Can I Holla At YaJ. Cole
J. Cole - Can I Holla At Ya
This is my favorite song off of J. Cole’s new mixtape Truly Yours. The day after it released I deemed it a modern day hip-hop classic. The mixtape is only 5 (technically 6) songs in length, but each song is so lyrically dense it left me in awe the first time I gave this mixtape a playthrough on datpiff. Each song, especially Can I Holla At Ya, represents some of the best story telling in hip-hop, ever. This song is on par with what Nas accomplished on Illmatic in terms of how hard his flow goes yet how much emotional depth and lyrical profundity gets woven into each verse. This song and Illmatic are just very different styles of hip-hop.
I also really like how J. Cole decided to make the chorus very simplistic in nature. It gives you the sense that he has a lot of emotion and history invested into asking these three important individuals in his life that he hasn’t seen in a very long time “hey, can I holla at ya?”. You can’t sugar coat such a personal question…it needs to sound stripped down, raw, and straight from the heart. Hip-hop in it’s realest form. I really hope J. Cole continues making astonishing works that match the quality seen on Truly Yours. His earlier mixtapes are better than his newer works (his album), and this mixtape is by far the best thing he has ever released. I also highly recommend you listen to this song at least once while reading along with the lyrics.
My Song Rating: 10 out of 10
Yolanda's House (ft. Method Man & Raekwon)Ghostface Killah
Ghostface Killah - Yolanda’s House (ft. Method Man & Raekwon)
This low-key Wu-Tang gem is off of Ghostface Killah’s solid 2007 album The Big Doe Rehab. My favorite Wu member is Method Man followed by Raekwon, so it’s hard for me not to love this song. The beautiful violin based instrumental works exceedingly well with each MC’s potent verse. When it comes to spittin’ raw stories of the street, no one does it better than Wu-Tang. Yolanda’s House is my all time favorite song by Ghostface Killah.
One of the main reasons why Wu-Tang is so well known and loved is because not only do they have their classic posse albums like Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), but all of the members have produced their own classic albums in their very successful solo careers. The Big Doe Rehab is Ghostface’s 7th studio album. It’s easy to see that the members of Wu-Tang Clan are some of the hardest working cats in the game. Such success doesn’t just happen.
My Song Rating: 9.8 out of 10
RATING: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Well, Some nights, I wish that this all would end
Cause I could use some friends for a change
And some nights, I’m scared you’ll forget me again
Some nights, I always win, I always win…
But I still wake up, I still see your ghost
Oh Lord, I’m still not sure what I stand for, oh
What do I stand for? What do I stand for?
Most nights, I don’t know… (come on)
Absolutely giving this song five stars for it reminds me of my old high school self. I miss this kind of music around me. Being in college for me, seems like losing my old me — the one where I care more about those bands and scream at the top of my lungs because I just heard their song. Because now a days, I only here songs in the radios, songs that are popular, in short, pop songs. I just maybe had a hard time being myself in college for the fact that I have some interests and likes that I think people around me can’t relate to.
Thanks to bonding with high school friends last Friday, I think I’m back to “me, me.” I know you people know who you are — Imee, Bianca, Janica, Kathryn, Pat, Sofia and Nina. :)
Domestic Abuse in Pop Culture!
Fun’s “We Are Young” is a good-vibe tune that just makes you want to go home, scream “YOLO”, and beat your wife to death, amirite? You didn’t know that’s what it makes you want to do, but your subconscious does. Let’s take a look:
Nate Ruess starts the song off by saying he needs to get his story straight. So right off the bat, we know this entire song is a big lie. Then he says his friends are “in the bathroom getting higher than the Empire State.” Are they really, Nate? Or are you lying again? Anyway, what is the Empire State? Illinois, Georgia, and New York all use variations of the nickname “Empire State.” The highest point out of any of these is in New York at Mount Marcy, which is 5,344 feet above sea level. That’s pretty high but only 1/4 of Mount McKinley. There are quite a lot of mountains higher than that but no buildings.
SO they’re in a bathroom of a mountain, and this bathroom happens to have an elevator? This is Nate’s first lie because he immediately says he’s in a bar afterwards. His story is obviously not straight.
“My lover, she’s waiting for me just across the bar. My seat’s been taken by some sunglasses asking ‘bout a scar.”
