No Matter How ‘Invincible’ Does, Michael Jackson Still ‘King of Pop’

Glenn Gamboa of New York Newsday previewed Tuesday’s release of Michael Jackson’s new album, Invincible and say nothing will take his ‘King of Pop’ moniker away, “Try as he might to abdicate his musical throne, with all the offstage weirdness — the cringe-inducing skin-lightening, nose-whittling, mask-wearing and lawsuit-dodging — it’s not enough.”

Jacko’s Last Minute ‘Invicible’ Work

October 29, 2001 – Foxnews.com’s Roger Friedman reports Michael Jackson was still working on Invincible, his album out tomorrow, on September 21, as Carole Bayer Sager admits work she did on Jackson’s album that day appeared on the final cut. The article at FoxNews.com has since been removed.

Jacko Sales Predictions Dwindle

October 27, 2001 – The Sunday Times reports that while initial hopes by Sony expected Michael Jackson’s new album Invincible to clear 600,000 copies, following general record sales slump, cruel previews and the decline in Jackson’s popularity, the album may not even sell half that figure according to analysts.

Jacko’s D.C. Video Shoot Nixed By White House

October 27, 2001 – US Weekly reports Michael Jackson’s efforts to use different landmarks in Washington D.C. as filming backdrops for his new charity single, “What More Can I Give” were nixed by the White House for security reasons, according to a source. Jackson wanted to film the spots while he and the other singers were in town for the RFK Stadium performance last Sunday.

The Sun’s Mohan Lauds Mariah Effort

Unlike what many of Mariah’s own fans thought on Mariah’s message board, The Sun’s Dominic Mohan reports, “In spite of running three hours over schedule 47,000 fans loved the highlight of the event, Mariah Carey’s first major stage appearance since her breakdown in July. The singer showed plenty of front for her comeback by wearing a revealing black dress while she performed Never Too Far and Hero.”

Mariah Carey ‘Glitter’ Review

Mariah Carey 'Glitter' album cover

Reviewer: Macy (Glitter)

Artist: Carey, Mariah
Album:’Glitter’
Release Date: Sept. 11, 2001
Re-Release Date: Dec. 4, 2001
Label: Virgin
When you think of Mariah Carey, you either think of her as the Queen of Pop, a true diva, or you think of her as the slutty bitch that’s trying to convert you to her side opposed to the side of Jennifer Lopez. Whatever you feel is perfectly fine, you’re entitled to your own opinion, but it’s because Mariah is known as a truly talented artist that she received such terrible reviews for this album. Not because it’s bad, (it’s far better than anything j.lo could’ve coughed up) it just doesn’t compare to the rest of her work. I personally like the album and I recommend it to anybody who’s willing to give her chance.

(based on five star ratings)

1. Loverboy (Remix): ***1/2 (w/ Da Brat, Ludacris, Shawna, Twenty II)
This song doesn’t have a very good flow- there’s too much going on at once. One minute Mariah has a verse, the next you’ve got some rapper trying to cover up a chorus, the song’s way too hectic.

2. Lead The Way: ****
This has all of the elements of the classic Mariah ballad: passionate lyrics, beautiful vocals, and the excellent flow. It’s wonderfully done.

3. If We: ***1/2 (w/ Ja Rule)
What annoys me about this song is that Mariah sounds like the featured artist instead tof the leading one.

4. I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On: ***3/4
This is a great dance remake of the 80s classic. The flow is just right until the ending where an annoying chorus chimes in.

5. Don’t Stop (Funkin’ 4 Jamaica): ****9/10 (w/ Mystical)
This is my favorite track off of the entire album. It has that James Brown-soul feel with an excellent hip-hop/dance mix. The only thing that prevents it from a 5 star rating is that Mariah again sounds like the featured artist.

6. All My Life: ****
I like this song. It’s an uppity-feel happy kind of song with a nice beat that nearly forces you to lip sync to it.

7. Reflections (Care Enough): ****
This song is sung by Billie (Mariah’s character in ‘Glitter’ movie) It deals with the pain she’s suffering by not knowing whether her mother has any love for her or not. It’s again your typical ballad with great lyrics.

8. Last Night A DJ Saved My Life: ****4/5 (w/ Busta Rhymes, Fabolous)
I love this song. It’s a great remake of the 80s classic with a nice new hip-hop beat. Busta and Fabolous make the track nearly perfect.
9. Want You: ***9/10 (w/ Eric Benet)
I like the harmonies in this song but it doesn’t grab you’re attention.

10. Never Too Far: ****9/10
This is a beautiful ballad. There’s so much emotion that anybody could fall in love with it.

11. Twister: *****
This is the tragic (true) story about Mariah’s stylist who committed suicide. It describes some of her memories of her and the feelings that she’s trying to cope with. The lyrics are really deep and personal and so are the vocals.

