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Found 278 results

  1. ~ Dairy of an Otaku ~ #3 My God, I just realized it's been 2 months since I posted in this Blog. Such a shame, I've been slacking Anime lately. But now, I'm back at it again and just wanted to mention I re-watched both seasons of Attack on Titan. Gave to stay strong to wait another year (if we're lucky) for some new material. But I loved the OVA's especially the one about Levi's backstory. Also finished the Attack on Titan Junior one today. Nothing too special, but it was amusing. So by saying this I want to make an overview of things I'll be watching ASAP and we'll see what I can get to in this week. I'm of course always looking for recommendations so leave them in the comments below! ON BOARD TO WATCH ¤ Alice & Zouroku ¤ I remember trying out the first episode of this one and enjoying it and feeling intrigued to find out more about the story. And now that it's been two months since I posted for the last time, I checked and all the episodes are online now. So will definitely be watching! Summary: The story centers on a little girl called Sana, who is one of the children that holds the power of "Alice's Dream," an ability that enables her to materialize anything she imagines. After escaping a lab where she was a test subject, Sana ends up in a normal world where she encounters an old man named Zouroku, but will he help her? ¤ Hinako Note ¤ Definitely loved the first episode of this one and the final episode of this one has also been posted online. I can not wait to finish this one. The characters were all so cute and the scenery was breathtaking, so I'm excited to see how this storyline unfolds. Summary: Hinako is a shy little girl whom animals are instinctively drawn to. Because of this, Hinako works as a scarecrow to keep said animals away from the crops in her neighbors fields. Thus the tale of the scarecrow girl begins! ¤ The Eccentric Family ¤ I've been looking forward to watching this one! It has two seasons, so I've got some serious bing-ing to do. Haven't seen anything of this one yet, with all the gifs with the animals and magic that I've seen is already getting me excited and there's not much more persuading I need. Summary: In Kyoto, there are three kinds of residents: humans, raccoon dogs, and tengu. Shimogamo Yasaburou is the third son of the Shimogamo raccoon dog family. His father, Souichirou, had been the head of Kyoto raccoon dog community until he was eaten by the human members of "Friday Club". While taking care of old tengu, fighting with other raccoon dogs, and playing with a psychic human girl, Yasaburou approaches the truth of his father's death. TRY-OUTS FOR UPCOMING WEEK ¤ Shuumatsu Nani Shitemasu ka? Isogashii Desu ka? Sukutte Moratte Ii Desu ka? / WorldEnd: What do you do at the end of the world? Are you busy? Will you save us? ¤ Summary: Five hundred years have passed since the humans went extinct at the hands of the fearsome and mysterious 'Beasts'. The surviving races now make their homes up on floating islands in the sky, out of reach of all but the most mobile of Beasts. Only a small group of young girls, the Fairies, can wield the ancient weapons needed to fend off invasions from these creatures. Into the girls’ unstable and fleeting lives, where a call to certain death could come at any moment, enters an unlikely character: a young man who lost everything in his final battle five hundred years ago, the last living human awakened from a long, icy slumber. Unable to fight any longer, Willem becomes the father that the girls never had, caring for and nurturing them even as he struggles to come to terms with his new life, in which he feels the pain of helplessly waiting for his loved ones to return home from battle that his 'Daughter' once felt for him so long ago. Together, Willem and the girls gradually come to understand what family means and what is truly worth protecting. ¤ Tsuki ga Kirei ¤ Summary: Kotarou Azumi and Akane Mizuno became third year students at junior high school and are classmates for the first time. These two, along with fellow classmates, Chinatsu Nishio and Takumi Hira, relate to their peers through mutual understandings and feelings. As their final year at junior high school progresses, the group overcome their challenges to mature and become aware of changes in themselves. ¤ Clione no Akari ¤ Finally! This is one I've really been looking forward to, even though it seems to be getting bad ratings, I don't really care until I've seen something for myself. And honestly, a lot of people are saying Attack on Titan is overrated, well, I never let that stop me either. Summary: The story centers around an illness-stricken, constantly bullied orphan girl named Minori. After one rainy day, she doesn't turn up at school, having been admitted into a hospital in a distant town. Two months pass, and the girl's two school friends, Takashi and Kyōko, receive a mysterious email with no sender listed. The email reveals a summer festival taking place at a nearby town .... SIDE-NOTE: Sagrada Reset won't finish until September, so I'm gonna wait with that one. Once again, let me know if you wish to be added or removed from the taglist. RECOMMENDATIONS:
  2. "Do you ever look around at the pop culture landscape and wonder which cultural icons will still be obsessed over and celebrated decades from now, joining the ranks of women like Marilyn Monroe, Bianca Jagger and Diana Ross? Our money's on Rihanna, because whether she's whipping around in her own motocross-inspired designs or showing up to the red carpet looking like a literal princess, she's always show-stopping. This was true as ever at the London launch of Fenty Beauty at Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge on Tuesday evening. Wearing a frilly lavender dress from British designer Molly Goddard, custom-made shoes from René Caovilla and a diamond ring from Anabela Chan, Riri leaned into her femme side without seeming cutesy. Of course, her beauty look was no afterthought, and her blush, eyeshadow and glossy lips all featured undertones of lavender that coordinated with her frock. According to a post on Fenty Beauty's Instagram page, the tone-on-tone makeup look was the result of a combination of the brand's Matchstix in Unicorn and Confetti, which were both swiped over Rihanna's lids, cheekbones and lips." https://fashionista.com/2017/09/rihanna-fenty-beauty-harvey-nichols-launch I see no lies
  3. I'm back with an album review of a record where praise seems hard to come by! There's like a million editions of this album with various bonus tracks and they're all messy so I'm just going to go with the version I created for my iTunes. THE TRINITY: Halo, If I Were a Boy, Ave Maria #LachlanDELETES: Radio (fight me Lord Stoneheart), Hello OVERALL SCORE: 76/100 --- ALBUM RANKING SO FAR B'Day - 81 I Am Sasha... Fierce - 76 Dangerously In Love - 72
  4. The answer comes early in “Five Foot Two,” as an unvarnished Gaga gets real while sitting on the curb. “The thing with me and Madonna is that I admired her always and still admire her, no matter what she might think of me,” says Gaga. “The only thing that really bothers me about her is [that] I’m Italian and from New York, so if I have a problem with somebody, I’m gonna tell you to your face.”To hear Gaga tell it, if Madonna would just take her comments straight to the source, there’d be no beef. “She wouldn’t look me in the eye and tell me I’m reductive,” says Gaga, using one of the Material Girl’s pet adjectives. But there’s still hope, Gaga says, grinning: “I just want Madonna to push me up against the wall and kiss me and tell me I’m a piece of shit.” http://www.vulture.com/2017/09/what-does-lady-gaga-say-about-madonna-in-her-new-doc.html
  5. The hate this album get is outrageous. i mean, personally, it ranks second after My Love is Your Love and is my favorite of all her albums. Maybe it was th time in her career it was released, but this is a good album, full of hidden gems and some of the best songs Whitney has ever recorded. One Of Those Days-9/10 When the first son g off an album sucks, it sets a bad taste to the listener, fan or not. But Whitney's first track was the case. One Of Those days is a song about hoping, needing a time of peace from all the stress of daily life and while for Whitney it was much bigger than that at the time, this song is a more than decent track. Tell Me No-10/10 Yes, this is the first 10/10 track off the album. I feel as if this was a jab to her record label, who were still trying to control her nearly 20 years into her career. With the defiant lyrics and Whitney's booming voice and the little guitar-like riff at the end makes this a great track to listen to. Things You Say-9/10 Like i said, i really like this album and at first, Things You Say is a track I wondered if Whitney didnt really pay attention to. It in a way, reminds me of Rihanna's "Love On the Brain" as they both sound lazy and a bit tipsy but its a cool R&B track to listen to when relaxing in a tub full of warm water or by the fire on a rainy day. My Love-7.8/10 Y'all know how I feel about the majority of Whitney's duets. Im not trying to say Bobby Brown is a talentless act, but this was his, what, second collab with Whitney and the first time, this song was just not good at all and this time, his voice had lost alot of it's goods, and , unlike Whitney, who was going through the same problem, he couldnt make it sound good.
  6. Review

    DJWS just played it I'm trying to find a link And it's really good
  7. They talked about a few topics connected to the documentary, full interview HERE!
  8. Review

    Open the pictures in a new tab and click on them, they should zoom in.
  9. Here's Gaga teaching us how to talk about our fucked experiences in a graceful manner in front of our Grandpa: Vs High With Friends:
  10. (Upon @Anna-wa's request!) Pretty Hurts - 4/10 The intro is cute. Overall, I think the song is too whiney and like it's trying too hard. Not a good choice for an opener either. Haunted - 5/10 Sounds like a Lemonade reject. The beat is pretty ear friendly. I think it would make a better interlude to outro the album. Drunk In Love (feat. JAY Z) - 6/10 This song literally encapsulates an aeons. It's sooo long. Nevertheless it's still a cute trashy bop that lives up to the "Drunk" in it's title. Jay doesn't add much. Blow - 9/10 Best song on the album! When I listened to BEYONCÉ top to bottom, this was such a refresher to my sanity after the record starting dragging on only three tracks in. The beat melted into my ears, dripping sensuality. I've only watched a handful of the videos from this album and this is my favourite after Yoncé No Angel - 3/10 Not feeling these vocals at all. Continues the trend of boringness. No redeeming qualities, except for the occasional clean vocals. Partition - 8/10 Yoncé is the track that got me to start paying proper attention to Beyoncé. A great intro. Possibly my favourite intro ever. I'd loose a finger for a full version! The video is also gorgeous! Partition itself isn't as good, but it's still enjoyable and defiantly should have been the album's opener. The french at the end is cool and the translation is interesting. I have to savour the bops on this album as they're few and far between. Yoncé and Partition do not disappoint Jealous - 6/10 Reminds me of the opening line of UUC by Willam (his parody of Love On Top). The song is okay. Not particularly interesting or special. Rocket - 6/10 Sonically pretty. A slight improvement from the jealous. It could've been shorter by a minute. Mine (feat. Drake) - 6/10 Meh. I feel like this song could've been way more high energy. Drake's chorus parts are what keep this song afloat for me, despite them not jelling with the song. I would prefer a whole two minutes chopped off the track time. XO - 3/10 The whole song is basically just one giant chorus that is completely uninspired. It sound like some boring festival bop. I don't see why it was the lead. ***Flawless (feat. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie) - 7/10 I don't see anything wrong with this song. Feminist "anthems" just don't seem necessary anymore. The speech sample was mixed in well. Superpower (feat. Frank Ocean) - 6/10 Meh. Heaven - 5/10 She isn't out of slow songs yet? Blue (feat. Blue Ivy) - 5/10 7/11 - 6.363636364/10 () Decent trashy bop. Nothing more, nothing less. Flawless Remix (feat. Nicki Minaj) - 8/10 Revive me bitch! My attention span is back! Nicki's verse is fire! This version trumps the original by far! Drunk in Love Remix (feat. JAY Z & Kanye West) - 6/10 Kanye makes it less boring, but not much better. Jay didn't need to be on this version Ring Off - 6/10 The production is adorable Blow Remix (feat. Pharrell Williams) - 9/10 Ain't better or worse! Pharrel and Bey have moderate chemistry. I'd be interested in them collaborating again. Standing on the Sun Remix (feat. Mr. Vegas) - 6/10 Meh. Grown Woman - 8/10 A bop that should have not just been a video exclusive! The attitude is on point. General commet/s: There was A LOT of fat that could've been trimmed!!! FINAL SCORE : 6.11/10 Best: Blow Worst: Angel If you would like me to review another album, let me know.
  11. In celebration of Madonna’s birthday (August 16), we’ve deemed it Madonna Day on Pitchfork. We’ve reviewed four of her classic albums—her 1983 debut, 1989’s Like a Prayer, 1994’s Bedtime Stories, and 1998’s Ray of Light—and now we move onto the ties that bind her career. If you were to see someone tweet the phrase “Madonna is everything,” you might attribute it to a very 2017 type of online hyperbole. And yes, Madonna is everything in that sense, but from a pop perspective Madonna also feels like everything because in a career spanning four decades she has attacked, absorbed, and conquered pop music from every possible angle. When Madonna’s referenced as the Queen of Reinvention, it tends to suggest the linear series of career moves, from album to album, sonic era to sonic era, hairstyle to hairstyle. In reality, her layered approach to pop domination has frequently seemed to consist of multiple Madonnas existing at the same time. Here are six of her best, key to understanding her work. Madonna, The Controversialist Many of Madonna’s supposedly controversial songs (like ‘80s hit “Papa Don’t Preach,” with its subtext of abortion) are now more clearly identified as feminist statements or expressions of self, but that’s not to say Madonna has never deliberately courted outright controversy. It’s easy to mock the quaint ’80s reaction to the lyrics of “Like A Virgin,” but it’s also fair to say that if a mainstream 2017 pop act—Ariana Grande, for instance—released the video Madonna made for “Like A Prayer,” all hell would still break loose. That video tackled religion, race, and sex, with scenes depicting murder, burning crosses, and Madonna with stigmata-esque wounds. It led to predictable complaints from the American Family Association, a denouncement by the Vatican, and a $5 million Pepsi ad campaign being benched. It would have been disingenuous of Madonna to feign surprise at the reaction. And she didn’t. Her response? “Art should be controversial, and that's all there is to it.” Madonna upped the ante on her next formal album, 1992’s Erotica, and its accompanying artifacts, including the boundary-breaking “Justify My Love” video and a coffee table book called Sex, whose main shock value these days involves the inclusion of Vanilla Ice. Fast-forward to 2017, after decades of refusing to be silenced: Live on CNN from the Women’s March on Washington, Madonna delivered a passionate speech about change, sacrifice, rebellion, the tyranny of Trump, and the power of love. There was more, of course: “To our detractors that insist this march will never add up to anything: fuck you. Fuck. You.” Not great news for CNN’s switchboard but a fair point, well made. Madonna, The Club Queen When Madonna descended on New York in 1978, she’d just dropped out of a University of Michigan dance scholarship and was hell-bent on making it as a professional dancer. So, spoiler alert, she’s not averse to tripping the light fantastic, as her 1983 debut proved out the gate. Her discography is full of floorfillers, and she holds the record for the most No. 1 singles on Billboard’s Dance/Club Songs Chart, even if some of those chart-topping tracks—like the various mixes of the poignant gender-role assessment “What It Feels Like For A Girl”—make for a somewhat complex shimmy. Peppered throughout Madonna’s career are more direct hints at what it might be like to actually—imagine this!—go dancing with Madonna. She likes to boogie woogie, this much we know from “Music.” On the 2000 album track “Impressive Instant,” Madonna reveals that her skills extend to both rhumba and samba (though bear in mind this was also the song where she declared, “I like to singy singy singy like a bird on a wingy wingy wingy,” so there’s that). Most significantly, Madonna’s belief in the dance floor as a sacred space is described in “Vogue” with words some will find as inspiring in 2017 as listeners almost three decades ago did: “When all else fails and you long to be something better than you are today, I know a place where you can get away—it's called a dance floor.” Released a few years earlier, True Blue album cut “Where’s The Party” was ostensibly a song about going out and losing control after a week at work. Madonna wistfully recalls that as a child she “couldn’t wait to get older,” before acknowledging that getting older hasn’t been everything she’d hoped, then looking ahead to the future: “Don't want to grow old too fast, don’t want to let the system get me down.” Like some of the best pop songs, it’s about living in the moment, even if the importance of doing so only makes sense in the context of what came before, and what will come in the future. Which leads us to… Madonna, The Clockwatcher Madonna looked closer to home on another time-shifting track, “This Used to Be My Playground” from A League of Their Own, with further songs like “Oh Father” and “Live To Tell” also looking back on Madonna’s upbringing with themes of defiance, resolve, and closure. A more literal timepiece motif emerged during the 2000s, when the lead singles from two successive Madonna albums each began with the sound of a clock ticking. In the first, 2005’s Abba-sampling behemoth “Hung Up,” the ticking clock was inspired by producer Stuart Price’s earlier remix of Gwen Stefani’s “What You Waiting For,” and was followed by Madonna’s observation that “time goes by so slowly for those who wait, those who run seem to have all the fun.” By 2008, it was Timbaland administering the ticks on “4 Minutes,” rather improbably Madonna’s second most-streamed song on Spotify. That song’s lyrics (“We only got four minutes to save the world… grab a boy, then grab a girl”) suggested procreation-based speed dating, but Madonna later explained that they hinged on “living on borrowed time essentially, and people are becoming much more aware of the environment and how we're destroying the planet.” Madonna may have overestimated the urgency but, well, that clock’s still ticking. Madonna, The Moviegoer The are various words we might use to describe Madonna’s film career, one of the more generous being “lengthy.” Since the ’80s, Madonna’s screen credits have prompted a series of musical contributions whose quality has frequently, often mercifully, failed to correlate with that of the actual movie. Were one to assemble those alongside songs contributed to films in which Madonna didn’t even appear, you’d have one of the modern pop era’s most surreal career retrospectives. It would include glossy pop jam “Who’s That Girl,” wistful ballad-banger “I’ll Remember” (from a dreadful Joe Pesci-Brendan Fraser vehicle), the William Orbit-produced, Austin Powers-soundtracking “Beautiful Stranger,” a peculiar cover of “American Pie” featuring Rupert Everett, the slightly mind-boggling “Hanky Panky" (and the rest of her *Dick Tracy* companion LP), futuristic Bond theme “Die Another Day,” and (on a technicality) “Into the Groove.” By law, that compilation would also need to include Madonna’s take on “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina,” but not the version she sang in Evita. Instead we’d have the castanet-strewn, 100 percent spectacular, seven-minute