Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Won The War: Gwen Stefani vs. Fergie

This is a series inspired by a tweet from perpetual lightning rod for controversy Azealia Banks when she inferred that although Michael Jackson won the battle, Prince won the war. This will be my take on which two rivals in packaging in the U.S. Music Industry, won the war in terms of longer success.

The much overdue Round 6 of this series pits No Doubt lead singer, coach of The Voice and pop star in some regard, Gwen Stefani against Black Eyed Peas vocalist and pop star in some regard, Fergie. Both had some high moments in their solo careers before they realized their shelf life belongs with their bands. Yet as always, this question remains...

In longevity terms, who merely won the battle...and who Won the War?

As of the end of 2014, Gwen Stefani has 2 (going on 3) albums to her name; the last proper released one being the 2006 released The Sweet Escape. Fergie just started her second album but has the 2006 released The Dutchess to her name. Here's their charting album peaks from highest to lowest...

Gwen Stefani
- The Sweet Escape peaked at #3
- Love. Angel. Music. Baby. peaked at #5

- The Dutchess peaked at #2

Due to the fact that these two have made something of a name for themselves, radio has played their songs every now and again. In terms of longevity when was their last #1 hit on the Hot 100?

*Reminder: Hot 100 ranking does matter if you're absolutely looking for a gauge of where an artist is in terms of popularity*

Gwen's sole #1 hit was the 2005 earworm "Hollaback Girl". 9 years and 2 albums ago...yikes. Fergie's had 3 #1 hits, the last being the 2007 earworm "Big Girls Don't Cry".

The last Top 10 hit? If using the 6-10 traditional scale, Gwen's last Top 10 was the GOD AWFUL "Wind It Up" which peaked at #6. If using the 2-10 variant, Gwen's last Top 10 is "The Sweet Escape" ft. Akon which peaked at #2. Either way, 8 years and 1 album ago...ooof.
Fergie's last Top 10 on the traditional scale can't apply. Using the variant scale, her last Top 10 was "Clumsy" which peaked at #5. 7 years and one album ago...not all the better considering Gwen has 2 albums before 2014.

While acting is considered for this, Gwen has mainly played herself and hasn't had a leading lady role. Fergie on the other hand has tried her hand at acting...with her most famous line being "Linus, you're a sweet baboo." Yes, Fergie played Sally Brown in two Peanuts videos...O_O

Musically, there are naturally some weak points in an artists' career when say...a lead single doesn't go to #1 or released singles chart really low. These are the positions at the lowest of Gwen and Fergie's careers...

Gwen's Lowest Charting Singles
- Lowest Charting Lead Single: "What You Waiting For" at #47 on the Hot 100

- Lowest Charting Released Single: "4 in the Morning" at #54 on the Hot 100

Fergie's Lowest Charting Singles
- Lowest Charting Lead Single: "L.A. Love (La La)" at #27 on the Hot 100

- Lowest Charting Released Single: "L.A. Love (La La)" at #27 on the Hot 100

Their nadirs tell differing stories. Gwen's nadirs came in terms of initial reception and flat out commercial failure. "What You Waiting For" for all of her J-POP influence, left an all too divisive field in people's minds. "4 in the Morning" failed because despite the public forgiveness with allowing her to have a second album [which mind you charted higher than her debut], simply did nothing to service her to keep the momentum going.
Oddly enough her new song "Baby Don't Lie" was almost less of a success as lead single than "What You Waiting For" even though the latter kicks the former in the teeth in quality.

Fergie's nadir is well deserved for 2 reasons. One reason being is that an inability to keep momentum even after so many years can ruin all future efforts at a solo career. At first, she was the clear winner against Gwen with five Top 5 singles vs. Gwen's 3 Top 20 singles not counting the lead. Yet for whatever reason (, she was unable to recapture the solo magic that helped her ass in the beginning. The other reason is that "L.A. Love (La La)" is horrendous and irredeemable.

Incidentally, "Baby Don't Lie" and "L.A. Love (La La)" were the comeback into solo forays of both singers. Both songs suck but for whatever reason Fergie's song ended up charting longer and higher than Gwen's. Yet a variable has salvaged Stefani's reputation in music. The thing that has her better liked than Fergie by miles on end. The bands they're with.
No Doubt despite recent mediocre at best success with "Settle Down" and the 2012 album Push and Shove peaking at #3, they retained better vibes on their last work than the Black Eyed Peas and their last album, the 2010 released The Beginning which missed the Top 5 of albums. That 3-4 year gap Fergie was subjected to should've resulted in better music being made (It's a valid point even if it's Fergie. Go with me on this.)
That same gap of 2-3 years can apply to Stefani as well even though she managed to retain her ska meets J-POP influences while Fergie went from "urban" to...whatever the hell "L.A. Love (La La)" called for in musical aesthete.

Now for the final points: iconic singles AKA, the one single people know is by that artist.

Gwen has "Hollaback Girl". Watch any goddamn countdown show of music [VH1, Fuse, etc.] and this song is guaranteed to appear relatively high.

Fergie? At best, "London Bridge" mainly because people were wondering this much: "What the fuck is she talking about in that song?" "Big Girls Don't Cry" might get just as much attention, but in terms of ubiquity, "London Bridge" got the job done a lot better.

For posterity both may have had at least a #1 hit but have come to realize that for better and worse, their bands define them. For Gwen, she's the lead singer. For Fergie, she's been forced to put up with when he cared enough to sick anything onto the public.

One is no doubt [pardon the pun] a more charismatic celebrity figure than the other; the other managed to peak higher than the other commercially in round 1; one actually showed up to round 2 and won unopposed; the other had her pitiful comeback single defeat her opponent but at a cost...

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


After suffering from every decision made since Anita didn't make the Top 10 and the fact that it's finally the Finale Results show, I'm back for one last ride of Season 7.

In an attempt of mutiny I even voted Craig Wayne Boyd AKA Studmuffin of Team Blake to win. It's both in the name of a hopefully attractive winner to come from the show and in some weird bourgeoisie attempt at counter-protest (Translation: pissing off friends of mine on Twitter). In the time not recapping, I've developed a damn good backup plan in the form of MONDAY NIGHT & TUESDAY NIGHT SHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAADE. Don't read anything deeper than it being shit-talking on Twitter.

So crowning off 7 seasons of my favorites losing to talentless fucks, let's recap the only nouns, pronouns, gerunds, marklar, banter, fuckery 'n such worth my time...who wins in the long term and who ends up the winner of The Voice *shaaaaaaaaaaaaaade* (Seriously, Beats by Dre is the winner this season with their commercials featuring the contestants. Unlike every winner of the show, Beats by Dre has sold millions.)

Let's play rough and get it on!*

*Oh yeah, the show tried some wildcard shit that didn't do much but say voters of Damien AKA Waterworks suck.*

4th place: Damien from Team Adam. So much for that Wildcard stunt.

3rd place: Chris Jamison of Team Adam. LOL

Runner up: Matt McAndrew of Team Adam. LOLOLOLOLOL

The Voice: Craig Wayne Boyd of Team BLAKE. I am vindicated in some way.

Overall, this is my message to S7 of the NBC Program with Ratings...

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Tonight is another night to determine if S7 stays or gets booted from my eyes until the Finale Results show.

Let's find out if the last artist within my declaration, Anita Antoinette is still in the competition...

Anita the bottom 3...goddamn you voters.

The bottom 3 were...Anita, Not Kelly Clarkson and Vanilla Cookie of Team(s) Gwen and Blake.

East Coast Twitter saved...Vanilla Cookie of Team Gwen

Getting the boot...Anita and Not Kelly Clarkson of Teams Gwen & Blake.

Wrong decision voters. With Anita gone, Season 7 is now officially the worst season of the show.

All in all, my interest in recapping S7 is gone. My favorites went home too soon and some of the worst singers the show has ever had still remain. I should've seen the writing on the wall when only one person made it past the Live Playoffs, but I was foolish enough to have faith that the voting block would do the right thing.

Up next for scrutiny, the Season 7 Finale Results show.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Voice S7: TENsion Mounting

Another night, another round of questionable things the NBC Program with Ratings parlays at the 8/7c time slot. Tonight, the Top 10 give their pleas for voting for them, though the only competitor worth a damn this season is Anita Antoinette.

These are the nouns, pronouns, gerunds, marklar, banter, fuckery, FlirtCruiting, Wild Gimmickry and Scruffy Carson Daly that transpired...

Let's play rough and get it on!

