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.

November 29, 2009

50 Cent - Baby By Me /ft. Ne-Yo

Album: Before I Self Destruct

50 Cent has been meaning to release his Before I Self Destruct album for close to a year now. There may be a lot of reason for the delay, but for an artist that has always sold more than 500,000 copies during the first week of sale, this fourth album is a disappointment, selling less than 160,000 copies. 50 calmly explained that it’s because his album leaked online weeks before the official release. That may have dented some number, but considering that he hasn’t had a top 10 single in several years, 50 Cent may not be as hot as he thinks he is anymore. Recently he began picking on Jay-Z to give himself more attention, but so far Jay-Z hasn’t fired back.

Bon Jovi - We Weren't Born To Follow

Album: The Circle

Local rock radio station was having a discussion about who was the biggest American rock band. Rolling Stones are British, U2 are Irish and Bruce Springsteen is more commonly known as a solo artist (even though he travels as a band). So that leaves Bon Jovi and Aerosmith. This discussion can get to the heated level, but give Bon Jovi where the credit is due. The Circle is their eleventh album, and they have been around for 25 years now. The lead off single, “We Weren’t Born to Follow” is nothing unique as it sounds like most of their other songs, but it is definitely Bon Jovi.

Florence + The Machine - You've Got The Love

Album: Lungs

Florence + The Machine is lead by singer, Florence Welch. This British indie band released their debut album, Lungs, in summer of 2009 and peaked at #2. She reminds me quite a bit of Sandi Thom (whatever happened to her?) and a bit of PJ Harvey and Jenny Lewis mixed together. A lot of her songs has harp instrument in it, which gives her music interesting sound.

Jay Sean - Do You Remember /ft. Sean Paul & Lil Jon

Album: All Or Nothing

Indian British R&B singer, Jay Sean had a big hit a couple of month ago with “Down” featuring Lil Wayne. With his US debut album being released, he is dropping his second single, “Do You Remember” featuring Sean Paul & Lil Jon. It has Lil Jon’s signature shouting, and Sean Paul’s incomprehensible verses. How could you not like this song?

Lady GaGa - Bad Romance

Album: The Fame Monster [Deluxe Edition]

Lady GaGa seems to be everywhere nowadays. And I seem to be selecting every single one of her singles so far. It’s not that I’m a huge fan, but when all of her songs are becoming global phenomenon, I feel like I need to pay some attention to her songs. With a huge success of her debut album, she is re-releasing it by adding 8 new songs. One of them, “Bad Romance” is already climbing up the chart.

Leona Lewis – Happy

Album: Echo

British pop star, Leona Lewis recently released her second album titled Echo. The lead off single, “Happy” is doing ok on the chart, but both the single and the album isn’t doing as well as her debut album, Spirit. “Happy” has been featured on the movie trailer of Precious, quite effectively, even though the track isn’t on the official soundtrack. “Happy” was produced by OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder (who also participated on her big hit, “Bleeding Love”).

Rihanna - Hard /ft. Young Jeezy

Album: Rated R

Despite the heavy promotion Rihanna had been doing for her fourth studio album, Rated R, by talking about her incident with Chris Brown from almost a year ago, the first week sale was not that impressive. Her first single, “Russian Roulette” did well upon its debut, but it is steadily climbing down on the chart. For the second single, Rihanna is releasing more hip-hop song, featuring Young Jeezy. It’s a pretty good track, produced by the team that brought us the monster hit, “Umbrella” but this one lacks the catchiness.

Shakira - Give It Up To Me /ft. Lil Wayne

Album: She Wolf

Shakira’s latest single, “Give It Up To Me” was produced by Timbaland, and initially it was to go on Timbaland’s album, but instead went to Shakira’s third English album. The music definitely has Timbaland signature on it. The track also features Lil Wayne.

Weezer - Can't Stop Partying /ft. Lil Wayne

Album: Raditude

A lot of the hardcore Weezer fans are upset with their new album, Raditude, complaining that they are not as clever anymore. I personally think they are as clever and fun as ever. For the seventh album, Rivers Cuomo collaborated with many artists, including hip-hop producer, Jermaine Dupri. Dupri admitted that he had been a Weezer fan ever since, “Buddy Holly” and after he had written this song called, “Can’t Stop Partying” he thought it would be perfect for Weezer. And the demo tape got passed around and landed on the latest Weezer album. To make it even more interesting, busy rapper, Lil Wayne is featured on the track.

Wyclef Jean - Slumdog Millionaire /ft. Cyndi Lauper

Album: From The Hut, To The Projects To The Mansion

Other than being featured on Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie”, we haven’t heard much from Wyclef Jean recently. He has released a couple of solo projects here and there this past decade, but nothing has rivaled the success of his former group, The Fugees. His latest release comes in form of a mix-tape, and it is actually quite good. On the track, “Warrior’s Anthem”, Wyclef explains to his new younger audience who he is, and makes a point of clarifying that he is not will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas. This track, featuring Cyndi Lauper is one of the slower tracks from the album, but Wyclef still shows that he is a good rapper.

