Category Archives: Beyoncé

Let’s all lighten up a bit

In the immortal words of Timbaland, “it’s been a long time, we shouldn’t have left you, without a dope blog to step to, step to, step to, etc”. Well, we’re back now. Iceland was properly amazing and hopefully there will be some kind of report up here very soon, complete with a handful of the 487 photos we took.

In the meantime, we’re talking Rihanna. Rihanna’s an interesting one, isn’t she? Good Girl Gone Bad basically set her up to reach Beyonce-level standards of pop domination and then all the unpleasantness happened and in one way or another that influenced her music with the darker, more grown-up Rated R.

There are large amounts of pop fans who feel like that album was some kind of holy grail and any thought of moving away from it is sacrilege. Well, we’re in a sales driven world people and the fact is Rated R didn’t sell as well as it should have so here we are with a rushed new album, Loud, the aesthetic of which is very much light, colourful and playful. One look at the new video for ‘Only Girl (In The World)’ tells you all you need to know:

The thing is, it suits her more like this. The old look was all a bit too emo for our liking. Plus, the economy’s fucked, the environment’s fucked, the Tory’s are in charge and Mad Men’s moving to Sky! We need our pop stars to be fun, not all serious and earnest.

Here’s the second single, featuring Drake:

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A brief catch-up

So, apologies, but due to time constraints and general tiredness this blog is becoming nothing more than two weekly features with very little else going on in-between. Sorry about that. Shall we have a quick round-up of what’s good this last week (by ‘good’, we kind of just mean ‘new’).

Someone from Girls Aloud that’s not Cheryl will soon be releasing a single and that woman’s name is Nadine ‘The Voice’ Coyle. ‘Insatiable’ is the first single from her debut solo album of the same name and it’s out at some point in November via TESCOS! No, seriously. You will only be able to buy it in Tescos with your butter, a cucumber and a copy of Nuts (what you will be doing with those three things WE’D RATHER NOT KNOW!):

Kanye West has been releasing a song a week for the past few weeks in an effort to be the most talked about man on the internet (for his music, not for bullying young women in front of millions of people). We mentioned the Beyonce-featuring ‘See Me Now’ a few weeks ago, and since then we’ve had ‘Monster’, which featured a scene-stealing Nicki Minaj verse that walked all over the other guest, a certain Jay-Z. Here’s the latest track, the bouncy, breezy jam, ‘Good Friday’:

We’re also really liking American singer and guitarist (weirdly, it seems women are allowed to play guitar! Who knew!?) Marnie Stern, whose third album is out next month. ‘Transparency Is The New Mystery’ is a brilliant example of dynamics, all violent drums and sprawling guitar figures that teeter on the brink of collapse but somehow pull away just in time.

Watch with my Mother’s Mother

Ladies and gentleman, let me introduce you to my Nan, Joy Herbert. This is she in the photo, clutching a goblet of wine on her last birthday (she’s 76-years-old). Every week, we’ll be giving my Nan a call to ask her what she thinks of the latest music videos. This isn’t some “oh look at the old person who hates modern music” finger-pointing exercise, because Joy genuinely loves pop (she owns albums by Will Young, Leona, Take That, Buble and her favourite, Enrique Iglesias). Rather, this is a way of getting a different perspective on things and generally bowing down at the greatness of my Nan’s wisdom (seriously, if you need advice on anything, she’s the person to call).

So, for the premiere of this epoch-defining brand new feature, we sent her ‘Drummer Boy’ by Alesha Dixon:

This is what she had to say:

The video? I thought it was really nice, I liked it. Very sexy. Quite raunchy actually. She’s, erm, her other one, had those sorts of movements and things and had a lot of that in it. This is the same sort of thing, more raunchy and sexy this one. It looks quite American. The beginning bit does definitely, where she says she wants a drummer boy, I thought that was a very American opening. I thought that was a bit “funny”, I’ve got down here on my notes [she made notes!!], “after a funny start it got better and better”. I didn’t like that. When it started and that came on I thought “ohhh, no”, but it got better. It was all quite obvious but then I think it was supposed to be. I think she was just being herself, you know, she is very sexy sort of looking and dancing and the whole song is about…sex. It was all fairly obvious, all that banging of tambourines. I think some people can be provocative and she took it off alright and it’s not seedy, it’s just inviting to men.

I like the song, it’s got a very catchy tune and it’s got a good beat to it and I think it would be good to dance to. You do hum it afterwards if you know what I mean, it gets on you and it’s very catchy I think. There’s a lot of repetition, but then don’t you find there is a lot nowadays? I think it’ll come top ten. I don’t think it’ll come right at the top, but I think probably middling. I’d only ever heard the last one she’s done [she’s referring to ‘The Boy Does Nothing’ as it was her last big single, OK] and I wasn’t sure whether I liked that when I first heard it, I thought “Oh, that’s a bit weird”, because I didn’t think she’d sing that sort of song, but I mean that is the way she sings, but with this one I was probably more ready for it.

