Etsy Shop Feature: Lily Daniel Designs

Over on Instagram I came across Etsy shop Lily Daniel Designs  was looking for bloggers/YouTubers to review some stickers. I emailed the shop and I was chosen to do so. These stickers were sent to me and I am grateful to be doing this review. Although these stickers were free, my opinion is not swayed and 100% honest.  Below are closeups of the stickers and a detailed video review. Enjoy! Click HERE to get directly to shop.

Items featured:

IMG_1480sticker1

Single Review: Tamar Braxton, ‘If I Don’t Have You’

tamar-iidhyTamar Braxton is ready to release another album and for those who have ever questioned her vocal ability, she slays with a her new single, ‘If I Don’t Have You.’ I first heard her singing this in a video on Instagram. I thought she was just singing a song that’s been released already, yet I couldn’t pin point what it was. Well it was her new single that, if nothing else, showcases Tamar’s vocal ability tremendously.

Overall I think that ballads are her lane, but she’s singing about the same thing over and over. Love and War’ (click HERE for review) was about fighting to stay together. ‘The One’ was about not wanting anybody else. Her last single with Future, ‘Let Me Know’ (click HERE for that review), had a similar concept. You love and then you want to leave, yet you end up working things out. I get that this is what couples go through. I get it! I’m just ready to hear her singing about something else. No, I’m not talking “pop it” music like on her previous album, but something different. Lyrically, I’m bored.

Musically the drums in the beginning remind me of Love & War. In a way, the tracks are very similar and if this is a way to get her back to the forefront aside from her TV slots then so be it.I would love to hear a track with her and Toni on her new album and then another with all her sisters; both I prefer to be ballads. I’d love to hear her do a duet with a guy. Her feature on Robin Thicke’s ‘4 The Rest of My Life,’ was real nice (listen HERE for that).

Aside from gearing up for her new album you can catch her co-hosting on The Real as well as the new season of Braxton Family Values. Both shows I need to catch up on. Cheers for more Tamar music.

Check out the track below:

Video Review: Nicki Minaj x Beyonce, ‘Feeling Myself’

Just when I thought the video for ‘7/11’ was AMAZING, Nicki Minaj drops her video to her smash ‘Feeling Myself’ alongside Beyoncé this past Monday (5/18). The videos was released exclusively on Tidal, but of course the full length has surfaced elsewhere for non Tidal subscribers, like myself, to view.

Continue reading “Video Review: Nicki Minaj x Beyonce, ‘Feeling Myself’”

Single Review: Britney Spears x Iggy Azalea, ‘Pretty Girls’

Britney-Spears-and-Iggy-Azalea-cover-for-the-duos-Pretty-Girls-collaborationPictures surfaced of a video shoot for Britney Spears upcoming single featuring Iggy Azalea that was to be titled ‘Pretty Girls.’ The pictures were quite interesting based off the tacky attire. Well fans waiting for a Britney comeback get their wish as the track has surfaced and that means that the video has to be on its way.

Britney hasn’t released any new music since Britney Jean in 2013. That album spawned the chart topper ‘Work Bitch.’ What couldve been a sure comeback didn’t get much buzz past that single. Her album before that, 2011s Femme Fatale had more buzz with hits: ‘Hold It Against Me,’ ‘Till The World Ends,’ and ‘I Wanna Go.’ Well she’s back and is teaming up with 2014 superstar Iggy Azalea. The track could be a huge smash or a flop. I wasn’t expecting much from it, but I’m impressed from what I’ve heard.

When the track began I instantly thought Gwen Stefani. Speaking of, both she and Fergie had less than stellar comebacks. The tone that Britney said the hook to the song over the beat reminded me of ‘Hollaback Girl.’ Not musically, just how it was said. The beat switched up a little bit as the song went on, but I’m not the biggest fan of it. It sounded more promising in the beginning of the song.

The lyrics are suitable and catchy enough for me to sing along to.

All around the world, pretty girls
Jump the line, to the front
Do what we like, get what we want
We’re just so pretty!

How could you not keep up with lyrics like that? Britney goes on to sing about how the predictable men are and how amazing women are. Guys have the same rotation and chase the “pretty girls” (pun intended). The lyrics are pretty basic, but this is a radio friendly song so they don’t need to be complex.

Iggy merges 3 tracks: ‘Killing Me Softly,’ ‘One More Chance,’ and ‘…Baby One More Time’ in her rhymes. She’s pretty clever in her raps although people just slaughter her on social media. Her bars worked and fit the flow of the song. I’m interested in hearing some new solo music from Iggy Igz.

