Sunday, September 30, 2018

Solange: 2 Years of A Seat at the Table

                             

        On September 30, 2016, Solange Knowles, the sister of singer Beyoncé, released her third studio album titled A Seat at the Table through Saint Records. The album explored with themes like rage, despair and empowerment while also spawning genres like funk, neo soul, psychedelic soul and contemporary R&B. It features guest appearances from rapper Master P, Sampha, Lil Wayne, Tina Knowles, Kelela. Kelly Rowland & Nia Andrews, BJ the Chicago Kid, The Dream and Q-Tip.

She released two singles off the album titled Crane In The Sky and Don't Touch My Hair featuring Sampha along with the music video for each track. You can check out the videos down below:

                                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0qrinhNnOM


I remember listening to the A Seat at the Table album on Google Play in 2017. Cranes In The Sky is one of my favorite songs by Solange so far. I didn't know that Solange can sing really good and I'm so glad that NerdGirlMax introduced me to her album because if it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be talking to you guys about Solange or her iconic album on the two anniversary of its release.

Thank you, Solange Knowles for blessing us with this amazing album A Seat at the Table and its songs like Cranes In The Sky and Don't Touch My Hair. You are an inspiration to young and inspiring black girls like me. I can't wait for you to release the follow-up to it in the future.

Make sure that you buy/stream A Seat at the Table on Amazon, Apple Music, Spotify & Google Play

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Jhene Aiko: 1 Year of Trip


On September 22, 2017, R&B singer Jhene Aiko surprise released her second studio album Trip. It was spawned by four singles: While We're Young, Hello Ego featuring Chris Brown, Sativa and Never Call Me. Before the album's release, Aiko dropped a 23 minute film of the same name on September 21, 2017. She also wrote co-directed alongside Girls Trip co-writer Tracy Oliver. In the film, Penny (Jhene Aiko) is trying to deal with her brother's death, but she instead meets a stranger who tries to help her cope using drugs. You can check out Trip (The Movie) in its entirely on Aiko's official YouTube channel or on her website. Here are the links for it:

Also on the same day, she released a three minute spoken word piece titled "MAP Mission" on her SoundCloud page. On the project, she talks about the loss of her brother, her previous works and her inspiration in this chapter regarding her singing career. You can listen to it now by clicking on the link:

Let me just say that I love Jhene Aiko and her message on MAP Mission where she talked about the death of her brother. I never knew that her brother meant so much to her and you can really hear Aiko's pain as she goes on about her personal struggles with drugs. Jhene Aiko, I love you and keep doing what you're doing with your music. Thank you for being such an inspirational to me and to all of your fans by taking us on a journey with you through the grief, loss and heartache regarding the death of your brother. Stay strong, Jhene. Rest In Peace, Miyagi. 🙏






Thursday, September 20, 2018

Cait Fairbanks "Hiding Place" review


Hiding Place is the third song by singer and actress Cait Fairbanks that was released on May 8, 2017. She released it onto SoundCloud for free. The track lasts for four minutes and thirty-nine seconds. It's a guitar driven song that finds the singer talking about how much that she has tried to help her partner. And if he decides to run away, she wants him to take her with him. Fairbanks begins on the opening verse with, "I built you up like a tower and you fell/ In the dark, you're devoured by yourself/ Screaming "I'm out of air"/ You're silence/ Do you want me to follow you down?/Where you go when you walk in the shadows?/ Where you go when you want to be alone?/ I don't know how to help if you run away", and then goes to the chorus with the lyrics, "Can you take me with you when you go?/ Can you take me with you when you go?/When you go/ Anywhere I don't care, just leave me there/ Through the thick and smoke, no matter where/ Can you take me with you when you go? When you go". The singer also gets very personal on the second verse with, "I tried from the wreckage, what I could/ I tried smooth out the edges into something good/ Tell myself that it's worth the effort/ Tell myself that it's getting better/ Now I know where you walk in the shadows/ Where you go when you want to be alone/ I don't know how to help if you run away".

I love Hiding Place by Cait Fairbanks. This was one of the first three songs that I listened to by her on SoundCloud. I'm so glad that I discovered Cait Fairbanks so that I can share with you all on who she is and why you should listen to her music. It is also one of my favorite tracks by her. Overall, I give Hiding Place a 10/10. 

Make sure that you give Hiding Place a listen for yourself on SoundCloud or buy it on Last.fm now:


Cait Fairbanks "Digging My Own Grave" review


Digging My Own Grave is the debut single by singer Cait Fairbanks that was released on March 4, 2016. The track is scheduled to be on Fairbanks' upcoming debut EP. Digging My Own Grave has been described as an "dark indie pop song" that talks about a "modern tale romance that has gone horribly wrong". Here is an excerpt of what the actress had to say about the song in an 2016 interview with broadwayworld.com:

"I was inspired to write 'Digging My Own Grave' because of a life experience dealing with someone that I knew was bad for me, but I did it anyway. We've all done things that we regret, but we learn lessons from them, and that's kind of what this song is about. "Digging My Own Grave' was the first song that I wrote that I really felt reflected who I wanted to be as an artist. That's why I wanted it to be my first single".

