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

#VoiceNotes by @CharliePuth is an obvious note to his creative genius

Charlie Puth’s back and stronger than ever with his new album, Voice Notes.

Inspired by recordings via the app of the same name, all songs on this album were created and produced by Charlie himself.

Listen to the entire album by clicking here to follow an exclusive playlist I made via Youtube.

Song by Song Review

The Way I Am: Starting out the album strong with pop musicality this is my favorite track because it has the musical genius of a Michael Jackson song but beside the overall unapologetic message but the rocking guitar chords in the background of the entire song.

The first time I heard it it had instant Tom Cruise in Risky Business vibes:

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Attention: Bass guitar chords carry the pop musicality of this track and the catchy lyrics of one of those attention seeking exes who can’t seem to get that you are over them.

L.A. Girls: A song about losing focus on the one girl who’s important because you fooled around with girls from Los Angeles. My favorite part of this track is the breakdown.

How Long: A song about the confrontation when a girl realizes her man was creeping but told from the guy’s perspective. Musically, it’s fun and dancy with jazz elements.

Done For Me ft. Kehlani: An R&B track about the unfair plight of one-sided love

Patient: A slow jam that Charlie is famous for, asking for his lover to be generous with their patience.

If You Leave Me Now: This album has amazing collaborations stacked up, and Boys II Men add an incredible vocal layering, and harmonies to this song which helps to give it that heart and soul r&b musiciality

Boy: An electropop musicality creates the atmosphere of a song discussing a relationship where someone older or more experienced makes you feel innocent and juvenile.

Slow It Down: A track about not wanting to take advantage of a girl because you don’t have true feelings for her.

Change ft. James Taylor: An acoustic guitar gives this a street performer feel, and a timely message:

Why can’t we just get along?

Somebody Told Me: A fun and dancy musicality contrasts the lyrics discussing the heartbreak of the one you love being in love with someone else.

Empty Cups: Sultry sythesized bass guitar chords hint at things heating up between you and someone at a party

Through It All: A gospel-like musicality with an encouraging message

God only knows I’ve been through it all

Overall, this music video accurately depicts how I look while listening to this album. It’s such a well put together piece of music, I truly hope Puth gets accolades this year for this album.

How @Daya is setting the standard for the future of pop music with debut album #SSLP

Chances are, you’ve sang this loudly while sitting in traffic:

    Boys seem to like the girls
Who laugh at anything
The ones who get undressed
Before the second date.

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I bet you would be shocked to realize that it wasn’t penned and performed by someone who is only 17.

Grace Martine Tandon who is known by her stage name Daya (Hindu for compassion and kindness) is a 17 year old rising pop star from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At the age of 3, Daya began to learn the piano, eventually converting to jazz piano at the age of eleven. By this time, she had also learned to play the guitar, ukulele, saxophone, and flute. On April 22, 2015 her debut single “Hideaway” was released. It hit #23 on Billboard’s Hot 100. She signed with Artbeatz and her debut EP Daya (released on September 4 2015) debuted at #61 on Billboard’s Hot 200. Her debut album Sit Still, Look Pretty was released on October 7, 2016.

Song by Song Review

“Dare”: The first track off the album is full of dark horse vibes and a girl who even though young is wise beyond her years and knows who she is and who she wants to be and isn’t afraid to share that in this track. It’s a track that asks the listener to dare her to prove something to you, knowing full well she’s already going to exceed everything they are limiting her with. Contains electronica influences, a subtle use of vocal harmony, a mild rhythmic syncopation,and prominent percussion.

“Lengendary”: Originally from the Daya EP, it discusses living in the moment with someone. It features electronica influences, prominent percussion, and major key tonality.

“I.C.Y.M.I”: This track standing for “in case you missed it” is catchy and hashtag-worthy with it’s message of being totally over someone but they keep trying to hit you up. It features electronica influences, prominent percussion, and a subtle use of vocal harmony.

“Thirsty”: We’ve all met a member of the opposite sex who would not take NO for an answer and they were making you lose your cool (not to mention your appetite) with how “thirsty” they were coming off. Almost like the Daya version of Meghan Trainor’s “NO,” except this one contains electronica influences, mild rhythmic syncopation, and prominent percussion.

“Love of My Life”: With Carribean-style rhythms and influences, this track is catchy with a loud “HERE’s WHAT I’M ABOUT” message with lyrics like:

I could like you ’til the day that I die-ie-ie-ie (ie-ie-ie, ie-ie-ie)
But, I’m looking for the love of my li-i-i-ife

“Hideaway”: Daya, who walks out and is bold in her standards, in this bouncy track, Daya bemoans the lack of standards when it comes to her male dating pool, and wishes for a man who actually respects her.

“Cool”: The newest synthopop promotional single off the album, this track has the feeling of just sitting back and cruising while holding hands in a car with an unknown destination which is a perfect metaphor for a healthy relationship: exciting and thrilling but should be stable like a car ride down an empty street. Features r&b influences, romantic lyrics, and intricate melody phrasing.

“Sit Still, Look Pretty”: The title track off the album and the song that made me sit up and pay attention to Daya as an artist. It’s like the 2016 answer to a song that was popular in 1997, Aqua’s “Barbie Girl.” It’s a girlpower anthem taken to the next level with the track starting out with whistling on the backtrack. Girls shouldn’t have to be treated like objects or toys but instead of have their own lives and their own goals and ambitions and not be afraid to pursue them. It also makes me think of a post that Alicia Keys shared on Instagram and I had to repost it because it was totally on point.capture

“Talk”: I had this song on repeat from the first time I heard it because it is a lot like Pink’s “Just Like Fire.” It’s like a total purple in my hair anthem. It’s all about being who you are and not caring what people think and jumping out of the boxes that people try to place you in. Grace co-wrote it with her team, which makes me like it even more. Features of the musicality include electronica influences, extensive vamping, a vocal-centric asthetic, and a subtle use of a horn section.

“U12”: This song reminds me of the song version of the 80’s movie Sixteen Candles. It’s about having these feelings for someone who everyone seems to have an opinion about but you are letting them know that you don’t care what anyone says as long as they want to fall in love, you are ready to fall with them. Originally featured on the Daya EP.

“Words”: Rhythmically, this is my favorite song off the album because it has Latin influences and romantic lyrics. It’s about feeling close to someone but not wanting to say “love” yet because words only get in the way.

“Back To Me”: A synthopop ballad of always feeling second best to someone you continue to put first and how you have to come back to who you are, realize your worth, and walk away in confidence knowing someone better will come along but learning to love yourself in the meantime. This is another favorite off the album but was originally featured on the Daya EP.

“Got The Feeling”: Carribean rhythms and influences make up this track with layers of vocal harmonies during the breakdown.Lyrically, you see a song about liking someone but not loving them but still like being around them, almost like a fling.

“We Are”:

Ain’t no keepin’ us from doing what we love (we love)
‘Cause we love it too much

The final track off the standard version of the album comes with a strong final statement from Daya, someone who’s young in years but wise beyond them and not afraid to be all that she is and tell others that they are free to due the same. Thank you Daya for standing up for the youth everywhere (especially young women like yourself) who dare to set the standard instead of meet it. And thank you for staying classy in the process!

Get one of these cute bags and help support The Smart Cookie Philes and Metropolitan Ministries. Don’t miss out on these cute goodies!

#TeamGrimmie: Christina Grimmie Post-Humanly Shares Last Four Music Videos

Just writing that title made me choked up. I am still not over the fact that young and beautiful Christina Grimmie has passed away. Yet, was amazingly impressed with the way her team decided to share each of the four tracks off her Side A EP with each of the music videos that could be one long extended play final film that Christina starred in.

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Snow White: This music video introduces us to the character of Jessica Blue who Grimmie and the music from the EP is portraying. Debuting on her Youtube channel on August 11, 2016, this one made me cry my eyes out because it was the first time I had seen new footage of Christina since that last performance video was shared. Yet, overall, whoever edited the music to match her lip syncing in the video did a poor job and I was worried all the videos were going to turn out this way.

Thankfully, the next video proved me wrong and set my worries at ease.

Her vocals slay on this track and coming from someone who hadn’t listened to the full EP, I was really impressed with the video, it’s editing, and the imagery and direction of this video. Christina stuns in that rooftop still. Wow.

This is by far my favorite music video because not only is this my favorite song off the EP because I relate to it but Christina sneaks in some of her personal values within it by having the lead grandmother say to Jessica: See that girl right there. She’s beautiful exactly how she is. Plus, you can really see Christina’s pure musical talent in this one and on this track.

One of the last tracks Christina ever performed live, this video is eerie because it shows Jessica at a live performance but to see Christina pretending to perform live knowing she isn’t ever going to again really shook me here. Yet, I love how beautiful she looks and sounds in this final video.

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RIP Christina, you will forever be missed. You will forever be loved. Your music will live on to carry the message that was your life.

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#ICYMI: Blow Your Mind by Greer

Devil horns included. At least that’s what I picture the CD cover saying of this track. It has serious bad-boy vibes from 19 year old Boston independent artist, Greer aka Christian Wilson. Blow Your Mind is an EDM pop anthem about taking the fast track when you meet someone. It has a very enticing rhythm and ear-worm potential lyrically.

