OMFG Music

forever bringing you the best in everything pop.

My music obsession of the week: John Legend’s “All of Me”

image

John Legend’s latest offering, the jaw-droppingly beautiful love song dedicated to his wife, “All of Me,” is the best piano-driven ballad that has been released since Adele’s “Someone Like You.” And while the fantastic first single from his recent album Love in the Future has remained under-the-radar since its release last August, it has been slowly sneaking up the iTunes Top 100 in the last few weeks.

This month, “All of Me,” will be sent to mainstream and Top 40 radio, which should give it the push it needs to become a “Someone Like You”-sized hit. A few months back, the Grammy-award winning Legend himself stopped by Oprah for a magically intimate live performance of the song in front of his wife, who the song was written about. It’s a must watch moment.

It’d be such a tragedy, if a song of this caliber, with such extraordinary writing, didn’t become the massive anthem it deserves to be—which is exactly why it is my musical obsession of the moment.

Lorde is confirmed to perform at this year’s Grammy Awards

image

When the 56th Grammy nominations were revealed last month, many music pundits were left scratching their heads when newcomer Lorde was absent from the “Best New Artist” category, but that’s not stopping the award show from giving the New Zealand-born singer a chance to perform. The 17-year-old singer-songwriter will take the stage to perform a track from her highly-successful LP Pure Heroine.

Lorde, who is a nominated for four Grammys (Record and Song of the Year for “Royals”), joins Katy Perry, Daft Punk and Stevie Wonder on the current list of confirmed performers at this year’s award show.

Everyone should hear this unofficial acoustic version of Miley’s “Adore You”

image

Behind all the controversy and behind the now iconic tongue, Miley stripped down (and we don’t mean the “Wrecking Ball” kind of stripped down), when she’s singing behind a simple piano or guitar-driven instrumental, is nothing short of stunning. So, it’s no surprise that this unofficial acoustic version of Miley’s latest single “Adore You” is gorgeous. The sparse country-esque offerings in this remix complement the love ballad’s emotional lyrics beautifully.

Lucky for us, Miley is reportedly working on an entirely acoustic album that is set to be released later this year. She revealed the news during an interview with Barbara Walters, where the Bangerz-singer was crowned as one of 2013’s Most Interesting People.

Miley isn’t new to this whole acoustic scene, either. She’s performed two breathtaking stripped down versions of folk classics, Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” and Bob Dylan’s “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go.”

14 predictions for pop music in 2014

image

1. Lorde and Daft Punk are the big winners at the 56th annual Grammy Awards, but it doesn’t really matter because all anyone can seem to talk about is Beyoncé’s jaw-dropping performance at the award show.

2. After the success of her 2013 sleeper hit “Summertime Sadness,” Lana Del Rey receives the recognition she deserves and scores her first top 5 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. Her third studio album Ultraviolence is both commercially successful and critically acclaimed.

image

3. Rihanna scores her 14th, 15th, and 16th #1 singles on the Hot 100.

4. Justin Bieber refuses to stay out of the spotlight. He frequents even more brothels, punches a few paparazzi, and is continuously hospitalized for “exhaustion.”

5. Bruno Mars brings out rock music legends for his mesmerizing and ultimately successful Super Bowl Halftime Show.

image

6. Nicki Minaj scores her first solo Hot 100 #1 with a predictably pop-inspired first single. She releases a two-disc album to reflect her pop and hip-hop personas.

7. Mariah Carey releases The Art of Letting Go, and while its championed by critics as being Mimi’s best album since The Emancipation, it flops on the charts.

8. Taylor Swift is still having boy problems, but her album is a commercial explosion, selling nearly 1.5 million copies in its first week. 

image

9. Miley’s controversial movement continues. At The Grammys, she walks the red carpet with only rose petals covering her nipples, makes out with Stevie Wonder, and fingers herself on stage during a performance of “Adore You.”

10. Beyoncé isn’t done with surprises, and the first one is that Blue is becoming a big sister. Also, in December the 2015 Grammy nominations are announced and Yoncé walks away with 11 noms.

