BILLCS Top 30 #445 – December 1, 2014

In some ways the past month or so has plodded along, no thanks to two different bouts of viral illnesses, and then suddenly two weeks go by and it’s time for a new personal chart ūüôā

The Top 10

  • There’s no budging Jessie Ware and Mikky Ekko from #1 and #2. ¬†“Say You Love Me” holds for a second appearance at number one as the singer is about to release “You & I (Forever)” as the follow up single and video from her amazing Tough Love album. ¬†“Smile” by Mikky Ekko preceded “Say You Love Me” at #1 and holds tight in anticipation of his debut album Time, due in January.
  • Last edition’s high flying debut is also this edition’s fastest riser on the chart. ¬†Color Theory (aka Brian Hazard) has concocted one of those songs to which you can relate so easily with “Headphones”. ¬†The original mix is up top for your listening pleasure, but do check out the slick Matt Mancid retro crossover remix too right here, well worth purchasing. ¬†“Headphones” glides up the chart 18-3 and will contend for #1 in the coming month.
  • Semi-Precious Weapons slide into #5 with “Brando”, their unconventional love song from an upcoming album. ¬†It’s gone quiet about what’s next for the band in terms of the album release but I’m certain something grand is in the works!

  • “The Voice” underdog from last season, Jake Barker, rises to #6 with the title song from his EP Stage Fright. ¬†Jake has many cover songs¬†on You Tube, including his rendition of Ed Sheeran’s “Photograph”. ¬†Check it¬†out above.
  • The more I listen to “Losing You” by Jane Badler (9-7), the more detail I hear each time. ¬†It’s just one of those hypnotic songs that doesn’t want to let go, from her recent album Opus.
  • Two dance club zingers join the Top 10. ¬†Bright Light Bright Light continues his long line of Top Tenners on this chart with “Arms Of Another” at #8, from the EP An Open Heart. ¬†Then the powerhouse trio of Sander van Doorn, Martin Garrix, and DVBBS lands at #9 with “Gold Skies”. ¬†And while the main vocal is by singer Aleesia, to me it’s the male vocal chorus that is most affecting about this song and just makes you want to jam out!

Movin’ On Up

  • So it appears that Sam Smith’s “Restart” was just a video release! ¬†It climbs 13-11 in a year when he has been nary off my chart (if at all) since “Money On My Mind” bowed earlier in the year. ¬†The new single is the buoyant “Like I Can”, which will take him well into 2015 and long past any Grammy Awards which will find their way to him.
  • Get your New Year’s playlist ready and be sure to include “Goin’ Down” by Deniz Koyu vs Twoloud, sure to make your crowd go BOOOM! ¬†It climbs 21-12.
  • Erasure’s “Reason” is from their latest album The Violet Flame and it has designs on the Top 10, rising 19-13.
  • Tristan Thompson’s “Burn Again” is receiving scorching action at radio in Canada, already #24 on the AC Airplay chart and it’s also entered the Top 40 radio chart too. ¬†Not bad for an independent release from a very talented 16 year old. ¬†Next stop: ¬†USA ūüôā ¬†“Burn Again” climbs 20-16.
  • We have always got “Time” till Steve Grand’s album is released in early 2015. ¬†This delightful story is off to a super start, rising 23-17.

  • Lorde certainly dazzled us with her kinetic performance of “Yellow Flicker Beat” (above) last week on the American Music Awards. ¬†As a result I think this song will get a second look by radio, and it moves up in this edition 24-20.
  • “Calling You” by Penguin Prison continues the many chart appearances here for NYC singer/songwriter/producer/DJ Chris Glover, as it rises 26-21.
  • Smashing Satellites gave a powerful performance opening for Moist last week in Toronto. ¬†The quartet will soon be headlining its own mid-sized club venues judging by audience response. ¬†In the meantime, “Hounds” climbs 30-25.

New to the Chart

I’ve already gushed about each of these songs in blog posts over the past few weeks, so it’s no surprise to see them chart so quickly.

  • Reigen’s soulful and emotional EDM ballad “Come Back With Me” is simple food for your musical soul, and debuts at #22 for the New York based singer.
  • It’s her first appearance on my chart in 10 years, but the unmistakable Kristine W. is back in full force with “Love Come Home”, a redux of an early UK hit for her. ¬†It makes a memorable impact, recalling her Land Of The Living days, and arrives at #23. ¬†It has also landed in the Top 5 of the Billboard Dance Club Play chart this past week, and I hope DJ’s will send it to the top. ¬†And if you buy the EP, it contains no less than 14 remixes!
  • While “Zeppelin” leaves the chart, Eli Lieb has perhaps gone even one better with the feel good story and vibe of “Lightning In A Bottle”, which lands at #27. ¬†And do I hear an album is forthcoming in 2015? ¬†Even more to which we can look forward!

The Full Chart

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and detailed web edition of my chart.

01 01 SAY YOU LOVE ME Jessie Ware
02 02 SMILE Mikky Ekko
18 03 HEADPHONES (Matt Mancid Retro Crossover Mix) Color Theory
03 04 I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE Sam Smith
06 05 BRANDO Semi-Precious Weapons
08 06 STAGE FRIGHT Jake Barker
09 07 LOSING YOU Jane Badler
11 08 ARMS OF ANOTHER Bright Light Bright Light
14 09 GOLD SKIES Sander Van Doorn, Martin Garrix & DVBBS featuring Aleesia
04 10 THANKS FOR NOTHING Brandyn Burnette
13 11 RESTART Sam Smith
21 12 GOIN’ DOWN Deniz Koyu vs Twoloud
19 13 REASON Erasure
16 14 THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID The Janoskians
17 15 SUPERHEROES The Script
20 16 BURN AGAIN Tristan Thompson
23 17 TIME Steve Grand
05 18 I WON’T LET YOU GO (Aron Friedman remix) Adam Tyler
07 19 UNBREAKABLE Jamie Scott
24 20 YELLOW FLICKER BEAT Lorde
26 21 CALLING OUT Penguin Prison
New 22 COME BACK TO ME Reigen
New 23 LOVE COME HOME Kristine W.
10 24 PLAY FOR ME Chromatone
30 25 HOUNDS Smashing Satellites
12 26 AFTERGLOW Harriet
New 27 LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE Eli Lieb
15 28 AMNESIA 5 Seconds Of Summer
22 29 CRIMINAL Adam Tyler
27 30 GET TO KNOW YOU Corey Niles featuring Ish

Listen for My New Music Pick Of The Week on D-Moos.com!

I am now a radio voice on D-Moos.com Canada’s National Internet Radio Station!  Every week I feature a New Music Pick of the Week, which is usually either on my chart or may soon be!  Listen in amid the great variety of older music as I bring cutting edge new music to the rotation of over 20,000+ songs!!

BILLCS Top 30 #444 – November 17, 2014

My personal chart has been online since January 1998 and we’re at edition Triple-4! ¬†With a new number one no less! ¬†And there are five new entries… ¬†The full chart is listed below the blog post.

The Top 10

  • Jessie Ware succeeds Mikky Ekko at #1 with the should’ve-been-a-hit “Say You Love Me”, and I don’t think anything will challenge for a while yet. ¬†If you haven’t heard it yet, her sophomore album Tough Love is one of the best of the year and a great companion piece to Sam Smith’s album.
  • Mikky Ekko’s “Smile” got an appearance (two weeks) at #1, still one of the finest songs of 2014. ¬†Ads popping up everywhere claim Mikky’s album Time will surface on January 20. ¬†Can’t…. wait….. !
  • The best songs of the year rule the top of this particular chart… again! ¬†That means another few more weeks for Sam Smith’s “I’m Not The Only One”, Brandyn Burnette’s “Thanks For Nothing” (above), and the Aron Friedman remix of “I Won’t Let You Go” by Adam Tyler at #3, #4, and #5 respectively! ¬†We’ll see if songs below shake up the Top 5 in two weeks.
  • Looking to make that happen is “Brando” by Semi-Precious Weapons, finding a gap in the chart and charging up 13-6. ¬†No sign of another new album officially yet but I know this band will make it happen. ¬†“Brando” is such a great lead-in to a new album, and surpasses the #9 peak of “Aviation High” on the chart last year.
  • It’s my favourite of the four songs on his same-titled EP, largely because of one verse which strikes me deep down inside on each listen. ¬†New Yorker and former contestant on “The Voice” Jake Barker rises 12-8 with “Stage Fright”. ¬†Preview the song right here.
  • Jane Badler acquires her second Top Tenner on this chart with the hypnotic “Losing You”, leaping 14-9. ¬†“Yesterday’s Tomorrows” peaked out at #8 two years ago. ¬†“Losing You” is culled from Jane’s latest long-player called Opus.
  • I love the energy of this song, and that’s a big reason why it’s stuck around so long on the chart. ¬†“Play For Me” by UK’s Chromatone advances 11-10 ūüôā

Movin’ On Up

  • ¬†What?!? Another Bright Light Bright Light song headed into the Top 10?? ¬†That’s what’s been happening since 2010 in my world! ¬†“Arms Of Another” zips up the chart handily 16-11. ¬†It’s a featured song on the single release of BLx2’s previous #1 “An Open Heart”.
  • I’m pleased to say that the DJ/producer collective of Sander van Doorn, Martin Garrix and my fellow Canucks DVBBS have debuted on Billboard’s Canadian Top 100 at #57! ¬†Just as it makes a challenging move on this chart too! ¬†The wistful, anthemic, and highly danceable “Gold Skies” climbs 20-14.
  • Gotta love those Janoskians! ¬†The comedic Aussies get a fair amount of social media time each day, which usually involves body skin or removing pants (oh, and thank you Jai Brooks for following me on Twitter, Janoskians fans seem to dig it ūüôā ) . ¬†I’m looking for more new music from them very soon, but in the meantime the insanely catchy “That’s What She Said” continues to move up 18-16.
  • I’m not sure why The Script’s “Superheroes” isn’t more wickedly popular in North America after leading off their 4th album No Sound Without Silence well in advance. ¬†It got a late start on my chart but rises 22-17.
  • The retro flavour of Erasure’s latest album The Violet Flame has scored huge with their fans and other EDM/electronica fans too. ¬†Initial single “Elevation” just peaked out at #3 on Billboard’s Dance Club Play Chart and I’m looking for “Reason” to get to #1. ¬†It soars with no surprises 26-19. ¬†And we need a video!!
  • Flying very high indeed and the fastest riser on the chart is “Burn Again”, a pensive ballad by British Columbia singer Tristan Thompson. ¬†It’s taken from his debut album Here For You, is being played on well over 100 Canadian radio stations, and has entered the Billboard AC Airplay Top 40! ¬†Impressive – and don’t forget, Tristan is just 16. ¬†“Burn Again” makes short work of the lower part of the chart and moves 28-20.

