Dreadful sorry for the severe dearth in Buzz posts the past week or so: between keeping my radio show up and running, getting my annual music project for Sherry Ann’s churren recorded, and, oh, earning a living, I’ve been utterly swamped lately. Good thing, then, that there hasn’t been much of note to discuss regarding the new release wall, as Susan Boyle mania reaches a fever pitch. Take a look:


One of country radio’s most dependable stalwarts, the incredible Phil Vassar, returns to the fore this week with his fifth studio album, Traveling Circus. The first two singles from Circus — “Bobbi with an I” (the hilarious video for which features James Denton of “Desperate Housewives” fame) and “Everywhere I Go” — have yet to generate a great deal of traction in radio’s female-fronted fall (hello, Carrie and Taylor), although, to be perfectly fair, the former, which dares to promote a fun-loving transvestite as its protagonist, was always going to be a tough sell throughout the genre’s red state stranglehold. Regardless, you won’t find a more consistently intriguing and dependable songwriter (and, not to mention, a cooler piano player) anywhere in Nashville.

Her seemingly inconsequential duet with Jay-Z, the fun, feisty “Empire State of Mind,” has become the surprise smash of the fall, and if you think for a hot minute that her delicious forthcoming single “Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart” isn’t gonna set top 40 ablaze coming into next spring, you’re just fooling yourself, kid. And so it goes with red-hot Alicia Keys, riding a wave of unstoppable momentum with the arrival of her fourth album, The Element of Freedom. I’ll freely admit that I wasn’t Keys’ biggest fan when she broke through eight years ago in a tsunami of hype and heat, but even my old cold heart was won over by “No One” a pair of years ago, and listening to Freedom, it’s made clear fairly early that this gal is a hell of a songwriter. Finally, I’m sold.

Also noteworthy this week:


  • No doubt in an attempt on the sudden burst of notoriety surrounding his recent win on Dancing with the Stars comes The Definitive Collection from Donny Osmond, which covers everything from his early ’70s hits with Marie to his late-’80s string of pop hits (“Soldier of Love,” anyone?)

  • Criminally smooth soul man Robin Thicke returns with his fourth album, Sex Therapy: The Session.

  • The decade’s foremost R&B diva, Miss Mary J. Blige, is back with her latest, Stronger With Each Tear.

  • Eminem adds some extra tracks and odds and ends to his most recent album and re-releases it as Relapse: Refill.

  • And finally, the cast album from the hotly-anticipated new movie musical Nine, featuring the film’s stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Sophia Loren, Nicole Kidman, and others.


4 responses to “the big-boned girl with a platinum curl
(or: december 15 & 22 — a thumbnail sketch)”

  1. the buzz from Blake Boldt:

    Interviewed Phil a few weeks ago. Very nice, honest man, even in the limited time we talked.

    I loved A. Keys from the beginning, but she’s boring me a bit with the new disc.

    Happy holidays.

  2. the buzz from brandon:

    How funny, then, that I really like Keys’ latest disc (even the Beyonce duet!). And this comes from a man who couldn’t stand “Fallin'” and has always thought she was overhyped. Go figure.

    Love Phil Vassar. “Carlene” is on my shortlist for top 50 singles of the decade, a list that I continue to swear you’ll get first dibs on whenever it’s ready for consumption, Blake. 🙂

  3. the buzz from Blake Boldt:

    Well, we finally found something to disagree on. I loved “Fallin’,” which I first heard in a CBS soaps promo in ’01, but agree she had too much praise at the beginning. Like “No One” a lot, but feel she’s backsliding now, especially on this album. (Ms. Blige has slipped up the last couple albums, too.)

    I believe when I see, online BFF. I believe when I see. You’re such a tease. Resolve to treat me better and work faster in 2010. 🙂

    My Top 25 of everything lists will be on my Facebook soon for your consumption.

  4. the buzz from Blake Boldt:

    P.S. “No One” is one of my Top 25 singles.