Saturday, February 28, 2009



The Virgin All-Time Album Top 1000 + 50 List

Posted: 28 Feb 2009 10:00 AM PST

Crowbar - Bad Manors 1971

Posted: 28 Feb 2009 09:18 AM PST

Cyclic Defrost Magazine

Cyclic Defrost Magazine

Link to Cyclic Defrost Magazine

The Teknoist - …Like A Hurricane Made Of Zombies (Ad Noiseam)

Posted: 28 Feb 2009 02:19 AM PST

The Teknoist

Manchester, UK-based hardcore / gabber / breakcore producer Mike Hayward has been releasing tracks as The Teknoist since 2003 on labels including Cock Rock Disco, Planet Mu and his own Ninja Columbo imprint, but in the wake of last year’s split 12" with Eustacian ‘Pillaged & Plundered’, ‘Like A Hurricane’ represents his debut full-length under the moniker for Ad Noiseam. Those who’ve heard the aforementioned 12" will no doubt already have a good idea of what to expect here. As furious time-stretched workouts such as ‘War Dog’ and ‘Richie’s Breakcore Lovesong’ clearly illustrate, The Teknoist specialises in utilising all the familiar hallmarks of the breakcore genre – the spooky samples pillaged from war / horror movies, violently mutilated Amen breaks and neckbreaking sudden stop-start dynamics.

In this case however, while Hayward’s certainly managed to craft one of the most sleek, impressive and downright fearsome breakcore thrasharamas of recent times, the sheer sonic violence is frequently underpinned with a sense of wide-eyed epic grandeur – something that’s down to his deft deployment of deep orchestral chords beneath many of the furious arrangements. The hammering ‘War Dog’ meanwhile sees the familiar sludgy Slayer-style metal riffs making an appearance to spectacular effect, before closer ‘Closing Up VIP’ plays the biggest wildcard here, opening with a beatless wash of gorgeous synthetic orchestration before slowly unfurling into an epic journey out that’s equal parts gabbercore and movie theme. An impressive debut album from The Teknoist that also provides a pretty sweet entry point for those new to the breakcore / gabber game.

Snob's Music

Snob's Music

Q&A with: Lisa Hannigan

Posted: 28 Feb 2009 02:07 PM PST

Bill Janovitz covers Husker Du, MP3

Posted: 28 Feb 2009 10:08 AM PST

The Supersuckers: "Music from the DVD in the CD 'Get It Together'" review

Posted: 28 Feb 2009 06:41 AM PST

Bircolage: album info, "Turn U Over" MP3

Posted: 28 Feb 2009 12:25 AM PST

Whatever happened to: The Diodes?

Posted: 27 Feb 2009 10:15 PM PST

Top Hits Musik Entertainment

Top Hits Musik Entertainment

Taylor Swift - Fearless (Full Album 2008)

Posted: 28 Feb 2009 12:54 AM PST

St. Petersburg Times, November 2008
Why we care: There's never been a more cynical time in pop music, at least from a critic's point of view. Not only do we assume most Top 40 tartlets aren't doing their own singing -- we've accepted it, grading on cultural impact, art and integrity be damned. The 18-year-old Swift's pop-country pirouettes have all the weight of a dandelion crown, but she can sing and write a bit and flash a genuine smile. Ultimately, though, the Pennsylvania gal is one of the hottest things in music more for what she's not. Why we like it: With feet-on-dashboard beats and innocent guitar strums, Swift's sophomore helping of country fluff (see first single Love Story) details the kind of drama and heartbreak crescendo that can devastate a least until after recess. Her voice is strong when it has to be, wispy and lilty in those quiet times. She knows catchy, that's for sure.

Reminds us of: The star pupil at Faith Hill's Camp for Exceptional Blonds

Grade: B

Arkansas Democrat Gazette, December 28, 2008
Swift Fearless, taking the spotlight away from Rose BY WERNER TRIESCHMANN

This is so old-school pop star.

Three days before Christmas and a stop at west Little Rock's Best Buy to snag Taylor Swift's Fearless turns up empty - that's right, not a single copy to be had in the whole store. Boxes of Guitar Hero and gleaming iNanos were still waiting to be bought. Then there were the well-stocked displays for a certain new album by Guns 'N Roses.

Taylor Alison Swift, who turned 19 on Dec. 19, was only 4 years old when Axl Rose started working on Chinese Democracy. Today, however, Swift, the cat-eyed, curly-haired singersongwriter, is the most popular music act in the country. Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers have the power of the 'tween marketplace and the mighty Disney behind them, but only two full-length albums into her career, Swift is challenging the rule that nobody makes rock stars anymore.

Swift is, of course, slotted as a country act and her first big hit, "Tim McGraw," reinforced that label. Among the many things that Fearless confirms, the foremost might be that the Pennsylvania-native Swift is navigating the broad waters of pop music. There's a banjo and fiddle here and there on Fearless, but the symphonic strings and general guitar uplift dominate.

You already know what Fearless is about - or maybe your favorite/closest teenager informed you in a breathless text message filled with exclamation points and all caps. Romance! Doomed romance! Being 15 and being crazy in love with Romeo even though of course it can't work out because he's a vampire - oh wait, that's something else.

Maybe you also already know that Swift's name is on all of these songs and that there are only five or so where the teenager shares credit with John Rich (of Big & Rich fame) and others. Maybe you've already decided that you love or hate this young, beautiful and now-rich singer-songwriter because of what you already know.

It's not likely that even Swift's biggest fans could tell from her low-key, mostly-acoustic, happy-to-be-here debut that the girl has a gift that translates to a bigger stage. That is to say, Fearless is about as tightly constructed and as hook-heavy as any pop record could be. The hits are certainly going to keep on coming after "Love Story" has its run on the charts.

While most of the early praise for the record has focused on Swift's sharp eye for detail (the nervous anticipation that comes with the first day of high school and the insanity that comes with young love), few have spoken about her voice. Although you can take it to the bank that Nashville's most expensive machines were applied to smooth out the edges, Swift is still able to convey the passion - the fragile feelings - that drives so many of these songs.

Taken as a whole, the great sweep of the production elevates Fearless, makes it more than a heartsick diary typed on perfumed resume paper. That's not to say that Swift's obsession over the fickle ways of young men doesn't start to wear.

The last song - the abstract, gospel-ish "Change" - isn't enough of a curve to break up the feel that too many of the tunes here are about the same thing with the same kind of tempo.

But even at 19 years old, Swift is smart enough to play to her strengths and her strengths are enough to make Fearless rich and satisfying in ways that few albums can match. Eat your heart out, Axl Rose.

Us Weekly, October 31, 2008
3 1/2 STARS

Ah, young love. Country sensation Taylor Swift, 18, chronicles her formative years' romantic highs and lows on this stellar follow-up to her triple-platinum self-titled debut. Writing and coproducing all 13 cuts, the recent high school grad from Hendersonville, Tennessee - who just split from teen hunk Joe Jonas, 19 - tells the story of her freshman year on the sweet, midtempo "Fifteen" and ruminates on a deteriorating relationship (hello, Joe!) on the mature "Forever & Always."

Billboard Magazine, November 7, 2008
Those who thought Taylor Swift was a big deal after the release of her first record should be prepared: She's about to get way bigger. Though they're written by a teenager, Swift's songs have broad appeal, and therein lies the genius and accessibility of her second effort. The insightful "Fifteen" ("In your life you'll do greater things than dating a boy on the football team") will connect with teens looking for hope and with adult women looking back, while the sparse "White Horse" will appeal to anyone who's experienced love lost, which is to say, everyone. "Hey Stephen" ("All those other girls, they're beautiful but would they write a song for you") displays Swift's confident sense of humor, and "Breathe" (written with Colbie Caillat, who sings on the track) is a love-gone-wrong song suitable for women of all ages., November 11, 2008
By Kevin Amorim

Those who thought Taylor Swift was a big deal after the release of her first record should be prepared: She's about to get way bigger.

