This Week in Music: Colbie Caillat Likes You With Your Makeup Off and Your Hair Down

Screenshot 2014-07-08 at 10.33.38 PM - Edited

Colbie Caillat’s new music video for the song “Try” is both sentimental and empowering.

“Try” is a ballad the Caillat co-wrote with Babyface over a year ago. The premise of the song is embracing natural beauty, and it features a medium tempo piano melody that will stay with you long after the song is over.

In the music video, several women in plain white tank tops mouth the words to the song as they reveal their make-up free faces.

Caillat also stips down to her bare face, even removing her hair extensions.

The real shocker for me was realizing that this gorgeous woman is actually bald.

Try video

My God, I hope I look that good bald!

Of all the song’s lyrics, I love the last verse the most. “Take your make up off, let your hair down, take a breath, look into the mirror, at yourself, don’t you like you? Cause I like you,” Caillat sings as the piano melody begins winding down.

It’s refreshing to see some natural beauty every once in a while. So ladies, take a moment today to admire yourself in the mirror after removing your makeup.

Enjoy the music video here:

 

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Album Review: The Ready Set’s ‘The Bad & The Better’

The Ready Set is back with some new sounds just in time for summer 2014!

The album, titled The Bad & The Better, was released today, May 27th.

The Bad & The Better is a wonderful concoction of fun, medium tempo pop beats and heartwarming ballads.

The two singles on this album are “Give Me Your Hand (Best Song Ever)” (released back in 2012) and “Higher.”

Fans of The Ready Set may have already heard the big buzz about bonus track “For the Better,” which is a song tribute to Taylor Swift and Kanye West’s feud fueled by the incident that occured at the 2009 MTV VMAs.

Jordan Witzigreuter made it clear that the song is a tribute to the country singer, as he makes countless allusions to her songs and personality.

“So take that 13 luck and find, there’s a 100 waiting in line,” he says, mocking Taylor Swift’s favorite number. For the chorus, he hones the melody of her song “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” as he sings,

Whatever, ever, ever
It’s for the better
Hey, hey whatever, ever, ever
It’s for the better.

“For the Better” even quotes Kanye’s infamous line “Imma let you finish.”

I must say, this is a clever one, Jordan. Was this the inspiration for the album title?

The rest of the album includes fun summer songs “Carry Me Home,” “Luxury,” and bonus track “More Than This.”

The Ready Set plays with some synth in “Are We Happy Now” and bonus track “Terrible Things.” The synth adds to the emotional heaviness of both songs.

The albums ballads include “Don’t You Need Me” and the very heartfelt, tear inducing track titled “Castaway” featuring Jake Miller. “I’ll step back from the doubts overtaking me. They were breaking me,” Jordan sings as the swift violin melody swings back and forth between the lyrics.

Listeners that enjoy beautifully structured lyrics, will find my favorites, “Freakin’ Me Out,” “Bitter and the Sweetness,” and “Bleeding.” Jordan’s soft falsetto mixed into the melody of these three tracks are enough to make you melt faster than an ice cream cone in the summer heat.

And of course, this album would not be complete without one weird song, “Fangz.” I don’t even know how to explain that one.

I think The Ready Set fans will enjoy The Bad & The Better. Jordan Witzigreuter put together an interesting collection of melodies for our enjoyment this summer.

Listen to The Bad & The Better on Spotify.

This Week in Music: Shakira is on Fire in “Empire” Music Video

Shakira Empire FireThis is the empire, and Shakira is our empress.

The music video for Shakira’s single “Empire” off of her brand new self-titled album Shakira. is very different from her usual style.

Although this video lacks Shakira’s infamous sexy hip shaking, the beautiful vocals and glorious camera work make this one of her best projects yet.

“Empire” begins with Shakira sitting in front of a tan colored wall wearing a tan colored dress and nude makeup. The vocals in the beginning of the song are very soft, almost as if she’s whispering a folk tale to a young child.

The scene changes to Shakira standing at the door of a church in a wedding dress as the guests await her entrance.

Shakira Empire Wedding

I was sort of confused at first, because I know Shakira is one of those celebrities who doesn’t want to marry until she’s 60 (poor Gerard Pique).

But then she does the unthinkable: she drops the bouquet and runs away.

The song begins to escalate as Shakira sings “and I’m like…” before bursting into a powerful chorus of  “Oooh”s.

The runaway bride proceeds to frolic in a meadow with beautiful dandelions flowing in the breeze around her. After this seemingly innocent act, she begins dancing on the church steps with a fire running down her dress.

