Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year 2OO6!

Woo hoo, according to my time zone, I’m in 2006 now. Feelin’ so damn good. Really looking forward to this year, I hope things will only get better for me, brand new hopes, brand new heights! My best wishes to my family and friends, and everyone in the universe, you all rock!
Good night, I need to sleep for the next morning. Peace.

Friday, December 30, 2005

2005: Year in Music

Okay, here comes my list of ‘Music in 2005’. I put pretty much effort into this, and I hope you’ll like it. This year there’s been a lot that I missed, so my list isn’t that accurate, I will just rank what I already heard, so don’t be mad if I left out something you like (even if you do, feel free to post a comment to tell me what I missed out).

First, I’ve got top 10 Albums of 2005. Note: These are the ones I have heard entirely. There are other great ones, I know, but I have just listen to a few tracks of those, so can’t include them.


Top 10 Albums of 2005


1.Coldplay – X & Y
2.Kanye West – Late Registration
3.Natalie Imbruglia – Counting Down The Days
4.Black Eyed Peas – Monkey Business
5.
Shakira – Fijacion Oral Vol. 1
6.Sheryl Crow – Wildflower
7.Fiona Apple – Extraordinary Machine
8.Franz Ferdinand – You Could Have It So Much Better
9.Shakira – Oral Fixation Vol. 2
10.Carrie Underwood – Some Hearts


Top 40 Singles of 2005

1.Coldplay – Speed Of Sound
2.The Pussycat Dolls feat. Busta Rhymes – Don’t Cha
3.Kanye West feat. Jamie Foxx - Gold Digger
4.Missy Elliott feat. Ciara & Fatman Scoop – Lose Control
5.Black Eyed Peas – My Humps
6.Kelly Clarkson – Behind These Hazel Eyes
7.Anna Nalick – Breathe (2 AM)
8.Weezer – Beverly Hills
9.Mariah Carey – We Belong Together
10.Weezer – Perfect Situation
11.Gwen Stefani – Hollaback Girl
12.Madonna – Hung Up
13.Coldplay – Fix You
14.Amerie – 1 Thing
15.Joss Stone – Don’t Cha Wanna Ride
16.Fiona Apple – O’ Sailor
17.KT Tunstall – Other Side Of The World
18.James Blunt – You’re Beautiful
19.Ashlee Simpson – Boyfriend
20.Natalie Imbruglia – Shiver
21.Santana feat. Michelle Branch & The Wreckers – I’m Feeling You
22.Franz Ferdinand – Do You Want To
23.The White Stripes – Blue Orchid
24.Death Cab For Cutie – Soul Meets Body
25.Mariah Carey – Don’t Forget About Us
26.Shakira – Don’t Bother
27.Girls Aloud – Biology
28.Garbage – Run Baby Run
29.KT Tunstall – Suddenly I See
30.The White Stripes – My Doorbell
31.The All-American Rejects – Dirty Little Secret
32.The Magic Numbers – Forever Lost
33.Sheryl Crow – Good Is Good
34.John Legend – Ordinary People
35.Green Day – Wake Me Up When September Ends
36.Daniel Powter – Bad Day
37.Ciara feat. Ludacris – Oh
38.Hilary Duff – Wake Up
39.Charlotte Church – Crazy Chick
40.Jem – They


Top 10 Sexiest Female Artists in 2005

1.Shakira
2.The Pussycat Dolls
3.Gwen Stefani
4.Fergie (from Black Eyed Peas)
5.Destiny’s Child
6.Mariah Carey
7.Joss Stone
8.Girls Aloud
9.Amerie
10.Ciara


Breakthrough Female Artist: Anna Nalick. Honorable mention: Missy Higgins.

Breakthrough Male Artist: James Blunt.

Breakthrough Band: The Magic Numbers.

Sucker Of The Year: Crazy Frog.

