Music Recommendation – Single – MIKA ft. Ariana Grande, “Popular Song”

MIKAThis time, sit back, grab some popular corn, and enjoy music from that guy that sang that annoying song in middle school. Popular Song is probably the most popular music recommendation I have, but the song is extremely catchy and has been one of my favorites from the last year.

Ariana Grande and MIKA create an up-tempo Pop hit about how people with fame and popularity trump and outshine those who do not. Of all singers, Ariana Grande would not be my pick for the second half of this song. That is like hiring Donald Trump to sing a duet about the mental difficulty that comes with firing somebody.

Regardless, the song’s vocals are a bit raw at times then over-edited at others. Ariana Grande always sounded fine, but MIKA’s voice stands out like a sore larynx. The bass is nice in some headphone sets, terrible in others. It is all about preference at that point.

Overall, I would rate the song at:

9.25/10

Vocals are a bit misplayed and the song as a whole is very layered with noise, but the song is easy to listen to and has a wonderful tone. The subject has some holes, but regardless, the concept is meant for good. Again, this is a bit of a popular song (yar-har, bad humor is the best humor) but if you have yet to hear it then check out the song below:

-Austin Heath

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AMP’s Day Off

Today has been a bit of a day off for my writing. I wanted to give my viewers an opportunity to catch up on previous music and write in their own. So if there is any music worth sharing, leave it in a comment below! To find a new song, click the “Surprise Me!” annotation in the header bar.

Thanks for reading and listening, see you tomorrow for some great new music!

-Austin Heath

Music Recommendation – Single – The Weeknd, “Earned It”

the-weekndSaddle in, get your lotion out, and enjoy the movie. 50 Shades Of Grey is a movie now, and as our human race has proven countless times already, we can blow (ha) things out of proportion and capitalize on our terribleness as a species. At least The Weeknd is entertainment’s savior and can make something like this somewhat bearable by helping give it a good soundtrack.

Notice that The Weeknd makes Earned It sound a bit more Pop-like and easy to play on the radio. The song feels repetitive and lyrics are brief. However, the lack of crude character is refreshing (similar to how Love Me Harder was) and shows the diversity in The Weeknd’s music. The strings and beat sound spectacular and the drums carry everything together well. The song is layered well, though feels a bit lackluster and boring.

Overall, I would rate the song at:

9.25/10

After reading my horrible first paragraph joke (or mis-attempt at one) you can – nay, may, stream the song below. You’ve…earned it:

-Austin Heath

Music Recommendation – Single – Anakin Artz, “OP”

anakin-artzThe Force is strong with this one. Master Skywalker, or known by his rap alias as Anakin Artz, is an artist whose music I have only just encountered in OP, and establishes a solid first impression. The song title stands for “Original Player” and Artz lets listeners know who the original player really is. Do you think it’s you?

Well, you’re wrong. It’s him. The song focuses heavily on a sung chorus while giving brief periods for the rather subpar verses. The rhymes can get a bit cheap and repetitive, but I would hardly call it bad Rap. Anakin Artz’s flow is really the most worrysome aspect, but the hook is soft and resembles the panty-wetting sound (not for me, just assuming) of Trey Songz.

Overall, I would rate the song at:

7.25/10

The song is nothing to be afraid of losing out on, but it has a catchy chorus and easy-to-pick-up lyrics that could be fun to recite. The song does not scream complex and unorthodox but it has a sound that is easy to listen to (that some may consider cheap, but I can appreciate it).

Go ahead and check out the song below:

-Austin Heath

Music Recommendation – Single – Cher Lloyd ft. Ne-Yo, “It’s All Good”

cher-lloydOne of the most frustrating first-world problems is not being able to find a download for a song you like. It’s All Good is unreachable and there is no real discography for it, mostly because it was a promotional song. Sadly, that makes this song being enjoyable quite bittersweet.

The duet puts a bit of RnB into a soft Pop track. The vocals are smooth and flow well with a slightly annoying beat (damn snare). The collaboration starts with Ne-Yo’s turn and transitions into a duet on the hook. Cher Lloyd’s stanza sounds melodious as well, and the two artists make excellent singing partners.

The song is a bit slow-paced and much different from what I have heard from Cher Lloyd (whose music I have never been keenly fond of), but the long notes on the chorus are gentle yet catchy. The song is definitely professional enough to have been on an album. Or on iTunes.

Overall, I would rate the song at:

9.25/10

The beat’s snare drum just pings in my ears too much. Otherwise, this song could be considered an amazing duet. You can hear the song below:

-Austin Heath

Music Recommendation – Single – Sirena, “Chemicals”

sirenaSwedish Indie artist Sirena (The not-metalcore one) released a song called Chemicals a couple of months ago that I had saved for ages to post about. I am now just getting around to it, but hearing it again, I can still say that this is a rather good song.

The vocals and sound seriously resemble those of Sia or ultimate synth-pop bae of mine, CHVRCHES. The bass is gentle in the first verse and Sirena’s voice just seems to drift until it explodes in the chorus. The second verse is low-key similar to the first, and does not use the chorus as an anti-depressant drug like most songs do to spice up the second stanza.

My only complaint about the song is how misplaced the vocals feel in the chorus. Either downsize the bass and what sounds like the beat sneezing. It just feels as though too much is going on throughout the hook and both sounds just mesh together.

Overall, I would rate the song at:

9/10

This is definitely my favorite Sirena song. The electro-pop sound is catchy while remaining low-key and mellow. You can go ahead and check out Chemicals below:

-Austin Heath

Album Review – Tyler Carter, “Leave Your Love” (EP)

leave-your-love-tyler-carterTyler Carter has the ability to make some excellent and diverse music, ranging from Pop to Metalcore. The lead singer of Issues released his new EP, Leave Your Love, earlier this week to stream on YouTube. The album has a bit more of a Soulful Pop tone and includes only one feature.

So how does the solo work of Tyler Carter compare to that of his popular hits with his band? Let’s break down this album track by track and find out:

1. Sophisticated – The beat is rather basic and the vocal production feels a bit subpar, but Sophisticated is an enjoyable song. The hook seems to just go on for too long, though. I can nitpick this song quite a bit, as little aspects just feel overlooked. It focuses more on the hook than anything else, which while catchy, reaches a point where it is not as enjoyable and just makes the song feel shorter than it actually is. There is something about the song that makes it easy to listen to, however, and Tyler Carter’s voice sounds passionate and flows well with the beat.

7.25/10

2. Leave Your Love – The title track of the EP is a bit more mellow and soulful than Sophisticated, showing the diversity of Tyler Carter’s music.  Leave Your Love‘s tone reminds me a bit of The Weeknd but has a bit more vocal editing and extra notes behind lyrics. These can be a bit excessive, but otherwise the song is enjoyable. The end of the chorus is especially catchy and the fade out instrumental is beautifully composed and executed.

9.25/10

3. Georgia – Already reviewed this song here. Sidenote: This song has become incredibly catchy due to its simple lyrics and soulful sound. Though the rating was not incredibly high, it does deserve a listen.

7.5/10

4. So Slow – Despite starting the musical aspect way too late, So Slow actually becomes a great listen. The song sounds similar to Chris Brown’s F.A.M.E. sound. You know, amazing RnB? The flow in the second stanza is a bit off at times, but the whole song is a great pace and my only wish it that it had ceased the talking part earlier. Though the random pitch sounds for a bridge could have been dealt with any other way perhaps.

6.5/10

5. Tears On The Runway (Pt. 1) ft. Nylo – Two-parters are always interesting, especially when lined up together. Sadly, this one will not get a part two for a while. The duet is rather low-key and features heartfelt lyricism. The chorus is a bit brief, but it is enjoyable. This is my first encounter with Nylo, and her voice is unique, though not very ranged. Tyler Carter’s synth-based and tuned vocals sound a bit too much like the Jonas Brothers for me on this song, but it is still a fine listen.

7.25/10

6. Find Me – Find Me caps off the album decently, as the song capitalizes on the mistakes of the previous songs by adding a bit more emphasis on the points put into the verses. The song is a bit explicit, but feels more emotionally connected with Tyler Carter. The vocals are a bit rough, but have points where they are more impressive. The song is a bit average and hardly stands out as making the album great, but is not difficult to enjoy.

8/10

So overall, the EP averages out to a score of about:

7.75/10

The EP is a bit messy in its sound quality and composition, but the songs are diverse and interesting to hear. There are plenty of catchy melodies worth hearing and I would say listening to the EP in full is not a mistake, but is not necessarily going to be considered a “slept-on album” if it does not get the attention it was made to receive.

I still enjoy Tyler Carter’s solo music quite a bit, though this EP had its flaws. I just want to see these flaws practiced on and a full EP released with a couple of features and better faith in Tyler Carter’s voice. I have seen mixed reviews, and mixed is exactly how I feel about these six songs.

You can stream the EP below on YouTube, along with pre-ordering it on iTunes for its January 2015 release here (So I don’t feel like such an industry killer by only sharing the stream and have Taylor Swift show up at my door):

-Austin Heath

Hear It First – N.E.R.D., “Squeeze Me”

nerdN.E.R.D. has come back together to release a new song for the upcoming Spongebob Squarepants Movie soundtrack. Pharrell Williams’ group has not put out a song for what feels as long as my last “Hear It First” post. That probably is not true, though, as N.E.R.D. has been silent for almost five years now.

The song is rather G-rated but still has a fun Hip-Hop feel to it. Go ahead and follow the link to hear the song first below:

http://www.audiomack.com/embed4/atrillidotnet/squeeze-me

-Austin Heath

Favorites Friday – J. Cole ft. Trey Songz, “Can’t Get Enough”

j-coleSince I finished Forest Hill Drive today, I thought I would give J. Cole a nod in an article by citing one of my favorite Coleworld song. I would say this is slightly ahead of Work Out and that amazing Intro for favorite J. Cole songs all-time. Can’t Get Enough was full of excellent bars and Trey Songz’s chorus is different but something new and interesting.

The beat always slightly annoyed me, though it does it right on the chorus. Otherwise, it just felt overbearing. J. Cole just has a bit of trouble with production, but if he can get that together, his music will be unstoppably powerful.

Let it be said that I love J. Cole and his music. Now that I’m done being that guy who comments under every J. Cole post saying “Coleworld” and riding certain genitalia, I have to say that this song is hardly perfect. It may be one of Cole’s more unfocused tracks lyrically (at least compared to his other works), but it is one of his catchiest and is always a fun listen.

Overall, I would rate the song at:

9.25/10

Go ahead and enjoy one of my favorite songs below:

-Austin Heath

Music Recommendation – Single – James Fortune & FIYA ft. Monica and Fred Hammond, “Hold On”

hold-onI do not think I have written about a Gospel song yet, despite my love for its second cousin, twice removed of a genre known as RnB/Soul. Hold On does a beautiful job of combining both RnB and Gospel and makes a passionate but low-key and soulful Gospel song with a subtle message.

Being honest, it took me a couple of minutes to realize the song was a Gospel track. The song is easy to listen to, especially during the easy chorus. Monica’s vocals are smooth, though harmonized throughout the song and overkilled a bit. Fred Hammond’s aid towards the end of the song is probably the most enjoyable part, and the song ends on a positive note.

The song gets more and more upbeat as it continues, though not by a wide margin. The voice and talking of James Fortune in the beginning of the song, while motivating, can take away from the enjoyment of the musical aspect of the song quite a bit; but otherwise nothing really stands out as potential for ruining a good song.

So overall, I would rate the song at:

8.75/10

Hold On is a lovely and elegant track while staying soulful and enjoyable. Not a wide range of listeners may love this song, but those who enjoy Soul and Gospel could easily enjoy this song. You can hear it and watch the corresponding music video below:

-Austin Heath