#Review: Bars and Melody – Carpe Diem – EP

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Bars & Melody (check out our 2017 interview with the guys, here) first rose to fame as contestants on Britain’s Got Talent in 2014. The pair were automatically sent into the semi-finals of the competition, when Simon Cowell pressed the “golden buzzer” after watching their performance of ‘Hopeful’ (later released as their debut single). The duo ultimately finished in third place in the series but since then have gone on to build a very loyal following and built up a big name for themselves, returning to feature in 2019’s, Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions. To date, they have released 3 albums and a couple of EPs but now 2021 sees the pair take on a new sound with the release of Carpe Diem. Here’s what we have to say about it…

Bars and Melody - Carpe Diem

What is immediately clear from the opening bars of ‘Santorini’ is that this is a new Bars & Melody. The pair have taken on a surprising new sound and one that’s clearly been itching to surface for some time.

Their 2020 album, Sadboi, was a mixture of pop hits and the start of experimenting with a new sound but ultimately was a successful crowd-pleaser in preparation for Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.

Since then though, the pair have taken the opportunity to go out as independent artists and create something new and altogether more mature in sound, in the form of new EP, Carpe Diem.

This is a mini-album that emanates a new-found confidence.

Throughout the EP, the auto-tune has been applied heavily and the bass and beats are booming, creating a more mumble-rap and at times, even trap-sounding beat – it’s their most credible and urban sound to date. It’s something new and exciting from the pair and undoubtedly shows the type of music they’ve been dying to make for some time, after now not being held back by major labels.

This is a mini-album that emanates a new-found confidence and sees the pair using explicit and at times, even risqué lyrics. It’s a clear departure from their former, squeaky-clean image and sees the pair rapping and singing about more adult concepts.

‘Santorini’ is a sure-fire hit for fans and the pair indicate it being one of their favourites on the EP too, despite it’s risqué lyrics. Meanwhile, ‘Little Missy’ showcases Leondre Devries’ rapping skills and Charlie Lenehan’s lyricism at their best. ‘Own Ways’ is another banger and a great way to end the EP with its thumping bass and its catchy hook.

Some of the lyrics could be thought of as being a little vacuous in places, like ‘No Type’s, “You a perfect 10, yeah” and that of the ‘Russian Model’ chorus but somehow the credibility of the beats and the fact it fits with the genre itself make up for it.

Whatever you think, Devries and Lenehan have demonstrated a new-found maturity and set of writing and rapping skills across the EP, showing that they are diverse and have the longevity to adapt and make something new of themselves. It would just be nice to hear Lenehan with a little less autotune on though as his voice is great without it!

Whilst it’s still somewhat of a shock to hear them now, this is the new-and-improved Bars & Melody and one that leaves me excited for their next full-length album! Let’s hope they don’t keep us waiting too long and continue to grow and develop in sound as they themselves continue to grow up and mature.

Rating
4


‘Carpe Diem – EP’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/carpe-diem-ep/1545462855


Carpe Diem – EP on Spotify

Santorini x Little Missy (Official Music Video)

Own Ways (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of the duo’s latest EP? 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.


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#WildCardWednesday: Misha B – ‘Letter To My Sistars’

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Misha B is finally back with her latest single, ‘Letter To My Sistars’, and I couldn’t be happier to see her return!

The latest song from the ex-X Factor artist has a definitive, old-school R&B / Hip Hop vibe with an understated beatbox intro, vinyl-tinted beats and clean guitar melodies throughout, topped off with some wonderfully raw and effortless vocal harmonies.

‘Letter To My Sistars’ is a strong departure from her post-X Factor days yet still remains polished and true to herself. It’s a female empowerment track about looking out for each other (Don’t mess – “If you put a finger on my sister, guaranteed your head pop, pop, pop just like blister”); an urban anthem at its best.

The video for the track is fun too – seeing Misha B performing alongside strong female characters in and around the urban environment but also has narrative segments depicting Misha as a child, with one of her “sistars”, as referenced in the track. Go check it out, below.

I’m super excited for this return and hope that maybe this will signal an upcoming debut album?! We can only hope!

