#NewMusicAlert: American Girl & Only Fools Fall In Love by @lifeofdillon

U.K based pop duo made up of David Keiffer and Joe Femi have known each other since high school and have self-declared their music as “acoustic house,” and formed in 2014. They would play gigs at the local pubs after class and their band gets it’s name from a Nepalese surfer named Dillon they met during a trip to Brazil.

Mixing together sounds from an array of genres from around the world—Femi’s Brazilian-Nigerian background heavily influences their newest material—the band has taken their infectious music on tour with the likes of Meghan Trainor and Charlie Puth.

Song by Song Review

images (3) As soon as I heard this song, I honestly had it on repeat for days. It relevantly talks about topics of immigration and dreamers but still has that feel good Latin Flavor to it’s pop musicality.

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https_images.genius.com6750065cb3e471cca746e51bfd5edb8e.268x268x1 “Only Fools Fall In Love” finds the duo further honing in on their sharp and slick take on modern pop music. Mixing acoustic guitars with a tight, rhythmic beat work and electronic flourishes, the song centers around an infectious, catchy earworm of a melody and a sentimental lyric that all can relate to.

Watch the music video HERE and be sure to follow Life of Dillon below so you don’t miss all their other new music:

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#NewMusicAlert: Younger by A Great Big World

Back with their third album to date, I guess you could say that A Great Big World has something to new to say.

Their self-titled album is recorded with a live band and is self-titled because it sounds “most like them.” The duo, made up of two dudes that met at NYU, Chad King and Ian Axel, have released two other albums, their first which included the Top 5 Billboard Collaboration with Christina Augilera, “Say Something.”

Song Review

Younger:    The first single off the album, “Younger”, encapsulates the innocence and naivete of childhood youth, unfolding like a colorful love letter to an adolescence of playing wiffle ball and Super Mario Bros, listening to Maroon 5, and dreaming about the future. It has a fun up-tempo and contains video game sound effects hidden throughout the musicality. Total #TBT.

 

Watch the nostalgic video game-inspired throwback lyric video here.

Connect with A Great Big World in the world of social media:

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#NewMusicAlert: Strangers On An Island by @BrotherLeo

Brother Leo only cared about football as a child but that didn’t stop his mom to force her son, whose birth name is Ola, to join boys’ choir and take piano lessons. Fast forward to age 17 where he was playing professional soccer for the Trelleborgs FF, he sang during a school function and friends were adamant about him auditioning for Pop Idol.

He signed a deal reluctantly in his native Sweden. Before his Swedish debut, he had a plethora of number one hit credits as an in-demand songwriter for Gnash, Hailee Steinfield, Akon, and more under his given name.

His artist name Brother Leo was assumed in 2018 which is based off Svennson’s more confident and free imaginary twin as a child.

Song by Song Review

Everything On Red: Based on a gamble on a roulette wheel on either red or black, this song is about betting all your chips on the love at first sight you feel when you meet someone new for the first time. Produced by Fatboy Slim, the musicality and feel to the track is reminiscent to island or Carribean music. The breakdown gives the impression that time has slowed and all you hear is your heartbeat in your ears.

Stranger On An Island: Sunny verses of beachside vignettes combined with tropical drums and wild turntable scratches make this track a summer splash, and give you that getaway feel no matter the season. You may hear Brother Leo sing about being stuck on an island but this beachy track will be stuck in your head after just one listen.

Check out the music video directed by Mary Clerete here and connect with Brother Leo below:
Website
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Book Review: The Road Ahead is actually a field guide on how to pick an unsuspected winner in any election.

I was eager from page one to start reading The Road Ahead by Willie Handler because in high school, I fell in love with the subtle humor associated with the genre of satire from reading books like Candide by Voiltaire, etc.

Some who have read my own previously published novels could argue that they contain a satirical tone to romance.

Yet Willie’s book kept me reading from the beginning because his characters had definite quirks, flaws, and a sense of realism to them.

And even though this book was published in 2016 prior to the election of Donald Trump in America, a non-political guy getting elected to lead a nation sure seems like quite a joke based on our past history.

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but what I liked best about Willie’s book is the message that it gets across:

Just because a person didn’t study political science or has a background in politics or public service does not mean they aren’t going to take what they do know and surprise us all in the end.

You should never count anyone out. In politics or in life. People have a way of surprising you in good and bad ways.

In the meantime, I look forward to Handler’s next novel. I’m already anticipating the fits of giggles it will have me in.

To interact with Willie directly, use the information below.Willie Handler Press Graphic.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing Cookies For A Cause

 Started in 2016 to allow a freedom of expression for myself and others, and known by most as a book and music blog, I feel that it is time to launch my next initiative within the community.
The mission statement of The Smart Cookie Philes is ESPRESSO YOURSELF and as seen on these designs is the main logo for the site.
I wanted to raise awareness of causes I believe in that follow the same ethics as The Smart Cookie Philes which is why I designed the logo to be the first COOKIE FOR A CAUSE.
Each shirt with this main logo design will benefit Bess The Book Bus. To learn more about this great cause, please visit here:
Each mug with the logo benefits The Smart Cookie Philes.
Thank you for supporting my efforts to be the change within my community.
Signed,
The Smart Cookie
T-shirt
Shirts start at $21
Mug
Mugs start at $15
Sticker
Stickers start at $6

Shipping Info

For influencer opportunities and to be considered as the next cause, please email Chelsea at wittywriterpoet26@gmail.com

If you can’t buy anything at this time, please still share this with all your friends.

Auguilera makes pop music comeback by speaking her truth with eighth studio album Liberation #MusicReview

After a five and a half year hiatus since her last music album, Christina Aguilera is back with a strong message of self-truth after taking five years to focus on family and other projects. Aguliera is quoted as saying regarding the feel of Liberation comes from a place of pure freedom:

“I’m at the place, even musically, where it’s a liberating feeling to be able to strip it all back and appreciate who you are and your raw beauty.”

Liberation was released on June 15, 2018 and debuted on the Billboard Hot 200 at #6. Notable tracks include:

“Dreamers” featuring voices of little girls talking about what they hope to grow up to become or dream of being

“Fall In Line” Aguilera’s duet  with Demi Lovato, painting a strong lyrical picture relevant to the #MeToo movement that women and young girls should know their worth is more than their sex appeal or sexuality.

Other noteable tracks include Twice, Accelerate, Masochist, and Unless It’s With You.

Fall In Line Music Video

Shawn Mendes gets vulnerable on third album that bares his name and his heart #MusicReview

On May 25, 2018, Mendes let us in on his most personal album to date. The 19 year old released self-titled album, “Shawn Mendes,” with the first promotional single off the album being a song depicting feelings of panic, anxiety, and depression with “In My Blood.”

It debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 200 the first week it was released.

To listen to the entire album for free, please use this custom Youtube playlist.

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Song by Song Review

In My Blood: A very vulnerable and authentically written song about suffering from anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.

Though the speaker, no matter how hard it gets, knows it isn’t in their blood to give up.

Sometimes I feel like giving up but I just can’t. It isn’t in my blood.

Nervous: A kick drum keeps rhythm with this catchy pop track about how your heart rate picks up around the person you are crushing on.

Lost in Japan: Jazz piano and bass guitar chords give this a sultry musicality about surprising the person you are catching feelings for.

Where Were You in the Morning: Bluesy musicality sets the stage for a track about waking up to see your one-night stand left without leaving their number.

Like To Be You (ft. Julia Michaels): Guitar strums keep time while Mendes duets with Julia Michaels (“Issues”) about wanting to know everything about someone.

Fallin’ All In You: An acoustic guitar carries the heart of the track about fallin’ in love with someone after a one night stand.

Particular Taste: Co-written by Ryan Tedder, the fun and dancy musicality tell a story about a woman who knows what she wants, likes or dislikes. It has a Prince-like feel.

Why: Two people who won’t admit their true feelings which makes things weird and awkward between them, especially if they are friends.

Because I Had You: Short minor chords strummed pain the musicality of this song about giving yourself permission to love someone new.

Queen: A relatable track about a girl who is shallow, one-dimensional, and all about what’s currently cool. It’s my favorite track on the album because the lyrics are so well-written.

