Madonna Perfume

Smell Like Madonna With the $250 Madame X Perfume

Madonna Perfume

Madame X is a student, a mother, a child, a teacher, a nun, a singer, a saint, a whore, a butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker, a biopic director and writer - and, more recently, a perfumier.

When she isn't dyeing her hair a soft pink hue or chastising Diablo Cody for her fashion sense whilst co-penning her self-directed autobiographical film experience, Madonna also enjoys partaking in the art of mixing fluids.

After teasing the bottle in a few of her couch script writing session Instagram videos, the Queen of Pop™ and Candy Perfume Girl™ herself has just unveiled her soon-to-be highly coveted Madame X Eau De Parfum, a limited edition fragrance available only at her official shop.

The Limited Edition 100ml spritz is very limited - 400 bottles only, in fact - and promises to take you on "a poetic journey."

"Madame X has been traveling the world. Her Eau de Parfum takes you on a poetic journey. Made up of fresh and floral scents from the Mediterranean coast, mystical flavors of the Orient, all transcended by her sensuality and rebellious spirit. The manifestation of her path to light and freedom," the official site description declares.

The top notes are made up of cinnamon, raspberry and orange blossom, with core notes of rose, patchouli and orange flower, and a base of musk, incense and amber. Surprisingly, there's no Holy Water included, nor any saccharine whiffs from the Candy Shop.

Should you feel a desire to throw a spritz of the mighty pricy odor of Madame X into your existing MDNA Skin routine - I hear they like the smell of it in Hollywood - it is available for you now at

And, just in case you're looking for a slightly cheaper way to smell Like a Girl Gone Wild, bottles of her first scent, Truth Or Dare, are still floating around.

Disclosure: Products featured on this website use affiliate links, and may earn me a commission for purchases made through the links.


GFRIEND Announce New Studio Album, '回:Walpurgis Night'


The return of GFRIEND is nearly upon us.

The South Korean girl group - which inked a deal with BTS's Big Hit Entertainment last year, resulting in a bigger budget and even more frequent comebacks - is set to release their new studio album, 回:Walpurgis Night on November 9, they announced via Weverse and their official fan cafe on Tuesday (October 13).

("回," by the way, is the Chinese character that means "to return" or "go back," a theme that has woven itself throughout this era and beyond.)

There's a religious history lesson embedded in the title: Walpurgis Night, for those who aren't as well versed in their saints, is observed on the eve of May Day (April 30), with some different cultural traditions across countries in Europe, generally featuring a feast commemorating the canonization of Saint Walpurga and bonfires to ward off evil spirits and witches. The dictionary also classifies it as "something (such as an event or situation) having a nightmarish quality." Something wicked this way comes, just in time for Halloween!


And if you're doing the math, that's correct: it's only been four months since their last EP, 回:Song of the Sirens, which spawned the incredible "Apple," co-written by Richard X and Xenomania's Hannah Robinson.

回:Walpurgis Night is the final chapter in the “回" series that "tells the epic of GFRIEND’s growth, and it will show new attempts by the act that haven’t been tried before," according to the press release.

"回:LABYRINTH heralded the prelude of change, followed by 回:Song of the Sirens that showed a definite change, and finally 回:Walpurgis Night will lead GFRIEND to the pinnacle of change." The pinnacle of change is upon us!


回:Walpurgis Night was crafted in collaboration with Big Hit Entertainment’s production team, and promises GFRIEND’s participation in the album-making process as well.

Pre-orders for 回:Walpurgis Night are set to begin on October 19.

This comeback already sounds positively...bewitching.

回:Song of the Sirens is available in multiple physical formats.

This album will be featured on the MuuTunes Spotify playlist.

You can also subscribe to MuuTunes on Apple Music.

Photo credit: Big Hit Entertainment

Disclosure: Products featured on this website use affiliate links, and may earn me a commission for purchases made through the links.


BLACKPINK's 'The Album' Officially Makes Music History

BLACKPINK: not only in our area, once again - but also making history while doing so.

The unstoppable foursome - individually Jennie, Lisa, Jisoo and Rosé - have debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 as of this week with their formal debut, The Album. (If you missed it, heres are my thoughts about the record.)

The album, The Album ("as you know, my single 'My Single Is Dropping' is dropping"), moved 110,000 equivalent album units in its first week, marking the highest first-week sales for a debut album by a K-pop group in music history.

It's also the biggest chart debut by an all-female group in over 12 years since Danity Kane's Welcome to the Dollhouse in March of 2008. (!)

And “Ice Cream (feat. Selena Gomez)," their first-ever Billboard Hot 100 Top 20 single, is also still performing well: the song shot to the No. 20 spot on Top 40 radio this week. And they've got a "Lovesick Girls" music video scandal to boot!

"Some bitches you can't manage," indeed.

For anyone else who loves international pop - all the fellow music nerds who spent their early youth spending all their coins on pricey imports, researching DVD region codes, and excitedly chatting in niche fan forums - this is yet another victory in the continued demise of the barriers that once restricted the visibility of global music.

This is also a huge win for the fellow girl group enthusiasts: it's taken over a decade to finally see another girl group reign supreme to this degree, and it's more than about time for the girl group love to take over the charts again.

