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  • Many can learn from Miss Jackson

    17 sep 2007, 14:12 av empoor

    "This is a story about control, my control
    Control of what I say, control of what I do
    And this time I'm gonna do it my way
    I hope you enjoy this as much as I do
    Are we ready? I am? Cause it's all about control
    And I've got lots of it." (from Control)


    That is how Janet Jackson introduces her new self in the lead single from her first A&M Records own-creation-album, Control. Her departure from the strict reign of her family not only showed many artists that it can be done, but also showed the whole world that Janet wasn't just going to sit back and let other people control her business. No, she, as an emancipated and strong woman, took control over her own destiny, her own music and her own life. And it worked.

    Oh hell, did it work. Janet Jackson has since become one of the most-important (female) icons in the music industry, and many artists took inspiration out of her music and her life. Her career hasn't been all-that in recent years, but like someone with a strong spirit, it isn't going to stop her from moving on after a failure.

    It is something a lot of current entertainment artists can take a note from. Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Solange Knowles, and many more need to take control back over their own career. Lohan needs to tell her parents to leave her alone, Britney needs to get a new management and a whole new set of friends, and Solange just needs to break free from her father, because she isn't getting the attention she would be getting on a non-family label. (Okay, so her voice isn't all that, but there people out their with lesser talent.)

    Janet was a lot younger than all these ladies, had been in a controlled environment for a much longer time and, lets not forget, broke free in a less emancipated time. If she could have done it, why aren't bonded artists as Lohan doing the same?

    Sure, for a while you won't be on speaking terms with the people you're breaking free from, but (yet again) look at Miss Jackson. She is currently the only thing holding the troubled Jackson family together, because when you think about it, she is the only one with a sane life. Eventually everything will fall back into place and not only will you have a great career by then, you also have family (or friends) to fall back on.

    Take the step. Take control back over your own careers. Are they ready? I don't care, I am.
  • "Ms. Kelly" is an expectable bore

    17 sep 2007, 13:32 av empoor

    Seriously, did anyone expect that Kelly Rowland's second solo-album (Ms. Kelly) would be a piece of art? No. Her first album wasn't and with all the delays and everything the possibility that it would be a consistent, qualitative and hot album was very low.

    And it's true, the album isn't all that. Sure, Like This (feat. Eve) was a nice track, sure, Still in Love With My Ex is a phenomenal number, but overall? A big bore. The album is filled with (obviously) fillers. Songs like Every Thought Is You, Love and This Is Love just don't have what it takes to make a great album. (Also, three songs with "love" in it? Ugh.)

    What about the collaborations? Are you kidding me, Kelly? I was expecting so much more from Ghetto (feat. Snoop Dogg) and The Show (feat. Tank). I mean, where the hell has her voice gone to on these tracks? It went out for a coffee break because it just couldn't believe the stupidity of the lyrics? And it was so unnecessary, because her voice sounds fine on Flashback and Still in Love With My Ex. No, the collaborations are disappointing.

    Especially because there are no big collaborations. Snoop Dogg, Tank, Eve, whoopdiedooooo... First, there is no chemistry between Kelly and those artists. And second, where is the earthshaking duet? She could have done one with Beyoncé or if she really didn't because she wanted to stay separate (but less successful), at least she could have tried to do a collaboration in the likes of Beyoncé's Beautiful Liar (With Shakira).

    But no. That probably is the biggest problem with this album. She didn't put full effort in trying to make a wonderful album. It is by all standards mediocre. An estimate amount of twelve tracks were not used for this album and I don't see why. Bad Habit (Part 2), why not included? Bad Habit, which featured Kelly as main artist, was one of the best tracks off of Destiny's Child's Destiny Fulfilled. It showed Kelly had what it takes to make a great number, yet, when she is left on her own she makes mediocre stuff.

    Why didn't she team up with some great producers? Billy Mann?! ckb?! Are you kidding me again, Kelly? Why not Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, or uhm, I don't know, Jermaine Dupri, Stevie Wonder or Timbaland?! Sigh. Maybe it is her management holding a major success back (like many Kelly fans have speculated), but I'm not buying that. Even MUSIC WORLD MUSIC/COLUMBIA knows that a more successful Kelly means more money. Stop it with the conspiracy theories.

    No Kelly, you haven't convinced me yet that you've got what it takes to make a great solo album. Your solo career is like the Ghetto (feat. Snoop Dogg) video: cheap, unfinished and just cheesy.
  • Mariah needs to get back to Daydreaming

    20 jun 2007, 12:05 av empoor

    There is no one who has a better voice than Mariah Carey. Her vocal reach is astonishing, and only living legend #2 Whitney Houston has a voice that comes near to the sound Mariah utters out of her mouth. They both have been through enough in the past, and while Whitney is currently struggling to get back to business, Mariah did a huge comeback in 2005 with The Emancipation of Mimi.

    Well, okay. It was a comeback in that we heard her beautiful voice again, and she experienced more commercial success (only a Mariah album can sell 3.5 million copies worldwide and still be called a flop (Glitter)). But for me, Mariah hasn't come up with a classic Mimi album in decades. Don't get me wrong. I love all her work (even think Glitter and Charmbracelet are fantastic), but nothing can beat the classic albums of her. Like Daydream.

    Every freaking song on that album is perfection. From start to end, all songs are beautiful. There is no strong commercial sound on the album, everything is pure Mariah. She even wears clothes on the album cover, now that is saying something. Well, that album cover maybe defines the whole album, now that I think about it. Just look at it. She's pure, no heavy makeup, her hair all-natural, no revealing clothing, no focus on *certain objects*. And that is what Daydream was. An all-natural Mariah Carey.

    With all the hyping of todays industry, I don't think we'll ever get natural Mimi back. She has changed since the album, significantly. Fame has made her, well, a bit crazy I guess. I love her, but sometimes she acts like it's all a popularity contest, and she's the queen, empress and goddess of it all. And I guess it is all just a popularity contest nowadays. Too bad, 'cause I'm craving for some daydreaming music.
  • Because Amerie Loves It

    15 maj 2007, 13:27 av empoor

    It has been two years since Amerie has released an album. Touch was a good album, but what I missed from that album was the overall quality. The album had some wonderful songs, like 1 Thing and Talkin' About, but the rest was mwah. Not good enough to be named "wonderful" or "superb". And for an artist with a voice like Amerie (original and inspiring) that was all too bad.

    So, hoping to hear only superb songs on her new Columbia album, I started listening Because I Love It, and I was more than pleased with what I heard coming out of the speakers. Not only did she make a wonderful, superb and good album, she made one of a hell goddamn inspiring classic wtf-this-is-unimaginable-good album!!

    I love the new Amerie sound, '80s inspired and full of funky beats. With more sophisticated sounds, like on Paint Me Over, and incredibly original sounds on tracks like Some Like It. And as usual, the first single doesn't really reflect the rest of the album. Even though Take Control is a very good number, it's not the sound that incorporates the whole album.

    Oh, and she even rocked the intro of the album. Many artists just put in intro's and interludes that don't add much to the rest of the album (with the great exception of Janet Jackson), but Amerie's Forecast (Intro) is a classic on its own. Only makes me wonder how good the track could have been if it wasn't an intro. The bonus tracks are also well put together. Losing U is wonderful, and fits the rest of the album, while Streets Alone (iTunes Bonus) is a great track on its own, but doesn't really fit into the rest of the album. But hey, that doesn't matter. It's just a bonus track.

    Yes, I'm still in love with Amerie. She's talented, original, funky, great, beautiful, and much more. This album is the best she has put out yet, and I'm just addicted to it. She jumped from number 24 to 4 in one week after I got the album!! Now lets hope the album gets the success it deserves, because many wonderful albums haven't got that combo lately. (I'm referring to Janet's 20 Years Old (Last.fm still has the incorrect title) and Kelis' Kelis Was Here.)