MUSIC THEORY IS LIFE. 😄 Dream role since forevaaaaah. Here I am singing as Maria with the cutest kids at Solaires Anniversary Gala. #soundofmusic #lenamckenzie #doremi
The Rocky Horror Picture Show • 1975
When will my mind be free from all of this? 🕊
Track of the day:
Free Mind-Tash Sultana
🔥🙋COMENTA EL (%) DE TU BATERIA Y ME PASO POR TU PERFIL 🙌
Etiqueta a tus Amig@s👫 Asi Te PUBLICAMOS ❤
Sigue para mas @musiicaly.y
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (behind the scenes) • 1975
Monsieur Perine en su pleno apogeo 💥
Sweetener opens with gravitas – a short a cappella snippet of “An Angel Cried” by The Four Seasons, her powerful voice unadorned but for a bit of echo. It suggests that we are in for Serious Music dealing with Serious Issues – but this mixed, intriguing and occasionally baffling album quickly changes tack, jerking from angels’ tears to The Pharrell Show.
Indeed, seven of the 15 tracks here have been drowned in producer Pharrell Williams’ bubblemint bounce – at points, it’s in danger of sounding more like his record than Grande's.
You suspect, having worked heavily with methodical pop genius Max Martin for many years, Grande wanted to throw the spaghetti at the wall musically and see what stuck.
The title track is particularly chaotic, with bleeps, bloops and a soundboard of sheesh!’s littering the bottom end as Grande gamely recites a meme-able hook. Maybe this is just what it sounds like to nuzzle at the cutting edge of pop, but there’s so much disparate noise going on that it’s hard to know.
Despite the producers’ heavy hands, Grande’s Ronettes-esque harmonies are frequently gorgeous and her warmth and wit manage to peek through. The emotional highlight is "Breathin’” (“people told me to medicate... but you tell me just keep breathin’”), a mental health bop over a good, solid pop beat. By contrast, Missy Elliott’s guest bars are a disaster. She phones in a verse so devoid of personality that it barely sounds like her on a dated, shambles of a song (”Borderline”) that should have been cut.
As a five-minute musical interpretation of the post-traumatic panic attacks Grande has suffered, “Get Well Soon” is not exactly enjoyable to listen to but admirable in its honesty; she has laid herself bare and fans affected (directly or otherwise) by the events in Manchester will find it a comfort.
It’s something approaching miraculous that Grande has managed to create and curate an album so devoid of despair, so full of enthusiasm for humanity. Often unexpected, sometimes in a good way, it is an album by an artist in flux – trying to move forward while reluctant to fully relinquish old ideas.
Pop artists going country is nothing new, and the results are usually mixed (at best). However, @kylieminogue
side steps creating a diaster by pouring herself into the songs. Golden isn't a country album, but instead some of Nashville's trademarks are merged with the Aussie diva's pop sensibilities. The songs tackle love, heartbreak, longing, and mortality without losing her signature feel good vibe. Lead single "Dancing" on the surface appears to be a carefree declaration, but speaks of the final action she'd be doing before meeting her maker. The song, which also opens the album sets the soundscape that flourishes throughout Golden, a gradual build up to absolutely euphoric choruses.
Kylie is no stranger to reinvention from the experimental IMPOSSIBLE PRINCESS to her melding of electronic, r&b, and minimalism on 2004's BODY LANGUAGE. Minogue stands in a class of her because she's able to make each reinvention feel like a natural evolution as opposed to a cheap cash in, or a half-hearted attempt at revelance. On "Radio On" and "Music's Too Sad Without You" she strips down to just a mostly acoustic track allowing her vocals to take center stage. Kylie is no powerhouse vocalist, but the songs work due to the fragility and vulnerability found in the performances.
A key to Kylie's longevity, besides creating flawless pop, is her fearlessness. Whether she's shaking up her image, flirting with electronica, embracing elements of R&B, or trading in her hot pants for rhinestones. Golden is the sound of one of pop's most enduring icons, attempting and delivering another stellar body of work which stands on its own from an already dense discography.
