Adele

2015’s 10 Most Anticipated Albums (and How Likely It Is We’ll Get to Hear Them)

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With a strong winter release schedule already confirmed (Sleater-Kinney! Father John Misty! Panda Bear!), 2015 is shaping up to be a strong year for music. Still, there are a few albums expected this year, but not quite set in stone. From Kendrick and Adele to Radiohead and The Wrens, a lot of highly anticipated albums have been “in the works” for some time now. Here, we take a look at ten of 2015’s most eagerly awaited albums and place bets on whether they’ll actually come out this …Read More

Let’s Be Real: The Grammys Have Always Relegated Beyoncé to the R&B Category

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If you’re searching for proof of the Beygency’s hold over pop culture, look no further than the outrage that emerged Friday over Beyoncé’s six Grammy nominations this year. She was nominated for Album of the Year, Best R&B Performance, Best Urban Contemporary Album, Best R&B Song, Best Music Film and, um, Best Surround Sound Album, ending up tied with Sam Smith and Pharrell for the most nominations. It wasn’t enough. Maybe people have short attention spans, or perhaps it’s that Bey has reached new levels of cultural dominance in this last year, but the conversation surrounding Beyoncé’s perceived lack nominations hinted at a racial bias on the part of the Academy.
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We Need to Talk About Jessie J and Our Irrational Pop Star Preferences

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With a record-breaking six Top 10 singles from one album in her native UK, Jessie J is England’s answer to Katy Perry. Admittedly, that’s selling her short — her voice possesses Aguilera power and she writes her own material — but details are unimportant in the mud-pit wrestling match that is the female pop star gauntlet. The singer’s most successful American single to date, Top 10 hit “Domino,” is straight-up Teenage Dream Perry, down to its reference to skin-tight pants. “(Insert new singer) is like (insert established pop diva starting to show cracks/long past her prime) plus (insert another big pop star)”: this is the musical conversation pop stars get, despite the fact that pop hits are defined more by their songwriters and producers than their interpreters. The personality conversation is an even uglier scene, one in which stars are made and fade away.
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The New Sad Boys of Pop

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“It’s alright to cry, even my dad does it sometimes,” Ed Sheeran urges towards the end of X, an album that’s so shrouded in Nice Guy Syndrome that Sheeran deserves his own tackily named subgenre. In the larger context of mainstream music trends, the acoustic strummer falls under the heading of Sad-Boy Pop. He may be alone emotionally, but Sheeran and a few similar chart-topping artists — like Sam Smith and Bleachers — are together in redefining what it means to be a solo male star in pop circa 2014. Sonically, they couldn’t be more different, but they’re united by their embrace of the melancholy amidst a genre marked by its blissful frivolity. Even Robin Thicke is sad these days, going from “I know you want it” to “I’ll wait for forever for you to love me again.”
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What YouTube’s Indie Label Ban Actually Means for Music Fans

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YouTube is sparring with a handful of independent record labels over licensing deals regarding the Google-owned video site’s forthcoming subscription service, the side effect of which will see a handful of indie artists’ music removed from YouTube imminently. Up until yesterday, when this news made the rounds in sensationalized form on tech blogs, there had been relatively little discussion of an issue that might have a dramatic effect on both labels and consumers. So what’s going on?
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Jack White Apologizes to Every Artist He’s Ever Mentioned, Blames “Tabloid Journalism”

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Over the last couple weeks, Rolling Stone has teased out its cover story on Jack White shamelessly. Multiple news stories emerged on the RS site, touting “scandalous” quotes from White’s interview. Perhaps you saw the tidbit in which he bemoans Meg White’s hermit tendencies and lack of encouragement (“She’s one of those people who won’t high-five me when I get the touchdown”), or his claims that The Black Keys ripped him off, though his feelings on the latter are nothing new following ugly emails that leaked last year. Over the weekend White condemned what he feels is “tabloid journalism,” posting an apology letter on his website. In his explanation, White chides the non-apologies made by artists to cover their asses after they’ve swiftly stuck a foot in their mouth — while simultaneously apologizing to every artist whose name has passed through his own lips alongside his foot.
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