February Favorites: Music + More

Another month has come and gone and it’s time for another round of my monthly favorites. I’ve decided to incorporate more than just music in my favorites, but not a lot really stood out to me this month, but here’s my list anyway.

First up, the music. I thought I’d have more songs that I loved, but not many were new. This is more of my monthly rotation.

  • Imagine Dragons, ‘Shots’
  • Taylor Swift, ‘Style’
  • Ed Sheeran, ‘Thinking Out Loud’
  • Ariana Grande, ‘One Last Time’
  • The Weeknd, ‘Earned It’
  • Jidenna, ‘Classic Man’

Moving on to TV shows, I finished all 9 seasons of CSI:NY and I absolutely loved the series. I’ve now moved on to CSI: Miami. I’m not as intrigued as I was with the NY series, but I’m not even through the first season so I’ll keep watching. As for other crime shows, my fav, I’ve caught up on Criminal Minds and SVU. SVU is a hit and miss for me and I’m not into as I used to be, but thanks to Netflix I LOVE Criminal Minds.

Lastly, How To Get Away With Murder season finale was AMAZING!!! Scandal was getting a bit tiresome for me, but I like where it is headed. I’m upset that I have to wait until the fall to figure out (WARNING – SPOILER ALERT) who killed Rebecca? I’m shocked as to who killed Lila, but I knew that Sam had something to do with it. No he didn’t do it, but he was surely an accomplice.

Hopefully Scandal will get more intense and I’ll fall in love with more songs than I did this month.

Until next time…

This Week In Music [V.24]: Drake, YMCMBeef, & More

10986171_1565919690322155_539456075_nSix years to the date of releasing his first mixtape, So Far Gone (2.13.09), Drake dropped a new project that some thought was an album as it surfaced for purchase on iTunes. The mixtape, If You’re Reading This, Too Late, features 17 tracks. Of course the media calls this pulling a Beyoncè, but I see this as his way back to the forefront after being here and there and of course a follow-up to Nothing Was the Same. Oh the tactics. I still have yet to listen to the mixtape, but it’s something I will listen to on a car ride to work. If I can ride out to it, it’s good in my book. In the meantime I’m late (pun intended). Maybe I’ll do some type of review. Just maybe.

600_1423855169_lil_wayne_releases_the_free_weezy_album_stream_500x500_61Speaking of Drake, Lil Wayne was supposed to be releasing a FREE album, but nothing has yet to surface. Last month he dropped Sorry 4 the Wait 2  (click HERE for ‘Drunk In Love (Remix)’ review) and the beef with his former “father” continues. Cash Money is one of the longest running Hip-Hop labels that is  still putting out music and Young Money is the forefront to Drake and Nicki Minaj. The cover (to the left) is the artwork for the Free Weezy Album that has hit the net and according to Wayne the music has been sent, but according to fellow YM rapper Mack Maine there is no album and fans should just enjoy what Drake put out.

My thoughts on the whole YMCMB issue is that it’s a bond between Birdman and Lil Wayne that needs to be fixed. There could be a hell of a lot of outsiders putting in their 2 cents, but the real issue needs to be handled between boss and “son.” Regardless the entities are still together because there’d be no YM without CM. I really wish that the beef will be squashed and music and Birdman and Lil Wayne can go back to how things used to be. P

Imagine Dragons are heading on tour this summer, click HERE for dates, and they have released a video to their latest single ‘Shots.’ I was expecting something different, the video is inspired by paintings by Tim Cantor, but I still love the song nonetheless. Their album, Smoke + Mirrors, hits stores/online this Tuesday, February 17th. Check out the video below:

Trey-Songz-Trigga-Reloaded-2015-300x300Trey Songz has also released a video for his latest single ‘Slow Motion’ after flooding Instagram with the track over various Vines. The single will be featured on the re-release of his album Trigga, to be titled, Trigga Reloaded dropping April 14th. For fans looking for a ton of new music ‘Slow Motion’ seems to be the only track. As for this ‘Slow Motion’ video, it’s typical Trey Songz: Trey, female, no clothes, touchin’/lovin’.  I’m just over a lot of what he’s putting out. As a Trey Songz fan I try really hard to like his new music, but I’m not fully interested. Anyway, check out the video below:

More news to come next week and expect more reviews.

Single Review: Imagine Dragons, ‘Shots’

107048w550I absolutely loved Imagine Dragons’ debut, Night Visions (click HERE for review), and I’m excited that a new album is on the way. The first single released off their upcoming album, Smoke + Mirrors, was Gold followed by ‘I Bet My Life.’ That track in particular has grown on me especially since it’s in the Jeep commercial. Out of the three singles released so far ‘Shots’ is my favorite.

