#MusicMonday: Happiness Begins

The Jonas Brothers have saved 2019. Before you roll your eyes and exit out of this window, please hear me out here. See, The Jonas Brothers actually tried returning as a band in 2013 but people forget about it. They released a single entitled “Pom Poms” in anticipation of their fifth studio album and even performed it on an awards show but it just sounded like a song you release when you want to give up on yourself. Gone are the purity rings now traded in for wedding rings and they are back and better than ever.

Sure this review may be entirely biased as I became a Jonas Brothers fan in 2006 and have never wavered in my support of them. I even supported each brother’s individual ventures: Kevin’s reality show (Married To Jonas, E!), Joe’s solo career then as the lead singer of DNCE, and Nick’s solo venture (Nick and The Administration) and Nick’s successful solo career (Jealous, Chains off Last Year Was Complicated).

Now that Kevin is happily married with two kids, Nick is newly married to actress Priyanka Chopra, and Joe has found lasting love and newly married to Sophie Turner (GOT), they are now fully men putting out music that speaks to the wisdom they have obtained in the ten years they were apart as a group Happiness Begins has themes of exploration and maturity and it follows the release of their Amazon Prime Video documentary Chasing Happiness, which preludes their brotherly memoir coming in November entitled Blood. Even with ten years apart, this album Happiness Begins debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Song by Song Review

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SUCKER: Their first single in ten years and an upbeat pop song about being infatuated with someone and someone you would go for great lengths for. The light rock instrumental is minimal, leaving the central focus being on the brother’s vocals on their comeback single. “Sucker” debuted at #1 on the week of it’s release (March 16, 2019) on the Billboard Hot 100. They are the first group to debut at #1 in this century.

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COOL: The second single off this album contains various references to the brothers’ personal and professional achievements from their time apart. The song and subsequent music video have a strong 80’s aesthetic. It is supposed to be reminiscent of 1984’s Miami and timeless eighties MTV in all it’s decadent glory, according to the band. The single debuted at #27 on the Billboard Hot 100 upon it’s release.

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ONLY HUMAN: My favorite song on this comeback album because it’s reggae musicality  that makes you want to dance. This track is an ode to the band’s love for 80’s music.

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I BELIEVE: A synth-slow jam detailing Nick’s whirlwind romance with wife, Priyanka Chopra.

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USED TO BE: A pop song about seeing a past lover living their life without you and how it brings back old emotions and memories.

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EVERY SINGLE TIME: Electronic pop musicality about an on and off again lover who doesn’t have real feelings but you catch yourself always thinking about, as if the fact that they can’t love you or .don’t want you makes you want them more for a challenge.

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DON’T THROW IT AWAY: An upbeat pop country song about a relationship that could end but instead is being urged to not give up so quickly.

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LOVE HER: A soft romantic pop ballad showcasing the growth and maturity have regarding love and relationships. It discusses the sacrifices of being in loving relationship and what you do when you love someone.

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HAPPY WHEN I’M SAD: For some particular reason, I think of Rooney whenever this song comes on (When Did Your Heart Go Missing?) It’s a track about how people judge based on face value, and don’t really connect anymore.

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TRUST: A bluesy track that discusses being unable to control your senses and your emotions around someone.

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STRANGERS: A song about realizing your instantly closer than you thought you were  with someone as your relationship progresses over time.

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HESITATE: Joe’s love letter to his wife, Sophie Turner about wanting to carry the burdens of the person you love without hesitation.

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ROLLERCOASTER: A nostalgic pop track reminiscing the band’s success. Seeing the more positive, shining moments of fame versus to the scary, negative ones.  Following signing first in 2006 with Columbia Records and then tranferring to Hollywood Records in 2007 after gaining an immense amount of traction from their single, “Year 3000,” but the boys officially broke up as a band in 2010.

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Because I don’t like to fangirl except on video if you want all the extras I don’t include in the review, please make sure to watch my newest episode of #MusicalNotes.

 

 

 

 

#NewMusicMonday: AJ & Tara

These days with music being so easy to access with streaming services now offered through companies such as Pandora, Google Music, Youtube, and even Amazon, it seems like good music should be equally as easy to find.

Yet, it’s truly not.

And I had given up hope that a new artist would come along with true musical talent and a heart for music until I listened to “Believing” by AJ and Tara.

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Long story short, The group expanded their horizons by attending Berklee College of Music, and are known for being seen and heard on Gillette commercials, as well as a commercial for “Across The Universe”, a movie based off the songs of The Beatles.

A.J. and Tara showcase a dynamic, engaging, and entertaining live performance. They always create an adventure for the audience every time they grace the stage.

