Album Review: “SIGN from Above” by RAIGN

Hello!

I have heard of bloggers encouraging others to update older posts over the years, but I just chose to ignore them because I think it’s best to keep them the same to allow yourself to see where you were and as you continue to grow as both a blogger and writer. I have never said I am a perfect writer in the past, and hope people respect me on that subject.

However, I am here once again, because I found out that British alternative-pop singer RAIGN (ray-gen) has come back with an even bigger surprise for us fans, and that is, she re-released her 2018 album, “SIGN” late in October; the album has a new title as well the addition of nine other songs! It is now called, “Sign From Above” and I thought instead of re-writing the previous songs, how about I just add onto the first post. So below is everything I wrote about Raign and the album back then, while the newer material is below divided by a line to hopefully keep everything in line so nobody gets confused. I seriously hope you enjoy the album experience and what I’ve written as far as the review.


Back 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.


After the last song of the original lineup, we start again with “Causing Love” and this was initially released in 2019 and I do remember listening to it, but overall it’s been a while since I’ve heard her music but I instantly remembered what I enjoyed the most, her voice. It is semi-deep and raspy, but adds an extra edge to her style of music that brings out a positive and dark side to her songs. As far as this song goes, it is absolutely beautiful! You can feel the love rushes out of your speakers, and I really enjoyed that guitar solo along with her high notes echoing in the background at the end. The next song has that darker vibe I love the most, at least the introduction has this as it builds into a bigger picture full of various pictures. This song is called, “Things Can Only Get Better” and as much as I like the cinematic take, I kind of wished it kept that base sound, it almost gave it a country vide especially in the way she is singing it, it definitely could have worked out greatly without the symphony in the background. It’s an interesting combination!

Our third track is, “Now I Can Fly” which is totally different to the others I’ve heard so far. The poppy drums in the beginning was a nice surprise, and I feel like this could be a great Monday motivational song, especially with all of the anxiety and worry that life has brought to a good chunk of people nowadays! I liked the boost of energy and message in the lyrics, it’s clear this is a happy song! Now, I don’t know how we got on the Christmas-y train, but okeydokey! This is “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” and this is absolutely gorgeous! It has that nostalgic sound you would normally hear in churches and/or orchestra, I was really pulled into it at the sound of the banged bells that flicker throughout the song. Raign doesn’t have that traditional voice you would hear in carols but I thought it was cool to not only hear, but see something different come out of that type of music.

As far the next three songs, they are new versions of the songs mentioned above in my original post. The fourth is an orchestra take on “Who We Are” and of course I adore anything–well, apparently, almost anything as we’ve uncovered in the previous paragraph!–with a symphony sound to it, and I’m shocked to say I still like the other way more! Although I do like her transitions on the high pitched notes at the end of the courses, but that’s all I really like about it. “Out Of Time” was actually #2 and since I’ve only heard her cinematic finished songs, this was a lovely surprise. I loved the acoustic switch of this, as much as I love the majestic and powerful sound of a full orchestra, some days I like stripped down type of music and this was so good!

“Into Heaven Alone” is on now and we are back on the orchestral sound, but honestly it is milder than what I was expecting it to be right out of the gate. It has a nice mixture of a slower acoustic-orchestral session. I have heard other artists and bands do this before, but I’ve always felt some were too chaotic to include both styles for one song, but I did like this one. I wasn’t into it at first, but as it ended, the sound mellowed out and it was really nice.

We are at the final two songs: “Walls” was another track that was released sometime in 2019, this one I never got a chance to hearing because I didn’t “follow” her on my Spotify yet so I missed out on the actual time and date of when it came out. Anyways, it has a dance-y beat to it in the beginning and then quiets down when Raign starts to speak, but I enjoyed this one. I think this one is a favorite, but I kind of wished she was singing more because I felt as though it was more circled around the music itself, which I seemed to notice a distinct electronica vibe going on with this one. I liked it quite a bit so obviously, I didn’t mind it that much! And the last song, is another version of “Causing Love” and it includes the Millionaire London Orchestra and unlike my comments about the orchestral take on “Who We Are” this one is pretty good! I like the sadness of the violins and what I was feeling in the other one, is more inflamed and very exciting!