Although they're written by a teenager, Swift's songs have broad appeal, and therein lies the genius and accessibility of her second effort, "Fearless" (Big Machine).

The insightful "Fifteen" ("In your life you'll do greater things than dating a boy on the football team") will connect with teens looking for hope and with adult women looking back, while the sparse "White Horse" will appeal to anyone who's experienced love lost, which is to say, everyone. "Hey Stephen" ("All those other girls, they're beautiful but would they write a song for you") displays Swift's confident sense of humor, and "Breathe" (written with Colbie Caillat, who sings on the track) is a love-gone-wrong song suitable for women of all ages. - Billboard.


BOTTOM LINE Wise beyond her years.

USA Today, November 11, 2008
Taylor Swift hits all the right words on 'Fearless' * * * (out of four)


For the past decade, the term singer/songwriter has been liberally applied to hot young artists who rely on more experienced collaborators to hone their tunes, and to provide the savvy production that usually upstages the melody and lyrics anyway. But Swift cut her creative teeth in Nashville, where storytelling still matters; and for her sophomore album, Fearless, she wrote more than half the songs independently, and clearly had a big hand in the rest.

You just can't fake the kind of innocence and wonder that ring through the glowing title track and the moonstruck single Love Story, or the guileless urgency and unmannered precociousness marking more bittersweet songs such as Fifteen and White Horse.

Swift's grainy-sweet vocals have a similar freshness, even on the less memorable cuts. It's a pleasure to hear a gifted teenager who sounds like a gifted teenager, rather than a mouthpiece for a bunch of older pros' collective notion of adolescent yearning. -- Elysa Gardner

Baltimore Sun, November 11, 2008
By Rashod D. Ollison Seemingly out of nowhere in 2006, Taylor Swift did what is becoming almost impossible to do in today's crumbling music industry: She sold more than 3 million copies of her first album. And the country-pop star did it all rather quietly, garnering a Grammy nomination for best new artist along the way.

Svelte and blond with a sculptured face the camera adores, the 16- year-old singer wasn't a teen dream manufactured by the Disney machine. She also wasn't packaged as a vampish pop tart, wailing suggestive songs that belied her years.

Her earnest but girlish vocals were ensconced in sympathetic arrangements that were more pop than country. But it was Swift's gift as a songwriter that pushed her ahead of the pack. She wrote about her bad luck with boys in detailed, sometimes touching lyrics that never felt too precious. In fact, Swift's songs are sturdy and universal enough to work in any musical context.

On Fearless, her hotly anticipated sophomore album, she basically sticks with what worked on the debut. She's 18 now. And although her maturation on the album is deliberately pitched to the country-pop crossover crowd, Swift's songs remain tightly crafted. The melodies may not always be immediate, but the tunes still worm their way into your head.

Lyrically, Swift is still boy-crazy. She achingly pines for the dreamy ones ("Love Story," "You Belong With Me," and the breezy title track) and dismisses the empty-headed ones ("Tell Me Why" and "White Horse"). She refreshingly eschews the role of diva wannabe and remains the down-to-earth girlfriend next door.

"The Best Day," an affecting ballad, is a lovely valentine to her family. Simple and understated, it's sure to be a hit with fans.

Lehigh Valley Express Times, November 11, 2008
Berks County native Taylor Swift's new CD highlights new music releases by John A. Zukowski

Taylor Swift's new CD "Fearless" comes out today. Other new releases include Enya, T-Pain, Tracy Chapman and David Archuleta. Taylor Swift is just 18 years old. But for me she's done something really important for mainstream country music: she's put some feeling and soul back into country.

Swift writes her own songs (unusual for a country singer). And a lot of her songs are about her hopes and her experiences. So it doesn't matter that she's just 18. It sounds real. And that honesty is what makes the best country music. And she makes other country singers older than her seem phony in comparison -- even someone not so old like Carrie Underwood.

