Showing posts with label Music Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Music Reviews. Show all posts

Monday, November 11, 2019

Freegal Review: Free Music Downloads

The journey through cutting the cable cord continues! It has been a indeed a journey and  cutting the cord is easy. What is not as easy is finding affordable content that is easy to access and user friendly to replace cable content! I happened upon Freegal when researching the free digital content available from my local library.


What Is Freegal?

Freegal is a music library offered through your local library. Music can be downloaded for free with a weekly limit of downloads. The music library includes Sony's music catalog and a reported catalog of over 15 million songs. 

How User Friendly Is Freegal?


As you can see below, I am limited to five downloads per week. The number of downloads per user per week is determined by the package purchased by your library.


It is easy to access Freegal. Simply navigate to the Freegal website and log in with your library membership information. Or enter Freegal through your library digital menu with your library membership number.

The Freegal menu for desktop is self explanatory. The songs can be previewed prior to downloading. I did not find the search feature overly helpful for browsing. However, if you are searching for a particular artist versus general browsing the search engine is adequate.

The library can also be accessed with Apps from Google Play and Apple App Store.

As with any new service or app there is a small learning curve to use the service. Freegal is easy to use and the music can be downloaded easily with the click of the mouse. Check with your local library to see if Freegal is included with your library membership.

Cutting the cable has been an interesting experience. Freegal is the third service reviewed which offers free content. The search for additional user friendly and robust sources of free content continues!

Where To Find Free Content For Cord Cutters



Hoopla - Hoopla offers free books, movies and television shows through your local library.


Kanopy- Kanopy offers free movies with an emphasis on Indie films and documentaries.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Sunday, March 17, 2019

Life is Short, Make it Sweet

The Heart of Country Music - More Songs
With all that's going on in this world, it's important to focus on the simple things that make life beautiful.

As the song says, 'life is short, make it sweet'. The lyrics of this tune by Old Dominion remind us to spend time with those we love. Sunsets, fun and sharing time with each other, it doesn't get any simpler than that.

(Lyrics)
"I never gotta wonder where my honey be
I ain't savin' all my sugar for a Saturday Night
Seven days a week I got an appetite
The sunsets like a tangerine
Let's find a road we've never seen
Don't waste another mile or a minute not kissin' me
Life is short, make it sweet"

Make it Sweet is a Cheerful Song 

When you need a musical boost, blast this one on repeat. With life's twists and turns, it's not easy being 'seen'. Lolz. The good news is, when you take control of your thoughts and your environment, being seen is something you can control from within. I know, it all sounds cliché but I speak from experience and I've personally done the work.

For over four years now I've made a conscious effort and practiced that other old cliché, 'control your thoughts control your life'. Sure I'll slip up from time to time and unwittingly let someone rent space in my head, but not very often.

As soon as I feel my mental strength begin to diminish, I work to take back that control. It requires a conscious effort, until it becomes subconscious. The key is practice. It's no different than exercising the body: Takes time, takes repetition.

A quick tool I use to pull my mind away from unproductive tangents is word repetition.

Choose your word. Mine is 'Hope'. When the brain decides it wants to run my life, I take back my control by repeating my word over and over inside my head as many times as it takes until that noggin' of mine has forgotten the tangent it was on.

You'll slip up many times and in the middle of it forget you were using word repetition. No biggie. Just pull yourself back on track and start again. After years of doing this, bad thoughts and energy just begin to avoid you - they'll realize you're like Fort Knox, no getting in.



Music is One Road to Inner Peace

Make it Sweet by Old Dominion is the ideal, bring it back to the basics song. As soon as my husband and I heard it, we both smiled and agreed that the message was calming. The lightness of the tune helped to unweight the heaviness of the day.

Another Relaxation Option - The Zen Channel - Stingray Ambiance

If you have this channel, be sure to use it as a way to control the energy you allow in your home.

We mostly read our news now and our TV sets on the main level have Stingray Ambience on all day. They feature gorgeous scenes from all over the world with light music in the background. In fact we rarely watch regular TV now. We only tune into shows that interest us from time to time. We're not blocking out the world, we keep up-to-date online. We're just actively controlling our home's environment. It makes a big difference. It heals the soul.

Between aromatherapy, the Zen Channel and the song Make it Sweet, we're creating our own peace.

Here's to your happiness :)




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Sunday, February 17, 2019

A Country Song About Homelessness - A Moving Reflection in Words

A moving empathic country song about homeless
Somebody's Daughter by Tenille Townes - A Song Review

I love the rasp and uplifting ache in Tenille Townes voice as she sings this song. The story and lyrics paint a clear picture of a person whose life wasn't easy. It reminds us that, except for our circumstances, we're all the same.

