Best of 2014: ~Singles~

December 22, 2014 at 5:59 PM | Posted in !Features! | 2 Comments

It’s that time of the year again, the time to look back at some of the best releases of this year. Usually I always have the ‘New Discoveries’ post first, but there weren’t any new real discoveries this year  since I haven’t had the time to listen to much music (something that will also be visible in the ‘Last FM plays’ post). Ofcourse I also haven’t reviewed everything so you know how this works, this is purely a reflection of my own taste. So here they are, the best singles of 2014 in my opinion!

~Top 10: Best singles 2014~
1. Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud
2. BoA – Shout It Out
4. Kalafina – believe
6. ayaka – Nijiiro
7. Namie Amuro – BRIGHTER DAY
8. Maroon 5 – Animals
9. Ayumi Hamasaki – Zutto… / Last minute / Walk
10. Koda Kumi – HOTEL

~Top 5: Best B-sides~
1. BoA – close to me
2. Kalafina – in every nothing
3. Namie Amuro – Still Lovin’ You
4. SHINee – Bounce
5. AFTERSCHOOL – rock it!

Best of 2013: ~Last FM Listening Trends~

December 27, 2013 at 9:00 AM | Posted in !Features! | Leave a comment

Again it appears I have had other musical interests this year, and I have listened to a little less music than usual because of my busy schedule. But still, it’s always a funny idea to look back into this year’s Last FM listening trends. My top 3 has never changed much in the past few years, my #1 will probably be permanent (because Disney just fckng rules 4life) but lower on the list are the newer additions. This list features plays from December 27, 2012 to December 24, 2013, since I prepared this post in advance on the 24th (as you are reading this, I am in London!). Anyway, join me on my trip through my personal ‘2013 in Music’!

1. Disney – 1,270 plays
Last year: #1
This will probably never change since my heart will always beat for Disney, it’s what I live for. I still listen to my 5 CD Disney collection every once in a while, it just lifts my spirit like crazy. This year I had less plays than previous years, but maybe that’ll change next year because I will never stop listening to those lovely, classic Disney songs. If I’m not the only one (sometimes it feels that way), give this post a like!

2. Ayumi Hamasaki – 791 plays
Last year: #3
Ayu went from #2 to #3 and back to #2, mostly due to her amazing album released in February 2013. Her 2012 stuff wasn’t very special, but the 2013 album LOVE again brought back my love for her. I couldn’t stop listening to SAKURA, the best song on the entire album. Meanwhile, I took my time to listen to some of her older albums again, and I found I have a weak spot for her debut album. Her latest single is probably her worst in a long time, but I hope it’ll get better in 2014!

3. Koda Kumi – 499 plays
Last year: #2
Kuu has’t released many new things in 2013, so she dropped to #3 on the list. Last year she blew me away with JAPONESQUE, but this year we had only two singles or so, which isn’t much. Still, Dreaming Now! was a pretty good single and Summer Trip wasn’t bad either. I’m just waiting for her to put her latest three singles on an entirely new album, hopefuly T.B.R. soon!

4. Kalafina – 291 plays
Last year: #8
Kalafina has been my new love, and I’m sure there were more plays this year but somehow they got lost. I adore their album Red Moon, and Consolation, which was released this year, was one of the best albums of 2013. The title track is amazing and all the singles that were released lived up to the expectations. Their folk rock style is one of my guilty pleasures and I hope they’ll release new material soon since they have already released two new singles recently.

5. Christina Aguilera – 277 plays
Last year: #4
The first drop on the list, albeit only 1 spot. All of Christina’s plays are due to her 2012 album Lotus, which is one of the most amazing albums ever made (don’t hate me, I know many people think it was the worst thing that ever existed). I just can’t stop listening to all the catchy songs, which are exactly what I like in music. Because of her job as coach on The Voice she hasn’t been very active in the music business, but her new song with A Great Big World was a bullseye. Love it!

6. P!nk – 206 plays
Last year: n.a.
A newcomer, wow! I have loved P!nk’s music for, like, forever, ever since she debuted back in the early 2000’s, but when she released her album Funhouse in 2008 I really started to pay more attention to her. I have been to her Funhouse Tour with my mom in 2009 and it was an experience that I’ll never forget, this woman can do anything. Her video for the song ‘Try’ demonstrates what an amazing dancer, acrobat and performer she is, so it’s probably one of my favorite P!nk videos ever. If you haven’t please try her album The Truth About Love!