Swift's second album "Fearless" comes out today. She played the title song from it on "The Late Show" with David Letterman last night and it sounded great. The lyrics were really heartfelt and direct. She really could have been a punk rocker if she wasn't a country singer. I really like how she's shaken things up in the mainstream country music genre.

Blender Magazine, December 2008
Twang Banger: Nashville blonde belts 13 more hits about driving around small towns with boys by Rob sheffield


Boys, boys! Won't you leave Taylor Swift alone? Can't you see the poor girl already has too many teardrops on her guitar? Too late--all over her fantastic second album, the country phenom gets bedeviled by the boyfolk, making the thrills and spills of a two-week teen romance sound as torchy as one of Patsy Cline's marriages. She is put together to fall apart, the kind of gal who applies her mascara with great care because she plans to cry it all off in the parking lot. In "Fearless," she wails about getting caught in the rain "in my best dress"--like she'd wear anything else to go ride around in a storm. This girl likes to make a scene.

Since she's only 18 and has been a hard-working full-time country megastar for the past two years, it's a marvel she has so much romantic roadkill under her wheels. But Swift has the personality and poise to make these songs hit as hard as gems like "Tim McGraw" and "Our Song" from her smash debut, and, once again, she wrote or cowrote them all. The music drives hard enough to keep up with her tingling pheromones--when she slows down for the drippy piano ballad "You're Not Sorry," she reminds you what a smart job she normally does of keeping the tempo jumping.

As for her boys--oh, the carnage. She makes mincemeat out of these hapless critters. She wipes her boots with boys who treat her kind and, uch, "talk business with my father" but don't get her hot ("That's the Way I Loved You"), and with boys who get her hot but don't treat her kind ("White Horse"). She even meets a boy who falls in love with a different girl ("She wears short skirts, I wear T-shirts/She's cheer captain, and I'm on the bleachers"), but rest assured, that doesn't happen often. "15" takes a big-sisterly tone to advise younger girls not to get hung up on marrying their freshman-year boyfriends, but that's as much adult restraint as Swift allows. In "Hey Stephen," she coos, "All those other girls, well they're beautiful/But would they write a song for you?" Not as good as these songs, that's for sure.

Today's Country Magazine
by Chelsea Rae

Rarely today do you find such care taken in creating a full fledged album but Taylor has done just that. From album cover to final note every entity is Taylor. Fearless is an ambiance of sounds, symbols and colors all metonymic of Swift from her carefully chosen cover shot, heart shaped hand print on the CD itself and most of all the tantalizing lyrics everyone begs for more of. The digital diary begins with the album track "Fearless," a song about the best first date Taylor says she's never had. Swift has out done herself on the melodies backing this track as well as through out, you could play each song without the lyrics and still receive her message. Swift shows maturing in her writing and vocals but the subject line still remains the same, relationships. Not just with boys but those who are close to h er. On the second track Taylor sings about what it's like to be a freshman in high school in "Fifteen," the writing is so descriptive it takes you back to your own first day of high school. You feel yourself go through the rollercoaster of emotions you had once before all inside the 4:55 story. Best friend Abigail makes a lyrical cameo appearance in the line "...Sat down next to a red head named Abigail and soon enough we were best friends." The third track belongs to current #1 single "Love Story," this song is followed by a slew of ear candy and potential singles with, "Hey Stephen," "White Horse," and "You Belong With Me." "Hey Stephen," is as addicting as former smash hit "Our Song." If you aren't listening to it in the car you'll find yourself singing it to yourself constantly. "White Horse," has already received recognition on the season opening of Grey's Anatomy and has ideal soundtrack appeal. "You Belong With Me," is incredibly catchy a song that pokes fun at that "other gir l." Kansas fan Nickie Yardley 23, references the lyrics in saying "Her writing is so relatable cause I'm that t-shirt and sneaker wearing girl." The album makes a transition midway when the songs shift into lyrics of hurt and let down. Swift's seventh track "Breathe," was a collaborative effort with Grammy nominated Colbie Caillat whose vocals are also featured throughout. ITunes overnight success, "You're Not Sorry," suffices as Swift's darkest track to date as she calls out a former relationship. You can hear the hurt in her voice while she slides through the hook. The angst continues with songs "The Way I Loved You," and "Forever and Always," a dig at ex Joe Jonas. The album shifts gears once again on track twelve "The Best Day," This song is the most tender lyric and vocal on the entire record, a morsel of Taylor's childhood. Kentucky fan Allison Scott 18, could not have put it any better in saying "'The Best Day" is a heartfelt and touching ballad, that really pulls on my hear t as a daughter who adores her mother, when I listen to Swift's dulcet voice and the sound and tempo of the music." The song ties the album together, as it takes you through each fragment of Swift's life. The album comes full circle when it ends on "Change." This record is filled with lyrical genius Taylor created 8 of the 13 tracks all on her own a rarity by industry standard. "Fearless" has complete universal appeal, pigeon holing her into just Country does not do her craft justice, there is no genre just-Taylor.

Metromix, November 10, 2008
Taylor Swift, 'Fearless'

Nashville's hottest young star lives up the hype

By Andy Hermann Critic's Rating: 4 1/2 stars out of 5

The buzz: All Taylor Swift did with her self-titled debut album was sell three million copies, produce a pair of chart-topping singles ("Our Song" and "Should've Said No"), get nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy and win virtually every country music award a newcomer can get. Two years later, Nashville's teen phenom is now all of 18 and ready to show that her debut was no fluke.

The verdict: Swift is already a superstar in country music circles, but "Fearless" should catapult her to the top of the pop heap, as well. It's very nearly a flawless record, full of big-hearted anthems with catchy melodies, chiming, pop-radio guitars (and the occasional fiddle and banjo, as if to say, "Don't worry, I'm still a Nashville girl at heart") and disarmingly frank lyrics about being an average American kid with real-life hopes, dreams and dramas. On "Fifteen," she captures the wide-eyed excitement of dating older boys in high school, singing "he's got a car!" like it's the most exciting thing imaginable. "Hey Stephen" is an irresistibly sunny come-on of a love song; "The Best Day" miraculously manages to portray a happy childhood without getting cloying or sentimental; even lead single "Love Story," with its corny "Romeo and Juliet" references, is infused with so much sweetness and precocious wit that it's impossible not to get swept up in the song's surging chorus. Right from the get-go, it appeared that Swift's talent ran deep; on this record, she proves it, and then some.

Did you know? On the CMT show "Crossroads," Swift teamed up British pop-metal veterans Def Leppard to perform songs like "Photograph" and "Pour Some Sugar on Me." (The pairing is less odd than it sounds; the producer behind those classic `80s Def Leppard albums, John "Mutt" Lange, also produced hits for one of Swift's biggest influences, Shania Twain.)

About the Artist
Stepping off Music Row and into the small but stylish lobby of Big Machine Records, a visitor quickly realizes it's not just the walls that reveal the story of Taylor Swift's meteoric rise to stardom. Even the floors have a tale to tell. With much of the vertical real estate already claimed by industry awards, framed national magazine covers, and gold and platinum records, the staff has adopted the tactic of neatly stacking the continuous stream of accolades and achievements along the baseboards. All that's needed is a break in a busy intern's schedule to grab a hammer, a few nails and search out any open wall space.

The photo most often found framed inside with all that precious metal is certainly a familiar one to millions of her fans: the cover of her first album, 2006's Taylor Swift. Knowing what we know now about Taylor, it's a striking image. Gazing back at us are the calm yet intense eyes of a sixteen-year-old girl who knows she has much to say, but isn't really sure if anyone will want to listen.

"It's crazy, the first time making an album, not knowing if people are going to care what I write in a song," Swift admits. "And then the second time around...knowing that there are people who are going to know the lyrics that mean so much to me. It makes it all worthwhile."

