Not that this bit of frosting should overshadow everything Jordin Sparks' new video has going for it, but we must -- MUST! -- discuss the nails. Strands of gold chains are glued to Jordin's nails, right? They're freaking "weapons of choice." Jordin even texts with those things!
Now when she's not going all creationist on me, I'm a die-hard Jordin Sparks fan: next to Kelly Clarkson, Jordin is my favorite of the Idol crop; and "Battlefield" was pretty lifechanging. While her new "S.O.S" track -- a revamping of 1980s freestyle singer Shannon's "Let The Music Play" -- could have easily gone to a less talented singer, I'm psyched ballad-leaning Jordin took on a sassy, sexy, pop star number. Whether or not Jordin went into this video shoot feeling she had something to prove, she knocks it out: it's everything you could want from a diva, with those moves and that hair!
I mean... we'll see if the nails catch on, but the video's a keeper -- watch it below, and watch Jordin perform "S.O.S. (Let The Music Play)" on VH1 Divas 2009. And watch Shannon's "Let The Music Play" after the jump.
Now who didn't enjoy Sean Kingston's, RedOne-ified, track "Fire Burning" (not that you, nor I, nor anyone else in America, had a choice in the matter)? But with remembered lyrics such as, "My pocket started tickling, the way she drop it low," and "She get it pop it lock it drop it, That birthday cake," I was completely refreshed when Kingston's second single off his new album, Tomorrow (out September 22) gave honest accounts of rejection and insecurity.
While it's still a moving and shaking track, Kingston shares the pain of a girl who said he'd "look better if he was thinner"; well, girl, "you should have loved him for his inner" ... no joke, 'cause Sean's "inner" is Lil' Sean, a wacky, CGI-dancing sprite who can walk on water.
In the "Face Drop" video, the same pretty much applies to all romantic rejects, who join Sean Kingston in a swirl of purple lights and rainbows to kick up an animated dance party on top of a pool. Don't believe me? Just watch the Ro Rao-directed video yourself. The featured style of animation, also on Kingston's Tomorrow album cover, is very Graduation-era Kanye West (sunglasses and everything), minus the interruptions.
Just prepare yourself, the Backstreet Boys go straight for the de rigueur vampire jugular with their latest comeback. (And has it really been two years since the last album? Backstreet! How I've missed you).
Considering "Straight Through My Heart," directed by Kai Regan (Panic! At the Disco's "New Perspective," Cobra Starship's "Good Girls Go Bad") is all about attacks of love and symbolic bleeding, how could Backstreet Boys not jump on the vampire bandwagon? (You had your shot Leona Lewis; "Bleeding Love" could've gone in a totally vampiric direction! I smell a remake!) Backstreet Boys also called upon producer RedOne (the magic behind Lady GaGa's "Just Dance" and Sean Kingston's "Fire Burning." And did I mention sexy vampires? Possible girl-on-girl sexy vampires? We assume we won't be seeing THAT in New Moon...
... Not to suggest Backstreet Boys is completely shedding its '90s boy band roots (a linchpin, if there ever was one, in a glorious era of TRL): The new album, This Is Us, features songwriting from Swedish mogul Max Martin, who wrote all-time classic "I Want It That Way" and Britney Spears' "Baby One More Time." In addition, the guys bust out unabashed boy band moves from right out the gate in their "Straight Through My Heart" video -- just like the old days! Hey, if you're going to be a boy band, be a damn boy band! And, equally as important, a vampire!
I'll say it: 24-year-old Colbie Caillat has her proverbial sh+t together. But she didn't just stumble into tranquility -- Colbie called her sophomore album Breakthrough for a reason. And it ended up being fortuitous; it just debuted at No. 1. Still, Colbie had some hurdles to make it over before she could get to "soaking up life" in Hawaii and barbecuing with Kara DioGuardi and Jason Reeves.
In addition to enrolling in songwriting boot camp, the "Bubbly" singer endured a miserable sinus infection and (well, this is a good problem to have) a tough choice between three different productions for her lead single, "Fallin' For You." Colbie also conquered her most challenging obstacle -- her own insecurity as a performer. As she so beautifully puts it, "I am finally in love with what I do."
After the jump, watch Colbie Caillat's "The 5" interview.
(Credit: Ellen Stagg, MTV)
If you're wondering where the rest of A Fine Frenzy is... you're looking at it. Though EMI signed Ali Sudol on her own merits -- and those of the demo she mailed in -- A Fine Frenzy does not her own name bear. Instead, she let The Bard do the work for her; The phrase "A Fine Frenzy" is from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, referencing a poet's moment of inspiration.
Watch Ali's "The 5" interview to find out more about her sophomore album, Bomb in a Birdcage, and to get some insight into this offbeat, soft-spoken redhead who counts Miley Cyrus as a fan. Plus, see why she faked poor vision back in the day. I'll try not to hold her dislike of the color purple against her, but never seeing Star Wars? That sounds like a full-time job of avoidance, though she did teach herself to play the piano and I didn't...
And when you're done watching her The 5 interview, watch A Fine Frenzy's latest single, "Blow Away." It's what all those lilt-y, chirpy alt-pop singers should sound like. And make sure you're following @afinefrenzy on Twitter. Although you probably already are -- A Fine Frenzy has over 1 million followers and counting.
+ Watch A Fine Frenzy's "Blow Away" video after the jump.
I'm "giving away the end" here, but Holland-born, Justin Timberlake-discovered singer Esmee Denters loves Egypt -- its history, and its aesthetic. And I think the draw makes all kinds of sense: Esmee's exotic, otherworldliness. GIRL, ust say "pharaohs" again!
Watch Esmee's Buzzworthy "The Five" interview, and perhaps you'll pick up what she's putting down... or maybe you'll just think she's hot and/or talented. Esmee's other four tidbits are a bit more straightforward/promotionally driven -- we do want to know how she went from YouTube covers from her bedroom to a record deal with J.T., right?
You'll hear about Esmee's consistent involvement in her debut album, Outta Here, her love of sweets (she cancels them all out with the gym; we anticipated that question) and her OMG overload upon meeting... Oprah.
In her brand-new MTV Buzzworthy "The 5" interview, Brooke White confounds us with a medical mystery... she's got a twitch that doesn't sound life- threatening, but in my semi-professional opinion, she should get an MD to take a look at that. Or at least administer an official diagnosis via Twitter.
Thankfully poor Brooke's poor guitar finger is at least on the the road to recovery. And along with discussions of mild medical conditions, the American Idol Season 7 contender (she shared a stage with David Cook and Lil Archuleta!) shares more about her new album, High Hopes & Heartbreak (not to be confused with 808s And Heartbreaks), which she released on her own label, with production by Randy Jackson,
While Brooke gives no mention of American Idol in her interview (she was the one who had never seen an R-rated movie, or something?), she does offer some interesting tidbits about the recording process, childhood musical memories, and a somewhat comical phobia.
Finally, Brooke plugs her latest single, "Radio Radio," and you should take her word on this: it's summery, folky, and alt-country -- a little comfort in these hectic times.
+ Watch Brooke White's "Radio Radio" video after the jump!
Great. Now I totally feel like the high school underachiever now -- A Clear Blurr pretty much embodies blink-182, while still staying on top of sports and GPAs. (I barely passed P.E.)
The Jersey pop-punk group A Clear Blurr -- Tom Kenney, Karl Pearson, Cole MacDonnell, and Kevin Nicotera -- may sound a step up from your average high school band, but that's part of the appeal: their sophomore album's called Trigonometry, and if you check out the A Clear Blurr's MySpace photos, the guys have gone for all-out high school stereotypes: jock, nerd, bad boy and hot-guy/class clown.
In addition to graduating high school this year, A Clear Blurr's already done time on Warped Tour as well as a few Hot Topic gigs, which obviously beats passing out EPs in the hall between class. For Trigonometry (just that word brings back bad memories -- hopefully A Clear Blurr will reclaim it me) due September 29, the guys worked with John Collura of The Ataris, so expect a little more nuance than their first full-length, Drop Everything, which Clear Blurr released in 2007.
Yes, the song heavily samples Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy." But Sugababes came up with their version they were 14, OK? And I know, girl groups are SO '90s anyway, but let me throw some credentials at you, because I'm kind of a Sugababes expert (not to brag or anything)...
The British pop-for-pop's-sake group -- Heidi Range, Amelle Berrabah and Keisha Buchanan (the group’s only original member, due to some Destiny's Child-style lineup changes) -- has released seven albums. Five have gone platinum in the U.K. They've put out 23 singles, and six went to #1. So they must be doing something right.
I will cop to the fact that any Sugababes song sounds like it could've been on The Pussycat Dolls' PCD or Doll Domination albums and no one would have said anything (if they even noticed). But that shouldn't deter you from blasting “About You Now” and “Push The Button” alone in your room. On your iPod. While wearing headphones.
Or just jump straight to Sugababes' latest single “Get Sexy.” The level of camp makes “When I Grow Up” sound solemn. You can pretty much put me to bed after “Silly boys!” And Amelle's “Shut up and watch me walk!” It's like RuPaul bodysnatched her or something.
"Get Sexy" is the lead single off Sugababes' seventh album, Sweet 7. The last single Sugababes released in the U.S. was “Hole In The Head” in 2004 –- even though they've had four albums in the U.K. since then. For Sweet 7, the trio (wisely) collaborated with RedOne and Ne-Yo; it will be released through Island in the U.K. in November, but through Jay-Z’s label Roc Nation in the U.S.
+ If you really must, watch Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy" video after the jump...
The more I hear from Jessie James, the more she aggressively assures me that she does not hold back. Even though my first impressions of Jessie were mini Shania or Dress-up X-Tina, but when she swells into that full, nasal-y twang, she's a contender and not a pretender. And considering Jessie co-wrote "I Look So Good Without You" -- along with some top-notch help in the form of Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins (I've gone on record about my love for Darkchild) and Savan Kotecha (who has "If U Seek Amy" on his resume) -- I'm predicting for her a long and healthy career.
The video for Jessie's second single, from her self-titled debut album, premiered yesterday on It's On With Alexa Chung. Filmed in Malibu, "I Look So Good Without You" kicks off with Jessie giving her man the boot (from her ridiculous mansion). On the first go-around, the concept for the song is standard enough: "Now that I'm single, I feel empowered..." But its source, the external reflecting the internal, is effective in its simple honesty: Post-breakup Jessie can finally appreciate that she does have nice skin and good teeth -- and when she stops crying, note the beautiful brown eyes. OK, OK - sounds a little cheesy on paper, but it WORKS.
P.S. Our girl is an Aries. Thanks bathtub, shot!