Carly Rae Jepsen: This Kiss

This Kiss by Carly Rae Jepsen

Sounds like: 80s pop music


Carly Rae

When you think of Canada and music together, what artist automatically comes to mind? Maybe Justin Bieber? Well I want to you NOT think about him for a second—I know it might be really hard, but just go along with me.

Three words: Carly Rae Jepsen.

Call Me Maybe was one of the biggest songs this summer. It was also one of the songs with the most parody videos, even the US Olympic Swim team got in on the fun. At first I thought, well this song is dumb! It doesn’t even make sense.”  But before long, I was singing it at the top of my lungs in the car. Yup, it happened.

The 26 year-old singer has been in the music industry for some time, even competing on Canadian Idol placing third. Anyways, enough about her life and on to her music.

I’m not gonna lie, I was very hesitant to listen to her album, Kiss.  I was afraid it was just going to be full of Call Me Maybe-esque songs.

The thing is, they are, but they’re so fun. I love it. It’s like I time traveled to the 1980s. Every song has a good beat, something awesome to dance to—if that’s your thing. Three of her songs off this album have already made it to airwaves: Call Me Maybe, This Kiss and Good Time with Owl City.

Her duet with Justin Bieber in the song, Beautiful, shows the softer side of her and somewhat redeems him from Boyfriend.

Her second single, This Kiss, is straight out of the 80s including a synthesizer introduction, pretty sure that can be played on a keytar. And with the songs to follow, you can’t help but to put your hands in the air, do a little dance and sing along.

My favorite songs:

Tiny Little Bows

This Kiss

More Than a Memory

Tonight I’m Getting Over You

Your Heart is a Muscle

Okay, okay so that’s about half of the album, but I’m not lying when I say I really enjoyed this album.

Don’t take it too seriously and you’ll enjoy it too.



Fairy Tales, Castles and Wolves

I have spent the majority of this last semester learning about rhetorical criticism. It has changed the way that I view media now. I’m a little more critical, thank you Mrs. Hargrove.

I know that musicians usually have stories behind their music, but even more so I’m finding even MORE deeper meanings, which the artist may not have intended, but it’s what I interpret.

The other night I was on my way home from work and listening to Paramore. It was one of those days where I just needed to rock out. As the song, Brick by Boring Brick came on, I really listened to the words and found a deeper meaning.

So what was Hayley talking about in this song?

I believe that Hayley was talking about relationships. Her symbolism is wonderful. She takes the listener through a story.

She lives in a fairy tale, somewhere too far for us to find. Forgotten the taste and smell of the world that she left behind. It’s all about the exposure the lens, I told her. The angles are all wrong now she’s ripping wings off of butterflies. Keep your feet on the ground, when your head’s in the clouds.

There once was a girl who fell in love. Maybe some of you can relate to this story. When in the first stages of a relationship, it’s easy to be on cloud nine—especially when it comes unexpectedly. Her world changes and the real world becomes distorted. She begins to think about the future and her real world now becomes a fairy tale.

Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with a relationship, especially when it’s really good, but what I feel Hayley is pointing out here is to guard your heart. In the chorus, she sings,

Go get your shovel and we’ll dig a deep hole, to bury the castle.

The castle represents your heart—a fortress to your emotions, your innermost thoughts, and who you really are.

So one day he found her crying, coiled up on the dirty ground. Her prince finally came to save her and rest you can figure out. But it was a trick and the clock struck twelve, well make sure to build your house brick by boring brick or the wolf’s gonna blow it down.

Here the beautiful love story continues with a guy finding this girl and quickly falling in love. You find out that it’s not true love and the fairy tale is over.

Again, a warning is given to take time to fall in love and enjoy getting to know the other person and continue to guard your heart, because with a snap of the fingers, the fairy tale can end. The girl is left broken hearted. If you fully commit yourself to a person, before getting to know them on a deeper level, you can be blinded by lies as you don’t want to see the bad in a person because you’re in love.

 Well you built up a world of magic because your real life is tragic.

Continuing with the story, the broken hearted girl doesn’t believe reality and has built up this world inside of her head that everything’s okay or that the person will change. This is often found in abusive relationships.

If it’s not real, you can’t hold it in your hand, you can’t feel it with your heart. And I won’t believe it, but if it’s true you can see it with your eyes, oh even in the dark.

True love is explained here. It’s not a tangible thing. For some people, it’s hard for them to believe in true love because they’ve never experienced it before. But when you see true love, really see it even in its flaws, it’s something unexplainable, but you’ll know it when you see it.

This entire album was written by Hayley Williams healing from her breakup with former band member, Josh Farro. Nevertheless, my takeaway from this song after analyzing it is seeing how love can keep people blind to what’s actually happening in reality. Love is such an awesome thing, yet it’s fragile at the same time.

The Voice Profile: Cassadee Pope

I’ve been a fan of the hit NBC show, The Voice, since it premiered a few years ago. I’m always pleasantly surprised by the vocalists who audition because they are the best of the best. My music library has significantly increased due to the discovery of such awesome talent.

