The Voice’s season 6 contestant @iamJakeBarker puts his spin on @Usher’s “You Make Me Wanna”

JAKE BARKER, “You Make Me Wanna”

With two recent EP’s under his belt (Stage Fright, Trip) after his experience on TV’s “The Voice”, likeable NYC-based R&B/pop singer Jake Barker is off to a fine start in 2016.  He kicks off his new campaign with an original spin on Usher’s “You Make Me Wanna”, and has chosen to post new songs every two weeks each month along with some covers (which he explains after the song in the video above) .  It’s only two minutes long but Jake’s unique vocal spin on “You Make Me Wanna” really deserves a full rendition.  This was Usher’s first huge single (and remains my favourite by him) from late 1997, and isn’t heard as often as his later hits these days.  But if you need to be convinced that Jake is someone to watch, this will do the trick.  Continue to watch this blog for more of Jake Barker’s music in the months ahead!

Published in: on January 3, 2016 at 9:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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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 🙂

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 – more 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? 😉

30 SUPERHERO  Simon Curtis

Your Superhero arrived in May to stage the arrival of R∆.

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 – Jacksonville 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 🙂

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∆ album.  Totally different from even the songs within R∆, 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∆ R∆ R∆”.
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 #349 – March 28/11

As much as I can’t resist the laid back and mysterious charm of Jamie Woon’s “Night Air”, the song gives way to the summit of my personal chart after one appearance in favour of the positively infectious, can’t-stand-still hedonism of Christian TV’s “Love 2 Baby”, whose video was featured two weeks ago in these pages.  “Love 2 Baby” should by all rights be a must-play this Spring and Summer, so listen for it and get it on iTunes in advance of Christian’s upcoming album.

That leaves Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” holding in third place this week, while Frankmusik’s supurb ballad “Hurt You Again” climbs to #4 – if you thought Mr. Frank was only a remixer and dance artist, this song proves what an amazing voice he has.  And the Top 10 is packed with fine vocalists.  Adam Tyler’s Euro-inspired pop dance song “I Won’t Let You Go” continues to climb, with Dan Black complementing Aussie producers Bag Raiders on “Sunlight”, and the Red One Jimmy Joker remix of Usher’s “More” right behind.  Adele’s current UK chart topper – her 5th week at the top there – “Someone Like You”, is the lone new entry into the Top 10.

The feel good vibe of Andy Grammer’s “Keep Your Head Up” is paying off slow and steady as the song’s about to crack my Top 10, with the Richard X remix of Patrick Wolf’s “The City” in tow in anticipation of his upcoming album Lupercalia.  “Born This Way” by Lady GaGa hasn’t worn on me and it jumps to #13, while Enrique Iglesias’ party-hardy “Tonight” also rises up to #16.

The song that has grown on me the most these past few weeks is the fastest riser on my chart.  Kyle Brylin is a new singer from Wisconsin and his alternately hypnotic and eerie “Everything I’m Missing” soars 24-17.  Double back to the video featured a few weeks back while you’re at it.  BT’s warm electronica of “The Emergency” cracks the Top 20 along with the softer sound of “How To Make A Heart” by Bright Light Bright Light.  I think Brandon Flowers’ fans should convince Island Records to release “Jilted Lovers and Broken Hearts” as a single to extend the life of his fine Flamingo album.  The song rises to #21 this week.

Our four new entries are led by Sweden’s Eurovision entry – which I think has a great shot at winning the whole deal.  I was so glad to see Eric Saade’s “Popular”  (arriving at #18) take home the Melodifestivalen award – it could very well be one of the finest songs of the year, and I’m going to say again that it has immense international potential, now all Eric’s handlers have to do is get him on Twitter and use this opportunity to promote the hell out of this song.  Check out that starmaking video again from a few weeks back.  Next is the second single from Jamie Woon’s upcoming Mirrorwriting album.  I wasn’t sure what to make of it right away, but like so many UK soul-inspired records over the years, its understated appeal and the contemporary dubstep rhythm make “Lady Luck” (debuting at #22) unique, and you can view its video at the bottom of this page.

Further down, I’m bucking the singles that have been released from The Script’s sophomore album Science and Faith in favour of an extra song on the North American version of the album.  I think the pairing of rapper B.o.B. with the band has given their song “Walk Away” an extra boost, and it arrives on this chart at #26.  Listen to the song right here to see what I mean.  And last is a singer from the Toronto area who first appeared on this chart in late 1999 with a slice of pop/electronica called “Don’t Wanna Lose You”, and then again in 2002 with “Get Ready”, both of which got to the Top 5.  After that I thought a lot of his songs began to sound awfully similar, so I was glad to see a new approach with his latest album Fresh.  Shawn Desman is back with the fun “Electric” at #27, and you can view the video mashup with “Night Like This” right here.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here.  Be sure to leave any comments you might have, and thanks for reading 🙂


Reintroducing This Blog… and the Tuned-On! Top 30 #348 – March 14, 2011

While my new personal chart is hopping with activity, it’s generally been pretty quiet in the music world these past few weeks, and both Canadian Music Week and SXSW are in progress.  So for those who are unfamiliar with this blog, allow me to reintroduce it for you.

BillcsIsTuned-On! the blog began in September 2009 as my outlet for selective things good and musical and mainly current that I enjoy and would like to share with others.  Like other bloggers, the benefit of others discovering the music that we are talking about – even if we aren’t the first to talk about them – is the reward of writing this blog.  The blog also frames the bi-weekly publication of my favourite 30 songs of the moment, the Tuned-On! Top 30, which I have been producing online since late 1997 and is now in its 348th edition.  Like everyone, I have my favourite singers and performers.  Unlike many bloggers, I have over 30 years of music fandom, college radio and writing experience.  I love documenting the history of music and compiling lists, and this forum is one way I can share this kind of information with you as well.

Meanwhile, back on the Top 30 🙂  When I look at the current chart, it makes me wanna be at SXSW so much.  I’ve been to Austin TX and enjoy it a whole lot.  Combine that ‘weird’ city with artists on my chart who are performing there – Jamie Woon, Frankmusik, Duran Duran, Andy Grammer, Bright Light Bright Light, and Penguin Prison – and I guess I’ll just say that I’m there in spirit.

Jamie Woon fortunately is coming to my town (Toronto) on March 25 and I’m hoping to catch his show.  “Night Air” climbs to #1 this week a month before his CD Mirrorwriting is due in the U.K.  Can’t. Wait.  I posted a preview of the video for “Love 2 Baby” by Christian TV a few weeks back.  The song scores a very competitive runner-up spot on the chart.The full video debuts on Monday March 14 and I will post that clip once it’s available.  EDIT!  The video’s below 🙂


Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” climbs easily to #3, while Ro Danishei and Simon Curtis stay at a strong #4 with “Michelle”.  There’s double Frankmusik, with “The Fear Inside” slipping from the top to #5 and glorious ballad “Hurt You Again” moving to #6.  Far East Movement and Ryan Tedder get stuck at #7 with “Rocketeer”, and three songs make their first appearances in the Top 10.

“I Won’t Let You Go” is one of Adam Tyler’s best songs and it leaps to #8 – I’m so looking forward to his debut album Lullabies for Rattlesnakes.  “Sunlight” by Bag Raiders featuring Dan Black will be more effective with Spring around the corner and moves 16-9.  “More” by Usher continues to impress me with the singer’s delivery and the production, and it becomes his first Top 10 hit on the chart (his 9th entry) since “Yeah” reached the summit in 2004.

Songs by Andrea Lewis, Andy Grammer, Alphaville, Neverest, and BT all move up, but surround songs that make greater gains.  “The City” by Patrick Wolf is Top 10 bound as it jumps 20-14, and “Tonight” by Enrique Iglesias & Ludacris (in whatever version you prefer) moves 26-20.  But the song that has captured music fans’ attention the most this Winter is also the fastest riser, and that’s “Born This Way” by Lady GaGa, up 25-17.

Three of the four chart debuts have already been mentioned previously.  Don’t get me started on Adele’s “Someone Like You”.  The song makes a splashing debut at #12, and continues as the deserved UK #1.  It looks to be one of the best songs of the year from the 21 album, which could be the best album of the last several years.  Further down at an impressive #23 is “How To Make A Heart” by Bright Light Bright Light – don’t forget to watch the sad but entertaining video.  On a danceable but totally different bent is Kyle Brylin’s “Everything I’m Missing” at a smashing #24, a song that I’ve found to be quite contagious over the past few weeks.  And yeah check out the video again, while you’re at it, and then pick up the song as a free download right here.  Lastly, as “Jacksonville” departs so continues the presence of songs from Brandon Flowers and the enduring Flamingo album on this chart.  One of the best songs he performs live in concert is at #27, “Jilted Lovers & Broken Hearts” – watch the clip below.

You can view the full chart using the link to the right under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** or just click right here.  Enjoy and post your comments 🙂

Tuned-On! Top 30 #345 – Jan 31/11

The top songs on this edition of my personal chart stay the same once again. Penguin Prison’s amazing “Golden Train” hangs tight for a 4th appearance at #1, while Frankmusik’s addictive “The Fear Inside” follows at #2 for a third appearance. So what will happen in two weeks? I’m not so sure, but Rihanna’s “S&M” has made an interesting surge to #3 – the peak of 2007’s “Don’t Stop The Music”, her highest ranking song on my chart to date. Will she get to #1? There are a few challengers below.

Each song below makes a good case why it might reach the top in two weeks. “Monster” by Kanye West is one of his most ferocious and entertaining songs to date and moves up to #5. But he’s been to the top with Estelle in “American Boy” and to the runner up spot with “Gold Digger” – can he get to either again? Then there’s the beautiful rendition of ABBA’s “The Winner Takes It All” by UK chanteuse Elouise, which moves up to #6. Last year, her “Pretender” soared to #2. “Falling”, the theme song to the 1990-91 TV show ‘Twin Peaks’ has been redone and reshaped by UK electro sensation Bright Light Bright Light, and becomes Rod Thomas’ 4th consecutive Top 10 entry here. Both “A New Word To Say” and “Love Part II” were #1’s last year – will “Falling” follow suit?

Then there are the extremely strong new entries to the Top 10. First is the scathing “Michelle” by LA fireball Ro Danishei which becomes a duet when Simon Curtis (who is apparently playing a show in upstate New York sometime in February!) enters mid-way. One of the most fun but aggressive songs in recent years, “Michelle” climbs 13-8. Then we have the dreamy, mysterious, fastest riser in the chart – “Night Air” by Jamie Woon, which zips up 18-9. Can’t wait for Jamie’s album Mirrorwriting, due out in Spring, but “Night Air” will do just fine right now. Then we have that early 80’s dance flashback courtesy of Javi Silva and his project Native Underground at #10 with “Till It Hurts”. JUST SO MUCH GOOD STUFF!!

A great trio of very different songs that debuted at the end of last year find themselves mid-way on this edition of the chart. Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” was prevented from #1 in the UK by “Grenade” by Bruno Mars, and rises 17-13 this week. Immediately below is Brooklyn’s fun rock indie couple Matt & Kim with “Ice Melts” from their sophomore CD Sidewalks at #14. Then Duran Duran are in full comeback mode as the title track from All You Need Is Now is #15.

More of the last chart’s debuts continue to do well. “Robot” by wild Toronto gal Andrea Lewis glides to #18, while Far East Movement join with OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder for the uplifting “Rocketeer” at #19. Usher’s surefire hit “More” makes you want just that as it moves up to #20.


Two of our six debuts were featured earlier in the week in the blog and I can’t get enough of them right now, Christian TV’s “Love 2 Baby” and “I Won’t Let You Go” by Adam Tyler. An uncharacteristic but extremely likeable song that’s been on a slow burn is “Keep Your Head Up” by Andy Grammer. Create your own variation of his video for the song at his website right here.

I lived through 80’s electropop and one of my favourite acts was Alphaville, which started as a trio and essentially is now the performing name for singer Marian Gold. You know Alphaville from “Forever Young” (prominently sampled by Jay-Z recently on “Young Forever”) and “Big In Japan”, and now we have “I Die For You Today” at #28, from a forthcoming album called Catching Rays On Giant.  Alphaville almost toured in North America a few years back; a live clip of “I Die” is at the top of the blog.

It seems like they may be more than just your everyday boy band, but Canadian quartet Neverest have arrived with their debut single, a ballad called “About Us” which lands at #29. They are managed by Howie Dorough of Backstreet Boys and CJ Huyer of 3Deep (remember “Never Gonna Give Up” from 1999?), but we’ll need to hear more to see what else they have to offer. Great start though! And last is another emotional adventure from These Hopeful Machines, the latest album by electromeister BT. “The Emergency” is the final debut at #30. Its video is at the bottom of this blog.

The full chart can be found using the link to the right under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** or just click right here. Please leave any comments – thanks for reading!

Tuned-On! Top 30 #344 – January 17/11 and more

These two weeks between personal charts go fast, and since the start of the year a lot of new music’s surfaced that I’ve been wanting to write about.  So let’s call this one a catch up blog (no, not Las Ketchup thanks, but nice try) 😉

  • Penguin Prison and Frankmusik once again rule the chart.  Mr. Glover is current on tour in the U.S. and I can’t wait till he comes back to my town.  “Golden Train” just chugs along at #1 for a third time – and with great retro velocity as remixed with Michael Jackson’s “Workin’ Day and Night”.  Can’t wait for the debut album!
  • Then Mr. Frank releases a free EP Long Live Frankmusik which you can get right here.  Just to show why “The Fear Inside” is sweating it out at the top at #2, Long Live Frankmusik contains some of his best vocals today.  The ballads “Hurt You Again” and “Warrior” are beautifully touching, splendidly written.  “Our Discovery” is a timely tribute to Daft Punk – and then you realize it’s been 10 years since “One More Time” and 25 year olds were teens back then (and to me it would be nuretro).  “Hate Your Love” is more pop dance that isn’t quite as successful but all in all this is a brilliant taste of what’s to come for Frankmusik in 2011.
  • Andrea Lewis also gave us a preview of her talent in her intimate club show in Toronto on January 13.  Looking like a movie star who just stepped out of the screen, she performed five songs from her free for download release 54321:  “She”, “Linda”, “Teardrops”, “Voodoo”, and a dynamite slowed down version of “Robot” (minus the autotune too).  The latter song makes its debut on the chart at #25, and while she didn’t perform “Talk To Me”, the duet with Simon Curtis, the song still rises to #4.
  • Elsewhere within the Top 10, Rihanna’s “S&M” moves into the Top 5, followed by Kanye West’s “Monster” (yes My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is very impressive), Elouise’s “The Winner Takes It All”, and, new to the Top 10, “Falling” by Bright Light Bright Light, in anticipation of the album Make Me Believe In Hope.
  • Javi’s latest project Native Underground rises to #11 with “Till It Hurts”, and while that’s on the go, the singer’s other project Chasing the Ghost is recording something new too!  Looking forward to it.
  • All of the debuts from two weeks ago make healthy moves, them being Adele’s theatrical “Rolling In The Deep”, Duran Duran’s 2011 meets 1986 “All You Need Is Now”, and Matt & Kim’s singalong “Ice Melts”.

Aside from the debut of “Robot” by the classy Miss Lewis, we have five other debuts.

  • Way up at #13 is one of the first and most stunning debuts of 2011. Rochella Danishei, formerly of trio Candy Coated Chaos, released her debut free album download End Of The Rainbow on New Year’s Day, and she did it with great company courtesy of producer Jadion and of course best bud Simon Curtis.  The album is a tight, aggressive different kind of pop record.  It may have a difficult time getting noticed what with Britney Spears dominating pop news and Lady GaGa’s next release on the way.  But really this record has a lot to offer in the form of songs like “Never Been Kissed”, “Unlove Pill”, the title track, and “Baby Doll” – identifiable lyrics sung with a lot of power by Ro with production that makes them crunch.  Best of all is a positively massive song, “Michelle”, in which a friend-turned-bitch is called out and how.  Icing on the cake turns the song into a duet with album cover mystery man Simon Curtis making the song even more of a treat.  It debuts this week at #13.
  • Next up is UK new pop/soul sensation Jamie Woon.  I had been meaning to check out his songs when blogger xolondon floated an amazing tweet about him and wrote this blog.  Young Mr. Woon has one of those persuasive blue-eyed soul voices for which I am an absolute sucker.  But the songs have to be good too, and his debut single from the upcoming album Mirrorwriting is “Night Air”, which has one of the most seductive-in-many-ways videos I’ve seen in a while.  Fans of the Twilight series will dig this video too. Watch it at the bottom of this blog.  Destined for the top, it debuts at #18.
  • First single’s a fluke I thought.  But there’s more to Far East Movement than meets the eye, as collaborators like One Republic’s Ryan Tedder might gather.  Mr. Tedder teamed up with the quartet for the second single from Free Wired called “Rocketeer”, and it’s one of the most uplifting songs on radio right now.  It bows at #26.
  • Roz Bell is one prolific and talented songwriter, and the Toronto-based singer unleashed his latest cadre of thoughts in the form of “The Gran Cavallo Mixtape”, which is available for free download right here.  My favourite of the lot is the pretty and straight-forward “Forever, I Do”, which arrives on the chart as his collabo with 100 Akres “Breakup Anthem” is about to depart.  Also of note from “Gran Cavallo” are “2000 Years”, “Brooklyn, Save My Life”, and “Sarah’s Song”.  If you haven’t already got to know Roz through his albums October and particularly 2008’s The First Sunbeams, then be sure to get acquainted with him through “Gran Cavallo”.
  • While it may seem redundant to say so, Usher Raymond is back and in fine form on his latest single “More”, which does not appear on any edition of Raymond v. Raymond that I’m aware of.  It’s a great percolating dance track, continuing in the vein of “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love”.  “More” is Usher’s first chart appearance here in 6 years, the last being “Caught Up”.  I’m still very burned out on “Yeah”, which pop radio has killed into near oblivion.  But “More” is skilful, soulful R&B/dance that should do equally well as “DJ” and “OMG”.

You can view the full chart right here or using the link to the right under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART***.  Please post any comments you might have, I enjoy the opportunity to reply and chat!

All this, folks, plus new songs by the likes of Adam Tyler, Christian TV, and more, coming soon…

Tuned-On! Top 300 of the 2000’s, Part 2 (250-201)

From big worldwide hits (“Yeah”, “Naughty Girl”, “Can’t Get You Out of My Head”) to more localized hits (“That Girl”, “The Way (Put Your Hand In My Hand)”, “Alone In The Universe”), to club smashes (“Planets of the Universe”, “My My My”) to rock tracks (“Sometimes”, “Load Me Up”) to first timers (“There You Go”), to CD only tracks (“I’ll Do Anything”, “Hot Mess”) – you’ll likely find something you like a lot on this list.

You can find the updated list right here – don’t forget to leave your comments! 🙂

Tuned-On! Top 300 of the 2000’s, Part I (300-251)

Yes it’s that time once in every ten years when I get to recap the list of my favourite songs of the decade.  Of course this list is likely to change even as early as next year, but it’s a snapshot of all that I thought was worthwhile in the decade.  In some ways it corresponds to my bi-weekly chart, but there have been some past favourites that I no longer play or hear as much as in the past, and those songs are not on this list.  This list is not exclusive to singles or songs on the radio…  there are many album tracks.

I will eventually post the full list in the sidebar to the right, but for now you’ll have to watch the blog each day this week for the first 200 songs.  The Top 100 will be revealed sometime during the week of December 28.

You can view the first 50 songs right here and of course by the tags you can see some of the artists who are on the list.

Enjoy, and post some comments about your favourite songs on the list!!