Top 10 albums/20 songs of 2008

01. Cut Copy – In Ghost Colours [ read full review ]
02. Ami Suzuki – DOLCE [ read full review ]
03. OceanLab – Sirens of the Sea [ read full review ]
04. PlayRadioPlay! – Texas
05. M83 – Saturdays = Youth
06. Perfume – GAME
07. Tiziano Ferro – Alla mia Eta
08. Britney Spears – Circus [ read full review ]
09. MEG – STEP
10. Santogold – Santogold

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Tiziano Ferro’s “Nessuno è solo”

Tiziano Ferro / Nessuno è solo / July 29, 2006
03. Ed ero contentissimo / 04. Stop! Dimentica
08. La paura che…

As far as hip hop goes, Tiziano Ferro is one of the few exceptions in my life. It’s not that I go out of my way not to listen to hip hop music, but it only makes sense that since radio stations are already permeated with enough rap and R&B to last two lifetimes that I don’t even turn it on anymore. As far as Top 40 is considered, there is no soft side to hip hop; it’s all cuss words and “lifestyle” endorsement. In fact, there is not one inch of hip hop in my bones. Just 1/2 an inch, which is where Ferro comes in.

Catchy hip pop is his forte and flavoring it with his incredibly sultry, deep Italian does it no harm. The songs are catchy and even if you don’t speak a lick of Italian, you will be singing along in no time. On the flip side, for every good song he sings, there are always two or three really bad ones, usually drippy R&B ballads that have less flavor than salt free rice cakes. His new album is no exception. I’d say roughly 1/2 of the album is feel-good, radio-friendly songs, not excluding the single “Stop! Dimentica,” which samples Linda Perry’s “Fade To Grey,” better popularized by Ms. Kelly Osbourne in “One Word.” Except that it’s a lot better and while Osbourne’s version is like the chorus repeating itself ad nauseum, Ferro’s packs a melodic sucker punch.

In the end however, it’s this song alone that attempts to carry the disc through, but fails because it’s the rare synth pop gem on the entire disc. Songs like “E Raffaella è mia” and “Baciano le donne” constitute the other two great tracks on the album, which leaves the rest of the CD to fill up its minutes with ballads nothing like the sexy “Alucinado” and some pop…or something. I don’t know. I cheated and started skipping ahead every time I heard opening strains of acoustic guitar and piano. I suppose that’s only because I’m just not into it and if you are one of those people who like those types of songs, than by George, this CD was packaged for you. But for the likes of me who are looking for something a bit impressionable this summer…I’ll stick to blasting “Stop!” on the highway.

As a final note, as usual, there’s both a Spanish and Italian version. I reviewed the Italian version just because I prefer listening to him singing in his native language.

Official Site
Buy Nessuno è solo

Friday night shuffle IV

Wherein I put the ol’ iRiver on shuffle and post the first five songs that come up.

Tiziano Ferro – 10 piegamenti: Tiziano Ferro is a popular Italian hip hop singer. He has come out with two albums and seems to have dropped off the face of the planet after the release of 111. This is a typical hip-hop song, it’s very catchy and he repeats the title of the song about a billion times. But come on…you gotta’ love Tiziano Ferro.

Witches – Papa: I would love to talk in length about this song, but I really have no idea how it got in my player. This is a pop-rock song from a Korean group and that’s about all I know. It’s not really that great of a song.

Tomoe Shinohara – HAPPY POINT (Maxout mix): Tomoe Shinohara was a crazy hyper-genki Japanese actress/singer who used to host her own television program (LOVE LOVE Aishiteru, or LOVE LOVE I Love You) where she interviewed both musical guests and actors (I’ll never forgot her pseudo-English interview with Robin Williams; one of the most hilarious three minutes of my life) and designed clothes for her Jagged Apple clothing label. Her songs are always bouncy and playful and she’s sure had her share number of anime tie-ins due to her kid-friendly image. She is certainly not the best singer, but for everything upbeat and wacky, she doesn’t disappoint. This song is from her remix album Deep Sound Channel, and it’s not too different from the original song, save for extra beats. Unfortunately, Shinohara has also seemed to disappear off the face of the Earth. Most of her recent work is in Japanese television dramas, her last musical release being a single in 2005, with a handful of years’ hiatus prior.

Yoko Ishida – Otome no Policy (Instrumental): The karaoke version of either a closing or opening song to the original anime Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon. I noticed a lot of SM songs come up on my player’s shuffle. This is probably due to that fact that I have pretty much all 37-some of the original released soundtracks. Yeah…there was a lot.

Zoey – My Love: Typical American-imitating Japanese pop/hip hop. I’m not a big fan of Zoey at all, besides her cover of Bjork’s “Venus as a Boy,” which does not represent the rest of her music at all.