Monday, June 30, 2014

Christina Aguilera Top 10 #1

Welcome back music lovers! I bet you thought we would be discussing one of my favorite rock bands today we'll like I said you never know what you will expect on my personal mix-tape blog! As stated before, I like all sorts of different artists and musical genres but yes pop and rock are the predominant two and today's spotlight is on ten of my favorite Christina Aguilera songs. Now Christina Aguilera came along at a time when pop was huge and since I grew up on pop music, I liked her immediately but she has always proved to be so much more. Her four-octave vocal range has a way of capturing the soul singers of the past and producing a lot of emotion that I feel a lot of artists today just can not duplicate. Growing up in a household of domestic abuse and then going to school and being bullied by others due to her talent and good looks are probably reasons why there is so much heartfelt or heartbroken emotion behind her voice and also going through pain like that makes Christina Aguilera such the strong person she is. No matter the style of music, I just adore Christina Aguilera whether a bubblegum pop princess or a queen of new blue-eyed soul so here is my first list of favorite top ten songs to show my appreciation.

#10. Hurt from the album Back To Basics

Why Do I Like It?: I have to admit that the first time I heard this song, I cried my eyes out. The lyrics of the song basically describe losing a loved one and having guilt about not saying words that need to be said and this song happened to come out five years after I lost my dad. When a song like this comes around and can literally touch your heart and crush it at the same time, there really isn't a lot to explain but I'll at least say that I love Christina's voice and the string arrangement.

#9. Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You) - Video Remix version

Why Do I Like It?: Now this one differs from the version on Christina's self-titled debut album (which I also have) as it is more sexualized than her previous songs at that time. I like that pop beat and more mature lyrics than it's album version and it began to show the later Christina we would get to know (and still love!) The song also has more of that soul that Christina Aguilera has always displayed and of course as always...she's so pretty!

#8. Glam from the album Bionic

Why Do I Like It?: I do like this song but I will be truthful in admitting that Bionic is not my favorite Christina Aguilera album. I can't really explain why but I will tell you that Glam is not one of the reasons: I love the beat to this song! Going down the catwalk or the streets on a girls' night out you always want to look your best and who better than Xtina to give us advice on how to work it! There has to be a movie out there that needs this song for a montage! Electro-dance-pop may not be your thing but I love it and as always, there's a touch of creamy soul to Christina's voice for you to enjoy!

#7. Dirrty from the album Stripped

Why Do I Like It?: Here's another Christina confession for you all, when this song came out along with the video, I was a little put off and almost thought about not checking out the Stripped album at all. I am all for artists emerging out of their cocoons and going in different directions but I thought Christina went too far until I realized I was being just as judgmental as everyone else. So when I finally bought Stripped it turns out it is my favorite out of all Christina's albums! It may be different compared to the rest of the album but now I see Dirrty as a very sexy dance club jam and I have to give props to Xtina for being so comfortable in her sexuality.

#6. Ain't No Other Man from the album Back To Basics

Why Do I Like It?: I never thought I would like 1930s-1940s era jazz or old time soul but Christina Aguilera changed that when I first heard this song! I heard it by seeing the video and I am so amazed at how flawlessly Christina just slips into that old Hollywood mold with the glitz and glamor and fits the role of club torch singer so well! The song has high energy, positive lyrics about being in love with a man who has totally changed your life and is so catchy! This song like the rest of the Back To Basics CDs (it is a 2 CD album) is definitely something good to accompany any Throwback Thursday playlist!

#5. Genie In A Bottle from the album Christina Aguilera

Why Do I Like It?: Like many others this was Christina Aguilera's debut single released that brought her to my attention. She was a new teen princess seen as a rival to her former Mickey Mouse Club co-star Britney Spears but she had a presence to her that impressed me more and I have liked her ever since while with Britney it took me a lot longer to become a fan. I was sixteen when this song came out so I was kind of naive as to what the lyrics were truly about and while many thought it was a little too risque for younger girls for a high-school girl like me, it kind of hit a valuable target. Yes it is about deciding whether you are ready to have sex with a boy that might be pressuring you while your heart and mind are telling you to wait. There are lots of songs like that but it also has you thinking "maybe I am ready to have sex with a boy just as long as he treats me with respect". That's my interpretation so if anyone wants to take the literal meaning of "rubbing someone the right way" than I'm just assuming English and metaphors are not your strongest suits...

#4. Not Myself Tonight from the album Bionic

Why Do I Like It?: My first time hearing this song on the radio is what made me by the Bionic album in the first place and when I eventually saw the video, my oh my...was not expecting it to be that racy! As noted before I love synthesizer beats and when you mix them with a catchy drumbeat or killer bass line, it usually cements my love for a song. As always I commend artists changing up their image or sound, finding independence and self-respect along the way and if you are a person happy with your own body and sexuality that is a plus. We little girls who discovered Christina Aguilera aren't genies in a bottle anymore and neither is she so I can connect with the lyrics of the song for two parts: the first is sometimes you aren't yourself when you go out to the club (I myself am not as inhibited and just love to go out for the dancing) and the second part is "the old me's gone/I feel brand new/and if you don't like it fuck you!" maybe not as harshly stated in the lyrics but still true just the same...

