Friday, December 26

Music Lesson #6

With Toni Braxton attempting to make a huge comeback next year, I decided to dedicate this post to one of my favourite TB songs – ‘Spanish Guitar’. The song was released in the year 2000 and remains a firm fan favourite.

The song was featured on her album “The Heat” which has sold six million copies worldwide to date. Can Toni repeat this with her upcoming disc? Highly unlikely, but my best wishes go out to her. She’s got talent.


Spanish Guitar – Toni Braxton

New Rihanna Demo: Emergency Room Feat. Akon

It’s so nice to be back to the blogging thing! I hope everyone is having a great holiday season. Got some new Rihanna! Well, not fully. It’s a demo for RiRi (so it’s not Rihanna singing it)called ‘Emergency Room’ and it features Akon. The concept of the song is really interesting. I find Akon’s voice unbearable here maybe they’ll find another artist for this if it really becomes Rihanna’s. Rumour has it that this’ll be the first single from her fourth studio album next year but personally this isn’t that strong so I doubt. Check it out though!


Emergency Room (Demo) – Rihanna Feat. Akon

Comments And Thanks Are Greatly Appreciated =]

Saturday, December 6

The Exclusive Top 40 Singles Of 2008

I’m super excited about doing this list. It’s something that I always wanted to do and I guess 2008 was the year. The singles on this list were released from around December 2007 – December 2008. If not, they just caught on in 2008 or were re-released. Please enjoy and comment at the end. It’s long!

40. Cuddle Up – Pretty Ricky f/ Butta Créame

from the album “80’s Babies”

‘Cuddle Up’ was really a throwback for me. It really revived the ‘90’s scene in my head bringing back some awesome memories. For that alone and the cheesy, cheesy music video they get no. 40.


39. Girls – Sugababes

from the album “Catfights And Spotlights”

‘Girls’ is a weak first single from the Sugababes but it’s still one of their juiciest tracks to-date. Catchy and with a bridge out of this world, there’s no reason not to love these girls.


38. American Boy – Estelle f/ Kanye West

from the album “Shine”

It’s safe to say that without Mr. West this song would lose much of its gusto but nevertheless, Estelle sure puts it down. One of the grooviest tracks of ‘08 comes from the British shores. ‘American Boy’ is cool enough not only for this list (:P) but for a Grammy nomination as well.


37. 4 Minutes – Madonna f/ Justin Timberlake & Timbaland

from the album “Hard Candy”

OMG. He put ‘4 Minutes’ at number 37? Yeah, yeah. Get over it. It’s a great song indeed. They were tons of other amazing singles this year and this one beat out a lot to get here. A catchy chorus and that unforgettable ‘tick tock’ made this one of the most successful singles of 2008.

36. Better In Time – Leona Lewis

from the album “Spirit”

Leona Lewis is undoubtedly one of the best discoveries in music in the 21st Century thus far. Her voice is absolutely amazing. I’m still shocked she wasn’t nominated for Best New Artist at the ‘09 Grammys. But these things happen. ‘Better In Time’ did! At first, it wasn’t all that appealing but in time it was a hit on my iPod and a smash on the radio.

35. Long Road To Ruin – Foo Fighters

from the album “Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace”

Finally some rock music on this chart. I first discovered this song when I saw the music video, which is actually kinda cool. I liahged and told myself I gotta download this song. Here we are today, a couple moths later and I still love it. From a Grammy Award winning album this song should be good and it is. If you haven’t, check it out.


34. Energy – Keri Hilson

from the album “Energy – Single”

‘Energy’ is somewhat simple but the beat is quite contagious, sinking into your body. Keri’s vocals are stunning and moving. We know she can do way better but her good is good enough. And that bridge? Gee, that bridge. Gotta love this chick.

33. Just Dance – Lady GaGa f/ Akon & Colby O’Donis

from the album “The Fame”

One thing that ‘Just Dance’ ‘Just Dance’ is an incredible record. Infectious, witty and wild – that’s the GaGa craze. With a wickedly original (original for artists) sense of style and a super cool persona, she’s destined for the top of the charts.

 32. T-Shirt – Shontelle

from the album “Shontelligence”

Shontelle was called the new Rihanna when she first stepped into the scene but personally she brought with her a completely different aura. One of certainty and professionalism that RiRi didn’t have in the beginning. ‘T-Shirt’ may not be ‘Umbrella’ but it is up to par with ‘Pon De Replay’ as much as radio may disagree.


31. So What  - P!nk

from the album “Funhouse”

So What’ is one of hypest, most I-want-to-sing-along-with-the-singer-est songs of 2008 and for that it deserves a spot on the list. Lady Pink really upped her game for this one, topping Stupid Girls (maybe not U + Ur Hand) and Who Knew. Well done, well done.


30. Right Here (Departed) – Brandy

from the album “Human”

‘Right Here (Departed)’ defintely defines touching music. The lyrics are powerful and have a purpose. Brandy has been a favourite of mine for a very long time. This song surely reinforced that love I had for her and I’m sure that its strong message touched others as well.

29. I Kissed A Girl – Katy Perry

from the album “One Of The Boys”

I Kissed A Girl’ was a surprising track for many and really a standout in 2008. Who sings about kissing the same sex? It was like ‘Oh My Gosh, what did she say?’ However, the song broke some serious barriers and is really quite a jammer. I love everything about it and it really made me like and respect Ms. Perry.

28. Fall For You – Secondhand Serenade

from the album “A Twist In My Story”

One of the best alternative tracks came from breakthrough group Secondhand Serenade. I’m looking at them as the new Fray (only thing it’s just one guy in Secondhand Serenade). This song really was this year’s ‘Over My Head (Cable Car)’ so I’m hoping, if ‘Fall For You’ was just as amazingly catchy (it was stuck in my head for about 2 months) then we’ll see some more top charting singles from these guys.

27. Burnin’ Up – Jonas Brothers

from the album “A Little Bit Longer”

I was thoroughly impressed with the Jonas Brothers in 2008. This first single, ‘Burnin’ Up’ really is a perfect representation of what pop music is all about. They certainly brought back the whole boy band thing for me. Yeah, they did some good stuff, and this song is just too superb for them not to get get nominated for Best New Artist. And you know what? I hope they win.


26. Heartbreaker – f/ Chery Cole

from the album “Heartbreak (feat. Cheryl Cole) – Single”

Even without Fergie, and Taboo my man, can still make a crafty single. ‘Heartbreaker’ was perfect without Cheryl Cole but her addition was good anyways. I love the whole synthy-pop feel of it all and its grooviness as well. Maybe The Black Eyed Peas will head in this electropop direction for the next album?

25. Touch My Body – Mariah Carey

from the album “E=MC²”

Let’s be honest. Mariah Carey was really mediocre this year. But we loved it didn’t we? Her mediocre is amazing. ‘Touch My Body’ was a fun pop tune and really made you want to move and maybe, just maybe touch Mariah Carey? Ok, maybe not, but still with that hilarious music video, the crazy simple bumpy production from Christopher ‘Tricky’ Stewart and The-Dream how could you not like this song?


24. Untouched – The Veronicas

from the album “Hook Me Up”

The Australian-born poptastic duo known as The Veronicas have been around since 2005 and they’re finally taking control of the US Charts. As you read this, ‘Untouched’ is bound to be playing somewhere and tons of people are singing along and bobbing their heads like crazy zombies. For the most infectious song, The Veronicas get number 24 on the countdown. And if you haven’t seen the dance that made this song first get popular, check it out HERE.

23. That’s What You Get – Paramore

from the album “Riot!”

Paramore were my favourite new acts from 2007 and they’re still piling out the hits so for that I’m happy. ‘That’s What You Get’ was just that and a power pop classic too. I hardly ever hear a girl sing like Hayley Williams does and I find it even harder to find instrumentalists that can support a voice like that well. Keep em comin’ guys.

22. I’ll Be Lovin’ U Long Time – Mariah Carey f/ T.I.

from the album “E=MC²”

So Mariah Carey is the first artist to have two of her songs featured on this exclusive list! Congrats to her. ‘I’ll Be Lovin’ U Long Time’ is a true R&B anthem that went very much unappreciated. T.I.’s little verse gives so much swagger and appeal that even if you suck at rapping along you learn the lyrics anyways. Mariah Carey delivers on this track and the production (samples DeBarge’s ‘Stay With Me’) is off the chain.

21. When I Grow Up – Pussycat Dlls

from the album “Doll Domination” 

So Nicole and The Dancing Dolls decided to return with ‘When I Grow Uo’ which like most/all of their singles was 90%+ Nicole singing. I’m not complaining, I mean Nicole has a nice voice but I’ve heard the others’ and they sound really good. ‘When I Grow Up’ is an interesting song and is very, very addictive. These girls ha ha ha-ed their way to the bank and ha ha ha-ed their way through this song.  Too bad they couldn’t sell their album.

20. Like Me – Girlicious

from the album “Girlicious”

I’m not playing around when I say that Girlicious were on the best acts of 2008 , because they were. ‘Like Me’ is  an epic single that stomps on ‘Don’t Cha’, and murders the rest of the Pussycat Dolls’ debut album. Without much promotion, this amazing song couldn’t do much. Verse 1, Verse 2, the choruses, the bridge , they’re all well made out and perfectly sang. My wish is that the success these girls had in Canada will extend throughout the world. Fingers crossed.

19. Rehab – Rihanna

from the album “Good Girl Gone Bad”

It’s an honour to continue the Top 20 with none other than Ms. Robyn Rihanna Fenty. ‘Rehab’ was/is ridiculously hot single and the chorus is basically in your head forever. And those “oh oh oh oh oh oh oh”’s are a perfect add on to an already smokin’ hot song. Kudos to Justin Timberlake for the brilliant writing.


18. Forever – Chris Brown

from the album “Exclusive: The Forever Edition”

I won’t lie, Chris Brown sounds sexy on this track. Maybe it’s the autotune. Maybe it’s ‘cause he can sing. Maybe it’s both. Who cares. The mixture of the infectious Polow Da Don created techno pop rhythm and Chris’ smooth vocals make this a dancefloor song for the ages.

17. Damaged – Danity Kane

from the album “Welcome To The Dollhouse”

It was the year of the girl groups it seems. So far, DK have the highest charting single. ‘Damaged’ was really creative. The “do do you” at the start of the song sucks you in and the production is wicked. The song has a concept that’s not commonly used and it really all is a step up from their previous work. The girls sound good on the record but it's the melody and the thumping beat that make the song.

16. Womanizer – Britney Spears

from the album “Circus”

Boy, was I glad to hear that Brit was releasing an album in ‘08. ‘Womanizer’ the lead single, I find to be kind of like ‘Gimme More’. You know, addictive and repitive chorus, simple verses and well yeah, that’s it. ‘Womanizer’ is better by far but it still doesn’t compare to old school Britney who would’ve been at the top of this list with ease. Nevertheless, she’s at 16, which happens to be in the top half and my favourite number. important? No. But, hey, she did really well. This is a comeback to be remembered.


15. Take A Bow – Rihanna

from the album “Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded”

You cannot say that Rihanna cannot sing. I know that a lot of people insist that this girl does not have pipes. But she does! She can sing really, really well. The simplicity of this track mix well with her appealing vocals. Ne-Yo did an excellent job on the lyrics – I don’t know many persons that don’t know all the words to this song. And who doesn’t love that little laugh and that “please”. A job well done by Princess Ri.

14. No Can Do – Sugababes

from the album “Catfights And Spotlights”

Sugababes were for me the best girl group of 2007. Their position here on the Best of 2008 list as well as for ‘Girls’ at 39 makes them strong contenders for the top spot for 2008. ‘No Can Do’ is best described as a funky Jackson 5 break-up number. The soul in it is strong and Keisha, Heidi and Amelle each deliver in their individual parts. It’s no ‘About You Now’ but it’s one of their best,

13. Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) – Beyoncé

from the album “I Am… Sasha Fierce”

‘Single Ladies’ is technically the debut single from Sasha Fierce and not a single from Beyonce right? There’s supposed to be some thing going on about sensuality and wildness with her. I din;t hear anything I’ve never heard before but I think that’s a good thing. ‘Single Ladies’ is one of Queen B’s better singles. The constant ‘whoa oh oh’s” make the song extraordinary and the single lady call-outs make it an anthem to live on for decades.

12. Live Your Life – T.I. f/ Rihanna

from the album “Paper Trail”

Live Your Life’ – this year’s hustler’s anthem. Who would’ve thought Rihanna would be featured on that song. Just goes to show her diversity. T.I. delivers with impressive lyrics but it’s really the third verse that gets the listener going and the bridge ending from Rihanna. “I will never lose, I’m livin’ my life, my life and I’m not stoppin’”. Would these lyrics explain why T.I. and Rihanna had the most number ones & combined weeks at the top on the Hot 100 in 2008?

11. If I Were A Boy – Beyoncé

from the album “I Am… Sasha Fierce”

I’ve a heard a lot of beautiful songs in my short life and many of them can’t compare with the power of ‘If I Were A Boy’. Lyrically (BC Jean & Toby Gad) is where it stands out the most. B’s vocals are superb too and are most impressive – only topped by ‘Listen’ as far as I’m concerned.

10. Let It Rock – Kevin Rudolf f/ Lil Wayne

from the album “Into The City”

And so, the Top 10 begins. Here we have: ‘Let It Rock’ by Kevin Rudolf. It blends a whole bunch of genres. Pop, Hip-Hop and there’s some dance up in there and yeah, some rock. It’s a classy tune. I really don’t know that the song is about but it’s ione of the best of the year because I have never heard anything like it. Lil’ Wayne’s first and only position on this chart is well deserved ‘cause this here, ‘Let It Rock"’ had me air guitaring like crazy and singing it at the top of my lungs. From start to finish it’s a song to be remembered. Kevin Rudolf is a force to be reckoned with if the remainder of his singles are like this.


9. Selfish – Asia Cruise

from the album “Selfish – Single”

Asia Cruise might not have a chance in hell of making it big because a song like ‘Selfish’ flopped mad. How is that possible? I really don’t know. I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun listening to a song that wasn’t an uptempo number. ‘Selfish’ is just that and it really drives out the message in ways that other experienced singers can’t do. Asia might not be skilled like Christina Aguilera and she may not be totally smooth like Ciara but her voice is original. Tha Cornaboyz must be commended for the fantastic job they did on this song. Yes, it’s simple but sometimes simple wins. Asia Cruise is a winner.

8. Hot N Cold – Katy Perry

from the album “One Of The Boys”

Katy Perry was the breakthrough artist of 2008, topping a ridiculous number of charts in a ridiculous number of countries. ‘Hot N Cold’ is the true definition of pop music with some rock-flavour included. The melody of this song and the guitar in the chorus and well, everything just come into place like jigsaw pieces making that puzzle come to life. Katy Perry belts out the chorus with some attitude and that makes me happy. It makes me happy to hear a newcomer with sass and skill – Katy’s got it.

7. Get Back – Demi Lovato

from the album “Don’t Forget”

If you haven’t already fallen prey to the mastery of this recod then I strongly recommend that you look it up on YouTube and listen because Demi Lovato has got some vocals out of this world. I thought Haley from Paramore was amazing but Demi is right up there with her. ‘Get Back’ is a pop rock gem that I can’y imagine living without. The lyrics are alright but the instumental and Demi’s voice just singing on top of the guitar and crazy, hype drums made me fall in love with this song. It’s a mystery why this song did not destroy Top 40 like Miley Cyrus does with her lackluster songs.

6. Sandcastle Disco – Solange

from the album “SoL-Angel And The Hasdley St. Dreams”

I never did fancy Solange. But then I heard ‘I Decided’ the dubut single from her sophomore album and I decided that I was going to love her. The second single came out and with the help of a fantabulous, yes, fantabulous music video my love for her grew stronger. ‘Sancsastle Disco’ is that song and it really defined for me an indefinable genre. Was it pop? Soul? Some kind of Motown flavoured dance track? Whatever it is, it’s better than anything her sister has done in recent times. I’m proud of Solange for stepping out and being her own, being herself and being different because that’s what she and that’s what I will continue to love her for.

5. Paper Planes – M.I.A.

from the album “Kala”

Had I been paying attention to M.I.A. last year this song would have been on my Best Of 2007 list. Fortunately, I didn’t and I got to save that pleasure for this year. Undoubtedly, ‘Paper Planes’ is the most original single for the year -  M.I.A. really knows what originality is all about (check out Kala – the album). The gun shots, the cash register, the gun loading, the synthy, electronic background and the hip-hop vibe all come together to make a classic. I don’t  know if it’s possible for anyone to keep this song off their minds.

4. If I Never See Your Face Again  – Maroon 5 & Rihanna

from the album “It Won’t Be Soon Before Long (Deluxe Edition)” and “Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded”

Maroon 5 and Rihanna. Quite an unexpected combination. Especially from a bunch of guys that started singing about girls and a girl who started off singing about a DJ and shaking her bum. So, when these get together, we get a masterpiece. ‘If I Never See Your Face Again’ (nominated for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals) is a pop hit – Adam Levine and Rihanna show true chemistry in the vocals and even in the video which was quite steamy. The song didn’t exactly smash Top 40 , actually it didn’t smash any charts in the US. But, outside of the States it did pretty alright. ‘IINSYFA’ is one of Rihanna’s best vocal performances and the production done by Mike Elizondo and Mike “Spike” Stent is arguably one of the best of the year.

3. Return The Favor – Keri Hilson f/ Timbaland

from the album “Return The Favor – Single”

Timbaland is returning the favor by putting himself on Keri’s best track as Keri did it for him last year with ‘The Way I Are’ and ‘Miscommunication’, two epic R&B/Hip-Hop numbers. Now, with ‘Return The Favor’ what you’ve got is kind of an ‘Umbrella Part Two’ with some sexual vibes up in there and add in an increased tempo. There, a classic record. This song is truly one of the best of the year and these twoknow how to collaborate like no others do. Keri may go underappreciated by radio but she most certainly has become friends with my speakers and headphones.

2. Dream On – Robyn with Christian Falk

from the album “Robyn”

Never have I been molested by a rhythm before. Christian Falk’s creation, ‘Dream On’ is guilty of that. Robyn’s haunting vocals suck you into the song in a way that I’ve never felt before too. The song was actually first released in 2006 in Sweden as a single by Christian but it’s now credited as Robyn’ – no biggie, she does sing the song and it’s on her album. Robyn basically provides a sermon on this track reassuring the wrong-doers that things will change . Usually with a beat so seductive, the singer gets drowned out but Robyn proves that she’s got the pipes to break barriers, pipes to send a message and pipes to get to number 2 on this exclusive list.

1. Disturbia – Rihanna

from the album “Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded”

In 2007, my favourite song was ‘Umbrella’ by Rihanna. Now in 2008, Rihanna keeps her crown as the Best Single Maker (let’s call it that) with ‘Disturbia’. The song is for a lack of a better word, strange. I mean at first you’re listening to this song saying WTH. But as time progresses, you realise what the song is al about and why it’s so..disturbed. The captivating hook of ‘bum bum be dum bum bum be dum bum’ is so popular it almost topped last year’s ‘ella ella ay ay ay’ and that would be a difficult task. This year, like last year, was Rihanna’s year and she didn’t even have to release a completely new album – all it took was 3 new songs. Heck, she could’ve used her old singles. It wouldn’t have made a difference. It’s time for everyone to appreciate the artistry of Rihanna. What she does can’t be topped and she is the Artist Of The World. That my friends, is undeniable. Much like ‘Disturbia’.

Thank you so much for reading! Please comment and maybe give a review. If you wish you can post your favourite singles of ‘08.

Wednesday, December 3

Grammy Nominations List Announced!

Lil' Wayne leads the nomination list with a surprising 8! Coldplay got 7, Jay-Z, Ne-Yo and Kanye West each got 6 and Leona Lewis did NOT get nominated for Best New Artist!

My Picks Are In Italic and Green!

Record Of The Year
Chasing Pavements - Adele
Viva La Vida - Coldplay
Bleeding Love - Leona Lewis
Paper Planes - M.I.A.
Please Read The Letter - Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

Song Of The Year
American Boy - Estelle; Kanye West
Chasing Pavements - Adele
I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
Love Song - Sara Bareilles
Viva La Vida - Coldplay

Album Of The Year
Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends - Coldplay
Tha Carter III - Lil' Wayne
Year Of The Gentleman - Ne-Yo
Raising Sand - Robert Plant And Alison Krauss
In Rainbows - Radiohead

Best New Artist
Jonas Brothers
Lady Antebellum
Jazmine Sullivan

I'll talk about the other nominations in another post but for now enjoy this current information for all the nominations check out this link.

Nickelback On Soundcheck

Here's a preview of what you'll get from Nickelback's performance/interview session with Walmart Soundcheck. Seems great much like the album "Dark Horse" which debuted at #2 on the Billboard charts and has already sold more than 500,000 copies!

To see more from this astounding Soundcheck session in future check out:

Comments And Thanks Are Greatly Appreciated =]

Music Video: Long Distance | Brandy

She looks so stunning. I love this woman. Such a great actress. Enough’s the music video for ‘Long Distance’, the second single from Brandy’s album, “Human” due December 9th! Check out the review for the song in the post below.


Long Distance – Brandy

Comments And Thanks Are Greatly Appreciated =]

Album Review: Human - Brandy

Ever since Brandy’s second studio album “Never Say Never” (1998), I have been captivated by her voice and her creativity. This woman is talented and she has grown so much. She has been through so much. Not your typical Pop or R&B singer, she doesn’t get down with the Hollwood nonsense. This chick is real. Now let’s get down with the review.. “Human” ..

“Human” starts off with a well titled Intro, ‘Human’. It’s good to hear an Intro where the artist speaks with conviction and certainty and I can definitely hear that in Brandy’s voice. I actually played it 3 times because I was pulled in by the seriousness of it. Following this, we’ve got two new songs, ‘The Definition’ and ‘Warm It Up (With Love)’. The former is much better but that speaks volumes for the latter which is great as well. So far, Human – 10/10.

Then we have the amazing debut single, ‘Right Here (Departed)’ which has to be one of the most moving songs of the year. Especially with that music video which just wowed me in its simplicity. That song really reinforced my love for Brandy and I am actually yet to find someone that dislikes it.

Like most Brandy albums, there is a long string of great, catchy mid-tempo numbers and ballads. ‘Piano Man’, ‘Long Distance’ (the second single which personally shouldn’t be the second single – I love it nevertheless), ‘Camouflage’, ‘Torn Down (which sounds nice with the guitar strings; I could’ve sworn it was a Stargate song but it’s Midi Mafia)’ and ‘Human’ (a Toby Gad production).

The album then begins to pick up from there with ‘Shattered Heart’ which is a favourite of mine. The beat is really what gets into me as well as Ms. Norwood’s vocals around the hook. I really love it. It’s not really single material but it’s just amazing. The next song is ‘True’ which is a RedOne production so automatically I thought, “Oh, upbeat number!" but I was wrong. I guess I was so used to the whole Just Dance-Whine Up vibe from those guys.

However, in all its slowness, it’s still a good song but one of the weakest on the record and the funny thing is that I love it. So basically, in summary, I love the album! “Human” really goes out of the box, trying new things. ‘A Capella (Something’s Missing)’ is a really intriguing song and is one of my favourites. I love the ‘boom clap, boom clap’ repitition. Finally, “Human” ends on a fantastic note with ‘1st & Love’ and ‘Fall’.

All in all, I can’t say a bad thing about the album. It is defintely one of my favourites of the year. Giving Girlicious, yes, Girlicious the competition that they needed in terms of album phenomenosity (new word). Brandy may not sell like Beyoncé but she certainly makes better albums.

Album Highlights

Right Here (Departed)

The Definition

Piano Man

Shattered Heart

A Cappella (Something’s Missing)

Album Rating: [5/5]

What do you think?

Music Video: Creative | Leon Jackson

I just thought I’d share this amazing song with you, more so than the video. X Factor 2007 Winner Leon Jackson with ‘Creative’. It’s the 3rd single from the album and I’ll see if I can get you a link to download the song soon Enjoy!

Comments And Thanks Are Greatly Appreciated =]

Music Lesson #5

The Sugababes have been along for a really long time. They’ve had a couple line-up changes but through it all they’ve remained an amazing group. Their music is constantly superb. Best way I can put it for now. For today’s music lesson, I want to share one of my faves from the girls..

..’Stronger' from the album “Angels With Dirty Faces'”. This song peaked at #7 on the UK Singles Charts and remains one of their more touching singles. Check it out!


Stronger – Sugababes