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03 April 2006 @ 11:13 pm

Tori Amos, "God" [from the 1994 CD Under the Pink]

Lately I have been thinking about music that has influenced my life and way of thinking. And the first song that comes to mind is "God" by Tori Amos. Below is an excerpt of a review that I had written for the song:

"I know, at one time or another, we all had thought that "God, sometimes you just don't come through." Our everyday struggle to understand why bad things happen when so much goodness exists is still an ongoing saga. Tori Amos pleads with "God" for answers. Her yearning for knowledge and strength shine through via her emotional and heartfelt lyrics. Her passion makes this composition personal and intimate. And it's this reason, that I feel connected to "God" and continue to find its message pertinent."

When you find music that you connect with, its like finding a lost treasure.

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Current Mood: calmcalm
Current Music: Tori Amos - God
 
 
13 March 2006 @ 10:02 pm

Cover songs have been a staple in popular music for generations. The adage "what's old is new again" comes to mind.

One of my favorite songs from recent history is "When The Stars Go Blue". Originally written and recorded by Ryan Adams, former lead singer of Whiskeytown, for his 2001 CD Gold. And "no", he's not related to Canadian Bryan Adams.

Ryan never had a hit with "When The Stars Go Blue," but the song was quickly covered by The Corrs, a traditional Irish pop band, for their live 2002 CD VH1 Presents the Corrs Live in Dublin. The Corrs invited U2 frontman, Bono, to join on vocals. This duet was a modest hit on Adult Contemporary and Adult Crossover radio formats.

The song gained additional exposure in 2005 when it was featured in the television series One Tree Hill. This time around the song was featured as a duet between cast members Tyler Hilton and Bethany Joy Lenz. This version was not a hit. But the inclusion on the One Tree Hill television soundtrack introduced the song to a new audience.

And in 2006 "When The Stars Go Blue" has yet again experienced new life. As the lead single to his CD Greatest Hits, Vol. 2, Tim McGraw is introducing the song to Contemporary Country and Country Crossover radio formats.

Maybe this time, "When The Stars Go Blue" will receive the recognition that it deserves.

 
 
Current Mood: contentcontent
Current Music: The Corrs - When The Stars Go Blue
 
 
09 February 2006 @ 09:57 pm

Lately, it's rare that I find a new CD that I truly love.  Well it's time to put that feeling to rest.  Today, I purchased Back to Bedlam by James Blunt.

I know many are put off by the array of current pop artists, but James Blunt deserves a chance.  Every song is pure delight.  James Blunt pours his heart and soul into each composition and his emotions shine through.  This is not one of those CDs that you buy for the hit single and hate the rest.  The rest is a bonus; because its just as good, if not better, than the hits.  In addition to "You're Beautiful" and "Goodbye My Lover", my favorite tracks are "Wisemen", "Tears And Rain" and "Billy".  If you are fans of David Gray and Damien Rice, you will be enchanted with Back to Bedlam.

For more information about James Blunt, visit his website at www.jamesblunt.com.

 
 
Current Mood: calmcalm
Current Music: James Blunt - Tears and Rain
 
 
01 January 2006 @ 11:49 pm

I have been a fan of Shakira since I first heard “Si Te Vas” and fell in love with the CD Donde Estan Los Ladrones.  Her Spanish-language recordings exhibit such fire and raw emotion that transcends the language barrier.

In early 2005, Shakira released Fijacion Oral Vol. 1 and “La Tortura” (featuring Alejandro Sanz) was a huge international hit.  I was expecting some of the passion on volume 2. 

The problem is that on her Spanish-language recordings, Shakira exhibits such heart and drive and solidifies each number with a bout of confidence.  At best, Shakira is shaky on her English-language recordings.  Any fan of her entire catalog will agree; Shakira lacks the same intimacy when singing in English.

Now that I have put this disclaimer aside, there are a few songs worthy of consideration.

First single, “Don’t Bother,” has taken a rough road to the charts.  Radio is not playing like they had “La Tortura” and her English-language hits from Laundry Service.  Albeit a departure for Shakira, give the track additional spins and it will soon become a favorite.

My favorite song from Oral Fixation Vol. 2 is “How Do You Do”.  This is by far one of Shakira’s most introspective songs to date.  I find it totally intriguing and hope that this is chosen as a radio single.

I suppose any contemporary Latin crossover CD would not be complete without the touch of Mr. Carlos Santana.  No need to worry, Shakira has harnessed his guitar riffs for “Illegal”. 

I also enjoy that track, “Something”.  I imagine that most agree that there is something intriguing about hearing Shakira speak a foreign tongue; even if this time it is a brief introduction in French.  This song definitely captures an international flavor which makes it appealing to me.

“Timor” is an excellent choice to close Oral Fixation Vol. 2.  This song exudes a retro-feel with a vibrant dance beat and a rock edge.  DJ’s would be wise to remix and spin in clubs.  

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Current Mood: pensivepensive
Current Music: "Don't Bother" -- Shakira
 
 
24 December 2005 @ 08:50 pm

Admittedly, I am not a country music fan.  However, I have been finding myself gravitating more and more to country lately; and discovering artists that I truly love.  This is true of Sugarland and their CD Twice the Speed of Life.

The vocals of Jennifer Nettles radiates from start to finish.  Her voice shows a refreshing spirit and makes each track emotional and relevant.  “Just Might (Make Me Believe)” is an excellent example of this.

First single, “Baby Girl” was an instant hit at country radio and its follow-up, “Something More”, introduced Sugarland to multi-format success and is a favorite of mine. 

For fans with a penchant for barn dancing, “Down in Mississippi (Up to No Good)” should sport two-stepping attitudes on the dancefloor. 