First up, Chicken Little of Team Adam. He ended up singing "Fix You" by Coldplay. Rehearsals indicate that "versatility" in rock is his biggest obstacle. Also, his confidence is called into question when his falsettos seemed like they were off. Come showtime, it seemed like he was trying but his higher notes are so off. Like he's trying to whisper but emit a falsetto at the same time. He gets even more negative points for hugging some random person in the audience. CHEATER! The coaches are more positive than the nubby end of a battery. Critique is considered obscene to these people.

Second, Anita AntoiYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS of Team Gwen. She ended up singing "Let Her Go" by Passenger. Rehearsals indicate the song took a little long for her to get. Confidence is something she's still working on, but even that takes years to improve. Come showtime, whoever gave her the Janelle Monae look deserves a raise. Her vocals are consistent but the arrangement isn't indicating much of a difference. We get she's reggae but damn. The coaches are more positive than the nubby end of a battery. Critique is considered obscene to these people.

Third, Waterworks of Team Adam. He ended up singing "You and I" by Stevie Wonder. Rehearsals indicate that hitting the correct money note is his biggest obstacle. Come showtime, his presence feels R&B and as much as I can't stomach him, he actually did a decent showing this week. Not enough to be a new favorite, but whatever. Close enough is just that. The coaches are more positive than the nubby end of a battery. Critique is considered obscene to these people.

Fourth, Not Kelly Clarkson of Team Blake. She ended up singing "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea. *vomits* DQ HER FOR SONG CHOICE IMMEDIATELY. Rehearsals indicate she's going to be a victim of self-sabotage. Come showtime, it was horrible from start to finish. Stuff like this is just a miscast on paper and in execution. The coaches are more positive than the nubby end of a battery. Critique is considered obscene to these people.

Fifth, Goldeneye of Team Pharrell. He ended up singing "Try a Little Tenderness" by Otis Redding. Rehearsals indicate he can't fuck up the song like he did last week. Also, Diana "I'm Coming Out" Ross was on The Voice. Come showtime, he remembered the pacing of the arrangement. So there's that. Alas, he's still beige and overrated and reeks of tryhard habits. The coaches are more positive than the nubby end of a battery. Critique is considered obscene to these people.

Sixth, Studmuffin of Team Blake. He ended up singing "I Walk the Line" by Johnny Cash. Rehearsals indicate this song and his personal story might have to intertwine. At the very least, he's hot with a heart. Like a country teddy bear. Come showtime, he managed to get the vibe of the song and hit a damn strong money note in the end. The coaches are more positive than the nubby end of a battery. Critique is considered obscene to these people.

Seventh, Vanilla Cookie of Team Gwen. He ended up singing "Starlight" by Muse. Rehearsals indicate he can't fuck up twice in a row...good luck gurl. Come showtime, my spirit animal in this moment was Lyndsey Parker of Yahoo! fame. We must've sensed misery inducing blandness from ol' Vanilla Cookie & were sadly not proven wrong. The coaches are more positive than the nubby end of a battery. Critique is considered obscene to these people.

Eighth, Wannabe Whitney of Team Pharrell. She ended up singing "I Have Nothing" by Whitney Houston. Rehearsals indicate she had the balls to sing that in front of Clive. Davis....O_O Come showtime, it was a sign that Whitney songs shouldn't be done in public again. It wasn't Tessanne pitiful, but no more Whitney songs. The coaches are more positive than the nubby end of a battery. Critique is considered obscene to these people.

Ninth, Hat of Team Gwen. He ended up singing "Come Together" by The Beatles. Only the most pretentious people cover The Beatles at all. Nostalgia poison multiplied by 1000. Rehearsals indicate that he's trying to do something original with the least original source of musical inspiration. Come showtime, he couldn't break through the dense vibes of pretension that come with picking a Beatles song to cover. Also, he looked like a hipster Karate Kid. The coaches are more positive than the nubby end of a battery. Critique is considered obscene to these people.

Closing out the Top 10, Beige Boy-bander of Team Adam. He ended up singing "Uptown Funk" by Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson. Rehearsals indicate making the song less "phonetic" and more "natural". Come showtime, he tried but he was still really off by at least 5 miles. The coaches are more positive than the nubby end of a battery. Critique is considered obscene to these people.

All in all, save Anita Antoinette or I set fire to the rain.

Up next for scrutiny, the Results of the Top 10.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Voice S7: The Fate of S7

Well, tonight's one night that can determine if S7 limps on another day or if it becomes the WORST. SEASON. EVER. and I don't watch until the finale results show.

Let's find out the fate of S7 by simply finding out if my only favorite left, Anita Antoinette of Team Gwen is still here...

*APPARENTLY; a 4th Wild Card finalist will be determined once the Final 3 are set...I have no idea what this is intended to do.*

Anita is...the SECOND PERSON SAVED! Thank God the voters got it right this week.

Other highlights from this episode are:

Coach's Corner must've felt awkward in some way after a BuzzFeed Brews chat on Facebook revealed Blake siding with Taylor Swift RE: Spotify and Adam being on the side of Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters.

DaNica being the 3rd saved that night...O_O That was a helluva shock considering her "Creep" cover felt a bit too Mariah Carey.

Competition show crossover happened as X Factor UK alumnae Ella Henderson performed her single "Ghost". Cody Belew has yet to be invited to perform, but they'll make room for someone from another show across the pond...-_-

Adam Levine was featured in the weirdest Nissan GT-R commercial I've ever seen. He can still "perform" even though things are going fast. If I want a sex joke without the subtext, I'll stick to my Comedy Central Roasts, "kthnxbai".

Contrary to personal theory that she was working at Blockbuster Video that night, Paula DeAnda from S6 was in the Kohl's style ad the show has...YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS get that exposure coint.

Jessie of Team Blake, Ryan of Team Gwen and Sugar of Team Pharrell made up the bottom 3. East Coast Twitter ended up saving Ryan [Side shade: Craig of Team Blake asked people to save Ryan and not Jessie, his teammate. At least a competitor is here to stay.]

All in all, this season just got another chance to right the wrongs of eliminating my favorites before the Top 10 (at least this week.)

Up next for scrutiny, The Performances of the Top 10.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Voice S7: DOCE of Reality

[Tonight's episode recap doubles as a Spanish lesson. Doce is Spanish for the number 12. There's 12 left even though only Anita is the good one left. : )]

Last week's results show had me pissed off something wicked. The declaration is in tact but is yet to be enforced. Please vote for Anita Antoinette so I can like one person who's won the show. Now for the nouns, pronouns, gerunds, marklar, banter, fuckery, FlirtCruiting & poor decision making that transpired...

Let's play rough and get it on!

First up, Sugar Joans of Team Pharrell. She ended up singing "Take me To the River" by Al Green. Rehearsals indicate that at least Sugar was aware that without Pharrell's lack of logic, her ass would've been done. Come showtime, Sugar's singing sounds even worse than in previous weeks. Strained notes and half baked growls made this horrible to listen to. Also, in terms of looks she now has her version of weird hats. With their decisions thus far, ask yourself if I care what the coaches have to say. -_-

Second, Ryan Sill of Team Gwen. He ended up singing "Ordinary World" by Duran Duran. Rehearsals indicate that Gwen was trying add some cinnamon to the VANILLA Sill. Apparently, self-doubt was also plaguing him. Come showtime, he was given the James Dean styling Gwen must've inferred. -_- Yet Ryan was still a touch too peppy for a Duran Duran song further proving Gwen is not the smartest coach. With their decisions thus far, ask yourself if I care what the coaches have to say. -_-

Third, Jessie Pitts of Team Blake. She ended up singing "Don’t You Worry Child" by Swedish House Mafia. Rehearsals indicate that Jessie is trying to turn a lump of coal into a cubic zirconia. Come showtime, she was decent as she could be with the song. Then once the band kicked in...that's when the performance went South. Passport and all. With their decisions thus far, ask yourself if I care what the coaches have to say. -_-

Fourth, Damien of Team Adam. He ended up singing "He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother" by The Hollies. Rehearsals indicate that for all of his emotive content, this song is apparently tough as shit. See, this is one of those "challenging self" song picks. Come showtime, the vibe threw everything off. It didn't come across like an R&B singer looking to break mainstream. It felt like a church service and that's fine if he was looking to break into Gospel through the show, but he's R&B. With their decisions thus far, ask yourself if I care what the coaches have to say. -_-

