Music Review: Bedroom Floor By Liam Payne

I have decided to do something different from what I normally do, a review on a song! Now if you don’t know who Liam Payne is, let me tell you. He was a member of the extremely known boy band One Direction. As they are currently on hiatus, the members have decided to pursue solo acts, so far Liam and Zayn have had the most luck.

“Bedroom Floor” was released on the 20th of October this year, and it will be on his upcoming album (which he claims will be released in January). It was written by Charlie Puth, and he does indeed make an appearance in the song.

The song starts off with a bit of a tropical sounding entrance, but the lyrics are anything but happy.

Baby, heard you’ve been talking about me lately
Telling all your friends how much you hate me
But who you calling up when you get lonely?
When you get lonely, yeah
You be saying real, real nice, real nice things
When I’m touching you
You be getting real, real, real, real, real jealous
When it wasn’t you, oh
And every now when my iPhone, iPhone rings
I be telling you
I told you, I told you, I told you
You said it was over
You said it was over
But your clothes say different on my bedroom floor
This song may not seem like anything different than a normal song when you just read the lyrics. You may just think to yourself “Oh look, another pop song”. But Liam does something different with his voice that sets him apart from all of the other pop singers. He sings this song entirely in a falsetto. In case you don’t know what a falsetto is, it is a high note, which is very hard for a man to sing, but Liam hits every note perfectly! Especially live.
An interesting part of the song is that you would think itis from his perspective, but It actually isn’t. If you were to watch the music video, you would see that it is indeed from a women’s perspective. As Liam stated “But it’s very nice. I like the fact that it is empowering on the woman’s side, because it’s not often that you see it from this angle.”.
In case you were wondering where Charlie comes in, he makes the phone call noise!
If you are looking for a new tune to add to your playlist, I have reason to believe this would be it!
-Skylar N.

2017 American Music Awards

Last night was the first time I watched the American Music Awards (AMA’s). The lineup for the performances was incredible. Some of the amazing artists that performed were Demi Lovato, Shawn Mendes, Niall Horan, Selena Gomez, and international k-pop sensation BTS. The awards were held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angelos, CA. There were awards given out like “Artist of the year,” “Favorite male and female artist,”  “New Artist of the year,”  and many more. Also last night, Christina Aguilera honored Whitney Houston singing the songs, “I Will Always Love You,” “I Have Nothing,” “Run To You,” and “I’m Every Woman”.
Selena Gomez performed for the first time after her kidney transplant surgery. She sang her newest song “Wolves,” which was a collab between her and Marshmello, released only three days ago. Shawn Mendes performed his hit song “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” which got the crowd jamming out with him. For me, one of the most shocking performances last night was P!nk’s performance. She performed her song “Beautiful Trauma” on the side of the JW Marriot Hotel… at a 90-degree angle!! I remember watching the performance in fear that something might go wrong. Lastly, the boy-band that’s taking the social media world by a storm- BTS. BTS is a South-Korean band consisting of seven members, each having their own personality and style. They performed their song, “DNA” from their latest album Love Yourself: Her. The audience went crazy when The Chainsmokers announced that BTS would be performing. This was BTS’ very first performance on American TV, and they absolutely killed it! Watching the awards made me excited to watch next year’s American Music Awards. 

Opera, Opera, Opera!

Would you pay $26 to see Lin-Manuel Miranda in Hamilton on Broadway, live?

I know few Orange County friends who love opera, let alone are willing to see one. This may be because Orange County has few operas. I’ve been looking! The Segerstrom Center for the Arts has some performances, but Costa Mesa is pretty far. Moreover, it only has concert performances (full shows done without staging or costumes in front of an orchestra).

Recently, I discovered my favorite opera, Carmen, broadcasted live for free on the Santa Monica Pier from the LA Opera. The LA Opera is the grandest local opera house, and witnessing something this professional live was moving. Dancers were hired from the depths of Spain for a genuine Spanish vibe, and costumes shimmered and poofed in all their Spanish glory. Tickets are at least $90 for a “cheap” theatre seat, in which performers can barely be seen or heard; free showings are unheard of!

