Category: Miscellaneous

miss Anthropocene by grimes

Album: Miss Anthropocene 

Artist: Grimes 

Genre: Electropop 

Record labels: 4AD, Roc Nation, Arbutus Records, Lo Recordings 

Recommend Tracks: Track 3-Delete Forever , Track 8- You’ll miss me when I’m not around 

Claire Boucher, a Canadian pop artist, goes by the stage name Grimes. Grimes music is dark and thrilling. From the beats to the lyrics her music keeps you on edge like a good horror movie. Miss Anthropocene gives me science fiction vibes because of the changes in octaves of her voice as well as the background instruments. I rate this album 3⁄5 . I was not really a fan of the music because I didn’t understand what Grimes was trying to portray. 

Track 3, “Delete you forever”, was enjoyable because it’s guitar notes. I prefer her signing with those acoustics versus the metal and EDM. I also enjoyed the lyrics of the song especially, “ more lines on a mirror than a sonnet”. 

Track 8, “You’ll Miss Me When I’m Not Around”, starts off really intense, “I shot myself yesterday, got into heaven Anyway…”. The lyrics really draw you in, as well as the instrumentals. The instrumentals sounds like slowed electropop, which intensified the lyrics’ meaning. 

birds of prey soundtrack by various artists

Album: Birds of Prey: The Album 

Artist: Various Artists 

Genre: Movie Soundtrack 

Record label(s): Atlantic Recording Corporation & Warner Bros. Entertainment 

Recommended Tracks: Track 3 – Diamonds(Megan Thee Stallion & Normani) & Track 14 – I’m 

Gonna Love You Just A Little More(Summer Walker) 

Birds of Prey is a new movie that recently released and plays along DC character, Harley Quinn as she tries to find her own persona after her breakup with The Joker. Knowing this you will be able to get a feel of what kind of attitude to expect off of the album. Amongst the artists taking place on the album, all intentionally enough happen to be females, with really big names in music. Megan Thee Stallion went splendid with her track, “Diamonds”. Summer Walker carried her role on, “I’m Gonna Love You a Little More”. If I were to rate this album I would give it a 8 out of 10 because of just the way everything was delivered and how well it played a role in the film as well. The songs are great to listen to and you can play it during your daily car ride. As it is a soundtrack the album was able to create an identity of its own like Harley Quinn was able to as she is placed onto the album cover. 

“Diamonds” by Megan Thee Stallion & Normani is the third track off the album and is the most popular. Most people are playing it around giving it a listen before even realizing it was from the album itself. Megan Thee Stallion sets the tone and brings on her unique hip-hop vibes as she is currently one of the most popular artists on top right now. With her appearance on the track it almost instantly becomes a hit. Normani appears on the track as well and brings in her vocals to offset the high pace of the song. Adding that little hint of a touchy side to the song. This would be great to listen to while you are doing something productive. 

“I’m Gonna Love You Just A Little More” by Summer Walker is the fourteenth track on the album. It’s a really good vibing and something you can play in the car on your drive. Something that is quite expected as it by Summer Walker and she holds those soft vibes that fans love her for. With this song being towards the end of the album it matches up with the movie and concludes the whole idea of a women(Harley Quinn) finding herself as her own person. I would recommend listening to it and it will most likely become one you occasionally listen to. 

“Birds of Prey: The Album” was meant as a soundtrack counterpart to the movie. It seemed to be more than that as the headliner names on the album lived up to expectations and delivered on the many songs across the soundtrack. The album is currently ranked as #32 on Apple Music streaming service which is relatively high. If you saw the movie and enjoyed it then I would recommend listening to the album and experiencing the thrill again or if you’re just very into the whole idea of “girl power” on an entire album then this is the one for you. However, as that is the case for many I would recommend listening to the same artists on the album like Summer Walker, Doja Cat, Meg the Stallion, Halsey, & Saweetie. But are you interested in other artists like them, then there’s room for you to explore and listen to SZA & Jhene Aiko. Overall, if you entertain the whole all female lineup of music I would suggest you give, “Birds of Prey: The Album” a listen and it certainly wouldn’t disappoint you.

church by galantis

February 14, 2020

Album: Church 

Artist: Galantis  

Record Labels:  Big Beat Records and Atlantic Records 

Recommended Tracks: 4- “Never Felt A Love Like This (with Hook N Sling) [ft. Dotan]”, 13- “We Can Get High (With Yellow Claw)”

Galantis is a Swedish electronic dance music production, songwriting and DJ duo consisting of Christian Karlsson and Linus Eklöw. They have been active since 2012. Their type of genre are electro house and big room house. Karlsson is also known as Bloodshy as part of two other musical groups, a duo (Bloodshy & Avant) and a trio (Miike Snow). Eklöw is known as Style of Eye. They have won multiple awards and have been nominated for others. They also have played at other concerts like coachella. Galantis is even on tour now. I am going to give this album a four out of five stars. I will explain at the end why. 

