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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 ❤

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 ❤

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 ❤

My Thoughts on the 2018 Grammy Nominations

About a week  or two ago, the nominees for the 2018 Grammy Awards were revealed to the public. In recent years, I have been pretty disappointed with both the nominees for the Grammy’s and the results. The Recording Academy seemed to pander too much to what was popular and commercial rather than what was actually good quality music. Upon seeing the nominations for some of the major categories this year, I was pretty pleased. For the first time in a while, I thought the Grammy’s got it right. I’m not sure if I should attribute this fact to them actually making good choices or the quality of music just being all around better in 2017.  I thought I would share my thoughts on the nominees and say who I think should take home the award in each category. Let’s start with Record of the Year.

Record of the Year

“Redbone” — Childish Gambino
“Despacito (Remix)” — Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber
“The Story of O.J.” — JAY-Z
“HUMBLE.” — Kendrick Lamar
“24K Magic” — Bruno Mars

Overall, I think this is a pretty good group of tracks for Record of the Year. The only track that I’m unfamiliar with is Jay Z’s “The Story of O.J.,” but other than that, I know the other nominees pretty well. Record of the Year is based off of a song’s sound and production quality. “Redbone” is a groovy track that anyone could vibe too. “24k Magic” is another groovy tune with funky throwback sounds. “HUMBLE” is a west coast hip-hop banger. Although I think other tracks should have taken “Despacito’s” place among the other nominees, the track has clear, crisp guitars with a signature Latin flare. If I had to pick a winner for this category, I’d have to give it to “Redbone.” The bass line and the funky guitar riff weaved throughout the track are so infectious, the production is pristine, and as I said earlier, anyone could vibe to it.


Album of the Year

“Awaken, My Love!” — Childish Gambino
4:44 — JAY-Z
DAMN. — Kendrick Lamar
Melodrama — Lorde
24K Magic — Bruno Mars

I can’t say too much about this category because I have only listened to Melodrama and DAMN. all the way through. DAMN. is brilliant plain and simple. It is Kendrick’s Lamar’s most listenable/radio-friendly album, but it is still socially conscious. “HUMBLE,” “DNA,” “ELEMENT,” “LOYALTY,” and “LOVE” are all standout tracks. Kendrick Lamar is the real deal. Melodrama is also an amazing album from its lyrics to the production. I’m a huge Lorde fan. Her debut  Pure Heroine is one of my favorite albums of all time. While I did not like Melodrama as much as its predecessor, it was still enjoyable. “Homemade Dynamite,” “Supercut,” “Hard Feelings/Loveless,” and “Perfect Places” are gems. Out of all of the albums nominated, I could relate to Melodrama  the most. I’ve heard a lot of the singles from 24k Magic, and while I don’t think the tracks are bad, I’m not a huge fan of throwback music. It’s not that it sounds bad, I just think it sounds unoriginal. I heard that 4:44 and “Awaken, My Love!” were amazing, but I don’t have an opinion on them since I haven’t listened to them yet. This was a really tough category for me to pick a winner for because Melodrama and DAMN. are both so great, but I think I’d have to give it to DAMN. because it’s more impactful. Not many people can make conscious music that also sounds good, and Kendrick mastered that.

Image result for damn kendrick lamar


Song of the Year

“Despacito”-Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber

“4:44” -Jay Z

“Issues” -Julia Michaels

“1-800-273-8255” Logic ft. Khalid and Alessia Cara

“That’s What I Like”-Bruno Mars

Song of the Year is all about a track’s lyrical content, and I must say these are weak nominees. There were so many tracks with better lyricism than what we have here. I love the Spanish language, but if “Despacito” is translated into English, it isn’t saying much. It is just another pop song. I haven’t heard “4:44,” so I can’t really comment. “Issues” is an annoying song in terms of sound, but lyrically it doesn’t do much for me either. “1-800-273-8255” is a socially conscious song that sounds good, so I’m a fan. “That’s What I Like” isn’t really saying anything at all, so I don’t know why it was nominated for this category. The final verdict? “1-800” should take home the award.


