Summer Hits - Top 10 Songs You Should Know Playlist

It is the first Monday in February and a great time to imagine what the summer months will bring. With negative temperatures all over the US, you can't help but think of the warm weather to come. This playlist will feature some of the music that I love to blast in my car's speakers. I enjoy listening to a little rap when in the car but I will keep this playlist with the normal theme of alternative rock. This week I think I am going to go back to the normal format of the playlist but provide a link to the imeem playlist. I think this will accommodate everyone's needs. RSS readers can see the playlist and follow the links, and if they choose, follow the link to listen to the playlist in full. If you have a better idea or just general comments about this procedure just send me an email or write a comment down below.

Top 10 Songs You Should Know - Week 12 - Feb. 5-11 2007
1. Finger Eleven - First Time
2. Tonic - You Wanted More
3. The Offspring - The Kid's Aren't Alright
4. Trapt - Headstrong
5. P.O.D. - Youth of the Nation
6. Third Eye Blind - Graduate
7. Stone Temple Pilots - Wicked Garden
8. SR-71 - Right Now
9. Pearl Jam - Even Flow
10. Incubus - When It Comes

Here's the link for the whole playlist: Summer Hits

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Artist of the Week: Vertical Horizon

Vertical HorizonIt is time for a new article type for Rizzo Music, Artist of the Week. I was thinking about a song of the week but since we have a playlist of ten great songs every week as well as tributes to music videos, I don't think that a song of the week is necessary. Instead we will have an Artist of the Week where every Saturday, I will write an article displaying the great music of one artist. In these articles I will try to direct you to some cool media involved with each band including music videos and acoustic versions of songs.

This week I thought I would start with Vertical Horizon, one of my favorite bands. I have been listening to these guys a lot lately, mainly their two major label releases. I recently discovered the full album of Everything You Want, not just the four singles that they released from the album. Almost everyone has heard their ever popular "Everything You Want" single that was constantly played on the radio at the close of the millennium. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this album. This song has such a great intro that lures you in and never waivers beginning to end. There is a brilliant acoustic version that can be seen here. When this song first came out I was a big fan and was excited to see what these guys would put out next. They did not disappoint as the next two singles are very good ones with "You're a God" and "Best I Ever Had (Grey Sky Morning)”. The music video for “You’re a God” can be seen here, which features Tiffani-Amber Thiessen from Saved by the Bell. “Best I Ever Had” is a musical treat for anyone that has never heard this beautiful song. It was remade by country singer Gary Allen about two years ago and broke into the top ten on the country rock charts. “We Are” was their first single released off this album and is a fairly catchy tune. It never really took off but I remember hearing it on the radio briefly.

Vertical Horizon - Everything You WantNow it is time for the heart and soul of the album “Everything You Want”, by examining the songs that were never released as singles. First up we have “You Say” a song with a contagious beat. This song has a great build up that neatly ties the verses and the chorus together. These are some of my favorite lyrics, “Here in the light / It burns you up inside / Here in the shell of a sun / We echo on / Too much listening / Not enough living”. “Finding Me” is next, a song that really has grown on me. With lyrics like these, “Oh so much for nothing / But nothing means so much / I know it's touching / But I've been out of touch”, it’s hard to not like this song. My favorite song from the album is “Miracle”, a great slow moving rock song that has powerful vocals and lyrics that call out in desperation. If you haven’t already noticed I am a big fan of when alternative rockers slow it down a little but at the same time, I am a fan of all different kinds of tempos. There are two other songs from this album that I want to highlight before I finish this album, “Send it Up” and “All of You”. “Send it Up” is a good song worth checking out as well. This song has the kind of lyrics that you want to belt out. “All of You” is a song that sums up the style of Vertical Horizon with good verses and a great chorus.

