Album Review: “Ancient Land” by Celtic Woman

42278081_10156688847302838_3619016091595964416_nIt is two years since I actually reviewed a Celtic Woman release. They did have a Live album come out last fall, but since it was really the songs featured on the “Voices Of Angels” album, I decided to not talk about it in fear of repeating myself. The group has experiences some changes here lately, with Susan McFadden becoming pregnant after the summer, she was replaced with Megan Walsh with the rest of the girls: Máiréad Carlin, Éabha McMahon, and violinist Tara McNeil.

The album “Ancient Land” apparently has 18 tracks, but Spotify only has the standard edition with 16 songs instead, so I will not talk about my thoughts for both “The Enchanted Way” and “Ballroom Of Romance” even though the titles read beautifully. I will try to have the English translation of two songs on the list, they may not be correct as I’m using Google to help me there. Okay, I think that’s everything before we begin the review.

We start off the album with our title track “Ancient Land” and I really love this, as it’s an instrumental with minimal vocals in the background. It sounds so gorgeous, you have that authentic Irish sound with the flute and Tara playing the violin throughout. It has this ancient vibe going through it, and sets the tone for what’s to come with the rest of the songs! Next is the first single, “Homeland” and you finally get to hear all three girls singing together. Eabha starts off with her semi-deep voice as she’s an alto, with Megan has a nice high-pitched voice that doesn’t exactly match Mairead, but I like it that way because they’re all unique with their ranges. The song itself is very light and cheery, and you feel that pride for your homeland–no matter where you’re originally from–deep inside whenever you listen to it.

Third is “Moorlough Shore” and of course, I looked this up because I was unsure about it. Apparently, it’s a love song that originally came out in the late 1800’s. Eabha is the soloist featured on this and the lyrics are in English, but she gives it this sweet vibe that I kind of felt like I was in a trance and got lost in her voice! Yup, that happened! The music itself is very loving, but mysterious which works well Eabha’s beautiful soft voice. We move onto “Follow Me” and it had this slow and quiet introduction, that you wouldn’t think it could turn into this is fun song! The first thing that popped into my mind was the fact that it sounds like “Níl Sé’n Lá” in a way where it is a party song. You can easily dance and if you want to, you can sing along too. These last two tracks are my favorite so far!

“County Down” is next with Mairead as the singer on the track. It is this cute little song, with only her almost child-like voice and a guitar and piano playing together in this gentle way at the start of it. Eventually, you can hear more violins joining in and it’s this nice chill out song, that weirdly enough I like a lot! Afterwards, we have “Love & Honour” and this is absolutely beautiful. It’s another instrumental with Tara highlighting the softer side of Irish music. The music does change towards the end into this powerhouse but it still keeps that enchanting sound that makes you want to walk around deep in the woods somewhere.

This next song is “Mná Na hÉireann” which translates into Women of Ireland. I am happy to see a song like this, basically dedicated to all of the beautiful Irish women out there, in the past, present and future. The whole song is in Gaelic of course, which I think is better to if it was to be in English. Now we move on to another cheery track, “Sive” and I was completely surprised because I knew I recognized the beginning but I was sort of unsure, until I heard Eabha singing and then it dawned on me, as she had done it at their Homecoming Live concert. So the song is actually “Sadhbh Ni Bhruinneallaigh” This time, it features all three girls taking different verses. It still sounds the same way but just cleaner as far as audio goes. “Shenandoah” is next and I was shocked again, as this is an American based song! The most important part is that we finally hear our newest member at front, and Megan sings it so good! I feel like she has a relatable voice, as it doesn’t have that classical quality, but I don’t mean that in a bad way. I feel like it’s a nice country tone for a song like this.

The tenth track is “Long Journey Home” and it is gentle and easy-going. So far, this is the only one that has featured the bagpipes. I had trouble finding the backstory to this one, so if I have any Irish readers out there, do you have any answers for me? I would really appreciate it. Next there’s, “Tara’s Tunes” so it’s a four minute track with only an orchestra and the great Tara McNeil playing her fabulous fiddle in a very fast pace! It is a fun track and it has those good authentic Irish elements too! Now this one, when I wrote out the tracklist after it was posted on Facebook, I was a bit confused if the person who wrote it made a mistake and forgot to correct themselves, but nope it’s correct. “Ae Fond Kiss” is such a mellow sound going all throughout the song. I love the caring nature of this one though. I keep seeing people slow dancing to it in my head.