She begins on the first verse with, "I see the carnage you left behind/ They're crawling to you and so am I/ I see destruction when I look behind/ I won't look back, I'm hypnotized/ You've got me with those eyes", and then she sings on the chorus, "And it feels like I'm digging my own grave/ Is it heaven?/ Is it safe?/ I know/ And it feels like I'm digging my own grave/ Is it heaven?/ Is it safe?/ I know/ You got me, you got me where you want me/ You got me, you got me where you want me, now/ You got me, you got me where you want me/ You got me, you got me where you want me, now". 

So, here is what I think about Digging My Own Grave. I have listened to different kinds of music, but I have never heard of dark indie pop before. The way that Cait took on that kind of genre was just flawless and amazing at the same time. I give this song five stars because I could really feel the story that Fairbanks was trying to tell about a bad relationship.

Make sure that you buy/stream Digging My Own Grave on Spotify, SoundCloud, Amazon Music, YouTube, Shazam, Last.fm, CdUniverse and iTunes:

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Cait Fairbanks "Fight or Flight" review


Fight or Flight is the standalone song by singer Cait Fairbanks that was released on July 13, 2017, through CatBeach Music. It was written by Fairbanks, Robert Howard Hartry and Daena Jay Wienand. On Fight or Flight, the singer finds herself wanting to tell her lover how she really feels him. She is also contemplating on whether she should fight her feelings or lean more towards her partner, so that she can "flight". Fairbanks opens the song with, "Never been the one to trust/ Never felt the need to stay/Always on the run/ Chase the sun, no names/ Wish that I could tell you why/ Everytime you read your... I'm shaking/ Trying to find, taking flight, breaking", then she goes to the pre-chorus with, "But you won't let me go/ You won't let me". On the chorus, Cait says that she is trying to learn to trust on her mate singing, "Even when I tried/ Even when I wanted to/ You won't let me give up, give up holding on to you/ Everytime I fall/ You're the voice that carries through/ I'm still learning, learning, learning how to count on you". First of all, I love Cait Fairbanks and her music. Her voice just blends right into the song. The meaning of Fight or Flight is so beautiful. I love songs that tells a story within the lyrics and Cait, my friends, did just that. I give Fight or Flight a 10. I wish that she would release more songs! I can't get enough of her music. 

Buy/stream Fight or Flight on Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Play, Shazam, iTunes, SoundCloud & YouTube:

You can also go to cduniverse.com or last.fm.com to buy the mp3 version of her song:


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Cait Fairbanks "With Me" review


With Me is the standalone single by singer Cait Fairbanks that was released on November 17, 2017, through CatBeach Music. It was written by Fairbanks herself along with Bob Hartry and Daena Wienand. It runs for two minutes and twenty seven seconds. The track is a soft pop song with an acoustic guitar playing in the background as Cait sings about her partner being there for her through the ups and downs in life. She sings on the beginning, "When I'm in the shadows, stuck in my mind/ You break the darkness and cast it inside/ Looks like I can't leave/ With me on the good days/When I'm in my worst, and the darkest rises/Only if you're with me/ Even when it hurts and I want to hide/ I know you're with me/ Woah, uh, oh/ Woah, uh, ohhhh/ I know you're with me". Then she goes to the next verse with, "When I see the valleys, you see the high/ So unafraid of/ The doubts that I find/ Standing beside me/ With me unrelenting".

So, here is what I think about With Me. The song is very different, but yet at the same time, It's also personal for the singer when she talks about her darkest moments. Overall, I love Cait Fairbanks because she is a very talented artist with a beautiful voice. I can't wait to hear more music from her in the future. I give this song a 10/10.

You can stream/listen to With Me on Spotify, SoundCloud, ITunes, Shazam, Deezer, Google Play, Amazon Music, YouTube and last.fm:

Monday, September 17, 2018

Cait Fairbanks "Echoes" review


If you don't know who Cait Fairbanks, then listen up. Cait Fairbanks, whose real name is Caitlin Baunoch, is an actress and a singer-songwriter from New York City. She started acting when she was eight years old and has since performed in over 20 professional, community and regional theatres for over 10 years. She is best known for her role in the 2014 broadway production Heathers the Musical.



