#MusicMix: Selena Gomez proves she’s rarer than anything American pop music has ever made with album ‘Rare’

Sometimes you put an album on and instantly feel it was exactly what you needed to hear following some traumatic experiences.

That’s what Rare started out as for me. Like a private message or a text from a close friend about what you went through, what you feel, and how to get past it, this album was the healing soundtrack I needed to press play on.

Like even the week it was released January 10, 2020 was so timely, and divinely gifted to me when I didn’t know how to feel about the first week of the year which was jam packed with chaos and a cacophony of bullshit.

Channeling Paula Abdul for the 21st century, Gomez’s third studio album quickly charted the Billboard 200 at #1.

It’s a midtempo pop and dance album with influences from electronic, latin pop, and R& B. Lyrically, it’s themes are self-love, acceptance, and empowerment.

FB_IMG_1592517889163

Click the above graphic to listen to the album while reading this review.

Rare: Gomez’s favorite song off this new album with a sound of compromised backing vocals and muffled instruments as if the whole thing has been dunked underwater. The song is a self-empowerment anthem about independence and self-love.

pablo

Dance Again: Blended genres of funk, dance, electro, and electropop. It’s lowkey yet infectious musically. It’s main message is acceptance.

I kickstart the rhythm. All the trauma’s in remission. No, I don’t need permission.

pablo (1)

Look at Her Now: Reviewed in a previous post but this is an upbeat song about becoming stronger person after a turbulent relationship. Acknowledging that you mess up and you go through stuff but you always come out of it just feeling like a boss.

pablo (2)

Lose You to Love Me: The only ballad on this album. It has bare bones production, plucked violins, booming bass, tearjerker piano, an orchestra, and multi-layered vocals from Gomez. It was produced and co-written with Billie Eillish’s partner in crime Finneas. The melancholy lyrics talk about her split from ex, Justin Bieber.

pablo (3)

Ring: The latin-influenced track has musicality that is likened to Goyte’s Somebody I Used to Know and Santana’s Smooth. It’s about expecting the best & realizing you deserve the best.

pablo (4)

Vulnerable: My favorite song off the album because of it’s unbreakable huge heart type love themes and so many beautiful lyrics. A warm disco and electropop record with a moody synth groove and elements of italo disco and tropical house.

pablo (5)

People You Know: Electropop musicality contrast this melancholy song about the pain of come and go people friends, lovers, and acquaintances.

pablo (7)

Let Me Get Me: Influences of Latin music on the upbeat and dance-floor ready song about lyrically coming out of body and detaching herself from the thoughts in her head, and she doesn’t want the joy she feels to be shot down.

pablo (8)

Crowded Room: R&B song about the instant connection you have with someone across a crowded room.

pablo (11)

Kinda Crazy: Tongue in cheek tune and sinuous kiss-off driven by a clean bluesy guitar lick and accompanying horns, about a lover who mixed his signals and changed his tune.

pablo (12)

Fun: Playful and catchy co-written with Julia Michaels about a casual relationship with someone not good for her

pablo (13)

Cut You Off: A slinky downtempo pop song with influences of funk and a slam jam about moving on from a relationship and the empowerment you feel.

How could I confuse that shit for love?

pablo (14)

A Sweeter Place: An R&B collaboration with Kid Cudi about finding a place free of worry and brighter days are ahead.

pablo (15)

Gomez hits it out of the park with this treasure of a musical masterpiece. It proves she’s a strong artist, strong human, and yes in fact, very rare in today’s musical scope.

 

#MusicMuses: June Music Mix

I have actually found that for a while there it looked like less music was coming out and I wasn’t sure how I would survive without new music. So I waited until I had more than five songs to discuss and highlight. For this month’s mix, it’s a mix of new pop and some new Christian/inspirational that I found while the COVID-19 pandemic has been going on.

Despite the pandemic, many artists still put out the albums they had worked so hard on, and I look forward to reviewing those. Until then, here’s a summer playlist for you curated by yours truly.

June Music Mix

Click the above graphic to listen to the playlist while you read.

Boyfriend: I remember the first time I heard this. I went for my morning walk and was instantly into the backbeat of this song. It makes this simple song go from whiny and complaining about being single and occasionally lonely into a dance party. It’s almost like a fun pop twist on the saying, “It takes two to tango.”

pablo

I Love Yous: Sampling “No More I Love Yous” by Annie Lennox, this song talks about the importance of healing and self-care following a break-up with someone you cared for deeply, and not jumping right into a new relationship.

pablo (1)

Holy Water: Anthem of various genres with a timeless sound, this song celebrates forgiveness which believers have once they come face to face with Jesus and his never-ending grace.

pablo (2)

I’m Ready: A choir-filled anthem with a powerful declaration of putting it out in the Universe that you are ready for love to find you and love you back.

pablo (3)

 

Break My Heart: Disco-oriented, a dance party track about finally being in a happy place and wondering if this new person will end up only breaking your heart.

pablo (4)

Genetics: A single off Trainor’s album Treat Myself that talks about body positivity and how it can be hard with the surgery craze of the West Coast. It also has this runway type musicality.

pablo (5)

Savage: Made famous by TikTok, this hip-hop self-love anthem defines what it means to be a female in today’s world.

pablo (7)

Together: A song of hope released early amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, it touches on sticking together through the good and the bad. It’s got a choir-like anthem musicality.

pablo (11)

Clean: A song about taking care of your own sanity and mental well-being after you clean someone from your life. It has a multi-layered vocals musicality that mimics a choir.

pablo (12)

Yikes: Trap banger released early after Minaj’s retirement announcement. The track is 2:36 and hits hard from start to finish.

pablo (13)

All My Friends Are Fake: A beautiful lyrical look at how unreliable people can be, and it ends up causing people to develop trust issues.

pablo (14)

That Way: A piano ballad about two friends who have an unspoken chemistry which messes with your head and causes tension on the friendship

pablo (15)

CRZY: This song came out in 2016 but I just discovered its genius. CRZY is a defiant R &B ode to take back the reigns on Kehlani’s own narrative. She’s not addressing anyone who counts her out, but instead applauds her own success and the challenges she’s faced.

pablo (16)

Daisies: One of my favorite songs right now; a self-empowerment anthem that features a mid-tempo production in its verses and a guitar in its chorus. It just reminds the listener to remain true to the course you set for yourself, regardless of what others may think.

pablo (17)

Stuck With U: An R&B Collaboration between Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande to raise money for first responders during the COVID-19 lockdown.

pablo (18)

Savage (Remix): A brand new verse from Meg and an equal verse from Beyonce. They put this song out to raise money from COVID-19 relief for their hometown of Houston.

pablo (8)

X: When I first heard this song, it brought me right back to being ten years old and obsessed with Ricky Martin. With musicality that reminisces his first album, the Jonas Brothers hit another one out of the park with the way they fuse genres into pop music. It’s dancy, fun, and muy caliente.

pablo (19)

 

 

 

#MusicMuses: Zach Williams will bring you straight to Christ’s heart with ‘Rescue Story’

Born and raised in Pensecola, FL, Zach Williams now resides in Jonesboro, Arkansas. In 2007-2016, Williams was lead singer of christian band Zach Williams and the reformation until they disbanded in 2012.

He became a solo artist with Dove Award winning “makes you want to dance” Church Choir, and followed up with another chart-topping song “Fear is A Liar.”

Released on October 4, 2019 Williams’s Rescue Story debuted on the Christian Billboard chart at #2, and includes a duet that saw a lot of radio play “There was Jesus” featuring country music legend Dolly Parton.

71hsyPnCnFL._SL1200_

Song by Song Review

Listen to the entire album while reading this review

Walk With You: A song about temptation and how even in the midst of it we can walk with Jesus.

pablo (72)

Less Like Me: A song about wanting to emulate Jesus and the fruits of the Spirit.

pablo (75)

Rescue Story: The first single off the album and title track, it’s gospel musicality tells every believer’s story centers around the moment when Jesus rescued each of us and continues to rescue us each day of our lives.

pablo (76)

Stand Up: My favorite song on the album for its fun bouncy celebratory musicality about feeling overwhelmed by Jesus’s mighty power and love.

pablo (79)

Slave To Nothing: A bluesy style praise declaration: “I’m a slave to nothing.”

pablo (82)

Under My Feet: A song telling the enemy he has no power or authority here.

pablo (83)

There was Jesus ft. Dolly Parton: A song that reminds you that Jesus is always there for us and walking alongside

pablo (85)

Heaven Help Me: A song you sing when life gets heavy

pablo (88)

Baptized: A song about feeling redeemed

pablo (91)

Face To Face: A song about heaven and seeing Jesus face to face

pablo (92)

Overall, Williams will help any believer believe again, be baptized anew, and receive all the Lord has planned for you.

Grammarly Writing Support

#MusicMuses: @HotChelleRae is back with a SWEET new EP Tangerine

Most people who listen to music would tell you they listen to it for various reasons. Some to dance, some to sing along, and like me, some to inspire you to write or to feel.

When I put on my headphones, I tune in to the music and away from the world. Music becomes a transportation device. I instantly go to a memory, a feeling, or in some cases, it makes me think of certain people.

There has been no band,in my opinion, like Hot Chelle Rae. They sing songs that actually lift me up and make my day, and they make me feel okay like no one else’s music does. I want to believe it’s because all three members of the band have a perfect balance of empathy and compassion for what it means to be human and insanely good writing skills.

So when they announced they were coming back after a 9 year hiatus, I felt like the world was right again. When they left music, there was a gaping void for me. Sure, I just listened to Lovesick Electric and Whatever on repeat but I didn’t want to believe they were over.

I supported the boys solo work because it was equally as good but still I longed for the day I could say to anyone who would care, “Hey, have you heard the new Hot Chelle Rae?”

And honestly, as someone who has been to two headlining shows featuring Hot Chelle Rae, I can say they also put on an amazing live show. They interact with their fans both at the show and regularly on social media and I mean, who even does that anymore?

It’s this personal feel. This friend group. This “we are still three boys from Nashville” vibes they give off in everything they do that makes you not only feel like a fan but you have 3 talented friends.

I have been a Beautiful Freak since 2011. I saw them perform on the AMAs and I literally stopped what I was doing to pay attention. And it’s this commanding sound and magnetism that steals your heart in the best way.

