RecRev #1

Name: Derek Hale’s Possible Heart

Author: MellytheHun


Rating: Teen and Up

Pairing: Sterek

Warnings: feels up the wazoo, good and slightly sad, other than that, not that I can see but give me a heads up if you think I missed something

Author’s Summary: “An anon sent me a sterek prompt for Laura teasing Derek and Stiles joining in, then somehow sharing their feelings for each other in the mess of things.” which turned into “To The Person That Conquers My Little Brother’s Possible Heart: Safety Tips, Cheat Codes and Partial User’s Manual.“

So a friend of mine actually showed me this earlier today. To give you guys a bit of background, I am the one who introduced this friend to Teen Wolf as a whole, not to mention every other big fandom. Mama is so proud her little girl is all grown up and rec-ing fics to me! Anywho, today was the second day of final at my school, we’re all done with science, english, math, and language and I only have AP Art History tomorrow. I was planning on studying and what do I do instead? READ THIS FIC! 

It was an adorably perfect mix of warm and fuzzy emotions with multiple ***laugh till lil’ baby tears start to leak from the corners of your eyes*** kinda moments. There were a few parts that tugged on my heartstrings, mostly because the main plot involves this incredible book written by Laura that lists interesting/heartwarming/hilarious/embarrassing facts and stories about the Sour Wolf we all know and love, Derek Hale. 

Before she died, Laura gave it to Derek with strict instruction not to read it and to give it to the person he falls totally and head over heels in love with. SPOILERS: he gives it to Stiles :-) The fic is chock full of factoids, head-cannons, and anecdotes about what goes on behind that rugged, broody face and uncommonly talkative eyebrows as well as hints for Derek’s future love on how to interpret and understand said face and eyebrows. All in all, a great read, a great rec, and a story I will most likely go back to again in the future.

—Love, Mila <3

Born in New York City, raised in Russia and taught classical piano, lived in Italian monasteries as a teen, fluent in Italian and French, returned to the United States and completed a degree in opera performance at the University of Southern California. What have you done with your life? Elizaveta’s resume is impressive for an unknown artist, but her list of accolades doesn’t end there.

In 2008, her track “Breakfast with Chopin” – a tribute to her favorite composers Chopin, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky – was selected as the title track to the Sony Pictures movie, The House Bunny. Since then, she’s emerged as Universal Music’s bright, talented new artist. Her lead-single, “Dreamer,” from her self-titled four-track EP, was the iTunes Free Single of the Week and her much anticipated debut full-length album is due early 2012. 

Even more impressive, her EP is a magical mix of musical styles – posing as part vocal and part instrumental – of jazz, pop, rock, classical piano and opera (shall we call it “popera”?). At times, she shows dashes of Celine Dione and Enya; at others, glimpses of Zooey Deschanel and Lady Gaga, though she is more commonly being compared to Florence and the Machine. Nowhere are these comparisons more apparent than her lead-single “Dreamer,” a jazzy, pop song she wrote after her relationship with her long-term boyfriend dissolved, in which she whimsically professes to never stop believing, even when all hope is lost. Beginning with a Phantom of the Opera-like waltzing piano, “Meant” evokes her inner dark side of a bad relationship. Rearranging “Dream a Little Dream for Me” for the track, “Snow in Venice,” Eliza mixes both English and Italian in a seductive tale of winter love. The final track, “Odi Et Amo,” showcases Eliza’s true vocal prowess for the opera and sweeping theatrical melodies.

With the ability to fit such a unique genre like opera into the realm of mundane pop music and actually make it work, Elizaveta is already standing out. She sings for the dreamers and the wishful thinkers. The sky isn’t the limit for Eliza, it’s the launch point, and we won’t lose hope.

- Evan -

Sounds Like: pop music needs to make room for a new genre and it’s leading lady.

Starting Point: Dreamer, Meant, Snow in Venice, Odi Et Amo

EP: Elizaveta

If you’ve been in a constant state of withdrawal since N*SYNC split up, we may have a cure for what ails you. It’s no secret that the healthcare system in Canada has been superior to ours for years, and those happy-go-lucky Canadians are the source of your remedy. Neverest is, from every angle, a byproduct of a manufactured sound that should set off an innumerable amount of boyband references. They have taken on a management company led by Howie Dorough recognized almost exclusively for being a member of the early 2000’s pre-pubescent wet dream, known as the Backstreet Boys, and he has been preparing these guys to start a resurgence of all that is boy bands. Consequently, we would find ourself remiss to not give you a heads up on the potential future of your local radio station playlist. 

