Posts Tagged ‘Lily Allen’

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

Lily Allen’s new single ‘The Fear’ and it’s b-side ‘Fag Hag’

February 7, 2009

Lily Allen‘s lead single ‘The Fear‘ is from her new album It’s Not Me, It’s You which is released February 10th in North America. Both the song’s are a brilliant new sound for Lily’s sophomore album which is a great collection of softish(?) electropop tracks mixed with her trademark lyricism. The music video for ‘The Fear’ is like a colorful party with all sorts of fun happening everywhere as she is just walking by. The b-side, ‘Fag Hag’, is a great track about having the essential gay best friend.

The Fear:

Fag Hag (b-side):