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Cher Lloyd’s ‘Sorry I’m Late’: Album Review

After issues with her label about delaying the release of her sophomore album, Cher LLoyd can finally share the appropriately titled Sorry I’m Late with the masses. The LP has technically been done for almost a year, since the original fall 2013 release was pushed to today (). However, the album is more than just a surface apology for keeping her fans waiting.

LLoyd’s debut album, Sticks + Stones, made her a pop sensation in the US. With hit singles like “Want U Back” and “Swagger Jagger,” her sugary yet sneakily edgy pop music pushed her up the charts, where the album peaked at the ninth position. But three years later, the now-20-year-old has more experience, a more refined look and even got married — and she wanted to bring some of that change into her new album. More »

Phillip Phillips’ ‘Behind The Light’: Album Review

While teen girls everywhere squealed when Phillip Phillips won the 11th season of American Idol against Jessica Sanchez, some thought he was just going to be another white guy with a guitar. With the less than stellar track record of past Idol alums who fit that description (David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze), Phillips seemed to be on his way toward that same fate. However, the then-22-year-old proved us wrong when his debut LP, The World From The Side Of The Moon, went platinum and “Home” became a smash hit, selling 278,000 units in its first week. This made him the second most successful Idol winner after Kelly Clarkson, who beat him by 2,000 copies with her single “My Life Would Suck Without You.”

And so, for the first time in quite a while, an Idol alum has a lot riding on a follow-up album. On Behind The Light, which is out today (), Phillips again teams up with producer Gregg Wattenberg, so the 12-track LP unsurprisingly sounds familiar. There’s that whole “If it ain’t broke” thing, of course, but there were hopes that this effort would take Phillips to the next level of his pop-folk singer-songwriter career, perhaps filling the void while Mumford & Sons take an extended break. More »

Bastille Cover ’90s Dance Classic “Rhythm Is A Dancer” & Join The Crowd At Sweetlife 2014

While Bastille’s fans were looking forward to hearing tracks off the band’s breakout album, Bad Blood, at the Sweetlife Festival yesterday (May 10), the London rock band pulled out live favorite “Of The Night,” a mashup that brings us back to the ’90s. Taking on “Rhythm Is A Dancer” by German electro group Snap! and Corona‘s “The Rhythm Of The Night,”  the songs took on a different life when the Englishmen brought a rougher and harder edge to the track, utilizing slowed vocals on the chorus that made it feel as though Grace Jones just joined the performance.

But that wasn’t the only thing that Bastille had up their sleeves: singer Dan Smith decided to take a stroll around the Merriweather Post Pavilion during “Flaws,” which caused the shrieks to rise but also caused a bit of a chaotic chase as security made sure to keep a moving barrier going as the singer made his way through the venue.

The Brits also performed “These Streets,” “The Silence,” “Things We Lost in the Fire” and “The Draw” — a track that Smith says is one of the band’s “most depressing songs.” Of course, the band couldn’t end their show without turning things back up with “Pompeii,” a perfect ending to a high-energy set. More »

Foster The People Close Sweetlife Festival 2014 With Downpour

Forecasts predicted rain to hit the Sweetlife Festival on Saturday (May 10), but things were quite favorable throughout the day with a short sprinkle here and there. That is, until Foster The People hit the stage. As Mark Foster and his crew dove into the second chorus of their current single, “Coming of Age,” the storm finally came, soaking just about every festival-goer who was posted up on the green. But instead of putting a downer on the set, the showers actually sent a surge of electricity from the back of the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, to the the band onstage.

“Shout out to the people in the rain,” front man Mark Foster said. “I see you guys out there. You’re giving me good energy over here.” The band played hits from their 2011 debut album, Torches, like “Call It What You Want,” “Don’t Stop,” “Helena Beat” and, of course, “Pumped Up Kicks.”

Check out our photos from the wet set up top. More »

Lana Del Rey Plays It Cool & Takes Selfies With Fans At Sweetlife Festival 2014

With the hype around her upcoming album, Ultraviolence, Lana Del Rey was one of the acts that everyone wanted to see at the Sweetlife Festival on Saturday (May 10). The energy in the Merriweather Post Pavilion was thick with anticipation, and many, including this writer, wondered what she had up her sleeve with the “West Coast” era underway. And as she walked onstage wearing a sweatshirt and daisy dukes, the venue erupted with screams that could rival the decibel level of a One Direction concert. Clearly these people worshipped her.

