Posts Tagged ‘La Roux’

2009 Aloud: Favorite Albums

January 3, 2010

With 2009 done and a new decade looming here is a reflection on my top 10 favorite albums from the past year…

10. Been Waiting (Deluxe Edition) – Jessica Mauboy // The debut album from Australian Idol winner Jessica Mauboy, was first released in November 2008 in her home country, but was given a Japanese release in late 2009, which is when I discovered it. She has a great voice and it shows over the course of the album. The (6!) singles are great and most of the rest of the tracks remain consistent. My only complaints would be the terrible rendition of “Time After Time” and the album’s lack of true originality. It’s predictable R&B productions and pleasant poppy points aren’t anything new, but at least they are done well and are very enjoyable. Key Tracks: “Running Back”, “Burn”, and “Up/Down”.

9. Kris Allen – Kris Allen // Oh how I love me some Kris Allen. The second Idol series winner on my list is also making his debut on the music scene in 2009. On the show we saw him week after week tackle a range of songs and make them his own, most notably Kanye West’s “Heartless”. Unfortunately it didn’t exactly translate well. His debut album is a little less than stellar with only about 7 of the 14 tracks living up to his true talent. Most of the problem is the amount of slow monotonous  tracks. The album’s true highlights are the fantastic tracks: “Alright With Me”, “Written All Over My Face”, “Bring It Back”, and “Before We Come Undone”. If Kris just followed my blueprint post (Makeover!: Kris Allen’s post-Idol debut goes from drab to fab in four easy steps.) that I did this album surely would have placed much higher. Still it remains a good album that marks one of the years best, for me. Key Tracks:”Alright With Me”, “Written All Over My Face”, and “Before We Come Undone”.

8. She Wolf – Shakira // “She Wolf” was a single that was definitely different and unexpected, yet I’d expect her to do something like it. Too weird? My apologizes. This album marks a great new sound for Shakira and while being new it doesn’t feel like an alien sound for her to tackle. In all it about 10 tracks and 3 translations, which is ok, I would have liked to see a track or two more. The there is good (“Did It Again”), and there is bad (“Good Stuff”), but ultimately I like this album. Not as brilliant as Laundry Service, but on par with Oral Fixation, Vol. 1. I feel that it should have been more successful then it was, but that’s life. Key Tracks: “Did It Again”, “She Wolf”, and “Why Wait”.

7. It’s Not Me, It’s You – Lily Allen // Lily’s beautiful sophomore album is a collection of soft electropop filled with great lyrics and perfect vocals. From start to finish this album feels very cohesive and done so brilliantly. It’s hard to single out favorite tracks because all are on the same level of brilliance. Even the spawned bonus tracks and b sides (“Fag Hag” and “Kabul Shit”) fit the bill. The topics she covers in her lyrics range from lousy lays to ageist ways. Even a well done slam at our old president makes an appearance on here and is probably one the best bashings I’ve heard about him since P!nk’s “Dear Mr. President”, okay it’s like the only other one I’ve heard, but whatever! It’s good, ok!? My anticipation for this album was meet with material that delivers. Key Tracks: “22”, “Fuck You”, and “The Fear”.

6. Here We Go Again – Demi Lovato // Demi gets a little less Disney this time around and has done it a lot more successfully than her peers. With her sophomore album Here We Go Again we get a more mature set of tracks, well for the most part. Once you get past the horror that is “Gift Of A Friend” and “So Far So Great” (which have no place on the album) you have an amazing collection of collaboration between Demi herself and songwriting talent like of Jon McLaughlin (“Falling Over Me” and “Every Time You Lie”)  and John Mayer (“World Of Chances”). Minus the two horrors, the rest of the album’s tracks are amazing pop rock tracks well delivered by Miss Lovato’s powerful young voice. For the next album I’d like her to get even more mature and completely shed the Disney influence on her music. Key Tracks: “Every Time You Lie”, “Got Dynamite”, and “Quiet”.

