BTS ‘Love Yourself 轉: Tear’ (album review)

Ash's Music Reviews

 

bts

Credit: AllKpop

Consisting of 7 members (V, Jungkook, Jimin, Suga, Jin, R-M and J-Hope) BTS have been active since their well-recognised debut back in 2013. With a dedicated fan base known as ‘ARMY’ and 2 Billboard Awards under their belt (the first K-Pop group to reach this feat), its no wonder that many have experienced active BTS fever. With solid in-group writing and infectious band chemistry, BTS are more than your average music group, they are a group with sheer humbleness, working power and sheer talent projected to all that listen to them recognising their star power from the get-go actively.

BTS’s ‘Love Yourself 轉: Tear’ released on the 18th of May 2018.

As BTS said in an interview with Chelsea Briggs of Billboard.com on the album’s title:

“We’re trying to say that if you, in love, when you’re not true to yourself, the love won’t last, because love is complex and we always have the dark sides and the sad sides.”- RM (BTS’s Group Leader)

Having spawned one single from the album already (to critical and commercial acclaim), BTS has shown us early on that they are game changers in their own right. With their chameleon-like ability to mould into various genres, absorb complex dance steps and keep crowds swooning over them with their charm. They are South Korea’s biggest asset at the moment in the world of K-Hip Hop and RnB.

Well received single

The first single Fake Love (off their latest album) has already been watched the most times in Vietnam and has amassed a very impressive viewership of 123 million views (YouTube.com) in less than 3 weeks of surfacing on the internet. These numbers themselves prove the longevity and demand of BTS, further showing that demand for them won’t slow down for a while as it keeps going up at a rapid pace.

Overall Fake Love, (a poetic track narrating love, loyalty and chance encounters) has an equally impactful music video to go along with it. It will certainly keep rising on the charts with its solid writing (from BTS) and well thought out narrative.

 

On the whole Love Yourself 轉 ‘Tear’ is an audio-based letter to their fans appreciating all of their support, love and devotion to the band itself. With a wide variety of instrumentation and genres explored within the album, Tear is less formulaic and more unique in its delivery when compared with other world hip-hop and rap albums. Further boosted by each band members own unique delivery, persona and stage presence Love Yourself 轉 ‘Tear’ is an album that won’t escape your ears for a long time, adding to its general longevity and appreciation from the masses alike.

Ashish’s Attics Rating: ****

bts album cov

Love Yourself 轉 ‘Tear’ is available now via Big Hit Entertainment

*Album Cover: BTS Album Official Cover Art

References

1. allkpop. 2018. BTS start a mysterious countdown on their website. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.allkpop.com/article/2017/09/bts-start-a-mysterious-countdown-on-their-website. [Accessed 18 June 2018].

2. Youtube/ibighit. (2018). BTS (방탄소년단) ‘FAKE LOVE’ Official MV. [Online Video]. 18 May 2018. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7C2z4GqqS5E. [Accessed: 18 June 2018].

Toni Braxton- Deadwood (2017)- Single Review

Ash's Music Reviews

The Grammy award-winning singer Toni Braxton is back with a solo single after a hiatus of 7 years since releasing her last solo album Pulse (2010) and her collaborative album with longtime collaborator Baby Face titled ‘Love, Marriage & Divorce’ (released in 2014).

Stripping it back entirely, Braxton opts for minimalistic sensual tones as she lets her vocals take centre stage. Further putting a spell on us with her fierce persona and subtle tones and impressive vocal range. Produced by Fred Ball (his production credits range from Little Mix, Rihanna, Pixie Lott, JLS + many more). Deadwood is about a love that shouldn’t be tossed aside, further narrating its rise and power even after it has been pushed away for some time.

Heralding from Maryland and born to Michael Conrad Braxton, Sr (a Methodist clergyman and power company worker) and Evelyn Jackson (her mother). With the latter being a native of South Carolina and a former opera singer and cosmetologist, as well as a pastor. Toni Michelle Braxton comes from a big family of sisters, who are powerhouses in their own way. Notably, her younger sister Tamar Braxton is a Grammy-nominated singer and former television presenter. 

In terms of influences, Braxton cites Chakka Khan and Anita Baker as vocal style models. Due to their similar vocal range and distinctive voices and tones. Braxton herself is known for her distinctive contralto voice. (Wikipedia.com)

“Toni Michele Braxton is a six times Grammy winning American R&B singer, songwriter, pianist, musician, actress, television celebrity, record producer and humanitarian. She has released a total of six studio albums until now and has sold over 66 million records worldwide, which has made her an R&B idol. She is sometimes called with the name of ‘Queen of R&B’ as she is one of the best selling female artists of the 1990s.”

