Saturday, December 31, 2011

BEST OF 2011: best songs #1-25




#1-25 (the youtube player has all the videos above in a playlist, press >> for the next song)
1. Rihanna feat Calvin Harris – We Found Love
[there's no doubt that this is wholly a calvin harris production, but it's riri's melancholic vocals over his drowning beats that bring this club tune to the top of my 2011 list. i haven't felt so elated and yet kind of bummed out at the same time in ages...maybe cause it's a running theme of my year? screw it, lets dance!]

2. Ed Sheeran – Lego House / The A Team
[the storytelling abilities of young ed is made only more impressive with the fact that his knack for strong melodies and shaggy presentation crossed over into the UK mainstream in a BIG way this year. proof that there is still love for the singer/songwriter in this day and age. easily my favorite debut artist of the year!]

3. Beyonce – Countdown / Who Runs The World (Girls)
[none of her songs became zeitgeist hits this year. instead they filtered down slowly to where people kind of had to discover songs from '4' on their own (it didn't help that every week there was a new single released to crowd the market). but when they did discover the tunes, boy was it fun. some would probably highlight the more mid tempo/ballad aspects of the album, but for me, these two tracks were the ultimate zig zag messed up tunes that just kept on giving with each listen. genius!]

4. Nicki Minaj – Super Bass
[when a 5 year old can sing along to your music, you know you've hit the jackpot! like a boom ba doom boom superbass jackpot!]

5. Emeli Sande – Heaven / Daddy
[brit awards critics choice for 2012 deserves all the accolades she's been getting over the past few months as one of UK's most sought after songwriters AND a dynamic voice in the charts today. perhaps it's the heavily influenced massive attack soul structure that makes me love her so much, but whatever my reasons, she came up with two seriously strong songs for the year and i can't wait to hear a proper album from emeli in 2012!]  

6. Lana Del Rey – Video Games
[my personal issues with the lana del rey 'creation' aside, this haunting song is just brilliant on it's own merit.]

7. The Wanted – Glad You Came
[during birthday 2011 (yes i title my birthday's) this song easily became the theme song for the month long experience (yes i celebrate in month form). what would have been in my guilty pleasure list, got the wanted a hot slot in my top 10! oh and it helps that the song is so cheesy good!]

8. James Blake – Wilhelm Scream / A Case of You (Joni Mitchell cover)
[if you didn't discover james blake during 2011, then you certainly missed out on the james blake experience. if you don't know what that means, then plug your headphones in your player, press play for the above two tracks, close your eyes and let your heart break. sigh.]

9. Maverick Sabre – Let Me Go
[the UK is pumping out these amazing rapper/vocalists (or is it a vocalist/rappers) these days (thanks to success of plan b in 2010) and maverick was easily the one that got the most traction. with this awesome song, i feel like we've only hit the tip of his potential talents. more in 2012 yo!]

10. The Vaccines – If You Wanna / Wetsuit
[something about the vaccines that makes me love them so! maybe it's their self proclaimed love of "50's rock 'n' roll, 60's garage and girl groups, 70's punk, 80's american hardcore and good pop music". easily my fave indie band of the year!]

11. Adele – Rumor Has It / Set Fire To The Rain / Rolling In The Deep (Jamie XX shuffle)
[you're probably wondering how is it possible that adele didn't rank higher on the chart and the reason is that 'rolling in the deep' and 'someone like you' actually was my #5 of last years (unpublished) chart. so the above tracks were the only ones eligible for 2011... and boy were they dramatic ones! throw in the amazing jamie xx shuffle of 'rolling' and you've got adele representing very nicely at #11!]

12. Gotye feat Kimbra – Somebody That I Used To Know
[the most bitter breakup song of the year is also the most whimsical and most australian (their song of the year yo!)]

13. Ben Howard – The Fear / Keep Your Head Up / Old Pine
[my favorite folkie singer/songwriter of the year offered up the amazing 'every kingdom' album filled with sweet gentle tracks and uplifting lyrics that also offered images of dreamy escapism. if there is any soundtrack to fit your rural farm to table outdoors lifestyle, THIS is it! love this guy!]

14. SBTRKT feat Roses Gabor - Pharoahs
[though this isn't the track that got sbtrkt their critical props, it IS the track that got my dance loving, neck boppin head rolling. if there is such a thing of hipster house, then this would be their 2011 anthem!]

