Like every year before it, 2012 was filled with hit songs that you couldn’t get out of your head. DJ Earworm is here to bring every single one of them back to memory with his latest “United State of Pop” mega-mashup this year titled “Shine Brighter.” The four minute track includes 25 of the most popular songs that came out this year, according to Billboard’s Hot 100 charts. Bruno Mars and Ke$ha dominate, but Earworm makes sure to sprinkle in a myriad of artists including Gotye, Carly Rae Jepsen, Maroon 5, Nicki Minaj, and Taylor Swift. Click after the break to see a list of all the songs used in mix.
At the end of the year Apple digs into its archive of music, movies, TV shows, apps, books, and podcasts to share with its customers its top-selling content. Since the iTunes Store and the App Store are so prolific these days, I deem it appropriate to take a look at what we bought up from Apple’s widespread ecosystem in 2012.
In the music department, Apple lists the 20 top-selling songs and 25 top-selling albums of the year. Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” lands at #1 on the song list and rounding out the top 5 are Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know,” Fun.’s “We Are Young,” Maroon 5′s “Payphone,” and Nicki Minaj’s “Starships.” Maroon 5 managed to land on this chart twice; “One More Night” comes in at #17. Also, Flo Rida’s hit singles “Whistle” and “Wild Ones” show their staying power securing the #9 and #10 slots, respectively. For the second consecutive year in a row, Adele’s 21 sits high as the most purchased album of the year; what follows is Taylor Swift’s Red, Mumford & Sons’ Babel, One Direction’s debut Up All Night, and Fun.’s Some Nights. The only artist to show up twice on this chart is Mumford & Sons; their 2010 effort Sigh No More keeps selling and fell in the #6 position.
In addition to these charts, Apple handpicks their own selections in a section they call “Editor’s Choice.” They named Frank Ocean Best New Artist and they had this to say about his much buzzed about release Channel ORANGE: “Deftly original, the brooding R&B outcast and Odd Future cohort spilled a can of stinging venom and vulnerability that spread worldwide.” Grizzly Bear’s Shields was awarded Best Album, Fun.’s infectious single “We Are Young” nabbed Best Song, and they enjoyed the fusion of country and gospel from The Lumineers so much to label their self-titled debut release Breakthrough Album.
The Hunger Games, Downton Abbey, Fifty Shades of Grey, Angry Birds Space, and YouTube dominated the other content categories. Click here to browse Apple’s Best of 2012 charts (the link opens in iTunes).
Wiz is back in the rap game with his latest release O.N.I.F.C. Though his commercial hip-hop marketability cannot be questioned, what can be said about the actual substance of his rhymes? Can Bruno Mars live up to his widely successful debut album Doo-Wops & Hooligans with this year’s Unorthodox Jukebox? Spoiler alert: If you were impressed with his lead single “Locked Out of Heaven” you will surely enjoy the rest of the 80s synth pop-rock that flows from the talented crooner. T.I. has already proven he can perform at the top of the rap game. How does his eighth studio album Trouble Man: Heavy is the Head stack up against his previous efforts?
SpeakSonic delivers with this week’s bite-sized album reviews.
After partying it up with King Chip in the clip for “Just What I Am,” Kid Cudi takes off and dances in the streets in his latest self-directed music video for his single “King Wizard.” Cudder keeps it low key here with a floating camera capturing his rhymes and movements without too many cuts and inside the same baroque frame as before.
Download “King Wizard” at iTunes today. A release date has not been set for Cudi’s upcoming fourth studio album Indicud which also includes the previous single “Just What I Am.” The next track to be released in 2013 is called “Immortal” and when it drops you’ll find it here.
Update: Shortly after the video hit the ‘Net, Cudder took to Twitter to clarify things. “Phase 2 of my domination has begun. King Wizard is not the official second single, just a scooby snack. Indicud in March.” So “King Wizard” may not end up on the album, and Indicud is now expected to release in March.
