Me. I Am Mariah. The Elusive Chanteuse

"Me. I Am Mariah. The Elusive Chanteuse" Album Cover

“Me. I Am Mariah. The Elusive Chanteuse” Album Cover

“Me. I Am Mariah. The Elusive Chanteuse” was released in May this year as Mariah Carey’s comeback album after 2009’s masterpiece “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel.” Much was expected from the “songbird supreme” and she delivered an album that brought tracks that can be compared to Mariah classics like “Vision of Love,” unfortunately the album was a complete disappointment on the charts and it was quickly forgotten and the musical gems that it holds were left to be enjoyed by hardcore fans only.

The reason why I have decided to dig out this album and bring it back to light is because Mariah has embarked on her first proper world tour in almost 8 years, titled “The Elusive Chanteuse Show” and soon she will be in America, reminding us that she is still the powerhouse diva she was back in the 90s and it is appropriate to review and listen to the underrated songs that MC has been recording for the past 3 years.

Kenneth Partridge from Billboard.com did a track by track review of the album and we both seem to agree on several highlights of the album, starting with personal favorite, disco inspired “You Don’t Know What To Do;” this is Mariah’s successful attempt at a dance song on the album, beginning with a simple piano and her vocals and then turning into a “I’m over you and now I want to dance and be happy” anthem. Definitely one of the albums best songs and one of the most danceable Mariah tracks ever recorded.

If you are a “We Belong Together” fan, then “You’re Mine(Eternal)” is the song you might want to pay close attention to. Released on Valentine’s Day this love song is done in grand style like most of Mariah’s ballads, culminating with her trademark whistle tone that made her a legend. This is her, this is Mariah.

“Money” is an acquired taste that ends in a pleasing feast for the ears, making “holidays” and “hollandaise” fit in one verse, MC is saying that money is nothing and that what really matters is enjoying life and having a good time regardless of material things.

Mimi is at her most feisty in “Thirsty” calling out people that want to climb on her fame and are thirsty to become someone. This is one of the few moments when she is heard being defiant and willing to call someone out that is trying to take advantage of her.

Finally, “Cry,” the opening song of the album is a complete throwback to old school, piano only Mariah. A ballad is the appropriate way for her to open her album, showcasing her great vocal abilities and getting the listeners ready for the journey that can be “The Elusive Chanteuse.”

Mike Wass for idolator.com summarizes the album as an “incredibly solid body of work that makes more sense when listening to it as a whole, this is a concept album that gives Mariah what she needs to showcase her pipes.” Carey is one of the most successful female artists of all time, with 18 number one singles in the US and holding the two most successful songs on the billboard charts in music history; although some may argue that her time is up and that she is no longer relevant, Mariah shows us at age 45 and with twins she can still deliver high quality music regardless if she is “hot or not” and bringing “The Elusive Chanteuse Show” to the States will put her back to at the top.

Go out and buy a copy of this album and you will not regret it, this is music and vocals at its finest, most versatile and inspirational, and if you do buy a copy let me know what you think and what your personal favorites are. Be sure to get your tickets as soon as tour dates are announced and experience the magic of Mariah in person.

Advertisements

Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett – Cheek to Cheek

Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga - "Cheek to Cheek" album cover

Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga – “Cheek to Cheek” album cover

There comes a time in most pop star’s careers that versatility and a new musical direction is expected. Following the release of the unsuccessful “ARTPOP” album, which was claimed and expected to be the album of the decade, it unfortunately ended up becoming a complete and utter failure for her and her team. Since then,Lady Gaga has attempted to regain popularity and explore unknown territory by teaming up with jazz legend Tony Bennett. After the relatively successful “The Lady Is A Tramp” song on Bennett’s duets album the rumors of a collaboration between the two were being fueled and in July this year the album was confirmed.

What could have easily turned into a recipe for disaster ended up becoming a sublime amalgamation of two completely different acts. Lady Gaga, for once, was able to showcase her abilities as a vocalist, free of outrageous lyrics or overshadowing tracks that hindered her voice instead of making it sound as good as it actually is. Kenneth Partridge, an writer for Billboard, wrote a track by track review of “Cheek to Cheek” that was able to capture and translate from music to words the magic and undeniable chemistry between the two artists.

