Monday, November 15th 2010
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Open any dictionary and next to the word ‘loud’ you will find several definitions including ‘noisy’, ‘offensive’ and ‘vulgar’. If these are the type of meanings that Rihanna wants her listeners to derive from her new album then she has effectively achieved her goal.
‘Loud’ is the fifth studio album to be released by the Rihanna in as many years and it features the red haired vixen doing what she does best – attaching herself to the latest trends in Pop music. However, despite being bolstered by tight production and catchy melodies, Rihanna’s blatant lack of vocal skill and originality causes the 11-track LP to be far less impressive than those of her peers.
Thursday, October 28th 2010
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Mariah Carey’s first Christmas album, ‘Merry Christmas’, is widely regarded as one of the best Holiday-themed collections of the last 20 years. Comprising some of her most impressive vocal performances and the now classic ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’, the record managed to be a top seller every year since being released in 1994.
Fast-forward exactly 16 years, to a time when Carey’s career is at a commercial standstill, and the diva finally delivers a followup in the form of ‘Merry Christmas II You’. Facing widespread speculation that her time at the top of the Pop roost is over and her famed 5 octave vocal range has faded into memory, Carey manages to do what she does best: prove her critics wrong. In fact, this 13-track LP almost achieves the impossible – matching its predecessor.
Wednesday, August 18th 2010
In 2006 Fantasia’s self-titled sophomore album received generally mixed reviews from critics and even less favourable responses from her fans. The record barely managed to achieve gold status in the US; a far cry from the 1.8 million units that the Grammy-nominated singer’s debut album, ‘Free Yourself’, sold in that territory.
Now, amidst public controversy and personal turmoil, Fantasia is back with a new album, aptly entitled ‘Back to Me’, which features a true return to form by the uniquely talented R&B singer. On this 13-track LP Fantasia manages to combine the raw passion of her Soul influences with her spine-tingling vocals and contemporary productions, creating one of the best releases of the year to date.
Wednesday, June 2nd 2010
Christina Aguilera has been absent from the music scene for almost 4 years, with her last release being 2006′s ‘Back to Basics’. Now the vocal powerhouse has returned with her new album, ‘Bionic’, equipped with new sounds, thanks to a diverse assembly of some of the industry’s most sought-after producers and songwriters. However, despite the claims by her critics that the LP represents her attempt to emulate Pop sensation Lady GaGa, the record actually showcases a wide variety of musical styles that bear little similarity to her chart counterpart. In fact, on ‘Bionic’, Aguilera finds herself imitating almost everyone except GaGa.
Monday, November 30th 2009
After a tumultuous year, spurred on by ‘the incident’ which reverberated around the world, R&B star Chris Brown is back and looking to reassert his place at the top with new LP ‘Graffiti’ (due December 7th in the UK // December 8th US). With the world’s glaring eyes fixated on the performance of the project, it’d be hard to deny that this is the most important record the 20 year old will ever release. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the album, Brown’s 3rd, boasts production from some the industry’s most renowned hit-makers and artists alike.
The question on the lips of many, though, is: Does ‘Graffiti’ do enough to redeem Brown in the court of public opinion? I vote ‘Yes!’, albeit cautiously…
Sunday, August 30th 2009
After a 7 year hiatus, Whitney Houston is back with ‘I Look To You’ – an album billed by mentor Clive Davis as ‘the greatest comeback’. Yet with Houston’s personal hardships – which included stints in drug rehab, a messy divorce and dwindling album sales – being played out so publically, the question on everyone’s lips is ‘does Whitney still have ‘it’?’
If this new record is anything to go by, the answer is a resounding ‘Yes’.
Saturday, March 15th 2008
Within the two years that followed the release of Danity Kane’s self-titled debut, the group – consistent of Dawn, Audrea, Aubrey, Shannon and D. Woods – amassed a legion of loyal fans and experienced Platinum sales. Yet speculation about rifts between the ladies and management, as well as among themselves, threatened to dissolve the group just as quickly as they were formed. Having ironed out their issues, Danity Kane are back with their sophomore effort ‘Welcome To The Dollhouse’ (due March 18th). An eclectic Pop/Urban/Dance fusion, with ‘Dollhouse’ the ladies prove their worth and then some.