Thursday, December 14, 2006

Airwave Blog 2: Best CDs of 2006

Slain rapper star Tupac Shakur still lives on more than 10 years after his death at the age of 25 from a gang relating shooting in Las Vegas. What I have been impressed with is the continued success of the most famous murder victim and in the five years that he was famous while still alive he was able to record a handful of hits within a short period of time and even did a photo shoot with famed photographer David LaChappell for RollingStone Magazine the year he died.

Remember the photo with him in the bath tub? Yes, one of his most famous of him with the words "Thug Life" across his abdomen. Long live Tupac and his music. Get this album...NOW!

White Stipes Jack White expands the music with The Raconteurs and the first album Broken Boys Soldiers. Teaming with fellow Detroit songwriter Brendan Benson and Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler, the rhythm section from Cincinnati band the Greenhornes, White exhales a bit, deferring enough to his mates to make Broken Boy Soldiers play like a team effort.

Following the Benson blueprint, "Steady as She Goes," which opens as a slice of 1960's radio pop from the Soliders album (V2 Records/Third Man), the record steers away from pigeonholing the rest of the way. White's in a Middle Eastern mood for the title track as he pulls off a wicked Robert Plant howl, while Lawrence and Keeler excel on the chorus-strong "Intimate Secretary" and the optimistic acoustic rocker "Yellow Sun." Like so many all-star bands before them, The Raconteurs could be one and done. But don't place the blame on this fertile and genuine debut.

England's own The Pet Shop Boys was a good one the 2006 Limited Edition Release of the Duo's Eighth Full Length Album, Reuniting them with Producer Trevor Horn (Who also Produced "Introspective") that Includes a Special Bonus CD Filled with Remixes!

"Fugitive" was Originally Written at the Beginning of 2005 and Completed with Richard X. "in Private" is the Duo's Own Version of the Hit They Wrote and Produced for Dusty Springfield in 1989.

It features Duet Vocals by Neil Tennant and Elton John. Chris Lowe Commented: "we've Really Enjoyed Making this Album with Trevor and his Team and Are Very Happy Indeed with the Finished Result." Neil Tennant Added: "we Think It's a Great Pet Shop Boys Album and also a Great Trevor Horn Record."

NME Has Proclaimed "Fundamental" as "Their Best Album in 10 Years". Features the Initial Single "i'm with Stupid", a Pointed Jab at Tony Blair and George W. Bush.

My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way has alternately described his band's third album as "completely over the top" and "borderline psychotic."

But even those words can't adequately prepare fans of the group's 2004 platinum major-label debut, Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge, for the onslaught of twisted song suites, glam-rock cannon fire and drama-club theatrics that make up The Black Parade.

Tracks like "Mama" and "The End" make "Bohemian Rhapsody" sound like "Blitzkrieg Bop." It's no coincidence that the disc feels as dizzyingly monumental as Green Day's American Idiot--after all, the two albums share the same label, producer, studio, janitorial team, and sense of apocalyptic dread.

Similarly, The Black Parade will cast its creators in a completely new light. Despite its overly histrionic tendencies and a totally oddball cameo from Liza Minelli, it offers a clear signal that My Chemical Romance is ready to be taken seriously.

It's easy to dismiss the music of this cute, vegan, bare-pated relative of Herman Melville (known as Moby), especially if you don't actually listen to the music and focus instead on his ultra-PC interview style or the manner in which he sold dozens of songs to commercials and film soundtracks back in Y2K.

Listen the music from Go: The Very Best of Moby (V2 Records) and you will hear why his album Play was as good as it was and why he continues to be the man that Eminem goes after.

But to do so is to knee-jerkedly miss out on some very fine and innovative music by one of the most influential musicians of the last decade. With the exception of two tracks (one of them the title tune), Go is a best-of from the years that Moby's been on the V2 label, from 1999's breakthrough hit Play onward.

But Play--with its uncanny reworking of field recordings with playful beats and ambient textures--remains the artist's finest moment. A full disc of remixes and a smattering of unreleased songs (including a rad new number with Blondie's Debbie Harry on guest vocals) make this an essential purchase for rabid fans.

And, as a judicious selection of Play-era material is included alongside the finest songs from Moby's subsequent albums, 18 and Hotel, this is also the perfect entry point for the more casual fan.

FROM THE SONG, "THE REAL SLIM SHADY": MAY I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE: I SAID MY I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE! WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A PROBLEM HERE. Eminem Presents: The Re-Up (Shady Records/Interscope Records), began as a street mixtape project--an underground, unofficial CD with raw production values--designed to help launch new Shady Records artists Stat Quo, Ca$his and Bobby Creekwater.

