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  • Albums of the year

    Dez 25 2009, 20h32

    It's that time of year when I make a list of the albums I bought (or, downloaded) and rate them in my own humble opinion. So here's the list and a little description (along with fave tracks off each). It was all done in alphabetical order, but they're rated. My rates go from ( ) to *****, ***** being the best and ( ) being the worst.

    Abnormally Attracted To Sin **
    Tori Amos

    Tori tried to give us another Under the Pink, but it met with a little To Venus and Back and to be honest, I didn't find it quite as amusing as her previous efforts. Even The Beekeeper is higher on my list than this one. Of course it's got it's bright moments. Songs like the lead single "Welcome to England", "Flavor", "Fast Horse" or "Starling" make up for some really boring songs. Problem is the length of the album. It's made up of 17 tracks, of which only half are decent so when you get to the last bit of the albu, you are already alienated with boring un-stand-out songs. It was my first disappointment of the year.

    Stand-out tracks: Welcome to England, Flavor, Starling, Fast Horse.


    Bomb in a Birdcage ***1/2
    A Fine Frenzy

    I just discovered this girl last year or so and I've fallen in love with her music. While her voice is distinct, it isn't my favourite, but her musical arrangements, lyrics and performance have me reeled in like a dumb fish in the water. This is her sophmore attempt and she has greatly outdone herself. If her first album was amazing, this one is mind-blowing. She uses electrical "twists" (like in "Electric Twist"). And she's more adventurous. Last time around her stand-out tracks were mostly ballads. Now, it's her uptempo poppy songs that hit you hard.

    Stand-out tracks: Electric Twist, Blow Away, Stood Up.


    Colonia **1/2
    A Camp

    Nina Persson and her alternative band are back on track now. This new album doesn't sound as country-ish as the first one did, and it certainly doesn't sound much like the Cardigans (that's the whole point of the alternative band). It's themed on colonial empires and such things. You can hear it in the sounds they use. A lot of orchestration and trumpets. One song, "My America" is a very New York-y song (like a NY in the 70's) and the lead single, "Stronger than Jesus" is amazingly worded and tells about love and how it is stronger than Jesus, wars and diseases. Lovely indeed.

    Stand-out tracks: Stronger Than Jesus, Eau de Colonia, My America.


    Come To Life *****
    Natalie Imbruglia

    So Mrs. Imbruglia came back with a bang. Her utterly soft Counting Down the Days could bore some (not me though). This time her song collection has pop, electro, rock and ballads. It's so amazing that 10 tracks can be so cohesive. It turned into my favourite Nat album. Lead single "Want" showed us something we didn't think miss Imbruglia had in her. Lukas (which was written for Coldplay's Viva la Vida... and was gifted to Natalie by Chris Martin himself) has her at her best vocal point (even Coldplay fans say it's the best Coldplay song ever). And well, every song in this album is a jewel and each time you get surprised.

    Stand-out tracks: Lukas, Want, Twenty, All The Roses.


    Dulce Tentación ****
    Fey

    Fey's back too. She ditched her labels and went indie. She took on a distinct road. Left dumb pop behind and took on electro pop. Synthetizers fill every corner of the album. Her voice sounds as if she was 17 again (for like the fourth time, right?). The English edition (Sweet Temptation) is equally good. Her pronunciation is far better than Shakira's or Paulina's. Her music is now very Kylie-ish and so is her look, but in her own distinctive way. It was about time she spread her wings like that. And she's back on the charts and in my iPod.

    Stand-out tracks: Provócame, Lentamente, Adicto a mi Cuerpo, La Viuda Negra.


    Ellipse ***1/2
    Imogen Heap

    Immi gives us a new fantastic set of songs. Although still very Heap, it drifts apart from the fiesty Speak For Yourself. She now pulls darker sounds ("Canvas", "Wait it out"). Her first single, "First Train Home" reminds us of happier times when one is a little homesick, while "Aha!" and "Bad Body Double" put us in uncomfortable/funny situations. It's got the electronic Heap trademark and you'll hear a lot of recognizable "stunts". All on the side, it's a fantastic album.

    Stand-out tracks: Canvas, First Train Home, Wait it Out, Aha!


    Far ****
    Regina Spektor

    The woman that defines today's anti-folk brought us this year an amazing collection called Far. This time she worked with more than one producer, not to feel pressured about singles or big hits. The album has got that playfulness that Begin to Hope introduced to Regina's musical wideness. It's full of happy-clappy tunes and joyous pianos. Her voice is nice as always and the lyrics are also playful (sometimes). She talks about birds in wires and robots and lost wallets. On the lead single ("Laughing With") she takes on the lord himself. She talks about how funny he can be and how we expect so much of him but try too little ourselves. That's the beauty of her music, it can be playful and happy, but deep inside it's about serious stuff... you just have to dig it out.

    Stand out tracks: Blue Lips, Laughing With, Machine, Eet


    HU HU HU ***1/2
    Natalia Lafourcade

    In Hu hu hu, Natalia sounds like a child at play. She says the title is an expression of joy. The album quite reflects that. She says she was inspired by children and their innocence. The album is full of circus-like sounds mixed with pianos and nature. The animals are the centerpoint of the album. She's actually wearing a Lynx disguise on the cover. It's all very organic. Nothing too overproduced and everything on the album comes very natural. Some might find this album a little experimental (for Natalia's sake) but I just find it relaxing and amusing. It includes collaborations with Juan Son (from Porter) and Julieta Venegas.

