Search

What's in between my ears

Pop culture junkie

Tag

record

Red Is All Kinds Of Intense

I can’t even begin to describe how I love this album. Personally, this is her best effort yet. There are no ‘yawn’ songs here. And I didn’t feel like the sound is too repetitive. Something I’ve had a problem with on her previous records. Taylor Swift is a songwriter first and foremost and this album is (another) proof. Her lyrical prowess is golden; how she can narrate a simple, casual experience or story and turn it into music that is relatable and enjoyable. I like how she described why she named the album Red:

All the different emotions that are written about on this album… all of that — in my mind, all those emotions are red. You know, there’s nothing in between. There’s nothing beige about any of those feelings.

You don’t how many times I’ve played this album on repeat. I’m seriously considering not to write a review but rather just post every lyric I like from each song, hahaha! The 16 tracks are as follows:

taylor-swift-red-single-artwork-400x400State Of Grace. When I first heard it, I thought it was very unlike Swift – sound-wise which is great because it means she’s trying out new things. This is a song that “grows” on you, at least that’s what happened with me. Fave lyrics: And i never saw you coming/ And I’ll never be the same.

Red is an instant darling, just listen to it. Should be a future single. 🙂 Fave lyrics: (I like all of it! haha but if I have to choose) Memorizing him was as easy as knowing all the words to your old favorite tune/ Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you’ve never met/ But loving him was red.

Treacherous. She takes it slow and easy but still hitting it home with every word. Fave lyrics: And i’d be smart to walk away/ But you’re quick sand/ This slope is treacherous/ And I, I, I like it.

I Knew You Were Trouble is the first upbeat number and also a personal favorite. The music video’s out already! Check hereFave lyrics: Cause I knew you were trouble when you walked in/ So shame on me now/ Flew me to places I’d never been/ Til you put me down oh.

All Too Well is a masterpiece among several others. Love this song! (Warning: you’ll probably read that phrase throughout this post) Fave lyrics: (Again all of it :p ) Cause here we are again on that little town street/ You almost ran the red cause you were looking over at me/ Wind in my hair, I was there, I remember it all too well.

22 is fun and best sung among friends. That bit “Who’s Taylor Swift anyway?” is funny. Fave lyrics: We’re happy free confused and lonely at the same time/ It’s miserable and magical oh yeah/ Tonight’s the night when we forget about the deadlines/ It’s time uh oh.

I Almost Do. Needless to say, I love this song! 😀 It’s kind of sad actually but the sentiment’s nice (running out of adjectives here). Fave lyrics: I bet/ You think I either moved on or hate you/ Cause each time you reach out there’s no reply/ I bet it never, ever occurred to you that I can’t say hello to you/ And risk another goodbye.

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together. Ah, the catchy first single which really doesn’t define the collection. So if you find this song too ‘pop’, don’t give up on this album just yet. P.S. Love the spoken lyrics! Fave lyrics: You go talk to your friends/ Talk to my friends/ Talk to me/ But we/ Are never ever, ever, ever/ Getting back together.

Stay Stay Stay is another playful/girly track. No problem with me, hahaha especially this cute lyric coming up. Fave lyrics: This morning I said we should talk about it/ Cause I read you should never leave a fight unresolved/ That’s when you came in wearing a football helmet/ And said okay let’s talk.

The Last Time features Snow Patrol front-man Gary Lightbody. It’s the better of the 2 collaborations in the album. I like the outro of this song too. Fave lyrics: This is the last time I’m asking you this/ Put my name on the top of your list.

Holy Ground. You just find yourself singing along to. Maybe even bump your head to it but in a Taylor Swift way. 😀  Fave lyrics: And darling, it was good never looking down/ And right there where we stood was holy ground.

Sad Beautiful Tragic takes a turn again for the sad song route. I guess this is my least fave from the record. No fave lyrics (yet).

The Lucky One talks about the price of fame kinda like Britney’s Lucky. I like this for the melody. Fave lyrics: Another name goes up in lights/ You wonder if you’ll make it out alive.