7. Maroon 5 – 166 plays
Last year: #5
Despite the drop on the list in comparison to last year, I haven’t stopped loving these guys. In fact, I’m still excited to see them perform live in the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam next month! The concert was supposed to be held on July 3, but it was rescheduled so yeah I’m still counting down to January 20, 2014. I have listened to more than 166 plays to be honest, because the Overexposed cd was on repeat in my car throughout the Summer, but Last FM doesn’t make that count ofcourse.

8. Beyoncé – 152 plays
Last year: n.a.
I don’t know how this happened, but this is probably because of her latest cd that dropped unexpectedly this month. Ever since that day, songs like Partition, Yoncé, Jealous and Blue have been on repeat on every possible moment. The album grew on me quickly and although I was disappointed by the change of style at first, I realized this is perfect to give in to my secret love for hiphop music. So… sorry not sorry.

9. Demi Lovato – 137 plays
Last year: n.a.
A lot of newcomers this year, and this girl has the same story that Maroon 5 has. I have played her cd Demi over an over again in my car, so there is more than meets the eye here. I was also addicted to a song on her album Unbroken, which led me to love the entire album with it as well. Her image is so compelling and her songs are very accessible, as if they apply to everyone’s life. So I’ll probably have more plays of this young woman next year!

10. Ellie Goulding – 121 plays
Last year: n.a.
Ellie is probably the star that has risen the most on this list since I hadn’t even heard from her until this March or so and I started listening to her music in November. Her album Bright Lights has been on repeat for several times and all of her singles are instant favorites. Mostly she makes uptempo songs that made me give electropop another chance, but with How Long Will I Love You she really touched me (and even made me cry). Encore!

That’s it for 2013, guys! See you next year!

Best of 2013: ~Albums~

December 24, 2013 at 1:39 PM | Posted in !Features! | Leave a comment

The most exciting ‘best of’ post of all, in my opinion: the best albums of the year 2013! Again there will probably some surprises here, it was so hard for me to put this list together up until the very last moment because I was doubting all the time. But here it is, my recommendations of 2013!

~Top 10: Best albums 2013~

1. Katy Perry – Prism
2. SHINee – Boys Meet U
3. Demi Lovato – Demi
4. Ayumi Hamasaki – LOVE again
5. Ariana Grande – Yours Truly
6. Kalafina – Consolation
7. Girls’ Generation – LOVE&PEACE
8. Girls’ Generation – I Got A Boy
9. Beyoncé – Beyoncé
10. Birdy – Fire Within

~Top 5: Best album-only tracks~

1. Ayumi Hamasaki – SAKURA
2. Katy Perry – By The Grace Of God
3. Kalafina – Consolation
4. Miley Cyrus – #GETITRIGHT
5. Namie Amuro – La La La

Best of 2013: ~Singles~

December 21, 2013 at 2:01 PM | Posted in !Features! | Leave a comment

One of the posts I’ve been waiting sooo long for to finally make, and now it’s here! This list below is, as you probably know, made based on the amount of stars I have given them, their memorability and overall feel. Some new suprises, some expected ones may have been left out, but it is as it is. I give youuu… the best singles of the year 2013 the way I see it!

~Top 10: Best singles 2013~

1. Katy Perry – Roar
2. SHINee – Boys Meet U
3. Kalafina – Kimi no Gin no Niwa
4. SHINee – Fire
5. Koda Kumi – Dreaming Now!
6. Girls’ Generation – LOVE&GIRLS
7. After School – First Love
9. BoA – Tail of Hope
10. Namie Amuro – Big Boys Cry / Beautiful

~Top 5: Best B-sides~

1. SHINee – Sunny Day Hero
2. Girls’ Generation – Lingua Franca
3. BENI – Home Sweet Home
4. Kalafina – misterioso
5. Koda Kumi – XXX

Best of 2012: ~Last FM Listening Trends~

December 27, 2012 at 11:34 AM | Posted in !Features! | Leave a comment

Every year, it appears I get a slightly different taste in music. I discover new artists, get tired of other ones, someone releases something that I absolutely love and get addicted to… So this is the second time I feature this list in the Best of 2012 post series, and it’s very different from the one I featured last year (except for the #1 spot ofcourse). From December 27, 2011 to December 27, 2012, I count my plays per artist with Last FM and here is my personal top 10 for this year! Less plays than last year, but that’s because I didn’t listen to much music during the first half of this year. But I made up for that during the past month with 2000 plays…

Bear with me!

