ALBUM REVIEW: Nicki Minaj “Pink Friday…Roman Reloaded”

“I’m addicted to fame” declares rapper-of-the-moment Nicki Minaj on the sensual “Sex In The Lounge”, which marks the turning point of the colourful star’s much-anticipated sophomore release “Pink Friday…Roman Reloaded”. Having exploded into the mainstream with her accomplished and distinct debut “Pink Friday, Minaj has clearly become a lover of her newly found privileged position.

While she professes her love for fame, Minaj is equally enamoured with the associated fortune. Album lowlight and title track “Roman Reloaded” is a poorly pitched and unashamed celebration of both her and collaborator Lil’ Wayne’s rapidly rising affluence at a time where their global fanbase struggle to pay entry for their increasingly expensive tours.

Add into the equation a confused approach to album cohesiveness and “Pink Friday…Roman Reloaded” could be written off as a shambles. While it opens as a sophisticated, though self-obsessed rap record, it explodes at the halfway point into a Katy Perry meet Ke$ha pop foray.

While the opening half is arguably consistent, it offers only two highlights – the sexy sleek “Right By My Side” and chant-worthy “I Am Your Leader”. In stark contrast, Minaj easily proves herself capable of wearing a Pop Princess crown. Lead single “Starships” may be the album highlight, but the incessant “Whip It” , the frenzy inducing “Pound The Alarm” and girly sing-along “Marilyn Monroe” are equally noteworthy.

“Pink Friday…Roman Reloaded” fails to really impress as a complete product. With Minaj battling between her credible rapper roots and pop princess ambitions, the album would have better approached as separate projects. Disappointingly rapper Minaj has got lost in her own ego and seems too obsessed with financial gain to have really delivered, yet pop Minaj ticks all the boxes and will have those dancefloors flooded in no time at all.

We say ditch the attempt at credibility and let your down and party as that is clearly where your heart currently lies…

Rating: 2/5 (for Rap Queen Minaj), 4/5(for Pop Princess Minaj)
Reviewer: Jeremy Williams

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NEWS: Katy Perry To Release Special Edition “Teenage Dream”

Global pop superstar Katy Perry has announced that she will release a special edition of her double-platinum certified album Teenage Dream on March 26th, 2012.  The first run of the release will feature a limited edition lenticular cover.

Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection includes all 12 tracks from the original version of Katy’s second album, including the singles “California Gurls,” “Teenage Dream,” “Firework,” “E.T.,” “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.),” and “The One That Got Away,” which all peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Pop Songs chart.

It also features three brand new songs as well as versions of “E.T” featuring Kanye West, “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” featuring Missy Elliott, and a moving acoustic version of “The One That Got Away” produced by Jon Brion. None of these alternative versions have ever been available on a physical CD until now. Also included on The Complete Confection is a 7 minute Tommie Sunshine megamix featuring all six No.1 hits.

“This is the complete story of Teenage Dream. It was an incredible honor to tie the King of Pop’s Billboard Hot 100 record, but I’m moving forward and had a few things left to get off my chest.  So this is the complete special edition of my album for my fans,”states Katy.

Teenage Dream has generated more than 25.5 million in digital song sales and earned Katy six Grammy Award nominations, including “Album of the Year” and “Record of the Year.” Katy recently wrapped her hugely successful sold-out arena tour, the 124-date California Dreams World Tour. She was also selected MTV’s “Artist of the Year” in 2011.

www.katyperry.com
www.twitter.com/katyperry
www.myspace.com/katyperry
www.facebook.com/katyperry

The Kaje’s Top 20 Singles 2011!!!!

