After a 14 year hiatus Garth Brooks has returned to work with a new set of original songs. ‘Man Against Machine’ was released Nov. 10, 2014 and debuted at #1 on the country charts, but missed the overall top spot he frequently owned before his semiretirement. Taylor Swift has proved to be an unstoppable force, and her numbers dominated Brooks. Brooks’ decision to release ‘People Loving People’ as the first single was probably Read More →
The God-First Life, authored by Stovall Weems–lead pastor of Celebration Church in Jacksonville, Florida–proves that regardless of if you are a believer in Christ you cannot dispute Weems’ passion for spreading the Gospel.
The God First Life is a fairly short Christian self-help book, based largely on the Bible verse Matthew 6:33. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Weems uses The God-First Life to unpack and extract every bit of information from this short scripture and shows through some very personal illustrations and analogies how Christ is relevant to you. Read More →
Panic! At The Disco is back at it again with ‘ Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!’ Panic! has been a favorite of mine for years now. I find them to be one of the few mainstream bands that has a unique sound. They have always been able to blend together orchestral instrumentals, velvety smooth vocals, and lyrics deeper than a rain puddle into an amazing sound.
In ‘ Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!’ the band seems to lean a lot heavier on Read More →
There is no doubt that director Baz Luhrmann has achieved world-wide popularity once again with The Great Gatsby. Already beloved by the film community for bringing musicals back to the silver screen with Moulin Rouge and making a modern-day and quite popular rendition of Romeo + Juliet. Known for his high-spectacle movies, magnificent sets, top-of-the-line actors and brilliant soundtracks, Luhrmann will not disappoint even F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most beloved fans.
Not a single shot in The Great Gatsby is without spectacle. The film is beautifully enhanced with gorgeous, rich colors and metallic accents and Luhrmann’s signature style that rides the fence between a breathtaking dreamscape, something you think it might melt if you look away, and something very raw and quite respectable.
The acting in The Great Gatsby is simply thrilling. Leonardo DiCaprio shines as Jay Gatsby bringing an innocence and vulnerability to a roll that one would assume would be a radiation of confidence. Tobey Maguire portrays Nick Carraway, a midwestern gentleman who befriends Gatsby quickly and acts as match-maker for Daisy (Carey Mulligan). Mulligan and DiCaprio’s on-screen chemistry evokes so much from the viewer that you could only assume the love affair was real.
When I heard that Jay Z was going to be doing the music for The Great Gatsby I had to go straight to my sister to see if Jay Z was going to ruin my favorite book turned film. She assured me he would be wonderful and she couldn’t have been more correct. But it wasn’t Jay Z who swept me off my feet but Lana Del Rey. Del Rey’s song Young and Beautiful is so malleable taking on genres of classical, vocal and jazz. Simply beautiful.
It is with absolute confidence that I give this film a “Yea!”
The music from Cirque du Soleil’s show “Saltimbanco” is hauntingly animalistic, ranges from gentle persuasive notes to predatory tones to cathedral-esque vocals. No matter which way you spin it “Saltimbanco” is an anthem to human creativity. The absolutely gorgeous mix of tones, instruments and vocals make this album playful, sometimes ominous and always entertaining. As far as soundtracks go, this may be my favorite yet, and I’ve listened to a LOT of soundtracks.
The made-up language that supports the vocals may sound off-putting in theory but once you listen to it, I guarantee you’ll find it to be relaxing, almost hypnotic and trace-like. With influences ranging from African and French to Spanish and Native American “Saltimbanco” is widely accessible to any listener. The incredible compilation of music narrates a story of adventure that will take you back to your childhood while simultaneously propelling you into a new world.
“Saltimbanco” is epic if nothing else and will take you on an incredible journey. Cirque du Soleil has become a household name, widely known for brilliant circus performances, and with that comes magical music. Whether you’re a devoted fan or if Cirque is new to you, “Saltimbanco” is a fabulous place to start. I dare say this is a “Yea!” and a half.
Why it’s taken me so long to review Ed Sheeran’s album + (Deluxe Version) I will never know. I’ve been listening to it non-stop for over a month now. It’s about as addicting as the alcohol and cigarettes of which he sings. I’ve found myself time and time again logging on to my computer only to open iTunes and listen to + all the way through, forgetting whatever task for which I had originally signed on.
Ed Sheeran is taking the world by storm with his album + (Deluxe Version). Sheeran’s soft-spoken voice is clearly the focal point of this album with his guitar and piano taking supporting positions. Songs vary from an instrument or two to a gentle electronic approach. In + Sheeran takes an point-blank approach to some sometimes-sticky subjects such as prostitution, drug use, alcoholism, smoking, sex and a debated Pro-Life stance in his song Small Bump. Despite some more “adult” topics and the politics of some of his songs, I can’t imagine Sheeran’s music not appealing to someone. It’s complete lack of Autotune makes it sound as if Sheeran is whispering lyrics in you ear one second and beat-boxing the next. The clarity and musical integrity of this album is astonishing.
One of Sheeran’s most notable tracks The A Team is a chart-topping sensation, which if you haven’t heard by now…well I don’t know where you’ve been the past few months. Balancing out his heavier songs is Kiss Me, a sweet song rumored to have been written by Sheeran for his mother’s wedding. It’s sure to be a Prom favorite and a first dance song for many couples, but it happily lacks the sickly sweet sound of many other love songs. If you looking for a thought-provoking album that can carry you through any mood or day + is the album for you. Sheeran has created an instant classic that will be enjoyed for years to come. Definite ‘Yea!’