Best New Artist

Lil Uzi Vert


Julia Michaels

Alessia Cara


I think this is a good group of nominess for Best New Artist. Lil Uzi Vert is changing the hip hop culture, and I love “XO TOURLIFE.” When I saw Coldplay a year ago, Alessia Cara opened for them, and I thought she was very talented. I do think some of her songs are generic, but she has beautiful voice and I hope she sticks around. I’m not a fan of Julia Michaels. SZA is a generational talent. “Love Galore” and “Supermodel” are textbook R&B tracks. Khalid is something special. The youth really identify with him, he’s unique, and he’s versatile. I love “Young Dumb and Broke,” “Location,” and all of the other songs he’s featured on. To me, Khalid is the most promising artist, and in some cases the most memorable out of this group. I think he should win.

Image result for khalid

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

“Something Just Like This”-   The Chainsmokers & Coldplay

 “Despacito” Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber

Thunder”-  Imagine Dragons

Feel It Still”-Portugal. The Man

” Stay”-  Zedd & Alessia Cara

I’m a total Coldplay homer, but I wasn’t the biggest fan of their collaboration with The Chainsmokers. I will give “Despacito” its props for being such a musical juggernaut, but it’s not the best song-it’s just generic. I actually liked “Thunder” even though there is not much to the track at all. “Feel It Still” is a jazzy little song that I enjoyed on many a car ride. “Stay” is  a nice upbeat track, but it doesn’t break new ground, and it got a bit annoying. I’d give the Grammy to “Feel It Still.”


Best R&B Performance

Get You”-  Daniel Caesar Featuring Kali Uchis

Distraction”  -Kehlani

” High”-Ledisi

” That’s What I Like”- Bruno Mars

The Weekend”-  SZA

“That’s What I Like” is more of a pop song to me, so I don’t really know why it’s here. The other tracks I either haven’t heard or I’m indifferent towards. I think SZA should win. She has the most soul and the most personality.


Best Rap Performance

“Bounce Back” -Big Sean

” Bodak Yellow”-Cardi B

 “4:44”-  JAY-Z

” HUMBLE.”-Kendrick Lamar

“Bad And Boujee” Migos Featuring Lil Uzi Vert

I like “Bounce Back,” even though it’s not saying much. The track is one of Big Sean’s best. “Bodak Yellow” is trash. I haven’t heard “4:44.” “Bad and Boujee” was great for memes and the internet, and it is catchy, but it’s not a high quality rap song. I’m sorry. That leaves “HUMBLE.” as the clear winner of this category. It’s a banger that says something. This category overall is pretty weak. There were way better rap tracks that could’ve been here.


Best Pop Solo Performance

Love So Soft”-Kelly Clarkson


Million Reasons”- Lady Gaga

What About Us”- P!nk

 “Shape Of You”- Ed Sheeran

I find “Shape of You” to be almost insufferable, which is crazy considering I initially enjoyed it. It is one of the most generic songs that Sheeran has put out. I think “Love So Soft” is a solid effort by Kelly Clarkson. It’s definitely soulful. “Praying” was a slowburner for me, but now I love it. I love that Kesha’s growth and maturity is on display, and it culminated in  a very soulful and emotive performance. “Million Reasons” is a great track by Lady Gaga,while P!nk’s “What About Us” is kind of blah to me. I mean does it not sound like everything else she has put out before? I’d give this one to Kesha. She has come quite  a long way since her “Tick Tock” days.


Well, those are my thoughts on some of the 2018 Grammy nominees. Overall, I think the collection of artists nominated is pretty strong. It will be interesting to see who takes home the awards next month.

Thanks for reading,

Couturely Sound ❤


New Music Round-Up 11/3/17

Well my friends, we have finally made it to Friday. After a long week, I feel like this is an appropriate time to share some new music. Below are seven songs that I’m enjoying at the moment. Let’s party.

