Tag Archives: tamar braxton

20 Powerful Diva Deep Cuts You Need In Your Life (+ Playlist)

Never send a man to sing a woman’s song

One of my favorite sub-genres in pop music is the underrepresented but most-respected POWER BALLAD. It’s the one style that can perfectly parallel some of the most intense and emotional moments of our lives. Many attempt it, but only a few artists actually succeed at crafting the perfect one. Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and Celine Dion are obvious vocalists that have perfected the genre. But there are a few others that have aced the challenge of recording one as well. We’re all familiar with “I Will Always Love You” and “The Power of Love” but there are so many more that are hidden deep in some of our favorite artists’ albums! They’re usually tucked in last as album closers, rightfully so, because these divas give everything they have left in them with these songs. So below I’ve compiled a list of some strong songs that may have slipped past you over the years.

20 Powerful Diva Deep Cuts You May Have Missed:

1.) “I Surrender” – Celine Dion

This is the song that inspired this entire list. When I think of this song, I consider it one of the best songs never released as a single. And above all, it is powerful in a way that only Celine can demonstrate. It’s no wonder why so many aspiring singers cover this song as an exhibition of their vocal talents.

2.) “Pulse” – Toni Braxton

The title track from Toni Braxton’s last solo album that could almost be considered a deep cut in itself. This is an all-encompassing diva song — it had to make this list. It also empowered Toni Braxton to get back in the studio after being diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus in 2008. (YouTube audio is not the finished album version. Listen to it on my spotify playlist below)

3.) “Why Does It Hurt So Bad” – Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston is another one of the great vocalists of our time (RIP Nippy) and this was a great song recorded for the incredibily successful ‘Waiting To Exhale’ soundtrack. The song is everything we’ve come to love her for.

4.) “Lift Me Up” – Christina Aguilera

Even if you doubt Christina Aguilera in any way…. Just watch the video. She reuinted with Linda Perry again for this song. As always, it’s a match made in heaven between them two. Amazing. Flawless. Perfect. All of the sort. 

5.) “The Art of Letting Go” – Mariah Carey

Though it’s riddled with cheeky lyrics… Mariah Carey still manages to expertly veil it all with power and conviction as she builds to a masterful climax worth listening for. 

6.) “Lionheart” – Demi Lovato

If you haven’t heard Demi Lovato’s ‘Confident’ album, then you probably missed this song. Don’t miss it again! The song originally caught her attention after the loss of her puppy Buddy. She declares the track is an ode to the “lion heart” and fire we all have, animal and human alike, inside of us.

7.) “Sober” – Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson effortlessly shifts between vulnerable and powerful vocals in this song. She was inspired to write the song after a friend gave her relationship advice with the line, “pick all the weeds and keep the flowers.”

8.) “The Great Escape” – P!nk

Is the song about suicide or America’s epidemic of adults masking their problems with prescription pills and addictions? I don’t know…  Why don’t you decide. It’s one of P!nk’s few deep cuts that doesn’t go full-bluesy/folky. Great song.

9.) “Turning Tables” – Adele

Is anything from Adele really a deep cut at this point? This might not be a very deep cut, but it’s still deep nonetheless. 

10.)  “Loved Me Back to Life” – Celine Dion

This was her first single from her 2013 album of the same name. It’s also penned by the talented Sia. So it technically shouldn’t be a deep cut… But it failed to impact any radio stations and many of you probably missed it… So here it is! One of her best songs she’s ever recorded in my opinion. 

11.) “Understand” – Christina Aguilera

12.) “Breakaway” – Celine Dion

13.) “Vanishing” – Mariah Carey

14.) “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength” – Whitney Houston

15.) “Hero” – Toni Braxton

16. ) “Blank Page” – Christina Aguilera

17.) “I Don’t Believe You” – P!nk

18.) “Side Effects of You” – Fantasia

19.) “Fix A Heart” – Demi Lovato

20.) “King” – Tamar Braxton

Check out the playlist of all the songs below! And follow it HERE:

What did you think of the list? Which song is your favorite and which songs did I miss? Let me know here or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

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#QuickListen Review: ‘Calling All Lovers’ – Tamar Braxton

(Originally blogged: October 5, 2015)

You see, the thing about this album is that it’s TOO GOOD. The vocals are TOO GOOD. The productions are TOO GOOD. The feeling you get after listening to this album is TOO. DAMN. GOOD!

Album cover for 'Calling All Lovers'Album cover for ‘Calling All Lovers’

The album is an eclectic mix of vocal and musical styling but entirely cohesive with its set theme of relationships. It is literally the musical manifestation of the old beat up shoe box in the darkest corner of your closet that collects memorabilia of all of your different past relationships (know what I’m talking about?). She’s got that young-sneakers-just-got-your-first-car-throwback kind of love with her song “Catfish”. The soulful-gotta-jump-and-profess-to-the-congregation kind of love with “Simple Things”. I could praise each individual song but I’ll conclude with her finale track “KING”. It’s got that Diane Warren/David Foster vibe to perfectly summarize the album. And she THOROUGHLY ANNIHILATES her execution of the vocals and love she has for her “King”.

Her last album was very polarizing with the juxtaposition of ratchet twerk anthems over solid power R&B ballads. But with this album she’s really settled into a mature sound that still allows her to have a few youthful moments to snap to. I’m just Tamar’s biggest cheerleader. Can you tell?

Song of the Year: “High By The Beach”

Lana Del Rey hypnotizes her listeners again with “High By The Beach”

Choosing a single song for “Song of the Year” was the toughest category to do. So many songs this year were great. It seemed impossible to cut it down to one song. But after a lot of back and forth, I decided that Lana Del Rey’s song, “High By The Beach” is worthy of that trophy.
I’ve devoted most of the other categories to the most proper female pop artists. Lana Del Rey can’t necessarily be labeled a pop starlet by any means. But “High By The Beach” is possibly as mainstream pop as we will get from her. So after juggling a few songs, I chose the song from the one we most likely won’t see very often on any “pop songs” lists.

Promotional shot for Lana Del Rey’s “High By The Beach”
“High By The Beach” opens with a haunting melody that immediately changes the environment of your mindset. And when the light-trap beats are introduced in the chorus it catches you off guard and permanently commits you to the remainder of the song. Many songs are effortless and follow you as you continue living your life. But this song grabs your attention and transports you to the scene that it’s living in; controlling you. It’s rare that a song can do that. It’s familiar territory for Lana Del Rey, considering it’s kind of “her thing.” So that’s one reason that this song excels in a place other pop songs fail.
The music video for “High By The Beach” was equally tantalizing and captivating. The video is not obvious of its purpose when it begins. It follows Lana Del Rey through a beach house as she seems to be avoiding something. It ends up being a paparazzi taking pictures from a helicopter. This gave the video a scene with a wind effect that surely had Beyonce dialing every contact, in jealousy, to try and recreate later. And then with a fantasy finale, she grabs a huge sci-fi gun to shoot down the helicopter.

Another promotional shot for Lana Del Rey’s “High By The Beach”
The song has the right amount of pretentiousness while still being a win for the girls of pop music. Lana Del Rey continues to mesmerize the music industry with her unique music and vocals. For that, I picked “High By The Beach” for The Pop Pyro’s “Song of the Year.”

The Pop Pyro’s pick for “Song of the Year”

Other Top-Picked Songs This Year:

More Top-Picked songs from The Pop Pyro

In No Order:

  • Demi Lovato – “Cool For The Summer” Easily this summer’s anthem. Demi killed it.
  • Zedd ft. Selena Gomez – “I Want You To Know” Selena had a great second half of the year, but she had one of Spring’s best tracks.
  • JoJo – “Save My Soul” The only ballad on top of the list, and rightfully so. JoJo is one of the best balladeers of the girls in pop music.
  • Marina and the Diamonds – “Blue” The pre-chorus to this song, “give me love; give me dreams…” is the best of the year.
  • Rihanna – “Bitch Better Have My Money” If you don’t sing along to this song when it’s played, you’re a robot. Anthem.
  • Selena Gomez – “Good For You” Selena was just doing a lot of great things this year.

Other mention-ables (I can’t Stop):

Madonna“Joan of Arc” and “Ghosttown”
Tamar Braxton“Angels & Demons” and “KING”
Hilary Duff“Confetti” and “Sparks”

Album of the Year: ‘Revival’

There’s a new Queen to add to team #BedroomMusic.

Selena Gomez has had a steady progression with her musical career. She solidified herself as a pop heavyweight after she released 2013’s “Come and Get It” (from her album ‘Stars Dance’) then gave it one of my favorite music videos of all time. ‘Revival’ proves that she is still a pop superstar but also an artistic risk-taker with her music.

Shot from Selena Gomez’s music video for “Hands to Myself”
Selena Gomez could have easily had a successful album by making the expected dance teen pop album that she had been boxed into with her previous albums. But she took a HUGE risk and made a mid-tempo album with breathy vocals and intimate tones. I go into further detail about the album and my reactions, after its first play, with my #QuickListen review that was posted here on The Pop Pyro earlier this year. Read my review: Click Here

Deluxe Album Cover for Selena Gomez’s ‘Revival’
Selena Gomez unraveled this album better than most pop stars can these days. Every single, performance and promotion for ‘Revival’ painted the perfect picture for what this album is. And upon listening there were no surprises except good music. “Good For You” was the perfect lead single. The song was extremely successful on the Billboard Hot 100 and has over 200 million streams on Spotify alone. The success continued with her second single “Same Old Love” also topping the charts. She is currently promoting her latest single “Hands to Myself” with performances at the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball and Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. She just released her sexiest video yet with its video as well.

