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Music Is My King Size Bed

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Real Housewives: Which Ones Can Sing?

BRAVO, Bravo TV. BRAVO. You've managed to create a Reality TV model that works, not only in terms of RATINGS but in terms of BRANDING as well. Sure - the majority of your programs take on the format of your former ratings Juggernaut Project Runway, but let's take a moment to look at your Real Housewives franchise - a separate brand in and of itself.

The Real Housewives of Orange County, New York, Atlanta and New Jersey DELIVER the ratings week/over/week, and with the soon-to-air Washington D.C. and Beverly Hills installments, your RICH BITCH reality TV domination doesn't show any signs of stopping. Of course, Bravo owes the majority of it's success with this popular franchise to the stars themselves (and of course editing), the 'housewives.' Each season has it's own drama and THAT'S what viewers come to expect, but what do the ladies get out of it? Have you looked at the New York Times Best Seller List or WHENEVER one of the housewives releases a book? These ladies are DEFINITELY working their new-found fame for their own betterment...AND for the betterment of others. Virtually all of the housewives are active with various charities, throwing benefits and attending balls. I'm just saying that, with all of that drama, the ladies DESERVE to get something out of it.

Who could have guessed at just HOW MANY of the housewives have harbored secret desires to sing professionally? More than I might have expected and likely more to come. Watch me break down each of the housewives' singles released to date. I'll be evaluating them based on four factors: MUSIC & LYRICS, VOCAL ABILITY, ALBUM ARTWORK and the overall FUN FACTOR of the song. We'll be covering Jo De La Rosa and Gretchen Rossi from the OC, LuAnn de Lesseps from New York City, Atlanta's Kim Zolciak and Kandi Burruss and New Jersey's own Danielle Staub. From OLDEST to we go!

Jo De La Rosa appeared on the first two seasons of the ORIGINAL Real Housewives series, the Real Housewives of Orange County. De La Rosa released her debut album, Unscripted August 19th 2008 on Immergent Records. I was late jumping on board the Housewives bandwagon so I missed the first few seasons so I'm not sure if De La Rosa's singing career played any part early on but her first single "U Can't Control Me" was released 2 years AFTER De La Rosa had left the program to record her debut album. De La Rosa has cameoed in both season 3 and season 4, the latter asking current cast member Gretchen Rossi to make an appearance in her first music video. What about the song? Thankfully Jo has a whole album to redeem herself the song is a bit of a dud. While the chorus is FULL of attitude the song just falls flat. I don't know if it's the production or the songwriting that fails here but it just sounds like another sub-par angry-girl anthem. In listening to some of her album tracks, you can tell that De La Rosa can sing, although she doesn't exhibit much range. She definitely does better with the up-tempo pop/dance numbers. Check out the Jason Nevins remixes of her debut single if you haven't heard them yet. They are definitely a vast improvement upon the original. According to her MySpace, she parted ways with her label and is working on new material. I'd recommend something dancey and club-friendly.

Music & Lyrics

Vocal Ability
Album Artwork
Fun Factor

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Katie Price (AKA Jordan) To Release New Dance Single

I blame Europe for the latest crop of reality TV stars hell bent on turning into singing "sensations." With the tube SO crowded with talent competitions (X-Factor, American Idol, ______'s Got Talent, etc.) right now, REAL singers must be STRUGGLING to get heard.  As if TALENT competitions aren't enough, NOW we have regular old reality stars trying to break into the business.  The UK version of Big Brother has launched the career of at least a couple of singers and now we have Katie Price, mother, philanthropist, model, business woman and star of the UK's I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here, When Jordan Met Peter, Jordan & Peter: Laid Bare, Jordan & Peter: Marriage and Mayhem, Katie & Peter, Katie & Peter: The Next Chapter, Katie & Peter: The Baby Diaries and recently, What Katie Did Next. Now the model formerly known as Jordan is getting to release her first solo dance single.  When will it all end!?

The single, "Free To Love Again" (listen above) will be released digitally in the UK on July 12th.  A "tribute to Katie's fans," the song, for what it is, isn't all that bad. It's just your standard cheesy Euro-pop,  Cascada-esque dance tune fixed with all the trimmings: big chorus, electronic blips, plenty of synth and various machine-made vocal tricks.  The single was written and produced by Mike Rose (S Club 7, Kylie Minogue).  Price has dabbled in music before, coming in 2nd place in the 2005 UK pre-Eurovision selection show Making Your Mind Up.  In 2006, she and her THEN-husband Peter Andre released a charity single - the duet "A Whole New World" from Aladdin.  The single entered the UK chart at #20.  She's really not a bad singer. It will be interesting to see how the new song does on the charts.  Lord, please just don't let there be an album!

Check out Katie Price on the web:

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Artwork Alert: Ray LaMontagne - God Willin' & The Creek Don't Rise

For those of you 'unawares' - the new Ray LaMontagne and The Pariah Dogs single "Beg, Steal or Borrow" came out on July 2nd. If you haven't snagged it yet - what are you waiting for? Do it HERE!  Why?  Well if you like Ray LaMontagne then it's a no brainer.  The song sounds like anything else Ray LaMontagne has done...except backed by an amazing band (a band who's name he's added to the album cover - 'The Pariah Dogs')  If you aren't familiar with LaMontagne you really need to check yourself.  LaMontagne's vocals are thick like honey...thick like smoke...just thick!  He's got this RASPY-quality to his voice, that for some other singers might come off sounding worn out but not for Ray.  Ray's rasp just adds to his appeal.  When he's singing about a girl, you can FEEL him breaking. It's really beautiful. As if a new single to download wasn't enough... the official website has finally been revamped and now features the album artwork for the new album, God Willin' & The Creek Don't Rise, out August 17th on RCA.  My only complaint - no picture of Ray? I KNOW he's notoriously humble and shy but he's just so darn delicious to look at!  Like a sexy woodsman...with a big, thick smokey voice.

Check out Ray LaMontagne on the web:

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Hot Video Alert: Katie Melua - A Happy Place

Back up dancers, crazy costumes, a funky headdress?...has Katie Melua gone GAGA? Has she ditched her traditional adult contemporary sound in favor of something more Top-40 Worthy? No to the former...somewhat yes to the latter. While Melua may be GORGEOUS, looking like the full-fledged pop star she is, she hasn't lost a dash of her uniqueness and originality. The newly released video for the Melua/Guy Chambers penned "A Happy Place," sees Melua rising and falling (literally) with a cast of colorful characters, all playing their parts while riding in a paternoster lift. The theme of this video complements the ups and downs of this song PERFECTLY, especially in the chorus. William Orbit has seemingly bust Melua out of the stiff, hardened shell she'd been in for quite some time. Both "Flood" and "Happy Place" allow the singer/songwriter to MOVE and DANCE like she hasn't done before. I am LOVING this new side to Katie Melua. William Orbit needs to come out of semi-retirement more often!  "A Happy Place" is due out July 26th in the UK. The House is out internationally now and comes out in America August 3rd via Dramatico/Universal.

Check out Katie Melua on the web:
Official Site (UK/US)//MySpace//Facebook

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