Two Years of Last.fm

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Jan 5 2011, 21h28

The second year on last.fm passed for quite a while so I decided to take a look back at the music that impressed me during that period.

I. Artists

1. Weezer (746)
This has been a great year for a Weezer fan (one new album, a deluxe edition of an old one and a cd with previously unreleased b-sides), thus a great year for me. Although already being very enthusiastic when it came down to their music, I started to like them even more. At the begining of 2010 I was getting more and more drawn into the albums Make Believe and Pinkerton. Most of the time, they are just a bunch of geeks who play around with their musical instruments, words or lifes and put all of those into one of a kind songs. But mostly, behind their apparent puerile songs some hidden meanings lay. Weezer is an unique group, Rivers Cuomo is a special voice, currently my favorite male vocalist, and their style and honesty as their best policy come to support my addiction for their music. They’re one of those weirdest bands I’ve ever heard, some dudes who step far away from the cliche musical career and write some great stuff.

2. Sheryl Crow (646)
I wouldn’t have thought she wouldn’t be the first. However, my love for her hasn’t died at all. With all this passing of the time, Sheryl seems to incorporate the perfect singer for me, different, eclectic and fascinating. This year she stepped into a different direction for which I have to give her kudos. Initially pissed off by the fact she would make a soul album I found myself enjoying her newest work in a big way and wondering again and again how great an artist she can be. My admiration for her is without boundaries and her music is still the one that appeals to me the most, out of all artists I’ve ever listened to. Also, there’s no other artist who have influenced me as much as she has.

3. Michael Giacchino (426)
Who said you need words to express some deep emotions? The emmy awarded composer has a climbed a lot in my charts thanks to his work for the TV show LOST. What seemed to be the perfect soundtrack for the acclaimed series, Giacchino’s songs have been great soundtracks for my study hours, peaceful evenings or reading sessions. Mistery, emotion, sadness, madness embalm the songs from LOST. Not to mention I was pretty much obsessed with the show itself and that was also a factor which supported my passion for Michael Giacchino’s work.

4. Manic Street Preachers (266)
They are still at the top of my list, thanks to their great songwriting. The rebelious and courageous group seem to never give up and make great music on a constant basis. A lot of the times, their complex songs make me contemplate a lot to discover the true meaning of their work. I admire them for the way they write music and how they depict complex themes such as humanity, anxiety, feelings, introspection, popular culture.

5. Ada Milea (214)
She remains the Romanian artist whom I admire the most. Although I neglected her in the last couple of months, Ada still has me on her side thanks to her songs full of wit and playfulness. You can find her outside of all the plain stereotypes doing wonders with just a guitar and a sharp mind.

6. Brandi Carlile (209)
When you say Brandi Carlile you refer to beautiful woman, a tremendously valuable artist and a humble and profound person. Brandi is a proof of how great an artist can be without being in the spotlight or riding the top of the charts. Her songs are one of the most beautiful and heartfelt I have ever heard and I often tend to consider her music as quite therapeutical. There is so much beauty in her sadness, not to mention she has one of the most touching voice I’ve ever heard.


7. AC/DC (185)
A band who needs no presentations, one of the few who still manage to be popular despite their youth has died long time before. Love the energy they unleash in their songs and how they can make me shake my head in no time. What I regret a lot is that I lost the opportunity to see them live. However, as often as I can I transform my home in a concert arena and play their songs at unimaginable high volume rates.

8. Kate Nash (179)
Here’s a crazy one. Discovered two years before, she became an instant favorite and her songs brought me all this time lots of smiles and moments of laughter. Nash’s music is playful and fun, she is just a kid playing with her piano while producing one of the strangest but most endearing songs. She swears, she laughs, she cries, she comes out as vulnerable and sincere. You must have a inner child trapped in order to like Kate.

9. Johnny Cash (176)
His works is the best proof of the immortality of an artist. The iconic singer remains for me as one of the crucial artist in the evolution of music. Maybe not as influential as Bob Dylan but Cash did what he did best till the moment he died, he sang with his all heart and soul.