From ‘I Bet My Life’ to ‘Shots,’ the themes seem similar as they are apologetic. ‘I Bet My Life’ is an apology for not listening to the person that was always there yet you left them alone even though you knew they had your best interests in mind.  In ‘Shots’ the lyrics are apologizing to a lover for doing them wrong and wanting them yet knowing you’re not good for them. It really doesn’t even have to be a lover it’s just really pushing people away and ruining what could’ve been. The lyrics are pretty easy to keep up with and sing along to because they’re not that complex.

Musically, the beat is infectious and reminds me of Coldplay. I really, really enjoy the music of this and could listen to that by itself. That’s one thing in particular that makes a song for me is being able to listen to the music and lyrics separately. Sometimes I get lost in the beat and could care less about the lyrics, but I really enjoy both separately. The beat adds a radio friendly fare to a song that could have been a ballad. This song could be slowed down in an acoustic version and sound just as amazing based off the lyrics. The music adds a carefree sound to lyrics that are a bit deeper. I would love to hear this song live.

It’s a great track that goes well with ‘I Bet My Life’, as noted, but with a track like ‘Gold’ I can tell there will be versatility on the album. I’m excited and I can’t wait to review it. I was late on the Imagine Dragons train with Night Visions, but this time I’m ready for their new material.

Smoke + Mirrors is available for preorder and will be released February 17th (expect a review). Listen to the track below plus check out the album trailer:

 

Imagine Dragons, ‘Radioactive’, Bows Out of Hot 100

As previously reported, Imagine Dragons, had set a record with their debut track, ‘Radioactive’. It surpassed Jason Mraz’s record for ‘I’m Your’s'(76 weeks) as it went into its 77th week on the chart at the end of February. 10 weeks later it bows out of the Hot 100 spot having spent 87 weeks on the chart. That is the longest feat in the charts 55 year history.

The song debuted on August 8, 2012 at #93 and has bowed out at #49 for the week of May 10th. For the week of May 17th the song would have ranked #50, but here’s why it did not make the cut:

“Descending songs older than 20 weeks are removed once falling below No. 50; as the song would’ve ranked below No. 50 on the current Hot 100, dated May 17th, it instead departs the tally.

(via Billboard)

Lead singer, Dan Reynolds stated:

“It helps that the song blurs genre lines. It crept its way into more and more radio formats and kept sneaking up on people. That slow growth meant more time on the charts.”

If you haven’t listened to their debut album, Night Visions, in its entirety I suggest you do and be sure to check out MY TOP 5 here.

iHeartRadio Awards 2014 Nominees: Best New Artist

This is my last post of the iHeart Radio Awards Nominees. I’ve discussed 6/10 categories: Best Lyrics, Hip Hop/R&B Song of the Year, Best Collaboration, Artist of the Year, and Song of the Year. This category is Best New Artist and unlike the other categories it has 6 finalists.

Here were the 10 nominees:

  • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
  • Imagine Dragons
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Lumineers
  • Lorde
  • Zedd
  • Capital Cities
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Icona Pop
  • Passenger

Here are the 6 finalists:

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I’ve discussed Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Imagine Dragons in my Artist of the Year post, but for them to be nominated in both BIG categories they’re a big deal. Florida Georgia Line and Passenger are two artists that I have not listened to at all, but of course I’ve done my research and know about their work. Florida Georgia Line’s debut album, Here’s to the Good Times has reached platinum in both the U.S. and Canada and is close to being double platinum with 1.7 million+ copies sold thus far. The album has spawned the hit ‘Cruise’ as well as others. ‘Cruise’ has gone 6x platinum in the U.S. and 2x platinum in Canada. ‘Cruise’ also made the top 10 of  Billboard’s Hot 100 list for 2013. Passenger’s ‘Let Her Go’ also ranked top 10 on that list as well. The track is his 4th studio album, but his first major label project titled, All of the Little Lights. The album has been certified Platinum in 2 countries and Gold in 3.

Now for the ladies nominated in this category. Lorde took over the airwaves this past summer with her hit ‘Royals’ from her debut album, Pure Heroine,  which has hit the 1 million mark. In addition to ‘Royals’ she’s now rotating the airwaves with her second single, ‘Team.’Then there’s Icona Pop. Their smash, ‘I Love It’ has been certified platinum in 8 countries and landed in at #28 for Billboard’s Hot 100 year end chart.

Similar to that of Artist of the Year I’m going to base my pick off domination. As much sense as it makes to choose Macklemore & Ryan Lewis again I would choose Lorde for this category. She was dominating based off ONE TRACK, ‘Royals.”Team’ wasn’t even put out at the time. She was KILLING the airwaves with one song and that is to not go unnoticed. Lorde gets my vote for Best New Artist.

