Tag Archives: music: country

Clare Bowen – Love Steps In (3/52)

In July I was lucky enough to see the Nashville Cast in concert in London and hear many of the cast perform their original songs as well as songs from the TV show.

Without a doubt the one song that captured my interest more than any other was Clare Bowen’s ‘Love Steps In’, a song written by her fiancé and friend about her brother’s battle with cancer.  A combination of heartfelt lyrics and a soaring melody really stuck in my head and the first thing I did when I came home was look to see if it was available to download.

It wasn’t then but it certainly is now with all proceeds to go to a charity.

Read an interview with Clare and watch the music video in Rolling Stone here.

And if you’re like me and live in the UK and wondering if it’s available this side of the pond?  I’m really pleased to say it is!

Soundtrack to my 2016

{33 Albums}

1. Jack Savoretti – Sleep No More

The doctor gave me something
Just let me show you how
I know you’re tired of running
From the here and now
Start living in the moment

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I am in love with my lovely signed copy.

I always think people who say “I was in love with this artist before they were famous” think they are some sort of superior music snob but in this case I really do have to say that I loved Jack Savoretti before he hit it big.  I’ve been a fan ever since I first heard Blackrain.  There is something so gorgeous about his voice and song lyrics.  He has stayed true to his style and produced consistently awesome albums, including this one.  There’s not a single song I don’t love and it was really hard to pick my favourites.

Anyway, I am glad he has found the success he richly deserves, if only because it means I finally get to see him live in concert.

Favourite songs: When We Were Lovers, Only You, Start Living In The Moment, Helpless, We Are Bound

2. Parachute – Wide Awake

It can make you feel you’re bulletproof
Or can cut you down with the smallest truth
Sometimes it can take control
Sometimes it just lets you go
Ooh, lets you go
What side of love are you on?

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I love love love love Parachute and their brand of pop-rock.

Favourite songs: Without You, What Side Of Love, Lonely With Me, Crave

3. Rebecca Ferguson – Superwoman

I’m not wearing a cape these are just regular clothes
And I’m praying to God come on lessen this load.
Smiling through the bad times but it’s all just for show
Saving my tears for when I’m alone
And I lose my shit every now and then
I break down big then I start again

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Heaven and Freedom are two of my most played non-Fleetwood mac related albums and I was so excited for this third original release from Rebecca Ferguson that I pre-ordered a signed copy from her website as soon as I could.

I am sure I’ve said this multiple times about her but her soulful voice is just so refreshing in this day and age.   I am just sad that her record company chose a cover song to be her lead single considering she wrote most of the other tracks on the album.

Favourite songs: Stars, Mistress, Oceans, Without A Woman, I’ll Meet You There, Bones

4. OneRepublic – Oh My My

Yesterday I talked to God we had a conversation
I asked him why this life is a crazy combination
The numbers, numbers, numbers we can’t read
Yeah for sure I got some friends but we got complications
Most of us are happy with some medication
But I could, I could really use some wings

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When I first heard Wherever I Go I was ridiculously excited for this album but unfortunately whilst Wherever I Go and Kids will probably be my top two favourite songs of 2016, the rest of the album failed to live up to expectations – not because the other songs weren’t good but just because they weren’t as good as those two.

I never ever thought I would say this about one of my favourite bands but man they produced an album which is just too long.  There’s all this electronic crap mixed in with the good stuff – Oh My My and A.I are my least favourite tracks – which is why it’s hard to know where to put this album on this list.  On the one hand, the tracks I like I really like but the ones that I don’t, I really don’t.

Favourite songs: Wherever I Go, Kids, Human, Future Looks Good, Choke, Dream, Heaven

5. Sebastian Kole – Soup

Is it just me or is the world going crazy lately? What’s going on? Can we not see the way were evolving, changing.
Something’s gone wrong ’cause every other day it’s the same old story. Broken record on repeat

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Grey’s Anatomy has introduced me to many great artists, especially during the early years.  The most recent gem is Sebastian Kole.  I love his soul-pop songs.  There’s not a song on the album that I don’t like.

Favourite songs: Love’s On The Way, Love Doctor, Carry On

6. Charlie Puth – Nine Track Mind

I’m only one call away
I’ll be there to save the day
Superman got nothing on me

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I’m so excited to have a new pop artist to love.  None of this electronic or R ‘n’ B rubbish …

Favourite songs: One Call Away, Dangerously, Marvin Gaye, Left Right Left

7. Green River Ordinance – Fifteen

Life’s too short to let it hold you down
Gotta lose before you learn how to win
FifteenGRO (250x250)GRO are such an underrated band.  This album is more country/folk than their previous alternative rock albums

Favourite songs: Keep Your Cool, Red Fire Night, Maybe It’s Time (Gravity), Always Love Her, Keep My Heart Open

8. Keith Urban – Ripcord

When I think about those summer nights
Singing out the window, on the back roads, Sweet Child of Mine
Sipping on the local’s spark of light
Ain’t it funny how the best days of my life
Was all that wasted time, all that wasted time

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I was a bit of a latecomer to Keith Urban’s music and the first album I really fell in love with was Fuse.  I am pleased to say that this one is almost as good, even if it does stray out of the country genre – The Fighter with Carrie Underwood is the perfect pop song.

Favourite songs: John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16, Wasted Time, Habit Of You, The Fighter

9. Lawson – Perspective

Hey! Can you feel that thunder?
Get in line and take a number
‘Cause we don’t wanna be like them
And they don’t wanna be like us

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I’ve been looking forward to this release for over a year.  My favourite British pop/rock band.

Favourite songs: Money, Rio, Roads, Lion’s Den, Where My Love Goes, We Are The Fire

10. Gavin DeGraw – Something Worth Saving

Soon as the sky is falling and all that I had is gone
Oh, I fear no hell since you came along

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You always know what you’re going to get with Gavin DeGraw: a great pop/rock album with catchy tunes.

Favourite songs: You Make My Heart Sing Louder, Harder To Believe, Kite Like Girl

11. Randy Houser – Fired Up

Somewhere in the shadows
In between the street lights
Runnin’ with our eyes closed
Chasing down a good time
We ain’t got forever
Living for the moment
Any way we want it
Take it like we own it

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An all-round awesome country album.

Favourite songs: We Went, Lucky Me, Chasing Down A Good Time, Before Midnight

12. The Summer Set – Stories For Monday

Woke up in living color
The city turned from grey to gold
Sleeping with your shadow
But now I’m shaking off your ghost

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I definitely prefer their previous album as a whole but there are some cool tracks on here.

Favourite songs: Figure Me Out, The Night Is Young, Wasted, Missin’ You, Jean Jacket

13. Peter Hollens – Misty Mountains

Under cloud, beneath the stars
Over snow and winter’s morn
I turn at last to paths that lead home

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<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

When I first saw this album half of me was excited to hear a new interpretation of the music and the other half, my standard reaction when I stumble upon covers of songs I adore, was more along the lines of “how dare this person commit the sacrilege of covering these sacred tunes?!” But OMG this is pure magic.  Never have the songs sounded more beautiful.  I actually prefer his covers of a few of the songs to the originals.  He has such a wonderful voice.

Favourite songs: Song Of Durin, In Dreams, I See Fire,

14. Florida Georgia Line – Dig Your Roots

If I could write the perfect song
Make a little right out of all the wrongs
Would you close your eyes?
Would you let it in?
Would you light your candle against the wind?
If I could sing the perfect words
And change the world, unhurt the hurt
That we’re all feelin’
Stop the bleedin’
Get back to believin’
Love is the answer and music is healin’

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I loved their debut album and their follow-up wasn’t bad either.  This album has got a lot of catchy songs on it.  I have issues with the song Lifer though – it’s just wrong to make “wife” a verb – “Told you since day one I had to wife ya”

Favourite songs: Dig Your Roots, Music Is Healing, Island, Wish You Were On It

15. Matt Werz – Gun Shy

Unexpected love
Can’t believe it’s true
Spent my whole world waitin’
Baby what you doing to me?

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I loved his last album.  He has gone much poppier with this release and I’m not sure if it’s the best direction …

Favourite songs: Unexpected Love, Easy Things Hard

16. Fitz and the Tantrums – Fitz and the Tantrums

Every night when the stars come out
Am I the only living soul around?
Need to believe you could hold me down
Cause I’m in need of somethin’ good right now
We could be screamin’ till the sun comes out
And when we wake we’d be the only sound
I get on my knees and say a prayer: James Brown

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Handclap is such a summer anthem but my favourite feel good song has to be A Place For Us.

Favourite songs: Handclap, Burn It Down, Run It, Do What You Want, A Place For Us

17. Jake Owen – American Love

Nothing good ever happens after midnight
Maybe midnight’s just misunderstood
Cause if nothing good ever happens after midnight
Why does it always feel so damn good

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When I heard VW Van, I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to hear the rest of the album.  Thankfully all the songs aren’t like that one.  After Midnight is my favourite country song on the album but there’s something to say about the rock jam If He Ain’t Gonna Love You.

Favourite songs: After Midnight, Where I Am, If He Ain’t Gonna Love You, American Country Love Song

18. Marc Broussard – S.O.S 2: Save Our Soul: Soul On A Mission

A world filled with love is a wonderful sight
Being in love is what’s heart’s delight
But that look of love isn’t on my face
That enchanted feeling has been replaced
As I walk this land of broken dreams
I have visions of many things
But happiness is just an illusion
Filled with sadness and confusion

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I’m not a fan of cover albums as usually think they are a cheap way to sell some records but I love Marc Broussard and since I don’t know most of the original versions of the songs included in this, I actually rather liked being introduced to more ’50s and ’60s music.

Favourite songs: Cry To Me, What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted, Hold On I’m Comin’

19. Beverley Knight – Soulsville

Like a nomad you travel around
Can’t settle in just one place
Told the world that you like it that
But the lie’s written on your face
Happiness like a pot of gold
Got you searching high and low

I saw Beverley Knight in The Bodyguard in the West End and was wowed by her voice so I went to discover more.

I really like that this album flits seamlessly from her own songs to soul covers.  She’s got a great voice.

Favourite songs: Still Here, When I See You Again

20. Goo Goo Dolls – Boxes

Oh, I saw your light when I looked into the mirror
And then the past began to disappear
You know my lies were full of fear
And can you still forgive me, dear

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This was one of those albums which wasn’t necessary bad but just did not have many standout tracks on it.

Favourite songs: The Pin, Long Way Home, Over and Over, So Alive

21. Brian Fallon – Painkillers

And the black clouds came
And darkened all our insides, there were
Newspaper clippings with horrible headlines
Of doom and despair and your name and my name said
“Who will save you from the truth of the matter
That your love, though like gold, is gone?”

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A great solo album for the lead singer of The Gaslight Anthem.

Favourite songs: Painkillers, Among Foolish Things, Smoke, Rosemary

22. Sister Hazel – Lighter In The Dark

Static on the radio, ready to rock
Cool track, chill back, ready or not
Smiling that smile, I don’t want you to stop
Yeah, you and I, we got it all tonight
Big sky but the stars are shining
No we ain’t got nothing but time and
Moonlight falling, good times calling
Ain’t got much, but we got it all tonight

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First Green River Ordinance now Sister Hazel have made the jump from alternative rock to country, both with fabulous results.  That Kind Of Beautiful is such an awesome tune

Favourite songs: We Got It All Tonight, That Kind Of Beautiful

23. Idina Menzel – idina.

I can be delicate as a flower
Or a warrior on a throne
There’s life for us to devour
Even if we do it alone
When I look into the future
I see my story my in the cards
Some days just hard and the truth hurts
But I never trade my broken heart

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Idina has such a unique and distinct voice, I’m glad that she decided to release a new album.  I don’t think anything will ever come close to I Stand though.

Favourite songs: Like Lightning, Queen of Swords

24. Charles Kelley – The Driver

Don’t you worry
I’m never gonna let you down
When you need me, I’m always gonna be around

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Better known for being one third of Lady Antebellum, Charles Kelley has branched out into a solo career.  He duets with Stevie Nicks on Southern Accents which is all I need to give him the seal of approval.

Favourite songs: Lonely Girl, Dancing Around It, Your Love

25. Eric Hutchinson – Easy Street

Dear me, you’ll be older one day
I’m writing from the future and you’re doing ok
Dear me hold on to what you’ve got
Things are gonna change, but change is better than you thought

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He’s sat on my Last.FM recommended artists for a long time so I’m glad I finally took a chance!

Favourite songs: Dear Me,  Anyone Who Knows Me

26. Roxette – Good Karma

Since life was train passing by
But your heart is heaven on fire
Just when you thought you’d die here,
You came up bright and so alive

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I love Roxette’s old school stuff and my favourite songs on their latest album are the songs that have that 80s/90s vibe.

Favourite songs: Good Karma, It Just Happens

27. Switchfoot – Where The Light Shines Through

I wanna sing with all my heart a lifelong song
Even if some notes come out right and some come out wrong
Cause I can’t take none of that through the door
Yeah, I’m living for more than just a funeral
I wanna burn brighter than the dawn

Life is short; I wanna live it well
One life, one story to tell

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This is definitely a bit of a schizophrenic album for me.  On the one hand there are songs that I really don’t like, especially the religious ones, but just as I go to write this album off, they drop in a few songs that I like.

Favourite songs: Shake This Feeling, Live It Well, Healer of Souls

28. Bon Jovi – This House Is Mine

Yeah, you don’t have to look back to see where we are
The future’s looking brighter than a handful of stars
You gotta hold on, hold on, be strong

If you were born again tomorrow
Would you live your life like yesterday?
If you were born again tomorrow
I wouldn’t live my life any other way

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This is one of those albums were the good tracks basically come all at the start and you can forget about the rest of the album.

Favourite songs: This House Is Mine, Reunion, Born Again Tomorrow, Knockout

29. Dan + Shay – Obsessed

We’ll live it up and throw it down with all of our best friends,
We’ll drop the top, and hit the spot, the song never ends
Cause a good time with a peace of mind and just around the bend.

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This is another “Cole Swindell” situation for me in that I really liked Dan + Shay’s debut album but their follow-up really doesn’t do it for me.  It’s not helped by the fact that it opens with a cover of a recent Lady Antebellum song – not only am I not too keen on cover versions, especially in the same genre but I think there ought to be a ban against covers of recently released songs.

Favourite songs: How Not To, Road Trippin’

30. SafetySuit – SafetySuit

You can say that they’re gonna hate you
Call you a hypocrite, that’s how they’ll paint you
I don’t really care what will be, will be
Not trying to make friends, trying to make music that makes history

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Not going to lie, this was a disappointment!

Favourite songs: You, Numbers or Faith

 31. 3 Doors Down – Us Against The Night

They found their strength in a weakness to keep us there where we fall down,
But now we hold all the pieces to change the world
this is the call out

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The album started out well but gradually went downhill.  The best two songs on the album are the first two and the rest just merge into one

Favourite songs: The Broken, In The Dark

32. Colin Swindell – You Should Be Here

Baby, in the middle of the glow of the neon light
It shoulda, coulda, woulda been the night of our lives
Girl, it ain’t right, no
How you gonna leave me right in the middle of a memory?

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I LOVED Cole’s debut album but this one really didn’t work for me

Favourite songs: Flatliner (feat. Dierks Bentley), Stars

BONUS: FM – Indiscreet 30

Everybody thinks they know the right way
We were just the same
So how did we choose the wrong way
Can you tell me who’s to blame
And everyone’s saying that you changed me
I won’t admit it’s true

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You may wonder why an album which was released thirty years ago has made it onto this list.  Well, it was re-recorded this year and contains some of FM’s best songs.  They are such an underrated classic rock band – if you like Journey and Foreigner, check this guys out, you won’t regret it!

Favourite songs: Frozen Heart, Love Lies Dying, I Belong To The Night

Nashville Cast @ Eventim Apollo, London (18 June 2016)

The music has always been my favourite thing about Nashville so I was so happy to be able to get tickets for when Chris Carmack, Sam Palladio, Clare Bowen and Charles Esten came to town.  I mean who would have thought that a group of country singers are so popular in London that they had to add two extra shows!!

Anyway, what a talented group of people!  They act, play multiple instruments, song-write and have wonderful singing voiced to boot.

The concert started out with each of them coming on stage individually to do a song and then introduce the following act.  Then they all came on individually again to do a few songs each – a combination of songs from the show, original material and covers.

If I’m going to be honest, I was a little disappointed with the song selection.  I really wanted Clare to do Black Roses, not to mention more  Scarlett/Gunnar songs and even some of the upbeat songs from The (Triple) Exes which the whole team could have done.

However, what we were given was still exquisitely performed.  Needless to say Clare’s song that was written for her about her brother’s cancer completely stole the show.  It was absolutely amazing and so full of emotion.  I looked on iTunes as soon as I got home to see if I could buy it but unfortunately it’s not out there to buy.

Whatever songs they chose to do, I definitely think we could have done with more than two songs with the four of them on stage together but it was enjoyable all the same.

Click here to see my photos from the concert – not too shoddy if I say so myself,  even though we were up in the Circle, Row P.

Keith Urban – Fighter (feat. Carrie Underwood) (18/52)

I am a latecomer to Keith Urban’s music, with him only really coming coming into my music orbit with his album FuseRipcord is another hitmaker though and one of my favourite songs from it is Fighter with Carrie Underwood despite it being completely uncountry and totally pop.  It is just so happy and positive with a catchy chorus when Keith/Carrie sing one line each.

If you’re married to a Hollywood actress what better way to promote the song by making a goofy amateur video of  the both of you singing along to the song in your car.

Soundtrack to my 2015

{35 Albums}

2015 is the year in music which saw me seeing the classic lineup of Fleetwood Mac perform an awesome concert together, Adele  came back onto the music scene with the Lionel Richie-esque Hello, Rob Thomas released an album with insanely catchy songs, Tyrone Wells and Jack Savoretti proved why they’re my favourite underrated albums and Coldplay and Kelly Clarkson’s latest offerings were a disappointment.

1. Jack Savoretti – Written In Scars

Out of sight, out of mind
In the darkness there’s no light
Day ago, now I know
What it means to stay in faith
I won’t give up, I won’t give in
I’ll give it everything
This feeling is real

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I think I write this every time I talk about Jack Savoretti but what an amazing underrated artist! There isn’t a track on here that I don’t love.

Favourite songs: Home, Back To Me, Don’t Mind Me, Tie Me Down, The Other Side Of Love, The Hunger

2. Tyrone Wells – Roll With It

Without your love I’d just float away
Somewhere lost up in outer space
I am found when you’re here with me
Safe and sound in your gravity

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Tyrone Wells has never produced an album that I didn’t love.  I love every single track on this.

Favourite songs: Overcome, Feel Good, Gravity, Neon Dreams, Roll With It

3. Mat Kearney – Just Kids

Nashville is burning tonight
You turn me right round, baby like a forty-five
I’m feeling every song that this town could write
Oh the fire in my head
And the drummer in my chest
Just take one look in my eyes and they will confess
That you got me feeling so high
And you are the rhythm of my life
My life

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Quite surprising to hear Mat Kearney go back to mirroring his original album with the hip-hop/rap.  I wasn’t expecting it so it took a couple of listens for the songs to grow on me but the final verdict is that I love it!

Favourite songs: Heartbeat, Billion, Let It Rain, Miss You

4. Brandon Flowers – The Desired Effect

Punch the clock, baby on the nightstand
Close your eyes, waiting for the Sandman
Spend your life, bracing for the crash land
You forget, baby it’s a dreamland

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Big fan of The Killers and Flowers doesn’t disappoint with his sophomore album – lots of catchy songs.

Favourite songs: Dreams Come True, Can’t Deny My Love, Lonely Town

5. Gloriana – Three

We met in the dark in the bonfire sparks,
In the summertime stars.
Said I wanna get to know you.
Seems like you’d be someone like me

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I’ve never been particularly wowed by Gloriana’s music … until this album.  I love the whole thing from start to finish and it is such a summer album, it was hard not to include the whole album on my Summer Mix 2015.

Favourite songs: It’s On Tonight, Nobody But You, Wanna Get To Know You, Let’s Take A Shot, It Won’t Let Go

6. Rob Thomas – The Great Unknown

You got your hands down under the table
You got your head right up in the clouds
You take your best shot when you’re able
But your world don’t spin right now
It’s high time you found a lover
It’s high time you made a friend
The world won’t keep you together, babe
And your heart won’t see no end

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What a catchy album from start to finish.  I love Rob Thomas/Matchbox Twenty.

Favourite songs: I Think We’d Feel Good Together, Wind It Up, One Shot, The Great Unknown, Absence Of Affection

7. Leona Lewis – I Am

And I won’t wait any longer
When you left me down, I got stronger
If you want to wait for lightning
I’m on the horizon
Well, I’m coming back with the thunder

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After the disappointing Glassheart, I was excited to hear that Leona had left her previous record company in order to make the record that she really wanted.  Once I heard Thunder, I became even more excited.  Overall I would have to say that this wasn’t quite the record I really wanted her to make but it is a darn-site better than her last and it is definitely a grower.

PS. Curious that she now has two completely different tracks with the same name I Got You ….

Favourite songs: Thunder, I Am, Fire Under My Feet

8. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Chasing Yesterday

And I was told
That the streets were paved with gold
And there’d be no time for getting old when we were young
But it’s alright
If you dance with me tonight
We’ll fight the dying of the light and we’ll catch the sun

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A great follow-up album for Noel Gallagher.

Favourite songs: Riverman, In The Heat Of The Moment, The Right Stuff, The Dying Of The Light

9. Plain White T’s – American Nights

Time goes by too fast
Gotta try to make it all last
Gotta try to make my life better
Try to slow down and keep it all together
Take it day by day
Find myself along the way

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I always forget how much I like the Plain White T’s until they release a new album.

Favourite songs: Pause, American Nights, Heavy Rotation, Dance Off Time, Here Come That Sunrise

10. Florence + The Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful

I know that you’re hiding
I know there’s a part of you that I just cannot reach
You don’t have to let me in
Just know that I’m still here
I’m ready for you whenever, whenever you need
Whenever you want to begin

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Whilst Ceremonials has some songs that will never be equalled, there is not a song on this album that I don’t like so I would definitely class this as a successful follow-up.

Favourite songs: Ship To Wreck, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, Third Eye, Hiding, Make Up Your Mind

11. Thomas Rhett – Tangled Up

And this is the verse where you don’t know the words
And you don’t give a damn ’cause it feels good
Put a whole generation in heavy rotation
Play it over and over and it’s still good
This is the sound of a big little town
Just throwin’ it down where the floor is

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A solid album which drifts from Country to Pop at various random intervals (the title track Tangled and I Feel Good are most definitely pop)

Favourite songs: Crash and Burn, T-Shirt, Tangled, Anthem

12. FM – Heroes and Villains

I’ve spent a lifetime running
When you came and set me free

Baby it’s true,
You’re the best thing about me

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What an underrated classic rock band.  I wish more people knew and appreciated them as they never fail to stick to their roots and produce a good album.  I love the guitar solo in You’re The Best Thing About Me.

Favourite songs: You’re The Best Thing About Me, Shape I’m In, Fire & Rain, I Want You

13. Ella Eyre – Feline

Yeah I’m cool, everything seems to be fine,
On the surface I look good, but I don’t feel the same inside,
Something’s wrong, and I know you can tell,
But I never have to say, because you know me too well

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Like a number of artists before her, Ella Eyre first came into my orbit courtesy of Grey’s Anatomy.  I fell head over heels for the songs that were played on the show and I couldn’t wait for the release of her debut album.

Well, I think that Grey’s chose her best three songs to showcase.  The others are good but not AS good.

Favourite songs: Deeper, Home, If I Go, Comeback

14. Luke Bryan – Kill The Lights

It’s like there’s something in the air
That turns you wild when a country song
Is way up loud and the sun goes down


His previous full length album is probably my favourite ones of his and this one doesn’t quite match that.  It start off strongly but I’m not a fan of the latter tracks on the album.

Favourite songs: Kill The Lights, Home Alone Tonight, Move

15. James Morrison – Higher Than Here

It’s all noise no communication
Where’s the love that we should be making
And it’s there for the taking now

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 What is that synth high-pitch voice in Demons all about?!  Completely ruins what could have been a good song.  Otherwise this is a solid pop album.

Favourite songs: Stay Like This, Reach Out, In The Shadow

16. Mikky Ekko – Time

And your love pours down like a waterfall,
and I can’t escape the tide
Here’s my hand, baby take it or leave it, leave it

Time doesn’t love you anymore,
But I-I-I I’m still knocking at your door
Honey, we can run forever, if forever’s what’s in store

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Thank you to Grey’s Anatomy for introducing this artist to me

Favourite songs: Time, Smile, Love You Crazy, Watch Me Rise

17. Carrie Underwood – Storyteller

You think I’m strong, you think I’m fearless
Even when I’m, I’m at my weakest
You always see the best in me when I can’t
I wanna be the girl you think I am

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This album is definitely a grower rather than insta-love.  It’s my least favourite album of hers so far but it’s still nice to have some new Carrie music to listen to.

Favourite songs: Renegade Runaway, Church Bells, Heartbeat

18. Matt Nathanson – Show Me Your Fangs

I want to roll around the darkness, til the darkness goes away
Til the television finally tells the truth. You know,
Everybody’s scared of things that they don’t understand
And all the living they don’t do

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Not sure about the album cover!

Favourite songs: Giants, Adrenaline, Gold In The Summertime, Headphones

19. Bon Jovi – Burning Bridges

Take a look around you, yeah, the sky is falling
Sinners say your prayers this train is off the tracks
Nothing is forever when tomorrow’s calling
Dancing with the devil to get one day back

I’m not afraid of burning bridges
‘Cause I know they’re gonna light my way
Like a Phoenix, from the ashes
Welcome to the future it’s a new day

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The previous Bon Jovi was a major disappointment.  Is this one any better?  Yes thankfully!  It is never going to make it as one of my favourite albums but there are at least some decent songs on there.

Favourite songs: We Don’t Run, I’m Your Man

20. Ben Rector – Brand New

You ever get tired of turning on the radio
And asking yourself “Who lives that kind of life?”
Cause I don’t
I need an anthem, I need a song that I can sing
So raise your glass if your life is crazy
Crazy normal

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Ben Rector writes beautiful lyrics about both his life as a singer but also people who have ordinary lives.  Crazy basically describes my life!

Favourite songs: Favorite Song, Crazy, Like The World Is Going To End, 30,000 Feet, Brand New

21. Hunter Hayes – I Want Crazy

So your confidence is quiet
To them quiet looks like weakness
But you don’t have to fight it
‘Cause you’re strong enough to win without a war
Every heart has a rhythm
Let yours beat out so loudly
That everyone can hear it

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Very radio-friendly country-pop.

Favourite songs: Tattoo, Wanted, Invisible, Secret Love

22. Electric Light Orchestra – Alone In The Universe

You got to try
To remember
The promises you made
You got to hold on
To yourself
And never be afraid

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Oh ELO!  How long has it been since we had a new album?  Too long.  This was a pleasant surprise.

Favourite songs: Ain’t It A Drag, The Sun Will Shine On You, Love and Rain, One Step At A Time

23. Adele – 25

I should probably tell you now before it’s way too late
That I never meant to hurt you or lie straight to your face
Consider this my apology, I know it’s years in advance
But I’d rather say it now in case I never get the chance
No I can’t go back, but the reeves are growing out of my fingertips
I can’t go back to the river

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I don’t think the rest of the album lives up to Hello but still, wow THAT VOICE.

Favourite songs: Hello, Water Under The Bridge, River Lea

24. Lifehouse – Out Of The Wasteland

I’ve been walking in my sleep for ages
I’ve been hiding from the shadows
I’ve been feeling so afraid and anxious
This time won’t let me go

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Their previous album was a big disappointment – I think I only liked about two songs on the whole thing.  This one is better but still doesn’t come close to reaching the giddy heights of Smoke And Mirrors.

Favourite songs: Hurricane, One For The Pain, Flight, Alien

25. Toto – XIV

If you’re thirsty drink the water from my hands
If you’re hungry take my bread I’ll understand
If you’re lonely you can always share my bed
Could this be all there really is? Then someone said
You’re never alone in the world
You’re never alone in the world, baby
If you believe in each and every one of us
You’re never alone in the world, baby

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If you’re expecting an album full of Africas then you’ll be disappointed but it’s a solid Classic Rock album.

Favourite songs: Orphan, The Little Things, Burn, Chinatown, All The Tears

26. Kelly Clarkson – Piece By Piece

If you wanna lead be a leader
If you wanna dream be a dreamer
Climb to the top of that mountain and scream it
But remember when you get to the top
Everything you say is gonna matter
Everything you do is gonna add up
It’s what you asked for
So don’t get mad when it’s not what you thought

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Stronger is one of my favourites and I knew she couldn’t possibly equal that one but this?  Major disappointment.  I mean what is Take You High?!  The chorus is an insult to the word music.  (I also really don’t like the album cover).

Favourite songs: Someone, Nostalgic, Bad Reputation, I Had A Dream

27. Rebecca Ferguson – Lady Sings The Blues

Forget your troubles and just get happy
You better chase all your cares away

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I adore Rebecca Ferguson and think she has an absolutely amazing voice.  However, I’ve got to say that I’m not a big fan of the Blues and I was hoping that her third album was more like Heaven and Freedom.

Having said that, I can definitely still appreciate her voice on this record and a few songs have grown on me.  I just won’t be playing this album to death like her other two.

Favourite songs: Get Happy, Fine and Mellow, Summertime, God Bless The Child

28. Def Leppard – Def Leppard

I need a little shelter
Just for a little while
Sometimes I hide the sadness
Behind a painted smile

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So it bugs me when artists have anything other than their debut album as self-titled.  The first 6 songs on the album are rock solid but I don’t think much of the rest unfortunately.

Favourite songs: We Belong, Let’s Go

29. Coldplay – A Head Full Of Dreams

So baby please don’t tell me you gonna watch me fall
You know I’m only human
So don’t leave me in ruins
I’m begging you to reach out
I’m still trying to hold out my hand

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 I’m not going to lie – I miss the Coldplay that gave us Viva La Vida.

Favourite songs: A Head Full Of Dreams, Fun

30. Train – Christmas In Tahoe

Once upon a time in a town like this
A little girl made a great big wish
To fill the world full of happiness
And be on Santa’s magic list

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Big fan of Train but not a big fan of Christmas albums.  However, I was in the crowd when they filmed the music video for Shake Up Christmas.

Favourite songs: This Christmas, Shake Up Christmas

31. Scouting For Girls – Still Thinking About You

And every now and then I get lost on the way.
Trying to find myself a new place to stay.
No matter where I go I end up at the start.
‘Cause home is where the heart is, and you’ve always had my heart.

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This book started off really strongly and I liked the first four tracks ….. just not the other twelve.

Favourite songs: Life’s Too Short, Still Thinking About You

32. Jon McLaughlin – Like Us

We can call it fate or destiny
But we are and always will be
Going down in history

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I liked this album more than some of his previous ones.

Favourite songs: Down In History, I Want You Anyway

33. Luke Bryan – Spring Break … Checkin’ Out

Just thinking about all our good times together
And how we rocked this town
And I wish it could last forever and ever
Ohh but the sand runs out
And we roll back home
And just thinking bout how
This is our last song

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Once you take out all the tracks that have already been released on last year’s EP, you are left with 5 okay songs.

Favourite songs: Games, Spring Breakdown

34. Howie Day – Lanterns

We sleep, we dream, but never fall apart
Just don’t be cold on the outside
We made mistakes, on the surface we’ve got scars
But we’re all good on the inside
Cause we’re dancing on the treetops tonight
We’re hiding from the people and the lights

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I loved his early stuff but the only word to describe this album is boring.

Favourite songs: Love Is Never Lost, Treetops, Anyone

35. Love and Theft – Whiskey On My Breath

Cloudy days been lookin’ like blue skies to me
Hell a hurricane’s kinda like floatin’ on a breeze

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I’m going to admit that when I first listened to this album at the start of 2015, I didn’t think much of it and only really liked a couple of songs.  However, once I’d left it for awhile and came back round to it, I discovered some hidden gems.

Favourite songs: Anytime, Anywhere, Like I Feel It, Can’t Stop Smiling

 

Summer Mix 2015: Sounds Of Summer

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  1. Danielle Bradbery – Young In America
  2. Dan + Shay – Stop, Drop + Roll
  3. Dierks Bentley – Sounds Of Summer
  4. Scotty McCreery – Feelin’ It
  5. Florida Georgia Line – Sun Daze
  6. Mat Kearney – Heartbeat
  7. Lady Antebellum – Our Kind Of Love
  8. Dan + Shay – Nothin’ Like You
  9. Matt Wertz – Last Good Girl
  10. Lady Antebellum – Freestyle
  11. Tyrone Wells – Catch A Moment
  12. Dave Barnes – Twenty Three
  13. Dan + Shay – Show You Off
  14. Chase Rice – Ready Set Roll
  15. Avril Lavigne – Here’s To Never Growing Up
  16. Gloriana – Wanna Get To Know You
  17. Tyrone Wells – Feel Good
  18. Dustin Lynch – Where It’s At
  19. Gloriana – Are You Ready
  20. Florida Georgia Line – Anything Goes
  21. Gloriana – Let’s Take A Shot
  22. Lady Antebellum – All Nighter
  23. Train – Cadillac, Cadillac
  24. Gloriana – It’s On Tonight
  25. Florida Georgia Line – Every Night
  26. Sam Hunt – Leave The Night On
  27. Dustin Lunch – After Party
  28. Pitbull – Do I
  29. Gloriana – Ain’t Runnin’ Out Of Summer
  30. Marc Broussard – Shine

Soundtrack to my 2014

{30 Albums}

2014 will always be the year that Christine McVie announced she was rejoining Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks shared some previously unreleased gems, I listened to a disproportionate amount of country albums, there were several disappointing alternative rock releases, a popular country artist shied away from her country roots, U2 gave away an album for free (turns out there’s a reason it’s free ….) and Marc Broussard released a new album just in time to get me through a tough time

1. Stevie Nicks – 24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault

So, continue on your destructive road
Your life passes before me like an unknown circumstance
You and your friends are at odds
And you are not winning

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At first I was disappointed to hear that Stevie Nicks’s latest album was some re-recordings of never before released tracks, after all I felt a bit cheated but there are definitely some gems on here.

Favourite songs: 24 Karat Gold, The Dealer, Hard Advice, Mabel Normand, All The Beautiful Worlds

2. Train – Bulletproof Picasso

We don’t need a reason
For anything we feel

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Every year that Train releases a new album is a good year.  Bulletproof Picasso is a good an all round enjoyable listen but doesn’t quite equal its two predecessors:  Save Me, San Francisco and California 37.

Favourite songs: Bulletproof Picasso, Angel in Blue Jeans

3. Augustana – Life Imitating Life

Gotta little bit of faith in the hard times, oh oh oh
Gotta little bit of shade in the moonlight, oh oh oh
Gotta little bit of right at the wrong time, oh oh oh
Got you and I’m feeling alright
Babe I just need a little sunshine

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Their last couple of albums have been lukewarm but they have found their feet again with this offering.  I can’t believe American Heartbreak is merely a bonus track, it is my favourite song on the whole album.

Favourite songs: American Heartbreak, Love In The Air, Need A Little Sunshine, Ash and Amber, Alive

4. Lady Antebellum – 747

I’ll be right here beside you when these good times get tough
Baby, we’re in for a long stretch of love
You lift me up, you bring me down
You make me feel alive
You send my heart in overdrive

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Stevie Nicks loves Lady Antebellum so I must do too!

I loved Bartender ever since the first time I heard it – it’s got such a catchy chorus.  Long Stretch Of Love sounds like it could have been a song Fleetwood Mac came up with.  She Is is a cover of a song I love by Dave Barnes.

Favourite songs: Falling For You, Bartender, Long Stretch Of Love, Lie With Me, 747, Just A Girl

5. Cole Swindell – Cole Swindell

Little sun left to burn in the blue sky,
Shinning of the cross hanging from the mirror of my ride,
Breeze blowing in, your hair blowing round
You’re scanning through the stations looking for that country sound
The good stuff iced up in the back seat,
Nowhere to go, nowhere to be

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What an awesome debut album!  If you like Luke Bryan then give this guy a try.

Favourite songs: Down Home Boys, Hey Y’all, Chillin It

 6. Dustin Lynch – Where It’s At

It ain’t in a high rise looking for a good time shutting down the city lights
It ain’t in the water floating like a bobber soaking up that hot sunshine

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I love the rocky edge to this.

Favourite songs: Hell Of A Night, To The Sky, After Party, Where It’s At, All Night

7. Switchfoot – Fading West

The sun goes down like a photograph
You try to stop time in the aftermath
But it’s gone, gone
Yesterday reads like a tragedy
I try not to lose what’s left of me
But it’s gone
Yeah, but we carry on

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Probably my favourite album they have produced in recent years.

When We Come Alive really sounds like Coldplay.

Favourite songs: Let It Out, The World You Want, When We Come Alive, Who We Are

8. Marc Broussard – A Life Worth Living

Lucky to have come to know you
As much as it pains me to say
But still too unbelievable to fathom
That we won’t get at least another day

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This album is more folk-rock than his previous albums and as such it takes awhile to get into but there are some hidden gems on here.  Give Em Hell helped me through a rough time so automatically qualifies as one of the best songs of 2014.

Favourite songs: Give Em Hell, Hurricane Heart, A Life Worth Living, Man Ain’t Supposed To Cry

9. Taylor Swift – 1989

But I keep cruising
Can’t stop, won’t stop moving
It’s like I got this music
In my mind
Saying, “It’s gonna be alright.”

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First listen: I have just one question: WHY?

I have been a Taylor Swift fan from the moment I heard Tim McGraw and have steadily followed her through all subsequent albums but I have to ask why on earth would she choose to cross genres and give up everything which makes her unique.  I loved that she was a gifted young country music star that wrote her own songs and played her own guitar.  I just don’t know why she needed to move into electropop territory.

Second listen: there are some annoyingly catchy tunes on this album and it is really growing on me.

Favourite songs: How You Get The Girl, Bad Blood, I Wish You Would, Shake It Off, Style

10. The Gaslight Anthem – Get Hurt

Now your pretty horse is running wild and free
You can go and find a lover, baby better than me
Talking snow for days with your friends in LA
Have mercy

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Have Mercy is a wonderful song, especially where the female singer comes in.

Favourite songs: Get Hurt, Break Your Heart, Have Mercy, 1,000 Years

11. Dave Barnes – Golden Days

We were just chasing dreams,
Finding out in the meantime what it means.
To be young and wild and free.
We were twenty three

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Love the album cover!

I always think that Dave Barnes is something of an underrated gem and this album just reinforces that belief.

Favourite songs: Can’t She Try, Twenty Three, Something More

12. Jason Mraz – Yes!

Sometimes I rock…
Sometimes I roll
Sometimes it’s not me in control
Sometimes I gotta jump
Before I know what’s below
Sometimes I gotta drop everything and go

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Favourite songs: You Can Rely On Me, Out Of My Hands, Long Drive

13. Dan + Shay – Where It All Began

Nothin’ like you
Shades on spinning in a summer rain
Dancing in the rain no music
Just the right kind of crazy, baby
Something about you
Rocking that rock ‘n roll t-shirt

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Favourite songs: Nothin’ Like You, What You Do To Me, Show You Off

 14. Eric Paslay – Eric Paslay

I wanna be your Friday night sweet ride
Summertime sunshine barefoot in the moonlight

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Favourite songs: Friday Night, Song About A Girl, Less Than Whole, Keep On Fallin

15. Andy Grammer – Magazines Or Novels

See, we won’t forget where we came from
The city won’t change us
We beat to the same drum

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I really loved Andy’s debut album and unfortunately this didn’t quite live up to expectations on first listen.  The good news is that it got better and better the more times I listened.

Favourite songs: Back Home, Honey I’m Good., Pushing, Sinner

16. Eli Young Band – 10,000 Towns

Your last broken heart was your last broken heart, baby
Say goodbye to goodbye, I ain’t ever gonna change my mind
This is the part where our forever starts

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Favourite songs: Your Last Broken Heart, Dust, Drunk Last Night,

17. Florida Georgia Line – Anything Goes

Give me that little love on your pretty face
All I’m waiting is for is for you to just
Lay your pretty head on my shoulder
For a while and find your jam on my radio dial
Girl all I want, is just to see you smile

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I loved FGL’s debut album a LOT.  This album doesn’t quite meet the high bar set by its predecessor

Favourite songs: Smile, Anything Goes, Good Good, Smoke

18. Rascal Flatts – Rewind

I turn back that radio dial, reopen your door,
Try to talk George Strait into giving us an encore
Re-spin you around, replay that sound of you laughing when we hit the ground

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Favourite songs: Riot, DJ Tonight, Rewind, Powerful Stuff, I Like The Sound Of That, Honeysuckle Lazy

19. Little Big Town – Painkiller

It’s a reach out, it’s a white flag, it’s a forfeit of the game
It’s a let go of the ego, and the whisper of your name
It’s a fight for, not a defend, it’s a stay out in the rain
It’s the knowin’ that you love me more than anything
We’re gonna ride the storm out on a lifeboat
Baby this kind of love is all that we know
We’re gonna take a walk out on the trapeze
Even in a wild breeze, we could be the best of them all
Even if we tumble and fall

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Favourite songs: Tumble and Fall, Day Drinking, Good People, Live Forever

20. Ryan Star – A N G E L S + A N I M A L S

We’ve got style, yeah we’ve got faith
And I believe there’ll be better days
We might die, but never fade
Taking it on to the other side

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I love Ryan Star and I’m so glad that the year opened with him releasing a new full length album.  However, most of the best songs on here have already appeared on his Animals EP.

Favourite songs: Gone To Heaven, I Will Survive

 21. The Script – No Sound Without Silence

When you’ve been fighting for it all your life
You’ve been struggling to make things right
That’s how a superhero learns to fly

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Why do all Script songs sound basically the same?  Like No Good In Goodbye and Army Of Angels.  The best songs on here are the ones where they try and do something different like Paint The Town Green.

Favourite songs: Superheroes, Paint The Town Green, Hail Rain Or Sunshine

22. Maroon 5 – V

I like to think that we had it all
We drew a map to a better place
But on that road I took a fall

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I’m not sure I like the electronic direction that so many alternative rock bands are taking nowadays.  Still this album has a few catchy songs to offer.

Favourite songs: Maps, Lost Stars, Coming Back For You

23. Sam Smith – In The Lonely Hour

Why are you looking down all the wrong roads?
When mine is the heart and the salt of the soul

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Favourite songs: Stay With Me, Like I Can

24. Sam Hunt – Montevallo

But there’s only so many streets, so many lights
I swear it’s like I can’t even leave my house
I should’ve known all along
You gotta move or move on
When you break up in a small town

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This is a full length album following his EP release earlier in the year.  Unfortunately all the great sons on here are the ones that were part of the EP, like Break Up In A Small Town and Leave The Night On.

It is worth noting though that Sam wrote Cop Car, even though it was made famous by Keith Urban.

Favourite songs: Break Up In A Small Town, Leave The Night On

25. Luke Bryan – Spring Break 6…Like We Ain’t Ever EP

Like we ain’t ever
All been together
And tried to make one night last forever

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No new full length album from one of my favourite country artists this year so will have to make do with this EP full of songs about drinking and finding ‘the one’ at the beach.

Favourite songs: Like We Ain’t Ever

26. Sarah McLachlan – Shine On

Night falls heavy like an iron fist
The silence taut and frail
I weigh the depths of love and terror
In this test I cannot fail
‘Cause there’s no map to guide the human heart
Down roads we’ve never been
Sometimes I feel I’m running blind but I’m trying

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Favourite songs: Turn The Lights Down Low, Love Beside Me

27. Chase Rice – Ignite The Night

You got the city girl with an uptown smile
Drivin this ol’ boy country wild

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Favourite songs: Ready Set Roll, Country In Ya, Mmm Girl

28. The Fray – Helios

Come and walk that walk
Across the seven seas
Come on and start this fire
Bigger than you and me

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Unfortunately I am really disappointed with this album.  The only songs worthy of note are the lead single Love Don’t Die

Favourite songs: Love Don’t Die, Give It Away, Hold My Hand

29. Coldplay – Ghost Stories

In the darkness before the dawn
In the swirling of the storm
When I’m rolling with the punches, and hope is gone
Leave a light, a light on

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After the awesome Mylto Xyloto and Viva La Vida albums, this one definitely comes as a disappointment.  Following his ‘conscious uncoupling’ Chris Martin seems to have left his rock roots and gone on an electronic music spree.  Needless to say, I’m not a fan.

Favourite songs: Magic, A Sky Full Of Stars, Midnight

30. U2 – Songs of Innocence

You’re breaking into my imagination
Whatever’s in there is yours to take

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For me U2 is like The Beatles – good but undeniably overrated.    It’s not that the songs are bad on this album, it’s just I’m struggling to find any that stand out (for the right reasons.  Volcano stands out for all the wrong reasons!)

Favourite songs: The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone), Song For Someone