This country song is about homelessness. It's about those moments we pass by someone at an intersection holding up a cardboard sign asking for money, for help.
"Oh I don't know the reasons why I'm the one whose driving by and she's the one on the corner of 18th street...bet she was somebody's best friend, back when she was somebody's sister counting change at the lemonade stand"
This mid tempo song will touch your soul.


I remember first hearing it on the radio in my kitchen, and because I wasn't listening very closely to the lyrics, the song passed me by without a notice. For me, ninety-nine percent of the time, it's the story first the music second.

The next time I heard the song I happened to be driving. It's then I took the time to listen to the story behind the words.

The Inspiration Behind Tenille Townes Writing This Song

The tune was inspired during a drive Tenille Townes took with her mom while in Nashville, Tennessee. They saw a homeless person standing with a sign and began wondering out loud about this person's life story. Personally I've wondered the same myself. I suspect that's the reason this song touched me so deeply.
The song reminds us that "she was somebody's best friend, somebody's first kiss, somebody's daughter".
What do We Do When We See Someone Standing With a Cardboard Sign Asking for Help?

Many times I've handed out a bit of money. People have said to me, "oh that's a con, they're lazy, they're not deserving". Well I'm sorry, but the onus is not on me to prove their truth. The recipient has to deal with the truth of the situation. I'm not prepared to conclude that every single soul who does this isn't being honest. I believe most are truly suffering. I would rather be kind than be judgemental about that situation, but that's me. I just give, you never know who you've helped.

Who is Tenille Townes

Tenille Townes is a rising Canadian Country Music Artist from Grand Prairie, Alberta, Canada. In 2011 she was nominated at 17 years old for Canadian Country Music Female Artist of the Year. Her career is off and running. In 2018 she opened for Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town on The Bandwagon Tour. 

Her Grand Ole Opry Debut

She's also recently enjoyed the honor of performing at the Grand Ole Opry. That was a big deal for her family and friends! Watch and listen to Tenille Townes in her own words describe her amazing experience. She's a class act.



Big Hearts for Big Kids - Her Cause
In over nine years, she's raised $1.5+ million dollars for Sunrise House, a shelter for homeless youth in Alberta Canada. A cause she generously dedicates her time and name to.

Here's a brief video on her 2018 Fundraiser, Big Hearts for Big Kids:



Homelessness - The Stats and Where to Learn More 

It's roughly estimated that between 150,000 and 300,000 people in Canada are homeless at some given time. In 2017 approximately 5 million people in Canada lived in poverty. Canadians can learn more about homelessness and what can be done here at The Homeless Hub.

According to the Voa.org, in the United States in 2017 approximately 553,000 Americans were homeless on a given night, 40 million struggled with hunger and 40.6 million officially lived in poverty. The US population is approximately 325 million. To learn more about poverty in the USA and how you can help, visit the Voa.org/homeless-people.

"I believe those who suffer the most teach us the most" - by me
The Heart of Country Music








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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Are Your Ears Up for an AMAZING AUDIO REVIVAL?

Technophiles, audiophiles and all like minded people are realizing that old records have never sounded better!

Many changes have occured in the music industry over the years.  From the types of music that are being generated, and to the way we listen to it.

Music in my heyday was listened to on a small, possibly portable turntable.  We were not allowed to use the big "STEREO" in the living room.  That was our parent's domain.  Mine was all in one and had a couple of small speakers attached on either side.  I spent many hours listening to my favorite records on that turntable.  When I grew up I had a similar stereo like the one below, with really good speakers mounted on the walls.

I have seen the advent of many different portable listening devices and the changes in the way things are recorded.  I went from records with  speeds of 78 , 33 and 1/3 or 45's, to cassette tapes, 8 tracks and CD's.  Now you don't have to admit that you fully understand all of this.  ( You'll be giving away one of your best kept secrets if you do!)  Portable turntables all looked something like this:
vinyl record players, audio lovers, record revival

Now I have to tell you that in my house music is very important.  My husband is constantly playing something and I'm never sure what is going to come out of his music room.  One thing is certain, when the music is playing, the memories are also filling my mind of days long ago.  Every song brings a smile to my face and sometimes one or the other will bring a tear or two as well. 

Right now, we are busy cleaning records that we haven't listened to in a long time.  Most of the music we really love has been repurchased on CD's.  After all, we were lead to believe that this was the ultimate sound for any recordings.  I think we were wrong! It was a great marketing ploy.   After all everyone now was rebuying all their favorites in a new format.  The one truth about CD's is that they are much more portable than record players ever were.  So there is room for both formats in most people's homes.