A few highlights from his review are the opening track and lead single “Anything Goes,” which Partridge and Ben Faulkner from Pop Matters described as a possible anthem for Gaga and one of the strongest moments of the album, this track opens up slowly only building up to the climax on which her and Bennett come together in some sort of vocal ecstasy that leaves you wanting for more.

Nature Boy is another favorite, that along with its melody and exquisite lyrics allow her to show different tones of her voice and her vibrato becomes more noticeable, according to Partridge this song is one of Gaga’s more understated performances,and also with his own words, “But Beautiful” is the “studded leather and psychopathic behavior free version of Bad Romance.” The closing track of the standard edition of the album, “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” got both writers agreeing that it was a upbeat and energetic way to close the album.

Not being a Gaga or Bennett fan, I found myself compelled to listen to the album driven by the curiosity of how awful or how good it could be. To my surprise the album was far more enjoyable than I thought, Tony Bennett has that timeless tone and charm to his vocals that transport you to another time and another place and Lady Gaga turns into a glamorous New York piano bar singer named Steffani Germanotta that delivers nothing but class and sass.

On all her previous records, Gaga was not allowed to shine for what made her noticeable in the first place, which is her vocals and ability to mesmerize a crowd with it and even if you are not a fan of hers, after listening to the album you will find that it has been tastefully done and produced, whether it was recorded as a way to help her regain popularity or let Bennet become known within younger generations, it is the music that shines through and can make you appreciate an eccentric artist in a new scenery, leaving the listener wondering why has this amazing talent been hidden or left out for the past 8 years. “Give Cheek to Cheek” a chance to entertain you, take you to the “Edge of Glory” and make you realize that she was “Born This Way,” with vocals and versatility that can and probably already have made many other pop stars jealous.

What is known about Madonna’s new album?

Madonna by Tom Munro – L’Uomo Vogue 2014

Since late 2013, Madonna has been recording her 13th studio album, working with prominent producers such as Diplo and Avicii. According to Bradley Stern and Instagram pictures by Madonna herself, one of the many artist that could be collaborating on the follow up to 2012’s “MDNA” is Nicki Minaj who has worked and performed with her previously.

Although not many details have been made public about the new album, Katy Iandoly neatly gathered all known information about the Queen of Pop’s latest effort, claiming that she could be working with long time collaborator and producer William Orbit and even teen sensation Miley Cyrus.

Much is expected from this coming album, which will represent a new era for the ever changing and reinventing Madonna, whether it will live up to the expectations or not only time will tell.

One Direction – Steal My Girl

"Steal My Girl" Single Cover

“Steal My Girl” Single Cover

Steal My Girl is the most recent release and lead single for their new album “Four”, a follow up to the highly successful “Midnight Memories”. Through the years their music has evolved from a young boy band sound to a unique and mature personal style that separates them from other pop bands. Check out what Arjan Writes has to say about their latest effort and why this song could become a great hit.

Blog Roll

ArjanWrites

  • This blog is written by Arjan Writes who is a music critic for Apple and also for beatsmusic.com, he is very much active on twitter and other social media. Going through his blog I found a very helpful blog roll with all the ones that he follow that are on the same topic. What I like about his blog is that he doesn’t only talk about albums but also about concerts, music videos and singles, great for reviewing purposes.

http://www.arjanwrites.com

Electrocutie

  • Electrocutie is a blog created by Erica Russell, who is the music editor for Ladygunn Magazine and Electronic Magazine. The interesting thing about this blog is that it introduces new female singers into the pop scene, which can be also a refreshing thing to look at new talent and trends and also spread the word about their music.

http://electrocutieblog.com/about/

Jon Ali’s Blog

  • Jon Ali is a DJ and also a writer for justjarred.com, he as interviewed artists such as Lady Gaga, JoJo, Fifth Harmony and Robyn. He reviews albums, singles, music videos and live shows as well as interviews with up and coming artists. He also links and promotes new singles and albums. This is a great blog to go to for music video reviews and links.  Blog has been active since 2006

http://jonalisblog.com

MuuMuse

  • MuuMuse is a blog by Bradley Stern who also writes for MTV Buzzworthy and the New York Times, the blog has been active since 2007 and it deals with concert reviews, interviews, album reviews and pop news, and there is a whole Beyonce section. This blog is a pop music Diva central, focusing on artists such as Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Madonna and Jennifer Lopez, great for news and reviews on an specific artist, this is probably my favorite out of all 5, being that pop divas are one of my main sources of interest.

http://www.muumuse.com

KickKickSnare

  • KickKickSnare is a considerably successful blog, being selected as the Grammy blogger for EDM and all music since 2012, with millions of hits across the world according to their about page, even though there is no author information on the about page, with all their accomplishments it seems like a source that I can trust. This is mostly a blog about up and coming artists and alternative music, it is a great source for researching new artists and new sounds.

http://kickkicksnare.com/about-kick-kick-snare/

Twitter List

Rolling Stone Magazine – Latest news about music, album reviews and other events that are related to music and artists. Latest news include a preview of Pink Floyd’s new album.

@RollingStone

Fader – News about emerging pop music artists, producers, albums and pop culture news. Recent news include Luke James’ debut album and Jennifer Lopez’s latest music video.

@thefader

Pop Justice – pop music news and reviews to albums and singles that have been released recently. Also comments on pop culture and trends, such as Beyonce’s disregard for peoples sleeping schedules when it comes to releasing new music.

@popjustice

Preston Jones – pop music critic for star telegram and dwfdotcom, he does album and concert reviews and tweets about producers and their work in the pop music genre. Recent tweets include commentary about new album by Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett and other recent releases.

@prestonjones

Randal Roberts – Pop music critic for LA Times and reviews music from emerging artists in the pop/alternative scene. Lately he has been tweeting about live shows and what artists have been posting on their social media.

@LilEdit

Joey Guerra – Pop music critic for the Houston chronicle. He also interviews artists and reviews concert tours, he just shared news about Kylie Minogue’s new concert tour “Kiss Me Once Tour”.

@joeyguerra

Sean Daly – Pop music critic for the Tampa Bay Times and also reviews music that has been released previously and that remains relevant until this day.

@seandalypoplife

 

 

 

Attention Journal #1

This is an hour of my night, didn’t have homework to do so I decided that I was going to relax and try to find something interesting online.

8:00pm: opened my mac, immediately got on Facebook

8:05pm: spent about 5 to 10 min snooping on my Facebook home page

8:10pm: got on pawsdownlittlemonsters.tumblr.com and read some news regarding the decline of lady gaga

8:15: checked my phone, was about to have an anxiety attack because i hadn’t checked it in 15 min (pathetic)

8:16pm: responded to my text messages

8:20pm: got back on facebook and started to chat with some friends

8:30pm: checked my phone again and kept responding to text messages

8:32pm: checked instagram and creeped on it for about 10 min

8:42pm: responded to my Facebook messages

8:43pm: opened 2 new tabs, HBO Go and beyonce.com

8:44pm: searched on HBO Go : Beyonce X10

8:45pm: selected the 1+1 video performance and watched it

8:50pm: responded to more text messages and browsed through the Beyonce website

8:55pm: selected the Partition performance video and kept on texting while watching it, ignoring my Facebook chat windows

9:00pm: The moment  when I realized I wasted time and I really didn’t commit to any task in particular, nor did I find anything particularly interesting.*sigh*

Today I decided I’d try to stay away from my social media and pay attention in my Art of the Baroque class:

12:55pm: sit in my usual seat, open my computer, get on CometNet and open a new note taking page on Pages

1:00pm: class starts and I turn my phone so I couldn’t see the screen and not get distracted by messages.

1:15pm: oh the anxiety, when I don’t think about my phone and who has texted me I seem to be able to focus, but the minute I think about what I’m “missing” it just feels like I’m gonna have a teeny tiny anxiety attack.

1:20pm: after debating if I should check my phone or not I decided not to, and i kept paying attention in class. It would be better for me to just not think about it and focus on what the teacher is trying to explain.

1:30pm: logged on to the online course reserve to pull up some readings for the class, tempted to check Facebook but decided not to.

1:45pm: found the readings i needed but i thought i should leave it like it is and read them after class is over.

1:50pm: decided I should close my mac to avoid temptation.

2:15pm: left class with a feeling of accomplishment because I was able to focus, didn’t get distracted by texts or other things and I realized that if I just pay attention to one thing I will feel like I was actually productive and didn’t waste my time in class, even though much of the material is self explanatory.

Since this class began I have definitely been more aware of how much I use social media and how much I really need to cut back. This exercise is definitely the first step I needed to compare and contrast how much attention and how much I can get accomplished when I’m actually focused on one single task.