After a brief hiatus due to my tenure with brooklynexposed.com (check out my reviews there on New York City's hottest events) I have decided to return to lunch.com for a limited edition summer series! The trick for me is to post in more than one community, so wish me luck. But I want to get this party started at my old stomping ground, music matters. So let's get cracking...
The Euro-pop music trend has been a driving force in the past couple of years for the U.S. Sounds and synthesizers from the likes of David Guetta, Benny Benassi and the like have seeped into the undying machine that is pop music. Leading artists like Usher and Black Eyed Peas converted from hip-hop to full blown club/house/electronic. Seems like this trend will last forever, right? Wrong. (Jeez, you guys are so lucky you have me...)
Artists like Adele are bringing a new and somehow familiar flare without the help of European megastars and vocoders. And to prove to you that this early 90s re-incarnate is not set in stone, I'm going to name 6 artists who never needed the Euro-pop music trend in the first place (although some of them used it anyway.)
Kelis hopped aboard the booming bass bandwagon with her latest LP Flesh Tone released in 2010. After experimenting with atonal sounds and hard-hitting hip hop beats in the early 2000s, Kelis traded in her raw, eccentric sound for tracks from (you guessed it) Benny Benassi and David Guetta, even though she has achieved critical acclaim for her past, non-electronic work. Flesh Tone has since only sold 44,000 copies worldwide. Kelis is the perfect example of an artist who is too creative to follow the crowd. Should've stuck with The Neptunes!
Pink's recent release, "Greatest Hits... So Far!!!" is a compilation of her past work and also includes her current hit singles 'Raise Your Glass' and 'F****n' Perfect'. Her greatest hits album could not have been released at a better time! It differentiates her from the rest of the formulaic bubblegum and continues to solidify her rebellious brand. Although her maverick attitude has become kind of 'schtick', she even manages to stick to that. Which leads to another pop star who could use a little staying power...
'The Voice' hosts and mainframe didn't exactly start off the year with a bang. With a flop of a movie, Burlesque, and album, Bionic, there was only one 'B' that Aguilera was accustomed to: bomb. (No matter what any die-hard gay fan told you). Bionic reviews were mixed, as the one time teen queen tried to once again change her image and sound using a driving - and somewhat jarring - beat for her first single - "not myself tonight" this time last year. All she really had to do was 'B' herself! If Aguilera had stuck to her guns - or better yet decided what her guns actually were - she would've been much better off. This 'dirty' girl is a perfect example of another artists who used a trend she didn't need.
Hova doesn't need house! Jay-z stayed on track with 'monster' tracks as a feature guest for Kanye West, not to mention releasing yet another hip-hop anthem for the empire state, 'Empire State of Mind' (featuring Alicia Keys). In the meantime, Jigga Man wrote for his wife, Beyonce, cultivated Rihanna with his management firm to true 'hottest chick in the game' status and (according to music.yahoo.com) grossed 37 million dollars from international touring, landing him on Forbes Top 25 List of highest paid musicians. Who needs to follow the Euro-pop trend when you have 'Roc Nation'?
Lil' Wayne (with honorable mention)
Tha Carter never lets us down. While many urban artists jumped ship, Lil' Wayne has managed to stay true to his roots. And, after serving time for literally sticking to his guns, Wayne came back without missing a beat. Lucky for us, they were all hip-hop beats (for the most part). Even though he dabbled with artists like Guetta, Madonna and Jay Sean, Wayne never follows the leader or loses sight of his path. He was even so kind as to introduce us to a few friends of his via his label Young Money, one in particular, managed to paint the town 'pink'...
What is there to say that already hasn't been said about Minaj? Nothing, which is why I'm gonna cut to the chase. Once upon a time there was this album called Pink Friday, and it was freaking amazing. 'Nuff said. And with Lil' Kim acting as her arch nemesis/promotional manager (seriously Lil' Kim talked about Nicki Minaj more than first time parents talk about how 'cute' their kid is) Minaj has become a force to be reckoned with. Might I add, a force who didn't release a song that could be on the soundtrack to 'Night At The Roxbury'. So kudos to you Ms. Minaj.
And because I'm in such a giving mood, I'd like to give another honorable mention to the pond-hopping import herself, Adele. Check out her video for "Rolling In The Deep" on youtube/vevo/whatever the kids are calling it these days (it wouldn't upload on my comp for some reason). Happy Summer Lunchers!
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