This season, while watching the blind auditions I found my mouth hanging to the floor as I watched Cassadee Pope audition, singing Torn by Natalie Imbruglia. A fan of her former band, Hey Monday, I was surprised to find her on this show. She was the front woman of the punk-rock band, Hey Monday–that many compared to Paramore and lead singer, Hayley Williams. Some months ago, Hey Monday said they were taking a break from recording, touring–the whole shabang. Between that time and now, Cassadee has released a solo EP.

When she auditioned for The Voice, she got all four chairs to turn around, which is no easy thing as these superstar judges are looking for the best of the best. In the end, she picked Blake Shelton to be her coach. I was surprised at her pick–I was for sure she would pick Adam or Christina. She has since made it through the Battle Rounds battling  and the Knockout Rounds singing Maroon 5 song, Payphone. Last night, she was one of the first to perform at the Live Rounds with My Happy Ending by Avril Levigne.

I’m cheering for Cassadee to make it through as far as possible, but I want to see her stretch herself. There’s this great cover the band did of In My Head by Jason Derulo. I would lovelovelove to see her to something like that, to show the crowd that she can sing another type of song, but still somewhat in the pop world since it seems like that’s where she wants to be.

Good Luck, Cassadee!

New Music: Stomping Music with Delta Rae

Delta Rae
Genre: American folk rock
Sounds like: Described as “if Mumford and Sons had a baby with Adele.”


Up before dawn one morning, I was watching music videos on VH1 (apparently this still happens) and a new music video, Bottom of the River, came on. The haunting wails of a beautiful blonde wearing red lipstick caught my attention. And then more voices were added. The video reminded me of a witch trial. It was scary, but I couldn’t peel my eyes away. I was intrigued by the story of the music video, but what kept me watching was the music. My mind was blown. (Music video here) (live performance here)

Delta Rae is an American folk rock band consisting of siblings Ian, Eric and Brittany Hölljes, Elizabeth Hopkins, Mike McKee and Grant Emerson. The siblings were brought up on mythology, the supernatural and folk tales. This is the basis of their music. While it might be a strange concept, the folk tales resonate through their music making it haunting beautiful. Chains, chanting and stomping are predominant in a lot of their songs and it’s what makes their music so fascinating, stirring ideas up with blues, rock and gospel.

Their songs are filled with full and tight harmonies—something that’s a rare find.  In their first album, Carry the Fire, you get a diverse sound with a full assortment of emotion. Some songs have a happier sound, while others haunt you with an a cappella twist. In a variety of instruments, you’ll hear piano from chains to strings to drums—the list goes on. It’s not a confusion of sound, but shows their true musicianship and range of sound.

This is the type of music that rejuvenates my soul.  It’s different, yet so powerful. What you hear is desire and raw emotion of how important music is to tell a story. This is what can’t be produced—it’s lived.

Check them out on Facebook, Twitter or their website. If you sign up for their mailing list, you’ll receive a free 11-song download of one of their live shows.

New Music: Catch My Breath by Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson, the first winner of American Idol and one of the more successful winners, debuted her new single, Catch My Breath this morning. The new song will be on her Greatest Hits–Chapter 1.  Check it out here.

Leave it to Kelly to write another great song. In the song, she’s looking back on everything she has experienced and faced and how these things have made her into who she is now. (She’s madly in love too!)

I have this song on repeat. It’s catchy and I love the beat. Plus her voice, as always, is incredibly amazing. You can purchase the single when it’s released on iTunes, October 15.




New Music: Locked Out of Heaven

Bruno Mars has released his new single, Locked Out of Heaven.

As I was listening to the song, I was reminded of the song Roxanne by The Police.

I really like his new single, Locked Out of Heaven. It’s definitely been on repeat this morning and I’m excited to see what the new album sound is like.

Be prepared. It’s not going to sound like the Bruno Mars you loved listening to from his first album Doo-Wops & Hooligans, when it came to Just the Way You Are and Grenade. Bruno’s sound is very different than the happy pop songs, but you still get the catchy chorus line. It’s a little more funk and rock, and enticing enough to keep you listening.

What do you think of his new single?

Drop the Rope: How I Finally Understood Paramore’s Breakup

Heartbreak. It sucks. But it sucks even more when it’s a band that you love. I love Paramore. I first saw them on MTV. The details are fuzzy, but I just thought Hayley Williams was the coolest thing for being in a band with all guys.

I’ve seen Paramore twice in concert. The first was the summer of the Riot tour with Jacks Mannequin. If you see their Final Riot Summer concert on Youtube or DVD, make sure you look for a brown-skinned guy with an afro wearing a white shirt. That’s my brother. The second on was when fun. (then relatively unknown) and Relient K opened for them on their brand new eyes tour. We had bought our tickets for the lower bowl; quickly realizing it wasn’t going to be good seats and ended up getting on the ground floor. Both concerts were life changing.  I still say they’re my favorite band. They didn’t break up, just two important members of the band left, Josh and Zach Farro. When I heard of their announcement while studying abroad, I was heartbroken. What would happen? Would there be any more tours, music? Is there really Paramore without the Farro brothers?

