Guilty Pleasure – Ariana Grande, “One Last Time”

ariana-grandeI always loved the joke (and do not take credit for it) that says “Name an Ariana Grande song without the word “featuring” in it. The ironic part is that her first real hit without the word “featuring” happens to be my favorite. I tried hard to not like this song, especially after its corny music video. But what can I say?

I cannot pretend that I do not actually love this song. This could be either because I have not heard a song that really knocked my socks off in a while, or if subliminally it is just that good. Or maybe because the young adolescent in me once found Ariana Grande attractive. Still, the lyricism is low quality and the subject is selfish. The only thing that the song really has going for it is how repetitive the song gets so as to imprint its lyrics in your head. Pacing is not bad either, I suppose.

Important to note is that this is signature Pop music, beat and everything. I guess I was bound to find something by Ariana that I would like when her music is meant to appeal to an audience as wide as humanly possible. Overall, I would rate this song at:

5.75/10

I can’t say the song as a whole is completely terrible, otherwise I probably would not like it. However, I have to admit that there is not much going for “One Last Time”. The vocals are rather mediocre, but they don’t have much to do until the end of the song. Despite its flaws, I still find myself really enjoying giving this song a listen a few times a day.

You can check out the song below and help me figure out why I even enjoy this damn thing:

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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

57th Grammy Awards Predictions And Thoughts

grammyI will be going through every Grammy category and post my predictions for the winners. This will be a bit long, so I am adding a “Read More” tag below this paragraph. Keep in mind, just because I post the predictions, does not mean I agree with them. So without further ado, let’s get started:

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Music Recommendation – Single – Mystery Skulls ft. Nile Rogers and Brandy, Number 1

It is no secret that I can be a bit biased towards certain RnB artists. So I have to admit, when I saw Brandy on the new track by Mystery Skulls, I felt a need to hear it right away. It did take a couple of listens, but this song has some serious appeal.

Brandy is the singer on the hook, so we can clear that up. While the repeating of “number one” may sound a bit too much like Ariana Grande for my tastes, Brandy’s voice sounds lovely and the song is incredibly catchy. I must say that normally I lean more towards liking the hook of a song, but I love the retro style the song presents.

Overall, I would rate the song about a 9.25/10. The song is catchy but still keeps a retro RnB vibe that I am always a sucker for. I recommend giving it a chance below:

-Austin Heath

Music Recommendation – Single – Brent Walsh, Free

This is my first encounter with Brent Walsh’s music, so try not to quote me too much on this brief bio. I do know that he is the lead singer for the band I The Mighty. The Warped-Tour famous group is based out of San Francisco, but Free shows off the unique singing talent of Walsh only. Sorry other bandmates whose names I did not look up, I’ll be giving your music together a listen later.

I really enjoy the mellow sound of the song, though I could see only listening to the track with one earphone in to be a real disappointment. So try to keep both in for this one to capture the full essence of the piano-filled track.

Overall, I do like the slow calming sound that shows the range of Brent Walsh’s voice, but when you make a low-key song you have to be consistent and try not to make the pitch sound like a duet between T-Pain and Ariana Grande. I can hear some incredible vocals from Walsh, but it can be a bit ruined by synth.

So in the end, I would rate the song at 9/10. I really enjoy Brent Walsh’s voice (though it is a bit Warped Tour-y, you know how all of those bands kind of blend together and every singer has a similar voice?). His album, 7, comes out next month. November 10th to be precise. So go ahead and see what you think of the song below:

-Austin Heath

Artist Recommendation – Tye James

Meet Tye James, a singer who has covered a few popular hits over the last couple of years or so. His covers are unique in their sound, usually behind an acoustic beat. My favorite is his Break Free cover of the popular Ariana Grande hit.

If I had to compare his voice to anyone, I would say it reminds me of Sam Smith. He reaches incredible heights in his notes and his singing deserves some recognition. I’ll be leaving my favorites of his below, and you can hear more on him on his official YouTube Channel:

Chandalier duet with Allyson Ryan:

-Austin Heath

Music Recommendation – Single – Ariana Grande ft. The Weeknd, Love Me Harder

I’m not going to lie, I have a huge crush on Ariana Grande. Her music may not always be my thing, but she caught my heart a long time ago. Same goes for The Weeknd actually. ❤

That was very unprofessional but I will continue on. While I don’t believe this should be a viable collaboration, Love Me Harder actually features good vocals from both artists. The producers deserve a big thanks for the consistency in the beat they brought, which helps really define the song.

Unfortunately, the song makes Ariana Grande kind of sound like a b*tch. Obviously she did not write it but it just sounds like a spoiled girl in a relationship. I also agree with those who say that these two are in completely different wavelengths on the music they sing about. However the song itself is catchy and I try to look past that. The ending voice-overs on the hook are very good and the song is great from start to finish.

Overall I would rate that song at around 8/10. My complaints aside, it is still definitely worth a listen below:

-Austin Heath

EDIT: And here’s the live performance on SNL last night: