Tag Archives: Music

2021: Year in Review

This year was a bit of a blur. When I sat down to write this post, I had such a hard time remembering everything, that I spent about an hour watching 2021 recap videos on YouTube. Let’s begin.

News

This year started with an attempted insurrection on January 6. It was a rather funny debacle to be honest. Biden was sworn in as president about two weeks after the attempted insurrection.

COVID kept everyone on the edge of our seats this year even as vaccines rolled out. A new variant, named Omicron, was discovered in October.

US troops finally left Afghanistan after 20 years. The troop withdraw led to the Taliban overtaking Afghanistan within hours.

Mass shootings returned as the country began re-opening.

Tornadoes ravaged Kentucky and wildfires burned California

Collin Powell, Bob Doyle, and Walter Mon dale died this year.

Entertainment

Music was alright this year. We saw debut albums from Olivia Rodrigo (Sour) and Lil Nas X(Montero). Doja Cat released her third album, Planet HER. Billy Ellish released Happier Than Ever. Adele returned after a five-year absence with 30. Jazmine Sullivan released her EP Heaux Tales at the top of this year. Drake released Certified Lover Boy and Kanye released Donda. Chloe Bailey, of Chloe x Halle, released her first solo single, Have Mercy.

TV was lackluster for me this year, but I have some highlights. Squid Games was brilliant. Black Lightning ended after 4 seasons. I didn’t watch WandaVision or Invincible, nor did I see Sex Lives of College Girls.

We lost many in the entertainment world this year. The great Cicely Tyson left us at the top of this year. Biz Markie and DMX left us. Saturday Night Live’s Norm Macdonald departed. Funny girl, Cloris Leachman went on. Larry King and Willard Scott signed off one final time. After a phenomenal performance in last year’s breakout hit, Lovecraft Country, Michael K. Williams, also known for HBO’s The Wire, passed away at age 54. Broadway legend, Stephen Sondheim died at age 91 with his final role being as himself in the film adaption of Tick, Tick, Boom.

Films weren’t too nig this year as many decided to release their stuff to streaming services. Some films went to theaters as limited releases though.

Personal Life

I read some books this year. I learned Python, a programming language. I bought a skateboard to pursue a hobby I’ve been interested in since childhood. I found a therapist.

Conclusion

Like I said earlier, this year was a blur. I’ve compiled all the important things that I remembered. Let’s hope 2022 is kind to all of us. I know I have goals I wish to accomplish next year.

30 by Adele: Album Review

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Adele has returned! After 5 years of no word from our favorite British crooner, Adele has come back with her new album ’30’. I wrote about her lead single “Easy on Me”, here.

The album starts off with Strangers by Nature, a soft tune about the disillusion of her marriage. It is an alright tune, but it had to grow on me a bit after a few listens.

The second song, which is the lead single for this album, Easy on Me is a plea to her son and her ex-husband for understanding as they navigate their decision to divorce.

My Little Love is everyone’s favorite track. We get Adele at her most vulnerable as we hear voice memos of her son and small snippets of what I assume is a conversation with a therapist or close friend about how she is struggling emotionally with the divorce and the aftermath, especially with having to explain things to her son in a way he would understand. This song is a LITERAL letter to her son. It is so sweet that she included it here in the album. Definitely a tear-jerker.

Cry Your Heart Out is an upbeat tune which was placed in a good spot here after we all shed tears to My Little Love.

The next two tracks, Oh My God and Can I Get It seems to be nods to her new relationship with sports agent Rich Paul. Can I Get it might also be a nod to sex ๐Ÿ˜Ž?

I Drink Wine is another song where she laments about the fall of her marriage, but also opines about how she wants to still have a good relationship with her ex. I believe she said in the interview she did with Oprah that she and her ex are on good terms and co-parent their son. All Night Parking is an interlude.

Woman Like Me is a fiery track about how she thinks her ex messed up a good thing due to complacency. Now, she doesn’t wholly blame him for the dissolve of their marriage, I think this was just a fun little dig.

Hold On is a stirring song about trying to keep it together amidst turmoil. for Adele, that was the divorce, but this song can apply to the hell that has been the last two years for many of us. This song was also featured in a recent Amazon holiday commercial. Sometimes all we can do is hold on ๐Ÿงก.

To Be Loved is the ballad we have all been waiting for. Similar to the previous track Hold On, To Be Loved is a salve to our hearts.

Love Is A Game is the closing track on this phenom of an album. It serves as a great closer,

Rankings

  1. Hold On
  2. My Little Love
  3. To Be Loved
  4. Woman Like Me
  5. Easy On Me
  6. Can I Get It
  7. I Drink Wine
  8. Love Is A Game
  9. Cry Your Heart Out
  10. Strangers By Nature
  11. Oh My God
  12. All Night Parking

Overall, I give this album 5 out of 5 stars. It’s classic Adele, and some new sounds mixed in. I have to go down to my local Target to get the bonus track version sometime soon.

SOUR by Olivia Rodrigo: Album Review

Olivia Rodrigo burst onto the music scene with her debut album Sour. Fresh off the most recent season of High School Musical: The Series, Olivia caught everyone’s attention with the lead single, “Driver’s License”. The song became a hit on Tik Tok and that blasted Olivia to superstardom.

When I first sat down to listen to the album, I didn’t know what to expect. I’m certainly not the target demographic for Olivia’s album, but I found myself really getting into the songs. Olivia had also recently followed up the success of “Driver’s License” with the Paramore inspired pop/rock smash “Good 4 U”. That song is phenomenal.

Olivia credited Taylor Swift as one of her inspirations when making this album, and I definitely see it. The pop/rock feel of “Good 4 U” is followed by a soft ballad “enough for you”, which is another one of my favorites from the album.

Overall, I give this album, 5 stars. It is good from start to finish. My favorite tracks are: “Good 4 U”, “1 step forward, 3 steps back”, “deja vu”, “happier”, “enough for you”, and “jealousy, jealousy”.

Olivia had a great debut, and I look forward to what else she has to offer. She is definitely a star on the rise.

Watch Olivia’s MTV Video Music Awards performance of “Good 4 U” below