Monday, 23 March 2015

The Lion’s Music #3

Welcome to another edition of The Lion’s Tunes.

At the suggestion of a close friend, I decided to put my love of music to good use.

She pointed out to me that since I love music and listen to so much of it, I should share what songs I’m currently jamming to at the moment.

If you follow me on twitter then you’d know I usually tweet about what music has got me all caught up and catching feelings.

I decided to mix things up this week. 

Don’t worry; it’s only for this edition of The Lion’s Music. I decided to give you a review of the albums I’ve enjoyed over the past year and just share some of them with you.

If I can describe this week’s music selection it would be – Smorgasbord.

I’m by no means a music expert and I won’t pretend to be. Most of what will be written here is information I’ve learned on the net and just my personal opinions on the songs. So have at it...


·         Artist:  Tove Lo
Album: Queen of the Clouds

What the actual fuck? This shit is a music orgasm. If you have not heard of Tove Lo then I can’t even with you.  I initially thought it was pronounced Toe-Vee Low but it’s actually Too-Va Loo – who knew.  It’s rare that you find an album that you love from beginning to finish. Especially for someone like me that can be really particular about the songs I like.

I discovered Tove Lo by accident when I opened someone’s tumblr page and I heard the song “Out of Mind” from her EP. It was just that song and I was hooked. I discovered her album was released when Panic at the Disco lead Brendon Urie tweeted about it. I then got the album and months later it’s still one of my favourite albums. Words cannot explain how talented this Swedish export is.

So you proud to be a good one, but the good one’s always complain
about the stuff they never did.
 Don’t make a thing about the bad kind, cause the bad kind don’t even know
all the hearts they’re messing with.
You can point fingers all you want, I don’t care
I love you anyway...
You can point fingers all you want, I don’t care
I love you anyway...
Yeah I’m falling in love and I hope that you want me
 the way that I am,
Falling in love and I know I can change me,
Do you understand?
Falling in love and I hope that you want me
 the way that I am,
Falling in love and I know I can change me
Do you understand?”

®     The Way I Am
I love both versions of the song, the faster and slower version. It’s just superb.
®     Thousand Miles – “...and that’s when I run, all of these thousand miles to get you back. I’m coming for you babe, I’m coming now.”
®     Run on Love –
Talk about a great dance track. It’s a song she features on but my word is it a goody. It might not be on this album, I could’ve have gotten it somewhere else but still go give it a listen.
®     Got Love
®     Like Em Young – Hey boy you’re too young for me but I don’t care cause you’re all I need. I like em young, I like em young
®     Not On Drugs –
Another song that may be on her EP or somewhere else (I have all the music in a folder with just their names which is why I am not sure) but still a great track.
®     Love Ballad
®     Talking Body

·         Artist: The Script
Album: No Sound Without Silence

Oddly enough, I didn’t like The Script’s album when I first heard it. (I’m probably going to be hurt severely by my friend Courtney who is a huge fan). I thought all the songs were the same and just didn’t like it. I still kept it on my playlist though and carried on with life.

It took for me to hear these songs individually to really understand and appreciate their worth. The Script is a really talented band; lead singer Danny is definitely a superb songwriter and his voice is not too shabby too. I like the album now, it took me a while but I am really really enjoying it. Their sound for the album is very much The Script but it works for them and so why change a winning recipe.

®     Paint The Town Green –
If asked to explain why of all the song on the album I like this one best? I have no clue. I think this song makes me want to be Irish really. It’s just such a fun tune and very Irish actually. Definitely a song I’m sure was played on Saint Patrick’s Day.
®     No Good In Goodbye – “I can’t take the ache from heartbreak
®     It’s Not Right For You –
 There is really something so special about the song. I love it because of the lyrical meaning.
®     Superheroes –
The video was filmed here in South Africa and again the meaning and intention behind the music is really what makes this so good.
®     Flares

·         Artist: Taylor Swift
Album: 1989

I became a Swifty with the album “Red”, and mainly because of my close friend Chelsea. She is a major Taylor Swift fan and she infected me with the T-Swizzle bug with the album. Don’t get her started on how much she loves Taylor Swift; she would literally lose her ability to formulate sentences to explain how awesome Taylor is.

