Album Review: “Beautifully Broken” by Plumb

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

snowflake

Album Review: “Pain” by The Letter Black

18485937_10154678097778004_1418416946854203277_nI have decided to do a few album reviews for the month of July. It’ll definitely be a music month if I don’t put up anything else than these and my Tune Tuesday posts! It’s going to be a hectic month as my sister gets married soon so things will quickly turn and I’m not going to have a lot of energy to come up with content. Once August comes, you’ll be seeing the wedding posts and whatever comes next, but I think it’s going to be somewhat quiet on here for this month.

The first review I have for you is from a band based in Pennsylvania called The Letter Black. They are a Christian rock band that consists of Sarah Anthony on vocals, while her husband Mark Anthony does backing vocals and guitars. Other members are Matt Beal on bass and Justin Brown rounding out the group on the drums! They’ve had two other albums but this one is pretty unique because it wasn’t paid for by recording company, their fans pitched in and raised $25,000 to help record this album. It was finally released on May 26th so without further do, this is Pain!

The first song is “Fear” and it has this ominous sound to it, almost like a horror movie kind of introduction to it. I don’t like horror movies but I like it here! Sarah has a very easy going voice until she goes into her screams and that sweet tone just disappears. I actually like the lyrics, very catchy! I just love how this one sounds! It’s a typical rock song but it’s great! Next is “Last Day I Cared” and I like the slow introduction with Sarah screaming the title in the distant, this one isn’t as heavy as the first but it’s pretty good! Third is the title track “Pain” and I always get this confused with their previous song “Pain Killer”. I love how this has another creepy beginning, it gives me a Deftones kind of vibe while hearing it. It has a slower tempo throughout, but I think it gives has an interesting edge to it.

This one was just recently released as a single, it’s called “Rock’s Not Dead” and I love seeing these titles because it makes me remember Gene Simmons of KISS saying that “Rock is dead” a few years ago… Just to clarify, it’ll never be dead. I really like the heaviness of the song, I also love the meaning behind it too! It’s definitely telling people that even if pop music “rules” supreme in the world, rock music is still here and it’s not going anywhere! I love that kind of attitude! Next we have is “Kill The Devil” is pretty tame despite the title itself but it’s not bad. One thing that I like about The Letter Black is that even though they categorize themselves as a Christian band, you can’t exactly tell that they are! They don’t preach it as much as Skillet would, but I still love both bands!

Number six is “Meant For You” and it has some electronic notes throughout, has a static kind of sounds like going in and out in sections of the song. It’s not bad, but I’m not meshing with it at the moment.  The next has a more quiet atmosphere, Sarah’s voice is much softer and feminine. It is called “Alive” and you mostly hear the piano with her beautiful voice. It’s a gorgeous ballad! Next is another upbeat banger, “Rise From The Dead” this is the second song that has this creepy sound, this one gives me more of a carnival type of vibe! I’m a weirdo I know! It’s very heavy, almost reminds me of Motionless In White’s single “LOUD (Fuck It)” but I won’t lie, I like this one a lot better! They are that similar!

We have “Tear You Apart” and this one again has a electronic beginning, but you can also hear some strings in the background too! That’s a bonus! It’s not bad, nothing’s really giving it a special edge besides the guitar solo! Next is “Breathe” and you hear this sound going in and out, and it’s very loud and in your face, which I do love a lot. The last two start with “I Am” and this has a couple big bangs and you know it’s about to get heavy, this is what every rocker looks for in a song! I really like it! I really love the screams and it makes me wish I could do that too! Last one is “Holding On” and I was hoping that it was going to be another ballad since they only have “Alive” as their ballad, and I believe on having more than just one slower song on an album; at first when I heard this I was like “well, I’m not going to get my wish” but then it finally started and I realized it would be slower just not as much as the other track. You hear the piano and violins in the background, it’s very interesting so that’s a good sign!

I was slightly bummed with this album. I only liked about five songs out of the whole thing, but if I’m being honest here all of the songs are what I generally want to hear and so I’m a little puzzled as to why I don’t like as many as I should! It does have a ominous undertone, very meaningful lyrics, and great guitars and vocals, I just didn’t mesh with it really well and I’m even ticked off at myself.

Have you heard of The Letter Black’s newest album “Pain” yet? What do you think of the way of fans help raising money to help their favorite bands create new music? Have you ever contributed to the campaigns before?

snowflake

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Song Review: “Impossible” by Lacey Sturm

After Lacey left Flyleaf, I was sad like everybody else but I was very supportive of her and the band’s decision. She had her second son, was featured in We As Human’s song “Take The Bullets Away” and released a book; her time away from Flyleaf doesn’t seem like a vacation, the woman’s been working and busy being a mom and loving wife to her husband Josh. I’ve been patiently waiting for new music from Lacey Sturm. When she announced that Sirius XM Octane was going to play her first single from her debut album as a solo artist on my birthday I thought, “oh crap! I’m going to miss it.” And I did just that. Everytime I would switch my TV to Octane it would at the end of the song. It took me FIVE days to hear the damn song as a whole, but it was definitely worth the wait.

Surprisingly, I didn’t have any expectations for this song before I heard it. I love Lacey’s voice, it has an innocent quality to it if that makes sense. You don’t expect it to be such a powerhouse like it is. Everybody loves her screams, she’s infamous for them. I even love them just as the next person but I’m glad that while I was listening to “Impossible” those screams were in the background. I find that after a singer has left a band, it can be tricky to not compare the music and lyrics to the work with the band. I’m happy to say I can find the divider between works. It’s very positive–lyric wise. The sound of it over all is amazing, it has everything I like basically. The creepy intro, harsh screams, and keeps my attention from beginning to end.

So what do you think of Lacey’s first single?

Music Video Review: “Brother” by NeedToBreathe feat. Gavin DeGraw

There is literally something about finding music for the first time while listening to the radio.

I hardly ever listen to the local stations around here, because about 60% of the time, the stuff they play isn’t “new” so I have to rely on my Sirius XM channels on my TV to help me find new music to listen to on a daily basis. On March 24th, The Pulse did just that. Kim Ashley played the new track from the Christian rock band NEEDTOBREATHE’s album “Rivers in the Wasteland” that came out early last year. The song was called “Brother” and it features pop/rock singer Gavin DeGraw. I’m used to doing just the song reviews, but let’s switch it up a bit since I actually caved and watched the music video for it. This is going to be a music video review for a change.

I’ve actually only heard a few of the band’s songs before. They get played quite a bit on Sirius XM The Pulse because there are more modern, rock, pop hits. Which is honestly my favorite than general pop music. Anyways, they played this song in the morning and from the moment it started, I knew I was going to love this song! I love the soft intro with only the “oohs” and clapping. Once Bear starts singing, I really like his voice. It’s different from other male singers, but in a good way. Gavin has a very soulful voice and he gives the second verse a very different vibe from Bear’s vocals. I love the words and meaning that you can clearly hear in between their voices. I really love the usage of the choir, it makes the song sound more powerful and gorgeous. As far as the outlook of the music video goes, it’s a little confusing for me. It’s very simple. Only five people and a wooden box and an outline of lights in a square. As the video ends, it’s like the box gets smaller, because both singers in NTB bend down slightly. I also don’t like the lights flickering, it actually gave me a small headache. Other than that, it’s a very good music video.

What do you think of the song and music video?