remix, for which Madonna recorded brand new vocals and a second chorus entirely in Spanish. Sadly, some may say criminally, this definitive version of “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” is unavailable on streaming services, but it does live on via YouTube. Madonna, The Pensive Chanteuse Treat with deep suspicion anybody who links lyrical substance to low tempo. That said, while Madonna has definitely explored the extremes of human emotion via dance floor smashes, some of her most profound thoughts have arrived within her most elegant songs. On her wildly underrated American Life album, “Nothing Fails” boasts a tempo that barely reaches the status of mid, but for a truly downbeat masterpiece, try Ray Of Light’s “Drowned World/Substitute For Love,” a prelude to a reflective and immersive album whose sonic departure made it the riskiest move in a career built on the avoidance of safe decisions. It’s there that we found Madonna, who’d previously sung plenty about being a daughter, singing for the first time about being a parent (via sparse lullaby “Little Star”) while also, on mesmerizing album closer “Mer Girl,” reflecting on the death of her own mother. Madonna, The Hopeful Romantic Madonna undoubtedly defined the role of sex in modern pop, but just as prominently—in songs as diverse as “Take A Bow,” “Get Together,” and “Borderline”—are themes of romance, heartbreak, and optimism. “The thing is,” Madonna told Rolling Stone regarding 2015’s “Living For Love,” “lots of people write about being in love and being happy or they write about having a broken heart and being inconsolable. But nobody writes about having a broken heart and being hopeful and triumphant afterwards. I didn't want to share the sentiment of being a victim. This scenario devastated me, but it just made me stronger.” The survival spirit of “Living for Love“ came to life in an unexpected way. One of the song’s first performances took place at the 2015 Brit Awards, where, at a key moment, a dancer tugged Madonna’s cloak. The garment should have billowed away to reveal Madonna’s full performance outfit, but the clasp jammed. Madonna was abruptly yanked off the stage platform but was back on her feet within seconds, singing lines like, “Lifted me up, and watched me stumble… after the heartache, I’m gonna carry on.” She finished the song, conjuring a live TV victory where others would have conceded defeat. The aftermath was Madonna in excelsis: She didn’t block the performance’s upload to the Brits’ YouTube channel. She didn’t hide the imperfection or pretend it had not happened. In fact, within a week, the full performance was on her official VEVO channel, where it remains. Elsewhere on Rebel Heart, Madonna sings, “I’m only human”—which is true, of course. Madonna definitely is a human being—she just happens to be one whose remarkable longevity and multifaceted creativity justify her reputation as the Queen of Pop. http://pitchfork.com/thepitch/6-sides-of-madonna-that-explain-her-genius-listening-guide/
  12. OMAHA -- As she showed millions during the televised Super Bowl halftime show, Lady Gaga is a great live performer. As she showed a packed CenturyLink Center Saturday, she’s better and more impressive in person in an arena. Starting 90 minutes late for reasons not disclosed, Gaga’s two-hour show was a masterpiece of entertainment, innovatively staged and strikingly arranged and choreographed from her opening cry of “I am Joanne” onward. That yell brought out the first of many Gagas. For the first four songs, she was the rock singer, who strapped on a guitar, and roared through the opening number “Diamond Heart” and, with her five-piece band, put a guitar punch into “Poker Face” as Gaga, her band and dancers performed on a stage that moved up and down in sections in front of a bank of bright lights. Along the way, more Gagas emerged, most often after short “intermissions” and a costume change -- the pop star, the singer-songwriter, the vocalist, the musician, the dancer. She can do it all and did in a concert that was music theatre in the best, not the Broadway sense of the term. While the show has some jarring juxtapositions in tone, Gaga never failed to captivate -- whether gyrating with her dancers on a raised platform on “Dancin’ In Circle” and “Paparazzi,” where she was letting her internal tramp out to play or, minutes later, sitting alone with an acoustic guitar, telling the heartrending family story behind, then singing the song “Joanne,” the title cut cut of her new album. The “bridge” was part of the stunning stagecraft that saw three large, cloud-like structures near the ceiling serve as lighting bays, transform into video screens, then lower down the bridges that allowed Gaga and her dozen-or-so dancers run from the main stage, onto two platforms to a second stage at the opposite end of the arena. There, she delivered the night’s most impressive performance, a solo take on “The Edge of Glory,” as she played piano and emotively sang at her very best. As for the costumes, well, they fit the moment, coming out in a David Bowie-esque outfit for the glittery “Just Dance,” “LoveGame” and “Telephone” -- that would be the glam Gaga, wrapping a fluffy white skirt around herself as she strutted down the bridges during her anthem “Born This Way” and wearing a white-winged mask to kick off the final segment of the evening that began with “Bad Romance.” Before that song, she asked “Where are my Little Monsters?" They were there in droves and connected with her from start to finish. So did everyone else in the building. Lady Gaga is no longer the pop star of the moment. To be honest, “Joanne” isn’t her best album nor were the songs from it the peaks of the night. But she is, unarguably, today’s top pop singer, capable of duetting with Tony Bennett or belting out rockers as well as a talented dancer and a purveyor of unvarnished emotion and heart that few if any can match. Add the striking staging, lights, dancers and choreography and Gaga’s show was terrific -- once it got started. http://journalstar.com/blogs/ground-zero/lady-gaga-demonstrates-she-s-a-great-live-performer-in/article_48b26854-8575-11e7-8553-e70e6bd765af.html AMEN
  13. The Narrative Genius of The Roof

    Mariah Carey’s 1997 album Butterfly is heralded as her greatest effort, and is certainly her most emotional and personal album. Within, fans find many favorites tracks that are often praised for exuding vulnerability. Songs like “Butterfly”, “Close My Eyes”, and “Outside” deal with topics ranging from her difficult upbringing to her recent split with husband and Sony CEO Tommy Mattola. But one song in particular seems to be praised to high heavens – enough so to be considered overrated by some fans. That song is “The Roof”, the fourth track on Butterfly. Even though Mariah thinks – quite obliviously – that no one cares about her obscure non-singles, die-hard fans appraise the song as one of the greatest she’s ever composed. Even though they often cite its lyrical depth as its strongest attribute, I find that too few actually relish its deeply intimate details or explain what makes it so astounding. Unlike much of her work, where the writing simply explores a specific feeling or emotion, “The Roof” actually tells a narrative; an excerpt of a novel or memoir with the lingual intensity of poetry. Before we delve into what “The Roof” exactly entails, I think it’s pertinent to talk about Mariah’s relationship with Tommy Mattola. It didn’t take long for Tommy to be labeled as the “bad guy” – most of the public saw him that way even back in 1997. Today, most fans just write him off as a huge mistake in Mariah’s life: someone who manipulated the young songstress for his own needs and locked her up in their Mall-of-America-sized mansion. Now, I can’t sit here and defend the guy who married an employee twenty years his junior, but I think we have to look at Tommy from Mariah’s perspective. I wholeheartedly believe that Mariah definitely loved him at one point in her life – if not for all the wrong reasons. Tommy had showed support and belief in Mariah’s music when they first met. She was allowed to write and produce all of her own music – a freedom not many young singers were awarded from a big record company. For a girl with such deep passion for music, it was reassuring to her that someone was so encouraging and devoted to her career. Tommy was older, wiser, and more experienced than her. “Daddy Issues”, I hear you say? – Unfortunately true. Mariah herself admitted that because she didn’t have much of a male parental figure growing up, she was subconsciously looking for someone who was mature and would take care of her. She was someone “prone to disfunction”, and this was not a healthy relationship. But, that doesn’t mean there weren’t actual feelings of “love” involved. I even believe that Tommy genuinely thought he loved Mariah – even if it was a veil for his own selfish ends. Mariah details the rainy evening in “The Roof” as occurring in November. Since Mariah and Tommy eventually separated and divorced in early 1997, the events of the song most likely took place in November 1996, when their marriage was already in a state of shambles and dissolution. The lyrics detail a casual setting where Mariah broods about her pain, pondering escape from her loveless marriage and restrictive life: (And my heart was pounding / my inner voice resounding / begging me to turn away) But then, her husband walks into the room, and despite her depression, she finds she is still filled with the resounding love and passion she once felt for the man, yearning to feel those emotions once more. She is wrapped up in confusion and contrary thoughts: the desire to be free and the desire to be in love once again. She eventually gives in to her more passionate craving, hoping the intimacy would clue her husband of her inner suffering: (And I was twisted in the web of my desire for you / my apprehension blew away / I only wanted you / to taste my sadness as you kissed me in the dark) The second verse finds the couple minutes or hours later, ravished in each other’s arms. Their inhibitions are lost after finishing a bottle of champagne, and Mariah yields, possibly both her body and mind, to her husband. (I think it’s important to remember here that Mariah was a virgin when she married Tommy, and he was her first sexual experience): (And so we finished the Moët / and started feeling liberated / and I surrendered as you took me in your arms) Although Mariah seemingly becomes lost in the heat of the moment, the fact that she is severely unhappy still weighs on her mind. She spent much of her marriage