Anyway back on topic, when news of Taylor’s genre change from Country to Pop broke out it had many people curious and some of her dearest fans were not only sceptical but also worried. Once the album broke many had their fears and qualms alleviated because Ms Swift has gone on to deliver one of her most successful albums, actually the most successful album of 2014 according to Billboards.

Her genre change kept what made her stand out in the Country genre yet adding some lovely pop sounds into the mix. Her album is titled “1989” so it should be no surprise that there are some sublet samples from that era. “Shake it Off” actually uses a few of the same chords of “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” but you barely notice it.

Her album is really worth the purchase.

®    Wildest Dreams –
When I heard this I thought, clearly being friends with Lorde has been a very good thing for Taylor if such music is a result of said friendship. I am hoping that there will be a remix featuring Lorde because it would take an amazing song to breaking the internet levels. I love this song though. It is sooo good.
®     Blank Space
®     Style
®     Wonderland –
 You’re forgiven for this was sung by Avril Lavigne because on more than one occasion there were times that I thought Taylor was channelling Avril but I digress.  This feels like it should be in the ends credits of a movie or wherever. If she releases this song as a single then expect it to be used in the upcoming Alice in Wonderland sequel which is supposedly coming.
®      Shake It Off
®     You’re In Love –
This song gives me chills because she manages to describe that feeling of being love even for people who have never had it, and the thing is this song makes me jealous of those who are/have been in love. It is a true gem.
®     I Know Places
®     New Romantics –
I think that this is really just such a fun song to have a pillow fight to or something as equally cheesy with your friends. I suggest having a competition to see who can do the most stereotypical “white girl” things because this song just makes your inner white girl wanna come out (if you aren’t white).
®     I Wish You Would

·         Artist: Eminem
Album:  The Marshall Mathers LP2 (Delux Edition)

I got a hold of this album way after it was released, and even though I was late to the party I discovered that good music doesn’t have an expiry date. This album by Eminem once again has him dipping into his different personas – Slim Shady, Eminem and Marshall Mathers. He delivers the offence, the emotional and the “Berzerk”. Not much else can be said other than Eminem is a “Rap God” and the haterz better recognise.

®     Stronger Than I Was – 
Out of all the songs that are from this album, this is my favourite. I have always been a fan of Eminem’s more emotional songs because I like my music to make me feel, and boy did this track have me catching feelings. He sings the majority of the song, and that is why I love it. He might not have the best voice in the world but Eminem does a superb job and it’s all because he is willing to try something new. I love this song so much.
®     The Monster (ft Rihanna)
®     Rap God – 
Obviously I had to include this because the dude is a motherf*cking Rap God. Go hear this song if you doubt it. See if you can do the “supersonic speed” bit.
®     Berzerk
®     Wicked Ways

Extra Mention: Eminem ft Sia – Guts Over Fear
This song isn’t from the album as it was released late last year. I thought the song was very out of tune and didn’t work melodically when I first heard it but it grew on me.

·         Artist: Chris Brown
Album: X

I wanted to hate this album I really did. Everyone else was raving about it and I was starting to get fomo so I decided I would give it a listen. Chris Brown’s bad and dodgey behaviour aside, he really delivers one of his best albums to date. I loved this album.  He pushes himself vocally and also you can tell that lyrically there is substance in it which just adds to what makes this album so good.

Maybe it was something in water to make him and Ed Sheeran decided to name their album X but whatever it is worked.  I truly suggest getting it.