Interesting. Nate’s been hitting the ketamine, because sunglasses don’t really talk too often. But this lover-girl is obviously interested in these glasses, so things just got awkward. Nate also admits to giving the girl her scar a couple months ago. He seems to be pretty violent, but at least he’s honest… and then he admits to not being honest through “the holes in my apologies.”
He’s also slipping some BDO in her drink!
“So, if by the time the bar closes and you feel like falling down, I’ll carry you home…”
It’s obvious he’s going to date rape her. She’s passing out and he’s going to “carry her home.” Yeah, right. He hasn’t been truthful about one thing yet, so I’m going to rewrite this part of the song to fit the truth.
“So, if by like 5 minutes, you pass out on the bar, I’ll take you to my place and give you another scar
And this chorus doesn’t make sense? Even if Nate was telling the truth at all this whole time, I don’t understand how the chorus fits. I mean, he’s carrying this unconscious girl in his arms all the way home and, at the same time, setting everything on fire. And somehow, he’s regained his youth in the process. It’s the strawberry cocaine. It has got to be.
Oh, and then he goes back to the bar and waits on the Anaheim Angels and his church’s choir to arrive, of which only the choir actually comes and sings. This scares him; as soon as he hears the choir, he immediately asks for someone to carry him home. Big wuss.
So Nate is a wuss who rapes his girlfriend. I don’t even want to get into the rest of the song. I’ve had enough of wapists. One more question, though: How does Nate plan to set the ocean on fire?
Bow Down / I Been On
Bow Down/I Been On by Beyonce
I’m going to throw myself under the bus immediately and admit that I don’t ever listen to any Beyonce songs. I admit that she has the game’s prostate in a vice grip, but her music just isn’t my speed. When I heard this track, though, I had to hit the play button instantly. I couldn’t believe it. My first question was “Who tried to assassinate the Queen?” Because clearly someone made her angry. And I love it.
The track is split into two parts; the uptempo and agressive Bow Down produced by the genius Hit-Boy, and the Houston-esque, angry I Been On produced by Polow Da Don, Timbaland, and Planet VI. According to various sources, each track is merely a snippet of two different songs, although whether or not either will appear on her upcoming unnamed album is still unknown.
I admit that this is a far-cry from Beyonce’s impressive catalogue of pop hits that catapulted her to the forefront of modern culture, but I find the change as refreshing as a glass of water after being stranded in the middle of the ocean for days. I’m digging the anger, the need to reaffirm exactly who the GOAT is, and the ability to step out of her comfort zone to prove a point. Both tracks seem to be shows of dominance, much like an alpha male stomping around his feeding grounds and stealing the women and food of smaller males.
Although the surprising use of profanity has a lot of Beyonce stans in a tizzy, I think it adds to the song. This track doesn’t sound like one that you’d discover on most radio stations, so theoretically she can say what she wants or something.
I never thought I’d say this, but I’m actually hype for the release of I Been On. The angry, braggadocious, chopped and slopped themed display of dominance appeals to me. I just wish I didn’t have to put up with her fans along with it.
Bow Down bishes, before Bey really goes trill.
Today, I Feel Like I'm EvolvingRiver City Extension
“Today, I Feel Like I’m Evolving” by River City Extension
I’ve written a review here. You don’t have to read it if you don’t want, but this song just really blew me away, so I felt it necessary to write about it and if you do read it, thank you very, very much.
I have been listening to this song on repeat for about an hour and a half now- it’s the first time I’ve heard it since it’s one of Leah’s songs that she put on my iPod. And I just really, really desperately have to write up a review on it because it’s just… sending me spinning.
So River City Extension is an 8-piece band- as in vocals, bass, banjo, cello, violin. The whole nine yards. It’s classified as folk/indie/rock/blues. They have a very broad reach on genre.
I’ve already been a fan of a few of their songs (though only for a month now) and it’s a very, very different listen for me. I love indie and I love folk/rock, but the singer’s voice is so… raw, I guess? And this song started off kind of slowly and normally I’m a little picky with my slow songs.
But then on the third sentence, I completely stopped and just listened. This was the line: “I will see you in the morning with your words across my eyes.”
