I know this is a Squier Affinity Telecaster and I know that it's a cheap starter guitar but this guitar means so much to me. I recently remembered I owned and found it hiding in my closet. When I bought this guitar it was during a bad time in my life. I hurricane had hit where I was living at and 7 feet of water came into my area and inside my house destroying everything me and my family owned. Music has played a big part in my life so going out music was very hard for me, especially being in a band and not being able to practice. So once a living situation was made although money was very tight and I was working a terrible job that didnt pay well at all. I saved up for a cheap guitar, this guitar, just so that I could play and practice by myself or with my band at that time. It wasnt a lot band, bad ass guitar but it was a guitar that got the job done and did what it needed to do and because of that I'm grateful. So its come to my attention that this guitar was there for me when I needed it the most so now it's time for me to return the favor. I have a goal to fix/upgrade this guitar and turn it into a beast. I plan on putting better pickups in it, locking tuners, maybe a pearl pickguard, and maybe a new control system. When I get done with this guitar it will play just like a top on the line fender. And if anyone is actually reading this thank you for your time and I hope you enjoyed this talk about my past, and this little bit of me that I dont really talk about.
use this post to recommend me kpop songs u want me to cover on the piano, doesnt have to be bts but it can be💅🏽 LIKE others' comments if u agree with them, so i know which songs and groups yall rly like🤑🤑🤑
The singer-songwriter’s debut LP, Freya Ridings, combines six previously released singles and six new offerings. Ridings showcases the fact that she’s written all 12 songs herself, collaborating along the way with in-demand producer Greg Kurstin (Maggie Rogers, Adele) and others. Ridings’ admirable creative control gives the album a cohesive tone and thematic scope, but it also permits stretches of repetition and the occasional cliché. Though she explores heartbreak and longing by probing surprisingly dark corners of her psyche, the album’s steadiness of vision renders the product of that exploration somewhat monochrome.
Opener “Poison” greets the listener with a coy fake-out: Ridings begins with a delicate piano melody hinting at a somber, stripped-down track in the vein of “Lost Without You,” but after a suspended chord at the end of the first verse, the track exhales into a tantrum of thudding drums, anxious string bowing, and dramatic keyboard chords.
In Ridings’ songs, love is torture, and crushing on someone is a form of noble suffering. Motifs of fire and blood run through her lyrics, conjuring a gothic atmosphere that draws the listener in but also starts to feel predictable. “Castles” and “Love Is Fire” create upbeat self-empowerment anthems out of this intensity, while “Blackout” and “Ultraviolet” find Ridings in her comfort zone, dwelling in romantic angst at the piano.
Although Freya Ridings suggests room for growth, it also hints at the artist’s willingness to tread new ground, even if it feels a bit shaky at first. The striking “Holy Water” suggests an instinct for stylistic experimentation that remains latent on some of the album’s more monotonous tracks. With handclaps, tambourine shakes, and energetic backing vocals, the song references religious revival music to conjure a satanic vision of romantic obsession: “You keep me holding on / To the devil that I love in you.” Ridings possesses plenty of innate talent but, equally as important, a willingness to take risks that are necessary for creative evolution.
Inner Monologue II is filled with tales of insecurity and despair which are set against uplifting melodies, clever and witty arrangements.
The extended play opens with "17" where the singer-songwriter muses on how life and love is easier when you are at that ‘in-between’ age.
The track sets up the feel of the rest of the virtual disc. By the time you reach the end of track three, "Hurt Again," you find yourself feeling so much empathy for the voice you are hearing and the stories it tells.
In "Body," the fifth track, Julia explores the warped perspective of one’s self and emotional fallout when your view clashes with that of others, especially those closer to you. It’s heart-wrenching.
As the EP Steam rolls towards the closing, the tide starts to turn and you get a glimpse of the singer’s anger. With "Priest" and "Shouldn’t Have Said It" you feel the fury and ultimately the remorse. The collaboration with ROLE MODEL, "Fucked Up, Kind" is the most commercial of all the tracks with its beat and chord progression. It is perfectly placed, but Julia still doesn’t stray from the theme of her inner voice.
