Saturday, February 28, 2015

Black History Month Song of the Day - Love Sex Magic - Ciara, featuring Justin Timberlake

The last day of February is here and it's time for one more song celebrating Black History Month. Ciara's collaboration with Justin Timberlake on Love Sex Magic is one funky tune.  The voices of these two blend perfectly in this sexually charged jam and it's so easy to dance to. Enjoy and Happy Saturday!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Flashback Friday Song of the Day - Feels Like I'm In Love - Kelly Marie

My head is in a spin 
My feet don't touch the ground
Because you're near to me
My head goes round and round
My knees are shaking baby
My heart it beats like a drum

It feels like
It feels like I'm in love

Ooh, I'e been waiting all week to post this one...ever since I heard it the other day.  Such a classic disco tune with oh so singable lyrics and a dancey disco beat.  Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Black History Month Song of the Day - Yeah - Usher

We continue the last couple of posts of Black History Month with a bona fide contemporary R&B star.  Usher has proved his staying power over the years with plenty of great songs, and a lot of them, like this one, work like heck on the dance floor!  So click play and jam...

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Black History Month Song of the Day - Doubt - Mary J Blige

I made it to the end
I nearly paid the cost
I lost a lot of friends 
I sacrificed a lot
I'd do it all again
Cause I made it to the top
But I can't keep doubting myself anymore

Now here's a black artist who's contributed so much to the world of music in general.  Formerly known as the "Queen of Hip Hop Soul," Mary J Blige has grown into so much more than that over the years, having delved into all types of genres of music and excelled at each one.  Her voice is a gift, and we're all lucky we get to be the ones she shares it with.  

Here's Mary's latest single from the fabulous London Sessions album. It's one of my personal favorites off the set, and she just performed it so eloquently to close out Monday night's BET Honors show.  Here's Doubt...

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Song of the Day - What Kind of Man - Florence + The Machine

Florence + The Machine is back, and in a big way!  The newest single from Florence Welsh and the gang is vintage Flo + The Machine stuff, with haunting vocals and a big, big chorus.  The tune is from their upcoming follow-up to their 2011 album Ceremonials, called How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful.  Brittany Johnson of the website FDRMX gives a much more in depth review than I have time for here.  It's definitely worth checking out, but in the meantime, take a look and a listen to What Kind of Man? 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Madonna's "Rebel Heart" Track Reviews: Joan of Arc

Track #8 off of the new Rebel Heart album is a ballad where Ms. M reveals her most vulnerable side. It seems so far from what I've heard off the album, both released and unreleased stuff, this whole album is a self-reflection of Madonna's life and some of the conclusions she's come to at this point in her career. It's something we really haven't seen from the singer, at least not on this level.  

I don't want to talk about it right now
Just hold me while I cry my eyes out
I'm not Joan of Arc, not yet
But I'm in the dark, yeah
I can't be a superhero right now
Even hearts made out of steel can break down  

I said earlier that so far this latest 'reinvention,' or better yet, incarnation, of Madonna is the most refreshing we've seen since Confessions on a Dance Floor.  As we saw with MDNA, though, radio stations have become less and less likely to play her unfortunately, because from the sounds of what I've heard, Rebel Heart is a winner.  And even though I don't generally like ballads, I've got to say I'm really liking this one.  Take a listen for yourself...

Be sure to check out my thoughts on the other tracks of Rebel Heart, so far...

Black History Month Song of the Day - I - Kendrick Lamar

Over the weekend I posted a little R&B and funk from the past, and here's a brand new soon-to-be classic rhythm and blues song from today.  Kendrick Lamar's I is an awesomely groovy R&B jam, so nice that it won a Grammy for Best Rap Performance.  Rap???  I guess, but it's still good ole R&B to me.  Eh, well sure there's rap in the tune, but that's not even the best part.  If you don't know I, then check it out...

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Black History Month Song of the Day - Superfreak - Rick James

We want the funk!  Oh yeah, funk music flourished in the late 70's and early 80's, with acts like George Clinton and Parliament, The GAP Band, Commodores, Earth, WInd  Fire, Kool & the Gang, and so many others contributing great songs to the genre, but probably the most commercially successful artist to come out of the funk era was none other than Buffalo's own Rick James.  Rick's popularity was relatively short, staring in the late 70's with his 1978 breakout You & I all the way to his 1983 duet with Smokey Robinson called Ebony Eyes, but during that time and for a long time afterwards, his relatively short catalog is filled with funk classics like Give It to Me Baby, Mary Jane, Cold Blooded and Standing on the Top.  Here's his most identifiable hit from 1981, the oh so funky Superfreak...

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Black History Month Song of the Day - The Way You Love Me - Karyn White

The early to mid-eighties was a great time for R&B music, which I partially credit for my love of dance music.  Artists like Cherelle, Alexander O'Neal, Pebbles, Melba Moore, Luther Vandross, Chaka Khan, Patrice Rushen, Babyface, Jeffrey Osbourne, and so many more rocked mine and everyone else's world with a mixture of great grooves and nice ballads, too.  Here's one artist who seemed to have faded as quickly as she appeared.  Karen White burst onto the music scene in 1988 with her Babyface-produced eponymous debut album, which produced three top ten singles, including this one.  The Way You Love Me is typical 80's R&B, with a dancey hook and a catchy chorus, and the video is soooo 80's, as well.  Check it out and enjoy your Saturday...