    Stand out tracks: Tiempo al Viento, Ella Es Bonita, Azul, Niño Hojas

    No Baggage ***
    Dolores O'Riordan

    So Mrs. O'Riordan seems to be trying too much this time around. Although her previous album was dark and at times overproduced, it worked quite well. This time, it's overproduced again, but the songs don't support this. There are a handful of amazing tracks in here, but the rest are some that pass by unnoticed. That's the weakness of the album. I do give her this. She's didn't write a Cranberries album this time. It's clearly her and sounds completely different from what she had been doing 'til this point. "The Journey", her first single is a mind blowing track full of hope, happiness and sounds of the east. I didn't know she could pull something like that. Go Dolores! Also, I think I like the two B-Sides of the album better than some tracks on it. She should've included them.

    Stand out tracks: The Journey, Be Careful, Throw Your Arms Around Me, I Want You (B-Side)


    She Wolf *****
    Shakira

    The colombian hottie is hotter. She brings us her sexiest, most sensual album. She Wolf has got shakira at her most comfortable state of mind and that exudes confidence and sexuality. Aside of the title track (with its howl and everything), "Long Time", "Why Wait" and others build on the sexual theme ("I wish I had longer legs that I could fasten to your body"). And it works. Although some songs draw a little from reggaeton, she makes it work. Producers include the talented Pharrell (whose singing career I don't like, but he produces like a God). It's got nice songs as well. "Gypsy" shows us (in a hindu style) a vulnerable girl that wants to get over broken hearts and live again. And Hindi is not all she drew from: there's arab, latin, electronic! Yes, she's created a perfect electronic song: "Men in this Town", which talks about archetypes and wanting what doesn't exist. Then, on "Mon Amour", we're shown the angry Shakira of Dónde Están Los Ladrones? She's got it all.

    Stand out tracks: Men in This Town, Mon Amour, Why Wait, Long Time


    The Boy Who Knew Too Much ***
    Mika

    "We Are Golden" is already a hit everywhere, with its gospell and children choruses that shout at the top of their lungs and its fun to sing tune. The album is filled with these. As Mika calls it, "it's just pop". But this is no ordinary pop. It's so fun and at the same it's artistic. "Rain" and "By The Time" bring the sad/quiet notes to the album, but the rest is pure party. "Toy Boy" tells us the story of a little Toy, inspired clearly by the Tin Soldier story and tells us about two men in love, and one's mother fobids him to see the other one, so the Toy Boy gets tossed (Mika's said he's bisexual, right?). So this album is filled with a wide spread of moods that all convey upon happy music and fun pop. He is golden.

    Stand out tracks: We Are Golden, Rain, Blame It On The Girls, Toy Boy


    The Fame Monster ***1/2
    Lady Gaga

    Her Ugliness decided to come back with an 8 track album instead of a re-release of her debut "The Fame". The Fame Monster honors its name: it's monstruous. It's got that electric feel The Fame had but it's themed differently. It talks about bad romances, monster boys, dancing in the dark and being happy enough to die. She makes fun of mexican "novelas" on "Alejandro", while she pairs up with Beyoncé on "Telephone" (she also returned the favor on Beyoncé's re-release of I Am ... Sasha Fierce, on the track Videophone). This wouldn't be a Gaga album if she didn't babble on like she does on "Bad Romance", it's actually enchanting.

    Stand out tracks: Bad Romance, Alejandro, Monster, Telephone


    The Spell ***
    Alphabeat

    The fantastic six of pop clearly changed this time. Their music is more disco, less street pop, more 80's less 70's, but still catchy as hell. Their all about dancing this time. The opening track and lead single "The Spell" has Xtine telling us about someone who has charmed his way into her heart and has got her dancing. This time around, Anders has been left a little aside as the majority of tracks are sung by Xtine. "DJ" is an amazing club track. You can almost mistake it for a club remix, by a DJ! And there's a whole bunch of tracks that will get you on your feet and put you in the mood. Really recommendable.

    Stand out tracks: The Spell, DJ, Chess, Heart Failure


    Two Suns ***
    Bat for Lashes

    For a rising star, this is quite an interesting second album. Filled with slow electronics and ethereal vocals it feels haunting. "Daniel", the lead single has a mysterious feel to it (which is impregnated on the whole CD) and lyrics so vague that could mean anything, but then it hits you: they're about meeting and falling in love with someone ("I knew that you had a flame in your heart"), fighting and getting hurt ("You set fire to my heart") and being on the search of love again ("forever to search for the flame"). It's all so metaphorical, I love it. "Travelling Woman" is also an amazing track that tells us about how much worth it is to follow your dreams and not give up. All in all, it's a great album.

    Stand out tracks: Daniel, Travelling Woman, Pearl's Dream, Sleep Alone

    Again, this year there's been a tie, but after all I do have a favourite. I didn't think Natalie Imbruglia could pull what she pulled on Come to Life, but there one little lady that has put so much effort and (although it's not paying back as she wanted) it deserves recognition. I admit I wasn't so keen on the album when it came out, but it took me a couple of hours and some plays to learn to love it. Shakira pulled her more "together" album and left the Oral Fixation Vol 2 fiasco behind. Go Shakira! Congratulations!


    Shakira
  • What a night...

