Sunday January 25th, 2004
New CD's this past week:
- Amel Larrieux - Bravebird
Music news stories this week:
Janet Jackson Making Sexiest Album Yet, Producer
Janet Jackson knows sexy — from her topless Rolling Stone cover to videos
like the Herb Ritts-directed "Love Will Never Do (Without You)" — but
producer Dallas Austin promises her new album is "easily the most sexy
thing she's done."
"Guys won't know what to do with themselves after this," he said, laughing
at the prospect. "It's one of the best records she's made."
Austin said he's produced five songs with Janet already, having worked
with her over the last few months at his DARP Studios in Atlanta. Janet's
still-untitled album is due March 30, according to a spokesperson for her
label. Austin said he and Janet will record for another month before
deciding which songs make the final cut. Janet is also working with
longtime executive producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.
The overriding theme of Austin's collaborations with Janet is her bubbling
sexuality. "To me, this is her Dirty Mind," Austin explained, referring to
the Prince album that established him as a hormonally charged pop star.
"It's a really sexy record, but not in a sensual way. It's bold, it's fun,
it's really positive. Nobody's sad, nobody's mad. It's just really fun
songs where she happens to be talking frankly about sex."
Austin said the direction came from the energy she gave off from her when
they first started working together. "She always shows what's going on
with her life through her records, reveals the phase she's in with her
life and brings out that experience," he said.
Early on in the recording process last May, producer 7 Aurelius said he
and Jackson had crafted some "cutting edge, hard-hitting dance music" for
the LP, and he predicted fans would be surprised by the final product.
Austin, meanwhile, has also been spending time working with another
alluring talent — Gwen Stefani. The bulk of the songs they've worked on
were finished before the holidays, he said.
"They're both the easiest artists to work with, [Janet] and Gwen," Austin
said. "With both their albums, it's the most creative vibe I've had in a
long time. You'd think because of their status they're going to be spoiled
stars, but it's not like that. They're open to anything you put in front
of them, and that's so important because as a songwriter and producer it
leaves you free to do what you do best."
Alicia Keys Gets Method Man For 'If I Ain't Got You' Video
For Alicia Keys' "If I Ain't Got You" video, she went back to Harlem, she
went back to sharing the screen with a rapper/actor, and she went back in
According to her label, Keys just wrapped two and a half days of shooting
for the clip, which is a prequel to her debut single, "Fallen." J Records
didn't want to give away too much, but apparently the man for whom Keys
has fallen in the new video is Method Man.
As we've seen with Meth onscreen before, the Ticallion Stallion doesn't
always abide by the long arm of the law. In Keys' video she'll be trying
to keep him from getting himself thrown in the big house. We'll also see
In the near future fans will get to see Keys behind the keys in person.
The singer has kept it no secret she wants to go on tour; now she's just
figuring out who'll be on the bill with her. According to J, Alicia has
been talking to Beyoncé about going on the road together, but nothing has
Justin Timberlake & Lionel Richie To Host 'Motown 45'
Justin Timberlake and Lionel Richie will host an ABC-TV special
celebrating the hit singles of the legendary record label Motown this May.
The working title of the special is Motown 45, and it will feature two
hours of non-stop performances. The special will be taped at the Shrine
Auditorium in Los Angeles on April 4.
>From its beginnings in Detroit 45 years ago, Motown has become the symbol
of R&B and soul music around the world. The talent lineup for the tribute
show is still being created, but it will consist of a combination of
legendary artists and today's hit makers. There will be no awards,
tributes, or drawn out history lessons during the special--just music.
All proceeds from ticket sales to the event will be donated to the United
Negro College Fund.
Bits & Pieces
The magic of Motown lives through its extraordinary artists, producers and
writers. One of the best is Lamont Dozier. In the 60’s, Lamont, as a part
of the writing team of Holland Dozier Holland, was responsible for
countless hits including The Supremes’ “Where Did Our Love Go,” The Four
Tops’ “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)” and “Reach Out I'll
Be There.” Now, the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer is back with a new take on
one of his classics, “I Hear A Symphony” on his own independent Jam Right
Entertainment label distributed by WEA.
“Side Show” from Silk continues receive critical praise. “Generally at
Urban Radio, remakes tend to be a hard sell… Silk’s ‘Side Show’ is a
definite exception. They put their signature on one of R&B’s legendary
ballads and it fits like a glove. No forgery here baby, don’t sleep on
Keep an eye and ear on British sensation Hil St Soul on Shanachie
Entertainment. The single “Pieces” is a hot song from a very strong CD
Copasetik & Cool, which will be in stores February 24th.
Mary J. Blige has left The Firm and is seeking new management