Projecting Similarities, Ariana Vs. Jessica

By Chris McPherson

In 2013, it can be quite difficult task to maintain a successful career in music, while also maintaining originality. I mean, with centuries upon centuries of music, is there any melody or technique someone can use that is completely new? But it can get quite awkward when two similarities pop up around the same time. I’m talking about the music videos for young singers, Ariana Grande The Way ft. Mac Miller and Jessica Sanchez Tonight ft. Ne Yo.

If you watch both music videos, you’ll notice that they both feature the singers in front of a projector screen. Now this may not be the first time anyone has ever done this in a music video, and it probably won’t be the last time. But both of these music videos were filmed around the same time and premiered within a week of each other. So is this foul play? Did someone steal the idea from another? Or is it a mere coincidence?

Luckily this should be the least of the both girl’s worries. Grande, who got her start in 2010 on Nickelodeon’s Victorious playing the ditzy Cat Valentine, is ready to release her debut album almost two years after signing with Universal Republic Records. Sanchez on the other hand, just catapulted to fame a year ago as the runner up for 11th season of American Idol.

As far as the actual songs go, I can definitely say I side in favor of Grande. Although Sanchez’ Tonight  is a certified club banger, there isn’t much going on here besides a nice beat, a nice song, and a nice feature from Ne Yo. This comes as a suprise given than it was made by superstar production team of Mikkel Storleer Eriksen and Tor Erik Hermansen, better known as StarGate. These guys are the reasons for Billboard number ones like Rihanna’s Diamonds, Katy Perry’s Firework,  and Wiz Khalifa’s Black and Yellow along with a wide set of more heavy hitters. I would have liked more.

Grande on the other hand decided to delve in her inner R&B princess. A sample of the late Big Pun’s Still Not a Player,  I dub this song a homerun. It sounds familiar while also so new, and her power house voice steals the show. Who knew a little girl from Nickelodeon could belt some sweet notes like that?

All in all, do you think the similarities are too obvious?

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American Idol’s Amber Holcomb dominates Sudden Death Week

By Chris McPherson

With week two of sudden deaths on American Idol underway, the top spot is officially open again. It seems like this season is slowly coming into it’s own. The focus has moved from the Nicki and Mariah feud and more about the actual contestants. And it seems like these two divas have decided to officially leave the drama behind.

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Image Credit: Michael Becker/Fox

I must say, it was refreshing to see Ryan Seacrest host the live shows again. His presence was missed this fall while I watched X Factor. Khloe Kardashian really wasn’t doing it for me.

The first round of sudden death-women, started off really slow last Wednesday. It was almost halfway through the show and nothing had captured my attention yet. I even stopped watching. After the first three lackluster performances, I started browsing the net on my laptop with the television playing in the background.

Then Amber Holcomb came out of nowhere and took my breath away with My Funny Valentine. Holcomb belted notes so effortlessly, I hopped out my bed to watch her even closer. And let’s not get started on her vocal runs. They were like hot oil slipping off a pan of sizzling bacon. Her performance was on fire, yet silky smooth as she sang with a smile. She was what I was waiting for and they saved the best for last.


Judges’ Comments: 

Keith: Nice breath control. It could have come off fashioned, but she made it timeless

Nicki: Legs for days pretty little dimples. A+++ Top of the class vocal

Randy: Made the most important [vocal] runs the best.
Mariah: Wanted to smack her (in a good way) Loved her interpretation

Overall, I’m loving the way the show is headed. I must say Mariah often seems nervous when it’s her turn to speak. And sometimes her comments tend to ramble on, but judging in front of a live audience could possibly be just as nerve racking for the judges as it is for the contestants.

Is This Love? Jordin Sparks

By Chris McPherson

American Idol alum, Jordin Sparks is back with a vengeance in the new dance tracl, “Is This Love.” The man behind the song, Italian DJ Alex Gaudino paired with the Pop R&B songstress for what could be a new direction for Sparks.

“Is This Love” feels like the perfect spring/summer song  for Jordin to make a music comeback. Although she’s recently been in the media for her high profile relationship with Jason Derulo, we haven’t seen much music from her. Is this love? I’m not sure, but it could be a step in the right direction.

It hasn’t been said if this could be the beginning of new album for Sparks, but that would be nice idea given the fact that she hasn’t released an album since 2009. And besides her stint in the movie Sparkle, Sparks hasn’t released any new music since 2011 with “I Am Woman,” which didn’t quite result in an album. I can still hear my favorite line of the song “It ain’t easy walking in stilettos, but somebody gotta do it.”

Not sure where this is going for Sparks, but any new music is well received. We’ll see how the critics feel about it soon.