#3. Fighter from the album Stripped

Why Do I Like It?: Well the very Gothic feeling of the video helped but after I heard the lyrics, I could truly appreciate what a good song this is! Another reason (before we get into the lyrical content) is this is definitely not very pop at all: it is a rock song! It may not be bombastic hard rock but is in that genre vein thanks to some guitar work from Dave Navarro and has I guess more of that operatic rock style. Being on Stripped, which seems to incorporate many music styles, it is one of the highlights and is not short on displaying Christina Aguilera's powerful vocals. Back to the lyrics, it's about being done wrong and using all of that pain to instead become stronger. I guess I like it because it's relateable as in my past, like Christina herself, I was bullied and teased, hurt by people I thought were my friends and left thinking I would be a doormat forever. Being older and no longer a child, I may have moments that I falter but in the end I don't let anyone walk over me anymore!

#2. Candyman from the album Back To Basics

Why Do I Like It?: Another pop throwback that is just delicious! This time it's the 1940s era of boogie-woogie and swing we are taken back to and even then, Christina's soulful vocals still remain as she sings about a real dish of a man (get it as in candy dish...I know I am a queen of bad puns!) in a harmony reminiscent of The Andrews Sisters (three-parts as they were a trio). This bubblegum beat actually hides some pretty naughty lyrics but I think it's a lot of fun that makes me wish I could do some of those mean jitterbug moves! I love how Christina can change up her style and looks and still be bubbly and beautiful even when being a very cheeky, Vargas vamp. (If you have no idea about anything I just said, this is the Internet..go and learn something!)

So we have reached the top spot on this list of my favorite Christina Aguilera songs. It may be the end of this Top Ten but in the future Christina says it just...

#1. Keeps Gettin' Better from the album A Decade Of Hits

Why Do I Like It?: I love the synthpop vibe of this song and it pulled me in from the first note! I can't help but admit that the lyric "sometimes I'm a super bitch!" is my favorite because it takes on two different connotations: some days I am indeed a super bitch and other days I am Super Bitch, hard worked and cleaner of other people's messes! I like how empowering it can be and maybe just a little bit sexy as well. I can't really explain any other reason why I like this song except maybe the fact that Christina Aguilera is just that talented that almost anything she does is a #1 in my book!

So we've come back to pop...where do we go from here? Join me next time to find out what sort of musical treat I pull  from my grab bag of a music collection.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Cher Top Ten #1

Welcome back music lovers! So we are back in the pop groove of my collection of music that I love and today we see the first of my top ten favorite songs by Cher. You know before there was Madonna, Cherilyn Sarkisian who became half of the 60s duo Sonny and Cher was the reigning Queen of Pop but now has become the Goddess Of Pop, one of the divas almost well into her 70s and still touring with a dynamite body and elaborate stage shows. Being an 80s baby, I discovered Cher at the end of that decade and the love affair has only grown into the later decades but I also find that going back to the 1970s works of Cher as a solo artist after her marriage to Sonny Bono dissolved have just made the love of her music grow even more. Artists evolve and change the sound of their music and looks and we probably wouldn't have artist like Madonna and Lady Gaga if not for Cher (well for me that would be a sad thing anyway!) So without any further ado, let's kick off my first list of top ten songs of songs I like by Cher and see what you think!

#10. If I Could Turn Back Time from the album Heart Of Stone

Why Do I Like It?: This is the song I discovered Cher with as well as probably half a dozen or more kids my age back in 1989. I don't think six-year old me was shocked by Cher's almost completely bare body and the tattoos on her ass (more power to her on that fake or not) but I was probably blown away by that voice! Cher can hold her own against any rock vocalist besides being good at pop and dance hits (a duet between her and Ann Wilson of Heart would probably make my brain explode with delight!) with that raspy tone. It also does not hurt to have a song written by power house lyricist Diane Warren in a song we can all relate to: wanting to go back in time to take back things we said to someone we love. It's poignant in parts but Cher is by no means a weak-willed woman so the song doesn't become a weep fest but an admittance of pride that caused the person she loved to walk out the door.

#9. We All Sleep Alone from the album Cher

Why Do I Like It?: I admit I've never been a big Bon Jovi fan but when Richie Sambora and Jon Bon Jovi help write a song and Cher sings it...I'm all for that! Thanks to her voice and her fantastic physique, Cher makes this a very seductive song as displayed in the above video. The very simple premise that no matter where you go or how many people you love and sleep with, you will eventually sleep alone. I like the song but it is quite low on this list.

