Tag Archives: Dua Lipa

Awesome Albums of 2020 Top 13-1

17 Dec


Black Eyed Peas (8 awesome; 3 good; 1 ok; 2 meh; 1 dislike of 15 = 

53.3% awesome; 

20% good; 

Awesome good avg = 36.65%

80% OK & up; 

6.7% dislike

Awesome – dislike =

46.6% awesome

Awesome good avg – dislike =



Every song could just blend together on this album.  The theme is perfectly executed, where the individual songs can hold up on their own, but the album could be played and the listener might never know when one song ended and the next began.

At one point, I thought Translation would be my winning album of the year.  I decided to weight dislikes heavily though–b/c it takes a LOT for me to not like a song at all.  And I just can’t get behind using the word “bitch” to convey someone you don’t like or respect.  And it pains me to mark down Will I Am because I think he does have a good heart (he is my VERY favorite episome of Songland because he was so nice and fair and awesome), but I can’t get behind that one song…


Taylor Swift (6 Awesome; 7 good; 2 ok; 1 meh; 1 dislike of 17 = 

35.3% Awesome; 

43.8% good; 

avg awesome/good is 39.6%; 

88.2% ok & up. 

Dislike = 5.9%

Awesome – dislike = 29.4%

Awesome good avg – dislike = 33.7%


What a good album–it’s an understatement.  Taylor Swift again shows her dexterity as a writer and performer.  She really can do anything!  Do I like Dream-Pop?  Absolutely not.  But I like Taylor, she’s a sentimental favorite of mine, and I can appreciate what she’s done here.  This album’s strongest feature was the layered writing, which embedded so much information, that it drove multiple listens–genius.  Folklore is most definitely the most lyrically-robust album of the year.  Like Apple’s work, Taylor shows she has a keen knack for saying, showing, and musically burying meanings everywhere.  Just don’t call folklore “Alternative” IT IS NOT IN THE ALTERNATIVE GENRE.  This is most definitely an attempt at dream pop like Lorde and an inspiration to Taylor, Lana del Ray.  But more hooks and catchiness.  Taylor can’t help but to write earworms.  It’s a good departure and makes me excited for whatever is going to follow.

This album was also heavily penalized for a poorly written (in my opinion) hastily added song.  I expect more from a writer of Taylor’s caliber.  She could easily write a hundred better Covid songs, and she should have.  There’s really no excuse for just throwing a song on an album.


Lauren Alaina 

Getting Good (2 awesome; 2 good; 2 ok; meh; dislike of 6 = 

33% awesome

33% good

Awesome good avg = 33.3%

100% OK & up)


I never knew given the choice between some drinking break-up album and a more traditional country good-girl album, that I would prefer the latter.  But in this case I did.  I felt like the Getting Over Him wasn’t very authentic for Alaina.  I suggest she #1, just combine into an album in the future.  #2, stay true to herself, because without even knowing there was a choice I gravitated to her more true story.


Kenny Chesney  (4 awesome;6 good;2 ok; meh; dislike of  12= 

33.3% awesome;

50% good; 

Awesome good avg = 41.65%

100% OK and up)


It feels to me like Chesney knows the exact combination of elements to make a winning record.  And he’s combined them (as he always has) to make a good record.  What I’m not getting, is a lot of genuineness, authenticity, or enthusiasm for making music.  It all seems very detached and formulaic.  Also, this party guy is wearing thin, and feels a bit disingenuous to me.  I’d like to see an album with more introspective, that I can tell Chesney feels.


Brothers Osborne (4 aweseome 2 good 1 ok 3 meh OF 11 = 

36.4% awesome; 

18% good) =

Avg of awesome and good = 



The album takes a sharp turn on song 5.  It goes from trite, bro-party country to something better.  I wish they would cut out the first 4 songs, actually–it’s that much of a change.  


Green Day (4 awesome; 4 ok  of 10 = 

40% awesome; 

Awesome & OK avg =

60% good

80% ok & up)


I think this album utilized the piano better than some of their past works.  And that fast pounding on it, does a lot to increase excitement.  There is also a James Dean sort of 1950s enthusiastic rebel sound that’s still punk-pop, but a little retro.


