Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Voice U.S. S5 Recap: Vague Amii Stewart Reference

In case you care, the title makes very vague reference to the disco classic "Knock On Wood" by Amii Stewart (You just got learned). Also, the Knockout rounds aren't very pun friendly and I wouldn't want to bore you with boxing references as titles. Tonight marked the final set of Knockouts for S5 of The Voice. Having been knocked out and wanting to knock out the coaches for their decisions last night, I was hoping that tonight would leave me with more satisfied results. These are the nouns, gerunds, pronouns and of course marklar that transpired on tonight's episode...

Let's play rough and get it on!

First up, Lina Gaudenzi vs. Preston Pohl (Adam). Lina chose "I'd Rather Go Blind" by Etta James. A rather ballsy song choice, but she gets told to focus on doing the right things with the song. Preston chose "No Woman, No Cry" by Bob Marley. He wanted to to show his reggae side, but Adam was briefly nervous because the song is very low key [which may result in a boring performance]. The round commences and Lina sounded her best (Graded against herself, of course.) but not stellar enough to win anyone over to me. Preston then took the stage and he sounded like he has in past performances. This isn't too bad because he has consistency; versatility is something he needs to work on as soon as possible. The coaches give their banter and Adam ended up picking Preston to advance to the Live shows. Lina ends up eliminated but she went out with a marked improvement to her name; more than I ever expected *shaaaaaaaaaaaade*

Second, E.G. Daily vs. Ray Boudreaux (Blake). E.G. chose "I Can't Make You Love Me" by Bonnie Raitt. She loves her some Bonnie Raitt;  Ray chose "Hard to Handle" by Otis Redding. This was Cody Belew's audition song, so he had some living up to do. The round commenced and E.G. sounded angelic singing her favorite country artist [most likely]. Ray then took the stage and dared tempt me to mute my TV. His rendition was so emotionless, I was wondering if Cody's golden rollerskates lost their luster when he fucked up that song (Luckily, they didn't but Ray must be sentenced Capital Punishment for his sins against the TV Lord). The coaches give their two cents and Blake ends up picking Ray to advance to the Live shows. E.G. Daily was robbed as neither Adam or X-Tina stole her. This was sad as E.G. was really the only Team Blake person I liked genuinely.

Third, Anthony Paul vs. Jacquie Lee (X-Tina). Anthony chose "The Other Side" by Jason Derulo. His song choice raised concern for X-Tina because she can't take the song choice seriously (I agree). Jacquie chose "Stompa" by Serena Ryder. She's essentially told to be as ballsy as her song choice [frankly, I'm surprised she knew of this song.] The round commences and Anthony sounded too nasal and couldn't project through the song. A case of terrible song choice strikes again. Jacquie takes the stage and she surprised me by being really clean yet unique. The coaches give their vantages over what happened, and X-Tina ends up picking Jacquie to advance to the Live shows. Anthony ends up being eliminated and I am not shocked in the least.

Fourth, Stephanie Anne Johnson vs. Tamara Chauniece (Cee-Lo). Stephanie chose "Don't Know Why" by Norah Jones. This song is tough because Norah's version is completely different than what Stephanie offered. Admittedly, I thought it was OK on the surface. Tamara chose "No One" by Alicia Keys. The Voice and Alicia Keys songs don't always benefit the artists who do it, so this was scary. The round commenced and Stephanie sounded very pleasant. It isn't vulnerable like Jones did it, but Stephanie sounded very clean and very ethereal for most of the performance. Tamara then took the stage and while she was being slinky, I was surprised that she was able to benefit from doing an Alicia Keys song. Her cleanness made this match so even. The coaches give their perspective on what happened and Cee-Lo ends up picking Tamara to advance to the Live shows. Stephanie ends up being stolen back by X-Tina. O_O Honestly, I wasn't mad at this, but honestly this is the only match in The Voice I declared even.

Fifth, James Wolpert vs. Juhi Pathak (Adam). The ugly match of S5 over fandoms. James chose "More Than A Feeling" by Boston. He's told to keep up with the song and not end up fender ketchup. Juhi chose "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye...as done by Clearwater Creedence Revival [or however it's said]. She's told to not be flat while singing it. The round commenced and James kind of botched it; so many missed high notes despite his lung capacity. Juhi then the took the stage and was fabulous as she conveyed more grittiness than previously inferred. The coaches gave their take on who should've emerged victorious and Adam ends up picking James to advance to the Live shows. Oh this hurt bad as Juhi was screwed out of more on The Voice. This decision may or may not have Twitter friend of mine, @ImageFighter13, crying uncontrollably [don't blame me; don't be angry...OK; simmer down].

Sixth, Austin Jenckes vs. Brandon Chase (Blake). Austin chose "I'll Be" by Edwin McCain. He was mainly inspired by his deceased father and made a love song a father-son devotion song. Admittedly I think he had edge because he had motivation to it. Brandon chose "Even If It Breaks Your Heart" by the Eli Young Band. He's given credit for his attempt at range but is told not to end up fender ketchup. The round commenced and Austin sounded as great he did in his initial rehearsals. Consistency does mean something in this case. Brandon then took the stage and he hits some bum notes when his lower register was showcased and the rest of his performance was bland to me. The coaches try to enlighten the decision making, and Blake ends up picking Austin to advance to the Live shows. He had motivation on his side, so I wasn't that surprised. Brandon ended up being ousted from the competition.

Seventh, Caroline Pennell vs. George Horga Jr. (Cee-Lo). Caroline chose "The Way I Am" by Ingrid Michaelson. This is the best choice for her. It's whimsy but without its nauseating tendencies. George chose "Because of You" by Ne-Yo. He's told to make use of the stage. The round commenced and Caroline sounded the best she has to date and honestly, this is adding her previous efforts (And even better, she no longer has the nervous system of a leaf.) George takes the stage and he sounded competent but nowhere near good enough to garner favor with me. The coaches give their take [and adorable Shevine fodder] and Cee-Lo ends up picking Caroline to advance to the Live shows. DUH; she sang a song that worked 110% for her. George ends up eliminated (Oh no; what a travesty; think of the children not affected by this...oh dear...-_-)

Closing out the Knockouts of S5, Matthew Schuler vs. Will Champlin (X-Tina). Matthew chose "Cosmic Love" by Florence + The Machine. DAMN...anyone who takes on a Florence + The Machine song gets credit in my book. He's told to pace himself because Florence Welch does not make any song she sings easy. Will chose "When I Was Your Man" by Bruno Mars. He's told not to be a copycat of Bruno Mars whilst singing and be vulnerable. The round commences and Matthew sounded like he knew what he was doing whilst singing. For God's sake, the man's jaw looked unhinged when he hit the high note O_O (Yeesh; you're not at the doctor's office with a tongue depressor in your mouth.) Will took the stage and his rendition marked against himself is improved, but not by much. The coaches give their final bits of banter for the Knockouts and X-Tina ends up picking Matthew to advance to the Live shows. Will ends up being stolen back by Adam because he had to steal someone. No T, No Shade but that's what it was.

All in all, this show is still going to be in my heart but the Live shows better make up for the overall taste of Knockout rounds this season. Round 2 was better, but I can never forgive the Round 1 atrocities.

Up next for scrutiny, the Live Playoffs (Side note: who the hell came up with adding sports references to singing competitions? Can they be court martialed or some shit?)

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Voice U.S. S5 Recap: Vague Thunderdome Reference

2 singers enter; 1 singer emerges victorious...unless they get stolen one last time. Yes that vague as fuck "Thunderdome" reference alongside remembering that steals are going to be included in the Knockouts from this season on, are signs The Voice put on an intended nail biting episode for all to enjoy. These are the marklar, gerunds, nouns and such that transpired in round 1 of the Knockouts...

Let's play rough and get it on!

First up was Amber Nicole vs. Josh Logan (X-Tina). Amber chose "Mama Knows Best" by Jessie J. Initial rehearsals indicated she'd have to combat being sharp. Josh chose "Living For The City" by Stevie Wonder. Josh's initial rehearsal got the "Don't psyche yourself out" treatment (Even though I wanted Amber to whip his ass cleanly). The Knockouts start and Amber has sass on her side to make a Jessie J song enjoyable (Can she be made a saint for that?). Josh then gave his response and while competent, he didn't seem to have passion to coincide with it [*FUN Fact = "Competent" when used by singing critics equals "You didn't suck, but I wouldn't buy your album."*] The coaches give their piece and X-Tina picks Josh to carry to the Live shows (Great X-Tina...thanks so much). Cee-Lo and Blake opt to steal Amber but she knows better and picks Cee-Lo.

