Here we are again – the end of the year, or at least the end of our year here on earthings!, as we take that long holiday break to recharge, or whatever passes for that these days. And it’s been a busy year, or perhaps because we found ourselves juggling a lot of things on many fronts – lots of changes off screen, and a bunch of new features on screen. But I digress. Here we are again – the end of our year on the blog, which means I trot out my ten favorite songs of the year – not a definitive list by all means; just a reflection of what I’ve liked, considering that I seem to have listened to less new music and more K-pop these past few months. So, here’s the list, arranged alphabetically as always. [NB]
My one reservation with Listen Up!, the debut album from American Idol favorite Haley Reinhart, is the insistence to put her in this box of retro-flavored delights. It’s not a bad thing, but her debut focused too much on it. Four years later she returns with Better, an album that, while still inconsistent in places, shows that she can (and always was able to) bring her thing to a more modern setting. Everything feels booming; everything feels strong. Well, save for a mid-album stretch that returned to Haley’s more relaxed sound and ended up sticking out like a sore thumb. But tracks like “Better”, “Talkin’ About” and the completely sublime “I Belong With You” – that song’s a perfect storm, or maybe it’s my thing for sweeping end-credit songs – demonstrate (I risk gushing here) a timelessness that Haley is finally free to explore. [NB] | 4/5
“Show Me Your Moves” by Haley Reinhart | So, a new Haley Reinhart single, her first since Listen Up! sadly failed to light up the world, and one made possible through a crowdfunding campaign. Well, I’m glad to hear something new from her – it’s been a while (since this blog started, actually) since I heard something new from possibly my favorite American Idol contestant ever. It’s jumpy and funky and lovely, but I will have to admit that I am missing that smoky voice of hers here. I know she’s done this sort before, but this feels all smoothed out and stretched out like bubble gum – like filler. Am I being harsh on my favorite? I hope not. But, hey, again, glad to hear something new from her. Dancing on my seat now. Single’s now available for download on iTunes – unless you already have it, if you were part of the campaign and all. [NB]
It’s that time of the year when every music related website, from the big ones to pretenders like this blog, roll out their yearend lists. But of course I’m getting on that thing too. But this blog was never always updated when it comes to music, partly because I never really aimed to cover every base – so no mention of Kendrick Lamar or Frank Ocean here, because I never really heard their stuff, and everybody else seems to love them. What I’m doing here is a list of my ten favorite tracks of the year, a highly subjective list that inevitably skews towards my preferences and favorite artists – but then again, this is more of a journal than a journalistic endeavor. Soak on this while the blog takes a two-week break (I’ll be back on
7 January 6 January 5 January 4 January). Now, the songs, in alphabetical order. And tell me of your top picks too!
“Hit The Road Jack” by Casey Abrams and Haley Reinhart | It is my obligation to post this, off Casey’s debut album out next week. It is also my obligation to declare that this is as good as their take on “Moanin'” back in one American Idol results show. Why so sexy?