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The Allison Miller Playlist: Pop Music On The Edge of 2010

Boston based Alison Miller is BFF with my friend Alix Wartel and her current faves are radio hip hop 2009 style and I couldn’t agree with her more. From English- Pakistani hip hop star Jay Sean to two of the better songs off the new Jay-Z, from country pop sensation Taylor Swift (she co-wrote the MSG Swift review for Rock NYC) to one of the most exciting and thoroughly revived rappers of the decade Fabolous, Ali defines the zeigtgeist.
Of all the Playlists I’ve reviewed, Ali’s is one where I simply can’t fault her taste at all. These songs were made for dancing, made for partying, and made for being young without being the slightest bit embarassing. There is no head scratching, obscure Jonas Brothers here, no New Edition after Bobby Brown left em: this is all charting topping R&B flickering pop music and it is amazingly strong stuff.
Well, maybe not all R&B! The Jason Mraz – Colbie Cailat duet “Lucky”, off an album I dismissed months ago, is really strong and shows just how good Alison’s instincts are for the hook. Colbie isn’t a nondescript singer but she isn’t a descript singer either -she is a touch bland in a melodic sorta way. Mraz makes me nod off (he was terrible at Jingle Ball a coupla years ago), every genre he handles he dumbs down and unless Alix is singing along I never want to hear him rap again! Taylor Swift is another matter entirely. Taylor’s career has all the makings of a straight sprint to the top and the reason is is that she is a gifted songwriter. When she keeps on calling herself a “country singer” she is being sophisticated. “Tim McGraw” might have been a country pop song but “Love Story” certainly wasn’t and “Thug Story” is a seriously brilliant hip hop song. It was Alison who found the “Thug Story” mp3, which is still not officially available, and I still find myself singing “wha’, wha’ I knit sweaters y’all” all the time. I think Taylor is gonna have a problem or two when she grows up and needs to live up to all her good girl rhetoric (remember Brittney Spears: “I wanna be a virgin when I marry”?) “You Belong To Me” is a lovely piece of pop rock but not quite as good as “Forever And Ever”.
The r&b songs Ali chose were often new to me. The only thing I knew from Esther was “American Boy” -which I liked a lot, the only song I knew from Chris Brown was that godawful Olympics number , and “Drop It Low” is a smart dance groove that does em both proud. “Break Up”is part of the Swiss Beatz mafia with Sean Garrett (who produced Chris Brown’s first single) throwing everything but the kitchen sink at this predictable but addictive single -a sorta pop, r&b, hip hop mish mash. English hip hopper Jay Sean gets Lil Wayne to add a guest rap -nothing to do with Sean’s recent signing to Cash Money, right? “Down” is a fabulous song: sorta all hooks all the time. Trey Songz is a straight blast and Ali’s choice of “I Invented Sex” featuring the over-rated but not bad Drake is about as hot as the charts gets right now. Though I prefer “LOL (:” The Dream and Mariah Carey? The Dream should keep to writing ella ella, and Mariah had better release her newbie soon because I am definitely ready.

Finally, two ok but nothing special songs off B3 and another homerun off Fabolous’s candidatefor Hip Hip album of the year Loso’s Way. I know I am not the only fellow whose ears perk up at the words Keri Hilson, fast on her way to becoming a superstar and and and… I am even ready for some Fabolous remixes.
And that is the Alison Miller up to date, right this minute, this is what I’m listening too today Playlist. An all of a moment and the moment is now mix for the 21st century girl who loves to dance and loves the sound of a bass sample on an R&B song. A terrific playlist indeed and I could take a weekly dose of what Ali is listening to!!! I happen to know that Ali is very busy at work and so I particularly appreciate her taking time from her day to share with us what she is listening to.

The Alison Miller Playlist
Trey Songz ft Drake – I Invented Sex
Taylor Swift – You Belong With Me
Jason Mraz ft Colbie Caillat – Lucky
Jay Z & Alicia Keys – Empire State of Mind
Ester Dean & Chris Brown – Drop It Low
Jay Sean ft Lil Wayne – Down
The Dream ft Mariah Carey – Tell Me What They Know About My Love
Fabolous & Keri Hilson – Everything, Everyday, Everywhere
Jay-Z, Kayne West, & Rihanna – Run This Town
Mario ft Gucci Mane & Sean Garrett – Break Up

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