The 'Old' Weeknd is back

The enigmatic R&B singer Abel Tesfaye, or more popularly known as The Weeknd, is notorious for

The mysterious R&B singer produces new album that resembles the dark, sensual sound of his older albums Trilogy and Beauty Behind the Madness. Photo courtesy of iTunes.

producing songs that have an alluring, soft and sensual sound. His songs carry an abundance of references to sex, drugs and other NSFW topics.

He’s also popular for showing a reserved and mysterious side in Hollywood by seldom revealing his true feelings and the trade-mark somber facial expression.

Even his start in the music industry remains a mysterious story as his career began by posting three songs to his YouTube channel under the title “xoxxxoooxo”.

In the span of two weeks, one of those songs, “What You Need”, was given the title “Best New Track” on an indie-music review site called Pitchfork (Business Insider).

Since then, The Weeknd has gained more attention with performances at Coachella, winning several Grammy-awards and creating hit-songs that top the charts.

On Mar. 29, The Weeknd released his newest album titled “My Dear Melancholy”.

I knew instantly by the title that this album would mimic his ‘original’ sound from previous albums like “Trilogy”, “House of Balloons”, and “Beauty Behind the Madness”. I also knew that he always released songs that had a somber, raw sound, especially when he talked about relationships, I knew this would fulfill my expectations.

Well, I was wrong. This album exceeded my expectations. If I were

The sound of this album is so raw and the passion in his voice is so intense that you will literally feel your heart ripped out of your chest over a relationship that you probably never even had. You’ll feel emotions and sensations that you didn’t even know you could feel. I mean, he literally had me thinking about that boy in second-grade who chose to partner up with another girl instead of me on a group project (I still think about you, come back please).

I was initially disappointed when I found out that there were only six songs on this album because I needed my soul to be content but some fans have speculated that there will be a total of fourteen songs on the album since it is an EP. However, these rumors have yet to be proven.

There is not one song on this album that I do not love, which is typically unusual for me even when it comes to The Weeknd. My personal favorite songs are Call Out My Name, which is rumored to be about his relationship with Selena Gomez as one of the lines is, “I almost cut a piece of myself for your life,” as she had been looking for a kidney donor last year, Privilege, and Try Me.

You really have to listen to the message that the artist is trying to convey through their music and the influences behind those messages before you can make a judgment. Although The Weeknd’s music may seem superficial with the sex and drug-references, there really is a deeper meaning to him as well as his music.

I highly recommend this album if you are a fan of his old sound or if you’re simply into music that tugs at your emotions. This album will make you feel alive. It will reach down into the depths of your soul and pull at the strings of your heart in the best way possible.

Cardi B does it for the culture

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Cardi B makes her way to top spot of the rap game with the release of her debut album “Invasion of Privacy.” Photo courtesy of iTunes.

ess than a year after her rise to rap stardom with single, “Bodak Yellow,” Cardi B, the Bronx MC, released her debut album,  “Invasion of Privacy.”

When she announced her album release date my excitement and anticipation for the album was unbearable.

I remember listening to the first two singles “Bodak Yellow” and “Bartier Cardi” featuring 21 savage. Both of these singles were filled with an unapologetic attitude, hard-hitting lyrics and simple yet catchy production.

I built up a lot of hype surrounding her debut album and let’s just say the results were not disappointing.

The first track I listened to, which she released a week before, was “Be Careful,” where she raps about being in an unfaithful relationship and warning her partner to start taking her feelings into consideration.

The storytelling and vulnerability that Cardi showcases was a pleasant surprise. I think it was a smart choice to release this song before the album because people tend to always expect the attitude-filled, intimidating raps whereas this song had a different vibe that many women could relate to if they are going through any sort if strain in a relationship with a significant other.

In this track she also shows off her vocals, which were not unique, but still something new.

Cardi showcased her capability to present raw emotions through music in multiple tracks.

