Tunes From ITunes_9.2.11

If only Cobra Starship had HALF of this guys’ charisma…or ability. 

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.

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Tunes From ITunes: April Showers Bring May…Showers?

Waddaya mean we’re rippin’ off “The Lonely Island” guys?!?!

Damn all this rain! All over our country, the weather is keeping us from doing the one thing we ALL enjoy and that is…cruising with our tops down and our music cranked up! If we get any more rain, I might have to attach floaties to my house and hope for the best. Either way…I’m good to go because I got ITunes and it has been SMOKIN’ the last couple of weeks! ALL KINDS of new releases from bands that I love and so…without a care in the world…I present this months mix of GREAT MUSIC!!!! Prepare for a flashback….

Raphael Saadiq – “Heart Attack” (R&B)
Oh yeah…THIS one is gonna be burning up my IPhone for the rest of the summer! Nothing better than classic R&B and Raphael is in a class of his own with this return to that classic retro sound. Go here if you wanna hear it! It’s HAWT!!! To recommend anything less than buying the entire album would not do Raphael’s work justice. Get the entire album…it’s worth it!

Mat Kearney – “Hey Mama” (pop)
Catchy and smooth, kinda like a milkshake at the local ice cream shop.  Got a great hook and Kearney is one of those under-appreciated artists who deserve a big hit!

The Cars – “Free” (rock)
Thankfully, the new Cars album doesn’t suck! It’s actually a very strong return to form for this great alt-rock 80’s band! So with much pleasure I give you MY favorite track off “Move Like This.” Classic Cars and will please all of their fans! If you like this, the lead single, “Sad Song,” is also great and you can also buy “Keep On Knocking” or “It’s Only.” RIP Benjamin Orr…your talents would have made this album even THAT much better…

Jennifer Lopez – “(What Is) Love?” (pop)
You can put it down now…this will be a big hit. Look for it burning up pop radio in 5…4…3…2…1…

The Lonely Island featuring Michael Bolton – “Jack Sparrow” (comedy)
Not only is this a great song with one of the most ridiculous (big, sexy) hooks I have ever heard, it also features a classic 80’s artist making fun of himself. It’s a great return to form for Bolton who could use a little of the limelight and his ability to laugh at himself makes this that much more entertaining! Check it out! You can also get the SNL classic “Motherlover,” “After Party” or “I Just Had Sex!”

Kram – “Satellite” (alternative pop)
Not surprisingly, I get a lot of my music from movies and this track is featured on one of the better movies from last year. If you haven’t seen “Easy A”, you should. It is an homage to the great John Hughes films of the 80’s with more modern music! This is my favorite of the bunch!

Katie Cole – “Gravity” (rock)
Not surprisingly, I get a lot of my music from the boob tube also and this track is featured on the latest Movado watch company commercial. Relatively unknown, Katie Cole reminds me of some of the great female rockers of the 90’s. You can’t get this song on ITunes yet but if you’re on Facebook or Myspace you can download it for free! Go get it and wish her well…she’s got a great future ahead of her!

Dum Dum Girls – “He Gets Me High” (rock)
Speaking of great female rock artists, here’s the latest from this retro rock all-girls band. After last years excellent album, “”I Will Be,” I will listen to anything Dee Dee and the girls pump out and this track is excellent! I’m digging the girl bands right now. When is Metric gonna release a new album??? Oh well…this EP will hold me over…for now.

Beastie Boys – “Here’s A Little Something For Ya” (rap)
O…M…G…This track is TEARING up my CD player in my car!!!! A complete return to form for our favorite New Yorkers and the beat in this one is GUARANTEED to make your ass shake! I’m thinking you’re gonna be hearing this one on the radio (I hope, I hope, I hope…) this summer. It’s just too damn good to NOT listen too! Welcome back Boys! We missed ya! I also downloaded the Santigold featured track, “Don’t Play No Game I Can’t Win” and their pre-released single “Make Some Noise.” All 3 are CLASSICS! Here’s “Make Some Noise”…

Music Soulchild – “Single” (R&B)
Not gonna lie…this track reminds me of something Keith Sweat might have done. Smooth R&B with lyrics that have a little bit of a “grass is always greener” tilt to it. I like it but it doesn’t blow me away. Check it out though!

Other Lives – “Dust Bowl III” (alternative)
Straight from Stillwater, Oklahoma, you can feel the desert heat and the dry wind in your face when this band plays. I got a lot of love for this sound and I totally love this song. I also downloaded “For 12.” Reminds me of Chris Isaak only darker…MUCH darker…

Dredg – “The Thought Of Losing You” (alternative)
Average alt-pop track that gets somewhat repetitive. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it either. But the band sounds tight and I have hopes that maybe I’ll hear something better from them sooner or later.

Raekwon – “Rock ‘N’ Roll” (rap)
This is a slow burn with featured artists Ghostface Killah & Kobe Honeycutt. I dig it but it’s for rap enthusiasts only.

Medina – “Addiction” (dance)
If you like dance tracks by Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga, this will fit in your playlist! I picture this one getting airplay at your local dance club. I like it!

Foo Fighters – “Bridge Burning” (rock)
So the new Foo album is out and I ran out to get it and right out of the gate, the first track is this one. I swear…I couldn’t hear for 2 days after cranking it OUT in my car. Unfortunately, as much as I WANTED to love this entire album, THIS is the best track on it. Great hook, Dave Grohl’s vocals are excellent and everything just works! As for the rest of them album, there’s nothing wrong with it…I guess I just was expecting something fresher. Instead, it’s classic Foo and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But I was hoping for something new, I guess. I dunno. I’m very confused…

Nicki Minaj – “Here I Am” (rap)
Everyone LOVES Nicki and I have to admit, I’m a HUGE fan of hers when she’s a featured artist on other artists’ tracks (see Kanye West’s “Monster” for one of the best raps EVER by a featured artist! She tears it up!), but I can’t really say I love her album “Pink Friday.” That being said, I don’t know that she made the album to cater to a 40-something white male. So what I can say is I really like this track which has a smooth R&B tip and cool piano. Dig it!

Uh…yeeeeah….

SURPRISE SONG OF THE WEEK THAT I THOUGHT I WOULD HATE BUT I DON’T: Lady Gaga – “The Edge Of Glory” (pop/dance)
Okay…here’s the thing…THIS track belongs in an 80’s movie final credits. Think “Footloose” (which is being remade as we speak. Maybe this song will end up on the soundtrack?) with a dance hook. I am gonna go on record as saying this is my…(cough)…favorite…(ack)…Gaga song. It even has a saxophone solo in the middle. It’s like she knew how to finally get to me. I hate you Gagag! But I DO like this song…dammit.

WORST SONG RELEASED IN THE PAST 3 YEARS: Lady Gaga – “Judas” (doesn’t matter. It sucks)
So to counter the surprise that is “The Edge Of Glory” I am back to my bashing of Gagag. This song is easily the WORST in her collection. I don’t know if it’s gonna be released on her to new album or what but whoever decided to release this below average B-side should be smacked in the face with a 2×4.  Not only did they release it just before Easter, but the lyrics and the music are just horrible! The Gaga backlash lasted a second and then the song was gone. Thankfully. But I would love to point out the fact that Madonna released a sex book with her naked throughout most of it earlier in her career so…this is just as bad.