These are the last four songs off of the album, we have “Faith’s Song” and this is a pretty song, as it’s nice and slow. Celtic Woman creates fantastic slow dance tracks! Megan is at the front of this too, and at first I thought I was listening to Carrie Underwood! She has such an American voice when she sings, this is what I was trying to explain in the beginning where I was talking about her voice compared to Mairead’s. They kind of soundalike, but it has a distinctive drawl in Megan that isn’t shared in Mairead, which again, is totally fine! “Garden Of Eden” is after, and we hear Eabha at the start, and she and the flute that peeks out, are so sweet but it’s still upbeat to dance to with a fairly large crowd as well.

“Be Still” comes in, in this quiet way. Honestly, the whole thing is very soft song, but the only elements are the girls and the male choir in the background. It’s a very short track, but like the saying goes, “great things come in small packages” but honestly, I wanted it to go on a little longer! Our final song is “Going Home” and thankfully, we go back to the lively Irish sound with the pipes in the introduction, but the song starts in this silently way with Mairead and then Eabha and Megan taking over as the tempo expands back to what we heard in the beginning. The bagpipes come back at the end of it, but the song as a whole is really good! If anybody is away from home, whether it’s for school or a job, and you’re really homesick, I don’t necessarily recommend listening to this song.

Well, we are finished and I have to say I really enjoyed this album! I actually liked this one a lot more compared to their previous release. I was never able to truly mesh with it. I feared that “Destiny” would be my only favorite, but I’m glad to say that this quickly another favorite of mine too. What made it better is something that is easily noticed by fans of CW is that, they tend to do newer versions of some of their previous songs, but for this collection seems all new for the fans out there. It is a nice discovery to find out later on. The only one that I knew was “Sive” of course. I am glad they went and recorded that in a studio because it is really good and exciting song to listen to!

Have you listened to Celtic Woman’s brand new album yet? If you have, what were your thoughts? Do you have any favorite(s) that you can list below?

snowflake

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Album Review: “Sign” by RAIGN

40393523_10158372717632837_5296621834853154816_nBack in January, British singer-songwriter RAIGN released her extended play “Born Again” and I put out a review of it on here about a month later. Now I’m back to talk about her debut album that came out in mid-September. It is called “Sign” and even though I kept seeing a couple of singles pop up on the new music tab on Spotify, I did not expect this at all! Despite only really listening to one single before working on this, I didn’t know what I was getting into but I was open to new sounds and some of the familiar stuff that made me fall in love with her music in the first place.

The album itself consists of 12 songs, which is standard for any musician but also with that amount, means you can hear a wider range of her style. I am hoping for an eclectic mix as I continue down the list of tracks. So, let’s start!

We begin with an introduction, “Sign” and it’s an instrumental start to the album. It has a dreamy quality to it as it’s soft but haunting too. I really like hearing the orchestra build up and sound like the second song “Out Of Time”. This song has a completely different tone, as it has a pop-rock sound which wasn’t something that I expected but I actually liked it! It’s something we haven’t heard from her yet and I thought it was perfect to break that barrier so early in the album. Next we have “Who Are You” and it has that familiar mysterious vibe playing throughout it. It’s very powerful but in a way gentle too!

We move on to “God Only Knows” and what I really like about this one was the fact that it started off in this soft way, with only her echo-y but deep voice and a light epic drumming in the background. It was so beautiful to only have those elements, before adding the orchestra back in too. The fourth track “Into Heaven Alone” has a melancholy sound but it does have a rock-y vibe on top of that cinematic beat, it’s not an overwhelming. I liked the uniqueness it gave the song! I feel the next song “Inside Of Me” has this motivational statement to make, as it gave you the strength to get through whatever is bothering you at that moment. The beat itself was strong in terms of matching the emotions and lyrics to the song, but it was also really light too. It was a nice balance.

When we first started the album, we had a nice epic intro with “Sign” but for the sixth track, it is the vocal version of the actual song. It still has this gentleness about it, but now that we are hearing the words along with the ominous ballad of violins, bells and of course Raign’s deep voice. It will take you away into a magical place whenever you listen to it, at least that’s what it did for me. I felt like I was walking in a snow-y, forest wonderland, I love it when music can do that in a matter of three minutes! Next, there’s “Calling” and this has another interesting quality. At first, I thought it was going to continue what we heard in the last song. I’m hearing more pop-y notes in the beat, it still has that cinematic sound in it, but it is very mild so you can hear them both at the same time. It is a cool song.

