Are you feeling frustrated with the songs you’re writing? Do you find your songs aren’t written to the standard you feel they need to be? You may have unrealistic expectations of yourself and what a song should be. If you’re unhappy with your songwriting, you may want to take a step back and consider these four simple songwriting tricks.
What Do You Want Out of Writing a Song?
Whenever you set yourself to writing anything, ask yourself this: “What do you want to communicate?” Finding the answer to this question is extremely important in any kind of writing, but especially creative writing such as songwriting. Having a clear goal of what you are trying to say or communicate in your work helps you gain a lot of clarity in how to proceed with your writing.
Then, once you know what you’re trying to communicate, ask yourself where do you see this song taking you. Are you writing this for an acoustic set at the local coffee shop? Do you want to write something romantic for your partner? Maybe you have dreams of performing your song on late night TV in front of a viewing audience of millions. Knowing the journey you dream your song will take you on is equally important.
While a song may not go where you expect or say things in quite the way you intended, don’t be upset. Having these goals in mind will help you develop focus your writing style and give more cohesiveness to your songwriting work.
Write to What You Know and What You Can Do
When you sit down to write a song, don’t try to write for a symphony orchestra unless that’s something you know how to do, You want to focus on writing to what you know how to do musically. It doesn’t matter if all you know how to do is pick away at an acoustic guitar or hammer away on a synthesizer. Focus on what you know and your personal style will shine.
If you feel like your song needs something more to get it where you think it should be, that’s when collaborating with other musicians is a better idea. After all, this is how many bands are formed. A lot of very successful musicians started out as one-trick ponies until they met up with others who complemented them and brought each other up.
Get in the Habit of Writing Down Ideas Whenever They Come
Developing good habits is good in life, and it’s even more important to do so with your songwriting. The most important songwriting habit to develop is recognizing how you’re coming up with your ideas and getting them written down before they’re lost. Write down any lyrics or song ideas you have as soon as you get them. Do this even if it means carrying a small notebook and pen with you everywhere.
Keep in mind that your best ideas will often hit you when you least expect them. Also, take note of whatever makes you most inspired. If there are certain places, people, or activities that inspire your songwriting the most, be sure to cherish those muses. Knowing these things will help you better define your songwriting style and focus.
Songwriters Should Just Be Themselves
As a songwriter, don’t try to be anyone but yourself. You can be inspired by others and perhaps mimic them in some ways. But developing your own personal lyrical and musical style is paramount to success. Remember that what makes a “good” song is highly subjective. Don’t try to write a song everyone will love. Someone out there will love it, and someone will hate it. At the end of the day, the song you write should be one that you’re happy with. As with any other creative endeavor you make, that should be all that ever matters.
by Joshua Packard, Fullness of Happy
I have just finished reading a wonderful book called "The Mozart Effect" by Don Campbell about the healing and other positive effects of music. The subtitle of this book is "Tapping the Power of Music to Heal the Body, Strengthen the Mind, and Unlock the Creative Spirit". This book will change the way you understand and listen to music. The author talks about the effects of music, starting by talking about how even from the beginning stages of life in the womb, the developing human being hears and is impacted by the sounds and music and voices it hears. Children developing in the womb can hear and learn to recognize the singing or reading voice of the mother, and particular music can improve the intelligence and cognitive functions of the growing child. I recommend this book for anyone with children, or expecting children.
The book describes the positive effects of many kinds of music, from cultures all around the world, but as the title suggests, the music with the most universal healing effect is that of Mozart. Reading this book made me want to dive back into the music of Mozart, which I have always had a difficult time getting interested in. I usually would gravitate more to the complex music of Beethoven or the highly mathematical and contrapuntal music of J.S. Bach. I had a 170 CD set of all of Mozart's music which I never really could get myself to listen to, partly because I felt it sounded all the same throughout. But lately I have been listening to the various CDs at home in my room and in my car on my CD player as I drive. I can feel the relaxing and uplifting effects of listening to Mozart, and now he takes his place as my favorite musical composer. His music seems to radiate simple joy, and this is what I need in my life now. Just simple joy. His music does something I can't find anywhere else. But I think it enriches my appreciation for other music as well, and Don Campbell discusses a lot of the benefits and uses of other kinds of music as well.
I personally think this book should be read by everyone in the world. You should especially read it if you are involved in fields such as education, child care, any sort of medical or healing profession, and many other areas. Anyone can benefit from the insights in this book, and this is one of those books that I consider life changing and universally uplifting and inspiring.
This book can be purchased here on Amazon.
There are also many other related books and CDs you can purchase with selections designed to produce the effects described in the book.
by Dennis Townsend, Contributing Writer
Just outside of Toledo, Ohio is the sleepy little farm community of Swanton, Ohio, mostly populated with farmers who spend long hours in the fields tending their crops. While this may not be out of the norm, what makes this community unique is that it is also home to a number of African-American farms. Descendants of former sharecroppers, who migrated from the southern plantations and moved north after the Civil War. Most were headed for Canada but quite a few families settled in northwest Ohio and Michigan. Growing up in the inner-city as I did, it was a treat to jump in the car with the family and go out to the “country”, as we city dwellers called Swanton, and visit my uncle’s farm. Being a young lad of just ten years old, and with my uncle having one of the biggest farms in the area, going to the farm was just like going to an amusement park. There was pig riding, corn-shucking, and homemade ice cream. But the real fun was up the road about 2 miles at a place known as Hines Farm where along with a go-cart track for us kids, was an outdoor stage which they called an "open air juke joint" plus the enclosed nite-club where some of the most popular up and coming blues bands would entertain. It was on 32 acres of land and was the major entertainment venue of African-Americans in that community from 1930 to the mid 1970's.
I can remember this one particular week-end that my father packed us up and we headed to Swanton because there was an entertainer coming to Hines Farm that all the adults wanted to see. Tickets were at a premium but I remember my mother somehow got 4 tickets which even surprised my dad. The entertainer that everybody was going to see was none other than B.B. King. I remember my mother and her friends talking about the show a whole month after the fact, and over the years, he performed numerous concerts at Hines Farm and that’s when I started listening to the master play the blues, first out of curiosity, then out of admiration. As a child I picked up my mothers taste in music, and believe me when I say she had great taste in rhythm and blues and knew a great talent when she heard it. It’s been over 50 years since that day in the country, and on May, 14, 2015, the former cotton picker from the Mississippi Delta, who became affectionately know as B.B. (Blues Boy} King, passed away in Las Vegas, Nevada at the young age of 89.
