Tag Archives: music review

#QuickListenReview + Song and Video Premiere: Fifth Harmony – “Work From Home”

Fifth Harmony’s new song “Work From Home” is the ONLY “work” needed to be done so far this year.

 The Song:

Our little girls from X-Factor are grown-up working women now! The song  “Work From Home,” (from their upcoming sophomore album ‘7/27’) solidifies a place for Fifth Harmony in the current pop landscape as its favorite dessert dish. Just like “Worth it” being the group’s answer to Top 40’s previous infatuation with jazzy horns, much like  Jason Derulo‘s “Talk Dirty,” this song will sound (and taste) like a delicious dessert played after any of the many main-course hits Justin Bieber currently has in constant rotation on pop radio. They all sound great on the song, although it’s not really a vocal-driven song. The only criticism I’d have for it is that for the final chorus Lauren would have sounded a lot stronger and interesting on the adlibs for the finale (especially since she didn’t have a solo in the song) than the ever-present Camilla.

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Single Cover for Fifth Harmony’s “Work From Home”

The Music Video:

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Dinah Jane demands 16″

The girls’ music video sees the girls in their most sexually implicit roles ever. Filled with phallic symbols and imagery (pictured above: Dinah Jane holding out 16″ on a ruler to her male counterpart), this video takes place at a construction site for a home that Fifth Harmony is hard at work on. I’ve got to say, although I’ve always been apprehensive that they can sell this kind of image or a dance video, they really worked it out! They really shocked me with how sexy this video was. It is a great curve ball pitched though.

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My reaction throughout Fifth Harmony’s new video

I guess performing their sassy dance song for a majority of last year has really paid off. They all look amazing and seem a little too comfortable in their new roles as suggestive women in pop. Watch their video below:

Overall, this song is my favorite single released this year. Fifth Harmony easily snatched the “work” crown swiftly from Rihanna‘s head and placed it upon theirs. Good job, girls.

 

Pre-Order Fifth Harmony‘s highly anticipated sophomore album “7/27” here. What are your opinions on this new release? Let me know here and on Facebook! Follow The Pop Pyro on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

#QuickListen Review: “Make Me Like You” – Gwen Stefani

The Queen of “Cool” brings out the summery sunshine early this year

 

Continuing her autobiographical journey out and into new love, Gwen Stefani just released her bouncy ode to her new beau Blake Shelton. Although written by Justin Tranter and Julia Michaels, you’d probably think it was penned by Gwen herself; as this song plays out like a real-time update on her love life.

 

The song begins with Gwen cooing a sigh of pleasure; a stretch from the painfully emotional previous single, “Used To Love You.” Perfect for Valentine’s day, Gwen sings over bubbly pop melodies and ska-inspired guitar and drum beats. This song is such a great summer-ready love song — if it doesn’t make you wanna text your crush, lover, friend, coworker or really ANYONE about how much you are in love with them or yourself than you just really don’t deserve to feel this enamored alongside me and Gwen Stefani.

 

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“Make Me Like You” is the perfect song to display Gwen Stefani’s talent as one of the most fun, positive and lovely pop vets around.

 

The track is from Gwen Stefani’s forthcoming album, “This Is What The Truth Feels Like.” Pre-Order the album right here before it’s March 18th release.

 

 

What were your first #QuickListen reactions to this song? Check out The Pop Pyro on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

#QuickListen Review: ‘Confident’ – Demi Lovato

(Originally blogged: October 16, 2015)

I approached this album with the thought of ‘Confident’ being Demi Lovato’s bid for her first Grammy nomination. The bar was set pretty high. Do I believe this is a Grammy-worthy collection of tracks? No, but I wouldn’t write-off this album entirely. Though few and far in-between, there are a few shining moments.

Album Cover for 'Confident'Album Cover for ‘Confident’

Expectations for this album were pretty high because she introduced it as her most “confident” and “best” album to date. I’m doubtful it took much confidence to produce an album that is a near-complete rehash of melodies and sounds from her previous albums. Nor are there any new lyrical themes to aid and intrigue to the vulnerability she’s also attempting to express. And if she’s not repeating herself, she borrows Iggy Azalea to give a Demi-version of “Black Widow” with their collaboration “Kingdom Come”.

