Various Artists – Music From Baz Luhrmann’s Film The Great Gatsby album review

Much like the ultra modern 2013 film adaptation of The Great Gatsby, we get a sense that the days of flapper skirts and bootlegging depicted through the lens of a greyscale are just a faint memory. For a soundtrack so densely saturated with pop-culture and trend, The Great Gatsby endeavors to traject the original story’s concepts of hope and hopelessness, haves and have-nots and in many ways, it does.

It’s only right that a Jay-Z track opens up the album as he also doubles as the soundtrack’s executive producer, though the privilege of this position was likely more for his relevance in pop culture and less about his extensive knowledge of 20th century literature and the Age of Prohibition. “100$ Bill” is an embodiment of the film and album concept and even serves as a slight juxtaposition of nouveau riche culture both now and then—what will always remain is the insecurity and incessant desire for relative significance masked by opulence, bravado, and greed. How apropos that Jay-Z’s (or do we mean Jay Gatsby’s) post American Gangster narrative fits this bill.  And “100$ Bill” doesn’t slip through the cracks. On the surface lies minutes of mindless chatter, bragging, and trash talk, but there’s an inkling that beneath the boom-boom-kat’s there may be raw feeling we’re not allowed to see. Even with empty lyrics, when the bass hits and the staccato snares clap with the ominous opera vocals that precede the jazz era horn solo, you’ll realize that “100$ Bill” is undoubtedly the hottest, most significant record on the soundtrack.

The recurring themes on the album are of the ornate, illustrious, and showy, and you’ll find The Great Gatsby includes some odd features to convey this. Q-Tip even makes an appearance on “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got)” albeit with Fergie and GoonRock on an EDM track. It’s fun.

We’re happiest about Coco. O of Quadron appearing on the soundtrack. “Where The Wind Blows” is a little boring, but her vocals deserve mention.

“Back to Black” is Andre 3000 and Beyoncé’s audacious cover of Amy Winehouse’s track and it’s a pleasant surprise to hear Queen B. lull in a softer indie voice and not the usual overbearing, vibrato laden belt. Dare we say that it’s actually quite good? The song could still do without the extra bit of runs and natural roundedness of Beyoncé’s vocals that she likely had trouble killing, though.

In terms of the real indie (not indie imposters, sorry, Bey) Lana Del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful” may be the core of the album. It so evocatively represents the yearning and emptiness that symbolizes anything Gatsby. The xx’s “Together” is similar. The breathy vocals on both tracks give you the sense of unbearable longing for something beyond reach. And as a body of work, that’s what The Great Gatsby represents.

This soundtrack adequately illustrates the emotional range of the film and its characters by use of randomized artists and abrupt tempo and mood changes that signify the many ups and downs of the painfully wealthy. At times, the songs may seem incongruent and inconsistent, but embedded within the fluctuating instrumentation remains the sentiments of conceit, opulence, self-absorption, and self-consciousness of the hideously affluent.


Catfight: Battle of the Divas

Beyoncé vs. Mariah Carey

New feature. Biggest divas in the music world today, head to head. Let’s get to it.

There aren’t a lot of people who haven’t heard of Beyoncé and Mariah; they’re only two of the biggest selling female artists ever. Both multi-platinum artists came from well-documented (and marketed) beginnings: Beyoncé pulled a Justin Timberlake and after leading Destiny’s Child to all-time-best-selling-female-group success, branched out into an even more lucrative solo career, while Mariah Carey owes much of her earlier success to the sharp eye of music mogul and ex-husband Tommy Mottola.

The fascinating thing about these two artists is that they’re not just all-glitter and no-talent like your average pre-packaged pop star. They have pipes. Mariah is famous for her ability to break glass with her high notes, and even though Beyoncé doesn’t have quite as great a range, her vocal virtuosity has always earned much acclaim, even since the Destiny’s Child days. That doesn’t stop these two women from flaunting what they’ve got though; a few seconds of either’s music videos is enough to notice that sex appeal is just as strong a selling point as talent (who would’ve thought Mariah would still be going this road as she’s nearing the big 4-0?), and don’t they know it. Well, at least their management people do.

Tight race so far, but I have a feeling this debate can be settled by looking at how disgracefully divalicious their backstage demands are. Or… maybe not, since no list of outrageous requests made by divas these days is complete without Beyoncé and Mariah. Oh, I’ve got it now – this will definitely decide the winner of this Catfight: arm-candy. That’s right. Jay-Z may not be much to look at, but he’s certainly intriguing, and by intriguing we mean dirt-rich- all-powerful-hip-hop-king. Nick Cannon, on the other hand, can be counted on for a good laugh – he is (was?) a comedian after all. I think we can safely say that Beyoncé has chosen well, based on the Eminem Test: Eminem may enjoy picking fights with people, but he probably won’t be messing with Mr. Sean Carter anytime soon… at least, not in the way he disrespected Mimi and Nick. With her husband’s less than stellar career, her own waning popularity, and B’s sheer overpowering star power, Mariah Carey loses out by a hair in the battle of the divas.

Winning cat: Beyoncé

Beyonce Jay-Z Mary J. Blige P. Diddy Puffy Videos

Diddy, Jay Z, Mary, Beyonce, Kevin Liles-Team Obama Campaign Trail. Yes We Did!

Diddy, Jay Z, Mary, Beyonce, Kevin Liles-Team Obama Campaign Trail. Yes We Did!


Beyonce Unveils the New B-Phone by Samsung

Original Source: Geeksugar

Beyonce was out in full force today launching the special edition Beyonce Upstage phone. The new “B’Phone” by Samsung is similar to the Ultra Music Phone in that it features the popular dual-face handset which everyone seems to be taking a liking to.

What’s unique about this phone is the fact that it includes a digital power amp, making the sound quality quite impressive for such a small phone. Other great features include a quick PC sync to easily create playlists, a 1.3-megapixel camera and bluetooth technology.

Wondering where Beyonce fits into all of this? The UpStage will come preloaded with Beyonce content and new B’Phone owners will receive access to load video and music content from including exclusive Beyonce photo gallery and videos, as well as a childhood song from Beyonce when she was 10.

This hot new burgundy and gold cell is said to hit Sprint and Wal-Mart stores on November 4.


Beyonce bites it

Beyonce falls down a flight of stairs onstage at her concert in Orlando Tuesday.

Reportedly, she sat down a song later, with a gash on her leg, and asked audience members “not to post it on YouTube.”