fripodding and heavy rotations of 2010

Instead of looking up on iTunes the most played songs, I’m going by feeling and memory (and past friPod posts of this year).

I can’t include albums of the past 2 months for the sole reason that they are too recent, even if I listened to said recent album on repeat for 10 hours on 3 consecutive days. I’m also aiming for albums and not necessarily singles that I’ve listened to repeatedly over the past year. Doing a singles list would be much more difficult. But on with the list (in no particular order this time)…

James Hunter – The Hard Way
The main highlight here is that I got to see this dude perform live. But what’s really amazing to me is how I heard one of his songs on the radio in a restaurant, and not more than a few months later I’m in NYC singing along to some of my favorite tunes. He’s one of those hidden gems I’m glad I uncovered and will keep a close eye on.  As for when I knew he hit my Heavy Rotation status, the fact that he makes it on so many of my road trip playlists is proof, that is if I’m not listening to this album itself while driving on my many trips. A definite sing-along album… if you know the words, of course. Even if you don’t, you get into his groove.

The Roots – How I Got Over
This album took a little while for me to buy, but I listened to it for a week straight before pulling out my favorite songs to add to my own personal Roots collection. One of the songs I loved the most was “The Fire“, although there were several others I kept hitting repeat or was anxious to hear. There were a few songs I’d skip over, but mostly just to get to those anticipated songs.

Joss StoneColor Me Free
As everyone knows, I’m a huge fan of Ms. Stone. I know her album(s) get significant air time on my radio, car, computer and in my head. I don’t really know what else to say about her or this album other than I knew I’d be listening to it forever and ever, as I still do, eagerly awaiting her next project whenever it’ll come out.

Lady Gaga – The Fame Monster
As I’ve said before, Gaga grew on me and before I knew it, I was a little monster. I still don’t have her first album, but this album stayed on repeat (even when my females friends weren’t riding in the car with me). Will I be buying her next album Born This Way? We’ll see.

Melanie Fiona – The Bridge
I have specific memories of how this album got it’s Heavy Rotation status, and that’s when I was riding to a series of parties in a single weekend. I found that it made for good road trip listening as well as while I was working. She has a voice I could and many times have listened to all day long. In my opinion, she seems like one of those underrated, or under the radar artists.

The Temper Trap – Conditions
Thanks to a friend and a movie (and a few commercials), this band quickly became one of my favorites to listen to at anytime. I shared this album with a friend of mine who passed it to another friend and we’ve equally agreed that this album is one that fits the background to life. One friend commented that he feels like he’s in a movie while listening to them. I personally feel transported to some realm of musicality. They seem like a word-of-mouth type of popularity. I wish they get some big spotlights if they haven’t already. Even if they don’t, I’ll still be playing them over and over.

(500) Days of Summer soundtrack
This album makes me want to watch the movie, and the movie makes me want to listen to the album. I love the mix of the music and how it so perfectly captures the moods and feelings that were felt in the film, and how it brings me back to those scenes. I will go as far to say that if you own either one (film or soundtrack)  you should get the other to have a complete set. From Regina Spektor, The Temper Trap and Hall & Oats… great songs from past and present still sound awesome in the future.

The Black Keys – Brothers
I can’t say enough about this album and why I love it. I know once an album hits Heavy Rotation status when I think of the first few notes from certain songs at certain points of my day. Once again, when I’m driving, just before pulling off, I’ll hear the beginning notes of “Everlasting Light” which is the first track of the album. Sometimes it’s a must on certain days. But it’s the kind of music that gets me through the day. Whether I’m happy or sad, by the end of it, I’m in a better mood than what I started in.

Mayer HawthorneA Strange Arrangement
A very pleasant and welcoming surprise to my ears and my soul. The only bad thing about this album, some how I associate it with rain. Not necessarily because of one of the songs dealing with rain, but the first night I listened to it, it was raining all night long and all day the next day. But it kept me in such a happy mood that I wanted to listen to it when it was sunny… and the sun didn’t come back out for another week or so. Sometime later, I felt like hearing him again, and it was raining… so I decided to wait. It was strange indeed, and now whenever it rains, I think about this album. I’ve since listened to it on sunny days, so all is well. And I’m eagerly awaiting a next album. I don’t keep tabs on this guy like I should, but I can guarantee his next album will also be on Heavy Rotation.

Alicia Keys – The Element of Freedom
I thought this was an excellent follow-up to her last album, and I thought that was great. Besides already being a fan of her voice and lyrical abilities, the instrumentals are what impressed me the most. I enjoyed getting lost in her music and frequently hit repeat on several songs just to stay lost in the music. I can only hope that same magic continues if not grows into her next album. This (and this list) is what real music is all about.

There are others I wanted to include on this list, but it’s not fair to call them Heavy Rotations since I just aquired them less than 2 months ago. All of these albums I keep coming back to weeks, months, years after I get them. So you can probably expect Kanye West, Cee Lo Green, Corinne Bailey Rae and a few others to show up next year. It’s just a guess though. Until then, have a great new year!

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December 2010
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