A new monthly feature that I am planning for Music Mondays is a New Single & Leak Roundup post, in which I will feature some brief thoughts on some of the most notable, or at least most of interest to me personally, new single releases and song leaks for the month. I did a couple of posts like this on the blog in the past but it was always just done at random. I always enjoyed doing those types of posts but wanted to make it more of an organized, recurring thing on the blog. I will also be doing a similar concept for a monthly Work It Wednesday post of my favorite beauty products for the month. I did want to mention that this month’s new single and leaks reviews post is coming earlier than they usually will, as in general it would be the last Monday of the month, but I have had a different post planned for next Monday all month long and figured it would make more sense to do this one early. After all, how likely is it that any major new singles will be released or major leaks will surface in the next week? Even if they do, they can always be included in my February New Single & Leak Roundup post. All that having been said, let’s get on with the reviews!
Adam Lambert – “Better Than I Know Myself”
“Better Than I Know Myself” is the first single from Adam Lambert’s forthcoming sophomore album, “Trespassing,” and it has very quickly become one of my all-time favorite tracks of his career. It is just such an honest, heartfelt ballad kind of asking forgiveness from someone you may have mistreated by explaining how much they mean to you. It is an absolutely gorgeous track and one that I am completely in love with. The chorus kind of sums up the whole theme of the song perfectly when it says, “If I wanted to leave I would’ve gone by now but you’re the only one who knows me better than I know myself.” I couldn’t possibly recommend this song enough.
Emeli Sande – “Next To Me”
“Next To Me” is the third single released from the upcoming debut album, “Our Version Of Events” by Scottish singer-songwriter Emeli Sande. I discovered Emeli and this song on her recent appearance on “The Graham Norton Show” and completely fell in love with the song. “Next To Me” is an ode to a man who you know will always stand at your side. It is a declaration of appreciation and love for somebody who you can trust to always be there. It is great to hear a really positive declaration of love in modern music, as opposed to so much of what is out there these days about negative relationships. What’s even more notable about this song, though, is it’s gorgeous, retro Motown soul sound. Emeli also has an absolutely stunning voice and I am really excited for her album to release and to see what else she has to offer!
Scissor Sisters Vs. Krystal Pepsy (aka, Azealia Banks) – “Shady Love”
“Shady Love” is a not the official first single but a buzz single from the Scissor Sisters’ upcoming yet-to-be-titled 4th studio album. I have mentioned here on the blog in the past that Scissor Sisters are one of my all-time favorite artists and their first two albums are two of my top five favorite albums of all-time, so I was very excited when this single debuted on New Year’s Day and my mind was blown by it! It is unlike anything Scissor Sisters have done before! It features lead singer Jake Shears rapping and also features vocals from up-and-coming rapper/singer Azealia Banks, under the name Krystal Pepsy. This song is ridiculously catchy and probably the most fun song out there at this point. In terms of the lyrics, vocal style and music, this song is bouncing off of the walls. It is like being sonically pulled in a million different directions, which could be a complete trainwreck but really really works in this case. DEFINITELY recommend downloading this one!
Nicki Minaj – “Stupid Hoe”
Speaking of buzz singles, “Stupid Hoe” is the second buzz single to be released from Nicki Minaj’s upcoming re-release of her debut album, “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded.” The first buzz single from this release, “Roman In Moscow” was featured in my last post like this back in November or December and I absolutely loved that track kind of instantly. This song is different in the sense that when I heard it the first time, (and the second and the third time,) I was not really into it but the more I listen to it the more I really get into it. It is really catchy with it’s chorus of “You a stupid hoe, you a you a stupid hoe.” It keeps with Nicki’s usual really funky, clever lyrics and really aggressive “Roman” style. Like I mentioned, I like this song more with every listen and definitely recommend giving it a chance.
Dev featuring Timbaland – “Don’t Hurt It”
If I’m being honest, I really have no idea where this song comes from. I know that it leaked this month, it was produced by The Cataracs and features Timbaland, and is not featured on Dev’s debut album, “The Night The Sun Came Up.” I am assuming it is just one of those random leaks of something that was recorded for the album but not used. It is a shame, too, because this tracks is leaps and bounds ahead of a lot of what was included on the album. I like her album but it does have a lot of tracks that I am not too keen on. This track would have been a great addition to the record instead of some of those. It’s a really fun, uber-catchy urban-infused dance track, in Dev’s usual style, but just has a much more fresh and interesting sound than much of what she has done. I really recommend giving this track a download for just something fun for one of those getting-ready-to-go-out tracks or just something to get yourself hyped.
