Life is full of surprises, and sometimes, so is pop music. In recent weeks, it’s recovered its long-dormant ability to shock, or at least catch us off guard with the unlikely hit, or the unexpected comeback.
Several months ago, I never dreamed I would ever ask the question that is the title of this article. It had been more than twenty-five years since Lionel Richie’s commercial heyday, and on the charts, he had been succeeded by younger romantic leads in pop and R&B many times over (Babyface, Usher, Ne-Yo, among others).
Then came one of those surprise developments seldom seen in pop anymore: On Billboard magazine’s Top 200 album chart for the week following the March 26 release of Tuskegee, Richie’s first studio album since 2009’s Just Go (which didn’t make the US Top 20 and failed to go gold), he debuted at No. 2 with first-week sales of 199,000 copies, right behind Madonna’s latest, MDNA.
After weeks of blind auditions and battle rounds, The Voice finally reached the part of the season where things really start heating up: the live shows. Monday night’s show pitted Team Christina and Team Blake against their own, each contestant hoping to move on to be their coach’s final five.
Unlike other singing competition shows, the live rounds of The Voice pull out all the stops, making each performance an awards show-caliber number. That means dancers, mimes, lasers and fog machines are all fair game. All of that included, though, Monday night’s performances still left something to be desired. Was it nerves, or just lackluster vocals? It’s hard to tell. Some people were straight-up awful (we can’t wait to see RaeLynn get the boot), and others just seemed terrified to be on live TV (Lindsay Paveo looked ready to puke).
In the end, we thought only three artists out of the twelve truly stood out. We were particularly impressed with the energy of Jermaine Paul on “Livin’ on a Prayer,” the emotional performance of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Chris Mann and the smooth sounds of Jesse Campbell on “What A Wonderful World.” Watch Jermaine’s performance in the player below and tune in to NBC tonight at 9PM to see which two artists will be eliminated.
It’s no secret that this season of The Voice is full of amazing talent. We’ve been blown away time and time again by the likes of Jesse Campbell, Juliet Simms, Katrina Parker and Jamar Rodgers, just to name a few. However, Monday night’s episode was a Voice rarity: a show so dull, it barely got us to look up from our computers.
From pitchiness to bad song choices to generally lackluster performances, Monday’s episode may go down as the worst in The Voice‘s short history. It seemed as even the coaches were stunned with how their teams performed, with words like “generic,” “let down,” “missed notes” and “pitch things” being thrown around right and left.
There was one battle that stood out from the rest, though, because of the odd match-up and energetic performances. Country duo The LiNE and Moses Stone, the show’s first-ever MC, were both out of their element on the Rolling Stones classic “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” Though The LiNE may have out-sung Moses—who admitted that he isn’t the strongest vocalist—the rapper put on an entertaining and versatile performance that led coach Christina Aguilera to crown him the winner. By the way, we loved her little speech on what it means to be “the voice.” Check it out after the battle in the player below, and tune in next Monday for the first round of live shows!
The boys have brought an insane amount of energy, passion and skill to this season of The Voice. From Jesse Campbell and Anthony Evans, Jr., to Pip and Tony Lucca, Season 2 has been ripe with talent from a fresh crop of male vocalists.
Last night’s episode, however, was all about the ladies. Sure, there were still some solid performances from the guys (Jonathas and Jermaine Paul both tore it up), but we were extremely impressed by the matchups of Katrina Parker and Angel Taylor on Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love” and Erin Willett and Gwen Sebastian on Pat Benatar’s “We Belong.”
Last night, The Voice brought us back to the battleground for the next round of intense and emotional vocal warfare.
The night kicked off with a battle as epic as last week’s final matchup between Anthony Evans, Jr. and Jesse Campbell. Sera Hill and Geoff McBride both brought their soulful and powerful voices to the stage for Aretha Franklin’s “Chain of Fools,” in a battle that either one could have walked away from victorious. Sera’s vocal acrobatics were a perfect compliment to Geoff’s unbelievable tenor, but she ultimately took home the win.
The next jaw-dropping battle came between seasoned rocker Juliet Simms and androgynous folk singer Sarah Golden. Juliet, whose audition left the coaches fighting over her, seemed to have the upper hand from the beginning, as the pair were assigned a song by rock legend Rod Stewart. Sarah’s smooth and rustic tone made her a sharp contrast to Juliet’s dynamic, raspy growl, but—to paraphrase Christina Aguilera—Juliet was the “no-brainer” winner.
Indie rockers Lindsey Pavao and Lee Koch performed a sleepy and “creepy” (Adam Levine’s words, not ours) version of Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box.” Their performance really didn’t give us any reason to look up from writing this post…but Blake Shelton’s comment about never having hearing the original, did. No, he wasn’t kidding. Kurt is rolling in his grave…
Thankfully, the night ended on a literal high note, with Jamar Rodgers taking on good friend Jamie Lono on Foreigner’s “I Wanna Know What Love Is.” Jamie’s nerves got the best of him and caused his voice to crack, but Jamar picked up the slack and murdered the song on his own.
Next week, we’re promised “a shocking battle round first.” We can’t wait to see what goes down!
After several weeks of blind audition shows, battle rounds on The Voice finally began on Monday night…and they didn’t disappoint. For those of you unfamiliar with the structure of this show, each team has twelve members after blind auditions. The coaches then create six one-on-one battles, for which they also choose the song and celebrity mentor to help train the contestants. The contestants sing the song as a duet, with the coach choosing the winner immediately afterwards.
It’s always interesting to see how the judges match up their battle pairings. More often than not, they’ll choose two artists with very similar styles in order to make their final set of six as strong and diverse as possible. Other times, though, it kind of seems like they just picked names out of a hat. On Monday night, we saw a little of both… Continue reading ‘“The Voice”: Let The Games Begin’