Weekly Roundup of ListenOnRepeat New Reviews for Jun 15– Jun 21, 2020

weekly roundup new reviews

Music can heal the wounds that medicine cannot touch. The world is holding on to music as a friend of loneliness, happiness, and sadness. Whatever the situation we don’t forget to listen to music and there are times when we just don’t listen to music but feel the lyrics. In those special moments either we celebrate or grieve, music will always find a way to reach the heart. With new music being released every week, here is the weekly roundup of ListenOnRepeat new reviews of the latest songs from the past week. Enjoy Reading!

Sam Hunt – Hard To Forget (Official Music Video)

Sam Hunt - Hard To Forget (Official Music Video)“I saw your sister at work, I saw your mum at church, I’m pretty sure I saw your car at the mall” … whoever Sam Hunt has his mind on, it’s not gonna stop racing any time soon. Indeed, it is unclear whether his desire for this significant other means that he unconsciously follows them around, or whether the fact that their lives always seem to intersect is causing his obsession. In any case, Hunt frames the burgeoning romance as a healthy slice of wholesome lust, and the lyrics are, on the whole, bursting with the right kinds of values.

Yet, the song begins with a segment that will be recognizable to any country music fan: “There stands the glass, that will ease all my pain … ” It is a nice touch to add this crackling version of Webb Pierce’s classic, the themes of alcohol and self-medication adding a slightly darker note to proceedings in an otherwise upbeat and optimistic song. There are other mentions of whiskey in the lyrics, but that is the case for almost any country song that you put on. After all, the course of true love never did run smooth and Hunt’s searching for answers at the bottom of the bottle is par for the course.

The video is where things get stranger – we see a clown running around town, two men fighting, an older lady chilling by the pool and the plastic flamingos, a gun-toting cowboy, a goat on a bed, a kid with a lollipop … you’d have to look hard to find some coherence. But the piece works anyway, and Hunt shows himself to be a country star with a bit more bite than some of his peers, a bit more sharp than smooth. “Hard To Forget” is a real winner.

Watch Sam Hunt – Hard To Forget (Official Music Video)

 

Ozuna – Caramelo (Video Oficial)

Ozuna - Caramelo (Video Oficial)Ozuna is a 28-year-old star in the Latin world. Known as the “New King of Reggaeton,” he took his native Puerto Rico by storm before moving at a pace into fan bases all over the world. His blend of Latin trap with Reggaeton tenants has seen him shoot to the top of charts, with all of his studio albums have reached the top of the Billboard Latin tables. His recent track, “Caramelo,” is no different. With this one, he has timed his movements perfectly. With the sun starting to make an appearance and lockdown rules finally being relaxed in several countries, this seems well placed to take over as a mid-summer anthem in bars and on beaches. 

A chill into gives way to an upbeat verse that mixes good vibes with ostentatious use of auto-tune and echo FX. It’s about as danceable as it gets for fans of the genre. In terms of the song’s themes, the word “Caramelo” should already give non-natives an idea of what the mood is. Lyrically he speaks of the act of love-making as a delight akin to gorging on candy, and the one to whom he refers as “Caramelo,” is a particularly fine offering. 

Throughout the video, the visuals are used to accentuate this idea – it seems like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory set on a Puerto Rican beach club. Lollipops fly through the air, women pluck sugary apples from low-hanging branches, lips are covered in hundreds and thousands, the water flows like chocolate. With all that being said, it is bound to be a winner: sex, sun, fun, candy … Ozuna is hitting all the right spots for a population that has been locked up for so long, even as summer begins to bloom outside. Now, it finally seems like things are soon going to reopen with a vengeance, and this song makes for a good soundtrack.

Watch Ozuna – Caramelo (Video Oficial)

 

Sara Bareilles – Little Voice (From the Apple TV+ Original Series “Little Voice” – Audio)

Sara Bareilles - Little VoiceAs they are very keen to mention, this new track is brought to us courtesy of Apple TV+, as part of their new original series, the flagship title “Little Voice.” Indeed, it is a rough world out there for streaming services and for content providers, with competition between Netflix, Amazon, Disney, and all the other niche platforms being particularly fierce right now. It is well understood that one of the ways to set yourself apart in this field is original content. It is understandable, therefore, that Apple will want to make sure that people know exactly where “Little Voice” comes from, and where people can find the full series!

Sara Bareilles is an American singer-songwriter, whose 2007 breakthrough hit “Love Song” reached the top five on the Billboard charts. Those who grew up in the 90s and 2000s will surely recognize the track’s opening piano chords as soon as they hear them, and might even know most of the lyrics as well. In the years since she has transitioned from straight pop to musicals, earning several Grammy, Tony, and Emmy nominations in the process. She also took part in NBC’s The Sing-Off as a judge. As it stands she is one of the more versatile pop names, with feet in both the music and entertainment camps.

The series Little Voice seeks to explore the lives of young New Yorkers as they search for their true voice, and the courage to use it. Sara Bareilles is the executive producer on the series, and her song “Little Voice,” which was penned a few years ago, has been made a center-piece for the story. Listen to her perform it and to how she teases out the emotion behind every note. Simple piano and complex sentiment – that is what makes her special.

