EP Review: “Mad Love The Prequel” by Sean Paul

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So, I have to say this firstly, I am a big fan of Sean Paul! In my teenage years, I would just listen to his music if I was wanting to dance, like no joke! I am still that way, but my hips ache and pop more frequently than before.

I am very excited to talk about this EP finally! I am very proud of myself, I actually stayed away from listening to it. I like to express what I’ve heard for the first time because I think when I listen to it multiple times before reviewing it, my general thoughts will change with each play. However, when it comes to dancehall or EDM music in general, my thoughts rarely change – I usually like it or I don’t. That’s just how I roll sometimes.

So, we’re going to get into this right now and hopefully you like it.

We start off with “Naked Truth” that has Jhene Aiko, and it’s very light, definitely not exactly what I was expecting. I usually prefer heavier songs to begin an album or in this case EP, but I like the balance between Sean and Jhene’s dynamic vocals. What I thought was interesting though was since Sean is originally based in Jamaica, why does this sounds more bollywood to me, especially the drum beats. I’m not saying I didn’t like it or anything, it was just the first thing that popped into my head. Second is “Bad Love” with Ellie Goulding, and I really miss Ellie! This is also a mild song too, but it still has a nice groove. It’s not overwhelming and works really well with Ellie’s soft voice. I had a hard time not dancing to this, so we’ll say it’s a winner!

Next we have “Mad Love” and it features both David Guetta and Becky G. After hearing the two quieter tracks, you have this sucker and I love it to pieces! This is another one that I love dancing to, both day and night. I really like the exotic feel, such a party anthem and Becky G’s vocals are fun and kind of seductive in a way. The only song that doesn’t have a guest artist on board is “Jump On It” and I’m very happy that there is at least one with just Sean, although I would have liked to have more but since this is an EP, maybe if he releases an album later on, I’m sure there will be more like this. Anywho, the song itself is pretty mellow, the beat isn’t crazy but I like it as it was though. It was sexy too!

From the moment I saw that Major Lazer would be on this “Tip Pon It”, I was instantly like, “well, this is going to be awesome” and it definitely didn’t disappoint! It was so much fun and I couldn’t stop dancing when the bass dropped. Although it wasn’t a big drop, the sound itself changed and got bigger and I think that’s why I ultimately ended falling in love with it! Next there’s “Jet Plane Trip” with an artist that I had only heard once and it was a couple of months ago,¬†Stefflon Don. This is actually kind of calming, if that’s the right word to use, it had a nice rhythm but it has more of a slow dance vibe. It was good though!

These are the last three songs on the EP, and we have “Body” featuring Migos. One of the reasons why I really liked this was because it mixed both dancehall and hip hop together. I love that combination, and I actually liked Migos on the track. I’ve always been so-so about them, and I don’t know why so don’t bother asking me that question. Next there’s “Tek Weh Yuh Heart” with Tory Lanez. This is another good one! I thought at first I’d be a little bored with it, but it’s actually pretty great! I think Tory was a good addition to it, his voice is soft and goes with the beat well. The last song is “No Lie” with Dua Lipa, and I have heard this one other time before starting this review and I don’t think I liked it very much. I am turning into a fan of Dua Lipa, but I am also very picky with her songs. This has a great beat and it’s fun. It’s the ideal, light end of summer type of song to me.

I think in general the EP was very good. It had a lot of interesting artists on it, each brought their own sound with them. One thing that I always tend to have issues with is that whenever Sean Paul works with other artists, they seem to be more prominent¬†in the actual song and he just kind of fades into the back, so it’s just the singers and the happy, dance-y beat. That’s why I ended up track #4 a lot more than some of the others.

Have you listened to Sean Paul’s new EP yet? What were some of your favorites and thoughts?

snowflake

 

Album Review: “Speak Your Mind” by Anne-Marie

31369538_1658698627511837_4508032018632455547_nEverybody knows (or should) by now that I love internationally based music. A lot of the music I listen to does come from Australia, The Netherlands, and Sweden so it shouldn’t come to no surprise that I’m going to be talking about a Swedish pop singer today!

Anne-Marie is an artist that you might’ve heard before as she’s been featured on two songs: “Rockabye” by Clean Bandit with Sean Paul, it came out March 2017, and was a big summer hit for all three acts. And recently, “Friends” is her collaboration with the mysterious DJ, Marshmello, released a few weeks before this record came out. It’s already become a fun-loving jam to everybody stuck in the friend zone.

We start off this album with “Cry” and I liked the quirky introduction. One of the things that I really like about Anne-Marie’s voice, is that it has this cool, exotic tone to it. The more I was listening to this song, I kind of thought back to my original thought and maybe I was being influenced by the beat itself, but I can’t deny it. A lot of British singers have a knack of having very exotic accents, but it just depends on the way they use it. Anywho, I really like this beat, it does have this smooth, tropical vibe, but I really love the usage of real drums on a pop track, like thank you! I love synthic drum beats, but this was a nice change! Afterwards, there’s her second single and it was released in early 2017, “Ciao Adios” which if you don’t know what this means, it’s “Hello, Goodbye” in Italian and Spanish. This is a lot milder than I kind of expected it to be, and funnily enough, I hadn’t heard of it before doing this review.

Third is “Alarm” and I do have to admit again, I’ve only heard the remix version of this song. I heard Marshmello’s remix and that was it for me! I’ve been very curious to hear the original way, so I like the melody is still relatively the same. She still sounds a total badass! This way isn’t that bad, it’s still dance-y, but I still like other way better! “Trigger” is next and this one sounds sweetly, beat wise! The first thing that popped into my mind was walking around a dense forest, seeing all of the new plants and bugs. It just has that kind of vibe to it, very relaxing but fun with the lyrics and sound. It’s a good song all the way around! And then we dive into a slower song called, “Then” and I really loved the air-y, dreamscape environment it brings to the listener; it’s light but still upbeat enough where you can still dance to it. It’s really good too!

The sixth track is “Perfect” and at first, you get this bluesy, soulful kind of sound. I really like the gentle piano, you can hear throughout the song itself. I don’t really pay too much attention to the lyrics, but since this is so mellow, I can actually hear the words very well and I liked the fact that both sides work really well together! I think it could be a favorite, the more I listen to it. And finally we get to talk about of my favorites, “Friends” and I like the fact we still have that same soft, beat in the beginning that has become a thing for this album as a whole. It’s become her quintessential sound now, but I also like what Marshmello was able to do it, without shifting the vibe too much. It has some pop, nostalgic elements to it that I really like about it.

When I first saw this title, I’m not going to lie, I thought she was covering Theory Of A Deadman’s track “Bad Girlfriend” and a part of me was kind of wanting to hear it. I think more pop artists should experiment with covering more rock songs. Anyways, I think this has the same dark tone to it, but it does switch to a urban flow. I think some of the lyrics are absolutely hilarious! I actually had to listen to it twice while working on this post because I liked it so much! Next there’s “Heavy” and again, we have this beach-y sound going on, but it’s a fun and sweet love song, compared to the song before it! Weird how that worked out, huh?

And this one was the single that she put out a week before her album came out, which confused the crap out of me! The song is “2002” and I find it a little strange to title songs like this, because I can’t remember much unless something very significant happened. I think this song is very interesting, especially the beginning lines of the choruses, there are SIX familiar songs in those first two lines, and I didn’t know it until I had to go look it up! I hope she doesn’t get in trouble for it, because isn’t that a copyright issue? We’re almost done, we have “Can I Get Your Number?” and I like the soft beat again, what is with me lately? I’m liking these slow, love songs a lot! We’re approaching summer, so I might as well embrace it. I like it, but it’s a bit boring too. At least I can dance to it. Last song of the standard edition is “Machine” and I instantly had this ominous, but trippy vibe while listening to it. Every once in a while, I can get into this sober, but out-of-this-world state of mind that tends to scare me the most of all, because I actually try to put myself there on my own. Anyways, I like this, it’s gentle and meaningful at the same time.

I was really impressed with this album. As much as the whole Caribbean type of sound was used on it, surprisingly it wasn’t too annoying. It wasn’t over used like some artists tend to do for late spring, early summer releases. You probably think I’m just trying to pull your chain, but I’m not. It really happens! A bit of a sidenote to everybody reading this, Spotify has the deluxe version but I rarely talk about those types of albums, so here are five extra songs included, if you’d like to continue down the A.M. train, starting with “Breathing Fire,” “Some People,” “Use To Love You,” “Peak,” and finally “Rockabye”.

Have you listened to Anne-Marie’s debut album “Speak Your Mind” yet? If you have, what are some of your favorite tracks so far? What were some of your thoughts you had about it the first time you listened to it?

snowflake