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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Chart Performance: Gregg Allman

Gregg Allman returns to the US Top 10 this week, as Low Country Blues, debuts at #5. 

Chart Performance: Social Distortion

Social Distortion, a southern California punk rock band, gets their first US Top 10 hit this week, as Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes debuts at #4.  Their highest peaking album was White Light, White Heat and White Trash, which peaked at #27 in 1996.

Chart Performance: The Script

The Script's third top 10 album in the UK, #3, slips to #3 after peaking at #2.  

2008 - The Script (#1)
2010 - Science and Faith (#1)
2012 - #3 (#2)

Their first #1 hit in the UK, Hall of Fame, their collaboration with, slips to #10 this  week.

2008 - The Man Who Can't Be Moved (#2)
2010 - For the First Time (#4)
2012 - Hall of Fame (with (#1)

My Votes for the OPM Myx Countdown - January 30, 2011

I've decided to vote for three new songs this week as they sound promising and I've been slowly liking them these past few weeks. These are my votes for the OPM Myx Countdown starting this week -

1 - Hanging Habagat by Champ Lui Pio (4 votes per day)
2 - Walang Natira by Gloc 9 featuring Sheng Belmonte (3 votes per day)
3 - Paasa by All For Patricia (2 votes per day)
4 - Linda Blair by Tanya Markova (1 vote per day)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Grammys 2011: My Vote for Album of the Year

It's fantastic that the Grammy voters decided to stay current this year.  Eminem is the only artist we can consider a veteran in this category - and in my opinion, Eminem's music is as current as anyone - so it just goes to show the wealth of talent among the new crop of music's movers and shakers. Arcade Fire, Lady Antebellum, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry round out the other nominees for this prestigious category, and they all got the nominations at the peak of their musicmaking prowess.  Kudos to that!

However, my vote for this category goes to, who else, Lady Gaga's The Fame Monster.  I know this album was just an add-on to her phenomenal monster, The Fame, but when I heard it, it can might as well be another completely different album!  With such diverse sounding songs as Bad Romance and Alejandro and Telephone (and these were just the hits!), this is also an album which I enjoyed listening to - a lot!  I mean, every single song is something that I like, something which grows on you - a slow burn with a good ending! 

Anyhow, I don't really expect her to win in this category.  Most likely, Eminem should be the one to win this.  He deserves it!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Grammys 2011: My Vote For Record of the Year

It's great to see that the current Grammy voters have decided to nominate very current songs in this category this year. I am actually surprised that they also nominated certified hits! 'Nothin' On You', 'Love the Way You Lie' and 'Empire State of Mind' were #1 hits. 'Need You Now' peaked at #2 while 'F*** You' reached the Top 10. It used to be that they called the Grammys, the Grannys; but this year, their choices are as hip as ever!

Anyhow, most of the nominees for Record of the Year this year are hiphop or R&B songs and only one country nominee. My vote goes to Lady Antebellum's 'Need You Now'. I've always liked their songs, and last year, "I Turn to You' was my second most favorite song of the year! They have really made many fans now, including many among the Grammy voters!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Chart Performance: White Lies

White Lies gets their second Top 10 album in the UK this week, as The Ritual, debuts at #3.  In 2009, To Lose My Life, peaked at #1.  White Lies is an alternative rock band group.

Chart Performance: Ms. Dynamite

Ms. Dynamite's collaboration with Katy B, slips from #4 to #9 this week.  Below are her Top 10 hits in the UK -

2002 - It Takes More (#7)
2002 - Dy-Na-Mi-Tee (#5)
2010 - Lights On (with Katy B) (#4)

Chart Performance: Aggro Santos

Aggro Santos scores his second Top 10 hit in the UK, as Like U Like, debuts at #8.  His first Top 10 hit was Candy, a collaboration with Kimberly Wyatt in 2010.  The song peaked at #5.  He is a Brazilian-born English rapper based in Balham, London.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Madonna and Prince Are Friends Once Again!

I just read in one of the music blogs that two of the 80s most popular icons are friends once again. Apparently, the two had a falling out because of some comments made by both about their achievements! Oh well, egos, egos, egos! It's a good thing though that they had a fabulous duet way back in 1989, in the Like A Prayer album of Madonna. This is one of the songs that should've been released from that album. It's a wonderful track, very unique, very sexy, very Prince, too!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

My Votes For This Week's OPM Myx Countdown

For this week, here are the songs I'm voting for in the OPM Myx Countdown -

1.  Fly With Me by Duncan - four votes
2.  Lagi by Kiss Jane- three votes
3.  Walang Natira by Gloc 9  - two votes
4.  Sa Silid - one vote

Chart Performance: Steel Magnolia

Steel Magnolia gets their first Top 10 album in the US this week, as their self-titled album debuts at #7.  Steel Magnolia is an American country duo that won a TV reality show called Can You Duet?  The duo consists of Meghan Linsey and Joshua Scott Jones.  After becoming the top winner on the show, the duo signed a recording contract with Big Machine Records, and released its debut single "Keep On Lovin' You" in August 2009.

Chart Performance: Cage the Elephant

Cage the Elephant gets their first Top 10 album this week, as Thank You, Happy Birthday, debuts at #1 in the US album charts. Cage the Elephant is an American rock band from Bowling Green, Kentucky.  They are known for their sound and high-energy performances.

Chart Performance: Cake

Cake gets their first #1 and first Top 10 album in the US, as Showroom of Compassion debuts at #1.  Cake is an American alternative rock band from Sacramento, California.  Cake's music combines multiple musical genres such as ska, funk, rockabilly, pop, jazz, rap and country.  Their music features droll, often esoteric lyrics rife with word play and syncopation, and catchy distorted guitar riffs.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Grammys 2011: Trombone Shorty - Backatown - Nominee, Best Contemporary Jazz Album

This is the album that will get my vote for this category - Best Contemporary Jazz Album! Their sound is so unique and so freakingly funky, I really enjoy grooving to it! I am not surprised the Dave Matthews Band got them to front act for them.

Listen to the live version of their song, On Your Way Down. It's fantastic! They sound even better live!

Grammys 2011: John McLaughlin - To The One - Nominee, Best Contemporary Jazz Album

Before I previewed this category, I had no idea that contemporary jazz was this alive! After hearing four albums already, I am really impressed! I am just surprised there are not that many women - oh well, no women jazz instrumentalists, I mean. This work by John McLaughlin is the most jazzy of all the four albums I've listened to as of yet. It's frantic, it's a bit offbeat, it has that urgent sound like one is rushing to commute on a Monday morning. That's what I feel when I listen to it.

Grammys 2011: Jeff Lorber Fusion - Now Is the Time - Nominee, Best Contemporary Jazz Album

I first heard of Jeff Lorber 25 years ago, when I was still a high school student. He had this pop hit with Karyn White, and his sound then was electronic jazz pop, and 25 years hence, his sound is as cool as ever! I actually like this track - Rain Dance/Wanna Fly. I think it's a composite of two songs, with the original Rain Dance, coming from one of his earlier albums. It's a good, cool jazz track!

Remembering Karyn White: Her Work With Jeff Lorber

I saw Jeff Lorber's name in this year's nominees for Best Contemporary Jazz Album, so I searched if his song 'Facts of Love' was in Youtube. Of course, it was, and it brought back a lot of memories from 25 years ago! I love Karyn White - and her performance here with Jeff Lorber is fabulous! They really got the sound down pat! I will check if Karyn has other videos in Youtube. I just love her work. Anyway, I'll also check the latest work of Jeff Lorber. He goes now by Jeff Lorber Fusion and his Grammy-nominated album is entitled Now Is The Time.

