Results for Katy Perry

interviews

Seinabo Sey

Swedish artist Seinabo Sey may be a bit of an old soul, but her music is breaking new ground. This week, Greg and Jim chat with pop/neo soul singer Seinabo Sey, who just released her debut album Pretend. Sey was raised in Sweden, born to a Swedish mother and a Gambian father (musician Maudo Sey), but growing up, she idolized American pop & R&B stars like Beyoncé, Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu and Alicia Keys, which is evident in her sound.

A few years ago, she teamed up with Magnus Lidehäll, an accomplished producer who has worked with Katy Perry, David Guetta, Avicii and more. The result really lets Sey's authetic voice shine through.

Go to episode 545
reviews
Teenage Dream: The Complete ConfectionTeenage Dream available on iTunes

Katy Perry Teenage Dream

Katy Perry has the number one album this week called Teenage Dream. But, unfortunately her dreaminess may be all she has going for her. The pop singer first made a splash with her hit "I Kissed a Girl." Now for her follow-up, she's paired up with a number of the industry's biggest producers. Jim appreciates bubblegum pop as much as the next person, but only when there's some twist. There's not an ounce of originality on Teenage Dream, so Jim tells people to Trash It. Greg feels like this record was written by a dirty old man rather than a modern woman. And the vocals sound completely digitally edited together. A robot could be singing these tunes, so he agrees: Trash It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 249
Femme FataleFemme Fatale available on iTunes

Britney Spears Femme Fatale

Britney Spears isn‘t a schoolgirl anymore. Seven albums in, she’s now a record industry veteran, which begs the question: is she over? Her latest album Femme Fatale debuted at #1, but with only 276,000 copies sold. That's nothing compared to artists like Taylor Swift and Eminem. And, as Jim and Greg add, where does Britney fit in these days when you have Katy Perry on one end of the pop spectrum and Lady Gaga on the other? They also wonder where she fits in on her own album, which has 28 songwriters and 13 producers. It's a well-oiled machine, and a very well-produced one, but Britney is almost incidental. Jim calls Femme Fatale soulless and gives it a Trash It rating. Greg doesn't argue with this, but recommends listeners Burn It just to hear the top notch production.

JimGreg
Go to episode 280
Body Talk, Pt. 2Body Talk, Pt. 2 available on iTunes

Robyn Body Talk, Pt. 2

Swedish pop artist Robyn has been making music since she was a teenager. You might think of her as Sweden's answer to Britney Spears. But, she has since gone indie and edgy and began releasing a three part series called Body Talk last year. Body Talk, Pt. 2 feels like a full album to Jim. He loves her maturity and experimentation, noting that Robyn has even managed to make Snoop Dogg sound original. He gives it a Buy It rating. Greg agrees, and prompts Katy Perryto pay attention: This is how you make smart pop music. He doesn't hear anything as catchy as Body Talk Pt 1's "Dancing on My Own," but also gives the 2nd round a Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 253
lists

Sound Opinions Thanksgiving Turkey Shoot 2010

It's time for the annual Sound Opinions Thanksgiving Turkey Shoot! It's the perfect way to say thanks…thanks that we never have to listen to the year's biggest musical turkeys again. There are plenty of lousy records released each year, but calling some of those out would be like shooting fish in a barrel. Since we're shooting turkeys here, Jim and Greg only pick out albums that they expected to be much better. Here are this year's biggest disappointments:

Go to episode 261
news

Music News

Last week Jim and Greg said they were waiting for the big zeppelin to head to the clouds. That'd be Apple, and this week it did. Apple has entered the final stages of negotiations with the major record labels and music publishers for a service that will allow people to upload and store their music on the web and listen to it on any of their devices. Unlike its competitors Amazon and Google, who beat Apple to the punch, iCloud is in cooperation with the big labels. Because of this and because of iTunes' already huge user base, Apple may again become king of the clouds.

LimeWire has agreed to pay $105 million to a group of major record labels in an out-of-court settlement over piracy. The file-sharing site was one of the biggest and received a court order to shut down last year. The RIAA has been going through sites like LimeWire one by one, and with success. But the rate of file-sharing hasn't slowed. And the real question is if any of the musicians“infringed”upon will actually receive this bounty.

The Smoking Gun has revealed surprising demands in pop singer Katy Perry's concert rider. We suppose it makes sense to ban conversations with chauffeurs. And of course you'd need specially designed furniture. But no carnations! Actually, the biggest revelation concerned the icky practice of ticket re-selling. Perry's camp reserves the right to require promoters to hold back tickets to be re-sold on the secondary market. In other words, Katy Perry may scalp her own tickets. Jim and Greg spoke to Wall Street Journal reporter Ethan Smith about this topic a couple of years ago, but laying out these plans in plain words on a contract is on a whole new level. It makes you yearn for the days of M&M demands.

Go to episode 287

Music News

You can hear Katy Perry "Roar" from the mountaintop on her latest release Prism. Unfortunately, it's the world's shortest mountain. She shot to #1 on Billboard's album chart last week, but it was the worst-selling week since 1991. Perry sold 286,000 copies of her 4th album. Compare that with albums in '91 like Use Your Illusion (685,000) and Ropin' the Wind (400,000). But, on the bright side, Perry's album did earn another distinction: Biohazard. Deluxe versions of Prism came with seed paper that the singer is encouraging fans to plant and“spread the light.”But, Australian officials see it as a“bio-security concern.” That's even worse than a Trash It rating.

"Future Shock," Curtis Mayfield sings. Well, that's what some insiders say the music industry's in for if it doesn't start planning. Greg just returned from the Future of Music Summit in Washington D.C., and there heard from Tom Silverman, the founder of the New Music Seminar, who said that the digital download era is coming to an end. Rather than continue to fight piracy, the music industry needs to focus on the next stage of revenues. Another big change on the horizon? The current copyright law, last revised in 1976, is long overdue for a makeover.

Go to episode 415

Music News

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton recently released an official Spotify playlist for her 2016 campaign, featuring the likes of Katy Perry and Ariana Grande. Jim doubts that Clinton made the playlist herself, suggesting that the featured artists are more in tune with the tastes of a young campaign staffer. But President Obama's playlist is more authentic, featuring tracks by The Tempations, The Isley Brothers, and even one of Jim's favorite bands, Low Cut Connie. But this isn‘t to say that Obama’s playlist is flawless – Jim is sorely disappointed by the Coldplay pick.

Speaking of presidential candidates, New Jersey governor Chris Christie recently issued a statement proclaiming his adoration for Bruce Springsteen. The politician writes that the Boss“gave voice to the suburban kids like me who were filled with dreams and doubts. He was one of us.”Christie goes so far as to say "Born to Run is my Desert Island disc." Greg is surprised by the pick, given Christie's preference for Bon Jovi, another New Jersey native. Jim thinks that his home state has quite a lot to be embarrassed about these days.

From time to time Jim and Greg like to sit down and take a look at the Billboard Chart to discuss the country's most popular albums. Country rocker Luke Bryan is at #1 with his new album Kill the Lights, but Jim doesn‘t see what’s so great about this seemingly generic country music. Familiar artists Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift continue to dominate, with the #2 and #7 records, respectively. Greg is happy to see former The Voice contestant Melanie Martinez on the charts, a former member of Jim's favorite artist Adam Levine's team. And let's not forget about the #8 artist, Bullet for my Valentine, a Welsh heavy metal band that Jim and Greg just can't get enough of. But perhaps the most interesting chart topper this week is Elvis Presley, whose retrospective album Elvis Forever is selling big in your local Post Office.

Go to episode 509

Music News

Unless you‘ve been hiding in a cave, it’s been impossible to escape "Hello," the new single from British singer Adele. It sold 1.11 million copies in its first week – only Elton John's "Candle in the Wind 1997" has ever sold more in a single week span. Adele is basically a music industry unto herself. In recent years, only Taylor Swift has come close in terms of sales.“Hello,”a 5-minute piano ballad, features production by Greg Kurstin, who has also worked with big names like Katy Perry and Kelly Clarkson. It remains to be seen if Adele's new album takes her into uncharted territory, or is just a continuation of her previous work.

Tragedy struck a nightclub in Bucharest, Romania on October 30 when the metal band Goodbye to Gravity's stage pyrotechnics started a fire. 32 people died and hundreds were injured. This launched an unprecedented wave of protests against the perceived lax enforcement of laws, culminating in the resignation of Romanian Prime Minster Vincent Porta. This kind of tragedy has happened too frequently, including the deadly 2003 fire at a Great White concert in Rhode Island. Jim is dumbfounded that any band would still use fireworks at an indoor concert.

Go to episode 519

Music News

In 2014, Iggy Azalea's "Fancy" was the definitive song of the summer. In the past few years, tracks by Robin Thicke, Katy Perry and Rihanna dominated the charts without much competition. And while many summer hits are released in the springtime, it's already and a frontrunner for the 2015 song of the summer has yet to emerge. In fact, Greg and Jim couldn't even think of many contenders. Could there be no winner in 2015?

Go to episode 496

Music News

No matter what you thought of this year's Oscars, Grammys or Superbowl, one thing is certain: TV sells. After Common and John Legend's emotional performance at the Academy Awards, industry forecasters predict a big sales bump for the winning tune "Glory." Just a few hours after the ceremony ended, the song was projected to post a 70% gain. Jim and Greg predict similar success for Lady Gaga, who wowed skeptics with her "Sound of Music" belting. Music from the Grammys is also going like gangbusters. Album of the Year winner Beck has enjoyed a 483% sales increase. And, Nostalgia, the new album by Grammy performer Annie Lennox, shot up 335%. But perhaps most curious of them all is the musical effect of the Superbowl. Albums and songs by halftime performer Katy Perry experienced a 92% sales boost.

Dr. Dre aarp

In other news, happy 50th birthday Dr. Dre! The rapper and entrepreneur celebrated with an appearance on the front page of AARP. That's right…the magazine for the American Association of Retired Persons. But, while that is certain to make a lot of music fans feel old, no one is in a better position to retire than the hip hop O.G. He again topped Forbes' list for the highest paid musicians of the year with a whopping $620 million earned.

Go to episode 483

Music News

One of the biggest sales in record company history has just been completed. EMI, until now one of the four remaining major labels, is being broken up and sold off by the megabank Citigroup for a combined $4.1 billion. After many months of negotiations, French media company Vivendi, which owns Universal Music Group, will buy EMI's recorded music division and Sony Corp. will pick up the publishing arm. Now we're down to three. But some people speculate that consolidation is necessary for this industry's survival. One thing is certain, Universal, already the largest music company in the world, with an estimated 27% of the global market, is now an even bigger giant with the addition of Coldplay, Katy Perry and Pink Floyd to its roster.

It may be years too late, but Google is finally in the digital music business. They launched their online store with a splash on Wednesday, demonstrating how its 13 million songs will be integrated with Android and can be accessed across various devices and shared with friends. The Internet company inked licensing deals with 2 of the 3 labels, save Warner Music Group, but it seems unlikely Google be able to compete with reigning digital music king iTunes, as well as services from Amazon and Spotify. The secret to success rests with its dominant search engine. People will come to Google Music first. But will they stay is the real question.

Go to episode 312

Music News

Anyone who has ever taught his or her parent to use an iPhone knows that the older generation doesn‘t always mix well with the digital age. But don’t tell that to the Rolling Stones. The veteran rockers are celebrating their 50 years in the business by releasing an app. As Mick explains, the Stones wanted to something“special and innovative.”And of course, they wanna sell stuff. Also coming around to this new fangled digital world is AC/DC. The longstanding Apple holdouts will finally make their catalog available on iTunes. That just leaves a short list of withholders including Black Sabbath and Garth Brooks.

Rihanna hit #1 this week for the first time. Jim and Greg review the new album later in the show, but are interested in the fact that Ri-Ri joined a long list of prominent artists in an open letter to Congress opposing the Internet Radio Fairness Act. Apparently, she doesn't credit streaming services like Pandora with her success. Members of Maroon 5, Pink Floyd and Katy Perry join Rihanna in saying, we dig you Pandora, but don't gut our royalties. Check out Greg's coverage of the debate from the recent Future of Music Summit.

Go to episode 366

Music News

Katy Perry wasn't the only thing roaring at MTV's recent Video Music Awards. Digital sales for artists featured on the program have seen significant bumps. Among those feeling a lift were Lady Gaga's Applause, which saw a 20% rise and Bruno Mars' Gorilla, which had a staggering 175% sales increase.

In other chart news the British Phonographic Industry recently updated its sales award rules. So now, a little band called The Beatles has finally gone platinum. The official count only began from 1994, though, so actual sales of hit Beatles albums like Revolver and Help can only be estimated.

By now everyone's heard Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines. But, have you heard 86-year old Canadian composer John Beckwith's Blurred Lines? Well, thousands of listeners have, though perhaps not intentionally. Beckwith's 1994 recording for harpsichord and violin has gotten a huge boost in online streams ever since Thicke's song of the same name came out earlier this year. Blame it on Google, but it seems hard to mistake Thicke for Beckwith's sounds inspired by the Swedish hardanger.

Go to episode 406

Music News

While pop divas like Katy Perry and Lady Gaga have impressive strategic plans for their upcoming albums, news from Beyonce's camp suggest things are more chaotic over there. Sources told the Hollywood Reporter she recently scrapped 50 songs and is starting over, despite having the promotional push of the Superbowl and a world tour.

Is it fair to say Jack White's an all-around good guy? First, he may have donated money to a Detroit baseball field. Then he pitches in to save the city's historic Masonic Temple. And now he's made a generous $200,000 donation to the National Recording Preservation Foundation. Three cheers for this former guest!

Influential guitar player and songwriter J.J. Cale died this week at age 74. Countless musicians have covered Cale over the years, from Captain Beefheart to Neil Young. And to honor him, Jim and Greg play one of Young's favorites, "Crazy Mama."

Go to episode 401