11. Kanye West won’t shut up about Kim Kardashian. His entire new album centers on the relationship with and the physique of his soon-to-be-wife. It’s sonically brilliant, and receives rave reviews from critics.

image

12. Lady Gaga falls further into pop radio oblivion. She releases “Venus” as the third single from ARTPOP, and the “Poker Face”-singer fails to reach the Top 40 for the first time in her career. Meanwhile, her tour is a resounding success, selling out stadiums around the globe.

13. After a bout in rehab for an eating disorder, Ke$ha drops the dollar sign from her name and releases the most personal album of her career without a single production credit from Dr. Luke.

image

14. Adele releases her third studio album, and nothing in pop music—or the universe at large—matters anymore. Also, the chair from Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” returns and becomes the “wrecking ball” of 2014.

Shakira to release Rihanna-assisted single

image

Shakira has officially announced, after several delays in 2013, that her highly-awaited new single will be released on January 13, 2014. The track, titled “Can’t Remember To Forget You” will feature the “Umbrella” hit maker Rihanna.

Shak tweeted the following image confirming the release of the duet.

image

The song has been described by insiders familiar with the project as a “dance song” with a “great beat.” The music video for “Can’t Remember To Forget You” was filmed a couple weeks ago and was directed by none other than Joseph Kahn (Eminem’s “Love The Way You Lie” and Britney’s “Toxic”).

This single marks Shakira’s first English release since her 2009 hit “She Wolf” was released nearly five years ago.

In her latest interview with Glamour Magazine, the Columbian songstress opened up about how it was working with Rihanna on “Can’t Remember to Forget You.”

Predicting the unpredictable, the 2014 Grammy nominations

image

The Grammy nominations for the biggest award of the night, “Album of the Year,” can be tremendously tricky to predict. Every year, there’s always at least one nominee that elicits an appropriate “WTF!” reaction. Last year, the category was jammed pack with rock and alternative acts: The Black Keys, Mumford & Sons, Jack White, Frank Ocean, and the most pop-leaning of the bunch fun.. It was confusing and mind-boggling that such an anti-pop crowd of artists snagged nominations when the year previously the “Album of the Year” category was dominated by the likes of Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Adele, and Bruno Mars.

In 2014, as always, expect the unexpected. This year, OMFG Music has attempted to predict the unexpected. So here it goes… Here are our predictions for Album of the Year.


Guaranteed:

The 20/20 Experience by Justin Timberlake

image

So far, Justin Timberlake has a perfect track record in the “Album of the Year” field. Both his debut and sophomore albums snagged nominations in the illustrious field. His third studio LP (Part 1 of the two-part body of work) should successfully bring JT his third “Album of the Year” nomination. It was well-received by critics and easy outpaced the competition to become the best selling album of 2013. You know how I just said to expect the unexpected? Well forget about that for The 20/20 Experience. A nomination (and subsequent win) here is nearly guaranteed.


RED by Taylor Swift

image

In 2010 with Fearless, she became the youngest artist to ever take home the trophy for “Album of the Year.” The Grammy committee adores her, and her latest album was her most critically acclaimed offering to date. When the album debuted in late 2012, it shifted more than 1.2 million copies, making the highest first week total sales in more than a decade. The album, because it was released in the fourth quarter of last year, already has a strong presence at the awards. First single “We Are Never Getting Back Together” scored a nomination in the “Record of the Year” category last year. Normally, fourth quarter releases suffer from a time gap (think Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy), but Swift has miraculously managed to keep the momentum of RED strong going into Grammy season.


Likely:

Random Access Memories by Daft Punk

image

Although the enigmatic duo has never gotten lucky (excuse the pun, I couldn’t resist) enough to snag a nom in this field, the dance music titans have a nearly surefire shot in 2013. The curveball of an album, riddled with 1970s-inspired disco funk and stunning live instrumentation, proved Daft Punk’s unrivaled ability to craft dance music more concretely than ever before. Month’s after its released, it’s been highlighted on lists of the “Best Albums of All Time.” Yes, you read that right: Of All Time. If anything, Random Access Memories is the most deserved of an “Album of the Year” nomination.

Possibly:

Unorthodox Jukebox by Bruno Mars

image

With major hits like “Locked Out of Heaven” and “When I Was Your Man,” it’s hard to imagine Bruno Mars’s latest offering not securing a spot in this category. The Grammys love when artists can not only escape the daunting black abyss that is the sophomore slump, but also exceed the success of their debut work. Pop queens Katy and Gaga did this with Teenage Dream and The Fame Monster and were rewarded with nominations in the “Album of the Year” category. But even more recently Adele and Mumford & Sons managed this task and were rewarded with not only nominations, but wins in the “Album of the Year” field. Unfortunately for Bruno, the Grammys don’t abide by some kind of formulaic means of granting nominations, or else he’d be a shoo-in. Nonetheless, there’s a strong chance that Unorthodox Jukebox will snatch a nomination.


Who The Hell Knows?:

image

The fifth and final spot in the “Album of the Year” is guaranteed to provide the “WTF!” moment at this year’s revealing of the nominations. Here are some of the top contenders.

The Grammys snubbed Kanye last year in the field, but will they make up for lost time by nominating the crazed, egocentric Yeezus?

Will this year’s token indie sleeper nomination be  The Civil Wars’ self-titled album?

Did Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s independently released album The Heist impress the nomination committee?

Will this year’s head-scratching moment belong to old-timer David Bowie and his well-reviewed LP The Next Day?

Or will Lorde continue her meteoric rise by receiving a nomination with Pure Heroine?

Did hip-hop hit a note with the Grammy voters? Did they appreciate the artistic touches of Kendrick’s Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City? Or did Drake’s Nothing Was The Same quench their appetite more harmoniously?

What about a rock nom? Vampire Weekend sure impressed critics with Modern Vampires of the City, what did Grammy voters think?

The last and final nomination could belong to any of the albums mentioned above, but who knows? It’s the Grammys. Anything can happen.

REVIEW: ‘Britney Jean’ - Britney Spears

image

Individually, the majority of the songs from the legendary Miss Britney Spears’s eighth studio album, Britney Jean, are exceptional. The opening track, “Alien,” finds an impressive-sounding Britney crooning “I never figured out why I always felt like a stranger in a crowd” over a haunting synth-reverb, courtesy of William Orbit. It’s beautifully heart-rendering—a side we haven’t seen from Britney in years. The album continues to deliver deeply emotional and startling honest tracks like the second single “Perfume” and the closing track “Don’t Cry.” The best track of the bunch, “Till It’s Gone,” is a dazzling trance-inspired track that continues with the heavy message of heartbreak that is interwoven throughout the album.

image

Unfortunately though, Britney invited one-too-many Wills to assist with the project. Britney Spears promised that Britney Jean would be the most personal record of her career—and there’s a glimpse of this intertwined in the Blackout-singer’s latest LP (see the above paragraph). Half of the album is exceptional. The other half finds will.i.am hyper-autotuning the “Toxic”-singer into a soulless nonentity on tracks like “It Should Be Easy.” The track that follows “Easy” is equally as soulless: “Tik Tik Boom,” a nonsensical snyth-driven sex anthem where rapper TI exclaims that Brit “likes the way [he] eats her” as Britney clumsily comparers her orgasm to a ticking time bomb.

image

It is unbearably unfortunate (especially as Britney fan) that meaningful and magically crafted and sung tracks like “Alien” and “Till Its Gone”—some of the best songs of Brit’s career—are muddled by the robotic nonsense that was chosen to accompany these tracks on the album (I blame executive producer will.i.am). It’s ironic that, for an album claiming to be so personal, Britney Jean suffers primarily because of its lack of personality. 

Rating: 6.5/10

Stream Britney Jean on iTunes.

