Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gift Ideas: Music Edition

Sometimes the person to whom you want to give gifts just wants an iTunes gift card. Maybe they heard rumors that they are getting a new iPod or feel a little too silly asking for the Jake and the Neverland Pirates CD outright. Or maybe you barely know your Secret Santa assignee and want a sure-fire present to impress them.

When I give an iTunes gift card, I sometimes try to add a playlist of great songs they could download with it. My mom received a workout mix once, and I believe that I have also suggested some wedding reception music for an almost-married friend.

Here are some albums that you might want to suggest; if you aren't sure if your pal will like a particular one, I have added some descriptors to aid your choosing.


Rolling Stone just voted this as "Album of the Year" and iTunes named Adele as the iTunes Artist of the Year. Every song on the album is fantastic and makes great sneak-up-on-you workout music.

Who needs this album? It is the obvious choice for anyone who doesn't keep up with pop music.

Burning Hotels—Eighty Five Mirrors

A delicious bite of music, this 2008 EP is a great introduction to this band from Texas. Be forewarned, though—they have a new sound now, which is cool if you like evolving artists. And who knows, I might be able to trick you into seeing the Burning Hotels-filled movie Band Slam.

Who needs this album? Someone who likes a band that reeks of indie cred.

Thank Me Later—Drake

Let me start off by saying, you may want to suggest the edited version for the people in your life who have tender ears. I am the world's most recent Drake fan and am aware that I am extremely late to the party. He has a musicality in his flow, plus he is kind of dreamy. Even Rihanna thinks so!

Who needs this album? Definitely not my mother, who claims that hip-hop music makes her want to "kill people."

Moody's Mood for Love—Amy Winehouse

On the Frank album, this song mixes a classic jazz standard and a trippy background track. I first heard Elliott Yamin's version (thanks, American Idol!) and can't decide which one I prefer. Amy's voice is much more delicate on this track than most of the world knows from the song "Rehab."

Who needs this song? A conspiracy theorist who wants to pay respects to an artist who died at 27, the ill-fated age of the devastatingly-talented.

20th Century Masters: The Christmas Collection—Jackson 5

Welcome to my favorite holiday album of my youth. You can enjoy the dated kitsch and the timeless music, plus young Michael Jackson!

Who needs this album? Anyone who insists on singing "Feliz Navidad" over and over again.


  1. i have never heard anything by adele, so i think i'm about to listen.

    also...never heard of drake before, but i'm pretty certain he used to be on degrassi!

  2. deanna is right. wikipedia confirms that drake played jimmy brooks on degrassi: the next generation.

  3. That's part of why I love Drake... Degrassi is an addiction. I am so happy you are digging Drake! And I especially like the comment about your Mom. HI-larious! I remember those times. :) I have the new Drake CD, and it's pretty good, too! Underground King is a jaaaaaaaam.

  4. I LOVE ADELE!!!!!!!
    just fyi
    and ben and his wikipedia!