Everything Has Changed with Ed Sheeran. I don’t know much about this guy but he’s everywhere. It’s a nice duet, their voices blended together just fine. Fave lyrics: All I know is a simple name/ And everything has changed/ All I know is you held the door/ You’ll be mine and I’ll be yours/ All I know since yesterday is everything has changed.

Starlight is the last upbeat song and like Holy Ground, something great to sing along with. Fave lyrics: I said oh my, what a marvelous tune/ It was the best night, never would forget how we moved/ The whole place was dressed to the nines/ And we were dancing dancing/ Like we’re made of starlight, starlight.

Begin Again. The 2nd single which weirdly sits as the last track, I fell in love to upon hearing. How could you not when it goes: Fave lyrics: And you throw your head back laughing like a/ Little kid/ I think it’s strange that you think I’m funny cause/ He never did/ I’ve been spending the last 8 months/ Thinking all love ever does/ Is break and burn and end/ But on a Wednesday in a café/ I watched it begin again.

Red is indeed all kinds of intense, all kinds of emotion. Love, Sadness, Laughter, Hope, Grief, Anger. But valid everyday emotions, nonetheless. That’s why her songs are always so endearing and likeable. I’m proud to say, Taylor Swift you have made me a fan once again.

Well then, ’til the next sound trip! 🙂

Advertisements

Rise Up Lotus, Rise. This Is The Beginning.

Hello blogosphere! 😛 I’m back and I come bearing gifts: a track by track review of Lotus, Xtina’s latest album. Always have been a big fan so there’s no better way to mark my blog’s “re-birth”. 😀

If you’re following The Voice then you may have seen at least one of her many performances in the show to promote the album (3 to be exact). Now that’s what I call milking the opportunity hehe but weird enough none of them included Your Bodythe 1st single. The impromptu performance on Jimmy Fallon doesn’t count but that was a treat to watch. So I’m anxiously wondering if she’s ever going to perform the song live. I’d really love it if she does, thank you. To celebrate Lotus’s release, she performed her collaboration with fellow coach Cee Lo Green entitled Make The World Move. On another night, she performs with Blake Shelton for their duet Just A Fool. On the next, she brings down the house with her Max Martin track Let There Be Love alongside her team: Dez Duron and Sylvia Yacoub. She also graced the stage of the recently concluded American Music Awards, where she belted out a medley of Lotus Intro/Army Of Me/Let There Be Love.

Image

So getting on the point, this is her most pop album to date. Admittedly she describes it as “embracing my true pop star-ness” and she named it Lotus saying it represents an unbreakable flower. So let’s not prolong the introduction anymore, check out my take on each track below:

Lotus Intro which surprisingly extends into a full song is just that, an intro. But it really gets you into the vibe with its melody and a chant that basically repeats throughout the song. Then she ends it with a spoken lyric which is a bit cheesy even for me. Fave lyrics: Rise up Lotus, rise/This is the beginning.

Army Of Me which she described herself as “Fighter 2.0” is a power anthem for the new generation who weren’t around during the Stripped era. In the track, she sings: “One of me is wiser, One of me is stronger, One of me’s a fighter, There’s a thousand faces of me” which explains the title. Fave lyrics: Well I know what you were thinking/You thought you’d watch me fade away/When you broke me into pieces/But I gave each piece a name.

Red Hot Kinda Love is a fun, playful number. Focusing more on the tune than her vocal talent which is refreshing. Fave lyrics: La la la la la la la la la/Oh baby I’m burning up/I wasn’t tryin to fall for ya.

Make The World Move with its big beat and features Cee Lo Green, I had high hopes for but kinda falls flat as it’s too short and repetitive. Still Cee Lo is the song’s redeeming factor with his unique sound and I liked the song better when I heard it sang live. Fave lyrics: If one smile can erase a frown/Imagine what two can do.

Your Body marks as hit-maker Max Martin’s & Xtina’s first collaboration ever. Since this is a venture to her pop persona once again, of course she had to work with the Britney/Katy/Pink (among others) producer. The accompanying music video for this, IMHO, is one of her career-best. Fave lyrics: It’s true what you heard/I am a freak/I’m disturbed.

Let There Be Love which I can only describe as “aaaaaaaaaah!! i love this song!” is the proof she can go with the trend and still do better than the rest of those ‘basic’ b*tches, I mean singers. A dance song at it’s finest, this should be a future single. Fave lyrics: I wanna tell you my secret/With just the sound of my breathing.

Sing For Me is currently my fave ballad in the record. It’s very heartfelt and talks about singing when you’re down and pouring your heart out every single time. Fave lyrics: Cause when I open my mouth/There’s no place to hide/Everything that I’m feeling runs wild and free/I’m singing cause I’m winning/Imma sing for me.

Blank Page is an emotional ballad that expresses asking for forgiveness and starting over. She works again with one of her Bionic writers, Sia Furler (You Lost Me) for this one. Fave lyrics: Draw me a smile/And save me tonight/I am a blank page/Waiting for you to bring me to life.

Cease Fire is one of those I can consider an ‘album filler’ but it’s notable characteristic is that it sounds very unlike Xtina. As it sounds robotic and again she didn’t put her vocals front and center. Fave lyrics: Baby cease fire, fire/Throw down your weapon, weapon/I’m on your side, on your side/So please cease fire, fire/Cease fire make it stop.

Around The World is another attempt for an uptempo track though it’s not as successful as the previous dance numbers it still achieved it’s purpose. Fave lyrics: Hollywood to Japan/Tokyo to Milan/Baby just for tonight/We’re making love worldwide.

Circles, one of the reasons the album got an explicit rating, brings back the feisty, i-don’t-give-a-whut side of Aguilera. This one you’d just get into and sing along with. Fave lyrics: Spin around in circles/On my middle, middle finger/Motha******.

Best Of Me is a great bring-me-upper in ballad form. As you know, she always has these you-can’t-bring-me-down type of songs. Fave lyrics: But you’ll never get the best of me no more/Aren’t you tired of throwing stones/Tryin to kick me when I’m down.

Just A Fool is the slash-wrist, heartbreak, 2nd single. It’s her first try for a country song and who better to help than current CMA Artist of the Year, Blake Shelton. Pleasantly surprised cause their voices blended so perfectly. Fave lyrics: Another shot of whiskey please bartender/Just keep it going til I don’t remember/How bad it hurts when you’re gone.

So that’s it. Anyone else has the album? Do you agree with my choices or not? 😉 The deluxe version features additional tracks such as: Light Up The Sky, Empty Words, Shut Up and Your Body [Martin Garrix Remix]. Honestly I can’t decide if she shined more on her ballads or the upbeat ones but one thing’s for sure: LegendTina is back and she’s here to stay. Hail QueenTina! (LOL)

Kelly, Stronger, Better.

I’ve been playing the album tirelessly for weeks. I know, I know – this came out what, like late last year? Maybe because, at last, I got to fully listen to it and read the lyrics to the songs. I tend to get caught up when I do this, it’s like I’m in a zone. And I admit I enjoy singing along to her songs more so, when I understand what they talk about.  I’ve been a big fan all these years ’cause (1) I really like her brand of pop/rock, (2) amidst the antics of most pop stars, she always makes it about the music and (3) do I really need to say this? Her voice is incredible and just awe-inspiring. In fact in choosing my fantasy voice, I’d take hers any day. I’d like to think of myself as more of a rock star (hehe). Stronger, her 5th release, is exactly this compared to All I Ever Wanted and My December. Her strongest, I feel, is still Breakaway. But I’m concerned with her choice of singles and she needs to come up with better music videos too. Anyways, I like all the tracks except maybe 2 out of the 17 but I chose my favorites below:

Let’s start with the upbeat ones: Mr. Know It All, though I have reservations about it being the 1st single, has a catchy, great vibe to it and presents a more subdued Kelly. She didn’t belt out here so it was something new. But come on we like it better when she does so to my relief she followed it up with What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger). Not only that but it’s a power song. If you’re down trust me, these lines will surely change that:

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger/Stand a little taller/Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone/What doesn’t kill you makes a fighter/Footsteps even lighter/Doesn’t mean I’m over cause you’re gone”

I have the same sentiments with Dark Side, I don’t think it’s single-worthy. The chorus saves that song. She could’ve chosen Einstein, the title gets you curious already. The song starts off:

“Simple math/Our love divided by the square root of pride/Multiply your lies plus time/I’m going out of my mind/It was heavy when I finally figured/It out alone”

Or she could’ve gone with Alone. It has that attitude – the signature angst and goes like:

“‘Cause when I’m with you I’m alone/No matter what you say/I hope you know, woah/That I’m alone/You say you’re gonna change/But I know you won’t, woah oh”

You Can’t Win is a great rock out song that plays on the fact that you can’t please everybody. She even talks about her own frustrations with her critics:

“If you’re thin, poor little walking disease/If you’re not, they’re all screaming obese/If you’re straight, why aren’t you married yet?/If you’re gay, why aren’t you waving a flag?”

Now we move on to the nostalgia. You Love Me is a heavy anthem. I love the lines that say:

“You say I’m not good enough, I’m not good enough/But what you really mean is, You’re not good enough, you’re not good enough/You can’t deliver so you turn it around”

And it just gets better from there. Last one is The War Is Over which struck me especially with its refrain that goes:

“All I have to say is you don’t deserve me, you don’t deserve me/I’m finally walking away, ’cause you only hurt me/And you’re not worthy”

Still my favorite American Idol. I hope she keeps making records until she’s 80 or somethin. Until then, I think Imma give it another spin after posting this. Ready your earplugs.

Rihanna Talks That Talk Good

I know this is a late post, I’ve been planning to write this review since December anyways I finally had the time and motivation to do so, so here it is.

Talk That Talk is Rihanna’s 6th studio album and my personal favorite. Yes, more than Good Girl Gone Bad and Loud. I really like this hip-hop electro direction she’s going with her albums but her ballads always get me. She sets the tone with the 2nd released single, You Da One. A catchy love song with that Barbados feel only she puts out there. Where Have You Been is dance pop at its finest; once it starts you feel like you’re in the club dancing then she follows through with her smash hit, We Found Love so you’re in for a treat. Talk That Talk, Cockiness (Love It) give you hard and badass but my go-to rock out song would be Roc Me Out – it’s just gangsta but Cockiness gets a special mention for its lyrics, check it.

I love when she takes it slow with We All Want Love, Drunk On Love and Fool In Love. The best part of the album for me. These tracks showcases her vulnerable and soft side with lyrics like “We all want someone there to hold/ We just want somebody/ We all wanna be somebody’s one and only/ We all wanna be warm when it’s cold” and “Take me away/ I wear my heart on my sleeve/ Always let love take the lead/ I may be a little naive, yeah/ You know I’m drunk on love” and “Mama, I found a man/ Who loves me and understands/ Papa, he’s quite a man/ He adores me, he’s my biggest fan/ And don’t get me wrong/ I know he’s not perfect in your eyes/ But somehow he’s flawless in mine”

Last of the noteworthy tracks are Farewell – we all can relate to this one and Do Ya Thang, a fun uptempo song squeezed in at the end.

Here’s the full tracklisting:

1. You Da One

2. Where Have You Been

3. We Found Love (feat. Calvin Harris)

4. Talk That Talk (feat. Jay-Z)

5. Cockiness (Love It)

6. Birthday Cake

7. We All Want Love

8. Drunk On Love

9. Roc Me Out

10. Watch N’ Learn

11. Farewell

12. Red Lipstick*

13. Do Ya Thang*

14. Fool In Love*

*Deluxe edition bonus tracks

I raised an eyebrow for the album cover above but I kinda liked it over time. I do raise concern with her music videos lately. I feel they don’t do justice. News is she’s releasing a remix of Birthday Cake with Chris Brown so this will get interesting. Let’s wait and hear. Til then, give the record a spin now!

