NARRATIVES

    "ALL GENRES"

    Really old album but still carries very timely messages.

    Maroon 5 is a music rock pop band that began in the early 2000’s. The group began making waves almost as soon as the group was created. This move was headed by their single “harder to breathe”. The group has kept growing stronger, although one or two persons have been replaced, the group has stayed strong producing beautiful music for all the world to enjoy. Friday the 13th is a recording of a live performance by the group (live album). Very little is known about what inspired the name of the album, some might be of the opinion that it is related to the day the album was recorded, which was on the 13th day of May, 2005. Or probably, it is something deeper, maybe something more personal. The album name was not referenced in the lyrics of the song so as to give us a little clue about the motive behind the name. Anyone that is willing to solve this puzzle will have to go to the artistes themselves. The album consists of a total of fourteen songs. The pop album is characterized by deeply insightful lyrics, classic beats and excellent vocals by Adam Levine, Jesse Carmicheal and Ryan Dusick. The songs are awesome but they do not really stick to the minds of listeners, the lyrics are extremely catchy but they just seem to have over stayed their welcome in the minds of men. The songs that really thrilled me from the album are "Through With You", "Wasted Years" and "She Will Be Loved". Contrary to the whole rock pop album, the songs are actually calm and soothing to the nerves.

    Written by @gospelredefined
    May 24, 2019

    Breaking From The Roots That Gave Her Stardom

    After wowing the world of music with the release of her second studio album, My Everything, Ariana Grande seems to have taken a tentative step into the adulthood of the music industry – despite being only four years into her career as a singer. Covering a duration of almost 40 minutes, Dangerous Woman conveys an interesting message about the ‘dangerous’ pop talent – she’s still searching for the right sound. Songs like “Love Me Harder”, “Problem”, “Bang Bang” (all singles from her previous album) left people wondering if she was going to continue with these styles of music – or take a dare to switch styles. However, Dangerous Woman comes with a mixture of Pop and Dance-pop styles, indicating that she’s still trying to figure out where she would pitch her ‘tent’ – although she seem to be a master at combining various styles. The album has ‘generally’ been viewed as an unforced hurdle by Ariana Grande into becoming her own vocalist and performer. Certified Platinum by the RIAA, Dangerous Woman is a 15 track long album featuring guest appearances from Future, Nicki Minaj and the legendary Lil Wayne. Being a follow up to her sophomore album, Dangerous Woman has influences of dance-pop, disco, trap and reggae – with pop and R&B being its primary genre. However, this album was the first of Ariana’s to not hit the number-one spot in the US Billboard 200, although it went on to earn about 180,000 units in its first week of release. It was also earned a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Vocal Album.

    Written by @gospelredefined
    May 24, 2019

    Disturbed pays tribute to the deceased heavy metal musicians in their seventh studio album

    The American heavy metal band Disturbed released their seventh album Evolution in October 2018 through Reprise Records. The album was recorded in between January and June 2018 at the Hideout Recording Studio in Las Vegas. The album has a total of ten tracks and an approximate time length of forty three minutes. The album clearly shows how their sound has evolved through the years and is a tribute to the deceased rock/metal musicians like Chester Bennington and Vinnie Paul whom they knew and toured with over the years. The album also portrays the softer side of their sound besides their usual hard rock and heavy metal music style. Few softer acoustic tracks have also been added in the album. David Draiman, the lead vocalist of Disturbed said that Evolution is their band’s “Black Album”, referring to Metallica’s self-titled album that was released in 1991 that evolved them from metal favourites to mainstream superstars. Regarding this album, he further said, “A record that breaks doors down, that opens up new opportunities to us, that helps you achieve true immortality as an artist”. They wanted to make every single track of the album a hit. The album received decent reviews from most music critics and listeners. The rock/metal music magazines Loudersound and Classic Rock rated the album 4 out of 5 stars. AllMusic rated the album 3 stars and NME rated it 2 stars. It received a rating of 7 out of 10 from Wall of Sound, and an average overall score of 58 out of 100 on Metacritic. According to Consequence of Sound, the heavier tracks in the album worked very well but the softer ones could work out better on a separate acoustic EP. The album gained significant commercial success and was featured in many music charts across the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia. It reached the top position on US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard) and Top Rock Albums (Billboard) music charts. It also debuted at the fourth position on Billboard 200. Overall, although the album received mixed reviews, it gained good commercial success like their previous albums. Also, a deluxe package of the album was released where four more tracks were added including a live cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence” that featured the Alter Bridge frontman Myles Kennedy on the vocals.

    Written by @Soulbyweekly
    May 24, 2019

    Who Was Taylor Swift Before Fame?