12. Loverboy: ***1/2
This song doesn’t have a very good flow- there’s too much going on at once. One minute Mariah has a verse, the next you’ve got some rapper trying to cover up a chorus, the song’s way too hectic

Overall, this is wonderful album that should be an addition to everyone’s collection. If you just give her a chance, I know you’ll fall in love with Mariah too.

Jessica Simpson Fresno Concert Review

Allison wrote up a review for the Jessica Simpson concert in Fresno last night, calling it ‘amazing’. Check it out below.

I went to the Jessica Simpson concert last night, and all I can say is, It was amazing! She introduced her new single “A little Bit,” and stunned the audience with a powerhouse performance of “I Wanna Love You Forever.” The girl’s got some powerful lungs! About halfway through the show, Jessica announced to the audience that this was the last show Ashlee [her little sister] would be performing with her, and that Ashlee is moving on to pursue her own dreams of becoming a singer/actress….The costumes went from being classic and traditional, to casual and funky, with sparkles all over!! During one of the costume changes, boys from the audience had the opportunity to show their talents on stage. The grand prize….a serenade of “When You Told Me You Loved Me,” by Jessica! The show was almost over, and it was time to do the finale…everyone got up out of their seats, and were going crazy!! She came out, and sang the last song of the night, “Irresistible.” I was so excited because I had front row seats and during this song, she came over to my side, I was screaming, “Jessica!!” and she smiled and waved to me!! She is an extremely talented singer and dancer, as well as a beautiful person, and I hope to see her in concert again!

*NSYNC ‘Gone’ Video Review

*NSYNC 'Gone' cover

Reviewer: Jennifer Marie Timberlake

I saw Gone today on Musique Plus! It’s a very pretty video, I like it a lot, except that it’s Justin, Justin, Justin all the time. That really annoyed me, but “artistically” speaking, it’s a beautiful vid. I really liked that it’s slow, in the sense that there aren’t 300 images per minutes like there were on Pop. You can appreciate each image, each cut. It’s b/w, but I guess everyone know that by now.

It starts with this Charlie Chaplin-like scene. Justin, of course, is dressed as Charlie Chaplin. Chris is dressed like an old-time cop and Lance is dressed like a 1920 school boy. They are all dancing like morons. The girl is dancing too, although she doesn’t look as stupid as the guys do. Then the non-Justin guys “disappear” and Justin and girl are alone on the couch. Justin gives her flower, then he pretends to stretch his arm behind her but ends up falling behind her. Funny. Then Justin and the girl kind of accidentally kiss and they both look all surprised. End of the Chaplin movie.

First verse – It’s Justin alone in a room with no furniture but a bench (think Titus). I think it’s supposed to be an empty apartment. He’s wearing a sleeveless shirt and is barefoot. Then the part was it something I said to make you turn away is Justin and girl and the nail painting part. She tosses him the nail polish bottle and they both laugh. During that part we still see bits of Justin in the empty apartment. At one point he’s sitting on a bed but there’s no sheets, just a mattress.

Then the chorus. The entire group re-appear for a few seconds. They pan from right to left once then cut to Justin and the girl and the toenail. He’s painting her toe now. It looks complicated. Close up of JC and Chris. Then back to Justin, he’s done painting the toenail, he’s all “Oh, yeah!”, so we can assume he’s done a good job. Back to the entire group, they pan from left to right, close up of Justin, close up of Lance and Joey. Close up of the girl laughing at Justin’s toenail painting adventure. End of chorus.

During the second verse there’s a party. It’s the girl’s birthday. All the non-Justin guys are there, along with Justin and the girl and some of her friends. We see Justin dancing with his girl, Lance with some blond chick. Then Justin puts his party hat on his face and everybody points and laugh. Then Lance dance with Justin’s girl (what’s with Lance and Justin’s love interests? Down boy!), JC and Joey and Chris are shouting at something, JC and Joey are holding hands (?). More shots of Justin in empty apartment. Back to the party, they’re filming each other. Then Justin brings the small, small birthday cake with one of those sparkling candles on top. JC tries to blow it. Close up of the girl looking very happy. More shots of Justin in the empty apartment. He’s opened the fridge, but it’s empty as well. He closes it and slumps down against it. Back to the party, the girl puts some cake icing on Justin’s nose. Cue empty apartment. Then a very (very) chaste kiss.

Second chorus. All the non-Justin guys in a staircase. JC looks mighty pissed. Then we see the girl putting on lip gloss looking confused about something. Justin puts a necklace on her and they look very happy and couple-y. He caresses her face and kisses her neck. Of course through the entire chorus there are still scenes from the empty apartment.

Then it’s the bridge. Justin runs towards the girl, they roll around in the grass, he’s carrying her on his back. We also see Justin alone in the same backyard. There are a lot of clouds in the sky. And for a short while the non-Justin guys are there too. But of course Justin’s in the middle in front of them. Then Justin and the girl are making out against a wall, I think in the apartment hallway.

Cue Justin hitting the wall, cue JC close up, cue sad girl, cue JC singing passionately. Close up of Lance, close up of Chris, another close up of Lance, close up of Joey, Justin, Joey, Justin, sad girl, JC.

Then we see Justin in the empty apartment with the Charlie Chaplin movie playing next to him (I think he’s supposed to be thinking about it). Scene of the Chaplin movie: they’re all (that includes non-Justin guys) dancing one behind another holding the waist of the one in front. I know there’s a name for that thing but I can’t remember right now. Then Justin in the empty apartment fades and we only see the Chaplin movie. The girl is fixing Justin’s hat, then she’s picking petals off the flower Justin gave her at the beginning of the video (“he loves me, he loves me not” style). Then she holds the petal-less flower close to her heart and gets a dreamy look on her face. The End.

My opinion: Very beautiful video, but not for ‘N Sync. Someone who doesn’t know ‘N Sync would think it’s a solo artist with background singers. This is a dream for Justin-only fans, but for fans of the group or fan of non-Justin guys, it’s not great.

Michael Musto Talks ‘Glitter’

Village Voice gossip writer Michael Musto gave his thoughts on Mariah Carey’s movie ‘Glitter’ and like just about everyone, blasted the film. Said Musto, “It’s a tawdry compendium of every showbiz cliche ever imagined every two seconds, some character emerges to say, ‘God, you’re talented!’ that drew derisive guffaws at the press screening last week.” He does think the movie is amusing, though in an inadvertent manner.

Free Press Terry Lawson Gives ‘Glitter’ 1 Star

More horrific reviews of Mariah Carey’s Glitter are coming in as Detroit Free Press movie critic Terry Lawson gives the film only 1 star as he claims, “While ‘Glitter,’ designed to launch singer Mariah Carey’s movie career, is blatantly modeled on “A Star Is Born,” it may send Carey’s already falling star plummeting into the ground.”

Good Review For ‘Glitter’ From Boston Herald

The Boston Herald’s Sarah Rodman chimes in on the Mariah Carey release of Glitter giving it a respectable 3 out of 4 stars. Rodman main problems with the album were the hip hop guest stars who litter several tracks which she called “mostly distracting.”

Undercover.net: Carey’s Glitter

Mariah Carey 'Glitter' album cover

Hector The Rock Dog reviewed Mariah’s upcoming album ‘Glitter’ and says if the album wasn’t a soundtrack, you’d call it unfocused, “Mariah Carey doesn’t know if she wants to be Barbra Streisand or Missy Elliot. Her success was based initially on taking the Streisand path but somewhere along the journey off she trotted down Missy Elliot Highway.”

O-Town South Bend Concert Review

Reviewer: Brittney

O-Town, Concert, South Bend, IN 8/4/01

I’ve read so many bad reviews and criticisms about OTOWN, their album, their television show, and their live show… and I’ve yet to understand why. At least the live show part. In my opinion, no one can TOUCH their live show. They pull off the singing and dancing without lipsynching great, and the show’s nonstop, full of energy. There aren’t many special effects such as the ones you find at an *NSYNC or Backstreet show, but their actual raw talent makes up for that. They strum the guitar a few times, Ashley Angel (“the cute one”) accompanies their hit single, “All or Nothing”, with playing the piano, and their harmonies are incredible. I took my 21 year old cousin with me.. a hard core rock fan, and even she was impressed. Mostly by Jacob Underwood (“the rebel”), who is definitely a true rocker at heart.. and that most definitely shines through on stage. However, unlike my cousin, not everyone not impressed with boybands will enjoy the show.. but I do think a great majority will. If you go with an open mind, and open eyes.. there’s no doubt you’ll see where I’m coming from. Even if not your “type”, they get the crowd hyped, and they’re enjoying themselves.. something you don’t always see in artists’ eyes today. Unfortunately, due to certain circumstances I missed some of the show, though there the whole time, but what I saw was definitely great, and my two best friends who joined me and didn’t miss a moment thought it was even better. And though it still may not be convincing, this being written from a teen girl’s point of view, it more and likely will automatically be considered bias and lack of taste due to the “teenybopper” stereotype, but .. one of my two friends went to the concert rather skeptical, and came home .. though not the biggest, definitely, a fan. :)

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