I Cry When I Laugh :Jess Glynne
Jess Glynne’s new album “I Cry When I Laugh” is filled with optimistic and intellectually provoking tunes. Including chart toppers like “Rather Be” and “Hold My Hand” this product delivers an impressive resonance with its audience. The first song “Gave Me Something” displays a bright ambience, a song that is dedicated to the person that gave her the strength to pursue a career in her dreams, a singer. “Hold My Hand” holds a similar jazzy aura to the first, Glynne using her subtle yet power vocals to express the hope that is found in this inspirational number. “Real Love” uses an electronic flair while incorporating instruments such as violins to illuminate the beauty in one of the most invigorating emotions on this planet, love. This song also compliments the smash hit “Rather Be” with the Clean Bandits, using similar audio tactics that helps the piece express the feeling behind wanting to be with the ideal individual. “Ain’t Got Far to Go” and “Take Me Home” like many songs on this album encompass the hardships the Glynne has faced and the obstacles many of us face on a daily basis, and once again shine with their positive undertones, giving an individual who feels lost or afraid some clarity in their conflicts. There are songs on this album which also give a refreshing contradiction, such as “Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself” and “It Ain’t Right”, one being about crawling from the abyss of self-deprecation and rising to the depths of love and confidence, the other about the uncertainty of leaving behind someone who causes distress, being incapable of leaving the darkness behind. While this album has a familiar sensation to it, it also tackles a variety of themes, allowing listeners to feel uplifted by the messages, or being able to cope with problematic circumstances, leaving a refreshing atmosphere in one’s wake, making it a pleasant listen.
Review written by:Brittany Tewari
Home Before the Dark:Kid Astray
Kid Astray put out a first album full of fantastic songs. There were a few songs that stood out to me in particular: “Diver”, “Still Chasing Nothing”, “No Easy Way Out”, and “Not A Kid Anymore”.
“Diver” has a more somber feel than the rest of the album, which really made me stop and listen. The song reminded me at the beginning of the second of silence where you are about to jump off of something and your adrenaline is pumping and everything comes into pinpoint clarity. “Still Chasing Nothing” got me into the song right away, it opening with some instrumental, and then the instrumental paused for a moment before it picked up again. This is a song that I could definitely see people listening to on a trip or in the morning as they drive somewhere. “No Easy Way Out” had the opposite feel to the song than what the title may suggest, it had happy and hopeful beat, that’s what really drew me into the song, along with the line “you keep your head up high the future doesn’t look to bright right now. I feel like everyone can relate to those lines at some point in their lives. The song “Not A Kid Anymore” opens with a strong bass beat that made me stop pause and listen harder to the song. If they play this song in concert I can imagine that people will be clapping their hands to the beat as they sing along.
This whole album was about the painful transition into adulthood that you have to go through once you reach a certain age where you no longer have to be “Home Before the Dark”. Something that was cool about this album, were the subtle mentions of other songs or to the album title, within each of the songs. Though only a select few songs off of this album were mentioned, every single song off of this album was absolutely wonderful. Some of the songs off the album had an almost eighties feel to them. I hope that they are currently not set to tour the United States, hers to hoping they get popular enough the end up touring in the states.
Review written by: Charlotte Luft
Not An Apology: Bea Miller
There is a new gem in the music industry and her name is Bea Miller. She may only be sixteen
years old but has a lot going for her. This past summer she released her first album called Not an Apology.
Bea’s amazing voice was first introduced to the world in 2012 when she starred on the US The X Factor.
Since her debut on the television show, Bea has been working on her music career. She signed to Syco
Music and Hollywood Records in April, 2013 only being fourteen at the time. Bea spent time on
YouTube uploading bits and pieces of her work. In 2014 Bea Miller released her debut song, “Young
Blood”. The song did very well and was number 2 on the iTunes pop album chart and 64 on Billboard
200. Bea was the opener for other artists like Demi Lovato and Fifth Harmony. She also sang for the
audiobook, Deep Blue: Songspell. In 2015 she became more known. Her video for “Young Blood” was
shown on television during commercial breaks. The video was very eye catching and matched up
perfectly with the beat & style of the song. Bea also had an interview on Disney channel getting her
known by new potential fans. One of her other popular songs from the album, “Fire N Gold” was played
during the formalwear section of the Miss America 2016 pageant that took place in September, 2015. Not
an Apology came in at number 7 on the Billboard 200. There is much to love about this album. Anyone
that wants to feel empowered should definitely listen to this young artist’s album. Most of her songs show
how important it is to stay true to yourself and not let others screw with you. What is also beautiful about
this album is the different style songs she has. She has some that make you want to get up and dance like
“Dracula” and songs that are more acoustic like “Force of Nature”. Bea has a beautiful vibe to her. She
has a beautiful voice but is very edgy at the same time. So in conclusion, if you are looking for something
new to listen to, I highly recommend listening to Not an Apology by Bea Miller.
Review written by: Shannon Reagan
No Closer To Heaven
: The Wonderyears
TIf you're already a fan of The Wonder Years then you know one thing about them, they will only release an
album if it's something they really truly believe is better than what they last released. On this new album “No
Closer to Heaven” they succeed on all fronts. This is some of the greatest music put out by the band, some of
the greatest music I've heard this year, and some of the greatest music I've heard in the genre of Pop-Punk
music. This album is going to become a milestone for the band and the genre.
This album has an extremely solid flow to it, every song is right where it should be, and the album would not be
complete if any of them were left in the cutting room. You can really tell that frontman Dan “Soupy” Campbell is
giving his all in these songs. This is his life and he wants to give people something they can listen to. Stand out
songs on the album include the lead single “Cardinals”, “Cigarettes & Saints” and “You In January”. The songs
touch on the regular themes that you'd find on other Wonder Years albums; American Suburbia, recovery, as
well as loss. As always Dan chooses to have big messages behind his lyrics, something that will definitely
make you pay attention to him that much more. Rarely nowadays do you feel such raw emotion in the vocals.
This is music you can sit and listen to, but you'll really feel something while you jam to it. Personally my eyes
got a little wet listening to a couple of these songs. Dan has a unique way of taking his personal experiences in
life and making them something so vague and relatable for other people to feel the same way he does.
To wrap this review up, I highly recommend this album to everyone. Even if you're not a fan of the Pop-Punk
genre, check this album out. This album is a complete powerhouse and is backed up with raw, powerful
emotions. It's definitely worth a listen from beginning to end, and I can guarantee you'll find at least one song
you really like.
Review written by: Chris Liberati
Hitnrun Phase One: Prince
Now I know what you’re thinking. Prince has released a new album? Is this the same Prince that sang
Purple Rain? The same guy that for seven years tried to go by the name “O(+>”? Yeah, it’s him. And he’s
still going strong. This album is the third album he has released this year, and I gotta say it does not
sound like anything I was expecting from Prince. For someone whose prime time was decades ago, I was
expecting something more along the lines of some bad 80’s synth. But I was surprised to hear that
Prince has adopted some modern day beats into his songs. Not to mention all of the guests he has in the
album, whom all bring a new taste in the songs. For example, “The Voice” contestant Judith Hill stars on
the album, as well as “The X Factor” judge Rita Ora. That being said, these songs are a little…weird?
Many of these songs feature really heavy bass lines with a ton of electronics just kind of thrown in. It’s
kind of like when your dad starts using texting lingo in actual conversation to try and sound hip. It’s just
uncomfortable for all. For example, Ain’t About to Stop is one of those songs. This is the one that
features Rita Ora, but if you can find her underneath all of the electric voiceovers, let me know. It
sounds almost like a Lil Jon or DJ Snake song, but without the pumping beat or fun chorus. Sure, Prince is
singing over it but it doesn’t really fit with the rest of the song. His voice doesn’t belong next to a trilling
synthesized saxophone. It gets a little better in X’s Face, which has Prince just talking, really, but in that
sexy Prince-talk we’re used to. There’s still some electronic stuff in there (he’s really in love with the
ultra-bass voice for some reason), but it’s a bit more simple. Is it enough to save the album though? No.
Not for me at least. Maybe, this is your cup of tea, but I’ll stick to Kiss and When Doves Cry. That’s how I
want to remember Prince.
Review written by: Cory Stamp
E-MO-TION: Carly Rae Jepsen
Carly Rae’s album “Emotion” just dropped a few weeks ago, yet she’s already proving her progression from a once independent artist. “Run Away with Me” is the first track that kicks off the album, and it’s definitely something worth listening to. Transitioning from what once seemed like teen-bop music into a more mature and confident top 40 chart topper is what Jepsen was aiming for with this hit. The jazzy feel and flirtatious vibe, alongside the catchy lyrics and upbeat tempo helped this song explode this Summer, and it’s still going big. “Emotion” is a good song itself, but I don’t personally feel it was “album-name” worthy. The tempo reminds me of her first hit, “Call Me Maybe,” but other than that, it’s nothing TOO phenomenal, just a simple song with a somewhat indie-pop feel to it, and the title is pretty explanatory. “Gimmie Love” reminds me of coffee; bitter, yet sweet and something you have to take some time to get used to. This song is clearly about a love interest, and it has a slower tempo and strange yet mysterious beat. I feel like if I listen to it 30 times, it will become my favorite. “All That” is one of my least favorites. It has an 80’s vibe to it at first, but then slows down to a point where I tuned out and forgot I was even listening to it. Not a great one, unless you’re into slow, tame and sensual songs. “Boy Problems” is another NO. The song represents what its like to be a strong independent woman who doesn’t need a guy and has other things to take care of in life. She is definitely sending out the sassy girl emoji in this song, but I have to admit the song itself is terrible. The tempo is bad, she’s barely understandable and I just don’t like it overall. “Making the Most of the Night” is yet another dislike. The song doesn’t really make any sense to me, all I got from it was that someone had a bad night and she was going to run through red lights to hijack them. Is she running from the police? Did she actually hijack someone? Aside from the story, the lyrics feel thrown together and strange, and it’s hard to follow along with all of the repetition. Tracks I REALLY enjoyed were “Your Type,” “Let’s Get Lost,” “LA Hallucinations,” “Black Heart” and “I Didn’t Just Come Here To Dance.” “Favorite Colour” is also good, but an acoustic version would be even better. “I Really Like You” is one of my favorites from Jepsen. It is definitely in the pop genre, considering the beat, lyrics and meaning. It definitely has certain aspects that are similar to “Call Me Maybe” but is so much better. This is a cute, catchy track that WILL get stuck in anyone’s head. Flirty, warm, and all smiles and true emotion coming from the artist in this one. Carly RAE Jepsen? More like Carly BAE Jepsen. Dear Carly, I really really really really really really like you!
Review written by:Nikki Lawrence
That’s The Spirit : Bring Me the Horizon
British rockers Bring Me the Horizon have struck gold with their new album “That’s the Spirit.” Although their songs are making it big on the active rock charts, this album is full of smooth alternative hooks and big scream-o choruses. A song that represents this sound well is Bring Me the Horizon’s hit “Drown.” This song sounds very alternative (and even has a hint of electronica in it,) however someone who is really into active rock could really dig the chorus of the song, which is thick with heavy screams and heavy guitars. Appealing to lovers of different music genres can be difficult to do, but Bring Me the Horizon nails it with “Drown.” Lovers of alternative, active rock, electronica and other genres of music can listen to it and find something they like in it. A song that’s similar to “Drown” is “True Friends.” This song oozes with cool alternative hooks and is full of unapologetic angst. It states a simple fact: “real friends stab you in the front.” Anyone who has ever felt betrayed by a friend can relate to this song perfectly. There are a lot of things I’m impressed with on this album that range from the content of the songs to the production of the songs, however the single thing I’m most impressed with on this album is singer Oliver Sykes’ vocals. He has one of the best voices in the alternative/active rock world right now, and anyone who doubts that should look up the song “Follow You.” It’s a softer, more alternative song from the band. It also displays the vocal talent of Sykes. His voice sounds perfectly rugged yet pure on this track. He also sounds very vulnerable in this song, which is something you might not get from any other song on the album. “Follow You” is without a doubt my favorite song off this album. Other songs to check out include “Happy Song” and “Throne.” “Happy Song” already has over 7 million views on Youtube, and I’m predicting it’s going to rank high on the charts. It’s a little eerie in the beginning of the song, but once the music kicks in, you can hear the powerful active rock sound come through hard. “Throne” is good because it dabbles a bit in electronica at the beginning, but then becomes this heavy rock song that is guaranteed to pump you up. The biggest reason this album is great is because it speaks to multiple fans of multiple different genres of rock. It seems as though every artist gets a genre attached with them these days. Maybe bands think they have to be “defined” in order to make it big. But not Bring Me the Horizon. Their music is theirs, and they own at not conforming to a specific genre of music. Rockers all around the country can enjoy this album fully. I highly recommend giving this album a listen to.
Review written by: Kelly Kuehn
Halsey, released her brand new album Badlands. Referred to as her state of mind. She mentions that The Badlands is a place that she created to tell her story through.
The album begins in the Badlands, with the song Castle. This song starts with a grainy tone, setting the scene as a place you don’t want to be. The album then moves onto two songs that had been released prior, “Hold Me Down” and “New Americana”.
In Hold Me Down Halsey speaks of her demons and how they destroy and entice her. New Americana is a new anthem that can be sung as loud as you possibly can, and won’t get in trouble for doing. Drive informs the listener that Halsey wants to leave the Badlands. Drive illustrates how love can help you find what you’re missing singing, “California never felt like home to me/ Until I got you on the open road”. Hurricane, though, is about being an independent woman, singing “Don’t belong to no city/Don’t belong to no man”. The next song on the album, Roman Holiday gives off her longing to escape with a lover somewhere sunny and shining. The sweet vocals and infectious beat of Ghost highlights Halsey’s search to find her current lover. The next two songs Colors and Colors, Pt. II are the separation of the Badlands and freedom. In Colors II you can hear a gate open in the beginning of the song. Colors II represents freedom, no matter how dangerous it is achieve. Strange Love is Halsey becoming her full self and experiencing her freedom. It is her way of saying she will do what she wants. Coming Down and Haunting gives different aspects of relationships. Coming Down is the highs, the love, the good, while Haunting is the longing to still have someone in your life, even it means they are haunting you.
Gasoline, challenges the way society impacts people. This song show that Halsey is not naive to what comes with fame and isn’t afraid to go against the societal rules of the world. Halsey cries out about how her demons are terrorizing her. Finally, in Control Halsey fights back, singing “Goddamn right, you should be scared of me” and “I’m meaner than my demons.” Young God is a song about the want to be larger than life and what some people will do to accomplish that. Badlands ends with I Walk The Line, the symbol of freedom, escaping of the troubles of the Badlands with smooth piano and bass that rules the song. Badlands is it’s own place that Halsey has created and taken her listeners to. I applaud Halsey for making something so beautifully and weaving each song masterfully and maintaining the concept.
Review written by: Kelly Smith
Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Pets: Miley Cyrus
“Dooo It!” couldn’t be a batter first track for Miley’s new FREE album. It’s the epitome of everything that
Miley represents now; freedom, sexuality, obscurity and some other words as well. It also splurges into
Miley’s favorite topic in life: drug exploration. Although the album DOES frolic through those not so
beloved aspects of life, she does incorporate some beautiful songs as well. “Karen Don’t Be Sad” is a
perfect example. Very 80’s retro-pop with a slower tempo and deep meaning, mingled with a
sentimental story. Although I do not know who Karen is, through this song, I have discovered that we
are all Karen. One of my favorites from the album is “The Floyd Song (Sunrise). This song clearly
represents her deceased dog Floyd, and she contributed a lot of emotion through that. Not only is this
track upheld by passion, but the smooth jazzy sound and vocals are stellar as well. “Space Boots” is a
game changer. Miley throws a curve ball with this one, sounding similar to Lana Del ray and other
soothing artists. The song represents being lonely and what it feels like to overcome that difficulty
alone. Definitely different from a majority of the album, but one of my favorites. Another favorite is “BB
Talk.” Capitalized. 2 b’s. Definitely some vulgar language, but also excerpts from Miley and it’s very
personal and romantic. “Fweeky” is also on the romantic spectrum, representing love and lust and
Miley’ personal experiences. “Bang Me Box” is my absolute favorite out of all 23 tracks. It’s very indie-
alternative, which is right up my alley. Overall, this album is strange yet beautiful at the same time. You
can tell that Miley put a lot of time and effort into this album, and I love the idea that it is absolutely
free! She released this on Soundcloud the night of the VMAs, which correlated with the theme of the
album as well. Overall, this is something really different for Miley but great overall. I suggest to fans and
even non fans.
Review written by: Nikki Lawrence
SKRWD EP: WSTR
The album starts out with the enthusiastic -South Drive. The title is mentioned in the very first line of the album, and also establishes itself in the chorus. “Pull the wool from off my eyes I’ll pack my bags, and leave for South Drive. This song displays the vocalist’s impressive chords, however lately it seems that the same pair of vocal chords has been leaping out of one mouth and jumping down the throat of the next wannabe Henry Rollins. The vocalists for Handguns, The Story So Far, and now WSTR all sound remarkably similar. There needs to be an infusion of vocal creativity.
Up next for your listening pleasure is “Fair weather.” We must first talk about the music video. The song centers on the fear of the members of the group that they will end up old without having succeeded much in life. To follow that theme the music video follows several old men as they break out of their nursing home in order to cause mayhem around town. Among other activities they mess around at a skate park and pelt passerby with water balloons. “Anotha wasted year//So fuckin' plain round here//Anotha summer mopin' with my peers// Don't care what the old man say//Must suck to be old and grey// Roundin' up the troops is not so easy these days
Graveyard shift is similar, in my mind, to Early Retirement by Handguns. This song discusses the fatigue that members of the band, and I would surmise many people, feel when they are trapped in a dead end position in life. In this track it is evident that this group works together well, all of the instruments flow together quite well.
Brainsick begins with a long instrumental bit wherein the guitarist and drummer have the opportunity to shine.
Next up is “Ain’t Great” is one track that confuses me a bit. I am 75% certain that two vocalists lend their talents but I am not sure. I could not find a live video of the performance. There is a possibility that the main vocalist changes his pitch. Towards the middle there is a definite spot where a female sings one or two lines. She sings beautifully albeit it was a random choice.
Finally, “Devil ‘N’ Demons” a truly inspirational and impactful song that reminds us to remains strong, “Your voice accounts for nothing// I will amount to something.” Forget the people that try to drag you down they are of no use to you. May that be a message from me to you as the semester rolls on?
Review written by: Avery Sapetko