Indigo girls (4 awesome;  4 good;  3 ok;  meh; dislike of 11 = 

36.3% awesome; 

36.3% good; 

Avg of awesome & good  =


100% OK and up.)


Selena Gomez  (7 awesome; 6 good; 4 ok; meh; dislike of 17  = 

41.2% awesome; 

35.3% good;  

Awesome good avg = 38.25%

100% Ok & up)


Does it feel personal to anyone else that Bieber got 4 Grammy nominations for an unpopular album, full of derivative lyrics, and Selena was snubbed?  Like, she calls him out in this album, this solid, good album.  But he gets the noms and she doesn’t?  It doesn’t make sense to me.  Unless politics and or money were involved…


The [Dixie] Chicks (5 awesome; 5 good; 1 OK; 1 meh; dislike of 12

41.7% Awesome; 

41.7% Good; 

Awesome good avg = 41.7%;

91.7% OK & up)

Grammy nominations proved that The Chicks still aren’t off the blacklist. Which is ridiculous considering the political polarization, and mainstreaming of talking $hit about the top politicians. And the Shit-Show that is Trump. The music industry should be groveling at their feet. And fans should be telling them they suffered from being ahead of their time. But here we are, back in hypocrisy-land.


Dua Lipa 5 awesome; 3 good; 1 OK; 2 meh of 11 =

45.5% awesome; 

17.3% good

Awesome good avg = 31.4%

81.1% OK & up)

The album reminds me a little of the ‘Bring It On’ Soundtrack.  Nothing ground-breaking here, but a fun listen all the same.  There are glimmers of potential on this album.  And when Dua Lipa embraces her own voice, that’s where things go right.  This artist reminds me of a hybrid between Katy Perry’s California-girl lite pop and 1980’s vanilla, Debbie Gibson. And too often she veers into the easy, superficial sound rather that challenging the status quo of pop. 


Aloe Blacc (8 awesome; 1 good; 1 ok; meh; dislike of 10 = 

80% awesome; 

10% good; 

Awesome good avg = 45% 

100% Ok and up)


Overall, a very strong album.. Each song builds on the last, and it fits a cohesive theme.  I’ve heard Blacc use his voice more and would have liked to see more low and super-high notes, but it still left me with a lot of feeling.


Fiona Apple (all good–heavy intellectual = 100%)

(8 awesome; 4 good; 1 ok; meh; dislike of 13 = 

61.5% awesome; 

30.8% good 

Awesome good avg = 46.15%

100% OK and up


I initially was happy to see Fiona Apple releasing music again, because it’s been a long drought, and she’s historically an artist I like.  And on first listen to the album, I could see there was a lot going on and it should be good.  Do I like to listen to it the most?  No. Do I think Apple had the most technically sound and spectacular album of 2020?  Yes.  I think she deserves album of the year Grammy.  But Apple doesn’t just hand it to you.  You have to work to understand and appreciate Fetch the Bolt Cutters.  And it’s also intentionally not that sweet and pretty and pleasing to the ear.  Apple has made known she can sing beautifully, and play piano with virtuosity, but here she chooses not to.  So it’s a little work to listen.  But also a cerebral masterpiece.  Smartest work of 2020–and that’s saying a lot with folklore on the scene.


Kesha (14 awesome, 2 OK of 16 = 

87.5% awesome; 

Awesome + ok avg = 

93.75% good

100% OK and up)


Miley Cyrus: Plastic Hearts Album Review

6 Dec

Plastic Hearts:  The song has a lot going for it:  Good beat, catchy chorus, cool guitar break-down, but Cyrus’ voice is not one of them.  It sounds a little rough-especially for her age.

Angels Like You:  I can immediately feel the emotions in the song.  Cyrus successfully conveys, sadness and regret.  I like how she addresses her shortcomings, and the media’s perspective.

Prisoner:  This is one of the best songs on the album to listen to, yet I dislike it because there’s a lot that’s formulaic and cliche’ about it.  It’s too 80s, the guitar is too, the cadence is something I’m sure I’ve heard somewhere else (“Get Physical”?).  I want to hear MILEY, not a collection of previously successful elements.

Night crawling:  This has an awesome beat, synthesizer, and of course featured artist in Billy Idol.  It’s very 80s without being cliche;.  

Midnight Sky:  I love the deep tones in this one.  Also, I think it’s pretty strong lyrically.

High:  I’m relieved this isn’t a straight up weed song, since that’s pretty much what I’ve heard of Cyrus as of late.  It’s a really nice, country-skewing song, actually.  With some of the best singing thus far on the album.  I find it pleasant that the track is stripped down from all the 80s stuff in the prior songs.

Hate Me:  It’s a good break-up song.

Bad Karma:  I really love everything about this one except the backing “uh huh-uh uh huh” which is so annoying.  The beat, and the “fuck you” lyrics are amazing, as is Joan Jett participating and the word, “heartbreaker” in the chorus.  All very bad-ass and clever.

Never Be Me:  Too quiet of a song to follow the last one.  The only good part about it is the “fire” break-down.  Needs more.

Golden G-String:  When Cyrus can’t rely on famous featured artists, the songs are a little meh.  This is a stab at an introspective quiet piece, but it’s a little flat.

Edge of Midnight:  I mean, I’m not going to stand here and critisize a mash up with Stevie Nicks-a fucking legend.  Cyrus sings her part with a lot more passion then she had in the version without  Nicks.  And obviously, Nicks is cool and awesome and amazing–though her voice is shot (and perhaps always was).

Heart of Glass:  It’s a cool, and raw rendition of that Blondie classic.  The only reason I can even tell it’s not the original is Cyrus’ accent (speech impediment?).  It’s a good job.  Maybe Cyrus should stick to covers since that’s where she seems to excel most.

Zombie:  As soon as I heard the opening beat, I immediately knew this Cranberries song.  And I thought–she better not fuck this up!  This is a sentimental favorite of mine, and I wouldn’t want to hear it damaged.  Cyrus executes it well.  I don’t care for her more growly reading of the lyrics, but the song is full of power and emotion, and cool guitar licks just as it should be.  OK, the guitar might be better in this version.  I wan’t going to add a remake to my Spotify list because obviously the original song is superior and a favorite, but now I will based on guitar.

This album is awesome–but not really because of Miley herself.  She pairs with standouts and covers some favorites.  But whenever it’s Miley, by herself on her own track–it doesn’t really hold up.

Dua Lipa: Future Nostalgia Review

25 Nov

Let’s get right to it:

Don’t Start Now and Cool are ones that’ll get stuck in your head, though the latter has some decidedly Bieber-inspired vocal similarities.  

Pretty Please:  It’s a stand-out on the album, taking more of a risk than the other songs.  The unapologetic sexuality, especially from a female perspective, is a nice addition.  And lends some validity to the artist.

Hallucinate:  Sounds like a rip-off of Lady Gaga.  WHICH I think is fair since Gaga’s entire fashion, sound, progression as an artist, and career are a direct rip-off of Madonna.

Love Again:  The best thing about this song is the use of the sample, and the occasional strings in the backing.  The signing and the vibe are disco-esque.

Break My Heart:  The syncopation, elevates this one from just another disco-Gaga tune to a little original.

Good In Bed:  This is the best song on the album, because of the playfulness of tempo.  There are the scales which shows any vocal talent.  The repetition of words and syllables make the song a catchy, ear-worm.  And it’s cheeky and sexual.  It’s reminiscent of Lilly Allen, without being a copycat.  This is the song that shows musical influences without just straight up plagiarism.  

Boys Will Be Boys:  A feminist anthem!  I love this song with it’s content about social issues such as patriarchy, gender roles, and sexism.  

The album reminds me a little of the ‘Bring It On’ Soundtrack.  Nothing ground-breaking here, but a fun listen all the same.  There are glimmers of potential on this album.  And when Dua Lipa embraces her own voice, that’s where things go right.  This artist reminds me of a hybrid between Katy Perry’s California-girl lite pop and 1980’s vanilla, Debbie Gibson. And too often she veers into the easy, superficial sound rather that challenging the status quo of pop.