Worth Your “Time”

mikky ekko
image via bing.com

Mikky Ekko’s debut album Time is indeed a long time coming. This is surprisingly his first full-length album and now I know why it took so long; it’s superb. Ekko combines elements of mainstream pop, poetic lyrics, and his incredible vocal range to pull on every heart string in your body. And he knows it.

Ekko’s voice reminds me of Ryan Tedder (lead singer of One Republic). His effortless falsetto, raw emotion, and lyrical power are elements both these men possess. Time is what I would imagine a Ryan Tedder solo album would sound like. Which I hope NEVER happens, because One Republic is absolute dynamite and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Ekko’s voice is just as technically beautiful as Tedder’s but with a more sensual edge.

image via bing.com
image via bing.com

Time opens the flood gates of everything you’ve ever felt in your life. Songs like “Comatose” are so powerful. Ekko describes it as, “Trying to find your way back to a moment. ‘Comatose’ is about chasing the reflection, chasing the memory, being in the dream of the coma and trying to find your way back to the light.” The song features dream-like piano chords and Ekko’s voice quietly floating over the music. Once you hear this song, you won’t forget it.

-Even better live, ohhhh myyyy lordddddd.

“Pull Me Down” is another track off this album that is powerful and eclectic. It sounds like something an alternative band would produce, but has several R&B elements to it, which is something Ekko is passionate about. The lyrics tell a story of a mutual love between two people. It’s passionate and beautiful; “Pull me down if you want to/ and I hope that you want to/ cause I want to be your man/ and I wanna say it loud.”

“U” is another song off the album that pulls on the more sultrier R&B side of Ekko. It mixes bits of electronic sounds, handclaps, and a reoccurring backbeat. This track delivers pure LOVE. These are lyrics you want your husband/wife to sing to you one day; “You’re the only one I live for, try for, weep for, die for, you know I’d give it all for.”

Songs like, “Made of Light”, “Love You Crazy”, and “Smile” have a more uplifting vibe to them. All have incredible rhythm patterns and leave a hook stuck in your head. Ekko’s singing style borderlines soft rap sometimes (especially in “Love You Crazy”) and is so interesting to listen to. Not many artists are as tapped into the flow of a song as he is.

On his website, Ekko describes Time as, “Pretty eclectic sonically, but lyrically there are moments of love and angst and things that many people deal with on a daily basis. I’m just trying to be honest about all of that stuff…People just want to feel something real.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. When you mix purely produced lyrics with unforgettable rhythms and hooks, you have found the key to the music kingdom. My point is, albums that are this flawless start to finish deserve all the success in the world. I will be BUYING this album.

-Abbey

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Fifty Shades of YES!

No, I haven’t read the books. No, I probably won’t. So don’t ask me. But…. THE FIFTY SHADES OF GREY SOUNDTRACK IS COMING OUT.

You guys, this is going to be the most EPIC soundtrack. It’s going to be released on Feb. 10th and the hype is unreal. I love soundtracks so much, especially when they are so beautifully done, like I assume this one is. The track listing has finally been released on iTunes and I have been obsessing over it ever since.

If you’re up to date, you’ve probably already heard the exquisite song “Earned It” by The Weeknd. This song could not be more divine if it had to be. A beautiful orchestra accompanies the subtle sensual vocals of singer Abel Tesfaye as he croons, “cause girl you’re perfect/ you’re always worth it/ and you deserve it/ the way you work it.” Tesfaye recently stated in a behind the scenes video for “Earned It” that his music and Fifty Shades of Grey are a “match made in heaven.” He also said, “If you listen to my album, even the past work I’ve done, it’s very Fifty Shades of Grey” which could be why he not only has one song on the soundtrack but two; the second is titled “Where You Belong”. Not to mention, Tesfaye’s falsetto literally could make any grown woman melt into a warm puddle. The music video for “Earned It” was just released and if you’re mentally prepared you can watch it below:

Another artist who was granted more than one song on the album…BEYONCE. Duh.

She lends her vocal prowess to her own songs, including a new remix of “Haunted” from her self titled album Beyoncé. “Haunted” happens to be one of my favorites off the Beyoncé, because of its diverse electronic sound mixed with heavy bass and monotonic vocals dealing with the pressures of life and later shifting into a fast paced fantasy. As usual, “Haunted” also has a strong amount of sex appeal; “You want me?/ I walk down the hallway/ You’re lucky/ The bedroom’s my runway/ Slap me/ I’m pinned to the doorway…” you get the point. This song werkkkkks.