5. 3 Words – Cheryl Cole // While being a rather disappointing debut for the Girls Aloud member and The X Factor judge, Cheryl Cole has still wowed me enough the make my top 5 this year. The decision to place her this high was a result of the sheer play count I’ve raked up on my iTunes for 6 of the 12 tracks on the album. Alright I’m just gonna say it… I LOVE CHERYL COLE. Overlook “Rain On Me”, “Stand Up”, and “Don’t Talk About This Love”, all of which should be replaced by her B Sides “Boys” and “Didn’t I”, and you have a pretty good album highlighted by the track  “Parachute” (the upcoming third single co-written by Ingrid Michaelson). The beats make the best tracks on this album great dancing hits, but still nothing on here comes close to her work with Girls Aloud. Main Post: Cheryl Cole: 3 Words | Album ReviewKey Tracks: “Parachute”, “3 Words”, and “Fight For This Love”.

4. Turn It Up – Pixie Lott // UK newcomer Pixie Lott is one of my favorite new artists to hit the scene this past year. Her number one hits “Mama Do (Uh Oh, Uh Oh)” and “Boys And Girls” and her third single “Cry Me Out” blew me away and earned high spots on my 2009 Aloud: Favorite Singles list. As for the rest of her debut album Turn It Up shines as one of the years best. Her amazing vocals power through a somewhat conventionally planned out album that delivers great pop music. With the exception of “Jack”, I’m a big fan of all of the tracks on the album, which Pixie, herself, helped write. One track that I have to point out because it’s basically screaming single is “Here We Go Again”, a brilliant dance track produced by RedOne (one of my favorite producers), if you haven’t heard it your missing out. In the end Pixie Lott’s Turn It Up is a conventional, yet well made pop album deserving of a top spot on my 2009 year end list. Key Tracks: “Boys And Girls”, “Here We Go Again”, and “Mama Do (Uh Oh, Uh Oh)”.

3. BoA (Deluxe Version) – BoA // I’m not even sure how I came about BoA’s debut American album earlier this year, but I’m glad I did. While the South Korean singer doesn’t posses the strongest vocals ever, she sure as hell made one killer of a dance album loaded with R&B tinged pop beats and lyrics. Every tracks is a sure mover and you can see how well it reflects her… I mean just check out the video for “Eat You Up”! That girl can sure move! The album dropped in about March of 2009 and by fall she had released a deluxe version that only made it even more outstanding. The beats beg you to move, the verses urge you to sing along as you dance the night away. This is both a fun and sexy album and has easily earned the a spot in my top three for the year. Key Tracks: “Eat You Up”, “I Did It For Love (feat. Sean Garrett)”, and “Did Ya”.

2. The Fame Monster – Lady GaGa // A very close second goes to possibly one of the greatest entertainers of the last decade. Her talent is seemingly endless as she spills out hit after hit. This album is no exception, with only 8 tracks Lady GaGa proves she has what it takes to stay on top after the massive hit album The Fame. My love for this album was reluctant at first, but somehow that’s how I first react to some of the greatest albums I know (i.e. Tangled Up, the forth studio album by the stellar Girls Aloud). The lead single “Bad Romance” is ridiculously outstanding not to mention the other masterpieces… “Telephone (feat. Beyoncé)” and “Monster”. How she does it I’ll never know.  I do still have a few things I wish that had happened with this album like me like “Speechless” more than I do and the inclusion of some of those killer demos floating around like “Dirty Ice Cream”, “Fever”, “No Way”, and “Reloaded (feat. Rodney Jenkins)”. Key Tracks: “Telephone (feat. Beyoncé)”, “Bad Romance”, and “Monster”.

1. Hassle – Erik Hassle // Swedish pop singer Erik Hassle’s debut album Hassle is hands down my choice as my number one favorite album of 2009. Every single track on this album is a perfect production of one my favorite variations of the pop genre. His take on the singer-songwriteresque branch of pop music is amazing. The outstanding and thoughtful vocals and lyrics he dedicates to each track shines through out the album. From the catchy hook ‘of all the lonely people, I wanna be loved by you’ in “Wanna Be Loved” to the beautiful verses and sweet sounds of his voice in “All That I Wanted Was You”, Erik has nailed this debut with a brilliant album which is set for international release sometime in early 2010. Which now that I think about it… Would it be legit to include it on my 2010 list too? Hmm. So the winner for my favorite album of 2009 and best debut goes to Erik Hassle!! Key Tracks: “Don’t Bring Flowers”, “Hurtful”, and “Wanna Be Loved”.

Honorable Mentions: They are all great albums, but these few didn’t quite make my top ten… La Roux’s La Roux , Alexandra Burke’s Overcome, JLS’ JLS, Frankmusik’s Complete Me, Kelly Clarkson’s All I Ever Wanted, and Annie’s Don’t Stop.