Their EP is nothing short of a blessed fruit found in a desolate wasteland or more currently, the last roll of toilet paper during a global health crisis. It’s just what you were looking for, and you don’t know why but you needed it.

Song by Song Review

pablo - 2019-11-10T123851.026

I Hate LA: Hot Chelle Rae’s first single since 2014, it’s a contemporary alt-rock meets pop break-up song with a Hot Chelle Rae twist. Hurray for their return to music (personally, no other band’s music gives me purpose) and their unique lyrical storytelling. Unlike their previous music, it has a more mature sound in terms of songwriting and musicality.

I mean what other band has used “Zack Galifianakis” in a song so smoothly.

This review originally appeared in a previous post.

download

Tangerine:After taking a hiatus Hot Chelle Rae returns with a sweet new song with a tangy twist. With their signature catchy melody and vocal performance, but with  a sound that reminded me of Maroon 5, I am into this new sound from the American rock band. Maybe it’s not necessarily a new sound but a maturing to my ears as well as the perspective of these three musicians. Either way, one could say this new song is on repeat. Why? It’s all the color I need.

This review originally first appeared on Instagram.

Honestly I just need you to stay

Stay by Hot Chelle Rae: The third single off the forthcoming Tangerine EP about the loneliness and needing someone to fill the void you feel. It’s got an EDM pop musicality while lead singer Follese’s vocals emote every ounce of how much he needs to not be alone.

Review previously appeared in this post

No matter how broke I get, no way Jose I’m still buying that good tequila

Tomorrow Me by Hot Chelle Rae: OMG, sorry not sorry that I love this band so much.

Straight after the COV-19 outbreak and pandemic, and deep into the beginning of our science fiction level quarentine in real life, it’s a great track to be released about going all in and letting the mistakes and the problems of the night and all the “sins and debauchery” be something that this person can handle after the hangover subsides the following day. The minor piano chords in the musicality hint at the subtle regret of the speaker’s lack of remorse in the moment. I haven’t stopped listening since it came out last Friday. It’s just that good, and will also be featured on the forthcoming Tangerine EP.

It’s a party anthem and a “I Like It Like That” for 2020.

Previously reviewed in this post

A New Year, a new you, a new sceneYou act like you never knew meThings wrote I wish I could unsend'Cause you leave 'em on read

Too Much: The song that makes the EP oh so sweet. Sentimental and soft musicality echoes the broken heart of the moment when you love someone too much which is what this song is all about but it has the signature sound of a Hot Chelle Rae hit and definitely hit me hard when it was released as it echoed emotions I had but couldn’t express until this song put them into perfect poetic portion as I had been feeling this way toward someone who didn’t feel the same.

download (1)

You can pick up the EP that costs the same as a literal bag of tangerines ($4.95) wherever you stream/purchase music.

Also make sure to follow them on TikTok because you will laugh your ass off at every video they upload. Or maybe that’s just me. Either way, they are my favorite user on the platform.

 

 

 

#MusicMonday: I Can’t Keep #CALM about how good @5SOS ‘s new album is

I never wanted to become a fan of 5SOS. I just wanted them to be another One Direction like group that would be popular and then gradually fade away but after they made their American debut, I decided to check them out, and I have yet to stop listening to them. What’s crazy is that they were the same age as the members of One Direction when they became a band and started writing music but unlike One Direction, they had a cohesive awareness of what they wanted to become as artists, even so much as continuing to grow with each album they put out. That’s such a rare quality nowadays even among artists that are popular. They don’t have a sound that is signature to them. Sure, the songs they put out are good and top the charts but 5SOS has such a unique sound as musicians and the lyrics they write are so depth defying that I find it hard to ignore them as a true lover of music.

Calm (stylised as C A L M, an acronym of the first letters of the band members’ names, Calum, Ashton, Luke and Michael)is the fourth studio album by Australian pop rock band 5 Seconds of Summer, released on 27 March 2020. Due to a shipping error, around 10,000 copies of the album were released early in the US, subsequently allowing the album to chart a week before it was due.

Prior to the album’s release, the band released a four-track “Relaxation” remix collection via the meditation app, Calm. The collection features each bandmember reimagining a different track off the album in collaboration with producer Matt Pauling: guitarist Michael Clifford on “Easier”, bassist Calum Hood on “Old Me”, drummer Ashton Irwin on “Red Desert”, and guitarist and vocalist Luke Hemmings on “Best Years”.

The band were inspired by a lot of industrial music whilst working on the album, which helped them achieve a “rhythm side” on the songs, and in turn lends to the melodic writing and the melodic process. Drummer Ashton Irwin explained: “As far as sonic inspirations go, we always try to incorporate some of what everyone is actually listening to so it’s a more genuine and influenced record that we can speak on.” The album contains a “lighter” sound in comparison to the band’s previous work. Rhythm guitarist Luke Hemmings said he felt like the last album was “pretty heavy and dark […] Whereas this one has that side of it with the lighter side of life and moving forward rather than being stuck in one place”.[11] The band’s bassist Calum Hood said most of the credit is owed to vocalist Luke Hemmings, whose lyrics, Hood said, “tell the tale of a man who has matured over the years and who has really honed in on his craft”. Hood, however, noted: “I think everyone had something to say with this album, in terms of their coming of age – in really reflecting on the people who we were and how things shaped us, and who we want to become in the future.” He futher described the album as “pretty chaotic at times”.

