February Playlist

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Howdy folks!

I am back with another playlist. I don’t know if I said this in my January playlist or not, but I tend to repeat songs from 2016 in the first two or three playlists of the new year. Most of the time it’s my own fault because I’m so damn picky but finding new music in the US from other countries is what I sort of live for and I had like three bands that I actually like and listen to release their albums on the 27th of January, so now I’m on the search for something else and there’s a 99% chance I won’t find a solution in February.

Of course, there are a few new singles here and there! I mean, I’m not that of a scrooge! I also went on an “oldies” spree one afternoon and I went through my other playlists and ransacked a few of my followers’ playlists too! Somedays, if you’re really bored or in need of “new” music, you will do some strange things.

My friend Carolee, you might’ve heard of her, I’ve written about her artwork on here before. She’s also got an awesome selection of music too! We swapped favorites in the first week of the month. I gave her the new albums of both Akoma and Xandria, and she suggested Starset’s new album “Vessels” and I am loving “Monsters” lately, so I said I would check it out! She also gave me an artist by the name of TeZaTalks. I had never heard of but was eager to learn more about her and I got hooked to her song “STFD (sit the f*ck down)” and I thought it would be a great song to select for the song of the month!

February seemed like a slow month, which is why I had less than 100 songs in this playlist. I wasn’t acting like I had about two hours to place them into the playlist before I’d never hear them again. Almost every song on it, I heard every other day and that’s just unheard of with me!

There’s a lot of dance tracks on this playlist, I mostly go back and forth between Sirius XM BPM, Pop2K, and Hits 1 so everything was coming out in these stations and I was just collecting whatever I liked and couldn’t get enough of, which again, was mainly in the EDM genre. So there’s Party Favor, The Chainsmokers, Marshmello, and Bassnectar. The rest is mostly pop and heavy metal. It’s a fairly good mix of music, I’ll just say that! Hope you enjoy!

Here is my February playlist. What song(s) were you obsessed with this past month?

snowflake

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Album Review: “Theater Of Dimensions” by Xandria

15578479_10154323610840889_4576199446702677479_nToday’s album review is from a band called Xandria. I’ve been a fan of theirs since the end of 2011 I believe, so I’ve seen a lot of people come and go and heard a lot of amazing music for the last six years!

Xandria is a German symphonic metal band and they are made up of five members: Marco Heubaum and Philip Resemeier on guitars, Steven Wussow is on bass, Gerit Lamm plays the drums and Dianne van Giersbergen is the main vocalist. They released their new album called “Theater Of Dimensions” on January 27th, that day was a just good day of releases. I had a total of four albums and this won the chance to be review!

I’m basing my review off what it is Spotify, and they have both the Deluxe and Standard editions, but I’m only discussing the standard issue. Now let’s finally get into this, shall we?

If you’ve never heard a symphonic metal album, most of the bands will create a story within the actual album, so each song will contain a different section of the plot. I don’t think this is a concept album, but there is some kind of story telling throughout the record that I am still searching to figure out. The language that seems to be used in this album is what I’d call Old English, almost Shakespearean, hence the title of the album in general perhaps?

The first track has a soft introduction, the song is actually very beautiful! It is called “Where The Heart Is Home” and when I hear it, I think it has a good balance of soft and dramatic  notes. I think Dianne’s voice just sounds angelic in this song! I can always get behind a song that is about seven minutes long! I think it’s a great, fairly tame start to the album.

Next is “Death To The Holy” and this was the song that reassured me that this album would be heavier than the last two albums. I’m not saying I didn’t like them, I do! I love them wholeheartedly, but I also love a heavier metal track too! I love the drum intro! I love the whimsical vibe you get throughout the song! It’s easy to stay on the beat as they arranged it, very catchy too! Dianne even sounds almost playful. I think that’s sort of unique to her because she has such a strong, powerful voice! The choirs sound amazing as always! I’m a sucker for choirs I really am! I am usually drawn to these types of songs for some odd reason! They just remind me of sailors, I know that probably sounds weird, but once you’ve heard multiple symphonic metal albums, you’ll understand why I say that!