Never Felt A Love Like This (with Hook N Sling) [ft. Dotan] is a very cute song. It is about someone not believing in love and not wanting it. They don’t like love until they find the one who is the light, which brings back the love that they have been missing. It is even a different type of love. In this song, they have lyrics and they do sing throughout the song. This song is also one of the very few songs in the Galantis’ s albume where the band sings in it. There is also a touch of EDM and electro music in it. This song is perfect for those who love electro music as well as singing in a song.  

We Can Get High (With Yellow Claw) is a song that you would definitely hear at a rave. It has very little singing and mostly EDM music. The song is about you trusting your partner and because you trust your partner, you both get virtually high in the clouds. I think this song is perfect for rave lovers and EDM/electro music lovers. I am not a huge fan of electro music but I do like this song. It is quite catchy. 

The reason why I gave this album a four out of five rating is because it is electro music and I am not the biggest fan of it. However, most of the songs on this album were pretty good. Another thing that I thought was pretty unique about the album was that not all of the songs on it were sung by Galantis. They were the DJs but not the key singers. I thought that was pretty unique.

Queen and Slim Soundtrack by Various Artists

Album: Queen and Slim: The Soundtrack
Artist: Multiple Artist (Megan Thee Stallion, Lauryn Hill, Tony K, Burna Boy, The Dream, Reem, Simino, Moses Sumney, Tara George, Roy Ayers, Lil Baby, Mike Jones, Slim thug, Paul Wall, Blood Orange, and many more)
Genre: Multiple Genres
Recommend Tracks: Track 8- Collide, Track 1- Ride or Die, Track 3- Yo love

Queen and Slim is a love story between Slim(Daniel Kaluuya) and Queen(Jodie Turner Smith). Their story begins when Slim kills an officer out of self defense. They are unable to turn themselves in because the state would not view it as self defense, so they are forced to go on the run. Through their story you see black power, black love, and black revenge something that is not usually shown in movies starring black people. Throughout the movie songs from Black artists are heard, whether it be new age rappers like Megan Thee Stallion or old school artists like Lauryn Hill. I rate this album a 5/5 because it was diverse but still followed a central theme of Black Excellence.

Track 8, ​Collide​ is a R&B song that is one of my favorites from the album . From the smooth and slow beat to the effortless singing the song makes you relaxed. I have yet to see the movie, but this song sounds like it’s played the moment the protagonist fall in love because of lines like, “When we collide, it’s a beautiful disaster”.

The album starts off with a bang. Opening song ​Ride or Die i​ s by Megan Thee Stallion who is a popular female rapper. This song is like most of her other songs; Catchy twerk song. This song, like the title suggests, is about being a ride or die shown in the lines, “I ain’t scared, I’ma

pop that shit”. Track 3 ​Yo Love,​ is another song about being a ride or die, but it is more about being madly in love then proving oneself.

I recommend everyone at the very least listen to this album. The soundtrack is so good that it paints a vivid image of what the movie is about, and makes you want to watch it. This album has something for everybody by including different artist like Burna Boy, 6lack, Lil Baby and many more. This album is more meaningful if you can relate to the racial struggles faced in the movie, but even if you can’t it still reaches you.

