#InMyFeelingsFriday: Nina Cried Power

You watch these politicians you didn’t vote for make decisions you don’t support and you feel powerless.

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It’s not the war but what’s behind it
Lord, the fear of foul men is mere assignment
And everythin’ that we’re denied by keepin’ the divide
It’s not the wakin’, it’s the risin

Like many Americans I have woken up to news headlines that have both flabbergasted and frightened me. You watch these politicians you didn’t vote for make decisions you don’t support and you feel powerless. So when I heard “Nina Cried Power” off of Hozier’s newest album “Wasteland Baby!” I felt it captured perfectly that weariness. He sings “it’s not the wakin, its the risin”. When I hear those lines I interpret it as the heaviness that you feel when you wake to bad news. Opening my eyes was the easy part but getting up and dealing with the ways of the world now that’s a little harder.

The song is a protest song that honors other artist who were known for their protest songs. Songs like Nina Simone’s “Mississippi Goddamn”, Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit”, and The Staples Singers’ “Freedom Highway.” These songs are as relevant as they were back in the Civil Rights Era as woman and people of color continue to be denied their rights. Staples Singer member Mavis Staples is even featured on the song providing that bridge to the past.

Art in it’s various mediums is a great way to broadcast political messages. Music is able to communicate to the world a powerful message in a three-four minute enjoyable package. Hozier isn’t American, he hails from Ireland but I appreciate his tribute to the protest singers before him in this highly contentious time in our country.


And I could cry power (power)
Power (power)
Power, Lord
Nina cried power
Billie cried power
Mavis cried power

(Photo by Shawn Hoke)

#InMyFeelingsFriday: Duet

I’ve seen you, I know you, and I’m not going anywhere.

I’ll be honest with you I don’t know anything about Penny and Sparrow. I haven’t heard any of their other songs. I randomly came across “Duet” on my way home one afternoon and have not been able to forget it. It’s a simple love song with a few good voices over a slow melody. It’s simplicity is what pulled me in I believe. The lyrics aren’t heavy with metaphor or cool word play. It basically says this: I see what you’re going through, I know it’s a lot and I don’t always make it easier. But I’m here for you, and I’m not going anywhere.

Isn’t that what we all want? To be seen, to be known, and to know we’re not alone?


I bet your back can carry more than
Just the weight of your button-down
One by one, they’ll come undone
When we get home

I’ve seen you carry family
And all my insecurities
One by one, they’ll come undone
When we get home

Because I’ve seen you
And I know you
And I’m not going anywhere

My Top Five Favorite Albums of 2017

A lot of amazing music came out this year and narrowing it down to just 5 albums was very hard but I did it! I listed albums that I not only listened to but devoured. Every song, every lyric, affected me in different ways. I am very diverse in my listening tastes so there’s a couple of different genres on my list. So here it goes!

5. Big Mess by Grouplove
I’ve been fan of Grouplove for awhile because their music is fun. It makes you want to jump up and down and scream the lyrics as loud as you can. And this album delivered that same carefree vibe. I often played it while driving in the miserable Atlanta traffic. I recommend this lighthearted listen to fans of indie rock who just want to feel good.
Fave tracks: Do you love someone, Traumatized, Good Morning

4. The Thrill of it All by Sam Smith
Sam Smith is the male Adele, he specializes in ballads about heartbreak. And I love it. Give me heavy piano and lyrics about a man who done you wrong and I am there. His unique voice is raw, honest, and it pulls at your heartstrings. You’ll be staring longingly into the horizon recalling all your relationships. Top 40 radio will play his singles 5 times an hour, but don’t let that lead you away from the album, it’s most definitely worth a listen.
Face tracks: No peace, Nothing left for you, Say it first

3. The Lonely, the Lonesome & the Gone by Lee Ann Womack
After listening to this album my first question was: Who hurt you Lee Ann?? These 14 tracks are all heavy, gritty, blues. Lee Ann is one of my favorite voices in country music but I don’t think I’ve ever heard her quite like this. I like dark Lee Ann, she seen some things, been through some things and she knows how to convey those experiences into a cohesive album. The first track All the trouble pretty much sets the tone. It’s an anthem for times when life is throwing everything at you at once. I recommend this album for those days when you are pissed off at the world, mama Lee Ann will let you know that you are not alone.
Fave tracks: All the trouble, Wicked, Someone else’s heartache

2. DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar
I would’ve been crazy to not add Kendrick’s newest on this list. He’s killing it right now. Rap music isn’t my favorite genre I’ll admit, but there’s no denying how good Lamar’s music is. It’s innovative, relevant, and unafraid. The album is an intimate journey into his personal struggles. Some of the tracks are hard, songs that you’ll turn the bass all the way up for, while others are subdued songs that will make you sway. I applaud Lamar for his willingness to be transparent, that’s what make his art so amazing. He puts his blood, sweat, and tears into it and comes out as this beautiful piece of rap history.
Fave Tracks: ELEMENT, DNA, PRIDE

1. Ctrl by SZA 
This album spoke to me the most this year. Ctrl is basically the experience of being 20 something wrapped up in 14 tracks with a bow on top. Self-doubt, lack of direction, crappy decisions and all that other madness that comes with not being a girl, but not yet a woman. As a 20 something myself I heard a lot of my own thoughts in her lyrics. There’s a pendulum in my mind, some days I feel confident, sexy, and ready to break some hearts. And other days I feel like I am going nowhere, and don’t know what the hell I’m doing. Both of these attitudes are represented in the album. In the song The Weekend, she asserts her sexy in being the confident side chick. But in the song Drew Barrymore she presents a less assured SZA who struggles with loneliness and self-worth.  So thank you Ms. SZA for providing a voice to the 20 something gals out here trying to live their best life.
Fave Tracks: Drew Barrymore, The Weekend, 20 Something

 

So that’s it! What were your favorite album releases this year??