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My parents have always said that I should go into politics someday, so I guess its too bad that I despise it. I’m not saying I’m apolitical or that I don’t have opinions about things, because I do. I just find politics to be divisive and dirty, and there is always polarization and controversy. Among all phenomena in human relations in politics, there is one thing that bothers me to no end. I would tell you what that one thing is, but this is a fashion and popular culture blog.  I’d rather keep my discussion centered around music, movies, sports, fashion, and other pieces of our culture, so I will remain in that realm to get my point across.

I’m about to get really juvenile here, but I’m going to be 100 percent honest. When I was a kid, I was the biggest Hannah Montana/ Miley Cyrus fan. In the spring of 2009, when I was in third grade, The Hannah Montana Movie was about to come out. I remember feeling so excited for the moment in which I would finally see the movie during the week of its premiere. My mom was going to take me to see the film that Friday, so in anticipation, I was listening to all of Hannah Montana’s/Miley Cyrus’s music.

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At some point, maybe  during recess or lunch or something, I was gushing about how excited I was to see the movie, and  my friends responded by insulting Cyrus’s song “The Climb” and saying that they preferred Taylor Swift or the Jonas Brothers (If this doesn’t give you an indication of what time period this situation took place in, I don’t know what will). I felt hurt by this. I felt angry with my friends for not liking her music because in my mind, how could they not? How could they prefer any other artist over Miley Cyrus? There had to be something wrong with them. It was as if, by insulting her music, they were insulting me because I enjoyed and connected to her work so much. When I was a young girl, you could describe me in three ways: sweet, innocent, and  a Hannah Montana fan. The last description is rather sad given that my identity shouldn’t have been based in what music I preferred or what I liked. Furthermore, I shouldn’t have been angry with my friends because they thought differently.

Flash-forward to my teen years when I started listening to “real” music, also known as everything outside the realm of Radio Disney. As a teen, I started to develop more valid opinions about music, and I’d like to think I became more musically savvy. One of the groups I really got into was Coldplay, and along with Nickelback, they are rock/alternative music’s and the internet’s punching bag. There are lots of stereotypes about people that listen to Coldplay. Some say Coldplay’s music is for people who “don’t like music.”  Alan McGee, a music critic I believe, once said that Coldplay makes “music for bed-wetters.” When I was riding in the car with my friend once, a Coldplay song came on, and she changed the station. When I asked why, she said she found Coldplay boring. There I was, in my feelings again. Not only was I considered a bed-wetter and a person who didn’t actually enjoy music for listening to Coldplay, but even my friend thought lowly of them.

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I think we often let our music taste define us, but I don’t really know why. I mean, I do, but I don’t. Many feel insulted when their music is insulted because they find pieces of themselves in it, but on the other hand, the music isn’t you, the artist isn’t you, and you are not the music or the artist. Heck, even though my friend insulted Coldplay’s music, she wasn’t actually insulting Coldplay as people. I also don’t know why other people make judgments about others based on what they listen to. You like Lorde? Oh you must be a stuck up hipster type. You like Drake? You’re a sissy. Like rap or rock  music? You must hate authority. While there is at least a small piece of truth in every stereotype, we should never let these preconceived notions rule our thinking.






My life is probably very uninteresting to you, but I have one more narrative to share. One time my friend and I literally became angry with each other over music. This situation was so stupid, I’m almost too embarrassed to share it. Almost. Anyway, my friend was a big Lana Del Rey fan, and I didn’t like her much. I was kind of being  a jerk because I criticized Lana’s singing and image, as my friend, the biggest Lana fan, looked on.  She came back at me by insulting Coldplay, and soon we were both pretty annoyed with each other. As I walked out of class, without my friend, another girl approached me and said , “I can’t believe she doesn’t like Coldplay.” I said, “I know,” as I mentally gave this acquaintance a high five as if we were in a sisterhood of Coldplay fans or something. As it turns out, my friend heard this exchange, and she later told me that it hurt her. If you’re wondering, this petty situation blew over and we are still friends today.

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Everyday I go on YouTube and I see fans fighting in the comments over who the better artist is. Demi or Selena? Prince or Michael? Drake or Kendrick? I watch as they make their cases for why they are right, as they make death threats and become physically distraught after their music taste or favorite artists is dragged.


