Album Review: “Camila” by Camila Cabello

20525195_1322930204483226_4018013353192643903_nCamila Cabello was originally a part of Fifth Harmony. A lot of people were shocked that she left the group, but I wasn’t one of them. After the breakup of One Direction, you start to figure out who would leave first to start on their solo career. For some odd reason, I always thought Camila would go out on her own, mostly because I think she has such a strong voice. You heard her more than you did any of the other girls in the group! Which is what I thought about when Zayn left 1D, he had a very prominent voice. I went through this with both Backstreet Boys and N’Sync in the 2000’s, I mean I know what I’m talking about here!

I have only heard four songs and they’re not even included on the actual album. I was shocked to not see “Crying In The Club” on the list since it was her first real track, back in December 2016 and another one I also enjoy is “OMG” and that features Quavo, it’s actually one of my favorites, but it’s nowhere to be found. I wasn’t too happy about that part, because I mean they are your entrance to the music world as one artist, and if you don’t include them, I think it makes the artist seem they don’t take their early success seriously. They should all be on the album either as the original version or in different forms like acapella, acoustics, or remixes. I don’t know if she intends on releasing a deluxe version of the album yet, but I’m hoping all four tracks they kept off of it will be as part of the bonus tracks.

Anyways, the album starts out with a song called “Never Be The Same” this has been playing on the radio like nonstop lately! I’m not even tried of hearing “Havana” yet and I’ve heard this song a lot more! I like ominous introduction of the song, the low and slow bass-y sound is a good way to start the album. It’s a good love song and despite it being in that theme, it still has a nice beat to dance to. I really like hearing Camila’s voice kind of match the tone of the sound too. Next, there’s “All These Years” and it’s also a ballad, love song. I think it’s a little interesting to start off with two very slow and romantic songs. It brings a different vibe to it! I like the stripped sound of it, you only hear her gentle voice, and an electric guitar. It’s very pretty!

Third is “She Loves Control” and the first thing that popped into my head when I saw the title of this song, I thought it’s going be so sassy! And I was right! Since Camila is half Cuban, she likes to bring that sound and vibe into her music. I think this is mild compared to the next song. It still has that sassy feeling to it that I was looking for, but there’s not much structure to make the song interesting enough. So it’s a bit of a let down for me. After this attempt though, you have “Havana” that features Young Thug and I really love this song! I think the big difference between this song and the previous is the fact that the beat sounds authentic. You get the sense that you’ve transported to Havana, Cuba. It’s very dance-y; I feel the need to the salsa everytime I hear it on the radio. I cannot stop dancing to it! Every part of it is amazing!

And then we have “Inside Out” and at first, you hear this peppy beat. It has a very tropical vibe to it! You will have trouble not dancing to it, but I feel like it’s a weird sounding. I like the lyrics. I don’t have a problem with that, it just sounds weird like the two doesn’t mesh well together. It’s hard to explain what I was thinking about while listening to it. I get like that every once in a while. We move on to “Consequences” and for once I actually spelled it right on the first try! I liked the fact that it’s such a easy going song. Camila has an unique voice and I like it for only having a soft piano and her voice together. It’s very beautiful! And then you have “Real Friends” and I actually liked the lyrics to it first. I can relate to the song right now, and what I really like about it is that it’s not about a specific person like a boyfriend or family member, she’s talking to about a bunch of people that she wants to surround herself with and I bet it gets pretty lonely while working in the entertainment industry.

The eighth track is “Something’s Gotta Give” and it’s another soft, ballad. She’s got a lot of these on here, but I actually like them a lot. I know, I’m even surprised at myself! This is another one where I really love the lyrics, it can kind of go with “Real Friends” in a way. If they were switched around, they would have been an interesting story line. It’s very relatable. Next there’s “In The Dark” this is pretty chill but it’s not bad. For it to be this slow, it kind of has peppy feeling to it. So you instantly feel happy to hear it instead of the other way around. It’s interesting! And then lastly we have “Into It” and I’m glad to say that this is a happy song! Fun and upbeat, which is the perfect way to end this journey I think.

I think as a whole, the album was actually really good! I thought we’d hear more of her Cuban roots on this, especially with the blowup of “Havana” I figured that there would be more songs like that or similar then just the three that we were given back-to-back. I didn’t like that, since she had a lot of ballads on here, there are many spots to put in one of those tracks, but they didn’t. However, it doesn’t change my opinion of it overall, I mean it’s a good first release. I wouldn’t say it’s the best of 2018 so far but we’ll have to see what happens later on in the year and maybe it’ll hit the top ten.

Are you a fan of Camila Cabello? If you listened to her debut album, what were your thoughts about it? Do you have any favorites yet?

snowflake

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Shuffle The Music Tag – Extended

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Howdy!

