Category Archives: Rihanna

A reasonably good Rihanna remix for you

New York DJ Bremner has had a go at remixing ‘What’s My Name?’ by everyone’s current favourite pop princess, Rihanna. We can’t help but assume that he’s not a fan of Drake as his rap is missing completely, as are bits of the verses, so instead we’re left with lots of cut ‘n’ paste samples of vocals (hence the song is retitled ‘Hey Boy’ as that bit appears A LOT) over cheap beats.

It’s not as good as it thinks it is but it’s nice for a cold Sunday night/bleak Monday morning is it not?

Yes, you can download it if you like.

New Music Monday

Last week we put our necks on the line and predicted some chart success for independent music artist, Rihanna. This was off the back of her number 1 single and general ubiquity. Our risk paid off and Loud debuted at number 2 behind a newly complete Take That who reportedly sold around 54 million copies a minute. The Florrie EP probably wasn’t chart eligible and even if it was it wouldn’t have mattered because the crazy woman only went and put it up on her site FOR FREE. Sister, what’s that about? Music was the real winner though wasn’t it? Let’s crack on…

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My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West

Egomaniac. Superstar. Motherless son. Taylor Swift-basher. George W. Bush-upsetter. Super-producer. Kanye West is all of these things and more and it’s this life/art interface that makes him so interesting. That and the fact that he’s seemingly unable to make a dull album. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is a dense, ridiculously OTT peak into the psyche of one of the most famous men on the planet and whilst not all of what it reveals is particularly palatable – women still come out of this pretty badly – there are some genius moments. The ridonkulous All Of The Lights features a guest list of stars so long it takes up almost all of the inlay, but somehow it comes across as compact, immediate and not like some massive vanity project (which it clearly is). It’s black magic, basically.

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Pink Friday by Nicki Minaj

It says something about how far Nicki Minaj has come in the last year that the hype surrounding her debut album was nearly on a par with that of Kanye’s (btw, Minaj’s bravura performance on West’s ‘Monster’ is so incredible she nearly steals the whole album from under his nose). Unfortunately, the hype has been building for so long that the backlash seems to have arrived at the same time as the album, with many claiming Pink Friday a disappointment. Most of these people are idiots. Sure there are some duds – ‘Check It Out’, ‘Right Thru Me’ and ‘Last Chance’ are pretty shit – but mostly it’s an album that sounds giddy with excitement. If you can, buy the £10 iTunes version as it comes with four bonus tracks that are all killer.

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Broken Dreams Club EP by Girls

Girls are two San Francisco-based drug hoovers who look like they smell of wee but make lovely, jangly indie that sounds like Elvis Costello after too long in the sun. One of Girls is a little bit sadface about stuff a lot of the time, but on this EP – the follow-up to their debut album, er, Album – he actually sounds pretty chipper. Which is nice.

New Music Monday (kind of)

So, last week was our first week back after we inexplicably forgot to do this weekly feature. Sometimes, you know, things just get on top of us and we let out a very minor brain fart. This is all that happened. However, this week, we’ve decided to do away with the full format because there really aren’t that many good things out, what with it being the run up to Christmas and all. So, here are two things that might take your fancy. Oh, by the by, from last week, Cee Lo Green managed to land a top 10, whilst Kid Cudi and Cocknbullkid both did diddly squat. Ho-hum.

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Loud by Rihanna

The follow-up to last year’s Rated R ditches the dark, brooding imagery (and sound) in favour of bright reds, sex and fun. ‘S&M’ is a ridiculously OTT paean to naughtiness, whilst the collaborations with Drake (on ‘What’s My Name?) and Nicki Minaj on ‘Raining Men’ are insanely catchy and insanely, er, bonkers respectively. If you like swearing then buy it on iTunes but if you’d rather not hear all that jive talk then buy it on CD.

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Introduction EP by Florrie

She used to be a drummer, then she was a model and now she’s a singing drummer model. Florrie is part of the Xenomania stable, which is perhaps not the best place to be after the failure of Vagabound and Mini Viva (RIP). Anyways, Introduction is a brilliant, you know, introduction to a pop star in waiting, featuring the kind of forward-thinking singles Girls Aloud used to churn out on a monthly basis.