Fifth, DaNica Shirey of Team Pharrell. She ended up singing "Creep" by Radiohead. Rehearsals indicate that she might be setting herself up for self imposed destruction. So much clash in style that it takes immense talent to make it right. Come showtime, the clash was less blaring than I thought even though she tried to add some Mariah Carey notes to it. By the way, to the stage design crew for DaNica, you are fired. That fan setup looks so cheap. With their decisions thus far, ask yourself if I care what the coaches have to say. -_-

Sixth, Taylor John Williams of Team Gwen. He and that damn hat of his ended up singing "If" by Bread. Rehearsals indicate that Gwen wanted this to be a "risk" for him. Also, he was told to not throw away lyrics. Come showtime, the butterflies in the background had me hooked...oh him. Some of the notes were just bum and not even close to decent. With their decisions thus far, ask yourself if I care what the coaches have to say. -_-

Seventh, Reagan James of Team Blake. She ended up singing "It Ain’t Over til it’s Over" by Lenny Kravitz. Rehearsals indicate nothing other than she's the youngest one left. Shut up about her age, show. Come showtime, the arrangement was so off from the kind of sassy white girl thing Reagan is good at. Granted the band and the crowd and band sounded louder than her. With their decisions thus far, ask yourself if I care what the coaches have to say. -_-

Eighth, Luke Wade of Team Pharrell. He ended up singing "Thinking Out Loud" by Ed Sheeran. This is like typecasting and eye hope I'm not the only one who thinks that. Rehearsals indicate he needs to loosen up again. Come showtime, he kept looking like he screwed up in his head and at one point, he missed a cue. Like, he was feeling like shit afterward. With their decisions thus far, ask yourself if I care what the coaches have to say. -_-

Ninth, Matt McAndrew of Team Adam. He ended up singing "Take Me to Church" by Hozier. Rehearsals indicate he needed to adjust for this "different" song. Whatever; I'd never heard of it until tonight. Come showtime, it was not something worth reliving especially that cheap little bowing at the end. With their decisions thus far, ask yourself if I care what the coaches have to say. -_-

Tenth, Craig Wayne Boyd of Team Blake. He ended up singing "You Look So Good in Love" by George Strait. Rehearsals indicate that country is his bag. I appreciate the fact that he's hot. Come showtime, he sounded committed to his bag. Really, country artists don't necessarily have an arc of growth. They're measured more so on consistency and anybody that listens to country is bound to have a better thought of this than me. With their decisions thus far, ask yourself if I care what the coaches have to say. -_-

Eleventh, Chris Jamison of Team Adam. He ended up singing "Jealous" by Nick Jonas. Boot him for song choice. Rehearsals indicate that his falsetto (which can't be hit by him) is his biggest obstacle. Come showtime, for all the purple color scheme this was just beige. Plus, his falsettos still sound horrid. With their decisions thus far, ask yourself if I care what the coaches have to say. -_-

Closing out the Top 12, Anita Antoinette of Team Gwen. They ended up singing "Redemption Song" by Bob Marley. ANOTHER Bob Marley song? GURL, you need to switch shit up. You're my last hope. Don't pigeonhole yourself. Rehearsals indicate that the original key was too high at first. Come showtime, some of her mid to low registers brought about the Lauryn Hill vibes she has and needs to maintain. With their decisions thus far, ask yourself if I care what the coaches have to say. -_-

All in all, Anita better survive or S7 is by default the worst season yet.

Up next for scrutiny, the Results of the Top 12 performances.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


[Tonight's episode title is a reference to the Electric Six's one hit song "Danger! High Voltage".]

Well, tonight is another crucial time in which S7 viewing will be put to the test. Remember; my recapping stops if Anita, Elyjuh and Jean are all eliminated. Even if one is left, I recap until heaven forbid, they get the boot. Let's see how that ragtag group of imbeciles known as the voting block of The Voice could've possibly screwed things up...

Let's play rough and get it on! *Remember; my favorites are Elyjuh Rene, Jean Kelley and Anita Antoinette.*

Team Blake saved: Reagan James & Craig Wayne Boyd. Blake personally saved Jessie Pitts.

James David Carter & Taylor Brashears get the boot.

Team Pharrell saved: Luke Wade & DaNica Shirey. Pharrell personally saved Sugar goddamn Joans.

Elyjuh Rene & Jean Kelley were robbed due to Pharrell obviously being deaf around Sugar.

Yup, two favorites...GONE.

Team Gwen saved: Taylor John Williams & Anita Antoinette. Gwen personally saved Ryan Sill.

Ricky Manning & Bryana Salaz get the boot.

Screw their misery, Anita is still in. THANK THE LORDE.

Team Adam saved: Damien & Matt McAndrew. Adam personally saved [with one minute left to go...] Chris Jamison.

Mia Pfirmann & Taylor Phelan get the boot. Any way you slice it, Team Adam sucks. But at least Mia's gone : )

All in all, I'm down to 1 favorite out of a field of 12. This season sucks out. loud.

Up next for scrutiny, The Top 12 Performances.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Voice S7: IT'S (Barely) ALIVE!

My declaration was in tact yesterday as it was Teams Adam and Blake that performed yesterday. I ain't recapping shit that ain't my favorites for the Playoffs. Tonight, Pharrell and Xtina Stefani's teams perform for votes. Voting for Jean, Elyjuh and Anita are correct. Anything else is bullshit.
Let's see the transpired nouns, pronouns, gerunds, marklar, banter, fuckery and such that happened tonight.

Let's play rough and get it on!

First, Ryan Sill of Team Gwen. He ended up singing "I Lived" by OneRepublic. DQ HIM IMMEDIATELY. Rehearsals indicate his case of the caucasians or being averse to rhythm could bite him in the ass. Come showtime, he gave beige realness like it was Dez Duron in S3 again. At least his stage presence...improved? Coach's Corner says nothing totally helpful.

Second, Jean Kelley of Team Pharrell. She ended up singing "Piano in the Dark" by Brenda Russell. Rehearsals indicate that consistency was a bitch until Pharrell up and revises the arrangement for old trick meaning that she wasn't bringing it at first. Come showtime, her theatrics seemed to be overpowering her singing but she eventually caught on. Yet at Live Playoffs, she can't afford a "diesel engine" moment. Coach's Corner says nothing totally helpful.

Third, Elyjuh Rene of Team Pharrell. He ended up singing "Latch" by Disclosure ft. Sam Smith. Rehearsals indicate Elyjuh's self-doubt is a pain in the ass to deal with. OK; his confidence is shaky for no reason. Come showtime, his dulcet tones added that missing something from the original song. Coach's Corner says nothing totally helpful.

Fourth, Bryana Salaz of Team Gwen. She ended up singing "Amnesia" by 5 Seconds of Summer. Rehearsals indicate she needs to learn how to sing...and how to "expand" beyond this wannabe Ariana Grande thing she's trying to be. Come showtime, she remembered the lyrics so there was something good -_- ("Aren't all contestants capable of remembering the lyrics?" Shut the fuck up). Coach's Corner says nothing totally helpful.

Fifth, Luke Wade of Team Pharrell. He ended up singing "Let's Get it On" by Marvin Gaye. GURL. White guys can't sing soul music like that. Rehearsals indicate he's apparently a front-runner who can't soil himself or something. I can't get past this Nicholas David thing he's trying to do [which didn't even work for Nicholas David.] Come showtime, gurlfriend was so bad I was more interested in an Adam Levine picture than his performance. Coach's Corner says nothing totally helpful.

Sixth, Anita Antoinette of Team Gwen. She ended up singing "All About That Bass" by Meghan Trainor. Rehearsals indicate she be needin' more o dat dere reggae vibes. OK stop with this need for "MOAR REGGAE, GYAL!" Come showtime, she was good but this fucking reggae fixation needs to stop. Thank GOD for those money notes Anita hit. Coach's Corner says nothing totally helpful.

Seventh, DaNica Shirey of Team Pharrell. They ended up singing "Help Me" by Joni Mitchell. Rehearsals indicate that she needs to be a hummingbird to a flower or something [Pharrell, I love you most of the time, but my GOD...] Come showtime, DaNica's projection was better than it had been in the past. However, most of her lower registers were really off. That and she tried to do some mid-range Mariah Carey thing. Ugh. Coach's Corner says nothing totally helpful.

Eighth, Sugar Joans of Team Pharrell. She ended up butchering "I Say a Little a Prayer" by Aretha Franklin. Rehearsals indicate that Pharrell is tone deaf around her. Come showtime, I felt wanting to hear this from S1 reject Joann Rizzo moreso than Sugar. Coach's Corner says nothing totally helpful.