Song Review

Believing: A motivating song about chasing your dreams despite the odds. It has the pop music sound and appeal of a song from “The Greatest Showman” or “High School Musical,” but a lyrical message that is always needed right on time: believe in the power of your dreams and never let anyone talk you out of seeing them come true.

You can download this song for free at their site AJandTara.com

& follow them on All social media: @AJandTara

#MusicMonday: Pink’s Beautiful Trauma is raw and vulnerable in all her signature colorful ways

P!nk is hands down one of my favorite pop artists and it isn’t because she has the most amazing voice or has songs with popping beats but because she’s 100% herself with everything she puts out musically, and usually it always has connotations of female empowerment and encouraging young women to break glass ceilings and if they happen to not fit inside the box society tries to put them in…oh fucking well.

Beautiful Trauma was released in October of 2017 which meant it was her first album in five years time. The album debuted at #1 during it’s release week before ranking at #30 on the Billboard Hot 200.

When I first listened to it, I wasn’t sure I was a fan of it. Yet, it took a good ten listens for me to realize the amazing artistry hidden within each song and I do hope my review highlights the greatness of Pink’s Beautiful Trauma.

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Song by Song Review

Beautiful Trauma: The title track opens the album with a track about how life’s trauma can turn to beauty over time, and musically describes a love relationship that bubbles and fizzes at just the right temperature to keep one sane.

Whatever You Want: This uplifting power ballad finds the singer fighting for a relationship that seems doomed.pablo (27)

What About Us: Anthem-like musicality made this a great first single off the album with lyrics speaking to the heart of love and trust whether that be between two people or within society as a whole.

But We Lost It: A piano ballad that discusses a relationship that charged with so much positivity (joy, happiness, and peace) but time wasn’t on their side. Almost like a spark between two people that flickers, dims, and dies.

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Barbies: My favorite song on the entire album because of it’s soft musicality mixed with lullaby-like elements. It perfectly expresses that adult moment when nostalgia seems to take over and all you want to do is go back to being a kid with naivete and innocence “playing barbies in your room.” Co-written by Julia Michaels.

Where We Go: Catchy pop rock musicality make this worth a few listens, with a lyrical tale about letting go of a relationship that is doomed for disaster.

For Now: A song about reminiscing an old flame and getting stuck on the highs without realizing the lows.pablo (29).png

Secrets: A song about a truth about life and all of us have secrets or private parts we don’t express to just anyone.

Better Life: A track discussing the highlight reel effect social media has on all of us.

I Am Here: A brand new ballad version of Just Like Fire, expressing realizing you are enough as is ,and you are here in this moment.

Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken:

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A political yet poetic ballad about 19th century women and incorporates the #MeToo movement.

You Get My Love: The final track on the album emotionally pleading and raw about the gift of her love.

 

#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.

#MusicMonday: Speak Your Mind by @AnneMarie Album Review

Even before she had an album, her voice was playing on your radio. Anne Marie’s first entry into the Billboard Hot 100 was her collaboration with Clean Bandit, Rock-A-Bye.

That came out in 2016, and has since peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Speak Your Mind is the debut studio album by singer-songwriter Anne-Marie, released via Major Tom’s and Atlantic Records on April 27, 2018.

It has been certified gold in the UK since it’s release and debuted at #31 in the US on the Billboard 200 chart.

Song by Song Review

To listen to each track, click the title name to be linked to a Youtube video containing the song.

Cry: “Cry” is the opening song from Anne-Marie’s debut album Speak Your Mind. The song is a post-breakup song that shows Anne-Marie’s singing about her love interest crying and probably regretting leaving her for another relationship that didn’t end up working out. Throughout the song she fires at her ex, chiding that he should have realized she’s a ‘piece of luxury’, and that he can never find another person like her.

Ciao Adios:

a pop dancy track about finding your lover with someone new. It has Latin musicality and rhythm

Alarm: an EDM track about having intuition that once a cheat, always a cheater. The breakdown has a Jamaican sound.

Trigger:  “Trigger” describes a relationship between people with opposite temperaments. Anne-Marie implies she is a pacifist, at the mercy of her partner. The song is a plea for them to sort out their issues and make the relationship work.

The metaphor of a gun’s trigger is key in the song. Shooting a gun and ending a relationship are similar in their destructive capabilities, and both can be avoided via other, less violent means.

Then: the singer sings her heart out this mid-tempo ballad. She describes how she truly felt about an ex-lover, and how meaningful the relationship had been–then.

Perfect: “Perfect” talks about the beauty of imperfection and rejects the idea that perfection exists. It encourages people to be comfortable with their flaws and insecurities, and to just be themselves.

F.R.I.E.N.D.S: A pop anthem about being in the friendzone

Bad Girlfriend: The song speaks of Anne-Marie being a bad counterpart to his lover.  it’s clear to see that the man that inspired this song is still sticking around with Anne-Marie cause he is in love and all the flaws she had is nothing to him. And she is accepting the fact she is an idiot in relationship.

