa can get her do.
To sum up, if you're a GaGa fan, you're going to lurrrve it. If you're not, you might start liking her, or you may be like Stephen Rader's mom and continue to ask, "What in the hell is a Lady GaGa?" ★★★★☆
Rihanna ~ Rated R
November 23, 2009
I blame Chris Brown. There. I said it.
This much-anticipated release is bound to disappoint you if you want Rihanna to tell you to shut up and drive, that she's gon' break some dishes, or something else-else-else. Instead, she'd like you to know that she's "a fuckin' lady" and that she's "not stupid in love."
This is a dark album. Even the intro, The Madhouse, warns "those of you easily frightened, to turn away now." In my opinion, the first single, Russian Roulette, is the only real single. Even the second single, Wait Your Turn (aka The Wait Is Ova) was leaked, along with the video, with on-the-fence reactions. It's not to say that there isn't a radio-friendly track in this broken-hearted woman's collection of songs; it's just that there isn't anything like we're used to. I think my favourite track is Te Amo, which sounds like a story about a close, intimate relationship with an exotic woman. It could be a love song or it could just be about a woman who gave her strength. Either way, I think it's wonderful.
Having listened a few times, start to finish, I think it's fair to say that this is such a concept album. The whole thing tells a story. Infidelity, fame, abuse, going back - it's all there.
Maybe this is growth? ★★★☆☆
Lady GaGa ~ The Fame Monster Playlist
- Bad Romance
- Dance In The Dark
- Telephone (feat. Beyoncé)
- So Happy I Could Die