Second, Kat Robichaud vs. Monika Leigh (Cee-Lo). Kat chose "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morissette. Monika chose "Hit The Road Jack" by Ray Charles. Kat sounded mediocre and Monika sounded a little too clean for the song. The round commences and "CopyKat" lives up to her name as she tries to give Michelle "Amazing Human" Chamuel realness. Monika then took the stage and was giving some Peggy Lee "Fever" realness; slinky [sexy] enough to win over fans. The coaches give their opinions and Cee-Lo picks Kat to advance to the Live shows. That was beyond wrong on so many levels. Anywho, Monika is sent packing and I was left a little sad.

Third, Holly Henry vs. Nic Hawk (Blake). Holly chose "Creep" by Radiohead. Holly got some pitch critiques and was told more or less "Don't become fender ketchup". Nic chose "Genie In A Bottle" by X-Tina. He's second and that's all he deserves *shaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaade*. The round commences and Holly gives some "Haunted Doll" realness to her performance even though she sounded a little swallowed by the song. Again, Nic was second and that's all he deserves. The coaches give their take on what transpired and Blake picked Nic to advance to the Live shows. Was I high? No, Blake fucked up royally and Holly was eliminated.

Fourth, Ashley DuBose vs. Tessanne Chin (Adam). Ashley chose "Hey Soul Sister" by Train. Ashley's intent is to exude more whimsy and be less cold seeming [I think she's fine before singing Train, but hey.] Tessanne chose "What Doesn't Kill You Make You Stronger" by Kelly Clarkson. Tessanne struggled in rehearsals and was told to take care of her voice. The round kicks off and Ashley sounds very clean and poised despite the wanting to exude whimsy. Tessanne took the stage and I didn't care that much what she did. The coaches gave their perspectives as to who should win, Adam picks Tessanne to advance to the Live shows. Ashley isn't stolen and I was disgusted. Really?! Really?! Ugh...

Fifth, Briana Cuoco vs. Shelbie Z. (Blake). Briana chose "Don't Speak" by No Doubt. Briana was told to give more substance to her singing for this song. Shelbie chose "Last Name" by Carrie Underwood. Shelbie pulls a Mason-Dixon Barbie...err Olivia Henken and brags about singing this song in contests and winning. As she struggled in rehearsals, I thought to myself "Hubris shall be her downfall." The round starts as Briana gives the best singing she has to date. Shelbie then takes the stage and was good, but considering the underdog thing Briana came in with, I was hoping her No Doubt cover would hold. The coaches give their two cents, and Blake ends up picking Shelbie to advance to the live shows. Briana was sent home and Lyndsey Parker was right again. Blake has never picked a steal in the Knockout rounds.

Sixth, Grey vs. James Irwin (Adam). Grey chose "Already Gone" by Kelly Clarkson. Grey was told in initial rehearsals to keep up with this song choice. James chose "Breakeven" by The Script. James' initial critique was told to give more ferocity with his song choice. I was scared for him because he and The Script songs do not equal success. The round commenced and Grey sounded too subdued and icy on a Kelly Clarkson song. Credit to her lung capacity, but that's about it. James had a signature tone to the song and I thought that spelled victory for him. The coaches divulge their thoughts and Adam picks Grey to advance to the Live shows. Then, James isn't stolen and I was floored. He was robbed on a deserted highway.

Seventh, Destinee Quinn vs. Olivia Henken (X-Tina). Destinee chose "See You Again" by Carrie Underwood. Olivia chose "You're No Good" by Linda Ronstadt . Ugh; if they could both leave, I'd be the happiest lark at the Swear Ball EXTRAVAGANZA *shaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaade*. They both gave their performances but I thought neither was stellar. I did want Destinee to win because she isn't a Mason-Dixon Barbie. The coaches gave their perspectives over everything and X-Tina picked Olivia to advance to the Live shows. Enjoy 4th place again, X-Tina. Destinee is eliminated and while not disappointing, this night kept sucking.

Finally, Cole Vosbury vs. Jonny Gray (Cee-Lo). Cole chose "Let Her Go" by Passenger. Cole wanted his song choice to be better known to the public. Jonny chose "We Can Work It Out". The round commenced and Cole sounded tranquil but not captivating enough to me. Jonny took the stage and despite the vibrato friendly rendition given, he does sound pleasing enough to reel everyone in. The coaches give their take on things and Cee-Lo picks Jonny to advance to the Live shows. Cole ends up getting stolen, but Jonny is picked and THANK GOD I was not wrong. Adam and Blake vie to steal Cole (And where the hell were you for Ashley, James or Monika?!) and Cole picks Blake.

All in all, though things are going to remain ugly/enjoyable as far as seeing how these pairings will play out, this was the worst Knockout set of The Voice U.S.

Up next for scrutiny, the Knockouts Part 2.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Voice U.S. S5 Knockout Roster

http://t.co/GJfQGAPa63 Courtesy of The Voice U.S. Twitter account, Entertainment Weekly has the Knockout Round pairings of Season 5. These are the intended marklar squaring off...

Anthony Paul vs. Jacquie Lee (X-Tina)

Caroline Pennell vs. George Horga Jr. (Cee-Lo)

 Kat Robichaud vs. Monika Leigh (Cee-Lo)

James Wolpert vs. Juhi Pathak (Adam)

 Briana Cuoco vs. Shelbie Z. (Blake)

Matthew Schuler vs. Will Champlin (X-Tina)

 E.G. Daily vs. Ray Boudreaux (Blake)

Ashley DuBose vs. Tessanne Chin (Adam)

Lina Gaudenzi vs. Preston Pohl (Adam)

Destinee Quinn vs. Olivia Henken (X-Tina)

Holly Henry vs. Nic Hawk (Blake)

Austin Jenckes vs. Brandon Chase (Blake)

Grey Paluszynski vs. James Irwin (Adam)

Cole Vosbury vs. Jonny Gray (Cee-Lo)

 Stephanie Anne Johnson vs. Tamara Chauniece (Cee-Lo)

 Amber Nicole vs. Josh Logan (X-Tina)

So far, people are fuming over the pairing of James and Juhi, but I think the overall roster may piss off Yahoo's Lyndsey Parker the most.

So all in all, this set of Knockout Rounds will look to get ugly on Twitter. I can't wait to see how this turns out but holy hell, will this cause something to erupt.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Voice U.S. S5 Recap: Elections of Manchurian Candidates

Some of the contestants do seem to give some puppet state of Manchukuo realness (Look it up through Google. Though don't fret; my nerdy ass is still shady enough for recaps). Another acceptable title would've been "The Battle of San Juan HELL...Another Montage". Apart from the inferred montage of certain contestants, tonight marked the final round of Battles on The Voice. These are the nouns, pronouns, gerunds and marklar that occurred on tonight's episode.

Let's play rough and get it on!

First to get their Sino/Japanese war realness on was Jonny Gray & Shawn "Big Sexy" Smith of Team Cee-Lo. They were given "Refugee" by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. The huskiness in Shawn's voice had me side with him because going into this, I didn't know what to make of their duel. Jonny had a little issue with timing and authority but to be honest I didn't know how to go into this battle. The battle commences and Jonny did improve from his initial rehearsals but Shawn did bring his initial command and whipped something up "Big Sexy Fierce" (Yes that will be a thing now; fuck off if you hate it). After the coaches give their banter, Cee-Lo ends up picking Jonny to win. Because all the other coaches wasted steals on the likes of Lina Gaudenzi, Will Champlain and Nic Hawk, Big Sexy was eliminated (And "Big Sexy Fierce" is no longer a thing).

Second to duke it out before the Court of Public Opinion, Barry Black & Preston Pohl of Team Adam. They were given "I Wish it Would Rain" by the Temptations. Eh, these two are evenly matched but I can't with either of them. Barry is a bit too "trumpet mouth" for me and Preston never impressed me that much. I do give them credit for having fun in their initial rehearsals. The battle commences and they both sound competent but not captivating (And yes, Barry did that goddamn trumpet trick again). After the coaches give their takes on who should be named the victor, Adam ends up picking Preston to win. And now a funeral horn for Barry *shaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaade*.

Oh joy; oh rapture...the person responsible for another montage. These are the nouns and such that triumphed over their competitors in their Battles...

Holly Henry and Cilla Chan of Team Blake. They sang "Torn" by Natalie Imbruglia. Holly wins.

Emily Randolph and Brandon Chase of Team Blake. They sang "Tiny Dancer" by Elton John. Brandon wins.

Tamara Chauniece and Keaira LaShae of Team Cee-Lo. They sang "Big Girls Don't Cry" by Fergie. Tamara wins.

Emily, Cilla and Keaira were double montage victims...ouch.

Good luck in the Knockout Rounds to those that won..."Some T, Some Shade".

