#FeelGoodFriday: Rina Sawayama – ‘LUCID’

facebook_logos_PNG19751.png    ios_homescreen_icon.png   app-icon2.png


Rina Sawayama is a Japanese-British singer-songwriter and model based in London who released her first EP in 2017. After signing to Dirty Hit, she released her debut studio album, Sawayama, in 2020.

Produced by hitmaker, BloodPop, ‘LUCID’ is a synthpop anthem that just begs to be danced to and sees Sawayama take on a different, more commercial sound to the rest of her debut album.

The song is fairly mainstream with its dance-pop beat and is certain to propel her more into the limelight as a pop songstress. Comparisons have been made to the likes of Lady Gaga and her 2020 album, Chromatica (which was also produced by BloodPop).

The music video is fun too, featuring Sawayama performing in an other-worldly environment alongside a reflection of herself, with a short behind-the-scenes look at the end of it.

What are your thoughts of this singer-songwriter? Got a #FeelGoodFriday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks


‘LUCID’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/lucid/1540687113?i=1540687503


#ThrowbackThursday: Avril Lavigne – ‘What The Hell’

facebook_logos_PNG19751.png    ios_homescreen_icon.png   app-icon2.png


Avril Lavigne is a Canadian singer-songwriter most notable for her pop punk style and hits such as Complicated, Sk8r Boiand Girlfriend.

In January 2011 (already a decade ago!), Lavigne released her massive single, ‘What The Hell’. The single received critical acclaim with people comparing it to her monster hit, ‘Girlfriend’ for it’s pop punk catchiness.

The song features an iconic organ sound to start with before breaking out into chugging bass guitars and eventually a kick of distorted guitars and the singer’s trademark high-pitched, catchy vocals.

The song actually only ever reached Number 16 in the UK Charts but still received good rotation on radio and music channels alike.

The music video sees Lavigne in bed with her love interest before locking him in a closet and going out, stealing and destroying a taxi, playing basketball with some other men, all the while evading her love interest, who is chasing after her. Eventually she ends up performing at a venue and the video ends up with the couple back in bed. It’s a fun, quirky, typically Avril Lavigne video that’s well worth a watch (although the video is not great quality for some reason).

What are your thoughts of this track, 10 years on? Do you have a #ThrowbackThursday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks


‘What The Hell’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/what-the-hell/532457427?i=532458095


#WildCardWednesday: Julie Bergan – ‘Kiss Somebody’ (with Seeb)

facebook_logos_PNG19751.png    ios_homescreen_icon.png   app-icon2.png


Julie Bergan rose to recognition by releasing a series of covers on YouTube, at the age of 16, eventually signing a deal with Warner Music Norway in 2013.

This particular song (‘Kiss Somebody’) was actually released a year ago, in January 2020 and saw Bergan team up with Norwegian production duo, Seeb.

The song itself uses vocal distortions to make part of the backing beat (with the lyrics, “Make out with her, Make out with him”) alongside other traditional EDM-style components. It’s a banging anthem that begs to be danced to.

The video is fun too and features various couples kissing (including a gay couple), interspersed with shots of Bergan performing with a group of back-up dancers as well as by herself.

This synthpop meets EDM banger is the perfect track for #WildCardWednesday, as Bergan has yet to break into the UK market but I’m sure it won’t be long before she becomes more of a household name over here, if this track is anything to go by.

What are your thoughts of this synthpop banger? Do you have a #WildCardWednesday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks


‘Kiss Somebody’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/kiss-somebody/1542355342?i=1542355349


#TunefulTuesday: Justin Bieber – ‘Anyone’

facebook_logos_PNG19751.png    ios_homescreen_icon.png   app-icon2.png


Justin Bieber is a Canadian pop powerhouse, notable for songs such as What Do You Mean?Sorry and Where Are Ü Now.

‘Anyone’ marks the first new song since the release of his 2020 album, Changes and sees the singer take on a new, optimistic sound somewhere between 1980s and 1990s pop.

