Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Personal Airplay: Top 100 of 2009

Topping my year-end list is Lady GaGa with "Poker Face," who also scores another two enteries with "Just Dance" and "Paparazzi." This year she has spent 13 weeks atop my chart:

# ... PK Title - Artist
1 .... 1(7) .... Poker Face - Lady GaGa
2 .... 1(5) .... I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
3 .... 1(3) .... Down - Jay Sean feat. Lil' Wayne
4 .... 1(3) .... Just Dance - Lady GaGa
5 .... 1(1) .... Untouched - The Veronicas
6 .... 1(2) .... Day 'n' Nite - Kid Cudi vs Crookers
7 .... 1(3) .... Boom Boom Pow - Black Eyed Peas
8 .... 1(3) .... Paparazzi - Lady GaGa
9 .... 2 ... Love Story - Taylor Swift
10 .. 1(1) .... Knock You Down - Keri Hilson feat. Ne-Yo & Kanye West

11 ... 1(2) ... The Fear - Lily Allen
12 ... 1(2) ... Circus - Britney Spears
13 ... 1(2) ... Halo - Beyonce
14 ... 6 ... Dead and Gone - T.I. feat. Justin Timberlake
15 ... 3 ... I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
16 ... 2 ... New in Town - Little Boots
17 ... 1(2) ... Use Somebody - Kings of Leon
18 ... 2 ... My Life Would Suck Without You - Kelly Clarkson
19 ... 1(1) ... Single Ladies (Put a Ring on it) - Beyonce
20 ... 4 ... Waking Up in Vegas - Katy Perry

21 ... 2 ... Mama Do (Uh Oh, Uh Oh) - Pixie Lott
22 ... 6 ... Remedy - Little Boots
23 ... 2 ... In for the Kill - La Roux
24 ... 2 ... Sober - P!nk
25 ... 1(1) ... Release Me - Agnes
26 ... 6 ... Red - Daniel Merriweather
27 ... 2 ... You Belong with Me - Taylor Swift
28 ... 4 ... Sweet Dreams - Beyonce
29 ... 3 ... Broken Strings - James Morrison feat. Nelly Furtado
30 ... 2 ... Beautiful - Akon

31 ... 4 ... If U Seek Amy - Britney Spears
32 .. 12 .. Watch the Sun Come Up - Example
33 ... 6 ... The Loving Kind - Girls Aloud
34 ... 2 ... Love Sex Magic - Ciara feat. Justin Timberlake
35 ... 3 ... Break Your Heart - Taio Cruz
36 .. 10 .. T-Shirt - Shontelle
37 ... 3 ... Breathe Slow - Alesha Dixon
38 ... 2 ... Bulletproof - La Roux
39 ... 4 ... Supernova - Mr. Hudson feat. Kanye West
40 ... 6 ... Million Dollar Bill - Whitney Houston

41 ... 2 ... Sexy Bitch - David Guetta & Akon
42 ... 8 ... Right Round - Flo Rida feat. Ke$ha
43 ... 6 ... Beat Again - JLS
44 ... 3 ... Party in the USA - Miley Cyrus
45 ... 5 ... She Wolf - Shakira
46 ... 3 ... Issues - The Saturdays
47 ... 2 ... Wactha Think Abou That - Pussycat Dolls feat. Missy Elliot
48 ... 9 ... Empire State of Mind - Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys
49 ... 1(2) ... Meet Me Halfway - Black Eyed Peas
50 ... 5 ... Not Fair - Lily Allen

51 ... 4 ... I Do Not Hook Up - Kelly Clarkson
52 ... 2 ... Obsessed - Mariah Carey
53 ... 7 ... Jai Ho - A.R. Rahman feat. Pussycat Dolls
54 ... 1(2) ... Bad Boys - Alexandra Burke feat. Flo Rida
55 ... 5 ... Run This Town - Jay-Z feat. Rihanna & Kanye West
56 .. 10 .. I'm Not Alone - Calvin Harris
57 ... 6 ... Please Don't Leave Me - P!nk
58 ... 7 ... No Surprise - Daughtry
59 ... 6 ... Holiday - Dizzee Racal
60 ... 1(2) ... Bad Romance - Lady GaGa

61 ... 3 ... We Made You - Eminem
62 ... 3 ... Bodies - Robbie Williams
63 ... 5 ... Fight for This Love - Cheryl Cole
64 ... 8 ... Don't Trust Me - 3Oh!3
65 .. 10 .. 21 Guns - Green Day
66 ... 5 ... Never Leave You - Tinchy Stryder feat. Amelle
67 ... 7 ... Battlefield - Jordin Sparks
68 .. 1(2) ... When Love Takes Over - David Guetta & Kelly Rowland
69 ... 5 ... Sugar - Flo Rida feat. Wynter
70 ... 8 ... Get Sexy - Sugababes

71 ,.. 2 ... Watcha Say - Jason DeRulo
72 ... 1(2) ... 3 - Britney Spears
73 .. 13 .. Oopsy Daisy - Chipmunk
74 .. 12 .. 4ever - The Veronicas
75 ... 6 ... Celebration - Madonna
76 .. 11 .. S.O.S. (Let the Music Play) - Jordin Sparks
77 .. 16 .. I'm Not Your Toy - La Roux
78 ... 1(1) ... Fireflies - Owl City
79 ... 1(1) ... TiK ToK - Ke$ha
80 .. 12 .. Evacuate the Dancefloor - Cascada

