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U2 delay album, tour until 2015: report

- March 7th, 2014

The long-gestating new U2 album has just been – you guessed it – pushed back again.

The band had originally had it scheduled for release last fall, then it was delayed until next month, and now comes word that it won’t be out until 2015, so they can schedule new recording sessions with producers Ryan Tedder and Paul Epworth, says Billboard. Danger Mouse is still on board as the central producer, according to the report.

“It seems to be taking longer for them to finish an album as they get older, but the great thing about U2 is that the whole of a record is always better than the sum of its parts,” a source close to the project told Billboard. “That magic that the band always seems to capture… they have yet to capture it.”

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The report also indicated that a world tour, which was set to begin this September, will now kick off in summer 2015.

Frontman Bono hinted at yet another delay last month, while chatting with BBC’s Zane Lowe: “Until it’s on the radio or online, it’s not real,” he said emphatically. “With U2, our album isn’t finished until it’s in the stores. It’s tricky getting us four boys across the line.”

The delay could possibly have to do with the rather lukewarm response to the new music they’ve put out in the last few months. They released the track, Ordinary Love, for the the movie Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, and the charitable release, Invisible, which was given a big launch during the Super Bowl. Both tunes have failed to even come close to the top of the charts.

Coldplay’s new album ‘Ghost Stories’ dropping in May

- March 3rd, 2014

Things are starting to heat up in the Coldplay camp, and it could get pretty scary in a few months.

Just days after dropping a new song Beyonce style (out of the blue, that is), the Chris Martin-fronted band have just unveiled the title, a new single, and tracklist for their upcoming sixth studio effort.

The album, titled Ghost Stories, features nine tracks (one short of being in EP territory), and is set for release on May 19. The new single, Magic, is available right now as a free download when you pre-order the disc from iTunes.

Or, better yet, just listen to it below:

Coldplay fans may be breathing a sigh of relief with the tune — it’s a lot more upbeat and colourful than what we heard last week. The dark, mysterious first listen, Midnight, has been met with some rather unfavourable reviews so far. Slate wrote that it “sounds like a bad parody of Bon Iver,” with Martin coming across as “rarely intelligible as he sings into his vocoder.” Rolling Stone took a jab as well, calling some of the lyrics “incoherent.”

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You can be the judge — listen below:

Meanwhile, here’s the full Ghost Stories tracklisting is as follows:

1. Always In My Head
2. Magic
3. Ink
4. True Love
5. Midnight
6. Another’s Arms
7. Oceans
8. A Sky Full Of Stars
9. O

The British band’s last album, Mylo Xyloto, was released in 2011.

Coldplay debut new single ‘Midnight’

- February 25th, 2014

With little fanfare, Coldplay have released a new single, Midnight.

The song was announced on Facebook and Twitter: “Something new at 0:00 in Ulaanbaatar #midnight.” Ulan Bator is the capital city of Mongolia, so midnight their time was 11 a.m. EST.

The keyboard-laden Radiohead-esque sounds are matched by X-ray visuals that show the British band in a black and white forest setting, with frontman Chris Martin dancing around in a trance. “Leave the light on,” his repeats through processed vocals that dissipate into a blur of synths.

Coldplay have not released info about an upcoming album or tour, but they are scheduled to play South by Southwest next month. The quartet’s last album, Mylo Xyloto, was released in 2011.

Midnight sounds a bit dark, but that’s in keeping with the band’s game plan. “Ultimately our records are neither optimistic nor pessimistic, they’re realistic,” bassist Guy Berryman told me in a 2005 interview. I’d say from the sounds of it, that about sums up the new track.

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Pharrell Williams tops the ‘Happy’ playlist

- February 25th, 2014

Pharrell Williams has got to be feeling pretty happy with himself these days.

He took home four Grammy Awards last month, he’s about to release his second album, G I R L, next week, and the lead single off of it, Happy, is the No. 1 song on the planet and is nominated for an Oscar for Best original Song (the tune is featured on the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack).

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But unlike Pharrell’s infectious tune, not all happy songs are filled with joy. And some of the ones that are, run the gamut between enthralling and enraging.

Here’s a few well known happy tracks out there — we’ll leave it up to you to cover your ears or crank it up:

Shiny Happy People, R.E.M.

Those sticks in the mud over at Q magazine added it to their list of “Ten Terrible Records by Great Artists,” while other publications called it 1991′s song of the summer. The video may be extremely bad, but there’s no denying it’s a solid track — especially with the solid vocals from B-52′s singer Kate Pierson.

My Happy Ending, Avril Lavigne

What happens when a pop star gets turfed by a boyfriend? Well, they write a hit song. We don’t want to hear what happens if she becomes the ex-Mrs. Chad Kroeger.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy, Bobby McFerrin

The world may have been addicted to Mcferrin’s 1988 happy-go-lucky track, but Public Enemy were less than thrilled, as noted in their hip-hop classic Fight the Power as Chuck D raps, “Don’t Worry Be Happy was a number one jam, damn if I say it you can slap me right here.” Still, we’ll go out on a limb and nominate this as Rob Ford campaign theme song as he hits the re-election trail.

Only Happy When It Rains, Garbage

The ominous 1995 tune, in which Shirley Manson states that “she’s riding high on a deep depression,” is strangely upbeat in a self-loathing kind of way. And hey, misery loves company.

Happy, Rolling Stones

This classic from 1972′s Exile on Main Street features Keith Richards on lead vocals, and has become on of his signature songs live. The track reportedly took only four hours to create and record, from start to finish.

If it Makes You Happy, Sheryl Crow

Sheryl reveals some factual nuggets in her Grammy-winning 1996 tune such as her penchant to still get stoned and she’s not the kind of girl you’d take home.

Happy Together, The Turtles

The Turtles were Beatles killers back in 1967 when the song ousted Penny Lane from the top of the charts.

Happy Jack, The Who

The 1966 song is apparently about a man who slept on a beach, while kids made fun of him and buried him in the sand, all the while, smiling away. He’s a better man than we are.

The Happy Song (Dum Dum), Otis Redding

Any excuse to have Otis on a playlist, we will do it.

Happy Trails, Van Halen

The cover song (originally written by Dale Evans Rogers in the 1940s) is the final track on VH’s 1982 album Diver Down, and they frequently end their concerts (when David Lee Roth is on vocals) with it.

Twitter: @johnwillms
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Drake: Macklemore’s Grammy apology ‘wack as f—’

- February 12th, 2014

Looks like there’s another rap feud a-brewin’.

Toronto hip hop heavyweight Drake has taken aim at Macklemore after he and Ryan Lewis won Best New Artist and three trophies in the rap category at last month’s Grammy Awards, and then shortly after, texted fellow nominee Kendrick Lamar saying: “You got robbed, I wanted you to win.”

The private text, which was posted on Macklemore’s very public Instagram account, has gotten Drizzy in a bit of a tizzy. “That s— was wack as f—,” Drake told Rolling Stone.

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“I was like, ‘You won. Why are you posting your text message? Just chill. Take your W, and if you feel you didn’t deserve it, go get better — make better music,’” he said. “It felt cheap. It didn’t feel genuine. Why do that? Why feel guilt? You think those guys would pay homage to you if they won?”

Drake also lost out to the Seattle superstar, and told the magazine that Lamar isn’t the only one who should have been sent a text: “To name just Kendrick? That s— made me feel funny. No, in that case, you robbed everybody. We all need text messages!”

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