Cher Finishes New Album; Works With Scissor Sisters Frontman

Pop diva Cher has finished her follow up to 2001’s Living Proof, and both her and the rest of the music world owe a great deal of thanks to Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears. Got to down & Finish last song ! Then it DONE !! Jakes here putting some parts down & a Harmony ! Cher said Saturday on Twitter, before she announced the album’s completion this morning.

For those following along, Cher’s new album was actually due to be released in March, but production delays have pushed the album to later in 2013. There were rumor at one time that the record would feature creative collaborations with the likes of Timbaland and P!nk, but whether or not those efforts will make their way into the final product remains to be seen. For now, click below and enjoy a Cher classic. We still believe in life after love, do you? (more…)

Justin Timberlake Premieres "Suit & Tie;" Announces Comeback Album

It is hard to believe half a decade has passed since Justin Timberlake last topped the pop charts, but all that is about to change.

Last night Justin Timberlake officially returned to the world of music with the release of his comeback single, “Suit & Tie.” Featuring a guest appearance from Jay-Z and production from Timbaland, the track proves once and for all that no one understands where the future of pop is headed quite like Timberlake. It’s a song with a foundation rooted firmly in classic pop song structure, but with enough spice to make everything feel new once again. You can stream “Suit & Tie” below.

In addition to releasing his single, Timberlake also revealed plans to release a new album entitled The 20/20 Experience later this year. Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks.

If you like Justin Timberlake, be sure to check out OS artist Ty Mayfield!

Missy Elliott To Release Two Singles Over Labor Day Weekend

I hope you didn’t forget how to work it. Or put your thing down, flip it, and reverse it, for that matter.

Beloved hip-hop songstress Missy Elliott is slated to make a return to the pop landscape over labor day weekend with the release of two new singles, “9th Inning” and “Triple Threat.” While Elliott has performed the tracks live in the past few months, their commercial release marks the first new music in over four years from the performer born Melissa Arentt Elliot.

If these tracks are anywhere close to the quality of past singles such as “Work It,” “Lose Control,” or “Get Ur Freak On,” then we’re looking at the comeback story of the year, ya’ll.


Sound And Vision: Post-Mortem Pop, Starring Drake’s Aaliyah Resurrection and the Second Coming of Whitney Houston

Drake must be the luckiest guy in music. He’s got an enviable portfolio of assets: looks, talent, street cred, excellent connections, gold and multi-platinum. Now the Canadian rapper has a beautiful woman, too”at least a controlling interest in her legacy. But is ownership of the next posthumous phase of Aaliyah’s career one benefit too many?

That’s what some are wondering as we approach the 11th anniversary (on August 25) of the death of Aaliyah, who was killed in a plane crash in the Bahamas in 2001, at age 22, cutting short one of the most promising careers in music. Since then, there’s been scant new material issued under her name. I Care 4 U, a posthumous album released in December of 2002, was followed by nearly a decade of silence.

Until now. Earlier this month, Drake unveiled a new Aaliyah track, Enough Said, credited to Aaliyah featuring Drake and produced by the rapper’s Take Care collaborator Noah 40 Shebib. There’s more: Drake has promised a new Aaliyah album, executive produced by himself and 40, with 13 or 14 tracks, to be released later this year.

“Enough Said” Aaliyah featuring Drake

But is it a true Aaliyah album if key players in her life and legacy”namely her immediate family”are left out of it? Her brother, Rashad Haughton, went so far as to deny the family’s involvement on Aaliyah’s Facebook fan page. There is no official album being released and supported by the Haughton family, he posted on August 7, several days after Drake released the new single. (more…)

Sound and Vision: The Fall of R&B: How Pop Is Selling Its Soul for a Dance Beat

Remember the days when R&B and hip hop was the sound of pop? From the ˜90s to the mid ˜00s, music’s most dependable hitmakersMariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Toni Braxton, Boyz II Men, R. Kelly, Usher, Brandy, Monica, Alicia Keys, Destiny’s Child and Beyoncé, among themspecialized in crossover soul, climbing both the R&B charts and the Hot 100 in tandem.

But lately, something strange has been happening on Billboard’s R&B /Hip-Hop Songs chart: A hit is no longer necessarily a hit. Just because a song is big in the R&B sphere doesn’t mean it’s big anywhere else. For the week ending April 7, 2012, only one song in the R&B/Hip-Hop Top 10Tyga’s “Rack City”had managed a comparable placing on the Hot 100.

The song at No. 1, Beyoncé’s “Love on Top,” which had been there for multiple weeks, was way down at No. 54 on the Hot 100. (It briefly entered the Top 40 last September, debuting and peaking at No. 20 after Beyoncé performed it at the MTV Video Music Awards.) Meanwhile, there wasn’t a single R&B diva in the Top 40 aside from Janelle Monae, who got there by guest-singing on rock band fun.’s No. 1 hit We Are Young.

What happened to pop’s soul? There’s a disconnect between the pop and R&B charts that hasn’t been so pronounced since the days when Michael Jackson’s label, CBS Records, threatened to pull all of its artists from MTV if the then-fledgling network didn’t play Jackson’s “Billie Jean” video.


Sound And Vision: How LMFAO, David Guetta and Lady Gaga Are Making Dance Music Cool (and Bankable) Again

“She wants to party. She wants to get down. All she wants do to is, all she wants to do is dance.”

So sang then-ex-Eagle Don Henley in 1985. Ironically, “All She Wants to Do Is Dance,” Henley’s third great solo Top 10 hit, was neither particularly danceable nor was it actually about about a woman who lived to shake her groove thing underneath the strobelight (no matter what the video says). The careless, carefree dancing queen was a metaphor for a United States that was more concerned with buying thrills than curing societal and political ills.

More than twenty-five years later, in the world of pop music, it’s all about movement”and not as an ambitious political metaphor. With the possible exception of  Bruno Mars (who’s really going to have to toughen up and speed up the tempo if he’s ever going to get my love), all everyone”male and female, from Lady Gaga to Rihanna to Foster the People”wants to do is dance (and make romance). Red Hot Chili Peppers even closes its latest album, I’m With You, with a song titled, fittingly, “Dance Dance Dance.”

When Henley offered his biting political commentary with a beat, “disco” was still a dirty word. That’s probably why he was able to use it as a stand in for hedonism and get away with it. The truth, though, is that disco never really left the building: In the ’80s, a number of artists”from Michael Jackson to Madonna to Prince to Janet Jackson”were incorporating it into their pop.