[WGO] Attempting to Stay Up 2Date

+ The USA officially has another fresh #1. It seems since the Black Eyed Peas fell off the Hot 100 Glory Pedestal we've had a slew of artists taking the pride & glory to make up for the months we had of just one group claiming victory (aside from Jay Sean, I suppose). But the new #1 is....Jason DeRulo. Finally, I called it before it happened! Huzzah!

+ A lot of my bloggin' buddies have started end of decade musical rehashings and countdowns, something I didn't even begin to think of myself. Considering I'm the procrastinator that I am, I'm going to leave it to the pros. Check out XO's Middle Eight for some truly great music, ChartRigger's list of the Best Songs of the Decade, and my girl Audio Diva's breakdown of each year in music (love her list -- I can totally relate!). As you can guess, I'm trying to steel myself up to generate my Top 29 Songs of 2009. I'm officially finalizing my plays on December 6th, and will begin unveiling my picks not long afterward.

+ Lots have been coming from the upcoming Timbaland project, and aside from "Morning After Dark", I have started to lose my enthusiasm. End of an era, I think. Fingers crossed for the full length disc.

+ Haters on Alicia Keys new single, "Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart", need to sit the eff down. Praise needs to go to Alicia for willing to try something new with her sound. If she kept releasing "No One", everyone would get bored of her, and that would be the biggest mistake of all for someone as talented as Ms. Keys. And I agree with my dear friend Audio Diva in that it sounds distinctively 80's epic ballad. Can you say yesssss?

+ I'm a bit behind (read: really really behind) in album reviews as I haven't had the time to sit down and really listen to fresh music in awhile. Instead, when I do have the chance to listen, I usually listen to songs I already know I enjoy. But of the somewhat recent albums I haven't had the chance to mention:
  • Shakira - She Wolf --> I was pleasantly surprised by this record (but really, to call it a full album seems a bit unfair, as its relatively short, no?). I suppose I'm not that behind with this one as it's still pending a US release date. Still, you can always count on Shakira to bring the unexpected, and I love that she is relatively fearless in terms of experimentation with new and not necessarily radio-friendly sounds (she is a she wolf after all...hardyharhar, not). Much of the album is produced by Pharell Williams (holy blast from the past...and what a strange combo!), including my favorite non-single (yet), the semi-Far East sounding "Why Wait".

    It's obvious why "She Wolf" was chosen as the lead single, as it screams radio kitsch, but sadly the majority of the rest kind of flows together. I dig that it's clear radio success is not her priority -- as the album is very good for a car drive or a long trip. Her instrumentation is different in unique, and for that reason, it's incredibly refreshing in this post-Gaga music industry. It's for this reason that I'm not quite keen on her new Timbo/Lil Wayne second single "Give It Up To Me" -- it doesn't break any sonic barriers like the rest of the disc does. "She Wolf" still kicks ass, but the rest of the album is seeing a lot of play action on my part as well.
    Key Tracks (In This Order): She Wolf/Loba, Why Wait, Long Time (Esp. that clarinet(?) solo in the second half! Amazing!)

  • Alexandra Burke - Overcome --> Overall, a worthy effort. She is no Leona Lewis, and that fact is kind of shoved down our throats, now isn't it? She is, however, just as strong a singer, but can prove she can boogie with the best of them. "Bad Boys" still sounds good and circusy, but it has officially been eclipsed by the RedOne-produced (but not RedOne sounding) "Broken Heels". If that doesn't become a single, I don't know what will (not the 2nd single, but it would certainly make a good spring/summer single, yes?). I'm very fond of "Bury Me (6 Feet Under)" and "Nothing But the Girl" for their throwback Motown-ish type sound. I'm starting to dig on "All Night Long" as well. The rest just kind of flows together to me. But I like it. They just aren't songs I'd immediately hit repeat on, is all.
  • Key Tracks (In This Order): Broken Heels, All Night Long, Bury Me (6 Feet Under), Bad Boys

  • Cheryl Cole - 3 Words --> I've tried with this one. I really have. It's just not the type of record I expected/wanted/needed from a Girl Aloud. I don't understand her connection to BEP's Will.I.Am. At all. With the exception of "3 Words" (which I really like, but still feel would be even better without Will), I feel all of their collabos on this disc (and there are a lot of them) just don't work. I've already voiced my disdain for "Fight For This Love" (too generic), but "3 Words" flows well in its simplicity. If that had been the first single, I might have been actually excited for this project. I won't rip the project to shreds as others have done -- it's just not my cup of tea. I love Girls Aloud for their manic energy and creativity, and so much of this is the complete opposite. Perhaps that was the idea? ::sigh:: I do like "Rain On Me" (mostly because if it had a bigger synth bottom, it could work as a GA b-side), "Happy Hour" (mostly because it's a Soulsock/Karlin production and was co-written by an upstart I have a lot of high hopes for, Priscila Renea, and I maintain it would be a million times better if it was Pris's song), and "Boy Like You" (mostly because of the Fleetwood Mac sample...touche, Will). So much feels so repeative, and...monotone. Suffice to say, I'm looking forward to the next Girls Aloud release. Stat.
    Key Tracks (In This Order): 3 Words, Boy Like You, Rain On Me, Happy Hour

4 comments

Paul said...

phew i'm so glad someone else struggled with Cheryl. Though i'm surprised by how much I like Alexandra. What do you think will be second single if not Broken Heels? I'm rooting for Bury Me, but that might be too "cutesy" for the record label. I love it though.

I don't think I have the memory capacity to do a best of decade list :/ I do love reading them though

J.Mensah said...

LOVE Alexandra's album now wasn't feeling it too much a couple weeks ago, glad you like it too!. Really didn't like Cheryl Cole's album, I kinda felt bad for giving it a low 2/5 rating. Slight nibble--Pixie Lott wrote "You Broke Me Heart" and RedOne penned "Nothing But the Girl."

Ooohhh! is it just me or are you using musical terms now? Loves it! =]

Mel said...

Paul - I really wanted to like it as much as others did. But so much of it felt monotone and colorless, you know? I think that cover said it all, really. As for Alex, I'd love for "Bury Me" to be a single, but I kind of doubt it. Perhaps "All Night Long"? If "Broken Heels" doesn't become an eventual single, I'll cry foul. I think it would be a great foray into the American market, considering Leona has earned her respect here now.

J - GAH! You caught me! I read your comment and was like, I KNOW that, silly. Then I re-read the post and was like wow, I'm an idiot. Thank you for fixing my careless errors! Fixed now! And haha -- I'm trying to be a bit more broad and "intelligent" sounding, rather than my usual "it's sounds so sweepy and amazing!" like I usually do. I'm glad you noticed. I'm taking cues from you and Nikki. :)

Poster Girl said...

After being so excited, my enthusiasm for the Timbaland album is starting to fall, too. "Morning After Dark" didn't let me down but nothing else we've heard in proper quality has been worthy of repeated plays. I'm still a little hopeful about some of the songs he previewed but we haven't heard yet, but my thought that it would be a fantastic album has basically been erased.

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