Natalie Imbruglia: So Underrated! (At Least in America)

October 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Now I’m sure many people around the world know who Natalie Imbruglia is. If you’re in America, though, all you probably know of her is one song: “Torn” that was released as a single around 1999. It is because of this song that I learned of her, but unlike a lot of my peers (actually unlike all of them) I decided to learn more about her. I got “Left of the Middle”, and loved it. When White Lillies Island (actually an island on which she lived for awhile) came out, I loved that too!

I’ve never understood why Natalie never took off in America. Around the world, she’s a pop idol. She’s full of talent, and has written some really great lyrics. She actually writes a lot of them, and actually, the only record she didn’t write many of the song on was her 2005 record “Counting Down the Days” which did well commercially in Europe and the UK, but I feel was her weakest album overall. Her most recent album, “Come to Life” was terrific, and none of the songs even touched the Top 40 in America. I don’t get it. I think it’s because she has never really toured all that much. I don’t think she’s been to the US that many times, either, mostly because she just never really had much of a following in America.

I just wanted to say something about her because I think a lot of people have really missed out on her music. During a time when American pop music was so sexually charged and at times raunchy, her music was just I think a lot better than what was being offered on radio at the time. Apparently, the rest of the world knew about her. So I must say, worldwide, she may be well known, but in America, she’s really underrated. I suggest you check her out. She really brightened up a lot of days for me when I was younger, and if you’re tired of hearing the same ole, same old pop music, give her a shot.

Kelly Clarkson Answers All the Haters with “Mr. Know It All”

October 5, 2011 Leave a comment

They said she was done. They said she was “too fat” or “all washed up.” Guess what? She’s neither. What a perfect comeback to answer all her haters.

I’ve loved Kelly since the very beginning, since she first appaered on American Idol. I knew she’d win from the very beginning. That was the last time I cared about Idol. As far as I was concerned, she WAS the American Idol. And for a little while, she really was. She’s beautiful and talented. This isn’t to say we haven’t gotten other good talents out of Idol; Jordin Sparks and Daughtry (even though he didn’t win). But Kelly to me is the greatest Idol ever. And I’m glad she’s gotten herself back in the game (that is, on the charts.)

A lot of people didn’t like her video. It wasn’t the greatest music video ever, no, but it was just great to see Kelly again. “My Life Would Suck Without You” was the last time we saw her, and hell, she had to cancel a tour because they couldn’t sell tickets! But it’s not all her fault. The fame wore her down, and it happens very, very often, to a lot of stars. People don’t seem to appreciate what it takes to be a star, and a lot of people said Kelly just didn’t have it.

Well, I can’t wait for her to claw her way back up there. As much as I love Katy and Gaga, I would love to see Kelly make a name for herself again. God bless you, Kelly!

 

Categories: Artist Profile

Amy Lee’s Back? Evanescence’s New Album!

September 27, 2011 Leave a comment

It’s been six years, but the long-awaited new Evanescence album is finally on its way, set to be released on October 11th, 2011! Will it be as good as the first two? We’ll have to see!

Usually, self-titled albums tend to be pretty good, so I’m looking forward to seeing what becomes of this one. I don’t really care if it’s commercially successful – it’s Amy Lee, so it’s going to have some great music and lyrics, regardless of where any of the tracks chart on the Billboards.

UPDATE: “End of the Dream” is now available to hear on the official Evanescence website. And it’s awesome. Check it out: http://evanescence.com/audio/endofthedreamlyrics.html

Categories: Album Reviews Tags: ,

Mother Monster at iHeartRadio Music Festival

September 27, 2011 Leave a comment

It was really great to see Stefani being a little more herself the other night at the iHeartRadio Music Festival. It’s not that I mind her being outrageous, even if she does go a little far sometimes… Considering how much her beautiful voice was clearly hampered by illness, it was still a fantastic show, even if most of her hits were played in abbreviated versions. It was just great to see Stefani without all the wigs and crazy costumes and make-up. I know that’s just how the character of Lady Gaga is played, and I don’t have any trouble with it. But honestly, she’s prettiest and sexiest when she’s just herself.

Obviously, the most touching moment of the night was her dedication of “Hair” to poor Jamey, who took his own life at the tender age of fourteen. “Bullying is for losers,” she said. It really is. It’s really awesome that we at least have one person in this world who gives a shit about how fucked up things truly are and uses her fame to speak out against them. All of the haters need to shut up and really listen to what she has to say, because she’s made a difference in so many millions of lives, including mine. Just a few months ago, I thought she was just going to be another flash in the pan pop sensation, but clearly that is not the case, and I am so glad that God blessed this world with her.

