Category Archives: TCJ Playlist

Song of the Day: New Feature!

Some may say I’m a little feature happy.  Well, I’m pleased to inform you that I don’t care.  I love to keep the masses informed of every little opinion I have in every area of thought.  So with out further ado, I present to you the “Song of the Day” feature!

This feature will showcase a song, whether it be a live recording or studio recording, and a little short review or snippit.  The song earns an automatic spot on the TCJ Playlist and of course bragging rights for being featured on a site as prestigious as The Conservative Journal.

Today’s song of the day was also the video of the day, Paramore’s recording of “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon.  That video can be found here.

Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

Thanks for reading!

Rick

Also, be sure and use the new rating feature, found at the bottom of comments and posts!

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Filed under Song of the Day, TCJ Playlist

Music Review: Carrie Underwood’s Latest Single “Cowboy Casanova”

I love the interweb.  Without it, Carrie Underwood’s latest single, “Cowboy Casanova”, from her upcoming album Play On (in stores November 3!) wouldn’t be out until the 8th.  I discovered it late last night and listened to it a few times and then woke up and listened to it some more.  She’s truly got an amazing voice.  Anyway, on to the song….

To the top of the charts, and beyond!

When I first listened to “Cowboy Casanova”, I must admit I wasn’t sold.  However, upon third listen, I was hooked.  Fans of Carrie will no doubt find it impossible to tear themselves away from the beat and incredible vocals, and new fans will be drawn in by the brilliant hook.  I see “Cowboy Casanova” rivaling, if not passing, “Before He Cheats” in the success department, but not necessarily because I think it’s a better song.  We all know there will always only be one “Before He Cheats” and it is epic.  However, “Cowboy Casanova” is nearly as strong a song PLUS it’s a first single, and those tend to perform exceptionally well on the charts.  The excitement from the release of Play On in November and all of the promotion will probably give Carrie her best shot at #1 on the Hot 100 with this song, unless of course she has some KILLER songs on the album, which I don’t doubt.

Rocking Carrie > Everything

As for the actual song, “Cowboy Casanova” breaks Carrie’s pattern of more sentimental lead-off singles in a big way.  It starts off with a bumpin’ beat and some intense strings and then Carrie tears into the vocals.  People that are more technically educated in singing can correct me if I’m wrong, but these vocals might be some of Carrie’s most soaring yet.   The song also incorporates the more rock vibe Carrie has been known to infuse in concert performances and, of course, my favorite performance she’s ever done: “Last Name” from the Grammys last year.

If “Cowboy Casanova” is any indication of the style of songs we’ll find on Play On, more country/pop/rock, I expect it to be closer in succes to Some Hearts than Carnival Ride. Carrie’s got a monster hit on her hands and if her promotion team can get it together (They’ve never impressed me), she could ride this one all the way to the top of The Hot 100.

The Verdict

Carrie is awesome and “Cowboy Casanova” is rocking.  Of course it makes the TCJ Playlist!

The Rating

9 out of 10 Elephants

Read Carrie’s induction into The Conservative Journal Hall of Fame by clicking here.

What do you think?

What do you think of “Cowboy Casanova”  Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

Thanks for reading!

Rick

Also, be sure and use the new rating feature, found at the bottom of comments and posts!

4 Comments

Filed under Breaking News, Carrie Underwood, Entertainment, Music, Singers, TCJ Playlist

Music Review: Adam Lambert “Season 8 Favorite Performances” via iTunes

Continuing my American Idol Season 8 wrap-up nonsense, I decided I would also review Adam Lambert’s “Favorite Performances Collection”.  This song set is extremely popular on iTunes; it’s still #5 on top albums over one week from being released.  Here’s the review:

(The songs are in the order they appear on the track listing, and will be rating on a scale of 0 to 10 elephants)

  1. Black or White“- 8 Elephants- The live version of this “Black or White” was energetic and exciting, and I don’t think that translated very well to the studio version.  It seems much more relaxed.  Analogy: The live version is to bold, black coffee as the studio version is to a mocha frappe latte.
  2. Born to be Wild“- 8.5 Elephants- Once again, like “Black or White”, I don’t think these high-energy songs from Adam translate very well into studio recordings.  But of course it’s much harder to deliver the energy and excitement on a recording, especially an American Idol recording.  I can’t get it out of my head that this sounds like a “Born to be Wild” dance remix.
  3. Cryin“- 9 Elephants- This was one of my favorite songs from Adam throughout Season 8 because the screech/wail that he does worked so well.  It wasn’t overdone or obnoxious, it just worked.  The studio recording is similar in that it’s a great vocal and it all just works.
  4. Feeling Good“- 9.5 Elephants- I think this is one of the few songs that I enjoyed the studio recording and not really the live performance.  The studio recording is great!  Definitely one of my favorite studios from Adam.  He breathed new life to this old classic and it really worked.
  5. If I Can’t Have You“- 8.5 Elephants- The vocals in this song are great, but when I listen to it the music gives me the feeling that this an 80s pop song.  I don’t know what the people that add the backing track in are thinking sometimes.  Other than that, it’s good!
  6. Mad World“- 9.5 Elephants- I’ve got three words for you: haunting.  Take it in folks, I will never use the word “haunting” to describe a song again because it makes me feel like Kara.  Seriously though, this song is great and Adam does a great job with it every time.  It may be teetering on the edge of “performance overkill” since it’s been on every morning talk show in the U.S., but it’s still great and the definitive Adam song.
  7. One“- 9 Elephants- I expressed my complete disdain for Adam screwing up one of my favorite songs, but he fixed it all with the recording.  The little changes he made in the melody are gone and it’s back to it’s original form.  I know that I’m the number 1 proponent for changing songs up, but that’s only if it works.  If you go for it and it fails, tough stuff for you.  But like I said, he fixed it for the studio and it sounds great.
  8. Play That Funky Music“- 7 Elephants- I hate this song, and I like it no more when Adam does it.  The vocals are good, but the song is complete garbage.  That’s all I’ve gotta say about this one.
  9. Ring of Fire“-  0 Elephants- Just as frightening as the first time, I can’t even finish it.  I’m not trying to pull a Clay Aiken and say that I’m going to have nightmares and it was horrible in the vocals because that’s just not true.  The vocals are fine, the whole arrangement is just scary.  I don’t like this song really in any form though.  Oh and I don’t really give it 0, more like 7.
  10. The Tracks of My Tears“- 8.5 Elephants- I definitely liked the live version better without all the background nonsense going on, but it’s still a good song even in studio.  I wish American Idol would just leave the performances acoustic or whatever in studio because that’s the reason why American loves those performances!  Ahh, it’s so aggravating.
  11. Whole Lotta Love“- 9 Elephants- Once again like “Cryin” the screech works here.  If Adam is going to want to do the screech, then songs like these are definitely going to suit him well.  And to give the screech credit, it’s one heck of an on-pitch screech.
  12. A Change is Gonna Come“- 9 Elephants- It’s probably the most soulful track on the favorites compilation, and it definitely sounds good.  Not too much was added to the studio version (thankfully) so it keeps a lot of what was in the live version.

The Verdict

After much debate, I’ve decided that the following songs wil make the TCJ Playlist:

  • “Cryin”
  • “Feeling Good”
  • “Mad World”
  • “One”
  • “The Tracks of My Tears”
  • “Whole Lotta Love”
  • “A Change is Gonna Come”

What do you think of Adam’s “Season 8 Favorite Peformances” from iTunes?  If you disagree with my review, let us know!n  Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

Thanks for participating!

Rick

4 Comments

Filed under Adam Lambert, Entertainment, Music, Singers, TCJ Playlist

Music Review: Kris Allen “Season 8 Favorite Performances” via iTunes

For the third year in a row, iTunes is offering an end of the season collection of each contestant’s best performances of the year.  This year, I’m pretty sure the collection includes every performance of the year.  To continue the theme of celebrating Kris Allen’s victory, here is a review of his “Season 8 Favorite Performances Collection” via iTunes:

(The songs are in the order they appear on the track listing, and will be rating on a scale of 0 to 10 elephants)