15. The Civil Wars – Barton Hallow / Poison & Wine
[joy williams and john paul white are harmonizing monsters! their brand of americana meets country meets AC balladry is a cross genre success story for the year. with a debut so phenomenal and assured, one can only imagine what the next 12 months will be like for this talented duo.]

16. Pistol Annies – Hell On Heels
[who'd have thought that miranda lambert and her two gal pals ashley monroe and angaleena presley would make one of the best down and dirty sassy country blues tracks of the year. when their three part harmonies collide, these gals are definitely dangerous in both feminine swagger and earthy confidence... and i LOVE that!]  

17. Little Dragon – Ritual Union
[there's something about the mellow intensity of these swedes that just draws you in and keeps you there. perhaps it's the cool demeanor of lead singer yukimi nagano or the intricate electronica playing in the background. whatever the reason it sure is hypnotic and brilliant!]

18. Foster The People – Pumped Up Kicks
[how could you not love this massive pop crossover indie track?]

19. The Milk – (All I Wanted Was) Danger
[i have to admit that i discovered this essex band via the amazing record of the day website. at the time, i knew nothing of these guys except for the fact that they wrote killer retro soul tracks and the lead singer could surely belt. fast forward to this month and the band just announced their signage to a major label which means you'll be hearing ALOT more of these guys in 2012!]

20. Nicola Roberts – Lucky Day / Beat of My Drum
['the ginge one' from girls aloud stepped up to the plate and offered an album full of left of center pop gems. though the public didn't appreciate it as much, nicola roberts sure surprised and entertained the rest of us who did.]

21. Florence and the Machine – Shake It Off
[in 2011, flo reached a point in her career where she not only got the love of the fashion elite, but confirmed her standing as a tremendous live stage presence. unfortunately her 2nd album 'ceremonials' was kind of meh and the only track that matched her larger than life machine was this epic one. shame really...]

22. Cher Lloyd feat Mike Posner – With UR Love
[cutesy never sounded so good! x-factor UK alum cher lloyd offered one of the catchiest pop tracks of the year and still threw us some stank face in the process. i kind of love her!]

23. Azealia Banks - 212
[this gal is going to be HUGE in 2012! azealia manages to front nasty and yet still come off as a sassy gal with a twinkle in her eye. i can't get enough of this track and you shouldn't too!]

24. Michael Kiwanuka – I’m Getting Ready / Home Again
[there is something so simple and comforting from the very second you hear michael's vocals. with his acoustic soul made better with lush orchestrations, the kiwanuka effect is akin to curling up under your fave blanket and feeling wonderful. le sigh...]

25. Metronomy – The Bay
[this slice of chilled disco electronica was easily THE soundtrack for sunset getaways and lazy waterfront dreaming. if there's ever been an excuse to kick back and just soak it all up, it is now!]

HAPPY NEW YEAR!: zooey deschanel & joseph gordon levitt - what are you doing new years eve




zooey deschanel & joseph gordon levitt - what are you doing new years eve
[happy new years folks!]

Thursday, December 29, 2011

BEST OF 2011: best songs #26-50





#26-50 (the youtube player has all the videos above in a playlist, press >> for the next song)
26. Jessie J – Nobody’s Perfect / Abracadabra / Domino
[though i'm a fan of the jessie j, i do feel that the hard selling of this talented artist (the harsh image, the overproduced videos, the way she sings so hard live that she goes sharp) has turned me against her by the end of the year (but still not enough to showcase three wonderful highlights from her album). it's a shame cause this girl can be great... she just needs to tone it down a notch!]

27. Bombay Bicycle Club – Lights Out, Words Gone
[featuring the lovely harmony of lucy rose, this dreamy indie pop number has a disarmingly mature groove underneath that showcases just how solid their music really is. brilliant!]

28. Young The Giant – Cough Syrup / My Body
[what a wonderful debut from this irvine, cali band! lead singer sameer gadhia has a killer caberet-esque quality to his vocals that draws you in instantly. throw in the fact that they write incredibly catchy hooks and you've got one of the better new acts of the year.]

29. Rizzle Kicks – Mama Do The Hump
[you gotta give it up to the rizzle kicks boys as they cranked out one sweet gem after another in 2011 (they also collaborated very nicely to #1 with olly murs). but it was this norman cook (fatboy slim) produced number that made the best impression... i mean they even got their mum's to perform in the video! do the hump mama!]

30. Maroon 5 feat Christina Aguilera – Moves Like Jagger
[one of the peppiest songs of the year reminded us that both maroon 5 and christina still had it in them to be a part of the pop zeitgeist. it was instant love during the summer and remained a crowd pleaser for the rest of 2011]

31. David Guetta feat Sia - Titanium
[though david guetta had alot of solid collaborations on his hit friendly album 'nothing but the beat', it was this awesome number with the always smashing sia that kicked them all to the curb. i'm a sucker for defiant anthems and this one really made the cut for 2011!]

32. Wretch 32 feat Josh Kimbra – Don’t Go
[my fave british rapper of the year, wretch 32 not only brought grime into the mainstream but still managed to produce this beautiful mid tempo breakup ballad to the top of the UK charts. sweetness!]

33. Calvin Harris – Feel So Close / feat Kelis - Bounce
[calvin just cranks out the hits doesn't he? producing smart dance songs that also translate to the top of the charts, this DJ/producer made a massive impact in 2011, but more on that in the next half of my year end list!]

34. Lady Antebellum – We Owned The Night
[if there is any such thing as a 'stadium' song for lady antebellum, this is it. three part harmonies, bygone lyrics and a sentiment that just asks for collective 'whoa'-ing at the end!]

35. Professor Green feat Emeli Sande – Read All About It
[emeli's part in this massive hit is easily my favorite vocal hook of the year! but as for professor green's lyrics about his daddy... i don't really have any strong opinion about it. oh well, back to emeli! i wanna sing... i wanna shooooout...]
 
36. M83 – Midnight City
[anthony gonzalez really knows how to make shoegaze electronica with a strong nod to the 80's! the layers of vocals and riffs is just one of the most glorious sounds of the year. love!]

37. Robyn – Call Your Girlfriend
[robyn is the only electro dance diva that comes up with lyrics that is filled with such yearning. she ruled the 'best of' list (#1 yo!)  last year and then came back in june with this insta-love experience! desperation never sounded so good!]

38. Joe Goddard feat Valentina - Gabriel
[just like hot chip member joe goddard to throw down beats and grooves to make valentina's vocals into a house anthem with lo-fi leanings. genius!]

39. Switch feat Andrea Martin – I Still Love You
[a heartbreaking soulful song wrapped around a minimalist beat and yelp loop made this song into one of the saddest club tracks of the year. brilliant]

40. Kanye West and Jay Z – Niggas in Paris
[the back track is so balls hard that shit crazy! easily my fave track from their solid 'watch the throne' album.]

41. Amy Winehouse – Our Day Will Come
[sigh... we miss you amy]

42. Nero feat Alana - Promises
[easily my fave crossover dubstep track of the year due to the awesome waawaawaa bass line that kicks in during the chorus. solid!]

43. Sugarland and Matt Nathanson – Run / Tonight
[jennifer nettles is one of my favorite female vocalists around at the moment and i openly claim my love for sugarland and everything she does. so there!]

44. Lianne La Havas – Age / Final Form (Everything Everything cover)
[many of us fell in love with lianne's jazzy vocal sway on jools holland with the confident simplicity of her 'age' performance. so much so that i have strong anticipation for 2012 when lianne will show us just how potentially incredible her talents will be. bring it!]
 
45. James Vincent McMorrow – Higher Love (Steve Winwood cover)
[nothing like folkie james to bring back the love to this steve winwood classic. simply beautiful.]

46. Kelly Clarkson – What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)
[one of pop strongest voices returned this year with this solid dance rock electro disco mash anthem. try not to fist bump to this when you hear it at your next bar mitzfah/wedding/top 40 party!]

47. Laura Marling - Sophia
[oh laura... fast becoming the folk voice of our generation... finally finding the confidence in her music to create something so very 'laura marling'. the gut feeling is that the next album will be the definitive example of her true talents, this is just a teaser.]

48. Washed Out – Amor Fati
[chill out 80's electronica made all the better with the accompanying journeyman video shot entirely in iceland. just so dreamy!!]

