Avril Lavigne music has been the soundtrack for part of my life, since her debut album. From the time I was a 12-year-old "Sk8er Boy" who just wanted to revolt against the system, whose life was "Complicated" for a young man. Who was trying to find himself in the world, thinking to himself, where do I belong? Dedicating the song "I'm with you" to himself. Her music resonated all the way to her sophomore album when life seemed to be as dark as her album. When my sister handed me a note stating, "I want to kill myself." The lyrics of "No Body Home," hit home. It was the only song that could make me associate to what she was feeling. I always say, where words falter, music vocalises. When she sang: “She wants to go home, but nobody's home. That's where she lies. Broken inside with no place to go. No place to go to dry her eyes! Broken inside! Her feelings she hides, her dreams she can't find. She's losing her mind, she's falling behind she can't find her place, she's losing her faith, she’s falling from grace, she's all over the place, yeah." – Avril. The lyrics will forever be hunting, and it made me realise that suicide is no fool and must be taking earnestly. My skin still crawls, and I want to jump out of my skin every single time I listen to this song. Still makes me shake, and it scares me to death to even think how much pain one must be in. The feeling of despair in Avril voice would match the despair I was feeling. Wondering what I could do to make this situation better. Still, the song gives you a bit of hope. Being both angelic and cryptic, it's like a California sunset joining the blue ocean waves in the middle of an Eclipse. Drawing in on sorrows in a dark place but trying to find peace. A beautiful song but yet emotional and frightening all at the same time.
It was Aug 31, 1987, when Michael Jackson released an album that made history. Bad soon became the second best-selling album at the times (the first was and still is Thriller, always by… Michael Jackson!). After Off the wall and Thriller the King leveraged for the third and last time the collaboration of Quincy Jones. Hard to say whether it’s better Thriller or this new album; the albums are quite different, Michael himself was a different person after 5 years, grown and changed both from an artistical and personal perspective, in a pop world that he contributed to create with Thriller, and that now featured new stars like Madonna and Prince, in the US, and with all the Brit pop of Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, and others. Moreover, in 1982 Thriller just needed to fill the 40 minutes of a vinyl record, while this album had to fill also the 70 minutes of a cd. Anyway, it’s a fact that Bad entered in history as well, and it’s still one of the key albums (and videos) of the 80s
It's Iggy Iggs! Does it sound familiar to you? Surely, a very popular phrase during 2014-2015, when we were all fans of Iggy Azalea. Listening to this slogan typical of the Australian rapper in a song was synonymous with top of the charts. Today, five years later, for many it is synonymous with… meh. The reason? Let's review what is for me one of the greatest musical injustices of this decade: Iggy appeared in our lives with a spectacular mixtape, Ignorant Art, in 2011. This project, headed by the amazing “My world”, full of powerful and fresh sounds discovered a vivacious, ambitious, badly spoken and aggressive rapper. It was clear that she was very clear about what she wanted and that her goal was to succeed. And she got it. Launched incredible themes like “Work”, un “Bounce” and “Change your life”, Iggy was introduced to the world, achieving success in her native Australia and UK. Azalea offered unusual sounds in the world of female rap: originals, which exploded in the chorus and penetrated the brain. I already lived totally in love with this rapper, but it was impossible not to bend down to her with every single that she released. Her accent was catchy, a mixture of the American South and the Australian desert, and within her rudeness I found some brilliance and great authenticity. The popularity of this blonde began to rise like foam, becoming a reference in the rrss. And “Fancy” arrived. Along with Charli XCX, Iggy presented a hybrid between pop and hip-hop, resurrecting the formula ‘’sung chorus/rapped stanza’’, and the world surrendered at her. The success was resounding. In a scenario dominated by Nicki Minaj, Azalea ran as her successor. And the Australian took care of even the smallest detail: video clips played a crucial role in her career. They often told stories, were worked and were inspired by films of yesteryear: From Clueless in “Fancy” to Kill Bill in “Black Widow”, her second success. The Azalea universe was at the top and with her debut The New Classic, Iggy showed her true value. Offering a whirlwind of sounds that intermingled like the colors of her fabulous cover, this project mixed rap and hip-hop with reggae, pop and trap. So, so good. But in the competitive world of rap not many people were happy that a white blonde could hold the title of queen. Her appearance didn’t fit in this world, and this was reason enough to accuse her of cultural appropriation. After her debut, the controversies won the ground to music. Our rapper was the victim of a kind of unfair voodoo that made her career downhill. After the bullying received by other “partners” who only managed to get attention through problems, Iggy fell into a spiral of misfortunes that made her lose the favor of the general public. Far from throwing in the towel, the rapper returned to the studio and released “Team” as a preview of her second album, Digital Distorsion. But the damage caused by third parties was enough for Iggy to lose popularity and this single and those that came later (“Switch”, a great song that was leaked and therefore suspended from promotion and “Mo Bounce”) didn’t get much impact. Digital Distorsion was canceled, and Iggy vomited all her rage in the EP Surviving the summer, where she became dark and aggressive because of the injustices experienced. Nor did “Savior”, with its radio-friendly environment, get the luck of “Fancy”. But far from giving up, Iggy has always shown herself as a powerful warrior who has a hard time keeping her mouth shut and under her own independent label has finally released her second album: In My Defense. Iggy Azalea, after all, has only that left: defend herself.
Burna Boy sealed his position at the Zenith of the Afrobeat and Afropop genres with this album, African Giant. This release follows major achievements this year alone; winning the Listener’s Choice, Song of The Year, Best Male MVP, and African Artiste of the Year categories at the 2019 SoundCity MVP Awards Festival. Then going on to win the Best International Act category at the 2019 BET Awards, and finally having a solo track on Beyoncé’s The Lion King: The Gift soundtrack album for the Disney classic animation remake, The Lion King. The features on the album were also rich as he excluded A-List artiste in the Nigerian industry, for reasons best known to him. For an album titled African Giant, he didn’t bother adding African and internationally known artiste, but went ahead to add the likes of Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley, multiple Grammy nominated and winner Angélique Kidjo, Future, YG and so on. The 19-track album was full of hits and genre mixtures that made a perfect blend, with him trying different flows, ranges, and topics on the tracks. The basic thing lacking majorly in the Nigerian Music Industry is Content. Artistes with content in Nigeria suffer proper recognition. The most popular and successful artistes are the Afropop artistes, these artistes former 99% of the A-List group, the remaining 1% are mostly from the Rap, Alternative music, Afrobeat, R&B and Soul genres. These 99% percent of these 99% lack contents or have slowly dropped the ball somewhere along the line during their career and just churn out beats and vibes that has zero contents and meaning. Between 2013 and 2019, the amount of songs without concepts and meaning content have the most rotations on the Radio, and TV, and the artistes get the endorsement deals. This fluke has made great songwriters dumb down their lyrics for the sake of popularity and recognition. They forget that gifted can’t do a great job being mediocre, like a mediocre would originally do. Long story short, Burna Boy is our very own Content Rich Afropop and Afrobeat artiste to get international recognition without being overrated.
After breaking up for a while, the Jonas Brothers got back together to put out a new album, Happiness Begins. While the band decidedly falls into top 40-pop for the most part, this album does have some fun lyrics and melodies, and interesting harmonies in a few places. The lyrics are fairly simplistic, but they suit the genre perfectly. Perhaps the best thing about this album is that it has a lot of positive, sweet love songs that defy the focus on break-ups, lost love, and internal struggles that seems common in current pop music.