If someone were to ask me which Kylie record to explore first, my answer would undoubtedly be Light Years. For anyone to simply label the album as a guilty pleasure would be missing the point. Light Years revels in its pure pop landscape; it's kitschy, it's campy, and it's unashamedly content in being a bubbly good time, all signature calling cards of Ms. Minogue.
"Spinning Around" sets the tone, with a giddy dancefloor hedonism that doesn't sound out of place next to Minogue's 1989 hit, "Hand on Your Heart." And that's the point. For while she's singing "I'm not the same" one second, the next she's admitting to discovering her rightful place in the world. Because, for all her other musical dabblings, Minogue is pure, unadulterated pop, and where once she saw this truth as her weakness, now she's realised it's her strength. "And did I forget to mention/That I found a new direction," she sings, "And it leads back to me."
"On a Night Like This" and "So Now Goodbye" keep up the tempo and disco antics - you can feel the heat from the swirling multi-coloured lights as you listen to them - adding empowering notions of grabbing the best looking man in the club, then ditching him when you feel like it. Minogue collaborates with Richard Stannard to add some polish to the flamenco flavoured highlight "Please Stay."
"Your Disco Needs You," is a call to arms that would make the Village People proud. Minogue has her tongue firmly in her cheek for this camp slice of epic disco, which has become a staple of pride playlists.
With a single ballad ("Bittersweet Goodbye"), Light Years keeps its eye on the dancefloor. Aussie diva even tackles a Barry White classic ("Under the Influence of Love"), and despite the stark differences between the singers, Minogue delivers the goods.
Ultimately, Minogue shines brightest in the blinding lights of a club and Light Years is one that should be played as the drinks begin to flow, and you drain the remnants of that can of hairspray before going out. Kylie's crafted a decadent serving of perfect, unassuming, lighthearted pop.
Future Me Hates Me is the fresh and likable debut full-length from New Zealand indie rockers the Beths. Boasting tight, punchy songwriting, polished but unpretentious production, and an engaging personality in frontwoman Elizabeth Stokes, it channels both '90s indie rock as well as current sensibilities to great effect.
The Beths pull of the enviable trick of making a great first impression while still managing to pack their songs with enough detail to satisfy studious later listens. The band's own studies could have something to do with this — all are jazz-trained, and many of the album's appealing subtleties can be found in their impeccable pacing and dynamics, giving longer songs room to breath without sacrificing their tuneful immediacy.
Some of these are real highlights too — "Little Death," with its driving chorus arriving a full minute in, and the soaring vocal harmonies that close out "Whatever" come to mind.
It would be remiss not to mention these vocal harmonies specifically: all members are credited in this regard, and to hear them nailing these moments is a real treat. "Not Running" and the aforementioned "Little Death" have especially great arrangements, but it's a highlight throughout Future Me Hates Me, and anyone who loves British indie punks Martha for this reason should be laser-focused on this debut from the Beths. Future you will definitely not hate this album.
The Abbey Road Sessions, a collection of hits reworked by an orchestra and Minogue’s backing band to celebrate her 25th year in music, makes a solid case for her longevity. Stripped of their peppy pop and hi-NRG disco sheen, these songs are transformed into timeless, classy compositions.
Brushed drums and gentle piano magnify the heartbreak of “Hand On Your Heart”; lyrics such as “Oh, I wanna hear you tell me / You don’t want my love” sound pleading, not defiant. The romantic “On A Night Like This” turns into a brassy R&B torch song thanks to a soaring gospel choir and dramatic strings, while fanciful orchestras and wistful vocals make “I Should Be So Lucky” into a Broadway-esque ballad, and “Locomotion” is a horn-driven, Motown-inspired romp.
Minogue’s expressive performances are perhaps more impressive than The Abbey Road Sessions’ musical reinventions. The album’s quieter, sparser arrangements give her leeway for nuanced vocal interpretations. Seductive bass twangs and breathy vocal coos make “Slow” even more of a slinky come-on. “Come Into My World” sounds like early Tori Amos, courtesy of a coquettish delivery and classical-inspired piano, while on the sedate, bluesy “Better The Devil You Know,” Minogue sounds slightly weary as she sings about taking back a rascally suitor.