November 12, 2009

Blake Lewis - Sad Song

Album: Heartbreak On Vinyl

Sixth season American Idol runner up, Blake Lewis was dropped from his label after a rather disappointing numbers the debut album, “ADD” has put out. After switching his label, Seattle native, Lewis switched music genre as well, and released his sophomore album, Heartbreak On Vinyl. The new album features more dance oriented songs. The first week sale was very disappointing (only selling 4000 on first week), but the lead off single, “Sad Song” is slowly catching on the Dance Chart.

Britney Spears - 3

Album: The Singles Collection

Britney is releasing another Greatest Hits album. In 2004, she released Greatest Hits: My Prerogative, and five years and two albums later, she supposedly has more hits for another collection. This time, there is only one new song added, and that is “3” which instantly became a #1 hit upon its single release. It’s a typical Britney catchy dance pop number.

Fall Out Boy - Alpha Dog

Album: Believers Never Die - Greatest Hits

It must be the holiday season because a lot of artists are releasing their “greatest hits” album. Come to think of it, four out of ten songs I’m reviewing this week are from greatest hits albums. After rocking the emo scene for eight years, and releasing five albums, Fall Out Boy treats their fans to “Believers Never Die – Greatest Hits.” The album will include two new songs, including “Alpha Dog.” I haven’t really followed them much, but I get a feeling that their popularity has been declining the past couple of years. I haven’t heard this song on the radio, or seen it on iTunes top 100 or on any of the Billboard charts. It is still a decent song though.

Flyleaf - Again

Album: Memento Mori

With Evanescence sort of out of action (and whatever happened to We Are the Fallen?), perhaps Flyleaf can step up a bit to take a lead on the female fronted screaming rock band. Flyleaf had a decent success with their debut album in 2006 with songs like, “I’m So Sick” and “All Around Me.” The new track from their sophomore album, “Again” was available for a free download from Amazon MP3.

Janet Jackson - Make Me

Album: Number Ones

Janet is also releasing greatest hits album titled, “Number Ones” which contains one new song, “Make Me.” This song became available a day after Janet performed a dance tribute for her brother, Michael, during MTV’s Video Music Award. This track is supposedly a tribute song to Michael’s “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” and it brings back the fun loving Janet, from the “All For You” days.

Pearl Jam - Just Breathe

Album: Backspacer

no sample
Ten years ago, Pearl Jam had a hit with “Last Kiss” which was a cover song, but showcased slow and sensitive side of Pearl Jam. The second single from their recent hot album, Backspacer, is another slow track, which Eddie Vedder described "as close to a love song as we've ever gotten." It is already climbing up on the rock chart, and this song may prove to be the one that crosses over to top 40 chart.

Rihanna - Russian Roulette

Album: Russian Roulette (Single)

A lot of people were not expecting Rihanna to come out with an album by end of the year, after she was physically abused by her then-boyfriend, Chris Brown. But the announcement was made, and she came out with this dramatic single. Most blogs talked about her provocative cover, but dismissed the song for being “not so catchy” or “too dark.” I personally thought it was one of her coolest singles. Yes it is dark. In fact it is dark enough that it would’ve made a great James Bond intro song.

Snow Patrol - Just Say Yes

Album: Up To Now

There are a few new songs added on Snow Patrol’s greatest hits package, and the first single is, “Just Say Yes.” The lead singer Gary Lightbody actually wrote this song for Gwen Stefani’s album, but it never got used. Then The Pussycat Doll’s Nicole Scherzinger recorded it for her solo debut album, but that album has been delayed numerous times and possibly may never see the light of day. And so the song came back to Snow Patrol, and they recorded it for their greatest hits album.

Them Crooked Vultures - New Fang

Album: Them Crooked Vultures

Them Crooked Vultures may be the most hyped and talked about band of 2009. This band consists of Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age, John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, and Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters (and Nirvana). Ever since the rumor of them playing together surfaced, music publications all over the world mentioned and monitored their project. After playing a few live shows, the three rockstars went into the studio to record their self titled debut album. From what I’ve heard so far, they sound amazing. It definitely doesn’t sound like anything else that’s out right now.

Wale - Pretty Girls /ft. Gucci Mane & Weensey of Backyard Band

Album: Attention: Deficit

I had been waiting for Wale’s album release for quite some time (it was delayed a couple of times). Wale is a MC from Washington DC, and has proven in the past couple of years that he’s capable of spitting great rhymes. What got me interested in him was that he signed to Mark Ronson’s label. On Wale’s debut album, he managed to recruit big name artists like Rihanna, Lady GaGa, Pharrell and Gucci Mane as featured guests. I really dig the beat of this song.