And from that sentence all the way through the entire song, the lyrics are incredible. “And since the day that I was born, I wanted to be aged and worn, hoping for callous and for burn, hoping there was something I could learn” and “But you make me wonder about fact. You make me wonder if I’ll take you back again- cause I am vulnerable but I am strong and I am wrong a lot.”
The wording in this song is poetically poignant- so really, the rawness sort of evolves into this kind of experienced voice and to me at least, is completely mandatory.
To top it off, that bit about the band being 8-piece? There’s a HUGE instrumental background to this song and it’s just… blowing me away.
I’ll probably be listening to this for most of the night now. So please try it out, if only for a moment. Thanks for reading this, guys. I know it was long.
Soompi Single Review: The Boss - "Lady"
From the very beginning, The Boss’ focus has always been all five members’ strong vocals. Even with their previous singles “Admiring Boy” and “Round Round”, somehow the songs were made to let their vocals shine through. And, now, with a ballad release under their belts in the form of their newest single “Lady”, they’ve proven once again just how strong their vocals are.
Looking at their past releases, The Boss has never really had a proper, solid ballad for a single, or even an album track. They debuted with the perky, slightly cute, “Admiring Boy”, before moving over to the more serious, catchy and heavy sounds of “Round Round” and “No One.. Anyone”, and so at this point a ballad would be one of the many logical steps to take for a group like The Boss. They’ve grown up, very fast, and this reflects exactly how much they’ve grown, but also what they still have ahead of them.
While everyone else is concentrating on releasing the catchiest, noisiest, most heavily-produced track, these five chose to put out a stunning, jaw-dropping ballad.
And really, the best word to describe “Lady” is “stunning”, in every sense of the word.
“Lady” is gorgeous, with the sweeping melodies, simple piano lines, a crisp guitar line laced with a beautiful string section, and harmonies pulled off by five stunningly rich voices. The song is everything but simple though - it’s elaborate, it’s epic, it stuns you. It starts out simply, but even with the rather toned-down first half, you’re held at the edge of your seat because, at the back of your mind, you know everything you hear will eventually explode into something huge — and it does.
The reason why this song works for an idol group is because all five members of The Boss are not just vocally capable, they’re good singers. It works because they can all stand alone as vocalists, but they also work extremely well as a group — they know when they have to put their all into their vocals and really deliver, but they also know when to step back and let the other members sing. That’s one of the most important skills a vocal group must posses, and to these five it’s almost natural. Listen to the harmonies on the song, they’re very much audible, but at the same time they have a gentleness to them because no one is trying to out-sing anyone else.
Everything about this comeback was thought through, from the song, an epic ballad, to the concept and the simple music video, to show that The Boss don’t need flashy music videos or elaborate choreography to pull off a comeback. Sometimes all they need is a stunning song and their gorgeous vocals.
Time To PretendMGMT
Time To Pretend - MGMT
This is currently my favorite song, not just because of the awesome singing, beat and melody, but also because of the meaning behind the lyrics.
The lyrics reflect a person ‘ditching’ their childhood for fame and living a rock-star-life, soon life spirals out of control, and all of a sudden this person realizes that their fate has changed, and that they have lost everything. Of course lyrics always have different meanings to everyone, so read the lyrics or preferably listen to the song, and tell me what you think!
I’m Feelin rough I’m Feelin raw
I’m in the prime of my life.
Let’s make some music make some money
find some models for wives.
I’ll move to Paris, shoot some heroin
and fuck with the stars.
You man the island and the cocaine
and the elegant cars.
This is our decision to live fast and die young.
We’ve got the vision, now let’s have some fun.
Yeah it’s overwhelming, but what else can we do?
Get jobs in offices and wake up
for the morning commute?
Forget about our mothers and our friends.
We’re fated to pretend.
We’re fated to pretend.
I’ll miss the playgrounds and the animals
and digging up worms.
I’ll miss the comfort of my mother
and the weight of the world.
I’ll miss my sister, miss my father,
miss my dog and my home.
Yeah I’ll miss the boredom and the freedom
and the time spent alone.
But there is really nothing, nothing we can do.
Love must be forgotten.
Life can always start up anew.
The models will have children, we’ll get a divorce,
we’ll find some more models,
Everything must run its course.
