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Karen O will release her home-recorded debut solo album in September

The last Yeah Yeah Yeahs album, Mosquito, was their most elaborate recording to date, complete with the gospel choir that’s pretty much de rigueur for overproduced rock records. For her upcoming debut solo album, frontwoman Karen O is going hard in the opposite direction. Crush Songs, which will be released on Strokes singer Julian Casablancas’s Cult Records on September 9, is a collection of stripped-down, lo-fi home recordings along the lines of “The Moon Song,” her Oscar-nominated contribution to the soundtrack for Spike Jonze’s Her.

The material on Crush Songs was recorded in 2006 and 2007, during the peak of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs post-Fever to Tell popularity. Karen O was 27 at the time, and according to a quote in her press release, she “crushed a lot” during that time.

Crush Songs will be available on CD, digitally, and in a special limited edition that includes a sunburst-colored vinyl album and a set of personal drawings with handwritten lyrics, which is available for pre-order now.

Want to buy the Oscar-nominated music from the 'Her' soundtrack? You can't

HER-POSTER

When the chatter first began about Spike Jonze’s warm, lovely film Her, one of the talking points was the music: Arcade Fire member William Butler and fellow Canadian Owen Pallett (known to the pop world as Final Fantasy) would be writing the score, Arcade Fire would perform it, and additional musical input would come from Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O (who had previously collaborated with Jonze on the music for Where The Wild Things Are).

The results lived up to the anticipation; the music in Her perfectly complements the internal life of lead character Theodore Twombly (played by Joaquin Phoenix). The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences agreed, and when the Oscar nominations were handed down last week, both the score (by Butler and Pallett) and the original song “The Moon Song” (performed by Karen O and written by her and Jonze) were included in the race for prizes. 

But despite the accolades, the music from Her is unavailable for purchase, either in physical or digital form. READ FULL STORY

The Oscar music snubs: no love for Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, 'Llewyn Davis' or Coldplay

Check to make sure the rivers haven’t turned to blood and all first-borns aren’t suddenly afflicted with pox, because the impossible has happened: Taylor Swift was not nominated for an award.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ passing on Swift’s “Sweeter Than Fiction” (from the film One Chance) is easily one of the most high-profile snubs from this morning’s Oscar nominations announcement. The song was nominated for a Golden Globe and seemed like an obvious pick for an invite on Oscar night, if only because people love giving Taylor Swift gold trophies (and also because it would have brought some much-needed youth to the Oscar party).

Instead, the contenders in the Best Original Song category are U2’s “Ordinary Love” (from Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom), Karen O’s “The Moon Song” (Her), Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” (Despicable Me 2), Bruce Broughton and Dennis Spiegel’s “Alone But Not Alone” (from the deeply obscure Christian film of the same name), and the song “Let It Go” from the Disney blockbuster Frozen, which is performed by Idina Menzel and written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. (It’s the writers, not the performers, who take home the gold.)

The race seems to be down to the Golden Globe winner and sentimental favorite “Ordinary Love” (which would be as much an award for the late Nelson Mandela as it would be for U2) and the sales juggernaut “Let It Go” (which has propelled the Frozen soundtrack to the top of the mainstream album chart and elevated it to gold status). “Happy” and “The Moon Song” are much longer shots, but both are both cool choices crafted by deeply respected members of the music world.

Of course, that leaves “Alone But Not Alone,” one of the most inexplicable Oscar nominations in the history of the awards. The film barely exists, and the song itself is a dreary dirge of a hymn that sounds like it should be played in the midst of a sleepy Sunday morning mass. It has virtually no chance of winning, and its legacy will be as a bizarre curiosity in a category notorious for them.

It would be a less shocking inclusion if the Oscar nomination shortlist (75 songs in all) didn’t contain so many markedly stronger options. READ FULL STORY

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