Music Moment: Bleachers

Music Moment: Bleachers

“Your hand forever’s all I want

Don’t take the money.”


After watching a super stellar, informative video about 80s music (my favorite genre ever), I came across an artist named Bleachers. With just a sample of his music in the video, I decided to look it up on Spotify, half-expecting a sad excuse for an indie artist. Instead I listened to his entire album twice in one night and bought the CD the very next day.

I have been absolutely gushing about this album for the past two weeks. With it’s totally 80s synth vibes, the album is artistically complex and catchy. Without further ado, here is my brief analysis and review of Gone Now.

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This is Jack Antonoff’s (aka Bleachers) sophomore album. It was released on June 2, 2017. There are 12 tracks. The greyscale album cover gives an ambiguous vintage feel to the album (as does the royal outfit he’s sporting).

 

The album itself is an absolute whirlwind of emotions. The opening track is a mix of strange voices that reappear throughout the album. In many songs the essential 80s drum beat is very noticeable (particularly in “Don’t Take the Money”). The mellow ballads, such as “Nothing Is U”, are very telling of the deep emotional strain Jack was experiencing while writing the album. “Everybody Lost Somebody” is a surprisingly sad song, despite the upbeat pop sound. He speaks of loss (specifically the loss of his sister at the age of 18) and how it is necessary to keep moving on in life. “All My Heroes” shows how Jack can take a cynical point of view and put a new spin on it. Each track is a very intricately composed song that carries the weight of a new discovery in his life.

I think much of the reason this album resonates so strongly with me is simply because it completely, whole-heartedly channels 80s music. I absolutely adore the synth beats, the sprinkling of electronic trumpets, and the intense drum reverb that is repeated throughout the album.

The themes also make it very compelling, especially with the repetition of lyrics. He continuously speaks of heartbreak, loss, anxiety, excitement, change, and depression. His tendencies toward extreme emotions are prevalent in his songs, and I love that he channels them in bizarre lyrics and funky beats.

 

Fave song: Don’t Take the Money or Goodmorning or Let’s Get Married (there’s just so many great ones I can’t really pick!)

Least fave song: Foreign Girls

 

Overall, I give this album a 8.1/10 for aesthetics, flow, and content. While the lyrics can be somewhat confusing and peculiar, the messages he conveys are strong. I applaud his ability to bring back the 80s with a modern, indie pop vibe. I think it will be interesting to see where his next album leads him.

Bleachers, you’ve earned yourself a new fan.

 

KV

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Playlist du Jour.

Playlist du Jour.

So, as we are all aware, today is August 21. The day of the solar eclipse.

Predicted to be the busiest travel day in the history of the US, it is kind of a big deal. And of course, social media has blown up the event x1000. However, it should be celebrated! It is quite the exciting thing to see (but don’t look directly at it please).

For most of us, this is a one time event. And so, being the music fanatic that I am, I thought to myself, why not make a playlist? We have Halloween playlists, Christmas playlists, etc. Why not an eclipse playlist?

 

So, here is my fabulous Eclipse 2017 playlist. Enjoy. And be safe.

 

 

KV

Playlist of the Month: July 2017.

Playlist of the Month: July 2017.

Hello everyone! I’m super excited to be sharing this month’s playlist with you. I put a lot of heart and soul into this one.

This playlist reflects what you might catch me jamming to on any given summer day. It’s a massive compilation of an extremely bizarre mix of music. I’m convinced, however, that you’re sure to find something you like in this playlist, whether it’s George Michael or Drake. (And yes, you can quote me on that.)

But there’s a catch: the order of the songs is essential to the playlist. Don’t worry, I have a method to my madness.

 

1-10: Morning.

11-20: Afternoon.

21-31: Evening.

31-41: Late Night.

(Click HERE for my ultimate summer playlist.)

Coast through your day with this playlist as your soundtrack. Happy listening!

KV

Music Moment: Harry Styles

Music Moment: Harry Styles

As I sit in Barnes & Noble writing this blog post, Harry Styles’s album is on repeat throughout the store, as if they knew I would be here today. The smell of coffee + a good album + being surrounded by books? I’m in my element.

 

Mes amis, it is long past time for another album review. And what better way to get back on track than with Harry Styles’s debut solo album? Warning: Be prepared for lots of cliché, fangirl comments. (I will, however, try to keep those to a minimum.)

I think I can speak for almost all One Direction fans when I say that we held our breaths in hesitant anticipation for this album. And it did not disappoint.

Let’s start with the basics.

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The album cover has a light pink color scheme, which was a bit surprising to many. Rolling Stone had the opportunity to ask Harry what made this particular color stand out to him. Styles responded by quoting the Clash’s Paul Simonon: “Pink is the only true rock & roll colour.”

As for the content, there are 10 songs: the golden number for an album (in my oh-so-humble opinion). Not only that, there are essentially 10 different genres jammed into this one album.

Upon listening to the album the first time through, I had the thoughts of a skeptic. But after the third time it played (my rule of thumb), I fell more and more in love with Styles’ solo work.

Each songs carries a different atmosphere or energy. However, it all seems to revolve around a certain raw, vintage vibe. Whether it’s Beatles or Bowie inspired, not many up-and-coming solo artists can make an album filled with different genres of music. From the psychedelic opening track “Meet Me in the Hallway” to the alternative rock vibe of “Only Angel” to the acoustic, dark Jack Johnson feel of “From the Dining Table”, Harry has definitely not shied away from experimenting with his musical talents.

I think the reason this album works so well is partially because he is being completely open with his audience. As Styles says in his Rolling Stone interview, “I didn’t want to write stories. I wanted to write my stories, things that happened to me. The number-one thing was I wanted to be honest. I hadn’t done that before.”

And one could say he is being honest almost to the point of recklessness. His lyrics are a 180 degree difference from the One Direction days. Forget the happy, feel-good songs about puppy love. More risqué than ever, Harry is jumping onto the current music scene with a classic twist. He opens up about his personal experiences and life, discussing women, drugs, and relationships. From the sexy sound of “Kiwi” to the more subdued folk twang of “Two Ghosts”, each song is diverse and creative.

Favorite song: Kiwi or Woman

Least favorite song: Ever Since New York

Overall I give this album a 8.5/10 for aesthetics, content, and originality. I truly applaud Harry for his efforts in creating a style that is all his own. I love that he branched out and played around with his music. While I don’t think he has necessarily found his niche yet, I truly believe Harry is well on his way to becoming a future music legend. I cannot wait to his what he continues to do. And to those who are condescending or doubtful of this new persona… I don’t think this is the “new” Harry Styles. I just think it’s Harry Styles as he has always wanted to be.

Love you, H. x

 

-KV

Soft Sound: A Synopsis of The 1975’s New Album

Soft Sound: A Synopsis of The 1975’s New Album

Everyone has their little obsessions. It just so happens that I’m obsessed with music. I absolutely love listening to almost any kind of music. (My mood determines the day’s tunes.)

I strongly believe that you should listen to an album at least three times all the way through before you make a judgement of its quality and content. And on the way back home from my little road trip this weekend, I decided to do so. I spent some quality time with my copy of The 1975’s new CD, “I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It.”

Wow. That’s a mouthful.

Being a fan of them since 2013, I was very hesitant as to how this album would sound. I knew they were changing their aesthetic, and I wasn’t sure how it would work. They had a very distinct sound and look in my mind. However, I am extremely thrilled with the way the entire album is composed and presented. There were pros and cons, as with any album, but as a whole I thoroughly enjoyed it.

When I first listened to this album, I was trying to compare it to the first album. However, that simply isn’t fair to them and all the hard work they put into both albums. Don’t try to compare the albums. They’re both wonderful for different reasons.

The 1975’s sophomore album was an eclectic mix of modern sounds and 1980s alternative pop. (My ’80s obsessed self was internally screaming.) It payed tribute to Bowie and his influence on pop culture. It intrigued and enamored with each new track. Each song transition was nearly perfect. The album, as a whole, seemed to be very complex and intricate.

Favorite Song: All of them????? (I can’t choose.)

Least Favorite Song: Nana

I really enjoyed the transitions and beats of the songs on this album. The instrumentation (is that a word?) was so much more elaborate and creative than before. However, I feel like some of the lyrics were repetitive from the last album.

Overall I give this album an 8.9/10 for content, creativity, ingenuity, and aesthetics. Thank you to Matty, George, Ross, and Adam for being absolute musical geniuses. Rock on.

 

P.S.: If you liked what you read, I would be totally down to review more albums. Let me know what you think.