I love the introduction of “Forsaken Love” it starts out with the villean pipes, which really bring out my interest in it. I love to hear anything with pipes, flutes, fiddles, and violins. Anyways, it’s a beautiful ballad. The next track is “Call Of Destiny” and when this was released at the beginning of January, I was secretly attached to it. I couldn’t get enough of it. Despite this, I find it a tad bit tame compared to their first single, “We Are Murders (We All)” when I heard this, I felt bummed, but now I like it and so much so that I included it into my Vikings Playlist on Spotify! I thought it fits in parts of the verses! There is a featured singer in that song, it is a Swedish singer Björn Strid of Soilwork.

The sixth track is “Dark Night For The Soul” and I really love the piano of this one. I think with someone like Dianne, been classically trained, this is where she really shines. Sometimes going simple can be a glorious thing, especially as a metal band in general. We’re so used to our heavy bangers and normal ballads, that some of us can’t appreciate softer ballads such as this one. It does have a guitar solo in it, but thankfully it isn’t obnoxious! I don’t normally care for guitar solos myself, but I think this one was very good! Marco and Philip have created some very gorgeous solos in the past I will say, so I do make exceptions every once in a while!

And then we have “When The Walls Come Down (Heartache Was Born)” and this one is a heavy track, the introduction has this ominous feel and then you suddenly hear the choirs and it’s very good! The next is “Ship Of Doom” and it has another soft beginning, but it very good. It’s another fantasy-like song, would probably be good on my Vikings playlist too, but I have like four of their tracks about sailing, so I’m going to hold out including it for now! Ninth is an instrumental called “Ceilí” and I was a bit shocked to see this, because they are not known to put this kind of track on an album mostly because they do not have a touring keyboardist. If they ever play it live, it would mostly likely turn up during intermission. It is a whimsical tune, very playful but also heavy in the guitars, so it’s a good mix.

The last four of the standard edition are next. We have “Song For Sorrow and Woe” and it is another slow start, but once the tempo increases you can kind of hear the horns, which can be sort of hard to decipher, but not here. Unfortunately I don’t really care for it, and even I’m surprised! It has everything that I usually look for, but it is an interesting song! Next we have “Burn Me” and this also features another singer, it is Zaher Zorgati of Myrath and this is another very tame song. I do like the duet between Dianne and Zaher, I think it is interesting dynamic since she’s so high and he seems to be more of a baritone.

I have a thing for unique introductions, I have a weakness for an acoustic guitar I think every person does, they just don’t want to admit it out loud. “Queen Of Hearts Reborn” has a quiet, but epic beginning and then it just erupts of sounds between the drums and guitars, they cut into Dianne’s high notes and she almost sounds evil in parts. I swear, I mean that in a good way! It brings out a new character for her. I could see this one becoming a favorite of mine! Lastly, we have the title track “A Theater Of Dimensions” and they are known for their final songs to be the longest of all the rest; this one does not disappoint, it is 14 minutes and 22 seconds long! The only bad part about it is the fact that it is really slow! Thankfully, it does gradually get better and becomes more intense as it goes on. It’s pretty good!

I love Xandria, I really do! I always look forward to their albums but I have to say, I just sort of felt let down in a way. I think it might’ve been the ballads or the way of speaking, sometimes that can be an issue with me. I do think it’s interesting and different, so I definitely can’t say I hate it, but rating wise I would give it a eight out of 10. I think the album is great, but not as amazing as “Sacrificium” but you can’t like everything.

Have you listened to Xandria’s “Theater Of Dimensions” yet? What did you think?

snowflake

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OOTD: Oh, Deer!

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Howdy!

Today I have another outfit of the day, but I wanted to mention that I wore it on Friday, I just wasn’t able to get the pictures right away to publish it over the weekend.

As I mentioned in my V-Day OOTD I went shopping and managed to buy more colorful clothes, mostly in the T-shirt department. I really love my black clothing and everything, but unfortunately most of the tops I own doesn’t go with my bright and crazy leggings so somehow I managed to buy probably seven tops that do not have a shade of black on them! I did buy one gray and two black and white tops, but you’ll see soon the only reason I bought those last two were because they go with my personality really well!

