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After an eventful July, I’ve finally been able to catch my breath and relax. And so, I thought I’d write a post on Ellie Goulding’s single, titled “Anything Could Happen”, for her upcoming album “Halcyon”. Ellie Goulding is awesome. It is still a mystery to me why it took almost two years for “Lights” to finally reach the U.S. But no matter, that track is ruling the airwaves.

A few weeks earlier, Goulding released buzz single Hanging On feat. Tinie Tempah, which sounds more like something you would find on her first album. “Anything Could Happen” takes on a slightly different sound – something a bit more upbeat and “Alphabeat”-like. I think this might be one of those songs that takes awhile to grow on me – the chorus is without lyrics and is a bit repetitive for me. I do like the bridge though – she reveals this sexy/sultry quality to her voice that I’ve never heard before. What do you guys think?

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Seems like Carly Rae Jepsen has made a great first impression, but if any of you thought she’d be a one hit wonder, think again. The song, ‘Good Time’ is a fun summer track with a catchy chorus. Think happy people wearing pastels on a beach. Or at least that’s what I think of.

In any case, this song seems like it has all the right ingredients to land a solid position on the radio waves over the next few months. This song is confirmed as Owl City’s lead single from his next album, although it is unclear if it will appear on Carly Rae Jepsen’s debut album. Will you be listening to this on your road trip to Florida? Or will you trade it in for something heavier?

Summer’s here! And here’s a great tune for you – whether for your walk to work, or your drive to Big Sur. Yes, despite my lukewarm reviews of Calvin Harris in previous posts (See ‘Call My Name’), I think this song is killer. What’s not to love about it? great buildup to those -everything-goes-off- moments (not sure how to describe it, but you know what I’m talking about), and Example doing his “I’m a British dude, you know you love me” thing (not sure what that means either – but if you know Example, you know what I mean…I think). This song will be released July 29 (I think, but not sure). Not the most descriptive/coherent post in hindsight, but whatever, just … listen to the song.

 

Lately, I’ve been letting myself fall into moments where I don’t think about the practical goals I have set before me. I refer to just brief moments when I let the world around me slow down and speed up at the same time. In this blur of a pause, I look back at the past 5 months (can you believe it’s already May?) and I’m often surprised at where I am now. There is a lot I’ve enjoyed and there is even more I am grateful for: I have met new, amazing people; I have explored and strengthened some unbelievable, existing friendships; I have learned so much about myself and my goals at my current job; I have had the freedom to explore my passion and interests- and now it is time to begin a new chapter as I move back to New York.

Sometimes when you strip away the gilded details, you realize what is worthy of appreciation. It took me 3 and a half years to discover the beauty of Chicago, and to see the people who really mattered, and to do the things I wanted to do – yes, overwhelming, but I needed this.

On this note, I present to you a song by English Singer-Songwriter Ben Howard – ‘Only Love’ from his album ‘Every Kingdom’. The single was released May 4. It is a simple song – conveying a simple message with simple words and, well, a simple melody. Perhaps you can fill in the gaps with thoughts of your own memories and images from past, present, or future relationships. For me, this track resonates with my sentiments at this moment – life doesn’t have to be filled with unnecessary complications. Allow yourself to embrace a dose of the primal and the quiet once in awhile.

For those of you who still watch Idol (I do not), he appeared and performed his latest single ‘The Last Song I’ll Write For You’. I’ve always thought that he’s had a really great voice, so curiosity led me to Youtube. The song song is all right. But, it isn’t terribly memorable: It wants to go somewhere, but doesn’t build enough momentum. Think Nickelback, but less melodramatic. What are your thoughts? Leave a comment!

I’ve been anticipating the new Snow White movie (‘Snow White & the Huntsman’, not the one with Julia Roberts). If you haven’t seen the trailer, you should check it out! If the movie is just as cool as the trailer makes it out to be, it should be a hit in the theaters. What’s more exciting is that Florence + the Machine have created a single titled ‘Breath of Life’ for the soundtrack. Apparently inspired by Charlize Theron’s character in the movie, the song is epic and ceremonial sounding, complete with orchestra and Gothic sound effects. So check it out, and leave your thoughts below!

The British trio StooShe, have great vocals. Let me just get that out of the way. Their first single ‘Love Me’ featuring Travie McCoy generated some buzz in the UK. It was catchy, but the personality was perhaps a bit overdone. But their tight harmonies immediately caught my attention (Check out their acapella version of the song). In any case, their second single ‘Black Heart’, off their album ‘Swings and Roundabouts’ coming June 10th, is a really strong Motown infused ballad. I have a feeling this song will help them win new fans. It’s not overwhelming and shows a different side to the trio – one that is both classy and real. Check out the video for it below.

Carrie Underwood Blown Away

This single took me by surprise (yes I was Blown Away...ha…ha…ha…) , and I’m completely sold. This is a new sound for Carrie Underwood – it’s raw and dark (And much more powerful than a “you cheated on me so I’m going to wreck your car” way). You can hear the spite and vengeance linger as she whispers the story of a young girl with an abusive father. As usual her vocals are strong, and her cries seem to create the image of the swirling storm mentioned in the lyrics. She reveals another tone to her voice that I’ve never heard before in the bridge between verse and chorus, and it’s chilling. I have not listened to the full album yet (I wasn’t crazy about the first single, “Good Girl”), but I will definitely do so now. I’m definitely willing to say that I think this is the best single she’s ever had. You can also check out a free stream of the entire album on iTunes.

 

As B.o.B. prepares to launch his sophomore album “Strange Clouds” on May 1st, I thought I’d give give you my thoughts on B.o.B.’s new collaboration with Taylor Swift. I think it has a bit more weight than “Airplanes” from two years ago, allowing the track to deliver that “It doesn’t matter if you’re an underdog, keep trying” message more effectively. The track blends both artists’ styles well, and even though Taylor Swift’s parts (the chorus) consist of her singing the same two lines over again –  there is great build up; the rap bits makes each successive chorus soar higher. It will probably come up as a single, especially since Taylor Swift is on the track (and what is she not on these days). So check this out below, I don’t think we will be disappointed when the full album comes out in May (can you believe it, that’s only 2 weeks away!)

As an angst-y kid, I liked Linkin Park. And then they kind of did their thing with Transformers, and then Chester appeared in that last Saw movie; I wasn’t too crazy about it all, and they kind of fell off my radar (though I did like their cover of Adele’s Rolling in the Deep – youtube it). But I think everyone needs to check out their new single “Burn It Down” which will appear on their album “Living Things” when it comes out June 26. This is a much fresher sound than their last album – the track has an electro vibe that keeps things relevant. At the same time, it keeps the elements that have contributed to their prior success. The band brings an industrial sound to a track – in these situations there is sometimes a risk of becoming too monotonous and heavy. In this case, it kind of makes you want to go out and run (or at least that’s what I feel). Furthermore, Mike and Chester both sound great, together creating that destructive/futile dynamic the lyrics suggest. I’m impressed, what are your thoughts?