Shakira Empire Meadow

I think I could watch Shakira frolic in the meadow all day. It’s just so beautiful.

The meadow scenes and the scenes where Shakira is in what looks like a ruined and abandoned church with leaves strewn all over the floor wearing a black winged dress are probably the most majestic in the entire video.

Shakira also does this crazy back-bend, bridge-like thing with her body towards the end of the video.

Is there anything this Colombian beauty can’t do?!

I really love the song and the video. It was definitely a pleasant surprise.

Check out her new album, Shakira. on Spotify and enjoy the “Empire” music video!

Album Review: Foster the People’s ‘Supermodel’

Foster the People’s second album, Supermodel, was released today, March 18, 2014.

Supermodel is a bit different from the band’s previous album, Torches. It focuses more on the lyrics instead of the cool groovy beats that fans fell in love with on “Pumped Up Kicks” and “Call It What You Want.”

The first single from this album is called “Coming of Age,” which also happens to be the last song to be written for Supermodel.

When it came out in January, I was not impressed. Therefore, I wasn’t too excited about the release of the album today.

However, I decided to listen to the album anyway, and although I don’t completely hate it, I don’t exactly love it.

“Ask Yourself” and “Goats in Trees” are based heavily on acoustic guitar, making them sound very indie-folk.

The weirdest songs on the album are “Pseudologia Fantastica” and “A Beginner’s Guide to Destroying the Moon.” “Pseudologia Fantastica” features distorted vocals in the intro, which completely killed my vibe for the track. “A Beginner’s Guide to Destroying the Moon” is a crazy mix of loud unruly electric guitar and a broken record-sounding intro, which might come across as quite jarring to the average listener.

“The Angelic Welcome of Mr. Jones” is a short sample of the band’s perfect discordant harmonic abilities.

“The Truth” has some amazing lyrics, including my favorite line, “A purpose is needed before you know that you know / To never wonder what you are / And not forget where you’ve come from.”

Perhaps the most heartfelt song on Supermodel is “Fire Escape,” a very gloomy, stripped-down track. I love the part where Mark Foster sings,

I see the seasons change
All the young faces come and replaces the dying marks
Sit out on Lexington and Vine
All the pimps and prostitutes wave you down at stopping signs

Save yourself, save your yourself, yourself
Save yourself, save yourself.

My favorite’s on the album are “Are You What You Want to Be?,” “Nevermind” and “Best Friend.” I love the electric guitar chord progression in “Are You What You Want to Be?” The track “Nevermind” features a psychedelic repeated acoustic guitar melody coupled with soft vocals that play on the ear nicely. “Best Friend” is probably the closest you’ll get to the band’s old sound, with its groovy bass guitar and horns.

Supermodel is definitely a new spin on the band’s sound as compared to Torches, but fans might grow to like it.

Check out Supermodel on Spotify!

This Week In Music: Karmin’s “I Want It All” Music Video

I Want it All

Karmin’s Amy and Nick in “I Want It All” music video

#TheSassIsReal!

Couple and pop duo Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan of Karmin are back with a sassy new hit titled “I Want It All,” featuring the jazziest of melodies.

The song features a ear-gasmic crescendo of “da da das” in the intro, which carries throughout the rest of the song as well. The chorus becomes a party when the trumpet melodies come flooding in, mixing perfectly with Amy’s voice.

In the music video, it appears that Amy “want[s] it all,” but there’s a gold plated wall blocking her from taking hold of her desires?

I Want it All 2

Fortunately, the gold wall doesn’t stop Amy, Nick and the supporting dancers. The groove of this song coupled with the old-school jazz themed music video will make you feel like you can have it all, right there on the dance floor, even while dancing on roller skates.

Yes, the video contains roller skate dancing. No, just the dancers, not Amy and Nick, I’m afraid.

I Want It All 3

The most interesting thing to realize about “I Want It All” is the fact that in it, Amy does not rap a single line. This could be a problem for fans who love her female rapper techniques most.

Luckily, the music video might be just what the doctor ordered.

Enjoy!

Album Review: Young the Giant’s ‘Mind Over Matter’

Mind Over Matter

Alternative band Young the Giant is back with a new album titled Mind Over Matter, which was released on January 21st, 2014.

“This record is kind of like chronicling our battles in the last couple of years,” says Sameer Gadhia in the “Young the Giant: The Making Of Mind Over Matter” video.

