1.) “Watch” – Billie Eilish
2.) Avicii – “Lonely Together feat. Rita Ora”
3.) “Too Good At Goodbyes” – Sam Smith
4.) “Get Low” – Zedd & Liam Payne
1.) “Watch” – Billie Eilish
2.) Avicii – “Lonely Together feat. Rita Ora”
3.) “Too Good At Goodbyes” – Sam Smith
4.) “Get Low” – Zedd & Liam Payne
Sam Smith was born to sing. He was also born to sing a James Bond theme song. I am convinced of this and I believe it is a fact. His single, “Writing’s On the Wall” could not be more flawless.
In classic bond fashion, it has a timeless musical element that literally takes your breath away. Smith’s voice does all the work as he soothes you into a Bondcoma, craving to see Daniel Craig make sweet love to a scantily clad female on a grand piano.
A string section is a must with the Bond franchise, not to mention the highest caliber of poetic lyrics; “A million shards of glass, that haunt me from my past, as the stars begin to gather.” Every James Bond song seems like it’s constructed around a table of professional song writers who have experienced every emotion in the world and pour it all out in an almost five minute song for the world to appreciate and cry to.
The music video features Smith standing in aesthetically pleasing places, creating an epic vision of heartbreak and love. The positioning is perfectly placed, the movie scenes are magical, inquisitive, and sultry. “Wall” has a slight melancholy feel to it that the music video hints at quite beautifully in a blockbuster/theatre grand fashion. This song WILL be nominated for everything.
God Bless Sam Smith.
Brothers Howard and Guy Lawrence make up the electronic/dance duo Disclosure. Their sophomore album, Caracal, was released this past Friday. Featuring collaborations with some of the best voices in music today like, Lion Babe, Lorde, Miguel, The Weeknd, and the English King himself, Sam Smith. The album is an eclectic art concept from start to finish.
I have spent days listening to every single song off the album and I have fallen in love with every single one. These guys go beyond the dance genre into some serious technical skill. Each song is almost reminiscent of a 70’s groovy sound illuminated by pulsating drum and bass beats. Every chorus is magnified by poetic lyrics and impeccable vocals.
I listened to “Superego” having never heard of the singer Nao before and instantly became obsessed with it. Her voice is smooth, angelic, and harsh all at once, making the song as hypnotizing as it is. “This ain’t the me show, keep it on the low
Where’s your superego? You let your head grow, I tried to let you know,” guide this song to be powerful and sassy.
Singles like, “Omen”, “Holding On”, and “Willing & Able” all capture the soul elements that sometimes get lost in dance and electronic music. When I heard each one of these singles, I became addicted, because no one else is doing this type of music. Disclosure has this ability to evoke so much emotion in each song; something very uncommon in this genre. Vocals are always executed brilliantly and echo the production flawlessly.
Big concepts are lining this album from top to bottom. “Moving Mountains” is an easy-going chill electronic tune until you reach the 3:50 mark where the song takes a subtle turn into hip-hop while still keeping the captivating angel-like vocals. It’s so incredible you can’t help but listen to it over and over. While, “Good Intentions” led by R&B crooner Miguel (you guys know how much I adore this man…), picks up right where Miguel left off on his album Wildheart. “Intentions” mimics everything you would hear in a standard Miguel song; dope electronics, an incredible consistent beat, and sultry vocals to no end. Lyrics like, “But I’m not perfect the way you’re perfect, and though it hurts, yeah, it hurts to say goodbye, I know I let you down…” make this song the perfect “I’m sorry”. Or, you could just make a skittles pizza like Mia Thermopolis.
I couldn’t be more amazed by Caracal. It is stuffed with one of a kind musical content that more people need to appreciate.
A musical bomb went off and when it exploded a gazillion music videos fell to the Earth. Here’s a couple that were released recently!
1.) “Omen” by Disclosure feat. Sam Smith: Ok…you guys. I have been waiting for this song to hit the web for FOREVER. It’s everything I thought it would be and more. Hypnotizing beats and Smith’s perfected falsetto is all I need in this world. The video plays along with the current storyline Disclosure has been working on. I don’t quite understand every part of it, but it seems like different characters have different special powers and it takes place in a different country. Smith croons in the middle of a sepia toned sweaty club as dancers grind and “almost” kiss around him. We see professional dancers, slo-mo fingers combing through damp hair, and several intense pairs of hoop earrings. YAS.
