Despite the playful persona that Shawn Mendes displays on his songs he has actually been working very hard. Ever since Shawn became a celebrated pop star, he had been making extreme effort to grow in the music industry. While there a number of tested ways to grow in the music industry the Canadian star chose to forge his path. He experimented on a number of styles both good and bad in combination with his unique sound and that effort is what resulted in the fabulous track showcased on his self-named album. A lot of years have passed since the star released his debut album and with those years he has acquired a lot of experience in respect to romance and women. Consequently, his sound on the songs is more mature and believable. There is something in the way he sang on this album that will convince you that he knew exactly what he was talking about. From day one, Shawn always had a different perspective from youths his age. He always went for the best. Not surprisingly, his albums sound better with each release. He put an unusual amount of effort in this album though. Firstly, he collaborated with a handful of artists when he was recording this album. Secondly, he did not just play the role of song creator but he was also the executive producer of the album. In a way, young Shawn has become his own boss. The album was an extreme success though. The album topped the charts in both his home country, the United States, Australia, Belgium and three other countries. It debuted in the top three in the United Kingdom. If that is not an example of commercial success to you then your opinions are henceforth irrelevant.
Chicago's veteran rapper Common has released his 12th studio album called Let Love on August 30th, 2019 under the labels Loma Vista Recordings and Concord Records. The former GOOD Music rapper has accomplished a lot in his hip-hop career such as opening up for N.W.A. and Big Daddy Kane to releasing his debut album Can I Borrow a Dollar in 1992. He survived and went bar for bar against west coast legend Ice Cube when he and Westside Connection (Mack 10, WC and Ice Cube) decided to go at Common for his song I Used to Love H.E.R. from his second album Ressurection, and for those who know Common, he is a smooth and calm dude but he did not back down from Cube with the retaliation song The Bitch in Yoo in 1996. Around 1999, he went and teamed up with soul and alternative hip-hop artists such as Q-Tip, J. Dilla, Erykah Badu, Talib Kweli, Mos Def and more to create The Soulquerians, and after his last album with label MCA Records, Common joined Kanye West's GOOD Music label in 2004. He left GOOD Music in 2011 and went on to do his own personal work such as appearing in numerous movies, writing books and poems, being a strong activist and philanthropist, as well being a pescatarian. Common's resume not only as a rapper but as a whole person, is really enormous with an academy award, an African-American Film award, 4 BET Awards, 3 Grammy awards and so much more. His new album Let Love features guests such as Swizz Beatz, Daniel Caesar, BJ The Chicago Kid, Jill Scott and more. After I was done listening to the 11 songs album, it was like I saw a more loving Common than before, and he was always a loving brother, so let's go over this album track by track.----------------------------------------------
I am about to write the most personal narrative to date. I consider myself a music devourer: I need to find novelty and new trends every so often. The body asks me that, there is no more. I can spend most of the hours in which I am awake listening and listening, and that is why a large number of songs reach a time when, exhausted to sound, they begin to diminish the interest in pleasing me. That is, they start to bore me. It is the natural cycle of music. This is the reason why I am always looking for new talents, artists and songs, and so on. One day, fate decided that YouTube's suggestions would recommend me to a stranger: Amber Mark. The song was called “Monsoon”, in collaboration with Mia Mark (also unknown to me, later I would discover that she was not a rapper or singer, but the mother of the artist). What was special about this moment was the personal context in which I lived at that time: I had recently lost my grandmother, an essential part of me. The love of my life. The person who taught me the most in this world. And so, praising her, I could spend my days. I had a hard time overcoming this loss, and at that time the memories, rather than tearing a nostalgic smile on me, they would make me sadly cry. I was in the process of accepting this painful situation, which I was unable to convey in words. But I wasn't aware that pressing the play on the imagen “Monsoon” video clip would change everything a little. And so it was: The first chords of a song that sounded as fragile as intense and melancholic began to sound. I began to notice how my arms’ body hair stood on end and I began to shudder a little. At that time, I didn’t have a good command of English, but I felt a rare connection that made me understand in detail what this beautiful song was about. I could not help it; tears began to sprout from my eyes. “It feels like monsoon everyday”. The connection I felt with this song was the strongest I have ever experienced, and as strange as it sounds, I have always hidden it from the world. A beautiful metaphor related the rainy season in India with the fact of missing someone who is no longer here and mourning this loss, crying with tears as rain was falling from the sky. For me it was the most beautiful thing that has been written and sung. Amber, dedicated this song to her deceased mother, who unites love with pain, both as strong as the torrential precipitations of the Asian country. As the song progressed, the meanings of it seized my memories and sadness, enveloping me and somehow healing the pain I felt. Made a sea of tears, I became another monsoon. But at the end of the song, I felt relief. I think this was the double intention of this young artist: let off steam to heal. I don't know if it was a song or a simple coincidence, but from here I began to change my mentality: I understood that missing someone and crying for the person was nothing more than a nice tribute. A private garden watered by tears, blooming from a pain that translates into affection and nostalgia. I have lost count of how many times I have heard this song, and the admiration I feel for this artist is as great as the good memories I have with my grandmother. I have always believed that the maximum of artists is to connect with their fans through music, make them feel “something special” with their songs, and this moment was, for me, the most important in terms of music-experience relationship personal. So, having said that, I think Amber, whom I usually think of as a small salvation, deserves a nice tribute from me. Here is my narrative about this beautiful surprise.
Definitely, when you take the wheel of your car and drive aimlessly, you find beautiful and exciting places that you didn't know existed. It is highly recommended that you do it from time to time because the surprises that hide the road make you feel alive and allow you to break with the monotony of modern life. It also happens in music, you just let yourself be carried by your finger on the screen of your mobile or the mouse of your computer and you get to discover wonderful singers and musicians. This is more than advisable because the paths of music are not reduced to what we always hear and are used to; on the contrary, the musical universe is so huge and varied that the possibilities of finding something that makes you fall in love are endless. It's what happened to me right now, when I came by chance to hear this great voice. With an authentic R&B, acoustic and delicious sound, Kiana Ledé left me impressed. The beauty of her voice and the control she has over it is admirable. I am sure that her theme, “Shawty”, will captivate the most demanding and will be the favorite song in many playlists in the remainder of the summer. Do not lose sight of her and follow everything that this artist does that will soon be shining in the sky of the stars of popular music.
On the evening of August 7th in a ‘movie house’ in Asbury Park, Bruce Springsteen and his wife Patti Scialfa witnessed the debut of a film Blinded by the Light, a true story, of a young man so enamored of the Jersey rocker and his E Street Band that his life was forever changed. Boy, can I relate. Having taught English for 32 years, I found that one way I could nudge my students into an appreciation of literature and its powerful themes was to use songs, “a three minute record, baby” (as Springsteen reminds us in “No Retreat, No Surrender”). One particular Springsteen song from the 1980’s connected viscerally with my high school students: “The River.” “The River” tells the story of young high school lovers whose passion leads to unexpected, let predictable consequences. Pregnancy, dropping out of school, a marriage of conscience, and the eventual regret these forlorn lovers feel would imprint on my high school students especially when the lovers eventually see their dreams fade away as deeply as the wrinkles that line their faces. It was a good lesson for seventeen- year olds…it is a lesson