A SEAT AT THE TABLE (ALBUM REVIEW)

HI GUYS!! Hope you guys have had an awesome week! I know I have. Today I’ll be reviewing a new masterpiece released by Solange Knowles which she called “`A Seat at the Table”.

I think it’s safe to say that 2016 has been a pretty awesome year for music. We’ve had a lot of unique and diverse albums come in different forms this year and I’ve been loving every bit of it. I haven’t been one to listen to any previous Solange albums until this one but, I know I loved two singles from her last album “True” which are Lovers in the parking lot and Losing You. Solange Knowles has never been a mainstream musician, that is to say that her sound is definitely an acquired taste and its very likely that a lot of people would not appreciate the artistry behind her music. Her sound is very unique in the sense that it reminiscent to the likes of Anderson Paak and Frank Ocean but still manages to set its self apart and solidify its ground as Urban Contemporary R’n’B.

With a track list of 21 songs including features from Lil Wayne, Sampha, Kelela, The Dream and BJ The Chicago Kid, “A Seat at The Table” is a very coherent album which explores very present human emotions at the same time telling an unapologetic story of black excellence. Aside from the music there are also heart felt interludes giving more depth and emotion to the story of this album. The first track is one of my favourite tracks and I feel it was a brilliant intro to the album, it’s kind of like a soft pillow preparing for the sweet sleep that is “A Seat at the Table”. I can’t even pick my favourite tracks at this point because every song has something different to offer from the next but the album is still so coherent so much so that its almost difficult to point out when the next track comes on (The Key is the interludes). As for her vocals on this album I was really surprised to hear her hit some notes, they weren’t big notes but that doesn’t matter because her music doesn’t need the big boisterous notes, there’s something about her vocals that just speaks to my soul.  The interludes are also amazing and somewhat uplifting, my best has to be Mama Tina’s interlude (Tina taught me) which comes right before Don’t Touch my Hair (listen to it and you’ll know why).

I’m really just in love with this album and it’s good to know that Solange has a very different sound from Beyonce and they really can’t be compared although lemonade and A Seat at the Table can be seen as companion albums in some ways. It’s not surprising though because they grew up in the same household and heard the same conversations. According to Solange they both have been pro-black their whole lives and I’m glad it’s very inherent in their music. I’ll definitely be snagging Solanges previous albums but remember if you don’t appreciate the music doesn’t mean it’s bad, shit or crap, it just isn’t your cup of tea but if you appreciate good music then this album is the right fit.

Sorry this is coming so late guys, the internet struggle is real. Please make sure you leave a comment, Let me know your best tracks from A Seat at the Table. Also, be sure to check my previous material, like and share this blog please!! See you next time!

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PERFECT ILLUSION OR A PERFECT DELUSION?

Hey guys!! Lady Gaga released her latest single a few days (September 9th) titled “Perfect Illusion” which serves as the lead single for her upcoming fifth studio album but more importantly it’s her come back to pop music since her previous pop release ARTPOP in 2013. ARTPOP was lady gaga’s fourth studio album which had quite the tasteful sound; meaning, ARTPOP was a bit ahead of its time. Following ARTPOP, the pop songstress took to creating a jazz masterpiece with music legend Tony Bennet titled “Cheek to Cheek” another album of acquired taste.  It was not a flop for jazz music but compared to her legacy it was probably her worst album. So this single needed to have character (which it did) it needed to have pizaz (which it also did) but above all it needed to speak volumes to the masses and it needed to have an inequitable over the top bang which it lacked.

Her working on this song with Mark Ronson, Blood pop and Kevin Parker I would have expected it to have that IT factor but it didn’t do it for me. Listening to the song the first time it seemed to paint the picture of a new age on further analyses you can tell it sounded somewhat unfinished (or is it just me? Leave a comment). The start of the song was rather electrifying but along the line I was a bit lost in the instrumental (which Is typical for me listening to pop rock songs but don’t worry I found myself). Her vocals were undeniably strong and clear though which is her strong suit given her limited vocal range. I really liked the chorus it has this element that would make it stick even hours after listening to it. The bridge was amazing and then the key change happened and I was teleported to another dimension. Now my problem with this song is not that its bad but it just doesn’t scream comeback to me and it’s too short. Being a big gaga fan I really hoped for a longer experience but alas Miss Germanotta had something different for me.

