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I am a student who loves music, and I love to tell people what I think of music...back after a while away to focus on university

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since 03/08/2014


Smoke + Mirrors - Imagine Dragons 16/03/2015

Forget the Smoke + Mirrors...this is clearly amazing

Smoke + Mirrors - Imagine Dragons Imagine Dragons return from their chart-storming, inspirational debut album Night Visions with their second instalment, Smoke + Mirrors. The four-piece band from Las Vegas have produced another great album, almost matching up to the first, and certainly one of the best around at the moment. From catchy tunes to ballads of sublime quality, they have hit the ground running in their career. The Script, Bastille, Of Monsters and Men, OneRepublic and Kodaline are all artists that I would recommend, and are artists that I also associate my music tastes with. This band has fierce competition to be the best in its genre, but this album stands up well, and if you like this, I would strongly recommend checking out the latest albums of all of these. Shots starts with a completely different sound from the last album. It is more electronic/techno, but it is a really catchy tune, with some strong instrumental parts and great melodies. The vocals are fantastic, and show the vocal range of Dan Reynolds more than the previous album. It is a great opening track, and certainly makes me want to listen on, or put the song on repeat. Either is good. This song seems to be about always messing something up when it gets good, with the lyrics being oh I'm just going to mess this up, oh this is just my luck. The song grows in passion as it goes on, and becomes more and more contemporary. Gold is the catchiest tune on the album, and I love it from the first seconds I heard it. It's my favourite, and ...

UK Election 2015 03/03/2015

These busybodies will be hung out to dry with a hung Parliament

UK Election 2015 When it all comes down to it, this general election is likely to be the closest yet. The 7th May is fast approaching, and those who haven't registered to vote yet should absolutely do so. I've highlighted some of the key issues, give a basic opinion, and ultimately, who will win the General Election. Immigration The Conservative Party have pledged that they will bring immigration down; just what David Cameron said he would do if he won in 2010. Figures have risen from just over 200,000 to just under 300,000 in this country, with no sign of slowing down. This Parliament has overseen an increase in immigration. Labour want stronger border controls, but have yet to outline how this will be done in practice. It seems as though that has been a popular phrase for this whole Parliamentary term, with no such success. The overly unpopular Liberal Democrats have suggested making EU migrant workers earn their allowances, something which is completely agreeable. The EU With every intention of giving a vote on the membership of the EU, Cameron is now under pressure from the right-wing of the Conservative party and UKIP to make drastic changes, something which I doubt he will do. He has, however, promised this referendum by 2017, something which I feel will happen if the Conservatives gain a majority. If they do not, be sure that he will renege on this promise. UKIP are demanding that Britain leaves the EU, and cut the foreign aid budget by £9bn. These plans seem very right-wing, ...

1000 Forms of Fear - Sia 01/03/2015

Fear must be Sia's middle name after this

1000 Forms of Fear - Sia Sia is an artist who I have generally always admired, so it's nice to see her work develop. The Australian singer-songwriter, whilst coming to fame writing for artists such as Rihanna and Christina Aguilera, has always developed her own career well. This album is dark and dense, and full of mixed-metaphors, but is great to listen to, and the ending is simply fantastic, and provides hope. As much as the music is great, I don't like the cover of the album. It's almost creepy, and it's quite dull, but fitting for the album in the sense that it is dark and scary throughout. The original lyrics balance that out. If you like Sia, try the music of Lorde and Robyn, and Last FM recommends similar artists, including Paloma Faith, and although I like her style too, I'm unsure she is exactly the same. Chandelier is as much a catchy, fantastic lead single as well as being a meaningful, powerful message about drugs and alcohol. It's intense beats and sublime vocals are counter-punched with lyrics about how alcoholism and drugs affected Sia following the death of her boyfriend in 1997, which she says lasted 6 years. I also read that maybe the swing from the chandelier was a metaphor for her considering suicide, but I don't know the truth of that. It's a fantastic, melancholy but musically sound track, and one of the best singles of the past few years, equal with her writing on Titanium and Diamonds, both of which she should have kept for herself. Big Girls Cry starts with a slow, ...