We’ll choke on our vomit
and that will be the end.
We were fated to pretend.
We’re fated to pretend
I said Yeah yeah yeah
Yeah yeah yeah
Yeah yeah yeah
Check out more of MGMT’s songs if you don’t already know them! they are great.
and so I am to relay my thoughts on RED
1. State of Grace - I LOVE the song. Not my favorite on the album, but over all so good. Favorite line: “so you were never a saint and i’ve loved in shades of wrong, we learn to live with the pain, mosaic broken hearts”
2. Red - Again, love this song. I really like the way she uses the colors in relation to the emotions. Favorite line: “touching him is like realizing all you ever wanted is right there in front of you”
3. Treacherous - Well, this song is a first for Taylor in that it is quite obviously about sex. But it is done in the MOST classy of ways and thats what I really love about the song. Its beautifully written and produced and sung and I think she really hit the nail on the head. I think it was time for there to be a song like this. Favorite line: “nothing safe is worth the drive”
4. I Knew You Were Trouble. - Good song, not my favorite as a Taylor song but I love that she is trying new things and not afraid to just write a song how her emotions felt at the time. Favorite line: “he was long gone when he met me”
5. All Too Well - AHH this song is so wonderful! It was the first song I listened to that wasn’t one of the pre-released songs actually and my heart broke with how beautiful it is! I think it shows that she really is still that same songwriter we know and I love that she is able to make the story visible with the imagery. Favorite line: “here we are again in the middle of the night, we dance around the kitchen in the refrigerator light”
6. 22 - THIS SONG. Honestly, I love it even though its so cheesy. But it is just perfect and reminds me of my best friend sooo much and I love hearing Taylor be so happy. And I love Taylor writing about her friends!! I have never danced so much than I did to this the other night. Favorite line ” who is Taylor Swift anyways, ew!”
7. I Almost Do - This is a very beautiful song, and I think the only reason I am not SUPER obsessed with it is because I’m not in that place in my life of missing someone in this way. I thought about how sad it is that Taylor was ever in this position though, and thats just so rough! Favorite line: “I bet it never occurred to you that I can’t say hello to you and risk another goodbye”
8. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together - Sassy Taylor at her finest. I think I’ve said all I can say about this song in the past few months. Favorite line: “I hate you, we break up, you call me, I love you”
9. Stay Stay Stay - AHHH I AM SO OBSESSED. This song makes me want to jump around my room and just smile and be silly and be in love. My roommate heard this and said “OKAY SO THIS IS YOU” that made me happy. This song is WONDERFUL. Favorite line(s): “you said okay lets talk” (the way it sounds) and “you think that its funny when i’m mad mad mad”
10. The Last Time - Okay, this song is just a little TOOOOO mellow for me. I think the writing was so beautiful though, I just wish there would have been a little more UMPH to it. I haven’t determined a favorite line yet! I need to listen more.
11. Holy Ground - At first I wasn’t down with this song. But the second time I played it I fell in love. The sound is really different and I think she really allowed herself to just write the way it felt! Favorite line: “we blocked the noise with the sound of I Need You” and “sometimes I wonder how you think about it now and I see your face in every crowd”
12. Sad Beautiful Tragic - The title so describes the song… I think its a really lovely song and yet its so beautifully horrifying and sad. She wrote this beautifully. Favorite line: “time is taking its sweet time erasing you and you got your demons and darling they all look like me”
13. The Lucky One - This song is so so sad to think that Taylor doesn’t like the world she lives in sometimes and it scares me that she might stop making music for a while. The song also hits home because I want to move to LA and do big things and the thought of getting lost and caught up in all of that is frightening. Favorite line: “another name goes up in lights, you wonder if you’ll make it out alive”
14. Everything Has Changed - I have so many positive feelings about this song. Wonderful Wonderful Wonderful collaboration. perfect. one of my favorites. Favorite line: ” making up for lost time, taking flight making me feel like i just wanna know you better”
15. Starlight - Okay I was weirded out that she wrote a song about the Kennedy’s but I am actually super in love with this one… I think the concept is beautiful and the way it sounds just makes you so happy we and SO needed happy songs on this album. This song makes me smile. Favorite line: “don’t you see the starlight? don’t you dream impossible things?”
