It's a treasure to see musicians earn their rank by living, changing and ripening into their talent organically, even sometimes painfully. To see someone like Darwin Deez is a truly refreshing phenomenon.
Before Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, before Avatar and Wall-E, before "going green" became a catchphrase, there was Michael Jackson's "Earth Song," one of the most unusual, audacious protest songs in popular music history.
Anger looks good on a pop tart and JoJo wears hers well. Her resentments toward the industry are apparent on last year's leak, "Hollywood," in which she sings: "Mother always told me, 'Jo, be careful, everything that glitters ain't gold."
Why should we listen to Tricky Stewart shout about Ulrika Lindstrom? That is, apart from the fact that he's bagged hits with Beyonce's "Single Ladies," Mya's "Case of the Ex," Rihanna's "Umbrella," Mary J. Blige's "Just Fine" and Justin Bieber's "Baby"...
I think Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark was almost as surprised as I was by the mob of people who showed up for their first U.S. concert in 23 years. But there the audience was, faithful fans who weren't just there to hear "If You Leave."
I fear that if I read yet another story or comment about how much Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" lacks merit and is a blatant rip-off of Madonna's "Express Yourself" my head might implode, not from anger, but boredom.
I was driving along the coast when I dipped into that sort of "observing" space. Instead of humming along to the songs on the stations, I actually started listening to them -- and what they were trying to tell me.