A second time around. It's hard to believe it's already time for Taylor to follow up her triple platinum debut. Especially considering that, two years after it's release, it is still near the top of the country charts.

What's even harder to believe is that Taylor Swift has yet to turn nineteen.

And when it came time to put a name to her sophomore effort, Swift decided on one word that just might be the perfect adjective to describe her journey to this moment. FEARLESS.

After all, this is the girl who, at the tender age of 10, had the guts to take the stage at every karaoke contest, festival, and county fair that passed through her hometown of Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. This is the girl, who at age 11, took a trip to Music City and left in her wake a trail of amused receptionists as she dropped off her homemade demo tape at every label in town. This is the girl who, at only 14, relocated with her entire family to Nashville to sign a songwriting deal with one of the most prestigious publishers in all of music. This is the teenager who signed her first record deal before she could drive. Who sidestepped the major labels in town to take a chance with a smaller start-up label. Who had the guts to step from an ACM awards stage and into the audience to introduce herself to Tim McGraw live on national television - just seconds after playing the last chord of her first hit song that bears his name.

It's safe to say Taylor Swift knows a thing or two about being FEARLESS.

"It's a big deal to title your album, so I wanted to make sure that it was the right call," says Swift. "I started thinking about the word `fearless' and what it means to me. It isn't that you're completely unafraid. I think fearless is having fears, but jumping anyway."

Jump? With this record, Taylor Swift takes a flying leap. FEARLESS is a creative snapshot of an undeniable talent taking the next big step, both in her life and in her music. The high school freshman who once sang of "trying to find a place in this world" has now seen so much more of it. It shows in the new music.

"I think that when you grow up two years, you learn a few things," reflects Swift. "Some people have been saying that the songs seem more mature. You know I wasn't really going for that. I just wrote what was happening to me. I grew up a little bit and that came into my songwriting."

It's important to remember here -- these are truly her words. Following an impressive trend established on her debut CD, Taylor has once again written or co-written every song on FEARLESS - including seven tracks by herself. Songwriting is a craft Swift has been honing since first strumming a chord on a guitar at the age of 12. By that evening, she had written her first tune. She was hooked. Her life became consumed with songs. Every spare moment was spent writing, playing, or thinking about music. Even while hitting the books as a straight-A student at Hendersonville High School, just outside of Nashville, she was doodling lyrics in the margins of her notebooks.

Even now, with her life barreling down the country music fast lane, Taylor still makes it a priority to put the guitar, pen, and paper she keeps nearby to good use. And it's not easy with her schedule. After signing her record deal, Taylor left her high school locker behind to be home-schooled out on the road. Now instead of English and Latin class, Taylor has been studying George Strait, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Brad Paisley and Rascal Flatts on tour. Instead of class pictures, she's posing for the covers of Rolling Stone, Billboard and Seventeen.

Now, more than ever, making music has become her way of making sense of all the madness. Writing songs helps her stay grounded as her career launches into the stratosphere. But for listeners popping in Taylor's new CD and expecting to hear a laundry list of lyrics on the plight of country music superstar rising through the ranks, FEARLESS is going to surprise you.

"I didn't want to write songs about being on the road and being in hotels and missing your family and missing your friends," insists Swift. "When I was like 14 or 15 and I would hear those things on an album...being alone, living out of a suitcase... and I was always like, `Ugh, skip!' I'm inspired by boys and love. Those are my favorite things to write about and I don't think that that is limited to high school. I'd rather write songs about how I'm feeling and the relationship side of things."

As we quickly realize from several of the tracks on FEARLESS, Taylor has found out relationships only get more complicated with age. Songs like "You're Not Sorry", "Tell Me Why," "Forever & Always," and "White Horse," the latter of which debuted in the 2008 season opener of the primetime drama Grey's Anatomy, find Taylor has learned that "happily ever after" endings are not always a given.

