With Christmas carols playing on the radio stations, it seems like a good time to review the music that has been released this year.
The year 2007 did repeat some generic pop tunes, but there were at least 10 standout songs and 15 original albums that deserved a listen.
• Rihanna – “Shut Up and Drive.”
Instead of choosing the much-overplayed “Umbrella,” this tune is fun and sassy, just like the R&B girl herself. And the best part? It hasn’t been played to death on radio stations everywhere.
• Chris Brown – “Wall to Wall” or “Kiss Kiss.”
Both of these songs showcase the 18-year-old’s great beats that make his listeners want to get up and dance. This youngster is sure to only get better with age.
• John Mayer – “Waiting for the World to Change.”
This is the perfect song for our troubled times; Mayer’s voice and lyrics lend the perfect mix of hope and optimism.
• Timbaland – pretty much any song he released this year.
His collaborations with OneRepublic, Keri Hilson, Justin Timberlake and Nelly Furtado all proved his talent. This man can work with anyone to produce a hit.
• Kelly Rowland – “Like This.”
This hip-hop jam establishes Rowland as a solo artist, who doesn’t need Beyoncé to steal her thunder. Just try not getting this one stuck in your head.
• Pink – “U + Ur Hand.”
The ultimate girl power vibe can be found in Pink’s tongue-in-cheek song. Forget the Spice Girls’ coy “Don’t mess with us” message. Pink leaves no question about it
this punk girl will stomp on any guy who stops her from having a good time.
• Kanye West – “Stronger.”
Although the hip-hop artist is about as arrogant as one man can be, he is, nonetheless, very talented. This song introduced his new album along with “Can’t Tell Me Nothin’,” and yet another litany of unique and honest tunes hit the airwaves.
• Amy Winehouse – “Rehab.”
This sultry Brit produced a melody that nearly every young Hollywood starlet could use as a theme song. With a voice that serves as a throwback to a 60s Diana Ross, hopefully Winehouse’s hard-partying ways will be tamed enough for her to continue making exceptional music.
• Mickey Avalon – “Jane Fonda.”
This new artist’s song got a lot of radio airplay on stations like KROQ. Possibly too crude for some people, it has a catchy beat, a positive body message and the staying power of a song like “Baby Got Back.”
• Will.i.am. – “I Got it From My Mama.”
Finally a song released in 2007 that is silly and fun, but from a talented artist that doesn’t make it too ridiculous to listen to. Although the Black Eyed Peas member didn’t release a well-reviewed album, this song has enough entertaining aspects to make it memorable.
There were many albums released this year that did have critics praising.
These may not be ones to get a lot of MTV attention or mentions in teen magazines, but they still deserve a shout-out.
These are artists who continue to put out original music.
Even if KIIS isn’t playing it, it doesn’t mean it’s not worth listening to.
• The Academy Is… – “Santi”
• Arcade Fire – “Neon Bible”
• The Bravery – “The Sun and Moon”
• Daphne Loves Derby – “Good Night, Witness Light”
• The Feeling – “Twelve Stops and Home”
• Feist – “The Reminder”
• Jay-Z – “American Gangster”
• Lily Allen – “Alright, Still”
• Maroon 5 – “It Won’t Be Soon Before Long”
• Mika – “Life in Cartoon Motion”
• Nas – “Greatest Hits”
• Paul McCartney – “Memory Almost Full”
• Queens of the Stone Age – “Era Vulgaris”
• The Shins – “Wincing the Night Away”
• Spoon – “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga”
Here’s hoping that 2008 will bring even more grooves to fill the soundtracks of our lives.
Erin Konrad can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.