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Sorry, The 1989 Cover Album Sucked.

Pop, Rock, Singer/Songwriter

30th September 2015

Sorry, actually not sorry. Ryan Adams’ 1989 cover album pretty much sucked. Now, I know everyone and their grandma have been talking about this album and everyone and their grandma seems to be in love with it, but really people?

While I enjoy Adams’ clear ode to Swift for what was an insanely amazing album on Taylor’s part, what I don’t understand is people’s obsession with Ryan’s album. I don’t see anything within it “revealing the sadness” of 1989 and I don’t hear what’s so amazing; all in all I just do not get it.

If I wasn’t already being honest, I don’t think this album makes any sense. Practically every cover on this album feels dragged out and showy. Not that I don’t agree with creative license but this is too much. On tracks like This Love and Out Of The Woods he sounds almost like he’s just talking his way through the song. On other tracks like; Welcome To New York and Style he becomes overbearing and makes it sound like he’s singing over the music and not with it. Also once we get to How You Get the Girl he sounds like Bob Dylan?

Listening to the album in its entirety made me feel like I was watching someone try to make the pieces of three different puzzles into one, it just doesn’t really work. The sound of this album had me confused to say the least.

This isn’t to say that Ryan Adams’ didn’t do anything right with this album either. Tracks like; Wildest Dreams, Blank Space, Shake It Off and All You Had To Do Was Stay he actually created something that I can say I liked and that I can say I expected from him. I think that if he made this entire album consistent with the sound he had on these tracks then I might have enjoyed it a great deal more, but he didn’t so here I am.

Although this was a cover album, I didn’t look at it that way. I tried to look at it as if it was it own separate musical entity because obviously the creative differences between Ryan Adams’ and Taylor Swift are vastly deviating. Also, in that respect I think it is fair that if you are going to listen to it don’t look at it as a Taylor Swift cover album and proceed to be upset that it doesn’t sound like her, I don’t at all think that is what Ryan Adams’ was going for in the first place.

So just to make sure everyone understands where my frustration is placed with this album, it is NOT placed in the fact that it doesn’t sound like Taylor. It is placed in the fact that even through I looked at it as a Ryan Adams’ album and tried really hard to like it, I just couldn’t do it.

To me this album felt scattered and unpolished and at some point while listening to it even a little bit anxious. Like I said at the beginning of this article sorry, not sorry to everyone and their grandma, I really didn’t enjoy this album.

Article by Emily D’Orazio

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Rudimental and Ed Sheeran Drop Track Together

News, Pop, Singer/Songwriter, Videos

26th September 2015

Rudimental’s new single dropped this week and you need to hear it. They have teamed up with Ed Sheeran to create “Lay It All On Me” and I want this track to be laid all over everywhere for as long as possible.

In general I am a Rudimental fan, but they have got it going on lately. From the first listen this song had me in love. Not only does it have a great dance beat and is super catchy, but it’s got Ed Sheeran. I think I pretty speak for much everyone under the sun when I say that he could make almost any song better than it may have already been.

In true Ed Sheeran style this song, no matter its beat and synth is still very romantic. The lyrics speak to helping a loved one with struggle and overcoming hardship but all while making you want to dance and sing. Is there anything he can’t do? (I’m going to go with no, there isn’t). This pairing is amazing and it close to the likes of the much loved pair of Sam Smith and Disclosure.

If this song does nearly as well as anything Sam Smith and Disclosure have brought us, I can only hope there are so many more collaborations like this between Rudimental and Ed.

Rudimental hasn’t just limited themselves to one great collaboration lately either, they have also done some amazing work with both Will Heard and Mahalia on similar electronic tracks.

At the end of the day this song is going to be on repeat all over the world today from both Ed and Rudimental fans. Dropping this track made my day and I’m sure it made a great deal of other peoples as well. The full single is available now for purchase on iTunes and for streaming on Spotify.

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Album Review: Carly Ray Jepsen // E-mo-tion

News, Pop, Singer/Songwriter, Videos

7th September 2015

This past Friday Carly Ray Jepsen released her third album “E-mo-tion”, and shes has changed her own game with this one. It’s been said that Jepsen has been having somewhat of and identity crisis lately when it comes to her music, but if this album is the result of that crisis, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that light is elctro-pop heaven.

Carly has really done something amazing with this album. She has broken out of her regular mould of annoying teen-pop and emerged into a new sound all together. She has brought something really dynamic and comprehensive to the table with ‘E-mo-tion’. This album has changed my perception of Carly and her ability to produce something that is energetic and progressive but without the aggravating pre-teen sensibility that came with her two previous albums.

