• The Essential *NSYNC - Review

    9 aug 2014, 00:27

    It's been 13 years since *NSYNC last put out a studio album. Since then, they've pretty much broken up (okay, they've went on a "temporary hiatus"). Unless you've been living under a rock, Justin Timberlake embarked on a successful solo career. He put out 4 albums, scored many hit songs, and became a business entrepreneur. The odds of another *NSYNC album may have grown smaller since 2002, but they did have some brief reunions here and there. They performed a Bee Gees medley at the 2003 Grammys, they sang the National Anthem at a charity basketball game in 2004, and last year, they reunited for a spectacular one-off performance at the MTV Video Music Awards.

    Quite frankly, they never really had any sudden rift or bad blood. It's just been a very busy 13 years for each of them. You can't really blame the breakup on Justin alone. The other 4 guys were actually successful in their own careers also. You can choose to become a school janitor instead of a solo artist, and you could still become successful at it. They just wanted to do something new based on their own interests. Lance Bass has his own radio show and gets to party with A-listers all the time. Joey Fatone has a steady film and television career. JC Chasez has gone from reality competition judge to songwriter and producer. And Chris Kirkpatrick continues to work in the independent music department. So, yeah, the guys have been very busy over the past 13 years. So busy that they never got the memo that their record label wanted to produce a two-disc hits album for the Essential series using their songs.

    Normally, hearing about a new release in their catalog without giving the record label their consent would bother the guys completely. However, they took notice that the fans were purchasing like the good old days. I, myself, was such a total nerd that I convinced my parents to drive over to a nearby Wal-Mart or K-Mart to purchase an *NSYNC album on the day of its release, and I wasn't the only kid that got that kind of transportation from their parents. No Strings Attached and Celebrity both sit at the top 2 spots on the best opening sales week numbers ever at 2.4 million and 1.88 million respectively. Nowadays, you're just lucky if your album sells that many in its lifespan. Another thing that I ate up was the merchandise. If I spotted one of the merchandise items at a store, I only need to blink one time, and it would be in my possession. Now, considering my passion for being an *NSYNC fan, I was hesitant at first to check it out, since I already purchased all the albums. However, I checked to find that all my original copies were worn out. And given the fact that the fans were going crazy over an album that they had no idea was going to come out, I gave in and checked out The Essential *NSYNC. After all, I was curious to see how the record label put together a two-disc hits album with only a small catalog of songs to choose from. How was it?

    To put it simply, everything that I loved about *NSYNC's music is on this album. It's an amazing collection. You not only get all the best songs on here, but they also throw us a bigger surprise with the back half of songs. This compilation gives you everything you knew about *NSYNC and then some things that you never knew at all.

    First, let's talk about the hits. All the singles are present on the first disc. You got the four US singles from the 1998 debut album, *NSYNC: I Want You Back, Tearin' Up My Heart, God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You, and the underrated I Drive Myself Crazy. Plus they also got two songs from that album that got released as singles internationally: Here We Go and For the Girl Who Has Everything. Those all make up the first 6 songs on disc 1. Track 8 is Music of My Heart, their duet with Gloria Estefan for the Music of the Heart movie. Now, tracks 9 through 11 are all the hits released from No Strings Attached, including Bye Bye Bye, It's Gonna Be Me, and This I Promise You. All three of those singles peaked in the top 5 on the Hot 100, with It's Gonna Be Me as their only #1 hit, and Bye Bye Bye becoming their signature song. Disc 1 closes out with all the hits from the Celebrity album. That includes Pop, Girlfriend (the remix with Nelly), and Gone, which is a song that Justin recently admitted was written for Michael Jackson.

    Now, I just mentioned 13 songs. There are 17 songs on the first disc altogether, and another 17 songs on the second disc bring the total to 34 songs featured on The Essential *NSYNC. This brings us to the part where this album really gets you. The rest of the songs are deep cuts, soundtrack songs, and songs that have never been released before. If you loved the singles, then you're equally going to love these other songs on here. The other 4 songs that you'll find on the first disc are as follows: track 7 is Are You Gonna Be There, a song that was cut from the No Strings Attached sessions. It's a ballad that falls in between the debut album and NSA and really captures their harmonies. You can even identify each guy's vocals on there. Track 13 is titled I Believe in You. It was a duet with R&B singer Joe on his album, My Name Is Joe. This tune really caters to the band's R&B stylings and influences. Joe's one of the most true R&B singers from the early 2000's. Together, they put together a duet that really combines both forces. It's as Y2K R&B as you can get. If I'm Not The One, another song from the No Strings Attached sessions, appears on track 14. This song and Are You Gonna Be There both appeared originally on an joint EP with Britney Spears titled Your #1 Requests... and More!, which was only available in McDonald's Happy Meals during the summer of 2000. This is one of *NSYNC's best previously unreleased songs on the album. A hybrid of the turn-of-the-millennium pop songs by Britney, Mandy Moore, and the Backstreet Boys, it's an infectious mid-tempo tune that you can't help but try to choreograph a routine to. It showcases that acoustic/keyboard combo, those identifiable 5-part harmonies, and simplistic lyrics (even though it will take me a while to figure out why Justin's writing letters to his garbage can). I Thought She Knew was also featured on the EP, and it was the only one out of those three songs that actually made the No Strings Attached album. It appears on the first disc at track 12. Here, we hear the guys put their 5-part harmonies at something that they really do best: acapella. This song showcases their biggest talents at their finest, as they sing about forgetting to say "I love you" until it was too late.

    By the time you get to the second disc, the rarities take over the entire track listing. The first 3 tracks are all unreleased recordings from the beginning of their career: two covers (More Than a Feeling and The Lion Sleeps Tonight) and an original song (Best of My Life). Having to forget that they are covering a Boston song is very easy, considering the fact that they once again go acapella. They put their own twist on the classic rock song with respect to the original. Tracks 4 and 5 are Sailing and Everything I Own, two deep cuts from the debut album, both of which are classic soft rock covers. Sailing originally came from Christopher Cross, and Everything I Own was originally a Bread song. Once again, they make these songs their own by doing what they do best: 5-part vocal harmonies. Track 6 is a re-recording of God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You with country group Alabama. The next 8 tracks are all songs recorded for movie soundtracks. Somewhere, Someday (track 7) appeared originally on the Pokémon - The First Movie soundtrack. Trashin' The Camp (track 8) appeared on the Tarzan soundtrack, which was recorded with Phil Collins. If Only in Heaven's Eyes (track 9) appeared on the Light it Up soundtrack. You Don't Have to Be Alone (track 10) was recorded for the Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas soundtrack. Tracks 11, 12, and 13 all appeared in the *NSYNC movie On the Line. Track 11, On The Line, only features two of the guys from *NSYNC: Lance and Joey. The song was a collaboration that they did with Mandy Moore, Christian Burns, and True Vibe, billing themselves as The On The Line All-Stars. Track 12 is That Girl (Will Never Be Mine), which happens to be the best of the unreleased songs on this album. It's a heavy, up-tempo dance track that really reflects the up-tempo songs on Celebrity. Falling appears on track 13, and it's a ballad co-written by Chris Kirkpatrick. The instrumentals give the tune an R&B edge that rivals Usher's U Got It Bad. Feel The Love (track 14) appeared in the movie Longshot. It was produced and written by manager Louis Pearlman, who launched the band into superstardom, and in return, they launched a lawsuit against the boy band Svengali. The guys made cameos in the movie alongside several other of Pearlman's artists, including Britney, O-Town, and LFO. Tracks 15 and 16 are two cuts from the Celebrity album: Selfish and See Right Through You. A few fun facts worth mentioning: Selfish features some help from top musicians such as Brian McKnight on keyboard, American Idol's Randy Jackson on bass, and Motown legend Stevie Wonder on harmonica. The final track is Believe in Yourself, which they performed on the classic kids' TV show, Sesame Street, back in 2000.