81 ... 4 ... Radar - Britney Spears
82 ... 2 ... Happy - Leona Lewis
83 .. 11 .. Heartless - Kanye West
84 .. 13 .. Gives You Hell - All-American Rejects
85 .. 11 .. Just Can't Get Enough - The Saturdays
86 .. 14 .. Untouchable - Girls Aloud
87 .. 13 .. Number 1 - Tinchy Stryder feat. N-Dubz
88 ... 3 ... Everybody in Love - JLS
89 .. 11 .. Good Girls Go Bad - Cobra Starship
90 ... 2 ... Russian Roulette - Rihanna

91 .. 11 .. Don't Upset the Rhythm - The Noisettes
92 .. 13 .. 22 - Lily Allen
93 .. 11 .. Already Gone - Kelly Clarkson
94 .. 13 .. Mad - Ne-Yo
95 .. 16 .. How Do You Sleep - Jesse McCartney
96 ... 9 ... Haven't Met You Yet - Michael Buble
97 .. 14 .. Please Don't Stop the Rain - James Morrison
98 .. 11 .. Bonkers - Dizzee Rascal
99 .. 17 .. Spaceman - The Killers
100 .. 11 .. Change - David Merriweather feat. Wale

Personal Airplay, 31st Dec. 09

TW LW Title - Artist
1 .... 6 .... TiK ToK - Ke$ha (1 week @ #1)
2 .... 1 .... Empire State of Mind - Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys (1 wk @ #1)
3 .... 2 .... Bad Romance - Lady Gaga (2 wks @ #1)
4 .... 3 .... Watcha Say - Jason DeRulo
5 .... 5 .... Fireflies - Owl City (1 wk @ #1)
6 .... 4 .... 3 Words - Cheryl Cole feat.
7 ... 10 ... You Know Me - Robbie Williams
8 .... 24 .. Broken Heels - Alexandra Burke
9 .... 19 ...Telephone - Lady Gaga feat. Beyonce
10 ... 7 .... Replay - Iyaz

Best Albums of All Time

After doing the Best Albums of the Decade list, If I were to make a list of my favorite albums of all time, these would be some of the albums I would concider for my top ten. I don't particularly listen to any albums that go beyond the early '80s, most of these albums are from the '90s.

U2 - The Joshua Tree (1987). One of the most well-crafted rock albums of all time, with the right amount of soaring balladry and slight mainstream appeal to keep the whole thing balanced.

Madonna - Ray of Light (1998). Her most experimental and interesting album yet. Lyrical depth, captivating blend of electronica and pop. And it's one of those records that make you think. I love it.

Janet Jackson - The Velvet Rope (1997) and Rhythmn Nation (1989). Rhythm Nation is a classic, one of our lifetimes perfect dance albums; Cutting edge beats with social intelligence, pop at its finest. If it wasn't how closely attatched I was to The Velvet Rope and the meaning behind it I probably wouldn't care as it's not a completely solid album, but a good one in all.

Mariah Carey - Daydream (1995) and Butterfly (1998). Daydream is one of the most perfect pop albums ever made, not a fault in sight. Very ballad-heavy showcasing Mariah's vocals with no room for filler. I like Butterfly a lot, the album is another I hold closely to my heart even though it's not perfect, there's at least four tracks I don't like but the rest is an immaculate blend of pop and R&B.

Jay-Z - Reasonable Doubt (1996). One of the best hip-hop albums ever made, a tight collection of sultry beats and lyrical depth, definately hip-hop at its finest, probably a standard that will never be matched again.

Michael Jackson - Thriller (1982) and Bad (1989). There's not more I can say about Thriller that hasn't already been said, the album is a pop masterpiece and so is its follow-up Bad.

Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill (1995) and Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie (1998). I love Jagged Little Pill mostly for its confidence and outspoken nature, Morissette's off-beat vocal, especially on the opening track "All I Really Want," just works. Follow-up Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie is just as good even if it does have too many lyrics and deserves more credit for being so.

Celine Dion - Falling into You. I like this album a lot, a tad excessive for a pop album however it's Celine at her best, you can't overlook her vocal power and genuine craft on here, I've fallen into this many times. Just for note I thought its follow-up Let's Talk About Love sucked.

Public Enemy - It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988) and Fear of a Black Planet (1990). Before Flava Flab became horny old man with his own canceled reality show, he was a fifth of powerful rap group who had something to say. These two albums are pact with such uncencored rage and passion, sometimes over the top but still the albums wouldn't have worked if they were tamed.

Nirvana - Nevermind (1991). The album that changed the face of rock forever, bringing alternative rock into the mainstream, it's a masterpiece within itself however I don't listen to it too much.

Coldplay - A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002). I've gushed about this album a lot, it is my favorite album of the decade--alternative rock has never sounded better.

Prince - 1999 (1982) and Purple Rain (1984). Prince's sultry mix of funk and soul, with elements of rock is effortless making these two albums his best. Unfortunately I havan't gotten into any other album by him.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Best Films of 2009

1. The Hangover. I have seen quite a few movies this year, however only a couple were standouts for me. As a fan of heavy comedic-influenced movies, I give Todd Phillips' The Hangover my top spot; a hilarious comedy portraying a wild night in Las Vegas for a bachelor party, which ends in disaster as the groom goes missing with the wedding only 24 hours away. I loved how the jokes seemed continuous which ultimately saved its plot-line from weakening towards the middle.

