After throwing the listening public a curve-ball with the dancehall beats of ‘Run The World (Girls)’, Beyoncé is back in R&B ballad mode with the second single from her upcoming ’4′ album. ‘Best Thing I Never Had’ definitely keeps to B’s strengths, a wise move considering her former single did not reach the number one spot. Penned by Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, the track is a piano-led instruction manual on how to dump your useless boyfriend – a subject matter Beyoncé previously touched upon on in ‘Irreplaceable’. With the memorable refrain of “it sucks to be you right now”, she lays it on the line with a powerful vocal performance and a lush backing track full of tinkling keys and strings. With the crucial Sunday night festival-closing slot lined up for Glastonbury at the end of the month it will be very interesting to see if Mrs Jay-Z can match her husband’s knock-out performance of 2008. She’s got some stiff competition from Coldplay and U2 on the preceding nights but with a new album’s worth of tracks to showcase and a back catalogue packed with hits like ‘Crazy In Love’, she has the potential to be one of the festival highlights.
The cover version has become a maligned format in recent years. A conveyor belt of talent shows has made performing other people’s songs a well trod road to success. Yet all too often cover versions seem to slip in to realm of karaoke rather than add anything original. With this in mind Shazam has dug through the archives to unearth some of the more quirky, unique and downright weird re-versions of songs we could find.
The Fall – Lost In Music (Cover of Sister Sledge)
The Fall’s lead singer Mark E. Smith is one of the most grumpy men in music. The list of former band members who he’s sacked/fallen out with/physically attacked is now around 30 people long. His gigs are known for being haphazard affairs where you are just as likely to hear a volley of expletive abuse as you are your favourite song. Even his close friends would admit he’s cantankerous and confrontational. In short, he’s not the sort of man you would imagine spends much time letting lose in glamorous night clubs: which makes his guitar lead take on Chic’s most glittery disco moment all the more perplexing. If Bernard Edwards had lived in Salford this might have been the music he would have come up with.
Afrodita – Modelito (Cover of Kraftwerk)
This is a Mexican twist on the most Germanic of German bands, Kraftwerk. This breezy re-work of the model transports the Düsseldorf robots to the southern hemisphere and the results are remarkable.
Since she was announced as Glastonbury’s main stage headliner it’s been assumed Beyoncé will need a few tricks up her sleeve to pull off a successful show – after all, the crowd of Glasto’s main stage are stereotypically more used to the grunt of beardy guitar bands than wailing divas. With this in mind, ‘Run The World (Girls)’ could well have been made with the specific aim of getting a huge festival crowd on their feet.
Stealing the backing from Major Lazer’s ‘Pon De Floor’ – a dance track that’s enjoyed huge crossover success with both urban and electro crowds – ‘Run The World (Girls)’ is a whirring ball of wonky energy guaranteed to stand out in amongst Beyoncé’s usually smooth R&B stylings. The producer behind the track is in fact Afrojack: a hugely popular dance DJ who has already worked his magic with Black Eyed Peas and knows a thing or two about banging out festival tents. Strikingly, ‘Run The World (Girls)’ seems to be quite a departure for the former Destiny’s Child singer and could signal a move into more OTT club based sounds. A cameo performance from her husband, Jay-Z, will likely get the crowds going more – but this single is also likely to be one of the highlights from B’s Pyramid stage performance.
Beyoncé’s fourth studio album is due for release in June.
The penultimate track in our 2010 countdown is ‘Telephone’ a great pop song which reached epic proportions of fame due to its well crafted audio sensibilities and by having one of the most widely anticipated videos of the year. It’s also notable for bringing together two of the biggest female stars on the planet; Lady Gaga and Beyoncé
At a huge 9 and a half minutes, the video for ‘Telephone’ didn’t disappoint and has currently racked up a staggering 97 million YouTube hits to date. The video, directed by Jonas Åkerlund, featured Lady Gaga showing off an even more streamlined physique than seen previously, leaving nothing to the imagination while she dallies around in cigarette adorned sunglasses, prison tape bikini outfits and indulging in lesbian prison kisses; the sort of outlandish behavior we’ve come to expect from the eccentric star. Beyoncé however showed a more daring side to her repertoire as she played the part of Gaga’s bailer and partner in crime as the two embark on a killing spree in a traditional American diner.
The song itself lyrically appears to be an ode to a lover who persistently calls while the protagonist in question is trying to party at a club, it has been said the song is more an observation of Gaga’s life in the limelight. Beyoncé adds a harder edge to the song with her sing-song style hard rapping however both songstresses come out shining in this collaboration.
KanYe West recently posted another new track, ‘See Me Now’ from his forthcoming album on his blog. The song features his favourite video makin’ homie, Beyoncé along with Charlie Wilson. There is an obvious calm in his performance, you can almost feel the smile in his voice. His lyrical humour is spot on, see the line – “If you fall on the concrete, it’s your asphalt.” So true.
Get over to Weezy’s blog before he changes his mind and deletes the link (he has it up for download, for now). And for good measure, the rapper has recently signed up to the micro-blogging phenomena that is Twitter. Follow here for his crucial tweets and no doubt more information on tracks from his new album.
Continuing her seemingly unstoppable run of success, Lady Gaga has announced a new string of US dates for her forthcoming ‘The Monster Ball Tour’. The European leg of the tour sold out in minutes and it’s likely that the US will follow suit. Considering the singers penchant for elaborate stage shows and costume changes, it’s likely this will be one of the stand out gigs of the year. The singer was recently quoted as saying the tour will be, “more of a musical and less of a concert”; revealing that the show will revolve around a plot of Gaga and her cohorts getting lost on route to The Monster Ball.
The announcement of the tour follows the release of the long awaited video for ‘Telephone’, Lady Gaga’s second collaboration with Beyoncé. The epic nine minute short recalls the work of Quentin Tarantino and a time when artists such as Michael Jackson explored new realms with the format. The video has racked up a jaw dropping 19 million views and can be seen here. Be warned, the explicit storyline isn’t safe for work viewing!
Below is a clip of director Jonas Åkerland discussing the ideas behind the video.
For the full list of Lady Gaga tour dates click the link below. Read more…
‘Video Phone’ pits together two of the most successful female singers of 2009, Beyoncé & Lady Gaga. Taken from the former’s album ‘I Am Sasha Fierce’, the release of the single ties in with re-issues of both artists’ albums. With an intro that is reminiscent of a classic Bond theme, the track gives way to a killer beat and a stuck-in-your head, hypnotic vocal from Beyoncé. Lady Gaga lends the track her inimitable style to the video where the pair engage in a scantily clad synchronised ‘dance off’ whilst brandishing Buck Rodgers style ray guns – which makes quite odd but still amazing stuff viewing.
Give the girl a break! Or maybe not…the hardest working diva with the Midas touch is not only back with another single from her current, multi-platinum album ‘I Am…Sasha Fierce’, but has also added an extra date to her sparkling tour, this time at the O2 Arena, London on Saturday 14th November. Holidays? Time off? Not likely. Beyoncé has sold 350,000 tickets across Europe spanning over 32 shows. We all know about the performance and production values from the videos but can you imagine being 20 feet away from her in the flesh? The shows promise to be an audio visual treat from start to finish. With Thierry Mugler designed outfits draped across her & the 10 piece all female band, as well as hot dancers and sensational choreography! She is an amazing powerhouse performer and has become a must-see artist of the modern age, as the sold out section of the UK tour and 100,000 of her fans will testify.
If you haven’t heard the new fabulous electro pop sound of her latest single ‘Sweet Dreams’ check it out here Read more…