Her voice? You don’t really notice it, do you. It’s an awful lot of background. She doesn’t come through solo really. I think releasing a ballad next would work. Who would buy it? Probably people that dance, you know, go to, erm, discos and things. I think it would come over well there, because of the beat. So, they’re [the dancers] going to be really stirred up. I like that it’s so in your face. Even got Grandad in here listening to it. He liked it, because she is very sexy. Grandad likes that.

Song: 7

Video: 8

Better than Enrique? Ha, ha, nothing’s better than Enrique

Verdict: She’s probably not quite as good as Beyonce yet.

It’s a new Kanye song!

KANYE WEST (capitals artist’s own) has leaked a new song from his forthcoming album (due in November apparently) and it features a certain Beyonce Knowles. The song, ‘See Me Now’, recalls old-skool Kanye, i.e. he raps, but to be honest, we’re not really feeling it. It says something that the best thing about the song is the amazing ad-lib in the final minute, including this gem; “I’m a let you finish but I got Beyonce on the track”.

Kelly Rowland’s new video’s a bit shit, huh?

Kelly Rowland, aka the one that’s not Beyoncé or, er, the third one from Destiny’s Child, has a new single out. As is de rigour these days, she’s enlisted the production skillz of David Guetta, who also helmed Kelis‘ ‘Acapella’ and will no doubt produce nearly every pop/R&B album this side of 2015. On a scale of Lady Gaga to N-Dubz, ‘Commander’ is a bit Mis-Teeq, i.e. it’s nearly there, but it’s a bit cheap sounding.

Perhaps Kelly’s ‘people’ thought the same thing as they’ve basically helped create one of the shabbiest looking music videos. For one, Rowland’s wearing what looks like a hacked version of that red PVC thing Britney wore a few years back, but with some Elizabeth Duke jewellery stapled on; there’s a guy at the beginning with talc in his hair (talc!?); the catwalk/crowd scenes are woeful and then it just cuts to a completely different video with Guetta gurning and twirling about like the hip old dance producer he is. It most definitely is NOT a video Beyoncé would make and we know she’s probably trying to distance herself from comparisons, but making a budget video that detracts from the song is not the way to do it.

Does she ever sleep?

Surely, tonight of all nights is a good time to unveil another Beyoncé video, is it not? It’s not like there’s anything else going on is there? Plus, this is Beyoncé‘s fourteenth single to be released this month and as everyone knows, the fourteenth times a charm.

‘Why Don’t You Love Me?’ didn’t even make it onto the original pressings of I Am Sasha Fierce (an album that’s been re-released more times than Blade Runner), but has been selected as the final single from this exhaustive campaign. The video introduces another character, B.B. Homemaker, and finds her doing all sorts of household chores dressed as Betty Page – vacuuming, washing the dishes, fixing her car – in between making what looks like a very difficult telephone conversation (perhaps Jay-Z had forgotten the Rice Crispies?). The best bit? When the B-dog (she’d like that moniker, right?) polishes her SIXTEEN Grammy awards. OH NO SHE DIDN’T.

High tariff

There’s too much to say about this ‘music video’ (and we say that in the loosest terms seeing as it barely mentions the song and references nearly every film ever made), so we’re just going to let it speak for itself. This is ‘Telephone’ by Lady GaGa and Beyoncé:

One thing, however; we’re not sure those fag sunglasses are going to make it past the smoking ban.

The BRITS; best bits, shit bits

Passion(ate) Love Affair

Everyone and anyone is turning their hand at a Lady GaGa retwizzle (that sounds like a strange gymnastic sex act). Such is her dominance of the pop charts she’s clearly decided to take over every club in the Western hemisphere. This is Passion Pit‘s remix of new single, ‘Telephone’, which is hardly earth shattering and for some reason they’ve got rid of GaGa’s bits and just focused on Beyoncé‘s ‘rap’. We’re not complaining, we’re merely observing.

Then we have disco oddballs Hercules & Love Affair who’ve turned the worldwide number 1 smash (TM), ‘Bad Romance’, into a dubby, early-’90s last song at the techno club kind of affair.

Not your thing? It could be worse. Listening to Lady GaGa whilst a flock seagulls peck at your testicles* is preferable to his excruciating version, however.

Serious rock face.

(*Replace with ‘lady garden’ if you are a female)

Musick’s Top 20 albums: 18

Lady GaGa – The Fame Monster

From prospective one-hit wonder to the world’s biggest pop star in the space of twelve months, Lady GaGa has straddled 2009 in a way that’s made all of us feel slightly uncomfortable. Whilst most people would be happy with a debut that features two of the biggest selling singles of the year, Lady GaGa wasn’t content until she’d recorded an extra eight songs, four of which could be singles, one of which features Beyoncé and all of which must make Madonna choke on her Kabbalah water. Good enough to be the follow-up to The Fame proper, The Fame Monster is somehow even better for showing complete disregard for anything as boring as following a normal release schedule.

Key track: ‘Alejandro’