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My question is: why? Why can’t I like my music, and why can’t you like yours? Surely I can listen to Coldplay, and you can listen to Drake, and we can still be friends right? We can exist in harmony right? Besides, music, among many other things, should unite us. Every time I go to  a concert I am amazed at how people from all walks of life can connect through music.

We humans are always finding ways to separate ourselves and pick fandoms or sides so that we can feel more important or feel as if we belong to a group. In doing this, we become close minded to new music, ideas, or people. If I stopped being friends with everyone that had different musical taste, or stereotyped people just on the basis of what they listened to, I would have no friends at all. It is okay to like different things or different people, but it isn’t ok to be disrespectful or hateful on these grounds alone. Separate from all of my likes and dislikes, I am a (not quite) fully realized person, and so are you. Your musical taste doesn’t define you or your friends, and it shouldn’t divide you either.  Neither should your politics.


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Mic drop,

Couturely Sound


My Top 10 Favorite Lorde Songs

I. Have. Been. Swamped. I’ve been drowning in homework, school, work, and college related tasks. The time I’m taking to write this blog post is the moment in which I have been allowed to come up for air. So, I best make what I have to say useful-as if my life depended on it.

I haven’t updated my blog in a couple of weeks. During my absence, I’ve been swimming through the waters of daily life, but I also found the time to go to a Lorde concert up in Denver this past Monday. My friend and I are both Lorde fans, so back in the fall we bought tickets, and after months of anticipation, we finally went.

I’ve been a Lorde fan since I was 14, which was around the time her number one hit “Royals” was circulating around the airwaves. I actually found the song to be overrated and overexposed, so it was the rest of what was on her debut album Pure Heroine that really got me into her music. Although it’s not my favorite Lorde song , I actually like “Royals” now. Maybe I was too stupid to understand the brilliance of its message in the past.

Pure Heroine became the soundtrack to my life, and Lorde’s sophomore release Melodrama( the album in which she’s touring for), hits me right in the feels. Lorde is ridiculously talented, so it was amazing to witness her gifts in person. An added bonus was that the show had heightened emotion and wonderful imagery. Lorde also has a lovely personality.
I was inspired by the concert to make a list of my top 10 Lorde songs. It may have been better to create this list before the concert, but remember, I’ve been drowning with no time to come up for air( except for now of course).

So, here we go. Below are my top 10 favorite Lorde songs (as of right now) with my favorite lyrics and notes on what each track means to me.

10. “Hard Feelings/Loveless”

“…I care for myself the way I used to care about you…”

” Bet you wanna rip my heart out, bet you wanna skip my calls now, well guess what? I like that.”

Upon my first listen of Melodrama, I didn’t like this song. Then as I listened to it more, I liked “Loveless,” but I felt that “Hard Feelings” was unnecessary. Now, I like the whole package. “Hard Feelings” is  vulnerable and relatable. People always say, “no hard feelings” when they brush something off that hurts them, but the truth is there are always hard feelings, and Lorde acknowledges the fact that she’s hurt in this song. I appreciate her honesty. I experience hard feelings occasionally ,and it’s nice to know that it’s okay for me to feel this way from time to time. “Loveless” is a biting track and I enjoy its sarcasm. Sometimes when we are most hurt, we protect ourselves by acting like we don’t care at all, and this is what Lorde does in this song. She calls our generation loveless in the most unapologetic fashion, and I’m here for it. As a side note, Lorde’s vocals and the production are superb.

9. “Green Light”

“I hear sounds in my mind, brand new sounds in my mind…”

“Oh I wish I could get my things and just let go!”

“Green Light” was my first encounter with Lorde’s new era as it was the first single released from Melodrama. “Green Light” starts off as a bitter breakup track, but it turns into a triumphant anthem about starting fresh after heartbreak or another difficult situation. It’s about letting go, learning how to smile again, dance again, and love again. When Lorde belts out “Oh I wish I could get my things and just let go!” I feel that in my soul, as that is exactly what I wish to do. This song had me at the jazzy pianos, and the rest was history.