Katy Perry – “The One That Got Away (Acoustic)”
“The One That Got Away” is the 6th single from Katy Perry’s massively successful sophomore album, “Teenage Dream,” and her 6th consecutive number one single. It is a brilliant track in it’s original form, as well as the “remix” featuring rapper B.o.B., and now it has been given the acoustic treatment, which I absolutely love. I think this is the best incarnation of the song there is and really sounds like how the song was meant to sound. Katy’s vocals on this version of the track are so much more raw and emotional and just generally gorgeous. Lyrically, this is a really sad song and the original version captures that fine but this version really brings out the sorrow in the song beautifully. If you are a fan of the original version, I definitely recommend downloading this one, as well, as it kind of takes the song to a different level.
Jeffree Star featuring Porcelain Black – “Prisoner”
“Prisoner” is rumored to be a track from Jeffree Star’s upcoming major label debut record and features up-and-coming pop-rock artist Porcelain Black. It is a really fun, catchy rock-infused dance track that reminds me a little too much of something Cobra Starship would do, which is not typically Jeffree’s style. I am a little back and forth on this song, honestly. It is fun and all but it almost seems a little forced, or like it is trying a bit too hard to be “dark” or “edgy.” It’s almost as if the track is just trying to be shocking but never actually gets there. Still, it is pretty entertaining and is a catchy listen.
Amber Rose featuring Wiz Khalifa – “Fame”
“Fame” is the debut single from model and, some would say, starfucker, Amber Rose. I don’t personally have an opinion on her constant dating of rappers and moguls but I definitely have an opinion on this song – I actually love it! While it is evident that her vocals definitely received some studio assistance, I do feel like she has a really pleasant voice. More than anything involving her vocals, though, I absolutely love the melody and general sound of this song. It is so light and fun, with a bit of a sentimental sound added by the piano atop the somewhat heavy bass. I don’t know if Amber wrote this song herself or what but I do feel like it is a really cleverly written song and a perfect choice for her first step into the music industry. It is basically a song all about building yourself up to the point that you are “ready for the fame.” Also, the guest spot by Wiz Khalifa on this track is pretty brilliant. Not being a huge fan of male rappers, I definitely found his verse on this song appealing and to really add something great to the song! I definitely recommend giving this song a listen – it is a lot of fun.
Taylor Swift featuring The Civil Wars – “Safe & Sound”
“Safe & Sound” is the first single from the soundtrack to the highly-anticipated film “The Hunger Games.” I am not really sure what “The Hunger Games” is about but if this song is any indication, I’ll bet it is going to be pretty great! I have a tendency to want to see films when I really love a song from the soundtrack, (like “2012,” which did not quite live up to Adam Lambert’s “Time For Miracles” from it’s soundtrack.) Based on this song, though, I am pretty intrigued to find out what this whole “Hunger Games” story is all about. This song has a gorgeous, kind of sweeping, epic sound while still maintaining Taylor’s more subdued sound. The lyrics are really beautiful, too. In particular, I love the chorus of the song, with it’s simple, yet powerful, lyrics, “Just close your eyes, The sun is going down, You’ll be alright, No one can hurt you now, Come morning light you and I’ll be safe and sound.” It is a beautiful sentiment and one that I absolutely love.
Katharine McPhee – “Beautiful (from ‘Smash’)”
“Beautiful” is the first single to be released from the pilot episode of my personal most highly-anticipated television series, “Smash.” The show stars Katharine McPhee, singer-songwriter, actress and runner-up from season 5 of “American Idol,” as well as artist behind one of my favorite albums of recent years, “Unbroken.” Katharine McPhee is a very strong and promising songwriter and also has a really gorgeous voice, however she has a very soft, clear voice and a very subdued vocal style. For this reason, I was very surprised and kind of wary of the concept of her covering a song by Christina Aguilera, who is basically her polar vocal opposite. I couldn’t have been more wrong, though. It is a very different take on the song and I wouldn’t say it is better or worse than the original but I would say definitely holds it’s own. I love Katharine’s voice and I think it sounds absolutely beautiful singing “Beautiful.” I really love this version and recommend checking it out.
On a different note, I didn’t really get a huge response from my Friday Feedback post. In fact, last I checked there was only one response to one of the polls and no comments. That sucks but I understand. The post is still there, though, and the polls are still open, so if you have the time please CLICK HERE to visit that post and answer some of the polls, etc. Like I said in that post, I really do want as much feedback as possible! It would be GREATLY appreciated. In the meantime, I wish you all a beautiful rest of the week and a beautiful life!