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Music Is My King Size Bed

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Eva Cassidy Lands Fifth Posthumous UK Top 5 Release

Eva Cassidy has done it again. Simply Eva, the latest collection from the late singer/songwriter rose to #4 on the Official UK Albums charts yesterday becoming her fifth Top 5 posthumous release in the UK. It's such a shame Cassidy passed away so young. Who knows the kind of magic she'd be making in the studio today, but at least we have an entire catalog of music to keep her on the radio and in our hearts.

Not only is Cassidy proving to still be a success in the UK, she's also doing well in her native U.S.A.  Simply Eva became the #1 best-selling album at Border Books and Music and landed the #8 spot on the Billboard Folk chart. Not too shabby. Simply Eva is a compilation of previously-unheard acoustic versions of known Cassidy classics. Released independently on Blix Street Records, the new album contains 12-beautiful tracks, the majority of which were taken from the original tape recordings.

Cassidy passed away from melanoma in 1996 after having made a name for herself performing in the local Washington D.C. area. Since her death, Blix Street Records, along with Cassidy's parents, have helped get Eva Cassidy's music out to the world.  Songbird was released in 1998 and featured songs from two previous Cassidy albums including Sting's "Fields Of Gold" and her beautiful performance of "Over The Rainbow," which ultimately became a #1 hit on the UK Singles Chart in March 2001. The album took off in the UK going triple-platinum, selling over 900,000 and gold in the U.S. selling over 500,000. It's hard to believe that it's been 10 years since Cassidy's album, Songbird, peaked at #1 on the UK Albums Chart and with three consecutive posthumous UK No. 1 albums not to mention her posthumous duet with Katie Melua ("What A Wonderful World") Simply Eva looks to continue Cassidy's successful chart streak. Download Simply Eva on iTunes HERE.

Check out Eva Cassidy's Official Site

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The Wanted Premiere New Comic Relief Single

Well that was fast! British boy band The Wanted are already finished promoting their self-titled debut album? Sad! I think there might have been a few more hits on that record but what do I know? The boys are prepping for the release of their new single, "Gold Forever," due March 13th. "Gold Forever" has been selected as this year's Comic Relief charity single. Listen to the single BELOW.  Starting out like your run-of-the-mill boy band ballad, the song quickly shifts gears, bringing those sexy boys to the yard dance floor for a full on dance pop anthem. LOVE it.

The Wanted (AKA Max George, Jay McGuiness, Nathan Sykes, Siva Kaneswaran and Tom Parker) released their self-titled debut album on October 25th through Geffen Records, peaking at #4 on the Official Albums Chart. The successful debut album spawned two Top 5 singles, including the #1 hit single "All Time Low." Third single, "Lose My Mind" was the band's lowest charting single, peaking at #19 on the UK Singles Chart.  The boys are currently working with Steve Mac on their sophomore record, due out sometime in 2011.

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Hot Video Alert: Ulrik Munther - Born This Way (Live Lady Gaga Cover)

Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" hasn't even been out a week yet and it's already being covered. Not too shocked I guess. The song has a very powerful message which SHOULD be spread. The latest artist to cover Gaga's new single is Sweden's Ulrik Munther. The Universal Music recording artist has recorded a beautiful acoustic version of the single, showcasing his talent as both a singer and guitarist.

Starting out as a YouTube sensation, Ulrik Munther has received over 1 million views and has since released his debut single, "Boys Don't Cry" which has over 200,000 views to date. Munther is currently at work on his debut record, which he is writing and producing along with Johan Åberg. Check out the video for "Boys Don't Cry" HERE and watch Munther's version of "Born This Way" below. "Born This Way" was written by Lady Gaga and is the first single lifted off of her forthcoming album of the same name. Download Gaga's version HERE.