#8. Save Up All Your Tears from the album Love Hurts

Why Do I Like It?: Again another Cher song where I saw the video that made me love the song and seeing Cher reinvent her image three times within one video shows why she's good at staying so relevant. Originally a Bonnie Tyler song, Cher made it her own and despite not having quite the raspy tone as Tyler does, she still has those power house vocals and the song has a very melodic tone and again some Diane Warren lyrics, co-written with producer Desmond Child. We all know at least one person out there who is so distant that they are almost cold or they are hurtful without realizing it. After awhile we can no longer put up with them and we have to just walk away wondering whether they will care at all. If they eventually realize the harm they have done and finally break down that barrier, those tears are going to be too late. For someone who has cried a lot of tears myself because of people like that, the lyrics offer some great advice to one and all.

#7. Gypsies, Tramps And Thieves from the album of the same name

Why Do I Like It?: When I was little I never realized this was the same lady who sang "If I Could Turn Back Time" until my mother pointed it out to me on after about the millionth car ride of hearing it on the oldies station of the time where they didn't play stuff from the 1980s like they do now (which means me and others of my generation are now "old"). It was one of Cher's biggest solo singles and came at a time when lyrics of a song actually told a linear story that I actually kind of appreciate as most song lyrics today don't do that. Cher sings a song about a young woman who lives among her family of modern day gypsies who are treated like trash by others except at night when the men come to solicit favors from the women. When the narrator meets a young man the family picks up as they travel, they end up making love which gets her pregnant and soon she's on her own after he takes off. The premise of the song today is way off-base but hearing Cher sing this song is beautiful and emotional.

#6. Song For The Lonely from the album Living Proof

Why Do I Like It?: In the 2000s, Cher became something more of a club music type of artist but after the attacks on 9/11, we know everything in our world changed. Even though the song has a dance beat, it's lyrics written and then dedicated by Cher to the people of New York about six months later, brings a new kind of meaning. As the title suggests, it truly is a song for those who feel loneliness whether it is from love, friendship, factors of pain we can not change and need to know that there is hope. Even people who are strong and brave can get pushed to the brink of sadness but if we all stand by each other then life can go on. When you throw Cher's powerful voice into the mix with such powerful will be overwhelmed but the music is upbeat and energetic.

#5. One By One from the album It's A Man's World

Why Do I Like It?: This was probably my first taste of Cher as a dance pop diva. It had some decent radio airplay which is how I found it and I fell in love with it thanks to Cher's soulful voice. Sometimes the world gets to be too much for you to handle and the only thing that gives you give peace is being with the one you love. Something inside them brings out the best in you and sometimes the other people around you don't or can't understand why. Maybe they don't believe love is strong enough to make such a change possible for some unknown reason but eventually you hope that one by one they can feel and experience things as you do.

#4. Believe from the album of the same name

Why Do I Like It?: Probably the biggest hit of Cher's career that introduced her to a younger generation of fans with its dance-pop vibe. It has some Auto Tune which to most people seems to be a big no-no in music but Cher's voice is already proven to be quite powerful without the help...she probably just thought it sounded cool and it does! Everyone has break-ups in love and even in friendships and this is a song of empowerment. It's more about the romantic relationship ending when you can no longer connect with your significant other and then you realize you are more than capable of being on your own. Being the strong woman that she is, I for one believe in the power of Cher!

#3. Heart Of Stone from the album of the same name

Why Do I Like It?: This is the second song by Cher I ever heard and of course, saw on MTV. From the first strum of the acoustic guitar, you are hooked and by the time you get to the chorus the song is sure to have an impact upon you and for me a very emotional one. I have had some very personal losses dealt to me and I can connect with this song in this crazy world where I have also seen others deal with their lives changing in the most devastating ways whether personally or on the news. Sometimes the pain goes away when you are able to stand together with those around you who have dealt with pain and sometimes you wish your heart truly was made of stone so you never had to feel pain again or become so attached to someone or something and then only watch it being torn from your hands.

#2. I Found Someone from the album Cher

Why Do I Like It?: I have to admit  that Michael Bolton may not be my exact cup of tea but the man can write a really good song! This 1987 hit for Cher was penned by the crooner back when he just finished up fronting a much more biting band called Blackjack (which I guess is why he had the power mullet for a long-time) and when you add her voice to a power ballad...expect to be impressed! From the first keyboard note, I was hooked to this song and of course, the video featured the always gorgeous Cher who never fails to impress. It's hard to stay in love when the other person in your relationship can't be truthful or walks away every time you really need them to find comfort or show you true affection. During that time when they can't be may find someone else who listens to you, understands you and realize you can do better. By that time, you've found love with someone new and the love in your past decides to come back but it's too late. Besides being powerful lyrically, the song is very seductive and heart-pounding which is why I love it!

So with a career spanning over six decades, what song by Cher could possibly be my number one for this particular list? Taking the top spot is...

#1. Love And Understanding from the album Love Hurts

Why Do I Like It?: Ever since I saw the video for this song when I was little in the early 90s (this time on VH1) I have been in love with it! When you are young you can't understand why you become fascinated by certain things until you get older and can truly appreciate them. This song has Cher's soulful voice backed by some powerful vocals, has a string orchestra pounding with intensity and of course, lyrics by Diane Warren that are fiery and engaging! As the title suggests, the world does need more love and understanding because this world is sometimes scary, cruel and harsh where material things and money seem to matter more. Even today I think that is true: there are people out there who don't get the love they need or deserve and sometimes we don't understand why people do the things they do that hurt and devastate others. The song builds to a frenetic pace of passion that still impresses me on a musical level and that's why I have given it my number one spot.

