Music: Electronica

March 15, 2011

New Music Tuesday: Exclusive Pearl Jam, American Idol, Rise Against, Britney Spears, Travis Barker, Steve Martin

Most new music comes out on Tuesdays, and each week we cull through the mountain of new releases to bring you some of the best from different genres. Click below, or find them in Napster’s New Releases/Featured Music section.

Pearl Jam, Vs./Vitalogy (Deluxe Edition) Pearl Jam, Vs./Vitalogy (Deluxe Edition) (Alternative, Rock): As seen in this week's Best Buy circular, Napster has four exclusive bonus tracks available for streaming as a preview of the combined reissue of Vs. and Vitalogy coming March 29, including new live versions of "Even Flow" and "Daughter."


Various Artists, American Idol 10th Anniversary Various Artists, American Idol: 10th AnniversaryThe Hits, Volume 1 (Pop, Rock, R&B): This compilation of favorites from the most popular Idol competitors includes music from Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Clay Aiken and Fantasia as well as David Cook, Kris Allen, Adam Lambert and Lee DeWyze.


Rise Against, Endgame Rise Against, Endgame (Rock, Alternative): For their latest set, the Chicago punk rockers continue to develop the approach they took with their last album, Appeal to Reason. Topics like world politics and current events take shape over accessible melodies and riffs, resulting in rockers like first single "Help Is on the Way."


Britney Spears, Till the World Ends Britney Spears, "Till the World Ends" (Pop, Electronica): The second single from Spears' upcoming album, Femme Fatale, was co-written by Ke$ha along with hitmakers Dr. Luke and Max Martin and comes hot on the heels of first single "Hold It Against Me." And like that track, it's another energetic dancefloor filler.


Travis Barker, Give the Drummer Some Travis Barker, Give the Drummer Some (Rock, Hip-Hop): The blink-182 drummer recruited some of the biggest names in hip-hop, rock, and dance music for his "solo" debut — everyone from the RZA to Slash to Steve Aoki. The first single alone ("Can a Drummer Get Some") features Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Swizz Beatz & Game.


Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, Rare Bird Alert Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, Rare Bird Alert (Americana):  For his second banjo album, Martin chose to record with the excellent band he took on the road with him to support The CrowAs a bonus, Sir Paul McCartney and the Dixie Chicks each provide lead vocals on a tune apiece.


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March 11, 2011

Tiësto & Hardwell, “Zero 76”

Tiesto and Hardwell, Zero 76 The much anticipated collaboration between Dutch dancefloor masters Tiësto and Hardwell is finally here in the form of new track "Zero 76." While they both hail from the city of Breda in the Netherlands, they each represent a different generation of the electro house scene; maybe that's why dance music fans are finding their pairing so exciting. The track, whose title references the area code of their birth city, is already a frontrunner for song of the year among both critics and the general dance popluation. The younger Hardwell recently showed his own excitement at having the veteran Tiësto (recently named "Greatest DJ of All Time" by Mixmag) serve as his mentor, saying, "Being born and raised in Breda, Tiësto's hometown, I always felt a certain pride when others mentioned his name." By the sound of "Zero 76," it looks like good things are in the works.

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Kim Kardashian, “Jam (Turn It Up)”

Kim Kardashian, "Jam (Turn It Up)" It’s a fact that many actors have been able to be successful in both movies and music. Jennifer Lopez, Brandy, Jamie Foxx, Miley Cyrus, and Janet Jackson are just a few who have been able to dominate the Pop charts while keeping solid acting careers going. Even Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton were able to find some success in the music business. But not every actor turned singer is so lucky. While Tyra Banks has been a big brand in modeling, TV, and movies, she didn’t find the same success in her attempt to become a pop music star; her entry into music was short-lived after the less-than-stellar response to her debut single, "Shake Ya Body" (click here to refresh your memory). And now, reality star Kim Kardashian is dipping her toe in the pop-star pool with the release of her new single, "Jam (Turn It Up)." The reviews have been mixed, but then she insists her music is only meant to raise money for charity. Anyway, if her pop foray fizzles, she won't be alone: Others who've been there and done that with less than chart ruling results include Wayne Brady, Tony Danza, Joey Lawrence, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Nicole Kidman (to name a few). Do you think these or any other actors going into music should stick to their day jobs?

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March 10, 2011

Sheryl Crow, Alicia Keys, Madonna, Missy Elliott, More: Napster Playlists Featuring Women

As we continue our celebration of Women's History Month, we thought it would be nice to highlight some of the many Napster playlists focused on music made by women. These are from all different genres and styles, so have a look, click on whatever sounds good to you, and let's hear it from the ladies!

