Meg Mac approaches all facets of 'Hope' with sincere, empowering results

When you press play on an album, if you listen to it under favorable conditions, it’s like starting a journey. People are in a constant stream of change. We are all molded by things from both an internal and external perspective. This is one of the delights of seeing artistry mature over time. Meg Mac’s first album, Low Blows utilized things such as raw, unedited vocals to capture what a live setting would entail. Listening to the album, you can feel every enunciation of words as if you were si

Underoath Confronts Darkness, Their History, and Future On 'Erase Me'

What does rebirth mean to you? Do you tear everything down or make adjustments? Once you’ve left something, do you pick up right where you left off as if the person you currently are hasn’t gone through some sort of metamorphosis in that time frame? Underoath’s last album, 2010’s Ø (Disambiguation) felt more like a bookmark. For a band that achieved so much in the metalcore scene, 2013’s breakup seemed like walking off the track with ten meters to go to the finish line. There was something more

Mike Shinoda Gives An Honest Look At His Grieving Process With 'Post Traumatic' EP

Grief. Think of it like a coffee stain on a white shirt. No matter how many times you wash it, the shirt will never be the same. The stain will fade, but never go away. It’s hard to think that it’s only been seven short months since the tragic suicide of Chester Bennington. With that, the never ending abyss of questions start to flood your mind. What more could have been done to prevent this? Could I have listened more? What signs did I miss? Relationships with grief vary from person to person.

'Camila' Is A Reintroduction Filled With A Personal Touch and Epiphany

“Crying in the Club,” the first solo song from Camila Cabella was the world’s first teaser in what was to come from the 20 year old singer – or was it? It’s a mid-tempo sultry dance track that sampled part of Christina Aguilera’s “Genie In A Bottle” for the chorus. Going from a group to solo act encompasses a whole new set of challenges. The heat of the spotlight is just on you alone and the world has to get acquainted with that person – sans a career that feels like a separate entity. “Crying

REVIEW: On "Revival," Eminem tries to figure out where to go next, while taking us to places where we've already been

The opening of Eminem‘s ninth studio album, Revival begins with “Walk On Water.” No beats. No stationary jabs at some current pop culture icon. Just simple piano. The standard with previous Eminem albums is a more playful first single besides the motivational “Not Afraid.” Eminem’s much famous alter ego, Slim Shady usually serves as an ice breaker. The conversation starter. A gateway to whatever state of consciousness that Eminem has at the time. Providing art for the world to hear is a nerve wr

Sam Smith Begins To See Light In The Darkness On 'The Thrill of It All'

“Burning” starts off with Sam Smith in an accapella setting. Smith has this uncanny ability to draw you into a song and make you care about it. The first lyrics go like this: “No insurance, to pay for the damage Yeah, I’ve been burning up since you left” Love is a flame and there are many caveats to it. Sometimes it burns so bright that you can’t control it. There are times where the fire you have for someone is much warmer than the person has for you. As a result, everything inside is left

Demi Lovato's Continuing Evolution Takes A Triumphant Step With 'Tell Me You Love Me'

Demi Lovato‘s 2015 single became a proclamation ranging from music lovers to sports teams. There was a new hunger in Lovato’s music as the world was getting a glimpse of where the singer could go when she foregoes all previous limits.  “Sorry Not Sorry,” the first song from Lovato’s latest album, Tell Me You Love Me sets the tone from the album. A fiery, R&B-laden anthem, if you want to make a statement with the first track of your album, this is the way you do it. Take a look at the covers of

Peaks and Valleys: Sleeping With Sirens find new ground on 'Gossip'

“I’m 31 now and I wanted to make a record that sounded my age.”  lead singer Kellin Quinn stated in an interview with Beats 1 about their fifth album, Gossip. As a music fan, there is great privilege in growing older with the band you love. A symbiotic relationship in aging when it comes to life and music. Certain types of lyrical themes don’t fit the way they used to or a certain sound doesn’t fit like that flannel shirt you used to wear when you were a kid. In order to grow, you have to let go