"I think I'm very fascinated by the differences between reality and fairy tales," Swift says. "When we're little, we read these books and we see cartoons and the bad guy is always wearing black. You always know who he is. But in real life, the bad guy can be incredibly charming and have a great smile and perfect hair. He says things that make you laugh and he's sweet and he's funny, but you don't realize that he's going to cause you a lot of pain."

But lest you think it's all ogres and trolls reeking havoc on the landscape of Taylor's love-life, there is a welcomed cameo from a prince charming or two riding to the rescue.

The album's first single, "Love Story," offers up a countrified version of Shakespeare's play that is anything but a tragedy. In Taylor's world, Romeo is still breathing when the curtain closes...and Juliet has a ring on her finger. And in the incredibly infectious "Hey Stephen," Taylor proves she truly is FEARLESS by singing about a secret crush - who will most assuredly not remain a secret for long. Yes, the boy really exists. And yes, Stephen is his real name. "He has no idea the song is written about him," Taylor says with laugh. "It's someone who I've always been friends with and always kind of had a thing for...and he doesn't know. It's always fun for me to put something on the album that is personal. Something I know I'm going to have to deal with when the record comes out."

She even leaves listeners with a positive vibe. The album's final track is a song Swift wrote to inspire her during some of the tougher moments in the early going of her career. "There were times I was working so hard that I didn't realize that every single day our numbers were getting bigger," Swift remembers. "Every single day, our fan base was growing. Every single day, the work that we were doing was paying off. Then, during the 2007 CMA Awards, when they called out my name as the Horizon Award winner, I looked over and saw the president of my record label crying. Walking up those stairs, it just occurred to me that that was the night things changed. It changed everything."

Some things for Taylor, however, have stayed the same. Her steady creative partner Liz Rose is back on board. Rose was a co-writer with Taylor on seven songs from her debut album, and was the first person to encourage her to release "Tim McGraw" out into the world.

Swift has also invited three more talents in to the writing mix on FEARLESS. After getting the title track off the ground with Rose, Swift called on songwriter Hillary Lindsey ("Jesus, Take The Wheel") to help bring the song in for a landing. Blown away by pop songwriter Colbie Caillat's talents on her debut album CoCo, Taylor immediately reached out to her to collaborate. The result is "Breathe," with Caillat adding vocals to the track. "I think she sounds beautiful on it," gushes Swift.

And the final pairing brought two country forces of nature together in the same Music City studio. Taylor Swift meet John Rich.

"It was always one of my goals to write with John," says Swift. "I had heard so many things about him. I just wanted to see what it was like to get into a room with him because I know I'm a very opinionated writer and I knew he was a very opinionated writer. So I knew this was either going to be the best thing in the world or was just going to be a complete train wreck." Not only does the song they created stay on the tracks, it's proof that two great cooks can rock a kitchen. Taylor and John clicked in a big way recording "The Way You Loved Me," a song about the age-old story of a good girl pining after a bad boy.

As if writing every song on the album and living the life of a country superstar wasn't enough, Taylor added even more to her workload when recording FEARLESS. She joins Nathan Chapman, the main man behind the board for her debut album, as a co-producer on the record. "All the songs for the second record, it's like they were already produced in my head," recalls Swift. "When I was writing a song, I knew what every instrument was doing. The strings, mandolin, banjo, or dobro. I heard it all. It was just really cool to have all those instruments I heard end up on the album."

But even as she experiments with new sounds and new directions for her music, Taylor Swift knows the power of a song begins and ends with its lyrics. And it is in two of the softer, more stripped down moments on FEARLESS - the tracks "Fifteen" and "Best Day" -- that Taylor's extraordinary gift for writing shines the brightest as she remembers fondly moments from her past.

We've always known Taylor was an old soul, but songs with this level of reflection from someone still so young - they can leave you shaking your head in amazement. Then you remember she's just a few years removed from her own freshman year - and you understand why her fans, including her over 1 million friends on her MySpace page, love her. She puts to music exactly what they are feeling.