American Women American Women Popular roots music and country hits from some of the top female artists in America. Includes songs from June Carter Cash, Loretta Lynn, and Sheryl Crow.

Hot R&B Female Vocalists Hot R&B: Female Vocalists: Some of the hottest tracks and biggest hits from major stars, including songs from Keyshia Cole, Fantasia, Alicia Keys, and Beyoncé.

Essential Lite Female Vocalists Essential Lite: Female Vocalists: Great soft pop and ballads from many eras, featuring artists such as Peggy Lee, Blossom Dearie, and Roberta Flack.

Women of Comedy Women of Comedy: Hilarious bits from the funniest females in stand-up comedy, including Ellen Degeneres, Sarah Silverman, Sandra Bernhard, and Lisa Lampanelli.

Legendary Ladies of Country Legendary Ladies of Country: Unforgettable female stars of the '60s and '70s who paved the way for today's generations. Includes Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, and Loretta Lynn.

Grrrl Power Grrrl Power: Celebrate the women of alternative rock with a slew of classic tracks from such mainstays as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Hole, PJ Harvey, and more.

Pioneering Women of the Blues Pioneering Women of the Blues: Though blues artists tend to be men, a surprising number of women have made a crucial impact, including Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, and Ida Cox.

Pop Divas The '80s Pop Divas: The '80s: A platinum setting of hits from some of the decade's most glittering solo female superstars, including Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Debbie Gibson, and more.

Female Jazz Vocalists of Today Female Jazz Vocalists of Today: Music from stellar comtemporary vocalists informed by both traditional and modern jazz. Features Dianne Reeves, Cassandra Wilson, and Diana Krall.

Composing Women Composing Women: Works from female composers working in what was once a male-dominated field. Includes Barbara Strozzi, Fanny Mendelssohn, and Meredith Monk.

Women of Contemporary Christian Music Women of Contemporary Christian Music: The most uplifting tracks from female artists leading the way in CCM, featuring Francesca Battistelli, Bethany Dillon, and Heather Hedley.

Ladies First Female MCs Ladies First: Female MCs: Get in touch with the first ladies of hip-hop. But don't expect them to go easy on you—these MCs, including Missy Elliott, Salt-N-Pepa, Queen Latifah, are fierce.

Femmes Fatales Femmes Fatales: Devastatingly seductive sounds from the dark side of alternative music, including music by Björk, PJ Harvey, Portishead, Morcheeba, and more.

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March 03, 2011

Röyksopp, “Forsaken Cowboy”

Royksopp, Forsaken Cowboy For their latest single, the Norwegian duo Röyksopp have released "Forsaken Cowboy," a track from their album Senior. While the quirky track is an enjoyably edited version of the album cut, the real gem is the second track, "Keyboard Milk." Bare drums and ominous synths build in a nice crescendo, transforming the moody, cinematic instrumental track from its dark opening feel to a big finish and a real sense of inspiration. Pretty good for a non-album cut. Recommended.


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February 28, 2011

Lady Gaga Births “Born This Way” Video

Lady Gaga, Born This Way We just recently expressed our disappointment that Lady Gaga didn't really wow us at the Grammys with any over-the-top antics, giving instead a pretty straightforward (though admittedly rockin') rendition of her new single, "Born This Way." So imagine our delight when we discovered the over-the-top craziness of her just-premiered video for the song—it's a lot to absorb. And let us just warn you now that it's not for the faint of heart: For over seven minutes, this epic sci-fi "manifesto from Mother Monster" features unicorns, gruesome body modifications, disturbing birthing scenes, guns, skeletons, and an opening ode to Hitchcock—all with Mother Monster herself, front and center, writhing in her underwear. In other words, this is the Lady Gaga we have come to know and love.

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February 18, 2011

Lenny Kravitz and Rihanna Headline NBA All-Star Entertainment

Lenny Kravitz and Rihanna What would the NBA All-Star game be without major entertainment to liven things up during the game? Rock star Lenny Kravitz and pop diva Rihanna will definitely be livening things up at this year's game, which takes place this Sunday. Kravitz will kick off the game with his new single, "Come on and Get It," while Rihanna will be holding down the halftime show and singing songs from her hit album Loud. Rumor has it that friend and frequent collaborator Kanye West will make a special appearance during Rihanna’s set, and there are murmurs that the two will be performing his new single, "All of the Lights." It'd be an even better surprise if West were to bring out all 12 other artists featured on the song: John Legend, The-Dream, Ryan Leslie, Tony Williams, Charlie Wilson, Elly Jackson (of La Roux), Alicia Keys, Fergie, Kid Cudi, Alvin Fields, Ken Lewis, and Elton John. Now that would be a halftime show! Although further details are still under wraps, I’m sure the show will be entertaining either way. We’ll just have to wait until this Sunday to see exactly how entertaining it will be.