2. Precious. Another standout and possibly amongst the most surprising as initially I had this down as an underwhelming storyline even before I had seen it. Previous is a sensitive tale about an illiterate and obese 16-year girl who is abused by her mother and raped by her father (who has given her two children, one of which suffers from down syndrome) that in itself is enough of a commanding storyline to make it one of the best of the year. What didn't I see in it before? I'll never know.

3. Avatar. Originally penciled for a release in the '90s, however technology had not yet caught up with James Cameron's vision (but we did get Titanic). Budgeted at $236mill, Avatar mostly captivated me with its stunning scenery, the plot could have been stronger but when witnessing such breathtaking 3D landscapes, it's not such an issue.

4. The Proposal. I loved Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality, possibly her careers biggest highlight however her role in The Proposal alongside Ryan Reynolds is somewhat more hard-faced (as if it was possible) as she portrays an uptight worker who convinces her assistant into marrying her when she discovers she's up for deportation. I'm surprised I liked it so much considering towards the end it's pretty much cliche city, but a solid movie in all. The nude scene is hilarious! Bullock has such a nice body, I didn't realize before.

5. Orphan. I liked this movie a lot, epically for its grim and dark plot, telling the story of a couple who decide to adopt following the death of their unborn baby. Esther, the girl they decide to adopt is ultimately the daughter from hell, only she's not a girl but a 33 year old woman posing as child as she suffers from hypopituitarism. The whole movie is somewhat unorthodox, but still quite enjoyable even if its a bit uncomfortable to watch at times.

6. Paranormal Activity. This is another movie I was surprised I liked so much. The concept is silly with its obvious fakery however still remains a gripping showing when you dismiss the unrealism. Some of the antics that take place towards the end are somewhat believable. What's more impressive was how much it made at the Box Office considering its limited budget.

7. Knowing. I'm not a fan of long movies, my attention span can only stretch so far however Alex Proyas' Knowing was a pretty captivating movie, even the more uninspired moments towards the middle didn't throw me off--and with 120 minutes to get through that was an achievement. It's an intelligent thriller packed with moments of fear and anticipation and overall thoroughly enjoyable.

8. The Princess and the Frog. I'll admit it, I only watched this because it was the first time Disney had used a black princess, however I did enjoy it. As with all Disney storylines, love is the centerpoint of the movie--Princess Tiana is lovable character, full of passion and sass it's a shame she's actually a frog for most of the movie.

9. Notorious. Detailing the trials and tribulations of the life of the late rapper Norotious, celebrated for his intricate lyrical work, bittersweet friendship with fellow-rapper Tupac Shakur and relationship with Lil' Kim and Faith Evans. I loved the references to the real life statistics regarding album sales and releases. Jamal Woolard did an excellent job at portraying Notorious BIG, the resemblance is uncanny. The girl who played Lil' Kim was good too, mostly because she use to be a teen-bopper in the three-piece girl group 3LW at the beginning of the decade and now she's bare-skinned having sex on screen. Nice.

10. Michael Jackson's This is It. There's a handful of movies I preferred to this, however I didn't want it to miss my top ten and I did enjoy watching Michael Jackson proving he still had that immaculate star quality that made us fall deeply in love with him all those years ago. The guy could still dance! However its accompanying soundtrack was a joke, I mean c'mon how many greatest hits has he had this decade?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Album Review: JLS - JLS (2.5 / 5)

I decided to purchase JLS' first album, meaning I didn't get the new Mary J. Blige album(!) considering it was such a disappointment, in fact it's the first album of hers I haven't bought, maybe later. Anyway, since coming second to Alexandra Burke on 2008's X Factor, JLS have been Britain's hottest boy-group for a good part of this year, with two #1s and the years biggest first-week sales (before the SuBo volcano erupted). Now the album is a fine album, ultimately its urban-pop with fresh electronic undertones and fairly generic both in lyric and sound which is expected.

I like this album, but probably not something I'd listen to again and again. "Beat Again" is a good opener (as well as nice lead single). It's okay, but nothing special, I like its pulsing bass line, electronic undertones and that collision of bleepy noises on the ("I go, I go, I go") bit. Better is follow-up and second single "Everybody in Love" a fresh, more polished urban-flavored number with nice piano keys worked into the composition tied up with a lovely breezy chorus; perfect measure of harmonies and memorable lyrics.

With two pretty solid opening tracks, the bulk of the album isn't at all that strong, suffering from there being little differentiation between the tracks unfortunately, however there are still a handful of highlights. There's "Crazy for You" which begins with pulses of orchestration before the piano keys and bass line kick in. I like this a lot. "Close to You" recalls Christ Brown's "With You" (who actually hasn't already done this) with its acoutic guitar, kinetic handclaps, soft sounding chorus and mellowing harmonies, but depsite its lack of originiality--it is one of the albums better tracks, so is "Only Tonight" and "One Shot," which begins with a nice piano and string composition before switching up for an down-beat synth and bass tone.

The last couple of tracks towards the end I don't like. "Private" attepts natural swagger which doesn't quite work, I don't like the chorus either. I like the melody "Only Making Love," the harmonies are awesome too but that's about it--I don't like the spacey theme it portrays or it just hasn't grown on me yet and last track "Tight Rope" is a generic acoustic tited ballad (like a retread of "Close to You").

Even with some many underwhelming moments, the album is worth a listen, however definately not a knockout. But for a first album it's pretty decent and the tracks that don't quite hit the mark are surely to grow on me soon (I know cause it happens all the time). Between this and Alexandra's album I think I like them both about the same considering I've given them the same rating.

