Expect Debby Ryan to be a name you’ll hear a lot more of in 2014 — the Disney superstar-turned-singer-songwriter is prepping her debut album with her band debby | the never ending — but she’s offered an advance tease at their sound together with their cover of the Yuletide standard “Santa Baby.” It’s not your usual cover, though — Ryan and company have injected this rendition with some unexpected country-rock grit, all twanging guitars and puttering drums. Her voice is nice and smooth, fitting over the production lseamlessly.
The video, too, is a lively affair, with Ryan all wrapped up in fur (an early Christmas gift, perhaps) having a casual jam session with her band. More »
Britney Spears has unveiled the video for her latest single, “Perfume,” and it’s a marked improvement over that abysmal lyric video: Not only does she look great, but as promised, she busts out her most serious acting chops since Crossroads (yep, I said it) in the video, which sees Spears playing the role of the paranoid girlfriend whose insecurity drives her a little nuts. (Not that nuts — really, all she does is work her angles and spritz on perfume, but that’s more than enough.) Or is Spears the other woman, and that non-Britney brunette is the girlfriend? It’s hard to tell. She’s on some kind of Mulholland Drive journey here, that’s all.
The Joseph Kahn-directed clip might have had a few hiccups production-wise — the director sounded off on Twitter about how his preferred cut of the video didn’t make it past the people in charge, and in fairness, it does feel oddly anticlimactic, a whole lot of tension without any payoff — but nonetheless, it shows that while Britney Jean may have underperformed both critically and commercially, the queen of pop’s still got somethin’ special. All those glamorous shots of Spears are great, but it’s the surprisingly emotive performance that nicely matches her full-bodied vocal delivery on the song. More »
Well! It’s certainly a very merry Christmas in Leona Lewis‘ world, as the songstress stopped by The X Factor UK on Sunday night to perform her holiday single “One More Sleep” and the results were, well, bizarre. The huge Diana Ross curls! The dancing Christmas trees wearing disco ball helmets! The oversize presents! Call the show The Camp Factor, because that’s all this is, folks. Just absurdly campy nonsense, with Leona Lewis wailing spectacularly. (She does have just the best voice.) Merry Christmas and all that.
In all seriousness, she does sound sensational — and this is one of the most eminently watchable TV performances I’ve seen in a long minute — and hey, Christmas, With Love is super good, so there you have it. More »
After teasing us with last December’s ’90s house-leaning Jessie Ware pair-up “Aaliyah” (which, it turns out, I posted on this site exactly one year ago today — crazy), the equally retro “What Love Is Made Of,” the similarly 1991-esque “5AM” and moody synth ballad “Crying For No Reason,” solid details on Katy B‘s sophomore LP have finally made their way online. The 24-year-old Londoner’s sophomore LP is scheduled to finally see the light of day on February 3, 2004, nearly three years after her debut On A Mission arrived. More »
After landing a couple high profile cameos on Big Boi‘s Vicious Lies And Dangerous Rumors last year, Phantogram quietly released a self-titled EP this fall. Today (December 10) we learn that the small bundle was a preview of their next album, Voices, with all four of those songs appearing on Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel’s 11-track sophomore set, which drops February 18.
Along with the news, the synth duo premiered album cut “Fall In Love,” which features samples of lush strings chopped into squeals and a buzzing bass line on the other end, with Barthel’s airy vocals floating in between. Phantogram have always had a slight hip-hop sensibility in their arrangements, and they continue down that path here.
Hear “Fall In Love” below and check out the tracklist (which includes a song called “Bill Murray”). More »
Jay Z‘s Magna Carta World Tour landed in Los Angeles Monday (December 9), and to close out his Staples Center show, Hov dedicated “Young Forever” to Nelson Mandela, who passed away last week and whose massive memorial took place today in South Africa.
“We want to dedicate this song to Nelson Mandela. A great man,” Jay told the crowd. “Spent 27 years in prison, came out to be President. All dreams are possible… So anybody out there that got a dream, y’all chase that motherfucker down as hard as you can. Let that great man stand as an example of what you can do.”
Watch the tribute below. More »