“Thru Your Phone,” was another more sentimental track talking about infidelity in a relationship.

Her other solo songs were also well constructed lyrically and production wise, such as the first track off the album, “Get Up 10.”

Cardi raps about her struggle of going from rags to riches over a mellow, simple beat that matches her aggressive, emotion filled tone.

Cardi’s ability to lyrically present situations in her life with a message to relate to her listeners is what makes her music so likeable and real.

To contrast to the more emotional songs, she still stays true to her aggressive, gangster like beats and raps that she came into the industry with.

Songs like “Money Bag” and “Bickenhead” are uplifting tracks that listeners can get down to and hype each other up.

From YG to SZA the album features some of the most well known rappers and r&b artists.

My least favorite collaboration was “Drip” featuring Migos, which just sounded like another Migos song with no lyricism or underlying message. Cardi still delivered on her part however she was overshadowed by the production and other three members of Migos.

The other collabs did redeem this disappointing track however, such as “She Bad” featuring YG,  “I Do” featuring SZA, “Best Life” featuring Chance the Rapper and “Ring” featuring Kehlani. Kehlani and SZA were perfect compliments to the album with their unique vocals and delivery.

Cardi also stays true to her latin roots through “I like it” featuring Bad Bunny and J Balvin who are some of the most popular latin music artist at the moment. The afro-caribbean beat and spanish lyrics had me dancing all throughout my living room.  

Cardi’s versatility throughout this album has landed her the top spot amongst female rappers. She came into the game with a carefree vibe and it shines through her latest piece of work.

She is not worried about what everyone else is doing  nor should she be because she is setting the tone with her music.

She has a distinct sound that sets her apart from other mainstream female rappers. She does not go out of her way to try impress instead she goes into the studio, raps about what she wants to while staying true to her character and the simplicity behind it all is what makes it work so well.

 

‘Not a bad thing’ to experiment?

W hen Justin Timberlake released “The 20/20 Experience” five years ago after great anticipation from fans, the album opened with 968,000 sales and went on to become 2013’s top seller, according to Billboard.

For his latest release, “Man of the Woods,” which mingles country vibes with his distinctive and signature pop and funk, Timberlake once again has kept his fans waiting. This album marks Timberlake’s fourth Billboard No.1 album and is the best-selling album in the U.S. since Taylor Swift’s “Reputation” in December 2017, according to Billboard.

Advertised as a return to the singer’s Tennessee roots, “Man of the Woods” was released close to Timberlake’s performance at the Super Bowl halftime show, reminding us of his role in Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction in 2004.

During the halftime show, Timberlake donned a suit emblazoned with images of a wooded landscape and a bandana to match the theme of his album. Despite dancing more than he sang, his tribute to Prince and Super Bowl selfie with now internet-famous Ryan McKenna redeemed the underwhelming affair.

As for the album itself, Timberlake’s return to his roots feels incomplete, as standout songs like “Supplies” and “Filthy” gyrate persuasively around bombastic, sexual R&B. “Midnight Summer Jam” has the appealing, yet busy feel that Timberlake has mastered throughout the years, with heavy influence from Timbaland.

However, songs that actually stick to his proclaimed country theme fail, perhaps intentionally, to combine the rural with an edgy, digital aesthetic. “Flannel” is disappointingly flat, sounding almost like a lullaby. “Montana” lacks originality and resonates strongly with mainstream pop. Moreover, “Hers,” recorded with Jessica Biel, feels like it is trying too hard to be poignant.

Many tracks commence similarly, with excerpts of soundbites and a string instrument strumming in the background. While this may manifest his attempt at retrieving his roots, the songs lack the carefree, soulful tone that often comes with country music.

On another note, the songs “Higher Higher” and “Morning Light,” featuring Alicia Keys are my personal favorites, as they bring a semblance of authenticity back to Timberlake’s reputation.

