BlackPink – Boombayah

It’s not a secret that South Korea is one of the most innovative countries, both technologically and musically speaking. K-pop gained so much attention over the years thanks to big performers like PSY, 2NE1, Big Bang, Girls Generation and many many others. In Korea, being an artist, is not only a business that can randomly happen by being noticed a club when you sing karaoke and a producer is there and drinks his beer. Not at all. In Korea, becoming an artist is a long process that could take up to 7-8 years of training before the so coveted debut. And the Korean music labels fight so hard between them to discover the hugest potential around.

With no doubt, by far, YG Entertainment is the most influential label in Korea, creator of the world shocking cyclone PSY and girl group 2NE1. This time, after 7 years, YG announced the creation of a new girl group called BlackPink composed of Lisa, Rosé, Jisoo and Jennie, four pretty girls coming from different countries worldwide. BlackPink debuted yesterday with the so much hyped single Boombayah, created by the music genius Teddy, father of Gangnam Style. And you know what? This song is gonna be huge.

In the first day on YouTube it reached more than 5 million views. Unbelievable. Boombayah is a perfect summer club hit, even if it is sang almost entirely in Korean, with some flashes of English. Whatever. Gangnam Style is the example that idiom is not a barrier in music (thanks God). Boombayah is a fast-tempo track with an addictive electro chorus with Arab sonorities, in which the four girls rap and sing I’d say quite good. Of course they still need practice. But if this is the beginning, then for sure we would expect so much from them.

Enjoy the brand new BlackPink and their hot Boombayah!

Rihanna – Love On The Brain

Rihanna keeps on relentlessly promoting her Anti album. The disc has just passed 1,1 million copies sold, definitely not an amazing result for a big name like Rihanna, but it still goes well beyond the initial estimates. While the album suffers of poor sales, Mrs. RiRi has returned to dominate the single charts with the great success of Work, and the average results of Needed Me and Kiss It Better.

To try to subvert the mediocre results of Anti, Rihanna has just announced the release of a new single. And luckily, the choice has fallen on my favorite Anti track, Love On The Brain. The song is a mix of elegance and innovation vocally speaking, a great test for Rihanna who is more used to exploit the power of her voice. The song, entirely produced by Fred Ball, kinda reminds me of the 70s Prince-style ballads. Love On The Brain, is about a different kind of love, a love that does not play on the physical side of the relationship, but on the mental one, a love that you can’t remove from your thoughts. Whoever has been in love, a least once, can deeply understand RiRi‘s lyrics.

Despite the rhythm is quite uniform, Rihanna offers such a wide range of vocal changes from the very beginning up to the end of the track. And just like the love the song is about, it binds on your ears and you can’t help but listen to it once again. Enjoy the wonderful Love On The Brain.

Beyonce – Hold Up

Our beloved R&B queen Beyoncé might not be as strong as she was in the early 2000s in releasing massive hits, but nevertheless the rest of music biz definitely has nothing to envy to Mrs. Knowles. The constancy in her albums’ sales is incredible and the success she is getting with her latest tour is truly unbelievable. This is thanks not only to a solid reputation that she has earned over the years, but also thanks to an unquestionable talent and to a record, Lemonade, that many liked definetely more than her previous self-titled album.

In this context it’s surely not strange that Beyoncé has extracted another single from Lemonade. This time the choice fell on Hold Up, created in collaboration with master Diplo. The song fuses three samples extracted from different songs (Maps by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Can’t Get Used To Losing You by Andy Williams and Turn My Swag On by Soulja Boy). The result is quite a strange song, a mix of soul and reggae sounds, a track with a Jamaican flavor that might turn into a good choice for this 2016 summer.

Hold Up is an ode about the love that binds Beyoncé to her husband Jay-Z, a physical and mental love that, however, has been put at serious risk because of the rapper’s betrayal and lies, who literally drove BK crazy that, despite everything, in the end, has forgiven him. These strong and crazy feelings are represented into the music video which cause quite a stir, since Bey commits many vandalism acts armed with a baseball bat.

She’s still angry, isn’t she? Enjoy the beautifully mad Beyoncé rocking it in Hold Up.

Katy Perry – Rise

Katy Perry is back on the scene with her brand new single Rise, which will be used as one of the promotional songs for the 2016 Rio Olympic games. With my surprise, Rise is a song characterized by a very calm atmosphere, not quite a ballad, but kind of a mid tempo that could also be interpreted as a confirmation of Katy‘s intentions to pursue a totally new era compared to the previous ones, at least musically speaking.

A slow production, relaxing but definitely not minimal is the base to Katy‘s voice, perfect for this kind of tracks, quite capable to transmit the energy and the determination which contained in the lyrics. Rise is a true motivational anthem in which Katy almost rises to the role of moral mother.

The result is overall a very good song, not trivial, but for sure diametrically opposite if compared to her Roar or Dark Horse masterpieces. We surely can’t expect big sales results from Rise. However this is a good exercise for Katy Perry to find her new way in the scene and evolve herself as the big artist she is. Enjoy Rise.

Norah Jones – Carry On

It should be finally time for the official return on the scenes of one of the most talented singers and songwriters that bloomed in the early 2000s, thanks to her unforgettable voice which granted her a well deserved global success. I am talking about Norah Jones ladies and gentlemen, one of the purest talent in the industry who gifted us with some rare pearls like Don’t Know Why and Sunrise.

Since the Come Away With Me times 13 years have already passed; 4 are the years that separate us instead from her latest Little Broken Hearts album. In today’s music scene made of so little substance and much more superficiality, Norah Jones absence was quite heavy, and that’s why I am so excited to write about her comeback.

Her latest effort is titled Carry On and will be the lead single of her next album, whose title is still top-secret. The only info we got is that it will arrive later this year via Blue Note and Capitol Records. As for the song, Carry On is an elegant jazzy downtempo, refined and suave in which Norah sings with her velvet voice, elegant as much as the base. The track really sounds from another era.

I just hope that the market will recognize to Norah the success she deserves, made of talent above image. Enjoy the amazing Carry On.