"I want my fans to know - I'm the same girl I was when the first album came out," says Swift. "I'm just not in high school and I have a different schedule. I feel the same things, I feel the same way. And my songs are where I'll never hold back."

That is music to a Taylor Swift fan's ears.

Product Description
2008 sophomore album from the young Country singer/songwriter who charmed the hearts and charts of America beginning with her debut single 'Tim McGraw'. Her triple-platinum self-titled debut release has scanned over 3.4 million units and spent more weeks at #1 than any other Country album this year: 24 weeks! Taylor is the only Country female artist to have five Top 10 singles from a debut album and the only Country female vocalist this decade to reach the Top 5 on Billboard's Hot 100 Chart. Needless to say, she's a sensation that has only just begun to show what she is capable of. 13 tracks including the single 'Love Story' and 'Change', first heard during the 2008 Summer Olympics. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Track List :
1. Fearless
2. 15
3. Love Story
4. Hey Stephen
5. White Horse
6. You Belong with Me
7. Breathe
8. Tell Me Why
9. You're Not Sorry
10. That's the Way I Loved You
11. Forever & Always
12. The Best Day
13. Change
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Bone Thugs N Harmony, Uni 5 Interview

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Snoop & Ice Cube Choopin It Up About Retiring Kobes Number 8

Posted: 28 Feb 2009 01:25 AM PST


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Ryan Adams - Everyone Knows

Posted: 28 Feb 2009 03:28 PM PST

Bell X1 - Blue Lights on the Runway

Posted: 28 Feb 2009 09:30 AM PST

The Ireland-based Bell X1 evolved out of the Damien Rice-fronted Juniper. After Rice quit over an argument with the band about packaging their CDs with recyclable material, drummer Paul Noonan took over front man duties and the band changed their name. Though perhaps lacking the grandeur of Coldplay and Keane, Bell X1 fit nicely into the aforementioned's category of UK bands boasting intelligent writing and sturdy composition, but lacking the edge needed to enthrall North American listeners not yet detached enough to listen to adult-contemporary radio stations. The touches of decidedly pretty piano and singer Noonan's calculatedly gentle vocals all further indicate the band's target audience to be 30+ers that prefer their music subdued and unchallenging. bell-x1-blue-lights-onthe-runway-2009

On the first and more interesting half of Blue Lights On The Runway, this is less apparent. The songs are crafted around beats and contain some of the "oomph" the later half fatally lacks. Opener "The Ribs Of A Broken Umbrella" starts the album off well, with a variety of euphoric electronic sounds wrapped around its basic two-chord structure. On "The Great Defector", with only a subtle shift in intention, Noonan's vocals takes on a David Byrne-like character. He playfully sing-speaks lyrics like, "the accountants have taken the movie," while interesting harmonies, 8-bit keyboards and an animate bass line all flit around the soundscape. Without question, it's the album's best track.

The rest of Blue Lights on the Runway, however, goes downhill from there. "A Better Band" shows more of the Talking Heads influence, but completely lacks the manic element that made Byrne and company so compelling. "Breastfed"'s chorus is a valiant attempt at harder rock but fails to convince. "Light Catches Your Face" is the shmaltzer you can expect to hear on “Grey's Anatomy”.

On Blue Lights on the Runway's better tracks, Bell X1 show that they have the ability to write music meant for more than network drama placement. Perhaps they just choose not to because there's simply more money to be made off the “Grey's Anatomy” audience than hipsters who'll download the album (without paying for it), blog about how it's the greatest thing since OK Computer, and then forget about it the next week. If a smart band isn't necessarily a good one, in this case, Bell X1 is a very smart band.

Blue Lights on the Runway comes out March 3 on BellyUp Records.

01. The Ribs of a Broken Umbrella
02. How Your Heart Is Wired
03. The Great Defector
04. Blow Ins
05. Amelia
06. A Better Band
07. Breastfed
08. Light Catches Your Face
09. One Stringed Harp
10. The Curtains Are Twitchin’

Bell X1: website | myspace

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