#CGForever: @therealgrimmie proves that #allisvanity with brand new album

One year ago today, Christina Grimmie was taken from this Earth far too soon. Yet, her beautiful family and team have been keeping Christina’s beautiful legacy alive by continuing to release new music that she had worked on prior to her passing. And none of it disappoints. christina-grimmie-title-meaning

Her newest album was released a major record label, which was one of Grimmie’s life-long dreams, as well as to win a Grammy.

With this review, I am only trying to honor Christina and in no way trying to critique her or her absolutely powerful gift with music and inspiring people. As mentioned in previous posts, I only spoke to her briefly when I worked the Wildfire Tour for Rachel Platten but she definitely had a big heart, a beautiful smile, and a light that would help you through the darkest times in your life.  I also urge everyone to read this to get a copy of All is Vanity as a tribute to the singer.

Her new album is titled All is Vanity and is based off her favorite Bible verse that she ended up getting tattooed on her arm:

“All Is Vanity” is a bible verse, from Ecclesiastes 12:8, which reads: “Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.”

Before her untimely passing, Christina would say that this verse was there to remind her that her success and fame where nothing without Christ, and only in Him does life have meaning.

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Song By Song Review

“Sublime”: 

This song opens the album and it is said this was Christina’s favorite of all her new songs, and you can hear it in her voice throughout the track. There is an enthusiasm that gives her voice that extra dose of perfection. 18839135_1582459721796616_5983707235376120846_n

The breakdown is my favorite part of the entire track:

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“Steady Love”:    

I absolutely love the musicality of this track. It reminds me of an anime love story, as it has a little bit of a Japanese sound to it.

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Invisible: 

The third track was one of the first new songs released by Team Grimmie, and 100% of proceeds from the sale of it went to starting the Christina Grimmie Foundation. A posthumous release from Christina Grimmie, who rips our hearts in two with her incredible talent, bright presence, and musical ear. The song is a little eery as Grimmie talks about no longer being invisible, singing:

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Source: Beat.Media

Crowded Room

My favorite track on the album that caused me to tear up at the first listen because it showcases Grimmie’s R&B vocal stylings and it shows a deeper side to her songwriting by discussing someone who chooses a crowded room to hide from themselves, possibly hinting at what Grimmie felt was an epidemic in Hollywood.

Crowded Room perfectly blends Alessia Cara’s “Here” and Sia’s “Chandelier” in song content, vocal stylings, and musicality.

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Everybody Lies

Producer and Christina’s boyfriend, Stephen Rezza, perfectly placed a clip from this Youtube video at the end of this song and it made me ball my eyes out.  This song is a perfect placard for Christina’s motivating and inspirational legacy.

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Pressure I woke up with this stuck in my head and cannot stop listening to it because this song is a serious bop, jam, hit, and it has these feel good dancy vibes that remind me of the power and caliber of a Michael Jackson song. It is similar to “Scream” but has the musicality of “Bad.”

Christina, I’m with you.

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Maybe I With this track, Christina’s vocal powerhouse shines here.

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Echo A badass “I deserve better” anthem about someone who continues to lie to you and you realize you need to get up and move on. 

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I Only Miss You When I Breathe

This song makes me miss this young beautiful talent. A beautiful arrangement similar to her single Invisible, EDM meets Grimmie’s R&B vocal stylings and incomparable vocal range. It’s my favorite off her Side B EP.

Source: Beat.Media

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The Game

This song reminds me “For You” by Demi Lovato in vocals and musicality. It’s the perfect way to end the album.

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We miss you, Christina! I know you are absolutely beaming in heaven.

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#MusicReview: @DNCE’s debut album will make you D-A-N-C-E

New album review I wrote about DNCE

They did happen to cut out my intro paragraph but do I really need to reiterate how much the Jonas Brothers mean to me, and how happy I am for each of them despite how much I was saddened when they parted ways as a musical act?

