Music (#110 of 492)

Katy Perry Takes a Ride in the Eye-Popping “Chained to the Rhythm” Music Video

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Katy Perry Takes a Ride in the Eye-Popping “Chained to the Rhythm” Music Video

Rony Alwin

Katy Perry Takes a Ride in the Eye-Popping “Chained to the Rhythm” Music Video

If the political underpinnings of Katy Perry's new single, “Chained to the Rhythm,” were too subtle for some, she made sure to put a fine point on her message at last week's Grammy Awards, concluding her impressively choreographed debut performance of the song with a projection of the preamble of the United States Constitution. The new music video for the track is notably less pointed, offered up with more than a spoonful of the sugary, colorful imagery we've come to expect from Perry.

Lana Del Rey Gets Far-Out in Spacey “Love” Music Video

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Lana Del Rey Gets Far-Out in Spacey “Love” Music Video
Lana Del Rey Gets Far-Out in Spacey “Love” Music Video

Reports that Lana Del Rey had hit the recording studio with both Emile Haynie (who co-produced much of the singer's 2012 album Born to Die) and Benny Blanco (best known for his work with Kesha and Katy Perry) suggested she might be putting a modern twist on the throwback sound that made her famous. The first taste of those sessions, though, sounds like more of the same, with Del Rey winsomely crooning about cool kids who are “young and in love” set to a minimalist but heady symphonic arrangement that's reliably, even comfortingly formulaic. “I get ready, I get all dressed up/To go nowhere in particular,” she sings on “Love,” as if describing an entire generation as well as her creative method.

Review: Katy Perry’s “Chained to the Rhythm” Is the Song We Need Right Now

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Review: Katy Perry’s “Chained to the Rhythm” Is the Song We Need Right Now

Capitol Music Group

Review: Katy Perry’s “Chained to the Rhythm” Is the Song We Need Right Now

In case you weren't among the lucky few who happened upon the 20 some-odd disco balls strategically placed around the world, from San Francisco to Paris, playing Katy Perry's new single, “Chained to the Rhythm,” the track made its official online premiere tonight. Rather than the stomping disco anthem the song's title and inventive, albeit not always successful, pre-release promo might have suggested, “Chained to the Rhythm” is a midtempo—but no less beckoning—invitation to the dance floor.

Grammy 2017 Winner Predictions

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Grammy 2017 Winner Predictions

XL Records

Grammy 2017 Winner Predictions

Hillary Clinton's loss to the most unqualified presidential candidate in modern history proved once and for all that there's no such thing as a sure bet. So while it might feel safe to assume Adele will emerge victorious at the 59th Grammy Awards, a sweep like the one she enjoyed in 2012 isn't assured. Tempting as it might be, then, to look at the general field as a contest between Adele and another single-monikered pop titan, if the last year of alternative facts has taught us anything, it's that up is down, black is white, and that no matter who's in the White House, Beyoncé runs the world. With that in mind, here are our picks.

Lady Gaga Reunites with Jonas Åkerlund for “John Wayne” Music Video

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Lady Gaga Reunites with Jonas Åkerlund for “John Wayne” Music Video
Lady Gaga Reunites with Jonas Åkerlund for “John Wayne” Music Video

Capitalizing on a wave of publicity in the aftermath of Sunday night's Super Bowl halftime performance, Lady Gaga has released the music video for “John Wayne,” a standout track from last year's largely forgettable Joanne. Gaga's short film-style clips for “Bad Romance,” “Alejandro,” and “Born This Way” helped reignite the music video medium, turning each new release into a bona fide event, but her recent output—especially the lackluster videos for “Perfect Illusion” and “Million Reasons,” the first two singles from Joanne—have failed to garner much buzz. “John Wayne,” however, sees Gaga once again plying a maximalist aesthetic, and returning to the outlandish costumes and, possibly, a storyline that began almost eight years ago.

