Why We Need Madonna Now More Than Ever, Carpool Karaoke Hot Take, and New Tunes by M.O, Raye and K.I.D

I’m not a hardcore Madonna fan. My admiration for her, at times, comes from a rather cerebral place. It’s a place of awe and reverence. And while I don’t necessarily know or love every record, I would always tune in to see what she’s got to offer. I will always make time for her performances and albums. If I’m at a house party and a complete stranger asks me what’s my favourite Madonna album, I would have a well-articulated and meaningful response ready. And depending on how drunk I am, I may or may not be prepared to accept your critique of it. (The answer is American Life, by the way. I knew you’d ask. And there’s probably a Buzzfeed quiz that analyses what kind of gay I am, based on my favourite Madonna album, which Attitude Magazine has probably probably shared. So make of it what you will…)

Madonna is an icon and trailblazer, and she continues to be an icon and trailblazer to this very day. Regardless of debates surrounding her relevancy, dress sense, behaviour, music style, and choices in young collaborators. She is still a multi-million yielding top touring musician. And she puts on a fucking big show, mate. You simply cannot fuck with those cold, hard facts. She is also incredibly switched on and is a force, in spite of the very many hurdles she faces as a woman in this industry, which I’m glad she continues to speak out about.

In her brutally honest acceptance speech at the Billboard Women in Music Awards, where she was honoured as Woman of The Year, she said, “I think the most controversial thing I have ever done is to stick around.”

She had this to say in her epic speech about what it’s like being a female entertainer in the music industry, and really, you should read the whole thing. She’s buying us all round after rounds of home truths and spilling scalding hot T left, right and centre for your nerve.

“If you’re a girl, you have to play the game. You’re allowed to be pretty and cute and sexy. But don’t act too smart. Don’t have an opinion that’s out of line with the status quo. You are allowed to be objectified by men and dress like a slut, but don’t own your sluttiness. And do not, I repeat do not, share your own sexual fantasies with the world. Be what men want you to be, but more importantly, be what women feel comfortable with you being around other men. And finally, do not age. Because to age is a sin. You will be criticized and vilified and definitely not played on the radio.”

I hate to bring up the age thing because all this ageist shit she’s had to endure is so boring, but it has become this thing that has shrouded her career, particularly in the past 10 years, and we can’t ignore it. Every time you feed into diatribe about how she should ‘dress for her age’ or when they stress the age difference between her and the men she’s reportedly with. It’s cringeworthy and demeaning.

How many female popstars of Madonna’s age do you see still releasing original pop music (not covers) and touring as successfully as she does? She is a trailblazer. Again, I’m not a massive Madonna stan or anything, but truth be told we fucking need Madonna more than ever, to remind us and urge us to not live our lives restricted by patriarchal norms that are perpetuated again and again by both men and women. Her success, resilience and longevity sets the bar. Madonna stands for something bigger than just Madonna and album sales, radio playlists or streaming stats combined. She is here using her celebrity and the power of entertainment as her platform to remind us to always question the media, and call out sexist, ageist, homophobic, racist and discriminatory behaviour.

Speaking of Madonna, I saw this wonderful and hilarious read on James Corden‘s excessively flogged Carpool Karaoke series passed around on Twitter. I think the dragging is warranted to a certain extent. The execution borders on grating at times but most of the time, at least for the first three minutes, I do get some joy out of it. I think the next turn (pardon the pun) Corden should take on this is to actually go around picking up band members of defunct pop groups, and trigger a completely ‘spontaneous’ and unplanned reunion, where grievances can be aired and ‘where are they now?’ type curiosities can be satiated… with it all ending, of course, in a big sing-a-long to some of their biggest hits. First stop, Mini Viva, who sound like they actually might need to air things out after a low-key flaming Twitter spat (much of which has been deleted but hey, screenshots, and some remnants remain).

Top Tunes of The Week

M.O ‘Not In Love’ featuring Kent Jones

I’m not trying to stir the pot or anything, so stop handing me the ladle. I’ve been rooting for M.O for ages now, but equally, I also have a lot of love for Mini Viva. They could’ve been the Mel & Kim of the streaming generation. Back to this song, I actually think this pop/R&B trio has hit another peak with ‘Not In Love’. Instantly infectious reggae rhythm that is flavoured to perfection with sweet melodies and sour lyrics. Throw on them big hoops and cue my Sassy & Seventeen playlist.