8. “Supercut”

“But when I reach for you there’s just a supercut…”

“In my head I do everything right…”

We were wild and fluorescent…”

“Supercut ” is the track on Melodrama that resonates with me the most from an emotional standpoint. I’ve never been through a breakup, but Lorde’s lyrics and performance gives me a taste of what that feels like, and I think her ability to do this is a mark of a brilliant artist. Although I’ve never been in a relationship, I can relate to doing everything right in my head and then messing it up in reality. Aside from the lyrics concerning heartbreak, “Supercut” has great imagery, and the airy, atmospheric production only adds to this. The juxtaposition of “wild” and “fluorescent” is beautiful and it makes me feel light every time I hear Lorde sing the words.

7. “Homemade Dynamite”

“A couple rebel top guns pilots flying with nowhere to be. Don’t know you super well, but I think you might be the same as me.”

I love the personality that Lorde exudes in this song. It’s sounds mischievous and fun, as she describes doing crazy stuff with people at a party-like blowing things up with homemade dynamite. Again, the imagery in this song is great, as is the production. When I’m blasting this song I feel cool, and I love the mood it creates.

6. “No Better”

“Your breath’s hot and gross, but I kiss you like a lover.”

“Now the days are getting cooler and the burning of our limbs doesn’t happen quite as bad and the burning’s just skin.”

“No Better” is a track taken from the deluxe version of Pure Heroine. What I love most about this song are the lyrics. Lorde is so poetic and crafty with her words. In this track Lorde describes the dog days of summer and every day teenage life with her friends. The track also has a clever swimming metaphor that I hadn’t picked up until I got older. “No Better” is a fun song that shows Lorde’s skills as a songwriter.

5. “Ribs”

“This dream isn’t feeling sweet, we’re reeling through the midnight streets, and I’ve never felt more alone, it feels so scary getting old.”

“We’ll laugh until our ribs get tired.”

“We can talk it so good. We can make it so divine. We can talk it good how you wish it would be all the time.”

“Ribs” was one of the songs on Pure Heroine that really got me into the album. In Stephen Chbosky’s novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, the main character-Charlie-talks about feeling “infinite” with his friends as they drive through the city at night. This song gives me an idea of what that feeling is like. Lorde talks about cruising through her New Zealand suburb with her friends, but all the while she’s thinking about all of her fears like getting old and growing up. I can relate to this, as I want to hold onto youth and memories, and special moments with the people I care about most. As the song closes, Lorde gives us some more great imagery of people “laugh[ing] until [their] ribs get tired.” Too bad, she muses, the memories won’t ever “be enough.”

4. “400 Lux”

“We’re never done with killing time. Can I kill it with you? ‘Till the veins run red and blue?”

We’re hollow like the bottles that we drink.”

“We move in the tree streets, I’d like it if you stayed…”

When Lorde performed “400 Lux” at her concert, she dedicated  the song to all of the kids who grew up in suburbs, aka me. “400 Lux” is a simple song with minimalist production, but that matches Lorde’s feelings about her mundane life living in the suburbs. I really connect with this song because I often feel bored a lot too.  In the song,  it sounds as if Lorde has finally found a person to remedy her boredom, and she doesn’t want them to leave, or else she’ll be bored again. I love this concept; this idea that one person can light up an otherwise dull and predictable life.

3. “Team”

“We live in cities you’ll never see on screen. Not very pretty but we sure know how to run things.”

“I’m kind of over getting told to throw my hands up in the air, so there.”

“Everyone’s competing for a love they won’t receive.”

“Team” was the second track I heard from Lorde after “Royals,” and I liked it so much that it moved me to look more into her music. Much of Pure Heroine is  a social commentary. In “Team” Lorde calls out how superficial we humans can be. The glitz and glamour we see on TV isn’t real life. In fact, most of us live relatively boring lives where we have to go to school and work. The dullness of our lives is probably why we find movies and reality TV so appealing, but even though are lives aren’t perfect or shiny, at least we are getting though it. “We’re on each other’s team.” I’m not much of a party person, and I have a hard time letting go in public places, so I relate to Lorde getting tired of being told to “throw [her] hands up in the air.” Lorde is an old soul like me and that’s probably why her music speaks to me.

2. “Tennis Court”

“Don’t you think that is boring how people talk? Making smart with their words again, well I’m bored.”

” We’re so happy even when we’re smiling out of fear.”

“Lets go down to the tennis court and talk it up like yeah.”

