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Carly Rae Jepsen and Owl City have a 'Good Time' in new collaboration: Hear it here

Oh, snap. Could we have a late-in-the-game contender for Song of the Summer?

“Fireflies” singer Owl City (a.k.a. Adam Young) has just released a new track with current Hot 100 queen Carly Rae Jepsen called “Good Time,” and it’s already stuck in our heads.

The song (available for digital download June 26) is a synthy, summery pop jam that would sound equally right blaring from a sandy iPod radio or out of monster speakers in a thumping dance club.

Lyrically, the song ain’t all that deep — basically the line “It’s always a good time” is repeated about 300 times, then chanted by some children, then repeated some more — but that’s okay.

With the production-friendly voices of Owl City and Jepsen, the instantly hooky chorus, and the “Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh” refrain, “Good Time” goes down easier than a frozen margarita at a beachfront tiki bar.

Ready to have a good time? Check out the track below: READ FULL STORY

Zac Brown Band's new single 'The Wind' -- listen here

Zac-Brown-Band

After releasing five singles from their blockbuster sophomore album You Get What You Give, the Zac Brown Band is gearing up for their third major-label release, Uncaged, due July 10.

Today, the bearded-n-beanied Georgia natives released the lead single off their next set, an old school, true-blue country tune — we’re talking wire-brush drum beats, three-part harmonies, ample guitar noodling, and lots of fiddle riffs — with a refreshingly modern melody called “The Wind.”

“My love will find you anywhere, anywhere my love,” Zac sings on the lighthearted romantic ditty, which seems likely to continue the band’s chart streak (remarkably, of their ten official singles, eight have reached number one, while two peaked in second place).

Give “The Wind,” which premiered on The Boot earlier today, a spin below: READ FULL STORY

'American Idol': Jessica Sanchez's and Phillip Phillips' coronation singles

For years, American Idol has focused on the fish out of water, reveling in making the country girl sing Queen or the soul singer take on Bon Jovi.

But that’s changed for the better since Interscope took over the music on Idol in 2010. Label head Jimmy Iovine and the rest of the crew now wisely choose to use the show as a platform to develop the strengths and core identities of its contestants, rather than throwing them out of their comfort zones for ratings’ sake.

Not that it means confining them to their genre; it’s been more about creative adjustments, like taking Whitney Houston’s “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” and making it a viable country platform for Southern girl Skylar Laine, or giving Eminem and Rihanna’s domestic-violence account “Love the Way You Lie” a piano-pop twist for the God-fearing Colton Dixon.

Perhaps that’s why this year’s coronation songs, “Change Nothing” by Jessica Sanchez and “Home” by Phillip Phillips, are so many miles away from the one-size-fits-all schmaltz of former Idol anthems like “Inside Your Heaven,” “I Believe,” or “No Boundaries” (which, for the record, I never thought was all that bad: especially when performed reggae-style).

Interscope has sent its fledgling Idols out into the music world with viable singles that forgo mentions of a “magic rainbow on the horizon” or  “flying without wings” — you know, things that modern, non-Idol viewers might listen to.

Sanchez and Phillips unveiled their new tracks last night, and although both sounded much more current than any other Idol winners’ single,  judges made it clear that they felt that only one of them had produced a potential hit. Randy Jackson boldly told Jessica Sanchez that he “did not love the song” and wished she’d chosen something more urban in the style of Beyoncé. Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler agreed. (Who knows how much Interscope pushed these singles on each finalist, but Sanchez did make it clear that “Change Nothing” was her single by choice.) Meanwhile, the judges gave Phillip Phillips a standing ovation for his performance of “Home.” “You were perfect tonight,” Tyler gushed.

But what did you think of the new Idol songs?

Give the studio versions of the two tracks a listen below, read my takes on each, and then sound off in the comments. READ FULL STORY

Justin Bieber releases Mother's Day single 'Turn To You': Listen here

Mother’s Day is this Sunday, which means that card you haven’t dropped in the mail yet isn’t going to make it to your mom in time. There’s only one thing you can do to make it up to the woman who carried you for nine months: Record a special single and release it on iTunes as a charity event.

But that’s not going to look entirely original, since Justin Bieber already beat you to the punch. He just released “Turn To You,” a midtempo ballad that pays homage to his mother by breaking down her narrative, wherein she gets pregnant with Justin, gets her life together, finds Jesus, and later helps to nurture his nascent career.

All proceeds of the single’s sales go towards saving the Bethesda Center, an Ontario-based women’s shelter in danger of closing that also provided Bieber’s mother with assistance while she was pregnant. Give it a spin below. READ FULL STORY

Alanis Morissette premieres new single 'Guardian': Listen here

With all the ’90s nostalgia flying around this summer (need we remind you that Everclear, Sugar Ray, Gin Blossoms, Marcy Playground, and Lit are all going on tour together?), it’s only appropriate that Alanis Morissette — she of interesting extracurricular movie theater activities — return with a new album.

