Well, Britney Spears’ latest opus Britney Jean hits retailers today, and the critics — much like the fans — are split about the album. Is it great? Is it terrible? Is it both? (Probably.)
In my review, I showed the pop princess some tough love, writing: “It’s the first time in fifteen years that Spears has ever released something truly lackluster. Accordingly, listening to it is kind of a bummer.” By and large, the critics tended to agree that Spears missed the mark on this release, with most commenting upon the initial promise that this would be her most “personal” yet and whether those expectations were met.
Head below to read what the reviewers had to say. More »
Spotify is cagey with streaming numbers and statistics regarding the habits of their 24 million listeners, but each year the service releases a capsule review of their users’ habits from the past 12 months. In 2013, 4.5 billion hours of music were streamed through the service, and in the US, those streams were dominated by newcomers Imagine Dragons and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. The two acts were responsible for Spotify’s three most-streamed tracks (“Radioactive,” “Thrift Shop” and “Can’t Hold Us,” respectively) and two most-streamed albums of the year (Night Visions and The Heist, in that order) in America. Quite frankly, the Imagine Dragons performance stunned us. Obviously, everyone was listening to/watching Macklemore all year. But where are all these ID listeners coming from?!
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were the most-streamed act worldwide (stateside, Drake was tops), and Rihanna was the globe’s most popular female artist. Despite coming in second in the US, “Thrift Shop” is the most streamed song of the last five years. Daft Punk, Robin Thicke, Jay Z, Justin Timberlake, The Lumineers, Bruno Mars and Lana Del Rey also had a strong year domestically.
Head below for the top 10 tracks, albums and artists in the US on Spotify this year. More »
Earlier this year, Drake revealed that he’d dropped out of a planned album of posthumous Aaliyah music. But he indicated there were unheard tracks with him on them, though it’s unclear when, if ever, they’ll be released. Today, though, Drizzy posted an Instagram video which seems to feature snippets of one of those songs.
Unfortunately, the clip comprises disjointed chunks, rather than a continuous 15-second take, but here’s what we can tell from the video: the song is slow and empty, like pretty much every Drake/Shebib arrangement, vocals that appear to be Aaliyah’s are featured heavily, Drake sings as well (which, of course, doesn’t rule out the possibility that he also raps on it) and Drake is fueled by Cheez-Its.
Check it out below. More »
John Mayer and Katy Perry did what many couples do during the holiday season: they invited a professional photographer into their home and posed for pictures in their comfiest sweaters. But other couples don’t get their cheesy romantic evidence featured in Vanity Fair, like Mayer and Perry did. Mario Sorrenti snapped this series of black-and-white pics for the couple, and in addition to being featured in a magazine spread, one is used in the single artwork for their duet “Who You Love,” off Mayer’s Paradise Valley.
Click through the gallery to see the rest of the shots from the couple’s cozy session. More »
Lady Gaga has been hyping up her forthcoming artRave tour in support of ARTPOP, and today (December 3) she announced the tour’s official name and dates. Next spring, she’ll head out for artRave: The ARTPOP Ball Tour. It’s a 25-date North American trek, starting May 4 in Ft. Lauderdale about a month after her string of five shows closing out New York City’s Roseland Ballroom.
The artRave will work its way up north and into Canada, hitting major spots like Madison Square Garden, D.C.’s Verizon Center and the United Center in Chicago along the way, and Mother Monster will finish things up on July 21 in Los Angeles. Head below to see the full list of dates. (The ticketing and pre-sale information is a bit convoluted, so go to LittleMonsters.com for specifics.) More »
All the telltale signs have emerged that the end (of The Voice) is near. One coach is purely a figurehead in a red chair (still love you, Cee Lo). Christina Aguilera is pulling out her fiercest ensembles. Adam Levine and Blake Shelton are going full force to woo votes with dapper suits and redneck charm, respectively. When it comes to the contestants, only one will be eliminated this week, and each must perform multiple songs per episode.
Yes, the end is near. In hopes of making it one step closer to that end, the contestants each performed two songs on Monday night: one song of their choosing dedicated to a special someone, and one song picked by their coach. You be the judge of who made the best song choices, who had the best performances and, of course, who’s dedications were thinly veiled manipulations to win more votes. More »
Did You Hear?
:: Rita Ora will make her acting debut in the much-anticipated movie adaptation of Fifty Shades Of Grey. She will play Mia, Christian Grey’s sister-in-law. No word yet if she keeps her clothes on or not. [Vulture]
:: Speaking of singers turned actors, Usher has dropped 30 pounds to play Sugar Ray Leonard in an upcoming biopic. He takes ripped to the next level. [Necole Bitchie]
:: Kanye West‘s marriage proposal to Kim Kardashian will appear in a future episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Prepare to relive the most romantic moment in reality TV history again and again. [Hot New Hip Hop]
:: In less exciting Kim Kardashian news, the TV personality is no longer the most searched for celebrity on Bing. That honor now goes to Beyonce. [Digital Spy]
After the jump, find out what music you can catch on TV today. More »
Justin Bieber spends the majority of his sexy “All That Matters” video — a languid break-up anthem allegedly written about Selena Gomez — cavorting with a 19-year-old supermodel called Cailin Russo. If the Canadian superstar was hoping to patch things up with his ex, he didn’t do a very good job.
So what can you expect from Justin’s latest #MusicMondays video? Well, the frequently shirtless singer makes out with his genetically blessed companion. That’s about it. The Colin Tilly-directed visual focuses more atmosphere — cleverly using shadow and colored light to convey the couple’s burning desire. Watch up top. More »
Carrie Underwood is typically adorable on the cover of Country Weekly. Wearing a sleeveless pink top, the country queen exudes wholesomeness — which is appropriate given her role as ultimate good girl Maria in a live remake of The Sound Of Music. (To be aired December 5).
In the accompanying interview, Carrie talks about why the iconic musical is important to her — it was her mom’s favorite movie and she loves the songs — and what viewers can expect from the extravaganza. There’s also a pic of the American Idol winner on set in costume. Check it out after the jump. More »