So today, I originally had another post coming, but I couldn’t find the words to do it, so I scraped it and remembered that my friend Tasha had put this tag on her blog back in late November. I kept thinking about it, and the more that I tried to force myself to discuss the events in the other post, the more I just wanted to do this instead!

I am adding to it though. It says to talk about “the first fifteen songs” in your music library, but I technically have two (iPod and Spotify) and I thought if it wasn’t too much trouble I’d talk about the variety of both libraries of music I tend to listen to everyday! I have decided to start with my iPod songs first and they were taken from my “Recently Played” list  that had over 57 songs where the ones from Spotify were on my “Starred” which consists of 1,441 songs!

Rules for this tag are below:

Mention the creator of the tag and link to their blog.
Thank the person that nominated you for this tag and link to their blog as well!
Shuffle your entire music library (no matter how old songs are) and talk about the first 15 songs that come up (anything like why they are there, if they signify something, any story, why you like them, etc)
Mention the songs as well as the artists
Tag 7 people or more to do this tag and please let them know!

Save Me From Myself by Vertical Horizon

I have always had the problem of falling in love with songs after hearing it on the radio, but the DJ never says what exactly the title of the song or who it’s by; I’ve had this happen way too many times in my life and weirdly enough it happened quite a bit in the years 2006-2011 and yes, this was one of those songs! Unfortunately, I don’t know how I ended up finding it.

Brothers Under The Sun by Bryan Adams

I love soundtracks! In the recent years, I’ve noticed I’m getting more into the orchestral tracks than the actual songs by the artists or bands. If you read my recent non-Disney movie post, you will know about my love about the film Spirit. I discussed about what I thought about Bryan Adams working on the entire soundtrack and a little bit about Hans Zimmer’s work to it too!

A Prophecy Of The Worlds To Fall by Xandria

Ahh, if anybody wants to know what symphonic metal music is, you just need to listen to this song. It’s dramatic and epic! It’s not your average heavy metal music, that’s for sure!

Murder by Within Temptation

People say WT has become more mainstream because they’re finally being played on American rock radio stations. I’m an American and I absolutely love their music! It makes me sad when I see that, because I don’t see the change in the sound of their music. They’re not as heavy as Epica or Xandria, but obviously I don’t care!

Blood by In This Moment

Roughly six months after getting into Linkin Park. I started getting more into Skillet, Hollywood Undead, In This Moment, and Lacuna Coil. So in the beginning of my rock ‘n’ roll phase, these were five bands that really made me open my eyes and I’m happy to say ITM were the first female fronted bands I got into at that time.

Dark Horse by Katy Perry featuring 2Chainz

I only like this song for the bass. That’s all!

Under Control by Ellie Goulding

I love Ellie Goulding’s music. However, I’ve always had a hard time listening to a full album. I didn’t dive into Halcyon until she was about to release the deluxe edition and that’s when I actually listening to her music hardcore!

Here’s To Us by Halestorm

What’s so weird about this song is that it’s the perfect song to play at the end of the night with your friends. That’s the vibe I always get everytime I listen to it!

Dangerous by Within Temptation featuring Howard Jones

I know, I know! I listen to a lot of Within Temptation music. What else is new?!

Going Under by Evanescense

I talk about the year 2009 being my awakening to rock music, when really it was 2002! Evanescene’s first album “Fallen” came out in April and their music was being played while I was in the hospital, so I was hearing “Bring Me To Life” a lot on the radio, but the memory is of that Christmas. I asked for the album from Santa and we were in the living room at my grandparent’s house and I didn’t feel good, but I unwrapped the gift and immediately tossed it back because the cover scared the crap out of me and then I threw up all over my cousin’s brand new shoes!

I Want My Tears Back by Nightwish

Recently my dad was playing around my speaker and this was the last song to play on my iPod, so he got to hear it for the first time. He likes Irish/Celtic sounds just as much as I do, and he noticed the pipes right away and he seemed to like the big jam-like session in the middle of the song. It’s seriously my favorite section of the song, the going back and forth sounds of both the pipes and Eppu on guitars. It’s so awesome!

The Essence Of Silence by Epica

More symphonic metal! I have a big selection of the genre on my iPod by the way, it’s not as big as it is on my Spotify of course but there’s still enough to get weird looks from family members and neighbors who don’t know the genre very well, but I’m always eager to help cure that.

The Haunting by Kamelot featuring Simone Simons

Most of the musicians to come out of this genre are internationally based, most are from The Netherlands, like Epica and Within Temptation, but Germany (Xandria), Finland (Nightwish), Norway and Sweden have a growing numbers of bands to dabble in the symphonic rock/metal. Crazy enough though, the band Kamelot is based out of Florida! Fun fact: The band Epica actually got their name from an album titled “Epica” by Kamelot, it came out in 2003!

Intoxicated by Lacuna Coil

Lacuna Coil was one of the last bands to enter, but I think they were the first international bands I ever got into, as they’re from Italy! When you think of Italy, or when I think of the country as a whole, I’m thinking of opera–not heavy metal! Over the years, I’ve been finding more and more of a variety of music there.

[taken from Spotify now]

By The Grace of God by Katy Perry

I really loved Katy Perry’s “Prism” album a lot! There were a lot of really great songs on it; this one being a favorite of mine for sure! I think it’s raw and very personal to Katy as you can tell she wrote it in the aftermath of her divorce with Russell Brand in 2014. I remember watching her concert DVD “Part Of Me” when it came out on DVD and they didn’t hide that whole section of her life from the cameras and I definitely felt for her when she was going through all of that pain.

One of the things that I like to do also, is think of different perspectives of popular songs. Everybody thinks songs have one meaning and it’s usually whatever the singer or writer’s going through at a certain time in their lives. I don’t believe in that outlook, so whenever I hear or sing it, I tend to look into the rougher times in my life and know that by the grace of God, I’ve somehow gotten through them very well!

The Obsessive Devotion by Epica

Epica is like a season. Spring, summer, fall, and winter. Everybody has a favorite and they usually hate one or two other seasons. For example, I like spring and fall, but can’t stand summer and winter, mostly because I’m usually stuck inside for both seasons for the extreme weather conditions.

The band itself has many, many great albums, but I’ve only liked three of them.  Unfortunately, I can’t explain my reasons for this, I’ve just never been wired to like or listen an entire album before, it’s only in the last five years that I’m learning to do try out different albums and then write out what I like or not liked about it in a form of a review for you guys.

I will admit, this is one of my favorite songs by Epica. It has that perfect balance of soft tones by Simone’s gorgeous voice and orchestra, but it has also turns into this beast and it’s raw and bitter at the same time. It’s just perfect.

Silence by Starkillers featuring Alicia Madison

I will admit, I only like the song because I liked the beat. It’s a dance track, this has always been a problem for me over the years!

Seven Nation Army by Zella Day

Apparently this a cover, originally by Jack White. I didn’t know that until much later, but I really love Zella’s peppy but smooth voice. I actually like this version better!

The Right Song by Tiesto & Oliver Heldens featuring Natalie La Rose

Everybody on this track is Dutch. So in other words, it’s the perfect song! And I mean, it’s got Tiesto in it for crying out loud!

WTF (Where They From) by Missy Elliott featuring Pharrell Williams

Don’t ask me why I have this song on my “Starred” list. You have both Missy Elliott and Pharrell Williams on a track together, I mean, you know it’s going to sound good!

Words by Daya

I’m still wondering why I like this song so much. I mean, don’t get me wrong, Daya has a great voice and the sound itself is nice too. It’s just a little dull, but yet I choose to keep it on this playlist. I told you all I was weird!

Kiss Me Goodbye by Alexandra Stan

The whole reason why I did Tune Tuesday Worldwide for 2016, was because of both Alexandra Stan and fellow Romanian singer Inna. I just love international music so much!

White Noise (R3hab Remix) by Ella Vos

Okay, I really like this song! I’ve always loved remixes but I actually got into this by another song by Ella. It was played on an episode of The Originals last year and I became a bit obsessed with it and I ended liking her voice a lot so I went through her music profile on Spotify and this happened!

Pass At Me by Timbaland featuring Pitball

Remember what I was saying about Missy Elliott and Pharrell Williams? Well, you have both Timbaland and Pitbull in this sucker. I mean, it’s a no brainer that this is going to be great too!

Click Click Boom by Saliva

Out of all the rock and heavy metal songs I have on this playlist, this one was selected. It’s fine though, I actually like the song.

Hey Baby by Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Diplo featuring Deb’s Daughter

Truth is, I only like this song because Diplo’s on it. Enough said!

Circus For A Psycho by Skillet

Finally! I love the craziness of this song! It has that circus vibe but it’s a really great rock song too! The “Rise” album was one of my favorites albums by Skillet by the way!

Under The Knife by Icon For Hire

This is a rough song. The lyrics alone are very strong and yet delicate too. I love Icon For Hire and really love the way that Ariel writes the songs and how she shows how passionate she is for the fans. She likes to tell stories in the songs and she makes sure that every theme is relatable in some way, and this should have a trigger warning in the beginning for both people who have and haven’t self-harmed at some point in their lives, but that’s only my opinion. Other than that, the song is really good!

One Night Town by Ingrid Michaelson featuring Mat Kearney

In 2014, I got on a Ingrid Michaelson kick! I really loved her “Lights Out” album a lot. This is one of five favorites! She seems very home-y and comforting but yet has a sassy attitude that reminds me of my own. This is very soft and sweet. I just love it.

Now I have to tag seven other bloggers! 

