Comfortable temperatures are in the forecast and even though it’s too early for the leaves to start changin’, there certainly is a nip in the air in the morning and the neighborhoods are a lot quieter now that the kiddies are back in school. So here I am, 11am on a Friday and I figure it’s time to dole out my recommendations as far as new music is concerned. Here are some singles that you can spend your hard earned dollar (or in ITune’s case…$1.29)!
Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Even You Brutus?” (alt-rock)
It’s the return of Flea and the boys and they are back with a familiar bass line and hip lyrics. This one seems to be about meeting girls and Brutus must be a lousy wingman. Either way, it’s funky in the way only the Peppers can be.
Jon Fratelli – “Santo Domingo” (rock)
Lead vocalist for the band The Fratellis (imagine that) goes solo and this is pretty straight forward for fans of that band. Catchy and downright addictive even if the refrain is repeated maybe a bit few too many times.
Lenny Kravitz – “Everything” (Funk)
If there is one thing that Kravitz can do it’s rock like the good ol’ days. This track off his new album, “Black And White America,” is fairly typical but funky and easy on the ears. I can also recommend “Boongie Drop,” “I Can’t Be Without You,” “Stand,” and the song he performed in Seattle when opening for U2, “Come On And Get It.”
Glen Campbell – “Ghost On The Canvas” (country)
I remember when I was a kid, listening to Campbell sing about the “Rhinestone Cowboy” and the “Wichita Lineman.” He was a definitive voice for country back when country & pop were commonly mixed. Now he returns with what he says is his last album. He’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and is embarking on his farewell tour this year. This free track is worth listening too for those not sold on Campbell’s back catalogue but I would also recommend “In My Arms,” A Thousand Lifetimes,” “Strong” with the Dandy Warhols and “It’s Your Amazing Grace.” Hell…just download the entire album. It’s worth it and it really doesn’t sound like country at all. It’s just really good pop with a country twinge. And go check out his greatest hits. You’d be amazed how many of the songs you probably know but didn’t know it!
David Guetta feat. Chris Brown & Lil Wayne) – “I Can Only Imagine” (dance)
Guetta is making a mint recycling the same techno beat that’s been used over & over since the mid-90’s but this track breaks out a beat that is so freakin’ funky that I had to get it. I dunno if it’ll be a hit but I like it and imagine I’ll be crankin’ it up on my IPod for awhile.
Flo Rida – “Good Feeling” (rap)
Why this track wasn’t released during the summer months is beyond me. It’s got that summer “party on the beach” sound that is Flo is known for. This one should be heating up the DJ turntables for awhile. It’s familiar yet unique with it’s refrain and will mix with just about any pop song out there today. If you like Top 40, you’ll LOVE this one.
Gotye – “Don’t Worry, We’ll Be Watching You” (alternative)
Belgian-Australian multi-instrumental musician Wouter De Backer brings the lights down with a slinky single off the new album “Making Mirrors.” Thanks to my buddy Ethan for bringing this one to my attention. It’s a good combo of pop & alternative but Wouter knows how to rock a little also. I downloaded “Easy Way Out” & “I Feel Better” as well but really I’ll probably end up getting the entire thing before too long. It all sounds pretty damn good.
Florence + The Machine – “What The Water Gave Me” (alternative)
This first single from the band’s yet-to-be-titled November 7th upcoming 2nd album is typical Florence and that means it’s pretty damn good. If you liked the first album, this is exactly what you’d expect.
Jacuzzi Boys – “Cool Vapors” (rock)
Garage punk at it’s best. This Miami band knows how to put together a good beat and Spin magazine gave em 7 out of 10 on their new album, “Glazin’.” This track is slammin’ in all the right ways!
Nas – “Nasty” (rap)
This is a return to 1985. The way rap USED to be. Nas always has something to say and this could be on the latest Kool Moe Dee or EPMD album. Sweeeeet….
Rihanna – “Fading” (R&B/pop)
I know, I know…really? Well…I have to admit, I’m a fan and this track is one of the few that HASN’T hit pop radio yet. Which I don’t get because it’s MY opinion that this is a lot better than “California King Bed.” But leave it to a recording label exec to screw that one up. It’ll hit soon enough, I imagine but you can say you heard it first!
