Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Demi Lovato, Demi

I became a Demi fan when she released Skyscraper. I admit I really didn't know much about her before that, but soon she was making headline news for her "troubles". Skyscraper was the perfect anthem for her to come back and show us that she is going to stay strong. I realized then that she had a killer voice, unlike most of the Disney stars...homegirl can actually sing. And then I saw her cover of  Lil Wayne's How To Love and I became super hooked. I don't own any other album of hers, but I was intrigued as to what this one would sound like...

1. Heart Attack- This is her first single and one of my favorite songs of 2013 so far. It's super catchy, with an incredible beat and use of instrument. The added effects make it an intriguing, cool pop song.

The feelings got lost in my lungs
They’re burning, I’d rather be numb
And there’s no one else to blame
So scared I take off and I run

2. Made In The Usa- Songs like these remind me that I'm not in Demi's demographic. And by that I mean- when I'm cold you're there like a sweater? Seriously? But lyrics aside, it's actually a good song. I know, lyrics are a pretty big deal, but the chorus is fantastic, and her vocals are great.

No matter how far we go, I want the whole world to know
I want you bad, and I wont have it any other way

3. Without The Love- Relatable lyrics, killer vocals, baseball references, and an amazing hook= perfect song. And the bridge? Christ.

You're beautiful, but cause me pain
You play my heart like it's a game
And you work so hard to get me, just to let me go
Yeah you put me in the spotlight, just to steal the show

4. Neon Lights- This is a dance/club/girls night out kinda tune that people will love to hate but secretly blast it while they slip on their heels and apply mascara.  This won't be one of the songs that I play again and again, but it's a fun night out kinda song.

Shining like stars cause we're beautiful, beautiful
You're all I see in all these places
You're all I see in all these faces
So let's pretend we're running of time, of time

5. Two Pieces-Demi's vocals on this track are, so far, the best of any song we've heard, and that makes me excited for the rest of the album. The song goes from gentle, soft and story telling to belting and passionate, making it an emotional ride and an interesting song. The bridge is, once again, incredible.

We'll never fall apart, cause we fit together right, we fit together like two pieces of a broken heart

6. Nightingale-A beautiful, sweet ballad. Demi sounds like a mature, polished singer here, showing off her incredible vocals. The story is relatable, we all want someone to come and be next to us in this crazy world. One of the best songs on this album.

Cause baby you're my sanity, you bring me peace, sing me to sleep

7. In Case- This is my favorite song, hands down. The piano driven song is emotional, honest, and raw. The song tells a story, and Demi is holding onto this guy, just in case he changes his mind. It touches on the grief we feel when we lose someone, hoping that maybe they'll come back someday.

In case
You don't find what you're looking for
In case
You're missing what you had before
In case
You change your mind, I'll be waiting here
In case
You just want to come home

8. Really Don't Care- My roomate played me this song and it's what made me want a copy of the album. It's sassy and angsty, very catchy with a perfect pop production. Demi's speaking up for all us strong, single ladies here. Cher Lloyd makes a cameo, which is eh. Well. It fits. I am not a Cher Lloyd fan, but I appreciate it in this song.

I cant believe I ever stayed up writing songs about you
You dont deserve to know the way I used to think about you
Oh no not anymore, oh no not anymore
You had your shot, had your shot, but you let go

Now if we meet out on the street I won't be running scared
I'll walk right up to you and put one finger in the air
And make you understand, and make you understand
You had your chance, had your chance

9. Fire starter- Well Damn. She really is a badass, huh? This song is all about being strong, confident, and full of sass. The pop production is A plus.

I'm a bad-ass jumping off the moving train

10. Something That We're Not- Talk about sassy. Demi's good at that, she's clearly following in the footsteps of Kelly Clarkson. This is the perfect "thanks but no thanks" song. You go girl! With the clapping and electric guitar matched with hilarious, sassy lyrics, this is a winner.

You wanna be more than just friends
I can't go through this again
Stop trying to get inside my head

11.  Never Been Hurt- This may be one of the more forgettable songs on the album, seems like just a filler. But the vocal gymnastics on the chorus is pretty awesome. Other than that, it's just another good pop song.

You wanna be more than just friends

I can't go through this again
Stop trying to get inside my head

12. Shouldn't Come Back-Demi's emotions bleed through in this song, making it a touching song. Her voice is different than the other songs she gave us on the album, a good kind of different. I like the variety, it shows that she really can sing anything.

Maybe you shouldn't come back
Maybe you shouldn't come back to me
Tired of being so sad, I'm tired of getting so mad, baby

13. Warrior- Demi closes the album with the emotional, personal song. She opens up about her struggles that we've all heard about. She is singing for herself, but also for every other person who has been in her shoes. Her voice is incredible on this song, making you want to go hug her.

Now I'm taking back my life today
Nothing left that you can say
Cause you were never gonna take the blame anyway

Overall, Demi has given listeners an amazing, powerful album with some fantastic pop hits mixed with emotional ballads- and she does all of this with gorgeous vocals.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Lady Antebellum: Golden

I don't even know how long I've been waiting for this album. I adore Lady Antebellum and have since I saw them when they opened for Martina McBride in 2008. Back then, there wasn't even an album out yet. They had one song on their myspace page. Now look at them! They are incredible musicians. I read somewhere that they really wanted people to relate to this album- and to that I say cheers, you did it.

1. Get To Me-  This is a pretty classic Lady A tune, which showcases Hillary's vocals. It has a catchy, cool melody and those sweet, sweet harmonies. The theme is similar to their mega hit "Need You Now", but not nearly as emotional and raw. The lyrics are beautiful, though.

You’re gonna show up and kiss me
Pull me in, hold me tight, love me and carry me away
Like there’s no more tomorrows and no more yesterdays

2. Goodbye Town- Charles Kelley leads the vocals here, and he sounds better than ever. The song is about wanting to escape from the town. There's a really cool part of the song where it quiets down to piano, and Hilary jumps in with a softer vocal. There's also an instrument break toward the end of the tune, and the song surprises us with a treat. Charles carries out the song with an emotional "Goodbye" to the relationship, singing out "you're gonna think of me, you're gonna think of me, when I'm long gone". The outro is outstanding, a hidden little gem on this album.

Oh one day you’re gonna look back on what we had
You’re gonna think of me
You’re gonna think of me
When I’m long gone

3. Nothin' Like The First Time- A sweet song about new love. Both Hillary and Charles sing on the verses, and of course, harmonize perfectly. A relatable song, with a sweet story. One of my favorites.

There's a magic in the way you will always stay

4. Downtown- This is Lady A's first single, and it's already a hit. Hillary shows off her sassy side in this uptemo song. It's a fun song to sing along to, one of their more "fun" singles. Ladies love this one, I think we can all relate. We just want you to take us out, boys.

I got some platforms sittin’ in the corner
They wanna stroll on a city sidewalk
I gotta dress that’ll show a little uh, uh
But you ain’t gonna uh, uh
If you don’t come pick me up...show me off

5. Better Off (Now That You're Gone) I've been excited for this song ever since the track listing was released. And I am 100% satisfied with what I hear. It's got a bit of a rock edge, both instrumentally and lyrically. It's basically a "Screw you, I don't need you" song.  There's one point where I really thought they were going to drop the "F bomb". Which would have been kind of awesome, actually. But these are good ole county kids. I love this song, and I can't wait to see what they do with it on a live show.

nights spent with empty bottles and picking up broken glass
I should have known from the very first night that this just never would last

6. It Ain't Pretty-One of my favorites. It's a Hillary song, and a heartbreaking song. I like that this is kind of like a follow up to downtown- now Hillary is downtown alone, crying in the bathroom, surrounded by happy people. The bridge is a little bonechilling, and Hillary's voice almost starts to break at one point. It makes you want to hug her. We've all been there, Hil. It sure ain't pretty when a heart breaks.

I almost dialed your number
To remind you what you did
But I think it might be better
To just let this night end

7. Can't Stand The Rain-So some of my favorite songs from Lady A have been their "inspirational" ones- every album has one...One Day You Will, Hello World, Heart of the World. Can't Stand The Rain has a similar message, about supporting someone when they are going through a hard time and being their umbrella. But it just doesn't quite capture me like the other songs I mentioned.

When you can’t take it even one more day
No I’m never too far away
Even when you feel like you’re out there on your own
No you’re not alone

8. Golden- The band takes a step back from the heavy instruments on this one. It's a beautiful song, with perfect harmonies and a lovely chorus. Although it's a softer song than the Lady A we've seen recently, it's one of their best songs on the album.

From the day you strolled in
My heart was stolen
You’ll be the hand I’m holding
When the heavens open
Cause you are golden

9.  Long Teenage Goodbye- A sweet, nostalgic song that makes me want to be 18 again. This one gives us every detail of a teenage romance.  It's carefree, exciting and sweet.