"But what happened is that the material was so good and the tracks were getting produced like a regular album," said Eminem. "Instead of putting it out there rough and unfinished, I thought we should add some other new tracks, make it a real album, and put it in the record stores to give these new artists a real boost."

The album was executive produced by Eminem, who also produced the majority of the songs. A handful of selections were produced by The Alchemist, who also compiled the album in true mixtape fashion. The Alchemist is best known for his work with Cypress Hill, Nas, Snoop Dogg, Mobb Deep, and Jadakiss.

Each of the tracks makes its official CD debut on Eminem Presents: The Re-Up, though Stat Quo's "Billion Bucks," and Obie Trice's "Cry Now" (Remix), produced by LT Moe, was recently released on mixtapes and to radio. The first single and video will be "You Don't Know" from Eminem, 50 Cent, Ca$his and Lloyd Banks. With Eminem and Ca$his from the Shady camp and 50 Cent and Lloyd Banks from G-Unit, the rap illustrates the unity of the two organizations.

The Re-Up also gave acclaimed hip-hop producer The Alchemist a chance to work with Shady's new regime. After joining forces on-stage as Eminem's DJ on last year's Anger Management 3 tour, Alchemist and the Shady camp began collaborating in the studio. This new album features the results of this anticipated collaboration with new tracks produced by The Alchemist featuring Stat Quo, Ca$his, Bobby Creekwater and Obie Trice.

Among the album's other recordings are "No Apologies" from Eminem; "Talkin' All That" from Ca$his; "City Of Gold" from Bobby Creekwater; "Murder" from Bizarre and Kuniva (both of D12); and The "Smack That (Remix)" with Akon.

Stat Quo, hailing from Atlanta, was signed to a joint deal between Shady Records and Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment after Eminem and Dre heard him on the Underground Atlanta mixtape series. Creekwater, also from Atlanta, was inked after Eminem heard his work on demos and in the studio with The Alchemist. Ca$his, a Chicago native transplanted in his youth to Orange Co., California, was a member of West Coast underground favorites The Renegadez.

Rampant misinformation about Eminem Presents: The Re-Up included many false internet tracklistings and that the mixtape would be a tribute to D12's Proof, the recently slain rapper and close friend of Eminem. "The D12 album and those unreleased songs with Proof are coming," said Eminem. "But The Re-Up is about these new artists and these new songs. It isn't fair to them or to the memory of Proof to mix them up."

The long-awaited third record in the Bat Out of Hell trilogy, The Monster Is Loose, has Meatloaf proudly on its album sleeve. More a pop orchestral mishmash than a well-defined rock opus, Bat III is dark, seemingly hopeless at times, and über dramatic. Oddly enough, that's also its saving grace.

Meat Loaf and company create a great escape into the realm of grand theatricality, with a bunch of radio-friendly rock tunes that sound 20 years old, and several lyrically memorable AOR ballads to sustain it all the way to Broadway.

With collaborator (and occasional defendant in Meat Loaf lawsuits) Jim Steinman, producers Desmond Child and Todd Rundgren, the Meat man consistently has the big sound booming and his despair and his rage on to the point that listeners may feel his pain a little too often.

Bat III ain't for sissies. Balanced by the powerful female voices of Marion Raven, Patti Russo, and Jennifer Hudson; along with guest musicians and songwriting help from Steve Vai, Marilyn Manson's John 5, Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx, Queen's Brian May, and others; Meat Loaf's Monster has roared the unlikely rock star back to life like a bat out of Baghdad.

Beck is the single most inventive and eclectic figure to emerge from the '90s alternative revolution. In an era obsessed with junk culture, Beck seamlessly blends pop, folk, hiphop, indie/underground and electronica with the end result being an authentically uncategorizeable musical style that nevertheless has sold millions of records and scored multiple Grammy awards.

Three years in the making, The Information is the album Beck began work on in 2003 with producer Nigel Godrich (Radiohead's OK Computer, Kid A; Beck's Sea Change, Mutations) and finally completed this year once Guero's massive success and encore touring engagements, as well as Nigel's other commitments, were fulfilled.

The album is comprised of 15 songs and a DVD featuring homemade videos for each of the 15 songs shot in-studio during the actual sessions. The artwork for The Information is either non-existent or infinite, depending on one's point of view.