There is no reason that Sugarland should have difficulty in forging a successful career as contemporaries, such as, Keith Urban and Kenny Chesney, have had little resistance in establishing their popularity.

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Current Mood: complacentcomplacent
Current Music: "Something More" -- Sugarland
 
 
 
18 December 2005 @ 01:44 am

Don't laugh!  I am an American Idol fan.  Now that we can put that behind us; I must say that Bo Bice's new CD The Real Thing is actually pretty good.  I purchased it tonight from Best Buy and have been listening to it non-stop since I got home. 



Don't let the clean cut image fool you; this is definitely Bo from the heart.  He does not betray his rock fans.  In addition American Idol collaborators, Bo received contributions from Chad Kroeger (of Nickelback), Ben Moody (of Evanescence), Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora (of Bon Jovi) and production credits from John Shanks.

 
 
Current Mood: complacentcomplacent
Current Music: "The Real Thing" -- Bo Bice
 
 

How would you rate this Bon Jovi and Jennifer Nettles collaboration? 1="hate it" and 10="love it"

Mean: 10.00 Median: 10 Std. Dev 0.00
1
0(0.0%)
2
0(0.0%)
3
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4
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5
0(0.0%)
6
0(0.0%)
7
0(0.0%)
8
0(0.0%)
9
0(0.0%)
10
1(100.0%)



Bon Jovi has for the first time in its career debuted on the Country Singles chart.  Their duet with Jennifer Nettles (of Sugarland) was performed during the CMA Awards telecast and garnered enough airplay for a chart debut.  The song is called “Who Says You Can’t Go Home”.  It is found on Bon Jovi's Have a Nice Day CD. 

It is refreshing that Bon Jovi still has momentum to re-establish itself.  Who would have thought that a rock band responsible for "You Give Love a Bad Name" and "Livin' on a Prayer" could transform their sound into acoustic country.  Skeptics can safely put their pens to rest.

 
 
Current Music: "Who Says You Can't Go Home" -- Bon Jovi & Jennifer Nettles (of Sugarland)
 
 
21 November 2005 @ 10:20 pm

While on vacation in Montreal [August, 2005], I discovered a new recording artist, Daniel Powter.  The local HMV Megastore on rue de St. Catherine highlighted Daniel as a featured artist.  I had never heard of him; so I assumed he was a local musician and left his CD in the store.  Later on the same trip, I noticed street posters with Daniel's picture.  The local interest definitely caught my attention; but not enough to pick up his CD.

Recently, a local Philadelphia area radio station began playing a new track, "Bad Day".  I was taken by this song and soon searched the Internet to find out about the vocalist.  To my surprise, it was Daniel Powter.  "Bad Day" is currently one of my favorite songs.  I should have stuck to my first instinct and given him a chance while on my Canadian summer vacation.

If you are fans of James Blunt, Gavin DeGraw or John Mayer, you will soon become a fan of Daniel Powter.


LYRICS

"Where is the moment when we need it the most
You kick up the leaves and the magic is lost
They tell me your blue sky's faded to gray
They tell me your passion's gone away
And I don't need no carrying on

Stand in the line just ahead of the law
You're faking a smile with the coffee you go
You tell me your life's been way off line
You're falling to pieces every time
And I don't need no carrying on

Cause you had a bad day
You're taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don't know
You tell me don't lie
You work at a smile and you go for a ride
You had a bad day
The camera don't lie
You're coming back down and you really don't mind
You had a bad day
You had a bad day"

 
 
Current Music: "Bad Day" -- Daniel Powter
 
 
20 November 2005 @ 05:41 pm
Poll #616708 "Some Hearts" -- Carrie Underwood

Rate "Some Hearts" -- 1="hate it" and 10="love it"

Mean: 10.00 Median: 10 Std. Dev 0.00
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0(0.0%)
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0(0.0%)
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0(0.0%)
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0(0.0%)
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0(0.0%)
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0(0.0%)
8
0(0.0%)
9
0(0.0%)
10
2(100.0%)


Over the past few years, American Idol winners have received flack for not fitting into the current music scene.  Will Carrie Underwood break the cycle?  Only time will tell!  Country music fans have opened its arms and hearts to Carrie's new music offerings.  Released November 15th, Some Hearts is pure country in the vain of Faith Hill and Martina McBride.  First single, "Jesus, Take the Wheel" has already made inroads on country radio stations and is fast approaching the top 10.  In addition, Carrie's record label, Arista Nashville, has decided to send the title track to top 40 radio.  Also included is the American Idol winner's single, "Inside Your Heaven".

What do you think of Carrie's debut CD?
 
 
Current Music: "Jesus, Take The Wheel" -- Carrie Underwood
 
 
19 November 2005 @ 10:19 pm
Poll #616327 Contemporary Holiday Songs

Which of the following is your favorite contemporary holiday song?

"A New York Christmas" -- Rob Thomas
0(0.0%)
"Christmas in America" -- Melissa Etheridge
0(0.0%)
"Do They Know It's Christmas?" -- Barenaked Ladies
0(0.0%)
"Last Christmas" -- Jimmy Eat World
1(100.0%)
"The Christmas Shoes" -- Newsong
0(0.0%)
"The Chanukah Song" -- Adam Sandler
0(0.0%)
"Grown Up Christmas List" -- Kelly Clarkson
0(0.0%)
"Lonely Christmas Eve" -- Ben Folds
0(0.0%)
"Lonely Without You (This Christmas)" -- Joss Stone & Mick Jagger
0(0.0%)
"Where Are You Christmas?" -- Faith Hill
0(0.0%)