#MusicMonday: Kelly Clarkson gets back to her soulful sound with ‘Meaning of Life’

Kelly Clarkson is only 36 years young and she’s already had a Greatest Hits Album. The original American Idol winner is back to her signature soulful sound with her eighth studio album Meaning of Life.  It was released on October 27, 2017 and debuted on the US Billboard Hot 200 at #2.

Song by Song Review

A Minute (Intro): 

A broken down minute long r&b track about needing a minute to be yourself. Written and produced by The Monarch with writing input from Jim McCormick and Katie Pearlman, was primarily made for Clarkson, whose hectic family and work life have made it hard for her to take a minute break for herself.

Love So Soft: 

A soul-trap anthem, very different from Clarkson’s usual stuff, picks up where Duffy’s “Mercy” left off. With Clarkson’s usual attitude, it tells a love story about something palpable between two people, “if you break it, you buy it” type love. Written by hitmaker Priscilla Renea.

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Heat: A catchy soul-trap pop sound paints a track where you are begging someone for a hot as coals type of love, one that has you warm all over, smiling from ear to ear.

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Meaning of Life: the title track and the song that started the entire project. The vibe, soul and message of this song showcases Clarkson’s new direction musically. It is a track that has an r&b signature sound but about a love that brightens the colors around you & catches you completely brand new.

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Move You: A ballad with a drum-string combination about wanting to make such a lasting impact on someone you end up moving them.

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Whole Lotta Woman: A body positive and female empowerment song about being loud & proud of your shape, your curves, and confidence in your femininity.

My favorite song on the album because it has the signature sound of a Clarkson anthem but with a powerful progressive measure. March on, ladies. Own who you are.

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Medicine: Schultz and Harlœ co-wrote and produced the seventh track “Medicine” as a tribute to the ’90s and was inspired by Carey’s song “Emotions” (1991). It has an up-tempo pop musicality which sets the stage  for this track about a past lover who she has moved on from who did nothing for her.

Cruel: An r&b jazz pop fusion about a hard to love lover that you are commanding respect from.

Didn’t I: A pop soul track about a lover you gave the moon, sun, and stars to and her or she took you for granted.

Would You Call That Love: A track about how someone loves you but they love you with a complete dichotomy of what love is supposed to be.

I Don’t Think About You: The soul-infused power-ballad chronicles losing a prominent love in your life only to realize you’re better off without them.

Slow Dance: A slow tempo ballad about taking things slow in order to let the fire or heat between two people simmer.

Don’t You Pretend: A slow tempo song that begs a man to be honest about his true feelings, and quit pretending he doesn’t feel the same.

Go High: A song about staying kind in a world that tries to turn you wicked, sour, and miserable.

Overall, Meaning of Life doesn’t have one bad song. It is short but sweet, and shows depth, growth, and wisdom of Clarkson’s person and artistry.

 

 

#MusicMonday: Fight For My Soul by Jonny Lang is a Blues Music Masterpiece

Jonny Lang is no stranger to professional music. He got signed in 1997 at the young age of 16, but with a musical maturity and sound that made me and many others, take note. It is no surprise that his 2006 release Turn Around won a Grammy.  Seven years later comes a brand new rock n soul Lang signature with themes of heartache, bluesy emotional musicality, and love and loss.

Fight For My Soul was released on September 7, 2013.

Song by Song Review

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Blew Up (The House): A bluesy guitar heavy track [Lang’s signature style] paint a metaphorical picture of burning down the house or leaving the man you were yesterday.

Breaking In:  A song about temptation (metaphorically or literally) breaking in between you and the person you love, and how you will no longer stand for it.

We Are The Same: 

A song about how God’s love could free each of us to all live with no more disguise.

What You’re Looking For: 

A song about how what you are looking for most in life will eventually chase you down, and find you at the right time.

Not Right:

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A soulful song about being & staying blind to the needs of this world.

The Truth:

A song with guitar interludes that remind me of Carlos Santana with emotional lyrics about wanting to be with someone but you aren’t right for one another, and not wanting to face the truth of that at all.

River:

Jazzy blues musicality about the sanctity of the river and letting it wash away the shame and wrong away.

Fight For My Soul: 

A soft song about a young girl caught up in the wrong stuff and the fight for her soul.

All of a Sudden:

A song about the moment you fall in love with someone & your life is forever changed

Seasons:

A song about the various seasons of life as he reflects during Christmas Time.

I’ll Always Be:

A love song about being your loved one’s biggest fan.

 

 

 

 

 

#NationalPoetryMonth .@LangLeav ‘s #loveandmisadventure is a siren song for love lost and the hope of a future love that lasts

When I was a junior in college, I finally had my own room for the first time in my life.

Naturally, I was excited for how I would decorate my sacred dwelling since the choice was solely mine.

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I decided I wanted to have a poetry wall in one corner of my room and who’s poetry was showcased along the long wall near my door but the Tumblr poet, Lang Leav. Soon after this, I found out she was publishing her first poetry book and I was totally stoked for her as I had followed her literary career from the ground up.

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Boasting hand-drawn artwork and poetry from the author, Love & Misadventure is a book anyone who is hopeful for love despite all their misadventures and mistakes in love should own, and wants to reminisce every emotion that entails.

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With Rupi Kaur’s second poetry collection, she is the Sun and we, her flowers #NationalPoetryMonth

I’ll be honest, I’m not Rupi Kaur’s biggest fan

BUT

I definitely came around to seeing her talent more so with her second poetry collection The Sun and Her Flowers

With this collection, Rupi discusses some of the relationship she delved into in Milk and Honey but in more of a metaphorical way with talking between the lines about the aftershocks of love (especially love that doesn’t last) instead of a literal way with imagery of sex.