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February 15, 2011

Gaga, Bruno Mars, Train: Pop Grammy Winners

Lady Gaga hatching Is it weird to be disappointed that the wackiest thing Lady Gaga did at this year's Grammy was to show up in an egg? Surely that would more than satisfy me if it was any other pop star, and yet, because it is Gaga, I expect more. Her first live performance of her new single "Born This Way" did not feature blood, guts, or meat (although she was hatched on stage) and overall, it was fairly minimalistic for the Gaganator, which did give the song a chance to shine. Whether you hear the Madonna similarities or not, it's a pumping bit of disco-pop, and the Grammy stage was a perfect venue for the unveiling. Of course, while she was there, Ms. Gaga picked up three awards, including another accolade for the fabulous "Bad Romance" video. Other big winners in the pop categories included Train's "Hey, Soul Sister" grabbing the "Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals" award and the extremely talented Bruno Mars winning the "Best Male Pop Vocal Performance" for his single "Just The Way You Are." Don't tell the Gaganator, but for me, the Bruno Mars/B.o.B/Janelle Monae performance was actually the best of the evening. First, there was a stripped down version of B.o.B's "Nothin' on You," then Mr. Mars went old-school Motown for his rendition of "Grenade" before taking to the drums to back an exuberant "Cold War" by the amazing Janelle Monae. Sometimes you don't need a meat dress to make a big impression.

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New Music Tuesday: Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Ginuwine, PJ Harvey

Most new music comes out on Tuesdays (it's a U.S. record business tradition), and each week we cull through the mountain of new releases to bring you some of the best from across different genres. Click below, or find them in Napster's New Releases section.

Justin Bieber, Never Say Never - The Remixes Justin Bieber, Never Say NeverThe Remixes (Pop): As a gift to his fans for Valentine's Day and to accompany his film of the same name,  Beebs releases remixed tracks from My World 2.0. Guests include Rascal Flatts, Usher, Chris Brown, Miley Cyrus, Kanye West, and Raekwon. Also features a new track, "Born to Be Somebody."


Lady GaGa, Born This Way Lady Gaga, "Born This Way" (Pop, Electronica): Fresh off of her three Grammy wins (Best Female Pop Performance, Best Pop Vocal Album, and Best Short Form Music Video), the Gaganator delivers the much-discussed new single from her upcoming album of the same name, due for release in May.


Ginuwine, Elgin Ginuwine, Elgin (R&B): Elgin Lumpkin (professionally known as Ginuwine) follows up A Man's Thoughts with his most personal album yet. Look for the R&B crooner to give a candid take on his music, as with lead single "What Could Have Been." Also available is an "Artist Picks" playlist of some of his favorite tunes.


PJ Havey, Let England Shake PJ Harvey, Let England Shake (Alternative): The eccentric alternative stalwart continues down the alt-blues-rock path of previous releases with her latest set. The creatively stunning album has already received critical acclaim, and singles "The Words That Maketh Murder" and "The Guns Called Me Back Again" show why.


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February 12, 2011

Album of the Year Grammy Nominees

Who will take home the Album of the Year Grammy this year? It's a pretty impressive lineup of nominees, and each has pretty interesting story. Let's take a look:


Arcade Fire, The Suburbs Arcade Fire, The Suburbs: These Canadian indie-rock stalwarts surprised us with their third album, which broke through with singles "The Suburbs/Month of May," "We Used to Wait" and "Ready to Start," the last of which is also nominated in the Best Rock Performance By a Duo or Group with Vocal category.


Eminem, Recovery Eminem, Recovery: All of Eminem's albums have sold in the millions, and Recovery was no exception, becoming last year's best seller. It's also nominated for a staggering 10 Grammys this year. Yes, 10. And it's no wonder—at this point, who isn't familiar with "Not Afraid" or "Love the Way You Lie?"


Lady Antebellum, Need You Now Lady Antebellum, Need You Now: The country trio hit paydirt with their second album, released in early 2010. It has been certified triple-Platinum (over 3 million sold) with the help of three hit singles, including "American Honey," "Our Kind of Love," and, of course, the super-catchy smash title track.


Lady GaGa, The Fame Monster Lady GaGa, The Fame Monster: Nominated in six different categories this year including Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album, the GaGanator has become a juggernaut with hits like "Bad Romance," "Telephone," and "Alejandro," each further establishing her as a pop force of nature. What will she wear?


Katy Perry, Teenage Dream Katy Perry, Teenage Dream: Perry's provocative latest is nominated for both Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album, while single "California Gurls" is in it for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals and the title track has a nod for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Will Perry turn massive success into Grammy gold?


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