Music Review: One Direction’s “Made in the AM”

thHi everyone,
Being that I’m currently in London, England, I thought a music review about a locally-grown boy band was a bit necessary… Agree? Let’s take a closer look, track-by-track, of the newest album to come out of U.K. hometown favorite One Direction.

1. “Hey Angel”

First off, I would like to preface this by saying that this randomly popped on shuffle as the Tube in the morning arrived at the Angel station. True story, so that’s perfect right there. Okay, now back to the song. It’s catchy and makes me want to dance. However, the lyrics: if they are calling out the “angel” to “come to the other side,” are they insinuating that they are on the evil spectrum, like a devil persona? But, lyrics aside, let’s get back to dancing along.

2. “Drag Me Down”

This song has been out since summer, and I have to admit that I still can’t believe I heard the boys sing it LIVE for the first time on Good Morning America. (An awful mistake I will never again.– To clarify, that’s in reference to the waiting and the weather, not seeing them live for free.)

3.”Perfect”

Again a popular hit, but I can’t get sick of it. It’s such a good tune and it is still my alarm every single  morning.  (Hey, shouldn’t it be?) But seriously, if you don’t think Harry (who wrote the song) wrote it based on T.Swift, listen closely to one specific line at the end about “if you’re looking for someone to write break-up songs about.” Not a very tricky mystery, Mr. Styles.

4. “Infinity”

Okay, so I really liked this as the first preorder track. But, as now I have the entire album, I kind of almost forget about this hit. It’s not bad, it’s just fairly typical of the One Direction sound.

5. “End of the Day”

This is a fun, upbeat song that makes me want to sing (and dance) along. Nothing else to say about it. Also, yes Liam, this is a perfect instinct where your lyric (once again) references hospitals. (Note: this is a reference to something Mr. Liam Payne discussed at the 1D concert I was at in London.)

6.”If I Could Fly”

I. LOVE. THIS. BALLAD. It’s so beautiful and soft, I love it! One of the only ballads about true love. However, I guess should it actually be called “For your eyes only” or something, I mean they say that way more than the actual title which is only muttered at the very beginning of the song.

7. “Long Way Down”

Another good slower tune. I also would like to point out that I do dance along to this track. And it’s harder to dance to, but I have. Anyway, the song, it’s really pretty and I like it. One of my faves.

8. “Never Enough”

This has a very different, but still good, beat. It’s upbeat and fun; I like it. However, the “random noises” you hear between lyrics sounds like something out of the Lion King… Now that I said that, I’ll never be able to un-hear that. Also, this is a song that Liam thinks he could sing over and over again (Haha, anyone catch that small reference to the older days?? Okay, I’m done now.) for the rest of his days, so that indicates something. And you could, I’d be fine with that. It’s really good and fun.

9. “Olivia”

It is so interesting how the first eight seconds shows how the recording process happens, I like that– it’s interesting. It’s upbeat, but not my favorites. The chorus where they sing “I love you, I love you, I love you…. Olivia,” it sounds a bit like they were saying a line and like “word vomit” essentially followed the line; that’s what it sounds like. (Note: No offense to any Olivia’s out there screaming of joy about a track that share their name.)

10. “What A Feeling”

This has serious flashback vibes, with the music and the title. But, that aside, it’s good, in a very retro vibe. The chorus where they all sing together, reminds me of the boys’ X Factor days of all singing in harmony.

11. “Love You Goodbye”

Every album needs at least one break-up song, right? Rumored to be based on the emotional heartbreak of the break-up of Louis Tomlinson and long-time girlfriend Eleanor Calder, it is very emotional and I like it. But then again, ballads tend to be my preference.