Best: Everybody in Love, Crazy for You, One Shot, Close to You, Beat Again

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Billboard Hot 100, 2nd January 2010

1. TiK ToK - Ke$ha

Nabbing the first #1 of the chart-year is Ke$ha with her debut single "TiK ToK," which moves up a notch landing her first solo chart topper selling 220k copies of the single this week easily making her this weeks digital gainer although it's not the first she's been here--earlier this year she accompanied Flo Rida on his 8-week long chart topper "Right Round," but she was uncredited, so I don't think it really counts. Ke$ha is the first female artist to top the chart with her debut single since Lady Gaga earlier this year with "Just Dance," in fact she's the twelfth female artist this decade to arrive at the pinnacle of the hot 100 with her debut single. She follows:

Fallin' - Alicia Keys (2001)
Always On Time - Ashanti (2002)
A Moment Like This - Kelly Clarkson (2002)
Crazy in Love - Beyonce (2003)
I Believe - Fantasia (2004)
Goodies - Ciara (2004)
Inside Your Heaven - Carrie Underwood (2005)
London Bridge - Fergie (2006)
Bleeding Love - Leona Lewis (2008)
I Kissed a Girl - Katy Perry (2008)
Just Dance - Lady Gaga (2009)

3. Bad Romance - Lady Gaga

It's a wonder how this hasn't hit #1 yet! Lady Gaga stays bulleted at #3 for a second week with "Bad Romance," as this weeks airplay gainer. C'mon Gaga!

11. Hard - Rihanna feat. Young Jeezy

Upon its release, I wasn't too sure this was going to be a hit but it's always nice to be proven wrong with things like this. Rihanna's "Hard," the second single from her latest album Rated R rises a solid 10 spots up this week to #11, scoring her thirteenth top twenty hit (if you exclude her three of her collaborations on Jay-Z's "Run This Town," T.I.'s "Live Your Life" and charity single "Just Stand Up").

29. Hell Breaks Lose - Eminem feat. Dr. Dre

This week Eminem re-released his latest album, Relapse (re-titled Relapse: Refill) which would probably be the reason behind its second single "Hell Breaks Lose" debuting inside the top 40 at #29, scoring his twenty-third top forty single.

39. Telephone - Lady Gaga feat. Beyonce

Whilst "Video Phone" is failing to make any impact on the charts, "Telephone" is well on its way to become another hit for both Lady Gaga and Beyonce. This is Lady Gaga's sixth top forty single. I don't like counting Beyonce's top forty singles--her discography is too messy... tons and tons of featured single I don't know wether to count or not on top of the top forty singles that weren't actually singles.

Personal Airplay: Top 100 of the 2000s

Tabulated from points on my personal chart, here are the top 100 songs from this decade. Because of my being ill this week, I was able to sit down and fill in stats dating back to chart date: 6th January 2000 and calculate the biggest hit on my chart this decade, which goes to Britney Spears' "Toxic," which became her 11th chart topper, topping my chart 11 weeks--the longest run for any single. Here's the top 100:

# PK(WKS) Title - Artist
1 .... 1(11) .... Toxic - Britney Spears
2 .... 1 (9) .... Crazy in Love - Beyonce feat. Jay-Z
3 .... 1 (9) .... Hips Don't Lite - Shakira feat. Wyclef
4 .... 1 (10) .. Because of You - Kelly Clarkson
5 .... 1 (8) .... Hero - Enrique Englasias
6 .... 1 (8) .... Your Beautiful - James Blunt
7 .... 1 (7) .... Lose Yourself - Eminem
8 .... 1 (7) .... Poker Face - Lady Gaga
9 .... 1 (6) .... Complicated - Avril Lavigne
10 .. 1 (7) .... Can't Get You Out of My Head - Kylie Minogue

11 ... 1 (5) ... Hung Up - Madonna
12 ... 2 ... She Will Be Loved - Maroon 5
13 ... 1 (5) ... I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
14 ... 1 (5) ... Dilemma - Nelly & Kelly Rowland
15 ... 1 (4) ... Beautiful - Christina Aguilera
16 ... 1 (5) ... Umbrella - Rihanna
17 ... 1 (6) ... Yeah! - Usher feat. Lil' John and Ludacris
18 ... 1 (4) ... Wake Me Up When September Ends - Green Day
19 ... 1 (5) ... We Belong Together - Mariah Carey
20 ... 1 (6) ... Crazy - Gnarls Barkley

21 ... 1 (3) ... Apologize - OneRepublic feat. Timbaland
22 ... 1 (3) ... Since U Been Gone - Kelly Clarkson
23 ... 1 (5) ... Irreplaceable - Beyonce
24 ... 1 (4) ... Gold Digger - Kanye West feat. Jamie Foxx
25 ... 1 (4) ... Whenever Wherever - Shakira
26 ... 2 ... Big Girls Don't Cry - Fergie
27 ... 1 (2) ... Promiscuous - Nelly Furtado feat. Timbaland
28 ... 2 ... Bad Day - Daniel Powter
29 ... 1 (4) ... Don't Cha - Pussycat Dolls feat. Busta Rhymes
30 ... 1 (2) ... Sex On Fire - Kings of Leon