For all the fangirl features, check out my review above.DNCE-Kissing-Strangers-Lyric-Video.jpg

#MusicLove: @MercyMe’s Newest Album is Pro-Life

From the first note, I was into this new album from my introduction to Christian music growing up in the nineties, Mercy Me. It’s relevant, dancy, jazzy, classy, and full of Jesus. There isn’t a song on the ten track album that will have you eager to skip to the next track. It’s perfect for long car rides, daily worship, or sporadic dance parties in your living room.

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On the heels of their RIAA Certified Gold and GRAMMY® acclaimed Welcome To The New (2014), at the core of their newest is the question of what it looks like to live as followers of Christ.

“This new record is the logical next chapter after our last album, and it carries a new perspective,” MercyMe’s Bart Millard remarked. “Welcome To The New was all about grace and identity in Christ; a welcoming to the life of being a new creation by grace. And it’s such an exciting truth to grasp, but then life continues to go on and eventually the newness of that wears off and we need encouragement and support to sustain us. For me personally, I sing about being new every night on tour and I don’t always feel so new. So the album title LIFER and the theme of the record is all about reminding ourselves and others about the victory we have in the end through Christ. We are all in this for life – even on the days when we don’t feel like doing any of it. We want these songs to be a morale boost to remind people of who they are and what Christ has done.”

Filled with positive, uplifting lyrics, along with energetic beats and soaring melodies, this latest offering delivers the massive hits that MercyMe is known for. The debut single “Even If” will serve as a follow-up to the band’s four hit singles found on their previous album. Lifer debuts March 31 wherever music is sold. 

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Song by Song Review

Lifer: An announcer greets the listener with, “And now, ladies and gentlemen,” before big band musicality opens the track discussing faith in Christ becoming as simple as vital as breathing to live. My favorite line:

“Because it ain’t what happens to me, yeah that don’t define me. It’s what I got inside me. Before I was created, you already knew yeah. Ain’t nothing gonna separate us, hallelujah.”

You Found Me: Has musicality that reminds me of an eighties movie, or the outro to The Breakfast Club. Lyrically, it tells the upbeat story of Christ finding those who believe in Him in our dark corners of guilt, shame, and condemnation, and claims us as His own.

Grace Got You: With a modern take on mo-town musicality, this song will get you on your feet in danceful worship of God’s grace. My favorite line:

Smile like you just got away with something. Why? 

‘Cause you just got away with something ever since grace got you

Best News Ever: An encouraging song that quiets the noise of all the ideals people quote about life, and reminds us of our victory in Christ. You just got the best news ever!

Even If: A ballad that is for those struggling with doubts and questions in the midst of the darkest circumstances.

Hello Beautiful: My favorite off the album because of the usage of real life sounds that bring the track to life.

We Win: With a song that could be used for the Body of Christ’s pep rally, this is an encouraging pop rock anthem with the main message being, “We won.”

Happy Dance: You will not be able to stop the joy or the groove that hits you during this song. Totally a shake-it-for-Jesus anthem in lyrical content and pop rock musicality. A great follow-up to the previous track.

Heavens Here: The opening reminds me of “Circle of Life” from The Lion King but it reminds us of the line from the Lord’s Prayer, “on earth as it is in heaven.”

Ghost: A haunting musical element creates an old hymn musicality calling out for the Holy Spirit to lead us to hope and peace instead of being like the images painted in campfire stories, horror movies, or Halloween ideals.

Enter my giveaway to win a copy of Lauren Fricke’s YA debut SIGNED

 

#MusicReview: Ryan Follese EP; I Like It Like That

It’s okay if you like myself felt this incredible urge to grab a hairbrush and start singing along after that title. Hot Chelle Rae is one of the greatest rock/ pop rock bands that ever came onto the music scene. Yet, today, the spotlight gets a little brighter for the lead singer as he steps out as a solo artist with a brand new EP.

