Showing posts with label Lily Allen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lily Allen. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The 100 Best Songs of 2014



1. Destination - Nickel Creek

2. Take Me to Church - Hozier

3. Boom Clap - Charli XCX

4. Uptown Funk - Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars

5. XO - Beyoncé

6. Kansas City - The New Basement Tapes

7. Say You Love Me - Jessie Ware

8. Blue Moon - Beck

9. Get Hurt - The Gaslight Anthem

10. Waiting Game - Banks

11. Mother and Father - Broods

12. Gotta Get Away - The Black Keys

13. Dearly Departed - Shakey Graves featuring Esmé Patterson

14. Keep It to Yourself - Kacey Musgraves

15. Understand - The Roots featuring Dice Raw and Greg Porn

16. Fever - The Black Keys

17. Supernova - Ray LaMontagne

18. Air Balloon - Lily Allen

19. If I Could Change Your Mind - Haim

20. Jungle - X Ambassadors and Jamie N Commons

21. Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran

22. Yellow Flicker Beat - Lorde

23. Blank Space - Taylor Swift

24. Bridges - Broods

25. Rollin' and Tumblin' - The Gaslight Anthem

26. Every Breaking Wave - U2

27. Bad Self Portraits - Lake Street Dive

28. Fall In Love - Phantogram

29. Beggin For Thread - Banks

30. I Blame Myself - Sky Ferreira

31. Brill Bruisers - The New Pornographers

32. Budapest - George Ezra

33. Gimme Something Good - Ryan Adams

34. Love Me Harder - Ariana Grande featuring The Weeknd

35. Our Time - Lily Allen

36. My Silver Lining - First aid Kit

37. I Wanna Get Better - Bleachers

38. Magic - Coldplay

39. Left Hand Free - Alt-J

40. Do You - Spoon

41. Right Time - Nikki Lane

42. Rabbit - Lily and Madeleine

43. The Heart - Needtobreathe

44. First Things First - Neon Trees

45. Hurt You - Toni Braxton and Babyface

46. Be Mine - Meiko

47. Hate To See Your Heart Break - Paramore featuring Joy Williams

48. Strong - London Grammar

49. Reflections - Misterwives

50. Ex's and Oh's - Elle King

51. I'm Not the Only One - Sam Smith

52. She Used to Love Me a Lot - Johnny Cash

53. Word Crimes - "Weird Al" Yankovic

54. Ain't It Fun - Paramore

55. Cecilia and the Satellite - Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness

56. Just One of the Guys - Jenny Lewis

57. Red Eyes- The War on Drugs

58. Diamond Eyes - Boyz II Men

59. The Wall - Willie Nelson

60. Kingdom - Common featuring Vince Staple

61. The Heart Wants What It Wants - Selena Gomez

62. This Is What It Feels Like - Banks

63. I Don't Want To Change You - Damien Rice

64. Let's Be Still - The Head and the Heart

65. Happy Idiot - TV on the Radio

66. Another Story - The Head and the Heart

67. Talk (Expletive Deleted), Get Shot - Body Count

68. Morning Song - The Avett Brothers

69. High Road - Mastodon

70. Something from Nothing - Foo Fighters

71. Never Gonna Change - Broods

72. The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone) - U2

73. Foil - "Weird Al" Yankovic

74. Automatic - Miranda Lambert

75. Don't - Ed Sheeran

76. Invisible - U2

77. Brain - Banks

78. L.A.F. - Broods

79. Back in the World - David Gray

80. Lazaretto - Jack White

81. Drowning - Banks

82. Girls - The 1975

83. Ink - Coldplay

84. Drive-in Movies - Ray LaMontagne

85. Riptide - Vance Joy

86. The Chamber - Lenny Kravitz

87. Paris - Magic Man

88. Stay With Me - Sam Smith

89. Light Will Keep Your Heart Beating in the Future - Mike Doughty

90. Tough Love - Jessie Ware

91. Let Her Down Easy - George Michael

92. Figure It Out - Royal Blood

93. I Hope This Whole Thing Didn't Frighten You - The Hold Steady

94. Shut Up and Dance - Walk the Moon

95. Somethin' Bad - Miranda Lambert with Carrie Underwood

96. Cool Kids - Echosmith

97. Wild - Royal Teeth

98. Stranger to My Happiness - Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

99. Girl In a Country Song - Maddie and Tae

100. Waking Light - Beck

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The 50 Best Music Videos of 2014



1. Girl in a Country Song - Maddie and Tae


2. Just One of the Guys - Jenny Lewis


3. My Song 5 - Haim featuring A$AP Ferg


4. Sweatpants - Childish Gambino featuring Problem


5. Word Crimes - "Weird Al" Yankovic


6. Our Time - Lily Allen

7. I Blame Myself - Sky Ferreira

8. Foil - "Weird Al" Yankovic

9. Blank Space - Taylor Swift

10. URL Badman - Lily Allen

11. Tacky - "Weird Al" Yankovic

12. The Writing's on the Wall - OK Go

13. Water Fountain - tUnE - yArDs

14. Break the Rules - Charli XCX

15. Air Balloon - Lily Allen

16. If I Could Change Your Mind - Haim

17. Yellow Flicka Beat - Lorde

18. Uptown Funk - Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars

19. Shesszus - Lily Allen

20. I Wanna Get Better - Bleachers

21. Magic - Coldplay

22. Talk (Expletive Deleted), Get Shot - Body Count

23. Something Bad - Miranda Lambert featuring Carrie Underwood

24. Ain't It Fun - Paramore

25. Girls Chase Boys - Ingrid Michaelson

26. Fever - The Black Keys

27. Desire - Meg Myers

28. Stay Awhile - She and Him

29. Shake it Off - Taylor Swift

30. Sing - Ed Sheeran

31. Make You Better - The Demberists

32. Let Her Down Easy - George Michael

33. Paris - Magic Man

34. Fancy - Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX

35. Katie Queen of Tennessee - The Apache Relay

36. Mission Statement - “Weird Al" Yankovic

37. The Walker - Fitz and the Tantrums

38. Think Out Loud - Ed Sheeran

39. Understand - The Roots featuring Dice Raw and Greg Porn

40. A Sky Full of Stars - Coldplay

41. Do You - Spoon

42. Habits (Stay High) - Tove Lo

43. Guilty All the Same - Linkin Park featuring Rakim

44. High Ball Stepper - Jack White

45. Don't - Ed Sheeran

46. Back to the Shack - Weezer

47. All Washed Out - Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

48. Heart Is a Drum - Beck

49. Headphones - Matt Nathanson featuring LoLo

50. Hayloft - Nickel Creek

Monday, July 28, 2014

I Want My Music Television: 7/28/14



There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.


URL Badman – Lily Allen


URL Badman was probably my least favorite song on the new Lily Allen album. As a wise man once said, you never beef down an d Lily going after lowly bloggers should be beneath her at this point. This is way I liked the more grown up Lily on Sheezus. But this may be the best music video with those freaky special effects.


Do You – Spoon


I am always fascinating with one-shot music video and the new Spoon one was looking like it was going to be one of the more boring ones (slow-mo also seems like creating in one shots). Then the Godzilla sized toddlers showed up at the end. Awesome.


Oblivion - Bastille


Who knew Sansa Stark could sing? Okay it is not the best song in the world. Bastille is pulling out the big guns in hopes of not being relegated to one hit wonder bin. I am not sure it will work, should have held out for Arya, but she is probably holding out for Coldplay to be in a brit-pop-rock music video.