1. Disney – 1,596 plays
Last year: #1
Just like last year, I’m not gonna explain this one, haha. If you know me, you know I’m a complete Disney fanatic, and I have this amazing collection box with 5 discs, containing a total of 125 Disney songs that I put on every once in a while. Mostly when I’m busy with my studies. Listening to Disney music always makes me very happy and I want to sing along to all the songs, so hallelujah, Disney can really brighten your day!

2. Koda Kumi – 974 plays
Last year: #3
The rising star on the list for this year is Kuu! My sweet Kuu, she has released one of the best albums of this year! JAPONESQUE may have had a weird title, but the songs on it were so GOOD. I definitely gave some of them a lot of plays this year (‘V.I.P. feat. T-Pain’, ‘No Man’s Land’, etc.). Besides, I decided to listen to her entire discography during a marathon twice this year, so that counted for a lot of plays too. And like I said last year, she gets better with every release, right?

3. Ayumi Hamasaki – 871 plays
Last year: #2
In 2011 I thought she did better than Kuu, but that was mostly because of their album releases in that year, This year the tables have turned and I was actually less enthousiastic about Ayu’s releases. Her album ‘Party Queen’ wasn’t what I expected it to be, although it wasn’t a complete disaster, but then she turned out her two mini-albums later this year and I only liked one of them entirely. The other one… well… just the original mix tracks. Three more releases are planned for the 15th anniversary release party, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

4. Christina Aguilera – 372 plays
Last year: #7
The biggest jump upwards on this list! And guess what, it’s all thanks to her album Lotus, in my opinion the best album of the year 2012 (like you probably have seen in the best albums post). That album was amazing, so original (yeah, laugh at me, I know you disagree), I just LOVED it okay. I still put it on repeat every week because I just can’t seem to grow tired of it. I really hope she’s still gonna tour with the album, can’t wait to see her live performing all the amazing songs!

5. Maroon 5 – 322 plays
Last year: n.a.
New on this list, and my biggest obsession this year: Maroon 5! Somehow I got the Maroon bug during this year and I just couldn’t stop listening to their music, especially during the last couple of weeks where I constantly had their second album (‘It Won’t Be Soon Before Long’) on repeat. Badly. So what did I do to make my obsession even worse? I booked tickets for their Overexposed Tour! July 3, Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, HERE I COME!

6. BoA – 227 plays
Last year: #6
Relatively, nothing has changed for BoA. Except for the absolute playcounts maybe, but compared to the rest of the artists’ plays she’s still at #6. She hasn’t released anything except for a tiny little mini-album, so I guess it’s not a big surprise for me to have less BoA plays this year. I really hope she’ll come with a big new release in 2013, I prefer a Korean album, because I don’t think I will ever grow tired of her music and amazing vocals!

7. alan – 222 plays
Last year: #4
The biggest drop on the list, and it’s actually because I got a bit tired of listening to the same songs every time. alan hasn’t released an appealing new thing in ages (‘Love Song’ was quite forgettable to me in the end) and she has completely disappeared from the Japanese market. Such a shame, I had big hopes for her. But then she returned to China and decided to do nothing shocking or big anymore. She dropped 333 plays this year, isn’t that crazy?

8. Kalafina – 215 plays
Last year: n.a.
These plays are from the last one and a half month only, so as you can see everything here is relative. I decided to pick up where I left off with their music, and the result was me putting their albums on repeat for… I don’t even remember how long. Long, anyway. Like I said a lot of times before: it’s amazing how a couple of Japanese girls became part of the FictionJunction concept and teamed up to become the fabulous subgroup Kalafina, and if you ask me they’re the most appealing subgroup there is. The vocals, the musical style, the ambience, I’m addicted. They’re gonna rise on this list for next year, for sure.

9. Namie Amuro – 207 plays
Last year: n.a.
Why wasn’t this woman on the list last year… Anyway, I think most of the plays she has this year are from her latest album ‘Uncontrolled’, another one of my favorites of this year. She has definitely grown over the past 15 years, I remember disliking her first album but then somehow her vocals got a lot better and her style became much more appealing. To me, anyway. When she released her latest album, I was sold again, and although I should’ve given her more plays, I know she’ll be rising next year.

