THE WRIGHT STUFF – BEST OF 2011
1. Relient K: Relient K Is For Karraoke. This is a cover song EP with seven tracks on it. I would like the cover of this CD/EP for a shirt as well. But the covers of Tom Petty’s Here Comes My Girl and They Might Be Giants song Doctor Worm are excellent. Justin Beiber should be proud as well because this band also on here cover his song Baby as well too. This EP is fun and we need some of that blasting us into 2012.
2. The Ready Set: Feel Good Now. I didn’t know that Warner Brothers Records released Ep’s. But the danceable hip-hop and pop sounds of The Ready Set does lead themselves to getting a hit single off of this EP with my favorite song of the year Back To Back. There are some other reat songs on here also like A Little More, Young Forever and Hollywood Dream. The Ready Set is ready to strike it big with both radio and with the dance clubs easily with this new EP.
3. Amely: The Raleigh Sessions. Currently departed from Fearless Records though they have available this fine EP have decided to released this them themselves. Victory or Hopeless Records should pay close attention to this release that is for sure. It’s very cachy to the ear.
4. Less Than Jake: Greetings From Less Than Jake. This was released by the band on their own new record label called Sleep It Off Records. The only thing is if you want these on CD you have to buy them from the band while they are on tour at one of their shows. You can get the tacks from off of Itunes as well. Simple ska jams that are easy fun to dance around with. Just five tracks but well worth the full hearing of them all. The EP comes in at around seventeen minutes total.
5. Asleep In The Downlights: Asleep In The Downlights. This is dramatic slow drifting mood pieces of songs done by Hammock/Steve Kilbey/Tim Ebandi Powels. Steve Kilbey and Tim Ebandi Powels are members of The Church. This is one of those pieces you listen to in a dark room and having this following sooth intentions of moods smother your senses with it.
6. Ten Thousand Maniace: Triangles. This EP you had to get when you saw them live. Nattalie Merchant isn’t with them any longer and has been replace by another females vocalist who sounds like a little bit like Nattalie who is Mary Ramsey. Jeff Erickson who is an original member sings on two of the new songs Cold and on Fine Line. The other three songs sound like typical arty alternative pop 10,000 Maniacs tunes.
7. Josh Carterer: The Heart Of Christmas. Smoking Popes lead vocalist first solo project has come to life for this holiday season. One of the last EP’s I got but well worth the waiting for. There are four original songs on here. Plus there is a different arrangement that sounds awesome to the Christmas religious classic Hark The Herald Angels Sing. One of the best new original songs is Conroy The Gingerbread Boy. This song would make from a new great animated Christmas story. Perhaps someone should do something about this song and make it into a movie….hmm!
8. Joe Brooks: A Reason To Swim. Here is another artist who can sell out small to medium venues who was signed to Universal Records who has gotten dropped. However Joe Brooks has released his own solo EP. Maybe Sire records should pick him up. This Crooner shows again his great talents and writing abilities on this independent EP. He makes writing a simple ballad and how a simple pop song can mean so much. Give his guy a real break already he deserves it. This EP could easily have two singles from it with the very first songs.
9. The Bobbleheads: Two Guitars, Open Fire. This pop alternative band out of San Francisco has showcased for a long while now and played through the bar scene. This is the bands second EP since it’s first debut CD release.. They do seem to show us that garage pop is still apparent and full of life. International Pop festival has seen this band play it at both Los Angeles dates and for the dates in San Francisco for the past couple of years. John Ashfield can write a good pop song with ease. Record labels like Hopeless, Hollywood and Sire Records should check this band out
10. Pop Fiction: Next Level. Here is some pop that makes you move around and want to dance with. There is some alternative edges to this work that gives them a sound to still explode with that is catchy a well too. Los Angles local that definitely shows that in Los Angeles there is still a cool vibe in the pop alternative scene. This sure isn’t no garage band. This is a produced sound that sends our speakers into a leap of fun blasts.
1. Glen Campbell: Ghost on The Canvas. His is an artistic achievement from Glen Campbell. It’s so very sorry that this will be his last record. His alzhighmers disease is taking it’s effect on him. He is currently on his last and finale tour as well. This record though is something very heartfelt and personal as well. He album paints pictures and images that are true to one’s own self universal feelings. Glen Campbell will sorely be missed by many no doubt. At least though he has put out a Grammy worth getting record for his last one.
2. The Human League: Credo. Not sure what the title means, but electronic dance is definite at the bands forte and they do it very well once again with this release.
3. Tennant/Lowe: Th Most Incredible Thing. This orchestration music set to a ballet is divine. This shows that a pop alternative band, as they are The Pet Shop Boys, can make other appealing emotional orchestrated ballet music as well too. These guys are so multitalented.
4. Yellowcard: When You’re Through Thinking, say Yes. They first released the record as an alternative rock album. Here through hey have released it again and all of the songs are done acoustic. The songs are amazing taken down to their rawest form. You can here each instrument distinctively which lets the vocals harmonize over them with easy flow and understanding.
5. Simple Plan: Get Your Heart On! Yet again they give us a fun and exciting energy to an alternative pop record. They did get a lot of help on this record from such artist as Natasha Bedingfield, Rivers Cuomo, Alex Gaskarth (of All Time Low and even a rapper K’naan is featured on a song too. One of the softer tunes is Astronaut which could make for a great video as well too.
6. Fountains Of Wayne: Sky Full Of Holes. With such pop songs like A Road Song, A Dip In The Ocean, Working Man’s Hands and open track The Summer Place all lead them to easily being made into video’s of some sort. The band fill up small to medium venues across the states pretty easily. The even did an acoustic tour opening for Amie Mann as well. They might come across as a simple pop band but hey are well produced.
7. Steve Kilbey & Martin Kennedy: White Magic. This is there second collaboration release. Kennedy sets the orchestration background with interesting mood swings and Steve Kilbey croons you melodic melodies to mix everything together correctly. Even if it’s an up beat songs or a softer one, they seem to work well as a duo team ye again.
8. The Black Rabbits: Hypno Switch. The band doesn’t seem to be able to break out of Australia with this debut release. This alternative band should hook up and tour with The Church. The have really great harmonies and outstanding guitar work on this debut as well too.
9. Stephen Jerzak: Mile And Miles. Hip hop positive dance music with great added guitar, keys and solid drumming real drummer, Stephen Jerzak shows how a real hip hop dance album should sound. He might not be the young delightful Justin Beiber (thank God! – HD Ed.), but Stephen is able to hold his head up just as high with such new songs as Party Like You’e Single and She Said. Watch out dance floors here comes Stephen Jerzak.
10. Gary Numan: Dead Son Rising. With such synth songs as Resurection (instrumental opening track), Dead Man Rising and We Are The Lost Gary Numan now shows on his 16th release that he could easily score a horror film. Abe Fenton produces this newest CD. It has Nine Inch Nails heavy guitars and synth sound in lots of songs to give you 12 tracks of crushing riffs, menacing vocals and bomb bolting rippling synth moods and hisses.
Thanks to all of these great CD’s for 2011 and for all of the other fine music that was heard throughout the year I thank you for that as well. Keep the music art alive always.
(Compiled by Jonathan D. Wright)