Tag Archives Album Review

American Authors’ Latest Album Combines Familiar Sound with New Elements


The third studio album, Seasons, from alternative band American Authors brings out some of their old familiar sounds hailing from the days of their first big hit, “Best Day of My Life”, while also exploring new elements and themes making it a perfect balance of honing in on what they do so well and not being afraid to explore the unknown. Their use of different kinds of percussion and choral elements really drives the album and makes all of their songs more like anthems than just regular old songs. With honest lyrics and melodies that are both catchy, interesting, and emotive, the album creates a cohesive work that is like looking at a cross section of someones life and all of the highs and lows, decisions, and consequences.


This collection of songs takes us through all kinds of stages and makes for an enjoyable listen. “I Wanna Go Out” is an ode to those nights where you go out despite knowing you should’ve stayed home but you just want to escape for a little. The chorus is fun and catchy, and the idea of “let’s get wild make a memory” is one most can relate to. A favorite from this album is “Neighborhood” which features Bear Rinehart of NEEDTOBREATHE. The feeling this song portrays is a special one of both nostalgia and sadness, but also a sense of gratefulness for being in the position to leave and come back to a place, more specifically, your home. The album closes out with “A Real Place”, an honest and raw song, fitting for the title. With lyrics that accept responsibility and that desperately want to right wrongs, this song is a beautiful end to the album.


Strong vocals are featured throughout the album and the emotion behind them help tell the band’s stories. Making use of a wide array of instrumentation from guitar, prominent percussion, synths, piano, bass, and more, each song is distinct in it’s own right while retaining a consistent sound across the album. Where some might struggle to achieve this, American Authors has found a sound that is distinctly theirs and is almost malleable in that they are able to work it into all of their songs without sounding repetitive which keeps it fresh and interesting.


Watch the music video for “Neighborhood” here: 


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American Authors’ Latest Album Combines Familiar Sound with New Elements: Featured Image Credit: Spencer Kohn 

East Atlanta Love Letter Album Review


“Hope my mistakes don’t make less of a man / But lately it feel like them shits really can” opens 6lack’s second studio album East Atlanta Love Letter. The introspection and lack of self-trust are motifs littered throughout the record creating the perfect winter sound of sorrow and loneliness. Despite the title, the record is not a tribute to his city but falls into the classic struggle with a famed life, mixed with 6lack’s newfound responsibility as a father (that’s his one-year-old daughter on the cover). While the post-fame depression is not a new theme, 6lack’s newest record is more than a humble-brag but a door into his fears. The bleak, pessimistic opening lines provide an accurate entrance to the artist’s anxiety in his new environment. Rather than an homage to his city, 6lack created a track list of love letters to what he’s lost or will soon.


When a friend first recommended 6lack to me, she called gave him all the emotional pain of the Weeknd’s early mixtapes with more of a hip-hop edge. Sonically, there is no doubt of the early Weeknd’s influence; reverb-drenched piano keys, the lilt of the synth washes, as well as the strict, heavy low-end percussion. However, that is where the comparison ends. Where the Weeknd became polished and poppy, 6lack thrives in murkiness. Unlike the lights and grandiosity of the Weeknd’s drug-fueled universe, we stay with 6lack in his hotel room—sometimes we even hide in a closet alongside him.


The entire album sounds otherworldly and dark and is locked in 6lack’s own narrative. The first half of the album is especially haunting, rooted in chilling songs like “Loaded Gun” and “Unfair”. 6lack spits his sorrowful lines without any humor; he is to be taken seriously or not at all. While the album teeters on monotonal, the interspersing of more upbeat songs like “Switch” and “Sorry” keep the listener grooving.