Girl in a Country Song – Maddie and Tae


Country radio has never been that intellectually stimulating, but last year it came to a head at just how mind numbingly clichéd at just how the genre got when someone made a video how every hit talked about trucks, dirt roads to river beds at sunset, beer, and of course girls named “girl” in tight blue jeans (see Why Country Music Was Awful in 2013). To give you a sense of just how much Bro Country has taken control of country radio, there has not been a female to top the Billboard Country Airplay Chart by herself since November 2012 when Carrie Underwood did that (female featuring groups like The Band Perry and Lady Antebellum have topped the chart in the interim). Well, it took seven months after that video exposed all the clichés but the Bro Country backlash is finally starting. First in line are newcomers Maddie and Tae taking aim at the biggest country singers like Blake Shelton and Florida Georgia Line, not so subtlety referencing Bro Country’s biggest hits in their Girl in a Country Song. The song and video are fun, but not all together great or probably a game changer. But in its second week it did move up to number 45 on the Country Airplay chart.


Tuesday, May 06, 2014

And if You Can’t Detect the Sarcasm You’re Misunderstood



Sheezus - Lily Allen

When Beyoncé dropped her album late in December, I was hoping she would chance the promotional game. Promotional cycles have started so early, by the time an album is released; most people have already moved only the next big new thing. But realistically only about five artists these days could airdrop their album out of nowhere and be as successful as Beyoncé. Unfortunately Lily Allen is not one of them. Depressingly her biggest hit stateside is being sampled by T-Pain. None of her solo music has even cracked the top forty in America.

So her rollout has been a more traditional as she has released a new song every month since November. That is six of the fourteen songs that appear on Sheezus. And with only one song being released at a time it is easy to pick the songs apart. When she released Hard Out Here I was just so happy to have Lily Allen back in my life that I initially ignored its shortcomings. But after a couple weeks, I realized that the song just was not as good as the tongue and cheek music video. The auto-tune was annoying, the lyrics about the double standards have done much better and the bridge trying to reclaim the derogatory word for women by just repeating it again and again for the bridge just did not work.

The follow up Air Balloon worked better as it was a true return to form for Allen. It was a bouncy track was reminiscent of her first album but much more fun than snarky and was good despite a weird lyric about Kurt Cobain and Elvis. Then came L8 CMMR which was originally on the Girls Soundtrack. At the time it was released I was just hoping it was just something she gave to the television show because it was not good enough for the album but unfortunately popped up on the track list to Sheezus too when it was released.

Our Time continued the trend of one good, one lackluster song. It is a more chill song than she has ever done, a just kick back and relax type of song. Then we got to hear the title track and to call it lackluster would be nice. Sure the M.I.A. type track sounded cool, but the lyrics about having a period was just embarrassing while the chorus was clunky where it is unclear if she is praising the likes of Rihanna and Lorde or burying Katy Perry and Lady Gaga (which she rhymes with LOLO ha ha). Maybe worst of all, Yeezus himself Kanye West gets nary a mention on the track.

The rest of Sheezus follows the trend of switching between good and uninspiring. You can really split the songs into the two camps with the songs where she tries to be her old snarky self not living up to her previous work while the more “grown up” tracks are much better. On former side there are songs like URL Badman (which is a worse title than L8 CMMR) and its pseudo dubstep breakdown that just do not work. While on the flip side a song like Take My Place and Close Your Eyes (which may be the most awkward slow jam ever… and I mean that in a good way) are dreamy throwbacks to mellower seventies. Insincerely Yours actually splits the difference with more boring snarky comments with a backing track that would not have been out of place on Solid Gold. Then As Long as I Got You is a more uplifting version of Not Fair but this time she co-opts zydeco music instead of country.

Lily Allen stormed the public consciousness on a wave of retro music that still managed to sound modern, which was copied by Amy Winehouse and Adele, and lyrics dipped in a heavy dose of, which was copied by every female rapper since. Three albums in and that stark it getting a little stale. Yet the highlights of Sheezus show Allen at her most mature or most vulnerable like on the very sweet cover of Somewhere Only We Know. Hopefully on future albums, Lily does not force the snark because that was her claim to fame in her early years because her growth on this album can sustain a full album down the line.

Song to Download – Our Time

Sheezus gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I Want My Music Television: 4/29/14



There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.


Sheezus – Lily Allen


Lily Allen’s new song is cool in a M.I.A. kind of way with a freaky music video, but Lily, no one wants to hear about your period. No one.


Marilyn Monroe - Pharrell Williams


Oh Pharrell, the hat was a good way to grab attention at the Grammy’s, but after you sold it to Arby’s, that should have been it, going with different colors of the same hat is being to be a bad look. And what is with the random Kelly Osbourne sighting in the video?


First Things First – Neon Trees


I was thoroughly underwhelmed by the latest Neon Trees album as a whole. First Things First did not stand out when I listened to it in the context of the album, but now hearing it outside the context of the album, I like it much more than the other singles released from it. Plus the video does a really god job creating a connection with the band.


Hello Kitty - Avril Lavigne


Just last week I was mentioning that if something if someone claims something is not racist, I am inclined to go into it assuming that it is racist. Avril Lavigne set off an internet firestorm with accusations of racism with her new video so much that it was actually pulled for a short time. Stupidly someone put it back up, not because it is overtly racist (she is not doing anything that Gwen Stefani did a decade ago for a whole album cycle) but because the video, racist or not, and song may be the most embarrassing someone posted this year.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The 5 Most Anticipated Albums of Spring 2014



Beyoncé changed the game late last year dropping a visual album out of nowhere on a Thursday night about a week before Christmas. But that change looks to be slow because most of the albums released early this year were announced at least a month in advance aside the new Kid Cudi album (which went as quickly as it came) and Skrillex whose new album drops today after just announcing it last week. Granted there are still plenty of names that are supposedly at work at a new album that could break the internet much like Mrs. Carter (considering they just teamed back up at SXSW, could a second Watch the Throne album be far behind) like Adele and Taylor Swift. Here are some albums that will not be air dropping out of nowhere over the next couple months since they already have hard release dates. Click in the artists name to be taken to their iTunes page and the album tile or cover art to pre-order on Amazon.


1. Sheezus – Lily Allen (May 5): Forget Yeezus, 2014 will be the year of Sheezus. After teasing new songs for the past four months, Lily Allen finally announced her comeback album which will feature the previously released Hard Out Here, Air Balloon, L8 CMMR, Out Time (as well as the Somewhere Only We Know cover on the Bonus Track Version). I am most interested in the title track, if it is half as good as her takedown of Window Shopper’s Window Shopper off her debut, it will be a great start for the new album.

2. Ghost Stories – Coldplay (May 19): The band has always been considered the poppier version of Radiohead, but it still came as a shock when their first new music was the non-pop song Midnight which sounded like Radiohead by way of Bon Iver. A week later the released a more conventional Magic but with its throbbing bass and drum machine mixed with Chris Martin not in falsetto, it still was one of the least Coldplay songs the band has ever recorded it. It should be interesting to hear what the rest of the album sound like, will they be pushing their limits even further or is the rest what we have come to expect from the band?

3. A Dotted Line – Nickel Creek (April 1): 2013 was the year of the reunion and that has seeped into 2014 with the first new album from the Afghan Whigs in sixteen years and Outkast headlining basically every festival this summer. I am more interested in the reunited Nickel Creek who will be putting out the first album in almost ten years. Where most reunion albums are just an excuse to go on a more profitable reunion tour, the album's first single Destination is as good as anything in the band’s library.

4. Supernova – Ray LaMontagne (May 6): Ray started out as the folk guy but on his last album he recruited a full band for a fuller sound and produced the album himself. The Pariah Dogs are sitting the new album out and benched himself when it came to production. Instead The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach is doing the producing the album and if first single, and title track, are indication, Ray is going for a seventies pop-rock vibe.