    Fev 18 2009, 18h58

    Mon 16 Feb – Alanis Morissette

    My god Alanis Morissette knows how to rock. I just saw her live for the first time (hoping it's not the last one), and trust me, very few times I've felt such an adrenaline rush. And by the way, SHE IS GORGEOUS. I mean, I thought she didn't fix herself up muchly on the pictures, but I guess it's just the fact that she isn't photgenic.


    The setlist:

    The Couch I
    Uninvited
    Versions of Violence
    All I Really Want
    The Couch II
    Not The Doctor
    Not As We
    Head Over Feet
    The Couch III
    Sympathetic Character
    Perfect
    Moratorium
    You Oughta Know
    Tapes

    Hand in my Pocket (Acoustic)
    So Unsexy (Acoustic)
    Everything (Acoustic)

    You Learn
    Ironic
    Thank U

    I really did miss Hands Clean and would've loved to hear 8 easy steps live, but I got Versions of Violence instead. Another song I wish she'd done was Underneath. I can't understand why isn't she singing it in all of this tour's concerts, since it's the lead single of the album she's promoting. I guess she just doesn't like promoting the album and tries to give one hell of a show instead. BTW I never thought Sympathetic Character would be so strong. I love it from now. The best song in my opinion was You Oughta Know. I really think I broke my vocal chords singing (shouting) along to it. And the way she'd move her hair. AMAZING. I had a blast (and I was sitting next to Chiquidrácula). So... as she'd say: I'm humbled by her humble nature. Kudos to miss Morissette.
  • What a night...

    Fev 18 2009, 18h58

    Mon 16 Feb – Alanis Morissette

    My god Alanis Morissette knows how to rock. I just saw her live for the first time (hoping it's not the last one), and trust me, very few times I've felt such an adrenaline rush. And by the way, SHE IS GORGEOUS. I mean, I thought she didn't fix herself up muchly on the pictures, but I guess it's just the fact that she isn't photgenic.


    The setlist:

    The Couch I
    Uninvited
    Versions of Violence
    All I Really Want
    The Couch II
    Not The Doctor
    Not As We
    Head Over Feet
    The Couch III
    Sympathetic Character
    Perfect
    Moratorium
    You Oughta Know
    Tapes

    Hand in my Pocket (Acoustic)
    So Unsexy (Acoustic)
    Everything (Acoustic)

    You Learn
    Ironic
    Thank U

    I really did miss Hands Clean and would've loved to hear 8 easy steps live, but I got Versions of Violence instead. Another song I wish she'd done was Underneath. I can't understand why isn't she singing it in all of this tour's concerts, since it's the lead single of the album she's promoting. I guess she just doesn't like promoting the album and tries to give one hell of a show instead. BTW I never thought Sympathetic Character would be so strong. I love it from now. The best song in my opinion was You Oughta Know. I really think I broke my vocal chords singing (shouting) along to it. And the way she'd move her hair. AMAZING. I had a blast (and I was sitting next to Chiquidrácula). So... as she'd say: I'm humbled by her humble nature. Kudos to miss Morissette.
  • 2008 Review. My Top 10 Albums.

    Dez 8 2008, 21h30

    So... 2008 is almost over, and I've embarked in the task of doing my annual review. It was a hard task this year. So many artists released records this year, so many good songs, and so many new artists. I hope you guys like my review. So here we go:

    ***** Excellent
    ****Very Good
    *** Good
    ** Mediocre
    *Bad
    -Hopeless


    ALBUMS

    FLAVORS OF ENTANGLEMENT *****
    ALANIS MORISSETTE




    When Alanis came back with her 5th studio album early this year, more than one was surprised. Although the lead single Underneath doesn’t spin off too far from what she has previously done, especially in 2002’s Under Rug Swept, when taking a deeper listen to the album one finds many (and I mean MANY) surprises. Flavors of Entanglement shows a broken down (again) Alanis. One who was to get married and spilled her happiness in 2004 on So-Called Chaos, now spills her guts on her hatred, her sadness, her resignation (and as always, on everything that’s wrong with our society). Musically, we can easily divide this album into four or five. There’s the classic Alanis on Underneath (which reminisces Precious Illusions, with a very straightforward, streamlined pop). There’s angry (dark) Alanis on Citizen of the Planet (old school Alanis rock, as in Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie (1998)), and Versions of Violence with all its beats and “heaviness” achieved through a synthesizer which perfectly well replace a heavy guitar. The new dance Alanis and her electronic friend Guy Sigsworth. Although present throughout the whole album, it is more noticeable on the angry Straitjacket, the sad Moratorium and the free spirited Giggling Again for no Reason. There’s always her sad side like on the precious Not as We, the deep Torch and the kinda angry Tapes. And finally the folky, at times happy Alanis on In Praise of the Vulnerable Man and Incomplete. Any album with a line like “I don’t know who you’re talking to with such fucking disrespect” makes even the angrier tracks on 1995’s Jagged Little Pill tremble.

    BEST TRACKS: Versions of Violence, Tapes, Underneath.