We are on the last four songs. “Hold On To The Sky” is kind of tame, almost dreamy in a way. One way to explain it, is if you were in a deep amount of water. Your body is weightless so dancing inside is a breeze. If this was a song, this would be it. I’m sorry for the weird metaphor, but that’s what I instantly thought of when it started playing! Next there’s “Find My Own Way” and this has a sexy beat behind it. It keeps you on your toes because it’s a somewhat simple song, but there’s that underling feeling you could be surprised soon. It was a pleasing track and probably one of my favorites out of the whole thing.

I was really curious about the eleventh song and final track because the titles seem so easy to figure out, I just hoped I wouldn’t get disappointed in the end. However, “Sunrise” starts with this very loud bass boom and then her voice gets echo-y and the beat itself builds into the monstrous beast. As it continues, Raign basically stays the same as far as tempo goes, but I’m glad she’s like that because the dynamic between these two makes it that much better. It has an edge, a jaggered edge that makes it powerful! Finally, we end with “Evergreen” and after the previous one, I was a little worried but thankfully it was at the same vibe, but I think I fell in love with the lyrics a lot faster than I did with “Sunrise”, plus it has a happier beat. It had a motivated outlook on it, but everything about it was inviting to me, and it made me like I could do anything so I was thinking of good things rather than the negative and that’s what I like the most about it.

One of my favorite things to do now whenever I watch a movie or television show, is that I keep an eye out for the music being played on a certain scene. When The Vampire Diaries started playing Raign’s music throughout the last four or five seasons, I did not expect to still crave her music but I do! I think she has a gorgeous voice and the beats she uses to showcase it, make me extremely happy! Raign was at the forefront of my taste for cinematic music, and I deeply encourage you to check out some of her songs! This album gave me feeling after feeling, and although I tend to listen to her music whenever I’m sad, I was happy listening to all the way through and for that to happen rarely works anymore.

Have you heard of RAIGN’s new album “SIGN” yet? If I wasn’t the one to introduce you to her music, how did you find her? What is your favorite song(s)?

snowflake

Album Review: “Heart Of The Hurricane” by Beyond The Black

34729747_951670208326241_2834433232856940544_nWe’re back with another review! This time I am talking about symphonic metal with a band that I have discussed on here in the past, it was their album “Lost In Forever” that I actually listen to almost every other month now. The band recently released their third album “Heart Of The Hurricane” in late August, and you would be very proud of me, because I have not listened to a single song–even though I really wanted to every time I saw one pop up on my Spotify–so my thoughts on the songs themselves will fresh and I seem to like it better to go about it that way.

Here’s a little background on the band, they are originally from Germany, leading the bunch is Jennifer Haben while Chris Hermsdörfer and Tobias Lodes play guitar and do some backing vocals. Stefan Herkenhoff is on bass, Jonas Roßner plays the keys and finally Kai Tschierschky does the drums. The album consists of 15 songs, which is more than I usually review on here, but I thought what the hell! So, let’s get this party started!

We start off the album with a song called “Hysteria” and this has a nice heavy metal sound with the guitars being at the center of the beginning and I like the balance between the orchestra’s light tone against the harsh guitars together, and Jennifer along with the choir, keep that soft element there throughout despite the fact that the track is about chaos. I thought that was kind of interesting! It was pretty mild to what I kind of expected but I liked it nonetheless though. Second is the title track “Heart Of The Hurricane” and I definitely like how this one starts, it’s heavy but when Jennifer comes on, the guitars die down. I had a hard time keeping myself still while listening to it the first time, which is a really good sign! I was slightly jumping up and down on my bed and whenever it got quiet, I turned to swaying side-to-side and I can’t wait to learn the lyrics to it. Next is “Through The Mirror” and a piano begins the song off which surprised me because you hardly ever hear songs like this towards the start of the album. Of course, the sound explodes into this monstrous ballad. I really like it.

 “Million Lightyears” is the fourth song and I’m not going to lie, I kept picturing Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story when I first read the title of it. I’m sorry, I couldn’t help it! This has a different start, as it was a male singer, and it kind of threw me off because I couldn’t see a featured artist, so it could either be Chris, Stefan, or Tobias. However, I do like the deeper tone of his voice against Jen’s soaring vocals. It gives the song an extra edge so it’s good! We move on to “Song For The Godless” and once I saw this title, I was really intrigued; I just knew I was going to like the suspense of not exactly knowing what was going to happen with this song. The introduction in this one is so good! It has this exotic element but fierce drumming coming together, everything that I wanted was in this song! The only thing that would have made it better was if that drumming was as loud as it was throughout the choruses. I think that would have been interesting, but the song is really good otherwise!