Nonetheless, Timberlake clearly is still making headlines, currently with three songs in the top 20 Billboard songs chart: “Say Something” featuring Chris Stapleton, “Man of the Woods,” and his 2016 hit “Can’t Stop the Feeling.”

Timberlake will kick off his world tour in Toronto in March, stopping by San Jose on Apr. 24-25 where he can hopefully “bring his sexy back.”

‘Black Panther’ soundtrack lives up to same hype as film

Not only does Marvel’s upcoming film “Black Panther” host an incredible cast, but the movie’s soundtrack brings musical icon Kendrick Lamar to the list of creatives working on the highly anticipated movie.

Lamar announced his role in producing and curating the soundtrack on Jan. 4, when he dropped “All the Stars,” a collaboration with SZA, which is a featured song on the album. The entirety of the soundtrack was released on Feb. 9.

Kendrick Lamar shows his raw genius in producing the “Black Panther” soundtrack.

The album presents songs from and inspired by the “Black Panther” film, which is to hit theaters on Feb. 16. The movie has created a wave of hype, as it is anticipated to be a fresh blend of superhero action and social commentary. More tickets were sold in advance than any previous superhero film, according to CNN.

A large part of the excitement surrounding “Black Panther” is the fact that it is the first Marvel film directed by a black person and one of the only blockbuster superhero movies with a predominantly African-American cast. The movie shines a light on African culture, something often ignored in Hollywood, especially in action features.
Lamar’s album reflects this same culture from the movie. Not only does the soundtrack host some of the most prominent black artists of the industry, such as The Weeknd, Khalid, SZA, Anderson Paak and Travis Scott, but the sounds and lyrics of the album offer a range of perspectives that emphasize the values of the film.

There is a huge spectrum of variety in the soundtrack. Each featured artist is allowed to express their own style under the theme of the film, with songs ranging from the pop-inspired R&B in “The Ways” to the intense hip-hop of “X.”

Lamar keeps the album cohesive in subtle nods to his own style heard in every song. His ability to tie such a broad range of songs together into a united format shows his musical prowess. His choice to allow participating musicians such freedom in expression strengthens the message of the album through diversity.

Due to the expanse of style, it is unlikely that one person will love every single song on the soundtrack. Personally, I disliked “King’s Dead” because I am not a fan of trap rap. However, I adored the reggae-rap style of “Seasons.” These are matters of taste, and despite mixed opinions on certain songs, the album as a united work is a genuine masterpiece.

“Black Panther” is already set to break records and set new expectations as a superhero movie, and in this same manner, Lamar’s accompanying album expands possibilities for what a film soundtrack can be.

Same genre, same culture, same upward trajectory for Migos

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lmost a year after their sophomore album, “Culture,” debuted to much acclaim, Migos, the Georgia-based hip-hop trio, released their latest album, “Culture II.”

Becoming the subject of speculation inside of the rap community, the project was first teased in June 2017, with a handful of singles being released this past December and January.

Southern hip-hop had never been my favorite subgenre of rap; most trap music, save for that of Gucci Mane, seemed one-dimensional and uninspired to me. However, “Culture,” specifically songs like “T-Shirt” and “Bad and Boujee,” opened my ears to the region.

Migos’ third full-length album marks a continuation of the group’s success. Photo courtesy of Quality Control Music, Motown and Capitol Records.

The distinctive voices and styles of Quavo, Takeoff and Offset — the three members of Migos — blended with the darker aura of a trap beat sounded fresh and intuitive, qualities southern rap previously lacked.

Thus, my expectations for “Culture II” were not merely high, but overinflated. I was almost disappointed that the first track, “Higher We Go,” was largely a generic trap song, with little lyrical substance (unless you consider lyrics about illegal substances substance).

During my initial listen, many of the songs fell short of my expectations in the same manner: more mindless drivel about drugs and cars, and more repetitive and uninspired hooks.

However, a few tracks stood out, namely the December single “Stir Fry,” with its active, pop-like beat, allusions to southern food and cooking and a hook by Quavo.