What are your thoughts of Misha B’s latest release? Are you as pleased to see her back, as we are? 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
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‘Letter To My Sistars’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/letter-to-my-sistars-single/1467045615


#Review: Bars & Melody – Generation Z


   

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Bars & Melody (check out our interview with the guys, here) first rose to fame as contestants on Britain’s Got Talent in 2014. The pair were automatically sent into the semi-finals of the competition, when Simon Cowell pressed the “golden buzzer” after watching their performance of ‘Hopeful’ (later released as their debut single). The duo ultimately finished in third place in the series but since then have gone on to build a very loyal following and built up a big name for themselves.

Bars & Melody - Generation Z

The album opens with heavy-hitting ‘Allergic to the Sun’ which sets the tone perfectly for the album, showing the duo’s departure from conventional pop music into a far more edgy sound. It’s quite apocalyptic in it’s feel and reflects the album artwork brilliantly.

Not only has Leondre‘s voice got deeper…so have the lyrics and the styles of the songs – there are quite a few songs based on relationships and dealing with issues related to growing up but the pair are truly writing from the heart. Some of the biggest standout tracks are: ‘Apologise’ (with its beautiful simplicity and captivating chorus); ‘Faded’ (for its anthemic chorus and club-like sound); ‘Serious’ (probably one of the most pop tracks on the album – it reminds me somewhat of Olly Murs) and ‘I Won’t Let You Go’ (Charlie’s vocals are so full-on and passionate on this track – I would really like to hear him use this tone more often).

There is a certain mixtape quality to the record – it is somewhat experimental in its approach, but that’s not a bad thing!

The production of the album is tinted with urban flavours throughout; each song is unique in its own way and whilst it does come together as a brilliant body of work, overall, there is a certain mixtape quality to the record. There are some fantastic songs with catchy hooks and deep lyrics and although there are stand-out tracks, it is somewhat experimental in its approach. That’s not to say it’s a bad thing – it should be celebrated that the pair have spent time finding their own sound and crafting something which not only works for them but makes them stand out.

Considering just a couple of years ago, the pair put out an album (143) which was very pop in style, this follow-up (originals) album is quite a welcome departure from that, demonstrating that they’re maturing, not only in terms of their songwriting but their musical style too. It seems that they’re now truly finding their own feet.

What must be said for this album is that Charlie‘s vocal abilities are truly incredible but to hear him use his full voice more (like in ‘I Won’t Let You Go’), would be amazing. Meanwhile, Leondre‘s rapping has really progressed – his tone is great and his lyrics show maturity. This album is well worth listening to, I certainly found that the more you listen, the more little gems you hear weaving their way throughout – it’s a real grower!

Rating
4


‘Generation Z’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/generation-z/id1262081707


‘Generation Z’ on Spotify

Thousand Years (Official Video)

‘Generation Z’ Track-By-Track

Find out more about the meanings behind the songs with this track-by-track video.


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review of the duo’s latest album! What are your thoughts on Generation Z? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or hit us up via our social media.


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

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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#MellowMonday: James Arthur – ‘Say You Won’t Let Go’


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James Arthur rose to fame when he won the X Factor back in 2012. It was then in 2013 that he released his self-titled, debut album. Having left Syco and taken a break from music, he’s set to return with his second album Back From The Edge, lead by this single, ‘Say You Won’t Let Go’.

This song is raw and brimming with emotion – it feels honest and paves the way for a really deep album. Having been through a lot over the past couple of years, I am intrigued to see how it will shape his sound, especially after working with the likes of MOKS on ‘Otherwise‘.

Are you excited to have James Arthur set to return? What do you think of this new, mellower sound? What song would you choose for #MellowMonday? Please leave your thoughts or song choices in a comment below.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Say You Won’t Let Go’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/say-you-wont-let-go/id1151197696?i=1151197755


#Two4Tunesday: MOKS – ‘Otherwise’ featuring James Arthur & Dappy – ‘Money Can’t Buy’

James Arthur is remembered for his appearance on X Factor and for making several controversial statements, but after some time away from the limelight, he’s looking set to make a return as the featured vocalist of MOKS‘ new track, ‘Otherwise’.

