Celebrity artists who become famous as teenagers have to navigate that tricky stage when they emerge from those teenage years and assert themselves as adults to their adoring fans. There have been many successful transitions from Donny Osmond to Michael Jackson to Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears. But there are also those who have disappeared into oblivion, never to be heard again. As I said, there is no guarantee that the fans will stick with the celebrity once they become adults so the product that the artist releases is very important. For Justin Bieber, that means an album where he can show his adult chops and say bye bye to his “Baby” days. He has to show that he matured musically from My World to My World 2.0 to Believe (where he was still a teenager) to this album Purpose (when he turned 21). Based on the fans’, the critics’ and the Recording Academy’s response – the answer has been a resounding yes, with Bieber getting a coveted Album of the Year nomination for this work. Although he snubbed the ceremony, for me, it is still a big deal that the Recording Academy voters heard what we all heard – a strong album with great songs. Not all critics though agree and have made some snide comments about Justin’s opus, but for me – this album ranked as one of the best in 2015 – and one of my most favorite albums of all time!
Tame Impala’s Perfection of a Smooth, Layered and Intergalactic Journey of Letting Go and Building the Perfect Intimacy with Album Currents.
This Psych-Rock Australian artist is so flawless with his craft and clearly deserved the Grammy Awards for he received for Best Alternative Music Album and the ARIA Music Awards he won for Best Rock Album and Album of the Year for Currents in 2015. For me Tame Impala truly took my breath away with how amazing he gets down in the studio producing and the vocals that he lays, I was in love when I first heard him and ever since then. I love Tame Impala’s way with words, “I’m a man, woman. Don’t always think before I do. ‘Cause I’m a man, woman. That’s the only answer I’ve got for you. I’m a human, human,” leaving a wondrous effect on the mind, with flexible outlooks. “I have a conscious and its never fooled but its prune to being overruled, You wanna know what I always think I’m bind by, you never accept defeat or let it slide,” showing a transparency in a weakness and showing of defeat in the song “Cause I’m A Man.” These are just a few of the risks that Tame Impala takes on Currents, but the production is also out of this world and doesn’t seem or feel like this was by mistake. There is a massive woke energy present on Currents it doesn’t fade or disappear clearly there is a recycling theme of consciousness. The album also stikes a new embarking in music than we’ve seen before on former albums as we see Tame Impala transitioning to more a dance disposition with fixations of guitar & synthesizers, for some club crossover rock star hits.
Clean Bandit releases their “serious” yet “dancey” album, pulls up their pre-released single superhits
The British Electronic music band “Clean Bandit” released their second studio album “What is Love?” in November 2018 through Atlantic Records, four years after they released their first album. There have been strong influences of R&B besides regular electronic pop and dance music, with a lot of computer-generated work. Grace Chatto, the cellist and vocalist of the trio said that while the last album was light hearted, this one is more lyrically serious as well as “dancey”. Many of these tracks are pre-released hits. The songs in the album feature a lot of collaborations with various musicians like Rita Ora, Tove Styrke, Ellie Goulding, Julia Michaels, Zara Larsson, Demi Lovato, Luis Fonsi and Sean Paul. There is a total of twelve tracks in the album with a total running time of approximately forty-three minutes. However, four more tracks are added in the deluxe edition of the album. The album mostly received positive reviews from the music critics and listeners, however there were some mixed reviews as well. AllMusic rated the album 4 out of 5 stars and said that it “was worth the long wait” and also that the “midtempo jams are as addictive as the euphoric singles, providing contemplative balance and additional opportunities to showcase each inspired collaboration”. Q Magazine also praised the album saying “What Is Love? is a superior compilation, but it's held together by Clean Bandit's winning way with a catchy, wistful tune”. On the other hand, the British newspapers The Guardian and The Independent both rated the album 2 out of 5 stars. The Independent called the album “A shallow, algorithm-friendly array of synthetic pop devotion” and said it was “a more market taster than art”. The Guardian’s album review was also on the negative side as it said, “Melodies are frequently forced and characterless, and many songs possess an almost computer-generated quality: either riddled with counterintuitive or resembling other people’s work”. It received a decent overall rating of 66 out of 100 on Metacritic. The album was featured in many music charts across North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. It topped the US Top Dance/Electronic Albums (Billboard) chart and reached the third position on the Australian Dance Albums (ARIA) chart.
Todrick Hall is a multitalented American singer with the voice of an angel. Hall doubles as a prolific YouTuber known for his high profile video production which amasses lots of followers to his page thrilled by his flawless video production skills. The singer’s accomplishment landed him a personal show on the popular MTV Channel where he bisects the dynamics of video making to the most basic parts for all to understand. The hummingbird gained world recognition after being a contestant and semi-finalist in the famous reality TV series show, American Idol Season Nine. Building on the success of his first album “The Wizard from Oz”, Hall released his sophomore album “Straight Outta Oz” on 23 June 2016 as a spinoff and continuation of the story from his debut album. This is the second studio album written solely by the superstar. The YouTube celebrity featured a good number of artists like Nicole Scherzinger, Perez Hilton, Jordin Sparks, Tamar Braxton and a host of others. The album accounts for the positive trajectory and his quick rise to fame over the short period he hit the spotlight. Hall may not be a household name but he is well known by his online community for his exceptional works and well-simmered music video mash-ups that keep his fans thrilled, in suspense, on edge and gaping all through the video duration. Todrick Hall displays high level of brilliance in the “Straight Outta Oz” album where he takes his audience through and extended narrative on his life’s journey coupled with the way he tackles social justice problems such as homophobia, socialism, low self-esteem and racism as one of the most pressing issues makes him a phenomenal talent, one rare to find these days. Though the album is kind of a retelling of the first album, it does deviate to more personal life experiences that would take lots of strength and courage to tell to the world, a virtue not possessed by all. Hall’s musical flick and video mastery has gathered millions of followers on YouTube which has been a big boost for the album.
Kylie Minogue, or the Impossible Princess of pop and dance: when your talent is so clear, it really takes a little spark to start a big, big fire!
There is something that can help understand if the debut album of an artist is going to be followed by a whole lifetime of success, or if it is just the success of a good album. A good album is, literally, an album of good hits. The success of the album and of the artist is somehow driven by the success of the hits. But nothing is granted of course for the next album or the next hits. But sometimes talent is so clear, that the equation reverses. When the artist is really a world class talent, the hit simply doesn’t matter! The success cannot be controlled, and the fame explodes. That’s really what Kylie Minogue lived at the beginning of her pop career with the album Kylie! She was very famous in Australia, her own country, as a tv serial actress. Actually, her sister Dannii was even more famous! At the age of 19 she was invited to sing at a charity event. A massive success! This sort of random performance kicked off a career like very few others! Kylie quickly became an icon, the Impossible Princess of pop in the 80s, 90s, 00s, 10s and definitely will be for the next decade too! Today we know and love dozens of her hits and videos, we have seen unforgettable live and tv shows, and it all began with this album. And the weird thing is, the success of the Kylie-icon and of the Kylie album went far beyond the success of the single hits! I mean, the hit was composed of ten songs, nine of them composed by Stock Aitken and Waterman, who used to create very similar music for the artists who worked with them. And these songs are actually similar, in sounds and words, to a lot of other music that the three producers created at the end of the 80s for, say, Rick Astley, or Sinitta, Mandy Smith, or Bananarama (and very different from the early Bananarama music! Yet, this album broke the ceiling. Kylie Minogue became an icon herself, independently from her hits. She was a beautiful nice funny girl with a great voice singing happy songs, but there was a lot more in her, that was immediately clear. A singer with more than 80 million copies sold, a choreographer, an actress, a fashion designer, a children book writer, a woman who fought a disease and turned it into an opportunity for spreading awareness and science research fund raising. In a word, Kylie.