All the Colors of Kesha’s Beautiful “Rainbow”

“I got too many people / I got left to prove wrong,” Kesha sings softly on “Bastards,” the first track on her third studio album Rainbow. With just a guitar and a beautiful, raw vocal performance, Kesha lays the album’s mission statement bare in the LP’s opening moments. 

“Been underestimated / My entire life,” she continues in the second verse before declaring “They won’t break my spirit / I won’t let ’em win,” encouraging listeners not to “let the bastards get you down.” It’s a simple message, but one that carries the weight of the world within the story of Kesha Rose Sebert. After languishing in a grim legal battle for the last several years with former producer and mentor Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald, who according to the singer/songwriter also sexually and emotionally abused her throughout her career, Rainbow is more than just a comeback album, it’s a musical and personal rebirth. 

Continue reading

Advertisements

“Melodrama:” Lorde’s Stunning Second Chapter

It’s been four, long years since we last heard from Ella Yelich-O’Connor, otherwise known as Lorde, the brilliant singer-songwriter-producer from New Zealand who took over the world with her debut single when she was just 16 years old. So, what has she been up to since you ask? Well according to Melodrama, her second album released yesterday, she’s been partying, but not having all that much fun. 

Continue reading

Katy Perry’s “Witness” isn’t Bad, But Not All That Good Either

2017 is just not Katy Perry’s year. 

What was expected to be the pop star’s grand return to usher in an era of “purposeful pop” has been a slow motion train wreck, filled with cringeworthy performances and soundbites, bookended with disappointing music. Pair that with a barrage of negative press, and Perry’s fifth studio album, Witness, was starting to look like this year’s ARTPOP, a.k.a. her fall from the top. 

Continue reading

Lady Gaga is Back; “Joanne” Review

Say what you want about Lady Gaga, but she’s never boring. It’s almost impossible to look at her today and see the same pop culture obsessed songstress that sang about disco sticks and paparazzi. Even 2011’s Born This Way, which its truly laughable cover art, seems like it happened a lifetime ago, and hopefully we’ve all forgotten about ARTPOP by now. Continue reading

“7/27” Proves Fifth Harmony Is A Force To Be Reckoned With

By now you’ve definitely heard of Fifth Harmony. Even if you can’t name each member, you’ve chanted their undeniably catchy hit single “Worth It” at a party last summer, and for the past couple of months you’ve definitely been blasting “Work From Home” in your car on repeat. Maybe you’ve even heard their brassy “BOSS” or the electro-pop “Sledgehammer” playing in a store at one point. The girl group is certainly on the rise, and their latest album 7/27 is their foray into becoming superstars.

Continue reading

“Dangerous Woman” Is A Pop Masterpiece

In the three years since Ariana Grande burst onto the scene with “The Way” in 2013, she’s become one of the most exciting up and coming talents. It’s hard to remember the last time someone who went from pop ingenue to one of the genre’s fixtures in such a short amount of time. Having already scored two #1 albums and a long line of hit singles (“Problem,” “Break Free,” “Love Me Harder…” the list goes on), while breaking (and making) new Billboard records in the process and being compared to Mariah Carey, it’s a no brainer that Grande has attained such a large level of success in such a short period of time.

That being said, Dangerous Woman, the pint-sized chanteuse’s third album marks a new stage in her career. Where Yours Truly introduced “the voice,” and My Everything skyrocketed her to superstardom, this album cements Grande’s place as pop’s reigning princess.

Continue reading

Thanks, But No Thanks: Meghan Trainor’s “Thank You” Reviewed

“I’m the shh, be quiet, I been on the no-hater diet,” Meghan Trainor proclaims on the opener to her second album, Thank You. “Watch Me Do” is a far cry from the cutesy, doo-wop sound that dominated much of Trainor’s debut album Title. When she sings, “I get all choked up, and see how much I made/ And I feel so good, like James Brown in his day,” it may shed some light onto Trainor’s state of mind following her meteoric rise to fame, but it also tells us a lot about the album itself. It’s funky, upbeat and sees the singer/songwriter exuding a confidence that was missing in her previous work. And while you may find yourself nodding along, you can’t help but notice the weak composition. There’s talk of “breastases” and “textes from exeses” which sounds as awkward as it reads. Trainor may have upgraded her sound, but her songwriting is still in need of some growth.

Continue reading

Zayn Malik Looks To Leave One Direction Behind With “Mind of Mine”

There is always the designated “star” of any high profile group that is destined for a solo career. Perhaps the best examples of that theory are Beyoncé Knowles and Justin Timberlake. With emphasis on Beyoncé, the two have established themselves as two of the top recording artists working in the industry today, truly establishing themselves as solo artists. Zayn Malik looks to continue that trend.

Continue reading

Gwen Stefani Tells Us What The Truth Feels Like

Gwen Stefani has been away from the pop music scene for some time now. If you don’t count the No Doubt “comeback” album that never really was, 2012’s underrated Push and Shove (and I don’t), it’s been almost a decade. 2006’s The Sweet Escape was a mixed bag of a record, containing some really stellar tracks (the album’s title track, “Early Winter,” “4 in the Morning” to name a few) but was bogged down by too many filler tracks that never lived up to the level of her No Doubt efforts, or even her now iconic solo debut album Love. Angel. Music. Baby. 

Though she can churn out a basic, infectious pop anthem (“Wind It Up,” “Rich Girl,” “Hollaback Girl”) Setfani is at her best when she’s being personal. “What You Waiting For,” “Cool,” “Early Winter” and No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak” are all essential listens, and each detail a story or conflict straight from the singer/songwriter’s life.

Continue reading