Ninth, Ricky Manning of Team Gwen. He ended up singing "Lay Me Down" by Sam Smith. Rehearsals indicate he apparently has potential he needs to maintain. He hit a horribly bum note in rehearsals. Grab your passports, because this is heading South. Come showtime, even some modicum of vulnerability couldn't come across as he kept he same icy expression and his vocals were really flat. Coach's Corner says nothing totally helpful.

Finally, Taylor John Williams of Team Gwen. He ended up singing "Stuck in the Middle With You" by Stealers Wheel. Rehearsals indicate Gwen is tone deaf in his presence. Come showtime, he did some schmoozy bullshit in the name of being "unique". Coach's Corner says nothing totally helpful.

All in all, my favorite(s) better survive or the declaration will be enforced.

Up next for scrutiny, the Results of the Live Playoffs.

Friday, November 7, 2014

ALL MALE (Music) REVIEW: Broke with Expensive Taste by Azealia Banks

After so much shit going down with a previous label, Twitter and a whole shit load of other things, the debut effort of Harlem rapper/singer Azealia Banks is now in existence. Broke with Expensive Taste is intended to be a mix of 90s house and East Coast rapping (Think Lauryn Hill on acid concerning this album.)

Here's how my review will work. All of the tracks will be judged individually; cohesion will determine the grade of the album later. Obvious factors like singing ability and the instrumental of the song will be included as well.

# of tracks- 16 (I happen to be using Spotify as means of having the album.)

# of interludes- 0

Total time of album- 60:19

1. "Idle Delilah"- Although it takes 30 seconds for the song to kick in, once it does it has a mix of Caribbean like steel drums mixed with thumping bass driven club music. This song serves as a great reminder that Banks is more than a rapper as she sings rather cleanly for breaking out into rap. Her flow once the rap kicks in is as tight as ever. What an opening track.

2. "Gimme a Chance"- Opposite of the opening track, this track kicks in with a Broadway meets East Coast witch-hop. Pretty much, this is like if the show In Living Color was set in NY and all the cast and crew were on psychedelics. Banks made it known in her interview with The Process, she's obsessed with rhythm. This is evident as ever. And apparently, this bitch sings in Spanish. ORALE Azealia!

3. "Desperado"- This track starts off and eventually ends up a mix of jazz lounge in the middle of a spaghetti western movie on the moon. Banks' obsession with rhythm fostered a disciplined consistency in terms of how she delivers the lines. With any other artist this could result in electroclash. Not Banks; she knows what she's doing.

4. "JFK" ft. Theophilus London- For those who don't know, London is a rapper who first made waves c. 2012. This track has Banks starting off with her intentionally slow/almost breathy flow. Considering this is called "JFK", it helps serve as a template for her sexually charged lyrics. 4 tracks in, and I'm calling it; Interscope has fucked up. London's contribution to the track is no afterthought. His speed is perfect on this type of tempo.

5. "212" ft. Lazy Jay- The track that started it all. Compared to the other tracks, this is relatively tame for the album. Yeah she uses the word "cunt" 9 times, but with the other type of vibes exuded from the album, it's clear she put this on to remind people how she broke on to the scene. No T, No Shade but this track was on the 1991 EP as well for exactly the same reason it's on Broke with Expensive Taste. The track itself is not my personal favorite, but I can understand its presence on the album given her penchant for sexual lyricism.

6. "Wallace"- This's like Mortal Kombat had sex with Banks' brainwaves. Her singing voice while unique doesn't seem like it's being icy enough (which given her sexual praying mantis like being is probably just a sign of artist repression being expressed.) This was one of the earliest sections of BWET made known through The Process (the "lick the left one" verse.) Her rapping speed is the fastest yet I've heard.

7. "Heavy Metal and Reflective"- The first post Interscope single released, this track is possibly her edgiest in sound and flow. The gripe here is that this track is too fucking short. Its run time? 2:36. Another minute or two and this could easily read as a banging ass song. It still is, but my GOD that run time is way too short. Bonus points for the lines, "I be in Osaka with the papa took the best trips/Buy me Tamagotchis, sipping sake and moetses."

8. "BBD"- One of two tracks ported from her mixtape, Fantasea. At first, I wasn't feeling the song. Then I remember that this is a track she performs better live and she performed this live best at Glastonbury 2013. In terms of cohesion, this kind of suffers from "212" like setbacks. It's supposed to remind some people who she is and what she tried to do with Interscope. It's a cool song, but she performs the shit out of this live.

9. "Ice Princess"- This might be the only non-ported track on the album that feels out of place. This type of track falls under Miami trap music (Rick Ross type of song) before the tempo progresses to a sort of...bland take on EDM. In terms of flow, Banks commits to the style presented, but this track just feels out of place. It isn't a shit track, but it isn't one not for immediate replay.

10. "Yung Rapunxel"- The last single released while with Interscope. Audio or video, this track goes hard as fuck. Inspired by a tumultuous relationship with an ex, this expression of anger also shows off Banks' alter-ego, "Yung Rapunxel" (hardcore black girl with a fuckton of rage). When first released, critics ate this up and its clear why. Banks at her angriest makes for some damn fantastic music. The fans? Split down the middle (not unlike "#ATMJAM" which thankfully remains off this album). Let this serve as reminder or introduction that her fans are not blind loyalists.

11. "Soda"- Via her Twitter, Banks revealed this song is about "self-medication" or escaping pain through alcohol or drug use. Instrumental wise, it's deceptively cheeky and weird (which any good self-medication song is supposed to be.) Singing wise, her lower registers still seem shaky as hell but it's nothing to detract from the album let alone this song.

12. "Chasing Time"- Perhaps, the best use of Banks' singing is heard on this track released as the third single from BWET. There is honestly nothing to critique about this song. Her singing is highly developed; her rap meets the instrumental and tempo as always and the lyrics are well crafted.

13. "Luxury"- The other track ported from her mixtape, Fantasea. One of the few tracks in Banks' discography where singing is intended for foreground to her rapping. As well as "Heavy Metal and Reflective", the song is too fucking short. 2:48? No. There needs to be another 1-2 minutes. Personally, this is when I first learned that Banks also sings and show off her unique singing sound. Not a lot to say other than it's too short of a song.

14. "Nude Beach A-Go-Go"- Thanks to the comment section of Rap-Up, this turns out is a cover of a song by Ariel Pink of the same name. At 2:19, this song is the shortest and that is bullshit. Add another 2 minutes top. Especially because this sounds like her take on a B-52s song. While it's the greenest of the thumbs on the album, this is from a recording artist who treats convention like utter trash. Her singing is perhaps the most exuberant which is weird considering rage and sex make her music what it has been.

15. "Miss Amor"- Back to the psychedelic side of BWET, this instrumental is the most reminiscent of the 90s house scene. Plus, this is how she should do icy vocals from now on. The rap scheme indicates that this was probably recorded the same day as "Count Contessa" (from her upcoming mixtape sequel, Fantasea II: The Second Wave). "Ice-house" meets the West Indies is probably Banks' signature on top of everything else she's capable of.

16. "Miss Camaraderie"- The introduction to the closer of BWET sounds like a Street Fighter: The Third Strike outtake and that is glorious. The lyrics do kind of sound like "Luxury" with more verses. This isn't a total setback, but this is something of a disappointment. She's capable of a lot, so anything that kind of sounds like another song is disappointing. Still, this is a perfect closing track to an album that can't and shouldn't be place into one category.

OVERALL Grade: A-/B++
Don't get me wrong. This album has signature all over it and that is the biggest strength Banks has. Broke with Expensive Taste is the type of album only she can release. However, she needs to take some righteous hits for the following:

- Having three songs clocking in at under three minutes.

- Porting tracks from other works that with the album seem utterly out of place with the new material she's been crafting like fine liquor.

- "Miss Camaraderie" having some really eerie structural crafting a la "Luxury".

- Not porting "1991" or "Jumanji" to BWET given what she decided to port anyway.

However, that last one is the most personal of the gripes laid out of an otherwise unique work Banks should herald as a personal achievement in her career.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Declaration of a Fed-up Viewer of The Voice S7

It's time to say it now. Despite three favorites of mine moving on to the Live Playoffs against all odds, S7 of The Voice is the absolute worst in the history of the show. Much worse than I could ever fear.

As I hinted in my last posts, I vow to get selective as hell. With Elyjuh Rene, Jean Kelley and Anita Antoinette being on Pharrell and Gwen's teams here is my full declaration from a fed up viewer:

Declaration for the Remainder of S7 of The Voice
I hereby swear to recap the Live Playoffs portions that contain these three contestants:

Elyjuh Rene & Jean Kelley of Team Pharrell

Anita Antoinette of Team Gwen

Should either Pharrell or Gwen's teams be consecutive with either Adam or Blake's teams, I shall only focus on Pharrell and Gwen's sections.

Should the instinctive pairing of Pharrell and Gwen's teams happen in one night, I will only recap that night; be it the Monday or Tuesday episode.

If none of the aforementioned contestants make the show's finale, I hereby declare that I stop recapping until the Finale Results show in which the winner of S7 shall be named.

***End of Declaration***

This is my promise to a really bad season of the show I usually try to love.

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Voice S7: Thin Ice Ahead

With Elyjuh Rene being the only favorite of mine to advance to the Live shows, S7 of the NBC Program with Ratings has hit thin ice levels. The yet to be determined favorites of Anita Antoinette and Jean Kelley Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, dance on air will determine just how waist deep the show is from being flat out un-watchable.
So let me declare this now. If memory serves me correct, Live Playoffs go with two coaches in a night. So, due to the lack of bearable contestants thus far, I'm watching the night Elyjuh is supposed to be on. The full declaration is yet to be determined.

These are the nouns, pronouns, gerunds, marklar, banter, fuckery and FlirtCruiting that transpired...

Let's play rough and get it on!

First up, Allison Bray vs. Taylor Brashears of Team Blake. Allison picked “Sin Wagon” by Dixie Chicks. Her biggest obstacle is trying to tone it down and loosen up. Taylor picked “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac. Shit song choice, baby. Her biggest obstacle is dropping the notes at the end of the words. Points to Taylor Swift for giving solid advice for both contestants.
Come showtime, Allison had something of a natural stage presence taking Swift's advice. However, she was smiley during way too much of the performance and botched the end notes. Taylor on the other hand sounded so monotonous and beige (On top of an already bland as hell song.) In the end, Blake picked Taylor to advance to the Live shows. Allison gets the boot from S7. Oh well.

Second, Ryan Sill vs. Beth Spangler of Team Gwen. Ryan picked “Miss Independent” by Ne-Yo. His biggest obstacle is having more charisma or "swag" (If you have a low brain cell count.) on stage. Beth picked “Too Little Too Late” by JoJo. Her biggest obstacle is having to dial back her tone on the chorus.
Come showtime, Ryan while decent just came across so frigid and forced in overall ebb and flow. Also, he tried these coyote howling falsetto notes that were just horrible. Beth improved compared to her previous outings, but relied on decent lower notes and half-assed higher registers. In the end, Gwen picked Ryan to advance to the Live shows. Boooooooo. Beth ends up getting the boot from S7.

Third, Jean Kelley vs. Menlik of Team Pharrell. Jean picked “Chandelier” by Sia. Her biggest obstacle is living up to Taylor Swift's unusually quick to praise accolades. Menlik picked “Could You be Loved” by Bob Marley. His biggest obstacle is opening his eyes because apparently open eyes equates to being a better performer.
Come showtime, Menlik was bland. His lucid effects were like a less enjoyable cough medicine. Jean in the first few notes popped her plosives. Then her "tender" chorus sounded too underdeveloped. Once she was actually singing she sounded better but not Battle Rounds good. In the end, Pharrell picked Jean to advance to the Live shows. Menlik finally gets the boot from S7.

Fourth, Blessing Offor vs. Chris Jamison of Team Adam. Blessing picked “Your Body Is a Wonderland” by John Mayer. His biggest obstacle is improving a certain line in the song. Chris picked “[Sittin on] the Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding. His biggest obstacle is stage presence mixed with his developing talents.
Come showtime, Chris still sounded like a good X Factor contestant *shaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaade*. Blessing sounded consistent yet again and even tried to get cute in the middle of the performance. In the end, Adam picked Chris to advance to the Live shows. Xtina Levine y'all. Blessing is unjustly booted in the Knockouts. He ain't a favorite and I cry ROBBED.

In WHY WAS THERE A RANDOM ASS MONTAGE News: Matt McAndrew won over Rebekah Samarin to finish off Team Adam. Matt sang “Drops of Jupiter” by Train and we'll never hear Rebekah Samarin AT ALL. Triple Crown Montage Victim.

Fifth, Grant Ganzer vs. Reagan James of Team Blake. Grant picked “Apologize” by One Republic. His biggest obstacle is working a falsetto to its full potential. Reagan picked “Hit ‘Em Up Style” by Blu Cantrell. Her biggest obstacle is fluidity on stage. Again, solid advice from Taylor Swift.
Come showtime, Reagan started off already better than Nic Hawk singing this song. Consistency was her friend until this little trill vocal run made it sound screwy. Grant tried making a diamond out of coal, but just ended up with a dirty stocking. In the end, Blake picked Reagan to advance to the Live shows. Grant ends up being booted from S7.

Finally, Anita Antoinette vs. Craig Wayne Boyd of Team Gwen. Anita picked “Rude” by Magic. Goddamn poor song choices. Her biggest obstacle is amplifying the performance even further. Craig picked “Can’t You See” by Marshall Tucker Band. His biggest obstacle is trying to be less "bro country" and more "crossover" considering Gwen be ska n reggae.
Come showtime, Anita did the impossible and made "Rude" sound reggae. She was also serving a touch of Lauryn Hill in terms of stage presence and I approve. Craig sported a new look (Where he looked a beefier Nickelback member. Yeesh.) and sounded really twangy almost in a caricature. In the end, Gwen picked Anita to advance to the Live shows. Last round means the steal is used here and Blake steals Craig.

All in all, these Knockouts have been bloody messes.

Up next for scrutiny, The Live Playoffs (at least where Elyjuh, Anita and Jean end up).

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Voice S7: TKO

Tonight's recap title is a reference to the Justin Timberlake song which went to #36 on the Hot 100.

So far, Toia Jones is a favorite of mine that went home. With Anita Antoinette, Alessandra Castronovo, Jean Kelley Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, dance on air and Elyjuh Rene left, something tells me tonight's episode will be more crucial for me to stay with S7. Let's find out whether or not I'm staying.

These are the nouns, pronouns, gerunds, marklar, banter, fuckery and FlirtCruiting that transpired...

Let's play rough and get it on!

First up, Taylor John Williams vs. Troy Ritchie of Team Gwen. Troy picked “Hey Ya!” by OutKast. His obstacle is having to stick to the script of the song. Taylor picked “Mad World” by Tears for Fears. BOO on song choice. BOO! His obstacle is nerves out the wazoo screwing with him. As long as Taylor loses, I'll be happy. Come showtime, Troy went from tacky coffee house style before serving Taylor Hicks of Idolatry S5 tackiness. Granted his singing was not the worst I've heard on the show but wasn't the most stellar either. Not by a long shot.
Taylor ended up sounding like Chris Isaak ["Wicked Game"] but without the class and talent. It was rough. Gwen ends up picking Taylor to advance to the Live shows. -_- Yup, Gwen's the Xtina of S7. Troy ends up booted from S7.

Second, Alessandra Castronovo vs. Mia Pfirrmann of Team Adam. Mia picked “Human” by Christina Perri. Her obstacle is to connect with what the song means (And figuring out how to sing.) Alessandra picked “Next to Me” by Emile Sande. Her obstacle is not resting on her laurels. "Effortless" can read a bit lazy and that's a great tip.
Come showtime, Alessandra sounded fabulous. Clean vocals, great projection and a unique all her own. Mia tried, but ended up sounding terrible in her lower register and straining for all the higher notes. Adam ends up picking Mia to advance to the Live shows. Gross. Alessandra ended up eliminated from S7 and that sucked. ANOTHER favorite of mine gone.

Third and oddly finally (Too much faith is placed in these after sitcoms.), Elyjuh Rene vs. Ricky Manning of Team Pharrell. Elyjuh picked “With You” by Chris Brown. His biggest obstacle is melding creative freedom with fantastic singing. Ricky picked “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus. BOOT HIM FOR SONG CHOICE IMMEDIATELY. His biggest obstacle is resting on his laurels (Which makes sense but it's OK if the song sucks.)
Come showtime, Elyjuh managed to make a Chris Brown song listenable. His tone is his best asset and shouldn't be afraid to work with it. Granted his lowest registers sounded hammy and forced he's still good. Ricky sounded like crap. Plain and simple. Pharrell ends up picking Elyjuh to advance to the Live shows. YES!
Then Gwen solidified her Xtina status by wasting a steal on Ricky.