Now this is where this review is going to get right down into the nitty gritty grooves!  One word of caution,  start doing this on a record that you really don't care too much about.  I don't want you to ruin your prized and priceless favorite record right from the start.

But, did you know that you could clean your old records in an easy and inexpensive way?  They will sound so much better than they ever did.  It's easy, doesn't require any special tools or talent and everyone can do it.  

The secret?   Carpenter's glue!  There are many different name brands that you can try, but make sure it's carpenters wood glue and not some "super glue".   There are many different brands of "wood glue", and the favorite seems to be the Titebond, but all of them work and none have been found to have an adverse effect on the records. 



Super glue will get you into all kinds of trouble. So let's not do that! In the pictures below you will see how easy it is to clean your old vinyl records, so that the sound coming out of the speakers is just the way it was recorded.  Full sounds that some CD's just can't match.

removing dust from record albums, glue removal of dirt from LP's,  new uses for carpenters glue
1. Glue spread out over record album.

carpenters glue, dust free records, new uses for carpenters glue, audio revival
2. My other half using his fingers to spread the glue over the record.

audio revival, record cleaning, carpenters glue new uses
3.  Records that have been treated, now drying!


new uses for carpenters glue, audio revival, LP's
4.  Dried glue being peeled off the record face.

5.  The negative "glue" of the album in its entirety.




That's how easy the process is. It takes about 8 hours to dry completely.  You can use a toothpick to carefully lift the glue at the edge and then slowly peel the rest of the dried glue away from the face of the record.


Now why would you do this? Old records get dusty. It was one of the reasons that records sometimes sounded so scratchy. When you do the glue treatment on your albums, the glue gets right down into the grooves of the records and lifts out any impurities (dust and dirt)  that may be lurking there. You don't have to do this everytime that you want to listen to a record! Get your favorites out (after a test run on another record you don't really care about) and give them a good cleaning. Then after listening to the difference, carefully place the record back in its dust cover. Store your records where they won't be affected by dust, dampness, sunlight and heat. Ours are in a rack, almost like the ones they had in the record stores at the time, and inside a closet. It's a nice cosy place for our favorites and every weekend you can hear the likes of The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Melanie and a few more playing in our wonderfully music filled home.  We love the scores from old musicals so have many of them on LP's as well.  So you know you'd be in for a treat musically, our records have never sounded better!



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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Song Lists to Help Find the Best Songs for Family Dedications and Special Occasions

Song Lists for Families
Finding songs for special occasions, to fit a mood or to tell a story is a passion of mine.

Searching for the right song can soak up countless hours online, and unless you like listening to the lyrics of mountains of songs, it can cost you several days to find the right one.

Sure, there are a lot of topic based song lists online, however I've discovered that a lot of these lists repeat the same songs from one search to another.

I've taken it many steps forward and actually listened to every word of every song to determine if it works for a person, event or mood. You will find some of the songs I recommend mentioned on other lists online, but that's only because I've listened to it and determined it belongs there.

Many of the song lists provided by others online, in my opinion, include songs that either shouldn't be on the list and rarely include newly found gems.

That's where I come in.

I've spent countless hours listening to songs and categorizing them as per their message and what event they would be suitable for. Much of that work can be found on my country music website, Drageda.com.

However, I wanted to introduce you to another place where I compile song lists: On HubPages.

Below is summary of several of my additional song lists to help you find the right song for your needs. I'm always adding new songs, so be sure to check back there from time to time.

When you visit the page listed below, you'll see a list of suggested songs, a short review of it, and a video to watch it.


If you need a song for a mother-son wedding dance or to celebrate another mother son special occasion, be sure to check out these 14 recommended songs.

Father and Son Songs

Here you'll find 12 suggested songs. The twelve songs are selected based on a variety of different types of relationships that can be had between father and son. Not all relationships are good, and you'll even find a song for that.

Father and Daughter Songs

This list features 10 choice songs. Again, they'll fit multiple types of relationships and occasions. However there's one song you absolutely have to listen to regarding a broken relationship between father and daughter; it's gut wrenching.

Mother and Daughter Songs

We've all heard that a mother and daughter can have a complicated relationship, however in my experience most I know have been good. The songs featured here reflect the positive side, however there's one song about a mother, sung by a famous American Idol contestant, that will make you cry.

Grandparent Songs

These ten songs range from topics of aging, loss, and living life to the fullest. If you need a song to celebrate grandma or grandpa, be sure to check out this list. There's a beautiful song by Ed Sheeran wrote for his grandmother that you'll want to hear.