Next there’s “Escape From The Earth” which is another song that grabbed my attention right away and it has a somber undertone that you hear immediately. I liked the fact that it was softer, but it had some interesting edges to it with the fast strumming in the mist of the second verse, so it sort of changed the tempo and direction of the “normal” ballad. I also enjoyed the very loud slap of the drums, unfortunately I don’t know anything but drums but I still liked that little surprise because it made that song even better. Now, we have “Beneath A Blackened Sky” and I’m happy to say that this is another heavy epic track. The haunted sounds of the orchestra, with the choir singing in the introduction really excited me, but those elements kind of took a back step whenever Jennifer would start singing. They would start up again towards the choruses so I wasn’t that disappointed with it! It’s actually a really good track.

The eighth song is “Fairytale Of Doom” which made me really curious, because the first thing that popped into my head was a darker turn of Alice In Wonderland, although I had clue to what I would actually hear when the song played. I think this has a bit of a thrash-y sound to it, as the symphonic part of it isn’t as powerful, but I thought it was okay to go that route. Honestly, I would have been mad if they had went a sweeter and angelic sound with this, so instead they went with a hardier vibe that still told a good story. This one sort of threw me off, it’s called “My God Is Dead” and I’m always worried with these types of songs, but knowing the genre itself, they’re not talking about their lives, rather than a character made for the album itself. The track is a nice ballad again, but I really enjoyed whoever does the harsh vocals in the choruses, it was different but not enough to  divert the sound as a whole a lot.

We have “Dear Death” next and here was another title that got me wondering, I really enjoy doing that, I rarely expect how it’s going to sound but I try to guess the story behind it. I think it’s the storyteller in me! Anyways, I’m glad that it has a hefty sound in the beginning but honestly that really dies down as it continues to the point where I kind of grew to not like it. I can’t really explain it. So, let’s move on to the other song, “Scream For Me” and I really like it! The introduction made me slightly worried because they have a lot of mellow songs and I thought this was just another one, but they gave us a big surprise as the choruses are explosive! Everything is heightened and for once, I liked the guitar solo! I hardly ever like the solos anymore.

The last four songs, and we start with “Freedom” and it definitely has more of a power metal vibe going on, if you like to headbang, you can really do it with this one. I like the creepy and slow notes of the piano in the background with all of the chaos being center stage. I’m happy that Jennifer was able to control her voice in that type of environment . My voice would have been all over the place and that’s the truth! Next there’s “Breeze” which sounds sweet when you first read it, and then when it starts to play and you Jen’s voice basically stripped down with only a piano, strings and a choir gave it a classy tone and it’s the perfect calm down after the previous song! It’s really pretty!

“Echo From The Past” is the fourteenth song of the album. It seems like we go back to the mild soundings, as the it has a mysterious introduction with what sounds like church bells ringing in the background leading to some of the rough guitars. It wasn’t what I was expecting but I like that about it. And finally, the last song is “Parade” and I was utterly surprised with this because if I didn’t know any better, I’d say this had some electronic elements in it! I don’t really know what to say about it, other than it’s interesting but it’s not my favorite off the album.

I am officially done! I have to say, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into with this album mostly because I’ve only listened to one album all the way through and I kind of liked it, whereas this one was slightly boring. It didn’t keep me interested and they all just blended together in a bad way unfortunately. It’s a nice effort in my opinion.

What do you think about Beyond The Black’s new album “Heart Of The Hurricane”? Did you like it or were you not pleased with it at all?

snowflake

Album Review: “Dogviolet” by Laurel

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I am very behind on some of my new releases lately. I had plans on putting up at least four reviews throughout September, but I just didn’t feel like it, so I eventually decided on the two that I knew I wanted to talk about the most, and we start with Laurel’s first full album called “Dogviolet” that was came out on August 24th 2018! The album itself consists of 12 songs so we’re going to be here for a while.

I have talked about Laurel before, the first time I was introduce to her mysterious voice, was during a steamy scene on The Vampire Diaries with Damon and Elena, they were basically having vampire sex and her song “Fire Breather” came on and I remember rewinding that scene so I could hear that song again. At that time, I wasn’t a “Delena” fan so that definitely wasn’t the reason for the repeat of that activity I swear! When she released her EP “Holy Water” back in 2014, and it kept that dark alternative sound to it and I just loved it! However, I’ve noticed that her music has went in a totally different direction, it’s more in the indie rock category now and even though I was a bit taken back at this new sound, I did slowly coming into it with an open heart purely because I love her voice, and honestly it works with both genres in a way.

