Wednesday, January 6, 2010

SPAZ picks 20 tasty tunes from 2009! PART ONE



So, 2010 is already here.... and I still wasn't finished with 2009!  Damn, how time flies!

I heard hundreds and hundreds of songs this year, many of which I totally dug.  Then again, there are many that I promptly forgot about and will probably rediscover some time in the future.

But for now, I wanted to share 20 of the finest tunes that I heard this year. And it's safe to say that, unless I've made you a mixtape CD-R, you probably haven't heard them! So, if you like being introduced to new stuff, this is the place to hear it!  And there is quite a variety of songs to choose from so give a listen to as many as you can handle!

There's even a handful of Hard Rock/AOR tracks here! In the end, regardless of genre, a good tune is a good tune! 

Apart from the first track, the others are listed randomly and I love them all equally... just like a cuddly litter of little kitties!

So, without any further adieu, here they are:

1). MARY CIGARETTES/"Whatever Turns You On"
I've been a fan of Gregory Gray for many years now and, although he hasn't put out an album in awhile, he has been releasing recordings under the name Mary Cigarettes.  This track is definitely my favorite song of the year.  It's not available on any CD yet, but it's absolutely fantastic!

2). NICK GARRIE/"Twilight"
While the song "Lovers"  by Nick Garrie is actually my second favorite song of the year, there's no video for it so I've chosen this wonderful track from the same album, 49 Arlington Gardens, one of my Top 5 albums of the year!  It's top notch stuff from a great British singer/songwriter...his second album in 40 years!

3). GIRL IN A COMA/"Static Mind"
Wow!  This Texas-based female trio really knocked my socks off with their Trio B.C. album, which is definitely in my Top 5 albums of the year.  Every track is terrific but I'll go with this one since there is a video.  I really love "Pink Lemonade", too.

4). ON THE RISE/"Lifeline"
AOR/Melodic Hard Rock band On The Rise were previously off my radar, but with their 2009 release, Dream Zone, I'm now paying attention! Love the little keyboard riff, the energy, etc.  A little Prog influence in there as well... but only a little.

5). PREFAB SPROUT/"Earth: The Story So Far"
While Prefab Sprout's 2009 album, Let's Change The World With Music was actually recorded 15 years ago, it has never been released so I count it as a 'new' album... and my 2nd favorite album of theirs (behind Steve McQueen). Every song is a gem, but this struck a real chord with me....

6). CHESTER FRENCH/"She Loves Everybody"
These two guys are young, but their influences seem to reach back some 20 years before they were born!  Very modern, but some great '60s, '70s and '80s vibes floating around.  Love those chord changes! Taken from their album Love The Future.

7). CAZALS/"Poor Innocent Boys"
This British outfit are fantastic but have recieved little to no press and that is an absolute shame! You should run out immediately to your local indie record store and buy their album What Of Our Future.... or just click the album title and buy online! Oh, and the album has a killer version of Spandau Ballet's "To Cut A Long Story Short", too!

8). HARDLINE/"Voices"
Yes, this is the very same Hardline who released the classic AOR album Double Eclipse in 1992!  The chorus is what got me on this slice of delicious melodic Hard Rock!  The album, Leaving The End Open, is filled with lots of great heavy hitters!

9). LILY ALLEN/"The Fear"
Lily Allen had risen to fame so fast that I figured that she would lose sight of why she had become so popular and then put out a less than mediocre sophomore album... but I was wrong!  In fact, It's Not Me, It's You is loads better than the first album!  It's a fantastic Pop album that has some of the best singles of the year, including "The Fear"!
(Unfortunately, I can't embed the video on this blog, but do yourself a favor and click HERE to watch it.)

10). WETTON/DOWNES/"My Life Is In Your Hands"
2008's Asia reunion album was fantastic, but Icon III from John Wetton and Geoff Downes is even better! As the main songwriters in Asia, this latest release doesn't sound too different from their motherband, but it feels more relaxed, confident and personal.  And it's certainly one of the best albums of the year!


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