Lady Gaga has found her spiritual homeland in Japan. Mother Monster dropped by Japanese TV show SMAP X SMAP and delivered incredible live renditions of “Venus” and “Applause” on a stage that has to be seen to be believed. Elaborate isn’t a strong enough adjective to describe this amazing set-up.
The “Do What U Want” diva begins the performance in a colorful kimono before stripped down to a sequined bodice. She belts out “Venus” perfectly while dancing, whipping her wig and zip-lining above the studio. Oh and the overachieving pop icon even plays guitar and invites a Japanese boy band to sing with her.
After a quick wig and outfit change, Gaga returned for a typically high energy version of “Applause”. Watching the 27-year-old perform in such a wacky environment was like seeing a zoo animal in their natural habitat. It somehow made the songs seem less theatrical and much more relatable. Watch up top for an eye-popping dose of true ARTPOP. More »
Are you sitting at home enjoying Britney‘s Britney Jean all alone and feeling like an alien? Well, we want you to know: You’re not alone. Not alone, not alone, not alone…
To celebrate the release of the “Gimme More” goddess’ eighth studio album (have you checked out our review yet?), we’re hosting a #BritneyJeanDay listening party on Twitter at 4 PM EST, to be exact — going track-by-track through Britney Jean. And we want you guys to join in on the fun! How? It should be easy. More »
M.I.A. has one more treat for us before all the year-end lists are finished up. She just released Matangi bonus track “Trouble Again” exclusively through Spotify and, damn, we wish this were a proper track on the album. It’s less melodic and darker than much of the LP (maybe that’s why it was left off), but this being M.I.A., it’s never alienating, and in fact makes some pretty murky, hyperactive sounds seem pretty inviting.
The song is built on a dancehall stomp, though it goes through about five different beats over the course of its 4:43 runtime (one minute it sounds like Major Lazer, the next it sounds like a jungle track from a 1996 rave). M.I.A. does her inimitable sing-rapping for a couple verses, and yelps “Cuz I got a reputation” in between loops of Yeezus-style doom-hall chants.
It’s over-stuffed and hollow at the same time, and is as good a reason as any to open up a Spotify account if you haven’t yet. Hear it below. More »
Demi Lovato is everywhere at the moment. The Glee star/X Factor judge/best-selling author can now add Nylon magazine cover girl to her long list of achievements in 2013. The “Neon Lights” diva opts for an edgy new look — teaming her now trademark blue hair with a (fake) fur jacket and grungy plaid shirt.
Needless to say, Demi pulls off the unusual look effortlessly. The interview covers the 21-year-old’s many projects and personal development over another blockbuster year. There’s an endearing anecdote about the Staying Strong writer‘s request to look cool in the photo shoot. Mission accomplished. More »
The second coming of Danity Kane is almost upon us. Pop’s favorite foursome — sorry, D! — will perform together for the first time in way too many years at the House Of Blues in Los Angeles later this month and are busily working on new music.
DK’s leading ladies kindly dropped by the Idolator studio to chat about their much-anticipated comeback and spilled the beans on everything from the band’s lost member to their protocol for unblocking fans on Twitter (you better have receipts, boo!) and unwavering appreciation for each other’s solo projects. Find out all you need to know about Danity Kane 2.0 up top. More »
Like it or not, we are in the sweet spot of Christmas music season. Thankfully, this year it means we’ll get to hear more from She Who Has The Voice Of 1,000 Christmas Angels, Ariana Grande, as she releases a new holiday tune each week leading up to December 25. “Snow In California,” her third installment in the series, dropped today (December 3), and like “Love Is Everything,” it’s an original. As the first ballad of the bunch, it follows in a long tradition of Christmas songs about wishing you could just spend the entire holiday season cuddling with your out-of-town lover by the fire — for Grande, that means asking Santa to make it snow in California so her man’s flight out gets canceled.
It’s a restrained offering from the starlet, but she still lets her voice soar on the bridge, giving us a few seconds of bliss in between hearing “White Christmas” every 15 minutes.
Listen below. More »
Betty Who‘s glorious “Somebody Loves You” just keeps getting glorious-er, as her label continues commissioning top-notch remixes to accompany the single release — and today’s reimagining of the pop track comes courtesy of producer extraordinaire Starsmith, who’s helmed tracks for Ellie Goulding and Kylie Minogue as well as official remixes for Lady Gaga and Beyonce.
Add Betty Who to that list: Starsmith’s perfectly twinkly, “Hey!”-spangled mix transforms the pop track into something even more driving and urgent, with layers of siren-like synths and chopped-up vocals for miles. More »
Is Kelly Clarkson‘s Wrapped In Red your holiday soundtrack? Good! It should be.
Now, Clarkson has dropped the music video for her lovely, jingly single “Underneath The Tree,” and it’s about what you’d expect — one of those live performance videos (I’m guessing comprised of footage from her upcoming Yuletide special Kelly Clarkson’s Cautionary Christmas Music Tale, which is actually a thing that actually exists) with some backstage B-roll. It’s not the most exciting video ever produced, but by God, it’s Kelly Clarkson in a big dumb holiday dress looking all jolly and wonderful and demolishing the competition with some extraordinary vocal runs, so really, what else matters? More »
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 »