On December 6 the 2013 Grammy nominations were announced and instead of one artist leading the pack (last year it was Kanye West), a grand total of five separate artists landed six nods each and they are Frank Ocean, Fun., Jay-Z, Mumford & Sons, and Kanye West. Newcomer Frank Ocean and his debut album Channel Orange deservedly owns a giant chunk of the spotlight: Channel Orange is up for Album of the Year (against The Black Keys’ El Camino, Fun.’s Some Nights, Mumford & Sons’ Babel, and Jack White’s Blunderbuss); Ocean’s “Thinkin Bout You” is vying for Record of the Year with “Lonely Boy” (The Black Keys), “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” (Kelly Clarkson), “We Are Young” (Fun. featuring Janelle Monáe), “Somebody That I Used To Know” (Gotye featuring Kimbra), and ”We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” (Taylor Swift); he’s also up for Best New Artist with Alabama Shakes, Fun., Hunter Hayes, and The Lumineers; he’s also in the Best Urban Contemporary Album category; and his contribution to Kanye West and Jay-Z’s “No Church in the Wild” grabbed him two more nods. He did not, however, break into Song of the Year; those that did include Ed Sheeran (“The A Team”), Miguel (“Adorn”), Carly Rae Jepsen (“Call Me Maybe”), Kelly Clarkson (“Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”), and Fun. (“We Are Young).
Click here to view the full 2013 Grammy nominees list. The 55th Annual Grammy Awards airs Sunday, February 10 at 8PM on CBS.
On November 24, ”Gangnam Style” became the most-viewed video on YouTube. On that day its view count reached 805 million. Today its nearly captured 855 million looks. The South Korean rapper PSY managed to dethrone “pop sensation” Justin Bieber’s “Baby” music video, the previous record holder for most-viewed video. And as catchy, fun, agonizing or annoying you find “Gangnam Style” to be, PSY deserves at least some respect for knocking the Biebs down a peg, am I right? According to YouTube Trends, however, Justin’s 2010 single still receives between 350k and 500k views per day. But that pales in comparison to the new record holder; the song that’ll get you singing Heyyy, sexy lady is being watched 7 to 10 million times a day.
Be a part of history and add one to the tally. Bieber’s in the dust! For now…
Cee-Lo Green released a Christmas album earlier this month called Cee-Lo’s Magic Moment; though it contains mostly covers of classic holiday hits like “White Christmas” and “Silent Night,” there is one original track planted inside. To promote the catchy single ”All I Need Is Love,” Green collaborated with The Muppets for the second time in his career (remember his colorful rendition of “F–k You” at the Grammys?) in a fun and cheery music video that also features a cameo by The Office‘s Craig Robinson as Santa. The song, which is infused with the classic Muppets tune “Mahna Mahna,” is infectious and by the time you’re done watching this nearly seven-minute clip you’ll be humming All I need is la-la-love! My favorite part is when the newest member of the Muppets family Walter looks up to Robinson and proclaims, “So Santa’s my homie!”
It’s almost that time of year; enjoy. Download the track at iTunes.
The month of November saw many artists return from musical hiatus. Aerosmith released Music from Another Dimension!, their fifteenth studio album and first to feature a new collection of songs since their 2001 effort Push to Play. Christina hopes to bounce back from her 2010 bust Bionic with Lotus, an album that features her fellow judges from reality competition series The Voice Cee-Lo Green and Blake Shelton. How does Kid Rock’s latest Rebel Soul fare against his previous records? Is Alicia Keys back in the game with Girl On Fire after taking a three year vacation?
SpeakSonic delivers with this week’s bite-sized album reviews.
On November 13, Abel Tesfaye, aka The Weeknd, re-released his three mixtapes as one collection in Trilogy. The 33-track album contains mixed and mastered versions of every song from House of Balloons, Thursday, and Echoes of Silence plus three, never-before-heard bonus tracks “Twenty Eight,” “Valerie,” and “Till Dawn (Here Comes the Sun).” At $9.99 Trilogy, which also includes the music video for “The Zone” featuring Drake, is the definition of a steal. Digital and physical ($11.99) copies are available. Trilogy was released under Universal Republic Records and Tesfaye’s own XO label. If you enjoyed his mixtapes, support a growing, talented artist by picking up Trilogy today.
In addition to dropping the album, The Weeknd also directed three music videos to promote the release. Clips were shot for “Rolling Stone,” “Wicked Games,” and the previously aforementioned “The Zone” featuring Drake. In a note directed at his fans, Tesfaye opens up and sheds light on the symbolism behind the “Rolling Stone” clip. He acknowledges that signing to a major record label and releasing a studio album in Trilogy takes him away from “the underground” and into the spotlight, but promises that “this does not mean what you think it means.” In other words, he will not be affected by his new-found fame and next-level success. “YOU WILL CONTINUE TO GET WHAT YOU FELL IN LOVE WITH, AND I WILL CONTINUE TO GIVE YOU WHAT YOU ASK FOR. I’LL NEVER MAKE YOU WAIT AGAIN,” he shares in all caps.
Click after the break to view the note in full and all three music videos. In addition, you’ll find a new track “Enemy” outed last month that is not included on his first major release. (Click here for more…)
Cudder’s released a self-directed music video for the first single off his upcoming fourth studio album Indicud. Along with featured guest King Chip and a young group of ragers, Kid Cudi mellows out and has fun partying it up and driving around town. You’ll notice that the video is framed inside a boarder that’s accustomed to holding artwork. “All my videos will be in a baroque frame. I create art, so it will be presented as such. ART IN MOTION,” explained Cudi in a tweet.
Watch the music video above, download the single here, and anticipate the second single “Immortal” coming soon.
Death Cab for Cutie lead singer Ben Gibbard ventured off and released his first solo album Former Lives. Here we have a music video for the single “Teardrop Windows” and it’s actually pretty funny. The clip, written and directed by Tom Scharpling, starts with comedian Kurt Braunohler as his manager telling Gibbard that he’s too normal to sell records; “People don’t want to buy music from normal people. People want to hear music from bad boys,” says Braunohler. After a little over a minute of setup the music finally kicks in and we watch as Gibbard attempts but miserably fail at transforming into a “bad boy.” It’s fun to watch the clean-cut singer from Death Cab for Trudie take a stab at making fun of himself.
Who is ZZ Ward? SpeakSonic will introduce you to her with a review of her debut album Til The Casket Drops. Also on tap is Taylor Swift’s fourth studio album Red and a Christmas-themed release from Cee-Lo Green Cee-Lo’s Magic Moment.
SpeakSonic delivers with this week’s bite-sized album reviews.
Going viral: ‘Breaking Bad’ musical parody featuring Walt & company channeling their inner Taylor Swift
Video contains spoilers from the show.
The Internet has produced one of the most ridiculous videos I have ever seen. I’m sharing it with you, though, because it is just the right amount of entertaining for long-time followers of the critically acclaimed AMC drama Breaking Bad. YouTube channel Teddie Films has concocted a viral hit with “We Are Never Ever Gonna Cook Together,” a mashup of Breaking Bad and Taylor Swift’s new breakup single “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” The clip does a good job of musically summing up the tension between Walt and Jesse that occurs in season five, and it really scores with the absurd imitations of characters like DEA agent Hank Schrader, Walt Jr., and there’s even a guy in a chicken suit representing fast food chain Los Pollos Hermanos. What takes away from this almost-solid parody are giant inconsistencies like Jesse being Asian and Skylar’s portrayer wearing an obvious wig. Things like these add to the farcical nature of the video, but I feel that it really would have exploded with fans if they were more detail-oriented. Nitpicking aside, you should definitely have a watch if you like the show. Fair warning: Swift’s song is catchy to begin with; mashed with Breaking Bad don’t surprised if you catch yourself singing “Oooo ohhh Heisenberg” throughout the day.
You’re gonna kill me; the track is available for keeps through iTunes. Peace.
Wu Tang Clan leader RZA is about to make his directorial debut with The Man with the Iron Fists, a martial arts film that promises a bloody good time. The cast is led by Russell Crowe, Lucy Lui, and RZA, and the pedigree behind it is high with Eli Roth writing (with RZA) and producing and Quentin Tarantino is credited as “presenting” the movie.
With RZA’s background in mind, it should come as no surprise that the soundtrack for Iron Fists features a lineup of great rappers. They include Ghostface Killah, Talib Kweli, Raekwon, Pusha T, and Kanye West. The track headlined by Kanye West and produced by West, RZA, Tapez, and Boogz is called “White Dress” and it sits above for your listening pleasure. If anything it will take you back to Ye’s College years as you’ll instantly recognize the classic sound.
After the break you’ll find the full soundtrack tracklist plus a trailer for the movie. The music releases October 23, and the The Man with the Iron Fists hits theatres November 2.
Update: The entire soundtrack is now available to stream for free here.
01 The Black Keys and RZA: “The Baddest Man Alive”
02 Ghostface Killah, M.O.P, and Pharoahe Monch: “Black Out”
03 Kanye West: “White Dress”
04 The Revelations: “I Forgot to Be Your Lover” [ft. Tre Williams]
05 Talib Kweli and RES: “Get Your Way (Sex as a Weapon)”
06 Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, and Kool G. Rap: “Rivers of Blood”
07 Method Man, Freddie Gibbs, and StreetLife: “Built for This”
08 24 Carat Black: “Poverty’s Paradise”
09 Killa Sin: “The Archer”
10 RZA and Flatbush Zombies: “Just Blowin’ in the Wind”
12 Corrine Bailey Rae: “Chains”
13 Pusha T and Raekwon: “Tick Tock”
14 Frances Yip: “Green is the Mountain”
15 The Wu-Tang Clan: “Six Directions of Boxing”
16 Mabel John: “Your Good Thing Is About to End”
With every Bond movie comes a title sequence theme song. For Bond 23 aka Skyfall, the Grammy-award winning sensation Adele was chosen to produce the latest 007 track. She collaborated with producer Paul Epworth, the man who helped her turn “Rolling In The Deep” into the massive hit it has become. Adele’s vocals shine in this composition definitely worthy of the James Bond seal of approvement. What do you think? Thumbs up? Purchase the track at iTunes.
Skyfall opens November 9. And while you’re here, check out some snazzy posters in the gallery below.
Update: A new trailer that features Adele was recently whipped together. Check it out after the break.(Click here for more…)
Cudi is back with another new track off his upcoming fourth studio album Indicud. The song is called “King Wizard” and it’s during the hook when Cudi blocks out haters and makes it clear this is his time: “I push the lames aside/They’ll learn…F**k all the talk/In time, they’ll burn…They’ll never take me alive/King Wizard.” Sample the beat and Cudi’s flow in the player below, and click the download button for keeps.
If you’re into the evolving rap/hip-hop scene, Turbo T. Double is a name to look out for. Especially if you’re into Kanye West’s rap collective G.O.O.D. Music. Turbo’s been rapping since he’s ten years old, and now some years later, he’s opened for Big Sean and most recently he’s travelled to Europe to perform internationally. Though his flow is similar to Big Sean’s and even Kid Cudi’s, he definitely has a unique sound that’s worth checking out. His YouTube channel features over 50 clips of him rapping, so you can get a decent sampling over there. It won’t take for you to discover Turbo’s interest in video games, specifically the classic arcade title Street Fighter; see his most viewed video “Gigaton Punch.” To see him in action in the studio, check out this video where he raps over Lupe Fiasco’s “Dumb It Down.” After you’ve checked out his talent on YouTube, head over to his official website to browse and download his varied collection of music.
I had the pleasure of working with Turbo in the past, and I can say without hesitation that he’s a force that will not go unseen in the rap community. He’s been producing tracks for years, but thanks to fan donations and his hard work and dedication to his craft, Turbo is about to really blow up. Need proof? He sent me a behind-the-scenes video for an upcoming track titled “Atoms: The World Is Our Hood.” An accompanied music video is on the way, and it features Turbo along with the same beautiful models ‘Ye used in his Runaway film. The vid is directed by Yemi A.D., another talented collaborator of Kanye’s.
Jump after the break to watch the BTS footage; in it Turbo and Yemi talk about their experience working together and the inspiration behind awesome visuals featured in the music video. Check back here for when Turbo drops the clip in full. (Click here for more…)
SpeakSonic album reviews: Owl City, Minus the Bear, Matchbox Twenty, Imagine Dragons, P!nk, Deadmau5 & Muse get scored
The time has come again to get up to speed on the latest album releases. SpeakSonic delivers with this week’s bite-sized album reviews. And they are…
Owl City - The Midsummer Station
Minus the Bear - Infinity Overload
Matchbox Twenty - North
Imagine Dragons - Night Visions
P!ink - The Truth About Love
Deadmau5 - album title goes here
Muse - The Second Law
Can’t get enough of Channel Orange? Then get a load of this. Crooner Frank Ocean opts to rap in a brand new, previously unheard track called “Blue Whale.” He simply posted it to his Tumblr and let it ride. So now it’s time you do the same.
Before her previous album’s single leave the radio Rihanna is already back with a new one that’s off her upcoming still untitled seventh studio album. Her next radio hit is called “Diamonds” but unlike her previous smashes “We Found Love” and “Where Have You Been” this one features a more subtle beat (from producers Stargate and Benny Blanco) and a more mature RiRi (“Find light in the beautiful sea/I choose to be happy/You and I, you and I/We’re like diamonds in the sky”, written by Sia).
Rihanna shed light on the inspiration behind the track. “You’re not sad or dancing. You’re happy and hippie. It’s laid-back, but it’s hopeful. It gives me such a great feeling when I listen to it. The lyrics are very hopeful and positive, but it’s about love and the gears are a little different from what people would expect. I’m excited to surprise them sonically.”
Take a listen above; download at iTunes. Could this be a softer, reinvigorated Rihanna stepping into the spotlight? She is rolling diamonds into a joint in the single artwork… Her next album is due out later this year.