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Sunday, July 1, 2018

A Terrific Upbeat Country Song that Makes You Feel Happy

Listen to "Long Live the Night" by the Reklaws
Great Song! - Available on iTunes
Canada Loves Country Music

To honor Canada Day I wanted to take a minute and introduce you to this brother and sister duo, Jenna and Stuart Walker, known in the Canadian Country Music scene as 'The Reklaws'.

We music fans switch up our favorite songs from time to time, and at the moment this brother and sister duo from Cambridge, Ontario, Canada have me blasting their latest song Long Live the Night.

With the world dishing out stress like skittles right now, sometimes we need a song that makes us jump around and dance like fools.

Long Live the Night by the Reklaws is therapeutic for me; it's that 'release song'.

When the local radio station plays this tune, ask my kids just how nuts their mom gets. Yep, bat*hit bouncing looney. The volume dial gets turned up to 40 and everything else in the world stops. The only thing I hear (and of course the neighbors) is this song. For 3:32 nothing else matters.

We all need a song that reminds us to take a breath and have fun. With all the serious issues that fill our days sometimes the only solution is upbeat, positive music.

The Lyrics Remind Us of the Important Things - These Particular Lyrics Hit Me Like a Ton of Bricks:

Full moon rising
We ain't there yet
Every minute's a memory so drink it in
Before you know it's over, man it flies by fast
Make it last

For those of us who have lived a little longer and who have grown kids, words like 'before you know it's over, man it flies by fast' have an especially poignant meaning.

Oh the power of a song! This young talented duo takes me back to the days when my husband and I were building memories.

The song's upbeat energy reflects my overall happy nature, but most of all it brings me through all those wonderful moments we've lived: Young people dating, fun parties, professional careers that had wonderful moments, weddings, babies, toddlers, new homes, family gatherings, and just loving the journey.

Of course, like everyone else, we've had our share of problems, but when I'm listening to Long Live the Night, it's the good part of our life that surfaces.

That's why I love this song! It brings out the good. It reminds us "Every minute's a memory so drink it in".

Be sure to listen to it - You can find More about The Reklaws at their Website





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Sunday, May 13, 2018

I Am Your Child - Happy Mothers Day, We Love You

Photo: Via Pixabay

Happy Mother's Day from the Writers of ReviewThis

To all the moms of the world, thank you.

Whether you're a dad occupying a dual role, a fur baby mom, a step-mom, a guardian, two dads, two moms, or a family member who has had to step in and be that soft place to land for others, a working mom or a stay-at-home mom, know that your contributions and sacrifices are never forgotten.

We've noticed it all:
  • When you handed us the full plate of food, and kept the smaller portion for yourself
  • That time you reached in your pocket to hand us your last few dollars, and said, 'oh that's ok', I don't need it
  • Your picking us up late at night when you were exhausted
  • The trips back and forth as you taxi us to our events for years
  • Planning our birthdays on a shoestring and making it memorable
  • We heard you cry from time to time and watched you pick yourself up every time
  • You laughed at our jokes that weren't funny just so we could smile a little more
  • You held your pain inside so as not to worry our young minds
  • You let us have our childhood and didn't demand we grow up too soon
  • You held us when we were sad or upset, and it always worked
  • We hurt your feelings sometimes, we know we did, and you held yourself with grace, just for us. When we look back, especially as parents, we see where we erred, and how it hurt you.
  • You made us face our weaknesses and when we had to grow a pair, you showed us how
  • You put our needs ahead of your own more often than we can possibly count
  • When we accomplish something we are aiming for, you are proud of us
  • We watch you continue to worry about us as grown-ups, and in that we learn from you how to balance that never ending scale of worry-don't worry
  • Remember when you held our child for the first time, and that tear rolled down your cheek, we felt that too
  • That soft shoulder you have .... we're still trying to figure out how a rock can be so soft
"Whatever I am, you taught me to be, I am your hope, I am your chance, I am your child" (Lyrics)

This Song is for You: "I Am Your Child, by Barry Manilow"






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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

How To Tip Toe Through the Tulips: A Review of the Ukulele

There was a blank space in our Music Room, so my Sweetie decided that it was time for a Ukulele!  Let's Review this wonderful little instrument!


His music room has space for a Keyboard, a Digital set of Drums, a Guitar, a Bodhran, an Old Chord Accordian, several Tin Whistles and Recorders and our latest aquistion, the Ukulele!  For less than $100.00 he has a Ukulele, online lessons, carrying case, picks and tuner(he opted for the one in the link below).




 Important features for the Ukulele is the ability to tune the instrument.  If it doesn't have proper tuning pegs, like a guitar, you are buying a toy!  We don't want a toy, we want an instrument that will give us pleasure while we learn how to play.  This particular one is a bargain for a musical instrument!  Size is important too, this one doesn't take up much space at all.  It's easy to handle and very portable!  A bonus for him, especially when he's going out to the schools to see the kids!  Music and the Deacon, go hand in hand!  The children seem to love the music too!

                                                                  


It just so happens that today May 2nd is "Play your Ukulele" day!


Let me fill you in on a little bit about this lovely instrument.  Most people associate it with Hawaii! Hawaii's own  Israel Kamakawiwo'ole( (Oahu, 20 May 1959 - Honolulu, 26 June 1997)who played the Ukulele with style and presence. Here he is playing Somewhere Over the Rainbow and this song is still  listened to by millions of people all over the world, today!



His gentle spirit, voice, the melody and the sounds of this little instrument just seem to match perfectly.  It's hard to remain in a bad mood listening to this music.  It's partly his own sound and partly the Ukulele!  In his hands the Ukulele while a small instrument, commands a big presence, as did he!

The Ukulele actually came from Portugal, but because it has been adopted by the Hawaiian Islands, it seems to have become the instrument of these Paradise Islands. A few musicians(who aren't Hawaiin) have made it's sound their own like, Tiny Tim, with his "Tip Toe Through the Tulips".  While to my ears it wasn't a great song, it seems that it was popular enough at the time to garner lots of play time on several Radio Stations. It seems to have helped the Ukulele to become a popular musical instrument at the time too!



Ukuleles are not expensive to own!  As I have mentioned before,  good one will cost less than $100.00 and for someone who is on a budget, this is much more affordable than a good guitar.  You can learn the chords and the strumming techniques and use them on either instrument.  So while learning one, you will ultimately learn more than one instrument, without a big cash outlay at the start.  This is great for parents or grandparents who would love to see their offspring develop some musical talent.  Ukuleles are also small in size, so portability is not an issue.  Even the youngest child can handle carrying a Ukulele around without any kind of difficulty.  They would love the song Lava that features a strumming of the Ukulele with lyrics that will mean so much to every audience.  Check it out right here!


                                                   I think I Lava this song!


In writing this review I found myself looking into people who are fully into the sounds of the Ukulele and guess what?  I found several people that take the Ukulele very seriously and the sounds that come out of this instrument make me stop in my tracks to admire and enjoy the sound.  I would never have thought that this instrument was truly able to be played in such a commanding way.  If you want, you can check out this amazing and lovely lovely sound right here!  With this kind of talent and ability, who would not want to learn how to play this lovely little instrument?  I think I'll be moving into the music room now and practicing some Ukulele music!



Maybe I can figure out how to play The Mother's Day Song for Mother's day!  Just to make my mother laugh and cry at the same time!  Music is a perfect gift at anytime, but today I will use it for my Mother's Day present!  Surprise MOM!  Hope you enjoy the lyrics.....I love you!


The Ukulele



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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Most People Are Good by Luke Bryan

Listen on Apple Music
When I first heard "Most People Are Good' on the radio, it reminded me of a poem I wrote nearly 20 years ago based on the same premise called, 'I See Good People'.

If you find yourself frustrated with the negative energy that seems to infect our airways and unfortunately the internet, then you'll want to listen to the bit of hope expressed in the music and lyrics of this Luke Bryan song.

Are Most People Basically Good?

The operative word here is 'most'.

One way to answer that question is through a famous quote in the James Allen (b.1864-d.1912) book, 'As a Man Thinketh':

Mind is the Master power that moulds and makes,
And Man is Mind, and evermore he takes
The tool of thought, and, shaping what he wills,
Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills,
He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass:
Environment is but his looking-glass

James Allen, a British Philosophical Author, is quoted as saying, "A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts".

Another famous quote by Buddha says exactly the same thing, "We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world".

We march through history with lists of famous souls who have repeated this same principle from century to century. I think they're trying to tell us something?

Life's Challenges Can Shade Our Hearts

No matter how much sunshine we allow in our life, there's always some darkness to overcome. However, those dark moments don't have to define us.

Luke Bryan expresses it well in this verse:

(Lyrics) I believe them streets of gold are worth the work
But I still wanna go even if they were paved in dirt
I believe that youth is spent well on the young
'Cause wisdom in your teens would be a lot less fun
I believe if you just go by the nightly news
Your faith in all mankind would be the first thing you lose

Every generation has it's struggles, and progress isn't easy, but basic goodness is something we can only control from within, and as James Allen so eloquently states in the above quote, "The tool of thought, shaping what he wills, brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills".

According to most of the great minds that came long before us, 'we are what we think'. Simple, yet hard to master.

Luke Bryan's song reminds us that it may be as simple as choosing to believe that most people, are in fact, good.







