Saturday, December 6, 2008

20 Y.O. (2006) Janet Jackson

Being the sister of one of pop music's all-time biggest superstars hasn't intimidated Janet Jackson in the least. In fact, Janet churned out a string of successful albums throughout the 1980s, '90s, and 2000s that kept pace with the changing sounds, looks, and trends of the times (which is more than can be said for Michael). 20 Y.O. is Jackson's 11th album, and with a title that roughly indicates her tenure in the commercial limelight, Jackson's accrued confidence and strengths as a performer make a strong showing.
Janet declares on the spoken intro to 20 Y.O. that she wants to "keep it light" and "have fun," and to that end the album boasts plenty of club bangers. "So Excited" and "Get It Out Me" are cases in point, with each sporting the spare, electro grooves ubiquitous in the early 2000s. Such tracks dot the disc, thanks to top-shelf producers like Jermaine Dupri and Terry Lewis, among others, but Jackson's way with a slinky ballad hasn't diminished, as "Call On Me," a duet with rapper Nelly, proves. Jackson's music sounds fresh and modern, with its pop instincts in tune with the contemporary market, almost as if she were, herself, 20 years old.

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1. 20 (Intro)
2. So Excited
3. Show Me
4. Get It out Me
5. Do It 2 Me
6. This Body
7. With U
8. Call on Me
9. Daybreak
10. Enjoy
11. 20 Pt. 4 (Interlude)
12. Take Care
13. Love 2 Love
14. 20 Pt. 5 (Outro

Mind On The Moon (2008) Snow

UK release for one of the most commercially successful rap/reggae DJs ever. 12 tracks including the hit 'Everybody Wants To Be Like You'.

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1. Plumb Song (Over the Moon)
2. Anti Love Song
3. Joke Thing
4. Scrub Off
5. Everybody Wants to Be Like You
6. Funky Martini
7. Someday Somehow
8. Nothing on Me
9. Little Did They Know
10. Crazy Feeling
11. Everything's Fine
12. Jimmy Hat

Shady Satin Drug (2008) soulDecision

Shady Satin Drug, released October 26, 2008 from pop/rock band soulDecision. The album was their second release (Universal). The album's first single of the album was "Cadillac Dress".

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Track Listings
1. Cadillac Dress
2. Shady Satin Drug
3. Hypnotize
4. So Strong
5. Light It Up
6. Don't Dance Close to Me
7. It Must Be You
8. Sucky Love Song
9. Kiss the Walls
10. Ain't Now Way to Make a Living

For All Time (2008) Soluna

For All Time is likely to put Soluna on the pop map, with addictive choruses and the foursome's harmonizing capabilities. For All Time, the catchy title track, shot like a firecracker to the top of the charts and could serve as a makeshift crystal ball for the group's future (one of longevity if the Beyoncé of the group, Jessica Castellanos, continues writing songs for her gal pals).

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Track Listing
1. Bring It to Me
2. Hey Hey, You You
3. Nothing Looks Good on Me But You
4. For All Time
5. Don't Wanna Live My Life Wtihout You
6. I'll Be Waiting For You
7. So in Love
8. Te Vengo a Decir - (interlude)
9. Spanish Lullaby
10. All Out of Love
11. He Should Be You
12. Monday Mi Amor
13. Luna Mia
14. Bring It to Me - (spanish version)
15. Por la Eternidad :: For All Time

Hot Fuss (2004) The Killers

Hot Fuss features eleven nuggets of reel-you-in storytelling genius and musical nectar. These eleven tracks span from the "very Vegas like Ziggy came to town" first proper single release "Somebody Told Me"; "Mr Brightside" - a tale of jealousy that depicts that moment in a relationship when you realize that your other half might be playing away and this thought takes up residence in your psyche feeding the worst fears and visualisations your imagination can then throw at you. Youll find two-thirds of a murder trilogy in "Midnight Show", which starts off harking back to "Lipgloss" before veering into far darker territory than old Jarvis would ever have flirted with, in Pulp days at least, and "Jenny". These two are connected by the story of a murder of a girl by her jealous boyfriend. The first part of the trilogy, "Leave The Bourbon On The Shelf", will, you can be sure, make an appearance at some point in the future. Its a deliciously ambitious series that! belies the bands tender years. Elsewhere, meanwhile: "On Top" celebrates where Brandon feels the band is at, while stalkers tale "Andy Youre A Star" and "All These Things That Ive Done," saw Flowers realise his dream of using a gospel choir in their recordings.

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1. Jenny Was a Friend of Mine
2. Mr. Brightside
3. Smile Like You Mean It
4. Somebody Told Me
5. All These Things That I've Done
6. Andy, You're a Star
7. On Top
8. Change Your Mind
9. Believe Me Natalie
10. Midnight Show
11. Everything Will Be Alright

Who We Are (2008) Lifehouse

On its fourth full-length studio album, WHO WE ARE, the Los Angeles-based pop/rock trio Lifehouse stays steady on its adult-alternative course, offering up a guitar-driven post-grunge set that is ready-made for radio play. While this 2007 outing isn't a major departure from past Lifehouse releases, it does rock a little harder than its eponymous predecessor, a point hit home by the brooding opener, "Disarray," and the driving title track. Those worried that the band is going for Nickelback-like heaviness, however, will be appeased by the celebratory lead single, "First Time," and the chiming "Mesmerized," tunes that reinforce frontman Jason Wade's status as a remarkably consistent songsmith.

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1. Disarray
2. First Time
3. Whatever It Takes
4. Who We Are
5. Broken
6. Joke, The
7. Easier To Be
8. Make Me Over
9. Mesmerized
10. Bridges
11. Learn You Inside Out
12. Storm
13. Sign of Life

1. First Time [PBS Soundstage Performance] - (live)
2. Hangin' By A Moment [Nissan Live Sets On Yahoo!] - (live)
3. You And Me [Nissan Live Sets On Yahoo!] - (live)
4. From Where You Are [April 1, Roseland Ballroom in NYC] - (live)
5. Whatever It Takes [April 1, Roseland Ballroom in NYC] - (live)

Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (2004) Korn

GREATEST HITS VOL. 1 is a 17-track primer for Korn, a key force behind the "nu metal" tsunami that swept through pop music in the mid-to-late 1990s. Led by frontman (and former coroner's assistant) Jonathan Davis, these California natives weave low-tuned guitars, hip-hop-fueled bass lines, and bleak imagery into memorable songs like the bile-fueled stomp-fest "Right Now," goth-tinged "Alone I Break," and frenetically raw "Freak on a Leash."
Davis's struggle with family dysfunction is a consistent theme, from the band's self-titled 1994 debut (a foreboding "Clown"), right up through 2003's TAKE A LOOK IN THE MIRROR (an uber-heavy "Did My Time"). Korn also keeps pace with peers Marilyn Manson and Limp Bizkit (who both recorded unlikely covers) by adding a pair of new tracks--a faithful reading of Cameo's "Word Up!" and, in keeping with their anti-authoritarian bent, a slight tweaking of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall (Parts 1, 2, 3)." Fleshing out this package is a glimpse into the Korn concert experience via a DVD of a performance at New York City's CBGB, recorded in November of 2003.

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Track Listing
1. Word up!
2. Another Brick in the Wall (Parts 1, 2, 3)
3. Y'All Want a Single
4. Right Now
5. Did My Time
6. Alone I Break
7. Here to Stay
8. Trash
9. Somebody Someone
10. Make Me Bad
11. Falling Away From Me
12. Got the Life
13. Freak on a Leash
14. Twist
15. A.D.I.D.A.S.
16. Clown
17. Shoots and Ladders
18. Blind
19. Freak on a Leash - (Dante Ross mix, remix)

Friday, December 5, 2008

808's & Heartbreak (2008) Kanye West

West has decreed that all beats on 808S be derived from the Roland TR-808 for a more "tribal feel," and he distorts his voice at will, producing a surreal sound, one bordering on a robot having a mental breakdown. On this adventurous album, West is King Lear's Edgar, a sharp-minded philosopher lost in the forest of despair, unsure how to react, how to perceive reality. That's not to say that he's simply wallowing, even on the most despondent "Welcome to Heartbreak," a tribute to his mother. While 808S is an album that may be challenging at times, it's also often hypnotic and unquestionably catchy--basically, everything one might want from a Kanye West album.

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1. Say You Will
2. Welcome To Heartbreak
3. Heartless
4. Amazing
5. Love Lockdown
6. Paranoid
7. RoboCop
8. Street Lights
9. Bad News
10. See You In My Nightmares
11. Coldest Winter

The Script (2008) The Script

2008 release. Script is made up of three Irish lads from Dublin who are now currently based out of London, England. This 10 track album showcases the band's fine talent with a batch of beautifully written songs.

