#MusicalNotes: Demi Lovato’s Tell Me You Love Me Album Review

TO READ THE FULL ALBUM REVIEW, CLICK HERE

Advertisements

#ATWT: Lecrae’s first major label release proves inspiration is in “All Things”

I don’t know about you but I’m…look what you made me do.

I’m not ashamed to admit it but I’m one of those chicks who likes to ride with my top down listening to Jesus music. It’s partly because of the way I was raised. I actually wasn’t allowed to listen to a lot of secular music growing up until I rebelled against Christian music for a few short years when I was trying my hand at being the female version of Slim Shady. I was obsessed with Eminem at 13 and still have yet to get over his Curtain Call album. Turns out, rapping isn’t my calling but at least I had fun figuring that out.

Someone who is a natural lyricist is Lecrae. He was the first Christian hip hop artist to have a #1 album on the Billboard Hot 100 but he didn’t just walk out of the gate and into overnight success. His first album Real Talk was released via the independent label he co-founded in 2004 and it started the 116 clique movement. He refers to his music as “hip-hop that he uses to share his Christian faith,” and it is this outsider attitude that has taken him from rapper to anomaly with a Grammy win, a BET win, and now a signed contract with Columbia Records. Lecrae Moore has quite the life story, and is definitely real life proof that all things do work together.

Song by Song Review

Always Knew: The perfect track to break the glass ceiling as a major label artist. The musicality of the entire album is a definite head nod to all of Lecrae’s “day ones and the crew” with elements from Real Talk and his Church Clothes mixtapes. Lyrically, this track discusses his Reach Records days to transitioning to a major label artist with his album displayed in Times Square.

Understanding me ain’t for the simple& elementary

Facts: Emulating Church Clothes style and musicality  discussing current themes about racial divisions and stereotypes

Just know if you rock the boat you better have a life raft

Broke: A song about how the struggle makes you stronger, it boasts how God takes all the broken pieces & makes you the righteousness of God through Christ. Also is about wealth in character being far more valuable than any and all material wealth

Hard times made for a good life

Blessings: A song of thanksgiving and praise, gospel gone ghetto, about being grateful & counting all God’s blessings.

Whatchu Mean: With a catchy backbeat, it discusses someone who’s words and actions don’t balance out. On this track featuring new Reach Records artist, Aha Gazelle we find them blocking out haters and pursuing dreams.

Hammertime:  Lecrae tells the listener to work hard at what they want to achieve in life. Musically, it samples the 90’s hit “U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer.

If we living what we talk about, you don’t talk a lot

Come and Get Me: Favorite track on the record because it’s the perfect mix of righteous and ratchet, and it is unapologetic rebel music, with sleigh bells carrying the back beat.

Tweet: #ATWT is the perfect mix of righteous and ratchet with a substantial testimony @lecrae https://ctt.ec/OHePu+ via @tscphiles

Lucked Up: Another reason I respect Lecrae as an artist is because unlike other hip-hop artists that get on hit song charts by bragging about how many women they get with, he always has a song that boasts his life for his wife and showcases his softer side, and that’s what this track is for this album.

4e15c1a5cf3d2194441e8948b65cc829.500x500x1.jpg

Wish You The Best: A song about the power of forgiveness despite how the relationship came to an end.

Can’t Stop Me Now: As I am a white female who was born in the 90’s, the first thing that came to mind when I heard this track was that it reminded me of Sailing by ‘NSYNC in musicality and style but a Caribbean element creates a song about letting go of depression and doubt.

I’ll Find You: Featuring Tori Kelly, this dream collaboration talks about God finding you in the midst of the pain or trial

8_28: Based on Romans 8:28, the title track is a lyrical tale about how all things work together for those who love God & are called according to his purpose.

Cry For You: It was originally written as a journal entry and not going to be used for the album, and Lecrae recorded it in one take with authentic emotions and tears in the corners of his eyes, it discusses having weaknesses, flaws, and a thorn in the flesh. Almost a letter to God about the fight of faith.

Worth It: Gospel Baptist Church musicality sets the scene for this track about how God looks at us with unconditional love even in the midst of our sin and mistakes because “the price paid determines the value.”

Overall, Lecrae’s major label debut knocks it out of the park and has all the original reach of his past projects with a new testimony: all things do work together.

The Father Effect by John Finch will leave a mark on you and how you relate to dads everywhere

pablo114Maybe you don’t have a dad or never knew your birth father. Or maybe you had a father who created a distance between you and him because he chose work over you, the bottle over you, or strip clubs over you. No matter what may have gone on and what the relationship between you and your father is like, most people male or female have a father wound that not only deserves healing but needs a healing.

pablo115.png

That’s where this book is something you must read if you truly are seeking a healing for your father wound. It will show you the perspective of a man who suffered with a father wound due to a tragically early absence, and it caused him to not even realize he was also neglecting his own three daughters.

pablo116.png

Once he came to terms with his own father wound, he was able to properly love his family the way God intended. After all, our heavenly father is the model of the way fathers must love and lead their family.

pablo117.png

No matter your own story, you will find pieces of it in John Finch’s own personal narrative and you will most likely shed a few tears along the way but ultimately, this book will hopefully lead you to find the overall healing we all not only deserve but so very desperately need.

pablo121.png

To pre-order the book, out October 24th everywhere books are sold, please hurry here! 

pablo124

Team ’91 is represented with Jamie Grace’s long overdue autobiographical album

Okay, I’ll just come out and say it. I am a huge fan of Jamie Grace. And what’s weird is that it took me forever to discover her because although she was always played on Christian radio stations nationwide. I didn’t actually get bit by the fan bug until I seen her on a livestream for 2015’s Night of Joy.

