Monthly Archives: October 2013

TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (October 22)

The pop princess of Prism.

A little more “Roar”.

Time to let the light in on these heavy albums hitting the streets today; some big names in here. Check out the releases for the week of October 22:

  • She’s got the eye of the tiger and she’s fully ready to pounce on that top spot on next week’s Billboard 200 album chart. It’s the third studio album from pop princess Katy Perry, who releases Prism, featuring the #1 “Roar” and new single “Unconditionally”. How high will her first frame stack up? Stay tuned. (iTunes)
  • California rockers AFI just missed the top ten with their last studio album; now, four years later, they return with Burials, with singles like “17 Crimes” and “I Hope You Suffer”. Well, so much for the positive vibes. (iTunes)
  • Former X Factor contestants Fifth Harmony are out with an EP this week titled Better Together, a poppy affair featuring single “Miss Movin’ On”. (iTunes)
  • Hot off his top ten AAA hit, “Wild Child”, which currently resides at #6, singer-songwriter Brett Dennen releases Smoke And Mirrors, his fifth studio album since 2004. (iTunes)
  • His album Passione went to #2 earlier this year; will the runner-up spot be his again or can he make it to the top? Sure to be a hot seller this holiday season is Andrea Bocelli‘s Love In Portofino, which also comes with a DVD in the physical component. (iTunes)
  • Also hot on the opera circuit this week is Italian trio Il Volo, who enter the ring of Christmas contenders with Buon Natale: The Christmas Album. There are strong pre-orders on this one, which features covers of all the classics. (iTunes).
  • If you miss the late Donna Summer, you’ll be sure to love Love To Love You Donna, a collection of remixes as done by Afrojack, Laidback Luke and more. (iTunes).
  • Other albums out this week include Anoushka Shankar‘s Traces Of You (iTunes), Def Leppard‘s Viva! Hysteria – Live At The Joint, Las Vegas (iTunes), Lita Ford‘s The Bitch Is Back… Live (iTunes), Motörhead‘s Aftershock (iTunes) and Tori Kelly‘s Foreword EP (iTunes).

New digital-only singles that you can buy this week include:

  • “Do What U Want”, an album track from Lady Gaga‘s forthcoming ARTPOP featuring R. Kelly. (iTunes)
  • “Hold Tight”, the latest Music Mondays single from Justin Bieber. (iTunes)
  • “Love Don’t Die”, the leadoff single from The Fray‘s forthcoming studio album. (iTunes) (Lyrics here!)
  • “Sweeter Than Fiction”, an 80’s inspired soundtrack single from One Chance by Taylor Swift. (iTunes)
  • “The Outsiders”, a brand new song from Country superstar Eric Church. (iTunes)
  • “Wait For A Minute”, a new single from rapper Tyga featuring Justin Bieber. (iTunes)

With new albums from Arcade Fire, Kelly Clarkson and Toby Keith next week, as well as many more acts, it’s going to be a full house. See who lands where in a preview in seven!

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CMJ WRAP UP: Gettin’ “Down” With Sheppard

Someone's herd the word on Sheppard.

Someone’s herd the word on Sheppard. (L to R: Myself, lead vocalist George Sheppard, drummer Dean Gordon.)

It was Saturday afternoon at half past four and I was strolling down Clinton Street on my way up to East Houston. My formal shoes were digging into the back of my feet; I should’ve worn sneakers. A stream of cars passed to the left. The sweet smells of street corner cafés were in the air. A few more paces and a couple of crossways until the stoplight to change street directions.

“Pop goes the charts!” a cheerful voice bellowed behind me. I froze, then turned around to George in the front seat of a black mini van, hair sticking up in clumps, cracking a smile as mother Linda and band mate Dean watched on. I laughed. “You kids!” “Sorry, didn’t mean to scare you,” he replied. “It’s alright, I like a good scare. Halloween’s coming up, you scare people.” The three nodded. I finished with a “You all better have good costumes this year,” which gave them a chuckle. Linda pulled out a phone to snap a photo of me and I grinned, giving a thumbs up as egged on by George. “Have a good one!” one of them called out. “You too!” I said and waved them a fond farewell. After one more round of waves, their car crossed onto the opposite of the street as I took off down to Washington Square, walking through the park and reminiscing.

Does this read like the start of a bad fan fiction piece to you? I’d think so too, but it happened, even that guidance by the Little River Band. (No dancing in the dark, it was still light out.) Point is, if you end up at a music conference and you see any band that you like three times, that’s dedication, and perhaps reasonable grounds to call yourself a fan girl or a stan or whatever their loyal base call themselves. What would that be here? A “Shep Brother” or “Shep Sister”? It has a ring to it. Humor aside, the Australian sextet Sheppard rocked it at CMJ Music Marathon over the last few days, and it really was an honor to see them live and get to know them a bit before they flew off to England. They were electric on stage and down to earth off stage. I certainly wasn’t going in with the intention of being won over; they already did that for me months ago, but there’s always something about putting the full package together that makes you feel satisfied. So, the dream became reality.

You may ask, how did you get interested in them in the first place? Well, I refer you back to this post I did in April. Being the chart surfer that I am, I came across that week’s edition of the Australian airplay chart and noticed that a song called “Let Me Down Easy” debuted on the entire 100-position survey at #39. That’s a big entrance for anyone, especially for an independent act. I was under the impression that the song was a cover, specifically because of this single which charted in 2002 from Chris Isaak of the same title. Well, surprise! This was no remake. It was an original, and I dug it from the first listen, and then wrote the profile in the hopes that something could come of it Stateside in 2013. The band shared it on their social media profiles and I thought maybe, just maybe, something was in the works.

Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened so far. However, in Australia, “Easy” ended up peaking at #12 on the airplay chart (currently #94 in its 27th week) and the Sheppard EP, certified Platinum for shipments of 70,000 copies, went as high as #18 on the Singles chart in a 15 week run. (ARIA rules state that a single only available on an EP rather than as a stand-alone release enables the whole EP to enter.) It was an admirable success, especially for a release that had been out since August of the prior year, and one that secured them a nomination at the ARIA Awards for Best Independent Release. Meanwhile, “Easy” spent three weeks at #10 on my chart and 20 weeks on, and is holding up pretty well in the data I’ve crunched so far for my year-end survey. Followup “Hold My Tongue” is faring even better, now at #5 on my most recent chart thanks to CMJ.

It’s weird to think that one comment a month ago on one of my chart posts from May by George Sheppard, father of three of the band’s siblings, led to my first solo trip to New York City and everything that happened this week with the band. First, it was an intimate acoustic performance at the Klimat Lounge on Wednesday, a big mixer for the management group behind Sheppard and a couple of other bands like The Griswolds, Chugg Music. Then, it was a Planetary Party at Pianos on Friday afternoon, and lastly, an Australian BBQ over at The Delancey on Saturday afternoon. There were a lot of Australian accents going around and very few American ones, and I wasn’t about to start faking something out of “Crocodile” Dundee. That being said, they were quite warm and friendly and liked to have a good time. (There were a few characters in the bunch.)

As a live act, I can’t say enough about how good they were at all three venues. Lead singer George Sheppard (the son) is a ball of energy, and the six of them together bring the fun. Several songs to be included on their forthcoming studio album were highlights in all three shows, including the anthemic “Geronimo”, with an emphatic sing-along chorus of a “Say! Geronimo!” chant and “Bombs away!” as singers George and Amy Sheppard traded off harmonies and leads. I don’t know what the studio cut sounds like, but that screamed single material to me based off how involved the crowd seemed. Also, the faces drummer Dean Gordon was giving us were (a) like he was in pure ecstasy and (b) adorable. Also topping my list was stomper “Halfway To Hell”, in which the band went full-out tribal in last 45 seconds of the song, banging away to a thrilled crowd. They have an image: lots of flourescent colors and printed shirts, and how could I neglect to mention that they have shakers shaped like pineapples? Plus, their fan base continues to grow. When I initially did my article, the band’s Facebook page had a little under 2,500 likes that were generally from Australia; that total is now at over 13,000 and on a more global scale. I’m really, really proud of them for what they’ve accomplished in such a short time.

It’s hard to return back to normalcy after a week like that, but I’m certainly hoping that this isn’t the end for myself and the band. A part of me is always going to remember that sudden “Pop goes the charts!” creep up from a few car lengths behind and think back to a great time and how cool it was to be recognized like that. It meant a lot to me in the moment and now and gave me a reignited reason for what I do. They’ve done particularly well for themselves in their homeland and I wouldn’t be writing about and praising the six so much if I didn’t think there was a place for these guys in the U.S. music market. There is very much a spot waiting for them. As for how they’ll get there, well, I do have something in mind for how it can be done, a plan that would at least give the group a fair shot here. That, however, is something only to be discussed between myself and their management. You have to keep some things a secret, right? Amy, Dean, Emma, George, Jay and Michael, it was a pleasure to meet you, mates, and thank you to Andrew Stone for coordinating the events, though I didn’t get a chance to say hello. Come back soon; you’re welcome here any time.

Purchase Sheppard‘s music on U.S. iTunes: Sheppard EP or a digital single of “Hold My Tongue”.

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Highlights from Adam’s Top 40: October 20, 2013

The Hunger for more.

Where it’s Atlas.