    Taylor Swift is the album is the debut album by Taylor Swift. It displays the original personality of the artiste before all the drama that came with the fame changed her. It was recorded when she was sixteen years of age, and the fact that she was still of tender age was evident in all the songs on the album. The sound was fresh but not really mature, her voice, although nice, would have still used a lot of work. She confidently sang about her hopes and dreams in the album. As most teenagers are known to have dreams and hopes during their teenage years, this characterized her as one. The album was as successful as any and is quite commendable considering the fact that it was her starter album – Swift is a storyteller, she is well known for using her music to speak her mind and that was apparent in her this album. The songs are experiences which came directly from the pages of her diary that she had chosen to share with listeners – Taylor Swift, unlike her recent albums is a mixture of two distinct sounds: country and pop. The way her sound has changed since her first album is really mind-blowing and I think the explanation for this is that she was not really a country singer at the beginning and she only sang that way because it was probably what everyone expected from her at the time – The album takes us back to the Swift that existed before all the fame. The one thing that has remained constant in all her other albums is the fact that her tracks are focused on her lamenting about the golden three: relationships, betrayal and boys.

    Written by @gospelredefined
    May 24, 2019

    Yemi Alade is a drama queen

    Yemi Alade as we all know is popularly known for her song “Johnny,” which went viral bringing her to the spotlight and now we all can't get over her. I personally use to think she had too much unnecessary drama until I listened to her music. Yemi Alade was the highest-selling female artist in Nigeria in 2016, ahead of Aramide, Victoria Kimani, Maka and Sinach. She even outpaced Tiwa Savage who released her R.E.D album in 2015 and had a significant head-start. The Mamam Africa album potrays the “Diary of An African Woman” is bold and ambitious. In spite of her success, Yemi Alade remains one of the most criticised artists of this era for her lyrics and her strong personality that borders on being overconfident. But you can say what you want about Ms. Alade, what you can’t deny is that her music is being listened to and that she sells. If there is an award for the most undeserved title of the year, then Yemi Alade has already won. She is underrated but she carries along African culture anywhere she goes. My best song in this album is “Nkechi jollof” because of the dramatic acting and well put together acting skills or yemi and the popularly known Nigerian model and actor Beverly. Everyone can relate to Yemi’s music because the song talks about a man who eats from two different restaurants of women who happens to his lover and the drama at the end after he was caught was epic.This track also gave the Nigerian jollof rice which is very popular a face in the video.

    Written by @melodyjacob
    May 24, 2019

    Something NEW Something DIFFERENT

    The year was 2012. I had just finished up lectures for the day and was about stepping into my room when my roommate bounced excitedly in my direction, his ears plugged and his head bobbing to some mysterious tune he was bobbing to. I was about to have him go his way so I could deal with the hunger pangs dealing with me at the time when he forced me to listen to what got him bobbing his head wildly and lo and behold, I was hooked. The song at the time was a new jam titled Like To Party from rookie Nigerian artiste Damini Ogulu known around the globe as Burna Boy. Now the song wasn’t your typical Nigerian kind of song, what I felt listening to this song was nostalgia as it brought about a feeling that took me way back. That was the introduction of Burna Boy into the Nigerian music scene, and boy, that was some introduction. It took some guts to release a song like “Like To Party” when Nigerians seemed to totally be in tune with a different style of music. Like To Party changed perceptions that hit jams had to be constructed in a certain way before the Nigerian audience could accept it. Burna Boy roared in with a genre that was a fusion of Jazz, 90’s R&B, Afrobeat, Dance hall and reggae and this exactly was what his debut album L.I.F.E (Leaving an Impact For Eternity) embodied. The album was released under his then record label Aristokrat Records and was an album that really caught the eye with its uniqueness, all-round different sound and originality. For a debut album, he was also able to pull off a number of high-profile features with the likes of Nigerian music legend 2face Idibia, dancehall star Timaya as well as superstar artistes, Wizkid, M.I, Reminisce and Olamide making notable appearances. L.I.F.E was, is and will always be one of the best albums to come out of these shores as I can notably point to the fact that there is not a single bad song in there. For the opener, Burna Boy perfectly mixes reggae/dancehall and Fuji (a genre of music that originated from Western Nigeria and that were successful in Nigeria in the mid 90’s mainstream scene) and the result turned out just right. His command of the Yoruba language from the Western part of Nigeria will leave you gaping at the fact that he originates from Rivers State in Nigeria. It was set out to correct a few misconceptions about him and also clarify where he really is from. L.I.F.E and Burna Boy single handedly put Aristokrat record on the map in times when it was difficult for new labels to attain that kind of attention except they signed an already known artiste or it was started by a known artiste. He touched a series of topics ranging from loyalty, humility, forgiveness, warning, self-reflection, self-adulation, socio-economic, and assurances, all whipped up in a genre that was quite strange at the time, but he made it work regardless. As expected of every album, it wasn’t all dope songs but at the very least, they are not bad songs either, except for the few amazing tracks on there that keeps you going up and about your daily challenges. His emergence in 2012 earned him a nomination as the Next Rated at 2013 Soundcity MVP Awards (Headies), which was heavily contested with the likes of Dammy Krane, Seyi Shay, Phyno, and Sean Tizzle whom went on to win the award. The following year, L.I.F.E album had 3 nominations in the Album of the Year, Hip-Hop Revelation of the Year, and the Best R&B/Pop Album categories at the 2014 Soundcity MVP (Headies Award). Although the album went toe to toe with heavyweight albums such as Olamide’s Baddest Guy Ever Liveth, Phyno’s No Guts No Glory, Sean Tizzle’s The Journey, Kcee’s Take Over, Tiwa Savage’s Once Upon a Time, and Sound Sultan’s Me, My Mouth & Eye, and did not win any of the categories. This triggered him to revolt and disrespect the organizers, later spilled over to the fans, he finally left Nigeria for South Africa to continue to ply his trade in a bid to make true the saying “No Prophet is welcomed in his Hometown” - sadly that was not the case as he was not welcomed overseas until years later when he came back home to try again.

