vendredi 1 janvier 2010

The music to remember from 2009

Goodbye 2009, Say hello to 2010 !
It is the time of year to take a look back at what will stay of the year that has just passed by and I must admit, musically, it has been a brighter year than previous ones : POP is back!
So here is my Top 25 Hits of 2009 :

Lady Gaga Poker face
It was hard to decide between the first five singles that got to my mind as best song of the year or shall I rename this the hit song that I'm still not bored of. And Lady Gaga's second hit is the winner as the song is a perfect pop number I like to sing along and the lady really should have won this first place as she rocked the planet in 2009, appearing from nowhere and stealing the crown of pop from Madonna, Britney or whoever...

02 David Guetta feat. Kelly Rowland When love takes over
Second best single of the year is this summer's anthem by David Guetta with a fantastic Kelly Rowland reborn as a dance diva. This song has all it takes : perfect beat, big piano, powerful vocals, good vibes and happy sing-a-long lyrics to match. I still can't get enough of it !

03 Glee Cast Don't stop believin'
It comes as a surprise, even for me, but the leading cover version from the american new TV Show Glee hasn't left my mp3 player since I discovered it online after watching the first episode of this new show in streaming and VO. The guy si cute and the girl has an amazing voice, touching and beautiful. The music covered on the show is of high quality but this first one, revamped from american pop/rock group of the 80's Journey, is so uplifting, I can't help sing along, move my feets in rhythm and feel good and happy... Isn't this what good music is supposed to make you feel after all? I've bought both volumes of Glee music that have already been released and am waiting impatiently for the show to re-start after the christmas break.

04 Bluey Robinson I know
Another surprise at #4 and it must be a song I suspect quite nobody knows by an equally stranger singer. The fact is I first discovered it via the youtube video displayed on a blog I visit every week and I've been mesmerized by its rhythm power, the real magic that comes from it : I recommand everybody to take a few minutes and watch it from my main MySpace page too : you'll be hooked!

05 Katy Perry Hot N Cold
Loser of this Top 5 is Katy Perry's dance/rock anthem Hot N Cold. It could have been number one instead of Poker face if I hadn't been "a little" bored of it now. Maybe I've listened to it too much and even if I still love this in-you-face musical moment, it has lost the magical appeal other previous 4 songs still have got in my heart. Miss Perry's other songs may have deceived me a little too...

06 Najoua Belyzel La bienvenue
First hit in french, Najoua Belyzel's 2009 comeback single has knocked me down by its first listen. I've posted about it on this blog already : this song hits it all in the right places : ears, heart, mind, feet... And the following album ain't bad either.

07 Emmanuel Moire Adulte & Sexy
Same applies for Emmanuel Moire's first single from his second album L'Equilibre : it feels good to hear a catchy electro/dance song that sounds real good (and sexy) in french ! And it is the song of Manu's brand new sexy look and coming-out phase. I still can't get enough of this emotional independance anthem and can't wait to see it sung live on the 2nd of February in Rennes... But there's more to talk about Mr. Moire later, when it'll be time to talk of full length releases of 2009 .

08 PZK Les filles adorent
Strangely enough, I'm still poisonned to the core by this french electro/pop/rap novelty hit. I can't really explain how it comes from, except these french college boys, if not vocally experts, know how to put a lot of fun combined with sexy lyrics in their music (their album sounds better than what I expected too!), their video is incredible and this joke song is sooooo catchy you don't need further explanations ! Like its title says it all : the girls adore and so are the boys...

09 Helmut Fritz Ça m'énerve!
Another french novelty super and summer hit by this fake german snob boy singing how it feels living in France. If the formula runs a little bit short on his album, this single (and the following Miss France) are real good fun with good electro party music. And then again, a very good video makes it all a perfect combination to cheer a little people up and away from the bad days this year was made of, economically...

10 Christophe Willem Heartbox
Still another french singer, but this time with a song sung in english (written by Guy Chambers) from his album Cafeïne. As an album track, this perfect solar electro/house number fits in my Top ten of the year. Now it has just been released with some remixes (by Benny Benassi) and a french version (strangely called Look back!), this pop jewel could well fit in my 2010 Top 10 either...

11 Antoine clamaran feat. Shamel Shepherd Gold
Although still far from David Guetta's international stardom, this other french DJ-Producer gave us a wonderful hit single with Gold but it was only a sneak preview of the following album that's featured in my 2009 best albums list.

12 Agnes Release me
Whatever the version or remix of Release me, Agnes shined all through the year with this extract from her third album : It is instant pop perfection at the highest degree : a tune that sticks to your brain for the rest of the day !

13 Georgina Hagen & Sapphire Elia Watch this space
"Who's that?" I can hear you all readers ask and this entry is a song that englued my ears all through the first half of the year. It's a haunting dance/pop duet from the UK TV series Britannia High, sort of High School Musical wannabee whose music was supervised by Gary Barlow. Like for Glee's previous hit, the music I've fallen in love this year had sometimes to do with TV shows I was fond of... Didn't you know that another song from this show has been covered by Susan Boyle on her first multiselling album ? Gary Barlow must be proud.

14 Alesha Dixon Italians do it better
Another surprising song at #14 with this album track from Miss Dixon's wonderful breakthrough CD Welcome to the Alesha Show. As I wrote in this album's review, this haunting mid-tempo has a magical charm and should have been a single ! Perfect song for sexy foreplay...

15 PussyCat Dolls I hate this part
Empowered by Nicole Scherzinger's leading voice, a beautiful melody and a haunting piano, I'm deeply in love with the original version of this power ballad, even though I fancy its dance remixes too.

16 Girls Aloud Untouchable
Another girls band, but from the UK this time, with their last single before their split, and a masterpiece by Xenomania, full on with electronic and balaeric arrangements.

17 Kris Allen Live like we're dying
Back on the US music with this American Idol winner and what is said to be a flop on the other side of the atlantic but a wonderful catchy pop/rock song I've fallen deeply for recently and still can't get enough of...

18 Christophe Willem
Another single from Christophe Willem and first of the year with such a memorable electro gimmick I instantly get hooked. Its low placing comes from the fact that I kinda overlistened to it and got nearly bored of it now.

19 Crookers vs Kid Cudi Day N Night
Another electro song whose success comes from a little gimmick repeated all along the song that stays in the head, with its rapper's nice performance and brilliant video ! Before I saw it, I listened to it and thought it was crap rap. After one video watch, I got stuck and wanted to hear it more and more... Sometimes a hit single comes from a chemistry and a mix of various elements : the image was really important for this one as it gave meaning to the rap lyrics that bored me without it.

20 Bag Raiders Shooting stars
Another unexpected entry and unknown act for people that I have discovered by its Tron inspired video on the blog I talked about previously. Another strange thing about this song I instantly fell for is that its chorus only comes near 2'45 while the radio version lasts less than 4'... Its power comes from the gentle musical progression with electro gimmicks all along the verses, then the chorus explosion and fade. Its originality sounds fresh and nice.

21 Cheryl Cole Fight for this love (Cahill radio edit)
Even though the original version of this first solo single from the Girls Aloud/X Factor celebrity sucks, the Cahill remix made it a dance/pop hit in my heart, even more than the Moto Blanco remix (that I like too nevertheless).

22 Sugababes Get sexy
Relying heavily on Right Said Fred's 90's hit I'm too sexy's chorus lyrics, this comeback from the Sugababes is incredibly powerful with hard nearly techno beats makin' the chorus drill your head and this shall make you move your ass and dance like Madonna in Vogue, posing with a sexy attitude... Camp and urban at the same time, Get sexy is incredible !

23 Najoua Belyzel M (hey hey hey)
Second single from Najoua to get a place in my Top 25 and recent single from her album, this ode to her difference from Mylène Farmer has nice lyrics but an incredibly powerful and catchy electro chorus with no real lyrics, just universal Hey hey hey singings. I recommend every non-french speaking readers to give it a try if they like their dancepop with overspeeded BPM.

24 Blake Lewis Sad song
Another former American idol contestant and the first single from his second album. Sad song is electro/poprock with an uplifting chorus and a very memorable sing-along post-chorus that goies Oho oho oh oh and got me completely in it.

25 Jeanette Undress to the beat
Last to win a place in my 2009 Top, german pop diva Jeanette and her re-invention as disco-house Kylie. I may have listened to this song a little too much during the year to still listen to it now but it must stay as one of this year's perfect pop songs.

It was hard to really fix this 25 listing, many other songs will stay in my mind marking the music of 2009, such as Beyoncé's Halo, Bananarama's Love comes, Cascada's Evacuate the dancefloor or Pet Shop Boys' Love etc. but these were the 25 bests of them all.

Now, what's in store on the album side ? It was altogether a good year too but there was no challenging the winning album that is Emmanuel Moire's L'Equilibre. This album is perfect from start to end, full of single material, with nice electro arrangements along acoustic/symphonic instrumentations to magnify his beautiful voice and deep lyrics. It has stayed on my 3CDs hifi since its release and I know all the songs by heart now. It is my number one CD by FAR !
The closest is by another french man, but all in english, and it is Spotlight by Antoine Clamaran : I reviewed it on its release as a greatest hits collection even though only two singles had been already released from it : combining different talented vocalists, this CD is a must-have too. So it'll be my best english album fo the year while L'Equilibre is the best french album.

Other highlights are BWO Big Science, Junior Caldera Debut, Calogero L'embellie, Cascada Evacuate the dancefloor, Alan Connor Something going on, Kristinia DeBarge Exposed, Ysa Ferrer Imaginaire pur reloaded, Colton Ford Under the covers, Glee music volume 1 & 2, Lonnie Gordon If I have to stand alone (2009 remastered version), Whitney Houston I look to you, Lady Gaga The fame & monster, Dannii Minogue The 1995 sessions, Ocean Drive feat. DJ Oriska In the sunshine, Pet Shop Boys Yes, Prefab Sprout Let's change the world with music, Kate Ryan French connection, The Saturdays Wordshaker, September Cry for you, Shèna One man woman, Sinitta Right back where we started from : the hits+collection 86-09, Velvet The Queen and Christophe Willem

Some could wonder by David Guetta's One love exclusion and I admit I did it on purpose as half of his album is just dull and sounds bad to me : It may have some wonderful songs on it but the rest is unhearable. That makes me think of other big disappointing CDs of the year :
Nolwenn Leroy's third album that sounds so musically thin and lyrically indigest, Alcazar Disco Defenders whose magic hasn't stayed long in my ears, Bananarama Viva that is nice but that lacks having BIG hits inside, Najoua Belyzel Au féminin whose first part is so good the second part makes it just a "good" album when it could have been a TOP, Beyoncé I am Sasha Fierce which have good singles in it but whose multi-re-re-re-re-re-releases and different tracklistings make it impossible to buy one unqiue definitive version that has it all..., Mariah Carey Memoirs of an imperfect angel that sounds so boring except for Obsessed and the Foreigner cover that I go Zzzzzzzzzzzz Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz everytime I've tried to listen to it, and finally, Rihanna's equally boring Rated R or how to follow a hit-CD by a back-to-indie chart un-success one.