REVIEW: ‘ARTPOP’ — Lady Gaga

image

Since the arrival of “Just Dance,” Lady Gaga has been the most compelling and most irresistible pop star in the world. Within the last five years of her career, she has single-handedly changed the landscape of the music industry. In an age when most pop artists are satisfied with churning out one factory-made, cookie-cutter pop hit after the next, Lady Gaga has refused to remain stagnant, which is why, even at her worst, she is still outperforming and outshining her pop contemporaries. But when Lady Gaga is at her best, she’s releasing her pop piece de resistance ARTPOP—the single most thrilling, eccentric, and enticing album of her career.

image

On her fourth studio album, Gaga works hard to address the problems that plagued her previous album Born This Way, and succeeds: the new disc is more polished and more accessible, with less unnecessarily overelaborate production and lyrical redundancy. None of the beats clobber you as instantaneously and abrasively as “Government Hooker” or “Americano.” The tracks on Lady Gaga’s reverse-Warholian experimentation with pop improve with every listen. This is an album that you like on the first listen, but love on the second, third, and fourth.

image

As good as ARTPOP is, it is far from perfect. Lady Gaga’s hip-hop experiment gone wrong “Jewels ‘N Drugs” is a hollow, over-exaggerated failure that is neither “pop” nor “art.” Similarly, the opening track, “Aura,” with its pseudo-provocative feminist message, is a contrived cacophony of mediocrity.

image

Thankfully, the missteps of ARTPOP are easily eclipsed by the extraordinary moments of musical magic that run through the veins of the provocateur’s latest LP. There’s a certain melodic magnetism at the core of future worldwide hits like “Do What U Want,” “G.U.Y.,” and the Madeon-produced “Gypsy.” The latter of which is Gaga’s greatest lyrical achievement since “Bad Romance.” What’s truly remarkable about ARTPOP is how effortlessly Gaga blends her kaleidoscope of influences into such a cohesive-sounding record: The stadium-ready Bruce Springsteenesqe anthem “MANiCURE” (and OMFG Music’s personal favorite song from the album) flows seamlessly into the R&B-heavy “fuck-the-haters” second single “Do What U Want” (which, by the way, is brilliantly disguised as an sex song).

image

Lady Gaga is not ashamed to admit that she lives for the “Applause,” but what she deserves is your attention. On the surface, ARTPOP may thump and groove like the soundtrack to a wild, moly-induced night out at the trendiest club in New York City, but at its core, it’s a stunning and whimsical expedition inside the world of one of this generation’s most important pop visionaries.

OMFG Music’s RATING: 8.5/10

BUY Lady Gaga’s ARTPOP on iTunes.

EMINEM SET TO RELEASE “THE MONSTER”

image

Eminem’s first single, “Berzerk,” may not have been the mega-sized smash single the rapper hoped for, but with the Rihanna-assisted single “The Monster” set for release next week, it seems that the “Rap God”-singer is ready to explode onto the charts.

Could this new single top the singers’ last collaboration “Love The Way You Lie”? We’ll have to wait until October 28th when the single will be released to radio to find out.

Lady Gaga has officially chose “Do What U Want” as her second single

image

After the massive critical and immediate critical success of Lady Gaga’s promotional single “Do What U Want,” the “Applause”-singer’s label has decided to release the R&B sex anthem as the official second single from ARTPOP.

Critics and fans alike praised the song for being one of Gaga’s best ever, heralding it as “a flawless piece of R&B.” Critics compared Gaga’s vocal delivery to the likes of Christina Aguilera and Mariah Carey—two of the greatest vocalist of all time.

Along with critical acclaim came universal worldwide sales domination. “Do What U Want” not only became the fastest-selling song of 2013 in the US, but reached the summit of iTunes in a record-breaking 83 countries.

image

Making the R. Kelly-assisted jam the second official single off ARTPOP makes complete sense. With its spacey-R&B stylings, the track will extend the singer’s reach beyond the traditional pop fans she currently attracts. Pop and R&B fans can appreciate the smooth, sultry feel of the DJWS-produced single.

Not only that, but the singer’s partnership with Beats by Dre and Best Buy will serve as free promotion for the single now and in the coming holiday months, as the commercial featuring “Do What U Want” continues to air well into the Christmas season. What more could you ask for? Beats by Dre targets the same audience that Gaga’s R&B-inspired 2nd single will attract.