It’s a bit different from Gaga’s usual sound but still very reminiscent of Madonna’s Papa Don’t Preach and some of Gaga’s older songs. I like the song and I would still continue listening to it, I think you guys should give it a listen if you haven’t and if you have lemme know your thoughts in the comment section.

Thank you for reading, Don’t Forget to Like Comment and Follow. Also Please share this blog with your Friends and family.

BEYONCÉ SAVES THE 2016 VMA’s 

Just because Beyonce served all types of slay at the 2016 VMA’s and she probably snatched your edges bald and set your favs career on fire all while winning eight out of eleven nominations, I felt like I should dedicate one post to her.

So Beyonce arrived the white carpet with her entourage (the lemonade cast) and her dress was fresh off the runway. Now this dress was excellent an embellished greyish blue sequined dress but I wasn’t here for the neck piece from the front but looking at it from the back?! I was just like “you better snatch those wigs BEY!!” she took her black power statement to another level just like what she did at the BET awards red carpet. This time she came along with mothers of police brutality victims Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown and Oscar Grant. Blue Ivy was definitely no exception to the entourage and baby girl has become the little diva, some people say she was even dressed better than her mother (what do you think? Leave a comment down below).

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THE PERFORMANCE

So Serena Williams came up and I was already in a mess of emotions because I didn’t know what to expect at all but I knew It was going to be nothing but greatness. At this point you already know I was a mess, my hands were shaking and I was trying to take notes but once she came on the screen and I heard “I tried to make a home out of you, but doors lead to trap doors” I gave up. Beyonce stood on that stage looking like she just dropped from heaven in that white couture fur cape which was the over garment to her white lace gown with her wide brim white fedora hat.

 

The spoken word continues as the words are displayed over her chest and simultaneously on the screen behind her. She opened her mouth “you can taste the dishonesty its all over your breath” for the first time she sang “pray you catch me” live and it was beautiful. She was clear, her vocals were perfect as usual and in that moment I was wondering what I had been watching before she came on. She continues singing and her back-up dancers are now brought into light. They begin to fall one by one into a pool of red light signifying them being shot (this represents the black men and women who have been fatal victims of police brutality). She remains the last one standing on stage, moving forward a man wearing a black hoodie walks up behind her (representing Trayvon Martin) in an attempt to prevent her from being shot before the stage fades to black.

The spoken word begins yet again as she transitions from Pray You Catch Me to Hold Up (Denial). Obviously the good sis is no longer in her white cape, she adorns herself in a black lace leotard which easily made its way to one of the best costumes of the night. While singing her vocals are clean and clear almost exactly how it sounds on the track. Immediately after the first verse she skips to the bridge which leads us to an amazing yet fleeting countdown dance break (almost lost my mind at this point). In true diva fashion she ended that segment by smashing one of MTV’s cameras.

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Next up we have my fave spoken word from the album“so what are you gonna say at my funeral now that you’ve killed? Here lies the body of the love of my life who’s heart I broke without a gun to my hand”. She makes her way to her backup dancers who are awaiting her. The part where she says “ashes to ashes, dust to side chicks” was even more intense with her dancers throwing up literal dust in the air. Sorry begins and Y’all know this song is a mad bop! I was just vibing with the Queen and having the time of my life in my sitting room. You know the good sis came to slay us with visuals and choreography.

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Don’t Hurt Yourself is next and you know mami had to have her fur on. You know she went all out for this song, cussing and giving us that Sasha fierce spice. After the first few lines theres a little twerk dance break which was just GOLD. She moves to centre stage completely owning it while making every other performance of the night look like a joke. She is then literally a fire breathing dragon surrounded by a ring of fire. Formation comes on and you know I don’t have to talk too much, her vocals were on point, she started with a different arrangement added some new choreography, she pooched the fuck out of that and murdered that performance.