Friday, February 20, 2015

Madonna's "Rebel Heart" Track Reviews: Hold Tight

I told you yesterday that Madonna added three new tracks to her slowly-filling-to-completion Rebel Heart album, and so here we begin taking a look at them.  The first new track is called Hold Tight, and the first thoughts that come to mind in describing it is that is an ethereal dance track.  Having been privvy to an earlier version of the tune, which to me was a lot more hardcore dancey, I have to say I'm not loving this one, but I am sure it'll grow on me.  The chorus is catchy and the groove smooth, so...yeah!  Madge released an audio clip of the tune on her YouTube, so check it out and see what you think of Hold Tight.

Flashback Friday Song of the Day - Who Knew - P!nk

You took my hand
You showed me how
You promised me you'd be around
Uh huh
That's right
I took your words and I believed
In everything you said to me
Yeah huh
That's right

Happy Friday all!  Late last night I was flipping through my Facebook page when I came across a Throwback Thursday posting from P!nk's page.  I immediately thought to myself...I Miss P!nk!  With all of the hullabaloo surrounding the return of Madonna, I can't help but wish for an impending return of my newest favorite artist, the incredibly talented Ms. P!nk.  Since she's not really due for a new record just yet, at least we've got her awesome catalog of wonderfully written tunes to play, and so in her honor I present one of my favorite songs of all time, the utterly tender Who Knew.  Enjoy... 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Madonna's "Rebel Heart" Track Reviews - The First Six Tracks Reposted

Ten days ago, Madonna released three new songs in advance of her new Rebel Heart album, but before I share my thoughts on those new ones, I thought I'd repost my reviews of the first six here since they originally appeared on John's World and not this music blog. So check out these reviews and stay tuned for the next four coming very soon,..

Living For Love

What was supposed to be the first single of Madonna's new album, Rebel Heart, is also its opening track. Now I may be biased, but I absolutely LOVE this one! The tune opens with Madonna's nasally vocals over an accompanying piano on the verse, and slowly but surely building up towards an uplifting electronic house crescendo on the chorus. The track is by far her best lead single in a long time, perhaps signalling a new reign over at least the dance charts for this queen. Check it out...

Devil Pray

The second track off of Madonna's new Rebel Heart album is both an acoustic and a religiously-themed track, two things which Madonna fans have become used to over the years (see I'm a Sinner, Miles Away, Nothing Fails, etc.). These two aspects of Madonna music have never really boded well on the charts (with the exception of Like a Prayer, of course, and that was many moons ago!), and this one probably won't either.

That being said, Devil Pray is a pretty good song, and serves as yet another signal that Ms. M will be making a big splash onto the music scene once again. This one picks up where I'm a Sinner left off. On that track, our heroine was reveling in her sins, (I'm a sinner, I like it that way...), though towards the end she calls upon the saints to wash them away. In the same vein, this one speaks to the darker side of life, only in a more serious tone...

And we can do drugs
And we can smoke weed
And we can drink whiskey
Yeah we can get high
And we can get stoned
And we can sniff glue
And we can do E
And we can drop acid
Forever been lost with no way home

Yeah, the aim of the track is to make the Devil pray, pray to keep her upon the path of sin, as she once again calls upon the holy to help her and set her back upon the right path.

Mother Mary, can you help me?
Cuz I’m gone astray
All the angels that were around me
Have all flown away
The ground beneath my feet’s getting warmer
Lucifer is near
Holding on, but I’m getting weaker
Watch me disappear
Ooh ooh ooh sing hallelujah
Ooh ooh ooh save my soul
Ooh ooh ooh the devil was here to fool ya
Until my story’s told

Oh those sing hallelujah's! I always love that. Devil Pray probably won't make much of a splash on any type of chart, but it's got a great, steady rhythm and it's surely good enough by far to fall into the realm of songs to remember for Madonna fans everywhere.


Ghosttown is one BIG song! Though I always prefer uptempo songs, every once in awhile a ballad really gets to me, and such is the case with this one. The first few times I listened to it, I kept thinking to myself that it sounds like someone else's song, not a Madonna tune...and it still does. I could surely hear Celine, P!nk, Gloria Estefan, or even Gaga doing this power ballad...and Madge nails it, again in a big way. This one's as dramatic as a song gets and it's yet another good sign that Ms. M is pushing envelopes again, breaking new ground and finding even newer ways to reinvent herself. It's the one song off the newly released tracks that was not leaked beforehand, and it's a gem!