    As exhausting as it was talking about all the tracks on this album, it really is an excellent compilation that captures everything great about *NSYNC. This release is a triumph for not only the band, but also the Essential series, which always covers the best that these artists have to offer. This time, they've really outdone themselves, throwing in all the hits and the songs from their back catalog, and then going beyond the catalog.

    The overall average score for The Essential *NSYNC is a 95 out of 100, bringing it to 4.75 out of 5 stars. This actually bests all my scores for all their studio albums, if that's even possible. If we never get to hear new music from *NSYNC, I think it's something that I can live with. The fact that they were able to reunite at the VMAs brought some closure to a career that brought smiles to millions of people everywhere. Even better, we can always go back to listening to their 3 studio albums (plus Home For Christmas) whenever we want to, and now we got this that we can listen to repeatedly also.
  • A Message to Rihanna Fans

    21 nov 2012, 19:40

    Yes, I'm a hater. I can't honestly say that she doesn't deserve to have a #1 album, or should never have one, but the method that she takes every year has made it impossible to achieve that and also makes her unworthy of one. She releases every album too soon after the last one, and most of the time, she isn't even thinking about making the album perfect. The record company is doing most of the work for her. All Rihanna does is try to make songs that are easy #1 hits, which are mediocre at best. When the song is not selling at #1 on iTunes, then the company has to turn to radio stations and shove them down out throats. I speak for all of them when I say that we have to continue hating, because it's a very terrible way to work as an artist, and even if she does score a #1 album with "Unapologetic", the cracks are starting to show.

    Also, when we keep bickering back and forth about whether she's better than the greatest artists of all-time, it's pretty ridiculous. The only reason Rihanna keeps breaking records is because she's a younger artist. She has many resources that the Beatles, Elvis, Rolling Stones, or even Michael had back in the day. They have a lot of talent to make great music to last a long time. Sure, they don't have any hits nowadays, but someday, Rihanna will get to that point where she's 50 and unable to wrestle that #1 spot away from a younger hot shot. With the rate that her career is at, she doesn't know a lot about the music industry. She isn't exactly better than every other artist out there right now in the mainstream that is accused of making terrible music. She's just the same as all of them. What she has is a marketing team behind her that knows it better than anyone else.

    This "Rihanna reign" will let up in a couple of years, so it should be important to her to focus on making music that will last through the next generation. She needs to take at least 2013 off, search deep into her soul, and release an album after working on it for a while, even if it's released in 2014. I would like to see Rihanna achieve that #1 album for all of the right reasons. I'm sure that Rihanna will do that one day. She could even do that next year if the record company releases a compilation of #1 hits that only covers an 8 year span. Stranger moments have happened before.
  • If American Idol Was The Voice...

    24 jan 2012, 20:56

    Last week, we had the season 11 premiere of American Idol, which I didn't watch since I was still recovering from the finale. In about two weeks, we will have the season 2 premiere of The Voice coming on right after the Super Bowl (or at 10 PM eastern time, should the Super Bowl run too long). While none of the finalists in season 1 have experienced success like Idol contestants have, they were a lot better than Idol's season last year. When I compared the two together, I saw that Idol had a lot more flaws that I recognized years back but forgot about. While I'm Team Voice right now, I still listen to some of the Idol alumni since I have watched them previously. Suddenly, considering how myself and a lot of other people wished that a certain selection of Idol finalists from last season had gone further, I thought the reason that they ultimately lost was because they were on the wrong show. The same goes to a lot of past Idol contestants. For every Idol finalist that had a successful career, there are four more that never got the fame they deserved. While Idol guarantees fame, we wondered that they could have been better off in the hands of Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Cee-Lo Green, or Christina Aguilera instead of Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi, and whoever they have now. I looked at each finalist and imagined the finale scenario with 4 appropriate selections, 1 for each team's finalist spot. Here's what would've happened if each season of Idol ended the way that The Voice crowned their winner.

    Season 1

    This was a difficult task for me, because there were 3 standout performers, and the rest were so forgotten that I can't remember what they sounded like. The top 2 finale that Simon Cowell said that he hoped for in his book would've definitely happened on The Voice, with Kelly Clarkson winning for Team Blake over Cee-Lo's Tamyra Gray. Adam Levine would've had Justin Guarini as his top representative, and Christina Aguilera would've been stuck with another Christina in the finale: Christina Christian. Then over time, Christina A. would regret her decision and write the first single for Kelly.

    Season 2

    Since we literally saw Frenchie Davis make the top 8 in season 1 of The Voice, we left her out of this scenario, though she was removed by the producers in the middle of semi-finals. So Cee-Lo's top pick would've been Kimberley Locke. Blake, on the other hand, would've brought Kimberly Caldwell to the finale under his wing. The final 2 would be the same as that season, with Ruben Studdard on Team Adam, and Clay Aiken on Team Christina. But Idol let Clay confess that he was gay like they do on The Voice, Clay would've not only won, but his career would've lasted longer than it did in reality.

    Season 3

    Team Cee-Lo would win thanks to Jennifer Hudson, who made it as far as 7th place on Idol. Christina would've had the second place position with the second most praised Idol contestant of season 3, LaToya London. Also in the finale would've been George Huff for Team Blake. The fourth position would be tough to call, because I heard so much of the three divas for the whole season, but Fantasia sounds more like Donald Duck than Whitney Houston, so maybe John Stevens isn't a bit of a stretch for Team Adam.

    Season 4

    For season 4, Adam's top pick would've been Nadia Turner, where her rendition of "Time After Time" would've been better received. Christina would've carried Anwar Robinson to the final, while Constantine Maroulis would've screwed it up in the first live vote with his rendition of "Hard To Handle". The final 2 would be the same outcome as the actual outcome for season 4, with Blake Shelton taking Bo Bice, but once he watched Cee-Lo win, he would consider Carrie Underwood the girl that got away.

    Season 5

    There aren't many people from season 5 that would've kept Taylor Hicks out of the final 4, but if Mandisa was on there, she would've definitely prevented the gray-haired one from being in the finale and would've represented Team Cee-Lo. Determining the connections that they would have later on, Christina's top pick would be Katharine McPhee. Elliott Yamin's funky old soul vibe would've fit perfectly on Team Adam. And I know saying that Chris Daughtry should've won American Idol sounds like a broken record, but on Team Blake, he definitely would've won The Voice.