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There’s no denying a smile like that comes from finally finding the thing that clicks, the right groove, the right chord, the niche that floats  your boat. Ryan Follese, oldest son of famed country songwriters Adrienne and Keith Follese, (“The Way You Love Me” by Faith Hill; “Something Like That” by Tim McGraw), Ryan recently figured out why he kept writing country songs despite being one-third of an American pop band). Being that he was born into it and raised in Nashville, he hit all the right notes right out the gate when he sat down to write this EP. Yet, that doesn’t mean it was any less work than any other music project. He spent two years working on it with his family and various music geniuses at Big Machine Label Group. He was officially signed June 15, 2016. And I couldn’t be happier that not only is Ryan making music but his heart is overjoyed and it definitely shows with this six-song EP baring his name.Ryan-Follese

Song by Song Review

https://play.spotify.com/artist/6KdRXEnkaZ5m5a6XcvWGP7

“Put A Label On It”: A song that discusses that moment when you want everyone to know that you not only found someone but you can’t wait to tell the world. Favorite lyric: “I can read you like a book girl. And we’re on the same page.”

“Wilder”: One of my favorites off the EP because it showcases Ryan’s heart but still has an up-tempo melody and rhythm. And love the banjo on the backtrack. Favorite lyric: “Like a couple of kids in the dark playing with fire just to see how hot we burn.”

“One Thing Right”: The perfect song to come home to play on repeat after a long rough day at work. For me it’s a song I dedicate to my dogs (cheesy I know) because it touches on that one person or people who make you want to become better, and also help you shrug off the mistakes you made yesterday. Definitely a Southern wedding song.

“Lose A Little Sleep”: For Hot Chelle Rae super fans like myself, this song has a pop anthem feel but with plenty of country transitions so you get a little taste of both genres. Definitely a hit for sure plus it really exhibits Follese’s handsome vocal range.  Favorite lyric: “24/7 365 you’re in my head. Only one number on my speed dial. Like I’d forget.” Oh my swoon! 😍 😍 😍

“Growing Up”: My favorite off the EP for sure because it’s way relatable for me right now in my life (graduate college only to struggle to find a job in my field, forced to work a part-time job in order so that I don’t become the typical starving artist). Favorite lyric: “They say I gotta grow up but right now I’m feeling too young.”

“Float Your Boat”: I spent most of middle school to people asking me for life advice: “Whatever floats your banana boat” so this song speaks to me on a spiritual level. For my feature piece/ full review on this track, #ICYMI.

Overall, I see big things for the lead singer of my favorite band. I see someone who has the talent musically to go far as a solo artist and really come into who he was born to be all along. Whatever floats your boat, Ryan. I’m totally in support of.


#MusicReview: Tumbler’s new album Come To The Edge will have you “on the edge” of your seat

Alternative rock is one of my favorite genres so when this band came up in my inbox, I jumped at the chance to review it. You could say alternative rock was the soundtrack of my high school years. It’s the music that gives rhythm and melody to every day emotions and situations but still instills hope with guitar riffs and catchy drum beats but it’s not sugar coated or melancholy like pop music, nor American like country music. Much like pop music, alternative/folk rock music is a worldwide genre that grips you when you least expect it to.

Hailing from Epsom, England, this band is made up of members Harry Grace (vocals and guitar), Richard Grace (vocals and guitar), and Dave Needham (guitar, keyboard, backing vocals). Tumbler was born two years ago, when a lifetime of family music and weekend kitchen concerts turned into something more. Harry started taking the music seriously. Dave happened along. A whole bunch of songs left the kitchen, took flight and turned into an album. They called it‘You Said’.Reaction was gratifyingly positive. In a world that already has over 37 million songs, it turns out there was room for a few more. In honesty though it didn’t change anything, we’d already started on a second album before the first was released.The thing is, you can’t help learning. Through the course of making ‘You Said’ they discovered some useful stuff and developed some new ideas. Out of all the material available they  began to understand what songs suited Tumbler best. Meantime Harry was growing as a writer and performer.

“Don’t Take Much”:  Musically, Tumblr as a band sounds like a mix between MGMT and The Beatles, and this song really showcases that. The chorus for this song is beautifully written:

“Trust and let it go/ oh baby, love’s stronger than you and I know.”

“Falling”: A song about falling in love and the start of a new found feeling between you and the other person. Harry wrote it and explains here that it starts out with the vocals because it’s exclamatory due to pent up emotions that he felt the need to express with this song. It’s one of my favorites off the album because I love the strongly worded lyrics used throughout.