31 ... 1 (3) ... Music - Madonna
32 ... 2 ... Fix You - Coldplay
33 ... 2 ... Bring Me to Life - Evanescence
34 ... 1 (3) ... SexyBack - Justin Timberlake
35 ... 1 (4) ... All for You - Janet Jackson
36 ... 3 ... I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
37 ... 2 ... Don't Phunk with My Heart - Black Eyed Peas
38 ... 1 (3) ... Disturbia - Rihanna
39 ... 1 (4) ... Stronger - Sugababes

40 ... 1 (4) ... Check On It - Beyonce feat. Slim Thug
41 ... 2 ... Just Like a Pill - P!nk
42 ... 1 (3) ... Mercy - Duffy
43 ... 1 (2) ... I Kissed a Girl - Katy Perry
44 ... 2 ... How to Save a Life - The Fray
45 ... 1 (2) ... Pon De Replay - Rihanna
46 ... 3 ... This Love - Maroon 5
47 ... 1 (2) ... Just Dance - Lady Gaga
48 ... 1 (3) ... Me Against the Music - Britney Spears feat. Madonna
49 ... 1 (6) ... Be Without You - Mary J. Blige

50 ... 1 (2) ... Shake it Off - Mariah Carey
51 ... 1 (3) ... Without Me - Eminem
52 ... 3 ... Run - Snow Patrol
53 ... 4 ... U Remind Me - Usher
54 ... 2 ... Love Story - Taylor Swift
55 ... 3 ... In Your Eyes - Kylie Minogue
56 ... 1 (2) ... Take a Bow - Rihanna
57 ... 1 (2) ... Empire State of Mind - Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys
58 ... 1 (2) ... Everytime - Britney Spears
59 ... 1 (3) ... Round Round - Sugababes

60 ... 2 ... Low - Flo Rida feat. T-Pain
61 ... 1 (1) ... Hot n Cold - Katy Perry
62 ... 1 (3) ... Paparazzi - Lady Gaga
63 ... 1 (2) ... These Words - Natasha Bedingfield
64 ... 1 (5) ... Walking Away - Craig David
65 ... 1 (3) Get the Party Started - P!nk
66 ... 1 (4) ... Hot in Herre - Nelly
67 ... 1 (2) ... Use Somebody - Kings of Leon
68 ... 2 ... Hollaback Girl - Gwen Stefani
69 ... 1 (1) ... Viva La Vida - Coldplay

70 ... 2 ... Someone to Call My Lover - Janet Jackson
71 ... 1 (2) ... If Your Not the One - Daniel Bedingfield
72 ... 4 ... Somewhere Only We Know - Keane
73 ... 1 (2) ... Lollipop - Lil' Wayne feat. Static Major
74 ... 5 ... Fallin' - Alicia Keys
75 ... 1 (3) ... Bleeding Love - Leona Lewis
76 ... 6 ... Naughty Girl - Beyonce
77 ... 1 (3) ... Run It! - Chris Brown
78 ... 3 ... In the End - Linkin Park
79 ... 1 (1) ... If You Come Back - Blue

80 ... 2 ... Foolish - Ashanti
81 ... 1 (1) ... I'm Real - Jennifer Lopez
82 ... 5 ... Yellow - Coldplay
83 ... 1 (1) ... Untouched - Veronicas
84 ... 3 ... More Than a Woman - Aaliyah
85 ... 1 (3) ... Get Busy - Sean Paul
86 ... 3 ... Goodies - Ciara
87 ... 1 (3) ... Circus - Britney Spears
88 ... 1 (2) ... Dirrty - Christina Aguilera
90 ... 2 ... Say - John Mayer

91 ... 6 ... Seven Nation Army - White Stripes
92 ... 2 ... Deja Vu - Beyonce feat. Jay-Z
93 ... 1 (2) ... Don't Forget About Us - Mariah Carey
94 ... 2 ... Can't Hold Us Down - Christina Aguilera feat. Lil' Kim
95 ... 1 (2) ... Day n Nite - Kid Cudi
96 ... 1 (2) ... Dance Wiv Me - Dizzee Rascal feat. Calvin Harris
97 ... 4 ... My Place - Nelly
98 ... 2 ... Family Affair - Mary J. Blige
99 ... 1 (5) ... Ignition - R. Kelly
100 .. 2 ... My Love - Justin Timberlake feat. T.I.

Personal Airplay, 24th Dec. 09

Merry Christmas Eve!

TW LW WKS Title - Artist
1 .... 2 ... 15 ... Empire State of Mind - Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys (1 week @ #1)
2 .... 1 .... 8 .... Bad Romance - Lady Gaga (2 wks @ #1)
3 .... 3 .... 9 .... Watcha Say - Jason DeRulo
4 .... 5 .... 5 .... 3 Words - Cheryl Cole ft.
5 .... 4 ... 16 ... Fireflies - Owl City (1 wk @ #1)
6 ... 10 ... 8 ... TiK ToK - Ke$ha
7 .... 8 .... 5 .... Replay - Iyaz
8 .... 6 ... 14 ... Meet Me Halfway - Black Eyed Peas (3 wks @ #1)
9 .... 7 .... 3 .... Playing with Fire - N-Dubz ft. Mr. Hudson
10 .. 11 .. 7 .... You Know Me - Robbie Williams

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mary J. Blige discography

Tommorow Mary J. Blige ninth album, Stronger with Each Tear. Like I recently did with Janet Jackson and Jay-Z, here's a look back at her arresting catalog:

