#Review: Avril Lavigne – Head Above Water ūüĆä

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It’s hard to believe that Avril Lavigne dropped her first single, ‘Complicated’, back in 2002 but since then, the songstress has had 5 studio albums, 23 singles, 27 music videos (including ‘Girlfriend’, which became the ‚Äúfirst music video to reach 100 million views on YouTube‚ÄĚ) and has even appeared on several television shows and films. Now, six years since her last, self-titled album, 2019 sees the singer-songwriter putting out her sixth studio album, Head Above Water; a personal account of the trials and tribulations she been through over the past few years. Here’s what we have to say about it…

Avril Lavigne - Head Above Water.jpg

Head Above Water is probably Avril Lavigne‘s most mature album to date, seeing a real evolution in her songwriting. Throughout the record, she paints a candid, honest and deeply introspective portrait of a truly tumultuous period in her life.

It all begins with the album’s title track, ‘Head Above Water’, which is in fact the song that kick-started the writing of the whole album. She stated, ‚ÄúOne night, I thought I was dying, and I had accepted that I was going to die. My mom laid with me in bed and held me. I felt like I was drowning. Under my breath, I prayed, ‚ÄėGod, please help to keep my head above the water.‚Äô In that moment, the song writing of this album began. It was like I tapped into something. It was a very spiritual experience. Lyrics flooded through me from that point on.‚ÄĚ In this truly stunning track alone, Avril Lavigne documents her fight with Lyme Disease (as a result of which, she set up The Avril Lavigne Foundation, to raise awareness of the condition – visit http://www.TheAvrilLavigneFoundation.org for more information), showing her strength of character to fight and overcome it.

As if that song wasn’t different enough, ‘Birdie’ demonstrates a diverse instrumental with intricate production where stripped-back moments show off her voice beautifully and a distorted vocal break adds another dimension to the track in which compares herself to a caged bird.

Equally, ‘I Fell In Love With The Devil’ and ‘Tell Me It’s Over’ are both tinted with Lana Del Rey-esque vibes. The first blends both high and low-pitched vocal harmonies to create an ominous tone to the track, perfectly mirroring the theme of a toxic relationship, whilst the latter’s sultry vocals and brass elements in the verses lead into a massive, soulful chorus, making it possibly the most unique song Avril has ever released.

There is a bit of a lull in the uptempo vibes towards the middle-end of the record (but still great tracks!) ‘Souvenir’ is a cute little love song that although a touch juvenile, is actually very endearing, whilst ‘Crush’ is a sparkly-sounding, soulful number.

It might not be her most obviously banging release, but it certainly packs a punch on the emotive side, with such wonderfully poetic lyricism.

‘Bigger Wow’ isn’t the most memorable song though it’s incredibly catchy and unequivocally pop, however I can’t help but feel it’s virtually a carbon copy of Hailee Steinfeld‘s single, ‘Starving’ with Zedd.

That said, although on the whole Head Above Water is quite the far cry from any of her previous releases, there are definite nods to her former sounds. ‘Dumb Blonde’ (featuring none other than Nicki Minaj – which was clearly a last-minute addition to the track, as the review version of the album did not feature her at all) takes a massive leaf out of her 2007 smash hit, ‘Girlfriend’. Additionally, ‘It Was In Me’ has a massive throwback vibes to her 2002 hit, ‘I’m With You’, but nevertheless, it’s amazing and the build up at the end is truly goosebump-inducing!

The album draws to a close with ‘Warrior’, thematically bringing us back full circle to where we began. The lyrics possibly aren’t the most imaginative on the record but they certainly show the strength she has found within herself, to get through some of the toughest years of her life and with that comes an audible gratitude and renewed lease of life.

Whatever you think of Avril Lavigne‘s previous incarnations, you can’t hear this album and deny that it’s a passionate and very personal offering from the star and although there isn’t a completely cohesive style throughout, it’s refreshing to hear her trying something new. The break has done her voice good too – there‚Äôs a renewed power and technique behind it and she‚Äôs using it in ways she hasn‚Äôt much before.

