Ariana Grande: ‘Sweetener’ Album Review

Hello,

It’s been a while since I posted an album review and I’m beside myself with excitement to be returning with a hugely anticipated record, Sweetener, by pop princess, Ariana Grande.

Released on 17th August 2018, Sweetener, Ariana’s fourth studio album has been long awaited since her last record, Dangerous Woman, which dropped in 2016 and gained mass global success.

Tracks from Sweetener that we have already been blessed with include No Tears Left To Cry, God is a Woman and duet with Nicki Minaj, The Light is Coming which have all done fantastically in the UK and US charts.

As always, a disclaimer before I begin. I am no music expert nor do I know anything about the technicality of it. I am simply a music listener and lover and all of what you’re about to read is completely my own personal opinion.

The album has 15 tracks, including collaborations with Pharrell, Missy Elliott and of course, Nicki Minaj. The record collectively adds up to 48 minutes.

THE REVIEW:

Track 1 – ‘raindrops (an angel cried)’:

Ariana starts the record with an acoustic intro. It’s very ‘Over the Rainbow’-esque, which I know Ariana is a huge fan of. However, she wastes no time in showing off her angelic vocal range. The perfect way to open an album.

Track 2 – ‘blazed’ ft. Pharrell Williams:

Instantly, Ariana brings out the vocal layering she’s became so well known for! No one harmonises with Ariana Grande as good as…well, Ariana Grande. I think this tracks is quite influenced by soul and Motown, picking up from the melody and the vocal choices. From the first beat of the song, you can already tell Pharrell has had his clever little fingertips all over this track and in true Pharrell nature, produces a very catch track and chorus.

Track 3 – ‘the light is coming’ ft. Nicki Minaj: 

I’m not going to talk too much about this track as I’m guessing the majority of people have heard it already. When I first heard the song, I wasn’t keen at all. I loved Nicki’s addition to the track and thought her vocals really added something to what otherwise was quite a meh song for me. However, the more I’ve listened to it the more I’ve began to like it. I just wish Nicki had maybe another short verse to break up the song a bit more.

Track 4 – ‘R.E.M’:

If I didn’t already know that R.E.M was a reworked Beyonce track, I would have picked up on it within seconds of listening. It’s nice to see Ariana exploring more of an RnB sound on her album as her voice is compatible with the melodies typically used in rhythm and blues music. For Ariana, this track lets her play about with similar styles of vocal arrangement that her musical inspirations, Beyonce, Whitney, Mariah etc are familiar with. It would be amazing if, for a special release, Beyonce could do a short feature of the song.

Track 5 – ‘God is a woman’:

Nothing but scalding hot tea from the queen that is Ariana Grande. We’ve been blessed, God is truly a WOMAN. I’m obsessed with this song, from the high head voice to the RnB beat, it’s a masterpiece. I can’t not mention the music video too, a work of art and the quote from Madonna snatched wigssss.

Track 6 – ‘sweetener’:

It’s time for the title track. If I had to pick out a track on the album that was most similar to her debut album, Yours Truly. However, as expected out of a woman who has grown up and found her musical identity, the lyrics are more mature. Sticking with the typical Ariana piano led melody we all know and love, a synth flair gives it that 80s/90s flair that brings in just a flavour of Mariah. I love this track and the positivity of the lyrics. A perfect fit for a title track.

Track 7 – ‘successful’:

If you ever needed a song to be motivated by, it’s this one. Ariana talks about how successful she is and rightly so, she’s a star that’s had to battle the menaces of fame to come out the other end. It’s great to hear a woman singing about her successfulness rather than having it shoved in our face by male artists and their nine layers of gold chains for once! Once again, Ariana’s vocals sound outstanding playing alongside an angelic lulling piano with a soul/funk beat, a sound that’s became so staple to her vocal identity.

Track 8 – ‘everytime’:

For me, everytime, is the most typical current style for pop music right now. The heavy beat is used alot by the likes of Katy Perry and Taylor Swift and that’s simply because, it works. Its gives some dimension to a song, being able to build up the rhythm. This track is super easy listening. Just one thing, I would love maybe a rap feature on this, perhaps Chance or Quavo?

Track 9 – ‘breathin”:

This track completely sums up to me, who Ariana is as an artist right now. One of my favourites on the album on the first listen with sweet lyrics, a catchy pop beat and insane vocals. ‘breathin’ lets us have a little insight into Ariana’s struggles and her lows, which carries nicely onto the next track where she picks herself up again.

