Album Review: “Waves” by Rachel Platten

Back in 2015, we were inspired by the first single “Fight Song” by this unknown singer Rachel Platten. It became one of the most popular songs of the year, until she released her second called “Stand By You” that at first, I didn’t like because I felt it sounded too much like the first one. Later on, I didn’t care anymore and ended up falling in love with enough to learn both of them word-for-word.  In January of 2016 she released her second album Wildfire. I remember listening to the whole thing the day it came out, I just never got the chance to review it.

So when I saw this sucker pop up on the “New Music” tab on Spotify, I was both shocked and excited that Rachel had created a new album and it made me realize how much of a gap it has been, she was close to two years between them! This new album is called Waves and it was released the last full week of October, so the 27th was the album drop and I have already listened to it prior doing this review, but I made myself a commitment to actually publish a review this time around and that’s what I’m doing today!

How we start this, is with a song called “Perfect For You” and it seems like the sweetest song, as most of her music is directed to romance and heartbreak. It is very good, I like the dream-y introduction, but I think my favorite section is when the soul groove begins after choruses begins. The bass guitar gives it a nice beat to dance. I like how she’s this pop singer and everything, but I like how she tries to bring an urban feel to her music. It sets her apart from the rest of the pack. Second song is “Whole Heart” and it has this lullaby feel to it, I know what the instrument is that you can clearly hear at the beginning but I can’t think of what it’s called, so I’m sorry about that! I really like the subtle beat, it allows her pretty voice to shine. Next is “Collide” and for some odd reason, I had the worst time trying to spell that damn word! Anyways, this one goes is really good. It has a strong pop vibe to it. The lyrics are full of metaphors that deal with love and heartbreak, in a funny way kind of goes with the title too!

Fourth is “Keep Up” and this one is very sassy lyric wise, the beat is very fast and perfect to dance to! It has a 1960’s Disco feel to it when you get to the middle of the choruses. It kind of reminds me of something that Jennifer Lopez would release, but I actually like hearing Rachel’s voice instead! It could be one of my favorite songs on the album! The next song was the first song to be released in this album’s cycle, I can’t tell you when exactly I heard first, my guess is around May, but I could be wrong considering I had only heard it that one time! “Broken Glass” is such a good song, kind of the perfect first single to come out honestly. It’s hauntingly beautiful, but it has those pop elements that everybody likes. It’s catchy and has a positive vibe to it, plus it has enough beat to make it interesting!

Next is “Shivers” and this has a peppy vibe to it and you can dance to it pretty good. The lyrics are catchy but interestingly, it sounds unique too! I’m still shocked that she is cussing in this song though. It doesn’t have the explicit symbol on the right side of the track label on Spotify, but it’s only one world though so maybe that’s why! Seventh track is “Loose Ends” and when I first heard this song, I kind of liked it off the bat and I’m happy to say I still like it. Even though it does remind me of another song, so it doesn’t have that authentic sound I always look for, but I like it anyways! It’s also the first of three songs in a row that start with the letter “L”.

“Labels” is after and is it weird that I felt that she sounded like Camila Cambello at first? I seriously thought it was her when I listened to it a few days before. Rachel doesn’t have an accent, so that’s one of the biggest differences between them. I do like the song though, I just thought it’s a little dull. The next is my most popular song off the album and it’s called “Loveback” and again, you have this slow but urban beat that is apparently growing on me. I also love the meaning behind it though, for some odd reason I kind of thought of my dad while hearing the choruses. He would disagree with that statement, but he’d say anything to get away from the pop genre entirely! Next is “Hands” and this is such a sweet song! It almost makes you want to cry during the introduction. I’m thinking she wrote the song for her mother, and whoever is talking in the beginning has a special message to her and she repays her with this song. It’s beautiful!