The more than 500 people who squeezed into Bell Grove Missionary Baptist Church just off B.B. King Road in Indianola, Mississippi to pay their last respects were surrounded by black and white photos of the man smiling and hugging the love of his life,the iconic guitar he named Lucille. More than 4,000 people viewed his open coffin and the look on most of the faces showed the grim reality that we had lost another legend. As time moves on we will lose more of these great pioneers of music's past but let us not forget the valuable contributions they have made to our culture. We called Elvis the all around King in general because he was good at all music from blues to gospel, we called Michael Jackson the King of pop, and now we have lost the undisputed King of the guitar blues. Whoever takes over these titles will have some giant shoes to fill. Rest well Mr. King, for you have truly earned it.
The fifth single released from Katy Perry's PRISM was "This is How We Do." According to Katy, it's a "sequel" of sorts to "Last Friday Night." It's my least favorite track on the album mostly due to its subject matter - the LA club scene, which annoys the crap out of me. But Katy does enough in this song to bump that rating up a bit. It has some clever lines, and while many people felt "Birthday" was a bit too generic of a pop song, "This is How We Do" is actually a bit less generic.
This is one of those tracks I expected to be a pretty good single commercially speaking. Yet, it hasn't performed all that well. It's only charted as highly as #24 on the Billboard Hot 100. It's done a bit better on the Mainstream Top 40, topping out at #18. It's too bad, especially considering how cute and quirky the music video for it was. I think it should have done better than "Birthday" as the summer song it was meant to be - but it just didn't connect with the mainstream audience in the way that Katy imagined that it would.
"This is How We Do" has some good things going for it. That deep electronic male voice really irks me and the song would've been better off without it. It is a bit more cleverly written than "Birthday" which basically ran on a very simple and rather base premise - that is, not so cleverly hidden, sex is fun. (At least that's how I read it - I don't know about you!) This song is just all about acting out and just having a good time. Yeah, we all do stupid things in the name of fun and Katy makes some "shout-outs" to some particularly ridiculous things. It's got a great beat and the chorus is definitely memorable.
This is how we do, yeah, chilling, laid back
Straight stuntin' yeah we do it like that
This is how we do, do do do do, this is how we do
It's simple, but it works. It seems like one of those simple choruses that would carry a song like this into the Top 10 at the very least. That just didn't happen. The gimmick didn't work. I could break down the verses and do a more thorough analysis, but I don't think that there's anything there to explain why this song has been one of Katy's greatest "failures" as far as her singles have gone. Obviously, you've done pretty well for yourself when topping out at #24 on the Billboard Hot 100 is a "failure." But it really did not win over the mainstream, and I'm a bit puzzled as to why.
I will say the bit towards the end where she says "no, no, no, bring the beat back!" to be absolutely adorable - especially in the video. The song has plenty of energy, and while I'm sick of songs about mindless dumb fun, especially that involves "clubbing", Katy does it in a cute enough way for it to not annoy me.
Back in November, I rated this song a 7.5/10. I'd hold to that rating. I've gotten a bit more faith in "Dark Horse" since then - especially after its video - that atrocious monstrosity of a video - actually won the MTV VMA's award for Best Video! After my recent review, I'd have to say this is now my least favorite track - and that's not to say I don't enjoy it. "This is How We Do" is just a guilty pleasure for me. It doesn't drag down the rest of the album for me, but it's never going to be one of my favorite Katy tracks.
"Unconditionally" was the official second single from Katy Perry's 2013 album PRISM. While "Dark Horse" and "Walking On Air" received considerable radio play after their debut on iTunes, they were considered promotional singles, and not true singles. However, "Dark Horse," which would soon go on to be a Billboard Hot 100 #1 hit for 4 weeks straight, did become the third - and easily most successful single - due to its massive popularity.
As far as singles go, "Unconditionally" is about as far from "Roar" or "Dark Horse" as you can get. It is, very simply, a power love ballad about unconditional love. "Thinking of You" and "The One That Got Away" were major hits as ballads for Katy, but this one didn't fare nearly as well on the charts. Why is that? Let's see if we can figure it out.
"Unconditionally" shows us Katy at both her most vulnerable and also at her most powerful. Katy has a far more powerful voice than a lot of people realize, vocal talents that were not always incredibly apparent on many tracks on her previous album, One of the Boys and Teenage Dream. Katy really shines on this track, singing from the heart in ways she's only ever done with "Thinking of You," "Who Am I Living For," and "Not Like the Movies." (The latter two are actually very underrated tracks.) This is not to say that she doesn't always sing from the heart, but this is easily one of the most intense singing performances that Katy's ever undertaken. There are a few other tracks later on PRISM where she matches and even surpasses the vocal efforts in this one. Katy really wanted to test herself on this record.
Critics were generally very kind to "Unconditionally." Some fan reactions to it were that it felt a bit "generic" for a love song. But it has some very powerful lines in it. The most poignant one I would say is this: "Acceptance is the key to be/To be truly free." You have to accept both yourself and your partner for your respective faults in any given situation and learn how to be there for one another; that was something that obviously did not happen in her disastrous first marriage. But the best part about "Unconditionally," and Katy has said this herself, that the song can be taken on a wide variety of levels. It's the entire concept of unconditional love that she's singing about, in any kind of relationship, familial, platonic, romantic or otherwise.
Unconditional love is all about taking those bad days with the good and learning how to help your friend or partner open up and stop fearing being judged unfairly. This is a very difficult concept for some people to understand. As Katy has revealed herself, she never really gave people a chance to understand just how badly her depression after her divorce from Russell Brand affected her. While she certainly downplayed it a bit around the time of the album's release, Katy has over time become more open about how long Katy was in a very dark place, desperately fighting to keep herself going. Even with all of the overwhelming fan support she received, Katy realized that she finally had to let the light in for herself. She had to learn to love herself unconditionally, as well. And in learning that, Katy wants to spread that love to everyone. Katy's promise to love unconditionally is just one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard.
"Unconditionally" never became a #1 hit, and peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, it is a song that is beloved by many and just isn't the sort of song that charts well nowadays. It deserves a high rating simply because it is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. Back in November I rated it as a 9.5 out of 10. I'm tempted to give it a perfect 10, but I'll hold to that judgment for now. It's certainly one of the most beautiful songs on PRISM and it has been a real treat to hear her perform it live.
So here I am writing about Katy Perry’s singles off of PRISM and after “Roar” I’m talking about “Dark Horse.” You might be thinking, wait, wasn’t “Unconditionally” the second single off of PRISM? You would be absolutely correct. But I decided to talk about “Dark Horse” first for one major reason: it was Katy’s 9th Billboard Hot 100 #1 single, and it was never meant to even be a single.