The lyrics are centred in self-deprecation and are defeatist in nature, which plays perfectly with the soft and understated tone of the vocals. Julia, or the character she may be embodying, has had a tough time, but those turbulent conditions and a perfect emotional storm has given birth to true musical inspiration. There is youthful angst without screaming or shouting, there is sadness without tears and there is a sorrow without bitterness.
The feel of the eight tracks is very much a reflection of the title; there is a feel that, at times, you are privileged to hear the thoughts and feelings of the protagonist. It’s not always an easy rider, but the journey is worth taking.
This is in no way your typical paint by numbers chart hit assured mix, not by any stretch of the imagination. It’s rooted in pop, but it is much more. Greyer and colder than you’d expect from the genre. Julia Michaels smashes you against her rocks with siren songs and as you slip below the surface you are submerged by the dark side of pop.
Late Night Feelings does exactly what it says on the tin, as it elicits reminiscent feelings of past affairs and heartbreaks over the course of the album. Simply lie back, dim the lights and listen alone, as a sense of longing shrouds you in a haze, and memories of lost loves lazily float to the surface.
Aptly described as a collection of “sad bangers," the project is a series of lyrically heart-wrenching tunes backed with powerful beats and complex guitars, plus a touch of Mark Ronson’s infamously eclectic mix of sounds and effects.
"Late Night Prelude" ripples fancifully with a menagerie of far-flung strings into title track "Late Night Feelings" with Lykke Li, the already much-loved groovy number, comprising of steel drums, pan-pipes and funky bass. "Find U Again" introduces Camila Cabello for an oozing, cheese pop number. "Pieces of Us" is a woozy tale of subtle limerence backed by distant, ethereal synths as King Princess croons, “All of my love, swing and a miss when we talk”.
YEBBA brings honeyed, gospel-funk infused harmonies on "Knock Knock Knock" before launching into the wistfully soul imbued ballad "Don’t Leave Me Lonely." She continues her journey of desire and muted despair on "When U Went Away" before Alicia Keys and The Last Artful, Dodgr pack a poignant punch, trading verses on "Truth." "Nothing Breaks Like a Heart" is an infectious, country-tinged track reminiscent of First Aid Kid, and melds flawlessly into the eerily upbeat "True Blue" with Angel Olsen’s indie folk hums.
Whilst the album alone is a standout piece of work - and perhaps some of Ronson’s finest to date - particularly in its stunning composition, richly diverse sound and endemic melodies, what is most notable about this record is his choice to work with such a beautifully divergent range of female artists from all walks of life; this creates the project’s uniquely divine temperament.
Ronson’s ability to tap into each artist’s strengths and dig out their particular prowess allows each voice to shine through and own each individual track.
This is what elevates the record to a guaranteed award winner and a truly empowering listen.
Banks has always used her own pain to create art. On her debut album Goddess, the US singer laid her emotions so bare that it made for an often uncomfortable listen. Her 2016 follow-up, The Altar, explored how much of the pain Banks experienced was her own doing – a battle between self-love and self-criticism.
On her third album, III, she opens with a battle cry. “Till Now” is backed by sinister, alien sounds and a dramatic drum rattle that cuts through the tension like a knife: “I let you push me around til now,” she asserts. You wonder if she’s talking about another person, or her own internal conflict.
The record frequently switches in tone: Banks can be both formidable and vulnerable, accusatory or filled with regret. “Gimme” demands sex and refuses to be shamed for it; “Contaminated” mourns a toxic relationship that can’t be saved; and “Stroke” is a bitter riposte to a man emulating the Greek figure Narcissus – laid over a funk guitar riff.
Production is lush, from the rich piano and hip-hop beats on the Paul Epworth-produced “Hawaiian Maze” – a track that reminds you that Camila Cabello’s hit 2018 debut probably owes a lot to Banks – to the Latin-influence on “Alaska." For “The Fall," she emulates her former touring partner The Weeknd and enlists R&B crooner Miguel – his light, effeminate vocals intertwine with hers so they become virtually indistinguishable.
