Pack up your troubles and just get happy!

Despite being busy as hell, this week brought many little moments of happiness :o) Well, there was the feeling of satisfaction at the end of last week's Hope Street event, yet another celebratory weekend with family/close friends and of course that the were-bunny got a coveted job that allows him to travel to the home country. The bitch.

Yah, I did a happy dance and all but hopped around his workplace in glee......for the uninitiated, the happy dance is a merry jig that is brought on with the announcement of happy news such as: a promotion, a new (good) haircut, that your hated rival got fat or fell on their face while trying to schmooze the bigwigs, you know...the good stuff ;o)

Well, onwards we go! It's time for the yearly review and of course to gripe about the latest avalanche of greatest hits CDs that have hit the market faster than you can say bye, bye, bye to crap they pass of as music. You know what I mean, each year, the music industry churns out Greatest Hits packages from almost every artist in their stable...including ones that barely registered in the scale like Hilary Duff (you mean she actually had hits?! That probably discounts stuff like killer litter...heh)

So far, Savage Garden, Melissa Etheridge, Destiny's Child, The Eurythmics, Anastascia, Simply Red, Alanis Morisette, Issac Hayes and even Bryan, yes Bryan Adams all release GH packages to cash in on the season. Ker Ching! Mr Adams should know this routine well, having released at least three GH albums since 1993's So Far So Good. Honestly, does he really have so many fans? Not to be outdone, two of the biggest boybands in the 90s - Take That and N-Sync have also jumped on the bandwagon. You can say what you like but the GH packages are really value for money. Especially for the el cheapos who are too skimpy to buy entire albums...idiots.

But my favourite albums of the year? Let's walk down the line:

10. Franz Ferdinand - You Could Have it So Much Better. For a sophomore album, this one kicks ass! Play it on LOUD!

9. The Ponys - Celebration Castle. Fell in love on the first listen. Textured and bold, it sounds different with very listen..
8. Editors - Back Room. The first time I heard this album, I was reminded of Interpol's Turn on the Bright Lights. Brooding, melancholy rock. The standout track? All Sparks.
7. Silent Alarm - Bloc Party. Jean & I have argued over this one but I still love it. It's dance, it's punk. It reminds me of Joy Division and the first time I heard The Music.
6. Depeche Mode - Playing the Angel.Not as confused sounding as 2001's Exciter, Angel sounds like the Depeche Mode of old, haunting sounds over Martin Gore's brilliant lyrics. Old skool!
5. Kaiser Chiefs - Employment. Just like The Killers last year, this was one album that kept me perpetually happy with its catchy tunes and yell out loud lyrics. I predict a riot. Indeed.
4. Oasis - Don't Believe the Truth. Post What's the Story Morning Glory, I thought the later albums were rubbish. Heathen Chemistry showed some promise but this brilliant.
3. Pernice Brothers - Discover a Lovelier You. To an extent, their easy-listening California
sun/surf sound reminds me of The Thrill's debut album
Stars - Set Yourself on Fire. What got me hooked on this is the voices of vocalists Amy Millan
and Torquil Campbell. Mesmerizing. Oh and Jean, they're from Montreal!

And lastly, the album that I have practically on replay mode over the last 12 months. DDDrrruruummmrrrrooolllll pllleeaassseee!!! It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Blunty! Well, actually, it's NOT Blunty, even if I liked his album well-enough. He's good but just not great.

1. Ryan Adams & The Cardinals - Cold Roses. Go ahead and mock...ya, you know of my loathing for everything country but then again...this one kinda snuck up on me. While it doesn't quite reach the heights of the classic Gold, the tracks here are simply fabulous and there are no fillers despite being a double album. It's heaps better than Rock N Roll...and it's not all Sweet Illusions ;o)

It's interesting to see that musically, I've evolved from the early days of 80s hair-metal (rawk on!) and 90s grunge into the mixed sounds of what is known as Indie today. Must listen to everything...oh and Coldplay is seriously overrated this year. I dunno about you but R&B's a little too pretentious for me...good to dance to once in a while but the lyrics are appalling! I seriously encourage everyone to go out and listen to the other bands that are out there. You'll be amazed.

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Ever prodded a sleeping dragon, only to have it whip up and bite you in the ass? Well, neither have I. But I advocate that you should try everything...once ;P


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