2017 Music Reflection

2017 was a great year for rock and alternative music; there were many new albums released, artists, and sounds. To start, here was my year in review: Screen Shot 2017-12-05 at 10.07.09 PM

First, I’ll start with albums.

In no particular order, here are three of my favorite albums from 2017:

1: Neck Deep-The Peace and the Panic


I am a huge Neck Deep fan. I saw them play at Warped Tour this past summer and will be seeing them again in February and cannot wait. Their latest album, The Peace and the Panic, was powerful, emotional and perfectly captured pop-punk. Neck Deep gets better and better with each album, but this album was perfect. The context of the album illustrates the struggles of lead singer Ben Barlow and bassist Fil Thorpe-Evans and the loss of their fathers. These emotions are captured perfectly and really make the listener feel something. The songs “Nineteen-Seventy Something” and “Wish You Were Here” convey these emotions. Along with heart-wrenching emotions, this album also captures the political climate of the past year and a-half. With mixed feelings and divides, Neck Deep understands these mixed emotions and crafted songs reflecting these feelings. The songs “Don’t Wait” and “Happy Judgement Day” reflect the confusion and frustration of the political world globally today. Overall, this album was truly one of the best from Neck Deep and best of the year and I cannot wait to see them in February.

2. PVRIS-All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of HellPVRIS-All-We-Know-of-Heaven-All-We-Need-of-Hell-billboard-embed

PVRIS’s sophomore album, All We Know of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell, is a beautifully crafted piece to follow their first album. This album, like the last, creates a haunting yet tranquil sound. Front woman Lynn Gunn has a powerful yet mellow voice that creates this haunting sound. The concept of the album conveys a message of growing and overcoming negativity which Gunn perfectly captures with her voice along with the instrumentals of the songs. “What’s Wrong”, “Heaven”, and “Anyone Else” are a few examples that capture the essence of the album. This album was a great follow up and nothing short of amazing. The rock sound is also consistent from PVRIS’s first album while creating a new album concept.

The Maine-Lovely, Little, Lonely 


Before Lovely, Little, Lonely, I was not an avid listener of The Maine. I had listened to a few songs here and there but this was the album that actually made me start listening to them. Front man John O’Callaghan has an enticing, raspy voice that coincides with the album very well. The concept of the album is laid out nicely, where each of the songs leads into the next one. Each song is crafted carefully and emotionally as well with songs like “How Do You Feel” and “Taxi”. While being emotionally heavy at times, the album still maintains an upbeat sound that makes this album fresh. There is a nice balance between the more emotional songs and more upbeat songs such as “Bad Behavior” and “Black Butterflies and Deja Vu”. Overall, this was a great album and it has made me an avid listener of The Maine.

Overall Reflection

2017 was a great year for music all around, whether it was rock and alternative, or rap and pop. There were many breakthrough artists in many different genres who are already making an impact in the industry. Although 2017 was a great year for music, the rock scene took a bit of an emotional hit with the ending of the Van’s Warped Tour. As announced by Warped Tour’s founder, Kevin Lyman, Warped Tour will be completing its final cross country tour this upcoming summer. Warped Tour has been an amazing organization; it has helped many artists such as Paramore, Blink-182, Fall Out Boy and many more gain fame. It has been an outlet for many foundations and charities to set up tents and spread the word about what they do such as Keep a Breast, Music Saves Lives, and many more. Lastly, Warped Tour is a platform for many different people to come together and share their common interest. I am sad to see Warped Tour ending, but am forever grateful for the memories I have and have yet to create. 2018’s Warped is going to be the best one yet, and I cannot wait. To read more about Warped ending, visit http://vanswarpedtour.com/2017/finaltour/

Well, this is my reflection of this past year and I am so excited for the music to come in 2018. Happy New Year and lets make 2018 the best one yet!



The Master of Lyrics-Bob Dylan

4192Growing up, my dad was always playing all sorts of music that expanded over many different decades; everything from the fifties through the nineties. I grew up listening to a diverse pool of music such as doo-wop, rock, country, folk, and more. When I think of folk music, I think back to the sixties. Times of war, civil rights, JFK, the space race, the hippie movement, and much more. The music that came out of the sixties clearly reflects the events happening at the time and Bob Dylan perfectly captures the essence of sixties through his thoughtful and passionate lyrics. Dylan is widely recognized for his lyrics and has been an inspiration for many artists such as The Beatles. According to Rolling Stone, Dylan is the number 1 songwriter of all time. Dylan also rightfully landed a spot in the Rock Hall of Fame. Every song of Dylan’s has a message and if you read the lyrics, they are pure poetry. Many find that Dylan’s voice is a bit harsh to listen to, but I feel that his voice makes his music more authentic. It shows that a man who was passionate about certain political and social issues decided to write about the problems in the country and sang about them while playing a guitar and his harmonica. There is a passion in Dylan’s voice that not all artists capture and you can truly feel the passion when really listening to what the words are saying. There are no bad Dylan songs out there. Each one has its own personal message that wants to be shared with the world. Some powerful songs that come to mind now are “A Hard Rain’s a Gonna Fall”, “Like A Rolling Stone”, “The Times They Are a Changing”, “Hurricane”, and “Blowing in the Wind”. Each one these songs contains a message beautifully crafted by Dylan and the messages do not only tell us to be more understanding, but they teach us life lessons as well. Being a history minor and music lover, I find it fascinating how music reflects the times. Dylan captures the times perfectly and his lyrics can very well be applied to today. If you read or watch the news or see on social media, events within the past few years show turmoil in our country and others. History repeats itself, just in different ways, and the themes and messages from Dylan’s music can be applied once again, especially with the political division currently in the country. Honestly, no matter what party you identify with or how you feel about certain issues in the world or country, everyone should take a deep breath and listen to Bob Dylan or any folk/folk rock artist from the sixties. Listen to what is being said, get lost in the lyrics and things will be better for a little while. With a fast paced and continuously advancing world, we should all take a step back and listen to the music. After all, the times truly are a changing.