I guess since we’re already on the subject, we can start on the shirt which is a simple tee in a pale shade of yellow. I don’t really care for pastel colors, but I do like a mint and nice yellow like this. The day I wore this, my mom wore her pink top, and we looked like a couple of Easter eggs! I think it’s a nice color though, it’s not in your face yellow, it’s a very sweet and gentle color.

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I think since because this is just a basic top, it was cheaper than the “Love” shirt I put up last week. They were also on sale too, which was the real reason why I came home with five different shirts. I’m pretty sure they were all $3 each and that is really good. I originally had another shirt that I wanted to wear with these pants I’m about to talk about in a minute, but I lost to both my mom and sister. My dad was on my side but beer was involved so his answer was invalided.

Anyways, the leggings were the first thing I saw when we got into the section and I fell in love with them instantly. You guys know I love my Aztec designs, so this one is no different except it has little deer and birdcage images with the normal shapes throughout, but the background is a solid black and it has a rainbow ombre of bold colors from the waist to the ankles.

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Everybody that I was around that day, seemed to really like them and think they were from another brand that has become sort of popular recently, called LaRue but they’re from Wal-Mart instead. These were just $4 and that is a LOT better than some places especially LaRue’s prices as I was told! I know a lot of people have opinions about Wal-Mart’s leggings that they have a little bit of a history of tearing while in the wash, but I’ve never had any issues with them and majority of the leggings in my drawer is from there!

I also wore my shawl that morning since I had an early day at physical therapy and it was pretty chilly! I even had to wear a pair of socks, they weren’t anything fancy though! Just plan black socks that I feel shrunk while in the washer because my mom was having issues putting them on me and my nana almost took off my left foot trying to remove it when I got to her house!

So what do you think of this outfit? Yay or nay? 

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snowflake

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Album Review: “Cinematic Songs Vol. 1” by Tommee Profitt

15977274_1352323748142203_8790681019734235473_nToday, I have something a little different for you. This isn’t your regular album review. No, this is totally unique  I think in the way that it all came together. I hope you like what you read in my review below and if you decide to listen or purchase the album digitally, as that’s the only way it is released right now, please tell me your thoughts on it as well.

If you are familiar with my music tastes, you know how much I love anything epic cinematic, it can mean “trailer music” as a lot of people seem to categorize it like that. I think my infatuation with it started while I was finding more and more symphonic metal bands. Epic cinematic music is more like alternative pop to me, as it’s not entirely pop nor symphonic either. It’s a nice medium and I just love it to pieces because it too, can tell a deeper story than a normal pop song can in my opinion.

The album is produced by Tommee Profitt. He is also a composer and songwriter. You might have heard of his music on different networks like Freeform, ABC and the CW. In the “Cinematic Songs Vol. 1” he has a mixture of both instrumentals and tracks that feature different artists.

The track that starts us off is “No Escape (Genesis)” and it is an instrumental and if you know me well enough, you know I like a good, powerful beginning and just as epic end to it all. This track is no different. It’s a perfect beginning to the album. I like the air-y dreamscape it delivers. Despite it having a clear, war scene type of image in your mind, it also has a beautiful body of various emotions you can hear within as you would be able to see if it was a movie. The second is “Caught In The Fire” featuring the first singer of the album, it is Sam Tinnesz, who is a singer/songwriter from Nashville and he is also the lead vocalist of Wave & Rome.  I think this one is fairly quiet compared to the first, it does built once the chorus begins; that’s what is so interesting with cinematic music, you might have a peaceful introduction but by the ending, it has erupted into this glorious fire of sounds. No pun intended.

Third is called “Who Side Are You On” and it features one of my favorite pop-cinematic artists, the main reason why I’ve been so interested in the genre in the first place: Ruelle! She has the power to make a song like this, choosing a side between right and wrong, and twisting it on its head a little. I really love the synth drums and strings throughout the end of the choruses, it gives a sense of chaos I think of figuring out which side you believe. I think the best part of this is at the end, I love the last two high octaves the choir gives before finishing the song completely. I like paying attention to details, especially in music. It always leaves me curious and wanting more!

