Showing posts with label Rhymefest. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rhymefest. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

50 Best Albums of 2006

This year I was able to give a listen and review almost all the albums thanks to the record companies doing something right for the first time in years by letting fans listen to albums even before they are released. So here are the best albums I heard this year. And where most other music blogs unroll their best albums of the list full with artist you have never heard of, here is my list of pretentious free albums (okay the list is actually only 82% pretentious free, just had to put the Artic Monkeys on my list). Click on the album to buy the album in iTunes. If you like feeling the CD in your hands check out this list at My Amazon Store (including last year's list). Also if you want to read my orginal review, click the link below the album's name. Agree with my list? Disagree? Feel free to list your favorite albums of the in the comment section:

1. Continuum - John Mayer
It's Not a Silly Little Moment, it's Not the Storm Before the Calm

2. Eye to the Telescope - KT Tunstall
Her Face Is the Map of the World

3. We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions - Bruce Springsteen
Oh Mary Don't You Weep

4. Eyes Open - Snow Patrol
The Final Word in the Final Sentence

5. Taking the Long Way - Dixie Chicks
It's Been Two Long Years Now Since the Top of the World Came Crashing Down

6. Stand Still, Look Pretty - The Wreckers
The Radio's Playing Old Country Songs

7. American V: The Hundred Highways - Johnny Cash
He Said "John Go Do My Will"

8. The Believer - Rhett Miller
Sex in Wartime Is Sweeter Than Peace

9. Modern Times - Bob Dylan
Sing a Little Bit of These Workingman Blues

10. Blue Collar - Rhymefest
Who Rapper You Know Before His Album Drop Is a Grammy Winner

11. 9 - Damien Rice
She May Rise if I Lay You Down

12. Once Again - John Legend
Tonight I Wanna Groove and Let the Music Make You Move

13. Nothing Left to Lose - Mat Kearney
All I Had Was Just a Vision, All I Had Was My Ambition

8. Whatever They Say I Am I'm Not - Artic Monkeys
(Never Goot Around to Reviewing, Sorry)

15. Hip Hop Is Dead - Nas
If You Asking Why IS Hip Hop Dead There's a Pretty Good Chance You're the Reason it Died

16. Corinne Bailey Rae - Corinne Bailey Rae
Girl Go Ahead Let Your Hair Down

17. Broken Boy Soldier - The Raconteurs
You've Found a Friend That Knows You Well

18. The Road to Escondido - J.J. Cale & Eric Clapton
If You Can't Hear the Music, Turn it up Loud

19. Stadium Arcadium - Red Hot Chili Peppers
California Show Your Teeth

20. Game Theory - The Roots
I'll Make it Hotter Than Shaft in Africa

21. Bleeding Heart Graffiti - Nina Gordon
I Will Sing This Song and All My Friends Will Sing Along

22. The Greatest - Cat Power
No Wind or Waterfall Could Stop Me

23. Ten - Brian McKnight
When Was the Last Time You Were Truely Satisfied

24. Living with War - Neil Young
Let's Impeach the President for Lying

25. Like Blood for Honey - Holly Brook
Though I'm Young and Cynical it's Not My Only Crime

26. Love Their Country - Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
Yippee-I-Yay Yippee-I-Yo

27. Who I Am - Alice Peacock
Trust the Power in My Voice

28. Acoustic Extravaganza - KT Tunstall
I Don't Have to Raise My Voice

29. High & Mighty - Gov't Mule
Musings From the Back 9: Music Edition II

30. Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam
If I Keep Holding Out Will the Light Shine Through

31. Food & Liqour - Lupe Fiasco
Come in Hip-Hop We've Come to Resurrect You

32. Both Sides of the Gun - Ben Harper
The Only Songs to Sing Are Those Sung Again

33. Highway Companion - Tom Petty
If You Don't Run You Rust

34. Nightcrawler - Pete Yorn
Walk Me Out in the Morning Sun

35. Revelations - Audioslave
The Orginal Fire Has Died and Gone but the Riot Inside Moves On

36. Bird on a Wire - Toby Lightman
You're a Flower Blooming in the Desert Sunshine

37. Sing-A-Longs & Lullabies for the Film Curious George - Jack Johnson and Friends
There's No Stopping Curiosity

38. Year of the Dog… Again - DMX
We Gon' Get it, Get it Started Again

39. Move by Yourself - Donavon Frankenreiter
Don't Stop Doing What You Believe In

40. Coming Home - Lionel Richie
You Feel it, I Feel it, Let's Not Pretend

41. On the Outside - Starsailor
I Hear Them Screaming on the Radio

42. Feedback - Jurassic 5
We Would Say Our Rhymes to the Beat Right

43. Till the Sun Turns Black - Ray LaMontagne
Musings From the Back 9: Music Edition II

44. When Your Heart Stops Beating - (+44)
The Past Is Only the Past with the Lights On

45. Kingdom Come - Jay-Z
When I Come Back Like Jordon Wearing the 4-5

46. Show Your Bones - The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Sometimes I Think I'm Bigger Than the Sound

47. The Evolution of… - Robin Thicke
Don't See the World Through Someone Else's Eyes

48. Sam's Town - The Killers
Nobody Ever Had a Dream Round Here

49. Under the Iron Sea - Keane
Love Is Just a Lyric in a Children's Rhyme

50. Loose - Nelly Furtado
I've Been Hurt by My Past but I Feel the Future

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Best Free Songs of 2006

You can’t get better than free, right? That’s why every Tuesday the first thing I do is open up iTunes because ever week they have two or three free songs to download. Most of the songs are at most mediocre but everyone once in a while you can find a gem. In fact, the number one downloaded song of 2006 on iTunes, Bad Day by Daniel Powder, was a song you could have gotten free back in 2005 (same for number seven Over My Head (Cable Car) by The Fray). Now here are the best free songs that iTunes offered up this year but are still worth the .99 if you didn’t pick them up when they didn’t cost a thing. Of course if you don’t believe my judgment - you can click the link and it will open iTunes directly to the song and you can pull a Michael Scott and just play the 30 second sample over and over again.

1. Smile (Radio Edit) - Lily Allen
2. Dynomite (Going Postal) - Rhymefest
3. Steady, As She Goes (Acoustic Version) - The Raconteurs
4. Cash Machine - Hard-FI
5. Put Your Records On (Acoustic) - Corinne Bailey Rae
6. Mr. Sunshine - Lori McKenna
7. Mama’s Room - Under the Influence of Giants
8. Travelin’ Thru - Dolly Parton
9. Blush (Only You) - Plumb
10. How Many Times - Zack Hexum
11. Satisfied - Ashley Monroe
12. Ooh La La - Goldfrapp
13. Hell or High Water - Tinsley Ellis
14. New Shoes - Paolo Nutini
15. Grace (Album Version) - Phil Wickham
16. What’s the Use - Jamie Lidell
17. Ain’t No Reason - Brett Dennen
18. Suzie - Boy Kill Boy
19. Never Saw Blue (Full Length Drums Mix) - Hayley Westenra
20. Crowded (Radio Edit) - Jeannie Ortega featuring Papoose
21. Love Me like You - The Magic Numbers
22. Hide Away - Rock Kills Kid
23. Back Home to Me - Sophie Milman
24. Bad Things - Jace Everett
25. True Affection - The Blow

Friday, November 17, 2006

Car Mix: November 2006

Every once in a while I like to compile a list of songs that I’m currently listening to onto a CD to make drive time a little more bearable so I can avoid hearing that chain hang low song one more time on the radio. So here are some suggestions of songs that you should be listening to these days. This CD comes in at 76:09.

1. When You Were Young (2006 MTV Video Music Awards) - The Killers (Okay so I may have been harsh on the Vegas boys, see Nobody Ever Had a Dream Round Here, but this is one of the best rock songs of the year and one of the few good performances at the VMA’s this year)
2. God’s Gonna Cut You Down - Johnny Cash (See the great video: Go Tell That Long Tongue Liar, Go and Tell that Midnight Rider; also check out my album review: He Said “John Go Do My Will”)
3. Goodbye Earl - Me First and the Gimme Gimmes (See my album review: Yippee-I-Yah Yippee-I-Yo)
4. Call Me When You’re Sober - Evanescence (See my album review: I Want to Stay in Love with My Sorrow)
5. Wine Red - The Hush Sound (A wrongfully overlooked ditty from the summer. If you have .99 burning a hole in your pocket, it’s worth the download)
6. Smile - Lily Allen (I know I’ve been waxing poetic about Ms. Allen for a while and hopefully you picked up this song when it was free over at iTunes; and just remember where you first heard of her when she hits it big here in the States)
7. Promiscuous - Nelly Furtado (See my album review: I've Been Hurt by My Past but I Feel the Future)
8. I Wish I Was a Punk Rock Girl (With Flowers in My Hair) - Sandi Thom (See the video: When They Own the Information They Can Bend it All They Want)
9. Under the Weather - KT Tunstall (See my album review: Her Face Is the Map of the World)
10. Work it Out - Jurrasic 5 & Dave Matthews (See my abum review: We Would Say Our Rhymes to the Beat Right)
11. Dynamite (Going Postal) - Rhymefest (I can’t believe no one had sampled Jimmy Walker before; see my album review: Who Rapper You Know Before His Album Drop Is a Grammy Winner)
12. Don’t Feel Right - The Roots (See my album review: I'll Make it Hotter than Shaft in Africa)
13. Waiting on the World to Change - John Mayer (See my album review: It’s Not a Silly Little Moment, it’s Not the Calm Before the Storm)
14. The Saints Are Coming (Live from New Orleans) - U2 and Green Day (Finally this song hit iTunes this week and even though it doesn't say so on the page, I believe all proceeds go to Music Rising charity)
15. Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol (check out my album review which I published long before any crappy televisions shows co-opted the song: The Final Word in the Final Sentance)
16. Don’t Download This Song - “Weird Al” Yankovic (Of course if you are feeling lucky you can always download the song at
17. Easy - Barenaked Ladies (see my review: Musings From the Back 9: Music Edition II)
18. Juicy - Better Than Ezra (see my album review 3 ½ Minutes, Felt Like a Lifetime)
19. Crazy - Gnarls Barkley (The best song of the summer, and the fall for that matter. Be sure to see how high the song land on the Best Songs of 2006 coming next month)
20. Here I Come (Late Show with David Letterman) - The Roots
21. Tribute to Rakin - 2006 Hip-Hop Honors (The best tribute at this year's event.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Don't Download These Videos vol. IV

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I though I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form so here they are courtesy of YouTube. I advise you to watch them before you read my reviews if you don’t want me to spoil things. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available, if not the link goes to YouTube where you can watch the video in full screen). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

Hurt - Christina Aguilera

Yeah the big plot twist under the big top has been done before and to better effect by and in claymation by , the chair spinning thing is annoying, and Christina Aguilera continues her decent in to looking more and more like a drag queen, but when it comes there are very few videos that give me the chills and this is one of them. And even though Johnny Cash’s song with the same title is much better, Xtina’s song may have something to do with the chill factor. And am I the only one who thinks her “dad” looks like the new .

Keeping with the big top theme, here’s the latest video from off of her debut not the recent acoustic one. Now my courses tell me that the song has been featured in a few crappy television shows, but don’t let that negatively effect the song (same goes for Chasing Cars that has wrongfully co-opted by even crappier shows). There is also a cool CGI version (for the British I think) of the video if you can hunt that one down.

There is something seriously wrong with the charts that a fill with disposable rap songs that pretty much are the exact same song, yet the originally refreshing can seem to get a hit. Here’s his latest album from the film Half Nelson. To be honest one of the reasons I’m showing this video is to get more face time for the dude from whom I used to get mistaken for back before he fell into obscurity. So hopefully this movie put him (and Rhymefest) back in the spotlight so I can get some “you remind me of the dude from The Notebook” lovin’.

In a story I broke yesterday, released the best baby making album of the millennium so far. Need proof? Look no further than the first single from Once Again where over the course of four minutes, Legend hooks up with as many as eight video hofessionals. My personal favorites are the token white chick and the chick in the cab. And once again, if there are any video hofessionals who would like to test out the baby making ability of the album and will be greater Cleveland area soon, shout me a holla.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Who Rapper You Know Before His Record Drop Is a Grammy Winner

Blue Collar - Rhymefest

A couple months ago I went to get the Free Single of the Week on iTunes and that week featured a rare rap track. But unlike most rap songs in recent memories, this one didn’t make me reach for the mute button. This could be attributed to the word “Bling” not being uttered once nor were there any signs of flossing. But really I marveled out how no rapper up to this point failed in recognizing the entertainment value in sampling Jimmy Walker’s signature catch-phrase.

Fast forward four months and said rapper, has finally released his debut album, . Even though the bling isn’t there is still plenty of swagger in his rapping as Fest will be the first to inform you that he is already a Grammy winner as he co-wrote Best Rap Song winner, Jesus Walks. does return the favor showing up on two tracks on his fellow Chicagoan. Make sure you give Brand Know a chance because even though it seems to be annoying, there’s a good chance it will grow on you like it did me. And even though it’s just a guest spot, Kanye brings his “A” game, my favorite line being, “I leaving you haters like when Shaq left the Lakers just to Heat it up.” As for Rhymefest, he had me with the line, “Besides your breasts is augmented - I like things authentic.”

Rhymefest also has an eclectic ear when it comes to music sampling everybody from One by Three Dog Night on Tell a Story to Someday by The Strokes on Devil’s Pie. He also reworks the old Peggy Lee classic Fever into a Latin theme. The best though is when he reworks the overlooked Bullet and a Target by Citizen Cope. For old school hounds, look out for the Peter Piper hook on Stick. But for a more silly, karaoke vibe, look out for the album closer where the late great Ol’ Dirty Bastard a.k.a. Big Baby Jesus a.k.a. Dirk McGirk a.k.a. Osirus sings… wait for it… wait for it… Build Me Up Buttercup. Man, I miss the ODB.

The album’s title is a nod to Rhymefest’s former job as a janitor, so unlike his peer, there are no tales of drug dealing or hustling on the album. Instead what we get is the plight of the lower middle class in the Midwest. The self proclaimed Ghetto Regis has plenty of stories to tell that reflect that, the most touching is the story in Bullet where he tells of a kid who joins the Army out of high school because he doesn’t have any other way to pay for college, but Fest ends the verse by telling us, “don’t be mad, he died for the flag.” Too bad storytelling like this in rap left a decade ago. And not since ’s Keep Your Head Up has there been a rap song as uplifting for the fairer sex on Sister.

If there was one strike against this album, it would be its length at just under an hour. Even the best MC’s find it hard to full a whole album worth of classic tracks and this set could have been improved by shaving two to three songs that bring down the middle of the album. But it is still worth the price of admission to hear the ODB sing.

Song to Download - Dynamite (if you got it free like I did, go with Bullet)

Blue Collar gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.