The charts have been inundated with stellar singles this year, so rather than waste time making small talk about tracks, we have decided to simply let the music do the talking this time around – no need for us to justify our selections. So here goes our 20-1 countdown…

20.  Jess Hall Band – Play Shy

19. Cosmo Jarvis – Gay Pirates

18. Demi Lovato – Skyscraper

17. Bright Light Bright Light – Disco Moment

16. Radio Star – A Common Tale

15. Rihanna ft. Calvin Harris – We Found Love

14. Nicola Roberts – Beat Of My Drum

13. Katy Perry – Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F)

12. Ed Sheeran – Lego House

11. Boy In A Box -Glitter, Gold, Ruin

10. Owl Eyes – Raiders 

9. Rebecca Ferguson – Nothing’s Real But Love

8. Kal Lavelle – The Ocean

7. Agnes Obel – Brother Sparrow

6. Gotye ft. Kimbra – Somebody That I Used To Know

5. Wynter Gordon – Buy My Love

4. The Good Natured – Skeleton

3. Britney Spears – Till The World Ends

2. Lana Del Rey – Video Games

1. Adele – Someone Like You

ALBUM REVIEW: The Saturdays “Headlines!”

Record Label: Polydor
Release Date: 16.08.2010

With two Top 10 albums to their name, The Saturdays are back with their sooner than anticipated, and in my opinion their best to date, third album “Headlines!”. Although the album only contains eight tracks, two of which have already been released as singles, it is very clear that the fivesome have gone for quality rather than quantity.

The album opens with “Missing You”, which happens to be their new single (out at the start of August). Once you’ve listened to this track, you certainly have a feel for what the rest of the album has in store. “Missing You” takes on current music trends with its techno synths mixed with auto tuned voices, however it is not overly produced so we can still hear the talented voices that make up The Saturdays, which makes a nice difference to some of the other acts out there at the moment.

Thankfully the rest of the album follows suit. Tracks such as “Higher” and “Puppet” offer the listener a more mature sound with driving beats and showcase the way in which their music has evolved with group, yet still maintain the all important The Saturdays signature.

“Karma” seems to be the odd one out, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I feel it’s quite possibly the strongest track on “Headlines!” with its almost Katy Perry vibe. With their voices sounding the strongest they ever have, “Karma” proves a great sound for the girls. I only wish more of the album had this kind of style to it.

Even though “Headlines!” contains two tracks from the last album, they (“Ego” and “Forever Is Over”) actually fit better on “Headlines!” than they ever did on “Wordshaker”. The Saturdays have managed to created a brief but fantastic little gem. “Headlines!” is a must listen for this summer.

Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Christopher Hall

NEWS: Gym Class Heroes frontman Travie McCoy announces debut UK tour

Gym Class Heroes front man Travie McCoy will play his debut solo tour here in the UK this October. The New York State native, whose smash hit single ‘Billionaire’ recently stormed the singles chart at number 2 (selling more than 50k in its first week), will head to Birmingham to kick-off the tour. He then plays four dates in Oxford, Manchester, Glasgow and London. His second single, ‘We’ll Be Alright’ will also be released on October 18 via Atlantic/Decaydance/Fueled By Ramen. This is the second track to be lifted from the critically acclaimed debut solo album, ‘LAZARUS’, out now.

Following the success of his #2 debut single ‘Billionaire’ which featured the vocals of the extraordinarily talented – Bruno Mars, McCoy is set to raise the bar with his uplifting synth-rock new single, ‘We’ll Be Alright’, lifted from Supergrass’ 1995 smash ‘Alright’. Previous single, ‘Billionaire’, enjoyed huge support from radio, including Radio 1 (where it remains on their playlist weeks later), 1Xtra and Kiss; the video also amassed huge plays from the likes of MTV Base, MTV Hits, VH1, Smash Hits and Viva.

LAZARUS sees McCoy build upon an eclectic musical range, with strong influences coming from reggae, indie rock and hip hop – the ten-track masterpiece stars a number of hot talents: Cee Lo Green, Bruno Mars, T-Pain and Young Clash. Aside from this, Travie recently bought his newfound sound to the masses in the US, after completing a lengthy stint on the ‘Last Girl On Earth’ tour in support of pop superstar, Rihanna.

McCoy first achieved international stardom in 2006 with Gym Class Heroes’ RIAA gold certified debut album, AS CRUEL AS SCHOOL CHILDREN. It formed the phenomenal US #1 hit single, ‘Cupid’s Chokehold/Breakfast In America’, which also stormed the UK chart at #3, residing in the top 40 for four months, selling over 200K – as it also generated the top 5 single ‘Clothes Off’. In 2007, Gym Class Heroes were named “Best New Artist” and “Best Group” at the MTV Video Music Awards, and also hailed the “Ultimate Urban Act” at the MTV European Music Awards. The release of the band’s second studio album, THE QUILT, earned critical praise for its unique collaborations with such diverse stars as Busta Rhymes, Estelle, The-Dream, Daryl Hall.

McCoy and Gym Class Heroes are currently writing a new album, due out next year.

18th October – Birmingham O2 Academy 2
21st October – Oxford O2 Academy
22nd October – Manchester Academy
23rd October – Glasgow G2
25th October – London Kings College

Tickets are on sale now priced £12.50 regionally / £14.00 London from Gigsandtours.com or by 24hr cc hotline on 0844 811 0051

ALBUM REVIEW: Ashley Noot “Throwing Away Your Love Songs”

Record Label: Johnny Boy Records/Universal

“Throwing Away Your Love Songs” is the debut album from Ashley Noot, who according to her website is an “extremely highly spirited and talented singer-song writer hailing from Houston, Texas, USA”

This American import has been signed by UK producer Johnny Ravenhall, and is set to launch her assault on the British charts with the release of her first single from the album “Oh No What” on 29th August 2010.

With the charts already filled with a wide selection of female singer/songwriters, it’s easy to wonder if there is really room for another? I would say yes! There are so many new females artists trying to be even more quirky and eccentric than the last “big thing”.  Ashley’s album of contemporary guitar based pop songs fill a gap in the market, with their catchy lyrics and melodies.

If you look up Ashley on “You Tube” there are numerous videos of her singing covers of Katy Perry, Lily Allen and the Cranberries, among others and it is easy to see the influence behind her debut release.

The album includes two of Ashley’s originals as well as ten other songs that were co-written by Ashley and friend and co-writer, John Gordon.

“Heading North” is a mellow tune with hints of Norah Jones, while the more dance based tune “Tonight”  has hints of Girls Aloud and even Kylie. The album’s title track “Throwing Away Your Love Songs”, has a big band feel about it, and even features the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra.

“Throwing Away Your Love Songs” is an eclectic mix of songs which debuts Ashley versatile talent and range. Every song brings something to different to the table and it is guaranteed to keep you wanting more!

Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Kim Harrell

NEWS: 3OH!3 To Tour The UK

3OH!3, everyone’s favourite party starters from Boulder Colorado, have announced a UK tour which kicks off on September 25 in Bristol and includes a date at London’s Koko on September 29.  The duo are also set to release a brand new single, ‘Double Vision’, on September 27 through Photo Finish / Asylum Records. 
 
Taken from the top 20 album ‘Streets Of Gold’, ‘Double Vision’ follows their current hit single ‘My First Kiss (Feat. Ke$ha)’ which is enjoying its third week inside the top ten.  The album also features the massive smash hit singles ‘Starstrukk (Feat. Katy Perry)’ and ‘Don’t Trust Me’.
 
The duo were recently in the UK whipping the masses at T in The Park and Oxegen festivals into a gang-sign-throwing, finger-licking frenzy, they also played a rapturously received sold out show at London’s Kings College.  As well as the newly announced September tour the band are back on these shores in August to play the Reading / Leeds festival.
 
Full dates as follows:
 
AUGUST
Fri 27               LEEDS FESTIVAL
Sat 28               READING FESTIVAL

SEPTEMBER
Sat 25               BRISTOL                       Anson Rooms
Sun 26              BIRMINGHAM               O Academy 2
Mon 27            GLASGOW                   Garage
Tues 28            MANCHESTER              Academy 3
Wed 29            LONDON                       Koko
 
3OH!3 are Sean Foreman and Nathaniel Motte.

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