Hey all…I know the silence has been deafening around here, but I promise you that I haven’t been living the life of luxury these past few weeks. In fact, it’s been a pretty busy time for me writing for about.com. While I do still plan on posting more personal items here, my main gig at the moment is providing content of a more Adult Pop nature. Here are a few of the posts I’ve recently written:
An Interview with Wilson Phillips
Top 10 New Holiday Songs for 2010
Michael Buble – Hollywood EP Review
Review of Ingrid Michaelson’s “Parachute”
And my favorite so far…an interview with Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls
As I joked yesterday, I don’t know where I go but down after interviewing Amy and the ladies of Wilson Phillips, but it has been a blast so far. Hope you all are doing well, and that the holiday season is one for recharging and relaxing. There’s too much hustle and bustle the rest of the year to waste such a great time of the year running yourself ragged. Make sure you check out Paul’s list of new Christmas music, and also take a listen to one of my favorite solo Amy tracks, “Bus Bus.”
For all of you who slept on Melanie Fiona’s first CD The Bridge, shame on you. Sadly, I’m one of you. I came around this summer, but it was too late, and the project is done from a promotion standpoint. One missed opportunity of epic proportions is that “Priceless” was not a worldwide #1 hit. You would think that I wouldn’t want to go that far out on a limb, but it’s the truth. “Priceless” checks all the boxes for a classic soulful pop tune that should be catapulted up pop charts all over the world, but it only saw a limited release and promotion in North America. Enough of my praise, though. Time to put my money where the music is.
With all of the music that’s out there right now, you would think I could let go of an album cut, but this song keeps rising to the surface, begging for attention. Melanie has been keeping busy in advance of her sophomore CD The MF Life dropping in 2011, including an appearance on John Legend and the Roots’ “Wake Up Everybody,” which seems very appropriate. Wake up, everybody. Melanie Fiona is not going anywhere, so you might as well just give in now.
It was a year ago this week that Lady Antebellum performed “Need You Now” on the Country Music Association (CMA) awards show, and we all know what happened after that. Fun fact…the song went top 10 in seven other countries beside the United States. I can’t think of a country artist that has done something close to that since Shania Twain ruled the pop and country charts in the late 1990s/early 2000s.
In the music business, it’s all about finding the next (fill in the blank). So where do you go when you have a country song that becomes such a smash that it goes 4x Platinum on sales of well over 4 million singles? I’ve been wrong before, but my money right now is on the next single from Jason Aldean’s fourth CD My Kinda Party entitled “Don’t You Wanna Stay”. And go figure, the song was performed on the CMA awards this past week…
I’ve been a fan of Jason Aldean’s way back since “Hicktown,” but it was “Amarillo Sky” that cemented the idea that this guy could connect with a country song with some depth. It is very clear that Aldean connects with “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” and big props to him for having the vision to ask Kelly Clarkson to take a song written for a solo artist and turn it into a killer duet. While I don’t know if this song will go worldwide, I don’t think it’s a big stretch to hear this song on Adult Pop stations, with an outside chance of Top 40 stations coming along for the ride. I saw the song get as high as #18 on iTunes, but it currently sits at #31.
The arrangement from the live performance buried almost every trace of “country” in the song, allowing the song to stand on its own as a well-written and well-sung song. You can call it country, country pop, modern country, whatever. At the heart of the song, it’s a pop song, and I mean that with as much respect as I can gather. Let’s see how John the Swami does this time around.
So remember that thing about the thing with the thing?
I have been putting pen to paper about music as long as I can remember. In art class, I tried my hand at an album cover. When I discovered the joy of countdown shows and charts, I kept a file box with index cards following the chart positions of every song. And if you’ve ever read this blog prior to today, you know where that love of expressing my opinion of music has taken me. Well, as of this week, I now get paid to write. It’s not enough to quit my day job, but it is still amazing to my mind to make money off of something I do for free in my spare time.
The new gig is with about.com, and I will be writing alongside Bill Lamb, whose Top 40/Pop blog I have been a fan of for several years. One of the first cool moments of recognition of this blog came when Bill linked to a post I made about Sara Bareilles’ “Gravity” video, and we’ve kept tabs on each other ever since. When the opportunity to write for about.com came along, I jumped right at it, and fortunately they decided I was a good fit. Where my focus here is a lack of focus, my area of writing at about.com will be on Adult Pop. If Susan Boyle has an album out (which she does this week), I’ll be all over it.
Fear not for the future of this here blog. My love of all forms of pop music will not be constrained, so I will still be posting here occasionally with the more personal posts that many of you have said you appreciate. My hope is the quality of those occasional posts will outweigh the lack of quantity. Now that I have a bit more clarity about my mission, writing for pleasure will become much easier to do. It sure doesn’t hurt that I am wrapping up my Masters degree after two years either.
I sit here a humbled man tonight. The last two and a half years have been a lot to bear, and yet I still have a life I would never trade. I love where I live, I have people I love who love me back, and I have music. There isn’t much more that I could ask for from this good life.
The buzz on Jessie J has reminded me of early Lady GaGa coverage, and we all know how that turned out. The interesting thing about having early exposure to an artist like this is that you can see the evolution of the image and the PR as the date of release gets closer. She’s a natural-born star, and the voice isn’t too bad either, is it?
Having said all of that, I’m not a fan of “Do It Like a Dude.” While the first US single is supposed to be ballad “Who You Are,” the money track for me is “Price Tag,” which she just announced a couple of weeks ago will feature B.o.B on the final version. Anyone hearing any Natasha Bedingfield up in here?
And what the heck…let’s get “Who You Are” up in here as well…
As usual, sorry for the lack of posting. For once, I have a good reason for this, and I will update that in the next few days. But until then, here’s someone else who has had an extended absence…
Adele’s second album, entitled 21, will be released January 24th in the UK, February 22nd in the US. Is it February yet?