Chasing fireworks flashing down the Carolina shore yeah
Arms around me and you called me yours
That salty kiss made me forget about my sunburn

10. All For Love- Hands down, best song on the album. It's also the most dramatic and emotional, much like Need You Now. Both Hillary and Charles sing with such passion here, trading verses and blaming one another for the fall of the relationship. This song almost perfectly describes the fall out my last relationship, so it hits close to home.

Cause what about the times that you said to me
That I was everything that’d you’d ever need
How can you just up and walk away
And look me in the eye and say
You did it all for love 

11. Better Man- This is a sweet, low key tune, mainly featuring Charles (although the harmonies are beautiful on the chorus!) and it's his story of the love he has making him, well, a better man. The song doesn't stand out, but it's a good tune and I'm sure it will be used at many weddings. :)

Do you remember that one night we spent in Santé Fe
We drank ourselves into a fight and almost threw it all away
But we talked it out till the bar closed down and we gave it one more try
As they swept the floors, we just sat there laughing till we cried

12. Generation Away-  I love love love the idea behind this song- it's fresh and new, taking a break from love and heartbreak.  IT's kind of a silly song, but it's fun. I'm sure it will be a crowd pleaser at summer concerts.

Let’s make some memories while we can
Laugh and love, don't miss your chance
Cause He's still got the whole world in His hands, so baby let's dance

Friday, April 5, 2013

Crystal Bowersox-All That For This

Crystal Bowersox, who nearly won American Idol back in 2010, has no released two albums and will be starring in a Broadway musical about Patsy Cline. Critics argue that former Idol contestants have no shot at a career, but I'd say Crystal is doing pretty well.

All That For This, Crystal's second full length album, is exactly the kind of music you'd expect from this gal: folk and blues, with heartfelt lyrics and perfect use of instruments.

1. Dead Weight- This is the first single off the album and really sets the tone. Raw music, that's what this is. Her voice is smooth, a real treat to the ears. She's giving advice in this tune, telling listeners to let go of the things holding us down. I can't help but think of her Idol nickname, Mamasox. Because in this song it's like she's comforting all of us who have been hurt- just like a mama would.

And if you don't know, I'll tell you now. Just lay down your load and wipe your frown. Cuz if you're holding onto dead weight, it's just holding you down. Oh you're gonna sink or swim, you better let it go now.

2. Movin' On- Crystal's voice oozes with sensuality and croon in this one. She is sure to tell us that she's moving on and over whatever dude left her. I love the use of trumpet in this song, it makes the tune extra jazzy. At the end when she goes into that big run, you just want to stand up and cheer for the girl.

My head is heavy now, it won't let me down, keep it real, keep it undercover. Whoa, I'm moving on.

3. Everything Falls Into Place- Crystal's vocals own this song. It's a happy little diddy, sprinkling in hope and security for those who are doubting life or going through challenges. I just know this will be a crowd favorite at concerts. The bridge especially speaks to listeners, as Crystal sings...

everything that comes to me, even if it is a tragedy
Leaves me stronger than yesterday
Trust me, I've seen this before
Love and heart can open doors
And the pain will start to fade away

4. Home. Funny story about this song. I've been waiting for it to appear on an album for two years. Yep. I saw Crystal play live in the summer of 2011. She did a few songs from her debut album plus some Idol favorites. But she also sang  this song- she had just written it a few days prior and didn't even have a name for it. She asked the crowd what we thought the name should be. It was a cool, memorable concert moment for me and now here it is on her album. It brings listeners back to Crystal's roots, and the song is a feel-good, down home kinda tune. I'll be blasting it with my windows down this summer.

Sometimes we get lost, like a storm with no name
And I'll leave a trail behind me, everywhere I go
But home is the place where the green grass grows

5. Someday-Someday is a break up song, and Crystal's emotions are raw and real in this tune. She sings that she's not sure what else to do, so she'll write a song. There's no better way to heal a heart than to write about it, I say! It tells a story and it's a really great song and perfectly describes the confusion and hurt that comes along with someone leaving.

And of all the things you left
My heart's the one I'd wish you'd catch
You know everything's fine, 
Then again not everything's fine!

6. I Am- One of the more intimate songs on the album with Crystal's voice just a tad more raw and emotional than the other tracks- as if that were possible. She even sings about how real she is, and that she can't be perfect.. 

But I am real, I am all an easy emotional extravedies/That I see

7. Shine- Oh Lord Jesus this song. Hands down my favorite off the album, this song just gets me right in the heart. Crystal sings her heart out and throws it at us like she wants us to cry with her. I talked about this in my last album review, but I just went through a really nasty breakup, and this song echoes my every feeling. This emotion is the reason I adore Crystal.

And I'm gonna miss you\like you'll never know\I'm gonna live this life as if I'm singing my last show

8. Till The Whisky's Gone-This one has a bit of a rock country edge. It's Crystal telling this guy that she's not ready to leave or give up on them, not until the whisky is gone, admitting that she is empty without him. I love the use of drums in this song. Actually, all the instruments here are pretty stellar. The end is clap worthy, another good live concert song.

I thought that if I brought you here, we'd have a drink or two
Maybe I could change your mind, cause I'm still in love with you!

9. Amen For My Friends- This is a sweet ode to all the people who support us through life. We truly would not be able to make it without them, even the ones who aren't in close distance. Crystal perfectly describes that gratitude in this tune. Every lyric is relatable.

taking it all and 'this is building up inside of me
'Cause tragedy comes in waves and tides
Climb upon this boat and ride 
Saying a prayer tonight for the good in my life

10. Stitches is a duet with Jakob Dylan. Their voices are very different from one another, which makes the song unique and intriguing. It's a song about wanting to heal someone else, stitch them back up from the heartbreak. It's got an old school classic country feel to it, and I love the piano solo!

Tattered and torn in two
There's only one thing I can think of to do
I'll pull out my thimble, my needle and thread
And I'll stitch you back up like new

11. Here's Where The Story Ends- I'm hearing a little Alanis Morrisette in this track, but I could be way off. I dig the vocals, and it's probably the most produced song on the album. After listening to the song a few times, I think that this song is saying goodbye to a bad time in Crystal's life. I like that, it's inspiring and a good message.

12. All That For This- This tune is a bit more country twang, it's a sweet love story and even mentions her little boy. The song points out that they have been through a lot, but it's worth it because they are together and in love. How sweet. I hope I find that one day.

been through it all by now/but if trouble comes around again/we'll whether the storm/we'll be safe

The Band Perry- Pioneer

Pioneer is the second album for The Band Perry. Their first self-titled album, released back in 2010, was a huge hit. Five of the singles were in the Top 20. They are best known for the heart wrenching tune "If I Die Young".

Pioneer is a combination of country goodness mixed with rock edge. It's bold and brave, packed full of darn good music.

1. You Better Dig Two- This song was released a while ago as a single and did quite well. For good reason. It's uptempo and contemporary. The message of the song itself may be a bit morbid but hey, I like it, and I'll take it. I really "dig" the use of a banjo in the song.

If the ties that bond ever do come loose/if "forever" ever ends for you/if that ring gets a little too tight/you might as well read me my last rites

2. Done.- I'll be honest, this song was my motivation for purchasing this album. I was sitting on my couch watching American Idol and the Target commercial for Pioneer came on TV- they were promoting this song. I was intrigued. Probably my favorite song off the album, this next single is sure to be a big hit. It's fun, fiesty and angsty. As someone who just had her heart broken, I can totally relate to this song. And sing it. Loudly. It's a super catchy tune, so play it loudly and get ready to tap your toes. Plus, there's a wicked cool guitar solo.

you're one bridge I'd like to burn/bottle up the ashes and smash the urn

3. Don't Let Me Be Lonely- This tune has a bit of a Sugarland vibe to it. That's a good thing- Sugarland knows how to make those hits, and I think Don't Let Me Be Lonely will be a hit for The Band Perry. It's a catchy, sweet ballad. I think most people can relate to the lyrics here, wanting someone to save us from that lonely feeling. It's a little bit of desperation, but not in a bad way- in that sweet, yearning way.

well there's nothing to hide and nothing to prove/give me all that you are/you've got nothing to lose/just don't let me be lonely

4. Pioneer-The song starts off sweet, soft and with a bluegrass twist. Like a classic country song, with beautiful harmonies and instruments. It picks up toward the end, becoming a little bit more uptempo and Kimberly's vocals get a little more intense. I like the change, it makes the song more powerful. I get goosebumps every time I listen to this one. I don't know a lot about The Band Perry, but I like to think that this song is an ode to their fans.