DEBUTS
40. The Fray – Love Don’t Die
39. Maroon 5 – Lucky Strike | HIGHEST DEBUT

TOP GAINERS
29. A Great Big World – Say Something (35) | BIGGEST MOVER
20. Keane – Higher Than The Sun (25)

THIS WEEK’S TOP TEN
10. Passenger – Let Her Go (09) | PEAK: #01 for twelve weeks
09. Bastille – Pompeii (05) | PEAK: #01 for two weeks
08. The 1975 – Chocolate (06) | PEAK: #02
07. New Politics – Harlem (07) | PEAK: #07
06. American Authors – Best Day Of My Life (10) | PEAK: #06
05. Sheppard – Hold My Tongue (08) | PEAK: #05
04. Imagine Dragons – On Top Of The World (06) | PEAK: #04
03. Katy Perry – Roar (03) | PEAK: #03
02. Passenger – Holes (02) | PEAK: #01 for five weeks
01. Coldplay – Atlas (01) | PEAK: #01 for two weeks

Top 10 Next In Line:
1. Fitz & The Tantrums – The Walker (7)
2. Tom Odell – Hold Me (4)
3. John Mayer featuring Katy Perry – Who You Love (1)
4. Switchfoot – Who We Are (3)
5. Matt Cardle – When You Were My Girl (6)
6. NONONO – Pumpin’ Blood (2)
7. Gary Barlow – Let Me Go (9)
8. Bastille – Of The Night (-)
9. Basic Vacation – I Believe (-)
10. Robbie Williams – Go Gentle (-)

In The Mix:
AJR – I’m Ready (new)
Avril Lavigne featuring Chad Kroeger – Let Me Go
Butch Walker – Coming Home
Cub Sport – Paradise (new)
Emblem3 – 3,000 Miles
Hunter Hunted – Keep Together
Katy Perry – Unconditionally (new)
Kelly Clarkson – Underneath The Tree (new)
Lily Kershaw – As It Seems
Lorde – Team
Matt White – Gimme What You Got
OneRepublic – Something I Need
Olly Murs – Hand On Heart
Plain White T’s – The Giving Tree
Taylor Swift featuring Gary Lightbody – The Last Time
The Griswolds – Heart Of A Lion (new)
The Killers – Shot At The Night
The Preatures – Is This How You Feel? (new)
Vance Joy – Riptide
Yuna – Rescue

Chart Notes:

  • As I sit here writing all of this on the train ride back home, there’s a lot of CMJ Music Marathon madness on the brain. That would be the conference I was at all week, full of panels during the day and performances at night. Everything entering the In The Mix section this week except for Katy Perry and Kelly Clarkson’s new singles are all bands I saw live and enjoyed. Another group who opened a showcase, Basic Vacation, enters the Top 10 Next In Line, where NONONO also appears. Then, there’s the Australian sextet Sheppard, who benefitted quite a bit this week. After seeing them perform three times during the last five days, I figured a notch upward per performance was only fitting; thus, “Hold My Tongue” registers a rise from 8-5, becoming the group’s first top 5 single on my chart. This won’t be the last you’ll be seeing them on my blog in the next few days; trust me, there’s one whole post coming soon that I think you’ll enjoy.
  • Just behind them is the quartet that formed in Boston, now based in Brooklyn called American Authors, who jump from 10-6 with “Best Day Of My Life”. Their first single to reach my top ten has been picking up some real momentum lately; can it go all the way to the top? With a new music video out this week and a physical edition of their EP out on October 29, be on the lookout for some more action from this one.
  • Since I was at New York University for CMJ’s Music Marathon this week, I guess it’s only fitting that duo that attended NYU takes this week’s Biggest Mover on the countdown. A Great Big World climb from 35-29 with “Say Something”, their first chart single. It’s also currently making some moves on the Hot Adult Contemporary airplay chart.
  • This week’s Highest Debut belongs to Maroon 5, who now tack on an 18th top 40 hit to their chart record with “Lucky Strike”, entering this week at #39. It’s the fifth single from the band’s Overexposed, which was released last year. “Strike” is the followup to “Love Somebody”, which went to #7 for two weeks.
  • Also coming back to life this week is The Fray, debuting at #40 with “Love Don’t Die”. It’s their 10th single to reach my survey; two of those went to #1, 2006’s “How To Save A Life” and 2009’s “You Found Me”.

See my full chart on the M4BCC message board.

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ADAM’S TOP 40 FLASHBACK: October 18, 2003

Say what you want about these two.

Say what you want about these two.