PVRIS Comes Face To Face With Their Demons On "All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell"

The title from PVRIS‘ sophomore album is a play on the last two lines from an Emily Dickinson poem named Life. Within those two lines, therein lies a painful duality. The original line from the poem is “parting is all we know of heaven/ And all we need of hell” (7-8). Whether it be a physical or an emotional death, we tend to think of one person being released finding their heaven and those who are left behind to venture into their own personal catacombs of hell. All We Know Of Heaven, All We N

Jay-Z's '4:44' Shows That Our Heroes Can Fall, Rise, and Teach From An Epiphany

When we think of talent diminishing over time, we look to the aging sport star. Often, the Michael Jordan/Washington Wizards parallel is used. In retrospect, although he wasn’t suspending our disbelief in gravity in his youth, Jordan was still effective when he ended his career at 40 years old. Every once in a while, there would be a burst of speed. The fadaway jumper was still working. (He still averaged 20 points and was the only Wizard to play all 82 games.) No matter the time period, it’s th

Halsey's 'Hopeless Fountain Kingdom' Gives A Creative Spin On A Enduring Tale

Romeo and Juliet is one of the most famous and storied tragedies within the works of William Shakespeake. It’s the famous story of two people from warring families who love each other so much that they could not exist without the other. Over time, there have been adaptations of this, most notability, the 1996 modernized version of the tale from Baz Luhrmann. Sometimes we create our own universes or make updated revisions to a story in order to get out the disorientation of our own minds and liv

Linkin Park Sacrifices Signature Comfort For A More Uniform Sound With "One More Light"

All throughout the now 22-year history of Linkin Park, one thing has been certain. Fluidity through change. You can look back at their discography and point to specific instances. From the much beloved, rap-rock infused Hybrid Theory to the hard rock and angst The Hunting Party, the band have tried to retain some semblance of who they were while incorporating other types of popular music. In an interview on the Zach Sang show, lead singer/guitarist/pianist Mike Shinoda had mentioned that One

Lorde's 'Melodrama" is a Musical Playwright's Depiction On The Honest Feelings of Love Lost

mel·o·dra·ma:  (noun) 1. a sensational dramatic piece with exaggerated characters and exciting events intended to appeal to the emotions. 2. (historical) a play interspersed with songs and orchestral music accompanying the action. Heartbreak can be both a source for great pain and inspiration — a double-edged sword when it comes to creating art. How do you draw inspiration while your heart and head are trying to get back on the same page? In what methods do you try to combat those arrows to

Acceptance's "Colliding by Design" - The Sophomore Record Fans Deserve

With the bands, we love, especially if they touch a special place in our hearts and minds – we associate a myth-like admiration for them. Therefore, ten year reunions will always have a place because they transport us back to a time where a band truly kept us in the present moment. 2005’s Phantoms, Acceptance’s only album up to this point, should have been a entry point to propel the band to the likes of The Killers and such. Instead label issues and Phantoms being hindered by the Sony Rootkit c

Review: Nine Inch Nails – ‘Not The Actual Events’

There have not been as many bands who have done so much within being in the background as Nine Inch Nails. Trent Reznor and, now full-time member, Atticus Ross have flexed their collective, creative muscle with music scores from recent films such as 2014’s Gone Girl and the recent 2016 documentary, Before The Flood. “A Minute To Breathe” is a tranquil track featuring Reznor’s soft voice intertwined with melancholy piano and faint electronics as a last plea from the ever-dire situation with Earth

Childish Gambino – “Awaken, My Love” Review

Childish Gambino, whose birth name is Donald Glover is a renaissance man. A throwback to the 1920’s Harlem Renaissance period which birthed art revolutionaries such as Langston Hughes and Josephine Baker.  Actor, singer, producer, etc – Glover strives to investigate all facets of his artistic palate.  2013’s Because The Internet touched on a plethora of influences, showing a young artist trying to find himself. Glover’s newest album, Awaken, My Love, shows a man who has matured into a father and
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