feeling dejected and unloved. “Slipping Away” , a song written in 1995 or 1996, seems to suggest that Tommy was the one who became cold and distant. Because of his behavior, Mariah learned to repress and quell any yearning feelings of intimacy and love that she was so desperately trying to grasp onto. During this moment of liberation, Mariah finally allows herself to indulge in those feelings of lust and affection that she forced herself to keep at bay: (I was so caught up in the moment / couldn’t bear to let you go yet / so I threw caution to the wind and started listening to my longing heart) (And then you softly pressed your lips to mine / and feelings surfaced I’d suppressed for such a long, long time) This tender moment is enough to make her forget about her husband’s controlling and heartless nature, her unhappiness, and how she severely needed to release herself from her passionless and constricting marriage. The two of them are simply enraptured, falling into each other in a way they haven’t in a long, long time: (And for awhile I forgot the sorrow and the pain / and melted with you as we stood there in the rain) The bridge seems to suggest that this night was an unsuccessful last-ditch effort – the final moment of love and affection experienced within her marriage. The night pretty much signaled a farewell to their relationship; the ultimate indulgence before the end: (Last night I dreamed that I / whispered the words “I love you, boy” / and touched you so very subtly / as we were kissing goodbye) Finally, the chorus explains that Mariah is looking back on this night in retrospect. She seems to realize now what it had signified in the context of her relationship. Still, she reminisces on it with a certain fondness. She yearns for the spectacular intimacy and sentiment that night held: what her relationship was – or what it possibly could have been: (Every time I feel the need / I envision you caressing me / and go back in time to relieve the splendor of you and I) Of course, many of these details I’ve given are because I’ve researched Mariah’s life beyond her music, but it is not hard to deduce this narrative by looking at lyrics from other songs before and after. Beyond this, “The Roof” is immensely clever and intelligent in how it is written. Not only does Mariah use interesting, descriptive words: (November, resounding, casually, apprehension, splendor, liberated, surrendered, suppressed) but she also uses poetic phrases to clue us into the emotions she felt and the situation she was in at the time: (“But I just had to see your face to feel alive”, “And I was twisted in the web of my desire for you”, “I only wanted you to taste my sadness”, “So I threw caution to the wind”, “Feelings surfaced I’d suppressed”, “And for awhile I forgot the sorrow and the pain”). The song is indeed masterful, in that it offers multiple layers for the listener to latch onto. The production, instrumentation, and how it is sung gives the gloomy and melancholy atmosphere of autumn rain and a longing memory. The lyrics paint the intricate and involved web of emotions and expressions; the dichotomy of wanting to go in one direction but being plagued by the desire to go another. It quite perfectly combines lyrical language of poetry and the narrative essence of a story. Mariah Carey is a very skilled writer, but she has not often achieved the flawless blends that make up “The Roof”.
  14. Review

    Everybody else seemed to be doing one, so I thought I would as well. Bastards: This is a raw, amazing track. I think it encapsulates the entire album, with a message of perseverance. Although the lyrics are incredible and powerful, I did find it a tad too slow for my taste. However, the last minute is incredible and is one of the reasons I love the song. Let 'Em Talk (feat. Eagles of Death Metal): The song has a fantastic message, very similar to Bastards. It says ignore the toxicity around you and carry on. The chorus is one of the best I have heard in a while from any artist. This has become one of my favorites on the album, it makes me want to smile and dance. Woman (feat. The Dap-Kings Horns): I love this song so much. All of my friends who are not as into Kesha also love this track. The lyrics aren't very deep, but they aren't mean to be, it is just about taking pride in who you are. The song makes you dance, sing and laugh along with Kesha. It's an enormously fun track. Hymn: I have heard so many mixed opinions on this song. The song has a great chorus and similar to Bastards, the final minute is incredible. Lyrically the song is also good in my opinion, some have considered it "cheesy", but I think it's straightforward and I appreciate it for what it is worth. However, the only place I fault this song is when she sings "Hymn, hymn, hymn", something just sounds off there. Besides that, it is a great track. Praying: Perfect. Need I say more? I was so emotional when I initially listened to this track, as were many others. I was always wondering what type of music she would comeback with, and this was the best way to do it. A great song in every way, with a fantastic video alongside it. Even my over-critical parents and grandparents loved the song, which says a lot. Learn to Let Go: This may be my favorite song off the entire record, the message resonated with me and the chorus was phenomenal. It was also my favorite music video out of Kesha's discography, and on a superficial level the blue hair is my favorite that she has had. Finding You: I enjoyed this song, it sounds great and the chorus is good. I didn't think the track was super special sonically, but lyrically it is fantastic. Rainbow: This song means so much to me, every time I hear this I smile. So big. It is so powerful and knowing where she was at when she wrote the track, makes it that much more meaningful. I needed a song like this, and Kesha delivered. The song made it seem like she was talking right to you, and somehow felt like a rainbow. I also really enjoyed the music video, it was simple, but special and necessary. Hunt You Down: I don't really love or hate this song, the style is just not really for me. I know some people have loved it, based on other reviews. But I just can't get into it. However, it is nice to see Kesha joke around, after so many serious, hard-hitting tracks. I did find the placement in the album a bit strange though, proceeding such a powerful track such as Rainbow. Boogie Feet (feat. Eagles of Death Metal): Great track! I have no complaints, it makes me want to dance, so it's mission was a success. It is so fun. I hold it highly and it is also one of my favorites off of the album. Boots: A really fun track, that you have to sing and dance-along to. The final minute, like many of the other songs, was also amazing. Old Flames [Can't Hold a Candle to You (feat. Dolly Parton)]: Similar to Hunt You Down, I just could not really get into this track. I love much of Dolly's work, but this was just never the song for me. Lyrically, it's great, but it is just too slow for my taste. Godzilla: This song has a really cute message, which is my main reason for loving it. However, it may be a skippable track from me in the future, just because of the pace of it. Spaceship: What a closer! I love this track so much. It is a message which I entirely relate to, and I'm sure many others could as well. The chorus sounds great. If I could make one critique, I would just make it a tad shorter. All in all, this album is one of my favorites that I have ever listened to. She continues to raise the bar for herself. Cannot wait to see her tour and future work.
  15. Review

    Bastards - So far my least favourite song from the record. It's a nice opener, reminds me of Goodbye which I find a little symbolic, lyrics are beautiful, although the song reminds me of those mornings when you wake up too early and still want to sleep the ending of song is so powerful and when this song is playing I skip it to that part. Let 'Em Talk - I love this song. It reminds me of her 2005 myspace demos like Revenge and Red Lipstick and that was exactly what I needed. The vocals are A-MAZING. It really lifts your mood. Woman - I don't know why it's often hated by the fanbase but Woman is amazing. It really goes under your skin and makes you want to dance your ass off. It has playful Kesha elements, it's spontaneous and powerful. Hymn - This song is C'mon of this album. Reminds me a bit of Noah Cyrus's Stay Together or Katy's Hey Hey Hey. It's cool and different, but for me it doesn't stand out so much compared to the other songs. Praying - THIS IS HOW YOU MAKE A COMEBACK. Powerful lyrics, production and vocals. This song is so inspiring and the message is so strong and powerful. Learn To Let Go - Amazing lyrics, it's so uplifting and nostalgic. Reminds me of Avril Lavigne. It makes you want to cry happy tears and dance at the same time. Finding You - I love her vocals, the country vibe and simply everything about this song. It makes you fall in love. It's like a continuation of Last Goodbye, where she finally moves on from her first love and find someone worth her love. Rainbow - This song is a grower. It didn't touch me from the first listen, but more I got into it the more it touched my heart. The orchestra goes perfectly with her voice and the fact she wrote this when she was on rehab makes it so beautiful. Hunt You Down - I love the country vibe, it fits Kesha amazing and this song is cute and enjoyable. Boots - The absolute bop of the album. Needs to be a single it would slayyyy. Truly Toxic meets Timber Boogie Feet - Punk rock Kesha strikes again. IMO It's better than Let 'Em Talk and it needs to be a single. I love the verses and when her and EODM singer's voice match. Old Flames (Can't Hold A Candle To You) - I love this version more than the Deconstructed one. Dolly and Kesha sound amazing together. Godzilla - This song is so calming, simple and warm. It reminds me of holidays and a careless childhood. Spaceship - This song is about death and leaving this earth and it's so emotional it almost made me cry. It's a perfect album closer. Her monologue is maybe a bit unnecessary but I don't mind it. The ending of the song gave me chills. Overrall, Rainbow is a beautiful album that talks about finding inner peace and happiness. It's very healing and personal to Kesha, but the songs are totally relatable to everyone. I'm glad she did album that is completely different than any of the today's hit releases and that she has unleashed her creativity and gave us a true work of art. I'm sure this album is just the beginning and that Kesha is going to give us a lot of great music in the future.
