There were quite a few songs that I loved listening to, but Demi Lovato’s Unforgettable really stole the show for me. I’ll try and avoid using puns going forward, but this song is truly unforgettable. This track is dedicated to a man named Tommy Trussell who lost a battle with addiction.
You can clearly hear the emotion from her voice and to have the strength to put thoughts to paper and to sing about it is amazing. The other time in recent memory that I can think of is Yebba’s My Mind with Sofar Sounds back in 2016 in which it was a song dedicated to her mother.
Chills come down when Demi delivers those runs on those powerful lungs of hers. So much so that they shine through the production of the track. It’s a simple one for sure, but you’d be hard pressed to find a song that could contain the greatness of Demi. So better to keep it simple and elevate.
As the song goes, her friend Tommy asks her to not forget about him. Well now, he is immortalized. Couldn’t think of a better way to tribute someone you love so much.
Member of the now defunct group Fifth Harmony, Lauren Jauregui has given us a somber and heartfelt performance with Colors. I think she may be the last member that I’ve heard with her solo songs and I like her vibe. I wonder if her upcoming EP, Prelude, will have more spoken word spots like the one given towards the end of this track. The people in general are sometimes on the fence when it comes to this, most commonly resorting to a meme or trope status with artists such as Ella Mai or Wale. I should know, my wife says she would lament if they did a song together because it would just be talking for 4 minutes (jokingly of course). So it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but we’ll wait to see what Lauren provides us.
She talks about how this past relationship has made her have these cold feelings towards her (assuming) ex and how she could only learn to be someone she’s not, but from them. I also want to make note that she recently appeared in the Anxiety music video with JoJo as a therapist. We can look forward to seeing many sides of her on the screen, but if Colors is any indication of what the EP will bring, we may not get a chance to experience a lighter side to Lauren.
Jojo never misses with her music and the track/music video she gave on Friday was genius with Anxiety (Burlinda’s Theme). This song is dedicated to her anxiety personified as Burlinda (what a name to give it). She talks about how Burlinda does all these things that anxiety does and with the twist that she can’t tell at times if it’s her or Jojo doing whatever. The bridge leading to the outro has a lot of “Oh, oh-oh’s” and there is a reason for it.
The music video fills in the empty space especially with the voice over towards the end of the song. You have cameos from Omarion and Lauren Jauregui to add in the experience. This experience is a new anxiety drug called Tryesta. You see Burlinda just be there like bleeding, but after that drug kicked in, she was alert and attentive. The scene with Omarion was really funny because I don’t think he was aware that she mentally was there.
The concept of flipping “discussing anxiety” as a drug commercial was genius. All of the common tropes were there. You have Jojo in random places and she’s out of it. Then you have a breakdown with the doctor and a breakthrough after she gets medicated. And the chef’s kiss was her putting medicine jars in her hair. She went all in for the production.
This is the second track from her latest EP, trying not to think about it. 12 tracks including an intro with three interludes. She’s giving more away for free than others as an album. No judgment, but content was never hard for Jojo it seems where others struggle to get a project over 30 minutes long. She’s not one to put out a half-assed project.
Based on the recent posts I’ve had about Kirby, you can say that I am really getting excited about any particular future project she may have in her pocket. The recent single ‘Can We Be Friends?’ is about trying to come out of a recent break up on an upside. Kirby thinks that there is something salvageable in this relationship and if it’s nothing serious, at least be friends for the future. There is that outro, “breakup to makeup”, that one could assume that there is an opening possibly to get back to how things were before. There is also that classic song from The Stylistics called ‘Break Up to Make Up’ where they say it’s just a game for fools. Who is to say that she knows, but still is holding out for hope.
On another note, I must not have seen anything on social media yet about any announced project. She has so many singles released in a short span of time. We are getting something soon right? I hope so.
I don’t ever recall hearing a bad song from Amber Mark and let’s throw her latest single What It Is into the mix. I decided to take a look at the credits for this song because it felt like we’ve reached her at her prime after this song’s release and I saw the name of Julian Bunetta. Never heard of him before, but it seems as though he’s one of the main producers for all of the One Direction songs as well as a handful of Amber’s songs. A biased opinion of course, but it sounds like Julian is getting the best of her potential on these tracks.
One other thing that I noticed is this track has a 5 minute and 25 second runtime. Ambitious to have a track run for so long, but when the production and sounds are so good, you don’t mind it. Amber is able to get the most of the song and short of a guitar solo, she makes her presence known in every second of the track. There is also that slight rasp in her voice that comes out at times. When those spots come, it perks my ears up as she adds another dimension to the song. One good example is that scream she gave around the 2:45 mark. Very raw.
“What It Is’ low key is the title track of the album without it actually being the title track. It comes from going through negative experiences which end up being the gateway to a question I think I’ll be asking for the rest of my life. What is the meaning of life, the universe and everything?”
So Amber touches on the above during the pre-chorus of the song where she talks about falling apart messing with love, but then asks God what’s the point of it all? If this is supposed to be the title track (so-to-speak) and having it at track #2 of her debut album, I wonder if she’ll be able to get her question answered. Or maybe she’ll end up with more questions than answers. 17 tracks is pretty long and I can’t wait til the release date.
It wouldn’t be a Yung Bae production if you couldn’t dance and groove to it and in Life Vest the perfect one to sing on the track comes by Reva DeVito. The second it comes on, you couldn’t help but just to move around or at least bob your head to it. She doesn’t even waste time since when it starts, she starts. So you better be prepared on the first note.
The theme of the song can be interpreted in a few ways, but I took it as knowing that you have to live a life worth living. And doing it with someone you care about is essentially your life vest through it all. Someone you can depend on in case you end up going on the deep end. As Reva says at the end of the song, even if you are, you just gotta hang on for dear life.
Indonesian artist Afgan brings on Robin Thicke for the remix of Touch Me. I am always a big fan of international collabs and seeing Robin Thicke coming on a featuring got me excited. I want to jump to the music video for the song and I think it’s fair to say that these two are like birds of a feather. Afgan has those subtle dances and movements and their style of singing are also similar. Even how they love their spots of intimacy on music videos are akin. I’ve only covered Afgan once, back in November of last year, so it feels refreshing to see his work on screen again.
There was a snippet of their Instagram story saved on YouTube and Robin mentioned that the track was “right up his alley” and “Smooth and sexy”. That is something we can’t really argue with. The theme of the song pretty much mirrors that sentiment. Nothing like expressing yourself in the words of how someone who has caught your eye and Afgan and Robin did it well. The lyrical content isn’t deep, but the mood and groove are on point.
The DC native Ari Lennox doesn’t miss when it comes to her music and Pressure is up there with one of her best to date. She has a way to make her songs so engaging and upbeat. What makes her stand out in those songs is that dash of class she comes out with. You can have the most expressive, dirty-detailed lyrics one can imagine, but she always comes out with that aura of ‘lady’ and ‘class’ on the other side. And that’s not to say it’s a facade because I don’t know her personally, but she knows how to work the mic and connect to the listener in that way.
Who knew that having a track where on the 4th beat it just says “pressure” all throughout would be so catchy? Simple concept but it sticks to you. What isn’t simple is all the costume changes Ari went through to put that music video together. I’m not extremely versed on who she was trying to imitate in the different eras. I think the easiest one was Donna Summers and the one where she was in a dress with the mic stand was The Supremes. Couldn’t tell you about the other two. It was a nice touch for the song. Although we didn’t get to see a lot of scenes of the latest era shown, there was that iconic camera view you tend to see in a lot of the old Missy Elliot music videos. More singles releasing can only mean we are closer to an album release. Let’s hope people.
Trying my best to get back into the swing of things. Parents can confirm this for me. There is no day exactly the same as a parent for a newborn. Routines are non-existent, but I move on. So this week isn’t a full curation, but I like the amount I have in this week’s list and we are going to raise up Kirby this week and her latest single Coconut Oil.
Just as the oil drips from her hair, you can hear the swag that Kirby is giving off in the track. And she doesn’t have a lot of time to get it done with just over 2 minutes of runtime she has to hit the ground running. She gets on the track just showing off just how good she’s got it and how great she’s feeling. Then it blends into the chorus telling you just how thirsty you are, but only to see and not touch.
I am loving the fast-paced production from the track. It’s has that old school feel, but some modern elements you can hear like during the chorus. Silk Sonic could do a live version of this with Kirby doing the lead vocals. Of course this is just wishful thinking, but maybe the Motown vibes can make a comeback. The collabs are out there with all the talent we have currently.
Today is the release of The Lauren Dukes Band self-titled EP hailing from Chicago. Five tracks that are full of energy, amazing singing, and a hell of a band. Upon initial listening to the EP, I was appreciating the jazz/blues vibes from the band. It’s easier to experience this when you have people playing instruments as opposed to having your sound produced solely on machines. One final thing I will say, there is a lot of time to allow the bandmates shine on these tracks.
To help promote the new EP, the band put together a live session with two of their songs Hectic Love Week and Closure. Hectic Love Week is about going through a week with your partner of fighting only to make up by the end of the week. And it’s just a loop of falling in and out of love again. I love that Lauren doesn’t mind letting the band shine by just glowing in the sound that everyone is creating because they are really good. There are a few times Carla Denise, the backup vocalist, was hitting those notes alongside Lauren that had me going, “My God”. And with every band, there is that one person who is behind shades that shows no emotion, but is jammin’. He is on the congos and tambourine, but I didn’t catch their name.
The second recorded jam session was Closure and I was feeling that song so much. Let’s start with that conversation that Lauren and Nic (the guitarist) was having near the end of the song. That was cute of those two going off of one another. I also want to raise up the Saxophonist Aiden when he had his solo in the middle of the song. Again, individuals are given moments to shine within the band and it’s so cool to see. I mean these tracks have some long runtimes (Closure being over 5 minutes long). I think we can spare some seconds to spread the wealth around.
My favorite track on the EP is Addicted. This is probably a biased opinion because the smooth jazz vibes from the track is one of my favorite genres. Towards the end of the track, Lauren gives us some good highs. If you were ever curious about her range, this is a track to listen to and something I wasn’t expecting.
I love what this EP is all about. Everything that I’ve read about and listened to gave us snippets of The Lauren Dukes Band doing a little bit of everything. I am curious if they plan to do a full length album sometime later. The jam session aura around the band and could do for lengthier project. I relate to their sound to groups like Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings or Durand Jones & The Indications (to some degree). And they were able to put together some great albums. Is Lauren Dukes able to build off this and put something together? I hope so.