The Coolest Album Cover of 2005:


Coldplay – X & Y





The Shocker of 2005:

Michael Jackson pleaded not guilty. (He should have been in jail now, sick freak)

Top 20 Music Videos of 2005

1.The Pussycat Dolls feat. Busta Rhymes – Don’t Cha
2.Black Eyed Peas – My Humps
3.Kanye West feat. Jamie Foxx - Gold Digger
4.Gwen Stefani – Hollaback Girl
5.Missy Elliott feat. Ciara & Fatman Scoop – Lose Control
6.Shakira feat. Alexandro Sanz – La Tortura
7.Kelly Clarkson – Because Of You
8.Destiny’s Child – Cater 2 U
9.Jessica Simpson - These Boots Are Made For Walkin’
10.Weezer – Perfect Situation
11.Daniel Powter – Bad Day
12.The White Stripes – Blue Orchid
13.Rob Thomas – Lonely No More
14.Ashanti – Only U
15.Weezer – Beverly Hills
16.Coldplay – Talk
17.Amerie – 1 Thing
18.Fiona Apple – O’ Sailor
19.Shakira – No
20.Goldfrapp – Number 1

Sum-up: This year continued the reign of hip-hop/r&b/rap genre all over the charts. This is also a year of great comebacks (like Mariah Carey, Weezer, Madonna...). A new trend in music appeared as artists open up their family issues more in songs (like Kelly Clarkson's 'Because Of You', Lindsay Lohan's 'Confessions of a Broken Heart'). In the music video field, 2005 has been the year of director Marc Webb who directed so many great videos for My Chemical Romance, The Used, Weezer, Daniel Powter...

Looking forward to a brand new year full of promises.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

My Last CD Reviews of 2005: Shakira & Lindsay Lohan!

Shakira/ Oral Fixation Vol. 2

I was eagerly waiting for this sequel to Fijacion Oral Vol. 1, because now I can actually understand what she sings about. Not to forget that cd cover is sizzling hot, too. However, this album doesn’t quite live up to my expectations. First, the songs are not all new. ‘Something’ is the English translation for ‘En Tus Pupilas’, as ‘The Day And The Time’ is for ‘Dia Especial’. Both songs are really great in Latin, but somehow in English they just lost part of their appeal. Maybe it’s because of her way of words are different, or I’m just too used to the Latin versions. Secondly, the vulnerability of this cd is a little higher than its first volume. All of the songs are likeable, but the tunes are a bit less attractive and catchy than those on first volume. Musically, the compositons are really creative and energetic, no song sounds like the other ones. Lyrically, this time Shakira touched on more serious stuff like religion, the entertainment industry, Timor… and that’s a good thing indeed (though I have to mention her major grammatical errors, like ‘She never lose her nerves’ or ‘This is the day and the time’ ;-) So my conclusion is : this cd is just as good as its previous one, however, I just found it hard to pick out as many real favorite ones as those in Vol. 1. Still a formidable showcase of her amazing talents, so yes, this one I recommend.

Rating: 3,25/5 stars
Trackworthy: All 13 tracks.


Lindsay Lohan/ A Little More Personal (Raw)

I still don’t know why I like to give to a try at most overhyped pop records. Maybe just to hope that there’s something real good there that I could be missing. Not this one, though. I wouldn’t mind at all if I didn’t choose to try this one, it would be just enough waiting for the follow-up singles to arrive, if the singles could be that good. This album is probably one of the weakest pop records of 2005. The sophomore effort from triple-treat Lindsay Lohan is just a failure. First, I must mention her vocal abilities. As much as I like her as a beautiful and talented young actress, I must admit that she’s not a good singer. She sounds okay on her previous three singles from ‘Speak’, but this time around her voice’s become so annoying and mediocre. She tried real hard to sound all loud and angry, but to me it’s like a little girl whining at her mom. Except the melodramatic, emotional track ‘Confessions Of A Broken Heart (Daughter To Father)’, the rest of the album is all kinda pointless listening, it’s unlikely you can feel anything from her personal lyrics if the tunes are too much a mess. The two covers ‘I Want You To Want Me’ (which I guess could be the next single) and ‘Edge Of Seventeen’ are okay, in demo quality.Overall, what she thought to be a good move actually turned out to be a bad move. If this is what she called ‘Raw’, then I’d prefer ‘Ripe’.