  16. *NOTE: Please move this if it's not supposed to go in the artist section. I never really know what I'm doing. *NOTE #2: Sorry it took me so damn long to finish this. Also, absolutely no proofreading was done. If you see any egregious errors, please let me know. Hello, FOTP! It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted on here consistently, but, of course, I had to come back for the release of Lana Del Rey’s fifth studio album Lust for Life. I’d like to get back to posting on here more regularly, and I figured a review of Lust for Life was just the thing to get me back into the swing of things. I’ll be going track-by-track, including not only my thoughts on each track but also my personal interpretation of the album’s storyline, and it’s gonna be wordy, so many thanks in advance to those of you who stick around to read some/all of it. First, though, a little background on my relationship with Lana and her music. I first discovered Lana Del Rey back in mid-2013, when I heard “Young and Beautiful” in a trailer for The Great Gastby. I became obsessed with the song, and later that year, I began to delve into Born to Die and her unreleased material. And the rest is history. In the months between when Lust for Life was announced and when it was released, I was, obviously, incredibly excited. But, admittedly, I had doubts, too. Not too many of the pre-release singles really stunned me. The imagery of the era was inconsistent. And when I heard that the record would be 18 — then 16 — tracks long, I wondered how Lana would be able to create a cohesive body of work over such a long tracklist. I also made some predictions about my favorite songs, thinking that they would be "13 Beaches,” "White Mustang,” "When The World Was At War We Kept Dancing,” “Change,” "Tomorrow Never Came,” "In My Feelings,” and “Heroin” (in no particular order). (Also, I guess “Change” and WM are kind of cheating, as I’d heard snippets before the album was released). Throughout the three full listens I’ve had of this album since its release on July 21st, I’ve been surprised, proven correct, disappointed, and pleased all at once. Here are my thoughts. LOVE Lana opens the album with its first pre-release single: the lush, sweet, swooping “Love.” Contemplating the struggles of modern youth and how much they weigh against the joys of young love, Lana brings us a song that is noticeably different from her usual material. Instead of lamenting over lost lovers, she celebrates the pleasures of youth, talking more to her fans than about herself. By Lana’s standards (and probably objectively), this is a happy song, something most people, critics and fans alike, haven’t exactly come to expect from her. To be honest, this song didn’t exactly click for me until the first time I listened to it in the context of the album. I’ve always liked it, but listening to it as an opening track and not just a single somehow made it all the more appealing. It is bold yet light, universal yet personal, and experimental yet rooted in enough core Lanaisms ("vintage music," etc.) to make it familiar. Besides all that, it also has a bridge that, despite its simplicity, is irresistible. “Mm…uh huh! Don’t worry, baby.” In the context of the album’s storyline, I personally view “Love” as a point of idealism. The songs that follow it lead me to believe that it may not represent where Lana is now, but rather where she wants to be. It’s also quite fitting of her to open an album that she’s said is “for the fans” with a song that addresses them directly. Rating: 8.75/10 Favorite Lyric: “It doesn’t matter if I’m not enough / For the future or the things to come / ‘Cause I’m young / And in love.” LUST FOR LIFE Here’s a song that has grown on me quite a lot. I was excited initially to hear that Lana was collaborating with The Weeknd again; I hoped they’d each pull from their sexier, darker sides and make something fantastic and alluring. And really, when I first heard Lana’s seductive vocals sing the opening line of the song, I wanted to climb up the H of the Hollywood sign right with her. But from then on during my first listen (and many listens afterwards), it all went downhill. I didn’t really enjoy the song much outside of the verses, and the lyrical simplicity of the chorus and pre-chorus left me dying for more. To top it all off, I didn’t even feel like her voice blended super well with Abel’s, or that his feature “worked.” I was disappointed. But I didn’t hate the song, and I kept listening (though not very often). And of late, I’ve suddenly come to enjoy the song so much more. I still find the chorus and pre-chorus to be lyrically lacking, but it doesn’t feel like as much of a crime anymore, and I feel as though Abel’s feature “works” a lot better (though it’s by no means the best feature on the album). It’s, in my opinion, one of the weakest songs on the album as a whole, but there are moments in it that you just have to love, like Lana referencing "Brooklyn Baby” (“My boyfriend’s back / And he’s cooler than ever”) or the various “[Plural noun] forever” refrains at the end of the verses. The bridge as a whole is also pretty solid given the strength of the rest of the song. I also enjoy what it adds to the album’s storyline, serving as a reinforcement to the message of “Love.” Lana shimmers in this world of ideal happiness, of loving life, of needing to hold onto the good things. It takes the sweetness of “Love" and gives it a sexy flare, but still doesn’t feel very grounded in anything; it still feels like an unrealistic dream. After all, they’re dancing on the H of the Hollywood sign. Rating: 7.75/10 Favorite Lyric: “My boyfriend’s back / And he’s cooler than ever. / There’s no more night, / Blue skies forever. / I told you twice, / In our love letter, / There’s no stopping now: / Green lights forever.” 13 BEACHES With track 3, “13 Beaches,” the glamorous, shimmery world of love, youth, and fulfillment that Lana was building up in the first two tracks comes abruptly crashing down. Before Lana has even begun singing, we are met with an audio sample proclaiming “I don’t belong in the world,” and we are back in reality. In the verses, Lana sings of desperate real-life attempts to escape paparazzi and muses almost sarcastically on the perpetual camera-readiness that comes about as a result of being hounded by the paps. In the pre-chorus, she explains that, even being seen and chased by everyone, she is still lonely, haunted by some memory that she, lacking the strength to do away with it, allows to overcome her. I interpreted the “you” in this song to be a love interest (perhaps the one in “Lust for Life,” whom she has now lost), and I followed that interpretation throughout the album, but one of the things I enjoy about this song is that the “you” could be anyone or anything — the fame, her life before fame, etc. “13 Beaches” was one of seven songs that I predicted would be a favorite of mine, and I can say confidently that I was right on this one. The lyrics are gorgeous and heartbreaking (“It hurts to love you, but I still love you” is effortlessly universal), the melody is intriguing, and the production strikes an interestingly successful balance between subtle and assertive. The only things keeping this song from a 10/10 are that it lacks a bridge (I feel as though a bridge would’ve been killer) and that the second half of the chorus (from “And that I’ve been dying” onwards) doesn’t do a whole lot for me. Rating: 9.5/10 Favorite Lyric: “Can I let go? / And let your memory dance / In the ballroom of my mind / Across the county line?” CHERRY Lana continues the theme of “It hurts to love you, but I still love you” in “Cherry,” a noticeably more aggressive track in which Lana exclaims: “Darling, darling, darling, I fall to pieces when I’m with you.” Despite the pain and anguish she is caused by being with this lover, she stays by his side, for they have, or at least had at one point, Lana’s definition of “real love” — “feeling no fear,” “smiling when the firing squad’s against ya,” and the like. But the love, even with its benefits, is toxic, depriving Lana of any of life’s smaller joys — her “cherries and wine, rosemary and thyme,” and even her peaches, “dripping” just a track earlier, are now ruined. Furthermore, her “celluloid scenes are torn at the seams,” which leads me to believe even more strongly that the bliss in the album’s first two tracks was a dream or movie: unreal. Musically, Cherry is a very strong track — undoubtedly one of the best on the album. It is classic Lana with a newfound bite, just the right length, and a chorus that kills. The “bitch” and “fuck!” interjections were also a pleasant surprise not heard in the live versions of the song, and, quite honestly, make the song ten times better. I do wish, however, that the verses were better arranged. Sometimes the rhymes don’t work or it feels as though Lana tried to squeeze too many words into too short a verse. That’s the only thing I can think of keeping this song from a 10. Rating: 9.5/10 Favorite Lyric: “(Bitch).” WHITE MUSTANG Considering how short this song is, I’d already heard almost all of the verses through Lana’s Instagram posts, so I knew I would like this song. To me, if the album is broken into thematic sections, with “Love” and “Lust for Life” being the dreamily ideal section, then “White Mustang” serves both as a closer to the "troubled romance" section of the album that also houses “13 Beaches” and “Cherry” and as an opener to the “summer fling” section of the album that consists also of tracks 6-8. Lana, unhappy in her “13 Beaches” / “Cherry” romance (or perhaps having left it already), lies on her bed fantasizing about some musician lover with whom she once had a brief fling — one she is still not over. (Whether or not this lover is the same one referenced in the previous two tracks is unclear). Whoever he is, he is leaving Lana, revving up his white Mustang, and she is alone with her regret — over becoming so attached, over not pursuing him further. It is a sad, sweet song with to-die-for verses and a killer verse and outro, held back only by how short it is and by the lyrically lackluster nature of the chorus. Still an incredibly good song, but I am left wanting too much more for it to be a 10/10. Rating: 9/10 Favorite