Leave it to one of contemporary music’s most innovative artists to remind us that legendary songs can be powerful in any musical style. David Bowie’s “Heroes” got a soulful update courtesy of R&B artist Janelle Monáe as part of a new Pepsi ad campaign. Bowie and Monáe both represent the innovation of sound and identity through blurring the lines of genre, style and gender, so it only makes sense that their paths would cross in such an awesome way.
Last month, Billboard hosted a Women in Music luncheon, honoring pioneering women in the music industry. Janelle Monáe was named as Billboard’s Rising Star – appropriately so – during said luncheon, and to celebrate, Scottish synth-pop trio Chvrches delievered a dreamy and dramatic rendition of Monáe’s infectious “Tightrope.”
Best (So Far) finds the finest first-round covers of the latest pop hits.
Launched back in February 2008, the New York-based indie band fun. — comprised of Andrew Dost, Jack Antonoff, and Nate Ruess (formerly of The Format) — has been hovering quietly under the mainstream radar for quite some time. It really wasn’t until “We Are Young” (featuring R&B singer Janelle Monae) was covered on Glee back in December and featured in a Chevrolet Super Bowl commercial this past February that the three-man band began commanding a lot more attention.
Every Wednesday, our resident Gleek Eric Garneau gives his take on last night’s Glee covers.
In “Hold on to Sixteen,” New Directions and their rival glee club the TroubleTones compete in the Sectionals competition. Meanwhile, Quinn (Dianna Agron) plots to get Shelby (Idina Menzel) fired and an old friend returns to McKinley High.
Just last week I was thinking about how, in the future, we’ll be able to look back and pinpoint lackluster Glee episodes with an alarming degree of certainty based solely on the presence of Sam Evans (Chord Overstreet), a character who appeared only in season two, which seems generally agreed-upon as the worst of Glee‘s output to date. It should be no surprise, then, that when Sam returns to the show this week he brings with him a very season two-styled episode that feels the need to rush through a whirlwind of plot points without really doing justice to any of them. Even though “Hold on to Sixteen” is one of those special “competition” episodes that brings plots to their culmination by design, everything about it feels so hurried that nothing really has a chance to land – it’s 20 minutes of plot, then 20 minutes of performances, then a tacked-on happy ending. Honestly, I did not enjoy it.
Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!
The soundtrack to Purple Rain came out ten thousand days ago today. It feels like forever and that’s a mighty long time, but we’re here to tell you there’s something else…the full album, covered.
Purple Rain won an Oscar and two Grammy Awards, sold more than 20 million copies, and held the number one selling album slot in the US for twenty-four consecutive weeks (despite being released just three weeks after Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A.). The only debate that remains worth having: great Prince album, or greatest Prince album? Dirty Mind and Sign o’ the Times both have their backers, but neither of those albums tapped into the zeitgeist the way Purple Rain did.
At last weekend’s Rock in Rio festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil R&B sensation Janelle Monáe and her band launched through the Jackson 5 classic “I Want You Back,” honoring the late Michael Jackson. While Monae usually sticks to her funky, sci-fi influenced prog-pop style, she also unarguably possesses one of the most impressive voices in pop today, giving her the freedom to cover some of the most challenging and beloved songs in the rock songbook.