#Music

This Week Marks Three Major Pop Music Anniversaries For Three of Our Favorite Icons. Which One Means the Most?

This week marks three major milestones: three of the biggest music releases for three of our favorite pop icons and outspoken LGBTQ+ allies.


October 19: The 20th anniversary of Cher’s iconic single Believe (the album of the same name was released three days later).

 


October 20: The 26th anniversary of Madonna’s album Erotica.

 


October 23: The 20th anniversary of Britney Spears’ first single, …Baby One More Time.

 


We’re curious: Which of these means the most to you? Which do you think holds up the best and will stand the test of time?

I like all three of these, but for this writer it’s a no-brainer: Erotica all the way.

A concept album, Erotica was mostly reviled in its day. Good luck finding a pop star today who hasn't borrowed from it enormously, repeatedly. All of them have—over and over.

Rolling Stone was one of the only positive reviews in 1992; they got it, calling it, "a post-AIDS album about romance.”

This music has meant a great deal to me since I was in my teens and was figuring out that I was gay. It is a dark album that's helped me get through some of the darkest periods of my life. It's an album that takes you on a journey, and ultimately it's about the power of love.

Related: All 13 Madonna Studio Albums, Ranked

This record is Madonna the artist at her most experimental, fearless and vital. I really hope she taps into these innovative instincts on her 14th studio album, due next year. I will adore her no matter what, but I want her to stop following trends; she is the ultimate trendsetter. Erotica was so ahead of its time, and I know Madonna still has this life force and creativity in her. I have no doubt.

Erotica is an iconic, enduring and inclusive part of LGBTQ+ culture.

That said, I can definitely appreciate Britney and Cher, and I’m certainly open to hearing opinions other than my own. 

Please let us know which of these releases means the most to you, and why.

Ranking Britney Spears’ 9 Studio Albums from Worst to Best

Britney Spears’ debut song “…Baby One More Time” will be celebrating its 20th anniversary of being released on Tuesday. It’s hard to believe that she has been in the pop stratosphere for that long of a time and shows no signs of slowing down either as the busy mother-of-two just announced that she’s signed a new residency tour in Las Vegas and will reportedly be making $507,000 per show. Not too bad for a girl from Kentwood, Louisiana.

She has put out 9 studio albums over the past 20 years with varying degrees of success. It’s hard for any artist to sell millions upon millions of records as their career age gets older, however the quality of what Britney has put out in her later albums have sometimes trumped what she did earlier on, meaning that your biggest seller doesn’t equate your best.

Here is, in my opinion as a gigantic Britney Spears fan, all her 9 albums ranked from worst to best. Do you agree? Let us know.

9/8. Britney Jean/Glory. Her last two albums just haven’t been that impressive in terms of what Britney can really put out there. Sure, “Work B**ch” is fun and all, but its been several years since she put out anything that was stellar and these two albums were a departure from how fantastic Femme Fatale was many moons ago.

Standout songs: “Perfume”, “Private Show”, “Make Me”.

7. Oops! I Did it Again. Her sophomore effort is only this low because there wasn’t too much of a change from her debut to this. I can understand why, as it was released only a year after …Baby, but I was hoping for somewhat of a shift in her sound and that just didn’t happen with this.

Standout songs: “Don’t Go Knocking on My Door”, “Stronger”.

6. In the Zone. My problem with In the Zone was that the first track released from it wasn’t its smartest. “Me Against the Music” isn’t a good song (at all), but Madonna was featured so I’m sure the label wanted that out at first. Outside of that, this is a super fun album to listen to and helped solidify her mature sound further than it did with Britney.

Standout songs: “Showdown”, “Outrageous”, “Toxic”.

5. Femme Fatale. The dance version of Britney that catapulted her career in the early 2010’s was evident on Femme Fatale, as it evoked some of the same beats and styles as Blackout and Circus. This wasn’t as good as the other two (read on for that), however it did produce some stellar tracks and gave her another number one debut with “Hold It Against Me”.

Standout songs: “Til The World Ends”, “Criminal”, “I Wanna Go”.

4. …Baby One More Time. The one that started it out for her. This album was squeaky pop princess realness, and as much as you want to hate on it for that, you can’t. Max Martin and all her producers utilized that to its fullest and made for an irresistible debut album that became one of the biggest selling albums of all time. Oh baby, baby.

Standout songs: “From the Bottom of My Broken Heart”, “Born to Make You Happy”, “…Baby One More Time”

3. Britney. Oops hinted at this, however Britney hit it out of the park when it came to Britney’s maturity coming through ten-fold from what she did on her first two albums. “Slave” was a smart choice in order to engage multiple audiences and veer her somewhat from the teen queen that she became in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Just a stellar album with many yummy tracks to digest.

Standout songs: “I’m a Slave 4 U”, “Bombastic Love”, “Boys”

2. Circus. I had a hard time going between number two and one on this, as both efforts were during her creative peak that really showed her maturing into the artist that she is today. When all the 2007 pandemonium started to calm down in Britney’s career, she released Circus, which blended a ton of what she did on her previous albums but in a much better and focused sort of way. There was no weak track from it, not a single one, and it’s one that is still so much fun to listen to today.

Standout songs: “Shattered Glass”, “Unusual You”, “Kill the Lights”.

1. Blackout. It’s so frustrating that her best effort to date only went platinum, as Britney was going through such a public catastrophe during this time. Her 2007 VMA opening only intensified the media scrutiny that was going on, which made it harder for her casual fans to actually want to purchase and listen to Blackout. Regardless of what she was going through, Blackout was a true masterpiece that showed off an upbeat, dance driven side of Brit with songs like “Gimme More” and “Hot as Ice”. It is still regarded by her fan base as one of her best if not best album to date, to which I say… Yes.

Standout songs: “Gimme More”, “Break the Ice”, “Freakshow”.

This post was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.

Listen: Madonna & Cardi B Team Up With Quavo For “Champagne Rosé”

Madonna and Cardi B drop in for guest vocals duty on the new debut album from Migos’ Quavo titled, Quavo Huncho.

Via Rolling Stone:

After years of mounting pressure from fans and the industry, Quavo’s first full-length foray into solo artistry has an ironic aftertaste. At the height of Quavo-mania in 2017, the Migos frontman commanded 11 percent of the Billboard Hot 100. No song was safe from his Auto-Tuned, slurred melodies. Every video beamed with his diamond-encrusted smile. What Lil Wayne was to the late aughts, Quavo was to a new generation.

On “Champagne Rosé,” Madge chants the hypnotic auto-tuned chorus (“Please fill my cup Champagne Rosé / It’s my name") as rapstress Cardi B drops some rhymes.

Listen to the NSFW track below:

 

 

Several months ago, Quavo teased the collaboration with a pic on his Instagram with the Queen of Pop and Cardi B from an Academy Awards after-party:

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

S O L I T A I R E @iamcardib @offsetyrn @madonna

A post shared by QuavoHuncho (@quavohuncho) on

 

Cardi B took to her social media last night to share her excitement about the collaboration writing, “QUAVO ALBUM ITS OUT NOW !!!!!!!! Who listening ? Make sure ya check me out on CHAMPAGNE Quavo ft Madonna and me !!! ISSA PARTY TONIGHT !!”

 

 

Madonna recently shared with fans that her new album will be coming out in 2019.

Thoughts, readers? Is this a hit or miss for the Queen of Pop?

(h/t Rolling Stone)

Barbra Streisand Rips Trump Apart in Music Video for "Don't Lie to Me"

Yesterday, Barbra Streisand premiered the politically-charged, anti-Trump music video for her new single “Don’t Lie to Me” on YouTube.

Not shy about expressing her political views, Streisand most recently was vocal in her support of Hillary Clinton’s bid for president.

Leading up to the release, Streisand dropped a few hints about the video, including a black-and-white of a Kavanaugh protest with the lyrics “Can’t You See I’m Crying” laid over it.

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

#DontLieToMe music video…coming very soon. #BarbraWalls - Subscribe at youtube.com/barbrastreisand

A post shared by Barbra Streisand (@barbrastreisand) on

 

The song debuted in September. It’s a single from her upcoming album Walls.

In an interview with the AP, Streisand said the inspiration for the single came when she was traveling, and she was in her car “listening to lies, listening to things that are such craziness” on the radio.

Streisand has been working in show business for over six decades, and she’s won two Oscars, ten Grammys including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the Grammy Legend Award, five Emmys, a Tony, an AFI Award, a Kennedy Center Honors prize, four Peabodys, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and nine Golden Globes.

She is the only recording artist to have a number-one album in each of the last six decades, and she’s sold over 150 million albums worldwide.

Walls will be released Nov. 2. Watch the video for "Don't Lie to Me" below.

h/t: THR

 

United States Sees Surge in Voter Registration Following Taylor Swift's Political Instagram Post

As we previously reported, on Sunday Taylor Swift broke years of silence on politics and told her 112 million Instagram followers that she’s voting for Democratic candidates in her home state of Tennessee on Nov. 6. The post has been liked over two million times.

Seeing as she’s one of the most powerful and influential figures in entertainment (or any field, really), it should be no surprise Swift’s action got serious results. Still, the numbers are staggering.

As reported by Buzzfeed:

"We are up to 65,000 registrations in a single 24-hour period since T. Swift's post," said Kamari Guthrie, director of communications for Vote.org.

For context, 190,178 new voters were registered nationwide in the entire month of September, while 56,669 were registered in August.

Everything came full circle last night when Swift won Artist of the Year at the American Music Awards, and used her acceptance speech to encourage her fans to get to the polls.

"This award and every single award given out tonight were voted on by the people, and you know what else is voted on by the people?" she asked the audience.

"It is the midterm elections on November 6. Get out and vote. I love you guys.”

Killin’ it, T-Swift. Way to use your for the right reasons.

You heard her. Get out and make your voice heard on Nov. 6.

h/t: BuzzFeed, CNN

Yas! Janet Jackson & Stevie Nicks Nominees for 2019 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced the nominees for induction into the 2019 Rock Hall class early Tuesday morning, which included two major gay icons, one of the sexiest rappers of all time, a legendary 80's hair band and many, many more.

Janet Jackson and Stevie Nicks are among the nominees for induction amid a ton of other fantastic acts. LL Cool JDef Leppard, DevoJohn Prine, Kraftwerk, MC5, Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, Roxy Music, The Cure, Todd Rundgren, Rufus & Chaka Kahn and The Zombies round out the list . 

The induction ceremony takes place March 29th at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York. Artists become eligible for nomination 25 years after the release of their first recording.

This is Jackson's third time being nominated, and Stevie's first. The "Stand Back" singer was inducted 20 years ago alongside her Fleetwood Mac bandmates (Lindsey BuckinghamMick FleetwoodPeter GreenDanny KirwanChristine McVieJohn McVie and Jeremy Spencer).

Several of the 2019 nominees have been passed over before including LL, Kraftwerk, MC5, The Zombies, Rage Against the Machine, The Cure and Rufus & Chaka Khan.

Ballots are sent to an international voting body of more than 1,000 artists, historians and music industry figures who consider "an artist's musical influence on other artists, length and depth of career and the body of work, innovation and superiority in style and technique," according to Rock Hall.

Fans can get involved as well, as a ballot just for them is available online and in person at the Rock Hall's museum in Cleveland. Ballots are now open, and fans can cast a vote a day through Dec. 9 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Who gets your vote from this illustrious group?

 

 

 

Madonna Just Changed the Release Date of Her Fourteenth Studio Album.

The Queen of Pop is, as always, hard at work. She’s currently traveling the globe to promote her expensive but well-reviewed MDNA Skin line of skincare products.

In a new interview with WWD published on Monday, Madonna was promoting a $200 beauty roller. She also informed fans that her fourteenth studio album won’t be out until 2019.