Echoes was released on August 30, 2016 on SoundCloud for free. It was the second song that the singer had released after her debut single Digging My Own Grave for her upcoming debut EP. The track is two minutes and 41 seconds long. It's described as an "pop rock" song that talks about hearing echoes inside your head to the point where you don't want to let go of a lost love. She opens the song on a very dark note with, "Leave me with a kiss, you haunt me/ Leave me with a spell of wanting/ I don't know what you'd do/ Sunk your teeth, now I'm bruised/ Left me in the dark, I'm searching/ Burning out the walls, I'm hurting/ I don't know what you'd do/ Gave me love, but now I'm bruised/Everywhere I go, I see you", and then goes to the chorus, "All I hear are echoes, echoes of your love/ All I don't wanna let go, let go of your love/ I don't wanna be so lonely/ I don't wanna be so lonely/ Echoes, echoes, I'm in love/ I don't wanna let go, let go of your love".

So, I listened to Echoes last night on SoundCloud while I was doing my blog. And I absolutely love this along with Digging My Own Grave and Hiding Place (which I will do a review on those songs later). The production and the writing is spectacular. I give this song a 10/10. Cait also released a music video for Echoes on Vimeo which can be viewed by click on the link below:

Make sure that you stream Echoes on SoundCloud now:

Also, make sure that go and follow Cait Fairbanks on SoundCloud, Spotify, Google Play and Shazam while you're at it:

Go to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter along with her official website for more updates on Cait Fairbanks:

Please help support this independent artist so that she can be well known by other music lovers like me.





Sunday, September 16, 2018

Tori Kelly "Hiding Place" album review


Hiding Place is the second studio album by California singer Tori Kelly that was released on September 14, 2018, through School Boy Records and Capitol Records.. It is primarily a gospel album with influences of R&B and jazz music. The album also features collaborations from Kirk Franklin, Christian rapper Lecrae, Jonathan McReynolds and The HamilTones. The title, Hiding Place, is based off the scripture of Psalm 32:7 where it reads:

"You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with songs of deliverance."


Masterpiece (featuring Lecrae)

Masterpiece is where both Tori and Lecrae talk about God making one into a masterpiece, benefits from struggle, and clinging to God in times of trouble. Kelly sings on the first verse,

"When You look at me
Do You see a work of art in the making?
Sketch of what I'll be
I wonder what You see in me
Like what do You think?
When my life is not a melody in the morning
And I feel off key, yeah
Do You still believe in me?
Like a symphony, hey
You know how to make all things work together
Crazy how mistakes can be miracles in disguise",

and then Lecrae exchanges his verse on the third verse with,

"Uh, now you know that you're a masterpiece
You probably feel like a catastrophe
You think I'm totally kidding but hold up a minute
Don't compare yourself with none of them
You one of one and ain't no synonym
A Master Artist take a mess and make a masterpiece
And look at you, you been a gem (facts)
Shinin'".


Help Us to Love (featuring The HamilTones)

Tori collaborates with the singing group The HamilTones on this mid gospel track where they tackle on the bad things that they deal with in the real world while asking God to help them to love. They sing together on the chorus,

"There's a love so high (that you cannot get over)
That same love's so wide (it'll take forever just to get round it)
But love died somewhere
Behind that cross you wear, you're afraid when you look at me
That ain't real love
Not the kind from above, hmm",

and then move on to the next verse with,

"But there's a friend of mine (that stays closer than a brother)
Oooh, love laid down his life (so why do we still fight one another?)
All this hate I see on the TV screen
In my country ‘tis of thee
God help us to love, to love the way that you love me
Hmmm, God help us to love the way that you love me, oh oh".

Kelly comes on the bridge with something that we can all relate to when she sings,

"This world is weeping, hurting, broken and begging for change
Oh yeah
But still we marching, praying, dying, and things stay the same
When will we see?
Till everyone's free
There'll never be peace between you and me
God, your love is the cure
For the rich and the poor
God, please will you open our eyes?"
Here is the live music video for Help Us to Love if you're interested:





Sunday

Sunday finds Tori being tired of trying to mask her pain from the people of the church singing,

"When the world looks at me
I wonder what they see
Underneath these eyes
Oh, smiles masquerade as pain
And grow up to be shame
Then leave me with a lie",

and then goes to the chorus with,

"I know they, they don't see my flaws
Or these hidden scars
And all the mess I've made
Oh, so don't, don't let Sunday fool ya
Here's my hallelujah
Every single day, I'm running to Your grace
Ey, ey, ey".