A part of me figured the newer songs were going to somewhat stay within the original sound but I had hoped for more diversity, because as much as I love this style and grace of music Raign does, I want to see what else she can bring to the table too. So, a part of me wonders if she is planning on releasing any more music in the near future. I mean, 2021 is right around the corner and it has me thinking of changes and more music, so maybe she has been experimenting with other genres, or want to go into acoustic even more after putting “Out Of Line” on here like this, maybe these are clues and she isn’t necessarily finished with us yet.

Of course, I could be absolutely wrong and this is only just one present to her fans. I would be okay with that, but I am always wondering about the people I listen to on the radio, Spotify and YouTube, you just never know what’s going on, until it comes out finally! So, we’ll see what happens as we cross the new year bridge next month.

Have you heard of RAIGN’s newest edition of her album yet? Do you have any favorites? If I wasn’t the one to introduce you to her music, how did you find her?

snowflake

Book Review: “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs

Hello!

There have only been two books in my life that have taken me practically forever to finish: Harry Potter and The Prisoner Of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling and Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs! I’ve always known the issue behind POA but with the other it’s been a mystery. I have always thought it was entertaining but for some odd reason it’s taken me over four years to finally get it off of my TBR list!

The year I purchased the paperback edition was in 2016! I thought it wasn’t that long ago honestly, but I guess I was wrong. I’ve tried to read in 2018 and made some progress but I thought the huge gap in between each time I would stop and read it would confuse me, so once I made the commitment to actually be done with it, I wasn’t necessarily planning on doing a review. It wasn’t until I reached Chapter 9 that I ended up changing my mind and thus, I am here to unleash anything and almost everything…

So, if you haven’t read the first book and want to sometime in the future, please be warn because there might be spoilers listed below.


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A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow-impossible though it seems-they may still be alive. A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

taken from Goodreads.


I do remember the day I found this book at Walmart, because the film was being released in theaters and I had seen Candice King from The Vampire Diaries talk about it on her Twitter back in 2016, so it was purely a trendy book at the time and I fell into the trap and basically begged my mom for it that day.

When I first began reading, Jacob Portman wasn’t a teenager in my head at all. I pictured him in his early 20’s and this never went away until he actually gets inside the loop itself. I wasn’t the biggest fan of him either, I thought he was cocky and I don’t really care for characters like that in any age, so it was somewhat difficult but once I got over that hurdle, I started to see him in a different light.

I still don’t believe Jacob was a favorite of mine, at least not as much as I adored both Emma Bloom and Millard. The name Millard has been added into this month’s favorite names, but I just pictured him like Griffin in the Hotel Transylvania films, but way smarter and younger of course! I felt like Emma and I could be best friends. I really enjoyed her spunk and understood her compassion for Abe and Jacob. For me, I loved the story between Emma and Abe, more than her and Jacob. I thought this was creepy!

Since I waited basically five years to complete the book to watch the film afterwards, I hadn’t seen the cast list at all, but when we were introduced to Miss Alma Peregrine, also known as “The Bird” I immediately had Helena Bonham Carter in my mind as the perfect person to play her; I know she wasn’t the actress in the movie but I could not get her out of my mind, in every scene she was in, I had this pretty, dressed properly Bellatrix Lastrange image! I could even hear the woman’s posh voice in my ears, that’s how bad it became for me!

Unfortunately, I figured out who the villain was towards the middle, which really caused me to become conflicted about how I would explain it on here. I’m not usually notorious for spotting ‘Easter eggs’ in anything, so as I continued, I was extremely hopeful I was wrong but it didn’t happen and I was super bummed that I put the two together so quickly.

