#MusicMonday: William’s personal struggle with depression brings themes of the realities of adulthood with ‘After Laughter’

Paramore has been one of my favorite bands since high school. I would ride to school listening to “Misery Business,” and relating to everything on Riot! I also found it entirely bold and daring of Williams who was only 16 when the band got it’s start wore bright orange hair. Williams songwriting spoke to me as an angsty teenager who felt misunderstood, undermined, and never ever good enough, it helped me cope through all those feelings and become a writer myself, and later a teenage author at only 15.

Released on May 12, 2017 as follow-up to their 2013 self-titled album comes a huge change for the band both sonically and lyrically.

The album contains dark lyrics over fun and poppy melodies Williams has been very open about her struggles with depression: “It means that look on a person’s face when they laugh really hard and then there’s this moment when they come back to reality.”

Drummer Zac Farro rejoined the band in 2017. After Laughter debuted at number six on the US Billboard Hot 200.

Song by Song Review

Hard Times: A playful eighties vibe contrast hard hitting lyrics showcasing growing up and Williams’ personal struggle with depression.

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Rose-Colored Boy: A song about feeling pressure to look at the world with blind optimism when you actually feel very hopeless about the world and your part in it. There is so much social pressure to be “happy” that we can actually feel shame when we aren’t.

Told You So: With a central theme is built around the common phrase, “Hate to say I told you so” which is typically said in a condescending disapproving manner. A track about struggles faced when people watching your every move waiting for you to make a mistake.

Forgiveness: Throughout “Forgiveness” Hayley talks about forgiveness and redemption between her and the other band members and troublesome moments with her partner at the time.

Fake Happy: A song showcasing how much we as humans can hide underneath our smiles. Despite being bright and bubbly at our best, there are some moments that you can’t fake the happiness.

26: About not losing hope and staying a dreamer, the musicality is acoustic and very authentically transparent.

Pool: 80’s new wave synth pop musicality creates a cool but dark love song about the highs and lows of loving someone

Grudges: A song about Zac Farro’s return to the band in 2017 after he left in 2010.

Grudges Paramore

Caught in the Middle: Williams confronts the concept of getting older. Combined with a contrasting light and danceable beat, Paramore shares the harsh feeling of seeing the years piling up. This song can also be seen as a fight with depression. Sometimes, the simple act of moving forward in life is a tedious task.

No Friend: An outro track to “Idle Worship” containing spoken word poetry from Aaron Weiss from MeWithoutYou.

Tell Me How: The final track about being at a crossroads in life. It’s a slow moving laiden track showing optimism toward the band’s future.

Paramore shows us that whether you are looking at the world with ‘Brand New Eyes’ or allowing the ‘Riot!’ within to speak up boldly. ‘After Laughter’ showcases a brand new maturity toward the realities and struggles of being a thirty-something adult in today’s world. And I am enamored by all that the band puts out both sonically and lyrically.

 

#MusicMonday: Panic At The Disco’s Pray For The Wicked will take you to the church of rock and roll

Oddly enough, the first album I ever reviewed on this site was a Panic at The Disco album.

Panic at the Disco are back with their sixth studio album. Fronted and held on the shoulders of original band member Brendan Urie, Pray For The Wicked actually has a lot of personal notes from Urie regarding his time on broadway, his Mormon roots, and his now simpler life married to his wife Sarah.

Pray For The Wicked was released on June 22, 2018 with one of it’s singles making the Top Ten of the Billboard Hot 100. The album peaked at #12 as a whole.

Song by Song Review

**** a Silver Lining: A song about wanting to excel at everything and wanting to get the best out of every possible situation, with the musicality of a song you may hear in a 70’s roller rink. Centered around such common phrases such as, “every cloud has a silver lining” and “cherry on top,” the former means that every difficulty or setback that causes harm also contains the potential to be positive while the latter refers to something good that follows a series of other fortunate events.

Brendon flips these idioms on their head, endless cherries and a silver lining aren’t that enticing to him. One of my favorite lyrics from the entire album is below: pablo (36).png

Say Amen( Saturday Night): A fun electro-pop track with a sound effect that sounds like gnashing teeth that comes a song about those who parade around in religion and use God to judge everybody. Urie was raised Mormon but wanted to write a song without making a dig at anyone who worships and praise, and prays regularly.

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Hey, Look Ma! I Made It: A tongue in cheek celebratory song about finally tasting lasting success. It has a big band musicality that makes you want to dance. Urie tips his hat to his mother, and reflects on his journey to success, examining the thirst of record labels for new material and the quest to avoid people, who only want to be associated with him due to his fame.

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High Hopes: My favorite song on the album for it’s overall message of seeking your dreams without hesitancy and seeing those dreams come to fruition beyond your wildest imagination. I also love the big band mixed with electopop sound to this track. This song peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100.

High Hopes Music Video

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Roaring 20’s: The musicality of this track mimics that of a speak easy in the 20s or 30s. Urie who was raised on musicals recently got a starring role in the Broadway musical Kinky Boots playing Charlie Price.

Dancing Is Not a Crime: This light-hearted song showcases the purities and youthfulness of young love, with simple things such as dancing with someone or being their boyfriend or girlfriend.

One of the Drunks: This track explores the consequences and downfalls of the party lifestyle. It discusses in a very blatant manner and it talks about how we as a society really celebrate an excess of drugs, alcohol, all this stuff, and how we don’t need to binge and go crazy on shit. Ultimately, the endless cycle of alcohol and parties is fruitless.

Overpass: Catchy big band musicality that reminisces a “Bonnie & Clyde” feel paints a track about a relationship that has been torn apart but is longed for. He proposes they meet  at “The Overpass” where they can truly be together and who they are. Musically, it contains samples of Chase by James Brown.

King of The Clouds: Styled in 6/8 time signature comes a dreamy track that explores the ideas of inter-dimensional travel & multiverses.

Old Fashioned: A nostalgic track about reminiscing being young and having time to kill, such as the teenage years and good times with booze and medication. He is envious about the wasted years with alcohol.

Dying in LA: A piano track with somber musicality describing the struggle of someone who came to LA to pursue their dreams, but ended up unsuccessful. It shows how many are captivated by the glamour & opportunities of the city when they first enter, only to be slowly broken down over time. It paints the picture of a person slowly losing hope and becoming who they promised they would never be in the city of (broken) dreams.

 

 

 

 

#MusicReview & #EarwormAlert: Why I Can’t Stop Listening to ‘YoungBlood’ by @5sos

I purchased the album, totally stoked to own the #1 album, by 5 seconds of summer. Yet, that was two weeks ago, and since I first put it in my CD player, I can’t seem to stop listening to it.

It has now become the soundtrack of all my daily life activities:

  1. Working out
  2. Driving in the car
  3. Karaoke session in the shower
  4. Writing a scene in my novel
  5. Computer work
  6. Playing with my dogs

You get the idea. It’s a definite earworm.

Youngblood debuted at number one in Australia, becoming 5 Seconds of Summer’s third number-one album in their home country. It debuted atop the albums chart at the same week that the title track was number one for a fifth week on the singles chart.

In the United States, it became their third number-one album on the Billboard 200 chart, debuting with 142,000 album-equivalent units, including 117,000 in pure album sales. The album debuted ahead of the Carters’ (Beyoncé and Jay-Z) Everything Is Love, with industry forecasters initially unsure of which album would take the top spot. This made them the first Australian act with three number-one albums in the US. It also led to 5 Seconds of Summer being the first band (not vocal group) to have their first three full-length studio albums debut atop the Billboard 200.

The Australian pop rock band consists of four members:

5 Seconds of Summer consists of Luke Hemmings, Michael Clifford, Calum Hood, and Ashton Irwin. Clifford and Hood joined Hemmings in posting covers on YouTube, and Irwin joined the group during their first live gig in Australia, thus forming the band’s current line up.

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  • Luke Hemmings – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboard
  • Calum Hood – bass guitar, vocals, keyboard
  • Michael Clifford – lead guitar, vocals, keyboard
  • Ashton Irwin – drums, percussion, vocals, keyboard

The band cited McFly, Blink-182, All Time Low, Mayday Parade, Green Day, My Chemical Romance, Boys Like Girls and Busted as their influences.

The guys write all their own music but this third album showcased a sound and songwriting style that was beyond their years as all four guys are between the ages of 21 and 23.

Song by Song Review (Regular Album version only)

“YoungBlood”:  The album opens with a banger of a rock and roll song with pop musicality gives the atmospheric themes of the push and pull of a relationship.

This track especially showcases growth and maturity in their songwriting and artistry.

Want You Back“: The lead single from their third album tells the story of a love that never truly ends. The song has a more pop electronic sound for cleaner melodies.

“Lie To Me”: A song about a love that doesn’t line up with an old school crooner musicality.

Valentine“: Almost an “All I Want For Christmas” feel but for Valentine’s Day. It’s about a love that meets in the middle and has no expectations.

“Talk Fast”: My absolute favorite track on the album because of the 80’s musicality and lyrical content about a hit and run romance.

“Moving Along”: Pop musicality with a bit of their old sound, seal with a Nirvana drum solo, comes a song about thinking about someone you used to be in a relationship

“If Walls Could Talk”: Suggestive lyrics paint a sexy alternative pop song about the private lives of two people in a relationship that only the walls of their house, specifically their bedroom, get to witness.

“Better Man”: My second favorite because this song makes my heart happy because it’s romantic and sweet.

From the first note, this song will stick with you, maybe even soften you up. Reminiscing his ex lover, he knows that she brought out the best in him, and though he realizes he should be bitter, dappling in unhealthy habits like smoking and one night stands, he still cares and would die for her, if need be.

“More”: Musically,  it is everything you wanted and more. Lyrically, this track discusses a new divide in a relationship that causes problems for both partners.

“Why Won’t You Love Me”: A rock n roll version of “Why Don’t You Love Me?” by Hot Chelle Rae with the musicality of Guns N Roses “Sweet Child Of Mine.”

“Woke Up In Japan”: A poetic look at love being caught within the pockets of time, leaving you feeling jet lag, disoriented, and empty.

“Empty Wallets”: An alternative look at being so in love with someone you are willing to spend all your money on them.

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“Ghost of You”: A song about heartbreak post-breakup or after someone passes away.

Overall, Young Blood is something you may vibe with, or it may just become the soundtrack to your life. Either way, it is a musical masterpiece in any genre, country, or light.

#ICYMI: Nishe’s new song “Out of Place” is perfectly in sync

According to their Twitter bio, Nishe is a UK based alternative rock band which is made up of three guys portraying different environments, mixing energetic guitar riffs with urban grooves and cutting edge electronic layers.

Check out their song above and make sure to follow them on Twitter. I see nothing but big things in store for these three guys. This song has just enough rock and roll edge to be considered to be featured in a skateboarding video.

#MusicReview: Tumbler’s new album Come To The Edge will have you “on the edge” of your seat

Alternative rock is one of my favorite genres so when this band came up in my inbox, I jumped at the chance to review it. You could say alternative rock was the soundtrack of my high school years. It’s the music that gives rhythm and melody to every day emotions and situations but still instills hope with guitar riffs and catchy drum beats but it’s not sugar coated or melancholy like pop music, nor American like country music. Much like pop music, alternative/folk rock music is a worldwide genre that grips you when you least expect it to.

Hailing from Epsom, England, this band is made up of members Harry Grace (vocals and guitar), Richard Grace (vocals and guitar), and Dave Needham (guitar, keyboard, backing vocals). Tumbler was born two years ago, when a lifetime of family music and weekend kitchen concerts turned into something more. Harry started taking the music seriously. Dave happened along. A whole bunch of songs left the kitchen, took flight and turned into an album. They called it‘You Said’.Reaction was gratifyingly positive. In a world that already has over 37 million songs, it turns out there was room for a few more. In honesty though it didn’t change anything, we’d already started on a second album before the first was released.The thing is, you can’t help learning. Through the course of making ‘You Said’ they discovered some useful stuff and developed some new ideas. Out of all the material available they  began to understand what songs suited Tumbler best. Meantime Harry was growing as a writer and performer.

“Don’t Take Much”:  Musically, Tumblr as a band sounds like a mix between MGMT and The Beatles, and this song really showcases that. The chorus for this song is beautifully written:

“Trust and let it go/ oh baby, love’s stronger than you and I know.”

“Falling”: A song about falling in love and the start of a new found feeling between you and the other person. Harry wrote it and explains here that it starts out with the vocals because it’s exclamatory due to pent up emotions that he felt the need to express with this song. It’s one of my favorites off the album because I love the strongly worded lyrics used throughout.

“Nothing To Hold You”: Musically, it starts out sounding like a Patsy Cline song but contains amazing mixtures of sing-along worthy lyrics and folk musicality.

“Sweetest Thing”: This song has a lighthearted musicality that reminds me of a song you would hear in an opening scene of a romantic comedy.

“Week”: Another one of my favorites off the album because it’s just such a catchy, heavy guitar laden melody with a chorus that is lyrically sound: “But I/ I won’t run/ from this house we built from stone.”

“Winter Cold Heart”: Totally badass musicality with this track because of the mystique of the chimes used and how it really creates a wintry atmosphere. Very specific imagery creates a story that comes to life in this track, one that you will have on repeat.

“Diamond in a Drawer”: The sound of the chisel on this track against heavy minor guitar chords really sets this track’s musicality apart and I find it to be another one of my favorites off the album.

“Joanne”: This song is forty years old and has been passed down through Richard’s musical career. Dave added a nice piano track to the vocals that creates a melodic mystique to this ballad for the mysterious woman named Joanne.

“In Safe Hands”: Normally, alternative rock has a sort of “woe is me” statement underneath it but this melodic guitar heavy track is hopeful, and gives the listener positive vibes. It creates a peaceful atmosphere and definitely could be nicknamed the “traveler’s song.”

“Dial”: An acoustic guitar and melancholy vocals greet the listener and pull at your heartstrings a bit with this track about waiting for a call that never comes.

“Freedom The Cry”: The bomb alarm create a chaotic atmosphere with this political commentary track about what freedom means in today’s world whether you live overseas or in the United States.

To keep up to date on all things Tumblr as well as listen to their debut album, You Said, visit them at the links below:

http://tumbler.band

http://tumblermusic.com

https://www.facebook.com/Tumbler-1629454163961830/timeline/

https://twitter.com/Tumbler_Band