When I first heard “Dark Horse” being played live for the first time at the iTunes Festival in late October 2013, I didn’t really know what to make of it. I made the decision to wait until the album version to finally judge it properly. The most puzzling aspect of the performance was rapper Juicy J's guest verse. In fact, it didn’t really sink in what exactly he was saying at first because I simply was having trouble understanding what was unfolding before my eyes. But right from the get go, as soon as Juicy J told us it was time to “rage,” I knew this was going to be ridiculous. As in, I knew that it would become ridiculously popular - in the worst sort of way.
That being said, Katy's part in the song is perfectly fine. There’s nothing wrong with her lyrics, honestly. It’s a fun harmless little song, if not a bit witchy. The "there's no going back" voice at the end of the chorus continues to irk me until this day, though. Unfortunately, that same annoying electronic voice makes yet another appearance in "This is How We Do." I have plenty of issues with that song, but we’ll get to those later. For me, about two-thirds of the song – those that are Katy’s parts - is okay, if not spectacular. Katy did something a little different, and I give her credit for making it hold up pretty well
Juicy J’s guest rap verse, though, absolutely ruined it for me. It’s taken almost a year for me to be able to tolerate hearing it without wanting to throw up a little. It’s not that Juicy J himself wrecks the song for me. It's nothing personal against him. It’s a cheesy song to begin with and the verse goes to an absolute cornball extreme in trying to pretend that this is a dark song.
The funny part is that the message of the verse fits the theme of the song, but the word choices to me just take me out of the song and make me ask myself: what were they thinking? This is what Katy wanted, though. She wanted a fun song and Juicy J had a bit too much fun with it. That doesn't mean I'm not going to "rage" about it. Juicy J did indeed suggest that we rage in this song’s intro, so why not follow his suggestion?
Don't get me wrong. As overdone as rap guest verses have become, most are perfectly tolerable to me, even if they’re just a way to get in on someone else’s track. Snoop Dogg’s guest verse on "California Gurls" was extremely ridiculous, but that song was quite intentionally ridiculous, and he nailed it. Kanye West's guest verse on "E.T." was mostly tolerable, although I’m glad that they cut it from the album version – I can easily live without it.
Honestly, some of the rap verse lines are fine. "She's a beast/I call her karma" was a cool lead in. The Jeffrey Dahmer reference bugged the crap out of me – even if it was appropriate in the theme of the song. Comparing Katy with a cannibal just does not sit well with me. After that, I just wanted to throw the rest of the song out. But as time has gone on, I’ve come to appreciate the rest of the verse a lot more. To wit:
Shawty's heart was on steroids because her love is so strong! Ok, that one is cute.
It gets better from there.
You may fall in love
When you meet her
If you get the chance you better keep her
She's sweet as pie but if you break her heart
She'll turn cold as a freezer
“Cold as a freezer” is pretty corny, but it works…
That fairy tale ending with a knight in shining armor
She can be my Sleeping Beauty
I’m gon’ put her in a coma
I’d rather you not, Juicy J.
Damn I think I love her
Shorty so bad, I’m sprung and I don’t care
She ride me like a roller coaster
Turned the bedroom into a fair (a fair!)
That I’m sure of…
Her love is like a drug
I was tryna hit it and quit it
But lil' mama so dope
I messed around and got addicted
Yes, we all know that Katy's "dope" and we've gotten addicted. Thanks for stating the obvious, Juicy J.
I appreciate what Katy and Juicy J were trying to do here. Don't play with my heart or you'll regret it. Honestly, Katy's not really like that, but it is just a song. To be fair, I would've loved to hear Katy rap this part – I wouldn’t have been so harsh about it in the beginning.
In my initial track-by-track review of the album in November 2013, I felt very generous by rating this song a 7. My reasoning was that I could learn to tolerate it and respect Katy's artistry and purpose to having "Dark Horse" just be what it is. It’s definitely not skip-worthy and only cringe-worthy in parts of the rap verse, so I can live with it being a four star track.
As for it being a #1 hit, it is ridiculously catchy and the chorus is such an earworm that once you hear it, it never really leaves your head – ever. The video, I will admit, is atrocious. Even as a die-hard Katy Cat, I declare that video practically unwatchable. Never mind how many nationalities or religions were offended by some of the imagery – Katy and Juicy J went very overboard with trying to turn what was a pretty silly song in the first place into a hit. But I judge the song on its own merits, and despite my feelings toward the video, I have bumped “Dark Horse” up to an 8 on my scale. It became a massive hit for a great many reasons, and Katy is very proud of it, as I am of her.
Katy Perry’s PRISM was one of the most anticipated albums of 2013. Last year, I did a track-by-track review of the album, which is no longer available online, due to my removing it from the site where it was posted. However, for purposes of the Underrated Underground, I’m going to use the passage of time to my advantage and give you more of a historical perspective of how the various singles from PRISM have performed.
So, wait… Katy Perry? One of the most successful pop stars of all time and the #1 selling digital songs artist of all time? Underrated? Yes. PRISM is far better than the critics decreed it to be and Katy continues, even with her monumental success, to be under-appreciated and under-respected. But that’s a topic for a whole series of articles. Today, I want to focus on PRISM.
You can trust me when I say the PRISM lives up to the hype it received and it actually was even better than I could have imagined. Many other critics, however, consider it significantly inferior to her second album, “Teenage Dream.” There are a number of reasons for this, and part of that has to do the debut single and the song that launched PRISM, “Roar.”
Today, we’ll be focusing on just how hearing Katy “Roar” actually turned out.
Many critics were underwhelmed with "Roar.” Some went as far to term it a "boring" girl empowerment song. IF you sit there and analyze it, there is a bit more to "Roar" than that.
Pretty much everything you need to know about “Roar” is in the opening lines of the song. The lines "I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath/scared to rock the boat and make a mess" could refer to her early music career when she was trying really hard to stay within the lines of Christian music. But as so many people that grow up in highly strict environments often tell themselves: "So I sat quietly, agreed politely."
What follows is the strongest part of the song, "I guess I forgot I had a choice/I let you push me past the breaking point." This is obviously when Katy realized that she had to break the mold to truly create the music that she really wanted to. "I stood for nothing/So I fell for everything" is probably the strongest line in the lyrics. During the past several years, it’s been clear that Katy has been searching for an identity. Since “One of the Boys,” Katy has been all over the place with her experiments in fashion, trying to find a way to define herself. As she said in many early interviews regarding both "Roar" and PRISM, only now through the process of writing this record does she feel that she has truly been finding herself. This song is a perfect reflection of that, as she is always sure to point out.
That verse being as strong as it is, the song does become a bit generic after that. "You pushed me down/But I got up/Already brushing off the dust" is a bit too cliché. "You hear that voice, hear that sound/Like thunder gonna shake the ground" is fine, though. The rest of that bridge is okay: "You held me down, but I got up/Get ready ‘cause I’ve had enough/I see it all, I see it now" is still rather clichéd as pop music lyrics go. It’s after this that the song falls apart for a lot of people.
The chorus is the part where most critics have a field day. It flat-out references the Rocky films with things like "eye of the tiger" and "I am a champion," and while "you're gonna hear me roar" is really cute, it has grown tired and stale for a lot of people already. The second verse is a bit disappointing, too, and not a good follow-up to the strength of the first verse. Its very cutesy imagery of "floating like a butterfly" and being able to "sting like a bee, I've earned my stripes" takes away a good deal of momentum from the extremely relatable lyrics from the opening verse. "I went from zero to my own hero," though, is a very quotable line. But after that, the song doesn’t offer anything else.
Katy was going for a powerful lead-off single to kick off PRISM. It was indeed powerful, and did have the popular success she’d hoped for – and more, in fact. However, it didn't pack the punch that many music critics were expecting that it would. To be fair, after Teenage Dream, the expectations were a bit unrealistic, being one of the most commercially successful album cycles of all time. It seems that what Katy wanted was a fun little self-empowerment anthem, to step up and be the very best you that you can be. Unfortunately, many critics see it as a silly girl-power anthem made only for her adoring Katy Cats. But from talking to people about the song and combing the internet for reactions, “Roar” is generally liked by a lot of people. It’s the fact that it was played to death that killed it for a lot of people.
Being the Katy Cat that I am, I love “Roar” to depth. It got me pumped for PRISM, and the album did not disappoint me. Then again, I quickly figured out her purpose in writing the song, and most critics missed the boat on it. Katy takes being a pop star very seriously, and while she doesn’t necessarily write songs only for the charts, she's well aware of what her core audience (the Katy Cats) want and expect from her. There is a good message in “Roar” right in that first verse while the overall tone of the song is extremely upbeat, and the core message very positive and uplifting.
Commercially, “Roar” did fantastically. “Roar” actually was the hit that finally dethroned the so-called Song of the Year “Blurred Lines,” which I was more than happy to see go from that top spot. However, “Roar” didn’t remain at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US for long due to Miley Cyrus’s smash hit "Wrecking Ball" coming out of nowhere – a status which it actually did sort of deserve, honestly. “Roar” has been one Katy’s best-selling singles of all-time and continued to blow away the charts in many other countries, as well as the Billboard genre-based charts into 2014. The dance remixes of “Roar” have also fared extremely well.
As a hardcore Katy Cat, I find myself having to just love this song for what it is despite its obvious shortcomings. It’s not as strong as some other songs on PRISM. “Roar” may be on par with a lot of her other #1 hits, which, besides perhaps “Firework” are not really musical works of art; they’re just catchy enough that you can't get them out of your head. Most of her #1 hits also are upbeat enough to be important parts of one's daily soundtrack, and “Roar” definitely fits that bit. “Roar” is probably a 7.5 for me on pure content alone. But as it’s served as a get-me-out-of-bed and get-me-going tune, it’s been too personally motivational for me to rate any lower than at least an 8.
I gave it an 8.5 back in November for the sheer fact that it was a fantastic tone setter for what is very much Katy’s best album so far. I don’t see myself changing that rating now. I know a lot of people will disagree with it, but there are just as many that will probably beg me to change it to a 9 or a 10. But I’m sorry – Roar’s a nice anthem, but it’s no “Firework.”
Green Day is one of the most successful rock and roll bands of all time, and they have long been among my favorite artists. Their latest three releases, Uno, Dos, and Tres were a massive disappointment to most fans, and most especially to me. I was never much of a fun of 21st Century Breakdown, either. But with everything before that, Green Day had a standard of quality that few other bands had. In fact, they were so good, that even a compilation album of their B-sides, rarities, and a couple of covers ended up being almost as good as most of their other albums.
Blender and Rolling Stone were not kind to Shenanigans when it was released in July of 2002, although Allmusic gave it four out of five stars. Fan reaction over the years has been generally positive, however. Especially considering that it wasn't really an official album release, Shenanigans actually has two of my favorite Green Day tracks of all-time, "Desensitized" (the B-side from the "Good Riddance" single) and "Suffocate," a song that didn't quite make the final version of their studio record, Nimrod.
There are three covers on the album: "I Want to Be On TV" from Fang, "Outsider" from the Ramones, "Tired of Waiting for You" originally performed by the Kinks. The "Outsider" cover is absolutely excellent and I daresay I actually prefer it to the original. The other covers are solid enough, as well, although I'm not a huge fan of those songs in question.
The rest of the songs are a combination of songs that didn't quite make Nimrod or Warning or B-Sides from their various singles up until that point. "Ha, Ha, You're Dead," which was yet another song that didn't quite make Nimrod, was actually later released as a single due to positive reception from fans.
Green Day did actually team up with Blink 182 on the Pop Disaster Tour to help promote the album, yet they didn't play any tracks from it. It's too bad, as the album is pretty solid for a compilation album. It did peak at #27 on the Billboard 200, which isn't bad for a collection of B-Sides and covers. I do recommend that if you're a fan of Green Day or bands like them, you should definitely check out this album. It's very underrated.
Photo credit: "Green Day - Shenanigans cover" by http://www.amazon.com/Shenanigans-Green-Day/dp/B000068OT2/ref=ntt_mus_ep_dpi_12. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.
Miley Cyrus has become one of the biggest names in music today. Unfortunately, she hasn’t been successful due to her musical talents. She’s become most famous – infamous in some circles – for her antics. Of course, her past as Hannah Montana helped her star rise, but she has gotten away from that persona perhaps as far as you possibly can.
BANGERZ was a bit of a mixed bag as an album. It had the smash #1 hit “Wrecking Ball,” a song that I actually believe deserved its fame. But despite my less-than-impressed feelings about “We Can’t Stop” and a few other tracks on the album that I feel quite skip-worthy, there are some songs here that I personally really like.
That’s right, Miley has underrated tracks. I’m no Smiley (what Miley calls her fans), but I’ve always believed that Miley does actually have some good amount of talent in her. She displays it on a few tracks from BANGERZ.
So here are the Top 5 Underrated Tracks from BANGERZ!
When I first heard this song, as the song started and I heard the background track, I was convinced I wouldn’t like this song. However, Miley's singing on this track is fantastic. Were it not so over-produced, as are many tracks on this record, I’d like this one a lot more. The lyrics are solid, and with real instruments, this could have probably been a big hit. This song is definitely one of the better tracks on BANGERZ and all that's held it back is a few choices in production – for example, the somewhat annoying backing tracks.