Click here to vote. Voting is through Twitter & Facebook. Voting is not limited & you can vote every day!

Check out the HITS from the nominees below:

iHeartRadio Awards 2014 Nominees: Song of the Year

This is my second to last post in this impromptu series that I’ve started on the iHeart Radio Awards. The show will air LIVE on NBC May 1st. This category I’ll be discussing this time will be, Song of the Year. Click here to check out my other posts.

Here were the 10 nominees in the category:

  • “Royals” – Lorde
  • “Mirrors” – Justin Timberlake
  • “Roar” – Katy Perry
  • “Wake Me Up” – Avicii f/Aloe Blacc
  • “The Monster” – Eminem f/Rihanna
  • “When I Was Your Man” – Bruno Mars
  • “Hold On We’re Going Home” – Drake f/Majid Jordan
  • “Stay” – Rihanna f/Mikky Ekko
  • “Blurred Lines” – Robin Thicke f/T.I. & Pharrell
  • “Radioactive” – Imagine Dragons

Here are the 5 finalists:

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The five songs nominated goes hand in hand with previous posts I’ve done especially Hip Hop/R&B Song of the Year. I’m surprised to see Lorde’s ‘Royals’ didn’t make it to the final 5 as well as ‘Blurred Lines.’ As for the 5 finalists and my picks I could easily go with my favorite song from the list and for me it would break down to Mirrors v. Stay. As much as I love Imagine Dragons I’m not the biggest fan of ‘Radioactive’ although their Grammy performance with Kendrick gave a whole new life to the song. Anyway, I’m going to have to go with ‘Mirrors.’ I think out of the 5 songs aside from ‘The Monster’, ‘Mirrors’ is the song that I’ve heard in rotation.

Listen to the 5 finalists below:

iHeartRadio Awards 2014 Nominees: Artist of the Year

The iHeart Radio Awards air LIVE on NBC on May 1st and I’ve discussed 3 categories so far: Best Lyrics. Hip Hop/R&B Song of the Year, and Best Collaboration. This week I will be talking about the bigger categories: Artist of the Year, Best New Artist, and Song of the Year. Today is all about Artist of the Year. Here were the 10 nominees:

  • Bruno Mars
  • RiHanna
  • Maroon 5
  • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
  • Justin Timberlake
  • P!ink
  • Imagine Drag
  • Katy Perry
  • Taylor Swift
  • Robin Thicke

Here are the 5 finalists:

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Newcomers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis along with Imagine Dragons are in great company in this category. This category isn’t hard for me to choose a winner simply because I’m basing it off of domination in 2013. Rihanna was on the Diamonds World Tour majority of the year from her AMAZING 7th  studio album, Unapologetic. That album spawned hits ‘Diamonds’, ‘Pour It Up’, and the ballad ‘Stay.’ Maroon 5’s lead Adam Levine might have been getting more attention than the group overall in 2013 due to his judging position on The Voice, but the group as a whole was not to be silenced in 2013. They had huge radio hits ‘Love Somebody’ and ‘Daylight’ from their 4th studio album, Overexposed. Then there was Mr. Surprise, yet not so much of a surprise comeback in Justin Timberlake. In 2013 he released both parts of The 20/20 Experience. Pt. 1 is definitely my favorite of the two. He’s had two smash hits ‘Suit & Tie’ and ‘Mirrors’ both of which are nominated in other categories.

Then there are the newcomers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Imagine Dragons. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis became a household name after their hit debut song ‘Thrift Shop’ surged the radio airwaves. They followed that with ‘Can’t Hold Us’ and then topped it all off with the beautiful track ‘Same Love.’ This pair is the definition of hard work pays off being that they are independent. They are now independent Grammy winning artists. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are not to shadow over Imagine Dragons as they are a Grammy Winning group as well. This group also debuted with hits ‘Radioactive’, ‘It’s Time’, and ‘Demons.’ They also broke Billboard Hot 100 record with ‘Radioactive’ spending 77 weeks on the chart.

When it comes down to who to vote for it’s hard because each artist puts so much time and effort into their work and making music for their fans. It’s hard to say one artist was better than the other or that one artist worked harder than another. I’m basing my decision on DOMINATION in 2013 and my pick has to go to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. I love the other 4 artists and Imagine Dragons has become one of my favorite bands, but as far as Artist of the Year based on 2013 it goes to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis for me.

Click here to vote. Voting is through Twitter & Facebook. Voting is not limited & you can vote every day!

Check out my favorite songs from the 5 nominees below: