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sam smith “lay me down”

after hearing sam smith sing for only a minute, one would be hard-pressed to ignore his sweet-to-the-ears talent.  what i’m most impressed by however is the vocal control/poise he shows for anybody, much less a 22-year-old.

listen to his song “lay me down” and let me know if you think there’s a singer out there better than this guy.  to hear more from smith, get his debut album in the lonely hour (drops in the uk may 26th; june 17th stateside).

related: sam smith performing on snl 3/30/14



pharrell williams “lost queen”

with his new album g i r l, pharrell follows the lively tone set by his oscar-nominated single “happy”.  the project isn’t perfect (corny and forced in spots).  however, it’s sprinkled with enough refreshing sounds/songs to make it worth a listen. one of those moments for me is “lost queen”, which takes you on two different vibes with a literal trip to the beach in between.  check it out, and if so inclined, stream the full album here via itunes radio.


life rewind 2013: music


[audio,,,,,,,,,,,, |titles=Justin Timberlake “That Girl”, Drake “5AM in Toronto”, Lil’ Wayne f/ 2 Chainz “Days and Days”, Lorde “Royals”, Jay-Z “Somewhere in America”, The Weeknd “Wanderlust”, Kanye West f/ Chief Keef & Justin Vernon “Hold My Liquor”, J. Cole f/ James Fauntleroy “Born Sinner”, Pusha T f/ Rick Ross & Kanye West “Hold On”, Jay-Z f/ Justin Timberlake “Holy Grail”, J. Cole f/ Young Jeezy “Kenny Lofton”, Drake “Hold On We’re Going Home”, Emeli Sande “Clown (live)” |loop=yes]

above is a playlist of some of my favorite music from 2013.  whether it was lyrics, pacing, production, content, etc., each song had something that kept in heavy rotation throughout the year.

as you listen, click on the pics below for the track list + a 7-words-or-less explanation for why i liked each song.

john legend “for the first time”

in a recent interview with xxl mag, john legend said that his new album love in the future is “his best album yet.”  while that’s something artists usually say near an album release date, i not only agree with him, but would also say that it’s the best album i’ve heard so far this year.

with kanye, dave tozer & legend taking the executive producer lead, john’s exquisite voice finds a home over production that you can tell was formed with painstaking care.  maybe the only bad thing about the 20-track project is that the interludes tease you and leave you wishing that they were stretched into full songs.  the album’s really that good.

but you don’t have to take my word for it.  give a listen to one of the bonus tracks, “for the first time” and let me know what you think.  you can also buy the full album here.

previously: video: john legend @ kean commencement 2011


i listened to emeli sandé‘s music for the first time this week and thoroughly enjoyed it.  the overall quality of her voice and songs puts her up there with other top artists from across the pond (adele, amy winehouse, corinne bailey raemumford & sons, etc.).  here is emeli performing “clown” during her concert at london’s royal albert hall.  below you’ll find the lyrics. let me know what you think:

I guess it’s funnier from where you’re standing
Cause from over here I missed the joke
Clear the way for my crash landing
I’ve done it again
Another number for your notes

I’d be smiling if I wasn’t so desperate
I’d be patient if I had the time
I could stop and answer all of your questions
As soon as I find out
How I can move from the back of the line

I’ll be your clown
Behind the glass
Go ‘head and laugh
Cause it’s funny
I would too if I saw me
I’ll be your clown
On your favourite channel
My life’s a circus circus
Round in circles
I’m selling out tonight

I’d be less angry if it was my decision
And the money was just rolling in
If I had more than my ambition
I’ll have time for ‘Please’
I’ll have time for ‘Thank you’
As soon as I win


From a distance my choice is simple
From a distance I can entertain
So you can see me
I put make-up on my face
But there’s no way you can feel it
From so far away


video: emeli sandé “clown” (live)


do you remember cassette tapes?  today, making a playlist is easier than saying “point & click” but *warning: back in my day story coming* back in my day, i had to record my favorite songs from the radio on to a memorex tape, hoping that the dj wouldn’t mess it up by talking.

in the video above, ithaca audio celebrates 50 years of “the format that brought us mixtapes and the birth of home sampling culture.”  watch their live mixtape, performed on an older-than-this-century tascam 1” tape machine.  tracklist below:

Jose Gonzalez – Crosses
Etta James – Something’s got a hold on me
Florrie – Give Me Your Love
Soul II Soul – Back to Life
Katy B – Katy on a Mission
Reverend and the Makers – Champion of the world
Labrynth – Earthquake
Liquid – Sweet Harmony
Gwen Stefani – What you waiting for?
The Ohio Players – Fire
La Roux – In for the kill
Prodigy – Smack my bitch up
Deadmau5 – Ghosts n Stuff Nero Remix
Deadmau5 – Raise your weapon
Adele – Skyfall
The Supremes – Come see about me


video: “the mixtape”


life rewind 2012: music

12/04/12 4 Comments

in the past, life rewind was about recapping my favorite songs of the year.  this time, i’m expanding it to a fuller blog review.  more to come in the next few weeks.

in the meantime, we’ll start with my top 12 songs from twenty-twelve (not ranked) with a full playlist at the end.  if some of your favorite songs aren’t on the list, let me know what i missed in the comments.

Fun. “We Are Young” f/ Janelle Monáe


first heard this on a super bowl commercial and was hooked ever since.


Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

miguel “where’s the fun in forever” f/ alicia keys

most of miguel’s debut album ended up in my recycle bin (his voice was on point, but just wasn’t feeling the music).  i’m loving what he did with his 2nd one kaleidoscope dream though.  “adorn” is the smash single but i can let the entire project play on repeat (which i haven’t been able to say about too many other albums this year).  listen to one of my early favorite tracks “where’s the fun in forever”.  you can also stream the full album on npr and buy it on oct 2nd.


frank ocean “bad religion”

the buzz around frank ocean surrounded his coming out of the closet.  this week, he’ll stay in the headlines due to his debut album channel orange.  the cd brings a lot of what you loved on his earlier projects i.e. smooth sounds and introspective lyrics.  on “bad religion,” he struggles with reconciling a love that’s both unrequited and in some circles, forbidden.  lyrics below via rapgenius.

[Verse 1]

Taxi driver
You’re my shrink for the hour

Leave the meter running
It’s rush hour
So take the streets if you wanna
Just outrun the demons, could you?

He said “allahu akbar“, I told him don’t curse me
“But boy you need prayer”, I guess it couldn’t hurt me
If it brings me to my knees
It’s a bad religion

This unrequited love
To me it’s nothing but
A one-man cult
And cyanide in my styrofoam cup
I could never make him love me
Never make him love me

[Verse 2]
Taxi driver
I swear I’ve got three lives
Balanced on my head like steak knives

I can’t tell you the truth about my disguise
I can’t trust no one
And you say “allahu akbar”, I told him don’t curse me
“But boy you need prayer”, I guess it couldn’t hurt me
If it brings me to my knees
It’s a bad religion


It’s a bad religion
To be in love with someone
Who could never love you

I know
Only bad religion
Could have me feeling the way I do


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