“Tennis Court” is my anthem. If you wanted my perspective on high school and how I feel about some of my peers, then listen to this song. I do think it’s boring how people talk about things with no meaning even though they are attempting to sound important. I think people my age are often superficial and fake, concerning themselves with trivial things. Lorde pokes fun at this phenomenon of the youth. In “Tennis Court” she plays pretend high school. Her friend will be the “class clown” and she’ll be the “beauty queen in tears.” It’s like we all play characters at school, and the whole ordeal of high school is just going to a role play. I love how biting Lorde is and how she doesn’t hold back.

  1. “A World Alone”

“Maybe the internet raised us, or maybe people are jerks.”

“All my fake friends and all of their noise .Complain about work, they’re studying business I study the floor.”

” I know we’re not everlasting. We’re a train wreck waiting to happen.”

“That slow burn wait, while it gets dark. Bruising the sun, I feel grown up with you in your car. I know its dumb.”

“You’re my best friend and we’re dancing in a world alone.”

You know, I had a great time seeing Lorde live, but I was kind of sad that she didn’t play my favorite song of hers-“A World Alone.” “A World Alone” serves as the closer on Pure Heroine, and what a note that album ends on. The instrumentation, consisting of synths and acoustic guitars, is beautiful and Lorde sounds amazing. However, the lyrics are the best part. As I said earlier, Pure Heroine is  a bit of a social commentary and Lorde summarizes her whole message in this track. Lorde sings of isolation, but she’s okay as long as she has the one person that makes her smile. She discusses again how people keep up these pretenses that they’ve got everything figured out even when they don’t. Lastly, Lorde doesn’t care about what people think of her or her lover because what do they know anyway? This song resonates with me so much because I often feel isolated from my peers, but not in a physical way. I just don’t connect with or relate to a lot of them. I find it frustrating when people act as if everything is perfect all of the time, when we all know this is not the case, and like Lorde, I keep my circle small, and as long as I have those people I’ll be okay as I dance through this world alone. Lorde doesn’t care, and I hope to reach a point in my life where I don’t care either-about what people say/think about me that is. As “A World Alone” closes, Lorde’s final words are “let ’em talk,” as the sounds of people chattering fades out in the outro. Brilliancy at its best.

Hopefully you enjoyed this list of my favorite songs from Lorde. She is such an amazing artists with so many great songs that it was hard to rank them. If you haven’t seen Lorde live, you ought to if given the opportunity. She’s “wild and fluorescent,” and shines like the “craters in the moon.”

Couturely Sound ❤

Celebrity Worship and What it Takes to be Famous

Linked above is the video to Lil Pump’s insufferable song “Gucci Gang.” If you didn’t know, the track burned up the charts last year, and now 17 year old Lil Pump has amassed a following of 9.6 million people on Instagram. If making a hot garbage rap song is all it takes to be famous or rich, well then get me into the studio right now. I’ll put on my best shower voice. This phenomenon of sub par talent finding success raises a couple of questions. If Lil Pump can make it, anyone can right?  Why do we let people become famous in the face of mediocrity? Shouldn’t people become established and (more than) competent at what they do before they gain so much clout?

I don’t know what it takes to be famous these days. I could be famous. You could be famous. We all could be famous. In this day in age, fame comes easy. All you need is either money, a pretty face, marketing potential, or some combination of everything mentioned.

Instant fame doesn’t bother me so much as the instant influence it brings. I’m bothered that people like Lil Pump, the Kardashians, and other untalented and/or average people can have so much influence over the masses. These individuals don’t tell captivating stories through film. They don’t write novels that take you to another planet. They don’t make music that inspires people. So what do they do actually, and why do people worship them? Why do people let them have influence on their lives? I will never understand.


I’ve been talking about untalented famous people, but I still have a hard time understanding why slightly above average to excellent talents are worshipped by the masses. Don’t get me wrong, there are people I admire greatly in show business, sports etc., and I’ve gone through my crazy fangirl phase where all of the celebrities that I admired seemed out of this world or almost mythical, but now that I’m older, I only see celebrities as people that act, sing, or throw a football really well. They get sick, they get divorced, they get cheated on, they get old, and they die just like the rest of us. Sometimes they are even more fragile than the public, and given current events, some of them are even worse human beings than the average person, so why do we put them on these massive pedestals?

Don’t even tell me that you would care about Beyoncé if she weren’t a singer. Don’t tell me that (insert current heartthrob) would be the hottest man in the world if he wasn’t starring in the newest blockbuster movie. If that actor or actress weren’t on TV, they would be just a guy or just a girl. People tend to forget that public figures have teams. If you had access to personal trainers, chefs, and stylists, you, being just a guy or girl, would look just as beautiful as these “perfect” celebrities.

I think it’s cool to be a fan of people or enjoy their work, and I think it’s great when artists or athletes inspire/impact people in a positive way, but I will never understand the worship or the barfights that ensue when ones favorite celebrity is insulted or what not. I will never understand why Kylie Jenner having a baby was such huge news when millions of women have babies every day, and I will never understand why people blindly follow celebrities that don’t even know they exist. I do think a lot of famous people care about their fans, but I think many others only care about your money and their relevancy. Most also care about their privacy, which is something that the media and crazy “fans” refuse to give them, but the treatment of celebrities by the media and the public is for another blog post…



We over romanticize a lot of things, and I get it, as it’s a part of who we are. We think every thing is greener on the other side. We look for people to lead us and to influence us.

When I was a kid, I always wanted to go to Universal Studios because I saw it advertised on TV(so it suddenly became “more important” somehow),and it looked like the most magical place in the world. I went a couple of years ago, and it was fun, but it’s also just another theme park(although, the quality is very nice, but you get my point). I imagine meeting a celebrity would be the same. It would be cool to meet that individual, but he/she is  also just another person.

I think it’s time we start evaluating who gets to become famous because at the end of the day the power is in the hands of the public. We make people relevant and we can also make people irrelevant very quickly. More importantly, I think it’s time we see celebrities as our (very rich, influential, and [sometimes] talented) equals because they all go through the same stuff we go through. I think most of them would prefer it if we saw them that way too.

Be a fan and not a cult-like follower. Take away influence from people that your next door neighbor can sing better than.

Gosh, the path to fame and celebrity worship scares me sometimes. Sorry for the rant.

Couturely Sound

New Music Round-Up 2/18/18

Welcome to my first music round up of 2018! I haven’t posted one of these lists in a while, and maybe that’s because 2018 has gotten off to a slow start musically. To remedy my dislike of the current music state, I have retreated to listening to oldies, and it’s actually quite refreshing. Although I have been throwing it back musically, I have found some diamonds in the rough that we call music in 2018.  Now, let’s get started with this round up. The songs listed below are in no chronological order.

“My My My!”-Troye Sivan

I came across Troye Sivan around two years ago when I heard his track “Wild,” which is a song I still enjoy today. Outside of “Wild” and his other track “My Youth,” I didn’t look further into Sivan’s music, but now in 2018, Troye Sivan has come in hot with a new track entitled “My My My!” I discover a lot of music through, believe it or not, ads on Spotify. I kept hearing the infectious chorus to “My My My!” on ads, and I just had to check the song out. This track is one that makes you feel good, as it features Sivan singing about a love interest against atmospheric production. If I could change anything about the song, it would be the title. Sivan repeats “Oh my my my!” throughout the song, but calling the song “My My My,” with an exclamation point just looks really cheesy.  If I had it my way the song would be called “Oh My” with no exclamation point. Despite the off putting title, I love this track, and if you haven’t heard it, give it a listen.

“Human Nature”-Michael Jackson

Yes, I know this song is not new, but I’m still putting on this list because I’ve been vibing to it for the past month now. Back in January, I was scrolling through YouTube, and one of my favorite content creators-The Needle Drop- did  a review of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Being a Jackson fan, I clicked. Fantano’s review made me revisit a lot of MJ’s music, a lot of which is found on several playlists on my Spotify account. Anyway, when I looked at the track listing for Thriller, I didn’t recognize the title “Human Nature,” which is strange considering I’ve had Thriller on vinyl for four years now. I searched for the song on YouTube and heard a very familiar beat that I never identified as belonging to Michael Jackson . I realized that Chris Brown sampled the beat in his song “She Ain’t You,” so that is where I first heard it. As “Human Nature” went on, I still failed to recognize it from an earlier listen, until I reached the point in the song where Jackson sings, “Why? Why? Tell ’em that it’s human nature.” At that point, I realized I actually did know the song, probably from one of my earlier listens of Thriller or just from hearing it in passing. The song is beautiful. The  Toto-produced synths throughout the song are spacy and atmospheric. The lyrics are dreamy and idealistic, and MJ sounds angelic. I’m really happy that I rediscovered this song because it’s so classic. Check out the video above of Jackson performing “Human Nature”-it’s magic.

