here they are:
"Live Your Life" by Yuna: I don't know how many rock/pop musicians hail from Malaysia, but if Yuna's the first, then that's pretty cool! The melodically trip-hop-meets-soft-jazz feel of "Live Your Life" also reminds me of another one-name-only female musician who debuted a little over 5 years ago - Jem. Yet Yuna somehow manages to make this song all her own. It is as smooth as it is catchy. Where most female musicians of the indie-pop world have taken after Fiona Apple or Tori Amos, Yuna takes more after Jem, which is probably a big part of the reason why this song sounds so refreshing and different for a 2010's song. However you slice it, though, "Live Your Life" is still a fun song to listen to!
"Out of the Game" by Rufus Wainwright: I was waiting for Rufus to release something new for quite awhile! And I think now I know why it might have taken him so long to do so. Perhaps he wasn't ready to show the world his transition from cabaret influenced indie-pop to George Harrison influenced neo-folk-rock. Certainly not what I (or, likely, anyone else) was expecting from Rufus, although it kinda makes sense considering that his father was the rather eccentric folk musician Loudon Wainwright III. Perhaps Rufus is trying to connect more musically with his dad on "Out of the Game". There's a touch of the old Rufus Wainwright in this song, though, in that he transitions from major to minor chords between the verses and chorus. Yeah, as the song suggests, Rufus might be "out of the game" with many of his main audience members by now, but it's still good to know he's still makin' music!
"This Isn't Everything You Are" by Snow Patrol: Sometimes Snow Patrol are written off as a "poor man's Coldplay", though it SHOULD be the other way around! After all, Snow Patrol are sometimes capable of churning out some solid rockers in their library ("Hands Open", "Take Back the City", "You're All I Have", and most recently, "Called Out In the Dark", to name a few). This time around, though, Gary Lightbody and co are turning towards the ballad side once again, which can bring out both the best (the extraordinarily poignant and ethereal "An Olive Grove Facing the Sea") and worst (the overplayed "Chasing Cars" and dull "Crack the Shutters") in the band. "This Isn't Everything You Are" seems to show some strength in terms of Snow Patrol's "ballad" side (though it has practically the same chords as the verses of Matchbox 20's "Long Day"). The emotional quality of "This Isn't Everything You Are" really DOES tug at the ol' heartstrings for me. It doesn't feel like just another attempt to earn a radio hit through balladry. Both Gary Lightbody's winsome vocals and the delicate nature of the song itself give "This Isn't Everything You Are" a rather aching, yearning feel. For a band best known for their "softer" side, Snow Patrol is truly one of the best, and this song continues to prove so!