Track 10 – ‘no tears left to cry’:

When Ariana first released this song, I was fully expecting a sad song that maybe gave insight into how Grande was coping with the dreadful Manchester attacks in 2017. Instead, we got a BOP. I’m not joking when I say I played this song for at least one entire week without listening to a single other song. The dancey pop had me dancing about and attempting the high notes at every turn. I really think it’s such a brave move to release such an upbeat song after attacks but it’s done exactly what Grande wanted and brought positivity and optimism.

Track 11 – ‘borderline’ ft. Missy Elliott:

Yeeeeees, come through Fergalicious vibes! This track reminds me of old style Fergie, who I love and miss, come back girl! You can really hear the RnB direction Ariana seems to be steering in clearly on this mellow dance track. Missy feature is nice, short but sweet, which is the premise of the album itself.

Track 12 – ‘better off’:

I love how on this album, Ariana stays completely true to who shes is. You can hear the tracks that could fit into her previous releases and how she’s grown in ability since. I think better off sounds like it’s been plucked straight off of My Everything, which perhaps is comparing her feelings to the person who influenced the second album, to how she sees them now. It’s a easy listening break up song, where Ariana talks about wanting to feel free and wild once again.

Track 13 – ‘goodnight n go’:

This track, played straight after better off, to me shows a sequence of Ariana trying to think about herself and her goals but being unable to ignore her feelings for someone. Comparing to the lyrics in better off, Ariana seems to have found someone who let’s her be young, free and does not dim her shine. Yas, gal! This track is such a sweet love song, which brings us onto the next song.

Track 14 – ‘pete davidson’:

When I first heard Ariana was dedicating a song on her album to her fiance, Pete Davidson, I was concerned. Such a big decision. However, after hearing the track and Ariana referring to Pete as her ‘soulmate’, I thought why the hell not! Why shouldn’t she be singing about her love for her man. The track, which includes a beautiful violin led outro, is again short and sweet but fitting to the structure of the album.

Track 15 – ‘get well soon’:

Ariana bringing back in the broadway/jazz influences with heavy piano, my favourite. I love the way she sounds on this track, it’s really fresh in the current musical climate, although using classic styles. Her harmonies and ad-libs are just incredible as per usual. She’s ending her album on a bang, definitely not a fizzle.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Without a doubt, Sweetener is set to top charts. Ariana has outdone herself once again, keeping true to her musical identity but trying new little flairs to keep her fans hot on their toes. The album has a lot of shorter tracks, which fits in with the purpose of the record, shedding light and positivity, especially after the horrific events of 2017. This is an album both, Ariana, herself and the fans really needed.

The record bursts with happiness and it’s great to see that Ariana is content in her life and it really shows through her music. I can’t wait for tour, I’ll definitely be buying tickets!

 

To view my previous post, click here.

Thanks for reading,

Chanel

x

 

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Things you might be missing on Netflix

Hi,

At this point, I’m pretty sure almost every man, woman and dog has used Netflix at some part of their life. Whether it’s been for just the free trial or as a dedicated subscriber, the streaming site is a blessing when it comes to avoiding boring Saturday night TV and annoying adverts every 5 minutes.

As we already know, Netflix stream hugely popular television and films from Hollywood production companies such as Breaking Bad, Suits and Peaky Blinders, which all have cult followings. However, Netflix also produce their own content that has proved to be wildly popular and challenges the global broadcasting giants. These shows include Orange is the New Black, Stranger Things and most recently, Queer Eye.

However, as talked about these shows and films are, not all content on Netflix is given the same amount of publicity. I filtered through some of my favourite shows on Netflix that may have gone under the radar but are well worth the watch!

 

The Get Down

get-down

I’m going to start off with my favourite find ever on Netflix…The Get Down. When the show first premiered on Netflix, I believe it had amazing press reviews and still I had no real intention of watching. For no particular reason either. It wasn’t until I realised that the show was the brainchild of Baz Luhrmann aka. the genius behind Moulin Rouge!, The Great Gatsby and Romeo + Juliet, that I thought I’d give it a watch. My god, what a sensational show!

Based in 1970’s South Bronx, the story follows Ezekiel, a young teen with a talent for poetry and words who finds himself in an unlikely friendship with a aspiring DJ and part time criminal, Shaolin Fantastic. The pair begin to produce music together and form ‘The Get Down Brothers’. The show incorporates love, youth, friendship, betrayal and the struggles of the Bronx.

I can’t praise this show enough, the musical talent is insane and the characters are easy to love. I’m devastated they’re not doing another season.

Easy

netflix_easy_cast

Now, here’s a show I bet you’ve either never heard of/heard little about. If you didn’t catch the show on it’s release then there’s a good chance you won’t even know it exists because no one really talks about it!

Easy is one of those, super-easy, stick it on whilst you’re having brekkie kind of programmes. However, it does have quite a bit of nudity so if you have little one’s it’s maybe not the breakfast show for you!

Easy is a series that covers all sorts of relationships and their issues, whether romantically or sexual. Each episode brings a new scenario with new people, with a select handful of couples making a return for the second series. Definitely worth a watch!

 

GLOW

Screen_Shot_2017_08_11_at_09.58.34.0

Although I’ve seen quite a lot of advertisement for GLOW, I’ve not seen many people raving about it, which I don’t understand because it’s fantastic.

GLOW, Glamorous Ladies of Wrestling, is a TV series based in the 80s which features a bunch of struggling, aspiring actresses who join the cast of a brand new TV programme where women wrestle. A popular concept or the era.

I found it so easy to get attached to the characters and the second series is just as enjoyable as the first. Girl Power!

 

Santa Clarita Diet

santa-clarita-diet

If you’re into weird, out there programmes, then this one is for you!

Drew Barrymore plays a happy go lucky, real estate agent who lives a peaceful, simple life until one day contracts a disease which transforms her into a flesh-eating zombie. The show follows how her character finds human food, by help from her devoted husband and daughter, all whilst trying to find a cure.

The show is quite strange and gruesome, but the light-hearted humour makes the story enjoyable and hilarious.

 

That’s all from me,

Thanks,

Chanel

x

ABQ London- Breaking Bad Bar Experience

Hello,

If you’re a TV show fan like myself then you would have definitely seen or if not, heard of the television king that is Breaking Bad. A show all about a chemistry professor on his mission to pay for his own cancer treatment through the production and distribution of crystal meth, which leads to some… interesting scenarios.

I watched the show about 3 years ago and was completely blown away with the quality of the production, script writing and the performances by the actors on the show. Who doesn’t love Bryan Cranston?

As me and my best friend, Ellen, are both huge fans of the show we decided that whilst we were in London for a short break, we’d visit the Breaking Bad bar which we’d seen a friend post photos of a few years ago.

The bar is located in Cambridge Heath, close to the Cambridge Heath overground. Although we found it easier to just hop on the tube, get off at Bethnal Green and do the 10-15 minute walk to the bar. Make sure you leave plenty of time to get to the bar, we ended up having to run in 21 degree heat to make our time slot!

Once we arrived, we found the infamous RV, which was already blasting music and were greeted by energetic staff who were hyping the energy up. After we clambered inside our yellow jumpsuits and felt like true cooks, we stepped inside the RV to be greeted by insane decor. A array of little tables with metal drums to sit on, a massive Heisenberg wall feature, mood lighting and scientific apparatus. Fitting in about 25 people into one RV, they made fantastic use of the space they had.

On arrival, we were met by Z and Becks who, along with the rest of the staff were always in character and helped us feel at ease and made sure we were making our drinks correctly.

We were given two Mojito’s with an extra twist as a welcome drink as the drink list and mixing were explained. We then got a choice of what drink we wanted to make for ourselves first. Being prosecco lovers, the Wendy Martini was a certain pick for us.

With the Wendy Martini, we first had to infuse the alcohol through funnels and beakers. Possibly the most fun/tastiest part of the whole night was then creating white chocolate bubbles by blowing into a beaker filled with a concoction of food science goodness. After, we served up the drinks and maybe overdid it with the amount of bubbles we scooped on!

By this point we were already pretty tipsy (hence the bad photography, I’m sorry im incapable of using my camera at the best of times and a few drinks don’t help).

Our second choice of drink experiment was ‘Blow’. We asked which drink was the strongest and that’s how we came to pick this particular mix. When the ingredients arrived, Ellen and I gave each other a suspicious look…we were definitely in a Breaking Bad bar. But don’t worry it’s just sugar and all part of the fun.

Once we’d finished our drinks, we took a few pictures, had a quick chat to the staff and the lovely couple we were sat opposite too before taking off our jumpsuits and heading off into the night (onto another bar…and then another…and then my head was down the toilet bowl).