Beyoncé’s 4 shows growth in her music

I have to admit I wasn’t too excited when Run The World (Girls) came out, that time the title wasn’t even decided yet. Even the blogs I frequent to feels the same way more so having listened to the whole record, pretty much concluded that the album doesn’t contain any worthy singles. I, on the other hand, searched for the lyrics and really let it soak on me and by the time Beyoncé performed on the Billboard Music Awards I was already singing along and feeling like I could run the world. That performance was astounding; there couldn’t have been a more perfect time for her to receive the Millennium Award. She just showed everyone that she deserved that praise. Finally, just mere 2 weeks ago I got a copy of 4 from a record bar. Yes as in the actual CD, she’s one of those artists whose songs I won’t be satisfied by just downloading the mp3’s. Besides it’s a collection of mine.

4, she said, is a very special number because aside from being her 4th solo record it’s the date of her birthday (as well as some of her close friends/family), her wedding date and that eventually it was the title chosen by fans so she stuck with it. The only trouble is you don’t get the slightest idea what the record will be like. After the 1st listen, I knew that the album is unlike anything she released before. It’s ballad-driven, intimate and subtle in terms of production. Run The World kind of misrepresents the record in a way cause it’s the lone up-tempo track (it’s actually the last). Ya, there are the drum and horns-inspired End of Time and Countdown but they’re hardly what you call dance. The album is co-written and produced by B mostly with The-Dream. After countless sound trips, my favorites are of course the love songs: her love is intoxicating. Best Thing I Never Had, the official 2nd single, is like Irreplaceable 2.0 and is co-written by Babyface. B looks beautiful in the video by the way. Love on Top is the one I really enjoy singing to err trying to sing, it makes you feel good. 1+1 is the song she premiered on American Idol and I’m amazed how she and Jay-Z are so much deeper in love than ever. I Care and Start Over characterizes the staple sad songs and really shows B’s vulnerability. Also with the very sentimental I Was Here written by Diane Warren and co-produced by Ryan Tedder (Halo). The deluxe edition includes other mid-tempo tracks: Lay Up Under Me, Schoolin’ Life (like this one) and 3 remixed version of Run The World. She slows it down again with Dance With You.

In my humble opinion, this album depicts Beyoncé’s maturity as an artist. She’s in the stage wherein she can afford to not care about commercial success and just showcase her vocal talent and song-writing skills. The irony is that the album still debuted at no.1 on Billboard so it’s safe to say she once again succeeded in getting her message across. I do miss her butt-shakin’ and finger-pointing dance moves but this risqué release definitely makes me appreciate her more.

Born This Way: Lady Gaga gets deep and personal

We’re past the days of disco sticks and leather studded kisses in the sand. Technically her 3rd album, if you count the re-release of The Fame (Monster) as 2nd, this marks her growth as an artist. You can tell by the tracks that she dug deep into her soul to write this album. Here she sang of social acceptance, family, true love, friendship and even spirituality. The overall ‘feel’ of the album confirms the direction she was going for with FM which is electro pop/rock. Though the album seems serious it’s still pop right to the core. My only hesitation is that the word Jesus gets thrown a lot in the entire thing; a bit off for my liking. But I have to say, this is the most relevant pop record in recent years and not just something to fill your ears.

Off the 17 tracks here are my favourites:

Born This Way – the ultimate anthem of acceptance, I will never get tired of this song! This sealed my love for her

Hair – A song about freedom and being yourself; everyone can relate to this one

Bad Kids – I just love the sentiment especially the line that says: “don’t be insecure if your heart is pure, you’re still good to me if you’re a bad kid baby”

Yoü And I – is the track that is currently on repeat in my iPod. I’m in love with this song… 🙂 I can’t believe I hated it when Hailey Reinhart sang it on AI

Marry The Night – a great first track and really gives you an idea of what to expect for the album

The Edge Of Glory – which is about falling in love and that moment when you’re on the edge with someone ready to fall

Fashion Of His Love – a song about Alexander McQueen and how they were really meant to be

Government Hooker – Very techno-driven sound and I just enjoy singing it!

Scheiße – I like the part with the german lyrics though I don’t know what it means (hehe), they say it’s a curse word

As for the artwork, I wasn’t that excited when I first saw the cover and inside it’s just okay but I love that the first page says: THIS ALBUM IS FOR Ü. (aawwww) And thank goodness for the lyrics! This album is a must-have for a pop fan and of course for her ‘little monsters’.

