Tuesday, July 31, 2007
1 .... 2 .... Song 4 Mutya (Out of Control) - Mutya Buena & Groove Armada (1 week @ #1)
2 .... 1 .... Big Girls Don't Cry - Fergie (3 wks @ #1)
3 .... 5 .... When You're Gone - Avril Lavigne
4 .... 3 .... Umbrella - Rihanna Featuring Jay-Z (3 wks @ #1)
5 ... 12 ... Oh My God - Mark Ronson Featuring Lily Allen
6 ... 15 ... Hey There Delilah - Plain White T's
7 .... 6 .... Fluorescent Adolescent - Arctic Monkeys
8 .... 10 .... 4 in the Morning - Gwen Stefani
9 ... 11 ... Like This - Kelly Rowland Featuring Eve
10 .. 4 .... Never Again - Kelly Clarkson
Thursday, July 19, 2007
61. Robbie Williams - I've Been Expecting You (1998). Robbie's second album was another winner, and I liked that he played up the James Bond angle (captured by the "You Only Live Twice" sample on "Millennium") for the album photos. "She's the One" won the Brit Award for best single of 1999. His collaboration with Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys, "No Regrets," is really fantastic too. Essential track: Millennium
62. R.E.M (1994). - Monster. The Monster tour was the first rock concert I ever went to. I bought the most obnoxious lime green ("Violent Green" like the lyric) T-shirt. Essential track: What's the Frequency, Kenneth?
63. Chantal Kreviazuk - Colour Moving and Still (1999). I bought this album because the song "Eve" was featured on Dawson's Creek and I really liked it. Thankfully, the rest of the album turned out to be pretty good too. Doesn't she look like Evangeline Lilly? Must be a Canadian thing. Essential track: Blue
66. Erasure - Cowboy (1997). The '90s were weird for Erasure, as they did a couple of great albums and a couple of duds. This followed the overlong Erasure with a great set of fun dance songs. Essential track: Don't Say Your Love Is Killing Me
70. Weezer - Weezer (1994). Another staple of my senior year high school alternative phase. "Buddy Holly" was my favorite then, but now I prefer... Essential track: Undone (The Sweater Song)
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
- Friday Night Lights
- Grey's Anatomy
- The Sopranos
- Desperate Houswives
- The Office
- 30 Rock
- Ugly Betty
1 .... 1 .... Big Girls Don't Cry - Fergie (3 weeks @ #1)
2 .... 3 .... Song 4 Mutya (Out of Control) - Mutya Buena & Groove Armada
3 .... 2 .... Umbrella - Rihanna Featuring Jay-Z (3 wks @ #1)
4 .... 4 .... Never Again - Kelly Clarkson
5 ... 11 ... When You're Gone - Avril Lavigne
6 ... 14 ... Fluorescent Adolescent - Arctic Monkeys
7 .... 6 .... Soulmate - Natasha Bedingfield
8 .... 5 .... Icky Thump - The White Stripes
9 ... 10 ... Selfish Jean - Travis
10 .. 12 .. 4 in the Morning - Gwen Stefani
1. Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare. You can read my review of the album here. I gave it a 3.5. "Fluorescent Adolescent" is the current single, which I've actually grown to rather like, but overall this isn't setting the world on fire like their first album, so don't expect a repeat win.
2. Basquiat Strings - Basquiat Strings with Seb Rochford. Every year there's a really "out there" nominee, and this appears to be it. It's a non-conventional jazz quintet. I've listened to "Lonely Woman," "Double Dares," and "Junk." My first reaction was that while it's interesting, it's not particularly enjoyable; however, it grows on you, and I find it strangely intriguing. Creepy really--like something that would score some obnoxiously pretentious film. Actually, "Double Dares" gets better as you go, so maybe this isn't so bad.
3. Bat for Lashes - Fur and Gold. Bat for Lashes is the stage name for Natasha Khan, and this is her debut album. This sounds interesting. I like the drama of "What's a Girl to Do," and "Prescilla" sounds good too, as does "Tahiti," which includes piano. This might be worth getting.
4. Dizzie Rascal - Maths and English. Not my thing, but I kind of like "Pussyole (Old Skool)" just because it samples Rob Base's "It Takes Two."
5. Klaxons - Myths of the Near Future. Klaxons emerged early this year with "Golden Skans," which I thought was pretty good. They followed it with "Gravity's Rainbow," which was okay, and then a remake of the '90s dance hit "It's Not Over," which was just so-so, but a strange choice.
6. Maps - We Can Create. Again, it sounds like a band, but it's just one guy, James Chapman. He does electronica, and I'm not really into the nerdy boys do electronica thing (Junior Boys, Postal Service, Tiga--no thanks), but "It Will Find You" sounds like a haunting track.
7. New Young Pony Club - Fantastic Playroom. They get the award for most creative name. They've got a great '80s sound, sort of dance-ish. I like it. "The Get Go" and "Ice Cream" in particular sound like good songs.
8. Fionn Regan - The End of History. I typed this in as "Fiona Regan" until I saw his picture, and I thought "oops." This is the troubadour of the bunch. Just a guy and his guitar. He's Irish, but out of Ireland right now. Reminds me of the movie "Once." "Be Good or Be Gone" is a nice song. "Snowy Atlas Mountains" adds some cello for a haunting sound and "Black Water Child" is more upbeat. Nice.
9. Jamie T - Panic Prevention. His first top 10 single "Calm Down Dearest" was a good song, but I haven't heard anything from him since. "Sheila" is not bad. Doesn't set me on fire though.
10. The View - Hats Off to the Buskers. I have this album, but I haven't listened to it much; something I plan to quickly rectify. "Same Jeans" and "Superstar Tradesman" are great.
11. Amy Winehouse - Back to Black. This I absolutely adore--best album of the year. Read my review. Vote with your wallet. I hope this wins.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
79. Spice Girls - Spice (1996). The late '90s and Spice Girls go together like grunge and coffeehouses. These girls were everywhere, especially in Britain, where they scored 6 consecutive #1 hits, sending a total of 10 singles into the top 10. Essential track: Wannabe
78. Hootie & the Blowfish - Cracked Rear View (1994). This album was a major phenomenon, selling 16 million copies. It became the blue print for late-90s mainstream rock. Essential track: Let Her Cry
77. Travis - The Man Who (1999). Before Coldplay there was Travis, who scored a major hit in Britain with their second album, The Man Who, which won a Brit Award in 2000 for album of the year. Essential track: Why Does it Always Rain on Me?
73. Everything But the Girl - Temperamental (1999). After going electronic with 1996's Walking Wounded, EBTG took another step away from their previous adult rock roots with this almost purely house dance album. Still sounds great a swanky parties. Essential track: Low Tide of the Night
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Thursday, July 12, 2007
1 .... 1 .... Big Girls Don't Cry - Fergie (2 weeks @ #1)
2 .... 2 .... Umbrella - Rihanna Featuring Jay-Z (3 wks @ #1)
3 .... 5 .... Song 4 Mutya - Mutya Buena & Groove Armada
4 .... 4 .... Never Again - Kelly Clarkson
5 .... 3 .... Icky Thump - The White Stripes
6 .... 9 .... Soulmate - Natasha Bedingfield
7 .... 7 .... Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors - The Editors
8 .... 6 .... Summer Love - Justin Timberlake
9 .... 8 .... People Help the People - Cherry Ghost
10 .. 15 .. Selfish Jean - Travis
Monday, July 09, 2007
89. Enya - Shepherd Moons (1991). New age queen Enya's third album, followed the massive success of her second album, sounding pretty much the same. Essential track: Book of Days
88. Pearl Jam - Ten (1991). This, along with Nirvana's Nevermind, launched the '90s most important musical movement: grunge. Coming as it did from Seattle (and the northwest generally), it was everywhere, particularly by senior year in high school, where at the end of the year we actually had a "prep to grunge" award for those who had made the best transition. Essential track: Jeremy
82. R.E.M. - Out of Time (1991). Uneven compared to their next album, but a worthy effort, if only because it gave the band their biggest hit ever. Essential track: Losing My Religion
Sunday, July 08, 2007
97. Babyface - For the Cool in You (1993). Babyface was one of the decade's hottest producers, although he never managed to turn his own songs into as big of hits. This was his best solo effort. Essential track: "When Can I See You"
96. Savage Garden (1997). The Australian duo caught fire in '97 with "I Want You," but had their bigest hit a year later in "Truly Madly Deeply," which stayed on the charts forever and became the definitive wedding song of the late '90s (under the band's next big hit, "I Knew I Loved You"). Cool at one point, but now strictly adult contemporary.
95. Wilson Phillips (1990). Wilson Phillips was the big breakout group of 1990. They scored three #1 hits with this album, including the biggest hit of the year, "Hold On." Success was fleeting though, and their follow-up album wasn't nearly as popular. Essential track: "Hold On"
93. Michael Jackson - HIStory (1995). His star was fading pretty quickly by this point, but the album portion of HIStory--a 2-disc set with a greatest hits disc and a new album--is still pretty good, despite its excesses (there's a whole song where all Michael does is rail against Don Sheldon, who I believe was a prosecutor in one of Jackson's molestation cases). Essential track: Stranger in Moscow
Saturday, July 07, 2007
If an artist's second album is that "difficult second album," then when that second album shatters all expectations, it makes the third one the real doozy. What's a girl to do? A certain blonde pop artist faced exactly this dilemma in the mid '80s, having arrived with a solid first album, who then followed it up with a phenomenally successful second album and career-defining hit single. I'm talking about Madonna, of course, and Like a Virgin, and while My December is no True Blue, Clarkson's third album does bear some strategic similarities to Madonna's third effort: it doesn't stray to far from the winning formula of Breakaway, although it stretches those boundaries and shows more maturity.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
1 .... 2 .... Big Girls Don't Cry - Fergie (1 week @ #1)
2 .... 1 .... Umbrella - Rihanna Featuring Jay-Z (3 wks @ #1)
3 .... 3 .... Icky Thump - The White Stripes
4 .... 6 .... Never Again - Kelly Clarkson
5 ... 10 ... Song 4 Mutya - Mutya Buena and Groove Armada
6 .... 4 .... Summer Love - Justin Timberlake
7 .... 8 .... Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors - The Editors
8 ... 15 ... People Help the People - Cherry Ghost
9 ... 13 ... Soulmate - Natasha Bedingfield
10 .. 5 .... Real Girl - Mutya Buena (2 wks @ #1)