Posts Tagged ‘pop’

Excerpted at Soulbounce

Belly Rub

As we all know by now, Beyoncé revealed her pregnancy to the world at the VMAs on Sunday night, proudly rubbing her protruding belly at the end of her “Love On Top” performance.
While we congratulate music’s most powerful couple on their successful conception of the Chosen One, we can’t help wondering if she could have done a better job with the big reveal.

So, because we know the number 4 means a lot to the parents-to-be, let’s look at four other ways she could have shared her joy.


It happens to almost every female Pop artist. There comes  a moment when she decides to infuse her sound and image with a new sexuality, supposedly borne out of some newfound confidence. When it’s an artist with actual undisputable talent, it’s usually tasteful, if titilating (although there are some awkward exceptions). Then you’ve got the attention-seekiing, rite-of-Disney-passage hoe-down that seems to lure everyone who isn’t so Raven.

But the funniest has to be the when this sexual awakening magically coincides with the failure of an artist’s last few singles to do any real business at radio or retail. It befell Christina Milian (masterfully), Ciara (somewhat less so), and now it’s got Keri Hilson in its patent leather clutches. (more…)

So, full disclosure: I love Mariah Carey. I think she’s a brilliantly talented vocalist, songwriter, and producer, and that makes up for her bizarre affectations and mannerisms that, frankly, do her no favors.

Also, I’ve pointed out in the past how her fixation on chart dominance makes her forego originality in favor of formula. Some would argue she did it once or twice in the ’90s, but I doubt any will dispute that since her comeback, the Ghost of Singles Past has been stuck in “We Belong Together” mode whenever she called him up for a recording session.


I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with Maroon 5. On the one hand, they cite folks like Stevie and Prince as their influences. On the other, they do them absolutely no justice, often trotting out work that’s so derivative yet bastardized, it sounds like Stevie as performed by the house band on Dancing With the Stars.

On the one hand, I can’t stand Adam Levine. He irritates the royal shit out of me, despite the fact that I could never be bothered to learn more about him than that he sings in that shitty band that’s somehow got multiple entries on my iPod. On the other, they’ve somehow managed to get multiple entries on my iPod.


onLoop 9.20.10: Late-to-the-Party edition

Posted: September 20, 2010 by RA in Music, On Loop
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Here we have a selection of uptempo cuts I’ve been feeling lately. Like I said a while back, I’ve been kinda busy. So these cuts are probably pretty old to you, but the fact is, this post should’ve come out like six weeks ago. Sue me. (more…)

 Katy vs. MariahSong of the Summer: “I Kissed A Girl” by Katy Perry
I love lesbians. They’re great. Sure, 100%, 6-on-the-Kinsey-scale lesbians aren’t exactly interested in my interest, but a 3 or a 4 will do just nicely. Now, that girl at the bar who has absolute zero sexual interest in the chick she’s tonguing down for my attention? No thanks. That shit irritates me enough to kill whatever chubby their little show was meant to inspire. This song is the Pop-music manifestation of that girl. Attention-seeking, wannabe-provocative, and with its pseudo-Glam-Rock core, a pathetic waste of Glitter. Still, America’s teens ate this shit up, and it spent seven weeks at the top of the charts.


Rihanna vs. RowlandSong of the Summer: “Umbrella” by Rihanna
From the jump, Rihanna has been a novelty act. From IDJ trying to appeal to mainstream fetishization of the exotic (“The song that’s been heating up the Caribbean!!”) with “Pon Di Replay” to her metamorphosis into the poster-girl for Focus-Group Edge, Rihanna has always been more gimmick than woman.
“Umbrella” was the single point at which one image transitioned into the other. The”ella/eh” refrain that was so befuddling yet catchy, only worked when viewed through the prism of her Islandness. The far less exotic reality is that those flourishes were more the trademark of the unfortunately named Terius Nash (The-Dream, if you will). (more…)

Song of the Summer: “Promiscuous” by Nelly Furtado
Subtitled “OMG Nelly Furtado is totally rapping!”, this gimmicky track made its bones on the novelty of Furtado trading Pop-Rap come-ons with Timbaland over a boilerplate Tim beat. To be sure, Furtado had proclaimed her love for Hip-Hop as far back as her debut (and decidedly more Adult-Contemporary-leaning) album, but from its sound to the completely superfluous Timberlake cameo in the video, this was as cynical a chart-chaser as they come. It worked, spending 6 weeks at the top of the Hot 100. But try playing it now and ask yourself how well it’s aged.

Yeah, I thought so.


Almost SoS: 2005 – You Tell Me

Posted: July 27, 2010 by RA in Music
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Song of the Summer: “We Belong Together” by Mariah Carey
No song was bigger in 2005 (or the entire decade) than Mariah’s monster ballad. Built on a sparse drum-and-piano track (somewhat similar to Lil’ Jon’s “Lovers and Friends”), Carey is the most emotionally resonant she’s ever been. As a result, this classic cut ruled the airwaves all summer, breaking all sorts of airplay records. I’d love to find a song I felt was more worthy of the title, but… no.


Almost SoS: 2004 – Amerie’s “1 Thing”

Posted: July 24, 2010 by RA in Music
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Song of the Summer: “Confessions, Part II” by Usher
Usher’s Confessions album ruled the charts in 2004. With lead single “Yeah” just beginning to slow down after having ruled the airwaves for the first half of the year, “Confessions II” began to titilate audiences with the thought of the then squeaky clean Pop star being involved in an ¡escandalo! of the “secret love-child” variety. While midtempo SoSes are not all that common, the (erroneous but intended) belief that this was a glimpse into the breakup of one of R&B’s best-loved couples was too much for fans to resist.