The last three songs start with “Fooling You” and again, you have this dream-y and slow beat in the beginning before turning up the tempo and direction of the lyrics too. You can hear her tell the story in each song and I really enjoy getting inside of her heart and what she feels or felt to a certain person. It’s a magical moment. I feel like “Good Life” in ways should have been the last song of the album because it is the final upbeat song. It has a strong pop but has a gospel feel to it too. I think we can blame it on the choir in the background for that vibe popping in, but I do enjoy it! And finally we have “Grace” and I see why it’s the last because it has this perfect tone, and as much as I love ending something with a bang, I do love this too! You only hear a piano and her voice with a echo-y effect, so it’s very haunting. So I approve of it this time.

I’m actually still hearing some of her songs from that album on the radio every once in a while so obviously I didn’t plan that much attention to that first listen! I am glad that I held out to write one for this. I think I prefer this one than Wildfire. I came out with more favorites than the other, so that’s a plus!

So what do you think of Rachel Platten’s new album “Waves”? Do you have any favorites yet? 

snowflake

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Favorite Biopics!

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Hello!

I’ve got another movie list for you today! This one kind of rivals the post I wrote about musicals a few months ago. I like a LOT of biographical films and it’s something that I’m always looking for if my documentaries are getting a little low. I have run out of both genres at the same time, it was a very sad day when that happened! I don’t recommend doing that!

I tried taking out all of the biopics I saw as miniseries on different networks like History and Lifetime because I figured that they’d take over this list and as I was busy searching for my favorites I did realize that I was right, I’ve seen quite a bit! So this is a list of big films that there were released from 2001 to 2016. Don’t freak out too much on me please, I’ll only discuss ten films but I will say there a lot of others that I’ve seen that also deserve to be on here too, but I only wanted to talk ten so I apologize.

Bride Of The Wind – 2001 starring Sarah Wynter, Jonathan Pryce, and Vincent Perez

This was one of the most recent biopic films I’ve watched, I think I saw it back in early September – from July to October I was in a big movie mood where I even broke one of my own rules and watched movies beyond 1999 and I rarely do that!

Anyways, this is film about the woman and composer Alma Mahler, as she marries three times. She was first married to the older Jewish composer and conductor Gustav Mahler, when their youngest died at the age of two and she went away because she had a break down and met her second husband Walter Gropius, there she had an affair with a painter by the name of Oskar Kokoschka who painted her as his muse and one of those paintings was used as the title of the film itself, The Bride Of The Wind. Her third husband was the writer Franz Werfel.

The story is very interesting, although it does portray Alma as this spoiled and selfish woman throughout the film. It was basically the only thing I honestly hated about it, although it could have been very true. Gustav makes her give up composing while they’re married and I would be bored with myself if I had nannies taking care of my children. Other than that, I thought it was a good film. I’ll never be able to see the High Sparrow the same, but you know!

Ray – 2004 starring Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington

Ray will always be a favorite of mine. I actually saw this while I was in school and of course, we had to skip the drug using scenes but I always found it absolutely heartbreaking whenever Ray’s mother forces her young son to try to find her on his own after he becomes blind. And the fact that he blames himself for the death of his younger brother too. I have to prepare myself for those scenes because I know I will start bawling my eyes if I’m not too careful.

The first time I watched this, I wasn’t paying too much attention of great castings until I saw Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles. I thought it was the best decision ever! You literally thought this was the son of Ray Charles or something because he just mirrored him. This was also my second film I ever watched with Kerry Washington in it, before she was made Olivia Pope in Scandal. I thought she also did a great job of bringing Ray’s first wife to life too.

Marie Antoinette – 2006 starring Kirsten Dunst, Jason Schwartzman, Rip Torn, and Rose Bryne

This was my first ever historical biopic I ever watched and I was fairly early in my teens when I watched it too. I never saw it in school, this was a film I watched on TV but don’t ask me whether or not it had commercials included with it because I don’t remember. I do know was after I saw it, I was obsessed with the fashion of the time of the real Dauphine and then Queen of France, Marie Antoinette; later on I became obsessed with French pastries after seeing Marie’s 21st birthday scene.

You get a real sense of Marie’s troubles of conceiving a child with her husband when her mother and ambassadors talk about it in practically every other scene. All that stress doesn’t work well with trying to having a baby, nor does it help if Louis, the Dauphin of France wasn’t interested either. Of course, when it came to producing an heir to the throne, it’s always the wives fault. Never the men!

Public Enemies – 2009 starring Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, and Marion Cotillard

Yes, I’m talking about Public Enemies again! I told you, at the time I was obsessed with it before and after it came out.

I’ve always wondered why in the world I wanted to watch this movie so much, because beforehand I wasn’t really interested in the 1920-30’s crime wave, but then once I got into John Dillinger’s story, I somehow got into Bonnie and Clyde afterwards so I’ve been trying to rack my brain for the answer in the last several years! I do have a theory though, maybe it was because John Dillinger was a Hoosier native, because once I found out that piece of information I just searched for anything I could find, so in other words I screwed myself of how the movie would end in a way.

Side note: I totally forgot Christian Bale was in it! I was doing the list and he popped up on the credits and I was like, yeah that makes sense! Oops!

The Runaways – 2011 starring Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning

I do remember how I got into this movie. When they were doing promo for the Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 Jimmy Kimmel had invited the entire cast to be on the show and he had mentioned that both Kristen and Dakota were doing this film together about the 70’s all female rock band The Runaways.

Once it finally came out, I actually had mom rent it for me and I’ve been obsessed with her ever since! I think Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett was a very good choice as she’s a little naturally awkwardly shy but passionate too and you get that right away. I’m not too familiar with the real story of the ladies of the band and their rise to fame, but I thought it was interesting all the way around.

The Theory of Everything – 2014 starring Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, and David Twelis

If you are a long time reader, you already know of my thoughts and opinions about this movie, but for those of you who don’t. It is one of my favorite biopics ever! I think everybody who was involved in making this story come alive was amazing!

I have to say  what I said in my What’s The Point Of Acting post, that Eddie Redmayne is only a good choice because they needed to show the progress of Stephan’s condition from the start to the present. At the start of it, you get little hints of it showing up in the way he picks up things and definitely in the dance scene, where his hand is awkwardly shaped in her hand.

As the story goes on, you also start to see the dynamic change of narrative of the characters. The movie is about Stephan and his first wife Jane’s relationship and how she respected his wishes to continue living and proving his theories in the scientific world. So I have to give Felicity Jones as much credit as I do with Eddie in her role of Jane Hawking too.

Straight Outta Compton – 2014 starring Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, and O’Shea Jackson Jr.

I always have a soft spot for musical biopics, and apparently I still have a thing for 80’s rap music. That’s what happens when your mother was a teenager in that time, as a child it was a custom to fall in love with that kind of music as it wasn’t until I was about seven or eight when I started listening to music and my tastes flourished. She had a LOT of great rap music at one point, just don’t ask me what she listens to now because it’s definitely not this.

It took me a bit to finally watch the movie. I felt like I had to wait a whole year because there was so much hype behind it. When it landed on HBO I was very happy, but I still can’t believe it came out in 2014, I thought it was like last year! I can’t keep anything straight anymore! I also thought the actor who played Ice Cube was a random guy that looked like Ice Cube. Don’t worry, my mom set me straight after I finished with the film that he was his son and it totally makes so much sense now!

The Danish Girl – 2015 starring Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander

Yes, I have two movies that star Eddie Redmayne on this list. This was another I had to wait a bit to see as well because from all of the hype for it.

I had fun trying to figure out information for this one, because it’s loosely based off the real Danish girl: Lili Elbe, the first person to have sex reassessment surgery in 1930. The film was about her as a male coming to terms with her women-ly side as Lili, it was also about her relationship with her wife Gerda Gottlieb throughout the process of transitioning. I thought it was a beautiful movie!

I Saw The Light – 2015 starring Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth Olsen

I’m still shocked I decided to watch this as I’m not into country music. I do have my tendencies every once in a while, but like I said with talking about Straight Outta Compton, I have a weakness for music biopics. I mean, I do have three of them on this list alone!

I had some issues with Tom Hiddleston playing Hank Williams, mostly because Tom is a British actor but I thought overall he did pretty good. This is another artist that I don’t know much about, but I do know the story of how he died though, so I kind of went into willing and came out with a new respect for this person. You know the crazy part is, I actually recognized quite a few of these songs and I’m pretty sure dad’s only watched it once! He’s the old country music fan compared to my sister who mostly goes for the younger ones (plus Tim McGraw but he never ages!).

Jackie – 2016 starring Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard

This is the most recent movie I’ve seen, I actually watched it back in September or early October.

I still watch reruns of anything about the Kennady’s on TV. I find that entire family so interesting! I’ve always thought of Jackie Kennady as a strong woman before I saw this film, like how was judged for the fact on how much money she spent on clothes as she loved French designers. The woman lost two of her children, three as John Kennady Jr. died in 1999 as caused by a plane crash with his wife Carolyn. Anyways, I thought Natalie Portman did a fantastic job in bringing this strong women to live again for the younger generations. Although, the story of Jackie is different than you’d expect as it’s about the after how Jackie acted after the assassination of her husband in Dallas, Texas in 1963.

What are your favorite biographical movies? Have you seen any of the films listed above?

snowflake

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Album Review: “Notorious” by Adelitas Way

21767958_10154764120570966_6708122785896192437_nBack in 2014, I was recommended the Las Vegas native band Adelitas Way from a friend, she told me that I would love the crap out of their music, but unbeknownst to her I had already started hearing their music on one of my music channels on my TV but it was nice for somebody else to send you new music. That’s one of my favorite things about music is that you can send people either a couple different singles or a whole album to a person and you see whether or not they liked it. Sometimes they don’t always appericate the same music choices but it is nice when they surprise you and they end up loving it in the end!

The band consists of Rick DeJesus on lead vocals, Tre Stafford on drums and Andrew Cushing on bass. Unfortunately, I don’t like every single or album that Adelitas Way has released but I’ve been a little pumped for the newest album, Notorious that was released last month. I’m a bit behind on my album reviews and have collected about four others that I need to make a jump on, but I wanted to do this one first!

The album starts with the title track that was released earlier this year and I’ve been loving it! Everytime it comes on, it makes me so happy! I love the powerful and almost motivational tone and way of the lyrics. I feel like if this was out when I was in school, this would probably be my anthem! Technically, it works now as an adult because I am notorious for certain things. My feet are kind of legendary so I’m mainly notorious for having great foot writing amongst other things too. Anyways, it’s a great song! The second track is “Ready For War (Pray For Peace” and I love this song, I’m in the middle of doing NaNoWriMo so this goes with that and what kind of story I’m writing too! I like the fact that the lyrics are so meaty, but yet the music itself is kind of low. It’s not too heavy and powerful, they’re allowing the lyrics do that instead.

Third is “Trapped” and I really liked the low, bass-y sound it opens to. As much as I love drummers, bass guitarists are pretty rad too! I love Rick too, he can create some good songs and I love the story telling in this one. You can see everything unfolding with each verse. It also has a good meaning too, nobody wants to go back where they feel trapped. I definitely don’t want to either! Next song is “Tell Me” and this was released as a single back in December and I kind of forgot about it. Oops! I do love that though, it’s a nice “ballad” it’s slow, but it’s still upbeat musically so I don’t necessarily know how to categorize it. I also think it’s a very sweet too. So maybe that’s another reason why I want to count it as a ballad too.

We have “I Want You” now and I was torn between wanting it to be dirty but yet sweet too. It was literally split right down the middle of how I figured it would go! Once the beat kicked in, I knew it was going to be dirty rock song that I have a love and hate relationship with, but I do love it! Despite the fact that it has a nasty undertone, the music alone is amazing! I’m kind of glad it ended up like this instead. Sixth song is “You’re Not The Holy One” and once I saw the title, I was really intriguted! I love these types of songs that could have a religious vibe to it, I think they’re interesting! I thought the song as a whole was freaking cool! It kind of has this acoustic sound to it at first before it explodes to the chorus and you can hear the full band together. I also love the orchestra in the background, it gives it a bit of an edge to it. I think it could be a favorite of mine!

These are the last three songs of the album. Yup, the whole thing is only nine tracks but they’re all so good that you kind of don’t care until you realize that there’s only nine. They do have four other albums you can look into afterwards though!