Biggest Disappointment: The Saturdays’ Wordshaker album. Their sophomore effort was possibly one of the year’s worst albums, and after the amazing debut Chasing Lights I am shocked and completely disappointed. Not one track shines above the rest and that’s even if your able to tell that the track has changed (they all sound painfully similar). Hopefully they go back to the sound they had with their genius debut and forget this mess.

Check Out Last Year’s List @ My Favorite Albums of 2008

Wanna know my favorite singles for 2009? Check out: 2009 Aloud: Favorite Singles


The albums ahead | My top picks.

August 8, 2009

Nadine1. Nadine Coyle


During the year long break Girls Aloud are on, we fans were promised two solo albums from a couple of the girls, Nadine and Cheryl (to name names). Now Nadine makes the top of my list for so many reasons. She has the greatest vocals in the group, I’ve always favored her the most, she is living and working on it here in the States, and the biggest reason of all: I can barely contain myself! When is going to come out though? I have no idea. Sadly she is taking her dear sweet time as I pray every night to hear her solo works, but she is doing the smart thing by shopping around which has made quite the little bidding war ensue over who’s gonna sign her, either way I think she is in for a hell of a deal. I’m assuming it will come out before the next scheduled Girls Aloud album in fall 2010. But with a high possibility of a Stateside debut, I’ll be on the latest news like white on rice! Release: None Set (US) + (UK)

Cheryl2. Cheryl Cole


Also on break from Girls Aloud, The X-Factor star is set to release a solo album as well. It was recently announced that the singer has just finished her studio work on the album after spending two weeks in LA working with the Black Eyed Peas Will.I.Am. Though I wasn’t entirely excited to hear that was who she was working with, I’m sure that all will be fine. Whether or not she will release it Stateside I don’t know. A man could only hope. Cheryl has said that the feel of the album will be different then the typical Girls Aloud sound that I’ve known and  loved for years now. She said it with be more R&B-ish, again not exactly what I wanna hear but oh well, with dance moves like hers (see Passion of Girls Aloud Cheryl’s episode) I’m excited to see the video and song she has chosen for her first single out sometime soon. Release: possible Fall 2009 (UK), ?? (US)

Kris Allen3. Kris Allen


American Idol champ is set to release his debut album some time this fall. I’ve been anticipating the release of his album half way through the competition, with his good looks, charm, and mesmerizing voice. I’ve fallen in love with Kris Allen ladys and gentleman, oooh how I have fallen for him. While I don’t want to rush perfection, I really need to hear this album. Though they better leave ‘No Boundaries’ off of the tracklist, if they know what’s good for them. Kara, do you hear me?! Keep off this album. Kris has so much talent and passion for this, I sure it will be well worth the wait.  – Release: Fall 2009 (US)

Pixie Lott

4. Pixie Lott

Turn It Up,

18 year-old British singer Pixie Lott has, as of recently, my new obsession of 2009. After becoming addicted to her recent #1 hit ‘Mama Do‘ and becoming even more so addicted to her follow single ‘Boys & Girls‘, I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for what this album has in store. After hearing a few leaked bits hear and there, they anticipation has only escalated. It’s said that Pixie will take this album Stateside. I’m not sure if I could wait, but maybe that will give me a chance to see her live?! Anyways this is the first album on the list so far that has a confirmed release date, even if it is only a UK one. It’s not too faaarrr aaawwwaaayyy!!!! Release: September 14th (UK), ?? (US)

shakira5. Shakira

She Wolf,

After hearing the great new track ‘She Wolf‘ I was instantly in love. The decision to get the album was a no-brainer. Shakira has always been one of my favorite artist ever since the outstanding album Laundry Service. Shakira is definitely and “album artist”, and She Wolf will be her third English album, but like Laundry Service it will also contain a few spanish tracks (yeah!). A big change will be in the type of music this album has. I’m very excited to hear that it will have more of an electro-pop feel to it unlike her previous efforts, but still have a worldly sound as she will be, again, drawing influence from different cultures. – Release: October 5th (US)