The album due to it’s early release charted at #62 in the Billboard Hot 200 in it’s first week.

Song by Song Review

Red Desert: A SONG WITH BIG ROCK GROUP HARMONIES FEATURING VOCALS FROM ALL FOUR MEMBERS, IT IS SET IN THE RED DESERT WHICH IS IN AUSTRALIA. DISCUSSES SOMEONE WHO’S LOVE DIVES DEEP AND HEALS YOUR BLUES.

Red Desert

No Shame: WRITTEN IN ONE TAKE TOGETHER AS A BAND. THIS SONG DISCUSSES BEING A PUBLIC FIGURE OR A MODERN DAY PERSON WITH MOST OF LIFE’S HAPPENINGS SHARED ONLINE, AND HAVING NO SHAME ABOUT BEING COUPLED UP WITH SOMEONE.

Go on and light me like a cigarette Even if it might be somethin' you'll regret

OLD ME: PREVIOUSLY REVIEWED IN MY MARCH MUSIC PLAYLIST BUT ONE OF MY FAVORITES OFF THE ALBUM.

Devil at my door Got me knockin', knockin', knockin' on the other side Ashes on the floor But I'm walkin', walkin', walkin' outta here alive

That song, lyrically, it’s about owning mistakes and moving forward with your life and understanding that you’re not the person that you were when you were younger, but also you have to do these things and make mistakes to move forward and grow as a person.

Easier:

CO-WRITTEN WITH RYAN TEDDER, IT’S A DEBATE ABOUT STAYING WITHIN A TOXIC RELATIONSHIP

The song has a hard rock feel, but with a relatively sparse arrangement. 5 Seconds of Summer told Rolling Stone it came about because there has been “a growing attention to industrial rhythm within the band.” They said that the track is “derivative of the driving drum groove” that’s heard on Nine Inch Nail’s track “Closer.” The band added that they were also inspired by dark, synth-heavy groups such as Depeche Mode and Tears for Fears.

I love you so much that I hate you (Oh) Right now, it's so hard to blame you (Oh) 'Cause you're so damn beautiful (Oh) So damn beautiful (Oh)

TEETH: PREVIOUSLY REVIEWED ON A PLAYLIST POST

I love that song. It has that driving kick and that bass; we tried to make a song without having a snare. It has a few in it, but it’s mainly kick and it’s my breath doing all of the other beats. Tom Morello plays the guitar solo at the end. He’s almost imitating a snare with his guitar.

Talk so pretty, but your heart got teeth -Teeth, 5SOS

WILDFLOWER: This is the lighter side of the album. It’s a step forward for us in that it’s not so dark—we can do this big stadium vocal but also have it be a big, positive, euphoric anthem and not be lame.

You know you are my favourite fantasy A fatal love song Waterfall is overflowin'

BEST YEARS: A BEAUTIFUL LOVE NOTE WRITTEN PRIMARILY BY HEMMINGS FOR A PAST LOVER, IT WAS CO-WRITTEN WITH RYAN TEDDER AND FEATURES THE EDGE FROM U2 PLAYING GUITAR ON THE BRIDGE.

Past love, burned out like a cigarette I promise, darling, you won't regret

NOT IN THE SAME WAY: WRITTEN IN 30 MINUTES, It’s a chaotic love story of the early days in a relationship and trying to figure out your counterpart. THE MUSICALITY HAS AN ELECTRONIC UP AND DOWN SOUND LIKE THE BUILD UP AND THE BLOW UP THEN THE SILENCE IMITATING THE CHAOS OF THE LYRICAL CONTENT.

In the dark, we're black and white In the morning, colourblind Leave your mark with every bite Then everything's alright
LOVER OF MINE: Opening with soft yet very prominent piano chords, the listener is pulled right in. This song is about the maturity of the protagonist and realising the past mistakes they have made with their lover. MUSICALLY, IT’S GOT A JEFF BUCKLY VIBE. THE SOFT GUITAR CHORDS ARE SO NICELY DONE THROUGHOUT THE TRACK.

Kaleidoscope mind gets in the way Hope and I pray, darling, that you will stay Butterfly lies, chase them away, mmm

THIN WHITE LIES: USING MUSICALITY THAT MIMICS THE CURE, IT’S AN HONEST SONG ABOUT SELF-REFLECTION AND BECOMING A STRANGER TO YOURSELF.

WHEN THE SUN GOES DOWN, WE ALL GET LONELY WATCH ME DISAPPER

Lonely Heart: The song’s really beautiful. I like the dancing metaphor in some of the verses. It kind of sounds like Depeche Mode in the chorus, which I like. It’s all pretty New Wave. IT’S GOT A HAUNTING SOUND WITH THE MUSICALITY.

Your type of mind, so hard to find Native of mine, you're just my kind

HIGH: THE FIRST SONG WRITTEN FOR THE ALBUM BUT PLANNED AS THE CLOSER, WITH BEATLES-ESQUE MUSICALITY COMES THIS FINAL TRACK ABOUT HOPING A PAST OR EX LOVER THINKS OF YOU HIGHLY.