This single has massive potential. With the right promotional campaign, “Do What U Want” could be one of Gaga’s biggest singles of her career.

BUY Lady Gaga’s 2nd single on iTunes HERE.

Let’s review Lady Gaga’s new single “Do What U Want” using gifs

image

The song opens up with Gaga and R.Kelly harmonizing together over a gorgeous, pulsating beat courtesy of DJ White Shadow. The “Ignition”-singer is offering up his signature “hey, hey, hey, hey”s as Gaga busts out a round of “Oh, ooh, OHs” before letting us know she feels good. If you aren’t immediately bopping around to this, head over to the doctor. There’s something wrong with your ears.

image

The first verse hits and Gaga’s smooth vocals effortlessly float over the smooth, R&B production. If you were unconvinced that Lady Gaga was back when you heard “Applause,” “Do What U Want” will surely convince you that the songstress you fell in love with when you hear The Fame Monster is back. And better than ever.

image

And then the pre-chorus… Gaga voice sounds like sex. I’d write more on this, but I’m gonna stand on my couch and bop around like this in my living room.

"DON’T STOP, LET’S PART-AY!"

image

But just when you think the song couldn’t possibly get any better, the promo single explodes into the the anthemic R&B chorus. Gaga’s voice is undeniably orgasmic.

image

Time for R.Kelly. His vocal delivery is on point. The lyrics? Perfection. For those of you who questioned Gaga’s choice of featuring R.Kelly on a track? Eat crow. This slays.

image

And then after singing the hell out of his verses, he comes in with the chorus and sounds like some kind of Greek sex God. Women, you may need to run to the store and get a pregnancy test.

image

And then R.Kelly passes the torch to Gaga for a quick second to let her take us to church with that bridge. "I WOULD FALL APART IF YOU BREAK MY HEART, SO JUST TAKE MY BODY!"

image

Just when you think the song can’t get any better, the post-chorus arrives with Gaga and R.Kelly singing their asses off. The R&B sex anthem of the year has arrived.

image

And now, I’m singing my ass off to this flawless bop.

image

"Do what you want with me
What you want with my body.”

image
"Do what you want with me
What you want with my body.”

If you couldn’t tell, OMFG Music loves “DO WHAT U WANT.”

REVIEW: ‘PRISM’ — Katy Perry

image

Katy may have struck gold with her record-breaking, platinum-selling sophomore album Teenage Dream, but doesn’t the “California Gurls”-singer know, “Lightning never strikes the same place twice”? Or does it?

The 16-track, hour-long LP stays faithful to Katy’s hit-making methods, with easy-on-the-ears choruses cleverly crafted by the likes of Dr. Luke and Max Martin. Future hits and album standouts like “Legendary Lovers” and “Unconditionally” reach seemingly unattainable heights with their soaring, sleekly produced choruses.

image

Unfortunately, though, for every Dr. Luke-Max Martin-Katy Perry pop knock out, there’s a childish, overproduced dud lurking within the tracklist. “Birthday” and “International Smile” sound and feel more like tracks 21-year-old Katy should be singing. Not 28-year-old Katy. For an album that touts its own sonic and lyric development, PRISM rarely shines a light on the fresh, mature sound Katy Perry promised… 

…except for the dazzling tracks from Swedish songwriter and producer Klas Åhlund. “Walking On Air,” an eye-popping 90s house throwback, astonishes with its thrilling vocal delivery and pristinely polished production. Simply put, it’s pop perfection. Similarly, “This Is How We Do” (“Last Friday Night (TGIF)”’s funky, and much more fun twin sister) delivers as the most freshly entertaining and enjoyable track on PRISM.

image

Perry ends the album on a high note with the beautifully penned “By The Grace of God”—a striking, introspective piece of pop music. PRISM succeeds effortlessly as cementing the “Roar” hit maker as one of the dominant forces in Top 40 music making. And while the album may stray away from risk-taking, there’s still enough no-frills fun packed in this LP to cement Katy’s status as the most consistently entertaining popstar on the planet.

See you at the top of the charts, Katy.

RATE: 7/10

image