“IDGAF”-Dua Lipa

Ever since hearing her track “New Rules,” I’ve been liking Dua Lipa more and more. Lipa is such a talented vocalist, but she also fairs decently as a lyricist. Now, I know “IDGAF” isn’t exactly lyrically genius, and I know that phrase is vulgar, but in the context of the song, it works. I love the unapologetic and biting nature of this song. Lipa sings about a former flame, who’s trying to inch his way back after messing up and saying sorry too many times. Maybe in the past Lipa caved in to his apologies, but this time, she’s done. She doesn’t care how he feels. The pop appeal of “IDGAF” is undeniable, and Lipa’s vocals are truly what makes it shine.

“Be The One”-Dua Lipa

The last track is another  from Dua Lipa. “Be The One” is a song from her debut album Dua Lipa  which was released back in the summer of 2017. Despite its appearance on her most recent album, it has been making the rounds sense 2015, and I just discovered it this year. I love the lyrics, I love the vocals, and I love the production. I think out of all of Dua Lipa’s songs “Be The One” has to be my favorite. In the track she croons about a relationship where she and her significant other aren’t seeing eye to eye, yet she still wants to be the one for him. When I first heard this track, it sounded so familiar, and I still can’t put my finger on where I had heard it prior to this year. “Be The One” is a fantastic song that you ought to listen to.

Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed this round up an discovered some new tracks.  As evident by the tracks I’ve selected, I’ve been in a very poppy mood lately. During the doldrums that are January and February, I need music that’s makes me feel happy and makes me want to dance, so that’s probably why.

Until the next round-up,

Couturely Sound ❤

Super Bowl Sunday


Well, today’s the day. Super Bowl Sunday. We celebrate a lot of holidays in America, and I wouldn’t think I’d be bold for saying Super Bowl Sunday is one of them in a sense. Football is so ingrained in our culture that each year we sit around our TVs and consume large amounts of food just to watch the big game. Even if you’re not rooting for either of the teams competing for the Lombardi, you’re watching. Even if you hate football, you’re watching for the commercials, and if you’re not tuning in for the game or the million dollar ads, you’re watching for the halftime show. My point is, the Super Bowl is one of the biggest cultural events of the year, and it is a staple of American culture.

Tom Brady, in his eighth Super Bowl appearance, will be competing for his sixth Super Bowl ring. The only thing standing in his way are the Philadelphia Eagles, a team no one thought would get this far, especially after their talented quarterback Carson Wentz went down with a torn ACL. I’m not sure what to expect of this game, but I’m sure it will be good. A lot of people hoped that Jacksonville would upset New England in the AFC championship game, but let’s face the facts. As much as you hate Tom Brady and the Patriots, they make games much more interesting, and I’m not just saying this because I’m a Patriots homer. Need I remind you of what transpired in last year’s Super Bowl?  I feel like this game will also be a nail biter, and that’s what we all want.

So, as you scarf down your chicken wings and queso dip during the game today, think about the greatness that you are witnessing. We may never come across a dynasty like the Patriots again, no player will probably ever compete in eight Super Bowls again, Nick Foles may never start again, and who knows what will become of the Eagles in years to come.  If you’ve got a case of the sour grapes, or you couldn’t care less about football, then enjoy the halftime show and the commercials that become progressively worse and less funny each year.

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

Let’s hope for a good game! Also, go Pats.