    Season 6

    With season 6, the only person from the final 4 that would not make this final 4 would be Blake Lewis, who probably would've made Christina's team, since she has a rapper this season, but since beatboxing can't help him here, he would've lost in the Battle Rounds, while her top teammate would be Jordin Sparks. Adam Levine's top pick would be Chris Richardson. Then the top 2 would've been LaKisha Jones on Team Blake and Melinda Doolittle on Team Cee-Lo, with Dr. Doolittle prescribing a victory.

    Season 7

    The seventh season of Idol has probably the best lineup of finalists out of every season they did. So if this group was on The Voice, the final 4 would've included Jason Castro on Team Christina and Brooke White on Team Cee-Lo. The final 2 would be the same as the one we had on Idol, and it would have the same outcome. David Cook would win for Team Adam over Team Blake's top person, David Archuleta.

    Season 8

    For season 8, we would've had the same final 4 here as what we had on Idol, yet with a slightly different outcome. Team Cee-Lo's top artist would've been Allison Iraheta, and Kris Allen would be the last one left for Team Adam, but the final 2 would come between Team Blake's top man, Danny Gokey, and Adam Lambert for Team Christina. Judging with their track records on that season, it would be very close, but if Danny performed "Dream On" in the finale, he would've blown the game in the worst way possible.

    Season 9

    Almost half of the finalists would've actually made a great season if they chose to be on this show rather than Idol. Of course, Lee DeWyze would've not made it to the finale, but what we would get is Team Cee-Lo's finale spot going to Siobhan Magnus, and Casey James representing Team Blake. The final two would've between frenemies Christina and Adam, where Adam's finalist, Crystal Bowersox, edging out Michael Lynche.

    Season 10

    The finalists from last season inspired my article here, as we got many cuts of singers that definitely went on the wrong show. Casey Abrams's rendition of Maroon 5's "Harder To Breathe" would've scored him the top spot on Team Adam. Our underdog, Haley Reinhart, would've been the finalist on Christina's team. Finally, the top two would've been Cee-Lo's top pick, Pia Toscano, and Blake's representative, James Durbin. In simple terms, if American Idol's tenth season was like The Voice, Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina would've been gone much, much sooner.
  • Best of the Glee Class of 2012

    9 jan 2012, 21:32

    Best Finn Hudson Solo:

    Girls Just Want to Have Fun (Glee Cast Version)
    Episode 3x07: I Kissed A Girl
    Originally peformed by Robert Hazard

    As featured on Billboard's website, Finn put a whole new twist on this song in order to channel the perspective of Robert Hazard's original idea instead of the valley girl anthem Cyndi Lauper made famous.

    Best Noah Puckerman Solo:

    Fat Bottomed Girls
    Episode 2x12: Silly Love Songs
    Originally performed by Queen

    Best Kurt Hummel Solo:

    Episode 2x16: Original Song
    Originally performed by The Beatles

    Best Mike Chang Solo:

    Cool (Glee Cast Version)
    Episode 3x03: Asian F
    Originally performed by Leonard Bernstein

    While we learned that he isn't the best male vocalist, the Asian dancer's long-awaited solo debut with this West Side Story number was nothing to scoff at.

    Best Quinn Fabray Solo:

    It's A Man's Man's Man's World (Glee Cast Version)
    Episode 1x21
    Originally performed by James Brown

    I've always been a fan of Quinn's indie-soulful chops, and this James Brown cover satisfied my fixation on the half-good and half-evil Cheerio.

    Best Mercedes Jones Solo:

    I Will Always Love You (Glee Cast Version)
    Episode 1x16: Home
    Originally performed by Whitney Houston

    Best Santana Lopez Solo:

    Songbird (Glee Cast Version)
    Episode 2x19: Rumours
    Originally performed by Fleetwood Mac

    Best Rachel Berry Solo:

    Take a Bow (Glee Cast Version)
    Episode 1x02: Showmance
    Originally performed by Rihanna

    Best Mash-Up:

    I Feel Pretty / Unpretty
    Episode 2x18: Born This Way
    Originally performed by TLC and Leonard Bernstein

    In a 90-minute episode overhyped by the cover of Lady Gaga's Born This Way, the frenemy bond between Rachel and Lucy Quinn Fabray shined more than any other song from that episode.

    Best All-Male Performance:

    Stop! In the Name of Love / Free Your Mind (Glee Cast Version)
    Episode 2x06: Never Been Kissed
    Originally performed by The Supremes and En Vogue

    Best All-Female Performance:

    Start Me Up / Livin' On A Prayer (Glee Cast Version)
    Episode 2x06: Never Been Kissed
    Originally performed by Bon Jovi and The Rolling Stones

    Best Original Song:

    Loser Like Me (Glee Cast Version)
    Episode 2x16: Original Song

    Best Collaboration With Will Schuester:

    Toxic (Glee Cast Version)
    Episode 2x02: Britney/Brittany
    Originally performed by Britney Spears

    Best Duet:

    (I've Had) The Time of My Life
    Episode 2x09: Special Education
    Originally performed by Bill Medley & Jennifer Warner

    Best Season 1 Group Performance:

    Don't Stop Believin'
    Episode 1x01: Pilot
    Originally performed by Journey

    The Glee version of Don't Stop Believin' was the moment when people stopped asking Steve Perry when he would perform with Journey again and started asking him when he would put out another solo album.

    Best Season 2 Group Performance:

    Don't Stop (Glee Cast Version)
    Episode 2x19: Rumours
    Originally performed by Fleetwood Mac

    Best Season 3 Group Performance:

    We Are Young (Glee Cast Version)
    Episode 3x08: Hold On To Sixteen
    Originally performed by fun.
  • My Top 50 Artist Scrobbles of 2011

    1 jan 2012, 13:58

    50. Backstreet Boys
    32 Plays

    49. Kelly Clarkson
    33 Plays

    48. Plain White T's
    33 Plays

    47. SafetySuit
    34 Plays

    46. Steve Perry
    34 Plays

    My #46 artist of 2011 was #19 last year with 59 scrobbles, which is a 42% decline. With Street Talk burned to CD, scrobbles relied on "Oh Sherrie" for the most part of 2011. The song was scrobbled 22 times, making up 65% of the scrobbles this year. But while "Oh Sherrie" was dominant in scrobbles, I had discovered a few other songs this year that also received scrobbles. Mostly, it was "Against The Wall", a song from his Greatest Hits CD. It was first scrobbled on July 20th. The song was scrobbled 9 times, making up 26% of the scrobbles. Plus, there was one scrobble for a song off of For the Love of Strange Medicine called "If You Need Me Call Me". The rest were two songs scrobbled from Street Talk, "It's Only Love" and "You Should Be Happy". In 2011, Steve's total scrobbles stand at 125, breaking the 100 scrobble mark on February 14th.

    45. Superchunk
    34 Plays

    44. The Velvet Underground
    35 Plays

    43. The Airborne Toxic Event
    38 Plays

    42. Free Energy
    38 Plays

    41. Night Ranger
    39 Plays

    40. Mumford & Sons
    40 Plays

    39. Tamar Kaprelian
    43 Plays

    My #39 artist of 2011 was #9 last year with 95 scrobbles, which is a 55% decline.

