• Drumroll - top 2013!!!

    4 jan 2014, 21:30 av spikemobile

    Just like last year, over this year I checked several bands out and listened to the whole back catalogue, which hampered my objectivity concerning records of 2013 - if last year was the year for checking out some bands and , this year I was busy with Jay-Z, Kanye West, Bon Jovi, Dagoba, Ektomorf, Soulfly, Machine Head, Bullet for My Valentine as well as diving into some old-school Christian and artists such as Deliverance, Angelica, Saint and Seventh Angel. Oh and another occupation of mine was checking out everchanging collection of free downloads at Noisetrade.

    Nevertheless, some of the records of 2013 left quite a lasting impression upon me.

    Here are some Honorable mentions:
    * Sepultura - The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must Be the Heart
    * Relient K - Collapsible Lung
    * Defeater - Letters Home
    * My Epic - Behold
    * Beautiful Eulogy - Instruments Of Mercy
    * Dessa - Parts of Speech
    * Deliverance - Hear What I Say!
    * Benea Reach - Possession
    * Soul Embraced - Mythos
    * Fallstar - Backdraft
    * The Burial - In The Taking Of Flesh
    * Five Iron Frenzy - Engine of a Million Plots
    * Kvelertak - Meir
    * All Pigs Must Die - Nothing Violates This Nature

    Top Christmas album
    Bad Religion - Christmas Songs

    I know that Bad Religion stand against anything that has to do with organized religion, hence the name of their band. This record. however, was a treat indeed. There is no mocking of any sorts of any of the Christian hymns of the birth of the Savior. And that makes the record even more enjoyable - a true greatness with Christmas anthemic value!

    10
    Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals - Walk Through Exits Only

    A rather surprising appearance in my top 10. Honestly speaking, I've been trying to follow the tumultuous and quite exceptional history of the vox of Pantera. And if I find his Pantera history rather acceptable and enjoyable, some of his other ventures are not my cuppa tea. When it comes to his stint with The Illegals, it's a different story - from their two song split with Warbeast (released earlier) to their full-length it's a beast to be reckoned with - a collection of pummeling agnst. Words cannot describe the intensity.

    9
    Close Your Eyes - Line In The Sand

    When Shane Raymond left CYE, I was somewhat skeptical about the future of the band with the new vocalist - Sam Robinson (ex-Blessed By A Broken Heart. I really enjoyed their debut full-length. Granted, it's different, but it's a great treat, nevermind the difference. Songwriting is tight and so is musicianship, which is only complimented by the new voice of the band.

    8
    Living Sacrifice - Ghost Thief

    My favorite band of all time released another stellar record, but it's a grower, and that is why, perhaps, it does not top the list. The material is definitely darker than their previous efforts, which is understandable since the subject matter of the record is death. I am still torn about Ghost Thief, since I kinda feel "obliged" that I have to like it, but it's not totally there yet.

    7
    Extol - Extol

    What a great comeback this record has been! It's right there along the lines with Undeceived, Burial and The Blueprint Dives. Peter Espevoll, Ole Børud and David Husvik are back, and hopefully they are back to stay for a number of stellar records to come. The musicianship is exactly what one would come to expect from these Norwegian pillars of progressive metal.

    6
    Brett Detar - Too Free to Live

    The great thing about Brett Detar is simple, "He's golden" (well, at least in my book). Whether it's his stint with Zao (Where Blood and Fire Bring Rest) or his brainchild of The Juliana Theory. Pretty much every track is memorable enough to want to go back to and play it again, particularly “A Soldier's Burden,” “Tried To Hate The Angels” and “I Can See The Darkness”!

    5
    Everything In Slow Motion - Phoenix

    The megamind behind EiSM, Shane Ochsner, has done it again. Hands was quite an endeavor, which has been tickling my ears since it came out, and Shane Ochsner's new piece of work is a logical follow-up to his Hands's albums. A great addition to the whole record is the appearance of Blindside's Christian Lindskog. It's hard to pigeonhole Phoenix, but it leaves you with a feeling that it needs not be pigeonholed - at times it sounds like Pelican, at others like Thrice, but in its entirety it's a beast of its own in a niche of its own!

    4
    Dynasty - Beyond Measure

    Let's be honest, I really enjoyed this fast-paced in-your-face early in the year when it came out (back in January). As time went by I moved on to other musical interests of mine. But the Terror-like impact was undeniably left on me. Maybe it has to do with the rich guest appearances on the album - from the aforementioned Terror to Sleeping Giant to Agnostic Front to Stick to Your Guns to - surprise, surprise! - Wu-Tang Clan, or with my love for , whatever it is these SoCal natives whet my appetite, they delivered a record to be reckoned with!

    3
    Newsted - Heavy Metal Music

    For unknown to me reasons Jason Newsted had been my favorite Metallica member until he was somewhat forced to quit the multiplatinum machine. Luckily I had a chance to see the band live (when JN was still in the band) back in 1999 in Bucharest. I was checking on the four-stringer from time to time to see if any of his multiple endeavors were worth checking out. Finally, I saw his new brainchild - entirely his child, "appropriately" titled Newsted. In January 2013 the band released an EP titled Metal, and in August full-length was released also. Although the titles are something to be desired when it comes to creativity. The content of Heavy Metal Music feels like this is exactly what Metallica has been missing - a straight unadulterated Heavy Metal Music. I've enjoyed what they've done since JN left, but - perhaps I've been quite nostalgic - it just hasn't been the same since Metallica/Load/Reload.

    2
    Altars - Something More

    If Conclusions, released in 2012, was a standard FACEDOWN RECORDS release with a pinch of , which rendered them rather generic, Something More is a completely different matter - it's pure with soaring guitar melodies and singalongs and sprinkled with a clever dose of . It's truly a record to return to again and again and again.

    1
    Shai Hulud - Reach Beyond the Sun

    I don't remember how I was introduced to Shai Hulud, but I'm thankful I was. Their first two records and numerous splits of this Matt Fox's brainchild are nothing short of breathtaking. Although Misanthropy Pure of 2008 did not quite cut it for me, I was somewhat skeptical about Reach Beyond the Sun and whether it would be on par with Hearts Once Nourished with Hope and Compassion and That Within Blood Ill-Tempered. The record was a double-blessing since it saw the return of Chad Gilbert as the vocalist for the band (even if his return is only that of the studio value). I'm positive RBtS will stand the test of time just as have their previous efforts!
  • Avril Lavigne's self-titled album review

    5 nov 2013, 01:04 av PegasusGX



    DISCLAIMER: May contain traces of bias like everything else you read on social media networks.

    Avril, Avril, Avril. Oh, what a disastrous era you have had. Time to put that behind you and spring back with a...self-titled album? Hmm, we'll take it, but keep in mind that you're on your fifth album and there's no need to pull a Demi Lovato on this one. Plus, what's up with that album cover...?

    Fans have clamored for another Avril album after Goodbye Lullaby failed to impress. Although it had its fair share of top notch songs, her singles seemed to drop into the endless void of the iTunes charts (and every other chart, really...). Since sales are at a premium, it was time to change image and sound (like Lady Gaga does on a daily basis).

