Search

ashesmusicnotes

i do music things with my butterfly wings

Category

Album Reviews

My Soul Food

This post was inspired by listening (crying) to Sam Smith’s most recent work of art, The Thrill Of It All. I’ll admit that I wasn’t blown away by his first single off the album, “Too Good At Goodbyes”, however I consistently find that I like non-singles better (for all artists) and this time was no different. Highlights of the album for me were: “Pray”, “Nothing Left For You”, “Scars” and “The Thrill of It All”. But the song that made me weep like a baby was the album’s final track, “One Day At A Time.” Any adjectives I write here would not do the song justice so I won’t even try to describe it. But aside from the cigarette mention in the chorus lyrics (because smokers are jokers), it’s a pretty perfect song.

ANYWAYS, I was inspired to listen to my Soul Food playlist on Spotify after hearing Sam’s album and I gotta say, sometimes you need to add a little soul to your musical diet. I often find this playlist too intense to listen to because of the emotions it forces out of me, but the music and raw talent of these artists is worth the emotional pain. Below, are some of the most lyrically touching and vocally mesmerizing songs I’ve ever heard.

Parson James “Waiting Game” – Those first few piano notes and I’m already done. Listen to this song with tissues. You’ve been warned.

Joss Stone “Free Me (2017)” – Joss’s (Joss’?) voice is one-of-a-kind.

Sam Smith “Nirvana” – My favorite song of Sam’s.

Samm Henshaw “Only Wanna Be With You (Unplugged)” – I stumbled upon this song recently and have never looked back. The epitome of a love song, this has become one of my all-time favorites.

Tobias Jesso Jr. “How Could You Babe” – Doing a complete 180 here, this is the epitome of a heartbreak song. I mean, the painfully beautiful way Tobias belts it out is so good it’s almost unfair.  Like, can you throw some of your talent my way, babe?

CeeLo Green “Fuck You” – Some may not classify this honest, to-the-point song as soul but this is my blog and I DEFINITELY do. I mean, I play this song and I’m instantly feeling better about everything. The same thing happens when I eat chocolate chip cookies… or cheese fries. Hands down one of the best songs to ever happen to pop music.

Advertisements

Astrid S

One of the best, new pop artists I’ve heard in light years – hands down! I haven’t heard a song of hers I didn’t like yet. That’s impressive in today’s age of (mostly) crappy pop music. So, yay Astrid S!

I also highly recommend listening to her single:

 

Ed Sheeran +

I’ve always been in favor of Ed Sheeran’s singer-songwriter songs as opposed to his more pop sounding ones but this pop central album is quite good. “Shape of You” was one of my most recent favorite pop songs, however the wonders of FM radio have rendered this song beyond overplayed for me. That said, there are good songs for the pickin’ on this album. Standouts include: “Eraser,” “Galway Girl,” “Barcelona,” and “Bibia Be Ye Ye.”

Charli XCX – Number 1 Angel

Charli is back and brilliant as always. Any one of the songs on this album has the potential to be a bonafide hit. My personal favorites: “Dreamer,” “3AM (Pull Up),” and “Blame It On You.”

Album Alert: Don’t You by Wet

I’ve posted about most of Wet’s songs individually because basically every song they’ve released is spot on. Their album, Don’t You, is one of the best I’ve heard this year. Standouts for me include: “It’s All In Vain”, “Deadwater”, “Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl”, “Weak” and “Move Me”. If you listen to any song listen to “Weak”. Just do it now. And thank me later 🙂

Album Alert: The 1975’s I Like It When You Sleep…

Youthful. Sexy. Vibrant.

Those are the three words I’d use to describe The 1975’s new album. This is some of their best work sonically & the visual aesthetic surrounding the album is brilliant.

Highlights (for me) include: “A Change Of Heart”, “She’s American”, “If I Believe You”, “Please Be Naked”, “The Sound”, “This Must Be My Dream” & “Paris”.