    Written by @OBP
    May 24, 2019

    A Loud Unexpected Return

    Six years, six whole years it’s been since we last heard from the ageless boyband that is Backstreet Boys. The last time we heard from Brian Littrell, Nick Carter, Kevin Richardson, Howie Dorough and AJ McLean was in 2012 when they released their last studio album In a World Like This. We, fans of BSB have been waiting ever since, having to make do with their timeless songs on our devices and then like a thief in the night, they have found their way back with new music. DNA is an album that without a doubt breezes out a more mature sound for the legendary boy band. It is also noteworthy that this is their first release back as a five-piece since they dropped “Never Gone” in 2005. Kevin Richardson left the group and was notably absent in their projects up until DNA. After making we lovers of BSB wait for six good years, does this album make it up to us? My answer will be an outright YES! This might actually be the Backstreet Boys’ best album since they released Black and Blue in the year 2000. The album may not hit the commercial heights as well as get all of the hype that the albums they released in the late 90s did, it still has enough to gain music lover’s attentions. DNA sees Backstreet Boys infuse the maturity they’ve garnered over the years into the kind of pop hooks they dominated the charts with back in the day. It obviously is also a more interesting record than last album In A World Like This. DNA rarely deviated from the Backstreet Boy’s harmony-driven pop sound while evolving their production to fit today’s sound which worked perfectly as it earned the group their first Grammy nomination in 17 years. That evolution carries throughout all of DNA’s 12 tracks, while also presenting Backstreet Boys’ most diverse set yet, taking in pop, R&B, 80s synths, Country and EDM influences. The lead single of the album “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” was a song that had me stand still for a while, not even believing that it was a song performed by the Backstreet Boys. The members of the boyband alongside their production team had sought out a way to crack into the modern pop scene with the song being their first to chart in the United States since 2007’s “Inconsolable” and also turned out to be their biggest hit since 2005’s “Incomplete.” It totally resonates with we their long-term fans as well as fans of the modern pop landscape. Its beats blend in well with the larger-than-life harmonies the band has come to be well known for and once the catchy chorus kicks in, you realize the song makes a strong case to be one of the band’s best hits even if it will have to do a whole lot to beat the likes of “I Want It That Way” and “As Long As You Love Me.” It is just the kind of music we need from the Backstreet Boys in this day and age.

    Written by @OBP
    May 24, 2019

    The Rise and Rise of the Songwriter of Melancholy Tunes, Lauv and All His Sad Love Songs

    I just came from the concert of Lauv and I’m still on a natural high! I entered the concert not really a fan, just more of a curious person who heard this guy’s album I met you when I was 18 (the playlist) and decided to catch his show! It helped that I liked his earlier hits – “I Like Me Better”, “I’m So Tired” (with Troye Sivan), and “There’s No Way” (with Julia Michaels). However, almost 90% of the songs he performed tonight, before an adoring Manila audience were from this compilation album – songs which also came from his previous two EPs (Lauv and Lost in the Light). Another reason why I went to the concert was to find out, if I could, the reason for this recent phenomenon in local fandom. These past few years, I have seen the rise of singer-songwriters, mostly male, and mostly good-looking (Paul Klein of LANY, Troye Sivan, and Lauv), who have gained quite a loyal following in the country – so much so that they can sell out concerts – and cause a storm in social media – at least a local one. During Lauv’s concert last night, three of his hashtags (#LauvinManila, #LAUVMANILA2019, and #SadForever) were in the list of the top 10 hashtags of the country at that time period! The music of these guys is what we locally call hugot music – or for lack of a better translation – songs about lost love. So they are not happy love songs, but songs of breakup, songs of loss, songs of letting go and moving on – basically songs about failed relationships and what might have beens! Lauv’s show last night had its fair share of these types of songs which could be the reason it was another sold out show!

