Birdy – Words

The young British singer and songwriter Birdy is surely a talent. After the release of leading single Keeping Your Head Up and Wild Horses, it’s now the turn of Words, third single extracted from the wonderful album Beautiful Lies. It is really one of the album that everyone should have at home because is one of the most versatile ones musically speaking.

In fact, while the first singles sound very pop, Words is perfectly in line with the Birdy we all know, introspective, gloomy and melancholy. That’s for sure a very risky commercial choice for this 2016 summer which is finally showing itself.

Anyway, Words is a very simple but exquisite down tempo track. Deep in its simplicity Words valorizes the intensity of Birdy‘s voice, free from many musical constructions and modifications. Words is about love, painful love. And the video also shows this pain with cold atmospheres, winter colors, and places shrouded in smoke.

I agree with all the critics that, commercially speaking, say this track doesn’t fit to the typical summer and careless mood. But you know what? For once it’d be better to put money behind music and enjoy the talent of talented artist such as Birdy and her wonderful Words. Love it.

 

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Leona Lewis – We Are All Looking For Home

Music talent shows created so many stars globally. But in my opinion the brightest, and also the humblest, of them is British singer Leona Lewis who won the UK X Factor edition back in 2006. Ten years have passed, but Leona never lost her romantic and socially involved personality.

Among all the charity initiatives, the one that is probably the most important for Leona is the prevention of dogs’ abuses round the world. In order to sustain even harder this cause and raise up funds, she teamed up with the prolific author Diane Warren and together they created the wonderful ballad We Are All Looking For Home.

I just have one word to describe the track. Wow. Leona‘s voice is so naturally beautiful and passionate, that you just can’t help but to fall in love with the song. Plus the cause for which this song has been written is so important. Think that the Daily Mail reported that China’s annual Yulin dog meat festival sees hundred of dogs and cats crammed into rusty cages and then sold to be skinned, boiled and then eaten. How can such a cruelty still exist in 2016?

Enjoy the wonderful hymn of Leona to protect our beautiful furry friends. Enjoy We Are Looking For Home.

 

MAGIC! – Red Dress

When summer hits the road, reggae makes hits the road as well. After Ariana Grande‘s reggae-ish style Side To Side, today it’s the turn of MAGIC!, who just released their new infectious single titled Red Dress, in which they’re as charming as ever.

The Canadian reggae fusion band, who shook the industry with their massive hit Rude in 2014, is so proud of their new Red Dress track which celebrates women of all shapes, colors and sizes. Indeed the track opens with the words, “What is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it“.

Call me naive, but I love genuineness in all its shapes, especially in music. And I find that celebrating common women with all their flaws, but still shining in their everyday life, is the smartest move that MAGIC! did by releasing Red Dress. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and all the girls of the video reflect that.

Red Dress is the perfect relaxing summer song to hear, possibly on a sunny beach. MAGIC! reproduced the lucky Rude formula, and I think that it will work once again. Enjoy the thoughtless Red Dress.

Christina Aguilera – Change

Christina Aguilera’s comeback is finally reality! Four years have passed after the release of Lotus, and all Xtina’s fans were quite exhausted from all this waiting, claiming for the return of one of the music’s most talented divas that the industry has ever seen.

But despite all the expectations that would figured out a powerful and brave return of Christina with a smashing hit in perfect Ain’t No Other Man style, her new song, called Change, is on the contrary pure musical delicacy. Change is about equality and respect for the others. That’s why Christina dedicated the whole track to the memory of Orlando victims.

I am not really into emotional songs, but I have to admit that Change let me shed a tear. Christina’s voice is perfect for this type of poignant ballads and thanks to her amazing vocals, the song never teeters to the overly dramatic. Sincere, that is how I would describe the track.

Who you love or the color of your skin, or the place that you were born and grew up in, shouldn’t decide how you will be treated.” Enjoy Change in the beloved memory of all the victims of Orlando’s tragedy.

Dawn Richard – Not Above That

Albeit coming from the almost immense universe of R&B music, Dawn Richard perfectly knows how to play with other genres. It’s been quite a while since she started showing us how versatile her talent is. And moreover it seems that from the break up of Danity Kane, Dawn has sharpened her desire to show her limitless musical abilities, leaving far behind all her former colleagues.

After the release of the beautiful Dance, this time Dawn veers to a totally different sound. The new song is pure electronic, and probably at a first listening it may seem kinda weird…while I was listening to it I thought “Hey what the hell am I listening to?“. But I guarantee that after hearing two or three times Not Above That, that’s how the song is titled, you really can’t get enough of this Dawn‘s performance.

The track is the new single from her forthcoming album RED*emp*tion, and it’s a special mid tempo in which Dawn‘s voice is absolutely magical and graceful, leaving us spellbound with her undeniable elegance despite the hard electro beats that may disappoint at a first superficial listening.

Dawn Richard confirms to be one of the most talented and eclectic artist on the music scene. She’s a complex singer and she knows that her music is not mainstream at all. But what I like the most from this beautiful woman is the coherence with her musical ethics. Dawn just makes Dawn’s music. Hate it or love it. Enjoy the stunning Not Above That and his 3D video!