Vertical Horizon - Go Vertical Horizon’s second major label release, Go, is their latest album. This album has some strange history behind it. It was first released under RCA but they dropped the band shortly after. They were picked up by Hybrid Recordings and re-released the album. With RCA they released the single “I’m Still Here” and with Hybrid, “Forever”. Both of these singles had moderate success but soon fizzled out. “I’m Still Here” is a good song but I can see why it wasn’t popular on the radio. This song belongs more on the track listing then as a single. “Forever” is more radio friendly but not the kind of radio hit that Vertical Horizon is capable of producing. It is still a magnificent song that many fans see as Vertical Horizon's best song. You can watch the music video here. I am not going to go through this album song by song but I would like to highlight a few for your enjoyment. “When You Cry”, “Echo”, and “Inside” are three songs that you should definitely check out.

It seems that Vertical Horizon is working on a new album that will most likely be released this year. Their official website is rarely updated but their myspace page contains updates on their progress. It seems that they are still trying to recover from being dropped from RCA and get everything sorted out. I hope that you enjoyed this issue of Artist of the Week and hope that you come back next week for a new artist. I will leave you with some food for thought lyrics.

"We're all lost
We're all found
We're all the same
Just one heart
Beats in us
We're different names"
-Inside, Vertical Horizon

The Verve Pipe - The Freshman Music Video Tribute

This tribute is long overdue. "The Freshman" by The Verve Pipe is one of those songs that you either love or you hate. The song propelled The Verve Pipe into stardom and helped their album, Villains, go platinum. This was indeed their biggest hit and for good reason. I am a fan of a lot of their songs but this one is their best and has so much history for me personally. This is one of the first songs where I could sing every line word for word. It also came out at a time when I first started to follow mainstream music and began to listen to the radio quite frequently. I can still remember watching the video in my living room and hearing it countless times on the radio.

Although this song is about ten years old, I never get tired of hearing it. The song as well as the video is filled with such a powerful presence and emotion. I always found the lyrics confusing and didn't find out what he wouldn't "be held responsible for" but according to Wikipedia and other sources, the lead singer, Brian Vander Ark spilled the beans. He wrote the song in 1991 after he and his girlfriend had an abortion and later, broke up. The song does make mention of the girl committing suicide but according to Vander Ark, he was just using poetic license. For a line by line analysis by the lead singer himself, click here. Now for the haunting video, the one that was ingrained into my mind such a long time ago.


Top 10 Songs You Should Know Playlist: Rizzo Music's Top Ten Songs Of 2006 (Week 11)

It's another Monday and with a newly revamped site, it's time to update the format of our playlists. From now on I will try to make Imeem playlists so that everyone can have easy access to listening to these great songs. Of course, not every song is on Imeem so I have decided to make honorable mentions for those left of the list due to unavailability. Once again, you can add me as a friend on Imeem here if you haven't already. My profile is still a work in progress but it should be done fairly soon. This week's playlist features some of my favorite songs released in 2006. Of course I can't fit all of them on to a 10 song playlist but this selection is more to draw your attention to 10 great albums more than the individual songs released in 2006.

Top 10 Songs You Should Know - Week 11 - Jan. 29-Feb. 4 2007

Honorable mentions include:
"The Guy that Says Goodbye to You is Out of His Mind" - Griffin House
"With A Bullet" - Sam Roberts
"Running Away" - Lifehouse
"The End of the World" - Gin Blossoms

Thanks again for listening and tune in next week for another great playlist.

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Switchfoot - Oh! Gravity Album Review

SwitchfootSwitchfoot is a post-grunge band from California that made it big in 2003 with "Meant to Live" and "Dare you to Move" off their album The Beautiful Letdown. That album is one of favorite albums of the last few years. There is not one song on that album that I would ever think of skipping over. They then went on to release Nothing Is Sound with a fairly big hit "Stars". I was not as impressed with this effort as their previous album but there were plenty of songs to note, such as "Lonely Nation" and "The Shadow Proves the Sunshine".

Then came Oh! Gravity., released on December 26th 2006 with 12 new tracks (3 bonus tracks at the end) and a running time of 51:57. This is their third album in four years and they continue touring rigorously. They are really dedicated to their fans and it shows. The album kicks off with their new single "Oh! Gravity", a song full of energy with politically charged lyrics. This is nothing new for them, as a lot of their previous songs have spoken out on political issues. The next song, "American Dream" is more of a social commentary on society's infatuation with money and material wealth. It has the same kind of high energy as "Oh! Gravity" which is not really my style. I think that yelling shows the passion for their message but these songs can do with out it. Next up is "Dirty Second Hands", song about how time flies and that you should make the most of it. This is where the album starts to turn around in my opinion. With "Dirty Second Hands" you can see that this album has the makings of a great album and the next song, "Awakening" only further proves this.