My friends and I zoomed to the pier and fangirled over the huge stage and thick French accents. The music can be found in our playlists; we hummed along the whole time. The opera is risqué, funny, and dazzling. If more people had access to opera in Orange County, I’m sure we could love and appreciate it the way this crowd did on the Santa Monica Pier. It was so enjoyable!

The Live at the Met series is broadcasting full operas live from the Metropolitan Opera House in most Regal movie theatres. This is the best opera house in the country! I’ve never seen a bigger stage, and the cameras show so much detail I can see reflections in the characters’ eyes. Tickets are around $26, with over 10 operas this year! More than the average movie ticket, but very cheap compared to live tickets, often at Hamilton prices ($855+). Only internationally famous and experienced singers have been cast! If you’re an opera fan like me or are ready to behold these regal performances, please come and support the art by attending. Few people know about it, but more should.

This is the same as $26 to see Lin-Manuel Miranda in Hamilton live on Broadway, in the movie theatre!

The Orange County School of the Arts is also doing L’Enfant et Les Sortilèges in the spring, so look out for that!

Meanwhile, I will be hunting down local operas. I’m determined to find performances in Mission Viejo! Operas can be expensive, but I’m working on finding deals so teens can experience this difficult and powerful art form at an accessible price. I’ll keep you updated!

What local opera productions do you know of? Please comment to let me know!

-Jessica F.

Rhianna

The Goddess herself, Robyn Rhianna Fenty was born in the beautiful islands of Barbados in Saint Michael’s. She is currently 29 years old born, February 20th, 1988. She began her career recording demo tapes under record producer Evan Rogers in 2003. She then worked her way up and signed a contract with Def Jams Recording.

She is now worth millions and produces hundreds of beautiful songs. Her music gives females a sense of girl power and makes you want to get up and dance. The artist won a Grammy Award for her album Apologetic and is one of the best selling artists of all time. Her sales exceed 230 million records worldwide.

My favorite songs have to be “Too Good” that she featured in with Drake, “Disturbia”, “What’s My Name”, and “Stay”. She is a huge inspiration to me, that if you strive for greatness, there’s nothing left than to become perfection. I’m absolutely in love with rich Barbadian accent and her style. If I had the ability to spend one day with a famous music artist, without a doubt it would be Rhianna.

Drake

Rappers nowadays are only singing about money, girls, and gangs. Absolutely no purpose or feelings behind what they sing about in their videos. This makes it hard to believe there are any rap singers out there worth listening to. With such a strong opinion about music these days, I’m very picky when it comes to listening to music. But, I can optimistically that the artist Drake is not like the others.

Aubrey Drake Graham is 30 years old and was born October 24th, 1986 in Ontario, Canada. He started off in the teen drama “Degrassi” and moved onto music around 2009. His hip hop and R&B music is known all around the world for the catchy, upbeat songs. He sings about his hometown Toronto, ” the 6″ along with his family and friends. His most recent album More Life has been played on the radio, spoken about on TV, and even been featured in magazines! Drake is known for his charm, his way with words, and his ability to touch your soul with his music. Predictable, at least 80% of all his fans are girls and more are to come. He is an amazing rapper and a great musical influence. His songs range from let’s get crazy and dance to let’s sip some wine and cry. Drake is the way to go if you’re trying to get down at the club or lay in bed and think about life.

My Reading Playlist

I know some people aren’t able to listen to music while reading, but I like to, and decided to compose a playlist consisting of most of the songs I listen to while I read. I generally avoid listening to anything too loud and/or busy so that I won’t be too distracted. Hope you all enjoy 🙂 

Here are some of the bands I listen to:

Grizfolk: I stumbled across this band on Spotify, and I absolutely love their music! I was sort of surprised when I realized that not very many people have heard of them. Their sound is very unique and clear, which I like. I often just play the band’s playlist on Spotify, but I do have some favorite songs: Bob Marley, Waking Up the Giants, and The Struggle. 

Young the Giant: This band is more popular than Grizfolk, and I also discovered them on Spotify. I really like the band’s style and their lyrics are really meaningful. Some of my favorite songs from them are: Art Exhibit, Waves, and Firelight. 

The Fray: I’ve been listening to The Fray for a while now, I don’t really remember how I found them, but I really liked their songs. Most of them are fairly calming and tranquil, which is great for reading. They use a lot of piano, which makes for graceful music. My favorite songs by them are: Never Say Never, Ungodly Hour, and You Found Me. 

