Tove Lo’s latest album Blue Lips (Lady Wood Pt. 2) is her best collection yet. Keeping her refined edgy style with pixie pop vocals, the “Stay High” singer has finally found a sound that’s distinctly her own. A little more band-based at times, while still upbeat, pop, with a modern mix of alt/electro. She wraps up all of these sounds together, dumps glitter on it, and launches it into your eardrums for consumption.But, we hear more emotion on this album than we’ve heard in the past from Tove. “Bad Days” is about nostalgia and self worth. “you used to love me on my bad days, when the sun wouldn’t come out” she sings right at the top of the gorgeous track. “Days” is the most beautiful I’ve ever heard Tove Lo. “Cycles” follows suit with a slightly more upbeat feel reminiscing about life and the cyclical ways we become stuck; “I’m in a cycle, yeah I admit it, how can I change it when I don’t know that I’m in it.” A song so relatable, it hurts.
This Sweden native worked with pop mastermind Max Martin to achieve a curated sound she knew fans would drool over. Tove talks her emotional and sexual rawness on the album with TIME magazine saying, “It’s just being a woman, you end up having to defend yourself if you choose to sing about things that aren’t seen as a good example. But it doesn’t really matter to me if people don’t agree with it.”
But Tove has proved time and time again that she is more than her sex. Always standing up for women’s issues to fight for equality amongst the sexes. And she does it all with her boobs out (hence disco tits) which was a nickname her boyfriend gave her once at Coachella.
Blue Lips’ sound is modern yet distinctly vintage. Hit single “Disco Tits” triggered a discussion around the comeback of 70’s sounds into modern pop. A pulsing sex-fueled track you can’t help but swing your hips to, the beat is almost too good to be true. “I’m sweat from head to toe, I’m wet through all my clothes.” You either love it or hate it – there’s no inbetween. “Bitches” follows suit; another ballsy track with explicit sexualized lyrics. Each song packs a different type of punch.
It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle of pop, but every now and then there’s an album that you can always go back to and sing every word; that’s Blue Lips.
Earlier this year, Kehlani dropped one of the best R&B/pop albums to see the light of day. Unapologetically titled Sweet Sexy Savage, this songstress held NOTHING back, and that’s what made the album so beautiful.
She’s back again, sprinkling a little more honesty in a stripped down acoustic track, titled “Honey.” Kehlani worships women openly and sings, “I like my girls just like I like my honey, sweet, a little selfish.” Her voice stays pretty and honest – as usual. “Honey” is simple, yet says so much. A modern day love song all about women loving women.
The California native said on her Instagram, “A huge thx to everyone listening to Honey, 7-8 months since I dropped anything and I’m happy ya’ll still here ready to jam at any moment. More comin where date came frommmmm.”
A horn line blasts through “I Am Not A Trend” as Blume declares his independence with a no f***s given attitude. Something he’s been able to master since the very start. “I dance how I dance, I pray how I pray, I sing what I sing, I say what I say.” The lyrics are simple; be yourself, and do YOU. A happy-go-lucky chorus ties the song together making it an empowering pop/jazz tune.
Blume told me his inspiration behind “Trend” saying, “It’s about living your grandest self, realizing your fantasy is unique to you, and submitting yourself fully to your own truth.” Honesty has been a common theme in this New Jersey natives music as fans heard on his 2016 EP titled, When I Get It Right. He dealt with relationships, love, his career, and did it all in a brash yet meaningful way.
“Trend” is apart of Blume’s new EP to be released this year.Listen here:
This 20-year-old is a one man show. Singing, songwriting, and producing on his own to create some serious tracks. Hit single “Care” is what initially drew me in (it currently has 3,714,944 plays on Spotify). The song starts out telling a story (as most do), his voice quivers on each pop note singing “you don’t even care for me anymore…I don’t even care for you anymore”. The drop at the chorus slams in, shaking electronics to their core. I fell in love with the contrast of sounds from verse to chorus, but somehow, they continue to mesh together in such a cool way.
His collaboration with fellow EDMsters’ Cheat Codes, “Stay With You” is another lyrically driven track, something Cade seems to have made his trademark so far. “Where We Left” is his most recent single. Try not to get addicted…
Jake Miller admits to radio host Elvis Duran that he made this entire album himself. He wrote most of 2:00am In LA two steps away from his bed at his microphone and keyboard. A friend helped him drag a bed out to the middle of a street in downtown LA where they took pictures for the album cover. “I wanted to make sure the album didn’t have any pretty boy pictures of me on the cover. I wanted it to be more about the music” he told Duran. “It’s my favorite album cover we’ve ever done.”
2:00am In LA dropped and then climbed the charts immediately. Miller took to Snapchat thanking fans for making it happen. He spent his release day celebrating with family and friends. It’s easy to see; he’s happy. Although this is a breakup album, Miller fills it with every element of the good and the bad. “Sleeping with Strangers” is a reality check about moving on while “Parties” reflects on a new lifestyle after heartbreak.
Curated pop is an easy way to describe this collection. Each track feels carefully thought out and put together; call it a passion project if you will. “Can’t Help Myself”, “Answers”, and “Halfway” are infused with EDM beats; something Miller has been strikingly good at over the years (listen to his 2013 hit “Collide”). “No Return” brings out the R&B Jake that the ladies love. He daintily details a sexual encounter; “you naked in my bed right now, it’s getting so hard to breathe.” Breakup albums seem to be all the rage (Halsey’s recent Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, and Lorde’s, Melodrama), and for some reason, they resonate with the fans.
What makes LA so cool is that we see Jake as a grown man, who’s been broken down and is now built back up and ready for something new/better. Dropping his label, he has now taken complete control over his music and image. Even teaching himself how to produce his own music and piece together what he wanted this album to be. Don’t judge him on his early pop days, instead just soak up and absorb the artist he is today.
Picture yourself walking through a field of roses. You’re young and in love and the passion is overwhelming. Your fingertips graze the tall flowers as a pulsing beat echoes from the castle behind you. This is how SZA makes you feel; like you’re walking through your own kingdom. All 14 songs provide an overwhelming urge to feel serene and comfortable.
If Kehlani and Jhené Aiko had a baby, it would come out SZA. A beautiful fusion of good music and good vibes that you can’t help but listen to over and over, like a soundtrack to your life.
CTRL is honest, raw, and real. If there’s not one song on this album that you don’t relate to, then you’re not listening hard enough. SZA opened up to being more herself on this album than ever before, including snippets of wisdom from her grandmother scattered throughout. On “Garden (Say It Like Dat)” her knowledgeable elder says, “You don’t have to talk about me or treat me mean, I don’t have to treat you mean, I just stay out of your way, that’s the way you work that one.”
A lot of the tracks deal with inner issues; lack of confidence, insecurities, etc. The Missouri native sings on “Normal Girl” with a punch. “How do I be a lady? Normal girl oh, I wish I was a normal girl.” A similar theme is revisited on “Drew Barrymore”. But, for every insecurity on this album comes a stroke of confidence, or a slick rhyme showing off how confident SZA really is. “Prom” is a promise to be better, older, more yourself, while “Barrymore” is a question of being good enough. Lead single, “Love Galore” is the perfect example of “love conquers all.” The video is hot and heavy yet keeps it’s symbolic allure with a pack of monarch butterflies floating throughout (monarchs represent good luck.)
The sound? It’s a cold coke with a drop of rum to loosen you up. The R&B beats keep a swift rhythm as SZA’s vocals soar to the clouds and back. CTRL is its own animal. Compiled of lightly vintage melodies with some enigmatic verses. SZA (pronounced Sizza) admitted to Rolling Stone that she switched out her mic for a rapper’s mic (the same one that Kendrick Lamar and Travis Scott use.) “It made me feel safe to explore the really conversational tone of my sound and my mind.”