Next is a track called “Free” that is performed by singer Svrcina, unfortunately I couldn’t find a lot about her on her Facebook page like I could with the others, so I’m just going to have to wing it. Sorry! This one has a different sound compared to the first 3 songs, which is always nice. Svrcina has a nice deep voice, she kind of reminds me of Birdy in a way. I think they should play this for the Pretty Little Liars finale. I don’t watch the show, but I think it would be perfect for the main characters! Anyways, the fifth track, we’re back with the instrumentals! It is called “Insurrection” and I love the ominous feeling in the intro, best thing ever! I love the sounds that horns tend to give off in these types of tracks, a sense of war on the way, so they’re preparing, getting their strategies just right, and eventually fighting with one another. Those are always my favorite sections and let’s be honest, they usually have the best music sequences too!

Afterwards, we have a slightly softer sound by an artist Wondra, for the track “I’m Not Afraid” but again, it builds as she begins to sing, because at first all you hear is Wondra vocalization, it doesn’t sound like the previous tracks. I like the soft piano at the beginning and end. It’s very beautiful! It has a pop atmosphere but I actually like it though. Next we have Sam Tinnesz back with a second song called “Glass Heart” and we have another piano introduction with Sam’s gorgeous, questionable voice. I like the chorus section mostly because of the zigzag sounds you hear with the high-pitched notes of the piano with subtle low, sort of deep drums give it a dramatic feel. Surprisingly, I thought it could do without the string section at the end.

This one is called “Soldier” and it is performed by Fleurie, she’s another artist that is featured on our favorite television shows like The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. This is very pretty. I like the soft beginning that her voice brings to the table. It’s not too much or too little. The song is also very catchy, so it’s an ideal pop cinematic track. The ninth track is another instrumental, it is called “Rising Tombs” which explains a lot, because within the first seconds of it, it’s very quiet and then you start to hear these sounds like somebody walking up stairs. All the while the orchestra’s power grows and it becomes very energetic. I want to say, this one has more of an electronic sound to it, which I know sounds weird but it does!

We are on the last four songs, starting “Sleeping With A Ghost” and this one definitely has an electronica vibe to it, probably a little more than the last one. The singer featured in this is CAPPA and she is an indie-pop singer from Nashville. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say most of the artists on this installment are from the country music capital of Nashville. I love the diversity though! Next is a track called “I’m Seeing Red” and I’m in love with the title! You know it’s going to be badass with that kind of title and it is! So creepy but light and air-y with Aron Wright’s voice, but of course everything needs to grow and become a massive beast and that’s the best way to describe how this sucker concludes. It’s pretty unique!

We have our last single to feature Fleurie and it is “Hurts Like Hell” and I have to say both this track and the other are both featured on her EP “Love And War” that came out in November. This is a very beautiful track, I love her soft, almost quiet voice and a piano together. I’m only just discovering her and she just takes me away from the pain in my daily life and that’s what I love about cinematic music the most, it has the power to do that to you. Anyways, my favorite section is the bridges, you still have this eternal sound but like a bubble pops and the sounds intensifies but then it calms back down again. The last track is a bonus, it’s “Carol Of The Bells” and this makes me think of Christmas when I first heard it, I’ll be honest, but it’s a classic. Everyone has heard of it in their lifetime. I certainly have, I’ve just never known the title of it. It’s so beautiful though and the perfect finish!

I will be honest, I found this whole album on accident one night. I had been listening to Ruelle and was on her “Related Artists” on Spotify and found Fleurie and I have been curious to check out her music for about a year and I finally did and this was included at the bottom of her overview. So I thought I would do a review of what I thought of it as a whole and this is the result. I think Tommee has a fantastic group of tracks and featured musicians, everybody did a great job! All I have to do is wait for Volume #2 now!

What do you think of cinematic music? Are you lover or unsure about the entire genre? 

snowflake

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