For my second Music Monday post this week, it is time to do the February New Single & Leak Roundup! February has been a very big month for new releases, as some really major artists, some of the biggest artists of the moment, have released new singles this month and I have got a lot to say about a lot of them! Some of these tracks have sparked a good deal of controversy, some are a little lesser known, some are multiple leaks from one artist and one is actually not from February but something that I have only discovered this month and felt absolutely HAD TO be shared! Enough talking, though – let’s get down to the actual music!
Carrie Underwood – “Good Girl”
“Good Girl” is the first single from Carrie Underwood’s fourth studio album, which I am extremely excited about. I absolutely adore Carrie Underwood and have loved each of her past three albums! I expect that this one will be amazing, as well. If “Good Girl” is any indication, it’s definitely going to be a hot one! This song is one of those more rock-influenced Carrie tracks, although it remains undeniably Country, (think “Cowboy Casanova,” “Last Name” or even “Before He Cheats.”) This is a really fun song, warning a girl against a guy who is simply no good for her. I especially love the very last lyrics of the song, where she sings, “He’s no good, girl, No good for you, So you better get to getting on your goodbye shoes.” I love this song and it has gotten me even more hyped for Carrie’s next album!
Nicki Minaj has had a few new leaks this month, including “Young Forever” and “Roman Reloaded,” as well as a pretty low quality third leak of a song called “Marilyn Monroe,” which I have not included here. Most importantly, though, she has finally released the first official single from her upcoming album, “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded,” called “Starships.” This makes a total of about 6 tracks from this whole period of her career and, stylistically, they have been all over the place! I have got to say that, of these new tracks from February, “Starships” is probably my favorite. It is a great, joyful, motivational dance-infused hip-hop track with really fun, inspirational lyrics about staying true to one’s self and having faith in yourself. This song itself is all over the place but in a really great, funky, fun way! “Young Forever” is a really good song, as well, featuring Nicki going for the more toned-down, vulnerable type of sound featured on her past singles “Right Through Me” and “Your Love,” which is a sound that I really love from her. Last, but definitely not least, is “Roman Reloaded,” which features Nicki once again going hard on the track, reminiscent of what she did with the track “Roman’s Revenge” from her last album, which is probably my favorite track of her entire career.
Marina & The Diamonds – “Homewrecker”
“Homewrecker” is the second single from the upcoming new album from Marina & The Diamonds, “Electra Heart.” I must say that I absolutely love this song. It definitely includes more of that electronic/dance/synth sound than the stuff featured on Marina’s first album but is every bit as brilliant. I absolutely love the spoken word verses of the song, especially the opening lines, “Every boyfriend is the one until otherwise proven, The good are never easy, the easy never good, and love it never happens like you think it really should.” The song is basically all about looking for love but having trouble resisting your natural urge to be more of a “bad girl” or “homewrecker.” It’s a really cool, multi-faceted song and one that I absolutely adore.
Rihanna featuring Chris Brown – “Birthday Cake (Rihmix)”
This song is a bit of an anomaly to me. It has sparked a lot of controversy across the internet since it’s release and has kind of re-opened a dialogue throughout the blogosphere that had been closed a while ago. I will discuss that a little more in a minute but first I wanted to comment on the song itself. If this song were recorded by two brand new artists with no media history, if it were a Rihanna solo track (as it’s original short-form version was,) or if it were Rihanna featuring one of the many male R&B singers out there, my opinion and the opinion of many around the world would be as simple as “OMG THIS SHIT IS HOT!!!” Seriously, this song is kind of brilliant! It is extremely explicit, downright raunchy even, but in a really fun way. It is chock full of innuendos revolving around birthday cake, with genuinely clever lines like, “It’s not even my birthday but he wanna lick the icing off.” I absolutely love it as a song. The issue comes in with the fact that the song is by Rihanna, featuring her ex-boyfriend and infamous abuser, Chris Brown. Now, if this were Britney Spears singing with Justin Timberlake about how he wants to “eat her cake,” I would absolutely love it. The fact that this is a man who beat her up in the past in such a public incident, complete with jarring photos of the damage and shocking details of the altercation from the police report, it just seems incredibly inappropriate. The aggressive nature of the song, with Chris sounding genuinely angry singing the line “I wanna fuck you right now,” only adds to the inappropriate feel to the song. It is almost uncomfortable to listen to. It is such a shame, though, because the song itself is amazing. I just can’t personally get behind singing this or any song with a man who has beaten you to a pulp, nearly literally, in the past. The message that this sends to young people the world over is insane and actually really dangerous. So, there are my thoughts on that one.
Katy Perry – “Part Of Me”
Where Rihanna is sending a very negative and dangerous message to the world with her track, Katy Perry is doing quite the opposite with her new single, in my personal opinion. Katy has recently gone through a very public divorce from her husband, actor & comedian, Russell Brand. She has also been riding a massive wave of hit singles from a record that she has publicly stated was pretty much all about him. So, for the first single from a re-release of this record, I thought it was really a great, positive move to release a song not bashing him or expressing anger or anything but a song that exudes strength and determination and moving on in a positive way, holding true to who you are. The chorus of the song states “This is the part of me that you’re never gonna ever take away from me.” That, in my opinion, is the most positive message anybody can send in a song about a breakup – that you are still who you are and nobody is going to take that away from you.
