Monthly Archives: February 2019

Ariana Grande- thank u, next Album Review

So I was more of a fan of Ariana’s acting career than I am her singing career. Her voice is one of the best I have heard in a long time it’s just that her songs haven’t really connected with me. I have only pre-heard two songs off of this album being, thank u, next, and 7 Rings. I have already commented on 7 Rings, which you can see on last week’s singles post so I am going to skip that one.

  1. imagine- I think over time her voice has gotten more nasally than I know it to be. She still sounds really good, her whistle notes are incredible. This is a nice song. The instrumentals aren’t anything that I haven’t heard before though. I do like Ariana I just think that she can do much better.
  2. needy-  Okay I couldn’t get through this entire song only due to the fact that there is a very loud metronome type sound that never stops. I could feel a headache coming on. I honestly couldn’t focus on anything else.
  3. NASA- This is a more subdued song than I was expecting. The vocals are really pretty. The NASA metaphor isn’t all that creative but it works. It’s a cute song.
  4. bloodline- This is really fun. The instrumentals are kind of jazzy yet poppy at the same time. Ariana’s vocals are beautiful and I love the lyrics. I enjoy when women take ownership of their sexuality as men have been allowed to do forever. I enjoyed this.
  5. fake smile- I really like the pre-chorus on this. The song as a whole is chill yet meaningful. She’s really showing her emotions through this song. It’s really smooth.
  6. bad idea- This is a fun song, her vocals are as expected great. The “Ari-Chan’s” seem weird. Especially with her tattoo controversy. Something about it doesn’t feel right. The song is nice, the outro was unexpected as well. It took a bit of a trap route. It’s okay.
  7. make up- If you take away Ariana’s vocals it kind of sounds like a trap inspired Teletubbies. The lyrics are kind of eh. It’s a fun play on words, but there isn’t anything about this that stands out all that much.
  8. ghostin- This is more of a ballad than her other songs. This song is extremely emotional considering what she has been through. Her vocals could have some more emotion in them, but the instrumentals give off enough to make it work.
  9. in my head-  Something that has been in a few of these songs but I haven’t commented on up until this point is the ‘skrrt skrrt’s’ I think they make the songs cheesy and lessen the quality. This particular song is just okay. Nothing is all that creative here.
  10. 7 rings- I commented on this before so I’m not going to repeat myself.
  11. thank u, next- I think that this song is good. Her vocals are good as are the instrumentals. This is one of the cases where the music video is better than the actual song.
  12. break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored- I don’t know how I feel about this. The instrumentals themself are kind of boring, which kind of fits the title. The song is a homewrecker song which I am not really a fan of though I do get the sentiment. It isn’t bad but it’s not for me.

Overall, I think that almost every song had a very similar vibe to the others. I expected her to sound good, which she did. I think that her singles, apart from 7 rings, were the best songs on this album. I’m still a fan, but this didn’t do it for me. I give this a C.

White Lies- Five Album Review

  1. Time to Give- Vocally and instrumentally these guys remind me of Talking Heads. This sound, I would say brings me back to the 80s, but I wasn’t alive then. The song is seven minutes long so that is my main complaint. Instrumentally it does change so at least it isn’t repetitive for that long. I just hope that not all of these songs are going to be super long. I’m someone who doesn’t have patience for long songs unless they are so iconic or amazing. We’ll see. I like this but it is neither of those things.
  2. Never Alone- Oh thank god this song is 3 minutes. I mean it’s a fine song. It sounds very similar to the last song just shorter.
  3. Finish Line- This song instrumentally is more rock infused than before. The vocals are done the same way as before except there are points where Harry goes higher than before. He has range that I want to see more of. Yeah this is an okay song.
  4. Kick Me- I enjoyed this. The chorus was catchy. The vocals are consistent. Again, I want to hear his range because I know that it is there. The production on this song is really good. It provides a mood that is in the entire album. I can’t quite place what it is but it’s there.
  5. Tokyo- I like this. The chorus is really fun and catchy. The vocals have strayed from that monotone sound that I have grown accustomed to. I’m probably going to have this song stuck in my head so…thanks guys.
  6. Jo?- So this immediately sounds so different to the other songs on this album. It’s much more upbeat. The instrumentals are fun. One thing I will say is that there is one guitar note that keeps happening and it sounds terrible. It’s like an animal screeching. Other than that I like this.
  7. Denial- The chorus once again is pretty catchy. I have noticed that they stick to the same song pattern fairly often. There isn’t much variation in how the songs are layed out. This is a good song, but it is predictable
  8. Believe It- This is an interesting song. It shows the different perspectives on therapy. My main issue is that the song makes therapy seem shady and bad which isn’t inherently true. I don’t know. The song sounds good I just don’t think it sends a good message.
  9. Fire and Wings- This song is subtle metal. The lyrics are dark and apocalyptic which matches Harry’s voice. I think he could have done more vocally just to add some more power.