Couturely Sound ❤


Michael Jackson’s Thriller-A Review

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The world has never seen (and will probably never see again) an artist like Michael Jackson. To some, artists in the likes of Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, Usher, and recently The Weeknd, are reminiscent of the late King of Pop. While all of these acts are talented, in my eyes, they are kind of like the store brand version of a product juxtaposed to the name brand, and like most modern music today, their sounds are derivative. Most of what they do has been done before, and in some cases, ( or most) in a better fashion. In other words, the sequel is never quite as good as the original.
Think what you will about Michael Jackson, but he was a transcendent talent, and this was evident at a young age. Jackson was a genius, an innovator, an icon, and a generous philanthropist. Oh, and he could dance pretty well too. His “short films,” as he called them, helped put MTV on the map, and he was a force in music for four decades. There is no denying his tremendous impact on not only music, but culture as well.
Jackson experienced widespread success in his band of brothers the Jackson 5. Some of their singles like “I Want You Back” and “I’ll Be There” were released almost 50 years ago, yet they still have me singing along. These songs have so much soul and charisma. Jackson, clearly the superior talent in the family, eventually pursued a solo career, releasing his first adult album Off the Wall in 1979. The album spawned hits like “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough,” and one of my personal favorites, “Rock With You.”

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Off the Wall was a success, but in 1982, Michael Jackson had truly arrived, solidifying himself as a force in the music industry with the release of the best selling album of all time: Thriller.
When I was 14, I was dead set on getting a record player and some vinyl to go with it. For my birthday, I had gotten the Paramore record that I had wished for, but my dad also gifted me with a copy of Thriller. At the time, I was kind of put off by it. I liked Michael Jackson’s music in passing, and I knew he was a legend, but I still felt indifferent towards it. I turned the record on a few times, and really enjoyed the album, but as time went on, I stopped using my record player. It’s just too much work. I hate to sound like a typical 21st century teen, but digital music is much more convenient. Three years later, after revisiting much of Jackson’s music, I’m so grateful that I posses such an album because it’s a timeless classic and a work of art.

Pictured is the Thriller vinyl I received four years ago.

Thriller is one of the great albums of the modern era. The album was not only a commercial success, but a critical success as well. Almost 40 years removed from its release, I’m convinced that people will be listening to Thriller for many more years to come.
So what is it about Thriller that makes it so great? Let’s find out.
Maybe I should start from the beginning with the song that really got this album on its feet-“Billie Jean.” “Billie Jean” may be one of Jackson’s most brilliant songs, both lyrically and from a production standpoint. The smooth beats, the dark tone, and the persistent synths make this song slick and edgy with a slight sense of nervousness. The pop appeal is undeniable. It was “Billie Jean” that Jackson was performing when he first debuted “the moonwalk.” He became a legend that night. The performance was electric. I found myself moved by his talents through my phone screen. There are certain moments in history that I wish I could have been alive for. Jackson’s performance at Motown 25 was one of those moments.
The link to this epic performance:
Then there’s “The Girl is Mine” featuring Paul McCartney. What I love most about this track is Jackson’s smooth vocals. He makes it seem effortless. Having McCartney along was a great choice. They complement each other well. The song is dreamy, playful, and melodious.
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“Human Nature” is simply gorgeous. It just seeps into the soul. The track has a modern sound to me which is just more proof that Michael Jackson was truly ahead of his time. It has a beautiful melody, emotive vocals, and it evokes a sense of nostalgia. This song has been sampled quite a bit too. Check out Chris Brown’s “She Ain’t You” and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
The title track “Thriller” is one of those songs that will never be forgotten, thanks in part to its groundbreaking video. While it’s not my favorite off the album, I appreciate its thematic elements and the novelty of the whole thing. And of course, Jackson delivers a solid vocal performance.
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“Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” is number one on the albums track listing, getting  Thriller off to a great start. The song is like a symphony of sorts. The synths, The beats, Jackson’s soul, and the groove of it all is literally music to my ears. The outro with the “mama-say-mama sa mama coosa” is glorious, and it’s also been sampled quite a bit. Check out Rihanna’s “Please Don’t Stop The Music,” and you’ll hear it there.
“Beat It” is an anti violence anthem with stellar vocals and amazing instrumentation. When put into a historical context, it really bridged the gap between pop, R&B, and rock music. The video is pretty cool too. “Beat It” is one of those tracks that every one knows right from that opening guitar riff, and  it is one that anyone can sing along to.
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“Pretty Young Thing (PYT)” is a feel good song in nature. It’s just got this groove that makes you want to dance, and Jackson blesses us with an energetic performance.
Thriller was and is a pop masterpiece. In this day in age, artists release albums that have maybe three good songs on them( usually singles) and the rest are filler. Not the case with Thriller. The entire album was listenable, and every song on it was basically a hit. What’s most fascinating to me is that Jackson’s music is still so listenable and relatable to this day. It doesn’t sound dated.
Music these days isn’t about longevity; it’s about the here and now.  Timeless music, the type that Jackson created, comes from the heart-it sets its own trends, breaks barriers, doesn’t try too hard, and is truly about the art and its impact on people.
Of course the music Jackson put forth following Thriller was equally amazing, but there is always something special to me about an artist’s break out.
Although Michael Jackson is no longer here, his music, videos, and his contributions to popular culture and the world will live on forever.
 Couturely Sound ❤