“I’m finishing my record, which I’m going to release next year. Yep, in between rose mist spray and serums, I’m actually making music. Can’t quit my day job.”

It was previously reported that her new album would drop by the end of 2019.

This sounds like bad news, but maybe it isn’t. I am a hardcore, diehard, live-it-and-breathe-it Madonna fan, and as hard as it is for me to wait, I’m fine with the pushback if it means she’s really taking her time with it to make it something special.

Madonna is a multitasking businesswoman, and that’s fine. There’s less than nothing wrong with a side hustle or twelve.

But aside from being a mother of six, this fan wishes the music to be Madonna’s top priority. It’s what put her on the map, and she remains the best-selling female recording artist in history, per the Guinness Book of World Records.

Her worst studio album ever, though it definitely had its moments, was 2012’s MDNA. Producer William Orbit (he also worked on Ray of Light) said in the press that the album didn’t turn out great because Madonna was focused on other business ventures.

Related: Instinct Ranked Madonna's 13 Studio Albums

If spending a few more months on #14 is a matter of really honing in and making it shine, that’s just splendid.

The first single from the new album is rumored to be “Beautiful Game.” She performed the track at this year’s Met Ball.

 

I love how aggressive she still sounds at 60, and I love the phrase “Because your world is such a shame/Because your world’s obsessed with fame/Because your world’s in so much pain.” There’s no question that she’s still got it. The life force we’ve fallen for since the 80s is still there in plain sight.

Madonna’s most underrated talent, even though it’s the one that she’s perhaps best-known for, is her gifts as a singer-songwriter. She has written incredible, breathtaking lyrics on numerous occasions. She is best when she’s not following trends but rather experimenting.

In 2018, the world has officially gone insane (or at least the wool isn’t over our eyes anymore and the insanity is just more visible), and men are out of control. We need a great, biting, hard-hitting and hopeful pop record from this feminist icon now more than ever. I am certain that she has it in her.

Interview: WWD


Note: This is the opinion of one Instinct Magazine contributor and does not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine itself or the fellow contributors.

Barbra Streisand Takes On Donald Trump With New Album "Walls"

Legendary actress and recording artist Barbra Streisand has released the first single from her upcoming album, Walls, set for release November 2.

According to the socially conscious actress/director/singer/songwriter, she intended the new single, “Don’t Lie to Me,” to have “very subtle” references to Donald Trump.

But, she just couldn’t do it.

Instead, the track includes questions and comments clearly meant for Trump.

How do you sleep when the world keeps turning?
All that we built has come undone
How do you sleep when the world is burning?
Everyone answers to someone

 

 

And then there’s the title of the album itself - Walls. There’s a none-too-subtle reference to Trump’s favorite subject.

In addition to "Don't Lie to Me," the album includes new songs like "Lady Liberty," "Better Angels," and "What's On My Mind," as well as La Streisand's take on classics like "Imagine," "What The World Needs Now," and "What A Wonderful World."

In an interview with the Associated Press, the Oscar/Emmy/Grammy winner shared that the current “assault on democracy” inspired much of the new collection’s intent.

“I wanted to talk about the things that were making me feel so sad, heartbroken,” she said. “I’m a kind of fierce American.

“I don’t know who we are anymore as a country. Are we embracing people who flee oppression? Or are we separating children from parents, putting them in cages?

“I don’t know if people care about the planet, the survival of the planet. Do they care about clean air? Clean water? Clean food? If they do, how could they vote for somebody like Trump, who believes it’s a hoax?”

“I’m frightened for this country. And yet, I have hope.”

Part of that hope rests in the country's youth, as the 76-year-old dedicates the new collection to "young people who are speaking out."

Streisand turned to music industry luminaries Walter Afanasieff, John Shanks and David Foster - all Grammy recipients for Producer of the Year  - to help craft the arrangements and production of Walls.

And speaking of achievements, a brief recap of Streisand’s career highlights is the stuff artists dream of.

With 52 gold, 31 platinum and 13 multi-platinum albums in her career, she is the only recording artist in history to achieve a #1 Album in six consecutive decades.

She is the only woman to make the All-Time Top 10 Best Selling Artists list, and she ranks as the female artist with the most number one albums in Billboard’s history.

And yes, the mantles in her home are packed with honors considering her two Oscars, ten Grammys (including two special Grammys), five Emmys, three Peabodys, and eleven Golden Globes including the Cecil B. DeMille Award.

Walls Tracklisting

1.    What’s On My Mind
2.    Don’t Lie To Me
3.    Imagine / What A Wonderful World
4.    Walls
5.    Lady Liberty
6.    What The World Needs Now
7.    Better Angels
8.    Love’s Never Wrong
9.    The Rain Will Fall
10. Take Care Of This House
11. Happy Days Are Here Again

The single, "Don't Lie to Me," is available at this link as well as a pre-order for the November 2 release of Walls.

(h/t AP)

We're Calling It: Robyn's Glorious New Music Was Totally Worth the Eight-Year Wait

Swedish pop star Robyn’s last full-length album Body Talk is one of the best pop records so far this century. After eight years, she’s finally releasing a follow-up.

The elusive track “Honey” was first teased to fans on an episode of Girls over a year ago. Finally, Robyn released the eponymous second single from her new album. It’s undeniably a softer sound for the songstress. And it’s damn beautiful. Worth the near-decade of waiting time, the sexy and tantalizing, melodically hypnotizing electronic dance track puts the work of nearly all of the pop tarts in the Top 40 today to shame. She can create emotional soundscapes out of digital blips and bleeps like no other.

Here a glorious sample below. You can listen to the entire track on Spotify. 

 

 

Yesterday, Robyn released the album's entire tracklist to Twitter, saying “This is the track list for the album. I’ve had it ready it ready for months, so strange how it came together even before or the songs were finished. Never had that happen before; more or less in the order that I wrote them.”

  1. Missing U
  2. Being Human (featuring Zhala)
  3. Because It’s in the Music
  4. Baby Forgive Me
  5. Send to Robin Immediately
  6. Honey
  7. Between the Lines
  8. Beach 2K20
  9. Ever Again

Come get your honey. The album drops Oct. 26. 

Do you think this album will live up to Body Talk? Could it possibly be even better? Let us know what you think of Robyn's new music in the comments. 

h/t: GT

Rapper Tyler, The Creator Wants D Pics, Apparently

What’s wrong with asking your friends for d*ck pics? Hey, even Grammy-nominated rap star Tyler, the Creator does it, apparently.

While being interviewed for a new profile in Fantastic Man, the rapper took calls from friends and fellow musicians Jaden Smith and A$AP Rocky. He ended both calls by saying, “Send d*ck pics.” Naturally, the interviewer inquired about this. This was Tyler’s response:

“I always tell people to send dick-pics when I hang up, because it’s so awkward,’ he explained. ‘Like, what the f*ck did you say?’"

Tyler, the Creator officially came out as gay on his 2017 album Flower Boy, which was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 60th Grammy Awards.

 

 

However, the rapper had alluded to his sexuality before this.

Tyler was recently hurled into the headlines when Eminem dissed him with a homophobic slur on his surprise album Kamikaze. Slim Shady rapped:

“Tyler create nothing, I see why you called yourself a faggot, bitch/It’s not just ’cause you like attention.”

"It’s ’cause you worship D12’s balls, you’re sac-rilegious/If you’re gonna critique me, you better at least be as good or better.”

This isn’t 1999, and the track wasn’t even that clever to boot, so there was some serious backlash, prompting a rare apology from Marshall Mathers, and, maybe, to all LGBTQ+ people who took offense:

“I was angry when I said the shit about Tyler. The word that I called him on that song was one of the things where I felt like, ‘This might be too far.’ Because in my quest to hurt him, I realised that I was hurting a lot of other people by saying it.”

For the whole profile of Tyler, the Creator, head over to Fantastic Man.

h/t: Pink News

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