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Album Info:

Title: Bangerz

Artist: Miley Cyrus

Record Label: RCA

Release Date: 2013

Album Summary

Bangerz is an album about a love story with a not-so-happy ending, beginning with the track “Adore You,” the softest song on the album that depicts the love of a young couple, but as the album goes on there is a more independent and strong voice coming from Miley.  “We Can’t Stop” was the first single off the album and is about a party with friends and how they’re going to rage all night, but despite the subject matter, it is a smooth slow jam, with a low club beat in the background.  Another standout track is the second single off Bangerz, “Wrecking Ball,” an emotional ballad about the destruction of a relationship.  Some of the catchier tracks off the album include “4X4 (feat. Nelly),” “Love Money Party (feat. Big Sean),” and “#GETITRIGHT.”  Bangerz concludes with a more independent Miley with “Someone Else” and “On My Own.”

Standout tracks on the album include “Adore You,” “Wrecking Ball,” and “#GETITRIGHT.”  Cameos by Britney Spears, Ludacris, Nelly, and Big Sean only added to the diversity of the tracks.

Critical Evaluation

Having never listened to a Miley Cyrus album before Bangerz, I had only heard about her antics and never her music, so I was shocked when halfway through the album I realized I was practically dancing along.  The album starts of as a love story and takes you on the journey of the relationship crumbling and a girl emerging stronger and happier than before.  The album is well produced and though it seems to have a mix of genres, pop, ballads, hip hop, and others, it flows seamlessly.

Reader’s Annotation

Forget Hannah Montana, ignore the twerking, it only distracts from the talent that is Miley Cyrus.

Who Should Listen

This is an album for those that like a little bit of hip hop, but not necessarily the culture around it.  The upbeat pop songs are great for anyone that likes a good rhythm and catchy lyrics.

Why I Listened

Miley Cyrus has been one of the most talked about artists of 2013 and her transition from teenage Disney popstar to her now infamous public persona of twerking and smoking pot has made her hard to ignore.

Artist Biography

The daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, Miley Cyrus has singing in her blood. Miley made her debut on Disney’s Hannah Montana at 14, but it is safe to say that with Bangerz, Miley Cyrus, 20, has finally shed that good girl image.  Bangerz is Miley’s second album post Hannah Montana and it debuted at number one of the U.S. Billboard charts.

Genre

*Pop

Interest Age

12+

Challenge Issues

N/A

Bangerz- Miley Cyrus

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Album Info:

Title:  Midnight Memories

Artist: One Direction

Record Label: Columbia

Release Date: 2013

 

Album Summary

Midnight Memories is One Direction’s third album and it has an overall upbeat feeling starting the listener off with “Best Song Ever” about a night out at a club, the second song on the album is one of the strongest they’ve done yet.  Co-written by the members of One Direction, “Story of My Life” has strong lyrics and a smooth sound, I would even venture to say that the boys voices are strongest on this particular track.  The album continues with the upbeat “Diana,” which is hopefully their next single because it has a great sound.  The rest of Midnight Memories does sound a little monochrome after the first three songs, but nonetheless it’s a fun album overall.

 

Critical Evaluation

As a lover of pop music, even I was surprised that I quite enjoyed this album.  The first three songs “Best Song Ever,” “Story of My Life,” and “Diana” are arguably the three strongest tracks on the album, and the middle of the album is a little forgettable, but they redeem themselves with the catchy “Little White Lies” and “Better Than Words.”

 

Looking at the writing credits, at least one or more members of One Direction had writing credits on all but two of the songs on the album, so at least they are taking a more active part in the production of their album.

 

Listener’s Annotation

For those who want to recapture or understand the first twinges of a crush, Midnight Memories will take you through those feelings you didn’t know you wanted to feel.

 

Who Should Listen

Those who like pop music that they can sing-a-long to and a good catchy chorus will love this album.

 

Why I Listened

They’re one of the most popular bands in the world and teenage girls, and even adult women, seem to go crazy for these boys so I had to find out what the fuss was all about.

 

Artist Biography

One Direction is an English-Irish band made up of five boys Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, and Louis Tomlinson who met and were put together on the reality show The X Factor in the UK in 2010.  Since their formation they have sold over 10 million albums in just over two years and are considered by some to be the new “British Invasion.”

 

Genre

*Pop

 

Interest Age

12+

 

Challenge Issues

N/A

 

Midnight Memories- One Direction

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Album Info:

Title: Pure Heroine

Artist: Lorde

Record Label: Universal

Release Date: 2012

 

Album Summary

Pure Heroine gives the listener a glimpse into the mind of the teenage Lorde, singing about champagne and diamonds one second and then moving on to trappings of the teenage social scene.  Standouts on the album include “Royals,” already a favorite of the masses, though I favor her deep voice that rolls out in “Ribs” and the beats of the upbeat “Team.”

 

Critical Evaluation

Lorde has shown herself to be a wonderful writer, her songs have a autobiographical nature and set to the background of well-produced tracks, Pure Heroine is a great album from start to finish.  Lorde’s lyrics give you a glimpse into the inner thoughts of a teenage girl and her views on both society and celebrity, even touching on the social politics of a teenage girls life.

 

Lorde’s voice is smooth and intoxicating and the album is so well produced that it will have the listener hit repeat as soon as it ends.

 

Listener’s Annotation

The anti-pop princess whose slow club beats compel your body to move along.

 

Who Should Listen

Though not your typical pop album, anyone that loves good beats and a smooth voice will not be disappointed.

 

Why I Listened

There was a lot of buzz around her first single “Royals,” which I liked because it was different than what is being played today.

 

Artist Biography

Lorde’s real name is Ella Yelich-O’Connor and she is a 17 year old from Auckland, New Zealand.  She was signed to Universal records at 13, after being discovered at a school talent show.  As of today she has been nominated for four Grammy’s as well as the first New Zealand solo artist to make it to number one of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

 

Genre

*Pop

 

Interest Age

12+

 

Challenge Issues

N/A

Pure Heroine- Lorde