Lyric: “I’ve been acting like armageddon ‘cause you / Held me in your arms just a little too tight.” SUMMER BUMMER With a title like “Summer Bummer” and features from not one but two rappers, Lust for Life’s sixth track seemed like something with the potential to either be incredibly good or incredibly bad. Interestingly enough, it’s ended up being neither. “Summer Bummer” is by no means a perfect track — Lana’s part can feel, at times, unfairly short, and Carti’s senseless yapping and mumbling in the background makes me want to rip my hair out. But it’s incredibly different from any of her released material, and it is this refreshing newness that allows me to overlook the track’s admittedly sizable flaws. It’s a cool, laid-back track with a subtle yet delicious beat and powerful verses from Rocky. Lana’s verse in the latter half of the song contains some of my favorite lyrics on the album, and her high-pitched “Ooh”s that come into the background add a spine-tingling layer of depth and almost make up for Carti’s yapping. Overall, the song’s sexiness and the way in which it stands almost in a genre of its own amongst Lana’s released material work in “Summer Bummer”’s favor. But if Lana does decide to continue down the trap route and have more rap features, I’d like to see her take bigger risks in the future. In other words, I’d like to see current-day Lana rapping à la 2010’s “Playground.” One can dream. Thematically, "Summer Bummer” is a natural follow-up to “White Mustang” — right down to the fact that Lana uses the word “bummer” in track 5 and, to my knowledge, that’s the only other place it appears on the record. More generally, though, “Summer Bummer” finds Lana moving on from the sadness and lost love of “White Mustang” and previous tracks, instead pursuing a new lover, this time intentionally trying to not become too invested. After being hurt so much by previous love interests, all she wants is a summer fling, an “undercover lover” that she need not even make public. Rating: 8/10 Favorite Lyric: “White lies and black beaches / And blood-red sangrias, / We traveled for weeks just to escape your demons / But you’ve got your reasons.” GROUPIE LOVE I’m about to say something that will probably come off as borderline blasphemous for many on this site, as well as many Lana fans in general: “Groupie Love” is my least-favorite song on the record. Of course, that isn’t saying much, as I think the record is incredibly strong overall, and this opinion might change with further listens, but as of now, it’s true. There are a couple of reasons. “Groupie Love” has been described by Lana as a “sister song” to “Summer Bummer,” and it’s easy to see why. The song follows Lana, having successfully caught her undercover musician lover for the summer, blissfully basking in the joys and tribulations alike that accompany being romantically involved with a busy performer. But as this is “Summer Bummer”’s “sister song,” the two were released on the same day; as a result, I was left listening, at once, to a song that is worlds away from Lana’s typical route and to a song that is arguably the safest on the album and incredibly in-line with what we’ve come to expect from her. Objectively, “Groupie Love” certainly isn’t a bad song, and I might’ve liked it more had I first listened to it on its own. But listening to it alongside “Summer Bummer,” a song that, while flawed, is experimental, “Groupie Love” simply felt too safe. Furthermore, the dreamy, swaying chorus, while enjoyable for a time, can easily become mundane and repetitive, especially at the end of the song. However, there is one incredible strength that “Groupie Love” has to its name, and that is its A$AP Rocky feature, which I think is easily the best and most successful feature of the five on the album. Alongside the latter half of verse 2, Rocky’s verse is, for me, the best part of the song by a long shot, and their duet chorus afterwards is charming, too, though unnecessarily lengthy. Rating: 7/10 Favorite Lyric: “This is my life: / You by my side, / Key lime and perfume and festivals.” IN MY FEELINGS Here’s another song that I predicted would be a favorite of mine, as well as the song that closes the “summer fling” section of the album, which is inhabited also by tracks 5, 6, and 7. “In My Feelings” continues chronicling the arc of Lana’s relationship with a musician, who Lana herself has essentially confirmed to be G-Eazy (at least for this track). In this track, we find that Lana’s attempt at having a summer fling has again failed; she has, as in “White Mustang,” become too devoted to the relationship, so much so that she is “feeling all [her] fucking feelings” and “talking in [her] sleep again.” To make matters worse, the man causing her all this emotional turmoil is, like those before him, “another loser.” A set of circumstances such as this is enough to irritate anyone, so, fittingly, we see a side of Lana on this track that is fierce, feisty, and full of choice words. Despite her emotions, she is self-assured (“Who’s doper than this bitch? Who’s freer than me?”), threatening (“If you were me and I was you, I’d get out of my way”), and dares her man to step out of line (“Be my guest, baby”). It is almost as if, in “feeling all [her] fucking feelings,” she has arrived at a point where she has nothing to lose, and is unafraid of being upfront with her unfair lover. In a musical sense, I really appreciate this track’s upbeat nature, fearless lyrics, and Lana’s usage of high-pitched vocals, even though they can be, at times, hard to decipher. In fact, this almost makes them better. While I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say that this song is a favorite, it has a fearlessness and a take-no-prisoners attitude that are simply irresistible. Lana is smoking throughout the song but demands that her lover get his cigarette smoke away from her. She can do it, he can’t. It’s her show now. Rating: 8.5/10 Favorite Lyric: “I’m crying while I’m cumming, / Making love while I’m making good money,” OR “If you were me / And I was you, / I’d get out of my way.” COACHELLA - WOODSTOCK IN MY MIND Of all the pre-release singles (even though there was some confusion for a time over whether this song would actually be on the album), “Coachella” was the one I liked the most upon first listen — loved it, actually — and I still do like it quite a lot, which I find interesting, as I’ve found it to be the least liked of all the singles (with the exception, maybe, of "Summer Bummer"). The song is musically solid (though suffers, as several songs do, from the same issue of trying to fit too many words into to short a line), and while it makes no profound or exceptionally provocative political statement, it is really cool to see Lana taking a more direct political stance in her music, especially given her typically quiet nature. All the song proposes is that perhaps one person’s thoughts and prayers for peace can impact a larger change, and while kids at Coachella may, admittedly, not be the group in the most dire need of help in today’s troubling world, Lana’s message of looking out for our youth and trying, even if we feel powerless, to be hopeful, is something many can relate to. “Coachella” leaves behind the rocky landscape of love and sex that “In My Feelings” brought to a boiling point and instead paves the way for Lana to give her two cents on today’s world and where she stands in it. Musically, though the chorus is just a bit disappointing compared to the verses and pre-choruses that precede it, “Coachella” is ripe with whirring, modern production that contrasts the song’s old-school hat-tips to Woodstock and “Stairway to Heaven,” and its lyrical progression feels beautifully organic. Lana doesn’t have all the answers; there is a lot she is still trying to figure out. But she is trying. Rating: 8.5/10 Favorite Lyric: “What about all these children / And all their children’s children? / And why am I even wondering that today?” GOD BLESS AMERICA - AND ALL THE BEAUTIFUL WOMEN IN IT There is something oh-so-satisfying about hearing Lana Del Rey sing “God bless America” in the chorus of a song. That Lana extends this patriotism to be an ode to women makes it even sweeter. The song is a natural follow-up to “Coachella”’s introductory politicism; on this track, Lana evokes images of city fire escapes and Lady Liberty and muses on what it’s like to be a woman under such a troubling presidential administration and ever-changing political landscape. Something I absolutely love about this track is that, as Lana changes with the times, lines that are typical of her begin to take on new meanings. “Even walkin’ alone, I’m not worried / I feel your arms all around me,” a line that, in another Lana song, might be about an affectionate lover (“He holds me in his big arms,” etc.), is, this time, “A little shoutout to the women and anyone else who doesn’t always feel safe walking down the street late at night.” Lana makes the shoutout to “anyone else” clear at the end of the song, when she changes the lyrics to “beautiful people” instead of “beautiful women” — a change that seems, too, to be an homage to the upcoming track “Beautiful People Beautiful Problems.” Musically, I think “God Bless America” is a real gem. Admittedly, I wasn’t crazy about the verses at first, but now, I think they provide a subtler contrast to the boisterous grandeur of the chorus. The breathy bridge is also undeniably strong and Lana’s high-pitched, nearly-indecipherable vocals work somewhat better here than they do on “In My Feelings.” Overall, “God Bless America” is a great track not only for its musical elements, but also for how it propels the political aspect of the album further. Rating: 9.25/10 Favorite Lyric: “Keep your light on, babe, I might be standin’ outside.” WHEN THE WORLD WAS AT WAR WE KEPT DANCING “When The World Was At War” was one of the tracks that I anticipated I would love before listening to the album. The title, though a mouthful, is beautiful, and when I heard that the song would include the highest vocals of Lana’s career, I became even more excited. Part of me felt this would be my #1 favorite song, actually. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. Before I get into why, let me say that “When The World Was At War” is by no means a bad song. I think the verses are terrific, and the pre-chorus is undoubtedly one of my favorite sections of music on the album. The beginning of the chorus, too, is magnificent; when Lana sings “Is it the end of an era? / Is it the end of an era?” she expertly creates a tangible mood of dread and despair. The song also provides a fitting conclusion to Lust for Life’s political trilogy, with its lyrics following obvious worries regarding the current state of the nation. Up until about 1 minute and 20 seconds into the song, it has a lot of promise. But the second half of the chorus sends the song downhill. Lana creates a huge lyrical contrast by pairing the extreme dread of “Is this the end of an era?” with the extreme optimism of “No, it’s only the beginning.” Unfortunately, this lyrical contrast also has a vocal contrast, and Lana shoots into a much higher, breathier octave that knocks the song out of its dark, brooding realm. In other words, the chorus’s second half simply feels out of place, and given that it is the core and crux of the track, its ineffectiveness leaves the whole song with a bit of a sour taste, even though the rest of it is so powerful and effective. Combine this with the high hopes I had for this track before the album’s release, and you get a recipe for disappointment. Still a solid track, but not what I’d hoped for. Rating: 7.75/10 Favorite Lyric: “Shake it up, / Throw your hands up and get loose. / Cut a rug, / Lean into the fuckin’ youth. / Choreo, / We just want the fuckin’ truth.” BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE BEAUTIFUL PROBLEMS The drama and high stakes of “World At War” are followed by a song that is not as overtly political, but muses more so on life in general. “Beautiful People Beautiful Problems” finds Lana collaborating with Stevie Nicks, the only other woman to appear on the album. It’s a touching ballad that balances appreciation for the beauties of life (“Long live our reign, long live our love”) with the knowledge that it’s not always going to be easy. “It’s more than just a video game,” Lana sings in a clear allusion to her 2011 breakout single. Perhaps there was a time when that was all there was to it — swinging in the backyard and playing video games with her lover — but Lana is one to change with the times, and she knows that there are things more pressing and heavier than that. When it all comes down to it, she, and everyone else, are simply “beautiful people with beautiful problems,” navigating a complex, ever-changing world while also navigating themselves and other people. To me, this song amplifies in simple terms what the whole album touches on. We leap, we fall, we win, we lose, we live. We try. Whether one’s "beautiful problem” is figuring out how to love a country that now seems corrupt and unlovable or losing connection with a short-lived lover, “we’ve gotta try.” That is Lana’s message not only for herself but seemingly for everyone. “Beautiful People” is an utterly gorgeous track; in my opinion, it is where Lana’s vocals sound the best on the record. And while her collaboration with Nicks isn’t my personal favorite, it is nice to hear their very different voices blending together. The song’s lovely lyrics give it an ethereal feel of floating above the earth, of being all-knowing. It’s, in some ways, an otherworldly song — delicate yet truthful in all the right places. Rating: 9.25/10 Favorite Lyric: “But when I love him, get a feeling / Something close to like a sugar rush.” TOMORROW NEVER CAME If I try to dance around how I feel about this track with intricate wording, I’ll never get to the end of it, so I’ll just say it: this is my favorite track on the album. Remarkable, incredible, [insert that one Gaga gif]. In all seriousness, though, I completely adore “Tomorrow Never Came.” It tinges the romantic idealism of “Love” with bittersweet sadness and vivid, colorful lyrics. The structure of the song as a duet adds to its storytelling nature, and Sean Ono Lennon’s feature is the best on the record behind Rocky’s in “Groupie Love.” I truly love him and Lana working together. What I think I love most about “Tomorrow Never Came,” though, is the sadness of it. I’m a sucker for sad songs, so a song like this — one that finds Lana bitterly ripped from any hope of keeping things the same in this relationship, one with so blatantly hopeless a title — is instantly appealing. But in addition to the sadness of it, it is musically solid throughout; though the chorus is the best part by a lot (especially when she switches up the lyrics at the end), the verses, pre-choruses, and especially the bridge, are each their own shade of saddeningly sweet. Lana’s combination of classic sadness with vibrant instrumentation and a warm feature from Lennon make “Tomorrow Never Came” the album’s biggest success. Rating: 10/10 Favorite Lyric: “You said you’d love me like no tomorrow; / I guess tomorrow never came.” HEROIN This song confuses me. I’m not really sure where exactly it stands in the storyline of the album. It certainly opens the final trinity on the album (tracks 14, 15, and 16), which deals with themes of change, but I struggle with how literally I should interpret these lyrics. Who is the “you” in this track? Did Lana know someone who OD’d on heroin? Is “heroin” a metaphor here? Or does “taking one’s life away” not necessarily mean dying? I don’t know the answers to any of these questions, but the truth is, that’s a minuscule detail overshadowed by “Heroin”’s deeply energetic presence on the album. First, let me just say that it is incredibly like Lana to not only write a song called “Heroin” but to also make it the longest track on the album. Interestingly enough, though, “Heroin” defied my expectations. Though it does have the dark, grungy, unsteadiness to be worthy of such an ominous title, I fully expected Lana to be singing about opiates in a more romantic sense, as we’ve seen her do before with tracks like “Yayo” and “Florida Kilos.” She surprised me, then, when she seemed to be reflecting regretfully in this song — her dreams about heroin perhaps better described as nightmares. “Heroin” opens with a very bare verse that for some reason reminds me, accurately or not, of “Salvatore.” The lyrics on this track are, in my opinion, some of the strongest on the album, and stand out especially during this initial period of minimal instrumentation. Lana creates great lyrical contrasts when we arrive at the pre-chorus — “heavy metal” and rock bands like Mötley Crüe make appearances, as do much more delicate images like ribbons in Lana’s hair and “ultra-soft” rocking — before the chorus opens with the almost bewildering “I’m flying to the moon again, dreaming about heroin.” But despite the song’s strange nature, I really enjoy it. The bridge was a pleasant surprise, too; its dark aggression reminded me of songs like “Noir” or “True Love on the Side.” There is merely one fatal flaw that makes “Heroin” hard to listen to: the first two choruses are soft, almost weak, in volume and energy, whereas the third chorus is more stronger, belted more fully. With all the energy lurking within “Heroin” as a track, it feels wrong that the first two choruses are so soft. Such long notes only half-belted feel boring and flat, especially when compared with the fullness of the final chorus. Maybe this is meant to show that Lana’s conviction for personal change in the third chorus is stronger than her conviction for another person’s change (or another person’s conviction for their own change), but that doesn’t change the fact that the song sounds empty because of it. (Sidenote: I would kill to hear this song with some UV production). Rating: 9/10 Favorite Lyric: “Writin’ in blood on my walls and shit” or “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t sick of it.” CHANGE I was surprised when I read that "Change" was the last song to be added to the album; to me, it's one of those tracks that embodies what the whole record is about, albeit in a more explicit, on-the-nose way than previous tracks. Still, I would've thought it'd be a shoo-in. Regardless, though, I'm glad it's on the album, as it's one of my favorites. It's simple — Rick Nowels said he and Lana only had time to record vocals and piano — but I think it's this simplicity that makes it shine. The rest of Lust for Life is coated with modern, sometimes aggressive production, but the stripped-back production on "Change" allows Lana's voice and the message of the song to shine as they do on few tracks earlier in the album. Lyrically, as I said, "Change" doesn't try to hide anything — "Change is a powerful thing, people are powerful beings" isn't too difficult to decipher. But with "Change" being the penultimate track, I don't mind this much. After 14 songs and nearly an hour of music, Lana's at the point where she no longer needs dramatic anecdotes or whirring production to propel a song forward. "Change," like "Beautiful People," is a universal song, a song for the future, a song on how to get by. It's a song in which Lana, despite how much she prides herself on changing with the times, admits that change can be hard, too. Musically, "Change" is near-flawless. Though long, the progression from one part of the song into the next feels so natural, and it's easy to focus on Lana's voice. The only part of the song that doesn't work for me is the chorus; though I enjoy the sentiment of being there whenever a change decides to come, it fits oddly with the rest of the song. I'm beginning to realize that I'm not the biggest fan of sudden shifts into an upper register. Especially with a song as delicate as "Change," the chorus feels somewhat noisy and disruptive. While it's not nearly as much of a burden on the whole of a song as, say, the chorus in "When The World Was At War," it is still my least favorite part of the track. Rating: 9.5/10 Favorite Lyric: "Change is a powerful thing, / I feel it comin' in me. / Maybe by the time summer's done, / I'll be able / To be honest, capable / Of holding you in my arms without letting you fall / When I don't feel beautiful / Or stable." GET FREE "Get Free" is by no means my favorite song on the album. It's probably not even in my top 5. But it is the perfect way to close the record. After over an