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:

Dance your cares away

Not sure if it’s immediately obvious, but the campaign for Rihanna‘s forthcoming fifth album, Loud, looks set to be slightly more colourful than the one for last year’s Rated R album. Gone are the moody shots in prison, or the aggressive set pieces involving tanks and military hardware. Instead, it’s all day-glo colours, dancing in clubs and just generally being the fun and frivolous young thing she was before all that personal business got in the way.

‘Who’s That Chick’ is a collaboration with the ubiquitous David Guetta, who somehow has become the go to guy for huge American pop stars (bets on him producing Madonna‘s next album can be placed now). It’s not the official first single from Loud (that’s the glo-sticks at ten paces, ‘Only Girl (In The World)‘), and actually no-one’s really sure where it’s come from and whose album it will be on. But here it is anyways…

WARNING: This video features a lady playing guitar

This here is the video for Rihanna‘s new single (in the US), ‘Rockstar 101’.

Rumour has it that her label have already got Rihanna working hard on a ‘poppier’ follow-up to last year’s Rated R, a record that showcased her harder edge (i.e. she wore black a lot and talked a bit about shooting people). In all honesty, this campaign has at least given Rihanna a bit of an edge when a lot of other pop stars have faded into the background like some fairly pleasant wallpaper. Either way, Slash looks hot in this video, right?

Bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat

There’s much to hate about Jo Whiley – that voice, her fawning over every new band as if they were the second coming, creating Fearne Cotton – but perhaps her biggest sin is the legacy of The Live Lounge. For those unfamiliar with the concept, let Musick enlighten you; basically, every week a band or singer arrives at the Radio 1 studios ready to “revamp” and “re-contextualise” a current hit single. So, for example, Scouting For Girls will rock up, play their new single and then deliver an irony-free take on ‘My Humps’ by The Black Eyed Peas and the general public go, “wow, I didn’t realise how good that song was until it was stripped back and delivered by an earnest Tory-boy with a weirdly sexist take on relationships”.

This new-found love for the ‘unexpected’ cover version (they’re usually so fucking obvious it hurts) has reached some kind of nadir with the following act. They call themselves The Baseballs, dress like twats and record stupifyingly terrible covers of recent chart hits (usually by women) that aren’t even interesting on first listen and then get knuckle-nawingly shit should you have the misfortune to hear them again. For some inexplicable reason their cover of Rihanna‘s ‘Umbrella’ has reached over 8 million hits and nearly all the comments say ridiculous things such as “LOL OMG, this is, like, so much better than the original. Rihanna sukz and The Baseballs vintage take on a modern classic really brings out the soul in what is already a rather sweet song about being there for someone. Or summink”.

This band are huge in Germany…

"Boom, boom, boom"

This is the new video for Rihanna’s new single, the not very subtle ‘Rude Boy’. It’s a blatant rip off of an M.I.A video, but as rip offs go, it’s really good (and it has much higher production values). The black and white bits look really great and the animal straddling is what’s lacking from all pop music videos these days. We demand to see Susan Boyle straddling a snow leopard before the year is out, OK?

New Musick Monday

As the yuletide approaches, it’s getting harder and harder to find any music to recommend, unless the new Westlife album floats your boat, in which case the virtual door is that way. So, this may well be the final New Musick Monday of 2009 *stunned silence*. So, let’s, for one last time, do a little recap on last week, shall we? Brigadier Ambrose performed well given the fact the album is self-released and wasn’t available in shops (that happens in the new year), whilst Rihanna’s album somewhat under-performed by entering outside the top 10 (although the single made it to number 6, so what does that tell us? No, really, what does that tell us?). Lady GaGa was more successful, entering at number 7 and celebrating at least six songs in the top 75. Well done the GaGa.

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Lungs (Deluxe box set edition) by Florence & The Machine

Around this time, record labels decide it’s best to make money by releasing albums by talent show contestants, old boybands or re-packaging an existing album to guilt trip genuine fans into buying the album again. This re-release of the brilliant Lungs (look out for it in Musick’s rundown of the top 20 albums of 2009, coming, er, ahem, well, kind of soon-ish), adds three extra discs that encompass a live album, remixes, covers, demos and a DVD with all the videos and a live show. PLUS, you get expanded artwork and an essay by David Vann, who, as we all know, is a very talented author. Better than putting it in a slipcase and adding a couple of b-sides don’t you think?

LAUGH AT ALL OF THIS

Untitled by R Kelly

First of all, please click here to be mortified. That’s ‘Pregnant’, one of the many delicate ballads R Kelly has recorded for his new sex opus. This, let’s not forget, is the man currently battling charges for having sex with a minor. Here are some of the choice lyrics that Kelly uses to make the pre-teens swoon (ALLEGEDLY!!):
“Girl you make me wanna get you pregnant…Knock you up, pregnant, Knock you up”
“Shes more than a mistress enough to handle my business / Now put that girl in my kitchen”
“Now I ain’t got nothing to do tonight, I gotta wait for my crew / I just wanna put some in you”
A-MA-ZING.

‘Forest Green Oh Forest Green’ by Holly Miranda

OK, so this came out a few weeks ago but it’s so great we thought it best to try and get it a few more downloads. Produced by Dave Sitek and featuring members of TV On The Radio, this is the first single taken from Miranda’s forthcoming album, The Magician’s Private Library. It features some gorgeous vocals, some bells and indeed some brass. Here she is doing a gorgeous version of ‘Ex-Factor’ by Lauryn Hill:

New Musick Monday

We all knew last week would be a success, in fact, we made sure of it. Echo sold over 160,000 copies in its first week, to debut at number 1, but that’s about half of what her last album sold in the same period. Now, we’re not suggesting that the wheels are falling off Leona‘s career per se, but what she lacks that a lot of other pop stars have is a definite personality. Songs like ‘Happy’ don’t help matters. Speaking of personalities, Will Young’s best of crashed in at, er, no. 9, which is hardly the work of a TV talent show alumnus, but we’re pretty sure that’s all he can hope for now. The Arctic Monkeys single seems to be missing from the top 40, which must be some kind of blip, right?

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Fuzzo by Brigadier Ambrose

OK, confession time, this band are friends of the blog. Not just, “oh yeah, we met them at a party, they seem like nice guys” kind of friends, but proper “we went to school together” type friends. We feel the need to make this clear from the outset given the fact that we love this album so much it’s going to seem like nepotism either way. You’ll assume we’re friends even if we weren’t when we say that Fuzzo is one of the best debuts of 2009. Influenced by surrealist British comedy just as much as they are by bands like Blur, Belle & Sebastian and Pavement, they’ve crafted an album that keeps one eye on the everyday and the other turned skywards. It also features this lyric; “Silences don’t really mean a great deal anymore/ One minute for footballers and two minutes for war / Three for terrorist atrocities / Four for the death of Morrissey”. Kind of says it all really.

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Rated R by Rihanna

The Fame Monster by Lady GaGa

Two of pop’s biggest characters return with albums on the same day, one trying to build a new image after some well-publicised personal problems and the other cementing her status as 2009’s best megastar. Rated R is a darker, denser affair than Rihanna’s previous efforts, featuring far more aggressive, almost sadomasochistic imagery. Guns are licked, fired and drawn on skin (she has a tattoo of one on her hip), whilst love is variously depicted as dead, deadly or, er, Spanish (‘Te Amo’). WARNING: This album features will.i.am. Lady GaGa’s The Fame Monster on the other hand should be subtitled “what this? Oh I knocked this up in my lunch break”, such is the run of form she seems to be on. Eight brand new songs, four potential singles, Beyoncé drops by for a brief cameo and somewhere Madonna dies a little inside.

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Fall Be Kind EP by Animal Collective

This 5-track EP is a little bit darker, a little bit denser than their last album…oh, have we written that before today? Erm, it’s their equivalent of Rihanna’s Rated R album, only with longer songs and slightly more droning. Very good as ever, in other words.