Rating: 2/5 stars
Trackworthy: Confessions Of A Broken Heart (Daughter To Father), I Live For The Day, I Want You To Want Me, My Innocence, If It's Alright, Fastlane.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Picks Of The Week #4

Lyrics Of The Week

This week, the lyrics of Anna Nalick ‘Breathe (2AM)’ will be posted. I think it’s safe to say that the lyrics for this song is one of the most well-written in 2005. Anna’s really got a bright future ahead.

Breathe (2 AM)
Anna Nalick

2 AM and she calls me 'cause I'm still awake,
"Can you help me unravel my latest mistake?,
I don't love him. Winter just wasn't my season"
Yeah we walk through the doors, so accusing their eyes
Like they have any right at all to criticize,
Hypocrites. You're all here for the very same reason

'Cause you can't jump the track, we're like cars on a cable
And life's like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button, girl.
So cradle your head in your hands
And breathe... just breathe,
Oh breathe, just breathe

In May he turn 21 on the base at Fort Bliss
"Just a Day", he said down to the flask in his fist,
"Ain't been sober, since maybe October of last year."
Here in town you can tell he's been down for a while,
But, my God, it's so beautiful when the boy smiles,
Wanna hold him. Maybe I'll just sing about it.

'Cause you can't jump the track, we're like cars on a cable,
And life's like an hourglass, glued to the table.
No one can find the rewind button, boys,
So cradle your head in your hands,
And breathe... just breathe,
Oh breathe, just breathe

There's a light at each end of this tunnel,
You shout 'cause you're just as far in as you'll ever be out
And these mistakes you've made, you'll just make them again
If you only try turning around.

2 AM and I'm still awake, writing a song
If I get it all down on paper, it's no longer inside of me,
Threatening the life it belongs to
And I feel like I'm naked in front of the crowd
Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud
And I know that you'll use them, however you want to.


But you can't jump the track, we're like cars on a cable,
And life's like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button now
Sing it if you understand.
And breathe, just breathe
Woah breathe, just breathe,
Oh breathe, just breathe,
Oh breathe, just breathe.


Download This!

Coldplay/ Gravity

This can be found as a B-side in Coldplay’s new ‘Talk’ single cd. Chris originally wrote this song for Embrace and it was a hit single, now Chris sang his own song again. A real touching song. This is a must-have for Coldplay fans.

Flashback

Damien Rice/ The Blower’s Daughter

This song was released in his 2003 album ‘O’, and featured in the soundtrack of Mike Nichols’s 2004 movie ‘Closer’. The song is very moody and stripped-down, but somehow it can be quite tearjerking, especially if you just had a painful breakup and still can’t get over it. So give it a listen today.

Coming Up: On the last day of 2005, I’m gonna post a special ‘Music in 2005’ post where I will bring out my list of the best offered in this year, and then in the New Year’s Day, I will present 2 new features in the weekly ‘Picks Of The Week’. Also to come is my part 2 of my Grammy predictions. So be sure to check back soon.

Christmas CD Review: Diana Krall's "Christmas Songs"!

Okay, it’s way too late to review a Christmas cd now, but I’ll finish it any way.