Christina Aguilera6Christina Aguilera

Light & Darkness,

I’m extremely excited to hear that Christina is working on her fourth studio album, and I even more excited to hear that instead of going through the same Back to Basics sound Christina’s new work well have a new futuristic, electronica, dance, pop sound that we’ve never heard from her before. Those kinds of styles really something I’d love to see her do. To help with the project Aguilera is working with a load of different producers, like the Australian singer-songwriter Sia, British acts like Goldfrapp and Ladytron, as well as a host of others. I’m actually getting more pumped about this release as I’m typing this. Release: Fall 2009 (US)


Brand New Eyes,

I’ve always been a huge fan of Paramore. The day I heard ‘Emergency‘ on the free Best Buy sampler I got while at Warped Tour I knew I had to pick up Hear We Go Again. Now on their third album release I’m still über-anxious to hear what they’ve got in store to follow up the smash hit record Riot!. The lead single ‘Ignorance‘ isn’t really wowing me, but it feels like a grower, (Update:) I’m liking more and more with every listen. This album is not too far away with an early fall release.  – Release: September 29th (US)

Sugababes8. Sugababes


This fall the Suagbabes are going to release a follow up to 2008’s Catfights & Spotlights, which wasn’t much of a success at all. This time around the album shows a bit of promise with the lead single ‘Get Sexy’. Now I’m hoping for Change-level greatness, but I feel it’s not going to match up. Never-the-less I’m excited to hear new Sugababe material because there has been so much that they’ve released through the years that I’m a fan of. Maybe this will be the album they take to America? I hope so. – Release: November 9th (UK)

Erik Hassle9Erik Hassle


Swedish artist Erik Hassle is still included on this list even though I’ve kinda heard his entire album, though it has yet-to-be released anywhere. And let me tell you it is brilliant. It’s a perfect collection of singer-songwriter pop hits. Soon he will be releasing my favorite track off the album ‘Don’t Bring Flowers‘ as a UK debut single. His other, not as amazing single,’Hurtful‘ was the initial one that peaked my interests though. I can’t wait till his album gets a release because he deserves to be a star worldwide. Of course there will be a Swedish release, and a UK release, and maybe even a US release, I don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see.   – Release: Out Now (SE) Not Set (UK) ?? (US)

Alexandra Burke10. Alexandra Burke


The recent X-Factor winner and vocal powerhouse Alexandra Burke comes in at number 10 on the list. Her album has been pushed back a bit before, but if that’s what was needed to really help put those touches of perfection on her debut, then I guess I’ll wait. Granted I didn’t get to watch this past season of The X-Factor I did see clips and hear bits of her performing on the show. Another thing that caught my attention and assured me that she was headed Stateside was the 5 album US record deal she has already landed. Well with a powerhouse single like the winning cover of ‘Hallelujah‘ I’m sure she’ll have a killer album and career.Release: October 29th (UK) ?? (US)

Dolly Rockers11Dolly Rockers


Described as being Wonky Pop and Drunk Disco their music is fun, extremely danceable, and sing-a-longy. Their first two released tracks ‘Je Suis Une Dolly‘ and ‘Gold Digger‘ so fit the bill. I’ve fallen for the Dolly music just not the Dolly’s themselves, maybe they should cut the celeb bashing, they shouldn’t talk trash about other stellar established girl groups like The Saturdays, it’s all a bit tired and lame. Work on that record instead, cos I want to hear more of your music, not your pointless bickering. Release: End of 2009 or Beginning of 2010 (UK)

La Roux12. La Roux

La Roux,

Like Erik Hassle I’ve had the chance to listen to the entire album already yet I’m still adding it to my list because La Roux is still up and coming here in the States. Their first single ‘In For The Kill‘ was the initial track that had me hooked, but more and more I’m telling people how amazing this new dou is based on their second (and number one UK single) ‘Bulletproof‘. They are a talented pair with an amazing synth pop throwback sound that is right up my alley. I hope you give them a listen too, if your into that sort of thing. – Release: September 29th (US) Out Now (UK)

Robbie Williams13. Robbie Williams

Reality Killed The Video Star,

Robbie Williams is a massive star in the UK, yet not well known here in the States. It’s taken a while for me to actually get into him and I’m still working on it (I’ve recently got his entire catalogue). I’m a fan of his singles, but I still need time to check out the what? 8 albums he has already put out. Though I am still excited to hear his most recent work with this new album. Did I mention he is my old man crush?  – Release: November 9th (UK)

Update!: The ones I missed