If you are beginning to see a pattern in how I do these top tens by choosing artists I love...don't get too comfortable! We've been going from rock to pop and back again but you never know when it comes to me and my vast collection of favorites! I hope you'll be back next time to see what I talk about next!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Top 10 by Foreigner #1

Here I am back again, music lovers! Today we are going to do a top 10 centering around my second favorite band after Heart, Foreigner. Now of course being born in the 80s, I discovered this band around that time which led me to discovering Foreigner's 70s contributions and I also own their latest release (well 2009) that has Kelly Hansen as lead vocalist and not the legendary Lou Gramm. Most bands change line-ups all the time but Foreigner had to have Lou Gramm replaced on vocals due to the man receiving surgery for a brain tumor that affected his voice due to slight damage of the pituitary gland. Being a born-again Christian and giving up the hard parts of the rock and roll lifestyle, Lou Gramm still continues to perform and to me still has one of the best voices ever! Foreigner is not all just about Lou Gramm but also Mick Jones, to me one of the best guitarists and one of the greatest song writers and producers in music. So with all of idolatry out of the way let's countdown the first set of my favorite ten songs by Foreigner.

#10. Heart Turns To Stone from the album Inside Information

Why Do I Like It ?: The opening of the song with that Mick Jones guitar just drags you in! As I have said before I love Lou Gramm's vocals from those high notes to that smooth tenor he possesses and well any song he sings melts me like butter! A relationship goes wrong where the man is at fault and because of his past transgressions, he has broke the heart of the girl he loves and as she pieces it back together it has now become stony. He's willing to admit he is wrong but all the pity has dried up inside of her as she moves on. I admit sometimes after all the ways my heart has been hurt (not romantically per se) I wish I could have a heart of stone but sadly I don't think I ever can if I did though this would be my song!

#9. That Was Yesterday from the album Agent Provocateur

Why Do I Like It?: I don't know why a lot of people give synthesizers a hard time because the one in this song just kicks! A lot of songs draw me in by either the opening, the beat or the lyrics and this surely is one of those again thanks to Lou Gramm's voice and that catchy chorus! Though it may seem kind of upbeat I can see some sadness underneath the surface of these lyrics about a love that just doesn't work out. You can give too much love or not enough that the other person in the relationship just walks away. At the moment you may be shattered by it but eventually that's in the past, all that pain, but the memories and feelings that are good remain in your heart always.

#8. Waiting For A Girl Like You from the album 4

Why Do I Like It?: Another song with a wonderful use of synthesizer that is almost sexually hypnotic and when Lou Gramm's voice wraps around those lyrics...I swear I am just a puddle of water on the floor because first I had chills and then just melted away like an ice cube! Being a romantic, I think that every guy should sing this song to their girl and girls that actually do get that treatment, I envy you so! Mick Jones states he wrote this song after getting divorced and meeting the new love of his life and boy does it show! Do I really have to go into detail any more as to why I love this song? I don't think I need to...the song pretty much speaks for itself.

#7. Can't Slow Down (title track from the album of the same name)

Why Do I Like It?: Sometimes hard-core, die-hard fans don't like when the line-ups of their favorite bands change or the sound of the music does. As long as the sound remains, I don't mind line-up changes but sometimes it's tricky with lead singers. When I bought Can't Slow Down I thought I wouldn't like it since Lou Gramm wasn't on lead vocals anymore but I'm happy to admit that I like Kelly Hansen's vocals because at times they sound uncannily like Gramm. Now I may seem like a power ballad, soft rock person who only enjoys stuff on the adult contemporary or pop charts but if it has the right components I enjoy a good fist-pumping rocker like this album's title track. Now I know for a fact this song is about NASCAR racing and has become almost the sport's anthem but if you try to look at it in another context I see it as a song about chasing a dream on the road...but in a search for love. You go from place to place getting just a little taste of romance and passion but not exactly finding what you really need and you can't slow down until you find it!

#6. Head Games (title track from the album of the same name)

Why Do I Like It?: The driving hard rock beat of this song and those forceful Lou Gramm vocals are what pull me in the most on this other title track. Couples fight, say words they don't mean and even manipulate each other into guilt about just who is the one at fault. Laying in bed at night with these types of feelings can sometimes drive you almost completely mad and instead of thinking with your heart, your mind starts going into overdrive to sort out all of these manipulations. If there's something I've learned...never go to bed angry because your mind won't let you sleep if you do!

#5. Hot Blooded from the album Double Vision

Why Do I Like It?: This is the Foreigner song I hear the seems to follow me everywhere! I have taken it to quite literally be my personal theme song as I am naturally a hot-blooded person: body temperature and temper-wise. Who can deny that opening riff that leads into Lou Gramm's sizzling vocals and Mick Jones' smoking guitar work (sorry for the puns but they just come naturally!) Is there any other interpretation of this song than it being about sex? I thought not...guy sees girl lord only knows where and begs her to stay the night with him if she can get away from...the guy she's with or is it the woman he's there with? Any way, he's hot for her but is she just as hot for me or is she just being a tease? Based on that is this still my theme song? Yes but I'm only hot for one guy in particular.

