Chris Brown’s ‘X’: Album Review

chris-brown-xI swear to God I’m moving on,” Chris Brown sings in the title track of his sixth album X (out today, September 16). He has insisted as much since he announced X early last year. Brown’s voice floats above a funky bass line and romantic strings on the LP’s first single “Fine China,” bringing to mind Michael Jackson in the early, more innocent days of his solo career. It’s his best impression of the King of Pop yet. However, the hook – “It’s alright, I’m not dangerous” – feels like a somewhat calculated answer to the questions Brown is still facing regarding the 2009 Rihanna incident: What has he learned since then? How does he intend to change? How will he deal with critics?

Brown has released three lackluster albums since that time (Graffiti, F.A.M.E. and Fortune), where he doubled down on both garish Eurohouse beats and his aggression during their most petulant moments. X‘s enduring hit, the Ty Dolla $ign-written “Loyal” is a more finessed example of how the singer’s outlook on women would become horribly retrograde. (Lil Wayne and Tyga join him in flashing money to steal girls from other men, only they all sound offended once they’re the ones left behind.) Despite what “Loyal” hinted, though, X is actually an uneven, though still welcome attempt showing that the troubled Brown wants to change.
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Iggy Azalea And Nick Young Celebrated Their First Anniversary At Target: Morning Mix


:: Iggy Azalea celebrated her first anniversary with basketball player boyfriend Nick Young by shopping at Target. The couple famously went there on their first date. Congratulations! [Instagram]

:: I’m not sure how impressive this is given that it downloaded to your phone whether you wanted it to or not but Apple is bragging U2‘s free Songs Of Innocence LP was accessed by 33 million users. They didn’t say how many people realize they own it. [Billboard]

:: Nick Jonas convinced his girlfriend Olivia Culpo to strip down to her lingerie for his upcoming “Jealous” video. She plays a scantily-clad cellist. The things we do for love. [MTV]

:: It’s time to let this song rest in peace before everyone starts to hate it. Lea Michele revealed that much-performed Frozen ballad “Let It Go” will be interpreted on the new season of Glee. Yay? [Pink Is The New Blog]

Find out below what music you can catch on TV today. More »

Usher Conquers The ‘American Ninja Warrior’ Obstacle Course In ‘The Ellen Show’ Parking Lot: Watch


You could grate cheese on Usher‘s six-pack, so it’s not exactly surprising to discover that he’s the fittest man in popular music. The R&B superstar demonstrated his superior athletic ability on today’s (September 15) episode of The Ellen Show by taking on (and conquering) the demanding American Ninja Warrior obstacle course in the studio’s parking lot.

The 35-year-old, who is currently promoting his upcoming The UR Experience tour, demolished the course like a veteran Navy Seal — jumping over objects, climbing walls and hanging off railings like a professional. Usher is still putting the finishing touches on his eighth studio album, which still has no official release date. See the crooner’s athletic side after the jump. More »

Nicki Minaj Plays August Alsina’s Pressed Girlfriend In Their Cheesy “No Love (Remix)” Video: Watch


From Usher‘s “She Came To Give It To You” to Beyonce‘s (officially) unreleased “***Flawless” remix, Nicki Minaj is everywhere right now. When you throw top 10 hits “Anaconda” and girl-power collaboration “Bang Bang” into the mix, it’s a pretty safe to assume that the 31-year-old never sleeps or is a cyborg sent from the future to improve the state of urban radio.

The extremely-busy rap diva’s latest high-profile feature is on August Alsina‘s “No Love (Remix)”. She lends him a verse and appears in the cheesy video as his girlfriend. Nicki discovers that her man is playing around but soon puts him in his place while rocking a suitably seductive outfit. The crooner eventually comes to his senses and pays her the attention she deserves. Watch the cliche-packed visual after the jump. More »

Tinashe Teases Debut LP ‘Aquarius’ With “Feels Like Vegas”: Listen To The Slinky Bedroom Anthem


Tinashe is yet to put a foot wrong with debut LP Aquarius (due October 7). The rising R&B diva scored a well-deserved commercial breakthrough stoner anthem “2 On” earlier this year before channeling Janet Jackson on sublime slow jam “Pretend”. She continues to impress with “Feels Like Vegas” — a sexy bedroom romp that never feels sleazy or forced.

