The first single from Miley Cyrus's new album, “Malibu,” sparked a flurry of think pieces that both doubled down on the criticism that the singer has received over the years for her cultural appropriation of hip-hop signifiers while also rebuking her for abandoning it. That Miley adopted a more mellow pop-rock sound and traded grillz and twerking for a more squeaky-clean image and frolicking in a country meadow, respectively, was seen as proof that hip-hop was nothing more than a costume.
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In an interview celebrating the 20th anniversary of the hit sitcom Friends, Lisa Kudrow revealed that her approach to playing Phoebe—her famously eccentric character, whose backstory included a mom who committed suicide, a dad who went to prison, and a pimp who spit in her mouth—was based on a friend from college who “never got down about it, ever.”
It wasn’t long ago when the notion of Yoko Ono’s discography getting the deluxe reissue treatment would have sounded like a pipe dream—or a pipe nightmare, depending on one’s perspective. But recent years have been kind to the controversial artist, whose importance to contemporary conceptual art, feminism, and even popular music has finally outpaced her reputation as the Woman Who Broke Up the Beatles. Earlier this month, Secretly Canadian Records released their second wave of Ono reissues on CD, vinyl, and digital: Fly (1971), Approximately Infinite Universe (1973), and Feeling the Space (1973). All three are among Ono’s finest and most accessible albums, and they’re also among the first in rock history to so explicitly foreground feminist principles.
A companion piece to Bright Light Bright Light’s music video for “New York Pretty,” the first single from his new EP Tales of the City, “Into the Night” finds Welsh singer-songwriter Rod Thomas paying tribute to his adopted hometown of New York City. Along his route from Brooklyn to Manhattan, Thomas walks by the Williamsburg Bridge and queer landmarks like Stonewall.
On August 25, Whitney: Can I Be Me will make its TV premiere on Showtime. Nick Broomfield’s documentary focuses largely on Whitney Houston’s tumultuous private life, and at one point a member of the singer’s inner circle suggests that the whitewashed image that was crafted for Houston by her handlers was, in part, responsible for her inevitable self-destruction. It’s no secret that Houston was largely an A&R creation, a traditional vocalist who emerged in the era of Michael Jackson and Madonna, two self-empowered artists who took 360-degree creative control of their careers.
- exhale shoop shoop
- i have nothing
- i wanna dance with somebody who loves me
- i will always love you
- i'm every woman
- i'm your baby tonight
- it's not right but it's okay
- million dollar bill
- my love is your love
- my name is not susan
- so emotional
- the bodyguard
- the greatest love of all
- Whitney Houston
- whitney: can i be me
Though “No Horses” isn’t explicitly about the Trump administration, Shirley Manson describes Garbage’s new single as a “panic attack” that imagines a dystopian, über-capitalist future ruled by a regime that values profit above all else. One hundred percent of the band’s earnings from the song, released today, will be donated to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
After nearly five years with no new solo material, Kesha has dropped two new tracks in the span of one week. Following “Praying,” the first single from her upcoming album, Rainbow, the funk-tinged “Woman” is another empowering anthem, this time with a more playful, upbeat vibe. The bouncy, expletive-riddled track, which features the members of the Dap-Kings on horns, is a musical departure for the singer, but it reprises the celebratory spirit of her past hits in a way that its predecessor didn’t.
Lana Del Rey’s foray into hip-hop might seem long overdue, but judging by the languid tempos of “Summer Bummer” and “Groupie Love,” two newly released songs from her forthcoming album, Lust for Life, the singer-songwriter is perfectly fine taking her sweet time.
Based on its title at least, the former could be seen as a quasi-sequel to her 2013 hit “Summertime Sadness,” only with EDM traded for hip-hop. Del Rey purrs lines like “Hip-hop in the summer/Don’t be a bummer, babe/Be my undercover lover, babe” atop a sparse loop and half-buried rhymes by guests A$AP Rocky and Playboi Carti, who eventually take the mic for a lengthy verse of their own, boasting: “I might fuck with her all summer for real.”
Though Kesha’s Auto-Tune-drenched club hits earned her a reputation as a party girl, there were hints of a more introspective artist at the heart of tracks like “Dancing with Tears in My Eyes” and “Animal,” both from her 2010 debut, Animal. Her record label’s decision not to release even a midtempo cut as a single from the album was a missed opportunity to not only deepen Kesha’s image, but broaden her fanbase and ensure the kind of longevity that many of her more humanized pop contemporaries have enjoyed.
Radiohead doesn’t play by familiar rules, so it wasn’t a surprise to see news this morning of a music video for the unreleased OK Computer track “I Promise.” Last month, the band announced OKNOTOK, a 20th-anniversary reissue of their iconic Grammy-winning album from 1997. OKNOTOK will feature a remastered version of the original album, plus B-sides and three previously unreleased tracks. Among those three tracks is “I Promise,” and its accompanying video, directed by Michal Marczak, is of a piece with the themes of ennui explored throughout OK Computer and Marczak’s All These Sleepless Nights. The video, not unlike Marczak’s three features to date, is a hybrid documentary-fiction, in this case a reverie about Warsaw in nighttime and all the lonely people, including a man-robot’s head, who absorb the Polish capital’s mundane wonders while riding a city bus. This uniquely immersive video attests to Marcak’s knack for empathetically homing in on the essence of archetypical figures, people and environments alike.