Archive for the ‘Lists’ Category

‘The Voice’: 10 Life Lessons We All Learned From Season 4

Such Wise Sages
Since Danielle Bradbery was announced as The Voice champ on Tuesday, we’ve taken the appropriate time to mourn for the other contestants, store our Team Michelle Chamuel glasses until her world tour and write no less than 10 unanswered letters to Xtina confirming that she will, indeed, be returning next season (because if this is all some cruel joke…).

We’ve also had a moment to reflect upon the countless lessons that can be gleaned from Season 4.

Did we say countless? We totally meant countable (10), and countdown-able.

Before Shakira and Usher abdicate their red chairs officially, take a look back on the season and — just like the eager contestants — learn and grow from the infinite wisdom of the coaches, contestants and voters alike. More »

Kanye West’s 7 Best Collaborations: Relive Yeezus’ Best Moments Assisting Rihanna, T.I. & More

Yeezy, Getting By With A Little Help From His Friends
When accessorizing, it’s typically en vogue to pair a decent outfit with an extremely expensive accessory. That’s the same function of having Kanye West as a feature on a track. Yeezy adds the necessary something needed to upgrade any hit single. The Chicago-bred rapping-producing-ranting wunderkind spent his early days playing the assist for none other than his now-peer Jay-Z. While that could have arguably been Kanye’s collaborative ceiling, he has since gone on to work with some of rap’s heavyweights while forging a career of his own. Of course Kanye’s musical trajectory isn’t without a little randomness.

Collaborations-wise, Yeezy tends to pick and choose who to work with based on a vibe, not a status. Remember his track “I Still Love H.E.R.” with Asian rap outfit Teriyaki Boyz? Sometimes the tracks he jumps on raise several eyebrows; other times they’re expected — especially when a verse by the Yeezus MC can take a song to the next level. Here are seven of Kanye West’s best collaborative moments. From the super well-known to the hyper-underground, Kanye West knows how to show up for an occasion. Check out hip-hop’s favorite accessory below. More »

Father’s Day Playlist: 10 Songs That Offer Dad-Like Advice

Walk Like A Man And Turn Up The Dial, Sonny!
It’s that time of year again, Idolofans: time to celebrate fathers! Well, not just fathers, but grandfathers, male guardians, or any man who played a part in raising us. And when one thinks of Father’s Day (it’s June 16th this year — you’ve still got time to buy a card), don’t a good number of pop songs pop into your head? Of course they do. But if they don’t, don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. You didn’t think we’d let a holiday go by without commemorating it in song, did you?

As is our usual wont, we’ve spent hours combing through various research materials (YouTube) for pop hits that reflect fatherhood and the unique brand of wisdom that can only come from a man who finds interesting things to do in a garage for an entire weekend. Or maybe yours likes crosswords? Fathers are a species all their own, aren’t they?

So in the spirit of celebrating the paternal bond, we present 10 classic songs in which male vocalists (father figures, if you will) dole out helpful advice, words of encouragement or just plain old common sense to the young people in their lives. Play it for your dad and see what kind of witty gems he comes up with. If it’s something along the lines of “turn up that fabulous playlist, child!” then our work here is done. More »

Kanye West: 5 Highly Artistic Videos From Yeezus Christ Himself

It's Kanye! But Is It Art?
Sometimes his videos start a party; other times they cause seizures. Kanye West, hip hop’s resident art nerd, has crafted a sizable niche for himself based upon always pushing the artistic envelope in both his music and the visuals attached to it.

From his first video, 2003′s “Through The Wire,” West kept things high in art. He was in a near-fatal car accident a year prior (2002), forcing him to have his mouth wired shut. He documented that entire experience, filming it every step of the way. He then wrote and recorded “Through the Wire,” and by the time the clip was released, he had a video full of animated Polaroids detailing everything that happened.

Ten years later, Kanye is shutting down whole cities across the globe with residents gathering to watch his video “New Slaves” projected on the sides of buildings. It’s that level of artistry (and way of wild thinking) that has allowed Kanye West to continuously be regarded as one of rap’s forward thinkers.

Arguably, all of ‘Ye’s videos are artistic. From the minute-and-a-half video for “Power” directed by visual artist Marco Brambilla to the string of vids directed by Hype Williams, there is always something to take away from a Kanye West video. Some he even directs himself, and with multiple versions (i.e. “Jesus Walks,” “Heard Em Say,” “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” etc.). With West’s sixth studio album Yeezus dropping just around the corner, there will more than likely be several new videos to add to Ye’s visual arsenal. So let’s take a look back in time at five of Kanye West’s most artistic visuals. From metaphorical clips to straight up cartoons, Yeezy always has something up his sleeve. Check out the selections below.

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Behind The Candelabra: 15 Great Piano-Driven Pop Songs

From Bowie To Britney, These Songs Hit All The Right Notes
HBO’s Behind the Candelabra, Steven Soderbergh’s highly anticipated biopic on Liberace, debuted this past weekend to much critical fanfare, with many critics praising Soderbergh for approaching his subject with a modicum of humanity (as opposed to mean-spirited camp). Although Liberace never openly pined to be taken seriously, we think he’d appreciate the film’s attempt to go behind the caricature and laud him for his ivory-tickling talents. Not to mention his other talents, demonstrated mostly on lover Scott Thorson, played by Matt Damon.

In the spirit of reviving all things Lee, we’ve compiled this playlist of piano-packing pop stars, all of whom — whether they want to admit it in their cool little hearts or not — owe a debt of gratitude to the first man to make pianos hip since Tchaikovsky. Well, may “hip” isn’t the right word for the rhinestone encrusted, old-lady-arousing Lee…. perhaps we should say, Leee-gorgeous! More »

Random Access Memories: Your Ultimate Memorial Day 2013 Playlist

Memorial Day is sort of about remembrance, but mostly about getting an extra day of avoiding work or school which you probably won’t remember. And since this year it falls so close to the release of Daft Punk‘s Random Access Memories, we decided to throw together a Memorial Day 2013 playlist comprising some of our favorite memory-themed songs.

There’s something for everyone here: 80s classics, past legends like Michael Jackson and David Bowie, current legends like Jay-Z and Madonna, pop queens like Demi Lovato and Adele. So fire up the grill (can we finally say warm weather is here to stay?) and fire up the below 25-track playlist to cap off your three-day weekend. More »

Daft Punk & 7 Other Great French House Acts: From Dmitri From Paris To Justice

Vive La Dance!
With all the fanfare surrounding their comeback smash “Get Lucky” and this week’s release of Random Access Memories, it’s easy to forget that French house ambassadors Daft Punk have been around for nearly two decades. Thanks to a sound that’s always been ahead of the curve (and robot helmets to mask any wrinkles), the duo of Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter seem positively ageless more than 15 years after they first wowed us with their debut, Homework. That they’re still managing to surprise and influence the international pop scene is a testament to their distinctive retro-futuristic groove!

That groove, however, wasn’t created by Daft Punk alone. French House (or French Touch, as the sexy call it) has its roots in the clubs of Paris, where DJs and dance music disciples found inspiration in old Europop and space-disco records and mashed them up with state-of-the-art beats. Basically, when it came to making booties bounce along the Champs Elysee, Daft Punk didn’t act alone! So get your Gallic groove on and pay tribute to the forebears of French Funk with our terribly chic playlist below. Tout le monde danse maintenant! More »

Daft Punk: The 5 Best Rap & R&B Songs That Sample The “Get Lucky” Duo

These Artists Show The Duo Some Digital Love
As the release date for Daft Punk’s highly anticipated new album Random Access Memories draws nearer, we’re reminded of all those rappers who’ve borrowed the French electro duo’s sounds in the past. (Ten bucks says is currently trying to figure out how to make his own version of “Get Lucky” titled “#GetPower”). Some have been more successful uses of their samples than others, but one thing’s for sure: Hip-hop loves Daft Punk. Everyone from Kanye West to Janet Jackson has aped their beats and verses, and we’ve narrowed it down to the top five.

Earlier this week we gave you a roundup of Thomas and Guy-Manuel‘s most groundbreaking videos. Now head below to hear Daft Punk reinterpreted. More »

Daft Punk: 5 Groundbreaking Music Videos From The “Get Lucky” Duo

Revisit These Visuals One! More! Time!
Harder, better, faster, stronger — and arguably more popular than ever before —Daft Punk, electronica’s most innovative duo and France’s funkiest androids, are reaching new heights with their comeback single, the slinky slice of funk known as “Get Lucky.” In only its second week on the chart, the Pharrell-featuring thumper is sitting inside the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100, their first ever song to do so. The pair’s forthcoming album, Random Access Memories (out May 21), promises a new sound and a slew of iconic collaborators such as Giorgio Moroder and Nile Rodgers, but we’re surprised that the set’s first hit has yet to be accompanied by an official music video.

For anyone with a passing knowledge of their body of work, a Daft Punk single without an eye-popping, out-of-this-world promo clip is kind of like a Beyonce campaign without a wig…a Justin Bieber tour without a tantrum…a Madonna video without a shirtless male dancer. It just isn’t done!

While the world waits with baited breath to see if an official video will surface in the coming weeks (a teaser played a few weeks ago at Coachella and was glimpsed on SNL), we’re taking a look back at the brilliant clips Daft Punk have given us over the years: five colorful, funny, rhythmic and thought-provoking short films that took the concept of the music video to a whole new level. Smart collaborations with directors Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry and more have shown over the years that Daft Punk aren’t just musical iconoclasts, they’re visual vanguards as well.

So strap on your helmet and blast through our run-down below, and let us know in the comments which Daft Punk videos you think should also be on our list! More »

April Fool’s Day Playlist: 10 Songs To Trick Your Monday Out With

These jams are no joke
Keep an eye on those leftover Easter eggs, folks: April Fool’s Day is upon us! April 1 may not be a recognized holiday, but the world has been honoring it for centuries with all manner of jokes, pranks and hoaxes. (Perhaps this explains Eurovision?) From reversed restroom signs, foil-covered computers or, heaven forbid, plastic-wrapped toilet seats, the irreverent celebration of foolishness is nigh and no one knows what to expect… only to expect the worst!

We can’t prepare you for the onslaught of silliness your friends and family may have planned for you, but these 10 music selections may help pass the day while you’re waiting for the inevitable surprises. Who knows — they may even provide comfort when the whoopee cushion hits the fan! More »