First up, Duffy makes a return with her sophomore album Endlessly, which could describe the number of times we had to dance to her monster single "Mercy" back in 2008. Below title track "Endlessly":
Oh Duffy, you've been away for two years and the whole pop music landscape has completely shifted underneath your Mary Jane shoes. It's amazing the way the tide changes at random when it comes to the tastes of the listening public. When Duffy first came out with "Mercy" back in 2008, she was part of a post-Amy Winehouse wave of singers who never met a Phil Spector album they didn't like, a Dionne Warwick tune they couldn't mimic and a Mary Quant frock they didn't want to try on. Along with Duffy, there was Adele and Paloma Faith who, along with super producer Mark Ronson, ushered in a new British invasion on American shores as the hipsters and the mainstreamers embraced the 1960s retro sound.
Two years later, Duffy drops her new album and the pop world has gone GaGa as electro music has pretty much become the standard sound of Top 40. The retro grooves that once moved people has been replaced by disco sticks and DJs helping people fall in love and a whole mess of gleeful AutoTune. So what's a girl like Duffy to do? You stay the course apparently and put out an album that a few years ago would have been seen as just part of a back but now, by the mere virtue of the scarcity of the genre in the Top 40, seems unique. Is it middle of the road? Yes, to the point that you could probably use hard copies of the CDs to form a median on a highway. Yet there is a lot of comfort in the middle of the road. The complete lack of edge in some ways makes it edgy.
Another Brit is dropping an album this week that will surely have at least one single that will be abused by advertising companies. We are talking about that pocketful of sunshine that is Natasha Bedingfield and her new album Strip Me. Below the video for the single "Strip Me."
Occupying the same middle-of-the-road lane as Duffy, Bedingfield writes tunes that are like guidance counselor posters put to songs. Unabashedly optimistic with mild GIRL POWER undercurrents, Bedingfield has been a major player in both the Top 40 scene as well as the probably lucrative Background-music-on-TV-shows scene as well, practically making herself the soundtrack for most shows on both MTV and the CW. It's hard to hear "Unwritten" and not think of one Lauren Conrad driving in her car from Laguna Beach to Los Angeles.
Personally our favorite Bedingfield single is "I Wanna Have Your Babies"
Natasha Bedingfield - I Wanna Have Your Babies
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Nothing quite says "sexy pop star" quite like a tune all about your biological clock ticking.
Next up T.I. drops a new album No Mercy which was hilariously originally named King Uncaged after T.I. getting out of jail. But since he's back in jail serving some 10 to 11 months for violating his probation, No Mercy does have a better ring to it. Below, Christina Aguilera teams up with T.I. for the track "Castle Walls."
We really don't have a strong opinion on T.I. one way or another when it comes to his criminal or recording career other than he's a GQMF no matter what the situation. Mainly we love "Castle Walls" since we get the rare RESTRAINED Christina Aguilera that we adore when she makes those ever brief appearances. We have some advice for you Christina. Are you listening to us? ARE YOU LISTENING?
We want you to go with this type of singing, pitched somewhere between your Back to Basics caterwauling and the Bionic over-production that smothered your vocals like your face with makeup.
Speaking of young ladies with issues when it comes to makeup, Ke-Dollar Sign-ha finally put out a video for her single "We R Who We R."
As we've mentioned before, we've already given up hating on Ke$ha as an "artist" because she's awful in ways so magnificent and catchy that it sort of loops it way to genius. Drunk, dirty underwear genius. We love the sheer calculated way Kesha approaches everything in the video from the overdone makeup to the mountains of corporate sponsorship including the website Plenty of Fish which also found its way into the hot mess that was Lady GaGa's "Telephone" video. Make them dollar bills, honey, because looking that cheap comes with a huge price tag we're sure.
We interrupt this mixtape to bring you the worse safe sex song you'll ever hear: Ray Jr.'s "She Said (Don't Cum in Me)."
Wow. Just wow.
Moving on, Katy Perry, still probably wondering if she's getting Punk'd by the Grammys with her Best Album nomination, has been getting lots of musical love from DJs. Below, a fabulous remix of Perry's better-than-it-has-any-right-to-be "Teenage Dream" mixed with as-flawless-as-it's-always-is "Get Outta My Way" by Kylie Minogue.
Also getting in on the "Teenage Dream" mash-up madness are the boys of the Warblers of Glee who get put together with the magic of Eurythmics' classic "Sweet Dreams."
Darren Criss approves of this.
Bonus, Criss sings "Teenage Dream" live with the Warblers and a special guest.
Speaking of Glee, here's a sneak peek from tonight's all new episode. Rachel takes on the Carpenters' classic tune "Merry Christmas Darling." Cue the snow machine!
Thanks for joining us for this edition of New Music Tuesday. See you next week. And remember, we wish you love, peace and downloads.