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21 March 2013 Citation

Where is the Love, Mr. R&B Singer?

Dear Male R&B Singers: Where is the love? Do any of you know what love feels like? I’m guessing not judging by your songs’ themes and lyrics. Many of you seem well-versed in the minutiae of the prelude to sex, the sexual act and the aftermath of sex but have not a clue about love or the celebration of a relationship that is not sexually based.

I wonder where it all went wrong! When did R&B singers get out of the love business and exclusively into the sex making business? There was a time when R&B/Soul music lovers could turn to their musical heroes to hear expressions of love, joy, hope, social commentary, pain and heartache that gave voice to your inner thoughts and feelings, and/or resonated so deeply with you that it provoked thought and stirred your emotions. That doesn’t hold true any longer. Today, there’s no poetry in the music; there is no heart in the music; most importantly, there is no love in the music.

“…for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” {excerpt Luke 6:45 – King James Cambridge Ed.}

There appears to be very little love in your heart R&B male singers because you sing about real love so infrequently, and when you do it feels disingenuous.

Where is the love? ~HeHates, the lamenter of how it used to be

Posted by STFULoveShawn 0 comment
25 February 2012 Uncategorized

Dear Twitter/Facebook Vixens

Dear Vixens: Fight the urge to post pics of yourself puckering up to the camera. I know in your mind you are as a pretty as a model and as sexy as a porn star but let’s cut the shit. Models and Adult film sex workers work a long time to master that “look.” You, on the other hand, look ridiculous. ~HeHates

Posted by STFULoveShawn 2 comments
31 March 2011 Uncategorized

Idol Top 11 Redux takes on Sir Elton John

Last week results show really shook up the competition when fan and judge favorite Casey the grimacing, growling supposed genius was voted off Idol by America then unjustifiably saved by the judges and promised a spot on the national Idol Tour. The producers sure know how to entertain. This is some fine sitcom writing, If I must say so. Made me think it was sweeps month with all of the hijinks, surprises and whatnot. However will they top themselves?  Anyway, this week we have an American Idol Top 11 Redux.

HeHates’ Idol Idle Thoughts: 1) I’m convinced Jennifer has a mild case of Tourette’s syndrome. You can’t get this broad to shut the hell up. She will talk over you, mutter under her breath when others are speaking, and uses up the majority time reserved for the performance critique. STFU already. Damn! 2) Professionals were hired to style the Idols? Fire ’em, STAT. Most of the makeovers were just plain awful. 3) I’m more than ready for Randy to be put out to pasture. His humor falls on the opposite end of amusing on the funny spectrum, his critiques on average are useless and his mode of communication makes me violent. “Yo! Yo! Yo! Listen, yada yada yada. Know what I’m saying?” 4) Sorry but Steven resembles a freshly groomed poodle just returned from the dog groomers. What is really going on with his hair? 5) Jimmy Iovine creeps me out but for some odd reason he’s growing on me. Last night he finally said some shit that made sense to me. Maybe he really does know a little something about making good music. *wink*

Before we get into the performances, HeHates has one question that needs answering: 1) Is Howie Mandel on something? SERIOUSLY!

1. Scotty was up first this week. He turned in a solid yet unspectacular performance of Country Comfort. He really needs to strengthen his higher register. Good to see him incorporate guitar playing into his performance this week. His performances are still a little bit raw but he continues to grow.


2. Naima put a reggae spin on I’m Still Standing. The judges were underwhelmed by her take. They strongly suggested that it was a misstep.  I, on the other hand, thought it was a good choice for her considering the limitations of her voice. *note: I was extremely bothered by the judges’ hyprocrisy in praising Scotty for turning his tune into a country song while criticising Naima for flipping hers into a reggae jam. Sadly, Naima just lacks the voice to hold a listener’s attention longer than a minute.