Although the track ‘I Really Like You’ was included in the compilation, which is basically the albums version of ‘Call Me Maybe’, I still can’t help but love the song. Many people where sceptical about what ‘E-mo-tion’ would bring when she released this song back in March. But, she managed to get the ball rolling again when she released ‘Run Away With Me’ which could quite possibly be one of the best songs of the summer.

The theme of the album is quite obviously love. With songs about crushes, unrequited love, falling in and out of love everything and anything connected to the emotion that is love. The great thing about this album is that there is a song for everyone included on this album; seriously I dare you to try and say there isn’t one song you don’t at least like a little bit.

‘E-mo-tion’ is definitely a step in the right direction for Carly Ray Jepsen and I am not the only person who feels that way. She currently has a 4.5/5 rating on iTunes and has been receiving rave reviews across the board. One article even went as far as saying this album might just be better than Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’, and even as a pretty big T Swift supporter, I might have to agree. This is the kind of music Canada needs to be producing and as a fellow Canuck like Carly, I can say she has done out music industry a solid with this album and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

Article By Emily D’Orazio

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This Might Be The Worst Song of The Summer

Pop, Singer/Songwriter, Videos

5th August 2015

Well, I think it has finally been done. The most annoying song of the summer is here. No I’m not talking about OMI’s “Cheerleader” and I’m not talking about “Want To Want Me” by Jason Derulo. I’m talking about LIZ’s “When I Rule The World”.

For a song that is being regarded as “one of the summers most off-the-wall anthems”, I am baffled. To start the beat of the song sounds like something that came from a club scene in the first season of Jersey Shore. I’m also not sure if she is singing or rapping, whatever is going on there, LIZ has me incredibly confused and quite annoyed with whatever it is.

The lyrics are another thing that get to me with this song. I can support the female empowerment tone that I think LIZ was trying to capture but using a ‘dog collar round your neck’ and being ‘on your knees’ to ‘go scrub the deck’ was just a little too much for me and in the grand scheme of things, maybe even too much for the radio? I get where LIZ is coming from with these lyrics but man-oh-man I just cannot get on board with them. Also they become repetitive and when they’re in that strange rapping/singing voice, it makes it so much worse.

Although the song sends me into a small furry, I do have to give LIZ credit for the “When I Ruled The World” music video. It is a pretty funny homage to the 2000’s and as someone who’s childhood took place during those years I understand everything that is going on in this video. Everything from the Care Bears to the Y2K JLO-esque headband makes me want to give her a big high-five for doing the 2000’s their justice in this video, not to mention LIZ pulls off one hell of a Hillary Duff impression in this video as well.

This song is guilty of some serious fetish undertones, a confusing vocal style, and a beat worthy of only the Jersey Shore soundtrack, like I stated before it might just be the most annoying song to be released this summer. But, it does have a pretty great music video, now in true 2000’s style I would like to drop a Video On Trial verdict on this track. LIZ I sentence you please pick a vocal style, wear that insane blue jumpsuit in public for the rest of forever and keep on living in the 2000’s girl, you keep doing you.

Article by Emily D’Orazio

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5 Music Videos You Don’t Want To Miss This Week

Editors Choice, News, Pop, Rock, Singer/Songwriter, Videos

4th August 2015

Lately there have been a mass of great music videos being released and to be honest I can hardly keep up! Here is a small snapshot of some of the amazing videos that have come out over the last week or so that you do not want to miss, and of course why you don’t want to miss them.

1. The Weeknd – I Can’t Feel My Face 

It seems like every time I get in the car lately this song is playing, and thank goodness it hasn’t yet reached the point that the Weeknd’s previous hit “Earned It” did. I never fail to turn this song up and the video just took it right to the next level. Watching the Weeknd bust a move left me feeling some type of way, times ten, and I’m pretty sure all the people in this video felt the exact same way. Who knew he had moves like that? I’m not going to ruin the entire video because of course I’m trying to get you to watch it but, if the first half of this video left you feeling hot just wait until you get to the end.

2. New Found Glory ft. Hayley Williams – Vicious Love

For my second choice I ended up at New Found Glory’s video for “Vicious Love”, which features Hayley Williams the pop-punk princess/ lead-singer of Paramore. Now, New Found Glory is awesome to start but throw Hayley Williams in there and it becomes a match made it tattoo and hair-dye heaven. This video is pretty hilarious due to the way it pokes fun at people getting couple tattoos and it all just going to crap pretty much immediately. The fake beards are also a great touch just for fun because why the hell not, right? I very seriously wish I was in the crowd for this video and would like to formally invite New Found Glory to formally invite me into their next video. This song perfectly explains that not all love is easy, fighting is almost inevitable but it doesn’t mean you don’t love that person more than anything else in this world. But, it also does not mean you should tattoo you partners name on you forever, this video should be enough proof of that. If you still need convincing by the end, hit replay.

