Album Review: “Asking Alexandria” by Asking Alexandria

review2017

Here is my first review of 2018!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

snowflake

Best Of 2017 | Film

Howdy!

This is one of my favorite posts, but I don’t know why, I have a tiny theory that it has something to do with the fact that it’s like a mini review to all of the movies I’ve watched this year, but what’s funny is that I only made up last year’s post because I just needed to release my thoughts on how horrible Gods Of Egypt was, but as I was writing the post I realized how fun it was to do that!

I think I will change it up for 2018, because since I create my “coming soon” movie posts twice a year, I feel like I should create another one of these posts so I’m not keeping it all locked up in my head and it’s not so damn long either. I just might do that considering I had over 30 movies on a notepad of all the movies I had watched this year! Oh, and don’t worry next Monday you should have the first half of 2018’s new movies to be released!

I was going to do this in the same way I did last year’s post, but since I have so many movies that it would be really long and I don’t need to be working on this post for days on end, so I’m hoping a simple rating system will suffice for you guys and maybe next year I’ll break them up and it won’t be so damn complicated for me. The rating system will be 1 out of 10, 5 being neutral or so-so.

Underworld: Blood Wars – 7
Split – 9
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter – 8
Logan – 8
Beauty and the Beast – 6
Wonder Woman – 10
Finding Dory – 9
The Legend of Tarzan – 4
Star Trek: Beyond – 8
Morgan – 9
Doctor Strange – 4
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them – 10
Sing – 7
The Comedian – 6
Dirty Grandpa – 6
Jon Wick Chapter 2 – 10
How To Be Single – 10
Mother’s Day – 8
Me Before You – 9
The Secret Life of Pets – 6
La La Land – 6
The Accountant – 9
Inferno – 8
The Arrival – 8
Jackie – 7
Hidden Figures – 9
Passengers – 7

What were some of your favorite movies that came out either late 2016 or all of 2017? Did you have any that you absolutely hated too?

snowflake

Best Of 2017 | TV Shows!

Howdy!

I had a rough time figuring out when I was exactly going to put these posts up as there’s not much room between Christmas and New Years to put up more than one post, but then I realized maybe this was the reason why I only write three posts a week? It’s not, so don’t worry but it was a nice thought to have in the middle of the chaos though!

I’m doing the list of favorite television shows I watched in the spring and fall schedules. I do have to point out that towards October 2016, I basically stopped watched majority of the shows like This Is Us, Notorious, The Arrangement, Timeless, and Speechless. I felt as though I had too much going on at night throughout the week so I cut back on almost everything I was watching at the time. Once January came around though, I became very hesitant about what I wanted to watch. Thankfully everything on this list was kept me entertained and focused.

Victoria (PBS – Jenna Coleman, Tom Hughes, David Oakes, and Rufus Sewall)

I loved Victoria! It premiered on PBS I think either in early December or January, my gut is telling me it was early January though.

I don’t know much about the Havorians, I’m actually only just now learning about “The Mad King” and his son George IV and the regency era. I didn’t even know that much about Queen Victoria. My focus of British royals goes from Plantagenet, Tudor to the current family Windsor. This show gave me a lot of new information to digest, and I really love Jenna and Tom playing both a young Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. You get a nice insight of their lives before they were married. I actually can’t wait to see what happens in season two when it comes to us in the US next month!

Taboo (FX – Tom Hardy, Oona Chaplin, and Jonathan Pryce)

Now this shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody, but I really enjoyed this show. My dad and I don’t really watch the same shows very often but we did watch the crap out of this and it was nice to talk about a show the day after it came on. However, I would have to do it before he watched his Vikings because he usually was distracted by the series of events that took place on that show. Thank god for both Facebook and Twitter though!

This show was a bit of a mystery, some of the things featured in the eight part series, still confuse me. For it to be called “taboo” I don’t necessarily know what the taboo would be, then besides the incest part. I liked the creepy undertone though, I like learning about Britain’s gritty past.

The White Princess (Starz – Jodie Comer, Jacob Collins-Levy, Michelle Fairley, Essie Davis)

I had been looking forward to The White Princess after I finished watching the first series of the House of York kings in The White Queen. The show was based on historical fiction writer Phillipa Gregory’s about King Edward IV and his consort Queen Elizabeth Woodville,  and their oldest daughter Elizabeth of York and how life went for her after the death of not only her father, but her brothers and uncle, Richard III. And how she came to marry her enemy: Henry Tudor.

I ended up reading Alison Weir’s book Elizabeth Of York: A Forgotten Tudor Queen in January and this show started in mid-February. I actually finished reading the book like the day before it premiered and I will never do that again! I wasn’t open-minded like I was with the first one. They also butchered a lot of historical events to fit into this world and I think that was what bothered me the most actually!