It’s called Havoc and Bright Lights, and it’s Morissette’s first album since 2008’s Flavors of Entanglement. It won’t be hitting stores until August 28, but the first single, “Guardian,” lands on iTunes this Tuesday, May 15. Give it a listen via the official lyric video (which premiered on MetroLyrics) below: READ FULL STORY

Beach Boys drop first new reunion song 'That's Why God Made The Radio': Hear it here

During one of the wildest scenes in a particularly unhinged episode of Mad Men this past Sunday, Roger Sterling took an acid trip with the assistance of the smooth sounds of the Beach Boys’ “I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times.” It was a perfect use of an excellent song, fully encapsulating the strange passing of time, the frivolity of youth, and the melancholy of loneliness.

In 50 years, perhaps a television show that takes place in 2012 will use “That’s Why God Made the Radio,” the just-released Beach Boys’ reunion single. What sort of scene should this new track underscore? Give it a listen below to get your synapses firing. READ FULL STORY

Adam Lambert announces 'Never Close Our Eyes' as second single from 'Trespassing': Is this a better direction for him?

Yesterday, Adam Lambert announced on Twitter that the second single from his delayed sophomore album Trespassing will be “Never Close Our Eyes.”

The album’s first officially released cut, “Better Than I Know Myself,” a melancholy pop-rock track that felt like a rejected Pink demo, failed to catch on with listeners and never muscled its way up the charts (it topped out at number 76 on the Billboard Hot 100).

“Never Close Our Eyes,” on the other hand, is lot more Glambert than Blandbert, and for that, we are thankful.

Granted, we have yet to hear a fully produced version of the new single, but a few acoustic live versions are floating around the net, which suggest that “Never” will fit into the Queen-esque pomp-rock style that fans enjoyed on Lambert’s debut For Your Entertainment.

Give the track a listen below: READ FULL STORY

Jennifer Lopez once again joins forces with Pitbull for new single 'Dance Again': Hear it here!

This season of American Idol has been weak on water cooler moments and breakout performances.

The biggest newsmakers are still the people sitting behind the judges’ table: Steven Tyler just announced that a new album and tour from his band Aerosmith, and now Jennifer Lopez has dropped a new single called “Dance Again.”

Lopez (who totally didn’t flash any of her naughty bits during the Oscar telecast) got her great career resurrection last summer with the single “On the Floor,” featuring a guest verse from Pitbull and production by RedOne. Clearly operating in the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” idiom, Lopez once again sings over a buttery disco groove with an assist from Miami’s favorite bilingual MC.

Get hydrated, then listen below: READ FULL STORY

Justin Bieber's much-anticipated new single 'Boyfriend' finally arrives: Listen here!

justin-bieber-boyfriend-blog

A few weeks ago, Justin Bieber dropped in on the new single by Far East Movement, giving us the first non-Yuletide taste of the plucky Canadian since the release of Never Say Never at the top of 2011. At midnight last night, he struck again, this time in the form of the first single from his forthcoming album Believe.

The track is called “Boyfriend,” and it’s built around a woozy keyboard loop, some hollow kick drums, a nice little digi-coustic guitar snap, and Bieber’s newly evolved grown-up voice. Produced by Mike Posner, “Boyfriend” proves that Bieber’s role model is Justin Timberlake, as this is the sort of musical and attitude adjustment that helped JT transition from teen-scream inspiration to serious artist.

Give it a spin below.: READ FULL STORY

Marilyn Manson returns with new single 'No Reflection': Is he still scary?

Marilyn Manson is back with a new album called Born Villain, and the first single “No Reflection” just dug itself out of a shallow grave to walk the Earth.

Manson hasn’t been gone for very long (the band’s last album, The High End of Low, came out in 2009), but it has been a while since he has been a significant part of the pop culture conversation. The last time the group’s titular singer made a big impact was with 2003’s The Golden Age of Grotesque, and even then it seemed like the seams were showing and the decline was inevitable (though it should be noted that The Golden Age of Grotesque is wildly underrated, with a number of never-were anthems like “Ka-Boom Ka-Boom”).

There was also a moment when the video for “Heart-Shaped Glasses” looked like the return of scandalous Manson, but it was processed by the online news machine in a day and pretty much never heard from again. Considering the relatively small venues booked on Marilyn Manson’s upcoming tour, they seem closer to becoming the door-to-door fear factory once lampooned in The Onion.

But is “No Reflection” the way back for Manson, both the band and the man? The guitars are still loud, the beat still propulsive, and the chorus pretty melodic. Give it a listen below. READ FULL STORY

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