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Sunday, April 15, 2018

Supermarket Flowers by Ed Sheeran - A Review of An Incredibily Moving Song that Will Bring You to Tears

More Songs for Mom Here - Photo via Pixabay
Have You Heard Supermarket Flowers by Ed Sheeran?

If you haven't heard this song, and you've lost your mom or a mother figure, you're going to cry.

During my research for a unique list of songs to honor moms, I tripped on 'Supermarket Flowers' by Ed Sheeran, and was shocked by it's incredibly touching mood music and personal story telling lyrics that most of us can relate to.

At least thirty times; that's how much I've listened to this song since yesterday. Being one of the fortunate ones who still has her mother living, it caused me to pick up the phone to call her again today!

The song gets right to the story with painful lyrics that describe clearing out the room of someone loved and recently passed:
  • I took the supermarket flowers from the windowsill
    I threw the day old tea from the cup
    Packed up the photo album Matthew had made
    Memories of a life that's been loved
    Took the get well soon cards and stuffed animals
    Poured the old ginger beer down the sink
    Dad always told me, "don't you cry when you're down"
    But mum, there's a tear every time that I blink
By the second line, "I threw the day old tea from the cup", you know exactly what the song is about, and it hurts in a beautiful way.

If you've ever had to pack up the belongings of someone recently passed on, you know just how incredibly emotional it is. Everything holds a memory, there's a time marker on each of item, and as your hand touches each piece, you remember, and you cry.

Hidden amongst the pain is a hopeful message, "Oh I'm in pieces, it's tearing me up, but I know, a heart that's broke, is a heart that's been loved".

About Supermarket Flowers:

You'll find Supermarket Flowers on Ed Sheeran's 2017 Album, 'Divide'.

In an interview with MTV, Sheeran revealed that the song is about his grandmother.

He said she was in hospital close to the studio and had passed away during it's production. He wrote the song as a personal tribute from the point of view of his mother, and it wasn't initially intended to be included on the album.

However, when he sang the song at this grandmother's funeral, his grandfather encouraged him to include the song; and so it was, as the final track.

Get the Tissues Ready, As Ed Sheeran himself Said, "It Was Written to Make You Cry"






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Monday, March 5, 2018

Me Before You Soundtrack Review

Me Before You Soundtrack
Occasionally a song moves me so much that I feel I have to share it with others. I do not write many reviews of music because I do not feel knowledgeable about the technical aspects of music or the music industry. But I know when a song gives me goose bumps. Not only does the Me Before You soundtrack move me, it has introduced me to talented artists I've never heard of before. 


The Me Before You Soundtrack


Me Before You is a beautifully done movie about life, love, and how we choose to live our lives. I've watched it many, many times. The very first time I watched it, I noticed the music was fitting, touching, and powerful. 

Many times the soundtracks to movies are just the background of the movie, helping set the tone but not really music that can stand alone. I feel like the individual songs on Me Before You can stand alone. They are touching and powerful. Songs I'll sing along to (when I'm alone).

When Don't Forget About Me played during the movie, during the scene that Louisa, Will, and Nathan are returning from holiday, the voice singing was haunting. I thought maybe it was Adele singing, but there were some differences that even my untrained ear could hear. But that voice.....

It turns out the voice that gives me goosebumps belongs to Cloves (Kaity Dunstan). She was on The Voice Australia, season 2. 

With the exception of Ed Sheeran, I've not heard of the singers/groups performing on this soundtrack. Maybe you have. Especially if you are one of our readers from Australia or the UK. I will not attempt to comment on the talent of the singers listed below. Nor will I try to explain why each and every song below moves me. I will encourage you to listen to the samples that Amazon provides, and decide for yourself whether or not these songs are your cup of tea.

The songs on the Me Before You Soundtrack are:

  1. Numb - Max
  2. Happy With Me - Holy Child
  3. Unsteady - X Ambassadors (Erich Lee Gravity Remix)
  4. Till the End - Jessie Ware
  5. The Sound - The 1975
  6. Surprise Yourself - Jack Garratt
  7. Don't Forget About Me - Cloves
  8. Photograph - Ed Sheeran
  9. Not Today - Imagine Dragons

Related Links:

To see my review of the movie Me Before You click here.

The Review This! contributors enjoy a wide variety of music and like to write reviews about that music. So much so that there is a tab for the music reviews. To see those reviews click here and scroll down.

If country music is your preferred genre, be sure to look at the Heart of Country Music by our own Barbara Tremblay Cipak (aka Brite-Ideas). Her site is a comprehensive source of "The right words & the right song for every emotion" and every occasion.