I won't hush, no you can't make me
Send the dark but it won't break me
You can try but you can't change me
Take my life, they will replace me
I won't hush, no you can't make me
I won't hush, no we will sing

5. Forever Mine, Nevermind- The arrangement of this song has a definite rock edge to it, heavy on instruments and rhythm. The vocals are unique, going in and out with the beat of the music. I can just picture fans singing wholeheartedly along to the "na na na" parts of this one. I love the lyrics in this one, telling the story of a heartbreak.

Oh I'll forget the day
I saw your face
I lost my way
I trusted you, I trusted
All your lovely words
They were a curse
You piece of dirt
I trusted you, I trusted you, I trusted you

6. Nights Gone Wasted- Picture yourself at a bonfire with country music blasting, everyone has a beer in their hand and dancing. This song will be playing. I promise. It's super catchy, a bit of an anthem, and the PERFECT song for summer. The use of drums and electric guitar is pretty genius here. It's just a fun song about going out and having fun. Who doesn't love that?

let's do our best to get out of hand

7. I Saw A Light- This beautiful ballad describes that feeling you get when you meet "the one". I've never had that feeling, but I imagine this is exactly what it feels like. Beautiful harmonies on this track! The bridge is catchy and almost suspenseful. You can picture the "meeting" happening right then and there.

Maybe it was just the way the wind blew
Maybe it was God and his Son too
But in that moment I know that I knew
That I, I found you

8. Mother Like Mine- This song is a sweet sentiment to the band's mother. It's a pretty song. Reminds me quite a bit of the Kristy Lee Cook tune "Like My Mother Does", but that could just be because they both have similar titles and are country. Regardless, sweet song with adorable lyrics.

She's the sky that holds the clouds
She's the lady of our house
We all need her
But no one more than me

9. Chainsaw-This song will do well at summer concerts, especially with women scorned. It's sassy and fiesty much like "Done". Catchy and very much country, it's a great song...although I admit, not one of my favorites.

 remember what you said that night
That you would love me for the rest of your life
We wrote forever with a pocketknife
But forever's goin' down tonight

10. I'm A Keeper- This one could be a radio hit. I love the message behind the lyrics- basically singing about  being strong, even without a lover, we're still gonna do our thing and darn it, if you don't like it, too bad! This one definatley has that 80's rock vibe.

But with or without you
My only plan is to be free
With or without you
I'm still me

11. Back To Me Without You- I love this song so much. I love how it starts off with the piano. One of my favorites tunes, and it's the best ballad on the album. While Kimberly talks about what happened, her brothers echo in the background with "get back to what you know, get back to what you do", as if they are pumping her with advice. This song PERFECTLY describes the intense loss and grief you feel after breaking up with someone. It's a bit haunting and intense, very emotional. My favorite lyric of the entire album is on this song:

I added rain to your ocean / What did it do? / I meant nothing to you / You made grief my chief emotion / Why’d you have to do what you thought you had to do?

12. End Of Time- This ballad finishes the album in a perfect way. It's a good ole country ballad, dropping references to Alabama and Sweet Tea. Vocally perfect.

pick up your phone/I need an answer/ Come back home, call off disaster/Cause I fear tonight our Cotton Land might fall/I'm cracking like the plaster on the wall

Target Bonus Tracks
I am so happy I purchased the Target deluxe version of this album. There's some extra amazing tunes that you'll miss out on if you don't get it!

Once Upon A Time- Holy. Freaking. Moly. I wish this song had made the cut for the original album. It's fantastic. It nearly caused me to get in a car accident, because it nearly perfectly describes the situation I am currently in. This song is very jazzy and bluesy, showing off Kimberly's chops in a major way.

Why didn't you show me? Why didn't you let me know? Why didn't you hold me? Why can't you let me go?

Lucky Ones- Very much a country tune, catchy uptempo and fun to sing along with. Kimberly's vocals are sassy and gritty in this tune.

Why do we believe in every little thing that rips us at the seams?

Peaches and Caroline- A sweet little love song. Makes me wonder if "sweet caroline" has anything to do with the story in this song, considering the words you're so sweet, the troubles of the day fade away to peaches and Caroline. But my favorite lyrics from this one are the simple words

you are my safe and sound

Gonna Be OK-A favorite of mine, Kimberly's voice sounds a bit like Kelly Clarkson in this inspiring tune. It's uplifting and encouraging without being boring. All of us hit a low point, and all of us need songs like Gonna Be OK to pull us through.

hey, everything is gonna be ok. May God kiss your weary face. Everything is gonna be alright, let peace be yours tonight.