I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This by Jeff Goldblum

Album: I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This

Artist: Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra

Genre: Jazz

Record Labels: Universal Music Operations Limited and Decca Records

Recommended Tracks: Track 4 – B and Track 4 – The Thrill is Gone / Django (with Miley Cyrus)

Jeff Goldblum. You know the name, however probably not within the context of jazz music. That’s right, Hollywood’s quirky uncle, the star of films such as Jurassic Park, The Fly, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and the owner of one of the silver screen’s most peculiar speaking cadences, is also a talented and passionate pianist. While not completely out of left field, Goldblum’s forays into music add an interesting element to his eccentricism. However, trying to dissect this album as some article of the erratic and colorful persona of a Hollywood phenom might leave one a bit disappointed on this venture, as Goldblum’s oddball sensibilities definitely may have pushed him to pursue music seriously, however they don’t necessarily translate to his jazz covers. This isn’t necessarily to the album’s detriment as much as it elucidates the fault in approaching this album expecting it to ooze quirkiness or be centered around Goldblum himself. On the contrary, I interpret this album as well as Goldblum’s previously released collection of live covers as a passion project of sorts. I don’t think Goldblum is necessarily trying to accomplish some great musical feat or establish himself as a multi-medium virtuoso, or even do anything particularly “weird”. Goldblum produces cheery, pretty by the numbers covers of jazz standards (and some not-so-standards) with clean playing across instruments, decent soloing, and some really interesting guest vocals. Overall, I’d give this album a 3/5, as again, it isn’t breaking any new ground, and the only covers that have any particular value over the originals are those featuring guest vocalists from across the musicsphere, such as Miley Cyrus, Fiona Apple, Sharon Van Etten, etc. 

My first standout track is the first of a couple moments on the album Goldblum opts for a completely instrumental cut, “Driftin’”. Originally off of Herbie Hancock’s famed 1962 debut Takin’ Off, “Driftin’” is a track well suited for any soloist trying to flex their chops. Goldblum opts for a slightly shorter track length than the original, by just over 2 minutes, and it’s a decision that definitely pays off, as the solos are nowhere near as compelling as those that justified the original 7-minute track. The track shows off Goldblum’s soloing, which isn’t particularly unique, but is surprisingly crisp and well articulated. The original has a Dexter Gordon alto-sax solo that Goldblum’s version does not try to imitate, which is probably a wise move, however it is one of the reasons the track is clearly inferior to its antecedent. Again, I don’t think Jeff Goldblum was trying to surpass Herbie Hancock, and therefore I take this as a valiant effort at interpreting a great tune.

The moments where the album really exceeds its station as a gimmick-y covers album are the tracks centered around guest vocalists. Sharon Van Etten, Fiona Apple, Anna Calvi, and pretty much every guest vocalist smashes their feature, which definitely aids in the album’s shelf life and appeal. My personal favorite collaboration on the project is “The Thrill is Gone / Django” with Miley Cyrus. This collaboration is definitely one of the more interesting on the project, as anguished lounge-y jazz definitely isn’t something I would’ve figured into Miley’s wheelhouse, but she nails her performance. The slight smokiness of her voice, her superstar charisma, and the remnants of her nigh imperceptible Nashville twang juxtaposed against the track’s dramatic horn arrangements creates a super compelling rendition of the Chet Baker track. If you check out any track from this album, I would definitely make this it, as it exemplifies Miley Cyrus’ talent and range as a vocalist. 

Past all the ritzy glitzy presentation of this album, there is a warmth to the sessions and to the varied vocal performances which makes it stand out. I would attribute said warmth to the lighthearted passion driving this project. It’s clear Goldblum is having fun, and while one could critique his lack of innovation within covers, or over reliance on his guest vocalists as the core of his reimaginations, Goldblum isn’t trying to push any new frontiers here, he’s just having fun. So you might as well have some fun with him, and if you’re looking for an easy listen with a glamorous Hollywood twist and a slew of sweet guest performances, give this a listen. If you like this album, I would check out some of the original musicians that crafted these tracks, such as Herbie Hancock, Chet Baker, or Nat King Cole.

In Retrospect by Duskus

Album: In Retrospect EP 

Artist: Duskus

Genre: Dance/Electronic

Record label: Foreign Family Collective

Recommended Tracks: Track 1- Be There For You  and Track 4- Can’t Stand the Feeling 

The release date for this album, In Retrospect EP, was on October 11, 2019. The genre for this album is dance and electric. This album is Duskus’s first complete album with multiple songs, he has many singles that are well known. Duskus put five songs on this album. In an interview, Duskus said that the album “In Retrospect is a journey to find myself as an artist and as a person. It is discovering how fragile and delicate this world is, comparing how people choose to live, and the different pathways that they take. I believe that life doesn’t have a guideline, and there’s no right or wrong way to live, each decision we have made in the past, has shaped our power and knowledge now. In Retrospect showcases my existential mind drifting in and out of different life stages, to create a journey of wonder and mystery.” I am going to give this album a 2 out of 5 rating. I will explain why at the end.
Be There For You is a song about being there for someone. Throughout the song, he keeps asking why the person is acting the way they are and keeps saying that he wants to be there for them. This song is slow and soothing. It reminds me of a song that would be in a dance club to calm people down. The mellow tone even calmed me down from a very busy week. This song is also the only song that I find would be perfect music when studying for midterms or finals. It will not distract you because it is not very upbeat and the talking is sporadic, so you would not be able to sing along.
Unlike Be There For You, Can’t Stand The Feeling is very upbeat. The song is about feeling alone and not being able to stand that feeling. However, with the topic being depressing the background music does not allow you to feel sad with its upbeat rhythm. I cannot picture this song in a dance club because of the lyrics. I can see this song in a movie to represent a scene where the actor feels alone and the music is the only thing giving them comfort. This song would not be a good song to study to because of the beats and the lyrics. After only hearing the song for the first time when writing this review, I started singing along to it.
The reason why I gave this album such a low rating is because I personally am not a huge fan of electronic music. This album is one of the better electronic music albums I’ve heard in awhile. To me, however, it still could’ve been better. The album had mellow songs that you could only kick back to. Even the one “upbeat” song in the album was still pretty mellow. Setting aside my viewpoints, if you like electronic mellow music then this album is perfect for you. It really does soothe you over after a very long week.

Wicked (15th Anniversary Special Edition) by Original Broadway Cast (feat. various artists)

Artist: Original Broadway Cast (feat. various artists)

Album: Wicked (15th Anniversary Special Edition)

Record Label: UMG Recordings

Recommended Tracks: Track 1 “For Good” Live (Side 2) , Track 3 “The Wizard and I” Live (Side 2)

In celebration of the the cult classic musical, “Wicked” debuting fifteen years ago on Broadway, the UMG label released a special edition of the iconic original cast recording.  This anniversary album also includes live version bonus tracks featuring artists like Ariana Grande and Pentatonix who performed on A Very Wicked Halloween: Celebrating Fifteen Years on Broadway. On October 29, 2018 NBC broadcasted this televised concert with hosts Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth, the original Elphaba and Glinda, who also performed songs from the album.

There’s no question that Idina and Kristin had impeccable chemistry during their run on Broadway in spite of having voices that contrast each other since their character’s are opposites. Idina’s powerful and emotional vocals strike with such exhilarating energy in every note that she belts. Kristin’s playful portrayal of Glinda is heightened with her soprano vocals and charming personality that she effortlessly exudes. Even fifteen years later when they return to the stage together to celebrate the anniversary, their voices are as incredible as ever. They sang a live duet of the musical’s “For Good” which is one of the bonus tracks on the re-released 23 track album. It’s a song where the two main characters express how the other person has made an impact on their life, and how their connection will forever be imprinted in their memory even when they part ways. Their performance oozes with sentimentality and genuine passion for the musical that served as an iconic milestone for their careers. Idina and Kristin open the song together right before they are joined by actresses who have played Elphaba and Glinda in the past and present. Kristin’s melodious voice shines alongside Idina’s rich and velvety vocals. They exhibit the same heartfelt emotions while performing the song as they did on the original cast recording. The orchestra in the background allows their voices to be at the forefront of the song as the percussion and piano plays softly. The last minute of the song showcases the voices of all of the Elphaba’s and Glinda’s who harmonize beautifully together. Next, Ariana Grande covers a fun rendition of “The Wizard and I.” She adds a unique twist to the song by adding a pop flair for her own interpretation. This solo song is about Elphaba’s newfound motivation to change herself when she finds out that she will meet the Wizard. Ariana makes it sound more playful compared to the original by singing at a faster tempo with breathy hushed tones before hitting the high notes. She has an incredible vocal range which is apparent in her performance as she shifts from warm low notes to high notes, such as the impressive final 25 seconds of the song.

The Wicked (15th Anniversary Special Edition) honors one of the most popular musicals that first hit the stage in the early 2000s. As the years have passed, it has remained a commercial success because of its appeal to people of all ages and its memorable music written by Stephen Schwartz. This re-released album provides a theatrical experience full of wit and charm, earning it a 5/5 rating.