All in all, Elyjuh advanced and that was great. Alessandra was robbed for the shitty Mia Pfirrmann. Now there's 2 favorites left to be determined and they BOTH BETTER MOVE ON.

Up next for scrutiny, Part III of the Knockouts.

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Voice S7: Comeback Fight

Oh joy; oh rapture! The Knockout Rounds are BACK! After realizing no one wants to see Battles take place for more than one phase of the show, production for the NBC program with ratings wised up and reinstated The Knockout Rounds. Now the joy of terrible song choices doing in some contestants from advancing to the Live Shows can be enjoyed again. Until we see which contestants are going live. Remember: I instated a policy for this season that if all my favorites get axed, I stop recapping the show until the Final Results.

In a phase of four battle rounds, I'm down to Toia Jones and Anita Antoinette from the start. Battle Rounds added Jean Kelley Fred Astaire; Ginger Rogers; dance on air, Alessandra Castronovo & maybe...maybe Elyjuh Rene for taking down Maiya Sykes. Side note, Craig Wayne Boyd is hot. That aside, let's find out just how quick these Knockout Round decisions could piss me off. These are the nouns, pronouns, gerunds, marklar, banter, fuckery and FlirtCruiting that transpired...

Let's play rough and get it on!

First up, Bryana Salaz vs. Sugar Joans of Team Gwen. Disqualify both of these heaux immediately. Bryana picked “Heart Attack” by Demi Lovato. Her biggest obstacle is emotional connection to the song (What were you expecting picking a Demi Lovato song?) Sugar picked “Love on Top” by Beyoncé. Sugar was set to butcher this song like it was $3.99 a lb. Sugar's tone is her biggest obstacle (Apart from a laundry list of other things.)
Come showtime, Bryana struggled with breath issues and bum falsettos the entire time. Sugar sounded positively awful during her performance. Yeesh, missed notes and this weird growling shit made her one of the worst contestants in Voice anthology. Gwen ends up picking Bryana to advance to the Live shows. Pharrell then wastes his ONLY steal on Sugar. Meet Xtina Williams everyone.

Second, James David Carter vs. Griffin of Team Blake. James picked “You’ve Got a Friend” by James Taylor. His biggest obstacle is being able to make the song stand out from being so beige. Griffin picked “As Long as You Love Me” by Justin Bieber. Disqualify him for song choice immediately. His biggest obstacle cannot be overcome as he picked a Justin Bieber song. Luckily, Taylor Swift was all "DON'T DO WHAT BIEBER DOES" as the best advice ever.
Come showtime, James sounded competent but not captivating and that's been a problem for guitarists that compete on the show. Griffin manages to sound as horrible as Bieber. I don't know how he managed to do that but good LORDE was it bad. Blake ends up picking James to advance to the Live shows. Griffin is vanquished from S7. Sayonara.

Third, DaNica Shirey vs. Katriz Trinidad of Team Pharrell. DaNica picked “Saving All My Love For You” by Whitney Houston. Her biggest obstacle is self-doubt. Katriz picked “Superwoman” by Alicia Keys. Alicia Keys songs tend to do contestants in around this time for inexplicable reasons. Let's hope it continues for Katriz.
Come showtime, DaNica sounded OK toward the end but sort of disconnected for most of the song.
Katriz sounded improved but something about her is still shaky to put up with on TV. Improvement rarely defeats consistency but really, I don't have either on my favorites list so...sorryboutit. Pharrell ended up picking DaNica to advance to Live shows. Katriz is eliminated from S7 (Thank you weird curse on Alicia Keys songs.)

Fourth, Damien vs. Toia Jones of Team Adam. Damien picked “How Do I Live” by LeAnn Rimes. His biggest obstacle is apparently not bursting out into tears on stage. Phonebook singer realness. Toia picked “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé. One of Cody Belew's signature tunes? GOD HELP YOU. God help you Toia. Especially considering her biggest obstacle was not living up to the high notes. O_O
Come showtime, Damien allegedly brought back a dead puppy to life and then adopted it with his voice. Really, he sounded too vintage R&B to be unique. Toia had problems with her showmanship not sounding committed to it enough. Vocally, she sounded really developed in her mid-range and I liked that. Miraculously, she hit a magical high note in the end. Adam ended up picking Damien to advance to the Live shows. I knew his sob story would save him. Toia was eliminated from S7 and that was not fair.

Fifth, Jessie Pitts vs. Tanner Linford of Team Blake. Jessie picked “Your Song” by Elton John as Ellie Goulding did it. Isn't Ellie Goulding the reason she was stolen by Blake? That aside, her biggest obstacle is getting out of the comfort zone and nailing a falsetto. Tanner picked “Calling All Angels” by Train. His biggest obstacle is puberty as his voice sounds like it's cracking with every syllable. Sorryboutit but goddamn.
Come showtime, Jessie was better than her battle but had breath issues and "popped" plosives (any "b", hard "c"/"k" or "p" sound being exaggerated.) Tanner still sounds like a 10 year old in a talent show but graded against himself he sounded the least nervous here. Blake ends up picking Jessie to advance to the Live shows. Tanner is eliminated from S7 and I can't shade a kid like him. I'll just say "Hugs not Drugs, little boy."

Finally Luke Wade vs. Taylor Phelan of Team Pharrell. Luke picked “Rich Girl” by Hall & Oates. Luke's biggest obstacle is doing more than that beige song calls for. Taylor picked “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit ft. Jess Glynne. Good song choice, Taylor. His biggest obstacle is melding a boring rock thing with the magic of that Clean Bandit and Jess Glynne song. Oh and ditching that damn guitar.
Come showtime, Luke wasn't quite able to break through his self-imposed Hall & Oates Barrier of Beige. Taylor was able to evoke something I wasn't expecting and even benefitted from a kickass arrangement from The Voice Band. However, he lost momentum towards the end. O_O Pharrell ended up picking Luke to advance to the Live shows. Ugh...beige ass safeness. Offers for stealing Taylor came from all 3 other coaches.
He ends up picking Adam as his new coach. He made me hate him by pimping his damn kid. DON'T PIMP YOUR BABY! Lesson of the day.

All in all, my worst fears were averted to a degree. Toia being eliminated is not fair. I can recap tomorrow's episode but my declaration still stands.

Up next for scrutiny, Part II of the Knockouts.

Friday, October 24, 2014


Courtesy of the fine folks over at TVLine and maybe other internet spoiler sites, here comes the Knockout Rounds (Officially back thank GOD) and pairings...

Alessandra Castronovo (“Next to Me” by Emile Sande) Vs. Mia Pfirrman (“Human” by Christina Perri)

Chris Jamison (“[Sittin on] the Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding) Vs. Blessing Offor (“Your Body Is a Wonderland” by John Mayer)

Damien (“How Do I Live” by LeAnn Rimes) Vs. Toia Jones (“Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé)

Matt McAndrew (“Drops of Jupiter” by Train) Vs. Rebekah Samarin (“You Give Me Something” by James Morrison)

Allison Bray (“Sin Wagon” by Dixie Chicks) Vs. Taylor Brashears (“Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac)

Grant Ganzer (“Apologize” by One Republic) Vs. Reagan James (“Hit ‘Em Up Style” by Blu Cantrell)

James David Carter (“You’ve Got a Friend” by James Taylor) Vs. Griffin (“As Long as You Love Me” by Justin Bieber)

Jessie Pitts (“Your Song” by Elton John) Vs. Tanner Linford (“Calling All Angels” by Train)

Anita Antoinette (“Rude” by Magic) Vs. Craig Wayne Boyd (“Can’t You See” by Marshall Tucker Band)

Bryana Salaz (“Heart Attack” by Demi Lovato) Vs. Sugar Jones (“Love on Top” by Beyoncé)

Ryan Sill (“Miss Independent” by Ne-Yo) Vs. Beth Spangler (“Too Little Too Late” by JoJo)

Taylor John Williams (“Mad World” by Tears for Fears) Vs. Troy Ritchie (“Hey Ya!” by OutKast)

DaNica Shirey (“Saving All My Love For You” by Whitney Houston) Vs. Katriz Trinidad (“Superwoman” by Alicia Keys)

Elyjuh Rene (“With You” by Chris Brown) Vs. Ricky Manning (“Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus)

Jean Kelley (“Chandelier” by Sia) Vs. Menlik Zergabachew (“Could You be Loved” by Bob Marley)

Luke Wade (“Rich Girl” by Hall & Oates) Vs. Taylor Phelan (“Rather Be” by Clean Bandit)

Based on song choice alone, half of these contestants are screwed (Sia, Chris Brown, Hall & Oates, Magic, Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus and other garbage like that.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Voice S7: Birthday Cake

[Tonight's recap title is inspired by the failed Rihanna track of the same name and signifying the fact I'm another year older, bitches.]

Tonight marks the final round of battles on the NBC program with ratings. See what final poor decisions and montages will come from a Tuesday one hour episode (Because that bitch from Happy Endings sooooo needs a spinoff show. -_-) These are the nouns, pronouns, gerunds, marklar, banter, fuckery and FlirtCruiting that transpired...

Let's play rough and get it on!

First, Brittany Butler vs. Ricky Manning of Team Pharrell. They were assigned "On Broadway" by George Benson. Rehearsals indicate Brittany's jazz style is something of a hindrance unless she can apply it to the song. Ricky comes to a personal revelation that he relates to the song apart from scatting (Jazz; not that other scatting). Come showtime, Ricky had shaky vocals from the jump. Brittany started off rather "hammy" but improved as the battle progressed. In the end, Pharrell picks Ricky to move on. Ugh...and another favorite of mine, Brittany is eliminated.

Second, Kensington Moore vs. Reagan James of Team Blake. They were assigned "Team" by Lorde. Rehearsals indicate Kensington needs to land her falsettos better. Reagan's issue lies in picking when to do her fluttery runs. Kensington fell ill so Reagan had more one on one time with Blake. The next day, Kensington was well and got more one on one thingy...ugh... Come showtime, Reagan ended up sounding like Lorde a bit and that isn't a problem. It's actually a plus. Kensington tried, but just couldn't be as good as Reagan. In the end, Blake picks Reagan to move on. DURR. Kensington is booted from S7.

MONTAGE: Blake: Alison Bray vs. Fernanda Bosch = Alison wins and Fer gets the boot. Told you Fer was doomed from the jump by picking Blake

Gwen: Anita Antoinette vs. Mayra Alvarez singing "I Can See Clearly Now" = Anita Antoinette wins and should NOT have been montaged at all.

Then it was Bryana Salaz vs. Gianna Salvato singing "Boom Clap" by Charli XCX = Bryana wins because Gwen is a moron.

Finally, Beth Spangler vs. Mia Pfirmann of Team Adam. They were assigned "I Turn to You" by Christina Aguilera. Rehearsals indicate Adam doesn't know what the hell he's doing. He wants these "belters" to hold back on a Christina Aguilera song...-_- that's like trying to divide by 0. It can't. be. done. Come showtime, Beth managed to sound better than her audition. Mia still sounds horrible. Notsorryboutit, but I smell another overrated one a la HRFH. In the end, Adam picks Mia to move on. -_- Gwen ends up with Beth on her team because Adam is a moron.

All in all, the Battles might actually be of Knockouts being back has been going on for some time...THANK THE LORDE.

Up next for scrutiny, the Knockouts Part I.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Voice S7: Serving Normandy Realness

[Tonight's episode recap is in reference to D-Day when Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy in France.]

Part III of the Battles (thus far) is tonight but before we preface anything with what will transpire, there's a special achievement that must be announced. All the coaches have made piss poor decisions in last week's episodes equally!

Gwen fucked up 2 of her battles by getting rid of Amanda Lee Peers & an improved Jean Kelley Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Dance on air for the likes of Sugar Joans and Taylor John Williams -_-; she and Blake made a stupid decision to want to steal Griffin (Your funeral, Shelton.); Adam got rid of Clara Hong for Rebekah Samarin (Double montage = retribution) and Pharrell wanted and got to steal Menlik. -_- -_- -_- -_- -_- -_- -_-

Let's see what other decisions could potentially add to the list. These are the nouns, pronouns, gerunds, marklar, banter, fuckery and FlirtCruiting that transpired...

Let's play rough and get it on!

First, Damien vs. Kelli Douglas of Team Adam. They were assigned "Knock on Wood" by Otis Redding (The disco version by Amii Stewart is superior. Notsorryboutit). Rehearsals indicate "emotional" Damien could overpower "mysterious" Kelli. She's told to loosen up and have fun. Maybe if you picked the disco arrangement, she could have fun with the song. DUH. Also, Kelli was missing some cues and that was a problem. Come showtime, she got the cues but took a bit too long to warm up. Damien meanwhile hit bum notes in his falsetto. In the end after Gwen was hot for Kelli, Adam picks Damien to move on. -_- Kelli is eliminated from S7. "Great"; another favorite of mine gone.

Second, Jessie Pitts vs. Ryan Sill of Team Gwen. They were assigned "I Need Your Love" by Calvin Harris ft. Ellie Goulding. Rehearsals indicate that chemistry on stage is the biggest hurdle and that Gwen needs to stop crying. Come showtime, Jessie was off. Not terrible but so off. Ryan managed to deliver the tiger-fucking. In the end, Gwen picks Ryan to move on. Jessie is stolen by Blake and is set to go home in the next round of competition. Sorryboutit but if you ain't country, Blake will...only keep you if you're the worst like Nic Hawk or Sisaundra Lewis.

Third, Katriz Trinidad vs. Blessing Offor of Team Pharrell. They were assigned "Do I Do" by Stevie Wonder. Rehearsals indicate Katriz's biggest obstacle was learning the song. Blessing needed to stick to a melodic path of his choosing. Come showtime, Blessing was good, but sounded way too much like Stevie and not like himself. For learning the song as TV quick as Katriz did, she was better but still sorely lacking in enunciation and projection. In the end, Pharrell picks Katriz to move on. Really?! That was one of the dumbest battle calls in Voice anthology. Well a steal comes in from Adam. Then Gwen decides to be bitch about this and tries to prevent this Adam steal from happening. Blessing picks Adam as his new coach.

Fourth, Ethan Butler vs. Matt McAndrew of Team Adam. They were assigned "Yellow" by Coldplay. Gross. That song sucks. Rehearsals indicate Ethan is half-assing it and Matt's falsetto needs a lot of work. Chemistry critiques turn to helping each other not fuck up terribly. Come showtime, Ethan sounded whiter than Matt and that had me gravely concerned. Thankfully, he sounded better than him too. In the end, Adam picks Matt to move on. Ethan is not stolen and is therefore eliminated from S7.

Fifth, Bree Fondacaro vs. Taylor Brashears of Team Blake. They were assigned "You're No Good" by Linda Rondstat. Rehearsals indicate both needed a lot more work to do than just sound sheepish. Taylor was nervous of a strong voice Bree apparently has. They're both reminded that this song has some grit and my GOD...these chicks sound so beige and uninteresting. Come showtime, Bree did this stupid breathy thing and sounded like someone making fun of a Marilyn Monroe impersonator. Taylor sounded like a boring but functioning human. In the end, Blake picks Taylor to move on. Beige defeats vanilla; who knew? Bree is not stolen and is booted from S7.

Finally, Toia Jones vs. Danica Shirey of Team Pharrell. They were assigned "Halo" by Beyonce. Rehearsals indicate Toia's self-doubt could bite her in the ass. Danica's issue is sticking to the Bey approved script. Final rehearsals has Pharrell wanting BEY-LEVEL stardom to be emitted from both of them. Toia has an Oprah moment and cries...UGH...there's no crying until waiting for a coach to make a decision. Come showtime, Danica's vocal choices sucked from the beginning. Toia started off way too low in the beginning. Then both tried to be all Mariah Carey and proceeded to make the last part of song nothing but "HALOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" In the end, Pharrell picks Danica to move on. -_- What the fuck ever, Pharrell. Adam ends up stealing Toia...before Gwen fucked up again. ADAM is her new coach. STOP THIS SHIT NOW GWEN.

All in all, The Battles are drawing to a close...kind of. LORDE help this show find its Kelly Clarkson.

Up next for scrutiny, Part IV of the Battle Rounds.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Voice S7: Let the Hunger Royale BEGIN

[Tonight's recap title is a play on stupid comparisons between the Young Adult novels Battle Royale and The Hunger Games.]

Something tells me there's a montage to be had in tonight's episode...but keeping things optimistic, tonight continues the journey Mr. and Mr. Shevine, Pharrell and X-Tina Stefani (Sugar Joans over Jean Kelley & getting rid of Amanda Lee Peers is forever against her.) agreed to take for money to create this show's much needed Kelly Clarkson.

These are the nouns, pronouns, gerunds, marklar, banter, fuckery and FlirtCruiting that transpired...

Let's play rough and get it on!

First up, Jordy Searcy vs. Taylor Phelan of Team Pharrell. They were assigned "Breakeven" by The Script. Rehearsals indicate Jordy needs power and less guitar and Taylor needs to not half-ass it with falsettos and needs more guitar. Come showtime, their beige-ness was so apparent at several points they sounded exactly like each other. In the end, Pharrell picked Taylor to move on. I'm amazed he could differentiate these wallpaper samples. Jordy ends up getting the boot from S7.

Second, Alessandra Castronovo vs. Joe Kirk of Team Adam. They were assigned "Stay" by Rihanna. Rehearsals indicate Alessandra needs to warm up and Joe needs to be less shy. Then some "chemistry" lesson is being pushed on these two. Now's a good time to say: forcing these contestants to have chemistry is a bit much. Stop having them act friendly when they need to kick their opponent's ass. Come showtime, Alessandra sounded better but only because Joe barely overcame nerves. His singing seemed way too forced for a song this deep. Her singing seemed way too undersold and haphazard. In the end, Adam picked Alessandra to move on. Joe gets the boot from S7.

I KNEW THERE WAS A MONTAGE: So Rebekah Samarin defeated Clara Hong on Team Adam...WUT. Say hi to X-Tina Levine y'all.

TWO of Team Blake's battles got montaged: Grant Ganzer defeated John Martin & Tanner Linford defeated Justin Johnes.

Finally, Menlik [screw his last name] vs. Troy Ritchie of Team Gwen. They were assigned "Maneater" by Hall & Oates. Can't we do better as a society than rely on Hall & Oates songs? Rehearsals indicate both needed moar o' dere reggae an ska flavorins along wit melody and power notes too (Terrible patois, y'all). Come showtime, both sounded like reggae try-hards. At least Troy's lower registers were less bum-note ridden than Menlik's. In the end, Gwen picked Troy to move on. At least there's some level of justice. Then, Adam and Pharrell fuck up by wanting to steal Menlik. He ends up picking Pharrell as his new coach.

All in all, two favorites of mine from the start are gone in two battle round episodes. This is bullshit. LORDE help these contestants and coaches so that someone becomes a superstar from this show.

Up next for scrutiny, Part III of the Battle Rounds.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Voice S7: Serving San Jacinto Realness

[Tonight's recap title is a reference to the final battle of Texas independence from Mexico.]

After filling up the teams, now comes time to see how Mr. and Mr. Shevine, Pharrell and Gwen will whittle down some of their teams for the next set of competition. Hint: some decisions will be correct; some will suck and contestants will be stolen maybe towards the end. Depending on when Carson Daly's voiceover spoils the outcome.

These are the nouns, pronouns, gerunds, marklar, banter, fuckery and FlirtCruiting that transpired...

Let's play rough and get it on!

First up, Maiya Sykes vs Elyjuh Rene
 of Team Pharrell. They were assigned "If I Ain't Got You" by Alicia Keys. The advisor for Team Pharrell...that's mean but so rewarding. Rehearsals indicate Maiya's potential could be hindered by vibrato. Elyjuh's problem is just creative direction not meshing with the song's arrangement. Come showtime, Elyjuh sounded vastly improved and creative with the song. Maiya just sounded like a try-hard. In the end, Pharrell picks Elyjuh to move on. Maiya ends up eliminated. Knew it. He was simply better.

Second, Chris Jamison vs Jonathan Wyndham of Team Adam. They were assigned "Young Girls" by Bruno Mars. Rehearsals indicate Chris' nerves and star-struck attitude could bring him down. Jonathan has a problem with projecting every emotion in him to the song. Come showtime, it was clear that Jonathan's projection against Chris would grow irritatingly similar to Screech from S4 vs. Duncan Kamakana. Chris was clearly better but Adam has made poor decisions in the past *Judith over Karina COUGH*. In the end, Adam picks Chris to move on. Jonathan was forced to return to the Cracker Barrel from whence he came.

Third, Jean Kelley Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, dance on air vs. Porn Star Name Sugar Joans of Team Gwen. They were assigned "Survivor" by Destiny's Child. How did Gwen pick this for the two whitest girls there? Rehearsals indicate both girls were horribly miscast for this song but that Jean was less terrible overall. Come showtime, Michelle Williams was the winner of the Battle *shaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaade*. In actuality, Jean sounded better by miles compared to Sugar (Who ended up snatching "Cheap CopyKat Imitator" at the Swear Ball Extravaganza!") In the end, Gwen picks Sugar to move on. Oh sod off Gwen. Adam ends up doing the right thing and Pharrell was rude as shit in trying to steal Jean. She ends up picking Pharrell as her new coach.

Fourth, Craig Wayne Boyd vs. James David Carter of Team Blake. They were assigned "Wave on Wave" by Pat Green. Rehearsals indicate that James has ease but not power and Craig has uniqueness but not a lot of finesse. Come showtime, both seemed to rely on vibe/energy than actual singing even for a country friendly song. In the end, Blake picks James to move on. Craig ends up eliminated from S7...before Gwen pulls an Usher and steals Craig at the LAST minute while he was being crushed.

Fifth, Amanda Lee Peers vs. Taylor John Williams of Team Gwen. I wanted Amanda to prevail so much. They were assigned "Jolene" by Dolly Parton. That is Cody Belew's song; you heaux must step off. Rehearsals indicate Amanda's only pitfall could be being too stiff or stoic. Taylor's issues apart from sound are aesthete and being beige. Come showtime, the odds were in Amanda's favor. She had a balanced vibrato and considering this is a country song that's a feat in and of itself. In the end, Gwen picks Taylor to move on. The other coaches suck for not stealing Amanda. Her elimination is so unjustifiable. Taylor is awful...just so awful.

Finally, Griffin vs. Luke Wade of Team Pharrell. They were assigned "Maybe I'm Amazed" by Paul McCartney. Rehearsals indicate Griffin's nerves and lack of prior knowledge to the song could be his downfall. Luke's problems in rehearsals was the singing because he was off pitch. Then a blues take on the song proves that blues is ***Flawless. Come showtime, Luke sounded improved but still a touch erratic in delivery. Griffin tried some falsetto work but sounded like he just started experimenting with the falsetto. In the end, Pharrell picks Luke to move on. Blake and Gwen are idiots for wanting Griffin on their team...considering Amanda was on Gwen's team. -_- He ends up picking Blake as his coach.

Overall, these battles are far from over...

Up next, Part II of the Battle Rounds.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

BATTLE UP: The Voice S7 Battle Roster

EXTRA, EXTRA. MJSBIGBLOG has the skinny and some preview on who's battling who once Round 1 of The Battles Begins...

Team Adam
- Clara Hong vs Rebekah Samarin
- Damien vs Kelli Douglas – “Knock on Wood” (not the Amii Stewart version because of idiocy)
- Joe Kirk vs Alessandra Castronovo
- Mia Pfirrman vs Beth Spangler – “I Turn to You”
- Ethan Butler vs Matt McAndrew – “Yellow” by Coldplay

- Chris Jamison vs Jonathan Wyndham

Team Pharrell
- Luke Wade vs Griffin  “Maybe I’m Amazed”
- Maiya Sykes vs Elyjuh Rene – “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys
- Blessing Offer vs Katriz Trinidad
- Toia Jones vs Danica Shirey – “Halo” by Beyonce
- Brittany Butler vs Ricky Manning
- Taylor Phelan vs Jordy Searcy

Team Gwen
- Taylor John Williams vs Amanda Lee Peers
- Sugar Joans vs Jean Kelley – “Survivor” by Destiny's Child
- Jessie Pitts vs Ryan Sill
- Anita Antoinette vs Mayra Alvarez – “I Can See Clearly Now”

- Menlik Zergabachew vs Troy Richie – “Maneater” by Hall & Oates
- Gianna Salvato vs Bryana Salaz

Team Blake
- Allison Bray vs Fernanda Bosch
- Taylor Brashears vs Bree Fondacaro
- Craig Wayne Boyd vs James David Carter – “Wave on Wave”

- Kensington Moore vs Reagan James – “Team” by Lorde

the fates of Justin Johnes, Grant Ganzer, Tanner Linford & John Martin are unknown.