Grammys 2011: Joey DeFrancesco - Never Can Say Goodbye - Nominee, Best Contemporary Jazz Album

This is the second nominee for the category, Best Contemporary Jazz Album. In this album, Joey remade several Michael Jackson hits, as this album is a tribute to the genius of the gloved one. Yup! You will see a sequined glove on the cover. I've never heard Michael Jackson's songs arranged in a jazzy way, an instrumental at that, and this one is worth a listen to!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Grammys 2011: The Stanley Clarke Band - Nominee - Best Contemporary Jazz Album

Today, I am featuring the nominees for Best Contemporary Jazz Album, and first on the list is The Stanley Clarke Band with their self-titled album. This the first song in the album entitled 'Soldier'. I like it! I still have to hear the other nominees but this one is a strong contender for my own personal vote! This is cool jazz!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Chart Performance: Matt Cardle

Matt Cardle, the winner of the seventh series of The X Factor, slips from #2 to #5 after staying at #1 for a three weeks, with his song 'When We Collide'.  This song is a remake of Biffy Clyro's Many of Horrors, which also returned to the Top 10 when this song zoomed to #1. 

His real name is Matthew Sheridan Cardle and he hails from Southampton, Hampshire.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for The Social Network: Best Original Score Golden Globes 2011

Trent Reznor, not normally a musical scorer for films, wins this award, along with Atticus Ross - and I correctly picked it too!  Well, their work really does sound original for the movie The Social Network, and it's one of the reasons why the movie has some memorable scenes.  I was lucky to have seen Trent perform here in Manila last year when his group, the Nine Inch Nails!

Dianne Warren - "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me" from Burlesque: Best Original Song Golden Globes 2011

It's about time Dianne Warren gets a Golden Globe - and she does it today, for having written "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me Yet", a song sung by Cher in the movie Burlesque.  This was actually my personal pick too, to get a win.  It's actually vintage Dianne Warren - the sound, the title length, the mood of the song - it's great that she's back doing what she has done well four times before - write a song for a movie!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

My Five Favorite Tracks In Christina Aguilera's Bionic

I know this CD of hers was much maligned but upon listening to it, I actually like it very much! It's a huge departure from her last effort, Back to Basics, and really, miles away from her teenybopper, What A Girl Wants days! And bravo to her for that! I don't also see or hear any comparison to Lady Gaga! This sound is just probably what Christina wanted to envision - too bad it got swallowed up over our current fascination for the diva du jour - Lady Gaga. Anyhow, here are my five most favorite tracks from this CD of Christina Aguilera - Bionic -

#1 Bionic

I love this song! Too bad I'll never see her perform this live since this album flopped and couldn't be toured. It would've been interesting to see how she would do this. Although we did a glimpse of it when she performed it at the MTV Movie Awards.

#2 Woohoo

I also enjoy this song a lot, and I knew she released it as a single. However it did not prosper much for reasons I don't know why. Nicki Minaj sounds fun here too and they do sound great together!

#3 Desnudate

I actually don't know how this song translates too, but it does sound like it has some Spanish lyrics in it, since I learned that desnuda is 'nude' in Spanish! Go figure!

#4 I Am

I really like this song! The lyrics are beautiful, and I guess autobiographical. Too bad, it would've been a potential hit if this album was given a chance.

#5 You Lost Me

Another of those trademark Christina Aguilera songs that should've gotten more radio airplay! She sounds fantastic in it! As they said in Youtube, this one should've gotten a Grammy nomination, at least in the Pop Vocal Female category!

My Favorite Track in the Tron: Legacy Soundtrack

I know it does sound like that Inception song for that movie's trailer. But hey, this was one is really for Tron: Legacy, and I really liked how it was used in the beginning in the movie, where they were introducing us into that digital gaming world of The Grid. Because of the work of Daft Punk and Hans Zimmer, I am being introduced to the world of electronic music - which is usually instrumental - and really fascinating to hear!