The 15 Best George Michael Songs

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The 15 Best George Michael Songs
The 15 Best George Michael Songs

When I was eight years old, my mother was forced to give me “the talk.” “I Want Your Sex,” the lead single from George Michael's solo debut, Faith, was in heavy rotation on MTV during the summer of 1987. I approached my mom, wide-eyed, and asked, “What's monogamy?” Michael writes the word in red lipstick on the naked back of his then-girlfriend, model Kathy Jeung. Quick on her feet, my mother offered a thoughtful, albeit predictably heteronormative, answer: “It's when a man and a woman are married.”

Listen to Slant's 25 Best Singles of 2016

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Listen to Slant's 25 Best Singles of 2016
Listen to Slant's 25 Best Singles of 2016

So many of the highlights and lowlights of the year in singles were, for better or worse, attuned to what feels like a worldwide drift toward maintaining one's own financial and psychological (same diff) bottom line at the expense of anyone else's. Beyoncé, of all performers, was far from immune, though her particular brand of exceptionalism continues to dress itself up in the finery of collective consciousness raising. Far more common were the unfussy, ruthlessly entertaining likes of Fifth Harmony speaking on behalf of Melania Trumps everywhere. Or Kanye West's epic clapback against Taylor Swift, which in turn presaged his detour into the mental hospital, which we've now seen firsthand more or less counts as the first step in a presidential bid in 2020.

Out of the Closet: Michael Jackson’s Underrated Dangerous Turns 25

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Out of the Closet: Michael Jackson’s Underrated Dangerous Turns 25
Out of the Closet: Michael Jackson’s Underrated Dangerous Turns 25

Even before everything started to go really wrong for Michael Jackson, Dangerous emerged as something of a harbinger of end times. The official Rolling Stone-canonical version of events holds that the ouster of Jackson's new-jack album from the top of the Billboard charts in favor of Nirvana's Nevermind signaled the unmistakable death knell for the 1980s and the arrival of the '90s. Never mind that both albums were certified blockbusters, as was the release that supplanted Nirvana the very next week: Garth Brooks's Ropin' the Wind. The sense at the time, amid the unprecedented promotional push for Jackson's latest effort and its analogous chart performance, was that the crown was slipping from the king of pop's fingers.

Britney Spears and Tinashe Channel Eyes Wide Shut in “Slumber Party” Music Video

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Britney Spears and Tinashe Channel Eyes Wide Shut in “Slumber Party” Music Video
Britney Spears and Tinashe Channel Eyes Wide Shut in “Slumber Party” Music Video

The music video for Britney Spears's “Slumber Party,” a standout track from the singer's recent Glory, starts off promisingly enough. A vintage car rolls up to a mansion, and Britney, looking fresh, strides up to the front door. Inside she discovers a sleepover-themed masquerade party, with guests dressed in their slinkiest nighttime attire, and locks eyes with a stud in a tuxedo and what appears to be a David Bowie bolt tattoo.

A Dangerous Idea: U2’s Achtung Baby Turns 25

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A Dangerous Idea: U2’s Achtung Baby Turns 25
A Dangerous Idea: U2’s Achtung Baby Turns 25

In Phil Joanou’s 1988 documentary Rattle and Hum, U2 guitarist the Edge, né David Howell Evans, gives the backstory of “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” before he, Bono, and a full Harlem church choir launch into a rousing live take of the song. “[It’s] a gospel song pretty much,” he says. “It doesn’t sound much like a gospel song the way we do it, but if you look at the lyric and the basic music, that’s exactly what it is.”

This is U2 one year removed from the incredible success of The Joshua Tree, freshly anointed as the biggest band in the world. The Rattle and Hum film, which accompanied a double album of the same name, was less a follow-up to The Joshua Tree than a conscious evasion of U2’s proper next step: Designed in the Exile on Main Street mold, it shuffles messily between formulaic Americana, cover songs, and live versions of tracks released just 19 months prior. It sold 14 million copies and didn’t do much to hurt U2’s brand, but further confused whether this band—once so serious and political, at times dangerous—cared most about the message, the art, or the money.