|Never Be: Winter 2010/2011|
As the first snow falls, as Christmas nears, as the air chills and spirits raise and dampen... we all find something.It could be that first kiss under the mistletoe. It could be a new puppy, the one you wanted all along. Maybe it's two tickets to that thing you love. Maybe it's something you'll throw away at first chance. Nonetheless, the time comes once a year when there is something out there for us, and whether we search for it or not it has its way of getting to us.rMyself? I experience life too, and I'm sure I'll experience more. Work? School? The ever elusive STUFF *gasp*? But the thing I love most of all (besides a few good people) is music. Duh.rAnd so I find myself choosing a handful of songs to play on repeat as the season works its way, day by day, to the next. Fun. No seriously, it kind of is.rSo what utter crap (I know full well what I say) will I be playing this time?rOriginally written: Dec. 8, 2010
You Run Away
Is it a depressing lament to a runaway friend, or the stalker anthem of 2010? Formerly known as the group that sang the goofy hit "One Week," the group pulls themselves together to open their album with a hint of sadness and a touch of much-needed maturity.
You Know I'm No Good
Remember her? Neither do I, which is obviously why it's included here. In this brutally honest song (like all of hers), dear old Amy confesses to a number of vices alongside an old Motown beat. And "Rehab" was the more successful song, because...?
|3||City and Colour|
Armed with his lone guitar and accompanied by guest Gordon Downie, Dallas Green teaches others how to move the crowd with energy and passion. It may not warm on most winter days, but here's hoping it inspires hope.
Who knew French music could make it big in America? Their icy synths and unrecognizable samples brought the attention of ravers looking for the next Prodigy -- as well as television viewers wanting some good music in their commercials.
|5||Marina & the Diamonds|
I Am Not a Robot
With the vocal presence reminiscent of *insert female singer from last decade here*, Marina leads her Diamonds onward as they shimmer and shake through self-awareness to prove, once and for all, that she is not a robot. Well Marina... we can cross you off the list.
On the final album release, Michael still showed he was at the top of his game even among career-ruining scandals. Recalling Stevie Wonder's voice, Jackson smoothly delivers a song about puppy love that could have been -- should have been -- his last great hit.
The smartest, catchiest parody of American pop divas ever. Lily Allen, fun and over-the-top as always, sings over a cool production how she wants to be famous by any means necessary. That you believe her is all a part of the song's greatness.
Jar of Hearts
You'd never guess that when this song first broke, the singer was getting off a grueling shift at her cafe. Needless to say, it gave her -- and many listeners from there on out -- hope. A piano ballad that gives hope and strength upon listening? What is this, a female Coldplay?
Just Like Heaven
Goth (or is it faux-goth?) broke big on the radio in the 80s when the Cure came around. Pretty, slick, and dark all at once, they showed those big ole' mean jock bands that you could wear all black AND still have feelings.
Teen pop sensation sways and croons this blue-eyed soul smash that should (but doesn't) please most adult listeners as much as it does the tweens. While his voice strains from emotion -- and puberty -- he calmly tells his wide-eyed gal pal that when she smiles... he smiles.
Never the Same
Pure pop, a la Coldplay. This unknown Newgrounder takes to his high school journal, vents his emotions onto his piano. Magic for all who hears it.
Exit Music (For a Film)
They are arguably the most critically acclaimed alternative music bands of modern times, and with a little inspiration from Romeo & Juliet (and used in the DiCaprio version), they choose to channel their talent into the best little bit of exit music for any film ever captured on audio.
|13||The Pretty Reckless|
Make Me Wanna Die
Used in the movie Kick Ass (and arguably perfect for Twilight), Gossip Girl actress Taylor Momsen channels her acidic anger into a riff-raging song that quite frankly is perfect for anyone wanting a loud, new rock band with some serious swagger and pop-smarts.
I Feel It All
Subtle and tight (take that as you will), the girl who satisfied iPod owners everywhere with her commercial still had other fantastic songs on her breakthrough album with this piano/guitar ditty. Highly dancable, yet still human -- and pretty, too.
|15||Little & Ashley|
Fly Me Away
A fragile voice from behind the piano begs for you to fly away with her that only gets better with time. The song that was in every commercial that seriously wanted you to buy their product, if only because they knew good music helps.
When I Look At You
Fresh off of her biggest hit ever, Ms. Montana followed it up with some serious balladry -- and thus the theme song to her first big starring role outside of Disney was made. Here's hoping, after her "mature" turn as of late, that she realizes what's best for her and comes back.
Is Edward Cullen ready for the music biz? If only it were that simple. In the meantime, let us make due with this -- a song that could have easily been by Bright Eyes or Iron & Wine. A damaged croak, a slowly plucked guitar... a song that many will be surprised to find that they enjoy.
Just Say Yes
When a Coldplay contemporary switches its style from emotional balladry to 80s electronica, there is usually much to be angry about. But the emotion is still there. The heart is still there. Snow Patrol is still Snow Patrol, and they're just as cool as ever.
The most overused song in all of 2010. Is it too late to apologize? Yes, but it doesn't hurt to try. Driven by strings and Ryan Tedder's always thoughtful delivery, this is a song that keeps on giving. And that is no secret.
|20||Angels & Airwaves|
Does listening to this make you think blink-182 meets U2? That was the point. He breathes each breath with great gusto and sings as if each note could be his last -- maturity is the great new trend in rock. Ending the CD with this song was, for me, obvious.