1. “The Way Life Goes”-Lil Uzi Vert

Lil Uzi is back at again with the bangers. “The Way Life Goes” is no “XO TOURLIFE,” but it’s still a solid effort from the Philadelphia rapper. Like “XO TOURLIFE,”  “The Way Life Goes” is a fusion of different genres. It has trap influences, pop influences, hip hop influences, and it has an alternative vibe to it, especially through the lyrical content. Life is hard. I think we all know that. On this track, Lil Uzi assures listeners that we’ll get through life, as nothing lasts forever, not even hardship. The lyrical content  paired with a catchy trap beat makes this song a 10/10.

2. “Bad at Love”-Halsey


Never in a million years did I think I’d like a Halsey song, but “Bad at Love” is too great to ignore. Halsey delivers a surprisingly soulful performance. As she belts “I’m bad at love” in the chorus, I’m convinced as a listener. For once, she isn’t pandering to the hipster crowd( although she might think differently), and the result is a well crafted pop song.

3. “Good Old Days”-Macklemore feat Kesha

Everyone remembers when Macklemore took over in 2013 after “Thrift Shop” took off. The guy was inescapable. In recent years however, he has maintained a lower profile, and I hadn’t heard much from him in the realm of radio. This track seems to be the beginning of a new era for the Seattle rapper. The featured artist on this track, Kesha, also seems to be starting  a new era of her own. The track is feel-good through and through. The subject matter is not too deep, there are nice melodies, and there is a sense of nostalgia. Kesha delivers a solid vocal performance, and Macklemore contributes greatly to the sentimental feel of the song.

4. “Sky Walker”-Miguel feat. Travis Scott

When I first heard this song, it immediately caught my attention. It’s super catchy and it has a nice beat. I think what I like most about this song is Miguel’s vocal performance because of its personality and swagger. I think “Sky Walker” is  a fun song. The word play really takes the cake.

5. “LOVE” Kendrick Lamar feat Zacari

“LOVE” is probably my favorite song on this round up. I’ve had it on repeat for days. Not only is “LOVE” a jam, but it’s also really sensitive. I didn’t know that Kendrick Lamar was capable of making me “feel all the feels,” but he did. Kendrick doesn’t do it alone. By enlisting the help of Zacari, who is an exceptional vocalist, and employing nice, atmospheric production, Kendrick creates a  well-rounded song. What makes this track so sensitive is its lyrical content. Kendrick asks of his lover, “If I didn’t ride blade on curb (drive expensive foreign cars) would you still love me?” There’s no question that Kendrick has made it, so he has to wonder if his significant other’s love is unconditional. Is she there for him or for the money? I love this song.

6. “Supermodel”-SZA

SZA continues to deliver. The song opens with SZA showcasing her melodic voice over subtle guitars. “Supermodel” has an organic sound which makes it especially soulful. The song reaches a climax at the end as more instruments, particularly percussion, begin to come to center stage. Much like SZA’s track “The Weekend,” I don’t agree with the song’s subject matter, but the track is so sonically pleasing, and this girl can really sing.

7. “Too Much to Ask”-Niall Horan

Niall Horan on my new music round up? I can’t believe it either. I knew I had to add this song to this list when I started singing it one day in the car without even thinking about it. Niall is doing pretty well as a solo artist. I would say he’s had one of the better solo debuts among his former 1D band mates. While “Too Much to Ask” is pretty generic, I can’t help but like it. It’s emotive and it has a nice, soaring chorus.

Well, that’s all for this roundup.

Have a great weekend!

Couturely Sound ❤

Dissecting the Billboard Hot 100

Today when I was driving, I had the radio on, and of course I was annoyed by it like I always am. I don’t know why I even bother with it at this point. Sometimes the radio is enjoyable, but most of the time it’s not.

First off, it’s super repetitive. Every morning when I get into the car, the same song is on. It’s like clockwork. Apparently the stations are all in sync too. Whenever a song I don’t like starts to play I, naturally, switch the station. My efforts to escape the cruel noise flooding my ears is almost always in vain because 75 percent of the time, the song that I tried to avoid is playing on the station I switched it to! I’ve gotten to the point where I would rather listen to ads than some of the music playing on the radio. I either listen to the ads or I turn the radio off, forcing myself to listen to my own thoughts, and those are no fun to listen to either.

I will never understand for the life of me how some songs become hits…Well, actually I do understand. In order for a song to become a hit, a lot of people have to like it, buy it, and share it. What I meant to say is, I will never understand how so many people can enjoy some of the music on the radio.

For decades, Billboard magazine has ranked the top 100 songs in America from week to week on their Hot 100 list. I thought it would be fun to go in and analyze 50 (plus or minus)  songs from that list, so here goes. Enjoy my lousy since of humor and second rate criticism.

1. “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)”-Cardi B


I had never heard of Cardi B until this song came out. In my understanding, this is her first number one, so, I guess, congratulations to her. It is quite the feat to get a rap song to number one, so it’s cool to see this song there. Cardi B has also seemed to inspire Instagram captions everywhere. Everyone is making “money moves” these days. Despite her impact on popular culture and her contributions to the rap game, the song is still annoying.

2. “Rockstar” -Post Malone feat. 21 Savage

“Rockstar” has a good beat. That’s about all it has going for it.

3. “Look What You Made Me Do”-Taylor Swift 

Put any other artists’s name on this song, and it’s not a hit.

4. “1-800-273-8255”-Logic feat. Alessia Cara & Khalid

I like this song. It’s catchy, it’s soulful, and it has a message.

5. “Despacito”-Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber

I think it’s cool that American charts are becoming more globalized, but seriously, when “Despacito” is translated into English, it is just another trash pop song. Also, how is it still so popular? Last time I checked, summer was over.

6. “Unforgettable”- French Montana Feat. Swae Lee

The irony is that this song is forgettable. In a few months time, everyone will forget it existed.

7. “Feel It Still”-Portugal the Man

I have no idea what this song is about, and half of the lyrics are undecipherable, but I actually like this song strangely enough. It’s kind of jazzy, so that’s cool.

8. “Believer”-Imagine Dragons

Imagine Dragons are so hit or miss for me. Sometimes I really like their songs. Other times I’m not a fan.  I’m not a fan of “Believer.” It’s too repetitive for comfort, and it sounds like a lot of their other music.

9. “Rake It Up”-Yo Gotti Feat. Nicki Minaj

This song is just nasty.

10. “Sorry Not Sorry”-Demi Lovato

We’ve finally made it to another song that I like. Demi kills it on vocals, and she emanates so much confidence. I’m a fan. Sorry not sorry.

11.  “Attention”-Charlie Puth

The video for “Attention” has 503 million views. I’m sure Charlie Puth won’t notice or care that, outside of this blog post, I have invested no time or money into this song.

12. “Strip That Dawn”-Liam Payne Feat. Quavo

Of all of the One Direction solo debuts, this is by far the worst. According to Liam Payne, this is what being an adult and making “mature” music looks like.

13. “Slow Hands”-Niall Horan

Oh, look, another ex One Direction member. I feel like this and “Strip That Down” should switch places, but what does my opinion matter anyway? “Slow Hands” isn’t a bad song, but it is so darn middle of the road. I don’t know which is worse.

14. “Too Good At Goodbyes”-Sam Smith

I think Sam Smith is super talented, but a lot of his music sounds the same. While “Too Good At Goodbyes” is beautiful, it’s super boring.

15. “Bank Account”-21 Savage

I don’t really know what to say. As far as rap music goes, this song doesn’t break new ground or distinguish itself.