Neverest released their second studio album, About Us, in April of this year, and have spent the last few months opening for the “supergroup” NKOTBSB’s Canadian dates. This is definitely a great pairing considering the musical styles of the two groups. The main contrast between the aforementioned group is Neverest actually play’s their own instruments. Their vocals leave little to be developed with their carefully placed four-part harmonies that rarely miss the mark. The lead singer Spee’s vocals lend the notion of what Linkin Park would sound like if they were to start making bubblegum pop. I’m sure every pre-teen near the Candian border has most likely taken notice, and we believe they are taking the effort to “bring sexy back” very seriously. So, if you are a radio junkie this will surely fit extremely well into your playlist. 

- Matt -

Sounds Like: Chester from Linkin Park and Aaron Carter started a boyband.

Starting Point: Everything, Hello/Goodbye, Blame Me, About Us

EP: About Us

     In a world where pop radio is oversaturated with Disney artists singing along to what sounds like your local neighborhood’s rave soundtrack, Andy Grammer stands out like a girl scout at Bonnaroo. He writes pop music that is reminiscent of an era much like the mid to late 90’s. Pop radio in that time period held more of an emphasis on life, love and fun, and Moby-esque techno pop was nothing more than a niche genre novelty. It was a time when music was written out of passion and the popular artists on the radio were Green Day, RadioHead, Ben Folds Five as well as many others that left a lasting effect on all music, not just pop music. The significant difference between then and now is all of those bands played their own instruments, and played an extensive amount of tours to build their fanbase. I mean, think about it, people used to be practically banned from radio for lip syncing (Milli Vanilli), but now it’s just part of the process (Ashlee Simpson) . If you hear someone legitimately singing their music live it is either shockingly good (Justin Bieber) or absolutely awful (Taylor Swift). Most of the time, it just sounds like the recording, cause that’s what it is. 

      These are the things that set Andy Grammer apart from the modern pop crowd. He earned his record deal by building a fan base singing his songs live on the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. It is rare that an artist takes the grassroots approach to getting noticed anymore, since nowadays, artists are more often chosen by some lofty quota of YouTube channel hits, but the difference shows in the music. Songs tend to gain character, as well as a greater sense of passion and meaning, once an artist has lived that song day in and out. Granted, Andy doesn’t sound anything like the bands mentioned before, but that’s beyond the point. He’s genuine like those bands, and worked to be here just like those bands. No one spoon fed him a song written by a middle aged guy in LA only to have it produced by a DJ from New York. This is music written by him for you. His songs are relentlessly optimistic, incredibly addictive and will most likely be some of the best you discover this year.   

- Matt -

Sounds Like: Maroon 5 instrumentals with the vocal swag of John Legend. 

Starting Point: Keep Your Head Up, Miss Me, Slow & You Should Know Better

Note: His second single from his self-titled debut album, Miss Me, was the iTunes free single of the week on June 14th, and he made the first ever interactive music video for his first single Keep Your Head Up. Make sure you check those out. 

Interactive Music Video Link:

Rare do the success stories of producers who rap and vice versa exist. The majority that tried inevitably failed, or at least realized they’re better at one over the other and, to maintain a stable career in the corrupt, ever-evolving music industry, they needed to pick one. You can probably count the successful ones on one hand: Dr. Dre, Diddy (though there’s an argument he’s good at neither but for the sake of this review, he’s included), and Kanye West. Well, you can add J. Cole to that mix as potential legendary producer/rappers.

After Cole’s debut-single Lights Please release, which he produced, he gained critical acclaim from two heavyweights of hip-hop: Jay-Z and Kanye West where they proceeded to signed Cole to Roc Nation. But Cole isn’t your stereotypical next big rapper making something out of nothing. He’s no ex-coke dealer nor a college dropout. He’s educated, attending St. John’s University on an academic scholarship and graduating magna cum laude. Don’t get it twisted, he stays true to the streets and his bretherens and sisters, calling himself the Fresh Prince of the hood. But his raw intelligence is what sets him apart from every other rapper claiming to “change the game.” His raps are on a higher, more sophisticated level (“Momma said I should reconsider law school, that means I wear a suit and bend the truth and feel awful, got a degree but what that cost you? you make a good salary, just to pay SallieMae”), encouraging those who want to make something of themselves (“this for my niggas who ain’t satisfied for secondary, this is for my sisters who ain’t satisfied with secretary”), and calling out fake rappers who think money, chains, and whips means they’ve made it (“The man make the chain, chain don’t make the man, how many niggas do we know with hella ice but yet they lame.”).

And when Cole gets behind the boards, you can hear his cleverness and attention to detail manifest, creatively dropping a bass-line low, supplementing a hi-hat or tuned-clap, or slowing down or speeding up the beat to add emphasis to his lyrics. Everyone knows what a Pharrell, Timbaland, or Will.I.Am beat sounds like, but Cole’s ability to consistently produce music that doesn’t resemble itself is what makes him unique and unparalleled as a producer. His musical diversity makes him alone a one-two punch, a dynamic duo of hip-hop. The world may be concerned about global warming, but after his debut-album drops in July, it’s going to be a Cole summer.

 - Evan - 

Sounds Like: If Jay-Z and Kanye West procured offspring together.

Starting Point: Who Dat, Blow Up, Disgusting

Mixtapes and Features: The Come Up, Friday Night Lights, Jay-Z feat. J. Cole - A Star is Born, Miguel feat. J. Cole - All I Want Is You


Click on the Mixtape artwork to download for FREE.

Some bands just get it, you know? The music industry is in constant change and disarray. Recording studios can be built for $1,000 in your bedroom. Social media is the new A&R. Having a social media presence isn’t as easy as it seems though; anyone can plug in, press record, and upload a track to Facebook, Soundcloud, Tumblr, etc. The difference is the bands that get it are also really good.

Radical Something – made up of Loggy on the mic, Josh Cocktail’s chill vocals, and Big Red behind the boards – get it, and they’re really, really good. The Cali-trio is the Sublime for the new youth. They’re music is feel-good, hip-hop-acoustic guitar playing music with your hair blowin’ in the wind, toes in the sand, and shades to block the rays. 

We Are Nothing, the group’s debut album released in September 2011, featuring smash hits like “Be Easy,” a funky, hip-hop track with impressive rhymes from Loggy and Cocktail’s unforgettable singing, which surprisingly mesh perfectly. The band’s star-power is nowhere brighter than the track “California” – a track dedicated to the band’s easy livin’ life and home sweet home of California. “Escape” is a perfect track for anyone going on vacation and a song that– and I guarantee this – will be featured on the next big summer movie. The track also has it’s own Facebook game. Like I said, some bands just get it.

- Evan -

Sounds Like: Sublime for the new youth.

Starting Point: California, Be Easy, Escape

Albums/EP: We Are Nothing, No Sweat




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Storm Warning
  • Storm Warning
  • Hunter Hayes

In this Taylor Swift era of country music, we have witnessed the genre become more formulaic than a high school algebra class, offering all of the legitimacy of Michael Jordan’s baseball career. I don’t mean to sound like country music stole my girlfriend in high school, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to articulate the contents of the genre due to the modern country artist’s propensity to kick the surrounding sand upon what ever line is left between country and pop. However, the current state of affairs in Nashville does make it a little easier to spot any semblance of genuine artistry among the younger crowd, known most for it’s catchy, poorly written pop melodies sang over a slide guitar riff; which along with a southern accent is ostensibly the only criteria for claiming to have “gone country” nowadays. This is where Hunter Hayes stands out. 

He began his career as a songwriter, not surprisingly writing one of the tracks on the latest Rascall Flatts album, and is sure to cause a ripple in the fabric of modern country music. Hayes sheds light on the popular side of country music without delving too far from it’s roots. He’s not going to be the next George Strait, but still manages to avoid making a mockery of his genre. 

At the age of 19, he is releasing his solo debut album later this year, of which he is listed as producer, writer and multi-instrumentalist, a feat typically unheard of from new artists in the country world. He is primed and ready to take over the country genre, and we think he may just pull it off. 

- Matt -

Sounds Like: Country Music worth listening to. 

Starting Point: Storm Warning