Upcoming Music: New & Notable

Madonna is one of those singers that I particularly admire because she has such a vast selection of music that covers a wide period of time. For the most part, I’m on the fence with much of her 80s stuff, hit-or-miss. Her mid-90s hits are where it’s at for me while my favourite album was 2000’s Music. When it comes to the direction I think she should take, I have considered it the best route for her to do something more ambient compared to most of the last decade of Madonna songs. Not necessarily like her Ray Of Light days but perhaps something bordering on trip-hop, Massive Attack type stuff. I think she should steer very clear of the sound from her last album, 2008’s Hard Candy. I enjoyed a few songs from that but the entire thing reeked of desperation. She doesn’t need pop hits and at this point, she doesn’t even need to release new music. Madonna has reached that plateau where she’ll likely never put out anything that will have a significant impact ever again. The Rolling Stones reached it decades ago, as did Dylan, and U2 are pretty well there as well. But Madonna is still in the position where she can get actual hits, even if they don’t stack up with her classics. 4 Minutes did quite well at the time, even if it hasn’t been played anywhere in over two years and would rarely ever be mentioned amongst her classics.

Madonna, Nicki Minaj and M.I.A.

Madonna, Nicki Minaj and M.I.A.

Madonna has a new album coming out in 2012. She’s going to be performing on the Super Bowl XLVI’s halftime show. One of the songs she’s supposedly performing is her new single, titled Give Me All Your Love. And it features Nicki Minaj and M.I.A., with production by Martin Solveig!

This is a pretty big deal, in my opinion. On one hand, she’s catering to the current mainstream audience by working with Nicki Minaj. On the other hand, Nicki is awesome! Back to the first hand, my thoughts have been that Madonna should go back to setting trends rather than following them, but again, Nicki Minaj! Some songs have been saved thanks fully to the inclusion of a verse by her. The inclusion of M.I.A. implies that perhaps this won’t be a standard hip-hop influenced collaboration, plus with production by Martin Solveig, who is the guy behind Hello with Dragonette. It’s a complete win! I have an idea what to expect in some way but at the same time, I know I don’t. But I’m highly looking forward to this!

Madonna + Nicki Minaj + M.I.A. + Martin Solveig = ?(early 2012).

Amy Winehouse - Lioness: Hidden Treasures

The cover for Amy Winehouse's upcoming collection of songs

Meanwhile, coming much sooner than that and also much sooner than I would have expected is a new Amy Winehouse record. I’m torn with this for a few reasons. Firstly, it is pretty soon so it feels cheap and rushed. Although a few months ago I would have been totally excited for new Amy music, it would have been under the assumption that it would be handled just right. Lioness: Hidden Treasures is essentially a collection of songs that spans nearly ten years of recorded music. A few songs from before Frank, a few alternate versions of songs from Back To Black and a few songs from post Back To Black with the addition of Body & Soul, her duet with Tony Bennett and a few covers. So while I am looking forward to hearing them on an individual basis, it feels rather sloppy. I don’t know if there is even enough material to have an entire album of new songs but I do wonder if there is perhaps a better way to have presented these songs.

I also have a feeling that Amy wouldn’t have approved of the album cover which is of her and a white backdrop. It looks pleasant but isn’t representative of Amy Winehouse. Of course, this record is perhaps better served as a tribute on behalf of the producers and label rather than an Amy Winehouse record. Or perhaps I’m just too much of a stickler.

Lioness: Hidden Treasures will be out December 5th, 2011.

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