Still, the album’s highlight is “Where The Wild Roses Grow,” which is stripped down to just acoustic guitar and vocals. Nick Cave reprises his part on the murder ballad, and his Johnny Cash-like gravelly intonations—when paired with Minogue’s hushed, resigned affectation—make this version even creepier and more macabre than the original. Such emotional resonance won’t be news to any loyal Minogue fans, but anyone who has considered her merely a lightweight dance diva will be surprised by the depth on display throughout the record.
Mitski doesn't want Be the Cowboy to sound like Puberty 2. She made a concerted effort to ditch the distorted guitars that rang through her 2016 breakout album.
Instead, we hear her, loud and clear and at the front of the mix from the opening croons to the euphoric crescendo of "Geyser" — as its name suggests, a song about a woman erupting with passion too long caged.
From there, Mitski takes delightfully unexpected turns at many points during the record, from the stuttering synths of "Why Didn't You Stop Me" and campy piano-pop of "Me and My Husband" to the disco loops of "Nobody" and pulsating "Washing Machine Heart."
Closing track, "Two Slow Dancers," plays like an old movie, cinematic both in its sound and its story of a former couple sharing a sweet moment decades on at a class reunion.
Throughout Be the Cowboy, Mitski's voice remains as hauntingly evocative as ever, her songs still melancholic and tinged with themes of loneliness and nostalgia. But this time, she's made sure we know the experiences of the characters in her songs are narrative works — not unedited diary entries, as they've been unfairly described in the past.
The album is all the more impressive because her words and music are meticulously calculated, expertly arranged and still filled with feeling.
With the much-anticipated X, her tenth proper album and first since beating cancer, Minogue doesn’t tread much new ground. More surprising, however, is X’s lack of identity. Whereas previous albums found her tackling specific genres — 2000’s Light Years embraced disco; 2002’s Fever, club music; and 2004’s Body Language, R&B — X tries too hard to please everyone, and it suffers for it.
Only occasionally does X reach the ecstatic heights of past hits like “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” and “Spinning Around.” On standout track “Speakerphone,” the highly stylized product of Swedish hit-writing duo Bloodshy and Avant (writers of Britney Spears’s “Toxic”), Minogue goes robotic. And while it features some of the emptiest lyrics found on X (“Breath taking/ Rump shaking/ Music making/ Lose control/ Say it on your speakerphone/ Track repeat go on and on”), it provides an unexpectedly good time (for a song about speakerphones).
“Like a Drug” features a sample of New Romantic-era techno group Visage’s “Fade to Grey,” and it grinds and stomps with razor precision. “The One,” a new-wave powerhouse boasting an infectious disco beat, begs to be remixed and played at the club. Equally engrossing “In My Arms” is fuzzed-out, synth heavy, and full of the kind of exuberant charm that made a track like “Love at First Sight” a past hit.
With a whopping fourteen producers and twenty-six writers on board, the weak links may simply be a case of too many cooks in the kitchen. It makes for an uneven overall listen, even if there are plenty of worthy tracks. X isn’t the comeback album some may have been hoping for, but it was a welcomed return for Minogue.
Nicki Minaj is out to defend her crown. Widely feted after the release of her 2009 mixtape Beam Me Up Scotty, she's since achieved massive success at the expense of flagging critical enthusiasm. Now, with her fourth studio album, Queen, she attempts to stake a claim for her lasting legacy.
Following the lead of “buzz” single “Barbie Tings,” Minaj spends much of Queen defending her throne from alleged pretenders: “Can't post on Nicki block unless you sellin' Nicki crack,” she raps on “Majesty." As if to underscore the difference between herself and these unnamed imitators, Minaj also brings in credibility-bolstering guest stars. On “Coco Chanel,” she links up with Foxy Brown—a show of elder-stateswoman solidarity that feels particularly calculated in the wake of her feud with Remy Ma. “Majesty,” finds Eminem name-dropping OGs like Slick Rick, Souls of Mischief, and Q-Tip, placing himself and Minaj in that same lineage.
Minaj is obviously capable of backing up all the posturing. The politically incorrect, frequently hilarious “Barbie Dreams” is the Trinidadian-American rapper at her best: a fair-play reversal of the gross gender politics of the Notorious B.I.G.'s “Just Playing (Dreams)” that imagines a murderer's row of rappers and athletes in compromising positions. It's also arguably the album's canniest legacy-building move: Rather than engaging in squabbles and back-biting with other female MCs, Minaj implicitly places herself in the same league as one of the most prestigious male ones.
But Queen also finds Minaj falling back on familiar shortcomings. The album loses momentum whenever it aims for the pop charts, first with guest singers Ariana Grande on “Bed” and the Weeknd on “Thought I Knew You,” then later on solo features “Nip Tuck” and “Come See About Me,” a pair of syrupy breakup songs that retread “Pills n Potions,” from The Pinkprint, with diminishing returns. Minaj is a capable enough singer, but it's sort of like watching Michael Jordan play baseball.
Indeed, Queen tries so hard to impress everyone that it risks failing to satisfy anyone. The irony at the heart of Queen's thirst for approval is that the rapper actually doesn't have anything to prove.
The Aussie hitmaker’s follow-up to Fever, Body Language, is less immediate and more experimental, a midway point between the alternative/electronica of 1997’s Impossible Princess and Minogue’s more mainstream post-millennial work. It’s no coincidence that Body Language is filled with ’80s pop music references (she tips her hat to Reagan-era hits like Janet’s “The Pleasure Principle,” Chaka’s “I Feel for You” and, more directly, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam’s “I Wonder If I Take You Home” and Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round”) since much of the album is steeped in early ’80s synth-pop and disco.
“Slow,” the aptly titled lead single is a minimalist electro-pop/disco fusion with percolating crackle-and-pop beats and sugary vocal overdubs. “I Feel for You” directly references the disco era with its muted guitar riffs and bouncy keyboards, while tracks like “Still Standing” follow in the nü-disco dance-steps of Goldfrapp’s Black Cherry. Minogue sings, “I’m still standing/Keeping you dancing…Guess who’s back on top?”. “Chocolate” and “Someday,” which features guest vocals by ’80s new-wave band Scritti Politti’s Green Gartside, evoke the breathy, forlorn vocals of Mono and the gauzy melancholy of Madge’s Bedtime Stories, while the hip-hop-flavored “Red Blooded Woman” blends Timbaland-style beats with candy-coated la la la’s and a ghostly choir of men (the voices of those she’s devoured no doubt).
Body Language features several new, up-and-coming collaborators, but despite the additions, the album is surprisingly cohesive. The stand-out, bass-heavy “Sweet Music” is an ode to the magic of the modern singer/producer partnership: “I think we’re on to something/Your taste it mirrors mine/So hot and in the moment.” Body Language illustrates Kylie's willingness to take risks experimenting with her sonic landscape, and more importantly she succeeds. The record sits alongside Impossible Princess and Golden as a fearless evolutions in her dense discography.
Kylie Minogue albums work best as blank canvases, the versatile singer herself smattered in the paint of whatever pop subgenre strikes her fancy. Her 12th studio album lacks cohesion, but that hardly matters. She easily adapts to each persona suggested by her treasure trove of contributing writers and producers — including Kelly Sheehan, and the omnipresent Midas Touch radio saviors Pharrell Williams and Sia Furler, the latter billed as co-executive producer — and provides Kiss Me Once’s only real through-line with the effortless intimacy of her voice and her incomparable ear for dance-floor gold, no matter how random it all feels.
Framed by two outstanding examples of empower-pop done right — the shimmering lead single “Into the Blue” and the radiating finale, “Fine” — Minogue here delivers cathartically sad lyrics complemented by bouncy yet warm synths. The majority of the songs here are club-ready, tightly produced romantic pop gems, as you’d expect. She enters familiar but refreshed disco territory with “I Was Gonna Cancel,” a Pharrell track that carries some serious “Get Lucky” vibes thanks to a Chic-inspired bass line underpinning a pulsating house beat. “If Only,” written by a trio that includes Ariel Rechtshaid and Justin Raisen, construct hazy dream pop in the vein of the writers’ past work with newer pop stars like Sky Ferreira and Charli XCX. The MNDR-penned, positively dripping “Les Sex” allows Minogue to have even more playful fun.
