This Week In Music (V.38): Fetty Wap’s Chart Success, The Voice, & MORE

Welcome to another edition of This Week In Music. I haven’t done one in a while, but check out my last edition, here. Also click the links below for my posts of the week:

Continue reading “This Week In Music (V.38): Fetty Wap’s Chart Success, The Voice, & MORE”

Maroon 5 Tour Review

The first time I saw Maroon 5 was in August 2011 at Jones Beach Theater while they were on tour with Train. Their entire set was amazing, but after the crowd sing-a-long to ‘She Will Be Loved’ I knew I had to see them again. The next time I planned to go was a flop because I waited to long to get tickets and the prices were just outrageous. This time around when the tour was announced I knew I had to be there. Four years from my first time seeing them, I have to see them for a third.

This time around it was at the Izod Center and it’s one of the last concerts to be played at the venue. Getting there and finding a parking spot was no problem, thanks for the $25 parking fee (it could be worse), and getting in was a semi-breeze. The first thing my friend and I did was get the overprice T-shirt. I mean how could you pass that up? They weren’t that bad, priced at $40 a pop. Sweatshirts were like $50+.

Enough rambling, on to the show. I had decent seats sitting in the 100 section directly in front of the stage. First up was Adam’s artist, Rozzi Crane. She had a very powerful voice and even merged in Beyonce’s ‘Flawless’ and Jay-Z’s ‘Can I Get A’, but the music drowned her out and it was hard for me to comprehend what the hell she was singing. The last song she performed, ‘Psycho’ she said was off her EP, Space, and I enjoyed that one. Once she left the stage there was like a 15-20min. gap before Magic! came out.

Another reason I jumped on this concert, aside from Maroon 5, was because I knew Magic! would be opening for them and I loved their album. Luckily I had great seats because for some reason they decided not to put the band on the screen. The screens obviously worked as they did for the previous set and there were advertisements during the set changes. They performed: ‘Don’t Kill the Magic’, covered ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ and mashed in ‘Message in a Bottle’. My night was made as they performed one of my favs from the album, ‘Mama Didn’t Raise No Fool’. Their set ended with ‘Rude’, obviously. I got a very Bruno Mars vibe from the group, especially with their red suits. Only thing that would’ve mad the set better was to actually see them clearly. I enjoyed the music regardless.

UntitledNow on to the main attraction, Maroon 5. They opened up their set with ‘Animal’ and the energy kept going from there. The set list included: ‘One more night’, ‘Stereo Hearts’,
‘Harder to breathe’, ‘My Lucky Strike’, ‘Wake Up Call’, ‘Love Somebody’, ‘Maps’, ‘This Love’, ‘Sunday Morning’, ‘Makes Me Wonder’, ‘Payphone’, ‘Daylight’, ‘It Was Always You’, ‘She Will Be Loved’, ‘Moves Like Jagger’, and ‘Sugar’.

The best thing about their set was the constant interaction and wanting the energy from the crowd. It’s nothing like going to a show and feeling a part of it the entire time. The best moment was during ‘She Will Be Loved’ when Adam asked everyone to put their cell phones away and enjoy the f*cking moment (his words). That’s by far my favorite Maroon 5 song  and to have everyone in synch singing their hearts out was amazing.

The show was mixed with the old and the new music which I loved. I mean I enjoyed their new stuff, but it’s nothing like vintage Maroon 5. What was surprising was how many families were there. Kudos to Adam’s coaching job on The Voice for that crowd. Great show, great energy, and I can’t wait to see them again.

Grammy Creators Alliance

There was an initiative launched last night at the 57th annual Grammy Awards (click HERE for my review) to launch a new initiative, Grammy’s Creator Alliance.

The GRAMMY Creators Alliance is a program of The Recording Academy, a non-profit membership organization representing songwriters, performers and studio professionals.

This could not come at a more perfect time when I am researching just how much streaming, piracy, and paid subscriptions affect album sales. Oh the joy of grad school. I find the information that I am finding to be rather interesting. We live in an age where technology makes it so easy to access music whether its through streaming or music piracy. In this digital age it is much easier and cheaper for consumers to just download the song whether it be from YouTube or a blog. Unfortunately, this is not putting any money in the artists pockets.

From a consumer perspective it can go as far as to say that the artists have enough money as is, but think of it from an ethical standpoint. They put time in to make music that they hope their fans will enjoy and buy. It’s their livelihood and yes it does make them quite a nice salary, but there’s a team behind every project. Those team members have to be paid. Studio time isn’t free. I personally don’t see streaming as an issue because it gives consumers an option on whether to buy based off what they like. I also know that this age is disposable and listen to the same things over and over, radio is proof of that, and then that artist is tossed to the side.

Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the Recording Academy, stated:

At a recent congressional hearing, I made the case that any updates to the laws set how creators are paid-must strongly protect those who create the soundtrack to our lives

I do believe that artists should be paid fairly for their music that is just shuffled around from site to site. As noted it is their livelihood and fans show the upmost respect in supporting their favorite artists artistry by not pirating their music.

Here are the founding members:

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I’m interested in who else will join the initiative. Taylor Swift has spoken on this after pulling her music from Spotify. I expect her to stand along the other artists above in the near future. For more information, click HERE.

Video Review: Maroon 5, ‘Sugar’

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Photo Cred: Tumblr

Maroon 5 has released the visual for their latest single ‘Sugar‘ and its not as grotesque as the previous two Maps‘ and Animals.’ I’m very happy with the approach of this one as its a more personal feel from the group.

It’s December 6, 2014. We’re gonna drive across L.A. and hit every wedding we possibly can. It’s gonna be awesome. And we’re late.

-Adam Levine

So as the group treks cross the city it’s interesting tow order just how many wedding would be featured in the video. Half o f the band splits up into two Cadillac’s while the set up crew gets into a van. Adam gets behind the wheel, drives off, let the music begin.

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Photo Cred: Tumblr

It looked like this could all be some type of horrible prank from the looks of the guests faces at wedding #1. This crew comes in and starts to quickly assemble this and that. It then shoots back to the band driving there and as they pull up Adam got out and looked hotter than ever. What I don’t get is how they walked in so discreetly without any one seeing. Clearly they must’ve been distracted by what was sitting on the dance floor. The couple looked confused and then as the hook dropped the curtain fell and their faces are priceless.

Moving on to wedding #2. This time they entered in through the kitchen. Another priceless look on the cooks face. A pat on the back from Adam was just to show, “Yup. we’re real dude.” They enter in without being scene, the shot of their silhouettes was pretty cool. The hook drops and BOOM another surprised couple. The husband looked more surprised than the wife in this one.

As the song is getting closer to the end, they are back to driving, there’s pictures along the way from fans that spot them, and then they hit quite a bit of wedding in the end of the video. I counted an additional 5 weddings. If Maroon 5 were to show up at my wedding I would say “What the f*ck” as well. The video ends with the repetition of the hook, confetti, and the the band driving off. Mission accomplished.

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Photo Cred: Tumblr

The overall goal of this video was not only to crash as many weddings as possible, but to shock the hell out of people as well. That was quite a daunting task to set up and deconstruct that as many times as they did. Kudos to the crew.

It would’ve been cute if there were clips added from his wedding. Might seem a little bit cliche, but hey it would’ve went with the theme. Maroon 5 is on a role with the videos. I really hope that my favorite from the album, ‘Feeelig,’ gets a video.

Check out my review HERE of Maroon 5’s latest album, V, and check out the video below:

Video Review: Maroon 5, ‘Animals’

IMG_3811If Adam Levine is not on the set of a Criminal Minds episode then he sure is great as acting as a creeper. The video concept matches the song perfectly although some might find it gory. The video is set around Adam Levine who is a butcher, how appropriate hence the title of the song, ‘Animals’. It begins with this lady (Adam’s wife, Behati Prinsloo) walking into the butcher shop, receiving her order, and Adam looking on like a creeper (yes! a creeper). The video shows visions of him stalking her, following her into a bar, getting into her home, taking pictures, and eventually having sex with her. The scene that took the cake, aside from Adam seining on a butchered animal, was the he and his leading lady DRENCHED in ‘blood’. Again it might be a bit gory for some. Overall, I appreciate the concept and thought put into the video, BUT stalking is a real issue. I know, I know, it’s just a video, but hey you never know who’s watching.

Check out the video below:

Original v. Cover [V.7]: Pharrell Williams, ‘Happy’

Maroon 5 is flying high off the success of their latest album, V (CLICK HERE for review) and they have taken on a new challenge of covering Pharrell’s, Happy.

Continue reading “Original v. Cover [V.7]: Pharrell Williams, ‘Happy’”

Maroon 5 & Meghan Trainor Top The Charts

1408483776000-AP-MEGHAN-TRAINOR-PORTRAIT-SESSIONS-66344664After weeks of surging up the Billboard Hot 100, Meghan Trainor has taken the #1 spot with her platinum track, ‘All About That Bass’. After Taylor Swift‘s 2 week  reign for ‘Shake It Off’, ‘All About That Bass’ takes over the spot after spending 9 weeks on the chart. She’s also released new music as well with her EP, TitleOf course her smash is featured along with three other tracks. That review will come soon.

Elsewhere on the Hot 100 Nicki Minaj’s, ‘Anaconda’ sits tight at #3 with another track of hers ‘Bang Bang’ (with Jessie J & Ariana Grande) in at #4. Holding the 5th slot is Iggy Azalea’s, ‘Black Widow’ featuring Rita Ora. In at #6 is Sam Smith’s, ‘Stay With Me’, which is followed by previous #1 spot ‘Rude’ (Magic!). Ariana Grande’s, ‘Break Free’, remains on the Hot 100 in at #8, with Maroon 5’s ‘Maps‘ moving back into the top 10. Closing out is Sia’s, ‘Chandelier’,in at #10.

maroon 5 vOver on the Billboard 200 Maroon 5 scores their 2nd #1 album with their 5th studio album, V (CLICK HERE for review). The album sold 164,000 copies in its first week making sales less than its previous effort, Overexposed

In at #2 is Young Jeezy’s latest album, Seen It All: The Autobiographywith 121,000 copies sold. For 3-10:

Be sure to CLICK the links. Until next week…

Album Review: V (Deluxe Edition)


maroon 5 vMaroon 5 released their 5th studio album, V, September 2nd as the follow-up to their 2012 album, Overexposed (CLICK HERE for that review). features 12 tracks on the standard edition with lead singles: ‘Maps’, ‘Animals’, and ‘It Was Always You’. The deluxe edition features three additional tracks: ‘Shoot Love’, ‘Sex and Candy’, and ‘Lost Stars’ from Begin Again. 

The album is available online via iTunes ($9.99 standard; $12.99 deluxe), Amazon ($11.99; deluxe), and retailers Walmart and Target. There are various Walmart specials one in particular, the V ZinePak ($17.88), features two additional tracks, ‘Maps (Slaptop Remix)’ and ‘Maps (Remix)’ featuring Big Sean. Target retails the album for $19.99, deluxe, and $13.00 for the standard. You can catch them on sale for $14.99 and $9.99, respectively. As always, get the deluxe, it’s more for you buck.

Moving on to the review. I will say after listening to the album in its entirety I love it way more than I did Overexposed. I’ve been a Maroon 5 fan since I first heard ‘Harder to Breathe’. Read my Then & Now Thursday (V.): Maroon 5 for all my thoughts on my favorite band. I wasn’t a fan of Overexposed to be honest. It was just so much on that album that from first listen I could do without. Of course it spawned commercial hits, but that’s just it; Maroon 5 was commercial.

My Top 5:

  • ‘Maps’
  • ‘Animals’
  • ‘Leaving California’
  • ‘New Love’
  • ‘Feelings’

My favorite out of those 5 would have to be ‘Feelings’. I was expecting more of their collab with Gwen Stefani (track 11), ‘My Heart Is Open’. It has grown on me as I’ve listened to the album multiple times, but I was honestly expecting more. I was expecting an upbeat or hard hitting bass track similar to their collab with Chrisitna Aguilera. Not that upbeat, but again not a ballad. It’s not my favorite on the album.

Another track that caught me off guard was ‘Unkiss Me’. The beat reminded me of Usher’s, ‘Love In This Club’. It’s not a song that I would expect on a Maroon 5 album, but as the beat went on I started to get into it. Out of the three bonus tracks, while I do like ‘Lost Stars’ my favorite
is ‘Shoot Love’.

Lyrically the album is like a tit for tat of being in love. One minute he’s trying to get back with her (‘Maps’) then they’re head over heels for each other (‘Animals’) and they cement their love (‘It Was Always You’). Then he’s over the whole relationship (‘Unkiss Me’). So and and so forth. Whether the album was meant to be a story the tracks all connected in someway. Not including the bonus tracks.

Overall I give the album a 4/5. My favorite track from the entire album is ‘Feelings’ and I hope it’s released as a single which of course comes with a visual. I still can’t wait to see the visual for ‘Animals’. Aside from wanting to hear ‘Feelings’ on the radio I could see a push for ‘My Heart Is Open’, although ballads aren’t really played on the radio as much. I would also like to hear ‘New Love’ and ‘In Your Pocket’ (track 7) seems simple enough to be radio friendly.

Stream the album below (via Spotify):

 

Single Review: Maroon 5, ‘Animals’

Maroon-5-Animals-2014-1200x1200-300x300Maroon 5 have released another track off their upcoming album, Vwhich will be released September 2nd. This is the third single off the album following ‘Maps’ (CLICK HERE for my video review) and ‘It Was Always You’.

First off this sounds like something that could’ve been written by Sia especially with her having a track with a similar title, ‘Free the Animal’. This track was co-written Adam Levine, Benjamin Levin, and Shellback. Overall I love the track. From what they have released they are three for three in my book which is completely opposite of what I thought of their last album, Overexposed (CLICK HERE for that review).

I do not hear ‘Maps’ on the radio as much as their previous tracks, but I could definitely hear this one storming the airwaves. I think with the direction that they’re going with this project, it is the middle ground for Maroon 5 fans that want more of their original work, but can tolerate their growth as a group and staying mainstream. It sounds a lot of what they have released before, but it has that current radio sound. The theme is also a lot of torn love of trying to move on, but always getting lured back in. I can’t wait to see a visual for it, I just hope it doesn’t kill the song.

The video will be featured in the new Kia Soul EV Hamster Commercial (premiering during the VMAs). Check out the official lyric video below: