Album Review: “Everyday Is Christmas” by Sia

22815397_10155910264913408_3424297924083747063_nI am finally starting on my Christmas album reviews! Originally, I had an idea of doubling up the amount of music. I even made up two of the same poll for Facebook and Twitter and apparently everybody likes Christmas music because they won by a landslide! Unfortunately, I was dealing with some things, mostly worried about if I had enough time to get all six reviews up and ready for you. So, I scratched that idea and went with my normal routine of three brand new Christmas albums for you instead. I apologize for the voters that looked forward to it, but it’s now something to possibly look into for next year’s blogmas!

The Australian singer-songwriter Sia recently released her first ever holiday album to the world back at the end of October! I don’t necessarily follow her anywhere, so when I found it on Spotify a while back, I knew it would probably find its way to my Thursday lineup! As far as I know, it’s all Sia, there’s no featured singers listed, but there are 10 festive songs on the album itself, so let’s have some fun!

The first song is “Santa’s Coming For Us” and first off, I want to say I love her unique voice. It’s not really raspy, because she can hit some legendary notes! What I like to call it, is a happy voice, because you instantly get kind of cheerful while listening to her music. So, she really has the perfect Christmas music type of voice! Anyways, the beginning is sort of slow and quiet, which I really liked but what I really enjoyed was this like tropical feeling, almost reggae sound coming through my speakers! It wasn’t your everyday Christmas song and that’s what I love about reviewing these albums the most! Now as I say that, we have a very traditional take to a festive song with “Candy Cane Lane”. There’s a nice whimsical feel to it and it was really hard to stop dancing and type, so I thought that was a good sign!

Third is “Snowman” and I’ll be honest, I really don’t think I’ve made a snowman before. I’ve thrown a small, puny snowball at my mom once while coming down the ramp, but I’m pretty sure it all landed on me instead. Anyways, the song itself has a real jazz-y feel to it. My papaw would have been semi proud of me for that. Generally I thought it would be a lively type of song, but it’s not, you can’t help swaying back and forth in the darkness of night whenever it comes on. The next is something similar as it’s called, “Snowflake” and I really liked the piano introduction. The jazz atmosphere is there, but it’s not as prominent as the previous song. One word to describe it: romantic. If snow can actually do it, some people would disagree with me here.

We move on with “Ho Ho Ho” and I am happy that this has an adult themed lyrics in it, because I really didn’t know how this was going to call when I first saw this on the track list! Now you’re probably wondering how this was made for the adults in mind? Well, for starters, Sia literally lists different alcohols in the verses. If anybody out there watches The Kitchen on Saturdays via the Food Network channel, do you think this is like GZ’s theme song for the segment “Kitchen Cocktail”? It’s the first thing that popped into my mind when I heard it! The sixth song is “Puppies Are Forever” and I’m not going to lie, I was a bit insulted… what about the cats? They love Christmas, I mean they love destroying the decorated trees every year so they must love it too! Anyways, this is so freaking cute! We’ve all had these moments with any baby animals–both domestic and exotic! You just want to take them home every single time and when you can’t, you know you’re not the only one leaving with a broken heart

“Sunshine” is on now and I thought this was interesting, since you don’t normally see anything about the sun in a holiday themed album, but I was open to it though! This was pretty mellow, it was just upbeat enough to capture the likeness of sunshine, at least to my eyes! I was really surprised about how much I would end up liking it. Next there’s “Underneath The Mistletoe’ and if you follow me on Twitter, I’ve already changed my name on there to “Mistletoe Megz” so I’m fully in tune with Christmastime. I was instantly grateful that this was much softer, I really do gravitate towards her ballads because I just want to hear her slow down and become this gentle giant in the music industry.

We are at the final songs, beginning with the title track “Everyday Is Christmas” and again, we have this sort of melancholy and jazz-y type of beat. I think I like this one compared to the other one I listened to earlier. This has both of the classic jazz and bluesy track mixed with a slow pop ballad. It’s a nice medium between generations! And finally, we stop with “Underneath The Christmas Lights” and this is stripped down to its core with this lonely piano and I really love it, mostly because of the way we started this journey, it was such on a high note–no pun intended–and then it just slowly fades away, kind of like at the end of Christmas day.

Have you listened to Sia’s first Christmas album? If you did, what were some of your thoughts about it?

snowflake

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Album Review: “Dragon Mentality” by Elley Duhé

review2017If anybody has heard Zedd’s new single “Happy Now” then you might be a little familiar with the artist I’ll be talking about today. Elley Duhé is a new American artist and she has this cute, little happy (no pun intended) voice that does instantly brighten you up after hearing it for the first time.

Elley released her first album in late October, and it’s called “Dragon Mentality” and as I am really curious to know how she came up with it, I think the cover itself is absolutely beautiful! The album is again, another short list of tracks. I am really hating the fact that record companies are releasing albums as an extended play standard number of songs, but I guess to an artist that’s worked their asses to get there at that moment, it didn’t matter how many would actually make it to the end result. It irritates me of course, but I can’t do anything about it!