49. Birdy – Skinny Love (Bon Iver cover) / White Winter Hymnal (Fleet Foxes cover)
[at only 16, young birdy offered up a collection of indie covers with sparse arrangements and haunting innocent vocals. an obvious marketing hook, but yet worked quite lovely in the long run.]

50. Flux Pavillion and Doctor P – Supabad / Bass Cannon
[bringing the stankface to the mainstream! i LOVE the breakdowns of flux pavillion, heck they even make 70's blacksploitation stankface cool!]

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

NEW LANA DEL REY!: lana del rey - yayo



lana del rey - yayo
[i was going to write off lana after my meh feelings for her last viral release 'off to the races', but 'born to run' is growing on me and now lana goes and offers up this beautiful number that's a few years old (and not confirmed for the debut album). argh...i'm so torn!]

WONGIE DEMO OF THE WEEK: the xx - open eyes (demo)




the xx - open eyes (demo)
[as the xx are still in the studio working on their long anticipated follow up, they offered their fans a bit of an xmas gift with a brand spanking new demo giving us just a peek into the direction of their new album. it's haunting and gorgeous and i can't wait to hear more in the coming months!!]

Monday, December 26, 2011

BEST OF 2011: guilty pleasures #1-10




1. Britney Spears – Til The World Ends
[here's the deal, even though this is a britney track that she probably read into a machine, the end result is still a solid club track that proved skanky kesha is secretly a talented songwriter that can crank out hooks with the best of them. best guilty pleasure of the year and i'm proud to admit to that!]

2. Pixie Lott – All About Tonight
[i literally sang "i bought a new pair of shoooooooes........" in my best ethel merman voice for a good month when i found myself loving this dance pop ditty that only a middle aged auntie would love. F... am i now a middle aged auntie?]

3. The Saturdays – All Fired Up
[no matter how much i mocked this stupid club song (it's literally made up of ONLY 'club slangs'), i still found myself bopping along to it at all times of the day. it beat me down people... and i'm all fired up for it!]

4. Katy Perry – The One That Got Away
[to be perfectly honest, this song is wonderful enough to make it onto the main 'best of...' list. it's just that i couldn't find placement anywhere on my large chart (you'll see). hence this sentimental gem got shafted to the sidebar, kind of apropos with it's title really...] 

5. One Direction – Gotta Be You / What Makes You Beautiful
[the runner up best boyband of the year (though i'm sure loads of tween gals will disagree) bring on the goods with two very easy on the ears tracks that i definitely would listen ONLY in the confines of my ipod or singing in the shower. "cause it's gotta be yooooooouuuuuuuuu!" oh wait, you can hear that? crap...]

6. Ke$ha - Blow
[skank queen kesha brings on a surprisingly genius solid club track that definitely doesn't blow. i still feel like i picked up a venereal disease after listening to it, but at least i had fun doing it!]

7. JLS - Take A Chance On Me / She Makes Me Wanna (feat Dev)
[the JLS boys join in on the eurotrash pop with their 'she makes me wanna' gem (heck even 2011 guilty pleasure mainstay dev makes an appearance) then switch it up with the mid tempo cheesey brilliance of 'take a chance on me'! solid pop output makes for a great year for these boys!]

8. Alexis Jordan – Good Girl
[how alexis goes from coy to a full on dramatic plead is pretty impressive for anyone looking for a girlfriend from hell. all ingredients for the perfect guilty pleasure if you ask me!]

9. Dev – Dancing In The Dark
[the genius with this track is how it starts off guido thumpalicious and turns into a miami club track instead. the fact that i love it so much tells me that i am trashy on multiple levels! sweet!]

10. 2ne1 – I Am The Best
[with a crazy ass video and a hook ridden sassy track to boot, 2ne1 is probably one of the few kpop acts that will do the crossover into english language radio. PLUS, these gals look like they would cut you if you pissed them off in an alley (which makes me kind of love them even more)!]

Sunday, December 25, 2011

VIRAL SENSATION: alex day - forever yours





alex day - forever yours
[showing that the power of the online world can now break music acts, musician (and doctor who uberfan) alex day offered up his latest DIY pop ditty 'forever yours' for a shot at the UK xmas #1 last week. by word of mouth via twitter, a cute dorky video on youtube and some serious facebooking, the song not only sold 50,000 copies on itunes but also ended up as the #4 song for the official UK xmas chart! all this without record labels or radio to push it there. a dawn of a new era? i'm in!]