Source: The Famous People.com [2]

Representing style and substance, Braxton’s comeback single is sexy, sultry and represents her coming into her own. It’s a song which she embraces her identity on and lets loose. Further showing us why she is a Grammy award singer and a successful accolade winner of numerous music awards. With pure incandescent soul and vocal range, Braxton is definitely a reigning force in today’s growing music industry (one that she has been a part of for more than 25 years).

Thus be sure to check out Braxton’s comeback single now as its sure to bring out the sexiness in you. Get ready to experience love, lust, solitude and more in a song that oozes solid identity, desire and above all love (aAudio featured above).

‘Deadwood’ is available from all major digital services such as Spotify & Apple Music now.

References

[1] Toni Braxton – Wikipedia. 2017. Toni Braxton – Wikipedia. [ONLINE] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toni_Braxton#Early_life. [Accessed 29 September 2017].

[2] Toni Braxton Biography – Childhood, Life Achievements & Timeline. 2017. Toni Braxton Biography – Childhood, Life Achievements & Timeline. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/toni-braxton-4401.php. [Accessed 29 September 2017]

Video: Youtube/ToniBraxtonVEVO/Music video by Toni Braxton performing Deadwood/Def Jam Recordings. (2017). Toni Braxton – Deadwood (Audio). [Online Video]. 13 September 2017. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdA7tUIzA5Q. [Accessed: 29 September 2017].

Shekhinah- Suited (2017-Single Review)

Ash's Music Reviews

 

Shekhinah-–-Suited.jpg

Source: RehabMusik.com

Born in Durban South Africa, Shekhinah is a South African recording artist who has received prominence on SA Idols (Season 7 & 8), reaching the top 6 for the latter in 2012. She has also won an MTV South Africa Music Award (2016) with Kyle Deutsch under the category of Best Pop & Alternative.

With smooth vocals and an enigmatic spirit, Shekhinah’s single Suited (released this year) narrates a love that is suited for both individuals, further talking about how that love cannot be moved or even removed as its one which is very closely bound. Thus Suited  is a song about love, longing, expression and gratitude. Gratitude in terms of the quality of the love and how it’s spiritually bounded as she sings “Ride it to a special space, I Pray we never lose the faith yeah”.

Suited for each other (x2)
Don’t try to move me from my lover yeah
I’ll lose him to another yeah
Never

[CHORUS]

Source: http://bimba.co.za/shekhinah/suited (Lyrics)

Filled with a catchy chorus, meaningful lyrics, strong vocals and a star in the making. Suited boasts Shekhinah’s spellbinding vocals as she takes us on a journey of a love that’s grounded, strong and hard to forget.

Be sure to check her video out above, as its definitely a summer tune infused with strong beats and a grounded chorus, that will leave you dancing on end. Get ready to get lost in love and feel the beat as Shekhinah takes you on a lyrical journey that will keep you mesmerised and stunned throughout.

Bibliography

  1. DrXee. 2017. Shekhinah – Suited (New Song) | Free Mp3 Download. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.rehabmusik.com/shekhinah-suited/. [Accessed 01 September 2017].
2. Youtube. (2017). Shekhinah – Suited [2017 Sony Music Entertainment Africa (Pty) Ltd.]. [Online Video]. 17 August 2017. Available from:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTyHKpq9iEc. [Accessed: 1 September 2017].

Ray Blk- Durt (2016)- Quick Review

Ash's Music Reviews

 

GettyImages-643820586_RAY_BLK_1000

GettyImages

Having been born in Nigeria, Ray BLK (born Rita Ekwere) moved to London at the age of four. From here on, she grew up in Catford, a district known for its name to derive from the place where cattle crossed the River Ravensbourne in Saxon times. By the time Ekwere turned 13, she and her friend (singer songwriter, record producer MNEK known for featuring on Rudimentals hit single Spoons featuring Syron and making it on BBC’s Sound of 2014 long list).

Ray BLK’s stage name derives from three words, these being: Building, Living and Knowing. In terms of their meaning Ekwere cites these words as her own values. Further paying homage to them within her stage name adding to her unique identity as a storyteller. Singing about her own experiences, interactions which lie close to her own self. Making her honest, raw and true in each of her songs, whether she be rapping, singing etc.

Whilst studying her english degree RAY released her first set of recordings which led to her debut EP (self released) entitled Havisham (2015).  Inspired by Charles Dickens Havisham.

Ray BLK speaking on Havisham: “According to Ray “I felt like Miss Havisham was like a lot of women around me, who got their heart broken and turned cold and began to hate men.”Wikipedia.com

Recently BLK released her latest offering DURT. With tracks featuring Stormzy and many other features. Prominent songs featured on the mini album include My Hood (where BLK raps and sings about her hometown) and 50/50 (a grime infused neo rap track). BLK also recieved her first nomination for a Mobo award (2016). Ray was announced as the winner of BBC’s sound of 2017 on the 6th of January.

 

Top songs from the album:

 

DURT (2016) is certainly a mini album worth checking out. With points of reflection, emotion and attitude DURT transcends itself into an empowering piece of literature, as   BLK raps about her hometown. Further dwelling into past relationships, confrontations and more explorative topics. Overall BLK’s feature mini album is filled with solid emotion and sheer confidence.

My Rating: 9/10

DURT is available nationwide on spotify, Apple Music and various other leading streaming services.

Bibliography

  1. Ray BLK – Wikipedia. 2017. Ray BLK – Wikipedia. [ONLINE] Available at:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_BLK. [Accessed 27 August 2017].
  2. NME. 2017. Ray BLK discusses her ‘timeless, classic’ debut album – NME. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.nme.com/news/music/ray-blk-debut-album-interview-1988253. [Accessed 27 August 2017].
  3. Youtube. (2017). RAY BLK – 5050 (Official Music Video). [Online Video]. 17 December 2015. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4V3iyojYJ38. [Accessed: 27 August 2017].
  4. Youtube. (2017). RAY BLK – My Hood ft. Stormzy (Official Music Video). [Online Video]. 14 July 2016. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9BtXaiLVA0. [Accessed: 27 August 2017].

 

Niia ‘I’ (2017)- Album Review

Ash's Music Reviews

Album: ‘I’ by Niia

Genre: Alternative Indie/Jazz

Hailing from Massachusetts and having been trained in classical piano by her mother, Niia is no stranger to smooth music, velvety notes and strong harmonies. Being trained to sing at the tender age of 13. Furthermore, Niia’s family roots involve classical roots, considering her Mum was born into a classical opera family, with renowned opera singers stemming from Niia’s own bloodline. Thus it’s no wonder that she is already a star in the making, recently having distributed her debut album titled I. Which can be interpreted by her saying that she has arrived, by opting for first person usage and saying she is final here, whilst also pointing towards her strong vocal skills and songwriting skills demonstrating ‘I’ to hold numerous meanings and values.

Furthermore, Niia’s family roots involve classical roots, considering her Mum was born into a classical opera family, with renowned opera singers stemming from Niia’s own bloodline. Thus it’s no wonder that she is already a star in the making, recently having distributed her debut album titled ‘I’. Which can be interpreted by her saying that she has arrived, by opting for first person usage and saying she is finally here, whilst also pointing towards her strong vocal skills and songwriting skills demonstrating ‘I’ to hold numerous meanings and values.

On her debut album, Niia sings about heartbreak, loss, pain and happiness. With strong distinctive vocals, Niia keeps various ’emotions’ at the centre piece of each song. Further encapsulating a clear distinct narrative between each one.

With raspy vocals and a clear distinct understanding of Jazz music, Niia certainly embodies all the workings to be the next Sade. She has that raw energy and sheer edge, similar to how Sade carries himself through emotion, vocal register and tone.

Featuring on the album are the likes of Jazmine Sullivan (known for her RnB soul hit “Bust your windows”) and Boogie (who appears on ‘California)’ released as a non-album single.

Boosted by smooth beats and ultra soothing rifts. Niia takes you on a journey filled with emotion and poetic imagery. With stand outs tracks including ‘Sideline (ft Jasmine Sullivan)’, ‘Last night in Loz Feliz’, ‘Hurt you first and ‘Nobody’.

My Rating: 8.5/10

With her charm, grace and subtle beauty Niia is definitely one artist to look out for, as she mixes jazz, with pop, piano percussions and many more instruments.

Which is sure to immerse you in her talent as she takes you on her own journey ‘I’ with sheer emotion at the helm and top producers (such as Robin Hannibal) steering the ship. ‘I’ is solid strong and definitely worth not missing.

Top songs from the album:

Niia ‘I’ (2017) is available worldwide now and can be streamed on ‘Spotify’ and ‘Apple Music’.

Bibliography

  1. Kia Makarechi. 2017. Niia’s Live Version of “Body” Is a Stripped-Down, Smokey Haunt | Vanity Fair. [ONLINE] Available at:https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2014/10/niia-generation-blue. [Accessed 16 August 2017].

2. Niia. 2017. Niia Official Website. [ONLINE] Available at:http://niiamusic.com/. [Accessed 16 August 2017].

3. Niia – Wikipedia. 2017. Niia – Wikipedia. [ONLINE] Available at:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niia. [Accessed 16 August 2017].
4. Youtube. (2017). Niia – Last Night In Los Feliz [Official Audio-Atlantic Records]. [Online Video]. 9 December 2016. Available from:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0THvD-7Dw38. [Accessed: 16 August 2017].
5. Youtube. (2017). Niia – Hurt You First [Official Video]. [Online Video]. 24 February 2017. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nx1KzkZywc. [Accessed: 16 August 2017].