Remembering Daft Punk's Dance Genius

Daft Punk is back in the charts again, achieving another feather in their cap, as their soundtrack to the blockbuster movie, Tron: Legacy, enters the US Top 10 album charts this week. I saw the movie today, and all I can say is that their sound is uber-perfect for the digital gaming world this movie has set itself. I even think that the scene where two DJs were playing and being instructed by Michael Sheen were the group itself! I like how they segued their music into the movie Tron though, not overpowering it but enhancing the dazzling visuals of the movie.

This was one of their biggest hits before, Around the World, which kept everyone dancing - around the world!

They also had another hit with One More Time, which was really huge!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Chart Performance: Country Strong (Soundtrack)

The soundtrack to Country Strong, the movie starring Oscar winner, Gwyneth Paltrow, moves this week from #10 to #6.  That is the highest chart position for this album, so far.

Chart Performance: Nelly

Nelly gets his seventh Top 10 album this week, as 5.0, debuts at #10.  Below are his top 10 albums in the US -

2000 - Country Grammar (#1)
2001 - Free City (with St. Lunatics (#3)
2002 - Nellyville (#1)
2004 - Suit (#1)
2004 - Sweat (#2)
2008 - Brass Knuckles (#3)
2010 - 5.0 (#10)

'Just A Dream' becomes Nelly's lucky thirteenth Top 10 hit in the UK. 

2000 - Country Grammar (Hot Shit) (#7)
2001 - Ride Wit Me (with City Spud) (#3)
2002 - Hot In Herre (#4)
2002 - Girlfriend (with N Sync) (#2)
2002 - Dilemma (with Kelly Rowland (#1)
2003 - Work It (with Justin Timberlake) (#7)
2003 - Shake Ya Tailfeather (with P. Diddy and Murphy Lee) (#10)
2004 - Flap Your Wings/ My Place (#1)
2004 - Tilt Ya Head Back (with Christina Aguilera) (#5)
2004 - Over and Over (with Tim McGraw) (#1)
2005 - N Dey Say (#6)
2005 - Nasty Girl (with The Notorious B.I.G., Diddy, Jagged Edge and Avery Storm) (#1)
2010 - Just A Dream (#8)

Below is a list of Nelly's Top 10 songs in the US -

2003 - Shake Ya Tailfeather (with P. Diddy and Murphy Lee) (#1)
2005 - Grillz (with Paul Wall, Ali & Gipp, Brandi Williams) (#1)

2000- Country Grammar (Hot Shit) (#7)
2001 - Ride Wit Me (with City Spud) (#3)
2001 - Where The Party At (with Jagged Edge) (#3)
2002 - Hot In Herre (#1)
2002 - Dilemma (with Kelly Rowland) (#1)
2002 - Air Force Ones (with Kyjuan, Murphy Lee and Ali) (#1)
2002 - Girlfriend (with N Sync) (#5)
2004 - My Place (with Jaheim) (#4)
2004 - Over and Over (with Tim McGraw) (#3)
2005 - Get It Poppin (with Fat Joe) (#9)
2010 - Just A Dream (#3)

Chart Performance: Daft Punk: Tron: Legacy (Soundtrack)

Daft Punk's The Tron: Legacy (Soundtrack) moves up from #6 to #4.  That's the highest position the album ever has.

Oscar Winner Gwyneth Paltrow Is In the US Top 100

Gwyneth has been appearing at the US Hot 100 singles chart more frequently than expected. Her work in Glee which allowed her to chart with Umbrella and Forget You, both reached the Top 40. But that was with the help of her Glee co-stars. Now, she returns to the Top 100, at #81, alone this time, with Country Strong, from her movie of the same title. Pity she didn't get a Golden Globe nomination for this role, but, I think she hit a home run here since it takes a lot of guts for a non-singer like her, to perform at the CMA Awards!

Monday, January 10, 2011

If - My Most Favorite Janet Jackson Song

This song just brings back a lot of good memories of 1994! I remember that during that time, this was the most copied piece choreography, by almost everyone I knew who loved to dance - especially that part after the chorus, where there's a trumpet like sound - where Janet and her dancers just do their steps in such unison, it was such a delight to watch - and imitate of course! Looking at it now, it doesn't look that difficult although I don't think I can do that floor bit anymore towards the end, where they rotate and turn on the floor - on their knees! Not a good idea for me nowadays!

