Album Review: “R.O.S.E.” by Jessie J

33753506_1835560959820656_690480477470982144_nI originally had another review for you today, but I decided to scrap that idea and move on to this album instead. British singer Jessie J has a new album since releasing “Sweet Talker” in 2014. “R.O.S.E.” came out on the 25th of May, in basically four different sections on Spotify, each with a different theme spelling out the title of the record. The R represents Realisations, O is for Obsessions, S for Sex, and finally E means Empowerment.

Once I figured it all out, I started to get really curious because I felt as though she was going in a direction that Swedish artist Tove Lo took her debut album, Queen Of The Clouds in 2014, I don’t know if it is going to sound the same, but nobody ever creates sections and list a number of songs that represent that certain word or meaning for no reason at all. So to say I was intrigued was an understatement! I do want to say that I didn’t listen to any of the songs before starting this review, so this is a straight up first impressions discussion and I have to say I am a little more excited to hear the songs in both “Realisations” and “Empowerment” than the other two, but we’ll see at the end which part I liked the most!

So like I said, we start with the first letter R and the first song to begin the album itself is “Oh Lord” and from the moment it starts it has this sad sound brought out by emotions playing out in her beautiful deep voice and that bluesy sound. It’s a bittersweet introduction and gets you into the mood of the album as a whole. Second is “Think About That” and you instantly have this R&B vibe going on, which is sort of her genre and she has a wonderful voice for it too, so everything is kind of perfect. You definitely hear the pain and the sass in her voice, but the beat is somewhat upbeat too. It’s really good.

Next there’s “Dopamine” and I really liked this song. I really enjoyed the beat, it had a classic soulful sound, but I actually liked the lyrics to this one as you can easily understand what she’s talking about, and it’s definitely a song that everybody needs to listen to, so even though the beat makes me want to dance, I really made myself listen to the words too. The ending was kind of adorable, because you hear a little girl singing her ABC’s in the background, it kind of brightened the mood a bit. And then we move on to “Easy On Me” and I liked the idyllic sound, the jazz-y piano section at the last was so pretty but the lyrics were definitely dark, but it wasn’t bad. The only thing that popped into my mind while I listened to it was “nothing is what it seems” and I think that’s the perfect way to explain this song.

The next section is O and so we explore the songs in the Obsessions slot. Instantly the mood swifts with the fifth track “Real Deal” and the beat and lyrics are both positive and I was actually happy to hear something so fun after the first four tracks and how they sounded, despite the fact that I do enjoy hearing Jessie’s full capacity in her voice in those dark and slower songs, so it was nice! Next was “Petty” and with that kind of title, I knew this would have a sharp beat and somewhat sassy tone in her voice. So, in other words, I really liked it.

“Not My Ex” was after that, I tried to keep an open mind after I saw the title of it. Those words together can many means and I’m glad I decided to switch it because it wasn’t in the same badass-y sound like with the previous track, instead it was very lighthearted and soft. It was a different kind of love song, definitely not what people would expect at first. Lastly there’s “Four Letter Word” and it’s very love-y dovey but not in a bad way, because if you know me well enough, I’m not into love songs so sometimes I’m liable to just write it off, but I actually liked it. Very sweet!

Now we are on the letter S and that means we probably move onto sexually based songs, since it is literally titled Sex. We start with a song called “Queen” and it has that sultry flare I was expecting to hear in this section. It actually has a beauty positive kind of vibe going on with the lyrics, and that does change the expectations and how Jessie is going about these songs. So moving on to “One Night Lover” and it does have sexy tone to it, but the storytelling is what I liked about it the most. Almost every women out there has had been in the same situations so right there, it’s relatable to people and I really enjoyed that aspect of it.

“Dangerous” is the eleventh song and from the moment it started, I knew I wasn’t going to like it. For one, the beginning was very boring, nothing was there to grab my attention and even when the beat actually came on, it wasn’t enough to keep me there. We have the song “Play” next and I was really hoping for a banger with this one and that’s exactly what I got and what kind of made me feel strange was that the beat felt so old school and Jessie made her voice sound fun and playful that I became to remember my crushes in grade school, so that alone was interesting enough for me!

We are finally on the last section of songs, E is made up of songs representing the word Empowerment in some way and the first one you hear is “Glory” and it has a strong almost 80’s R&B flare, between the horn section and the way of words is actually really good! It does build you up mentally and musically, so that was nice! “Rose Challenge” is next and from the moment I saw this, I wondered if this would kind of explain each letter and word meaning, because I was really curious about why she wanted to go this route with the album. The song itself is actually a longer introduction to the next song, which I thought was good because we really hadn’t had in the last three words, it leads into “Someone’s Lady” and if I was standing up, I’d probably collapse because it just sounds so gorgeous, with just her angelic voice and piano behind her. It’s so soft but it still has this affirmative outlook lyrically, it’s really good. And finally the last song is “I Believe In Love” and it has this really sweet and classic outlook, it reminds me of my papaw in a way.