“Nothing To Hold You”: Musically, it starts out sounding like a Patsy Cline song but contains amazing mixtures of sing-along worthy lyrics and folk musicality.

“Sweetest Thing”: This song has a lighthearted musicality that reminds me of a song you would hear in an opening scene of a romantic comedy.

“Week”: Another one of my favorites off the album because it’s just such a catchy, heavy guitar laden melody with a chorus that is lyrically sound: “But I/ I won’t run/ from this house we built from stone.”

“Winter Cold Heart”: Totally badass musicality with this track because of the mystique of the chimes used and how it really creates a wintry atmosphere. Very specific imagery creates a story that comes to life in this track, one that you will have on repeat.

“Diamond in a Drawer”: The sound of the chisel on this track against heavy minor guitar chords really sets this track’s musicality apart and I find it to be another one of my favorites off the album.

“Joanne”: This song is forty years old and has been passed down through Richard’s musical career. Dave added a nice piano track to the vocals that creates a melodic mystique to this ballad for the mysterious woman named Joanne.

“In Safe Hands”: Normally, alternative rock has a sort of “woe is me” statement underneath it but this melodic guitar heavy track is hopeful, and gives the listener positive vibes. It creates a peaceful atmosphere and definitely could be nicknamed the “traveler’s song.”

“Dial”: An acoustic guitar and melancholy vocals greet the listener and pull at your heartstrings a bit with this track about waiting for a call that never comes.

“Freedom The Cry”: The bomb alarm create a chaotic atmosphere with this political commentary track about what freedom means in today’s world whether you live overseas or in the United States.

To keep up to date on all things Tumblr as well as listen to their debut album, You Said, visit them at the links below:

http://tumbler.band

http://tumblermusic.com

https://www.facebook.com/Tumbler-1629454163961830/timeline/

https://twitter.com/Tumbler_Band

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.

 

#MusicReview: #ThankYou by @meghan_trainor

There are many trains to jump on nowadays. Yet, if you’re smart like myself, you’ll hurry up and join the MTrain bandwagon. Meghan is no newbie in terms of music. She’s been writing songs since she was 11 years old growing up in Nantucket, Massachusetts. Her first ever published song was 19 when she co-wrote a song with country duo Dan and Shay and “DJ Tonight” and “I Like The Sound of That” were born, and later cut by country supergroup Rascal Flatts. At the young age of fifteen, she home-produced her first three albums, Meghan Trainor, I’ll Sing With You (acoustic), and Only 17. Trainor attended Berklee College, and is a musical prodigy with the ability not only to write and sing songs but she can play piano, guitar, ukelele, percussion, and trumpet.

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Not only is Meghan a musical force to be reckoned with at the young age of 22, she’s a prominent voice for body love no matter your size and self-love being the healthiest and most important form of love other than the healthy relationship Trainor has with her adorable parents, who supported her from the moment she was 12 years old, and told her dad she was going to be a pop star, and he would need to buy her a tour bus. Her personal style is ’50’s crooner meets the timeless beauty of Marilyn Monroe. She’s helped me and millions of other girls see that you should love yourself for who you are, and never be ashamed for what you look like even if you aren’t a size 2. #ThankYouMeghan

Meghan wrote “All About That Bass” but found no artists would use it. With incredible gutsiness, Trainor performed it on ukelele for Epic Records chair, L.A. Reid. It was released as her first single as a signed artist on June 30, 2014, and its music video became a viral sensation. “All About That Bass” reached number one in 58 countries and became one of the best-selling singles of all time, with worldwide sales of 11 million units as of December 2014.

Trainor’s three home-produced albums were pulled from circulation in anticipation of her major label album, Title, which was released on January 9, 2015. It debuted atop the Billboard 200 charts, making Meghan the 13th artist with a #1 single and #1 album. It was the 9th best-selling album worldwide of 2015.

Thank You was released on May 13, 2016 from Epic Records and musically inspired by Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, and Bruno Mars.

Song by Song Review

     “Watch Me Do”: A James Brown feel, this song produced by Ricky Reed, is a sassy self-love anthem about “doing your thing.” My favorite part is the bridge: I’m the shhh, be quiet/I’ve been on a low-hater diet.

 “Me Too”: This has to be my favorite off the album right now mostly because it’s so catchy and it’s the second single off the album. It’s Trainor’s club banger co-written with Jason Derulo that once again promotes self-love in a healthy way and good luck not dancing to this one when you hear it. The video for this was pulled because a heavily edited version photoshopped Trainor’s waist to an unrealistic size and she pulled it because it gave mixed messages. Once again, #ThankYouMeghan

   “No” 

The first single off the album, about a hard rejection, and standing up for being okay with your independence while out at a club or a party, it’s Trainor’s joke with L.A. Reid. The track is a powerful woman’s anthem.

“Better:” Containing soca elements and featuring, Yo Gotti this track is about realizing that the person you are seeing isn’t up to your standards, and letting them know that.

“Hopeless Romantic”: This is one of my favorites off the album because this track is my response to all those Nicholas Sparks movies, saying how they set one’s expectations at a unrealistic level but either way, I’m not giving up on love. It reminds me of an old-school ballad.

“I Love Me”: This is another favorites off the album because it’s just too catchy not to dance and sing along too. It’s a song celebrating who you are as an individual. Featuring Lunch Money Lewis, it reminds me of a song that you can dance to or kids to double-dutch to.

“Kindly Calm Me Down”: A piano ballad that shows sassy Trainor’s vulnerable side. Trainor wrote it when she 18 about her father’s battle with cancer and she pitched it to fellow pop singer Christina Aguilera who didn’t cut it because it didn’t fit her album when it was in its final stages.

“Woman Up”: Co-written by Hot Chelle Rae bae Nash Overstreet and Taylor Parks, this girly song is about being strong after a break-up with dance pop musicality complete with reggae elements.

“Just a Friend To You”: A track written and performed on a ukelele, it’s a song about seeing a friend as more but you can’t do anything about it because the circumstances aren’t right.

“I Won’t Let You Down”: With Carribean vibes, the song comes off as if Trainor is singing to her parents but it’s actually a self-actualization song about bettering oneself.

” Dance Like Yo Daddy”: A song inspired by dancing with her dad in the music video for “Better When I’m Dancing” which she wrote for the Peanuts movie, it’s a song she co- wrote with Kevin Kadash for both her dad and for the love of dancing.

 “Champagne Problems”: A dancy song she co-wrote with Ryan Tedder last for the album after she had a problem with the album and her manager said to her, “Don’t forget. You have champagne problems.” It’s a song about problems that are so miniscule you don’t really need to worry about them.

    “Mom”: Featuring Kelli Trainor in the bridge, this “mom song” is one that can bring emotion and fun. This song is showing Meghan’s thanks to her mom for being the best mom she can. She is also expressing the love her mom gives towards her, to her fans and of course, her mother! As someone who’s best friends with her own mom, I love this song a lot because it has the same musicality of “Dear Future Husband” but brags on moms everywhere.

 “Friends”: Co-written with Ryan Tedder, it celebrates spending time with friends with a sound much like a “Bob Marley track.”

“Thank You”: The title track off the album where Trainor personally thanks her fans for helping her live her dream everyday it features R City and leaves the album on positive note.

Overall, this is another solid banger of an album and for that, we’d all like to “Thank You” to Meghan for being such a light musically and teaching young people to be okay with who they are. You are a role model and are the only popstar I know who does press in a onesie and heels. Keep slaying, girl.

 

 

#MusicReview: Lemonade by Beyonce`

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Idolatry is alive and well in 2016. Don’t believe me? Just say the name Beyonce` in a public place and tell me what happens. The usual reactions are both men and women sobbing, people getting in formation of all races and genders, and someone yelling “YAASSS QUEEN!”

The Ebony beauty with the Cotton Candy Pipes released a new album following her April 23 HBO Special of the same name exclusively via Tidal, a music streaming service only found on smart devices. Lemonade is Beyonce` ‘s 6th studio album and is currently retailing at 17.99 for a hard copy.

