Beyonce’s new track, “Bow Down / I Been On,” goes pretty hard, dang.
I was in no way, shape, or form prepared for this. I’m bowing down.
The best women.
Beyonce’s display of imperial charisma at the Super Bowl comes off as an historical inevitability, and as something that benefits us all. Ann Powers says it’s an illusion, but what a substantial one.
Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
If you are going to read any piece on last nights flawless performance, read this one.
HBO: Beyonce Documentary Special Tease
Happy Birthday to the Queen.
In what looks like a milestone show for Beyonce - she brought her first show in months to Revel in Atlantic City, NJ. The videos I’ve seen give the impression that this is her best concert series to date. Check out the video above for a sample.
I can only hope that this gets the DVD treatment that most of her shows get.
Yep - an NPR article. I can’t help myself.
However, this article showcased, thanks to DJ Earworm, the sound that ruled radio this last year. The boom boom sound. Radio was filled with dance fusions of every genre - pop, “soul,” “R&B,” and more. And to be honest - I’ve become very sick of it.
Part of the reason Adele was so successful this year, aside from having one of the most honest and pure records written in the last 10 years, was she was one of few unique sounds on the radio. Every other song sounded the same this last year. It’s the David Guetta affect, which needs to stop. It happened with Timbaland a few years ago - him and Justin Timberlake made an incredible, genre bending album, and suddenly everyone wanted him on their records, and it just didn’t work as well. It seems that pop music, and other genres, have been warped into only having that boom boom sound, and no other layers. It’s people like Gaga, Beyonce, and Robyn that showcase how you can create music that makes you want to dance all damn night, and still have a unique sound that is much more intricate that what we’ve heard the last 12 months. And it’s people like Adele that bring honesty back into pop music.
Beyonce is releasing her 4th concert film next week, and here is a little preview of it.
She had 4 nights, to celebrate her most recent release, “4” at the Roseland Ballroom in New York.
Within a week of each other, we have Beyonce, Gaga and Adele all release concert DVDs. Too. Much. To. Handle.
In about 2 weeks, we will see one the biggest weeks of the year for music - Thanksgiving week. Everyone is itching to get in on that Black Friday love, including Gaga, Beyonce, Rihanna and many more.
However, Rihanna is the only one of those three that is release brand new material on her sixth album in six years - “Talk That Talk.” MTV.com recently posted an article (linked above) calling her new album “The best pop album of 2011.” Now don’t get me wrong, I love Rihanna from time to time, and I definitely have my guilty pleasure songs and a lot of her is on that list - but to call this album, which to be fair I haven’t heard in it’s entirety the best of the year, in my opinion is a pretty large, and relatively oblivious statement.
This year we have seen Gaga release “Born This Way” to immense critical and commercial acclaim, and it sold over 1 million copies in the first week, and even without the Amazon deal, it sold 700,000+. We have seen Beyonce release her best work to date with “4.” And last but not least, the most successful and my personal “best album of the year” with Adele’s “21.”
Like I stated earlier, Rihanna has somehow cranked out six albums in six years…she is by far, the most used piece in this machine.
It seems that MTV has clearly neglected any form of artistic growth within the pop music world that has occurred this year, especially with the three women in pop music (Gaga, Beyonce and Adele) who have completely changed the game when it comes to the quality of music that is created within the pop world. For me, these three women show that their can be art and soul within pop music, and it is not all fabricated products.
First off, many thanks to Ann Powers - the author of this article from NPR Music. I have semi neglected this blog as of late because I’ve A. been very busy and B. been taking pictures and focusing on that blog.
However, this article on the role of autobiographical story telling in pop music gave me an inspiration to write. Give this article a read - especially if you’re a fan of pop music like myself.
It got me thinking about how in depth my favorite pop stars go in their music, and what makes it real. There is a fine line for me in how much I want to know about the artist writing the music and singing the song. That is because that level of mystery creates the ability for me to relate to the music. I won’t always know what they were writing about, and that allows me to apply it to my life and create that movie moment.
However - how far do I want that to go? Do I want the artist to create a persona in order to write about certain things, or do I want them to strip everything away, and write from within and be as honest as possible. I’d say it’s a mix of both.
For instance, Taylor Swift, because of her media attention, we have an idea of what is going on in her day to day life, and her love and loss, and the rest of it that doesn’t matter to our own lives. Because of this, and other reasons, I have a hard time relating to her music. On the other hand, someone like Sara Bareilles, I don’t know what is going on in her life all of the time, and what movie star she is dating, and not knowing that allows that mystery to develop that when I listen to her songs, I can relate. On a different level, Adele has written one of the most honest and genuine albums of 2011, but there is still a smoke screen there in the sense that we don’t know this person the album is about, but we know how honest the lyrics are.
In the case of Beyonce, the persona has allowed her fan base to attach to her and her music, and relate. In the long run, they are a creation in order to do exactly this. There are songs when listening to her catalogue, that as much as I love them, I have a hard time believing that it is a life experience she has had. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the song and enjoy it immensely, it just means that my connections to Beyonce’s music verses say someone like Sara Bareilles or Adele are very different.
For me, this does remind me that pop music can, and does have substance. Now, I’m not saying that this is the case for all pop music, but it reminds me that pop music cannot be written off as useless non-art.
Beyonce just released the video for “Love On Top,” one of my personal favorites from her career changing album - “4.”
This video exudes Motown and soul and I love every second of it.