Tag Archives: one direction

A Hogwarts Sorting of Sorts

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It’s fun imagining what houses people would be sorted into.I love it when fandoms collide so I had fun sketching this. (Plus, I’ve used these new water colour brush pens which I adore!)

-VD

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Art Journal- Lyrical Lulls (Part 1)

Don’t you love those moments when you’re listening to a song and a certain lyric just sings out at you?

Art journalling is such a mindful and expressive process but the wonderful part is when you open a blank page and have an idea about what you want to paint but along the way, it turns into something else entirely, the synapses firing as watercolours drip and merge. I’d begun with the idea of painting the entire page but the way it shaped was far better by adding a lyric to a song I was listening to. This was my most in-the-moment art journal page.

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Swallows, some tea and burnt edges gave me this…

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Album Review- Made in the A.M. Deluxe Edition

Rating: 4/5

Made in the A.M is the fifth studio album by the UK/Irish group One Direction, released before their one-year hiatus. While it was speculated that the band would suffer after having to deal with Zayn Malik’s abrupt departure, it has indeed proven to be the opposite. Whether or not this change has fueled the remaining four members as they claim, it is by far the best album they have released and the maturity from bubble gum pop to an older school influenced sound is transition enough to leave on. They set out to make this album their best and they’ve achieved it. While it is disappointing that they will not be touring for this album, it is nice to hear this quality music from them. The album overall is a mix of different influences, some more obvious than others and overall, for this group, the overall sound is definitely a road that had never been taken.

Here’s my track by track review mixed with inconsequential personal opinion:

Hey Angel

With Harry having tweeted quite a few lyrics from this particular song, my first impression was that it was going to be a slow ballad but it turned out to be a refreshing upbeat start to the new album, picking up on the euphoric note that Clouds left off in Four. The difference, however, is that this tune has a more mellow sound than the in-your-face ecstatic tone of Clouds. I’m pleased that the song isn’t too direct in terms of romantic references as I had expected.

Notable lyrics:  

Hey angel, do you look at us and laugh, when we hold on to the past? 

Hey angel, tell me, do you ever cry, when we waste away our lives?

Drag Me Down

This is the first single off the album as well as the first song that had been released after Zayn left the band and it certainly makes a point.The experimentation is evident and might take some getting used to, as it did in my case where it actually grew on me over time. The message is clear though, a ‘you can’t hold me back’ anthem of sorts. The group had a lot to prove and this song encapsulated it with the edge in its tone. Niall and Liam’s solos were what hooked me most in Drag Me Down but I must say I was disappointed that Louis didn’t sing much in it.

Notable lyrics: I’ve got a river for a soul and baby you’re a boat

Perfect

It’s safe to say that Perfect has been the media’s favourite to hype what with the suspected Taylor Swift references, acting as One Direction’s retaliation to her track Style off 1989. Apart from that little bit of entertainment, I don’t find this song fitting in too well with the album overall, maybe better fit for Midnight Memories. It’s not the best lyrics wise.

Notable lyrics: 

But if you like causing trouble up in hotel rooms
And if you like having secret little rendezvous

Infinity

I feel as if One Direction’s team promote the wrong tracks. When I heard Infinity for the first time, I did enjoy it and thought the rest of the album would follow in this line but how wrong I was. Now that I have heard the entire album, it seems misplaced. Just like Perfect it belongs on one of their previous albums with its dramatic proclamations. Nonetheless, it was excellent in terms of vocals.

Notable lyrics: 

How many nights have you wished someone would stay?
Lie awake only hoping they’re okay

End of the Day

Another upbeat tune with clapping hands and a quick beat, yet I’m in a bit of love/hate relationship with this track. This hasn’t been the first time I’ve found that the verses and chorus of one of their songs don’t match, sounding a little like a mashup of two different songs. While I love the verses, the chorus throws me a little with the overpowering tone of it in comparison. That being,said, I can’t deny that it’s a feel good tune about no apologies. Not to mention, Louis kills the high note.