3. Disclosure ft. Sam Smith – Omen 

I am pretty sure I can speak for a large percentage of people when I say I have been waiting for another Disclosure/Sam Smith masterpiece since “Latch” was released in 2013. I think I can speak for all those people again when I say that I was not at all disappointed by “Omen” or its video. If the club in this video exists in any form I would really like an invitation, yet somehow I think it is strictly reserved for Freddie Mercury reincarnates and Scarlett Johansson look-alikes. But lets be totally real here this joint looks like some kind of Great Gatsby fever dream and the lighting has Sam Smith looking super fine, but everyone knows he is super fine in general. I can’t wait for this song to hit the radio and/or my invite for this club to come in the mail.

4. 5 Seconds of Summer – She’s Kinda Hot 

This song has a lot of people wondering is 5SOS is taking Green Day’s spot on the much loved pop-punk scene, and this video might have just nudged them closer into that position. This Aussie foursome has stollen the hearts of millions of girls (admittedly mine as well) and everything they release seems to get better and better.  The video has some serious All Time Low vibes and the pop-art animation reminds me a lot of their own video for “Weightless“, which was released back in 2009 (and was also the anthem of life at the time). The 5SOS boys always look like they have one hell of a good time making their videos and it really comes through in this one. Although I’m not quite sure what is going on with the light up float contraption in this video, I can only guess that it is somewhat of an homage to My Chemical Romance’s “Welcome to the Black Parade” because that makes a lot of sense to me. One day I can only hope that I come home to 5SOS singing this song on my porch but, a girl can only dream.

5. The Lighthouse and The Whaler – I Want To Feel Alive

My last but not at all least choice for not to miss videos is, “I Want To Feel Alive” by The Lighthouse and The Whaler. This is one of the cutest music videos I have seen in a while and also Holland Roden has a staring role within it, so of course it makes me love it even more. For those of you that don’t know of Holland she stars in Teen Wolf on MTV (a show of which I am a devoted fan) and she burns it down every week with her insane amount of talent. But, back to the video. This video left me wanting to feel alive and I’m sure it leaves everyone else who views it the same way. It leaves a longing for every summer to be much like the video depicts, full of laughing, friends, fun, love and adventure. Yet at the same time it leaves you nostalgic for the summers and moments that you’ve already lived that consisted of all those things. This song is adorable, the people in the video are adorable, in general it is just a great watch that makes you feel things, so you know, watch it.

Article by Emily D’Orazio

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Ones To Watch // George Ezra

Editors Choice, Emerging Artists, Ones to Watch, Pop, Singer/Songwriter, Videos

25th July 2015

Bluesy British babe George Ezra released his first full-length album “Wanted On Voyage” in 2014, yet is only now beginning to pick up speed in North America but trust me; this is one voyage you don’t want to miss.

The first time I was introduced to George Ezra was in an article produced by NPR Music in January. It was titled “George Ezra: Listen To This Man, He’ll Make You Swoon”, and as soon as I read about being swooned I was more than ready to hit play. I’m really glad that I did hit play, because swooning was exactly what happened next. George is a great looking guy but a voice as great as his face was not what I was expecting when I first listened to him. It more than caught me off guard, but in the best way possible. His big voice is exactly what we need in a world where most music seems to blend together. So when I finally started to hear his first single “Budapest” on the radio I was ecstatic.

Ezra’s album was inspired by a weeklong train trip where he took in all that he could which eventually became the great compilation that is “Wanted On Voyage”. Everything about him and his album is enjoyable and different. His music has an almost addictive quality to it and every time I’m listening to him I find myself trying to imitate his enchantingly deep voice.

“Wanted on Voyage” has already made its way to the top of the British charts and has made some notable famous fans as well. Sir Ian McKellen another famous Brit even made his way into Ezra’s music video for “Listen to the Man”. People all over the place are in love with George Ezra and I can’t wait for them to be in love with him here in North America (mainly because I would really like to see him in concert).

With the video for his new single “Barcelona” being released just this week his popularity is bound to peak again and hopefully with a whole new fan base. Keep an eye out because it won’t be long before you will be seeing a lot more of George Ezra.