BEST OF 2011: guilty pleasures #11-20





11. Olly Murs feat Rizzle Kicks – Heart Skips A Beat / Dance With Me Tonight
[alot of my newfound love of olly murs stems from his co-hosting gig on the UK xtra factor. his affable demeanor and catchy retro pop sound is just too crowd pleasing to ignore!]

12. Chris Brown feat Benny Bennasi – Beautiful People / Chris Brown feat Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes – Look At Me Now
[the open club silliness of 'beautiful people' is just too brilliant to ignore. with a pulsating beat and preposterous lyrics about inner beauty, it's definitely a gem unto itself! flip side to 'look at me now' and chris brown turns into a swagger filled lyrical hoodlum with the help of busta and lil wayne. the end result is two diverse sides to a fabulous coin that deserves props for 2011]

13. Bruno Mars – It Will Rain
[it's probably the most overproduced, over the top, oversung ballad of the year and yet it still managed to be one of the best cheesy songs o the year. bravo!!!]

14. Lady Gaga – The Edge of Glory
[to be honest, i love this song cause i sound like a real dude when singing this at karaoke. (fist pump) alright! alright! alright!]

15. Labrinth feat Tinie Tempah – Earthquake
[the best bassline for a pop song i've heard all year also has the stupidest lyrics about earthquakes and bombs and groundbreakers. it's rare that one can offer stank face grooves and still be awesomely silly in one go. brilliant!]

16. LMFAO – I’m Sexy And I Know It
[i love that the lmfao guys are basically a club clown act and own it (plus they work out!). wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle yeah!]

17. Nicole Scherzinger – Don’t Hold Your Breath / Right There
[nicole offered two perfectly derivative songs for the year and proved that if you pay big bucks for strong songs you will be part of the music landscape... no matter how meh you are in real life!]

18. Cobra Starship feat Sabi – You Make Me Feel
[it's just so damm catchy... i have no other reason!]

19. Pitbull feat Neyo, Afrojack and Nayer – Give Me Everything
[i'm convinced that the lyric is 'grab somebody sexy time so hey!']

20. Gym Class Heroes feat Adam Levine – Stereo Hearts
[every time i hear a GCH track it takes me ages to admit that i like it. throw in the fact that i'm lukewarm about adam levine and well... it's only taken me til the end of the year to admit that this is a solid pop song for the guilty pleasure section]

Saturday, December 24, 2011

WONGIE COVER OF THE WEEK: james blake - a case of you (joni mitchell cover)




james blake - a case of you (joni mitchell cover)
[oh my gosh, this heartbreaking joni mitchell classic gets a haunting melancholy translation by the incredible james blake. with a wonderful video by seb edwards, featuring actress rebecca hall in typical bipolar fabulousness when actresses star in videos, the end result is a hypnotic cover that just asks to be played on repeat.]


DANCE BITCH DANCE: redlight feat nicole jackson - get out of my head






redlight feat nicole jackson - get out of my head
[i love how this track throws together classic 90's piano house and early rave in one go, all the while giving it a current uk funky feel. it's kind of genius really!]

WONGIE DANCE SONG OF THE WEEK: david guetta feat sia - titanium




david guetta feat sia - titanium
[easily my favorite song from his nothing but the beat album, this cool video plays like an x-men origins storyline (starring super 8 actor ryan lee) with nary a shot of either musical collaborator in sight (does a drawing of david in the school hallway count?). nevertheless, this falls under one of my fave dance tracks of the year and i'm super excited it's getting a proper release!]


WHY UK X FACTOR IS BETTER: little mix - cannonball




little mix - cannonball (uk x factor winners)
[first of all, these lil muffins (tulisa's words, not mine) went from soloist to group act to underdogs to breaking the curse of the girl groups to eventual x-factor winners (a first for any group in the series). not only that but their solid work ethic showed week in week out AND no one seemed to throw a stroppy diva fit off camera. add to the fact that their big official single is a classic damien rice number and you have the ingredients for a respectable future girl band. i'm in!]