Amber Rose – “Loaded”
Amber Rose was featured in last month’s New Single & Leak Roundup with her very first single, “Fame,” which I kind of loved. She is officially on my list of artists to watch with the release of her second single “Loaded.” I am in love with this song! I understand why she chose to release this song so quickly after “Fame,” because while that song showed a softer, more vulnerable side of her with a gorgeous, mid-tempo pop sound, this song is kind of it’s polar opposite – it is one of those songs that is fierce and on fire, full of clever, catchy lyrics about self-confidence and strutting your stuff. It is all about having money and spending money and not needing to get that money from a man. It’s got a crazy, RedONE-style dance beat that I absolutely love and just has a generally really fun and wild sound. As I said last month, Amber is not a great singer by any means but this song, as well as her last one, make me think that she is going to make one kick ass, fun album!
Simon Curtis – “Starlight”
Simon Curtis – “Flesh (Vincent Did it Remix)”
“Starlight” is a song that Simon Curtis recorded about a year ago for a label, who were requesting something that showed more of his raw vocals than what was featured on his albums “8-Bit Heart” or “RA,” which were both heavy on more effect-laden vocals. Apparently, nothing came of this label deal and Simon decided earlier this month to finally release the song to his fans on the internet, as well as a remix of his brilliant single “Flesh.” “Starlight” and the “Flesh” remix were both produced by Vincent Did It, better/previously known as Frankmusik. The two of them work beautifully together and I hope that these two tracks are just the start to their collaboration. If the intention of “Starlight” was to showcase Simon’s vocal abilities, it does an absolutely brilliant job. I don’t think I have ever heard Simon’s voice so beautiful as it is on this track and the song itself is gorgeous. The lyrics describe the beginning of the end of a relationship and actually made me tear up a bit the first time I heard the song. The “Flesh” remix is not going to make anybody cry unless they are tears of joy at how fucking brilliant this song is! Seriously, “Flesh” has long been one of my favorite Simon songs and the Vincent Did It remix takes the whole thing to a brand new level that is not necessarily better than the original but stands on it’s own as a beautiful expression of raw sexual energy.
Sam Sparro – “Happiness”
“Happiness” is the first single from the sophomore album by Sam Sparro, the follow-up to his incredible self-titled debut that featured one of my all-time favorite singles “Black & Gold.” This song kind of sticks to his brilliant combination of retro, modern and futuristic sounds, complete with his classic disco-style vocals. The other thing it sticks to from his previous work is the upbeat, positive message of much of his previous work. This song is all about celebrating the sheer joy, and “happiness,” of just being with somebody that you love. It reminds me of that scene in one of my favorite movies, “(500) Days Of Summer,” where Joseph Gordon-Levitt spends the night with Zooey Deschanel for the first time and leaves his house the next morning and does a full dance number on his way to work. I always thought that was one of the most brilliant scenes because it is just kind of the perfect expression of how one feels after finally getting together with somebody you’ve been pining for. This song, to me, is kind of like that scene in music form and I absolutely love it!
Girls’ Generation – “The Boys (English Version)”
Last, but definitely not least, is a song that was released here in the US a few months ago but that I have only discovered/come around to this month. Girls’ Generation are a Korean Pop group made up of 9 gorgeous, young Korean women making the craziest, most brilliant pop music I have heard in ages. They are making the type of pop music that doesn’t really get made in the US anymore. It is reminiscent of the pop music that was so prominent in the late 90s/early 2000s but taken to a whole new, much more modern level. K-Pop is definitely on the rise here in the US and Girls’ Generation are probably it’s biggest stars. “The Boys” is an absolutely brilliant urban/dance/pop track with an insane beat, an incredibly catchy hook and a strange lack of structure that works amazingly well in this case. Girls’ Generation have also recently released their 3rd studio album, also titled “The Boys,” here in the US and it is absolutely brilliant! While the album is primarily in Korean, it features a really odd mixture of English and Korean lyrics in each song, which is apparently quite common in K-Pop and J-Pop. Even if you have an intolerance for music in foreign languages, (which I will admit to having a bit of myself sometimes,) you should absolutely check out the download above for the English version of “The Boys” because it is insane and gorgeous and will get stuck in your head for days in the best possible way!
Like I said, February has been a really fun month for new singles and leaks and I couldn’t possibly have let the month pass without making a post about all of this music! Like I mentioned in the previous post, you can also expect the February “Spotlight” post as this week’s Friday Feature on the blog, even though it will actually be March by them! March will still have it’s own “Spotlight” post, as well. I am really excited for this week’s February Friday Feature, though! It’s definitely going to be a great one and I can’t wait to share it with you all! In the meantime, though, I wish you all a beautiful week to come and a beautiful life!