#4. Feels Like The First Time from the album Foreigner

Why Do I Like It?: Foreigner's first big hit and not to mention a good way to introduce someone to the hard rock sound that is Foreigner. Since I grew up on 80's Foreigner, it's nice to go back and discover such a great band from the beginning. Everything is there from the beginning: Mick Jones' lyrical prowess and Lou Gramm's powerful vocals as well as my favorite part: the keyboard solo in the middle! Seriously, I love the anthem-vibe of the song that you could sing with your buddies after a few beers (what you think that hasn't happened to me before? you would be surprised!) Written by Mick Jones, this is a song about finding a love that can make you accomplish anything and bring back the passion like the first time you fell in love. It's positive and so polished but who says a song about finding love can't rock?

#3. Say You Will from the album Inside Information

Why Do I Like It?: Another song where I am hooked by that opening of Lou Gramm's vocals and then hit with that driving keyboard sound! There is no other way to describe the song then as a non soft ballad asking for a significant other to be with you but a forceful song where you are just going crazy every night until the coy object of your desire stops playing games. What makes this a little different is that this is no passing fling but a romance that has left someone reeling because they have felt love before just not a love of this magnitude. I mean this is a love you are afraid of losing that you may never find again and instead of being mopey about you are going to make sure you get what you want!

#2. I Want To Know What Love Is from the album Agent Provocateur

Why Do I Like It?: This is without a doubt Foreigner's biggest hit and the first time I ever heard Foreigner in my life and it was definitely love at first sound! With a soulful choir, Lou Gramm's almost hypnotic vocals and a dreamy underlying  of keyboards and synthesizers. Believe me, we all want to know what love is but it doesn't always have to be romantic can also be about the love found in friendship for anyone who has never had true friends kind of the way I didn't have any real friends in my younger days. So being little when it came out that's always what the lyrics meant to me but as I got older and my romantic side developed, I knew it was about that kind of love too. I wanted a love as epic as this song and I have it now (even if it is not a fairy tale or a romance novel sort of love) and I think this song is a personal anthem for everyone.

So since I have Foreigner's biggest hit at number two...what's taking the number one spot on this first installment of my Foreigner Top 10? Well it just happens to be another ballad...

#1. Girl On The Moon from the album 4

Why Do I Like It?: I've said it before about Lou Gramm's voice and some of the music in these past nine songs but I will continue to say it especially here...utterly entrancing! There is almost an otherworldly vibe set here and adds to the atmosphere of a guy dreaming about his fantasy girl who isn't that imaginary as he has seen her briefly before. Love at first sight...just a moment of hands touching and eyes meeting that now she haunts his dreams. So you can see why the romantic in me is so spellbound by this song in every aspect: lyrics, music and vocals. This ballad is lovely and if you only like Foreigner because they can rock you have no idea what you are missing when it comes to the band's more adult contemporary sound!

So we have gone from rock to pop and back again...where will we go next? I hope you return to find out here on my personal mix-tape blog!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Madonna Top 10 #1: Yes I Said #1

Madonna Louise Ciccone, this is how I discovered you!

Welcome back, music lovers, to my personal mix-tape blog. Now last time I gave you the first helping of my favorite songs by the band Heart from 10 to 1 now today we tackled the first of my favorite songs by pop music icon Madonna. Now if you think this is a major switch in genres get ready because that's what you're in for around here as I like so many types of music. When I was little the two cassettes I listened to on my Walkman constantly were Heart's self-titled album and Like A Prayer by Madonna and I think my love of Madonna came from my sister and my mom, who happened to have Madonna's debut self-titled on cassette. Not to mention, MTV was big in the 80s and when VH1 came around, I was always watching it and of course, Madonna was everywhere. Being an impressionable young child, female rockers and pop singers were like living Barbie dolls to me and so if music was cool then I wanted to be cool too. Every now and then, Madonna will come out with a song that I find catchy but the last Madonna CD I have (I kinda commandeered it from my mother *tee hee*) is Ray Of Light so it's been awhile. With that out of the way, here is the first Top 10 ranking of my favorite Madonna songs...

Guess what we start you know?

#10. La Isla Bonita from the album True Blue

Why Do I Like It?: Who can not love the sound of the Spanish guitar? It is such a beautiful instrument and when I first saw the video, I could not help but love that red flamenco gown Madonna wore with her dark blonde almost natural brunette hair...muy bonita indeed! Dreaming about a place that brings back so many memories of beauty and could you not love this song?