Finally, the Battles of S5 closed with Stephanie-Anne Johnson & Mason-Dixon Barbie...err Olivia Henken of Team X-Tina. They were given "Done" by The Band Perry. Even though Olivia felt right at home singing country bait, Stephanie showed more potential from the get-go. When X-Tina suggested the key be raised and letting the band finish before their last note...Olivia was shown to suck. The battle commenced and I realized that either way Olivia was still going to be in the competition. Stephanie proceeds to put Barbie back on the shelf as she made this song her own. After the coaches give their piece, X-Tina picks Olivia to win. X-Tina needed a screw-up at some point. Cee-Lo uses the last steal of the battles on Stephanie.

All in all, the Knockouts will have steals this season (And I'm scared Nic Hawk may be stolen again and that Tessanne will assume her most deviant form as she reincarnates as HRFH. O_O) and I cannot wait to see how things turn out.

Next up for scrutiny, the Knockout Rounds Part 1.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Voice U.S. S5 Recap: Persians and Lydians

This Battle Round's episode recap title comes from the most famed misinterpretation from the Oracle of Delphi (Don't fall asleep, motherfucker.) The Lydian king sought the Oracle of Delphi (That being Greek mythology realness; and I said to NOT fall asleep) because he wanted to wage war against the Persians. The Oracle said, "You will destroy a great kingdom". He thought it was the Persians and lo and behold, the Lydians were tiger-fucked out of existence.
That applies to tonight's episode as some people were tiger-fucked out of existence as Adam, Cee-Lo, X-Tina and Blake dwindled their teams yet again. These are the nouns, pronouns and such that transpired on the 3rd round of battles.

Let's play rough and get it on! (SPECIAL Note: Today just so happens to be my 23rd birthday. Huzzah and shit!)

First to get their Battle of Thymbra on (Yes, I did keep the Persian and Lydian theme going. Don't fall asleep, bitch.) was Josh Logan & Michael Lynch of Team X-Tina. They were given "Harder to Breathe" by Maroon 5. For those that forgot, Michael was the white guy who loves him some Latin music. Their beef with the song was that it was too wordy or hard to sing live -_-. The battle commences and I was wondering if Michael could actually commit to an all English song. Although not awful, I couldn't hear Michael commit to the song like I sensed. Josh isn't getting my votes but I think he won this. After the coaches give their 2 cents, X-Tina ends up picking Josh to win. Michael ends up not being stolen and goes home.

Second up for scrutiny, George Horga Jr. & Juhi of Team Cee-Lo. They were given "The Best I've Ever Had" by Gavin DeGraw. I was rooting for Juhi because she sounds better and has awesome hair. George struggles with the high note he's given for his section of the song. Juhi just had to not have a mental breakdown...and also be consistent along with enunciating her words. The battle commences and Juhi seems to have George tiger-fucked for her amusement (It isn't MrSwearword V.S. Everyone for nothing). After the coaches say who they think rocked it out and such, Cee-Lo ends up picking George to win. Cee-Lo, you are an idiot. Adam then makes my day by stealing Juhi for his team. I believe he was the one that asked her what type of artist she wanted to be (Though the thought of a Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse mashup just creeps me out) so this could be beneficial on both ends.

Third of the night was Austin Jenckes & Brian Pounds of Team Blake. They were given "To Love Somebody" by the BeeGees. Cher dictates Austin to not give away all of his tactics when he starts singing. Brian was told not to be cerebral (He's into country music; this should not be an issue.) Brian then takes initiative in the final rehearsal to ditch his guitar and just try singing (Funny how that happens on The Voice). The battle commenced and I found the same thing I found when Justin Chain and Shelbie Z. faced off; Brian is cuter but Austin will be the one that'll smoke his ass like brisket (I do know some good country things; like food). After the coaches gave their vantages, Blake ends up picking Austin to win. Brian ends up going home, but hey...I thought he was cute.

Fourth to battle was James Irwin & Matt Cermanski of Team Adam. They were given "Counting Stars" by OneRepublic. The song is about Ryan Tedder's struggle to get into music because he got hitched young. James was fine in his initial rehearsal. Ryan critiqued him to not "hang" on every word...yes it's Ryan's song, but James was fine. Matt wanted a different key, but could be in the same tone as the prompt called. Rehearsals indicate that James was the one who needed to maintain consistency to win. The battle commenced and Matt seemed to drop too many notes when his voice was lower. James added a type of allure not many men are capable of whilst singing. Surprisingly, this seemed even on the surface for a Battle Round. After the coaches gave their perspectives, Adam picks James to win. Matt can credit himself for being slightly under the comeback kid umbrella but tastes defeat and heads home.

Fifth, Destinee Quinn & Lina Gaudenzi of Team X-Tina. They were given "Not Ready to Make Nice" by The Dixie Chicks. I don't like either one of them and they could both go home...but I thought Destinee was more tolerable from the beginning. Both are scolded for not sounding pissed off enough with a song that has rage in it. I agree; they were much too inviting and warm in the beginning. When X-Tina sang the song in final rehearsals it showcased that these two were the weakest singers she had on her team. The battle commenced and they both sounded improved graded against themselves. Destinee gained favor with me for sounding stronger than she had (Lina still sounded like a goat and not in a good Shakira way.) After the coaches gave their opinions, X-Tina ended up picking Destinee to win. Adam screws up by stealing Lina for his team. 4 out of 5 at this point is about average for me.

Finally, James Wolpert & Will Champlin of Team Adam. They were given "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons. James sounds better than Will in initial rehearsals. Apparently nerves = pitch issues (You Just Got Learned) and James needs "emotive" issues resolved and not sounding heartless. Will improved in final rehearsals and James got lectured by Ryan Tedder for using vibrato too much (You wrote and sang "Apologize", Ryan. You have no place to comment over monotony and/or tone.) The battle commenced and I feared that with Lina being stolen, an undeserved elimination of James would occur. The singing proved that I had nothing to worry about; I found Will too muffled at first and then just rubbish. After the coaches gave their banter and such, Adam ends up picking James to win. Will ends up being stolen last minute by X-Tina (Great job, X-Tina...you were so close to doing the right thing, but noooooooooooooo. -_-)

All in all, some birthday present from a TV show, eh?

Up next for scrutiny, The Battle Rounds Part 4.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

W.W.C.I.I.T.M.I. Post 13: Britney Spears

This is a series dedicated to women who despite success in the U.S. Music Industry, have est. a very complicated image for themselves.

Round 13 of this series goes to the woman BuzzFeed contributor Matt Stopera considers his Lord and Savior. Nicknamed "Godney" and the "Holy SPEARit", this entry is going to the woman with the most U.S. Music Industry success I can think of RE: the women I've covered thus far...Britney Spears.
Along with Rihanna, Britney has the most albums to date of any of the W.W.C.I.I.T.M.I. to date, though a recently announced album title, Britney Jean, will put her ahead.

First thing's first...yes; this is the woman who started off in the 90s relaunch of The Mickey Mouse Club (Right as it was about to feel the ax of cancellation.) that would also launch X-Tina, Keri Russell, Who's That From The Notebook, Justin Timberlake and even Tony Lucca (The Voice S2 does count as a launching pad...even for "Dads with Dreams" and "Moms with Dreams" who forgot how condoms work.) After attaining some tangible success albeit rather brief, Spears' life seemed to dwindle to normalcy. Enrolled in school, being a normal girl, all the basic stuff that every other person is subject to.

Cut to her debut effort, the 1999 released ...Baby One More Time. The lead single and title track, was met with fairly positive reviews. Despite the seemingly vapid lyricism [pop music like that isn't exactly looked at for social commentary] the song's success was pretty goddamn astonishing. The song reached #1 and went to #1 everywhere it was released. This would be the time where anybody else commenting about early Britney Spears would make "jail-bait Lolita" remarks in regards to the music video for the song. Now shut up and let's move on.
The second song released from the album, "Sometimes", was met with slightly less favorable reviews from critics although personally, pop music like that era Britney Spears was supposed to be simple as fuck. The song did end up #6 on the Pop Songs chart, giving her another Top 10 Pop hit [In case you've ever wondered why Hot 100 charts matter more, every other chart is niche driven. Those charts operate mainly on radio airplay and not sales of the song itself...just try not to ask too many questions.]

The third song from the album, "(You Drive Me) Crazy" did see a resurgence of chart success. The song itself was met with positive reviews like the debut single. However, "(You Drive Me) Crazy" was featured in the soundtrack for the Melissa Joan Hart and Adrien Grenier movie Drive Me Crazy. The video for the song did throw Spears back into good graces with the public as it did rather well on the TRL and other music video circuit. The song ended up going to #10 on the Hot 100 and #4 on the Pop Songs chart.
A 4th single was released called, "Born to Make You Happy" but that didn't chart in the States. It charted successfully in Europe, so there's that.
The last single released was the fairly cheesy but long-term "meh" song, "From the Bottom of My Broken Heart". Apart from a mention on a VH1 & Blender "Awesomely Bad" montage (Yes, I remember that much; no, I hate the idea of therapy.) the song wasn't as catchy as her 2 big hits from the album, but still went to #14 on the Hot 100.

Mainly because of the title track and "(You Drive Me) Crazy", ...Baby One More Time went to #1 on the Hot 200. However, this est. something that Spears like everyone else in this series has been justifiably scrutinized for not relying on her singing. Terrible person and #2 in the W.W.C.I.I.T.M.I. series, Nicole Scherzinger, did gain some internet praise for an imitation of Spears' singing [which dissenter consensus describes as "infantile cooing"] on Conan (When she was vaguely relevant for her stint on the X Factor US which Spears would do a stint of herself; that shit's coming later.) The point is, that for every other artist in this series so far, no one has been maligned for her singing despite commercial success quite like Spears.

Her sophomore effort, Oops!... I Did It Again did build on her commercial success as it went to #1 on the Hot 200. Yet what propelled that success was the lead single and title track which went to #1 on the Pop Song chart and #9 on the Hot 100. The song did garner favor with critics who despite taking issue with her singing, note that for pop music Spears makes some good shit (Don't take my word that music critics would ever say "this is some good shit".) The music video is one of her most revered; the red catsuit, the futuristic "Marvin the Martian ELEGANZA"...and well you can most likely consult with BuzzFeed contributor Matt Stopera if you seek more die-hard Brit-Brit information.
The second single released from the album was "Lucky". The song is one of her more narrative deliveries (The music video has her tell the story of an actress named Lucky for Christ's sake.) and admittedly one of her best songs. Like the title track, "Lucky" garnered praise from critics and marked the first time 2 songs of hers in a row that had done such a thing. The song peaked at #9 on the Pop Songs chart and at #23 on the Hot 100.

Third from the album, "Stronger" which at the time of release was considered the best track from the effort [although the title track has aged more in "Best of..." lists]. The song ended up peaking at #11 on the Hot 100, proving that by then she had become something of a force to be reckoned with. The music video although not heavily touted in terms of "Best of" lists, does serve as another great effort. The main highlight of the video is the choreography with a chair.
The last song released from the album was "Don't Let Me Be the Last to Know". Although released to mainstream radio, the song failed to make an impact on U.S. charts. Yet considering that the album had gone to #1 by then, it was more or less moot or in vain.

Cut to her third effort, Britney, which went to #1 making this her 3rd #1 album in a row. Though the lead single and arguably in the Top 3 of her best songs, "I'm a Slave 4 U" didn't chart that well. Despite going #4 on the US Hot Dance Club Songs and #15 on the Pop Songs charts, the song only went to #27 on the Hot 100. A song created by The Neptunes [Pharrell and Chad Hugo of N*E*R*D] for a pop star as big as Britney not cracking the Top 25? Nothing explains why the song under-performed, but the video was legend unto its own. Centered around a more salacious image of Spears, the video revolves around hypersexual choreography and heavy panting (More or less; the video ages well in "Best of..." list terms. Fun fact? The main outfit was replicated by terrible America's Best Dance Crew contestants Sass X7.)
Second from the album was "Overprotected". Critics were mixed on this song; some liked this sort of angst-ridden adolescent venting (In terms of Britney's music, that is. Bubblegum Pop is something tough to scrape from a singer's shoes.) while the others couldn't mesh with Britney's delivery. Chart wise, the song's original version did well in Europe; The U.S. only saw very little of the Darkchild remix and that floundered as it only went to #37 on the Pop Songs chart and #86 on the Hot 100.

Third from the album was the song, "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" which served as the theme song to her full-length feature debut, Crossroads (That movie where Taryn Manning played her friend before she had to whore herself in Hustle & Flow to pay her bills because of Crossroads.) The song despite it being a ballad, did garner positive reviews from critics saying [in a very loose context] that for a Britney Spears song this was well mastered. It returned Spears to some commercial form as it went #21 on the Pop Songs chart.
Fourth from the album, was a cover of the song made most famous by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts; "I Love Rock 'n' Roll". Apart from being in Crossroads, the song didn't fare that well. Not a travesty, but it went to #13 in the UK...which made it the lowest charting position she ever made in the UK [until "Radar" did worse].
A fifth song, "Anticipating" was released...and barely made a dent on French charts...and her last single form the effort, "Boys" while going to #32 on the Pop Songs chart...did dismal as it only went to #22 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart.

Cut past the fact that Crossroads was a dead end to her next effort, In The Zone. The album would go to #1 making this her fourth album in a row to go to #1. The lead single from the album was "Me Against the Music", a collaboration with her VMA kissing partner of sorts, Madonna (Yes, the cranky woman who hates hydrangeas with the terrible and forced British accent that called Lady Gaga "reductive". -_-) The video is most noted for playing off the sexual dynamism inferred between Brit-Brit and Madge as they nearly kissed at the end of the video (Though I think the Mazda RX-8 featured in the video should've gotten more attention.) Even though Louis Virtel hates this song, the song did amass some success as it went to #1 on the Hot Dance Club Songs, #11 on the Pop Songs and #35 on the Hot 100 charts.

Second from the album is a song that I think qualifies as her best. "Toxic" is famous for 2 things...

1. It was intended for Kylie Minogue (Speak of the Post 14 for W.W.C.I.I.T.M.I. devil, eh?) and her album, Body Language.

2. Being Spears' first #1 [on the Pop Songs chart] and first Top 10 of the Hot 100 since "Oops! I Did it Again".

The video for the song is perhaps one of her best to date (Although if she was inadvertently trying out for a flight attendant position, she'd be bloody awful at it.)

Third from the album, "Everytime". The song was regarded as one of her better songs that were "ballad territory". The music video for the song fared well on the circuits and I remember it being on VH1's Top 20 Video Countdown for quite some time. The song peaked at #4 on the Pop Songs chart and #15 on the Hot 100.
Finally, the last song released from the album was "Outrageous"...which received mixed reviews and didn't do a goddamn thing on U.S. charts compared to her previous songs as it went to #23 on the Pop Songs chart and a dismal #79 on the Hot 100.

Cut past a greatest hits album that went to #4 on the Hot 100 [and her cover of "My Prerogative" by Bobby Brown that went to #22 on the Pop Songs chart; and her music video for "Do Somethin'" which went to #100 {not a typo} due to digital downloads] and a heavily maligned UPN program called "Chaotic" AND a whole lot more shit came her 2007 album, Blackout. For cynics and smart-asses alike this is "Shaved Head" Britney era we're entering. By now she'd become Best Week Ever ironic fodder, a tabloid staple and a "commando"...because she wasn't wearing panties [Also, Kevin Federline was a thing. He fathered Britney's two sons so he did something right.] and a whole lot of other shit [annulled/55 hour marriage, Kabbalah (spelling?) {Thanks Madonna...err Esther} and too many other things].
Despite all this shit, the album went to #2 on the Hot 200. Yes for all the meltdown crap, Britney's album was in the Top 5. The lead single "Gimme More" for all its purple, blue and natural strip club lighting in the video was still catchy enough to have it go to #1 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart and #3 on the Hot 100.

The second single released was the tongue-in-cheek "Piece of Me" *When an artist goes tongue-in-cheek, this is most likely some PR person showing them every bit of relevant commentary about them and telling them "Go make a song about this!"* This and the previous effort and even the last song released from the album would all fare rather well on the music video circuit. Unlike the lead single, "Piece of Me" would only go to #18 on the Hot 100 but it did go to #1 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart.
Finally, "Break the Ice" would close out the Blackout era. The video would be the best out of these 3 and age kind of well in the bigger picture. It marked her third #1 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart and would go higher than "Piece of Me" on the Pop Songs chart, peaking at #21. However, the song only went to #43 on the Hot 100, but again; this is when Brit-Brit went bat-shit. Having a #2 album with 3 consecutive #1 singles even if it was on a niche chart was nothing to sneer at.

Cut to her next album, Circus, which was a tongue-in-cheek reference to her whirlwind public image by then. The album went to #1 making this her 5th album to do so. This was in large part to the first 2 singles and adorable controversy* from the 3rd single.
The lead single, "Womanizer" was described as her "comeback single" and showed a slightly saner version of Spears. The song is in my Top 3 of songs done by her. "Womanizer" fared very well in the music video circuit and even went to #1 on the Hot 100; her first song to do this since her debut single [it also went to #1 on the Pop Songs chart and #9 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart.]
The second single and rounding out my Top 3 songs she's ever done was "Circus". Her most lavish video to date [personally], the song fared just as well on the music video circuit as its predecessor in this era. The song itself was met with similar positive reception as the lead single and went to #1 on the Pop Songs chart, #3 on the Hot 100 and #3 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart.

The third single, "If U Seek Amy" was a moderate success in the States going to #8 on the Pop Songs chart & #19 on the Hot 100 [that had its run on the music video circuit]. What made this song was that it buzzed adorable controversy*

*Adorable controversy; (n.): When an artist or group in the U.S. Music Industry
releases a song and/or music video that ruffles the feathers of uptight Quaker-like
people and/or social groups.*

The song came under fire for its "objectionable content" that spelled out the raunchy albeit facetious nature of the song. If you didn't figure it out, this is the chorus of the song...

"Love me; hate me
say what you will about me
but all of the boys
and all of the girls
are beggin' to
If U Seek Amy"

(Fine; if that wasn't enough, it spells out "F-U-C-K me". Genius work, indeed.)

Finally, "Radar" was a song that although critically hailed...didn't fare that well. Originally on her album Blackout, the song was added as a bonus track for Circus. Then it took a while for the song to appear on any U.S. chart. It finally peaked at #30 on the Pop Songs chart and...*gulp* #88 on the Hot 100.

Cut past her 2nd greatest hits album [and the really mediocre at best "3" personally which somehow ended up at #1 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the Pop Songs chart...O_o.] to her 2011 released Femme Fatale. This is her 6th #1 album; how this bitch or her team does it, is at times...fucking unbelievable. Give or take the last 2 singles released for U.S. markets, this is probably her weakest set of released songs to date in terms of singing to me (What the fuck you gon' do Matt Stopera?!)
The lead single, "Hold It Against Me" while personally grating went to #1 on the Hot 100 and on the Hot Dance Club Play chart. The song and video met fairly positive fanfare from critics who noted that its sound should get the job done as a "club banger".
Second, "Till the World Ends" which played up the "2012 = Doomsday" bullshit at the time of its release. The song and video were met with just a touch more fanfare than the lead single but still had commercial success and its video [along with H.I.A.M.] had fared well on the music video circuit. The song peaked at #3 on the Hot 100 and #4 on the Pop Songs chart [while going #1 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart].

Third, "I Wanna Go" which along with keeping the sonic influences of this effort, was a sort of return to the bubblegum pop Britney had been acclaimed for. Although one of her daffiest videos to date (Guillermo Diaz drinking milk even if it was sexy; Britney smacking bitches up with a microphone...just what the fuck was going on?) the song is one of the better tracks from the album. It ended up peaking at #7 on the Hot 100 and going to #1 on the Pop Songs and Hot Dance Club Songs charts.
Finally, her best sounding effort from the album personally, "Criminal". The song was a type I never expected to even mildly enjoy from Spears. Yet considering how "I Wanna Go" was having to make do, I was glad when this song seemed to have some substance to it. The video for the song was noted for having her boyfriend Jason Trawick, star alongside her...and for lack of better phrasing having his manhood all up inside her whilst in the shower (Man, my eloquence makes 50 Shades of Grey seem like it was supposed to be written and read aloud by Bobcat Goldthwait. -_-)
However, the chart-gods were not pleased at a Britney Spears song having substance...it peaked at #19 on the Pop Songs chart and #55 on the Hot 100.

Cut past God knows how many remix albums and another greatest hits album and a collaboration with will.i.am on "Scream and Shout"...and a song for The Smurfs 2 soundtrack called "Ooh La La" to her latest planned album, Britney Jean. The lead single "Work Bitch", for all of its lyrical flaws (Typing them out will result in 15 points of your IQ dropping.) seems to have struck a cord with fans yet again. The video was released to positive fanfare who seem to think this is Britney's best video in years. The shade stops here so we can get to the point of why she's in this series.

So what makes the woman who has had 7 Top 5 albums; 6 of them going to #1 with an 8th expected to live up to expectations? Well, it mainly lies with the criticism of her singing voice, her ditsy demeanor and her run as a judge on the X Factor US. Her singing while not outright terrible isn't Adele or Lady Gaga great. However, she started out in bubblegum pop music; that shit does not require the artist or group in question to sing well. It never has and it never will. Her demeanor had come under attack, but mainly for coming across like a dipshit [She actually said this to Blender Magazine when asked about the benefits of being an international pop-star...

"I get to go to a lot of overseas places, like Canada."
-Britney Spears

And if you hold your ear upwards, you'll hear Social Studies teachers' cars start in closed garages.]

She recently completed a stint on S2 of the X Factor US as a judge. Her tenure was met with mixed results. The consensus was that despite her friendliness, bitch was out of it (Like Paula Abdul level out of it). Her catchphrase/critique was "You were so amazing!" [and mispronounced Ke$ha's name as "Kee-shuh"] Credit is given that her final act left that season, Carly Rose Sonenclar, was named runner-up of the season.
All in all, it's just a matter of public perception despite the fact that this woman has had 6 #1 albums and 7 Top 5 albums overall. She's done what pretty much every other pop singer has done; had enough talent to est. something, rely on sex/controversy or both to pimp herself out and be a shiny happy person when the album prompt called for it. Nothing new here, people. Move along.

Next up; if only she was cool in the States instead of being all "Can't Get You Outta My Head" to UK and elsewhere audiences.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Voice U.S. S5 Recap: Zama Zama Zama Zama Chameleon

In case you fell asleep in history class or use search engines for truly disgusting things, Zama refers to the very last battle of the Second Punic War...which resulted in the beginning of fall of the Carthaginian Empire (All whimsy up in this motherfucker, eh?) Musically...oh shit you should vaguely know the Culture Club reference. That aside, tonight marked round 2 of The Voice's Battle Rounds. Adam, Cee-Lo, X-Tina and Blake would go on to make the following decisions that heavily affected the marklar competing (Remember...I don't give a marklar if you hate this reference.)

Let's play rough and get it on! *PROGRAMMING ALERT: The format appears to mimic that of S4 where Round 2 of the Battles are 1 hour long with a montage of people that made it. Wow, great -_-*

First up, Jacob Poole V.S. Matthew Schuler of Team X-Tina. They were given "My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)" by Fall Out Boy. I went in wanting Matthew to win. On paper, Jacob seemed to have edge as X-Tina noted Matthew could be overzealous and "step" on his toes. Still, I don't know if the song complimented either one. Maybe something to the effect of "So Complicated" by The Noisettes could've made this a little more even. The battle commenced and to be honest they did measure up; although Matthew sounded more in control of his breath and better than Jacob. X-Tina ended up picking Matthew to win. Jacob ended up eliminated, but I wasn't that surprised. Lung capacity will always prevail over someone who looks the part better (Eww; I sounded pretentious there.)

Second of the night, Kat Robichaud V.S. R. Anthony of Team Cee-Lo. They were assigned "I Don't Want To Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith. Ugh, this seemed one-sided as hell as a rock song benefitted CopyKat (No one that tries to be like Michelle "Amazing Human" Chamuel deserves to win.) R. was told to pick and choose his runs and I could give a rat's ass what CopyKat got as initial commentary. The battle commenced and I found myself hoping this wouldn't turn into the tiger-fucking that was Beverly McClellan V.S. Justin Grennan in S1. Personally, I was kind of happy that R. stepped up to the plate; CopyKat sounded like she was getting skinned *shaaaaaaaaaaaaaade*. Cee-Lo ended up picking Kat to win. Sadly this did end up like the tiger-fucking I feared it would and R. ended up going home. Kat seriously needs to drop her imitation of Michelle "Amazing Human" Chamuel in the Knockouts if she wants to be taken seriously.

Great...a fucking montage...this is who won of the following matches...

Cole Vosbury V.S. Lupe Carroll of Team Cee-Lo; they sang "Africa" by Toto. Cole won.

E.G. Daily V.S. Sam Cerniglia of Team Blake.;they sang "Let's Give 'Em Somthing to Talk About" by Bonnie Raitt. E.G. won.

Ashley Dubose. V.S. Justin Blake; they sang the duet X-Tina recorded with Blake for Lotus. Ashley won.

Finally, Monika Leigh V.S. Ray Boudreaux of Team Blake. They were given "Some Kind of Wonderful". Cher read Blake to filth by saying "I've been working. I don't just sit on my ass and punch a little button." Aside from that, I wanted Monika to win just because I remembered her Joss Stone vibes being so much better than Ray. The battle commenced and personally I thought this was generally blase compared to the last episode's battles. Still, Monika dropkicked Ray down a flight of stairs. Blake ended up picking Ray to win. Monika did get stolen by Cee-Lo so that justified everything.

All in all, this may have been weaker than last episode's battles, but fuck it; I love the show through and through and certain people should've been made Carthaginians instead of Romans (Nerd alert, bitches.)

Up next for scrutiny; The Battle Rounds Part 3.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Voice U.S. S5 Recap: Serving Antietam Realness

Some intellect must be conveyed for someone who uses this blog to recap a televised singing competition that's worth a damn. Tonight marked Round 1 of the Battle Rounds of The Voice and these are the nouns, pronouns and marklar that commenced. Keep in mind, some contestants can be saved from premature finishes (From a certain line of Durex brand condoms sold mainly in Europe) on the show.

Let's play rough and get it on!

