A US Presidential election, Summer Olympics mania (London’s calling—again!), Rihanna’s film debut (in Battleship, out May 18) and the possible end of the world. Those are a few of the things I won’t be looking forward to in the coming year. Fortunately, music will offer enough thrills to distract us from all that we’d rather forget. Here’s what’s topping my 2012 anticipation list:
1. Madonna makes fiftysomething fabulous all over again. Although I’m curious to hear what Madonna does with Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. on the final cut of “Gimme All Your Luvin’” when the single is released the last week of January, that’s not the main reason I’m excited about her upcoming twelfth studio album (due in late March), her first since turning fifty in 2008. “Masterpiece,” a new song featured in the Madonna-directed W.E. (which goes into wide release on February 3, two days before her Super Bowl XLVI performance) and her reunion with her Ray of Light producer William Orbit, is an achingly beautiful ballad that recalls the best of ’90s Madonna while gently proving that she can still create pop magic all on her own.
2. Madonna vs. Elton John vs. Mary J. Blige vs. Chris Cornell vs. Glenn Close (!) at the Golden Globes. Too bad the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has disqualified Madonna’s “Masterpiece” from competition at the February 27 Oscars. Why? Because it’s the second song featured during the closing credits, and eligible songs must either be in the body of the film, or the tune that plays when the credits start to roll. Oscar’s loss. The January 15 Golden Globes showdown featuring five monsters of pop, rock and soul and acting will be just as star-studded—and as tough to call—as George Clooney vs. Brad Pitt vs. Leonardo DiCaprio vs. Ryan Gosling in Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama.
Last Monday, as we celebrated Halloween, MTV gave out their second annual O Awards. MTV’s newest and definitely most unique awards show aired on a couple of different Web sites, as opposed to TV. This aspect of the show was fitting, as the MTV O Awards are all about our favorite Internet fads, celebrities and technology. Most of the categories still have to do with music, but they’re based on how we view and consume this music due to new technology, the internet and social networking sites like Twitter. Celebrities even performed and presented nominees via live feeds from various locations. It was a great way to embrace all of the positive effects that technology has on music. Here are some of our favorite parts and winners from the night!
Everyone loves a good cover song. But when YouTube popped up and gave anyone the ability to post renditions of songs by their favorite artists, there were bound to be ten horrible versions for every good one. Luckily, there are some gems that are so great, they make us forget about rest. Marc Martel won the Best Fan Cover Award when he won us over with his rendition of Queen‘s “Somebody To Love” for the band’s own competition. As soon as he starts to sing the first line, you know it’s going to be incredible. While no one can compare to Freddie Mercury, the resemblance in Marc’s voice is undeniable and the award was definitely deserved.
There are plenty of components that make up an outstanding rock band. From a great guitar sound, to a killer bass line, there is so much rock greatness out there to grab your attention. But what makes a great rock vocalist? What kind of singer can produce a sound that shapes a generation and even other singers to come? And most of all, what does it to take to have a voice that flat-out ROCKS? Well, lets look at a few of the most well-known, respected voices in rock history.
Freddie Mercury, Queen‘s phenomenal frontman, is one of the rock voices that has always impressed me. The texture of his voice, his low growl, and the ease that he would glide from one vocal register to another are all truly remarkable. Unlike many rock singers, Freddie Mercury had an incredibly versatile voice which was raw and ferocious, while still being incredibly melodic and listenable to a wide array of music fans. His voice was huge part of what made Queen such a huge success, as well as the reason why they’ll continue to be an important piece of rock history.