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.

The month of April saw me purchase three full albums through iTunes. The first was Diddy’s anti-bitchassness group Day26. The album was standard R&B fare and earned Diddy another number one record, but failed to set the world on fire. But what does these days? Marketed as a new New Edition, the boys from Making The Band put together a few songs that worked like Silly Love, the first single Got Me Going, the dreamy Co-Star, and hard hitting Exclusive.

Next was Mariah Carey’s not so fulfilling E=MC², which should’ve been titled The Emancipation of Nick Cannon. Just kidding Nick. Actually, I’m impressed that the dude had it in him. Before, I remembered him most from giving the movie audience that serious drumming face in the movie Drumline, but now he’s the guy that put that ring on Mimi’s finger. Though I didn’t like the album much and thought it was smack dab in the middle of her career works, iTunes did give me one extra song that wasn’t on the CD version. Though, I’m not sure if it was a truly bonus or not because it was the track 4real4real featuring Da Brat and though she might’ve been cool in 1994, the words “featuring Da Brat” might be the worst marketing in music today. Ok, that was wrong of me. But actually, at least we know that Da Brat is still working. Also included with the extra song was a digital booklet (iTunes version of the physical CD booklet) and the Touch My Body video, which is impressive for how well a late 30s Mimi looks.

The third full album was the best of the bunch. Before I even tell you what it is, I have to ask, “Who is the most consistent music group in the game today?” You probably wouldn’t answer The Roots, but if they aren’t the most consistent, they are close. Their latest gem is called Rising Down and it’s probably the best album I’ve bought all year. From the killer Rising Up, with Chrisette Michele on the hook to the Talib Kweli assisting I Will Not Apologize, there’s not a bad song on the record. While they might not have the one or two head turning tracks on this album like they usually have, it’s still just damn good. Also included as an iTunes bonus is their duet with Fall Out Boy, Birthday Girl, which was vetoed off the original album and as first single for not sounding Roots enough. I kind of dig it, but I understand where they’re coming from.

I also bought a bunch of one off songs. If you remember, April was the month of “Idol Gives Back” and instead of donating money, I bought a few tracks including Carrie Underwood’s George Michael cover of Praying For Time, the group version of Rihanna’s Don’t Stop The Music (my kids can’t get enough of this one), and Snoop Dogg’s Can’t Say Goodbye featuring Charlie Wilson. On that same day, I also purchased Bon Jovi’s Bad Medicine and Fuel’s Leave The Memories Alone with the latter being the theme song to the Nature Boy’s Ric Flair retirement. I just had to throw one wrestling reference in.

Lastly, I purchased Digital Underground’s silly song Kiss You Back. One day, it was in my head and I decided to get it so I could hear it a few times. Without iTunes, I would’ve had to find a used copy of Sons Of The P, and that wasn’t going to happen without making a trek to a used record store some 30 miles away.

The next edition of “No Plastic” will feature the return of some Boston boys and a man on a mission to get some grown assed respect.