There's even more to be excited about just ahead as well this month for the ever-loyal BLINKs, including Light Up the Sky, the Netflix documentary arriving on October 14. And judging by the trailer, it's going to be good.

The Album is available in four different CD versions.

This album is featured on the MuuTunes Spotify playlist.

You can also subscribe to MuuTunes on Apple Music.

Photo credit: YG Entertainment

Disclosure: Products featured on this website use affiliate links, and may earn me a commission for purchases made through the links.

Mariah Carey Christmas Teaser

Mariah Carey Might Be Having a Sweetener Moment of Spotlight Whatever

Mariah Carey is having another moment - and this time, it's getting festive. (Again.)

The Indisputable Queen of Christmas, Ruler of Rarities and Veritable Vinyl Vendor decided to throw the Lambily into yet another tizzy in 2020 (and quite possibly the Arianators and the Little Spotlights, too) in the form of a simple, effective, panic-inducing teaser photo of three directors chairs on the set of an upcoming project.

"🎄," she simply captioned the photo posted on Friday afternoon (October 9), which featured three chairs: one for "AG," one for "MC," and one for "JH."

Assuming MC belongs to the Imperfect Angel herself ("Will the real MC please step to the mic?"), that leaves it to AG and JH - and the fans are already, loudly, guessing two names: Ariana Grande and Jennifer Hudson.

If proven true, of course, this 2020 VH1 Divas Live-esque affair would create a seismic shift, tearing a hole in the time-space continuum that could quite possibly fling us into the parallel universe and right all the wrongs of the past year - the same parallel universe we thought we'd get flung into after her rightful crowning at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with "All I Want for Christmas Is You."

Of course, we don't know for a fact that it's really Ari and J-Hud just yet. Perhaps it's Al Gore and Josh Hutcherson? Or Ashley Greene and Jon Hamm?

But it would make sense to be the Christmas & Chill pop princess and the Academy Award-winning American Idol alum, given that they are two worthy vocal powerhouses in their own right. And given the (largely media-fueled) "beef" between Ariana and Mariah at the beginning of Ariana's music career, a candy cane-shaped olive branch would truly be a wonderful way to publicly patch things up.

Plus, this has truly been a sensational year for female collaborations across the pop spectrum, and a massive collaboration like this could be the mistletoe on top to save this Christmas season.

For now, we'll have to wait and see what else Mariah posts on her Instagram - and stay reading (and/or listening to) The Meaning of Mariah Carey in the meantime, too.

Photo credit: @MariahCarey

Disclosure: Products featured on this website use affiliate links, and may earn me a commission for purchases made through the links.

Victoria Monet Kehlani Touch Me

"Touch Me": Victoria Monét & Kehlani's Bisexual Banger

Victoria Monét's Jaguar is one of the year's sexy R&B highlights, especially the shimmering disco escape "Experience" with Khalid and SG Lewis, one of the surefire Songs of Summer '20, which deserved way, way more love from the general public.

On Thursday (October 8), Victoria decided to put a very personal spin on one of the record's slinkiest offerings, "Touch Me," said to be about a previous entanglement with Kehlani, with a remix featuring...Kehlani.

The Janet Jackson-esque sweetly-sung smooth groove was already well-suited in its original form for the sex playlist, but now, with the added tension of Kehlani's own highly explicit input, the song becomes even more of a certified boudoir banger - or, rather, a backseat bisexual banger.

"I'll stop rockin' nails for you / I'll park the Porsche and drop the top / You drop your dress, I'll take the stress away from you," Kehlani pledges.

"You're beggin' me to make a move / I'm beggin' for a sip of juice."

The original track didn't shy away from being about a same-sex romance, either: "'Touch Me' is one of the only songs where you can hear me sing a different pronoun. I say 'girl,' I say 'her.' It was really important for me to share that and make that statement so that people…I don’t think that we get a lot of songs that are directly saying that, especially in a sexual way. I think it’s important for music to have that. A lot of times we can make songs applicable to us, but they’re not directly being like, 'This is about a woman.' It was a nice element to add, and based on a true story. People who have been around for a minute will pick up on that," she explained to Apple Music.

"This song is a very personal one. As artists, it's special when we let the music document the details of real experiences and that's what 'Touch Me' does. I think it's beautiful for so many reasons and I hope people can find their own reasons with every listen," she went on to explain of the remix.

It gets real intimate in the bridge. ("you sound good," Kehlani offers at one point), to the point where it feels like we're fully intruding on something: "When I get drunk I still call you Monét / Yeah, you still got it your way / Love when I call out your name," she purrs. ("Drunk when I call you Monét," she previously sang on her own previously released song about Victoria, "Hate the Club.")

"You know I love when you call me Monét / But the way you make me rain gon' make me wanna change names," Victoria coos right back. Ladies!

"It feels so nice to finally have music WITH you and not just about you lmao thank you for being all that you are," Victoria tweeted to Kehlani upon the song's release, further fueling the track's already spicy backstory.

The result is a very sexy, very real aural romp that perfectly captures the pair's clearly hot-as-hell chemistry.