Unapologetic Bitch

Ah, pushing new musical envelopes still! Yes, Madonna's new stuff is surely her best in a long, long time. Not that I'm diminishing anything she's done in recent years, but this new set of six songs is super-stellar and is quite possibly her most innovative since the continuous neo-disco classic Confessions on a Dance Floor. The 4th track on Rebel Heart hearkens classic dancehall music. That is, it's got a slow, infectious steady sort of reggae beat, and Madge's vocals blend perfectly with the music. With all of these great songs, it's hard to pick a favorite, but this one makes me shake mah booty, lol. If you'd like to pre-purchase the album and get the new tracks, click on the link below.


The Illuminati conspiracy is a conspiracy theory which holds that there is a "global elite" society that is either in control of the world or is seeking to take control of the world. As with most conspiracy theories, beliefs regarding the Illuminati conspiracy vary widely. As a result, it is virtually impossible to give a synopsis of the Illuminati conspiracy. Popularized in recent books and movies, the Illuminati conspiracy has definitely reached "cult fiction" status.

In this, the sixth new track off Madonna's Rebel Heart album, the singer tackles the age-old conspiracy of a secret ruling class, proclaiming its existence, but that no major players within today's pop culture are a part of it...

It's not Jay Z and Beyoncé
It's not Nickii or Lil Wayne
It's not Oprah and Obama
The Pope or Rihanna
Queen Elizabeth or Kanye
It's not pentagrams or witchcraft
It's not trying to s-stack for cash
Black magic or Gaga
Gucci or Prada
Riding on a golden cat

...but it's out there somewhere...

The all-seeing eye is watching tonight
That's what it is
Truth and Light
The all-seeing eye is watching tonight
Nothing to hide
Secrets inside
It's like everybody in this party, shining like Illuminati

Musically, this tune is vintage Madonna, electronica-dance style. It may not turn out to be a chart-topper, but it just might get some play on dance floors with its nice, thumpy, bass-y dance jam.

Bitch I'm Madonna

The last of the six new tracks from Madonna's Rebel Heart album was co-written and produced by deejay/producer Diplo and features the return of Nicki Minaj providing a rap interlude on the tune. This one's similar in scope to the MDNA track, I Don't Give a F***, which also featured Minaj, and is even more frenzied than their prior collaboration. Bitch I'm Madonna is a lighthearted and fun track, and it sounds like they all had a good time making it. It's not my favorite of the new tracks, but it does remain in the brain for awhile after a listen and it does have a great hook, too!

Let me tell you, this new album is going to be one of the great ones. Mark my words! I've been lucky enough to check out a lot of what's been put out there from the forthcoming album, and the tracks I've heard are mostly all stellar. Stay tuned for the next Rebel Heart track review coming very soon and mark your calendars for March 6th, which is the official release date for the set. Also, be sure to catch Ms. M live from the Brit Awards 2015 streaming live on YouTube at 8 p.m. next Wednesday, February 25th.

Song of the Day - I'm an Albatraoz - AronChupa

Here's a fun dance song with a Euro flavor that I can't seem to find anything out about.  I discovered it on Spotify a few weeks ago and it's been stuck in my head ever since.  Check it out...

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

BRIT Awards to be Streamed Live on YouTube

Attention Madonna fans...

If you're as big a fan of Madge as I am, then you already know that she'll be appearing at the Brit Awards next Wednesday, February 25th.  What you might not know is that you won't have to miss it. Stereoboard has just reported that the show, which is the British equivalent of our Grammys, is looking to garner a large digital audience this year, and so they will be streaming the show live on YouTube.  

Madonna will most likely be performing Living for Love, off the Rebel Heart album, perhaps in similar fashion to her Grammy appearance.  Other performers include the likes of Paloma Faith, Ed Sheeran, George Ezra, Taylor Swift, Sam Smith and more.  Should be an entertaining show!  The Brit Awards will be streaming on BRITAwards YouTube page starting at 8 p.m. next Wednesday, so be sure to check it out.

Song of the Day - S&M - Rihanna

Na na na na na c'mon....

I just got back from a long trip down to New Jersey and on the way home I listened to a playlist called Dance Faves 2.0.  It's full of dance tracks from the past five years or so and ooh, did I rock out in my car, especially to this one...

Now I may be bad but I'm perfectly good at it
Sex in the air, I don't care, I love the smell of it
Sticks and stones may break my bones
But chains and whips excite me...

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Black History Month Song of the Day - Proud Mary - Ike & Tina Turner

Since the early days of pop music, or what they called 'rock and roll' back then, there've been plenty of white artists who have scored big with either covers of traditional rhythm and blues songs (see Elvis' Hound Dog and That's Alright) or simply stylizing their music after black music (See Justin Timberlake or Robin Thicke).  Well, on occasion, the reverse has happened, as it did with Ike & Tina Turners' cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's classic Proud Mary.     

Back in the days when I was a disc jockey, this version of Proud Mary was an old standby.  If I ever needed to give the crowd a little inspiration to get up and get down on the dance floor, this song always did the trick.  Turners' version of the tune is completely different than CCR's, and is a classic unto itself, starting off with a nice and easy groove and then working its way into a frenzied finish. Both forms of the song fared well on the charts, hitting #'s 2 and 4, respectively, but it's this version that I and many others, love to dance to...