Author: Abby Padilla

Once Upon a Mind by James Blunt

Artist: James Blunt

Album: Once Upon a Mind

Released: 10/25/2019

Label: Atlantic Records UK

Genre: Pop

James Blunt’s most recent album, Once Upon a Mind is a very personal record depicting loss and the milestones in life that go with it. Fans may recognize Blunt’s voice- and that’s because he wrote the hit Ballad “You’re Beautiful” which dropped back in 2004 and claimed No. 1 on the Billboard top 100 charts,  was nominated for 3 gramnmy awards, 3 MTV awards, and one Brit Award. 

The only way I recognized him was his voice. Blunt broke away from the ballad and is moving right along with modern styles of music. Though nothing like most of what’s on the radio, Blunt’s newest album is influenced by what is popular, with faced paced, almost staccato lyrics in the verses, and yet his age shows with his songs “Monsters” and “I told you.”. The first mentioned song is talking about Blunt’s loss of his father, and his want to have his journey to the afterlife be as smooth as possible. The latter mentioned deals with a child of his moving away from home, and starting their life and their journey to becoming an adult. 

All in all, this isn’t a bad album and it is very well composed. I was happy to not receive an album with ‘You’re Beautiful’ written 10 different times, and yet I also didn’t receive an album that seemed like a total cash grab. Listen to this album if you like bands like Mumford and Sons, smooth almost folk-type music, and be ready for a modern twist. I would suggest The two aforementioned songs, Monsters and I Told You So, just because they moved me so much. James Blunt goes on tour starting in Prague later this year, and will continue throughout 2020.

You Deserve Love by White Reaper

Band: White Reaper

Album: You Deserve Love

Genre: Rock, Pop Punk

Suggested track(s): Real Long Time

White Reaper’s new album You Deserve To Be Loved  is a great rock album with influences from Queen and All Time Low. I know Queen is an odd band to say they draw influence from, seeing as how everyone takes from them, but the harmonizing guitars really give a Queen vibe. Beautifully composed, the album runs for about 30 minutes with 10 tracks. 

Rock is an umbrella term used for punk, pop punk, alternative, (etc.), but what does it really men to be a rock band? What separates pop from rock? By definition, rock is characterized as a musical movement that took off in the 50s-60s, with experimental riffs and lyrics about sex and drugs. I think now, people more closely relate Rock to being ambitious and rebel-esque, consisting of lots of guitars and solid drums. White Reaper captures the essence of rock in the guitars that harmonize so beautifully to give a queen sound. The lead singer’s voice is more high pitched, and there’s some incorporation of synth, and a more pop sounding beat, which is why I associate them with All Time Low, a staple pop-punk band. 

Real Long Time is a seemingly exetenialist song. The person in the song is being regular, wondering when things will not be so. The line that stood out to me the most was “How come what you want and what you get/Always seem to be two different things?”. Not necessarily a special lyric, but one I related to none-the-less. 

All in all, I would highly recommend this album, it was a very fun and exciting listen, and honestly, Now i’m curious to know what they sound like as a live band. Catch me at their next gig.

All Mirrors by Angel Olsen

Artist: Angel Olsen

Album: All Mirrors

Genre: Indie 

Release date: 10/4/2019

Record Label: Jagjaguwar

Recommend Songs: All Mirrors and New Love Cassette

Angel Olsen’s new album is a beautiful listen. The utilization of synth and string instruments makes this an album that’s dreamy to listen to. In this album I hear influences from early Madonna, Lana Del Rey, and Marina (and the diamonds). The thing I love the most about this album is the feeling it gives- it makes me feel like I’m walking into and through Wonderland. 

Angel Olsen herself has a wonderful singing voice- high pitched but with range, kinda reminds me of Billie Eilish. The lyrics in this album are simple but meaningful, true poetry that is simply accompanied by music. When I listen to this album, it feels dreamy; as if I’m walking into another dimension. My favorite song on the album is probably the one that titles the album. The lyrics are poetic and the musical accompaniment reminds me of something that would come from the movie Labyrinth. 

The entire album is wonderful, and I highly recommend. I’m honestly surprised I haven’t heard of her before, as this is such beautiful music more people should be talking about.