    Written by @tonyfabelous
    May 24, 2019

    Around the World In A Day Creates A Kaleidoscope World of Prince’s Music

    I was 14 years old when I bought the cassette tape of Prince and the Revolution’s Around the World in a Day. The first thing I noticed when I bought the album is the beautiful cover art. The album cover art used to be a big deal when albums were sold as long-playing records. The cover art for this album shows Prince along with his band the Revolution and the accompanying kaleidoscopic riot of colors and letters written in psychedelic fonts. In a way, it was a message to the listener that this album was going to take one on a mind trip of the range of Prince’s musicality – and he shows a lot of it. Prince was always prolific, yet this album strangely, only has nine songs – and God bless him for it. I think that is why it is my most favorite album of his. Every song has a certain palette to it and trimming this collection to just nine songs made it easier for me to relish and enjoy each song, so much so that when I played them again, more than three decades after I first bought the album, I found them just as enjoyable as the first time I heard them. It actually puts these songs in a good context as they were written before Prince had those head-on collisions with his record company – which made it harder for non-Americans to access his latest work. Remember, in the 90s, we didn’t have Amazon or streaming services, so if Prince released his new work, we’d have to wait for stocks to reach our local Music One store here – and if they do, the merchandising department of Music One here only buys limited copies, so that they are usually out of stock – which was very irritating! I remember I had to fill out forms to order those latter albums – that’s why I lost touch on Prince’s music towards the noughties and until the day of his death.

    Written by @tonyfabelous
    May 24, 2019

    Troye Sivan Does Pop That Is Earnest, Atmospheric, and Brooding

    I grew up with pop music that is fun (Culture Club’s “Karma Chameleon”), naughty “Material Girl” (Madonna), and empowering (Debbie Gibson – “Electric Youth”), that is why when I scan the pop landscape of the mid- to late-teenies of this century, I am intrigued to see pop that is littered with heartbreak and pain (Adele, Sam Smith), to artists who write songs that would make their ex-loves squirm in their seats (Taylor Swift), and then there are those fun ones who make danceable homages to an earlier era (Bruno Mars). Even then, it accurately depicts this generation’s anxious search for life answers and immediate gratification from what they perceive as their aimless and empty lives. In today’s world, teenagers and young adults shamelessly project everything they feel, what they eat, where they are, who they are dating, what they are wearing – basically almost all the aspects of their lives for the outside world to see (leaving almost nothing to the imagination), making them vulnerable to judgment and derision. Through the different platforms of social media, they try their best to create these immaculately blissful lives, obliterating those which may seem offensive to their social standing and to their clique of friends. The presence of all those songs by those pop artists is is understandable. To make the list even more interesting, add to it Australian social media maven Troye Sivan whose self-assured debut album, Blue Neighborhood brings to the fore his unique experiences as a gay man, someone who takes control of his life at a very young age – saying when, where and how to out himself and then composing these great set of songs with the earnestness of a person who only wants authenticity and no shade.

    Written by @tonyfabelous
    May 24, 2019

    The Singles Released From Maroon 5’s It Won’t Be Soon Before Long Fail to Catch My Fancy

    Sometimes my favorite band releases an album where I ambivalent towards the singles they and their record company decide to release. It happens from time to time and it certainly happened when Maroon 5 released the follow-up to their excellent debut album, Songs About Jane. I admit I was a bit crestfallen, because although the band broke new ground in their sophomore effort by finally scoring a #1 hit in the US charts with “Make Me Wonder”, none of the songs the band released as singles appealed to me at the same level that “Harder to Breathe” or “This Love” did. All their four releases (“Make Me Wonder”, “If I Never See Your Face Again”, “Wake Up Call”, and “Won’t Go Home Without You’) were solid songs and it was great that the band was continuing in their evolution as artists, but none of them made me rave about the album. Unfortunately, these four songs were arranged like this in the album, #1, #2, #4 and the #5 track. Since I wasn’t really into them, I usually would not bother to listen to the rest of the album anymore and just change the CD on the rack. So for a long time, I wasn’t familiar with the second half of this album. It was only after I did a review of Songs About Jane did I start playing I Won’t be Soon Before Long again, mainly to assess if my personal biases at that time have persisted almost 12 years after I bought the CD. Well, I still feel ambivalent about the four songs released as singles from this album. However, I was wrong about giving up on the album at that time. I discovered that there were several good songs in the second half of the album. I think they were not chosen because they were not pop enough and I think that was the direction the band was aiming for at that time.

    Written by @tonyfabelous
    May 24, 2019