The Mist (Spike – Alyssa Sutherland, Morgan Spector, Gus Birney)

 Before I start writing out what I thought about this show, apparently I should have swallowed my pride and watched it live because maybe they wouldn’t had cancelled it. Yes, it’s no longer on air, but it is on Netflix if anybody wants to check it out.

Considering the fact that two Stephan King movies came out this year, The Dark Tower in early spring and the classic It back in September, I’m surprised that this didn’t have a good rating. I thought it was creepy but maybe not enough for hardcore Stephan King fans I guess. Oh well, thankfully for me there’s a book that I can get now.

Midnight, Texas (NBC – François Arnaud, Arielle Kebbel, Peter Mensah, and Persia Fitz-Henley)

Just when I think I’m finished with the vampires, this show turns up! If you’re wondering why I said that is because this is based off of a book by the author who created the True Blood series. It wasn’t all about vampires, but it had almost every supernatural being that you can think of really, and as much as I liked this, I feel like this will probably be cancelled too.

The Deuce (HBO – James Franco, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Margarita Levieva, and Emily Meade)

As much as I liked this show, I never exactly finished it. I think I stopped on episode four, so that’ll mean I have about five episodes to watch.

You know how I said that my dad and I don’t watch too many shows together, my mom and I are about the same too. I recorded the first episode and she thought she had done it herself, so picture her face when she finally watched it. Apparently it was a lot more racy than she was expecting it to be. She wasn’t too sure why I liked it, but then again neither do I! It’s about the early days in the porn industry and somehow the character or characters that James Franco plays (because he plays a pair of twins!) go into creating the media world too. So now you understand why my mom was basically freaking out a bit, because it show quite a bit!

The Sinner (USA – Jessica Biel, Christopher Abbott, and Bill Pulman)

This was a surprise for me. I don’t have USA as part of my list of channels on my guide so the day I saw the previews for it was probably the week they premiered episode three. Like the one above, I never finished the series but I would only have to get caught up on the last two episodes though.

When mom was in the hospital recovering from her surgery back in October, she saw the commercials still circulating for the network. So she’s now interested, but yet hasn’t tried to rent or recorded them yet. I would like to see what she thought of it, but I fear she’ll freak out about the scenes with Bill Pulman though, if you’ve seen the show, you know what I’m talking about here. In a way, it goes with what I just explained above!

The Gifted (FOX – Stephan Moyer, Amy Acker, Sean Teale, and Janie Chung)

This is unfortunately another TV show that I have yet to finish. I’m really hoping that this is On Demand or Netflix, because I really enjoyed this a lot. The main reason why I stopped watching it was because the setting was confusing me. It is set when the X-Men have disappeared. You hear the term “Sentinel Service” a lot, so I’m guessing everything takes place if Wolverine wasn’t successful when Dr. Trask built the Sentinels in X-Men: Days Of Future Past. I pretty much like everything about it, the characters and their stories. It’s a little strange seeing Stephan Moyer and Amy Acker back on my screen again. I’m very behind it on it and I’m really not happy with myself at the moment.

Damnation (USA – Killian Scott, Logan Marshall-Green, and Sarah Jones)

The story is about the rich and poor, but based in the 1800’s. Farmers need to sell their goods to stores in their counties, to be able to provide for their families, but when the price to sell the stuff is too low, until an interesting man wants to spark a revolution to try to help the farmers. You see the point of view through both the farmers and businessmen throughout the Midwest and Northwest states and how they deal with the strikes.

I think after watching Taboo my dad and I have been looking for shows that either have similar themes or look like the show as far as the gritty, raw scenes. Thankfully, this show has everything that we both like! It has the unruly and yet historical background. One thing that I know my dad will be happy about is the fact everybody is speaking in an American accent. And the reason why I said “will be” is because he hasn’t even watched the three or four episodes in his folder on our DVR yet. He hasn’t even watched his newest Vikings episodes either! He’s been enjoying Netflix lately!

Have you watched any of these new shows yet? Did I miss any of the others? What else do I need to check out?

snowflake

December Playlist

untitled

So this is the last playlist of 2017!

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

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

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

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

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

snowflake

Album Review: “Kaskade Christmas” by Kaskade

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

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

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

Are you ready to begin?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

snowflake

Blogmas | Holiday Dorm Tour!

Howdy!

So this might seem a bit strange since I’m not clearly in college and living in a dorm, and neither is my sister these days, but our nana is in a way. Well, we don’t know what to actually call it, a “dorm” or an “apartment” because even though it does come with her own little microwave and refrigerator, she doesn’t have a stove or anything, so the term “dorm” seems to fit better I think. I had mentioned in my last minute blogmas ideas that I might do a similar post of the holiday house tour I did last year. So there will be things you’ve definitely seen before, but she has some newer stuff too. Everything has basically been compact into a small area just for her.

My nana’s room is located at the far side of the long hallway (of course!) and the first thing you are greeted with when you get up to her door is this very sparkly green, with red baubles wreath. It is perfect for her personality let me tell you!

She has a few things in her bathroom, but I felt it’s not enough to show you everything, even though she took multiple pictures in case I wanted to share more of the beach theme she is going for in there. She has a green “Merry” rags over by the wall, while she found an interesting place for her giant multicolored jingle bells. I don’t know who put them there, but it is a clever place. They are located right by her shower. It adds a nice festive look to her bathroom!

24796536_1683813891682934_3479794448341188853_n

Now when you come out of there, the first thing you will see is her little “kitchen” area. Her entire mini fridge is covered with different Christmas festive magnets and her counter top has little figurines, like the infamous Christmas tree that she keeps on day and night. She has a random red ornament and IU doll that kind of goes with the theme too. She even has a lone Santa Claus that is just sitting in the corner by her radio and sink.

24991525_1683810431683280_7252767093716325775_n

Next we have is her table. It’s smaller than the kitchen table she had at the house, but at any given time she has over a hundred different things on it. When we were there a couple of weeks ago, she had a nice round red and white blanket placed on the actual table, and on top of that is this large nativity scene. She went out with my aunt and uncle for Thanksgiving weekend and picked it out at the flea market. However, she took the pictures below before she got it I think.

In this picture, she has two large objects, one is glass purple Christmas tree and I don’t know what in the world this other thing, on the left side is. All I know is that it has little people on the different levels. She has a basket full of fake greens and cherries, plus random ornaments that she must like but can’t find a good place to put them. She has angels and crosses on here too. What is really cute though is the subtle sonogram picture of the little “nugget” on the right side on the table. It’s okay if you didn’t notice it the first time, because neither did I!

23843388_1670801026317554_6730579759383415322_n

Keep going straight and you see her entertainment center. She doesn’t have much on it, but the two large angels sitting on top of it. If they were any bigger, I doubt that they would’ve fit up there. She must have found those when things were coming down from being upstairs in September, because I don’t think I’ve ever seen them before.

On the right, is her window display and I’m not joking! When I was there in October, it had all of the angels and crosses standing on the ledge of the windowsill. Now she has a lot of Christmas things, like her Noel sign she got last year, snowmen and Santa Clauses everywhere. If you were wondering what happened to those beautiful ornaments that reminded me of India, she has them hanging on by string or something like that along the blinds. She also has the bigger stuffed Christmas critters on the floor, like the fairly large and jolly Santa Claus and a pillow made out of one of papaw’s shirts.

24068220_1670799752984348_2310607487502840026_n23905376_1670801732984150_4586445862729124507_n23843373_1670800169650973_7585463103987095341_n

Alex is standing on the opposite side of the Santa Claus, she either has a red blanket around her or a shirt. I don’t think she could find the normal dressing gown she normally puts her in for Christmas so she had to improvise. Nana recently got this beautiful picture of a white cat with a violin, which I happen to love! I don’t know where she got it, but she now has it hanging up by the second nightstand.

Now she doesn’t really use her bed, because she can’t get in and out of it on her own, plus it is really uncomfortable for her back and bottom. So she actually sleeps in her lounge chair that she has decorated with her family (with Adam Lambert) blanket that she got a few Christmases ago, but she does like to keep the bed looking pretty. So she got a new blanket, and it fits the red and white theme she has going on, but it has a nice photo of a Cardinal on it. Our family looks for Cardinals as a sign that papaw is around us, so there are a few of them throughout the room itself. She also put out all of the classic creatures by the pillow too!

And that’s it!


For an added bonus, I had her take more pictures around the nursing home so you guys could see what they’ve done to the place!

They have like seven or eight Christmas trees, I think that’s what my nana told me! They have a really nice one over by their outside area. When I was there, I used to spend some free time before going down for lunch over by the green sofa on her hall. Now there’s a fairly large tree there, with some very nice wrapped packages underneath it. Nana said, she helped wrap some of them in activities and decorate several of the trees too!  They have their own nativity scene in the larger dinning room, plus an interesting blown-up elf in a corner by the nurses station. We didn’t see that when we went to visit her a couple of weeks ago for some odd reason!

23915873_1670800386317618_3491593565044880392_n23905573_1670802656317391_3006756116220480389_n24129632_1670802029650787_8783350124309028165_n23915872_1670800332984290_5320205669654255594_n24131214_1527191770663715_8086441431988931163_n24899993_1683807431683580_5037097251042988529_n24796708_1683905185007138_4827403331278700671_n24862113_1683904401673883_6009820132411005127_n24909603_1683904381673885_3735807648239480849_n

What do you think of the holiday dorm tour? What is your favorite decorations to use?

snowflake

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

snowflake