2014 October

“I (Love Myself)” by Kendrick Lamar

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I provided a Kendrick Lamar track I think midway through last year (Poetic Justice). The track I’m providing you today comes from Kendrick’s upcoming album, which is set to be released later this year. I rarely provide hip-hop tracks to the group, due to the nature of the lyrical content, but it is a genre that I frequently listen to on a regular basis. When I do provide hip-hop tracks, I try to bring you tunes that aren’t so aggressive and tend to have a positive vibe (for the most part). This track from Kendrick definitely reflects positivity. I’m providing the official lyric video that Kendrick released 5 days ago; this will give you the opportunity to read the lyrics and helps to draw attention to the positivity of the song. All and all, the song is about loving yourself and the life that you have been given. The lyrical video features folks from all different areas of the US making a heart with their hands. I love the whole vibe of this song! Enjoy!

Something from Nothing by Foo Fighters

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Something from Nothing by Foo Fighters

Dave Grohl starts off this song with a familiar guitar strum, the plucking of his cord can mean only one thing: Foo Fighters are back! You would think by the melodic intro to this song that Dave had gone soft in his sound evolution. By the second chorus you are realizing that something special is not missing from this track and Grohl reminds us all just why he is a ROCK GOD! The progression and build up in the song are “classic foo” fighting to show the younger generation how to rock! Grohl’s vocals on this track demand to be heard and hear them we shall! Without further wait I offer you a slice of “Rock and Roll” the latest from Foo Fighters!

Blue by Beyoncé

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“Blue” – I wanted to add a bonus track, simply because I enjoy it and coincidently I heard it this morning on my way into the office. This track is probably the sweetest track on the album. It’s a song dedicated to Beyoncé’s daughter, Blue. It’s a simple song that is highlighted with a simple snare drum rift and an underlying piano line. Around the 2min mark, you can hear an electronic guitar line come in to lift the song as it enters the chorus. There really isn’t much for me to say about the song, except that I enjoy that she made a song solely dedicated to her daughter. The most adorable portion of the song is during about the last 30-45 seconds of the song where you can hear Blue saying ‘hold on to me”. I had to search around for a website that actually contained to whole song, so initially you may hear someone talking in Spanish (which isn’t part of the song). Once you click on the link, just be sure that the title says: “ Beyoncé ft. Ivy Blue – Blue [Official Music Video]”. Enjoy!

Twinge by Chevelle

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This is the final track on “La Gargola” is a slower, more atmospheric song and it’s a great way to end the album. Very simple yet effective music up front with the slow bass and drums and the slow, swirling guitar. Great track to just close your eyes to and get lost in the music. There are elements in this song that may remind you of the Deftones, especially in the chorus. And then at the end of the song I’m reminded about how the album is going to start off again when I listen to it yet again.

Shake it off by Taylor Swift

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So, I’m dropping a Taylor Swift song that I really can’t get enough of; mainly because I think the video is hilarious and also because this past weekend in Seattle I was around a 7yr old girl who put the song on repeat every time we were in the car, lol. As some of you might know, Taylor is dropping her first true pop album on October 27th and ‘Shake It Off” is the lead single off of the album. To her credit, 1989 will be her 5th studio album and the first album to officially break away from the country-pop genre that we know her from. This song is what Taylor describes as her response to portions of her life that have all come under scrutiny in the media (her relationships, her live singing, her musical style, etc.). She’s been quoted as saying “When you live your life under that kind of scrutiny, you can either let it break you, or you can get really good at dodging punches. And when one lands, you know how to deal with it. And I guess the way that I deal with it is to shake it off.” Upon listening to the track, there’s no doubt on how pop driven it is. The chorus is extremely catchy and I found myself singing along to it after hearing it for the first time. Oh and as a bonus, I added a link from a Transylvania University Fraternity (Delta Sigma Phi), who lip syncs this song throughout their dorm! FYI – Taylor saw this video and invited all of the guys and a date to her concert that will be stopping in their area. Happy listening and watching!