After I finished it on Goodreads, I gave it a 3/5 stars. It was a four at first but I feel like I wasn’t as interested like I thought, plus how it ended wasn’t up to par with others I’ve read this past year, so with that being said I will not be reading the other five books in the series. However, in the mist of writing this review, I’ve probably watched the film and I am hopeful I will write a post about it too, but it will depend on whether I make it through the entire movie, which is why I never wrote about the Wonder film back at the start of the year.

Have you read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Pecilaur Children by Ransom Riggs? What were your thoughts on it?

snowflake

Album Review: “Singular: Act I” by Sabrina Carpenter

After I did the Little Mix review last week, I wondered how many other albums I missed and wanted to talk about on here. So I have found two more albums, this one and another that came out in December that I will be sharing my thoughts on hopefully next week! First, we are going to talk about my increasing love for Sabrina Carpenter. I know the last name Carpenter is fairly infamous in the music industry, but I don’t think Sabrina has any relations to them. Sabrina is an actress along with being a singer. She’s worked on the Disney Channel on shows like, “Austin & Ally,” “Girl Meets World,” and finally “Adventures In Babysitting.”

I’ve been focused on her singing career than her acting, and it was purely by accident. I caught the end of her song “Thumbs” on the radio and thought it wasn’t bad and within a week later I heard another one called, “Why” and it was just continuous, because the final song I heard in 2018 was “Lost Love” with the EDM group Lost Kings. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of the tracks, so when I saw that she had released a new album back in November, I was like “I need to check this out right now!” So, if you’d like to join me on this little adventure, you’re more than welcome to it.

The first song is “Almost Love” and I liked the cute popping in the beginning. The “cute” factor never really leaves the beat at all, and I think it makes it a bit annoying. A part of me hates it, but yet I’ve heard it so much lately that I’ve been dancing and humming to it, so it’s a good dance-pop song but has some little things that irritate me. We move on to “Paris” and I will be honest, I thought she had redone The Chainsmokers’s single of “Paris” but after I listened to it, I realized I was wrong but I like it anyways. I like the seductive beat and tone of her voice. I think it gives the message a needed edge. I really enjoy it!

Third is “Hold Tight” featuring Uhmeer. I’ve never heard of this person, but I am always open to new artists! This has a R&B sound to it too, which is strange because the album has been said to prominently be pop/EDM. It’s much slower, has a strong sexy vibe going on but I actually like it! I think Uhmeer’s deep voice is a good contrast to Sabrina’s sweet voice. It just added to the “feel good” vibe that was already going on. Next was “Sue Me” and we’re back on the pop train again. Unfortunately, I didn’t really like this one. It seemed really dull compared to the previous tracks. I didn’t even dance to it after the first verse was over and yes, that’s usually my sign that it’s a good song, but there was nothing with this. So, we move on to “Prfct” which is the word: Perfect, but without the vowels. The only reason why I say that out loud because I was so confused writing it out in my notepad. It was one of those days for me! Anyways, this beat is nice and easy. To me, it’s more sensual than the other way around, but I really like it.

We’re heading to the last three songs of the record. The sixth track is “Bad Time” and this only had Sabrina’s voice in the beginning, so it’s a slow start to the beat itself, but when it does appear it’s a nice real pop sound. I was a bit on the fence about it. I liked the sound, but thought it was a bit overwhelming to really hear the lyrics of the song. That is my only complaint with it. “Mona Lisa” is on now and I thought the moment it started, I thought it was a bit unique. I thought it has 00’s bubblegum pop sound to it. It reminded me of Jessica Simpson and Christina Aguilera! Honestly, it was refreshing and it actually became one of my favorites of the bunch! And finally the last song is “Diamonds Are Forever” and I really liked this one too. I thought she kind of sounded like another artist I heard recently: Elley Duhe. This has a sensual beat, but she sings it with such sass that it really makes you like it. At least, it did that for me!

Apparently I had some strong expectations to this effort than I thought I did because a part of me felt a bit let down by it. I was on the fence for about half of the tracks on this record and only had one real favorite out of the whole thing. That’s not like me to be like this, so I’m hoping when she releases Act 2 later this year, it’ll be a little bit better!