Each copy will come in a blank package with one of four collectible sticker sheets specially designed by European and American artists and representative of the unique Beck aesthetic. The stickers will give every Beck fan the opportunity to participate in the creative process by designing his or her own one of a kind CD cover.

NOTE: This IS the LAST blog of the year for me. It turned out to be my longest ever blog entry. I will return on Jan. 8, 2007. So, if you want to contact me over the course of the next three weeks I will answer my email at

There was so much music in 2006 that I know that the new year 2007, will be filled with so much more than I can handle. Anyway, I appreciate having been given the opportunity to inform the public of great music. See ya all in January, be safe, have fun and happy new year and enjoy the gifts under the tree.


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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Airwave Blog 2: Madonna and Borat

Here is Madonna at the British Comedy Awards. Here she presents an award to comedian Sacha Baron Cohen (aka Borat aka Ali G). Madonna is as elegant as ever, and the fashionista is a reigning queen. And now that she will have her own clothing line with the help from H&M is there anything that this woman can't do, I ask you? The answer is NO! Any questions? Good, now shut up and for the next 20 years she will reign supreme. Click on the right for an enlarged view.

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Airwave Blog 2: Stefani shares 'The Sweet Escape'

Gwen Stefani releases the second single, off her latest album The Sweet Escape (Interscope Records) the title track and with the help from rising star Akon this is a good song. I first thought that her getting help from Akon was not a good idea but, of course as you know Stefani was inspired by Julie Andrews The Sound of Music and no, she did do that bad.

If I could escape I would but,
First of all, let me say
I must apologize for acting stank & treating you this way
Cause I've been acting like sour milk all on the floor
It's your fault you didn't shut the refrigerator
Maybe that's the reason I've been acting so cold?

If I could escape & recreate a place that's my own world
& I could be your favourite girl (forever), Perfectly together
Tell me boy now wouldn't that be sweet? (sweet escape)
If I could be sweet, I know I've been a real bad girl (I'll try to change)
I didn't mean for you to get hurt (whatsoever)
We can make it better, Tell me boy wouldn't that be sweet? (sweet escape)

I want to get away, to our sweet escape
I want to get away, yeah

Not bad for a second single, and having just performed on Good Morning America she still looks good for just having a baby; its good.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Airwave Blog 2: Red Jumpsuit Apparatus go 'Face Down'

Red Jumpsuit Apparatus latest single, "Face Down" off the band's CD Don't You Fake It (Virgin Records) is a killer of a song, and who would have thought that I would actually like it. Lead singer Ronnie Winter, is fabulous on this song, and the rythum fits in nicely.

A pebble in the water makes a ripple effect
every action in this world will bear a consequence
If you wade around forever you will surely drown
I see what's going down.

I see the way you go and say you're right again,
say you're right again
heed my lecture

Do you feel like a man when you push her around?
Do you feel better now as she falls to the ground?
Well I'll tell you my friend, one day this world's going to end
as your lies crumble down, a new life she has found.

Face down in the dirt, she said,
this doesn't hurt, she said,
I finally had enough.

The Flordia quintet is turning in an awesome band on its own and the more and more I listen to Los Angeles rock station KROQ (106.7) the most I'm impressed with the talent of all the bands that play on the air.

Just like the station turned me into love My Chemical Romance (I told you that song, "The Black Parade" is totally genius!), AFI, The Killers, Evanescence, and all the others Red Jumpsuit Apparatus is up there too.

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Airwave Blog 2: Reviewed CDs

Okay, I admit I'm not a big fan of Taylor Hicks and I have a right NOT to be by the way. However, in doing so, I know that "American Idol" fan totally adore their "Idols" and that's not want I'm complaining about it.

It's about what happens afterward with all the famous and glory that goes into being famous is all about. I mean just look at what happened with Clay Aiken. Remember his now infamous appearance with Regis and Kelly and what he made himself look out to be? Whose to say that the same thing will not happen to Hicks.

But I'm getting away from the album Taylor Hicks (Arista Records) itself. Yeah, well, I don't know too much of the inspired Soul Patrol in it. I think that he's trying to hard.

1. The Runaround
2. Dream Myself Awake
3. Heaven Knows
4. Gonna Move
5. Wherever I Lay My Hat
6. Give Me Tonight
7. Just To Feel That Way
8. The Maze
9. Places I've Been
10. Soul Thing
11. The Deal
12. The Right Place

Rating: 2 out of 5

George Michael returns with another greatest hits album Twenty-Five (Sony Records) but it's album time that he seriously consider coming out with more material than relying on the old material but it's hard to tell him that.

