Okay I got lazy on this once I hit my goal. Which doesn’t mean I stopped consuming music… not in the least. I just got lazy writing about it. So if you missed this? … you’re cute for lying. Here is the last installation of 30 new to me, for 2010.

First let me say if you’ve been following this series, a sincere thank you.

Second I plan on doing this again in 2011. I’m gonna up the total a little bit, change the format slightly, AND do what I did at the end of this column (OMG… teaser for this column… preview for NEXT YEARS?!?! Can…you…handle…IT?!?! I can’t. I can’t… *deep breaths* … ‘kay. Thats better.) Where was I?

Third I didn’t get my country quota. I went above and beyond my pop quota though. I’ll probably simplify this moving forward and just say I will listen to 4 albums that are “out of my comfort zone”. Some sort of combination of pop or country or christian polka.

Okay, if you clicked on this, I assume you want me to talk about some records. So without further ado lets crack this last sixer as I’ve clearly had a late nightsecond wind!!

37. P!nk “I’m Not Dead Yet”.

I’ve always enjoyed listening to Pink when I’d catch her on a pop station. I could say I actually “liked” her thanks in part to her “Funhouse” concert video that has been playing on Palladia. So since I said I’d make sure I’d get at least 3 pop records in here, and the fact that it was on sale for 5 bucks on Amazon.com (digitally), I figured I’d check it out. This is a good record. As something of an “album head”, will I go back and listen to this over and over again? Probably not. Will I revisit it, and specific songs? Absolutely. Its very rock oriented. Tinges of folk/country, and pop punk, and even some post punk. For guys possibly reading this? If you and your girlfriend can’t find any common ground? I’d suggest trying Pink. She has a great rock voice. Song writing is good, and production makes this heavily rock influenced.

Recommended Songs: Leave me Alone (I’m Lonely), Cuz I Can, Who Knew, Long Way To Happy

38. Ra Ra Riot “Orchard”

2nd release from this group. A little slower paced than their debut. Also didn’t jump right out and grab me like the first record (“The Rumb Line”). No huge leaps sonically, but they still do a great job cultivating a great sound with the string section in the band (violin and viola, and others). Nice textures and really adds to the music. Mix that with the vocals and its a good and distinct sound. If you hear this band you’ll know its them almost immediately. If you’re interested in checking out this band, I’d suggest checking out their debut, “The Rhumb Line”, and then if you like what you hear there, go for this too as its a nice continuation on that theme. I just think their debut is a stronger record beginning to end.

Recommended Tracks: Boy, Massachusetts, You and I know, Keep it Quiet

39. Passion PIt “Manners”

I, for the longest time, cringed at synth heavy music. Here and there it was good, but too much would lose me quickly. I know bands like Matt and Kim helped soften my stand. This band I remember seeing perform on the MTV Woodies, which is MTV’s indie/college music awards show. Probably would be better suited if the awards were being called the “Hipsters”. So that’s my introduction to them… I really enjoyed their performance, but didn’t pull the trigger on checking them out until a week ago. Good fast paced synth rock. With almost everyone playing some instrument with keys… and then you have a lead singer and a drummer. Its a good record. Something that has grown on me the first couple listens, and I look forward to seeing what kind of lasting power it has with me. The final 3 songs are extras. A cover of the Cranberries’ “Dreams”, and a couple tracks “stripped down” which means its just piano or guitar. These are a couple of my favorite tracks. They’re good songs all “synthed up”, but stripped? Awesome! A

Recommended Songs: Little Secrets, Moth Wings, The Reeling, Sleepyhead (Stripped down)

40. Kings of Leon “Come Around Sundown”

The last 18 months have seen KoL absolutely explode into the mainstream conciousness. Their hit “Use Somebody” has gotten pop/top 40 radio play. They have gone from underground darlings who put on a great live show, to insanely popular arena band… who STILL put on great live shows. This album sees them working down that: mainstream accessibility slash arena rock path. This record is very good, but is softer than their last, and has more of that epic feel to songs akin to “Use somebody”. So if “Sex on Fire” and “Use somebody” got you into KoL, you will absolutely love this record. Some of the “die hard” in it from the beginning fans will gripe and toss around the word “sell out”… but they’re wrong. These are well crafted, well performed songs, and its another step in the Kings attempt at world domination.

Key Songs: Radioactive, The End, Pyro

41. Weezer “Hurley”

The Island… JACK… LOCKE… DUDE… oh… wait – Yes, Weezer’s album named after a character from Lost. Actually, they initially didn’t name the album Hurley, and were gonna go without an album title, but since Jorge Garcia (Hurley from Lost) was going to be the cover art they figured “people are just gonna call this Hurley”. Makes sense. For me this was Weezer’s best record since the Green Album. Some songs that are more close to Pinkerton and the Blue album than the last few records. The songs are kept short, there are 10 tracks and it clocks in at just over 34 minutes. More instrumentation as Rivers has found synth/piano.

Recommended tracks: Memories, Ruling Me, Unspoken(my favorite track), Hang On

42. Lily Allen “Its Not Me, its You”

Brit Pop darling, Lily Allen got my attention with her first album. i really enjoyed it, and managed to develop a crush on her in the process. That said, I’m surprised its taken as long as it did for me to get her follow up and listen to it. After listening I’m very upset with myself for putting it off. Eclectic musically. Poignant, honest, and hilarious lyrically. She has a very sharp sense of humor and lets it loose on this record. She has a raunchy sense of humor too, as there is an entire song dedicated to a boyfriend, who was a swell guy, but was “quick to trigger” if you get my drift. A song about everyone’s respective chemical dependencies. And even a song that ponders God. A definite recommend from me as its good musically and if you pay attention lyrically you’ll enjoy how she crafts her songs and her sense of humor.

Recommended Tracks: Everyone’s At It, The Fear (a tie for my favorite), F*ck You, Not Fair (The other half of that tie), Who’d have known

You’re not into albums and want to sample some tracks? Here are the top 5-10 from this edition (Note: No guarantee every album gets represented on this list)

1-Little Secrets (Song 2 on Passion Pit’s, Manners)
2-Radioactive (Song 1 on Kings of Leon’s Come Around Sundown)
3-Unspoken (Song 4 on Weezer’s Hurley)
4-The Reeling (Song 4 on Passion PIt’s Manners
5-The Fear (Song 2 on Lily Allen’s It’s Not Me, Its You)
6-Not Fair (Song 3 on Lily Allen’s Its Not Me, Its You)
7-Sleephead -Stripped (Song 12 on Passion PIt’s Manners)

Which brings a close to this years adventure in listening to new music. I’ll see you in 2011 for another epic journey slash pointless trip!