Beyoncé Finds a New Muse

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

Was anyone ready for the new-look Beyoncé? After creating a body of work that celebrated self-empowerment through sexuality, Queen Bey has released searing music that tackles themes such as black femininity, social inequality, spirituality, and marital politics. In other words, she has become culturally relevant. Striving to be culturally relevant does ...

Kanye West’s “The Life of Pablo”: Art, Fashion, and the Record Album

Friday, February 12th, 2016

The release of Kanye West's new album, The Life of Pablo, is a testament to the enduring relevance of record albums even as people buy fewer of them year after year. Albums no longer possess any of the commercial power they once had. But they can create tent pole moments ...

Keep Your Paws off Lady Gaga

Monday, February 8th, 2016

Never underestimate Lady Gaga. The viral effect of digital has made it possible for artists to experience meteoric rises, falls, and rebounds within a matter of a few short years. If you didn't know any better, you would think that Lady Gaga demonstrates this reality. She exploded in popularity in 2009, ...

Will the Music Industry Enjoy an “Adele Effect”?

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

When Forbes publishes its annual list of highest-earning musicians in December, Adele's name will surely be on it. Her astronomical album sales, even surpassing the standards of the pre-digital era, will be a large part of the story. Within its first seven weeks of release, 25 had sold 15 million ...

Rihanna and Samsung Create an “Anti” Moment

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

Rihanna's Anti went platinum in 15 hours. But before you think, "albums are back!" bear in mind a big caveat: Samsung bought one million copies of the album and gave them away. For Rihanna and Samsung, Anti going platinum is not about record sales -- it's about creating a moment ...

Millennials and Old People Rule the Music World

Monday, January 25th, 2016

Music fans have always reserved the right to identify with the popular artists of their time while harshly judging the tastes of the generations that follow them. Those who came of age during World War II had Frank Sinatra, and they recoiled in horror when children of the 1950s embraced Elvis ...

Meet the New Music Moguls

Monday, January 4th, 2016

How do the world's highest-paid musicians make their money? Not by making music. As shown in the Forbes list of the world's highest paid musicians of 2015, elite stars cash in from touring, forming endorsement deals with brands, and by launching their own business ventures. Consumers just don't buy enough recorded ...

Hey, Beyoncé: Let’s Call a Fraud a Fraud

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Photo source: Wikipedia. This file was derived from: I Am... Tour 11.jpg Beyoncé has been busted again. Nineteen months after being criticized for lip-syncing during the presidential inauguration, she was caught lip-syncing at a recent concert in Paris (and doing so badly). Look, I understand why Beyonce or any artist lip-syncs in concert. ...

Why Every Year Is the Year of Miley Cyrus

Monday, January 13th, 2014

It's time for the Miley Cyrus bashers to wake up to a stark reality: Miley Cyrus ain't going away. Not in 2014. Not anytime soon. Why? Because when you peel away the layers of twerk-inspired controversy, Miley Cyrus is creating good pop music. And with a major North American tour ...

From Goldfrapp to Pink Floyd: How Great Album Covers Tell Visual Stories

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Visual Storytelling through Memorable Album Covers from David Deal Album cover design is alive and well in the digital era. However, the role of the album cover has changed. The days are long gone when album cover art served to attract your eye amid a sea of vinyl in ...