"Awakening" is the kind of song that Switchfoot has been creating for years and the reason why I think that they are such a good band. I predict that this song will be there next single and be a bigger hit then "Oh! Gravity". It seems that the trend with Switchfoot is to release the hard rock song first and then follow it up with a more mellow song. This song really showcases lead singer Jon Foreman's voice and the lyrics display a longing for something better which remind me of "More than Fine". Next up, they slow it down a little with "Circles". With lyrics of struggling through daily life with a search for meaning, the song evokes emotions of desperation. Another favorite of mine is up next with "Amateur Lovers", a more upbeat song musically. The lyrics speak truth about the search for love and the recklessness that pursues. The seventh song on this album, "Faust, Midas, And Myself" is another good song. This song expresses a lot of the same messages of Switchfoot pasts songs. It is about regret and that you should be careful in the life you lead.

Switchfoot - Oh GravityWe are now halfway through the album and ready for "Head over Heels (In This Life)". This song is great and makes me begin to think that this album has the potential to be just as good as "The Beautiful Letdown". This song sounds like a classic Switchfoot song and a classic alternative rock love song. "Yesterdays" is up next, this song will run chills up your spine. If you have recently lost someone close to you, this song could be playing on repeat for the next couple of months. It is a beautiful song about grieving and holding on to someone who has passed on. The next song, "Burn Out Bright", is another song about living life to the fullest and how short life is. It's a short song that picks you up after such a sad song, "Yesterdays". The next song is known only as "4:12" as it refers to the time mentioned in the lyrics and also to the length of the song. This song refers again to the materialist society we live in and that our dreams should be more than obtaining wealth. "Let Your Love Be Strong" is the last new song on the album. This song is about finding hope in the face of despair and holding on to "your love".

The album ends with acoustic versions of "American Dream" and "Awakening". They also throw in a remix of "C'mon, C'mon", which I believe is previously unreleased. These are great bonuses for the dedicated Switchfoot fan.

This album is everything that I hoped it would be and definitely fulfilled my expectations. I wasn't crazy about "Nothing is Sound", though it had it's moments. I believe that "Oh! Gravity." is a step back in the right direction and it is nice to see that Switchfoot is consistently releasing great music. I would highly recommend picking up Oh! Gravity. and I give it 4 and 1/2 stars out of 5.

I'll end this review with a couple links for you.
(Check out the Tour Dates near you)
Blog about Switchfoot
Switchfoot Fansite
Oh! Gravity. Music Video on YouTube
My Favorite Songs from the Album
Head Over Heels (In This Life)
Faust, Midas, And Myself
Amateur Lovers

Interesting Music Websites Reviewed - Part One

I have decided that I need to start blogging more, I think I finally got the bug. I have gotten my traffic up over the last couple months and feel like some people are finally starting to read my blog so I think it would be best if I tried to post about five times a week instead of two. Hopefully even more people will start to read this if I make it interesting and informative. I will still continue with the somewhat popular Monday playlist, just try to add new sections like the one I am currently writing.

The first website I would like to bring to your attention is called iLike. It is currently in beta, and a relatively new website. I was surfing the Internet one day and came across it. I registered, downloaded and I am up and running. This website is a little similar to and but is more centered towards the ever popular Itunes program. At iLike you can create a music profile, download an add-on to Itunes that will upload your playcount for your songs. This program will constantly update your last songs you listened to and give your recommendations for suggested music and also even free downloads from up and coming artists. With your new music profile you can show everyone your recently played songs, recently added, your top songs, and top artists.