Welcome back for another edition of Adam’s Top 40 Flashback! Every Saturday, the day before my new top 40 goes up for the week, I’ll be featuring a past countdown straight from chart files of Adam’s Top 40. They’re all here — the hit songs, the songs that flopped, and the songs that may be a little embarrassing to reflect on. This week, it’s back to eighth grade, probably the worst year of school ever. However, the music was still pretty good, with a lot of singer-songwriters and pure pop acts hitting it big on my survey. Here’s my chart from October 18, 2003:

Debuts:
33. EVANESCENCE, “My Immortal” (#1 for four weeks, December – January 2004)
22. NO DOUBT, “It’s My Life” (#1 for five weeks, November)

Biggest Mover(s):
BRITNEY SPEARS featuring MADONNA, “Me Against The Music” (29-18) (11 spots)

10. MATCHBOX TWENTY, “Bright Lights”
Rob Thomas and his band were still doing well in 2003 having just come off the success of the single “Unwell”. This third release from More Than You Think You Are was the biggest of the era on my chart, spending two weeks at #9 before falling to #10 this week. Four years later, the band would go to #1 for five weeks with “How Far We’ve Come”. They last charted earlier this year with the #21 single “Our Song”.

09. MARIA, “I Give, You Take”
Down from #5 after three weeks there, this was her only song to make my chart. “Take” garnered some airplay at the CHR format in the fall of 2003, but ultimately flopped after the folding of DreamWorks Records. There was a conspiracy theory for a while on one of the message boards I’m on that Maria was actually Samantha Mumba under another name, but that’s not true. They do look similar, however!

08. O.A.R., “Hey Girl”
After two weeks at #6, the first song to make my chart for this band from Rockville, MD fell to #8. After hitting it big with the college crowds, this was their first big attempt at breaking mainstream radio, and while it was a hit in some markets, it didn’t do well nationally. Luckily, “Shattered (Turn The Car Around)” changed all that, becoming their biggest success to date, with a #2 peak on my own personal chart.

07. NELLY FURTADO, “Powerless (Say What You Want)”
Moving up from #13 last week, this single led off her album Folklore, and I was really into it during the fall of 2003. I still think that it’s the best body of work of her career so far. It would end up peaking at #2. Sadly, the song and the era never took off in the U.S., and the singer was largely forgotten about until she roared back with 2006’s “Promiscuous”. She is currently working on a second Spanish album.

06. CLAY AIKEN, “Invisible”
Here’s the American Idol portion of our countdown; hey, someone had to make it possible. Taking a leap from 10-6 was Aiken’s first top ten single on my top 40; he had just missed it a few months earlier with “This Is The Night” (#12). “Invisible” is actually a remake of a single that originally charted earlier that summer by the Irish boy band D-Side; the song went to #7 in the United Kingdom and in Ireland.

05. MANDY MOORE, “Have A Little Faith In Me”
Moore, Moore, Moore. How do you like her? Well, I liked her a lot, especially this song originally done by John Hiatt and which she covered for her 2003 album appropriately titled Coverage. “Faith” was up 7-5 this week, which tied 2001’s “In My Pocket” for her highest peaking song on my survey. She last made my top 40 in 2007 with the #7 “Extraordinary”. She’ll be appearing in an upcoming TV film, The Advocates.

04. PINK, “Trouble”
The album was Try This, but though she tried, she and her label couldn’t get America on board with this era. “Trouble” had a huge debut on my chart, but quickly peaked out after it was clear that the song was faltering nationally. #4 would be as high as it went. Followup single “God Is A DJ” also quickly went top ten, but was largely ignored by U.S. radio. What a difference ten years makes; she’s absolutely crushing it now.

03. DIDO, “White Flag”
Now, the singer from England who made a name for herself on both sides of the Atlantic. After “Here With Me” and “Thank You” went top ten in 2000 and 2001, respectively, this final single (thus far) to rank from her was holding steady that week, but would climb to #2. A new studio album from her, Girl Who Got Away, was out earlier this year on RCA Records and a Greatest Hits album will be released in November.

02. MAROON 5, “Harder To Breathe”
Ah, yes, it was the debut hit for that pop/rock group out of California who seems to be more popular now than they ever were before. “Breathe” would spent five consecutive weeks at #2 on my chart, with this particular week being its final at the position. They would follow this up with two number-one singles in a row, “This Love” and “She Will Be Loved”. They’re about to chart with a new single, “Lucky Strike”.

01. FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE, “Stacy’s Mom”
Here it is ! #1 for a fifth consecutive week on my top 40 this week in 2003 might be the only song you know from this power pop quartet based out of New York City. Alternative radio picked up a few of their singles in the mid-to-late 90’s, but it was “Mom” that quickly took off with a mainstream audience. The song charted moderately well in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and here in the U.S., going to #21 on the Hot 100. A followup single, “Mexican Wine”, missed the top 20 on my survey in 2004. They haven’t charted since then.

