The Super Bowl Halftime Show has become an overblown spectacle of such proportions and delusionary grasping at the straws of musical-artistic relevancy that it quite simply may never be good again. Yet there have been some standout performances – mostly those that concentrate on actual performing. There were some very dark years here and there that were not focused on the artists and their music as much as the pageantry (I’m looking at you Disney), so I didn’t even count those. There were also a lot of ‘meh’ moments that are not really worth getting into.
2000: PHIL COLLINS, CHRISTINA AGUILERA, ENRIQUE IGLESIAS, TONI BRAXTON
I don’t remember this and I’m not going to watch it, but it’s awful. It’s literally the worst thing I’ve never seen.
The people have spoken. The 2013 People’s Choice Awards were held yesterday at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, CA and the results don’t seem to surprise many. Katy Perry walked away with four awards, including Favorite Female Artist as well as Music Video, Favorite Pop Artist, and Favorite Fan Following – referring of course to the KatyCats.
Other notable award recipients include One Direction who was awarded Favorite Album and Favorite Song, Jason Mraz who was awarded Favorite Male Artist, and Taylor Swift who was awarded Favorite Country Artist.
Performances throughout the night featured Jason Aldean who belted “My Kind of Party” and R&B favorite Alicia Keys, who sang “Girl on Fire,” as well as “New Day.” Christina Aguilera also performed her ballad “Blank Page” and did so in style, dressed in white and surrounded by candlelight. Perhaps the most entertaining performance of the show was The Wanted‘s acceptance speech, wherein the members broke into an a cappella of “Afternoon Delight.”
All the winners are can be viewed after the jump.
It’s that magical time of year when we get to hear all of our favorite Christmas and holiday classics. In honor of this festive occasion, we decided to review one of the most popular and highly anticipated holiday albums that came out this season, CeeLo’s Magic Moment by R&B singer CeeLo Green.
By now you are probably sick of hearing all the same old carols over and over, but if there’s anyone to breathe new life into these standards it’s CeeLo. As you can imagine, he brings a certain element of class and glamour to each track, while also introducing some fitting originals. However, the first half of the 14-track record is about all you need to get into the Christmas spirit. After that, it gets a bit boring.
Though needless to say, CeeLo has captured this “magic moment” the one way he knows best, with nostalgic soulful 70’s style flair mixed with contemporary pop sensibility. His duet with fellow The Voice judge Christina Aguilera on “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is surprisingly reserved and charming, whereas one might have expected the two powerhouse singers to overdo it. Don’t get me wrong; there are plenty of rifs and runs between the two, but they manage to balance them dynamically with the smokey jazz club vibe.
To continue this feeling, CeeLo follows up with a cover of Donny Hathaway‘s “This Christmas.” With smooth basslines, orchestral brass accents, and subtle strokes of clean guitar , the 70’s homage sounds like it was recored in the same era in which it was written. Of course, this must lead into a smooth downtempo version of “The Christmas Song,” which sounds like it easily could have been the work of R. Kelly. Yet, there’s something uniquely comforting about Green’s voice that makes this track an instant standard for holiday radioplay. In fact, many of these renditions are so respectfully executed that I am sure they will be welcomed into the ever-growing repertoire of iconic holiday classics. With the slick production quality and “sexy” R&B/jazz vibe, I can picture this album being the soundtrack to some high-class New York penthouse Christmas party.
There are plenty of fun tracks for the whole family, though. “All I Need Is Love” is an upbeat original featuring none other than the jolly old Muppets themselves. While the song is a bit awkward, upon listening, you can tell it was clearly made for the video, which is fun and hilarious. Believe it or not, however; the track that follows is probably the most interesting and unusual piece on the record. Green teams up with the all-male a capella group Straight No Chaser for a comically theatrical rendition of “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch,” interspersed with excerpts from the original Dr. Seuss text.
This is about where the album reaches its peak. Some of the songs that follow are more obscure, like “River” and the heavily religious “Mary, Did You Know?,” both of which are beautifully performed, but just a little too solemn. Almost too typically, Green tackles Mariah Carrey‘s “All I Want For Christmas,” without straying too much from the original, making for a pretty blasé listen. Of course, not to be short on cameos, Green throws in one last duet with renowned adult contemporary singer Rod Stewart and the famous Trombone Shorty. Still, the impact is not nearly as lasting as the first half of the album. However, he elegantly closes with possibly the best cover on the record. Green’s version of “Silent Night” is soothing and poignant at first, building in dynamics with a marching rhythm, multiple modulations, and an uplifting orchestral and choral arrangement to finish.
Although there are plenty of Christmas albums that come out every year, CeeLo’s Magic Moment strikes just the right balance of fresh and traditional, without being too cheesy. Whether you like it or not, these songs are here to stay and will likely become a regular addition to annual Christmas shopping playlists.
If you like CeeLo Green, then you might also like Ourstage’s own Jasper Sawyer.
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Between her regular stint on The Voice and promoting her album Lotus, Christina Aguilera has more than a few responsibilities on her plate. That’s why it came as no surprise that Aguilera took advantage of her surroundings by performing a new single off Lotus, called Just A Fool, on The Voice this past Monday.
Sharing the stage with her co-star, Blake Shelton, the two blew the audience away with their spot-on performance, backing up the album’s top ten debut last Tuesday.
Check out the performance right here and let us know-did they hit it?
If you like Christina Aguilera, check out OurStage artist Shianne Mariah Phillips.
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Christina Aguilera & Cee-Lo Green – “Make The World Move”
Okay, so it’s not a music video, but there’s no denying how catchy Christina Aguilera’s newest single is. The pop diva celebrated the release of her new album, Lotus, yesterday, crown and all. And what better way to promote the album than to perform a song live on your hit television show? The bedazzled XTina enlists the help of the incomparable Cee-Lo Green, who casually strolls around with a scepter. Does it make sense? Not really. But that’s Cee-Lo for ya.
Azealia Banks – “Atlantis”
Speaking of wacky performers, Azealia Banks’ new video for “Atlantis” looks like a crazy and colorful ode to screensavers from Windows 95. No flying toasters, but there’s plenty of Word Art and cartoon dolphins to last you a lifetime.
Wiz Khalifa (feat. The Weeknd) “Remember You”
It’s the oldest story in the book. Girl meets girl, girl takes girl to creepy contortionist party, there’s lots of crying…well, anyway, it makes for an interesting music video!
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While Hurricane Sandy’s destructive path through the East Coast delayed or cancelled almost all live music events in the Mid-Atlantic tri-state area, there is one show that will still go on. This Friday, Jersey boys Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi will play a massive televised benefit concert to benefit those affected by the record-breaking storm. Billy Joel, Sting, and Christina Aguilera will reportedly join the Garden State natives at the show, which will broadcast live on at 8 p.m. EST on NBC and NBC.com, as well as network affiliates USA Network, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, E!, Style Network, and G4. All proceeds from the telethon will go to the American Red Cross, which has been assisting victims in the aftermath of its devastating landfall this past Monday. Last night, at a concert in upstate New York, Springsteen dedicated “My City of Ruins” from his album The Rising to the storm-battered Asbury Park, the seaside New Jersey town where he and his band gigged regularly at the beginning of their career. To quote another appropriate song from The Boss, the Jersey faithful always seem to take care of their own.
If you dig Springsteen, check out OurStage artist Blake Guthrie!
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