Produced by Norwegian duo Stargate (who are currently experiencing something of a revival thanks to Iggy Azalea‘s “Black Widow”), the slinky gem stays true to the 21-year-old’s signature brand of languid R&B. “Flashing lights, I let you love me because I can tell that you want me,” she purrs over lush synths. “Just you and I. Feels like Vegas don’t it?” Listen after the jump. More »

Katy Perry’s “This Is How We Do” Gets Remixed By RAC: Listen To His Spooky Overhaul


Katy Perry has gone above and beyond when it comes to “This Is How We Do” remixes. The chart-conquering diva first served up a mind-stretching overhaul featuring side-piece RiFF RAFF before unleashing a twisted trap version courtesy of Brillz. They were both great in their own weird and wonderful way but it looks like she saved the best for last.

The Harper’s Bazaar cover girl turns to RAC for the latest “This Is How We Do” remix and the Portuguese-born/Portland-based DJ transforms it into a spooky synth-adventure that mixes tinny hip-hop beats with his trademark retro-synths. The sparse, fuzzy soundscape is exciting new territory for Katy’s voice and somehow suits the upbeat pop song perfectly. Listen after the jump. More »

The Boobs Are Back! Nicki Minaj Sexes Up Instagram (Again) With Raunchy Paris Party Pics


Its been a big weekend for Nicki Minaj. The “Anaconda” diva dropped by Beyonce and Jay Z‘s On The Run tour stop in Paris to perform “***Flawless” and is also rumored to have filmed the song’s much-anticipated visual while she was in town. (The 31-year-old definitely filmed a video for something). It only makes sense that the busy femcee would want to let off some steam by hitting up a couple of fashion shows and after-parties.

We all know that Nicki is no shrinking violet, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that she rocked an outfit that (really) highlighted her famous curves to Alexander Wang‘s party and then shared the raunchiest snaps on Instagram. The rap heavyweight merrily exposed her boobs to partygoers and looked like she was having a great old time. See more pics of her Paris party antics after the jump. More »

Robin Thicke Admits Fake “Blurred Lines” Songwriting Credit & Drug Problem In Outrageous Court Deposition


Robin Thicke needs to hire a PR team to rehabilitate his image stat. If the commercial and critical failure of misguided (and frankly creepy) Paula LP wasn’t bad enough, the crooner reveals he lied to media outlets about co-writing “Blurred Lines”  in court documents which have just been made public. He also admits to an ongoing battle with drug and alcohol abuse.

The revelations were made during the course of legal proceedings Marvin Gaye‘s children brought against Robin and producer Pharrell Williams for copyright infringement. In short, they claim that “Blurred Lines” rips off their father’s 1977 classic R&B hit  “Got To Give It Up”. As such, the famous duo were deposed to establish the creative process behind the song.

This is where it gets really nuts. The 37-year-old says he played no part in penning the 2013 summer smash despite having a songwriting credit. “I wanted to be more involved than I actually was by the time, nine months later, it became a huge hit… so I started kind of convincing myself that I was a little more part of it than I was.” He finally comes clean and admits: “The reality is, is that Pharrell had the beat and he wrote almost every single part of the song.” That statement is in stark contrast to the process he described in detail to several media outlets. His explanation for lying? Drug and alcohol abuse. More »

Erasure’s ‘The Violet Flame’: Stream The Full Album


Erasure is back at it once again.

Following the release of last year’s holiday-themed Snow Globe, the prolific electronic duo has returned this year with their sixteenth (!) studio album The Violet Flame due out on September 22, helmed by British hit-maker, Richard X.

After we premiered the tracklisting and vibrant cover art for the upcoming LP right here on Idolator, the troupe debuted the album’s surging lead single “Elevation,” an uplifting slice of majestic synth-pop.

And, as with “Elevation,” you can expectedly equally bright and flashy things across the entirety of the record: “This time, because we wrote on the synths, Vince came up with some dance riffs. I just sang along with those, so it was much more immediate. We also did the writing in Miami rather than New York, so it was much warmer,” Andy Bell tells USA Today where the album can be exclusively streamed in full.

Listen to the stream at USA Today, and check out the full tracklisting after the jump. More »

Ariana Grande Covers ‘Marie Claire’, Talks Writing Overly Sexual Song “Higher” At Age 14

Ariana Grande Marie Claire magazine cover October 2014

Last year, Ariana Grande launched her pop-R&B sound with her Mac Miller pair-up “The Way,” which wound up becoming the first of what would become her string of  several catchy Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. The onetime Nickelodeon star was 20 at the time, but as she reveals in the October issue of Marie Claire, she was personally ready to cut an album of R&B tracks — ones, it seems, with a mature slant — years prior to that. More »