 So, “Lost My Mind” has a slow start, but I liked that kind of introduction to any album but for a new artist, it’s important to have a mild opening to not freak out the listener. This was an ideal opener, as it was soulful but had a really good pop-y quality and you could hear a sassy-ness to her voice in this as well. Second is, “Fever” and I thought the usage of this exotic type of sound throughout was really fun! It doesn’t sound like the normal pop song that you hear on the radio and that’s what I loved the most about it.

We move on to a track called “Way Down Low” and it’s a fast song, at least the beat is as it has this electronica mixed with a pop sound going on. The tempo is really well balanced since she sings pretty quick, the actual speed of the beat itself is actually kind of slow in places, so it was cool to see this happening and not feel like it was chaotic in the process. Next there’s “Counterfeit” and her voice is a bit sassy but I liked it because the song was a little gritty and it needed that extra edge to it. And then there’s “$$$$” and this is another song with an unique beat, I feel like it would be perfect for anyone dancing the Argentine Tango or Paso Doble on Dancing With The Stars because the beat is just gorgeous and dare I say, seductive in every aspect. I really love that violin solo a lot. It just brings that sex appeal to it. I actually wasn’t going to review this at all. I had deleted it off of my Spotify and everything, but then a couple of days later I was watching music video and I ultimately decided I needed to bring it back.

The sixth song is “Starz” and this is sort of slower and I’m so kind there’s at least one of these types of songs on this because everybody needs a break of those heartier beats. This has a soft appeal that a lot of people could get behind on it. However, I feel like she has read my mind over the years and the violin is pretty prominent in the beat, and instead of giving it a sexy vibe, it actually helps with the somber beat. Lastly, we have “Savior” and we go back to the upbeat, kind of hip hop type of sound; although it isn’t exactly in your face as the others. I’m glad her bright voice is loud and the tempo is sort of slow. It’s a good way to end this whole journey.

Honestly, this whole thing was haunting me a bit, because I feel like I talk a lot about the famous musicians. I don’t really devote my time and space on my blog for new artists, so maybe that can be something I can do for 2019! I’m really glad I decided to listen to this album. I thought it was really different then the regular pop artists come up with, and I liked the fact that I felt like everything that I was hearing was a real instrument. That’s the one thing I hate about pop music, sounds can be altered so much that you really end up craving real sounds again.

Have you listened to Elley Duhé’s first album “Dragon Mentality” yet? If you have, what were some of your thoughts about it? I’d really like to see what you liked or didn’t care for for this?

snowflake

November Playlist

Untitled

Howdy!

I think November was really good for music; it’s a month where you have the most coming out for the year before it all basically disappears for next month. I don’t honestly like this layout because I’ve always been a lover of getting music for Christmas, I mean from the time I was six years old til about two years ago, I was asking for more music, whether it came from buying individual songs on iTunes or a physical CD to play on my stereo!

Here are the Top 10 songs I’ve been loving lately!

Expectations by Lauren Jauregui
Goodbye by David Guetta featuring Jason Derulo and Nicki Minaj
Promises by Calvin Harris featuring Sam Smith
$$$$ by Elley Duhe
Ruin My Life by Zara Larsson
Who Are You by RAIGN
Survive by Don Diablo featuring Emeli Sande and Gucci Mane
Geek’d Up by Bhad Bhaddie featuring Lil Baby
No Stylist by French Montana featuring Drake
Swizzmontana by Swizz Beatz featuring French Montana

I’ve been listening to my YouTube mix for the past three weeks so I had to really dig deep to remember what I’ve been listening to lately. I still think this is a good playlist though! A lot of different beats and vocals here; one thing I’m seeing is that I’ve been loving a lot of EDM based songs this month! Don’t forget on Saturday, around noon on both Facebook and Twitter, I will be posting FIVE more songs that I’ve been loving in November too!

One thing that I wanted to let you know, is that I will be changing up my “Best Of” posts that I do at the end of December. Those posts are always really annoying to write and it’s really my fault because I don’t keep a list of favorites throughout the year. Last time I told myself that I wouldn’t be doing those types of posts again, so I have decided to do a Top 5 favorite songs and movies until the first week of 2019! If you want to check those out, they will be posted on Wednesday and Friday on my blog’s Facebook page! I have to say, listing anything in a top five is difficult, but when it’s for the whole year is even worse!

As far as thinking ahead for what’s to come on here for December, I can’t really answer that question. I mean, I don’t even know and I’m only saying that because it might be a hectic month anyways. We’ve doing something that’s fairly big right now and so, we’re trying to get everything finished and so, my blog might have to be put on the back burner for a week or so. Once everything is good again, you’ll finally get to see the finish product and of course, my regular blogging schedule will resume too.

Here were some of the reviews I did for this month as well!

The Fire Within by Jennifer Thomas | Disconnected by No Triffak | Suncity by Khalid | Honey by Robyn | Cinematic Songs Vol. 5 by Tommee Profitt

What have you been listening to?

snowflake

Album Review: “Cinematic Songs Vol. 5” by Tommee Profitt

45278525_2277694908938411_4769028606263296000_nWe’re back with another batch of cinematic songs by record producer Tommee Profitt! I was so excited to hear that we would be getting another album, especially the fact that it would come out the day after my birthday! Unfortunately, I had to wait over two weeks to finally listen to it because I’ve had some issues lately, but it’s only added the fuel to the fire that I need to listen and review this for all of us!

If you’ve never listened to a Tommee Profitt cinematic volume before, he usually has close to 12-13 songs in some type of epic sound. So, you might have these powerful, in your face tracks that everybody seems to go for immediately, but he’s also started to come out of his shell and experiment with other genres and tempos too. The majority of them with independent, based in Nashville artists of various genres. For this one, we have six “veterans” coming back for this collection along with a few newcomers too. Tommee also likes to include a couple of instrumentals to the layout as well and I think it always give the album an edge to the whole thing.

The first track we have is “Heroes Rise” and it has Sam Tinnesz on it. I really love Sam’s soulful voice against these hefty beats. For this, I really like the slow build to the whole song. Despite having a strong ending, it’s actually pretty gentle and will inspire your inner fighter to come alive. Now for the next song, “You Made Me Do It” can be about anything you want it to be, actually all songs can be about whatever you want, you just have to change your perspective! I am really in love with this one though. It has a sassy sound all around, and I think Ruby Amanfu has a terrific voice to give it that extra edge that it needed to take it over the top! It’s definitely a favorite of mine for sure!

We all know and love Fleurie’s voice, and I’m so glad that she continues to work with Tommee because he always seems to make her sound even more beautiful than the last one. “Can You Feel The Heat Now” was the first song I actually listened to, I was on YouTube listening to my mix and it automatically came on, and since I didn’t recognize it at first, I kind of figured it was probably new. I like the calming piano introduction along with her sweet voice and then all of a sudden, this electric guitar sound would appear and gave it a nice rock-ish vibe. From the moment it starts, you get this feeling that it may not be as good as you originally thought, but what I really liked about it was not knowing what could come next. Would it stay in this tempo? And then towards the end, it does grow but not as grand as we’re used to with an average Fleurie song. Jung Youth is a Christian rapper, that has worked with Tommee before and I really love that we’re hearing a hip hop-cinematic fusion. “Who’s Gonna Stop Me’ is a great workout song to listen to gain that motivation when you need it the most!

For this next song, “Witching Hour” we hear a newcomer by the name of Brooke Griffith. It’s an extremely spooky track when it first starts, which will fit naturally with the paranormal television shows like The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina, Riverdale, and Legacies. The cinematic elements to this song really made it come to life. I just wish it was longer! Our first instrumental is “Dark Conscience” and it really continues the ominous vibe we had going with the previous song, except the original beat is gone. I really like the usage of the horns and violins, because they each have a creepy factor to them. I just feel like a monster is going to be unleashed at the end of it. The seventh track, is “Follow Me” featuring my favorite Ruelle. This has a lively, but cosmic feeling everytime I listen to it. I get a real futuristic sense, and weirdly enough I actually liked it.

Sam Tinnesz comes back with “Far From Home” and it also mentions that it’s the trailer version, so there must be an original somewhere. Even though I’ve never heard of the other one. It’s kind of has a mellow sound to it, but towards the end of the climax, it gets faster and almost louder. I think it’s pretty good! Afterwards we move on to, “Rise Above This” and the singer on this one is Trella. Unfortunately, I was really torn about this because initially I didn’t like her “ahhs” up and down the scales, but the rest isn’t that bad. So, I’m still questioning that one a bit. “I’m A Ruler” is up next and Ruby Amanfu comes back for a second round. She brings that sassy voice again, and what I loved about it is the pop-bluesy sound you get with this. It’s not a song that could really work with a action based film, unless there’s a female-comedy vibe going on.

“Unbreakable” starts the end of the album, with Mike Mains on the vocals. I really adore Mike’s voice as well so I was happy to see him on the tracklist again. The song itself has an awakening kind of vibe going on, and I really like the lyrics with this and I definitely approve of the mellow beat it has with it. It was in your face, but not overwhelming! We have our final instrumental, “Infidels At Bay” and for once we have a makings of a ballad, but it doesn’t really stay like that. I would love to hear at one softer song or ballad with these albums to kind of give the listeners a nice little break. This was a good attempt. Our last song is “A Storm Is Comin” by Liv Ash. I like the thunder rumbles with the fast going piano playing, I thought that was a cool combination. The cinematic part does break through like a storm and it really has a fiery ending. It was just perfect!

 I was really impressed with this, but I’m pretty sure I say that about every volume so far! Oh, I don’t care. Cinematic music in any form makes me really happy and I really love hearing new artists being featured on these songs, that maybe you wouldn’t hear otherwise. If you’ve never heard anything in the cinematic/trailer music world, you should really look into Tommee Profitt’s other four albums! Just go in order, you’ll thank me later!

Have you listened to Tommee Profitt’s new volume of cinematic songs yet? What were some of your thoughts? Before checking this out, had you ever listened to any other composers in the epic music? 

snowflake