#ThrowbackThursday: Lenny Kravitz – ‘Fly Away’


   

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Lenny Kravitz is well-known for his retro vibes and fusion of various genres, from rock to reggae, folk to funk and soul to psychedelic.

Back in 1998, Kravitz released ‘Fly Away’, one of his most successful singles to date, reaching Number 1 in the UK Charts.

The song was in fact the fourth single to be taken from his fifth album, 5, and due to the huge success of it, not only boosted sales of the album but also earned him a Grammy Award in 1999 for Best Male Rock Performance.

The track is incredibly catchy with its funk bass line and gritty vocals – it’s no wonder it rocketed to the top of the charts.

The music video was directed by Paul Hunter (Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and more) and features Kravitz and his band performing in a club, surrounded by a crowd, dancing and getting frisky. It’s a very iconic video for the artist and shows a real passion in his performance…something he definitely pours into his live shows!

What are your thoughts of this wonderfully unique artist? Did you love this track first time around? Do you still love it now? What’s your favourite Lenny Kravitz track? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Fly Away’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/fly-away/723338099?i=723338326


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#MellowMonday: Post Malone – ‘Psycho’ featuring Ty Dolla $ign


   

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Post Malone burst onto the UK music scene back in 2017, with his massive, Number 1 hit single, ‘rockstar’. Now, 2018 has seen the release of his second album, beerbongs & bentleys, the third single from which is this, ‘Psycho’, featuring guest vocals from Ty Dolla $ign.

Whilst this song hasn’t quite replicated the success of the album’s lead single, ‘Psycho’ is a fantastic track, which peaked at Number 4 in the UK charts.

Lyrically, the song refers to Malone‘s lifestyle and addresses the theme of trust issues that can arise out of fame; it’s a very personal track. This sits on top of a laidback trap beat with a simplistic, yet seriously catchy melody. It’s a subtle yet powerful song.

The music video is pretty cool too – flames, snow, tanks, deserts…it’s a big-budget, rather epic affair.

What are your thoughts of this hip hop artist? What’s your favourite song of his? 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
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‘Psycho’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/psycho-feat-ty-dolla-%24ign/1373516902?i=1373517312


#ThrowbackThursday: Estelle – ‘American Boy’ featuring Kanye West


   

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This year sees the 10th anniversary of Estelle‘s 2008, Number 1 hit, ‘American Boy’ featuring Kanye West.

The song was actually written by Estelle, Kanye West, will.i.am, John Legend, Josh Lopez, Caleb Speir, Armand and Keith Harris. The track was produced by will.i.am himself and the beat is in fact from his own song, ‘Impatient’ taken from his own third studio album Songs About Girls; it’s no wonder this was such a big hit!

The song is largely disco-funk and quite chilled in its feel, lyrically describing a romance after meeting an American man.

The video is black and white and whilst fairly simplistic in its concept is effective and shows a good performing relationship between the two stars.

What are your thoughts of this 2008 hit? Do you have your own #ThrowbackThursday track from 2008 to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or hit us up via our socials.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘American Boy’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/american-boy-feat-kanye-west/1349741979?i=1349742253


#ThrowbackThursday: The All-American Rejects – ‘Gives You Hell’


   

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The All-American Rejects released their monster hit, ‘Gives You Hell’, back in 2008, which went on to become their most successful single, to date.

It reached Number 18 in the UK Charts and received regular rotation on radio and music video channels. It was also the first single to be taken from their third studio album, When The World Comes Down. Since then, the band have released another album and recently a single; we’re just waiting for the announcement of their fifth album!

‘Gives You Hell’ is certainly and in-your-face break-up anthem but the chorus can also apply to many other situations; it’s just an all-round good belter to let off some steam and what’s amazing is it’s timeless.

The music video is pretty original too and damn funny; it’s well worth a watch!

What are your thoughts of this awesome 2008 track? Doesn’t it still sound sick?! Do you still love it as much as you did back then? Have you got a #ThrowbackThursday 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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‘Gives You Hell’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/gives-you-hell/304613492?i=304613499


#EventSpeaks: Fickle Friends @ Resident Records, Brighton – 19/03/18


   

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On Monday 19th March 2018, Brighton-based indie/pop outfit, Fickle Friends, came to Brighton in support of their debut album release (You Are Someone Else review, here), to play two shows; one stripped-back, short set and album signing at Resident Records and the other a full-on, full-length set at Concorde 2, later that same night!


Fickle Friends

The Resident Records set was short but very, very sweet!

The indie/pop quintet had been mingling in the store for a while before modestly starting their mini set, at 6:30pm.

As they began, Natti explained just how nervous she was, given how stripped back the performance was going to be. However, the band soon proceeded to launch into their alternative version of ‘Brooklyn’, led by rather cheesy yet somehow adorable, programmed drums.

As the set progressed, there was some instrument swapping and a real admiration for their fans’ support. Natti also explained that today marked some milestone achievements for Fickle Friends; 1) an in-store performance and signing at Resident Records and 2) to play a sold-out show at Brighton’s Concorde 2, which she went on to state, was perfect timing, as she’d just moved out of Brighton and felt that it was a very fitting send-off.