III is Banks’s most cohesive album to date because she’s no longer restricting herself to exploring one feeling at a time. The way she has structured this record takes the listener through the complicated yet nuanced emotions of a woman who has recently learnt to accept everything she feels. She embraces her pain, and as a consequence is able to let it go.
Will Young gained respect by not doing predictable covers and by forging his own path with the career solidifying single "Leave Right Now" and his second album, Friday’s Child. He gained creative control and freedom by stepping away from Simon Cowell’s dated approach.
After years of almost-great albums and some striking singles ("Leave Right Now," "Who Am I," "All Time Love," "You & I"), Young finally put out an album that justified his talent show survivor status with 2011’s Echoes. It was a classy mix of moody electro-pop ballads and heartfelt sophisti-pop upbeats. Teaming up with genius producer Richard X was a smart move, and it accentuated Young’s talents. After switching labels, Young returned four years later with the muddled 85% Proof — an album that felt like a backwards step, despite a few highlights and some great videos.
Young is back with Richard X and some of the songwriters he worked with in the past. Lexicon shares some similarities to what made Echoes so rewarding.
Recent single, "My Love," sets yhe tone with its funky wobbling bass-line, bubbling synths and infectious chorus. As before, he takes his cues from some of the greatest pop music, old and new. The spinning synths and balearic atmosphere on "Forever" is another strong single candidate. Young’s impressive falsetto on the chorus is joined by a delicious house-piano line.
The subtle funk on "Ground Running" is a nice shift, with its gritty guitar-line and bouncing rhythm. Young sounds cool and confident as he sings,“trying to drag me down, trouble gonna come my way, we can hit the ground running." "Freedom" is a standout thanks to Young’s lovelorn voice — it recalls Erasure at their most naked. The chopped up vocals and sliding keyboards in the chorus are an inspired bit of futuristic pop. The rolling piano-led rhythm on the gospel influenced "Faithless Love" blends with Young’s confessional lyrics — “I sold my soul when I took the wrong road home”.
Lexicon isn’t quite the revelation that Echoes was, nevertheless it’s a strong release from someone who has battled depression and anxiety to find musical passion again.
Kylie Minogue’s pop prowess is unquestionable. Back in 1987, few would have imagined the fresh-faced Neighbours star would embody the mass commercial appeal necessary to sustain a long-term career in a fickle music industry. Yet, 32 years and 14 studio albums later, Minogue is releasing a "definitive collection;" from the early SAW-drenched "I Should Be So Lucky" to the mature, country-inspired sound of more recent singles such as "Dancing," this was always going to be a gloriously joyful, if not slightly incoherent, anthology.
Step Back in Time is Minogue’s 13th compilation album and by far the most comprehensive with 42 tracks. It is testament to her enduring success that there are literally no fillers and no deluge of new singles, the only one being the excellent "New York City." This truly is a compendium of pop success – a "How To Ride The Unsteady Waves of Popular Music for Dummies" if you will.
Nothing symbolises Minogue’s ability to sustain and reinvent like opening number, "Can’t Get You out of My Head," the biggest selling single of her career. Released 14 years after "I Should Be So Lucky," the song continued the commercial revival that followed the wilderness years of the late 1990s, in which Minogue pursued a different, more indie-inspired sound to limited commercial success before reverting to type, complete with impossibly tight golden hot pants (we’re looking at you, "Spinning Around"). Ironically, it is precisely on tracks from the Impossible Princess era of 1997-8 that Kylie’s most intimate, reflective and critically-acclaimed work is found. It is, though, largely absent from Step Back in Time, the only exception being the outstanding "Breathe." This feels like a missed opportunity to demonstrate the Australian’s versatility; "Did It Again" sandwiched between "2 Hearts" and "Red Blooded Woman" now, that would have been pop precision with an edge.