Five New Entries

¬†You’ve read all about them in detail in my blog pages, so here’s a briefer reminder of what they are and why some of them have debuted high!

  • Bowing at #18 is “Headphones” by Color Theory. ¬†Its 80’s electronic elements and story about a guy who just won’t take off his headphones will get stuck in your head. ¬†This bodes for a fine advance in two weeks. ¬†Color Theory (Brian Hazard) first appeared on this chart as featured singer on Amelia’s Fault’s haunting “Colder”¬†in the summer of ’13, peaking at … #18 (note: not intentional!)! ¬†But Brian is hardly a newcomer, his website is very comprehensive and he’s been making music for about 20 years. ¬†Great to have such an infectious potential breakthrough like this! My preference is for the Matt Mancid retro crossover remix right here but listen to the original above.
  • Last year, a lot of you were blasting Martin Garrix’s “Animals” at your New Year’s celebrations. ¬†This year that pleasure should belong to “Goin’ Down” by DJ/producers Deniz Koyu vs Twoloud, which arrives at #21. ¬†Listen above and tell me that you weren’t sitting down after. ¬†BOOOM! ¬†Available at this time on Beatport.
  • Following up his earlier release of “Back To California” (which reached #10 on this chart), Chicago’s own Steve Grand reminds us once again about why he is such a great storyteller, which got many of you listening to his web hits “All American Boy” and “Stay” last year. ¬†“Time” is his latest original, and Steve’s sincerity just oozes from the words. ¬†For me not being a Country music fan it’s a happy mix of both Rock and Country – but it’s the performance and lyrics that really score. ¬†“Time” debuts at #23 in advance of his upcoming album expected early next year.
  • As his cover of “Hang On To Your Love” departs, Penguin Prison (Chris Glover) premieres with his new single “Calling Out” at #26. ¬†He takes us back to what got under our skin back in 2010 with songs like “The Worse It Gets”, with a simple lyric and a bright sunshiny melody as we head into winter months. ¬†Penguin Prison is another performer with a new and much-anticipated sophomore album on deck for next year!
  • “Hounds” sniff their way on to this chart at #30 as recorded by Canadian band Smashing Satellites from their EP A-Side (SonicAluzion). ¬†Responsible are an infectious melody and chorus that will have you singing in short order. ¬†Plus – they play in my city (Toronto) next week on Saturday, November 22, opening up for Moist with In My Coma at the Danforth Music Hall. ¬†Looking forward to being there!!

The Full Chart

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and detailed web edition of my chart.

02 01 SAY YOU LOVE ME Jessie Ware
01 02 SMILE Mikky Ekko
03 03 I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE Sam Smith
04 04 THANKS FOR NOTHING Brandyn Burnette
05 05 I WON’T LET YOU GO (Aron Friedman remix) Adam Tyler
13 06 BRANDO Semi-Precious Weapons
07 07 UNBREAKABLE Jamie Scott
12 08 STAGE FRIGHT Jake Barker
14 09 LOSING YOU Jane Badler
11 10 PLAY FOR ME Chromatone
16 11 ARMS OF ANOTHER Bright Light Bright Light
06 12 AFTERGLOW Harriet
15 13 RESTART Sam Smith
20 14 GOLD SKIES Sander Van Doorn, Martin Garrix & DVBBS featuring Aleesia
08 15 AMNESIA 5 Seconds Of Summer
18 16 THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID The Janoskians
22 17 SUPERHEROES The Script
New 18 HEADPHONES (Matt Mancid Retro Crossover Mix) Color Theory
26 19 REASON Erasure
28 20 BURN AGAIN Tristan Thompson
New 21 GOIN’ DOWN Deniz Koyu Vs Twoloud
09 22 CRIMINAL Adam Tyler
New 23 TIME Steve Grand
27 24 YELLOW FLICKER BEAT Lorde
10 25 ZEPPELIN Eli Lieb
New 26 CALLING OUT Penguin Prison
19 27 GET TO KNOW YOU Corey Niles featuring Ish
21 28 NO FUN The Presets
23 29 THIS COULD BE SOMETHING Anton Ewald featuring Medina
New 30 HOUNDS Smashing Satellites

Listen for My New Music Pick Of The Week on D-Moos.com!

I am now a radio voice on D-Moos.com Canada’s National Internet Radio Station! ¬†Every week I feature a New Music Pick of the Week, which is usually either on my chart or may soon be! ¬†Listen in amid the great variety of older music as I bring cutting edge new music to the rotation of over 20,000+ songs!!

BILLCS Top 30 #443 – November 3, 2014

After 6 weeks of having a lock on the chart, making it some of the best music weeks of the year thus far, the Top 3 songs have faltered and an influx of new songs is on the way, but that will probably still take another month or so, with the exception of one song which has its sights on #1. ¬†A list of the complete chart follows the blog post further down ūüôā

The Top 10

  • “Smile” by Mikky Ekko gets an appearance at #1 after holding down the fort at #2 for six weeks. ¬†I’m looking forward to hearing the singer’s album Time when it surfaces – not sure of a release date now, and I’d be surprised if it wasn’t shoved back till the new year after he completes his tour with Alt-J. ¬†Ironically the singer’s collaboration with Chris Malinchak, “Stranger” (which peaked at #8) is #30 in this edition.

  • After killer performances in a four city North American tour – including Toronto, where I was fortunate to bear witness to her amazing voice and show – Jessie Ware’s “Say You Love Me” soars 6-2 to challenge “Smile” for #1 in two weeks. ¬†I don’t understand why “Say You Love Me” isn’t tearing up charts everywhere (it did reach the Top 25 in the UK), but there’s a dearth of beautiful songs on her album Tough Love too!
  • While Sam Smith’s “I’m Not The Only One” slips to #3, do not fear, fans, “Restart” is on its way up at #15!

  • He continues to post a lot of new music on his Soundcloud page, but for now “Thanks For Nothing” by Brandyn Burnette holds its own at #4.

  • Jamie Scott’s “Unbreakable” is slowly attracting friends at radio, and the song climbs this week 9-7, as his album My Hurricane will see release this month.

  • 5 Seconds Of Summer’s memorable ballad “Amnesia” enters the Top 10, right behind the #7 peak of “She Looks So Perfect” at #8.

  • Oh look! ¬†Two Adam Tyler songs in the Top 10! ¬†No surprise that, I believe he’s done it before ūüôā ¬†So we have the Aron Friedman remix of “I Won’t Let You Go” at #5, and the Paul Hetherington 80’s retro-styled production of “Criminal” becomes yet another Top Tenner for Adam at #9!

Movin’ Up

  • ¬†Chromatone’s pop-rock-R&B flavoured song “Play For Me” continues to climb to a new peak, at #11 in this edition!
  • The last chart’s fastest riser, Jake Barker’s “Stage Fright”, moves up just outside the Top 10 at #12.
  • Semi-Precious Weapons look to follow “Aviation High” into the Top 10 with the unconventional love song “Brando”, moving up 17-13.

  • Actress and singer Jane Badler’s hypnotic and stylish “Losing You” makes a big move this week, rising 20-14!
  • The fastest riser on the chart this week can only be found within the new EP An Open Heart by Bright Light Bright Light. ¬†It’s “Arms Of Another” (musically inspired by Crystal Waters’ classic “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)”, climbing 24-16.

  • It debuted inside the Top 50 this week on the UK Official Singles Chart so “Gold Skies” by the triple threat of Sander van Doorn, Martin Garrix and DVBBS (featuring Aleesia) is proving to be an international chart threat, and it rises 27-20 on my chart in this edition.

  • It took a while to reach the chart, but “Superheroes” by The Script is well on its way, rising 28-22, from their 4th album No Sound Without Silence.

Chart Newcomers

  • Erasure has been one of my favourite groups since I first saw their show in 1986 (!), and their latest album The Violet Flame is one of their finest, harkening back to their classic late 80’s period. ¬†They’ve only surfaced on my chart three times since 2003, but each time it’s with a personal Top Tenner: ¬†Their cover of “Solsbury Hill”, “I Could Fall In Love With You”, and “Then I Go Twisting”. ¬†Can “Reason” join this trio? ¬†It arrives at #26 as the group completes its recent four.

  • Arriving at #27 is the initial single from the intriguing-looking soundtrack to the latest edition of “The Hunger Games” called “Mockingjay” (Part 1). ¬†I wasn’t a fan of the first movie, but award-winning singer/songwriter Ella Yelich-O’Connor, aka Lorde, is the curator of the soundtrack (not bad for turning 18 years old this coming week!) and the alluring “Yellow Flicker Beat” debuts on the chart. ¬†Lorde’s “Royals” only got to #11 before I tired of it; perhaps “Yellow Flicker Beat” will do better!

  • Lastly at #28, is the second official single by British Columbia singer Tristan Thompson, “Burn Again”, which I wrote about recently. ¬†This 16 year old will be a contender in the next year, mark my words!

The Full Chart

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and detailed web edition of my chart.

02 01 SMILE Mikky Ekko
06 02 SAY YOU LOVE ME Jessie Ware
01 03 I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE Sam Smith
04 04 THANKS FOR NOTHING Brandyn Burnette
05 05 I WON’T LET YOU GO (Aron Friedman remix) Adam Tyler
03 06 AFTERGLOW Harriet
09 07 UNBREAKABLE Jamie Scott
11 08 AMNESIA 5 Seconds Of Summer
12 09 CRIMINAL Adam Tyler
10 10 ZEPPELIN Eli Lieb
13 11 PLAY FOR ME Chromatone
15 12 STAGE FRIGHT Jake Barker
17 13 BRANDO Semi-Precious Weapons
20 14 LOSING YOU Jane Badler
22 15 RESTART Sam Smith
24 16 ARMS OF ANOTHER Bright Light Bright Light
18 17 KILLER WHALES Smallpools
21 18 THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID The Janoskians
07 19 GET TO KNOW YOU Corey Niles featuring Ish
27 20 GOLD SKIES Sander Van Doorn, Martin Garrix & DVBBS featuring Aleesia
08 21 NO FUN The Presets
28 22 SUPERHEROES The Script
16 23 THIS COULD BE SOMETHING Anton Ewald featuring Medina
19 24 HANG ON TO YOUR LOVE Penguin Prison
14 25 MUSIC GODS Davis Redfield featuring Carl Man
New 26 REASON Erasure
New 27 YELLOW FLICKER BEAT Lorde
New 28 BURN AGAIN Tristan Thompson
25 29 I BELIEVE Bright Light Bright Light
26 30 STRANGER Chris Malinchak featuring Mikky Ekko

Listen for My New Music Pick Of The Week on D-Moos.com!

As many of you are already aware, after many years away from the microphone, I am now pleased to be back as a voice on D-Moos.com Canada’s National Internet Radio Station, which mainly plays a selection of oldies, mostly from the 50’s to the 90’s, with soon to be more intrusions from the 2000’s and other new music.

Do listen in for my New Music Pick of the Week feature on D-Moos.com¬†8 times per day starting at 2:05 AM EST on Mondays, and while the station is only live in the evenings from 9:00 pm to midnight (with my long-time musical partner in crime ‚ÄúThe Musicman‚ÄĚ James Rogers), you can hear my voice at other odd times, particularly if you‚Äôre an oldies loving night owl on the weekend overnights ūüôā

BILLCS Top 30 #441 – October 6, 2014

The top three songs have an incredible lock on the chart right now, and there are five debuts, so without further adieu:

ONE!!!

 

Sam Smith “I’m Not The Only One”

TWO!!

Mikky Ekko “Smile”

THREE!

Harriet “Afterglow”

 

THE REST OF THE CHART

  • So the next question is: ¬†Can Brandyn Burnette’s “Thanks For Nothing” crack the Top 3, as it rises significantly, up 10-4? ¬†The singer constantly reminds us on Twitter that the song may be a straight middle finger to a past relationship, but that it has an optimistic side to it about moving forward. ¬†Gotta listen to Brandyn!! ¬†There’s an ages old soul in that young body, methinks!

 

  • Those “Music Gods” keep forging ahead on this chart! ¬†Davis Redfield and vocalist Carl Man climb 7-6 in this edition.

 

  • Get to know Canadian R&B/hip hop singer Corey Niles as his latest song “Get To Know You” spreads across Canada, with the help of rapper Ish! ¬†It rises 9-7 ūüôā

 

  • Second time’s a charm, especially when it’s in a gorgeous, romantic, midtempo house remix! ¬†“I Won’t Let You Go” by Adam Tyler in an Aron Friedman remix gets to the Top 10 for the second time, and that’s only happened once before, with Nelson Clemente’s “You Want Me Don’t You” in 2008/09, which peaked at #3 both times. ¬†“I Won’t Let You Go” is at #8, three places short of its original #5 peak in 2011.
  • The fastest riser on the chart is “Say You Love Me” by Jessie Ware, moving 20-9, and arriving in the Top 25 on the UK Singles Chart this week. ¬†Simply cannot wait to hear it in concert later in the month. ¬†Looking at the Top 3, I have to wonder when “Say You Love Me” will be able to crack the mold, but we’ll see!

 

  • Jamie Scott’s “Unbreakable” may be unstoppable at this point – it moves up 16-11 this week and will almost certainly grab a Top 10 berth in two weeks!

 

  • Aussie faves 5 Seconds Of Summer seem to be making more waves at radio now as the Fall sets in with “Amnesia” rising up 17-14 ūüôā

 

  • Chromatone has such a good groove going on in “Play For Me” that you must check out the fantastic dance moves in its well-shot video. ¬†It climbs 21-17.

 

ABOUT THOSE FIVE DEBUTS…

  • ¬†It’s an overdue debut, but always better late than never. ¬†While his team has been promoting “Oh So Simple” and “Scared” from his fine EP Stage Fright, the romantic inside me¬†has long been with The Voice contestant blue-eyed soul singer Jake Barker’s¬†title song, which bows at #23. ¬†You can only hear a preview on iTunes but it’s worth purchasing the EP for its entire four song selection. ¬†The following lyrics alone just send me at each listen just after the minute mark: ¬†“10,000 people looking down on me / All eyes on me / Could¬†I picture my life / All I see is you”. ¬†Jake Barker has an immense future ahead – and he didn’t even finish in the Top 10 on The Voice!
  • ¬†A love song of a very different kind is “Brando” by Semi-Precious Weapons, which arrives at #24 in advance of their second 2014, following Spring’s Aviation release. ¬†“Brando” gets away from the anthemic sounds on Aviation in favour of a song that sings about when you are faced with the fact that you are impossibly in love. ¬†Justin Tranter’s vocal is on its best game here, and I’m really looking forward to more from SPW before the end of the year! ¬†Now if we can only get them up to Canada to tour…

 

  • I wrote about Jane Badler’s “Losing You” a while back, but the song gets under your skin quickly, so it arrives on the chart at #26. ¬†Actress/singer Jane previously reached #8 with “Yesterday’s Tomorrows”, so her alt.pop stylings are no stranger to this chart! ¬†Be sure to check out the impressive video trek through personal hell below.
  • Those Janoskians fans have eaten up my Twitter timeline today as the boys play a show at the Danforth Music Hall. ¬†I like these guys for the fact that they are bold enough to take risks to break out of the boy band mold, even though they will attract some similar fans as One Direction, 5 Seconds Of Summer, and even Justin Bieber. ¬†The Janoskians shake things up with their innuendo with “That’s What She Said” at #27. ¬†North American radio isn’t playing, but then again that’s no surprise. ¬†The huge fan base says ALL!!

 

  • It seems like there’s always room on my chart this year for another Sam Smith song. ¬†The 80’s flavoured “Restart” (particularly reminscent of Daryl Hall & John Oates or The Doobie Brothers brand of white soul) premieres at #28 along with a new video below.

 Extra! Extra!

The duo Erasure (being singer Andy Bell and keyboardist Vince Clarke) has long endured because they know how to deliver exactly what their audience wants, and continue to create new songs for their huge repertoire. ¬†Their music is¬†hugely influential on today’s electronica performers, whether that’s obvious or not. ¬†Their latest album The Violet Flame is their best in many years, more than ever a throwback to their classic late 80’s/early 90’s period, which is where their set list focuses in concert. ¬†While “Elevation” rises on the Billboard Dance Club Play chart, the chart-bound zinger on the album belongs to “Sacred”. ¬†Listen below!!

  • Lastly, Tristan Thompson’s “Mistaken” shall return to the chart! ¬†It’s been bumped to being the third single release from Here For You in favour of another song, which I shall be writing about very soon!

The Full Chart

01 01 I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE Sam Smith
02 02 SMILE Mikky Ekko
03 03 AFTERGLOW Harriet
10 04 THANKS FOR NOTHING Brandyn Burnette
05 05 NO FUN The Presets
07 06 MUSIC GODS Davis Redfield featuring Carl Man
09 07 GET TO KNOW YOU Corey Niles featuring Ish
13 08 I WON’T LET YOU GO (Aron Friedman remix) Adam Tyler
20 09 SAY YOU LOVE ME Jessie Ware
04 10 THIS COULD BE SOMETHING Anton Ewald featuring Medina
16 11 UNBREAKABLE Jamie Scott
14 12 ZEPPELIN Eli Lieb
15 13 JUST SAY HELLO Lyonn
17 14 AMNESIA 5 Seconds Of Summer
18 15 CRIMINAL Adam Tyler
06 16 I BELIEVE Bright Light Bright Light
21 17 PLAY FOR ME Chromatone
08 18 STRANGER Chris Malinchak featuring Mikky Ekko
11 19 TIME HAS COME Hannis
12 20 TEN FEET TALL Afrojack featuring Wrabel
23 21 KILLER WHALES Smallpools
25 22 HANG ON TO YOUR LOVE Penguin Prison
New 23 STAGE FRIGHT Jake Barker
New 24 BRANDO Semi-Precious Weapons
19 25 WHEN YOU LEFT ME Sam Dickinson
New 26 LOSING YOU Jane Badler
New 27 THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID The Janoskians
New 28 RESTART Sam Smith
24 29 BIG CITY GIRLS (DON’T FALL IN LOVE WITH SMALL TOWN BOYS) Zorro Blakk
29 30 KNEW YOU BETTER Adam Tyler

Listen for My New Music Pick Of The Week on D-Moos.com!

As many of you are already aware, after many years away from the microphone, I am now pleased to be back as a voice on D-Moos.com Canada’s National Internet Radio Station, which mainly plays a selection of oldies, mostly from the 50’s to the 90’s, with soon to be more intrusions from the 2000’s and other new music.