Diana Krall/ Christmas Songs


Every year, some renowned artists put out their own Christmas albums in which they try to perform those classic Christmas songs in their own way in order to cash in some quick cash because it’s the holiday season, people’s gonna what’s new out there as gifts to give. And every year, there’s always the one that stands out. This 2005, it’s Diana Krall turn to have her own renditions of the songs we’ve probably heard a hundred times before, so the question is : Can she bring anything new to the table this time? My answer would be: No, not really. If you want the kind of jazzy, fuzzy, classy Christmas record, this one is for you. There’s just nothing breakthrough here. We’ve got all that we can expect: a huge orchestra accompanying the singer’s breathy vocals in a proper, flawless way as she sings off key the classic tunes and plays her piano so smoothly. The results are actually quite enjoyable and this is that kind of record that you want to listen and groove alone after locking your room, just relax, stretch your bones, close your eyes, and look out at the window as the snow’s falling outside. The outstanding track is the last one ‘Count Your Blessings Instead Of Sheep’, which is a perfect song to make you fall asleep just right after the record ends. So if what I describe above is what you imagine your winter night would be, go for it. Merry Christmas and a super duper New Year, by the way. ;-)

Rating: 3/5 stars
Trackworthy: Just try all 12 tracks.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

My Grammy 2006 Picks! Part One

Okay, the 48th Annual GRAMMY® Awards is coming soon (David LaChapelle did a great job on the official poster, by the way) and the nominees list arrived one week ago. So here ‘s what I decided to do to celebrate. I’m gonna guess who will win what in 2 ways: my own picks and what I think the academy will pick. This will come in many parts, like a countdown to Grammy 2006, so stay tuned, and if you want to say anything, just click the comment button. Here we go, first I start off with Pop and R&B categories. Just a note, I will just do the important ones.

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
Will win: Good Is Good- Sheryl Crow
Should win (my pick): Since U Been Gone-Kelly Clarkson

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance
Will win: Fine Line-Paul McCartney
Should win: Sitting, Waiting, Wishing-Jack Johnson

Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
Will win: More Than Love-Los Lonely Boys
Should win: it’s a tie, can’t decide between Don't Lie-The Black Eyed Peas and My Doorbell-The White Stripes

Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals
Will win: A Time To Love-Stevie Wonder Featuring India.Arie
Should win: Feel Good Inc.-Gorillaz Featuring De La Soul

Best Pop Vocal Album
Will win: Extraordinary Machine-Fiona Apple
Should win: Extraordinary Machine-Fiona Apple

Best Female R&B Vocal Performance
Will win: We Belong Together-Mariah Carey (somehow this seems so obvious)
Should win: 1 Thing-Amerie

Best Male R&B Vocal Performance
Will win: Ordinary People-John Legend
Should win: Ordinary People-John Legend

Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals
Will win: Cater 2 U-Destiny's Child
Should win: Cater 2 U-Destiny's Child

Best R&B Song
Will win: We Belong Together
Should win: Ordinary People

Best R&B Album
Will win: Unplugged-Alicia Keys
Should win: Unplugged-Alicia Keys

Best Contemporary R&B Album
Will win: The Emancipation Of Mimi-Mariah Carey
Should win: The Emancipation Of Mimi-Mariah Carey

That’s all for this part. I’m not really sure about my picks, though, maybe they’re just crap. You gotta wait to see if I’m right. For next part, I’m gonna go with Rock and Alternative categories. See you soon. Peace.

Lyrics,Download and Flashback of The Week!

Lyrics Of The Week

This week’s choice of lyrics is Do What You Have To Do by the one and only Sarah McLachlan from her 1997 album Surfacing. Simple, yet beautiful and connecting.

Do What You Have To Do/ Sarah McLachlan

What ravages of spirit
Conjured this temptuous rage
Created you a monster
Broken by the rules of love
And fate has led you through it
You do what you have to do
And fate has led you through it
You do what you have to do ...
And I have the sense to recognize that
I don’t know how to let you go
Every moment marked
With apparitions of your soul
I’m ever swiftly moving
Trying to escape this desire
The yearning to be near you
I do what I have to do
The yearning to be near you
I do what I have to do
But I have the sense to recognize
That I don’t know howTo let you goI don’t know how
To let you go
A glowing ember
Burning hot
Burning slow
Deep within I’m shaken by the violence
Of existing for only you
I know I can’t be with you
I do what I have to do
I know I can’t be with youI do what I have to do
And I have sense to recognize but
I don’t know how to let you go
I don’t know how to let you go
I don’t know how to let you go

Download This!

