Monday, January 17, 2011

Ear Candy: Favorite Albums of 2010 part 2

And now the rest...

#10: GLEE!
Come on, did you honestly think I'd skip the goodness of Glee?? Not only did the show release 3 full length albums last year, (Glee the Music vol. 3 & 4 and The Christmas Album) we were also treated to 3 EP's for the episode's The Power of Madonna, The Journey to Regionals, and The Rocky Horror Glee Show. Now, if you love the show these soundtracks are a must, but like the show, not everyone will enjoy you blasting these songs over the loud speaker on repeat. Now some of my favorite songs to sing along too didn't make it on these soundtracks, but can be easily downloaded via Itunes/Amazon. Chris Colfer's version of Le Jazz Hot will not disappoint.

#09. Rihanna: Loud
Rihanna's Loud brings her back to the Pop world with a bang, as much as I enjoyed her last release, Rated R, it's nice to see/hear a softer Rihanna. Don't get me wrong, the girl still has some edge and can be a bit naughty, as seen in the track S & M, which starts the album. Besides having some pop gems like Only Girl in the World and What's My Name, we're treated to a reggae infused Man Down and a more Rihanna centric version of Emenim's Love the Way You Lie, which brings this release to its close.

#08. Blood Red Shoes: Fire Like This
This listing is dedicated to my gal pal, Tamara. If it wasn't for her, I would not have discovered the Blood Red Shoes or got the chance to see them perform this past October. Fire like This is the duo's (Laura Mary Carter & Steven Ansell's - he's such a cutie, oh how I heart me English boys) sophomore release and is the perfect mix of modern and classic rock. Both band mates do their fare share of vocals, as heard on these Ear Candy worthy tracks: Heartsink, When We Wake, Don't Ask, Light It Up, and One More Empty Chair.

#07. Simon Curtis: 8Bit Heart
I did a little post on Simon Curtis a while back when his self-produced album 8Bit heart was originally released. I loved it then and am still loving it now. Major props to Mr. Curtis, not only does he have an amazing voice with a killer range, he's uber talented and is a force to be reckoned with. 8Bit Heart is a perfect pop album filled with beats that will get your ass moving. Personal favorites: Delusional, Beat Drop, Super Psycho Love, and the title track 8Bit Heart. I can't wait to see what the future holds for this guy.

#06. Zac Poor: Let's Just Call It Heartbreak
Not only is Zac Poor very easy on the eyes (can you say swoon?), but on the ears as well. I fell in love with his voice when I first heard She'll Be Hearting Hearts, which is an amazing good pop song, but he also can makes me melt, especially while listening to Silver Screens. Let's Just Call it Heartbreak is a 7 track EP which perfectly showcases his voice/range. If you're able to track this disc down, it's a must to own (I purchased mine through Itunes, but it has mysteriously disappears from their databases???) My other faves from the disc are I Don't Wanna Be Alone Tonight and Meet Me By the Stairs. Like Simon Curtis, Zac Poor has a very very bright future ahead.


#05. Scissor Sisters: Night Work
Thank you Scissor Sisters for returning to your Disco Pop roots! Night Work is pure gooey pop fun, filled with tons of fucking rhinestones! This is one of those albums that just gets better with each new listen, I discover new favorites every time. Jake Shears is a force of energy that will not be tamed. Key tracks for your listening pleasure: Invisible Light, Skin Tight, Fire With Fire, Sex & Violence, and Whole New Way.

#04. Goldfrapp: Head First
Allison Goldfrapp, I love you! Head First is a nostalgic trip back to the era of leg warmers, head bands, neon colors, and blue eye shadow called the 80's; filled with synthpop beats that give you those feel good feeling only the songs on 1984 can give you. It's like listening to a soundtrack from a cheesy teen comedy where the only saving grace was the music. Do you feel me? Head First is filled with wonderful gems including Rocket, Dreaming, Believer, Alive, and it's title track, Head First.

#03. Janelle Monae: The ArchAndroid
Janelle Monae is a breath of fresh air, I say this because I feel every song on the radio of late sounds identical, with the same auto tuned voice singing to the same backing beat. So it was nice to actually hear an artists voice and Janelle Monae has a beautiful one, which she uses to bring you into the futuristic world of Cybergals and star cross lovers she's created for The Chase Suite (the overall concept for this album and her previous EP Metropolis). I miss concept albums. The ArchAndroid showcases just how talented Janelle Monae is, tracks that are worth a listen; Wondaland, Mushrooms & Roses, Tightrope, Locked Inside, Cold War, and Sir Greendown.

#02. The Limousines: Get Sharp
Get Sharp is a wild ride (get it, cause they are called The Limousines... oh forget it), taking the listener on an emotional journey. From start to finish this album does not disappoint. The album could be broken into two halves (Side A and B), with Side A on the "lighter side"; yes, I do see the irony in this with a song like Dancing at her funeral as track 2. But take a track like Very Busy People, here we find a perfect example of what I'm talking about, the entire song is about getting together and enjoying the friends you have and the new people you will meet along the way. And Side B is a little darker and harder, as you can hear on songs like Get Sharp, Fine Art, and my personal favorite Swrdswllngwhr (wishing well). These later tracks channel the New-Wave, Electro-Pop goodness my goth heart craves. So, whatever your mood calls for Get Sharp is the perfect disc to ease you through the day.

and my favorite album of 2010 goes to...

It's no surprise that Marina and the Diamonds got the number 1 spot, since discovering her I've listened to this album countless times and have forced many people to listen along with me. Marina and the Diamonds' debut album The Family Jewels is an amazing piece of pop music. I loved it after the first listen and still love it with now with my (infinity number) listen. Marina has an amazing voice, it's beautiful and mesmerizing as displayed on these jewels; Mowgli's Road, I Am Not a Robot, Oh No!, Hollywood, and Rootless (this track is only available on the deluxe version). If you are lucky enough to see her perform live, you will not be disappointed. Marina is an amazing live performer.

Until next time, Envy Out!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ear Candy: Favorite Albums of 2010 part 1

Now that we're two weeks into the new year, I find this to be the perfect time to start my list of the albums I overplayed, warn out, and annoyed everyone I know with. Now without further ado here is The Haus of Envy's favorite albums of 2010 part 1 #20-#11.

#20. TIE: The Vampire Diaries Soundtrack & Twilight Saga: Eclipse Soundtrack
Vampires were big this year (really when aren't they big?) and these two soundtracks found there way into my collection, damn them for having some amazing songs.
Personal favorite: (VD) Goldfrapp's We Radiate
Personal favorite: (TSE) Florence & the Machine's Heavy In Our Arms (this song by the way was my absolute favorite song of 2010).

#19. Karen Elson: The Ghost Who Walks
This was one of those albums that I picked up, enjoyed, but never really came back to. The title track is haunting and beautiful and worth taking a listen too.

#18. V.V. Brown: Travelling Like the Light
British Pop/Soul singers have become the rage the past few years and V.V. Brown is one to watch out for. Travelling like the light is a fun ride, check out the following ear candy delights: Back in Time, Game Over, and Shark in the Water. I'd also recommend tracking down her amazing cover of The Smith's classic This Charming Man.

#17. Nicki Minaj: Pink Friday
Anyone who knows me, knows that Hip-Hop/Rap is not a genre I frequent in, so I was pleasantly surprise to find myself picking up Pink Friday. Honestly, I didn't think I was gonna like it at all, but by the second go around I found myself enjoying Ms. Minaj, she's quite the character. Her voice is beautiful and hard, my favorite tracks include Save Me, Your Love, Fly, Check it Out, and Blazin'.

#16. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Soundtrack
If you loved the movie, the soundtrack was a must have, an awesome collection of new and old. Plus, I got my first listen to the band Blood Red Shoes with their amazing rock track It's Getting Boring by the Sea and Metric's version of The Clash at Demonhead's song, Black Sheep, is an must have download too.

#15. Neon Trees: Habits
I love me bands with a heavy new-wave influence and the Neon Trees definitely channel the 80's bands I love. This 8 track EP is filled with some great gems, that you will easily find yourself humming along too. Ear Candy goodness includes, Animal, Boys & Girls in School, In the Next Room, 1983, and Calling My Name (the later was a free download if the disc was purchased through Hot Topic)

#14. Robyn: Body Talk
Robyn, had quite the year. She released 3, yes 3, albums throughout the year, all of which are amazing pop albums. Her latest release Body Talk brings together the best tracks from her previous two albums (Body Talk pt. 1 & 2) with 5 brand new tracks. Your body will be moving along to the beat. Tracks that will get you moving: Dancing on my Own, Hang with Me, U Should Know Better, and Indestructible*.
*An acoustic version is on Body Talk pt. 2, I highly recommend giving it a listen.

#13. Kylie Minogue: Aphrodite
Kylie and Pop music are two tastes that were made for each other, and Aphrodite is truly an amazing piece of pop music. From the opening tracks of All the Lovers and Get Out of My Way, through Illusion (the standout track and I'm not just saying that because it so happens to be my favorite) to the finale of Can't Beat This Feeling, Kylie takes you an a Pop ride that will bring a smile to your face.

#12. Dragonette: Mixin' to Thrill
Dragonette is one of those bands you come across and think why haven't I been listened to them? They are amazing! This past summer saw the release of Mixin' to Thrill, a remix album of the band's 2009 release Fixin' to Thrill, which once discovered was on an endless loop on my Ipod, that's how good it is. But, I digress, along with a ton of new remixes, Dragonette also included 3 new tracks (Volcano, Our Summer, and My Things) to Mixin' to Thrill and they are filled with all the electro pop goodness a kid could ask for. Two Thumbs way UP!

#11. Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson: Original Cast Album
Musical theatre is one of my passions, I just can't get enough of it. So, a musical about our 7th president, Andrew Jackson (he's on the $20, people) wasn't exactly high on my list, but once I did a little research and discovered it was set to modern rock music ala Spring Awakening I was intrigued. So, how happy was I to be given this cast album as a gift this year?? Very! Now, the albums running time is around 30 minutes or so, but it's so damn good, you want to hear it again. If/when this show starts touring I'll be line buying up seats and you should be too.

Check back later for #10-#1
~ Envy Out