  1. Ain’t No Sunshine“- 9 Elephants- Probably my 3rd favorite song by Kris of the season.  This one really pushes Kris’, and he think he pulls out if very well.  “Ain’t No Sunshine” is some of the best evidence that Kris can make anything current.
  2. All She Wants To Do Is Dance“- 8.5 Elephants- Though this performance received some of his less enthusiastic critiques, the studio recording is fun and, as usual, has a current sounding vocal.  The backing music is the main detractor from this song, but overall it’s a good one.
  3. Apologize“- 8 Elephants- The vocals are great, but it sounds almost identical to the original.  This is one of the less inventive Kris Allen tunes.  A must have for fans, but those with the original can probably save the 99 cents.
  4. Come Together“- 9 Elephants- Well first of all, I love this song.  And though Kris’ rendition doesn’t quite live up to Carly Smithson’s from last year, it’s entertaining.  Kris takes a more fun, upbeat route with “Come Together”, and I think it worked better on the recording than on the show.  But I enjoyed both.
  5. Falling Slowly“- 9.5 Elephants- Ahh, “Falling Slowly”.  The live performance, it’s worth noting, was brilliant.  It was performed the night that only two judges gave critiques and Randy, in his ignorance, gave it a very poor review.  Simon fixed by calling it “brilliant” the next night, and thankfully it was too late as Kris was sent to safety.  My favorite vocal from Kris, but second favorite only to..
  6. Heartless“- 9 Elephants- So convenient how I could transition seemlessly like that.  Anyway, many of you that followed my season of American Idol commentary know that this is the only song I gave an “A+” rating on my recap.  Well, the recording only gets a 9 because the acoustic element is not there.  In American Idol fashion, they have to throw in the full orchestra even for great acoustic performances.  Still a great song to have.
  7. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)“- 7.5 Elephants- This is one of the few songs that I just cannot remember the live performance for.  I’m debating over whether I was gone for that episode or something.  Anyway, this is one of the least memorable of the “Kris Allen Collection”, and the back-up singing is a annoying and too loud.
  8. Remember the Time“- 7.5 Elephants- “Remember the Time” is very much like the above song, though I do remember this one vaguely.  It’s a more upbeat and fun song, though I don’t think I’ll find myself putting it in the “Top 25” rotation on my iPod.
  9. She Works Hard For the Money“- 8.5 Elephants- This when I really started to consider Kris as a potential contender.  He took this Donna Summer song and completely changed it up in a way that made it current and entertaining.  The live version was definitely better, but I think he more than likely didn’t choose the extra orchestra accompaniment.
  10. The Way You Look Tonight“- 7.5 Elephants- The recording of “The Way You Look Tonight” is one of Kris’ more traditional songs.  It doesn’t stray far from the original, and is a more subdued performance by Kris.
  11. To Make You Feel My Love“- 9 Elephants- I sure am glad that I decided to review this because I had forgotten all about this performance.  This performances came around when no one really knew anything about Kris and mostly just considered him the purest form of canon fodder.  However, “To Make You Feel My Love” is truly a great performance, and it deserves a little more praise than it has gotten.
  12. What’s Going On“- 9 Elephants- The finale of Season 8 was full of great performances by both contenders, and this was definitely one of them.  I prefer the live version of this one slightly, but as you can tell I usually do when it comes to American Idol produced songs.  Definitely an under-appreciate song from the “Kris Allen Collection”.

The Verdict

I definitely enjoyed listening back over Kris’ performances of the season to see just how far he progressed as a competitor and an artist.  As for the playlist, the following make the cut:

  • “Ain’t No Sunshine”
  • “All She Wants To Do Is Dance”
  • “Come Together”
  • “Falling Slowly”
  • “Heartless”
  • “She Works Hard for the Money”
  • “To Make You Feel My Love”
  • “What’s Going On”

What do you think of the “Season 8 Favorite Peformances” from iTunes?  If you disagree with my review, let us know!n  Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

Thanks for participating!

Rick

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Filed under Entertainment, Kris Allen, Music, Singers, TCJ Playlist

TCJ Playlist: More Fun Stuff

I realize that some people think I’m going a little overboard on the “feature” posts, but, to quote a famous song, “it’s my blog, and I’ll post what I want to”.

**future home of TCJ Playlist graphic**

The latest addition to The Conservative Journal line-up of entertainment is the “TCJ Playlist”.  How this will work is that each time I review a CD or a new song (Which I plan to start doing soon.) I will decide if it makes the cut for the playlist or not.  The playlist does not necessarily include songs that I like, but rather songs that are not complete garbage.  If a full CD is reviewed, I do reserve the rite to “line-item veto” (Barack/Congress, take notes for this part) the songs that I do not like, placing only those that I deem not complete garbage on the playlist.  I think this holds the potential to be a lot of fun for me, and moderate fun for those that read along.  As usual, any suggestions for the playlist are greatly appreciated and welcomed, simply e-mail your suggestions to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.

What does this have to with politics, you ask?  Everything, because politics is in everything and music is a thing.

Don’t forget, if you have a request for an album review or a suggestion for the playlist, send your e-mails to theconservativejournal@gmail.com, or leave a comment below.  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

Thanks for participating!

Rick

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Filed under Entertainment, Music, TCJ Playlist