Love Will Never Do Without You - My #2 Favorite Janet Jackson Song

I like this song so much, I would always play Miss You Much and this one, back-to-back. It's because this song was the second song on Side B, while Miss You Much was the second to the last song in Side A. So as soon as this song finishes, I just flip the tape back, and Miss You Much starts. And vice-versa. Today of course, it's simple as clicking on it. I think it was the seventh single released from Rhythm Nation 1814, and still, it went to #1, just around the time I celebrated my 19th birthday. So so long ago!

Miss You Much - My #3 Favorite Janet Jackson Song

This is actually the video that really showed how well Janet can dance. The choreography here is impeccable, and at that time, it showed that Janet was as talented as her celebrated brother, Michael. I admit this was one of the videos that made me want to fantasize about being a dancer. The reality of course, is that I have no talent for it, except maybe just groove to the music. Looking at it now, the steps are not really that difficult and they're something we do in my present hip hop classes.

Escapade - My #4 Favorite Janet Jackson Song

Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814 had a motherlode of hits (I think seven US top 10 songs, with five of them going all the way to #1) and it contained three of my all-time favorite Janet Jackson songs. First of the three is 'Escapade', definitely one of my 'happy' songs when I was in college - something I'd immediately pop in my cassette tape when I get the blues. It never fails to perk up my spirits - even up to now. 'C'mon baby, let's get away. Let's save our trouble for another day.'

R & B Junkie - My #5 Favorite Janet Jackson Song

Her Damita Jo album had a lot of great songs in it, it was just too bad that Superbowl wardrobe malfunction had to happen. It's incredible how puritanical Americans are, considering.....This is certainly a very groovy song and it reminds me of 70's singer, Evelyn Champagne-King. It did help that it was one of the tracks in Body Jam so it was certainly a delight to be dancing to it!

Hans Zimmer - Inception: Golden Globe Nominee for Best Original Score

My vote for Best Original Score goes to Hans Zimmer for his work here in Inception. It's difficult to dissociate the movie from the music. The scenes of dreams within dreams works because of the intense music that accompanies it, and there's always a sense of dread for us watching that those characters in those dreams might not wake from it - and instead, be trapped in that limbo somewhere there. I'm not sure if I'm making sense, but the music of this movie, surely does!

Zack Hemsey - Mind Heist - The Music Used in the Trailer for Inception

When I saw the trailer for Inception earlier this year, I could not get my mind off the music in it. It was that unique and it fit the scenes of the movie perfectly, it was difficult to forget it. Now, I've learned it was composed by Zack Hemsey and it's entitled Mind Heist. Nope, Hans Zimmer did not compose this gem of a song. Too bad, Zack won't be getting any nominations for this work.

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross - The Social Network: Golden Globe Nominees for Best Original Score

Yup, you read it right! That's Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails, the guy I saw perform here in Manila about 2 years ago! This soundtrack is a very intriguing one, since it's rare to hear electronic-like music in the usual movie soundtracks that you hear, so Reznor and Ross' work here is quite impressive and pretty original.

A.R. Rahman - 127 Hours: Golden Globe Nominee for Best Original Score

A.R. Rahman knows this territory very well, winning this award two years ago for Slumdog Millionaire. This year, he returns with another haunting soundtrack, working with the same director, on a movie with a different theme - 127 Hours.

Danny Elfman: Alice In Wonderland - Golden Globe Nominee For Best Original Song

Danny Elfman is also one of those most sought after musical scorers, and this year, he gets a nod for the hit Tim Burton movie, Alice in Wonderland. This is his third nomination in this category. He was nominated in 1993 for A Nightmare Before Christmas, and in 2003 for Big Fish.

Alexandre Desplat: The King's Speech - Golden Globe Nominee Best Original Score

Alexandre Desplat is no stranger to the Golden Globes. He won this award in 2007 for the Painted Veil. This is his fourth nomination. His two other nominations came from Syriana in 2006 and Girl With A Pearl Earring in 2004.

Chart Performance: Kings of Leon

Kings of Leon's third #1 and fifth Top 10 album in the UK, 'Come After Sundown', slips from #7 to #10 this week. Below is a list of their Top 10 albums in the UK and the peak positions -

2003 - Youth and Young Manhood (#3)
2004 - Aha Shake Heartbreak (#3)
2007- Because of the Times (#1)
2008 - Only By the Night (#1)
2010 - Come Around Sundown (#1)

Kings of Leon gets their third Top 10 hit in the UK, as 'Radioactive' debuts at #7.  In 2008 'Sex on Fire' reached #1, while 'Use Somebody' reached #2.

In the US, 'Come After Sundown' debuted at #2 last week and falls to #3 this week.  Their 2008 album, 'Only By the Night' peaked at #4.  They have two Top ten albums in the US.

Chart Performance: Willow

Willow's first ever Top 10 song in the UK, Whip My Hair, peaked at #2!  She is the daughter of actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, and her brother Jaden, was the star of the movie remake, The Karate Kid.  Very talented kids you have there Will!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Chart Performance: Keyshia Cole

 Keyshia Cole's fifth top 10 album in the US, Woman to Woman, debuts at #10 this week.   Below are her Top 10 albums in the US -

2005 - The Way It Is (#6)
2007 - Just Like You (#2)
2008 - A Different Me (#2)
2010 - Calling All Hearts (#9)
2012 - Woman to Woman (#10) 

Chart Performance: Trey Songz

Trey Songz has four top 10 albums in the US, two of them went all the way to #1.

2009 - Ready (#3)

2010 - Passion, Plain and Pleasure (#2)

2012 - Chapter V (#1)

2014 - Trigga (#1)

He also has two top 10 hits in the US -

2009 - Say Aah (with Fabolous) (#9)

2010 - Bottoms Up (with Nicki Minaj) (#6)
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My Four Votes for this Week's OPM Myx Countdown - January 8

Well, none of the new songs caught my fancy in this week's countdown, although that new song by Champ Lui Pio sounds ok. Anyway, here are the four songs I will vote for this coming week and beside them is their current position -

1. Fly With Me by Duncan (#18) - 4 votes per day
2. Lagi by Kiss Jane (#6) - 3 votes per day
3. Xanadu by Rachel Alejandro (#19) - 2 votes per day
4. Sa Silid (#17) - 1 vote per day

Friday, January 7, 2011

My Five Favorite Songs in Taylor Swift's Speak Now Album

Taylor Swift is going to have a show here in Manila next month (February 19), and as early as now, I've been spinning her Speak Now CD so that I'll be familiar with her songs - so that I'll have fun in her show!  I may have to look for her Fearless CD though so I can also give that a spin.  Anyhow, here are my five favorite songs in her Speak Now CD -

#5  Last Kiss

The only slow song on this list. I like its slow grind and its beautiful lyrics.

#4 Mine

The first single off this album, it's one of those songs that took me sometime to like, but when I did, it got spins everyday in my Ipod.

# 3 The Story of Us

I like this fast-paced song, especially when I sing along to its chorus!

# 2 Mean

I love singing along to this one!

# 1 Speak Now

This is my favorite song in her album, which also happens to be the title track! The first time I heard it, I was already hooked!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Grammys 2011 Focus: Michael Buble's Crazy Love

Nominee: Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album: Michael Buble - Crazy Love

If I were a Grammy voter, this would be the album I would vote for in the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. For me, this is the most interesting, the most original, of this year's nominees, and I think Michael Buble is really, really cute!!