Of course, there are bound to be people that will slate her for moving away from her old sound and those who will criticise her for trying something new, but personally I love and commend this record for being evolutionary and so clearly therapeutic. It might not be her most obviously banging release, but it certainly packs a punch on the emotive side, with such wonderfully poetic lyricism. Now it’s time to return to the top Avril Lavigne – welcome back!

Rating
4-5


‘Head Above Water’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/head-above-water/1442724476


Head Above Water on Spotify

Head Above Water (Official Video)

Tell Me It’s Over (Official Video)

Dumb Blonde featuring Nicki Minaj (Lyric Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of Avril’s sixth studio album, Head Above Water? 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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#Playlist: Brighton Pride Weekender 2018


   

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Brighton Pride is fast approaching and to celebrate, we have created our first ever, Brighton Pride Weekender¬†playlist dedicated to one of the city’s biggest annual events to promote equality and diversity with the aim to eliminate discrimination against the¬†lesbian,¬†gay,¬†bisexual¬†and¬†transgender¬†(LGBT) community.

This playlist has been lovingly crafted to include a variety of tracks, by the artists performing at Brighton Pride 2018, as well as some other great anthems!

If you already own the songs and want the custom artwork, please feel free to copy/download it below:

Brighton Pride Weekender 2018.jpg


We hope you enjoy this playlist as much as we’ve enjoyed creating it! Please share the link to this post, or the playlist itself and give it a cheeky follow on Spotify too – https://open.spotify.com/user/muzik5peaks/playlist/5nXqTcFL05VwLPppVaNIE6?si=fV9Vk8vDQgCVQUgAUzI9ng. If you’ve got any songs to suggest for us to add, please let us know ūüôā

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Two4Tunesday: Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey – ‘The Middle’ & Lil Dicky – ‘Freaky Friday’ featuring Chris Brown


   

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Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey – ‘The Middle’

Zedd‘s latest track,¬†‘The Middle’ features the American electronic music duo,¬†Grey (aka brothers Kyle Trewarth and Michael Trewartha) and vocals by American country singer,¬†Maren Morris.

This track may well have come out at the start of 2018 but 10 weeks later, it’s still at Number 10 in the UK charts, following the success of 2017’s¬†Stay with Alessia Cara, however this track performed even better than that.

It’s a fun, uplifting track which has a very similar feel to ‘Stay’ with it’s combination of raw, powerful and digitised/vocoder vocals, atop a blend of 90s pop sensibilities and modern EDM vibes, making for a very distinctive sound.

The video is great fun too, with it’s stunning set and extravagant use of visual lighting. All-round this is just a fantastic piece of modern pop that will undoubtedly get stuck in everyone’s head; a true favourite of mine right now!


‘The Middle’¬†is¬†on¬†iTunes for downloading now! –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-middle/1336771022?i=1336771388



Lil Dicky – ‘Freaky Friday’ featuring Chris Brown

The second track this week is¬†Lil Dicky‘s Number 1, smash hit,¬†‘Freaky Friday’, featuring guest vocals from¬†Chris Brown.

The track itself is a combination of  hip hop, pop and comedy (think similar to The Lonely Island), centring on the film(s) of the same name and continually references Chris Brown himself, throughout.

Whilst this track is intentionally comedic and works hilariously with its accompanying music video, there’s no doubt about it that this is one heck of a catchy tune too; it’s easy to see how it’s managed to top the UK Charts!

The music video itself parodies the 2003 film¬†Freaky Friday (starring Jamie Lee Curtis¬†and¬†Lindsay Lohan)¬†and features cameos from¬†Jimmy Tatro,¬†Ed Sheeran,¬†DJ Khaled¬†and¬†Kendall Jenner. It’s a must-watch video but also, I defy anyone not to end up singing along to this earworm of a track!


‘Freaky Friday’¬†can also be downloaded from iTunes now! –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/freaky-friday-feat-chris-brown/1351005381?i=1351005400


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Playlist – re:MIXTAPE

 

 


   

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We felt it was time to create the ultimate remix playlist, to accompany/rival the likes of the latest¬†Now That’s What I Call Remix¬†album, putting all the world’s best¬†remixes into one mammoth playlist.

This playlist has been lovingly crafted to include a variety of remixes we love, as well as suggestions from you guys!

If you already own the songs and want the custom artwork, please feel free to copy/download it below:

reMIXTAPE.jpg

re:MIXTAPE Playlist

This playlist is packed to the brim with some of the best remixes around:

  1. Bazzi – Mine (Jengi Remix)
  2. Maroon 5 РWhat Lovers Do featuring SZA (A-Trak Remix)
  3. NEIKED – Sexual featuring Dyo (Oliver Nelson Remix)
  4. Shawn Mendes – There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back (NOTD Remix)
  5. Charlie Puth – Attention (Bingo Players Remix)
  6. Avicii РLonely Together featuring Rita Ora (Alan Walker Remix)
  7. Sigrid – Strangers (TIEKS Remix)
  8. P!nk – What About Us (Ti√ęsto’s AFTR:HRS Remix)
  9. Kesha – Praying (Frank Walker Remix)
  10. Craig David РI Know You featuring Bastille (Sultan + Shepard Remix)
  11. Thirty Seconds To Mars РWalk On Water (R3hab Remix)
  12. Maroon 5 – Wait (Chromeo Remix)
  13. Taylor Swift¬†– …Ready For It? (BloodPop¬ģ Remix)
  14. P!nk – Beautiful Trauma (E11even Remix)
  15. Niall Horan РSlow Hands (Basic Tape Remix)
  16. Miley Cyrus РMalibu (Alan Walker Remix)
  17. Rita Ora РAnywhere (R3hab Remix)
  18. Britney Spears – Make Me… featuring¬†G-Eazy (Tom Budin Remix)
  19. Demi Lovato – Sorry Not Sorry (Freedo Remix)
  20. The Chainsmokers РSomething Just Like This featuring Coldplay (Alesso Remix)
  21. Sam Smith – Like I Can (Artful Remix)
  22. Zedd РStay featuring Alessia Cara (The Kemist Remix)
  23. David Guetta & Afrojack РDirty Sexy Money featuring Charli XCX & French Montana (Banx & Ranx Remix)
  24. Charli XCX РBoys (Nevada Remix)
  25. Clean Bandit – I Miss You featuring Julia Michaels (Cahill Remix)
  26. Liam Payne РBedroom Floor (Cash Cash Remix)
  27. Anne-Marie РHeavy (John Gibbons Remix)
  28. NEIKED РCall Me featuring MIMI (Alex Adair Remix)
  29. Kesha – Learn To Let Go (Feenixpawl Remix)
  30. Mabel РFinders Keepers featuring Kojo Funds (DUSK Remix)
  31. Rita Ora РYour Song (Cheat Codes Remix)
  32. Miley Cyrus – Younger Now (Fred Falke Remix)
  33. ZAYN – LIKE I WOULD (Oliver Nelson Remix)
  34. Busted РThinking Of You (TAYST Remix)
  35. Charlie Puth¬†– We Don’t Talk Anymore featuring¬†Selena Gomez (Attom Remix)
  36. Julia Michaels РIssues (Alan Walker Remix)
  37. Vance Joy РLay It On Me (Said The Sky Remix)
  38. Selena Gomez РWolves (Said The Sky Remix)
  39. James Arthur РNaked (CADE Remix)
  40. Sam Smith – Lay Me Down (Ti√ęsto Remix)

I hope you enjoy this playlist as much as I’ve enjoyed creating it! Please share the link to this post, or the playlist itself and give it a follow on Spotify too –¬†https://open.spotify.com/user/muzik5peaks/playlist/1nN0ylV9EkCnCFOo3b6jW5?si=fFo3ZTQuTfq57o7xBw5Yig. If you’ve got any songs to suggest for us to add to the playlist, please let us know ūüôā

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Two4Tunesday: Marshmello x Lil Peep – ‘Spotlight’ & Cadell – ‘Create A Career’


   

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Marshmallow x Lil Peep – ‘Spotlight’

Electronic dance music producer Marshmello has released a new song titled ‘Spotlight’, featuring vocals from the recently deceased rapper and singer,¬†Lil Peep,¬†who passed away late last year (2017). The pair had been previously working on the track before the rapper passed.

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Source: Source: http://globalspin365.com

Marshmello has previously done music collaborations with Omar LinX and Ookay, as well as remixing popular songs by Jack √ú and Zedd. His song ‘Alone’, made it onto the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in January 2017.

‚ÄúGus will live forever through his music and that is something we should all be extremely thankful for.‚ÄĚ – Marshmello

This song oozes a rap-grunge vibe with Lil Peep admitting his feelings for someone, accompanied by dark chords. The use of light guitar riffs, paired with the melancholy dark vibe of the beat is a sweet juxtaposition, which is extremely satisfying to listen to. Although there is no official music video with either of the individuals in it, so to speak, the image of Peep with a flickering spotlight on him, is haunting yet also artistic. Paying homage to the rapper in this way, regarding the song’s cover art, in my opinion, is a nice gesture.


‘Spotlight’¬†is¬†on¬†iTunes for downloading now! –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/spotlight/1332776796?i=1332776955



Cadell – ‘Create A Career’

Rapper Cadell, is a UK Grime MC from Bow located in East London who was born 17 January 1997. His first mixtape was released back in 2016, titled Hotline, as well as his first debut album,¬†3 Is The New 6.¬†The rapper is most commonly known for being the younger brother of one of the “godfathers” of grime; Wiley.

‘Create A Career’¬†(which was originally titled ‘Do It’) is currently his most listened to song on his Spotify reaching over 36,000 listens, with the album it is featured on,¬†L.O.N.D.O.N¬†(Lots Of N****s Don’t Observe Nature),¬†being released at the start of this year (2018).

The song opens with a slightly electronica feel to it and jumping, jittering vocals which are swiftly followed up with a deep bass line. The lyrics are used as a tool for the rapper as he expresses his thoughts and feelings about the growth of his career. The fast-paced rhythm, accompanied with the continual bass and synth backing, makes for a great blood-pumping grime tune.


‘Create A Career’¬†can also be downloaded from iTunes now! –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/create-a-career/1330604716?i=1330604722


Frankie – Muzik Speaks
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#SummerSongs 2017 – The Playlist


   

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It’s the 1st August and summer is in full swing! As such, I thought it was time to present you with our next playlist –¬†#SummerSongs¬†2017 (following on from #SummerSongs 2015)!

This 30-track playlist has been lovingly crafted with over 100 minutes of summery¬†songs, both new and old, that I really love and put me in a great mood and I hope it’ll do the same for you too ūüôā

If you already own the songs and want the custom artwork, please feel free to copy/download the artwork below:

Summer Songs 2017

#SummerSongs 2017 – The Playlist

This mammoth, tune-filled playlist includes the following summer anthems:

  1. Ed Sheeran – Castle On The Hill (Throttle Remix)
  2. OneRepublic – Rich Love featuring Seeb
  3. A R I Z O N A – Feed The Beast
  4. Jonas Blue – Mama featuring William Singe
  5. NEIKED – Call Me featuring MIMI
  6. Sigala РCame Here For Love featuring Ella Eyre
  7. Phats & Small – Turn Around
  8. Nevada РThe Mack featuring Mark Morrison & Fetty Wap
  9. Rita Ora – Your Song
  10. Anton Powers РBaby featuring Pixie Lott
  11. John Gibbons – P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)
  12. Zedd – Stay featuring Alessia Cara
  13. Will Joseph Cook – Plastic
  14. Miley Cyrus – Malibu
  15. Luis Fonsi РDespacito featuring Daddy Yankee & Justin Bieber
  16. Calvin Harris РFeels featuring Pharrell Williams, Big Sean & Katy Perry
  17. Katy Perry РBon Appétit featuring Migos
  18. Ke$ha – Learn To Let Go
  19. Disciples – On My Mind
  20. J Hus – Did You See
  21. Bruno Mars – That’s What I Like
  22. Shawn Mendes – There’s Nothing Holding Me Back
  23. The All-American Rejects – Sweat
  24. Club Drive – International
  25. Busted – One Of A Kind
  26. The Maine – Bitch Better Have My Money
  27. Life Of Dillon – Rocks
  28. Paramore – Forgiveness
  29. Sheppard – Geronimo
  30. Coldplay – A Head Full Of Dreams

I’ve gathered only the best songs which I hope will be the soundtrack to your summer – I want this summer to be one you’ll remember…for the best reasons! Check out the playlist on Spotify.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Frankmusik (2017)


   

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It’s been nearly 2 years since we first interviewed¬†the incredibly talented¬†Frankmusik¬†(see our previous interview here) and with the first release of his 2-part record, SS17,¬†due out on June 17th (pre-order here), we thought it was about time to catch up with him.


Hey Vincent, how’s it going?
Very well thank you.

What have you been up to since our last interview with you?
Working on a two-part album. SS17 + AW17.

So, I love your recent singles¬†‘Going Under’¬†and¬†‘WYG’, is the rest of SS17 going to be similar?
Absolutely.

Have you written or recorded with anyone interesting recently?
Yeah, quite a few right now¬†actually. But don‚Äôt want to single anyone out incase I forget to mention someone. You know, like no favourites between children type of thing. ūüėČ

Which track on SS17 are you most excited for people to hear? Why?
The title track ‘June 17th’. I worked on it with Lindsay Lowend who co-produced the track. But really all of music excites me. So it‚Äôs kinda like picking favourites again. Maybe I‚Äôll just say this, you‚Äôll know why I picked ‘June 17th’ when you hear it. ūüėČ

What made you decide to do 2 EPs this year? And where did you take inspiration to theme them along the lines of the fashion industry?
I decided to make a 2-part record because I wanted to shoot a music video for every track.¬†Providing¬†that amount of video content required me to¬†split¬†the music work load into two parts of the year. I got inspired by the fashion industries way of¬†splitting¬†collections by seasons from working with Anya¬†Hindmarch. I‚Äôve been creating the soundtrack to her runway shows since late 2015 now and really loved the idea of taking my music in a sort of¬†‚Äėcollection‚Äô¬†based release. There will be one mood for the summer SS17 + one for the winter AW17.

Frankmusik-009 BannerPhotos in this post are credited to Brian Jamie.

So does that mean that every track on both SS17 and AW17 will get their own music videos? If so, how has it been developing videos for each of those tracks?
That’s the idea. We’re going to try our best to shoot videos for all the songs. It’s been great. I’ve been making music for 10 years, I wanted to broaden my horizons. It’s been a big learning experience. Every video we learn something new.

Can you see yourself releasing like this again next year?
Potentially… It’s also because I produce music for so many other people it’s tough now a-days to dedicate a large portion of the year to just my personal project.

If you could do a collaboration with anyone, who would it be and why?
The Lemon Twigs. They’re about the only thing that really stood out to me this past year.

If you had to cover a recent chart song, which song would it be and why?
I like the production on Zedd‚Äôs¬†‚ÄėStay’, so maybe that one?

If someone else was to cover one of your songs, who would you like to hear do it and which song?
Justin Bieber Рany song would make my day.

If a film were to be made about your life, who would you want to play you and why?
Daniel Radcliffe cos he’s hilarious.

Are there any plans to tour the UK soon?
Not right now.

Lastly, if you could be any chocolate bar, which one would you be?
Mars Bar, cos that’s my favourite.


Frankmusik‘s releases are all¬†available:


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