10. Michael Jackson – 194 plays
Last year: n.a.
If I recall this correctly, all of these plays are from January. Yep, told you I haven’t listened to much music this year… I’ve had my reasons I guess, can’t remember what they are but I’m sure I had them. Whatever. I think very highly of dearly departed Michael, and the fact that he died way too early can make real fans a bit emotional. I can really enjoy his albums, but his masterpiece will always be the Thriller album, no one can change my mind about that one.

That’s it for 2012 guys, the feature posts will come back in December 2013!! Thanks for joining me!

Best of 2012: ~Albums~

December 24, 2012 at 12:22 PM | Posted in !Features! | 5 Comments

Probably the most anticipated feature post of all: the best albums of the year 2012! I pretty much reviewed all of them so there should be no surprises in here (yep, can’t review everything), and again this list is based on overall ratings, plays and just the memorability of an album. So, here you go, and let’s hope the albums to be released in 2013 will be just as awesome as these!

~Top 10: Best Albums 2012~

1. Christina Aguilera – Lotus
2. Koda Kumi – JAPONESQUE
3. Namie Amuro – Uncontrolled
4. P!nk – The Truth About Love
5. Lana Del Rey – Born To Die
6. ayaka – The beginning
7. AFTERSCHOOL – Playgirlz
9. BoA – Only One
10. Ayumi Hamasaki – again

~Top 5: Best Album-Only Tracks 2012~

1. Koda Kumi – No Man’s Land
2. Christina Aguilera – Cease Fire
3. P!nk – Just Give Me A Reason (feat. Nate Ruess)
4. Maroon 5 – Lucky Strike
5. Nicki Minaj – Marilyn Monroe

Best of 2012: ~Singles~

December 21, 2012 at 9:21 AM | Posted in !Features! | Leave a comment

You know how I roll, right? The best singles of 2012, based on either the amount of plays I have given them, their ratings or the overall feel and memorability of a single. Maybe some surprising appearances here, and I may not have reviewed every single yet, but I’ll get there. Here’s the cream of the crop!

~ Top 10: best singles 2012 ~

1. SHINee – 1000 Nen, Zutto Soba ni Ite…
2. Namie Amuro – Go Round / YEAH-OH
3. Koda Kumi – Go to the top
4. AFTERSCHOOL – Lady Luck / Dilly Dally
5. Kalafina – moonfesta
6. Maroon 5 – Payphone (feat. Wiz Khalifa)
7. P!nk – Try
8. Lana del Rey – Ride
9. Utada Hikaru – Sakura Nagashi
10. BENI – Eien

~ Top 5: best B-sides ~

1. SHINee – Kimi ga Iru Sekai
2. Kalafina – Manten
3. Koda Kumi – darling
5. J-Min – Cry Baby

Best of 2012: ~New Discoveries~

December 18, 2012 at 1:30 PM | Posted in !Features! | 2 Comments

Another year goes by! 2012 is drawing to an end, so it’s time for some ‘Best of’ feature posts on MusicAddiction! Just like last year, I’m gonna start by presenting you some new groups/artists I (re)discovered this year.

Lana del Rey
Love her for: Her unique voice and addictive hiphop influenced tracks
Best tracks: American, Born To Die, Blue Jeans, Radio, Ride, Diet Mountain Dew, National Anthem, Off To The Races

When I heard Lana’s song ‘Video Games’ I started to really HATE the girl because of her ‘boring voice’. Well, that was actually true for that track and I still dislike it, but the rest of her material is very addictive! The does have a good voice and she surprised me with her higher register in tracks like ‘Off To The Races’ and ‘Radio’ and her talent for rapping some of her lyrics in ‘Off To The Races’ and ‘National Anthem’. She uses oldschool beats in her music, which I absolutely love. I don’t particularly like everything she does, but her album ‘Born To Die’ is pure diamond. I’m not done with this girl, on to 2013!

Mandy Moore
Love her for: Her catchy folk music and breathtaking, well-trained vocals
Best tracks: I Can Break Your Heart Any Day Of The Week, Merrimack River, Everblue, I See The Light, When Will My Life Begin

I already knew Mandy as a singer and on occasion as an actress. I loved her voice work in the Disney film Rapunzel, but I hadn’t really gotten into her music until I heard her album ‘Amanda Leigh’ in June 2012. That album was very enjoyable and she displays some very good and even amazing vocals on that album. Most of the tracks on the album are very good and it made me very curious about her other material. Yet, since I’m not particularly into artists’ older material, I think I’ll wait with whatever comeback album she’ll come up with somewhere in the spring of 2013.

Maroon 5
Love them for: Their well-composed, catchy songs and spot-on lyrics
Best tracks: (All of them??) If I Never See Your Face Again, Makes Me Wonder, Wake Up Call, Not Falling Apart, Better That We Break, One More Night, Payphone (feat. Wiz Khalifa), Must Get Out, Misery

Ahhh, the Gods of pop/rock music! I have already known them since the ‘Songs About Jane’ era, but I didn’t become a big obsessed fan until early this year. I don’t even know how that got to be, all I know is that when I listened to their album ‘It Won’t Be Soon Before Long’ (which is their all-time masterpiece) for the first time, I put it on repeat for weeks. Adam Levine has an amazing voice, very unique for a man if you ask me, and I have to admit I also like him because he’s such a looker. About their music, I love their style very much, yet I still don’t know what to think of the new soul/rock incorporations in later albums. This is pretty much the only band of which I definitely prefer the older over the newer material.

Love them for: The variation in their music and well-trained, mature vocals
Best tracks: Oh Yeah (feat. Hyun A), G.O.O.D Luv, One Better Day

What I know about this group after listening to their music for only a week or so, is that I can definitely love this group in the future. It’s like MBLAQ has the complete package: boys with great looks, catchy music and they can all dance, what else do you want? I started out with their first single/mini album ‘JUST BLAQ’, and I was very enthousiastic. I instantly downloaded the rest of their discography and although I still have to try out ‘Mona Lisa’ and ‘BLAQ%Ver.’ I’m pretty sure I’m not done with this group yet. I really need to emerge myself into their music but I don’t think that’s gonna be a problem!

The Script
Love them for: The amazing Danny O’Donoghue and nice twist to pop/rock music
Best tracks: Six Degrees Of Seperation, The Man Who Can’t Be Moved, Hall Of Fame, If You Could See Me Now, For The First Time

Another re-discovery like Maroon 5. I have know their music since 2008 or so, when their amazing single ‘The Man Who Can’t Be Moved’ came out. I loved it, and I remember listening to their first album but I pretty much forgot about them until a couple of months ago. I heard ‘Six Degrees Of Seperation’ on the radio and I have to admit it choked me up, that song is almost the story of my life so I was crazy about it instantly. I loved it and started to download their music again. Their album #3 is pretty good, I gotta give it a couple more listens, but it definitely has some good tracks like the single ‘Hall Of Fame’, whether it’s the version with or without that stupid guy. Yep, I’m back in love with these boys again!

Son Dam Bi
Love her for: Her amazing influence on the K-pop music and catchy dance/pop music
Best tracks: Bad Boy, Ipda Jillin Ot, Nunmuri Jurureuk, Geulaess Nabwayo, Saranghago Sipeosseo

I remember seeing cover art which showed her collaborations with After School, but I didn’t really took the initiative to really listen to her solo material until later this year. It started with her new release ‘Nunmuri Jurureuk’, which really caught my attention and made me download her full discography. I found out that her first mini album was pretty amazing, and although the second one didn’t amaze me at much I was still interested in this girl. I still have to listen to her music more often to really determine where I stand with her, but ‘Nunmuri’ left me the good vibez.

Love them for: Their amazing vocals, always surprising musical styles and overall presentation as kick-ass girl group
Best tracks: Painkiller, Russian Roulette, LONELY, With you, Geunal Bam

The group I LOVED ever since I heard their track ‘Painkiller’ and saw the PV for it. Especially Bo Ah and Bo Hyung are very talented singers, and in the case of Bo Ah her amazing timbre and unique vocal techniques keep surprising me. Although she has the weirdest face (sawry), she’s the most talented of all. Their first release ‘Painkiller’, a mini album, was pretty amazing, but when they released ‘Lonely’ last month they really got back in the game again. Pursuing a more vintage retro musical style they surprised me and gave me one of this year’s best releases. I hope they come up with some new material soon since I’m pretty sure I can’t get enough of them after a while, give me an album already!

European invasion

August 21, 2012 at 6:13 PM | Posted in !Features! | Leave a comment

As promised, here is my special feature review, and it’s all about European music! I came up with this idea when my dear visitor ‘ayusecrets’ sent me the link to Ukrainian singer Tina Karol’s album 9 Lives (also featured in this review btw). Instead of dedicating one post to one album (since that would’ve created an unnecessary new category in the menu, but I’m such a goof about that) I decided to make a special post since I only make them once a year, in December.

So here I have some European artists, it took me quite some time to make this since I had to listen carefully to everything, but I really enjoyed making this post and I hope you guys like reading it!

Alizée – Psychédélices
Number of tracks: 11
Recommended tracks: Mademoiselle Juliette | Fifty-Sixty | Jamais Plus | Psychédélices | Décollage | Idéaliser

For her third studio album, Alizée turned electropop, with Mademoiselle Juliette (the first track) as the best example. That’s a really catchy track that not only sets the tone for the entire album, it is also a tune that stays in your head for the rest of the day. Alizée incorporated quite some infectious tunes on her album, I didn’t really expect that. Fifty-Sixty is more pop/rock with nice guitar melodies, Jamais plus is synth heavy with catchy beats and Décollage is a hiphop inspired song with blazing synth riffs and semi raps by Alizée (and she actually nailed it). Lilly Town is a funky fast paced song, and Alizées vocals are a little deeper and lower pitched this time, while Lonely List features a lot of synths, strings and bells in the style of Jamais plus.
Slower songs include the simple guitar and pitched synths song Mon taxi driver, the mysterious title track Psychédélices (with a quite haunting strings arrangement) and the piano influenced track Idéaliser, which features some really good vocals by Alizée. Par les paupières isn’t exactly a ballad but it’s one of the more laid back songs in a somewhat Nelly Furtado-like style. The album closes with the cute track L’effet, which reminds me a little of a music box with a simple arrangement and modest vocals.

I didn’t expect I would like this album, because I only knew Alizée from her big 2000 hit ‘Moi… lolita’, but I can actually recommend this album to anyone who likes pop and who is into French music!

Eros Ramazzotti – Ali e radici
Number of tracks: 11
Recommended tracks: Appunti e note | Il camino | Affeti personali | Controvento | Ali e radici | Bucaneve | Non possiamo chiudere gli occhi | Come gioielli

Eros Ramazzotti was one of my favorite singers before I became familiar with Asian music (and that pretty much took over my entire life), and today I still like him and his quite unusual (but beautiful) vocals. His latest album Ali e radici is again filled with the pop/rock tracks this man has been known for since the 80s, like the uptempo opening track with slight orchestral influences, Appunti e note. Parla con me features an interesting arrangement, and the harmonized vocals by Eros are amazing. Affeti personali is a fun track with a little bounce to it thanks to the catchy piano tune, while Bucaneve is like Appunti e note when it comes to the orchestral influences, but then just a tad slower. It does feature one of the heavier electric guitar arrangements. Both of them are among my favorites. Nessuno escluso is a midtempo song, not really what I’d call a ballad, but I like the electric guitar and slightly heavier percussion in the song. This song features some amazing harmonizations as well. Non possiamo chiudere gli occhi is the most energetic track on the album, and the only one with a beat machine instead of organic percussion. It uses both electric guitar riffs and acoustic guitar tunes, along with some nice strings elements.
Ofcourse an Eros album has its fair share of ballads, and some of his best yet are featured on this album. The acoustic triple time track Il camino for example, the simple but beautiful piano and strings ballad L’orizzonte and my all time favorite on this album: Controvento, it holds so many dear memories and it’s a beautiful slow pop song with an acoustic guitar, piano and soft beat in the arrangement. The title track Ali e radici is a ballad too, a little less modest than the rest but it alternates between acoustic elements and electric guitars and beats very well. The album closes with another one of my favorites, Come gioielli, which has some of the best singing melodies and arrangements ever in my opinion. A beautiful track with a great acoustic feel, I adore this track.

If you like Italian music, or if you like listening to some good pop/rock and acoustic ballads, this is your album for sure!

Enrique Iglesias – Euphoria
Number of tracks: 14
Recommended tracks: I Like It (feat. Pitbull) | One Day At A Time (feat. Akon) | Why Not Me? | Ayer | Cuando Me Enamoro (feat. Juan Luis Guerra) | Tú y Yo

Yes, I know, this is a bilingual album (tracks in both English and Spanish), but Enrique is of Spanish origin, right? Well, that settles it.
With Euphoria, Enrique exploited the non pop genres even a little more than he did with his 2007 album Insomniatic, and that’s obviously made clear with tracks like I Like It (feat. Pitbull), a blazing dance track with a lot of dominant synths and good raps by the amazing Pitbull, and Dirty Dancer (feat. Usher) which has a comparable agressive sound. Heartbeat (feat. Nicole Scherzinger) is a dance track too, but more in a strange kind of ballad form with futuristic sounding piano notes, and I’m not really sure where I stand with that one, a little boring once in a while.
I always like it when Enrique sings more sensual or slow tracks, and One Day At A Time (feat. Akon) is perfect when it comes to that. It had a pleasant kind of island vibe and it’s obvious the track is produced by RedOne. Why Not Me? might be a simple R&B ballad, but I totally love it for its great melodies.
When it comes to the Spanish tracks, it’s either a hit or miss with Enrique, and although No Me Digas Que No (feat. Wisin y Yandel) isn’t exactly a hit, Ayer is. That song brings back the times when he sang tracks like ‘Hero’, he puts so much emotion into his vocals it’s heartbreaking. Cuando Me Enamoro (feat. Juan Luis Guerra) is a sensual Bachata song and both of the guys sound awesome singing to the incredible Latin vibe. Tú y Yo makes me kinda feel the same way because it has a typical enjoyable Latin pop sound to it thanks to the acoustic guitars. Dile Que on the other hand is just a plain midtempo pop song so it doesn’t really appeal to me that much, still decent but it could’ve been better.
The album closes with three English songs again: Heartbreaker, the R&B ballad with a hint of tribal percussion, piano ballad Coming Home and the uptempo pop song Everything’s Gonna Be Alright, with quite catchy hooks and beats.

Not his best album, but it does have some really good songs on it! Basically, the old Enrique from the ‘Hero’ era meets the new ‘Tonight I’m f***ing you‘ Enrique xD

Tina Karol – 9 жизней (9 Lives)
Number of tracks: 13
Recommended tracks: Зачем я знаю | 9 жизней | ЛюбольЯ скажу Да | Шукай мене | Ніжно

Tina Karol was born in Russia, but she has lived in Ukraine for most of her life and she sings in Ukrainian as well, so… That’s why she’s joining us here.
It surprised me that one of her genres is Hiphop, and that her vocals are also very good. The opening track Зачем я знаю (Zachem ja znaju) is pretty mysterious with the heavy beats and haunting strings, while Никогда (Nykohda) and 9 жизней (9 zhyzney) are pretty uptempo and feature a heavy synth sound, although the latter has a lot more attitude.
Speaking of the uptempo synth influenced tracks, there are a lot of them here. Я не беру трубку (Ja ne beru trubku) may sound a little more futuristic but the vocals and lyrics are pretty plain this time, which is a shame, and I’m kinda sad to say Не бойся, мальчик (Ne boysja, mal’chyk) has the same repetition issues when it comes to the title words in the chorus. Still decent songs, but they have their difficulties.
Переживем измены (Perezhyvem yzmeny) actually takes a little too long to get started so it tends to get boring, but every now and then the piano arrangement draws my attention between all the synths. Радио Baby (RadyoBaby) does little for me as well, probably because of the weird vocals, but thank God Люболь (Ljubol’) finally leaves the synthpop genre and goes into a more funky sound which I like so much more.
The second half of the album makes up for the first. Шиншилла (Shynshylla) takes the uptempo tracks to a whole new level with more guitar riffs and strings, Я скажу Да (Ja skazhu “Da) is the first track that’s close to being a nice R&B ballad with good beats and even some bells, and Шукай мене (Shukay mene) is the first acoustic influenced track with smooth guitar riffs and pretty vocals. Не дощ (Ne doshch) and the closing track Ніжно (Nizhno) are ballads as well (what the…), but here I’d go with the last one because it’s even more simplistic than the other one, with just Tina’s voice and a lone acoustic guitar. A short and sweet track.

