Album Review: “Reawakenings Vol. 2” by Hidden Citizens

I have been looking forward to this for over two months. I think in a couple of weeks, I’ll write a post about my favorite modern cinematic composers/producers, so you can see that there are many others out there that are really interesting. Hidden Citizens were probably the second act that I found once I started on this crazy journey. I look forward to every new single, EP that they release but here we actually have a new album. One thing to keep in mind with these guys is that they mainly reinvent older songs, so you’re hearing covers of generally cinematic and trailer music.

For this album, there are a total of 12 songs with some songs you may or may not recognize, plus some special guests that you might’ve heard on their previous releases. We have a long list to get through so I think we should just start it.

We begin with “You’re No Good” and I have to say, it’s the only song that I have listened to prior working on this review. It features Ranya, who has worked with them before and you will continue to see her throughout this album as well. I really like the strong introduction, Ranya has a strong presence on it too. I like the fact that we start very strong and have an oddly heavy metal sound. There are a few songs on here that I know to be in that genre, but with this one I’m not really sure about but I definitely like this version. The second track is “Shattered Dreams” and it features VE. To me, it’s a little bit more mellow but I like the softness of it. Whenever you have a large selection of cinematic songs, it is best to have a couple gentle ones in the mix to let everything breathe. So, it’s okay for my standard – I think I would have loved it more if it was down the list honestly.

Now this next one, I have heard before, but I had to look up who it was originally by, ahh Pat Benatar! Once I saw it on the tracklist, I instantly heard a female singing in my brain. It’s definitely more of an 80’s song than anything else, so to see it with a modern flare is very interesting! What’s even cooler is that instead of using a female singer for this, we have Adam Christopher. He has a high falsetto voice so it mimics what you remember, but with everything added in, he makes it ‘cooler’ for this generation. Now, unfortunately, if I were to let my parents–especially my mom–I don’t think they would approve but that’s expected sometimes! For anyone born in the 90’s, might remember this 2000’s pop classic “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt. I grew up on pop music so the fact that I knew the lyrics to this one, but could not figure out who it was by at the top of my head is somewhat sad. Anyways, this is actually very good and quiet too. Tim Halperin was a very interesting choice for this rendition, but I actually enjoyed it!

Our next song is “Paint It Black”, now I’ve heard R&B singer Ciara’s version of it for The Last Witch Hunter soundtrack but I haven’t found any others that I liked just as much. Overall, the song is pretty and dark, even Ranya’s voice is gorgeous on it, but I still prefer this other one right now! We move on to “Nowhere To Run” with Keeley Bumford. I really love this song! It’s fierce, ominous and pulls you right into the ride. I’ve always had a weakness to these types of songs!

We are nearing the end of our adventure with the last six songs, “Crazy On You” is where we go to next. Ranya is back. I really liked this one as it was fast paced and really strong. However that’s all I can say about it! Leave it to me to forget one while writing them out the list on my notepad. We’re back to normal now, and Adam Christopher comes back with “Everywhere” and I really liked the softness of it.Of course, it does branch off with a heavier tone later on but Adam has a really nice voice for all genres, it’s not overwhelming at all. It’s like smoke, it just flows away slowly. I never thought I woul ever have to use that metaphor but here we are right?

“No Easy Way Out” by VE is on now, and we have another still type of song but out of all the songs on the album, I think this is my favorite. It was very emotional and I have found out recently that I am a sucker for these types of songs now! I guess it’s a side effect of listening to a lot of epic music! This is our final track with Ranya and it is “Beware Of darkness” and I was really hoping for a desolate type of song and that’s exactly what I got, but instead of it being in your face at all times, it is still pretty mellow for the majority of it. I still loved it though!

Tim Halperin makes his last appearance with “We Are All Made Of Stars” and again, we have this rock sound but what I really like about it is that it gives the song this extra edge but it still has a nice beat to be used as part of your workout playlist. It’s a unique song! Lastly, we have “Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be” now the singer on this track is a favorite of mine because she was once apart Celtic Woman: Chloe Agnew. I’m not really sure if this is a Irish song but I love the fact that it has this quiet almost like a lullaby but the built up gives it a nice mysterious flare. It’s really beautiful and exactly what I want for the perfect finish.