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Friday, February 23, 2018

The Voice of Josh Groban Touches Deep into the Soul

https://www.reviewthisreviews.com/2018/02/the-voice-of-josh-groban-touches-deep.html
By watchwithkristin (Josh Groban & Emilie de Ravin)
[CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)],
via Wikimedia Commons
Exceptional talent, gorgeous tone quality and inspiring song selections all contribute to why Josh Groban is my favorite current day male vocalist. 

If I close my eyes and just listen to him sing, I feel transported from this world to a higher plane of existence. To say he has a heavenly appeal would not be an exaggeration. I believe his voice is truly the voice of an angel.  His ability to smoothly sing notes with an unparalleled vocal strength is amazing, beautiful and touches deep into my heart and soul. 

When I feel anxious or have work to do that doesn't exactly thrill me, I turn on my Josh Groban cd and let his voice raise my spirits. Before I know it, my housework is done and I am happily breezing on to my next responsibility. 


Josh Groban Songs


The first Josh Groban song that caught my attention was "You Raise Me Up".   I suspect that is true for most of us.  However, that is far from his only song that touches deep into the soul. 


Ironically, my favorite Josh Groban cd is "Awake".   I say that is ironic only because "Your Raise Me Up" is not on that cd.  I love listening to him sing is different languages.  You may wonder why a vocalist would sing in foreign languages.  In my personal experience and opinion it was always about perfecting the notes, the tone of the voice and the deliverance.  While the words and message are always the most important part of a song, a vocalist needs to develop a song beyond enunciating the words.  I have heard vocal judges say a soloist makes love to their audience.  I've never particularly liked that phrase, but I understand what they mean.  

Listen to this song and I think you will understand too.  You may even find you know the song already.  If so, I feel sure you will have a new appreciation for it after you hear this performance.  Of course, I must give credit to those fabulous string instruments, which include the piano, that introduce his voice.  They truly set the tone and the feeling for the song.


Close Your Eyes and Just Listen!

 

In case you do not know, Un Giorno Per Noi is the Italian version of "A Time for Us".  It is the love theme from Romeo and Juliet.
 

All Time Best Musical Song Sung by All Time Best Male Vocalist


For those of you who know me well, you know "Les Miserables" is my all time favorite musical.  I have seen it in several opera house theaters and even in a few different countries.  I still cry when
Jean Valjean performs this breath-taking, heart-wrenching musical plea to God.

 


Josh Groban is Limitless


Josh Groban is a "star" by anyone's equation, but he doesn't come across as arrogant in any way.  He has preformed duets with a variety of other soloists who are popular in their own music genres, including Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Kelly Clarkson, Brian McKnight, Faith Hill and the magnificent Andrea Bocelli.  

And just to show his wonderful personality and why everyone loves him, watch this performance with Ellen Degeneres. I admit, this leaves me cracking up!  

 









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The Voice of Josh Groban Touches Deep into the Soul Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





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Friday, January 12, 2018

Reviewing Within Temptation Band - Music That Speaks to My Soul

An Accustic Night at the Theater by Within Temptation
available on Amazon.com

My Constant Companion 


Music has been my loyal and constant companion my entire life. It often sets my mood, changes my mood or soothes my soul. If I want to grieve, it will grieve with me. If I want to rejoice, it will join my celebration. If I want to dance, it will set the pace. If I want to love, it will put my feelings into words and express what I do not have words to say. 

My mother is an extremely talented pianist. She can play anything without music and in any key. She is every vocalist dream of a perfect accompanist. No doubt, I owe my love for music to my mother. When she plays, her music resonates throughout the house, in our hearts and in our souls. Because of her influence, I don't just hear a string of notes, I feel the song and it's message. 

Every decade or so, I hear a musician who just has that touch. One who takes my breathe away by their sheer natural talent.  I would like to introduce you to a talent that I originally discovered in my son's vast collection of cd's. I was searching for a current day song to recommend to a promising soloist and I found a real treasure. 


"All I Need" by Within Temptation

This song has a haunting melody and lyrics! 

Ever since the first time I heard it, I find myself humming the tune or even singing it out loud at some of the strangest times.  This is one of those songs that crosses two areas of emotion for me. It will cry with me when I am depressed or it will sooth my soul when I am hurting. It isn't the lyrics to this song, although they are beautiful, but the melody and her comforting vocal quality that just calms me. 

I love the idea of making "my heart a better place."  A phrase from this song is actually my cell phone ring.  I hope you enjoy this song as much as I do. 



Lyrics to "All I Need"
I'm dying to catch my breath. Oh why don't I ever learn? I've lost all my trust, though I've surely tried to turn it around.  Can you still see the heart of me? All my agony fades away when you hold me in your embrace.

 

Within Temptation ~ The Band

 Within Temptation Poster 18" X 24"Check PriceThis group has actually been performing together since 1996. Because they were all still in college, they took a hiatus in 1999 to finish their studies, but returned in 2000 to the stage to become not only Holland's biggest selling musical export, but also one of the fastest growing new rock acts internationally. 

I am extremely impressed with the longevity and commitment of this group. As usual, in the beginning "Within Temptation" had to replace a few band members for various reasons, but nothing reports that they had any volatile splits or dissension within the group.  Most often a band will split several times due to internal differences and squabbles. These young people seem to have been able to handle fame and a rigorous schedule together without all of the petty jealousy and fighting that usually destroys a group on it's way up the charts.

"Stand My Ground" by Within Temptation

This song speaks to a totally different side of me altogether. A side that my family is very familiar with and probably wish I would hold back sometimes. I am a warrior at heart and I will fight for what is right.  I definitely "Stand My Ground." 
 


WITHIN TEMPTATION LYRICS - Stand My Ground
I can see when you stay low nothing happens, Does it feel right? Late at night Things I thought I put behind me Haunt my mind / I just know there's no escape/  Now once it sets its eyes on you But I won't run, Have to stare it in the eye / Stand my ground

 

Awards for "Within Temptation" 

There are multiple notable awards worldwide.  Some are internationally known.  Others are perhaps more regional or genre specific, but the list is quite impressive!
 
2002
* Silver Harp (Dutch Music Award)
* TMF Award in Holland - Most Promising Act
* TMF Award in Belgium - Best Rock (International)

2003
* Edison (Dutch Music Award) - Best Live DVD: Mother Earth Tour
* Conamus Export Award now known as the Buma Export Award
     (given to Dutch artists who have sold the most records abroad)

 
2004
* Conamus Export Award aka Buma Export Award
 
2005
* Edison Award - Best Band
* TMF Awards Holland - Best Rock National
* Conamus aka Buma Export Prize
* World Music Award - Best-selling Dutch Artist
 
2006
* 3 FM Award - Best Rock Artist
* Golden God (Best Video: Angels)
* Buma Culture Export Prize

2007
* 3FM Award - Best Rock Artist
* TMF Awards Belgium - Best Live Act (International)
* TMF Awards Holland - Best Live Act
* TMF Awards Holland - Best Video
* MTV Europe Music Awards - Best Dutch & Belgian act
* World Music Awards  - Best Selling Dutch Artist

2009
* Golden Harp
* 3FM Award - Best Live Act
* Female Metal Voices Fest Awards – Best Album for The Heart of Everything

2011
* Loudwire Music Award - Rock Album of the Year - The Unforgiving
* Loudwire Music Award - Artist of the Year
* Loudwire Music Award - Rock Goddess of the Year given to Lead Singer, Sharon den Adel  

2014 
* Metal Hammer Award (Germany) - Best Live Band
* Loudwire Music Award - Rock Goddess of the Year given to Lead Singer, Sharon den Adel

2016
* Buma Export Award


Confirmation Source: Wikipedia

 

"Somewhere" by Within Temptation 


This song has a double meaning to me and it depends on my mood which meaning I embrace at the time. One part is romantic. The one that says "I will wait for you. You are a part of me now and always." 

The other is introspective and very personal. I sometimes search inside myself for the "whys." 
 


By MrPanyGoff (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0
(https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Band Members of Within Temptation

* Sharon den Adel - vocals (since 1996) 
* Robert Westerholt - rhythm guitar, death vocals (since 1996) 
* Ruud Adrianus Jolie - lead guitar (since 2001) 
* Jeroen van Veen - bass (since 1996) 
* Martijn Spierenburg - keyboards (since 2001) 
* Mike Coolen - drums (since 2011) 
* Stephen Helleblad - rhythm & lead guitar (since 2011)

 

"The Truth Beneath the Rose" by Within Temptation

This song is a combination of all of my emotions. It evokes my passion to right every wrong. To stand my ground until I reach my own final destiny and it certainly speaks to the seeker in me. It also touches another part of me. The one that seeks forgiveness for any wrongs that I have ever committed, knowingly or unknowingly. It is the hardest for me to easily dismiss.

 


By Olarcadia (Own work)
[CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)
or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)],
via Wikimedia Commons

The Choice

It was really difficult to choose only a few songs by "Within Temptation" to share with you. Every song possesses and exudes great passion and depth. 

This band has the unique and rare combination of a songwriter with the heart of a poet, a band with remarkable musical ability and a vocalist with an unbelievable range, clear voice quality and tremendous breath control. I even like the background death vocals. They are not overused or out of place in this music. 

This is easily one of the best groups recording today!





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Reviewing Within Temptation Band - Music That Speaks to My Soul Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





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