10. Relient K (176)
Discovered last year thanks to Răzvan, the band made a lasting impression on me. The only thing that has changed is that now I like the main vocalist’s voice even more. The christian rock group has the best songs for a winter holiday and I also give them credit for mocking popular culture in their song titles. Relient K don’t forget to get profound, melancholic or spiritual, their Deathbed being one of the most touching song I’ve ever heard.

11. Jack Johnson (167)
Initially, I didn’t like him at all...until last year when I’ve heard Sleep Through The Static and If I Had Eyes. However, it was only this autumn when I decided to dig deep into his discography and give some of his albums a chance. The result was me becoming extremely enthusiastic about his music, especially about his latest releases, To The Sea and Sleep To The Static. This laid-back dude does a perfect job of bringing summer in the middle of a winter or autumn. His music, acoustic, chill, pleasant and sometimes uplifting is the perfect medicine for crappy moods and bad days. Jack’s songs are mostly invitations to enjoy the simplicity of life but he can also get melancholic and complex, finding the perfect words and melody to express the matters of life.

12. Bon Jovi (160)
An anthemic artist for some generations whom I hope to see in his forecoming concert in Bucharest. He truly kicks ass, his newest albums deliver and his great shape doesn’t seem to ever abandon him.

13. Jaymay (148)
My dear Jaymay remains an artist close to my heart. Her shattering and endearing songs kept her on my list this year. What I realised is that Jaymay doesn’t stand a chance to be just a passing pleasure, although I’ve given her a fair amount of attention in the past, I still can’t get enough of her and the songs witten by her still make me cosy inside.

14.Terra Naomi (136)
Another artist that doesn’t get the credit she deserves. Initially started by posting music on myspace and youtube, Terra gained a loyal fanbase who have been appreciating her for her talent ever since. I have come to discover that Terra is a valuable artist, who chose the independent way in creating music without making any compromises. The result is the birth of lots of great songs, sung in a honest and beautiful voice, at times gentle and peaceful, at times filled with rage. I’m crazy about this chick.

15. The Rolling Stones (128)
Year by year, they go upper and upper in my book. Not only I respect them for what they have greated for so many decades but I discover more of their gems on a constant basis and become more and more impressed with what they do.

16. Norah Jones (128)
There so much to love about Norah. Three brilliant albums proved that there’s no doubt in how talented she is. Her voice sounds like coming from heaven and her songs are perfect soundtracks for peaceful evenings.

17. Green Day (121)
Green Day used to be my favorite band in the childhood. Although I am not as crazy about them as I used to be, they are often a pleasant presence in my winamp with their energetic punk. Along with Coldplay they have been the first band I was truly obsessed in my teenage years.

18. Coldplay (119)
Like Green Day, Coldplay also used to be among my favorites back in the day. I am surprised about their longevity among my top bands and I am still amazed by their consitency and I am very sure that their upcoming work will make me like Coldplay even more.

19. Eels (116) – Some time ago, Timea introduced me to their music and I found them quite different and soon became interested in their work. This is another case of extreme honesty band in which most of the songs are very personal but expressed in a great way.

20. Tapinarii (114) – Not good voices, not brilliant from a musical point of view and often douchebags. Still, they grew a lot of me, during this year. Their raw and honest songs became some huge guilty pleasure for me and I often found them playing on repeat in my head. Their songwriting remarking through simplicity and metaphors gained me on their side. They're one of the top bands of the year for me and I regret not giving them a chance earlier.

II. Songs

1. WeezerPeace (34)
Boy, who doesn’t need to find their peace? The song starts with a furious guitar riff which may embody the tumult of Rivers’ desire to escape his headspinning life. Peace has been the anthem of my last year and I simply cannot put into words how this song made me feel.

2. WeezerButterfly (29)
I love when Weezer uses animal metaphors for human feelings. A mixture of innocence and regret, all encapsulated in a very moving song. Butterfly is really special to me and for almost a year it still remains one of my favorite songs to play at my guitar.

3. Sheryl CrowSummer Day (29)
It took a while for Sheryl’s single to grow on me but when it did it never thought of making me bored with it. There’s so much happiness surrounding this song, a invitation to recall the moments of falling in love under the sweet rays of the summer sunshine. This track is so optimistic and has such a positive vibe that it has always made me feel better whenever I was sad.

4. Terra NaomiEverybody Knows (26)
I used to play this song a lot in the cold winter days, leaving it play repeatedly. Everybody knows gives that peaceful floating sensation while growing in intesity and becoming more and more beautiful with every second.

5. WeezerThe Damage In Your Heart (24)
One of these songs which takes a look at how hard is to let go when you feel broken hearted. The weeping guitars and the melancholic tone of the song can bring back a lot of painful memories and acknowledge the sadness in one’s loss. I consider it a song perfect for licking wounds One more loss, in a losing life, doesn’t hurt so bad, anymore.

6. Relient KMerry Christmas, Here’s To Many More (24)
I have always been in love with Christmas. Therefore, wintery flavored tracks have always made a big impression on me. After Răzvan sent this one to me, it quickly become the main song on the soundtrack of my last holiday season. Merry Christmas, Here’s to many more has in fact a sad touch and is not just another Christmas song

7. WeezerPut Me Back Together (24)
This is one of the redeeming tracks of Raditude, Weezer’s worst album of all time. Here, it’s clear that I’m not getting better/When I fall down you put me back together. Another Weezer song who depicts the image of someone who almost lost any hope. But it’s addictive and a overall great.

8. WeezerHaunt You Every Day (23)
The perfect ending of what I consider a very solid album. In this song we kinda get a glimpse of Rivers' sick and tortured mind. As far as I am concerned the piano and the soothing guitars make this song a masterpiece.

9. Slow ClubChristmas TV (23)
One of the best songs I’ve ever heard. After seeing how this song was aggressively obsessing a friend of mine, I became curious and gave this one a try. I soon became a Christmas TV obsessed myself. And there’s no hope for a cure.

10. Sheryl CrowLong Road Home (22)
Who would have thought that the sweet hippie gospel song would be the one that I liked the most from 100 Miles from Memphis? It quickly became a guilty pleasure and what I realize is that Long Road Home can also be a good choice for a winter holiday playlist.

11. The Rolling StonePlundered My Soul (22)
After hearing it on the radio, Plundered My Soulbecame a constant presence on my mp3. It’s one of the songs that I’ve listened to the most and still manage to be up high in my book.

12. WeezerMemories (22)
An ode to a chaotic youth full of fun times that the members of the band use to have. The first single of Hurley does a good job at reminiscing the past good times with a grain of yearning but while still making you shake your head along the energetic guitars.

13. TapinariiEmbargo pe creier (20)
The song that made me their fan. Meditative and introspective.

14. WeezerRuling Me (20)
One of my favorites from Hurley, Ruling Me is nothing more than an energetic, uplifting happy track. Not to mention extremely addictive.

15. Terra NaomiSay It’s Possible (20)
I have been liking this track for quite a lot, Say It’s Possible being one of the causes I fell in love with Terra. I like the song's double meaning and how great it feels to play it on the guitar.

16. WeezerWhere’s My Sex? (20)
This song is so stupid that sometimes I wonder how the fuck I didn’t write it before Cuomo. The title is misleading, the track being in fact about socks (Rivers’ daughter said sex instead of socks). However, the track is fun and goofy enough to make it irresistible.

17. The CardigansCommunicaton (19)
The Cardigans surprised me once again this year with two great songs. The first one, Communication has a personal connotation for me, this making it even more close to my heart.

18. The CardigansLosing A Friend (19)
The other Cardigans song that obsessed me this year is Losing a Friend, a sad and mellow ballad about losing someone that you love and the impossibility to do nothing to change it.