Article By Emily D’Orazio

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Concert Review: Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros

Editors Choice, Events, Folk, Singer/Songwriter

19th July 2015

This week I had the amazing opportunity to see Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (ESMZ) live. I had high expectations for this concert since the day I bought the tickets but I don’t think anything could have prepared me for the marvellous show that the Magnetic Zeros gave me that night.

To start, the crowd was like nothing I had ever witnessed. The sheer diversity of the people in the hall alone was a sight in itself and the atmosphere was something from another world. There were people of all ages and walks of life, from kids I went to high school with, the girl that works in the LUSH at the mall and even the grade 8 teacher from my elementary school were all there waiting for the vision that was the concert to begin. During what seemed like a years worth of waiting, people talked with one another, others were singing together, everywhere you looked every single person around me was happy to be in the company of each other and soon the company of a band they all love.

After the aforementioned wait was finally over, the lights went dim, the volume went up and the fever dream began. Lead singer Alex Ebert danced onto the stage, clad in his trademark white linen jacket and messy top-knot ready to bring the house down, and that he did. Lights began to flash on the bands back drop and a psychedelic video show began to play in rhythm with the music and it was time to begin.

The massive group brought a show I could have only imagined was real if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. I thought I knew what I was getting into considering I had seen close to every live concert video they have ever been posted online and probably account for a third of the views on their NPR Tiny Desk Concert video by myself. But I was wrong, I knew nothing.

The tiny stage of the London Music Hall was jam-packed with people and instruments galore. There were two full drum sets, two pianos, and abundance of guitars, trombones, trumpets and what seemed like everything in-between. It was hard to concentrate for the first few minuets between the lights, the people and the total awe of the fact that this day had finally come, but as I started to come back down to Earth my eyes were glued on Alex and it was hard to drag them away. He danced and sang with amazing stamina and the rest of he band followed his lead in a sync that was both fluid and robotic at the same time.

The singing, playing and dancing wasn’t where it ended either. On more than one occasion Alex jumped into the crowd, dancing and handing the mic off to fans to sing and tell stories with him. At another point he reached into the crowed for a girl’s cellphone (who coincidently was named Emily as well, but sadly was not me) which was recording and he sang and spoke to create a video for her before handing it back to her. He dragged people on stage held hands with close to everyone in the first three rows and even had fans pick the set-list at different points in the show. Somewhere in the middle of the show as well the music just stopped, not for an intermission, but to grab joints from fans in the crowed to take a quick puff and pass, and the sold out show roared the a freight train.

With all of this interaction within the crowd you think that people would become aggressive as most people do in a mosh pit concert situation, but it didn’t. In all the concerts I have attended at the Music Hall this is the only one where no one pushed, no one shoved and everyone seemed generally happy to just be there with this band. It was all good vibes and through the concert it seemed they only got stronger.

As the set started to come to a close the band took a pause, gave each other small nods and then Alex proceeded to sit on one of the stage speakers as the lights dimmed. Everyone in the building seemed to know what was coming and as the band stood silent Alex slowly belted out “ALABAMA” and the crowed responded “ARKANSAS” Alex then responded to his patrons “I DO LOVE MY..” and again the crowd responded “I DO LOVE MY MA AND PA”, then the band started the tempo picked up and it was like a religious awakening has started.

As the bands most popular song ‘Home’ bled trough every wall and bounced off of every surface in the hall, it was like the Magnetic Zeros had truly brought me home. They reminded me why I love them and why I love music; especially live music as much as I do. I looked around the at what was no longer a crowd but a congregation, staring and stinging along with Alex who had become their preacher and I was truly home. As I’m sure everyone in that building was too. Sadly the concert ended one song later and for a few days afterwards I had what felt like a small hole in my soul because I had to go back to real life.

But in the words of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros themselves, “Holy-Moly-Me-Oh-My” what a show, what a night, it was worth the wait and a great big thank you for reminding me why this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

Article by Emily D’Orazio

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Sophie Coran Gives Us The Best With “Better” EP

Editors Choice, Emerging Artists, Singer/Songwriter

10th July 2015

Smooth, beautiful and soulful are only a small selection of the words I could come up with to describe “Better” – the first EP released by London based singer Sophie Coran.

The four track EP released in June of this year is nothing short of art and the woman behind it is nothing short of an artist herself. I was astounded by the stories she was able to portray through her lyrics and was enchanted by the fluidity of the tracks as well. Sophie’s talent of course has not gone unnoticed; in 2014 she received the Shure Songwriting award and clearly her talent has not let up since then. Her talent does not stop there of course, Coran is also a classical pianist who gradated from the Manhattan School of Music in 2012 and also spent a year studying at the Royal Danish Academy of Music.

