- Kim Alivia
Here are Christmas songs to add to your classic Xmas playlist. Enjoy the Christmas season by playing new and great Christmas carols from some of your favorite artists.
- Kim Alivia
"This is human. This is imperfect. This is sincere. This is Forever Halloween."
After parting ways with their major record label, recording their third LP on their own, and the success of Pioneer in 2011, it wasn't a surprise when The Maine announced that they were already in the process of recording their fourth studio album right after that busy year. But what makes this holiday themed album so different from the rest of their discography?
First of all, it was recorded live. Live? Yes, live meaning they recorded the whole project using a tape machine just like in the 80's. And unlike the usual recording process wherein each instrument is recorded separately, they all gathered in a room and played together so if somebody messed up, they had to start from the beginning. Bassist, Garrett Nickelsen even admitted that he couldn't imagine recording another album any other way since it sounded better and it would help them play live concerts. They also hired a new producer, Brendan Benson, for the album because as Pat Kirch put it, "he didn't care how much he was going to get paid. He didn't care to talk about what kind of album we wanted to make. He just wanted to get in a room with us and make music." And that's what they did: make music. Right after hearing just two demos, Brendan decided to record Happy on the first day!
It's definitely different from their usual alternative sound and can even be described as something on the verge of hardcore. The juxtapositional mixture of teen angst and maturity can be heard in John O' Callaghan's raw vocals and lyrics such as "it hurts to know the hardest part hasn't come yet" and "these four words don't come easy; I don't love you." Tracks such as Run and Fucked Up Kids will either make you want to smash a guitar or attend a rock show while acoustic songs Birthday in Los Angeles and These Four Words will surely make you feel. The little kinks and imperfections like the piano smashing in Blood Red and the abrupt ending in the title track are what make the whole album seem perfect. (Fun Fact: that last part in Forever Halloween wasn't planned- they ran out of tape while recording therefore cutting off the rest of the instrumental outro and they decided to use that take for the final album! How cool is that?)
Unlike their 2011 release which lacked coherency between the songs, this album definitely did not have the same problem. Even their Facebook announcement from last 2012 perfectly sums it up by saying "The songs are quite uplifting but you can hear some sort of struggle or darkness hidden underneath it all." Sad, creepy, and somehow heavy are the underlying tones in all of the songs (even in the upbeat tracks such as Take What You Can Carry and Love & Drugs) and it makes sense considering that it is titled Forever Halloween. But despite those dark themes, the album is still able to give you that positive and feel good vibe that The Maine is always able to bring to the table.
Everything about the album is honest, raw, and hauntingly beautiful. If you haven't listened to The Maine's most recent LP yet, then I suggest you turn off the lights, lie in bed, and listen to the whole album from start to finish. Forever Halloween just proves that The Maine can make almost anything sound good.
- Victoria Urrutia
Sources: 1 | 2
Sweet and simple songs to listen to with your loved one on a very special day.
- Reign Gonzales
I remember my father once said that sorrow and heartbreak is the fuel of any good love song. After hearing this I couldn’t help but notice that he was kind of right. What else could produce such a ballad other than a truly heart-wrenching, soul-crushing experience? Here's a list of singers we think are widely known for their expertise in breakups, long distance relationships, regret, and whatnot.
Of course, first on our list would be no other than Miss Taylor Swift, known for country/pop hits dedicated to past boyfriends (i.e. Taylor Lautner, John Mayer, Jake Gylenhaal, etc). Despite the existence of her undeniably widespread fanbase, Taylor tends to receive a lot of hate and bashing over social media, because people find her annoying or think that she is setting the wrong example for all her young fans; the idea that a woman needs a man in order to be truly happy. (Guilty as charged, I may have been one of those bashers) But maybe...just maybe, there’s a side of the story that we don’t know about. Sure, her writing method can be kind of absurd and people make it seem as though she simply gets with these guys in order to build up her career....but we can’t be so sure. Maybe she’s just plain heartbroken! There there, Taylor.
This Connecticut-born recording artist is known for his songs Heartbreak Warfare and Slow Dancing in a Burning Room. And have you heard the news? He recently broke up with pop star girlfriend, Katy Perry. But wait, there's more! According to this article, she's even ignoring his text messages and calls. Poor John. I wouldn't be surprised if he released a new sad song dedicated to her. Hang in there, dude.
Looks like Taylor Swift’s got some competition in the heartbroken department. Who doesn't know Rolling in the Deep or Someone Like You? I wouldn't be surprised if at one point at least one of these songs would be officially dubbed as the heartbreak ballad of our generation. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure Adele's pretty happy with her life, with her (adorable) new baby and all. I guess I'm just saying that sometimes it's perfectly acceptable to sing along to Rumour Has It in the shower.
Okay, I'm going to admit it right here, right now. I LOVE jamming to Ne-Yo. Not even kidding. His songs Mad, Go On Girl, and Never Knew I Needed are perfect songs to add to any crying-alone-on-the-floor playlist. So go ahead, we won't judge you. Put on some Ne-Yo, curl up in a blanket, sing along with feelings, and cry. It's perfectly okay.
- Nikki Alarilla