True Romance (Parental Advisory) [PA] - Charli XCX 21/02/2015

There is no true romance in these songs

True Romance (Parental Advisory) [PA] - Charli XCX Charli XCX: credited with a "goth pop" label, she is an English singer-songwriter and quirky tune writer who, I believe, rose to prominence with hit song Boom Clap, featured in the film The Fault In Our Stars. That's not all that Charlotte Emma Aitchison is about, and I thought I would take a look back at her older work to see how she began. With a 13-song track list in True Romance, and a parental advisory rating to go alongside that, this album was sure to produce some fireworks. Unfortunately, it didn't. It is arguable that she could be compared to Marina and the Diamonds, Iggy Azalea or my personal favourite of the comparisons, Natalia Kills. If you like Charli XCX, check out these three, as they are probably better and more established anyway. Nuclear Seasons embodies her style in a song. It sounds light and airy, with a distinctive build-up, followed by a bass-drop style change in the sound. A delicious, raspy voice is not used to its full potential. The lyrics are plain and unremarkable, and I can't even say that the song is catchy. In fact, it's a pretty dull attempt at an album opener. Whilst trying to resist the urge to become biased early on, the song is simply too long and repetitive with no set pattern of verse-chorus. It's not the first song you would put on if you had listened to the whole album, and it's a shame to open with one of the poor tracks. On to the next one... You - Ha Ha Ha is next up, and with a more lively intro, the initial sounds are good. ...

Native - OneRepublic 20/12/2014

Never mind Counting Stars, One Republic will be counting cash

Native - OneRepublic One Republic have shocked me. This is actually my favourite album of the year. Packed full of beautiful melodies and tunes with great tempo, they have pulled it out of the bag and shone in my eyes. This is a top quality album, and if you have a spare hour or so, give this a listen. This comes highly recommended, from an artist who I'm usually not a major fan of. How they haven't set the world alight yet is beyond me. There is such drama and tension and love and passion in this, and all in abundance. It is as if they have really grown up and come of age with this record. If you love this as much as I did, try The Fray, Coldplay, Imagine Dragons and Maroon 5. Counting Stars is one of the best songs of the year to be frank. It is the most catchy tune I have heard all year, and I love the vocals in it, I think they are sublime. If you love pop-rock, you will not be disappointed if you buy this album with this song on it. It shows a great vocal range, and the instruments used in the song are fun and lively. This song always puts me in a good mood, and is great to sing along to. I would highly recommend this single even if you do not like the album. A worthy UK number one without a shadow of a doubt. Second in line is If I Lose Myself, which contrasts the powerful start with a more simple vocal performance. The beat is slower, which works really well. This song has been remixed into a drum and bass song, which I would also recommend you listen to. This track is all about being ...

Sheezus (Parental Advisory) [PA] - Lily Allen 21/08/2014

Sheezus - She's Back!

Sheezus (Parental Advisory) [PA] - Lily Allen Artist History Lily Allen's third album Sheezus brings her back from the musical shadows she placed around herself following the release of her previous album, It's Not Me, It's You. Lily announced that she would not be making any more music, and was taking what can now be called a hiatus. She intended to focus on an acting career that never actually materialised, and has returned to what she does best: singing. Album Introduction The 29-year-old singer-songwriter wrote every single track on this new album along with a couple of others songwriters. She also features bonus track cover Somewhere Only We Know, originally performed by Keane, and which featured as the track for the John Lewis Christmas advert. Love her or hate her, she has certainly made a statement with this album as her comeback, and cites Kanye West as inspiration for the album's name, with his album from 2013 being called Yeezus. Lily is also doing a tour based on this album, conveniently named The Sheezus Tour. My Views This isn't something I would choose to listen to, as I find Lily's attitude quite frustrating, but have found myself drawn to see how well she has returned since her hiatus. I found that she still needs to grow up and away from explicit lyrics in every song, but it generally wasn't a failed comeback. Before listening, I must say it is not the most inspiring album I have ever heard, but the album art is generally not too bad, with a quirky background picture to Lily on the steps, and ...

Whispers - Passenger 14/08/2014

There are no passengers on this album

Whispers - Passenger Passenger is an artist that is closest to a folk genre, as well as a little bit of rock thrown in there. If you love a bit of upbeat, unique sounds then Passenger is the artist for you. Let Her Go is arguably his best and most famous track, which is from the previous album. Real name Michael Rosenborg, he used to be in the band Passenger, and even adopted the name after their break-up. Passenger is very similar to The Lumineers, and if you're in the mood for Passenger and have never listened to The Lumineers, give them a go. I would also recommend Ed Sheeran, although he is less folk. Mumford & Sons is also a great band of brothers that has very similar sounds, and even to an extent, Of Monsters and Men. Coins In A Fountain sounds very similar to the introduction to Let Her Go. It is a fast-paced song, and has some very interesting instrumental sounds in the background. There are some interesting lyrics, making the song very much a love song. It is very easy listening, and a fantastic opening track. 27 is a more upbeat track, and brings through the folk sound in a major way. It is explicit, which I am not keen on in music, so be careful if you also feel this way. The lyrics are again good, and the tempo is really fun and lively. There is less rock in this song, but the backing music is terrific. The vocals are so good, and there is so much control from Passenger. Heart's On Fire is another beautiful love song, with the song being sung in exactly the right key, and ...

Cofton Country Holiday Park 13/08/2014

Charisma at Cofton Country Holiday Park

Cofton Country Holiday Park Introduction My girlfriend and I spent a total of 10 days at Cofton Country Holiday Park in early July, 2014. It was much cheaper than booking a holiday during the summer holidays, as it cost me a total of £184 for the 10 nights, which I did not think was extortionate. It is located in Dawlish, Devon and in the heart of some beautiful countryside. Pitches The quality of the pitches was fantastic, with a very large amount of space to be used up. We had a fairly large tent with 2 sleeping compartments, and managed to fit the tent, a Ford Fiesta, along with 2 outdoor chairs, a table, a windbreak and also a small barbecue. This was without taking up half of the space available on the pitch. We were well shaded by the trees, but our pitch allowed for just enough sunshine to get a decent tan. Virtually the whole time we were at the site, we were surrounded by absolutely nobody, well that is until a noisy family showed up towards the end. Nonetheless, that could not be helped and did not detract from the quality of the pitch. We chose our particular pitch ourselves, having been given a free choice considering the limited reservations given it was not peak season. On our fourth attempt, we managed to choose a pitch, but this only occurred because a number of the pitches are infested with wasp nests. We also quickly learnt that there are rabbits running around the camp-site constantly, although they added a nice touch rather than a hindrance. Entertainment It is fair to ...

Heart of Nowhere - Noah and the Whale 11/08/2014

This new album has heart and love everywhere

Heart of Nowhere - Noah and the Whale Band History Noah And The Whale are an indie-folk 5-piece band that have a very unique and fun style. They rose to success in the UK with 5 Years Time, which in my personal opinion was their worst track. They are from Twickenham in London, and consist of Charlie Fink with vocals and guitar, Tom Hobden with the somewhat unusual violin and keys, Matt Owens on bass guitar, Fred Abbott on guitar and keys, and Michael Petulla on drums. The band also formerly included 2011 Brit Awards Best British Female, Laura Marling. Album Introduction The new album Heart Of Nowhere was released in May 2013, as part of Mercury Records. The album is said to reflect on adolescence and the transition to adulthood. It involves lyrics about friendship and love in a major way, and takes you through the emotions, making you feel every single one. It is a very sweet, loving album with lots of great vocals, brilliant instrumentals, especially with the violin. It received great reviews in the majority, with The Independent rating it as 3/5 but suggesting it focuses on the past too much. I tend to disagree, as the last two songs complete the story and focus on the present and the future. My views I bought this album because I was intrigued to hear the latest addition to the fantastic folk music that they have previously produced. I was not disappointed, and I really hope that they can keep up this quality long into the future. I did not think Last Night On Earth could be beaten, but this has really ...