    38. OneRepublic
    43 Plays

    OneRepublic had 12 scrobbles in my library at the beginning of 2011. Last year, they were only scrobbled 3 times, each one was for "All the Right Moves". Their first scrobble for 2011 was "Stop and Stare", from their 2007 debut, Dreaming out Loud, recorded on January 21st. It was scrobbled again on February 6th. On March 17th, it was scrobbled again. Also on that day, there were 4 other songs from Dreaming Out Loud scrobbled for the first time in my library: "Say (All I Need)", "Mercy", "Goodbye, Apathy", and their previous signature song, "Apologize".

    OneRepublic was at 7 scrobbles for 2011, but that was about to change, because I was about to see them in concert a week later. They played a free concert at my college in March in support of their recent album, Waking Up. Since then, the scrobbles slowly piled up. "Apologize" was scrobbled two more times in April, and "Stop And Stare" was scrobbled two more times in early May. By then, the band was played in my library 11 times in 2011.

    But that was only 4 scrobbles I just mentioned. Why weren't there more at the time? I was waiting for the right time to purchase Waking Up on CD. After finally getting it in May, the scrobbles started pouring in. The album was scrobbled 8 times during the end of May, and it came just in time. "Good Life" was just released as the latest single for the album, and it was gaining momentum in June. The song was scrobbled two times in May, then it logged in 7 scrobbles during June.

    By the end of 2011, "Good Life" was scobbled 13 times. "Stop And Stare" was the second most scrobbled OneRepublic song in my library, which logged in 8 scrobbles. Their yearly scrobbles were 1333% up from 2010. Their scrobbles in my library now total up to 55 plays overall.

    37. Ra Ra Riot
    44 Plays

    36. Patrick Stump
    45 Plays

    35. Adele
    45 Plays

    34. Fefe Dobson
    45 Plays

    33. Journey
    45 Plays

    32. Maroon 5
    47 Plays

    My #32 artist of 2011 was #24 last year with 45 scrobbles. Although it fell 8 spots on this list, they received a 4% increase in scrobbles.

    On January 1st, the first Maroon 5 scrobble of 2011 was "Stutter" from Hands All Over, which was scrobbled for the first time in my library. On January 2nd, 7 scrobbles were recorded in my library from the 2007 album It Won't Be Soon Before Long. The songs scrobbled only once were "Won't Go Home Without You", "Little Of Your Time", "If I Never See Your Face Again", and "Can't Stop". The songs that were scrobbled twice were "Nothing Lasts Forever" and "Goodnight Goodnight".

    31. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
    48 Plays

    30. Colbie Caillat
    49 Plays

    29. Foreigner
    49 Plays

    28. Fleetwood Mac
    50 Plays

    27. Phil Collins
    50 Plays

    26. Lemonade Mouth
    51 Plays

    25. Sara Bareilles
    51 Plays

    24. Prince
    51 Plays

    23. Michael Jackson
    51 Plays

    22. Florence + the Machine
    52 Plays

    21. Wolfmother
    52 Plays

    20. NKOTBSB
    53 Plays

    19. Chasen
    53 Plays

    18. Chicago
    54 Plays

    17. Devo
    54 Plays

    16. P!nk
    56 Plays

    15. R. Kelly
    57 Plays

    14. Ashley Tisdale
    59 Plays

    13. Bridgit Mendler
    62 Plays

    12. Def Leppard
    68 Plays

    11. Lindsey Buckingham
    69 Plays

    10. Parachute
    70 Plays

    9. Hot Chelle Rae
    72 Plays

    8. Arcade Fire
    74 Plays

    7. Miranda Lambert
    77 Plays

    6. Taylor Swift
    95 Plays

    5. Glee Cast
    107 Plays

    4. Daughtry
    114 Plays

    3. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
    116 Plays

    2. Demi Lovato
    136 Plays

    1. David Cook
    201 Plays
  • My Top 50 Album Scrobbles of 2011

    1 jan 2012, 13:27

    50. Demi Lovato - Unbroken
    27 Plays

    49. Michael Jackson - Immortal
    27 Plays

    48. Vampire Weekend – Contra
    27 Plays

    47. Lynyrd Skynyrd – God & Guns
    27 Plays

    46. Prince – The Very Best of Prince
    27 Plays

    45. Phil Collins - No Jacket Required
    28 Plays

    44. Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
    28 Plays

    43. OneRepublic – Waking Up
    29 Plays

    42. SafetySuit – Life Left To Go
    29 Plays

    41. Miranda Lambert – Four The Record
    31 Plays

    40. Beach House – Teen Dream
    31 Plays

    39. The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground & Nico
    31 Plays

    38. Kelly Clarkson – Stronger
    32 Plays

    37. Colbie Caillat – All Of You
    32 Plays

    36. Plain White T's – Wonders Of The Younger
    32 Plays

    35. Superchunk – Majesty Shredding
    34 Plays

    34. Maroon 5 – Hands All Over
    34 Plays

    33. Hot Chelle Rae – Whatever
    36 Plays

    32. P!nk – I'm Not Dead
    36 Plays

    31. Tamar Kaprelian – Sinner Or A Saint
    38 Plays

    30. Miranda Lambert – Revolution
    38 Plays

    29. Free Energy – Stuck On Nothing
    38 Plays

    28. Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More
    40 Plays

    27. Fefe Dobson – Joy
    40 Plays

    26. Journey – Greatest Hits
    40 Plays

    25. Patrick Stump – Soul Punk (Deluxe Edition)
    41 Plays

    24. Devo – Something For Everybody (Deluxe)
    41 Plays

    23. Foreigner – Can't Slow Down
    42 Plays

    22. Ra Ra Riot – The Orchard
    44 Plays

    21. Adele – 21
    44 Plays

    20. NKOTBSB – Don't Turn Out The Lights
    46 Plays

    19. Chicago – The Best of Chicago: 40th Anniversary Edition
    47 Plays

    18. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti – Before Today
    48 Plays