3. Paul whispered sang Rocket Man. Seriously, I’m growing increasingly bothered by his tired act. BORED. Not much else to say except the performance was okay. He was far too pitchy for my liking. I did find his suit amusing. 🙂


4. Pia opted to sing another ballad. She performed Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me. She tried to let loose and bring the emotion but didn’t quite succeed. Her voice is strong as ever but this tune was too much for her. She hasn’t lived enough to tap into the emotion needed to bring life into this song. It was an above average performance but unremarkable. She is a diva in the making. It’ll take  a few years before she arrives though.


5. Stefano, thankfully, didn’t sing soul music. He put a hurting on Tiny Dancer. He tried his darnedest to keep his eyes open and connect with the audience to please Jennifer. This kid just needs a lot of work. He really doesn’t know how to use his voice. It’s pretty aggravating. Though he bothers me, I will admit the kid has the makings of a nice voice. He has a nice tone, nice range and can do adequate licks when necessary. However, his style is too raw. All I can think of when he’s on stage is “High School talent show.” There is something blase and underwhelming about his stage performances. This performance was a snooze.


6. Lauren took a risk and performed Candle In The Wind. Hmm!!! I like the kid but was not fan of this performance. She started out of tune but found her way thankfully. She was able to sing most of the song well but lack emotional connection to words dectracted from the performance.


7. James screamed his way through Saturday’s Alright. *rolls eyes* Wake me when you’re done!


8. Thia sang decent rendition of Daniel. Her tone is amazing. If this kid had some charisma, confidence and knew how to command an audience’s attention she really could have killed this song. Instead, she delivered something far too timid and mild mannered for this stage in the competition.


9. Casey was fairly laidback and composed as he sang Your Song. He just couldn’t help himself midway through and fell back into his grimacing, growling singing style. I didn’t hate it but his voice does nothing for me. I just don’t get him.


10. Jacob with his left hip cocked to the side, overdramatized Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word. I’d rather not watch or hear this guy perform anything. His antics are so over the top. BARF


11. Haley growled and groand her way through Bennie and the Jets. There is something so awkward about her. I can’t watch the screen when she peforms and it makes me laugh too hard. Vocally, I just don’t care for the way her singing style dates any song she sings. Boo! Not a fan.


I was unimpressed with all of the performance. Perhaps my expectations are just too high. I thought this was the cream of the crop?

Posted by STFULoveShawn 0 comment
30 March 2011 Uncategorized

Mary Mary’s “Something Big” Album Review

This week, Mary Mary made their much anticipated return to the gospel music scene with the release of their latest LP entitled Something Big. HeHates was not pleased with the fuckery heard on this project. Color me surprised when it became evident the Marys had ditched their signature urban gospel sound for something new.

HeHates had assumed the Something Big the Marys wanted to share was the good news of Jesus and his undying love. I’m now convinced the big something is instead the reality they’re no longer strictly a gospel act. For some, the change of pace will be refreshing. While others, like myself, will be confused and bothered.

It’s not often that I’m rendered speechless but Something Big had that effect on me. Ultimately, this craptastic album is hot, musty, maggot infested garbage. In my most wicked dreams, I never expected to hear some bullshit as tasteless as this. I don’t know what these chicks were smoking when they worked on this project but someone needs to perform an intervention. They can take this project and shove it where the sun don’t shine.

Album Rating
This bullshit ass album isn’t even worth rating. Don’t waste your money. We’re in a recession. These broads should pay you to listen to this craptacular filth.

Tracklisting & Song Review based on ***5 Grimaces to 5 Grins scale***
1. Something Big 2 Grimaces A cornball uptempo call and response tune better suited for kids to sing along to at daycare or daycamp than a gospel album. WTF is this?

2. Something Bigger 2 Grimaces A frenetic, fast-paced dance track. This is a great to listen to when you need push through the last few minutes of a workout. Why it’s included on a gospel album, I have no idea. Trivial bullshit.

3. Blind 3 1/2 Grins This rhythmic, midtempo tune should have you bobbing your head and/or snapping your fingers. The song is a signature Mary Mary jam with its playful, backing vocal arrangement, blaring, over sung background vocals and in your face lead vocals.

