Album Review: “Singular: Act I” by Sabrina Carpenter

After I did the Little Mix review last week, I wondered how many other albums I missed and wanted to talk about on here. So I have found two more albums, this one and another that came out in December that I will be sharing my thoughts on hopefully next week! First, we are going to talk about my increasing love for Sabrina Carpenter. I know the last name Carpenter is fairly infamous in the music industry, but I don’t think Sabrina has any relations to them. Sabrina is an actress along with being a singer. She’s worked on the Disney Channel on shows like, “Austin & Ally,” “Girl Meets World,” and finally “Adventures In Babysitting.”

I’ve been focused on her singing career than her acting, and it was purely by accident. I caught the end of her song “Thumbs” on the radio and thought it wasn’t bad and within a week later I heard another one called, “Why” and it was just continuous, because the final song I heard in 2018 was “Lost Love” with the EDM group Lost Kings. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of the tracks, so when I saw that she had released a new album back in November, I was like “I need to check this out right now!” So, if you’d like to join me on this little adventure, you’re more than welcome to it.

The first song is “Almost Love” and I liked the cute popping in the beginning. The “cute” factor never really leaves the beat at all, and I think it makes it a bit annoying. A part of me hates it, but yet I’ve heard it so much lately that I’ve been dancing and humming to it, so it’s a good dance-pop song but has some little things that irritate me. We move on to “Paris” and I will be honest, I thought she had redone The Chainsmokers’s single of “Paris” but after I listened to it, I realized I was wrong but I like it anyways. I like the seductive beat and tone of her voice. I think it gives the message a needed edge. I really enjoy it!

Third is “Hold Tight” featuring Uhmeer. I’ve never heard of this person, but I am always open to new artists! This has a R&B sound to it too, which is strange because the album has been said to prominently be pop/EDM. It’s much slower, has a strong sexy vibe going on but I actually like it! I think Uhmeer’s deep voice is a good contrast to Sabrina’s sweet voice. It just added to the “feel good” vibe that was already going on. Next was “Sue Me” and we’re back on the pop train again. Unfortunately, I didn’t really like this one. It seemed really dull compared to the previous tracks. I didn’t even dance to it after the first verse was over and yes, that’s usually my sign that it’s a good song, but there was nothing with this. So, we move on to “Prfct” which is the word: Perfect, but without the vowels. The only reason why I say that out loud because I was so confused writing it out in my notepad. It was one of those days for me! Anyways, this beat is nice and easy. To me, it’s more sensual than the other way around, but I really like it.

We’re heading to the last three songs of the record. The sixth track is “Bad Time” and this only had Sabrina’s voice in the beginning, so it’s a slow start to the beat itself, but when it does appear it’s a nice real pop sound. I was a bit on the fence about it. I liked the sound, but thought it was a bit overwhelming to really hear the lyrics of the song. That is my only complaint with it. “Mona Lisa” is on now and I thought the moment it started, I thought it was a bit unique. I thought it has 00’s bubblegum pop sound to it. It reminded me of Jessica Simpson and Christina Aguilera! Honestly, it was refreshing and it actually became one of my favorites of the bunch! And finally the last song is “Diamonds Are Forever” and I really liked this one too. I thought she kind of sounded like another artist I heard recently: Elley Duhe. This has a sensual beat, but she sings it with such sass that it really makes you like it. At least, it did that for me!

Apparently I had some strong expectations to this effort than I thought I did because a part of me felt a bit let down by it. I was on the fence for about half of the tracks on this record and only had one real favorite out of the whole thing. That’s not like me to be like this, so I’m hoping when she releases Act 2 later this year, it’ll be a little bit better!

Have you listened to Sabrina Carpenter’s new album yet? What did you think of it? Do you love it or hate it?

Album Review: “Everyday Is Christmas” by Sia

22815397_10155910264913408_3424297924083747063_nI am finally starting on my Christmas album reviews! Originally, I had an idea of doubling up the amount of music. I even made up two of the same poll for Facebook and Twitter and apparently everybody likes Christmas music because they won by a landslide! Unfortunately, I was dealing with some things, mostly worried about if I had enough time to get all six reviews up and ready for you. So, I scratched that idea and went with my normal routine of three brand new Christmas albums for you instead. I apologize for the voters that looked forward to it, but it’s now something to possibly look into for next year’s blogmas!