Since Dec. 2010, they’ve released three singles and toured again. You could say I was mad at the whole situation. This wasn’t supposed to happen to MY favorite band! I still liked their songs, but their songs didn’t sound like them, but who is “them”? The Paramore that I grew up listening to isn’t the same, but that doesn’t mean that change is bad. I think I finally understand when something doesn’t work anymore, you have to do something about it. Sometimes it’s drastic.

Recently, I’ve had to learn to drop the rope. I learned the phrase this summer and didn’t really get it at first, until I had to apply it to a close friendship of mine. You see sometimes there are really good things in life that happen to you, but was only meant for a period of time.  I kind of think, on some level, this is how Paramore started out. It was great. They were young and having fun. Growing up. But as life went on, personalities and goals changed. When the decision is made to make a drastic change, which really is for the better, it’s hard. There are always two sides of the story. Sometimes both sides are heard and others aren’t.

At first, I sided with the Farro brothers. It seemed as if they just couldn’t put up with the crap anymore. I guess because I’ve never been in a music industry situation, I might not be able to really break down what happened, but it seems that this is something, somewhat common in the music industry.

You can relate this to life. You have expectations. They have expectations. Fine lines are drawn and crossed. People’s feelings get hurt. Expectations are set and not reached. It’s stressful. Both the Farro brothers are doing their own thing and have moved on in the music world. Obviously, not as popular as what Paramore was, or still is, but they’re doing what they love.

Respect yourself enough to walk away from anyone or anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.

I read this quote and wonder if this is what happened. The Farro brothers realized that making music in the band Paramore just wasn’t working for them and decided to move on. That they only reason they could be happy was to leave and make music another way. I don’t know, but I have to think that this rings true in all of our lives. Sometimes there are situations or people in your life that the time has expired. You try your hardest to keep making it work for others around you, for them, or like Paramore–the fans, but nothing is being fixed. The problems are still there. The smiles and happiness is just a facade. Is that a way to live? I’d say no. There are times when you have to be selfish and make that decision to drop the rope. No one but you may understand the situation, but as long as YOU understand it and you made the decision for the betterment of yourself it’s worth it. And it’ll hurt, but if it’s best for you than you have to do it for you.

This is how music will always be relevant to people’s lives. Always.

Follow Your Heart

When you look at your life and where you’ve been, and you’re wonderin’ why you did what you did, you won’t think twice if you just live by what’s inside. Follow your heart, it’ll never lead the wrong way. When you’re fallin’ apart, you’ll know you’re in the right place, when the going gets tough and you’re thinkin’ it’s enough to turn and walk away–follow your heart, you won’t ever be the same. Follow Your Heart by Nathan Angelo

Graduation. It’s in December. Crazy to think that I’ll almost be done with school and on to real life. Am I ready? I need a job. Full-time. At least that’s what my parents tell me. But what if that doesn’t happen right away?

My diploma will say Lauren Claire Brooks, Bachelor of Science Public Relations.” But what am I going to do with that? A Bachelor of Science in Spanish was supposed to be added to that, but my original plan was thrown out the window and I took a leap of faith into an unknown.

Have you ever had that thing in your life that keeps popping up and maybe you don’t know why? Maybe it’s a someone. For me it was music. I’ve been involved in it somehow since I was 3 years old. Could it be a career?  I knew that I didn’t have the skills to be a musician, so what else is there?

It all came to me when I had to write an article. My teacher, a published author, told us to interview the best people in the world. Determined, I aimed high. I got in touch with the ever so talented Ben RectorI got an interview and everything, but it ended up falling through on the day I met local musician, Kaleb StockI then worked with Kaleb for the school year, raising money, making new fans and getting a documentary put together–by the lovely and talented Jana Miles–of this entire process. (check out her other work here)

I’ve never had so much fun in my life. Sure, it was crazy and I barely slept with everything else I was involved in, but I had the time of my life and loved every second of it.

Lately I’ve been struggling with what I’m supposed to do in life. Are my passions really that crazy? Should I just go the safe route? Is this what I really want to do for the rest of my life?

I need answers to those questions and a possible answer came today while doing an interview for an article that I’m writing. The lady I was interviewing told me she loves what she does because it’s a passion of hers. The answer might come later this afternoon–an opportunity that would be perfect. I’m waiting anxiously because it could be big. If it doesn’t happen, then it wasn’t meant to be, but what I learned today is that I need to follow my heart, what I believe I was created to do.

There’s something about sitting down with a musician and hearing why they have to make music for the rest of their life. Their music is their story and these stories need to be heard. This is what I’m passionate about–even if the work has to be free.

Maybe I can’t create music, but I sure will keep the public informed about music that IS being created and share that however I can.

My name is Lauren Claire Brooks and I am going to follow my heart because I will never be the same and to me–that’s worth it all.

Ps. I want to thank all of you who have believed in me from the beginning of this journey. You know who you are. The constant encouragement through my confusion, tears and confidence is appreciated more than you’ll ever know.

The State of the Music Industry

The State of the Music Industry via





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