4. It Is Well 2 1/2 Grins Is a quieter sound vocally and sonically for Mary Mary. The lead vocals are restrained. In place of a music track, they opted for an autotuned acapella backing track that is easily mistaken for a B-3 Hammond organ than an actual human voice at times.

5. Never Wave My Flag 4 Grimaces Another misguided dance track. Trash. SKIP

6. Walking 1 Grimace Something Big’s lead single. Nothing noteworthy. A supposed uplifting message song wrapped in a old school, roller skating tune. Never got the point of this song. BORED. What is this noise coming out of my speakers? Boo!

7. Slow Walk 3 Grimaces An outro-interlude for Walking. Hmm…I don’t get it. Why did this make the album? The Marys take turns rattling off a spoken to-do list, Warryn Campbell appears to add a rap, there’s a sample of “Walking’s” vocals heard in the background and there’s a chorus that supposed to inspire the listener. Really don’t know what this is but it is some kind of awful. NEXT

8. Survive 1 Grin Another throwback track. This time they take on the disco sound. I can practice my cha cha cha. Not a bad idea but at this point I’m aggravated. This album is so all over the place. Boo!

9. Are You Ready? 2 Grimaces Next the ladies take a trip to CCM on this feel-good-uptempo-toe-tapping song. I’ve been rendered speechless. I want this listening session to be over.

10. Catch Me 1/2 Grin A CCM song that alternates between ballad and midtempo. I can hear what the song could’ve been had a different artist recorded the tune. I honestly don’t know why THEY are singing this. Actually I do. Dollars and cents.

11. Sitting With Me 1/2 Grin Another CCM ballad. This is a big song that requires the attention of an artist groomed to sing in this vain. Again I hear what the song could be. Paging Crystal Lewis!

12. Homecoming Glory 1 Grin The album closes with yet another CCM ballad. Definitely has morning worship service at a christian church written all over it.

Whew! Thankfully, it’s over. HeHates was about to smash something. This is definitely one of the worst albums I have heard this year. Even though the vocals were good and the production was top notch, the album direction was so suspect it negated the positives.


Posted by STFULoveShawn 1 comment
24 March 2011 Uncategorized

Idol Top 11 Goes Motown

American Idol has grown into one of my favorite sitcoms. The bag singing, tacky wardrobe styling, poor song selection and overabundance of praise brings me so much glee that I’m forced to laugh out loud often during the telecast. So, thank you not so talented ones for another week of giggles.

Before we move on to the performances, I have questions. 1) Is Randy wearing the same sweater jacket every week? I swear I’ve been that ‘fit a time or two. 2) Is Jennifer the head judge? She does the most talking during the critique and apparently will talk over you if she disagrees with your critique. 3) Who was the white guy wildly cheering for Naima and what is his relationship? 4) The Stalker wants to know if Jacob’s grandma is the same lady that has a reserved seat in the front row of the Apollo for every taping of “It’s Showtime at the Apollo”? 4) Is the hair on Casey’s face real? 5) Has Seacrest carried on any wild, sordid and inappropriate affairs with any of the Idol contestants through the years? 6) Why do they even bother having the background artists come on to the main stage when the Idols sing?

This week the Idols knew they had to bring their A game ’cause they were being forced given carte blanche to raid the classic Motown Records vault for the perfect song to showcase their eardrum bursting talents. Some of the Idols rose to the occasion while others sank like a concrete block in the ocean. HeHates found himself furiously texting JJ and The Stalker all night and comedic banter ensued.

