Mixtape Review: “Heavy Rules Mixtape” by ALMA

review2017

I am always lost on how to title these types of reviews. I usually try to make things simpler for you guys so you know what you’re about to read below, but sometimes the word “mixtape” is included on the actual title of the record itself so I apologize if that whole banner looks weird. Thankfully, I’ve only done one other mixtape review, and it also had the word on it too, if you’d like to look into that one too, it was Dillon Francis’s “This Mixtape Is Fire” and it’s a lot of moombaton at once, but I loved it though!

Alma is a Finnish artist, she competed in Finland Idol back in 2013, she only made it through a few weeks before being eliminated. Back in 2016, she released her first extended play called Dye My Hair and a year later she lend her vocals on a track “All Stars” by French DJ Martin Solveig that I actually grew to enjoy over the summer! This record came out on March 2nd, and even though it only has six songs on it, she has quite a few guests, so let’s get into this!

The first track is “Legend” and it has a celebratory type of vibe to it, like you partied too much the night before or you’re still partying kind of song. It does have a somewhat mellow beat, so even though it’s like a party song, it’s not jam packed as I would have liked it to be, but it’s actually really fun! Second is “Dance For Me” and it features Danish singer MØ and again, it’s pretty chill on the beat, but it’s not boring so that’s a plus! I think adding MØ was a good idea, as they both have soft voices but MØ has a really unique voice and she just gives the song a bit of an edge and they both sound good on EDM music.

Next we have “Good Vibes” and I really liked the softness of it. The song isn’t really dance-y, more like a calm swaying back and forth, will do it enough justice! I actually liked the lyrics too, they were easy to follow and you could picture everything in your head. This featured Swedish singer Tove Stryke in it. This other song, I saw the title and was immediately intrigued for some odd reason. It’s called “Fake Gucci” and the beat itself was better, but not obnoxious. I do enjoy the little break in the middle, where the “drums” take on a stronger role to it. While I was listening to it, I felt it has a tropical vibe to it, but it was another one where I paid attention to the lyrics because I was really curious on what kind of story went with this. I really enjoyed it too!

Fifth song is “BACK2U” and this has a quirky type of beat on it, I’d say a little bit on the urban side. It wasn’t what I was expecting compared to the other songs before it, but it did stay on the chill and steady tempo like the rest, but it wasn’t that bad. I feel like these types of beats are kind of perfect for her voice, I envy the singers that can basically sing-talk without any trouble. She has a very pretty voice for this day and age of pop music. The last track is called “Chit Chat” and it features Kiiara, and we all should be familiar with her. She has this girly, but deep voice that give songs a sensual vibe. The beat alone on this already has this sexy tone to it, but adding Kiiara’s voice along to it makes it even better!

I have to say, I was really both impressed and surprised with this mixtape. I love not knowing what I’m going to hear come out of these records, everytime I feel like I know what I’m going to hear, I’m usually wrong and I like being caught off guard like that, it makes things a little bit interesting for me as a listener! And since the mixtape is made up of slow tempo songs really freaks me out because I like to listen to energetic stuff and this made me want to lay out somewhere alone and relax for a bit.

Have you heard of ALMA before? What did you think of the mixtape the first time you heard it? Do you have any favorites you’d like to share with me?

snowflake

Song Review: “Élan” by Nightwish

I’ve been trying to figure out how to keep up with all of these new albums, singles, and their music videos, everytime I want to do a review I tend to talk myself out of it. Well, not anymore.

I don’t know if any of you are fans or even heard of Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish, but if you’ve visited here before you already know that I am obsessed with this band. This is one of like eight bands that I remember getting into at the beginning of my metal obsession.  I’m here to talk to you about the band’s first single of their brand new album Endless Forms Most Beautiful that will be released at the end of March. This is the eighth album for the band but it’s the first with two new members, Dutch singer Floor Jensen as the new female lead vocalist and Troy Donockley on pipes. Their drummer Jukka Nevalainen had to leave after suffering some health problems, so they replaced him with Kai Hahto in the recording process. Hopefully Jukka will be healthy enough to come back soon! Their first single is called “Élan” and I’ll be honest I don’t know what the word actually means or understand the concept of the music video.

I have watched their concert DVD of Storytime, Showtime that was recorded at Wacken Air in 2013, it was Floor’s first tour with Nightwish after Anette Olzon left the band. They hadn’t announced the addition of thew two members into the band yet, but they did go on tour with them. It was our first taste of Floor taking over. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t much of a fan of Floor before she joined them on tour. So I tried to listen to her older stuff with her former band, After Forever and solo project with ReVamp. Once I got a sense of her voice in general, I watched her performances with Nightwish on YouTube. She is a powerful singer, but if you look around on YouTube, people are still complaining that she’s not good enough. I just don’t understand why because I think she sounds a bit like Anette and Tarja. She’s soft like Anette and powerful like Tarja, not like both ladies aren’t like that, but it’s the only way I can describe the two of them separately.

When I first heard the song, I was surprised that it wasn’t really heavy. Of course at first, I kind of panicked because I really like the heavy sounds between the powerful guitars up against the dramatic choirs and keys. I mean, that’s how I became a fan of their music was for that unique sound. I just never thought they’d release a slower song to start out the album. I mean it doesn’t sound like a ballad, but it’s softer as guitars and vocals go. It does have that dreamy effect that every symphonic metal fan loves so much. I love the introduction of the pipes and guitars together, after hearing and getting hooked to “I Want My Tears Back” from their last album, Imaginaerum I’ve really grown to love the sound of the gentle pipes. It doesn’t overpower the general sound of the song, especially with the guitars and drums. I am really curious of the sound that both Floor and Troy will bring with the rest of the album. My only concern is that knowing Troy is a full-time member of the band — will there be pipes on all of the songs? I think if there was, that would be too much. Anyways, besides all these little doubts I am VERY excited to hear the rest of the album.

Tune Tuesday: Finland

tunetuesday

We’re another part of the country where one band reigns supreme with me, but I talk about the actual band a lot more than the former singer so I thought I’d change that now. Before I even go to her, I gotta mention another good band that is very special to me. Because they’re not just like every other heavy metal band out there. Oh no, these guys only use cellos. I’m serious! These guys are called Apocalyptica and they were trained in classical music and then became a tribute band to Metallica and then made albums featuring some of your favorite singers like Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Stone Sour, Gavin Rossdale of Bush, and Lacey Sturm ex-singer of Flyleaf. I wanted to share two songs, one that has a featured singer and the other is just of them as a whole.  To this next one I’m focusing one, is also trained in classical and her name is Tarja Turunen. She was the female vocalist of the band Nightwish. She left the band in 2006 and became a solo artist from there, touring all over the world. She’s a full lyric soprano and she’s one of my mentors that I use to make my voice more powerful and she’s just amazing. She’s out on tour promoting her latest album “Colors In The Dark” that came out late last year. They are the real deal and I hope you guys like them! What are you listening to right now.

Hope by Apocalytica

Lost Northern Star by Tarja

Broken Pieces by Apocalytica featuring Lacey Sturm