Notable lyrics: 

Just me, her and the moon

I set you on fire, babe and down came the lightning on me

If there’s something I’ve learnt from a million mistakes
You’re the one that I want at the end of the day

If I Could Fly

Following End of the Day, the momentum slows down significantly. If I Could Fly could be aptly summed up as the most heart-wrenching song by these lads, in my opinion. Despite having recycled the lyric ‘I’m missing half of me’ from Half a Heart, it’s definitely an upgrade. It sounds genuine which is definitely not One Direction’s trademark what with their previous overwrought ballads that ooze romantic cliches (no hate). The song revolves around the apprehension and insecurity following showing someone your true colours, the mask ripped off summed up when Harry sings ‘And I hope that you don’t run from me’. It’s achingly beautiful.

Notable lyrics: 

If I could fly
I’d be coming right back home to you
I think I might give up everything
Just ask me to

Long Way Down

This is the type of track you can imagine yourself rolling over in bed, just lying there reminiscing about how you build something only for it be broken. Or it’s the type of song you’d play on a long car ride, staring out the window thinking about someone you wish you never lost. This track, for me, has some of the best lyrics, meaningful and beautiful, coupled with soothing backtracks. Hats off to Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Julian Bunetta, John Ryan and Jamie Scott for writing this one. I really enjoyed it.

Notable lyrics: 

Built a cathedral
But we never prayed
We had it all, yeah and we walked away

We had a mountain, but took it for granted
We had a spaceship, but we couldn’t land it
We found an island, but we got stranded

Never Enough

This is one of my favourites. I can’t help but laugh at the grunting in the background but it’s catchy and runs like a Vine loop in your head (if you let it). The fast singing is a nice change from the previous emotional tracks and I like the come on’s and other background vocals. It’d be a challenge not to dance around while listening to it because of the slightly residual pop sound. This track has got Niall written all over it and I was happy to hear one penned by him since his writing style isn’t sappy. He did not disappoint. While Never Enough has been hyped up as No Control 2.0 I’d like to disagree. But yes, it has some of it’s undertones.

Notable lyrics: 

Lips so good I forget my name
I swear I could give you everything

Olivia

Think Willy Wonka leading the Beatles through Candyland eating rainbow fluff along the way and you’ve got Olivia. Yes, it sounds absurd but what else can you expect from Harry?When he spoke about the song, he said it personified an emotion and I understand that actually. While I did chuckle a bit when I initially heard the song it truly is pure joy, giving you the feeling of just being in love but yet not with anything specific. Olivia could be so many things and I like that. For me it’s sprawled across a picnic blanket sketching something or going skating and grabbing a hot cocoa. Whatever Olivia means to you, it’s certain to put you in a terribly good mood, the type that annoys people, in fact.

Notable lyrics: 

This isn’t the stain of a red wine
I’m bleeding love

When you go and I’m alone
You live in my imagination
Summertime and butterflies
All belong to your creation

What a Feeling

The sensual, sexy groove of What a Feeling is reminiscent of of the 70’s disco with a chill vibe. I think the vocals are extremely on point in this track, with smooth transition between the verses and chorus, the antithesis of End of the Day. The chorus and guitar make this song memorable.

Notable lyrics:  What a feeling to be a king beside you

Love You Goodbye

First thought when I heard the beginning was that it sounded like Apologise by One Republic. It’s about breaking up with someone but spending one more night together but honestly, this track didn’t stand out much to me.

Notable lyrics: 

Why you wearing that to walk out of my life?

Even though it’s over you should stay the night.

I Want to Write You A Song

Cute is what comes to mind. It is literally lyrical fluff that could have easily stemmed from Tumblr posts which is welcome with the fans of course. I like the stripped down simplicity of I Want to Write You a Song with no instrumentation but a guitar. The chorus is the highlight what with the soft ooh’s that could just as well fit in a lullaby coaxing you to sleep and Louis taking charge of the chorus was a well made decision. I think this song makes the most out of the softness of his voice. I could fall asleep listening to this, it’s just that soothing.

Notable lyrics: 

So when the world is cold
You’ll have a hiding place you can go
I want to lend you my coat

History

I was walking around campus while listening to this and it makes for good company if you’re strolling around aimlessly with time to think. And it will make you think because it is dedicated to the fans and the crew. Nostalgic and personal, History will revive memories of the past five years or so, all the ups and downs the band and the fans have had. Liam mentioned how it’s Toy Story-esque, providing closure and I agree. My favourite part is Louis’ solo because of all the direct references. Though it’s repetitive, History is the literal perfect swan song to this chapter of One Direction’s career, ending on a positive note in the standard edition of the album.

Notable lyrics: 

Mini bars, expensive cars, hotel rooms, and new tattoos, the good champagne, and private planes
But they don’t mean anything.
Cause’ the truth is out,
I realize that without you here life is just a lie
This is not the end, this is not the end
We can make it you know it, you know

Temporary Fix

This is is real No Control 2.0 with a pop-rock feel. Written by Niall, you can see that the songs about sex have been written by the member marketed as the innocent one, which is telling in itself. Keeping in mind who wrote it, it’s easy to see the bar scenario playing out and the dirt in this track is more than welcome.

Notable lyrics: 

You look like the kind of girl who’s tired of speaking

You can hold me I’m always what you like
Let me be your good night

Walking in the Wind

Clearly influenced by Paul Simon as Harry said, Walking in the Wind is another one of my favorites off this album. Though it has romantic tones, I don’t necessarily equate it to a romantically inclined relationship but rather loss of a loved one, with their soul free to walk in the wind. The ‘You will find me’ lyric resonated with me personally and it feels like an inexplicable of sadness, upliftment and freedom.

Notable lyrics: 

Goodbyes are bittersweet, but it’s not the end
I’ll see your face again

You will find me and you will find me

Wolves

I liked the name of the song and based on it, expected it to sound somewhat fierce but then again when has One Direction ever done that (just kidding)? It’s a nice surprise with the analogy of guys approaching a girl as wolves closing in. For a song about taking down guys and not going down without a fight, it’s quite cheery.The chorus is the best part. Another track written by Niall, this is one of my favourites as well. I catch myself unintentionally singing the chorus when I least expect it, the mark of a true ohrwurm (earworm in German).

Notable lyrics: 

In the middle of the night when the wolves come out
They head straight for your heart like a bullet in the dark
One by one, I take them down
We can run and hide, ain’t goin’ down without a fight

A.M

A.M is the most relatable, revolving around a group of friends who are talking shit in the early morning only for it to course into the bigger scheme of things. It’s the ramblings of a daydreaming mind drunk on youth and possibility with a nostalgic tone. I think anyone in their 20’s would enjoy this one.  Personally, I really connect with this song because some of the best conversations I’ve ever had were in the wee hours of the morning, completely unfiltered.

Notable lyrics: 

We’re just swimmin’ ’round in our glasses
And talking out of our asses like we’re all gonna make it

Won’t you stay ’til the A.M.?
All my favourite conversations
Always made in the A.M

You can tell over the years that One Direction have tried out so many different styles and it somehow seemed like a glove that didn’t fit right but I think with Made in the A.M it’s the perfect size.Overall, I love the older influences. Since they knew they would not be touring this album, it allowed room for less stadium hits which improved the quality of it all. Made in the A.M is more meaningful and shows how far the band has come since Up All Night. Although fans who preferred their pop tunes more might not be enthusiastic over Made in the A.M, I think it shows possible directions that the band could go in, whether they choose to reconvene or pursue solo ventures. Good on them and good luck.

Order Made in the AM on through any major music retailer.

Favourite Songs: Walking in the Wind, Wolves, Never Enough, If I Could Fly, Long Way Down

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Tinsel, Lights and Songs to Hum

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“You stare, seeing yet not

but feeling all the same.

And the streets are lined with tinsel and lights,

the beating of a drum running in your veins.

What a time to be alive,

When your soul is slowly reined.”

So this month has gone by in a whirlwind and with it came tidings both good and bad. Mostly an internalized juxtaposition but projected nonetheless in less than elegant means. If there is such a thing as a quarter life crisis, rest assured that is what I’m going through. Too many questions about the future are making my head ache.

Nonetheless, here’s some music to ride the wave, if like me, you chose to use music as salvation from what can be best described as a monotonous routine. You’ll find it just as jumbled of a mess as my thoughts, I suppose.

  1. Alive by Sia
  2. Dance of Dragons by Ramin Djawadi
  3. Believer by American Authors
  4. Lay it All on Me by Rudimental feat. Ed Sheeran
  5. Happiness by IAMX
  6. Infinity by One Direction
  7. Stay Alive by Jose Gonzalez
  8. Hiding by Florence + The Machine
  9. Never One to Complain by The Night Terrors of 1927
  10. R.I.P 2 My Youth by The Neighbourhood
  11. Desire (Gryffin Remix) by Years and Years

Album Review- FOUR by One Direction

FOUR is the aptly named fourth studio album released by One Direction, clearly drawing from music of the 80’s to give it an older sound. In terms of cohesiveness and maturity, it is better but still has room for improvement which can hopefully be seen in their next album. The gradual change in their sound from bubblegum pop has been beneficial to the X Factor alumni, possibly showing  the different direction the band could go in the future. Zayn Malik and Liam Payne are still the powerhouse singers of the group while Harry Styles’ voice seems to be in its comfort zone with this album. Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson who’ve previously been, for the most part, background vocalists with snippets of stanzas to sing have improved remarkably.

The first single off of the album, Steal My Girl, actually happens to be the least appealing track on the album with its ABBA inspired sound unfortunately draped under a thick veil of auto tune. Night Changes has been announced as the second single, a better choice compared to the previous one considering how it’s a well-harmonized ballad that truly showcases how strong the vocals of the group are.

Fireproof was the first song One Direction granted the public as a free download and upon hearing it, I was pleased to see the difference in their previous songs, with its laid back and relaxing vibe. Ready to Run employs the same chord progression as Story of My Life, sounding like a perfect song for an animated Disney movie ( I mean this in a nice way). Somehow it reminds me of Tarzan, when he and Jane are swinging around exploring the jungle, but that’s just me.

No Control is the group’s most lyrically provocative, singing about ‘loaded guns’ and what not but sadly it’s a sugary-rock coating to a song dripping with sexual innuendos. The highlight is hearing Tomlinson vocally drive the song.

Among the slow songs are Fool’s Gold and Spaces, where Horan shines. FOUR features another song from Ed Sheeran. The Brit singer penning a song for One Direction has proven to be a fool-proof combination as was proved by Moments, Little Things and Over Again. This time the song is called 18, surpassing the other songs to be one of the best on the album.

On the antipodal end, the catchy, upbeat tunes are Girl Almighty, Clouds, Stockholm Syndrome and Where Do Broken Hearts Go, the latter two being written by Styles which is commendable. Stockholm Syndrome is according to him “about a nympho” and the actual syndrome itself i.e developing an emotional connection to your captor or kidnapper. It’s as dark as they’ve ever gone albeit only the surface. Where Do Broken Hearts Go isn’t the sappy ballad it sounds like but has a rock tone to it. Girl Almighty, I feel, might be underrated when it comes to the whole but should not be underestimated. Finally, Clouds makes a nice end to the album, leaving on a positive note.

On the deluxe album, there are four bonus tracks called Illusion, Change Your Ticket, Once in a Lifetime and Act My Age. I have always found that the bonus songs are sometimes better than the tracks that made it onto the actual album when it comes to One Direction and FOUR once again proves me right in this line of thinking. Once in a Lifetime and Illusion may be a bit sappy but are still good songs. However, they pale in comparison to the rather bombastic Act My Age which sounds like a cocktail of Irish folk rock and a pirate theme song that you could sing along in a pub in an intoxicated state. Change Your Ticket is one of my favourite tracks and I firmly believe it should have taken Steal My Girl’s place on the album, especially because of its resemblance to The 1975’s sound (particularly the guitar).

Overall, I feel that this album is miles ahead of the previous ones and is one step further in One Direction bright career ahead.

Amazing Pop Mash-ups

I love mash ups so much, especially how some songs when put together sound perfect and incomplete when you listen to each one individually afterwards. I thought I’d share some of my favourites on here for anyone who wants to take a listen!

Timber/Counting Stars by Sam Tsui

I honestly can’t sing Timber without Counting Stars creeping in after listening to this.

Towers/Over Again by Yeisimar Manotas

It sounds like the boys are singing about starting over again and the girls are singing about how their hearts feel nothing at all anymore, almost like they’re singing to one another.

I Knew You had a Heart Attack by earlvin14

I seem to enjoy the Heart Attack mashups quite a bit but what’s nice about this one is that it features both instrumentals and accapellas in a way that blends well together.

Let it Go/Let her Go by Sam Tsui

Sam Tsui’s voice is amazing and the titles worked out conveniently, don’t you think?

Payphone/ Little Things by earlvin14

Two of my favourite songs from two of my favourite bands 🙂 The bridge sounds fantastic in this one if I may add.

Heart Attack/ One More Night by bringmethemashup

The acapella is mostly One More Night featuring some of Demi’s high notes and the instrumental is that of Heart Attack’s.

Live While We’re Young/ Best Song Ever by earlvin14

For the One Direction fans this would be heaven, I had no idea these two songs could go so well together.

Enjoy! 🙂

BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend

I absolutely love European music acts and I guess this is just another reason why I need to move there (especially the UK) because with such an amazing lineup, BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Glasgow looked and sounded amazing. It was my dream music festival with all my favourites sharing the stage. However much I really wanted to be there, I was content to watch via Youtube. Check it out 🙂

One Direction opened the gig with You and I

Ed Sheeran performed the loop pedal version of Don’t

 

The 1975 belted out their hit Chocolate

 

Katy Perry is captivating singing Dark Horse

 

Tinie Tempah’s performance of Children in the Sun shows just how awesome the crowd was

 

I have to say, they’re all amazing live.

3 Covers that are Better than the Originals

When a song becomes a huge hit, it’s usually a big blaring pop hit that’s upbeat and danceable to as the Top 40 demonstrates most of the time.

While I enjoy those types of songs, what I really look forward to is finding covers of them, excited about what other musicians can do.

The 3 covers I’m suggesting are slower versions of the originals which is perhaps why they are so captivating on their own so here they are:

1. What Makes You Beautiful by the 1975 (originally by One Direction)

I know we’ve all heard the pop version on the radio or at the store, to the point where it became severely overplayed and annoying. If you thought no one would be able to revamp WMYB then think again, because that’s exactly what The 1975 have done with 1D’s hit. Who knew it could sound so beautiful and tragic?

2. Applause by Sam Tsui (originally by Lady Gaga)

Although Lady Gaga’s version is wonderful, it doesn’t compare to Sam Tsui’s cover. It’s haunting, mysterious and sounds like an impending tragedy is about to occur and ironically about applause from the crowd. The use of the violin really makes it stand out.

 

3. We Found Love by Boyce Avenue (originally by Rihanna)

I don’t really think there is a song that Boyce Avenue couldn’t cover but this by far has to be one of my favourite of theirs.

 

Enjoy! 🙂