I finished listening entirely unimpressed, but gave a couple sections of the album a second try. Remarkably, I wasn’t nearly as disappointed the second time around, with adjusted expectations and more clarity on the direction of the music.

Migos hasn’t done anything revolutionary or groundbreaking, nor have they created a masterpiece that will eventually be used as a time capsule for trap music. Nonetheless, “Culture II” has its appeals, both to those with more refined ears for rap and newer listeners who are getting their first taste of the genre.

The first few songs, including the January single “Superstars” and “Walk It Talk It,” are largely similar to the rest of Migos’ discography, with one member singing the hook and rapping a verse and the other two rotating in for a few bars of their own. Quavo leads the two tracks, and while his hooks and lyricism aren’t exactly ingenius, the more unique beats on the two tracks compliment his tangy southern accent well. The features on the first few tracks, being Drake and 21 Savage, both blend well with Migos, but neither was particularly spectacular.

However, the highlights of the album are in the middle, being “CC,” “Stir Fry” and “Too Much Jewelry.” Gucci Mane makes an appearance on the first of those; his unique voice lends itself well to the more traditional trap beat. “Too Much Jewelry” features veteran producer Zaytoven on the beat, with Takeoff rapping the majority of both the hook and verses.

The latter portion of the album, while nothing special, is equally as solid as the first part. The premier single of the album, “MotorSport,” features a pair of female vocalists in Nicki Minaj and Cardi B. The project’s third-to-last track, “Made Men,” is another standout, with a relaxed, upbeat vibe, not dissimilar to that of R&B-influenced hip-hop.

The question surrounding the album is not whether the various standouts make it a success, but rather whether the remaining generic, uninspired filler tracks drag the album down.

Migos, one of the most prolific acts in hip-hop, needs to focus less on proving themselves to everybody, but rather show the industry whether or not they will take trap music in a new direction.

In a way, “Culture II” does that, probably exactly in the manner Migos wants it to. The album oozes Atlanta vibes and conveys the feelings and emotions of a hustler in a way only rap could. In a a genre where the best music follows a strict formula, the group does a solid job of stepping in a new direction while staying true to their culture.

A maniacal fall out of flavor

W hen I was in middle school, Fall Out Boy played constantly on the radio, making it almost impossible not to hear one song a day. I was more than okay with that. Songs like “Centuries” and “Uma Thurman” filled my earbuds and I loved listening to rock music, which contrasted my usual Taylor Swift or Miley Cyrus songs.

As the years went by, Fall Out Boy faded from my playlists and I forgot about them. Then came “Mania.”
Before Fall Out Boy’s new album was released on Jan. 19, I had high expectations for Fall Out Boy’s new album. I expected an alternative vibe which was the reason they appealed to so many fans and what had made me listen to them all those years ago. Imagine my distaste when I found the album was nothing I thought it would be.

Fall Out Boy’s new album dissatisfies fans with new album with the only appealing song being “Champions.”

In their new album, Fall Out Boy blindly follows the new norm of giving an electronic background to their songs instead of using classic rock instruments. For example, in the first single of the album, “Young and Menace,” there was an extremely long interlude showing off the electronic backbone of the song. The large instrumental portion seemed overly long, and I found myself bored waiting for the vocals to appear. Overall, it didn’t fit the style that rock music normally portrays.

Instrumental is not the only problem in “Mania.” “Heaven’s Gate,” a song that focuses on a religiously sinful type of love, tried to mimic a soulful vibe like Hozier’s “Take Me to Church,” but falls short of the 2014 single. This was partly due to lead singer Patrick Stump’s voice, which gave no depth to the song, and therefore, no soul.

The songs melted into each other as I was listening, creating a whirlwind of unmemorable and identical tunes. “Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)” and “HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T” have the same snapping beat, and “Stay Frosty Royal Milk Tea” is not actually about the popular tea drink.