You + Me by P!NK

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Not since “Just give me a reason” from P!NK and F.U.N. has there been such a melodic matching of harmony–this track will melt your heart. I can’t help but really consider the evolution of this artist, Alecia Moore Hart stole the R&B stage early on in her career, her lyrics were classic LA Reid and BabyFace (LAFace) many people confused her for a Rap/R&B singer. For many years she released albums that satisfied our Pop desires and most recently with “The truth about love” album she began to experiment even deeper with Folk, Soul and Funk. This track provides a sweet harmony with vocal matchings that will have you eager to digest this matured palette of sound. Come a little closer, kick back and enjoy the sounds of P!NK and Dallas Green, You + Me.

XO by Beyoncé

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“XO” – This track is probably the most synthesized song on her album; it incorporates a strong drum line and you can tell that a lot of the musical components in the song are of the electronic base. The song was written and produced by Beyoncé, Ryan Tedder (from the band One Republic) and The Dream. The song starts off with an audio sample from the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, which was actually criticized heavily by the families of the lost crew members. Beyoncé expressed that she wasn’t trying to harm the families in anyway, but that she was using the audio clip as a tribute to the fallen Challenger crew members because the song is intended to “help people who have lost loved ones in their lives.” If you pay attention to the lyrical content of the song, it is quite clear that the song is about overcoming darkness and finding love; the lyrics “In the darkest night hour, I search through the crowd, your face is all that I see, I give you everything, baby love me, lights out.” I love the musical component of the song, especially the looped riff from an organ and also the electronic flourish that is present through the duration of the song. My favorite part of this track, once again, is the singing during the chorus. In the chorus, Beyoncé is backed by what appears to be a sing-along crowd, with a strong addition on background vocals from Ryan Tedder. Those of you whom are familiar with One Republic will instantly recognize his voice throughout the song. I will admit, that this song is my favorite on the album. It’s different from anything that she has released in the past and I love how the entire song is put together from start to finish. The video that I’m providing, is the video that was released as part of the album in December 2013. Enjoy!

Hey Boy by Goapele

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Oh my goodness! Goapele is back! “Hey Boy” has just that something special that his been missing from R&B for a while–funk, soul, love, and of course a voice of a bell. This track will have you tapping your toes by the last beat. Her fun lyrics, demeanor and sound on this track really has the potential of becoming a great radio single. I personally have been listening to Goapele for some time now, what I can say about her–if you have never listened before come a little “Closer” google that single from her and take a second to give her sound a second chance. This bay area songbird will have your ear’s attention while possibly losing your heart to the sound. For this video selection I went a little more unplugged, I hope you enjoy!

Premonitions by Vault

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Vaults – “Premonitions” – Sadly, there isn’t a lot of info out on the web about this band. Luckily for me, I just happened to stumble upon them while streaming a radio station. What I have been able to learn is that they are synth-pop trio from London and their lead singer is a female. They currently have 3 singles that can be purchased on iTunes (one of which I’m bringing to you today), but I have yet to hear anything about a full album. They are also currently touring, but only in the UK. I wish I had more details to give you about this band, because I really do enjoy their music. Since I’m limited on info, I’ll just dive into the features that I like about the song I’m bringing you today. The lead singers voice is strangely familiar to Annie Lennox (during her time with the Eurythmics). In a sense, her voice is feathery and haunting, but not over powered by the synth arrangements throughout the song. At about the 2:20 mark, the music dies down and you can really focus on her voice. I enjoy the addition of the violins near the tail end of the song. I think it brings the song to a strong end, which could potentially lead to the next track (by the way it fades out). If you enjoyed this song, I’d suggest checking out their most recent single ‘Lifespan’. Enjoy!

Help me lose my mind by Disclosure

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Not many words are left in my mind once this song is left ringing a warm feeling in my ears. The percussion build up immediately floods my auditory sensors with a fond smile of acceptance. This song I have found on repeat this year–it is the perfect song to ride on Muni to your local tea house; headphones steadily singing the sweet melody on repeat. One almost forgets the performance is live, London Grammar’s soul filled voice has been modified to exist in this digital age and by the time you are done being mesmerized by the lyrics, you can almost find yourself wanting to play it again–on repeat! Disclosure has proven themselves this year teaming up with some amazing, not to mention, talented musicians to produce a sound that is set to please the ears and excite the spirit. Without any need to say anything further, I give you (one of my all-time favorites) “Help me lose my mind” by Disclosure feat. London Grammar