What's the 411? (1992). With production skills from P. Diddy and LA Reid, Mary's first album launched her a career which would span seventeen years in the process earning her title Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, a unique title salvaged from this albums winning blend of hip-hop, R&B and soul. From the rugged bass line of opening track "Leave a Message," to the effective piano and bass laced balladry of "Changes I've Been Through," and all the sultry goodness in between, the album delivered on all counts; it had the hits ("You Remind Me" and "Real Love") the introspective lyrics and cutting-edge beats. Best track: You Remind Me. (4.5/5)

My Life (1994). Like her first album, My Life provided another solid set of hard hitting beats, harmonies and melodies, raw lyrical and vocal depth and emotion however even more captivating and enduring with its lengthy 17 track set which manages to manages to maintain its grip throughout, showcasing her raw and passionate emotions on big bold numbers like "I'm Goin' Down" and "I Never Wanna Live Without You," whilst remaining a party record with tracks such as "You Bring Me Hope" and title track "My Life." Best track: I'm Goin' Down. (5/5)

Share My Life (1997). This album was Mary's first major shift both in music and professionally, she had changed record labels and took a brief break from the harsh but effective blend of hip-hop and soul to a more burnished indulge in glossy '90s R&B showcased on the enchanting Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis produced single "Everything," where it fell short was that it was too long for its own good--It wasn't as gripping as My Life, therefore where its first half is excellent its whole second half is underwhelming however still owning the albums best track, the deeply emotive ballad "No Gon' Cry," an impassioned ode to a destructive relationship, with some awesome lyrics, ultimately the albums savior. Best track: Not Gon' Cry. (4/5)

Mary (1999). Mary's fourth album was her first to experience artistic growth and was probably her most critically acclaimed. The album was a risky move considering it lacked the radio-friendly appeal her previous three albums had, however its showcasing of maturity and embracing of class worked the charm. It was the lyrical-rawness of My Life without the beaming production adding a touch of personality (although rather hit and miss for me). It would also be the first time she would take an extensive interest in collaborations with artists outside the the hip-hop and R&B genre, which would be why they were the albums biggest highlights. The harshly piano driven "Deep Inside" with Elton John is fantastic moment, so is the whimsical "All I Can Say" with Lauryn Hill and "Don't Waste Your Time" with Aretha Franklin however there are some great solo moments such as "Your Child," and "Give Me You." Best: Deep Inside. (4/5)

No More Drama (2001). Mary began the decade with a bang, her fifth album couldn't have arrived at a better time, it followed her recovery from drug and alcohol abuse and other personal endeavors, hence its abrasive title and uptempo radio-friendly lead single "Family Affair," which landed her first chart topper. This was Mary's first album to have some pop appeal which essentially broadened her audience, the fresh piano key backed title track "No More Drama" is a highlight, so is the hip collabo with Ja Rule on "Rainy Dayz," which both carry the same "the storm is over" message. One of the album more defining moments is on "Forever No More," a self-written poem. Best: Family Affair. (4.5/5)

Love & Life (2003). This was part of the reason Mary's eventual comeback album was such a triumph. Her sixth album is my least favorite from her collection and whilst there are some good tracks such as the acoustic-tinged "It's a Wrap," funky "Love at First Sight" and lead single "Not Today," a good chunk of the album is very weak, ultimately a mislead ball of uninspired R&B suffering from little or no distinction from each other and not amounting to much. Best: It's a Wrap (2.5/5)

The Breakthrough (2005). From the swaggering opener "No One Will Do," to the sensational duet with U2 on "One," Mary's seventh album is a modern masterpiece and was her best since My Life, returning to her comfortable blend of hip-hop, soul and R&B without one genre over powering each other, showcased perfectly on "MJB Da MVP," however its best track came in the form of "Be Without You" a heart-felt ballad with a rugged edge that landed her one of the biggest hits of her career, topping the US R&B charts for a staggering four months. It's usually a common thing to compare this to Mariah Carey's The Emancipation of Mimi, which was released the same year and was also Mariah's comeback album and worked the same charm, however Mary's was superior. Best: Be Without You (5/5)

Growing Pains (2007). Mary's eighth album was a nice follow-up, as if the mix of hip-hop, R&B and soul had gotten boring, there were some cool pop and disco influences such as the joyful lead single "Just Fine." However nowhere as strong as its predecessor I found it a bit too patchy to compete but still delivered a decent set of tracks somewhat in the same vein as The Breakthrough, it didn't have its "Be Without You," but the collabo with Usher on "Shake Down" was the albums biggest highlight, the skittering "Roses" is another gooden. Best: Shake Down. (4/5)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Best TV of 2009

1. EastEnders (BBC)

If I made lists in previous years EastEnders would top them each year. Whilst not as much of a compelling soap as it supposedly was in the '80s and '90s the storylines are still compelling, enduring and often nail-biting. This year the soap dealt with bi-polar disorder, rape, bankruptcy, psychopathic husbands, homophobia and particularly love-loss earlier this year which had me raging for weeks (see below).

2. X-Factor (ITV)

The X Factor this year reached new heights, almost 20 million views tuned in to see Joe McElderry being crowned the shows fifth winner. I loved the new audition format too; like Britians Got Talent, the contestants not only had to sing in front of judges Simon, Louis, Dannii and Cheryl, but in-front of a live audience which made it all the more hilarious for the funnier auditions.

3. Waterloo Road (BBC)

In its fourth year Waterloo Road still remains as compelling as it was in '06. Exciting drama set in a comprehensive secondary school mirroring real-life, which is probably why so many teenagers like me can relate to the storylines.

4. Family Guy (FX)

The creators of Family Guy pulled out yet another stellar season, beating out both South Park and The Simpsons (although I did enjoy both of those too) however the episodes the aired in the UK this year were in fact released in the US last year. I was even convinced to purchase the soundtrack album this year, it was pretty good.

5. South Park (Comedy Central UK)

Another solid season from South Park not as strong as previous seasons, this one didn't have its 'Imagination Land' so to speak. Probably the first time there have been episodes I haven't been crazy for however I did enjoy quite a few of them.

6. Brothers & Sisters (E4)

I never got into Brothers & Sisters until this year, there was always a sense it was lacking solidarity in its storylines, however I thought the first quarter of Season 4 was really nicely put together, the season continues into May 2010.

7. The Simpsons (Sky 1)

The twenty-first season of the Simpsons haven't aired here yet, but I've watced the first few episodes online and they're pretty good. First episode 'Rednecks and Broomsticks' is of their best in years.

8. Britains Got Talent (ITV)

This years had a few breakout stars such as winners dance group Diversity, 12 year old singer Shaheen Jafargholi and the shows biggest star Susan Boyle.

9. 30 Rock (Comedy Central UK)

I didn't watch this consistently, however when I did I thought it was halarious. I'll have to track-back online sometime.

10. Two Pints of Larger and a Packet of Crisps (BBC Three)

This series was pretty weak, the gags weren't as funny, the raw sexual references were perverted than tastefully creative as in previous seasons however it did deliver a handful of good episodes.

Friday, December 18, 2009

40 Best Albums of 2009

Below is my round-up of 40 of the best albums of the year. At the beginning of the year I made a pact to branch out and listen to different genres of music, which included more alternative rock, general rock, punk-rock, post-punk rock, electronic rock and more jazz-influenced stuff, which lead to 2009 being my most experimental in terms of music.

1. Muse - The Resistance. This was a tough decision to decipher but in the end I decided, British rock band Muse delivered the years best album. A consistent, robust and eagerly creative set of wonderfully mastered alternative rock and electronic songs that each shine in their own light. A truly flawless affair and a more than perfect follow to their last album, Black Holes and Revelations. Best: Uprising

2. Dave Matthews Band - Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King. Until this year I was wasn't a fan of Dave Matthews Band but their seventh album converted me. Its seamless blend of alternative rock, folkish pop and disheartening undertones did the trick. Crafting their darkest (and what I think is their best) album to date. Best: Funny the Way it Is

3. Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown. Green Day further positioned their status as one of the decade best rock bands with their eighth album following their groundbreaking American Idiot album, the band once again pushed the boundaries delivering a solid 18-track set laced with an arresting storyline and a powerful journey administering three alternative eras of rock. Best: 21 Guns

4. Little Boots - Hands. This years biggest British breakthrough act delivered the years best pop album. Showcasing Little Boot's winning blend of '80s influenced and contemporary pop adhering a bold pop set, even the albums more subtler moments worked. Best: New in Town

5. Lily Allen - It's Not Me, It's You. Lily's first album displayed fun British pop, a cool jump-off point for her more serious follow-up. It's Not Me, It's You illustrated Lily's more contemplative sense of pop, initially thinking it lacked some sort of edge only to conclude that she had just embraced maturity. Best: The Fear

6. Agnes - Dance Love Pop. After conquering Sweden with her first two albums, Idol winner Agnes blossomed into the international limelight with her third album album. Packed with top-notch Swedish pop production, baring a slick blend of '80s influenced dancefloor fillers and modern pop. Best: Release Me

7. India.Arie - Testimony, Vol 2: Love & Politics. I wouldn't still award this 5-stars, however India.Arie still delivered one of the years strongest R&B albums. Possibly her best collection since her second album Voyage to India. Fueled with enough soul and passion to seal yet another knockout from her, even with its commercial lows. Best: River Rise

8. Robbie Williams - Reality Killed the Video Star. After the cold reception of Rudebox and a series of personal downfalls, Robbie Williams overcame the odds, returning to classic British pop with his eighth album, a refreshing stray from the experimental foils of Rudebox. Best: You Know Me

9. Kelly Clarkson - All I Ever Wanted. Following the dark My December, Kelly Clarkson saw the brighter side of life with her fourth album. All I Ever Wanted captured her signature pop/rock sound that was lacking her last album and made her breakthrough Breakway so successful. Best: I Do Not Hook Up

10. Black Eyed Peas - The E.N.D. (The Energy Never Dies). Whilst not a big hit with the critics, the Black Eyed Peas fifth album sure was with me. The album embraced the blend of hip-hop and pop that made their third and fourth albums big and adding a touch of electronic, dubbed Electro-hop. Best: I Gotta Feeling

11. Jay-Z - The Blueprint 3. With the decrease in the quality of hip-hop this year, Jay-Z easily delivered the years best hip-hop album. It was definitely more interesting than American Gangster from two years ago. Best: Empire State of Mind

12. Daughtry - Leave This Town. Solidarity was a minor problem for Daughtry's second album, however they masked aptly as they capitalized solely on their now signature hard rock and pop influenced sound. It was a great follow-up to their successful debut that made me a fan. Best: What I Meant to Say

13. The Veronicas - Hook Me Up. It's been two years since The Veronicas second album has been out, however only finding its UK release this year; still racks up with the best, its fun pop/rock with dark electronic undertones. Best: Revenge is Sweeter (Than You Ever Were)

14. Chrisette Michele - Epiphany. Probably learning that her obscure blend of '70s soul and jazz on her first album wasn't going to sell records, Chrissette Michele switched things up for her more accessible second album delivering a winning blend of pop and R&B. Best: Blame it On Me

15. La Roux - La Roux. Off-beat vocal skills couldn't stop pop duo La Roux's self-titled debut album from being a dud, in fact becoming one of the most cohesive dance-pop albums of the year. I'm anxious to see how they follow this up. Best: Bulletproof

16. Lady Gaga - The Fame. Woman of the year Lady Gaga, delivered a winning debut full of great electronic dance-pop hooks and sass ultimately shaping the sound of the year. Best: Poker Face

17. Pixie Lott - Turn it Up. Drawing influences from Natasha Bedingfield and Duffy--Pixie Lott delivered a solid debut, showcasing her versatility within a mix of pop, R&B and soul. Best: Gravity

18. 311 - Uplifter. Versatile alternative rock/pop with some hard rock sounds and some Caribbean influences. 311's ninth album didn't fail to impress despite minor flaws. Best: Hey You

19. The-Dream - Love vs Money. The Dream didn't really win me over with his first album however his second offering did the job and did it well showcasing a winning mix of modern R&B and '90s inspired sounds. Best: My Love

20. Leona Lewis - Echo
. More confident than her first album, however keeping that solid blend of classic pop and soft rock with the new addition of dance-pop, varying her sound a bit. Best: I Got You

21. Rihanna - Rated R. After showcasing her nack for frothy upbeat dance-pop on her successful third album, Rihanna seeked out darker endeavors for her fourth, embracing artistic control that worked for the most part even if the sift in sound was a bit hit and miss. Best: Fire Bomb

22. Rascal Flatts - Unstoppable. A worthy follow-up to their underwhelming last album--although it's pretty crystal clear they aren't reaching the heights of their masterpiece, Me & My Gang again. Best

23. Whitney Houston - I Look to You. Following a long seven years, Whitney Houston finally made a solid comeback album, returning with a forceful and winning set of great pop and R&B mixed with some traditional balladry. Best: A Song for You

24. Owl City - Ocean Eyes
. They might have had a hit single this year, but I'm sure this album will be very big next year as their popularity grows. It's a lighthearted mix of breezy electronica and pop. Best: Vanilla Twilight

25. The Saturdays - Wordshaker
. More cohesive than their first album, The Saturdays delivered a charming follow-up album proving their a force to be reckoned with within the British pop world. Girls Aloud and Sugababes 3.0 watch out. Best: Wordshaker

26. Arctic Monkeys - Humbug. The Arctic Monkeys have had an successful decade, but their third album really brought the band into my personal limelight. It was more solid than their previous two releases and possibly even better. Best: Cornerstone

27. Alexandra Burke - Overcome . This had some time to grow on me, X Factor winner Alexandra Burke's debut album showcased more personality than any other X Factor debut album, showcasing a fulfilling mix of pop, R&B, soul and dance. Best: The Silence

28. Maxwell - BLACKsummers'night
. Embracing a warming blend of top-notch '70s and '80s influenced funk and modern urban sounds, Maxwell made a successful returned after seven years since his critically acclaimed last album. Best: Playing Possom

29. K'naan - Troubadour. After Owl City, K'naan was my favorite discovery of the year. His creative take on modern hip-hop captivated me. Best: Dreamer

30. Moby - Wait for Me
. Moby delivered yet another symphonic, angelic and mostly instrumentally driven album, definitely more solid than his last album. Best: Mistake

31. Mariah Carey - Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel. Mariah's twelfth album was a more down-beat blend of R&B, soul and pop in comparison to the retro pop of her last album, not as solid however still delivering some great moments. Best: H.A.T.E.U.

32. Carrie Underwood - Play On. American Idol winner Carrie Underwood delivered yet another solid country album although not as much pop influences as her last. Best: Change

33. Keri Hilson - In a Perfect World
. After six years of lurking behind the scenes, Keri Hilson finally delivered her debut, a solid R&B set with some hip-hop influences that didn't weaken the album at all, in fact added more grit. Best: Make Love

36. Alicia Keys - The Element of Freedom. Following the critically acclaimed but personally disappointing As I Am, Alicia Keys followed it up with soemthing much more solid and enduring, showcasing that fulfilling sound that the last album lacked. Best: Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart
37. Florence + The Machine - Lungs . Tipped as one of the best "new" acts of 2009, Florence and the Machine delivered a pretty satisfying debut and aside from minor flaws--a couple tracks that didn't quite live up to the hype, there were a lot of great moments on here. Best: You've Got the Love

38. Jonas Brother - Lines, Vines and Trying Times. For their third album the boys embraced a more mature sound, a far cry from the scrupulous pop of their highly successful second album, which managed to score way more hits than this. Best: Paranoid

39. BoA - BoA. Korean pop singer, BoA delivered quite a spectacular first English album, full of great pop hooks and beats bringing in help from Bloodshy & Avant, who've shaped the sound for the likes of Britney Spears and Kylie Minogue. Best: I Did it for Love

40. Daniel Merriweather - Love & War. Daniel Merriweather's album was slightly underwhelming however there were some great moments espcially where it didn't try to emulate the rich jazz sound that Mark Ronson composed for Amy Whinehouse's masterpiece Back to Black. Best: Red