Have you listened to Sabrina Carpenter’s new album yet? What did you think of it? Do you love it or hate it?

Favorite Blog Posts Of 2018!

Howdy!

Yeah, I’m a little late writing this post, but it’s January so I’m still okay with getting these types of posts up! It’s also been three weeks (or so) after I first put up my last post of 2018, I asked everyone at the end of it if you wanted to see my favorite posts of the past year. Although I didn’t get any replies for it, I just decided to do it anyways!

A lot of bloggers will do these posts of only talking about their most popular posts of the year, but I don’t like going that route. Some of my most viewed blog posts are full of grammar and spelling mistakes, so the fact that get any reads at all kind of freaks me out!

Here are some of my favorite blog post of 2018!

Goals For 2018
Shuffle The Music Tag
NYE Shenanigans
Are There Two Babies
3/4
What I Love About Afternoon Tea
My Worst Fear
Favorite Dance Films!
Why You Should Blog Now?
The Disabled Blogger Tag
Baby Shower
Top 11 Life Mottos To Live By
How Do I Stay Organized?
Nolan’s Nursery Tour
Why I’ve Never Joined A Book Club
Becoming An Auntie
4 Favorite Female Stand-Up Comics
Summer Playlist 2018
The Assassin
What It’s Like To Be A (Disabled) Blogger
6 Halloween Movies For Adults
5 Favorite Shows About Nature & Culture
The Baby Name Tag
Basketball Is Back
Routine Or Nostalgic?
Bad Kitty

I think 2018 had a lot of informative pieces. I wanted to give new bloggers some tips that have helped me over the years. I also wanted to be a voice for the disabled people who might be thinking about creating a blog, that talks about their lives as well. I think having more than one perspective on a disability is good for everybody, because we have our differences but always looking into resources to help one another too.

Despite being sick at the start of the year and going through a major depression spell at the end of the summer, I managed to get a lot of interesting posts written up for you guys. And here I thought, it was just all about movies, but nope. I talked about various things that go with all three of my niches: disability, lifestyle, and music.

I even tried to bring back a couple of old stuff too! I really do miss doing those flash fiction challenges. All of the ones I used to do have ended and blogs have all but disappeared. So, I’ve had to search on Twitter and Pinterest for various prompts, and I’ve been successful. When March came over, I wrote my first story on here since probably 2012! It was great to be back doing some free writing again. I’m hoping to continue on them for 2019 too!

One last thing that I did this past year was talk about babies. Between my sister and cousin Kristi, it was baby central on the blog! Since Kristi and her family now live in Louisiana, I will not be able to do a lot of intimate blog posts about Joseph and her new baby! However, I will eventually do the post about her second child’s arrival. I still feel extremely guilty for not being able to get that up in November! Of course, I will be talking about my nephew this year. I think we’re due for another update on him and I will work with Blondie to see what kind of pictures she’d like to share with you.

What were your favorite blog posts of 2018? Is there a topic you’d like for me to discuss on a future post? Let me know!

Album Review: “LM5” by Little Mix

I am a BIG Little Mix fan! I’ve reviewed two out of the four albums, and now I get to listen and chat about their new album that came out in November. I’m always late to the party, but time and space on my blog gets away from me and it is best to wait it out. It gets me going in the right direction for the new year too!

I think Little Mix is unique because even though there are four girls in the group: Jesy, Leigh-Anne, Jade, and Perrie – they sound like one person, especially when it comes to their ballads. This album consists of 14 songs, with an addition of four more songs in the deluxe edition. I will not be talking about those tracks unfortunately, because the regular amount is a lot for me anyways. So, how about we get started, huh?

