Album Review: Mariah Carey – Caution (track by track)

Mariah Carey comes back with the album Caution and A Bit of Pop Music guides you through it, track by track. Continue reading

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Valentine’s Day: Ten lovely current love songs

Mariah Carey You're Mine Eternal cover

It’s that time of the year again! It’s Valentine’s Day! A romantic day for some couples, a nightmare for some single people out there, but either way it is a good excuse to listen to some great songs about love! I collected ten lovely current love songs for you to enjoy during a romantic date or a night alone.

10. Mariah Carey – You’re Mine (Eternal)
If there is one lady who knows all about all kinds of love songs, it’s Mariah Carey. She performed lots of songs about break-ups and heartache, for example ‘Without You’, ‘We Belong Togeter’ and the recent ‘The Art Of Letting Go’, but she also recorded tons of happy love songs like ‘Always Be My Baby’, ‘Dreamlover’ and ‘#Beautiful (feat. Miguel)’. Now she is back with a song, especially released for Valentine’s Day, called ‘You’re Mine (Eternal)’. It is a traditional R&B ballad which suits Mariah perfectly. The great thing about a Mariah ballad is that you know that there is a huge note about to come in the last chorus and when that moment finally happens, I am a happy man!

09. Annalisa – Tutto Sommato
A song in the lovely Italian language could not be excluded from this list. Annalisa’s ‘Tutto Sommato’ was recently used in the Dutch movie De Toscaanse Bruiloft (The Tuscan Wedding) and it is a very catchy and infectious little track. The upbeat and feelgood vibe of the song matches perfectly with the movie and it instantly gives you butterflies. Annalisa sings that love gives her life and that is exactly what we need to hear today!

08. Miguel – Adorn (feat. Jessie Ware)
Of course duets are probably the most romantic form of songs. Especially the smooth and sweet R&B kind. When making this list, I found out Miguel is a master in this craft. He recorded the lovely ballads ‘PrimeTime’ and ‘#Beautiful’ with Janelle Monáe and Mariah Carey, but he also re-recorded one of his own tracks to make it into a duet. He invited Jessie Ware to add her vocals to his biggest single to date, ‘Adorn’. The result is smooth, sweet and sexy.

07. Coldplay – Atlas
Although Coldplay’s ‘Atlas’ is not really a love song in the most traditional sense, it is one gorgeous track that deserves every recognition it could get. It was featured on the soundtrack of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which worked surprisingly well. But let’s be fair, did anybody every tell you something more romantic than: ‘I’ll carry your world and all your hurt’. No exactly, that is what I thought!

06. Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Young Blood
Sophie Ellis-Bextor is back with her new album Wanderlust, that performs pretty well in the UK charts as it already stayed in the album top 10 for three weeks. The leadsingle ‘Young Blood’ is an exceptionally romantic song about growing old together but never losing the feeling of youth, because the other keeps you young. Other than the beautiful lyrics, the song itself sounds sweet and lovely and we hear a whole different side of Sophie’s gorgeous vocals.

05. Ellie Goulding – How Long Will I Love You
Ellie Goulding and her wonderful cover of ‘How Long Will I Love You’ absolutely deserves a place in this list. The lyrics could not be anymore romantic and Goulding’s delivery with her soft and cute voice take this to a whole other level. One could say the song sounds kind of cheesy, but I would like to disagree, because she made this song completely her own and managed to keep the honest sound. And even if it is a little cheesy, it is Valentine’s Day!

04. Beyoncé – Drunk In Love (feat. Jay-Z)
Who said Valentine’s Day always needs to be about romantic things? For Beyoncé and Jay-Z it is probably another hot, steamy and passionate day at their office full of surfboarding and waking up in the kitchen wondering what happened before. And why wouldn’t they? After the fancy dinner by candle light, you might take your date home and that is the point where the sensual and sexy ‘Drunk In Love’ could be helpful as a soundtrack…

03. Clean Bandit – Rather Be (feat. Jess Glynne)
‘As long as I am with you, there is no place I’d rather be.’ That is quite a romantic statement. And when this statement is packed in such a swinging and catchy track, it is not a surprise that this song performs so exceptionally well. Clean Bandit already charted three weeks on number 1 in the UK and they are coming to take over the rest of Europe and probably the rest of the world. What a tune!

02. Miley Cyrus – Adore You
Who would have thought that the controversial popstar who shocked the world with her twerking to her own track ‘We Can’t Stop’ and riding a wrecking ball naked, would follow those releases up with a stunning ballad about love, called ‘Adore You’. Of course the accompanying video had to be a little naughty, but the song itself is beautiful and Miley’s voice does it absolute justice. Absolutely one of the most beautiful, honest and heartfelt love songs released in the last couple of months.

01. John Legend – All Of Me
I honestly could not think of a song that is more romantic and full of love than John Legend’s ‘All Of Me’. In The Netherlands this song has been a huge hit for quite some time now and I would expect the rest of the world to follow sooner or later. ‘Cause all of me, loves all of you.’ This song just screams to be played at weddings! Melodically the moment he sings ‘my head’s underwater, but I’m breathing fine’ is gorgeous. If this song does not give you Valentine’s Day vibes, I don’t know what will!

Single Review: Mariah Carey – The Art Of Letting Go

Mariah Carey The Art Of Letting Go single cover

Mariah Carey goes back to basics on new single

In recent years, Mariah Carey was mostly focussing on R&B and hip-hop, when releasing music. She put out singles like ‘Obsessed’, ‘Touch My Body’ and ‘It’s Like That’ and for her single ‘#Beautiful’ this summer, she asked help from R&B singer Miguel and buzz single ‘Triumphant (Get ‘Em)’ featured raps by Rick Ross en Meek Mill. For her new single, ‘The Art Of Letting Go’, Mariah goes back to her roots and does it on her own. She delivers a classy and traditional ballad.

The breezy and summery single ‘#Beautiful’ was supposed to lead up to the album release, but Mariah decided she wanted to spend more time on perfecting her new record. For ‘The Art Of Letting Go’, the singer leaves the R&B and hip-hop behind for a moment and goes for a big ballad. Quite a few of her fans have asked for the rappers and other singers to not be included this time around, and just let her own vocals shine and that is exactly what she does now. The first two verses and choruses are quite minimal in terms of production and sound subtle and understated. Mariah’s voice sounds powerful and emotional as ever and the song sounds like something she could have recorded and released in the nineties as well, which is definitely a good thing.

From the middle-eight on, the song explodes and in the last minute, Mariah shows how strong her voice still is. This is definitely the best part of the song, although the more understated parts sound refreshing too. Lyrically, ‘The Art Of Letting Go’ deals with a break up, where it is hard to let each other go, but deep down inside you know it is for the better, because you were not treated good enough. Carey wrote and produced the song together with Rodney ‘Darkchild’ Jerkins and they managed to keep the vibe of the song personal and heartfelt. Although Mariah made some great R&B and hip-hop tracks, it is good to see her release a personal ballad as a single. I am not sure if the song is instant and catchy enough to become a big hit, but it would be great to hear more of this stuff on her new record.

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Single Recensie: Mariah Carey – The Art Of Letting Go

Mariah Carey gaat terug naar de basis op nieuwe single

De laatste jaren focuste Mariah Carey zich vooral op R&B en hiphop als het gaat om haar muziek. Ze bracht singles als ‘Obsessed’, ‘Touch My Body’ en ‘It’s Like That’ uit en voor haar single ‘#Beautiful’ deze zomer, vroeg ze de hulp van R&B-zanger Miguel en de buzz-single ‘Triumphant (Get ‘Em)’ bevatte raps van Rick Ross en Meek Mill. Voor haar nieuwe single ‘The Art Of Letting Go’ gaat Mariah echter terug naar haar roots en doet ze het helemaal alleen. Ze levert een smaakvolle en traditionele ballad af.

Het nieuwe album zou eigenlijk vlak na de zoete en zomerse single ‘#Beautiful’ volgen, maar Mariah besloot dat ze meer tijd nodig had om de plaat te perfectioneren. Op de nieuwe single ‘The Art Of Letting Go’ laat Mariah de R&B en hiphop even achter zich en komt ze voor de dag met een mooie ballade. Een aantal fans lieten al blijken dat ze hoopten dat Carey haar gastrappers en zangers even achterwege zou laten en haar eigen stem centraal zou laten staan en dat is precies wat ze nu doet. De eerste twee coupletten en refreinen zijn vrij minimaal geproduceerd, maar deze ingetogen sound past haar goed. Mariah’s stem klinkt krachtig en emotioneel als altijd en het lied klinkt als iets wat ze ook in de jaren ’90 had kunnen uitbrengen, wat zeker positief is.

Vanaf de bridge halverwege het lied, explodeert ‘The Art Of Letting Go’ en in het laatste refrein laat Mariah nog maar even horen hoe indrukwekkend haar stemgeluid nog altijd is. Dit is zeker weten het sterkste gedeelte van het lied, maar de ingetogenheid van het eerste deel werkt ook verfrissend. Qua tekst gaat ‘The Art Of Letting Go’ over het beëindigen van een relatie waarbij het moeilijk is om diegene ook echt los te laten, maar diep van binnen weet je dat je beter af bent zonder. Carey schreef en produceerde de track met Rodney ‘Darkchild’ Jerkins en ze zijn erin geslaagd een persoonlijke en oprechte song te creëren. Hoewel Mariah een aantal zeer goede R&B en hiphop tracks heeft gemaakt, is het goed om haar weer eens een pure ballad als single te zien uitbrengen. Het is nog de vraag of het lied pakkend genoeg is om uit te groeien tot een grote hit, maar meer van deze stijl is zeker welkom op haar nieuwe plaat.