About This Site

Each month I select 20 songs (10 songs twice a month) that I am either hooked on or am curious about. Most of the music I select are rock, hip-hop, R&B and pop songs.

My song selection comes from 20-30 CDs I get from various sources each month, as well as recommendations from iTunes and Amazon. I also check out the charts in US, UK and Japan.

August 28, 2007

50 Cent - Ayo Technology /ft. Justin Timberlake & Timbaland

Album: Curtis

50’s album release has been delayed because his first singles didn’t do too well. I got the “Straight To The Bank” single, but after a couple of listen, I was bored with it. After that he got superstar, Justin Timberlake and Timbaland to lend a hand, but the result is… this? It’s not a bad song, but it’s just when you have those three superstars collaborating, you expect something superstar quality. Something tells me I would be bored of this song after a couple of listen as well.

Amy Winehouse - Back To Black

Album: Back to Black

This is the title track and the third single off of Winehouse’s second album. This is much slower paced and darker sounding than “Rehab.” The opening piano has that cool eerie feeling similar to Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.” I would love to hear that mash-up.

Chevelle - I Get It

Album: Vena Sera

I didn’t know this, but Chevelle apparently started out as three brother band. The youngest brother (bassist) ended up leaving in 2005, and replaced by non related person. This is their second single from their fourth album, Vena Sera.

Daughtry - What I Want /ft. Slash

Album: Daughtry

This is by far the hardest rocking song on Daughtry’s debut album, and for that reason, it was only released to rock stations (as opposed to pop/rock stations). The main reason? Well, Slash is on the guitar, so naturally, it’s going to be a hard rock song. I think it’s better than his soft rock attempt, “Home.”

Evans Blue - The Pursuit

Album: The Pursuit Begins When This Portrayal Of Life Ends

They are a fairly new band (formed in 2005) from Ontario, Canada. This is their second album, and their first album also had a long title (The Melody and the Energetic Nature of Volume). I think they sound like Chevelle.

Foo Fighters - The Pretender

Album: Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace

Yes! Foo Fighters is back with this rocking song. Their sixth studio album should be released next month, which was produced by Gil Norton who previously worked on their mega-hit, The Colour and the Shape. This was one of those songs that at the first listen, I fell in love with. The classical-orchestra-ish touch makes this song even cooler.

Green Day - The Simpsons Theme

Album: The Simpsons Theme (Single)

The Simpsons always managed to have pop icons on their TV shows, and no doubt in their movie, they did so by getting Green Day to play the theme song in the movie. Though you don’t really get to hear any vocals from Billie Jo, you can clearly tell that this is Green Day (the “Hey! Hey! Hey!” kind of gives it away).

Junior Senior - Can I Get Get Get

Album: Hey Hey My My Yo Yo

They had a huge hit a couple of years ago with “Move Your Feet.” Now the Danish duo returns with a second album, Hey Hey My My Yo Yo. I wasn’t aware of this, but this album was released on summer of 2005 in Japan. Luckily it was also released here in the US this month (after two years!) It’s an addictive fun dance track that gets stuck in your head after a first listen.

Justin Timberlake - Lovestoned

Album: FutureSex/LoveSounds

I don’t know how many singles he plans to release out of his second album, FutureSex/LoveSounds, but this is fifth single, and it’s doing well on the charts. It’s produced by Timberlake and Timbaland. Something about this song sounds spooky.

Kanye West - Stronger

Album: Graduation

I have to give Kanye credit where it’s due. He is really trying to crossover hiphop into the new zone, and he definitely succeeds with this one. As a fan of both electronic music and hip-hop, this is a great track. I was worried about Kanye’s new album, since I wasn’t a huge fan of his first single, which focused more on his rapping than his slick production style, but after listening to this track, I have much higher hopes for his third album, Graduation. This music video has lots of random Japanese words displayed on the screen.

Korn - Evolution

Album: Untitled

Their 8th album (wow, I guess they’ve been around that long) does not really have a title, so people just refer to it as “Untitled.” It was weird to find out that this album was coproduced by The Matrix (famous for producing for Avril and Hilary Duff). I guess it’s a bit softer than their normal sound, which may be a reason why I selected this track since I normally don’t enjoy their music.

KT Tunstall - Hold On

Album: Drastic Fantastic

I’m glad to hear that the first single off of her second album, Drastic Fantastic, still sounds as good as the songs from her first album. This Scottish girl’s on my list of artists I want to see live as she is well known for using loop pedal on her shows. Check out some of her live performances on YouTube and you’ll see what I mean.

Maroon 5 - Wake Up Call

Album: It Won't Be Soon Before Long

To be honest, I wasn’t such a huge fan of their first single, “Makes Me Wonder” from their anticipated sophomore album, It Won’t Be Soon Before Long. But I love this second single, which was more rocking feeling to it.

Operator - Soulcrusher

Album: Soulcrusher

If you are a long time rock fan (ok maybe not that long, but 10-15 years), after a first listen, you would probably think that this song sounds like it belongs on Soundgarden’s Superunknown album. But it’s from a new group called Operator which is lead by former stunt actor and former guitarist from Puddle of Mudd.

Rihanna - Don't Stop The Music

Album: Good Girl Gone Bad

I really didn’t like her second single, “Shut Up And Drive” which tried to incorporate New Order’s “Blue Monday.” She might’ve had a success sampling another big 80s hit on “S.O.S.” This track samples Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Something” with “mama say mama sa mama koussa” in the background. It’s a great dance track, but I’m surprised that it’s only showing up on the dance chart and not on the pop chart.

UPDATE (2008-Feb): So it turns out that this was just recently released to the pop market, which is why it wasn’t on the chart or on the radio all this time. No wonder why I started hearing it a lot.

Rihanna - Umbrella [Duet Remix] / ft. Jay-Z & Chris Brown

Album: Umbrella (Single)

Yes, I know I already covered this song two months ago, but I really dig this remix (?) or the duet version Chris Brown did incorporating the word, “Cinderella” for “Umbrella.” I looked for a long time for this song to appear on iTunes or Rhapsody, but it never did, so I had to find it on the internet somewhere. I hear this version all the time on the local pop station now.

Robyn - With Every Heartbeat /ft. Kleerup

Album: Robyn

I haven’t heard of her name for about 10 years now since the days she had the double hits, “Show Me Love” and “Do You Know (What It Takes). When I was browsing through the iTunes UK, I saw her name, and was surprised and had to double check to see if it was the same Robyn. And it was. This is apparently the Swedish songstress’ fourth album, but her second and third were not released in the US. I’ve never heard of Kleerup before, and I tried to look him up, but couldn’t find much information. I’m assuming he’s some kind of DJ as the music incorporates a lot of electro beats.

Silverchair - Straight Lines

Album: Young Modern

Speaking of comeback, here is another name I haven’t heard in years and years. When I first heard of them in 1995, I think the lead singer was still only 15 years or something. Since then they have released three more album, which makes this one their 5th album, and the lead singer had married Natalie Imbruglia! (rumor has it that she’s working on her comeback album). This song sounds nothing like their grunge rock style hits from 12 years ago. I hear violin and synthesizers. I guess every musician needs to mature somehow.

Timbaland - Apologize /ft. OneRepublic

Album: Shock Value

When Timbaland’s album was released earlier this year and I was going through 30 second clips on iTunes, this song immediately caught my attention because a) it didn’t sound like a typical Timbaland hip-hop song and b) it sounded really good. Since then I’ve noticed that this song was always on the top 100 most downloaded list even though it wasn’t released as a song. And now it’s officially released as a single, it’s everywhere. OneRepublic is apparently a five-person band from Colorado lead by singer/songwriter Ryan Tedder. Hopefully their upcoming debut album will be as good as this track.

Yung Berg - Sexy Lady /ft. Junior

Album: Almost Famous (The Sexy Lady EP)

Yung Berg is only 20 years old and he has a hit with this song, featured on his Almost Famous EP (why EP and not full album, I’m not sure). Something about this song reminds me of R. Kelly and Jay-Z song, “Fiesta” from 2001.