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'Avatar' theme song: Does Leona Lewis' track sound just a touch too much like 'My Heart Will Go On'?

I’m old enough to remember a time when James Cameron made Guns N’ Roses-assisted movies about killer cyborgs (see video at bottom). These days he seems to be all about love stories and big ballads. You may recall that, for Titanic, the auteur recruited Celine Dion to sing a little ditty called “My Heart Will Go On.” And now Brit songbird Leona Lewis has provided some similarly big-lunged balladeering for his forthcoming sci fi extravaganza Avatar in the form of “I See You,” which you can hear below.

Actually, to my ears, it sounds at times like Lewis is going to break into “My Heart Will Go On.” Give “I See You” a listen, and see if you agree.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Daryl Hall on his surprise Grammy nomination
Whitney Houston’s Grammy shut-out
Grammy noms for Best Album: All the single ladies (and a few back-up dudes)

Grammy nomination special: The best and worst performances
Nominees (Kings of Leon! Sugarland! Maxwell!) talk Taylor Swift and more after the Grammy nomination special

Bryan Adams pens song for new movie 'Old Dogs': Listen to the exclusive stream here!

When Bryan Adams heard the folks at Disney were using his song “The Summer of ’69″ in the new comedy Old Dogs, which is released tomorrow, he called the film company’s music chief to express his gratitude. “I said,’Thanks a lot for doing that,’  recalls the Canadian singer-songwriter, “He goes, ‘Hey, by the way, can you write me an original song?’ He told me a little bit about the movie, that Robin Williams and John Travolta are great friends, and then I sent him a song. Simple as that!” The track, which you can exclusively hear below, is a breezy number called “You’ve Been a Friend to Me.” Adams says that he was influenced by having spent most of the year doing acoustic shows: “The song’s got quite an acoustic swing to it, because that’s the instrument I’m using right now.”

Adams has contributed songs to numerous movies. Notably, his single “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” became a global smash in large part thanks to its appearance in the 1991 Kevin Costner action-romp Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. According to the Music Mix’s records, the song was a number one in Britain for seven years straight. “It’s still number one!” laughs Adams. “Actually, it was 16 weeks. I can remember my record company saying to me, ‘Listen, we have to pull the single, because we want to focus on the album. I said, ‘Just leave it’. I mean people were buying that record that never buy records. It struck a chord with people out there in the world that in some cases didn’t even speak English!”

Can you speak English? And, if not, how are you understanding this? Regardless, give a listen to Mr Adams’ newie, and tell us what you think.

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Aerosmith exclusive: Joe Perry denies Venezuelan singer rumors
Jennifer Lopez on AMAs fall: ‘I meant to do that!’

Adam Lambert at the AMAs: Simulated fellatio, bikini-area snapping, and makeout sessions. But what about the vocals?
Rihanna’s AMAs comeback performance: How did she do?

Charlotte Gainsbourg's new video with Beck, 'Heaven Can Wait': Welcome to the Crazydome

The video for Charlotte Gainsbourg’s new single “Heaven Can Wait,” with duet partner/producer Beck, shows that the French singer/actress might be nursing some surrealist scars from her lead role in Lars Von Trier’s latest film, Antichrist.

Nothing in this clip smacks of the dizzying, disturbing sexual violence in that controversial work, but it is full of cheeky visual non sequiturs that take you to that slow-motion “I just drank a bottle of cough syrup” world. The song itself is a low-key, Sunday afternoon pop song, not unlike Kill the Moonlight-era Spoon, but with more of a hangover:

Alt iconolast Beck keeps Charlotte company throughout the video and shows off a new clean-cut look: he is finally the kind of indie weirdo you can bring home to mom. The two of them meander through a world of slo-mo tennis/target practice, sleepovers, swimming pools and shotguns, mouthing lyrics about “trying to drive that escalator into the ground.” They even encounter a spaceman with a pancake-stack head, clearly a regular customer at the Intergalactic House of Pancakes.

What do you think, readers—is it good Maya Deren-esque fun? Or is its weirdness a little too contrived?

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Norah Jones: Current listening
Peter Gabriel covers Arcade Fire, Radiohead, Regina Spektor: When rock worlds collide
Neil Young’s ‘One of These Days’: An EW exclusive stream from his new live album
New Grizzly Bear video ‘Ready, Able’: Viva la claymation
Solange covers the Dirty Projectors, delivers little bit of awesome

Miley Cyrus not a 'Twilight' fan: 'I've never seen it, nor will I ever'

It’s like the Easter bunny just pooped on a unicorn. Miley Cyrus, tween America’s pole-prancing, party-in-the-U.S.A.-ing overlord, wants nothing to do with Twilight—arguably the only pop cultural benchmark more important to her target demographic than her own multi-media empire.

“I’ve never seen [Twilight], and nor will I ever,” she tells Ohio radio station Q92 in a filmed backstage interview. “I don’t believe in it—I don’t believe in it. I don’t like vampires, I don’t like any of the stuff, like the wolf that pops out of the screen when I’m watching my TV at night. I don’t like it, I don’t want anything to do with it. I don’t like the shirts, any of it.”

Watch the clip after the jump, beginning just before the one-minute mark:

READ FULL STORY

Robert Pattinson thinks 'Twilight' mania is 'perhaps close' to what the Beatles went through

Oh, there’s no business like quote business. Last night, swoopy-haired Twilight star Robert Pattinson spoke to EW’s Carrie Bell at the New Moon premiere in Los Angeles—and linked the name of his vampire franchise with arguably the biggest four-pronged pop landmark of the last 50 years: John, Paul, George, and Ringo.

“You can’t prepare for this. It is just insane,” he said of the well-documented, culture-saturating Twi-frenzy. “I don’t know how the Beatles felt, but I imagine it was perhaps close to this. I think very few human beings will ever get to experience the same feelings and love we feel at Twilight events.”

Though his undoubtedly innocent (and not without merit) comparison is guaranteed to be reduced to breathless “Rob P sayz Twilight = Beatles OMGEEE!!” pull quotes out there in the LOL-osphere, it’s good to remember that John Lennon himself once got into pretty hot soup (record burnings, show cancellations, even death threats) for his infamous “We’re more popular than Jesus” quote back in 1966, at the height of Beatlemania.

Like nearly all pop cultural phenomena, the reign of Edward and Bella et al. will surely wane eventually, though not before a few more sequels—and a few million references in press outlets (this one included). But does it saturate our media and engage young people in part because there’s a dearth of that kind of lightning-rod star power in music now, or even the type of pop-radio mono-culture to support it?

Can a Beyonce or Lady Gaga, let alone a four-piece rock band, ever hope to be as culturally paramount as the Fab Four were (and one could argue, continue to be), and Twilight is today? And years from now, how will the Twi-team be judged by history—Pet Rock or Beatles-level monolith?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
New Lady Gaga, ‘Telephone’: Stream it here
Mariah Carey’s ‘I Want to Know What Love Is’ video: Play ball!
Rihanna’s violent, disturbing ‘Russian Roulette’ video: How dark is too dark?
Chris Brown’s “Crawl” video: He feels remorseful about a lost love. Do you care?
‘Glee: The Music, Vol. 2′ track listing revealed!
Solange covers the Dirty Projectors, delivers a little bit of awesome

Movie theme songs: What are the best and worst of all time?

The BBC reports today that Leona Lewis has been tapped to sing the theme song to James Cameron’s upcoming I-see-blue-people sci-fi epic Avatar, with the help of James Horner and Simon Franglen, the team who blessed/bedeviled the world with Celine Dion’s deathless chest-pounder “My Heart Will Go On” for Cameron’s Titanic back in 1997.

While Lewis prepares to bust her wing span on whatever the outer-space equivalent is of a ship’s prow, we’re compelled to take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly in movie theme songs, including—cue coyote flute— soundtrack king Ennio Morricone’s actual theme song for the 1966 Clint Eastwood spaghetti-western classic The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.