Jaguar is the first in a series of projects coming that will round out Victoria Monét's new album dropping in 2021. Kehlani's It Was Good Until It Wasn't is available in clear vinyl.

This album is featured on the MuuTunes Spotify playlist.

You can also subscribe to MuuTunes on Apple Music.

Photo credit: Dana Trippe / @Kehlani

Disclosure: Products featured on this website use affiliate links, and may earn me a commission for purchases made through the links.

Roisin Murphy Live Stream Mixcloud

Róisín Murphy Announces a Global Live Stream Event

Róisín Murphy is bringing her Machine to your own devices.

As our favorite artists continue to find new and innovative ways to bring their talent to us in a time of social distancing, the avant-pop disco crooner - who just released one of the year's finest dance floor-ready records in the form of Róisín Machine - is getting creative in the midst of the pandemic with a global live-stream event, coming November 14 to Mixcloud.

“That’s it...I’m getting the band back together!" she says of the upcoming performance.

"I need to feel a connection with other musicians, in the here and now. With a live show and live band anything can and will happen. This is a unique opportunity to bring the music and visuals together in new and exciting ways. Live music and film are two of my favorite things and I am hugely excited about the possibilities and ready to take it on in the spirit of creative adventure. This will be a moment in time and a document of the time. I’m sure it’ll be emotional."

Tickets are $13.

Here's how it works: "This show will be broadcast live 3 times on Saturday 14th November. Ticket holders can watch any broadcast from anywhere in the world. Buying a ticket will give you access to this event when logged into the Mixcloud account you’ve used to purchase the ticket. You’ll be able to join this online event on desktop, mobile browsers and on the Mixcloud apps for iOS and Android. Be sure to update to the app’s latest version."

Judging by her delightfully oddball at-home performances thus far throughout this era, this ought to be quite an unpredictable aural and visual treat.

Róisín Machine is out now on CD and vinyl.

Disclosure: Products featured on this website use affiliate links, and may earn me a commission for purchases made through the links.

Mariah Carey The Rarities

'The Rarities': Mariah Carey Emancipates Hidden Memories (Review)

Mariah Carey knows how to make a moment, darling - and how to properly honor a legacy.

The Elusive Chanteuse is utterly unstoppable in 2020, generously blessing the Lambily in this time of need with the #MC30 celebration, including a complete suite of vinyl releases, an incredible memoir from the imperfect angel herself (The Meaning of Mariah Carey) and now, a collection of The Rarities, released on Friday (October 2).

Truthfully, I'm still working my way through everything she's providing the fans, and only Act I deep into The Meaning. But that's okay! Fans of a songstress who doesn't even believe in the construct of time in the first place should know there's no rush to digest everything all at once. (And if you haven't heard, we're launching the "Read Books, Not People" book club to discuss Mariah's book this week on Legends Only for our Patreon Legends OnlyFans, so you can read along with us.)

There's also important context for many of these songs included within her book, which is one of the best parts of reading (or listening) along: all of her music, down to specific lines, is completely enriched with deeper meaning as she tells her story, like when she discussed relating to Irene Cara's "Out Here On My Own," which she sang at a talent show long before her big break. (A recording of the song from 2000 appears on the album.)

What can be said about The Rarities is that, much like everything Mariah does, it's intelligently designed: the actual format, roughly structured as a one-per-era type of deal, tells its own tale about Mariah's trajectory, providing just a taste of what could have been - and, in many cases, should have been.

Many of the songs play like long-lost classics - or at least blueprints for the classics, including the Jackson 5 and Whitney Houston-esque funky energy of 1990's "Here We Go Around Again," recorded for her debut studio album with "Vision of Love" collaborator Ben Marguiles, which feels like the precursor to "Emotions."

"This was track No. 1 on my very first demo tape that has never before been shared with the world! I always liked it and did want it to be included on my first album. I don’t remember why it wasn’t, except we felt that we never quite captured the magic of that first demo. This recording is as close as we got," Mariah says inside the album's booklet.

Other tracks offer tastes of decades-old collaborations that have never seen light of day until now, as with 1991's "Can You Hear Me" circa Emotions, a massive belter of a ballad with Barry Mann, one half of the songwriting duo Mann-Weil - and it was penned with another vocal legend in mind.

"Working with the legendary Barry Mann was truly an honor. We recorded this demo in the hopes that La Streisand (a.k.a. Babs) would perform it. That didn’t happen, but I just recently unearthed this rarity – our writing demo – and wanted to share it with you!" Mariah wrote. The desperation in her voice, especially towards the end! The drama, darling! It's almost infuriating to consider that these kinds of vocals have just sat there, collecting dust, until this moment. (Then again, there's surely even more locked away.)

Her constant collaborator Jermaine Dupri also teams up with her on the never-before-heard "One Night," recorded in 1995, presumably for Daydream. The track kicks off with an extended piano intro and some heavenly harmonies before breaking into a midtempo beat, as the notoriously prudish powerhouse cautions (REFERENCE) against a fuckboy's advances.

"He's just out for the one night / He just wants you 'til he gets his way now, baby, baby / So don't gamble with your life, it don't pay," she warns.

