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Madonna makes a return to the music scene with ‘Give Me All Your Luvin’, preceding MDNA, to be released this coming March. She has been busy at work promoting her self directed film ‘W.E.’, and constantly teasing a musical comeback over the past months. Now, the moment is here, and it isn’t all that.

The Martin Solveig produced cut is nothing to write home about, but an electro-synth rollercoaster that doesn’t have as many spins as it promised. It sounds like a fast paced ‘Beautiful Stranger’ with vague elements of an upbeat ‘Miles Away’, and a pulsating electric beat that predominates as base. On a positive note, the ‘Lucky Star’ reference, and the overall nod to a 90’s throwback sound are a nice touch, but aren’t enough.

The rascal chanting of ‘L-U-V, Madonna, Y-O-U, you wanna’ and its dubstep break, are the mild highlights of the track, but then again it lacks the the punch Madonna’s past first releases have had. M.I.A.’s and Nicki Minaj’s features seem unnecessary; they don’t add anything other than record time. Their verses don’t click and seem unrelated to what the song proposes.

‘Give Me All Your Luvin’ is bland in general, and sounds too similar to Solveig’s past productions; it is ‘reductive’ as Madonna herself would say. Nothing fresh has been served on the table. If a teenager would’ve dropped a single like this would’ve been understandable; but this sounds like a baby boomer who doesn’t want to let go of her time. Even the ballad ‘Masterpiece’ (included in the ‘W.E.’ soundtrack) would’ve made a better first single than this, parting from its lyrical composition, and simplistic production.

Whether the release of ‘Give Me All Your Luvin’ is contractual or not, it is still a letdown. At this point of career longetivity, one would expect Madonna to have more creative freedom concerning her music if the release was indeed contractual, if otherwise, she needs to be more keen at her single selections; or who knows maybe she’s lost the ear for a hit.

She obviously doesn’t need a hit, and has nothing to prove, she is already cemented as both an icon and legend in pop music. But if she wants to maintain and own up to that status, it is better to take careful steps to keep it consistent.

Hopes are on the William Orbit produced songs. If one recalls, Orbit was heavily involved in the making of Ray Of Light.

★★

C.Perez

Download ‘Give Me All Your Luvin’

MDNA to be released March 26th, 2012.

Completely shot and directed by Lady GaGa herself, ‘Marry the Night’ sheds some light on her musical origins. The video portrays her struggle in the music industry, the process of breaking through personal hindrances, and landing a record deal. In the opening electronic instrumentation, one can almost hear lament and triumph all at once.

The ‘Thriller’-esque length time of the video is a bit pretentious, and this time it could indeed count as a mini-film, as the background interlude presented is extensive, covering her stints in rehab, and constant daydreaming of superstardom (which were exuberantly well put). All criticism aside, Stefani Germanotta is uber talented, so no less could be expected from her.

Props go to editing; some of the dance sequences are obviously edited carefully to cover up any mistakes in the dance routine, but nonetheless the
scene remains an spectacle. GaGa hadn’t moved like this since ‘LoveGame’. No more lethargic moves, no sloppy steps, and a lack of random monster-paw references, are elements to be much appreciated and welcomed.

Yes, some angles and shots seem amateurish, and distract the viewer, but it still remains probably her finest as far as the Born This Way era concerns. If she would’ve only threw this from the very beginning, her album could’ve lived up to the hype.

The video wouldn’t be GaGa enough without her antics, such self-applied peroxide, runned down mascara, and utterly high heels that could break anyone’s ankles at mere sight. Other attention seeking components include nude sequences in a bathtub, and a seriously violent scene involving cheerios. The acting is a bit corny, but she can’t be blamed for her theatricality, when drama is what defines her persona.

The video perceptibly draws inspiration from ‘Girl, Interrupted’ and ‘Fame’; which are great references; she finally got it right.

If this proves anything, it proves Lady GaGa shines best when she’s not trying too hard. Effort does not equal an over intricate plot, or overtly done dance moves that may be perceived as convoluted, hopefully she learned her lesson; its ironic how this song is not what became the record’s biggest hit, when it is the strongest song in the whole set.

Standing ovation.

★★★★★

C.Perez

Watch ‘Marry The Night’ below.

Adam Lambert was obviously relegated off the American Idol title because they knew his then-competition, Kris Allen, would need it if he was going to make it (if at all). But boy they were wrong, with Lambert getting the green light for album #2, while Allen  is nowhere to be seen.

Lately, it has been hard to sustain American Idol winners’ relevancy in the spotlight. The hype and overall excitement towards the show and its contestants has been dying out over the past years, because it has become predictable and pretty much a joke (Sanjaya Malakar memories anyone?).  But Lambert, even as a runner-up,  has managed to survive in the highly competitive profile the music industry is, and his new single proves it.

The lovey ‘Better Than I Know Myself’, is a mellow, soft and romantic cut, that doesn’t hit the point where it becomes sappy. It swings between praising a relationship and admitting pitfalls. Despite Lambert being openly homosexual, the song is easy on the ears, and covers general ground.

Hauntingly steady production, vociferating cinematic drums in the chorus, and a resounding bass, compliment Adam’s gallant delivery. His vocals are consistently strong, as they build up during the progression of the song, giving it the icing it needs to really grasp one’s ears, and generate interest.

It carries vibes of Katy Perry’s ‘Teenage Dream’, not musically, but in terms of subject matter. It doesn’t have the arresting openers of Perry’s track chorus, but it is indeed arresting in a more behind closed doors level. It is a fantastic power ballad, and Adam’s sheer vocals are what pull it off mostly. Everyone knows what Adam is capable of doing with his voice, but he keeps it level and belts out where he has to, to further impact the emotional nature of the track.

Dr. Luke, who served as producer and writer, sprinkled the simplicity and timelessness many songs lack currently. This sort of less-is-more on Lambert’s already over the top persona, is a great touch for variation.

All the signs are pointing at this being Adam’s year.

★★★★★

C.Perez

Download ‘Better Than I Know Myself’

Trespassing available March 20th, 2012.

Months of much hype, a well-received Grammy performance, and the outrageously cocky proclamation of ‘Record of the decade’ surrounded Lady GaGa’s official follow-up to The Fame (yes, refuse to consider her The Fame Monster EP as an actual album).

It may not be exactly what it was bid for, but she wasn’t lying when she promised Born This Way to be a merging of Glam metal, and sledge-hammering beats, as it introduces the listener to a newer realm of pop. With all the dance-trance trends filling radio, something like this is truly welcomed.

Born This Way showcases GaGa’s vocal ability to the fullest. The production may be massive and gigantic, but it doesn’t minimize GaGa’s delivery by one bit, it instead flows well with her occassional belting and midly rock-edged undertones. As ridiculous as the album cover may be, a motorcycle couldn’t put across the message the album carries throughout any better, as it is indeed a wild ride of electronic synthesizers, killer guitar riffs that sound-tracked the 80’s, and operatic vocal processing.

Opening with ‘Marry The Night’, GaGa makes an statement and uses it as an ode to New York City; church bells and background keys introduce the fast paced craze the number turns out to be. All in between making self promises of success and acknowledging weakness, it is a beautiful song, that puts into exact words who Lady GaGa is, conveying her struggle in the distractions of NY; one can almost see the mascara rolling down her cheeks; this would’ve been a much proper first single.

The title track is energetic, and uplifting, but strictly too popular psychology to be taken on a serious note; it is definitely a celebration of differences, but it somehow feels sloppy, and the ondulating production directed to cater to the LBGT community mostly, makes it hardly accessible.

‘Government Hooker’ sounds like an experiment gone right. Citing love in terms of monetary retribution and sexual submission, while referencing John F. Kennedy (and possibly Marilyn Monroe?), the song doesn’t make much sense lyrically, and some liners are completely out of place, but then again, it is GaGa we’re addressing in here, and it wouldn’t be GaGa enough, if it weren’t as convoluted as it is.

‘Judas’ is a superb slice of electro music; reminiscent of the iconic ‘Bad Romance’ for its similarly chanted hooks. Wailing like a banshee before hitting the chorus, GaGa compares a relationship based on betrayal to the biggest traitor of them all, in all bible form. The song explodes in an eargasmic dubstep breakdown featuring percussion. It is not one’s everyday type of pop song, for its dark and twisted lyricism.

An apparent commentary on immigration law, as well as same sex marriage lies in ‘Americano’. It is a little flamenco meets mariachi, with its rapidly strum strings and thumping bass. GaGa achieves in ‘Hair’ what she probably wanted to in the title track, without any extravagant lines of positivism, she instead ordains hairstyle as a source of identity and uniqueness. ‘Hair’ is subtle, with piano driven instrumentation and occassional saxophone (on behalf of the late Clarence Clemons), until it unashamedly explodes in a dubstep hook, and aggressive electric guitars. Now, this, is empowerment.

More musical experiments ensue with ‘Scheiße’. GaGa recites what sounds like her own idea of German, and proclaims the power of the female condition  in a cat-walk-like beat. ‘Bloody Mary’ is yet another semi-bible based composition, though it could easily be considered more Dan Brown than anything resembling the actual bible. Paced on a tango rhythm, and breaking in a Gregorian chant, she makes an enfuriating call-out to love within each verse resolution, recounting giving up on a lover, while forgiving all they’ve been through. Minus the religious pretense for shock value, the song may even stand as GaGa’s finest. She effortlessly hits highs and sings hauntingly with ease; wonderfully arranged.

‘Bad Kids’ could’ve been played as the credits of a classic teenage film rolled. GaGa highlights diverse mischief, and excuses it with statements of identity. It is slightly disco, but it still manages to remain fresh and current; the arrangement and sudden addition of piano and organ in the breakdown is brilliant.

‘Highway Unicorn (Road To Love)’ is a toast to the pursue of dreams and an electronic trance that nearly feels as if it rolled on pavement as it plays. It is really a head-banging moment in the record, before it resumes with an incredible organ intermission. GaGa brings in leather and shackles for ‘Heavy Metal Lover’; probably her smoothest delivery yet. The song is soft and sexy, though oddly remains hard hitting, for its resonating electronic pulsations, that culminate in an entirely synthesized verse alluding the album title, before GaGa ooh’s her way towards the end. The beat is hazy, polluted and sex drenched; it is almost toxic.

She proclaims herself a religion in ‘Electric Chapel’, widely calling ‘holy fools’ those who misunderstand her for being all about ‘sex and champagne’. The electric guitars in here are enthralling, and major ear savor. The sound is bold. ‘You And I’ is a piano ballad about long-lasting love, making references to habits that would otherwise rot a relation, but GaGa reminisces about them with contentment. She shouts out to her dad, Nebraska and Jesus Christ, before a guitar solo takes over (courtesy of Brian May, off Queen), that would make any Def Leppard fan proud.

The album closes with yet another triumph-underlayed number, ‘The Edge Of Glory’. Written about her late grandfather, the song also hints at being on the verge of falling in love, and actually taking the chance. The strings that compose its instrumentation, meshed with electronic synths and a sax inclusion, closes the album on a high, worthy of an standing ovation.

Born This Way is a very consistent body of work, encompassing not only a new approach to pop music, but introducing blending of diverse sounds, while she celebrates individuality.  Elements of rock n’ roll, and the electrifying beats of the Eurodance scene that separates mainstream dance from the actual dance genre, make it outstanding.

The only pitfall lies in the themes throughout the album. They do have a connection here and there, but at times her continuous stabs at empowerment makes the listener beg the question of what does she exactly aims to prove with it. At least the arrangement and overall production of the album is quite unpredictable, for it doesn’t follow patterns of songs everyone has or is currently releasing.

Does it meet the hype? Yes. Is it the record of the decade? No, but it was a nice try, for its revolutionizing industrial instrumentation. If Whitney Houston and Bruce Springsteen had a child, it would probably sound something close to this.

★★★★★

C.Perez

Hoping everyone had an amazing Christmas, and a superb New Year’s celebration, I also would like to thank EVERY SINGLE visitor on Harbingers over the past year.

The year ends report recorded 47,000 views overall, and 212 comments (pretty rad consider the new year concerns those numbers!). Some were actually typed words, others merely spam, but the only fact a software or an actual person took the time and had the input to comment in whichever manner it was intended, it is something I either way, appreciate.

I had in mind to close the site, but my love for writing is stronger than my procrastinating ways as far as posting goes. So Harbingers, is still up and going, one too many things are going on currently, so posting will be relatively disperse.

May you all had a wonderful 2011 (I know I did) & wish you a successful 2012!

Yours truly,

C.Perez

Highlights of 2011

  • Getting my second tattoo based on a verse by Rainer Maria Rilke, and wire work by Tammy Smith; June 6th!
  • Summer in Salem, MA; long bike rides to the beach, in Marblehead.
  • Release of Katy Perry’s incredible video for ‘Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)’, and have her match Michael Jackson’s record of 5 consecutive #1 singles off one sole album!
  • California Dreams Tour – June 18th & November 22nd; Boston, MA and Los Angeles, CA respectively; best nights of my life!
  • Half fulfilling my new year’s resolution by receiving an acoustic guitar as a late Christmas gift. Lessons coming sooner than expected.

Lana Del Rey has been the most mysterious breakthrough act of 2011. By engaging in constant online teasing, and revealing minimal information (until recently), Del Rey has managed to keep everyone on the hook and on the look-out.

Now she is ready to fully shed from the mysterious tactics surrounding her musical launch, and one is treated with the formal single preceding her debut album, Born To Die, to be released late in January.

‘Born To Die’ may at first reminisce Beyonce’s 4 cut ‘I Care’ in terms of instrumentation, but as it progresses, it turns into a giant Hip-Pop number, with close elements of R&B meshed with underlying strings, featuring whispers, sighs, and an inquiring argument specifically asking for endurance while riding high on the road to love. The song focuses on taking advantage of the present and making the most out of love throughout, since what the future departs is nothing but ‘the end’.

The production is amazing and sounds apocalyptic and chaotic, retaining an element of beauty in Lana’s mellow tone. Even though its heart-breaking and a love cry-out, the song is stellar and really allows the highlight of Del Rey’s vocals. The lyrical approach is not exactly Earth-shattering, but it certainly proposes a much needed approach to love, as Lana begs her lover keep what bonds them together while they can.

Lana’s voice hasn’t unraveled in Adele-form per say, but the vocal consistency is there. Her style brings about a freshness to heartbreak, that keeps one interested, even though she indeed sounds uninterested as she melodically utters the verses. With this, she achieves bringing about a sense of genuineness in her delivery, matching the music to the fullest and conveying what she wants to put across emotionally, most effectively. It is cinematic and grand, it could easily score the ending scene of a melodramatic movie, where two failed at mutual appreciation.

There is no departure from what she offered with her two buzz singles ‘Video Games’ and ‘Blue Jeans’; it seems this style is what fits her like a glove, since her voice seems to have been tailor-made to address this somber musical spectrum.

★★★★★

C.Perez

Download ‘Born To Die’

Born To Die out January 30th, 2012.

Either In Touch secretly crave for Katy Perry and Russell Brand to call it quits, or they really have nothing better to do (or can’t come up with new fresh strategies to pull magazines off the stands).

Just recently, claims of Brand ‘betraying’ Perry filled the lower right corner of their mag prints, allegedly pointing at Brand for getting cozy with British Comedian Sadie Turner.

Furthering by claiming both are very together hanging at each others’ residences while Katy takes the Candyfornia inspired stage during the California Dreams Tour venues, and that her busy schedule has potentiated Russell’s ‘womanizing ways’.

The article even features personal opinion and what seems to be a direct quote from Turner, where she supposedly admits her love for Russell, reassuring his marriage to Katy is ‘doomed’.

Insiders claim In Touch are just bulling their way through to garner attention and sell mags. The Perry-Brand camp found the story laughable, and claim Sadie Turner is one of Brand’s friends from his Alcoholics Anonymous program.

Other rumors are that Katy is considering, or has already informed she’ll be taking a year long break to raise a family with hubby Russell Brand, this not only crushes any of In Touch‘s citations, but also crushes any plans of the half-confirmed Teenage Dream extended release, made up with the album unused tracks.

The former might be quite true, since she commented she’ll be ‘taking a long nap’ after the California Dreams wraps (this past Wednesday, Nov. 23rd at the Staples Center, Los Angeles), but the latter remains up the air as of now.

Check out Katy’s words below,

We’re a little bit jaded right here in this crowd, because we all know what’s going on behind the scenes, we’re all in the entertainment industry sometimes‘, claimed Perry in a mildly somber tone, before she cheered up and claimed, ‘But some of us are going to school, like normal people right?! That’s normal-ness!’.

Hopefully further confirmation ensues soon.

C.Perez

Watch a video featuring Perry introducing ‘The One That Got Away’, this past Tuesday, November 22nd, at the California Dreams, where she confirms her ‘long nap’.

Femme Fatale: All about the bass

Regardless of the emotional turmoil undergone and extreme media exposure, Britney Spears has yet failed to disappoint delivering musically. Whatever has Spears name attached is certified to be quality; even at her worse, she managed to put out one of her bests, Blackout, while in the process managing to introduce the next level in pop music.

After revisiting her classic approach to pop in Circus, Spears has dusted off the quirky synthesized bells and whistles for Femme Fatale. The title is most appropriate, for the record is indulging, daring and fierce; she doesn’t hold back on a single beat.

Dub-step breakdowns, explosive melodies and a predominantly thumping bass fill the electric shock Femme Fatale is, her most consistent release thus far, and her most experimental, composed with alternate lyrical structure, and unconventional choruses developed in massive sounding tempo.

Opening with ‘Till The World Ends’, a Ke$ha penned cut, one is thrown into a high. The track is gripping and the chants serving as temporary choruses are highly euphoric. The smash ‘Hold It Against Me’, explains itself clearly, its an innovative approach to electro pop, its edgier and experimental in the vein of Blackout‘s ‘Mannequin’ but less auto-tuned and more vibrant; it builds itself upon a very sexed structure; it lets the beat run and tease, until it implodes into the merging of synthesized bangs at the end.

Spears raises a notch in tempo in ‘I Wanna Go’, a coy double entendre, hinting at losing  inhibitions through self-serviced release; the whistle underlaid in the bridge is magnificent, and infectiously catchy, the ‘Shame on me, to need release, uncontrollably’ lyric during the breakdown couldn’t be any more defining. ‘Inside Out’ offers a contortion of beats, addressesing regret while withstanding an under-the-sheets naughtiness at the same time; it is a farewell sex anthem. It sounds as if were an extension of the orgasmic breakdown in ‘Hold It Against Me’; the way it was written intended to allude to her work in …Baby One More Time is really worth a nod.

‘How I Roll’ is probably the most different song Britney has ever recorded, it is poppy at best, and chilled to the core, with a somber-clapped soft electronic beat assisted by occasional piano chords; its a Friday night drive head bopper. ‘(Drop Dead) Beautiful’ is a phallic celebration just like Katy Perry’s ‘Peacock’, but less in-your-face, while covering the entire male architecture, other than the last four letters in Perry’s song; the Sabi feature is short and too Ke$ha-esque; the song could’ve done without, what saves the song is Britney’s unashamed verbal tease.

‘Seal It With A Kiss’ sounds like something off Oops I Did It Again, but quite hard to place, its hardcore pop but has that ‘Unusual You’ vibe from Circus, is controlled and dreamy as well but it with much more tempo. ‘Big Fat Bass’ is half a letdown, and half an interesting listen. It features Will.i.am, and just like all the recent Black Eyed Peas music, is off and not really up there with what Britney is, she does deliver and sounds great, but all the random panel-button pushing and schizophrenic structure of the song doesn’t sound right, its like trying to experiment with many things at once without having an aimed direction, consequently leading it nowhere. It doesn’t find where to stay sonically-speaking; it tries to be too much at once, it was apparently intended to be so different, it missed its mark.

‘Trouble for Me’ has beat backlashes and backdrops, its pretty much two songs in one, even though dual with different channeling, it is a much better handled approach to merging different sounds other than the previous track, its dancey and trancey and still tackles on major pop ground; the verses are almost an 80’s throwback; Britney hadn’t sounded this determined in a while.

‘Trip To Your Heart’ is really something, its like ‘Unusual You’ meets ‘Heaven On Earth’ from Blackout, taken to a less chilled ground, instead gifted with a more engaging beat format and diverse lyrical content. It is an instant favorite, its melancholic, it has some moodiness to it but it remains arousing and it becomes an interesting listen. Its probably one of the best songs Britney Spears has crafted along this whole body of work. It is synthesized and mildly auto-tuned but it works for the mood it provokes. Even though emotionally driven, it is something one can easily dance to, its trippy and hypnotic.

‘Gasoline’ is a toned, slowed version of ‘Toxic’, Spears turns into a dark vixen and sings about leather boots and motorcycling suggestive maneuvering; it is a Britney classic with the way she speaks in the breakdown, and how she oh’s. It brings amazing Britney Spears memories throughout her career, one gets her quirkier, sexy side on the surface again. Spears closes the album with a shocker, ‘Criminal’ a flute interluded ballad reminiscent to Madonna’s American Life‘s ‘Love Profusion’ fused with Hard Candy‘s ‘Miles Away’; similarities attributed probably due to the acoustic feel the song carries throughout. It almost has the same concept as Rihanna’s ‘Man Down’ from Loud, minus the shooting in Central Station; Spears instead embraces the man’s wrong doings.

Blackout was daringly edgy, Circus was polished and controlled (even though it had its here-and-there edgy moments with its risqué lyrics and furthering of sound in a couple tracks), but Femme Fatale holds the balance between the two, its the needed transition to find the balance in Spears’ music; not too out there and not too calculated either.

In contrast to the general detachment present in some tracks in her preceding LP, which focused more on the theatrics of the album concept, these songs sound more vivacious, her attitude and mood are much more perceptible. Perhaps is the nature of the new songs, but something definitely brings about that refreshing vibe everyone had been missing when they first heard a Britney Spears song. Britney sounds confident and seems to be genuinely having fun when one hears her chuckling in the back of the beats, or when she doesn’t take herself seriously concerning her diction.

Britney doesn’t follow trends, she does her own, she may not write her own music, but she can certainly put it down without a doubt. She is not trying to change the world or rewrite history, she only wants to have a good time and Femme Fatale reflects it. Post her meltdown and the release of Circus, Britney has been improving at her own pace, if this album proves anything other than her incredible artistry to execute pop music in diverse ways, it certifies nearly twelve years into her career and proves she is still going strong.

★★★★★

C.Perez

While ‘We Found Love’ proves to be a smash success atop the charts, Rihanna has completed her sixth studio album Talk That Talk and is ready to move on with single number two, choosing ‘You Da One’, to be sent to airwaves tomorrow Friday, with an iTunes release this Sunday, Nov. 13th.

‘You Da One’ is a stop-and-go slapping drum number with Rihanna’s staple accent throughout. It’s very street, and a swell soft blend of R&B and hip-hop, with a whipping beat; production accredited to hit-maker Dr. Luke.

Over the years Rihanna has established herself as a bonafide act and settled her reign in pop music, and apparently Talk That Talk reflects it, as it is sounding like an explosion of her last two records taken to higher ground in the volume and tempo department.

Basing oneself on the album snippets, the new record seems to be a step-up in Rihanna’s game, if Loud was indeed supposed to be ‘loud’ and hard-edge but came across as bland in the end, Talk That Talk won’t divide anyone’s opinion and won’t fall short (unless you emphasize disappointment to discover the amazing ‘Birthday Cake’ is just a one minute-eighteen seconds track), since it is sounding sex-drenched, sledgehammering, a little hip-hop with underlaid guitar strums, and island dub-step all at once. She is definitely growing and growing each time, stating versatility with ease.

VH1 has got an exclusive listen to the soon to hit the shelves album, and they are claiming it to be the most sexual record to be put out since Madonna’s Erotica. As far as the track previews go, they don’t sound much of a blush yet, but one will just have to wait and properly judge once the real thing is out, and until then fans will be the ones to decide if Rihanna has made the porn soundtrack to pop music.

The new album features production on behalf of Stargate, Bangladesh, Hit-Boy, Big Juice, The-Dream, Calvin Harris and Dr. Luke, with major writing credits to Ester Dean and Rihanna herself. Are you Rih-dy?

C.Perez

Preview ‘You Da One’ below.

Talk That Talk out November 21st.

 

Katy Perry has not only been hard at work on her California Dreams Tour and upcoming mystery release of a compilation of songs that didn’t make Teenage Dream, but is also busy promoting her latest single ‘The One That Got Away’, which currently sits at the 34rth position on the Billboard Hot 100, within its third week of official radio airplay and digital release.

The visuals for the sixth Teenage Dream single will be premiered by Perry herself in The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Friday at 4 p.m., with subsequent screenings of the 7-minute extended version available in the select cities of Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.

By the early looks of it, Katy is bringing some major Zooey Deschanel realness, going third age, and serving a bit of ‘(500) Days Of Summer’, to the update of ‘Thinking Of You’, and the grown-up version of ‘Teenage Dream’. It looks vintage, classy and utmost melancholic. Don’t know how this woman does it, but she is definitely magic. The video is set to guest feature Mexican actor Diego Luna as the ‘One’, and goes under the flawless direction of Floria Sigismondi, who also scored the intergalactic visuals for ‘E.T.’.

There have been statements made criticizing the mere 30 second preview of the upcoming video, citing comparisons to Rihanna’s latest, ‘We Found Love’, which follows the deterioration of a relationship. But a rip-off is literally impossible as ‘The One That Got Away’ was shot early in October and right about the time ‘We Found Love’ was being filmed in Northern Ireland. Both songs follow different subject matter, and style, so comparisons if at all, are extremely unnecessary; besides Perry delivers the storyline in a reminisce of the past. Anything to bring the successful down.

Many are still on the fence regarding if  ‘The One That Got Away’ will become Katy’s sixth consecutive number one, and on whether she’ll rewrite music history, but by how things have been handled by Perry and her team, one will just have to see what they pull to make it the hit it deserves to be.

Anyone notice the video premiere date consists of SIX ones? Could she have something in hands?  With Katy Perry you never know, but you best believe you’re not going to be disappointed.

C.Perez

Watch the trailer for the video below! (It features Stevie Nicks as the narrator)

In other Katy Perry news, she just won an Europe Music Award for Best Live in the Belfast ceremony this past November 5th, has been nominated for seven People Choice’s Awards and received three nods for the American Music Awards respectively.

Through several unlocked material in a Facebook app, in the form of missions and games, to hand over details regarding single title, lyrics, single cover and official single release, Rihanna has decided to unlock the title to her upcoming album, Talk That Talk, to be released November 21st.

The cover art depicts a fierce lip-licking Rihanna who tinges at the bad-ass persona present in Rated R, with a more ballsy, tongue-in-cheek (almost mockingly seductive) attitude. It honestly looks like a Beyoncé knock off, since it reminisces the looks Beyoncé sported throughout the ‘Why Don’t You Love Me?’ video; and oddly could be taken as a B’Day outtake. That doesn’t mean its bad, but it doesn’t mean its that good either.

No producer line-up has been announced yet, but rumor has it Calvin Harris  will be in charge of the album’s entire production. So expect it all electric, unless Harris has something else in mind for the Bajan performer. Though, The Jugganauts, who were in charge of ‘Man Down’ have stated they’ve worked on two tracks with her for inclusion in the sixth album.

Judging by the first single, the Euro-dance ‘We Found Love’, which already hit #1 in the UK and peaked in the Top 10 of the Billboard charts (with virtually zero promo), it seems Rihanna is going to find the thine line between Loud and Rated R, exploring moods in trance beats, or who knows maybe she has a ‘What’s My Name?’ on the way.

C.Perez

Talk That Talk in stores Nov. 21st.

Also take a look at the Deluxe album cover below. By this, one can finally say she has shown the other side of the coin to A Girl Like Me, proving the Good Girl Gone Bad.

LMFAO have taken radio and everyone’s ear by storm since the heavily dub-stepped ‘Party Rock Anthem’ made chart splash, and made the Australian dance step of the shuffle more popular globally, or probably more than it already was (other than being an online attraction). The duo sit on their sophomore record and are still with their energies ready to party and keep everyone moving no matter the cost.

After depicting the ’28 Days Later’ superbly inspired video for ‘Party Rock Anthem’, and the vampire-hunt ‘Champagne Showers’ with Natalia Kills’ appearance, the boys have taken themselves to Venice Beach to have a full flashing experience of their bodies to commemorate the work-out hymn that is ‘Sexy And I Know It’. For starters, it is a ‘WHAT?!’ inducing video, which means it’ll probably grab one’s attention whether they like it or not.

Sand, a sunny Venice beach prowl, beach towels, insulated skin, public gymnasiums in the midst of basketball courts, male vanity, jealous exaggeratedly hunky men, cameos, and sparkling speedos bring ‘Sexy And I Know It’ to life, changing perceptions as to what the song stands for. Originally as a self-indulging body idolization upon mere listen, now as a cherishing of one’s own physical particularity upon mere view.

It follows Red foo across Venice beach delivering exercised-based choreography to the thumping beats of the single while drawing attention along a mini troupe of dancers, before they shed of all clothing and shake their ‘cheese’ to the beat. Sky blu notices Redf oo and follows along, before they have a cock-a-rrific NSFW wiggling showdown, which then turns into an exhibition of shiny speedos and briefs across a bar runway. It reminds of a non-CGI’d version of ‘California Gurls’, minus the candy landscape (but actual California), bare chests, sweat, and of course guys instead. Talking about Katy Perry, if she ever made a video for her Teenage Dream track ‘Peacock’, this could give an idea of how it would be like.

If this video makes any proper form of a statement, is that LMFAO are…crazy, and proud of their bodies. All the visuals they’ve been treating their singles with have been magnificent, and ‘Sexy And I Know It’, despite being ridiculously random and a crotch pointer, portrays a pretty good frame of the guys’ humor and how bouncy (no pun intended) and fun their music is.

Everyone may frown or cringe at the sight of this, but they know they will be wiggling their junk or at least emulating what goes on in the video when they play the song. If someone says otherwise or deny ever hip swiveling during the ‘Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle yeah’ segment, they’re probably lying.

Overall, it is a good video, pretty cool angles, definitely summer-charged, upbeat, humorous and colorful. Hell, this proves guys are also allowed to flaunt and be playful with their sexuality as well, so girls…take it for what it is.

★★★★★

C.Perez

Watch ‘Sexy And I Know It’ below.

Matching Michael Jackson’s consecutive record of number ones was a landmark in Katy Perry’s career, cementing her as one of today’s most outstanding pop acts. With a sixth single already making its way to the airwaves, ‘The One That Got Away’, Perry has been revealed to be working on an upcoming ‘mysterious’ release involving the recordings that didn’t make the final track listing in Teenage Dream.

A year ago exactly, Rihanna hinted at a collaboration with Perry for a possible album re-release, then in February this year, rumors swirled about a feud between producer Dr. Luke and Perry, these were subsequently denied and Dr. Luke reported he had just put final touches on Katy’s newest single. Then, in one of Katy’s twitter rants she tweeted she had been in the studio with producer Christopher ‘Tricky’ Stewart; now the cat is out of the bag, as Stewart states he has been revisiting leftover tracks originally meant for Teenage Dream, for a project Katy has in plans.

Stewart told Mtv News the following,

“Katy and I went into [the studio] just to address some issues with records that we had done in the past that didn’t end up going on Teenage Dream” he said. “So we are in the process of just listening and freshening up things and getting ready for something special she has going on.”

