Boston's beloved punk band Dropkick Murphys lead this week's top new songs for pop fans with a re-recorded version of their song "Rose Tattoo." The new recording features contributions from Bruce Springsteen and proceeds will benefit the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. It is just the first of a great group of new music. Read the details in this week's list of the Top 10 New Pop Songs.
Album cover courtesy Born and Bred
For me the real turning point of season 12 of American Idol occurred in the week the final 6 performed. Candice Glover closed the night singing a torch song version of the Cure's hit "Lovesong." It was a riveting moment and Randy Jackson was correct to say it was one of the best performances ever on American Idol. From that point on it seemed obvious that Candice Glover should win, but the show maintained the drama over whether the fan base at home would feel the same way. Many called foul when Angie Miller was eliminated after performances by the final 3. She was the one contestant I thought could beat Candice Glover and her exit paved the way for tonight's victory.
Candice Glover's win comes after a third year of auditioning for American Idol. She auditioned the first time in season 9, and last year, season 11, she made it to the Las Vegas rounds. Candice Glover is the first female contestant to win since Jordin Sparks six years ago in season 6. Jordin appeared tonight in a humorous clip depicting a sabotage plan that left this year's competition with an all female final 5. Candice Glover's first single, the inspirational "I Am Beautiful," does not seem as obviously commercial as Phillip Phillips' massive hit coronation song "Home" from last year. In a change from the past, Candice Glover's debut album is already available for pre-orders. Check out the game changing performance of "Lovesong" below.
- Watch Candice Glover sing "Lovesong"
Photo by Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images
Emeli Sande's international breakthrough single "Next To Me" was a big hit last year in the UK as her album Our Version Of Events dominated the charts. Now it is climbing the Billboard Hot 100 here in the US. She performed the song live tonight on American Idol's finale and tonight "Next To Me" received the UK's most prestigious songwriting award of the year, the Ivor Novello Best Song Musically and Lyrically prize. Emeli Sande's "Next To Me" also won the Most Performed Work award.
Another big winner tonight was Calvin Harris who was recognized as Songwriter of the Year after a string of major hit singles from his album 18 Months. Pete Tong presented the award to Calvin Harris saying, "I think the fact is that DJs and the writers of dance and electronic music never truly believed they belonged in this room. I'm happy to say that changes. We've got a role model now." An Awesome Wave by the group alt-J, winner of the Mercury Prize, also won the Ivor Novello Award for Best Album. Marc Almond, Noel Gallagher, Gavin Rossdale, and Justin Hayward all won special songwriting prizes.
Photo by Frazer Harrison / Getty Images
Selena Gomez had impressive pop success with her band the Scene with three consecutive top 10 albums and five consecutive top 40 pop hit singles. However, an achievement she missed was a top 10 pop hit. Now she has reached that mark as well as her official first solo single roars into this week's top 10. Read more about this and other stories in this week's coverage of the US pop music charts.
Single cover courtesy Hollywood Records
Boy are a duo made up of singer Valeska Steiner from Switzerland and bass player Sonja Glass from Germany. They perform a style of intimate pop that would be familiar to fans of Feist or reminiscent of Sara Bareilles performed with guitar instead of piano. Their debut album Mutual Friends was released in North America this past February on independent label Nettwerk Records.
Boy embarked on their first North American concert tour beginning in March. I was fortunate to catch them last night at the Pabst Theatre in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The show was moved to an intimate pub setting which was perfect for the delicate nature of a number of the songs. Valeska Steiner created a winning rapport with the audience speaking between songs. Her voice is an impressively beautiful instrument and combined with elegant musicianship the music won over the small crowd. Boy are a pop act to watch closely. The show did feel like we had happened upon the beginning of something special. Check Boy out below in the music video for their song "Little Numbers."
- Watch "Little Numbers"
Photo courtesy Nettwerk
The soundtrack for Baz Luhrman's new film adaptation of The Great Gatsby includes what was one of the most eagerly awaited movie soundtracks in recent history. Strong critical reviews and impressive sales have proved that the album is not a disappointment. Initial estimations for first week sales were approximately 95,000. The final total of 137,000, second only to Lady Antebellum's new studio release Golden, far outstrips expectations. 119,000 of those copies were digital downloads which gives The Great Gatsby the largest single week of digital sales for any soundtrack. Overall, it has the highest sales total for any movie soundtrack in over a year. The success of the film has also powered the love theme "Young and Beautiful" by Lana Del Rey into the top 10 at iTunes. Fergie's upbeat "A Little Party Never Killed Nobody" has also lodged itself inside the iTunes top 40. Find out more details about the music in the review of The Great Gatsby soundtrack.
Album cover courtesy Interscope
Kelly Rowland's "Dirty Laundry" is the rare example of a major artist being clear, frank and direct about difficult parts of their life in a song. There are plenty of examples of songs that have used metaphors and abstract imagery to exorcise demons, but here there is little left to the imagination. Kelly Rowland describes her envy of being in the shadow of her fellow member of Destiny's Child Beyonce. However it is clear she never waivered in her sisterly love. The song describes that the personal road through the last decade included an abusive relationship that put everything in jeopardy. She has said in interviews she intends the song to inspire fans instead of simply being a downbeat recitation of negative events. The raw words of "Dirty Laundry" are accompanied by smooth, elegant R&B music courtesy of collaborator The-Dream. The song will be released for purchase on May 21, 2013 and is a single from the album Talk a Good Game which will be released June 18, 2013. "Dirty Laundry" is rough going, but it is a strong personal statement from one of today's top R&B artists. Check out the song via SoundCloud below.
- Listen to "Dirty Laundry"
Photo by Jason Merritt / Getty Images
Selena Gomez continues to roll up the charts with her official solo debut. She has the hottest chart song around. It is just the first of a group of great new songs heading up the charts. Two artists are featured twice on songs this week. Check out all of the details in this week's Top 10 Hot Pop Songs chart.
Single cover courtesy Hollywood Records
If any proof was needed that Daft Punk's hit "Get Lucky" is a brilliant song on its own stripped of Daft Punk's immaculate studio production, Atlas Genius have just delivered it. The Australian alternative pop duo recorded their acoustic interpretation of the song recently at the Netherlands' Giel FM3. Now the track has been posted online for us all to listen. Atlas Genius are a pair of brothers who are one of the breakout alternative pop acts of 2013 in the US. Their single "Trojans" reached #4 on the alternative songs chart and the new release "If So" is climbing. The debut album When It Was Now released in February broke into the top 40 of the album chart. I had the positive fortune of catching Atlas Genius live in concert with Imagine Dragons in March. They are setting out on a headlining tour later this summer and will make appearances at both Summerfest in Milwaukee and Lollapalooza in Chicago. Check out "Get Lucky" below.
- Listen to "Get Lucky" by Atlas Genius
Photo courtesy Warner Bros.
Robin Thicke's new hit "Blurred Lines" proves unequivocally that good TV is still highly relevant in today's pop music marketplace. Last night Robin Thicke took to the stage of The Voice to perform his new song with Pharrell Williams and T.I. in tow. It was a stellar, sexy performance by the trio. "Blurred Lines" has thus far climbed to #70 on the Billboard Hot 100 while becoming Robin Thicke's biggest international pop hit reaching #1 in Australia, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. Now it looks like this TV appearance may be just enough to turn it into a major US pop hit. "Blurred Lines" has surged to the top of the iTunes digital download chart. A key part of the success of the song is producer, co-writer and featured performer Pharrell. He is in the process of staging a major pop comeback as he is also the voice of Daft Punk's current hit "Get Lucky." Look for Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines album this summer. Meanwhile, check out his live performance below.
- Watch "Blurred Lines" on The Voice
Single cover courtesy Star Trak