Be sure to check it out below and to stay up to date on all things Greer make sure to visit his Facebook page and subscribe to his Youtube channel.

 

7/27: Pop music that packs the girl power punch!

When you think of the numbers 7/27 what do you think of? For most Harmonizers, this is the birthday of the girl group that keeps them motivated to chase their dreams and become bosses, much like it’s five founding members. Founded during the second season of the X-Factor made up of Ally Brooke (22), Normani Kordei (20), Dinah Jane (18), Camila Cabello (19), and Lauren Jauregui (19), they finished third on the show and signed a joint deal with Simon Cowell’s record label and L.A. Reid’s Epic Records.

Their debut album, Reflection reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 200 before being certified gold a year after it’s release in February 2015. Since they are pop music role models, they’ve gone on to have music featured in a Hershey’s commercial, become the face of Kohl’s Candie’s brand, and also the faces of the Clean & Clear brand. Despite their youthful ages,  each lady in the group Fifth Harmony is seriously smart, sassy, and fierce and no person can deny their music packs some serious girl power!

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7/27 is the girl group’s second studio album released on May 27, 2016. Since it’s release, it’s debuted at #4 on the Billboard Hot 200.

Song by Song Review

“That’s My Girl”: Featuring writing from hit singer-songwriter Tinashe, this track features themes of female empowerment despite the struggles we face as women, and has a drumline-type musicality, melody, and rhythm.

“Work From Home”: The lead single off the album which was Fifth Harmony’s highest charting single to date, features rapper Ty Dolla Sign and is a “fun, flirty song” that’s musicality will have you putting in work on the dance floor. My favorite part of the track is when Ty raps: “She’s the bae, I’m her boo.” For me, this is the anthem of anyone who works freelance or remotely.

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“The Life”: A song that should be used in a car commercial because of it’s EDM musical influences, co-written by Tinashe, this track discusses the youth of today living the life. Lauren said this about the collaboration with Tinashe, “She has really sick melody flows and lyrics. It’s very cohesive with us. It’s drawing from the same experience.”

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“Write On Me”: A romantic track featuring musical elements of an acoustic guitar, is about drowning in someone’s story because you love them so much and everything about them, vocally the girl’s slay on this track. Co-written by Priscilla Renea, it features her signature musicality and songwriting style and produced by Norwegian DJ Kygo who gave this track it’s tropical house influences.

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“I Lied”: This track is definitely one of my favorites because it’s got a great beat and it talks about how you think you found and felt love once before but you lied because this is love like you’ve never known. It’s a electronic love-ballad that references Mary J Blige’s Real Love.

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“All In My Head (Flex)”: Co-written by the girls and featuring Fetty Wap, this reggae fun and flirty dance track is hella catchy. It’s the second promotional single off the album and is definitely a future earworm that will in fact, be stuck in your head.

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“Squeeze”: A melodic song written by Priscilla Renea,  it talks about wanting some comfort in a time of vulnerability. The squeeze is the action of a hug – a strong yet comforting hug. For all the times you need somebody to hug but there is nobody physically there for you, turn on this song and you will feel like you are getting a hug just by listening to this song – ‘Squeeze’. It features sample music from Fly by Sugar Ray.

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“Gonna Get Better”: 5H Member Ally Brooke says this song perfectly expressed the emotions she was feeling the day they recorded this ballad. Musically, it has a reggae sound.

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“Scared of Happy”: Another Tinashe-written track, in this song, it tells a story about a girl who used to be unafraid and strong but got hurt. And now that she has found another one, but she is having second thoughts because he might hurt her or leave her (like the last guy did to her). She is afraid to love again because of the hurt she has encountered with in her past. It very much sums up the scars that betrayal and abandonment cause.

“Not That Kind of Girl”: Right away, when I first heard this track I could hear the 80’s style vibes. Written and featuring Missy Elliot, this track talks about a girl who has standards and isn’t afraid to let guys know what they are. To me, this track sounds a lot like Janet Jackson’s “Creep” but in a totally original way. This song is now my phone’s ringtone.

My favorite line is in Missy’s rap verse: “You think I’m a THOT? Forget that.”

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“Dope”: A track off the deluxe version of the album, it features a signature Fifth Harmony sound with their in sync harmonies and vocal ranges. It talks about the vulnerability that comes when you care for someone but lack the confidence to tell them how you feel.

“No Way”: Recorded two years prior to this album original slated for Reflection, this track written by Victoria Monet is a ballad that talks about two people’s relationship and how everyone else views it but only the two of them no the truth of the situation.

Overall, Fifth Harmony once again did not musically disappoint and is about to embark on the 7/27 tour with opening acts JoJo and Victoria Monet, starts on June 22 in Lima, Peru.