There are the album updates that are big and splashy and, depending on the artist’s budget, come with anything from Twitter freakouts to staged, pyrotechnics-and-paparazzi announcements. There are the album updates that are simple and straightforward, maybe a tracklisting or some cover art. Then there are the album updates when somebody talks to some publication about what they’re working on, where you’ll hear a sliver of a snippet of news about one song but little more.
As a music site, it’s our job to write about that. And as a fan, it’s your job to keep highly up-to-date. So what have we got today?
Ke$ha’s upcoming album is supposed to be so many things according to so many people–cock-rock, experimental, next-level pop, et cetera–that it’s easy to forget that the only actual thing we’ve heard from it, part of “Supernatural”, doesn’t sound all that far off from her old work. In other words, don’t be surprised if it’s another regular, slurry ol’ Ke$ha album, maybe called Hannibal, maybe with a guitar or Alice Cooper or two in the mix where it wouldn’t otherwise be.
Our evidence: a description of one track (yes, we know; we work with what the news cycle gives us) by producer Benny Blanco. He describes it as “old hippie rock,” which is fairly interesting, but then you hear that Dr. Luke and Cirkut are involved–production credits: everything–and that it eventually segues from drumless clapping to “big electronic breaks.” That said, it’s co-written with Nate Reuss of fun.! That’s promising, right? It’s promising to us. We wouldn’t have put that exclamation point there, making the punctuation really awkward, if we didn’t find it just that promising.
Bruno Mars, more than anyone in pop besides perhaps Taylor Swift, fills the niche of “pop artist you can play for your grandparents who tuned out of modern music during the ’60s.” With every successive single or awards-show appearance, he becomes more and more of a revivalist; “Runaway Baby” is downright retro.
Little surprise, then, that Blanco–same guy, different article–talked about a piano track he worked on with Paul Epworth for Mars’ next album, which he described as “throwback Nina Simone shit.”
You know what other song could be described as throwback Nina Simone shit and had Paul Epworth’s involvement, right?
THE JUDGE AND THE JUDGED
And now for the sole entry in this post not interpreted through the ears of Benny Blanco!
Steven Tyler, who announced his exit from American Idol and re-entrance into Aerosmith with either the best or the worst press release of the year (and if you don’t get press releases often, rest assured that both “best” and “worst” are tough superlatives to achieve), previewed the band’s album for radio station Mix 104.1. There’s a duet with Carrie Underwood on there. They’ve performed together before, but let’s forget that, because we’d like to imagine we live in a world where in three months we’ll probably hear that his entire stint as an Idol judge was meant to make this happen. (He quit because he didn’t think the endless succession of WGWGs would make suitable duet partners. Take that statement wherever you’d like.)
He’s also going to play the piano on a whim, and no part of that is out of character. Ermahgerd.
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