Views on pop culture through my eyes

Posts tagged ‘album’

Girl Group Black Album

Here’s the sequel to the Boy Band Black Album blog. All these ladies first gained success as singers in groups. Then they all put out solo albums of varying success. Some were bigger than their groups (Beyonce), others not so much (Dawn Robinson). So in no particular order here are the 10 tracks I would put on a Girl Group Black Album:

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  1. Melanie C. — I Turn to You. Otherwise known as Sporty Spice of the Spice Girls. She came out with a great dance song that shared one of Madonna’s producers.
  2. Belinda Carlisle — Mad About You. She is the lead singer for the Go-Go’s. But this was her first solo single, and one of her best. A fun, flirty pop song that is fun to sing along with.
  3. Emma Bunton — Maybe. She was Baby Spice in the Spice Girls. This sixties inspired dance song was a perfect fit for her sweet voice.
  4. Diana Ross — Upside Down. Yes, she is superstar. But she was once part of the Supremes. This funk song from Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers is one of her best solo numbers.
  5. Dawn Robinson — Party, Party. One of the girls from En Vogue, this song was full of funk and attitude. This will get you moving.
  6. Geri Halliwell — Look at Me. The first of the Spice Girls to go solo. She was Ginger Spice. It was nice to see her out in front, and having fun on her own.
  7. Jane Wieldlin — Rush Hour. The 2nd vocalist from the Go-Go’s. She is one of the guitarists and one of the songwriters too for the group. This cute pop song, was her biggest solo hit, other than her duet with the band Sparks (Cool Places).
  8. Beyonce — Crazy in Love. The song that started it all for her fantastic solo career. Still one of her best, and always great to see her perform it live.
  9. Michelle Williams — We Break the Dawn. The 2nd of the ladies from Destiny’s Child. She has recorded mostly gospel records as a solo artist, but when she went R&B, we got this jam.
  10. Kelly Rowland —When Love Takes Over. Recorded with DJ and producer David Guetta, her soaring vocals are what really make this song. The 3rd girl from Destiny’s Child. I am surprised she hasn’t had more solo success since she has a great voice too.

So that’s my list. Did I leave anyone out? Let me know your thoughts. I would love to hear from you. In the meantime, check out the songs on Itunes or on YouTube.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Is the Album Dead?

Remember the good old days, when you would buy an album or CD and listen to it all the way through? Now with MP3s, it is easy for you to just purchase the song or songs you want, and leave the album alone. While I like this idea, I wonder if we are losing something by doing so. Do we really know an artist from 1 or 2 hit songs? Or do you have to listen to an artist’s whole album before you really get a sense for them? And what about those artists who don’t have hit singles anymore? Many artists are feeling trapped, they are selling singles, but not albums.

Just before Flo Rida released his third album, almost two million fans purchased the first single “Club Can’t Handle Me,” helping the rapper snag yet another Top 10 hit.

But in its first week out, only 11,000 people bought the 8-song EP – “Only One Flo Part 1” – making its debut measly at No. 107 on the Billboard charts. And in nearly two years, the album has only sold 62,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Flo Rida’s experience in 2010 is being repeated again and again in today’s pop scene. He’s just one of many acts who suffer from an imbalance: They have a multitude of hits, but anemic album sales.

Years ago, a hit song was usually accompanied by a gold or platinum album, and multiple hits meant multiplatinum albums. But times have changed.

“If you used to have a big single, you would sell a million albums, and if you sell a million albums and you’re a band, you can probably not have to work for a couple years. We don’t have that luxury,” said Cobra Starship’s lead singer Gaby Saporta.

Cobra Starship had a top 10 hit with the double platinum dance jam “You Make Me Feel …,” but their latest album debuted at No. 50 and has sold a mere 33,000 units.

Ne-Yo, the Grammy-winning hitmaker who has written smashes for the likes of Beyonce and Rihanna, blames the phenomenon on a lack of personality and originality from the artists.

“I feel like a lot of people are saying that the industry is moving to just being singles driven, and that’s kind of a cop out to me. So it’s like, basically that means that we sign a bunch of disposal artists, you know, as long as we get one hit that’s good? That’s B.S.,” continued Ne-Yo. Ne-Yo added that today’s music executives should be “taking the time and spending the money that it takes to make sure that you’re building icons, not fly-by-night, add water-and-stir artists.”

Tom Corson, the COO and president of RCA Records — the label home of Pitbull and Mike Posner — says that just because an artist doesn’t sell a lot of albums doesn’t make the act a failure. He said record companies determine an album’s success by an artist’s TEA, which stands for track-equivalent-albums. “You have certain artists that sell 300,000 albums, but sell 10 million tracks. That’s the equivalent of 1.3 million albums,” he explained.

Recent albums by Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake may be hits, but not because the album’s are good. There are good songs on both Mars’ “Unorthodox jukebox”  (Locked Out of Heaven, When I Was Your Man, Treasure) and Timberlake’s ‘The 20/20 Experience” (Suit & Tie, Mirrors). Both of these artists could have done better in my opinion. Mars has shown with his live appearances that he is a force to be reckoned with. Same for Timberlake. But at the end of the day, is anyone going to care about the album tracks, when they just wanted the single anyway?Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience

The biggest album of the last 2 years has been Adele’s “21.” With an impressive 4 hit singles off it, it was one of those albums that harkened back to the glory days when Michael Jackson had 6 Top Ten singles off of “Bad.” Both are career artists — not just someone who has a hit single or 2. Is anyone going to care about Kesha or One Direction twenty years from now? I doubt it.

I miss having the record stores around. There was an excitement when you went to those places. Wandering around, looking at the album covers. That is something today’s youth is missing out on.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and  Rock the Kilt lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

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