Album Review: “Hearing Colour” by Svrcina

I am back with another review for you! As you all know, I love doing these blog posts but unfortunately being able to find new full releases is tricky so when I find a stack of music, even if it’s small, I will try to talk about on here!

For today, I will be reviewing an album that came out in early June, by an artist that I have discussed on here before. She is Svrcina, and her newest album “Hearing Colour” came out on the 14th, and I found out about it on the 27th! Honestly, if I do end up writing all three reviews, I’m pretty sure all of them were released sometime last month.

Check out the review of her previous album simply titled “Svrcina” that came out in 2017 now!

We have firstly, the title track “Hearing Colour” and it is a gentle introduction of what is essentially to come. It has that synth-pop sound that she is sort of known for, so I really liked it. Finally, it’s with “Dragonflies” that starts the music journey. We have that little exotic flare that I really love about her music. It’s not too much or too little, just enough to give it that edge. The song itself is very upbeat with a pop-y tone. Great way to begin the album! Next is a song called “Pages” and here again, we have a happy but unique kind of beat going on. I was imagining myself relaxing at a Japanese spa, surrounded by a small stream and some waterlilies here and there. I can really see it while listening to this song, but I like the actual song too. !

When I first wrote out the list, I thought to myself, please be a ballad. From the moment it started playing, I instantly got excited because even though it wasn’t what I initially wanted I still enjoyed it anyways. “Insecure” has that light but mysterious sound that I love in her music, but it’s not too much. I think some people would consider this a House track just by the vibe of it. It’s pretty groove-y so I really liked that. It was better than I expected it, which was awesome! Next, we have “All I Wanna Do” and here we have what i like to think of a regular pop song, because there wasn’t really anything too interesting about it, but it was good anyways!

The album is coming to an end; “Back 2 Good” has a nice little upbeat tone. I really like the bubble popping type of sound in the verses, the reason why I say “bubble popping” is because it was literally the first thing that came to me when I focused my attention on it. I really enjoyed the song, despite not liking it the first time I listened to it a few months ago. It’ll put you in a good mood, I was humming and dancing towards the end of it so that’s always a good sign! And finally, we have “Come Together” and I thought it was a nice balance between her slower songs and a pop-y track. Out of all the songs on the album, I still love this one the most!

I think because she came out as a cinematic artist, working with Tommee Profitt for his cinematic volumes for the past three years, I’ve gotten so use d to that voice of hers in that thundering light that when she went in an another direction, I wasn’t necessarily ready for it. I’m not saying any of this release was bad, for a pop album, it was pretty good but not what I was expecting it to be. I also had a thought that since her first album was in a somber tone, this was bubbly and warm, perfect for the summertime! So, what I’m really trying to say is that it was a nice surprise.

Have you listened to Svrcina’s music before? If you have heard this release, what were your thoughts on it? A fan or not?

Album Review: “For The Throne” by Game Of Thrones, Various Artists

I don’t know what made me decide to do this review, but I thought it would be fun and I also really wanted to talk about how you feel about these types of releases, are you fan of them or think they’re kind of annoying because they don’t match what you pictured in your head for the last nine years? You’ll find out my answer soon!

This album is pretty hefty, which I was kind of surprised but grew to like it because that leaves more room for other artists and genres they mainly work in on a daily basis. It’s also a collection of popular and no-so-popular artists as there were two that I have never heard of before so I am a bit intrigued to begin with so that’s a plus! When I started writing this review, I was already listening to the album but quickly stopped before I went too far to come back. Hmmm… sounds like something you’d hear before going over The Wall. Anyways, let’s start, shall we?

The first track is called “Kingdom Of One” by Country singer Maren Morris. It is such an eerie, but soft song that definitely embodies that Game Of Thrones vibe, as it’s darkness and somber look with every episode. I think it has the right amount of edge and makes you curious to what the rest of the record will sound like after it’s over. It’s perfect. The first single to be released was “Power Is Power” by The Weeknd featuring SZA & Travis Scott. I thought it was interesting how different this one and the previous song were, but I liked them for what they bring to the album as a whole! However, it does sound like the Black Panther song, “Pray For Me” with this popping beat at the end of the chorus, so that pretty much bummed me out a bit.