But the picture that you paint of me looks better in your mind -High, 5SOS

Overall, 5SOS never disappoint me as a fan of music, as a fan of them as a band, and as a human being. Their music, no matter what it discusses, gives me an overall zen feeling, and instantly makes me calm. This album, ironically, is no exception.

 

#MusicMix: Best of Pop in March

Pop songs in March saw an uplifting change of pace. They feature subjects such as self-love, drowning in love with someone recklessly, and gender equality, and 2 new songs from my faves Hot Chelle Rae.

Does your music library need some fresh blooms? Check out these amazing tracks in pop music:

Music Mix Playlist

Kings and Queens: Ava Max popped on the scene with Sweet but Psycho an EDM track that launched her onto the Billboard Hot 100. Now she’s back with a female empowerment track with the same signature EDM musicality and fire-breathing lyrics.

Oh, no damsel in distress, don't need to save me Once I start breathing fire, you can't tame me And you might think I'm weak without a sword But if I had one, it'd be bigger than you

Feel Me by Selena Gomez: A bonus track for her newest album Rare, it’s a dancy and hypnotic track about a lover you never forget.

Do you stay up late Just so you don't dream_

I Love Me by Demi Lovato: Following her first single Anyone since her near-fatal overdose, Lovato is back with an empowering self-love ballad with a fun and lighthearted musicality that begs the question:

I wonder when I love me is enough.

I'm a 10 out of 10 even when I forget it.
Where Am I At? by MAX: A Piano Ballad by the hitmaking soulful voice behind that song you kept hearing on the radio “Lights Down Low.”
Unlike the love in that track, this one is about the loss of a love that causes you to feel like a piece or part of you died.

Hardly got out of bed this morning Felt this rush, yeah, it lingers and I can't_ignore_it

Wave by Meghan Trainor: The first single off her recent album Treat Myself about a lover who isn’t entirely available but you want anyway, and allow yourself to swept up by the undercurrent of falling in love.

Drown by Martin Garrix: A dance pop track with a similar theme to the previous track about wanting someone so much you would drown in your love for them.

Tonight I wanna drown in an ocean of you

Afterlife by Hailee Steinfield: A song Steinfield wrote for the Apple TV show Dickinson to which she said:

There’s a line in the song that says, “Immortality is bliss,” and it reminded me a lot of Emily Dickinson’s poems. She lived during a time where women were forbidden from voicing their opinions, so the majority of her work wasn’t published until after she died. The inability to express herself fully in life, but to be so revered beyond her death—her writing continues to be remembered and relevant to this day, making her immortal.

It’s a breathy and dark song about someone’s love keeping your spirit alive even in moments when you don’t feel alive.

Every time your name, it leaves my lips Burning still, like words left unsaid

Love Me Anyway by P!nk and Chris Stapleton: A duet between the pop powerhouse singer and country singer Chris Stapleton that turns over the thought of unconditional love.

Old Me by 5SOS : Just another banger by this punk meets pop rock band from Australia about realizing that after all the mistakes you made and things you’ve been through, shoutout to the old you because that person taught you a lot. It is the fourth single off their album (out this Friday March 27) CALM.

Devil at my door Got me knockin', knockin', knockin' on the other side Ashes on the floor But I'm walkin', walkin', walkin' outta here alive

Stay by Hot Chelle Rae: The third single off the forthcoming Tangerine EP about the loneliness and needed someone to fill the void you feel. It’s got an EDM pop musicality while lead singer Follese’s vocals emote every ounce of how much he needs to not be alone.

Honestly I just need you to stay

Don’t Call Me Angel by Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, and Lana Del Ray: A female empowerment song written for the 2019 Charlie Angel’s remake soundtrack about not needing a man to get by or to fight their battles. Discusses the oversexualization of women based on their body and not in what they have accomplished, the thoughts or brainpower they bring to the table.

Don't You Know I bite when the sun set, yeah_

Tomorrow Me by Hot Chelle Rae: OMG, sorry not sorry that I love this band so much.

Straight after the COV-19 outbreak and pandemic, and deep into the beginning of our science fiction level quarentine in real life, it’s a great track to be released about going all in and letting the mistakes and the problems of the night and all the “sins and debauchery” be something that this person can handle after the hangover subsides the following day. The minor piano chords in the musicality hint at the subtle regret of the speaker’s lack of remorse in the moment. I haven’t stopped listening since it came out last Friday. It’s just that good, and will also be featured on the forthcoming Tangerine EP.

It’s a party anthem and a “I Like It Like That” for 2020.

No matter how broke I get, no way Jose I’m still buying that good tequila

The Other Side by Justin Timberlake and SZA: A jazz musicality colors this track about getting to the other side of what is holding you back. The feel good positive pop track is featured on the soundtrack of the new Trolls World Tour movie.

No matter how broke I get, no way Jose I’m still buying that good tequila (1)

Didn’t I by OneRepublic: This next single off of OneRepublic’s fifth album Human features a piano based melody in contrast to earlier singles Rescue Me (dance based) and Wanted (string influenced). It also runs longer, at almost four minutes. Its theme centers around a lost relationship, asking “tell me why good things have to die?”

It is my favorite song out right now and I can’t stop listening to it.

