Tag Archives: Cher

Okie’s Favorite Albums of 2012

When I was 20-years-old and working at Barnes & Noble, I had to compile an annual list of my favorite albums, movies and songs that would be posted in the store as a STAFF’S PICK FOR (insert year here) section.  I haven’t made a year’s favorites list since working there, and haven’t been inspired to do so until my friend Areis posted his 5 favorite albums of 2012 online the other day.  So below (and in no specific order) are my Top 12 favorite albums of 2012, as in the below albums were released in the U.S. this year and were played to death on my iPod.

Favorite Albums 2012

My favorite albums of 2012, Pictured from L-R Top to Bottom: (1) King Con by Alex Winston, (2) Kill for Love by Chromatics, (3) Ten$ion by Die Antwoord, (4) Halcyon by Ellie Goulding, (5) Our Version of Events by Emeli Sande, (6) A Joyful Noise by Gossip, (7) Visions by Grimes, (8) Rollerskater EP by Lindbergh Palace, (9) Kaleidoscope Dream by Miguel, (10) True EP by Solange, (11) Confess by Twin Shadow and (12) Nocturne by Wild Nothing.


George Lewis Jr a.k.a. Twin Shadow released perhaps the catchiest album of the year filled with 1980’s New Wave pop ditties such as “Five Seconds” and “Patient.”  Check out the music video saga to those singles which drew inspiration from his novel, Night of the Silver Sun.


You’ve got to give it up for Beyonce’s younger sister.  Instead of following in the obvious footsteps of her diva sibling, Solange instead released an EP straight from the golden 1980’s pop era of Jody Watley and Madonna filled with insta-classics “Losing You” and “Lovers in the Parking Lot.”


The second album from Skrillex’s ex-girlfriend finds the singer-songwriter showcasing an edgier and more epic sound than her debut album. Check out tracks “Explosions” and lead single “Anything Could Happen.”


Ruth Radelet is the primary vocalist of Chromatics, and her voice colorlessly glides amid the collision of sounds on such standout tracks as “Back from the Grave” and “Lady.”

Check out my earlier review of Kill for Love by Chromatics RIGHT HERE.


The South African hip-hop ravers second studio album is completely over-the-top, outrageous and downright ridiculous.  Yet despite the excessive pageantry, the duo’s hooks are as addicive as they are undeniable.  Take a listen to their catchy “I Find U Freeky” or “Baby’s On Fire.”


Miguel’s second album is an R&B pop masterpiece that echoes the sounds of Marvin Gaye, Prince, R.Kelly and Stevie Wonder.  The R&B maestro recently scored (and rightfully so) a surprise Song of the Year Grammy nomination for his hit single, “Adorn.”


The Brooklyn-based band will seduce your ears with their sexy 1970’s retro-electro pop EP.  Synthesizers, spacey guitars and house beats provide the perfect backdrop for singer Leah Hayes’ lily white pure vocals on such tracks as “West Coast” and “Days Don’t Fade.”


Wild Nothing returned with their second studio album filled with more dream pop confections such as the title track and “Counting Days.”  Nocturne sounds like a breezy album that Fleetwood Mac would have recorded if they were just starting off in 2012.


Scottish singer-songwriter Emelie Sande’s debut opus is also the fastest selling album by a British recording artist in three year.  Our Version of Events perfectly flaunts the versatility of Sande’s voice, towering and commanding in standout track “Next To Me” and later soothing to the soul on “Read All About It Pt. 3.”


Amid the heavily layered synth beats and cacophonous sounds on Canadian recording artist Grimes’ third studio album, the singer’s monotonously airy voice provides a coordinating contrast especially on hynotic tracks “Genesis” and “Circumambient.”


What happens when a post-punk indie rock band collaborates with the production team responsible for Cher’s “Believe”?  A Joyful Noise is that sensational creation with Xenomania’s Brian Higgins, which adds a new layer and dimension to the band Gossip’s signature indie-punk sound.


The debut album from 25-year-old Alexandra Winston could easily be mistaken as a modern-day Kate Bush homage with her equally giddy soprano vocals.  Winston instead delivers a refreshing album of quirky, punchy tracks such as “Velvet Elvis” and “Medicine.”

  • Check out my favorite songs of last year RIGHT HERE.
  • Check out this year’s Summer Anthems RIGHT HERE.


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“Call My Name” by Cheryl Cole


Oh Cheryl Cole.  How do I love thee!  You were a part of the biggest-selling female group in the UK, (and no I am not referring to the Spice Girls but) Girls Aloud, who were responsible for some of the catchiest pop-ditties this millennium.   You ventured out as a solo artist with two huge hit albums and a string of pop perfection confections.  Your “Fight For This Love” still reigns as one of the best pop songs ever recorded.  You ruled England as their beloved sweetheart when you became a judge on The X-Factor UK which lead to one of the much-coveted judges spots on The X-Factor USA.  Although, I should be upset with you for you leaving The X-Factor USA.  It lead to four torturous months of the grating Nicole Scherzinger (your replacement).  Will.i.am. is now your manager.  You have a new album, your third, A Million Lights, being released next month.  You have a cameo role in the JLo & Cameron Diaz rom-com, What To Expect When You’re Expecting flick this summer.  You reportedly are dropping your ex-hubby’s last name and simply going by Cheryl.  Madonna.  Cher.  Cheryl.  It works.  And you have a sexy new video for “Call My Name,” which was written and produced by current it-boy Calvin Harris, that just hit YouTube.  You own the world right now… well, except for the U.S.  Here’s looking forward to a very successful infiltration onto the American pop culture radar.  If the Kardashians can do it, then the sexiest woman on the planet most certainly can too. You’re almost there baby.

P.S.  The 90’s clothes, style and choreography of your “Call My Name” music video is like a tasty make-out session with nostalgia.

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The Top 10 Singles of 2011

Looking back at 2011, my Spotify music player was definitely on overdrive.  There were far too many addictive songs and albums released last year, that narrowing it down to a Top 10 List would be like the Octomom having to pick her favorite 10 out of her brood of 16 children.  Translation: making this list was difficult!

Below is a listing of my favorite released singles of 2011.  Otherwise, non-released tracks like “I Would Do Anything For You” by Foster The People and the entire Love Child EP by Ella Riot would have dominated this list.

10.  Patrick Stump with Lupe Fiasco – “This City

The former lead singer of Fall Out Boy’s debut single barely flaunted the Prince-esque funk of his debut Soul Punk album.  But what this single lacked in pomp, it made up with an anthemic hook for anyone with hometown city pride.  If this single were the Billboard Top 10 hit it should’ve been, perhaps we would be seeing the newly svelte Patrick Stump starring in his own weight loss commercial rotated in between Jennifer Hudson, Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson’s.

9.  Young The Giant – “My Body

The boys of California captured the charm of their self-titled debut with this song that they had the honor to perform at the 2011 MTV VMA’s.  Whatever the true meaning of the song: the constant battle with a drug addiction or resisting the urges of going back to an unhealthy relationship, “My Body” left me “wanting more.”  FYI: Check out remixes by Tokyo Police Club and Two Door Cinema on the band’s Remixes EP.

8.  Angus and Julia Stone – “Hold On

The fragility in Julia’s voice.  That haunting melody.  The hypnotic allure of it all.  The Australian brother & sister duo released a ballad as depressing yet beautiful as any of the ‘you don’t love me’ song classics before it.  Listen with a glass of wine and a Kleenex handy.

7.  Clare Maguire – “The Shield And The Sword

What if you paired the flash & pizzazz of Lady Gaga with the vocals of Annie Lennox, and added a splash of Cher?  Clare Maguire has been described as just that since hitting the scene in the UK.  “The Shield And The Sword” is just one of the many standout tracks on the songstress’ Light After Dark album.

6.  M83 – “Midnight City

Every time that I went out to The Castle nightclub in Ybor City, I would hope and pray that I would hear this song.  The opening sequence of this song sounds like a Battle Cry, begging to be danced to.  Those times I was lucky enough to hear it while on a dancefloor, the experience was as if a Call To Arms was indeed issued out and everyone who just wanted to dance was summoned.

5.  Benny Benassi with Gary GO – “Cinema (Skrillex Remix)”

Cinema” is the song that made me rethink and change my stance on the entire dubstep movement.  So perfectly crafted in its intricacies and hook, I became a fan of not only dubstep music, but an admirer of the current reigning dubstep God,  24-year-old Sonny Moore a.k.a Skrillex.  Even Kanye West tweeted how the Skrillex remix of “Cinema” is “one of the greatest works of art ever made.”

4.  Lloyd featuring Andre 3000 – “Dedication To My Ex (Miss That)

Profane.  Vulgar.  Brilliant.  R&B artist Lloyd certainly does not hold back on expressing himself in this insanely catchy thumper about how an ex-lover’s “p*ssy” is now a stranger.  Disregard the censored version that replaces the word “p*ssy” with “lovin” and revel in the original version in all of its dirty glory.

3.  Britney Spears – “Till The World Ends

The early part of 2011 saw much-hyped new singles from pop divas Lady Gaga and Beyonce, but it was Miss Spears who stole the show with this dance anthem from her seventh studio album, Femme Fatale.  What Prince’s “1999” was to the Y2K generation on the evening of December 31, 1999, “Till The World Ends” will be the same on the night of December 21, 2012 and beyond.

2.  Lana Del Rey – “Video Games

Since they ceased playing music videos to make room for their infiltration of reality shows, I haven’t watched MTV in what seems like forever.  So imagine my surprise when I was flipping through channels on my TV and stumbled upon this music video on MTV of all places. I was completely taken aback.  Everything about this song was a breath of fresh air amid today’s pop landscape.  Okay, so Miss Del Rey’s most recent musical performance on SNL was a big, fat dud?  This song still remains undeniable in its beauty and mystery.

1.  Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris – “We Found Love

This may seem like an obvious choice given its vast mainstream appeal, but RiRi truly delivered a timeless dancefloor classic that echoed the 1990’s Euro-dance pop of Black Box while harmoniously blending with the modern nu-disco, dance sound of the song’s writer & producer Calvin Harris.  I have been a Calvin Harris fan since his triumphant 2007 I Created Disco album, so it was exciting to see his name atop of the Billboard charts even if it was second billing to the Barbadian princess of radio.  “We Found Love” is as a song of the times.  When many accused mainstream pop music as being too boring, “We Found Love” glared brightly as the pop music gem on the charts and radio amid what others perceived as a hopeless place.

Check out the Top 10 Songs of 2011 from our friends over at GLOGANDVLOG here.

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