Category Archives: Music

Song of the Day: “Speechless” by Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga’s latest studio album, The Fame Monster, features the surprisingly normal ballady song, “Speechless”.  She performed this song on the AMA’s and I was highly impressed.  So when I reader tipped me off to the studio version, I was sold.  Here’s the full length song, courtesy of the marvelous YouTube:

What do you think of “Speechless”.  Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

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Rick

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Album Review: “Play On” by Carrie Underwood

A little over 4 years after winning American Idol, Carrie Underwood is still churning out the hits and proving to everyone that she is one of the biggest superstars in the music industry.  Her third studio album, Play On, is in stores now, so here’s a track-by-track review of her latest effort:

  1. “Cowboy Casanova”- The first single from shows that Carrie’s got that star power.  It’s a great vocal, of course, but more importantly it shows signs of growth in Carrie’s writing and shows that she’s not going to keep doing the same old thing.  With Hot AC and Pop showing great interest, I see this as being the next “Before He Cheats” in terms of  crossover success.  9.5/10
  2. “Quitter”- Once again, Carrie pulls out something new and different with this song.  This is another song that I see being really successful on country radio, as well as Hot AC and Pop.  It’s insanely catchy, and it would be a great single for next summer.   9/10
  3. “Mama’s Song”- This song will mean a lot to mother’s and their daughters I’m sure, but it’s probably my least favorite on the CD.  It’s not bad, but it’s kind of boring.  I know it means a lot to Carrie though.  8/10
  4. “Change”- Some have called “Change” preachy, I call it epic.  Sure it’s about helping others, but what’s wrong with that?  Not to mention the vocals and musical arrangement are phenomenal. I can’t wait to see Carrie knock this out of the park on the CNN Heroes special. 9/10
  5. “Undo It”- This one screams cross-over, even more than “Cowboy Casanova.” It’s also phenomenal live, as evidenced by the Jimmy Kimmel performance. If they choose to release this as a single, it’ll be a smash on multiple formats. 9.5/10
  6. “Someday When I Stop Loving You”- Once again, Carrie changes things up with “Someday When I Stop Loving You.”  The whole song is pretty low-key, but the vocals and arrangement are beautiful.  Probably Carrie’s most restrained vocal yet, not to mention it’s one of the most true country songs she’s done. 10/10
  7. “Songs Like This”- This song, more than any, just really makes you want to dance.  Every time my iPod shuffles to this song, I want to jump and embarrass myself.  The only problem is that it’s a bit too short, but the aggressive vocals make up for it. 9/10
  8. “Temporary Home”- If this song doesn’t show just how much Carrie has grown as a writer, I don’t know what well.  This deep ballad showcases Carrie’s vocals, but the real magic is the writing.  As I said in my single review of “Temporary Home”, the lyrics don’t beat around the bush and instead deliver the message without complicated metaphors.  “This is our temporary home/It’s not where we belong” sums up quite nicely.  Songwriting awards, engage.  10/10
  9. “This Time”- This smooth country/pop number could be a surprise single pick around the end of Play On’s run, with it’s catchy and light lyrics and delivery.  It’s definitely not like anything Carrie’s released as a single before, so it would keep with the theme of changing things up.  The only problem this song may face is the placement on the CD, where it could be lost among the highlights of the album. 8.5/10
  10. “Look At Me”- Like “I Told You So” before it, “Look At Me” features a soaring vocal by Carrie on a cover of a classic country song.  “Look At Me” is stronger than its predecessor, though, with Vince Gill on harmonies and Carrie bringing her A-game.  It’s the perfect song to keep those who want Carrie to be strictly country busy. 8.5/10
  11. “Unapologize”- To many listeners, “Unapologize” may seem like an off the wall song when you look at the grand scheme of Play On.  I, however, think it only adds to the amazing dynamic of the CD.  Sure “Unapologize” is about as country as “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon, but who says you can’t have a little variation on a CD?  Certainly not me, and that’s what makes Play On so great.  “Unapologize” is pop/rock straight-up and shows off some great vocals by Carrie and a brooding musical arrangement.  It’s got a great chorus, and could see success on Hot AC and pop radio.  9/10
  12. “What Can I Say”- Another beautiful song with a really cool intro.  Sons of Sylvia are on hand for a duet, though Carrie far outshines their lead singer.  That aside, the duet still works marvelously.  I hope this is a single, but I’m not holding my breath.  I can’t wait to see this on the Christmas special coming up. 9.5/10
  13. “Play On”- The title track takes us back to Carrie’s music when she was fresh off of Idol.  It’s a great little throwback, and I like the encouraging message.  Carrie sings the heck out of the final verses, showing us she has been hard at work perfecting that beautiful voice. 8.5/10

