Despite its Flaws, I love Manchester.
As the summer of 2011 kick starts, Bowling for Soup are back with another fun loving, quirky concoction of cheeky anthems. Although, if you listen to this with high expectations that Fishin’ for Woos will match their former party-hard, bromantic songs of love then you will be a little disappointed. So this album doesn’t quite hit the high notes as much as the others have done, but the trademark elements that we know and love are still there. You’ll be glad to know the eccentric lyrics and catchy riffs are here to stay.
The great thing about this album is the fact that Bowling for Soup have not changed and don’t intend to. It may not be as lively as Sorry for Partyin’ (2009), but it does contain some hidden gems, such as pleasant, feel good track, “Smiley Face (It’s All Good)”; with lyrics like “why don’t we just get naked?” what can go wrong? There are a few songs on the album which reflect the typical broken heart, bringing out the rare maturity in BFS; “What About Us?” shows more emotion, whereas “Here’s Your Freakin’ Song” shows a stick-it-to-the-man stance, much like BFS’s previous work. First official single, “S-S-Saturday” is your typical party anthem, which they have similarly done previously with ‘Everyday’s a Saturday’ on the Hangover you don’t Deserve album. This track still possesses all the cheerful qualities that make you want to live for the weekend.
Mid-way through the album, we’re brought back to Earth ironically by second official single, “Turbulence”, an acoustic ballad with a worry free attitude and nice, unhurried melody which will probably have you filling up.“I’ve never done anything like this” is a track in which the voice of American alt-rock musician, Kay Hanley is present on, and, in a nutshell, the song’s about a girl who lies about her previous experiences… another superb piece of comedy gold, courtesy of BFS.
As Bowling for Soups 11th studio album, I believe it’s not a bad effort. What you’ve got to say to yourself is, Jaret, Erik, Chris and Gary are growing up, as they humorously mention in most songs, and although their still living life full of love, beer and inflatable sheep; they may not have as much drive as they used to. All in all, this album is impossible to turn off, although, it just needs a few more BFS antics adding to it!
Madonna has come a long way since the release of her first self titled studio album in 1983. Now she’s back with her twelfth one; 2012’s MDNA…
She kicked off the Super bowl weekend with her new official single and music video from the album; ‘Give me all your Luvin’” with Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. Alongside this, she released the MDNA track list onto ITunes.
Consequently, with the release date drawing nearer, it has already been reviewed by The Guardian, The Telegraph and The Mirror and has caused a stir amongst critics, who appear to be unsure whether they should love it or hate it. A mixed track by track review from The Guardian’s Music Blog states, in one of the album tracks, “memo to Madonna: massive pop stars knowing about dub step is probably a bit old hat now”. Also, the album has been labelled as “weak” in some cases. According to The Telegraph’s Neil McCormick; “lyrics appear to have been added as an afterthought” and as for The Mirror’s Dean Piper, apparently; “she’s nailed it.”
I believe that such big acts like ole’ Madge, who thrive off the attention they once received back in the day, will always continue assembling records that are, predominantly, ‘down with the kids’. This album portrays the image of a middle aged woman craving to be that young disco queen again. However, if you love Madonna and you like to dance around your room whilst getting ready for a night on the town – go out and buy it. You’ll probably love it. The woman may be 53 years of age, but she can still get you on your feet. Much like your mum at weddings.
The album release date is 26th March. Purchase it and tell me what you think… I, on the other hand, am tired of repetative dance beats and copycat club songs.
When I listen to a song and the artist sings with unbridled passion for something close to my heart. I’m a sucker for the lyrics.
For as long as I can remember, I would purchase an eagerly awaited CD, rush home and whip out the lyric booklet from the case, just so I could sing along and construct my own personal meaning, that’s relevant to me. That’s when lyrics became a crucial aspect in the music I would listen to; then and now. They can embrace creativity, meaning, humour, stories and, most importantly, trigger a reminder of a distant memory. A good lyric to me doesn’t necessarily have to be Shakespeare standard, or even Bob Dylan standard for that matter, but it must make me feel something. Even if it just generates laughter.
When the lyrics relate to you, the song can hold an emotional bond or connection with you. For example, if you suffered in the same way as Luka did in the Susanne Vega song, then you will subconsciously develop a feeling of comfort, knowing that you’re not alone in what you’re going through. Some take advice from song lyrics, or even become so taken by them, that they would get them inked on themselves as a reminder for life. Words have a great impact on people; an old man once walked up to me, on the corner of Oxford Road in Manchester, and said “before my friend committed suicide, he told me ‘it’s nice to be important, but more important to be nice’” and with that, he stumbled off into the night. Who’d have thought an encounter so small and insignificant could deliver such a powerful meaning?
The same goes for good lyrics. “Don’t get comfortable, don’t be sensible, swing with all you have, stop me if you can”. Jimmy Eat World always had the gift when it comes to inspiring song writing in my eyes. Although, the lyrics didn’t always necessarily make sense to me, but they did make me feel somewhat motivated to organise my life. Or just get off my arse and make something of myself for that matter. Simplicity sometimes has the best effect in music, even if it doesn’t relate to you. Kimya Dawson once sang, “Joey never met a bike that he didn’t wanna ride, and I never met a Toby that I didn’t like. Scotty liked all of the books that I recommended, even if he didn’t I wouldn’t be offended”. I couldn’t relate to this if I tried. Yet, I fell in love with the childlike simplicity in her words. Some of the greatest artists of all time didn’t have to throw a complex concoction of calligraphy at us to define a ‘good’ lyric; The Beatles simply wrote, “I wanna hold your hand”. They didn’t want to bed you, or dance with you; they just wanted to hold your hand.
