Aguilera Shines On Very Entertaining ‘Back To Basics’

Dan Aquilante of the New York Post reviewed Christina Aguilera’s new album ‘Back To Basics’, giving the disc an impressive four out of four stars. Aquilante writes, “A curmudgeon might toss a wet blanket on Aguilera’s fire, accusing the singer of creating an unfocused collection that makes no effort to connect the dots between the jazz of the ’20s and the soul divas of the ’60s. But that’s a losing argument. She isn’t trying to teach us a scattershot history of pop – she’s just an entertainer. And these new songs produced in old styles are very entertaining.” He added, “Even though Aguilera reveals little about herself, ‘Back To Basics’ is a testament that she has more depth then Beyonce and more staying power than Britney.”

Kelly Clarkson’s Big Voice Doesn’t Always Last

Marian Liu of the San Jose Mercury News reviewed Kelly Clarkson’s performance at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California on August 3rd. Liu writes, “Clarkson’s strength is in her approachability. As the first American Idol winner, she knows she’s not just her own star and so shares the night with everyone. The only thing is even though she has a big voice, it does not always last. She used a lot of echo effect giving her more of a chance to breathe. I wish her part of the concert was longer than an hour.”

The review at has since been removed.

Sun Setting On Taylor Hicks’ Musical Career In Sunrise

Howard Cohen of the Miami Herald was on hand for the American Idols Live Tour stop in Sunrise, Florida on Saturday night (August 5), blasting the performance of show champ Taylor Hicks, calling him “the night’s biggest disappointment.” Cohen writes, “His shelf-life should expire before his major-label debut CD arrives this Fall. Perhaps Taylor triumphed over the others on TV because his spastic dancing, his prematurely gray hair and his not-so-good looks appealed to the average schlub among us who fantasizes about becoming famous.”

The entire review at has since been removed.

Sean Lennon’s Mixed Vocal Blessings

Sean Lennon 'Friendly Fire' album cover

Roger Friedman of weighed in on Sean Lennon’s new album ‘Friendly Fire’, which hits stores in late September. Friedman writes, “It’s no surprise that ‘Friendly Fire’ sounds not only a lot like the father’s work, but like Julian’s too. Sean has the mixed blessing of a voice that combines both his parents, hence the little extra nasal sound when his mom’s genetics come through.”

The article at has since been removed.

Madonna’s ‘I’m Going To Tell You A Secret’ DVD/CD

Contributed anonymously:

Madonna’s latest release, “I’m going to tell you a secret” is a DVD and CD set. The DVD contains her 2005 documentary of the same name, and the CD contains some live songs from the 2004 Re-Invention Tour.

“I’m going to tell you a secret” is a sequel of sorts to the now-classic “Truth or Dare,” and pales in comparison to its predecessor. Rejected at the Cannes Film Festival, this straight-to-video affair is a total mess, a snooze-fest of the first degree. It’s latter part is really an Eitan Yardeni “Kabbalah” corny infomercial. The scene of the Jewish boy and the Arab boy in the end is mush at its worst. Madonna tries so hard to project an enlightened, more mature, more humane image but fails. Instead of coming across as kinder and gentler, she just appears (albeit unintentionally as a crazed Kabbalah nut with strong anti-American tendencies). Note that I didn’t say “religious” nut. This is because she made it very clear in the documentary that religion is the cause of division. This is very ill-informed of her. Have we no right to profess our individuals faiths? Why blame religion for all the world’s troubles? It’s also crazy and uneducated to reduce Kabbalah into a principle or discipline independent of religion, per se Judaism and the Torah. To so would just make it into what Madonna and her rabbi are advocating: new age crap. Former fans like myself would rather have the bitchy and sassy Madonna of “Truth or Dare.” No, she didn’t grow up or mature. Madonna just went nuts a la Michael Jackson. Let the truth be said: once pop stars begin “healing the world,” that’s when their careers end.

Guy Ritchie and his son Rocco are the delights in this production. There’s a certain likeability about them. Very lovable. It’s priceless – that scene where Guy said to Madonna before she hits the stage: “Fly like a bird!” It’s something of a harbinger, an omen. This was the time before “The Emancipation of Mimi,” the CD that destroyed all chances for Madonna to reclaim whatever place she has in pop music.

We could say that the release of this DVD is another career misstep for Madonna and another disappointment for her fans. They would have appreciated it more had the DVD for the Re-Invention Tour been released instead. Speaking of which: fans and former fans alike have been waiting for The Virgin Tour and the Blond Ambition Tour to make it on DVD forever!