Demi Lovato hits the triumphant mark she’s (always) aiming for with the standout mid-tempo track “Lionheart”, which has all the optimism and energy you’d expect from her. Few tracks like “Old Ways” and “Waiting for You” seem to benefit from an urban/trap influence under her Disney-rocker vocals. The album ends with “Father”, a well-written song about her late father, which really didn’t deserve that overzealous and overstated gospel production it was given.

‘Confident’ is hardly a departure from her previous albums. Lovatics should still be pleased with the offerings of this album. Although I wouldn’t bet a penny on her getting an album nomination at the Grammys, hopefully there’s a pot of gold or a genie lamp she can wish upon to have “Cool for the Summer” nominated in a pop category.

#QuickListen Review: ‘Revival’ – Selena Gomez

(Originally blogged: October 10, 2015)

Selena Gomez has the arduous task of proving to everyone that she can be taken seriously as a mainstream pop star.

After her successful 4-album stint as a teen pop sensation, she’s left Disney’s Hollywood Records and signed to a proper music label, Interscope. ‘Revival’ is not as exciting nor has a fraction of the energy ‘Stars Dance’ had but it offers all the sensuality and depth its predecessor lacked.

Album Cover for 'Revival'Album Cover for ‘Revival’

Coming off the energy of ‘Stars Dance’, ‘Revival’ is like coming home after few drinks with your friends and finding your home lit only by candles with a trail of rose petals leading up to your bedroom. At first, you’re thrown off by the change of energy. But the curiosity moves you slowly through the candlelit foyer to the sensual vibes of tracks like “Same Old Love” and “Sober” before making it to the hallway. This is where Selena reminisces of previous relationships and offers the mysterious sounds of “Good For You” and “Camouflage”. Here, she proclaims she has, “so much shit to say.” You finally reach the bedroom to find it empty. The climax is not a lover but actually yourself with self-empowering tracks like “Survivors” and the finale track “Rise”.

The album takes your mind outside of the “schoolyard crushes” and “intro to house parties” environments that her previous teen albums seemed to have taken place. And this successfully allows Selena to tell her story as an empowered and mature young woman. Though mostly a sensual #BedroomMusic vibe through the entire album, tracks like “Body Heat” and “Me and the Rhythm” give a spark of fire to keep the album interesting and fun.

Overall, I think Selena Gomez perfectly executed her emancipation (in her own way) from the teen image she once had and offers a cohesive album for the more experienced listener.

#QuickListen Review: ‘Unbreakable’ – Janet Jackson

(Originally blogged: October 5, 2015)

Album Cover for 'Unbreakable'Album Cover for ‘Unbreakable’

Basically this is the new veteran standard: Release an understated album to support a major tour. This album honestly gives me familiar feelings. She’s made a retrospective album with a lot of sounds similar to some of her previous work. The album’s theme is like getting a grateful hug from Queen Janet! So cheesy, but if you love Janet it is worth the commitment it takes to listen to the 17-track album. Janet has nothing to prove anymore. It’s almost like this album is asking you to prove something to yourself. Inspirations by Janet.

#QuickListen Review: ‘Calling All Lovers’ – Tamar Braxton

(Originally blogged: October 5, 2015)

You see, the thing about this album is that it’s TOO GOOD. The vocals are TOO GOOD. The productions are TOO GOOD. The feeling you get after listening to this album is TOO. DAMN. GOOD!

Album cover for 'Calling All Lovers'Album cover for ‘Calling All Lovers’

The album is an eclectic mix of vocal and musical styling but entirely cohesive with its set theme of relationships. It is literally the musical manifestation of the old beat up shoe box in the darkest corner of your closet that collects memorabilia of all of your different past relationships (know what I’m talking about?). She’s got that young-sneakers-just-got-your-first-car-throwback kind of love with her song “Catfish”. The soulful-gotta-jump-and-profess-to-the-congregation kind of love with “Simple Things”. I could praise each individual song but I’ll conclude with her finale track “KING”. It’s got that Diane Warren/David Foster vibe to perfectly summarize the album. And she THOROUGHLY ANNIHILATES her execution of the vocals and love she has for her “King”.

Her last album was very polarizing with the juxtaposition of ratchet twerk anthems over solid power R&B ballads. But with this album she’s really settled into a mature sound that still allows her to have a few youthful moments to snap to. I’m just Tamar’s biggest cheerleader. Can you tell?