Don’t expect to see Britney performing this track full out anytime soon since she’s currently injured due to a slip during her Vegas residency. As for fans that have yet to see her, she’s extended her show, Britney: Piece of Me, for an additional three months.

Listen to the track below:

Fire Meet Gasoline

siaAfter a week of hibernating and not checking up on new music, I was excited to see a new video from Sia. Well, what I thought was a new video from Sia. Sia has had an amazing run with Dance Moms Star, Maddie Ziegler, as the two have teamed up for videos: ‘Chandelier,’ ‘Elastic Heart,’ and ‘Big Girls Cry.’ It’s also been quite a space in between the videos being released and since it hadn’t been a month since the release of the ‘Big Girls Cry’ video, a video release for ‘Fire Meets Gasoline’ is interesting.

Now when first watching the video, I like many others, was expecting to see Maddie Ziegler. Well that’s not the case. Continuing on with my “review” from first glance I didn’t even realize that it was Heidi Klum and as I am not a Game of Thrones avid watcher I did not know that was Pedro Pascal either. What looked to be an affair as it kept switching back and forth between Heidi and Oscar being all lovey dove to a woman in the dark disheveling a room. It switched back and forth and back and forth. After watching the video I was left with three questions:

  1. Why did they burn the house down?
  2. What’s with the bloody rock?
  3. What’s the point of the signature Sia wig at the end?

I’ve watched the video numerous times sine then and yeah, I’m at a lost. Before learning that this was NOT, I repeat NOT a Sia video, I was thinking this is completely different than other Sia elements. Sia’s videos are usually grungy and viewers do have to read between the lines to fully get the concept. That’s why I was disappointed with this video because it was just a lot of rolling around and Heidi posing in her lingerie and not enough SUBSTANCE. That’s when I decided to further look into the video.

The video is featured on Sia’s VEVO, but I did not read that the title states “by Heidi Klum.” Sia also tweeted:

Fire Meet Gasoline is not an official music video, not is it my new single. Its a lingerie commercial to which I licensed a song.

As for comments from Heidi:

I love great collaborations and to be given the opportunity to appear n the video while wearing my Heidi Klum Intimates collection, is definitely up there.

Well, there you have it. For all those fans disappointed to not see Maddie or just not content with the concept of the video compared to others, this is not a Sia production. Regardless I still love the song and the video wasn’t too shabby. Check out my album review of 1000 Forms of Fear and take a look at the “lingerie ad” below:

Note: Be sure to click the links in bold to view previous posts.

Tidal Launch

30-tidal-1.nocrop.w529.h373.2xThere’s a new music subscription for the public to access, but this time its backed by the stars. Jay-Z announced that he would be relaunching Tidal. Now there’s Spotify which is $9.99/month. Then there’s Beats Music  that’s $9.99/month and allows access for up to three devices. Now when I heard of Tidal I was thinking, great another music subscription. When I saw the price I knew that I wouldn’t want to sign up. $19.99 for a music subscription? What makes it so special? What am I getting in addition to the cheaper alternatives already available? 30-tidal-2.nocrop.w529.h373.2xThis star-studded announcement that included the likes of: Jay-Z & Beyonce (of course), Kanye West, Usher, J. Cole, Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Madonna, and more. I paid this no mind until Beyoncé released a new single via the site titled,’Die For You .’ How appropriate as it is the 7th wedding anniversary of her and Jay-Z. Click HERE to listen to the track.

When going on to the site you reach a screen that states what Tidal is:

Introducing the first music streaming service that combines the best High Fidelity sound quality, High Definition music videos and expertly Curated Editorial.

Again, that doesn’t really define much of what I’d possibly be paying $19.99/month for. You could “listen now” or enter a voucher which I’m curious to know what that is. Now when going to start a free trial there are two options, Tidal Premium ($9.99/month) and Tidal HiFi ($19.99/month). From the looks of it the only difference between the two seems to be the quality of sound. When asked (in an interview with NYU) if Tidal was competing with Spotify, Jay-Z commented:

I know everyone thinks “new company, main business competitor is Spotify” but we’re really not here to compete with anyone. We’re actually here to improve the landscape. If just the presence of TIDAL causes other companies to have better pay structure, or to pay more attention to it moving forward, then we’ve been successful in one way. So we don’t really view them as competitors. As the tide rises, all the boats rise.”

When asked who’d be McDonald’s or ShakeShack he responded:

“We’re cool with, you know, they [other streaming services] can be McDonald’s, we’ll be Shake Shack. We don’t have to be number one, we just want to be very specific and very great at what we do. We want to do a very specific thing, we want people to come to TIDAL for a specific sound, a specific experience, and to know that there are going to be the greatest new artists in the world, the biggest artists, introducing the newest artists, collaborations and things you’ve never seen before. That’s what we’re going to do. After that, the world decides. The universe decides.”