My favorite line:

Never thought we'd ever have to go without Take you over anybody else, hands down We're the type of melody that don't fade out

 

 

 

 

 

#MusicMix:Grammy Nominated ‘Thank U, Next’ is Grande’s strongest work to date

I’ve always thought Ariana Grande was a star. I first watched her act on Victorious and thought her character Sam was spot on yet likeable. Then, she launched her music career shortly after that and I was blown away that someone who stands about four feet nine inches could have such a booming and powerful voice. Yet, with Thank U, Next she wrote, recorded, and produced this album within six months of her previous work Sweetener.

Before we talk about the Grammy nominated album Thank U, Next, let’s first note the sweetest tracks on Sweetener:

Sweetener

  • Debuted at #1 with three Top 20 singles in the US
  • Finished out the year at #38 on the Billboard Hot 200.
  • First notable track: God is a Woman– a female empowerment track discussing sexual empowerment using spirituality imagery. Musically, it is trap-pop with some reggae elements.
  • Second notable track: Breathin’ a dance pop mental health bop discussing Grande’s overcoming struggles with anxiety.
  • Third notable track: No Tears Left To Cry – A dance pop and disco track about overcoming a tragic event and turning it into a positive.
  • Fourth notable track: Get Well Soon –  a soul-ballad that has a laid back R&B melody with lyrics that talk about Grande’s personal anxiety & trauma following the Manchester Arena bombing.At the end of the song, 40 seconds of silence are played as a tribute to the twenty-two victims of the bombing and the date of which the bombing took place (May 22, 2017).

thank u next

Thank U, Next Song by Song Review

Grande’s 5th studio album was released on February 8, 2019, and spent two weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 200, as well as four weeks in the Top 10 of Billboard Hot 200.

Musically, it contains pop, r&b, soul, dance hall, trap and urban. It was nominated for both Album of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Album at the 2020 Grammy Awards.

Thank U Next Giveaway

Ends 3/31/20 and open to an international winner. Sorry for the wonkiness.

 

Win a copy of Thank U Next

Imagine: First promotional single about an unattainable love. About a “now and forever” unreachable love. It’s musicality contains whistle noises and is an R&B trap ballad.pablo (1)

Needy:  mid-tempo minimalistic song with a metronome-like synth in the foreground. Lyrically, it shows that any lover can be insecure and craves emotional support.

pablo (5)

NASA R&B tune featuring a thumping bass and trap drums; a song about needing space or distance to create a “miss you” effect with the person you are in a relationship with.

pablo (7)

Bloodline: My instant favorite off this album about wanting to be friends with benefits. A reggae pop song with R&B influences that contains brassy horns and a pumping bass. The song opens with a sound bite of her grandmother referencing her hearing aid.

pablo (8)

Fake Smile: A hip-hop soul track with a trap groove, Grande discusses her dissatisfaction with life and how she won’t wear a facade to hide her emotions. This is her opening up about the Manchester bombing and the death of her ex Mac Miller.

pablo (11)

Bad Idea: An EDM and trap number opening with an 80’s rock ballad intro compared to David Guetta’s Titanium featuring an orchestra in the bridge and outro. Lyrically, it discusses using a lover to numb her pain.

pablo (12)

Make-Up:  A wonky pop and bubblegum influenced sound with a rap-influenced bridge set up a double entendre about makeup applied to one’s face to enhance one’s features and make-up sex after a heated argument.

pablo (13)

Ghostin’:An emotional synth-and-strings ballad about being with someone while still being in love with someone else.

In My Head: A track with trap pop hybrid musicality with many R&B influences about falling in love with someone she created in her head only to realize that is not who the person is at all.

pablo (14)

7 Rings:  A trap and R&B cover of My Favorite Things by Julia Andrews from The Sound of Music. Instead of the musical reprise, the track has a female empowerment hip-hop flex feel. It’s also acknowledges the power of women friendships and women who support one another.

pablo (15)

Thank U, Next:  The title track  off the album. Self-empowered pop and R&B track discussing being grateful for the lessons learned in past relationships and from past lovers.

Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored: Trap-pop and R&B song that samples “It Makes Me Ill” by NSYNC in the bridge. A song that at first sounds like being attracted to a guy only to realize he has a girlfriend but she really wants to love herself.

Grande hit the nail on the head despite the short time span this album took to create and come out but sometimes, it’s the heaviness of life that creates the most lasting art, song, or story.

Super Pods are here!

#MusicMuses: Pop Music Mix January 2020

I think pop music is a fascinating genre because unlike all the other genres of music it is a mix of them plus constantly evolving. It’s always got a catchy beat, lyrics that grip, and a message based on current issues of the time.

For me, pop music has reminded of certain times with certain people. Or the decade of my birth because 90s pop was pretty dang fun.

Pop music has progressively gotten a lot darker and more deeper, in a genuine reflection of our society and world as a whole.

Yet, it is filled with so many songs that carry you through when nothing else seems to.

Here is a playlist for anyone looking to add something fresh and inviting.

Haunted House:Voice manipulation and Christina’s big band musicality create this dark jazz track about how one’s heart is haunted with past lovers, broken pieces, and twisted walk ways.

pablo (14)

Nice To Meet Ya:  Uptempo pop track with vintage vibes about seeing someone at a club or bar, and feeling a connection but not getting their name.

Adore You:  3rd single from Styles’ Fine Line, features Harry speaking about his love and passion for a significant other, and the extent to which he would do things.

pablo (15)

I’m Fakin’:  An electropop track about two people who have very large energies and disagree often. It’s only an act. The track features a clock ticking in the background on the breakdown.

You Can’t Stop The Girl: A female empowerment track that is from Disney’s second Maleficient movie.

Up All Night:  An uptempo pop track about troubling thoughts that keep you up all night, struggling with anxiety.

Lost My Mind:   The windchimes in the musicality are a perfect touch to a track about feeling winded because someone took your breath away, they left you, and you can’t get them off your mind.  It is a deep exploration of the human heart, and even after you leave someone’s presence they stay with you and you feel like you’ve lost your mind in loving them.

pablo (16)

Keep On: A soft song that shares an encouraging  message for anyone who suffers with any and all symptoms of anxiety, depression, or other mental illnesses.

Fall On Me: A cover of Andrea Bocelli’s 2018 song of the same name. The “Say Something” duo is back to create a multilayered piece of music about falling in love or falling on anyone when you can’t carry your burdens alone.

pablo (17)

Fired Up by Grace Carter: A fun pop track about being in love and it fuels your overall passion for life.

This Is On You:  An almight emo girl bop about not feeling responsible for someone else’s happiness.

Poser:  A song about struggling in self-worth and trying not to mess up what you share with someone

Anyone: An emotionally charged piano ballad about needing help as she wants someone to be there through the tough times with her. It was written and recorded four days before her near-fatal overdose in July 2018.

pablo (18)

pablo (19)

Underdog: An Uptempo R&B song about people working for a better life, co-written with Ed Sheeran.

20200127_201808

 

Don’t miss my Billie Eillish giveaway!

 

 

 

 

 

#Grammys Young Creative Billie Eillish Sweeps Four Major Awards For Album When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (Album Review)

Before 18 year old Billie Eillish was humbly accepted yet confused that her album was 2020 Grammy Winner for Album of The Year she was just a different being altogether. Her vocals are ethereal, haunting, yet heart wrenching. Her lyrics are multidimensional. People wonder who is Billie Eillish. Well, rumors circle and white noise ensues. She’s certainly not a satanist, atheist, or a  psycho who escaped the ward.

In 2016, she burst onto the pop charts with music she wrote and produced with her older brother Finneas. Her first single Ocean Eyes was released via Soundcloud and was written by Finneas for his band but he gave it to Billie since she was looking for a song she could choreograph a dance to.

The rest is her story…

Billie Eillish’s musicality is a mix of pop, alternative, electropop, trap, and EDM.

Her soprano vocals steal the show and grab hold of your insides. They are ethereal, husky, almost whisper-like, a slurring voice that can be thinned out to reedy.

Most people have compared her to Lana Del Ray which she welcomes with a big bright smile saying that one of her biggest musical influences is Del Ray.

When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? Debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 200 on March 29, 2019.

billie grammys

Took home 4 Grammys last night for:

  • Record of the Year: Bad Guy
  • Song of the Year: Bad Guy
  • Best New Artist
  • Best Pop Vocal Album: When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

FINNEAS also won a Grammy for Best Producer of the Year, Non-Classical.

GIVEAWAY!!!
Win a Copy of Billie’s Grammy Winning Album! [Open to 1/27/20 to 2/3/20] International Entries Accepted. Follow both terms to qualify.
Song by Song Review
As always, click the title to be linked to audio of each track.
!!!: A 14 second track that showcases the artist’s sense of humor while simultaneously introducing the album.
Bad Guy:  A pop & trap song which uses a bass, a kick drum, and amplified finger snaps. When I first heard it, I instantly thought it sounded somewhat familiar and recently it has been revealed that this song was based off the theme song for Disney Channel original series Wizards of Waverly Place. Eilish uses anything to create a song as seen throughout this album. The lyrics showcase the meaning of being the “bad guy”: not fitting in, feeling out of place, being more masculine than your male counterparts but both Eillish and her brother have said that this song is about someone who always has to say what they are, aren’t truly bad, etc.
pablo (14)
Who someone is comes off in the way they present themselves and not in what they constantly have to convince themselves they are.
This song was introduced to me by my younger sister and then played often at work by a coworker. It was my first intro into this artist’s music but instantly made me want to uncover all the layers of Billie Eillish as an artist and open every crevice of her musical Pandora’s box.
My favorite thing about this song is the spoken word “Duh” heard throughout the track.
It even inspired me to get this T-shirt which I proudly wore last night while watching the Grammys.
20191007_131116
Xanny: The song’s minimal instrumentation includes sparse bits of bass guitar, piano, and dirty bass synth, along with an heavy 808 bass on the bridge, while Eillish’s vocals are slow-paced and slightly off-beat. It explores irresponsible recreational drug use.
pablo (17)
You Should See Me In A Crown: My favorite song on the entire album because it instantly has that “SHIT IS ABOUT TO GO DOWN” feel. A hip-hop & trap song featuring Billie singing over blaring synths and rapid fire hi-hats. The lyrics were inspired by the show Sherlock.
pablo (18)
All The Good Girls Go To Hell: punchy piano number exploring the idea of God & the Devil observing human beings and wondering what they are truly trying to achieve. When asked for a deeper meaning underneath the symbolism, this track discusses the epidemic of climate change.
pablo (21)
Wish You Were Gay: A goofy song about being rejected by a guy she liked and wanting an explanation.
pablo (22)
After the song came out, she found out the muse behind the track came out to his family and friends because of the song.
When The Party’s Over:Before I heard this full track, I saw it visually on the show So You Think You Can Dance
A heart-wrenching track about the distance between you and another person. A piano ballad with choral influences, it is entirely hauntingly beautiful.
pablo (24)
8: A ukelele-based lullaby in which her vocals are manipulated to sound like a small child. It is written from the perspective of someone she hurt. The lyrics discuss someone not seeing you for you while you would have given them the world just to get them to smile.
pablo (25)
My Strange Addiction: A bass heavy pop song inspired by the American sitcom “The Office.” It contains samples from the episode “Threat Level Midnight,” which the entire cast gave personal permission for Eillish to use.
pablo (27)
Bury A Friend: Minimalist Electronica and Industrial Track written from the perspective of a monster under the bed. It details a confusing relationship.
pablo (30)
Ilomilo: Electropop cut named after a 2010 video game.
pablo (31)
Listen Before I Go: A hard to listen to song based on the idea of Billie committing suicide and what she would say to all her family, friends, and fans. It features a gentle piano accompaniment and jazz influences, containing faint street noises & sirens for ambiance.
Billie recently struggled with the thought of ending her life while struggling with the overwhelming pressures of fame. She talked herself out of it after crying and thinking of her mom.
As someone who also has struggled with, and continues to struggle with mental illness including suicidal thoughts, this song hits home for me because it makes the idea almost real in a sense.
pablo (33)
I Love You: An acoustic ballad that explores the struggles and feelings when you realize you are in love with someone, someone you shouldn’t be.
pablo (36)
Goodbye: It features lyrics from each song on the album reversing as if rewinding a cassette tape to start it over.
Although only included on the Japanese version of the album, my favorite Billie Eillish song is Come out and Play
It’s soft, and the lyrics are timely, almost autobiographical in a sense.
pablo (37)
Overall, we can see now who Billie Eillish is. She’s brillant, an enigma, creative, artistic, and someone who is self-aware of her feelings and how they affect those around her.
She wears loud colors in her hair and is just a young talented female who wants to share her art with the world.
Don’t ever discount or minimize someone’s abilities because they are different than you.
If this year’s Grammy Awards could be summed up in a single sentence, it would be that.

#MusicNotes: Growing Up is Hard to Do (Alessia Cara Album Review)

Alessia Cara jumped into the world’s playlist with a song about feeling out of place at a party. With her second album, Cara comes across as more mature in her songwriting and sound. It was inspired by her brother talking to her about being a teenager and he used the phrase “Growing Pains.” Cara used that to fuel the cohesiveness of this body of work.

Although the album didn’t make the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 200, many critics felt that Cara made this album sound like “big sister pop”, and praised her songwriting.

I personally think this album is another great work from the artist, and once again, relate to her vulnerability and authenticity in her songwriting. She sings what we are all thinking and has the audacity to be brave enough to sing it out loud.

Notable Tracks

[reviewer’s note: views my own; click the title of each track in the review to be re-routed to the audio or music video of each track]

Growing Pains: A song about that moment when you realize how painful it is to be an adult and how you are all alone. It talks about loss of innocence and how frightening it is to take on adult responsibilities.

pablo (72).png

I Don’t Want To: My favorite song on this album because it’s so simplistic in it’s musicality and acoustic vocalization.  In the song Alessia talks about someone she broke up with, she talks about how she still wants to be with them and how she doesn’t want to let go of them. She also mentions how she wants to get rid of everything her previous significant other left in her room, or the things that reminder her of them, but she doesn’t want to let go of those memories

pablo (73).png

7 Days: The coolest thing to happen to pop music is that more and more secular artists are acknowledging God in pop music. It’s a song asking God whether he cares about what is going on lately because everything in the US popular culture seems depressing, hopeless, and negative. Alessia said about this song:

I wrote this song during a time which I feel like is still going on when you could not turn on social media or the news without seeing something frustrating. I was raised in a Catholic household and I wanted to have a conversion with whoever is up there… like, ‘Are you mad at us? What is the purpose? We need some help’… [I took] that concept that God created the earth in seven days and I wanted to ask God if we we’re worth those seven days… so this is for anyone out there that has any questions because I certainly do.

pablo (74).png

Comfortable:  A song about learning all you can about someone you are in a relationship and you’ve reached this slightly stagnant stage of being comfortable with one another. In this song she sings about her doubts and how that stage in a relationship can’t be dodged and how she accepts that she is in the comfortable stage with her lover and she realizes it’s not as bad as she thought it was going to be.

pablo (77).png

Out of Love: This song was inspired by a friend’s breakup and talks about processing how someone falls out of love with someone. It’s a question we as humans perplex as we grow which is why it is so vital to the cohesiveness of this album.

pablo (78).png

Girl Next Door: A simple song showcasing how Cara grows in fame and success, she will always stay the simple girl she was before. She will wear what she wants and do what she wants, not following trends or the pressures of Hollywood.

pablo (81).png

Overall,  Cara grew in her songwriting and maturity as an artist, and this album is all but painful to listen to, over and over.

 
Happy New Year from SHEIN!