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Monday
Oct192015

SIA and her 1000 Forms Of Fear - MUST HEAR 

SIA'S CHART TOPPING ALBUM - 1000 FORMS OF FEAR - CLICK TO BUY SONGSThe freshest voice to come on the scene in 2015 is actually a music veteran responsible for some of the biggest hits on the last 10 years.   Huh?  Yes, you read that right. SIA, the platinum bobbed moving shag with the voice that could start a revolution is a star music maker that that has been behind the scenes for years.   Writing hits for Rhianna, Britney, Beyonce, and more.. her rhymes and rhythms are hypnotic and emotional.  DANCER MADDIE ZEIGLER & SIA Her voice is soulful and as an experienced vocalist, Sia is not afraid to cracks notes as she brings these songs to life.Her voice is soulful and as an experienced vocalist, Sia is not afraid to cracks notes as she brings these songs to life.

Ok, the elephant in the room is that SIA has decided not to show her face publicly in support of her albums.  Ever.  While she continues to perform live and on television, the singer has opted to obscure her face with wigs and maskes.   Sia also made child dancer Maddie Ziegler an equal part of her performance with creative dance routines in tune with the mood of each song.  Somehow together, the two distract from the fact that Sia is hiding in plain sight.  In fact, the combined performance of SIA and Maddie are undoubtedly the most creative thing we've seen in the music industry in years.   You must listen to a few tracks on this album.  In fact, i'm sure it is one you will be playing again and again.  Also, you should do yourself a favor and watch as much of SIA and Maddie as you can youtube.   It's a treat.   Watch her video ELASTIC HEART below.   Shia LaBeouf guest stars.


Sunday
Jan112015

MADONNA'S REBEL HEART - BEATS STRONGER THAN EVER!

While the Sony Hacking scandal that derailed, then re-railed the theatrical release of The Interview was the talk of Hollywood and the media at large, there was another multi-million dollar hack that went mostly unnoticed by the mainstream press. 

Of course the political repercussions between the U.S. and North Korea made the Interview hack much more serious and garnered the press attention.  However, the other big hack of the month was committed against the queen of pop (now and forever) herself.  Yes, Madonna saw several tracks from her thirteenth studio album - REBEL HEART - slated for March 2015, released on various internet sites.  At a time when sales for all music is waning, and the music buying public's attention span is shorter than ever, having several tracks (final versions - or even bogus) released months before the actual drop date could severely affect sales during the critical first weeks of release.

Madonna was not happy.  In fact, according to her social media accounts she was hurt.  Her facebook and Instagram pages were full of messages expressing her anger and disappointment at the fact that she would be betrayed by people she trusted.   Adding insult to injury, several photos of Madonna were also released from several shoots and campaigns that were never approved by M.MADONNA, AT HOME IN NYC - AS SEEN ON INSTAGRAM - PHOTO COURTESY OF MADONNA

So - what's a media savvy pop diva to do?   Release the finished tracks early of course - to those who pre-order the album on iTunes - of course!

Hacking aside, the new material Madonna released does not paint the picture of a happy gal.  This billionaire, single mother of 4 seems to have as much trouble finding a stand up guy to date as anyone - probably more.   Of course songs are an expression of an artist - but just one expression.  It's a bit like reading tea leaves trying to know what's really coming from an artists' day to day life.  With Madonna, I think it usually is. 

Unapologetic Bitch starts with a reggae / ska beat and builds into a laid back dance, rap track that details a woman who has kicked her guy to the curb, and she is happy to be free.  It's a bit mean spirited, but an anthem of sorts for women to stand up for themselves.  

Living for Love also has an uplifting beat and message, but details yet another broken heart. Madonna's message is clear - Feminism is the future, and rebels do it better!

Ghosttown is a haunting, beautiful ballad.  For me, this is the strongest song of the six released.   The vocals, the arrangement, and the lyrics.. stunning.   While the revenge seeking, party anthem songs are fun and enjoyable - it's the deeper subject matter songs like Ghosttown and Illuminati that stand out with more mature, sophisticated ideas..

Here's hoping #RebelHeart gets the approval of millions of fans when it is released in full in March.   Also let's hope Madonna can find Mr. Right soon.   To her potential suitors - Don't make her angry - is that so difficult?   Click REBEL-HEART to purchase on iTunes.  


Monday
May192014

AVRIL LAVIGNE - HELLO KITTY KITTY

America's (born in Canada) perennial "punk" song stylist has returned with a MEOW in 2014.  Avril Lavigne's Hello Kitty single from her self titled, fifth studio album- Avril Lavigne 2013.  The single, released only in Japan was sure to get massive attention - if only for the cult following of the most famous cat in the world! HELLO KITTY - THE COOLEST CAT IN THE WORLD THE Hello Kitty has devoted fans around the globe with several stores selling only Kitty dedicated to all this PURRRRFECT.  She even has her own airline!

Hello Kitty, the song, has a techno-pop, dub-step sound. It's catchy and could easily become a Summer favorite for girls and boys of all ages.  The styling of the video has an interesting Japanese / Punk style that seems to be Avril's favorite way to look ever since her first debut of Sk8er Boi back in 2002 on the singers debut album.  While the song has Lavigne's signature "rebel angst" tone, it's also likely to be her own tongue in cheek ode to Sapphic love.  Just as Katy Perry brought us "I Kissed a Girl" - Avril invites her friend with a "pretty kitty" to have a slumber party.   Of course - the lyrics are open to your own interpretation.

Is Hello Kitty the best song you'll hear this year?  I'm not sure, but I know it's not the worst.   Click play and enjoy!  Buy it for your Summer mix.. and watch the video below.. 25 Million people have already!

Wednesday
Apr162014

HOW TO BE "HAPPY" - PHARRELL HAS THE FORMULA 

PHARRELL WILLIAMS AT THE GRAMMY'S - HAT - VINTAGE VIVIENNE WESTWOOD-PH: LESTER COHEN - WIREIMAGEIf you listen to the radio - you have head Pharrell Williams latest single - HAPPY.  Created for the animated film Despicable Me II, the tune is about as infectious a song as any you will hear.  Pharrell is one of those super talented guys that really represent his generation.  Williams has been creating hits for over a decade and his body of work as a producer is insane.  PHARRELL WILLIAMS SHOWS OFF HIS SHORT-TUX STYLE AT THE 86TH ANNUAL ACADAMY AWARDS WITH WIFE HELEN LASICHANH - PH: JORDAN STRAUSS Having worked with Kellis, Jay Z, Madonna, Nelly, Britney Spears, Snoop Dogg, and on and on - that would be more than most could hope for as a successful career.  Add to this Pharrell work with his band mates and childhood friends in N.E.R.D. - which has a successful fan base around the world.   Then throw in collaborations with major acts like Madonna and Gwen Stefani.  Now at 41, Pharrell has achieved his biggest success to date with HAPPY.   The song is pure joy and it is connecting with audiences from 8 to 80.   Pharrell recently visited the Ellen Degeneres show where he helped donate funds to underprivileged children in Detroit who were surprised while performing HAPPY in their chorus.  The pure joy and happiness those kids expressed almost brought him to tears, but it was Oprah Winfrey herself who did in fact make Pharrell weap tears of joy talking about the song and the happiness it is causing everywhere!PHARRELL WILLIAMS - GIRL

In addition to all this talent, this man can dress.  His "so cool you won't get until next year" style is trend-setting for sure.  This guy has made any shorts looks cool and even look appropriate at the Oscars.  His latest trademark is the Mounted Trooper style scout hat created by Vivienne Westwood years ago - yes.. it's #VINTAGE.   So Cool!

Click through Pharrell's songs now and add a few to your workout mix now!  How could I know mention "GET LUCKY" - the duet with DAFT PUNK that played so often on the radio it caused some to bleed from their ears (ok, not actually bleed- but it was played SO OFTEN).  Listen to Pharrell now and - GET HAPPY!   Watch the music video below - try not to dance.

The New Album - GIRL is out now. 

Monday
Jan272014

Macklemore & Ryan lewis featring Mary Lambert and Madonna - SAME LOVE

The 56th Grammy Awards capitalized on being a LIVE performance in an amazing way Sunday night in Los Angeles.   Singer Macklemore & Ryan Lewis performed their powerful song about marriage equality - SAME LOVE featuring Mary Lambert, with Madonna as Queen Latifah officiated weddings to over 30 couples - straight and gay - live in the theater.  Madonna performed a gospel version of #OPENYOURHEART as the whole room reached an emotional crescendo.   Wow.. now how do they top this performance next year?

Saturday
Nov162013

ARTPOP IS POP ART- LADY GAGA RETURNS

ARTPOP - LADY GAGA - SCULPTURE BY JEFF KOONSThe biggest global sensation in pop culture.. aka Stefani Germanotta.. aka LADY GAGA has just released her third album -ARTPOP.  The first single Applause, helped to launch not only the new album, but Gaga's perfected persona - Performance Artist.  Proving the power of her fame she so loudly sang about on her first and second albums, Gaga collaborated with none other than the biggest pop artist of his generation - Jeff Koons.   Koons is having a pretty good year.   He is happily married to a beautiful wife, has a house full of children, a studio full of staff, and a bank account that could make any Wall Street banker smile.  Last week, the sale of Mr. Koon's balloon dog at Christie's for $58.4 Million dollars makes him the highest grossing living artist - ever.   Koons created a living Lady Gaga that reflects his current exhibition of mirrored balls and also a nod to the sculptures that put him on the map.   The artist made his name by immortalizing his first wife, Hungarian born, Italian porn star and then Senator, Cicciolina, in erotically posed sculptures.     The Koons Gaga graces the cover of ARTPOP, in full color.  

I wasn't the biggest fan of Lady Gaga's second album.  I loved her first album and continue to listen to tracks regularly even now, almost 5 years later.   So far, I must admit... I love the latest.   Applause has the hook that makes it a dance and workout classic - more important and valuable than many reviewers acknowledge.  With a nod to the B52's, Gaga continues to master sexy pop references that shaped her first two albums with the second single VENUS.   Madonna continues to be an ever present influence, but with the latest album - the references are more quirky.  I think the hidden gem is the title track.  Artpop had me hooked in just a few seconds.   The sultry beats and her purring voice.. it's Debbie Harry, it's David Bowie, it's Amanda Lear, it's referencing pop music and pop art in the best possible way.

Also, I MUST commend this woman.  To be a beautiful young girl at the top of your career in 2013 and NOT be obsessed with looking sexy at all costs is a bold choice.   It is the RIGHT choice, but a bold choice in a world of trashy Kardashians and young pop singers who can't get past looking as overtly sexual as possible.   Thanks to Gaga for representing the cerebral beauty, and provoking thoughts - the most attractive aspect of all!

Get ARTPOP now.. you'll be enjoying it for months and years to come!  

Click cover art to preview the album.  Watch the video for Applause below.


Tuesday
Oct222013

WHAT DOES THE FOX SAY?

THE BROTHERS KNOWN AS YLVIS 

Then.. there is this.   The Fox (What Does The Fox Say)by YLVIS is everywhere..  Here at aLIFEofSTYLE we have no words... but the fact it has been viewed 150 million times... what can you say? THE FOX - CLICK COVER TO BUY NOW Actually, this Norwegian duo are comedians - so the joke is not on them!  The single is on iTunes..  click - THE FOX to download now!  What does the fox say?