Check out music producer Tommee Profitt and artist Fleurie’s cinematic release “Gloria Regali” that was also inspired by the HBO series “Game Of Thrones.” 

We move on to “Nightshade” and I cannot lie, the first thing that jumped up at me was the big green explosion in season six. It is sung by The Lumineers, and thanks to the band’s background in folk music, the vibe of this song is totally new. In a way, it has this peppy sound mostly because of the pianist using the higher notes, so it has this urgent but calming atmosphere. I kept thinking something else was coming but it never doesn’t. It just stays in this one place and usually I’d find this really annoying but I liked it. The fifth track is “Hollow Crown” by Ellie Goulding and this may be an unpopular opinion to some, but you can’t have a movie or in this case a television show soundtrack without Ellie Goulding in it. Now as I say that, I thought this wasn’t as good as some of her others. I figured it would be much darker like the title somewhat suggests, but it’s not like that at all. The beat is fairly boring; nothing about it really grabs my attention and I was really shocked by it.

Next there’s “Baptize Me” by X Ambassadors featuring Jacob Banks. This was one of the artists I was unfamiliar with, so I had to go check him out after I was finished. I swore up and down it was Rag’Bone Man with his deep voice. I enjoyed the laid back vibe of this one. It has a nice groove to it, and I thought it was weird because I didn’t think it was a GoT type of song but then I thought, we need a light=heart song because it’s not all about blood and glory. One song that I thought brought out the most GoT feelings, was “Too Many Gods” by A$AP Rocky featuring Joey BadA$$. This was very mellow as far as rap songs go, so I ended up really loving it! It wasn’t too much in your face and gave you this calming perspective. Our seventh track is “Turn On Me’ by The National. They are a rock band that have been making music since 1999. I really, really liked the softness of it. I am so used to hearing epic songs for movies that I keep forgetting that rock-pop could be a really good change, because there are sweet moments between our characters and so I have grown to appreciate this take on these songs.

The ninth song is “From The Grave” by James Arthur. I love James Arthur. He gives out so much emotion and a rawness that I feel like I need to hear on a weekly basis to remind me “this is what men sound me”. I really loved this one because I feel like it could be a dedication to the characters that died throughout the duration of the show. We move on to “Me Traicionaste” by ROSALIA and A.CHAL. I thought this was an interesting track because this completely in Spanish. So, we bring in other worldly sounds to the album and despite having a couple of rap songs included for some reason I didn’t think there should be a song like this on it, but I enjoyed having it be apart of it too!

Our next song is “When I Lie” and it’s a remix of the original version. It’s by Lil Peep and features Ty Dolla $ign too. One thing that I really liked about it was this hip hop mixing with rock sound. It’s one of my favorite combinations! I’m familiar with Ty but not Lil Peep, but I thought both of their voices were great in that echo-y sense and it all has a nice groove to it so I thoroughly enjoyed myself with this. We move on to, “Love Can Kill” by another artist I never heard of before, but I grew to like her voice anyways. Her name is Lennon Stella. She reminded me of Alessia Cara and Billie Eilish. Anyways, I like this pop-y thing going on, but I didn’t get it was inspired by GoT but then once I really paid attention to it, I thought it could work. The twelfth song is “Wolf At Your Door” by Chloe x Hallie. I think these girls each have a beautiful voice and the beat itself embodied that vibe of the show. It was eerie but pop-y at the same time, it’s really good honestly!

These are the last couple of songs on the album. We have “Devil In Your Eye” by Mumford & Sons. I was surprised we didn’t have an Ed Sheeran song on here, but if there was an alternative route I guess Mumford & Sons is a good way to go! This was a great song, I liked the lightness of it, between the lead vocalist’s voice and the overall sound itself. It was nice. The final song is “Pray (High Valyrian)” and I’m really glad to see this type of track on the album. It is an essentially an instrumental, there are words but you can’t really hear them clearly to make out anything but maybe “pray” and unless you are an expert on Valyrian language, you’re kind of screwed. However, the song itself is really good. It’s mysterious and makes you wonder if it’s a clue to the ending of the series.

I was really surprised with this album. I actually ended up liking the majority of the songs on it. I also really enjoyed the variety of genres on it as well. It gave everybody a chance to release something they thought needed to be expressed, whether or not they are fans of the show. However, I’d hope everyone involved are fans in the first place! I definitely didn’t picture any of these songs and the artists on this, but I thought it was really cool to see this basically come alive.Anyways, I definitely recommend any fan of Game Of Thrones to listen to this soundtrack!

Have you listened to the “For The Throne” soundtrack yet? If you have, what were your favorite track(s) on it? 

Album Review: “Breathing In Colours” by Forever Still

Today I will be talking about another album that just recently came out this month. I’ve already talked about this band back in 2016, but now we have a bran new release and I am so excited to do this review for you! I’m also really happy to finally be able to listen to all of the songs too, since I’ve been trying to save them specifically for this post. 

Forever Still is a female fronted band straight out of Denmark. The group consists of Maja the lead vocalist and her band mates: Mikkel, Rune, and Inuuteg. They make some really fun and exciting hard rock music. You cannot tell that they are an international band, and Maja is true rocker as she has an amazing voice for both singing and screaming! If you’ve never heard of them or want to make your own judgement about Maja’s singing ability then you should check out the rest of their music afterwards. 

This album has a total of 12 tracks and we start it with a song called “Rewind”. It has an eerie introduction that only lasts a few seconds and immediately hear this static-y sound before Maja starts singing. I enjoyed the familiarity in the entire song. I don’t listen to them a lot, much less rock music, as I used to so it was nice to instantly fall back in love with the band again. One thing that I noticed was the range in Maja’s voice. Whenever she went up to do those high notes in the choruses, you could hear the power. It wasn’t forced so it was perfectly done. I really liked this the most I think. Next, there’s “Fight” and you have this hard, head-banging kind of song. It still has these softer notes in it, which I ended up liking a lot more than I thought I would. I also want to say that I think Maja has learned the safer way to conduct her screams, because it did feel a little bit held in parts, it wasn’t as intense as I’m used to hearing it but that doesn’t mean it was bad though. 

Click here to read Forever Still’s “Tied Down” album review now!

Our third track is “Breathe In Colours” and this is much more gritty compared to the first two songs. When it starts, you think it’s going to stay in one lane but it doesn’t, everything changes during the choruses. One giveaway for this, is when Maja suddenly goes quiet and whispers a few words before screaming into the microphone. I like the commanding presence it had, I wanted it to continue on and on just so I could absorb that vibe a little bit more. I think it’s my favorite, but we have to keep going to see what else we have on here. “Is It Gone?” was actually on one of my favorite rock stations, Sirius XM Octane a couple of weeks ago and as much as I was excited for them to be played on there, I forced myself away and I was really sad I did to myself. The song itself is really light, it’s not obnoxious like I thought but I really liked it for what it was, a really hard rock song that is perfect for radio too! 

We move on to, “Survive” and I really hoped for another loud, in your face type of song and that’s exactly what I got! It was strong and made me chill out, which was strange in a way because usually this type of music has the opposite effect. I have to point out though, I wasn’t just swaying side-to-side, whenever the pace increased, I was head-banging right along to her screams! It was a good and interesting mix! Number six was “Do Your Worst” and this is a monster! From the time it starts until the ends, it’s just intense! Maja does a lot of singing in this one, but I actually prefer it, you can feel and the emotions coming out of her in this, and that was what really made me fall in love with it. 

We are almost done, and I am already sad! Next there’s “Pieces” and it’s another light rock song. The screams are not at the forefront of the song, so instead you hear this angelic singing and mysterious choir in the background too. It was really great! We go back to the heavy hitters in the eighth track, “Rising Over You” and it actually gave me “Scars” vibes in various parts of the song. If you don’t know, “Scars” is one of my favorites on their previous album, so the fact that we have a similarity between these two songs kind of made me worried at first, but this is a completely different song, and I’m glad the whole thing a whole new identity. 