“Loaded Gun” out of all the songs best captures 6lacks’ ethos. While it opens with 6lack’s new life hopping from groupie to groupie, enjoying fame, the chorus returns to 6lack’s never-ending introspection. “All I’m ever askin’ for is time / I just needed time to clear my mind / When I want is already mine” Even in the pleasures of excess, 6lack still fears his mortality and want to create. He worries that the fame takes away from his ability to produce and discusses pulling away. He ends the song by discussing his daughter, citing her for his growth. The theme of balancing newfound responsibility and all the new pleasures open to him is seen throughout the album as 6lack tries to grow from his first studio album.


Future’s feature on the title track maintains the murkiness and haunted-synth wash. 

While at first blush one must wonder how Future would sound over the sonnet-esque melancholic beat, his crooning suits the innocence of the track. J. Cole, however, probably had the best feature on the album. “Pretty Little Fears” is one of the more optimistic songs on the record; it captures the moment in a relationship when both parties come forward to discuss their vulnerabilities and fears. Cole’s voice is dipped an octave lower than usual, grounding his wounded verse. It becomes a beautiful, honest, down-to-earth love song.


“Seasons” is undoubtedly the most hopeful track. At this point, it is safe to say the combing of Khalid’s bright voice with 6lack’s dark is an amazing combination. Their collabs are infallible and that remains true on this album. The happiness does not outweigh the bleakness of the beat and 6lack still sounds untrusting of the happy mood, but as the second-to-last track, the listener can believe that 6lack is in a better place than he started. The journey through his depression is not solved but doesn’t end on a totally morose note.

The use of voicemails to tie together albums has been used over and over again and sometimes the lecturing gets tiring. 6lack’s album is not above this trope, but the use of a female voicemail talking down cheating grants listener’s both a humorful break as well as true wisdom about toxic masculinity and the difficulties between men and women relating to one another. She offers a completely oppositional point of view to 6lack’s emotional femme-fatales.

While the album rises from the depths of mysterious sorrow, not unlike an ode by John Keats, it grows more complex and upbeat in the second part. The careful organization keeps the album from droning or becoming dishonest in its melancholia. When the album ends with a love-song to his fans, there is a bit of emptiness inside that 6lack has made us remember. The hopeful aspects of the album remain drenched in pessimism and anxiety, but things could get better in a few months. As winter brings out the loneliest of feelings and gray fills the skies, East Atlanta Love Letter is perfect listening for the cold.


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East Atlanta Love Letter Album Review; Image Credits: @6lack on Instagram

Robyn: ‘Honey’ Album Review


Honey leads you back down the lifecycle of every major relationship end you’ve ever had. It’s undeniable in its relatability. If you’ve ever detached from a partner, found yourself thrust into a world of uncertain self-discovery, felt shame and failure, then this album will ring true. It will also make you proud of the scars you caught along the way. It’s her ability to celebrate and validate the minefield of human emotion and foibles that make Robyn the true pop savior we all need.


Ever since her rebirth with the launch of her own label, Konichiwa Records, Robyn has been a cutting-edge creator in the pop world, free from the cookie-cutter Max Martin defining shackles of the genre. This album contains the ghosts of a lot of past great pop music but at the same time feels like it’s leading pop music in a new direction. It has the dichotomy of being both nostalgic and trendsetting.


Body Talk is one of the most danceable albums ever made, but as soon as the beat drops in the opening of “Missing U” from Honey, Robyn grabs her fans by the hand, drags them away from singing into their hairbrush in their bedroom, and straight to 3 a.m. at the club.


Tracks like “Human Being”, “Send To Robyn Immediately” and the title track “Honey” are dripping with sweat. You can feel the air conditioner struggling to keep up with the grinding bodies on the smokey dance floor. No one is dancing on their own anymore.  It paints the picture of trying to rediscover your freedom through strangers in the night. Something we’ve all done at different times in our lives. “Honey” especially is the song that plays as you’ve found the one you’re getting in an Uber with as you leave without realizing the sun will soon come up.


