1. Amy Diamond - "Domino"
Comment: This my favorite song off of the semi-underrated third Amy Diamond album. And since "Stay My Baby" was just outside my top 10 last year, that means I like it a lot. The album wasn't that good, and it was far inferior to her second album, but it had a few really good tracks, including this driving up-tempo number with a killer chorus. I also like the main instrumental riff a lot.
2. Dido - "Hunter"
Comment: Ah, pleasant, sweet-voiced female music. Will your charms ever cease to grab me? Although I'm not generally a big Dido fan, this is one of my top 5 favorite songs in that "genre" of this decade, and it's definitely my favorite Dido song. It's really pretty and catchy and I like Dido's voice. Basically, it's a better version of "White Flag", which is a pretty good song as is.
3. Natalie Imbruglia - "Intuition"
Comment: I've previously written about this song. It's not my favorite Natalie (it's probably not in my Natalie top 10), but it's really good, and it's the one that fit in best on the mix. The problem is that Natalie's style is so distinctive that she doesn't fit well on a standard mix. It's so sunny! Natalie is usually best in desperate, pretty longing mode, but this is one of her better relentlessly upbeat songs. It's kind of cheesy but I love Natalie and I love this song.
4. Blake Shelton - "She Don't Love Me"
Comment: One of my 10 or 20 favorite songs of last year, but I haven't really talked about it because it was never a single. I really like the central lyrical conceit, and the chorus is very catchy. Plus, Blake gives a great vocal performance.
5. Sheryl Crow - "Can't Cry Anymore"
Comment: This is a standout album track from her first album, Tuesday Night Music Club. The stuttering guitar and rambling, talky melody in the verse makes the song roll along nicely. The song doesn't go anywhere necessarily but it floats into the background, and the lyrics are really weird!
6. Rachel Stevens - "Funky Dory"
7. Darren Hayes - "Crush (1980 Me)"
Comment: I'd imagine that almost anybody reading my blog would already know these two songs. But, I'm sure my friend Rich doesn't know them, and they are two of my favorites of this decade. "Funky Dory" is very sleek and "Crush" is just so unabashedly poppy and catchy. I have found that "Funky Dory" holds up better than any other Rachel Stevens, excepting "I Said Never Again (But Here We Are)" and "Sweet Dreams My L.A. Ex".
8. Miranda Lambert - "Guilty In Here"
Comment: Like the Blake Shelton, this is a superior album track from 2007. Actually, I included it on my top 10 songs of the year list to Poptimists. This was one of the most acclaimed tracks of last year, and I don't have much to add to the acclaim. Miranda is a great singer, and the lyrics to this song are really good. It was the best country song released last year, and one of the top 10 of the decade.
9. Connie Francis - "Stupid Cupid"
Comment: I guess there wasn't really any reason to include this on the mix. But, it's one of my favorite 1950's hits, and I think it sounds really modern compared to most of the stuff that gets played on oldies radio. It has one of the best all time melodies and awesome lyrics! Any pop fan should know this song, it's one of the early songs that set the template for pop music to come.
10. that dog - "Every Time I Try"
Comment: The purpose of this mix was to provide indie friendly pop for my friend to enjoy, but I threw him a bone and included a genuine indie song. That dog were the first band who I ever saw in concert, opening for The Wallflowers, and I loved them when I heard them. This album was one of the very first I ever bought and was one of the first pieces of music I really loved. It's a key part of my musical autobiography. So, obviously I have a very personal connection to it, and I love this driving, pretty ballad. It's probably my third favorite song on the album, behind "Retreat from the Sun" and "Minneapolis" (which is probably my favorite indie rock song of all time). But it's very poppy and has really good piano, even if the indie guitar does get a little tiresome.
11. Jaci Velasquez - "On My Knees"
Comment: I've slowly been reacquainting myself with my past of listening to contemporary Christan music. Most of it wasn't that good, but I've previously repped for a couple ones that hold up (Point of Grace - "Circle of Friends" and Amy Grant). Other than the very best of Amy, this testament to the power of prayer is probably my favorite contemporary Christian song. It's really pretty and Jaci is a really good singer. When she lets her voice loose at the end it's awesome! I love the way the pre-chorus builds up into insanity, and then it flows into the more subdued chorus. But then the chorus gets crazy too! This holds up with the best ballads of Celine and Mariah, and if it wasn't a Christian song I think it would be similarly remembered today.
12. Third Eye Blind - "In The Background"
Comment: I decided to close the mix with my favorite Third Eye Blind song. It's very simple, but, like the title implies, it fades into the background nicely and is pretty and pleasant. I realize that these may sound like insults to some people, but I like those qualities in songs! This is one of the best rock ballads of the 90's.