Said battles can be heard loud and clear on this album, with its bittersweet and triumphant sounding instrumentals. Coupled with Gadhia’s vocals, which have very distinct story-telling quality to them, Mind Over Matter easily becomes an album to fall in love with.

The intro to the album is a 48 second track titled “Slow Dive” which features a beautiful crescendo of soft violins and bell sounding instruments.

It’s About Time” and “Crystallized” are currently the two singles on the album. While “Crystallized” is very somber with slow guitar, piano, and synth melodies, “It’s About Time” is very loud, fast paced, and danceable with strong electric guitar and drum beats.

“Teachers” is another fast paced song on the album with similar qualities to “It’s About Time.”

“Firelight,” “Camera,” “Waves,” and “Paralysis” are the tear inducing ballads on this album. “Camera” is particularly interesting because of the abrupt beat change at around 1:20.

The tracks I loved the most on this album were the ones with striking lyrics, those being “Anagram,” “Mind Over Matter,” “Daydreamer,” “In My Home” and “Eros.”

The chorus in “Anagram” is simply genius. The song is about a guy who just wishes he could figure out the meaning of his relationship with the person who’s playing games with his heart. The first part of the chorus goes,

Anagram
I’m just a messenger man
It’s the last time around
One of these days I wish you were
A hologram […]

It’s as if the relationship itself is a scrambled word play that he can’t figure out. Even though this seems like something one would be upset about, the medium tempo of the chorus makes it sound playful, adding to the anagram word play aspect of the song.

“Mind Over Matter,” the song the album is named after, is my absolute favorite on the album. I love the second half of the chorus where Gadhia sings “And when the seasons change / Will you stand by me? /’Cause I’m a young man built to fall.” After that last line he let’s out a beautiful falsetto “oooh,” which makes my heart melt with all the vulnerability packed in this one song.

“Eros,” which I would assume is named after the Greek god of love, is filled with vivid imagery, my favorite being the line “I want to dance, and I’m not dancing alone.”

“In My Home,” comes across as a powerful anthem, especially where Gadhia sings “Well, I know I was born for this / Every night I dreamt of it.” The song is a wonderful rendition of self-realization and empowerment.

And the last of my favorites, “Daydreamer” I love for two reasons, one being that I am the biggest daydreamer and the second the song’s heartfelt lyrics. “For you I would steal time,” is the one line of the song that resonates with me.

I thoroughly enjoyed Mind Over Matter. It’s melodies are very soft and soothing, give or take a few tracks. There’s something very relatable about this album, which can potentially draw a lot of listeners to it.

Album Review: Jesse McCartney’s ‘In Technicolor (Part 1)’

In Technicolor Part 1

After three years of silence in the music industry, Jesse McCartney is back with his new EP In Technicolor (Part 1), out today, December 10, 2013.

For those of you who are a bit puzzled, the answer is yes, Jesse McCartney is the kid that used to look like this:

Except now he’s 26, his hair is dark brown, and his music has more of an R&B feel instead of the pop tunes he sang back in the 2000s.

In Technicolor (Part 1) is a short EP of four songs, totaling 12 minutes.

The EP begins with the introductory 1:41 track “In Technicolor (Part 1).” The first chorus hits home, as McCartney sings,

Get a job, pay the rent,
Rinse, wash, repeat do it again, oh
We all live in a black and white world
But let’s face it, while time’s wasting,
We’re all here with the same motivation,
Trying to find that someone who sees your worth.

This verse sets up the premise for the song, which is the concept of living a life with the main goal of finding someone to be with as it all unfolds. This person makes your dreary, everyday, black and white world turn technicolor.

How beautiful!

“Back Together” and “Tie the Knot” sound very Justin Timberlake, with their funky, upbeat, R&B feel, complete with trumpets and bass guitar melodies.

“Tie the Knot” features some impulsive elope-sounding lyrics. “I’m ready, you’re ready, we’re ready, been ready / Come on girl let’s tie the knot,” he sings excitedly. Is there something you’re not telling us about you and Katie Peterson’s relationship status, Jesse?

The EP concludes on a serious note with “Checkmate,” the only ballad on the album.  “You are gonna lose ’cause you chose to make the moves you make” is the lyric in the chorus that stands out the most.

It’s nice to hear Jesse McCartney’s voice back on the market again. I’m assuming there will be a part 2 to this sometime in the near future?

Please don’t take another three years to release it, Jesse!

Listen to In Technicolor (Part 1) on Spotify.