As for my thoughts on this whole Tidal movement, I’m not sold on this. I see this as just another music subscription service except with a punch. The punch is that the artists are behind it and paying subscribers can have access to exclusives such as the one released by Beyoncé. Also available on the site right now are exclusives from. I’m interested in seeing where this goes. This does go hand in hand with that of the Grammy Creators Alliance which wants artists to get the respect they deserve. Whether people subscribe or not, artists have joined together for their music to be respected.

Single Review: Rihanna, ‘B*tch Better Have My Money’

R8 is coming, just not sure when. Rihanna has released a new single off her upcoming album, R8. She teased with the hashtag #BBHM, ‘Bitch Better Have My Money,’ with an interesting picture. It’s edgy and what I suppose to be an edgy couture with the overdrawn eyebrows. Moving past that, let’s get back to the music.

Continue reading “Single Review: Rihanna, ‘B*tch Better Have My Money’”

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.

Single Review: Tamia, ‘Sandwich and a Soda’

Tamia-Sandwich-and-a-Soda-2015-1200x1200-300x300Tamia is back with new music following her 2012 single, ‘Beautiful Surprise,’ which I absolutely loved. She’s taking a more sensual approach along with an interesting title on her latest track, ‘Sandwich and a Soda.’

The lyrics are pretty clever, but I still don’t like the title of the track. That’s what turned me off about the song initially was the title being so basic. Other than that the lyrics are pretty interesting. If you were lost as to what she was singing about, the hook says it all:

If you wanna ride these curves
Hop in your Chevvy nova
And if you wanna drive with nerve
Baby I’m gon’ be your choffeur
See I can make you feel good
And when it’s all over
I’mma fluff your pillow baby
Bring you a sandwich and a soda

It seems that with the title that they ran out of words to say. Everything was smooth and slick then out of all the things that could rhyme with over they put in sandwich and soda. Other than that the lyrics are pretty substantial it’s just that sandwich and soda I can’t seem to get over.

Vocally she sounds amazing and after 20 years in the game, her voice is still as classic as the first time I heard it. Her voice stays pretty neutral throughout the entire song until the end where she she gradually reaches a higher pitch. Compared to her previous single where she had falsetto throughout the whole track, this is a really comfortable track and I’d love to hear it live. It also makes sense for her voice to be be as low as it is with this being a seductive song.

Overall the song is not what I was expecting for a Tamia comeback. The beat is radio friendly because real R&B doesn’t exist on the radio anymore. At first I didn’t like the track, but the more I listen to it the more it grows on me. I’m still trying to pin point what the beat reminds me of.

Tamia recently signed to Def Jam and her new album, LoveLife, is set to be released sometime in June. Listen to ‘Sandwich and a Soda’ below:

 

New Sia Album Coming Soon!

The 2015 Grammy AwardsI was excited to read that Sia had was working on new music and that her album would be released sometime this year. I had heard of Sia prior to the release of 1000 Forms of Fear, but that album (click HERE for my review) really made me fall in love with her music. What I did not know was that her portfolio was as lengthy as it was.

Sia is not a new artist although her smash ‘Chandelier’ has made her brand new in the United States. Her first album was released first album in 1997 so this claim to fame in the U.S. as an artist was her sixth album. She has worked with artist such as: Beyoncè, Rihanna, Kanye West, Flo Rida, Christina Aguilera, Eminem, and more. Six albums in and it took all this time to really notice just how awesome of an artist she really is. I had heard of her name moreso behind the scenes, but this album that I can’t stop raving about really made me take notice of her career.

In a recent interview with NMESia talked about why she released 1000 Forms of Fear:

“Basically, I put this out to get out of my publishing deal. I was planning to be a pop song writer for other artists. But my publishing deal was as an artist so I had to put one more album out. I didn’t want to get famous so I kept all the songs I wanted and had a lot of fun making it.”

As for her new album?

“I’m super productive. I have a full album ready to go and it’s much more pop,” she said. “I’m calling it This Is Acting because they are songs I was writing for other people, so I didn’t go in thinking ‘this is something I would say’. It’s more like play-acting. It’s fun.”

I love the title of the album because it coincides with what she’s putting out. If she were writing it for other artists clearly it’s not particularly how she feels. I’m curious to see if she’ll spill the tea on who she would actually write each song for. I’m excited that she’s doing something different with the album and I expect more radio hits from this project. Hopefully fans won’t have to wait long for her new release.