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.

December 29, 2009

Alicia Keys - Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart

Album: The Element Of Freedom

All of Alicia Keys album has debuted at #1 spot, except this one was intercepted by Susan Boyle, who continues to sell her albums weeks after its release. Alicia is riding high on the success of Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” where she was featured. She even included her version, “Empire State of Mind Part II” on this album. This single, “Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart” is not as strong as “No One” or “Fallin’” but is slowly climbing up the charts.

Animal Collective - My Girls

Album: Merriweather Post Pavilion

Animal Collective is a band from Baltimore. Their 8th album, Merriweather Post Pavilion, was placed on numerous magazines’ best album of the year. They sound a bit like MGMT, except less accessible. It’s a decent song, but I was more mesmerized by their album cover. Take a look at one corner of the album and move your eye to the other corner. This cover art is based on Akiyoshi Kitaoka, a famous psychologist from Japan who specializes in visual perception. Check out his rotating snakes. It’s amazing!

The Big Pink - Dominos

Album: A Brief History Of Love

I’ve selected several songs this month that were placed on “best of 2009” list, and by far this was my favorite. It’s catchy and unique at the same time. A lot of the other ones were unique, but not catchy enough for me. I had never heard of them, but they are from London, England, and this is their debut album.

Dirty Projectors - Stillness Is the Move

Album: Bitte Orca

This song was placed on many music publication’s top 20 songs of the year (#2 on Pitchfork, #7 on Rolling Stone). Really?! Sure, it sounds different and unique, but I find the song to be particularly annoying. Maybe my ears are too used to pop music, but if a lot of music critics agree, there must be people that enjoy this music. I thought I would put it on here to see if anyone else would dig it or dislike this choice.

Girls - Lust For Life

Album: Album

This song was also placed high on numerous “best of 2009”. Despite their band name, there are no girls in the band. I didn’t mind the music so much, but the voice sounded like something from South Park. Now, that’s not necessary a bad thing as that show has put out some brilliant songs (didn’t creators win a Grammy one year?)

Gucci Mane - Wasted /ft. Plies

Album: The State vs Radric Davis

I had heard of Gucci Mane before, but I had never really paid much attention to him until he was placed #6 on MTV’s Hottest MC’s In The Game list (following Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Drake, Kanye, Rick Ross). After listening to a few of his songs, I have to say that he does have unique voice and flow. Earlier this month, Gucci Mane released his second studio album titled, The State vs Radric Davis. The lead off single, “Wasted” has gotten solid airplay on hiphop stations and MTV.

Iyaz - Replay

Album: Replay (Single)

Iyaz is a brand new artist that sounds like a mix of Sean Kingston and Akon. His first single has been getting a lot of airplays on the radio in the US and has been sitting on top 10 of the Billboard single chart for several weeks now. Iyaz is from the Caribbean country of British Virgin Islands, and was actually discovered by Sean Kingston after finding his MySpace page. There is also a remix of this song featuring the rapper, Flo-Rida.

Kesha - Tik Tok

Album: Animal

Kesha writes her name as “Ke$ha” with a dollar sign. She first hit the music scene when she was featured on Flo-Rida’s #1 hit song, “Right Round” (she’s the one that screams, “You spin me….”). Kesha’s debut album will be released next month, but her lead off single, “Tik Tok” already hit #1 on the Billboard single chart, which follows Lady GaGa’s footstep for having a #1 single debut song. It does get people excited on the dance floor.

Puddle Of Mudd - Spaceship

Album: Volume 4: Songs In The Key Of Love & Hate

I heard this song played multiple of times while vacationing in Florida this Christmas. This is the Kansas City band’s fourth album (hence Volume 4), and “Spaceship” is the lead off single. It is about partying on UFO with stripper aliens, apparently. It’s not as fun as “She Hates Me” but it’s up there.

U2 - Moment Of Surrender

Album: No Line On The Horizon

Rolling Stone magazine placed this song as the best song of 2009. It was also placed on best songs of the decade list at #36 (the list was topped by Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy”). I hadn’t heard of this song from U2’s latest album, so I had to give it a shot. It’s over 7 minutes long. I didn’t think much of it at first, but after a few listen, I found myself diving into their sound more.

December 15, 2009

30 Seconds To Mars - Kings And Queens

Album: This Is War

Lead singer, Jared Leto is now in his late 30s. He has successfully changed his image from the “actor that used to be on My So Called Life” to “emo band guy with eyeliner.” Many actors have tried to have a successful career, but have failed, and you need to give Leto credit where it’s due. 30 Seconds To Mars’ last album, A Beautiful Lie, has sold over a million album. Four years (and some lawsuits later) they are back with their third album, This Is War. The lead off single, “Kings And Queens” is climbing up the rock chart.

Adam Lambert - For Your Entertainment

Album: For Your Entertainment

Adam Lambert was the second place finisher during this year’s American Idol. He made headlines last month by locking lips with a male keyboardist on live broadcast of American Music Award. I didn’t watch it, but apparently it was raunchy enough to have the ABC network cancel his appearance on the morning and late night talk show. But last week, he was featured and interviewed on ABC’s Barbara Walter’s 10 Most Fascinating People of 2009. Also on the list were Lady GaGa, Sarah Palin, Michael Jackson’s three kids, and most fascinating went to Michelle Obama. Lambert got a lot of hot producers and musicians to write songs for him (though he co-wrote on several tracks). “Music Again”, written by The Darkness’ Justin Hawkins sounds just like one of The Darkness songs, and “Pick U Up” written by Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo sounds just like one of the Weezer songs, in a good way. “For Your Entertainment” is the first single off of the album, but has not reached top 40, despite all the publicity.

Black Eyed Peas - Meet Me Halfway

Album: The E.N.D. (The Energy Never Dies)

If one artist took over the airwave in 2009, it would be the Black Eyed Peas. Their two singles, “Boom Boom Pow” and “I Gotta Feeling” combined has spent more than half of the year on #1 position on the Billboard chart. The third single, which has Fergie in center of the attention is slowly climbing up the chart (currently sitting at #7), but so far hasn’t made the immediate impact like the two previous singles. Personally I’d like to see “Rock That Body” released as their next single.

The Bravery - Slow Poison

Album: Stir The Blood

When I first heard this latest single from the New York rock band, The Bravery, I thought it was a new single from The Killers. When I heard their last popular single, “Believe” I thought it was U2’s new single. With that said, The Bravery still seems to be searching for their own sound. For their new album, they worked with producer John Hill, who has worked with M.I.A. and Shakira for a unique collaboration. The result? It’s very 80s-ish synth rock. I do like this single and hope that they continue to find their sound.

Norah Jones - Chasing Pirates

Album: The Fall

It might a little hard to tell from this new single from jazz-pop superstar, Norah Jones, but she has traded her signature piano for a guitar on her new album. But overall, the music is still nice and mellow and her core audience should still enjoy her music. I personally liked the track, “Even Though” which was cowritten by Jesse Harris who wrote Jones’ biggest hit, “Don’t Know Why”.

OneRepublic - All The Right Moves

Album: Waking Up

OneRepublic lead singer, Ryan Tedder has been busy the last couple of years. His band, OneRepublic took off like a rocket, after their song, “Apologize” (4th most downloaded song of the decade at 4,439,000 sold) appeared on Timbaland’s album. Since then Tedder has been asked to pen songs for other artists such as Leona Lewis (“Happy”), Kelly Clarkson (“Already Gone”), Jordin Sparks (“Battlefield”) and Beyonce (“Halo”). As a band, Tedder’s OneRepublic just released their second album titled Waking Up. So far the new songs hasn’t had similar success as “Apologize” but I get this “All The Right Moves” track stuck in my head.

Orianthi - According To You

Album: Believe

If you watched Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” documentary, you may have seen this blonde haired girl playing guitar next to Michael. Unfortunately, she never got to go on that tour, but she was able to release her major studio debut album, Believe. Her music sounds like a mixture of Pink and Kelly Clarkson, and she looks like a typical popstar wannabe, but her guitar playing ability is unbelievable. “According to You” is already a top 10 hit in her native country of Australia, and it is slowly gaining popularity in the US.

Rise Against - Savior

Album: Appeal To Reason

Rise Against’s fifth album, Appeal To Reason has been out for more than a year, and their latest single has been out for a few months as well, but I recently heard it for the first time on the radio. I’ve never owned any of their albums (just singles), but I’ve always been impressed with their songs. It’s a great solid rock song.

Snoop Dogg - Gangsta Luv /ft. The Dream

Album: Malice N Wonderland

Malice N Wonderland is West coast rapper, Snoop Dogg’s 10th album. For a rapper to release 10 albums, and all of them making Gold status, that is an impressive feat. To promote his latest album, he even hosted WWE Raw several weeks ago. For this track, he works with The-Dream for another catchy Snoop single.

Timbaland - Morning After Dark /ft. Nelly Furtado & SoShy

Album: Timbaland Presents Shock Value II

After monstrous success of first Shock Value from two years ago, super producer, Timbaland is back with the second installment. Similar to last time, he experiments with some rock artists such as Chad Kroeger of Nickelback, The Fray and Daughtry. But overall, Timbaland goes more pop with this album by recruiting Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry. Of course, there are some hip-hop infused songs as well which features Drake or Brandy rapping. Nelly Furtado rocks on this particular track.