Better is something that this EP does not need to be. Each song made me feel something different and each were relatable to me as a listener. The overall sound of the EP was very mellow and relaxing, jazzy at some points, cute and romantic in others and in the song “Out of Focus” even a little bit sexy. “Tell Me”, tells a pretty familiar story for everyone, the worry and confusion of whether or not someone feels the same for you, and it does it in the sweetest melody possible. “One Way Ticket” starts to show the Coran’s jazzy side and is a great song about trying to find yourself. “Better” is also on the jazzy side and it my goodness is it great! It also sends an amazing message to love yourself because everything will eventually work out.

If you’re looking for something on the alternative side with a little something “Better” than you’re used to, look no further that Sophie Coran. You can listen to her EP now on SoundCloud and Spotify, you can also purchase the EP on Bandcamp and iTunes! Go out and support this soulful lady because she sure deserves it!

Article by Emily D’Orazio

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Album Review: Kacey Musgraves // Pageant Material

Country, Singer/Songwriter

7th July 2015

Last month Kacey Musgraves released her third album entitled “Pageant Material”, and at first I didn’t even think it was even listening material. But after my second go around I was in love.

I discovered Kacey after her second album “Same Trailer Different Park” was released in 2013 and I was instantly hungry for more. When I heard she would finally be releasing another album this year I was ecstatic. But as soon as “High Time”, the first track on “Pageant Material” kicked in, I wasn’t so convinced that this was the same artist I came to love so much.

As I listened to the rest of the album I was still unsure of how I felt about it, but after deciding to give it that much needed second listen, I found myself really enjoying what I was hearing.

Kacey has always been one to emphasize that taking life too seriously is not going to get you anywhere, and that just being yourself is all you really need to do to be happy and this really comes to light on this album. Tracks like “Cup of Tea’ (which is my favourite song on the album), “Biscuits” and “High Time” remind us of that. Not to mention the lyrics on those tracks are super clever!

The album reminds us as well that no matter where you go in life and no matter what you do, your hometown will always be home whether you do or don’t love it and the same goes for your family. “Dime Store Cowgirl”, “This Town” and “Family is Family” get that concept down to a tee!

The title track “Pageant Matieral” may just be the new anthem for girls that don’t exactly fit the traditional mould that society has set for them and personally I can agree with that song completely. I hope people everywhere can see the message in this song and believe that no matter the mould, just because you don’t fit it, it doesn’t mean you’re not just as important as everyone else!

Altogether, I didn’t give this album the credit it is due. From beginning to end this album flows almost seamlessly. There is a track that everyone can relate to whether you’re a country fan or not, I wouldn’t put it past “Pageant Material” to make some people country fans by the time they finish listening. Kacey’s album is currently 7th on the iTunes Top Album chart and is sure too keep climbing!

It may have taken me a while to warm up to this album but in the end Kacey Musgraves is still my cup of tea! Take a sip of “Pageant Material” I bet there is a song that’s just your cup of tea too!

Article by Emily D’Orazio

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The Front Bottoms Sign With Record Label Fueled By Ramen

Business, Editors Choice, Emerging Artists, Rock, Singer/Songwriter, Videos

26th June 2015

The Front Bottoms hit it big early this week after signing with the record label Fueled By Ramen. The little New Jersey band has been making music since the early 2000’s but has finally come to join the leagues of Fueled By Ramen’s long list of awesome artists.

The label has signed a number popular artists over the years including the likes of; Panic! At the Disco, Fall Out Boy, Jimmy Eat World, Paramore, and so many other beloved bands but now it’s the Front Bottoms turn to play with the big boys.

Signing a major deal wasn’t the only thing the band was up to either; the same day that they signed their deal they also released their new single ‘Cough It Out’ along with its music video. The song speaks volumes about falling in love and the difficulty that comes along with it. The video itself is in true Front Bottoms style, it is simple but gives us a little adventure to admire.

If you’re not familiar with this band already I suggest you build your repertoire, starting with my personal favourites ‘Peach’ and ‘Twin Size Mattress’. This band has some serious lyrical talent, and both of these songs show it to the fullest. Each of their songs beyond these two are little stories, poems or pissed off odes to getting lost, and before long everyone and their mother will be talking about them. Fueled By Ramen has had a serious hand in helping so many bands make a name for themselves and I have no reason to believe they won’t help The Front Bottoms knock peoples socks off soon.

The bands new single is now available for purchase on iTunes, GooglePlay, Amazon and for streaming on Spotify along with their previous albums. Go fall in love with the Front Bottoms; they are more than worth it.

Article by Emily D’Orazio

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