The first track of the album is “The National Manthem” and I tried my best to come up with what the title could mean before listening to the actual song, but I came back empty. I ended figuring it was actual an introduction of the whole thing, so that made me feel a bit better about that. You only hear the girls sing in harmony without any music in the background. It was different but I liked it for some odd reason. So, that means “Woman Like Me” is actually the first real song of the album. It features Nicki Minaj and I really enjoyed the tropical and hip hop mixture of the beat. It’s fierce and fun at the same time. Third is “Think About Us” and it has a prominent pop-y sound that I could get behind, towards the choruses the beat grows and considering the theme and lyrics, I was half expecting the song to have a softer sound, but I was okay with this though. I liked the fact that I could not stop dancing to it while it played on, so that’s a good sign!

The fourth track is “Strip” it features Sharaya J., who is a rapper and former choreographer. I thought that was interesting! Anyways, this song is very seductive but I loved it. I liked it for the minimal music on the track. The popping sound gives it all it really needed because the girls’ personalities and voices made it better than anything that I’ve heard in a while, like no joke! I also liked it for the body positive message of the lyrics. Next we have “Monster In Me” and I was really hoping for a banger so imagine my face when it become a slower track. I cannot win. However, as it went on, I did like the calmer vibe it brought and since it was gloomy as hell outside on the day I wrote out this review, it matched my mood for that moment. I really love it! “Joan Of Arc” is next and I was really curious about this track. I always love when artists and bands talk about historical figures, even if the lyrics don’t go well with the person. I just like the different ways they can use the figure in their message, and this was no different. This is definitely a song about independent women, feminism theme. I’m not about feminism message, but I liked this though!

Seventh track is “Love A Girl Right,” the song has a real pop-rock sound. It kind of reminded me of a recent song; the beat, especially the usage of a guitar sounded like DJ Khaled’s “Wild Thoughts” and at first, I wasn’t really feeling it but it started to kind of grow on me. I don’t know what I really think about it. We move on to “American Boy” and even though it’s about the love of American boys, it has a real tropical sound to it. I kind of thought that was a bit weird, to me this wouldn’t be the first beat I’d choose for these lyrics, but okeydokey! I was hoping “Told You So” was better than the last two, and I am happy to say we finally have our first acoustic song off the album. I figured this one would be a ballad, but I didn’t think I’d like it this much. This is a beautiful about supporting your best friend through a breakup or cheating scandal.

The next song is, “Wasabi” and I would be lying if I didn’t tell you, how confused I was about this one. When it finally started those thoughts went away quickly. If you liked the monotone speaking of the fourth track, you get a second slightly different version of it. I like the quirkiness of it. And of course, the little rock-y elements in it too. It gave it a whole different edge and I loved it! Next is, “More Than Words” it features an artist by the name of Kamille. She is a notable songwriter and has worked with Little Mix throughout their career, so I thought was a cool thing to finally be featured as a guest singer on a track she helped write for them. The song is a good medium between a ballad and having an upbeat sound. I really liked this one too!

We’re starting to get to the end of the line, “Motivate” gave me a some party vibes. I did this post on NYE, so I was dancing and enjoying myself a little too early, but it’s not like I would stay awake until midnight anyways! I didn’t! The song has a sexy sound to it, but I didn’t care about that at this point. Next, we have “Notice” and this had a mysterious introduction and the seductive tone continues through the entire thing, but I think I liked this one compared the last song. The girls’ voices are so powerful in this song, so really this is right up my alley! And finally, our last song is “The Cure” and thankfully it is a ballad. I felt there wasn’t enough of these types of songs, which made me kind of sad but I liked the ones we were given though. You still hear the girls and their emotions in each song, and this was no different. It was so good!

The album itself was pretty good, it had a lot of different genres and topics mentioned so I definitely appreciated that a lot, but I think my favorite part was how mature their music is becoming with each album. They’re no longer young girls that won The X-Factor, and the fact they’re no longer signed to Simon Crowell’s recording company, I think of that as a good thing. They can grow as women and don’t have to worry about having to hide themselves in their music.

Have you listened to Little Mix’s new album yet? If you have, what were your favorite song(s) in it? What other thoughts did you have about it? Let me know!