I will share with you one more great website before I end part one of this section. This one is called Imeem. I came across this site much like I did with iLike, and they are both very good music websites. I just recently registered for the site so my profile isn't much to look at but you can find me here and add me as a friend. According to the website they are "an online community where people and groups can upload, share, tag, and playlist the media they care about." The great thing about this website over one like is that you on most songs you can listen to the full song. Now I don't condone illegal downloaded music or anything of that sort and I don't know if what they are doing is legal but nonetheless most of the songs you can more then sample. It is kinda like bands posting music on myspace but there is a larger selection. This website has a lot of promise and is a great way to listen to music before you decide to purchase it. It also has features of a community like iLike and which adds to its value. One of my favorite features is that since I believe that users can upload songs, that you can hear rare acoustic and live versions of some of your favorite songs. I highly recommend checking it out. Hope you enjoyed my reviews and can't wait to hear what you think of them. Thanks again for listening.

Top 10 Songs You Should Know Playlist: A 90's Music Playlist (Week #10)

It's is another Monday in January and its time for another group of songs formed together in an ordered list. This week we have a theme to the playlist which is 90's Music. All of these songs were released prior to the year 2000 and after 1989 to the best of my knowledge. I figured that if I began to theme these playlists, perhaps more would listen to them collectively and not just pick and choose. These are not necessarily my top ten songs from the 1990s but are from some great 90s bands and I have chosen one song from each year. They are ordered in a way that the first song starts out at 1990 and the last is 1999. These songs were more popular then most of the songs I put up here but I tried to pick a song that defined the year for me. 1998 was definitely the hardest year from me to pick as there were some many good songs released that year. Hope you enjoyed another rendition of "Top 10 Songs You Should Know" and thanks for listening.

Top 10 Songs You Should Know - Week 10 - Jan. 22-28 2006
1. Enjoy the Silence - Depeche Mode
2. Hunger Strike - Temple of the Dog
3. Hey Jealousy - Gin Blossoms
4. Laid - James
5. Glycerine - Bush
6. Counting Blue Cars - Dishwalla
7. Barely Breathing - Duncan Sheik
8. How's it Going to Be - Third Eye Blind
9. Iris - Goo Goo Dolls
10. Californication - Red Hot Chili Peppers

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Matchbox Twenty - Push Music Video Tribute

This song is probably up there with my top ten favorite songs. It's a song never gets old, no matter how many times you listen to it. This was Matchbox Twenty's first huge hit and launched them in to the mainstream rock scene for many years to come. Of course, as you know, Rob Thomas started his solo career but there is still hope that Matchbox Twenty will once again reunite for another album. The music video is great and brings you back to a time of classic 90s bliss. It has a lot of emotion to it, just like the song and you can't beat the scarecrow imagery. I hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane as much as I did. Thanks for listening.

Top 10 Songs You Should Know Playlist: Week #9

It's time for another weekly playlist. I know I promised an album review and/or a music video tribute but I was really busy last week. This week I will guarantee both of them. This playlist has no real theme to it other than greatness. Enjoy and thanks for listening once again.

Top 10 Songs You Should Know - Week 9 - Jan. 15-21 2006
1. Everybody's Changing - Keane
2. Get Ready - Live
3. Free to Everyone - Hootie & the Blowfish
4. On Her Mind - Duncan Sheik
5. Conversation - Eagle Eye Cherry
6. Then the Morning Comes - Smash Mouth
7. Landslide - Smashing Pumpkins
8. Long Way Down - Goo Goo Dolls
9. Stop Crying Your Heart Out - Oasis
10. Rain King - Counting Crows

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Top 10 Songs You Should Know Playlist: Week #8

We are back on schedule with a new playlist for the second week of January. This playlist is no different then the others, great songs, some you might of heard of, some you haven't. It's nice to finally get back in the swing of things and hopefully I'll have a tribute or album review up in the next couple days. This playlist features some artists previously mentioned and some I haven't but nonetheless great songs. Enjoy and thanks for listening.

Top 10 Songs You Should Know - Week 8 - Jan. 8-14 2006
1. Girl Eyes - Eve 6
2. Lonely Nation - Switchfoot
3. Boston - Augustana
4. Shelter - Big City Rock
5. The Warmth - Incubus
6. Happiness Is - The Verve Pipe
7. Open Your Eyes - Alter Bridge
8. Polaris - Jimmy Eat World
9. Time Stands Still - All-American Rejects
10. Breathless - Better than Ezra

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