Book Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

I’m not going to lie-I have a lot of goals for 2018. One of them is to read more. As a child, I was an avid reader. I can remember days when I would spend hours getting lost in a book. Reading was not only an escape, but it also expanded my knowledge about the world, and of course, my vocabulary.

Whenever I reached high school, I found myself reading less for a combination of reasons. School, homework, extra-curricular activities, and a plethora of other things took up a lot of my reading time. One could also argue that I was simply being lazy. During my time in high school, I have read several books for fun, but not nearly as many as I used to. In many cases, if I’m reading, it’s for school, but that is going to change this year. In fact, I already have one book under my belt.

A few months ago, I went to the movies with my friend, and we saw the film Everything, Everything. The film is based off of Nicola Yoon’s young adult novel of the same name. The film had elements typical of most teenage romances, but it was enjoyable enough. Since the film was satisfactory, I decided to read the book, and a couple of days ago, I finally did.


Everything, Everything follows the story of 18-year-old Madeline Whittier, an afro-asian girl with an auto-immune deficiency disorder called SCID.  Maddy can’t leave the house, unless she wants to become fatally ill. SCID makes her allergic to everything, so she is closed off from the world. Her only access to the outside is through her window. Rather than going to high school or hanging out with friends, Maddy reads books all day, works on architecture projects, or spends time with her nurse Carla and her overbearing  mother. One day, through her a window, she sees a new family moving in, and the boy, Olly, catches her attention. Maddy, in turn, catches Olly’s attention, and shortly after, a little romance, replete with emails, IMs, and miming through the window, ensues. While her new found romance is exciting, Maddy has to make a difficult decision. Will she risk everything for love? Or will she continue to live a  healthy, but mundane life constrained in her home?

The plot summary sounds just like your typical sick-fic teen romance. Everything, Everything doesn’t break any new ground. Maddy is a typical girl-next-door archetype who is intellectual, poetic, and bookish. Olly is a typical boy-next-door character. He’s charming, witty, deep, and so “perfect” that it is clear he is a work of fiction. When Maddy describes her feelings about Olly, it is clichéd. There is plenty of blushing, references to spontaneous combustion, and butterflies. However, I will give the author some breathing room. The sensations Maddy describes are universal to all women, so it made sense that her feelings seemed somewhat generic. My main point is that if I were to hand an individual a copy of Everything, Everything without them knowing what the novel was, they would not be able to tell it apart from every teen romance ever. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed the book. There is a reason why things become generic and it’s because they are widely enjoyed or well received. Generic doesn’t always mean bad. Sometimes it just means generic. Everything, Everything is predictable, but it’s still a fun read. There isn’t much to it, and it lacks depth, but sometimes it’s nice to read something light hearted that doesn’t make one think too much.

This novel was a quick read. I started at about 4pm the other day, and I was done by 8:30pm. While it is over 300 pages in length, it is a very fast 300 pages. The print is big, and there are  illustrations throughout. The one pictured below was my favorite as it made math metaphorical.


The illustrations only added to the imaginative, poetic, and whimsical nature of this book. They were, for lack of a better word, cute. I think “cute” sums up this novel.

The ending gave me mixed feelings. I don’t dislike the ending, but I do think it took away from the novel’s overall impact, and made it lack even more substance. However, I think other’s will enjoy the ending if they are looking for something to make them smile.

The final verdict: Everything, Everything is a feel good novel that doesn’t require much thinking. I recommend it if you’re into young adult romance or if you’re looking for a quick, fun read. If you’re looking for enlightenment, an original premise, or a challenge, I suggest you don’t read this book.

Here’s to more reading in 2018,

Couturely Sound ❤