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1. "We Cry"
2. "Before The Worst"
3. "Talk You Down"
4. "The Man Who Can't Be Moved"
5. "Breakeven"
6. "Rusty Halo"
7. "The End Where I Begin"
8. "Fall For Anything"
9. "If You See Kay"
10. "I'm Yours"
11. "Anybody There" (Bonus Track)

2008 "General field" Grammy nominations

Record of the Year

* "Chasing Pavements" – Adele

* "Viva la Vida" – Coldplay

* "Bleeding Love" – Leona Lewis

* "Paper Planes" – M.I.A.

* "Please Read the Letter" – Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

Album of the Year

* Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends – Coldplay

* Tha Carter III – Lil Wayne

* Year of the Gentleman – Ne-Yo

* Raising Sand – Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

* In Rainbows – Radiohead

Song of the Year

* "American Boy" – Estelle, Keith Harris, John Legend, Josh Lopez, Caleb Speir, Kanye West &, songwriters (Estelle featuring Kanye West)
* "Chasing Pavements" – Adele & Eg White, songwriters (Adele)
* "I'm Yours" – Jason Mraz, songwriter (Jason Mraz)
* "Love Song" – Sara Bareilles, songwriter (Sara Bareilles)
* "Viva la Vida" – Coldplay, songwriters (Coldplay)

Best New Artist

* Adele
* Duffy
* Jonas Brothers
* Lady Antebellum
* Jazmine Sullivan

Only By The Night (2008) Kings of Leon

With their raw, organic sound, Tennessee's Kings of Leon emerged in 2003 as Southern rock for the indie-garage set, sort of a Strokes for the South. While there were hints of a new direction on their third album, BECAUSE OF THE TIMES, its follow-up, ONLY BY THE NIGHT, follows through with a near-reinvention of the Kings' sound. ONLY BY THE NIGHT could be mistaken for avant-indie cult heroes the Liars on a Southern vacation, as post-punk angularity, distorto-funk bass lines, and clattering percussion are processed through what sounds like the world's biggest fuzzbox. While there are old-glory moments of garagey abandon, most of these tracks sound like someone sat and carefully considered the best way to frame them. And that's what makes the difference between having a good band and making a good album.

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Track Listing
1. Closer
2. Crawl
3. Sex On Fire
4. Use Somebody
5. Manhattan
6. Revelry
7. 17
8. Notion
9. I Want You
10. Be Somebody
11. Cold Desert

Greatest Hits 93-03 (2004) 311

With its signature hybrid sound, 311 spawned scores of imitators and emerged as one of the best-loved and most enduring groups on the rap-metal scene. The band freely combines not only hip-hop and heavy metal, but liberal doses of reggae, funk, dub, Beach Boys-style harmonies, and Phish-like jam-band music. The Nebraska-based quintet steers clear of the sharp edges and angst-laden lyrics of contemporaries Limp Bizkit and Rage Against the Machine in favor of an all-inclusive, celebratory vibe. Starting with the Chili Peppers-esque punk-funk workout "Down" and progressing through the trippy Caribbean-tinged "Amber" to the surf/ska-influenced "Do You Right," GREATEST HITS '93-'03 comes as advertised, collecting all of the band's favorites into one non-stop party package.

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1. Down
2. Flowing
3. All Mixed Up
4. Amber
5. Come Original
6. Beautiful Disaster
7. Creatures (For a While)
8. Do You Right
9. I'll Be Here Awhile
10. You Wouldn't Believe
11. Transistor
12. Don't Stay Home
13. Home Brew
14. Beyond the Gray Sky
15. Love Song
16. How Do You Feel?
17. First Straw

This Is Me Then: The Best of Common (2008) Common

THIS IS ME THEN: THE BEST OF COMMON surveys the early career of the Chi-town artist formerly known as Sense. Drawing from his first three albums (CAN I BORROW A DOLLAR, RESURRECTION, and ONE DAY IT'LL ALL MAKE SENSE), this collection of 15 classic tracks gives a picture of Common's stylistic evolution. The earliest, first-album cuts show us an MC whose high-energy, conspicuously squeaky tongue-twister vocals and comedic subject matter mirrored a variety of hip-hop acts of the day (Das Efx, Redman, et al.). The RESURRECTION tracks mark a clear turning point--a move away from light-hearted content towards poetic maturity. "I Used to Love H.E.R.," with its airtight extended metaphor, remains one of the most poignant hip-hop songs of all time. By album three, Common had garnered respect from the likes of De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest, and his work heralded the arrival of a new kind of conscious super-MC, capable of speaking from the heart on subjects such as street crime ("Stolen Moments"), abortion ("Retrospective for Life"), religion ("G.O.D."), and coming to terms with one's adolescent past ("Reminding Me (of Sef)"). THIS IS ME THEN also includes the rarely heard "High Expectations" from the soundtrack to the 1997 film SOUL IN THE HOLE.

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Track Listing
1. Take It Ez
2. Breaker 1/9
3. Soul by the Pound
4. Charms Alarm
5. Heidi Hoe
6. I Used to Love H.E.R.
7. Book of Life
8. Resurrection
9. Thisisme
10. Retrospect For Life - (with Lauryn Hill)
11. Remidning Me (Of Sef) - (with Chantay Savage)
12. All Night Long - (with Erykah Badu)
13. G.O.D. (Gaining One's Definition) - (with Cee-Lo)
14. Stoplen Moments Pt.III - (with Q-Tip)
15. High Expectations

Freedom (2008) Akon

Freedom is the third studio album by singer, Akon. The album was originally named Acquitted. It was released on December 2, 2008, and as a digital download on December 1.

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Track Listing
1. I'm So Paid - (featuring Lil Wayne/Young Jeezy)
2. Right Now (Na Na Na)
3. Trouble Maker
4. We Don't Care
5. Go Go Dancer
6. Holla Holla - (featuring T-Pain)
7. Against The Grain - (featuring Ray Lavender)
8. Be With You
9. I Love It
10. Where Would We Go
11. Birthmark
12. Freedom
13. Sunny Day - (featuring Wyclef Jean)

David Archuleta (2008) David Archuleta

In the Spring of 2008, just barely past his 17th Birthday, David Archuleta, the soulful crooner with the cherub's face, found himself the talk of America, locked in a battle with rocker David Cook for AMERICAN IDOL's seventh season's grand prize. While he would wind up placing in the battle of the Davids, like many an AI runner-up, Archuleta suffered few long-term ill-effects as a budding pop artist. With an earnest, wryly mournful delivery, Archuleta was a natural for the pop love ballad and found a match in the perfectly wrought "Crush," the top ten antecedent to his debut self-titled album.

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1. "Crush" Jess Cates, David Hodges, Emanuel Kiriakou 3:32
2. "Touch My Hand" Steve Kipner, Steve McEwan, Wayne Wilkins 4:21
3. "Barriers" Steve Kipner, Steve McEwan, Wayne Wilkins 3:50
4. "My Hands" Zukhan Bey, James Fauntleroy, Emanuel Kiriakou 4:04
5. "A Little Too Not Over You" David Archuleta, Mathew Gerrard, Mike Krompass, Robbie Nevil 3:18
6. "You Can" Antonina Armato, Tim James 3:42
7. "Running" James Fauntleroy, Konttinen Risto, Wayne Nugent, Steven Russell, Dapo Torimiro 3:35
8. "Desperate" Andreas Carlsson, Desmond Child, Konstantin Rethwisch, Alexander Rethwisch 3:41
9. "To Be with You" Kara DioGuardi, Emanuel Kiriakou 3:25
10. "Don't Let Go" David Archuleta, JC Chasez, Jimmy Harry 3:47
11. "Your Eyes Don't Lie" Antonina Armato, Tim James, Devrim Karaoglu 3:04
12. "Angels" Guy Chambers, Robbie Williams 4:09

David Cook (2008) David Cook

In the epic David vs. David face-off at the end of AMERICAN IDOL's seventh season, teen pop sensation David Archuleta was decisively defeated by more experienced rock performer David Cook, who issued this 2008 self-titled debut a week after Archuleta's own album. Aided by a veritable army of veteran alt-rock songwriters, including Johnny Rzeznik (Goo Goo Dolls) and Raine Maida (Our Lady Peace), Cook shines brightest with "Light On," a soaring anthem co-penned by Chris Cornell (Soundgarden, Audioslave).

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Track Listing
1. Declaration
2. Heroes
3. Light On
4. Come Back to Me
5. Life on the Moon
6. Bar-ba-sol
7. Mr. Sensitive
8. Lie
9. I Did it for You
10. Avalanche
11. Permanent
12. A Daily Anthem
13. The Time of My Life (Bonus Track)

To Remember (2008) Josh Kelley

Latest album from Josh Kelley!

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Track listings:
Just to be Me
A Real Good Try
To Remember
Walk Right In
Under the Covers
More than Love
Secret Criminal
It Breaks My Heart
Kink in the Chain

Ghetto Rose (2008) Keke Wyatt

New single from R&B diva Keke Wyatt called "Ghetto Rose" taking over R&B radio in the US. In 2002 her debut album was nominated for the Soul Train Award for Best R&B/soul or rap new artist.

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