Overall, this is an interesting album. First off, I have never heard of this group. While I enjoy their sound, a lot of their songs sound very similar. I also think that Harry could do so much more vocally than he is giving. I like this album, but I want them to challenge themselves more. I give this album a B.

Singles Released February 1-7

Medicate by Gabbie Hanna- I have been a casual fan of Gabbie’s Youtube content for a few years now. I know that her song ‘Monster’ was big even though I haven’t heard it. This song starts out slow and her voice is nice although her softer moments don’t feel as soft as they should. The song eventually picks and and her voice is powerful and full of emotion. The content is consistent of what I know of her other songs being mental illness. It’s kind of a meh song.

Low Key by Ally Brooke feat. Tyga- This is Ally’s first single as a solo artist. The beat is poppy and fun although it does sound familiar. Tyga’s verse is pretty terrible. I mean it ends with “litty” so that should say how the verse went. I don’t think this will get super popular, at least I don’t think it should. Ally isn’t bad on the song she just doesn’t add anything that we don’t already have in pop.

Bones by Galantis feat. OneRepublic- This song is really poppy for what I know of Ryan Tedder. The song is about feeling love for someone. The chorus is catchy and the instrumentals aren’t bad either. This makes me think of their song ‘Connection’ where it was mainly for a commercial and I never heard it outside of that. I think this is just like that.

Women by Florida Georgia Line feat. Jason Derulo- This song only somewhat works because of Jason. Without him this would be an extremely boring song. At least he adds a bit of curiosity. He does sound good. While Florida Georgia Line doesn’t sound bad, they are very monotone. They don’t do anything interesting vocally. It is a strange collaboration, but it does kind of work. If only the song was better.

God and Country Music by George Strait- So I grew up listening to George, although I couldn’t stand country music. For me I’m not a fan of this. It just isn’t my thing. His voice sounds good and the lyrics are cute, but they are cliche. It’s not bad it’s just not for me.

Bad Habit by Ben Platt- So I love Ben. From Pitch Perfect to Dear Evan Hansen, I am a fan. His voice is truly unique and it is something we desperately need in the mainstream. In this song he is a bit too perfect. I want to see him get gritty and powerful. His vocals are really clean, but I want more.

Black Woman by Danielle Brooks- Again, someone else I am a fan of from their acting. Her voice is deep and powerful. This song is so empowering for black women. The message of white women wanting certain traits associated with black women, but still being racist is so accurate. The instrumentals are subtle, but it swells when needed. Her range is really good. I can’t wait to hear more from her.

One Call by Gunna- This song is basic. His flows are basic and the metaphors are cheesy. That’s all I’m going to say.

Who Do You Love by The Chainsmokers and 5 Seconds of Summer-I have never been a fan of The Chainsmokers, but I have been a casual fan of 5SOS. This is a weird pairing. The 5SOS boys have good voices, but the production on this doesn’t emphasize that fact. The lyrics are pretty much the same two stanzas the entire time. I don’t like this at all.

1,2,3 dayz up by Kim Petras feat. SOPHIE- Honestly, I couldn’t even make it through this entire song. It is extremely annoying. I really hope she isn’t serious and that this is a parody of some sort. The instrumentals and production is loud and unnecessary. The vocals are so auto tuned to the point that Kim just might be a robot. I can’t deal with this.

Nina Nesbitt- The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change Album Review

Now, I am not very familiar with Nina. Looking at the cover art for this album I am intrigued though.

  1. Sacred- I love the intro instrumentals with added underwater sounds. The bubbles add to the atmosphere. The vocals are pretty. The instrumentals build up as does here voice to show her emotion when it comes to the lyrics, which are about fame and relationships. I like this.
  2. The Moments I’m Missing- The beat is really nice. She describes this song as bedroom pop and I can feel that throughout. Her vocals are subdued yet beautiful. The lyrics are about her life. At points though it does seem like she is just listing facts which doesn’t really work here. I think if the chorus was catchier it would help the song to not just seem like an autobiography.
  3. The Best You Had- Something that has become very popular is what she does vocally in the chorus. Her voice suddenly gets pitched up. I don’t particularly like that trend. It feels overdone. The song does feel a bit average. There isn’t anything special that would make me want to come back to this.
  4. Colder- Once again I do like the beat to this. The vocal rhythm on the chorus feels very familiar with the beat. I’m not sure where I have heard it before but I have. Her vocals remain consistent throughout. It’s a fine song.
  5. Loyal To Me- This is very 90s girl group, which is great. The song is catchy and fun. The only problem I have with this is the word repetition in the chorus. For me, it slows the momentum of the song. This is a really good song. It is very reminiscent of other girl group so it does feel a bit copied, but it is still good.
  6. Somebody Special- This song is the opposite of the last song in that there is only one thing I really like. When the beat drops in the chorus, but not in a way you’d think. The beat actually drops out and the spacey ambient sounds are featured with just a simple drum beat. I really enjoy that part. Everything else though is boring. Her vocals are good which I expected. I just want something different. If she played with ambient sounds more I would like it more.
  7. Is It Really Me You’re Missing- This is a really pretty ballad. There are times she puts power behind her voice and it is great. I would love to hear more of that. The lyrics are pretty basic. They aren’t revolutionary or anything. There is an annoying seagull types scream that happens occasionally. At first I liked it but it got old really quick.
  8. Love Letter- Gah! She does the repeated word thing in the chorus that I don’t like. For me that only works in certain cases. She does is so often that I just can’t deal with it. I really like the rhythm and beat in the chorus, probably because I have heard it before. I think this song has potential there are just little things that I don’t like.
  9. Empire- At the beginning I thought this song was going to be about why she took so long to make another album. It turned into her wanting to be rich and have an empire. I like her honesty in this song. The chorus is pretty bland. It drags down the whole song for me.
  10. Chloe- This is a great song lyrically. It’s about her friend getting pregnant and her being by her side whether she chooses to keep it or not. It’s very nice. The instrumentals match the tone of the song perfectly. Nina’s vocals are tender. I like this.
  11. Things I Say When You Sleep- This song instrumentally is pretty bare. There is a piano and some ambient sounds. I think that is really effective. It shows off the lyrics and her vocals perfectly. The lyrics are about wanting to get things off your chest but so they can’t hear it. I like that concept. This is a really simple yet beautiful song.
  12. Last December- Here we are back with the sounds of water. It sets the tone in a great way. This song was written in 2013 about her boyfriend. It’s a pretty song but something about it isn’t connecting with me. I think it’s because it sounds like a country song a bit and that threw me off. It’s not bad though.
  13. The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change- This is the title track. I like the title and how it plays into the rest of the song. It’s not a particularly great song though. Instrumentally it feels like I have heard it on this album already. It’s kind of meh.

Overall, Nina has some good songs on this album. I liked the underwater theme that she had in some of the songs. I wish she had played with that idea more. Other songs seemed like copies of the other and became redundant. I like her voice. She has power behind it that I want her to use more. It’s a good album. It’s not amazing or anything. I’m going to give it a B-.

Girlpool- What Chaos Is Imaginary Album Review

So I’ve heard quite a few good things about this duo, but I’ve also heard some not so good things. That doesn’t help me at all with setting my expectations which I love. Let’s just dive in.

  1. Lucy’s- Cleo has an interesting voice. I really respect the fact that he was able to find his voice after going on testosterone. I have seen interviews with trans singers who say that finding their new voice is difficult. The song itself feels a little garageband, which isn’t necessarily bad, it’s just something I noticed. The lyrics sound really deep and meaningful, but after looking at them a few times I can’t quite figure out what they mean. It’s a fine song.
  2. Stale Device- I don’t really like this. I see a pattern of very few lyrics in the songs which seem to have a theme, but some lines are confusing. This time it’s Harmony singing and while her voice isn’t bad, she remains monotone the whole time. It kind of put me to sleep. I hope this isn’t their thing.
  3. Where You Sink- Again, only nine lines of lyrics. Sound very similar to the last song except some electronic metronome sounds were added. Harmony also has the same vocals as the last song. Also the lyrics are very random. This totally isn’t my thing. I feel like they could have some songs I like if some things changed.
  4. Hire- So Cleo must be singing on the more upbeat songs. I do like this voice. The instrumentals are fun and happy. At this point I’m telling myself that they must be a parody of stereotypical indie bands. Their lyrics don’t make much sense but they sound really intellectual. They have to be a parody, right?
  5. Pretty- So Harmony’s vocals here are better than they were before. This song does make some sense which is better than previously. I think the production on the vocals is pretty weak. The effects make it sound cheap, which who knows, maybe that is what they were going for.
  6. Chemical Freeze- The instrumentals between the first verse and chorus are interesting. They feel sort of industrial apocalyptic. I’ve come to expect strange lyrics which is what we get here. I think that I’m getting used to their sound so I’m not as opposed to it. I don’t think that I’m going to like them, but I don’t dislike it as much as I did originally.
  7. All Blacked Out- How do they write these songs? This one isn’t as bad lyrically as the others, but dang, how do they do it? I prefer Cleo’s voice because his voice is kind of soothing. The instrumentals are pretty basic, but they aren’t bad so yeah.
  8. Lucky Joke- I don’t know the vocal effects don’t match the instrumentals very well. The lyrics are fine. Everything is kind of mediocre.
  9. Minute in Your Mind- So this vocal effect is getting on my nerves. It’s fine for a few songs, but it is on every single song. It gets old really quickly. The song is really short so I guess that’s good for me because I don’t like it. The sound is getting stale. I understand that this is their thing but at least give me some variation.
  10. What Chaos Is Imaginary- This song makes the most sense out of all of them so far. Harmony’s voice is different in this song. It is more airy and high pitched. At times though it gets too high pitched to where it is piercing in a bad way. The instrumental is boring. It’s a simple drum beat with some violin. It’s okay. I would say that this is their best song on this album which isn’t saying much.
  11. Hoax and the Shrine- Harmony’s vocals are very childlike here. It’s very cute, slightly annoying, but cute. The instrumentals are simple, but effective. But once again, what the hell are these lyrics about?
  12. Swamp and Bay- Cleo’s back. While I still do like his voice. I want him to do something different. I have heard glimmers of strength and power, but we haven’t fully gotten that from him. The instrumentals are more upbeat and folk-rockish. This isn’t bad.
  13. Joseph’s Dad- So I thought this song could be about Joseph’s dad sexually assaulting the subject. As the song went on though I have no clue. Harmony’s vocals are not good here. She sounds strained as though she was trying to sound more indie basement than she actually does.
  14. Roses- Yeah there is nothing to say about this that I haven’t already said. It sounds like most of their other songs.

Overall, I don’t like this. Cleo and Harmony’s voices are good it’s the effects that they put on them sound bad. The lyrics almost never made sense, and for me songs are about storytelling. If no one can understand your story then that is  problem. The instrumentals were pretty bland. After each song though I kept telling myself that I do see potential in them so I guess maybe they aren’t as bad as I think they are. Again, some people love this and I understand why it’s just not for me at all. I’m going to give this a D.

Broods- Don’t Feed the Pop Monster Album Review

Broods is a brother-sister duo from New Zealand who I have never heard of. I read their sound is electropop, which I am not a huge fan of, so we’ll see how this goes.