Album Alert: Carly Rae Jepsen’s Emotion

I’ve posted at least three or four separate posts spotlighting songs off of Emotion, an extraordinary piece of musical work from pop’s gem, Carly Rae Jepsen. After listening to the album in its entirety, I think it’s safe to say this is one of 2015’s best pop albums. That being said, Emotion is not purely full of pop songs. I’m not knocking pop in any way, but this album is a bit more sophisticated and showcases how Carly has grown as a musician from her last album, Kiss.

Album highlights include nearly every song… seriously. There’s the stunning saxophone-soaked opener “Run Away With Me”; the Dev Hynes-infused, drum-tastic ballad “All That”; the 80’s-friendly “Emotion”; the euphoric anthem “I Really Like You”; the sweetly sung “Gimme Love”; the beautifully arranged “Making The Most Of The Night”; the charming “Let’s Get Lost”; and the illustrious “When I Needed You.” Whew!

Listen to Emotion in full below!

Awesome Album Alert – Kelsea Ballerini’s The First Time

I don’t often feel compelled enough by an artist’s album to write a review but I gotta hand it to Ms. Ballerini, she is in it to win it. Her stunning debut, The First Time, is crazy good. I was completely blown away. And the funny thing is that her lead single, “Love Me Like You Mean It”, is probably one of my least favorite songs on the album and it’s still fantastic.

Kelsea’s songs are refreshing, lyrically brilliant, relatable and just pure fun. A few standout songs to mention here would have to be “Xo” – a perfect lead song that paves the way and sets the tone for the rest of the strong, empowering album, “Peter Pan” – a witty take on the whimsical fantasy story of a boy who doesn’t want to grow up, “Square Pegs” – an uplifting, upbeat tune with a catchy-as-hell hook, and “Sirens” – a Carrie Underwood “Before He Cheats”, in-your-face kinda jam.

This album comes highly recommended from one music lover to the next. Bow down because I firmly believe that Kelsea is on her way to becoming the next queen of country music.

Album Recommendations

Since it’s June and we are 6 months into the year (already?!?) I thought I’d do what all the cool kids do and list some great albums I listened to in 2015 so far. The criteria for ending up in this list is simple – me liking the majority of the album. And not just the singles, but the deep cuts and the middle-men. If you’re looking for some new music, I’d suggest spending some time diving into these 3 artists + their recent albums:

Meghan Trainor’s Title

This album was a sweet surprise for me when I listened to it in its entirety one random day in the office. Her throwback, old-school vibes are evident, but what I enjoy even more than that are her brilliant, often witty lyrics. Upon hearing some of the verses, I can’t help but be reminded of the fabulous Pink – they have a similar no-time-for-bullshit, don’t-fuck-with-me-but-if-you-do-good-luck-with-that aura about them, which I personally find inspirational. The collection of songs that make up Title are fun to sing-a-long to, yes, but they are powerful statements about love and relationships and being a woman. And as a woman, I’m all about this album.

Standout Song: “Walkashame”

For those who like: Ponytails. The 50′s. Bass (well, obviously).

Tove Styrke’s Kiddo

I’ve said it and I’ll say it again, Sweden produces some kick-ass female pop stars. This album isn’t straight up pop though – it has a bit more spunk to it with reggae undertones (most prominently showcased in “Borderline”) and electro-pop beats (heard in ”Burn”, which is a spectacular song btw). I missed a chance to see Tove in NYC recently but I hope to not make that mistake again.

Standout Song: “Ego”

For those who like: Southeast Asian motif. Braids. Mai Tai’s.

Purity Ring’s another eternity

This album takes you to an otherworldly, celestial place. With bewitching vocals and dream-like beats, another eternity is purely magical. If there was ever a time when we could send bands to play in outer space, Purity Ring would get my vote hands down. If you want to escape reality for a bit, turn this record on.

Standout Song: “heartsigh”

For those who like: Aliens. Astronomy. Daydreaming.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