16. Begin Again - Classic Taylor and I love it. Such an honest song that is so bittersweet. VERY glad this one made the album! Favorite line: “all love ever does is break and burn and end”.
17. The Moment I Knew - something about this song made me realize it was her birthday far before she said anything about the fact that it was a holiday or anything. This song made me HATE Jake, poor girl just really loved him and he SO let her down. No one deserves that. I don’t have a favorite line yet because they’re all PERFECT.
18. Come Back… Be Here - I didn’t think I was going to like this, but then I really listened to the words and it changed my mind. I love how it captures being so caught up at the very beginning of the relationship. She is so honest with us in this song. Favorite line: “spinning faster than the plane that took you”
19. Girl At Home - This song SO needed to be written. Like way to pull the classy card, Taylor. I love this. Its so perfect! It makes me think of the guy being like Joe Jonas when he was dating someone else and still being close with Taylor again (but I don’t think that was the case). Great song. Favorite line: “it would be a fine proposition if i was a stupid girl”
"Something About Us"- Daft Punk
How did you fall in love? Like slow, soft rain? Perhaps it was as harsh as roaring waterfalls. Or could it have been like a hot monsoon, occasionally gradual, frequently instantaneous, and always prolonged? Daft Punk claims its own answer to this question with its 9th track “Something About Us” on its second studio album Discovery.
Sans the funky, punchy beats Daft Punk has become appreciated for, the tune begins with chords that squeeze your heart as they trickle out, drop-by-drop. The deep chords’ unexpected progressions and uneven entrances bring the image of hesitant steps, echoing with reminiscence. The memories of first meetings and glowing glances build, and almost suddenly, as if gasping for air, a retro bass enters, followed two beats after by a chewy clopping. The three sounds interact, the opening chords diminished but holding the concoction together as a synth pops out, sparking like shivers down a back. The song grows to encompass a clean combination of snare drum hits and clear cymbals tapping and occasionally opening. The inseparable pair leads the ensemble with sharp nods and a confident gaze. The last incorporation before the song’s lyrics appearance is perhaps the most striking- a layered electronic “wow,” playing a simple melody.
Finally, a voice is exposed. The lyrics make their appearance as the majority of the instrumentals the listener has become accustomed to fall out, only the bass, snare, and cymbals remaining. Without even the basic chords of the song’s foundation, the listener is forced to focus on the new “instrument.” Albeit distorted, the male vocalist’s voice indicates young adulthood. His voice is tender, even with its robotic tinge. As he half-sings, half-speaks, and whole-heartedly expresses, the air in his voice floats around and throughout the background, as if translucent heated exhales in winter. What is rarely heard is the sound of inhaling, the vocalist becoming a superhuman, not needing to take anything in, only give out. The lyrics mimic this concept, one of expecting nothing in return for the singer’s love. It should also be noted that the singer is not necessarily alone- the voices are eventually layered in harmony. Perhaps this represents the grown resolve the speaker gains as he repeats his lyrics; when he begins singing, he expresses uncertainty, and when he ends, he exposes solid belief in his words. The opening, loose lyrics “There’s something about us” develop into the final unmoving line “I love you more than anything in my life”. To reach this apex, the lyrics gradually grow within three separate sections.
The first lyrics are as previously stated: uncertain. Though they remain simple and straightforward, they emit a distinct tone of defensiveness and innocence. The verses can be interpreted in pairs. The first two lines are of jittery hands and nervous glances with the repeated unsure word “might”; the second two make a couplet with end rhyme, and bring the focus to the repeated “something” between the “us” the speaker asserts. The speaker introduces himself with shy words, yet confident delivery; he is a smooth surfer, pushing down upon and balancing with the instrumental waves.