1. Casey the so-called genius kicked off the show with a truly frightening, absurd and nonsensical rendition of I Heard It Through The Grapevine. Per usual he emoted in his signature “angry” style: grimacing, growling, grunting, groaning. YUCK!!! It’s an absolute farce. The judges call him special, I call him wack and strange. NEXT!!!
Grade D

2. Thia succumbed to Randy’s pressure and finally sang an uptempo song for a change of pace. Her rendition of Heat Wave was neither terrible or spectacular. However, the tissue paper wrapped around her waist masquerading as a dress was god awful. Thia certainly won’t win this competition. She needs more time to develop as a performer. Further, she’s a bore off stage and needs some charisma.
Grade B

3. Jacob and all of his flamboyance works my fucking nerves. Whenever he hits the stage I swear I’m watching a drag queen perform sans the drag costume. The dramatic flair is such a distraction. It makes me violent. The kid has a voice but his performance style is offputting. The pink colored accents every week has grown tiresome too. I swear I want to beat the bitch out of this kid. This week he sang You’re All I Need To Get By and was able to contain himself enough to stay on pitch throughout. His voice will never move HeHates like it does others (read: Idol judges) but it was a strong vocal performance. PS- If Jennifer or Steven compare Jacob to Luther Vandross one more time I’m going to lose it.
Grade B+

4. Lauren poured her spunky personality into a pouty, youthful version of You Keep Me Hangin’ On. The performance was adolescent cute. She playfully worked the stage and the audience. Vocally it was nothing to get excited about.
Grade B

5. Stefano the wannabe soul crooner sang Hello. I grow tired of chastising this kid for singing soul music. But what choice did he have tonight? I certainly wish he had picked another song ’cause his rendition of Hello bored me. There is something very “high school talent show “about him that underwhelms me. Those stiff vocals of his are for the birds. Jennifer mistakenly thinks he’s the total package. Uhm, yea right!!
Grade C+

6. Haley! Haley! Haley! Where to start? Her performances render me speechless. She continues to try to squeeze her vocal style, whatever that may be, into every genre known to man. I just can’t connect with what she’s doing. Vocally she’s a little too left of center for my taste. I spend too much time giggling or staring at the screen in utter confusion to be entertained by her. Last night’s performance of You’ve Really Got Hold On Me was amusing. She howled and growled and awkwardly slinked across the stage. All I could do was laugh and shake my head. Bless her heart!
Grade C-

7. Scott aka Mad Magazine remained true to himself and turned For Once In My life into a country tune. No surprise there. It was his weakest performance to date, as he pushed himself by singing in his less developed upper register. He sounded out of breath and had trouble sustaining those higher notes. He makes some of the funniest faces when he sings. It totally cracks me up. And the way he holds and caresses the mic is comedy. HeHates was not a fan of the this week’s vocals. He’ll need to redeem himself next week.
Grade C

8. Pia serenaded the audience with All In Love Is Fair. HeHates was not a fan of the performance. It took Pia too long to find her way and bring it to life. She struggled to make an impression while singing in her lower register. When she was able to hit her BIG notes she found her stride. It was a solid performance but underwhelming and forgettable.
Grade B

9. Paul looked very much at home playing his guitar and “singing” The Tracks of My Tears. This week we didn’t have to suffer through his spastic dancing, thankfully. I grow more and more tired of his vocals as the week go by. Vocally he is kind of weak but he’s a good performer. He sounds like an old man who used to have a really good voice before the alcohol and cigarettes ravaged it. I think that’s the thing that prevents me from connecting with him.
Grade B

10. Naima tried winning back the hearts of Americans after last week’s out of tune disaster by singing a lively rendition of Dancing In The Street with an african dance breakdown. Luckily she chose a very simple song to execute. And for our sakes we didn’t have to deal with her customary out of tune singing. Her place in the competition will coming to end soon. She is a very specific and niche vocalist. The crossover appeal just isn’t there. She acquitted herself nicely after falling on her face last week. However, she’s an average singer who has maxed out her potential.
Grade B-

11. James tortured me ears by singing Living For the City. I don’t know what the was I witnessed him do on stage. It was soft rock vocal with a gospelesque musical arrangement or something. Whatever!! He danced. He did his rocker screams. He scissor kicked in the air. Note to James: don’t wear tight ass jeans that don’t allow much movement if you plan to jump in the air and scissor kick. You barely got off the ground and you looked ridiculous He bored me. NEXT!!!
Grade B

Good luck guys on making on to the Idol Tour. So, who won’t be making the cut?

Posted by STFULoveShawn 1 comment
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