Kaskade - Love Mysterious

No, it's not Blake Lewis' new CD. Looks a lot like it though, doesn't it?

This is Kaskade. He is currently promoting his fourth solo album release. His Wiki says that he is a Mormon DJ. I'm not sure if thats supposed to affect his beat making, but it sure hasn't inhibited his selection of music to remix (Paris Hilton? Really?) You may have heard the name from the songs he's remixed, including Britney's "Gimme More" and Justin's "LoveStoned." But Kaskade has a solo career of his own dontchaknow, and it's very nice. His album, Love Mysterious, is full of club-ready hits and bright electro-anthems. I've uploaded a few samples: He sounds a bit like Junkie XL lite with "The X," an intergalactic, floating dance track, while the mood moves jazzy with "Distance." "4 AM" is mesmerizing, like a track off of Goldfrapp's Supernature.
"Be Still" is probably the strongest track, featuring guest vocals by a lady going by the name of Sunsun. The actual song goes back and forth from intimate guitar strumming to sweeping dance beats, but it's the tender vocals floating above make it difficult to ignore and tempting to sing along with.

Check em' out below:

DL: Kaskade - 4 AM
DL: Kaskade - Distance
DL: Kaskade - The X
DL: Kaskade - Be Still

And you, what do you think?


Utada Hikaru - Single Cover


The cover for Utada's new single, HEART STATION / Stay Gold, was just released on her official website.

It appears that she doesn't seem to be...ON IT. What kind of fuckery is this? I don't know. But I do know that the picture makes me think of love hotels, which makes me think of 25 cent vibrating beds, which makes me excited to hear the song, which should be premiering tomorrow.


Ayumi Hamasaki - GUILTY

Finally, I got to listen to Ayumi's ninth studio album. I also got a glittery, rhinestone encrusted Ayumi logo sticker with my CD!!!! I don't know where I'll stick it, but it will undoubtedly serve as a symbol of my manhood. The photobook is also quite sassy.

001. "Mirror" - The marching music box stomper...a great opening to the album. Similar to "I Am..." the song starts minimally enough. However, the chorus launches into an angry assault, perhaps featuring the most direct, in-your-face styling yet. Then, before you know it, the song ends abruptly. [9/10]

002. "(Don't) Leave me alone" - Let's remove any doubt: This is "1 LOVE" reincarnated, Ayumi. The opening is so frustratingly similar that it's impossible to deny any influence from her prior releases. It's good...but I've heard this many times before. Many times. [7/10]

003. "Talkin' 2 Myself" - The second single from the album, the song relies upon classic Ayumi overdriven guitar and paced anger. The lyrics are actually incredibly passionate, which is why I can't discredit this as yet another Ayu-rock song. Yes, I know, it sounds just like the last track to most people. That's the problem with most of her heavier songs. [8/10]

004. "Decision" - I never really played this track, though it was the B-Side to "Talkin' 2 myself." Again, more of the same. This song sounds SO similar to something from Secret, I just can't figure out what yet. Again, it's not bad per se, but the album loses it's luster when plagued with the same songs repackaged. [7/10]

005. "GUILTY" - Hmm...Well, it's still rock, but the introduction guitar is more something from the pages of a Junkie XL track than an Ayu one. Good! So much better. Darker, lonelier vibes without the overpowering metal riffs that often drown her emotion. Instead, this is a bit of a departure from the anger. The mood matches the song name. [10/10]

006. "Fated" - The B-Side to "GLITTER," I always preferred this softer track. Very soft and longing. It's quite formulaic, but it's still classic Ayumi. [8/10]

007. "Together When..." - FINALLY. A ballad with feeling! The song sounds like it came off I Am..., which is a VERY. GOOD. THING. Call me sadistic, but the best moments in an Ayumi song are the parts where it sounds like she's about to break ("Memorial Address"). This song is full of those moments. [10/10]

008. Marionette (prelude) - Playing along with the music box concept of the album, the song is another instrumental that grows increasingly manic and frightening as it chugs along. Picture demented jack-in-the-boxes. [9/10]

