Jessie J- Who You Are
Favourite Track: I Need This
Least Favourite Track: Stand Up
This album is a pretty important one when it comes to my individuality as a musician. Jessie J is such a different controversial sounding artist with such a unique ability. This album helped me come out of my shell and gave me confidence to be different, so this album is really personal to me which is one of the main reasons it made it into my top ten.
Jessie J’s tone and technique inspired me to take inspiration and develop my own abilities. Especially with ‘Nobody’s Perfect’ with her improvisation sounding warbles. She also possesses a unique vibrato that comes out very often. Her range above all is absolutely incredible and I’m still aspiring to reach her level.
These songs not only inspire me on a vocal technique level but also an emotional level. The way she writes songs is so personal and you can tell with songs such as ‘Nobody’s Perfect’ and ‘Who You Are’ that it comes from a deep place in her heart which is similar to how I write songs.
The songs themselves are all really catchy and all have something unique about every song. For example ‘Mamma Knows Best’ has an almost burlesque big band show feel to it, then the track ‘Big White Room’ is completely contrasting by being an acoustic minimalistic type track.
This is my all time favourite pop album because even though it has some really happy bouncy songs, there is a balance of some emotional songs and that what I love in an album.
The instrumentation of this album as well as a main vocal is piano, guitar, bass guitar and backing vocals. As well as some more processed sounds which brings a nice electro pop vibe to the whole album.
The Script- Science and Faith
Favourite Track: Exit Wounds
Least Favourite Track: Science and Faith
The reason that this album made it into my top ten favourite is because I have been listening to it for years and years and it has gotten me through some tough times.
Another reason why I like this album is because of the lead vocalist’s (Danny O’Donoghue) unique tone. I love how he uses the higher end of his vocal register. He can sing with power as well as soft and almost siren sounding notes that fit the songs perfectly. Especially when emotions are involved I think he conveys them brilliantly.
A was introduced to the band The Script because my mum and brother liked them and I actually purchased the album for my mum’s birthday. So I figured I would listen to something a little different to the normal mainstream pop songs and I’m really glad I did.
Danny also has an almost ‘rap’ voice in some of the songs which is an element I appreciate, being a fan of rap music. For example the verses in the song ‘Walk Away’
The instrumentation apart from lead vocals, included backing vocals, drums, bass guitar, rhythm and lead guitar. As well as keyboards and sometimes some stringed orchestral instruments such as violins. There are three members in this band who take on multiple roles.
Bastille- Bad Blood
Favourite Track: Oblivion
Least Favourite Track: These Streets
This album starts with the bands hit single ‘Pompeii’ which starts as a fade in and gradually builds. I like this as the introduction to the album because its got an infectious beat and makes you want to listen to what else the band could come up with.
Straight away what drew me to this album as the lead singer’s (Dan Smith) unique tone. It’s a very British tone but with an almost ghostly vibe to it which intrigued me to listen to the whole album. I also love the way he uses his voice in different ways. For example in ‘Oblivion’ he thins out his tone in parts and it sounds so ghostly and breathy but angelic at the same time and in ‘Bad Blood’ he possesses a more aggressive gritty tone.
The way the tracks have been listed is great because the slow emotional songs have been spread out equally. This is a good feature of the album because it means you won’t get bored from listening to emotional sad songs one after the other.
I really enjoy the instrumentation of this album as it features an array of different instruments. For example there are violins or some form of classical strung instrument being plucked in ‘Things We Lost In The Fire” and lots of electronic sounds in ‘Flaws’.
Overall this album is very different to any other album I have ever listened to based on instrumentation and lyrics.
Ed Sheeran- Multiply
Favourite Track: Nina
Least Favourite Track: One
This album shows an array of emotions. From love songs like ‘Thinking Out Loud’ to heart felt saddening personal tracks such as ‘Afire Love’ which is about Ed’s Grandfather.
There is one song ‘Sing’ which I would say was the jumpy catchy track but it’s not a really happy song. None of the songs on this album are to be really honest. It reflects what the singer was going through at the time of the writing process.
This is Ed Sheeran’s second album release so I was sceptical at first as well as excited to hear it because I loved the first one so much.
My reasons for putting this album within my favourites is that I have a soft spot for acoustic pop songs, as well as story telling lyrics with meaning. Also at the time I wasn’t going through the best of times when I first heard the album which was back in 2014 so it helped me through some tough times.
There’s a track on this album called ‘The Man’ which is the unique song which features mainly rapping and a simple beat along with some guitar chords. He pours his heart out about a past relationship and is looking back on what his life could have been like.
The instrumental side of this album is rather simple in most songs. Theres always an acoustic guitar which is Ed’s signature sound. Occasionally theres use of electronic drums to create a refreshing change from just acoustic sounding tracks. An example of this would be ‘Bloodstream’.
In a nutshell this album to me is relatable and memorable.
Pierce The Veil- Collide With The Sky
Favourite Track: A Match Into Water
Least Favourite Track: Tangled In The Great Escape
The first thing I remember when talking about this album is the lyrics and the almost latin vibes. This reflects the lead singer (Vic Fuentes) heritage which is Mexican.
Throughout this album there is a perfect balance between clean and scream vocals. This keeps me intrigued and interested.
Vic Fuentes has such a distinctive tone and has in incredible vocal range, allowing him to express raw emotion through these elements of his voice.
I noticed that the lyrics were very different and arranged differently to what I normally come across. Pierce The Veil tend to write stories and include a large amount of lyrics. That’s just my opinion.
There are a few tracks on this album that feature other artists.
Here is a list below:
- King For A Day- Featuring Kellin Quinn
- Tangled In The Great Escape- Featuring Jason Butler
- Hold On Till May- Featuring Lindsay Stamey
I like the addition to the album. It is another feature added that keeps me interested, which is difficult to do when there are so many tracks on the album.
The instrumentation other than clean and scream vocals includes drums, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, keyboards, pianos and backing vocals. There are four members within this band.
Tonight Alive- Limitless
Favourite Track: Human Interaction
Least Favourite: We Are
My experience with listening to this album was quite strange. At first I really disliked everything about this album but I didn’t truly listen, I judged how different the sound was compared to their old albums. They used to be compared to Paramore and were more rock and now they are more pop with a quirky vibe.
I really thought I should try and appreciate the album so I played it on YouTube whilst cleaning my room and I just felt this sense of being free and uplifted. It was so new to me and I felt terrible for judging it so quickly. There are some truly beautiful moments within this album. For example her emotions being conveyed within ‘Human Interaction’.
In my opinion the album shows signs of being at peace and loving yourself, as well as being at one with the world. There is also a life lesson in each song which I find refreshing and up-lifting.
The lead vocalist Jenna McDougall shows different emotions within her tone but theres always an authenticity to it. However it is definitely different to the heavier music she used to perform, but there was hurt behind most of those lyrics as revealed in interviews.
There are still tracks on this album that pursue the rock vibe such as ‘How Does It Feel’ and ‘I Defy’.
The rest of the instrumentation includes a bassist, lead guitarist, rhythm guitarist and drummer.
PVRIS- White Noise
Favourite Track: St. Patrick
Least Favourite Track: Mirrors (I don’t dislike it but I had to pick one)!
The very first time I listened to this album was an experience. I had never heard music like it before. I had only heard the elements separately but together it just works, with a ghostly vibe thrown in.
The band are a collective of rock and electronic/pop which I fell in love with the moment I was shown their cover of ‘Chandelier’ by Sia.
The only way I can describe this album is that it is an experience and it’s refreshing!
All of the tracks are linked to each other which is shown through the art of imagery included in their music videos.
There’s a blend of jumpy rock synth tracks such as ‘St. Patrick’ and ‘Ghosts’, and slower more emotional tracks. For example ‘Eyelids’. There are also some emotional but aggressive tracks such as ‘Fire’ and ‘Let Them In’.
The lead vocalist Lynn Gunn expresses exactly what I love in a vocalist which is passion, power and a versatile tone. She also wrote the majority of the lyrics to this album and really pours out her experiences in life, as well as her fascination for ghosts and spirits.
The other instrumentation includes bass, guitar, synth and really technical drums which in my opinion really increase the originality, as well as the synth sections and Lynn’s unique tone.
Melanie Martinez- Cry Baby
Favourite Track: Soap
Least Favourite Track: Training Wheels
My first reaction to listening to this album was “wow the story telling through lyrics as well as accompaniment is incredible”. It was truly a burst of refreshment to my ears!
It was the first time I had heard such clear story telling, as well as having a weird quirky and almost creepy vibe to it.
The tracks are in chronological order in terms of events with Melanie’s character creation called Cry Baby. However there are also underlying subjects within every track that relates more to real life, and not just a fairytale story.
Here is how I feel the tracks tell the story:
- The birth of Cry Baby and her being ridiculed for crying to much.
- Having to be so young and see her dysfunctional family.
- Witnessing her mothers driving problem and the reasons why she drinks.
- Cry Baby’s first time falling for a boy and the feeling is not returned in the slightest but he has her in his grips.
- She realises he wasn’t even worth her tears and rebels with a ‘*#!* you’ attitude.
- She meets someone new but feels like she’s talking too much and will ruin everything.
- Cry Baby wants to be closer to her boy so makes the first steps for him to grow up. Now he has to do the rest.
- She invites her boyfriend as well as her other friends to her birthday party but none of them show. The results in her having a temper tantrum to the max.
- Due to her vulnerability, Cry Baby gets kidnapped and teased.
- Being captive has driven Cry Baby crazy and she kills her kidnapper with cookies.
- This new crazy Cry Baby becomes jealous and tries to steal a taken boy, whilst insulting the girlfriend of the taken boy.
- Cry Baby begins to wonder if she likes how she looks and her mind begins to ponder around plastic surgery.
- Now completely insane, Cry Baby relates to the Alice in Wonderland character ‘The Mad Hatter’.
Lyrically this album is genius. Melanie has managed to cross between fairytale language, to the deep dark truth of a mind.
Instrumentation wise, the album has a mixture of electronic music, pop and somewhat indie vibes. The vocal style always remains very calm, quirky and sustaining a creepy vibe throughout.
Issues- Self Titled
Favourite Track: Disappear (Remember When)
Least Favourite Track: The Settlement
I first listened to this album about a year ago and my first thought was “Wow! this is different to what I’m used to!”.
I love all the different elements to Issues’ music! They incorporate electronic and synth into rock music. There are two vocal styles going on as well which is a clean, technical, ranged vocal and an aggressive scream vocal.
The clean vocalist Tyler Carter has one of the most infectious vocal tones, as well as being one of the most talented male vocalists I have ever heard.
The way the album starts is genius because of the ghost-like mysterious sound followed by a snare drum and a stringed instrument. This is before any vocals or any other heavy instruments. However, even though the other instruments come in before the vocals, it’s not anything too abrupt. It actually gets you ready for the experience to come.
The second track starts with just the vocals and then jumps into the guitar drums and bass which is different to the last track!
I love the use of electronic sounds, I feel like it’s so refreshing from the other rock music you hear, and add’s an element of fun and character to each track.
There is a track called ‘Old Dena’ which is only 1:35 and is positioned in the middle of the album, suggesting an interlude of sorts. Its main feature is electronic sound effects. Along with some remixed speech and scratching DJ noises.
Paramore- Self Titled
Favourite Track: Ain’t it Fun
Least Favourite Track: Hate To See Your Heart Break
The first time I listened to this album through and through I instantly got a good feeling from it. There’s such a care free vibe to this album, which I love!
From the upbeat charismatic tracks such as ‘Proof’ and ‘Ain’t it Fun’ to the “moral-of-the-story” vibes coming from ‘Last Hope’ and ‘Part II’. There are also a few soft songs within this mixture such as ‘Hate To See Your Heart Break’ and ‘Future’.
Here is a list of some features I noticed:
- Appealing to a wider ranged audience
- fun, young and cheeky style of writing as well as instrumentation
- very catchy drum beats and vocal melodies
- range of vocal technique and power shown throughout
Another cute little feature that really got me liking this album even more was the interludes! There are 3 tracks on the album that are no longer than a minute and a half long.
- Moving On
- I’m Not Angry Anymore
Each interlude has a certain character, however they are all played on a ukulele and include a reverb vocal, which is such a refreshing break from the rest of the album content being as there’s more going on.
The last track on the album ‘Future’ is such a beautiful way to end an album. This is mainly due to the fact that it’s more of a stripped down live recording, as you can hear the band talking in the background as wellas some other sounds. It just creates such a real atmosphere and creates a special moment between band and fan, showing vulnerability through the power of music.
Then just before you think the track is about to end, in comes the drums, guitar, bass. The volume increases as if it were the end of a movie. This emphasises the end but as if it were an entire experience. The track fades out again and then comes back in. Just like an encore.