The only great song to come out of this album is the second single: “Champions.” “Champions” is the closest song to the original rock that Fall Out Boy is known for, and it delivers on all the aspects the band became famous for.

In the song, Stump sings, “If I can live through this, I can do anything,” inspiring listeners to keep on going and find where their strength comes from. The song mirrors the same hard hitting, inspirational energy Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” gave. “Champions” goes back to Fall Out Boy’s alternative roots rather than displaying the electronic music present in all the other songs, and delivers a perfect message for this day and age.

As someone who was way too excited for Fall Out Boy’s new music, I would suggest listening to the previously released singles before deciding to purchase the full length album. It’ll give a small sample to the album and then one can decide for themselves whether or not “Mania” is worth it.

  • Artist: Fall Out Boy
  • Release date: Jan. 19
  • Genre: Alternative
  • Price: $11.99
  • Stars: 3.5

‘War & Leisure’ wins the battle

M iguel, R&B/soul artist, has been under the radar since he released his last album, “Wildheart.” However, his newest work might propel him into the stardom he’s always deserved.

Not only has Miguel resurrected the true meaning of R&B/soul music in “War & Leisure,” he has rejuvenated the genre as a whole.

The newer, fresher, more original sound that shines in his eclectic music, through modern production and soulful vocals fills the gap in R&B music right now. His unique melodies and  ad-libs reveal his one-of-a-kind artistry.

Miguel released his latest album, “War & Leisure” last Friday Dec. 1.

Although, he blends rock, hip-hop and electronic sounds, there is the hint of familiarity in Miguel’s music attributable to R&B.

The versatility that Miguel has shown in this album leads the listener through a range of contagious emotions. I was already snapping my fingers and dancing to the smooth beat of “Pineapple Skies” not even two tracks in.

In the ninth track, “Caramelo Duro,” Miguel showed off his spanish singing skills in a collaboration with up and coming Colombian artist Kali Uchis. The funky beat and sexy vocals had me moving my hips as well.

In addition to the groovy songs on the album, there were also more laid-back tracks such as “Come Through and Chill,” featuring J.Cole and Salaam Remi. The subtle sample vocals in the background complimented his effortless singing in the chorus in a way that cleared my mind and filled the room with a vibe that only Miguel can convey.

This album is exactly what has been missing in the R&B/soul genre. The way in which Miguel’s voice blended in with the tracks in this record was enough for me to channel the emotions he was singing with.

The endless experimentation in his music reveals the  uniqueness to his sound that is unparalleled right now. He pushes the R&B boundaries, but never loses the genre’s vibe.

Miguel is bringing a whole new energy to his music that makes it more than enjoyable. It is the simplistic lyrics, effortless vocals and intricate production that will have people playing this album on repeat.

Tove Lo’s new album loses characteristic grit

P erhaps most known for the explicit hit single “Habits (Stay High),” Swedish pop phenomenon Tove Lo is back with her third album, “Blue Lips,” which offers a new dimension to her previously raw and gritty tune.

“Habits (Stay High),” with its surge in popularity, was forever etched into Lo’s musical identity, and this is both a blessing and a curse.

“Habits (Stay High)” focuses on tropes we hear so often in music — sex and drugs and all that jazz. But somehow, through both Lo’s songwriting mastery and notes belted out full of raw emotion, these vulgar topics become a sophisticated, and more important, immensely powerful melancholy. An anthem almost, for the lost and heartbroken.

Much of Lo’s songs derives from her personal experiences — the same can be said of “Blue Lips.” Compared to her previous songs, “Blue Lips” gave a more pop-esque vibe to it, with a special focus on the beat — multidimensional groves powered with Lo’s haunting melody making a majority of the songs optimal dance songs.

In all honesty,while I will forever appreciate Lo’s lyrical genius, that is distinct from the overall composition of the 14 songs in “Blue Lips.”

