Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lady Antebellum, Gavin DeGraw

Lady Antebellum- Own The Night

"Own the Night" is the third studio album by Lady Antebellum and picks up right where they left off with last year's "Need You Now." The album is mature, rich, and shows just how well grounded the group has remained. They stick to their roots without copying sound from their first two albums. Lyrically, probably their best album.

1. Own The Night. On first listen, this is my favorite track off the album. It immediately sets the tone for the rest of the album. It's very uptempo and has a solid rhythm to it, not to mention Charles rich vocals. A fun song that leaves the listener wanting to hear more. When the summer rolls around/And the sun starts sinking down/I still remember you/Oh, I remember you/And I wonder where you are

2. Just A Kiss. The first single off the album, and, to be honest, not one of my top songs from the group. I like the cutesy little love story it presents, but I find the song boring....but the chemistry between Hilary and Charles is very well defined in the vocal harmonies of this song. Just a shot in the dark that you just might
be the one I've been waiting for my whole life

3. "Dance Away With My Heart" is a perfect representation of Lady A- gorgeous harmonies. I love the reflection in the lyrics here. I think we all had that love at 18, whether we realized it then or not. Hillary shines in this song. I haven't seen you in ages/sometimes I find myself wondering where you might be/to me you'll always be 18 and beautiful/dancing away with my heart

4. Friday Night" Not to be confused with the over produced, horribly awful pop song from Katy Perry, this one is a country rock treat. I can just picture Lady A performing this live and their fans jumping around and screaming the words right back to them. It's fun, uptempo song with a cute concept lyrically. This one will do well on country radio, for sure. I wanna be your get away
At the end of every day. That window's rolled down kinda song you love to play

5. "When You Were Mine". Still haven't decided how I feel about this song. I like the varied rhythmic melodies between verses and chorus, I like that Hillary is showcased vocally. But it doesn't grab me emotionally like so many of their other songs do. My favorite part is for sure the hook. I love the emphasis on the word "better". What if this was it baby, What if this was our time, Maybe we're all past saving, I'm gonna give you one try, You better think twice, Before you leave her behind.

6. Cold As Stone. Aah, here is that emotion I was just talking about. This song is a little haunting-not quite in the Need you Now way, but well on it's way. If the perfect harmonies and pitch didn't do it for you, maybe the use of instrumental will, especially at the end of the song. The haunting music says it all. Beautiful tune. I wish I was cold as stone, Then I wouldn't feel a thing. I wish I didn't have this heart, Then I wouldn't know the sting of the rain. I could stand on my own. Letting your memory fade. I wouldn't hurt like this, Or feel so all alone. I wish I was cold as stone

7. Singing Me Home. That gritty little country diddy that had to make the album cut. I like the use of light percussion in this one, and, of course, the perfect harmonies. Lyrically it talks a bout a simple kind of love. I can just hear this song being played at summer bbq's. Lovely little song. My favorite part is the declaration of the word "love" in the hook.

8. Wanted You More. A song I think we can all relate too. Kind of puts a dagger in my heart because I know exactly what they are singing about here. The worst heartbreak- loving someone, thinking they love you, and realizing they never did. So far this is my 2nd favorite track. Love the haunting heartbreak of emotion. Hillary steals the show for this one. I absolutely LOVE the line where they just pour out "Oh I don't need you anymore" because I like to think it's an ode to their biggest hit, "Need You Now" and the connection makes my heart melt and break at the same time. If I ever get the chance to meet them I'm going to ask if that was done on purpose. In my head they did. And again, the instruments have the same tug at the heartstrings feel that "hello world" did. Beautiful song. Genius song.

9. As You Turn Away is another heartbreaker, this time piano driven with Hillary's flawless vocals. This one is really high up on my list, too. I've listened to it several times to catch all the lyrics and the twists in the instruments (the use of strings is also a smart choice). No we can't be friends/Cause I don't think I could take seeing you/And knowing where we've been/I hope you understand

10. Love I've Found In You the album picks back up in tempo with this one. I like the song, but I don't need it. Again, the harmonies are lovely. But it's nothing too outstanding. It doesn't stand out as a hit. Well I wonder where I'd be if the Lord hadn't heard my prayer/The one I said every night 'til the day that you got here/You showed me how to live and love forever
11. Somewhere Love Remains- Something about this song is really special, but I haven't quite figured out what it is yet. It's kind of that last ditch attempt before a break up, that there's something still there they can't let go. It's very romantic, and Charles vocals swoon you. It has the potential to do really well on the radio. I like the hint of hope in the very last few phrases. Love takes time to build its defenses\And trust takes time to tear down those fences
And what remains is stronger than ever before\So don’t walk out that door
I don’t wanna hurt anymore\>

12. Heart Of The World is the one song where I had to stop what I was doing to listen. It's a gift, it's rich. It's bold, strong, and lyrically their best. A gut wrenching tune, for sure. This song contains what are maybe my favorite Lady A lyrics ever: Oh, and hope is soul of the dreamer\And heaven is the home of my God
It only takes one true believer\To believe you can still beat the odds. Gah.

Overall, it's a wonderfully written, beautifully performed album that you need in your collection.

Gavin DeGraw- Sweeter

Ladies and Gents, Gavin DeGraw is BACK- and maybe better than ever? The dude knows his stuff, and knows his strength. His voice is gruffer and stronger than ever, lyrics as catchy and well written.

1. Sweeter. the title track delivers a fun, intense feel. A little snarky. Great opener to the album. I don't know that it's a hit, but I think it will be a favorite amongst Gavin fans, especially at live shows. I can just hear the girls screaming at the sexy little hook he has going on. You're like an angel\Got me feeling like a devil\I wanna give you something\If you promise that you won't tell
Woo hoo

2. Not Over You. I'll admit, when this song was first released, I was nervous. I'm a huge Gavin fan and I was sad that his last album didn't take off like it should have. So I was a little worried that it would be a similar scenario. I was pleasantly surprised. It's catchy and very radio friendly. Pop driven, and I prefer a soulful Gavin, but I'll take it. I like the choppy sound. If you ask me how I'm doing
I would say I'm doing just fine
I would lie and say that you're not on my mind
But I go out and I sit down at a table set for two
And finally I'm forced to face the truth,
No matter what I say I'm - not over you

3. Run Every Time. I can relate to the lyrics in this one, which immediately makes it one of my favorites. And I love the soul and grit in his voice. And you can hear the emotion in his voice, which I'm a sucker for :) Once again, Gavin steals it with the hook. (He's good at that) And I hope she sees
It’s not her, it’s just me
And I’m so sorry
To be this close
And let it slip away
I keep stumbling till I finally miss the last train

4. Soldier. Aah, the Gavin I know and love. soulful, anthemy. His voice just kills me in this tune and reminds me why I fell in love with his music in the first place- real, raw, genuine music. Easily one of the better songs on the album. He sums it all up with the line "When you get worried I'll be your soldier."

5. Candy. And this is the moment I knew the album was solid, all around. 5th song in a row that I adore? Yes please! The use of the instruments and talking at the end of the song is pretty brilliant, and his vocals are flawless. "I know you've learned use your fairy tales to get you through the hurt."

6. You Know Where I'm At- If you can get past the poor grammar, this is another solid tune that makes the listener feel safe. A raw, genuine ballad from Gavin, my favorite type of track from him. It's a very honest and believable song. Oh, it's better up ahead\The worst is over now\Remember what I said\Live, you don't have to look back\But if you ever do,\You know where I'm at

7. Stealing- One of the best songs from the album. Very soulful, a little old school. Memorable and distinctive. Has that Gavin sound without sounding too boring. Very relatable lyrics. It's a cute way of saying "hey, we need to end this thing". So I want my heart back\If you’re not gonna keep it\If you’ve got no uses\Then I’m gonna need it\And someone else\Is gonna need it too

8. Radiation- Another fun concert song. Very sexy and sassy. That Gavin gritty voice is quite evident. Very uptempo with a fun drum beat, and some sneaky little background clapping. funky, edgy. He tells it like it is. I'm quite excited to yell these words back to him on stage. If you miss me don’t
If I never wanna see you again
I won’t
If you get an invitation
I’m probably drunk

9. Where You Are- Turning back to the sensitive song of Gavin. A lovely little love song, a realistic love song that that. The chorus is really heartwarming. I could totally see this being a single...or at least play in a movie :) And that I wanna be where you are
I feel the same as I did from the start
Whoa, I wanna be where you are
And I’m willing to get there

10. Spell It Out- if "plays" on itunes factors into which track is my favorite, then I guess this is my favorite! I like it because it's stripped down, which is my favorite side of Gavin (his chariot stripped album is in my car cd player all the time). It reminds me of another song of his although I can't remember which one at the moment. His vocals are not perfect in this song, but I think that's maybe why I like it so much. It's real. Come on, we can leave the world behind
Close the curtains, shut out the light
Just state the good
Don't let me go
Don't tell me I should
Wake up
Step out

I wanted to do a review of NeedToBreathe, but I'm still listening to it and soaking it in. It's....beyond words.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

ten years

Ten years ago, I was 14 years old. A freshman in high school. I was at that selfish age. That age where you think nothing bad can happen to you. When you haven't quite realized how big the world is.

I was in my health class when our principal went over the PA system to tell us that two planes had crashed into the World Trade Centers, and that they believed it was a terrorist attack. To be quite honest, I don't think I knew what it meant. I knew it was bad. I knew it was tragic. But I didn't quite understand the "terrorist attack". I had no idea that people could hate us so much that they plan to kill thousands, millions, of us. I remember the feeling of school that day-sadness. Everyone was walking around, kind of numb, in shock, not quite sure what to say.

When I think of 9/11, there are a few things that run through my mind. The first- the people on the planes. How terrified they must have been feeling, the complete lack of control they had. The second? The families. The panic that must have run through their minds as they found out the news, wondering if their loved on was at work that day, or in that plane. I do not know what they felt that day, what they continue to feel day in and day out. But my thoughts and prayers go out to them. That they may find hope, peace. That they are able to continue pushing on.

Then, as insensitive as this might read on first glance, I think of comfort. How we, as a nation, for that day , for weeks months and, yes, ten years later, reached out to comfort one another. We were all attacked, all put at risk. I remember, at my school, we had a prayer service maybe a week or so after the attack. Our peers, classmates, and friends stood in front of us, telling us how 9/11 impacted their lives. We had a couple girls who were Muslim, they stood there and told us how terrified they were of being judged or stereotyped, because of their religion and because they chose to wear a hijab on their heads every single day. That prayer service brought us together as a school, and for the first time in my life, I began to realize how big the world was, how one tragedy impacted the entire nation.

My heart goes out today. It goes out to the families who lost someone that crisp, September day. My heart goes out to every single person who tried to help- who continue to help. From the firefighters and government to the NYC residents who ran to get people out of the burning building. You are all heroes in my eyes. My heart goes out to the service men and women who fight, every single day, to keep us safe.

Let's spread more love. Lord knows this world needs it. Find your cause.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

songs of summer

Today on my drive into work I heard that Katy Perry's obnoxiously awful song "Last Friday Night" was dubbed the song of the summer. Now I love me a good/horribly bad pop song, but I have to disagree. Here were my favorite songs of the summer.

David Guetta- Where Dem Girlz At

One Republic- Good Life

Jason Aldean- Dirt Road Anthem

LMFAO- Party Rock Anthem

Neon Trees- Animal

Lady Gaga- Edge of Glory

Beyonce- Best Thing I Never Had

Lady Gaga- You and I

Eminem/Bruno Mars- Lighters

Adele- Rolling in the Deep

Nicki Minaj- Super Bass

What was your favorite summer tune?

Thursday, September 1, 2011


I'll be honest, August hasn't been that great to me. I've been handed a number of disapointments. In life, work, friendships, etc. And while it dragged me down, beat me up, today I woke up with a whole new attitude. Life is full of disapointments. We can let them consumer our life and tear us down, or we can weep for a moment or two, and move on. Life is far too short to be getting all worked up over things we cannnot control. So, this blog is about how I've been dealing with disapointment.

First I pout, and feel sorry for myself. I say things like "why does this have to happen to me?" "Ugh, my life sucks". Last night I spent an hour or two in my room listening to the saddest Adele songs I could find. When in reality, I have a pretty awesome life and should be grateful for what I do have. I'm alive, aren't I? I have a job. I have people I can rely on.

Then I get angry. At myself, usually. I' m really hard on myself. I go over and over what I may have done wrong. I also get angry at the person, people, or situation.

Then I do something for myself to let it all out. Listen to music, write (when I'm really upset I pound on the keyboard- tha'ts fun), go for a walk, work out, etc. I find something, anything to do that will distract me and give me something to put my mind on.

I pray about it. I ask God to give me strength, peace, and courage to get over these challenges. I ask God to help me forgive.

That's how I deal with disapointment. I eventually let it go. Sometimes it takes a day, sometimes a week, once it took me a whole year and a 1/2 to get over a REALLY hurtful situation. But the main thing I remember is- life goes on. There are bumps in the road.

Today God woke me up happy. He gave me this whole new outlook on things. He made me stronger. I've realized that life happens, life brings you disapointments, but life is not ABOUT disapointments. It's about learning how to get over them, how to make the conscious decision to be happy and positive and to be the best person you can be.

Also, not to brag, but I need to let this out- when I first started here in April, I had 3 active volunteers. As of today, I have 18. With six potential volunteers in the gates, ready to set up training dates. I'm pretty ecstatic about this, and very proud of myself.

I love you all and hope you have a happy September. I know I will.