Laurel did release a first single back in June I think and afterwards she began to put out three to four songs on EPs throughout the summer. I was tempted to listen to those but I knew this was coming so I kept myself away for as long as I could! So, let’s start with the first track “Life Worth Living,” I want to say that I like the title, but the song itself is fairly soft, although I do like when the drums make their presence known, against her raspy voice, she has such a blues-y tone that it works that good with this sound. It actually made me feel good, and I was even dancing too! I liked it a lot. Next we have “All Star” and this one has a seductive tone to it in the way she sings her way through the story, and again I had trouble not dancing to the gentle groove of the guitars.

Third is “Same Mistakes” and this has a more hearty sound, it still that soft undertone but the best way I can describe to what I’m hearing is a sassy sound. I think it fits with the topic of the actual song, because it’s very upbeat and I was somewhat surprised that I liked it that way even though it was basically a break-up song. After that is “South Coast,” I generally loved this. I thought it’s an ideal autumnal type of song by the fact that it’s so easy-going and full of emotions. I didn’t really want it to end that’s how much I enjoyed this one! Next is “Hold Tight” and from the moment it started, I was glad to hear a different cord on the guitars. It’s definitely a lot calmer in the groove. The song is so different compared to the previous tracks, and I’m so glad because I can’t stand when most, if not, all of the songs on an album sound alike, it’s annoying!

“Adored” is next and I really love this one! When it first came on, I was like “this is going to be good” and I was right. It has this fierceness quality about it, and another uniqueness that I enjoyed was the “ah, ah, ah” throughout the choruses, they just added another element to this track.  Next is “Sun King” which at first reminded of what people called the Kings in France before the monarchy was overthrown in the 1700’s. That’s strange, I know! Anyways, the song itself is interesting because it’s an admiration song for whoever she’s talking about, and the sound is quiet but in a good way. You only hear two things: Laurel’s beautiful and dreamy voice and a breezy electric guitar. It’s actually very pretty!

We move on to “Crave” and as I figured we have a song that has a more seductive way about it. It’s not that dirty but with just the cords and velvet voice, it gives the song a sexy vibe. I can tell it more so with this track than any of the other songs which surprised me because they all are somewhat similar in their own ways, but we’ll get that in a bit. Next there’s the first single that came out in the early part of summer, “Lovesick” and what shocked the most was when I heard this for the first time, I didn’t think I’d really like this direction, but the song changed my point of view. Unfortunately, there is one bad part of this song. Since I’ve heard the rest of the album after listening to this on repeat, it does sound incredibly similar to “South Coast” as far as the tone and sound around the choruses, so that is a bit of a let down for me. but it makes sense in a way since I really meshed with both tracks in the same way!

We’re almost done with the review, we only have three songs left. “Take It Back” is this fun song to listen while cruising in the countryside in the middle of the afternoon. At least, that was came to me when I started listening to it! It’s upbeat and chill at the same time, and I really liked it. There’s “Empty Kisses” and I hoped that this would be a quieter sound to it, and I wasn’t necessarily happy or sad on what I got with this, because the sound itself was a little cheerful – although the tempo never went away so it still kept that quiet way to be counted as a sweet, love song to my standards. Lastly, we have “Recover” and I decided to let it play and see what the outcome would be and somehow what I wanted in the previous song, I got with this one but I actually liked it better because I would rather have an album like this, fade off into the distance. I’ve always been this way and I’m glad that this is how it ended. It even ended with this last shard of uniqueness of what sounded like a ukulele in the background of the song, I thought it was an interesting element to add for this song.

 Now that we’re done officially, I can say that even though there were many songs that sounded like the other, it was actually pretty good! One of the things that I thoroughly enjoyed (which freaked me out) was the clear 1970’s vibe I was getting from majority of the songs on this album. I thought at first, that this was caused by Laurel’s voice but then my views quickly changed when I discovered that it was the blues-y guitars. It was a fun and interesting pop-rock album, definitely not what I was expecting, but a good end of the summer release though!

Have you listened to Laurel’s new album yet? We’re you supportive in the change to her music? I’d like to hear some of your thoughts in the comments below!

snowflake

 

EP Review: “Mad Love The Prequel” by Sean Paul

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So, I have to say this firstly, I am a big fan of Sean Paul! In my teenage years, I would just listen to his music if I was wanting to dance, like no joke! I am still that way, but my hips ache and pop more frequently than before.

I am very excited to talk about this EP finally! I am very proud of myself, I actually stayed away from listening to it. I like to express what I’ve heard for the first time because I think when I listen to it multiple times before reviewing it, my general thoughts will change with each play. However, when it comes to dancehall or EDM music in general, my thoughts rarely change – I usually like it or I don’t. That’s just how I roll sometimes.

So, we’re going to get into this right now and hopefully you like it.

We start off with “Naked Truth” that has Jhene Aiko, and it’s very light, definitely not exactly what I was expecting. I usually prefer heavier songs to begin an album or in this case EP, but I like the balance between Sean and Jhene’s dynamic vocals. What I thought was interesting though was since Sean is originally based in Jamaica, why does this sounds more bollywood to me, especially the drum beats. I’m not saying I didn’t like it or anything, it was just the first thing that popped into my head. Second is “Bad Love” with Ellie Goulding, and I really miss Ellie! This is also a mild song too, but it still has a nice groove. It’s not overwhelming and works really well with Ellie’s soft voice. I had a hard time not dancing to this, so we’ll say it’s a winner!

Next we have “Mad Love” and it features both David Guetta and Becky G. After hearing the two quieter tracks, you have this sucker and I love it to pieces! This is another one that I love dancing to, both day and night. I really like the exotic feel, such a party anthem and Becky G’s vocals are fun and kind of seductive in a way. The only song that doesn’t have a guest artist on board is “Jump On It” and I’m very happy that there is at least one with just Sean, although I would have liked to have more but since this is an EP, maybe if he releases an album later on, I’m sure there will be more like this. Anywho, the song itself is pretty mellow, the beat isn’t crazy but I like it as it was though. It was sexy too!

From the moment I saw that Major Lazer would be on this “Tip Pon It”, I was instantly like, “well, this is going to be awesome” and it definitely didn’t disappoint! It was so much fun and I couldn’t stop dancing when the bass dropped. Although it wasn’t a big drop, the sound itself changed and got bigger and I think that’s why I ultimately ended falling in love with it! Next there’s “Jet Plane Trip” with an artist that I had only heard once and it was a couple of months ago, Stefflon Don. This is actually kind of calming, if that’s the right word to use, it had a nice rhythm but it has more of a slow dance vibe. It was good though!

These are the last three songs on the EP, and we have “Body” featuring Migos. One of the reasons why I really liked this was because it mixed both dancehall and hip hop together. I love that combination, and I actually liked Migos on the track. I’ve always been so-so about them, and I don’t know why so don’t bother asking me that question. Next there’s “Tek Weh Yuh Heart” with Tory Lanez. This is another good one! I thought at first I’d be a little bored with it, but it’s actually pretty great! I think Tory was a good addition to it, his voice is soft and goes with the beat well. The last song is “No Lie” with Dua Lipa, and I have heard this one other time before starting this review and I don’t think I liked it very much. I am turning into a fan of Dua Lipa, but I am also very picky with her songs. This has a great beat and it’s fun. It’s the ideal, light end of summer type of song to me.

I think in general the EP was very good. It had a lot of interesting artists on it, each brought their own sound with them. One thing that I always tend to have issues with is that whenever Sean Paul works with other artists, they seem to be more prominent in the actual song and he just kind of fades into the back, so it’s just the singers and the happy, dance-y beat. That’s why I ended up track #4 a lot more than some of the others.

Have you listened to Sean Paul’s new EP yet? What were some of your favorites and thoughts?

snowflake

 

Album Review: “Cinematic Songs, Volume 4” by Tommee Profitt

36599607_2047039208670650_6047828206382219264_nI am back with the fourth installment of Tommee Profitt’s cinematic collection. This album came out on the 4th of July, which I thought was pretty cool! If you’ve been reading my previous reviews of Tommee’s music, you know how freaking obsessed I’ve become, like if I hear a small snippet of any of Tommee’s produced songs on a TV show, I have to rewind that sucker just to hear it again! I automatically get so excited, because I love the fact that this kind of music is being played in almost ways! This batch of songs are no different.

For this album, I did cheat a little and gave myself a listen to like the first five tracks before I literally had to hold myself back from hearing the rest. As far as featured artists on this, you have some of the “originals” who have worked with him in the previous albums, like Sam Tinnesz, Fluerie and Steven Malcolm, but yet we also have some new voices as well! And of course, Tomme has included two instrumentals in different sections too.

Well, let’s get this started, shall we?

Click here to read Cinematic Songs, Volume 1 by Tommee Proffitt

We start off with “It’s Got My Name On It” that features Sarah Reeves, who sounds weirdly like both Ruelle and Fleurie with her soft, high-pitched voice. One of the things I like to do whenever I have a new artist like this, I tend to look up information about them on their Facebook music pages, and according to Sarah’s, she may only work on worship music, but this track is definitely not in that theme, which is fine anyways. I think it’s simple, lyric wise, but huge on sound. It also has a mysterious tone to it, thanks to the piano you hear throughout, but it slowly grows once you hit the middle of the song and it just explodes with such force. Second is “Welcome To The Jungle” and Tommeee had shared a trailer of a new show coming to CBS, called A Story To Tell and he mentioned that he “enjoyed creating creepy music” with artist Fleurie. This is so freaking creepy! However, I absolutely love it at the same time. In other words, it’s right up my alley!

We move on to “I Am Legend” with Colton Dixon, and if I remember correctly, he was a contestant on American Idol a few years back, wasn’t he? Whoever he is, he has a nice mellow voice. It works well with the cinematic sound, it’s a very epically (is that even a word?!) song but he has such a pop-rock kind of voice, somehow he made it work. I really enjoyed this! After that, we have “One Eye Open” and Daniella Mason, who has a beautiful voice herself. She tends to do alternative music, and I instantly liked that. I’m very interested in alternative musicians all of a sudden. Anyways, this song doesn’t sound like the rest on the album, and I love the uniqueness about it. It’s almost grime-y, very intense getting towards the end, but her voice is such a sweet kiss to this massive climax.

Click here to read Cinematic Songs. Volume 2 by Tommee Profitt

Fifth track is “Warriors” with my favorite Steven Malcolm, this actually came out as a single, when the NBA finals were about to start. Obviously, Tommee and/or Steven were rooting for the Golden State Warriors!  If the song wasn’t influenced by basketball at all, the song is really good anyways! I really love that hard, urban feel to the song! It also kind of has this creepy, I guess SAW movie like type of sound that makes it even better. Next there’s “Incendiary” and this is one of the instrumentals I was telling you about in the beginning, and after the previous song ended, I felt as thought this was good as like a part two. It was still very powerful, really loving the drums. They were fast and exciting! Once it’s done, “Wicked” is next and it features Royal & the Serpent, again I’ve never heard of them so I had to look them up, and they are an indie band. This song is extremely cool as it dabbles in the electronica world. I thought that was really cool, as I was not expecting that at all, but I love musical surprises.

“Feel That Fire” is next and it has Whissell on it, and I love her voice! She reminds me of ZZ Ward, that is if she had a deeper voice. I like the fact that the bluesy sound of her voice is very present in the song, even with the strings commanding as much space too. It just gave me a totally different vibe then the others on the album. Next we have another favorite vocalist of mine, Beacon Light and the song “Takin Over” and this has a sci-fi type of vibe to it when it first starts, but then when he speaks, that hip hop sound creeps in the back and it’s so interesting. I really love ominous sounding music, weirdly enough I have always been this way!

The last four songs, start with “Vagabond” with FJØRA and this is such a pretty tune. It’s so gentle and gives you this adventurous, wanderlust feeling while you’re listening to it. I think FJØRA’s voice was good, it gave the song a softer approach and the fact that Tommee didn’t give it an incredible finish like he’s known to do, because I think it would have been too much with her voice, between the lyrics, her voice and this mellow sound makes it different. Our last instrumental is next, and it’s called “Trail Of Evidence” and it’s absolutely stunning! I really loved the solo cello introduction, at least I’m hoping that’s what I’m hearing! I’m not very good at pointing out certain instruments, I’m sorry! When I first looked at the title, instantly I thought this would be this heavy hitter but it wasn’t. It was fairly soft, but powerful too.

Finally, we move on to “Can’t Hold Us Down” that has Sam Tinnesz in it. This was one of the first new songs I saw on YouTube that made me realize we might be getting a new set of songs soon, within a week later, Tommee announced it on his Facebook page! This song has that fusion of both cinematic and rock genres. I liked the fact that since Sam is a rocker anyways, that he’s influencing his known genre into the actual song. So, the entire thing takes a different turn, it could’ve been an explosion of a song. It was a good song, don’t get me wrong, but the it wasn’t in your face like I figured and ultimately wanted it to be in the end. The last song is “Hurricane” with Fleurie and we end this cycle in a very emotional based track. It instantly gave me this sad vibe. It does gradually grow into this colorful flower, but it never really loses that feeling of being lost.

Click here to read Cinematic Songs, Volume 3 by Tommee Profitt

This was a great mix of different directions. I like the fact that Tommee is getting more experimental with his beats, and the fact he’s using other artists with different ranges and bring their own flavor with them. I think that’s one of my favorite things about this genre; it doesn’t matter what kind of music you generally wok with to help express yourself, if you’re up for the challenge, something good could come out of it. This is how other people, who have never heard of these artists before, can discover new music within that song.

Have you listened to Tommee Profitt’s new volume of cinematic songs yet? If so, which is your favorite?

snowflake

Album Review: “Beautifully Broken” by Plumb

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It’s crazy to think that it’s been roughly three years since singer Plumb released her album Exhale. Now she has a new album called “Beautifully Broken” and I’ve been really excited to hear it, because every once in a while I need something that’s lighthearted and her music is my go-to on those rough days. It all started when she released her album “Need You Now” in 2013, I just love that album so much! They make me feel calm and some even make me happy surprisingly too! So whenever she announces she’s putting out new music, I instantly get excited for it.

We start with the title track “Beautifully Broken” and funny story, when this song and it’s EP came out, I was going to review just that, and I had the whole beginning written up, and then I found out that the whole thing was only the original and four remix versions of that song. So, long story short, I scrapped that post and now I’m thankful I get to talk about the song officially! I really love the playful but gentle piano introduction. She speaks a lot about God in her music, but sometimes it’s not as “out there” as other songs, and I like the fact it’s a neutral in that aspect. I found this, while I was having a rough week and I’ve loved it ever since! Next, we have “Impossible” and this is a lively little track. So loving and fun at the same time! Third is “Crazy About You” and it has an interesting beginning, it’s soft and slow, but you have a standard light, pop beat. I was swaying while listening to it, so that was cool! I really like this, it’s kind of quirky and doesn’t sound anything she’s done in a while.

“I Can Do This” and we have another different vibe going on, but I like the lyrics. They’re relatable to people that suffer from various aliments. I think it’s a very positive, motivational song for anyone who needs it. What I think it is cool though, is that the beat mimics the feeling of the words she’s saying, it’s farce but quiet at the same time. It builds into the moment where you feel like you can say those words “I can do this” too! Really good song! The sixth track is “Somebody Loves You” and the first thing that popped into my head was this may or may not make me cry. It rarely happens, but like I’ve said above, I’ve had having some difficult days lately so a certain beat can instantly turn on the waterworks! I like the fact the beat is secondary, the lyrics are loud and clear and you can see the story of this woman in your head. You don’t need a music video or anything, the words are there. It’s very bittersweet, because even the lyrics themselves are somewhat dark, you feel like she’s speaking directly to you, and saying somebody loves you. To have two songs with similar messages back-to-back is very nice. Why can’t everybody do that too?

 I think she released this song at the beginning of the year, but it’s called “God Help Me” and I’m not very religious, but I do believe in a higher power and of course I pay at night or in the middle of the day, when somebody needs it for emergencies.  I like it, but I don’t love it because of my own reasons. I do enjoy the lyrics and the string section throughout the whole song, so that’s a plus! We move on to “I’m Not Alone” and it has this whimsical/dream vibe going on, I thought it would be only at the introduction but it just continued on. It’s good though! It’s kind of short though, I wanted it to be a little longer! Next there’s “Human” and the lyrics are pretty, but the sound itself is louder, but I don’t exactly hate it for being that way. It definitely has more an alternative rock sound to it.

These are the last three songs of the album, starting with “Fight For You” and we’re back on the playful train. This is such a fun little beat. I instantly had different summertime pictures pop into my head while listening to it, which is weird because it’s not that kind of song, but the beat created those images in my head. The lyrics are so catchy, they’re also caring and sweet. I really enjoy the ukulele outro with Tiffany singing the chorus with just that sound. It just made that summer feeling real for me! “Acrobat” is next and this has a pop oriented sound, but I like the imagery with this one. It’s a nice song to casually listen to. Lastly, we have “Sleepwalking” and I like the fact that this is so slow. I like the soft quality of it, with the piano and violins towards the second verse. It’s just so beautiful!

I really liked this album. I know it’s not very smart to compare albums with each other, but I actually didn’t really like E that much. I think, maybe because I knew it would be more of a Christian music type of album, then a casual alternative pop-rock collection of songs. So to me, this has more of what I liked about NYN and maybe I’ll want to go back to it now and again to re-listen to certain songs, I mean to me, that’s kind of the whole goal to an album.

Have you listened to Plumb’s new record yet? What were your thoughts about it?

snowflake