    17. Wolfmother – Cosmic Egg (Bonus Track Version)
    48 Plays

    16. Florence + the Machine – Lungs
    50 Plays

    15. Lemonade Mouth – Lemonade Mouth
    51 Plays

    14. Bridgit Mendler – Lemonade Mouth
    51 Plays

    13. Sara Bareilles – Kaleidoscope Heart
    51 Plays

    12. Chasen – That Was Then, This Is Now
    53 Plays

    11. David Cook – David Cook
    54 Plays

    10. R. Kelly – Love Letter
    57 Plays

    9. Parachute – Losing Sleep (Bonus Track Version)
    57 Plays

    8. Ashley Tisdale – Guilty Pleasure
    59 Plays

    7. Lindsey Buckingham – Gift of Screws
    64 Plays

    6. Def Leppard – Rock Of Ages: The Definitive Collection
    68 Plays

    5. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
    70 Plays

    4. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Belong
    74 Plays

    3. Taylor Swift – Speak Now
    79 Plays

    2. Daughtry – Break The Spell
    111 Plays

    1. David Cook – This Loud Morning (Deluxe Version)
    126 Plays
  • My Top 50 Track Scrobbles of 2011

    1 jan 2012, 05:40

    50. Daughtry - Losing My Mind
    13 Plays

    49. Daughtry - Crawling Back to You
    13 Plays

    48. David Cook - This Is Not The Last Time
    13 Plays

    47. Ahmir - Perfect
    13 Plays

    46. Selena Gomez & the Scene - Who Says
    13 Plays

    45. R. Kelly - Radio Message
    13 Plays

    44. James Blunt - Stay The Night
    13 Plays

    43. Plain White T's- Rhythm Of Love
    13 Plays

    42. Forever the Sickest Kids - Keep On Bringing Me Down
    13 Plays

    41. R. Kelly - When A Woman Loves
    13 Plays

    40. OneRepublic - Good Life
    13 Plays

    39. Chasen - On and On
    13 Plays

    38. The Rocket Summer - Break It Out
    13 Plays

    37. John Mayer - Waiting On The World To Change
    13 Plays

    36. Perry Como - Somebody Up There Likes Me
    13 Plays

    35. Michelle Branch - Breathe
    13 Plays

    34. John Parr - St. Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion)
    13 Plays

    33. Journey - Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)
    13 Plays

    32. Devo - Whip It
    13 Plays

    31. David Cook - Time Marches On
    14 Plays

    30. Free Energy - Dream City
    14 Plays

    29. Demi Lovato - This Is Me
    14 Plays

    28. Mystery Jets - Two Doors Down
    14 Plays

    27. MGMT - Electric Feel
    14 Plays

    26. Counting Crows - Angels Of The Silences
    14 Plays

    25. Simple Minds - Don't You (Forget About Me)
    14 Plays

    24. Daughtry - Gone Too Soon
    15 Plays

    23. David Cook - Take Me As I Am
    15 Plays

    22. David Cook - Paper Heart
    15 Plays

    21. Maroon 5 - Stutter
    15 Plays

    20. Naomi Scott - She's So Gone
    16 Plays

    19. Dawes - When My Time Comes
    16 Plays

    18. Demi Lovato - Don't Forget
    16 Plays

    17. Taylor Swift - The Story Of Us
    17 Plays

    16. 2am Club - Let Me Down Easy
    17 Plays

    15. Hall & Oates – Sara Smile
    17 Plays

    14. Whitesnake – Here I Go Again
    17 Plays

    13. Daughtry – We're Not Gonna Fall
    18 Plays

    12. He Is We – Happily Ever After
    18 Plays

    11. The Airborne Toxic Event – Changing
    19 Plays

    10. Bridgit Mendler – Determinate
    20 Plays

    9. The Fray – Over My Head (Cable Car)
    20 Plays

    8. Night Ranger – Don't Tell Me You Love Me
    20 Plays

    7. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti – Round And Round
    21 Plays

    6. Steve Perry – Oh Sherrie
    22 Plays

    5. David Cook – The Last Goodbye
    23 Plays

    4. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Belong
    24 Plays

    3. Hot Chelle RaeTonight Tonight
    25 Plays

    2. Demi Lovato – Skyscraper
    28 Plays

    1. NKOTBSB – Don't Turn Out The Lights
    48 Plays
  • Glee: Best of Season Two

    14 maj 2011, 14:53

    In less than two weeks, we will have the season 2 finale of FOX's "Glee". To recap the progress of the Glee Cast from the beginning to where we left off from "Prom Queen", Finn and Rachel were a couple for the first half of the season until Sectionals, though they still possess feelings for each other. Kurt had his first two kisses: one from a football bully, and the next from a stronger relationship with Blaine. Also, he went to Dalton Academy and back. Brittany started dating Artie, who was dumped by Tina for Mike. Recently, they broke up after Artie called her "stupid", and Santana threw her hat in the ring, expressing the feeling for her that we figured were there. Quinn, fresh off pregnancy, rejoined the Cheerios, but voluntarily left along with Santana and Brittany after Sue's idea for a stunt is too much. Sue, on the other hand, continued to destroy the New Directions, mostly to failures. She threw a tantrum after her failed attempt of shooting a cheerleader out of a cannon, became the coach of Aural Intensity after shoving the one they had down a flight of stairs, lost Regionals and took it out on the MC, and is currently working with Will's ex-wife, Terri. Will learned that his faculty crush, Emma, had started seeing Dr. Carl (John Stamos) and married him on the day of Sectionals. Now, they have divorced, which renews the storyline of Will and Emma.

    Currently, New Directionals are in the Nationals, where we will see the whole thing unfold in the finale. Along the whole season, we lose some dude named Matt and gain some fresh faces: Sam Evans, who joined the club and started dating Quinn until she started dating Finn again for a shot at Prom Queen, which backfired. Sam was recently seen taking Mercedes to the prom. Also, Lauren Zizes, who was first seen in season 1, but didn't join the club until Sectionals to make up for Kurt's departure, became the most recent addition. She is currently the love interest of Puck.

    I know that all of this could have been written better, but nevertheless, that's what you missed on Glee.

    Now, how do I sum up my opinion? The first part was just cashing in on popularity, but it got progressively better later on. This has proven to be a strong follow-up to season one. Right now, I will pick the best songs from this season, taking a minimum of one song per episode.

    Episode 1: Audition

    "Billionaire (Glee Cast Version)" - Chord Overstreet
    Originally by Travie McCoy & Bruno Mars

    In the first performance of Sam Evans, this topped the performance of "Telephone", which sounded better on the show than on the full studio version.

    Episode 2: Brittany/Britney

    "Toxic (Glee Cast Version)" - Glee Cast
    Originally by Britney Spears

    "Stronger (Glee Cast Version)" - Kevin McHale
    Originally by Britney Spears

    Episode 3: Grilled Cheesus

    "One of Us (Glee Cast Version)" - Glee Cast
    Originally by Joan Osborne

    Episode 6: Never Been Kissed

    "Teenage Dream (Glee Cast Version)" - Darren Criss
    Originally by Katy Perry

    "Start Me Up / Livin' On A Prayer (Glee Cast Version)" - The Girls of New Directions
    Originally by Bon Jovi and The Rolling Stones

    "Stop! In the Name of Love / Free Your Mind (Glee Cast Version)" - The Boys of New Directions
    Originally by The Supremes and En Vogue

    Episode 7: The Substitute

    "Forget You" - Gwyneth Paltrow
    Originally by Cee Lo Green

  • My Top 25 Artist Scrobbles of 2010

    1 jan 2011, 03:08

    25. Ahmir
    44 Scrobbles

    We figured out how many hit songs that sound good, but had mediocre singers, could be made better to our preference: find a cover on YouTube from someone unsigned. My favorite discovery on YouTube was an R&B group named Ahmir from Boston, Massachusetts. Though half their songs are classified as pop on digital retailers, they summed up the state of R&B this year. With Autotune being the only way to make a hit for many contemporary R&B artists that love being on top 40 radios, the rest had an ultimatum: ride the wave or stay behind where the odds aren't as big, but you will be more respected. Among those that stayed were R. Kelly, Cee-Lo Green, Jazmine Sullivan, John Legend, El DeBarge, and Ne-Yo. Together with Ahmir, they showed the true colors of R&B and its roots. Ahmir was only a YouTube favorite, but they proved that theory as the #1 R&B group on the website. They added the missing ingredients to many hit songs from recently, like Bruno Mars' "Just The Way You Are" (5 scrobbles). They even mashed up hit songs together during those times like a double Usher cover called "DJ Got Us Falling In Love Again / Love In This Club" (6 scrobbles). They even channel "Weird Al" Yankovic at times with parodies to songs like Rihanna's "Take A Bow". The result was "Take A Bow (Parody) "I'm Out"", which I scrobbled 10 times. Then they surprised everyone by doing what All-4-One did and cover country songs. Their best moments were with the Taylor Swift covers, which put them on par with fellow YouTube acts Tyler Ward & Julia Sheer. With R&B harmonies and a little guitar effect, "Mine" was scrobbled 9 times, while "Today Was a Fairytale" was scrobbled 14 times. The interesting part of this is that when they answered a question on YouTube to why they don't have a record deal, just a few days after, they announced that they have signed to Robbins Entertainment. We can only hope that they don't ride "the wave", but Robbins is an indie label with distribution rights from RCA. So not a lot can go wrong. Though no songs were scrobbled since my desktop's demise, expect more scrobbles from them in 2011.

    24. Maroon 5
    45 Scrobbles

    I only own one CD of Maroon 5, well, two, but "Songs About Jane" went missing. So I only had "It Won't Be Soon Before Long" was the only album I had to scrobble in 2009. However, I only got 3 scrobbles that year since my desktop makes annoying clicking noises with scratched CDs. So in 2010, I started slow with Maroon 5 scrobbles. After downloading "She Will Be Loved", I put in 3 scrobbles with that song. Then in August, I logged in 1 scrobble with "Won't Go Home Without You". So it seemed unlikely that Maroon 5 would crack this list. However, a boost came with the release of a new album, "Hands All Over" in September. The first single, "Misery", logged in 5 scrobbles this year since September. Then it all soared after downloading the album twice in November. "How" and "Just a Feeling" were the album's top two scrobbles, with "Just A Feeling" gaining 9 plays, and "How" logging in one play on New Year's Eve to bring its total up to 12. After 2010, their overall scrobbles in my library total up to 48.

    23. 30 Seconds to Mars
    45 Scrobbles

    22. Teenage Fanclub
    46 Scrobbles

    In the spring of 2010, I enjoyed reading the 25th anniversary issue of SPIN Magazine and using Lala for a few weeks, only to have that come to an end thanks to jealous iTunes executives. Reading about how Teenage Fanclub's "Bandwagonesque" was named Album of the Year in 1991 over Nirvana's "Nevermind" was the most fascinating part in that issue. I knew I had to take a listen to it, and it really is better than "Nevermind", which distracted me in more ways than one. At the same time, they were prepping a new album release titled "Shadows". During the summer, I purchased both albums on CD. "Shadows" was scrobbled 25 times, with "Baby Lee" having 13 scrobbles as well as "Shock and Awe" receiving 10 scrobbles. "Bandwagonesque" was scrobbled 21 times, with "The Concept" logging in 4 scrobbles. Though the band went quiet since, there will likely be more scrobbles coming from them. Currently, I'm working on purchasing "Grand Prix".

    21. Echo & the Bunnymen
    53 Scrobbles

    Spring 2010 was a perfect time to discover music I never heard before. I was discovering music genres outside top 40 pop, classic rock, and adult alternative. What I was introduced to was post-punk, lo-fi, and power pop. My interest in post-punk was mostly defined by Echo & the Bunnymen. After discovering their most recent album, I scrobbled the band 53 times. 35 of those scrobbles were from their most recent album, "The Fountain". 13 scrobbles were for "Bring On The Dancing Horses" from the Pretty in Pink soundtrack. The other 5 scrobbles were for "The Killing Moon" from Ocean Rain.

    20. War Tapes
    55 Scrobbles

    19. Steve Perry
    59 Scrobbles

    18. Big Time Rush
    59 Scrobbles

    17. Atomic Tom
    60 Scrobbles

    16. Jaron And The Long Road To Love
    62 Scrobbles

    15. Phil Collins
    63 Scrobbles

    14. Paramore
    65 Scrobbles

    13. Goo Goo Dolls
    65 Scrobbles

    12. Neon Trees
    66 Scrobbles

    11. Mêlée
    70 Scrobbles

    10. Sugar Ray
    75 Scrobbles

    9. Tamar Kaprelian
    95 Scrobbles

    8. Train
    99 Scrobbles

    If you asked me one year ago about Train's chances of ending up on this list, I would have said "maybe". "Maybe", because they had only 5 scrobbles going into this year. One scrobble was for "She's on Fire", and 4 for "Hey, Soul Sister". "Maybe", because I started to observe that the latter was becoming popular on iTunes in the last weeks of 2009 though their album was having rough times on the charts. "Maybe", because I put in their first scrobble of 2010 on New Year's Day with "Hey, Soul Sister" with interest in how they reference Mr. Mister.

    "Maybe" progressively turned into "definitely". The surprise hit of the year logged in 11 scrobbles this year, as it found its spot on top 40 radio, peaked at #3 on the Hot 100, and made this late 90's adult alternative band known for something other than 2001's "Drops of Jupiter", which logged in 14 scrobbles this year. Another track from the album of that same name, "She's on Fire", went from being the only other track scrobbled from Train last year to being scrobbled 8 times this year. Also racking up a lot of plays were the bonus tracks that were sold separately on digital retailers. "The Finish Line", which was on the Team USA soundtrack for the 2010 Winter Olympics, was scrobbled 10 times. Also, a cover of the song "Only You" received the most scrobbles this year for Train with 18, largely in part to hearing the original version by The Platters being played in "Hot Shots".

    The album "Save Me, San Francisco" was scrobbled 31 times over a course of 364 days, and "Drops of Jupiter" was scrobbled for a total of 22 times this year. For the past 364 days, Train logged in 90 scrobbles, and then they ended the same year that they began with 9 scrobbles on New Year's Eve, bringing them just one track shy of being my eighth artist with 100 scrobbles in 2010. Their overall total, however, is at 104 scrobbles, which is the same as Def Leppard.

    7. Jason Derülo
    105 Scrobbles

    6. Glee Cast
    118 Scrobbles

    The love I had for the music from this hit FOX show in 2009 was only the beginning. Going into 2010, the cast had 55 scrobbles in my library. When the first season returned after leaving us for four months, music was bound to come out of it. The first song from 2010 scrobbled was "Like A Prayer (Glee Cast Version)" from the Power of Madonna episode. Since May, the song was scrobbled 11 times. Of course, the Cyndi Lauper cover "True Colors (Glee Cast Version)" from last year was one of the first scrobbled in 2010, going on to log in 10 scrobbles. The "Laryngitis" episode gave two songs to my library: Rick Springfield's famous "Jessie's Girl (Glee Cast Version)" by Finn logged in 11 plays, while the cast's cover of U2's "One (Glee Cast Version)" was played 13 times. "It's A Man's Man's Man's World (Glee Cast Version)" was from the "Funk" episode, but it wasn't scrobbled until November, which had 2 scrobbles. Then for the season finale, they released an EP of all the songs from this episode. "Glee: The Music, Journey to Regionals - EP" logged in 25 scrobbles, and featured 3 covers of Journey, whose catalog helped kick off the series. Their cover of "Faithfully (Glee Cast Version)" was my most played Glee track this year with 16 scrobbles that lasted the entire summer.

    The second season premiered in September, and the new music was scrobbled after the second episode with a theme dedicated to Britney Spears. Three of these covers were scrobbles: Rachel's "Baby, One More Time (Glee Cast Version)" at 7 scrobbles, the New Directions group's pep rally performance of "Toxic (Glee Cast Version)" with 9 scrobbles, and Artie's male perspective of "Stronger (Glee Cast Version)" racked in 13 scrobbles, 9 of which made it the most scrobbled track of September according to my Heat Haze widget.

    My Glee library, which now stands at 173 scrobbles, took the biggest hit when all my downloads were lost to the desktop failure in November. The day I got the Macbook was the same day "Never Been Kissed" was aired, and two of the songs were immediately downloaded: "Start Me Up / Livin' On A Prayer (Glee Cast Version)" and "Stop! In the Name of Love / Free Your Mind (Glee Cast Version)", though they scrobbled 4 plays combined. The cast will likely scrobble more in 2011 with new episodes and once I recover all the tracks.

    5. Ashley Tisdale
    125 Scrobbles

    4. Taylor Swift
    130 Scrobbles

    3. Demi Lovato
    131 Scrobbles

    2. Weezer
    134 Scrobbles

    1. The Pains of Being Pure At Heart
    185 Scrobbles

    You've probably heard the beginning of this story already in the two previous entries. I don't plan on jumping into it again just yet, so I'll explain myself. Music obviously has no say of how good my life is, but when I need to make a fitting playlist that lets me reminisce on the times, this soundtrack to this year will likely be made up by The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. In terms of music listening, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are the literal definition of 2010. This band made me want to listen to indie rock when top 40 radio was just boring and unoriginal. I probably would have never attempted to listen to Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons, Florence & The Machine, Spoon, The Pixies, and Wilco without hearing this band. I probably wouldn't have had Teenage Fanclub, Echo & The Bunnymen, and War Tapes on this list without hearing this band.

    Sometimes, the truly brilliant music out there is the hardest to find. In fact, my exposure to this band last year was just reading about them on eMusic being described as a soundtrack to a John Hughes movie in the 1980s. With most indie music I read about, I save it for later on a wishlist, but I never get to hearing it. This band was the most interesting from the buzz I read about it, so they were the ones I wanted to hear the most. All the hype I build up in me with films and TV shows either become instantly awesome or end up very disappointing. For music, however, all I need to do is listen. As fate would have it, a free music playlist downloaded on iTunes contained their song "Come Saturday". This playlist had so many other great tracks, but my hyped interest in this band paid off, and it was spreading faster than the common cold.

    With "Come Saturday", The Pains of Being Pure at Heart entered my library on February 14th. For the remainder of the month, the song scrobbled 6 plays. By the end of March, three more plays were scrobbled. By April 8th, the song had a total of 11 scrobbles, and it was on a fast track to become a year-long favorite.

    But while one song can be enough for some bands, I knew I had to hear more. Going back to February, I put 5 scrobbles in by playing a few songs on their Last.fm page. "Contender", from their self-titled debut album "The Pains of Being Pure at Heart", was played once on February 21st. "Everything with You" was also played once on that same day. "Young Adult Friction" was played twice on Last.fm. Plus, the title track of their 2009 "Higher Than The Stars EP" was played one time on February 23rd. With those taken into account, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart had 16 scrobbles in my library by mid-April.

    At that time, I also listened to every song on their album on Lala, so I started working on having the whole album. I purchased and downloaded three songs from the album: "Come Saturday", "Young Adult Friction", and "Everything With You". Combined, they were scrobbled 14 times. "Come Saturday" and "Everything With You" each scrobbled 5 plays, and "Young Adult Friction" scrobbled 4 plays. By the end of April, I scrobbled the Pains of Being Pure at Heart 30 times. But I could not complete the album on Lala. Only one or two weeks after I started using Lala, it put out an announcement that they were closing in a month due to being purchased by iTunes. So I was new to Lala, and I felt like every other customer about the news. We hated losing a digital music website that was a rare cloud music subscription where we can access our purchases on our account page at 10 cents per song. What also sucked is that iTunes had to force them out of business just when they were this close to become bigger than iTunes. 2010 helped me learn that iTunes is just as big of a villain than it is a hero. They just run physical music retailers into a hole and take out any website that is called a better alternate. We're probably sure that iTunes only keeps all the revenue to itself and just promote singers who can't tell the difference between high E above C and high quality vocal enhancements. This probably explains why they started selling the Beatles in November.

    Next month, the three songs were deleted off my hard drive, and I tried buying the songs on iTunes and working toward the full album, because as I just mentioned, it plays both the hero role and the villain role. Plus, they had a Complete My Album option for nearly all their albums. Little did I realize that this was not one of them. But before then, I bought "Everything With You", and I bought "Come Saturday" for the second time, because free songs don't count for Complete My Album, though this was no help either. "Come Saturday" had only one unfortunate play with this purchase, while "Everything With You" scrobbled more times with 10 plays from May 8 to May 26. By then, the band had been played 42 times in my library, including another play for "Higher Than The Stars".

    When I soon learned that iTunes didn't have the Complete My Album option for this album, the time had come. Buying the album was a must for me. On May 30th, I purchased the album and wasted no time listening. For the two days left in May, all the songs, except for the lone track that's not in my library "Gentle Sons", was played once on both days, which total up to 18 plays when you do the math. When May was finished, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart had 60 scrobbles in my library.

    June came along, and the album was on full rotation from the beginning. The total scrobbles logged in from June were 69, which was a monthly record on my Last.fm page. "Everything With You" logged in the most with 11 scrobbles. However, "Come Saturday", "Contender", "Hey Paul" and "Stay Alive" tied for second, as they each logged in 10 plays. At the halfway mark of 2010, their total boosted up to 129 scrobbles in 5 months. The only other scrobbled track not on the album was a new song called "Say No to Love", which was played on their Last.fm page.

    When I went on vacation to Florida, I couldn't say no to listening to them. I could have sworn however that I had more than 20 plays for them that month, but knowing that 69 was too big to top, this amount of scrobbles were impressive in its own right. The song I played from them the most in July was "Stay Alive", which logged in 4 scrobbles. By the end of July, their total in my library was 149 scrobbles, and it was already in my top 8 artists on my profile page. Out of that number, only 119 scrobbles were recorded from May to July.

    When my summer was over, my scrobbles for this band declined, but they remained active. From August to October, there were a total of 14 scrobbles. The most scrobbles during this interval was a tie between "Come Saturday" and "Contender", which had 5 each. The only scrobble in November was on the day before my desktop failed with "Contender". By the time my desktop failed, the band had 164 scrobbles in my library. Since the album was backed onto a blank CD back in July, it was still intact, and its final scrobbles of the year were recorded on December 15th with 15 scrobbles. Meanwhile, "Higher Than The Stars" was the lone song from the Pains on my new Macbook and continued the rest of the scrobbles, logging 6 plays in for December, with a play on December 21st as the band's final scrobble in my library for 2010.

    With 21 scrobbles in all for December, we get to this magic number here: 185, which is the most for someone's first year in my library. That number ties with Tamar Kaprelian's overall total and is ranked as my third most played artist. Now let's dissect this number:

    By Album

    176 Plays: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (95.14%)
    8 Plays: Higher Than The Stars EP (4.32%)
    1 Play: The Say No To Love single (0.54%)

    By Song

    39 Plays: "Come Saturday" (21.08%)
    36 Plays: "Everything With You" (19.46%)
    21 Plays: "Contender" (11.35%)
    20 Plays: "Hey Paul" (10.81%)
    15 Plays: "Stay Alive" (8.11%)
    13 Plays: "Young Adult Friction" (7.03%)
    12 Plays: "A Teenager in Love" (6.49%)
    12 Plays: "The Tenure Itch" (6.49%)
    8 Plays: "This Love is Fucking Right!" (4.32%)
    8 Plays: "Higher Than The Stars" (4.32%)
    1 Play: "Say No To Love" (0.54%)

    By Song (May-July)

    25 Plays: "Everything With You" (21.01%)
    16 Plays: "Come Saturday" (13.45%)
    16 Plays: "Hey Paul" (13.45%)
    14 Plays: "Stay Alive" (11.76%)
    12 Plays: "Contender" (10.08%)
    10 Plays: "A Teenager in Love" (8.40%)
    10 Plays: "The Tenure Itch" (8.40%)
    7 Plays: "This Love Is Fucking Right!" (5.88%)
    7 Plays: "Young Adult Friction" (5.88%)
    1 Play: "Higher Than The Stars" (0.84%)
    1 Play: "Say No To Love" (0.84%)

    By Song (June)

    11 Plays: "Everything With You" (15.94%)
    10 Plays: "Come Saturday" (14.49%)
    10 Plays: "Contender" (14.49%)
    10 Plays: "Hey Paul" (14.49%)
    10 Plays: "Stay Alive" (14.49%)
    6 Plays: "A Teenager in Love" (8.70%)
    5 Plays: "The Tenure Itch" (7.25%)
    3 Plays: "Young Adult Friction" (4.35%)
    3 Plays: "This Love Is Fucking Right!" (4.35%)
    1 Play: "Say No To Love" (1.45%)

    Now, we face two questions ahead of us:

    Will anyone come and top that number? Depends on what the artist is, and if they are just as awesome.

    Will there be more scrobbles for The Pains of Being Pure at Heart in 2011? You betcha! Their sophomore album "Belong" is due this year, so this will likely be equally listenable.
  • My Top 25 Track Scrobbles of 2010

    1 jan 2011, 00:54

    25. Boys Like Girls - Up Against The Wall
    19 Scrobbles

    24. Robyn - Show Me Love
    19 Scrobbles

    23. Weezer - Memories
    20 Scrobbles

    22. Neon Trees - Sins Of My Youth
    20 Scrobbles

    21. The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - Hey Paul
    20 Scrobbles

    20. Plain White T's - Rhythm of Love
    21 Scrobbles

    19. Miranda Cosgrove - Kissin U
    21 Scrobbles

    18. Mêlée - The Ballad of You and I
    21 Scrobbles

    17. Demi Lovato - Here We Go Again
    21 Scrobbles

    16. The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - Contender
    21 Scrobbles

    15. Mystery Jets - Two Doors Down
    21 Scrobbles

    14. Steve Perry - Oh Sherrie
    22 Scrobbles

    13. Jason Derülo - Love Hangover
    22 Scrobbles

    12. Hey Monday - Wish You Were Here
    23 Scrobbles

    11. Foreigner - Can't Slow Down
    23 Scrobbles

    10. Runner Runner - So Obvious
    24 Scrobbles

    Since discovering Runner Runner in 2009, I have heard many of their songs that I liked very much, but they weren't available in digital stores, so a legal MP3 download was hard to find. But they got signed to a new label formed by David Letterman, and they got to work on promoting new music. I downloaded "So Obvious" when it was not only a free download, but it was also offered by the band's website for a limited time as part of the "Help Runner Runner" promotional campaign back in late Spring. During the summer, this song was on high rotation, with 8 scrobbles in July as detected by my Heat Haze widget. My computer failed on me long after the MP3 was not free anymore, so there won't be any more scrobbles for this song. Well, at least not until next year, when they release their long-anticipated debut.

    9. All-4-One - I Can Love You Like That
    24 Scrobbles

    8. The Letter Black - Hanging On By A Thread
    25 Scrobbles

    7. Taylor Swift - Mine
    28 Scrobbles

    6. Jason Derülo - In My Head
    28 Scrobbles

    5. Chasen - Castaway
    28 Scrobbles

    4. War Tapes - Dreaming of You
    29 Scrobbles

    3. The Almost - Free Fallin' (Tom Petty Cover)
    30 Scrobbles

    2. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Everything with You
    36 Scrobbles

    1. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Come Saturday
    39 Scrobbles

    36 scrobbles are a large amount that would seem difficult to beat. So it was appropriately fitting that this same band beat itself and took the top 2 spots for the year. Though "Everything With You" received more plays in the month of June, "Come Saturday" remained consistent, mostly because this song was the first in my library. When I first heard the name "The Pains of Being Pure at Heart", I had a big feeling that they would be awesome, but I haven't heard one of their songs yet. I really didn't know which song to check out first. Then I downloaded "Come Saturday" as part of a free music sampler of SXSW performers on iTunes. This sampler happened to be the best one I downloaded on iTunes so far, with songs from Fanfarlo, Dawes, and White Rabbits. But this song did whole lot better out of that playlist.

    Hearing this song, I saw the similarity to an 80's John Hughes soundtrack that eMusic mentioned. But moreso, this reminded me of hearing the opening riff to Hüsker Dü's "Don't Want To Know If You Are Lonely" in the 80's themed "Adventureland". What the Pains did better was a clear, smooth vocal harmony that makes it fun to listen to at night in a car. With the download from the sampler, this song was first scrobbled on Valentine's Day and logged in 11 plays over the next two months. Then came a second download on Lala in April when I got three songs from their album. This download logged in 5 scrobbles after a few days, bringing its three month total to 16. Unfortunately, it was soon deleted once it was announced that Lala went out of business.

    I downloaded the song for a third time afterwards. This time, it was a 99 cent purchase on iTunes back in May. But only one scrobble was recorded with this download, bringing its total up to 17 before I got the full album downloaded on May 30th. The song logged in 2 more scrobbles at the end of May, and its total was at 19. To break down the plays for this song during the summer, there were 10 scrobbles in June, 3 scrobbles in July, and 2 scrobbles in August. When the summer was over, the song's total increased to 34 scrobbles in my library.

    After having so many plays during the summer, it was now in a position where it can be played whenever I felt like it. Two scrobbles were recorded in October, and its last two scrobbles for 2010 were recorded on December 15th. The song now maintains the #10 spot of most-played tracks overall in my library, and it's ready for the competition in 2011.