It's kind of a crummy winter music-wise for me... I haven't seen much out there that's caught my ear as far as albums are concerned. Fortunately, good songs are never that far away, and this winter some selections have come to my attention that are also worth yours. In no particular order:
This song came to my attention as the director of it, Kurt Schneider, has been referenced in this column previously. The song, a piano-driven mid-tempo piece that is airy in feel and portrays the feelings of love beautifully. Goot's voice is perfectly matched with the tune here. Grab the single on iTunes; it's well worth it.
I didn't get a chance to review her latest album when it came out, but it is a return to form for the singer, who took a detour after her much-publicized issues with abuse from lover Chris Brown. It therefore is an interesting choice to play around with the idea of S&M in a song, but a close read of the lyrics show this isn't about her liking to being tied up. There's a darker meaning, something that's more underneath the surface than anything on "Rated R." The remixes spin the song up into a lather in good form for those into dance music.
Readers of this column know that I've been watching Kim Sozzi's career with interest; her "Just One Day" album had a number of enjoyable tracks.
"Rated R," her first new single not off the album, has the feeling of a big return single - amped up guitars and beat, a hook designed to draw people in. It falls a bit flat somehow, like Sozzi doesn't have enough room to breathe because the lyrics are so fast. She's just not able to sing here - she's more speak-singing through the song. Yet after a couple of plays, it manages to worm its way into your brain. It's definitely not her strongest effort, but she manages to win this listener over yet again.
How many times now has Britney Spears been written off? How many times has she managed to come back? "Toxic," "Womanizer," "Gimme More" ... the list is really too long to manage.
So it's no surprise that she's managed to execute another amazingly catchy track with "Hold it Against Me," which continues her track down the electro-driven beats. But really, she was a trailblazer there, as most artists are now emphasizing dance-friendly beats. Like Madonna before her, she's kept one foot firmly in the clubs and one foot in the ear of pop music. One can argue her handlers are the ones making the great decisions for her, but it doesn't really matter does it? She's remained atop her perch for over a decade and managed to remain relevant. Kudos.