Tag Archives: album

Album Review: “Artemis” by Lindsey Stirling

Lindsey Stirling has her own unique sound that blends classical music with present-day dubstep. Her sound is mainly relies on instrumental with a hint of vocals for an added bonus. Recently she dropped a new album titled “Artemis.” It takes you on a wild journey through the deep, dark forest — hunting under the light of a full moon.

The album is heavily influenced by greek mythology — especially inspired by the greek goddess, Artemis. Artemis is the daughter of Zeus and twin sister of Apollo. She represents hunting and all things wilderness. In artwork, she is typically depicted with a bow and arrow. She is also represents purity and protection. Artemis is ruler of the moon.

Also drawing inspiration from comic book-style anime, which especially shows itself through her album artwork, “Artemis” is a musical adventure. Carrying themes of thrill and suspense, it will keep you on your toes.

Throwback Thursday ~ Music

Music can have a profound impact on your environment. It can be the soundtrack to your life. Today, we have great control over the type of music we listen to. There’s radio, CDs, iTunes, and many different streaming services. The internet makes it easier to explore all music, including underground and indie that would otherwise be rare to find, decades ago.

Personally I have a deep admiration for CDs. As a young girl, I was still listening to cassette tapes, and CDs were a big deal. They were double the price, double the size, and you could actually skip songs instead of impatiently playing with the fast-forward/rewind buttons.

I have good childhood memories going to our  town’s local store “CDs & Tapes” (obviously they went out of business a few years later.) It was a roulette, paying $20 (that’s A LOT of money for a 90s school-child) for a CD when I only knew one song from the radio. It was riskier back then, before you could preview all the songs online.

I can appreciate radio/streaming, but I will always prefer CDs/tapes/etc… When an artist puts out a new record, the tracks should be in a purposeful order that tells a story — instead of randomness. Many pop artists do not put as much thought in the order of their tracklist because they are trying to sell singles. They are focused on radio top hits. I prefer hearing a story rather than bop after bop.

I really enjoy creating playlists and burning mixed CDs. In a way, it’s like I am creating my own story by borrowing the pieces of others’s stories. I have made many mixed CDs for friends and family and it makes me happy to see them appreciate it. I once gave my friend a mixed CD and she told me how she could see how much thought was put into it. Never hesitate to ask me to make you a CD — just give me a genereal  idea of what artists/genres you prefer!

In the past few years, I started listening to records. I bought a record player in college. I only have a few records right now, because of the high price, but someday I hope to have a decent collection I can display with pride. I’m obsessed with the whole aesthetic of records. Something so nostalgic and dreamy about it, as well as a feeling of true respect for music. It is an entirely different quality of sound.

Music is a wonderful thing. It can be a way of controlling your life, in a way. The lyrics seep into your thoughts and the melodies seep into your movements. Sometimes it’s not until you look back, when you see how much an album, artist, or genre has shaped you.

Album Review: “Norman ******* Rockwell” by Lana Del Rey

Imagine the last couple weeks of summer, enjoying one last wild boat ride across the sea, in the beautiful country of the USA. Then you go relax with a drink and an enchanting woman comes in to play tunes on the piano and sing songs with her lovely voice.

Yet this is no ordinary woman, this is Lana Del Rey, and she does not hold back.

“Goddamn, man-child,” is her opening line. Her first track, “Norman f******* Rockwell,” is a beautiful piano ballad that portrays a man with a paintbrush, ready to paint your heart blue. You too, will feel the heartbreak.

And by the second track, “Mariners Apartment Complex” you can already get a feel for the whole vibe of the album, classic LDR but also something completely different. Very chill and also catchy with a lot of piano and acoustic guitar.

Venice B****” has a similar sound. It is the longest track on the album — over nine minutes long.

**** it I love you,” is just a beautiful and absolutely cheesy song.

I really like the Sublime cover of “Doin’ Time,” how she made it a little different and made it her own. I also really enjoy the music video.

Love song” is nice but does not necessarily stand out to me, maybe it will grow on me.

What a sweet and sugary melody “Cinnamon Girl” has — but the lyrics, not so much, very sad. One of my favorites on the album.

“How to disappear” is an interesting song. In the first verse she sings about one man, in the second another, and in the third no one in particular except for a nameless “you.” And in the end, she says she will always be there and never disappear.

“California” is about missing someone who feels they have to conceal that they are missing you back.

The Next Best American Record” is similarly about missing someone with more of a nostalgic feel. It also has a little more rock to it.

The greatest” continues with the theme of aching for the past — not so much a specific person but times of the past. There is also worry about having already “peaked” in life and things looking downhill from here on.

Bartender” is a cute song but also does not necessarily stand out to me. Although I do like the t-t-t sound she makes.

“Happiness is a butterfly” is another one of my favorites on the album. I find it inspiring. I love the ending, great way to wrap up the album.

Finally, we end with “hope is a dangerous word for a woman like me to have — but I have it.” This is a wonderful song! It feels raw, vulnerable, yet also empowering. Another favorite!

NFR! covers everything from heartache and total despair, to true love and unshakable faith — all the colors of the paint palette. I like her deliberate use of upper and lower cases of the song titles. This unique album stands out on its own and each song fits together like a beautiful masterpiece. It is an album of reflection and being completely honest with oneself and one’s emotions.

Melanie Martinez’s “K-12” ~ A Cute & Creepy Film About the School of Life

Melanie Martinez just dropped a visual album, “K-12.” The film, essentially a sci-fi musical, is over an hour-and-a-half long. It’s a continuation of her first album, “Cry Baby,” which is the introduction of the persona of Crybaby. Her style is very unique and specific — cute and creepy, a theme of childlike innocence mixed with adult context. Her music tackles serious issues with a splash of creative imagination. It has been four long years since her previous album but it was certainly worth the wait.

The story starts with Crybaby waking up in her bubblegum-pink home and preparing herself for the very beginning of her school years that will take her from kindergarten to twelfth grade. Crybaby looks in the mirror and brushes her half-black-half-rainbow pigtails. Heading into the kitchen, she pours cereal and is pleasantly surprised to see her pet spider fall out of the box.

The pink school bus scene is when her first song plays, “Wheels on the Bus.” Crybaby is getting bullied and feels anxious about making friends. But she has already found herself sitting next to a girl she seems to have already clicked with, and they share their fears about not fitting in. A boy walks onto the bus and they smile at each other, but he has been snatched by an aggressively jealous mean girl.

Now they have arrived to the school building, which looks like a beautiful haunted mansion. Ghosts fly by through the hallways. Crybaby and her new friend head to class, located in room 222. It’s time to say pledge of allegiance but one boy refuses because he’s angry at this country, so a group of people barge in and take him away.

At recess, “Class Fight” plays. The jealous girl from the bus ride attacks Crybaby and cuts her. This somehow “activates” Crybaby’s powers as her eyes turn black and the two girls float above the ground, and then she chokes her with her hair. This song is about the difficult feelings that come with jealousy, questioning if you should give the person up or fight harder for them.

The class fight causes the girls to get sent to the principal’s office. “The Principal” is about blindly following a leader who abuses his/her power. The students wait outside the office while a teacher is getting fired for being transgender. After the students enter, the song plays, and the scene is set like a traditional courtroom mixed with a ballet dance floor.

Later we see the principle drinking a mysterious substance that causes him to pass out, then a group of people with rabbit heads come in and stick him with a needle. If you haven’t figured it out yet, by now we can clearly see that something is very wrong with this “school.”

Crybaby returns to class for “Show & Tell” and every person in the room turns their head and stares her down, conveying the feeling of being watched and judged, causing one to become controlled. By now we are around the age of third grade, generally the time when a child becomes much more self-aware.

Nurse’s Office,” plays as evil nurses drug the students with needles that causes them to go crazy. This represents reaching puberty and becoming flooded with hormones. After being locked up by the evil nurses and rabbit-head people, a magical goddess-like figure appears out of nowhere to save them and offer deep words of wisdom.

Drama Club” is about the roles we are expected to take on, especially as men vs. women. “Strawberry Shortcake” is about body issues that come with puberty and will follow for the rest of your life. It also covers how women are expected to cover up and feel ashamed of their bodies because of how men might react. Both tracks do a great job at addressing sexism.

“Lunchbox Friends” deals with navigating friendship and surrounding yourself with supportive and open-minded people. During lunchtime, Crybaby goes to the bathroom and discovers a classmate with bulimia, then goes onto comfort her with “Orange Juice.” Both tracks deal with social pressures.

Next in the film, a food fight breaks out and the principal’s son has the rabbit-head people send Crybaby to “Detention.” The evil nurses are back to once again stick the students with needles. Crybaby is dragged onto a stage where she is forced to dance with two other girls. She then seems to have used her “powers” to cause the principal’s son to set her free and she successfully escapes detention. The girlfriends gather together and make a plan to set the students free from school, but the son is spying on them and listening to their every word. On another note, Crybaby find a love letter in her locker.

A student falls for a teacher as “Teacher’s Pet” plays, yet luckily Crybaby sees that this girl is being controlled and comes to her rescue. “High School Sweetheart” is a very sweet love song. Crybaby sings it while gracefully dancing around the school.

