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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Rhyme: "Voodoo" - Alexz Johnson

Many know Alexz Johnson from the hit TV shows Instant Star and So Weird but Johnson's true passion is singing and that she does well on her debut disc. The title track, "Voodoo", is essentially about Johnson wondering what mystical or emotional power has her falling for her guy. If you're listening to the song thinking it'll sound like a tune from Jude Harrison (Johnson's Instant Star character) then you may be disappointed. Many site the song and the LP as a huge departure from the singer's TV show songs and I have to agree.

I came upon "Voodoo" when I was on the Internet one day and thought, "I wonder what ever happened to that album Alexz Johnson was supposed to be recording." I went to her official site, clicked on "Voodoo" and immediately loved the song. After streaming the album on alexzjohnson.com I downloaded the album from iTunes and have been playing the LP practically non-stop. Check out the title track below.



Picture Credit: Wikipedia

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Rhyme: "Red" - Daniel Merriweather

Released on Colombia records, "Red" is actually Daniel Merriweather's second single from his sophomore album, Love & War. The song debuted on the UK Singles Chart at number 5, Merriweather's second top 10 single. The singer says "Red is a song "about the blindness of war and the absence of compassion displayed by western administrations."

Currently featured as a Vh1 "You Oughta Know" artist, his song has been playing quite often on Jump Start in the morning. It was there that I first heard the song and liked it ever since. I'd describe Daniel Merriweather as a male version of British songstress Adele. If you like her song, "Chasing Pavements" you'll probably like this song too. Check it out below!



Source: Wikipedia

A Riff: Disney Soundtrack Songs

What child born in the late 20th century hasn't heard these classic Disney soundtrack songs? These are the songs many children have grown up with, ones that any one person can start singing and another could finish. From "A Whole New World" to "Hakkuna Matata", Disney songs take you back into the past and make you feel like a kid again.

Take a trip down memory lane with the playlist below:


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Rhyme: "Eveyone's At It" - Lily Allen

A departure from her previous work on her 2006 debut album, Alright, Still, Lily Allen's latest effort features electro-pop songs that are similar to the trend in pop music this year. The song "Eveyone's At It" details people's use of prescription drugs ranging from "grown politicians to young adolescents". A striking line in the song to me is this one: "So your daughter's depressed well get her straight on the Prozac/But little do you know she already takes crack"

Many people around the globe abuse drugs. And prescription drugs are more easily obtained than many realize. King of Rock 'n' Roll Elvis Presley faked symptoms of various illnesses in order to obtain prescription drugs to help him during his concerts in the 1970s. He even bought a book that listed prescription drugs and their symptoms. Collage students take pills like Adderall, a drug used to treat ADD/ADHD to help them pull all-nighters. It is truly disheartening to think that young adults and teens would resort to such things. Would you take prescription medication if it helped your studies? Listen to the song on below and tell me what you think.




Source: lilyallenmusic.com, CBS.com

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Music Video: Dan Black featuring Kid Cudi - "Symphonies"

This video actually contains the remix of British singer Dan Black's song "Symphonies" from his debut album ((UN)). The clip features various "movies" of the singer and rapper Kid Cudi which range from French films to Sci-Fi flicks to Westerns. It's different to most music videos out there right now, which makes it very appealing to me. I love the song too, which echos Rihanna's 2007 hit "Umbrella" (a song that Dan Black made a mashup of with legendary rapper Biggie's "Hypnotize")

The video is below. Comment and tell me what you think!








Source: Wikipedia, MTV.com

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Music Video: "Icky Thump" - The White Stripes

The first single released from the album of the same name, "Icky Thump" is a socially conscious song about immigration. It criticises the current American immigration policy, which also makes it the first politically charged song the band has put out since "The Big Three Killed My Baby" from their self-titled debut album. Probably the most important lyrics in the song can be found towards the end of the song. I think these lyrics portray the true meaning of the song and quite possibly exactly how lead singer (and co-writer of the song) Jack White feels about immigration policy in America.



"White Americans
What? Nothin' better to do?
Why don't you kick yourself out
You're an immigrant too.

Who's using who?
What should we do?
Well you can't be a pimp
And a prostitute too."


Watch the video for "Icky Thump" below.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Rhyme: "Make You Feel My Love" - Adele

On her debut album, 19, Adele covers the 1997 Bob Dylan song, "Make You Feel My Love". It was released as the fifth single from the album on November 3, 2008. After Adele performed the song on Comic-Relief it re-entered the UK iTunes top 100 songs at number 42 . This is a popular cover song, as Billy Joel covered the track for his greatest hits album in 1997 and country singers Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood recorded a version for the Hope Floats soundtrack in 1998.

I like this song because, like most of the songs on Adele's album, it focuses on her voice. The songs on her album are stripped down with little instrumentation. Adele brilliantly sings on the record (probably because most of the songs on her album are about a breakup or falling for the wrong guy) but then again, anyone can out sing Bob Dylan.



Source: Wikipedia
Picture Credit: Wikipedia

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Music Video: "Someday" - Nickelback

The Canadian post-grunge band Nickelback followed up their 2001 album, Silver Side Up with 2003's The Long Road. The album's lead single was "Someday" which reached number 7 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. It details the break up of a couple and a man's wanting to repair the relationship instead of just throwing in the towel.

I first saw the music video on Vh1's Top 20 Video Countdown in 2003. It's pretty literal in terms of the concept and how it explains the video. But the true plot slowly unravels starting at the end of the first chorus. It's a good video and while it may come off a little cliché (like the song's lyrics) everything works well together. The most important thing is the ending and it's anything but a music video cliché. It leaves you wondering about what happened. Check it out below or listen to the song at the right. (It's track 2!)





Picture Credit: Wikipedia
Source: Wikipedia, MTV.com

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Rhyme: "Do You Realize??" - The Flaming Lips

"Do You Realize??" is the first single from The Flaming Lips' 2002 album Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. Coyne revealed during an interview that while recording the album Steven Drozd was trying to rid himself of a heroin addiction. During breaks from recording the album, he would have a hard time with his withdrawals. Coyne, listening to Drozd cry and thinking about his own late father, he wrote "Do You Realize??", a song often considered one of the bands' most popular songs.

The song has been used in many commercials including a 2002 Hewlett-Packard commercial and a 2007 Land Rover commercial. It has also been used in commercials for Vh1--which is where I first heard the song. What I like about "Do You Realize??" is the bass and the bells. The use of those elements evokes a majestic feeling, a light feeling. This is the kind of song that just makes you happy and gives you hope. Check out the song below!




Picture credit: Wikipedia

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Rhyme: "Hanging On Too Long" – Duffy

Duffy's debut album, Rockferry was released on March 3, 2008. The album won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album at the 51 Grammy Awards in February. Rockferry was ranked number 30 on Rolling Stone magazine's Best Albums of 2008. "Hanging On Too Long" is the 6th track on the record and was written by Duffy, Jimmy Hogarth, and Eg White.

I have to admit, when I first heard Duffy and her debut single "Mercy", I didn't see what all the hype was about. But when my favorite singer Britney Spears mentioned that she likes her in an interview, I decided I'd giver her album a listen. To my delight, I thoroughly enjoyed the album. On of the tracks that immediately became my favorite was "Hanging On Too Long". I've always wanted to hear a song that went the way that song goes--the melody, the rhythm, everything. That song is one of my favorites ever. Listen to the song below!



Picture source: Wikipedia


Sunday, February 28, 2010

"Rude Boy" (Music Video) - Rihanna

I first saw this video on Vh1's Top 20 Video Countdown. I'm not the biggest Rihanna fan but when I saw this video, directed by Melina, I couldn't help but watch. The flamboyant colors immediately capture you along with the extremely catchy hook. Whenever Rihanna says "want, want, want" or "boom, boom, boom" The words pop out in that pattern behind her. The video is clearly influnced by pop art.




The song itself has old school Rihanna written all over it, taking influence from her Bajan roots in Barbados. And the flashy colors assist the songs island flare; Rihanna even looks like her pre- Good Girl Gone Bad self when she dons a long brown wig for some of the video, but she still keeps it like her current self with the golden spiked leotard. And don't be fooled by the song's bright presence; this is the third single from RiRi's Rated R album and it's a little naughty. Lyrics like "I like the way you touch me there/I like the way you pull my hair/Baby, if I don't feel it/I ain’t faking, no no" are matched by Rihanna's suggestive moves on a lion and her coy winking after the verse.



I really enjoyed this video! Watch it below, and tell me your thoughts in the comments. :)













Credit: Ultimate-Rihanna, MTV.com





Saturday, February 20, 2010

Extra: Britney Spears - "You Oughta Know" (Live)

During the second American leg of her tour, The Circus: Starring Britney Spears, Britney performed a cover of the Alanis Morisette song "You Oughta Know" in Greensboro, North Carolina. Since this song was not originally in the set, it surprised the crowed--in a good way! Britney stood at a blinged-out microphone stand and rocked out the song. What was most surprising about the performance was that Spears was actually singing live! That's right, Britney Spears was singing with her own voice with no lipsynching!


And while Britney didn't sound perfect, she sounded good. What pleased fans the most was that she took the time to sing with her own voice and not mime. She sang the song a few more times during the American leg of the tour, but then put the song to rest. This was the only song she snag completely live during her tour, pleasing her fans all over.

Check out the video below.



Source: YouTube, BritneySpearsBlackout.com

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Riff: Kelly Clarkson & P!nk

P!nk and Kelly Clarkson are two of my favorite artists.

I first really got into P!nk when I heard her song "Just Like A Pill" (posted about here). To this day that is one of my favorite songs of her's. Other songs of P!nk's that are my favorites are "Eventually", "One Foot Wrong", "I Don't Believe You" & "Mean". She'll definitely be posted on more on the blog.




Kelly Clarkson has been posted about on this blog more often than other artists. While I didn't see her on American Idol , I own her first album and have bought all of her records since. My favorite songs of Kelly's include, "Don't Let Me Stop You", "Maybe", "Impossible", and "Don't Waist Your Time". Kelly is due to release a new album later this year.


Monday, February 8, 2010

A Rhyme: "Put a Diamond In It" - Semi Precious Weapons

Semi Precious Weapons is a glam rock group from New York City that was formed in 2004. Most recently, they've been spotted on Lady Gaga's The Monster Ball tour as an opening act. "Put a Diamond in It" is from the Semi Precious Weapons EP.

Front man Justin Tranter is an openly gay man but carries himself androgynously. When I saw the band at Lady Gaga's concert in December, he looked like a woman. I thought he was a transgendered woman at first but then I realized that he was a gay man in drag. When the band performed, one of the songs I immediately liked was "Put a Diamond in It". It's just one of those songs that get you on your feet and make you want to "rock out". Check out the band performing the song below.



Source: Wikipedia
Picture Credit: Interscope

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Rhyme: "Electric Feel"- MGMT


This is the second single from MGMT's debut album, Oracular Sepctacular . The song was released in June of 2008 and was NME's #5 Best Single of 2008. French electronic duo Justice remixed the track and won a Grammy award for Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical in 2009. The song was featured in season 2 of the CW's Gossip Girl.

I first heard this song in the video game, Midnight Club Los Angeles and I've liked it ever sense. This is just one of those songs that put you in a great mood and makes you feel like dancing no matter where you are. I've only heard a clip of the album version, but the one featured in the video game, the Justice remix, is my favorite. Justice remixed Britney Spears' 2003 single "Me Against the Music" featuring Madonna and it's one of the best remixes of that song I've heard so there's no surprise why I like their version of "Electric Feel".

Picture credit: Amazon
Source: Wikipedia

Monday, January 25, 2010

Music Video: "Every Other Weekend" - Reba McEntire & Kenny Chesney

The third and final single from Reba McEntire's 2007 album Reba: Duets features country heartthrob Kenny Chesney. The two alternate verses taking the roles of a divorced couple who share custody of their two children and drop them off "every other weekend". The song details how the parents secretly desire to be together again--but they won't tell the other how they feel, fearing they won't feel same way.

"Evey Other Weekend"'s video features Joanna García and Steve Howey from McEntire's sitcom Reba which ran from 2001 to 2007. Reba appears in the video but her duet partner, Kenny, doesn't.

As a viewer of the sitcom, I was stunned to see that when the video came on TV's Van and Cheyenne was a divorced couple. How could Reba's cutest couple be divorced with all they've been through since the shows premiere?

The video for "Every Other Weekend" can be seen below.




Source: MTV.com, wikipedia

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Rhyme: "Irvinie" - Kelly Clarkson

The song "Irvine" seems to be about a person who is struggling with depression and has attempted to commit suicide--a near death experience which causes them to see an angel. In the song they ask for help, saying they have been lonely all their lives. They beg for the angel to stay with them until the "darkness leaves" and to just take them from their misery. The song clearly conveys the painfulness of the disease.

Depression is a serious condition that affects millions of people. I think Kelly Clarkson, who co-wrote the song with Aben Eubanks, does a brilliant job of showing another side of depressions and suicide that I have never heard communicated in a song. Listen to the words carefully as you play the song below.


Picture credit: Wikipedia

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