Category: Pop

Romance by Camila Cabello

Album: Romance

Artist: Camila Cabello

Genre: Pop and Contemporary R&B

Record label(s): Epic and Syco

Recommended Tracks:

Camila Cabello is a Cuban-American singer, songwriter, and actress who was born on March 3, 1997. Camila rose to stardom when she was part of an all-female group called Fifth Harmony that was formed on the television show The X Factor (U.S) in 2012. She was working on her solo career while still on the group with releases of her own. Once she left the group and established herself as a solo artist, she began releasing collaborations with other artists. Camila has released many EP and singles but has only released two albums which include her most recent one, “Romance”, which was released on December 6, 2019. “Romance” continues with the theme of love that is on air a lot and considered a pop trope. However, this album feels more frisky but not too much. Much has to do with Camila’s charisma which her listeners enjoy a lot. “Romance” shows different ways of falling for someone, from the fling stage to freaking out about having feelings for a friend, to wanting to be around that person, to explain to your dad that things with this person might get serious. The music has a lot of Latin influence. I would rate this album a 5 out of 5 due to the theme of the album being one that is still enjoyable to listen to and the music being, Latin influenced, has a friskiness to it. 

The Track “My Oh My” is the fourth on the album. This song has an animated vibe to it that really adds to the theme of the song. Camila’s raspy and airy voice gives the song a very alluring feel. The music has clapping and amazing beats when DaBaby has his verses and that made the song feel bouncy. The theme of the song deals with falling for someone who is not the best person, maybe, but you can’t resist their bad, but insatiable, habits. 

“First Man” is the last track on the album. This track is about a daughter telling her dad about her new love and trying to explain that her new love is good. The music is more soothing and the piano really makes this song heartful and emotional. Camila’s voice is breathy and quiet, which makes this song feel much more meaningful and less upbeat than her other songs, which is a good contrast for the album. Having this song on the album really makes the whole theme of love’s journey more personal. 

“Romance” tells the love story that Camila Cabello has experienced and the public has seen. Showing the way love manifests and the different ways it does, is a very common topic but one that everyone can relate to. The Latin inspiration in the album gives is an amazing flare of spice that makes the album awesome. If you like Latin-Pop artists then I’d recommend you listen to Becky G as well. Overall, if you enjoy music that talks about love, then I recommend listening to Camila Cabello’s recent album, “Romance”. 

Pure Heroine by Lorde

Album: Pure Heroine
Artist: Lorde
Genre: Indie/Electropop
Record labels: Universal Music Groups, Lava Records, Republic Records
Recommend Tracks: Track 4-Ribs, Track 8-Still Sane

Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor, goes by the stage name Lorde, is a singer-songwriter

from New Zealand. She first came on the scene with the song “Royals”. ​Pure Heroine​ is my favorite albums because of the diversity in each song. The is one of Lorde’s best album, lyrically. I can say every song on this album is my favorite.

Track four “Ribs” is my favorite because it makes me feel young again. I fell in love with this song in the seventh grade and everytime I hear it brings me back to that moment. My favorite line is , “we’ll laugh until our ribs get tired”. Track eight “Still Sane” is my favorite because it instills hope. My favorite line is, “I’m little but i’m coming for the crown”.

I love this album because I can listen to it in any mood; It is timeless.

Thank U, Next by Ariana Grande

Album: Thank U, Next 

Artist: Ariana Grande 

Genre: Pop and Contemporary R&B

Record label(s): Republic Records and Universal International 

Recommended Tracks: Track 2- Needy  and Track 10- 7 Rings 

Ariana Grande is an American singer, songwriter, and actress from Florida. She began her career in 2008 starring on Broadway musicals. She got more recognition for her role as Car Valentine on Nickelodeon’s Victorious. She signed with her record after they found videos of her covering songs, and that’s when her music career took off. She released her first studio album, “Yours Truly” and released three more after, including her most recent, “Thank U, Next”, on February 8th, 2019. This album contains themes of vulnerability and emotions. Ariana has released songs with these themes, however, she mainly aimed toward a much stronger feel for her listeners. Thank U, Next shows a more vulnerable side to Ariana’s relationships with others and herself. This album dealt with a more real feel of Ariana’s life and it shows her journey. Her journey consists of ups and downs, much like the album with tracks that are meant to feel lower and others meant to feel upbeat. The album also explores different musical genres such as soul, pop-rap, and dancehall. I would rate this album a 5 out of 5 because the music and vocals are amazing while having a strong and relatable message. 

