Bringing the Ballad Back

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Adele’s “Someone Like You” recently made it to the top of the charts… and was the first indisputable ballad to reach such heights in several years. Today: A closer look at how we define – and appreciate – the slow-tempo songs of the present. Plus: Hip hop artist Akua Naru dropped her debut album, called "The Journey Aflame," earlier this year. She joins us with her Digflo band to play live.

The Little Ballad That Could

It's no secret that Adele’s album "21" has been dominating the charts with the hit single "Rolling In The Deep" since it was released earlier this year. But just two weeks ago, another track from the album reached the pinnacle of the Billboard Hot 100 - a heart-wrenching piano ballad called "Someone Like You." Billboard's Gary Trust joins us to explain why he believes that it's the first indisputable ballad to reach number one since Rihanna's "Take A Bow" more than three years ago. Plus, we'll talk with pop culture and music writer Lizzy Goodman about where all the slow songs have gone - and we'll remember our favorite torch hits of the past.

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In Studio: Akua Naru

Akua Naru grew up in New Haven, Connecticut – but her talent for rhymes has taken her far from her hometown. The Germany-based emcee joins us with her band to perform tracks from her debut album, called “The Journey Aflame.”

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Bonus Track: Akua Naru

Akua Naru and her band, Digflo, performed two songs live on the air - and stuck around after we went off the air to perform a third. The song is called "Backflip," and according to Akua, it's a boastful rap meant to showcase her skills as an emcee.



Gig Alert: Beirut

Combining indie rock cool with world music eclectica, Beirut presents its third album The Rip Tide at Terminal 5 on Thursday. Download the band's brand-new "East Harlem" here.


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