Youth (ft. Khalid): A song featuring Khalid (Young, Dumb & Broke) about all the current school shootings to raise awareness about gun violence.

Mutual: The musicality creates a push and pull sound which creates a soundtrack of someone who plays with your emotions to feel better about themselves.

Perfectly Wrong: Minor chords create an awkward cradle to realizing someone is wrong for you but you still hold a candle for them.

When You’re Ready: A soft acoustic sweet song about being willing to wait for a chance to be with that one person.

A soft heartfelt finale to a music album that showcases a singer-songwriter who is learning who he is as a young man, and isn’t afraid to share his beautiful soul.

 

 

Illuminate by @shawnmendes will light up your heart, soul, and your playlist.

Although this album was released in 2016, I finally got around to listening to it recently in anticipation of Mendes third studio album which also happens to be self-titled.

Illuminate in a nutshell has Mendes looking like the pop version of Jonny Lang with it’s musicality and rock and blues elements.

It peaked at #22 on the Billboard Hot 200 chart.

Of all three Mendes works, this is by far my fave because Mendes voice matured from his last album, and so did his songwriting style and use of musicality. All songs on this album were co-written with Teddy Geiger.

Listen to the entire album via this custom Youtube playlist.

Song by Song Review

There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back: A fun pop dance track that is played up with dancy guitar chords about being with someone who inspires you to face your fears, and feel free to be yourself. My favorite song off this album for sure, although the rest of the album compliments this first track so nicely.

Ruin: A slow jam about a love that went wrong but you can’t let go of because you still believe you were meant to be with that person.

Mercy: A piano ballad that grips the listener like a siren song that begs for mercy because this person keeps tearing you up with the distorted way they show & give love.

Treat You Better: A strong pop anthem about a guy who can see a girl is in a toxic relationship, and believes he’s the better suitor because he can see her full potential & worth.

Three Empty Words: An acoustic guitar and soft vocals create an authentic ballad about a relationship that is empty & unfulfilling.

Don’t Be A Fool:  An R&B bluesy track that bears the bad news that he’s not the right guy for this girl, and wants to prevent her from looking a fool by encouraging her to move on.

Like This: Another piano ballad where the vocalist carries pain in his voice. Musically, it reminds me of Nick Jonas’s song “Vesper’s Goodbye,” because of the similar sorrowful singing, soft acoustics, and lyrical content.

No Promises: With this track, it shares casual views on love to avoid consequences of heartache and pain.

“I’ve been living only for this moment and I don’t want to let it slip away.”

Lights On: A sultry song that has sexy undertones that describe the act of making love to someone with the lights on.

Honest: The rhythmic musicality of this track is infectious and is something that will stick in your head much like the topic of this track: the final break-up conversation.

Patience: A clever take on an on-and-off relationship that leaves you with withdrawal symptoms and distraught over all when it is all said and done.

Bad Reputation: A sultry, bluesy, I-want-her-so-bad type jam about a person with a reputation you can’t seem to stop thinking about.

Understand: Gospel-style musicality paints this track about wanting to understand who you are and where your life will take you.

Hold On: A slow jam encouraging those fighting life’s battles and that they must “hold on.”

Roses: A metaphor using a rose as a visual image of whether the love between you and this person, asking:

“Will you let it die or let it grow?”

Mercy (Acoustic): A cut-down, simple version of the crooner-tortured heart pop anthem.A definite fireworks finale for this musical masterpiece.

 

 

 

 

 

.@ShawnMendes Releases Something Big with Debut Album #Handwritten

Released on April 14, 2015 by Island Records is the Debut Album by Shawn Mendes. Ask me two weeks ago who Shawn Mendes was and I wouldn’t have been able to fully tell you other than that he was a singer who became famous from Youtube. Despite his cliché Justin Bieber road to fame, he may be able to give Justin Bieber a run for his money. From the Life of the Party, I instantly fell in love with Shawn’s voice and songwriting style. His songwriting style can be compared to that of Ed Sheeran and his vocal talent could be likened to that of Gavin Degraw. Every song on this album is worth a listen, and Shawn Mendes is definitely meant for something big.