    SAFE TRIP HOME *****
    DIDO




    This woman took 5 years to write, record, produce and reproduce her third studio album. And it was worth the wait. Dido had always worked with her brother Rollo, who brought bits of electronica into her sound. Now, she decided to work with Jon Brion, and strip herself of all the synth trickery. She went back to some tribal rhythms (present on her 1999’s debut No Angel), while conserving the intimacy of the lyrics and the great orchestrations. Songs like Don’t Believe in Love remind us of Joss Stone (a sorta Protégé of Dido), with its funky beat. Also on the funky side are Never Want to Say It’s Love and Burnin’ Love. The more “tropical” It Comes and It Goes, Let’s Do The Things We Normally Do and Us 2 Little Gods add flavor to the album. Not too danceable, but sure sing able and cheery. The slow optimistic ballads like Quiet Times, Look No Further and Northern Skies add the exact amount of sweetness to the record. However, the album is marked (deeply) by two tracks. The saddest, most heart-felt tracks Dido has ever released. They speak about her dad’s death and all she went through with his sickness and his dying days. Grafton Street and The Day Before the Day. Those two tracks set the mood of the record and complement it in a very sad, melancholic but beautiful way.

    BEST TRACKS: Grafton Street, It Comes and It Goes, Don’t Believe in Love.

    ODE TO J. SMITH *** ½
    TRAVIS




    It’s the same melancholic lyrics with the same melancholic voice, but not quite the same music. It’s a notch angrier and less folky. More rockier without losing it’s uniqueness. Mr. Healy brings us a new set of tracks that talk about all sorts of things, like love, peace, friendship, and other topics. The rockier side is clearly shown in Something Anything and J. Smith. It isn’t as uncommon for Travis to use heavier guitars, but it is certainly more noticeable this time around, especially since it’s something 2007’s The Boy With No Name missed. There are also de sad tunes filled with melancholy and regret like Used to Belong and Song to Self, and the great Quite Free. Also very intriguing is the new sound found in Chinese Blues (which sounds Chinese!) and can be also found (if listened to carefully) on Used to Belong, and the new kinda western feel on Tail of the Tiger.

    BEST TRACKS: Quite Free, Used To Belong, Something Anything.

    ELEPHANTS... TEETH SINKING INTO HEART ****
    RACHAEL YAMAGATA




    Never so much agony and melancholy had been poured into a single album. So much sadness contained in as many as 12 tracks (or less, as there are some tracks on Ms. Yamagata’s latest album that show anger). The album is divided into two. The first 8 tracks (the sad ones) are called Elephants, while the remaining four (angry tracks) are contained in Teeth Sinking Into Heart. “If the elephants have past lives, yet are destined to always remember” or “It’s a choice to stay, it’s a dream yeah, and I want to wake” are just some of the lines on Rachael Yamagata’s new album that convey all the sadness she’s put into it. Yet those words alone cannot transmit the whole feeling, for you have to actually listen to her voice, her sad, deep, rasping voice. The instrumentation and the orchestration all fit perfectly for this two-part album that although very different, very cohesive too.

    BEST TRACKS: Sunday Afternoon, Elephants, Sidedish Friend.

    A LAS 5 EN EL ASTORIA ** ½
    LA OREJA DE VAN GOGH




    Pop in pure state. Though they changed singers, the music is all the same. Yes, they added some electronic beats here and there, but not much more was changed. Even Leyre’s voice isn’t significantly different to Amaia’s. As all of Spanish pop, silly lyrics abound. El Último Vals, although the band assure’s it’s not about Amaia’s departure (¿Cómo recordarte sin mirar atrás?), is clearly about that. The rest is just plain fun. Guapa didn’t offer much happy tunes as other materials in LOVG’s discography, but A Las Cinco en el Astoria goes back to this cheerful pop tradition. One thing I got to admit, the melodies are more intricately instrumented.

    BEST TRACKS: Sola, Más, Un Cuento Sobre el Agua.

    CAUSE AND EFFECT ****
    MARIA MENA




    The most theatrical album I’ve ever heard. All of the songs sound as if they were taken out of a musical. On Power Trip Ballad she even fakes laughter “Ha-ha, ha-ha!”. Themes don’t vary much, a broken heart, self-hatred, a betrayed lover or a mistreated child. This must be therapeutic for Mena. The album full of complaints (“This town full of violent mothers, cheating fathers, leaving lovers”) and broken promises. This is Maria Mena’s most orchestral album, with lots and lots of violins which only accentuate the theatrical nature of this 10 tracks. Maria Mena’s voice remains intact from her previous albums. Even on Eyesore she demonstrates she’s still got a great pair of pipes as she did on Just Hold Me.

    BEST TRACKS: Eyesore, I’m In Love, Belly Up.

    DOWN TO EARTH ****
    JEM




    Her previous work was seen by many as a commercial release for only commercial purposes. They all thought she was some new Britney with her It’s Just A Ride song. But that’s judging the book by the cover. Jem’s a very dynamic artist. Her new album is a clear statement against those who think that. She takes some tribal sounds (as in Down To Earth), embraces some JPop in Aciiid!, some Spanish/Latin rhythms (I Want You To), and many other diverse tunes. Jazz, electronica, piano driven, R&B, Rock, Pop, everything. This girl can make every style beautiful. I don’t think there’s anyone as melodic as Jem, and her new album Down To Earth shows that. Her voice, though reminiscent of Dido’s, Dolores O’Riordan’s or Sarah McLachlan’s, is quite more melodious, and it can be heard in most of this albums tracks.

    BEST TRACKS: It’s Amazing, Aciiid!, I Always Knew.

    DAY & AGE ****
    THE KILLERS




    The Killers come back, and not forgetting what they did on the b-sides and rare tracks collection “Sawdust” (2007), they kept the electronics. Human, the lead single, starts in a pretty monotonous guitar line, but then Brandon’s voice kicks in and does what he does best. Make the strangest melodies sound good. It’s not the typical rock-filled album, with lots of distortion and guitar solos. Instead, synths and keyboards become more and more prominent, it is even danceable at times. Although all these changes, it is still a recognizable Killers album. Losing Touch, the opening track reminds us of 2004’s “Hot Fuss” sets the tone with its ringing bells at the beginning and lets the listener into a great experience of funkiness, electronic and rock & roll.

    BEST TRACKS: Human, Losing Touch, A Dustland Fairytale.


    MELODY *** ½
    SHARLEEN SPITERI




    When Ms. Spiteri announced her break from Texas, we all knew it was time. She had been giving signs of her own artistic spark. She was a tied up dog trying to reach its food. And now she’s finally set free. This doesn’t mean Texas is over, but Sharleen has finally gathered the guts, the time and the people to record her own record. Set in a very 50’s-60’s mood, Melody brings the best of Sharleen in voice’s terms. Her seducing tone, her marked Scottish pronunciation and the melodies all combine in order to give us one amazing album, full of hearbreak and old fashioned swing-ish tracks. I for one was surprised. I’m not really fond of this type of music, but Sharleen sure has that something that makes me not skip the songs. As far as I’m concerned, Sharleen Spiteri’s Melody kicks Duffy in the butt… and hard.

    BEST TRACKS: Stop! I Don’t Love You Anymore, All The Times I’ve Cried, Don’t Keep Me Waiting.

    GREATEST HITS ***
    SPICE GIRLS




    There’s always a greatest hits. This time it’s the Spice Girls’ turn. Early in 2007 they announced their “The Return of the Spice Girls” tour, which sold out worldwide in minutes. With hits such as Wannabe, 2 Become 1, Spice Up Your Life and Holler, they had a great show under their sleeves. They even threw in a few acts of their own solo records. And yes, this time Geri was back too. The album is a pretty accurate compilation of their singles, from Wannabe to Holler, including hits like Goodbye and Viva Forever (two of my favourites). The single recorded especially for this album, Headlines (Friendship Never Ends), is a sign of the true reunion. Geri was back in the picture and the song was so strong it even caused nostalgia of the band’s past. I don’t know if it had the success their other albums had, but whatever chart place they reached, the Spice Girls are always a smash.

    BEST TRACKS: Wannabe, Who Do You Think You Are, Spice Up Your Life, Viva Forever, Headlines.




    So... MY award for best record, even though there's a tie, goes to:



    She put all her artistic creativity into this. You can tell she worked her ass off on this record, and the new sound is so brilliant, it exceeds what I expected of her. It's not all entirely new, you can recognize Alanis' brand on the record, especially the lyrics, but all the trickery and beats that Guy Sigsworth brought to her sound are greatly appreciated and only add in to her music. I really recommend you give Flavors of Entanglement a chance.


    SONGS

    This is a list of other songs worth mentioning, songs that I loved throughout the year and either the album containing them didn't make it to the top ten, or are viewed (by me) as independant pieces of music (meaning I didn't hear the whole album).

    Mademoiselle Juliette - Alizée
    Fifty Sixty- Alizée
    Boyfriend- Alphabeat
    Fascination - Alphabeat
    Kamikaze- Amaral
    Womanizer - Britney Spears
    Keeps Gettin' Better - Christina Aguilera
    Technicolor - DeDupléx
    Cicatrices - Fey
    Witness To Your Love - Garbage
    The Trouble I'm In (feat. Shirley Manson) - Gavin Rossdale
    Senza Fiato (feat. Dolores O'Riordan) - Giuliano Sangiorgi
    Spiralling - Keane
    4 Minutes (feat. Justin Timberlake) - Madonna
    Where Were You - Maria Mena
    Touch my Body - Mariah Carey
    The Shock Of The Lightning - Oasis
    LES Artistes - Santogold
    Creator - Santogold
    La Despedida - Shakira
    Hay Amores - Shakira
    Samson and Delilah - Shirley Manson
    Shut Up And Let Me Go - The Ting Tings
    Great DJ - The Ting Tings
    Vuelvo a Comenzar - Timbiriche
  • Don't Believe In Love

    Out 28 2008, 19h17

    I wanna go to bed with arms around me
    But wake up on my own
    Pretend that I'm still sleeping
    Until you go home
    Oh I can't look at you this morning
    I should probably have a sign
    That says leave right now or quicker
    You've overstayed your time

    If I don't believe in love nothing will last for me
    If I don't believe in love nothing is safe for me
    When I don't believe in love, you're too close to me
    That's why you have to leave

    Maybe I slept peaceful on your shoulder
    Your arm warm around my side
    But it's different now it's morning
    And I can't face your smile
    The second that I feel your safe hands
    Reaching out for mine
    I slip away and out of sight
    You've overstayed your time

    If I don't believe in love nothing is good for me
    If I don't believe in love nothing will last for me
    If I don't believe in love nothing is new for me
    Nothing is warm for me and nothing is real for me

    If I don't believe in love nothing is good for me
    If I don't believe in love nothing will last for me
    When I don't believe in love nothing is new for me
    Nothing is warm for me and nothing is real for me

