#MusicalMuses: Third Person Narrations and Stories Haunt Taylor Swift’s ‘Folklore’

Imagine the absolute screeching brakes sound that resounded when the entire world, affected by COVID-19 pandemic and still dang bored in quarantine, when Taylor Swift posted the image announcing her new album was written and recorded entirely in quarantine, and with no warning was released on July 24, 2020.

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Folklore is the eighth studio album by Taylor Swift who recorded the entire album while in isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With elements of indie folk, alternative rock, electro-folk, and chamber pop it brings Taylor Swift’s natural storytelling ability to life without the upbeat pop sounds. It is written in entirely in third person narrative flowing from a stream of consciousness.

It debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart and also helped Swift gain a Guinness World Record for the biggest opening day for an album by a female artist on Spotify.

Song by Song Review

Click here to listen to the entire album while reading this review.

Taking us back to her RED album era, Swift’s Folklore is a book of lyrical poems and stories that will peak your curiosity, inspire you, and educate you. Few songwriters have the power of achieving all three in one album.

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The 1: Driven by a danceable, bouncy arrangement of trickling piano, minimal percussion and electronic accents. Lyrically it centers around the nostalgic remembrance of myths and lost loves. It contemplates a what if scenario with at person being possible.

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Cardigan: With elements of folk and soft rock ballad driven by a stripped down arrangement of a drum sample and moody atmosphere, it discusses the teenage love triangle which follows a love triangle from three people’s perspectives at different times in their lives.

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The Last Great American Dynasty: Features a glitchy alternative production with classical instruments. It tells the story of Rebekah Harkness, who was hated by the town and blamed for the death of her then-husband and heir to Standard Oil. Swift makes parallels to her own career and the harsh criticisms she’s received.

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Exile: A melancholic duet with Bon Iver over dramatic strings. The weepy song begins with a plodding piano, advancing into a climax of chorused vocals, synths, and glorious harmonies. This song describes two ex-lovers seeing each other following a break-up.

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My Tears Ricochet: A Gothic song encompasses twinkling music box instrumentals, backing church choir vocals, reverberated ad-libs in the bridge, and shuddering drums. Sung from the perspective of a deceased lover’s ghost, it is one of my favorites off the album.

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Mirrorball: Folk-tinged jangle-pop and dream pop song with a nervous dance-floor sensibility, swirling vocals, jangly guitars and pedal steel. It depicts Swift as a reflective disco ball: she sees herself as reflecting all the personalities around her, she entertains others, and she shatters like glass when her heart is broken.

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Seven: A nostalgic escapist song sung in her upper register about Taylor’s childhood friends who seemed to have an unhappy life at home.

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August: This track’s musicality is my favorite off the album, driven by acoustic guitar, shimmering vocal reverb and Swift’s perfectly timed key-changes. This gloomy pop rock song and dream pop ballad talks about a summer fling that is ill-fated.

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This is Me Trying: Musically, an orchestral grandeur surrounds Swift’s ghostly vocals drenched in reverb, talking about accountability and regret.

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Illicit Affairs: I kept this track on repeat for an entire day. Over a stripped down arrangement, finger-plucked strings and soft horns narrates infidelity and highlights the measures the disloyal protagonist has to carry out in order to keep the affair between a man and herself a secret.

Her wordplay in this track is absolute fire.

 

Invisible String: Banjo-driven with an airy-folk production consisting of acoustic riff and thumping vocal backbeats. It references an east Asian folk myth about a red thread of fate tying two soulmates together.

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Mad Woman: A song that tackles the taboo associated with female rage making comments referencing her battles with Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta over owning her music and rapper Kanye West who defamed her on his song, “Famous.”

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Epiphany: A Coldplay-like song; it’s an ethereal hymn that depicts the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic paying homage to healthcare workers and comparing them to her grandfather, a military veteran who served in World War II. The reverent vocals in the song are supported by “glacial” piano.

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Betty: A folk rock and country song with intertwining harmonica, it concludes the third perspective of the teenage love triangle from the perspective of the cheating boyfriend James.

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Peace: Musically, a pulse juxtaposed with a lush guitar bassline, a calm tune describing Swift’s maturation and changing view of romance.

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Hoax: A despondent note of hopeful sadness compromises this piano ballad that closes out this incredible musical work. Filled with melancholy and darkness, “Hoax” narrates the struggles endured in a toxic relationship.