And while LDR  managed to keep her signature stoic presence as she performed hits like “Summertime Sadness,” “Cola” and “Video Games,” things took a different turn when she decided to hop off the stage and start taking selfies with fans. While this was a sweet gesture, there was an eerie silence with bursts of screams throughout this long pause during her performance. After what felt like 10 minutes (but was probably only a couple), she got back on the mic to sing her latest single, “West Coast.” More »

Jessica Sanchez Talks New Sia Collaboration, Jennifer Hudson Performs At Pinoy Benefit: Exclusive

Jennifer Hudson, A Great Big World, Charice and Jessica Sanchez were just some of the stars who sang their hearts out at the Pinoy Relief Benefit on Tuesday night (March 11). With New York’s Theater at Madison Square Garden as their stage, these artists, along with Penatonix and Plain White T’s, performed past hits as well as a few new songs to raise money for the Pinoy Relief, an initiative helping the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

A Great Big World kicked off the show with their hit “Say Something” (sans Christina Aguilera) and paid homage to New York with their ballad, “Already Home.” Meanwhile, Jessica Sanchez, who’s been working on her follow-up to 2013′s Me, You & the Music, opted for covers. Although she’s still in the early stages of album-making process, Sanchez revealed that she’s been steadily working on writing her songs for her sophomore LP.

“I never really wrote in my life,” she tells Idolator. “But I’m really just trying to put my whole self in this album and be completely from me and just share my story. But we’re working really hard and making sure that this is to the T — perfect.” More »

Cher Lloyd Reveals New Album Executive Produced By Shellback, Will Be Less Glittery: Idolator Interview

When British breakout Cher Lloyd brought her music to our American soil, we quickly fell for the X Factor UK alum. Songs like “Swagger Jagger” and “With Ur Love” hit airwaves in 2012, helping her debut album, Sticks and Stones, peak at number nine on the Billboard Hot 200. Although the album has only been out in the US since October, the material has been floating around her motherland since 2011, which is why she’s eager to get some new material out. Lloyd told us she’s still unsure about when that’ll happen, but is hoping people will hear new music by the fall.

“I am trying to make these lovely people wearing suits bring it out quicker just because I owe it to the fans,” she said. “They have been waiting very patiently, and I feel I’ve worked really, really hard on this one — not that I didn’t work hard on the last one, but I’ve been a lot more involved. Hopefully I’m looking at September. So that’s pretty soon.”

While the details around the release date are still in the works, Lloyd was adamant about the fact that we’ll be seeing a different side of her, thanks to the well-known Swedish producers she has enlisted and the British sounds she’s tapping into. More »

Taylor Hanson Talks ‘Anthem’ & 20 Years Of Hanson: The Idolator Interview

With a career that spans 20 years and the youngest member only turning 28 this year, Hanson literally grew up in the music business. But despite having eight (!) studio albums (including a Christmas LP) under their belts, Isaac, Taylor and Zac ran into a bit of an issue when it came to writing their upcoming album Anthem (out June 18).

“We started it but really hit a snag for the first time in 20 years,” keyboardist and singer Taylor Hanson told Idolator. “The stress level among the three of us with touring and the non-stop work and everything – we kind of hit a wall. And we took a lot of the summer last year away from writing, not working on it, and just said, ‘Hey, take a deep breath,’ and asked ourselves what we wanted this record to be.” He continued, “So when we came back together to specifically focus on writing, that energy, that more guitar-driven epic attitude and intensity and the force of this album was apparent. A theme on a record is something you can only partly instigate. You can’t predict what the inspiration is going to be, and that attitude is what helped with Anthem and evaluating and re-evaluating what our band is and what we need to say on this record.”

Despite the obstacles the guys had to face with this album, it’s “an upbeat record but one with a lot of punch to it.” So much punch that one track has become an Oklahoma City Thunder anthem. Idolator had a chance to chat with Taylor about all of that, as well as his love for Instagram and advice he’d give his younger self. Head below for the Q&A. More »

Jessica Sanchez’s ‘Me, You & The Music’: Album Review

It’s been about a year since we saw Jessica Sanchez light up the stage (and subsequently get robbed) on season 11 of American Idol. After a full slate of post-season tour dates, performances at the NBA Finals and the DNC and a Glee guest spot, Sanchez has finally finished up her debut album, Me, You & the Music. Out today (), the 11-track effort not only highlights her undeniable vocal talent, but also showcases how much she has grown musically since her stint on Idol. More »

OneRepublic’s ‘Native’: Album Review

After writing for and producing other artists, Ryan Tedder jumped back in the studio with the rest of OneRepublic to record the Colorado band’s latest album, Native (out today, . It’s been four years since their third LP, Waking Up, and OneRepublic clearly sound like they wanted to go large this time around. Influenced by their experiences over the past few years, the band aimed at creating an album that will not only appeal to American fans, but also to people across the globe. The results: 12 tracks record full of big sounds and lyrics that run in a more thoughtful lane than previous efforts from Tedder & Co. More »

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