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.

March 31, 2010

B.o.B - Nothin' On You /ft. Bruno Mars

Album: B.o.B. Presents The Adventures of Bobby Ray

Here’s a catchy song by Atlanta rapper, B.o.B., who is signed to T.I.’s Grand Hustle label. Along with Asher Roth and Wale, he was featured as one of the promising rappers to emerge. His rapping reminds me a lot of early 90s rap style before the gangasta style began.

Flobots - White Flag Warrior /ft. Tim McIlrath of Rise Against

Album: Survival Story

Despite the huge success of their debut album, Fight With Tools, which featured, “Handlebars”, the follow up album, so far hasn’t found much success. It debuted at #44 on Billboard album chart. But that doesn’t mean much as it took them a while for their debut album to climb up the chart. The lead off single isn’t as catchy as “Handlebars” but has good rock edge to it, thanks to Rise Against front man, Tim McIlrath.

Gin Wigmore - Too Late For Lovers

Album: Holy Smoke

I first came across her when I heard her song “Under My Skin” being used on Air New Zealand’s safety video. Gin Wigmore is quite a star in her native country of New Zealand, and she is hoping to cross over in the States with her debut album, Holy Smoke. I love her unique voice with a blend of soul. This song is currently available for free mp3 download from Amazon MP3.

Jay-Z - Young Forever /ft. Mr. Hudson

Album: The Blueprint 3

Jay-Z’s latest Blueprint album keeps bringing hits after hits. Here’s another one that is probably going to hit top 10 on the charts. For this track, British singer, Mr. Hudson, who sounds a lot like young Sting, sings the hook. Mr. Hudson is signed to Kanye West’s label.

Michael Buble - Haven't Met You Yet

Album: Crazy Love

Canadian vocalist, Michael Buble got a huge mainstream rating after performing at Vancouver Olympic closing ceremony. Although Buble has been successful in adult contemporary charts for many years, “Haven’t Met You Yet” is his biggest success so far on the mainstream pop chart.

Slash - By The Sword /ft. Andrew Stockdale of Wolfmother

Album: Slash

While Slash and gang of former Guns N Roses still look for replacement for Velvet Revolver’s new lead singer (after Scott Weidland left to reunite Stone Temple Pilots), top hat wearing guitarist took to release his solo album, featuring a lot of famous lead singers ranging from Ozzy Osbourne, Fergie, Chris Cornell, Adam Levine of Maroon 5. I still haven’t heard the whole album yet, but I like the lead off single featuring Andrew Stockdale of Wolfmother.

Taio Cruz - Break Your Heart /ft. Ludacris

Album: Rokstarr

British singer-songwriter Taio Cruz have been mostly known as a songwriter for artists like Britney, Justin and Leona Lewis. But in 2008, he decided to release his own album (produced by himself). In late 2009, Taio Cruz released his second album titled Rokstarr. The single, “Break Your Heart” turned into a huge hit in UK, staying #1 for three weeks in a row. The Ludacris remix edition also crossed over into the US, and reached #1.

Tegan And Sara - Alligator

Album: Sainthood

Twin sisters Tegan And Sara’s sixth album, Sainthood continues to deliver catchy songs, and Alligator is the second single from the Canadian indie girls. In the music video which features bunch of colorful trashbags, they even try to do a playful dance routine.

Usher - Lil Freak /ft. Nicki Minaj

Album: Raymond v. Raymond

Usher is still trying to repeat his successful from 2004’s Confessions album, and even released five singles prior to the release of his latest album, Raymond v. Raymond. None of those singles have really hit the spot for me just yet, but Nicki Minaj’s rap caught my attention. She seems to be everywhere nowadays, proving to be the female version of Lil Wayne (kind of appropriate as she is signed to his label).

Young Money - Roger That

Album: We Are Young Money

Lil Wayne’s young protégés are all on We Are Young Money album. Young Money is the name of Lil Wayne’s own record label, and the group is currently enjoying the success of the lead single, “BedRock.” Lil Waye and Drake are now a household names, but I’m currently digging the female MC, Nicki Minaj who seem to be featured on a lot of singles including Mariah, Usher, Ludacris and of course, Lil Wayne. We haven’t seen much female MCs (Eve, Missy?) recently, so it’s nice to hear a fresh voice come out.

March 15, 2010

Alicia Keys - Empire State Of Mind Part II

Album: The Element Of Freedom

Jay-Z’s version was a #1 hit for several weeks in a row. This version is slightly different than Jay-Z’s and lacks the punch, but it is still good. The track has been a big hit in the UK where it has been in top 10 for several weeks now. When Alicia Keys was a guest on Colbert Report, she performed this song along with Colbert who inserted his own version of rap verse. It’s hilarious and worth checking out as he raps: “shoppin’ mall is close, my community is gated; my shorties are all private school educated; Home theater system, 60-inch plasma; clean suburban air, much better for my asthma”

Avril Lavigne - Alice

Album: Almost Alice

From the dynamic opening, you can tell that this is Tim Burton’s movie’s music. The music is great, and the lyrics is great, but Avril’s singing is on boarder line shouting. Avril must be getting ready to release a new album as she started to appear a bit more on TV (mostly on Proactive skin care commercial).

Broken Bells - The High Road

Album: Broken Bells

Broken Bells consists of cool producer, Danger Mouse (one half of Gnarls Barkley) and The Shins’ lead singer James Mercer. I’m not a huge fan of The Shins, but this album is great. Danger Mouse proves once again that he is a great producer who can turn many things he touches into gold.

Hot Chip - One Life Stand

Album: One Life Stand

Hot Chip had a breakout hit with “Ready for the Floor” from their third album, Made in the Dark in 2008. Two years later, they have released their fourth album, One Life Stand. It’s a good electronic song that should get your head bopping.

Jason DeRulo - In My Head

Album: Jason DeRulo

Jason DeRulo had a huge hit late last year with “Whatcha Say” and now he has released his debut album, titled Jason DeRulo. The second single, “In My Head” reached #1 in UK and top 10 in the US so far. This song sounds like something a boy band like Backstreet Boys would sing.

Phoenix - Lisztomania

Album: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

French alternative rock band, Phoenix won the Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album this past year for Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. Their songs, “1901” and “Lisztomania” have been used numerous times on television, commercial and movie trailers.

Rihanna - Rude Boy

Album: Rated R

Although Rihanna has never had a #1 album yet, her singles do quite well. From her latest album, Rated R, “Rude Boy” is the most successful as it is currently sitting at #4 in US, and #2 in UK. The music video for the song looks a lot like M.I.A.’s “Boyz” with crazy colors and 80s video game look.

Ryan Bingham - The Weary Kind

Album: Crazy Heart Soundtrack

Actor Jeff Bridges, who is probably most well known for portraying “The Dude” in The Big Lebowski, recently won his first Best Actor Oscar Award. He received it for portraying Bad Blake, a fictional country singer songwriter. He actually does all of the singing in the movie, and he sounds pretty good. But of all the songs on the soundtrack, Ryan Bingham’s “The Weary Kind” which stands as the theme song for the movie, is the most sincere song. This track also took the Best Song Oscar award.

Timbaland - If We Ever Meet Again /ft. Katy Perry

Album: Timbaland Presents Shock Value II

So far Timbaland’s second Shock Value hasn’t done as well as the first, which had monster hits like “Give It To Me”, “The Way I Are” and “Apologize” all of which have hit top 3 on the Billboard single chart. None of the singles from Shock Value II have hit top 10, but “If We Ever Meet Again” featuring Katy Perry has hit top 3 in UK. The chorus of this track reminds me a bit of euro pop group like Aqua.

Yeasayer - Ambling Alp

Album: Odd Blood

Brooklyn, New York band, Yeasayer, toured with fellow Brooklyn band MGMT, and recently released a second album, “Odd Blood”. I had never heard of them until Amazon serviced “Ambling Alp” as one of the free mp3 download. It reminds me of 80s pop, like The Wham.