    If I don't believe in love, what do you get from me?
    When I don't believe in love nothing is real for me
    If I don't believe in love you're getting too close to me
    That's why ya have to leave, that's why ya have to leave

    If I don't believe in love, if I don't believe in love
    If I don't believe in love nothing is left for me
    If I don't believe in love you're too good for me


    - Dido Armstrong



    La nueva canción de la señorita Dido, rápidamente se perfila para convertirse en mi canción favorita (al menos de las que ella ha producido). Es el nuevo sencillo que promocionará al álbum Safe Trip Home, que saldrá a la venta en noviembre.El álbum producido por Jon Brion (Fiona Apple, Kanye West) saldrá a la venta el 17 de Noviembre en Estados Unidos. He oído tres canciones de esta producción que al menos yo he esperado por 5 años (en 2003 lanzó Life For Rent, su último álbum a la fecha). Look No Further, canción que regaló por medio de su website, es una canción tranquila, lenta, y a veces un poco aburrida. Su instrumentación es interesante, nueva para Dido. La letra habla sobre encontrar paz consigo mismo. Como el hubiera no es importante, y solamente el presente define el futuro. Grafton Street es otra de las canciones que Dido muestra en su página web. Es una triste, triste canción. Habla sobre el fallecimiento de su padre, y de buena manera, a través de la letra y su especial tono de voz, transmite toda esa melancolía:

    And time we always lose
    Has finally found here with you
    My love I know we're losing
    But I will stand here by you


    Yo no pude evitar sentir empatía por la cantante, pues no debe ser fácil la pérdida de los padres (por más que sea el orden natural). Musicalmente, utiliza tambores un tanto africanos, que al mezclarse con la flauta irlandesa que ella misma toca, crea una sensación musical completamente nueva. Cabe mencionar que Dido toca más del 80% de los instrumentos, razón por la cual se ha tardado tanto en lanzarlo. Finalmente, el sencillo Don't Believe in Love tiene un feel un tanto Joss Stone-esco. Algo que a mi generalmente me aburriría, pero sigo descubriéndole detalles disfrutables como los backing vocals en el coro "mmm, mmm, mmm", y el "tun tun, tun tun, tun tun" antes de cada coro. Es una maravilla de canción, y es por ello que decidí escribirle esta nota (cosa que nunca hago).
  • Best Albums of 2007

    Dez 9 2007, 1h21

    ALBUMS

    3/5 American Doll Posse by Tori Amos


    I just got into Ms. Amos this year. I found her musical skills to exceed my expectations and her songwriting is witty and dark. I love her previous albums, but this one wasn't as good as I thought it'd be. She went on creating her alter egos and wrote songs that fit those alter's profiles. Nice experiment, although I don't find it as smart and brilliant as others do. Anyways, it's not a bad album at all. Best tracks: Big wheel, Teenage Hustling, Bouncing off Clouds, Mr. Bad Man, Devils and Gods, Programmable Soda, Rosterspur Bridge, Beauty of Speed. Did I mention it's a 23 track album?

    4/5 Are You Listening? by Dolores O'Riordan


    The album we were all waiting for. And to tell you the truth it was freshly surprising. I expected a major disappointment. I expected to have Shattereds and Pretty Eyes and Emptys and all those beautiful but easily boring tracks on the album. Instead we got some Cranberries tunes darkened a notch. I doubt Dolores would've recoreded Black Widow or In The Garden with her former band. I'm sure this is a good thing. I do believe that even the more cranberriesque trakcs have a special unique touch of Dolores. Of this new Dolores. My favourites have changed a lot, but nowadays I listen to: Ordinary Day, When We Were Young, Human Spirit and Stay With Me.

    3/5 Life in Mono by Emma Bunton


    The sweetest cover collection I own. This album keeps surprising me over and over again. Tunes I overlooked are played in shuffle by iTunes and I keep discovering great songs. Tho it was released Dec. 2006, I consider it a 2007 release. Favourites: Perhaps perhaps perhaps, I'm not looking over yesterdays, Life in mono, Downtown, Perfect Strangers.

    */* Sawdust by The Killers


    To be honest, I haven't thoroughly listened to this one yet. It's brand new and I just got it. But God do I love their new single "Tranquilize".

    5/5 Ten Feet High by Andrea Corr


    This is in my opinion the best album of 2007. I bought it without much excitement. I didn't expect much of her. I mean, I like the corrs a lot, but I didn't think it could get any better. It's got glossy/smart production, sexy and sweet lyrics and the music is just great. Mixes of electronic sounds with acoustics, and other elements. You can even hear some trumpets on Champagne from a straw. I know many won't agree with me, but the twelve tracks from Ten Feet High are really ten feet higher than the rest of the year's releases. I think everyone should give it a try. Tracks I recommend: Hello Boys, Ten Feet High, Champagne from a Straw, 24 hours, Take me I'm yours.

    1/5 The Best Damn Thing by Avril Lavigne


    The biggest disappointment this year. I didn't really care for Let Go, her first album, but her second, Under my Skin was beautiful, sad, dark, nostalgic, thrilling. This one, is just a silly girl being silly and getting a lot of money for it. She's gone into the one direction I didn't want her to go. She could be the next Britney Spears, or the next Alanis Morissette, but instead she decided to go all Sum 41 on us (considering who she is married to, it's not surprising). Rescuable songs: Girlfriend, Innocence, When You're Gone.

    3/5 The Boy With No Name by Travis


    I love mellow songs. And hell, Travis know how to bring them on. They have such a talent on songwriting, I wonder how people could prefer boring Chris Martin over genious Fran Healy. This album is really on the same line as the band's second and third albums, but still sounds fresh. I would've liked something newer tho, but they do pretty well on The Boy With No Name. Best tracks: Closer, Selfish Jean, My Eyes, Out in Space.

    4/5 The Sweet Escape by Gwen Stefani


    Though this one was also released on 2006 (December), I consider it a 2007 release. As a whole, The Sweet Escape isn't better than her previous solo work (L.A.M.B.). But some of the songs are far superior than those on L.A.M.B. The dance vibe to the album is amazing, and it has a great variety of genres. From hip hop to rock, going through pop and melancholic ballads. I think it's a must have and all the sucess it's garnered is totally deserved. My favourite songs on this one: Wind It Up, Early Winter, 4 in the Morning, Orange County, Wonderful Life.

    GREATEST HITS AND COMPILATIONS

    4/5 Absolute Garbage by Garbage


    Excellent compilation. It did leave out some of my favourites: "Run baby run" and "Androgyny". The new track "Tell Me Where It Hurts" is a beautifully orchestrated midtempo rock track, with a "nice" (for a lack of words) video. It does't spring as a smash hit (and it wasn't), but it was great. The album also included the popularly acclaimed "The World is not Enough" and "#1 Crush". The interesting thing about this release is the double CD. It includes an album of all new remixes (Garbage is famous for having their songs remixed over and over again), with great outcomes. The remix for Bab Boyfriend kicks ass and well, the rest are equally as good. Now, there's also a DVD with all their videos, but it isn't as great as I expected. Best tracks: Special, Push it, Vow, You Look So Fine.

    3/5 Glorious: The Singles 97 – 07 by Natalie Imbruglia


    Another compilation. Or sorta. She only put togehter all her singles (10) and included 5 brand new tracks. New single Glorious is a great song that I can't stop singing. Catchy and smart, and totally Natalie. From the other new tracks, Amelia stands out as a sweet, mysterious ballad. I love it. Can't wait for her new album due march. Songs I liked the most: Shiver, Glorious, Wrong Impression, That Day, Amelia.

    LIVE ALBUMS/DVD + CD

    2/5 En Concert by Alizée


    This is a DVD/CD of a concert Alizée offered in France to a full auditorium. Her songs might be silly, she can be a bimbo with no musical talent (she can sing, not a great voice, but she can sing). And well, her sexy dance doesn't intrigue me (me being a Shakira fan). Anyways, I love some of the songs tho I have no idea of what they mean. Great to see she wasn't using playback and lipsinching. Mes favoris: Moi Lolita, Amelie m'a dit, Toc de Mac, A contre courant.

    3/5 Tour Fijación Oral by Shakira


    Live CD + DVD, shot in Miami, on Shakira's Oral Fixation Tour. The collection of songs is pretty well chosen, but the performance is even better. Nothing new on the album, and surprisingly she didn't sing only hits. Alejandro Sanz and Wyclef Jean made a special appearance (they didn't do many of these on her tour), and brought a little more to the show. Watching Shakira live is one experience, and though it cannot be matched through a digital recording of her show, it gets pretty close. Best songs/performances: Whenever, wherever , Estoy Aquí, Hips Don't Lie, Si Te Vas.
  • Dolores O’Riordan rocks Mexico City's National Auditorium

    Set 4 2007, 8h35

    Sun 2 Sep – Dolores O'Riordan

    Dolores O'Riordan rocks the National Auditorium
    The Irishwoman proves that she doesn’t need her former band to make the fans go wild

    Mexico City, Mexico; September 3rd, 2007

    Few minutes ‘til 7 o’clock, and the national auditorium looked half full. Many were still outside chatting with friends about how unbelievable it was for the event to happen. It was unlikely from the beginning. Her solo debut, “Are You Listening?” (Sequel/Sanctuary/NoiseLab), had not gotten into the Mexican top charts. The single “Ordinary Day” had been played very scarcely on Mexican radio. The show had been announced less than a month before. The previous shows of the tour had been in very small venues. To think she would present herself in the National Auditorium, with a 10 thousand people capacity, without her band “the Cranberries” seemed far-fetched. It would be the largest show of the whole tour.

    At 7 o’clock, the lights went off. The people that were waiting outside seemed to have taken into their seats. The place looked packed, except for the second floor, which remained always closed, covered with curtains and with the lights down. Sources have stated an attendance of around 6 to 7 thousand people. And then, shadows indicated the band was getting hold of their positions on stage. The sound of the first riffs of “Zombie” made de audience go mad. Screams and cheers. And the lights of the stage came on.

    Dolores was holding a black guitar, and black was her outfit as well (black boots, black jacket, really short shorts). People went crazy. People in the first row were shaking green, white and red balloons and shouting like mad. The chorus seemed to drive everyone crazy. Zombie, eh, eh. “Hello Mexico” she saluted. That was the start of an unforgettable night for many.

    “Angel Fire” followed “Zombie” in the setlist. She had lost her jacket and was sporting a black tee. Powerful ballad, it was one of the first songs people knew from her first solo album. She had sung it live last Christmas in Montecarlo, at the ‘Concierto di Natale’. “Animal Instinct” was up next. This time, she came closer to the audience, shaking hands with some of the first rowers.