Step Back in Time has something for everyone. This, combined with the sheer volume of Minogue’s 32-year repertoire inevitably makes any compilation album somewhat incongruous. It’s best not to overthink or overanalyse what is essentially a joyous retrospective of some expertly crafted pop creations.
With his butter-smooth two-octave vocal range, megawatt smile, and candid, sincere commitment to portraying millennial love—replete with boozy Uber rides and text-message mind games—Khalid has swiftly become a pop fixture, carving out a place on the Billboard charts. But there’s a sense of guardedness, an almost antiseptic quality, to the 21-year-old singer’s produced-to-perfection R&B. And on his sophomore effort, Free Spirit, he can’t seem to shake that predilection for playing it safe, despite the album’s calls to lose our inhibitions and be free.
Whereas his 2016 debut, American Teen, played like the soundtrack to teenage romance and misadventure, Free Spirit sees Khalid embracing more mature self-inquiry, albeit to hackneyed effect, as he does on “Self”: “I’ve ran away for miles, it’s gettin’ hard for me to breathe/‘Cause the man that I’ve been runnin’ from is inside of me.” And no less inspired are lyrics like “So if you’re gonna love me/You gotta love all of me” (from “Bad Luck”) and “Life is never easy when you need it to be/Try to knock me down, but I get back on my feet” (from “Hundred”).
Free Spirit brims with potential radio hits, like the broody, laidback “My Bad.” The Disclosure-produced lead single, “Talk,” is bright and electric, with a galaxy of heavily textured synths underpinning the track’s buoyant chorus, in which Khalid shows off his seemingly effortless falsetto. Multiple tracks, however, feature the same reverb-drenched guitar and airy synths, sucked dry of vitality by too-pristine production. For a burgeoning artist still establishing his signature style, Khalid settles into a surprising complacency here, failing to experiment with the template of his debut.
Perhaps it’s because, at 21, his journey is just beginning. But with all of the lyrical platitudes that abound on the album, the cover art of which depicts the artist overlooking a desert from the top of a dusty van, Khalid’s coming-of-age odyssey feels more like an American Eagle ad than a documentation of an authentic transformational experience.
The fourth album by Marina Diamandis, and her first without the mantle of “Marina and the Diamonds,” arrives after four years spent battling depression and self-doubt. Her first priority in composing Love + Fear seems to have been returning to a place where music could be enjoyable, and generative, and healing; in a word, safe.
The qualities that so endeared her to fans—her vulnerability, her appetite for risk, her unflinching handling of misogyny —are absent here. “We don’t have the time to be introspective when there are more important things happening,” Marina recently told Fader. Without introspection, the lyrics of Love + Fear feel fully incidental to the songs swirling around them.
When Marina’s vocal delivery allows a glimmer of personality to shine through the genericism, the results are lovely. “Baby,” a collaboration with Clean Bandit, stands head and shoulders above every other track. On “No More Suckers,” Marina’s bratty, schoolyard-taunt delivery recalls Cher Lloyd’s 2011 single “Want U Back,” elevating standard break-up fare into something witty and winking.
Elsewhere, though, Marina finds herself unable—or maybe afraid—to offer any originality. “True” is little more than a string of bland body-positivity slogans, too stale for a Dove commercial a decade ago. Marina has called “To Be Human” the album’s “most political song,” she resists making any definitive statements. When she sings, “There were riots in America/Just when things were getting better,” she doesn’t deign to place the lyric in context. Which riots? What was getting better, and for whom? By contrast, “Savages,” from 2015’s Froot, offered a blazing indictment of human aggression that demonstrated Marina’s strength as a songwriter: “I’m not afraid of God/I am afraid of man.”
In the past, whether Marina was working in a diaristic mode or a fictive one, she never caved to normality. That Marina—the lyricist who wasn’t afraid to detail the taste of toothpaste on a lover’s tongue, the vocalist who wasn’t afraid to punctuate a sentence with a feral shriek—has gone missing. The temptation of safe is undeniable, but mononyms are earned by embracing risk.