Beyonce won 8 awards that night (including video of the year & best female video) making her the most awarded artist in VMA history. I think at this point it’s safe to say that Beyonce is yet to meet a stage that she cannot conquer and to the people who say that Beyonce always does the same thing I suggest you take trip down memory lane and digest all of her 6 different Eras. Beyonce is the embodiment of greatness and has set the bar for performances around the world, she finds a way to out do herself every time she graces a stage and the 2016 VMA’s can attest to that.

Thank You all for reading as always, forgive me for the late post (internet issues). Let me know your thoughts in the comment section down below below. Always remember to share, like and please follow my blog if you like to be up-to-date.

Also the official video for for Sorry and Hold up are available now at BeyonceVevo just click here to watch and get your life.

Photo Credit: Elle magazine, MTV.com, iamdidara.wordpress.com and getty images.

 

 

THE 2016 MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS

Yes, yes yes baby girls (and boys)!!!! If you haven’t been living under a rock, then you’ve probably had a glimpse of what went down last night at the VMA’s 2016 which took place at Madison Square Garden New York City. I’m not going to be giving you a full list of the winners last night but I will be reviewing the show from performance to performance starting with the VMA white carpet Pre-Show.

THE PRE-SHOW

The pre-show kicked off with a wonderful performance by Alessia Cara and Troye Sivan. It’s been a pretty big year for the two relatively new artistes who pretty much just came on the scene and have been getting recognition since their arrival. Alessia cara starts us off with her song wild things, her vocals were spot on, loved her energy. Troye sivan joins her on stage and gives us a little flavour with his song wild, his vocals very much like Alessia were very beautiful. Moving on our next performer Jidenna begins his performance on a roof. A little bit more began to play and I knew Jidenna was going to bring it. He served us vocals he served us energy he served raunchy dance moves. It was a live performance and I honestly had fun watching him perform. Lukas graham is next up and I was feeling it at first but he lost me towards the middle of the performance. It’s not that I don’t like him but something was just off honestly. Aside from the performances, there was a lot of mayhem on the white carpet from the arrival of artistes to the interviews people were all over the place. Every single person who walked the white carpet was serving looks hunty!!! Some of my fave looks were Chance the rapper, Jaden smith, future, Nicki Minaj, Beyonce, Britney spears, Jidenna and tiwa savage!! Ariana Grande, Halsey, Hailee steinfeld, you know what they’re too many please I’ll just give you a few pictures of who I think looked really good and who had the most daring looks at the 2016 VMA’S White carpet.

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THE MAIN EVENT

Rihanna gurrrlllll! Opens up the show with the first of her 4 video vanguard performances and from the start this performance was actually just in one word slay. Her pink get up was giving me all kinds of life I was here for it, her back up dancers were amazing as well and that ponytail!! She starts with a little of “don’t stop the music” x “only girl in the world” giving me live vocals she moves on to the biggest hit of her career “we found love” and her choreography was fresh not like the tired stuff I’m used to. The transition to where have you been really had me gasping for air mehn!! She basically ripped out the choreography from the video which I loved and I even tried learning (but failed) back in the day.

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Rihanna’s First Performance 

I don’t know what’s up with MTV but they always fail to get hosts that can be entertaining throughout the show. Like key&peele were cute at the start but in the long run they were really just getting on my nerves. You may not feel the same but I was really over it. The co-hosts on the other hand did a decent job at giving me little to no laughter. Basically the host situation at the VMA’s this year was an absolute mess. Drake won the moon man for best hip hop video (hotline bling-which I predicted) by Sean Diddy Combs and as usual drake was not available for his award. Next to take the VMA stage are Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande (I Stan them both!!), they were introduced by Chance the rapper (his outfit was bomb as hell!). Following the pink colour code Ariana begins her performance with strong vocals but once she begins to soul cycle her vocals get shaky. She regains control later on in the performance. Her outfit (a two piece boustier with pants) alongside Nicki’s pink leotard and boots looked simply lush and exquisite they were serving looks during this performance. Nicki naturally has more energy than she displayed in this performance but generally I liked it.