The film wraps up at the school dance. She is asked to go with the principal’s son and only accepts his invitation in order to help with the plan to get free. Unfortunately it was too late for the other boy who genuinely adores her. But she ends up taking down the principal’s son, gaining access to the loudspeaker so that she can tell everyone to exit the building immediately. “Recess” is about running away and breaking free.

Finally, Crybaby unites with the boy who had been originally planning on asking her to the dance — who confesses to writing the love letter — and the two of them blow a conjoined spit bubble which causes the school to blow up. FREEDOM!!! A magical portal opens up, and Crybaby hesitates to enter, and then the screen goes blank!

I was blown away by “K-12” and all the symbolism and metaphors that came with it. Not only does it cover the joys and challenges of our childhood school years, it also emphasizes the fact that we never truly graduate because life itself is school. The traumas from our early years follow us into adulthood. That inner child sticks with us, for better or worse. Adulthood still comes with insecurities, peer pressure, authority figures, and drama. Most importantly, we must wake up to the injustice of the world and realize our own power.

A decade of JBros

It was summer 2009 when I bought the new Jonas Brothers album, Lines, Vines and Trying Times. I was too young to drive so I had to ask my mom for a ride to Target, and I still remember that excitement holding the physical copy in my hand. It was their fourth album, and after first listening to it, it instantly became my favorite album of theirs. If I were to hear it now for the first time, I’m sure it would not have the same nostalgic affect. This album is near and dear to my heart because it comes with so many precious feelings and memories.

An entire decade later, after going through a split, they finally released their next album, Happiness Begins. I’m really excited because I thought they might not ever make music again. This is music I have been waiting for since I was in high school. Naturally, their sound has matured and evolved. But it also feels like they were able to successfully pick up where they left off and move forward from there. There is a great part of them that has not changed at all and that’s perfect. I would say it was worth the wait.

Music Monday ~ Miley is back with more bangerz

I’m so thrilled to see that Miley Cyrus has released new music. “She Is Coming” only has six tracks but they all blew me away.

Miley Cyrus She is Coming https://www.instagram.com/p/Bx-Bdcmp7JL/ Credit: Miley Cyrus/Instagram

Miley’s 2013 “Bangerz” introduced a brand new incredibly empowering and controversial woman to the world. It was full of party anthems that still had a lot of heart to them. Following this was her 2016 “Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz” — an absolute gem that she actually released FOR FREE on SoundCloud. It was an extremely introspective, reflective, raw, and super psychedelic album inspired by Pink Floyd and produced with the help of The Flaming Lips. I saw her concert in Philly during this era.

And then she sadly disappointed many with her 2017 “Younger Now” which was cute but seriously lacking pizzazz. Her music became a bit more safe and dull as she tried too hard to dissociate from her Bangerz era — which may have been a little cringy and embarrassing but that is the exact reason why it was such a successful era — because she embraced everything about herself that society tells us to feel ashamed about. The 2014 tour photos are exact proof of how ridiculously free she is, in the best way possible. Her shamelessness is what made her so empowering, and suddenly she had become shameful and felt the need to find a new sound. Luckily it seems she has listened to the feedback and returned to her original Bangerz sound that her fans really love her for.

I am so in love with “She Is Coming” because it represents everything that draws me to Miley Cyrus. Most pop artists try so hard to look perfect. They take themselves too seriously and act like they are royalty. I like when entertainers understand that that’s exactly what they are — entertainers. Their jobs are not to be worshipped and adored, but to provide good vibes to the world and help raise our spirits when we are feeling bored or lost. And to be an entertainer you need to put yourself out there completely and shamelessly, being able to make fun of yourself and not take yourself so seriously. If you ever see videos of Miley bursting into dancing, she goes all out like nobody is watching, and that’s something that makes people want to turn up and join in. You will never be able to fully live your life and fully enjoy yourself until you let go of worrying about people judging you.

  1. Mother’s Daughter ~ “Don’t **** with my freedom!” ~ 5/5 stars
  2. Unholy ~ “I’m a little bit unholy, so what, so is everyone else.” ~ 4/5 stars
  3. D.R.E.A.M. (ft. Ghostface Killah) ~ All I can say is… dreamy ~ 4/5 stars
  4. Cattitude (ft. RuPaul) ~Wait, did I write this song? ~ 6/5 stars
  5. Party Up The Street ~ “We can go out with a bang.” ~ 3/5 stars
  6. The Most ~ Aww, this is a really sweet song. Don’t know if I wanna cry or vomit. ~ 5/5 stars

She Is Coming.

ETERNAL YOUTH ~ “Forever Neverland” by MØ


MØ has recently released a new album called “Forever Neverland.” I’ve already listened to it multiple times because her music is so addictive. I highly recommend purchasing this beautiful masterpiece. Here are my personal thoughts about it.

MØ takes you on a lucid dream full of nostalgia, fantasy, and childlike wonder. She also reveals a love-hate relationship with California. It starts out with a theme of having fun and being a wild party animal. Being young, and crazy, and recklessly in love!

But then reality catches up to you because there is real work that needs to be done. And it feels really blurry, like you are caught between a fantasy life in your head verses the real world around you. We respond to the rude awakening by hiding away. We hide ourselves in nostalgic memories, concrete events that can’t be taken from us, things that make us feel back in control. It feels like MØ is looking back on her life and thinking, “yeah I got away with living in a dream-world when I was much younger, but now I’m older and I have greater consequences and heavier responsibilities…” and this is a depressing feeling.

The Interlude has her crying over the harshness of reality that fully reveals itself in adulthood. There is still a need to escape and regress. It is an ongoing struggle, pushing yourself to work towards the future rather than fantasize over the past. Still, it’s so important to let loose and have fun and give yourself those well-deserved hard-earned breaks from reality. Fantasy world is so much more exciting and liberating than the real world. In a rare occurrence, those two worlds can meet each other for a moment.

track-by-track breakdown

1.Intro — The album starts with an introduction that sounds slow and dreamy, containing lyrics from the final song, “Purple Like the Summer Rain.”

2. Way Down — It’s a fun song that’s all about having fun and messing around like an animal. It makes you feel like you are at a zoo, letting all the animals run loose. It ends with, “California, where your dreams come true.” There is a sense of naive optimism and reckless hopefulness. You know you’re dancing with the devil but you are having a blast and so you don’t care about the consequences.

If I’m gonna lose my mind, tell ’em I’m-a do it with style.

3. I Want You — This is when you want somebody so badly that it hurts, and it’s all you can focus on or think about. You can’t even get any real work done. You’re just caught in a fantasy land. It makes you completely forget about the real world.

Why am I running from home, in a world so cold?

4. Blur — When everything is blurry and it feels like a foggy depression. And your head is so loud that you want to hide from the world instead of going out and having fun. It’s like reality is slowly catching up to this fantasy world you are stuck in.

Started out the way I wanted but it’s weird now.

5. Nostalgia — A very bittersweet feeling to be missing the past but also feeling grateful for the memories. Novelties and “firsts” are things that cannot be replaced. Youth is full of highs that you wonder if you’ll ever be able to find again.

I know you’re hurting, I know your heart it aches…

6. Sun in Our Eyes — I really like the piano and also how catchy and uplifting the song feels. Following “Nostalgia,” I think this track is more about coming into the present moment. It’s acknowledging that nothing lasts forever, so you need to appreciate the present. And you can still reach those *highs* if you quit looking back.

You make me tremble, make me crash, forget my name.

7. Mercy — A slow song about, you guessed it, begging for mercy. When you feel like you are so powerful and untouchable, then suddenly the person you are dealing with has all the power over you because you were so reckless. And then you are left begging for their forgiveness.

Tell me it’s all a bad dream cause I just can’t be without you.

8. If It’s Over — This song is really choppy but in a good way. It’s about simply moving on and letting go without dwelling on the past at all. After you have finally come to terms with the past and found forgiveness, moving on comes naturally.

I’m just living for me but a little more vicious.

9. West Hollywood (Interlude) — A slow interlude with just vocals and minimal piano. Here, MØ is feeling seriously low and wishing that she could run back home to her mom and escape West Hollywood.

I turn on the radio but there’s nothing that I wanna hear…

10. Beautiful Wreck — I love the beat! The whole song feels very calming and dreamy. I feel like this is where the artist is saying, “no matter my age, this is who I am.” Being reckless can be a beautiful thing.

And I feel like I’ve been losing my mind again, I’m your beautiful wreck, baby.

11. Red Wine — This is the perfect song to dance to while drinking a glass red wine. Everyone needs a break from reality here and there. You can still find freedom without regressing back into the past.

Don’t give a damn about the rumors, yeah I prefer mystery.

12. Imaginary Friend — The best things in life are not what you can see, but what you can touch and feel. It’s a creative concept; as children we have imaginary friends and then as adults we can find a *different* type of imaginary friend.

Watch me, watch me, watch me with your hands.

13. Trying to Be Good — Struggling to follow the rules of society and meet the expectations of others… feeling tempted by somebody. This is probably the worst type of “reality check” you can feel.

Your eyes darken the sky that I’m breathing.

14. Purple Like the Summer Rain — Soothing sound. We are all chasing after youth, but naturally it pulls away from us further and further. So, what is a girl to do? Cling to childhood or become crippled by adulthood? There are special moments in life where our wildest fantasies become real life.

This is what a universal fairytale is made of.