®     Drunk Texting – 
What makes this song my favourite is that it is a collar with a female singer who delivers a complementary performance alongside them. I know all the lyrics to this song because it is my favourite.
®     Autumn Leaves –   
I love the honesty and simplicity of this song, if you don’t then no stress.
®     New Flame
®     Add Me In
®     Stereotype
®     Don’t be Gone Too long
®     Don’t Think They Know

·         Artist: Calvin Harris
Album: Motion

My goodness, what an album. Again, I got a case of fomo and so I was in my zombie voice like - “Must Have”. Calvin Harris delivers a really amazing album. He takes you on a journey from great dance tracks, to wonderful collaborations and right up to those EDM tracks that you feel within your bones. Calvin Harris really put the motion in the EDM ocean (see what I did there, Haha). There is something for everyone on the album, and you would be making a mistake by not getting his album.

®     Love Now (ft. All About She)
This song is really superb. Please even if you don’t get the album, just listen to it.
®     Pray To God (ft. Haim)
®     Dollar Signs (ft Tinashe)
®     It Was You (with Firebeatz)
®     Faith
In recent years, I complained, that he needs to get back to what made his music special and sing. Calvin Harris was becoming anther EDM DJ losing what made him special so you can imagine my happiness that I discovered he sang 2 songs on the album. “Summer” and “Faith”. Both are really great.
®     Outside (ft Ellie Golding)
®     Slow Acid

Extra Mention:  Alesso & Calvin Harris ft Theo Hutchcraft (Hurts) – Under Control.
This isn’t on the album but deserves an honourable mention! So good!

·         Artist: Alex Clare
Album: Three Hearts

Alex Clare’s first album “The Lateness of the Hour” was amazing. I loved so many of the songs on it like “Sanctuary”, “Tight Rope” and “Hummingbird” – you should definitely go give it a listen because they are amazing. Naturally when I heard he had a second album coming out I was excited. I loved the first single that was released in the lead up to his “Three Hearts” album (which is Holding On). Then the album dropped and I was underwhelmed.

Some of that zest and flare that made Alex Clare great was lost and he became another singer-songwriter who was telling a great personal story with his music, only this time the music wasn’t good enough for me to care about his story.

Maybe the pressure of delivering a great second album was too great but for me his album “Three Hearts” was lacking. Maybe with his third album Mr Clare will astound me and I really hope he does.

®     Holding On
®     Heavy Hands

·         Artist: Grouplove
Album: Spreading Rumours

It just took one song, “Shark Attack” for me to become obsessed. Oddly enough I only became obsessed with Shark Attack by Grouplove almost a year after the song was released. It had been playing on the radio for a while but I was so obsessed with other songs that didn’t really notice the epicness.

Once I did, I had to have the album and after a first tentative listen and finding the album “meh” it took a shuffle on my playlist for me to appreciate the epicness of Grouplove.

The album is really fun and idiosyncratic. I like it.

®     Shark Attack
®     Didn’t Have To Go
®     I’m With You
®     Hippy Hill
®     Borderlines and Aliens

·         Artist: Of Monsters and Men
Album: My Head Is an Animal

This is an old album, but I wanted to include it because the band are about to release their second album, and in my opinion, not enough people know about the eclectic awesomeness that is Of Monsters and Men.  I would explain more but I’ll let the lyrics from one of my favourite songs from the group explain:

Jumping up and down the floor, my head is an animal.
And once there was an animal, it had a son that mowed the lawn.
The son was an okay guy, they had pet dragonfly,
The dragonfly it ran away,
But it came back with a story to say.”

I mean,  with such lyrics that on surface make absolutely no fucking sense, but yet speaks to deeply to me (and the others who love this group) show they care about their music. Take the time to listen to the song because it carries an individual meaning for whoever hears it. You won’t automatically get but once you do, this song will make a home in your heart.

I discovered Of Monsters and Men because my friend Chelsea who heard of them while studying a semester in the US. She got me onto them, and I won’t lie in the start I was resistant – I kept thinking, what the hell happened in America for you to start like this. Soon enough after multiple times listening to her favourite songs it became my favourites and later I developed my own favourites. You have to be open to the music otherwise listening to it while you couldn’t be bothered about it will only annoy you.