Tori also released the live music video for Sunday. You can check it out below:




Just As Sure (featuring Jonathan McReynolds)

Just As Sure marks the first collaboration for Tori Kelly and Jonathan McReynolds as they talk about going through the dark times. But despite all of this, God still loves them both as Kelly sings on the chorus, 

"Just as sure as winter fades
And then it turns to spring
I believe deliverance, will surely come for me
Just as sure as my heart
Will someday be made anew
I know You love me
Just as I do love You
Mmm, just as I do love You",

then Jonathan comes in with his verse,

"Just as sure as the test
Is there to make me perfect in Your eyes
It may hurt for a while
But by faith I shall survive
Just as sure as the rain
Falls on me only to make me grow
No matter how I feel
Now I live by what I know".

I love how both Tori and Jonathan's voices come together like a harmony on the bridge with,

"I love You and I trust You
'Cause You know what's best for me
And even though the crowd sometimes gets loud
And it's hard to hear You speak (Hear You speak)
Just as sure as Your grace
Is faithful even when my faith I lose
I know You love me (I know You love me)
Just as I do love You

I love You and I trust You
'Cause You know what's best for me
Even though the crowd sometimes gets loud
And it's hard to hear You speak, oooh
Just as sure as Your grace
Is faithful even when my faith I lose
I know You love me
Just as I do love You
Just as I do love You".

Here is the live music video of Just As Sure:





Psalm 42 is an inspirational piano driven track where the singer shares the message of one's heart striving for God. It's based off the biblical scripture Psalm 42. She opens up with,

"There's a quiet place
                         That gives me peace when I'm alone with You
                                                There's a hiding place
                            Your Spirit's always there when I'm confused
                                                Only You can purify
                                       All this world won't ever satisfy
                                                   My heart, it cries".

The chorus serves as a prayer for the singer and also contains a reference to Psalm 42:1-2  as she sings, "As the deer pants for the water/ So my soul needs you Lord/ When thirsty God, you're the living water/And my soul needs you Lord/ I need you, Lord/ I need you, Lord/ I need you, Lord/ I need you, Lord".

Live music video for Psalm 42 here:




Questions is the sixth track in which the singer has some questions for God about the bad stuff that is happening in the world right now singing,

 "What happens when the healing never comes?
Do we stand and curse the heavens
Or lift our hands and feel the sun
The mystery's not clear
Just once, Your voice I'd love to hear
What happens when the healing never comes",

and then goes to the fourth verse with,

"So now I must be silent
Your voice is in the wind
The hands that made the heavens
Will heal the storm within
I have so many questions
I don't know where to begin
Since You were there at the beginning
You already know the end".

                                          

Never Alone (featuring Kirk Franklin)

Tori taps Gospel singer Kirk Franklin as the singer sings about how she is not alone during the times of struggles because God is on her side. She begins on the first verse with,

"In my time I've travelled some roads
                                                        A rolling stone
                                              Nowhere feels like home
                              And I've seen people come, then they go
                       Life is just a story of some highs and some lows",

and then continues with,

"I've cried many rivers
                                           I've walked through some pain
                                           I've seen my world crumble
                                               And I'll carry the shame
                                But I know somebody, He calls me His own
                                         I can hear heaven singing out
                                         Oh-oh-oh, you're never alone
                                         Oh-oh-oh, you're never alone".


Soul's Anthem (It Is Well)

Soul's Anthem (It Is Well) serves as the closing track for Hiding Place. On the track, Tori asks God to show him his ways to her like how to love him or trust him. She sings,

"Teach me how to love you
Show me how to trust you
More than with my words or with a song
                                              No, it's not been easy
                                       To live life down on my knees
                                    But with faith I know I'll carry on", 

but through the hardship, she says on the chorus with,

"There is more to see than with my eyes
                               But fear sometimes can leave me paralyzed
                                           I realize that I'm not in control
                                             Yet it is well with my soul".

I listened to Tori Kelly's new album the day that it was released and I ultimately fell in love with from beginning to end. Tori has really stepped it up with Hiding Place by mixing gospel music with R&B and jazz with tracks like "Sunday" or "Soul's Anthem (It Is Well). I would definitely recommend that you buy this album and let Tori help you to have a closer relationship with God like never before! I give Hiding Place a 10/10. All songs on the album are perfect. The production from singer Kirk Franklin on this project is amazing.

Make sure that you stream/purchase Hiding Place on Amazon Music, Google Play, iTunes, Spotify, Tidal, Pandora and Walmart:
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Hiding-Place-CD/359325121

You can also go and see Tori on the Hiding Place tour by purchasing your tickets from her website or Live Nation right now. Here's the link for it:
http://www.torikellymusic.com/#/tour

Also, check out Tori Kelly's video for the White Chair film titled I Am Second where she talks about how she overcame her struggle with identity with the help of Jesus. You can watch it here below:


Here is the website for the I Am Second film starring Tori Kelly:







Cait Fairbanks When I See You review

When I See You is a single by Cait Fairbanks that was released on April 17, 2019, through CatBeach Music. The track was written by Fairba...