Source: Rolling Stone

Led Zeppelin

Led-Zeppelin1Led Zeppelin is in my top three favorite bands of all time, and if I could choose to see any band ever throughout history to perform live again, it would most definitely be Led Zeppelin. Led Zeppelin, which was composed of vocalist Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, drummer John Bonham, and bassist John Paul Jones, were a groundbreaking rock band from the UK who came to the United States to be discovered. Their sound was accepted widely throughout the U.S. and they wound up signing a record deal. Led Zeppelin is revered as one of the ultimate classic rock bands who not only sang rock and roll but lived it as well. They fully embodied the rock and roll culture and left their mark on the rock and roll world. Their first album Led Zeppelin was released in 1969, (which features the popular song “Dazed and Confused”) became a huge success and would then obviously spark more albums to come. Next, was Led Zeppelin II, featuring songs like “Whole Lotta Love”, “The Lemon Song”, and “Ramble On”. This also gained popularity and was very successful. Next released was Led Zeppelin III and then Led Zeppelin IV. Led Zeppelin IV is by far one of my favorite albums of all time. It is definitely in my top five favorites. This album alone was revolutionary due to the song “Stairway to Heaven” which to this day is still the most demanded and number 1 requested rock song on charts. This shows that Led Zeppelin’s impact and influence remains and is widely used in the music industry today. This entire album, in my opinion, is a journey, especially if you listen to the album on vinyl. From “Black Dog” to “Going to California” and all the songs in between and after, this album is Led Zeppelin at its finest. Following this album was Houses of the Holy, and a few albums followed in between. But in 1979, Led Zeppelin released In Through the Outdoor. This album is very different then the usual Zeppelin material. The sound is different along with the vocals, but overall, it is still a great album. This album features songs like “Fool in the Rain” and “In the Evening”. Led Zeppelin became more than just a band because they disbanded letting the world know that they WERE rock and roll. They put on a great show that could last hours, and as I have heard, these shows were well worth the wait and you would never be bored during a show. Robert Plant was a true showman and his vocals were very distinct which also gave Led Zeppelin a certain character. I truly do wish that I could time travel and go back to one of Led Zeppelin’s shows. They rightfully earned a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and according to Rolling Stone, John Bonham is the number 1 drummer of all time and also according to Rolling Stone, Jimmy Page is the third best guitarist of all time. In case you are wondering, Jimi Hendrix is number 1 guitarist of all time, and rightfully so. Led Zeppelin disbanded in 1980 after the death of their drummer John Bonham but the legacy never died. There will never be another Led Zeppelin but as they say, heroes get remembered, but legends never die and Led Zeppelin is here to stay and most definitely still alive.

The Beatles


Where does someone start when describing the impact The Beatles had on both the music and cultural movement of rock and roll? The Beatles went through phases, such as their first phase which was the clean cut look with the “mop top” hairstyle during the early sixties. This era gave The Beatles their start and made them heartthrobs for many teenage girls during this phase; this put The Beatles on the map in both the UK and the United States starting what is known as the British Invasion. The British invasion included many other artists and musical groups such as The Rolling Stones and The Animals. The Beatles debut album Please Please Me, which was released in 1963 features some iconic songs such as “Please Please Me”, “Love Me Do”, and “Twist and Shout”. All four Beatles members Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison wrote songs, however, most Beatles songs are written by McCartney and Lennon. As The Beatles entered their psychedelic phase, it becomes easier to determine if McCartney or Lennon wrote a song due to the lyrics and style. The Beatles also made films and created soundtracks to go along with the films such as Help! which features “Help” and “Yesterday”. Another film they created with a featured soundtrack was The Magical Mystery Tour which features songs such as “I Am the Walrus” and “Strawberry Fields”.  This film did not do very well due to the psychedelic imagery and ideas which are hard to follow. When The Beatles entered their psychedelic phase, they began experimenting with sound and different instruments. Experimentation and discovery of new sounds is vital for artists because it allows an artist or group to stay relevant and fresh. In their album Rubber Soul, the song “Norwegian Wood” shows experimentation by having Harrison play the sitar which is an Indian lute. The album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heartsclub Band was also a huge success coming from the psychedelic phase. This album features “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds”, “A Day in the Life”, and “When I’m Sixty Four”. The Beatles developed both musically and personally throughout their time together. The Beatles history goes deeper than simply the music they created and the audience they performed to. The Beatles story is a great one and the people who got them to fame have important roles as well, such as their manager, Brian Epstein, who put his heart and soul into making sure The Beatles would have success. There are many other albums that I did not mention such as Abbey Road, Let It Be, and White Album, because I could sit here all day and write novels on each album and its impact to the career of The Beatles. The story of The Beatles is  very interesting, and if The Beatles are band that you are interested in, then I highly suggest you do some research on them, if you have not already; just simply google an album or go on itunes or Spotify and listen to some songs. In addition, I created a playlist as well for The Beatles in my playlists tab on my home page.