I usually like to mix listening to the established artists that I know and love with finding new music and trying to discover new artists. Music discovery takes time though, you have to sieve through a lot of different artists to find someone that you connect with. This week, I was browsing through some of the artists on LoudUp when I came across Kenesha. She has a song called ‘Hey I’ which I really loved. She lists some of her influences as India.Arie and Tracy Chapman which totally explains why I like her (I definitely need to do a future post about India.Arie – I’m a huge fan!).
With the track ‘Hey I’, it has that acoustic laid-back story telling vibe I love, punctuated with perfect harmonies and percussion, it’s really beautiful. Have a listen if you’re looking to check out some new music.
In case you missed the announcement (I’m not sure how you could have!), Adele has returned with a brand new album after a 4 year hiatus! Much to an incredible amount of excitement! Hello – the debut single from the album, came close to breaking the internet with the video crossing 100 million views on YouTube in just 5 days!
So let’s come back to the album. Titled 25, it got record-breaking sales within the 1st week, breaking the record for the fastest selling album in the UK ever! Quite a wonder as Adele refused to release the album to streaming services. And they say no one buys music anymore…!
The album was released a couple of months ago, so why am I only talking about it now? Well, I had to hold off on buying it for a few months so I could request it for Christmas. My siblings struggle on what to buy me, I’m just not a very materialistic person I guess so I held out on this and Coldplay‘s new album to give them a few options!
So what’s the verdict? It takes me a few listens to get into an album so I need a bit more time to digest it, but already there are a few tracks I really love! ‘When We Were Young’ jumped out at me instantly! And it’s not often that happens to me. I listened to tracks 1, 2, 3, and then got to 4, then hit rewind, hit rewind, hit rewind again, let’s just say I stayed there for a little while before continuing with the rest of the album. Another track I instantly loved was ‘Million Years Ago’. The stripped-back vibe, lyrics, and just everything about the track is perfection for me.
I watched a replay of a live performance she did recently called Adele at the BBC and it made me excited to hopefully catch her live soon!
I can’t wait to spend some more time with this album, I already feel I’m going to love it every bit as much as I loved her 21 album. Yep…Adele is well and truly back!
There’s something about hearing something you love described as old that can make you feel really…well quite old! That’s exactly how I felt this week when I read an article about how kids these days refer to my beloved LP (Linkin Park) as old people’s music! Yep…really!
I consider my music taste to be quite alternative – ok yep I did confess to loving Coldplay, but Linkin Park are alternative right? I’m a big hiphop fan and that progressed for me into the rap-metal scene although none of the other bands in that genre did it for me quite like LP did.
I think I actually got into them majorly around the time they did their Collision Course album with Jay-Z back in 2004 (ok so maybe I’m getting where the old label is coming from…). I went back and bought their previous albums Hybrid Theory and Meteora after that and loved them. That love has stayed with me til this day. I own and love every one of their albums and have seen them live 3 times now (one of which was at a festival and Jay-Z joined them onstage, it was pretty epic).
I titled this post LP Therapy because their music has always been therapeutic to me. I get lost in it, it helps me to deal with my frustrations and anger, while also being able to enjoy it as feel good music or listen to it when I need to zone out and study or work. Some of my favourite tracks are:
One Step Closer – this is one of those tracks that gets all the frustrations out!! The part when Chester screams…’Shut up when I’m talking to you!!!!!!!’ – it just does it for me!
Waiting For The End – this is the track that I repeat the most – literally 5 times in a row sometimes! The way the track builds up and then goes crazy at the end, you need to just experience it for yourself, I don’t think I can describe how incredible it is!
Hands Held High – ok so obviously being a hiphop fan – this is probably their track that is the closest to the genre but that aside, Mike’s raps are both incredible and insightful, and the simple piano backing makes it even more memorable. This is probably their most political track with Mike making his opinion known on George Bush and the war against Iraq.
Leave out all the rest – one of their more mellow songs but the lyrics are really heart-felt and Chester’s voice really shines on it.
So I guess I love old people’s music! Well I’ll be sure to be at the front row of the next LP gig in town rocking out with the rest of the old cronies…and the one after that…and the one after that…and the…ok I think you get it!
I’ll leave you with the video for one of their most popular tracks – Numb!
So today I am going to write about a group that seems divide many…yep that would be Coldplay!
With the level of global success they have had, the reception they have received has always been surprisingly mixed! Some people really love and rave about them, while others hate them. Common criticisms are that their music is boring, bland, their songs are too slow, their music is depressing…you get the drift!
And which side am I on? Honestly, I really love them! I always have, right from when I first heard Yellow and Trouble what seems like a lifetime ago. Here are just a few of the reasons that I love them:
Their melodies – you can’t deny it, their songs are damn catchy!
Chris Martin’s voice – it captivates you so easily, taking you on the journey in the story he is telling.
Their songs are relatable – ok so their lyrics may not be the deepest, but you can relate to them. They sing about real life emotions that everyone can relate to. Some of their songs are vague to the point where they can be compared to modern art where different people may read different meanings into it.
They care about their fans – I have been to a lot of gigs in my time, and they are still in the top 3 of live performances that I have been lucky enough to experience. Their live set is incredible, and as a fan, you definitely leave feeling like you got what you came for and a whole lot more!
They are low-key – you don’t see them falling out of clubs, streaked all over the cover of tabloid newspapers with some scandal or another, or being vocal about other bands they don’t like *cough* Noel Gallagher *cough*! Coldplay are simply about the music. Nothing contrived and no attempts at attention seeking.
Sometimes I wonder if people hate Coldplay just because it is seen as cool to hate them. When a band is so big, there are some who would feel that their level of success is somewhat cookie-cutter. Coldplay don’t fit that mould though. They aren’t manufactured by any means – they write their own songs, play their own instruments, and it is clear that they are passionate about the music they are creating.
With the longevity they have enjoyed, as well as the number of hit singles and awards over the years, surely even the haters have to admit that there is something there!
I’ve been thinking about picking up the guitar again lately. I learnt the basics years ago, back when I was at school. I had a teacher for a few months and learnt the basic chords and I’ve played a bit since then, although not in the last 4 years. I guess I just got busy with work and life but recently I’ve been wanting to start up again. I always found playing quite therapeutic. I used to always buy the chord books for my favourite albums if there were some easy songs, to try and learn to play some of the tracks I liked. I find it’s a lot more fun playing songs you know and love.
Since I learnt the basics of the guitar, probably around 15-20 years ago, I haven’t really improved too much which is kinda sad. I’ve just kinda stuck to the basics but I am looking to change that now. I want to set some goals and start taking it more seriously, and maybe eventually start writing my own songs! I’m considering trying an online guitar training program like the type mentioned at Just Like Hendrix or alternatively, just buying some instructional DVDs from Amazon and learning that way. At the moment I’m leaning more towards the online lessons. I feel like it’ll motivate me more, just knowing that I’m paying every month adds a bit of healthy pressure. With the DVDs, I’m likely to buy them and then just forget about them.
Anyway watch this space, maybe I’ll post my 1st Hendrix solo soon!
I actually intended to talk more about individual tracks on here than full albums, but I had to make an exception for Mama’s Gun!
I first discovered this album when it was released 15 years ago, and I remember the exact period of my life when I was getting into it like it was just last week! It’s funny how music helps you to recapture memories like that! There has been a lot of research around the link between music and memories, you can read a little here.
But anyway, back to the album, this was during the period when neo-soul was just taken off, with albums like India Arie – ‘Acoustic Soul’, Alicia Keys – ‘Songs In A Minor’, and Jill Scott – ‘Who Is Jill Scott?’ all coming out in a very short space of time. After the years of 90s R&B, the influences of the old soul artists blending with a more modern sound was refreshing!
Erykah brought something even more unique to the mix, there was jazz, blues, and a bit of the Erykah craziness all thrown in! This was far removed from cookie-cutter R&B!
This album still remains a classic for me. It just has such a warmth and authenticity to it that can never get old. Highlights tracks for me are ‘Didn’t Cha Know’, ‘…& On’, ‘Orange Moon’, ‘Bag Lady’, and ‘Green Eyes’.