The first duo serving Antietam realness through song was Grey and Nic Hawk from Team Adam. My hope was that Nic either improve or Grey wipe the floor with him. They performed "Domino" by Jessie J. Nic did call himself a "Jessie J" type of singer, so that alone gave him a slight edge. Grey actually performed with this song with her wedding band so that's edge in her favor. Both are surprisingly even, but I was hoping Grey would end up more vibrant than Nic. Nic's persona took over and Grey was actually singing (Funny how singing is supposed to be done on The Voice). Adam ends up picking Grey to stay and I agree. Persona is one thing, but Nic still cannot sing as of yet. May I suggest watching Cody Belew's performances? Then, Blake screws everything up by stealing Nic. Ugh, I understand to some degree, this whole "stage presence" crap, but it has to apply where needed. Nic is not that good enough to steal. It isn't MrSwearword V.S. Everyone for nothing.

Second, Amber Nicole and Timyra-Joi of Team X-Tina. Amber came in fodder and Timyra was the youngun who got 3 chairs. They were given "Listen" by Beyonce from the Dreamgirls soundtrack. Amber seemed to have the edge in rehearsals but I was afraid Timyra would be given the victory because of her "youngun" stature. The end result was one of the more evenly matched, but I was still hoping Amber would win; if not, at the very least get a steal. X-Tina ended up picking Amber to win. I knew she would from her rehearsals. Timyra-Joi ended up not being stolen, but for a 15 year old she was one of the best youngun contestants to be on the show. Still, Amber prevailed and I was happy. Also worth mentioning, Amber evolved from montage victim to potential front runner.

Third, Justin Chain V.S. Shelbie Z. from Team Blake. Despite the country bait, I actually had Shelbie in mind to win. They were given "Don't You Wanna Stay" by Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson. Cher's presence is enough to make Shelbie Z. choke up at first until she proved she could wipe the floor with Justin. Worth noting? Cher's wig did improve from her S4 finale follicle fiasco (Alliteration provides the ground for shade). Admittedly, for "Bama Country Bait", Justin is sexy...but Shelbie in my view would proceed to smoke his ass like brisket (I know of good country stuff. Ain't nothing wrong with brisket.) Blake ends up picking Shelbie Z. to win. Justin does not get saved with the steal and heads home. Oh well, Shelbie's projection spelled your fate.

Fourth, Anthony Paul V.S. Caroline Pannell from Team Cee-Lo. I had Caroline in mind to win as Anthony seemed really underdeveloped. They were given "As Long As You Love Me" by He Who Inspired Lesbians Who Look Like Justin Bieber (What did they do, Cee-Lo?) Miguel and Cee-Lo seemed to favor Caroline early on and Anthony seemed to improve in auditions. Given their youth, this ended up being a touch more evenly matched than I would've expected. During the battle, Anthony seemed too pitchy in the beginning and Caroline's sweet tones seemed to seal everything before the verdict was delivered. Cee-Lo ends up picking Caroline to win. Anthony gets saved by X-Tina; she cited surprising versatility for a youngun. I can actually live with this decision. Though, Anthony may get screwed in the Knockout rounds. Just throwing that out there (Knowing goddamn well it will be fetched, honey.)

Fifth, Donna Allen and HRFH -2.0...err Tessanne Chin from Team Adam. I was hoping Donna and her hair would whip Tessanne's ass out of here. They were given "Next To Me" by Emeli Sande. Donna's volume is considered too mighty for Tessanne to compete with. However, Donna's might was also ruled as potential hubris as it was considered "too much" at one point. I honestly get a touch upset whenever someone who can actually sing is told to "pull back". So what if they can shatter the roof with every note? Ugh, moving on. The battle commences and much like the others tonight, this ends up evenly matched in the eyes of the coaches and audience. Adam ends up picking Tessanne to win. Dammit, I knew there was something HRFH about her. An overrated backup singer that advances over a more deserving contestant? Yup, Tessanne is HRFH -2.0. Even worse, Donna is not stolen for anybody else's team. What a complete load. Donna was leagues better than her and I cannot understand what Adam was thinking.

Finally, Briana Cuoco V.S. Jacquie Lee from Team X-Tina. I went in thinking Briana should win. They were given "House of The Rising Sun" by the Animals. Personally, I never got the appeal of the song they were given. It's been done on the show many times before, but I can't get into the song. Jacquie sounds improved graded against herself. Briana proved that she can actually sing and rather cleanly given her shaky rendition of "You and I" by Lady Gaga in the Blind Auditions. The battle is pimped as the most epic of the night. Again, this is supposed to be even and personally I heard more pleasing notes from Briana the whole way through. X-Tina ends up picking Jacquie to win. Damn...then Briana is offered a team spot from Cee-Lo and Blake. She ends up picking Blake as her new coach. Thank God steals in the Knockouts are in this season because...as Lyndsey Parker of Yahoo Music's Reality Rocks reminded, Blake has never kept a steal.

All in all, Antietam level blood was shed and apart from Donna getting screwed, it was worth seeing Amber Nicole's profile get raised.

Next up for scrutiny, the Battle rounds part 2.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

W.W.C.I.I.T.M.I. Post 12: Shakira

This is a series dedicated to women who despite success in the U.S. Music Industry, have est. a very complicated image for themselves.

Round 12 of this series goes to legal Colombian import/Hip shaking mastermind and S4 coach of The Voice U.S., Shakira. By all technical accounts, she has the most albums [of any of the women I've reviewed thus far] under her belt with 9 to date. However, it wasn't until her 5th album that she first tasted proper U.S. glory.
I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge her first 4 albums...

First was Magia, which was released in 1991. Peligro was released 2 years later in 1993. Commercially and to Shakira, these were considered disappointments so much to the point that "Shaki" has refused these albums see the light of day in the States.
In a way her third album, the 1996 released Piez Descalzos, saw some taste of the U.S. mainstream albeit through Latin charts [#5 on the Billboard Latin Albums and #3 on the Billboard Latin Pop Albums is nothing to sneer at.] The recognizable song from the effort, "Estoy Aquí", even went to #1 on the Latin Pop Song chart.
Her fourth album, the 1998 released Dónde Están los Ladrones? was her first album to make a bigger impact on U.S. charts; even though it went to #131 on the Hot 200. However, the album went to #1 on both the Latin and Latin Pop album charts. The recognizable single from the album, "Ojos Así" while more artistically edgy than "Estoy Aquí", didn't go to #1 but did give "Shaki" another Top 10 hit on the Latin Pop chart.

Cut to her 2001 crossover debut and fifth collective album, Laundry Service. "Shaki" was seen as a gamble by her new stateside label, Epic [she had mainly worked with Sony Music Colombia until then]. Thanks to some assistance from Gloria Estefan in fighting for her proper stateside debut, Laundry Service would see the rise of the her star power. The lead single from the album, "Whenever, Wherever" landed her a Top 10 hit on the Hot 100, peaking at #6. The video for the song has aged rather well, constantly making Fuse network countdown shows and for unleashing some sex monster laden choreography. O_O The album's next single, "Underneath Your Clothes" showed off her vulnerable side and gave "Shaki" her second consecutive Top 10 hit on the Hot 100 peaking at #9.
Her third single and my personal favorite next to "Underneath Your Clothes" was the song "Objection (Tango)". Yet for whatever reason, the song peaked at #55 on the Hot 100 [the Spanish version of the song did peak at #16 on the Latin Songs chart]. The music video on the other hand fared very well on the music video circuit; even going to #1 on TRL (I wonder what the host of TRL is doing now...I wonder if he's hosting a certain competition show on NBC where she served as a coach on its 4th season. Oh the mysteries of life. -_-)
Though 3 more singles were released and "Objection (Tango)" was read to filth on the Hot 100 for God knows what reason, Laundry Service peaked at #3 on the Hot 200.

Cut past live albums to her 2005 releases, Fijación Oral, Vol. 1 and Oral Fixation, Vol. 2. Remarkably, the all Spanish album went to #4 on the Hot 200. It's recognizable single, "La Tortura" ft. Alejandro Sanz even went to #23 on the Hot 100 whilst being #1 on the Latin, Latin Pop and Tropical Songs charts. The music video for the single was Shakira's most tantalizing to date. Focusing on upper body choreography, the video went to #4 on TRL and circulated very well on MTV, VH1 and Yahoo!
The all English album actually peaked at #5 on the Hot 200. The lead single, "Don't Bother" although a return of sorts to her rocker/bohemian vibes from earlier releases, peaked at #42 on the Hot 100.
Then, her first #1 hit on the Hot 100 emerged [regardless of how damn long it took to get there]. "Hips Don't Lie" ft. Wyclef Jean was a song and video that touched in on a shitload of cultural references. Everything from traditional Carnaval de Barranquilla attire to Shakira shaking those hips and everything else at Mach 5 (More or less; remember...I base any statistic like that on absolutely nothing.) the song and video solidified Gloria Estefan's fighting for her years ago.

