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.

April 29, 2008

3 Doors Down - It's Not My Time

Album: 3 Doors Down

This is 3 Doors Down’s first single from their self titled fourth album. Their last album, Seventeen Days (2005) wasn’t a huge hit compared to their first two albums, which contained hits like, “Kryptonite” or “Here Without You” and “When I’m Gone”. Hopefully this will have better luck. Their new album also contains the song, “Citizen/Soldier” which was released in late 2007 as a tribute to the National Guard (some of you may have seen the music video during the movie theater’s upcoming releases).

Estelle - American Boy /ft. Kanye West

Album: Shine

This is currently the #1 song in the UK right now, and #1 album as well. Estelle is British R&B singer, but has been signed to American R&B singer, John Legend’s Homeschool Records. At first listen, I thought it wasn’t anything special, but after several listen, I started to get hooked. And Kanye raps about UK and even manages to squeeze in to rhyme to "rubbish".

Flight Of The Conchords - Think About It

Album: Flight Of The Conchords

I first caught them in the comedy room at Bumbershoot 2005, and fell in love with these guys. I wasn’t the only one, as Sub Pop (Seattle’s underground label, famous for signing Nirvana and Soundgarden) decided to sign them under their label after seeing them at Bumbershoot. Since then, they have managed to get their own show on HBO. Flight of the Conchords consists of two guys from New Zealand. One of them starred in Outback Steakhouse commercial in the US, and the other was in Lord of the Rings. They sing various genre of music from folk songs to hip-hop. If you ever have a chance to see them live, it’s definitely worth seeing them. Also check out their other great hits, Business Time and Hiphopopotamus vs. The Rhymenoceros.

Foxboro Hot Tubs - Mother Mary

Album: Stop Drop And Roll

Listen to this song, and who does it sound like? The obvious answer should be Green Day, and they have finally admitted that Foxboro Hot Tubs is their side project. Compared to Green Day, Foxboro Hot Tubs has more of 60s garage rock sound. This song in particular has the similar feel as The Fratellis (especially the opening riffs). Their songs were given out for free on their website earlier in the year, but now that they get ready for a full release, the free mp3s have been taken down. But if you are a Green Day fan, I would say it’s worth buying. Their album will be released on May 20th.

Gavin DeGraw - In Love With A Girl

Album: Gavin DeGraw

Gavin DeGraw had a big hit with “I Don’t Want To Be” in 2004, and he returns with a new album, which will be released in early May. Similar to his previous hit, this first single from his second album is also catchy, pop and upbeat. It has been climbing up on iTunes most downloaded list this month.

Ray J - Sexy Can I /ft. Yung Berg

Album: All I Feel

This song has been getting a lot of airplay on the R&B and Pop radio stations in the US. Gossip readers may know him as the guy in the sex tape with Kim Kardashian (who has her own reality show called Keeping Up with the Kardashians). I didn’t know this, but Ray J is Brandy’s younger brother. It’s an ok song, but I got tired of it after hearing it too many times on the radio.

Rick Ross - The Boss /ft. T-Pain

Album: Trilla

Rick Ross is a rapper from Miami, Florida. I’m not quite sure who he appeals to, but his album outsold both Snoop and Fat Joe's. Trilla is Ross' second album. Since his name rhymes with Boss, that’s his nickname, and that’s what this song is about. I thought the Miami sound would be more upbeat and club oriented, but I guess that’s more of dirty south music.

Saving Abel - Addicted

Album: Saving Abel

This is the song that landed on Virgin Record rep’s desk and what made Saving Abel sign to the label. And now it’s getting quite a bit of airplay on rock stations. The band is from Mississippi, and this is from their major debut album, Saving Abel.

Seether - Rise Above This

Album: Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces

I think this is the first time I review any band from Africa. Seether is a hard rock band from South Africa. They had a minor hit in 2004 with the song, “Broken”, featuring Amy Lee of Evanescence, and #1 rock hit with “Fake It” several months ago, which was the lead off single from their third album, Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces. “Rise Above This” is their second single, and it is currently #1 on the US Rock chart.

Weezer - Pork And Beans

Album: Weezer (Red Album)

Weezer front man released his solo album a few months ago (check out Lover in the Snow from January), and in June, Weezer will be releasing their 6th album, and the title will be, Weezer, just like two other ones (Blue and Green). This one will be known as the Red Album. I wasn’t a huge fan of their last album, including somewhat obnoxious popular single Beverly Hills, but this one goes back to their Pinkerton days. In the song they joke about possibility of working with Timbaland.

April 14, 2008

Blind Melon – Wishing Well

Album: For My Friends

Blind Melon is mostly known as the one hit wonder for their 1992 hit, “No Rain” (the music video featuring that girl in a bee costume is still engraved in my brain). The lead singer, Shannon Hoon died in 1995 from cocaine overdose, and the band disbanded, but a couple of years ago, they managed to find a replacement singer by the name of Travis Warren, who was a die hard Blind Melon fan and claimed that he could sing every song word for word. Of course there is going to be a comparison, but their singing style is quite similar. I don’t know if Warren is imitating Hoon’s vocal style or if that’s just how he sings. I can’t imagine that this song will be their “comeback” song but it’s a decent song for band that is reuniting after several years. Speaking of which, Stone Temple Pilots will be on tour this summer. That should be a good show to see.

Cherish – Killa /ft. Yung Joc

Album: The Truth

This song was released as a single last December and it has been slowly climbing the charts. Cherish had a big hit two years ago with “Do It To It” and they hope to repeat that success. Cherish is all female R&B group and they are actually all sisters (I can’t imagine raising four kids, let alone four girls… big props to her parents). Their album release date keeps getting pushed back, but at least the album cover image is finally released.

The Duke Spirit – The Step And The Walk

Album: Neptune

This UK rock band reminds me of Jefferson Airplane (“Somebody to Love”). It’s a cool song that would probably sound good at summer music festivals. On the music video, the lead singer, Liela Moss goes crazy on her tambourine.

Fall Out Boy – Beat It /ft. John Mayer

Album: Live in Phoenix

Earlier this month, Fall Out Boy released a live album with DVD which includes all the music videos from the past. It’s a live album, but somehow right smack in middle of the track list is this studio recorded cover version of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” Why there is a studio recording right in middle of the CD is beyond me, but it’s the only thing on the album, as, I hate to say it, the rest of the album sounds awful. I’ve enjoyed Fall Out Boy’s music and haven’t seen them live, but was never impressed with their live performances on TV. I wonder how diehard Fall Out Boy fans think of this awful sounding live album. Going back to this song, John Mayer is featured, but only as a guitarist, and he does a superb job. I think I like him when he doesn’t sing and just plays the guitar, like when he supported Alicia Key’s performance on the Grammy’s this year.

Mariah Carey – Touch My Body

Album: E=MC2

Mariah is now 38 years old, and she has surpassed Elvis in the most number of #1s on the singles chart. “Touch My Body” is her 18th #1 single, and now she is second only to the Beatles who have 20 #1s. Could Mariah release two more singles from her latest album, E=MC2 to reach #1 or would it take another album or two to break the Beatles record?

Petty Booka – Bla Bla Bla Cha Cha Cha

Album: Dancing With Petty Booka

Last month, I went to see a show called Japan Nite, where half a dozen Japanese Indies band performed at a small livehouse. I guess they toured across the States performing at various big cities. I’ve never heard of any of these bands before: Scandal, Detroit 7, The Beaches, The Emeralds and Petty Booka, but apparently Petty Booka is fairly famous in the underground (?) market. Petty Booka consists of two Japanese female singers and they both play the ukulele. When they sing, they sing in that cutesy Japanese girly voice that they almost sound like they belong in the movie The Chipmunks. But the concept is cute as they cover traditional American songs using ukuleles. I selected this song, but they don’t really sound like this on the other songs. Check out songs like, “Puka Puka Pants” or “Ukulele Lady” on iTunes or Amazon and you’ll know what I mean. They didn’t perform this song live, but I feel like I know this song from some movie. I want to say, the jazz singer performed this on Lost In Translation, but I don’t know if that’s it. Anyone know where it’s from? I also found out that the girls I saw at Japan Nite are the new third generation of Petty Booka (meaning completely different from the ones that recorded the album in the past)

The Raconteurs - Salute Your Solution

Album: Consolers Of The Lonely

In early March (last month) they announced that they are working on a new album, and a couple of weeks later, it was all of a sudden released not only on digital format but on CDs and vinyl as well without any promotion. Jack White commented that they wanted to record the songs and immediately have it available for the fans. How cool is that. This song is cool as band members Jack White and Brendan Benson alternate verses.

Snoop Dogg - Can't Say Goodbye [Live] /ft. Charlie Wilson

Album: American Idol Gives Back 2008

On April 9th, American Idol broadcasted “Idol Gives Back” a charity show where bunch of famous people such as Brad Pitt, Bono and a few WWE wrestlers and NFL’s Manning brothers came on urging viewers to donate money for the good cause. The show was 2.5 hours long and managed to raise over 20 million dollars. There were several performances on the show by big name artists like Annie Lennox, Gloria Estefan, Mariah Carey and actress Teri Hatcher covering Carrie Underwood’s song, and Underwood doing a song of her own. Everyone did sort of inspirational songs that suited the show, but Miley Cyrus did two of her pop songs that didn’t really seem to fit the “let’s donate money for the people in Africa theme.” And to add, she sounded terrible. And who would’ve thought to see Snoop rapping for charity? He brought Charlie Wilson with him to sing “Can’t Say Goodbye” which is also on his latest album, Ego Trippin’. A lot of rappers don’t sound that great live, but Snoop is always so smooth. All the live performances from the night are available on iTunes with all the proceeds going to charity. I decided to put my 99 cents for this song.

Switches – Drama Queen

Album: Lay Down The Law

Is it just me or does this song sound like ELO’s “Don’t Bring Me Down”? Either way, it’s catchy, fun, pop and British, just the way I like it. Their album was released in UK a year ago, but it is finally getting a US release. Their other song, “Lay Down the Law” was used in the film, Jumper (I never saw it though).

Your Vegas – In My Head

Album: A Town And Two Cities

I saw them perform live a couple of months ago. I think a lot of people had never heard of them until they opened up for The Bravery during the tour. They are British band, but they were signed in the States. The vocalist Coyle Girelli’s high pitch part reminds me of Bono.