Historical 21st Century Pop Artists

With Michael Jackson gone and Prince’s recent passing, some are wondering if the days of great pop music are now history. Who can live up to the prolific musical geniuses of the late 20th century? It remains to be seen but a few artists show promise.

justin timberlake

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Justin Timberlake: Smooth moves, smooth voice, original songs and videos.  Will Justin prove that he is the most iconic male pop artist post-MJ?

britney-spears

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Britney Spears: Britney is already an icon but if today’s “Queen of Pop” can commit to making music for the long haul, there is no stopping her.
 

lady-gaga

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Lady Gaga: This line from ‘Applause’ says it all, “Pop culture was in art, now art’s in pop culture, in me.”

bruno-mars

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Bruno Mars: Has long since been compared to musical giants of earlier periods. Being a skilled vocalist, performer, and musician, he defines the word “artist”.

Adam-Levine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Adam Levine: With his entrance as front man of Maroon 5, he made Southern California rock-pop look easy. He has the originality, personality, and love of the art to make a name for himself as a 21st century pop icon.

Which of today’s artists do you think will become the pop icons of tomorrow?

Honorable Mention: Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Rihanna

Craig David – You Know What

My Comments:

Reintroducing one of the greatest R&B singers of all time and the unofficial king of British hip-hop and R&B – Craig David. “You Know What” is featured on Craig David’s 2001 debut album Born to Do It. The album was successful worldwide, especially in the UK, and is one of my favorite albums. And I’m not the only one — Born to Do It was voted as the Second Greatest Album Ever on a public poll hosted by MTV, bested only by Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

If you haven’t heard of Craig David, you’ve been missing out on some really excellent and timeless music. You’re in luck, however, as I’ll be featuring more Craig David music in the future.

Lyrics:

Yeah, I know that
I said I’m feeling it
I’m feeling it I’m feeling it yeah
I know that you like the way that I put it down on you
you know what yeah

We were meant to be
Together for eternity
But now you’re gone it’s plain to see
I was living just a fantasy
So many things I’d like to do
If ever I found a love that’s true
Finding it hard to push on through
Since I’ve been away from you

When I first met you waiting
Standing up by the bus stop
I knew you were something special
Weak in my knees
I wanted to drop yeah, yeah
So we checked each other
What we had going on was so hot, yeah
I never thought you’d leave me no
But you know what

We were meant to be
Together for eternity
But now you’re gone it’s plain to see
I was living just a fantasy
So many things I’d like to do if ever I found a love that’s true
Finding it hard to push on through
Since I’ve been away from you

Now I can’t seem to get over you
Appearing in everything that I do
It was only last week
Friday when I saw you out with your girlfriends walking
Round my way (wanted to stop) yeah, yeah
I feel when all’s said and done
From this love I’ve had I’ve learned a lot, yeah
I never thought you’d leave me no
But you know what

We were meant to be
Together for eternity
But now you’re gone it’s plain to see
I was living just a fantasy
So many things I’d like to do
If I ever I found a love that’s true
Finding it hard to push on through
Since I’ve been away from you

The flow that we had was so hot
Girl you took me higher to the top
We kept it rolling wouldn’t stop
Said you’d never leave me
But you know what
We were meant to be
Together for eternity
But now you’re gone it’s plain to see
I was living just a fantasy
So many things I’d like to do if ever I found a love that’s true
Finding it hard to push on through
Since I’ve been away from you

You don’t know what I’ve been going through
But I know that you don’t know what
I said I’m feeling it, I’m feeling it I’m feeling it, yeah

You don’t know what I’ve been going through
But I know that you don’t know what
I said I’m feeling it, I’m feeling it I’m feeling it, yeah

Natalie Imbruglia – Torn

 

My Comments:

This is Natalie Imbruglia’s cover of the song “Torn”, first recorded by the band Ednaswap. It is the most successful and well-known version of the song, topping charts internationally.

Although I’m not a fan of Natalie’s, I’ve always really liked this song. It brings to mind the images we create and project on to others, which lead us to feel frustrated when we find our projections were just that.

Lyrics:

I thought I saw a man brought to life
He was warm, he came around like he was dignified
He showed me what it was to cry
Well you couldn’t be that man I adored
You don’t seem to know, don’t seem to care what your heart is for
But I don’t know him anymore
There’s nothing where he used to lie
My conversation has run dry
That’s what’s going on, nothings fine I’m torn

I’m all out of faith, this is how I feel
I’m cold and I am shamed lying naked on the floor
Illusion never changed into something real
I’m wide awake and I can see the perfect sky is torn
You’re a little late, I’m already torn

So I guess the fortune teller’s right
Should have seen just what was there and not some holy light
To crawl beneath my veins and now
I don’t care, I have no luck, I don’t miss it all that much
There’s just so many things that I can’t touch, I’m torn

I’m all out of faith, this is how I feel
I’m cold and I am shamed lying naked on the floor
Illusion never changed into something real
I’m wide awake and I can see the perfect sky is torn
You’re a little late, I’m already torn. Torn.

There’s nothing where he used to lie
My inspiration has run dry
That’s what’s going on, nothings right, I’m torn

I’m all out of faith, this is how I feel
I’m cold and I am shamed lying naked on the floor
Illusion never changed into something real
I’m wide awake and I can see the perfect sky is torn
I’m all out of faith, this is how I feel
I’m cold and I’m ashamed, bound and broken on the floor
You’re a little late, I’m already torn

 

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Can’t Stop

 

My Comments: A well-known single by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Can’t Stop” is featured on their 2002 album By the Way and was popular worldwide.

In a nutshell: “Can’t Stop” is one of my favorite songs, from one of my favorite bands.

Lyrics:

Can’t stop addicted to the shin dig
Cop top he says I’m gonna win big
Choose not a life of imitation
Distant cousin to the reservation
Defunkt the pistol that you pay for
This punk the feeling that you stay for
In time I want to be your best friend
Eastside love is living on the westend
Knock out but boy you better come to
Don’t die you know the truth is some do
Go write your message on the pavement
Burnin’ so bright I wonder what the wave meant
White heat is screaming in the jungle
Complete the motion if you stumble
Go ask the dust for any answers
Come back strong with 50 belly dancers

The world I love
The tears I drop
To be part of
The wave can’t stop
Ever wonder if it’s all for you
The world I love
The trains I hop
To be part of
The wave can’t stop
Come and tell me when it’s time to

Sweetheart is bleeding in the snowcone
So smart she’s leading me to ozone
Music the great communicator
Use two sticks to make it in the nature
I’ll get you into penetration
The gender of a generation
The birth of every other nation
Worth your weight the gold of meditation
This chapter’s going to be a close one
Smoke rings I know your going to blow one
All on a spaceship persevering
Use my hands for everything but steering
Can’t stop the spirits when they need you
Mop tops are happy when they feed you
J. Butterfly is in the treetop
Birds that blow the meaning into bebop

The world I love
The tears I drop
To be part of
The wave can’t stop
Ever wonder if it’s all for you
The world I love
The trains I hop
To be part of
The wave can’t stop
Come and tell me when it’s time to

Wait a minute I’m passing out
Win or lose just like you
Far more shocking
Than anything i ever knew
How about you 
Ten more reasons
Why I need somebody new just like you
Far more shocking than anything I ever knew
Right on cue

Can’t stop addicted to the shin dig
Cop top he says I’m gonna win big
Choose not a life of imitation
Distant cousin to the reservation
Defunkt the pistol that you pay for
This punk the feeling that you stay for
In time I want to be your best friend
Eastside love is living on the westend
Knock out but boy you better come to
Don’t die you know the truth is some do
Go write your message on the pavement
Burnin’ so bright I wonder what the wave meant

Kick start the golden generator
Sweet talk but don’t intimidate her
Can’t stop the gods from engineering
Feel no need for any interfering
Your image in the dictionary
This life is more than ordinary
Can I get two maybe even three of these
Come from space
To teach you of the pliedes
Can’t stop the spirits when they need you
This life is more than just a read through

George Michael – Careless Whisper

 

 

 

My Comments: “Careless Whisper” is the debut solo single by pop musician George Michael. The song goes over the regret and guilt a cheating partner feels over his indiscretion. Released in 1984, it became a global hit and stands as one of music classics.

This is one of my personal favorites — I consider it timeless. It is one of those rare songs where everything comes together to create perfection.

 
Lyrics:

I feel so unsure
As I take your hand
And lead you to the dance floor
As the music dies
Something in your eyes
Calls to mind a silver screen
And all its sad goodbyes

I’m never gonna dance again
Guilty feet have got no rhythm
Though it’s easy to pretend
I know you’re not a fool
Should’ve known better than to cheat a friend
And waste the chance that I’ve been given
So I’m never gonna dance again
The way I danced with you

Time can never mend
The careless whisper of a good friend
To the heart and mind
Ignorance is kind
There’s no comfort in the truth
Pain is all you’ll find

Tonight the music seems so loud
I wish that we could lose this crowd
Maybe it’s better this way
We’d hurt each other with the things we want to say
We could have been so good together
We could have lived this dance forever
But now who’s gonna dance with me
Please stay

And I’m never gonna dance again
Guilty feet have got no rhythm
Though it’s easy to pretend
I know your not a fool
Should’ve known better than to cheat a friend
And waste the chance that I’ve been given
So I’m never gonna dance again
The way I danced with you

(Now that you’re gone)

Now that you’re gone
(Now that you’re gone)
Was what I did so wrong?
So wrong, that you had to leave me alone?

 

Gotye feat. Kimbra – Somebody That I Used to Know

 

My Comments:

“Somebody That I Used To Know” is Belgian-Australian singer Gotye’s most successful single and one of the most successful singles internationally. This is one of those songs that I initially didn’t really like, but grew on me to become one of my favorites. I hope you like it too.

Lyrics:

Now and then I think of when we were together
Like when you said you felt so happy you could die
I told myself that you were right for me
But felt so lonely in your company
But that was love and it’s an ache I still remember

You can get addicted to a certain kinda sadness
Like resignation to the end, always the end
So when we found that we could not make sense
Well you said that we would still be friends
But I’ll admit that I was glad that it was over

But you didn’t have to cut me off
Make it like it never happened and that we were nothing
I don’t even need your love, but you treat me like a stranger
And that feels so rough

No, you didn’t have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records
And then change your number
Guess that I don’t need that though
Now you’re just somebody that I used to know

Now you’re just somebody that I used to know
Now you’re just somebody that I used to know

Now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over
But had me believing it was always something that I’d done

But I don’t wanna live that way
Reading into every word you say
You said that you could let it go
And I wouldn’t catch you hung up on somebody that you used to know-oh-oh

But you didn’t have cut me off
Make it like it never happened and that we were nothing (oh)
I don’t even need your love, but you treat me like a stranger
and that feels so rough

No, you didn’t have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect you records
And then change your number (oh)
Guess that I don’t need that though
Now you’re just somebody that I used to know

Somebody that I used to know
Somebody (now your just somebody that I used to know)
That I used to know
Somebody that I used to know
Somebody (somebody) (now your just somebody that I used to know)
That I used to know

I used to know
That I used to know
I used to know
Somebody

Soul for Real – Candy Rain

My Comments:

I promised to bring ’90s R&B to all those who sadly somehow missed one of the best times in music. So here it is — this is a quintessentially ’90s R&B song by the quintessential ’90s R&b quartet Soul 4 Real. “Candy Rain” was their first single after their debut album of the same name, released in 1995.

Lyrics:

My love, do you ever dream of
Candy coated raindrops?
You’re the same, my candy rain

Have you ever loved someone
So much you thought you’d die?
Giving so much of yourself
It seems the only way

Tell me what you want and I
And I will give it to you
‘Cause you are

My love, do you ever dream of
Candy coated raindrops?
You’re the same, my candy rain

My love, did you ever dream
That it could be so right?
I never thought that I would find
All that I need in life

All I want, all I need, now I know
I know I found it in you, I found it in you
‘Cause you are

My love, do you ever dream of
Candy coated raindrops?
You’re the same, my candy rain

My love, do you ever dream of
Candy coated raindrops?
You’re the same, my candy rain

My love, do you ever dream of
Candy coated raindrops?
You’re the same, my candy rain

Candy coated raindrops
Candy coated raindrops

My love, do you ever dream of
Candy coated raindrops?
You’re the same, my candy rain

My love, do you ever dream of
Candy coated raindrops?
You’re the same, my candy rain

 

Whitney Houston – All at Once & Didn’t We Almost Have It All

My Comments:

Whitney Houston, one of the greatest singers of all time, passed away on February 11, 2012. Normally I’d stay away from clichéd celebrity farewells, because few celebrities have such a great impact. But this is different.

Whitney’s death is immensely saddening to the world and her fans, and especially to me. Whitney’s music was so important to me, a part of me. Her music cheered me, made me laugh, reassured me, motivated me, invigorated my soul. If only I knew I’d be saying goodbye to Whitney so soon.

So today there will be two videos in memory of Whitney Houston and the amazing legacy she’s left. The lyrics (especially the bolded below) that I listened to so often are eerie and depressing now. R.I.P. Whitney, you were truly a blessing. We’ll always love you; I’ll always love you.

Lyrics:

Continue reading

Lauryn Hill – To Zion

My Comments:

“To Zion” is by singer, rapper, and songwriter Lauryn Hill released from the groundbreaking debut album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. The song wasn’t officially released (but played on radios), so it doesn’t have a music video.

This is one of my favorite Lauryn Hill songs. It is one of those rare, timeless songs that can be listened to for years, at any time of the year. But it’s perfect for the Christmas season, as it can be seen as a depiction of the Virgin Mary and her Immaculate Conception.

Lyrics:

Unsure of what the balance held
I touched my belly overwhelmed
By what I had been chosen to perform
But then an angel came one day
Told me to kneel down and pray
For unto me a man child would be born
Woe this crazy circumstance
I knew his life deserved a chance
But everybody told me to be smart
Look at your career they said,
“Lauryn, baby use your head”
But instead I chose to use my heart

Now the joy of my world is in Zion
Now the joy of my world is in Zion

How beautiful if nothing more
Than to wait at Zion’s door
I’ve never been in love like this before
Now let me pray to keep you from
The perils that will surely come
See life for you my prince has just begun
And I thank you for choosing me
To come through unto life to be
A beautiful reflection of his grace
See I know that a gift so great
Is only one God could create
And I’m reminded every time I see your face

That the joy of my world is in Zion
Now the joy of my world is in Zion
Now the joy of my world is in Zion
Now the joy of my world is in Zion

Marching, marching, marching to Zion
Marching, marching
Marching, marching, marching to Zion
Beautiful, beautiful Zion