12. “I Want to Write You a Song”

Not my favorite song, but it’s still a cute song about an innocent first love story. This seems to have some indie, songwriter, playing-guitar-around-a-campfire vibes embedded in this tune, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

13. “History”

OKAY, WE FINALLY MADE IT HERE. This is definitely one of my favorite tracks on the entire album. I love the music, the lyrics, everything. I love it. And the meaning about it being for the fans is to sweet. Especially, how Niall and their songwriting team brought in the fans to sing on the chorus, like it’s truly for and by the fans. Adorable. Also, that part that “this is not the end,” is a perfect reminder that the boys are going on sabbatical/hiatus (Note: this is in reference to an interview conducted by Nick Grimshaw on Radio 1.) It’s such a cute dedication to the fans and how much they support the boys each and every day.

14. “Temporary Fix”

Love this song! I love the upbeat tempo, and it’s giving me serious “Alive” vibes. For those who don’t know, “Alive” is one of my favorite songs from the “Midnight Memories” album. It’s fun!

15. “Walking in the Wind”

Not my favorite song, but it’s still a cute song. This gives me some indie, songwriter, playing-guitar-around-a-campfire vibes, again not a bad thing. Also, very reminiscent of older hits ala “Story of My Life.”

16. “Wolves”

Upon re-listening to this track, I’m liking it even more! It’s fun, upbeat and I’m enjoying it! The intro is giving me like 50s vibes? Right?!? But, it’s dance-y, also reminds me of “Alive,” which I like.

17. And finally… “AM”

This is very cute. A little cheesy that it’s a song about how good memories are “made in the a.m.” But, it’s adorable.

This is really good FIFTH album boys. I hope you enjoy your… hiatus, and when you come back, know that you’ll still have a fan right here.

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Releasing my inner fangirl at a One Direction concert in London

So, last Monday was the day I went to the ONE DIRECTION concert in London!!! (Can you hear my inner fangirl shrieking?) It was so incredible to see the boys live for the third time, and this time in their home country! 🙂  It was a great night. Now, on to some of the great highlights from their fourth show in London:

  1. Harry told Karen Payne (Liam’s mum), who was there with his older sister, to “stand her pretty a** up” during the show. And they were seated in the same side of the stage as me. No biggie. But, what Harry said was so him and absolutely hilarious.
  2. When reading signs, Liam and Harry found a couple there on their anniversary and they said they had their first kiss watching Elf, to which Harry said, “nothing like… to put you in the mood.” Oh, that’s so Harry…
  3. Liam spoke of how all of his lyrics are about skinny jeans, hospitals and drinking… Well, he’s not wrong… I wonder what a psychologist would say about that one? (And yes, Liam: psychology is a real word. Note: this is a reference to an interview they did with Ellen Degeneres.)
  4. Liam asked if his mum and sister were liking the show. Awww, he’s too cute.
  5. During WMYB (and the whole encore really) Liam and Louis had a huge water fight, chucking entire contents of several water bottles at each other while Harry/ Niall were singing their parts… It was hilarious.

There were so many amazing moments, songs and it was so awesome to be able to see them at their real height and see their faces! 🙂 Ready for some pictures?

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View from my seat! So close to the stage!

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Boys on the main stage.

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Niall and his guitar.

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Liam.

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Harry mastering the “tip the mic stand” move.

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Awww, buddies Liam and Niall…

Side note: who’s looking forward to the release of “Made in the A.M.” next month??

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Leaving on a jet plane…

Hi guys! So, after spending such an incredible summer living in Manhattan, I’ve had to leave. Sad face. But, that means my fall semester adventures can officially begin! I couldn’t be more excited to spend my time living in London, exploring all over the U.K. and Europe, interning with a local business and experiencing all the wonders of traveling, as I so love to do!

Since it’s crunch time for me to get ready for my epic travel adventures, I thought today’s blog post would focus on travel tips and perhaps things I want to do abroad/in London.

WHAT TO KNOW WHEN GOING GLOBAL:

1. Pack light. You don’t need twelve pairs of pants, several ball gowns and six pairs of boots (numbers approximate.). A few pairs of pants, shoes, etc are plenty. Remember, there’s always laundry. And if you pack too much, then you can’t go shopping… So, isn’t it worth it not to overpack?

