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Rihanna drops new single ‘FourFiveSeconds’ featuring Kanye West, Paul McCartney

- January 24th, 2015

Play, pause, rewind, and play again.

It’s going to take at least a second listen before the campfire sounding track -featuring Kanye West and Paul McCartney- off of Rihanna’s new album really sinks in that this is indeed them.

Probably one of the more radical tracks released from the pop queen, FourFiveSeconds is a stripped down, vocally centered track that sounds like it would be played a t a local church outing rather than in a stadium full of screaming fans.

LISTEn to “FourFiveSix” below:

There’s echoes of organs in the background and McCartney’s guitar playing calls to an earlier generation of lawn chilling hippies that juxtaposed Rihanna’s other leaked single, World Peace, promises the most eclectic album from the singer in years.

While FourFiveSeconds may be one of Rihanna’s slowest, most sway inducing tracks, it is also, ironically, one of her biggest party songs from a lyrical perspective.

The entire song is about leaving the anxieties and tribulations of the weekly grind behind when Friday finally arrives. It’s about living out those three weekend days as if they were Earth’s last, creating reckless memories and not apologizing for wanting to have fun.

“And I know that you’re out tonight/thinking how could I be so selfish/but you cop out a thousand times/wondering where I’ve been,” she sings during one of the rawer moments of the song. “Now I know that you’re out tonight/thinking how could I be so reckless/but I just can’t apologize/I hope you can understand.”

It’s one of the more powerful moments during the song, which is saying quite a bit since the entire track is stripped down and nude. It’s one of Rihanna’s more courageous moments in the studio, letting the upbeat and fast paced tempo of EDM backing slip away into the background and letting her untouched vocals shine through.

All of which is made that much better by an unusually quiet Kanye West. The rapper’s usual bravado is kept at bay and instead he’s willing to show off his vocal range and sentimental side.

This coming, of course, just three weeks after he dropped his first single of the year that also featured Paul McCartney, Only One.

LISTEN to Kanye West’s “Only One” below:

It may not be a chart topping hit or even one of the singer’s most memorable tracks when looking back at her discography, but it is a bold statement about her new found level of maturity that I’m personally looking forward to seeing explored further on this album and in the future.

‘Fifty Shades’ star Dakota Johnson gets tied up in Weeknd video

- January 21st, 2015

If you can’t wait 23 days (but who’s counting?) to see Dakota Johnson get tied up by Jamie Dornan in Fifty Shades of Grey, here’s a video that should hold you over.

In the official music video for Toronto-musician The Weeknd’s Fifty Shades track, Earned It, Dakota Johnson descends upon a stage in full bondage costume.

Her hands are tied above her head, as her character’s (Anastasia Steele) hands are during most of the trilogy, while her body is held up highly in the air by numerous ropes, accentuating various parts of her physique.

Below her, faceless women dance around in the nude with nothing covering their bodies but small pieces of black tape.

The performance is supposed to be erotic and provocative, but in comparison to other Weeknd music videos, it’s a little on the safe side.

This is a man known for his uber sensual tone soaking in erotic lyrics.

It’s a part of the reason why his unique track for the film has already become a mainstream hit, becoming one of the most downloaded songs for the singer and the most downloaded single off the album.

johnson-weeknd

Ellie Goulding also has a new single on the compilation album, Where You Belong, and a new music video featuring Johnson as well.

Their collaboration is far less provoking, however, much like the track it belongs too.

Here’s hoping these videos are enough to quell the hunger diehard fans have built in anticipation of the film’s release.

If only Jamie Dornan had made an appearance.

Ellen Page, Norman Reedus and more star in new Sleater-Kinney video

- January 15th, 2015

When you’re a beloved figure in Hollywood, it’s pretty easy to snag some top talent for a project.

Case in point, Sleater-Kinney’s new music video for their first upcoming single in ten years, No Cities to Love, features a barrage of the coolest people in Hollywood-land right now.

The video starts off with Fred Armisen introducing the track and playing a mini-synthesizer on the streets of New York City, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s a fan of his work. Carrie Brownstein, his co-star on their bizarre and niche IFC  sketch show Portlandia, is the lead singer and lead guitarist for the riot grrrl band, so it’s only fitting that he would make an appearance.

Other appearances from The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus, My Chemical Romance’s Gerrard Way, and Ellen Page drive the star power of the music video home, but the celebrity cameos don’t stop there.

Sarah Silverman, Orange is the New Black’s Natasha Lyonne, Andy Samberg, Connie Britton, Miranda July, Vanessa Bayer, and many, many more can all be seen sliding in and out of the video.

The video is the first piece of music to drop in preparation for the band’s first new album in a decade.

No Cities to Love, the album not the single, is scheduled to be released January 19.

Rihanna’s first song off new album ‘World Peace’ leaks

- January 3rd, 2015

2014 was the year of the female pop star.

Beyonce took her spot as rightful queen, Charli XCX, Ariana Grande, and Jessie J all saw their careers pick up speed while Taylor Swift was officially welcomed into the world of pop after trying for years to get away from her country background.

The only thing the year was missing was a provocative club banging track from one of pop’s royal members, Rihanna.

Well, 2015 has rectified that mistake.

“World Peace” may or may not be the first official track off of Rihanna’s rumoured upcoming album #R8, but the leaked demo sounds pretty concrete.

Although not quite as euphoric as the endorphin rush inducing We Found Love off of her 2011 album Talk That Talk, it’s definitely still the first unofficial club banger of the year.

The lyrics may be just a tad heavier than the EDM beat pulsating throughout it, but the message is clear: Rihanna wants to celebrate life and she wants to party.

The tiny touch of dubstep at the end of the song does feel a little out of place, but within the context of how the song’s rhythm progresses, it isn’t overly obnoxious.

This may just be a snippet of what Rihanna has prepared for the upcoming year, but there’s no denying she’s definitely back.