It is apparent that Kaur believes sex equals love in some shape or form, but she does do a fantastic job of discussing society’s perception of using sex to get someone to love you, when they are all wrong for you.

Discussed in this poetry collection are themes of love, grief, self-abandonment, honoring one’s roots, and empowering oneself.

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My favorite poem in the entire collection was “What Love Looks Like” because of the word choice Kaur uses to poetic describe love by using dialogue she may or may have actually had within the walls of a therapist’s office.

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So many women have daddy issues because their dad didn’t give them love in a healthy way which makes young girls go out for looking for love in all the wrong faces, and almost becoming society’s biggest joke because of it.

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Love sometimes gives us all rose-colored glasses but the worst part of heartbreak is having to remove them and come to terms with the reality that you fell in love with an idea of someone who didn’t really exist. And that hurts you more than them because you almost feel as though you can’t trust your own judgement anymore for a while.

 

 

 

#NationalPoetryMonth: La La Love by Katie Lewington Book Review

Subjectivity is poetry’s secret talent. Whether or not you find the words on the paper poetry, if a poet labels it poetry, no one can argue that it isn’t because poetry unlike fiction is more for the free-spirited and those who are exploring it’s free range in the field of writing.

For example, my favorite poet is Lang Leav and my sisters are die-hard Rupi Kaur fans.

Poetry has to use the right combination of imagery and emotion, and has to make me feel like I read something that was between the lines on the page. Few people can achieve the knock me off my feet feeling with their poetry but for me, Lang Leav comes pretty darn close.

With La La Love, Katie Lewington is in a league all her own. All poems within the chapbook showcase the different levels of vulnerability love unravels in us as we experience it within a relationship or develop the feelings.

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Picture this was one of my favorites because it reads like a spoken word poem. It has rhythm, cadence, and an overall musicality that could be performed. This also further proved that Lewington’s talent for poetry was multi-faceted, and although her book was themed with love poems, she could have you in a crowded pub or restaurant aware of every sound or gesture made by the people that were inhabiting the space between the walls.

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Katie Lewington was recently featured in a poetry anthology called

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It is a book of mental health themed poetry with proceeds that are going toward the mental health charity out of the UK, Mind. Click the image above in order to purchase the anthology.

 

#NationalPoetryMonth Book Review: Love In Between by Mercy Jane Ballesteros

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Written in vignette-style sections and sonnet-like eloquence, “Love In Between” showcases strong writing from a young author who also makes a statement about young love being very real, and practically unavoidable.

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With themes of young love, unrequited love, and torturous heartbreak, even loving someone who pines for someone else, Mercy’s poetry gives me still the same “you aren’t alone,” calm sensation that I have while reading the work of International best-sellers like Lang Leav.

Mercy’s poetry overall will leave you falling in love with the writer behind the few but powerful words.

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CALLING ALL POETS and MICROPOETS! April is National Poetry Month and as always, I celebrate all month long by showcasing a new poem every day on my social media pages and by reviewing primarily poetry books all month long. So if you are a poet who knows it, and you have a book already out or about to come out, please email me by March 26, 2018 to be featured for the month of April. And yes, you get to skip the wait list line for free due to the high demand!

Send me your poetry graphics, Instagram poet recommendations, and poetry book review requests to wittywriterpoet26@gmail.com

So much love,

The Smart Cookie

 

 

She Lays Down by Stylistic Moods is a great read @inkitt #bookreview

To read this book in it’s entirety, you can visit here.

Inkitt is a brand new platform in book publishing. It offers writers a chance at publication if your finished novel reaches an increasingly popular amount of reads, using analytics that show how interested readers were while reading it.

It’s like Wattpad but better because you could see your book in print, and Inkitt is entirely generous to it’s authors because they know how hard it is to write a book as well as how hard it is to find the right publishing house for it.

With that said, I was asked to read this book because I am a member of Inkitt’s book club. Yet, this book actually kept my interest far more than two books that were on my queue, and I chose to finish and review it over those other books.

Some days even found me reading large sections of the book because I had to know what was going to happen next. I very much am obsessed with books like that.

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#NationalPoetryMonth I Love My Love by Reyna “Biddy” Mays

I started this book because it was a book of poetry but then the poetry became me. My life flashed before my eyes with each poem and I was enthralled, entranced, yet enlightened with the work of this young poet.

Discussing themes of self-image, society’s ideas of beauty, love, ideas of love, learning to love oneself, spiritual maturity. All in all, this poetry book made me realize that I DO in fact love my love and will wait as long as it takes to love someone worthy of that love again.

Below is my favorite poem in the book entitled Ex Lover. Sorry it got a little cut off when I scanned it.

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Here are some of my favorite quotes:

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Why Books Are So Much Better Than Movies #BookReview of Everything, Everything by @nicolayoon

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I’m one of those serious bookworms who has to read the book before the movie. Back when Twilight was being promoted in the Hollyweird movie machine, I read the second book in one night, the night before I was meant to see the movie.

Thankfully, that wasn’t the case here since I rented the book from the library well in advance.

To watch my video review featuring some of my favorite quotes from the novel, go here.

Everything, Everything touches on some heavy subject matter (depression, anxiety, living in a bubble, fear, grief, mental illness) by using a universal storyline of first love to be the vehicle it is showcased through. It gave me all the feels and I read it not so much so I could see the movie but because it was THAT GOOD.