®     Dirty Paws
®     Your Bones
®     Little Talks
®     Yellow Light
®     Love Love Love

Extra Mention: Of Monsters and Men – Crystals.
From their forthcoming second album, this song is just as eclectic and ethereal as their debut album, but yet you can hear a different musicality present. I’ve only heard the song thrice, but it still left an impression on me.  I love the upbeat vibe, but it’s no less Of Monsters and Men.
Also do yourself a favour and Youtube their performance of “Little Talks” in Sweden. It is a complete contrast to the song. Very haunting but so so good.


While the purpose of this week’s blog post has been to focus on the album; I have songs that I will share. I won’t go into too much detail, if any, so have at it:

1.       Olly Murs – Seasons
It has been interesting to me hearing Olly Murs’ singles off his latest album because it’s been very underrated. His duet with Demi Lovato is so great and the song before that with Travis McCoy of Gym Class Heroes called “Wrapped up” is also a banger.
2.       Bittereinde – The Ones (Extra)
I love this local tune. Just really really great. I’ve tweeted this before and I will repeat it here but the way that Jaco from Bittereinde starts his verse with that deep tone just makes me want to have sexy time with him. So good. (He favourited my tweet btw so you know what that means *nudge nuge wink wink* – Kidding, he probably had a good chuckle at my thirst).
3.       Rihanna – Towards The Sun
Rihanna confuses me. She sings when she feels like it. That might be an odd thing to say but there are songs of hers that show she isn’t just making music for the sake of it and for the money, but that she actually has something to say. “Russian Roulette” and “Stay” show this for me. I think if she pushes herself more and changes up her sound like she did between her debut album and Good Girl Gone Bad, then it would only be for the better. I need something a little different from her as the “Wild Child from Barbados” routine is getting a little boring. Nonetheless, I love this song.
4.       Mumford and Sons – Believe
Can I just say how happy I am that the band decided to try something new with their sound? When they first debuted, the band was fresh and great but then they just settled. This song is just so good. I hope Kings of Leon are taking notes.
5.       Ariana Grande – One To Love
My liking of Ariana and her music is song dependent. The lady can sing for sure but I’m not 100% sure about her longevity in the music industry. She needs to work on her sound more but she definitely has tons of potential. This song is proof of it.
6.       Mary J Blige – Therapy
Some RnB Soul. This song is superb. Sam Smith can also be heard lending his backing vocals to the track while never detracting away from the amazing Ms Blige. Give this song a listen and I promise that in a matter of seconds you’ll be pressing replay and singing along to “So I can go therapy, two times a day...”
7.       Jason De Rulo – Want To Want Me
8.       Imagine Dragons – Shots
All I can say about this song is that it had a little MGMT vibe to it. I am a fan of Imagine Dragons though so I like the song but it reminded me of MGMT. Not that that is a bad thing, because it is still a banging song.
9.       Florence and the Machine- What kind of Man?
I like the new song from Flo and the Machine.  I don’t love it but I’m more interested to hear what other stuff Flo has in store for us. If anything is clear from her previous efforts it is that she is bound to deliver an amazing tune from the album that will just make you obsess over it. I get that her vibe isn’t for everyone but I like her sound.
10.   Matthew Mole – There is a place
Matthew Mole is the kind of guy who would love you for all of your years and then after you die, he would die a few days later from a broken heart. That may be a weird thing to say but I honestly get that vibe from him because his music makes it so clear how in tune with his emotions he is and he is amazing for it. I really adore it. He is sweetie-pie.

Clearly that not going into any detail was a lie. *sigh*

All tracks should be available on iTunes.

I’m aware that the tunes aren’t exactly big club dance tracks but I’ll promise to keep an ear out for anything. What usually happens though is that the songs are always picked up by radio stations and killed to death on repeat so I tend to go for the smaller songs here.

If you have any suggestions don’t be scared to let me know in the comments below.

Theo. Over and Out.

PS – I shall be at Jazz Fest this coming week working my backside off, and be immersed in the lovely Jazz Fest vibes so as soon as I recover expect a report back on it :) 

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