We had an absolutely fantastic time at ABQ London and I’d highly, HIGHLY recommend the experience, especially if you’re a fan of the show! Great atmosphere, lovely staff and a whole lot of fun making the drinks. It’s definitely amazing value for money!

You can find the link to their site and more information here.

Thanks for reading,

Chanel

x

 

 

 

Viking Digital Photography Masterclass with Elouisa Georgiou

Hello,

In a week full of firsts: England winning their first ever penalty shootout at a World Cup, the first ever successful double hand transplant in the UK and the first time Georgia had her heartbroken on national TV show, Love Island (we love you gal!). I attended my first ever blogging event!

With only starting my blog at the beginning of the year, I was absolutely overjoyed when I received an email inviting me to a bloggers event in Newcastle. Me? Little Nel? Getting an invite to mingle with other bloggers and learn useful tips? I’m there!

I’m not going to lie…I was bricking it. I spent the week running up to the event worrying about feeling the odd one out, panicking that no one would like me and the biggie, I knew no one on a personal/friendly level. However, when I arrived at the venue, I bumped into Ruby and Helena, who were more than lovely and allowed me to tag along with them.

The lovely team at Viking teamed up with professional photographer Elouisa Georgiou to create a Digital Photography Masterclass at The Botanist. A gorgeous venue, that was ideal for us bloggers who love a good picturesque environment! The masterclass was based around teaching us how to look more carefully at camera settings, lighting and the ways we can alter aspects of a set up to get the prime shot.

Firstly, as we all sat with complimentary prosecco in hand (massive brownie points to the genius behind the free booze), Elouisa talked us through some of the basics of manual photography, an area that was completely alien to me as I usually just stick my camera on auto and hope for the best. Talking about ISO, aperture and shutter speed, it allowed us to get a sense of how to change our settings depending on the light, the motion of the subject and shooting products in the foreground and background.

After the talk, we were encouraged to try some of the things we’d been taught for ourselves. Chatting to fellow bloggers Niamh, Rachael, and Cat, we soon found out that none of us really had any idea how to use our cameras or where to even begin.

The first task we had were flatlays. I think most bloggers dream of having dreamy flat lays of beautiful products and food but the reality is, it’s a faff if you don’t know what you’re doing and can’t get a nice result. Elouise really helped with understanding how to frame the photos and how to use my camera to increase the quality of the shot. I’ll definitely be giving flatlays for of a go with my newfound flatlaying confidence!

We also played about with bounce boards and prisms to manipulate light and eradicate shadows. I’d honestly never thought about adding different textures and light flares to my images to make them more interesting, but after having seeing some of the other bloggers photography with the use of prisms, I’ll be trying it out!

Once we’d had our fun, we all sat down for some delicious food and a cocktail on the house whilst our photos were being printed for Elouisa to judge. I loved hearing all the different conversations of how varied people’s lives are but we all found our way to blogging as a hobby and outlet.

Elouisa then chose her winner of the photography competition, it was time to say goodbye! We were all given a tips and tricks sheet running over everything that had been said so we could practise at home and we even got given a tripod as a pressie!

Thank you to Viking and Elouisa for the invite and being so welcoming.

I had the best night with lovely people in a gorgeous surrounding and learned so much about photography and camera settings that I hope and pray can help me improve my photos. Watch this space!

Thanks for reading,

Chanel

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Struggling with Adult Acne

Hello everyone,

It’s been such a long time since I’ve written on my blog. I explained in my last post that I wouldn’t be posting until I had my Twitter account unlocked as it is my main blogging tool. However, I’ve been pining to get back to writing and the fact of the matter is, I can’t wait any longer! So here I am to talk about something that has affected me since I hit my late teens/adult years.

During my teenage years, when acne is present amongst pretty much everyone your age, I really didn’t have too much trouble with my skin. I was very lucky and only had the occasional spot with nothing too worrying. For a long time, I was insanely grateful to my skin as not only am I a redhead, I also wear glasses and the thought of acne in my teen years turned me into the typical bully victim we all know and love depicted on screen and in books.

It wasn’t until I turned 19, where I started noticing my skin wasn’t cooperating with me as much as it previously had done. The one place where I seemed to be getting recurring spots was my chin. At first, I thought it was the makeup I was using as I had recently changed my beauty routine. My mother thought it might be because I was using too much skincare, which she still blames today.

As the spots became more frequent, they also began to change in appearance. From little red marking to huge cystic under the skin boils which would be extremely painful and have left me scarred as a result.

Over the last few years, I’ve used multiple products claiming to aid in the fight against acne. I honestly can’t explain how many scrubs, face masks, serums, moisturisers, oils, strips, I’ve been through. I’ve used EVERYTHING. For the most part nothing has really helped.

Last year, I decided to take things to the GP. The option I had been dreading. I don’t like treating my body with medicine unless it is absolutely necessary and would much rather try and find a more natural remedy.

The GP explained that acne on the chin is caused by an imbalance of hormones that occured in a great deal of women and that using a hormone balancing drug would help my skin return to normal.

She put me on Limecycline, a huge sized tablet that I couldn’t take. I’m terrible at taking tablets to begin with and this was my worst nightmare. I cried for a good 45 minutes before hopping onto google and searching if there were any alternatives.

Instead of taking the medication, I found a natural oil, Evening Primrose Oil. The tablets came in different sizes and were all from an organic source. I purchased some from Holland & Barrett and started taking them immediately.

It took a little while before I began to see any results but there were differences to my skin. The cystic spots were smaller and smaller each time my skin flared up. I stayed on Evening Primrose Oil for a good 10 months before deciding that I wanted to give my body a break and see what would happen to my skin.

Mistake.

The acne came back. At this point, I was so fed up that I went to see my GP again and she instead put me on an antibiotic cream. I used the cream when I seen my skin was flaring up and it definitely helped.

Now I’m at a place where I’m not 100% happy with my skin, I still have the odd flare up and I have a lot of texture/scarring on my skin but I don’t get cystic boils anymore and that’s good enough for me.

My confidence is still controlled by how my skin looks though and I’m working my way to feeling more comfortable in myself and realising that I’m not the only one with skin concerns which is a more complicated concept to believe than you may think.

I try not to use as many products on my skin now. If I feel like my skin is flaring up, I’ll use a little tea tree oil and hope for the best.

This post was inspired by Joe Sugg’s video on his adult acne which he posted a few months ago on his Youtube Channel that has made me think ever since about how I look at my own skin journey. You can watch the video here.

I decided to talk about my struggle with acne as I want to hopefully find a permanent solution to my skin concerns and when I do, I’ll be writing about everything I’ve tried during the process.

If you’re reading this and also struggle with acne of any type, you’re not alone and there will be a solution out there for you. It might take a little while to find it and it’s hard not to be impatient when you’re trying so many different products and routines and watching thousands of Youtube videos! Trust me, I’ve been there!

Thanks for reading,

Chanel

x

 

Why I Haven’t Been Blogging…

Hello,

I wasn’t going to post about my why I’ve been absent from blogging over the last few weeks but I began to feel guilty and anxious about not explaining the situation.

The issue is not with blogging itself, I love my blog, I love writing and I have plenty of posts ready to be uploaded. However, I’ve been having major issues with my Twitter account which is linked directly to this blog.

Last week, I attempted to change my date of birth on Twitter as it wasn’t correct and I’ve been locked out of my account with a threat of it being closed down! They claim that I need to be 13 to own a Twitter account and I’m 21 so I’ve sent of a request form to sort the issue.

I’ve had my Twitter for a LONG time and I use to for interaction with other Bloggers, BlogChats and for promoting my newest blog post. Twitter is a key tool for my blog and without it, I am completely lost.

I’ve heard a great deal of people have also had the same issue with their account and are also waiting to hear a response. I’m hopeful I will get my account back but it may take some time, which is the main reason my blog has been quiet.

I’ll be back soon hopefully!

Thanks,

Chanel

x

A Trip to Bergen, Norway.

Hello!

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter then you’ll probably know that I’ve been on a cruise around the Norwegian Fjords. It was my first time out of the country in almost two years and the Fjords were a little area of the world that my Mam had always talked about visiting. In our mission to make as many memories as possible, we booked a cruise from Newcastle to Norway as soon as we had positive news on the progression of her treatment.

Our first port of call was the beautiful city of Bergen on the west-coast of Norway. The city is surrounded by seven mountains and it honestly feels like you’re in some elaborate film set, it’s surreal.

DSC01013

I’d googled online prior to our travels to see just what the city had to offer. What stood out immediately was that the main tourist attraction of Bergen was the World Cultural Heritage Site, Bryggen. Bryggen, sits proudly on the dock of Bergen showing a display of Hanseatic wooden buildings which date back to the 14th Century and were used by merchants and traders to share their goods. Although the buildings have been victim to several fires over the centuries, reconstruction has allowed merchants to carry on the tradition of selling commercial goods. If you’re not too bothered about the historical content then you’ll definitely enjoy the wooden village and all the pretty colours.

We walked around the city centre for a while, visiting the park and gardens, looking at statues of Norwegian Fishermen and admiring how even McDonald’s and Starbucks were in most gorgeous buildings. There is the option to travel by cable car to the top of the mountains but unfortunately we felt that there wasn’t enough time for us to fit everything into a few hours.

If there is one thing to say about Norway, it’s that….it is expensive. We spent the equivalent of £30 on three meals at Burger King which was a bit of a shock to the purse. We also heard by a fellow passenger on the cruise that she had asked for a glass of prosecco from a bar in Bergen centre and they had charged her £29 for one glass. Safe to say she probably needed a stronger drink after that! However, we knew that all of the Scandinavian countries have a higher wage and therefore we were aware things could get a tad pricey.

All in all, if you’ve never visited Norway then I highly recommend you do at least once in your life. From the gorgeous wooden buildings to the breathtaking Fjords, Norwegian culture is everywhere and does not disappoint.

If you want to read my previous blog post you can find it here

Thanks for reading,

Chanel

x

Simple Guide to Perfect Winged Eyeliner

Hi!

It’s been a while since I wrote anything beauty related on the blog so here I am today bringing you my ultimate guide to winged eyeliner.

Liquid eyeliner is my do-or-die product when it comes to makeup! I’ve worn winged liner since I was 15 and over the years I’ve managed to find out little tactics and great products that makes what can be a daunting task, just that little bit easier.

I’ve tried all kinds of eyeliner, from gels to creams and khol but I always find the easiest way to get a nice, straight sweep is with a felt-tip pen liner. My absolute favourite is Soap and Glory’s Supercat Liquid Eyeliner Pen which you can pick up for £6.50 at Boots. It really is just the dream product, easy to use and super black so there’s no streaks! I believe they also do a smaller nib pen too if you require a thinner, more subtle look.

Here’s a quick and simple guide on the easiest way to apply liquid eyeliner;

Step One:

Start from the outer corner of the eye and draw a straight line outwards. Extending liquid eyeliner beyond the eye works for mostly any eye shape, it’s on the lid where you may find that changing your application techniques might suit you more than others.

Obviously, you can extend the line on how dramatic you want the look to be.

 

Step Two:

Next, draw a line from just before the end of the line you’ve just drawn in a horizontal movement, aiming for the centre of the upper lash line, If you’re going for an everyday look, keep the line narrow and close the lash line.

Step Three:

Using the finest part of the liner pen, carefully join up the line you’ve just draw to the inner corner of the eye.

DSC00796

 

Step Four:

Fill in the line, I used to use the tip of the pen but I find it much quicker to turn the pen to the side and use the thickest part of the nib to dab on the liner. As I don’t naturally have black eyelashes, I usually dab the colour on the roots of my lashes too to make sure the ginge doesn’t ruin the illusion of mascara!

Step Five:

The tough part…do the same on the other eye. Yes, I know, this is where it all goes wrong and trust me, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been wearing liner or how much of a MUA you are, they’ll never be perfect. Just do your best and touch up on areas where you think you need it. If you make a mistake, use a cotton bud or a Q-tip, dampen it and instead of swiping, slowly turn the bud on the mistake you want to correct for minimal damage to the makeup underneath.

Step Six:

Have fun with your look! Do whatever you want, makeup is an art and use it to express yourself.

 

Like I mentioned in step one, you can change your eyeliner to suit your eye shape. I found this helpful guide by Ashley Locke on how to apply liner according to eye shape which you can find here.

What is your favourite eye makeup product?

Thanks for reading,

Chanel

x

 

 

 

Arctic Monkeys: ‘Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino’ Album Review

Happy Friday!

It’s here, finally after what seems like a century of waiting, the Arctic Monkeys have released their 6th studio album, ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’.

I’m a big fan of the Arctic Monkeys, especially like most of us, the AM album released in 2013. I really can’t find any faults with that album, it definitely is musical perfection, sonically and lyrically and it’s one of my favourites of all time. I’m also a fan of their earlier stuff too, when the band were more interested in the goings on of South Yorkshire and the booming indie-rock scene.

I was headache-inducing excited for the release of this album and discussed every song with a good friend who is also a Monkeys fan. We’d bought tickets to the tour so had high hopes for what we were about to listen to.

Quick disclaimer as usual, I am no music expert nor do I know anything about the technicality of it. I am simply a music listener and lover and all of what you’re about to read is completely my own personal opinion.

The album presents 11-tracks with a collective time of 40 minutes, which is standard for an Arctic Monkeys album as they’ve all been a very similar length.

THE REVIEW:

Track One – ‘Star Treatment’:

My instant thoughts within the space of the first thirty seconds of the song was that it was insanely Bowie-influenced, very ‘Space Oddity’, which is definitely not a bad thing and brings a whole new sound for the band. Of course, Alex Turner delivers on the lyrical front as always and his falsetto sounds great. I’ve definitely missed his voice over the last few years they’ve been MIA.

Track Two – ‘One Point Perspective’

This is going to make people mad, but when I first heard the piano at the start I thought it was ‘Hard Knock Life’ from the Annie soundtrack…

Getting past that, the piano continues across the track and mingles with smooth guitar to create an almost old sort of arcade type sound. I also caught the lyric, ‘they come out of the cracks, thirsty for blood’ which makes me think of the reference to vampires in the band’s first album Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not with the track, ‘Perhaps Vampires Is a Bit Strong But’. It could be a nod to their first record or I could just be reading into it more than I should.

I especially liked the guitar solo on this track, we don’t get that much from the guitar on this record but it was very welcome in One Point Perspective.

Track Three – ‘American Sports’

Firstly, if you haven’t listened to the album chronologically then I highly recommend you do so. The transitions between the tracks are seamless.

Continuing the space theme, which Turner said was ‘sci-fi’ inspired in his BBC Radio 1 interview, American Sports carries on with the 70’s sounding piano effects. However, without the lack of heavy electric guitar and booming drums it makes me question whether die-hard Arctic Monkeys fans will enjoy or appreciate this new sound or whether it’s maybe just a bit too different.

Track Four- ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’

By the fourth and title track, I was expecting a high energy, jump around typical Monkeys song but instead they’re firmly sticking to the smooth, synthy sound. I feel like this track could fit easily into a slick-crime movie soundtrack. Alex’s falsetto sounds perfect once again, he’s got such a lovely tone to his voice that fits in with the tranquil vibe of the album.

Although, if I’m being completely honest, for a title track this song disappointed me.

Track Five – ‘Golden Trunks’

Upon the first few notes of the song I was once again hoping for an upbeat song, which by this point my expectations of getting any form of the ‘Arctic Monkey indie rock’ they’re so well known for was quickly dying.

Golden Trunks to me is quite an eerie track with the use of the synth. It’s almost Pink Floyd  ‘Dark Side of The Moon’ influenced. I enjoyed the backing vocals on this track they complemented the music nicely.

Track Six – ‘Four Out of Five’

On first listen of the album, this track was my favourite. I feel like this is the track where Alex’s vocals are the most clear and you can appreciate his lyrics the most. Once again, this album to me is extremely 70’s inspired. From the musical style to the references within the song, for example I caught that Alex mentioned ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’ which was a music based TV show popular in the 1970s.

I like the play on the ‘four stars out of five’ with the album surrounding a hotel theme. This track to me, if you removed the synth and pushed the bass more is the most similar to the style of music on AM.

Track Seven – ‘The World’s First Ever Monster Truck Front Flip’

…is it even an Arctic Monkeys album if there’s not at least one song with a long title?

When Alex said he was inspired by the piano for this album, it’s blatantly obvious. Actually, this song isn’t awful, it has it’s redeeming points, the lyrics are great (as per) and the vocals from both Turner and the other band mates sound lovely but it’s just…similar to Golden Trunks to me. I had more hope for a song with a title as fun as this one.

Track Eight – ‘Science Fiction’

Upon first listen of the album, I didn’t really care much at all for Science Fiction but on a second listen it’s actually a lot more interesting than I initially thought.

This track has a handful of musical influences from different genres. Straight away I pick up on 70s funk and soul with the use of the bass guitar which is accompanied with synth as the song progresses which reminds me a lot of the Ska/Reggae genre (think Ghost Town by The Specials). I think this is a track I’ll find myself listening to quite a lot.

Track Nine – ‘She Looks Like Fun’ 

This song is also interesting, the way the vocals slip from higher notes to a deeper spoken voice during the chorus gives it a darker flair. The best part of this track once again for me is the lyrics. Otherwise, this song is probably a skip for me.