The shift from this atmosphere is indicated by the re-entrance of the soft chords, a return to the first things you noticed, the first smile smiled just for you. Breaking away from the previous quartet’s mid-tempo melody, the lyrics are now staggered with emphasis. Again, the lyrics can be broken into two pairs: the first two lines are mimicry of the previous quartet’s with their order reversed. However, the identical phrases “right one” and “right time” seem new, not because of their placement, but their increased weight. An unprecedented dramatic upper harmony emphasizes the expressions as the bass and drum combination leave only the chords; the listener may be tricked into believing the tempo was slowed without the domineering presence of the plucking bass, but it is only a brief illusion caused by the strolling chords. The bass, snare, and cymbals return to mesh with the chords as the second two lines enter. These lines follow those of the first quartet in their end rhymes but signal another change with the lyrics ending on higher notes. This is interestingly joined with the lyrics’ heightened purposes; the second quartet stands as rising action, in which the speaker proclaims what he is going to do with the situation established in the first quartet’s exposition. Also unique to this piece of the lyrics is the delivery of “you”, the second quartet’s last word. Unlike the level execution of previous lyrics, the vocalist seems to slightly falter at this word, his breath creating a bubbly effect. With this, the third quartet gears up for entrance.
The song reaches its climax in these four lines, as the vocalist finally confesses the emotions he danced around in the previous lyrics. The vocalist that had been alone in the first quartet is now accompanied with a lower harmony that stays throughout the final quartet. The lyrics maintain the simple vocabulary used in previous lines but depart from past tones of hesitance- the speaker is now definite: He is completely in love, in all ways. There is nothing more in his life he needs, wants, will miss, or loves than the “you” he addresses. There is nothing left for the singer to confess; he has encompassed all he needed to cover.
The song continues without the lyrics, a new fusion instrument entering not even a beat after they end- it almost cuts off the last “life” sung. It resembles a mix of saxophone and piano, likely an electronic keyboard with a jazz filter. Its melody is refreshing, so unexpected, one could imagine it to be an improvised solo, fingers nimbly pressing against black and white. The song continues to rebuild itself, the instrumentals that left during the lyrics returning one by one. First is the “wow,” looping with the higher notes of the keyboard, next is the clopping, and last is the synth. The chords, bass, and drum set are still present, but less noticeable with the arrival of new sounds. The tracks stream together, repeating as they progressively fade out, leaving an immediate sense of nostalgia.
Daft Punk professes three steps to love. “Something” was noticed. Then the speaker realized his need to confess “About” it. Thus, he created an “Us.” How did you fall in love?
I e-mailed my Grandma a recording of The Phoenix by Fall Out Boy because I want her to like at least one song I like. And what she messaged back was not what I was expecting.
She said, “First off I love the orchestra beginning the song! I actually really like the hard driving beat and the words are almost poetry! Lots of emotion you can feel in the music. About changing peoples attitude before the wars start. But, interesting imagery about putting on war paint to fight a war about not starting a real war if that makes sense. Actually not unlike the 70’s war protesters. Really love the the beat. Also, love the imagery about changing and the Phoenix rising out of the ashes. Really Poetry. Love the name Phoenix also. Good song, listened twice all the way through.
My god, Grandma! This is not what I was expecting! This review is amazing and well thought out, and it really surprised me. I thought she was gonna be like “It’s good”, “It’s bad” or “Eh”. But wow. I applaud you Grandma, you are the best.
Song Review: David Cook (@thedavidcook) - The Last Goodbye
David Cook releases his new single, “The Last Goodbye”, from his highly anticipated sophomore release, This Loud Morning tomorrow. This uptempo rock track is a perfect introduction to the new album, and the slightly heavier rock edge he’s taking with his music.
Up until now, all we’ve had available was bad live recordings of unreleased songs, and his debut of the Simple Minds cover, “Don’t You Forget About Me”, currently featured as the exit song on Season 10 of American Idol. This song, however, is the first original, studio recorded song we’ve heard from Cook since his debut album’s release in 2008. This was a long time to wait for new music, though David was touring for a year during this time.
“The Last Goodbye”, co-written by Cook and OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder is an extremely catchy earworm, with meaningful and pained lyrics that stick in your head by the second listen. Lyrically reminiscent of Alanis Morrissette’s “You Oughta Know”, but with less anger, this song is sure to be a big radio hit.
In his recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Tedder, who is also writing with Adam Lambert for his second album, said: “David was, like, “I want to do something uptempo,” so his first single, “The Last Goodbye,” you would never know that I wrote it. It’s really emotional and it hits you with the chorus about 40 seconds into the song, so it’s just immediate…. [David is] great, more than any singer I’ve worked with, he contributed enormously lyrically and musically – he can play, he knows voicing, chords and arrangements as well as lyrics. He’s a full-on writer.”
