Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Rhyme: "Delusional" - Simon Curtis

From Simon Curtis' debut album released on his own independent label in March of last year, "Delusional" showcases electronic elements prevalent on 8Bit Heart. The first verse gives the impression that the song may focus on naysayers who write Curtis off as someone who won't make it in the music business:

Here's to all the people who've been trying to keep me down
Got their fingers in my collar trying to turn me all around
I find it so funny to hear how much they hate
Try to push me to the ground then say they love me to my face
Say what you mean and don't try to deceive me
I so want to believe it, yes I want to, yes I do
Say what you want and don't try to prolong it
If you want to so-long it, then I want you to, yes I do

This can be thought into the second verse where Curtis proclaims "Now I know you're gonna try to say I stole this verse from Tim'..." (though his voice is more reminiscent of Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys, his musical styling is more in line with Justin Timberlake's) but the rest of the verse suggests he's really referring to a lover who left him for someone else. Whether this lover is a man or a woman is up for debate, as there is speculation if the singer is gay. All that aside "Delusional" is a song that easily fits into the current atmosphere of music, which is why 8Bit Heart was downloaded 150,000 times since its release.

Picture credit:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Rhyme: "Moves Like Jagger" - Maroon 5 feat Christina Aguilera

The new single from Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera, "Moves Like Jagger" debuted today much to eager Xtina fans' delight. The song is infectiously catchy and relies heavily on it's funky disco-esque beat that is characteristic of some of Maroon 5's songs. Adam Levine's voice is smooth along side the notable guitar. (Which might echo Party In The USA from two summers ago). Aguilera supplies guest vocals on the bridge and announces her arrival on the track with her signature vocal stylings and gives the song a fresh feminine take. Though The Voice judges often bud heads on the show, they show great chemistry here. It's a tune that is sure to be something of a summer smash.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Rhyme: "Strawberry Wine" - Deana Carter

The debut single "Strawberry Wine", from country crooner Deana Carter, was released in 1996 from her debut album Did I Shave My Legs For This?. Before being recorded the year earlier, songwriter Matraca Berg shopped it around to labels but was shut down by companies who insisted the song was too long and controversial. Carter recorded the song and it became the most successful song of her career.

Listening to the song and viewing the lyrics, you get a sense of just how special the hometown is for the speaker (which is not necessarily Carter, since Berg wrote the song based on her experience growing up in Luck, Wisconsin). It's where she lost her innocence and first fell in love. Carter sings the song in a way that makes her fondness believable even though the fields become overgrown so many years later. The song has remained one of the most popular country tunes and was later covered in 2006 by country duo The Wreckers.

Strawberry Wine by Deana Carter on Grooveshark

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Riff: How Hip-Hop Wasn't My Thing

When I was younger, I never used to listen to Hip-Hop/Rap. You could say that I never grew up, but while most of my peers had moved on past the era of 2000s bubblegum pop, I stayed with it and continued listening to the genre and found myself listening to, and liking my local hits and top-40 radio stations. During this time period I even found myself moving into country music and liking it as well. I didn't think this was a bad thing until my peers started talking about artists I knew nothing about. Lil' Fizz--who is that? Hip-Hop and R&B were out of my realm. The only time I was exposed to R&B was in the car when my mom had it on those stations (that was when R&B was good. I still prefer '90s R&B over today's any day.)

Lil' Fizz, member of the boy band B2K, that split in 2004
When I would ask "Who is that?" I would get a flurry of "You don't know who____is?!" It made me feel embarrassed. Then when the conversation came to "Who is your favorite singer?" or "What kind of music do you listen to?" my answers would be criticized. Don't let me bring up the fact that i listened to country music, because as many people know, apparently country music is a forsaken genre. It just doesn't have the mass appeal that other genres do. But I did bring it up and that pretty much stopped the conversation. Unless there was a "Why do you like it? I can't relate to it." It's not about relating to it, I don't related to agriculture being my way of living either, nor do I relate to drug dealing and lusting after women. And since that had such a terrible reaction, I dare not tell them who my favorite singer is. (See my twitter and you will quickly find out who it is.)

A certain...Fatale

Recently, however I have liked Hip-Hop and R&B mostly due to me just being exposed to it more. Undoubtedly the best artist out right now is Eminem. simply because he is so refreshingly honest and raw at the same time, plus, there are not antics. Em just is. And now I like the Hip-Hop genre and R&B too. There is room for Pop and Hip-Hop both in my repertoire.

Image Credit: Randee St. Nicholas,

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Rhyme: "Turning Tables" - Adele

A song that makes you feel vulnerable is one of the best. "Turning Tables" by Adele is one of those songs. On her second studio effort, 21, Adele took inspiration from her past relationship which is how she wrote songs like this one. Because this song is so well written, her voice does all the explaining necessary, evoking emotion that can only be felt if you have experienced the lyrics. The way Adele sings the lyrics and the way the song is written make it an effective listen.

Turning Tables by Adele on Grooveshark

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Rhyme: "Since I've Been Loving You" - Led Zeppelin

Valentine's Day is here and what better way to celebrate than with a love song!

From the album, III, released in October of 1970, "Since I've Been Loving You" is a blues-rock song about a man in love. Thought it may seem so on the surface, this song isn't just any typical love song. Basically a guy is so in love with his woman, but since they have fallen for each other she's driven him crazy. Listening to the track you can definitely feel the sanity leaving Robert Plant's body. He's worried that his lover hasn't been treating him well--at least that's what everybody is trying to tell him.

This is a popular song of the band's and has been covered by British singer-songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae albeit in a modified slower, more relaxed version. The classic can be found below.

Image credit: Atlantic Records

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Rhyme: "There Is No Arizona" - Jamie O'Neal

Released in 2000 with the singer's debut album Shiver, Jamie O' Neal's "There Is No Arizona" remains one of her most popular tracks to date. I first heard this song probably a year after it was released when my grandpa started listening to country radio in the car. After that, I would watch GAC and see the video. Ever since then, I have loved the song. I came across it again recently and bought it from iTunes and upon listening to it again, I've truly understood what it is about.

The gist of the story is that a guy promises to take his girlfriend to Arizona where they'll live out the rest of their lives together and all their dreams will come true. As it turns out, he goes there without her leaving her waiting for him until one day, it dawns on her that he isn't coming back. The reason why this song is so poignant is because of the way the writers decided to relay the fact that a guy had promised his girl these dreams and now they were never going to be realized. They simply say that the hopes will never be true because Arizona doesn't exist. O'Neal does a great job of conveying the emotion evicted in the song. I feel it every time.

Image Credit: Mercury Nashville

Monday, January 31, 2011

Music Video: F**kin' Perfect - P!nk

The latest single from P!nk's first greatest hits compilation, Greatest Hits...So Far!!!, is one of those songs that is meant to let listeners know that they are just right the way they are. It's a cliche topic that has been written about numerous times but with P!nk, an artist known for sticking up for the underdogs (see her last smash "Raise Your Glass" ), you get the feeling that she is being genuine. In fact P!nk says in a message on her website how important the meaning of this video and song is:

"Making this video was a very emotional experience for me, as was writing this song. I have a life inside of me, and I want her or him to know that I will accept him or her with open and loving and welcoming arms."

The video displays a chilling image of a cutting; even I, who isn't usually move by such a thing since I see it shown in the media and on television so often, was put a little off center by the image. The message of the video is clear by the end of the clip: you are perfect to those who love you.

Check out the video below. What's your reaction to the chilling scenes?