M.I.A. - “XXXO” (Video)
After what seems like forever since this single dropped finally comes the video for “XXXO”. La M’s latest album (I refused to type the complicated way that she spells out “Maya”) has been having Aguilera-sized issues with shaking off the stench of bad reviews and negative press surrounding her latest collection of songs and I don’t think this new vid is gonna help. Sure, the tacky MySpace backgrounds in the vid are intentional I’m sure, but who knew that slapping one of Beyonce’s lace fronts on M.I.A would magically transform her into Cassie?
Kanye West featuring Beyonce and Charlie Wilson - “See Me Now”
Speaking of Ms. Knowles, she and R&B legend Charlie Wilson team up with B.‘s #1 fan for what will surely be a track on K. Wes’ upcoming album. This is supposedly a rough mix, but barring a complete overhaul, I’m probably gonna pass on this one. Despite the A-list star power associated with the track and despite a pretty clever bit involving “asphalt”, I’m gonna pass on what sounds like the poor man’s version of Ye’s “Good Life” with T-Pain. And really, B.—- dropping the “n” word? Girl, you so hood.
Janelle Monae - “Cold War” (Video)
Janae gives the tuxes and her signature pompadour the day off in this beautifully shot video for “Cold War”. J. Mo channels Sinead O’Connor in her latest clip that sidesteps expensive special effects, big dance numbers, and shameless product placement for a a concept that simply relies on the emotional connection between the artist and the audience. I remained jaded and unimpressed with this deceptively simple clip until that moment at the 1:42 mark when Janelle becomes emotionally overwhelmed (I’m assuming) by the weighty subject matter of the lyrics. It was a reaction so raw, so seemingly honest and that fleeting moment was infinitely more powerful than a three and half montage of stock war footage could ever be.
Monrose - “This Is Me” (Video)
I continue to follow the career path of German pop group Monrose based on one particularly catchy single that they dropped a few years ago, “Hot Summer”. Apparently, one of the members recently dropped out of the group as she had run into legal problems after knowingly affected men with HIV (American girl groups never have scandals that juicy!) and the girls are carrying on without her, of course, with this latest release. The song is a virtual re-write of recent dance hit “You & I” by Medina and the video channels the Children of Destiny’s “Emotion” split screen clip with the glammed up girls of Monrose lamenting the loss of failed relationship on the mean streets of Spain(?) Brazil(?) in impeccably styled outfits. As with most of these groups, this whole affair isn’t anything new or noteworthy, but it is pretty to look at.
Blake McGrath - “Relax”
Blake follows up his debut “The Night” with new single “Relax” and I kinda gave him a pass the first time around, but this track isn’t really doin’ anything for me. “Relax” is a faceless eurodance confection that references Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s 80s hit of the same name and though the line about “coming” may have been scandalous back in the day, it just seems quaint in the context of this generic pop fluff in 2010. I dunno… the production seems a bit thin and the would-be racy lyrics don’t seem so much sexual as they do an epic Trey Songz-ian fail in trying way too hard. Usually when artists put that much effort into being shocking/sexy/hood/edgy/(fill in adjective of choice) then the end result often has their efforts coming off more desperate than the desired effect that they were going for. Perhaps the video will save this single but I don’t see US radio embracing this even if the label tragically slaps a horndog rap from Pitbull or Ludacris on it in a misguided attempt to make it “more commercial.”
Verizon iPhone Rumors Emerge… Aaaaagain
Enough already with these rumors. A year ago when Verizon had great service had a uh, limited selection of decent smartphones, this news would’ve been cause of celebration. However, the big V has stepped up its game in the hot phones department and the not-as-coveted-as-it-once-was iPhone coming to the phone carrier is a bit on the unnecessary side at this point. I’m not sure who’s benefiting from these obviously planted rumors but I’m “yawn, yawn” over it. As far as I’m concerned, the Verizon party is already hot ‘n’ poppin’ without you iPhone so if you’re coming, fine—- but stop with the attempts to amp your arrival with the “I’m almost there!” texts cuz nobody really cares—- or at least I don’t!
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