Kekoas Music Blog 

Louloumuisicblog 

Fierce & Fabulous Revolution

Chasing Destino

EMILYBECCA

The Flower That Blooms 

A Mundane Life

You don’t have to do it, but thought it would be interesting to see your responses if you did anyway! Oh, and I also tag anybody else who wishes to do this too! You don’t have to be an overachiever like myself, but it was very fun to do it! 🙂

snowflake

Album Review: “Asking Alexandria” by Asking Alexandria

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Here is my first review of 2018!

I had made a promise to myself that it didn’t matter how long it took me, I would review both Asking Alexandria and G-Eazy’s new albums that came out in mid-December. As much I loved doing the Christmas music reviews, these were the two that I was more excited to talk about on here!

The British band consists of Ben Bruce and Cameron Liddel on guitars, Sam Bettley on bass, and James Cassells plays the drums. In 2016, I reviewed my first AA album, when they released “The Black” with new front singer Denis Stoff. As everybody was freaking out about the departure of Danny Worsnop and don’t get me wrong, I love Danny’s voice but I was embracing the new style that was in front of me, because I didn’t think this next part would happen. Danny is now back in the band and this was their new material for their fans.

So we will start off the album with “Alone In A Room” and it starts off kind of slow before it all awakens in sound. The sound itself was gentle and very mild, but I liked it. Danny’s low and soft voice in this track, it’s the perfect starter I thought. He is known for his way of singing and then switching to the very harsher growls and yells that is metal music. However, I was glad that he kept that side away in this song. Next is their first single, “Into The Fire” and this was what made me happy because it’s everything that I love! It’s heavy, but with a hint of mysterious in the music. Danny sound so powerful and the section towards the end, the bridge is just gorgeous! I love hearing him yell, which is weird to say out loud, but he sounds so strong.

Third is “Hopelessly Hopeful” and for some odd reason, I had the hardest time spelling the title for this one. I liked the strange introduction, but the song as a whole wasn’t one of my favorites. I didn’t like the mellow sound of it, well I take that back. It wasn’t necessarily the beat that really bothered me, it was more of Danny’s voice. I thought his voice was too high pitched for the sound itself. The only time I liked both together was when his voice sounded static in the middle. Another favorite is our next track, “Where Did It Go?” and I will say, I don’t pay attention to lyrics a lot, especially with rock bands, but Danny speaks pretty quickly in the verses and the second verse, he explains the start of the band, the album before he left and the “fourth one” explaining why he left the band as “they needed a room to breathe” and speaking about their future. I thought it was genius. The sound itself gives it that edge too. I’m sure I’ve listened to it over a hundred times when it came out in early November!

And then there’s “Rise Up” and, I felt this was a great heavy track to have after the last one since it was pretty upbeat too. I think the meaning is as inspirational as the previous song. The choruses really pull you in and I feel like it will be on everyone’s workout playlist! Next we have “When The Lights Come On” and when the album came out, I wanted to hear a bit of it, so I put it on shuffle and when this song started playing, I immediately put it on my “Starred” list on Spotify. I’m seriously addicted! The only way to describe the song itself is saying, if you’ve ever been curious about how it feels when your favorite band goes out on stage every night, this is your answer! They did a pretty good job of giving you a taste into their mindset. The sound itself was perfect, it right balance between energetic and in your face.

The seventh track is “Under Denver” and this one is sort of mellow. It’s not a heavy track by any means, it is slower and dare I say? Gentle. I love how this one sounds, it has these electric notes and the static, it’s just different and I like it. I have always went back and forth with the lighter side of rock and roll, because I do love hearing the melodies and the actual  words of the lyrics, but the harsher songs can put me in a better mood no matter what is going on in my life. Next we have another song that has only Danny’s calm voice and an acoustic guitar, with a like drum sequence. It is a called “Vultures” and I feel like it’s the perfect theme for the word, I know that’s weird to say but I got a somber vibe while listening to the song itself and it made me think of actual vultures too. It’s pretty good. After that is “Eve” and we’re back on the ominous train full of loud screams and harsh guitars. I like it, purely for the creepy aspect of it, which sounds about right.

We’re on the last three songs of the album. There’s actually a fourth but it’s the radio edit of “Into The Fire” and that only means that it’s shorter in length, so there’s no point in talking about that one again! So we start it with “I Am One” and we have a true rock and roll sound, although at first I thought it had a bit of a punk feel to it too. It’s soft, but still up in your face though! This wasn’t one of my favorites, but I’ve learned over the years to never really believe in what I initially say, because I’ll just switch anyways! Next we have “Empire” and this is a bit interesting as you can clearly hear Ben Bruce in this track. He’s usually singing in the background anyways, but this one you can hear him really well. You also have rapper Bingx featured in this song too. I’ve never heard of him, so forgive me about that! I thought it was a cool song, it sounded different from what we usually hear from Asking Alexandria, even though it still has the same elements, they just added another singer that raps.  Last one is “Room 138” and it has this echo-y introduction that slowly changed to a fast paced track. You can feel the emotion being put into this song. It’s actually pretty mellow music wise, the only thing that is right in your face is Danny’s angry yells. I like it though.

