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Written by | December 30, 2012 0:01 | No Comments

Irreplaceable – Beyonce – “To the left, to the left…” . One of the woman’s best song is a bitter break up things. The words refer to the boxes where She wants Him to put the boxes he is filling with his belongings. Apparently, Beyonce has had enough of his two timing. For such a brittle parting it is a catchy singalong and an instant classic. At Roseland a coupla years ago it was performed by the audience. Which kinda sucks – Grade: A

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Lather – Frank Zappa – Who can’t applaud the wonder that was Zappa? The best named man on the plant, defined as he zaps sounds and expectations. So I applaud this piece of jazz lo-fi weirdness with all my heart, just don’t make me listen to it – Grade: B-

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Written by | December 28, 2012 0:09 | No Comments

Yelling for Peace is most likely the best way to do it. No one listened to the hippies or the punks so hey- lets give these hardcore kids a chance. This generation is bombarded with violence. They’re anesthetized to the drama of it all. Ya seen one head get blow off you’ve seen them all

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Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton – Released in 1977 (at the height of punk!) this piece of dross is the nadir of Clapton’s career and through its appearance on an early “Miami Vice” episode, the embodiment of the 1980s. Amazingly insipid – Grade: D

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Written by | December 27, 2012 0:01 | No Comments

Popular Song – Mika – Another first rate piece of pop confection by the English (via Lebanon) pop star. Intensely catchy sweet bop one IPOD commercial away from world domination – Grade: A-

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Written by | December 26, 2012 0:01 | No Comments

The Gypsy Rover – The Irish Rovers – A variation on “Gypsy Davies”, an early 1800s Irish folk song, it tells the mythic story of a fine Irish Lady who left behind her family and heritage to follow a Gypsy. This version is all Irish lilt and a strong if soft male brogue, when I was a child (this is the first song I remember ever hearing), I had a prettier version with a woman singer – Grade: B+

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Written by | December 25, 2012 0:01 | No Comments

White Christmas – Michael Buble And Bing Crosby – This isn’t a particularly bad version, it culls a take off a Crosby Christmas special and through the magic of technology adds Buble, who is quickly becoming the American standards singer of choice. But all this forcing dead pop stars out of their graves and making them duet with people without their permission turns my stomach. It is grave robbing – Grade: F

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Written by | December 24, 2012 0:01 | No Comments

Rolex – The -Dream, Cassie – With the advent of new r&b I have been wondering if maybe I don’t like it any more. But The-Dream is one soul singer who constantly knocks me out. This isn’t a great song, lyrics are a little obvious, the synth in the background is a touch light, and Casha Monet, his new find, seems like Ree Ree redux… still it catches your ear with ease and holds it – Grade: A-

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Losing My Religion – REM – This is where it all came together and blew me up big, folk rock with a chip on its shoulder and moodwise an ancestor of new r&b. As for Stipe’s lyric? It rings with desire and disllussion – Grade: A+

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Written by | December 22, 2012 0:01 | No Comments

All I Want for Christmas Is You – Mariah carey – Sure, I prefer the kid in “Love, Actually” as well. But this version, by the co-writer no less, will do. From 1994 and maybe the most recent song to join the Christman pantheon of songs. Over sung, but it’s her call not ours – Grade: A

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Written by | December 21, 2012 0:07 | No Comments

It sure ain’t a happy tune and the matching pictures just evoke more desolation and distress! The video was entirely made by fans who shared for two weeks their instagram pictures inspired by the lyrics of the song, since the band had tweeted and instagrammed the lyrics before releasing the song,.. a totally original way to make a video.

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State Of Grace – Taylor Swift – One of Taylor’s best songs though it took awhile to catch on, the killer pay off, “Love’s a ruthless game unless you play it good and right” has three very very strong words and Swift nails each and every one of them. And the sound is exuberant, it is darkly shaded (which is why it took awhile) but that’s because that “unless” is right on top of you – Grade: A

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Written by | December 20, 2012 0:01 | No Comments

Gospel – Robbie Williams – Big time pop songs and about reuniting with the love of your life years after she dismissed you, indeed never had you, or an extended metaphor about artists and audience and either way, a kiss off that sounds like a history lesson – Grade: A

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Written by | December 19, 2012 0:07 | No Comments

Gangnam style is a song that most people love and dance to. My favourite part is when he says “ohhhhh sexy lady”, it is the only English in this song, and the only thing people can understand

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Eternal Father, Strong To Save – Choir Of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church – Having spent years at English Boarding Schools when just a wee tot, English Hymns play like nostalgia trigger for me. Something compounded by being in the UK right this minute (but not as I write). I always thought it was me who could only ever remember “For those in peril on the sea”, but listening to it here, that’s still all I can remember becausethe words are muffled – Grade: A

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Written by | December 18, 2012 0:01 | No Comments

Are We All We Are – Pink – It sounds like she’s saying olly olly oxen free and I guess that kids game is at the heart of the way Pink deals with love and life. There is something insolent and aggressive but fun loving and bouncy – Grade: A

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Written by | December 17, 2012 0:01 | No Comments

88 – Digsy – A study in being 17 years old and looking back on a hip hop world you were never a part of. This is first rate piece of teen-hop with a dream of a future, or a past not unlike the Reverand’s himself – Grade: A

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All I’ve Got To Do – The Beatles – Easily the most mature song on their second albu. Lennon, of cause, who speeds yp at the break as if, as Tim Reilly once noted, as though the entire claim of love and responsibility is real. Which it might not be with a vocal so fragle it seems bound to crack – Grade: A+

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Written by | December 15, 2012 0:09 | No Comments

Driver Friendly just cheapened themselves so much that there is no turning back unless someone scrubs my brain with bleach and I forget I ever heard it. The worse part is how great it could have been if it weren’t written in the back of a Prius on the way to the studio (or basement)

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Keys To The City – Spider Bags – Not only does it include the line of the year, “I’ve Been cheating on my girlfriend with my ex-wife”, it is also a true loser anthem to never leaving, not running. Incidentally, as Dan mentioned me, not at all what happened to him.

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