Later into the compilation is one of the record's most fun, too-cool middle finger moments: "Cool On You," penned in 2007. By that time, Mimi was fully in her pre-E=MC2 groove, and feeling feisty as she throws in a Devil Wears Prada reference ("do the coat") and declares: "kick rocks," which was previously teased as the song's title years ago in interviews.

"I'm cool on you / I'm too through / Used to have my loving / But now you ain't got nothing," she silkily croons above a hypnotic beat. Betcha' gon know! That refrain is so infectious ("do the coat"), it's frankly shocking ("kick rocks") that this didn't surface officially ("eat dirt") on an album.

"I used to listen to this all the time but then it got lost somehow and finally resurfaced in my vault! I don’t even think Jermaine remembers this writing session LOL! Also known as 'Do the Coat,' 'Kick Rocks' and 'Eat Dirt,'" Mariah says.

There's also a pleasant genre surprise or two along the way: 1993's "All I Live For," recorded with longtime collaborator Walter Afanasieff, presumably also for Music Box, sees Mariah loosening up and grooving into some New Jack Swing, supplying something more close to Karyn White and Toni Braxton territory. Fans are also adamant that those runs at the very end of the song are actually newly recorded by 2020 Mariah. Being the perfectionist that she is, it wouldn't be a surprise. ("Sooooo 90’s!!!" she noted in the booklet.)

Hardcore Lambily members will have already played some of these songs to infinity ("to infinity...") but the general public has surely not. The tracks' arrival on streaming is a long-awaited dream(lover), including 1993's heavenly slow burn "Do You Think of Me," the B-side to Music Box lead single "Dreamlover," "Everything Fades Away," the B-side to "Hero" and Music Box bonus track, and 1996's still excellent "Slipping Away," the B-side to "Always Be My Baby," which she's since explained was called "too R&B" by label execs to include on Daydream.

They're not only some of her best B-sides (especially "Slipping Away"!), but proof of Mariah's early lane swerving (and serving) as an excellent R&B singer with depth, refusing to be rooted forever in traditional pop radio balladry long before her formal sonic transition.

She also provides a revisit of her Butterfly deep cut "Close My Eyes" with a newly re-recorded version, a song she's previously explained is extremely personal to her, detailing her rocky upbringing and rise to fame. ("Maybe I grew up a little too soon" hits a little harder after reading The Meaning of Mariah Carey, for sure.)

"After working through some emotional introspective moments for my memoir, I decided to revisit one of the most personal songs I’ve ever written," she explained in the booklet.

There are also some special live (or previously only live) moments for TV, movies and stage performances, like 2014's cover of Ella Fitzgerald's jazz standard "Lullaby of Birdland," performed during The Elusive Chanteuse Show, which showcases her technical talent and takes on new life after reading through Mariah's studied love growing up around jazz musicians - plus some hilarious chatter off the top of the recording. ("When I was little, I would be in lingerie on the piano at like, 13. Appropriate? Not really...")

"A rare live performance of one of my favorite songs. This recording divinely fell into place after I had already written about the experience of singing this song with jazz musicians as a little girl in my memoir (chapter “Light of My Life”). Some of my favorite moments were improvising with the late Big Jim Wright on the piano and this is one example of that. Listen to him go!" she wrote in the booklet.

The demo for “I Pray," meanwhile, was penned in 2005 for a then-12-year-old Hawaiian singer who performed on The Oprah Winfrey Show, named Lina Robins-Tamure.

"Writing for a talented 12-year-old child was a unique and freeing experience because it was a way to channel a pure feeling of hope and optimism. Love you Lina!" Mariah wrote. (Yes, we absolutely stan a trans ally.)

The sun-shining and groovy, Bee-Gees-style "Mesmerized," on the other hand, was penned for Lee Daniels' Zac Efron and Nicole Kidman-starring The Paperboy in 2012, alongside Merry Christmas collaborator Loris Holland. It's an actual Retro Moment of Gypsy Whatever, and surely would have sounded simply splendid sitting next to Me. I Am Mariah's "You Don’t Know What To Do." That soulful, funky, disco era flair. Those whistle notes at the end!

"I always enjoy a live studio session with the wonderful, multi-talented Loris Holland. This cool, retro '70s throwback is from one of those occasions," Mariah noted.

And then, there's the small matter of "Loverboy," the lead single from the notoriously ill-fated Glitter, which quite a backstory of its own, as documented in The Meaning of Mariah Carey.

Long story short, an Ex Who Shall Not Be Named might have swiped the "Firecracker" sample for an Artist Who Shall Not Be Known's song being released earlier than Glitter, thus sabotaging "Loverboy" until she was forced to find a new sample for the song that we know and love today.

There's plenty of fan bickering about whether this new (old) version or the Glitter version is better, with some calling the original too busy-sounding, mixed wrong and annoying. Frankly, "demoitis" is a thing: we tend to fall in love with the version of the song we hear first, so it's hard to gauge how the world might have felt if this song was released as intended.

Personally, I think this new (old) version is adorably peppy, super cute and festive, and would have just as easily been a hit in its original form - trust the vision (of love) of Mariah! At the same time, sometimes things happen for a reason, and everything has worked out exactly as it should. We're abundantly lucky to have this version, at last, regardless.

She's since given most of the songs some moments of justice for the hardcore Lambs, including her backstage rehearsal of "Everything Fades Away" in March with a (no doubt terrified!) longtime stan and fellow vocal queen, JoJo.

To close out the collection, Mariah ends with a message of hope in hard times, meeting the moment with "Save the Day," the album's all-too-timely lead single penned many years before the present moment, featuring the legendary Ms. Lauryn Hill, incorporating her classic Fugees smash, “Killing Me Softly (With His Song)."

"It's too divided, too deep to understand / But if we don't do it, tell me, who will?" she pleads on the throwback track. Here's hoping the message in the music lands in certain people's ears.

We're lucky enough to have her discography as it exists today. But Mariah had the good sense to go all the way around again, dig into the vaults, and emancipate some of her hidden moments for us, too. They deserve their time to shine, after all. (And that's not even taking into consideration the incredible, long-awaited release of the 1996 performance of the Daydream World Tour Live at the Tokyo Dome on Disc 2.)

The only real gripe? The album comes to a close with only a tiny handful of her later career offerings, leaning in heavy on her hidden gems from the early '90s. Almost surely, there could be a second (or third, rather) disc devoted to an even deeper dive into post-Rainbow material. And hey, perhaps there will be one sweet day: The Rarities 2 in 2030, anyone?

The Rarities might be made up of assorted forgotten and unreleased bits and pieces of her career, but for a prolific and versatile artist like Mariah Carey, who has genuinely only produced quality from day one, the end result of this exercise in picking cuts from the vaults is a record that could just as easily be confused for a random greatest hits compilation.

Even the discards eclipse entire careers. Not everybody has that to their credit.

The Rarities was released on October 2.

This album is featured on the MuuTunes Spotify playlist.

You can also subscribe to MuuTunes on Apple Music.

Disclosure: Products featured on this website use affiliate links, and may earn me a commission for purchases made through the links.

Robyn Jonsi Salt Licorice

"Salt Licorice": Robyn & Jonsi's Punchy Pop Ode to Scandinavian Pain

"Why can't you just be okay? / You’re such an ice breaker, åh nej..."

Mother Robyn, Queen of Swedish Pop™, is getting weird(er), thanks to Jónsi.

For those unfamiliar, Sigur Rós is an incredible Icelandic ambient, ethereal, progressive rock troupe, responsible for one of the most formative records of my teenage years, Takk..., among other accomplishments that are not directly centered around myself.

In any case: Jónsi fronts the band, providing his angelic falsetto and otherworldly vocals in Icelandic and English...and also sometimes a made-up language, dubbed Hopelandic. And he's a fellow gay, LGBTs!

Jónsi just released a new solo record in a decade this past mammoth New Music Friday (October 2) called Shiver, produced by PC Music's A.G. Cook, which is already a mindfuck in and of itself just considering those two sonic worlds meshed together.

Mixed within the many odd and beautiful moments throughout the set is a song called "Salt Licorice," a collaboration with the Body Talk goddess herself, and an ode to “Scandinavian pain."

Described as an "aggressive take on ballroom house," the two industry vets hold hands and traverse rocky dance floor terrain crafted by A. G. Cook, tasting the bitter fruits of life together and swooning for a blue-eyed "blondie boy" - and a real heartbreaker, at that. Åh nej! ("Oh no" is "åh nej" in Swedish. We're learning some lingo with this song, too.)

Although it might sound like a bit of an aural assault inside of a boxing ring (okay, a clusterfuck), the stuttering song reveals itself to be a particularly catchy and charming cut, buried in layers upon layers of dinging bells, fuzzy static, fierce, hectic ball-ready beats and sparkling electronica that vaguely recalls Robyn's Kleerup collaboration, "With Every Heartbeat."

"The way we used to laugh / It cuts me through and through / The way we used to dance / I owe it all to you," they wistfully croon, hitting their shared sweet spot of nostalgia. A particularly choice lyric: "Your skinny waist is making me throw up." Incredible.

The track certainly takes Jónsi out of his usual holy-like comfort zone, swerving as close as he's probably come yet into the pop lane, while Robyn gets to fully feel her Swedish-meets-Icelandic weirdo fantasy, like when she got to perform Björk's "Hyperballad" in front of the Post goddess herself years ago.

“‘Salt Licorice’ is such a cute and perfect pop song. It makes me want to dance violently and make out at the same time. It was a no-brainer to say yes to singing it with Jónsi. The pretty emails I get with a thousand emojis in them from him is a bonus that came with our collaboration as well," Robyn says. LGBT warrior.

The result is a treat - salty, bitter and sweet all at once - much like this life, and all of its Scandinavian pain(s).

Shiver is out now in CD and vinyl.

Read the "Salt Licorice" lyrics on the next page.

This album is featured on the MuuTunes Spotify playlist.

You can also subscribe to MuuTunes on Apple Music.

Photo credit: A. Somers

"Don't Stop": Megan Thee Stallion's 'Legendary' Dip Into Wonderland

Megan Thee Stallion is having Thee Greatest Year, despite...well, everything.

After a stellar showing on HBO Max's Legendary, serving up one of the year's best quarantine awards show performances at the 2020 BET Awards, and inciting a global mop and bucket shortage (and Republican furor) alongside Cardi B with her almighty "WAP," Megan's only just keeping the energy going as of Friday (October 2) with the Buddah Bless-produced, appropriately titled "Don't Stop," featuring Young Thug.

And Megan has Thee good sense to know: if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Once again tag-teaming with the masterful Colin Tilley, who directed the "WAP" video, Megan finds herself in a similarly surreal, Alice in Wonderland fantasy as she delivers her signature brand of tongue-wagging cockiness while bouncing on those iron-clad knees. You know, real Hot Girl shit. That Cheshire Cat-meets-Harley Quinn look? And the Queen of Hearts look? Inspired.

Young Thug, meanwhile, opts to feel his Edward Scissorhands fantasy while tending to the shrubbery in another scene outside, which also brings Gwen Stefani's own tumble down the rabbit hole ("What You Waiting For?") to mind.

Makayla Lanvin Honey Balenciaga

Also heartwarming? She's keeping it in the Legendary family: two of the reality TV show's standout vogue performers, Honey Balenciaga and Makayla Lanvin, make cameos right at the top of clip, twerking and thrusting their way through the intricate motions with ease. They killed it, of course - and it's amazing to see that Megan is showing genuine love to the ballroom scene with her massive platform beyond her hit series.

"People saying I'm way too full of myself, you're right, and I ain't even made it to dessert...ah," Megan taunts.

Not unlike "WAP," the song's a total earworm, perhaps deceivingly so, especially once that chorus hits above the metallic whirring and speaker-shaking bass: "Don't stop, pop that cat / Mmm, mmm, just like that."

"Don't Stop" arrives ahead of Megan's debut studio album, coming later this fall, as well as a performance on the Saturday Night Live premiere this weekend. All hail Megan and her most unstoppable kitty. Ah.

Read the "Don't Stop" lyrics on the next page.

This album is featured on the MuuTunes Spotify playlist.

You can also subscribe to MuuTunes on Apple Music.

Photo credit: Colin Tilley

Rihanna Savage x Fenty Vol. 2

"Real High": Rihanna's 'R9' Tease at the Savage X Fenty Show

The Savage X Fenty Vol. 2 show is now on Amazon Prime Video. If you can, I highly suggest you watch it over the weekend.

Talk about "this is the future that liberals want": everything about that show felt fresh, modern and effortlessly cool, just like the crih-ator and Navy commander herself, Rihanna.

The sheer diversity of bodies - genders, sizes, skin tones - the choreography, the confidence, the inclusivity, the sexuality, the normalization of drag, the intricate and innovative presentation of fashion in motion rather than just a traditional catwalk, the complimentary lighting and sleek set design, the wide array of global talent providing hype performances (Rosalía! Bad Bunny, baby!) and surprise cameos at every turn (Lizzo! Demi Moore! Erika Jayne! Bella Hadid! Indya Moore! Paris! Normani! Shea Coulee! Gigi Goode!) - it was a phenomenal display of dance, music and fashion, especially considering this was all pulled off in a pandemic world.

She's only two shows in thus far with the brand, but Rih is already making a case for the Savage x Fenty show to become one of the year's biggest music and fashion spectacles. Honestly, it kind of already is. (And yes, the menswear line is entirely sold out already. My dream of lounging in Savage x Fenty boxers will have to wait a little bit longer.)

And then, of course, there was the music soundtracking the experience - from N.E.R.D. to Die Antwoord - but specifically as Rihanna made her flower-coated debut in the mystical garden sequence, Poison Ivy style.

As the Navy was quick to discover, the powerful instrumental that Rihanna strutted, smoldered and stunned her way through the flower-filled stage was credited to Rihanna herself, and titled "Real High" - which matches a recent listing in the GEMA repertoire.

That's right: a rare, succulent taste of new Rihanna, presumably from the eternally delayed R9.

"A new song titled #RealHigh written by @rihanna, producer Beam, rapper Haiti Babii & reggae producer Almando Cresso has been registered in the GEMA repertoire. The #SavageXFentySHOW is also listed under what appears to be the instrumental version of the track," the ever-reliable FentyStats noted back in September.

Fans are already excitedly clamoring about the nasty beat, with some comparing it to Talk That Talk's "Cockiness (Love It)."

Whatever it sounds like, it sounds good - and even just seeing her powerfully reign throughout this fashion show felt like a much-needed morsel to tide us over until the eventual Rih-turn.

Photo credit: Savage x Fenty

Rihanna R9

Rihanna Provides a 'R9' Status Update

Rihanna is a little busy taking over the entire globe - releasing shades, socks, boxers, bras, bronzers, moisturizers and everything in between (while also trying to save the world while doing so), but in her spare time, she enjoys singing a song or two.

Ahead of the launch of Savage x Fenty Show Vol. 2, which premieres on Friday (October 2) on Amazon Prime Video, and already has all the makings of what could be the year's biggest and most exciting and most inclusive fashion event (Victoria's Who?), Rih did a little press blitz to promote the show.

Rihanna sat with the Associated Press, where she said perhaps the most she's said about the process of preparing her follow-up to 2016's Anti, dubbed R9 until further notice.

"Oh! It started with tons of writing camp. Now it's more, what do I feel personally? What do I want to put out, and as an artist, how do I want to play it with my art? How do I want to interpret that?” she explained.

“How do I want to reimagine it? Because it’s been so structured before,” she went on to say.

“You do pop, you did this genre, you do that, you do radio, but now it’s just like, what makes me happy? I just want to have fun with music. Everything is so heavy. The world that we live in is a lot. It’s overwhelming every single day. And with the music, I’m using that as my outlet.”

So, to clarify: still no release date in sight - but at least she's allowing herself the space and freedom to rih-lly explore what The Artist Rihanna looks and sounds like today. And we're all gonna have FUN.

And while she didn't provide any specific progress update, she did sort of imply that the music might be ready.

“I want to go on tour, but I can’t! I’m stuck with music that I love, and now I’m trying to figure out how I can even create visuals to that. That’s a challenge as well...but I love challenges so, you know, I’m gonna get it done,” she teased.

The wait is (not) over, but at least we have what looks to be a genuinely epic show ahead of us this weekend.

Roisin Murphy Machine

'Róisín Machine': Róisín Murphy's Dazzling Disco Desire (Album Review)

Roisin Murphy Machine

"I feel my story is still untold, but I'll make my own happy ending."

Róisín Murphy, avant-pop shapeshifter, has always looked ahead, sonically and stylistically speaking: from the days of singing it back with Moloko, to the quirky, jazzy joy of 2005's Ruby Blue and 2007's disco-pop opus Overpowered, to her most recent forays into experimental and Italian-language territory, Róisín's left-of-center perspective is vital, fresh, and always ahead of the curve.

Now, she's just waiting for us to flatten the goddamn curve to get back into the club again.

Four years after 2016's Take Her Up to Monto, Róisín returns with the fittingly titled Róisín Machine on Friday (September 25), an hour-long sensual slow burn of deep disco pulsations and club-ready lust and ecstasy at a time when a dance floor has never felt quite so alluring.

“Everything I do is from the gut. I’m always up to something, I’ve been directing videos and art-directing for years. The album is called Róisín Machine because I am a machine. I never stop," she says.

A decade in the making, the Machine was crafted alongside longtime collaborator and friend Richard Barratt, AKA Crooked Man, also known as DJ Parrot.

"He’s a very focused visionary. I knew this when I went to him more than 10 years ago after making Overpowered, I knew that the only person to go to if I really wanted to go deeper into this world," Róisín explained to Cool Hunting.

“Parrot is able to sit and close his eyes and imagine, he has immense focus. But how he makes them sound like the perfect club records when he’s not been out to a club in 20 years is amazing. It’s so evocative because he knows it inside out; he closes his eyes and he’s there.”

Like the holy grail Confessions on a Dance Floor, this record is designed to be enjoyed as a start-to-finish seamless aural experience. This is not so much a snackable set as much as it is a complete mood - although it is made up almost entirely of singles scattered out for release over the nearly ten years, starting with 2012's "Simulation."

"There’s various ways you can absorb it. It’s seamlessly put together, but you can also listen to the tracks individually, I have no problem with that. I mean, it’s full of singles anyway. It’s very modern in a way," she told Official Charts.

Unlike any other pop artist who might have just tacked the latest tracks on as bonus singles, Róisín kept songs tucked away until they had a proper home.

"After we put out 'Simulation,' we backed off a bit because nothing really went off with it, honestly. I got more interested in singing Italian songs, and then I went into making Hairless Toys and Take Her Up To Monto with Eddie Stevens. But this was always in the background – we always knew it would come to some kind of fruition, and so it has," she said.

The record is full of playful come-hithers and horny, head-over-heels lust under the mirror ball, like the rising and falling "Love to Love You Baby"-esque breaths of "Simulation," and the shuffling and sassy "Shellfish Mademoiselle": "When will it ever be a good time? When is it ever gonna be the right time? How dare you sentence me to a lifetime without dancing when I'm already lost in the groove," she coos above hand claps, soulful organ sounds and what she calls a "squelchy bassline."

All that longing does eventually leave one wondering: is it me, incapable of love?

The edit of "Incapable," an 8-minute hypnotic House monster released a year ago, finds our heroine contemplating her own vulnerability - or lack thereof.

"I don't know what I'm doing / I don't know if I can love in all honesty / I don't know if that's what I'm feeling / When I've never had my heart broken," she confesses across a cool Le Bain-ready groove and a sexy bassline, as cosmic Giorgio Moroder-esque flares rise and fall in the background.

At the same time comes the buzzy energy of "Narcissus," a nagging counterpart to the indifference of "Incapable," which she describes as "different sides of the same coin."

Led by a tense string arrangement by Eddie Stevens, Róisín breathily urges: "be in love, be in love, be in love with me..."