009. Marionette - Err...I'm having issue with this. It's a beautiful song, but I keep thinking I've heard it before. It's a bit epic in tone though, which is why I'm not discrediting the production. [8/10]

010. The Judgment Day - It's Catcher In The Light...just with an organ behind it instead of pulsating dance beats. I love Catcher, but for God's sake, is she trying? [8/10]

011. GLITTER - Ugh, fucking GLITTER. Or is it BLUE BIRD? Or Fairyland? I forget which, they all start to blend after the chanting, summery tribal music. [6/10]

012. MY ALL - I guess this would be the pop section of the album, because this marks the second song that is distinctly non-rock. And yet, it's still cliche to me. I don't know what's happening...is it just me? I'm starting to feel strange. Am I crazy, or were her previous albums like this as well? I'm going to have to consult my discography. [7/10]

013. reBIRTH - A looming little instrumental. Nice and moody with that classic, icy piano that she features in so many of her tracks. Pretty and ethereal. [8/10]

014. untitled ~for her~ - I won't lie, I was looking forward to this more than any other track. Ayumi has made it clear that this album was in dedication to a friend she lost last year, and this track was most clearly written about her. The lyrics are especially beautiful. The song is lovely and passionate. I won't begin to talk about the ways in which it reminds me of past songs because it's unneeded at this point. [8/10]

I love Ayumi, but I feel that she's allowing herself to be pigeonholed into a very specific genre, rather than the eclectic selections she has offered in the past. Part of this may stem from the fact that she is no longer producing any of her music, only the lyrics. Or there may not be enough diversity amongst the producers. Either way, she is falling into a trap, and I'm finding it very difficult to listen to her new music without going "Hey, this sounds like..." I can say for sure that it never happened until "(miss} understood. Ever since then, I keep hearing the past. It may be that I haven't been listening to her enough lately to distinguish the differences..I know that language barriers make a huge impact. Still, I'm left wanting more.

DL: Ayumi Hamasaki - GUILTY
DL: Ayumi Hamasaki - Together When...
DL: Ayumi Hamasaki - Marionette

Final Grade: B-

Be sure to buy Ayumi's Guilty at Amazon or YesAsia.


M.I.A. + Marc Jacobs

I saw these a few weeks ago, but I know there'd be some people who were interested. M.I.A. shot part of the Spring/Summer 2008 collection for Marc Jacobs. The results:

Photobucket

Eesh.


Returning Home...

First of all, I'd just like to thank everybody who wished me a happy birthday! I spent the day in NYC, and I'm completely exhausted. It looks like it was a slow news day while I was gone. Well, except for Britney.

Though it should be expected by now, the three-ring circus that is Britney's life continued on in its usual bizarre fashion today. Earlier today, Britney was discharged from the hospital after only 36 hours. Whether that was the her own decision or that of the hospital is still unknown. More ridiculously, Oprah's man-slave Dr. Phil paid Britney a visit for a little while as she packed to go home with her father. The good doctor also released a statement, confirming his belief that Britney is in need of psychological intervention. People Magazine also confirms that Dr. Phil advised Britney to stay at the hospital, and that leaving was one of "the worst decisions that could have been made." Curiously, Dr. Phil just so happens to be shooting an episode on Monday devoted to Britney's downfall. I can't even recognize who's selling out who anymore. Here's hoping that Britney's own father will have the ability to save her life...

On a brighter note, I pulled into the driveway tonight to find Ayumi Hamasaki's new album, GUILTY, waiting for me the mailbox! I'll write up a proper review tomorrow morning when I can think straight.

And you, what do you think?


It's Birthday, Bitch.


Well, today's my birthday!

Unfortunately, that means that I will most likely not update until later tonight, or early tomorrow.

I'll be back soon with an exclusive, and more!!

And you, what do you think?


Ayumi Loses Hearing In Left Ear


Terribly sad news this evening. It appears, from Ayumi herself, that she has gone deaf in her left ear, rendering her partially deaf. There appears to be no surgery to fix the problem. Luckily, she is putting on a brave face and continuing on as scheduled, determined to celebrate her 10th anniversary in the music industry and continue with touring. This is a translation of part of her latest diary entry today:

I thought of going to the hospital because I felt distinctly that something strange happened to my ear.
I thought it was the earphone monitors and told the people around me I wanted to switch to new ones.
Honestly, when the doctor told me that there is no treatment and that it's too late, my mind went blank.
In my heart somewhere, I felt that if I just make the time necessary for surgery, my ear would be able to hear again.
But I was wrong.
I remember the doctor's eyes even now.
They looked regretful and apologetic. As if to say I'm sorry there's nothing we can do...
So, I laughed.
I didn't know why, but I said "I thought so", and laughed.
Surrounded by my beloved staff inside the hospital room, everything returned to silence.
But, please, I don't want you to read this with pessimism.
I have accepted this reality.
And, I want you to understand somehow that I'm not despairing, but that the light of my hopes shines forth.

I love you, Ayu!

And you, what do you think?


Piece of Me Single Cover Fan Version


This is bad timing what with the custody battle going on, but...

I'M ON THE COVER OF THE NEW BRITNEY SPEARS SINGLE. NOT A JOKE.
This is the fan sleeve of Piece of Me...I'm still not entirely sure if it's official on the website only, or if it will be included in the single. Either way, buy it so that you can (possibly) frame my 10x10 pixel self on your wall.

Source

And you, what do you think?


Madonna's Listening Party

Madonna's latest album listening session, in which several executives got a taste of her new album, took place a few weeks ago. This included listening to samples of "4 Minutes To Save The World" and "Candy Shop." Working titles include Block Party, Urbanbeat Queen, and Give It To Me according to fan blog Madge Tribe. Almost indefinitely, the album will be urban-based, filled with glamour and color. Finally, some pictures have surfaced...and they do match the description! Earlier reports said that the meeting was entirely candy-based, and that everything was pink and colorful. See the pictures below!




Source: BadMediaKarma Forums

And you, what do you think?


Calming Music Part Deux - Goldfrapp


Seventh Tree, Goldfrapp's fourth studio album, is being released in February of 2008. That being said, the album leaked in full about two months ago. Oops.
Within the cries of treachery, adultery, and larsony, fans respondedly strongly to the album's quietly restrained nature riddled with lush, whispered tracks. It seems some people were expecting Supernature II, but that was never the intention for the band. Yes, I'll admit, I was one of them, though I should have known better. Black Cherry is no Felt Mountain. And neither of them Supernature. For those willing to open their ears to a different kind of aural bliss, the new album is delightfully giving.

Alison Goldfrapp made a perfect statement in a feature by Q Magazine that I found over at XO's Middle Eight regarding the upcoming album:

"While we were making it I was thinking, We're going to sell one copy and that'll be to my mum," she says. "It's a departure, and it's scary, but that's the point of being creative."

A departure, indeed. Will it succeed? I'm sure it will. A&E, the first single, has Grey's Anatomy soundtrack written all over it.

I'll review in full as the release date draws closer.

Today the official album cover was unveiled, thanks to PopJustice forums:

Be sure to pre-order Goldfrapp's new album, Seventh Tree (Special Edition)at Amazon.

And you, what do you think?


Lorraine

As I patiently await Britney's fate, I decided that I needed to turn to calming music to make the time pass by. It's either that or the happy pills. Right now, I'm sticking with music.

I don't think I've ever formally introduced you to Lorraine. Consider yourselves acquainted.

I love Lorraine. They contribute to the popular hypothesis I maintain that all music from Sweden and Norway is perfect. Their music is almost other-worldly in nature. The three-piece band from Norway incorporates the beats and sounds of the dark-synth pop of the '80's such as New Order and Depeche Mode, and produces something entirely fresh and modern. More amazingly: The guitarist, Anders Winsents, won the gold medal for the Scandinavian Speed Walking competition. Are you sold yet? Because I am.

"I Feel It," the single I discovered a year ago through PopJustice, is an incredibly uplifting and contemplative track. The subtle electronic beats engulfed by the gently strumming rocky beats make the track epic in some ways. Their other tracks, such as "Italian Girlfriend" and the newly released "Saved" elicit the same atmospheric, moody electro-rock aura. The beats sound dated, but collectively the music is before its time, making this a truly haunting experience...I can't wait for their album, which should be coming later this year. Click below to watch their video for "I Feel It."

Please support Lorraine by buying their latest single, Saved at Amazon.


Britney Rushed to Hospital after Custody Dispute


Oh....my....God.

Britney Spears was scheduled to keep the babies at her house yesterday until 8 PM. According to TMZ and other news outlets, Britney refused to hand over the children at that time, causing a fleet of helicopters and cop cars to rush the house with search lights in order to remove the children and return them to Kevin. Three hours later, a gurney left the premises carrying Britney to Cedars-Sinai Hospital. According to the police in an article by the Associated Press, police officers felt that "she was under the influence of an unknown substance" and needed to be evaluated. Additionally, ONTD member Mattchew03 claims that "According to Fox News (on TV), Brit was declared a 5150 - a danger to herself or others - and was thus allowed to be taken against her will." Jayden James, her younger son, was also taken to the hospital, presumably to be evaluated as well. As of right now, she is still at Cedars-Sinai, where professional ass-hat and failure Bobby Trendy is obnoxiously waiting outside, holding a "vigil" with pictures of her and Anna Nicole Smith. Sad. X17 also confirms that both Jamie Spears, her father, and Kevin Federline are at the hospital.

It wouldn't be a new year without a Britney saga. I'll update throughout the day...

Edit 1: Despite other sources blaming drugs or alcohol abuse, TMZ is holding firm in their belief that the cause of Britney's latest breakdown is further proof of mental issues, not chemical abuse: "Well- placed sources tell us what happened last night is not rooted in drugs, and that her mental state has deteriorated of late to the point that what happened at her home was not unexpected."

EDIT 2:Additionally, X17's "inside sources" claim that Britney takes medication for bipolar disorder, and that when she misses a dose, she launches into "severe anxiety." There's no proof to either of these claims, though they would make sense.

Additionally, Kevin Federline's Lawyer, Mark Kaplan, is currently en route to the court to strip Britney of visitation rights.

EDIT 3: The lawyers for Britney and Kevin are currently meeting with the judge.

EDIT 4: The story got a bit scarier. People Magazine (which is a credible source), reports that "the pop star's court-appointed child monitor called police. 'She had already put Preston in the car when Britney locked herself in a room with Jayden,' says the source. 'The cops came and got through the door and tied her down to a gurney.'" Additionally, Britney has been labeled as a "special needs" patient at the hospital.

EDIT 5: Britney will later be booked for “as-yet-unnamed offensives.”

EDIT 6: A press conference should be beginning at any moment... (12:18 PM)

EDIT 7: The press conference was a bust. Kaplan could not appear in front of the media, and had no comment regarding the case. (12:38 PM)

EDIT 8: Jamie-Lynn and her mother are currently on their way to Los Angeles, according to a close source. (1:44 PM)

EDIT 9: More from People magazine editor, Peter Castro:

It’s unclear whether they broke down the door or Britney let them in, but it took a long time for them to get through that door and when they finally got through they saw a disoriented Britney, who hadn’t slept for days, apparently hadn’t eaten for days, and that’s when they decided, ‘Let’s put her in a gurney, she’s under no condition to walk out of here on her own.

Jamie, her father, is currently at the hospital, along with suspicious assistant/friend Sam Lufti. Britney's mom answered a call from Access Hollywood, "who was extremely distraught, crying on the phone and asking our staff, “Just say prayers."' She is still in Kentwood with Jamie-Lynn.

EDIT 11: Bryan, her older brother, is at the hospital. (3:22 PM)

EDIT 12: It's official. She has lost custody and visitation rights of the children (perhaps permanently).

In my own opinion, I believe Britney is mentally unstable, without the aid of foreign substance. There's nothing funny about a mother losing sanity in front of her children, and I hope people recognize that this is the reality of actual mental illness.

Photos courtesy of TMZ, Fox News, and ONTD.

And you, what do you think?