2.) “All Eyes On You” by Meek Mill feat. Nicki Minaj & Chris Brown: Who doesn’t love an aesthetically pleasing plush mansion with Nicki Minaj sprawled out in a bodycon on the couch?!? I’m not usually a big Meek Mill fan but this song is so so good (Chris Brown’s heavy chorus helps..) The truth is, you didn’t think you liked Nicki and Meek together until you see this video. It’s almost as if they were like “Bring some cameras and hang out with us for a couple days.” Looks like the two of them send sultry glances at each other all day long, followed by flirty booty grabs here and there. Not to mention, she wears a denim bikini in the pool…DENIM.
3.) “Powerful” by Major Lazer feat. Ellie Goulding & Tarrus Riley: I actually was not a fan of this song when I first listened to it on the Major Lazer album but after watching the video I really love it. Goulding is seen in a coffee shop working some magic on the coffee and silverware in front of her. Riley is seen doing the same, with some spare change on his table. Lights flicker, the TV glitches, and forks bend as the power of love takes over. Goulding begins to wreak havoc on the diner with a solemn look on her face as her perfectly beach tousled hair falls in front of her face (why does her hair always look so PERFECT?!). Definitely shows the more emotional side of Major Lazer, but still a fantastic song.
4.) “Can’t Feel My Face” by The Weeknd: Abel’s half closed eyes grace our screen as he serenades us into an 80’s pop dream we never thought we needed. The video portrays him as a crazy good karaoke contestant at a flashy bar where the people really start to feel the song… #goodvibes all around. The music video really takes a turn for the weird when an old man throws his lighter at The Weeknd, lighting him on fire, which surprisingly just makes him dance and sing even harder. COOL.
This years Grammy Awards just felt different. Duets were flourishing, (Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani & Adam Levine…etc), Oldies came back to life (AC/DC, Annie Lennox, Stevie Wonder…etc), and Madonna was the only risqué performer (absolutely awful, not to mention showing her cheeks on the red carpet…EW).
Every performance felt heartfelt and emotional. The Grammy’s took a stance and showed that music is a powerful tool that can create change in the world. John Legend & Common gave a flawless performance of their empowering song “Glory” from the movie Selma. I feel like people forget about Common (guilty), but he really proved his rapping chops on that stage. And John Legend is perfect as always. Katy Perry delivered her spiritual song, “By the Grace of God” after a moving speech given by a domestic violence survivor. I am so happy she sang this song. It’s one of the most beautiful songs Perry has and I thought I would never get to hear it live and she proved me wrong. It was simple, meaningful, and her voice sounded better than ever. And Beyoncé….. oh my Lord. She brought the house DOWN. I felt like I was in a church and Beyoncé was giving the sermon. She didn’t need to dance, or wear a leotard, or even grind on her hubby. It was all real power and vocal strength. Ariana Grande also joined in on the emotional fun performing her ballad, “Just A Little Bit of Your Heart”. I love seeing Ariana just using her voice and nothing else. It looks so easy for her to sing those massive notes and its really gorgeous to listen to. Props to her, she looked amazing.
Sia performed her song “Chandelier” and it was magnificent as always. With her nude leotard dancers in tow (Maddie Ziegler and Kristen Wiig…yes you read that right) Sia proved she doesn’t need to be out in the public eye to get her message across. She also doesn’t need to show her face to prove to people that her voice is unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. I have been such a fan for a long time and to see her do her thing on that stage was so freaking cool.
Sam Smith, the man of the night. Won four awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist, and Best Pop Vocal Album. I couldn’t be happier for him. He deserved all of these and more. In the Lonely Hour is an album that will withstand the test of time as one of the greatest albums of all time. His honesty and vocal prowess is absolutely brilliant. Not to mention he has perfected the art of songwriting. And HELLO to that performance with Mary J Blige. So much soul on one stage, I almost fell to the floor… Their voices together and those vocal runs could make me convert to whatever church mass I watched last night.
Another winner I am proud of is….
PARAMORE!!!!!!! You guys, they won Best Rock Song for “Ain’t It Fun”. I could not be more excited. These guys deserved this one so bad!!! Everyone fell in love with this song last year and they finally got some recognition for it. So CONGRATS to my best friends who just won a GRAMMY!!
Ok… you guys I HAVE to bring it up… I know Beyoncé didn’t win for Album of the Year and yes I’m upset… I’m sure deep down inside B was all like:
But I thought it was really unnecessary how mean people were to Beck. Don’t get me wrong, I was angry, but he’s an artist as well and this morning when I checked iTunes guess who’s album was number one? Beck’s. So touché to him for beating Beyoncé, he pissed a lot of people off but what an accomplishment. I will now go listen to Beck’s album because he won this award and I think other people will do the same. And I promise Beyoncé is going to be fine. She’s accomplished so much in her life and this is not stopping her soul train anytime soon.
Overall, the Grammy’s were diverse and touched on the most important element of music; the lyrics. Songs, albums, and artists can truly impact the world and the Grammy’s did a wonderful job of highlighting that. If you get a chance to watch the whole show, I highly recommend it!
It’s that beautiful time of year again friends! Here are some of my favorite holiday songs that I can’t survive the holidays (and crazy relatives) without.
1.) Sam Smith – “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”
There is not much I can say that I haven’t already said before about the incredible Sam Smith. The first 22 seconds are pure liquid Christmas gold. Smith proves time and time again that his voice is his instrument and he has perfected it to the point of godliness.
2.) Destiny’s Child – “Carol of the Bells”
You guys….. If you have never heard this version of “Carol of the Bells” you are seriously missing out. Not only is it all acapella, but this is DESTINY’S CHILD. Which means endless harmonies and vocal runs up the wazoo. I promise once you listen to this, it will make you listen to no other version of this song. The angelic women of Destiny’s Child deliver a Christmas classic in a compelling over four minute arrangement.
3.) Frank Sinatra – “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town”
I always go back to the Rat Pack around the holidays and anything by Sinatra is an A++ in my book. This man could croon his way into anyone’s heart. Sinatra’s version is also featured on The Polar Express soundtrack…a.k.a just another reason to love it!
4.) Ella Fitzgerald – “Sleigh Ride”
This song is obviously a classic. Fitzgerald’s voice breezes through this song with an incredible amount of ease. Add a couple jazzy solos and a finger pickin’ bass line and I could listen for days. Team Ella for life.
5.) Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga – “Winter Wonderland”
This song was just released last week and I couldn’t be happier. Bennett & Gaga’s duet album titled, Cheek to Cheek dropped this September but I wouldn’t be surprised if a Christmas album is next on the list. These two go together like hot chocolate and mini marshmallows. Bennett’s voice is better than ever and Gaga is the ultimate jazz princess. I am obsessed with everything about these two.
6.) John Lennon & Yoko Ono – “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”
I always forget about this song and then it plays on a commercial or I hear it on the radio and I fall in love with it all over again. Lennon’s voice is so powerful and he used that power to spread positive messages to the world; and the children’s choir really adds to the cheery Christmas vibe of the song.
Pitbull, we get it…you’re Cuban.
Of course Taylor Swift had the opening spot for the night. She recreated her “Blank Space” video on stage featuring heavy, no, HEAVY backup vocals as she nonchalantly plays with flaming roses, mimes in golden picture frames, and a smoke filled stage. This performance was so choreographed it was actually hard to watch. Taylor was too focused on her acting role on the stage, when she should have focused on her vocals…as usual. Too bad the song is so damn addicting.
One Direction won for best Pop/Rock band or duo. The boys accepted the award by saying, “Thank you to Simon Cowell, who got us here” and “America feels like a second home.” Congrats gentlemen!
Charli XCX’s performance of “Boom Clap” made you feel as if you just stepped into a 90’s high school prom, complete with pink and white balloon arches, as well as an all girl band. Charli wore a pale blue dress with red rimmed sunglasses that look like they came free with a Happy Meal, but somehow she makes it work. But the vibe quickly shifted into a pop/punk infusion as Charli performed her song “Break the Rules.” She was accompanied by a leather clad clan as they flipped her now tight latex covered body into a fit of rock rage. The only thing I could think about was how hard it would be to try and squeeze out of that super tight sweaty leather outfit after that performance. OUCHHH!!
Magic paired with Wyclef Jean could not have been a better mix. Both stepped out of a hazy reggae dream. Lead singer, Nasri Tony Atweh blinded the crowd with his camo looking Tom’s and was throwing up the peace sign every chance he could.
Iggy Azalea won for best Rap/Hip-Hop album and accepted her award saying, ” This award is the first award I’ve ever won in my entire life.” T.I. looked on patting her back like the proudest Dad in the world.
I finally found the difference between 5 Seconds of Summer and One Direction. 5SOS were the kids smoking in the high school parking lot and One Direction were the kids studying in the library.
Imagine Dragons gave an electric performance of their new single “I Bet My Life.” These guys never disappoint and brought their A-game as a hyped up gospel choir danced and sang along to the song.
Sam Smith swept up the award for Pop/Rock Male. Obviously… Sam accepted the award saying, “Thank you to my fan base, you guys are amazing. Last year I wrote an album about being lonely and tonight I couldn’t feel futher from lonely.” AWWW! We love you Sam!
Sam Smith followed his award by a classy performance of his mega hit “I’m Not the Only One.” A$AP Rocky paid a visit during the performance. Smith followed the trend of rap cameos but kept it tasteful and true to his usual charm. Oh yeah, and his voice is as smooth and warm as cookie batter that came out of the oven a little too early.
Iggy Azalea stormed the stage with her song “Fancy” and then onto her newest hit “Beg For It.” Iggy strutted around the stage like she built it.
Lorde performed “Yellow Flicker Beat” starting with a melancholy close up of her classic deep dark lips and black diamond chokers gracefully draped around her neck. Taylor Swift dramatically sang and danced along to her BFF as she spasm’d on stage in the most perfect way.
Ariana Grande sang her soul out in a black lace gown complete with a jazzy rendition of her song “Problem” and “Break Free.” Ariana was so in her element, it was actually hypnotizing to watch. She then sang “Love Me Harder” accompanied by a burnt lobster…wait that was just The Weeknd. Brother Frankie looked like the heart-eye emoji as he watched his sister grace us all with her presence.
Pitbull performed on top of a huge globe just in case you forgot that one of his names is “Mr. Worldwide.” He sang “Fireball” with what looked to be the cast of Deal or No Deal but with way less clothes.
Imagine Dragons won for Alternative Artist and accepted the award saying, “To be a musician there is no better career.” These guys deserved it!
Selena Gomez gave her most emotional performance ever. Imagery flooded the large screen behind her as she poured her heart into the microphone singing “The Heart Wants What It Wants.” She ended the song with tears in her eyes and left the audience saying, “Wow, Selena Gomez can actually sing.”
One Direction played up the romance on stage with a dark blue moonlight scene behind them as they sang their beautiful new song “Night Changes.” Close up shots of each member singing their parts made the song more personal. It still amazes me how good they all sound together.
Nicki Minaj looked gorgeous in an all white gown; changing her image while spitting rhymes just like her “Pink Friday” days.
Taylor Swift won the Dick Clark Award for Excellence handed to her by the beautiful anti-aging Diana Ross. Taylor accepted the award and said, “Music should be consumed in albums and albums should be consumed as art.” PREACH.
Fergie was reppin’ the West coast and proud of it. Donned in way too much gold jewelry while back up dancers wore cropped sweatshirts and rocked corn rows. Although it’s easy to assume that “L.A. Love (lala)” won’t be around very long. Pop hit; hot now, gone forever.
Garth Brooks performed surrounded by die hard fans. Country concert: Where the people hold their beers up more than their phones.
Mary J. Blige – Girl… WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? By the way, she looks the same as she did 10 years ago. GORGEOUS.
Jessie J starts off “Bang Bang” by canoodling with celebs like Khloe Kardashian, Taylor Swift, and Sam Smith. Jessie’s sultry yet raspy voice is unbelievable. I have loved this woman since day one and I will continue to be in awe of her talent. Add a dash of Nicki Minaj and a side of Ariana Grande and you have a nice big diva salad. All together now…YAAAAAAAAAS!
Speaking of divas…JLO closed the show with her song “Booty.” She absolutely killed it. I felt like I was watching my good friend Jenny from the block dance her @$$ off for a solid four minutes. JLO walked across the stage with a flock of accomplished dancers as if we were watching JLO: The Musical. Damn…
God bless America and God bless music.