To Applaud or not to Applaud: Lady Gaga Applause Review

The art (read: ARTPOP) of premiering a lead single is an incredibly tricky thing — especially coming from one of the biggest pop stars in the world.

Over the weekend, Katy Perry let loose her claws with her post-Teenage Dream comeback track “Roar,” resulting in a decidedly split reaction between delight and staunch criticism for sounding a little too familiar to a certain song released earlier this year.

By now, you’ve no doubt seen (and heard) that Lady Gaga declared A Pop Music Emergency in a fury of tweets following a string of sloppy snippet leaks overnight, resulting in an early global radio premiere of “Applause” this afternoon. (Whether that’s genuinely the course of events or an intentional move given the timing of Katy’s single release? Eh, you be the judge.)

It’s now time break down the applause, clap by clap. Continue reading To Applaud or not to Applaud: Lady Gaga Applause Review

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Review

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A little over eleven years ago, on the eve of the theatrical release of The Two Towers, the second leg of director Peter Jackson’s epic adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, I was jittery with anticipation. By then I’d watched the first installment, The Fellowship of the Ring, an embarrassingly high number of times in the theater, and a few more times on home vid. And as the clock wound down to the saga’s continuation, I. Could. Not. Wait. I tell that story partly to reminisce, but mainly to mark a contrast with my state of mind vis-a-vis Jackson’s current Hobbit trilogy, in whose release history we now find ourselves at a comparable point. Continue reading The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Review

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