Helios - Fray (The) 11/08/2014

Helios is not groundbreaking, but mainly bright from The Fray

Helios - Fray (The) The Fray are a classy, American pop-rock band that doesn't follow the norm and conform to make chart hits...they tend to do whatever they want and stick to their style of music. They are original, which is highly important in a commercialised music industry. I admire their choice of album title, and also the artwork is pretty good too. Hold My Hand is one of the best opening songs of an album I have ever heard. Talk about saving the best for last, The Fray have saved the best for first. It is typical The Fray style, and the lyrics are good quality as always. I fail to understand how you could dislike this song. It is upbeat and fun, with great vocals and lots of dynamics required from a pop-rock band. Love Don't Die, I believe, is not a style we have seen from The Fray before. It has more of a rock background to it, which is great. Isaac Slade adjusts his vocals very well in this song, and I like how The Fray always produce songs with meanings. This is certainly a love song with a difference, as it has more edge than a typical sombre, slow love song. The songs Give It Away and Close To Me are quite unremarkable, as they do not have a really fast beat, nor exceptional lyrics, but as album fillers go, they are quite good ones. Hurricane returns the album to old glories, with some great love lyrics, and a great drum beat in the background. The vocals are sung very well, and this is a song I can listen to over and over again. If The Fray were to release singles, this would be ...

Supermodel - Foster the People 09/08/2014

It's not a Coming Of Age for Foster The People

Supermodel - Foster the People American indie-pop bands are everywhere nowadays, but you have to go a long way to find a decent one. Following debut album Torches, I thought I had with Foster The People, but I might have to think again after this dreadful album. With only one hit and a lot of poor songs, I wouldn't waste your time with it. If you do happen to like it, however, you should definitely try MGMT, who do this genre much better. There is also Two Door Cinema Club or Bombay Bicycle Club if you're stuck. Are You What You Want To Be? involves too much speaking for my liking, and it is very difficult to hear what is being said. I do not like the introduction of the song, and having listened to it a few times, I realise the chorus is quite catchy, but other than that, the song is just too difficult to understand. It is lively and cheery, but there is no lyrical meaning. Ask Yourself starts more promisingly, and the guitar introduction is done well. The vocal performance is much better on this track. The indie sound really comes through in this song, which is calmer than the previous one. The sounds are less blaring, and they are more controlled. It is easier to understand the lyrics, and they have a better meaning. This is one of the best songs on the album, and well worth a listen. It definitely grows on you. Coming Of Age was the lead single from the album, and what a fantastic one it was. In my opinion, it is by far the best song Foster The People have sung. It did, however, only reach 158th on ...

In the Lonely Hour - Sam Smith 09/08/2014

Classy singer who will dominate the charts for years to come

In the Lonely Hour - Sam Smith Sam Smith stormed his way onto the scene in 2014 with his debut album In The Lonely Hour, and I am convinced he will never look back. With one of the best debut albums I have ever heard, I believe he will dominate the charts in the coming years. Be prepared to hear more about this young singer-songwriter. He has previously featured on track La La La with Naughty Boy, and this almost kick-started his career. His "beyond his years" vocals and stylish lyrics make this one of the most interesting and under-rated albums of the year. Stay With Me is one of the best tracks of 2014, with a fantastic combination of singing and song-writing brought together to make such wonderful music. Sam's vocals throughout are faultless, and the song encourages you to sing along to every word. It is really catchy, and sung in a very deep key to sound somewhat like blues-pop. I have listened to this so many times, and it is very easy to remember all of the words. Money on My Mind was catchy from the first time I listened to it, and I would highly recommend it as one of the best songs of the album. Even if you don't like it initially, it will grow on you as the range of vocals that are show by Sam are actually mind-blowing. He manages to go from a very deep manly vocal to a very high, powerful chorus. Good Thing is a soft tune throughout, bringing in some meaningful lyrics and some passionate, wonderful vocals. It is not quite as upbeat as others on the album, but nonetheless, it delivers a ...