The second track on her album, “Needy”, is one of my favorites. This track mainly uses minimal instruments and quiet music that gives the song a sad vibe to it. The vocals are soft and quiet, which also adds to the sad vibe to the track. This song feels like Ariana is not afraid to show her “needy” side and she isn’t afraid to show it. The theme behind this song makes it feel even more vulnerable and relatable to listeners. Having a track that discussed the topic of feeling needy and wanting companionship, is a track a lot of people enjoy because it is an unspoken topic. Ariana suffers from anxiety and this song demonstrates this side of her that listeners and her fans can relate to and enjoy. 

The tenth track on the album is arguably one of the most popular ones on this album, “7 Rings”. This song was also featured as a single and has a different vibe and style than “Needy”. This track has an upbeat vibe and is a pop-rap, trap, and R&B style song. The meaning deals more with enjoying your close friends and the finer things in life given to you by your success, or in this case, Ariana’s success. The track demonstrates a moment in Ariana’s life in which she decided to focus on her success and friends while forgetting about the difficult times with relationships. This track does mention a lot of wealth but it emphasizes the “success” part. It leaves listeners with a feeling of being rich and focusing on yourself and having fun. The music has incredible beats and a very heavy bass vibe. 

“Thank U, Next” has proven to be very successful. The way it tells a story from having self-doubt to thanking life for the experiences and moving onto a new chapter in life. The album is a book on someone’s life, Ariana’s, but it can also suit the lives of anyone, as the album deals with personal themes that listeners can relate to. The heavy bass that is incorporated in the album is what got her fans hyped for this album. Ariana Grande has shown that it is okay to show vulnerability but as long as we can get up. If you like artists that express vulnerability but also show strength, I would recommend you listen to Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato. Overall, if you love music that you can relate and feel awesome to, then I highly recommend listneing to Ariana Grande’s “Thank U, Next”.

Animal by Ke$ha

Album: Animal 

Artist: Ke$ha 

Genre: Electropop, Dance-pop, and Pop-rap 

Record label: RCA and Kemosable 

Recommended Tracks: Track 9- Backstabber and Track 11- Dinosaur 

Ke$ha’s real name is Kesha Rose Sebert. She is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, and actress. In 2005 Kesha was signed to Kemosabe Records, she was 18 years old. Her first major success came in early 2009 after she was featured on American rapper Flo Rida’s number-one single Right Round. Then, she made a huge hit with her commonly known song Tick Tock, which is still very well known today. Ke$ha is extremely known for her unfiltered songs. She has a very straight up personality when singing. She doesn’t mind talking about sex, dugs, etc. That is the main reason many people fell in love with her music. I give this album a five out of five rating. I will explain towards the end. The two songs I recommend are definitely her less known songs, but they are still amazing.  
Backstabber is a song that many girls would sing (or scream to) when their friend(s) would talk about them behind them back. In this song, Ke$ha confronts her friends who has been talking bad about her behind her back. She also brings up about the friend has been spreading lies to other people, even though Ke$ha is the friend who does everything for them. This song has a great, bopping beat. It is perfect for anyone who wants to get out their anger towards their friend who stabbed their back. But because of the beats within the song, it will help you move past the anger towards your friend and onto more important things in your life (especially when you hear the end of the song). I definitely was bopping out to this song while listening to it.
If I could think of the funniest I have ever heard, Dinosaur is the first song that comes to mind for me. The song is about Ke$ha calling out an old man who has been catcalling her and her friends. They definitely do not like how the older man has been hitting on them. She calls him a Dinosaur and tells him to get back the mesum. This song is absolutely hilarious. Every time I hear it, I laugh and it puts me in a good mood. I recommend this song to anyone who likes a good beat that will make them laugh and will help them get into a good mood. It is honestly a bopper. 
This album came out in 2010. I literally bought the CD album the day after it came out at ten years old. I loved this album and her album called “Cannibal”. The reason I wrote about this album is because it reminded me of my childhood. “Animal” is not my favorite album of all time but it is still a great album. I like every single song within the album and I know all the lyrics. Most of these songs I haven’t heard since 2010 but they are still a banger. I definitely recommend this album for anyone who wants to revisit their childhood for bit. Ke$ha was definitely a huge part of 1990-2000’s baby’s lives. 

Stella & Steve by Benee

Artist: BENEE


Record Label: Republic Records

Recommended Tracks: Track 3 – “Monsta”, Track 5 – “Blu”

New Zealand singer Stella Benee, who goes by the moniker Benee, is a new pop-artist that people should look out for. She released her new EP titled STELLA & STEVE which is a short but entertaining sample of her talent. It’s a great starting point for people to dive in and listen to if they’re unfamiliar with her other fairly-recent releases. This release has clean production and smooth rhythms that lean on mellow guitars and use of electronic beats that add a fun layer of depth to each track. Lyrically, the EP focuses on themes like loneliness and leaving your youth behind. Vocally, Benee has a unique voice that’s really pleasant to listen to, and I think she’s going to grow in the music industry as she continues to release more music. I rate this EP a four out of five.

The first recommended track, “Monsta” is a catchy song that instantly commands your attention with the electric guitar and steady drumming. She approaches the song in a story-telling manner through the lyrics, and sonically, she creates an atmosphere that allows the listener to imagine a monster taking them away from their safe place. It metaphorically represents anything in life that interrupts your happiness or comfort. 

The second recommended track, “Blu” is one of the strongest songs on the EP. Her echoing harmonies on this track add a mesmerizing touch to the song and small details like the soft rain in the background at the end of the song makes it even more dreamy. It’s subtle behind the drums beats and funky guitar but once they fade out, the rain is more apparent. The best part of this song is her breathy and extended vocals that are supported by the solid instrumentation. The last minute of the song includes impressive guitar rhythms before giving way to her voice. In “Blu,” Benee sings about her lack of judgment in a relationship and wrongly believing that it would work out. Looking back, she sees that the relationship was toxic. She sings, “I thought I found the one… we always fought…But clearly I was blue…” STELLA & STEVE is a great EP to listen to if you’re interested in indie-pop and need a new artist to listen to. She has a lot of potential and I’m looking forward to checking out what she releases in the future.

Courage by Celine Dion

Album: Courage

Artist: Celine Dion 

Genre: Pop

Record label(s): Colombia Records 

Recommended Tracks: Track 2- Lovers Never Die and Track 5- Courage

Celine Dion is a Canadian singer who grew up in Quebec. In her teens, she started off releasing French-based albums and she got international recognition after winning a song festival. She then learned English and released her first English-based album in 1990, this established her as an iconic pop star in the U.S and other English speaking places. Celine as released close to 30 albums, both in French and English, including her most recent, “Courage”, released on November 15th, 2019. This album contains themes of courage, self-reflection, and inner strength, different from her previous themes of love. This album is her most recent English-based album in six years. These themes are those that are starting to be more heard of on-air today. With Celine being a well known, iconic, and viable pop artist, her return, from a difficult time, was a huge hit that fans love. Celine’s album consists of ballads and up-tempo songs that make it appealing to her listeners. If I were to rate this album I would give it a 5 out of 5 due to the theme of the album and the way it was produced, by Celine entirely with a lot of musical assistance of other artists, making this album different, but still maintaining her signature “Celine Dion” sound. 

The second track on the album is “Lovers Never Die” and it is arguably the best song on the album, due to its message and tough vibe the song gives out. The vocals in the song are rough but also very controlled when it comes to the high notes. The music transitions from slow ballad-like instrumentals to hard drums and guitar instrumentals, demonstrating the tough vibe of the song. Celine’s lyrics also express the tough vibe of the song and makes you feel powerful and gives you a sense of courage. The song describes how a person does not need a lover who is toxic and calling them out on it, they themselves are enough for the love they need, having a moment of self-reflection. 