“I don’t know what it is, but I know she has something going on because she wants to be in the studio…So that’s good… I can tell you that Katy likes the studio again; that’s always a good thing.”

Its only obvious a re-release has been postponed several times due to the success of the album and its singles, so what seems more likely is an extended play or mini-album what is in the works, or who knows, a brand new album even. Stewart did not elaborate into what the ‘special something’ she has going on specifically is, however, he did address a song in particular.

“This song is really special. It’s called ‘Dressing Up so it’s going to be a big record, I think,” he said. “It definitely fits. It’s right there in what her sensibilities are as a musician and a songwriter. She doesn’t change much. She has a very keen musical taste. It’ll be really good.”

If anybody remembers or is up to date with random Katy music leaks (or unreleased material for that matter), a 1:30 minute snippet of a track titled ‘Dressing Up’ made its way to the web, along a flawless Bonnie McKee co-penned track ‘Part Of Me’, months after the release of Teenage Dream, and both songs sound absolutely incredible, with ‘Dressing Up’ throwing in a bunch of sexual fantasy cosplay and cat references, while ‘Part Of Me’ being an anthemic getaway from a constraining relationship.

The future for Perry looks brighter than her present already is, and a continuation of the magic scattered in Teenage Dream wouldn’t be out of place at this moment, neither out of the question. Katy is definitely a likeable artist and performer, so extending the longevity of  her successful album is only natural.

The tracks Tricky Stewart produced (‘Circle The Drain’, ‘Who Am I Living For?’ and ‘Hummingbird Heartbeat’) for Teenage Dream were ace, and didn’t sound like anything he had produced before, and gave a rockier edge to the album overall, which was predominantly pop, so expect nothing less than amazing in whatever Perry has scheduled to release after wrapping promotions for her most recent single.

Get ready for new Katy Perry music, and don’t forget to purchase ‘The One That Got Away’ and request it on radio.

C.Perez

Florence + The Machine came to general public interest post a performance and nomination in the 2010 VMA’s, as well as major exposure of their single ‘Dog Days Are Over’ from an episode in Glee; from there, it all just took off.

Crossing over was probably the best that could’ve happened to the band, God knows where they will be at this point if none of the aforementioned had occurred; they would’ve hopefully remained underground at least.

Florence’s approach to music is certainly unconventional and not the everyday sort of song constantly on radio, but it is something to be truly appreciated, as she brings exceptional dark lyricism and moody production which enthralls the listener into quite an experience of strings, almost constituting for a ritualistic trance.

Listening to Florence is like chanting and dancing around a bonfire on a full moon. She is carefree, dark and operatic at once, and all this makes up the newest single ‘Shake It Out’, which precedes Ceremonials, their sophomore release, longingly awaited by fans, after the encountered success of Lungs.

‘Shake It Out’ follows the theme patterns of songs meant to enhance and uplift, yet with Florence’s alternative lyricism stapled all over, referencing the devil being in one’s back, and hitting major downer states, with a catchy wailed hook followed by echoed Ooh-Whoa-oh’s.

Musically, it doesn’t move too far from the production of Lungs, which isn’t exactly a bad thing, but a smart move, which shows the sound of the band is growing steadily without either selling out or giving a whole 360 degree spin; even though one can hear a softer musical approach, with a dancier beat, their sound still remains true to elements of strings, tambourine and organs with resonating drumming.

It is a somber cut, but it oddly has its beams of sunshine plastered throughout, conveying it may it all seem dark before one gets to see the light; its uplifting, just not treated with popular motivational remarks; its more of a personal cleansing, if not a personal exorcism of all things negative.

It is a little gypsy,  a little soul, holding a tribal vibe, and a pagan ritual mood in the traces of ‘Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)’ with the punch of ‘Dog Days Are Over’, which means it is massive and grand.

★★★★★

C.Perez

Download ‘Shake It Out’

Ceremonials available October 31st in the UK; November 1st in the U.S.

 

When one thought Katy Perry had played just about every crazy role she could think of, she can now add third-age to her shimmering characterization of music video roles, as she goes all wrinkles and white hair for her latest, ‘The One That Got Away’. If this is any other indication of brilliance, it also tinges at the journey Teenage Dream has been.

No details have been revealed concerning video direction neither plot  or premiere date. But judging by the single cover, which shows a bubble-gum pink haired Perry with hints of vintage fashion, as well as a longing stare into the distance, expect a classy, circa 1950’s melancholic clip.

The way this marvelous album has been managed from its cover, album tracks, single choices, videos, performances, promotional strategies and touring…Beautifully done. Katy Perry has come full-circle.

C.Perez

Take a look at images of the shooting of the video below.