 

Alicia keys comes on stage looking beautiful in her kimono inspired gown and aunty said she had a poem but she ended up giving us an acapella performance. I can’t say I wasn’t feeling it because it was deep on so many levels and her voice even added a lot more depth to it. She presents best male video and another chance slipped out of Bryson’s fingers with Calvin Harris taking the moon man home for This is what you came for Ft. Rihanna (how was the Weeknd even part of the nominees though). Michael Phelps introduces futures performance of Fuck up some Commas and honestly this performance was a waste of my time, you can come for me trap heads but the only thing good about this performance was his outfit. This nigga came out sounding like my microwave oven at 360 degrees and even at that he had zero energy, like I know how people turn up to fuck up some commas so please bring the energy of the song to the stage.

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Future wasting our time 

Kanye takes the stage to debut his new music video for “Fade” starring Teyana Taylor but obviously before he did that he talked about his famous music video which hasn’t lacked any backlash or controversy since it’s release. I sat through half of the speech before I went to get a snack, it was at least refreshing to know that Kanye stans Beyonce as well. I watched the speech again and it actually made a lot of sense but that wasn’t the main event. That music video was shocking as in it redefined the word shocking, I really couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw how snatched this woman’s body was, she was immaculate. I really didn’t see the relevance of the video and the message behind it but I can tell you that video has made me have a new appreciation for the song.

 

Naomi Campbell in her second outfit of the night introduces Rihanna’s second performance of the night and it was fire! It wasn’t about the vocals for this one (that’s a pass for her because she didn’t sound so good) but it was about her bringing that island dancehall to the stage. She started with a pimped out reggae remix of “rude boy” I was here for that. Then she moves on with the reggae feel to “what’s my name” just for a little bit before the dance break begins. The stage was transformed to a proper dancehall club, it was like she transported the work video to the stage and trust me when work came on I can swear my inner island freak was let loose at around 2am I was dancing around the living room.vmas-after-naomi-c

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Nick Jonas decided to be different and perform in a diner instead of the stage. Well it was cute you know, a bit refreshing from seeing just the inside of Madison square garden. He was serving looks and vocals as usual, it was weird they were playing with all that food when I was sitting here looking for something spicy to eat, it’s cool it’s cool. TY dolla $ign did his thing it was cute and short (just how I like it). Nick moved his performance from the diner to the back of a truck to the top of a fire truck, it was a very nice performance you know different from the usual stage stuff.

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Next Serena Williams introduces Beyonce’s performance of lemonade live. (I’m sure you thought I was about to go off, nope😝😝😝😝) You can read about that in my next post.

Now probably the biggest fuck up of the night (excluding future #trapheadsstaywoke) Britney (mic off) spears. Y’all know that this was supposed be Britney’s triumphant return to the VMA’s and lord knows I had such high expectations but I was crushed when she came out and once again her mic was off. I mean her dance moves were better than her billboard performance (more fluidity) but bitch I want to hear you sing!! Beyonce is your mate does she have 10 heads? Come on! Anyway her outfit was cute and besides my disappointment it was still a little nice to see her on stage after all she’s been through. Thinking it would get better G-eazy came out did his thing, very nice chemistry on stage but! Me myself and I came on and I wasn’t even having it at all. It just looked awkward and forced and her mic still wasn’t on. Anyway the sum of the story is that them two made it look like they were going to swallow each other then G-eazy wanted a kiss and aunty brittles said “no no baby boy not tonight” and they were finished (The L was mighty trust me). On the plus side Kim looked bomb as hell.

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Tracee Ellis ross introduces Rihanna’s third performance. First of all, the visuals in this performance were amazing and the fact that she started with needed me was just mind boggling on the other hand her outfit was everything I mean throughout the whole show she had been doing the most with these outfits. On the down side her vocals were below par honey like where is the magic from the first performance? She moves to pour it up and badgal is literally feeding me choreography for days and I’ve been loving this side of Rihanna with proper choreo. Of course she performed bitch better have my money and that was really the icing on the cake for this one.