We move on to, “Say Your Goodbyes” the song that I forgot to write down on my list before I got started on this post. It happens sometimes, especially with me! Anyways, this has a darker direction but the sound itself is not muddled, meaning the softer and gritty sounds don’t overwhelm each other as they trade off. Our final song, is “Embrace The Tide” ends this journey on a very easy-going note. It’s not in your face, heavy, but it still has a soul with the orchestral elements added onto it. I really liked, even though it isn’t what I would normally like for the end of this album, still it’s really good too! 

I know I mentioned in the beginning that this had twelve songs on here, but I don’t normally like to talk about acoustic versions of the same song I just listened to. Normally I do say something about it, but honestly I don’t really care for acoustic songs, so I apologize for the false advertisement there. Other than that, this was a really good album. I really actually surprised in a way because I hadn’t seen that much about it online, so I was a bit scared going into this. Second albums are usually a hit or a miss too, so that was my other worry about listening to it, but we’re good! It was a great album with some nice changes too.

Have you heard Forever Still’s new release “Breathing In Colours” yet? If you have, what did think of it?  Do you have any favorites that you’d like to share with us?  

Album Review: “Gloria Regali” by Tommee Profitt x Fleurie

At this time, we usually get another collection of epic songs by Tommee Profitt, and I guess you would say that this would fit but the album has a very specific theme and features only one artist. So, it’s something completely different, but yet it isn’t. I think with the release of the previous volumes in the last two years, I think they were the “calm before storm” if you will; allowing our ears to hear something new to get us in the groove of a project like this to take over.

This project “Gloria Regali” was inspired by the new and unfortunately final season of Game Of Thrones. Last year, I started watching the series and instantly enjoyed it too, but since DISH does not carry HBO anymore, I am not able to watch the season along with everybody. Honestly, I should have expected this. I wasn’t really surprised when they made the announcement that it would be their last season but for some odd reason this wasn’t on my radar! Anyways, I was really excited to see Tommee Profitt using the show and maybe even the books for something like this anyways. I think Fleurie’s voice is incredible so the fact that she’s the only main vocalist on the album is really exciting to me!

Check out my review of Tommee Profitt’s album Cinematic Songs, Volume 3  here.

Let’s start off with the first track of the album, which is the title track “Gloria Regali”. I like the fact that they start it off kind of quiet. The beat itself is intense from the moment it begins but Fleurie’s voice has this soft quality to it and as the song progresses the song just explodes with those loud drums and choir. It is a great beginning into this journey and if you have watched Game Of Thrones, it also gives you this nice image of the great war brewing and who might sit in the iron throne. The second song is “Onward & Upward” and I thought the sound was more grittier, kind of gave me the vibe of being Cersei’s theme song maybe? The reason why I say that is because Cersei is such a sly, malevolent character and between this hard-hitting beat and Fleurie’s dark emotions coming out in this. It just reassured me that this was her song, but of course I could be wrong too!

Next is “Noble Blood” and at first, I thought I would regret my original statement above, but then the more I thought about it. This could be for Queen Daenarys, Mother Of Dragons. Can you guess which team I root for? I feel like this one had a more sensual sound to it, which really led to my decision to think this could fit her in the end. I think Daenarys is a very strong character, she’s had to sacrifice a lot to get to where she is right now in the story, everytime she gives away a part of herself as far as love goes, it always seems to be taken away or used against her in some way. So she’s had to learn quick and fight within her own terms. After that, we finally have our instrumental and that is “Desolation” and the first person that popped into my head was Arya. She’s like Daenarys in a way that she’s had to grow up quick, but she’s just powerful and honestly I won’t want to cross either one of them. Your death will not be peaceful and I think that’s what this sound brings out, is this fire (no pun intended) and fierce pace fit for two strong women.

The fifth song is “Winter’s Song” of course. This brought me back to Jon Snow’s time at and beyond The Wall. I also think it’s beautiful funeral track to all of the characters we’ve lost throughout the series too. It’s just gorgeous! It is in your face, but it is very gentle. Next we have “Undone” and it also has another slow start, but I have learned to love these types of songs because they are usually the best, and I was right; the sound just continues to grow and grow and you just wonder how it will all end. The drop itself was mighty and even it had a bit of a hip hop sound towards the ending, but I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Our seventh track is “Premonition” and this instantly gave me Brann vibes. It’s the one song that I didn’t have to guess who it was for, because of the title! I do appreciate the fact that it is another instrumental. I like the change of sound with this one. It has a ton of different elements incorporated within it and I thought it had some depth to it compared to the others. We move onto “Midnight Oil” and it has this mysterious introduction that I really enjoyed, but I actually ended up loving the whole song. I instantly got this powerful feeling come around me the longer it went on! I really loved the fierce but gentle sound of the beginning but the end was monstrous and I couldn’t get enough of it really! Four minutes and five seconds was apparently NOT long enough for me!