5. TBA – U2: This album should be higher on the list but it is becoming more and more unclear just when we are going to hear the first U2 album since 2009. When they dropped Invisible during the Super Bowl, a spring or summer released seemed inevitable, but after the song was met with a resounding, “eh” it was reported by Billboard that the album and tour would be pushed back to 2015 and they would go back into the studio with Ryan Tedder (ugg) and Paul Epworth (Adele). But that story was refuted by a spokesman for the band who said, “U2’s album is planned for this year, is still on track and touring plans haven’t been confirmed yet.” Though still no date, or even timeframe was given. So maybe there will be a U2 album this year, but maybe not until the holiday season. Maybe after all this gossip, maybe they will just end up Beyoncing the album just before Christmas.


Here is a list of more albums coming out this spring that will at the very least worth a spin on Spotify.

Today
Symphonica – George Michael
SupermodelFoster the People
Good Road to FollowJohn Oates
Sex and Love (Deluxe)Enrique Iglesias
The Muppets Most Wanted

March 25
Out Among The StarsJohnny Cash (Lost 80’s Album)
Shakira. - Shakira
Teeth DreamsThe Hold Steady
About Last NightSleeper Agent
This Is What I DoBoy George
ColouristThe Colourist
Night SongsBarry Manilow
Rio 2: Music From the Motion Picture
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (40th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition)Elton John
Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia: Live at The WonderThe Dandy Warhols (first live album)

April 1
Himalayan – Band of Skulls
Life JourneyLeon Russell
CopeManchester Orchestra
The Infamous Mobb Deep – Mobb Deep
Education, Education, Education & WarKaiser Chiefs

April 8
DuetsLinda Ronstadt
Pure FictionEric Hutchinson

April 15
Rivers in the Wasteland - Needtobreathe
Do to the BeastThe Afghan Whigs
Make My Head Sing - Jessica Lea Mayfield
Lights OutIngrid Michaelson
Fools Gold – Duck Sauce
Boys Night OutThe Oak Ridge Boys (first live album in 37 years)
Illmatic XXIllmatic XX - Nas (twentieth anniversary rerelease)

April 22
Pop PsychologyNeon Trees
Food - Kelis
Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver EverettEels
SugarG. Love & Special Sauce
Shine On – Dwight & Nicole

April 29
Most Messed Up – Old 97's
Everyday RobotsDamon Albarn
Phosphorescent Harvest – Chris Robinson Brotherhood
ShriekWye Oak
Song in My HeadThe String Cheese Incident

May 6
Shine OnSarah McLachlan
Natalie MerchantNatalie Merchant
I Never LearnLykke Li
Nikki NackTune-Yards

May 13
Blue SmokeDolly Parton
Everything’s Corrupt – Ice Cube

May 20
Upside Down Mountain – Conor Oberst
California BreedCalifornia Breed
A Matter Of Trust The Bridge To Russia: The Deluxe Edition (2CD/Blu-ray)Billy Joel

May 27
Are We There - Sharon Van Etten

June 3
Platinum – Miranda Lambert
Road BetweenLucy Hale
Superunknown (20th Anniversary - Remastered CD) - Soundgarden

June 10
Manslaughter – Body Count

TBD
Plectrumelectrum – Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL
A Letter Home – Neil Young
You’re Welcome – De La Soul
4:13 Dream – The Cure
B.O.A.T.S. III – 2 Chainz
World Peace Is None of Your Business - Morrissey
AC/DC
Adele
Better Than Ezra
Bleachers
Charlie Wilson
D12
Deftones
Ed Sheeran
Florence + The Machine
The Gaslight Anthem
Grimes
The Jacksons
Jay-Z
Jenny Lewis
Jewel
Kendrick Lamar
Linkin Park
Miguel
Phoenix
Raphael Saadiq
Rihanna
Spoon
Taylor Swift

Let me end with the obligatory this may be the quarter when Dr. Dre finally releases Detox.