By: Harmony Takhar
November 13, 2015 had quite a few album releases. There was Justin Bieber, One Direction, Hailee Steinfeld, Jeezy, Alessia Cara, Ty Dolla $ign, and Logic, to name a few. If you haven’t taken the chance to check them out, whether you weren’t sure they were worth your time or any other reason, I’ve got you covered.
Justin Bieber’s album, named Purpose, is the number one downloaded album on iTunes. This was Bieber’s fourth album. The album had 14 songs on it, and the deluxe edition had five extra songs, the Wal-mart edition had two extra songs, and if you pre-ordered the album on iTunes then there was a bonus track, which was a remix of “What Do You Mean” with Ariana Grande. The album was somewhat a comeback album. After taking some time off and headlining most tabloids with nothing but negative things about him for the past three or four years, Bieber came back to writing and recording new music. Some of the songs on the album were about his past relationship with Selena Gomez, others were about finding his “purpose” in life. In his Instagram posts, he claims that his fans gave him “purpose” in life. He believes everyone should find their purpose and it’s important, so he basically made a whole album for it.
Critics thought that the album was mediocre, but fans claim the album went above and beyond. Bieber co-wrote all of his songs and Skrillex produced quite a bit of songs on his album. Skrillex and Bieber collaborated on a track, “Where are U Now,” and liked how they meshed together. The songs that weren’t produced by Skrillex sounded a lot like the old Justin Bieber music, which is by no means an insult. My favorites on the album were “Purpose” and “Life is Worth Living.” They’re motivational songs and produced very well. The songs I absolutely loved were “No Sense” ft Travis Scott, “No Pressure” ft Big Sean (IT MENTIONS EMPIRE), “Love Yourself”, “Sorry”, “We Are” ft Nas, “Company”, and “Been You.” Those songs are FIRE. The rest of the songs on the album are all right. I didn’t exactly prefer them, but they’re not completely bad. He released dance videos to all of his songs from the album the next day on his YouTube channel.
Although he lost a lot of fans from the past few years, I think he has regained most, if not all of them back, and maybe even more. He did make a few mistakes in the past, but I think it wasn’t fair that it was publicized so much. It was a part of growing up, and every teenager goes through a stupid phase where they make mistakes. It wasn’t fair for him because all of his mistakes were shown to all of the world. In the end, it only made him a stronger person and I guess you could say Bieber Fever is back.
One Direction’s album, Made in the A.M, is number four on the top downloaded list on iTunes. Their sound is a little different because Zayn Malik left the group, but other than that, it’s mostly the same type of pop music they usually sing. This is the group’s fifth and last album they’ll be singing together as a group. After their album’s tour, they’ll be parting their ways.
Critics also gave this album a mediocre rating. Fans, however, had gone crazy over the album. My favorites were “Drag Me Down”, “Perfect”, “If I Could Fly”, “Never Enough”, “Olivia”, “History”, “Temporary Fix” and “Wolves.” I love those songs. “History” was kind of like a farewell song for the group, but it could apply to relationships as well. Most of the songs on the album are relationship songs. Other songs I liked were “End of the Day”, “Infinity”, and “Hey Angel.” The other songs on the album just didn’t quite do it for me. The album as a whole was pretty decent.
Hailee Steinfeld didn’t quite release an album, it was an extended play, but it was still a release of a collection of songs, so I’m going to go ahead and count it. Her EP was called HAIZ. It was only four songs, but it’s fine, because all four songs were GREAT. One was her first single, “Love Myself”, which I absolutely loved, but then I actually listened to the lyrics after my friend told me to. The song is basically about masturbation, so that realization kind of changed how I thought of the song. Now, I just laugh when I hear that song. I’m still a fan of hers though, because she acted in one of my favorite movies, Ender’s Game. She was initially recognized from her acting, but later started to go into music, and she signed to Republic Records this year.
The other three songs on the album were “You’re Such A”, “Hell No’s and Headphones”, and “Rock Bottom”. I adored ALL three of those songs. They’re kind of like break-up songs, but because they’re produced so well, and written so well, you honestly can’t help but to sing along. The lyrics are very relatable and I can’t wait for her debut album because her EP was just so dang GOOD.
I was kind of reluctant to listen to album, Church in These Streets, by Jeezy, the rapper. I heard some of the singles that were from the album and I didn’t quite like them so I didn’t think the album was going to be as good because the singles are generally supposed to be some of the best tracks from an album. This was Jeezy’s eighth album. The album had 19 tracks on it. I am glad that ended up listening to it though because I found a few songs I really liked and ended up adding to my music list.
A lot of the songs had the same sound, just different lyrics. The songs I liked were “Grind State”, “Hustlaz Holiday”, the interlude called “Eternal Reflection”, “Just Win”, and “Feel Ya.” The album wasn’t bad, I just think those were the only songs worth checking out. Critics actually gave this album a very high rating, so I guess it’s just a difference of opinion, or rather, a difference in taste of music.
