"How can you be so hood but you so phuckin' pop?!" - Rihanna (2012)

Pop Hot Takes

News stories and analysis musing about the on-goings of pop music. 

Katy Perry Is the Main Course in Eerie New 'Bon Appetit' Video With Migos: Watch

On Friday (May 12), Katy Perry released a music video for her latest single "Bon Appétit," featuring Migos. The visual was directed by Dent De Cuir, a Paris and Montreal-based filmmaker collective specializing in art direction, design and visuals arts, as well as conceptual visual language. The imagery stays in line with Perry's exploration of her sexual liberation -- an NSFW sign being displayed in the beginning moments of the video. When she first appears, the singer lies on a bed...

Halsey Laments Old Love and Keeps Her 'Eyes Closed' in Latest Single

Halsey Laments Old Love and Keeps Her 'Eyes Closed' in Latest Single "If I keep my eyes closed, he feels just like you," sings Halsey on the hook of her new single "Eyes Closed". The song is expected to appear on her upcoming sophomore LP Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, the follow up to 2015's Badlands. The singer premiered the track on Apple Music Beats Radio 1 during an (Baz Luhrman accompanied) interview with Zane Lowe, Thursday, May 4.

Charli XCX Premieres 3 Songs From New Mixtape 'Number 1 Angel': Listen

Charli XCX surprised her Angels fans Tuesday (March 7) on Twitter with the announcement of her upcoming mixtape Number 1 Angel. The project is scheduled for release Friday. Following the tweets, the "Boom Clap" pop star premiered three Number 1 Angel tracks during a special interview with BBC Radio 1's MistaJam. The first of the three was "Pull Up" featuring Danish synthopop act, MØ. Keeping in line with both artists' signature sounds, "Pull Up" mixes post-No Doubt synth-pop with reggae fusion...

On the dreamlike production and songwriting of Pharrell, as exhibited in "R.E.M."

Prior to the release of Ariana Grande’s Sweetener on August 17, one of the album’s central tracks was already at the top of online discussions. It had slowly trickled out that Beyoncé had once recorded a version of Ari's “R.E.M.,” instead titling it “Wake Up,” for her self-titled surprise opus in 2013, originally intending for the album to be doo-wop centric. Holding her own candle to Queen Bey’s, Grande also executes her version with her own magical touch. Through this, Pharrell alchemised a case of a song being good no matter whose hands it ends up in, thanks to strong producing and songwriting.

Katy Perry Says 'Bon Appetit' by Handing Out Cherry Pies to Fans in Times Square

Fresh off of dropping her latest Migos-featuring single "Bon Appétit," Katy Perry surprised fans in New York's Times Square on Friday (April 28) by handing out cherry pies from a food truck. Before her arrival, the singer tweeted the song's lyric ("Open 24") alongside a photo of a food truck embellished with cherries and the phrase "World's Best Cherry Pie." At the truck's location -- positioned next to an American Eagle Outfitters and a few feet away from the red TKTS stairs -- Perry's disco-....

Lorde Releases New Song 'Liability'

A week after releasing her first Melodrama single, "Green Light," Lorde has released a new song to streaming services entitled "Liability." The slower, appropriately dramatic track shows appears to show a more confessional side of the singer-songwriter, as she sings on the chorus, "They say, 'You're a little much for me/ You're a liability.'" Lorde also announced a June 16 release date for Melodrama. Check out the LP's new piano ballad below:

Album Reviews

Revisiting throwbacks and analyzing current releases. 

A reminder that Demi Lovato's 'Tell Me You Love Me' is a gem amongst R&B albums that heal

The day before, July 23, had been the seven-year anniversary of losing the vocal powerhouse Amy Winehouse. Unfortunately, I prematurely imagined a similar fate for Lovato, driving my pain for the 25-year-old talent even further. Being on age with Lovato, I essentially grew with her through TV screens and iPod minis, rather unapologetic about enjoying both her pop bops and matter-of-fact opinions. But I didn't convert into a true fan—one who would end up traveling to Newark back in April to see in concert—until she released Tell Me You Love Me last year.

Revisiting how Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' era set the pop industry standard

What had also become evident from Thriller, thanks to the executive-producing genius of Quincy Jones, is how each song managed to balance on a fine line of pop choruses and lyrical structuring with R&B-fueled instrumentation and sub-genres. In an internet-breaking interview with Vulture earlier this year, Jones mused about working with Michael Jackson, making some shocking accusations about the singer’s work ethic, but also mentioning something that could explain why Thriller stood out from the rest.

Katy Perry's 'Witness' Fails as 'Purposeful Pop,' But Succeeds as Future Pop

When Katy Perry described her yet-to-be-titled Witness as “purposeful pop” on the 2017 Grammys red carpet -- followed by a politicized live debut of its first single, “Chained To The Rhythm” -- she may have shot herself in the foot somewhat. Following the description, listeners expected her upcoming  set to be a politically charged record resisting the Trump administration: After all, Perry’s referring to herself as an “advocate” and “activist” -- who very publicly sang and stumped for Hillary Clinton...

Nelly Furtado's 'The Ride' May Be the Most Slept-On Release of 2017: Critic's Take

Over the weekend at a karaoke bar in the southside of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a couple got up to sing Nelly Furtado and Timbaland's "Promiscuous." After they finished their sentimental moment, I turned to a friend and asked, "Did you know she just released an album at the end of last month?" "Wait... What? No way! What has Nelly Furtado been doing?" It wasn't the first time I received that type of reaction. In fact, it's been universal for the past few weeks since the pop star released her sixth studio album, The Ride.