Play On has a little something for everyone, and that’s what makes it an amazingly engineered album.  It’s definitely Carrie’s best album from her young career, and arguably one of the best albums of 2009.  As someone who was a little disappointed in Carnival Ride (The first 4 singles were all wonderful, but outside of those and 2 or 3 more I wasn’t that impressed with it), Play On is refreshing indicator of where Carrie is going as an artist and just how much she has grown through the years.  I can’t wait to watch her and her career continue to grow into something truly incredible.

Overall Score: 95 out of 100

Staff Hot Picks: “Cowboy Casanova”, “Quitter”, “Change”, “Undo It”, “Someday When I Stop Loving You”, “Songs Like This”, “Temporary Home”, “Unapologize”, “What Can I Say”

What do you think of Play On?  Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

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Thanks for reading!

Rick

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Song of the Day: “The Truth” by Kris Allen (New Release)

The latest winner from the Idol franchise released his first post-Idol studio album on Tuesday, and it’s definitely a strong CD.  I will (actually, we will.  more on that later) be reviewing the full disc in the coming days, but until then here’s my personal favorite previously unheard track, “The Truth”.  Listen below:

What do you think of “The Truth”?  Be sure and check back for a full review of Kris Allen (the album) over the next few days.  Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

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Rick

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Video of the Day: Carrie Underwood Singing “Temporary Home” on Conan

On Monday’s edition of the Tonight Show, Carrie Underwood performed her next single, “Temporary Home.”  Carrie continues to amaze live with her consistent voice and remains one of the few artists in music who sound better LIVE than on recording.  Watch the full performance below:

What do you think of this performance of “Temporary Home?”  Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

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Rick

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Song of the Day: “Temporary Home” by Carrie Underwood (Review)

EDIT: A full review of Play On is right around the corner, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

The second single off of Carrie Underwood’s phenomenal 3rd album, Play On, is this stirring number titled “Temporary Home.”  The song tells the story of 3 individuals, a foster-child, a single mom in a halfway house, and an old man on his death bed, who are experiencing hardship but realize that their current situation is only temporary, and that they will soon be on to something much, much better.  Aside from the beautiful arrangement and vocals, the lyrics are exceptionally touching.  In the final verse, Carrie sings “He looks up and says/I can see God’s face,” a lyric that’s so real it will surely shake some of the winter ice off of the hearts of many.  The song is traditional country in sound, but Carrie takes a lot of chances with this one in that, while it’s similar in topic to the Paisley/Parton collaboration “When I Get Where I’m Going,” the lyrics are straight forward and very powerful.  Listen to the full song below and see what you think.

Check out Carrie’s induction into the TCJ Hall of Fame by clicking here.

What do you think of “Temporary Home?”  Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

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Rick

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Play On by Carrie Underwood Giveaway Winners: Congratulations!

Thanks to all those who participated in the Play On giveaway!  Here are the winners:

  1. Jonathan M.
  2. Susannah H.
  3. Rosalyn R.
  4. Lucy T.
  5. Mike P.
  6. Cindy R.
  7. Tara W.
  8. Melinda S.
  9. Arik M.
  10. Andrea D.

Congratulations again, and I hope you enjoy your new CD!  The winners have all been contacted, so if you see your name on this listing, unless you have already confirmed your prize with me through e-mail, it is just a coincidence, or someone has stolen your identity.

Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

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Rick

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Song of the Day: “Bury Me Alive” by We Are The Fallen (Live Version)

I know I’ve mentioned this song before, but really is a great song that everyone should give a listen.  It highlights the wonderful vocals of Carly Smithson (From American Idol) and the stunning music ability of ex-Evanescence members Ben Moody, John LeCompt, and Rocky Gray, plus Marty O’Brien, who toured with Kelly Clarkson, among others.  Listen to the live version below:

To check out previous Song of the Day recipients, visit the TCJ Playlist by clicking here.

What do you think of the “Bury Me Alive” and We Are the Fallen?  Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

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Rick

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Video of the Day: Paramore Singing “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon

Here’s a great video of Haley Williams of Paramore singing “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon.  I love the song in its original form, but Haley Williams is a great vocalist so I like this as well.  It’s a different, softer take on the original.  Watch below:

What do you think of this version of the song compared with the original?

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Filed under Entertainment, Music, Paramore, Video of the Day

Video of the Day: Lucie Jones “I Will Always Love You” on The X Factor

Gee, those European talent shows sure are churning out some real winners lately!  Watch as the lovely Lucie Jones sings a restrained version of “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston.  She’s great, and I’m sure we’ll see a lot more from her.

What do you think of Lucie’s voice?  Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

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Rick

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Filed under Entertainment, Music, Singers, Television, Video of the Day

Music Review: Carrie Underwood’s Latest Single “Cowboy Casanova”

I love the interweb.  Without it, Carrie Underwood’s latest single, “Cowboy Casanova”, from her upcoming album Play On (in stores November 3!) wouldn’t be out until the 8th.  I discovered it late last night and listened to it a few times and then woke up and listened to it some more.  She’s truly got an amazing voice.  Anyway, on to the song….

To the top of the charts, and beyond!

When I first listened to “Cowboy Casanova”, I must admit I wasn’t sold.  However, upon third listen, I was hooked.  Fans of Carrie will no doubt find it impossible to tear themselves away from the beat and incredible vocals, and new fans will be drawn in by the brilliant hook.  I see “Cowboy Casanova” rivaling, if not passing, “Before He Cheats” in the success department, but not necessarily because I think it’s a better song.  We all know there will always only be one “Before He Cheats” and it is epic.  However, “Cowboy Casanova” is nearly as strong a song PLUS it’s a first single, and those tend to perform exceptionally well on the charts.  The excitement from the release of Play On in November and all of the promotion will probably give Carrie her best shot at #1 on the Hot 100 with this song, unless of course she has some KILLER songs on the album, which I don’t doubt.

Rocking Carrie > Everything

As for the actual song, “Cowboy Casanova” breaks Carrie’s pattern of more sentimental lead-off singles in a big way.  It starts off with a bumpin’ beat and some intense strings and then Carrie tears into the vocals.  People that are more technically educated in singing can correct me if I’m wrong, but these vocals might be some of Carrie’s most soaring yet.   The song also incorporates the more rock vibe Carrie has been known to infuse in concert performances and, of course, my favorite performance she’s ever done: “Last Name” from the Grammys last year.

If “Cowboy Casanova” is any indication of the style of songs we’ll find on Play On, more country/pop/rock, I expect it to be closer in succes to Some Hearts than Carnival Ride. Carrie’s got a monster hit on her hands and if her promotion team can get it together (They’ve never impressed me), she could ride this one all the way to the top of The Hot 100.

The Verdict

Carrie is awesome and “Cowboy Casanova” is rocking.  Of course it makes the TCJ Playlist!

The Rating

9 out of 10 Elephants

Read Carrie’s induction into The Conservative Journal Hall of Fame by clicking here.

What do you think?

What do you think of “Cowboy Casanova”  Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

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Rick

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Filed under Breaking News, Carrie Underwood, Entertainment, Music, Singers, TCJ Playlist

Carrie Underwood’s Latest Single “Cowboy Casanova”: Hear It Now!

After much anticipation for the release of the lead-off single to her new album, Carrie sneaks up and surprises everyone by releasing it late last night.  So without further ado, the lead single off Play On, in stores November 3!

It took a couple of listens, but this song is growing on me.  Carrie has some crazy pipes and I could see this having mass radio success.  Look for a full review of the song later today.