Cage the Elephant: I love this band so much! Their sound is so unique, and I love the riffs they come up with for their songs. Their music is definitely louder than the bands I discussed above, but I still enjoy listening to them while I read. Some of my favorite songs by them are: Cold Cold Cold, Whole Wide World, and Come a Little Closer. 

Imagine Dragons: This is, and has been one of my favorite bands since I first began listening to their music. I love all the different percussion they use in their songs, and I love how different all of their tracks are (I also love their album art!). My favorite songs by them are: Dream, Who We Are, and Battle Cry. 

Queen: Queen is my favorite band of all time! I love their sound, their lyrics, but mostly, I just think Freddie Mercury has an amazing voice. I’ve always thought that their name: Queen, was so fitting. Their music, to me, sounds regal, If that makes any sense. Additionally, their sound is so distinctive, which is largely what makes a band successful. I honestly love all of their songs, but here are some of my favorites: Killer Queen, Don’t Stop Me Now, and of course, Bohemian Rhapsody. 

Les Trois Accords: This is a French rock band from Quebec, whose music I find very unique and fun to listen to. I can’t understand all of the words to their songs, but I think that’s fine for while I read. My favorite songs from them are: Le bureau du médicine, Bamboula, and Vraiment Beau.

Here are some other songs that I like to listen to while I read:

  • Kryptonite by 3 Doors Down
  • Superman (It’s Not Easy) by Five for Fighting
  • Work Song by Hozier
  • Always by Panic! at the Disco
  • Be Yourself by Audioslave
  • Wonderwall by Oasis
  • Valerie by Amy Winehouse
  • I Miss You by Blink-182
  • Santeria by Sublime
  • These Days by The Black Keys
  • Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd
  • Jumper by Third Eye Blind
  • Time in a Bottle by Jim Croce
  • Wake Me Up When September Ends by Green Day
  • 21 Guns by Green Day

-Elina T.

You can find these albums and more with Hoopla, a streaming music service available for free with your library card. 

A Tribute to Chester Bennington

Chester Bennington was an extraordinary and talented musician, most prominently known for his role as lead vocalist for Linkin Park. He was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, and he developed an interest in music at a very young age. His childhood was troubling: his parents got a divorce when he was eleven, he began abusing drugs, and he was picked on at school. He drew solace in writing songs and poetry and was able, with difficulty and after denouncing drugs, to pull through and achieve his true dream of becoming a professional musician.

As stated earlier, Chester Bennington was a member of the band Linkin Park, a popular rock band. He worked in tandem with Mike Shinoda to write the lyrics for the band’s debut album: Hybrid Theory, which was an enormous success. The band continued producing albums, some of the most popular of which are Minutes to Midnight, and Meteora, and have sold over 70 million albums worldwide. Chester also co-founded the band Dead by Sunrise and was recruited to Stone Temple Pilots when the former singer of the band, Scott Weiland, left.

My favorite song by Linkin Park and Chester Bennington is called “Castle of Glass”, from the album Living Things. It sounds very different from a lot of their other music, which is often composed generously of rap and other electronic elements. Although the song was given mixed reviews by critics, I absolutely love it. I admire the use of imagery and metaphors, especially with the title. Glass is fragile, but castles are supposed to be strong and fortifying. The line: “‘Cause I’m only a crack in this castle of glass” is repeated throughout the song, which I think is a very strong metaphor. To me, the castle (of glass) represents a person, and the crack represents hurt or an injury that the person has sustained. Though the injury or hurt may seem insignificant, a crack on a castle made of glass would greatly affect and even threaten the whole structure. If pushed upon even just a little, the crack would grow exponentially. The fact that he says “…I’m just a crack…” makes me feel as if he (or the person) feels insignificant, when in fact, he could be the cause of the entire structure’s demise.

Though I only discussed one song in detail, I do appreciate the band and Chester Bennington very much. The lyrics that Chester has written are unique, introspective, and compelling, and I think that he was definitely one of my favorite singers/songwriters. I love the music that he produced; the sound and feel to it was always very distinctive. He was a very strong, gifted, and inspirational person. Chester Bennington will be sorely missed by many. May he rest in peace.

-Elina T.