Category Archives: Concert Review

Judgement Day: Pop Heaven or Hell? Lady Gaga’s ARTPOP live on iTunesFestival!

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For those of us who follow pop music closely, it seems that Lady Gaga’s ARTPOP has been almost too long-a-time coming. Gaga has never been great at keeping secrets, so while she was practically still in the middle of promoting her last album: Born This Way, she revealed the name of her next album, which at the time, was expected to be released by the end of 2012. An unfortunate and near devastating hip injury, a partially-cancelled (very expensive) tour, a seeming public backlash and a whole lot of delays later, Gaga is back in the spotlight with a new single, and just finished playing an opening slot at the iTunes Festival in London, having played seven never-before-heard tracks from the the much abuzzed ARTPOP, ahead of it’s November 11th release date.

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How was her first concert performance, post-injury? How did the newly debuted ARTPOP tracks fare at the gates of Pop Heaven? You’ll have to read on to find out, and you can even watch the performance and decide for yourself!

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Judgement Day: Pop Heaven or Hell? (Sarah Slean – Live @ The Carleton in Halifax, Nova Scotia – 12/5/2011)

For those of you that may not be familiar with the name, Sarah Slean is one of Canada’s finest singer/songwriters and surely one of the most enchanting. Blending an old-world, Vaudeville sensibility with modern pop-rock, Slean has produced several noteworthy albums in the last 10 years, each of which I personally wouldn’t hesitate to call a masterpiece.

Throughout her career one might note that there has often been a very obvious line dividing her individual songs; her back catalogue ranges between the more upbeat, pop inspired (often firey and bold) tracks and those that are more melancholy, romantic and classically inspired.  Her latest release, a double disc entitled “Land & Sea” explores this duality in her previous work with more self-awareness than ever.

Enlisting the help of two separate producers, Slean made two very different albums. Disc one, entitled “Land” explores the more “pop” side of Slean, features lots of hooks and positive lyrics and was produced by Halifax, Nova Scotia’s own: Joel Plaskett. “Sea” is lush, slow, equal parts dreamy/romantic and heartbreaking; it features a 21-piece orchestra and was produced by Jonathan Goldsmith. The double disc opus was released on September 27th, 2011 and Slean is currently promoting the release with a cross-Canada tour.

In the second of two sold-out shows, Slean performed at The Carleton Music Bar & Lounge on Argyle Street in Halifax, NS on December 5th, 2011. After seeing her live several years ago when she was promoting her last album: The Baroness, I wouldn’t have missed this gig for the world and I’m happy to say that neither I, nor The Pop Gods were disappointed!

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