There’s great schlock (Whitney’s Bodyguard epic “I Will Always Love You”; Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds,” for the 1984 movie of the same name; Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes’ Dirty Dancing duet, “(I’ve Had) the Time of My Life”;), and schlock schlock (Aerosmith’s execrable Armageddon smash “Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing,” Bryan Adams’ Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves mom-slayer “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You”). READ FULL STORY

'Say Anything' turns 20: Cameron Crowe's crazy story behind 'In Your Eyes' and Lloyd Dobler's boom box

Prepare yourselves, hopeless romantics: To commemorate today’s 20th-anniversary edition Blu-ray and DVD re-release of Say Anything…, Twentieth Century Fox will be “Mobler”-izng (apparently “mob” + “Dobler” = “Mobler” — and yes, I agree it’s a stretch) a veritable army of Lloyd Dobler lookalikes to descend upon New York City’s Times Square later today, boom boxes outstretched and hearts worn proudly on their trench-coated sleeves. Clever? Yes. Original? Hardly!

In last week’s issue of EW, I wrote of my own life-imitating-Lloyd moment to get my high school girlfriend back, which coincided with the original release of the movie two decades ago.

Today’s publicity stunt will also have over-the-emo-top-named band the Lloyd Dobler Effect playing an acoustic version of Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes.” What it will not have, but which I have here, is the full story from Say Anything‘s writer and director Cameron Crowe on how the scene and song came together to create the iconic John Cusack moment (and, um, eventual shameless PR stunt).

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did the scene come about? It’s something that could have gone terribly awry, but instead is incredibly endearing and iconic and lasting. Did you just write “lifts boom box overhead”?

CAMERON CROWE: Yeah, and the music wafts down the hillside, I think was what it was. I was supposed to, not that it’s such an epic event, but I just remember the day that I was waiting to go somewhere; we were in Seattle and Nancy [Wilson, Heart guitarist and Crowe's wife of 23 years ] and I were late to go someplace and I was ready to go and she needed some more time. I had been writing, and it’s that great thing of like, “Thank goodness I don’t have to work on this any longer and try and solve this problem because I’ve got to go.”

READ FULL STORY

'Juno' director Jason Reitman's latest, 'Up in the Air': Hear his hand-picked soundtrack star here

According to my officemate Dave Karger, the George Clooney dramedy Up in the Air is set to be one of the major contenders in this year’s Oscar race. He’s thinking Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor, for sure.

Maybe he should add Best Song to that list: “Help Yourself,” an original composition by Chicago-based musician Sad Brad Smith, is featured during a pivotal wedding scene in the film. It’s not exactly the kind of upbeat anthem the Academy usually goes for, but the acoustic tune is a perfect fit for the movie’s melancholy mood.

Check out the song below, and let us know what you think.

Fun fact: Director Jason Reitman got a tip from his brother-in-law to check out Smith, who was playing in a Chicago coffee shop. Reitman liked what he heard and asked Smith to compose a song for the movie’s soundtrack (out Dec. 1, and also featuring Crosby, Stills and Nash and the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach). It begs the question: If he’s writing cool songs for A-list movies, why is Sad Brad still sad?

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Norah Jones’ “Chasing Pirates” video
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Michael Jackson's 'This Is It' soundtrack: EW's review

The soundtrack for Michael Jackson’s posthumous concert film This Is It arrived in stores today. Read on for EW’s review.

Michael Jackson
This Is It: The Music That Inspired the Movie
Pop (Epic)

Legend has it that Michael Jackson left behind hours upon hours of unreleased music when he died this summer — an entire alternate discography lurking in a vault somewhere. His latest posthumous release includes exactly one of those mythical songs: “This Is It,” the uplifting ballad he co-wrote with Paul Anka under another title. If you’re feeling generous, you can count the minimally distinguishable “Orchestra Version” of “This Is It” as another new track. Either way, it’s a decent if slight addition to Jackson’s songbook.

READ FULL STORY

Ben Gibbard acts! Watch the Death Cab for Cutie frontman earn his SAG card

Zooey Deschanel’s better half (or lesser! you decide) has already dipped his toe in cinematic waters with New Moon‘s lead single, “Meet Me on the Equinox.” Now the DCFC frontman takes center screen in John “Jim from The Office” Krasinki’s film adaptation of David Foster Wallace’s Brief Interviews with Hideous Men.

Thanks to Stereogum for the clip below:

Where do you think Gibbard falls in the pantheon of singers-turned-actors, readers — Cher in Silkwood, or Mick Jagger in Freejack?

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No Age’s improv jam to ‘The Bear’ at NYC’s New Museum
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