It works on paper. Combine three star musicians whose names make for an eye-catching acronym and whose varied talents seem to have kept half the charts afloat for the last decade, throw in some psychedelic imagery, then watch those streams roll in. There are moments when this streaming era supergroup hit the mark, as in the doo-wop laced Thunderclouds and glitchily absorbing Angel in Your Eyes. Widescreen pop moment Genius, which kicked off the LSD project last May, still packs a big punch, though perhaps not to such an extent that it warrants two inclusions, one in the form of a perfunctory Lil Wayne remix, on a slim volume of whose 10 tracks seven have already been released.
Elsewhere LSD underwhelms, even if you accept that three of the world’s most interesting musicians would always struggle to create something greater than the sum of its parts. It would be unkind to think of this as a total vanity project – it’s clearly intended to sell. Mind you, at least vanity projects generally carry a sense of artists finding space to spread their creative wings. Not an entirely bad trip, but not one its makers should be in any hurry to repeat.
Indie music has been snuggling up to all things orchestral for decades. But the textures on Titanic Rising, singer-songwriter Natalie Mering’s fourth studio album under the pseudonym Weyes Blood, are worlds away from Belle & Sebastian’s twee chamber-pop or Arcade Fire’s sweeping bombast. The musical style is anthemic piano pop highly reminiscent ofTapestry-era Carole King, particularly on the stirring tracks “Everyday” and “Something To Believe.” But while comparing anyone’s songwriting to King’s is the highest of compliments, simply evoking the sensibility of Laurel Canyon in the early ’70s is inadequate to describe this musical swan dive into the underwater forest of Mering’s mind.
The key term when attempting to put Titanic Rising into words is “layered”; “Wild Time” builds on Mering’s clarion alto with piano, strings, trumpet, and even a full-throated French horn solo. The tape warble that overlays lead single “Andromeda” tacks a smooth yacht-rock sheen onto an already complex arrangement, and even the sparest song on the album, penultimate track “Picture Me Better,” adds an overlay of velvety strings before hitting its one-minute mark. Where traditional orchestration is absent, cascading synths—and, in the case of “Mirror Forever,” electric guitar that blasts through the song like the tractor beam of a UFO—come in.
The lyrics on Titanic Rising contribute to the album’s daydream quality: Throughout the first half of the record, Mering makes references to falling down, breaking down, and getting “a case of the empties,” all of which fade into oblivion in the middle section of Titanic Rising before coming back down to the human realm of feelings in the final stretch. Ironically, the bleakest lyrics accompany the perkiest melodies, as when Mering sings, “True love is making a comeback / For only half of us, the rest just feel bad” (“Everyday”).
Titanic Rising closes with an orchestral coda that incorporates snippets of Mering’s gently off-kilter melodies from throughout the album, one that bleeds seamlessly into opener “A Lot’s Gonna Change” when you listen to the record on repeat. Like the cycles of despair and hope mapped out in Titanic Rising, it’s endless.
From Venice to Ventura, what you see (and hear) is what you get with Anderson .Paak. Such is the life of a genre-straddler in the modern music world; you can't please everyone. If .Paak goes hard on his hip-hop credentials, the people want to experience more of his softer, soulful side. And vice versa, ad lib to fade.
The Dr. Dre-produced Ventura — an ode to the town outside the stomping grounds of his gritty Oxnard hometown that fuelled his more soulful sensibilities — was apparently conceived around the same time as the adequate Oxnard. It functions as the "pretty" to Oxnard's "gritty," as he said in a recent interview.
Ventura is clearly fuelled on star power — scooping Pharrell, André 3000 and Nate Dogg on a single record in 2019 is no small feat. "Make It Better"comes through with its Quiet Storm OG co-sign in Smokey Robinson, the always on-point songstress Lalah Hathaway gives her own smoke with the classy "Reachin' 2 Much," as does Jazmine Sullivan, playing the side chick gig for "Good Heels." Much will be made of the Nate Dogg collab "What Can We Do?" but it's not that uplifting, outside of the initial nostalgia feels.