An interesting house track with Arthur’s amazingly haunting vocals and infectious whistles, this song has huge potential! No video has been released yet, but we’ll keep you updated!


‘Otherwise’ is available for download from iTunes right now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/otherwise-feat.-james-arthur/id1029927542


MOKS – ‘Otherwise’ featuring James Arthur


Dappy Banner

So by now it might be easy for you to guess that I’m a bit of a Dappy fan, but the guy is a true talent and it should be appreciated just how much he’s achieved and that he’s build himself up from nothing; with grit, determination, passion and his raw talent.

This song is the third release from his upcoming album ‘Miracles’ and once again it is filled with passion, honesty and just plain amazing writing! I’m sure you’ll agree that this is a great song!


‘Money Can’t Buy’ can be downloaded now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/money-cant-buy-single/id1036833101


Dappy – ‘Money Can’t Buy’

So #Two4Tunesday is done for the week but would you choose some different songs? Please leave your choices in a comment below.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Two4Tunesday: Sigma – ‘Glitterball’ featuring Ella Henderson & Conrad Sewell – ‘Hold Me Up’

Today we’re bringing you a brand new track from Sigma featuring Ella Henderson (see our previous post about the remix of their previous song, ‘Changing, featuring Paloma Faith) and a great summery song from Conrad Sewell.

Sigma Banner

Sigma are going from one featured celebrity vocalist to the next, creating their own path of smash hits and leaving some massive songs in their wake!

The duo consists of Cameron Edwards and Joe Lenzie, who have so far worked with the likes of Labrinth, Paloma Faith and DJ Fresh and this next release of theirs features vocals of the incredibly talented, ex-X Factor contestant, Ella Henderson.

‘Glitterball’ is such a big-production song with its almost movie-like strings alongside chaotic drum and bass beats, a gospel choir and Ella Henderson‘s fantastic vocals. I’m predicting that it’s going to be a huge hit for them; a new landmark song for Sigma.


‘Glitterball’ is due for release on 24th July 2015 and you can pre-order it now on iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/glitterball-feat.-ella-henderson/id997398173


Sigma – ‘Glitterball’ featuring Ella Henderson


Conrad Sewell Banner

Conrad Sewell recently gained recognition for lending his vocals to Kygo‘s hit song, ‘Firestone’ but he’s also released his own solo song, ‘Hold Me Up’.

The Australian-born singer moved to America to work on his solo project and has worked on a bunch of hit-makers, penning this one with Brian Lee (who’s worked with Lady Gaga and Icona Pop), The Euroz and Lewis Bell. He’s also embarking on the Ed Sheeran tour around Australia.

At the moment, ‘Hold Me Up’ has a tentative release date of 24th July 2015, however no pre-order has been made available yet. When it was released in Australia, the song peaked at 39 in the charts, however I reckon it’ll score a Top 20 in the UK charts, with the right promotion. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this song.

Conrad Sewell – ‘Hold Me Up’

And there ends this week’s #Two4Tunesday! Enjoy them as these are two really great songs! Please don’t forget to share away to your heart’s content across your social media accounts.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Two4Tunesday: Little Mix – ‘Black Magic’ & Passion Pit – ‘Lifted Up (1985)’

For #Two4Tunesday this week, we’re bringing you new music from Little Mix and Passion Pit!


Little Mix Banner

Little Mix rose to public attention in the 8th series of The X Factor in the UK, when the four auditioned separately. They failed the bootcamp round as soloists, but were offered to be put through to the next round, as a group. They went on to win that series of The X Factor and were the first ever group to win the series.

The group have since gone on to release two successful albums and are now gearing up to release a third. On top of that, the group helped to co-write Britney Spears’ latest hit, ‘Pretty Girls’ and back in 2013, Perrie Edwards, from the group is engaged to Zayn Malik (former member of The X Factor‘s One Direction).

This single, ‘Black Magic’, is the first single to be taken from their as-yet-untitled, third album and sees the group adopt a slightly different sound to their previous releases.