Check back next Saturday for another Adam’s Top 40 Flashback and don’t forget to follow the blog by using the tab below or find PGTC on social media by clicking the “Get Social!” tab at the top of the page.

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SINGLE PREMIERE: Kelly Clarkson – “Underneath The Tree” (+ Lyrics)

Power to the "People".

Jingle Kells, jingle all the way.

“Tree” is an original song from Clarkson’s forthcoming Christmas album, Wrapped In Red, due in stores on October 29. The 14-song album is a mix of original compositions and covers, as well as duets with Ronnie Dunn and Reba McEntire/Trisha Yearwood.

Listen to “Underneath The Tree”. / Pre-order “Underneath The Tree” on iTunes.

“UNDERNEATH THE TREE” (3:49)

[Chorus]
You’re here where you should be
Snow is falling as the carolers sing
It just wasn’t the same
Alone on Christmas day
Presents, what a beautiful sight
Don’t mean a thing if you ain’t holding me tight
You’re all that I need
Underneath the tree

[Verse 1]
Tonight I’m gonna hold you close
Make sure that you know
I was lost before you
Christmas was cold and grey
Another holiday alone to celebrate
But then one day everything changed
You’re all I need
Underneath the tree

[Chorus]
You’re here where you should be
Snow is falling as the carolers sing
It just wasn’t the same
Alone on Christmas day
Presents, what a beautiful sight
Don’t mean a thing if you ain’t holding me tight
You’re all that I need
Underneath the tree

[Verse 2]
I found what I was looking for
A love that’s meant for me
A heart that’s mine completely
Knocked me right off my feet
And this year I will fall
With no worries at all
‘Cause you are mine and everything’s clear
You’re all I need
Underneath the tree

[Chorus]
You’re here where you should be
Snow is falling as the carolers sing
It just wasn’t the same
Alone on Christmas day
Presents, what a beautiful sight
Don’t mean a thing if you ain’t holding me tight
You’re all that I need
Underneath the tree

[Outro]
And then one day everything changed
You’re all I need
Underneath the tree

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ALBUM REVIEW: Katy Perry – PRISM

This is how she do.

This is how she do.

Somewhere over the (double) rainbow, way up high, there’s a leak that you’ve heard of once in a tweet gone by. That would happen to be the case with Katy Perry‘s third studio album, PRISM, which leaked onto the internet yesterday after an overseas release. You knew it was coming at some point. Her latest effort is a mix of bright 80’s influenced pop, dark club records and a over-reliance on emotional ballads. It covers the full spectrum of a prism itself, but with any mirrored image, the results may be somewhat distorted dependent on which angle you see it from.

Let’s start off with some colorful commentary about how well the album begins. Opener “Roar”, the first single, serves its purpose of being an anthemic song with an inspiring message about staying strong despite past difficulties and making your voice known to the world. Musically, it’s nothing new, but as a single, it appeals to a wide audience and has easily captured the attention of both the U.S. and the world. Perry also takes some time to branch out on songs like “Legendary Lovers”, in which she goes Bollywood. The Indian musical influences work nicely against a sometimes fast-paced delivery, reminiscent of Emblem3‘s minor hit of earlier this year, “Chloe (You’re The One I Want)”.

A step up from there are two consecutive songs that are dated in different eras. “Birthday”, the third track, combines the horns and groovy R&B rhythms of an early 80’s Earth, Wind and Fire or Evelyn “Champagne” King record with a bubbly vocal and lyric that loads on the cheese: “So, let me get you in your birthday suit/It’s time to bring out the big balloons.” Additionally, the digital single and track four, “Walking On Air”, is an inspired house record straight out of the gay clubs circa 1991. It’s a little bit CeCe Peniston, a pinch of Crystal Waters, and even some C+C Music Factory. Whoever you think it sounds like, get ready to vogue hardcore. Also worth noting is “International Smile”, which apparently goes “from L.A., Miami, to New York City” because apparently even domestic affairs are international now. It’s a fun little ditty with cheesy airplane PA system breaks that were probably better left to Scooch on 2007’s “Flying The Flag (For You)”. Whatever floats your boat… or flies your plane.

As much as we’d like the party to go on, that electric atmosphere is lost in an instant after “Smile” and never returns to the energy that the first half of the record carries. Instead, we’re left with a sequence of largely lifeless ballads and slower tracks that makes the end of the album rather empty. The production is still slick, and the vocals are generally passable, but something just feels like Perry and her team gave up on this and the drop-off is alarming. The best of the five tracks, and I say this very loosely, is the likable “This Moment”, where a catchy guitar line gives it a bit of a pulse, but whose “Yesterday is history/So, why don’t you be here with me now?” mentality leaves it nothing short of a reality television coronation song. Next.

Even some of the uptempos leave a lot to be desired. “This Is How We Do”, for example, is your basic throwaway club track with a record scratching effect straight out of Pac-Man; in other words, it’s “no big deal”, Perry’s own words. I do have to give the writers credit, however, for some pretty cool one liners like “Suckin’ real bad at Mariah karaoke.” Too bad a glowing review of this album is just a sweet, sweet fantasy, baby. In this same respect, I’m not the biggest fan of the urban feel of “Dark Horse”, but I won’t go off too much in that one. (Please go away, Juicy J.) I’ll just say that I would rather have seen something replaced with bonus track “Spiritual”, a passionate late 80’s experimental pop song that at least sparks a little bit of interest that was wiped off that face of hers.

With so much potential coming off the first eight songs or so, PRISM could have been a much bigger record overall, but struggles to keep your attention until the very end. The decision to release “Unconditionally” as the second single will ultimately be a costly one, but with “Roar” still tearing up the charts, it’s hard to imagine that the album won’t do well in the short term. It’s the long term that I’m worried about, which will ultimately bring up the “failure to live up to Teenage Dream” sentiment, but given the circumstances of that era, it may not be a fair comparison. Still, when we look back on the life and times of Katy Perry, PRISM will be yet another ray passing through of spectrum of her career — just one that’s not worth reflecting on.

Listen to Prism on SoundCloud. / Pre-order Prism on iTunes.

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SINGLE PREMIERE: Katy Perry – “Unconditionally” (+ Lyrics)

The pop princess of Prism.

The pop princess of Prism.

“Unconditionally” is the second radio single from her Katy Perry‘s upcoming album, Prism, due October 22, with first single “Roar” topping a number of radio charts and the Hot 100. The song was written by Perry, Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald, Max Martin and Henry “Cirkut” Walter and produced by Gottwald and Walter.

(Special thanks to Adam Pyarali!)

Listen to “Unconditionally”. / Pre-order “Unconditonally” and Prism on iTunes.

“UNCONDITIONALLY” (3:48)

[Verse 1]
Oh no, did I get too close?
Oh, did I almost see
What’s really on the inside
All your insecurities
All the dirty laundry
Never made me blink one time

[Chorus]
Unconditional, unconditionally
I will love you unconditionally
There is no fear now
Let go and just be free
I will love you unconditionally

[Verse 2]
Come just as you are to me
Don’t need apologies
Know that you are a worthy
I’ll take your bad days with your good
Walk through this storm, I would
I do it all because I love you
I love you

[Chorus]
Unconditional, unconditionally
I will love you unconditionally
There is no fear now
Let go and just be free
I will love you unconditionally

[Middle 8]
So open up your heart and just let it begin
Open up your heart and just let it begin (x2)
Open up your heart

Acceptance is the key to be
To be truly free
Will you do the same for me?

[Chorus]
Unconditional, unconditionally
I will love you unconditionally
And there is no fear now
Let go and just be free
I will love you unconditionally (oh yeah)

I will love you (x3)
Unconditionally

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SINGLE PREMIERE: The Fray – “Love Don’t Die” (+ Lyrics)

Just press Fray.

Just press Fray.

They ran for their lives and they’re back for more. That’s just the way The Fray rolls, or rather, runs. The Colorado quartet consisting of Joe King, Isaac Slade, Dave Welsh, Ben Wysocki is prepping their fourth studio album and followup to last year’s Scars & Stories. “Love” is our first taste of that, with a likely album release very late this year or early next year. Enjoy!

Listen to “Love Don’t Die”. / See The Fray on Livestream beginning at 5:30 PM EDT. / Buy “Love Don’t Die” on iTunes.

“LOVE DON’T DIE”

[Verse 1]
If I know one thing that’s true
It ain’t what you say, it’s what you do
And you don’t say much, yeah that’s true
But I listen when you do

[Bridge]
A thousand years go by
But love don’t die

[Verse 2]
If I know one thing that’s true
It’s that I’m never leaving you
And you don’t say much, yeah that’s true
But I lose it when you do

[Bridge 2]
Don’t let them tell no lies
Love don’t die

[Chorus]
No matter where we go (ah-ah-ah)
Or even if we don’t (ah-ah-ah-ah)
And even if they try (ah-ah-ah)
They’ll never take my body from your side
Love don’t die

[Verse 3]
If there is one thing, that’s true
It’s not what I say, it’s what I do
And I say too much, yeah, that’s true
So just listen to what I do

[Bridge]
A thousand years go by
But love don’t die

[Chorus]
No matter where we go (ah-ah-ah)
Or even if we don’t (ah-ah-ah-ah)
And even if they try (ah-ah-ah)
They’ll never take my body from your side
Love don’t die

[Middle 8]
She can break it up
Shake your money down
You can box it in
Bury it in the ground
You can close it off
And turn it away
Try to keep it down
Six feet in the ground
But love don’t die

[Chorus]
No matter where we go (ah-ah-ah)
Or even if we don’t (ah-ah-ah-ah)
And even if they try (ah-ah-ah)
They’ll never take my body from your side
Love don’t die

[Chorus – variation]
No matter where we go (ah-ah-ah)
Or even if we don’t (ah-ah-ah-ah)
I’d like to watch them try (ah-ah-ah)
They’ll never take my body from your side
Love don’t die

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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (October 15)

The Bolt and the Beautiful.

The Bolt and the Beautiful.

Get jelly of this release schedule because we’re about to Jam out in the middle of Q4. Here are all the albums and singles you need to know about for the week of October 15:

  • With the tenth studio album in their illustrious career, Eddie Vedder and his band, Pearl Jam, are out with the highly-anticipated Lightning Bolt. The album features the Alternative hits “Mind Your Manners” and “Sirens”. Look for this to be a potential contender for #1 next week. (iTunes)
  • From The Beatles to Wings and his own solo projects, Paul McCartney‘s been making music for over 50 years now. His latest album is New, with the title track recently garnering some Adult Contemporary airplay. It’ll attract a good crowd, probably aiming for a top 5 debut on the album chart if not higher. (iTunes)
  • Singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw attempts to Make A Move with his fifth album, featuring lead single “Best I Ever Had”. Reaction’s been mixed on this one, but a top ten entry seems like it could happen. (iTunes) (Read my review!)
  • Just ahead of the premiere of the VH1’s CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story, TLC is out with a greatest hits effort, TLC 20, featuring a new single “Meant To Be” along with all the hits you know and love. (iTunes)
  • Fall Out Boy is following their album of earlier this year, Save Rock And Roll, with a new EP titled Pax Am Days. The 8-track effort was co-produced with Ryan Adams. (iTunes)
  • Two big acts from the airwaves of Adult Alternative radio are stringing together some sensational albums this week. Take a listen to Magpie And The Dandelion by The Avett Brothers (iTunes) and Let’s Be Still by The Head And The Heart, the latter performing at CMJ this week (iTunes).
  • In the world of Country music, check out former American Idol winner Scotty McCreery‘s second album See You Tonight (iTunes), singer-songwriter Will Hoge‘s Never Give In (iTunes) and the legend himself, Willie Nelson‘s To All The Girls… (iTunes). McCreery is the only one with a single in the Country top 40 at the moment, the title track, although his first week sales will be significantly lower than with his first album.
  • …and in the Christmas music report, one of the potentially bigger albums of the season is released this week. It’s R&B singer Mary J. Blige‘s A Mary Christmas (iTunes). Sorry, no odes to crispy chicken wraps on this one.
  • Other albums out this week include Anberlin‘s Devotion (iTunes), Basic Vacation‘s self-titled EP (iTunes), Diane Birch‘s Speak A Little Louder (iTunes), Glenn Lewis‘s Moment Of Truth (iTunes) and Toad The Wet Sprocket‘s New Constellation (iTunes).

New digital-only singles that you can buy this week include:

  • “All That Matters”, another Music Mondays track from Justin Bieber. (iTunes)
  • “Let Me Go”, a duet between Avril Lavigne and Nickelback‘s Chad Kroeger from Lavigne’s forthcoming self-titled album. (iTunes) (Lyrics here!)
  • “Rap God”, a digital single from rapper Eminem. (iTunes)
  • “White Christmas”, a classic cover from Kelly Clarkson‘s forthcoming Christmas album, Wrapped In Red. (iTunes)

Next week is all about Katy Perry‘s PRISM! Find out about it and new albums from Andrea Bocelli and Brett Dennen and an EP from Fifth Harmony in seven.

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CMJ PREVIEW: Ten Acts On My List To See

Start spreading the news… yes, if you haven’t heard already, I’ll be attending my first CMJ Music Marathon this year in New York City. I’m very excited for the conference and can’t wait to see (and maybe even meet) some emerging artists and bands as well as some Adam’s Top 40 favorites. There’s a few of them in the mix! In the meantime, take a look at these ten acts I definitely want to check out before the week is over.

NOTE: A full list of panels and showcases is available on the CMJ website. Please be aware some times may change and that not all events have been updated, so be sure to check back for more updates.

On the Holiday Road to stardom.

Vacation, all we ever wanted.

BASIC VACATION

I wrote about this trio last week in anticipation for their performance at CMJ. Chris Greatti, Jon Paul and Mike Montalbano are signed to a relatively new label, Atom Factory Music, which will be working in conjunction with Capitol’s radio department to break their single, “I Believe”, at Alternative radio into early next year. A likely pop crossover should follow.

Performing at: Bowery Ballroom (Wednesday night)

Who's that girl.

Who’s that girl.

BETTY WHO

Remember this viral marriage proposal of a few weeks ago? Who’s pop anthem “Somebody Loves You” was featured in it, and 10 million views later, Who is the most recent signee of RCA Records, who rereleased her EP The Movement and put her on a small radio tour recently. The 22-year-old looks forward to releasing a full-length album next year under her new label.

Performing at: Pianos (Wednesday night) and Westway (Friday night)

The Birch is back.

The Birch is back.

DIANE BIRCH

I was a fan of Birch’s 2009 single “Nothing But A Miracle” and enjoyed the song’s parent album, Bible Belt. You might also remember her song “Valentino”, which was promoted in conjunction with the 2010 film Valentine’s Day. Fusing jazz and soul music, her album was a critical success, and she returns with Speak A Little Louder, her second release for S Curve Records.

Performing at: Gramercy Theater (Wednesday night)

Caught in the "Sun".

They’re Hall the rage around here.

GENTLEMEN HALL

I covered these Boston boys back in January as they released “Sail Into The Sun”. You may recognize it as the song featured in a Target campaign this past Spring and it picked up some airplay at Alternative radio. A handful of their songs have been considered for my chart, but “Sun” was the first to hit the top 40. Their bright pop sound is awesome and translates well live.

Performing at: The Studio at Webster Hall (Friday night)

"High Hopes" for a solid performance.

“High Hopes” for a solid performance.

KODALINE

Out of Dublin, Ireland, this four-man band was first known as 21 Demands before changing their name. Although they’ve done particularly well in their native country with singles like “High Hopes” and achieved some additional success in Europe, they have yet to find a following in the United States. Perhaps this will change after a few showcases in the next week or so.

Performing at: Bowery Ballroom (Wednesday night) and Santos Party House (Thursday night)

Yes, yes, yes.

Yes, yes, yes.

NONONO

Time to whistle while you work your first single, am I right? The two man, one woman group from Sweden is getting pumped for a U.S. performance, which is sure to include their current single on the Alternative chart, “Pumpin’ Blood”. It stands in the top 30 at the moment. Their label, Warner Bros. Records, is also prepping a pop crossover for the song later this month.

Performing at: Mercury Lounge (Tuesday night)

Orbiting the musical planets.

Orbiting the musical planets.

SATELLITE

This quartet is yet another PGTC Profile act with their post coming in July; it was just a few weeks before the radio servicing of their single “Say The Words”, which just missed the top 30 on the AAA survey last month. It’s now declining in spins, but still in the top 50. Featuring band member Mitch Allan, formerly of the rock band SR-71, I’m really liking their sound so far.

Performing at: Arlene’s Grocery and Rockwood Music Hall – Stage 1 (Saturday night)

Everybody's flocking to them.

An “Easy” decision to make.

SHEPPARD

These guys are the reason I found out about CMJ in the first place. They first got my attention back in late April, then I took a few listens to their self-titled EP and I’ve been loving them since. The sextet has charted two consecutive top ten singles on my top 40: “Let Me Down Easy” (#10) and now “Hold My Tongue” (#8 and climbing). I can’t wait to finally see them live!

Performing at: The Studio at Webster Hall (Tuesday night)Pianos (Friday afternoon), Sullivan Hall (Friday night) and The Delancey (Saturday afternoon)

"Heart" of the chart.

In the “Heart” of the city.

THE GRISWOLDS

I guess I have a thing for those Australian acts, don’t I? I did a small bit on these guys when “Heart Of A Lion” went to Alternative radio back in August, although it never actually did any damage. They recently uploaded a video for their second single, “Mississippi”, which originates from the same EP as “Lion”. Sorry, there’s no colored powder party in this one.

Performing at: Pianos (Tuesday night), Pianos (Wednesday night), Santos Party House (Thursday night) and The Delancey (Saturday afternoon)

Traveling across the "Miles".

Traveling across the “Miles”.

VANESSA CARLTON

You know her well for hits like “A Thousand Miles” and “Ordinary Day”, the latter going to #1 on my chart in the fall of 2002. An album, Be Not Nobody, was certified Platinum that year. Carlton’s major label career declined quickly after her debut era, but she’s been releasing independently for several years now. Now, she takes to stage to play the hits and more.

Performing at: Highline Ballroom (Tuesday night)

Who else will make my schedule? A little Sisqo belting out “Thong Song” on Thursday night? Maybe the pop sounds of Sweden’s Like Swimming on Friday? I’ll be sure to recap all my adventures here on POP! Goes The Charts as the week goes on. See you in New York City!

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