“The Last Goodbye” has a familiarity to it that makes the song feel like something you’ve listened to a million times, but it’s still very fresh and an instant head bobber. The familiarity is what will have you putting it on repeat.
David Cook will be on American Idol on April 21st to debut “The Last Goodbye” to the nation, so don’t miss it! If you hear this on the radio… make sure you let your local DJs know how much you like it! “The Last Goodbye” makes it’s official release tomorrow, April 19th, and the album, This Loud Morning is slated for release on June 28th.
Young Jeezy (feat. Lil Wayne) - Ballin' [REVIEW]
I wrote about Young Jeezy’s BMF rip-off over at No Jumper.
The TouristSarah Jarosz
Sarah Jarosz – The Tourist
Know this: I am biased toward Texan musicians (its part of Austinite culture, I think).
First of all, this is a cover of a song (same title) by Radiohead. The general feel of the song, the tempo, the emotions are are essentially unchanged, but Jarosz’s version has an… older feel. Where there was an electric guitar, there is a mandolin or fiddle. Where there was an electric bass, there is an upright. Drums replaced with percussive banjo sounds, fiddles chiming in. As evident in the final third of the song, Sarah’s instrumentalists are very, very skilled.
Interestingly, the most notable difference between the two versions is not the wildly different instruments but, instead, the voices. Where Thom Yorke is wispy and otherworldly, Jarosz is strikingly intimate and organic. To be honest, I would not have it any other way. The instrumental and vocal stylings of each artist match harmoniously, creating the artists’ unique sounds.
If you like this version of this song and are willing to give Texas folk a shot, I highly highly highly recommend this album for you (I recommend it either way, really).
Rating after 10+ listens: A-
-John Miller, some guy
Simple SongThe Shins
The Shins – Simple Song
I had a very difficult time choosing just one song to comment on from this album. They are all so amazing, really. In my dilemma, I made the obvious choice: the first single.
On that note, I think I will begin by actually speaking of the album itself. This album came out in a time when I was really struggling with my drug addiction. Upon purchasing the album and realizing what relief I could find in this collection of soul-songs, I quickly delved into intensive listening, with the album quickly climbing to the top of my “most listened.” Within its hallowed lyrics, I have found much inspiration, insight, and relation to the suffering, growth, and self-honesty herein.
I have followed this band for some time, and it is amazing to see the progression of their lyrics and composition, both (front man side project Broken Bells, included). It is curious to watch the progression of a band who stays together for an appreciable time. It helps me to remember that these bands are made of people. Real. Fucking. People. Not high-and-lofty poets secluded away with the muses, but PEOPLE. WITH LIVES.
The song itself is well-composed, and I will leave it at that. I would expect nothing less from The Shins. The lyrics convey something… mystical. Something to be sought after, to be sure.
Rating after 10+ listens: B+
- John Miller, some guy
The Man with the Child in his Eyes
This song holds a special place in my heart as it was the first KB song I ever heard *wipes away a tear* It was her second single, released in May 1978 and it peaked at number six in the UK charts. It was also one of the first music videos shown on the first day of MTV. I feel like its kind of an atypical KB song in that it seems like a straight up confessional love song, but one of the things that struck me about it was how eerie it sounds as well. Like there’s something forbidden and dangerous about the love affair:
“Nobody knows about my man
They think he’s lost on some horizon.”
There’s this seemingly much older, wiser man who tells her things and listens to her problems, but perhaps the relationship is fucked up in some way because of the power dynamic. I think possibly she thinks he’s on the same level as him because he is still a child at heart.
In the video I like that there’s this juxtaposition between her cross-legged, soft innocence and the fact that there’s also something quite sexual about her flesh-coloured leotard and the darkness of the song. The piano tune and the horns in the chorus are absolutely beautiful- this has always been one of my favourite KB songs. Also apparently she wrote it when she was thirteen and I love the fact that she was this young girl writing these layered, sophisticated songs when loads of people seem to assume that teenage girls don’t have the life experience or intelligence to write about things like that yet. KB just raised the standard for everyone with this song, I think.
Here’s the vid:
Also, here is a story about a guy who believes he is the real man with the child in his eyes:
I promise this is it for today, honestly.