Pop music is rocking my world big-time at the moment. There really is a lot of good, innovative, groovy music out at the moment that it’s hard to pick standouts. But I’ma try, a’ight?
– Will Young, “Let It Go” (CD) – In contention for album of the year, I can’t get enough of this. I don’t remember the last time I had a CD where four songs on the record were five stars, but this is the one. “Changes” is just a lush, classy track, “Let It Go” does a great job to capture the melancholy that some men feel from time to time, and “Won’t Look Down” has a soaring pop chorus with an optimistic tone that you can’t resist, even if you try. My highlight, though, is “Love”. For those of you who remember back to the golden age of sophisticated Brit pop in the late 80s, you’ll remember a group called Swing Out Sister. “Love” hits all the right notes in tribute to SOS, and it was so unexpected, that I can just listen to it over and over. Can someone see what they can do about giving Swing Out Sister another chance here in the US? They’re still together, and they’re big in Japan. Literally.
– Craig David, “Insomnia” (single) – Yeah, yeah, I know. “Disturbia”, “Forever”, “Tattoo”, “Closer”…it’s like a bastard cousin of all those recent jams. Honestly? I don’t care. Craig hasn’t had a track that resonated as well with his voice as “Insomnia” does since his first record. While it seems like he just released an album a couple of months ago, this track is from his upcoming Greatest Hits compilation, produced by Jim Beanz of the Timbaland camp. Who knows what his record company’s plan for him in the US is, but if the Pop Gods have even a remote amount of reason and justice in mind, they’ll give this record a shot. It’s a hit in the making.
– Ne-Yo, “Nobody” (album cut) – In a marketplace where CDs debut high, only to sink like a stone in the following weeks, “Year of the Gentleman” is really showing some legs, and cuts like “Nobody” have to be helping the cause. This song doesn’t feel like a rip-off as much as it does a tribute to “Off the Wall”-era Michael Jackson. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, but in the “heir to the King of Pop” contest, Ne-Yo is miles ahead of the competition. Folks like Usher and Chris Brown have attempted to make runs at it, but they just don’t have the credentials to pull off the triple threat of singer, dancer AND songwriter. Ne-Yo does all of that, plus he’s got a movie coming out that he’s starring in and producing. Not too shabby!
– Keane, “Perfect Symmetry” (CD) – This record continues to inspire me, although a little bit of the shine has worn off for the moment. I think I played it out a bit too much, but who’s counting, right? Some of my favorites are “Again and Again”, “Pretend That You’re Alone”, “Spiralling”, “Perfect Symmetry”, and “The Lovers are Losing”. If you can find it, I highly recommend the Japanese bonus track “My Shadow”. It’s one of those piano-and-vocal-driven tracks that Keane do so well.
– David Cook, “Light On” (single) – I’m going to take some abuse here, but this song has really grown on me. The chorus has that power pop vibe that I really enjoy, and I’m kind of feeling the perky, upbeat theme. Maybe my recent Chris Cornell encounter is helping fuel my increased love of the track, as he wrote the song. It’s the only track that Cook didn’t have a hand in writing, but I think given the current pop marketplace, it’s a good starting place. Most added at Hot AC radio last week, and the full-length comes out the week before Thanksgiving.
What are you all diggin’ at the moment?
“Again and Again” is so far my fave track on “Perfect Symmetry”, but the whole thing is great! Just got done listening to the album again.
I’ve got the Sugababes new one on the way from Amazon UK, and next week the Saturdays will be shipped, too.
I totally agree, lots of great pop out at the moment.
Strangely, I’m playing Christina Aguilera’s new single in moderation and liking it.
I share your love for that Will Young record. “Let It Go” the song is very possibly my song of the year, but we’ll see.
I am a bit underwhelmed by the Keane album, but I think I just need to give it another chance. There are some good songs, but I feel like there’s something missing. *shrugs*
i love Will Young’s new CD and Keane’s Perfect Symmetry is just good as well.
For me, lots of new Ace of Base, new Killers, Girls Aloud’s new one, (Aussie synth-poppers) Parralox (love them!), and Annie’s new stuff (even though I pretty much maligned her album). I need to give Keane another listen, and based on your recommendations, I will even give an unbiased ear to Dave Cookie too!
I’m not sure what to make of Craig David at this point. That debut was sooo great and then it’s been sort of downhill since. The Hits CD sounds worthy, but I’m not sure if he really has any musical “character” left anymore. Walking Away and Candy Man are my CD faves!
D’luv, looking forward to both of those CDs as well, and yeah, I’ve already given up the fight on Xtina as well.
Dan, your recommendation of WY is part of the reason I picked it up. Thanks.
Ken, thanks for the comment. They’re both classy recordings.
Yuri, you’ve got me hooked on Parralox. I just don’t get the Annie hype, though.
XO, Walking Away is a masterpiece. It was all downhill from there.