This album as a whole was good; unfortunately I can’t say I loved it either. I was a little torn with it, because I did this to myself on the fact that I expected it to be amazingly awesome, when in reality it really wasn’t. A part of me thinks it was because of the amount of times that some of the artists come back throughout the album. There wasn’t a variety of voices in the songs as maybe I would have liked, but don’t get me wrong the artists are really great but I wanted more than what we were given! Of course, this is only my opinion.

Are you a fan of Hidden Citizens? What were your thoughts on their new album? did you enjoy it just as much as their previous releases or not?

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?

April Playlist

Howdy!

Another month has come and gone, as we venture into May, where there’s new chances for new music and here’s hoping, blog posts too! Originally I wanted to write up a March playlist for you but it didn’t matter how many times I said it in my brain, by that time I was on vacation my energy was gone! So, I’ve already decided that I was going to double the amount of songs on here.

Here are my Top 20 songs that I really enjoyed for both March and April!

Low Key by Ally Brooke featuring Tyga
Perfect To Me by Anne-Marie
Plain Jane by A$AP Ferg featuring Nicki Minaj
God Is A Woman by Ariana Grande
You Should See Me In A Crown by Billie Eilish
Dumb Blonde by Avril Lavigne featuring Nicki Minaj
Gorgeous by Taylor Swift
Miss Me More by Kelsea Ballerini
Crown by Camila Cabello
Miracle by CHVCHES
All Around Me by Flyleaf
Done by The Band Perry
Vertigo by Khalid
Freedom by Sugababies
Redlight by NGHTMRE featuring A$AP Ferg
Peace by Alison Wonderland
She Sets The City On Fire by Gavin DeGraw
In Your Eyes by Axero featuring Katie McConnell
Give You Up by Dido
Trip by Ella Mai

I feel like I’ve listened to a lot of other songs that I searched and searched on YouTube for the past two months but unfortunately, it only replays the ones that I constantly listen to, which isn’t really a bad thing but it can be annoying sometimes!

There were a couple of days where all I wanted to hear was Flyleaf and country music. Now Flyleaf sounds like something I would do, but country music? Honestly, I have a love/hate relationship with the genre itself. I do think it can get very boring at times, because the themes and beats are always the same, but I tend to go for the sassy songs about break ups, cheating boyfriends, etc. Those songs always boost my mood when I’m having an odd day, so I like to listen to Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, The Band Perry, Miranda Lambert a lot.

Despite the limited amount of blog posts this month, I still managed to write up some album reviews for you! I have really missed doing these types of posts the most, so I will try to come up with more posts like them for the next couple of weeks. Here are the ones that put up in April!

Gloria Regali by Tommee Profitt x Fleurie | Breathing In Colours by Forever Still

What were you listening to this month? Is there an artist or album you think I should check out?

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: “Cinematic Songs Vol. 5” by Tommee Profitt

45278525_2277694908938411_4769028606263296000_nWe’re back with another batch of cinematic songs by record producer Tommee Profitt! I was so excited to hear that we would be getting another album, especially the fact that it would come out the day after my birthday! Unfortunately, I had to wait over two weeks to finally listen to it because I’ve had some issues lately, but it’s only added the fuel to the fire that I need to listen and review this for all of us!

If you’ve never listened to a Tommee Profitt cinematic volume before, he usually has close to 12-13 songs in some type of epic sound. So, you might have these powerful, in your face tracks that everybody seems to go for immediately, but he’s also started to come out of his shell and experiment with other genres and tempos too. The majority of them with independent, based in Nashville artists of various genres. For this one, we have six “veterans” coming back for this collection along with a few newcomers too. Tommee also likes to include a couple of instrumentals to the layout as well and I think it always give the album an edge to the whole thing.

The first track we have is “Heroes Rise” and it has Sam Tinnesz on it. I really love Sam’s soulful voice against these hefty beats. For this, I really like the slow build to the whole song. Despite having a strong ending, it’s actually pretty gentle and will inspire your inner fighter to come alive. Now for the next song, “You Made Me Do It” can be about anything you want it to be, actually all songs can be about whatever you want, you just have to change your perspective! I am really in love with this one though. It has a sassy sound all around, and I think Ruby Amanfu has a terrific voice to give it that extra edge that it needed to take it over the top! It’s definitely a favorite of mine for sure!

We all know and love Fleurie’s voice, and I’m so glad that she continues to work with Tommee because he always seems to make her sound even more beautiful than the last one. “Can You Feel The Heat Now” was the first song I actually listened to, I was on YouTube listening to my mix and it automatically came on, and since I didn’t recognize it at first, I kind of figured it was probably new. I like the calming piano introduction along with her sweet voice and then all of a sudden, this electric guitar sound would appear and gave it a nice rock-ish vibe. From the moment it starts, you get this feeling that it may not be as good as you originally thought, but what I really liked about it was not knowing what could come next. Would it stay in this tempo? And then towards the end, it does grow but not as grand as we’re used to with an average Fleurie song. Jung Youth is a Christian rapper, that has worked with Tommee before and I really love that we’re hearing a hip hop-cinematic fusion. “Who’s Gonna Stop Me’ is a great workout song to listen to gain that motivation when you need it the most!

For this next song, “Witching Hour” we hear a newcomer by the name of Brooke Griffith. It’s an extremely spooky track when it first starts, which will fit naturally with the paranormal television shows like The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina, Riverdale, and Legacies. The cinematic elements to this song really made it come to life. I just wish it was longer! Our first instrumental is “Dark Conscience” and it really continues the ominous vibe we had going with the previous song, except the original beat is gone. I really like the usage of the horns and violins, because they each have a creepy factor to them. I just feel like a monster is going to be unleashed at the end of it. The seventh track, is “Follow Me” featuring my favorite Ruelle. This has a lively, but cosmic feeling everytime I listen to it. I get a real futuristic sense, and weirdly enough I actually liked it.

Sam Tinnesz comes back with “Far From Home” and it also mentions that it’s the trailer version, so there must be an original somewhere. Even though I’ve never heard of the other one. It’s kind of has a mellow sound to it, but towards the end of the climax, it gets faster and almost louder. I think it’s pretty good! Afterwards we move on to, “Rise Above This” and the singer on this one is Trella. Unfortunately, I was really torn about this because initially I didn’t like her “ahhs” up and down the scales, but the rest isn’t that bad. So, I’m still questioning that one a bit. “I’m A Ruler” is up next and Ruby Amanfu comes back for a second round. She brings that sassy voice again, and what I loved about it is the pop-bluesy sound you get with this. It’s not a song that could really work with a action based film, unless there’s a female-comedy vibe going on.

“Unbreakable” starts the end of the album, with Mike Mains on the vocals. I really adore Mike’s voice as well so I was happy to see him on the tracklist again. The song itself has an awakening kind of vibe going on, and I really like the lyrics with this and I definitely approve of the mellow beat it has with it. It was in your face, but not overwhelming! We have our final instrumental, “Infidels At Bay” and for once we have a makings of a ballad, but it doesn’t really stay like that. I would love to hear at one softer song or ballad with these albums to kind of give the listeners a nice little break. This was a good attempt. Our last song is “A Storm Is Comin” by Liv Ash. I like the thunder rumbles with the fast going piano playing, I thought that was a cool combination. The cinematic part does break through like a storm and it really has a fiery ending. It was just perfect!

 I was really impressed with this, but I’m pretty sure I say that about every volume so far! Oh, I don’t care. Cinematic music in any form makes me really happy and I really love hearing new artists being featured on these songs, that maybe you wouldn’t hear otherwise. If you’ve never heard anything in the cinematic/trailer music world, you should really look into Tommee Profitt’s other four albums! Just go in order, you’ll thank me later!

Have you listened to Tommee Profitt’s new volume of cinematic songs yet? What were some of your thoughts? Before checking this out, had you ever listened to any other composers in the epic music? 

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