Her newest album is reminiscent of many pop songs populated on the radio, and dare I say, decreased the original grit and sophistication Lo’s previous works have offered. In a way, they were forgettable — the beats were fresh, her voice is hauntingly beautiful, but nothing grabbed me. I would not replay a majority of the songs in the mornings when I got ready for school.

That being said, I applaud Lo on her dimensionality — her album features songs like “PITCH BLACK” and “LIGHT BEAMS”, lyric-less beats which complement as well give much depth to the album.

Songs to commend would definitely  have to be “9th of October” and “Romantics” — the beauty in these songs lies therein of the lyrics, truly poetry in motion.

For any shying away from perhaps the reoccurring explicit content featured in Lo’s music, I urge that you focus less on the subject matter, and more on message.

All in all, “Blue Lips” did not etch into my heart, but provided for a nice escape with its richly layered melodies and beats.

‘Everyday is Christmas’ cheerfully kicks off the holiday season

Although I enjoy turning on the radio in December and singing along to the classic Christmas carols as much as, if not more than, the next person, I must confess I get tired of hearing the same played-out covers my grandparents likely listened to in the 1940s. By late December every year, my reaction is the same: if I hear one more sappy remix of “Baby it’s Cold Outside,” I will scream.

Amid a genre prone to unoriginality, Australian singer Sia’s new album “Everyday is Christmas” shines like a string of holiday lights. Released Nov. 17, the album contains ten tracks, ranging from ballads like “Snowman” to the cheerful, bouncy “Candy Cane Lane.”

The album begins with the instant hit “Santa’s Coming For Us.” Though the title sounds more fitting for a Christmas-themed horror film rather than a song, I enjoyed its joyful tone and reggae-style beat. Though I could only understand around two-thirds of the lyrics — as Sia is not known for enunciation — I still found it catchy and fun to listen to.

However, not every song featured on this album deserves to be added to your Christmas playlist. I especially could have done without “Puppies are Forever.” Despite its important message, the song’s repetitiveness gets old quickly, and its serious subject matter contrasts sharply with its peppy melody.

At times, the album seemed to be a veritable grab-bag of seasonal cliches, brimming with snowflakes, snowmen and candy canes. There is also a glaring, almost lazy tendency of repetition that is hard to write off. For example, “Snowflake” and “Snowman” both reflect on temporary love, and two of the songs are titled “Underneath the Mistletoe” and “Underneath the Christmas Lights.”

Overall, Sia deserves credit for not simply churning out another cookie-cutter Christmas album. Her vocals are undeniably excellent, and she managed to create ten holiday themed songs that still sound very much her own with a little festive twinkle. If you are a fan of Sia’s powerful, unconventional style, you will likely enjoy these songs just as much as the Christmas classics.

 

Release Date: Nov. 17, 2017

iTunes Price: $9.99

Length: 33:07

Rating: 3 stars

The ‘thrill’ was worth the wait

‘The Thrill of It All’ includes Smith’s hit, “Too Good at Goodbyes,” which he released earlier this year.

For the most part, love songs these days are repetitive and predictable. Therefore, I do not particularly buy into to the typical tunes that boast heartache and unfinished relationships.

However, Sam Smith’s second studio album “The Thrill of It All,” has pleasantly surprised me.

One of the main problems with current popular music is that it can’t be related or applied to the lives of everyday people. At least I can’t say I’ve been driving around in a foreign car, in a foreign city, with a handsome foreigner who I just so happen to be in love with. And I’m guessing, neither can you.

Sam Smith is, of all things, relatable.

Sure, the man has talent. He’s got four Grammys to show for it, but that’s not the only reason he’s become one of the most successful male solo artist of this generation.

He wears his heart on his sleeve. Despite the fact that displaying all his failed relationships is quite embarrassing, he’s open, he’s honest and he has found a way to disguise the ugliness of heartbreak into melodies with beautiful vocals.

