Recommendations

Hey guys, askjeevas here. I’m sure if you’ve been checking in on this blog frequently, or even infrequently, you’ll have noticed that I’m not posting all that regularly anymore. Sadly, I really don’t have the time or motivation to keep up with all the new releases of all of the artists I’ve reviewed in the past. However, I still love this blog a lot and I don’t have the heart to shut it down for good. That’s why I’m putting a song for xx on a semi-permanent hiatus. Basically what this means is that I won’t be scheduling new reviews on a regular basis, but every so often I will come out of the woodwork to review a new release that I deem notable. There are a few artists I’ll try to keep up with as best I can, such as Wonder Girls or Girls’ Generation or Ayumi Hamasaki, but other than that I can’t really make any promises.

Because of my new blogging schedule, or lack thereof, I’ve decided to take down the Upcoming Reviews page and turn it into a Recommendations page. Here, I’ll put up some artists, songs and albums that I haven’t reviewed on this blog and a really short blurb on why I enjoy it/them and why I think you guys should give it/them a listen. I’ll probably come back to update the page every so often, so you should come and check in on it, if you’re so inclined.

For those of you who have stuck with a song for xx even through my slump, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. And for my new readers, if I have any, don’t bail out on me just yet. Don’t worry, the show ain’t over!

– askjeevas ♥

P.S.  – Feel free to follow me on Twitter (sidebar) or Tumblr if you want to get a feel for what I’m listening to, what I’m watching and what’s going on my life.

My Recommendations

Lana Del Rey – Born to Die

I’m sure if you’ve been following indie music for the past few months or so, you’ve at least heard of Lana del Rey, or perhaps even heard some of her songs. Although her style and image are somewhat polarizing, I happen to think that LDR is one of the freshest things happening in music right now. Her unique blend of genres, which takes elements of retro, hip-hop and R&B, combined with her husky voice, makes for a one-of-a-kind listening experience.

Recommended Tracks:
Born to Die | Video Games | Summertime Sadness | National Anthem

Girls Aloud – entire discography

For those of you who don’t follow me on Twitter or Tumblr or irl, I have been completely and utterly obsessed with Girls Aloud since about a year and a half ago. Formed in 2002 on the British reality TV competition Popstars: The Rivals, they’ve since gone on to become one of the top-selling British pop acts of the 21st century, even being given the title of “Most Successful Reality TV Group” by Guinness World Records. Though they’ve been on hiatus since 2009, their seven-year run left behind an impressive body of work, comprised of clever and catchy pop tunes for all ages. It looks as though they’ll be returning to the stage for a reunion early next year, so now is the perfect time to get acquainted with the sounds of Girls Aloud!

Recommended Tracks:
Call the Shots | The Show | Graffiti My Soul | The Loving Kind | Biology | No Good Advice | Untouchable | Memory of You

Marina and the Diamonds – Electra Heart

Another rising star emerging from the UK pop scene, Marina Diamandis, primarily known by her stage name Marina and the Diamonds, made a big splash this spring with her sophomore LP Electra Heart, an album whose many themes include dysfunctional love, heartbreak, ambition and vanity. As a work, Electra Heart is a real stunner, combining synthpop elements with Diamandis’ unusual alto and a visual campaign that would make Tumblr’s hipster grunge bloggers proud. If you’re looking for thematic, artsy pop, Marina’s the girl for you.

Recommended Tracks:
Homewrecker | Primadonna | Power & Control | Lies | Teen Idle

Nicola Roberts – Cinderella’s Eyes

In September 2011, Girls Aloud alum Nicola Roberts made her solo debut with Cinderella’s Eyes, a collection of quirky, idiosyncratic pop that captivated fans and critics alike. Because the songs on the album are mostly autobiographical, Cinderella’s Eyes comes off as the most personal of all the Girls Aloud solo efforts, as well as the most thoughtful. Although it received lukewarm commercial success, the album’s critical acclaim as well as high esteem among fans hopefully means Nicola will be back for more solo material in the years to come.

Recommended Tracks:
Yo-Yo | Say It Out Loud | Cinderella’s Eyes | Take A Bite | Sticks + Stones

Cheryl Cole – A Million Lights (Super Deluxe edition)

This is the most recent release that I’m going to recommend to you guys. Cheryl Cole is kind of like the Beyoncé of Girls Aloud – her solo career has been hugely successful, her stint as a judge on The X Factor UK made her a household name, and she’s a massive style icon and, unfortunately, tabloid fodder to rival William and Kate. Her most recent endeavor, A Million Lights, is not her most cohesive studio album, but seeing as it features producers and writers such as Calvin Harris, Taio Cruz and another one of my favorites, Lana Del Rey, it is a truly great collection of songs in addition to being her most confident set yet. Clocking in at a whopping 19 tracks, the super deluxe addition includes some great songs that, in my opinion, should have been included on the main tracklisting. Be sure to check out this great release from Britain’s sweetheart.

Recommended Tracks:
Call My Name |  A Million Lights | Sexy Den a Mutha | Telescope | Last One Standing | Dum Dum

U-KISS – NEVERLAND

I really regret not reviewing this album when it came out, but since I have such strong feelings about it, I’m adding it to my official recommendations list. U-KISS have been breaking through left and right in the world of K-Pop lately and I’ve no doubt it has a great deal to do with this album. Combining the perfect balance of upbeat club, dance, hip-hop and ballads, this is a truly terrific album and an excellent example of the breadth of U-KISS’s stylistic capabilities. And this is to say nothing of the magnificent catchiness of the title track (seriously, listen to that song once and just try to get the hook out of your head). I used to be a skeptic but now I believe – and U-KISS are making their way up my bias list.

Recommended Tracks:
NEVERLAND Tell Me Y Baby Don’t Cry Take Me Away SOME DAY다시 만나요 (with PARAN)

miss A – Touch

When it comes to genres that are really trendy – in this case, dubstep – it can be very difficult to incorporate trademark aspects of those styles into more mainstream music without merely appropriating. miss A’s Touch mini-album, released in February of this year, does just this. At only six tracks, this mini is packed to the brim with dubstep-influenced dance anthems, which run the gamut from bouncy Europop “Rock ‘n’ Rule” to the pumping club anthem “Lips.” I can hardly think of a mini-album released this year that manages to deliver so many quality songs in such a short tracklisting. Even if you’re sick of the dubstep craze or never found the appeal in the first place, miss A might be able to change your mind.

Recommended Tracks:
Lips Over U No Mercy |

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