I’m really impressed with this album. As curious as I felt in the beginning, I was also a little bit nervous too because I’m not used to reviewing R&B music, even though there are some artists I listen to on a daily basis that dabble in it every once in a while, so it’s not like I don’t hear it anymore because I do, I just don’t discuss it out loud like I probably should. Now I know you’re probably curious about what part was my favorite and honestly I liked all of them! The four sections were interesting, you got to hear different stories representing something that was possibly based on what has happened to Jessie at some point in her life. It had it had both good and bad moments–lyric wise and the fact that I only disliked one song out of the whole thing is pretty impressive!

Have you listened to Jessie J’s new album “R.O.S.E” yet? If you have, what were your thoughts? Which section was your favorite and why?


Keeping An Active Lifestyle


When I was in school, gym was one of the classes that everybody loved. Even I loved it! If you read my post I did last week about my days of walking around then you know a small percentage why I liked it. Gym was so much fun for me, I actually like doing the games and running. Everybody thought I had an advantage because I was in a powered chair and I wasn’t feeling the burn in my legs. I always used to laugh whenever they’d say things like that to me, because honestly driving my wheelchair is a circle was exhausting! I had quite a few worries while doing it too. Because I drive with my feet, I always need a good grip on the controller because if I don’t, I could stop suddenly and whoever is behind me could actually get hurt pretty badly. My other worry was the fact that I could lose juice in my chair a lot quicker doing the laps. My chair was charged almost twice a week. I knew what the schedule was for running days and I’d holler at my mom or dad to charge it up through the night, but if I had gym in the beginning of the day then I had to make sure that I had enough juice left to get through the rest of my day without having somebody push me to class to class. Thankfully, that never actually happened but it was a fear of mine throughout my days of having gym class. 

In middle school, it was a bit different from from my time in both elementary and high school. I did art class twice in a semester. I was perfectly fine with that until my fear was realized during my last year in middle school that I actually had to take it. I took it with another kid that a wheelchair, he and his brother had just gotten their new chairs a year or so before so he could go faster than I could. My chair was getting really slow and old. I was in the process of getting a new one and that process took about a year to do. Well, I remember doing all of those damn laps around the gym and hating it because even though the other kid in his chair was going faster, he didn’t actually have his speed shot up like I would, so later I realized it was actually my chair making me extra slow. Another thing I remember was that, while we were playing softball. I still don’t like being apart of softball, because of the fact that nobody bothers to talk me where to go and how I would be protected if something was to ever happen. Well, one day I was in the middle of the floor and this boy comes up to bat and he swings that sucker with all his might and guess where the ball landed? On my right foot. Luckily, nowhere else but still. I was pretty shocked and mad at the poor kid. I knew he was sorry but I think I wanted him to get down on his knees and pray for forgiveness for the way I remember me acting. 

After that semester ended, like maybe a few days after Christmas day my new wheelchair came in. How convenient! My time in gym was over and I had this new chair to break in. I’m not going to lie I was pretty pissed off about that part and everybody in my family knew it. Hell, even a few of the teachers and classmates thought the same thing as me. Once the weather started to get warmer, we started to go out to places and when we brought it to my nana’s I’d do laps around the block just to break it in because riding it around the house was way too careful for me. You see, I basically treat my powered wheelchairs like their four-wheelers and could drive it in the mud if I could. I wouldn’t go up a steep hill because even that scares the living crap out of me! My first year in high school, I took my P.E. class and it was very strange in the beginning because for once we were separated, between boys and girls. The girls even had a female teacher. She was the best person to me at that time. Especially after that fight that happened during the second semester of school, she was very concerned and she was very willing to do things that I did done in physical therapy. She was always willing to do something different with me if I was up for it. I did the beginning class stretches and for some odd reason I loved doing those, but when I was in elementary school, I was very flexible after I had my surgeries I could barely bend over without something hurting somewhere. Doing laps was a piece of cake again and I even got to use weights in my class too. It was totally different from my other classes, and yes even though we had shares our class with some upperclassmen boys, it was a really great class.

One of the reasons why I wanted to do this post is because I find it very strange how much I loved gym in school, even now if I was told that my mom had signed me up for some kind athletic activity I’d actually pretty pumped up about it. I find myself being very competitive and “in the zone” while I was taking a class. When I did physical therapy, that was my gym class in a way. We were working on different things to get me more independent as I grew up and that made me learn how to do transferring from one place to another. I had a good drive to do things like that because I really doing things myself. I’ve never been too keen on somebody doing it for me. That’s why lately I’ve been working on different things to keep me active. I’m not my sister and how much she works out and stuff, but I do my stuff. I feel like I have too much energy left over from a boring and sometimes active days that I just think I waste it and I don’t like that. I just wish I had more opportunities to do stuff. I would LOVE to do adaptive yoga. I’ve always thought that would be cool to do. I did do some things in physical therapy that I can be yoga-isque in a way. Especially using a huge ball to help out. It would be nicer to have the pool out and stuff, but the whole thing of getting me in and out is just too much for one or two people to get through so that’s why that last year we had one, I hardly went in it because it was just too difficult for us to do. Maybe I’ll find something that will bring my drive back in order soon.What do you like to do to keep yourself active?

My Lessons In Walking

10154268_700590980005235_8995835446893024291_nIt’s Throwback Thursday and I wanted to do something special for everybody. I’ve talked about this before but didn’t actually think we had pictures of it until my nana posted a few of these on her Facebook. Do you know I actually used a walker once in my life? It was years ago, but I did do it. When I was in the fourth grade I was at my wit’s end with myself about not being able to walk like my friends, so I talked my therapists and my family into letting me get a walker to do for a few sessions. I thought it was pretty cool to be into something that could possibly get me to walking on my feet like everybody else. On soft surfaces it was the easiest thing to move around and do whatever I wanted, but then after a while it was like swimming. Everything had an uncomfortable spot. If you’re butt wasn’t even on the seat then your pants and the straps would make things complicated to move your leg over.

When I had my surgeries that next year, I had to take a year off of anything hardcore as everybody was very cautious about if I made one false turn my rods would burst out of my back. Of course, I was very concerned about my back too but I’m not the type of person to let something keep me back long. It’s back enough that for three whole years I had to rely on somebody to help me sit up. I never got back to my ole self by getting myself from the floor to the bed. Even though we did try to work on that last summer, things didn’t really work well. The only thing that I still know how to do is get me off my bed and the couches. Everything had to sit back and watch me heal up. When I hit middle school, I wanted to get back into walking again. Well, one of the things that was different from going to elementary to middle school was that certain teachers were not so happy letting the therapists take me out of their classes and walking in a walker with already bad wheels, on carpet was just evil. When we practiced that first year, we went into the gym. When I was in sixth grade everything I wanted to happen just came to shierking halt and it was just devastating to me. I wasn’t strong enough to move around on the carpet with being barefoot and wearing sneakers. I actually ignored my feelings of feeling defeated until it was like last two weeks of school and I wanted to show my friends that I could walk like them, but they were all watching a movie and nobody wanted to see me walk. It kind of hurt me to see everybody that I had always admired not caring about it like I thought they would. I think an hour later I told my therapist I was done with it.

10157306_700589686672031_8932794475012401941_nAs I look back on my time on it, I just wish embracing my beauty in the wheelchair came that easy! For certain things, I tend to get a lot faster. I had always heard that “beauty is pain” and so I think I just accepted being uncomfortable in the walker. It wasn’t so much about being in it and around my friends that made me hate it. It was mostly the fact that when we were taking these pictures, it was gym class and they were playing volleyball. It was a scary experience for me even though I had my aide, physical therapist, mom, and nana in the room watching over me, anything with balls of the size of my head scared the living crap out of me. While I sit in my wheelchair, I feel very empowered and less scared by anything, in this I was much shorter and there was nothing really there to protect me. I still don’t understand why everybody wanted me to join in that day. I usually do other stuff whenever they did these sorts of games anyways.

Sometimes I feel like there are some similarities between doing the walker and the regular push wheelchairs. Besides the no seatbelts, I still have to drag my feet out below and use my toes as my guide. I am still spinning in circles by only using one foot. My back and neck hurt because the back part of the seats are weird and too short for me to relax my body in and both have four wheels that squeal like monkeys everytime I moved around. In a way, I think I belong in my powered wheelchair. I’m more mobile to get from place to place then being in both a push wheelchair and down on the floor. I have always felt like a total badass being in my chair, nobody really messed with me while I’m in it and everybody seems to get out of my way a lot easier knowing I could potentially run over their feet. I just feel very different from all three of them, one gave me a wake up call, one has its ups and downs, and the other just makes me feel like a total badass. I wouldn’t want to change my life. After my experience with trying to “walk” in this thing, I think walking is completely overrated.