“Between The Lines” and “Ever Again” are the feeling when you’ve come out the other side as a new person. Whether you’ve found someone new or you’ve found yourself all over again, the lyrics “Never gonna let it happen, ever again” are your new mantra. Delivered in a way that is self-aware and naïve at the same time. This is exactly what makes Robyn’s pop hooks so intoxicating; the celebration of the game of life. Broken, messy, cyclical, spontaneous, shameful, unapologetic, contagious and powerful.


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Robyn: ‘Honey’ Album Review. Featured Image Credit: Konichiwa and Interscope Records

Lil Yachty: ‘Nuthin’ 2 Prove’ Album Review


If you name your album Nuthin’ 2 Prove, it means that you’re well aware you have sumthin’ to prove but are not confident you can deliver OR you rap under the name Lil Yachty and you really couldn’t care less about pleasing the rap illuminati.


Artists emerging from the current Atlanta rap scene have the endearing and refreshing quality of not taking themselves too seriously. Lil Yachty has been a leader in this movement, with his palette of often goofy voices and simplistic tongue-in-cheek lyrics. He really nailed this aesthetic in his first EP, Lil Boat, in 2016 and fans have yearned for a release that hits these notes of childlike innocence and creativity in quite the same way. Nuthin’ 2 Prove gets very close and fans of the Quality Control rapper might be pleasantly surprised. Even though he doesn’t care what you think. Because he has nothing to prove. So there.


The first thing that struck me about the album is how much thought Yachty put into the overall structure of the album, which is an often overlooked quality in modern rap. The first half of the album transitions from his more bombastic, arrogant rap persona, usually referred to as Lil Boat, gradually moving to the sweeter autotuned crooner style, introduced as Lil Yachty.


There are hits and misses in both these dualities with tracks like “Riley From The Boondocks” creating a well-crafted, dark soundscape. However, some songs like “I’m The Mack” are a little too exposed, with underdeveloped lyrics placed over generic beats.


The second duality features tracks like “Worth It” and “Everything Good, Everything Right”, and shows that Yachty’s softer side is definitely the most interesting and listenable. His innocent charm and quirky sincerities shine through in the lyrical content of these tracks. The instrumentation has a 90s R&B nostalgia quality that wouldn’t be out of place on a Tamia track. You’ll even find a sample of Faith Evans’ 1995, “Soon As I Get Home” thrown in, just in case you didn’t pick up on the vibe already.  


The stand out track, an obvious choice for lead single, “Who Want To Smoke” sees Yachty getting back to the simple hooks and malleable vocal delivery that made him. Despite the fairly cookie-cutter production from Tay Keith, Cardi B delivers a stereotypically fun and taunting verse. Comparing herself to Jay-Z and being “the king of New York” is classic antagonistic Cardi and I’m sure many fans will have a fun time attacking her for this claim. Although the track ends rather abruptly at the end of Offset’s verse it actually makes for a comically jarring transition into the softer back half of the album.


Lil Yachty fans who like his rap persona, will find a few tracks that they enjoy and fans who enjoy the autotuned crooner persona will definitely enjoy the back end of this album, so I think we can count that as a win for Lil Yachty… despite the fact he has nuthin’ 2 prove. So back off.


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Lil Yachty: ‘Nuthin’ 2 Prove’ Album Review: Featured Image Credit: Capitol Records

‘War & Leisure’ Album Review: The State of Miguel


War & Leisure marks Miguel’s fourth album, two years after his critically acclaimed Wildheart. Upon news of an upcoming release, I expected nothing but consistency and something that will always be great to listen to. For some Miguel fans, Wildheart was too ‘classic’ but a departure from the Miguel they knew. For others, it showed his capabilities in reaching the artists influencing Miguel’s artistry. War & Leisure is an interesting title, but with changes regarding its initial single line-up, and hoping to speak more on the state of us and beyond, Miguel marks this piece a balance between the two spaces.


Overall the album continues to show off Miguel’s artistry and even key artists that complement his work. There’s the hypnotic, alt-r&b track “Wolf,” with upcoming artist QUIÑ (Sticky Situations feat. Syd), who uses her sultry vocals to exclaim at Miguel’s revelations to his chosen, and the willing Red. There’s the sweet-titled “Pineapple Sky” and upbeat production from Detail (Beyonce, Wiz Khalifa, Akon), and soul influence on the recurring riff amidst the electronic influence, reminiscent of Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” (the song credits the original writing team as well). And then there’s the return of noted rapper and collaborator J.Cole, for “Come Through and Chill” in a jazz+rap track, and pearl-clutching and politically charged lyrics. Who else is able to compare the debate of American patriotism and racial identity, to thinking of someone at odd hours, for odd hours and being slighted?

The Stand Outs

Miguel’s art and its production is always something to admire and appreciate. With his continued involvement, and support and direction from key artists like Salaam Remi (Nas, The Fugees, Amy Winehouse), Jeff Bhasker (Kanye West, Fun.), Happy Perez (Miguel’s “Sure Thing,” Frankie J’s “Obsession”) Raphael Saaddiq and Kali Uchis (also featured on the tracks “Wolf” & the Spanish seduction of “Caramelo Duro” respectively), this album is rated R for “refined.” And there’s synth, which is always a tool for a dynamic track, a key element in “Told You So,” a bravado-filled, quirky yet ominous track reminiscent of something from the Tom Tom Club (“Vision of Love”) and plenty of apt guitar playing. Always a 10!

Survey Says?

The yin and yang of Miguel’s musical spirit, the dichotomy of the passion of humans, and the effects of it are clear in this album. Miguel explores more on the state of humanity with references to the Flint Water Crisis, Standing Rock, and protesting blind patriotism in “Now,” but stands strong with his appreciation for the form of someone he loves (“Anointed”), or once loved (“City of Angels”). If you’re looking for a taste of unfiltered and modern soul r&b, pop for any time of day, this is the album to get into.

Miguel isn’t for the faint of heart, but the world isn’t either; you can see this latest release as his, and perhaps our, latest confessions and preparation for something more. His solidification as an artist continues to be undisputed, and this album marks a proper release, keeping current and ahead.

Check out the album on Apple Music & Spotify

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‘Divide’ Shows A New Side Of Ed Sheeran


The much-anticipated album, Divide by Ed Sheeran, was finally released on March 3, 2017. Divide broke a Spotify record with a crazy number of streams within the first 24 hours. With 12 creatively different songs, Sheeran came back strong with this album. The singer-songwriter just recently announced his north American tour with this album that will start out in Kansas City on June 29, 2017.

The album begins with “Eraser,” a song with a folk feel to it along with a pop undertone. “Eraser” has a bit of an edge to it, making it a mysterious, yet intriguing start to the album.
Then, it  goes into “Castle on the Hill” which was released as a single prior to the album debut and immediately became popular. Reminding us of childhood and easier times. “Castle on the Hill” is an upbeat song that everyone can relate to while singing along.
Sheeran tries a couple of new things throughout this album. “Dive” has a bluesy feel to it, while songs like “Galway Girl” and “Eraser” have a folk vibe with the fiddles strung throughout.
The ballads of this album are where Sheeran shines. “Happier” tells the tale of the girl who moves on and the boy who is lovesick. The lyrics are incredibly passionate and really show where Sheeran excels as a songwriter. Another song, “Perfect” has a fairytale feel to it. The orchestra adds to the magical ambiance to the song.
Toward the end of the album, Sheeran really digs in deep with “Supermarket Flowers,” a ballad saying goodbye to his beloved grandmother — Let’s just say it’s hard not to shed some tears.
Divide isn’t all sadness and heartbreak, there are some fun, upbeat songs like “New Man” and “Shape of You,” even though according to an interview with Glamour Magazine, “Shape of You” almost didn’t make it into the album. Sheeran didn’t feel like the song was his style and it was almost kept off.
In addition to the 12 original songs, there are four bonus tracks on the deluxe version of the album that can be found on Apple Music or Spotify. We can definitely see a new perspective to Ed Sheeran through Divide and its huge success.
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Divide Shows A New Side Of Ed Sheeran. Photo courtesy of Ed Sheeran’s FB.

The Flaming Lips Release Oczy Mlody


Veering slightly away from their typical rock style, The Flaming Lips have released their 14th studio album which features a psychedelic, space-rock vibe. The album, titled “Oczy Mlody,” is a mellow, almost hypnotic experience. The band describes it as a hallucinatory feeling, almost dream-like. The album is a mix of blissfulness and self-awareness. Here are a few of the best moments from the album.

A Collaboration with Miley Cyrus

Who could be more psychedelic than Miley Cyrus? She makes a significant appearance in the song “We a Family,” which appears at the end of the album. Cyrus and Wayne Coyne, the lead singer of The Flaming Lips, are notoriously close friends. It’s exciting to see Cyrus make an appearance on the new album.
Epic Quests
The album incorporates a great deal of mythology and magic. In the song, “One Night While Hunting for Faeries and Witches and Wizards to Kill” the band talks of a great quest for these mythological creatures. The intense techno beat of the song intertwined with the storytelling aspect of the lyrics make this song one of the most interesting and entertaining tunes on the album.
Captivating Instrumentals
Much of this album is instrumental which is the nature of psychedelic rock. However, there are some songs where the instrumentals are so captivating, you find yourself getting lost in the music. “Nigdy Nie (Never No)” is one of those songs. Very little singing or speaking is done in this song. It is almost entirely instrumental, and absolutely beautifully done. This song is the perfect marriage of rock, techno, and R&B. It stands out on the album as a great representation for the feeling The Flaming Lips were trying to convey.
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The Flaming Lips Release Oczy Mlody. Featured image courtesy of Bella Union.

Dawn Richard’s “Redemption”


If you haven’t heard of Dawn Richard, now is the perfect time to listen. Richard first became known to the world as a contestant on MTV’s “Making the Band” where Sean “P. Diddy” Combs was searching to create the world’s next big girl group. He succeeded in creating Danity Kane, where Richard shined as one of the lead vocalists. After two very successful albums, the group disbanded, but Dawn was able to find a home with her old boss, becoming one-third of the group Dirty Money along with Diddy and singer-songwriter Kalenna Harper. While the trio had success, it was never meant to be a long-term thing.

After being asked to be released from her contract with Bad Boy Records, by 2013 Richards launched her solo career and developed  an idea for a trilogy of conceptual albums. The first album in the trilogy titled, Goldenheart, focused on love and relationships. The second, Blackheart focused on loss, and lastly, Redemptionheart on (what else?) redemption.

The first single from Redemption is “Renegades,” a song that represents Dawn’s signature style mashing up electronic beats with R&B melodies. Renegades is about nothing else but doing what you want to do and what you believe in. She follows up with “Lazarus,” an ode to watching yourself grow and become stronger while realizing it’s normal to come from humble beginnings. She sings, “I can be one in the same, I didn’t change, I became.”
One of the best things about Redemption is that each song has a strong message accompanied by a phenomenal production of music, encompassing everything from dance, rock & roll and even a bit of traditional New Orleans jazz, which is showcased on “LA” as a tribute to Richard’s hometown roots. Other favorite tracks include “Voices,” “Tyrants,” “Vines,” and “Love Under Light,” which encourages us all to enjoy and “make love on the dancefloor.”
Redemption, also referred to as The Red Era, is a testimony to Richard’s career. In an interview with NPR, Dawn declared that The Red Era is about “dancing in the beauty of self, that whatever or whoever you are, be proud of it.” She has gotten to this place on her own, releasing each album independently under her own imprint, Our Dawn Entertainment. She has reached number one on the Top Independent Albums chart and number two on the Dance/Electronic chart, and top ten on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts with each album. I would say that’s a lot to be proud of.
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Image courtesy of Our Dawn Entertainment

Now Playing: ‘Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight’


Don’t let the title fool you. This is not an R&B album by Brian McKnight. Instead, it’s a look into the mind of one of hip-hop’s leading new artists: Travis Scott. His sophomore album, Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight, is Scott’s take on letting your creativity flow and just being able to create without constraints. Travis Scott is pretty lucky to do so himself. He’s signed to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D Music as a producer and T.I.’s Grand Hustle Records as an artist. He’s produced and written songs with everyone from Rihanna to Jay-Z, but it is through his own music that he shines most.

Travis Scott stays true to his sound on this album using autotune for raspy melodies and his immaculate production of beats to bring Birds in the Trap Sing Mcknight to life. Never one to turn down a feature, Birds hosts a slew of great collaborations. “Pick Up The Phone,” featuring rappers Young Thug and Quavo, is a trap love song of sorts about a girl who won’t give in and return any of the guy’s advances. Another stand-out feature from the album is “Goosebumps,” which features Kendrick Lamar. In a recent radio interview with New York’s Hot 97, Scott couldn’t believe he was on Lamar’s radar. He talks about meeting him at the MTV VMAs in which Kendrick Lamar told him he finds his music “really inspirational.” Travis Scott holds his own with all the features on his album and seems to bring out the best in everyone he collaborates with giving them room to shine in his world.

Other must-listen tracks from the album  include “Way Back” which features Swizz Beatz and Scott’s idol Kid Cudi, “First Take” featuring Bryson Tiller and a collab with The Weeknd called “Wonderful” which finds the duo feeling joyful about life. Birds is a pleasant departure from the dark and angsty sounds of his previous mixtapes and debut album Rodeo.
Although Scott isn’t the most lyrical rapper in the industry, he is authentically himself, which makes for great music. Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 music charts, which proves he is definitely on his way to becoming a mainstay in the industry. Each song on the album builds momentum off of the others, which makes for an amazing listening experience from beginning to end. Next up, Travis Scott is set to executive produce the G.O.O.D Music compilation album Cruel Winter, which he says will be “for the youth.”
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What We Think About Usher’s New Album, ‘Hard II Love’


It’s been four years since Usher’s last album, and the R&B genre seems to be facing an identity crisis. Think of classic R&B and you think of love songs and sad songs influenced by soul and jazz music. But today’s R&B is mostly influenced by hip-hop and the occasional EDM beat. Usher has walked both of these roads with much success and the 37-year-old singer just released his eighth studio album, Hard II Love. At his Tidal listening session he said, “I really did cater this album to men, specifically men who don’t think love is cool to do.”

The lead single “No Limit” featuring Young Thug showcases that half R&B and half hip-hop style that Usher has perfected over time and made his own. On “Crash,” he delivers that falsetto that we all love and sings about wanting back a past relationship–even if it won’t last. Another standout track is“Rivals,” which features Future. Future, also known for his raspy, auto-tuned vocals, sings on the chorus as they trade melodies back and forth.

Unfortunately, there are songs on this album where Usher doesn’t sound like himself and more so like newcomers Bryson Tiller and Tory Lanez, who tend to mix rapping along with their singing a’ la Drake, who is the most successful at this style. The track “Bump” starts off sounding like a love ballad, but ends up being the opposite of romantic. The same goes for “Let Me” which samples INOJ’s “Let Me Love You Down.” On “Downtime,” Usher trades in singing all together on the second verse and just talks over the music.
While we may never get another 8701 or Confessions, Hard II Love falls short of how amazing Usher’s music catalog actually is. Earlier this month, Usher received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He’s had an amazing career spanning over 20 years, and while it’s not unusual for artists to recreate themselves over time, sometimes it’s better to stick with what makes you, let’s just say, easy to love. 
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Photo courtesy of RCA Records

‘We’re All Gonna Die’ Brings Out A New Dawes


Dawes is a band known for their folk-rock sound. The California band’s sound usually consists of a more banjo-focused, laid back vibe. However, the group has completely veered away from their traditional sound with their new album, We’re All Gonna Die. The band’s fifth album takes a stylistic detour, instead boasting a more R&B type sound with storytelling lyrics. This newly found upbeat, funky sound is taking Dawes in an exciting and new direction.

We’re All Gonna Die opens with the song, “One of Us,” where listeners are immediately made aware of Dawes’ new sound. The song draws on R&B, rock, and electronic sounds to create a fascinating, rock-out-in-your-car anthem. You can’t help but nod your head and sing along.
“Roll Tide” best exemplifies this new R&B sound that Dawes has taken on. The slow, smooth essence of this song is one that mirrors a very John Legend-type sound. It’s a beautiful and heartbreaking song, talking about a desperate grasp to hold on to a losing love. “Your boy from Birmingham seems nice enough to me / But unqualified for you, and your heavy vibes.”
“Quitter” is another interesting song that shows this dramatic shift Dawes has taken with the album. This song is one of the most upbeat on the album, possessing a strong funk-rock vibe. It also has some of the most compelling lyrics of any of the songs. “Quit telling these girls your ideas about forever / When you only plan to know them for a night / Quit wasting my time because pretty soon you’ll find/ It’s the only thing of value that we own / You’re gonna have to quit everything / Until you find one thing you want.”
“When the Tequila Runs Out” is a much less serious song, poking fun at the party scene. It focuses on the events of a night at a party, describing different scenes throughout the night. One of the most amusing lines goes, “Then our host bust out of his bedroom, with his glasses slightly bent / He gets up on the diving board to tell us how he feels.“ And you can’t forget the catchy chorus that sounds through the entire song: “When the tequila runs out / We’ll be drinking champagne / When the tequila runs out / We’ll be feeling no pain.”
Dawes’ new album is something fresh and exciting. Be sure to check it out. You can stream it on Spotify.
And check out the music video for ‘When the Tequila Runs Out’ here:

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Featured image courtesy of HUB

What We Think of Zayn’s Debut Album “Mind of Mine”


As a diehard One Direction fan, I took Zayn’s departure incredibly hard to handle last year, and exactly a year after shattering my heart into a million pieces, Zayn released his debut solo album, Mind of Mine.

I, naturally, have some thoughts on this.
First, let’s talk about the design. Normally, this wouldn’t matter, but I have a lot of feelings. Why the fake tattoos on baby Zayn? It looks weird. Also, let’s talk about how awful the font design is. I don’t want to see the letters switching between upper and lowercase in the song title. It looks like an angsty teen (who also struggles desperately to spell) typed it up. It’s not a cool look, Zayn. And super frustrating to look at.
Now to reviewing the actual album. It’s good. I like it. It’s a racy, sexual, adult Zayn singing about sex and romance and more sex. He doesn’t hide the fact that he is an adult and can do what he wants and sing about what he wants. And I get it, but that’s also sort of what I have a problem with. It’s just that the entire album is basically all the same. It sort of feels like he’s trying too hard to show that he’s grown up.
His songs are often tinged with a hint of ‘80s and ‘90s R&B and finished off with electronic beats. It’s a style that fits him well. Many of the songs also show of his glorious falsetto, and I’m incredibly thankful for that. And many are slow jams that you can sway too, again, all about sex.
Like Kanye, he seems to have an unnecessary “Intermission,” but you do you, Zayn. At least the acoustic guitar part in that song is good.
“Pillowtalk” will forever be my favorite song off of the album. I could listen to him say “reckless” all day. I also really enjoy “Like I Would.” Another really great song is “Fool For You.” It’s one of the slower, more romantic songs, but it shows off his voice well. Kalani’s duet with Zayn on “Wrong” makes that song one of my favorites, as well.
Overall, the album is ultimately pretty grand. It’s just the common sex thing gets kind of old after a while when the theme and the beats tend to be indistinguishable and just meld together.
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What We Think of Zayn’s Debut Album “Mind of Mine”: Photograph courtesy of RCA Records