Wednesday, January 6, 2010


For those of you who are new to No Expiration, every Wednesday morning at 9 am ET I go on the SIRIUSXM channel OutQ. I am a weekly contributor to The Morning Jolt with Larry Flick. Divas -- talented female singers and artists -- always go over well on the show, and tomorrow we are going to be talking about some really cool ones.

My favorite of the bunch is Alicia Keys. I am a big fan, she is one of my "Artists of the '00s." But last time I brought her up on the show it was for her duet with Jack White for their duet of the James Bond theme "Another Way To Die." Larry and Keith let me have it, they weren't feeling it. I am unrepentant. I love the song. Her new album, The Element Of Freedom, is great. It's really heart-felt... or maybe heart-broken is a better way to put it. Without going too into her personal life, she's very private, something hasn't gone right with a guy. Hopefully she's feeling better these days, but damn, it led to some great songs and some great performances.

Mary J. Blige: she's just one of the best singers around, I think. I wouldn't mess with her, though. 'Nuff said. I recently filmed a performance by her at SIRIUS XM for an episode of Artist Confidential, and it was incredible. I hope to post some video soon. This woman feels her music and isn't able to keep her cool sometimes. Whatever else that may cause, it does result in some great music. I dig her new single "I Am," and also her song from the film Precious, "Color."

I have always liked Shakira. I don't always like her music, but I like her. A few years ago when I worked at VH1, her label flew me down to her place in the Bahamas for a day to interview her about her live DVD. I watched the DVD and was pretty impressed, and when I interviewed her, she was great. I've had some pretty annoying experiences with pop stars, but she was great. She had great taste in music, cares about the world, and wants to use her position for good. I've liked a lot of her singles, and the new one, "She Wolf," is fun.

Queen Latifah, like Will Smith, is now more of a movie star than musician. It is hard for her to get people to pay attention to her music these days. I filmed an Artist Confidential with her recently, and she tore it up. Don't believe it? Watch this video:


Mel Beavers II said...

Hi Brian,
Heard you on OutQ, good job! I'm going to call in one of these days, while you're on the air. Love the latest post. Both Alicia and Mary's albums are strong. I'm partial to the Alicia album, just because I think as a whole, the songs have more depth. Now having said that, Mary's is great and there is obviously depth there, too. But, as a package, I think Alicia's will stay with you. She's just a great songwriter; she understands how to use metaphor, allowing her audience to connect with her music. 'Fallen' classic example of a conduit/container metaphor that resonates well with love experiences. I guess Mary's probabaly more engaging, vocally. You guys discussed 'Color' and I do love that track, but 'One' the duet with Bono, I get chills everytime I hear it. As for Shakira, I do like 'She Wolf', but like Larry mentioned, it is a little thin. I think it's a singles ablum, whereas a lot of her previous work wasn't. Glad you included it along with the the Latifah album. There are some good songs on both. I like 'Fast Car' on the Latifah album, fun song and great beat.

Mel Beavers II said...

Oh, forgot to mention in the last post, you said 'I am' was her first single. What happend to 'The One'? She did a video and it appeared to be a first single. But, I guess it's in the vain of Mariah Carey's 'Obseessed' and JLO's 'Louibitons' singles, only if they do well, which is kind of obnoxious.