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Albums that changed my life.

Happy Humpday, my friends! Ever since I found out I’m seeing the Backstreet Boys (in just a few short weeks), I have been taking a stroll down memory lane via old CDs. Yes, I still have CDs. A lot of them are still in my car, and once I got started, I couldn’t stop digging through my collection to see which ones still worked and what songs I still remembered.

So, I started thinking about the albums that really, really meant something to me – then, and still very much now. I didn’t realize it until I wrote this post, but they’re all female empowerment albums, so I guess you could say I’ve been a feminist from the start! Here are my life-changers:

Jagged Little Pill (1995)

I first heard Alanis Morissette when she released the music video for “Hand in my Pocket”. I thought she looked so cool, and I loved that song. I was in 5th grade, and she was speaking my soul.

Shortly after, she released “Ironic”, and I was hooked. I begged my mom to take me to see her in concert, and we did, and it was AWESOME (even though she’s a bit much in-person). I have no real idea how her lyrics connected with me at such a young age, but they did.

I had never experienced heartbreak, or at least not really, but I felt like an outsider, and she was rebellious and I liked that. And today? I still do. I actually have “Jagged Little Pill” on vinyl, and it is incredible. My favorite song has to be “All I Really Want”, because all I really want, is SOME JUSTICE…AAHHOOWWWOWOWOWOWOWWOOOOWWWW.

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998)

The Fugees’ album “The Score” was one of my first tastes of hip-hop. I loved it, so when Lauryn Hill debuted her solo album, I was all over it. And wow. I would venture to say this album has had the most impact on me, musically, in my life thus far.

This was a popular one, selling 1 million copies in its first month (8 million copies in 4 years), and it remained in the top charts for 81 weeks. At the time, Lauren Hill was an icon, and her album was everywhere – even later being placed on several “Best Album Ever” lists.

But in 2000, Hill basically disappeared from the public eye, and stayed hidden for nearly four years. To this day, anytime I see her on TV, I’m shocked. I know that a lot of artists describe an album release as having a child, and she also had a REAL child, after her album release… and I think that album was a once-in-a-lifetime thing.

Regardless, I respect her tremendously, and frankly, I don’t know where I’d be without “Ex-Factor”.

Back to Black (2006)

Amy, Amy, Amy… Rest in peace. I had been a long, long time since an album hit me like this one did. I was fresh off a string of bad men, and wow, this chick had something to say. Frankly, I didn’t realize her authenticity, until I read a Rolling Stone article about her life, her drug use, and her eternal love for Blake.

That article still hangs in a frame in my apartment. It was a true loss of innocence, but also a realization that this was an artist who wasn’t just putting on a show. Sadly, she was living every bit of her pain.

While I couldn’t connect with her drug and alcohol addiction, I could very well connect with her willingness to love wholeheartedly, even when it was just wrong. And I still very much love her for putting all of that into words – it healed me in a way I cannot full understand.

The title track is one of my favorites, as is “He Can Only Hold Her”… it all varies depending on my mood.

…There you have it! Notice you don’t see any John Mayer albums here… while all of his albums have meant a lot to me, they have served as “soundtracks” to sections of my life, but not anthems, if that makes sense (still love you, John!). I’d love to know what albums you can’t quit; tell me in the comments!

‘The Search for Everything’.

Okay, John Mayer fans! Tomorrow is the day we get to hear some new stuff, finally! While I don’t really have the inside scoop (as much as I wish I did), we can discuss what we know so far.

1. The title of the album is called “The Search for Everything”, which John said in a Facebook Live feed that the title basically explains his life.

2. The album will obviously feature the single we’ve heard, “Love on the Weekend”, which I love – but John said, also on Facebook Live, that the song does not represent the entire album. Guess we’ll see.

3. The album was among some greats on The Rolling Stone’s list of the 63 most-anticipated albums of 2017. However, the release date isn’t mentioned there, because…

4. John Mayer is releasing his album in 4-song increments, monthly. WHICH IS THE WORST IDEA EVER.

Let’s just discuss this a little more.

Now, I know artists have released their music in increments before. Kanye West did it with his G.O.O.D. Fridays, where fans were rewarded with a free download as long as they kept visiting his new website, and Justin Bieber did it with his “Journals” album, releasing one song each Monday in a “Music Monday” campaign.

When Kanye did it, it was genius because no one had ever done it before; when Justin did it, it was pretty fun.

But, seriously John Mayer? The first reason this sucks is because the initial 4-song drop we get includes the single we’ve already purchased, “Love on the Weekend“, so we’re actually only getting three new songs this month. Here are the tracks we’ll see tomorrow:

  1. Moving On And Getting Over
  2. Changing
  3. Love On The Weekend
  4. You’re Gonna Live Forever In Me

The second reason this sucks is because am I honestly supposed to listen to a 4-song loop for a month and then download another 4 songs? Let me make this clear: I love me some John Mayer, but I’m not going to be putting it in my calendar every month to “Download the next 4 John Mayer songs!!”

Here’s my other question: how many songs are there in total? According to Mayer’s Instagram account, “The album will be released four songs at a time. Every month. There were too many songs to ever get out the door at once.”

There’s several issues with this statement. I hate to be that person, but it’s the digital age, right? So what does it even mean that there’s “too many songs”? Like is it 25? 40? Because anything 20 and under is a pretty standard album length.

This just makes me wonder, what’s the real story? Like are the songs not done? Because if they’re not, don’t tell us there’s an album coming. If they ARE done, well hand ’em over, ’cause frankly, John Mayer, you’ve put the fans through too much! Just hand us the SONGS!

Am I the only person pissed about this? Le sign… I know there are bigger problems. I’m just greedy and want all the songs – besides, I’ll be in the car road-tripping for a minimum of 10 hours this weekend and I could really use some new tunes (more than four, BTW).

At the very least, I have a feeling these are going to be some GOOD songs… I mean, what we’ve heard so far is fantastic. Here’s to “The Search for Everything”!

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Why are we okay with ‘Lemonade’?

Gurl, bye.

Gurl, bye.

Disclaimer: Beyonce annoys the piss out of me.

I think she’s overrated, has taken advantage of a lot of people to get where she is, and I’ve thought that from day one, her marriage to Jay-Z was a total sham.

But, ALL HAIL, right?

Riddle me this: why are we okay with the queen letting her king walk all over her?

I’ll be honest, I didn’t watch or listen to “Lemonade”. For starters, I do not believe that Beyonce was ever handed lemons. She has a life that many of us would dream of – of course from the outside. If she WERE handed lemons, I’m sure she’d drop them into the hands of a staff member and push them toward her kitchen, made of marble and gold.

When “Lemonade” was dropped, I heard all the chatter and rumors, and what I gathered was that, the things we all thought were true: Jay-Z cheated on Beyonce, many times, with many women. And she smashed shit with a baseball bat in an HBO exclusive.

…And then she forgave him, and now things are fine.

So, you’re telling me that Beyonce, the Queen of “Independant Women” lets her man act like that? Not only is she essentially fine with it, but there was no consequence – instead, she used it to make money and share it with the man who did the harm to begin with!

Huh? How is it possible that women everywhere idolize this person? Are those the values she’ll be teaching her daughter; that it’s okay for a man to run wild?

It’s come out that Beyonce didn’t write most of the songs on “Lemonade”, which is fine, as she doesn’t write most of her songs, ever. And many successful singers don’t, and I’m fine with it. But I do draw the line when you’re pretending to live it.

If you didn’t write the song, then don’t act like you did, ahem “Single Ladies”. Why was she acting high and mighty like she got a ring from Jay-Z? Because she didn’t (they agreed no rings) in the beginning.

So why are you preaching to women everywhere, to demand diamonds and committment from the men, when that’s not how you run your game?

Oh, because it’s catchy and it sells concert tickets. It sells a dream that you, too, can be an independant woman and get a man.

A man that will cheat on you and you’ll forgive him because you’re too weak to stand on your own off-stage.

The other thing that kills me about this, is that we’ll (meaning Beyonce fans, not me personally) stand by women like Beyonce and Rihanna when their men treat them poorly, publically, but we’ll publicly bash women like Hillary Clinton, who has stood by her man over the years after infidelity.

Is it because Hillary rocks the pantsuit and not a leotard? Is it because Jay-Z makes more than Bill Clinton? What is it?

I’m not saying one is better than the other, but it doesn’t add up for me. But don’t teach women to be independant, and then tell them to “cater to” their men – SURFBOARD – and then be weak when they screw you over in real life.

Beyonce is bullshit. #LiveYourTruth

Album review: Purpose.

Purpose Album Cover

Sexy.

A few weeks ago, we were #Blessed with the release of Justin Bieber’s latest album, “Purpose,” (his 6th number 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart) and I don’t know if y’all understand just HOW excited I was about it! I pre-ordered the album about a month before its release, and waited until midnight the night before/day of to see the “Download Complete” confirmation on my phone.

Since then, I’ve had lots and lots of time to listen to it – and believe me (Belieb me? No?) I have listened to this album TONS of times. I listen to it at work, in the car, while I’m getting ready… it’s ON, and I’m quite amazed at just how good it is. And no, I’m not just saying that. I’m not going to steer you wrong folks. So, below I’ve got a track-by-track review of “Purpose,” for your enjoyment.

Mark My Words – The intro to the album. I’ll admit, it’s kind of cheesy. Given that one of the released tracks is “Sorry,” this entire album seems like The Biebs is on a mission to prove himself, yet again, even though it’s completely unnecessary. The Beliebers will love him no matter what! And yes, this is one of the songs Justin admitted to Ellen, as being inspired by Selena Gomez.

I’ll Show You – While slow and beat-heavy, this song is a giant EFF YOU to the haters.

Sorry – I’m sure many of you have heard this one, and I really do love it! It’s not the best track on the album, but it’s a fun one to dance to.

Love Yourself – This could EASILY be the next single off this album. It’s got a catchy jingle to it and the lyrics are pretty clever: “And if you like the way you look so much, baby you should go and love yourself.”

Company – This is my FAVORITE song on the album. It’s incredibly sexy, and it starts off slow, with a pickup after the intro, featuring some solid beats (perfect for body rolls and cracking the faux whip – am I the only one that does that?). Favorite line: “You don’t gotta be my lover, for me to call you baby.” Whewww!!!!

No Pressure (feat. Big Sean) – And right here is my second favorite song. While a little less sexy than “Company,” this song is an absolute plea for whoever this girl is to answer his calls. I’ll tell you what – if he was calling me, I’d ANSWER. On the first ring.

No Sense (feat. Travis Scott) – This one has one of the best beats on the entire album, and a catchy hook, “It don’t make no sense ‘less I’m doin’ it with you.” I’ll take it.

The Feeling (feat. Halsey) – This could be a club track, period. It’s got that mix of slow and fast, with all kinds of techie upgrades added in. Not to mention Halsey’s sweet voice.

Life Is Worth Living – A slow track, nearly a ballad, but it’s not focused on love, but more how to survive the daily STRUGGLE. Because, it’s so hard being Justin Bieber.

Where Are U Now – I am kind of obsessed with Jack U, so since they had their little fingers on the first single for this album, I can’t help but love it. Bieber has a different version of this song that he’s sang live for years, and has been open about the fact that it’s about his dad. But it’s unclear if this one is as well.

Cotopaxi_giving_guide_v07Children – I’ll admit it, this one’s a little weird. It talks about “all the children we can change,” then straight up bounces into a rave-worthy EDM track. Huh? It’s a good one to listen to when you’re driving in the pitch black on 290 West… just an observation.

Purpose – The album’s title track. It’s catchy, I’ll admit it, and while it’s not my favorite, I do like it the best out of the other slower tracks.

Been You – This is easily the ear worm on the album. I was running errands a few weeks ago and caught myself in Lowe’s dancing to it in the hardware aisle. This is a nice revisit to his pop roots.

Get Used To It – This song is creeping up to be one of my favorites. The storyline actually reminds me of a guy I’m sort of kind of talking to right now (shhh). So, basically Justin Bieber is swooning this girl, saying he knows she’s been in bad relationships, but now she should “Get used to” him calling, checking in, just to see her… it’s sweet. I love it!

We Are (feat. Nas) – Pure R&B right herrreeee. This is a good one to turn way up in your car… trust me, I do it every morning around 8:40 on Mopac South.

Trust – This is the one track on the album I’m not a huge fan of. I’m not saying it couldn’t grow on me, but as of now, I’m not too into it.

All In It – This feels like your obligatory inspirational track, though it’s upbeat and fun… and I’m not going to sit here and act like I haven’t been dancing to it in my car…

What Do You Mean (Remix) – The remix of the hit single features a woman’s voice as well, which is fun… but it ain’t as fun as the original!

Before I bounce on my way, I wanted to mention that today is Human Rights Day. There’s a ton of hate in our world right now, and the only thing I can think to do is mention the positives.

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