I have a newfound appreciation for Adele

I’m having an Adele week (admittedly) because I heard 2 of her songs: first from Glee’s latest episode when Holly (Gwyneth Paltrow) sang Turning Tables and second in American Idol when Haley performed Rolling In The Deep. I’m not new to Adele’s music, I’ve known her since Chasing Pavements but I wasn’t that into the song.

But now I have to say I really love Rolling In The Deep, her first single from her 2nd album, 21. It’s kind of a blues, pop type of track and its refreshing to have sort of a different sound in my playlist. Adele’s having the time of her life now since the album debut at no. 1 on Billboard Hot 200, it was only this week that the Foo Fighters ended her reign. It’s also the first album to sell 1 million copies this year. And now, with Turning Tables featured in Glee I hope she releases this as an official single. This one has a sad theme but the lyrics are great. I’m proud to declare and it’s never too late: I officially love Adele. 🙂

Born This Way album cover released!

Fresh from Haus of Gaga is the official album cover art for Born This Way.

I don’t get it… so she was born half motorcycle? (hehe)

Will get the record still… Excited for May!!!! Meanwhile, her next single and video Judas has also been released.

What do you think?

Femme Fatale: A Poptastic Ride

I LOVE THIS ALBUM. I’m glad she stuck to what she does best: dance tracks. I mean ya, she got okay slow songs in her career but they’re not her forte. That’s why I also enjoyed Blackout which is rnb/hip-hop influenced, Femme Fatale is just more pop. Overall, the whole album is a cohesive party record that gave me days of LSS (last song syndrome) but for me here are the best tracks:

Till The World Ends immediately struck me as a club banger with that catchy “Whoa-oh-oh” phrase, I can’t get it outta my head. It took me a while to get Hold It Against Me but how can you ignore the lyrics? She took it a little slow on Inside Out but still delivers a could-be-single. (Drop Dead) Beautiful ft. Sabi and Gasoline are both feel-good upbeat songs. I like singing along with Trouble For Me as well. From the 4 bonus tracks, I was surprised that He About To Lose Me didn’t make the original tracklisting. The song has that amazing beat and i like the sentiment, hehe. It’s my favorite as of the moment.

Anyone like those songs too? What are your faves?

Britney’s #1 Again!

Femme Fatale debut at #1 at the Billboard Hot 200 this week! This marks her 6th album to debut at the top which is truly a remarkable feat. This gives her the 3rd spot for the most #1’s for a female artist behind only Madonna and Barbara Streisand and tie with Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson. Wow! That’s incredible… I mean it’s one thing for an artist to reach #1 but to actually debut at that spot 6 times is an achievement worthy of a true pop icon and of course, such dedicated fans. I’m bummed that the album doesn’t arrive here until the end of April but I’m happy with this news.

This album is her 7th studio release in which all, except for one, became no. 1. To my surprise, that one was Blackout which for me is one of her best so far (tie with Circus). Blame it on the VMA performance I guess and that underwhelming video. Moving on, Hold It Against Me was kind of like Womanizer in a way because I wasn’t sure how I felt about the song upon hearing for the first time but eventually, I couldn’t get it out of my head. With her 2nd video Till The World Ends already released and a much-talked about tour with Nicki Minaj, 2011 may be Britney’s best year yet. 🙂

Who says HE can’t get stoned?

News about John Mayer nowadays is either him dating yet another Hollywood hottie or practicing his freedom of speech on Twitter, but we all prefer him with his guitar and lyrics. He’s currently releasing his fourth studio album Battle Studies, and he’s stronger than ever with his talked-about first single ‘Who Says’ . Also featured in the record is Taylor Swift with the song ‘Half of my Heart’ and the song ‘Heartbreak Warfare’.

32 year old Mayer is on the cover of the December issue of Details magazine talking about his detractors and just about every press story released for him. During the interview, he spotted actor Gerard Butler on a nearby table at Chateau Marmont who’s also a branded ladies man, which begs the question: do  birds of the same feather really flock together?

From the looks of these shots, he is looking good. Better than ever actually.. lovin’ his tattoos.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: