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Lorde Storms Toward The Throne Of Pop Music

Music Review: Drake plays melancholy king on introspective 3rd album ‘Nothing Was the Same’

NAIROBI, KENYA, - SEPTEMBER 25:  Relatives carry a coffin during a funeral procession for Selima Merali (41) and her daughter Nuriana Merali (15), who were killed in the attack by gunmen at the Westgate Shopping Centre, on September 25, 2013 in Nairobi, Kenya. The country is observing three days of national mourning as security forces begin the task of clearing and securing the Westgate shopping mall following a four-day siege by militants.  (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

The song recently hit No. 1 on iTunes and has been steadily climbing Billboard’s Hot 100, sitting currently at No. 3. She’s already gained the admiration of musicians industry-wide, ranging from Cyrus to Elton John. Her single Tennis Court “is one of the most touching, beautiful things on earth,” John recently told USA TODAY . “You just open your mouth in wonder.” Lena Dunham, Olivia Wilde and Carson Daly also count themselves as fans. The Auckland native has two theories about why listeners have connected with her music: “There’s not a lot of reality in pop music sometimes. It can feel quite detached from people’s lives, and so that was something people appreciate about my music maybe. But also, it’s super, super simple, which is kind of refreshing.” Royals was inspired by the lavish, over-the-top lifestyle of hip-hop and pop artists. “I realized that lots of the references (in their lyrics) didn’t really relate to anything in my life,” says Lorde, though she does count herself as a fan of Drake and Nicki Minaj. But when choosing her stage name, Yelich-O’Connor sought out a royal-sounding moniker, inspired by her childhood obsession with aristocracy, “something that has always fascinated me.

Music Review: Kings of Leon tame themselves in 6th studio album, ‘Mechanical Bull’

NAIROBI, KENYA, - SEPTEMBER 25:  Relatives carry a coffin during a funeral procession for Selima Merali (41) and her daughter Nuriana Merali (15), who were killed in the attack by gunmen at the Westgate Shopping Centre, on September 25, 2013 in Nairobi, Kenya. The country is observing three days of national mourning as security forces begin the task of clearing and securing the Westgate shopping mall following a four-day siege by militants.  (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

By Associated Press, Three years after the Kings of Leons last record, the edgy, gravely rock foursome return in top shape with Mechanical Bull. The album takes the bands unique sound the recognizable longing guitars and Caleb Followills growl and adds a hint of melancholy and a stillness that gives the songs an aura of contentment. Looking for things to do? Select one or more criteria to search Kid-friendly Get ideas Nervy desire and wildness is still present in their music, most prominently in Tonight, with its sexy vibes of earlier hits that hinted at mad tumbling into lust, and in the obsessive strummings of Wait for Me. The playful notes of the first single, Supersoaker, set the tone, adding a sense of giddiness to the proceedings. Dont Matter goes full-on rock in the beginning but is gradually imbued with a hint of Billy Joel. Temple starts out noisily and morphs into the confident stage presence of a rock star. Beautiful War rounds up the sound with a heartfelt ballad that showcases Calebs voice. And Family Tree sounds like an old man trying to give advice to the young, who think they know better than everyone else. Despite tackling the familiar themes of drunken nights and tentative love, the songs weave the story of a man who knows the meaning of being lost and who has finally been found. Mechanical Bull isnt the anguished edgy ride youd expect from Kings of Leon but a fun, stirring experience you dont want to end. ____ Follow Cristina Jaleru on Twitter: http://twitter.com/cristinelle7 Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

There are few hooks here, almost no choruses, not much to sing along to. The heart-on-his-sleeve rapper with a million friends and the tightest of crews seems all alone here after ridding himself of fake friends, trying to sort out why all the success, the money, the drugs and the women leave him with a hollow feeling. He tells us over the course of the album how his relationships with his family and friends, like Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj, have been strained. The only pleasant memories seem to come from his childhood represented by that chubby-cheeked cherub in the cover painting and the 90s are all over the album, serving as touchstone, reminder and measuring stick. He references the Wu-Tang Clan in the song Wu-Tang Forever and in a half-dozen other places. Nothing is full of the kind of studied minimalism and sped-up soul vocal samples favored by RZA and his acolytes like West, who well get back to in a minute. But hes not aping the game-changers as much as using them as a landmark. So the biggest star in the rap world retreats. Ive been plottin on the low, he sings on Furthest Thing, Schemin on the low, the furthest thing from perfect like everybody I know. Its moments like this that differentiate Nothing Was the Same from the years other releases in the three-way battle for king of the hill. Where Yeezus shows us West has turned confrontational in the post-fame portion of his career and Jay Z has become condescending with Magna Carta … Holy Grail, Drake becomes more and more confessional with each release. His charismatic self-doubt remains intact even as he wears the crown. It sits atop his sharp-cut fade, heavy and at a tilt, but still firmly in place. ___ Follow AP Music Writer Chris Talbott: http://twitter.com/Chris_Talbott. Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


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