Her two songs with Sting were absolutely fantastic, too. Even most musicians are freaked out by her, but as is no surprise to anyone, Sting is awesome. Just hearing her sing “Stand By Me” made my life…

Forget iHeartRadio. I heart Stefani ❤

God bless you, Mother Monster!

Happy Birthday, Tegan and Sara!

September 19, 2011 1 comment

Happy Birthday, Tegan and Sara!

Today is a very special day, Tegan & Sara Day! That’s right, today is their 31st birthday! It’s too bad that September 19th is also the first anniversary of a very sad day in my own life. I won’t go into details in such a public space, but needless to say, their music really helped me to get back on my feet.

I’ve been a fan of Tegan and Sara since November 2009 when I first heard “Hell” off of their latest record, Sainthood. But it wasn’t until I saw them live in Boston on February 13, 2010 that I truly fell in love with them. As much as I loved their music, (in fact, I love pretty much 99% of their stuff) seeing them live made me realize just how incredible they really are. A lot of people harp on them for not being that talented, but those people are blind, because I’ve seen for myself just how fantastic they are live. OK, maybe they’re no Muse or U2, but hey, they are who they are, and they’re fantastic. Their “banters” make them even more endearing. How many bands do you know that are purposely that intimate with their fans? There are a few certainly, but none with the staying power of Tegan and Sara.

I suppose the biggest thing I need to say is thank you. Thank you, Tegan and Sara for unashamedly being awesome; that is to say, yourselves. Sure, they’re nowhere as flashy and dramatic like Mother Monster, but they have their own chill, down-to-earth way of making beautiful music. Their lyrics are touching, and for some reason, seem to fit all too perfect very difficult moments of heartbreak in my own life. They are the soundtrack to my life now, and today, I’m going to play through their whole discography, as I’ve done many times before. Whenever I need comfort, I know Tegan and Sara will always be there for me.

Happy birthday, my darlings. Here’s to many, many more!

Alabama: Going to “Roll On” Once More?

September 15, 2011 Leave a comment

When I heard that Alabama, my favorite country act of all time, is going to be returning to the road in 2012, I honestly couldn’t believe it. But even though Randy Owen, Jeff Cook, and Teddy Gentry are in their 60’s, as evidenced by their appearance live with Brad Paisley for “Old Alabama,” they obviously still have it.

Brad Paisley, with Randy Owen, Jeff Cook, and Teddy Gentry of Alabama in the song "Old Alabama"

Brad Paisley, with Randy Owen, Jeff Cook, and Teddy Gentry of Alabama in the song "Old Alabama"

I don’t really listen to country music at all anymore, with the exception of Alabama, Brad Paisley, and a few others. I’m pretty disgusted with the state of popular music in general these days, which is why I haven’t really written much in this space at all, but for my first favorite musical act of all time, it’s great to see them have one last hurrah. I’m really thankful for anything they produce at this point, even if it’s just a re-hash of older tunes that they put together, it’s fine by me. I just hope I get to see them live one last time, although I highly doubt it. It’s just great to be able to look forward to a great act give it “One More Shot” (song title pun intended).

If you’re not really a country fan, I still urge you to listen to Alabama. They’re not typical country, and I can’t tell you how many people I know that can’t stand country love Alabama, so I really do suggest if you’re looking for something to relax to, they’re a great option.

Katy Perry Kissed a Girl and Liked It? So What?

August 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Katy just wants to have fun! Leave her alone!

People really need to stop hating on poor Katy Hudson, I mean, Perry. I’ll be the first to admit I have a super huge crush on Miss “I Kissed a Girl and I Liked It” and I guess much of the world does. Why is it that those that like her just seem to like her so much?

Honestly, she is actually fairly talented. She does have a very breathy voice. It’s certainly not the most powerful or most beautiful, but it’s unique, and it’s Katy. There are just certain notes she can’t hit, and half the time she sounds out of breath. But she’s Katy. She is who she is, and she’s unashamedly just out to have fun and remind each and every one of us has a special spark inside just waiting to be unleashed.

Sure, she’s very silly. Some people seem to think she’s trying to be a sort of Lady Gaga-lite. Most of her performances consist of just silly props and staging. She’s just throwing a party, not really performing seriously at a concert. I guess she just really can’t be serious, and honestly, I don’t really have a problem with it. It’s her life, and she’s being herself, so I can’t really be too hard on her. It does bother me that the majority of what people think is Katy singing on her records is actually a computer-generated conglomeration of her voice with her back-up singers (who I do admit are quite talented themselves). Her stuff is very over-produced for the most part. I will say this, though. There are live performances, like her “acoustic” performance of “Firework” on the Ellen show, that show that she is actually a pretty serious artist when she wants to be.

Is she among the most talented artists of our generation? Probably not. But she certainly writes catchy lyrics and melodies. People don’t give her the credit she deserves. She’s still quite young and pretty, and looks good with any hair colour (my favorite is still her natural blonde). Let Crazy Katy have her fun. So what if those pictures of last night ended up online? Is she screwed? Oh well!

Categories: Artist Profile

Lady Gaga: Save Our Stefani!

August 25, 2011 1 comment
The beautiful, sexy (not ugly) and talented Stefani "Lady Gaga" Germanotta

The beautiful, sexy (not ugly) and talented Stefani "Lady Gaga" Germanotta

For quite some time now, I’ve been absolutely disgusted with the state of popular music. That is not to say that there aren’t any artists that I’ve come to respect a great deal. I’ve stood up for a lot of popular artists that despite all of the production and glamour that surrounds them and all the hatred they receive, they’re actually decent people with decent amounts of talent, albeit misused and still with great untapped potential. But there is one who we are all familiar with, whether or not we’d like to be, and I will say right now, that she is no doubt the greatest talent of our generation.

I was never quite fond of Lady Gaga. I couldn’t really stand her, actually. I thought “Poker Face” was a disgusting song whenever I heard it on the radio. This is not the case, now, but I will say that I really thought she was just another pop icon whose bubble would eventually burst.

However, everything changed for me when I came to know a very sweet lady friend of mine who absolutely loves Lady Gaga, has all her records, and sings along with all of her songs whenever they come on the radio. It perplexed me a bit when I heard her singing along with Paparazzi, and I found myself enchanted. This friend of mine actually is quite a talented singer (why she does not pursue a career best utilizing her talents is beyond me, but that’s an entirely separate topic altogether) but for some reason, that song just connected with me. Even though she’s supposedly happily married now, it’s like she still hasn’t found the right someone, something that definitely was the case for me until I heard her sing that song.

I’m not sure if it was out of my deep affection for my lady friend, or just pure curiousity as to why I was so enchanted by the song, but I started actually paying attention to Lady Gaga’s songs. I started finding the meaning behind them, and started realizing, maybe this girl is actually truly good.

And then I learned about Stefani Germanotta. I heard her sing “Paparazzi” for a radio station, and fell absolutely head over heels for her. Granted, she was still Lady Gaga, but I didn’t see the Gaga we all hear about at all. I just saw a very talented and very beautiful young lady playing a mean piano and belting out beautiful harmonies. She just wants people to love her and respect her, something that was very difficult for her in her younger years. From that moment on, I became one of her Little Monsters, but it wasn’t until Born This Way that I truly realized her potential.

That album is filled with so much heart, and so much meaning, and it’s all Stefani pouring her heart and soul into it. Her live performances are vastly superior to the outrageous overproduction of her records. Granted, her live performances are pretty outrageous, too, but you can appreciate the time, thought, energy, and effort she puts into them. She wants to put on the best show possible, and she wants to show up all those people from her past that didn’t believe in her. I can understand that. That’s not what I have trouble with. It’s time she practices what she preaches…

What took place at the VMA’s the other night just absolutely kills me. It’s absolutely embarrassing to me. That wasn’t Stefani. That was a monster, and the wrong kind of monster. I hate to say it, but I feel sorry for Britney having to experience that. Sure, as we all know, Miz Spears has come a long way recently, and damn, she actually looked really, really good at the Awards ceremony. I don’t care about these Awards very much at all, really, but seriously, we Little Monsters want to see GAGA, not drag king Jo! I mean, I can forgive her absolutely monstrous need to show up and try to kiss Britney (I can’t really blame her, honestly, as she looked quite kissable). My point is, her actions recently have made me wonder how much Stefani is really left.

Gaga can’t exist without Stefani. I’m not going to psycho-analyze her every move, but I’m really, really concerned for her. She’s become so obsessed with her characters that she seems to be forgetting who she really is. It’s no secret that as much as she may say she loves herself, it’s all “positive talk” bullshit. She’s really confused. She’s just channeling everyone else’s confusion, she may say, but she’s not. She’s really fucked. And I’m scared for her. Honestly, I really wish she’d just go back to being plain old Stefani. She can still be Lady Gaga by name. She can still do outrageous things, but she needs to stay true to herself, because really, that’s what her true fans want. They want to see their beautiful Mother Monster. I’m not disrespecting the drag kings and queens, not at all. My point is what she tried to do, and epically failed in doing. Katy should’ve given her a ginger ale for that epic fail…

Please Lady Gaga, save our Stefani. Yes, Stefani, you’re the one that we love. Yes, we love watching Lady Gaga, but we love you more, because without Stefani Germanotta, there is no Lady Gaga.

God bless you, Mother Monster. Be yourself. You were born this way.