4) Adore You
The opening track on BANGERZ, "Adore You" is a very sweet love song. Compared to the rest of the album, it does seem a bit out of place. Miley is at her best in this one. It was selected as the third, and final, single from BANGERZ. It received fairly positive critical reception, as I feel it deserved. The music video, which featured night vision shots of scenes resembling a leaked sex tape, probably didn’t help its cause however. It peaked around #24 on the Hot 100. It’s a shame that this song didn’t do better, and the controversial music video probably hurt this one. The controversy worked for “Wrecking Ball” – but the same trick didn’t work twice.
3) F.U. (feat. French Montana)
“F.U.” is definitely one of the more unique songs on the record. This is very likely the first time that I’ve ever heard “LOL” used in song lyrics. But it’s not done in an incredibly stupid way. Honestly, by the track title alone, I expected "F.U." would be a lame track, but it turned out to be really clever. Her collaboration with French Montana, who I wasn't familiar with before this track, works well here. It's a different style for Miley, and again, the over-production irks me a bit. However, I can forgive that, due to its cleverness. While it has its share of corny lines like "go give yourself the flu," overall, it's a great song.
2) Maybe You're Right
“Maybe You’re Right” is a culmination of great beat, great lyrics, and great performance - what every pop song should aspire to be. This is a track in which the production actually complements the song rather than distracts from its true potential. I suggested in my track-by-track review of BANGERZ last year that "Maybe You're Right" could be a solid follow-up single to "Wrecking Ball," which sadly it did’t – although Miley didn’t help her cause with “Adore You.”
This song is a bit reminiscent of Miley's older work in the best possible way. It's honest and relatable, unlike a lot of the rest of the record where Miley is so desperate to make herself a “bad girl” and attempting to be stupidly controversial just for the sake of controversy. This is one of the best songs on the record and one not to overlook.
And the #1 underrated track on the record is:
1) Someone Else
Fittingly, “Someone Else” closes out the non-deluxe version of BANGERZ, and she goes out with a proverbial BANG in my opinion. I apologize for the horrible pun, but this one works. Miley was going for a dance-inspired tune with this one, and the production is really good. It's actually a very enjoyable listen and a pretty heart-breaking track.
The line "He left with my heart / They both walked through that door without me" really got me. What really sets this song apart for me from the rest of BANGERZ is how blatantly honest it is about what happens when the one you love betrays you: the pain causes you to turn into someone else. This was a perfect way to close out this album. It left me with hope that Miley might make more music like this. Perhaps that’s a bit much to ask, but this song exists, and I’m glad that it does.
BANGERZ is certainly not the shining magnum opus that Miley might have been going for, but it certainly brought her into a new stage of her career. Obviously, “Wrecking Ball” was a bigger hit than she could have ever imagined. “We Can’t Stop” was a huge hit as a promo single, and while I despise that song, you have to admit that it did what it was intended to do – be an insidious earworm. I was really thankful that Miley did grace this album with at least 6 decent tracks – these 5 and “Wrecking Ball” – which is not any sort of underrated.
I wish only the best for you, Miley. Just stop trying to be controversial and just be Miley for a change. Or are those two the same thing?
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
Today, we celebrate the day of birth of one of the most amazing human beings to ever walk the face of God's green earth - an individual by the name of Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson. Born to Mary and Keith Hudson on October 25, 1984, little did they know that their little gift from heaven would grow up to be a devil-child. Um, I mean, the Queen of Pop. Who knew at that very beginning that her mamma's little Katy-Bird would grow up to become such a super-star and inspirational force in the lives of so many young people - including myself.
Well, I think her parents and a lot of others around her knew she was talented from a very young age. That much was obvious. But little Katy-Bird up and flew away and went on a long journey to stardom. It was a rough ride and it had some incredible highs during the Teenage Dream era. Some people will always say those were the best moments of Katy's career, but I disagree. Katy still has had a chance to dominate like no other artist has ever done. Unfortunately, PRISM has not had quite the commercial success that Katy had hoped. On the bright side, "Roar" and "Dark Horse" have sold phenomenally, while "Unconditionally" performed underwhelmingly and "Birthday" was a bomb. The Prismatic World Tour has also been a success, despite not having the variety that the California Dreams Tour offered. The pop scene has an absolute disaster for a while, more than it has ever been. But some huge out-of-nowhere successes such as Lorde's "Royals" and Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" have mitigated that disaster somewhat. Unfortunately, Katy is simply not doing as well commercially as she once did.
Now having turned 30 years old, it's clear that Katy is looking towards her post-music career already. She's very involved in her Kitty Collection with Claire's, her spokespersonship with Cover Girl, her sudden love for the NFL (because she's playing the Super Bowl in February 2015), and of course, her perfume empire. Katy has already dropped plenty of hints that her next album will be an acoustic, stripped-down affair - which I'm definitely looking forward to. Katy's already accomplished a lot. However, I'm not crazy that her current tour has become a sort of pre-packaged product and that she's been basically been a walking promotional machine. But while I'm not crazy about how she seems to be getting more away from the music right now, I understand that she's just setting herself up for the long run.
With all this woman has done for me, the inspiration from her lyrics, her smile and positivity, and everything else she's stood for, I will be a KATY CAT FOREVER!
Happy 30th birthday, Katy!
OK, I have been pretty disgusted with the Top 40 for quite a long time. I'm not a fan of Taylor Swift's new smash hit "Shake It Off" - it does nothing for me. Most of the Top 40 I think is really not worth of my attention. Then I see that this Meghan Trainor comes out of nowhere with this "All About That Bass" song and I'm thinking - OK, what the hell is getting to #1 these days?
So I decided to watch it. I did not expect what I saw.
It was as bass-heavy as advertised. It is very catchy. But not only that. It has a fantastic message, telling girls to love themselves as they are and not worry about being a size 2. It is true, trust me. Most guys do like a "little more booty" yet it seems like society is trying to program girls to be as skinny as possible. Meghan obviously isn't the skinniest girl herself, and she's proud and confident and the right kind of girl to deliver this message.
She has a bit of an unusual voice that took me a bit getting used to listening too, but I think it's just her style. I haven't heard any of her other music yet, but good for her. She deserves this #1 and I hope that message isn't lost on the girls that need to hear it. And guys, yeah, a "little more booty" is good.
But if you're skinny it's okay, too We all come in different shapes and sizes, and no one should tell you what you should and shouldn't be. Just be you!
And it really is all about that bass.
When I was growing up, country music was all we listened to in my household. Some people might say, wow, you missed out. I really don't think so. I grew up listening to the great and legendary country-rock band Alabama, who have sadly become a bit forgotten nowadays. I listened to the legendary acts of Alan Jackson, George Strait, and Martina McBride on a daily basis.
But besides Brad Paisley and the Zac Brown Band, and the holdovers from the 90's, I stopped listening to country almost exclusively in about 2002. I moved on to Top 40, then alternative rock, then basically listened to anything that suited my fancy - as long as it wasn't new country. I felt that country music had lost its identity and become a Southern "redneck" extension of pop music. It made me sick and it all started to sound the same.
Well, my faith in country music may not have been restored, but there is one artist who is most definitely a country artist, but has gained a lot of respect from me as both a performer and a songwriter. That lady is the young Kacey Musgraves. Not only is her song-writing fantastic and her messages straight-shooting and extremely relevant, but she has a sweet voice to deliver them, too.
Here's what's easily my favorite song by her so far, and perhaps her most famous, Merry-Go-Round:
If you haven't listened to Kacey Musgraves' music, you really should. "Follow Your Arrow," especially, is a poignant tune about being yourself and not having other people point the direction of your life for you. In fact, Kacey originally wrote it with the plan of giving it to none other than her good buddy, Katy Perry. Katy then told her to keep it for herself. Of course, Miss Queen KatyCat most likely would've turned it into a number one hit, but I agree with Katy that Kacey was right to keep it for herself, as it fits her no-nonsense, straight to the point commentaries on the obvious flaws in our everyday society.
Speaking of Katy and Kacey, they did a CMT Crossroads together a few months ago. When you have about 40 minutes to spare, you owe it to yourself to watch it. It is incredible.
CMT Crossroads: Katy Perry and Kacey Musgraves
Although, I don't think anyone can do "Firework" like Katy can, it's pretty awesome seeing Katy singing Kacey's songs and vice versa. I hope Katy does a random country album someday. She does love country music after all.
I'm just glad I have another new artist that I can add to my playlist after a couple of years of really finding no one tickle my fancy. If you're looking for a new country artist and you haven't listened to Kacey yet, you definitely need to check her out.
Don't take my word for it!
Katy Perry combines her love of vintage fashion with some re-imagined versions of some of her past looks from older videos for a sweet and silly concoction that is the "This is How We Do" music video.
I must confess that I am a die-hard KatyCat, and I'm not afraid to admit it. That being said I have not been much of a fan of her videos thus far from Prism. I absolutely adore the album, and while I have some issues with "Dark Horse" mostly due to the guest rap verse, it's probably among my top 5 favorite albums of all time. Even "Teenage Dream" barely makes the top ten, mind you!
"Roar" was cute. I feel that it was a song that had more potential than Katy's producers let it have in the final over-popped product. "Unconditionally" is a gorgeous song that had a very symbolic and artsy video that didn't really go over well with much of Katy's audience - although I appreciate what she put into it. "Dark Horse" was very controversial, and considering that it was never meant to be a single in the first place, the mess of a video was sort of understandable. The "Birthday" video was love it or hate it, and for the most part I hated it. But my feelings about those other videos are each enough for their own pieces.
Today, we talk about my favorite video thus far from Prism, and that is "This is How We Do." It's actually my second-least favorite song on the album. But it's catchy and as Katy has said her self, it's like a "Last Friday Night" part deux. It's basically a song about going out on the town and doing all sorts of stupid stuff, although none of it quite nearly as bad as the shenanigans from Last Friday Night - although spending all of your rent money on bottle service probably is a poor life choice.
But what I love most about this video is the fact that it shows Katy in what I believe is her best light, simply having fun and wearing all kinds of adorable wigs and outfits. Katy loves playing dress-up and she's good at it. There were a couple looks in the video I wasn't incredibly fond of, but for the most part, Katy looked as radiant and gorgeous as ever.
The lyrics honestly don't seem to fit the video when you first look at it from a literal perspective. But the overall message of the song is conveyed perfectly. "This is How We Do" is about going out and living life, even if you make stupid mistakes, or dumb life choices, because that's all part of being human. Katy is shamelessly Katy. I think that it's a great message to go and wear and do what you like and if you screw up, well, that's part of being human.
There are those that argue that the song simply glorifies going out and getting drunk and laid with strangers. People have honestly been doing that forever. Do remember also that Katy wrote this with the intention of it being a summer tune, which it most certainly is. There isn't supposed to be any real depth here, you know. It's a little bit of a fashion show, combining vintage fashion with some remixed looks from Katy's past including homages to the One of the Boys era and of course, California Gurls.
I simply enjoy this video more than the others from the Prism era thus far. "Roar" had its moments, and "Unconditionally" was pretty to look at. The other two require great and robust analyses from yours truly to fully comprehend what went wrong with those productions.
That being said, if you're having a rough day, like I am myself currently, this is a video that's meant to be eye candy and it succeeds quite well.
Back in 2001, a young girl by the name of Katy Hudson put together a Christian rock record. It wasn’t well received, but many in the industry took notice of her songwriting and vocal skills. She was still raw, but definitely had potential. A few years later, she abandoned Christian music, and went on a seven year journey to become a pop star. It was hard, as no one seemed to know how to market the bubbly, silly Katy. By this time, she’d taken on the stage name Katy Perry (Perry being her mother’s maiden name).
In 2008, everything suddenly clicked for Katy. She had recently signed with Capitol Records who paired her up with pop songwriting legends, Max Martin and Dr. Luke. Out of this collaboration came a little song called “I Kissed a Girl.” It became the song of the summer. Two years later, her sophomore album, “Teenage Dream” again with the help of Martin and Dr. Luke was an even more massive success, with five tracks on it hitting #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Then in 2011 everything sort of fell apart for Katy. Towards the tail end of what had been a rigorous and exhausting tour, husband Russell Brand wanted a divorce. He hadn’t been very supportive during her tour and it was clear that their relationship had been a bit rocky for a while, but Katy always did what she could to hide it. Her recent documentary, “Part of Me,” covered that story, but as it turns out, Katy was a lot worse off than people realized.
While Katy’s video for “Wide Awake” depicted her in a wheelchair at a hospital, which was meant to symbolize just how broken she was by the divorce, there is now new evidence that she actually became suicidal during that time. It was revealed today at the iTunes Festival when she performed the very sullen and solemn “By the Grace of God.” To think that the beautiful and incredible Katy Perry, who is perhaps the most positive person ever, would even THINK about ending her life is almost unthinkable.
An absolute stark contrast to the single she released last night “Walking on Air,” this track, “By the Grace of God” is about how Katy eventually became so monumentally depressed and hurt by Brand’s betrayal of her love and trust that she couldn’t bear to live any more. Fortunately, with the support of her family (namely her sister) and her legions of Katy Cats, she found the strength to continue, declaring that she would not ever let anything in the name of love destroy her.