I am glad the band patched up their issues and came back together, and recorded this album for their fans. I was kind of surprised that I actually liked it, since I was okay with their previous one, I didn’t think I’d be feel like that this was real, but still I’m glad it is. Out of 12 songs, I didn’t like two of them, that’s pretty good I think! It was a nice balance between the perfect go crazy in the most pit and sway back and forth with a lighter songs. It was really good!

Have you heard of Asking Alexandria’s new album? What did you think of it? Let me know!

snowflake

December Playlist

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So this is the last playlist of 2017!

Now you’re probably wondering why I’ve decided to publish this on Christmas? Well, in order to achieve my three blog posts a week routine, I needed a starter and since the holiday does land a Monday I thought, why not? I also thought about how sometimes people start their Christmases so early that they casually stroll on the web to check on their socials and whatnot, so that was my other reason for this too.

Mama by Jonas Blue
Falling Down by Duran Duran ft. Justin Timberlake
Stay In The Dark by The Band Perry
Wolves by Selena Gomez and Masrhmello
I Did Something Bad by Taylor Swift
Kiwi by Harry Styles
Thumbs by Sabrina Carpenter
We Runnin by Tommee Profitt and Beacon Light
Carol Of The Bells by Lindsey Stirling
Ding Dong Merrily On High by Celtic Woman

If you haven’t had enough of Christmas music, I’ve listed every Christmas song that I’ve listened to, my favorites of the three reviews I did and the movies I’ve watched in the past month at the top of the actual Spotify playlist. I’ve been on a nostalgic kick lately so I’ve included a lot of hip hop songs from the early 2000’s in it as well. Hope you all enjoy it! I will not stop putting music on there after tomorrow, so you’ll have to come back next week to see what else I’ve put in it!

Since this will be my final playlist of the year, I decided to put all of the monthly playlists I’ve done throughout the year at the bottom, plus the wedding playlist since I just added that instead of doing a whole “July” playlist and I also put the annual summer on there too! I’m also going to attempt to update my Review tab at the top, as I haven’t added anything since probably June or maybe even a little earlier than that.

January | February | March | April | May | June | August | September | October | November | Wedding Playlist | Summer 2017

snowflake

Album Review: “Kaskade Christmas” by Kaskade

So this will be my last post for Blogmas 2017! And I’m kind of happy about that because I’ve reviewed three Christmas-y albums and since I do these ahead of time, I ended up getting my fill of Christmas music all in one week basically. However, I have had a lot of fun rediscovering old favorites and then on top of that seeing what other artists can do to these traditional songs that we enjoy hearing over the holidays!

So we’ve had Celtic Woman, which is all female Irish group and then there was electric violinist Lindsey Stirling, and now we have a male artist to finish out the last week before Christmas. His name is Kaskade and he is an American DJ who tends to do house music, which is like a lighter form of dance music. I don’t know how to describe it other way than that is it mellow, almost chill but still upbeat in tempo to dance to. Kaskade has released several albums over the years, plus he’s remixed other artists and DJ’s tracks, one of my favorites is of Swedish duo Galantis’ “U & I” that came out in 2015.

I actually haven’t noticed other DJs’ creating new sounds to well known Christmas tunes, but if anybody was willing to do it, I’m glad it’s a veteran to try it out! Like with Lindsey’s album, I did not listen to any of the songs before writing the review, so we will be going on this little adventure together. I do not know how many of these will be instrumental, as he has quite a few guests on here, but the others that don’t feature anybody at the side doesn’t mean that nobody but Kaskade on the other side and as far as I know, he doesn’t sing on any of his tracks.

Are you ready to begin?

Since Kaskade is a well known house producer, I’m not going to lie, I was really curious but also hesitant to know what exactly was going to be blasting through my speakers. The first song is “Christmas Is Here” and the introduction has a very soft, full of strings, and you hear Late Night Alumni’s voice and she has a mellow, voice that meshes well with the upbeat sound of the entire song. It has a nice groove to it. The second is “Cold December” and it doesn’t say who the male singer is in the background, but it’s another great uptempo holiday themed track. I really like the addition of the horns, I thought they were interesting element to put into a simple beat. Next, there’s “Deck The Halls” with featured singer Erika. This should be a familiar song for everyone, but the sound itself is different of course. It has that nice playful, Christmas-y mood built into the beat. Erika’s voice has a low quality, where the lyrics but where it doesn’t feel overwhelming.

We have “God Rest Ye” and it instantly has this R&B and soulful sound. The singer lending her voice to this track is Debra Fotheringham. I don’t really like the full on hip hop remakes of Christmas, I think they can get too much, so to say that I enjoyed the crap out of this is an understatement I think. Next there’s “O Come Emmanuel” with Miss Skylar Grey and I liked the mysterious, chill beat to back her soulful vocals. I think she brings out so many emotions in anything she does. It’s almost sexy. Can I say that with talking about in holiday themed track? Especially one that you mostly sing out loud in church? My favorite “Silent Night” is after that and it features Ilsey, and I love her voice too! She has such a sweet, but electric tone. I don’t know if I liked this version so much though. I mean, when it’s just Ilsey and the slow drum beat, it’s not bad but whenever she stops, the tempo is gone and it’s weird. It’s hard to describe. I was a bit disappointed with it.

“The First Noel” with Gabrielle Current is on after that one. I enjoy discovering new music, but I’ve been having fun finding these Christmas or old hymns that I haven’t had in a while. I think Gabrielle’s voice sounds like Ariana Grande, just a lot less overwhelming. I have nothing against her, but she tends to go crazy with her vocals sometimes. Anyways, I like the mellow beat to this one. You can easily dance to it, but it still keeps you in that Christmas-y mood. We have “In The Bleak Midwinter” and this has Kayrae, another artist that I haven’t heard of before. I’ve actually only heard of Skylar and Ilsey, so as I’ve been listening to these songs, I’ve been discovering these new singers too! I don’t think I’ve ever heard of this song. My luck and this would be an original track! The beat for this song is very eternal and chill, the only way I can describe it is if you were having a Christmas party on the beach, this is what you’d be listening to on repeat.

Next is “Holy Night” and it features Erika once again. And everybody knows this a classic song for the holidays. so I think I’ve been quite critical to these tracks, but I think I approve of this one. Erika’s voice is gorgeous against the piano and humming beat that goes up in sound until it disappears after she’s ended that verse. The beat as a whole is set at the mild tempo, but more elements are being added towards the end. I really wanted more of that drums! “It’s Beginning To Snow” is on after that, and this doesn’t credit anybody on the vocals, but the holiday theme kind of takes a backseat on it. The beat is definitely more upbeat and what you’d sort of expect for any electric dance musician to do. And of course, it’s the shortest one on the album too!

We’re almost finished and we start with another classic “Santa Baby” is next and it features Jane XO and it has that modern feel to it, but it kind of also has this jazz-y sound to balance it out too. It’s fun and interesting! Next we have “Winter Wonderland” and everybody should know this one too! There wasn’t a featured singer on this, but you hear a mysterious male singer in the background in this echo-y effect. The entire track is weird, it doesn’t sound anything like the original but is this really a bad thing? The beat is nice. It has these playful notes in it, but I find it confusing. Lastly there’s “This Christmas Night” with Dia Frampton. I don’t know this song, so it could be a classic that I haven’t heard in a really long time or it’s an original, who knows? I like it though. It’s another one of those where you could play while you’re partying at the beach!

This was probably the most interesting reviews I’ve done! I’m all about finding music that isn’t played ten times in an hour on pop radio stations, so the fact that the last Christmas album I review is the probably the most outlandish was kind of cool! I don’t listen to Christmas music on full blast throughout the month of December like most people do. Anybody like me that is the same would probably enjoy this album more than other two, even though Lindsey’s wasn’t that “shove down your throat” type of records, I still think this was the milder version of them, if you get what I mean.

Are you the type that likes it when artists go all out on their Christmas albums? What did you think of “Kaskade Christmas” too?  

snowflake

Album Review: “Warmer In The Winter” by Lindsey Stirling

22447526_1626421390755518_1809023922_nLast week, I published my review of Celtic Woman’s newest Christmas album and I said that I was thinking about putting up two others to be counted as part of a Blogmas! So this is your second, and I will say, I didn’t know about this until it popped up on my “new music” on Spotify one day and I thought I’d take advantage of the opportunity and review it too!

If you are not familiar with Lindsey Stirling, she is usually a electronic violinist. In Celtic Woman both Mairead Nesbitt and Tara McNeil play fiddle and violin, but it’s mostly the traditional way. Lindsey has done covers before, but she always adds her own flare and it can sound very pop or electronica. She was on America’s Got Talent a few years ago and has released three other albums, but this will be her first holiday album. I have not heard any of the songs beforehand so I’m not sure if they’ll be instrumentals or have guest singers on certain songs, which as I’ve seen on the tracklist there are a few featured, so we’re going to dive into this together!