  1. Sucker- So her voice makes me think that this is going to be an electropop Maggie Rogers type album. Like Maggie, her voice is really good. The content is an interesting take on trends in society and how the subject tries to fit in even though it’s not really her thing. The synth threw me off at first, but I got used to it. It didn’t annoy me as much as I thought it would. This is a good start.
  2. Why Do You Believe Me?- This kind of has the opposite problem as the last song. This one the vocals started out beautiful. They are ethereal and airy. Except after awhile they got annoying. It started to pierce my ear and felt like my eardrums were going to burst. The beat was really nice though.
  3. Peach- I have to say this chorus is super catchy. The song is really fun. She sounds great although there are a lot of different vocal effects on her voice ranging from a baby sound to a choir. The mixing is fantastic. I like this.
  4. Falling Apart- Meh. I don’t dislike this nor do I like this. The vocals are heavily autotuned, which I understand is kind of their aesthetic, but I don’t like it. The lyrics are pretty meaningless. It’s just kind of there not doing much.
  5. Everytime You Go- I’ve noticed that almost every one of these songs follows the exact same formula down to the repetition of words at certain points in the song. The lyrics on this one are repetitive and boring. I don’t like this one.
  6. Dust- This song is cute. The lyrics are Alice and Wonderland based which is cool. The vocals are really pretty. It’s a nice song. Not great by any means but it is good.
  7. Too Proud- Finally we get to hear the brother. This song is really personal for him, but I can tell why he isn’t the main vocalist. His voice isn’t bad, but it isn’t really strong at all. It feels like he’s straining a lot. Lyrically and instrumentally it’s a good song. It’s just the vocals that don’t work.
  8. To Belong- I don’t know why but I don’t love this. The beat is funky, the vocals are beautiful, and the lyrics are cool. Something about this just isn’t clicking for me and I can’t figure out what it is.
  9. Old Dog- This song is different from what I have heard so far. It’s more 2000s pop. The lyrics are fun. It’s about a girl who calls herself an Old Dog due to her experiences. The vocals are auto tuned which adds to the 2000s atmosphere. Yeah, it’s pretty good.
  10. Hospitalized- This concept is really interesting. She wants to experience breaking a bone. That’s cool. The vocals, instrumentals, and lyrics are really fun.
  11. Everything Goes (Wow)-  I don’t care for this. Some of the vocal layering isn’t done very well. Some of the vocals sound slurred. The lyrics are fine; so are the instrumentals. It’s fine, but not my thing.
  12. Life After- This song has a 1920s tv static feel to it which I have always found cheap. The vocals and the lyrics are cute. The production is this song’s downfall.

The first couple of songs were really good. They blew my expectations away. It is the rest of the album that met my expectations. There was a lot of not so great production with lackluster lyrics. The beats are the only thing that pretty much remains consistent the whole way through. I’m going to give this a C+.

American Authors- Seasons

The last I heard of this group was in 2014 when their song ‘Best Day of my Life’ was all over the radio. I didn’t really like that song so even though that is the only song I have heard of them my expectations for this album are low.

  1. Stay Around- This song is about someone wanting their partner to stay even though they themselves are toxic to the relationship. I think that the groove is nice. The production is a bit funky at times sounding a bit tinny. It’s not revolutionary, but it’s fun. The lyrics are basic but catchy so yeah it’s fine.
  2. Say Amen- Billy Raffoul is on this song and he sounds incredible aside from that terrible vocal filter. Zac sounds great as well but has the same problem. The instrumentals are great. It’s the vocal effects that ruin it.
  3. Calm Me Down- This song is really repetitive. The same instrumentals repeat throughout so it gets old pretty quickly. The chorus is easy to latch on to so there’s that. The vocal effects throughout get annoying. It’s not a bad song though there are some things that would improve it.
  4. I Wanna Go Out- As soon as this started I thought that it sounded familiar. Turns out I have already heard this as it came out in 2017 and has been on the radio. It’s a fun song the chorus is really catchy. It’s more of a dance song than it is rock. It isn’t a song that I would put on my personal playlist just due to my tastes, but it is a good song.
  5. Neighborhood- This song features Bear Rinehart from NEEDTOBREATHE. It’s a chill song about leaving and coming back home. The vocals are great. The lyrics are repetitive at parts, but it gets the point across. The instrumentals are fine. There isn’t much to say about them. It’s a decent song overall.
  6. Can’t Stop Me Now- This song is full of samples from Queen songs. The chorus is shouted which is something that I have never liked. There’s a difference between yelling, shouting, and screaming. Shouting is the worst. The song is about the ego of the subject. It’s an annoying song overall and I don’t want to ever hear it again.
  7. Deep Water- This is probably one of the better songs so far. It is a bit cliche using the metaphor of drowning and getting rescued by someone. The vocals are good and the backup vocals add to the atmosphere of the song. The instrumentals are powerful when needed and relaxed to show a swell in emotion. Yeah, it’s good.
  8. Bring It On Home- The instrumentals are eerily similar to ‘Best Day of My Life.’ The chorus, while catchy, is grating on the ear. There is a background sound of glass breaking that is random and pierces the ear. Not great.
  9. Before I Go- The vocals on the chorus are strained. His voice isn’t as good as it has been. It’s a quieter song with a choir to add to the sentiment. The instrumentals have in the verses the same guitar chord over and over in a consistent beat which gets really bad. It’s an okay song it isn’t special.
  10. A Real Place- This song incorporates more electronics with a spacey theme going on. It does sound a bit strange with the guitar and drums, but it isn’t terrible. This is a weird final song because it doesn’t give a big message and it isn’t really powerful instrumentally or vocally.

Overall, this isn’t a bad album. I think that there are some really good songs on here with mostly mediocre. My biggest thing with them is that they haven’t done anything to make them stand out and that is what I am looking for with my music. I am going to give this a B-.

Rival Sons- Feral Roots Album Review

Another rock group I haven’t heard of before. Because rock is my favorite genre, whenever I get to discover someone new I am always excited. Hopefully this is a group that I really enjoy and want to hear more from.

  1. Do Your Worst- I really like the lead’s voice. He sounds great on the verses but on the chorus I don’t like it as much. The background vocals don’t add anything and sounds a bit cheap. The instrumentals are groovy, but I also feel like they could be more powerful. This makes me hopeful for the rest of the album because this song isn’t bad but there is some improvements that could be made.
  2. Sugar on the Bone- I like the instrumentals on this but the production isn’t great. It feels staticy which is annoying. I don’t know I guess this is just underwhelming. The vocals are good, but the lyrics feel meaningless rock jabber.
  3. Back in the Woods- This song is about a criminal escaping and living in the woods. Once again the verses are great vocally and lyrically it is just the chorus that lets down the song. It isn’t catchy and the instrumentals die down. This could be great if the chorus was different. I hope that isn’t a constant problem with this album.
  4. Look Away- The beginning instrumentals are very Middle Eastern. It’s very different from their other songs. The lyrics as I understand it are about people watching terrible things happening in other places on the news and not being able to look away but also doing nothing to stop it. The chorus is better because the instrumentals are amped up. His vocals are great. I like this.
  5. Feral Roots- This is very toned down. The guitar is subdued and allows his voice to shine. The song is about going home even though it is bad for you. When the chorus kicks in the instrumentals pick up slightly. It is a good song but something about it is off for me.
  6. Too Bad- I don’t know what to say about this. His voice is great once again. It is a nice song, but I want more. The instrumentals aren’t anything I haven’t heard before and the lyrics are the same.
  7. Stood By Me- Here it is again the curse of the forgettable chorus. The beat is cool but not special. I think this would be much better if the chorus was either more powerful or catchier. For me with rock music I want something that I could either headbang to, sing along with, and/or have a part stuck in my head and I get neither of those things.
  8. Imperial Joy- I really like the guitar on this. I don’t understand the lyrics so there’s that. “The blood running in my veins come from the kisses of 200 thousand years.” What does that even mean? I’m confused. His voice is great, still.
  9. All Directions- This song doesn’t go anywhere lyrically. It leaves 2 minutes of instrumentals where you are supposed to reflect on the lyrics, but there are so many mixed messages in the song that is gets too deep to the point that it might not be deep at all.
  10. End of Forever- This song is about the end of a relationship where the promised they would be together forever. The rhyme heartbreak and earthquake is shoddy. The sentiment is overplayed. I don’t like this very much.
  11. Shooting Stars- The chorus adding backup vocals makes sense due to the themes of peace and love. The last two songs are about love but the other songs did not have these themes. It feels random. It’s good for the last song on the album but it doesn’t make sense in the context of the rest of the songs.

Overall, I was mainly underwhelmed. When I saw the group I was excited because the lead, Jay, in some photos looks like Jim Morrison. I know that shouldn’t have made me think that their music would instantly be good but that’s what my heart told me. The songs aren’t bad, but they aren’t memorable and some often had strange production choices. I’m going to give this album a C.