🎧 Listening: ‘Changes’ by Justin Bieber

I stupidly pretended to dislike Justin Bieber for longer than I’d like to admit. The truth is, I’ve been 100 percent onboard the Justin train since 2012’s Believe.

Changes definitely feels like a transformation for Justin. The overproduction saturating most pop is all but stripped away in most of this album. Changes talks to Justin being a new person, learning some life lessons, and acquiring perspective.

It’s a welcome evolution for him as a person and artist, and I for one am pretty excited about this new musical era for him.

Favorite tracks: Yummy (Summer Walker Remix), Available, Get Me (feat. Kehlani)


🎧 Listening: ‘Circles’ by Mac Miller

This past Sunday I spent some time listening to Mac Miller’s posthumous album, Circles. In it, Mac is raw, self-aware, and full of hope for the future.

I’ve been a fan of his since he was self-releasing mixtapes and it’s been amazing to see his evolution as a person and an artist. I can’t help but feel heartache and sadness as I listen to the art of a person that finally came to terms with who they were, but whose time ended too soon.

Favorite tracks: Blue World, Circles, Hands


Songs I’m Jammin’ to Right Now

Music is what powers my everyday. If it weren’t for music and coffee, I wouldn’t even be able to type this right now, much less do anything productive. Here’s a list of songs I have on repeat.

Note: There may be a mix of old and new songs. All links are for Apple Music because that’s what I use.

Come Thru by Summer Walker & Usher
So cool to have Usher on a song that samples one of his previous songs. Summer has some great songs on this album and I thought she was honest and raw with her lyrics throughout.

Indica Badu (feat. Wiz Khalifa) by Logic
This song is perfect to get stoned to. It’s got a beat you can help but nod your head to, and some amazing weed references in the verses. In fact, here’s my weed playlist.

Loyal (feat. Drake) by PARTYNEXTDOOR
This is one of those songs I didn’t think much of on first listen, but then really grew on me. “Come and See Me” is another great song by these two.

Te Quiero by Maluma
Talk about a song title being misleading! I’ve recently become a fan of Maluma, and I love the salsa feel of this song.

Money by Moonchild
This song was one of the ones performed by Moonchild for their NPR Tiny Desk Concert. It’s hard for me to resist music with saxophone.

Gidget (feat. Anderson .Paak & T.Nava) by Free Nationals
I can’t handle all the funk of this song. Anderson .Paak is wonderful as usual. If you enjoy this song, take a listen to the rest of the album.

Good Thing by Zedd & Kehlani
The beat is great and I love the empowering lyrics.

Yummy by Justin Bieber
Dare you to try not having the hook of this song stuck in your head. Justin Bieber has gotten so much hate over the years, but he’s so talented. Great song.

Cinderella (feat. Ty Dolla $ign) by Mac Miller
RIP Mac. From what I’ve read, this song is in large part about Ariana Grande. I’m a sucker for a good sex and love song.

My Cherie Amour (feat. Adam Levine) by Joe Pesci
Yup. A song by Joe Pesci and Adam Levine. I didn’t even know that Joe Pesci sings. It’s really good though.

Here’s the complete playlist on Apple Music. What songs are you jammin’ to?


Joe Pesci… Sings?

There I was, listening to my New Music Mix from Apple Music, and suddenly a song from Joe Pesci’s new album came on.

Am I the only one that didn’t know Joe Pesci sings? His rendition of “My Cherie Amour” with Adam Levine is great. In fact, the whole album is really good.

Take a listen. Let me know what you think.


Jacob Collier: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

I only recently heard of Jacob Collier because of a collaboration with Daniel Caesar. His musical genius is something to marvel at, and this Tiny Desk Concert is a great taste of it.

Can we also just take a moment to say how amazing these Tiny Desk Concerts are? Mac Miller, Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, Noname, and Lizzo are some of my favorite performances.


New Song Has a Posthumous Verse From Mac Miller


I was so excited to see Mac Miller on something new, and his verse is so good. I miss him.

Mac’s Tiny Desk Concert is wonderful too in case you haven’t watched it.


The Best Music Streaming Service

Tyler Hayes on The Sweet Setup:

Apple Music is currently the best option available for an on-demand streaming music service. This service has continued to build a rich feature set, attract a healthy amount of users, and continually has an extensive catalog of music that has a history of including exclusives not available anywhere else.

I’ve been using Apple Music since 2015 and I’ve been very happy. I think the Apple-curated playlists are really great and constantly help me find great new music.

I have only two major gripes with the service:

  1. iTunes is clunky.
    I agree with Tyler. iTunes needs a redesign that makes using Apple Music on the Mac easier. I’d love a stand-alone app, but I don’t see that happening. I do see the benefits of having all media in one place, but the UI needs to be clearer.

  2. No Easy Way to Filter out Explicit Music
    I don’t like music with swear words. Apple Music doesn’t make this easy. Even if I do the Apple recommended way, suggested playlists and algorithm-created playlists still have explicit music. I just want a flag I can select that tells Apple Music to always play me the clean version, and don’t play at all if there isn’t one.

All things considered, after using both Spotify and Apple Music, I agree with the pick.


Prince Performs ‘Purple Rain’ During Super Bowl Halftime Show

Like many others, I’ve been searching the vast internet for any interviews or concerts from Prince. There aren’t many. The man was very good at erasing himself from the internet. Some might call it going overboard.

After watching the ones I could find, I keep coming back to this performance. It was my introduction to Prince. Before this, he was only a person I’d heard of once or twice. This performance changed everything. I went from barely knowing who he was, to reading about him, buying songs, and learning the lyrics.

His musical genius wasn’t only apparent in his songs, but in the many artists he’s influenced. You can tell when a musician is a fan of Prince. You’ll find a very unique funk in the music they create. His style was unlike any other, and his stage presence was unmatched. I will miss Prince.


Freddie Mercury Sings We Are the Champions A Capella

The talent of this man, was and still is amazing. No one sang like him, and no one ever will.


The Verge Reviews Big Sean’s Latest Album

It’s the little things, the avoidable mistakes, that stand out on Dark Sky Paradise. It’s a great album, but it could have been a classic. It has all the ingredients; a capable artist, excellent production, a clear theme and direction, and the potential for multiple hits. This is the album that is supposed to propel Big Sean into the upper echelon of rap. He’s closer, but Dark Sky Paradise won’t get Big Sean a seat at the table. (Kanye, Drake, Jay Z, and Kendrick Lamar are sitting at the table. Sorry, but this is not up for debate. Your argument will not be accepted.) Big Sean is definitely on his way. He just still has some work to do.

A surprisingly great review of Dark Sky Paradise.