2. When traveling for an extended period of time, always choose your outfits ahead of time. What I do is lay out all my options and take pictures of complete outfits. It also helps to show you how versatile each piece can be. If you can’t wear an item multiple ways, leave it at home!

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Example from my NYC packing!

3. Dress for comfort on the plane! Especially when you’re on a long flight, always wear clothes that are light and easy to move in. Also, grab a pair of compression socks when traveling internationally! Do you really want an increased risk of blood clots and DVT/ cankles?

4. Make sure you have some identifiable trait that makes your luggage easy to distinguish. I mean, everyone has a black rolling suitcase. Sometimes, I travel with a brightly colored pink suitcase or have a colorful ribbon or luggage tag, so I’ll always be able to i.d. my bags at baggage claim.

5. When on the plane, sleep as much as you can! You don’t want to waste a day when you arrive being jet lagged. (A sleep mask is a great investment!) Hint: the window seat is the best place to fall asleep, as you can lean on the wall. Or, if you are not able to sit at a window seat, you can rest on your tray table or just lean back, but please don’t be that person who leans way too far back, giving the person behind you no space for comfort. (For inspiration on how to avoid jet lag: remember Gilmore Girls? This is what not to do.)

6.When packing, ROLL don’t fold or place flat. Rolling allows you to take up less space, and thus, you can add more to the suitcase. Or you can put everything in Ziplocs or Space Bags, and make sure to get the air out!

7. Just in case your baggage does not make it to your destination on time, always always always make sure to add some extra undergarments, deodorant/ toiletries and a change of clothes in your carryon. (When traveling abroad, you do not want to board the plane with one tiny little purse exclusively.) Adapt to a backpack or big tote and put your essentials inside. This was my lifesaver in Israel last year. (No luggage for 3 out of 10 days is definitely not ideal, but I survived due to preparation.)

8. Pack snacks! You’ll definitely get hungry on a long flight and sometimes the little peanuts or the prepackaged meals won’t really help. So, always bring easy snacks for the length of the flight. However, please don’t be the person with the airport fast food. The entire plane will instantly dislike you, as it stinks up the whole cabin.

9. Speaking of the airlines food options, if you have a meal allergy or specific preference always make a note under the “special requests” section when booking your flight! The last thing you want is to be given some food item that you cannot eat. You can even do it after the ticket is bought, as long as they have 24 hours notice to be able to order everything.

10. With a long flight, I always like to go to the bathroom about an hour before landing to freshen up. Change any clothing items that are no longer fresh or clean/ not weather appropriate, and you can also use this time to freshen up your hair and makeup from the flight.

My London Bucket List:

What do I want to do in London?

  1. Hello? London. Home of TOPSHOP. But, I think that one is quite obvious.
  2. Since I’m staying in Kensington: PETER PAN statue (Finding Neverland!) and Royal Family sightings perhaps?
  3. Well, I already know this one: see One Direction live at the O2 arena!! (Eeep, I’m legit soo excited!)
  4. Fitness/ dance classes at Seen on Screen! (Seems like fun for a dancer like me!!)
  5. Travel… EVERYWHERE. (Well, time and budget permitting)
  6. West End shows! (Obviously…)
  7. Singalong film at the Prince Charles Cinema? I think yes. (I mean, Grease singalong?!?!)
  8. Historical sites that are obviously necessary to visit.
  9. Well, since celeb spotting was a thing in NYC… How about royal spotting?? 😉 Also, I wouldn’t say no to 1D spotting… 😉
  10. Shopping, obvi… (Think Harrods, Spitalfields Market, etc)

I can’t wait to go to London!