Not only is he a talented singer, but he also wrote the majority of his new album without making every single song sound exactly the same. Smith has the perfect balance of mid tempos, ballads and up-beat bops that keep the album cohesive. These are the type of songs you have a soft spot for for a lifetime.

It truly is hard to hate “The Thrill of It All.” Imagine a song that is so good it can make you feel something you haven’t even experienced yourself. Smith has seemed to create 14 songs that make you feel that, and they’re all on the same album.

Ultimately this album portrays something that, for some, may be worth taking away. His previous music gave a message along the lines of “I will love you no matter how bad it hurts,” yet his new music promotes a new lesson; that the most rewarding relationship is the one you maintain with yourself.

Listen to the entire album and you’ll see why

While having heard a song on the radio, you could say it was love at first song. Then as the weeks go on, replaying the song one too many time, it grows stale and I unlimitedly become bored of the song which I had once loved.

While in the moment it’s satisfying, the listener is missing out on many other songs from the artist. As an artist draws from a blank canvas, so does a musical artist. The artist still has a story to tell and has the delivery methodically put together.   

While hearing a popular song from Rihanna on the radio, I really liked the beat and how the lyrics seemed to intertwine perfectly. Though I was not satisfied with just one song, so I decided to look up more songs from her “ANTI” album.

What I found was amazing.

What I found was an immense appreciation for the artists ability to create a well put together album from start to finish. A story told through intense beats and lyrics weaved through a theme that flows perfectly in both ears.

Having an understanding of how much time the artist put in the booth, made me appreciate the entirety of the album. Especially when it comes to the story the artist is telling.

For example when listening to a G-Eazy’s album, “These Things Happen”, he often expresses his struggle with becoming famous and his struggle with family.

“Yesterday my mom got out of surgery, Wasn’t even in town.. Finding out the news late, Imagine how that sh-t sound” Eazy said. From his song Opportunity Cost.

While listening to his particular album I felt a connection to his lyrics, how he contemplates balancing two lives and his struggle with being there for his family.

While listening to the entirety of an album, I would normally have not considered doing this but since after giving my friend CD’s, we had the chance to listen to the full album while on long drives. I find that being in the right element is important for absorbing the full recognition of the album. For example listening in the car while relaxed and on long drives is the perfect place.

Having no distractions is the way to go. While listening to music while doing homework is also a way to listen to songs for a long duration.    

I challenge you to absorb and appreciate an artist’s entire album, for the glorious masterpiece that it is.          

The search is over

Unlike some of his older, optimistic and playful music, John Mayer’s new album “The Search for Everything” is brutally honest about the pain of heartbreak. Even the melancholy expression on Mayer’s face in the cover album art expresses his struggle to find happiness through love.

Some of the songs on this album were done in a different style than Mayer typically does, with slower pop sounds compared to old songs with a folk sound.

The song-writing on this album is what kept me coming back to listen to more music. Mayer’s smooth voice coupled with brilliant lyrics made me understand the pain he is trying to express and relish the happy moments he describes.

Most tracks feature simplistic instrumentals that pair stunningly with the thoughtful words Mayer sings. Another interesting layer I found within the album was its ability to serve as background music as I completed homework, which juxtaposed with its ability to capture all my attention if I allowed.

My favorite track on the album was “Changing,” a ballad that discusses every person’s ability to continue changing throughout their life, regardless of age. It is an inspirational song that encourages listeners to grow and become stronger after facing challenges.

Another of my favorite songs was “You’re Gonna Live Forever In Me,” which dove into the impact other people leave on our own lives. I appreciate that Mayer took an optimistic approach to transform the sad concept of loss into music.

Some of my other favorite songs on the album include “In the Blood,” “Still Feel Like Your Man” and “Rosie.”

With “The Search for Everything,” Mayer has crafted a beautiful piece of art that many can relate to. The album both celebrates and mourns love through unique and thoughtful lyrics. Mayer is a talented artist with plenty of hit songs, but this expressive album shows that he is nowhere near done creating incredible music.