Let’s get started with “Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy” and this definitely has that pop, but playful style that Lindsey usually brings out in her music. I actually love this, it’s one of my favorites. If I ever got the chance to see a ballet of the Nutcracker, I’d be one happy camper! I’m happy it still has the slow, but fun sound and it also has that dance vibe going on too. The second is “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” which features Sabrina Carpenter, a singer that I’ve been loving lately! I like the sultry, but fun jazz-y vibe of this track. I say “sultry” because of Sabrina’s tone and the horns section. Next we have “Christmas C’mon” that features singer and rapper Becky G and I know this is going to be weird, but this has a country sound to it. Becky’s voice gives it a nice pop vibe, but it’s actually Lindsey and her skills that are giving off that sound that makes me think of upbeat country music

Fourth track is “Carol Of The Bells” and I was wondering if I was going to like this one or not, but I knew Lindsey would do a fantastic job with it. It is all instrumental, but if you know me very well, you know that I have a soft spot for these types of songs. You still get that familiar sound of the original song, but it’s all violin with an added synthesizer. And then we have “Angels We Have Heard On High” and I really love the classical sound of just the violin and orchestra in the background. You also have these soft little vocalizations too, which I’m guessing is Lindsey giving it an added dash of sparkle to the song. I really do love how artists and bands are trying to modernize these Christmas songs, but sometimes going old fashioned works too!

There’s “I Saw Three Ships” and I’ve never heard of this one, but I found it a little odd that it sort of sounded like an Irish song, since it was so jam packed with tones that you’d normally hear with a traditional Celtic Woman song. I loved it! Anyways, next we have “Let It Snow” and the sound is different, the violin gives it a country vibe again, but then again it also has this jazz-y feel to it too. It’s very interesting. Oh, both of these songs are instrumentals and I love them dearly for that! There’s something cool about this next song though, it is an original Christmas song! I don’t know about you, but I never hear of these anymore! It features another musician Trombone Shorty and I love this. I’m just not sure who is the vocalist though, Lindsey has only done the soft “oohs” and “ahs” in the background of her songs, but never fully sang the songs, so maybe because this is something she came up with and she sang to it too.

“What Child Is This” is next and it’s another instrumental. It has a welcoming, but mysterious sound to it. I love these types of songs, as the more elements the musician adds to it, the more emotion you get from everything. You just feel like spinning in a white dress, or at least what’s I thought as I listened to the song. Next, we have a familiar song and it is “All I Want For Christmas” but I will say that because of the slow tempo of the introduction, you can’t tell what it is until the very last notes and then you want to slap yourself for not knowing it right away! It is upbeat and playful; makes you want to dance along to the beat! It’s great, but I think I miss the words.

The last three songs of the standard edition start with another original track, “Time To Fall In Love” and it features Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low. I think between the two songs that Lindsey wrote for this album, this one sounds more in the Christmas-y theme as far as lyrics go. I’m not saying I hated the other one though, it’s good, but does it match the tone of a holiday record though? Anyways, I also think this one has more of a pop-rock sound to it, and Lindsey is taking a backseat on it, although she has a solo, it just kind of sounds like ATL type of song. Next we have “Jingle Bell Rock” and this has become an iconic song, makes in part to the movie Means Girls but I love the jazz take to it. My papaw would probably like it since he was so into big band music! Lastly, we have one of my absolute favorites “Silent Night” and it is naturally a slow, somber-y, type of song anyways but I think Lindsey went that extra mile and made it even more beautiful with adding only the “ahhs” of the choir instead somebody singing it all the way through, it’s actually really beautiful.

I was very happy with this album! I thought with Lindsey’s first Christmas album, I think she did a great job. It was beautiful and unforgettable. I’m glad she stayed true to her style of music and didn’t force herself to add multiple singers to the favorite holiday songs, sometimes the instruments can say a lot more than what we think, they can bring out more emotions to the listener.

Have you heard of Lindsey Stirling’s new Christmas album, “Warmer In The Winter” yet? What were your thoughts on it?

snowflake

Album Review: “The Best Of Christmas” by Celtic Woman

I’ve never had a moment where I’ve had three open Thursdays (review days) and three holiday related albums come out at the same time. I figured I’d take advantage of it and review all of them for you as part of my blogmas!

The first one is obviously by the lovely ladies of Celtic Woman. They released this album back in mid-November. If you’ve never heard their versions of Christmas carols, you sort of get a taste in the previous album “Voice Of Angels” as there are two bonus tracks at the end. The rich sounds of Ireland are still prominent with the holiday tone and lyrics. The songs included in this album are sung by previous singers as they have released two other Christmas albums back in 2006 and 2012 along with the current members: Susan, Mairead, Eabha and newest member Tara playing the violin and fiddle.

The first song of the album is “Ding Dong Merrily On High” and this brings out your holiday cheer, even if you still feel like the Grinch has wedged itself in between the depths of your heart, this will make you happy! One of the reasons why I love Celtic Woman so much is because they have such gentle voices, they sound very caring and want you to feel at home and exited for Christmas. The Irish tones are very subdued in this song, but I found that to be okay, because I liked the voices of the singers and choir. Second is “Carol Of The Bells” and this is just gorgeous! Everybody is very familiar of this song, or at least they should be, but I love this version as you more of a modern feel to it, but it has that mysterious atmosphere to it. I love the fiddle in this, I think it adds another element to it than just the choir singing behind it.

Next is “Joy To The World” and this is the 2016 version which features all three current singers, and since I’ve already talked about this one, I’m not going to bother talking about it again. So if you’d like to know what I said about that, you can read my review of their newest album here. We have “We Three Kings” and this one you definitely get a strong Irish sound from start to end. I was very happy to see this style shine, but I will say though, I don’t think I’ve heard of the song itself, just shows you how much Christmas music I normally listen to once December rolls in.  And then, we have “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” and we’re back on the familiar track! I’m happy to say that this was as beautiful as I remembered it, as it’s all a cappella in the beginning before the subtle little violin just shows up in the background. It’s so gentle and nice. It’s just perfect.

Another favorite is “O Holy Night” and I’ve come to love these slower songs, with the right singers, they can sound really amazing and add a wow factor to the whole thing. It’s weird that there are three singers when it sounds like one person is singing it. It’s so beautiful! Next we have “White Christmas” and I really love Christmas music that has a strong piano introduction. You can blame my papaw for installing that feature into me and basically every other family member on my mom’s side. The eighth song is “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” and it is so pretty, full of symphony and a little of fiddle. I’m pretty sure it is originally on one of their older albums, but that is definitely Susan’s voice I’m hearing! I can recognize her voice anywhere!

We have “I’ll Be Coming Home For Christmas” and everytime I hear it, makes me think about those videos of soldiers surprising their family members. They’re so sweet but of course you can’t help but start bawling your eyes out when everything unfolds on screen, especially if it involves children! This has more of an Irish vibe in the beginning, but I love the slowness of it. It’s so beautiful! I’ll always have a soft spot for “Silent Night” but Celtic Woman’s version incorporates both the English and Gaelic languages and it’s so gorgeous! This was one that they included in “Voice of Angels” album, so if you want to know what I thought of it, please go to the link I’ve put up above. And next we have “The Christmas Song” and I love the piano in the introduction. It had a modern feel, but so gentle. I don’t think I’ve heard of this song before, but like I said, I don’t know a lot of Christmas songs, only everybody’s favorites.

Somehow, we managed to switch out of the gentle and Irish sounding, and move to big band and jazz for “Let It Snow” and it literally freaked me out because I was not expecting it! Of course, the more I listened to it, made me think of New York City and Broadway shows! However, I don’t hate it. It’s actually nice. The next is “Once In Royal David’s City” and this is the third holiday song included on Celtic Woman’s previous album, because I can clearly hear both Mairead and Eahba singing, so again please direct yourself back to the link, if you wish to read my thoughts. Next we have “Away In A Manger” and it starts as a capella with a light harp, which is my second favorite instrument by the way! I also love the guitar, that I always think of a Spanish, because it just brings out that sound that you only hear in latin songs. I’m sorry I don’t know more about it.

 “Winter Wonderland” now at first, I will admit, I didn’t recognize the title. It wasn’t until it started playing and then I finally got it. This has a soft jazz vibe to it. I like the upbeat songs, and apparently the upbeat Christmas songs are becoming a favorite of mine too! Next we have “Walking In The Air” and again, this was another I didn’t know right off the bat, but it is very pretty. It has a very eternal sound in the beginning, which for a Celtic musical group, the music usually has that sound that makes it mysterious but gentle at the same time. Although, this doesn’t sound anything like a regular Christmas or holiday song I’ve heard before, but who am I to say anything about that? It is gorgeous though!

These will be the last four songs of the album. We have “O Come All Ye Faithful” and I like gentleness that the ladies give it. The music behind it is so soft and makes me think of ballets (I know, that’s weird) but it’s true! I don’t necessarily like the hymns very much, but when it comes to the holidays for some odd reason I kind of welcome them with feet wide open!  Next there’s “The Little Drummer Boy” and this is one that I haven’t heard very much, even though it’s a favorite to people. I do like this version with the deep male choir and the soft drums, but unfortunately that’s all I really like about it. I’m very hard to impress sometimes. “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” and I know everybody knows this one and I’m happy to say that it is very upbeat but it also has that Irish sound that I fell in love with in the first place. It’s a nice mixture! And lastly we have “Auld Lang Syne” and according to Google, translates to “days/times gone by”. It is Scottish song and that means that you will hear both the English and Gaelic languages, and I love it because I’ve never heard of it before doing this review.

So the first Christmas album is done! I actually figured I’d hear the Irish music being incorporated more, but then again I can’t say I was disappointed with it though. It was a good balance with the more modern, pop feel with some of the Gaelic language in it. It was different and I love it for being that way!

Have you listened to Celtic Woman’s “The Best of Christmas” album yet? What were your thoughts about it? Do you have a favorite holiday song?

snowflake