19. Jack JohnsonGo On (19)
Written for Jack’s son, the song is about letting go and supporting one’s happiness no matter what. One of the best songs I've ever heard.

20. Sheryl Crow100 Miles From Memphis (19)
Initially, I didn’t like the title track from Sheryl’s newest album. Although it took a while to grew on me but it became a quick addiction. Love the playful orchestration and the electric guitar part.

III.Albums


1.WeezerMake Believe (159)
Often criticised and definitely not praised by the fans, Make Believe is accused of being too polished and somewhat far from Weezer’s initial direction. Obviously, by being the most listened album in 2010, Make Believe made a big impression on me and got me hooked on a lot of songs. I consider it an extremely good album and I have to say that this is Weezer’s work that appeals to me the most, to this day. I quickly fell in love with all of the songs, most of which have been the soundtrack of my life for this year. Some of the tracks may not be the most brilliant from a lyrical point of view but the guitar riffs kill me everytime.

Favorite tracks: Peace, Haunt You Every Day, The Damage In Your Heart



2. WeezerHurley (157)
After the previous pile of crap called Raditude I thought Weezer were lost for good. But the surprise came when they launched their newest album which featured Jorge Garcia (Hurley from Lost) on the cover. Solely the cover was enough to make me anxious. When I first heard the songs I was so pleasantly surprised that I abandoned whole my music and listened just to Hurley, non-stop, for three days. The songs differ a lot, one from another, seeming like each of them comes from another Weezer album. Hurley is a great bunch of songs which I can qualify as an amazing comeback. That's a Weezerclassic!

Favorite tracks: Run Away, Ruling Me, Time Flies



3. Michael GiacchinoLost: Season 3 (147)
The musical score from Lost is always a great presence in my playlist and it makes me applaud Giacchino’s work for the tv show LOST. The soundtrack from season three follows the same trend, with mysterious, profound, mellow and sometimes abrasive songs. With a bigger number of tracks, the OST of the 3rd season doesn’t disappoint and has some tracks that stand out of the crowd.

Favorite tracks: Heart Of Thawyer, Claire-A Culpa, Ocean's Apart



4. Sheryl Crow - 100 Miles From Memphis (138)
Hearing that Sheryl is going to launch a soul album surely wasn’t a pleasant surprise for me. Even after I listened to the whole CD I was very disappointed and missed my good ol’Sheryl. Time has passed and the songs started to grow on me one by one making me a huge fan of 100 Miles From Memphis. The album is quite different from what she has made so far (it still has songs who sound like they could be taken from her previous albums) but it manages to be remarkable. Soul, funk, rock n’ roll, jazz are all present and make this CD an eclectic attempt to write another chapter in a spectactular musical career.

Favorite tracks: Long Road Home, Sideways, Stop



5. Kate NashMy Best Friend Is You (130)
The delightful Kate Nash came back with a slightly different album. It can still be obvious that she is a crazy kid but it can be observed that we are facing a more mature person. Unlike her previous piano invaded album, My Best Friend Is You has a 60s vibe with catchy choruses and obsessing melodies. Not as good as Made of Bricks but still a great cd.

Favorite tracks: Don't You Want to Share The Guilt, I Hate Seagulls, Take Me to a Higher Plane



6. WeezerPinkerton (129)
Open wounds and inner torments, an honest meeting with Rivers and his demons – in the iconic Pinkerton, the album which is said to have influenced multilple artists and also the birth of the emo music. Anarchistic instruments burst, the pain, sometimes the musicality misses and the songs become chaotic -blatantly simple but full of hidden meanings. When you feel like screaming in rage or putting your head on the table, Pinkerton would be best. As a bonus, the guys released a deluxe edition this year, with a bunch of live versions and previously unreleased tracks. This has made me realize that the Pinkerton age has been the peak of their career. Although they have still launched some great works nothing has been as soulful and painfully honest like Pinkerton.

Favorite tracks: Butterfly, Pink Triangle, The Good Life



7. Michael GiacchinoLost: Season 4 (117)
As a style, the 4th edition of the LOST soundtrack doesn’t bring anything new to the table. Still, the songs have a more sad touch and the melancholy is more present from a sonnical point of view.

Favorite tracks: The Constant, There's No Place Like Home, Landing Party



8. Norah Jones - The Fall (97)
The girl with the heavenly voice came back in business with a somehow different album. Distancing somewhat from the jazz, Norah released something rather folksy. The Fall, a personal and dark album concentrates on the artist’s separation from her long time boyfriend and agent. Her sorrow and pain is beautifully put into magnificent songs. Not only this is her most honest and intimate album but as far as I’m concerned, it is also the best.

Favorite tracks: You've Ruined Me, I Wouldn't Need You, Chasing Pirates



9. Tom DiceTeardrops (95)
The debut album of the artist whom I discovered at this year’s Eurovision has been. The quality of this release doesn’t reside on high peaks but Tom’s voice make Teardrops a delightful presence in one’s playlist. As far as the lyrical point of view, the album doesn’t excel at all but this may be due to the fact that the singer isn’t extremely familiarised with English.

Favorite tracks: Murderer, Lucy, Too Late


10. Jack JohnsonSleep Through The Static (94)
Despite being just on the 10th place, Sleep Through The Static has been my favorite album during this second year of last.fm. I used to despise Jack Johnson with a huge passion but after I heard If I Had Eyes I become more indulgent towards his music. After listening Sleep Through The Static I became very interested in this artist but only after I’ve heard Go On I decided to give the whole album a try. The result was falling in love with this 2008 album, each and every song appealing to me in a way or another. Jack takes a more dark approach, putting some really intimate songs on this album, giving up his happy summerish tunes in favor of more melancholic ones or even protest songs. This release is a stellar album which comes to testify for Jack's surprisingly immense talent.

Favorite tracks: Sleep Through The Static, Go On, All At Once



11. DeVotchKaLittle Miss Sunshine Soundtrack (78)
A summer night has caught me watching Little Miss Sunshine. The film made a huge and unexpected impression on me, being able to also notice the soundtrack along the lines. Knowing I had it somewhere on my hard drive as I received it from a friend I paid more attention to it. A mixture of styles, a pleasant and delightful cd which has been among my favorites this year.

Favorite tracks: You Love Me, Til the End of Time, The Winner Is



12. Trevor MorrisThe Tudors (78)
Morris’ instrumental album evokes perfectly those medieval times in which Henry VIII used to rule. The Tudors was indeed a great TV show and the soundtrack lived up to its quality.

Favorite tracks: The Tudors - Main Title Theme, A Historic Love, Wolsey Commits Suicide / Finale



13. Manic Street PreachersPostcards from a Young Man (75)
Labeled as the "one last shot at mass communication" the newest albums from the Manics doesn’t disappoint at all although it has almost nothing in common with its predecessor, the brilliant Journal For Plague Lovers. Having a more commercial touch, this album goes into a pop-rock direction with songs that could sit well in some charts but still keep a high standard.

Favorite tracks: I Think I've Found It, A Billion Balconies Facing The Sun



14. Johnny CashAmerican VI: Ain’t No Grave (71)
The last album from the series of American Albums, the sixth one ends masterfully the collection of brilliantly sung tracks. The songs are recorded soon before the artist died. I was looking forward to this album because of a cover after a Sheryl Crow song, Redemption Day. The aforementioned proved to be my favorite from ain’t no grave but the rest of the songs managed to live up to the expectations. There’s something in his voice that produce instant goosebumps and the profoundness of the songs carry you to another dimension.

Favorite tracks: Redemption Day, Ain't No Grave, Redemption Day



15. Michael GiacchinoLost: Season 5 (70)
The most recent album from the Lost soundtrack series shows a more dark vibe and embody more mistery than the previous one. As I expected, the new set of LOST songs delivered, even more than the previous albums, I would say.

Favorite tracks: La Fleur, The Science of Faith, Together or Not Together

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