The smooth opener "Come Home" offers up a typically strong verse by André 3000, who can toss these A-plus lyrics in his sleep at this point (and probably did). "Winner's Circle" barely suppresses the rawer version of .Paak, but hits the mark and the Sonyae Elisa featured "Chosen One" slaps, its Prince-ly influences displayed on its silky electronic boutonnière.
It is just good enough to be good? That's the existential question for .Paak and fans to suss out. Ventura is super but not superb, a statement that could apply to a lot of .Paak's recent output. It's a super-charged R&B record, laced with throwback Motown/Philly grooves, that hits hard but fails to land a knockout blow. It seems to be a case of not being able to fully satisfy the hip-hop heads, the R&B fans and the amorphous genre-less Venn diagram in between.
There’s something about Maggie Rogers: something rare and something wonderful.
Not only in her voice, but in the way she pieces together her work and tugs at you. And three years after she was plastered across your friends’ social media feeds and was being talked about in breathy tones on radio programmes and at the back of gigs, Rogers is here with her first major-label album.
On first listen, Heard It In A Past Life takes shape before you as a solid debut pop record - but maybe not the one that was expected. If you go in expecting Rogers to give you that rare tingle of a thing you felt in the first few seconds of her music before you’ll likely be a bit disappointed, at least at first. But if you put that to one side it’s perfectly possible to listen on a new plane where the beat rarely relents. A lingering worry grows throughout that first listen – that sometimes the music industry takes that found-sound strewn little pebble and shines it up until it’s bright enough and loud enough to fill a stadium. But actually as you cycle through again and again, as you break it in, and the gleam wears off, you start to see Rogers really come through, standing on the shoulders of Patti Smith, Kim Gordon, and Joni Mitchell, all the while making something entirely new.
“The Knife” is a clawing, ravenous track pumping through veins and dancing in corners on its own while “Light On” evokes Adele in both the parochial sense as well as in the lungs full of pain and lost love shouting into a majestic void. “Fallingwater” feels like a natural next step from “Alaska” and is built on the power of Rogers' vocals, which almost get overlooked thanks to the sheer breadth of other ideas present here. While tracks like "Back in My Body," "Overnight" and "Light On" are filled with the gut-wrenching weight of being alive that many of us go through, grounding the many levels of the record in real life.
The magic by which we were all spellbound in those early days remains, now augmented by a newfound range of diverse influences. Rogers writes anthems for the modern age, with all the paradoxical feelings of empowerment, anxiety, heartbreak and the growth that entails.
When she first emerged in 2016 with her viral Soundcloud hit "Ocean Eyes," the moody, silver-haired Eilish seemed like just another dreamy teenage LA singer/songwriter. The trickle of songs that led to her follow-up EP Don’t Smile At Me, however, proved that Eilish was made of darker stuff. Combining text and Instagram word-speak with bold electropop, she was busily crafting a girl-positive emotional world for the Netflix generation, and she has slowly become an alternative icon.
For her long-awaited debut album, 17 year-old Eilish has gone deeper into the weirdo-pop trench. Together with co-collaborator brother and producer Finneas O’Connell, she has drawn on trap and industrial pop to create a darkly humorous record about romance, rejection and addiction.
Raised by a family of actor/musicians, Eilish and her brother lace the songs with pop culture references and a sense of drama. "Xanny," for instance, reprises Bacharach’s "Alfie," in a soporific, distorted showtune, while "Wish You Were Gay" links Joan Jett-style glam footstomping to a delicate chorus. “To spare my pride/Don’t say I’m not your type/Just not your preferred sexual orientation,” Eilish sings, with mournful deliberation. "Bury A Friend," the album’s stand-out track, develops the theme of darkly, dysfunctional friendship, with her vocodered voice looped through effects and filters.
Just when you think that the clever, lugubrious tone is getting slightly wearisome ("Listen Before I Go"), Eilish breaks out into a track of clear, melodic beauty with "I Love You." Here she links the Lana Del Rey dreaminess of her early songs with the savvy, hip-hop inspired artist that she has become. And this is just the start.