Jax Jones featuring Raye ‘You Don’t Know Me’

Charlie XCX-endorsed rising star Raye is on every ‘ones to watch’ list right about now (I actually stood next to her at the bar at MTV’s Brand New 2017 party on Thursday… cool story, right?) and while I didn’t really catch a feeling about her earlier, I now get the vibe. This delightfully feisty dance collabo is everything I imagine the term ‘really lit’ would sound like in 2017.

K.I.D ‘Taker’

It is quite rare to catch me openly admiring guitar-driven pop songs, unless we’re reminiscing on Ashlee Simpson‘s first album or Stacie Orrico‘s ‘Stuck, of course. But Toronto alt duo K.I.D‘s ‘Taker’ is definitely hitting the spot for me. Produced by Mike Crossey (Arctic Monkeys and The 1975), this spiky call-out of a narcissistic, selfish c-bomb, would probably go down a treat at a live show.

For more of my favourite tunes of the moment, check out my NEWEST playlist.

And finally… 

Are we all watching Mariah’s World? I downed the first episode and it totally wasn’t what I was expecting. I know she’s said this is an eight-part documentary but what I read and wanted to believe was that this was a high-camp Bravo kind of reality dramedy. I was wrong, Mimi was right. And it is quite surreal to think that she might just be the most low maintenance person on this show.

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Mariah Carey “Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse”

Is it too much to suggest that Mariah Carey has now transitioned from a one-woman, five-octave range hitmaker into a diligent ‘album artist’? All signs since her 2004 renaissance The Emancipation of Mimi seem to suggest so. And now, with her 14th studio album – Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse – Carey shows us the breadth of her musicality.

ME I AM MARIAH THE ELUSIVE CHANTEUSE ALBUM COVER

The Elusive Chanteuse is the work of a consummate and knowledgeable fan of R&B music. Mariah doesn’t only serve as high priestess of vocals here, she is the album’s executive producer. Together with close collaborators Jermaine Dupri and Bryan Michael Cox, the diva captures significant trends in hip hop, R&B and soul on every track.

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Chart Feed – 22.10.12

Well this is a really good value Chart Feed compilation, I have to say. Well, as good as it can be without Girls Aloud and Brandy to really discuss, of course. So until then, you just have to deal.

CHARTFEED

This has been a good week for our Aussie pop prince Guy Sebastian and songbird Delta Goodrem, new girlband sensation Little Mix and triumphantly, Taylor Swift matches Adele‘s US digital song chart record.

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Chart Feed – 01.10.12

“Oppa gangnam style!” *drops the beat*

CHART FEED

You know when your parents start to recognise a internet viral music video that it’s well and truly time for everyone else to move on.

It has been a tremendous week for K-pop sensation PSY‘s ‘Gangnam Style’, not only is it officially the most ‘liked’ video in the history of the internet – the track has also successfully topped the Australian and UK charts to become the first Korean pop single to do so.

Its crossover chart success in the Western market is just mind-blowing, no doubt bringing a whole lot of national pride for South Koreans everywhere.

Elsewhere, it has also been a great week for Pink, Mumford and Sons, Conor Maynard, Brandy and Christina “I think you already know my weight!” Aguilera.

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Mariah Carey ‘Triumphant (Get ‘Em)’ Music Video

You have to hand it to this divine empress of song. Nobody straddles the fine line between luxurious and tacky quite like Mariah Carey. You don’t need to check the receipts to know that she’s legit.

MARIAH CAREY TRIUMPHANT MUSIC VIDEO

Mimi’s empowering urban jam didn’t exactly get everyone moist with excitement when it premiered a few weeks ago, but just like a lot of my fellow Lambs, I waited for the video before passing final judgement.

The age-old boxing match theme applied to ‘Triumphant (Get ‘Em)’ really hits home the song’s message of overcoming adversity. However, rather than letting you experience it in a raw Rocky Balboa-style treatment, the music video is rendered with a golden 1960s touch.

The opulence, the cinematic frames, the fucking yards of gold lamé that seem to disappear to nowhere on Mariah’s body – these are all signifiers of a typical Mimi clip where excess is celebrated and modesty scoffed. And you gotta love her for that!

The video’s director and Mariah’s full-time boo – Nick Cannon – thoroughly did ‘Triumphant (Get ‘Em)’ justice by honouring his wife’s fondness for extravagance. We’ve all seen Mariah try to do pedestrian-realness with ‘Through The Rain’ and, frankly, it scared the shit out of me to see her try to dress like us mere mortals.

MARIAH CAREY TRIUMPHANT

Mariah Carey should never try to destroy the illusion of her grandeur – no, not even to get some “universal message of hope” across in one of her own videos. I think at this stage of her career, Mimi and her Lambs know how it works.

The formula for her videos are more or less: one part skimpy two piece, one part mega wind machine and fluttering of fingers, and some misguided portions of looking like Miss Universe parading evening wear like her life depended on it.

Seeing rappers Meek Mill and Rick Ross take up significant screen time in the first half of the video concerned me, just like their prominence on the track did.

However, you more than get your money’s worth towards the end when confetti’s raining on Mimi’s pageant queen diva pose and she’s steady punching the air like there was no Laila Ali.

This video is magnificent in every sense imaginable for a typical Mariah production. The only thing missing was a pair of giant flaming butterflies scorching up behind the boxing ring.



Footnotes:

Mariah Carey‘s ‘Triumphant (Get ‘Em)’ has to date charted at #97 on the US Billboard Hip Hop/R&B Songs and #144 on the official UK Singles chart.

The much-favoured remixes (see Vintage Throwback Mix, Pulse Remix, Danny Verde Club Mix, Laidback Luke Extended Mix, The New Iberican League Club Mix) have scaled up to #42 on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart.

Mariah Carey ‘Triumphant (Get ‘Em)’ Single Review

Hold on a minute, let me get this straight. It’s Mariah Carey’s eagerly anticipated new single and she’s only turned up to sing the hook and a couple of finger-fluttering ad libs over the top? How is this ho only here for the “feature vocalist” parts of her own damn single?

MARIAH CAREY TRIUMPHANT

I think for a lot of poor hungry Lambs, this all-important new Mimi single has been built up to be some sort of main event that should be particularly pleasing to appreciators of her urban collaborations.

Y’know, sequined props where props are due – our favourite Midas-caressed manatee did pioneer the hip hop rap/diva sung vocals format that has revolutionised modern pop R&B. But honestly, this collabo structure is just not cutting it for her in ‘Triumphant (Get ‘Em)’.

For a major comeback single, you shouldn’t have to sit through over a minute of guest rappers verses to hear more of Mimi‘s famed wailings. That’s not where the box office is at, boo.

Everything about this song has been a chore for me. It has been a chore sitting through the rap spittings (this would not have been a problem if I had actually signed up to hear Rick Ross and Meek Mill – which I didn’t). It has been a chore trying to work out what exactly I should be taking away from this ‘Triumphant’ experience.

Mariah, when she is on point, is actually one of the most effective pop songwriters of her generation. She has served up legitimate timeless smashes that cut straight to the heart with brilliant lyrics, sentiments and vocal delivery – think: ‘Butterfly’, ‘Bye Bye’ and ‘Breakdown’.

In the lead up to ‘Triumphant”s release, Mimi had tweeted that the lyrics were very personal to her. It’s almost as if she’s deliberately drawing attention to it because she might fear people would miss the message? Since when has this been an issue for a properly executed Mariah song? Never.

With sizeable rap verses taking precedence and perforating beats competing with her vocal parts, I’m starting to wonder how important these lyrics – or in fact, Mariah herself – really is to the song.

Right now, Mimi would be giving more value for money in a single seating on the Home Shopping Network than she would in all four minutes of ‘Triumphant (Get ‘Em)’. And you know something about that ain’t right.

Listen to Mimi’s new single in full now:



Footnotes:

The single hits digital shelves on 7 August. Expect the video for ‘Triumphant (Get ‘Em)’ to premiere soon. Mimi’s forthcoming 14th studio album is slated for release later this year.

Quick Feed: Mariah shoots comeback video, Tulisa’s ‘Live It Up’ remixes and Ronan Keating’s return

For those who just don’t have the luxury of time to sit around waiting for Limmy to write faster – myself included – here is a shotgun solution.

Let’s do this thing called Quick Feed, where you get a quick compilation of new music updates delivered through your driver seat window every other day in a brown take away bag with an unfathomable amount of serviettes, and you tell me whether it works or not.

Collect your first edition at the next drive-thru window. The receipt is in the bag.

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