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The Top 5 Albums of 2013 you really should have been listening to.

30 Dec

Welcome to my third annual Top 5 albums of the year post! Third. Hot damn this blog is getting old.

I’m gonna get right to it. Here we go!

5.  Paramore – Paramore

paramore

I should listen to my own advice and have had listened to this album more throughout the year. When this album was first released, I didn’t attach myself to it. It was so different from the last Paramore albums, which threw me off a bit. I was used to pop rock, this was so much more POP.

Then I saw Paramore perform on The Voice a few weeks ago, and it made me take another listen. And now I can’t stop listening to it. So, boo, I missed out on months of great tracks. Don’t make my mistake. Go listen now.

Personal favorite tracks: Hate To See Your Heart Break, Still Into You, Interlude: Moving On, Anklebiters

Kelly Red
4. Kelly Clarkson – Wrapped In Red

I don’t care that I added a Christmas album to the list. Nope. Plus, it came out at the end of October, so you had plenty of time to fa la la along to it.

I love this album because not only does Kelly sing some of the holiday classics, but she covers other songs that aren’t necessarily considered “Christmas”. Add in a few original tracks, and you have an album I want to listen to year round. I just might.

Personal favorite tracks:  Just for Now, 4 Karats, Underneath the Tree

Hanson Anthem
3. Hanson – Anthem

Hanson has the ability to always make me feel 12 years old. They were my first favorite band, and my walls were PLASTERED with Taylor’s face back in middle school. I had major love for the band then, and I still have major love for them now.The night this album came out, I was laying in bed with my ipod, earbuds in, and just bed danced. Wait, that sounds dirty. I danced while laying down. Better? Uh, moving along…

I. Love. This. Album. All of it. Completely.

Hanson apparently wondered if they should continue as a band and release this album. No pulling a Jo Bros and breaking up on me, dudes. I am glad they recorded this album, because it has some songs on it that definitely raised to the top my favorite Hanson songs list. I’m super upset that they decided to skip over Northern California this year on their tour, because if I dance around my room to these jams, I’m sure I’d dance around a venue even more.

Personal favorite tracks: Save Me From Myself, Fired Up, Lost Without Youparachute overnight2. Parachute – Overnight

Oh, Parachute. I just want to hug you.

Considering these are my boys, I counted down the days until this album was released. And then I was a bit…surprised. It takes a different approach from their first albums, and it took me a moment to adjust.

It’s interesting. It’s a much more pop/radio friendly album, vs. a softer rock the past two were headed in. I felt like the first two albums complimented each other in telling a story, and this album was told in a different perspective.

I get it. Record labels want hits. They want fun. I like fun. There were definitely songs I fell in instant love with and put on reapeat for days, and some I just went “eh” about. After I saw these songs performed live, I continually played the entire album for weeks because I couldn’t get any of them out of my head. So maybe it is different, but Parachute made it a point to make an album that stays with you.

Personal favorite tracks: Drive You Home, Hurricane, Disappear, Overnight

LOTGP

1. Matt Nathanson – Last of the Great Pretenders

Well, duh.If you’re surprised at all then you don’t know me. You knew this was coming. I remember the first listen; freaking out over the greatness of certain lines of lyrics. By the second and third listen, I was hooked. It’s rarely left my car stereo since it came out in July, and if it does, I default back to it within a few days. (Kelly’s Christmas album just left me stereo, and guess what went back in? Ding, ding, ding…)

Matt has the ability to just…be brilliant. And then he executes that brilliance even more by performing the songs live. I can talk about it longer, but my boyfriend once told me I talk about Matt too much (he also said he has to “share me” with Matt, ha! But then I kinda proved him correct, as I ditched my boyfriend at a Matt show for a half hour a few weeks ago when someone gave me their extra Matt m&g so…) so I’ll stop now while I’m ahead.
Love, love, love, love, LOVE.

Personal favorite tracks: Heart Starts, Earthquake Weather, Annie’s Always Waiting, Kill the Lights, Farewell December

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The Top 5 Albums of 2012 you really should have been listening to.

30 Dec

I can’t believe I published the 2011 version of this post a year ago. Holy crap, where’d the year go?!

2012 was yet again another year of great music. These were my top 5 spins you should have been singing along to.

kelly-clarkson
5. Kelly Clarkson – Greatest Hits: Chapter One

Ok. Is this cheating? Having a greatest hits album on my list? Well I don’t care. Seeing as I got to meet the girl again twice (!!) this year, my love for her is at an all time high, and I just can’t seem to get enough of her music.

This album does have 3 new songs, plus a Christmas track, so those count as something new. Besides those, the album has all the biggest hits and singles from Kelly over the years. I love every second of this album!

Personal favorite tracks: Since U Been Gone, Stronger, Behind These Hazel Eyes, Catch My Breath

m5 overexposed
4. Maroon 5 – Overexposed

I wish I could have put this higher up on the list, or even just labeled it number 1 since I have them tattooed on my body but…I’m going to be real and say I was just was not that impressed.

Don’t get me wrong, I still drove to three stores the day it came out just to find the deluxe album. Yeah, this is a good album. Yeah, I bounce around my room or car or during Zumba anytime the songs are played. But Maroon 5 has had much more solid albums in the past. This feels a tad too over-auto tuned and filler track-ish to me.  I was expecting more, I suppose? Meh. I still can’t wait for the Overexposed tour in March, though! The band is a thousand times better live as it is.

Personal favorite tracks: Sad, One More Night, Daylight

safetysuit-these-times
3. SafetySuit – These Times

This album came out the first week of January, and I still haven’t gotten over it yet. I just mentioned them in my blog a few days ago, and I will again express how much you NEED to see this band live. You also need to buy this album. I am so in love with their first album, that I didn’t know how These Times would hold up as  a second album. Um…amazingly?! Just see them live, and you will know what my obsession is. I love this band.

Personal favorite tracks: Let Go, Crash, You Don’t See Me

Lifehouse-Almería-Deluxe-Version
2. Lifehouse – Almeria

Lifehouse. My loves. I had been counting down months, weeks, days, seconds until this album came out. And yes, it was only released on the 11th of this month, so I am still in the newlywed honeymoon stage love.

This album takes a different approach from the past 5 albums the band has released. It took probably a solid week for me to just be able to listen to it without going, “hmmmm.” It has a bit of a country feel to it, which is not what you expect from a pop/rock band. But once you get it, you get it.

Jason Wade is one of the most talented songwriters I’ve come across. I find myself seriously holding my hand over my heart while listening to their music often, because of lyrical brilliance . Or that might just be me swooning. Um, hello picture of perfection of man.

Do yourself a favor and pick up the deluxe version of this album. The bonus tracks really round out the album, and they have more of an “old” Lifehouse feel to them.

Personal favorite tracks: Aftermath, Only You’re the One, Barricade, Always Somewhere Close

ScarsAlbumCover
1 . Scars on 45 – Scars on 45

I know you’re not surprised. How many blog posts have you read about my crush on this band by now? This album is amazing. I find every chance I can get to play it for people who have never heard of the band. I thank Matt Nathanson silently in my head every time I see them live for having them open for him, because otherwise I’d probably be one of those people oblivious of their talent.

The album got pushed back a few months from its original release date, and it was torture. But it was worth the wait, and you must, must, must buy the deluxe version of this album, because those tracks are some of my personal favorite songs of life. Yeah, we’re getting serious here. I cannot wait to see where this band goes in their career. You can say you heard it from me (thanks, Matt) first.

Personal favorite tracks: Change My Needs, Don’t Say, Beauty’s Running Wild, Promises and Empty Words

The top 5 albums of 2011 that you should have been listening to.

29 Dec

 

Holy smokes, where did this year go? Since 2011 is almost officially over, I wanted to do a countdown of my top 5 favorite albums that were released this year. Music has played a significantly large part of my life this year, and these albums are the best of the best! The cream of the crop! The ones I listened to the most to get me through 2011.

Alright, let’s start!

5. Marc Broussard – Marc Broussard

If you don’t know who Marc is, you really should. I was introduced to Marc by ways of him as an opening act for Maroon 5 back in 2003. I loved Marc’s earlier albums from the ’02 – ’04 era the best, and this album is more of a throw back to that time. He’s from Louisiana, so you get that funk, mixed with the typical southern soul & blues, and some pop. Marc has this amazingly huge powerful voice…and he’s a little dude. On first seeing Marc live, most ask: “How the heck is THAT voice coming out of THAT little guy?”

I can’t say this is my favorite of his 5 studio albums (that goes to Carencro), but Marc doesn’t leave one disappointed, and it’s still a really great album!

Personal Favorite Tracks: Only Everything, Lucky

4. The Civil Wars – Barton Hallow

Not only was this one of my favorite albums of the year, but it was also my favorite new band discovery of 2011! The Civil Wars consists of two singers, Joy and John, and their music is just hauntingly beautiful. All tracks on the album consists of just their voices, an acoustic guitar and the occasional piano. They are brilliant. I need to see them perform live.

Personal Favorite Tracks: C’est la mort, To Whom It May Concern, I Want You Back, Poison & Wine

3. Kelly Clarkson – Stronger

I have been a Kelly Clarkson fan since the beginning. Its not often that I find a female singer that I love, but Kelly just captivates me. She’s also probably the most laid back, adorably sweet celebrity I’ve met! I’ve seen her live a few dozen times, and the woman can sing.

Stronger is a really…strong album. But honestly, I wasn’t too enthralled by her last album, minus a few songs, so I needed another Breakaway or My December. There’s a good mix of upbeat vs. slow songs. I listened to it for 6 straight hours on a roadtrip when it first came out, which proved to me that I was going to love it. You MUST purchase the delux version, because the bonus songs are badass, and should have been included on the regular album.

Personal Favorite Tracks: The War Is Over, Breaking Your Own Heart, Stronger, Dark Side

2. Parachute – The Way It Was

You knew this was coming. Parachute. What can I say that I haven’t said already?

The Way It Was is Parachute’s sophomore album. Sophomore slump? Not here. This album seems to pick up where the last ended. It is lyrically and instrumentally stronger than the first. Put a band on the road, add  a couple years experience and out of it ou’ll get a beautifully crafted album. I can’t even begin to express just how much of group of talented guys this band is. I cannot wait to see where this albums takes them next.

Personal Favorite Tracks: What I Know, American Secrets, White Dress

1. Matt Nathanson – Modern Love

Well, duh. Who else would you expect to be in the number 1 spot? But honestly, this is some of Matt’s best work. I was in love with his last album, Some Mad Hope, so hard I never thought he could write anything better. When Modern Love was released, it definitely gave it a run for its money.

The songs on Modern Love range from I don’t need you!, to falling in love, to heartbreak, to you’re-evil-and-I-hate-your-guts. Matt sings each song with that intended emotion, so you believe in every word he sings. You feel it.

The album was released at perfect timing; during the summer, it acted as therapy for my slightly bruised heart. 2011 was an interesting year of boys for me, and this album pretty much seemed like it could have been written specifically for me. Thanks for the soundtrack of my life, Matty. 😉

Personal Favorite Tracks: Modern Love, Kept, Kiss Quick, Queen of (K)nots

There you have it, my friends. So now you know what you missed out on this year, if you weren’t already listening to these! Now go and do yourself a favor, and use those iTunes gift cards you received for Christmas and download these albums.