His song Haven't Met You Yet was one of my favorite songs in 2009 and was really overplayed in my Ipod. I like the way he mixes old songs with some of his new material. Makes him appear interesting and keeps all his fans - women and gay men, comme moi, just asking for more!

Grammys 2011: Barry Manilow's The Greatest Love Songs of All Time

Nominee: Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album:  Barry Manilow - The Greatest Love Songs of All Time

Well, among the five nominees, this is the least interesting to me. I guess, Barry here is just going through the motions of producing another hit for his record company. Nothing new here to hear and even though I'm a fan of his, nothing here interests me. I guess because Barry is such a good songwriter, I don't know why he wastes his time on stuff like this!

Grammys 2011: Johnny Mathis' Let It Be Me

Nominee: Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album:  Johnny Mathis - Let It Be Me: Mathis in Nashville

It's really a pity we could not post any sample from this nominated album.  It's really a gem to listen to.  I am also buying this and I will give it to Mama since she's such a fan of Johnny.  He has maintained his silky voice, and his version of Let It Be Me with country singer Alison Krauss, is such a joy to hear!  Johnny does country songs here and he never misses a note and continues to sing with so much heart - really fitting for country songs.

Grammys 2011 Focus: Rod Stewart's The Great American Songbook: Volume V

Nominee: Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album:  Rod Stewart - The Great American Songbook Volume V

I've always been wary of artists mining traditional pop songs, especially aging rockers like Rod Stewart, but he really does sound fantastic here. I am thinking of buying all five albums in this series! I know people might say he's selling himself out - but the response of the public has been very positive - and Rod does really sound good! I think I'll start with this album first since Clive Davis says, this one is more uptempo, compared to the other earlier ones. This is actually the perfect gift for my Mama. She will really love this! Listen to his version of "I've Got You Under My Skin" and wonder no more why he deserves to snag this nomination! -

Grammys 2011 Focus: Barbra Streisand's Love Is the Answer

Nominee: Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album:  Barbra Streisand: Love Is the Answer

Today, I am featuring the nominees of the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album and the first nominee I'll feature is Barbra Streisand and her latest album, Love Is the Answer. In this album, she works with Diana Krall, and you can hear how Diana influences her work, with spare arrangements. However, I bought the deluxe edition, where you can also hear the orchestral arrangements. It's a beautiful album, perfect for those romantic evenings! My favorite song in the album is the one below -

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Chart Performance: Olly Murs

Olly Murs has five #1 hits in the UK and six top 10 hits.  Olly was an X-Factor second-placer in 2009.  Below are his Top 10 hits in the UK -

2009 - You Are Not Alone (with X-Factor Finalists) (#1)
2010 - Thinking of Me (#4)
2011 - Heart Skips A Beat (with Rizzle Kicks) (#1)
2011 - Dance With Me Tonight (#1)
2012 - Troublemaker (with Flo Rida) (#1)

He also has a #1 album, In Case You Didn't Know.  His self-titled debut album peaked at #2 last year.

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Your Love Is My Drug by Ke$ha - My #1 Favorite Song of 2010

Oh yeah! No mistake there! This song is my most favorite song of 2010! Tik Tok may be Ke$ha's biggest hit this year, but this was the song that got me dancing everytime - and became my happy song for months! I would literally be jumping dancing to it! It's also special since it's Laura's favorite song - and she would always request it from me, and I would acquiesce to her wishes. We would both be jumping up and down with the song - she on my bed, me on the floor - especially during its bouncy chorus! I even posted "Your love is my drug" on my Facebook status when the song was so special to me! Thanks Ke$ha for all your craziness!

Heartbreak Warfare by John Mayer - My #2 Favorite Song of 2010

John Mayer's concert is my favorite concert last year, although I haven't made out that list yet. Anyhow, this song was released earlier this year, and I was so enamored by it. It also came at the right time during my break up with Alberto, so it became some sort of anthem for me. "If you want more love, why don't you say so". I love that line! I love the lyrics of this song - and it seems really personal to John - like he's singing from experience. I also like the ambient arrangement of the guitars - you feel like you're floating on air listening to it.

Happiness by Alexis Jordan - My #3 Favorite Song of 2010

This is currently the most played song in my Ipod. Aptly titled, 'Happiness', it is also currently my happy song! I dance to it everytime I feel a little blue - and everytime I do that - I envision myself in a beautiful beach - with a warm night breeze cooling the night air - while everyone around me was partying to this song! This song ends at #3 in my year-end list - the highest-ranked party song in my year-end list. And to think, I don't know much about this new girl singer, Alexis Jordan. But she's as cute as a button here! And the guy in the video is hot hot hot too!

Alejandro by Lady Gaga - My #10 Favorite Song of 2010

I actually didn't take to this song while it was heavy in airplay locally. I was only drawn to a few months later after the peak of its popularity here - because one of the guys I like, from the gym of course, very handsome and such a hunk - had something to do with Alejandro. It was then that the song assumed a new dimension for me - and I started playing it in my Ipod with regularity. See! Sometimes it takes a boy to change your perception about a certain piece of music!

The video is impressive - I love the choreography, the costume design and although the concept escapes me - the whole thing is a definite performance art piece - this time - only done to music! Leave it to Lady Gaga to up the ante from where Madonna left off in 'Like A Prayer" 22 years ago.

Giving Up the Gun by Vampire Weekend - My #5 Favorite Song of 2010

My favorite band of the year is Vampire Weekend - and this song, Giving Up the Gun - lands at #5 in my year-end favorites. I love the video, and I love the quirky nature of the song! It exemplifies the vibrancy of today's youth and the crazy things they are concerned with nowadays! I usually hear this being played in my gym (Fitness First SM The Block), and I usually sing along with it as it is being played. When I sing along to this, I feel like I'm dressed like a Japanese ninja and wielding a sword. I don't know why - but that is the vibe this song is giving me. Too bad, I missed their live show in Singapore!! Totally sucks!

Alors On Danse by Stromae - My #6 Favorite Song of 2010

Of course, there has to be a non-English song in my ten favorite songs of 2010! Every year, there's usually one or two that gets into the list. This year, it's the dance hit by Stromae, Alors On Danse, that does the honors, ending at #6 in my year-end list. The lyrics are in French and the song just says, to forget your problems and dance! Stromae is Belgian, by the way. The rhythm and the beat are both hypnotic and the first time I heard it, I was already hooked. Middle of this year, this song was the most played song on my Ipod, especially when I was working out. I was usually grooving to it in my head while ogling all those hot guys around!
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Shame by Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow - My #7 Favorite Song of 2010

I love both the song and the video! It did help that both Gary and Robbie exchanged meaningful glances here, sang with so much gusto - and stripped in the end of the video! Thanks guys! Well, they may not be the hottest things in pop music anymore - but they were during my time - and I think they have aged just fine - creases in the right places - and just about the right body of the age they are supposed to be. Sometimes perfection is not everything. I don't know what the song means though but anyhow, it manages to land at #7 of my year-end favorites!

Another Country by Tift Merrit - My #8 Favorite Song in 2010

I was watching this Renee Zellweger movie, New In Town, and towards the end of the movie, there is a scene which plays this beautiful and poignant song! I was so moved by the song that I immediately googled it! I discovered that it was from a singer named Tift Merritt - and the title was Another Country. This song reminds me so much of Alberto since he also lives in another country. "Love is another country" - as Tift sings. "I wanna go with you."

Just Drive by Alistair Griffin - My #9 Favorite Song of 2010

For God's sake, can someone give this guy a full album? He has such a beautiful voice! I knew of him in 2003 when I vacationed in Norway, and he was one of the contestants in one of those reality shows in the UK. I eventually bought his first album, which I enjoyed very much! Last year, I was browsing the UK charts and I chanced upon this song of his. Unsurprisingly, it's still brilliant! It then became one of the most played songs in my Ipod this year. It ends my year-end favorite list at #9.