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Best new artist was announced and I was actually more than furious. We all know that Bryson tiller deserved that award hands down. A nigga went platinum with no features, I know it’s not a new thong like J.Cole did this a not too long ago but for an artiste who just came on the scene it’s a bloody big deal. Bryson tiller should have won it period.

The Chainsmokers perform their hit single “Closer” with Halsey and at this point I was still shaking from Beyonce stealing the show but their performance was really cool, I liked it. The song is nice it wasn’t anything too spectacular, don’t have much to stay about it.

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Rihanna’s final performance starts with “stay” playing from the piano and the stage? That dress? Beautiful! Beautiful!! Beautiful!!! At this point we are abundantly sure that Rihanna cannot successfully sing and dance but that doesn’t matter at this point because she is slaying these songs vocally and I can see why she left these songs for last. Diamonds (thanks to SIA) is one of Rihanna’s best ballads and she executed it nicely for a hot minute before she performed Love on the brain! (my favourite song of Anti). This wasn’t as intense as the billboard award performance but it was vocally tasking and badgal came through. She must be using some kind of magic for her to be able to hit those notes in love on the brain and not be able to sing work properly (no shade just TEA).

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Drake comes on stage (after being absent the most part of the show) wielding Rihanna’s Michael Jackson Video Vanguard. He proceeds to giving us a long speech professing his love for Rihanna and making some incorrect statements but that’s cool we know your brain is probably clogged with love for the Barbados princess (jokes jokes, don’t come for me). So Rihanna finally gives her acceptance speech which was simply empowering (lowkey notice how drake said he loved her and she said she loved Barbados ☕️☕️).

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In a nutshell the 2016 MTV VMA’S would have been a hot mess if not for Rihanna, Beyonce and Kanye. Let me know what you thought of the award show, your favourite moments all that jazz in the comment section below. Thank you for checking out my blog please don’t forget to like and share guys please! Make sure to check out my next post.

Pictures from this post were gotten from cosmopolitan.com, daily mail, getty images, justjared.com, stalkcelebs.com and mtv.com

PENTATONIX

HEY Guys!!! It’s me again with something a little bit different from what I would normally do. I’m not reviewing anything today, this is just what I would call an appreciation or recognition post and from another point of view I would be introducing you to the awesomeness of Pentatonix and everything you need to know about them. Before I begin to fangirl over how much I love them I’ll just give you a little background history.

So Pentatonix (A.K.A PTX) is an American Acapella group consisting of five Vocalists; Avi Kaplan (Bass), Scott Hoying (Tenor), Kevin Olusola (Beat boxer), Mitch Grassi (everything LOL) and Kristie Maldonado (Soprano and Alto).

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From left to right; Avi Kaplan, Kristie Maldonado, Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi, Kevin Olusola.

PTX had its inception in the year 2011 and was shot to superstardom the same year after winning the acapella competition the sing-off which earned them a cash prize $200,000 and a recording contract with SONY music. They later formed their popular YouTube channel after being dropped by Epic and distributed their music through Madison Gate Records which is formidable for distribution of movie soundtracks. They have racked up over 1.54 billion total views and 10.5 million subscribers, making their channel the 13th most subscribed music video channel on YouTube. Their music is mostly covers of already existing songs in medleys coupled with tight harmonies, killer extensive vocal runs and riffs, steady basslines (thank you Avi) and beat boxing (Kevin slays).

They currently have 3 EP’S (PTX vol. I-III), one studio album (Pentatonix) consisting of mostly original arrangements and two holiday releases (PTXmas & That’s Christmas to me).

That’s Christmas to me was recently certified double platinum earlier this year and they have won two Grammy’s for Best arrangement, Instrumental or acapella for “Daft Punk” at the 57th annual Grammy awards and then again for “Dance of the sugar plum fairy” at the 58th annual Grammy awards, making them the only acapella group to have won the award ever.PPP

Okay I’m tired of this history lesson, let’s get down to the music. Now if you think I’m lying when I say these people are massively and extremely talented, you are highly mistaken. I’m yet to find a group as vocally talented and diverse as this merry band. In fact, PTX will definitely kill a good number of artistes vocally be it individually or collectively. Damn! Listening to these people sing is amazing because they use no instruments or computer generated beats, every single sound is mad by their voices. At first I thought it was a lie but I heard them perform live and I can say that my life was changed. Also they are also vocally challenging cus their vocal runs and riffs are definitely Beyonce worthy (and Beyonce is the Queen of Vocal runs and riffs). If you haven’t listened to PTX before and this post hasn’t convinced you enough, head over to their YouTube channel and just take your pick, they never disappoint. Scott and Mitch also have their own spinoff YouTube channel “Sup3rFruit” and I tell you these two were a music match made in heaven. Their voices fit perfectly together, mitch having a higher vocal range than your fav (except Ariana Grande, Beyonce and the like, no shad but shade) slays every single note that proceeds from his mouth and Scott’s riffs are just fire.

I’m sorry for the long ass post but I just felt like sharing my love PTX and their awesomeness. I really appreciate the beauty and hard work behind their music. Here’s a link to PTX’s official YouTube Channel here and a link to the spinoff channel Sup3rFruit here.

As always thank you for reading, please don’t forget to like, comment, subscribe and share! Please share!!!! Let me know if there is anything you would like me to review in my next post in the comment section.

SONG OF THE WEEK

Hey guys!! Its your boy back again with another song of the week. I know I said I was going to upload one every week but being totally honest it was a failed attempt because my demographic behind this isn’t just to share with you guys awesome music, but it’s to share songs that I think I have a personal connection with. So on that note I will be dropping one of these once in a while, you know whenever I feel motivated to.

So if you’re one to follow the activities of the music industry/society, then you definitely don’t miss the Annual Grammy Awards. There were some amazing performances this year, I’m sure you all remember Lady Gaga’s David Bowie tribute (Epic!!) and you definitely remember the duet between James Bay and Tori Kelly. Yeah those performances were awesome but when this particular artiste who I had never heard of took the stage with Ellie Goulding I knew I had to get her song. That leads to my song of the week; Rise up by Andra Day. Rise up isn’t your conventional pop song, it’s a song that takes root in the somewhere from the mid 80’s to early 2000’s (in the same tone with the rest of her album).

I love this song not only because of her amazing vocals, but this song has a strong message and I believe we all need this in our lives. When you’ve been let down enough times in this life or you’ve been pushed around more than a couple times, you begin to believe people when they tell you you’re not good enough or you’ll never be anything more than a name that they call you. Being through what I’ve been through this song gave me a new sense of hope. It made me feel again. It has almost a chemical effect on me and because of that it’s become one of my everyday listen s just because I love how it makes me feel.

So if you haven’t listened to rise up, I strongly suggest you get to your nearest music provider (ITunes, Apple music, Spotify) and make this a part of your favourite playlist.

 

BRITNEY SPEARS: MAKE ME FEAT. G-EAZY

Hey everyone, I’m back again! Today it came to my notice that the so called “princess of pop” (no shade but shade) has released the first song of her ninth studio album (which is untitled to the best of my knowledge) and it’s called Make Me. Let’s just hope that this song doesn’t make me want to jump off a bridge (like her last album did), and let’s hope it’s a more successful attempt at a comeback than that Britney Jean and bubble-gum popping pretty girls she released last summer.

In retrospect it always sounded like Britney had a never ending cold, but now I can hear here words more clearly and her vocals seem to be smoother than ever. Please can I just contact the vocal coaches who have been training girls like Britney and Rihanna? (no shade again but shade!!). the song is very mellow and subtle at the start but the production builds up towards the chorus and I know I’ve said it already but her vocals on this song are so smooth seems like I’m being sent into a trans once the chorus comes on. It’s one of those songs I want to lip sync to in the shower LOL. The production really goes well with G-Eazy’s verse, his intro was pretty smooth and it fit perfectly with the song.

I see myself listening to this song a million times before the summer is over and I hope you guys will feel the same way when you listen to the song. It’s a very easy listen, pretty short if you ask me but it’s probably the tip of the iceberg of what is to come from the 34-year-old pop artiste in the nearest future.