When talking about the song, Bieber said: “‘Anyone’ is such a special, hopeful, anthemic song. It sets the tone for a brighter new year full of hope and possibility.” It couldn’t have come at a better time with its release on January 1st 2021, setting the tone for a new year and new hope.

So far, the song has reached Number 4 in the UK Singles Chart.

In the music video, Bieber portrays a 1940s boxer whose love for his partner inspires him to train, fight, and eventually overcome a potential knock-out on his journey to becoming a champion boxer. He even covered up all his tattoos for the shoot. It’s well worth a watch.

What are your thoughts of this massive tune? Do you have a #TunefulTuesday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks


‘Anyone’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/anyone/1544839500?i=1544839502


#MellowMonday: Gabrielle Aplin – ‘When The Lights Go Out’

facebook_logos_PNG19751.png    ios_homescreen_icon.png   app-icon2.png


Gabrielle Aplin is an English singer-songwriter who amassed a following after uploading a series of acoustic music covers to YouTube, before signing to Parlophone in February 2012.

Her style falls anywhere from folk and indie rock to synthpop, with her latest single, ‘When The Lights Go Out’, being a mellow, synth-driven anthem.

This particular song was written shortly after the release of her latest album, Dear Happy. Aplin says, “I wanted to make a song that felt like a hug that you can also dance to and I’m considering it the song that closes the Dear Happy book.”

It does just that – it manages to be a somewhat upbeat record that you can have a boogie too, whilst also being something mellow, easy listening and like the closing of the Dear Happy chapter in her career. It’s a brilliant amalgamation of happiness and calmness and is mellow enough to be a great #MellowMonday start to the week.

I can’t get enough of this track right now!

What are your thoughts of this singer-songwriter’s latest single? Do you have a #MellowMonday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks


‘When The Lights Go Out’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/when-the-lights-go-out-single/1543733734


#Review: Oliver Tree – Ugly Is Beautiful

facebook_logos_PNG19751.png    ios_homescreen_icon.png   app-icon2.png


Muzik Speaks Loves Atlantic Records - SmallerOliver Tree is one of those artists it’s hard to define. Whilst there are some who insist that he is nothing more than an internet meme, his artistry is undeniable and there’s something instantly captivating about him. Having released a heap of singles since signing to Atlantic Records in 2017, it’s only now, in 2020, we’re seeing the release of his debut album, Ugly Is Beautiful. Here’s what we have to say about it…

Oliver Tree - Ugly Is Beautiful.png

Ugly Is Beautiful is the first full-length release from Oliver Tree, who announced his early retirement in March 2020 – only to return in May with the announcement of his debut record, after a hacker held Oliver hostage in exchange for 1 million Instagram likes (which he logged in under 24 hours).

Having already been delayed twice (once due to Covid-19 and once due to the George Floyd and anti-racism protests), this highly-anticipated debut album proves to be worth the wait. Whilst his appearance, to some, is outlandish, this internet personality, musician and filmmaker has made a genre-defying record if ever there was one. Right from the off, Oliver Tree makes his way through a wide variety of genres, from alternative indie rock to hip hop and pop punk to electronic with a great sense of conviction that is nothing short of highly infectious.

One thing that is incredibly impressive about Tree, throughout the album, is his ability to ensure the listener doesn’t take any one moment too seriously or equally to pass it off as a joke either, using lyrical whit to guide the way. One such track is ‘Joke’s On You!’ where Tree makes his feelings known in the line, “Well yes in fact, my dignity’s intact, while I listen to ‘em laugh,” – here he is obviously making light of the fact that people often see him as a joke yet he’s made something of himself and maintained his dignity in doing so.

There is definitely a sense of nostalgia about Ugly Is Beautiful.

One of my favourite tracks has to be the distortion-heavy, electronic-laiden ‘1993’ (featuring Little Ricky ZR3), which was an instant favourite for me as it sort of epitomises much of the album. He uses tasteful electronic elements alongside intentional distortion giving it a real grungy, edgy feel – like much of the record. ‘Again & Again’ is another track that uses those gritty, distorted vocal effects but it equally has a certain radio-like quality to it, due to its indie-rock vibes.

There is definitely a sense of nostalgia throughout Ugly Is Beautiful too with tracks like ‘Jerk’ reminiscing of a down-tempo Nirvana song, ‘Bury Me Alive’ with its quick-fire delivery, like that of a Beastie Boys track or the David Bowie-esque qualities of ‘Miracle Man’.

However, the only time Tree feels truly familiar is on his previously-released singles, ‘Let Me Down’‘Alien Boy’ and ‘Hurt’, whilst the rest of the record feels new, exciting and refreshingly undefinable. This is a vision that is truly unique and entirely his – this is less an act and more of a glimour into the world of Tree, through his eyes.

Although Tree insists this is his “magnum opus” and that he is to retire from music and focus on film-making and producing instead, his label (Atlantic Records) say, “Ugly Is Beautiful is only the beginning. Stay tuned for more from Oliver Tree.” So I guess we will just have to wait and see! Either way, it would be a real shame if this were to be all we hear from him again.

Rating
4


‘Ugly Is Beautiful’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/ugly-is-beautiful/1514394064


Ugly Is Beautiful on Spotify

Hurt (Official Music Video)

Let Me Down (Official Music Video)

Bury Me Alive (Official Unofficial Music Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of Oliver Tree’s debut album? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it out of 5? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or via our social media.


Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other reviews here:

Muzik Speaks Album Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks

#Review: The Chicks – Gaslighter

facebook_logos_PNG19751.png    ios_homescreen_icon.png   app-icon2.png


Dixie Chicks are a well known country pop band comprised of singer Natalie Maines and multi-instrumentalist sisters Martie Erwin Maguire and Emily Strayer. The group initially formed in 1989 , in Dallas, Texas and have, to date, released 7 studio albums. Now, 2020 sees the band release their eighth record and their first album in 14 years, Gaslighter. It is also the first record to be released under the new name, The Chicks, following the George Floyd protests. Here’s what we have to say about it…

The Chicks - Gaslighter.jpg

The album launches with title track, ‘Gaslighter’, a no holds barred anthem about the breakdown of Maines’ relationship and ultimate divorce. In fact, this particular topic provides a lot of material for the album – it was originally slated to be a simple record of covers in order to fulfill their contract with Sony, but following her divorce, she was inspired to start songwriting again.

‘Tights On My Boat’ is another one of those tell-all tracks detailing an affair her ex-husband had, with a lover, on the couple’s boat, on which she discovered a tell-tale pair of tights. The track (along with a couple of others) is written with pop songwriter and artist, Julia Michaels. Additionally, the trio collaborated heavily with Taylor Swift‘s 1989 producer, Jack Antonoff, seeing him take production credits for the record and some songwriting credits too.

This album certainly doesn’t disappoint when it comes to personal or political songwriting. ‘March March’ takes a look at issues of gun control, climate change and underfunded education and puts them through a contemporary bluegrass lens. Whilst ‘Set Me Free’ is all about Maines looking to be released from her marriage.

It’s an exciting pop take on a country record that is likely to reignite fans’ passions for the band and pick up a whole host of new ones along the way too.

Possibly some of the best tracks on the album come in the form of ‘Sleep At Night’, a banjo-led candid look at her ex-husband’s affair; ‘Texas Man’ with its upbeat rhythm combined with rousing lyrics and the captivating vocal riffs of ‘Young Man’.

Possibly my favourite track on the record has to be ‘Julianna Calm Down’ – it builds beautifully throughout with a really catchy, contemporary pop edge to it. Whilst ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’ has some wonderful vocal harmonies and a sense of honesty about reflecting on how Maines met her ex-husband.

The Chicks may have changed their name and their new music may well have a certain degree of poppiness that die-hard country fans could cringe at, but this is exactly the evolution you would expect from the band’s last album back in 2006, to where they are today. It’s an exciting pop take on a country record that is likely to reignite fans’ passions for the band and pick up a whole host of new ones along the way too.

Rating
4


‘Gaslighter’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/gaslighter/1499733036


Gaslighter on Spotify

Gaslighter (Official Video)

Sleep At Night (Official Video)

March March (Official Lyric Video)

Julianna Calm Down (Official Lyric Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of the band’s eighth studio album? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it out of 5? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or via our social media.


Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other reviews here:

Muzik Speaks Album Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks

#FeelGoodFriday: Jonas Blue & MAX – ‘Naked (Club Mix)’

facebook_logos_PNG19751.png    ios_homescreen_icon.png   app-icon2.png


Since its release a couple weeks ago, the anthemic ‘Naked’ has amassed over 13 million global audio and video streams, but now the hit-maker Jonas Blue and exciting young talent MAX are releasing the club mix of their collaboration, which sees Jonas create a mix true to his roots.

This particular track is a high-octane display of the pop hitmaker’s specialist production talents. Armed with pumping kick drums and euphoric piano keys, the club mix adds a fresh dimension to the already, highly-infectious original, making it the perfect track for this week’s #FeelGoodFriday.

No music video has been released for the club mix but the original music video can be seen below, featuring the pair performing amongst neon and silhouetted ladies.

What are your thoughts of the club mix of this pair’s new single, ‘Naked’? Do you have a #FeelGoodFriday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks


‘Naked (Club Mix)’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/naked-club-mix-single/1520494645


#WildCardWednesday: The Pussycat Dolls – ‘React’

facebook_logos_PNG19751.png    ios_homescreen_icon.png   app-icon2.png


The Pussycat Dolls are back, making a return with their sassy new single, ‘React’.

Having taken a 9 year break, the girl group are back (minus Melody Thornton) announcing a new world tour and album in the pipeline. The quintet (made up of Nicole Scherzinger, Carmit Bachar, Ashley RobertsJessica Sutta and Kimberly Wyatt) made a triumphant return on the UK’s X Factor: Celebrity, performing a string of their hits before leading into their brand new song, ‘React. The group’s performance attracted over 400 complaints to ITV due to their raunchy outfits and sexual dance moves – well done girls! Keep up the good work.

The song talks about a relationship where the one person is trying to get a reaction out of the other and topped by a catchy chorus and sexy rhythm.

The video is just as you’d expect, packed with sexy outfits and sexual dance moves, featuring the group performing in scenes of both fire and water, making for a great viewing – it’s not the most interesting video in terms of concept but they sure know what their audience wants to see!

Turn it up loud and check out the girls’ return to form! I can’t wait for the album.

What are your thoughts of this girl band’s first reunion single? Got a #WildCardWednesday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks


‘React’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/react/1494489816?i=1494489827


#TunefulTuesday: Simple Creatures – ‘One Little Lie’

facebook_logos_PNG19751.png    ios_homescreen_icon.png   app-icon2.png


Simple Creatures are an American pop rock duo made up of Mark Hoppus (blink-182, +44) and Alex Gaskarth (All Time Low).

To date, the pair have released a couple of EPs – both in 2019 – and had a string of singles but possibly their most catchy song is this track, ‘One Little Lie’. This is such a great crossover between pop and pop punk with it’s rockier verses and synthpop style choruses that you can’t help but just want to listen to it over and over again.

Lyrically it is diverse too and resonates with quite a few people, I’m sure – I know it means a lot to me and provides an anthem for my own recent struggles, so I’m sure it does for others too.

The video for the song is pretty fun too, packed with facts and lies, leaving the viewer to decipher between fact and fiction as the pair become increasingly surrounded by objects referenced in some of the lyrics.

Turn this track up loud, put it on repeat and enjoy the video!

What are your thoughts of this duo’s catchy track and fun video? Do you have a #TunefulTuesday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks


‘One Little Lie’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/one-little-lie/1475817979?i=1475817985