The Majak Kingdom - New Tunes Tuesday

Bonjour, mes amis! Welcome to another stunning, flawless, amazing, Autotuning better than your favorite edition of the Majak Mixtape, the place pop culture for spiritual fulfillment. Before we get into all the new music of the day including news about the new Britney Spears single, a Kanye West/Jay-Z album, Florence + the Young Money Machine, BBC's The Sound of 2011 and other musical happenings, we've got a hot brew of tea and you know what we always got to do with that!

Our main bit of tea to spill is about "Two and a Half Men" star Charlie Sheen, who likes to live every day like it's a deleted scene from "The Hangover" apparently. We've even decided that he causes antics so frequently that he deserved his own title: "Sheen-anigans."

According to a delightfully salacious report on TMZ, Charlie Sheen is missing in action in Las Vegas and hasn't reported to the set of "Two and a Half Men" after spending the weekend cavorting with three porn stars. This is just the most recent bender to land Charlie Sheen in the headlines, just a few weeks ago he was all over the news when he allegedly went cray cray in a hotel room and his porn star date, SENSING A PATTERN HERE, got on the phone with the police.

We hope Charlie Sheen is a) found soon and in decent condition and b) gets the help he so desperately needs. We do have to say that his ability to get into all this trouble and have it not effect his career makes him either the luckiest fool in the world or a Sheenius.

Now that we've had some bitchy biscuits with our spilled tea, let us move onto some of the new music that is out this week.
First up, Britney Spears has a new single!

Contrary to our super excited New York gif, we're not super fussed about Brit-Brit's new single. We're not saying it's bad. It's certainly not epic awful like Christina Aguilera's "Not Myself Tonight" or anything. It just, dare we say, reeks of basicness. And let us clarify things immediately, we're not talking the depths of basic of Ciara or Keri Hilson. Even when shaving her head and starring in crappy reality shows and being dazed and confused, she never produced anything as PH stick turning blue basic as Ciara's "Go Girl" so credit should be given to that.
The dance track is a solid if not terribly inspired production by way of Dr. Luke. A dash of Ke-Monetary Sign-ha style electro backing mixed with some actually clever dubstep all build towards one insanely stupid, in the worse way, chorus of:
If I feel my heart was beating loud

If we could escape the crowd some how

If I said I want your body now

Would you hold it against me

Look at your life, look at your choices Britney. You're building a comeback single around a frat boy come-on line. Really? You know, we'll give her a pass as her production team has had worse ideas. (Looking at you "E-Mail My Heart").

Overall, we enjoy the song, and it'll probably grow on us. We're just disappointed it's part of the continuing Britney trend where her voice and personality seem to be almost ancillary at best/incidental at worse to the total making of a Britney album. She, between sips of her iced coffee, would probably give a different opinion of this:

In other new releases, Cake returns with a brand new album "Showroom of Compassion." We've loved Cake since they were slathering "I Will Survive" in 1990s Gen-X irony and are always glad when they make a return with a new album.

They may be noticeably older but judging by the fedora, they are not letting middle age keep them from being little hipsters. And we say KUDOS to you for that.

Beth Ditto, the zaftig front woman of Gossip, has teamed with Simian Mobile Disco to put together a four-track EP that is out today. Below, a preview:

Also putting out new albums is British band British Sea Power with their new album "Valhalla Dancehall."

We have no idea what the hell the video is about other than it's supposed to be artsy and retro and painfully British. Let's go with that.

Next up, Twin Cities band Tapes 'N Tapes are releasing a new album "Outside."

Tapes 'N Tapes is a bit of a cautionary tale about the dangers of being a buzzed about band on music blogs. Back in 2005, the band were supposed to be the Next Best Thing and found their buzz fall apart with an ill-advised, ill-produced second album failed to capitalize on their strengths. Now Tapes 'N Tapes return with a new album and even less buzz as most of the press about this album release is about what happened to them and how pretty much all of their fellow indie acts have found ways to embrace mainstream sounds on their own terms while Tapes 'N Tapes is still making music for indie folks that have never met anything they didn't enjoy without a smirk.

Next up Kentucky band Cage the Elephant have a new album out titled "Thank You, Happy Birthday."

We know next to nothing about this band other than one of our Facebook friends that they loved the band so much they were actually going to legally purchase "Thank You, Happy Birthday." In this era of Internet piracy, that is pretty much the highest praise an album can get.

Speaking of pirates, a song about gay pirates care of Cosmo Jarvis:

GAY PIRATES, IT GETS BETTER. Kidding aside, Cosmo Jarvis' tune is not the homophobic joke-fest that you'd imagine with a title like "Gay Pirates" but instead a quirky, actually quite sad song about two blokes in love who happen to be pirates. Jack Sparrow approves of this.

In other news, Florence of Florence + the Machine dropped in to help Wheelchair Jimmy with his song "Fireworks" off his "Thank Me Later" album in a recent live concert.

Florence was taking over for Alicia Keys, who couldn't make the concert because she was too busy penning songs out of her vocal range.

Speaking of Young Money, Harajuku Barbie/Roman Zolanski otherwise known as Nicki Minaj performed her latest single "Moment 4 Life" on "The Ellen Degeneres Show."

One last rap note, Kanye West and Jay-Z are teaming up for a joint album they secretly recorded in France last year. The single titled "H.A.M." is allegedly supposed to drop today and Kanye recently put up a Twitpic of the single cover. We're sad that Kanye West seems to be moving on from "My Dark Twisted Fantasy" already as it was one of our favorite albums of 2010 and "All of the Lights" just dropped on radio and "Monster" video was just leaked in unfinished form. But we do applaud Kanye for sending out a photo on the Internet that wasn't of his private parts. Props to that!

Another leak from Kelly Rowland's recording session has hit the YouTube.

Oh Ms. Kelly. Beyonce will have released two albums, five special editions, and 20 different tour DVDs by you finally get around to putting out your album. We loved "Commander" and initially gave Rihanna a lot of SIDE EYE when "Only Girl" came out and sounded suspiciously similar to your track. But we can't support you if you a) keep delaying your album b) put out an R&B album for the United States and a dance record for Europe because that's not target marketing, that's just good ole fashion desperation to keep yourself from doing Kelis numbers your first week and c) don't get better writers because you're not Britney Spears so you can't make b.s. lyrics work through sheer force of layering effects on your vocals. GET IT TOGETHER Rowland!

Also needing to get it together, Ricky Martin, who debuted a new super serious minded video for the fluffiest of fluff songs he recorded with Joss Stone.

What a bunch of half-naked people spinning around in a circle because they obviously didn't have the budget to morph them into one another "Black and White" style. Also, we're still trying to figure out who told Ricky Martin that becoming the Puerto Rican Jason Mraz was the wisest move. Yet, he's got well-manicured scruff now. That pretty much invalidates of the criticisms doesn't it?

Speaking of a big WHATEVER, we end this Mixtape to take on BBC's The Sound of 2011. Every year, people at the BBC put together a list of people they figure will be the defining sound of the upcoming year. Some years they've gotten it right like saying that 50 Cent was going to be a major presence in 2003. And some years they've gotten it hilariously wrong, like when they chose music blog favorite Little Boots over Lady GaGa in 2009. And sometimes they get it right but are just off by a year or two, like how they listed Florence and the Machine for 2009 though they really came to dominate in 2010.

This year saw "Party in the USA" scribe Jessie J get the honor of being dubbed the sound of 2011. Which if that is true, I hope I go deaf.

Looking like if Lily Allen lost her mind and hired Ke$ha's stylist for a day, Jessie J apparently has all the things you need to be a pop star of late: a serviceable singing voice, an off-kilter way of dressing and a love of questionable gender politics. We're not saying that Jessie J won't be capable to win us over. Hell even Katy Perry managed to (DAMN YOU TEENAGE DREAM). And at least Jessie J can sort of singing live, even if she sort of comes off like a low-rent P!nk.

We can see her becoming a sensation so we'll give the BBC credit for dubbing her the sound of 2011. We just need to buy some ear plugs to prep for it.

And with that, we end yet another stunning, flawless, amazing New Tunes Tuesday. As always, we wish you love, peace and downloads. BRING ON SOUND OF 2011 FINALIST CLARE MAGUIRE.

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