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“They don’t make them like this anymore”. (Album) – Mario

I have always been an avid music lover and every month I will try and give you a review from an old album that I still love. Back in the days when physical copies of CDs were the only way to play music and albums were really important.

This month’s entry is from US R&B singer Mario and his album “Turning Point” which was released in 2004.

Mario became well known for his 2002 song “Just a Friend” featured on his first album and which is also added here.

My favourite tracks on this album have to be:

18: This is the first track on the album and I feel it was very necessary to start off the project. Most people would still see Mario as the young boy in his “Just a Friend” song and so this intro track reminds us that’s he’s “grown up”.

Stand out Line:Next time y’all underestimate me (Don’t do that)”

Let Me Love You: Classic throwback. This song was so big when it came out and rightly so and is still probably Mario’s biggest hit. The song, which was written by Ne-Yo had a beautiful sentiment behind it and I’m sure everyone remembers the baggy clothes Mario wore in the video! The song is based in Mario pleading with a woman to leave her unhappy relationship and be with him as he would treat her like the Queen she is.

Stand out Line: “You’re a dime plus 99 and it’s a shame, don’t even know what you’re worth”

Couldn’t say No: The tone of the album changes with this song as we start to see Mario isn’t as innocent as we think. This song is Mario asking for forgiveness and trying to explain why he cheated on his girl (“Couldn’t say No”). The production on this song is really good too.

Stand out Line: “I got bad news that I gotta break to you. I know you gonna act a fool but I gotta let her know”.

Boom: This song features Juvenile and from the first few seconds you can tell how upbeat the song is going to be. This song for me embodies a classic early 00’s song. Listening to it now, you can’t help but feel a little nostalgic. There are many references to lyrics from old 90s songs too which help.

Stand out Line:Represent yo town” (When the beat changes and he names some places)

How Could You: This song is like the opposite of “Couldn’t Say No”. We get the impression his girl has cheated on him and here he sings about hurt. The songs feels like a typical R&B song with the slow melody, the frequent harmonies and Mario singing his heart out.

Stand out Line:How could you put him on to the Ghetto Kama Sutra??”

Girl I Need: The song featuring Cham has a reggae feel that fits so well. Mario sings about the qualities he wants in a potential girl and with his harmonies make this song one of my favourites. Cham’s verse is also a great addition.

Stand out Line:I need a girl that smart (and really intelligent) a girl with heart somebody who dont take no shit”

Here I Go Again: This song is about Mario who keeps going back to an ex despite the negative things she does. He begins to question his strength seeing as he keeps going back to the stress and aggro. Probably a very relatable situation with some people.

Stand out Line:Am I crazy? Have I lost myself? Is this a sin?”

Nikes Fresh Out The Box: Here Mario compares his woman to a fresh pair of Nike Air Forces! Sneakerheads will see the connection..the idea that he will treat her as something precious like he does with his trainers. I’ve yet to hear an analogy like this and it is quite a compliment to compare a woman to something he cares about the most. The sentiment reminds me of a different version of metaphysical poetry where lovers are compared to unusual objects.

Stand out Line: “I see her, I want her, Got to have her like (Nikes fresh out the box)”

Like Me Real Hard: I love the vulnerability in this song. Mario is singing as a man who has suffered heartbreak in the past and is trying to convince a woman he likes, who also has suffered, that she should take a risk with him. He encourages her to take it slow explains that he does not want to rush into anything serious. I like how he sings about reassuring the woman who is obviously having doubts.

Stand out Line: “We’ve been broken by love and we both need time to heal”

C’Mon: This song is such a feel good song from the beginning to the end. The production is also great.

Stand out Line:Where did you come from, I wanna thank your moms for bringin’ u into this life, and makin u my type”

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Sunday Song.

Apologies for the delay in content, I will get back to posting more regularly.

Today’s Sunday Song is a song I’ve been playing all weekend! The song by Theophilus London featuring UK legend Giggs is called “Bebey”.

It’s clear that not only is Giggs a legend when rapping on his own songs but he clearly is just as great on a feature. Giggs is one of those feature artists that adds a different unique spice to a song that you never even realised was missing. Hearing the song, you would not think a Giggs verse would work to be completely honest. However the versatile beat and Giggs’ clever punchlines are a match made in heaven. Needless to say the song and Giggs will have you singing “I just pulled up just down the road, dropped off the princess”, among his other memorable lines.

One of the most beautiful things about music is that it can blend together two different kinds of sounds and make a wonderful collaboration. This song is a prime example of that.

Have a listen below:

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Carnival Ready.

In London this bank holiday is an event called “Notting Hill Carnival”. The event is on the last Sunday and Monday of August every year and is a celebration of everything cultural. Carribbean genres such as Soca, Bashment and Dancehall are the main music played. As well as music, you have the amazing mix of all carribbean countries (as well as others) as one, with food and music everywhere.

This song in particular has a dance that will get you up dancing right away! Whether you’re celebrating at carnival or just listening to the song in the comfort of your home, it will get you “flinging your shoulders”.

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New Music!

OK so there’s been a few new releases the past week! I am going to put my 3 favourites below.

1. City Girls – In my Feelings (Remix)

OK so this version (of Drake’s hit “In My Feelings” featuring the City Girls) contains the full version of the ladies’ verses. I really like these girls and I’m so glad they are finally getting the recognition they deserved. It’s such a shame that one of the members JT is I’m jail but it’s nice to see that Reesha is still keeping it going. Im sure these girls are going to go far.

2. Nicki Minaj – Barbie Dreams

OK OK! So Nicki Minaj finally released her highly anticipated album “Queen”. This song in particular got the world talking. The song name drops a number of male rappers in a roast kind of style. For me what is more exciting is that the song pays homage to Biggie’s song “Just Playing (Dreams)”. As a big Biggie fan I could instantly hear the similarly in the flow delivered by Nicki and the one by Biggie. In addition we are used to hearing songs from male rappers dissing females or female celebs and it is refreshing to hear a female rapper call out men without sugar coating. The song shows why Nicki is one of the best female rappers about as her unique punchlines and flow stand out throughout the song.

Have a listen to Nicki’s song and the original by Biggie below;

3. Travis Scott – Sicko Mode Ft Drake.

“Sun is down, freezin’ cold, that’s how we already know, winter’s here”. As soon as you hear Drake you know the song is about to be good! This is one of the tracks from Travis Scott’s new album and one of my favourites. The switch in flow after the 3 minute mark is incredible, you could think it was two songs in one!

Have a listen below;

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Pic Think: Thinking Through Media

As mentioned earlier, a friend of mine has created a great podcast containing philosophical conversations, reviews and commentary on contemporary film, TV Shows, music and literature. I recently took part in a review and discussion on Beyoncé & Jay Z’s joint album “Everything is Love“. Please have a listen to the second part of the podcast to hear our views and commentary.

Feel free to listen to the other episodes. The link for the Podcast Soundcloud is https://m.soundcloud.com/picthink

Here is the episode in question;

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Queen Naija

Queen became popular as part of a couple with her now ex partner Chris Sails on YouTube. After the end of the relationship she began to publicly work more on her music and we were gifted with her song ‘Medicine’. Queen is definitely talented and her voice can be argued to be a sound we are missing at the moment. She released her first EP titled “Queen Naija” and the EP is filled with 5 beautiful R&B songs. The songs featured are based on her life and what she has experienced; being heartbreak, love and also being a mother.

For me R&B is definitely a genre that can be argued to be dying down unfortunately. This EP is simply classic R&B and reignites the feel for the genre. The songs are very personal and you can feel the emotion in every single song. A sign of a good song is when the listener can either relate or get a good sense of what the singer is feeling or has felt. I believe this EP does everything…raw emotion, great melodies and all the while keeping us entertained.

I really hope she is here to stay because her voice is definitely a beauty to hear.

Posted in music

Pic Think: Thinking Through Media

A friend of mine has created a great podcast containing philosophical conversations, reviews and commentary on contemporary film, TV Shows, music and literature. I recently took part in a review and discussion on Beyoncé & Jay Z’s joint album “Everything is Love“. Please have a listen to the first part of the podcast to hear our views and commentary.

Feel free to listen to the other episodes. The link for the Podcast Soundcloud is https://m.soundcloud.com/picthink

Here is the episode in question;

Posted in music

SlowJam Sunday

Hurts the Most‘ is a song by US singer Monica from her 2003 album “After the Storm”. The album also features her famous hit “So Gone”.

‘Hurts the Most’ is an emotional song based on how someone may feel when they bump into someone they once loved. All the love and emotion they may have felt for them may come back. Monica sings in the first verse; “Boy, it’s been a long time since the last time I saw you. Feels like nothin’ changed since we’ve been together”… even after all this time, the love is still there.

The song also explores the feelings when that love has moved on; “& recently you found someone that you
decided to dedicate your whole life to…& baby, what hurts the most is letting go”.
The rawness one may feel when you realise that the other person has closed the door completely on you even though you still saw hope. The most wonderful thing about this song is the emotion you feel from Monica. The song feels extremely personal and is a situation that is very relatable to a lot of people.

The song is filled with regret, love, loss and the most important…acceptance.

I love songs that have the potential to make you cry or laugh or reminisce over something that may have happened in your life. This song is a prime example of that.

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Throwback Thursday (US Style)

Today’s throwback track is by the one and only Lauryn Hill. Her 1998 single “Ex Factor ” was released from her critically acclaimed album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill”.

Cardi B sampled this song on her 2018 song “Be Careful” and most recently Drake sampled this song on his 2018 hit “Nice for What” & reaffirmed people’s love for the original. The song is mostly Lauryn pouring out her love and pain to this ex which is why it is considered a song that people associate with breakups. The first line of the song “It could all be so simple but you’d rather make it hard” could be argued to relate to the end of a relationship. Sometimes there will always be that person that is willing to hold on while the other is not cooperating. There a few songs that the first line when played captures people’s ears and is enough to make them sing in unison, this is one of the songs.

A line that sticks out to me and highlights the desperation one may feel towards the breakdown of a relationship; “Tell me, who I have to be to get some reciprocity”… When you love someone so much you want to do anything you can to make it work. In addition you want them to be on the same page and to feel the exact same way you do about them. The common theme in this song is the fact Lauryn’s love is not mirrored in this partner.

One of the most famous lines and a line that Drake himself sampled in his song is “I keep letting you back in, how can I explain myself “. Some point in everyone’s life there is that one person we may keep running back to. No matter how hard you try to move on, it may be too hard to let them go. The success of this song definitely has something to do with the relatability we all may feel to the situation.

The final verses and the outro are a repetition of lines such as; “Care for me, care for me, I know you care for me…There for me, there for me! Said you’d be there for me“. The repetition reminds me of questions you may ask yourself when thinking back to the relationship and the reminder of the empty promises.

Overall this song can be considered a classic. What makes a song a classic in my opinion is a song that can relate to you everytime you hear it.