As I stated in February, I decided to stop buying actual CDs and buy all my music through iTunes. Let me update you on my iTunes journey.

Money Mike and I had the same memory of Billy Vera’s hit song. I remember watching Family Ties and hearing this song and immediately thinking that Billy Vera really wanted his woman back. It was probably the first song that I actually not only heard the lyrics, but felt them. Well, maybe except part where he wonders if his old girl thought he was going to raise his hands to her.

(I remember either watching The Grammys or the American Music Awards from that year and waiting to see Billy Vera and the Beaters perform. My dad and I saw that Bruno and the Heaters were scheduled to come up next and we laughed because we figured they just got the name wrong. Nope, that was Bruce Willis’ band.)

My girlfriend Jessica didn’t know if she’d heard this song before. And then I went into the whole bit about the song being a major part of one of more memorable story lines of Family Ties. Then I went, wait, let me go to iTunes. Digital music folks. Digital music.

If I could just hold you, again.

The man was hurtin’.

Usher’s latest and newest “grown up” album Here I Stand didn’t necessarily set the world on fire. I guess people wanted to hear more about him sleeping around on Chili. But this is a more mature Usher which means songs about fatherhood, his lack of a father, and marriage. I don’t think there’s any songs about him dissing moms as his manager though. And maybe on his next album he’ll mention hiring her back after the album didn’t sell like hot cakes.

It’s definitely a good next step in his career. Even though his sales didn’t increase (and let’s be serious, Confessions sold a ton and topping that was going to be near impossible in this day and age) it was a strong move in my opinion. He needs to grow with his audience, but at the same time, also continue making new fans. I’m not sure he knocked it out of the park, but it was a solid record.

It may be a bit long winded though. The CD version is 17 tracks long which is already too long. And the iTunes version is 18 tracks, with the cheesy Will Work For Love as the bonus song. Here’s his second video from the album, Moving Mountains.

I only picked up one other thing in May, and that was the comeback single by the boys from the city. The New Kids On The Block comeback has been tracked step by step (ha!) here, with Money Mike and I both contributing. If their comeback was going to be a step back into 1990 pop music, I would’ve called it for what it was. But so far, it’s been a really smart comeback with them growing in sound and choosing songs with good harmonies. I still don’t think Jon Knight or Danny Wood do much other than show up at the studio and wave pom poms, but I think the New Kids are going to surprise some folks. Both singles have been strong and sit right between R&B and pop music, which is necessary in this day and age.

Summertime isn’t a remake of the DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince song. No buying new kicks for the basketball court because there are girls there. It’s a song about a girl from their past who they think about in the summertime. It’s hilarious because even my kids enjoy it. And their mom was about 11 years old when the New Kids originally hit. Though my oldest can’t remember their name and keeps calling them “New Kids By The Block”. Oh well.