Beyoncé also brings one of her classics back to life. That’s right, they are calling it “Crazy In Love” (the 2014 remix). If you’ve seen the trailer for Fifty Shades, you’ve probably already drooled over how flawless this song sounds (pun intended). Beyoncé slows down the song and brings a more romantic feel with muffled vocals and what sounds to be like a full orchestra accentuating every half whispered note escaping her lips. Here’s the trailer featuring the song, if you haven’t already seen it:

Sia makes an appearance on this album singing a song called “Salted Wound” which I can only predict is probably emotional perfection to the ears and I absolutely can’t wait to hear it.

Ellie Goulding comes back with her fairy-like vocals spreading the message of “Love Me Like You Do” in a powerful pop ballad with truly stunning lyrics. The video (released today) has footage from the movie and also shows Goulding with her usual gorgeous blonde waves caressing the camera with every angle. Check it out:

This album not only dabbles into a recent musical trough of artists, but revisits the past with classics like, “Beast of Burden” by The Rolling Stones, “I Put A Spell On You” covered by Annie Lennox, and “Witchcraft” by the incomparable Frank Sinatra. These songs will give the album a more wholesome feel, proving love songs can de diverse whilst still making a cinematic impact in the year of 2015. Being a Sinatra fan my whole life, I can only imagine where “Witchcraft” will fit into this movie (insert excited heart eyes emoji here). And “Beast of Burden” is probably one of the sexiest songs of the late 70’s. With lyrics like, “I’ll never be your beast of burden/ So let’s go home and draw the curtains/ Music on the radio/ Come on baby make sweet love to me.” I think it’ll fit in just fine…

Other songs feature the sweet Jessie Ware, powerful AWOLNATION, talented Skylar Grey, newcomers Vaults, soulful Laura Welsch, and composer Danny Elfman.

February 10th, sit back and listen to this album.

-Abbey

Not so GLEE-ful…

I’m going to be brutally honest here. I have watched the TV show Glee since day one. I was on Team Quinn when she was pregnant. I cried when Finn dropped Rachel off at the train station to send her on her way to New York City. I rooted for Kurt and Blaine even though I think Kurt can be extremely whiny and annoying. And I stared at my TV in shock when the headline “Glee star Cory Monteith found dead” flashed across the screen. For some reason I’ll always be attached to the show and this season will be no different. I will sit down on the couch this Friday and watch the last season premiere of Glee.

gif from giphy.com
gif from giphy.com

Now let’s move on to why I’m angry. I can’t even explain how much I disagree with the shift in music on Glee. I used to go to iTunes after every episode and download almost the entire soundtrack, because I loved the new renditions, the harmonies, and the solos. My love for the music has decreased through the seasons. I feel like the show went more mainstream at some points. The characters ended up singing the songs I hated that were played on the radio 10000 times a day. I miss the good ole days with themed episodes (Madonna, Michael Jackson…etc) and emotional acoustic performances when everyone was struggling with zits and their sexuality. I wanted MORE from Glee. I knew they could do better and I wished and wished they would.

Clicking open my iTunes this morning and there it was…the music from the season premiere ready to purchase. I only liked one of them… the powerful cover of Alanis Morissette’s “Uninvited” sung by the lovely Lea Michele (who can do no wrong). The others were cliche renditions of top 40 babies like, “Sing”, “Problem”, and “Let It Go” (BARF). It’s not that they aren’t good, it’s just BORING. I want something that makes me feel. Despite the disappointing choice of music for this episode I do have hope that this season will be better just due to the fact that most of the original cast is back, which means better singing and even better acting. The talent they have on this show is so so incredible, I feel like it’s going to waste. Darren Criss has a fantastic voice and is one of my personal favorites on the show. Lea Michele… come on, I couldn’t love her any more if my life depended on it. Naya Rivera has a beautiful alto voice and even Matt Morrison can kill a ballad. I know this is the last season and I hope it gets better, so this show can truly go out with a bang!

Let’s re-live the glory days of Glee with some of my personal favorites…AKA- LISTEN TO THESE ASAP!

1.)

Oh my Lord, girl power. God bless you Whitney.

2.)

These two sound impeccable together.

3.)

You gotta love The Warblers; flawless…

4.)

Girl power again. Damn, this makes me cry every time.

5.)

Love. Love. LOVE!

pic from bing.com
pic from bing.com

Tune into FOX on Friday, January 9th for the two hour season premiere of Glee at 8 pm.

-Abbey