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Music Is My King Size Bed

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

In My Stocking...

Let the post holiday spending begin! Last week I got myself a pair of the BOSE ear buds. So far so good. The sound quality is excellent and they are very comfortable. I think they are quieter than my iPod ear buds which is also a plus. I don't want anyone to tell me to turn my music down AND there's nothing I dislike more than hearing someone elses music on the train or bus.

In addition, I did a little shopping on They were having a post-holiday 40% - 80% off sale for CDs, DVDs and other things, running till New Years Eve. With their free shipping and large selection of imports, I thought I'd stock up. Here's the rundown on what I got:


I've been listening to Cheryl Cole's album non-stop since it leaked. It's really a quality pop album, if you ask me. While there is a little bit too much of will.I.Am for my liking, the tracks are all solid. I'm absolutely loving the second single, "3 Words," featuring Mr. will.I.Am. The video for that single is absolutely stunning. I also dig the forthcoming 3rd single which has been announced as "Parachute." Check out Cheryl on the cover of UK music magazine, Q, on newsstands now. Hot Tracks: "3 Words," "Parachute," "Fight For This Love," "Rain On Me," "Heaven"


I haven't purchased an Alicia Keys album since her debut. I'm honestly not too sure why I purchased this, her fourth album. Keys is undoubtedly talented but lately her genre of music as a whole just hasn't impressed me that much. I think that given my state of mind of late, more mellow sounds are calming and relaxing to me, rather than the driving dance/electro beats that I've craved up until now. I'm always on the lookout for that next emotional ballad to unlock the waterworks in my eyes. With Keys' knack for writing emotive and passionate songs, combined with her crazy piano and vocal skills - it's pretty safe to assume that there are some cry-worthy songs on this album. Hot Tracks: "Doesn't Mean Anything," "Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart," "Wait Til You See Me Smile," "Love Is My Disease," "Put It In A Love Song," "Through It All," "Empire State Of Mind (Part II) Broken Down," "Un-Thinkable (I'm Ready)"


Leona Lewis' second album has been growing on me in the months since my initial review. The more I listen to Echo, the more easily I am able to connect to it. My initial complaint was that there weren't enough up-tempo numbers, with Lewis instead resorting to her standard brand of "boring" ballads. Perhaps that was unfair. There's definitely a place for big ballads. Not every artist needs to sing up-tempo Gaga-esque dance tracks. At this time in my life, I need all of the big, beautiful sad ballads I can get my hands on. I guess you can say that this purchase was an emotional one. Leona releases "I Got You" next in the States and rumor has it that "Outta My Head" will serve as the next international single. Both are stand outs in my opinion. Hot Tracks: "I Got You," "Love Letter," "Fly Here Now," "Brave," "Alive," "Outta My Head," "Broken"


Will Young is one of my biggest celebrity crushes. The handsome singer/actor has struck me ever since I first heard of him back when his career was just taking off in the UK. Not only is Young a talented singer, but he's also a role model, coming out as a gay man. He also had brilliant role in Mrs. Henderson Presents..., a beautiful little British film. It's hard to believe that this young talent (only 30 years old) has had four albums out since winning Pop Idol back in 2002. His greatest hits album (titled The Hits) features 12 songs taken from his first four albums, plus two new tracks - single "Hopes & Fears," and "If It Hadn't Been For Love." Young has a reportedly brilliant collaboration with Groove Armada and is rumored to be working on a more dance/electro album for his next project. Well...we know how well that turned out for Robbie Williams (see Rudebox) but I love Will and think a dance album will really suit his voice. Hot Tracks: "Leave Right Now," "Your Game," "Friday's Child," "Switch It On," "All Time Love," "Who Am I," "Changes," "Hopes & Fears"


I think Alexandra Burke's debut album was what I was looking for in Leona Lewis' second album. There are ballads but there are also plenty of up-tempo club friendly tracks. That being said, I think there's room for both artists. As I mentioned above, I've really become attached to Leona's Echo. Alexandra's album is definitely suited for the U.S. Top 40 market and may even get some play on U.S. R&B radio stations. Leona's album is definitely more suited for adult contemporary radio stations, though it seems to be getting some play on mainstream radio as well. Regardless, I have space on my iPod for both X-Factor winners. They both do their own thing and do it well. Burke will reportedly be re-tooling her debut album for U.S. markets, but will be releasing the same videos that have already seen a UK release. U.S. audiences can expect Burke's new album to drop sometime in 2010. Hot Tracks: "Bad Boys," "Broken Heels," "Nothing But The Girl," "You Broke My Heart," "Overcome," "It's Over"

In addition, I snagged these albums:







Next week (January 5th) I'll likely be picking up brand new albums by Katharine McPhee (Unbroken) and the debut album, Animal by Ke$ha. Oh and January 26th sees the release of the much anticipated album The Sea by Corinne Bailey Rae. Lots of good music coming in the New Year.

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My Mother...

Sorry for the major delay in posting of late. I've had a lot going on over the past couple of weeks. My mother passed away on Thursday December 17th after a 5 year battle with ALS/Lou Gehrig's Disease. While we all knew that ALS is incurable, this end was not something any of us liked thinking about, nor did knowing make the reality any easier to digest.

I consider myself so very fortunate to have so many supportive and loving family and friends. This whole experience would have been considerably more unbearable without them. I also owe a lot to the healing power of music. Music has a way of making you feel infinitely and immediately better.

While the tears haven't finished falling, I thank God for all of the happy memories that will undoubtedly keep me going. Rest in Peace Mom. I will love you for always and forever.

Carol Sward

When the rain
Is blowing in your face
And the whole world
Is on your case
I could offer you
A warm embrace
To make you feel my love

When the evening shadows
And the stars appear
And there is no one there
To dry your tears
I could hold you
For a million years
To make you feel my love

- Bob Dylan