What do you think about “Cowboy Casanova”?  Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

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Rick

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Filed under Breaking News, Carrie Underwood, Entertainment, Music, Singers

Album Review: Kelly Clarkson “All I Ever Wanted”

Before I do this thing, let’s get one thing straight: I realize I’m probably a little too old to even know who Kelly Clarkson is.  But good music is good music, and I happen to think Kelly Clarkson’s My December is one of the best CDs I own.  So it only makes sense that I follow that up with a review of Kelly’s latest effort, All I Ever Wanted. Now that that’s clear, here’s my track-by-track breakdown of the album:

  1. “My Life Would Suck Without You”- 7 Elephants- The lead-off single for All I Ever Wanted has been said by many to be the sequal to “Since U Been Gone”, and I guess that’s probably an accurate observation.  However, “MLWSWY” (rockin’ those abbrevs) uses more synthesised beats than 5 Katy Perry tribute bands and something about that doesn’t mesh with Clarkson’s voice.  The song does not flatter her chops.
  2. “I Do Not Hook Up”- 7 Elephants- More like “I Do Not Want to Listen to This Crap”.  Seriously though, the second single from the album is more overdone pop.  Clarkson pulls this one off a little bit better than on “MLWSWY” simply because the generally subject matter of the song fits the style.  Not something I’ve got on repeat on my iPod.
  3. “Cry”- 9 Elephants- Giving the album its little forray into the country music genre is “Cry”, a nice ballad that reminds me why I liked My December so much: Clarkson just has remarkable vocal talent.  “Cry” shows off her powerful while still keep that soft, ballady feel.
  4. “Don’t Let Me Stop You”- 8.5 Elephants- This song serves as a pretty good bridge between the two extremes on the album: pop and rock.  It has a poppy sound while not being drowned out by synthesised dance beats.  As you can tell, those are a major turn off for me on songs by artist that can handle so much better material.  “Don’t Let Me Stop You” is classic Clarkson that will vastly appeal to fans of Thankful and Breakaway that were left wanting more after My December.
  5. “All I Ever Wanted”- 9 Elephants- One of the more rockish songs on the album, “All I Ever Wanted” is one of my personal favorites.  A lot of the appeal for this song lies in the fact that it has great potential as a live performance.  I can imagine Clarkson up on staging rocking out to this song, and that’s what I like to see/hear.
  6. “Already Gone”- 9 Elephants- I know the fact that I like this song contradicts with what I said earlier about hating synthesised beats, but hear me out.  “Already Gone” is possibly the most overproduced song on the album; however, it all works very well on this song.  I might even go so far as to say that the studio track sounds nothing like Clarkson.  So as a Kelly Clarkson song, I don’t like it.  But as a song in general, I love it.  Comprende?
  7. “If I Can’t Have You”- 7 Elephants- This song is my second least favorite song on the CD, as it falls into my least favorite genre of music: dance pop.  I know several people that love this song and find it fun to dance along to as they drive down the road.  As for me, I’ll just sticking to skipping it on shuffle and laughing at the morons that I do see jamming out to “If I Can’t Have You”.
  8. “Save You”- 10 Elephants- This song is quite possibly my favorite song on the CD.  It’s extremely unique in that it’s multi-genred; it even contains a section of classical music worked into the closing.  “Save You” shows some sheer composing genuis, and it all comes together brilliantly.
  9. “Whyyawannabringmedown”- 9 Elephants- Let’s get passed the obvious first; someone clearly needs to invest in a spacebar for this song.  If you can get past the title and actually listen to the song, you’ll more than likely be pleasantly surprised.  “W” (Ughhh.. the lack of spaces in between words prevents me from abbreving this well.) is the most rock inspired track on the album and makes a great addition to a jogging or exercise playlist.  Very, very high energy.
  10. “Long Shot”- 8 Elephants- “Oh, I’m sorry, I thought this was a Kelly Clarkson CD?  How’d that Katy Perry get stuck in there?”  Those are the thoughts that filled my head as I head “Long Shot” for the first time.  My disgust evaporated for the most part after I did some research and learned that Katy Perry did in fact co-write the song, explaining its eerie resemblence to a the songs on her CD, which, interestingly enough, I like.  If you listen to this song enough, it will grown on you.  Trust me.
  11. “Impossible”- 8.5 Elephants- “Impossible” comes across as a filler track that gets lost in the shuffle on first listen, but on deeper analysis it’s actually a decent song.  It shows of Clarkson’s strong vocals and isn’t WAY overproduced.
  12. “Ready”- 8 Elephants- “Ready” as it is in on the album is difficult for me to listen to, but not because it’s a bad song.  Quite the opposite, actually.  My problem with album-version “Ready” is that I heard the demo before the CD was released and it was a stripped down, My December-esque song.  When the CD came out, I expected to hear that same song.  Unfortunately, somewhere along the way it was “popped” up to an extraordinary level and present-day “Ready” was formed.  It’s still a strong song, but not half the song it was before.
  13. “I Want You”- 7 Elephants- This is my least favorite song on the whole CD, and I’m not sure why.  It’s not really overproduced or anything, it’s just a song that gets on my nerves.  I can never really pinpoint what it is about it but I just can’t finish it.  End rant.
  14. “If No One Will Listen”- 9 Elephants- The final track on All I Ever Wanted is also the “prettiest” of the songs, for lack of a better word.  It’s a very restrained song that highlights Clarkson’s mad skills with little interference from background music.  It’s a great close to a very diverse album.

