Latest Entries »

Past Due Recap & Update

Music is ever evolving, and so does its channels driving it to mass media. CD’s are not as common for purchase, everything is now on immediate digital download mostly.

Music-wise, Katy Perry returned with vengeance to the charts, Lady GaGa found balance between the radical changes from her early hits to that of ‘Born This Way’ (and has even started to tone down her image), Lana Del Rey has made it big, boy bands all of a sudden came bacXCIA_Fumero_Collabo_k (One Direction and The Wanted, anyone?); Taylor Swift is now even credible.

American Idol is over ten seasons (and has a gazillion mirroring show versions of it), Justin Bieber fever is FINALLY fading away, Mariah Carey is still trying to convince us she is thin and ‘thirty’, and who can forget Miley Cyrus crossing over and making her tongue famous.

SAMSUNG surpassed the iPhone, Mark Zuckerberg bought WhatsApp, just about everyone ranted how they knew who Steve Jobs was when he died, and Britney Spears keeps on lip-syncing no matter what she says (or merely pre-records?); I guess that is the one thing that hasn’t changed.

A lot has gone down over the last two years: new trends in music, heavier incorporation of dub-step and electronica on top 40 radio (Hell, even Taylor Swift pulled out a pop record of those with ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’!).

Newcomers have settled their grounds as artists, and many have made comebacks to the spotlight. Take Pharrell for example, with the help of Daft Punk and the impeccable ‘Get Lucky’, managed to place his name on the map again, and look at Rihanna, now a force to be reckoned with and an icon (who would’ve thought).

At last, the Grammy’s have turned into a joke, and so have the Oscars. 50 Shades of Grey happened, selfies and #hashtags have a new meaning in the dictionary, Glee‘s Cory Monteith passed away…and the list continues.

With all that been said with a grain of salt, we will be catching up on those matters that are making twists and turns by the minute, over the next coming hours, days and weeks. There will be movie and book reviews, album critiques, and download recommendations as there were before.

We’re starting over!

Stay tuned.

C.Perez

 

 

 

 

KatyBirthdayKaty Perry has gone from being an online sensation, to candy royalty, just to become a global phenomenon in pop culture and radio. She may have taken off the blue wig, but that doesn’t stop her from still giving glimpses of her quirky persona. Sporting her trademark dark bangs, with Spring green locks, Perry returns with another smash, taken off her latest blockbuster: PRISM.

With a heavy disco bass line, and cooed sexual innuendos to a partner, Perry soars with ease on ‘Birthday’. For a relative cliche of a title, the single is everything a pop song should be: its catchy, its witty, original, well structured, and of course, fun. She goes down the no-holds-barred route, and breaks the song down in a melancholic echoed beat, where she breathes ‘Happy birthday’, just to then explode into a belt-out extravaganza.

I’m sure Katy had reckless fun recording this, and the vein of the song transmits it to the listener; another winner for Katy!

★★★★

C.Perez

Make sure you catch the official video for ‘Birthday’ below; and see Katy pulling a TGIF gone steroids as she crashes birthday parties on hidden camera mode!

PRISM already available; look out for the album review coming in the next few days.

It has been two years plus since the last post, and it has all been a whirlwind, I was focused, I lost my tracks, my heart,Image my mind and everything in between. But I’ve garnered new perspective, there’s new people around, new music released, and the world keeps on spinning, no matter what, right?

So the blog is up and going, once more. I have been keen to write about what I hear and how my brain digests it. I realized I shouldn’t put hobbies aside just because. 

If there’s anything I learned from taking a long hiatus is that even when you hit rock-bottom and a dark place, don’t unpack and live there; shed as many tears as necessary, but keep on moving forward to where you really want to go.

At this moment, all I want to do is listen, WRITE, and share!

Here’s to me, to music, to you, and to HARBINGERS.

C.Perez

John Mayer music had been long overdue. From the utter genius of Continuum, and the much more softer acoustics of Battle Studies, Mayer now tackles at a countrified approach with ‘Shadow Days’, where he asks hard times to let him be, while learning how to let go.

As always, Mayer’s vocals are impeccable, and the instrumentation is outstanding, with a country sound that almost feels as if this were a response to Taylor Swift’s ‘Dear John’; a song included in Speak Now, rumored to be about Mayer.

‘Shadow Days’ is moody, and it serves as an explanation to a past love counterpart, stating he now lives the present and has learned how to move on. Mayer claims to be a ‘good man, with a good heart’ in the song, while sharing feelings of comfort in finding meaning to new-found love. Mayer reports to have found direction and clarity in the soulful charged number, that ends with a faded organ.

It is not Earth-shattering, but it is romantic and slightly hurt with a positive outlook that conveys a ‘Things may not be the best, but it could be worse’ message. It is not a first time listen hard hitting melody, but it is definitely a grower that subsequently becomes addictive.

Mayer never disappoints, and ‘Shadow Days’ is no different to the quality of his part work. If it proves anything, is that guys also have feelings within the hard and multiple layered shell of manhood.

★★★★

C.Perez

Born And Raised to be released May 22, 2012.

Listen to ‘Shadow Days’ below.

Electra Heart not only serves as the title to Marina & The Diamonds new album to be released by the end of the month, but also an alter persona that will represent irony, and everything that is wrong with American standards.

Marina delivers ‘Primadonna’ in cheeky undertones, playing a princess who demands and seeks for self interest, proclaiming self directed justification to her superficiality in lines like ‘You say that I’m kind of difficult, but its always someone else’s fault’.

The production may have slight guitar riffs laced with dance synths and a brief dubstep break, but its substancious factor lays in Marina’s vocals, that range from coy to aggressively bold. It goes back and forth from end to end, bringing the song to a point of duality that is well achieved.

The delivery and overall progression of the song is superb, and helmed by the ever hit-making Dr. Luke, who has also coined most of the productions that have skyrocketed to the top of the Billboard charts over the past years.

Marina is reported to be going for a commercial sound to make an artistic statement, through the character she will be playing in most of the songs that will compose the body of work.

Whether Marina is using this commercial tactic for superior sale numbers or not, the whole project is turning into a very consistent piece, that will be showing off the different registers she can manage with her voice.

The Family Jewels was bomb, so expect Electra Heart to follow along the same lines, as Marina, even though in the midst of poppier production, still accomplishes to stamp her sound with gutsy lyrical composition that single her out from anything else busting out in radio.

Now this is the definition of an alter ego concept; ‘Sasha Fierce’ and ‘Roman Zolanski’…take note.

★★★★

C.Perez

Electra Heart in stores April 30th, 2012.

Listen to ‘Primadonna’ below.

Quick News Update

  • Tabloid, The National Enquirer previously staged Whitney Houston’s final moments in a photoshoot, but have gone even lower, by having snapped and published an open-casket image of  Houston, from her home going service held in New Jersey earlier in the week; how disrespectful.
  • Adele has sold around 7 million copies of 21 in the U.S. alone, reaching worldwide sales of 17 million. With eight Grammy’s under her belt, Adele has conquered and is close to reaching Diamond sales status, a feat previously marked by Usher’s Confessions in 2003. Appropriately, the album hits its 21st week atop on its release anniversary.
  • Katy Perry scores her seventh #1 with ‘Part Of Me’, which also happens to mark the 20th #1 debut in Billboard chart history, since Lady GaGa last February, with ‘Born This Way’. The respective accompanying music video will sport a military theme. If you ever wondered how she would look like a male, the video will provide a proper answer. This number one won’t count as a single from Teenage Dream but from Confection instead; consequently Katy remains tied with Michael Jackson for most #1’s off one album.
  • Country songstress Miranda Lambert doesn’t approve of the new Rihanna/Chris Brown collaborations, and has addressed the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend hit ‘Gunpowder And Lead’ to Brown, flashing a sign reading ‘Take Note Chris Brown’ during one of her recent performances. Lambert has directly stated, ‘He needs to listen to Gunpowder and lead and be put back in his place‘. The aforementioned recounts the story of an angered ex, who shoots her boyfriend; woman got a point.
  • Chris Brown still tweets profanities and homophobic statements, and recently engaged in a twit-altercation with wrestler MC Punk, who tweeted, ‘I would like @chrisbrown fight somebody that can defend themselves. Me curb stomping that turd would be a #wrestlemania moment‘. To what Brown replied, ‘Positivity regardless of how u feel! @CMpunk contact my assistant and I’ll have em send u an autographed pic for my biggest FAN!!!‘. Brown is such a douche.
  • ‘Dark Side’ is being considered to be Kelly Clarkson’s follow-up single to chart topper ‘Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)’, which generated wide interest and a sale surge, post her flawless rendition of the Star Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl. Stronger, the album, has been a steady but consistent seller, with a rare batch of sleeper hits. ‘Mr. Know It All’ got off to a slow start, and its title track was no different, but both proved to be slow burners and eventually, major radio hits; hopefully ‘Dark Side’ has the same fate.
  • R&B singer Robin Thicke, paid tribute to the late Whitney Houston, in a cover of the 1995 hit, ‘Exhale (Shoop Shoop)’, featuring stripped vocals and a piano. Thicke may have had issues with the police just recently, but that didn’t stop him from honoring ‘Nippy’, and tweeting, ‘This is my tribute to the great Whitney Houston. Sending my prayers to her family‘.
  • Party Rock duo LMFAO have released ‘Sorry For Party Rocking’ as a single, and premiere music video, which you can watch HERE. LMFAO made chart splash last summer with ‘Party Rock Anthem’, overshadowed their own ensuing single, and broke the top of the charts again with the glitzy speedo-themed ‘Sexy And I Know It’. Hopefully the duo is up for another winner.
  • Adam Lambert’s Tresspassing, originally due March 20th, has been pushed back. Lambert has stated he is making the album ‘even better’, and making room for four new songs. With the minimal success ‘Better Than I Know Myself’ witnessed, releasing an album based on those grounds alone wouldn’t have been a smart move. New release date to be announced. In other Lambert news, he will be joining legendary band Queen, for the Sonisphere Festival.
  • The Glee cast will not be touring this summer. Possibly in response to the underwhelming reception they got with the Glee Live show screened in 3-D (considering the magnitude the Ryan Murphy-created show has acquired). With the current season plummeting down in sloppy story-lines, and constantly unnecessary catering to past musical references, plus Smash getting wide attention, the future of the show is yet to be determined.

C.Perez

For those who cared and got their copy of Talk That Talk, Rihanna’s sixth studio album, or at least bothered to download, know the amazing unfinished addition of ‘Birthday Cake’, credited as a mere interlude.

The all-too-short track was a highlight from the very beginning, fans ranted in their network sites and even tweeted producer The-Dream, requesting the song to be made full length.

After serious consideration, the complete version of ‘Cake’ was slated to be made available on Rihanna’s site and digital retailers between Feb. 16th and Feb. 20th (the singer’s actual birthday), and a male feature was confirmed. Around this time, rumors emerged appointing Chris Brown as the alleged feature, who physically assaulted Rihanna three years ago on the eve of the Grammy Awards; he was issued a restriction order, and she became a spokesperson against domestic abuse.

All the rumors turned out to be TRUE, Brown features on ‘Cake’, and as if it weren’t enough, Rihanna also features in the official Remix of Brown’s current single ‘Turn Up The Music’.

‘Birthday Cake’ is indeed amazing, but Brown’s verses taint it to the point one can’t avoid but associate his lyrics to knocking her down again. While she drops a couple I miss you’s and a ‘I love you baby’ in her respective verse for ‘Turn Up The Music’. If they are getting back together or not, publicity stunt or mere act of forgiveness, this is not looking good for her.

As good as the song alone may be (minus Brown), it is going too far. Roughly two years ago before Rated R kicked off, Rihanna fought tears to Diane Sawyer, in a tell-all interview claiming,

When I realized that my selfish decision for love could result into some young girl getting killed, I could not be easy with that. I couldn’t be held responsible for telling them to go back. Even if Chris never hit me again, who’s to say their boyfriend won’t kill these girls. These are young girls and … I just didn’t realize how much of an impact I had on these girls live until that happened. It was a wake-up call for me – big time.

And now this happens; one of the biggest hypocritical acts in the industry yet. If Rihanna wanted to prove how bad she is, she has done it, but she has also proven the idiot she is as well. What she is delivering is not only an ode to cunnilingus ‘hidden’ in not so subtle cake references, but is also putting on a billboard that going back to an abuser and putting your life at risk is okay, acceptable and totally normal. Whether she likes it or not, she became a poster-girl for the matter, and a model for young girls out there who went through the same.

Brown hasn’t shown signs of change, instead he has been bashing ‘haters’ in his Twitter account, making offensive remarks, and bidding his Grammy as the ‘ultimate fuck off’.

Either Rihanna wasn’t beaten enough, or needs to go over her post-assault shots, and re-watch her  20/20 interview; or hell, maybe the lyrics to ‘S&M’ couldn’t make any more sense than they do now,

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but chains and whips excite me’.

Welcome the new Tina & Ike Turner.

C.Perez

Take a look at how ‘well-received’ Rihanna’s latest (which isn’t even in her actual album to begin with) has been; click to enlarge.

Off the back of a powerful Grammy performance, it was no surprise ‘Part Of Me’ would sell like hot cakes.

Over the past week, Billboard had predicted digital sales between 400,000-420,000, and they weren’t too far off, with the song selling a massive 411,000 in seven days, enough to ensure a #1 chart debut.

‘Part Of Me’ becomes the chart’s 20th #1 debut in Billboard history, and the first to garner the accolade since Lady GaGa, who also introduced ‘Born This Way’ in a same manner on the Grammy’s stage, selling over 448,000 in three days last year’s February.

As this week’s chart was revealed, Perry took to her Twitter to thank her fans,

Thank U to all the AMAZING radio stations playing “Part Of Me” & the Katycats that keep requesting the ish out of it! #ioweuandiwilldeliver

As previously stated, Katy’s 7th #1 overall, won’t count as a single from Teenage Dream, thus she remains tied with Michael Jackson for producing most number one singles off one album alone.

It has been a wonderful year for Perry, a critically-acclaimed double platinum sophomore release, 5 consecutive number ones, all 6 Teenage Dream singles reaching the top of the Pop and Dance Charts alike (7 counting the unofficial entry of ‘Peacock’ in the latter), a sold out world tour, and what is looking to be a solid re-release celebrating the album that catapulted her beyond success.

C.Perez

Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection scheduled to hit shelves March 27th, 2012

It seems it was yesterday Rihanna released her billionth single off Loud, now it is a whole new album preceded by the basic/half cooked ‘We Found Love’.

Surprisingly, the video is not as half cooked, and basic as the song in itself, neither  the everyday packed club themed visual, but is instead a very good graphic metaphor of the deterioration of a relationship, compared to that of the self-destruction of drugs.

With a Chris Brown look-a-like, and a similar instance to that of what happened previously to the 2009 Grammy’s, Rihanna seems to be tackling the bittersweet journey she underwent with Brown.

The video opens with a British-accent delivered monologue about looking back and trying to get the ‘good’. She sings in a solitary corner with projected clouds, as her past relationship is recounted in remembrances, such as trashing a supermarket, rough sex, dancing in an open field, smoking into each other’s mouth, and extensive arguing.

It is worth noting the beats of the song match the video sequences, and some pretty rad effects incorporate in the course of the visual; a consuming cigarette in varying color hues, dilated pupil close-ups, and the high energy scenes complementing the fast paced rhythm of the segment before the chorus.

Even though it is not a dance-driven video, Rihanna gets away with it. First, because the song is not build for proper choreography due to its overtly repetitive pattern,  and second, because for once it seemed to carry a message, instead of scenes thrown for shock value.

If this video delivers anything else than how her romance died out, it also communicates how much she LOVES to smoke. For once we can say Melina really thought outside of the box; great shooting angles, and on-point illumination.

This is Rihanna’s ‘Teenage Dream’ gone beyond corrupted and out of context. It is raw, and makes the song tolerable.

Probably her best yet.

★★★★

C.Perez

Watch ‘We Found Love’ below!

Throw your sticks and your stones, throw your bombs and your blows, but you’re not gonna break my soul‘ sings Perry in a haunting bass line.

By making its way to the web in late 2010, ‘Part Of Me’ garnered wide interest, and the fate of the song was questioned. Now everyone can see for what it was being saved, and for all the right reasons, who would let this pop slice go to waste in the shelves of Capitol Records?

It sounded brilliant upon first listen, and now after being properly remastered and mildly reworked lyrically, sounds even better, more felt and more suiting for where Katy is at this very moment in her life.

It tackles at getting oneself together post breaking free from a constraining relationship. Perry sounds poignant and uplifting throughout, interrupting herself at a point with an unswerving ‘No!’, and decidedly stating ‘Get away from me’. While it nods to ‘Firework’ in the break, it purposely busts the obvious Russell Brand slam, ‘You can take the diamond ring, it don’t mean nothing anyway’ (…ouch Russell, don’t date a woman who has the ability to write a one sided ‘hate you’ song and perform it at the Grammy’s for everyone to hear).

She may be capitalizing on her divorce, but if one recalls, co-writer Bonnie McKee had stated in one interview that ‘Part Of Me’ was going to be used at some point; divorce or no divorce, ‘Part Of Me’ was deemed to happen, and if her divorce publicity works for appeal, then why not (Rumors are even swirling that this track was to lead up to the debut of Teenage Dream, but then ‘California Gurls’ happened).

It carries the timelessness of ‘Teenage Dream’, and it is anything but subtle. Even though the lyrics sound bruised, they hold this sense of angst, vulnerability and a bright side all at once; it is beautifully arranged. The Dr. Luke produced cut is another winner for Katy; it’ll no doubt smash the charts.

What a way to close such a historical album; hats off, confection fulfilled.

★★★★★

C.Perez

Download ‘Part Of Me’

Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection to be released March 27th.

Popping like an online mystery artist with ‘Video Games’ last summer, Lizzy Grant, now known as Lana Del Rey, set her foot on the door leading to the music industry.

Teasing with home made videos, the follow-up ‘Blue Jeans’, and an EP release while proclaiming herself the ‘gansta Nancy Sinatra’, Del Rey has proven to be the next big thing.

Seemingly recorded during late moody nights, in the midst of nicotine fumes and empty bottles of rum scattered on the studio floor, Born To Die scores the epic, through massively cinematic production. Each cut is as if it were a melodramatic scene from an old movie, where two embrace and lock lips in the moonlight or the middle of the rain. The numbers are grand, orchestral, almost theatrical.

Opening with the title-track, Lana’s fatalistic yet realistic outlook on love calls upon living today as if it were the last. ‘Off To The Races’ follows closely with an almost drunk delivery praising her man, and his flaws; the echoed tribal drums are amazing; one can easily visualize a mid-western themed scenario. ‘Blue Jeans’ and ‘Video Games’ are the most throwback tracks of the set, both portraying a playfully teasing vixen, who proclaims will love until the end of time, and undresses as her man indulges in interactive affairs; beautiful harp in the latter.

‘Diet Mnt Dew’, with jazz laced drums, and shouting out to New York City, is an old school musical bounce; not sure what she is addressing, but possibly an infatuation she knows isn’t good. Lana shines her best in the midtempo ‘National Anthem’ with double sided puns directed to rising the ‘flagpole’; starting with strings and faded out firecrackers, Del Rey whispers in a bandmarch-esque beat asking for standing ovations. ‘Dark Paradise’ is a rhyme bender, out-voicing fears of not being corresponded.

‘Radio’ is a too early ‘I’ve reached success’ bash statement, but is nonetheless a good laid-back number, shedding light on becoming relevant, now that she plays in the airwaves. ‘Carmen’ is a soap opera, a novel, and a film at once, introduced by a throaty sigh, it narrates the duality of a 17 year old femme fatale. The beat is imminent and close to sinister, with a disperse lire, piano, and a climactic build up during the chorus, while her tone remains level; its mesmerizing.

‘Million Dollar Man’ could’ve been easily taken straight out of a 1950’s saloon; beautiful, exotic and utterly fragile sounding; wouldn’t be surprised if they strapped fabric on a vintage microphone to record this. ‘Summertime Sadness’ is a reminisce and farewell to summer love. ‘This Is What Makes Us Girls’ closes the album featuring a lashing beat, empowering sisterhood and shouting out to womanhood; one of the moments where Lana sounds extra engaging within each verse.

Lana’s fast paced moment lies in about 10 seconds in the break of ‘Dark Paradise’, other than that, Lana plays the solemn and somber songstress throughout, emulating motifs of love lost, and even party favors in ‘Carmen’. Sometimes one is not exactly sure what she is singing about, but with instrumentation sounding this good, one could care less. Making references to American decadence, getting high and living the moment, the album is unbeliavable.

Lana may not be the strongest vocalist, but can make use of her limited range in hip-hop beats blended with a haunting orchestra and remarkable harp, that gives the songs a dreamy haze, and distinctive shine. Vocally, she sounds uninsterested, almost asleep, or around the corner of ‘I don’t give a fuck’, but this persona mixed with her husky tone, results in the dusted off feel vintage music had. Born To Die is very consistent, yet the songs don’t sound exactly like derivations of themselves, but continuations of an unraveling story.

The record’s flaw lies in its too impeccable production. It doesn’t drown Lana’s vocals, but it is so meticulous, it gives the sense of too much control, and calculation. If an album is minimally produced is an issue, and if its overproduced is yet another issue, but in this case, overproduction works in Lana’s favor, since it is so ear-catching and splendid, it is enough to grab one’s interest, and simply conclude ‘more is more’ compliments her.

Born To Die is exquisite indie pop. Many may consider it a total bore, due to the monotonous themes throughout, and its strong influences of sadcore and baroque pop, but then again, wouldn’t Adele’s 21 be as well?

★★★★★

C.Perez

Katy moves fast! and is ready to wake up from the Dream.

Just after debuting her new single on the Grammy stage, and taking the iTunes charts by storm, she was recently spotted shooting the visuals to the reported single.

Perry was seen at the USMC base Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California, yesterday February 16th, filming a military-based music video, that will serve to promote and bring to life her latest anthem, ‘Part Of Me’. She sported a black-edged manly cut, camouflaged gear, and dived in a training pool alongside a marine (a rougher nod to ‘Teenage Dream’ possibly?).

Could it feature a mini-storyline recounting how two soldiers fall in love? and how their romance dies down in the midst of disciplinary conditions? We’ll just have to wait and see when it premieres.

When one thought Katy had already done it all, here she is, surprising once more.

C.Perez

In other news, Idolator has announced via Twitter, that ‘Part Of Me’ could become the 20th single to debut at #1 in Billboard history.

Take a look below (Click to enlarge).

After several online rumors of a re-release, it is finally confirmed and happening. Katy Perry will re-package her sophomore album under Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection this coming March 26th.

The Complete Confection will include the 12-tracks from Teenage Dream, a 7-minute Tommie Sunshine megamix of all six singles released, the official remix versions of ‘E.T.’ featuring Kanye West, and ‘Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)’ with Missy Elliot, the acoustic version of ‘The One That Got Away’, plus a John Brion mix of the latter (not the B.0.B. remix), and three brand new tracks.

The cut and paste remixes seem out of place addition, an EP in the like of The  Fame Monster or Cannibal would’ve suit best for an album that was released nearly two years ago, but not complaining. It may seem like a disappointment, but new Katy Perry music is always welcomed either way.

The first run of Teenage Dream featured cotton candy scent, now the first run of The Complete Confection will feature a limited edition lenticular cover.

Perry just debuted the Dr. Luke produced ‘Part Of Me’ (preceding Confection) last night at the Grammy’s with a powerful performance, that generated wonderful reception, so she may be on track for her next smash, next number one even, because ‘Part Of Me’ is a jam, and the ultimate break-up anthem; easily her most empowering yet.

If this is any indication where Perry is headed with her career, she’s all in check, and destined for even more success.

This is the complete story of Teenage Dream. It was an incredible honor to tie the King of Pop’s Billboard Hot 100 record, but I’m moving forward and had a few things left to get off my chest. So this is the complete special edition of my album for my fans,” states Perry.

Teenage Dream has been a journey, and has cemented Katy as the superstar she has become. Billboard has stated any number ones from Confection won’t count as number one singles off the original album; sounds fair.

C.Perez

Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection ready to be served March 27th.

‘Part Of Me’ originally leaked in late 2010 in demo form, post the release of Perry’s sophomore effort.  The polished/remastered version sounds just as stunning, if not better, take a listen below!

It is hard to sit through an entire award show, except for relevant performances, but this year the Grammy’s have given the ceremony a very consistent line-up that had you stuck on your seat.

Opening with a prayer in honor of the late Whitney Houston, as everyone in the building bowed their heads, the show went on with show-stopping performances, mild tributes and shout-outs to Whitney throughout. It was overall a very gripping event.  Adele, Katy Perry, Foo Fighters, Bruno Mars, Paul McCartney, Rihanna, Coldplay, The Band Perry, Jennifer Hudson, Blake Shelton, The Beach Boys themselves, and many more all under one roof, was definitely a moment to remember.

As it was predicted, and pretty much a given, Adele swept the entire night nabbing the six Grammy’s she was nominated for (including Album of The Year), and deservedly so. The Foo Fighters were not too far off, taking a total of five for Best Long Form Video, Best Rock performance, Best Hard Rock/Metal performance, Best Rock Song, and Best Rock album respectively. Kanye West followed with four, and Skrillex with three. The flawless Bon Iver scored their first two Grammys for Best New Artist and Best Alternative Album; even Chris Brown won one for Best R&B album (Odd, since F.A.M.E. is predominantly filled with dance cuts).

Bruno Mars brought the house down with ‘Runaway Baby’. With an old fashioned lit marquis and all, Mars shut it down with his vocals and stage presence. Alicia Keys and  Bonnie Reitt performed in honor of the late Etta James, along piano keys and acoustic guitar; their voices matched perfectly.

‘Don’t You Wanna Stay’ was impeccably sung on behalf of Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson, who took in Aldean’s line when his microphone went off; beautiful duet. Chris Brown busted a move for a medley of ‘Turn Up The Music’ and ‘Beautiful People’, it was a gymnastics spectacle but nothing too impressive; usual Brown. The Foo Fighters proved rock is not dead with ‘Walk’; felt like 1990 all of a sudden.

Rihanna reworked the introduction to her smash ‘We Found Love’ and struggled to keep her pitch, she ultimately could (with help of a backing track), and for once, showed energy on the stage dancing alongside a dance troupe. She later joined Chris Martin for an acoustic performance of ‘Princess of China’; Rihanna outdid Martin, as he sounded like a howling/dying animal. ‘Paradise’ was no different, Martin’s vocals sounded exhausted; the stage set-up was brilliant though.

The night went on in a cute note with Taylor Swift, who performed ‘Mean’ and seemed genuinely humbled by the standing ovation she received at the end of her number. This girl has come a long way, it was amazing to see her remaining so down to earth, at an event of this magnitude.

Ironic how Katy Perry alluded to her wedding, and dedicated her performance to all the lovers in last year’s ceremony, just to now slam Russell Brand on the face.  She misleadingly initiated ‘E.T.’, before a sound intermission allowed a rapid costume change, so she could deliver the bruised opening lines of ‘Part Of Me’, ensued by the pulsating riffs of the song, while she descended on stage (‘Part Of Me’ precedes her album re-release). Katy looked triumphant up there in a warrior-esque latex ensemble, breaking glass, spinning on her feet, and melting ice sculptures. She tore that stage, build it up again, just to bring it down on fire. It was a powerful performance, very heart-felt and filled with passion; it must’ve been cathartic and therapeutic all at once for Perry. It was major; standing O.

Maroon 5 and Foster The People honored the legendary Beach Boys; it is worth mentioned the lead vocalist of the latter band, seemed awkward the entire time. The Beach Boys, after years of silence, still got it.

Adele returned to the stage to grace everyone with ‘Rolling In The Deep’. Post having surgery and sounding like this, only Adele could; she was on perfect key. Jennifer Hudson was given the honor of farewelling Whitney with her trademark ‘I Will Always Love You’; she was breathtaking, but kept her full range on low key.

Despite the outstanding performances on behalf of the aforementioned, there was Nicki Minaj, making her best Lady GaGa impersonation, as she ‘exorcised’ herself in a horrendous rap beat, that was more yelling and ridiculous eye popping than anything else. The religious allusions were unnecessary and offensive. The show could’ve done without. In what was another mess, was the mash up of David Guetta, Dead Mouse, Lil Wayne and Chris Brown performing ‘Rope’. All the strobe light, neon and mind numbing beats were out of place.

In its whole, the Grammy’s outdid themselves for once. And kudos for putting something up for Whitney Houston on short notice.

Looking forward to next year!

C.Perez

Below, a list of this year’s Grammy’s winners.

Album of the Year: Adele – 21
Record of the Year: Adele – Rolling in the Deep
Song of the Year: Adele – Rolling in the Deep
Best New Artist: Bon Iver
Best Pop Solo Performance: Adele – Someone Like You
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse – Body And Soul
Best Pop Instrumental Album: Booker T. Jones – The Road From Memphis
Best Pop Vocal Album: Adele – 21
Best Dance Recording: Skrillex – Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites
Best Dance/Electronica Album: Skrillex – Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album: Tony Bennett & Various Artists – Duets II
Best Rock Performance: Foo Fighters – Walk
Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance: Foo Fighters – White Limo
Best Rock Song: Foo Fighters – Walk
Best Rock Album: Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
Best Alternative Music Album: Bon Iver – Bon Iver
Best R&B Performance: Corinne Bailey Rae – In This Love
Best Traditional R&B Performance: Cee Lo Green & Melanie Fiona – Fool For You
Best R&B Song: Cee Lo Green & Melanie Fiona – Fool For You
Best R&B Album: Chris Brown – F.A.M.E.
Best Rap Performance: Kanye West & Jay-Z – Otis
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration: Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi & Fergie – All Of The Lights
Best Rap Song: Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi & Fergie – All Of The Lights
Best Rap Album: Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Best Country Solo Performance: Taylor Swift – Mean
Best Country Duo/Group Performance: The Civil Wars – Barton Hollow
Best Country Song: Taylor Swift – Mean
Best Country Album: Lady Antebellum – Own The Night
Best Short Form Music Video: Adele – Rolling in the Deep
Best Long Form Music Video: Foo Fighters – Back And Forth

Words cannot really express the sorrow generated upon the passing of Whitney Houston, the icon, the truest diva and the epitome of a vocalist.

It is such a shame to have lost this star who was still on her journey of getting well. Her 2009 effort I Look To You showed that even with a hoarser pitch, Houston could still smash other vocalists’ careers with one single blow.

It is a shame we could not witness the next step in her career. Many said she was done, but many inside still believed, as a person she could still captivate us despite her voice not being the same.

She shall forever be remembered for ‘The Bodyguard’, her flawless rendition of the Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl in 1991, and of course ‘I Will Always Love You’, not for the drama that filled her life.

We will always love you Whitney; your legacy lives on.

Below, listen to ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’, let’s remember Whitney on a high note, as those she could hit like no other.

Don’t forget to tune in the Grammy’s tonight; pretty sure they will have something in dedication of this angel.