Apparently, Katy was much closer to suicide than most had ever thought possible. It is truly by the Grace of God that we still have Katy, and perhaps, that we have the phenomenon that is Katy Perry, at all. Katy is an incredibly strong-willed woman, and if even she can be brought to the brink of wanting everything to end, it just shows just how a bad marriage or relationship can ruin anyone.
Although PRISM hasn't performed quite as well commercially as Teenage Dream, I don't think anyone expected that. Besides, her Prismatic World Tour is selling out. Katy continues to bring joy to millions every day with her silly antics and honest, down-to-earth personality. There are so many of us that are glad she stayed.
We love you, Katy! God bless you!
Now I’m sure many people around the world know who Natalie Imbruglia is. If you’re in America, though, all you probably know of her is one song: “Torn” that was released as a single around 1999. It is because of this song that I learned of her, but unlike a lot of my peers (actually unlike all of them) I decided to learn more about her. I got “Left of the Middle”, and loved it. When White Lillies Island (actually an island on which she lived for awhile) came out, I loved that too!
I’ve never understood why Natalie never took off in America. Around the world, she’s a pop idol. She’s full of talent, and has written some really great lyrics. She actually writes a lot of them, and actually, the only record she didn’t write many of the song on was her 2005 record “Counting Down the Days” which did well commercially in Europe and the UK, but I feel was her weakest album overall. Her most recent album, “Come to Life” was terrific, and none of the songs even touched the Top 40 in America. I don’t get it. I think it’s because she has never really toured all that much. I don’t think she’s been to the US that many times, either, mostly because she just never really had much of a following in America.
I just wanted to say something about her because I think a lot of people have really missed out on her music. During a time when American pop music was so sexually charged and at times raunchy, her music was just I think a lot better than what was being offered on radio at the time. Apparently, the rest of the world knew about her. So I must say, worldwide, she may be well known, but in America, she’s really underrated. I suggest you check her out. She really brightened up a lot of days for me when I was younger, and if you’re tired of hearing the same ole, same old pop music, give her a shot.
Another very important point is that just because one song or group of songs inside of a genre relay one type of message, doesn't mean they all do. It is one thing to discount a particular song for its message, yet quite another to take that out on the entire genre. Just as there are songs advocating violence across all genres, there are also songs about peace and love in all of those genres.
One should never discount an entire genre based on stereotypical notions alone. If you simply don't prefer the sound, that makes more sense than disliking music just because of the category it's placed under. Labels are extremely subjective and blanket applications rarely are true, due to variances.
For instance, the following selections are all from the same genre but are completely different, with entirely separate messages: (www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYG-jj0XkH0, www.youtube.com/watch?v=s716EpraBB4, www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNaeuNd0Ogo, www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQEhmT7AJ44). If one were to judge the entire genre on just one of those songs, that judgement would be inaccurate regardless of which one they chose.
I don’t expect everyone to enjoy every musical genre out there. We all have our own tastes. Mine happens to be varied, but that’s just me. However, it seems unfair to base a dislike on stereotyping, rather than actual taste.
Have you discriminated against music either knowingly or unknowingly? What are some of your favorite genres?
**Photo Credit/Copyright: Lyn Lomasi
*** I originally published this here: http://www.bubblews.com/news/1428152
It’s long been my habit to check out all kinds of music no matter the genre or how famous (or not) the artist may be. Sometimes I’m looking up music on purpose and other times, I hear it in various places. Recently a very good friend popped on something new to me while we were hanging out. I was hooked on Raw-Rah’s smooth-sounding voice and relatable lyrics immediately. I of course had to ask who this R&B artist was. It turns out he’s a local Denver musician and my friend had gotten the CD directly from him.
I of course had to look him up and find the music for myself once I returned home. Currently, two of Raw-Rah’s songs are available via his website (raw-rah.com) or ReverbNation. The song “So Amazing” describes what is felt about a woman he’s trying to decide if he’s in lust or love with. The catchy beat and lyrics will have you dancing and humming along right away. This is definitely the faster song of the two. But the thing I like about both songs is that either could be danced to or be listened to while relaxing.
My favorite is “Facebook/Twitter,” which makes sense since I’m both a techie and a sucker for love. What girl doesn’t want to hear the lyrics “Cuz you’re a superstar, yes you are. You set the bar for other girls too far?” The song is about meeting up with someone he’s been communicating with via Facebook and Twitter. The raw and real lyrics of a situation that is very possible combined with the smooth, yet move-inspiring beat make it a must-listen. In fact, I must say that both my friend and I like to play it over and over again.
Curious? Go ahead and check him out for yourself. You may not hear this on the radio yet (or even catch it on YouTube). But it’s definitely worth the listen.
**The author has no commercial affiliation with the artist and/or brand mentioned in this content. The views expressed are the author’s own and no compensation or other monetary benefit was received by the author for this material.
**Image Credit: Lyn Lomasi
*** I originally published this on BUBBLEWS (no longer published there)
They had to save the best for last. It was Day 30 of the iTunes Festival, and who better to close it all out than the Queen of Pop herself, kitty cat Katy Perry. It goes without saying that the days of cotton candy Katy are now long past. She has opted now for a darker, rockier sound that she debuted at the iHeartMusic Festival last week. There were some things I wasn't totally crazy about, but it also was an abbreviated performance, and there was a lot that went into building it up. Take two went a lot better in my opinion, as they worked out some of the bugs from the iHeartMusic Festival performance, especially the "Roar" backing track which sounded MUCH better and a bit less droning than before.
She kicked off the show with "Walking on Air" a song which, only released the day before, has already split a lot of fans. Many love it, many hate it. It's a full-on dance track with rather repetitive lyrics, but I have to admit Katy's vocals are top-notch in it, and I'd love to hear a stripped-down version of it at some point. Her vocals in this live performance were some, if not the very best, that I've ever heard out of her. She followed it up with her new mash-up of Calfornia Gurls and Teenage Dream, which I must say, seems to work pretty well. Then, came the new version of "I Kissed a Girl" that she kicked off her iHeartMusic Festival set with, and I dare say this was an even better performance, musically and vocally.
"Dark Horse" I wasn't so thrilled with, and it had nothing to do with Katy's performance. Her vocals were excellent. It's just that "Dark Horse" doesn't feel complete without the rap breakdown. So Katy just had her dancers being "down and dirty" and the song just felt really incomplete. My overall disappointment with that song's performance dissipated because one of my all-time favorites (and the one that officially turned me into a KatyCat) "Part of Me" was next. It was one of her best live performances of the track to date.
After "Part of Me" was easily the most talked about part of the entire set. That, of course, was her debut of a very somber track called "By the Grace of God." Though I'd heard the audio of this performance before, watching the actual performance literally made me bawl my eyes out. It is one of her all-time best vocal performances, even with the fact that she was choking up towards the end of it. In stark contrast to the three songs "Roar," "Dark Horse," and "Walking on Air," that were released as promotional singles, "By the Grace of God" is the most personal song that Katy has ever written, and it admits that her divorce with Russell Brand hurt her far more deeply than she had ever previously wanted to admit. I'm telling you right now that this song is going to prevent a lot of untimely suicides. It's beautiful and honest and my respect for Katy has grown by leaps and bounds beyond what seems to be possible. She was already my favorite all-time performing artist. Now she's untouchable.
"Thanks for letting me stay!" she declared. I died.
After having one of the most solemn fan-boy moments of my life, she followed up "By the Grace" with my second all-time favorite Katy track, "Wide Awake." I will admit that her vocals were not quite as crisp on this one. She's never sang "Wide Awake" all that well live for whatever reason, despite an obvious remix that was made to make it work better with her natural voice. Of course, after singing "By the Grace of God" who COULD sing well?
Then again, Katy still had to sing "Firework" which is now performed a bit differently live. It starts out slow with Katy's vocals carrying it for the majority of the first half. It doesn't pick up until after the second verse and the dancing ensues. I really love how she builds it up now. It begins very somberly, then grows more optimistic, then explodes into a celebration. I never thought a performance of "Firework" could become such an emotional journey, but Katy's apparently perfected that!
Of course, the finale had to be "Roar," because that song is awesome. I will admit I'm not sure that Katy has the vocals down for the live performance yet, as this was probably her weakest vocal performance of the entire set, but I think she was pretty drained by this point with all the dancing she'd done already. But she closed it out fantastically, belting out the last few lines, "YOU'RE GONNA HEAR ME, ROAR!"
I hope Katy continues to "Roar" until the end of the world. She is the greatest thing in music right now, and nothing can touch her.
This just goes to show that even a pop icon is just as fragile as any of us, and we must be thankful that God has given us such a beautiful gift. She may not always be the greatest vocalist in the world, but her heart is always in it, and she CAN sing when she really tries, as she proved tonight.
Thank you, Katy. I'm roaring for you.
by Janet Lewis, Contributing Writer
If you want to improve your vocal quality then you need to get voice lessons, there’s no way around it. A good vocal coach can mean the difference between a pure voice and screeching. Vocal lessons also help you to maintain a tone longer by using breathing techniques. Not everyone can afford to go to a vocal coach to get this training because it can be expensive. There is an alternative though by using an online vocal coach to give you lessons. There are many benefits to online voice lessons and below are just a few.
More Affordable Than in Person Lessons Online voice lessons offer a more affordable choice when compared to the cost of in person lessons. A private coach is not cheap and when money is tight you may have to pass on lessons in lieu of other bills. Also, you can spend upwards of a hundred dollars an hour for a live vocal coach so you may not be able to have as many lessons as you could if you were to get your lessons online.
Lessons When You Want This is a huge benefit because most people don’t have a great deal of time during the day when a vocal coach is available. Online vocal coaches are available when you are so you can work your lessons around your schedule rather than the coach’s schedule. Also, if you prefer to have a longer or shorter session that is not a problem, you set the time and the length of the lesson to suit your needs, not the needs of the coach you hire.
All Lessons are Private For the novice who may not have the chops to sit in a room full of other vocalists or who does not yet have the confidence to sing in public, the online lessons are private. You don’t have to worry about what others think about your vocal abilities and you can sing in front of other people when you are ready. You can gain the confidence at your own pace and time while working on your vocal quality and tone.
Lesson in the Comfort of Home Finally, you don’t have to go anywhere to take your lessons. Just fire up your computer and get started with your lessons. You don’t have to get dressed up in uncomfortable clothes and can wear your pajamas for your lesson if you want. It’s up to you where in your house you take your lessons.
If you have been thinking about getting voice lessons then you should consider the option of online voice lessons. They are all private and can be done from the comfort of your own home which is a huge bonus. You don’t have to worry about other people hearing you until you are comfortable with your vocal quality until you are ready. The lessons are much more affordable than they would be if you were to get your lessons from a traditional vocal in a live setting.
Janet Lewis has been a vocal coach for more than 10 years. She also enjoys blogging about singing and voice lessons to help others.
by Lisa Mason, Contributing Writer
In a world where iPods can be shoved into a pocket and music can be heard virtually anywhere, it is sometimes kind of tough to sell someone on the virtues of vinyl records. It is not blessed with the ability to go to the store with you or be heard while you jog around the block. You can't store oceans of it on a little disc or machine. In fact, the records are huge and they are a pain in the butt to keep in excellent condition. So why then would you want to invest in vinyl? Here are five great reasons:
Holding a piece of history
Vinyl has been around for a very long time and it represents the beginning of our musical media. You can now buy a CD with the greatest KISS songs of all time in about ten seconds. That CD will still not compare to having a complete set of KISS albums with all the markings of the era on them. Vinyl feels different in your hands and you get a different thrill from collecting a piece of history.
Vinyl has a unique sound
Some people see this as a negative thing but not the folks that grew up on it. If you listened to vinyl growing up, nothing can replace that sound. It is pure and true and it is simply a part of the music itself. Music will never sound better than it did on that little record player we had as children.
Limited edition records
There are some songs and albums that are only available on vinyl. It is for this reason that vinyl has been making a comeback in recent years. In fact, many groups and music labels are releasing new vinyl all the time with special incentives to get you to buy. For this reason, it would be a good idea to get with a solid online music shop that offers vinyl. You would be shocked at the music you are missing out on.
The hunt for buried treasure
The beautiful thing about vinyl is that it still has thousands of treasure chests out there. Most old vinyl is not terribly valuable, but there are some that are insanely expensive. Because virtually every auction, yard sale, garage sale and clean up contains at least one box of old vinyl, there are new treasures being found all the time. That hunt is worth the chase all by itself.
The cover and artwork
If you were alive in the seventies and got to see the album covers of the day, then you know what art is all about. The album covers were literally breathtaking and you could tell a great deal of time was put into them. Collecting vinyl is kind of like going back to your childhood if you were lucky enough to have been around back then. Album covers were like a sign of the times and you never forgot them.
There are certainly plenty of reasons to use that iPod and carry that MP3 player for your music. There is, however, plenty of room in the music world for the LPs of yesterday and tomorrow. If you have never collected these wonderful treasures, then dive in and give them a shot. You will be thrilled with the outcome.
Lisa Mason is a music buff writing for Music Record Shop about music, albums and artists she loves.
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans Content Community. Services include ordained soul therapy and healing ministry, business success coaching, business success services, handcrafted healing jewelry, ethereal and anointing oils, altar and spiritual supplies and services, handcrafted healing beauty products, and more!
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