#BookReview, Letting Go & Moving On by @MissMandyHale

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I know her as my Twitter Bestie and see her like a big sister but most people know her as The Single Woman. I remember the first day I found out about Mandy Hale. One of my followers on Twitter, (it may have been Mastin Kipp but that’s not exactly certain) retweeted her tweet. I can’t remember what the tweet said but obviously it spoke to something in me because next thing I knew I was checking out her blog and following her myself. Her message, told through straight to the matter sometimes humorous tweets and very personal anecdote style blog posts, has given a voice to millions worldwide. The thing that sets Mandy apart from the rest is that she is an example of learning how to wait for God’s best while not settling in love, in your career, or any other area of life. Yet, one thing that resonates with me is that she is a voice for all the single women out there that still haven’t found Mr. or Ms. Right but won’t let what others say take her out or cause her life to stop in anticipation of the moment when true love does happen.

Letting Go and Moving On was Hale’s first ever published work, which was published in 2012 by Telemauchus Press which is a self-publishing company. Yet, Hale published it after she already started her online platform as The Single Woman and was up-and-coming in her online presence.

What I love about this book is that it is Hale just reaching out to her audience in all honesty and completely with her own voice. It echoes her early blog posts that caught my attention back in 2010. Though it’s not the best written work I’ve ever read, I definitely enjoyed it because it was a good reminder of the art to let go and move on.

The book includes some of Hale’s early Single Woman tweets throughout because the book is only available in e-book format. The book follows the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHY, and the HOW plus hits on the five major areas where people have to let go in: Relationships, Jobs, Opportunities, Friendships, and Grievances.

Currently, if you pre-order Mandy Hale’s upcoming release Beautiful Uncertainty, you can get this book as a free gift. Today, Mandy Hale has over 608,000 on her The Single Woman twitter and is a NYT best-selling author of Never Been To Vegas buy My Luggage Has. Connect with her on social media today and let her message inspire you today. Letting Go and Moving On is available for purchase on Amazon.

Links to check out:

Mandy’s blog and website

Twitter: @TheSingleWoman

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@RachelPlatten ‘s Album #Wildfire A Flame That Can’t Be Put Out

I bet you didn’t know that this album #Wildfire isn’t Rachel Platten’s first rodeo. This is her third studio album and it hits all the right notes musically. Chances are, you’ve sang along to a Rachel Platten song? She’s the powerhouse voice behind your Top 40 car karaoke go-to, the song that motivates while going for a run and after a really hard day, “Fight Song.” Yet, where did Rachel Platten get her start as an artist? Her 34 year old fighter spirit was born to Jewish parents Paul and Pamela Platten in Manhatten but was raised in Newton Centre, Massechusetts. She studied classical piano from age five and learned how to play guitar in high school.

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She attended Trinity College where she was an active member of the all-female campus acapella group, the Trinitones. She graduated from college with a degree in International Relations but inspired by an experience singing back up for a friend’s band in Trinadad while studying abroad while performing for about 800,000, she decided that she had to pursue music full-time. From here, she moved to New York’s Greenwich Village performing with a cover band called Dayz of Wild.  In 2012, she married Kevin Lezan in a Jewish ceremony.

Musically, her debut studio album Trust In Me was released in 2003. She is famous for calling her debut a collection of demoes. Her second album, Be Here was released on Rock Ridge Music in 2011. “1,000 ships,” the single off her 2011 album hit number 24 on the Billboard Top 40 chart. Following this, her songs began to become heavily demanded for use in television shows such as Pretty Little Liars as well as used as the theme song for the hit show Jane By Design, commericals such as the 2015 Ford commerical, and even film soundtracks such as The Good Guy.

On June 27, 2014, Platten debuted “Fight Song” on We Heart It as part of an artist spotlight. She is now signed to Columbia Records which began promotion of her as their artist by releasing “Fight Song” as her debut single in the spring of 2015. It went on to debut at number 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, and later peaked at number 6. As far as her fight, she’s slayed by shattering records by having two Top 40 hit singles both with “Fight Song” and “Stand by You,” which debuted at number 38 and peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Song by Song Review

“Stand By You”: The second single off this album that has gypsy vibes musically, and talks about unconditional love and loyalty between two friends or lovers.

“Hey Hey Hallelujah”: Featuring Top 40 favorite Andy Grammer, it’s my favorite track off the album because it not only has a fun, dancy almost churchy musical style but it references a woman who knows her power around the men who fall for her.

“Speechless”: A ballad that’s slow in tempo but heavy in its lyrical content about being blown away by someone as a person, yet they even have the power to “quiet your demons.”

“Beating Me Up”: The drum beat in this track is a lot like a war drum but echoes that of a heartbeat as this song lyrically discusses letting go of someone who was toxic to you, and how you must eradicate them from your heart to ever move on completely.

“Fight Song”: It’s an anthemic pop song set in midtempo, self-affirming in its lyrical content, and chances are you’ve not only already heard it but you played it when you needed a pick me up after a rough day.

“Better Place”: A song with Platten’s vocals and piano backtrack. It lyrically references moving on finally from that toxic lover mentioned in Beating Me Up.

“Lone Ranger”: Musically and lyrically, this is a hit for sure. Musically, it reminds me of a Shakira song. Lyrically, it talks about someone who suffers from trust issues and would rather be alone than get close to people.

“You Don’t Know My Heart”: Musically, it has EDM pop sounds paired with strong lyrics about being judged and declaring that this person doesn’t know the real you. #ThankYouRachelPlatten

“Angels In Chelsea”: Another favorite off the album biased because it’s co-written by Hot Chelle Rae band member Nash Overstreet. It’s optimistic in both its lyrical content and musically, it sounds much like a church choir would.

“Astronauts”: Another piano pop ballad mixed with EDM sounds, it reminds me of a Paula Abdul song during the chorus section. Platten vocally even sounds like a mix of Abdul and Christina Perri.

“Congratulations”: R&B from the first note, Platten’s vocals on this track slay because the way she announces her words, and the power in her voice really makes this track a power anthem in the most subtle way.

“Superman”: The track begins with just a heartbeat style drum beat and Platten’s vocals. You can really here the power Platten holds as a vocalist because she has such control over her voice and this track ends the album perfectly as perfect evidence of that.

       Wildfire  debuted at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. As of February 2016, she will head out on the Wildfire Tour to further promote her album. With her anthemic fight songs, Platten cemented her destiny as a star on the rise, and a hero in our hearts.

References:

www.rachelplatten.com/bio

@PanicAtTheDisco’s Fifth Album #DeathofABachelor Knocks One Out of the Park

I’ve been listening to #DeathofABachelor since it was released a week ago on January 15, 2016. I’m talking, I’ve only been listening to that album for a week straight. When I workout, when I shower, when I’m feeling like giving up on this thing called life. I already know all the words, and I’m totally stoked that Panic At The Disco is back, and badder than ever!

In case you don’t remember who Panic At The Disco is they are an American Rock band from Las Vegas, NV. The only member of the band that hasn’t changed is lead vocalist and multi-instumentalist Brendan Urie. The rest of the founding band members have been replaced since the band first started in 2004. They are most known for their single off their first studio album, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies,” which was a Top Ten hit single despite being the band’s first single ever released. It was later certified double platinum.

In 2006, the band lost its original bassist and found that with their second album, Pretty Odd, their sound had changed. This lead to principal writer Ryan Ross and bassist Jon Walker, leaving only Brendan and Spencer Smith as the bands only remaining members. This didn’t leave the band in disarray for long because they picked up and released their third album, Vices &Virtues in 2011.

In 2011, the now three member band (Dalton Weekes, Spencer Smith, and Brenden Urie) released their fourth studio album, Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die!. In 2015, Spencer Smith left the band and Dalton Weekes became just a touring member, leaving Brendan as the only member left.

                Death of the Bachelor was solely written and recorded by Brendan Urie. The album is written based on his current lifestyle with wife, Sarah Urie.

Song by Song Review

“Victorious”: The first single off the fifth album is like a musical cue similar to that of a champagne bottle popping to celebrate big and small victories in life. Writer and vocalist Urie said that when he recorded the song, he almost passed out from that note he holds during the beginning of the song.

“Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time”: This track is definitely a continuation of the party theme from victorious but has very blunt lyrics talking about all the ingredients to a good time including: “champagne, cocaine, gasoline, and most things in between…” Urie claims that that specific line was considered problematic by industry executives but he kept it because it reflected the lifestyle of being young, how they chase that feeling and it’s never enough. This song reminds me of the movies The Hangover and 21 and Over.

“Hallelujah”: Urie claims this song was written while drinking scotch in the studio, and it’s just a bunch of drunken ramblings. It definitely has a “Take Me To Church” feel and utilizes a trumpet in the beginning of the track which again gives it and old-timey gospel feel.

“Emperor’s New Clothes”:  This song has a royal theme to it; my favorite part of the track because it’s one of my favorites is the “finders keepers, losers weepers” throughout. The track is one of my favorites because it’s the most rock-and-roll track on the album.

“Death of A Bachelor”: Has a Sinatra, jazzy feel to it. It features a melotran track playing in the background. Urie explains the track as quote, “Death Of A Bachelor” is very important to me. It expresses the bittersweet (but mostly sweet) end of an era. A look back at a part of my life now deceased. An “It’s A Wonderful Life”-esque look into a possibly different future. But mostly an appreciation for the present.” For me, the track reminds me of the movie Scott Pilgrim vs. The World because it has a breakdown that sounds like music you’d hear in Mario Kart or a video game in general.

“Crazy=Genius”: Most definitely, my favorite track on this album because people call me crazy all the time but musically I love that the drum beat from this track is the same from “Sing Sing Sing” by Benny Goodman, which was featured in a Chips Ahoy! Commercial back in 1990’s.

“L.A. Devotee”: A track that’s musically in three different keys, E-minor, E-major, and F-major, it talks about the people of Los Angeles; How they always have a new fix to make them ageless and beautiful.

“Golden Days” A track written to emulate Weezer’s “My Name is Jonas” with use of a cymbal during the chorus of the track. Lyrically, it holds a lot of descriptive imagery and is a good example show, don’t tell.

“The Good, The Bad, The Dirty” A track that talks about the judgements of other people and how you have to fight past that in order to know who you truly are. Musically, it has a pop-rock sound. My favorite line: “If you want to start a fight, you better throw the first punch, make it a good one.”

“House of Memories”: A track that was originally written on piano, it has an evil composer sound to it. Lyrically, it’s about his life with his wife Sarah.

“Impossible Year”: The only track I can’t bear to listen to on the entire album because it just has a weighty, woe is me feel to it. As an optimist, I shy away from songs like that because if you aren’t careful they can put you in the wrong mindset. Musically, the track has EDM style swirls throughout.

Death of A Bachelor may be Panic At The Disco’s fifth album but it stands apart from the rest because not only does it have hip-hop, pop, and rock musical stylings but it proves that rock and roll is still very much alive. Panic At the Disco just announced that in 2016, they are heading out on tour to co-headline with fellow rock band, Weezer.

References:

www.twitter.com/panicatthedisco

 

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Elle King Will Make You “Love Stuff” Off Her Debut Album

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I bet you don’t know who Elle King even is. If, like myself, you came across a blurb about her in Cosmopolitan magazine, you googled her single “Ex’s and Oh’s” because they said you would be playing on repeat. Cosmopolitan magazine was not playing. From the moment I found this video 

I had it on repeat. That was two weeks ago. On February 17, 2015, Elle King’s debut album Love Stuff was released by RCA records. Daughter of famed comedic actor Rob Schneider, Elle King’s bluesy rock and roll sound could make her the female version of Jonny Lang. My favorites from the album beside the single Ex’s and Oh’s  are America’s Sweetheart (a song that declares she is who she is and “if you try to change her, you can go to hell,”) and Make You Smile. Trust me, with one listen, Elle King will command your attention and make you love the stuff she sings about.

Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on DailySelectBlog.com in February 2015 which has since been shut down. Writer owns all copyright to the above review.