Track Ten – ‘Batphone’

I absolutely adore the lyrics on this track, god bless Alex Turner. This track is one of my favourites on the album, sonically it flows beautifully and breaks into a short guitar solo. If this song was on an earlier album, I think it would have definitely been a stand out track. It makes me a little sad that because the album is all quite similar sounding, this track might get lost in the comparison the rest of the record.

Track Eleven – ‘The Ultracheese’

The final track, ‘The Ultracheese’, is the gem of this record. The slow, melodic track has no synth which has pretty much wrapped its fingers around the rest of the songs on the album and it’s great to just hear Alex singing beautiful lyrics, honestly and with emotion. I can imagine this track will be a favourite for a lot of people who maybe aren’t completely sold on the rest of the space themed album.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

After waiting with baited breath for five years for Arctic Monkeys to release new material, I’m a tad disappointed by Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino.

I completely understand that bands evolve and try out new genres, especially Arctic Monkeys but with this album I feel like they’ve lost the indie-rock influences they’re so insanely popular for. Don’t get me wrong some of the tracks on the album are beautiful and Alex’s vocals and lyrics are top notch as always. I just feel like the songs could be more varied in their sound as I think they’re all pretty similar.

I worry that the fans won’t be too impressed with the album so I’ll be interested to see the feedback on Twitter from those that have listened to the record and bought tickets to the shows.

Thanks for reading,

Chanel

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Month in Music: April 2018

It’s May!

Not that you’d be able to tell by the current state of the weather in the UK, but I have high hopes that summer heat is just around the corner to compliment all the upbeat anthems that are being released!

April was very good to us, music-wise. We had the unbelievably, spectacular Beychella at the start of the month, the release of Arctic Monkey UK tour dates (absolute chaos but I managed to snatch some!) and to end the month off we had Kanye West being Kanye on his Twitter rants, which I can’t tell if it is his genuine thoughts or all just a huge marketing publicity stunt. Who knows? It’s Kanye.

Anyway, here are my top 5 songs of the month and the link to my playlist:

  • Calvin Harris (With Dua Lipa) – One Kiss

I bloody love Calvin Harris! Always have done, probably always will. One Kiss is yet another summer anthem. When How Deep Is Your Love came out in 2015, I literally listened to it none stop for a good month and I’ve done the exact same with One Kiss. I really don’t believe Calvin has the ability to make a bad song? and Dua sounds top notch as usual. Fingers crossed for more from these two!

  • Ariana Grande – No Tears Left To Cry

She’s back and coming for ALL of our wigs! No Tears Left To Cry is so long in the making, I feel like I’ve been waiting for more Grande music for a lifetime and I’m super glad she’s storming the charts with this little banger. Alongside the majority of other fans, I expected a slower, ballad track when I heard the song title and when the beat dropped I was fully shook. I’m waiting with baited breath and a tight grip on my hairline for Sweetner.

  • Harry Styles – Woman

Ok so, I went to see Harry on his world tour on the 9th of April and ever since I’ve had Medicine stuck in my head. It’s a solid bop and I need a studio release right this instance please. Since there’s no version of the song I can add to my Spotify playlist, I picked the other song I came away singing. Woman is a fantastic song, I pick up a lot of Pink Floyd influences from this track with its slightly psychedelic melody and ‘you flower, you feast’ is one of my favourite lyrics that Harry has written so far.

  • Avicii – Lay Me Down

I was on the way out for drinks with my friends when the news that Avicii had passed away broke and I couldn’t believe it. It’s devastating that such a young, talented person struggled with their mental illness to the point where they felt there was only one option. It highlights just how important it is to talk about your mental health. Lay Me Down is a track I feel like not many people really know about. I found it through being a huge fan of Adam Lambert, the vocalist featured, and it became my no.1 song from Avicii.

  • Anne-Marie – Then

Last friday, Anne-Marie released her debut album ‘Speak Your Mind’ and I reviewed it on my blog (which you can read here if you’re interested).  The stand out track for me was ‘Then’ and ever since I’ve had it played on top volume. The song is pretty upbeat, like much of the album, but the lyrics and the tone of Anne-Marie’s vocals bring an element of vulnerability and heartbreak. I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out for tour dates.

If you want to listen to the Spotify playlist you can find it here.

I also have a January, February and March picks you can read about/listen to.

Cheers for reading,

Chanel

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