This weeks album is Love+Fear by Marina, formerly Marina and the Diamonds. It’s her first release since 2014’s Froot, which was followed by a long hiatus and a moniker change. Marina came crashing onto the music scene in 2009, kooky and musically on point. Her debut studio album, The Family Jewels (2010), was a frequent listen during the last year of uni, I am not a robot remains one of my favourite songs. The follow up, Electra Heart (2012), was absolutely the standard difficult second album, though Primadonna was a great track. Froot, I have to say, didn’t really register with me. With Love+Fear, Marina has come back stronger than before, with a sound redolent of her first album, but with a maturity that is both beautiful and haunting. My favourite track is To be human, which has a pop feel with an overtone of heart-wrenching melancholy. It’s great to have Marina back, and look forward to seeing her grow.
I don’t go out of my way to listen to Taylor Swift. Especially not the last album, that was not good. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike Taylor Swift, her music is just further down my listening list. Here though, Taylor is collaborating with one my favourite people: Brendon Urie. One of my musical high-points remains seeing Panic! At The Disco at Radio 1’s Big Weekend at Carlisle back in 2011!
However, yes, there is a caveat. I hate the bridge. It’s toe-curlingly difficult to listen to, so for that reason I have to mark this one down!
Park Bom is back! It’s been far, far, far too long. CL dominated 2ne1, and Park Bom’s brilliance was always overshadowed. That said, I’m still gutted we never got as much music from 2ne1 as they deserved to create together. Park Bom heralded her return with 봄 (spring), a slower song featuring another 2ne1 alumni, Sandara Park. All three tracks on the mini album are fantastic, but my standout has to be 창비해 (shameful). It’s a bop and I’ve had it on repeat since it came out! It’s great to have her back, and since this release, a repackage has come our way. With two releases in such quick succession, I can’t wait to see what comes next.
I love me a soundtrack, and this is one I actually haven’t listened to in a while. I always think I love Avengers soundtracks, and I do, but I like the big crashing themes, and some of the other tracks don’t really resonate with me. Violet Evergarden is a whole other kettle of fish. I love every single track. It’s fantastic background music; emotional without being too heavy, soft without being soporific. It’s beautifully balanced. Considering the opulence and emotion of the Anime it’s attache to, this works perfectly. The music adds a delicate layer to the show that doesn’t drown out the content, as the Avengers theme does. Instead it adds a subtle layer to the show, really hammering the emotional impact home. The only reason I give this four stars is it’s repetitiveness. I’m not sure they needed two discs!
This was the last thing I expected to have on the blog, not going to lie. Those of you in the Kpop loop will remember Luhan from his EXO days. Since he departed the group, I’ve checked in with his music every now and again and, overall, I’ve not been too impressed. I’m really enjoying these two tracks, however. Nature, in-particular, strikes a chord. It’s a wonderfully chilled out, laid-back track, and yet another example, as if I needed any more, that music is far more than the language you speak. The appeal of this track, I have no doubt, is it’s familiarity. The melody wraps itself around you like a comfort blanket, carrying with it memories of a million songs you’ve heard before.
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