I have an iPod classic which stores all my music – may it be ripped from my own (or someone else’s) CD collection or downloaded (from various respectable sources *koff*). All the music files are organised using iTunes, and I tend to rate the songs using the star system iTunes has. I’m a bit lazy, so it’ll be 5 stars for songs I really love, and 4 or 3 stars for those I like but not as much. The other songs are therefore unrated. And my habit when switching on the iPod in the car is to shuffle the My Top Rated playlist. I daresay this has been going on for yonks. Which means that after a while, these 5-starred songs were slowly to become a tad tiresome to listen to.

I have a total of 14274 music files on the iPod to date (a scant number of podcasts included), and I recently decided to shuffle Songs, and skip the track if it was one of the top rated (yawn) songs. I’m glad that I did this as I re-discovered some gems that I’ve forgotten! The following items were what I felt worthy of a mention.


This Japanese band was recommended to me by Norzuさん way before I was into SCANDAL or other bands of its ilk. Spitz is a bit more of an oji-san band (like me) and has a mature everyman kind of vibe to Kusano Masamune’s voice. The first ever Spitz song that I loved was 「楓」(Kaede), but this one, フェイクファー (Fake Fur), has a somewhat whimsical melody to it. What’s up with the title Fake Fur? I have no idea what it’s all about.

Dark Lady
In Trance

I had always thought this as a strange Scorpions song, reminiscent of Search’s Tumbuk Rusuk or Pada Satu Kedudukan on their Langit Dan Bumi record (Scorpions predate Search, I know). I didn’t know that this song was penned and sung by Uli Jon Roth. One of the tracks from their 1975 record, In Trance.

California Kid and Reemo
The Best Of

I thought this 47-year old tune could easily be on one of the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtracks. I only know a couple of Lobo songs when I was aged 5 or 6, but this was like the first time I listened to this ever. I have no idea who the California Kid or Remo is. This song also reminded me of another of his hit, Me and You and a Dog Named Boo. Anita Sarawak dueted with Lobo, and there was a dog in said performance, in a Singaporean TV show back in the early 80s. Suffice to say, some people were not too happy with this.

All The Right Reasons

The band that everyone hates, but this song is so clichéd that it actually sounds, err… good. And the only thing I can actually remember about this song were Playboy bunnies. And ZZ Top.


When this song came on, I was thinking why Soundgarden was sounding so… mainstream. I then thought that this must be a solo Cornell song, but I was surprised that it was actually Audioslave on looking at the iPod. Whoa! was an understatement, just as the understated of Morello’s unassuming bluesy solo on this. Audioslave is a different beast to RATM, let alone Soundgarden, but I could swear this soothing slow rocker has an almost John Mayer feel to it.

I’m Gonna Find Another You
John Mayer

Speaking of JM, this gentle soul/bluesy break up number made it to this list because I thought this couldn’t have been included in Continuum. But that’s what he does – venturing into many genres and it all works. What did I say about listening to the 4/5 starred songs on my iTunes? The song’s a bit short, though.

Wait till I can dream
Tommy heavenly6
Gothic Melting Ice Cream’s Darkness Nightmare

Very the Smashing Pumpkins. Actually so reminiscent of the fuzz-laden Jellybelly that you’d think Corgan is playing guitar on this. TH6 is a side project of Kawase Tomoko of the brilliant green, and the Avril Lavigne-ish songs on her TH6 records was part of my early J-rock collection. Interestingly, her songs are mainly sung in English!

Anything by ねごと

Think a less quirky or mathematical tricot. A lot of ねごと stuff is actually quite good. Just not too sure why I’ve not listened much to them of late. I can’t remember how I came across this Chiba quartet, but it was defo during the period when I started checking out SCANDAL. The guitarist, Masuda Mizuki, did the arrangement for the TOMOMI-penned 窓を開けたら on SCANDAL’s HONEY.

After Laughter

Despite being one of the songs on the current Paramore(-lite) record, this song hearkens back to the Farro brothers-era sound. it’s refreshing to listen to this on a record that otherwise had a very kitschy 80s feel to it. Anyway, if I still wanna see/hear the old Paramore (kind of), I can always go check out these guys.

Chaos AD

Actually this is a fantastic metal record. I probably like be listening to it for the first time ever when the shuffle brought me to this track. And if a random non-single track from the record sounds good, that’s testimony enough to the overall quality. To tell you the truth, I didn’t start listening to Sepultura until 1997, 4 years after the release of Chaos AD. And Max Cavalera had already left the band then.