“In 'Incapable' the archetype was the cold narcissist, idly wondering, in a purely self interested way, if she is missing out on something? With love beyond her grasp. In 'Narcissus' the voice is the eternal and primal presence of the Nymph, endlessly trying to wake you out of your you-dream. Calling for abandon, prescribing chaos over control and warning of the dreadful, imminent danger in the mirror.”

Róisín's experimental energy is alive and well on her Machine: the deliciously madcap, "Dalek-funk"-described "We Got Together" bursts with a Grace Jones sense of almighty energy and eccentricity, which "Game Changer" recalls some of the playful Ruby Blue, almost theatrical delivery as she tip-toes across a swaggering, moody synth, which she described as "probably my favourite on the album."

"Yes, you changed the game again / Inventing new ways to drive me crazy," she acknowledges.

"It’s about creative relationships. Barratt’s a gamechanger. Anyone I work with, they change the game for me every time. Lovely things that they are!" she explains.

Although not originally intended to tackle the pandemic, the Balearic, nearly 7-minute "Something More," a collaboration with New York City songwriter Amy Douglas, stands out as the album's centerpiece. The gorgeous, string and piano-filled accidental anthem for the times captures the existential yearning of the present moment ("Life just keeps me wanting"), as does her at-home Ibiza lockdown video, as she aimlessly twirls around the gorgeous home, bored and bursting at the seams with an energy that ought to be served up on stage. (One day soon, hopefully.)

"I interpreted it as a swan-song to how we once lived. There’s plenty of bravado in the lyrics and the character is a kind of antihero, but the indefinable yearning and the feeling of arriving at a point of emptiness is universal right now," Róisín says of the song's evolving meaning.

Róisín's music is always a pleasant and varied surprise, imbued with deeper meanings and smart sonic and literary references and philosophical concepts from a studied, nerdy lover of sound.

“I didn’t want to be as simplistic as a disco queen, because this music has come out of disco, proto-house and Goth, Throbbing Gristle and [expletive] Cabaret Voltaire and Donna Summer. It’s not just Black music, it’s not just alternative music, it’s not just dance music — it’s all of them things clashing and beautifully melding and becoming something that’s about individualism and freedom. This is what we need,” she told the New York Times.

"Keep waking up every morning, thinking what the hell am I doing? / Keep going on, on and onward," she declares on the tense, steadily building "Kingdom of Ends," named after the thought experiment by German philosopher Immanuel Kant, and a tribute to the late critic and cultural theorist Mark Fisher, who died by suicide in 2017, she revealed in an interview with The Independent.

The song rises higher and higher to dramatic heights, as Róisín makes her almighty declarations in between a choir of voices, teasing, but never fulfilling, a cathartic release to the very end.

"In the kingdom of ends / I come to know the truth of my desire / There's nothing left for us to gain / If you can give it away, means you can take it back, you're not under attack."

Mere days before lockdown stateside in March, Róisín released the all-too-ironically titled "Murphy's Law," a tale of two exes avoiding each other in a small town, proclaiming: "Ever since we broke up / I've been afraid to go out / But I won't be a prisoner locked up in this house." If only she knew how long she'd be in that house.

No matter! Another all-too-apt anthem for the present moment, the '70s nostalgia-inspiring gem doubly references the disco muse's own name, as well as the age-old adage that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. And, oh, how it has.

In a time of Dua Lipa's Future Nostalgia, Lady Gaga's Chromatica, Jessie Ware's What's Your Pleasure? and Kylie's Disco among myriad "disco-pop" mainstream singles scattered throughout the year, Róisín's own dance floor fix feels more welcome than ever.

"You know what, it’s nice to be on trend for once, though it’d be lovely if there were some fucking clubs open! I’d be murdering it," she amusingly lamented to Official Charts.

Róisín Machine is more than just a body of work put together from various loose strings released over the last decade. It makes sense as a project in its full form, resulting in one of her most thoroughly pleasing, assured and (relatively) laser-focused projects yet, embodying the spirit of an otherwise undefinable artist.

Desire, and a certain restlessness, is the throughline of Róisín Machine, and Róisín herself - always wanting, striving, doing more. (In fact, as she's hinted at in several recent interviews, there's already another album on the way soon.)

The record leaves off on its most fast-paced and chaotic note, "Jealousy," an edit of the nearly 12-minute (!) Disco Mix originally released five years ago. The pulse-raising, Chic-like production kicks off with a hair(less toys)-raising cry: "Jealousy-y-y!" as she quickly disappears off into the dark discotheque in all of her giddy exuberance.

"Parrot understands dancing music and he understands me. This is fast and furious; he says it's roller ­disco music. The backing track sounded so frantic, the lyric wasn't long coming to me, all I had to do was try to create a vocal as demented as the music!" she explains.

It's a whiplash-inducing final stomper, as the record suddenly comes to a close without a moment of quiet self-reflection or any sort of elegant comedown. And perhaps that's the point, paralleling the career of the Machine in question herself: unexpected, uncompromising, unstoppable.

Róisín Machine will be released in vinyl and on CD on October 2.

This album is featured on the MuuTunes Spotify playlist.

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Photo credit: Adrian Samson

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