Instantly, I felt like I was looking in a metaphorical mirror. At 25, Jamie Grace has had the typical experiences of a young artist: being bullied, outcasted, and moved across the country and back over her young life, all while still being single in a world that ridicules you for having higher standards than the heels on your shoes. Yet, she’s extraordinary in that at only 25, she managed to already be nominated for a Grammy, win a Dove award, star in a major motion picture, and deal with a whole heck of a lot health-wise. Her mother was diagnosed with pudendal neuralgia which makes walking and especially sitting extremely uncomfortable. For more on this battle, please read this personal essay by Jamie herself.

Despite leaving Gotee Records in August 2016 and relocating to California later in the year, Jamie Grace Harper finally released her long-awaited third studio album ’91. Influenced by the Christian music she and I both grew up with, Superchic[K] and ZoeGirl, among others it is her first independent album release as an artist with a bold, strong, and autobiographical message. The album was released on September 1, 2017.

Song by Song Review

Different: A song about realizing you are different and that’s okay featuring heavy guitar musicality and bass drum.

The Happy Song: An acoustic jam that reminds you that the joy of the Lord is your strength no matter what trials life brings.

One of a Kind:  A song about all those crazy thoughts we have on a daily basis and how God doesn’t think we are crazy in spite of them.  Heavy use of percussion creates a playfulness to the musicality.

Here: A track featuring her older sister Morgan Harper-Nichols, it has country ballad musicality while discussing the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Spotlight: Heavy use of guitar chords and static make this interlude track have a radio wave effect on the vocals.

Dance On: One of two favorites off the album, it’s a dance party anthem with rock n roll musicality.

Bella: An acoustic song with soft vocals about being a daughter of the king.

Party Like A Princess:  My other favorite off the album with elements of Superchic[K]-like sound (no surprise there, it was produced from the band’s own Matt Dally), comes this single girl anthem about loving who you are regardless of who you walk into a party with or without.

Reverb This second interlude track which has a definite Superchic[K]-like sound and influenced by ZoeGirl as well, it boasts a theme of being God’s echo, as a reverb is defined as an effect whereby the sound produced by an amplifier or an amplified musical instrument is made to reverberate slightly.

Games: A song about the lines drawn in the invisible sand to outcast one girl from social groups.

Sixteen: A fast-paced rhythm mirrors the fast-paced life of a sixteen year old with this track about struggling with a journey of faith in your teen years.

Daughter of the King: An acoustic ballad about who God made you is ENOUGH

Bella(Acoustic): The acoustic version of the daddy-daughter guitar ballad

Heaven (Fix Things): A piano ballad about God’s mighty power and sometimes not understanding his process.

I love when I learn new things about an artist that I very much love and I just found out that Jamie Grace was actually asked up on stage by Adele where she sang “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” and Adele said she had a great voice. Well she totally does but what a HUGE compliment coming from such a vocal powerhouse and equally versatile artist.

No matter if you were born in ’91 or 2001, you will find pieces of yourself while listening to Jamie Grace’s third studio album, and feel free to dance on!

#BookReview: B.S. Incorporated by Jennifer Rock and Michael Voss

Maybe you’ve never worn a suit on the job. Or even spent eight hours in stilettos. Yet, most Americans at one time or another have worked the zombie-like 9-5 grind. Yet, if the only experience you have with corporate America is when you binge watched the entire series The Office on Netflix, this book is something you ought to add to your TBR list.pablo (58).png

Will Evans is B.S. Inc’s version of Jim Harper. He literally started from the bottom and now he’s here speaking corporate lingo and getting massages on company time. Enter Anna Reed, picture Pam Beesly with red heels that give her height that puts her eye to eye with her male counterparts, yet much more merciless and less soft-spoken than Pam.

pablo (59).png

Basically they are a match made in Corporate Heaven. (God, I hope that version of heaven does not exist).

pablo (60)

I was instantly receiving on the job training in terms of the inner workings and the 9-5 realities that make up Corporate America. Considering this is my only form of employment at this time, I am interested to know if I could get a job with B.S.I. by the end of the book.

pablo (61).png

Will Will and Anna end up being a winning team or a losing venture?

pablo (62)

Will B.S. Incorporated have to claim bankruptcy or is it going to be rewired and reworked like a modern day business proposal?

pablo (63).png

For more information on B.S. Incorporated by Jennifer Rock and Michael Voss including co-author bios, please visit: http://bookpublicityservices.com/b-s-incorporated-hilariously-exposes-life-corporate-america/

Screen-Shot-2016-04-27-at-8.22.47-AM-768x514.png

#BookReview: Family First by D.D. Bridges is a MUST READ!

I’m not sure I’ve ever sat down and read urban fiction but I’m glad I never let labels stop me as a reader, a writer, or a human being. I am very open-minded and was approached by the publisher to read this book for a review about a year ago, and I never thought anything of it. I just said yes but wasn’t prepared for the intensity that this book contained.

To hear my review, please check out this video review but I cannot recommend this book enough and I’m definitely going to buy a copy and you should too!