Take 5 Fridays: Robots, Fandoms, and 'Revolutionary Pop'

Friday, January 7, 2011

 Re-heating leftovers of the week...

1. Robotics: Just moments after Jazmine Sullivan released some tension about her departure from the music business, an unreleased Salaam Remi produced track, "I'm Not A Robot" (no relation to Marina & The Diamonds track) came hot on it's heels. Coincidence? Well, it's more definable than all those dead birds and fish popping up, but "I'm Not A Robot" is Sullivan's standing on her soapbox and expressing her feelings about her being embroiled in the business of music saying she "wants out of this program". The song is actually quite good, and I can think about two song off of Love Me Back that could have been substituted for this. Sullivan has since deleted those fiery tweets and stated she's "fine", but from the sound and leak of things, Ms. Sullivan just needs to take a breather and gather herself this year. Listen to the track here.


2. Idol Warpedship: This week people found out that Lauryn Hill is really a big ol' selfish meanie and thus teenage dreams of idol worship came tumbling down. Over at The Black Snob and FlyBlackChick they watched it happen and discussed the 'miseducation' of being a Lauryn Hill fan. This comes in at the wake of Hill delaying the start of her recent concerts, angry fan reactions, and her supposed and delayed "comeback" which has been in the works since...gah, since I was still wearing braces back in the turn of the millennium. As unprofessional it is and as aggravating to ticket holders and fans who expect quality for the price they plop down, still I'm not surprised at both sides actions. I won't get into Hill's unprofessional actions, but as a graduate of the "uber-music-fan of so-in-so" you have to understand that it's sometimes not about you, the fan, even though you get stuck in the middle of the 'fandom' and expect so much. It's just a little annoying to me that some fans need a 12-step-program to get through the fact that sometimes those artists they love and worship words dearly, aren't the demi-Gods that they make them out to be through their music. It's a crushing blow, yes, but sometimes, a slap of reality is what you need, and these two articles provide it.


3. Freebies:
MdCL ft. Sy Smith - Lovergirl (Reimagined): In a tribute to the late Teena Marie, 'syberfunk' goddess Sy Smith  along with producer, MdCL have issued their "syberzied" version of Marie's 1984 hit, "Lovergirl". Recorded three days after the passing of Lady T, the track takes the electric funk of the classic and gives it a sultry backing. Get it free here.

Nikko Gray - Beautiful You Are: Another "tribute" of sorts, Nikko Gray (whose 2010 debut, Love.Seen album was one of my top 30 this year) gave a birthday present away to fans in the form of "Beautiful You Are" which lays some lyrics over Daft Punk's "Night Vision". Nice little combo plate this is. Get "Beautiful You Are" for less than a penny here.

4. Pop-A-Long Kid: Unleash the hounds, ring the alarm, and vogue...Usher is creating a new music genre called: "Revolutionary Pop". As he quotes:
“I’m a consumer of culture and love mixing styles and inspirations, both in my music and my style. I’m working on a new genre of music — Revolutionary Pop — which combines several music genres to create a new sound experience.”
Since more and more R&B/Soul artists are going this 'pop' route (see Kelis and Kelly Rowland) because it's what is selling at the moment, Usher's proclamation is understandable (and if unleashing Justin Bieber to the world wasn't a Captain Obvious clue...) but, can't he just release the music without some sort of gimmick following behind it? Look, I'm all for the combining of genres, like he said. Even though some folks find pop is diluting soul and R&B music as whole (false assumption, it's just some forgot their core audience)...but there is really no excuse, you can blend the best of both worlds (Usher should look at his 8701 and Confessions albums for examples), but the trick is to not lose people in the process, and Usher has sort of lost me (he lost me back in 2008 to be exact) with whatever he's trying to pull. Maybe he should give R. Kelly a call to see how an accessible R&B album for all (i.e. Love Letter) can be and just stick to making a better album. Why all the extra stuff? #justsayin' 

5. Link Of The Week: Not sick of end-of-the-year lists? The A.V. Club has another one to whet your appetite, the worst band names of 2010. All subjects are covered (from dinosaurs to dead body references to well, the F-Bomb) and all names are awesomely BAD. Very chuckle worthy, especially for bloggers, like myself, who get bushels of e-mails from new artists who have names that make you not even want to open the e-mail. Still, I never had to endure the likes of The Dirty Maraduke Flute Squad or Thesaurus Rex. Wow. Just remember guys, if you start a band, make sure you can live that name down.

1 comment:

  1. I seriously wish artists would stop going down the bandwagon of sounds route, Usher, I'd much sooner you release a pure R&B album in the style of '8701' than go down some Pop route just because that's what's selling units. I get bored!

    On the subject of Jazmine though, you know I'm a huge fan of everything she does. She's so real and just what the industry needs, instead of all of these puppets within the industry who have fat cat record executives pulling their strings and dangling a golden carrot in front of their faces. But she definitely needs to take a breather and figure out what it is that she wants to do, if she's ready to put more music out, I'm incredibly happy, but if she wants to take a few months or so off to evaluate things, then I'm also happy that she's taking time for herself. As you know that when she does come back, her music will be to the highest standard.

    On the subject of Lauryn, I'm just not going into too much detail. I love her music though, she's super talented, but boy does she know it.

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