Seventh track is “Real World” and I listened to it with headphones and I loved being able to clearly hear the subtle bass in the background. It’s another fast tempo song. It’s good, but it’s not one of my favorites though. After we have “This Goes Out To You” and I feel like I’ve heard this one before, it could’ve been played on the radio but it’s slower. Remember how I said the other one was a “ballad” this one is definitely a ballad. It could be a great wedding song actually! Question, has Adelitas Way released this song already or is it just me losing it? I swore this has a more upbeat version too? Send me a comment to set me straight please! The last song is called “Vibes” and I had some good vibes when it started, kind of dirty but dreamy at the same time. It’s another good one!

The album is a whole is good, really good! It’s been a while that I’ve actually heard a full album by these guys and you’re probably thinking I only wanted to review this because it was so short. I mean, I’m not going to lie, it was one of the reasons but I do enjoy listening to the band and their music so bottom line, that was my main reason for writing this review!

Are you a fan of Adelitas Way? Have you heard of Notorious yet? Or have a favorite album? Let me know!

snowflake

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October Playlist

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Howdy!

Today I’m back with another monthly playlist.

You’re probably wondering why I’m a week early, it’s actually a long story but I decided to give myself a week off the last week of October to the beginning of November–including my birthday! So I wrote and scheduled this a week ahead of time to cut me some slack!

I haven’t been listening to my Spotify lately, just mostly my iPod. I’ve also been around my sister a l0t this month so that kind of gives some rap songs that I don’t normally hear or talk about on here. So my list of music is a little bit different. I’ve also had different songs stuck in my head too, I’m hoping you’ll like this little list and as always at the bottom I’ve shared my real playlist for anyone who wants more to check out!

Ride On – Celtic Woman
Strong – London Grammar
Walk Beside Me – Celtic Woman
Adrenalize – In This Moment
The Truth Beneath The Rose – Within Temptation
Wild For The Night – A$AP Rocky
The Man – Ed Sheeran
Candy Paint – Post Malone
Bodek Yellow – Cardi B
Happier – Ed Sheeran

Here is my full Spotify playlist for October if you’d like to listen to all of the songs I’ve enjoyed this past month!

snowflake

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Top 5 Crushes | MEN

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Howdy!

Now we’re back with the second round of celebrity crushes and this time it’s all about the men! If you didn’t last week’s post, that’s all right because I will explain it again. Choosing only five guys is very difficult compared to the ladies; at least with there, I have a good top 5 and top 10 list whereas on the male side it just depends on my mood and whatever I have watched or listened to throughout the day.

There were a few times where I kept thinking of putting the Skarsgard, Hemsworth and Leto brothers on the list and have them be counted as one, but the more I thought about it, it just seemed too weird so I didn’t add any of them! So figuring out a definite list was even harder to do, but I did promise more singers on this one because I seem to be more attractive to male singers than female. I don’t know why though because I can relate to their lyrics and feelings more.

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Tom Hardy – British

As I’ve said above, this was a difficult thing to put together but I do have to say that even if I couldn’t put down five guys, I could have just done a whole post about Tom Hardy. I know a lot of people who probably wouldn’t had mind that at all honestly!

My dad and I have seen a lot of his movies. For at least four months straight, we were even on exactly how many films we’d seen with him in it: 11, but now that my dad has seen Legend he is now beating me at the moment! However I feel like it shouldn’t count because he said that the movie itself was “good” but he didn’t like all of the British accents. I disagree with that statement, I think British accents are sexy as hell, however I do believe Irish accents are better, sorry not sorry! If Tom Hardy has a film where he’s speaking in a full on Irish accent send it my way please! Thank you!

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Johnny Depp – American

Yeah, I’m saying it! Johnny Depp is hot. However, I got on the “Depp train” later in life. Apparently watching had a triple duty and I didn’t realize it until later. Don’t worry even I’m disappointed in myself I didn’t cave in before!

In my defense though, the movie trailers I was seeing him in at the time were the Pirates Of The Caribbean and I don’t like him in those types of films where his face is covered up. It took me about four years just get myself to feel comfortable to watch Alice In Wonderland because I literally had to keep telling myself “Johnny Depp is underneath all of that make up” over and over again! I can’t watch his films from the late 90’s and early 00’s unfortunately, because I find him more gorgeous as he ages. I’m saying that in a good way, don’t get ahold of me Stephanie! 😀

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Luke Evans – Welsh

I know, I know, Luke is gay but that does not mean that I am comfortable with giving him up so quickly! Funnily enough as I was going through my Pinterest board full of amazingly hot men it was another gay man that reminded me about Luke! So I knew I have to add him onto this list and doesn’t he count for a singer too? I mean, he did play Gaston?

I found Luke later on in life too. You can actually than my Uncle David as he took Kristi, Chris, Blondie and I to see Fast Five when it was still in theaters and this was how Kristi and I were first introduced to him. We literally left drooling over him and Paul Walker! I have to add Michelle Rodeguiez, Elsa Pataky, and Gal Gadot onto that statement as well. Anyways, ever since I’ve been trying to watch as many films as I can with him in it, except for The Raven I did try to watch it, but I have never been able to finish it.

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Oliver “Oli” Skyes – British

Oli Sykes! I made up a rule when I started my rock/heavy metal phase in 2009, I would not look up any of the bands I listened to until I had fallen in love with at least five songs or more, which seems like a good idea considering I was familiar with the gothic scene of that time so I just wanted to give myself some space and learn to love what I was hearing, not what I was seeing on my screen!

Bring Me The Horizon was one of those five original bands that took me a good three years to finally get into fully and then I realized how freaking hot rockers covered in tattoos from head to toe were and then also thanks to Oli I began to enjoy neck tattoos and I know if I ever brought a guy home with a giant neck tat my dad would kill me or him!

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Alexander Ludwig – Canadian

I remember watching the first Hunger Games film and absolutely hating the character Cato, he was a cocky son of a bitch and I was kind of happy in a way that he died at the end! Again, sorry not sorry! I also thought Alexander looked really, really young in that film. He looked like a teenager, which for any actor in their early twenties can be a plus in a way, but then thanks to my father and I began to back track to my original thoughts of the fact he was that cute.

When Alexander is on Vikings, he has a growing beard and he looks so much older and like he’s like two years younger than me! When he appears on the later part of season one he still looks pretty young but then as I’ve seen on YouTube, he looks more grown up and really good looking! I just hope he isn’t as cocky because that would be a big turn off honestly!

On my other post I included a few more people and I figured I’d continue on with that tradition and say Henry Cavill, Theo James, Christian Bale, Brantley Gilbert, Charlie Hunnam, Ian Somerhalder, David Boreanaz, G-Eazy, Will Smith, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. I really hope you’ve enjoyed these posts!

What are some of your male celebrity crushes? Do you have a certain type you go for? Let me know!

snowflake

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Album Review: “The Stories We Tell Ourselves” by Nothing More

18766020_10155371710959287_3595486704059865356_nWhen I decided to review this album by the band Nothing More, I just figured it would be with the standard 12 track setlist and I’d get through it fine and dandy. Well, the day it came out and I saw the exact amount of songs it actually included almost talked me out of it. The only reason why I voted against myself is because I wanted to listen to it and not just hear the singles throughout the rest of the year and beginning of 2018 on the radio, so I figured I would suck it up and do the review no matter what!

The alternative metal band Nothing More has been creating music since 2004. The members are Johnny Hawkins, Mark Vollelunga, Daniel Oliver, and Ben Anderson. They had released two albums but they have been growing in popularity after the release of their hit “This Is The Time (Ballast)” in 2014 and I really began to keep an eye out for their newer stuff but I haven’t actually listened to the other albums. This is my first one!

Everybody knows how much I like little introductions or skits as they’ve been called in the past. Several artists and bands put them in front of a song or batch of songs to start a certain theme. Swedish singer Tove Lo has done this before, especially on her first record “Queen Of The Clouds” so I find it very interesting whenever metal and rock bands do the same thing, it kind of gives the album a different edge to it. So we’re starting with the first intro track called, “Ambition, Destruction” which sounds interesting doesn’t it? It’s very static-y and you can hear a faint scream sort of build before it stops and the actual first song starts and this is “Do You Really Want It?” and I really like the lyrics and meaning of it. It’s true, if we really want to change something we have to do something about it. It has a great sound, very heavy and could be a great workout song! Second track is “Convict, Divide” and you can hear an older men speaking and it sounds like an old tape of a lecture. After we begin the second song “Let ’em Burn” and it has the same tone of the skit playing before, the beat itself is pretty tame despite the very rushed vibe you have before the choruses, but I like it.

Third song is “Ripping Me Apart” and this has a true rock and roll feel to it in the beginning, I loved the gritty guitar strumming through my headphones. It’s nothing but that and Johnny’s vocals in the first parts of the verse before it breaks and the rest of the band joins in, this continues for the second verse as well! I like it, it’s smooth and explosive at the same time! I think it could be one of my favorites!  And next is “Don’t Stop” a song that came out with another track in early June, I don’t think this one has been played as much as the other but I like it just as much! I like the electronica vibe it gives off in the beginning, very much an alternative angle that I love a lot! I also like hearing the bass guitar, sometimes it can be hard to spot in the fast paced songs that we all love so it’s nice to clearly hear it every once in a while! “Funny Little Creatures” is just a funny thing to say out loud, but when I first saw it I had figured out the meaning of it. It’s playing on the idea of our demons and running away from them or so I got when listening to it. I like the lightness of the sound, it’s not too chaotic but it spiral feeling you get while you listen to it. It’s good!

Now we’re back on the skit train with “React, Respond” and again, you hear this static-y voice and this old man is back. This is actually longer than the previous ones, so you have the lecturer and the soft music in the background. It’s kind of interesting to hear this piece together. Once it’s over, you have the next song and it’s called “The Great Divorce” and again, it has a great alternative sound that I feel like I haven’t heard much in this album. It’s soft like the skit, but not as quiet. Surprisingly, I go back and forth whether I like it, because I just like the softer moments and wish it was like that throughout. I really like the section of the bridge, it’s very echo-y and almost dreamlike, it does build in tempo but it’s not annoying. So I’m pretty conflicted by it really. Next is “Still In Love” which sounds about right, considering titles alone. This also has a calming beginning, like you’re drifting out in the sky. I have the weirdest metaphors sometimes! I like this though, it’s very sweet. It has a nice sound, mellow and almost pop-rock. How many people will freak out that I just said that?

We have another skit called, “Alone, Together” and after the last one I’m glad it has a softer tone. I like the melancholy sound of the orchestra in the background, but considering what is after it is the perfect balance. We have “Go To War” now and it has been everybody’s new favorite (mine included!) and it’s heavy and commending. Ahh, it’s the perfect rock song honestly! Next is “Just Say When” and it’s surprisingly a ballad. You have the acoustic guitar and string sections coming in clear as day and it’s actually very pretty; totally not what I was expecting to hear after such a banger of a song before. We move on to “Accept, Disconnect” and we have another beautiful guitar, just strumming by itself and I just liked the “alone-ness” vibe you have of Mark but then towards the end you have that same lecturer speaking but it’s faint and goes in and out, before the next track starts up. “Who We Are” has become another favorite of mine. The moment this song was put up on Spotify, I haven’t stopped listening to it. I like the meaning of it a little more, I think it’s the perfect finish to all of these skits.

We’re on the last ones, starting with “Tunnels” and this was another shocker as it’s soft but the tempo has more of a pop-rock feel to it. Honestly, I didn’t really like it. I just didn’t mesh well with it like I figured I would because it’s a little bit boring. Next is our last skit of the album, called “End; Begin” and I thought seemed interesting in a way, because this could also be a metaphor for something else entirely, but I could be playing into the title a little bit. It has the previous song faintly turning into a game boy tune. Now that I think about it, that sounds appropriate for this type of thing but again we have that same dude speaking. I’d love to know if I’m right and it’s Sigmund Frued but I could be wrong. Anyways, the last song is “Fadein, Fadeout” and it’s the longest song out of the whole thing, over six minutes long. It’s pretty tame, not at all like I figured, but then again I actually like the lyrics. What is with me today? The words saved it I think; honestly though it is good all around so I don’t think it needed saving.

This album was very good. I liked the stories in the lyrics themselves. I was very surprised but also very proud of myself for getting through the entire album. I really committed to it, but honestly I just wanted to hear what the next one sounded and that actually helps the reviewing process! I definitely don’t want to do another deluxe like album again, but if they are as good as this, I might make an exception!

What do you think of Nothing More’s new album “The Stories We Tell Ourselves”? Do you have any favorite songs? Let me know!

snowflake

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EP Review: “The Solace System” by Epica

21192247_10154558066352924_6742503111489932212_nI love Epica. If you’ve never heard of them, they’re a symphonic metal band hailing from The Netherlands, one of my favorite places to find great music especially in this subgenre! There’s six members of the band: Coen on keys, Ariën on drums, Rob plays bass, Issac plays rhythm guitar while Mark plays lead and does the harsh vocals and Simone is the main vocalist of the band.

They are one of those bands that I have a really hard time getting interested into after so long. I loved their 2014 album The Quantum Enigma and I will even go onto saying that it’s one of my favorite albums of all time! However, this was the only album I’ve managed to like from start to finish. When their recent record The Holographic Principle came out in 2016, I wasn’t able to use my Spotify so there were a lot of albums that came out in that timeline that I never got to listen to.

So let’s start on this…

The first song is the title track “The Solace System” and they have a very interesting music video for this song on their YouTube channel. I was glad that I checked it out because I didn’t even know they were even releasing an EP! I was expecting the songs to be in the same themes as their previous album, they seem a bit outlandish but it’s really not bad. I love the shared parts between Mark and his growl-y voice to the choir in the background in the verses. Simone’s voice seems very tamed in this song but I kind of like it though. It’s very heavy though, you hear the guitars and metal aspect of it a lot stronger than the more symphonic sounds. For any skeptics out there, you could actually convert using this song! Next is “Fight Your Demons” and anytime you have this kind of title, I’m always hoping for a heavier type of track and thankfully you get that, the introduction was enough for me! You know that I don’t always follow the lyrics in the beginning but I really like the meaning in this song.

Third is “Architect Of Light” and I’ve seen a lot of praise for this track. The symphonic metal community is basically in love with it, which makes things more interesting! I really love the title so we’re getting there! I absolutely love the intro, those horns sound so cool! I am a bit speechless. The other songs were metal based whereas this one allows the orchestra to shine. It’s powerful but it still has those gritty moments brought by Mark’s voice. It’s glorious! It’s definitely a favorite but now we have to move on to “Wheel Of Destiny” and we have another very fast paced song, which in a way goes with the title well! I like Simone’s low voice in the verses. I really like it a lot. So there’s another favorite in the making!

The last two songs start with “Immortal Melancholy” and have I said how much I love these titles? They’re so mysterious and I really like not knowing how each song may sound until it actually plays.  It makes things interesting! I’m glad they put a slower song on this, I think their music is pretty brutal but I do love their softer ones just the same because it’s a nice balance to have, plus Simone always does a fantastic job of controlling her voice in the ballads. It’s very beautiful and not what you’d really except from a heavy metal band. Last one is “Decoded Poetry” and once again, brilliant title! We’re back to the normal sound of Epica, and it seems that it’s only Simone on vocals but thankfully towards the end Mark does make an appearance which made me really happy! There’s a small section that is just beautiful, The band stops playing and all you hear is a choir and the orchestra and it’s a beautiful piece and then all of a sudden, the guitars come in harder than ever and I really love these songs! They’re always so fun for the listener because it’s so many elements at once. It’s great!

I really liked this considering I’ve only heard about three songs of their previous album. Now the real question is, am I inspired enough to go back and listen to it? Not yet, but I’ll never really put off my radar forever because I know one day I’ll be in a big Epica mood and will want to discover new songs from their rooster.

What do you think of Epica’s new EP? Have you heard of any new symphonic metal bands lately? Let me know please!

snowflake

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