    And so she has. Avril Lavigne is definitely a welcome departure from her previous album...but it sounds like an spinoff version of The Best Damn Thing (for all you forgotten people, that's her third album where she went all crazy with that Girlfriend song).

    Here's to Never Growing Up was chosen as the debut single. Avril did relatively well with this release, but I feel Rock N' Roll was the better song and should have performed better. Luckily, its video was extremely creative: who thinks of a bearshark? Not to mention that tribute to Slash which is always respectful, even if your music is pop.

    17 is one of the best tracks on this record. For diehard Avril fans, this is a no-brainer: it reminisces her Let Go debut era, and even she is nostalgic: "those times are long gone, but when I hear that song, it takes me back". It has incredible single potential with a killer hook that only really falls short to Complicated. I'll be very disappointed if she doesn't cash in on this opportunity.

    Bitchin' Summer sounds like something you could play during the credits of Spring Breakers (if you manage to make it that far in the movie). Love the hook, but lyrics are a letdown (essentially: getting drunk, partying, maybe the occasional DUI). Still having mixed feelings about the rap, but I feel that Avril could just make it to the finals of 8 Mile.

    Let Me Go sounds like a song that failed to make the cut of Nickelback's last album (don't ask me how many they have). Based on popular culture, does this mean you should avoid it like a live Selena Gomez performance? Surprisingly, no. It's actually astonishing how well Avril and Chad's voices go together, as they deliver a great ballad here.

    Give You What You Like is above average, though it tries to fool you into thinking it's the best ballad on this record. The lyrics aren't enough to justify it, leaving only Avril's consistently good vocals to do the work. While they succeed, they fall short of what could have been a slightly better song. When paired in a vote against Hello Kitty for next single, the results should be a blowout win for GYWYL.

    Bad Girl is where Avril really hit the jackpot. I was skeptic of this collaboration with Marilyn Manson, but it turned out fantastic. It's rock at its very best (for Avril standards). This should most definitely make the cut of the 50 Shades of Grey soundtrack: Avril wants her ego fed (you know, just like Anastasia Steele), while the mysterious Marilyn - ahem, Christian Grey - screams to not tell her what to do. Sex in a rock package.

    Avril comes unstuck with Hello Kitty. Her Japanese skills are equivalent to a "fat kid on a pack of smarties" watching the latest filler of Naruto while trying to become a ninja. It's just not happening, no matter how many times she repeats "kawaii".

    You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet is quite possibly the most desperate attempt at a sex song of her discography (and she has many in that department), but it's damn catchy. It's impossible to resist its fast-paced beat, although some repetitiveness is present.

    How can you not smile while listening to Sippin' on Sunshine? Its cute metaphors of that beautiful summer day are great. Couple that with its melody and you have a keeper here.

    Hello Heartache, more like Goodbye Lullaby all over again. This song starts out "à la Avril" - with the repeated 'la la la's - and ends in the same manner. It seems that apart from a couple of good lines, Avril's heart wasn't the only thing in pain here.

    Falling Fast sounds and feels like a Taylor Swift song. It's quite shocking to listen to how versatile Avril can be with her vocals. This raises the question: will that be her next sound direction? Maybe not, but Avril has always been a pop-rock princess with a pinch of randomness.

    There are some songs that initially don't steal the spotlight, but gradually creep up the charts and become major hits. Conversely, Hush Hush is like that girl at high school that you never noticed, and now she's a Victoria's Secret model. It evokes adrenaline-packed emotions: sadness, anger, desperation, remorse and...hope. At its most simplistic form, this is the track that defines Avril Lavigne. A golden masterpiece.

    In essence, Avril is your unique pop-rock chick (excuse me, married woman) that thinks the idea of rock n' roll is getting wasted on the nearest bottle, running down the street yelling obscenities and having sex every day and twice on weekends. Actually...it probably is. But she still has time to deliver amazing ballads that knock the socks off many artists on the charts. It's Avril, no strings attached, varying between her forte - slow tempo songs (major bonus points for the gem named "Hush Hush") - and those immature but catchy pop tunes. Replay value if you can skip "Hello Kitty".

    It won't dethrone Let Go as my top Avril Lavigne album, but it's a solid and fresh effort that builds on her eleven year old career.

    Final rating: A- (89/100)
  • the lyric game (1)

    1 jun 2010, 06:23 av spikemobile

    the bands below represent what's in my mp3 player at the moment. and these are just some lines (favorite and whatnot) from the songs of the bands below. two bands have two lines because there are two albums of each on the ipod at the moment.
    your task is - to guess which lyric belongs to which band and what's the name of the song. let the game begin!

    1) though my knees become weak, I will cause my foot another step to carry the task
    2) I knew this girl named Jessie, kept her life messy
    3) but I sit at a banquet for traitors placed here between a thief and a liar
    Oh, Sleeper - A Banquet For Traitors
    4) I didn't know what I was looking for but I found it when I took your hand
    Maylene and the Sons of Disaster - Listen Close
    5) and I didn't shave today, I probably won't tomorrow
    6) Jesus, I want to know you, I lay my life before You.
    7) we must relieve the suffering / we will liberate the captive
    8) and come what may, I'll still be here
    9) this foolishness of the cross? salvation for the lost?
    10) so bring Your heaven 'cause I'm sick of my hell
    11) we will resist our sin to the point of blood, and we will wear our scars like badges of honor
    For Today - Saul Of Tarsus
    12) I’m not Jesus Christ or Mohammed but I can read and write
    13) the heart is weak and designed to suffer in its place
    14) if you turn away I will be with you, time and time remain upright, I will see you through
    15) destroy the body and mind – behold, the spirit can survive
    Living Sacrifice - The Training
    16) fire blazin' all around, we will watch as the wicked burn down
    17) have you told your mom that you won't be coming back
    18) the preachers preach, only folded flags. and the mothers mourn, holding folded flags.
    19) you wear a thousand faces / tell me, tell me which is you
    Creed - A Thousand Faces
    20) hear oh earth, the Lord our God is one. hear oh earth, the Lord our God is one
    21) and if this is the land of freedom, then your kitchen is treason
    22) it makes us sick to know that our lives will be represented by this world that we are existing in now
    It Prevails - Today is Yesterday's Tomorrow
    23) my blood is thicker than liquor, your skin is thinner than money
    24) we are your ministry through passion and aggression
    25) brick by brick we'll tear you apart, we'll bring you to your knees
    26) desperate, we will proclaim, that on our knees we’re not ashamed
    27) all the years of my life I've been knocked and kicked around
    28) you've got the first one, you've got the last one

    Advent
    Anouk
    Coalesce
    Creed
    Defeater
    Doomtree
    Fear Is The Driving Force
    For Today
    Freddy Madball
    Hands
    In Irons
    It Prevails
    Living Sacrifice
    Maylene and the Sons of Disaster
    naj one
    Oh, Sleeper
    P.O.S.
    Project 86
    Reign Supreme
    See The Light
    Shockwave
    Sims
    Strongarm
    The Deal
    Thieves & Liars
    Thy Will Be Done
  • Lady Antebellum concert in London

    21 jul 2010, 18:40 av Arkansa09

    Lady Antebellum will do one concert in Europe on August 11 (02 Shepherds Bush Empire in London). Lady Antebellum have achieved to record “the hit of the century” as “Need You Now” entered Billboard Hot 100 in August 2009 and since November on top 25.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eB7T3lJ3dZ4&feature=related Note: 16.7 Million views on Youtube
    Another “hit of the the century” with similar pattern is Train with “Hey, Soul Sister”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tglSCIpaXPs with 3.6 Million views

    Lady Antebellum kommer till London den 11 Augusti. Man uppträder på 02 Shepherds Bush Empire kl 19:00. Det är den enda konserten i Europa.
    Vad är nu så speciellt med Lady Antebellum. Jo de har redan fått till "århundradets låt" då "Need You Now" gick in på Billboard Hot 100 i mitten på augusti 2009 och varit Top 25 under hela månader 9 månader.
    Rent otroligt men Train med “Hey, Soul Sister” har nästan varit lika framgångsrik i USA
    Biografi på Lady Antebellum: http://www.lastfm.se/music/Lady+Antebellum/+wiki?changessaved=yeahbaby
  • Top 10 of 2012 and then some...