Midnight Memories - One Direction 09/08/2014

Some memorable songs, but others only have One Direction: down

Midnight Memories - One Direction I am not one for boring, meaningless pop music with no talent or creativity. However, I thought I might give this one a go and see whether anything had changed in the industry nowadays. A lot of the beats on this album are produced by a computer rather than actual instruments, which is obviously the choice of the artist, but it is difficult to admire instrumental talent because of this. The recording quality throughout, however, is second to none, and credit must go to Syco Music for that. One Direction are one of the most famous pop bands in the world at the moment, and having come through TV show The X Factor to achieve worldwide chart success, they have released their third album Midnight Memories. Loved by teenage girls everywhere, this is a somewhat guilty pleasure for people everywhere, although not something I would ever pick up and really listen to. It surprised me with some good songs and really catchy tunes, but I can't say I would rush out to get the next album. Pick any other cheesy pop band if you like this. Best Song Ever has a great and catchy chorus, with a really good beat. It is hard to hate this song, although the lyrics are difficult to relate to as they are not genuine, as I cannot imagine the lyrics mean anything to the band and are sincere. I also find this song difficult as it was not written by any members of the band, and it was simply written and produced for them. The vocals are hard to criticise, as they have a really good vocal range, and there ...

Tattoos - Jason Derulo 09/08/2014

An album with a lot of fire and passion, and some awesome vocals

Tattoos - Jason Derulo Jason Derulo is an American singer-songwriter who sings with a great vocal range, and lots of upbeat songs with plenty of charisma. He has sold over 30 million singles, and this is his third international album, Tattoos. It is a great representation of his talent, and this album is made more fantastic by the fact that Jason co-wrote all of the songs, which shows that he is a great songwriter, as most of these tracks are really catchy. If you enjoy this, I would recommend listening to Jay Sean, Taio Cruz, and most importantly, Chris Brown, as they have very similar tones and also do lots of collaborations. The Other Side is a great pop track, with a lot of positivity. It is very upbeat, and this builds from the introduction to the great chorus. I was singing the song over and over again, as it a very catchy chorus. If you listen, I'm sure you will be singing it as well. This song specifically shows of Jason's great vocal range, as the chorus involves a much different pitch to the verse, and he hits every single note. This song has been very successful, and really makes you want to get up and dance around. It is fun and lively, and is one of his best hits to date, even though it never reached UK number one. The lyrics fit well into the music, and this song has been composed very cleverly. There are some great digital effects on this track. Talk Dirty, done in collaboration with 2 Chainz is more of an R n' B track than a pop hit. The vocals take a different tone in this song, ...

Ultraviolence - Lana Del Rey 09/08/2014

Ultraboring from Lana Del Rey this time round

Ultraviolence - Lana Del Rey Lana Del Rey is an American singer-songwriter who has just released her third album Ultraviolence. She has had chart success with the single Born To Die, which was the title of the preceding album. Both albums have reached number one in the UK charts, with Ultraviolence hitting number one in the US also, and it has sold over one million copies. Lana likes to use very American themes for her music videos, and takes her musical influences from the likes of Bob Dylan, Nirvana and The Beach Boys. Her style is quite difficult to pin down, with some suggesting she is part of the indie-pop genre, and others suggesting she is a female vocalist. I tend to edge towards the former, as this music is quirky and edgy, and it is rough around the edges. Lana has a lot of talent, but uses a very alternative, unique style of music. She is currently on a world tour, but has recently cancelled a gig in Israel due to the violence. If you like her music, it could be worth listening to Lorde and Marina And The Diamonds, who I somewhat prefer to Lana. I only recently discovered Lana's work, as I thought I would try a popular artist who I hadn't really considered before. It is sad knowing I will never get those 50 minutes of my life back. Cruel World has a slow, timid introduction, and the instrumental at the beginning is quite nice. The song never really gets going at the start, but when the chorus kicks in, the unique tones of Lana begin to sound through. The some is not overly catchy, as it is a ...
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