ArjanWrites.com reader Will W. had a chance to preview Kelly Clarkson's much-anticipated new album "All I Ever Wanted" and wrote up a glowing review. Read it after the jump. (Thanks for sharing, Will!)
Pop singer extraordinare Will W is contributing to ArjanWrites.com this week while I'm away on vacay. Will reviewed Christina Aquilera's brand-new album that is available now. Check out what clever things he had to say about this new disc:
Goodness. Has it already been ten years since Christina Aguilera came
onto the music scene? Apparently so, as "Keeps Gettin' Better (A
Decade of Hits)" would suggest. Aguilera and Co. arguably are
picking the poinsettias prematurely for the impending holiday album
sales rush, as one might think it a little too soon to reflect on such
a short, albeit lucrative career. "Keeps Gettin' Better" neatly presents Aguilera's rise as one of her
generation's finest vocalists in a 16-track chronology documenting her
struggle to break free of the manufactured popstar mold to an artist
who is now insistent in having control over who she collaborates with.
Essentials like "Genie in a Bottle", "Dirrty" and a Grammy-winning
three-peat of "Lady Marmalade", "Beautiful" and "Ain't No Other Man"
highlight the disc. True "Xtina" connoisseurs who own her three
English studio album discography might glance over this compilation's
tracklisting and find little incentive to purchase it.
clarified however, is that the disc actually includes radio mixes of
early hits "What a Girl Wants", "Come On Over Baby" and "I Turn To You"
which are not present on the initial pressing of Aguilera's
eponymously-titled debut album "Christina Aguilera."
ArjanWrites reader Brian B. headed to NYC's Highline Ballroom earlier this week for Lady Gaga's official CD release party. The singer was performing together with a bunch of her pals including Semi-Precious Weapons, The Ones, Fritz Helder, The Daisy Spurs, Cazwell and Amanda Leopore. "I don't know much about Lady Gaga or any of the New York-based acts that opened for her, but the night proved to be fun, sexy, raucous and surprising," Brian writes me. Read on for this report.
The Ones: Beastie Boys? Keith Haring-inspired paint smocks? Thoughts that came to mind. But they were fun.
The Daisy Spurs + DJ Bill Coleman: I don't know what to think of this group, self-described as "gogocuntrypunkmashupelectrohouse" but I loved them. So sexy. Great mix of energy, music, and fun dancing.
Cazwell featuring Amanda Lepore: Several cocktails consumed, things are getting a little fuzzy. The set featured two memorable moments. First, his hit song "I See Beyonce At Burger King," featuring an uncanny hair-teased look-alike, and a couple songs with the audacious Amanda Lepore. It was the first time I've seen her perform and not just pout about a club. She is a mainstay in this scene, and of course her clothes came off in the end.
Semi Precious Weapons: Loved these glam guys. So much fun. "Her Hair! Her Hair! Her Hair is on Fire!" Though they have a big following already, they just earned another one in me. They were my favorite surprise of the night. Plus, I developed a big, fat crush on drummer Dan Crean.
Lady Gaga: Finally, Lady Gaga took the stage to a roaring and adoring crowd. She performed five songs off her new CD including "Paparazzi," "Love Game," "Poker Face," "The Fame" and she closed with her hit, "Just Dance." I have to say, she commanded the room. In most concerts, my eyes tend to wander to the back-up dancers, but my eyes remained fixated on her. Per your recent post, is Lady Gaga the next Kylie or Roisin? Doubt it. Butshe has a good run
ahead of her and it will be fun to see her take off.
The MuchMusic Video Awards (MMVAs) were held last night at the
MuchMusic Headquarters in downtown Toronto, although set-up for
the big night have been ongoing for the past week. Performers and
guests this year include regulars on the MuchMusic programming and
videoplay rotation such as Rihanna, Melanie C. (Spice Girls), Jesse
McCartney, Akon, Hedley, Simple Plan, Girlicious, Sean Kingston, Flo
Rida and a return to the stage of New Kids on the Block - their first
performance in 15 years.
ArjanWrites.com reader Will attended the show's soundcheck and shares his story and photos:
"The soundcheck for the show was kicked-off at 10:30 AM EST with an
elaborate suspension cord-bound rapper Flo Rida descending onto the
stage, joined by Canadian pop-rockers Simple Plan mid-performance, in
what looks to be an exciting opening act. The two acts collaborated on
Flo Rida's #1 record-selling single "Low", followed by Simple Plan's
decidely R&B-rock single "When I'm Gone", which the group is
scheduled to perform also at Perez Hilton's afterparty. Between takes,
David Desrosier (bassist from Simple Plan) was seen signing autographs
for fans while ordering a cup of Taiwanese specialty, Bubble Tea, on
Special ArjanWrites.com correspondent Brian Burgess was one of the lucky few to attend a special Duffy showcase at the Maritime Hotel in New York City last night. Following on the heels of her successful gigs at SXSW in Austin last week, Duffy took her refreshing brand of soul pop to an adoring crowd in the Big Apple. Read on for Brian's full report.
Duffy, the Welsh singer-songwriter with the voice of a '60s soul diva, performed for an intimate crowd of 200 at the Maritime Hotel’s Hiro
Ballroom in New York City on Monday evening. Before I get into a few details about the show, let me just note that there was some serious diva worship going on in the venue. Lots of industry people, but handfuls of adoring gays who kept getting in trouble for taking photos and videos. It was great!
The smitten-with-New York Duffy showcased
most of the material on her debut CD, "Rockferry," currently #1 for the
second week on the U.K. albums chart. She opened her set with the album's title track that was followed by her bluesy next single, "Warwick Avenue."
Standouts in the set were the defiant "Stepping Stone" (she confided with the audience, "I fell in love once, but never told him so I wrote this song") and "Syrup
& Honey," an acoustic song that only featured the singer's vocals together with guitar work from John Greene that was totally brilliant. It beautifully exposed the intricate
nuance of her soulful voice as well as her sweet, natural charm. She finished the song with a big, dimpled smile singing, "baby, baby,
baby, spend your time on me." Then, a wink.
I thought it was interesting to see how diverse her band was too. They looked like some were rock band members, others jazz, others R&B. Interesting reflection on her style, I think.
The show closed with her current #1 U.K.
smash single four weeks running, "Mercy." After begging them
for mercy, she left the impressed audience beggin’ for more, and she
didn’t disappoint. She returned for one encore, "Distant Dreamer."
Duffy is one to watch. Her talent only outshines her beauty.
Look for Duffy’s debut album to release
in the U.S. on May 13 on New Mercury Records. In the meantime, download her smash single, "Mercy," on iTunes, which you can also stream below.
Full set list:
1. Rockferry 2. Warwick Avenue 3. I Know It's Wrong 4. Serious 5. Breaking My Own Heart [Free MP3] 6. Syrup & Honey 7. Stepping Stone 8. Delayed Devotion 9. Tomorrow 10. Mercy 11. Distant Dreamer
(A big thanks to Brian Burgess for the write up and sassy Ms. Sagert for making things happen.)