Song by Song Review

    “Pray You Catch Me”: The ballad opens with Beyonce` crooning: “You can taste the dishonesty it’s all over your breath,” and so sets the main theme of the album: the bitter cross of infidelity and being cheated on. Musically, you hear elements of a church organ in parts like she’s bringing her troubles straight to the altar.

    “Hold Up”: My favorite line on this track is “Been walked all over lately, I’d rather be crazy.” That is lyricism at its finest but with this track, Beyonce`’s musicality contains Carribean elements, paying homage to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Soulja Boy.

    “Don’t Hurt Yourself”: Featuring Jack White, this is Beyonce` meets rock n’ roll. She’s channeling Tina Turner and Jimmy Hendrix on this track.

      “Sorry”: The anthem of the entire album because of the heavy I AM FEMALE lyrical content. This song is for any woman who’s been done wrong by a man anytime, anywhere. The hook alone is a pop culture phenomenon: “Middle fingers up, put them hands high
Wave it in his face, tell him, boy, bye
Tell him, boy, bye, middle fingers up
I ain’t thinking ’bout you.
I ain’t sorry.” They even have yellow shirts with the phrase “Boy, Bye” on sale on Google. This is my favorite song on the entire album.

    “6 Inch”: A R&B hit in the making, the track features the Weeknd, and has a strip club vibe about it musically. For me, it salutes any hard-working woman out there listening.

    “Daddy Lessons” This is heavily played on Beyonce’s Pandora station. Opening with a trumpet solo, it pays homage to Beyonce’s childhood back in Texas and talks about her relationship with her father, and has the can’t miss line: “My daddy warned me about guys like you.”

     “Love Drought”: R&B musicality, this track is an airy plea to reinvigorating a relationship riddled with trust issues and insecurities. It was co-produced by Kanye West’s long time collaborator, Mike Dean. He’s the reason behind the track’s floating synth line and rich bass section. This track was made two years prior to its release.

    “Sandcastles”: A piano ballad song and played by Beyonce this was inspired by the late Prince's advice to Beyonce to learn how to play the keys to really make music that sticks with people. Like the waves that wash “Sandcastles” away, reality has tested this marriage and the promises that were made. Now Beyoncé starts to think about what comes next.

      “Forward”: A short but notable duet between Beyonce` and British singer James Blake, it is the turning point of the album. Moving “forward” from the infidelity and acting with courageous strength.

     “Freedom”: Featuring Kendrick Lamar, it’s a song that takes you back through history and hints on racism and how it still very much exists. Along with issues affecting black women, social equality justice are major motifs of this song.

   “All Night”: A midtempo love ballad featuring Diplo, it’s the unofficial close to the emotional journey of the album. The song illustrates a wise love, one that has experienced deep pain and disappointment yet was able to come out the other side determined to keep going. The chorus samples the infectious brass line from Outkast’s “SpottieOttieDopaliscious.”

    “Formation”: The lead single off the album, this track hits on many hints to the Black Lives Matter movement. Musically, Beyonce incorporates Bounce style of hip-hop which originates from New Orleans. It closes out the album with trademark Beyonce` strength with the line: "I dream it, I work hard, I grind til I own it."

Whether you are just crawling out from under a pop culture oblivious rock or you are a super fan, there is something totally addicting in Beyonce’s lemonade and I’m going to keep on sipping on it to quench my musical thirst.

#MusicReview: From Rags to ‘Hell’s Kitchen Angel’ with @Maxgschneider’s new album

Max Schneider has already made me cry. Now I know what you’re thinking but let me clarify. He made me cry because he followed me on my personal account via Twitter. As a Schneider Monkey (fans of Max Schneider; hinting to Max’s love for monkeys) since June 2012, I never thought the day would come when I would be noticed by such a talented and handsome singer-songwriter but enough fangirling, let’s get to chatting about who Max is for those who don’t yet know.

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Max Schneider is an actor/singer from Woodstock, New York who started performing at the early age of three. He started out dancing on his coffee table and ended up dancing on a broadway stage where he starred in the musical 13. After this, he was signed to a talent agent at the age of fourteen, and went on to appear on many different television appearances, including being featured in a Dolce & Gabbana ad campaign alongside Madonna.

He’s best known (and I became a fan of his) after watching him alongside Keke Palmer in the Nickelodeon musical movie, Rags.

#FunFact: In Rags, @Maxgschneider sings in “Someday” a line in which his character sings, “Someday I’ll be the next big thing” How true that is today. #HellsKitchenAngel

He also was a star of the musical Nickelodeon show “How To Rock.” He’s been writing music and released two EPs, First Encounters in 2010, and Say Max EP in 2014. His music career took off when he started doing covers and posting them on Youtube. This and his acting career with Nickelodeon helped him catch the attention of Victoria Justice, who invited him to open for her on her “Making It In America” national tour.

His rise to fame came this year when he was simultaneously signed to DCD2 records, alongside labelmates Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco, and many notable others in the music world. He also released his first single from the label, “Gibberish” ft. Hoodie Allen. His music video for this track was used to promote the Youtube Music Awards.

This past summer, Max went on the Boys of Zummer tour with Wiz Khalifa and Fall Out Boy. He just finished up touring with R5 on the Sometime Last Night Tour. After releasing EP’s since 2010, Hell’s Kitchen Angel is Max’s debut studio album.

Song by Song Review

“Hell’s Kitchen Angel”: The title track off the album, referencing to where Max grew up, the section of New York known as Hell’s Kitchen, this track’s musicality is soulful with sound of a music baby made by James Brown and Bruno Mars.

“Gibberish”: Max’s first single with the DCD2 record label, this track will have you dancing no matter who’s done you wrong. Featuring a rap verse by Hoodie Allen, this song never gets old is still one of my favorites off the album.

“Wrong”: If you’ve ever wanted to know what Max’s killer vocals sounded across an EDM-style backtrack, this song will grant your wish. It’s all types of wrong but as the song says, “it’s better when it feels wrong,” this song is a head-banger for sure, in every way.

“Holla”: Like the soulful Max Schneider signature version of Fetty Wap’s “My Way,” this song will have you singing along and it will definitely make you holla, holla, holla. As soon as I heard this song, I knew it was destined to be played on every radio station around the country. Top 40 radio, ya hear me?!

“Lights Down Low”: This will be played at my wedding, that’s a fangirl promise. As soon as I heard this song, I was blown away by how good the writing was (it reminds me of an Ed Sheeran song meets One Less Lonely Girl by Justin Bieber) and of course, Max’s soft vocals across an acoustic guitar track are like a Schneider Monkey’s dream come true. Now if Max could just sing this to me, one one one, all my fangirl dreams will have come true. Hey Max, holla at your girl. I’ve got Lights Down Low #OnRepeat for sure.

“10 Victoria’s Secret Models”: I’d love to see Max perform this during an upcoming Victoria Secret Fashion show but I love the vibes, the musicality, and the lyrics of this track. Dang, I’d love to find out who he wrote this song about. She must have been some broad.

“Home”: EDM musicality while Max’s vocals slay the entire track like some rock god ninja. Be careful, this is definitely an earworm in the making.

“Mug Shot” Say Max, OHH! A Schneider monkey throwback meets rap powerhouse Sirah. I was not prepared for her rap verse and it’s greatness on this track. Totally brought the musicality of this song up to a whole new Schneider level.

“Basement Party:” Since I’m writing this on a Friday night, this track is a head nod to the party lifestyle of New Yorkers, but it’s musicality will make you want to have a dance party anywhere you are: the car, the shower, in your bedroom all by yourself. Get it on.

“Lost My Way”: Concluding the album in a perfect finale of dance party meets Max Schneider vocal slaying ballad, it’s an honest song about remembering where Max came from and never forgetting that.

As a Schneider Monkey that has been with Max while he was still hoping for a record deal while jamming out on his ukelele even after the greatness of “Rags,” I couldn’t be more proud of Max’s success and this album. One listen, and he’ll have you saying “MAX!”.

#MusicReview: Throw The Party of The Century with “Stories For Monday” by @TheSummerSet

Hailing from Scottsdale, Arizona The Summer Set is an American pop rock band that formed in 2007. The band consists of lead vocalists Brian Dales, guitarists Josh Montgomery and John Gomez, and percussionist (girl drummer, ftw) Jess Bowmen.

The Summer Set Promo Shoot. Photography By Dan Gillan Photography.
The Summer Set Promo Shoot. Photography By Dan Gillan Photography.

The band formed because Jess Bowmen and brothers Stephen and John Gomez had their own band The Maine  and released their own album before disbanding in 2008. Jess and John joined Brian and Josh in 2008, forming what is now The Summer Set. They signed The Militia Group in 2008 and released their debut album, Love Like This on October 13, 2009.

They played the entire Warped Tour in 2010 and followed this with joining the Dirty Work  Tour with other big names in pop rock All Time Low, Yellowcard, and Hey Monday.

Fun Fact: The Summer Set’s song “Chelsea” was written for actress Chelsea Kane by Brian Logan Dales, who she dated in 2011.Click To Tweet This

In 2011, The Summer Set released their second full-length studio album entitled Everything’s Fine.

In 2012, the band rented a house and wrote and recorded songs in, making up much of their third studio album, Lengendary. Much of the fun-loving energy that makes up the musicality &lyrical content of the album is inspired by the communal living experience they had while working on this album and living in that house.

Lengendary  was released via Fearless Records, and gained the attention of IHeartRadio, where the Summer Set won their rising star competition, and appeared in their music festival and Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in November 2013 where they performed their song, “Lightening in a Bottle.”

Following the release of the album on April 1, the band was set to perform at a Wisconsin Bernie Sanders rally on April 4, 2016.

Song by Song Review

“Figure Me Out:” Definitely a great opening to the record especially with the line, “I’m too pop for the punk kids, and too punk for the pop kids.” It talks about identifying who you are outside of the limelight after tasting what it means to be famous and how people tend to try to place you in a box, especially in today’s society. It features the signature sound The Summer Set had on their Lengendary album.

“The Night is Young” Sounding like the pop rock version of Nicki Minaj’s The Night is Still Young but with musicality that could be equally compared to Fun!, the song is motivating for the youth of today because when things happen, you tend to want to give up but the world isn’t over but instead this song motivates one to “don’t give up when you’re down.” This is one of my favorite songs off the album.

“Missin’ You”: This track reminds me of Hot Chelle Rae’s “Honestly” but The Summer Set’s own kickass version.

“Jean Jacket”: A song reminiscing a summer of being 19 and young and in love, without a care in the world.

“All My Friends”: A feel-good song that talks about how one’s friends always tend to have something to say about the person you choose to date. Musically, this is one of my favorite songs on the album.

The musicality of this track reminds me of an 80’s rock song, almost like The Simple Minds and the Breakfast Club.

“All Downhill From Here”: They say once you reach a certain age that it’s all downhill but it’s a positive spin on what the experts or the ominous “THEY” say.

“All In”: An anthem you can play for a night out with friends, it’s about being “All In” to wherever life takes you. This song is another one of my favorites off the album because of the musicality and care-free attitude the song promotes.

“Wonder Years”: A slower-tempo and more serious lyrical content talking about never forgetting who you were during the infamous “wonder years.” Musically, it reminds me once again of The Simple Mind’s, “Don’t Forget About Me,” but a slower tempo but similar theme.

“When The Party Ends”: A solid feel-good keep the party going even at 4 a.m. rock and roll style anthem that you will have on repeat from the first listen. This is my favorite song on Stories From Monday!

“Wasted”: This track should be coined as the anthem of millennials everywhere; a solid party anthem and great end to a rock and roll masterpiece, Stories For Monday.

Whether you are heading to work or heading to a rager that will be talked about on every social media app for months to come, Stories For Monday is definitely the soundtrack to a life well-lived no matter where you live. The Summer Set is set to head out on a U.S. & U.K. tour in promotion of this album.