Twenty Five is the fourth such collection in Michael's career, though it carries the obvious advantage of being more up to date than 1998's lauded Ladies & Gentlemen and features not only solo material but music from the early Wham! days.

As such, it's the most comprehensive anthology yet, featuring upbeat Wham! classics like "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" and "Freedom" amidst somber solo material like "Praying for Time" and "Jesus to a Child." Spread across two discs (29 songs in total), the collection not only includes a host of evergreen classics but also recent singles "An Easier Affair" and "This Is Not Real Love" (with former Sugababe Mutya Buena) and two unreleased tracks.

There are some notable absences from the collection-–"I Want Your Sex" and "Kissing a Fool" are two glaring omissions-–but it still remains the most comprehensive survey of the artist's legacy to date.

2006 two CD collection celebrating George's 25 years as a recording artist, both solo and with Wham! He has been British Pop royalty ever since he took the charts by storm with Wham! in 1982.

He's been a solo star for over 20 years, achieving huge international success, selling over 80 million records worldwide with hits like 'Faith' and his most recent acclaimed album Patience.

He has since been hailed as the Most Played Artist on British Radio in the last 20 years! Features plenty of hits pluse four new songs including the recent radio favorite 'An Easier Affair', 'Heal The Pain' (a duet with Paul McCartney) 'Understand' and the brand new single 'This Is Not Real Love', a duet with Mutya Buena, former member of the Sugababes.

It's not bad that he's releasing music for the first time that never been heard.

1. Everything She Wants
2. Wake Me Up Before You Go Go
3. Freedom
4. Faith
5. Too Funky
6. Fastlove
7. Freedom 1990
8. Spinning The Wheel
9. Outside
10. As (Ft Mary J. Blige)
11. Freeek
12. Shoot The Dog
13. Amazing
14. Flawless (Radio Version)
15. Easier Affair (Previously Unreleased)
16. Careless Whisper
17. Last Christmas
18. Different Corner
19. Father Figure
20. One More Try
21. Praying For Time
22. Heal The Pain (Ft Paul Mccartney) (Previously Unreleased)
23. Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me (Ft Elton John)
24. Jesus To A Child
25. Older
26. Round Here
27. You Have Been Loved
28. John & Elvis Are Dead
29. This Is Not Real Love (Ft Mutya) (Previously Unreleased)

Rating: 4 out of 5

Here's the other "American Idol" Fantasia Barrio, with her self titled album Fantasia (J-Records) and I again question the talent, and yes, I'm NOT saying she doesn't have any but why. Makes her stop trying to be an actress with her life being told on cable and losing out to Beyonce for the role in "Dreamgirls" (All right B!) but my God I don't know I just don't see it.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Airwave Blog 2: Revealed 'Confessions' DVD

My hope is that the DVD is respectfully of Madonna's 'Confessions' Tour than the NBC Special that aired on Nov. 22. But here is the DVD cover of what fan can expect to see when it comes out. I was so disappointed with what NBC did when the concert aired (i.e. cutting for commerical in between songs, and not showing the mock cruicifixation), that I did not watch it myself.

F***** A*******!!!!

By the way here is the tracklisting for the audio CD of the tour that will be available in January.

01 - Future Lovers / I Feel Love
02 - Like A Virgin
03 - Jump
04 - Confessions
05 - Isaac
06 - Sorry
07 - Sorry (Remix)
08 - I Love New York
09 - Let It Will Be
10 - Music Inferno
11 - Erotica
12 - Lucky Star
13 - Hung Up

My all time favorite moment was the beginning with her and the video from the June 2006 W Magazine photo shoot with photographer Steven Klein. Absolutely amazing and Madonna of course drop-dead gorgerous!


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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Airwave Blog 2: Future CDs being reviewed

Singer and actor Tyrese returns from the big screen to the studio with his first full-length album. Is it good? Has being an actor made him forget his fanbase? I'll let you know, 'cause that's what I do.

Norah Jones will release this album Not Too Late at the end of January, (Damn) but with the lead single, called "Thinking About You" she hasn't lost her touch since the 2004 album Coming Home. I'll give my input. But fans should be happy she is back! I know I am.

Lara Fabian...long time no hear made a splash with the song, "I Will Love Again" in 2000. She has returned yes and can give Celine Dion and Mariah Carey a run for their money with that voice and her looks!

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Airwave Blog 2: Evanescence leaves 'The Open Door'

Best album of 2006: Evanescence returned this year with its album The Open Door (Wind-Up Records) and no matter what anyway says Amy Lee is a goddess. What wrong with a woman being in charge of a band.

I'm sure there was controversy surrounding them with one of its original bass player leaving the band cause he came to heads with Lee. She is just like Blondie's Debbie Harry. YES!

1. Sweet Sacrifice
2. Call Me When You're Sober
3. Weight of the World
4. Lithium
5. Cloud Nine
6. Snow White Queen
7. Lacrymosa
8. Like You
9. Lose Control
10. The Only One
11. Your Star
12. All That I'm Living For
13. Good Enough

Regardless of what people think or feeling, whether that's the album is too heavy on the ballad without many rock songs or whether this album should have been the same as the band's last album Fallen; whatever you think I think that its one of the best of 2006.

Lee makes herself the star and written late last year, The Open Door was recorded at The Record Plant in Los Angeles and mixed at Ocean Way Studios in March 2006. Marking the return of long-time friend and producer Dave Fortman, the album's musical elements include a classically-infused choir and strings on several tracks, giving further color to songs of introspection, longing, doubt, self-respect and, ultimately, empowerment.

The album opens with "Sweet Sacrifice," a post-relationship catharsis that head-dives from an otherworldly intro into a hard-driving thrash of hard rock guitars and soaring rock vocals. Its first single, the mid-tempo "Call Me When You're Sober," reinforces the moving-away-from-dysfunction theme.

Other standout tracks on The Open Door include "Lithium," which embraces feeling over numbness, "All That I'm Living For," Lee's tribute to band life, "Weight of the World," her plea for perspective from the expectation of young fans, and "Good Enough," a string-and-choir-infused closer distinguished as the band's first truly (almost) contented song ("It feels really good ending the album this way," says Lee).

Having toured for a year-and-a-half straight with only a month off following the release of Fallen, Evanescence hopes to hit the road this time out with a care not to neglect key markets worldwide.

Its U.S. tour begins immediately after the release of The Open Door, rewarding hardcore fans with a "sneak peak" of the album during a handful of more intimate theater dates before segueing into much larger arena shows.

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Video: Eminem acts like 'You Don't Know'

Eminem has returned (finally) with some new material with the lead single, "You Don't Know" featuring the likes of 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks. Here he channels Hannibal Lecter from the movie, "Silence of the Lambs" (brilliant I say) and rap hasn't been lost.

Welcome back Em!!!!

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Friday, December 01, 2006

Airwave Blog 2: Timberlake has a 'Future' in album

Best album of 2006: Former N'Sync Justin Timberlake thank God is not turning into Michael Jackson and it is evident in this album Future Sex/Love Sounds (Jive Records) and give credit where its due to producer and music mogul Timbaland. Need I say more? Okay, I admit that when I saw Timberlake goes solo after N'Sync had its run of hits in the early 90s I thought that those who have sought fame by themselves would just faded away.

However, throughout this album Timberlake is good and even if those who think that the first single that was release was manipulated by a machine (just ask his ex-girlfriend Britney Spears when she sings) It is a good song and I think that you should not care to much about it. I even surprised myself when I listen. I actually said, "THIS is a great album. To all the naysayers: **** off!

"SexyBack," the inescapable summer sizzler of a first single off this short and thrillingly unwholesome disc, makes that clear on its own: If there was ever any question about whether sexy was in need of reviving--a doubtful proposition at best, given the sheer volume of JT's gyrating counterparts--he lays it to rest instantly over a small but insistent Timbaland-concocted beat.

On that track, Timberlake's appeal is his sweet but newly thuggish-sounding voice--here's a good kid gone bad, and he's determined to convince us of it not only by tossing a few well-timed mother****ers our way but also with such lyrics as "I'll let you whip me if I misbehave."

The rest of FutureSex will feel familiar to anyone who picked up 2002's brilliantly funk-flecked Justified: "Love Stoned/I Think She Knows Me," shifts from Michael Jackson-esque paranoid trilling to pulsating guitar rock; "Chop Me Up," a collaboration with Three 6 Mafia and Timbaland, gives up the grit rap-style but still manages to recall both Prince and Stevie Wonder; "My Love," with T.I., mines classic Timberlake territory with meltaway lyrics like "I can see us holding hands walking on the beach/Our clothes in the sand."

1. Future Sex/Love Sound
2. SexyBack
3. Sexy Ladies
4. My Love
5. Love Stoned
6. What Goes Around
7. Chop Me Up
8. Damn Girl
9. Summer Love
10. Until The End Of Time
11. Losing My Way
12. All Over Again (Another Song)

Rating: 4 out of 5

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