hour of music, of tumultuous romances, inner turmoils, confusion, joy, and idealism, "Get Free" seeks to provide some peace at the end of the whirlwind that has been Lust for Life. "Get Free" is a song of resilience and committing to change, of looking back on why life hasn't worked out the way you wanted it to and going forward with a new perspective. It is a song very clearly for Lana, but for all of us, too; Lana herself says she is "doing it for all of us" and even mutes names in the pre-chorus, giving the track a more universal feel. It's truly a heartwarming song; we see Lana making a blatant allusion to "Ride," one of her more tormented songs, showing us all that five years doesn't necessarily mean change will come. You have to make a conscious effort. She seems to allude to "Video Games," too — the "And now I do" is familiar to "And, baby, now you do," but this time, Lana is focusing on herself, focusing on her own realizations. Musically, "Get Free" isn't my favorite. The verses suffer from the ever-reoccurring dilemma of trying to fit too many words into one place. They feel clunky and disorderly. The pre-choruses and chorus are noticeably stronger, though, and ultimately I can look past any musical downfalls simply because of how great a closer this is to the record. The imagery, too, is hopeful — moving "out of the black" and "into the blue," an optimistic spin on Neil Young's moving "out of the blue, into the black." Lana knows that the idealism of the album's first few tracks is unsustainable ("There's no more chasing rainbows," she sings), and that is okay. She is committed to finding ways to be happy in a world of realism. The future is uncertain, this is clear, but as the track fades into a shimmering soundscape — one reminiscent of beaches and blue skies — it is hard not to believe that that future holds something good. Rating: 8/10 Favorite Lyric: "Sometimes it feels like I've got a war in my mind, / I wanna get off, but I keep riding the ride. / I never really noticed that I had to decide / To play someone's game / Or live my own life. / And now I do." OVERVIEW: Overall, Lana Del Rey’s fifth studio album Lust for Life is an incredibly successful record. Though sometimes plagued by awkward vocal shifts or lacking lyrical arrangements, the album strikes a satisfying balance between risky, new pathways (“Summer Bummer,” “In My Feelings”) and recognizable ones (“13 Beaches,” “Beautiful People Beautiful Problems”). The political tone of [part of] the album is also refreshing, and something I hope to see Lana embellish on in the future. Furthermore, the fact that Lana was able to successfully create a cohesive, story-telling record over sixteen track and more than an hour of music is impressive and was a very pleasant surprise. Lust for Life is not a perfect record; it has its share of pitfalls and disappointments. But, as a whole, it is incredibly satisfactory, and I loved the new directions that Lana took while still managing to stay grounded in her strengths. Another great album from the NYC songstress. For her next one, I’d love to see her expand even more on the risks she took on this record. But until then, you can bet I’ll have this one on repeat. GRADE: 139.25 out of a possible 160, or 87.03 out of 100. SONG RANKINGS (Favorite to Least Favorite, Based on Rating): 1. Tomorrow Never Came (10/10) 2. Change / 13 Beaches / Cherry (9.5/10) 5. God Bless America - And All The Beautiful Women In It / Beautiful People Beautiful Problems (9.25/10) 7. White Mustang / Heroin (9/10) 9. Love (8.75/10) 10. Coachella - Woodstock In My Mind / In My Feelings (8.5/10) 12. Summer Bummer / Get Free (8/10) 14. When The World Was At War We Kept Dancing / Lust for Life (7.75/10) 16. Groupie Love (7/10) SUPERLATIVES: Best Bridge: God Bless America - And All the Beautiful Women In It Best Lyrics: Heroin Most Unexpected: Heroin Most Fulfilling: Tomorrow Never Came Least Fulfilling: When The World Was At War We Kept Dancing Most Potential to Grow on Me: Get Free Classic Lana / Most Lana-esque: White Mustang Sums the Album Up Best: Beautiful People Beautiful Problems / Change Most Reminiscent of BTD: White Mustang Most Reminiscent of Paradise: 13 Beaches Most Reminiscent of UV: Heroin Most Reminiscent of Honeymoon: Heroin Cutest Song: Love Saddest Song: Tomorrow Never Came Sexiest Song: Cherry Strangest Song: Heroin And that's a wrap! Thanks to anyone who made it through the whole thing; you a real one and I hope you enjoyed.
  17. 1. That killer voice Whether she's accompanying herself on piano with no one else onstage (which she did for several songs including finale A Million Reasons), or belting and dancing with a full band (for Just Dance, Poker Face, Love Game, Scheiße, the unexpected Bloody Mary, etc.) Gaga's voice sounds pitch-perfect. However, that doesn't mean her acoustics always do. In the first half of Gaga's Vancouver show, drums, guitar and bass were drowning out the pop star's vocals. Fortunately, the sound was fixed in time to hear her impressive high note on The Edge of Glory. 2. Those beautiful bodysuits There was a white sequined bodysuit. There was a black, barely-there bodysuit. There was a red cutout bodysuit. There was a a blue, structured bodysuit. There was even a black bodysuit with one floral arm sleeve. Gaga looked stunning in each of them. And the outfits were versatile: Each was paired with either a voluminous skirt, sequined cape, puffy coat or fringed jacket that were added or subtracted during the costume-heavy show. 3. The Tetris stages At first, Gaga's stage looked like your everyday, static platform. But then, two smaller pieces rose out of it to form two additional platforms. After that, the stage went into all sorts of crazy configurations: stairs, diagonals, a place to land a bridge that dropped from the ceiling. Yep, there was a bridge that was busy being a video monitor and color pod when it wasn't being used as a walkway to to get from one stage to another. Suffice it to say: The show's staging was impressive. 4. The halfway point The best part of Gaga's show came at about the midway point, when Gaga took time between songs to change, and fans were treated to one of the singer's several short film pieces. This piece — unlike the ones that had her wearing rhino horns with Pharrell (confusing) and shrieking while walls closed in on her (disturbing) — was thrilling. It showed her growing talons and inhaling a drug that made her relive intoxicating moments onstage. Then the real Mother Monster returned to the arena with a vengeance, performing Applause while sashaying along the aforementioned floating floral bridge. Next, after bringing a fan's Pride flag onstage, she perfectly segued into her love-each-other song Come to Mama, and then show-stopper Born This Way. The rainbow lights were fitting. 5. The fiercest dancers They vogue, they twerk, they lift Gaga in the air, they pull off floral kimonos. Lady Gaga's dancers are a joy to watch, even when they're trying to remain hidden as they help the star disrobe. Then there are the dancers in the audience, adorned with glitter, unicorn headpieces, gold bodysuits, pink Joanne hats and costume makeup. Gaga's loyal Monsters in the stands are often just as captivating as the ones in her show. SOURCE
  18. Discussion

    Hey guys! I am new to fotpforums! I love ukelele songs and wanted to start a discussion to see who else likes ukulele songs! If you have any favorites please post them, would love to dive into new songs! Grace Vanderwaal does most of my favorite songs. However my favorite ukulele song of all has gotta be "My Anthem" by Christina Grimmie!
  19. Due to the first Joanne World Tour show happening yesterday, I thought we should do a Big Brother style game for it. Just saying @Monster sorry for running this the same time as your iconic Joanne BB! RULES - Players choose a song from the JWT setlist to represent. Please comment below with the song- first come first serve. - Once there are no more songs availible, I will select a head of house who is basically in charge of the house. - The head of house will choose two songs from the setlist (I will PM you if you are HOH) - The players (except the two up for eviction) then vote on which song they want to evict by PM'ing me (Please set up the PM and use the same one for all your votes) - The song with the most votes against it will leave the house and I will select another head of house. - We then repeat the process until there is only one song left. TOUR SETLIST (Disclaimer: This is the setlist for the first show and may contain spoilers) RESULTS 22- 21- 20- 19- 18- 17- 16- 15- 14- 13- 12- 11- 10- 9- 8- 7- 6- 5- 4- 3- 2- 1-
  20. Breaking her usual pattern of putting a record out per year, Lana Del Rey releases her new album ‘Lust For Life’ upon great expectations. Ever since she dropped the lead single ‘Love’, many have speculated about the date of release for ‘Lust For Life’ – and finally it is here! The first thing that the listener realises is how different the cover is from her previous work. Not only she has decided to leave behind her paradigmatic typography, but she is finally smiling. Wearing a 60s outfit, Del Rey is about to show us quite a different side of her throughout the album. And I will not even get into the car theories… [...] READ IT HERE!
  21. With the release of Liam Payne's Quavo-featuring "Strip That Down" last Friday (May 19), fans at long last have a complete set of One Direction solo singles: All five members have made their entrance as proper pop solo entities. What's more, "Strip" makes it an even ten singles between the five members -- not counting Harry Styles' promotional quasi-single "Sweet Creature" -- with Zaynobviously doing most of the heavy lifting, after his near-year head start on the other four. In honor of these new benchmarks for the solo 1Ders -- including our most recent cover star, the recently minted "grown-ass-man" Niall Horan -- we've decided to rank all 10 of the solo singles they've collectively released so far. Read on below, and look forward to our list certainly ballooning in size (and debatability) in the years to come. Source: Billboard
  22. twenty to eleven comin tomorrow bbes xx
  23. and this fucking piece of trash had the AUDACITY to complain about biased journalism.