NEW CHER LLOYD!: cher lloyd - want u back / dub on the track (feat mic righteous, dot rotten and ghetts)




cher lloyd - want u back
[two new items from cher lloyd. to be honest, when she first came out with the horrendous 'swagger jagger' back in july, i was ready to write her off. but since then cher has proven that she's got a few pop tricks up her sleeve and we like it! please note: the new video is going to premiere in a few hours, but i figured i'd jump the gun and offer up the track for you to enjoy first!]


cher lloyd feat mic righteous, dot rotten and ghetts - dub on the track (sb.tv)
[oooh cher is hard yo! ok maybe not so much, but girl can defo do stank face with the best of them!]

NEW FOSTER THE PEOPLE!: foster the people - don't stop (color on the walls)




foster the people - don't stop (color on the walls)
[it's nice to know that foster the people have gotten so big that they can now get celebs like gabourey sidibe to co-star in their video and do crazy stunts AND throw in a tender cop love moment to boot! sweetness!]

Friday, December 23, 2011

WONGIE POP SONG OF THE WEEK: kelly clarkson - stronger (what doesn't kill you)






kelly clarkson - stronger (what doesn't kill you)
[aw... kelly started a flash mob! love the song, love her, love love!]

NEW LANA DEL REY!: lana del rey - born to die / off to the races




lana del rey - born to die
[draaaaaaaaaaama!!!!! no matter what i think of her new songs, team del rey sure know how to present the girl in epic cinematic form!]


lana del rey - off to the races
[um... ok... if you like this random song, you can get it for free now!]

HOT SOUNDTRACK: jonsi - gathering stories (we bought a zoo OST)




jonsi - gathering stories (we bought a zoo OST)
[earnestness got itself a hipster soundtrack fully scored by jonsi!]

WONGIE SONG OF THE WEEK: taylor swift feat the civil wars - safe & sound (the hunger games OST)




taylor swift feat the civil wars - safe & sound (the hunger games OST)
[oh this is a wonderful gift! not only does taylor showcase a non-surprise face adult track, but she's got the amazing civil wars in on the glorious harmonies. a definite treat AND a tease of what may be a kick ass soundtrack for the upcoming film!]

VIDEO PREMIERE: rihanna - you da one




rihanna - you da one
[just in case you didn't know what area she's referring to in the song, riri shows you exactly where she wants it! happy xmas everyone!]

Monday, December 12, 2011

WONGIE'S MUSIC WORLD ON BREAK THIS WEEK!

hey fans of wongie's music world, i'm taking a break this week! so check out my previous postings and remember to come back over the weekend when i get back from my mini vacation!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

WONGIE XMAS: kelly clarkson - i'll be home for christmas




kelly clarkson - i'll be home for christmas
[ms kelly just nails it perfectly! her voice is goosebumpingly great!]

WONGIE XMAS: the raveonettes - the christmas song




the raveonettes - the christmas song
[though the raveonettes recorded this xmas track back in 2001, they are finally officially releasing the song this year. loving the wall of sound!]

Friday, December 09, 2011

WONGIE POP SONG OF THE WEEK: diana vickers - music to make the boys cry



diana vickers - music to make the boys cry
[gosh fridays are really turning into a treasure trove of music! x-factor UK alum diana vickers offers up a wonderfully catchy new tune to tease her upcoming album. as you can hear, it's a synth-tastic pop ditty that just makes you smile and swoon and wish you had a bag of happy glitter sitting next to you.]

WONGIE SONG OF THE WEEK: goldfrapp - yellow halo




goldfrapp - yellow halo
[oh my gosh, how much can i love this song? as part of 2 new tracks for their upcoming greatest hits collection, this video was shot entirely in south america on an iphone! sit back and let this song caress you on this chilly friday afternoon!]

NEW MIIKE SNOW!: miike snow - devil's work




miike snow - devil's work
[though this isn't an official single, it is a taster of what to expect from their upcoming as yet untitled album. based on this track alone, it'll be lush!!! i can't wait to hear more!]

NEW KARMIN!: karmin - crash your party




karmin - crash your party
[viral sensation karmin just released their 1st major label single to the masses, and it sure is catchy and busy! i'm hoping things will tone down in other releases, but right now it's hella mess (but then again maybe their younger fans like that kind of stuff)]