Although, it’s not all doom and gloom with me. Humour is also of importance to me in lyrics; hence my undying love for Bowling for Soup, who never fail to brighten my day. The message they send out in their music is, in a nutshell; be young, have fun, cherish friendships, party as much as you can and enjoy life. They don’t take themselves too seriously and they enjoy what they do, and that’s what I hear when I listen to their records. “My Wena is lonely tonight, she cries when I turn out the light, she’s only happy when I’m holding her tight…” Their lyrics always succeed in making me smile and laugh; so their intentions are fulfilled.
Aside from this, of course, it isn’t always the lyrics that have a great impact on your emotional wellbeing; the music itself is a strong factor. If you took the lyrics to ‘Let it be’ and combine them with the music to ‘Killing in the Name Of’, it will not portray the meaning behind the song the way it could and should do. The lyrics then might just become fragments of noise muffled behind the heavy instruments, leaving the true meaning overlooked and lost in a sea of dreadlocks. What’s more, it wouldn’t sound right at all. The music itself can give the lyrics a platform to deliver the words in the correct way. Sometimes guiding the listener to how they should feel.
So, in conclusion, what do lyrics mean to me? They mean whatever I want them to mean. Though, if the music behind the lyrics is equally as good, then I’m sold.
It’s nice to be important, but more important to be nice
So, this is my first blog. I’m going to rambel aimlessly about the recent Christmas break we’ve just dragged ourselves back from. Mine was quite alright.
Even if I did pay for all of my Christmas shopping on my student overdraft.
Well, I was actually hired as a Christmas temp for casual catering and hospitality staff. I attended one shift. For five hours. At Lancashire cricket club. However, I hated watching all of those drunk people on their Christmas do’s having a ball while I got screamed at to transform into bloody superwomen. These people really didn’t care if their food arrived at a particular speed or manner, in fact, they didn’t really care for the food at all. They were drunk and as far as Mancunions are concerned; eating’s cheating. The portions were shitty anyway. I actually felt like apologising to these poor people who paid for what looked like one carrot, one piece of meat and one parsnip with a slither of gravy. And don’t get me started on desserts. Oh, I wasn’t aware The Borrowers are dining with us?
So, for Christmas, I required money, a new red lambs leather jacket, perfume, a Fender amplifier, a dress, a dressing gown, PJs, a lava lamp and lots of Baileys (because people believe I cant function without the stuff). Though plain coffee just doesn’t cut it anymore, unless Baileys is present in the cup. Unfortunately, my mum sees this as more of a ‘problem’ than a ‘pleasure’. Especially when I’ve just woke up, my hair’s stood on end, I am sporting one single sock, whatever I’ve thrown on in the dark the night before, and my eyes are barely open; yet I’m drearily pouring an alcoholic beverage into my morning brew. I don’t understand what all the fuss is about. These days you can’t start off the day with a drop of alcohol without being looked at sympathetically and asked if everything is alright. Madness.
Any who, aside from my new found addiction, I also required a new tattoo. My best friend woke up one day and just thought, ‘I want a tattoo’. So, of course, that day, we went to the local tattoo shop, found a design and he got one. Because it’s in Carl’s nature to impulse buy. However, watching him get one, made me crave one even more. So the next day I got the Claddagh symbol on my lower back. It wasn’t until I watched How I Met Your Mother a few days later, that it occurred to me that the position of the tattoo is actually referred to as a ‘tramp stamp’ sometimes. Fucking great that isn’t it. I like it anyway. It reminds me of the ring my parents bought me when I was younger, which, due to my little fat fingers, I had to get cut out of.
So due to Carl’s attempt to steal the the attention away from Jesus, it was his 21st birthday a few days after Christmas :) So we had the do on New Year’s Eve Eve in the local. Proud Mary by Ike and Tina Turner was played so much that night that everyone who attended was probably singing it in the shower the next morning. Carl, being the queen that he is, acquired more and more accessories as the night went on. Including a bright pink feather bower and a yellow sequined bow tie. We had a great night. We ended it with our own rendition of Proud Mary on karaoke ;)
But then I was locked out of my house, because mum had ventured off to another local bar with her crazy friend to check out the ‘talent’. With the door key. Due to mum’s lack of ability to check her phone, we jumped in another taxi… Just as she rang back saying she was getting in one to come home. So I spent £2 to circle around the block. That driver still owes me 30p. Jammy bastard.
New Years Eve I was hung-over. We had drinks at my house; Carl opened a bottle of champers after the London countdown on the telly. A cheap and easy night :) I remember when I used to wait up on Christmas Eve to see if I could see Santa ride past the moon. Then panic in case he skips my house due to me being awake. Christmas day being so excited that I would even overly admire the wrapping paper. New Years countdown we would have to go through the back of the garage and make our way to the front door to ‘let the new year in’.
The cat does it now.
So my resolution this year is to organise myself, work hard, and seize opportunities. Let’s hope it’s a good one :)