    Then came “Apple of my Eye” and “Linger”. Everyone had their mobile phones out (or their lighters), and waved hands in the air. She had the audience sing a few lines of “Linger”, one of the oldest hits of the Cranberries.

    Someone from the stage crew handed her a white acoustic guitar, which could only mean one thing: “Ordinary Day”, the lead single for her solo album would come next. And it did. People sung along the song as if were an old Cranberries’ hit.

    “Human Spirit”, another song from “Are You Listening?” had Dolores playing the flute, a feat not many knew she could pull. And she did it good. The piano/keyboard, played by old Cranberries back up keyboardist Denny DeMarchi, was impeccable. He would then play more of it on the next two songs: the Evanescence-ish “Stay with me” and the rather experimental “Black Widow”. People in the audience stayed almost silent, so they could enjoy these new songs. Dolores’ voice thundered right through the audiences ears on the chorus of “Stay with Me”, which is a mournful cry for the company of the loved one. “Black Widow” very silent at the beginning, but near the end it was louder than even “Zombie”. She went backstage for a little while, while the band performed delightful stunts at the end of the song.

    After the very short break, the music for “Pretty” started playing. She dedicated it to “all the beautiful Mexican women”. This one goes way back. It’s part of the Cranberries’ first album “Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?”

    Then, after all the silence and stillness of the audience during the last 5 songs, it was the turn of the cranberries’ hit single “Free to Decide”. They started playing, and when the drums came in, which is her cue to start singing, her voice couldn’t be heard. The microphone was off. She turned around, still playing her guitar, and waited ‘til it was replaced with one that was working. She approached the mic and said between laughs that it was off. Then she started singing. The audience went wild again. She asked them to sing with her and they did.

    The ballad “When You’re Gone”, where she would as well play the guitar, would represent one of the climax moments of the gig. The ‘bay bay bay’ turned the audience on, and this made her draw a big smile on her face.

    She backed up a little after “When You’re Gone”, when the band started playing the first notes of “I Can’t Be With You”. She rushed to the front of the stage where the microphone was, and make the audience roar. People sang, yelled and jumped through the entire song. Another climax moment. After this one, she played “Loser”, now without her guitar. She moved from one side of the stage to the other, trying to make contact with fans in the balconies of the venue.

    “Are you ready to rock” she asked the audience, who responded in a loud roar, and “Salvation” started. The rockiest song of the set. People was crazy. Singing and dancing. They answered Dolores’ ‘aha’s’ with enthusiasm. People from the first rows tried to approach her, or give her things, such as a Mexican flag, a t-shirt or a stuffed Garfield (reminiscent of the one someone threw to her at the show in the Palais du Bercy, in France on December 1999, with the Cranberries).

    The second single from “Are You Listening” came through this time. Very rocky, she moved from one side to the other and got close to both bassist Marco Mendoza and guitarist “Steve DeMarchi” who used to be the additional guitarist for the Cranberries, and is in charge of the backing vocals as well.

    Lights went all out and the whole band went backstage. We knew it wasn’t the end. It usually is when the lights come on and guards start telling people to get out.

    When they came back out, the riffs to “Ode to my Family” resounded in the auditorium. She wasn’t playing the keyboard this time. An old classic marked the beginning of the end of one helluva show.

    She then said she’s take the audience back a little bit. Back to 1999. She said a fan in the press conference had asked her why she had left such a song out of the setlist. They played “Just My Imagination” and Dolores approached the edge of the stage again, where the first rowers tried desperately to hold her hand.

    Next song was “Accept Things”, which Dolores announced as a song about acceptance. Then she announced a song she wrote on October two years ago. “October” has become a fan favorite. People, though tired, jumped and screamed louder than before.

    She said she had enjoyed it in Mexico, that she had had some Margaritas the night before and that she was feeling much better then. She said: “Mexico, te quiero” (with the help of the Mexican guitarist), and also shouted “Viva Mexico!”.

    This definitely pointed to the end of the show, which was confirmed when she said the next song would be “Dreams”. She’s always closed her concerts with this song (with few exceptions). People went frantic. People on the first rows thundered to the stage. Security guards couldn’t do anything but tried to hold them from getting on stage. Dolores, nevertheless, came close and shook hands with as many fans as she could. Then she took a bottle of water and poured it over her hair. She then shook her hair, which sprinkled the fans closer to the stage with water. Fans seemed to be in total ecstasy. The show had come to an end. She shouted ‘Gracias’ and ‘Thank You’. And left the stage. The band remained for a minute or two, while Marco Mendoza played with drummer Graham Hopkins. Marco would play a riff and then Graham would do a line. It seemed it was the band’s turn to have some fun. They seemed to be responding each other, or rather ‘challenging’. After a minute, it was all over. The four guys got to the front of the stage and bowed down. They, then left waving to the audience.

    The best show of my life had ended.
  • Best Album Ever

    Ago 4 2006, 7h06

    Bury The Hatchet was the first CD I ever bought. I completely loved it from day 1. I bought it on December 17th, 1999 which means I've had around 6 years of the best of the best. Great opener, amazing singles, and Dolores O'Riordan's voice at it's best. It's the point where the cranberries swithed from great music to music for gods. Seriously, it is so mature, yet so emotional. So loud yet so soft. It's the best they've ever done, and it's just mind blowing.