Pop royalty Britney Spears is back with a brand new album Glory, three years after the release of will.i.am produced-Britney Jean.
Compared to her previous one, Glory,is a more solid album with majority of the tracks deserving to be candidates for official singles.
The album is a statement that brings back her old “glory” from the days of her pop hits “I’m A Slave 4 U,” “Gimme More,” “Oops… I Did It Again,” “Stronger” and “Circus” among others.
This time, Spears got different producers like Cashmere Cat (Ariana Grande, Kanye West), Burns (Ellie Goulding, Pitbull) and Nick Monson (Selena Gomez, Lady Gaga) giving the album the current young pop approach with a mix of EDM.
This strategy seemed to work with the variety of good songs. Standouts in Glory include the lead single “Make Me” with rapper of the moment G-Eazy, “Do You Want To Come Over,” “Private Show,” “Man On The Moon,” “Just Luv Me,” “Liar” and “If I’m Dancing” among others.
Well of course, the theme is about sex, something that you cannot separate Spears with, opening the album with the song “Invitation” singing “Here’s my invitation, baby. Hope it sets us free. To know each other better. Put your love all over me” as well as the tracks mentioned above.
To sum up this unapologetically pop album is the end lyric of “What You Need” where Spears blurted out “That was fun!” Glory proves that the Britney Spears everyone loved (and forgets her past) is indeed back in the game and she surely is not giving up her pop crown just yet.
Shawn Mendes: ‘Illuminate’
Music Geek considers his debut album Handwritten one of the best albums of 2015 with its well-written songs and catchy tunes like “Stitches,” “Life Of The Party,” “Something Big,” “Never Be Alone” and “After Taste.”
Now at 18, Shawn Mendes, the former Vine star, just released his sophomore album entitled Illuminate a year after releasing Handwritten.
So how does this live up? This is his “mature” album, meaning, not boring as some connote the word with but his growing-up record.
John Mayer, who gave him a guitar, is clearly an influence with the arrangements of Mendes’ opening track “Ruin” (which would remind you of Mayer’s album Continuum) “No Promises” and “Three Empty Words.”
Illuminate is a guitar-laden album coupled with Mendes’ voice, which at some tracks remind you a bit of Justin Timberlake.
Its line-up of powerhouse producers includes Ed Sheeran and One Direction collaborator Jake Gosling and ex-teen pop singer Teddy Geiger.
Its impressive tunes, which he also takes the composer’s credit, include the new single “Mercy” (co-written by Geiger), “Don’t Be A Fool” and the two bonus tracks in the deluxe edition—“Hold On” and “Roses.”
Here, he is no longer singing about being a “Kid In Love” but with various themes like being a knight in shining armor in the lead single “Treat You Better” (also co-written by Geiger), a subtle topic of sex in “Lights On” and “Patience” and bullying (“Bad Reputation”).
In the closing track “Understanding,” he seeks to understand life, still staying who he is despite his rise to stardom and the crazy things that go with it. With his voice, songwriting ability and growth in Illuminate, it will not be surprising if Mendes keeps his staying power for long in this industry.
Yuna, the Malaysian singer making waves in the US, released her third international album Chapters under Verve Music Group.
For this record, she delves into the R&B arena which she enters so effortlessly with her distinctive voice quality that is relaxing without the curls or other vocal acrobatics we have known for most R&B artists.
This is evident with her opening track “Mannequin” which she sings smoothly like a breath of fresh air. Another standout is her duet with R&B star Usher for “Crush.” Both artists blend well with their relaxed yet still soulful rendition and adding sensuality to the track. You just can’t help humming “I’ll be coming down, down, down, down, down, down, down, down, down.”
Same with “Used To Love You,” her voice fit in perfectly with featured artist Jhene Aiko. The DJ Premiere-produced “Places To Go” includes a rap which is infused with Yuna’s chill vocals adding variety to the album.
Yuna, being the main songwriter of the 13-track album, talks about love, relationships and heartbreak most notable on tracks “Best Love,” “Too Close” (also a standout track), “Best Of Me,” “Poor Heart,” “Time” and “Lanes.”
Throughout the lyrics, she opens up her struggles and ideals on the topics mentioned. Overall, Chapters is an easy vibe which will take listeners to a pleasurable ride and something R&B fans would appreciate.