Weezer/ Perfect Situation

Weezer’s new single is once again another song that’s so fun to sing along to, with a catchy hook that already got stuck in my head although all it had was the oh-ohs. Definitely worth downloading.

Flashback

Eva Cassidy/ Fields Of Gold

Christmas is just one week away. This song is actually not a Christmas song, but it’s just perfect for a late winter night, and Eva’s soaring vocals can put you to sleep in a good way, with nice dreams. So try this one out. Have fun. Still more to come.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Late cd reviews of Fiona Apple & Franz Ferdinand!!

These are the two cds that I picked up a long time ago but never found time to write a proper review for each of them. However, they’re both really cool cds.

Fiona Apple/ Extraordinary Machine

How fast time flies by. It’s been 9 years since Fiona first stepped in the music scene with that moody Mark Romanek-directed music video ‘Criminal’. That song’s still in my list of all-time favorites, and now after a long hiatus, she’s officially back with her third album. She may not still look like 18, but nothing changed. Her style of music is still the same, but improves in a more mature way. Those catchy, groovy drum beats. Those haunting twinkling piano melodies. Those introspective, creative lyrics. Her dark, signature voice singing about broken relationships. Those amazingly off-beat tunes. This is a tough listen, but that’s a good thing indeed. You may need some time to really feel for a song, but that’s the way it is when you listen to Fiona Apple. It’s nice every now and then to see a comeback of one of the established artist who doesn’t follow the mass to write top 40 songs, but always has their own way of alluring fans. Fiona Apple is one of them, and if you’re new to this lady, be sure to check out her old hits as well, because she’s really one extraordinary machine.

Rating: 3,5/5 stars
Trackworthy: O’ Sailor, Extraordinary Machine, Parting Gift, Tymps (The Sick In The Head Song), Window, Waltz (Better Than Fine). If you like these ones, then don’t miss the rest of the album.

Franz Ferdinand/ You Could Have It So Much Better

One of the greatest breakthrough acts of 2004 doesn’t want to let their fans wait for so long for a new album. So here they arrive with their second release. Still the good old’ Scottish rockers with their loud and proud sound of old school glamorous rock, guarantted to keep your feet stomping. This is such a feel-good party album, that kind of album you turn on in your party and then drink some beer, unabashedly dance while talking to your friends. The tunes are not strong enough to get stuck in your head for a few weeks but they’re for sure catchy enough to rock you up every time you hear them. Full of loud, blistering guitars and sing-along choruses, however, Franz Ferdinand also found a new way to calm you down with 3 bittersweet mellow songs ‘Walk Away’, ‘Eleanor Put Your Boots On’ and ‘Fade Together’. Managing to make cool, fun indie-rock music so effortlessly, Franz Ferdinand may never, and should never reach a too popular audience, but still keep their indie fan base rocking happy.

Rating: 3,25/5 stars
Trackworthy: Do You Want To, Walk Away, You're The Reason I'm Leaving, Eleanor Put Your Boots On, What You Meant, Fade Together, I'm Your Villain.

Coming Up: Reviews for new cds of Shakira, Lindsay Lohan, Diana Krall, The Strokes, and plus my own predictions for Grammy 2006. Stay tuned. Don’t forget to comment and don’t be afraid to click on the ads. They won’t do you any harm. :)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Lyrics,Download and Flashback of this week!

Okay, for this week, I'm gonna post the lyrics of this classic rock song 'Creep' by Radiohead. I've been feeling for it recently, so here we go.

Creep
Radiohead

When you were here before, couldn't look you in the eye
You're just like an angel, your skin makes me cry
You float like a featherIn a beautiful world
I wish I was special
You're so f**kin' special

But I'm a creep, I'm a weirdo
What the hell am I doin here?
I don't belong here

I don't care if it hurts, I wanna have control
I want a perfect body, I want a perfect soul
I want you to notice, when I'm not around
You're so f**kin' special
I wish I was special

But I'm a creep, I'm a weirdo
What the hell am I doin here?
I don't belong here, ohhhh, ohhhh

She's running out again...She's running out, she runs, runs, runs, runs... runs...
Whatever makes you happy

Whatever you want
You're so f**kin' special
I wish I was special

But I'm a creep, I'm a weirdo
What the hell am I doin here?
I don't belong hereI don't belong here.

Download This!

Shakira/ Don't Bother

Hot song, she really sings her heart out for this one and the pop rock tunes are simply infectious. A real nice breakup song that's definitely worth checking out.

Flashback

Jimmy Eat World/ The Middle

Back in 2001, this rock song came out and was overplayed by radio stations all over the world. If you haven't heard it, give it a try, you'll find yourself nodding your head at the first listen, if you have heard it before, listen to it once more. It just takes some time...:)

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Alanis Morissette and Santana cd reviews!

Alanis Morissette/ The Collection

Finally, her greatest hits album. Wait a minute, it's not your usual 'Best Of' album, it's got tracks included in movie soundtracks too, even some of her previous singles were left out . So it's supposed to contain all the best from Alanis, right? It should be a kickass record where every track is a wonderful listen, huh? You've got it so wrong. Half of the songs in this are not even close to that. Now that I realize that Alanis doesn't have much under her belt to be proud of after all these years. I know recently she's been tired, 'So-called Chaos' is crap, and the acoustic version of 'Jagged Little Pill' is just a poor cash-in. But now even her greatest hits album is not great, either. Sure there are some truly fantastic,classic songs like 'Thank U' or 'Ironic', but the others are just so average. She tried to showcase a different her this time, so in the non-single tracks, we've got her to sing a new electro-rock song 'Crazy', a jazzy number 'Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love)', which is pretty good, and an opera-like 'Mercy'! It's a shame her great vocals, which can release so much anger and emotion, can't accompany with decent tunes. She was considered one of the best female rockers of the nineties, but I just don't get it. The only thing that's gonna make this album sell real well is putting the uncensored version of 'Thank U' music video for the extras ;-). It's been a long road, Alanis, you have a more than ten years career to achieve this 'much' and now dating Ryan Reynolds, isn't it ironic? Don't cha think?

Rating:2,5/5 stars
Trackworthy: Thank U, 8 Easy Steps, Crazy, Ironic, You Oughta Know, That I Would Be Good, Hands Clean, Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love) (From The De-Lovely Soundtrack).

Santana/ All That I Am

Okay, this trend is getting old. More collaborations with big names, almost all of the stars in the music map are here, Santana's got Joss Stone, Sean Paul, Big Boi, Will.I.Am, Michelle Branch,Steven Styler…the list goes on, to join him and help sing his tunes. And the guest list already proves the commercial value of the cd. However, the results are quite unimpressive. What the collaborations lack are inspiring, catchy tunes and brilliant guitar riffs, the guests did their job well enough but most of the collaborations seem to be a clash and mismatch. The Spanish tracks where he's on his own with his group are also a failure. There's just nothing much to enjoy and get you in the mood for rock n' roll. In the end, I don't find myself willing to click the 'Repeat' button, except for the true gem of the record-'I'm Feeling You' feat. Michelle Branch and The Wreckers. Again, the two of them get together in harmony, though not as great as in 'Game Of Love'. Overall, the latest effort from Santan seems to fall short show the sign that he's getting old.

Rating: 2,25/5 stars
Trackworthy: I'm Feeling You (Feat. Michelle Branch And The Wreckers), Just Feel Better (Feat. Steven Tyler Of Aerosmith), I Am Somebody (Feat. Will-I-Am Of Black Eyed Peas), Twisted (Feat. Anthony Hamilton), Cry Baby Cry (Feat. Joss Stone And Sean Paul).

Do you agree or disagree with my reviews, or just have something to say? Feel free to comment.