#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.

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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

 

 

 

 

 

#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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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Don’t miss my Billie Eillish giveaway!

 

 

 

 

 

#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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

#PopMusic: Seven songs to End 2019 in Style

This post was proofread by Grammarly

Pop music has always been my go-to listening genre. If I want to see how music is evolved or how emotive it’s become, I listen to pop music.

If I want to dance around and act crazy, I put on rap music.

And pop music always has simple melodies, lyrical cadences, and upbeat musicality that makes it an addiction to listen to.

With that being said, here is 7 songs I came across in pop music that I think are noteworthy and you should give them a listen

You Were Good To Me:pablo (37)

A heartfelt piano ballad about lost love. This emotive track musically reminds me of “Say Something” by Great Big World, it tells the story of a break-up which leaves both parties wrecked.

Good Thing:pablo (36)

As someone who doesn’t get the hype of dating and marriage, this song feels like my personal anthem. It’s a song that shares about standing alone in a world who constantly couples up and being ok with it, is okay.

If The World Was Ending:pablo (35)

A soft and emotive song reminiscing over a past and flawed relationship, hopefully it can start again with the best intentions and more patience.

How Do You Sleep?pablo (34)

As soon as I heard this track I was obsessed with it. Despite the heavy yet relatable content matter of this song, heartache and resentment, it has a hypnotic beat, danceable rhythm, and the distinctive timbre of his voice within the melody.

10,000 Hourspablo (33)

10,000 hours is the amount time taken to master a skill, or in this case, truly fall in love. It is a country pop crossover love song.

Look at Her Now: pablo (32)

An upbeat song about becoming a stronger person after a turbulent relationship.

Falling For Boys: pablo (30)

A soca-styled musicality builds the atmosphere of this track about how women tend to fall for boys mistaking them for men.

2020 music is right around the corner. January 2020 looks to have seven big names release new albums. Stay tuned to the Smart Cookie for all music updates.

Starting yesterday until 1/2/2020: Save $35 on the Winter Box from Box of Style with code LASTCALL

#MusicMonday: New Pop Music You Can’t Ignore November 2019 Edition

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Teeth by 5SOS: The first time I heard this come on when I was listening to Pandora, I recognized that it was 5sos but it didn’t sound like a 5sos song. Instantly, I was hooked. I kept it on repeat for a while, and again when it came on during my shuffle during another listening session.

With a brooding yet ominous sound similar to their other single ‘Easier’, Teeth follows the highs and lows of a relationship with a bass-heavy musicality. It was written by the band but produced by Ryan Tedder, and is featured on the Netflix Drama’s 3rd season soundtrack 13 Reasons Why.

If this is any indication of where the band is heading musically, I not only support it but I will tell everyone about it.

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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.

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Raising Hell by Ke$ha: An alternative electropop dance track about good people doing naughty things and having fun. It is the first single off the upcoming studio album High Road.

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Everything I Wanted: An electropop slow jam based on a dream Eilish had about killing herself and nobody cared. As a song and not knowing that the inspiration was based on that and her strong sibling relationship with brother Finneas, it is a genius hypnotic track by the 2 time AMA winner (as of last night). I personally liked the idea of how the person realizes how having everything they wanted is somewhat of a nightmare.

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Graveyard by Halsey: I actually saw her perform this on the CMA’s before I heard this on the radio but this single is hella deep and addicting. It’s an acoustic song that showcases a relationship where you love someone so much you follow them into their darkness. It can also be seen as a song about a toxic relationship.

#MusicMonday: Sheeran showcases the ‘divide’ between human and musician with third studio album

Ed Sheeran has always known how to make me smile. His songwriting has never left me disappointed. This English showman has always been able to enrapture all those that listen to his music with just him and his guitar, and a peddle machine.

Divide debuted at #1 and stayed there in its second week.

Eraser: A fun opening track to the album; a declaration of intent mixing hip-hop with a chorus.

It discusses Sheeran’s upbringing and his small town beginnings singing in the choir in the Catholic church and then being a busker during his teen years. It also references the temptations artist’s face whether it be drugs, girls, etc.

Castle On The Hill: A love song for Sheeran’s hometown of Suffolk, England. Guitar driven it is a “life affirming pop rocket.”

Dive: Written about his wife with themes of vulnerability, a sense of devotion and emotional reflection, with a musicality that emulates the classic fifties and early sixties soul/stax ballad arpeggio and time sequence. It was co-written with Julia Michaels.

Shape of You: Originally written by Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes of TLC and meant for pop singer Rihanna, the track is about a strong physical attraction. Musically, it is based around a tropical-house inspired lead melody and dancehall beat. A rhythm is given by xylophones, guitars, and percussion.

Perfect: A love ballad written and inspired by the love between him and his wife Cherry Seaborn. It was written remininscent of Sheeran’s song he wrote for One Direction, “18.”

Galway Girl: My favorite song on the record for its fun Irish folk musicality. Musically influenced by Van Morrison’s Irish Heartbeat, A “Galway Girl” describes a black haired and blue eyed woman from the city of Galway.

Happier: A standout ballad with mature lyrics about a failed relationship who has already found a new man.

New Man: A fun fast-flowing song about an ex who has changed because of him and these toxic changes have led to her looking for satisfaction elsewhere.

Hearts Don’t Break Around Here: A ballad for his wife Cherry Seaborn, showing Sheeran’s softer side.

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What Do I Know?: Despite not having the education or being the smartest, he uses his music to change the world.

How Would You Feel: A paen is a work that praises or honors its subject and also the middle name of his now wife Cherry Seaborn. A really emotional song about realizing how much you love someone.

Supermarket Flowers: A tribute to Sheeran’s late grandmother, comparing her to an angel.

Barcelona: Ode to the great Spanish city’s vibrant history and culture contain Latin musicality and Spanish guitars.

Bibia Be Ye Ye: A song written in Ghanian dialect meaning “everything will be alright.”

Nancy Mulligan: Full on Irish traditional song that pays tribute to Sheeran’s paternal grandparents, Anne “Nancy” Mulligan and William “Bill” Sheeran. His grandparents had a Romeo and Juliet romance.

Save Myself: A final song speaking to the importance of self-care and self-love. A soft song with a strong piano musicality.

Sheeran’s third album seeks to showcase him exploring both sides of himself, the musician side and the human side but seeks to bond the world with it’s wholesome themes of spreading love and recklessly falling in love with yourself and when the time comes, someone who accepts the entire you that you are and will be.

 

 

#MusicMonday: Grammar explores a world where you can see only the good with new album ‘Naive.’

Released on July 26, 2019, Andy Grammar is known for his trademark positive vibes. His fourth studio album Naive explores that ability to see the good in everything. As of August 10, 2019, the album peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 200 chart.

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Song by Song Review

My Own Hero: Bluesy soul musicality paints a lyrical depiction of being the only person you can count on.

I Found You: An upbeat pop song about having everything you can want in the world but it only matters now because you’ve found the person who makes it all make sense.

Some Girl: A soft ballad with electropop musicality about how some stranger becomes your everything. A song Grammar wrote about his wife.

Wish You Pain: A song about wishing growth and progress on those you love. Grammar wrote this song for his daughter.

Don’t Give Up On Me:  A love ballad about not giving up on the potential or the love between two people. The song was featured in the motion picture, “Five Feet Apart.”

She’d Say [ft. LadySmith Black Mambazo]: A soulful pop song about an older family member that passed on and the wisdom they would pass on to the new generation if they were still here. Grammar wrote this for his daughter about his mother Kathy that has passed on.

I am Yours: A ballad about being fully and completely one with someone. It has the makings of the perfect wedding song.

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Spotlight [ft. Swoope and Andy Mineo]: An upbeat pop song featuring Christian rapper Andy Mineo about social media and how it makes us crazy chasing the high of constant attention.

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First Time: My favorite song on the album because it explores the idea of a heartbreak but witnessed from the other person’s perspective.

Stay There: A song about the increasing shallowness of the hook-up with no commitment culture and how rare it is to find someone who stays.

Born For This: A song about believing in yourself even when you are faced with doubts.

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Best of You: An acoustic song with country musicality about loving the good in someone no matter what.

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Naive: The title track about seeing the good in everything no matter what backed by a soft acoustic musicality.

Grammar’s fourth studio album shows a maturity and growth characterized under his exploration of what the world labels naivete. Every track carries the theme and does not disappoint old and new fans alike of Grammar’s.