I’m not a big fan of this album and it had some issueswith balance, but Tina has talent an her songs are surprisingly enjoyable when she’s not constantly repeating the title words xD

Best of 2011: ~Last FM Listening Trends~

December 27, 2011 at 12:57 PM | Posted in !Features! | Leave a comment

This post is new in the feature review series, and it’s inspired by a post on Lost Wing. My listening trends tend to vary a lot because, I have to admit, I like almost every genre. When you check my Last FM listening history, you can find anything from Taylor Swift to Ayumi Hamasaki, from Nicki Minaj to (hold your breath) Children of Bodom. There are some groups (like the latter) or artists that don’t get many plays though. But they’re there. I also have my ‘style periods’. Noooo I’m not talking about the monthly one, haha x]   I mean: sometimes I’m more into hiphop (that was for the past month or so), other times I’m more into rock or J-pop… I’m a capricious person as you can see, when it comes to music at least.

So here for the first time are my Last FM stats for 2011. That means the counted plays are not my all-time plays, but just for the past 12 months.

1. Disney – 1,679 plays
Why do I have to explain this one, it’s like friggin obvious. Because I’m a total Disney addict/fan/obsessed person or w/e I LOVE to listen to the music they made for soundtracks and I even like the modern recordings for the Disney Mania CD collection. Every once in a while I put on my 5CD collection of ‘Disney’s 60 Years of Musical Magic’ with 125 songs. Sit back and enjoooooy xD


2. Ayumi Hamasaki – 1,596 plays
The official Queen of J-pop, and also my personal one. For a long time I had to struggle between Ayu and Kuu, but when I take out my little fictional checklist Ayu deserves more credit for her diversity and songwriter skills. I can’t get enough of her music, even though I had to get used to her voice when I started playing her music 5 years ago. Check out this live performance!!


3. Koda Kumi – 1,476 plays
Even though I prefer Ayu over Kuu sometimes doesn’t mean I don’t have my Kuu addiction moments. I have listened to her music a lot for the past couple of weeks and I believe she’s getting better with every release. Not all of her songs are masterpieces, but they don’t have to be. As long as her music stays enjoyable, I’m not complaining. For the video… I wonder what her future child will think of it when it’s grown up x]


4. alan – 555 plays
My Tibetan wail talent ❤ Her epic music is just what I mean when I say ‘into every genre’. It’s quite a pity she moved into more of a pop sound, but it also suits her I guess. Still, I love her epic songs most of all with the traditional Tibetan and Chinese feel to it.


5. SHINee – 439 plays
The best boy group ever, so to heck with the Backstreet Boys or Take That (even though thats mostly 90s music). Their looks don’t hurt either, and they’re simply too cute for words. I really like their musical style, which is very contemporary R&B with lots of good beats. I enjoy their music sooo much.


6. BoA – 437 plays
The greatest singer in South-Korea with the most crystal clear voice: that’s BoA to me. I love how she started her career in South-Korea and then extended it to Japan and the USA. Her uptempo music is catchy, her ballads are very beautiful and unique.


7. Christina Aguilera – 379 plays
She used to be the little girl with the big voice, and now she’s the grown-up girl with the big voice xD It almost seems like her vocal range extends with every release. I love how Christina can both belt out her lyrics with a deep chest voice and can sing in the whistle register! She’s one of the most influencial English artists.


8. BENI – 263 plays
The big surprise in this list, because I didn’t even give her music many plays before about March or so. But since I heard how good her voice sounds and how catchy her R&B beats are, I’m hooked to this girl and that only got worse when she released ‘Suki Dakara.’ and her latest album ‘Fortune’.


9. ayaka – 244 plays
If BENI was a newcomer, ayaka is even more of a newcomer because BENI had plays in the past year and for ayaka it’s been years since I last listened to her music. I already talked about what I like about ayaka in my ‘New Discoveries’ post, but to keep it short this time: her VOICE ❤ She has a unique raw voice which I love to death^^


10. Mariah Carey – 238 plays
The 238 plays for this artist are really the ‘fault’ of her album ‘Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel’, and then especially the single ‘Angels Cry’. I think I must have given it dozens of plays the past few months. Ofcourse Mariah can be the biggest diva around and she tends to exaggerate, but her voice is really one of a kind. I don’t even need to explain that fact, I guess xD


That’s 2011 in a nutshell for me! =D

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