I thought “Remembrance” was our only “real” ballad off the album. The usage of the piano was beautiful! I feel like it would fit every “Saying Goodbye To ‘Game Of Thrones'” videos on YouTube we will see just before the last episode premieres because it just has that kind of quality to it. However, I quickly realized that the melody itself is the same of another one of Tommee’s songs. “Tomorrow We Fight” and another thing they share is Fleurie herself too! I knew once I found the other one, my original thoughts would disappear, because I generally dislike hearing same lyrics and/or melody shared with multiple songs. It’s still good but I would have liked to hear something that wouldn’t have me so easily distracted in this way. The final song is “Sound Of War” and personally I hoped for a banger, between the title and being the last of anything GoT in general, you’re kind of expected it to end with a big bang. I did like the quirky sounds in the introduction and the intense banging was a kicker. I really enjoy hearing epic songs about wars. I know it’s weird as crap but there’s something with the raw emotions of the singer and the rush of everything going on in the sound behind them is so exciting! They make you feel invincible and powerful at the same time and I’m thankful that this gave me all of those feelings at the end. It was perfect!

I thought this was a fantastic lineup of music for not only GoT fans will enjoy but anybody that loves cinematic music in general. I also think that quite a few of them might end up on some people’s workout or motivational playlist. I don’t really have any bad notes to add-on because I included what I really wanted to say in each section.

Now it’s your turn, what did you think of Tommee Profitt and Fleurie’s little creation? Do you have any favorites on the album?

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!

Album Review: “Everyday Is Christmas” by Sia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

snowflake

Album Review: “The Fire Within” by Jennifer Thomas

40139219_10155514913606689_6789604461816840192_nAs you guys know, I like a lot of different music. I think with the amount of times I’ve talked about my love of symphonic metal, cinematic and Celtic music on here, it definitely wouldn’t surprise you to hear anything else out of the ordinary.

Today, I will be talking about a pianist that I really enjoy, her name is Jennifer Thomas. She’s released four albums since 2006, but I found her music in 2014, with a track called “Requiem Of A Dream” off the album Illumination and I still play it on my iPod every once in a while if I need that nudge of strength in the middle of the afternoon.

On the 16th of October, I was on my Release Radar playlist on Spotify that keeps track of what has recently come out by my favorite artists and bands. It’s a great thing to have if you are like me and have a boarder range of music, this can help you find new music that isn’t always highlighted on New Music Friday that everybody usually uses during the start of the weekend. Anyways, this was where I found out that Jennifer had a new song out, but once I clicked on there, I quickly realized that it was more than just a single release and that I had missed the whole launch date completely since the album came out the week before. Yeah, that’s my luck for you!

This is called, The Fire Within and it’s kind of short, as there’s only ten tracks on it. There are two songs that feature another pianist and a vocalist, which is usually outside of the norm for her music, but I’m open to it especially since the singer has a lovely voice, but we’ll get to that in a bit. There are things I need to say before we go on with this. Since the music is relativity instrumental, I will be going about this in a totally different way then I normally do. I will be focusing on how I’m feeling and what kind of pictures the song itself will create, sort of like a dream, in other words there will be a lot of metaphors down below!

We start with the title track, “The Fire Within” and we have our first special guest, The Rogue Pianist, who really goes by Kimberly Starkey, helps Jennifer out with it. I like the fact that it’s well-balanced between the heaviness and almost epic-ly tone of the orchestra, but still have a touch of mellow sounds of the pianos throughout that the ladies bring is very beautiful. It’s a very intense, but yet romantic type of song. Second is “Awakening” and the beginning is so pretty, but I have to say, the piano isn’t as dominant in this as I thought it would, but I still like it. The upbeat drumming with that violin coming out of the darkness, pretty much takes things up a notch. I was immediately taken to a beach with only a black piano and brightly red violin playing as the sun was going down when the song continued on; that wouldn’t be a half bad idea for a music video, just saying!

“Girl In The Mirror” is next and I remember writing this out and hoping this had some kind of creepy vibe going through it, as it was getting closer to Halloween at the time. I mean, you can’t exactly blame me here! I wasn’t too disappointed with the ending result, as it still had an eerie tone to it, but honestly you get this sad, empathy feeling within you when you really start to listen to the piano coming to focus. I really liked the fact that you could clearly hear a flute at the end, it added to that gentleness of the song. Afterwards, we have another track that I was very curious about, “Rise Of The Phoenix” which could go perfect with my little story about a phoenix that will die, but for eternity. I figured this would be a powerful type of song, and it’s exactly that–in your face, but not in the way that I originally saw it to be. It was really lively, and the drums gave it another edge, you nod your head to it, because it was a constant beat that you could follow through, and sometimes with instrumental that simple act can be difficult to do. The whole thing is mischievous kind of like a phoenix would sort be, rising out of its ashes as a baby.

We move on to “Ascension” and after the last one, I’m kind of glad we’re back on the softer side of things. The sound isn’t overpowering, and the piano and violin bring out a fun element to the song. Despite having the instant calmer feeling, as I kept picturing a woman running around in a densely woods, she’s dancing on top of brooks and just enjoying the sunshine above her. This only occurred when the tempo increased and become of a symphonic beat.  The sixth track “Soaring” has the artist Eurielle on it. She specializes in the cinematic world, mainly works on fantasy driven music. She doesn’t exactly sing in this, more like “ahh-ing” her way through it, which I’m perfectly okay with that. This has a humble beginning, but the whole thing turns into this magical tune that made me instantly think of fairies flying around in a lush green forest.

These will be the last four songs of the album. We have “Because Of You” now and I’m always fascinated when pianists or any composer have a modern title, like this, because even though they are no lyrics involved, how do the titles come about for that person? Forgive me for going off subject a bit, but is anybody else like that too? Anyways, this is a gentle song. It’s not obnoxious or too quiet, to me it’s right in the middle and can be perfect for any time of the day. Next, there’s “Believer” and at first, when I wrote out the title on my notepad I was like, “oh, Imagine Dragons! I haven’t heard that in awhile.” So imagine my face when I realized that I didn’t have to go look it up afterwards, because here it was playing right in front of me, but this time the sound itself isn’t as grand but it still has the essence of it which I really liked. If you truly know the song by heart, I dare you to belt it out while listening to this version, because there are no singer featured besides the choir in the background towards the end!

“Time” is on and I was almost curious to know if this would be a piano version of another song, but even if it was, I don’t think I would have recognized it right away! It is generally a slow start, there’s a kind of somber vibe going on with this one. I kept seeing a woman covered in gray with a bright red coffee mug pacing back and forth in a hospital hallway. It’s one of those songs that make you visualize depressing things going on; it was interesting as this rarely happens whenever I listen to certain sad songs but in a way I think I liked it. And lastly, there’s “Glorious” and I really loved the lively introduction. After having such a downer in the previous song, this is just beautiful. It’s so bright and happy with all of the instruments going together in harmony. I kept thinking of small children skipping along on top of a hill, having the best time ever. I thought it was a gracious end to the whole collection.

I really enjoyed listening to the album. I thought every song had it’s own story and even a personality built into them. I think Jennifer created an interesting batch of music. It incorporated two of my favorites: piano and a cinematic vibe. There were many different things that I liked about it. I thoroughly love piano music, and always have since I was little. I was never able to learn how to play, although many people did try their hardest to educate me on how to read sheet music in the past, I just wasn’t able to keep up with it. So, I have grown up appreciating it in a different way and I find that to be more helpful to board other people’s horizons as well. I definitely recommend checking this out and the rest of Jennifer’s music if you want to explore piano music on your own!

Have you listened to Jennifer Thomas’s new album “The Fire Within” yet? If you have, what did you like or not like the most about it? Do you have a favorite track?

snowflake