As for the CD, it’s touted as Madonna’s first live CD. You’ve heard one, you’ve heard them all. There’s nothing to be excited about this one, except for “Imagine,” which hasn’t appeared on any Madonna CD yet. Also worthy of note is the original version of “I Love New York,” which is really the stand-out here. During the time of the “Remixed and Revisited” CD, there were talks of Madonna releasing a rock CD, as “American Life” and “Love Profusion” were given rock (and BETTER) arrangements in that CD. This version of “I Love New York” comes from that time. Makes you wonder why Madonna choose the laughable and unsuccessful leotard/disco route instead. Makes you wonder what would have happened had she turned to rock after the American Life fiasco. Would’ve made an interesting comeback. But we all know what happened: it was Kelly Clarkson who followed that path and succeeded, while Madonna until now is trying hard to get back.

‘Loose’ Is A Perfect Fit For Nelly Furtado

Nelly Furtado 'Loose' album cover

Glenn Gamboa of Newsday reviewed Nelly Furtado’s new album ‘Loose’, giving it 3 1/2 stars. Gamboa writes, “With ‘Loose’, Furtado seems primed to move into that Gwen Stefani role in pop music — the savvy, female-friendly singer who rolls out one clever hit after another, dominating the charts for years to come. And she looks like she’ll have fun doing it.”

Madonna Booed At Coachella

Roger Friedman of reports Madonna was roundly booed by the Coachella Valley Music Festival audience in California over the weekend after showing up late on stage in a small tent. She then performed only six songs really that no one has much affection for ‘Hung Up’, ‘Get Together’, ‘I Love New York’, ‘Ray of Light (2006 Version)’, ‘Let It Will Be (Paper Faces Mix)’, and ‘Everybody (2005 Version)’. Read more.

Madonna Wins Over Restless Crowd At Coachella Fest

May 2, 2006 – Jonathan Cohen of Billboard reports Madonna made her festival debut at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in southern California, performing six songs Sunday in front of one of the largest crowds ever to witness an artist at the two-day event.

Madonna Playing Coachella

April 29, 2006 – Carson Daly joked during his ‘Last Call’ monologue on Friday night, “You know, Madonna is playing the Coachella Indie Music Festival. It’s cool, Madonna’s actually doing something different, she’s playing on a much smaller, more intimate stage than she usually does which I think is very cool. But still, for my money, I say a Madonna concert is best if you can catch it in 1985.”

Madonna To Finally Release Original ‘American Life’ Video

April 28, 2006 – Madonna will release her documentary “I’m Going To Tell You a Secret” as a CD/DVD package June 13 via Warner Bros. The film, directed by Jonas Akerlund, chronicles the diva’s 2004 Re-Invention Tour. The DVD will include never-before-seen footage from the documentary as well as the director’s cut of Madonna’s controversial music video for 2003’s ‘American Life’ single. The artist canceled the release of the original clip shortly before its U.S. premiere. The DVD will be accompanied by a 14 track CD from both film & concert.

Duff Show ‘Predictably Formulaic And Painstakingly Choreographed’

Sarah Walters of Manchester Online reviewed Hilary Duff’s concert at the M.E.N. Arena on Tuesday (April 25) before a crowd of 3,500 pre-teens, giving the show two out of five stars. Walters called the show “predictably formulaic and painstakingly choreographed, and it’s a little difficult to forget that underneath Duff’s stylized indie-girl image is a star of stage and screen dying to get out.”

The full review at has since been removed.

Pink Lets Everyone See Her True Colors

Glenn Gamboa of Newsday reviewed Pink’s new album ‘I’m Not Dead’, out Tuesday. Gamboa writes, “Pink continues to stretch the boundaries of what people can expect from her and from their pop stars. ‘I’m Not Dead’ shows that ‘stupid girls’ don’t have to dominate the pop charts.”

Pink Flounders With Grown-Up Issues

Pink 'I'm Not Dead' album cover

Fiona Shepherd of The Scotsman reviewed Pink’s new album ‘I’m Not Dead’, giving it just two stars. Shepherd writes, “She continues to define herself in opposition to her empty-headed peers on the sarky, snotty, satirical and catchy current single Stupid Girls, proving herself still to be handy with a comical diss. ‘Where have the smart people gone?’ she laments wryly. But, while it’s fine for her to play the cool-cat critic, she needs the musical goods to back it up. Instead, it transpires she hasn’t advanced over the course of four albums.”

The entire review at has since been removed.