Heavy: A relationship that feels more like a burden than a blessing. It has a melodic musicality. It’s my favorite song on the regular version of the album.

2002: Co-written by Ed Sheeran,

In “2002,” Anne-Marie reminisces about falling in love and all the songs that soundtracked that romance.

During the song’s chorus, she references six songs released in the late 1990s and early 2000s, like Jay-Z’s “99 Problems,” Nelly’s “Ride wit Me,” NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye” and Britney Spears’ “…Baby One More Time.”

The “99 Problems” reference is actually a misnomer, however, as Jay-Z didn’t write that song until 2003.

Can I Get Your Number?: It’s a woman/girl empowerment dancehall song about taking risk and going beyond the norm as Anne-Marie is the one getting the guy’s phone number instead of him approaching her first. Thinking that she should do the first move chanting “…what if this shit is love?” rather regretting for the rest of her life.

Machine: 

A track relating how idiosyncrasies that make us human wouldn’t bother if we were machine.

Other notable tracks on the deluxe version of the album include Breathing Fire and RockABye.

 

#NewMusicAlert: American Girl & Only Fools Fall In Love by @lifeofdillon

U.K based pop duo made up of David Keiffer and Joe Femi have known each other since high school and have self-declared their music as “acoustic house,” and formed in 2014. They would play gigs at the local pubs after class and their band gets it’s name from a Nepalese surfer named Dillon they met during a trip to Brazil.

Mixing together sounds from an array of genres from around the world—Femi’s Brazilian-Nigerian background heavily influences their newest material—the band has taken their infectious music on tour with the likes of Meghan Trainor and Charlie Puth.

Song by Song Review

images (3) As soon as I heard this song, I honestly had it on repeat for days. It relevantly talks about topics of immigration and dreamers but still has that feel good Latin Flavor to it’s pop musicality.

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https_images.genius.com6750065cb3e471cca746e51bfd5edb8e.268x268x1 “Only Fools Fall In Love” finds the duo further honing in on their sharp and slick take on modern pop music. Mixing acoustic guitars with a tight, rhythmic beat work and electronic flourishes, the song centers around an infectious, catchy earworm of a melody and a sentimental lyric that all can relate to.

Watch the music video HERE and be sure to follow Life of Dillon below so you don’t miss all their other new music:

Follow Life Of Dillon:
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram

 

 

 

 

#NewMusicAlert: Younger by A Great Big World

Back with their third album to date, I guess you could say that A Great Big World has something to new to say.

Their self-titled album is recorded with a live band and is self-titled because it sounds “most like them.” The duo, made up of two dudes that met at NYU, Chad King and Ian Axel, have released two other albums, their first which included the Top 5 Billboard Collaboration with Christina Augilera, “Say Something.”

Song Review

Younger:    The first single off the album, “Younger”, encapsulates the innocence and naivete of childhood youth, unfolding like a colorful love letter to an adolescence of playing wiffle ball and Super Mario Bros, listening to Maroon 5, and dreaming about the future. It has a fun up-tempo and contains video game sound effects hidden throughout the musicality. Total #TBT.

 

Watch the nostalgic video game-inspired throwback lyric video here.

Connect with A Great Big World in the world of social media:

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram: 
Official Website

 

#NewMusicAlert: Strangers On An Island by @BrotherLeo

Brother Leo only cared about football as a child but that didn’t stop his mom to force her son, whose birth name is Ola, to join boys’ choir and take piano lessons. Fast forward to age 17 where he was playing professional soccer for the Trelleborgs FF, he sang during a school function and friends were adamant about him auditioning for Pop Idol.

He signed a deal reluctantly in his native Sweden. Before his Swedish debut, he had a plethora of number one hit credits as an in-demand songwriter for Gnash, Hailee Steinfield, Akon, and more under his given name.

His artist name Brother Leo was assumed in 2018 which is based off Svennson’s more confident and free imaginary twin as a child.

Song by Song Review

Everything On Red: Based on a gamble on a roulette wheel on either red or black, this song is about betting all your chips on the love at first sight you feel when you meet someone new for the first time. Produced by Fatboy Slim, the musicality and feel to the track is reminiscent to island or Carribean music. The breakdown gives the impression that time has slowed and all you hear is your heartbeat in your ears.

Stranger On An Island: Sunny verses of beachside vignettes combined with tropical drums and wild turntable scratches make this track a summer splash, and give you that getaway feel no matter the season. You may hear Brother Leo sing about being stuck on an island but this beachy track will be stuck in your head after just one listen.

Check out the music video directed by Mary Clerete here and connect with Brother Leo below:
Website
Twitter
Instagram
Facebook

 

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.