In Honor Of *NSYNC

The boys of *NSYNC – JC, Justin, Joey, Chris and Lance – will always hold a special place in my 90’s teen-girl heart. I can’t believe they are only today just getting their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. That being said, in honor of this fun and well-deserved occasion, here’s a list of some of my favorite *NSYNC songs.

“I Want You Back”: Of course I have to start this list off with the band’s debut single (circa 1998) that starts with young, blond, curly-haired JT’s sexy-ass voice. Oh what that voice (and hair) did to teenage girls across the world in the late ’90s…

“Tearin’ Up My Heart”: I always loved the lyrics and chorus to this pop banger from the quintet.

“Thinking Of You (I Drive Myself Crazy)”: I was OBSESSED with this music video of the boys going crazy in a mental hospital over some (lame) chicks. While ridiculous, it was a lot of fun to watch. And nothing beats JC Chasez belting “Crazy Crazy” while donning a straight jacket. Everything about this song was CRAZY GOOD.

“Bye Bye Bye”: This is the song that everyone knew the dance moves to. And to this day, I still perform (yes, perform) some of the hand motions when this song comes on in my car. It’s the best form of muscle memory.

“It’s Gonna Be Me”: Another fantastic gem of a pop song.

“This I Promise You”: My favorite *NSYNC ballad, but probably the worst music video of all time (sorry boys.)

“Pop”: The best “FUCK YOU” to the pop haters out there that I’ve ever heard. The boys didn’t get nearly enough credit as they should have for sticking it to their critics and coming out on top.

“The Two Of Us”: I was always partial to this song. It’s probably in my top 3.

“Are You Gonna Be There”: A lesser known song for sure, as it was never released on one of their albums (which always surprised me), but still a FANTASTIC song. I love when JC goes all high and falsetto and he does it beautifully here in the bridge.

“If I’m Not the One”: Another lesser known song that wasn’t on any of their albums. BUT one of my all-time favorites nonetheless.

 

 

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My Favorite Songs: 2017

Throughout the year, I discovered many songs across various genres and decades. Below is a list specific to 2017 – the songs I listened to on repeat, the ones that made me feel something, that made me dance, and made me cry. Happy listening and Happy New Year!!!

My Year In Music 2017: According to Spotify

I’ve been a big Spotify fan since I personally dethroned Apple/iTunes years ago as the place to listen to and discover new music. I’m also a big fan of year-end lists, especially when they are related to music. So, when what to my wondering eyes should appear but an email with a link to a playlist of my top songs of 2017 (courtesy of Spotify)…  it was like Christmas came early this year.

Aside from compiling my Top 100 songs of 2017 playlist, the musical elves at Spotify also sent me some interesting facts about my year in music. My favorite fact? It’s 2017, which is 2 weeks away from being 20 years since *NSYNC appeared on the pop music scene and THEY WERE STILL MY TOP ARTIST OF THE YEAR. Twenty. Years. Later. That made me smile.

Some more of my personal, music trends:

According to Spotify, I listened to over 13,000 minutes of music: over 2,000 different songs from 940 different artist across 55 genres.

Aside from *NSYNC, my other top artists were Ed Sheeran, Charli XCX, Carly Rae Jepsen and The Goo Goo Dolls.

My most played song of the year was Hailee Steinfeld’s “Most Girls.” My other top songs included: “Flame” by Tinashe, “Dark Side” by Phoebe Ryan, “Call On Me” by Starley, and “Barcelona” by Ed Sheeran.

My top genre was pop (not at all surprising.) Other top genres included dance pop, post-teen pop (not quite sure what that is), neo mellow (not a clue), and pop rock.

If you like some of the music on my blog, here’s a link to my top 100 played songs from 2017:

Happy Holidays!!!