The Australian singer-songwriter Sia recently released her first ever holiday album to the world back at the end of October! I don’t necessarily follow her anywhere, so when I found it on Spotify a while back, I knew it would probably find its way to my Thursday lineup! As far as I know, it’s all Sia, there’s no featured singers listed, but there are 10 festive songs on the album itself, so let’s have some fun!

The first song is “Santa’s Coming For Us” and first off, I want to say I love her unique voice. It’s not really raspy, because she can hit some legendary notes! What I like to call it, is a happy voice, because you instantly get kind of cheerful while listening to her music. So, she really has the perfect Christmas music type of voice! Anyways, the beginning is sort of slow and quiet, which I really liked but what I really enjoyed was this like tropical feeling, almost reggae sound coming through my speakers! It wasn’t your everyday Christmas song and that’s what I love about reviewing these albums the most! Now as I say that, we have a very traditional take to a festive song with “Candy Cane Lane”. There’s a nice whimsical feel to it and it was really hard to stop dancing and type, so I thought that was a good sign!

Third is “Snowman” and I’ll be honest, I really don’t think I’ve made a snowman before. I’ve thrown a small, puny snowball at my mom once while coming down the ramp, but I’m pretty sure it all landed on me instead. Anyways, the song itself has a real jazz-y feel to it. My papaw would have been semi proud of me for that. Generally I thought it would be a lively type of song, but it’s not, you can’t help swaying back and forth in the darkness of night whenever it comes on. The next is something similar as it’s called, “Snowflake” and I really liked the piano introduction. The jazz atmosphere is there, but it’s not as prominent as the previous song. One word to describe it: romantic. If snow can actually do it, some people would disagree with me here.

We move on with “Ho Ho Ho” and I am happy that this has an adult themed lyrics in it, because I really didn’t know how this was going to call when I first saw this on the track list! Now you’re probably wondering how this was made for the adults in mind? Well, for starters, Sia literally lists different alcohols in the verses. If anybody out there watches The Kitchen on Saturdays via the Food Network channel, do you think this is like GZ’s theme song for the segment “Kitchen Cocktail”? It’s the first thing that popped into my mind when I heard it! The sixth song is “Puppies Are Forever” and I’m not going to lie, I was a bit insulted… what about the cats? They love Christmas, I mean they love destroying the decorated trees every year so they must love it too! Anyways, this is so freaking cute! We’ve all had these moments with any baby animals–both domestic and exotic! You just want to take them home every single time and when you can’t, you know you’re not the only one leaving with a broken heart

“Sunshine” is on now and I thought this was interesting, since you don’t normally see anything about the sun in a holiday themed album, but I was open to it though! This was pretty mellow, it was just upbeat enough to capture the likeness of sunshine, at least to my eyes! I was really surprised about how much I would end up liking it. Next there’s “Underneath The Mistletoe’ and if you follow me on Twitter, I’ve already changed my name on there to “Mistletoe Megz” so I’m fully in tune with Christmastime. I was instantly grateful that this was much softer, I really do gravitate towards her ballads because I just want to hear her slow down and become this gentle giant in the music industry.

We are at the final songs, beginning with the title track “Everyday Is Christmas” and again, we have this sort of melancholy and jazz-y type of beat. I think I like this one compared to the other one I listened to earlier. This has both of the classic jazz and bluesy track mixed with a slow pop ballad. It’s a nice medium between generations! And finally, we stop with “Underneath The Christmas Lights” and this is stripped down to its core with this lonely piano and I really love it, mostly because of the way we started this journey, it was such on a high note–no pun intended–and then it just slowly fades away, kind of like at the end of Christmas day.

Have you listened to Sia’s first Christmas album? If you did, what were some of your thoughts about it?

snowflake

Album Review: “Sign” by RAIGN

40393523_10158372717632837_5296621834853154816_nBack in January, British singer-songwriter RAIGN released her extended play “Born Again” and I put out a review of it on here about a month later. Now I’m back to talk about her debut album that came out in mid-September. It is called “Sign” and even though I kept seeing a couple of singles pop up on the new music tab on Spotify, I did not expect this at all! Despite only really listening to one single before working on this, I didn’t know what I was getting into but I was open to new sounds and some of the familiar stuff that made me fall in love with her music in the first place.

The album itself consists of 12 songs, which is standard for any musician but also with that amount, means you can hear a wider range of her style. I am hoping for an eclectic mix as I continue down the list of tracks. So, let’s start!

We begin with an introduction, “Sign” and it’s an instrumental start to the album. It has a dreamy quality to it as it’s soft but haunting too. I really like hearing the orchestra build up and sound like the second song “Out Of Time”. This song has a completely different tone, as it has a pop-rock sound which wasn’t something that I expected but I actually liked it! It’s something we haven’t heard from her yet and I thought it was perfect to break that barrier so early in the album. Next we have “Who Are You” and it has that familiar mysterious vibe playing throughout it. It’s very powerful but in a way gentle too!

We move on to “God Only Knows” and what I really like about this one was the fact that it started off in this soft way, with only her echo-y but deep voice and a light epic drumming in the background. It was so beautiful to only have those elements, before adding the orchestra back in too. The fourth track “Into Heaven Alone” has a melancholy sound but it does have a rock-y vibe on top of that cinematic beat, it’s not an overwhelming. I liked the uniqueness it gave the song! I feel the next song “Inside Of Me” has this motivational statement to make, as it gave you the strength to get through whatever is bothering you at that moment. The beat itself was strong in terms of matching the emotions and lyrics to the song, but it was also really light too. It was a nice balance.

When we first started the album, we had a nice epic intro with “Sign” but for the sixth track, it is the vocal version of the actual song. It still has this gentleness about it, but now that we are hearing the words along with the ominous ballad of violins, bells and of course Raign’s deep voice. It will take you away into a magical place whenever you listen to it, at least that’s what it did for me. I felt like I was walking in a snow-y, forest wonderland, I love it when music can do that in a matter of three minutes! Next, there’s “Calling” and this has another interesting quality. At first, I thought it was going to continue what we heard in the last song. I’m hearing more pop-y notes in the beat, it still has that cinematic sound in it, but it is very mild so you can hear them both at the same time. It is a cool song.

We are on the last four songs. “Hold On To The Sky” is kind of tame, almost dreamy in a way. One way to explain it, is if you were in a deep amount of water. Your body is weightless so dancing inside is a breeze. If this was a song, this would be it. I’m sorry for the weird metaphor, but that’s what I instantly thought of when it started playing! Next there’s “Find My Own Way” and this has a sexy beat behind it. It keeps you on your toes because it’s a somewhat simple song, but there’s that underling feeling you could be surprised soon. It was a pleasing track and probably one of my favorites out of the whole thing.

I was really curious about the eleventh song and final track because the titles seem so easy to figure out, I just hoped I wouldn’t get disappointed in the end. However, “Sunrise” starts with this very loud bass boom and then her voice gets echo-y and the beat itself builds into the monstrous beast. As it continues, Raign basically stays the same as far as tempo goes, but I’m glad she’s like that because the dynamic between these two makes it that much better. It has an edge, a jaggered edge that makes it powerful! Finally, we end with “Evergreen” and after the previous one, I was a little worried but thankfully it was at the same vibe, but I think I fell in love with the lyrics a lot faster than I did with “Sunrise”, plus it has a happier beat. It had a motivated outlook on it, but everything about it was inviting to me, and it made me like I could do anything so I was thinking of good things rather than the negative and that’s what I like the most about it.

One of my favorite things to do now whenever I watch a movie or television show, is that I keep an eye out for the music being played on a certain scene. When The Vampire Diaries started playing Raign’s music throughout the last four or five seasons, I did not expect to still crave her music but I do! I think she has a gorgeous voice and the beats she uses to showcase it, make me extremely happy! Raign was at the forefront of my taste for cinematic music, and I deeply encourage you to check out some of her songs! This album gave me feeling after feeling, and although I tend to listen to her music whenever I’m sad, I was happy listening to all the way through and for that to happen rarely works anymore.

Have you heard of RAIGN’s new album “SIGN” yet? If I wasn’t the one to introduce you to her music, how did you find her? What is your favorite song(s)?

snowflake

Tune Tuesday | Where Does The Name ‘Upon Wings’ Come From? by Anne Erickson

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Howdy!

We’re back with the second Tune Tuesday post featuring Upon Wings lead vocalist Anne Erickson!

Are you loving these pieces so far? Everybody seems to love them, which is really great for the band as the more we do this, people who have never heard of them will grow more curious about their music and eventually want to check them out, which is something that I strive for on a daily basis. That’s what every music blogger wants to do, inspire people to look into this artist or group, so that maybe they’ll start to love them and become a steady fan, if that’s an actual term for musical purposes!

Today, Anne will be discussing how the name Upon Wings came about and I think it’s a very touching story on how different things, like verses or words in general can touch and help us create something entirely new! So I hope you all will enjoy it!


When I was thinking of different band names, I wanted something simple and something that somehow felt right with the band’s sound. I was looking at different places for inspiration, and I looked through the Bible for some inspiration and ideas and I read Isaiah 40:31:

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

The phrase “Upon Wings” stood out to me. To me, that phrase implies depending on something outside of yourself in times of need. It could be God, a friend or family member or something else to help you in some way. There are times in life when all of us will need to rest “Upon Wings” of Eagles to soar.


How is that for an answer?! I really loved hearing about this, because I remember the afternoon I found Upon Wings and literally I thought how the band name came about, honestly for most bands with out of the box names, this is usually the first thing that pops into my head!

How to follow Anne and Upon Wings?

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EP Review: “Born Again” by RAIGN

27072414_10157649396617837_3755914508397942992_nIn 2014, I discovered a bunch of singer-songwriters making music in the alternative genre. I remember that I had three straight days of where I did nothing but look on Spotify for more artists Banks, Zella Day, Laurel, Ruelle and RAIGN. What’s even weird about the four ladies is that I managed to find all of them in one show, as their music was being played on the episodes of The Vampire Diaries! 

For this review, I’ll be discussing RAIGN’s third extended play called “Born Again”. It was released back on January 26th, and I actually didn’t even know about it. I saw a track she released a couple of weeks before called “Believe With Me’ and I figured that if she had released one that more should be coming soon and I was right! Unfortunately, the song is not included on the EP, but we do hear four new tracks so I think that’s a good trade!

So we start with a song that was originally on her first EP, Knocking On Heavens Door that came out in 2015. The track is “Empire Of Our Own” and instead of releasing an acoustic version in which she’s done in the past, this one has a totally different vibe. Since her music is mostly played on trailers to movies and television shows, this was given a cinematic feel to it as it is an orchestra mix. I’ll honestly say that I wasn’t a fan of the original version of the song, I thought it was dull and boring so when I saw this, I thought “well, maybe it’ll make it better!” It does have a very ominous sound, and with Raign’s deep raspy voice, it has more depth to it. I do enjoy the entrance to the chorus at the beginning with those loud bangs of the drums, but as a whole, I’m still not a fan of it. There’s not much that makes special to the others that I’m used to seeing with these certain mixes.

Second song is “One Thing Leads To Another” and this has a fast paced beat to it that I really like, I feel like this one has a lot of possibilities to it. There are high pitched sirens that go off right before the choruses start and to me they sounded like a bunch of trains signaling their coming through. I don’t know that could be just me hearing things. I like the commanding section of the horns though, they add a very strong force to the song. Next we have “The World Is Ours” and even though it’s quieter, you can feel all of the emotions of both Raign’s voice and beat itself. I really like the stripped section, where the sound takes its time to surface with her voice. I think we’re all expecting songs with these types of titles, that they’re supposed to dramatic and heavy, but I think this is a clear example that they don’t have to be!

Lastly we have “This Is The End” and I remember when I saw the title at first, I had to do a double take because Ruelle has a song “This Is The Hunt” and I swore I saw it written like that too, but it was just my eyes playing games with me! I was hoping that it would have that epic sound that she’s used to releasing here lately and I definitely wasn’t disappointed as it went over my expectations. I really like the gentleness of the beat itself, but of course it has this commanding sound with the deep banging of the drums and it sort of has this metallic vibe added by some electric guitars. It has a lot of different elements included on it, but I’m happy to say that they don’t make it so chaotic and overwhelming!

I’m really happy to see Raign get stronger as a cinematic-pop artist. Yes, this title does exist and I’m very happy it does! Considering I don’t like too many of her songs at one time, I’m actually pretty happy with these tracks on this EP. I think with time, she’ll just continue to kill and get better! I’m still hopeful that one day we’ll actually get a full length album as she’s only put out these extended plays plus a few singles here and there, but for now we have this to enjoy!

Are you a fan of RAIGN? Have you listened to her new “Born Again” EP yet? What were your favorites?

Album Review: “Somewhere In Between” by VÉRITÉ

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VÉRITÉ has finally released her first album! She has always been putting out singles and EPs for the last few years so now to actually have a large selection of songs coming out all at once makes me so happy!

Kelsey Bryne who goes by “VÉRITÉ” is an indie pop singer based in New York, which I thought was weird considering I swore she was Canadian! Sorry! Her debut album went out in mid-June, a week before Imagine Dragons’ album Evolve, you’ll be seeing that review next week! If you’ve never heard of her music you need to look into some of her singles like “Underdressed” and “Sober” and check out the other EPs she has on her Spotify too!

She starts out the album with “When You’re Gone” and it has this striking hum as your introduction that sort of increases in volume until you get to the breakdown and it disappears. It appears again whenever the second verses comes in, but the choruses are pretty soft and air-y with her voice. I like the subtle “ohs” throughout, it’s very pretty! Second is “Phase Me Out” and this one is pretty soft in the beginning but then you hear a guitar and the music just explodes! It’s not a heavy sound, it’s pretty mellow but it works for her voice and vibe she’s creating within the song. Next is “Death Of Me” and I really like the static-y sound, her voice is like an echo. Once the choruses start, the drum beat kicks on and the tempo increases; it has a very good rhythm! There’s not much about it, but I like that simplicity of it!

Fourth track is “Bout You” and I love the noticeable piano in the background. This kind of gave me a sassy vibe to it as soon as it started, and the beat in general is definitely that. It’s fierce! Next is “Better” and it has this low pitched hum that goes in and out with VÉRITÉ’s voice and then the sound switches and turns into this pop-y track. I really like it! Sixth is “Need Nothing” has an electronica sound to it, but it’s pretty mellow. It still has that alternative edge to it, has it’s sassy notes to it. It could be another favorite of mine! “Saint” is after that one and this has an ominous introduction but it has more pop-y/playful vibe to it too.

Next up is “Solutions” and it starts out with this warping sound and her voice. I love these stripped down beginnings. This one has more of an electronic sound than the other one I had mentioned, it goes in and out so it’s not obnoxious but it’s pretty interesting! The song “Floor” is after and it’s pretty slow and echo-y. It gives you more of a chill feeling while listening to it, but it’s kind of boring though. I do like the lyrics and melody, but I’m not feeling the slow beat sadly. Next is the title track “Somewhere In Between” and it is the ideal VÉRITÉ song, it has that alternative but unique sound. It’s very soft but it goes with her beautiful voice!

Now we start on the last three songs of the album, beginning with “Nothing” and this has an soft but mysterious intro but then it turns into this very energetic beat! I’m kind of glad for it another upbeat track and catchy! Despite the fact that I do love her softer songs, there’s only so many of those a normal person can take let’s be honest! Afterwards is “Control” and we’re back to the softer notes, but it does have jazzier sound with using the bass guitar in the background. It does have a small horn section which just adds to that jazz vibe to it! I love the groove and I had some serious trouble not dancing along to it! Last one is “Freedom Of Falling” and I really loved the beat of this one. The intro was a soft but steady beat. I liked her subtle hums in the background. It was so simple. Everything that I like about her!

This was everything I wanted it to be and more! It was so good! After so long of just releasing about three to four songs at a time, I bet it feels rewarding to put out this amount of music for all the fans! It won’t keep all of us satisfied but it’ll keep us occupied for a while I think. I think I’ll go on to say this was one of my favorite albums on 2017 I liked it that much!

Have you listened to VÉRITÉ’s new album “Somewhere In Between” or any of her other music she’s released? What do you think of it?

snowflake

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Song Review: “Home” by Tara Macri

Hi 🙂

I’m here to talk about a pop singer-songwriter by the name of Tara Macri, I’ve been asked twice now to review her singles. I don’t necessarily remember why I didn’t do it the first time, it could have been because I was really busy at that moment! Luckily, April is a month where I’m not so busy… yet.

Tara has a very sweet, loving voice! The first time I heard her voice, I swore she was a country singer or could go into that genre very easily! Her newest song is called, “Home” that came out in January. This song is actually very pretty! It is of piano and cello, which is one of my favorite combinations of course! So it has this sweet and mellow atmosphere but it also has a somber, almost dramatic vibe going on when using the strings in it too. They’re not overpowering against her voice, everything is a good balance! I love it!

I don’t usually do single (one track) reviews anymore. It is mostly because you either give a bad or good review. When you have multiple songs on an album, it’s easier to see how worthy it is as a whole, but when it’s just one song, as a reviewer you tend to feel kind of sad if the ending result doesn’t end well. This is the one drawback for reviewing anything when you give out 100% of your own thoughts on a post.

At least we can say, this has a happy ending!

Have you heard of Tara Marci’s new single “Home” yet? What are your thoughts about it?