I haven't done this in almost two months. Here's some of what I'm listening to these days...
That's Not My Name - The Ting Tings. The Ting Tings just put out their second single, "That's Not My Name" in advance of next week's release of their debut album, We Started Nothing. It's more upbeat than "Great DJ" and more radio friendly. Expect this to be a big end-of-spring hit--and this week's surprise #1 on the UK singles chart. Check out the video above.
Warwick Avenue - Duffy. Following "Mercy" isn't an easy task, but "Warwick Avenue" was absolutely the best choice. I love this song, another highlight from Rockferry. It's a lovely ballad with a soaring, string-backed chorus. And it mentions the tube station near my flat when I lived in London, so I have to love it.
Violet Hill and Viva la Vida - Coldplay. Coldplay offer up not one but two advance singles from their forthcoming album. "Violet Hill" is the official single, moody and dark, a little harsher even than we're used to hearing from Chris Martin & Co. "Viva la Vida" is more unusual for them, relying heavily on strings for its melody.
I Love to Move in Here - Moby. This is the second single from his latest Last Night, which is supposed to be more dancefloor and less moody trance like his last couple albums. I was interested in Last Night's first single, "Alice," but this song is pretty cool.
If I Never See Your Face Again - Maroon 5 Featuring Rihanna. The first track from Maroon 5's It Won't Be Soon Before Long gets an invigorating facelift--a bit of a remix plus the welcome addition of Rihanna, turning this into a worthy single. After the flagging performance of their last single, "Won't Leave Home Without You," this should give them another hit.
Take a Bow - Rihanna. Balladry has never been Rihanna's strong suit, but she is getting better. Compare this to "Unfaithful," for example, and she sounds much stronger now. It's a pretty straightforward piano ballad, tastefully restrained.
Daylight - Kelly Rowland featuring Travis McCoy of Gym Class Heroes. Credit Kelly Rowland for not giving up. After her second album pretty much flopped, she kept at it, first bringing in cousin Beyoncé's favorite remixers, the Freemasons, to reinvigorate "Work," then actually re-releasing her album with new tracks and remixes, including this breezy winner. Look for McCoy's great line: "I'll be back in 3 days like Paris's jail sentence."
One Day Like This - Elbow. This anthemic track is long--over 6 minutes--but features all the elements of a stadium sing-along, soaring music, big chorus repeating the same refrain, full orchestra, etc. Best track from their latest album.