Do listen in for my New Music Pick of the Week feature on D-Moos.com¬†8 times per day starting at 2:05 AM EST on Mondays, and while the station is only live in the evenings from 9:00 pm to midnight (with my long-time musical partner in crime ‚ÄúThe Musicman‚ÄĚ James Rogers), you can hear my voice at other odd times, particularly if you‚Äôre an oldies loving night owl on the weekend overnights ūüôā

Back In Fine Form: @Erasureinfo with “Elevation”, @DaveAude & @AndyBell_info “Aftermath (Here We Go)”

 

ERASURE, “Elevation”

DAVE AUDE featuring ANDY BELL, “Aftermath (Here We Go)”

I was thrilled to find out this summer that Erasure is back not only on record with The Violet Flame in September, but shortly after its release, they will be touring and making a stop in my city *tickets bought*… I first saw them in 1986 and last (of five times, I think) in 2011!! ¬†So first on deck we have “Elevation” (ab0ve), a sparkling mid-tempo song which takes us back to their mid-90’s songs such as “Always” courtesy of glistening Richard X production. ¬†It’s going to sound great in concert! ¬†Next up is a US club #1 for “Aftermath (Here We Go)” (below), and if this was a radio era like 20 years ago, you’d be hearing it to death everywhere. ¬†Truly, this song has HIT written all over it and shouldn’t be overlooked. ¬†Dave Aud√© clearly put his Erasure inspiration hat on and gives us one of Andy’s best recent vocals (and Andy’s looking wonderfully fit in the video as ever). ¬†At times it sounds so much like Erasure that even hardcore Erasure fans wouldn’t know! ¬†The last quarter of 2014 looks to bring us great music and shows from Erasure and maybe even more songs from Andy given the success of “Aftermath”. ¬†

Bill’s Top 75 Songs of 2011

That annual ritual is upon us again. ¬†I kicked it off with my previous post “And Visions of 2011 Danced In His Head”, which talked about my favourite 20 performers (and one compilation album) that made 2011 glitter for me. ¬†I won’t go into much depth about those performers again, other than those whose songs are in my Top 10. ¬†I’ve provided links to some notable videos and/or songs in my list below (click on the relevant song titles), particularly some you may not know, as well as some comments. ¬†You can see the web-pretty list using the Best of 2011 list in the sidebar to the right or click right here.

Before we begin, only one performer has more than 4 songs on the list, and that is Simon Curtis, who had my #1 song of 2010 “Beat Drop”. ¬†Among 7 entries, he has three duets on the list! ¬†Then with four songs is Frankmusik, and with three songs apiece we have Penguin Prison, Elouise, Eric Saade, Ro Danishei, and Kyle Brylin. ¬†These are no surprises if you’ve read this blog throughout the year.

Are you sitting comfortably? ¬†Then I’ll begin ūüôā

BILL’S TOP 75 SONGS OF 2011

75 TILL THE WORLD ENDS  Britney Spears

Unlike much of the pop world, I have never much been a fan of Ms Britney.  But this year she recorded the best song of her career thus far which kicks off my year end list.  In fact one of the very best reasons for expanding my list to 75 songs this year was to include this song.  Well done Рmore like this please!
74 METAPHOR  Nick Hagelin

Watch Nick’s Twitter account for word about his upcoming single “X Games”!
73 JILTED LOVERS & BROKEN HEARTS  Brandon Flowers
72 WE DON’T MISS A BEAT Van Go Lion

Portland, Oregon duo Amy Paige and Josh Hoertzel make magical melodies together, and “We Don’t Miss A Beat” is their best yet. ¬†Watch for more in 2012.
71 ICE MELTS  Matt & Kim
70 ANOTHER DIMENSION   Bass Robbers featuring Matt Blue
69 NEVER WILL BE MINE  Rye Rye featuring Robyn
68 THE CITY (Richard X emix)  Patrick Wolf

It was so grand to hear British singer Patrick Wolf full of positive and happy energy with songs like “The City” from his recent album Lupercalia.
67 TILL IT HURTS (Radio mix) Native Underground

Native Underground and singer Javi Silva (who gave us last year’s tantalizing “Situation”) are part of a New York City new dance/disco undercurrent. ¬†Watch for more from them in 2012, including Javi’s other project Chasing The Ghost.
66 CINEMA  Benny Benassi featuring Gary Go
65 FALLING Bright Light Bright Light

BrightLightx2 aka Rod Thomas recorded this free download and unique interpretation of the theme from TV’s “Twin Peaks”, originally sung by Julee Cruise.

64 WHITE HORSE  Jessica 6
63 MORE (Red One Jimmy Joker remix)  Usher
62 STUPID WITH YOU  Eric Saade
61 MY FIZZY POP   Kyle Brylin
60 THEN I GO TWISTING  Erasure
59 ALL YOU NEED IS NOW  Duran Duran
58 THE LOVER’S RUMBA ¬† Elouise

The first of three contemporized ballroom songs to appear in this list from the fantastic Ballroom Remixed compilation from our favourite UK torch song chanteuse.

57 KEEP YOUR HEAD UP  Andy Grammer

One of the most upbeat and carefree songs of the year also had one of the most enjoyable (and interactive) videos!

56 BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE  Chris Brown featuring Benny Benassi

I must say I was totally enthralled with Chris Brown’s performance of this song on the Grammy Awards – though it was really a lot of special effects that catch your attention more so than the song, you can imagine how much work went into it. ¬†But I was totally puzzled that his record company did not promote this song to pop radio, and instead it became a #1 Dance Club Play hit.

55 TAINTED LOVE  Elouise

Another magnificent Steve Anderson production which turns the song best known as the 80’s hit by Soft Cell into a seductive, smoky, and empowering torchy rendition.
54 ALORS ON DANSE  Stromae

53 NEVER LOVE A DJ  Kyle Brylin

52 THE EDGE OF GLORY  Lady GaGa
51 DON’T GO BREAKING MY HEART ¬†Agnes
50 SUNLIGHT Bag Raiders featuring Dan Black
49 FAMOUS Audio Playground featuring Kardinal Offishall or Randy Raymond

Canadian dance trio Audio Playground enlisted Kardinal Offishall for this infectious dance song that perked up Canadian radio playlists this Fall.

48 LADY LUCK  Jamie Woon
47 ROCKETEER  Far East Movement featuring Ryan Tedder
46 BAD DOG  Neon Hitch
45 THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL   Elouise

From the little belter herself, a live clip of this version of the ABBA hit which shows that Elouise has the goods and you’ll hear much more from her in 2012.


44 SET FIRE TO THE RAIN  Adele
43 MOVES LIKE JAGGER  Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera
42 MONSTER  Kanye West featuring Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Bon Iver & Nicki Minaj

I will always listen to Kanye West’s music knowing that he can come up with greatness with the help of such friends… and to me Nicki’s outstanding rap in this song is what helped get her on the map.
41 FAIR WARNING (Dirty Vegas remix) Penguin Prison
40 VENOM Long Story Short

A hooky, movie theme-inspired rock song from this duo, who are from Quebec and L.A.  Watch for more from Long Story Short in 2012.
39 THE PUPPET WHO GAVE HIMSELF STRINGS  Simon Curtis

The most adorable song from Ballroom Remixed which shows a different side of Simon.
38 PREY TO THE BEAT   Ro Danishei

Prey To The Beat is the hidden gem in Ro’s End Of The Rainbow album. ¬†It can easily slay the dancefloor!
37 BLOCK AFTER BLOCK  Matt & Kim

Block After Block is set to one of the best videos of the year – it’s just so much fun, like the duo themselves.

36 PULL THE TRIGGER  Adam Tyler
35 MULTI-MILLIONAIRE (Shook remix)  Penguin Prison
34 TALK TALK TALK  Darren Hayes

33 FIX ME  Matthew Kurz

Fix Me is one of the most heart-wrenching ballads of the year by L.A.’s Matthew Kurz, a new singer with an amazing voice. ¬†Download his Mixtape featuring Fix Me right here.
32  CINNAMON  Matt Webb 

Guitarist Matt Webb ¬†initially released Cinnamon as a limited free download before appearing on his debut EP Coda and Jacket. ¬†It’s one of those perfect summer heartbreak songs that shows another side of this Marianas Trench member.
31 EVERYTHING I’M MISSING ¬†Kyle Brylin

As Kyle enters an acoustic phase of his career, his electropop of 2011 leaves its mark especially with this hypnotic song with a video that makes you watch, even reluctantly. And what is it about the eye makeup that helps give this song a bit of a sinister side? ūüėČ

30 SUPERHERO  Simon Curtis

Your Superhero arrived in May to stage the arrival of¬†R‚ąÜ.

29 STUPID (Brad Walsh remix)  Databoy

It takes a few listens until you realize what a smart release this is from this Austin TX duo. ¬†It’s still available as a free download right here.

28 I WON’T LET YOU GO ¬† Adam Tyler

Watch the colourful video from the best song on Adam’s Shattered Ice debut release.


27 MICHELLE  Ro Danishei featuring Simon Curtis

Watch Ro and Simon perform this blistering duet from London, the first of two videos from that show in this list!

26 BORN THIS WAY  Lady GaGa
25 I’M IN LOVE ¬†Christian TV

The first of two pop/dance confections on this list from the Detroit performer who now goes by the moniker JMSN. ¬†Watch for more tricks up Christian Berishaj’s sleeve in 2012.
24 PRISONER OF LOVE  Jessica 6 featuring Antony Hegarty

Prisoner of Love is just one of those to-die-for duets that happen once in a while.  Hopefully this will be the first of many Nomi Ruiz/Antony Hegarty pairings!


23 BLOODSTAINED HEART  Darren Hayes

There are few performers who can convey heartbreak so conscientiously as Darren Hayes.  The best song on his Secret Codes & Battleships album is also one of his finest vocal performances.  Watch the video all the way through.

22 PUMPED UP KICKS (Skeet Skeet Show remix)  Foster The People

It’s very clear from their sold out concerts and their praised performances (even on TV’s Saturday Night Live) that Foster The People is not a one-hit pony. ¬†Despite the strange subject matter, the song became one of the defining hits of the summer, but my preference is for the frenetic Skeet Skeet Show remix.
21 JACKSONVILLE  Brandon Flowers

Held over from 2010, Jacksonville is one of the songs on the deluxe version of Flamingo, an album that could have fared very differently if the excellent deluxe tracks had been the the core of the record.  Nonetheless, this is Brandon at his most unique РJacksonville could have also been kicked up a notch with some dance remixes.
20 DISCO MOMENT Bright Light Bright Light

One of Rod Thomas’ very best songs contains several lyrics that can leave you teary-eyed while you dance: ¬†“And I am open, I am open, but I might just close if… /You make it so hard to be around”. ¬†The outstanding video will twist your emotions on the spot.


19 OUT WITHOUT YOUR BOYFRIEND  Jerry Reid featuring Ben Waters

The best song from the Ballroom Remixed compilation is this contemporary jive number, aided immeasurably by the magic fingers of Ben Waters.  Jerry Reid, too, is a new bad boy talent to watch in 2012.
18 TALK TO ME  Andrea Lewis featuring Simon Curtis

Toronto’s Andrea Lewis has another hold over from 2010 release 54321, with her 60’s retro sounding duet with Simon Curtis. ¬†Watch the exclusive performance by these best friends from London below.


17 HURT YOU AGAIN Frankmusik

Pre-dating the Do It In The AM album by several months, it’s one of the rare tender ballads you will hear from Frankmusik, originally available as a free download.
16 SOMEONE LIKE YOU Adele
15 S&M Rihanna

Rihanna was a non-stop music-making machine in 2011, but S&M to me exceeded all expectations and made the music that followed pale in comparison. ¬†She was at the top of her game but is now probably due a break for fear of that other industry-eating event, over-exposure. ¬†The song also accompanied an interesting cadre of songs with suggestive topic matter, which all ended up in Billboard’s Top 4 on the Hot 100 earlier in year – the others were “Born This Way” by Lady GaGa, “Fuckin’ Perfect” by Pink, and “Tonight (I’m Fuckin’ You)” by Enrique Iglesias ūüôā

14 DO IT IN THE A.M.  Frankmusik F/ Far East Movement

13 CAN’T HELP MYSELF (KEEP DANCING) ¬†Matt Blue

One of 2011’s must-talents to watch is 19 year old Matt Blue, who hails from the Netherlands. ¬†Songs like “Can’t Help Myself” transcend the record industry barriers for official release through their videos.


12 LOVE 2 BABY Christian TV

If there was any song that should’ve been a hit in 2011 it was “Love 2 Baby”, dance pop at its best and somewhat hedonistic video to boot. ¬†Watch for the artist now known as JMSN in 2012.


11 NO I.D. Frankmusik featuring Colette Carr

One of the most joyous treats of 2011 was watching this completely unexpected video throwback to “Grease”. ¬†Frank and Colette have great chemistry together – hopefully they’ll record again.


10 MADE OF POP  Eric Saade

It was never released as a single *hrumpf* but this love letter to Eric’s fans has some of the best lyrics that pop music could offer in 2011: ¬†“My kings and queens /Are speaking through me /¬†Got my degree / In the big P-O-P”.

9 ROLLING IN THE DEEP  Adele

Rolling In The Deep is the song that defines 2011 in pop culture. ¬†It endured the entire year, became a massive hit beyond expectations, was covered – sometimes magnificently – a gazillion times. ¬†More than any other song in the 21 album, it showcases the many broad talents of Adele. ¬†Now let’s hope her voice recovers and we hear more magnificence in the next few years.


8 NIGHT AIR  Jamie Woon

One of the most mysterious and oddly appealing songs by this new English singer with deep down embedded talents. ¬†While the video surely must have had “Twilight” as a source, its quiet is incredibly elegant.


7 THE FEAR INSIDE  Frankmusik

The best song from Do It In The AM was Frank’s first single from the album, released about a year ago. ¬†Just release yourself to this one.

6 GOLDEN TRAIN Penguin Prison

Penguin Prison held court on my chart at the top of the year for two months with this song, which was made even better when Chris Glover paired it in a stunning mashup with Michael Jackson’s “Workin’ Day And Night”, which you can hear and download in the link in song title.

5 LASER GUNS UP  Simon Curtis

It lasted from the first time I heard it in a live clip from a January show throughout the year. ¬†Laser Guns Up is still my anthem for 2011. ¬†And I still want some LEGO laser guns. ¬†“This one’s for the people who’ve been told they’re never good enough /¬†The little girls and boys who dream of what they wanna be /¬†The little girls and boys who grow up into you and me”.
4 JUST ONCE Databoy

I had just heard “Stupid” and had not yet charted it before I was introduced to Databoy at the Superfraiche showcase in New York City in April. ¬†And that’s where I heard this song. ¬†Instantly, it became my song for the upcoming summer, and when it arrived as a free download there was no other competition. ¬†I can’t wait for more Databoy music in 2012.

3 WICKED BABY Ro Danishei featuring Simon Curtis

We had to wait till late Summer for this bonus track from the deluxe edition of Ro Danishei’s End of the Rainbow, but the best was saved for last. ¬†This is the child of Ace of Base’s The Sign that you’ve all been waiting for, with a stunning dubsteppy breakdown amid another smoking Ro/Simon duet. ¬†And I wasn’t the only one who loved it, check out My Fizzy Pop’s thoughts on the song too!

2 FLESH  Simon Curtis

There was no song more unique in 2011 than this second single from Simon’s¬†R‚ąÜ album. ¬†Totally different from even the songs within R‚ąÜ, it’s a tour-de-force of sensual imagery carried by fierce production that will simply throttle you. ¬†I still want to see it featured in a segment on TV’s “The Vampire Diaries”: ¬†“You put your hand upon my neck and feel the pulse beat-beat-beat-beat /It’s like a trigger getting ready to shoot” and “Hold me up against the wall /¬†Give it till I beg, give me some more /Make me bleed, I like it raw /¬†Like it R‚ąÜ R‚ąÜ R‚ąÜ”.
1 POPULAR  Eric Saade

“Popular” is the best and most captivating song of 2011 to me, which threw Swedish singer Eric Saade even more into the spotlight when the song won the Melodifestivalen contest and came third in Eurovision. ¬†It signalled things to come, with Saade’s Volume One and Volume Two albums dropping before year’s end and giving us the year’s most ¬†lighthearted, feel good, crunchy electropop, which hopefully will find its way around the world in 2012. ¬†Eric Saade and his team have created the template, the rest of the world needs to catch on. ¬†And if you’re a male pop singer, all eyes should be on Eric! ¬†Watch the star-making performance from Melodiefestivalen again below.


Tuned-On! Top 30 #368 – December 19/11… plus Frankmusik, Adam Lambert, Lana Del Rey and more

Well if you’ve been reading this space these past several weeks, then it’s no surprise that Eric Saade & Dev have dethroned Matt Blue’s “Can’t Help Myself” at the top of my personal chart in this edition. ¬†“Hotter Than Fire” is a highly appropriate 2011 finale for this chart, since my next one won’t be posted till January 2 or thereabouts. ¬†It looks to have a nice long stay at the top, unless either a long-awaited release of another song I love happens, or unless another Eric Saade song catches hold of me like “Hotter” and sails to the top. ¬†Watch the spiffy video above; the camera takes great advantage of Eric…

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here. You can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.

This won’t be a long blog because the rest of the top stays the same, and while both New Yawkers Penguin Prison’s “Don’t Fuck With My Money” and Lana Del Rey’s “Blue Jeans” (in a Penguin Prison remix no less) are on their way to the Top 5, both “Then I Go Twisting” by Erasure and “White Horse” by Jessica 6 sneak into the Top 10 for what look like peak appearances. ¬†In the meanwhile, take a gander at the provocative video by Lana Del Rey, “Born To Die”, which is one of the best you will see these days, tragic story and all. ¬†Her voice almost has a Rufus Wainwright-like quality to it at times in this song.

Just outside of the Top 10 is another story entirely, for four songs look to storm the Top 10 in two weeks. ¬†Keep your eyes on Boy Banned, for “The Stars Are Saying Yes” will getcha when you’re not looking! ¬†It climbs 20-11 this week. ¬†Right behind is the second entry for Darren Hayes currently on the chart, “Black Out The Sun”. ¬†The Fastest Riser on the chart follows, and that’s “Make You Mine”, the big surprise that is within Joe Jonas’ Fastlife album. ¬†It soars 24-13. ¬†Jon McLaughlin’s “Promising Promises” continues to climb at #14. ¬†Rounding out the movers are The Midway State’s “Fire!” at #18, Lady GaGa’s “Marry The Night” which is up to #21, and “Like A Drug” by Adam Tyler jumps 28-24.

I talked about two of the three debuts recently. ¬†“Home” by Stone Walters is a stunning but low-key release from the UK soul singer which hits your heart in all of the right places. ¬†It’s one to watch and debuts at #20. ¬†It’s available for free download right here with an email subscription. ¬†“Champagne” by Nelson Clemente is either a great way to end the current year or a great starter for the next year. ¬†Its lightheartedness is contagious and premieres at #27. ¬†Nelson has already attained a number of Top Tenners on this chart, with “You Want Me Don’t You” (in both its original 2008 release and 2009 Spekr Freks remix) and “90 Days” both cracking the Top 5. ¬†Ninthwave Records has made it available as a free download on Soundcloud right here. ¬†Lastly, producer/remixer Benny Benassi has made some intoxicating music for the dance floor this year, so he gets a hat-trick of sorts with his remix of Labrinth & Tinie Tempah’s “Earthquake” arriving on my chart at #23. ¬†The other two songs to reach the chart? ¬†Chris Brown’s “Beautiful People” and Benassi’s “Cinema” (featuring Gary Go) were on the chart concurrently this summer, peaking at #10 and #11 respectively. ¬†Listen to his remix of “Earthquake” below. ¬†Your body may start moving without you.

A few more tidbits before I wrap up…

Ever the busy guy, Frankmusik recently unveiled a delightful animated video for his Do It In The A.M. track “Wrecking Ball”. ¬†Mr. Frank’s full of ideas… watch for more next year. ¬†In the meantime, watch “Wrecking Ball” below.

And welcome back, Adam Lambert, though you didn’t seem away for more than a hot second. ¬†The most important thing about his upcoming single “Better Than I Know Myself” is that it does away with the dramatic, almost over-the-top high notes of songs like “Whataya Want From Me” in favour of cleaner, richer, and more classic production. ¬†But everything you ever liked about Adam is much intact! ¬†The new album’s gonna be even better, I think. ¬†Listen to “Better Than I Know Myself” streaming from his official website right here.

And I leave you with two more songs for the season. ¬†He was Warbler #6 on “Glee” for a time, and recorded a terrific EP about a year ago along with a bang-on cover of George Michael’s “I Want Your Sex”. ¬†It’s a pleasure to hear Chris Mann so beautifully sing “Silent Night” below.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you, I said it was coming. ¬†Here’s Joshua Desjardins’ heartwarming and humourous video for “Macauley Culkin (Home Alone at Christmas)”. ¬†You will have a smile on your face when it’s finished ūüôā

And Visions Of 2011 Danced In His Head…

2011 is a special year in many ways for me. ¬†Utterly fantastic music was to be heard at every turn, whether it be a Facebook or Twitter link, a video, a concert… we were just a few clicks away from something amazing. ¬†I’ve met and made contact with some of the genuinely nicest people who are either performers, writers, songwriters, producers … and are always music fans. ¬† For someone like me who has sometimes odd music tastes and often wants to stand up on my seat and root for the underdog, it’s reassuring to know that there are so many of us out there in the world.

In anticipation of my year end Best Songs list – which will be a Top 75 Songs for the first time since around 1992 – I’m going to rave on about 20 ¬†performers (and one compilation project) who made 2011 a watershed year, particularly for pop music online (he says after listening to the radio and finding so little of interest on it). ¬†So this post is a little longer than usual… they are in no particular order, except for the last five ūüôā

The Script

The Irish trio toured around the world and then seemed to do it again, sideways, finally landing a show in my city. ¬†Their Science And Faith album proved to be a consistent soft rock entry, spawning long-lasting hits like “For The First Time” and “Nothing”. ¬†It’s a record that you can put on at any time and know that you will get something different back in each play every time. ¬†The band in concert has an earnest, contagious energy which will serve them well in their rock career.

Jamie Woon

If I hadn’t heard the magical and eerie “Night Air”, well represented by a beautifully-shot video, Jamie Woon’s Mirrorwriting would not have been one of my most played albums of the first quarter of the year. ¬†Englander Jamie has one of those deep musical souls, highly evident in gripping R&B/Blues-influenced songs like “Tmrw”, “Street”, “Waterfront” and “Shoulda”. ¬†I can’t wait to see where his next album will take him, and us.

The Midway State

The Toronto-based quartet had me a bit puzzled with their sophomore release Paris Or India, but it’s really an album that grows on you with time. ¬†First you must get over the hurdle that it’s quite different, and much more produced, than their 2008 debut Holes. ¬†But the songs do resonate, particularly “Fire!”, “All Anew”, “Hartley Salter’s Kite”, and “St. Paul And The Wolf”. ¬†The band proved how much they’ve grown touring back and forth across Canada and are now a formidably tight unit in concert. ¬†Keep them on your radar!

Jon McLaughlin

What’s one to do after leaving your major record label of 6 years? ¬†Why, you tour the hell out of North America in support of the album that you couldn’t agree upon, that’s what! ¬†So Indiana’s Jon McLaughlin released Forever If Ever on his own, as if to reacquaint us with an increasingly lost image – the singer/songwriter/piano man. ¬†I mean, a full blown piano solo in the album’s best song, “Promising Promises”, really? ¬†The record is mainly soft rock, but also rocks out on “What I Want” and “These Crazy Times”. ¬†And Jon proved himself to be a compelling presence in concert, prepared to bang out that keyboard until it falls apart.

Adam Cohen

I was fortunate enough to win last minute tickets to see Adam Cohen’s show in Toronto in October. ¬†And I was treated to a low key, enthusiastic small event to showcase his first English solo album, Like A Man, since 1998, after recording one in French in 2004 and of course having some success with his rock band Low Millions. ¬†So Adam has now embraced some of father Leonard’s style and grace on the album. ¬†But these are Adam’s songs which tell interesting tales of love, lust, and beauty, as well as a coming of age of sorts. ¬†At 39, Adam has decided to continue with a pop music career after nearly talking himself out of it. ¬†And so out of that we have Like A Man, one of the best albums of 2011.

Jessica 6

This New York City trio is among a select few who seem to be reinventing the late night dance music of their city. ¬†There’s no better example than their See The Light album, full of dark and sensual rhythms carried by the sultry-plus voice of Nomi Ruiz. ¬†“Fun Girl”, “White Horse” and especially the knockout duet with Antony Hegarty on “Prisoner Of Love” will serve as benchmarks in this sub-genre which will continue to grow.

Ballroom Remixed

It almost seems like a no-brainer. ¬†But with the success of contemporary dance in our pop culture spectrum now, thanks in large part to TV’s So You Think You Can Dance, no one had thought about putting a contemporary spin on traditional ballroom dances until now. ¬†Dance choreographer extraordinaire Melanie La Patin executive-produced this fun and diverse compilation, with all songs written and produced by one group of incredible individuals, so it comes off as a dedicated and attractive affair to suit your every dance mood. ¬†And the performers who participated? ¬†A who’s who of Internet pop from across the globe – Simon Curtis, Kyle Brylin, Gravitonas, Elouise, Lee Latchford Evans, Romy Low, Neo, plus stunning newcomers like Jerry Reid, Joshua Desjardins, and Jeronimo. ¬†Putting together such a compilation in these times must have taken massive effort but the results are exceptional, so check it out if you haven’t.

Bright Light Bright Light

Rod Thomas creates sad and romantic electropop with a big heart. ¬†And while we haven’t yet seen a full album release, this London-based Welsh singer/producer/DJ continued to dazzle us in 2011 with the heartbreak of “Disco Moment”, “How To Make A Heart”, and a unique interpretation of the “Twin Peaks” theme (originally sung by Julee Cruise) “Falling”. ¬†And then there are his numerous dance mixes, often courtesy of his nightclubbing event “Another Night”. ¬†Bright Light Bright Light is on my must-listen list.

Adam Tyler,  Kyle Brylin, and Nick Hagelin

All of these fine young men didn’t strike me with their first few songs. ¬†But 2011 has shown that all are coming into their own, with endless possibilities ahead. ¬†All are very prolific, whether engaging us with their own originals/collaborations, or with well-chosen cover versions.

Adam released his debut album Shattered Ice, toured most of the U.S., and also visited England, Sweden and Japan. ¬†The well-received electronic album included pre-released single “I Won’t Let You Go”, plus club bangers such as “Like A Drug”, “Pull The Trigger”, and the anthemic “Music Freak”, but also showed Adam’s softer side as well, which truly highlights his voice, very apparent in his non-album free download covers of Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn” or Adele’s “Turning Tables”.

It seemed that every month saw a new Kyle Brylin release. ¬†And I’d be the first to back off a bunch of songs that sound like they were being thrown against a wall to see what stuck. ¬†But there is enormous quality to multi-instrumentalist Kyle’s versatile performances, ¬†most of which were available as free downloads. ¬†The year started with the interesting “Committed”, and quickly got turned upside its head with a visceral version of Rihanna’s “S&M”. ¬†“Everything I’m Missing” was hypnotic, his best song yet. ¬†He gave us a tongue-in-cheek side with “I’m A Man (Not A Piece of Meat)” from the Ballroom Remixed compilation. ¬†More aggressive electronica followed in the form of songs like “Make It So” and “Never Love A DJ”, countered by sweet pop like “Bay” and the joyful “My Fizzy Pop”. ¬†The year wrapped up with precursors to an album with the many remixes of “Revenge” along with the The System EP. ¬†OK I’m officially out of breath.

For the first while, all I could associate singer/songwriter/guitarist Nick Hagelin with were dancing pandas (from his video of “ICU”). ¬†So when the acoustic cover versions of “The Story Of Us”, “Sometimes I Cry”, and “Marry You” all surfaced, along with a beaut of an R&B/Pop EP called Take Off, then I knew Nick would be here to stay, with much to look forward to next year. ¬†Take Off is available for free download and features the sultry “Metaphor” and wistful title track.

Erasure

September brought me back to an always pleasant experience – my fifth Erasure concert (I saw them first back in 1986!) – but this year’s event focused on both their greatest hits and music from their album Tomorrow’s World, produced by their opening act, Frankmusik. ¬†The album itself stands as unique among all of the Erasure albums because it updated the duo’s sound, which attracted many new listeners, more than evident in the audience at the concert. ¬†And the concert showed that Andy Bell and Vince Clarke are still very fine performers indeed – and just count all of those hits they played.

Ro Danishei

The L.A. based singer/songwriter released the first album of 2011 online for free, and in a year of such high profile women singers, Ro Danishei held her own with End Of The Rainbow. ¬†It’s a collection of songs that would best resemble what a de-layered Kesha might sound like, but with much more focus on deeper lyrical content and solid production (courtesy of Jeff “Jadion” Wells) than image or novelty. ¬†Her duets with Simon Curtis on the blistering “Michelle” and the child of Ace Of Base that is “Wicked Baby”, as well as solo efforts like “Baby Doll”, “Drunk Txt”, and “Blackout” put Ro Danishei on her own platform, waiting to be heard more in 2012.

Lady GaGa

Despite naysayers, Born This Way as an album (but more particularly as a song) is a triumph. ¬†Every generation has its excesses, whether they be by Elton John, David Bowie, or Madonna. ¬†Lady GaGa has her own invention of excess, but with all of her talent, and her ability to get right down to a fan’s level, she still comes across as a multi-layered and unique person. ¬†And there’s no denying the variety in Born This Way, from the humorous “Government Hooker” and “Schei…ģe”, through to the more dramatic “Marry The Night” and “Judas”, and the anthemic “Hair” and “The Edge Of Glory”.

Adele

21 is the most stunningly beautiful best-selling album of many recent years. ¬†Who would have thought a year ago that the New Artist Grammy winner from 2009 had created a record with songs that will serve as bellwether performances for years to come. ¬†The honest emotion in “Rolling In The Deep”, “Someone Like You”, and “Set Fire To The Rain” transcended the year, and will continue into 2012. ¬†21 is certainly a dream come true, a vocal tour-de-force with stunning arrangements.

Darren Hayes

Secret Codes and Battleships is Darren’s first album since the magnificence that is 2007’s This Delicate Thing We’ve Made. ¬†It’s a softer and very personal affair, full of emotion and positive energy. ¬†“Talk Talk Talk” was the danceable introduction to the album, followed by the intense “Bloodstained Heart” and feverish “Black Out The Sun”. ¬†There’s no shortage of fine songs, with “Don’t Give Up” and “Roses” continuing to show the quality and beauty that Darren and his team put into their music. ¬†What’s best though about this record – Darren’s finest vocals throughout. ¬†Can’t wait for the North American concert dates.

Here now are the five quintessential performers in 2011 who require your attention in 2012 and beyond!

Elouise

England’s “Little Belter” certainly captured my attention last year with her knockout Stardust EP, which showcased her powerful voice on “Pretender”. ¬†This year we saw Elouise take up a residency at Madame JoJo’s in London for several sequined-dress laden Little Belter shows, including “Santa’s Little Belter” at year’s end, which promoted her same-name EP of a trio of Christmas songs, including the lost disco gem “Dear Santa (Bring Me A Man This Christmas)”. ¬†She also released another three song EP Stardust Melodies (as with the others, lovingly produced by Steve Anderson), featuring a warm and spot-on cover of ABBA’s “The Winner Takes It All”. ¬†Plus she dared to cover “Born This Way” while Lady GaGa’s Grammy performance was still fresh in our minds (releasing it as a free download), as well as a sexy and sultry version of Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love”. ¬†Then we found her contemporized on the Ballroom Remixed compilation with “The Lover’s Rumba”. ¬†It was a great year for Elouise, and it will only get better from here. ¬†A tour of England first; the rest of the world awaits!

Penguin Prison

Chris Glover and his band were everywhere in 2011. ¬†The year started off with the single “Golden Train”, which Penguin Prison then mashed up with Michael Jackson’s “Workin’ Day and Night”. ¬†Then came the Prince-worthy “Multi-Millionaire” and an older single “Fair Warning”, in numerous different remixes. ¬†Chris also entertained us with various remixes and mixtapes throughout the year, until the self-titled Penguin Prison album dropped, first in England, and then in North America in October. ¬†The album was more than worth the wait, with the crunchy and ribald “Don’t Fuck With My Money” scoring the lead-off track role. ¬†But there’s more to Penguin Prison than making an outstanding fusion of dance past and present, as “Desert Cold” and “In The Way” will inform you upon listening. ¬†Despite their relentless touring throughout 2011, I hope to see a Penguin Prison show again in 2012.

Simon Curtis

Our Boy Robot from last year’s 8bit Heart free download release threw his hat into the official release game with¬†R‚ąÜ pretty much taking over my Twitter timeline for the month of June. ¬†He also performed a few shows throughout the year, including the Superfraiche showcase in New York City which I saw in April. ¬†R‚ąÜ is a hard-hitting and emotionally heart-felt triumph which is not always an easy listen. ¬†In fact it’s better to be broken up into several parts. ¬†

The song that stands apart from the rest in¬†R‚ąÜ is second single “Flesh”, Simon’s most unique offering to date that wraps you up and doesn’t let you go, with its impressive vocals, all of its sexy and sensual imagery, and whirlwind production from Jeff “Jadion” Wells. ¬†Then we have the anthems – first single “Superhero”, concert fave “Laser Guns Up”, love letter to the fans “Get In Line”. ¬†Then smouldering dance/pop courtesy of “Soul 4 Sale”, “Don’t Dance”, and “Enemy”. ¬†Lastly, the intensely raw songs like “How To Start A War”, “I Hate U”, “Pit of Vipers”, and “Joshua” – I for one would not want to be the subject of any of these songs for fear of having to crawl under a rock somewhere. ¬†

Despite its flaws,¬†R‚ąÜ proves that Simon Curtis can take his music to the next level and beyond… I’m gonna have to be extremely patient waiting to see what’s in store next.

Frankmusik

Frankmusik left me breathless in 2011 after what seemed to be a simple start with the release of the infectious “The Fear Inside” at the top of the year. ¬†But then the rollercoaster effect started, with the online free release of fine songs that didn’t end up on his September album release Do It In The A.M. ¬†One of those songs is “Hurt You Again”, one of my favourite ballads of the year with a tender vocal which we hadn’t yet heard from talented Vince Turner. ¬†

In the midst of it all, Frankmusik produced Erasure’s album Tomorrow’s World, from which he also gave us a raw cover of the band’s single “When I Start (To Break It All Down)”, and then opened up for them on their North America and England tours. ¬†And in the midst of all that, songs from Do It In The A.M. were leaked months in advance of the album’s release, prompting Frankmusik to release several more songs for free download, including a song about London’s summer riots “Living In The Mayhem”. ¬†

But back to the album – flat out and edgy dance pop, featuring collaborations with Far East Movement, Natalia Kills, and Colette Carr, all Cherrytree labelmates. ¬†The music from the record shaped my playlists for late Summer and Fall, with the swinging title track, the jaunty “No I.D.” (with a fantastic “Grease” inspired video), and dance floor fillers like “Wrecking Ball”, “Ludicrous”, “We Collide”, and “Struck By Lightning”. ¬†

Frankmusik now occasionally broadcasts on uStream from his studio and says he’ll be releasing his next album for free online. ¬†But I’m sure this busy fellow will have more up his sleeve and should not be underestimated in this strange world of pop music.

Eric Saade

I’m so glad I keep an open mind about music or else I may not have returned to listen to Eric Saade’s records this year. ¬†His previous releases, huge hits in the Scandinavian countries, didn’t connect with me. ¬†

And then this year’s Melodifestivalen contest happened in Sweden, with Eric’s “Popular” one of the contenders. ¬†Like with Mans Zelmerlow in 2009, the show extracted a stunning live performance ¬†by Eric. ¬†I was converted and ¬†“Popular” is the defining song for me of 2011, followed in the summer by a full album, Saade Volume One. ¬†This isn’t just Swedish electropop, it sets the standard for the way contemporary electropop should be. ¬†Eric and his fine team of songwriters and producers covered the entire pop spectrum, from the caring and personal “Me and My Radio”, “Stupid with You” and “Timeless”, through to his own anthem for his fans “Made of Pop”, and the brilliantly bizarre “Killed By A Cop”. ¬†

In November, Volume One was followed fearlessly by Volume Two, an even harder hitting, forceful collection of grittier arpeggio-laden electropop, led by a stunning first single featuring Dev, “Hotter Than Fire”. ¬†But there are comparable songs within such as “Fingerprints”, “Love Is Calling”, “Explosive Love”, and “Crashed On The Dancefloor”. ¬†Put Eric on a double bill tour with Swedish legend Robyn in 2012 along with a few other noteable performers and we will have Electropop Heaven. ¬†

Not only does Eric Saade create electropop done so right that makes you feel so good, but he leads the way in which a male performer can rightly find his place in such a female performer-driven business these days. ¬†If there’s any guy who should break into the worldwide pop marketplace in the next few years, it’s Eric Saade. ¬†With Volumes One and Two, he’s created the template. ¬†So other male pop performers, your challenge is here: ¬†The Glove Is Now On.

Tuned-On! Top 30 #367 – December 5/11… Plus More New Music and Christmas Tunes

It doesn’t happen too often but my top two songs this week are by singers whose first language isn’t English. ¬†And currently, both songs are only available in Europe or Scandinavia, something that I hope will be rectified in the future. ¬†And¬†they are both success stories in their own right in 2011.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here. You can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.

We have to go back to almost the start of the year when I first came across cover versions of songs like “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love” and “What If” by The Netherlands’ Matt Blue. ¬†He teased us throughout the summer with a clip of “Can’t Help Myself (Keep Dancing)”, which continues to have the marks of a smash hit all over it for me. ¬†It finally got released in Europe this Fall, and now this talented cancer survivor has claimed the #1 spot on my personal chart. ¬†No brain cramping here – just pure joy about getting out and having a good time, and sometimes we simply just need that. ¬†Check out the video – again – below ūüôā

On a different scale, of course, we have Eric Saade, who has basically took the Nordic countries for his own, courtesy of massive hits “Popular” and “Hearts In The Air” from the Saade Volume One album. ¬†Last week, Saade Volume Two arrived with a similar blend of cosmic pop and magnetic electrodance – the harder and spicier the album gets, the better it is. ¬†More on that later in the week. ¬†In the meantime, the first single “Hotter Than Fire”, featuring Dev, almost beat Mr. Blue to the top, tearing up the chart with a 23-2 move. ¬†So it looks like I’ll be listening to a lot more Mr. Saade throughout the month and into the holidays. ¬†Given my initial impressions of Volume Two, Eric Saade is poised for international success in 2012. ¬†I’m hoping remixes and a crack at the North American market will be in store. ¬†If there is any music that I’ve turned to in 2011 for a break away from absolutely everything, it’s the songs from Saade Volume One, and Volume Two is exactly the logical continuation that might have been anticipated! ¬†Here’s a live clip of “Hotter Than Fire” from a month ago.

Darren Hayes’ “Bloodstained Heart” still moves up to #3, while “Black Out The Sun” continues its rise up to #16. ¬†With already three singles culled from Secret Codes And Battleships, I’m hoping that some other songs from the album might be given a chance, such as the hopeful “Don’t Give Up” or beautiful “Roses”.

The lower half of the Top 10 is party-central! ¬†Matt & Kim’s “Block After Block” jumps to #6, with the forceful electropop of Agnes Carlsson’s “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” right behind at #7. ¬†Kyle Brylin’s aggressive technopop of “Never Love A DJ”, along with Penguin Prison’s “Don’t Fuck With My Money”, and chanteuse-of-the-moment Lana Del Rey’s “Blue Jeans” (in a Penguin Prison remix no less) round out the Top 10. ¬†Looking to break into the Top 10 in two weeks are “Then I Go Twisting” by Erasure and Jessica 6’s “White Horse”, both worthy of filled dance floors.

While great songs by Joe Jonas, Jon McLaughlin, Mika, The Midway State, and Jeronimo continue to reach new heights on the chart, four songs debut. ¬†I can’t rave enough right now about “The Stars Are Saying Yes” by UK quartet Boy Banned. ¬†It’s pop at its purest – a fantastic, simple melody, magical lyrics, and vocals to die for. ¬†The song bows at #20 and is available on iTunes. ¬†Here’s the absolutely charming video, again.

At #24, I go two songs deep into Joe Jonas’ Fastlife album – and if you asked me if that would happen six months ago I would have stared at you with a strange expression. ¬†While I was interested in the Jonas project, I had no idea how good it was, especially after the drab first two singles. ¬†For me, the killer on the album is “Make You Mine”, which has a vocal performance by Joe unlike anything you could have imagined. ¬†The song has a warm lyric and seems to be a distant cousin of a song like “Rock with You” by Michael Jackson. ¬†Look for this one to take off on the chart in the coming weeks. ¬†Listen below for yourself! ūüôā

Despite all the hoopla about the video, as well as its many excesses, which you can watch below, “Marry The Night” is one of the very best songs from Born This Way, and its timely release as a single is good enough reason for it to arrive on my chart at #27. ¬†The Lady is everywhere these days, and I try not to get too overexposed to her for fear I will not enjoy her music as much. ¬†Anyone else feel that way?

The last new entry on the chart is the upcoming second single from Shattered Ice, the debut album by Adam Tyler. ¬†“Pull The Trigger”, my second favourite song on the album next to previous Top Fiver “I Won’t Let You Go”, just dipped out of the Top 10, leaving room for me to now add “Like A Drug” to the mix at #28. ¬†I can’t wait to see the video, which looks like it has some massive choreography in store for us. ¬†However I do need you to backtrack to the Shattered Ice album. ¬†It’s been a mainstay on my playlist since its release in August. ¬†And despite some of my initial quibbles about too much production, the album is many songs deep past these three. ¬†“Music Freak” has become a little bit of a personal anthem, and I savour Adam’s less produced voice on the acoustic version of “I Won’t Let You Go” and the ‘orchestral’ version of “Emergency”. ¬†Get it on iTunes and listen to “Like A Drug” below.

Bubbling below the chart we have some festive songs for the holidays, whether they be for Christmas or otherwise.

There are no better bubbles to drink than those of “Champagne”, and we have this new effervescent single courtesy of Australian singer Nelson Clemente, about whom you have read about many times in these pages. ¬†This is a splendid change of pace for Nelson, whose songs are often wrapped up in intense emotion and mystery. ¬†That he recorded someone else’s song this time just ups the ante for Nelson who has this modest kind of talent that people would kill for. ¬†Listen to a taste (?) of “Champagne” below and purchase it on iTunes. ¬†Nelson also this week officially releases his previously free EP Love.Feel.Dangerous (which contains “90 Days”, which you can hear below, and “No Protection”, which have both appeared in my chart) – be sure to get it on Amazon among other places.

“90 Days” by Nelson Clemente

New Yorker Joshua Desjardins gets around. ¬†First he’s writing a song for (and about) dream choreographer Melanie LaPatin on her Ballroom Remixed comp, then he’s man about the comic store during the summer in “I’m A Nerd”. ¬†He’s been performing a show in theatre district called “Joshing Around NYC”, and still has had time for a song highly appropriate for the season. ¬†Sure to put a smile on your face, give a listen to “Macauley Culkin (Home Alone at Christmas)” below. ¬†Then go watch the “Home Alone” series while the movies pop up on TV. ¬†Then listen again. ¬†Happy? ¬†Video to come! ¬†Buy it on iTunes.

The final Christmas song on Elouise’s latest EP Santa’s Little Belter is yet again another bang-on version of a recent classic. ¬†Darlene Love originally sang “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” ¬†for Phil Spector’s seminal Christmas album A Christmas Gift for You. ¬†Listen to a clip below and purchase Santa’s Little Belter on iTunes. ¬†Watch for more fantastic music from Elouise in 2012!

Lastly, we have a beauty of a holiday original from American singer/pianist/songwriter Gavin Mikhail, who has given us some lovely renditions of other songs this year. ¬†This gentle holiday treat is called “Evergreen” and it’s matched with a delightful animated video that perfectly captures the song’s essence. ¬†Buy it on iTunes and be dazzled by the video below.

Tuned-On! Top 30 #366 – November 21/11, plus new Elouise and Boy Banned

Only two more personal charts to go in 2011, and my year end list is in the works. ¬†Years ago this list was of 100 songs, then it got whittled to 75, then to 40, and then back up to 50. ¬†There has been so much great music this year – and so many songs that didn’t end up on my chart – that I may increase the list again. ¬†We’ll see, gotta save some surprises for you!

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here. You can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.

So the top of the chart remains static, but that’s not a bad thing by any stretch. ¬†Frankmusik and Colette Carr get another chart at the top with one of the glorious songs of 2011, “No I.D.”. ¬†I’m still waiting for that release of “Memorize Me” by Rune RK & Databoy to happen… all good things in time… meanwhile the song holds at #3. ¬†Trust me it will be MASSIVE, and ¬†you can listen to it right here. ¬†“Bloodstained Heart” by Darren Hayes anchors Secret Codes And Battleships at #4, while “Pull The Trigger” by Adam Tyler becomes the singer’s third Top 5 entry on my chart. ¬†

While this song is in full electronica mode, Adam occasionally dips into more minimalist settings from time to time, and – hot off the presses – posted an extremely well done acoustic version of “Turning Tables” by Adele today that truly shows off his voice. ¬†You remember his cover of Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn” from a while back? ¬†“Turning Tables” matches it. ¬†Listen right here and watch for a video of it soon.

The rest of the Top 10 continues to be busy as “Can’t Help Myself (Keep Dancing)” by The Netherlands’ Matt Blue should find its way into the Top 5 in two weeks. ¬†It’s followed directly by Audio Playground’s Canada-wide hit “Famous” at #7, the party-itis of “Block After Block” by Matt & Kim at #8 (note that these Brooklyn faves are playing New York City for New Year’s Eve), and the powerful Eurodance of “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” by Agnes at #9.

There’s plenty of competition for Top 10 entries next time with indie guys Kyle Brylin and Nick Hagelin sitting at #11 and 12, while rising starlet (and somewhat of a Stevie Nicks soundalike in spots, doncha think?) Lana Del Rey climbs to #13 with “Blue Jeans”. ¬†Kyle’s new and humorous video for “That Bad” is video #1 at the bottom of this paragraph. ¬†Adam Cohen’s “What Other Guy” moves to #14 as he winds down a tour of Europe, Israel, and the UK, and his new video for “Like A Man” (a simple but powerful idea full of great faces too) is video #2 below this paragraph. ¬†Penguin Prison is the Fastest Riser with “Don’t Fuck With My Money” soaring 22-15. ¬†Make of it what you will, but the official video for “Money” is set smack in the middle of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations – watch it as video #3 below this paragraph. ¬†Also continuing their rise are the highly danceable “White Horse” by Jessica 6 at #16, and “Then I Go Twisting” by Erasure at #17.

Ahead of the debuts, we find the remainder of last week’s newbies off to a good start. ¬†Fastlife by Joe Jonas is a great album to crank up in your car on a sunny day with its brushes with electropop. ¬†But “Just In Love”, a soulful ballad, is a dazzling alternative that rises to #20. ¬†Jon McLaughlin’s “Promising Promises” is the song to hear on his Forever If Ever release, and it’s up to #21. ¬†Then Darren Hayes’ sad but compelling “Black Out The Sun” moves up to #22, and Jeronimo’s winning “Somebody Who Loves Me”, a Top 40 hit in the Netherlands, jumps to #25.

The three debuts are no surprise, as I’ve written about all of them. ¬†The album I’m currently waiting for, at least for another 9 days or so, is Saade Volume Two by Eric Saade. ¬†His duet with Dev on “Hotter Than Fire” simply sizzles as it lands at #23 for a starting point. ¬†Mika is currently wrapping up recording for his upcoming album The Origin Of Love, and he threw a free concert in L.A. to conclude his time there. ¬†I blogged about his French song “Elle me dit” back in June, but better late than never, this French singalong with a fantastic video (below – only the French could make this one, with a great set of character actors) is at #24. ¬†Then at #26 is Toronto quartet The Midway State, who are touring the heck out of their second album Paris Or India and the second single from it “Fire!”. ¬†I’m hoping to catch them in Toronto in December for a show (I saw them last in 2009) as I have not been able to catch the band while they’ve been in town. ¬†The video for “Fire!” (also below) is a terrific showcase for a concert performance by the band.

I’ll finish up with two more new songs. ¬†UK chanteuse Elouise has transformed her “Little Belter” shows in London into something festive for the season called “Santa’s Little Belter”. ¬†She’s released a new EP of the same name, available on iTunes, and I hope to show off the other songs to you over the next while. ¬†For now, here’s a taste of her warmly gorgeous redux of Judy Garland’s “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” to get you in the Christmas spirit.

And don’t say you weren’t warned, if you are suddenly charmed, boy-band style, or rather Boy Banned-style. ¬†The quartet has been acquiring quite a following in the UK, and if there’s a song to seal the deal on drawing in more fans it’s “The Stars Are Saying Yes”. ¬†This is when you kind of wish that North American radio wasn’t so limited and would just get back to playing good ol’ songs like this. ¬†Even better: The iTunes single features an acapella version! ¬†Enjoy ūüôā