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My favorite looks from the Billboard Music Awards red carpet

With tonight’s BBMAs in Vegas, I thought it was appropriate to discuss my fave looks from the carpet.

kendall-jenner-jourdan-dunn-balmain-billboard-music-awards-2015-h724 First off, so excited to hear about the upcoming Balmain x H&M collab! (I mean, Justin Bieber’s Met Gala tux was epic!!) Jourdan Dunn and Kendall Jenner stun in the future collection, and I’ll def have to stop by my local store when the collection is released!

rs_634x1024-150517165629-634.ChrissyJohn-jmd-051715 Tonight’s hostess Chrissy Teigen looks perfect in her perfectly tailored and perfectly styled 70’s-inspired jumpsuit. It looks ahmazing on her. One of the night’s best dressed for sure!

rs_634x1024-150517170511-634.Taylor-Swift-Billboard-Music-Awards.jl.051715 And of course, Miss T. Swift looks perfect in the night’s biggest trend: jumpsuits. And her Bad Blood video? Epic. (Bonus: who caught her cats’ namesakes walking side by side? I did!) Watch it right now if you haven’t seen it.

rs_634x1024-150517155433-634.Danica-jmd-051715 DWTS alum Danica McKellar stuns in her silver, sparkly one-shouldered gown. Gorge.

rs_1024x759-150517170537-1024.OneDirection-jmd-051715 And here’s One Direction. let’s just stare at their beauty for a minute, shall we? (Liam’s smolder.) Plus, who heard Liam’s “we would like to share this with our brother Zayn??” Too adorable. (I can’t wait to see them live in their town: London! First, I saw them in my home state, and now the tables have flipped! Eeeep I’m so excited about it— best study abroad ever!)

rs_634x1024-150517161930-634.Ed-Sheeran-Billboard-Music-Awards.jl.051715 And Ed Sheeran also looks great for one of my fave artists EVER.

rs_634x1024-150517162817-634.Idina-Menzel-Billboard-Music-Awards.jl.051715 And there’s IDINA. Still can’t I saw her perform LIVE!! She’s incredible! If you get a chance, go see If/Then on tour (an awesome show and Idina will be reprising her role this summer!!)

Great looks aplenty, what were your favorite moments and looks from the show?

Directioner Update

After five years, the face of the mega-popular pop band One Direction has changed as we know it.

The official press release, published March 25, reported, “After five incredible years Zayn Malik has decided to leave One Direction. Niall [Horan], Harry [Styles], Liam [Payne] and Louis [Tomlinson] will continue as a four-piece and look forward to the forthcoming concerts of their world tour and recording their fifth album, due to be released later this year.”

Malik responded in the press release, “My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined. But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band. I’d like to apologise to the fans if I’ve let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart. I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight. I know I have four friends for life in Louis, Liam, Harry and Niall. I know they will continue to be the best band in the world.”

Giving his only interview since the big news, Zayn revealed to The Sun, “I did try to do something that I wasn’t happy doing for a while, for the sake of other people’s happiness. I feel like I’ve let the fans down, but I can’t do this anymore. It’s not that I’ve turned my back on them or anything; it’s just that I just can’t do that anymore because it’s not the real me.”

Liam, like the other boys, responded via Twitter:

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Celebs and fans alike have been posting their thoughts via Twitter about Zayn’s desires for happiness and a normal life.

What are your thoughts on Zayn’s decision to leave? Will you remain a 1D fan?

The American Music Awards happened. It’s time for my Red Carpet Breakdown.

Must-see looks of the night:

1. Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 8.36.27 PM Miss Kendall Jenner, fashion’s latest  haute couture It Girl of course is in attendance, and her dress… looks messy, sloppy. Not well put together. I mean, she’s a tall, beautiful girl, stop going for the obvious sexpot look your family is known for, be the high fashion model “Kendall,” you wanted to be called.