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Hot Video Alert: i Square - Hey Sexy Lady

i Square is a poppier, more U.S. radio-friendly version of the UK's rap/pop/electro group N-Dubz (although it sounds like N-Dubz is re-working their sound for U.S. audiences).  i Square is Mike J, Destiny, Briddy and 10 Beats - this fun new quartet blends hip-hop, pop, R&B and electronica to create a fresh-sound tailor-made for U.S. radio.
"Mike J croons out an undeniable melody as Briddy and 10Beats volley rapid rhymes back and forth. Destiny hypnotizes like a techno temptress, beckoning everyone to the dance floor."
Debut single "Hey Sexy Lady" was produced by Rami Yacoub, Carl Falk and Steve Angello and showcases each member's talents, something that you don't often see anymore in a pop group.  Since forming back in 2009 i Square has been busy perfecting the perfect debut record, produced by none other than Sean 'Diddy' Combs and production collective The Pentagon.  Check out the video for "Hey Sexy Lady" below and check out the band's official YouTube channel for a series of webisodes chronicling their adventures in LA as they record their debut album.  Can't wait to see what 2011 brings for these guys.  Download "Hey Sexy Lady" HERE and check out the REMIXES HERE.  Mixes comin' at you from Russ Chimes, Skrillex, Laidback Luke, Afrojack and Sultan & Ned Shepard. Hot!

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Hot Single Review: Lady Gaga - Born This Way

Lady Gaga and controversy seem to go hand in hand and her latest single is no exception. "Born This Way" premiered this week and already landed the #3 spot on the UK Singles Chart and is looking to be headed straight to the top of the Billboard Hot 100. Written and co-produced by Lady Gaga and produced by Fernando Garibay, DJ White Shadow the single has been causing quite a commotion lately, drawing comparisons with Madonna's (the original QUEEN OF POP) 1989 hit single "Express Yourself." While I'm NOT saying that these comparisons are unfounded, I think we need to evaluate the single on it's own as a Lady Gaga single. Is it a GOOD Lady Gaga single? In my opinion, it's just average.

My first reaction upon listening to "Born This Way" last Friday was - IS THIS ALL SHE'S GOT?! Let's get one thing straight, the single is going to be a success for Gaga, most likely her 3rd #1 but is it a worthy follow up to quality singles like "Poker Face," "Paparazzi," and "Bad Romance?" Gaga's message is a powerful and meaningful one.  Preaching the importance of LOVE without  boundaries.  Love is truly color blind, and indiscriminate when it comes to sex, sexual orientation, religion and everything in between.  This is a GREAT message. I'm not saying it's not.  What I'm saying is that as a song, it doesn't impress. It's not boring per say... but compared to what Gaga's dazzled us with previously? It's a little boring.  Don't listen to the lyrics and listen to the music and production for a minute.  Is this the most amazing pop song ever written? No.  There was just a lot of hype leading up to this release and part of me feels like Lady Gaga's failed to live up to it.

As is the case with many first impressions, this one likely won't last.  I have a strong feeling that "Born This Way" will be a grower for me - the more I listen the more I learn to love it.  First off - there was last night's Grammy performance of the song.  Very hot. Loved the choreography.  Then, throw in the forthcoming Jonas Åkerlund-directed video and the inevitable club remixes and I'll be changing my tune for sure. This is an honest review based on my first impression of the song. I just hope that the rest of Gaga's Born This Way album is more impressive than this debut, but then again, the first single is usually the best, right? Crossing my fingers! Listen to the song below and download it on iTunes HERE.

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Jessie J and Adele Top Official UK Singles/Albums Charts...Again

Jessie J has a lot to be thankful for. Her second single, "Price Tag," featuring American rapper B.o.B. remains QUEEN of the UK Singles Chart this week, with it's second week at the top of the charts. Following close behind, the new single from UK rapper Chipmunk, who's first single "Champion" was released last week. The single features controversial American R&B artist Chris Brown. Taken from Chipmunk's forthcoming sophomore album, Transition, "Champion" becomes The Chip Diddy Chip's second highest charting single since 2009's "Oopsy Daisy." The third entry on the chart goes to Lady Gaga and her new single, "Born This Way," lifted off her forthcoming album of the same title. This is pretty impressive for Gaga, considering the single sold 60,000 copies in just 34 hours. Not sure if the single will climb next week or dip. We'll have to wait and see I guess.

Other new entries of note this week include "Stuttering" by Loick Essien feat. N-Dubz (#36), "Time Warp" and "Touch A Touch A Touch A Touch Me" both performed by the Glee Cast (#63 and #72), and "Stuck Like Glue" by American country group Sugarland. Meanwhile, Jay Sean's new single, "Hit The Lights" featuring Lil Wayne managed to debut at a disappointing #67. Let's see what happens next week when Alexis Jordan, Clare Maguire, Brandon Flowers, Good Charlotte, Kanye West, Nadine Coyle and P!nk all release new singles. Sounds like some tough competition.

Official UK Singles Top 10//February 19, 2011

1. Jessie J feat. B.o.B.//Price Tag
2. Chipmunk feat. Chris Brown//Champion
3. Lady Gaga//Born This Way
4. Bruno Mars//Grenade
5. Adele//Rolling In The Deep
6. Chris Brown//Yeah 3X
7. Ke$ha//We R Who We R
8. Taio Cruz feat. Travie McCoy & Kylie Minogue//Higher
9. Enrique Iglesias feat. Ludacris//Tonight (I'm F**kin' You)
10. Diddy Dirty Money feat. Skylar Grey//Coming Home


On the album chart front, Adele maintains her position at #1 for the third week in a row, selling 134K this week bringing the grand total sales to nearly 500K. WOW. I can't WAIT to see what kind of damage she does here in America. It appears that the demand for Adele is greater than I imagined here in the States, considering tickets to her Boston show this May sold out in less than 30 minutes. Thankfully, I managed to secure tickets but WOW. I was NOT expecting that at all. 21 is due out in the U.S. via Columbia Records on February 22nd. Elsewhere on the charts, the Chase & Status album drops down 3 spots, Bruno Mars' moves up to #2, Rihanna moves up to #3 and Eva Cassidy moves up to #4. Making debuts this week...Mike Skinner (AKA The Streets) with his fifth and final album as The Streets, Computers And Blues comes in with a strong showing at #8, one spot lower than their 2008 album Everything is Borrowed. Folktronica artist James Blake enters at #9 with his debut self-titled album. Signed to Universal Republic in the States, the album was digitally released on February 8th. James Blake is AMAZING. I love his whole vibe and the fact that he covered a Feist song makes him even more appealing.

Other new Album Chart entries worth noting? How about the sound latest Glee soundtrack, The Rocky Horror Glee Show coming in at #23. Next we have U.S. country duo Sugarland coming in at #43, followed by Cut Copy and their third album Zonoscope, landing at an unpleasant #82. Can Adele maintain her top spot for four weeks straight? With releases planned by Far East Movement, Glee Cast, and Jay Sean, I think the chances are pretty good.

 Official UK Albums Top 10//February 19, 2011

1. Adele//21
2. Bruno Mars//Doo-Wops & Hooligans
3. Rihanna//Loud
4. Eva Cassidy//Simply Eva
5. Chase & Status//No More Idols
6. Adele//19
7. Rumer//Seasons Of My Soul
8. Streets//Computers And Blues
9. James Blake//James Blake
10. Take That//Progress


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Dean Martin Releases New Remix to Celebrate Valentine's Day

I LOVE a good remix of an oldie. That whole VERVE REMIXED series of CDs takes standards sung by some of the greatest artists of all time - Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne - to name a few. Another great singer who's been remixed a few times is the legendary Dean Martin and to celebrate Valentine's Day is offering the new 'Shake It' remix of "Hey Good Lookin'." The remix is FREE through February 14th and will be available to purchase on February 15th. "Hey Good Lookin'" was written by another legend, Hank Williams Sr. and originally released on the album - Country Style (1962), the first of two country-themed records recorded for Frank Sinatra's Reprise Records label.

Dean Martin is the epitome of a legend. Star of the silver screen, television icon, Grammy Award-winning singer and a member of the original Rat Pack - Martin is still very much relevant in this day and age. His singing career brought us such classics as "Ain't That A Kick In The Head," "That's Amore," "Mambo Italiano," "Everybody Loves Somebody," "Volare," "Sway" and many more. Go and DOWNLOAD this fantastic remix of "Hey, Good Lookin'" while you still can. If you miss out, then definitely download it on Tuesday, February 15th on iTunes.

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