‘Black Magic’ is due out on 10th July 2015 and is available to pre-order on iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/black-magic-single/id994616224


Little Mix – ‘Black Magic’



Passion Pit Banner

For our next track we have the latest single from Passion Pit‘Lifted Up (1985)’. Passion Pit consists of lead vocalist Michael Angelakos and a series of live members but none of these are permanent; see Passion Pit is the brainchild of the singer who recorded an EP as a belated Valentine’s Day gift to his then girlfriend, which then gained public attention and took off from there.

This particular song is taken from the band’s third album, Kindred and has a fantastically captivating Indie-Pop vibe; it’s a stunning song.

Passion Pit recently teamed up with Madeon for a banging’ electronica track too! (Check out our post by clicking on Madeon)


‘Lifted Up (1985)’ can be bought from iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/lifted-up-1985/id965405199?i=965405203


Passion Pit – ‘Lifted Up (1985)’


That was this week’s #Two4Tunesday! Please share this on your social media accounts and tell us what your two favourite tracks are right now. Thanks for the ongoing support!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#ThrowbackThursday: Five – Keep On Movin’

Five Banner

Five (sometimes stylised as five) were a massive boyband back in the late 90s to early 00s, consisting of five members; Scott Robinson, Abs (now Abz Love), Sean ConlonJason “J” Brown and Ritchie Neville. Since then, the five-piece band were featured in the first series of ITV’s, The Big Reunion, however only managed to reunite as a quartet (without J)…however, most recently, the band lost another member, Abz Love, so remain as a trio. It has to be said though, they are doing a great job and have been touring the country to sold-out crowds, despite their loss of two members!

The band were originally signed and managed by Simon Cowell and had a huge string of hits and sold-out arena tours.

Keep On Movin’ is possibly one of their most well-known and loved hits, scoring a UK Number 1 when it was released back in 1999. Even now, 16 years on, it remains a timeless pop classic!

I personally LOVE this song…it is a go-to track for me, any time I feel a bit down and want cheering up. It has the quality of making instant happiness; it’s no wonder it was such a massive success!

Who remembers this song? Did you love it back in 1999? Still loving it now? Did you see the band on their recent tour/Big Reunion Tour?

Matt – Muzik Speaks


Keep On Movin’ (taken from the Invincible and Greatest Hits albums) is available to purchase on iTunes right now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/keep-on-movin/id251098769?i=251098812


#Two4Tunesday: Nick Jonas – ‘Jealous’ & Luke Friend – ‘Hole In My Heart’

What a manufactured, pop-filled ‘Two4Tunesday’ it is this week! Feast your ears peeps…

ZAEH_JONAS_SHOT03-27

You will know him mostly for his Disney-pop days as one of the three Jonas Brothers, who first started out with Busted covers of ‘What I Go To School For’ and ‘Year 3000’. However, since the group split, Nick Jonas has had some solo success. His most recent album, Nick Jonas, contains his current, Top 5 single, ‘Jealous’. The song itself is like a mixture of Pop and Motown with a major Lionel Richie vibe, coursing through its veins. A very catchy number – crank that volume!

Nick Jonas – ‘Jealous’


Luke-Friend-2351032

This next offering, you may well recognise from dear old X Factor! Most of what X Factor produces is a pile of rubbish, and I must confess that I wasn’t a great fan of Luke Friend on the show, however this single is well worth a listen. I like the rhythm of it, it’s semi-nursery rhyme sections and particularly love the gang vocals. You gotta give it to the guy; his husky vocals have a unique quality too!

Luke Friend – ‘Hole In My Heart’


Happy Two4Tunesday every-bloggy! Leave a comment below with the 2 songs are you loving this week and please share the link on your social media sites!

Matt – Muzik Speaks

#FeelGoodFriday: Kelly Clarkson – ‘Heartbeat Song’

Kelly Clarkson Banner

I love this song!

Pop at it’s best; catchy, upbeat, feel-good, not to mention Kelly Clarkson’s epic vocal abilities. Sure, this may be cheesy, but I can’t get enough of it, the bridge through to the chorus is euphoric and as for the breakdown at the end of the song, well, amazing!

Whatever you may think of her (Katie Hopkins, Chris Wallace and Mike Gallagher!) this woman can sing!!!

Have you got that Friday feeling yet? What’s making you ‘Feel-Good’ today? Share your song to help brighten our day 🙂

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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