Maroon 5 with Christina Aguilera – “Moves Like Jagger” (pop)
I like it. Bite me.
Mickey & The Motorcars – “A Thousand Tears” (country rock)
This band could be in a local bar and you wouldn’t know it. I like the grungy sound yet familiar twang of it. Dunno if they’ll ever hit big but I like this track.
Kanye West & Jay Z – “Why I Love You” (rap)
This album blew up with so much pomp & circumstance that I had to check it out and was almost ready to buy it but honestly…I can only stand for so much chest-thumping. Are Kanye & Jay the biggest names in rap? Of course. So why do they have to ram it down our throats? Either way, I downloaded this and “Otis.” Are they the best songs I’ve ever heard? Nope. But they’re good enough to give them a listen.
Mat Kearney – “Ships In The Night” (pop)
I have been listening to “Hey Mama” since last May so why it’s just now hitting the radio is beyond me. Either way, it’s time to move forward and this track SHOULD be his next release. Perfect for pop and adult contemporary radio, this is a “John Mayer-ish” single that could be huge! But probably won’t be. But it WILL be one of my favorite songs of this year!
Mickey Avalon – “Stroke Me” (rock rap)
If you have ever heard Avalon, you know this guy is not afraid to make you blush and with this track he takes Billy Squire’s big hit and strips it of any hidden context. Probably don’t wanna be listening to this one with the kids in the car but with the familiar hook, it sure does rock!
Roxette – “Speak To Me” (pop)
I’ve heard the first single on XM (“She’s Got Nothing On But The Radio”) so I went to check out the album and honestly, there’s not a lot to say about it. It’s kind of boring and it’s obvious that this band wore out it’s welcome back in the late 80’s. But this little track reminds me of their older stuff and is on par for them. Not a great song but if you’re a fan, it’s not bad.
Peter Murphy – “Seesaw Sway” (alternative)
Murphy has been around forever and his warbling crooning has been an alternative radio staple for years. This new track is excellent and is featured on his new album, “Ninth.” If you have ever liked anything by him, you should get this one now!
Memory Tapes – “Wait In The Dark” (alternative)
This song sounds like it was recorded in a garage with an old tape recorder and synthesizer. I recommend it highly for listening when you’re in the mood for something a little mellow yet not sleep inducing.
Kenny Chesney – “Somewhere With You” (country)
This guy just cranks out hit after hit and this was big earlier this year but I just heard it not too long ago and love it. I’m not a huge country fan but it’s songs like this that remind me that country is actually the new pop while most pop has become mostly dance. It’s fun watching music genres flip flop and country music is easily the most accessible form of music. Straightforward lyrics and easy to understand with simple guitar hooks and familiar bass lines. I get it and so do millions of fans.
Global Communication – “Maiden Voyage” (electronica)
This is essentially lifted straight from Tangerine Dream’s “Love On A Real Train” but with added beats. If you are a fan of TD, you’ll like this remake that picks up the pace a little bit.
Jeff Bridges – “What A Little Bit Of Love Can Do” (country)
This was a free track on ITunes a few weeks ago and I downloaded it and I can’t stop listening to it. This is pure pop country but Bridges’ singing style reminds me of the classic country sound. It’s a simple song that is effective and perfect in every way.
He Is We feat. Owl City – “All About Us” (pop)
You will be hearing this on pop radio and at weddings everywhere in 5…4…3…2…1… (you heard it here first though)
The Head – “Separate Bodies” (alternative)
Reminds me of any number of bands and nothing here is original but I like the familiar sound of it and reminds me of just about anything I listened too in the early 90’s.
MOST DISAPPOINTING ALBUM FROM A GUY THAT I’VE BEEN LISTENING TOO FOR OVER A DECADE: Mike Doughty – “Yes And Also Yes”
Dunno what Mike was thinking but this is about as bland as anything I’ve ever heard from him. I don’t know if his odd vocal style has finally worn out its welcome with me or what but man…this stuff is BORING.
WORST FREEBIE FROM ITUNES IN A WHILE THAT I DOWNLOADED THEN DELETED ‘CAUSE IT’S THAT BAD: Cobra Starship – “Don’t Blame The World, It’s The DJ’s Fault” (dance)
Repetitive and horribly boring. I can’t even understand how stuff like this gets made.