–Ashes

Farewell American Idol …For Now

American Idol sang it’s final tune last night. I was an avid viewer and fan of the first 8 seasons, half-watched 9, came back for 10 & 11, but kind of fell off the Idol wagon when Simon Cowell left the judges panel. I stuck around another year or so but was never as engaged after Season 11. Last night, after watching many past contestants perform on the Idol stage one last time, I thought I’d take a look back and re-watch all of my favorite performances throughout the series. Here they are!

Jason Castro “Hallelujah” – Looking back, the soft-spoken dread-locked singer-songwriter was my favorite Idol contestant of all time. His voice wasn’t spectacular by any means but if you watch his interview bit before this performance, that’s basically why he was my fave.

David Archuleta “Imagine” – This may be the single best solo performance on Idol in all its 15 years. Not only is Archie’s voice crystal clear but he sings with such natural conviction that a lot of contestants just don’t have.

Carrie Underwood “Alone” – I just always liked this song and her take on it. I forgot Simon predicted her to win & sell more records than any other previous Idol winner. And that she did.

Carrie Underwood & Rascal Flatts “Bless The Broken Road” – While this isn’t technically a performance that got “judged”, this is when I was first introduced to my future wedding song.

Alison Iraheta “Alone” – For me, no one has ever covered this song as well as Alison Iraheta (not even Carrie).

David Cook “Always Be My Baby” – Watching this again, I got chills. What David Cook did to this song is mesmerizing.

Hayley Reinhart “Bennie & The Jets” – She was probably my favorite female contestant throughout the course of the series. The girl’s got pipes.

Adam Lambert “Tracks Of My Tears” – Oh my Adam. This gentle take on the timeless Smokey Robinson song is breathtaking. That last note, are you kidding me? Praise.

Trent Harmon “Chandelier” – I admit, I didn’t watch many episodes of the last season of Idol. However, I did catch this particular performance and while re-watching it, I cried. A lot. Trent’s take on Sia’s pop hit is incredible. After crowning him the winner of Season 15, I think it’s safe to say that American Idol ended on a VERY high note.

Album Recommendations

Since it’s June and we are 6 months into the year (already?!?) I thought I’d do what all the cool kids do and list some great albums I listened to in 2015 so far. The criteria for ending up in this list is simple – me liking the majority of the album. And not just the singles, but the deep cuts and the middle-men. If you’re looking for some new music, I’d suggest spending some time diving into these 3 artists + their recent albums:

Meghan Trainor’s Title

This album was a sweet surprise for me when I listened to it in its entirety one random day in the office. Her throwback, old-school vibes are evident, but what I enjoy even more than that are her brilliant, often witty lyrics. Upon hearing some of the verses, I can’t help but be reminded of the fabulous Pink – they have a similar no-time-for-bullshit, don’t-fuck-with-me-but-if-you-do-good-luck-with-that aura about them, which I personally find inspirational. The collection of songs that make up Title are fun to sing-a-long to, yes, but they are powerful statements about love and relationships and being a woman. And as a woman, I’m all about this album.

Standout Song: “Walkashame”

For those who like: Ponytails. The 50′s. Bass (well, obviously).

Tove Styrke’s Kiddo

I’ve said it and I’ll say it again, Sweden produces some kick-ass female pop stars. This album isn’t straight up pop though – it has a bit more spunk to it with reggae undertones (most prominently showcased in “Borderline”) and electro-pop beats (heard in ”Burn”, which is a spectacular song btw). I missed a chance to see Tove in NYC recently but I hope to not make that mistake again.

Standout Song: “Ego”

For those who like: Southeast Asian motif. Braids. Mai Tai’s.

Purity Ring’s another eternity

This album takes you to an otherworldly, celestial place. With bewitching vocals and dream-like beats, another eternity is purely magical. If there was ever a time when we could send bands to play in outer space, Purity Ring would get my vote hands down. If you want to escape reality for a bit, turn this record on.

Standout Song: “heartsigh”

For those who like: Aliens. Astronomy. Daydreaming.

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