Tag Archive: music


jt-20-20-experience-cover

Justin Timberlake’s third album was much anticipated and,  from what I read, not quite up to the task.  But how could it be?  Having to follow up Future Sex/Love Sounds is hard enough; taking six years between albums while expectations build beyond what is feasible doesn’t help either.  With both factors against him, I have to say Justin delivered…even though apparently, this is just stage one. Continue reading

Advertisements

Bruno Mars: “Unorthodox Jukebox” Album Review

Saturday Night Live kept Bruno Mars busy when he stopped by…

***

Between doing a quite impression range of musical and character impressions, Bruno Mars found the time to take the stage and perform.  With a couple months left before his new, highly anticipated album came out, he gave an incredible rendition of the introduction track, “Young Girls”.  He is a man with everything to prove, and from the sound of it, took his time to make sure he got every detail right.

There’s really nothing to be said except that this was clearly a preview of something incredible ahead. Continue reading

Nicki Minaj: “Pink Friday” Album Review

Ask anyone if they’ve heard of Nicki Minaj and the odds are they’ll know the name.  Ask them anything else about her besides her latest song and they’ll likely draw a blank…

***

Nicki Minaj came onto the hip hop scene with a rapid success that only a handful of artists can ever claim.  Unlike most other overnight successes though, her success isn’t attributed to a freak coincidence or riding the coattails of some other artist.  She has stood toe to toe with hip hop greats, and not only held her own, but even outshone them on their own tracks.  She is already the only artist EVER who can boast to have seven songs on the billboard charts simultaneously, and the only reason her debut album didn’t hit the charts at number one is because of the cult-like following of one Susan Boyle.  She is already being compared to her pop-counter part, Lady Gaga, and anyone who doubts her skill…well they’re idiots.

Continue reading

T.I.: “No Mercy” Album Review

Any performance that begins with a pregnant woman singing is going to be memorable one way or another…

***

T.I. has made a mark on rap, both southern and national, that is indisputable.  Not many artists have the respect of their peers, the draw of a hardcore fan base, and the cross over appeal that he garners with every release.  And the few who could arguably be contenders for this crown laid down the competition long enough to create a track and performance that transcended the scope of what any of them could have done individually.

Continue reading

5 Tips for Better Stage Presence

Any internet search on “stage presence” will get you a long list of repetitive common sense, surrounding a few gems of wisdom.  I’ll cut to the chase and give you a quick top five of tips I stumbled across through my experiences. Granted I’m no performing master or professional, but I’ve done enough shows to catch a few things I wish I’d known before the first one.

***

1)  Record Yourself – This combines being prepared with gaining confidence in your movements.  I would bet my left leg that once you see the film and how you actually look, you’ll rethink a thing or two.

2)  Wear Light Colored Shoes – A minor detail yes, but if you’re the kinda guy who moves his feet a lot, the bright colors make your movements look even more exaggerated.

Continue reading

Rihanna: “Loud” Album Review

The performance began with Eminem in his element…mic in hand, hood pulled up, and crowd on their feet…

***

You can say what you want about Relapse, Eminem’s first drug-free album; the hooks aren’t as strong, the lyrics aren’t as creative or mind-blowing, he doesn’t have the same anger.  But when the 2010 VMA camera zoomed in on his face as Not Afraid began, you were instantly reminded why rap still survives as a genre despite the mountains of crap pumped out by nitwit writers and brain dead producers.  There are still those with the emotion and passion to garner a physical effect from their listeners, and Marshall Mathers III is among them.  His personal journey may not be that different from a lot of other people in this world:  hard childhood, drug problems, marital problems; but to live it all out in the public eye of tabloids and invasive press is something we can never understand, and the reason it is such an incredible story.
Enter Rihanna; model-turned-singer, with the likes of Jay-Z in her corner, and suddenly her career is in jeopardy because her own personal struggles are played out before the world when Chris Brown loses his mind.  Sure Rated R was her attempt to show perseverance, but failed insomuch that it didn’t show any resolution, just the barrage of emotions she needed to remove from herself.

Continue reading

Top 5 Tips For Guitarists

I’ve spent hours online searching through hundreds of articles on how to get faster, better, and more accurate at guitar, and gotten the same message repackaged over and over again:  play scales slowly, then build speed.  And yeah, that’s sound advice, but boring.  Now, over the course of weeks and months, I’ve found a few things that hindered and helped me keep guitar alluring.

***

 

1)  Not Neglecting The Pinky:   He’s a weak little piggy, but somehow manages to hold his own on most pentatonic scales.  The problem came when adding more major and minor scales.  Luckily I stumbled across a few exercises to help with it.

2)  Using thicker picks: Some of you may have figured it out faster than me, but switching just from mediums to hards made scales much easier, especially on acoustic.

Continue reading

Bruno Mars: “Doo-Wops and Hooligans” Album Review

Bruno Mars steps from behind the piano and picks up a guitar, leading in with a vaguely familiar rift…

***

Covering a song by the King of Pop is already a tall task.  When done right, it is one of the most powerful statements a band can make.  David Cook amazed American Idol with his cover of Billie Jean; Alien Ant Farm had instant success with their version of Smooth Criminal; and Fall Out Boy’s version of Beat It pays more than adequate homage to the original classic.  Bruno Mars, the smooth voiced cameo success of 2010 displayed plenty of vocal range in his songs, but transcended even that in this live version of Dirty Diana.

Most remarkable is his intonation, approaching some especially difficult notes with confident poise, almost with ease.  Bruno has already proven himself Top 40 worthy, but performances like this are what occupy history books.

Continue reading

On March 14, 1995 Tupac Shakur released “Me Against the World” from behind bars.  People will always debate whether Tupac should be heralded as the greatest rapper alive, and why he is better than others, but there is one indisputable fact: he is the only artists to ever release a number one album while behind bars.  Granted this may not be a testament to character, musicality or even the strength of the album itself, but it shows the incredible amount of devotion, loyalty and trust he had developed with his fan base.  Few artists can boast such a following, but among them would have to be Dwayne Carter, aka, Lil Wayne.  15 years after “Me Against the World”, Lil Wayne hopes to be the second to release a number one album from behind bars with his recently released album “I Am Not  Human Being”.  With digital distribution underway on September 27th, 2010 and physical copies to be released on October 12,  the setting is right, but does this album have the strength to elevate Lil Wayne into the number one spot?

Continue reading

Linkin Park: “A Thousand Suns” Album Review

A Thousand Suns in 30 words or less:

Linkin Park released their fourth studio album on September 14, 2010; produced by Rick Rubin, as was Minutes to Midnight; experimental; edge of progress; melodic, confident; either provokes thought, respect or ignorant anger

My Randomly Ordered Top 7 Moments of A Thousand Suns Continue reading