The Verdict

Kelly Clarkson returns to her pop roots on her fourth album, but doesn’t totally leave behind all of the other genres she has explored during her young career.  All I Ever Wanted features songs with a little bit of everything; country, pop, rock, classical, you name it and it’s ont he CD.  Those who enjoyed Breakaway and Thankful should run to the closest Target and pick up their copy.  Those like myself who like only My December, however, will probably be less than thrilled with the majority of the songs on the CD.  Overall:  8 Elephants

The following songs will be added to the TCJ Playlist:

  • “Cry”
  • “Don’t Let Me Stop You”
  • “All I Ever Wanted”
  • “Already Gone”
  • “Save You”
  • “Whyyawannabringmedown”
  • “Long Shot”
  • “Impossible”
  • “Ready”
  • “If No One Will Listen”

What do you think of All I Ever Wanted?  What song was your favorite?

Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

Thanks for reading!

Rick

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Filed under Entertainment, Kelly Clarkson, Music

Video of the Day: Carly Smithson of We Are The Fallen Singing “Bury Me Alive” Acoustic

Here’s an amazing clip of Carly Smithson singing “Bury Me Alive” by her band We Are The Fallen.  Marty (one of the band members) had mentioned uploading the whole clip, and if he does that would be wonderful.  From the sound of the clip he gave us, I’m sure the full performance was outstanding!  I can’t wait to hear more from We Are The Fallen and Carly!

Sorry, I tried and failed to embed the link.  It’s a TwitVid, so WordPress probably hasn’t worked out the kinks with that.  Here’s the link:

http://www.twitvid.com/9942A

What do you think of the acoustic version of this song?  Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

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Rick

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Filed under Carly Smithson, Entertainment, Music, Singers, Video of the Day

Poll of the Day: Who Do You Prefer, Danyl Johnson or Susan Boyle?

Reality shows across the pond have been churning out some major stars in their last few seasons, of the most recent who do you prefer?  Vote below in today’s poll!

To watch video of Danyl Johnson’s performance, click here.

To watch video of Susan Boyle’s performance, click here.

Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

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Rick

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Filed under Entertainment, Music, Poll of the Day, Singers, Susan Boyle, Television

Poll of the Day: Do You Think Miley Cyrus Is A Good Example for Children?

After all of Miley’s questionable “photo shoots” and her latest pole dancing debacle, do you think she is a good role model for young children?  Vote in today’s poll about the pole (what a pun) below!

To read my full write up on this, click here.

Don’t just vote in the poll, leave your opinion below!  What do you think should be done about Miley’s questionable choices?  Should Disney take action?   Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

Thanks for reading!

Rick

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Filed under Breaking News, Entertainment, Music, Poll of the Day