2.  Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 8.36.52 PM Selena Gomez, who will perform (for the first time ever) her latest song about the Biebs. This ages her soooo much. It’s too dark, too long. She’s young, having fun: you don’t need to age yourself this much! And that strict bun does not help that cause.

3. Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 8.37.13 PM PLL star Lucy Hale: not crazy about the dress, a little ill-fitting. But, I LOVE LOVE LOVE her hair! The length with the ombre and the styling– perfect!

4. Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 8.52.58 PM I’m loving “Jealous” right now, and here he is, Nick Jonas in the flesh. He looks very dapper, but I’m afraid the silk suit is a little too Academy Awards than AMAs. But, hey, no complaints, obvi, just like any other female fan. (lol.)

5. Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 8.37.25 PM “All About that Bass” singer Meghan Trainor. Love this look, from head to toe. She’s been vocal about not being a size two, and I see a gorge ensemble that I’d want to steal. Perfectly tailored, the bag is jus the perfect amount of “pop.” She looks great. And I’m loving her song, “Dear Future Husband” right now, it’s great.

And of course…

6. Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 8.36.42 PM ONE DIRECTION… sports black-on-black. They look good, well-done, boys. However, Niall looks like the odd man out: the only one dressed very casual when his bandmates are dressed to the nines (Liam! Louis! Zayn!). He looks like he took clothes off the rack from 5SOS’ wardrobe, tbh. And Zayn’s hair: it’s DANNY ZUKO.

Reviewing 1989. (The album, not the year)

 

I know it’s a little late, but I’ll be reviewing T.Swift’s new pop-online album. First off, I wanted to say how I was initially concerned that I wouldn’t like the album, but I really do like it. It’s well-written and very catchy. A+ Miss Swift. Can I just say how yesterday at chapter, our president asked who had this album. I proudly raised my hand: it’s that good.

Tracklist for 1989:

Welcome to New York. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this song!!! And not to mention, it came out the day I found out I was accepted to go to NYC this summer. I call that fate. It’s so catchy and peppy. It’s making so excited to be in the city this summer. And it’s the official NY tourism song, insane right? Yes, “New York has been waiting for me.” Love this song.

Blank Space. Easily one of my favorite songs off the album. It’s pure perfection and I love it! “It’s gonna be forever or worth the pain. I got a blank space baby and I’ll write your name.” I love it. PERECTION in terms of a song.

Style. So peppy and upbeat, it makes me want to dance! 🙂 Ugh, I’m waiting for a dance to it on DWTS!

Out of the Woods. The iTunes preview doesn’t do this song any justice. It’s great. And is it really about HARRY STYLES??? Can someone confirm? As a journalist, I want to know the truth! (Haha, lol.)

All You Had to do Was Stay. Amazing. Love it. So great. 

I Wish you Would. LOVE LOVE. Great song. So peppy.

Bad Blood. Oh wow, this is so catchy. More importantly, who is Taylor feuding with??

Wildest Dreams. At first, I didn’t like it. But it’s growing on me as a sweet ballad.

How You Get the Girl. I LOVE THIS SONG. Hands down, one of the best off the album. It’s very dance-y and I love it. It’s even my alarm. 

This Love. Not bad, a sweet ballad.Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 4.49.14 PM

I Know Places. Kinda haunted. (haha, I just realized that pun. Oh wow, that was not intended.) But, really good.

Clean. The one song I’m not crazy about. 

No matter my tastes, I think we can all agree that Taylor did a great job on this album, and as Brad Paisley said, “New York’s gain is Nashville’s loss.”

And speaking of music, One Direction just released a new track off their soon-to-be-released album, called “Ready to Run.” I love it because it’s more than their traditional past songs that are very dance-y. It’s a beautiful ballad, and I really like the mature sound. Great job, One Direction, great job. It’s mature, well-written and catchy. I love it. People are comparing it to Steal My Girl: but I don’t see that. (Partly because I wasn’t a fan of the previous single, but Ready to Run: it’s good.)

LISTEN HERE.