Then there are the irretrievably cheesy moments, the most camp of which being the forced, uncomfortable Enrique Iglesias duet, “Beautiful.” But all is redeemed by “Fine,” a light and airy track that glimmers from start to finish: The lilting way her voice escalates on the word fi-i-ine in the chorus lingers in a way the evokes the very best pop songs. Therein lies the strength of Kiss Me Once: Minogue’s ability to turn any contrived situation into something positive, magical, and utterly her own.
Aphrodite is exactly the kind of record that one would expect when crossing Kylie Minogue with Stuart Price. That is–one of the most sleek, cohesive releases of her entire catalog. To put it simply: Yes, it does live up to the hype.
The album launches with its first single, “All The Lovers.” The song is a solid representation of the bulk of Aphrodite, though far from the finest cut on the record. In fact, the soaring chorus and glittering electronica offer only a taste of what’s to come.
With much of the record, the producers on the job have taken Kylie’s disco diva connotation and added a more complex, edgier layer of dance production. Cuts like the Calvin Harris-produced, Jake Shears-penned “Too Much” are evidence of this next level sound, sounding something like a thousand glitter-filled balloons bursting all at once inside of an intergalactic vortex.
In “Closer” and “Illusion,” Minogue and Price orchestrate divine dark disco magic: The former, a slow-building haunter that shares connection to her older work (“Confide in Me”); the latter a complex mesh of ’90’s house and Ace of Base-like synthesized bliss. Throw in a relentless throbbing bass and a few sex sessions worth of heavy breathing, and you’ve got nothing short of musical bliss.
Aphrodite is full of trademark “Kylie moments” –the euphoria felt during the middle eight of “All The Lovers,” the glitchy dance breakdown at the end of “Can’t Beat The Feeling,” the hands-in-the-air glee that is the chorus of “Put Your Hands Up (For Love)”–all of these fleeting moments of divinity only add more glow the hot pink, heart-shaped aura that surrounds all things Kylie.
Kylie Minogue’s Aphrodite could not be perceived as more genuine to her artistry: the record is literally the essence of Kylie in audio form. The sparkling instrumentals, the euphoric, angelic coos–everything in this album is an authentic, unapologetic encapsulation the stuff of Kylie Minogue.
Sixteen-year-old Billie Eilish’s debut EP title warns you: don’t smile at me. It’s a direct order, a powerful declaration, a statement coming from the mouth of someone who knows who she is, what she likes and doesn’t like, and who won’t play by anyone else’s rules. The title perfectly embodies the strength and ambition of Eilish’s debut EP and of Eilish herself as an artist.
Written by both Eilish and her brother Finneas O'Connell (who produces the EP and is nineteen – think about that while you read the rest of this review and possibly while you cook dinner tonight), dont smile at me speaks to every avenue of teenage experience with quiet brilliance. From hating yourself to hating everyone else, from falling in love to falling right out of it, Eilish doesn't preach but rather empathises, and her debut entirely does away with the shopworn notion that teens cannot intellectualise their own experience.
dont smile at me is obvious in its R&B and jazz influences. Both "idontwannabeyouanymore" and "my boy" are rife with R&B beats and odd chords coupled with Eilish's crystal clear vocal, which throws back to crooners like Frank Sinatra. It's the expert production that keeps it from sounding kitschy. Opening with "COPYCAT", Eilish and O'Connell set the soundscape: the electronics are lush and deep, the lyrics wildly clever, and Eilish's vocal floods your brain even as she sounds like she's whispering. In "COPYCAT" and "my boy", Eilish could be chatting to you over ice cream on a hot day in L.A. This is perhaps the most intriguing thing about don't smile at me; in one moment, she sings "my boy's being suss, he was shady enough" and in the next she's crooning "if 'I love you' was a promise, would you break it? If you're honest, tell the mirror what you know she's heard before: I don't wanna be you anymore" It is impossible not to marvel at the David Byrne-esque marriage between layman's terms and poetry in her songwriting.
dont smile at me is a sophisticated debut for a remarkable woman, one that will no doubt solidify Eilish as a major player in the pop industry in the years to come.