Justin Timberlake – Battle Of The SeXXXes

While Can’t Stop Feeling keeps on inflaming the international charts (and could easily turn into his most successfull song of all times), Justin Timberlake releases online a totally new track, a song that, by listening to its sound and lyrics, seems to have been created to be part of his 2006 masterpiece Future Sex/Love Sounds.

The song, in fact, is titled Battle Of The SeXXXes, a title that clearly evokes hot (so hot!) atmospheres…rated R everybody. In the track JT proposes the phenomenal mix between urban and electro that, thanks also to the help of his good friend Timbaland, made a mark in the mid 2000s. Even though the beat is chaotic and somehow confusing, and Justin‘s voice is quite often overwhelmed by a really heavy autotune, the rhythm is OH MY GOD…I can already see all of you dancing to it in some urban clubs.

In my opinion JT was perfect for this kind of sound. Don’t get me wrong anyway. The new pop-ish Justin is good as well, but nothing could compare that period when the star triangle of JT, Nelly Furtado and Timbaland revolutionized the concept of R&B. Enjoy the hot Battle Of The SeXXXes.

Parker Ighile – Remember Me feat. Nicki Minaj

Even though our beloved Nicki Minaj is not promoting any album or new musical release of her property, there is a field in which the rapper never rest and it is the collaboration with other artist. Basically the war of featuring is fought between lady Nicki and Mr. Chris Brown who literally appears in every new R&B or Hip Hop songs. But despite the competition, Nicki keeps up the pace featuring mainly on Urban and Pop tracks.

This time Nicki decided to duet with Parker Ighile in the very fresh Remember Me. Even though the track is rhythmically simple, it is also catchy and does not stray too much from the R&B world (in its most commercial meanings), resulting soon in a mix of many tools and effects enriched with a tropical vein.

Parker shows a beautiful timbre, absolutely perfect for this kind of sound, and I really would like to listen soon to new material from him… I think this guy has what it takes to find a spot of his own in the industry. As for Nicki, here she actually acts more as a singer than a rapper, still offering a good performance. Ultimately Remember Me is the typical good song that could fly up high if well promoted, or could sink in the deepest ocean of unmarketed songs. For now enjoy the estival Remember Me.

Usher – Crash

Inside the story of each artist, suffering for love is a common theme and, sad but true, though painful it’s like manna for their musical activity. A guy who is still suffering for love, and is trying to leverage on this feeling, it’s the king of R&B Usher who is planning a comeback in great style. Only few hours after the disclosure of his new urban track No Limit in collaboration with Young Thug, Usher announces another single, titled Crash.

The title sums up the current feelings of Usher. The lyrics are full of pain and it’s clear that the singer is still thinking about his ex girlfriend Tameka. But despite the suffering, Crash is a very cool and soft R&B song with clear pop vibes, which can be really appreciated by the mainstream public. However, even though we all know nowadays music is (unfortunately) pure business, I can feel in this new Usher‘s track a vein of artistic and emotional honesty.

Obviously we are still far from the glories of Confessions, but I really hope that with this mature comeback, king Usher could finally bring back R&B to its original greatness, because is facing too many drifts towards commercial music genres. For now enjoy the wonderful voice of Usher in Crash.

 

Ariana Grande – Side To Side feat. Nicki Minaj

The beginning of 2016 will be surely remembered as the Dangerous Woman era for Ariana Grande. However, despite the big anticipation, our Ari seems to struggle a bit since the sales of the singles she has released so far aren’t exactly matching the initial expectations. In fact, while the album decently sold 1,5mio copies so far, her second single Into You, (one of the best tracks on the disc) is hobbling a bit.

To prevent that the flop of the singles could drag down the whole album, Ariana seems to have already decided what will be her third official single. And the choice fell on Side To Side, a pop mid tempo with cool reggae influences. Plus our Ari decided to play her trump card by joining forces with her friend Nicki Minaj to boost her performance.

Even though Dangerous Woman truly contains so many tracks that would greatly work as singles, I have to admit Side To Side is maybe the most original and fresh of the album, and i.m.o. it could easily become a huge summer hit, especially in the US, where this reggae vein is very fashionable lately. There’s still no video for Side To Side, but I am sure it will be released very soon. Why? Ariana sent a tweet to Nicki implying that soon they will meet, maybe to shoot the video together!

While we wait for the official video, enjoy the hot Side To Side!

Blink 182 – Rabbit Hole

Among the many comebacks of this period, a special mention goes to one of the punk rock band that I’ve grown up with. I am talking about the 90s stars Blink 182 y’all, who were truly idols for all us children back in the days of punk resurrection. Just like their colleagues Green Day and Linkin Park, also Blink 182 kept a good success later on, but it seems that the splendor days of What’s My Age Again or Adam’s Song is a very far memory.

However, the three boys continued to release new music and now we are waiting for their last effort called California, to be released next July the 1st. The album is anticipated by their new promotional single titled Rabbit Hole. The song, released today, is a rock uptempo in perfect Blink 182 style, sustained with a heavy use of electric guitars, drums and snare drums.

In Rabbit Hole the guys are powerful and energetic, just like we were used to hear from them some years ago. But something is not working for me. I think the maturity of punk rock groups like Blink 182 unfortunately damages the very essence of punk itself: reckless rebellion. But despite this feeling of unnatural riot, Rabbit Hole is still a good track, perfect to energetically start the day. Enjoy it!