“Courage” is the 5th song in the album and the song that is the poster child for the album, both having the same name and theme. The song starts off with a nearly acapella opening with piano playing slowly and Celine’s voice singing softly. The lyrics can be felt and they hit powerfully, with Celine’s voice giving the emotion and depth of the lyrics. The lyrics express how a person is holding onto courage and grasping at their inner strength to keep moving on. This an example of a ballad in the album. 

Celine Dion is a very popular and legendary pop artist and her newest album has the same “Celine Dion” feel but more contemporary, diverging from the lovey-dovey era of music to a more self-worth and courage era in music. “Courage” has a lot of songs that all fall under the theme of having courage, the album will make you feel empowered enough to reflect on your own worth and respect, leading you to have courage in dire situations. Celine Dion is iconic, and if you want to listen to more female artists that are extremely loved then I would suggest listening to Cher, Gloria Estefan, and Madonna. Overall, if you like music that will make you find courage and hold onto it, then I highly recommend to give Celine Dion’s “Courage” a listen.

Ocean by Lady Antebellum

Album: Ocean

Artist: Lady Antebellum 

Genre: Country, country pop, and soft rock. 

Record label: Big Machine Records and Capitol Records Nashville 

Recommended Tracks: Track 7- Alright  and Track 10- Boots

Ocean was released on November 15, 2019. It is Lady Antebellum’s eight studio album. The album is America country pop sung by a trio. The trio members are Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, and Dave Haywood. Ocean is the first album by Lady Antebellum to be produced by Dann Huff. The album has thirteen songs in it. Lady Antebellum was a group that was formed in Nashville, Tennese. The band has won over fifteen different awards since their start in 2006. Their most well known is country pop song Need You Now released in 2010. I am going to give this album a four out of five rating. I will explain at the bottom.

The exact moment I heard Alright, I knew I was going to fall in love with it. The message of the song is so meaningful, that it could turn anyone’s bad day into a good one. The song introduces the lines “I ain’t feelin’ pretty, what I wanna wear don’t fit me. And it’s messin’ with the way I see myself” at the start of the song. At first, I thought that this was going to be another sad, depressing, country song. But then they sing “just when I’m on the edge of cryin’, babe. You’re callin’ to remind me, remind me” with “this life ain’t always perfect. Sometimes it’s dominoes”, and my idea of the song went away. The song is about feeling so down about yourself, that one more thing will push you over the edge. But someone or something (they mention God in the song) will be there to help you get through it. Life has some “dominoes” in it, but you just have to keep pushing. This was my personal favorite song from the album. The song is slow but its overall great. It is perfect for anyone who us having a bad day and needs something to remind you that everything is going to be okay.

Unlike Alright, Boots is a faster paced song. However, like the song Alright, Boots has a wonderful message to it as well. When reading the title of the song, I thought this song was going to be a boring country song about boots. It is, but the boots in this song are used as a metaphor. For example, they sing the lines: “it’s a miracle they found their way to your door. It’s like they forgot all the places they have been before, oh. Took awhile to find their place. Girl, you know they’re here to stay”. The singer is using replacing himself with boots. They admit that the boots (the singers) are never going to walk away. The song shows a unique way of using a metaphor. This song is perfect for anyone who likes fast paced country music with a good message behind it. I really enjoyed the song.

Overall, the songs within the album were pretty good. Some were very upbeat and energetic, while others were slow pacing, like slow dance songs. The reason I gave the album a four out of five rating instead of a five out of five is because of that exact reason. Some of the songs were a little too slow for my liking and they did not keep my attention. However, like the two I wrote about, most of the songs kept my attention and were executed perfectly. I recommend this album to anyone who is a big fan of country. Especially a fan of the band, Lady Antebellum.

Hot Pink by Doja Cat

Album: Hot Pink

Artist: Doja Cat

Genre: Pop/Rap

Record Labels: Kemosabe Records and RCA Records

Recommended Tracks: Track 4 – Bottom Bitch and Track 6- Like That (feat. Gucci Mane)

Doja Cat’s popularity may have spawned out of memedom, but she has far exceeded the limitations and expectations allotted to a typical viral sensation nowadays. If you’ve never heard of Doja Cat, you’ve likely still seen her in a low cut cow print top, potentially with fries up her nose, singing about how despite her name, she is not a cat, but a cow. The video for her breakout hit “Mooo!” has amassed over 57 million views since its release a little over a year ago in August. The video posesses just enough absurdity, sex appeal, and genuine quality singing and rapping to make it ripe for internet virality. However instead of looking at this as some sort of opportunity to delve into meme-y content future forward, Doja used her new exposure to further her more serious musical ventures. I was surprised, as I’m sure many others were, when after the “Mooo!” video she had already dropped a couple EPs, and had recently dropped her debut album Amala, based off of her given name. Even more surprising, a lot of the music in her catalog was really good! Off of Amala, “Go To Town”, “Juicy”, “Tia Tamera”, and “Wild Beach” are a couple tracks that displayed her versatility and potential for stardom. However Amala was dropped before the sensation of “Mooo!”, and while she released a deluxe edition to include it as well as some of her more polished newer tracks, there was still a sense that her big industry breakthrough could still be on the horizon. That breakthrough comes in the form of Hot Pink, an airtight 40 minutes with 3 A-list features, exhibiting more polish and popiness than Amala. To me, this album is much more successful than not as Doja’s debut in the big time. Overall, I’d give it a 4/5 . It isn’t the most inventive pop album ever, and I do wish that Doja rapped a little more, but the tracklist is chock full of fun bangers that show why Doja is one of the most entertaining pop acts right now. 

My first standout track, “Bottom Bitch” was released earlier on as a single. The track employs a warm distorted guitar, a kick and clap combo crispier than autumn leaves, and pimping terminology to craft an infectiously warm friendship anthem that would undoubtedly bang cruising around with friends as the accompanying music video depicts. The guitar is in fact a sample of blink-182’s iconic hit “What’s My Age Again?” transposed down, which creates a perfect milky, nostalgic backdrop on which Doja lays down audacious and punky yet loving verses with a minor layer of vocal manipulation. This song feels like the drive home after a night of shenanigans with friends, and its youthful spirit is incredibly fun and infectious. The song isn’t incredibly intricate, but it is a very individual direction for a female pop act right now. Doja also is credited as the lead producer on the track, showing her potential when it comes to song construction past performance. 

The collaboration that goes over best on the record is “Like That” which features Gucci Mane. Guwop doesn’t come in with a super inspired verse, but Doja makes the song irresistibly catchy with the stickiest book potentially on the album. This track shows another thing Doja flashes throughout her catalogue, and that’s her collection of inflections. While not quite to the extent of Nicki Minaj’s character rapping, Doja can come in softly on a track, floating a chorus reminiscent of something Ariana Grande might do, and then ride a trap beat as well as or better than most trap rappers out right now, and then she can punctuate a track with a gorgeous R&B refrain. This track has each of those, and while I think Doja could command more attention as a performer, singer, rapper, and producer, I think her versatility and potential makes for lots of exciting tracks.

On Doja Cat’s next venture, I hope she is able to carve out a sound that feels more individual to her instead of exploring others sounds, as interesting as the marriage of those sounds through her persona is. Tracks like “Bottom Bitch” and some of the less poppy, self produced cuts are really exciting to me, as even though they may not hit or have commercial everytime, I find them to be some of the more long lasting tracks as far as appeal. However, Doja is a self proclaimed crafter of sticky hooks, and I hope she doesn’t strays from her pop roots for a while, because she’s definitely an exciting voice to have around the mainstream. If you like Doja Cat, I would check out Kali Uchis, Jorja Smith, or cupcakKe. I’d definitely check out this album if you’re a fan of pop rap, need some extra energy in your life, and also if you don’t mind having hooks stuck in your head for days.

oh, how perfect by ROLE MODEL


Album: oh, how perfect 

Record Label: Interscope Records 

Recommended Tracks: Track 5 – “say it first”- Track 6 – “thank you for coming”

Up-and-coming artist who goes by the moniker, ROLE MODEL, released his new EP on November 13, 2019. His songs on oh, how perfect, revolve around themes of loneliness and the struggles and experiences that come with the emergence into adulthood. He writes and co-produces his own music and takes inspiration from his own life to create a more personal dialogue between him and his listeners. The six tracks on the EP have dreamy and honest undertones. His style pulls from indie-pop and rap, blending both to create a sound that balances upbeat rhythms with gloomy lyrics. ROLE MODEL is one of the many new DIY-indie artists who gravitates toward the idea of being vulnerable and allowing listeners to connect with the music that they put out. I rate it a three-and-a-half out of five. 

The first recommended song, “say it first,” starts off with plucked strings before his raspy vocals. It has a simple start production-wise, but once you get to the chorus, the beat is layered with a drum beat and electronic accents that make the song really catchy and addicting. Lyrically, he’s singing about someone reciprocating the feelings that he has for them but they’re both afraid to acknowledge it, so the other person ends up taking the initiative because he’s nervous. 

The second recommended song, “thank you for coming,” is a great way to end the EP considering the content of the song. ROLE MODEL is singing about the people in his past who were mean to him and judged him for being himself. It’s a triumphant song that provides closure and acceptance of what he has gone through in his past as he acknowledges the fact that he is the person that he is today because of these experiences. It has a simple melody and uses simple guitar rhythms, putting the lyrics at the main focus of the song. He expresses a positive outlook on these negative memories and turns them into learning experiences instead.  ROLE MODEL’s oh, how perfect is a solid collection of songs that all have catchy musical elements with a deeper layer of lyrical content. I recommend everyone to give it a listen.

Pony by Rex Orange County

Artist: Rex Orange County

Album: Pony

Record Label: Sony Music Entertainment 

Recommended Tracks: Track 7 “Pluto Projector”, Track 10, “It’s Not The Same Anymore”

Indie-pop musician Rex Orange County has been a huge name in the indie-music scene after gaining a huge fan-base following his release of his song Loving Is Easy” in 2017. He continues to grow in popularity and has established his name in the music industry. Part of his appeal is how effortlessly he infuses elements of jazz, hip-hop, and bedroom pop into his sound. 

He released his new album Pony on October 25, 2019. The album consists of ten songs. Pony encapsulates Rex’s emotional vulnerability as he allows listeners to get a glimpse into his personal life and feelings from the past two years that he has been working on this new music. One of the most impressive aspects of the album is the utilization of more advanced and clean production. He branches out and uses more strings and orchestral pieces that create an intensifying sound. The songs that incorporate orchestral pieces feel very cinematic and are really impressive to listen to. Overall, this album is really strong and shows how much Rex Orange County has grown from the previous work he has put out. I rate the album a four-out-of-five. 

The first recommended track, “Pluto Projector” puts Rex’s voice at the forefront before a catchy electronic drum beat fades in. My favorite part of the song begins at the 3:10 mark, making a beautiful outro to the song as violins build-up to a crescendo. His voice in this song has a very relaxed tone and is paired nicely with the simple drum beat. The piano fades in and creates a dreamy haze, especially when it’s layered with his soft, echoing vocals. 

Track ten, “It’s Not The Same Anymore” is an introspective song where Rex sings about self-doubt, his declining mental state, and adjusting to his new-found fame. Sonically, it’s a pleasant song to listen to and at the 3:12 mark, it builds tension before softening up as Rex shifts to a more realizing tone of coming to terms with the changes in his life. The outro is a nice addition to the song as it includes horns before shifting back to vocals. “It got better…it’s not the same anymore…” are the lyrics that end the song and the entire album with an uplifting tone matched with violins that soar. It’s a very nice ending to Pony that leaves you with a sense of hope and triumph. 

Rex Orange County’s Pony is an extremely solid album that everyone should give a chance. Anyone who appreciates creative sound production and cohesive yet unique songs will enjoy this new album.