Watch Sara Bareilles – Little Voice (From the Apple TV+ Original Series “Little Voice” – Audio)

 

Vera Lynn – We’ll Meet Again

Vera Lynn - We'll Meet AgainEvery kid growing up in Great Britain will recognize this song, and probably a lot of Anglophone people around the world. Indeed, “We’ll Meet Again” acted as the lover’s call that kept soldiers going through world war 2. It raised morale for men on the front, as well as for their families at home. A simple promise is contained in the title, and that promise is wrapped around gorgeous orchestral tones as well as, of course, the velvet voice of Vera Lynn. Today, at the age of 102, she has passed away. A nation is in mourning, but it is more than a woman who has left us – Vera became a symbol during the war, and afterward a representative of an enduring historical sentiment … when we imagine what people were going through between 1939 and 1945, we look to Vera for answers.

By the age of 22, she had sold more than 1 million records, with “The White Cliffs Of Dover,” “There’ll Always Be An England,” “I’ll Be Seeing You,” and “Wishing If Only I Had Wings” being other hits that shot her to stardom. And while it was during the war that she blossomed into a spokesperson for national sentiment, she got an unexpected surge towards the end of her life as well.

Around six weeks ago she spoke out as the Covid-19 pandemic was starting to feel very real. It was the 75th Anniversary of VE Day (Victory in Europe) and the Dame took it upon herself to reiterate her message of strength, adapted for different times. Bravery and sacrifice – that is what would get us through these trying times. Vera knew it back then and she knew it today. As a result of this message, she became the oldest artist to ever get a top 40 album, beating another record that she also held when her greatest hits album came back into the charts.

She will be missed, but what is clear is that her message will endure. We knew that a long time ago.

Watch Vera Lynn – We’ll Meet Again

 

Black Eyed Peas, El Alfa – NO MAÑANA (Official Music Video)

Black Eyed Peas, El Alfa - NO MAÑANA (Official Music Video)October 29, 2019 (BC) reads the opening title of “NO MAÑANA,” the new link-up between El Alfa and the Black Eyed Peas. Indeed, we are jumping backwards a few months, but the label BC means that we are in a time before Christ. Perhaps he will arrive later on in the music video. For now, all we see is the three male BEPs members – will.i.am, Taboo and apl.de.ap – leaning against a car discussing the name of their new album. Suddenly, the music from Stranger Things descends, and out of a thin crack in the ether, a Star Wars-lookin’, light-saber wielding guy comes to deliver the news: “everything you know is about to change.”

It is certainly an engaging premise, and directors will.i.am and Sterling Hampton know how to conjure up a mood. “Mañana” means tomorrow, and the track focuses on the same idea as “I Gotta Feeling,” the BEP’s smash hit from 2009. Namely: the moment is now, this is where the party is, being present is everything, no need to worry about the future, just live for the moment. At the mid-point, El Alfa comes in to join the energy, a recording artist from the Dominican Republic whose name tells you all you need to know about the kind of artist he is.

A chorus with lots of personalities comes next, with the word “Rumba” repeated over and over as the characters fire streaks of light at each other. It is not the first time that the BEPs have connected with the Latin music world, and there is clearly a market for them to have done so again. Here, they have delivered a straight-up dance track in time for the re-opening of bars in certain parts of the world. It is infectious, pounding, and catchy – everything it was designed to be.

Watch Black Eyed Pean, El Alfa – NO MANANA

BLACK PARADE

BLACK PARADE“I’m goin’ back to the South … where my roots ain’t watered down/ Growin’, growin’ like a Baobab tree.” So starts this surprise track from the inimitable Beyoncé, coming at a time where her voice cuts through a mass of conversation surrounding race, delivering her piece. It’s true, recent events in America have sparked more dialogue about the oppression and violence still suffered by black communities. But, as always, it is impossible to disentangle that from the long history of racism, and slavery, that led us up to this moment. Beyoncé understands this, and “BLACK PARADE” is heavily drenched in references to ancestors, chains, communities, prejudice and, finally, pride.

“Back to the South” will, to most people, sound like a reference to the Southern States, formerly the Confederate States, which have played host to more than the lion’s share of the long, dark history of racism in America. Beyoncé is originally from Texas, and that is probably where she sees her roots. But in the lyrics, those roots extend beyond US soil, growing into a “Baobab tree,” a deciduous species to mainland Africa. Here is where the depth of her work is established. The protests we are seeing could be described as a parade, but once traced back through history the parade extends further and further, all the way to Africa, the cradle of humanity, where nothing is “watered down” by time.

The song comes just hours before Beyoncé announced an initiative to support black-owned businesses, and launched a website that includes the “Black Parade Route,” a directory of stores and services run by African Americans. The tagline of the site reads: “Being Black is your activism. Black excellence is a form of protest. Black joy is your right.”

“BLACK PARADE” was released on Juneteenth, the date that slaves where finally set free in Texas, the last stronghold of slavery in 1865.

Watch BLACK PARADE

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