#9. Take A Bow from the album Bedtime Stories

Why Do I Like It?: Everytime I hear this song I feel like I am listening to an opera of the modern day and when paired with the 1940s feel of the music video, I am so impressed by Madonna. When she is good she is really good and sending a copy of the video to Take A Bow to the director of Evita won her the part of Eva Peron. Classy song about how loving someone famous and being neglected by them can truly hurt when that love is unrequited and only you can feel it (I speak from some personal experience but not the loving someone famous part...only in my dreams does that happen)

#8. Causing A Commotion from the soundtrack album Who's That Girl 

Why Do I like It?: I admit it that I love dancey, upbeat pop songs and in the 80s Madonna was the Queen of this! Being you know only four years old when this song came out of course I love it because it reminds me of my childhood (the good parts anyway)! Opposites attract we all know that but sometimes it can be a very turbulent relationship because when a cold front and a warm front meet there are always storm clouds with occasional bursts of thunder and lightning. So if love is important you have to put those differences aside, learn to compromise and then!

#7. Lucky Star from the album Madonna

Why Do I Like It?: This was one of the first Madonna songs I remember hearing and one of the first Madonna videos I remember seeing on MTV. Of course this video spawned many girls imitating the Madonna style and I always wished I was older so I could too but the dance beat was good enough to appease little old me. Back then and even now I believe Madonna was singing about a guy who is not only Heaven sent and almost certainly as beautiful as Heaven himself but when she says she's the luckiest by far it's because she's the one to have snagged him and not referring to herself as most people determine to be the true Heavenly body.

#6. 4 Minutes (with Justin Timberlake & Timbaland) from the album Hard Candy

Why Do I Like It?: Why is it that everything Timbaland has a hand in is so damn catchy?! Then you throw Madonna together with the very talented Justin Timberlake and BOOM! It is dance music magic that I love and never thought I would hear from Madonna again as nothing since Ray Of Light has made my little pierced ears perk up. If you had to save the world in 4 minutes, I think I'd grab a hot guy and dance with him too (seeing as my honey doesn't dance...or do the pop music thing) if the whole Jack Bauer thing didn't work out...

#5. Crazy For You from the Immaculate Collection/ Vision Quest Soundtrack

Why Do I Like It?: This was Madonna's first time singing a ballad and proved she wasn't just some pop singer who could only do dance club numbers. I'd call this a modern day take on the lone lounge singer singing her torch song as couples slow dance about the place like they did back in the 1930s. This was probably played at 80s proms aplenty, helped some babies be born and became the first slow dance for many newly wed couples with its romantic lyrics about pure desire and not lust no matter how much you want to make it seem that way.

#4. The Power Of Goodbye from the album Ray Of Light 

Why Do I Like It?: This is one of those Madonna songs where I saw the video for it first before deciding "You know I want that...I'm going to go and borrow my Mom's copy instead of buying it!" Visually the video was beautiful and is still stunning and musically, I love strings on pop songs and when you throw in acoustic guitar on an otherwise electronica track, that's innovative and different which grabs my attention. Lyrically, it's about breaking up and letting go of a romantic relationship but it can also symbolize just how painful and sometimes even how healthy it can be to say good-bye. I have had many people go away in my life be it death or just growing apart so I can relate on many aspects of the different interpretations of the song's words.

#3. Deeper And Deeper from the album Erotica

Why Do I Like It?: I have always loved the disco beat of this song! Though the video kind of creeps me out in parts and confuses me in others, the beat and lyrics to this song are sublime and when we get that little Flamenco flavor in the middle, chills go up my spine! I always thought the song was about finding love constantly because it's like an addiction that you just keep wanting more and keep wanting it until you find the love that fills this endless void for affection. I could be wrong but that's what nine year old me thought and that's just what thirty-one year old me is going to stick with unless enlightened otherwise...

#2. Spanish Eyes from the album Like A Prayer

Why Do I Like It?: I don't know why it is that songs with Spanish guitars or flavor seem to intrigue as I have no trace of Latin blood so I'm beginning to think that maybe the Catholic half of me (that comes from my father's side) is what pulls at me when I hear this song. I just always picture it playing in a candle-lit church in some Spanish village and I love the vulnerability that Madonna can display when she tries her hardest. The lyrics of the song have me imagining that a man has died to save the lives of his people and his widow constantly lights a candle to pray in his memory as she begs Jesus to help the others who must go in his fallen place to fight.

Even Madonna is anxious to see what my number one is!

And taking the #1 spot on my first Madonna Top 10 list is...

#1. Angel from the album Like A Virgin

Why Do I Like It?:  First of all that opening just hooks you in! Nile Rodgers of Chic produced this song and played the guitar on it so that beat that he brought just kills it! I believe I was just born a romantic so of course I love the lyrics of just being on cloud nine and in love with some guy who is not just your romantic cliche angel but your true salvation who heals your heart and just makes the rest of the world disappear when he is around. Most of the music I listen to comes from my youth so I guess I do fit the standard of the little girl who dreams about being a princess, bride or rock star but just remember that Barbie wasn't the only one who put those ideas in my head!

Totally Minnie? it's Totally Madonna!

So I went from rock to pop, what do you think will be coming at you next time, music lovers? Well you know as well as I do! Will it be another artist taking center-stage or maybe some random music taken from many genres? Tune in next time to find out!

