This week's throwback has an incredibly special place in my heart. Years ago I went to Capital FM's Summertime Ball (for those who don't know, the Sunmertime Ball is an annual event run by Capital FM where some of the biggest names in music perform), and one of the acts performing was Kelly Clarkson. I was quite young at this concert and so I was new to the live music scene, but the second she performed Since U Been Gone I suddenly felt the power that music has. Ever since that night I can't help but adore this song, so it had to be added to the playlist!
This week's throwback is This Love by the legends that are Maroon 5! I wanted to feature this song on Throwback Thursday for a number of reasons, the first being how happy the song makes me feel. I don't know about everyone reading this, but whenever I listen to This Love I feel instantly a lot better, and although it sounds cringey, I can honestly say that this song is capable of cheering me up no matter how I feel.
I also really love this song for the same reason as a lot of the other songs on the throwback playlist, because it was played a lot when I was younger. Maroon 5 were always playing when I was little, meaning that whenever I listen to their older music I instantly feel at home.
Adam Levine's voice is also extremely distinct which makes the band stand out, and I think this has contributed to their amazing success over the years. It's been 15 years since This Love was released, and Maroon 5 are continuing to release brilliant songs, and although I really love their new music, you can't beat the classics!
This week's throwback features the first act I ever became a fan of, Girls Aloud. Not only were Girls Aloud the first band I ever loved, they were also my first concert, which means I will always feel a cute connection with them. There are so many old but gold Girls Aloud songs, but I thought for this playlist it had to be their debut single, Sound of the Underground. This song is one of my favourite throwback songs ever because it reminds me of being younger and wanting to be the sixth member of Girls Aloud!
Don't forget to listen to the Throwback Thursday playlist on Spotify to hear all of the throwback songs so far!
As you may know, 5 After Midnight found fame on last year's series of The X Factor. From their first audition I completely fell in love with them, and instantly knew that they would go far in the music industry. Although they didn't win the competition, I knew that we would be hearing more from the band soon enough, and last week they released their debut single, Up In Here.
At first I was quite nervous to listen to the single because of the insanely high expectations I had for them. However, after hearing it for the first time I was relieved! I love the fact that 5AM have released an upbeat song that sounds true to them, rather than selling themselves out to quickly release a single. Towards the end of the song there is a part for a dance break (which was almost their trademark on The X Factor), and I am so glad that they put this in as I feel that this was one of their unique selling points. Lots of artists are still finding themselves when they first start releasing music, yet 5AM already feel like an established group.
Since listening to Up In Here for the first time I have had it stuck in my head 24/7, which shows what a truly brilliant song it is.
Overall I think this has been a fantastic debut for 5 After Midnight and I can't wait to see what the future holds for them!
This week Halsey released her latest album Hopeless Fountain Kingdom. I always see a lot about Halsey all over social media, and I have always wanted to like her, however after her last album Badlands I just wasn’t a fan. I had read a lot about this album and had seen a lot of hype leading up to the release, yet on the release day I saw quite a few people say that they didn’t like it as much as Badlands because it sounded too ‘pop’, and while this may be a negative to some people, it actually encouraged me to listen to it!
I didn’t want to rule out all of Halsey’s future music because of one not so good album, so I decided to give Hopeless Fountain Kingdom a listen.
After listening to the entire album I can honestly say that I am pleasantly surprised! I thought that I would be sat telling myself to like and enjoy it, but I genuinely do! Halsey has such a distinct voice which means that some of the songs do sound similar, but in general it really is a brilliant album. Opening the album with The Prologue feels as though Halsey is telling the listener a story, which I find really interesting. While there is nothing wrong with an artist putting out an album with random songs on it, I feel like Hopeless Fountain Kingdom is one big body of work that should be listened to all together rather than dipping in and out of it.
But of course just like any album there are songs that are better than others, and songs that are much worse than others. Altogether I have six favourites, including Eyes Closed, Heaven In Hiding and Bad At Love. From the moment I listened to the album, I have had the powerful Bad At Love stuck in my head. The incredibly raw and emotional lyrics, mixed with both the strong vocals and tone make the track enormously captivating. While Heaven In Hiding feels like Halsey is speaking directly to the listener, generating power that I didn’t know Halsey had.
However there are also songs that I don’t speak just as fondly of. The weakest song on the album is definitely Don’t Play. I’m not too sure what Halsey was thinking when she recorded this song, because to me all it sounds like is someone both trying and failing to be ‘cool’. The unnecessary swearing in the chorus in combination with the weird beat reminds me of an older person trying desperately hard to be ‘current’ with the ‘kids’, ultimately creating quite an embarrassing song. The whole album is beautifully unique and can stand alone as one of a kind, however adding this song to the track list made it seem much more generic.
The other song that I’m not as keen on is Now or Never. Each time I listen to this song it grows on me more and more, however the reason I don’t like it is because the chorus sounds too much like Needed Me by Rihanna. I love Needed Me, yet what I don’t like are rip off versions of it. I think the verses leading up to the chorus are great, but the chorus is where it really gets let down.
Overall though I really like this album, in fact I would be close to saying that I love it! I am so glad that I gave Halsey another chance, and I would definitely urge anyone reading this to go and give it a listen.
On Friday singer Dua Lipa released her brand new self-titled album. I've never had much of an opinion on Dua Lipa, I've liked some of her singles but I wouldn't class myself as a fan. Based on the fact that she's had some good singles, I was interested in listening to her album. Part of me wondered if all the songs would sound the same (as I feel that a few of her singles sound quite similar), or if she would do something unpredictable and have a selection of songs that all sound different.
On my first listen of this album I was both impressed and surprised. The variety of songs on the album make an interesting listen, as you're not sure what you're about to listen to next. I was also impressed because the album as a whole made me realise what a beautiful voice Dua has, something that I had never noticed before.
Just like with every album, there are songs that you like more than others, but after writing down all of my favourites from this album I realised I had quite a few! There are 17 tracks on the deluxe edition, nine of which I class as my favourites! I love the chilled vibes with a mixture of sass in IDGAF, as well as passion and power in Bad Together.
Overall I enjoyed this album much more than I thought I would, and I am really happy with the variety of songs that this album has to offer. The only thing that is the same with each song is Dua's beautiful vocals, and I expect bucketloads of success will be coming her way soon enough.
This week Little Mix released their latest single, Power, from their latest album Glory Days. I am so glad that they choose this song to be the next single as it is one of my personal favourites from the album. However, rather than releasing the original version, Little Mix have teamed up with grime artist Stormzy for a new version of the song, which subsequently caused quite a debate.
The original version of the song doesn't need a feature because it doesn't feel like there is anything missing from it, however I believe Stormzy actually works really well on it. The two contrasting genres of music combined into one song is something that is hardly ever done, and raises the bar for future memorable collaborations between artists.
Some people on the other hand are not happy about this team up as they argue that the song is based on (and is about female empowerment), meaning that it shouldn't have a male feature. Little Mix are so incredibly powerful and strong in their own right, so they arguably don't actually need a feature in order to prove their power to the public.
I had seen a number of tweets and arguments on Twitter about this, so I decided to a run a poll to see what everyones' thoughts were, and the result was very similar to what I said.
The first question asked was, Do you prefer 'Power' with or without a feature? This poll got a huge 735 votes, with only 25% voting that they prefer Power with a feature, while 75% voted that they prefer it without. Overall I agree with this result because Power was great on its own and it didn't need a feature to make it any better/more appealing.
The second question I asked was, Does Little Mix feat. Stormzy work? Out of 650 votes, 60% voted saying that it does work, while 40% said that it doesn't. This result was a lot closer than the previous poll, clearly showing how divided people are about this, however once again I agree with the result. While the song didn't need a feature, the rare collaboration between pop and grime music is surprisingly a match made in heaven. You hardly ever (if at all) see these two genres mix together with a collaboration, so it's very refreshing seeing and hearing something that is so extraordinary and new.
Putting the song to one side, I love this collaboration because it successfully bought two unlikely worlds together, and I hope that this is the start of many more unique partnerships!
Overall, the song was perfect originally, however also Stormzy works brilliantly as a feature.
See below the responses on Twitter:
This week's throwback is one of the greatest summer songs ever, Hips Don't Lie by Shakira. I can't help but smile whenever I listen to this song because I instantly get transported back to a summer holiday I had years ago, where it would constantly play on repeat. What I also find quite extraordinary about Hips Don't Lie is the fact that there are no other songs that sound anything like it, therefore putting it in a unique league of its own as one of the best and most memorable songs in a very long time.