16. “There’s Nothing Holding Me Back”-Shawn Mendes

Shawn Mendes seems like a really nice kid, but his music is so pedestrian. “There’s Nothing Holding Me Back” sounds generic and similar to every other single he has put out in the past.

17. “Thunder”-Imagine Dragons

Remember how I said Imagine Dragons was hit or miss for me? Well, “Thunder” is a hit.

18. “Wild Thoughts”- DJ Khaled Feat. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller

I wonder if the public is aware that  the guitar riff in “Wild Thoughts” is a Santana sample. I’m beginning to wonder what DJ Khaled actually does musically besides shouting his name and “Anotha one.” Nevertheless, I like this song. I’m a fan of both Bryson Tiller and Rihanna, and I think this was a good collaboration. Wow, that’s two songs in a row that I like.

19. “Shape of You”-Ed Sheeran

This song was released in January. HOW is it still on the charts?

20. “What Lovers Do”-Maroon 5 Feat. SZA

In recent years, Maroon 5 hasn’t put out the best music, but with “What Lovers Do” they end that streak. I really like this song, and I think it was a good idea for the band to bring SZA along. “What Lovers Do” is a fun, light, and airy track that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

24. “Praying”-Kesha

Yes, I skipped 23 and 24. I don’t want to be here all day, and I’m pretty indifferent to the songs ( “Mi Gente” and “That’s What I Like”) occupying those spots. As for Kesha’s “Praying,” I’m a fan. I like the message of the song. It shows that she has overcome adversity. It shows strength, and it shows maturity. Very soulful performance by Kesha.

25. “Young Dumb and Broke”-Khalid

I love this song. It should be higher on the charts.

26. “Body Like A Back Road”-Sam Hunt

Sam Hunt graces us with a cute little pop song, and yes I said pop. Hunt may be a country artist, but take away his accent, and no one would even question that this was a pop song.

27. “XO TOUR Llif3”-Lil Uzi Vert

My Jam.

28. “Humble”-Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick can do no wrong.

32. “Love Galore”-SZA feat Travis Scott

I skipped 29-31 because why not? “Love Galore” is a brilliant song. SZA’s voice is beautiful.

33. “Location”-Khalid

It’s strange. As I move down the chart, the songs start getting better….”Location” is no exception to this trend.

34. ” Say You Won’t Let Go”-James Arthur

It’s a cute song, despite how cliched it is. This song accomplishes what it aimed to accomplish: making lonely girls feel like someone loves them.

35. “Congratulations”-Post Malone Feat. Quavo

I don’t know what to think of Post Malone. Also, what  song is Quavo not  featured in?

38. “Loyalty”-Kendrick Lamar Feat. Rihanna

Oh, look, I skipped more numbers. For those of you that are dying to know which songs I skipped, I’ll link the hot 100 list at the end of this post, but anyway, Kendrick + Rihanna= magic.

39. “Ready For It?”-Taylor Swift


It’s better than “Look What You Made Me Do.”

42. “I’m the One”-DJ Khaled Feat. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, & Lil Wayne

This was a great collaboration for the summertime.

43. “Redbone”- Childish Gambino


44. “Havana”- Camilla Cabello Feat. Young Thug

This song has a lot of flavor. I like it.

47. “Stay”-Zedd & Alessia Cara

Although “Stay” has been on the charts for too long, I enjoy the song. I think Alessia Cara is very talented.

50. “The Weekend”-SZA

I heard this is supposed to be some kind of “side chick” anthem. While I can’t get behind the subject matter of this song, I can get behind the musicality and SZA’s vocal performance. Girl’s talented.

It may seem like I don’t like music, but that’s not true. I love music-when it’s good. Today’s hits are pretty disappointing, but I will say that the music this year is much better than it was last year. I guess I’ll just have to suck it up when I listen to the radio on my various commutes. If only my car had an aux cord….

Couturely Sound ❤

Link to the Billboard Hot 100: