Friday, January 14, 2005


Oh, I've waited 8 long months to hear the infamous ticking of that clock. One of the greatest shows on television returned this past week in prime form and some of its highest ratings ever. The suspense and the twists never let up on this show, which is why I love it so much. The first four hours have had their fair share, which leads me to put early money on season 4 being the best season of "24" since its first. The action will always be there, but this season has made several great additions to the cast. The most surprising is Aisha Tyler, who's only done comedy previously, but is showcasing a dramatic that could have never saw coming from her days at Talk Soup (then again, Greg Kinnear did start out on that show too). Nester Serrano (the patriarch of the Araz family, Navi) and William Devane (Secretary Heller) among others have helped to get this season off to a great start, but far and away, Shoreh Aghdashloo of House Of Sand And Fog fame has done an amazing job as Dina Araz. Every manipulative glare of hers has given me chills nearly every time. Not to mention how well she maintains an evil side while still seeming like a normal, caring mother. She's headed for an Emmy nomination, I tells ya. HBE broke the news here first! Now if they can just ease off the ridiculous subplots that have plagued seasons past (cougars? Chase's baby at CTU?), 24 is shaping up to have a perfect season.

Top Albums of 2004

#1 Polyphonic Spree-Together We’re Heavy
#2 Loretta Lynn-Van Lear Rose
#3 Kanye West-The College Dropout
#4 Fiery Furnaces-Blueberry Boat
#5 Jill Scott-Beautifully Human: Words And Sounds Vol. 2
#6 Air-Talkie Walkie
#7 The Concretes-The Concretes
#8 The Streets-A Grand Don’t Come For Free
#9 Nellie McKay-Get Away From Me
#10 Amy Winehouse-Frank

Monday, January 03, 2005

Singles Round Up For November and December 2004

Okay, this was supposed to happen a while ago, which is why I'm going to do a combo for both the months of November and December. Hopefully, the blog will be a lot more organized this year. As you know, 1 is the lowest rating and 10 is the highest.

Destiny's Child-Soldier
The beat is hot, but I've come to expect nothing but greatness from DC3 after their great singles run of 1999-2001. I'm disappointed, but slightly. (7)

Linkin Park/Jay-Z-Numb/Encore
Atrocious compared to the original "Encore". Actually, it's just atrocious, period. (3)

Mario-Let Me Love You
Well whaddya know! The lil' fucker's starting to grow on me. The chorus sneaks up on you like a panhandler at an ATM. (8)

Marshall, your heart is in the right place and I agree with you thematically, but damn, did you have to do it to a beat that sounds like it was made by a 12-year old who just got their first Casio for Christmas? (4)

T.I.-Bring 'Em Out
The more and more I listen to T.I., the more and more I become confident that he will make a classic album. "Bring 'Em Out" doesn't do anything new, but T.I. is building up a pretty nice resume. (7)

Kelly Clarkson-Since You've Gone
I kid you not guys; Clarkson is the only former American Idol contestant, in my opinion, who's making good music right now. I mean, not just okay music, but "whoa-I-just-might-consider-buying-this" good. Instantly better than anything Avril or Ashlee have released all year. (8)

Ashanti-Only U
This must be a typo. I'm actually giving a favorable rating to an Ashanti song. Must be the production. (8)

Green Day-Boulevard Of Broken Dreams
That does it. I need to hear this album in its entirety now. (7)

Jill Scott-Whatever
Hot damn, Jill. I want some fish and grits too! Probably the sexiest she's ever sounded on record, or is it the sultry lyrics about last night's love that's doing the trick for me? (9)

Flaming Lips-Spongebob & Patrick Confront The Psychic Wall Of Energy

As colorful as any of the recent Lips output and as much fun as the title incurs. (9)

Lloyd Banks-Karma
Not particularly offensive. Not particularly good. Why must you always straddle the middle, Mr. Banks? You're capable of so much more. (6)

Alicia Keys-Karma

"What goes around comes around? What goes up must come down?" Particularly offensive for acting like no one has ever heard that line before. (5)

Ludacris-Get Back
Something is definitely wrong when you listen to a Ludacris song and you struggle to come up with your favorite line. That crummy generic beat ain't helping either. (5)

Ciara-1, 2 Step
Where in the hell did this girl come from and why is she getting all this great production? Scratch the Missy verse and you have a near great song. (8)

Lindsey Lohan-Rumors

Sounds good the first couple of times until you realize that her voice sucks. (6)

N.O.R.E.-Oye Mi Canto
I'm pretty new to the genre of reggaeton, but please tell me that there is better stuff than this out there. It's so meh and not very exciting. Maybe if Nina Sky sang on the entire track. If only.... (5)


Better than it has any right to be. And where did all this U2 hate come from? Is it because "Walk On" beat "Ms. Jackson" for Record Of The Year back in 2002? I was upset, but that's no reason to hate on Bono & Co., especially if the song is energetic as this. (8)

Ja Rule-Wonderful

Ja is so much better when he's acting all hardcore and shit. It should be against the law for him to work with any other singer besides Lil' Mo ("I Cry" & "Put It On Me" are some of his best). (5)

Ja Rule F/ Fat Joe & Jadakiss-New York

That's more like it! (8)

Nelly-Na NaNa Na
I've learned that the only proper way to rate Nelly is based on the song's danceability and not his skills as an MC. I can dance to this. (7)

Nelly F/ Tim McGraw-Over And Over

I can't dance to this, but I still like it. Who would have ever thought that Nelly was so complex? Some more Tim McGraw might have earned this song a 9, but as it stands, it only gets a (8)

Bonnie McKee-Somebody
I remember reading about her about a year or two ago. She's supposed to be like some bad girl who was living with her boyfriend at like 16 or something. I didn't know that meant she was supposed to write bad songs as well. (3)

You would think that an MC such as Fuh-Bo-Lus wouldn't deserve a Just Blaze track as awesome as this. And you're right. Can you think of the damage that someone like Jay-Z could have done? But nonetheless, Fabolous does manage to keep up and not totally let a great beat go to waste. Should have been a classic. (8)

Nitty-Nasty Girl

I have a soft spot for goofy novelty songs with hip-hop beats. (7)

The Game F/ 50 Cent-How We Do
I suppose the track is okay, but gets tiring after you realize that The Game and Fiddy are on auto pilot and not really bringing anything fresh to the song. (6)

Nicole Wray-If I Was Your Girlfriend (pictured above)
Shame on you all for not making this bigger than "Make It Hot". Doesn't anybody love psychedellic funk anymore? (9)

50 Cent-Disco Inferno
Beat's okay. 50's okay. My goodness, G-Unit is becoming boring fast. (6)

Jesse McCartney-Beautiful Soul
Dude, you only have fans because of the way you look. You think people actually like this whiny shit? (1)

Ashlee Simpson-La La
Nope. I still remember the SNL incident. Nice try though. (7)

Gwen Stefani F/ Eve-Rich Girl
I'm surprised that Dr. Dre actually took credit for this beat. One of the most piss-poor attempts I've heard at trying to cash in on the current dancehall craze. (5)

Fantasia-Truth Is
We all know the voice is there, but why must the production play it so safe? Let that girl bust a gut open for crying out loud! (6)

Maroon 5-Sunday Morning
It's hard to hate a band that I should hate when they've got a flair for decent melodies. Catchy little tune this one is. (8)

Eminem-Like Toy Soldiers
Slim Shady takes us deep into the Ja and Benzino beefs. The result is his best single since "Lose Yourself". (9)

John Legend-Ordinary People
I love the way he pours his heart on this song. Just a piano, a voice and his observations on an imperfect relationship. Stunning. (10)

Beastie Boys-Right Right Now Now
That's not fair! They're only releasing the good songs off the album! People may actually think the album is worthwhile if they keep this up. (8)

DJ Reset-Frontin' On Debra
A mash-up between Pharrell's "Frontin'" and Beck's "Debra". Not recommended if you're allergic to falsettos. (8)

Le Tigre-TKO
Sounds like a Target commercial, but it jolts me everytime. (9)