You need to get over your ageism and listen to Madonna’s ‘Rebel Heart’ [album review]

Madonna - Rebel Heart - album

The last time I liked a Madonna album, I was still a baby. I just came out of the closet, and “Hung Up” was the soundtrack of my mostly drunk, young gay life.

After Confessions on a Dance Floor though, things quickly went south for Madge. With songs like “4 Minutes, “Give It 2 Me” and “Give Me All Your Luvin,” the Material Girl was following the trend instead of setting it for much of the aughts. She was chasing the sound of emerging pop stars at the expense of her own music.

That’s why I was very hesitant when I first heard about Rebel Heart, her 13th studio album. With collaborations with the likes of Avicii, Diplo, Kanye West and Nicki Minaj, it seemed like the Queen of Pop was once again just going with the flow. I was worried her new material won’t sound revolutionary at all. That she was, once again, simply doing what others were already doing.

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The definitive ranking of Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Piece By Piece’ tracks [album review]

Kelly Clarkson - Piece by Piece - album cover photo

Let’s start with the obvious here: Piece By Piece is Kelly Clarkson’s best album so far. And no, I’m not saying that just because I’m a huge stan. I’m saying it because it’s the truth.

But why is it her best, you ask? For one, this is her most experimental album to date. I know that’s not saying much–after all, when you’re doing pop music, how “experimental” could you really be? It’s relative and subjective. However, by combining elements of RnB, bubblegum pop, and EDM in one cohesive record, Clarkson has outdone herself. She’s also never sounded so sure.

I like all of the songs from Piece By Piece, but here’s a totally subjective ranking of all the tracks. (Just don’t ask me to rank them again in a month–I’m sure my favorites will change again then.)

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Lady Gaga’s recent reinvention part of a long-term strategy

Billboard.com profile of Lady Gaga's reinvention (including her tribute to the Sound of Music at the Oscars)
Photo credit: Chip Wass via Billboard.com

If you watched this year’s Oscars, you’ve probably seen Lady Gaga’s vocally perfect tribute to the Sound of Music. And if you’re like everyone else, you were probably blown away by the performance and thought, holy shit, Lady Gaga can actually sing.

Just like her many infamous performances in the past, Lady Gaga’s Oscars performance was shocker—but it was a shocker for a different reason. For one, Gaga was fully dressed, she seemed really happy, and she wasn’t trying to preach about being “born this way.” Oh, and there weren’t any blood, bathtubs or grinding during the performance.

As it turns out, that number is part of a plan–a long term plan that sees Lady Gaga reinvent herself. (Gaga also took the stage at this year’s Grammys, performing a nice duet with Tony Bennett.)
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Is Carly Rae Jepsen too old for her new single? The Globe and Mail thinks so

I Really Like You - Carly Rae Jepsen (single art work)

Carly Rae Jepsen released her comeback single this week, and the pop world is impressed. Similar to her mega-hit “Call Me Maybe,” Jepsen’s new single “I Really Like You” is catchy—like, ridiculously, over-the-top catchy. No surprise that people really like it. (Lame pun intended.)

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