This type of performance was truly special and demonstrated the band giving something back to their loyal and dedicated fans. Plus, as they finished, they announced that it was looking like they were heading for the Top 10 in the UK Charts and could not have been more ecstatic about it.

Immediately afterwards, the band stood behind the shop counter and allowed their fans to get their CDs and Vinyls signed, and spent time chatting to each of them; it was really lovely to see.

Highlights:

  • Seeing just how humble and modest the band were.
  • The appreciation they showed for their fans not only being their but supporting them by purchasing their album, plus the time they took to talk to each of their fans, whilst signing copies of their album, You Are Someone Else.
  • Natti‘s incredible voice and being a part of witnessing the band put on such a vulnerable but perfect performance, given how full-on their sound normally is.
  • The alternative versions they performed, made it feel very unique and like it was a truly one-off performance.

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 📸 All of the photos in this post (except me with the band) are credited to Chloe CZH 📷
Go and give her a follow on Twitter and visit her website.


Setlist

Brooklyn
Wake Me Up
Glue*
Hard To Be Myself
Swim

This song can be viewed in the YouTube video, below.


Finally, I want to say an absolutely HUGE thanks to Simon Neal for setting up this review and to Fickle Friends themselves for putting on a fantastic mini show and being so lovely to all of their fans – a really fantastic, intimate performance!


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

Muzik Speaks Live Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Review: The Darkness – ‘Pinewood Smile’


   

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The Darkness are an English rock band from Lowestoft, Suffolk who first came to the public’s attention in 2003, with their debut album, Permission to Land. In particular, their debut single, ‘I Believe in a Thing Called Love’, was a monster hit, reaching Number 2 in the UK Charts. Now, 14 years on, and with a string of other successful singles and albums, the band have just released their fifth studio album, Pinewood Smile.

Pinewood Smile Cover.jpg

Right from the offset of the opening track, ‘All The Pretty Girls’, you get the feeling that this album is somewhat similar in style to their debut (Permission To Land); the guitars are layered and punchy and they’ve managed to re-create the magic of what made them so popular back in 2003, but this time with the incredible drumming talents of Rufus Tiger Taylor (son of Queen‘s Roger Taylor).

Pinewood Smile is without a doubt a more grown-up and darker record from the band. It definitely still has a lot of the charm that The Darkness have become so loved for (in terms of their mash up of classic rock with obvious pop qualities) but they’re taking on more political views (‘Southern Trains’) and cynical stances and clear frustrations of the modern music industry (‘Solid Gold’). Having said that, while it may be a brand new album, it’s packed with tracks which are sure to become classics. There’s still a lot of that tongue-in-cheek lyricism but they’re weaving it in with variations to their style of rock by experimenting with subtle style differences.

It may be a brand new album but it’s packed with tracks which are sure to become classics.

There are some lovely (and at times comedic) gems throughout the album, such as Justin’s Southern American accent on ‘All The Pretty Girls’, while the verses of ‘Lay Down With Me, Barbara’ are reminiscent of smooth jazz – something you might find in some sort of chill-out lounge. Then you’ve got ‘Buccaneers Of Hispaniola’ which contains some insanely great vocal harmonies; ‘Happiness’ which is quite the stadium-filling, chant-along anthem and it all comes to a close with the beautiful and intricate, ‘Stampede Of Love’, which descends into chaos by the end, making for a fitting end to the album.

The entire record was recorded in Cornwall, with award-winning producer and engineer Adrian Bushby (who’s worked with the likes of Foo FightersMuse and My Bloody Valentine) at the helm. He’s done an excellent job of managing to capture the band’s well-known sound but still put his mark on it too – the drums are a lot more prominent than on some of their previous albums and there are lovely elaborate parts to some of the tracks which he really brings out well in the production.

I would recommend this album to anyone who’s about to embark on a long journey and needs something heavy to spice up their travels. Once you know the words, it’s definitely a record you will want to sing along to, especially in a car packed with mates. It’s a witty, punchy and an interesting direction for the band – well worth getting/listening to.

Rating
4


‘Pinewood Smile’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/pinewood-smile-deluxe/id1259927517


‘Pinewood Smile’ on Spotify

Solid Gold (Official Video)

Southern Trains (Official Video)


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


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

Muzik Speaks Album Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#FeelGoodFriday: Maroon 5 – ‘What Lovers Do’ featuring SZA


   

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Maroon 5 are gearing up to release their sixth album in November this year (2017) and with a series of new singles since their fifth album, V, this is the latest to be released from their upcoming LP.

‘What Lovers Do’ features American singer SZA in addition to Adam Levine‘s trademark falsetto vocals, tied together with house-style synths and upbeat drums and handclaps. It’s got a great summery vibe to it and it comes right at the end of the season to give us one more mood boost before autumn sets in.

The singles the band have been releasing have had a real R&B tint to them and it sure excites me for their upcoming album.

*UPDATE* The music video has emerged online and as I suspected, it’s epic! Great visuals and superb use of CGI effects throughout, albeit in quite a cheesy way, but it’s certainly humorous and fun.

What are your thoughts on the band’s latest summery jam? Have you got a #FeelGoodFriday track you’d like to suggest to us? Please leave your thoughts or song recommendations in a comment or hit us up via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘What Lovers Do’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/what-lovers-do-feat-sza-single/id1274373328