Moving past her double disc version of the "Oral Fixation" albums, another set of live albums and general low-key...ness to her 2009 released She Wolf. This is probably "Shaki's" most edgy and sexual sounding release to date. However, disaster of missing the Top 10 of the Hot 200 albums was spelled out in her 1st and 3rd songs released from the album.
The album's lead single is also the titular track, "She Wolf". For all of its scintillating intent, this is Shakira's doofiest sounding song yet. If you need words to prove it, this is how the song starts...

"A domesticated girl, that's all you ask of me.
Darling it is no joke, this is lycanthropy."

O_O Oh it serves more FreeTranslation realness from there...[Oh *FUN Fact: Lycathropy is the delusion of someone thinking that they're a werewolf. O_O*]

"I've been devoting myself to you
Monday to Monday
And Friday to Friday"

"Starting to feel just a little abused
Like a coffee machine in an office"

Put 2+2 together and it'll make sense as to why this song peaked at #11 on the Hot 100. *shaaaaaaaaaaaade* (Oh and do not get me started on that video; once I saw the cage made from stripper poles, I was done. Bye, gurl, bye!)

The last recognizable single from the album [the deluxe edition in this case] was "Give It Up to Me" ft. Lil' Wayne. The song did gain favor from critics mainly because of Shaki's collaborating with a rapper and Timbaland's production value. The video, whilst showcasing vibrant color schemes and drawing comparisons to Beyoncé's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)" in terms of choreography...yikes. This video is all style, no substance. At one point, she proceeds to look like a Hindu goddess in a prom dress whilst performing a mix of Thai dance hand gestures and voguing. O_O Despite moderate success on the video circuit, the song peaked at #29 on the Hot 100.
She Wolf would peak at #15 on the Hot 200.

Cut to her most recent effort, the 2010 released Sale el Sol. Apart from the album's lead single, "Loca" ft. Dizzee Rascal and "Antes de las Seis" being used in The Voice S4 when Mary Miranda and Cáthia faced off in the Battle Rounds, none of the other songs ring a bell.
The lead single peaked at #32 on the Hot 100 but did go to #1 on the Dance/Mix Show Airplay, Hot Latin and Tropical Songs charts.
Sale el Sol would peak at #7 on the Hot 200.

Apart from music, Shakira is renowned for her genius IQ, multilingual abilities speaking Spanish, English, Portuguese, Italian, French, Catalan [that being a dialect of Spanish common in Barcelona, Spain] and Arabic, humanitarian efforts and the FIFA 2010 Cup theme song "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)"; the music video being the seventh most watched music video of all time on YouTube with more than 550 million views, as of September 2013.
So what makes her one of many W.W.C.I.I.T.M.I.? Well, for all her international flair she's really had only 1 song go to #1 on the Hot 100. Any lesser person would've resorted to the long standing "Shakira sounds like a goddamn goat" comment but logistically..."Hips Don't Lie" is her biggest single in the States. That and give or take some commercial missteps *COUGH She Wolf COUGH* she hasn't released a critical dud. It isn't often that a critical darling has some success in the U.S. Music Industry.
That and The Voice U.S. shows how goddamn adorable she is in general. In summation, she's in this series because not everything adds up commercially when critical success has been her game in any language.

Next up, the Lord and Savior to BuzzFeed contributor Matt Stopera.

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Next 3 Women for the W.W.C.I.I.T.M.I. Series

After realizing little to no people cared about this, here's how the next 3 posts in the W.W.C.I.I.T.M.I. will look...

Post 12: Shakira (suggested by 2 Twitter followers of mine)

Post 13: Britney Spears (suggested by 1 Twitter follower of mine)

Post 14: Kylie Minogue; she has popped into my head more than once, but she'll be saved for later.

As to when these will pop up, don't hold your breaths. Schooling and general life constraints will prevent these posts in construction and in deliverance. Worst case scenario, Post 14 will surface late December/early 2014.

The blog and recaps for The Voice S5 will still commence. Why? Because.

OK, maybe I can squeeze out all 3 towards the end of the year. Though, holding your breath is still inadvisable.


Monday, October 7, 2013

The Voice U.S. S5 Recap: Five O'Clock Shadow Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

Isn't vague reference to court jargon rather quaint if you haven't been sued? Tonight marked the final round of the 5th time Adam Shevine Levine, Cee-Lo Green, Christina Aguilera and Blake Shevine Shelton have fought against big-red chair induced motion sickness on S5 of The Voice (Dial 555-STFU for more information). The Blind Auditions are done and these are the nouns, pronouns and other marklar that transpired in this episode. All defendants in the Court of Public Opinion please rise...

Let's play rough and get it on!

First to the stand of judgment was S4 reject Matt Cermanski. He was the one who sang a Katy Perry song that wasn't "Firework" and got the boot. He sang "Have A Little Faith In Me" by John Hiatt. He got everyone but X-Tina to turn (When I agree with X-Tina, I think it's not up to snuff.) Adam remembered him and loved him whilst being adorably bitchy to Cee-Lo and Blake. Matt ended up picking Adam as his coach. He did give him his "Don't give up" speech in S4 so it makes sense.

Second to the stand was a San Antonio, Texas native who looked like a scene kid/Hot Topic version of Dez Duron; Diego Roman Navaira. He sang "Rebel Yell" by Billy Idol. He sounded like a Billy Idol impersonator but came from a famous background [his dad was an early Tejano act whose colleague of sorts was Selena]. He ended up a no chair turn and I knew why. He sounded like an impersonator and really should've picked something else. Remember; this isn't MrSwearword V.S. Everyone for nothing. Don't come for me unless I sent for you *Z-Snap formation*

Third defendant of the night was Church girl turned recording artist Tamara Chauniece. She recorded an album at 11 [VFTW would've hated this woman]. She auditioned with 1+1 by Beyonce. I liked her song choice but her timing and money notes were so off. So I kind of like this song choice but not entirely her singing yet. Cee-Lo and X-Tina fight over her and she picks Cee-Lo as her coach. The Church girl going to the "Red Zone"? Missionary work, indeed.

Fourth up for their trial by fire, Brandon Chase; a man as smart as Juhi but not as awesome musically in his bio piece. Yes he had a sob story, but this is The Voice; not OWN. He auditioned with "Wanted" by Hunter Hayes. For country bait, he wasn't Kewpie Doll deplorable, but still won't get votes from me. Blake and Cee-Lo turn for him and after banter over fashion sense/genre aspirations, Brandon picks Blake as his coach. Wow; what a shock -_-

Fifth, the case of Public Opinion V.S. Lupe Carroll; a florist looking to prune that boring part of his existence out of his life. He married a fellow music enthusiast and I grew bored waiting for him to audition. He hit the stage auditioning with "If I Were A Carpenter". He ends up defaulting to Cee-Lo who at that point had 1 spot remaining on his team. Personally, I thought he wasn't my type of singer and he might've been an Adam pick. Either way, there's more to cover.

Sixth to the stand, Grey. Seriously, that's the name she answers to. Balancing retail and a wedding band has a price. She auditioned with "Catch My Breath" by Kelly Clarkson. Personally, a Kelly Clarkson song is known for Clarkson's lung capacity. Grey didn't have that for me, but meanwhile Blake's chair malfunctioned which was a show first. He along with Cee-Lo and Adam turned around and Grey had a bit of a doozy on her hands. She ends up picking Adam as her coach even though she admitted to singing country growing up. With Grey, Adam finishes first [which Shevine shippers love ; )]

Seventh trial by/baptism of fire was Dominic Scott Kay who apparently was a child actor turned singer whose Dad was the drummer in The Commodores [VFTW would've demanded this dude's head on a platter]. He auditions with "Easy" by The Commodores and sounds terrible. He has no passion in this song and his singing voice was flat out awful to me. He ended up a no chair turn because he was too nasally (Yet Cassadee Pope won S3...j'accuse!) and he's forced to return to the life of being the son of The Commodores' drummer. What a travesty -_-

Eighth having to be represented by an Imaginationland D.A. was Michael Lynch. He's kind of interesting as he learned Spanish via Spanish music. He auditioned with "Bailamos" by Enrique Iglesias. He sings in Spanish better than I ever can, so credit to him there. X-Tina, Blake and Cee-Lo turn for him (Muchas gracias, Adam. Muchas gracias.) He picks X-Tina as his coach...breaking the hearts of the other suitors on Momentos Opulentos de La Voz EEUU. With Michael, her team is full and 4th place awaits her she will do her best for S5.

Ninth for trial in the C.O.P.O., Deanna Johnson. Her beef is with sounding like country bait but loving pop music. She auditions with "Stars" by Grace Potter and The Nocturnals. I liked her a little only because she's bucking her country surroundings. Singing, she's ok but all it was a bad song choice. The coaches don't turn and she's encouraged to try out again.

Tenth to the stand, Brian Pounds. Self-aware of the exposure The Voice can bring he hits the stage with "Wagon Wheel" by Darius Rucker. Blake and Cee-Lo turn and try to finish building their teams with him. He seems to be tolerable country bait and Cee-Lo's comments were golden. After the glorious exchange, he breaks Cee-Lo's heart by picking Blake. Blake finished (*Insert Shevine pun here*) and Cee-Lo will get one of if not the last singer in this episode.

Montage of rejects time. Give or take Danielle Walsh's wanting to be on Cee-Lo's team...NEXT!

Finally (The running gag is over), Shawn Smith defaulted to Cee-Lo. He auditioned with pure Southern-fried country bait, "Chicken Fried" by the Zac Brown Band. He may be more country than I liked, but he calls himself Big Sexy...good God. May he prosper in life outside singing. Cee-Lo finishes his team and the Blind Auditions are finito.

All in all, the Battles await and who will triumph and who will face their Waterloo? O_o

Next up for scrutiny, the Battle Rounds part 1.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

W.W.C.I.I.T.M.I. Post 12 UPDATE

In my last post for the W.W.C.I.I.T.M.I. series, I hinted at covering a woman who needed "Motivation" to compete with the Queen Bey...

The answer was Kelly Rowland. However, I decided to not cover her after all (After all; serving as an X Factor judge seems to be a greater indignity than me pointing out any to all misgivings in her music career).

As to who I should cover in her place...I'm going to reach out to any and all of you that have read my blog.

I am essentially asking you to help me come up with a set list of women I should cover.

To refresh, so far

I Have Covered:

- Ke$ha
- Nicole Scherzinger
- Aubrey O'Day
- Christina Aguilera
- Beyoncé
- Lady Gaga
- Katy Perry
- Rihanna
- Azealia Banks
- Ciara
- Kelis

I Decided Not To Cover:

- P!nk

- Kelly Rowland [for any to all of you with A.D.D. or A.D.H.D. Oh look, a squirrel.]


1. The artist in question must be a woman. Meaning, you cannot submit Adam Lambert nor can you submit He Who Inspired Lesbians Who Look Like Justin Bieber.

2. The artist cannot suck. So no, I am not covering Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj or anyone else I deem terrible.

3. For my Twitter Account Holders [what I call my followers; sanction me for not being tacky.] use the "hashtag" #WWCIITMI and the artist name you suggest.

This isn't out of laziness [at least I think]. Get to submitting and long live the sexual revolution : P


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Voice U.S. S5 Recap: Four The Love of God

Adorable blasphemy and/or sacrilege aside (Blasphemy: Pissing Off Zealots 3:16 Ways 'Til Sunday; Sacrilege: Tastes Like Bread and Wine) tonight marked the 4th night of the Blind Auditions. Adam, Christina, Cee-Lo and Blake continue to build their teams of 12 and people on Twitter still wish there was a Team Carson. These are the marklar that revolved around the marklar competing on the marklar (Yes, I just made a South Park joke. No, I don't give a fucking marklar about your sense of humor.)

Let's play rough and get it on!

First up for scrutiny in the Court of Public Opinion was Will Champlin. His Dad was in Chicago (And I bet VoteForTheWorst would pounce on this dude if they didn't go defunct.) Cut past his "wife and kid" story, he auditioned with "Not Over You" by Gavin DeGraw. He wasn't that good, but he got 3 chairs to turn (X-Tina is not tone deaf, thank God) and another "man-fight" ensued. He ends up picking Adam to coach him. I don't care because I thought he sucked.

Second, Macey Estes showed up in a pair of cheetah-print hammer pants (*retches*). An aspiring Hip-Hop ish singer auditioned with "The Way" by Ariana Grande ft. Mac Miller. Her singing was way too shaky with that song. She ends up rapping after her audition and the judges loved it for whatever reason. Maybe she should've done a rap song...or at least practiced with "The Way" with Mac's verse but recited by a female. I'm just saying (And writing and scolding people online. Nothing big.) In conclusion, she became another S5 reject.

Third, Stephanie Anne Johnson a former cruise ship singer looking to *insert sea pun here*. She auditioned with "Black Horse and a Cherry Tree" by KT Tunstall. Personally, her singing was too clean for this song but she did get Cee-Lo and X-Tina to turn towards the end. After some light selling point, Stephanie Ann picks X-Tina to be her coach. Cee-Lo was none too pleased as his sunglasses came off in pretend "FUCK the 18 generations of your ancestors" face.

Fourth up, accidental Macy's men's department model Sam Cerniglia. His outside story is rather touching despite it being from the umbrella of "sob story". He auditioned with "It's A Beautiful Day" by Michael Buble (If it were the Song Choice, he'd be asked to leave). I thought he was done for but he got Blake and Cee-Lo to do some 11th hour turnaround (Insert joke RE: the recent Government Showdown here). He ends up picking Blake as his coach. *yawns* Sorry; yawning after that promotes beauty sleep and I base that on absolutely nothing. : )

Fifth to be scrutinized, Jennifer Newberry. A Swedish immigrant who found inspiration through huge American singers like Mariah Carey and X-Tina. She also looks like eccentric and shiny, happy person Swedish turned U.S. singer Robyn. She auditioned with "Locked Out of Heaven" by Bruno Mars. All I can say, this audition was shakier than Caroline Pannell's nerves. She ends up as another S5 reject, but she, Macey and the other rejects are so goddamn nice.

Oooh; a montage of rejects...better luck next season! NEXT!

Sixth, S4 reject James Irwin. This had me happy as he had me hooked despite singing the cursed song for males of The Voice, "The Man Who Can't Be Moved" by The Script. This time he auditioned with "Losing My Religion" by R.E.M. This time he makes the cut as all of the coaches turned around. The coaches are a bit too civil in trying to win him over. That aside, he picks Adam as his coach. His voice is awesome; 'nuff said.

Seventh, perpetual contest winner (And functioning Mason-Dixon Barbie) Olivia Henken. She thought winning varied talent contest was an easy way to make it in the industry -_- [Bitch, Please]. She auditioned with "Two Black Cadillacs" by Carrie Underwood. She ends up attracting X-Tina and Cee-Lo to turn around. After Cee-Lo deeming her a potential "alternative" artist (Alternative has never been used more inappropriately), she picks X-Tina to coach her.

Eighth, YouTube sensation Jason Kertson. His thing was having posted a video of him playing two guitars at once. Nothing to sneeze at, but that can't be the only interesting thing about him. He auditions with "Lips of An Angel". Oooooh; this was just bad. His singing is deep but pitchy. Yipes; this was awful. His voice was naturally low enough to cut Adam deep (Dear Adam; you sing like you do and get paychecks. Zip it.) He ends up another S5 reject and owner of the deepest voice on a 16 year old that made it to a national TV show's Blind Auditions. You win some; you lose some.

Ninth, R. Anthony who forgot that unprotected sex derails singing careers...err gave up singing to est. a family life. He auditions with "Hall of Fame" by The Script. He isn't terrible and I thought he was screwed when he picked a song by The Script, but X-Tina and Cee-Lo reminded everyone it's just "The Man Who Can't Be Moved" that screws male singers. He picks Cee-Lo to be his coach

Oh a boring contestant that made it montage...Keaira Lashae, Amber Nicole & Emily Randolph made it and hopefully get more screen time in the Battle Rounds. [Although Keaira and Amber should've been shown because they sang "Killing Me Softly" by The Fugees and "Russian Roulette" by Rihanna respectively. 2 kickass songs that didn't see the light of day. BOO!]

Tenth, Justin Chain who fought through a motorcycle accident to be here. He auditioned with "She's Country" by Jason Aldean. Hmmmm; this spells Blake-bait. Congrats on making it, but I don't vote for country artists. Sorry; not really. He defaults to Blake (No, really? How flooring.) and they even note that they're sooooo country. D'awwwwww that's cuter than Paula Deen up a butter tree (Maybe that's a country colloquialism...maybe I made it up; either way, I don't give a fucking marklar.)

Finally, Ashley Dubose who is one of many that juggles a full time job and single motherhood. Seriously, use protection. Derailing singing careers aside, it can bring about bad things. She auditions with "Diamonds" by Rihanna. All 4 coaches turn for someone I actually came to like. The coaches make their cases and Adam goes a bit vindictive with being blatant about wanting to dethrone Blake. I understand completely, but stick with adorable passive aggressive tactics. She picks Adam to be her coach and this marks the umpteenth time Adam has gotten an artist on a 4-Chair Turn.

All in all song choices were a bit more open, but I'm still wanting Lana Del Rey, Kelis and Janelle Monae songs to be performed. However, this group made up for yesterday's showcase. That wasn't hard but still a very good thing.

Up next for scrutiny, part 5 of the Blind Auditions.