Take a bow for now'll be back later!!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Heart Top Ten #1: Yes I said #1

Well here it is a big giant welcome to my new blog here on my own personal mix-tape for the web. If you don't know me my name is Courtney but on many internet forums I go by the moniker of Theresthegirl which I picked because it is one of my favorite songs by the band Heart, my most favorite band in all existence. In a nutshell, I have been a fan since I was little, have every album and any piece of merchandise I can find I get my little paws on. Besides being a huge fan, it's thanks to Heart and many people connected to the band that I like other musical artists and even how I found my true love and developed one of the best friendships in my life. Yes I know I came here to talk about music and even though I will be talking about many songs and many musical acts, Heart is the top of my list and the one band I will always love.

Since this is kind of a new to me I'll lay out the gist of it. I'm going to be doing random top tens based on all the music in my collection and since I have a lot of Heart albums with a lot of songs we are going to start with ten and depending how much media this blog can handle, they become top fives instead. I won't be doing the same artist since basically this is as I said a mix-tape so it's Heart this post and who knows what the next one might be! My rankings are based on many factors so I am not saying these are the ones I prefer the most because if I wanted to talk about songs I hate I'd only have one list and we'd be done already. With my Heart top tens, I picked a track off every album and just went from there so I'll try to give a reason why I like the song or what I like about it. So enough talk let's get to the action and countdown from 1 to 10 the first of many songs by the band Heart!

#10. Treat Me Well from the album Little Queen

Why Do I Like It?: The beautiful vocals and acoustic guitar prowess of Nancy Wilson, a twang of a blues harp, the gentle hum of the bass and the soft strains of a gentle string section are the components for a beautiful song such as this one.  Did you ever feel that your life has just begun because you have found the love of your life?  Before, life was empty but now you have someone who can understand you, get through to you when no one else can, some one who will…treat you well? Finding love where you feel you can give a piece of your heart to your significant other to always be in their heart whenever he or she is away is what gives you the strength to be free even when you feel you are alone again but in essence…you never will be for you can not be strong if you do not have the other half of your heart. The soul of Nancy Wilson is in her lyrics and Howard Leese’s string compositions…just take the whole bakery. A very slow yet sexy song of romance.

#9. Love Me Like Music (I'll Be Your Song) from the album Dreamboat Annie

Why Do I Like It?: Sweet harmonies of Heart to back-up the fabulous voice of Ann Wilson with a rousing bridge of rhythmic clapping. Life is like a card game where people win and lose all the time but at the end if you have someone to go home to…the hand you’re dealt may work in your favor. If love ever seems to be fleeting between you and your lover, don’t you just wish one look could bring back that feeling? Sometimes it is hard to be friends and lovers, to be assertive yet tender at the same time but…every song needs music and lyrics to work together. A song of love and friendship…splendidly fashioned together as any Heart song should.

#8. Nada One from the album Dog & Butterfly

Why Do I Like It?: The beginning sounds of an Oriental garden transports us to a another world where Nancy Wilson is the queen as she shines on this song with her very airy, ethereal vocals. Acoustic guitars and a symphony of violin orchestration composed by Howard Leese add to the beautiful imagery we can almost see and it is soon joined by the drums and an almost upbeat tempo of a Medieval and courtly dance. We could very easily be sewn into a tapestry of a beautiful tale told about a woman who every night is visited in her dreams by a man only to have him disappear as night fades into day. All she is left with is to wander through the day with his beautiful and mysterious eyes engrained in her memory as she goes through the low pain of the real world. When night comes, he returns to paint a world of love around her, for he is the only one who understands her and knows just what she truly needs. Most of us can relate to feeling so alone that the only time we can feel anything is at night when our inner desires come to life and not one person can understand but the one who fades with the coming daylight. A truly magical tapestry of lyrical poetry, which is threaded with Nancy’s golden voice and the harmonies of sister Ann and Howard Leese, who’s string composition is just enchanting.

#7. Silver Wheels from the album Bebe Le Strange (Instrumental)

Why Do I Like It?: If you listen closely you might recognize that sometimes Nancy Wilson plays this when going into Crazy On You and it's so seamless if I didn't point it out you might never even know? Short, sweet and to the point, it's like a breath of fresh air! Not as eloquent as my reasoning for the others but sometimes that might be better besides it's an instrumental so no lyrics to give my own interpretation of their meaning.

#6. Language Of Love from the album Passionworks

Never heard of this album? It's a very rare find nowadays but I am so glad I found it many moons ago so it is a cherished piece of my Heart collection.

Why Do I Like It ?: I just love that opening guitar rift and those vocals of the chorus are pure harmony heaven for me! I know from personal experience how tough it is to write love letters that get the words out right and been on the end of the love not being reciprocal. It's very tough not to have the words of others in place of your own and some us just aren't born to rhyme and compose love poetry so in order to make things special you need to discover your own kind of love language. (corny I know but see what I mean about the writing thing?!)

#5. My Crazy Head from the album Desire Walks On

Why Do I Like It ?: The rhythm is more vibrant and with very sexy lyrics, deep and driving bass work and of course the pairing of Ann and Nancy’s harmonies. Most of us lock every desire we feel inside to keep it hidden just for us to see it but at times, you meet someone who knows every one of those secrets…because they have the same fantasies locked inside themselves.When two people know each other so well, a love between you grows and it is just so powerful that you feel if you do not share it you might just go insane. Keeping those desires locked inside for so long can make you doubt your own sanity at times and if you can never share them with the person you love so much, you begin to wonder if your body can handle it. Seductive, poignant, and powerful when you add Howard Leese’s guitar work. Almost a musical equivalent of an orgasm it is so good!

#4. Under The Sky from the album Brigade

Why Do I Like It?: A powerful, heartfelt (no pun intended) ballad again focusing on the vocals and harmonies of the band as a whole. Add some acoustic guitar to the aforementioned vocals and you have a poignant song of love and friendship. If ever there was a moment to take all of the happiness from your life that you just want to run away. Whether you escape with a dear friend or your truest love, being beneath the night sky until it becomes day will push all of the pain away until there is no one left but you and that one person closest to your (again…no pun) heart. Hits pretty close to home emotionally for me...painful yet it makes the pain go away any time I hear this song.

#3. I Need The Rain from the album Jupiters Darling

Why Do I Like It?: Well for starters it's sung by Nancy Wilson who has already gotten three spots on this list and of course, the music is beautiful! Signature acoustic guitar work and piano strings plucked to remind you of little rain drops make for a very soothing song with very poignant lyrics. Sometimes we find ourselves far from home or even far away in our own homes, in our own little worlds inside ourselves. Sometimes letting things or people inside can be painful and in order to hide the tears and begin again, a little rain has to fall. Rain doesn't always have to be gloomy just like death doesn't always mean the end and at times that little black cloud can be a security blanket.

#2. What About Love? from the album Heart

Why Do I Like It?: Well for one thing this was the first Heart song I ever heard, the first Heart music video I ever saw and from the first Heart album I ever owned but start with sad strains of the keyboard add some bass and then add the drums to guitar genius and you have a recipe for this powerful yet poignant ballad. Sweet yet spicy vocals from Ann and Nancy Wilson plus those of Grace Slick keeps this song from being a weepy and weak ballad but a total powerhouse. If you are a strong woman you see it as a glass half-full but if you have just been wronged so many times you may see the side of the coin that could make this song a sappy and whiny hit with no substance. If you have ever been lonely and waiting for love, maybe even pretending it even exists, you can understand the song. If you have ever loved anyone but it has never been returned or known anyone who has never loved or let love into his or her heart, you will understand this song. Everyone needs love eventually and if you ever find that one person to share it with, you will finally understand why I love this song!

And taking the #1 spot on this first Heart Top 10 list is the song that of course gave me my Internet alter ego in the first place...

#1. There's The Girl from the album Bad Animals

Why Do I Like It ?: Nancy Wilson, of course, blows us away again as her very airy vocals take on this very pop rock number. Ladies…if you are the second girlfriend or in the middle of a long list of ex-flames, you can totally relate to this song. Let’s paint the scenario as your man has only been with you and one other girl  and he use to be so in love with this girl but she broke his heart. You’ve come along and mended it  to make him believe in love again…and his eyes fall on that girl who let him go. You can tell by his eyes, his stance and anything else that he may still have feelings for her but you are so unsure. How can you confront him and tell him that his ex-girlfriend isn’t good enough for a great guy like him…a guy who has already broken his heart once over her ?  If that isn’t the hardest thing to tell him then how easy can it be to confront him and ask if he still loves her…and if he would leave you to be back together with a woman who destroyed his heart after you have just put it back together again? I love the pop feel of the song and I especially love the guitar that brings out the rock and the keyboards which bring out the pop: two worlds wonderfully collide! Plus, Nancy always slays me when she sings with that airy tone to her voice. It is not as powerful and sultry as Ann’s voice but the ingenue quality to it always leaves me spellbound.

So what did you guys think? Now I took my own ideas of what the songs are really about but then again I am not the author of these songs so I could be way out of the park. Being the Heart fan I am and listening to so much of their work for such a long time, give me just a little bit of slack. There will be more Heart to come but next time who knows which musical path we will go down and just how eloquent I can be. I hope you join me, music lovers!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Look who's back with a brand new face!

Okay well my face isn't new but I am now going to be talking about the music that I love and I mean all of it! From artist specific genre to stuff from TV and the movies if it is musical I will blog about it! I love all sorts of music and I just want to share it with the world the same way I was doing movies and books. I haven't abandoned my old blog ... just giving it a break for awhile. I have so much stuff going on in my life right now that talking about music is sort of therapy and much easier to plan out. So soon expect me to make my first musical post kind of  like the music countdowns of yesterday in almost a TOP 10 format and share the joy with me. It's going to be a roller coaster ride of sound so stay tuned!

Courtney aka Theresthegirl