5 Songs Spinning on My iPod

It’s a new year, which means a whole new list of songs that are currently “spinning” on my iPod.  Be sure to leave your feedback in the comments section below, and click on the bolded song titles to listen to (and/or download at your own risk) the song described below.

Adam Lambert – “Better Than I Know Myself”

After nearly a two-year hiatus, battles back-and-forth with his RCA record label, and various lead-single demo versions making their rounds around the internet, American Idol Season 8 runner-up has returned to the pop mainstream with this his lead single offering from his to-be-released sophomore set Trespassing, tentatively due out March 22. Co-written and produced by prolific songwriter Claude Kelly and omnipotent producer demigod  Dr. Luke, the track is a powerful, emotive mid-tempo ballad that finds Lambert in fine vocal form. With its piano-tinged percussion, meaningful lyrics and soaring choruses, the track is Lambert’s most satisfying offering yet, and is deservingly destined to be the singer’s highest charting record to date.

B.o.B. featuring André 3000 – “Play the Guitar”

Following his Top 10 hit lead single “Strange Clouds” off of his soon-to-be-released sophomore LP sharing the same namesake, second single “Play the Guitar” is a buoyant, reggae-tinged cut that definitively stands out as the rapper’s most interesting work in his albeit young solo career. Featuring superbly crafted production from Salaam Remi, the single deserves notice for its bouncy baseline, bluesy guitar licks and, most imperatively, Andre 3000’s rapid-fire guest rhymes. The single’s soulful flavors are defiantly different from the calculated techno-rave rhythms currently favored by Top 40 radio DJs, so it will be interesting if the cut gains the radio and retail momentum it so desperately deserves.

Gym Class Heroes featuring Neon Hitch – “Ass Back Home”

Riding high after the universal radio success of lead single, and Adam Levine-assisted, “Stereo Hearts”, Travie McCoy and company bring British singer-songwriter Neon Hitch into the mix for their second radio offering from their latest LP, The Paper Chronicles II. Similar to “Stereo Hearts”, the track – featuring some energetic production from Benny Blanco (known for work with Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Ke$ha, Taio Cruz, et al.) – features an indelible hook and some clever-enough rhymes to fill out the rest of the song. In the most recent years between McCoy’s solo project, the Gym Class Heroes have unabashedly sought Top 40 radio success, leaving behind their underground roots in favor of shimmering glossy hooks and pop partnerships. Whether you agree or disagree with this increasingly commercial career progress, few could argue that this tasty track will have any problem keeping this mainstream success streak in tact.

Lana Del Rey – “Born To Die”

Serving as the second single from the American singer-songwriter’s sophomore set of the same namesake, “Born To Die” is a haunting, symphonic mid-tempo that continues the straight-faced seriousness of lead single, and worldwide success, “Video Games”. Featuring contemplative, atmospheric production from Justin Parker and Robopop, the song begins with apocalyptic strings and reaches its crashing crescendo in sparse, singular percussion. Considered by many contemporary music critics to be a nod to film scores of John Barry and classic 30s films like Gone With The Wind, the cut – according to the singer, Elizabeth Grant her birth-name – is an “homage to true love and a tribute to living life on the wild side.” If that is the case, life on the wild side sure is compelling.

Taylor Swift featuring The Civil Wars – “Safe & Sound”

Serving as the lead single from The Hunger Games official motion-picture soundtrack, this earnest duet – pairing country-crossover superstar Taylor Swift and folk-pop duo The Civil Wars – is a wonderfully warm and intimate composition that also embodies the dark, haunting themes of its film-inspiration. Beginning with a singular acoustic guitar lick, the song’s campfire embers steadily begin to burn as Swift’s expressive vocals evolve from quiet vulnerability to steadfast anguish, specifically when the song’s percussion grows progressively urgent and menacing. Featuring production from T Bone Burnett and a co-write from Swift – along with duo Joy Williams and John Paul White – the promotional single is a breathy, ethereal ballad perfectly evoking the dark themes soon to be shared in “The Hunger Games.”

2 thoughts on “5 Songs Spinning on My iPod

  1. Pingback: 20 Songs Spinning on My iPod « The Social Sonic Traveler

  2. Pingback: 12 Songs Spinning on My iPod « The Social Sonic Traveler

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