    3 mar 2013, 17:59 av spikemobile

    Unfortunately, I was rather busy catching up on discographies of masters such as Slayer, Anthrax, Megadeth, Exodus, Sodom, Tourniquet and some bands Good Charlotte, New Found Glory, Green Day. It took me two months of 2013 to check some of the records, and I can definitely say that 2012 was quite a year music-wise. Here are some of the records that impressed me.

    Top Original Soundtrack
    Kevin Costner & Modern WestFamous for Killing Each Other: Music from and Inspired By Hatfields & Mccoys

    About 4 years ago or so I was surprised to hear Kevin Costner delivering a great sound. This year found him record an original to the miniseries Hatfields & McCoys, where he also starred. Famous for Killing Each Other is more than just a , it’s a story in and of itself.

    Top Tribute Record
    V/A - Chimes of Freedom: Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International

    Now this is a must whether you enjoy the work of Bob Dylan or you couldn’t care less about him. It can’t be denied, though, that his influence upon the music industry as a whole is unquestionable. The beauty of this 4 CD collection is that the music is performed by a great number of famous and not so famous artists from all over the spectrum – from to to to () .

    Top EP
    Maranatha - Incarnate


    Honorable Mentions:
    As I Lay Dying - Awakened
    War Of AgesReturn To Life
    Gideon - Milestone
    Altars - Conclusions
    Becoming the ArchetypeI Am
    The InsyderzThe Sinner’s Songbook
    The ChariotOne Wing
    LeadersNow We Are Free
    From The Eyes Of ServantsChange The World
    Anberlin - Vital

    10
    Demon Hunter - True Defiance

    The truth is my favorite record of DH is their self-titled debut, it was just a angsty Slipknot-influenced . From then on their sound changed to more with much melody to make it listenable and memorable. True Defiance marks the second record without the founding member, Don Clark. And it looks like they found their sound – the perfect blend of aggression and melody sprinkled with not-preachy-but-hopeful-and-yet-in-your-face lyrics.

    9
    The Smashing Pumpkins - Oceania

    Billy Corgan is a legend, that’s all there is to it. Whether you like or not, whatever he lays his hands on it’s stellar, controversial, and worth a listen for the sheer beauty that it sheds with its listeners. Be it his solo more electronic effort or the outing of Zwan or the sounds of The Smashing Pumpkins that saw many grow up under its far-reaching wings. Adore is where I was taken into the fold of Pumpkins. Oceania may not be what many expected, but it is The Smashing Pumpkins even if it’s got Billy Corgan written all over it.

    8
    Matisyahu - Spark Seeker

    This was the record I was both dreaming about when I heard it was coming out and was afraid of at the same time. I was dreaming about getting my hands on it, because Matisyahu left a huge impression on me since the very first tunes of his that I heard. I was afraid because the new record was going to be less and more as was indicated by many factors. This is exactly what I got when Spark Seeker first started playing. I felt the disappointment creeping in, but then I felt lifted on account of catchy melodies and the same honest Matis soul that comes through the lyrics. With this record, although not as “aggressive” as Youth, he definitely reaches a greater audience. More power to ya, Matis!

    7
    Further Seems Forever - Penny Black

    Another long-anticipated reunion that many thought would not be possible. FSF is a band that could boast three awesome records each with a different frontman. The amazing part about each of the records is that each of the releases was stellar in its own way. Penny Black marks the return of the original vocalist Chris Carabba known also for his work in Dashboard Confessional. Even though, the production suffers a little, but the chemistry between the original members of FSF cannot be denied. It is a great comeback, and let us hope this won’t be the last we’ll see of them.

    6
    Flatfoot 56 - Toil

    I’d listened to all records of F56 and although I had enjoyed each of the pieces, I’d say this is the most cohesive outing of theirs and it deserves a top-ten position. It is catchy and it ain’t just all the way, it’s got beautiful melody going as well and this is what makes the record contagious. And a tune “I’Ll Fly Away” is a great incentive!

    5
    P.O.D. - Murdered Love

    Well, where do I start with these crowd-favorites? I still remember that HM issue with four alternative covers featuring each P.O.D. member. In September of 2001 the world saw the release of Satellite. And since then – although they reached the rockstar status – it seems like they couldn’t find their sound again. There were changes in the line-up and then there was the return to the original fourpiece line up. Murdered Love sounds like a logical progression of Satellite. Honestly speaking, I’d call this record (with one obvious setback – “Bad Boy”) their most mature and theologically sound record to date (especially the title track and the closer, “I Am.”)

    4
    Tourniquet - Antiseptic Bloodbath

    The last record of these monsters of led by a true drum (and not only) legend known as Ted Kirkpatrick was years and years ago. Honestly, their Where Moth and Rust Destroy
    left me wanting. It felt as though the record prior to that, Microscopic View Of A Telescopic Realm,
    was exactly where needed to be. Now, 10+ years later, they revisit the same musicianship and the same songwriting with this stellar piece – Antiseptic Bloodbath.

    3
    Worthwhile - Carry On Kid

    Another surprise in my top ten is a (at times bordering on some sensibilities) offered by a Bay Area, CA bunch known as Worthwhile. Their Carry On Kid is exactly what a youthful vigor demands – fast and raw and yet melodic and emotional. Give it a listen if you enjoy Comeback Kid, It Prevails, Hundredth.

    2
    The O.C. Supertones - For the Glory

    When I found out The O.C. Supertones were disbanding back in 2005 (which by that time was not actually what it used to be back in the 90s) I was devastated. For the Glory hits exactly where their previous records left off with the only exception – this is a more mature record than any of their efforts from the years past. Don’t be fooled, though, this is still , but it’s a mature version of it. Mojo and the Tones know exactly what they’re doing!

    1
    Being As An Ocean - Dear G-D

    I remember when I first listened to Defeater’s stellar EP from several years ago. It was the I had always wanted to hear – angst, passion, bleeding emotions (without becoming -tinged in any way). Now take the Defeater’s approach and blend it with the spoken-word kind of approach of La Dispute, and this is where Being As An Ocean hits. It does so for me with its soaring melodies, honest lyrics and deep convictions. Dear G-D is the record to pick up if you haven’t yet.
  • Demi Lovato 'Demi' album review

    7 maj 2013, 19:10 av PegasusGX



    A BRIEF OVERVIEW

    Self-titled albums have generally been the best way for an artist to introduce themselves, as this tends to be employed for a debut. It is quite uncommon, therefore, when a multi-platinum, established artist decides to use this as the title of her fourth album. I'm talking about Demi Lovato, of course.

    Trials and tribulations have always accompanied Lovato, both in her career and personal life. After releasing two acclaimed pop-rock infused albums whilst performing as a Disney actress on her show Sonny With A Chance, the increasing pressure got to the young starlet. In October 2010, breaking point hit, making her drop out of her support role from the Jonas tour and checking into a treatment facility. Issues such as bipolar disorder, low self-esteem, and bulimia all gave a field day to the press and caused desperation amongst her millions of loyal fans. Thankfully, 2011 represented a new start for Demi.

    Unbroken (her third album) was released during the fall of that year, and it alternated upon versing about her personal struggles (Skyscraper) to presenting the listener with heavy-laden pop songs (Who's That Boy). It's low debut sales, coupled with mediocre collaborations, set it short of some people's expectations. However, the general consensus was that it revealed a different side to Demi, with some excellent yet underrated tracks. One, however, managed to shine bright - Give Your Heart a Break. Dance-pop inspired, this radio friendly song was a sleeper hit, taking 2 months to hit the pinnacle of pop radio, as well as #1 on Billboard's Pop Songs chart. This elevated its sales to platinum status, making it Demi's biggest hit.

    Until Heart Attack, that is.

    Demi's lead single took just 2 months to hit platinum, which represented a turning point in her career. Building immense hype for her record, she has managed to secure a considerable audience that will surely be essential to the album's success when it finally drops, on May 14th. In the meantime, let's take a look at how 'Demi' shapes up with individual track reviews.

    INDIVIDUAL TRACK REVIEWS

    1. Heart Attack

    Familiarity is key, and Heart Attack gives it major value. The placement of this track at #1, as well as it being the lead single, gives the listener a sense of recognition and it lays foundation for what else Demi has in store.

    It's not shy of its flaws, however. Lyrics such as I can play 'em like a Ken doll, make em bounce like a basketball are borderline generic. This would be an issue, if it weren't for the flip side - Demi is practically faultless in delivery. Her vocals are really, really impressive and the bridge and final chorus belt really showcase what sets her apart from her Disney counterparts.

    It is no doubt Demi's best single to date. It's radio-friendly, pure pop goodness. In the context of the album, however, Heart Attack doesn't do much to stand out. It's an above average effort that only does shine as a single.

    2. Made in the USA

    Pop is a very volatile market, and more often than not we find ourselves amongst charts and charts of subpar songs. However, Made In The USA is perfection. This is a very high claim to make, but its selection as Demi's second single off this album just goes one step further to confirm my conviction that this is the best pop track on Demi, and a huge improvement over Heart Attack.

    Right from the offset, the line Our love runs deep like a Chevy might not cause heads to turn, but this is ingenious. Taking a slogan from a very well-known American company and applying it to a song whose main theme is love and the USA is fantastic, and really shows how little details make a difference.

    When we get into the core of the song, its catchiness just keeps you on lock. Demi's vocals and the lyric fluidity are just seamless. It ends with a reiteration of made in the US(A), which can be interpreted as symbol of patriotism, as its vocalist is obviously American. The only thing you'll regret is not hitting that repeat button sooner.

    It's everything a pop song should be. And then more.

    3. Without the Love

    The first verse of this song provides a great build up, in particular with the lyric And you work so hard to get me, just to let me go. The chorus is a completely different story, however. Repeating We're good as a love song, we're good as a love song without the love is just too much. It's a tad of a disappointment, as this is lyrically a great track (sparing the chorus).

    The bridge is definitely its best part, with This is how water colors fade into destined memories showcasing some great songwriting abilities. But in terms of overall production, it's generic. It feels and sounds like an Unbroken leftover.

    4. Neon Lights

    Party anthem. Club banger. Remix gold. This is Neon Lights.

    This is the kind of song that can turn a boring night at a club to getting everyone on the dance floor. The heavy beats aren't anything new, but take Demi's vocals and you have an irresistible combination. It also adopts the same kind of catchy buildup elements that Psy's multi-platinum Gangnam Style has before the second chorus. A huge improvement over similar, much weaker efforts present on Unbroken that mostly failed to impress.

    5. Two Pieces

    This is a song that draws some inspiration from Demi's sophomore album, Here We Go Again, and blends it with elements of contemporary pop music. It is suited for nostalgic purposes. Definitely a great track that transitions between calmer, more intimate moments and a chorus that is sure to give it that pop feel and not set it apart from the rest of the album.

    6. Nightingale

    There is always that song that stands apart from the rest. For some, it's a catchy pop tune. For others, it's a ballad.

    By its musical definition, a ballad is a love song that showcases emotions and favors talent and vocals over catchiness. It is a soul mover. Nightingale not only does that, but it is perfect in songwriting and vocals.

    The lyrics are simple, yet deep. Demi begs for a nightingale in her life, a guider, one that can be with her (can you be my nightingale?). And then she evokes the main characteristic this species of birds are known for - singing. This nightingale is unseen, but its melody is omnipresent (sing to me, I know you're there).

    It's a truly faultless song which majestically showcases her immense talent. And for me, it is the best on the album.

    7. In Case

    Following the trend of Nightingale, we have another, though slower and piano-only ballad. It verses upon the slim possibility of a relationship rekindling, should Demi's lover want the same as her. It's a very relatable song for all those who go through love's treacherous paths, and Demi delivers it brilliantly.

    In Case puts Lovato's fantastic vocals front and center - an artist who can maintain a passion towards lyrics, keeping up with melody and delivering the end result simply with one instrument.

    8. Really Don't Care (feat. Cher Lloyd)

    The first thing that springs to mind when this song comes on is One Direction's insanely popular hit What Makes You Beautiful. And it's true, as its instrumental and song structure is practically the same.

    Despite this, this song somewhat taints what was practically an immaculate album. Demi carries most of it pretty decently, which is a good thing, as Cher Lloyd's contribution is neither here nor there. Her Nicki Minaj-wannabe rap does little to impress, and it leaves no room for the imagination that this track would be better off without her.

    9. Fire Starter

    Fire Starter restarts the catchy flame as we are put under a fast paced song with humorous lines such as I'm a badass jumping off a moving train to start the pre-chorus and express her volatile and daring personality. As for the lyric: There's an 'S' under my clothes on my chest where nobody else can see, it is the key to this song and album overall.

    Not only a tribute to Superman (in her case, Superwoman), but it also symbolizes her inner strength.

    10. Something That We're Not

    Who said only Taylor Swift was capable of subtle shade? This song is filled with indirect gold! Not gonna happen dude à la He called me up and I still love you (We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together) almost seems like America's sweetheart made a cameo on this track. While the other is about denying a second chance, this one doesn't even give the poor guy a chance at a relationship.

    Nonetheless, it's funny, the melody is catchy, and it leaves one wondering if this song targets a certain member of a particular popular band...

    11. Never Been Hurt

    This song rushes through you like a fast train on the way to a broken frame of mind, as Demi puts her love on the line, fearlessly proclaiming I will love you, like I've never been hurt. It might end in disaster, but that isn't even on her mind as she, ever the optimist, desires to love. An everlasting love without lies or goodbyes.

    Magnificent vocals as expected, great beat and an powerful love song with potential for more.

    12. Shouldn't Come Back

    This song is melancholically beautiful. As a reference to her biological father, this is her final farewell. For the Love of a Daughter portrayed her childhood, as some sort of prologue. This is the the present: a wounded, vulnerable girl sings in an amazing display of heartfelt emotion.

    13. Warrior

    As we draw to a close, Warrior is the appropriate finale. If Skyscraper was praised for being the start of her comeback, this is certainly her anthem of strength as she stands, fearless and unbroken.

    Warrior transcends love. It combines references from her childhood (There's a part of me I can't get back / A little girl grew up too fast), the overcoming of her struggles (I've got shame, I've got scars), and finally, the professing of her courage (I'm stronger than I've ever been
    And my armor, is made of steel, you can't get in
    ), ending with a line full of self-confidence.

    You can never hurt me again.

    FINAL APPRECIATION AND RATING

    The final rating combines appreciations made at the level of lyrical & production quality, vocal performance, replay value, and genre standout potential on a scale of 0 (disaster) to 10 (masterpiece).

    Demi Lovato has moved on from her R&B dabble from the past era in Unbroken to her comfort zone with her self-titled fourth album, Demi. It was clear that Unbroken was far from being her best effort, with quirky collaborations, and few truly amazing songs. Most of the tracks on that album remain underrated, and it was only with Give Your Heart A Break that she managed to garner major audience.

    Much has changed in the past two years. The music industry has evolved, and so has Demi's music - again. But this is a step in the right direction. It manages to take the crown away from what many consider to be her best overall album - Here We Go Again - and provide a collection of extremely good songs overall.

    The production includes lots of pop elements and notable figures into this album, some more subtly than others - from the Psy-inspired beat in Neon Lights, to 1D's instrumental in Really Don't Care and a leaf out of Taylor's playbook in Something That We're Not, Lovato loves to mix the best and popular and make it something hers. Her lyrics, her rules. Something personal, yet modern.

    The lyrical quality in this album is nearly faultless, with some nuances. Her vocal performances throughout, however, elevate this pop star to the level of Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, and other noticeable high-profile pop contemporary vocalists.

    This album has a little for everyone. From pop gems like Made in the USA, club bangers like Neon Lights, nostalgia in the form of Two Pieces, upbeat music lovers will adore it. And then we have the ballads, those beauties. The trio of Nightingale, Shouldn't Come Back & Warrior is unprecedented in Demi's discography and a real joy to listen to.

    Throughout all those songs, one thing is clear. This is very personal and beautiful album. It reflects her versatility and her talent as a singer and songwriter that packs in a ton of replay value.

    And thus, after listening to it, everything becomes clear as crystal as to the reason why Demi decided to self-title her fourth album: every song describes a part of her.

    FINAL RATING:

    LYRICS (9.0):


    PRODUCTION (8.5):


    VOCALS (10):


    GENRE STANDOUT POTENTIAL (9.5):


    REPLAY VALUE (9.5):


    OVERALL (9.5):
  • Taylor Swift Speak Now album review

    25 okt 2010, 01:00 av PegasusGX

    Taylor Swift has done it again. Nearly 21 years old and already releasing her third album (this one all written by herself!), with a huge world tour set for next year, Swift really has risen in both the country and pop genres, and has built up a massive community of die-hard fans.

    The question is: is Speak Now just hype or does it deliver?

    Now, like many Taylor Swift fans, if we know something about her, is that she can't actually produce a bad album. It's proven: her self-entitled album sold little under 40,000 copies on the first week, back in 2006, and contained some of the best songs attached to the country genre. Fearless, the followup album of 2008, improved sales up to nearly 600,000 on the first week of release, and contained her biggest hit: You Belong with Me.

    So how's Speak Now's hype measuring at? Well...Big Machine Records has shipped 2 MILLION units, and we're estimating sales around 700k - 1+ million. And now, we're just starting the first release week, and this might ascend to a grand total of 1-1.2 million copies sold when this week is over. That, for a country pop artist, is phenomenal.

    I've had the privilege of listening to the album before it actually leaked on the Internet (though this review only came out on Sunday evening, to avoid major spoilers), and here is my opinion on each track on Speak's Now (deluxe edition):

    Mine - Mine is the lead single of the album, but it actually doesn't feature the same sound as the single released back in August (this is referring to the Deluxe Edition, because the normal purple cover one is the same). While that version is on the deluxe album entitled Mine (US version), this one changes the melody a bit, maintaining the lyrics. It talks about how Swift tends to run away from commitment whenever she feels it's getting too serious and her confessions about that. It's a highly-loved track by many fans, including me, that features an upbeat theme, catchy lyrics ("You made a rebel of a careless man's careful daughter, You're the best thing that's ever been mine") and is an excellent way to start the album. It also is the most scrobbled song by Taylor Swift to date.

    Sparks Fly - Sparks Fly has been a song that fans begged for Taylor to place on the new album (by doing a studio version, obviously), ever since she sung it live. However, she did change the lyrics a tad on this, so it's not exactly the same as the live version. This might be a factor of disappointment, but the song still retains it's magic touch. It's probably one of the best lyrically set songs of this album ("The way you move is like a full-on rainstorm"), and also one of the most upbeat. Definitely a fan favorite, as it verses about the magic of love at first sight.

    Back to December - Ah, yes. Back to December was the second promotional single released on October 12th, and it instantly clicked for many people. Many people speculate it's about Taylor Lautner, and Taylor's carelessness with him. It's a beautiful ballad, with an unique beat that is pretty rare coming from Taylor. We get to a see a very intimate side of her ever, confessing her "sorrys" towards one the most influential people she has worked/dated with. The lyrics are mostly pretty magnificent and clearly show true emotions ("You gave me roses but I left them there to die").

    Speak Now - We arrive at the album-named single. Released on October 5th, it was easily categorized one of Taylor's most "pop" soundings songs. Taylor wrote this to prove her point with the album: this album is about saying what you feel at the right moment, and she compared this to a preacher at a wedding saying "If anyone has any objection, Speak Now or forever hold your peace". Many find this song a bit cliché, but the main point is very well conveyed and the melody is extremely catchy, accompanied by decent lyrics.

    Dear John - I actually thought this song would be your run-of-the-mill track with pop verses. However, this is obviously not the case. Extremely powerful lyrics, sung with an emotion never seen before by Taylor, convey a message so strong it's hard to remain indifferent to the solemn charm of "Dear John". It also is her longest song to record, with 6:44 minutes of duration. If Speak Now (song) was the introduction to a new era of fearless speaking, then Dear John is exactly the result of those emotions. This is, simply put, not only the best song on the album (in my honest opinion), but probably the best released song Taylor has ever produced in her career so far.

    Mean - Mean spikes forth emotions that aren't generally characteristic of Taylor - spitefulness and bitterness. Here, she verses about generally about her haters (but someone in particular, as the song is predominantly written in the second person) and "why you [they] gotta be so mean". This track is not only proof that Taylor can strike back hard with her words, but that they are the deadliest weapon she can use. Well written and catchy beat. It is her most country-sounding song on Speak Now, with banjo and cello sounds in the background.

    The Story of Us - Exactly sung like a story (with verses such as "Next chapter"), Taylor sings here about a boy moment that marked her and what it would be like if a story emerged between both and the degrading of such relationship as the song progresses. She doesn't make it evident who it's about, though. It's pretty catchy, neatly written and fans will most likely latch onto this track like bees and honey. It also was, according to Taylor, "the gut feeling the album was finished" [when she finished this song].

    Never Grow Up - Taylor sings this song to a baby, and how innocent life is the best of this world, begging him to "stay this little, stay this simple". It's the calmest song on this album, and (to me) the one I enjoyed the least here. Despite this, the lyrics are reasonable (they fit the context and make sense), even if it's not for everybody.

    Enchanted - Originally, the album was to be called Enchanted, but it was renamed due to being too "fairytale". As far as the song goes, it builds a gradual attractiveness that is rare in a Taylor song (generally it's instant love for most people with a catchy, upbeat theme). Enchanted doesn't do this. Instead, it lures you in, and then when the chorus arrives, a very pleasant surprise is encountered ("I was enchanted to me"). This is also one of my favorite tracks, because the melody remains calm when needed but has that "oh my swiftness" moment at the chorus, which is exactly what I love about Taylor's ballads. (And because it's about one of my favorite artists of all time, Owl City (Adam Young)).

    Better Than Revenge - Positively aggressive since the first note and that introductory speech that is a first for Taylor, this song fuels emotions that merge to produce a very upbeat country rock-ish song. This is one of the better songs of the album, because it not only follows up the emotions of "Mean" at a more subtle lyrical level, but does it so in a different way than going strictly pop - which, all things considered - is not exactly the best way for these types of feelings. It really sounds like a Paramore song.

    Innocent - Innocent was a song written to calm fans a year after the Kanye 2009 VMA fiasco. Taylor assures fans that she "had many options coming into the [2010] VMA's". However, since this is album is "all about saying what you think", what better way to perform a song no one had heard before? And the execution is actually bittersweet. The resentment is clearly audible in Taylor's voice, and it serves as a fake "sorry", even if the lyrics state "you're still an innocent".

    Lyrically, this is very well written, with extremely memorable passages such as "Your string of lights is still bright to me". Despite many emotions clearly escaping the vocal passage, I can easily say that Innocent is my second favorite song of this album, with an extremely melodramatic theme that easily gets stuck in anyone's head. Taylor's option to place this song on her album was wise, because it develops on the forgiveness subject, even if it's not fully resolved.

    Haunted - "Come on, come on, don't leave me like this...I'm haunted." This is the way Taylor sums up a pretty obscure track that verses about a romance that [has] "gone terribly wrong." The melody is absolutely awe-struck though, and even if it's a theme that won't probably be super popular (compared to say, Mine, which was released as a single), it finds its niche inside this album in a very comfortable position as one of my favorite tracks.

    Last Kiss - Another ballad. I don't especially find it groundbreaking, and it's possibly one of the least "Speak Now" contextual themes, but it certainly is pretty personal, and the lyrics transmit the passion and desire to avoid that "last kiss" (which typically seals the end of a love story). It's a very good way to slowly calm us down as we approach the final track of the (regular) album, which is...

    Long Live - It is noticeable that Long Live, even though being the last track of the album, wasn't the one intended by Swift (actually, Story of Us was - due to that last verse, stating "The End"). Despite this, there is that nostalgia feeling: "it was the end of a decade, but the start of an age". And Taylor couldn't be more right. End of Fearless decade, and we start off with Speak Now in 2010! This is an absolutely marvelous track, the melody fits like a glove, and the writing here is flawless. The changes in tempo are very well done and this is again one of my favorite themes ever recorded by Swift.

    This track prepares us all for the future and it will possibly be a staple song on this album, that will always remind me of a nostalgia long gone, but still lived everyday.

    Additional bonus tracks (only present in Deluxe Edition):

    Ours - A cheerful melody to start off the bonus tracks. It talks about the difficulties of love as a relationship progresses, and that the most important thing is that it belongs only to two people, regardless of what others opinate ("They can't take what's Ours"). This actually reminds me of "Our Song", four years later - we see a more mature Swift, between genres but with a songwriting experience that is carefully placed in this song. Consequently, as this is a personal album, the upbeat theme is not as present.

    If This Was a Movie - Taylor compares a long lost love with the desire to have it back, like in the movies (where they come back and realize that leaving was a huge mistake). Nostalgic track once more, well executed, and melody is spot on. Easily one of my favorites.

    Superman - And the bonus tracks reach the end with this catchy, upbeat theme that also has to carry the nostalgia factor with it. Superman actually compliments the male species by comparing it to a "superman", that has the ability to do multiple things. However, the main issue is that he shouldn't forget that love (obviously!) is the most important thing, which intensifies Taylor's desire to be with the aforementioned person. Fantastic.

    The rest of the bonus tracks are either acoustic versions of reviewed tracks, or the original single versions of themes (Mean and Story of Us).

    Final thoughts: The biggest expectation I had for Speak Now was that this album would be as good as Fearless, which I dearly love and cherish. After listening to 5 full singles before the release (Mine, Speak Now, B.T.December, Mean and Innocent), I was confident this would be a highly anticipated album, but I wondered just how Taylor had changed in these two years.

    Now that the album is out, and listening critically to all the tracks, I have to say that Speak Now has blown me away, completely. It's not exactly comparable to Fearless because Taylor's songwriting has matured so much it's phenomenal. Instead of upbeat songs like You Belong With Me, we can experience personal tracks like Back to December and Speak Now.

    The bottom line is: Speak Now will make history. I predict it will take at least one Grammy and tons of other awards. But those are just the surplus of her talent, because the real talent is the one fans can appreciate everyday as soon as we listen to any Taylor song, be it from her self-entitled album from 2006 or this awesome Speak Now.

    Thank you, Taylor, for such an amazing album. Words cannot express the love I have for all that you have managed to convey into song.

    Every Swifty alive is extremely thankful for all that you have achieved and will accomplish in the future.

    Final Rating: A+ (full marks)
    Recommended Tracks: Mine, Dear John, Enchanted, Haunted, Back to December, Innocent, Long Live, Better than Revenge, Superman (bonus)

    The bottom line: "Get it now, absolutely groundbreaking."
  • The most unlikely country stars

    23 apr 2010, 04:47 av wingkon

    Elvis Presley - Believe or not, the "King of Rock N Roll" was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. I believe Snowbird and He'll Have To Go are good examples.

    Ray Charles - He's most well-known for jazz and blues, but he made "Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music." It was considered to be the second greatest country album, according to CMT. Of course, it's fused with Jazz, Soul and Blues.

    Eagles - Somehow, they were on CMT's Top 40 Men in Country. Anyways, try listening to Busy Being Fabulous. The intro sounds remotely country, although I haven't heard anything else country by them. Plus, they're touring with the Dixie Chicks for the 3rd time.

    Bon Jovi - Apparently including Jennifer Nettles in one of your songs makes you eligible for the country radio stations. They've also worked with LeAnn Rimes and Big & Rich.

    Kid Rock - Rock, Rap and Country. What's next?

    Bret Michaels - Remember the glam metal band called Poison? Well, apparently the singer's doing country now. Try listening to All I Ever Needed feat. Jessica Andrews.

    Michelle Branch and Jessica Harp- First it was with The Wreckers and now her solo career is country.

    Robert Plant, the former singer of Led Zeppelin teamed up with Alison Krauss to make the Grammy-winning Raising Sand

    Norah Jones - The jazz singer made an album consisting of country covers under the band name The Little Willies

    Zakk Wylde - Even though Pride & Glory is called Southern Rock, it has more in common with country music than anything on the radio.
  • Top 10 Albums of 2011 (Jan - Jun)

    4 aug 2011, 20:32 av PegasusGX

    It's hard to believe that half of the year 2011 is over. There have been some very good albums released in the first two yearly quarters, spanning all genres. Some have been highly publicized, others are sleeper hits, and the rest are just hidden gems. Nonetheless, all the present albums are deserving of their position on my Top 10.

    Eligible period is January 1, 2011 to June 30, 2011, counting official release date.

    Without further ado, let's begin.

    10. Brad Paisley - This Is Country Music (May 23)

    A solid album that showcases exactly why Brad Paisley is CMA Entertainer of The Year. A Man Don't Have To Die is genius, but the star of the show is definitely Remind Me, the duet with Carrie Underwood. A song so emotional, perfect for this album, with fabulous chemistry and vocals from both. So far, this is the best thing in country music this year.

    9. The Script - Science & Faith (Jan 18)

    A magnificent record overall from a band that rarely disappoints. For the First Time became a huge hit, and its a song that can be on repeat all day long - the ending is pure epic.

    8. The Decemberists - The King Is Dead (Jan 14)

    This album is like marmite - you either love it or hate it. Most would say that this is their worst, others defend the opposite. I support the latter crowd. A lot of harmonica and country roots are present, and songs like Don't Carry It All, January Hymn, June Hymn and Down by the Water define it. Country music lovers will enjoy this stripped down album, although it still is inside the Alternative genre. Still, whichever "side" you're on, the truth is that The Decemberists's worst album is better than a lot of bands' best album.

    7. Britney Spears - Femme Fatale (Mar 25)

    One of the many artists to make a comeback. And this album is good, very good. It's hard to believe this is her 7th album, but it's impressive how she can still influence millions in a Gaga-dominated era. Fantastic dance album.

    6. Andy Grammer - Andy Grammer (Jun 14)

    A breakthrough artist with a hidden gem of an album. Incredibly catchy and great lyrics set the tone of this album, with Miss Me, Biggest Man in Los Angeles, Lunatic and Fine By Me deserving honors, but it is Keep Your Head Up that has captivated many listeners. If you enjoy meaningful pop music, look no further.
    Get used to hearing his name.

    5. Owl City - All Things Bright And Beautiful (Jun 14)

    The simple definition of Adam Young? Dreamy, catchy, creatively brilliant. This album is no exception, it features naturally pleasing music that one cannot hope but smile at (hence the album's name). He has transcended all limits of his previous album and wrote songs that are just pure amazing. Highlights go toThe Real World, Deer in the Headlights, Angels, Galaxies and Alligator Sky.

    4. Avril Lavigne - Goodbye Lullaby (Mar 8)

    Another comeback by an artist that influenced and rocked the early-mid 2000s. This is an meditative, reflective album, full of mature songs that really make you think. It's an album for you to LISTEN, cherish and take seriously. Avril has matured so much, while still retaining elements from all her previous albums, and this is evident throughout Goodbye Lullaby's listening process.

    Picture this album as a long spiraling staircase that starts high up.Black Star is at the top, and Goodbye is the very pit. As you make your way down, you'll encounter a lot of different emotions that twist and turn, increasingly darker, but they are all necessary to understand the album completely, just like each step is essential in a staircase to complete it.

    3. Lady Gaga - Born This Way (May 23)

    Moving into the podium spots, we have Gaga, which many could say is the current queen of pop. She has taken the world by storm, especially with this album - proof are album sales, with over 1 million just in the first week of release. This album marks Gaga down as one of only 5 women to ever sell a million albums on debut week.

    Musically and lyrically, she is a genius. The simple fusion of pop and dance with rock and metal elements is fantastic, and this albums spans nearly all genres - from the industrial sounding Judas, bubblegum pop Hair nirvana, international Americano and Scheiße, country-style Yoü and I, and finishing with jazz perfection, we can easily say that Gaga isn't on The Edge of Glory - she's already in it.

    2. Ellie Goulding - Lights (Mar 8)

    Marking a firm presence in the UK with this album, Ellie is an artist with an ethereal voice and lyrics to boot, writing/co-writing all songs with astounding lyrical perfection, with the obvious exception of Your Song, by Sir Elton John (which is the best cover I've ever heard). She masterfully dominates the electronic side of pop, making her into a female Owl City of sorts.

    Make no doubt about it, this is pop magic. Every single song is unique and perfect (and there are no fillers whatsoever), making this an extremely deserving album of second place. The lights of the music industry will definitely continue to shine bright for Ellie, after she delivered such a magnificent debut album.

    1. Adele - 21 (Feb 22)

    What a breathtaking album. Adele's voice is powerful, vulnerable, assured and heartbreaking all in one fell swoop. While most of today's pop stars rely on auto-tune, flashy video pyrotechnics, and guest rappers, Adele takes music back to its core and makes you feel, live and have an opinion on every single word. Dripping with raw emotion, it's hard to believe someone so young could produce such a masterpiece.

    She is an artist to be treasured - with a voice beyond compare, and lyrical capacity beyond belief, this album deserves nothing less than a Grammy for Album of Year at next year's Grammy Awards. On this countdown, however, Adele has already taken gold.

    ----

    Honorable Mentions:

    Beyoncé - 4
    Eric Church - Chief
    Selena Gomez & the Scene - When the Sun Goes Down

    ----

    Well, it seems that UK artists are definitely leaving a mark all over the world, with Ellie Goulding and Adele showcasing excellent albums for this first half of 2011, even though Gaga's album proved her worthy of the Queen of Pop title.

    What were your favorites? Do you have other suggestions for great albums released this year? Leave a comment below!
  • The Top 75 Singles of 2012

    7 jan 2013, 03:59 av Carali

    The Top 75 Singles of 2012

    My personal list of the best singles of 2012.

    1. Gotye - Somebody That I Used to Know

    No matter how many times I heard this song over the course of the year, I still love it. That's a really unusual quality in a song.

    2. Taylor Swift - I Knew You Were Trouble
    Taylor Swift discovers dubstep. I've always been a fan of hers, but this song is perfect chaos.

    3. Carly Rae Jepsen - Call Me Maybe
    THE pop song of the year.

    4. First Aid Kit - Emmylou
    My best discovery this year.

    5. Florence + the Machine - Shake It Out (acoustic)

    I love both versions of the song, but there's something about the acousic version on the Unplugged album that I love just a little bit more.

    6. Blur - Under the Westway

    This song really grew on me. I'm not normally a huge blur fan, but this won me over.

    7. Calvin Harris feat. Florence Welch - Sweet Nothing
    In my opionion the best song on Calvin Harris' album. Of course that could be because I love everything Florence Welch does.

    8. Psy - Gangnam Style (강남스타일)
    The big viral hit of the year. I can't hear this song without seeing the video in my head, and that alone puts this at number 8

    9. Kathleen Edwards - Change The Sheets
    The best thing she's done in years

    10. Rebecca Ferguson - Nothings Real But Love
    I know this came out earlier in the rest of the world, but it was 2012 here in the US. She has yet to hit it big, but in my opinion this was the best soul song of the year,

    11. Alex Clare - Too Close
    A great song by a great new artist.

    12. Kelly Clarkson - What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger)
    Kelly Clarkson at her best

    13. Cat Power - Cherokee

    Cat Power just keeps getting better year to year.

    14. Miranda Lambert - Over You
    The best ballad she's ever done. I've loved Miranda Lambert from the first time I saw her on Nashville Star way back. The Four The Record is in my opinion the best record she's put out yet.

    15. James Morrison - I Won't Let You Go
    My favorite song he has come up with so far. Definitely the best song on the album

    16. P!nk - Try

    P!nk can't see to do any wrong lately. This is another song with a great video, but the song itself is great too.

    17. Dierks Bentley - Home
    Strikingly different then anything else I've heard of his. It's refreshing to hear him do something different.

    18. Imogen Heap - You Know Where to Find Me
    Another great song by one of my favorite artists ever

    19. Mumford & Sons - I Will Wait
    The best thing on Babel.

    20. Lana Del Rey - Born to Die
    Even better than Video Games

    21. Lenka - Everything at Once

    A great song that is unfortunately now irreversibly connected with Windows 8.

    22. Solange - Losing You
    Beyonce's little sister finally hit her stride in 2012. Great song.

    23. Cassadee Pope - Stupid Boy
    I've loved The Voice from the beginning, but this is the first year they got it right. I loved every performance of hers, but this was one her best.

    24. The Band Perry - Better Dig Two

    The best thing they've done so far.

    25. Ed Sheeran - The A Team

    He sort of came out nowhere this year. One my favorite songs and albums of the year.

    26. Anya Marina - Body Knows Best

    One of the best indie songs of the year.

    27. Civil Twilight - Fire Escape

    Another group I discovered this year. This song is my favorite song of there's.

    28. Ellie Goulding - Anything Could Happen

    Another great track by Ellie.

    29. The Lumineers - Ho Hey
    One of the big break out artists of the year.

    30. Pistol Annies - Run Daddy Run

    The best song on the Hunger Games soundtrack. It's actually listed as a Miranda Lambert song, but it's really her group Pistol Annies.

    31. Imagine Dragons - It's Time
    I wasn't originally a huge fan of this song, but it really grew on me.

    32. Scissor Sisters - Only the Horses
    Another good song by the Scissor Sisters.

    33. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals - Never Go Back
    I love Grace Potter, and this is one her best moments

    34. Of Monsters and Men - Little Talks
    A great track by them.

    35. Adele - Skyfall
    The best Bond song in years. Reminds me of the days of Shirley Bassey. Adele's voice lends itself to the Bond drama in the same way Bassey's does.

    36. Bruno Mars - Locked Out of Heaven
    The best Police song they never did.

    37. David Guetta Feat Sia - Titanium
    A perfect collaboration

    38. Florence + the Machine - Spectrum
    Florence can do no wrong

    39. fun. - Some Nights
    Not quite as good as We Are Young, but pretty close

    40. Alicia Keys - Girl on Fire
    The best thing she's done since No One

    41. Demi Lovato - Give Your Heart a Break
    One of the best pop songs of the year.

    42. Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons - I've Been Accused
    I only discovered them this year, but they quickly became one of my favorite discoveries of the year.

    43. Neon Trees - Everybody Talks
    Another great pop song

    44. Paloma Faith - Picking Up the Pieces
    One of my favorites this year

    45. Of Monsters and Men - Mountain Sound
    Another great song by them

    46. Kenny Chesney - Come Over

    One of the best country songs of the year.

    47. Carrie Underwood - Good Girl
    Carrie at her country-pop best.

    48. Katy Perry - Wide Awake
    The best of her post-divorce songs.

    49. Marina and the Diamonds - Primadonna
    Not as good as her first album, but still a fun song.

    50. Kacey Musgraves - Merry Go 'Round
    If this song is a good judge of what's to come, she'll be one to watch in 2013. A great new country artist.

    51. P!nk - Blow Me (One Last Kiss)
    P!nk at her best

    52. Melanie Amaro - Long Distance
    The best she's come out with so far. I'm still waiting for something to impress me the way she did on The X-Factor, but she's on her way.

    53. The Raveonettes - Young and Cold
    The Raveonettes with a little bit of a country edge. Different, but still unmistakably Raveonettes.

    54. Zac Brown Band - Goodbye In Her Eyes
    Reminds me of Alabama at their best.

    55. Jack White - Sixteen Saltines
    A great solo song by him

    56. Eric Hutchinson - Watching You Watch Him
    Good pop song

    57. Emeli Sandé - Next to Me
    One of the best debuts of the year.

    58. Haley Reinhart - Free
    She was the only artist I really liked on that season of American Idol. This was a great debut for her. I just wish it got more airplay.

    59. The Wanted - I Found You

    A surprisingly great song by one the boy bands of the moment

    60. Adam Lambert - Never Close Our Eyes
    I've always loved Adam Lambert. This is one of his best tracks so far.

    61. Blake Shelton - Drink On It
    Yet another good song to add to Blake Shelton's ever growing list of hits.

    62. Flo Rida feat Sia - Wild Ones
    Sia had a great year in collaborations. The second best one of the year.

    63. Juliet Simms - Wild Child
    I still think she should of won the 2nd season of The Voice.

    64. Brandi Carlile - That Wasn't Me
    I love Brandi Carlile's voice. No one else sounds quite like her.

    65. James Morrison - Beautiful Life
    The second best song on the album

    66. Little Mix - Wings
    They have the potential to be one of the best girl groups in years. I'm rooting for 'em.

    67. The Killers - Runaways
    The Killers at their over dramatic best

    68. Taylor Swift - We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
    Taylor at her pop best.

    69. Rihanna - Diamonds
    Another great track to add to her many great tracks. She's another artist that can't seem to do anything wrong.

    70. Little Big Town - Pontoon
    The best thing they've done since Boondocks

    71. Carrie Underwood - Blown Away
    It tries to be Independence Day and doesn't quite make it. Despite that it is a good song, just not great.

    72. Foster the People - Houdini
    Not quite Pumped Up Kicks or Helena Beat, but still a good song

    73. Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen - Good Time

    A fun song by the duo

    74. Phillip Phillips - Home
    Considering he was my least favorite contestant on idol for the last few years the fact that I actually liked his first single is incredible. I didn't like him at any point until the very very end of his idol run. Home is truly one of the best songs of the year.

    75. Maroon 5 - One More Night

    A great pop song by the group. A bit too pop, but still fun.