Selena Gomez performing at the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show
‘Revival’ reveals an entirely new facet of Selena Gomez. It’s cohesive; it’s sensual; it’s insightful; and it’s just an all-around GOOD ALBUM. It debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart and topped many critic’s end-of-year album lists. For all of these reasons, I picked ‘Revival’ as The Pop Pyro’s “Album of the Year.”

The Pop Pyro’s pick for “Album of the Year”

Other Top-Picked Albums This Year:

Four more picks for The Pop Pyro’s “Album of the Year”

In No Order:

  • Hilary Duff’s – “Breathe In Breathe Out” One of the most all-encompassing and pure pop albums of the year. Standout tracks: “Confetti,” “My Kind,” and “One In A Million.”
  • Dumblonde’s – “dumblonde” My favorite debut of the year. This album is great from start to finish. Standout tracks: “dreamsicle,” “love blind,” and “you got me.”
  • Lana Del Rey’s – “Honeymoon” She released another flawless addition to her catalog. If you love Lana; you love this album. Standout tracks: “Music To Watch Boys To,” “Art Deco” and “Religion.”
  • Tamar Braxton-Herbert’s – “Calling All Lovers” It’s mostly an R&B album, but Tamar uses the album to prove the versatility she and her voice have. Standout tracks: “KING,” “Angels and Demons” and “Coming Home.”

The Pop Pyro’s Top Picks of 2015: ANNOUNCEMENT

I’m really excited to share my top picks from the material our POP DIVAS have given us this year in music!

Throughout these remaining days in 2015 I will be releasing TWO categories a day. On New Year’s Eve I will have the album/song of the year plus crown the “Diva of the Year.”
Over the past six months I’ve been building this page, I can now see where the page is and where it’s going. I’ve realized that I want to celebrate all the women in pop music that aren’t afraid to keep pop music interesting and colorful. You know, for us kids that were raised in the early 00’s era. It was a battle zone of pop divas trying to outdo one another by amazing videos and performances. I’m talking about the Britneys, Christinas and P!nks; even the Katys and Gagas… a time where pop music was about being beautiful, irreverent and THE FULL PACKAGE. So my picks this year and the content on this page will forever reflect that.
If you’re a fan of the “Britney”-types; the girls that aren’t afraid to sell a little sex appeal and have a dance break in the middle of a ballad, Then The Pop Pyro is the place for you.

The Pop Pyro is:

The Pop Pyro was created and is run by myself. If we haven’t been introduced yet, I’m Jeremy Miles. I invite anyone from this page to follow my posts on my personal account as well. I’m a huge fan of Britney Spears and all of her peers. I get a little critical of some of her pop rivals, but in the end, I support all of the women in pop music that are similar to her.
And with nearly 4,500 likes here on Facebook, I think this is also an appropriate time to thank you guys AGAIN about how grateful I am of your comments, likes, shares and compliments on my posts and original content. The page has had videos with over 130 thousand views and reaches of over 2.5 million timelines! (Same with memes that have gone viral.)
Before I start releasing the “of the year” categories tomorrow, Spotify has a great review of your personal listening habits and I’d like to share mine with you. And so I can get to know you guys better, put your results in the comment section or copy the text below and change the answers to fit as best as you can.

THANK YOU SO MUCH AGAIN. I CAN’T WAIT TO CONTINUE THE PAGE IN 2016.

The Pop Pyro’s Top Picks of 2015: Announcement

Spotify’s #YearInMusic

Total Minutes: 55,000
Songs Played: 3,448
Artists Played: 582
First Song Played: “Baby Don’t Lie” – Gwen Stefani

Most Played

Artist:
Album:
1.) ‘Calling All Lovers’ – Tamar Braxton
2.) ‘Love and War’ – Tamar Braxton
3.) ‘Breathe In Breathe Out’ – Hilary Duff
4.) ‘Loved Me Back To Life’ – Celine Dion
5.) ‘Kiss Me Once’ – Kylie Minogue
Songs:
1.) “King” – Tamar Braxton
2.) “Loved Me Back to Life” – Celine Dion
3.) “Pretty Girls” – Britney Spears ft. Iggy Azalea
4.) “Good For You” – Selena Gomez
5.) “Save My Soul” – JoJo
Genres: Dance Pop, Pop, Teen Pop, Europop and Urban Contemporary.
Wildcard: “Fall In Love” – Barcelona (This is an AMAZINGLY sensual and romantic track. Check them out.)