Alessia Cara’s debut album was called Know-It-All. She got most of her fans after her hit single, “Here”, which was included on the album. She was eventually signed to Def Jam Records, which is odd because Def Jam is known as a hip-hop and R&B label, and Cara’s music is definitely not either. Her type of music is kind of pop, but it’s different from it, she’s got a genre of her own. Her style is a ’90s vibe, but modern at the same time. She has released most of the album as singles and most of them have music videos. Her music videos are unique though, most of them are homemade videos, it’s pretty different compared to most pop artists, but I think that’s what fans are attracted to her by.
Her album ended up getting pretty high ratings too. She had a total of ten tracks on the album. The tracks I especially liked were “Seventeen”, “Here”, “I’m Yours”, and “Scars to Your Beautiful.” Those songs relate to me a lot, and it’s not just me, it’s most teenagers. Her lyrics are directed towards teenagers, around her age. Other songs I liked were “Outlaws”, “Stone”, and “Overdose.” These songs are about young love, which I’m sure many can or have related to. Most of her songs on the album had the same sound, so it would’ve been nice if some were slow and others were fast, but most songs were at about a medium pace. I’m curious to see if she stays with her style of music or change it as she creates more music.
Rapper, Ty Dolla $ign’s album was called Free TC. He initially got recognition for writing another rapper’s, YG, lyrics for a hit song. YG and him started working together through Def Jam Record’s encouragement and they eventually became really close friends.
Critics responded the album pretty well. His music is different because you generally hear hip-hop songs that are loud and have a certain beat in the background. In contrast, much of the album actually had music like guitar and piano playing and most of it was relatively slow. It’s definitely the type of music just to listen to, not something you can easily dance along to. I was surprised that in a lot of his songs, it wasn’t just him rapping, but he actually sang in them, well I might add. In one of his songs, “Bring it Out of Me,” there was a fan giving feedback on Ty Dolla $ign’s music and he says, “You don’t have just one kind of music… you know how to do everything.” The album initially started as another EP, but he ended up extending it to become his debut album. The album consisted of 16 tracks. Some of the tracks I liked were “Saved” ft E-40, “Straight Up” ft Jagged Edge, “Miracle/Whenever” ft TC & D-Loc, and “Sitting Pretty” ft Wiz Khalifa. My favorites were “Solid” ft Babyface, “Know Ya” ft Trey Songz, “Guard Down” ft Kanye West, “When I See Ya” ft Fetty Wap, and “Only Right” ft YG, Joe Moses, and TeeCee4800. All of the album except three tracks had features. Because this was his debut album, and it was pretty dang good, I only expect more good music from him.
The last album I got the chance to listen to was The Incredible True Story by Logic, another rapper. This is Logic’s second studio album, however he’s had quite a few mixtapes and has been around for a bit of a while. I’ve been a fan of Logic since I heard some of his earliest work from back in 2010. His music right now is “all about his fans.” His album contained 16 tracks. The theme of this album was that it was the future, after 2065, and the earth was no longer sustainable to live on because humans have ruined the planet, so the few humans that were left were going on a trip to find “paradise” which is basically a planet sustainable to live on. They talk about this “paradise” throughout the album, but in one of the scenes, named Babel, those searching for “paradise” say that they fear even if they find “paradise,” they will just destroy it again.
This album had the highest ratings from critics of all of the other albums I heard that were released on this day. I feel like this album is really deep, and because of that the album is more likeable. Logic puts a lot of time in his lyrics and it shows in his music. He says he’s been in relationships before, but they never work out, because he always ends up finding he’s in love with music more than he could ever be in love with a person, which is why you won’t find most of his songs about relationships. His lyrics come and go so fast on most of his songs that you either have to close your eyes and only pay attention to nothing but the music or you actually have to look up the lyrics or else they’ll just go over your head. When I first started listening to the album, I thought of it as something average he worked on, but the best part of his album are the middle tracks. The best tracks were “I am the Greatest”, “Lord Willin’ “, “City of Stars”, “Stainless”, and “Paradise.” Those are FIRE (*insert 20 million flame emojis*). The rest of the album was some of his average work, but these tracks were above and beyond. As a fan, I was very pleased with this album.
“November 2015 Album Releases.” , Music Releases. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.
Bieber, Justin. Purpose. Justin Bieber. Skrillex, 2014-2015. CD.
Instagram. Justin Bieber. Purpose. N.p., n.d. Web.
One Direction. Made in the A.M. 2015. CD.
Steinfeld, Hailee. HAIZ. Hailee Steinfeld. 2015. CD.
Jeezy. Church in These Streets. Jeezy. 2015. CD.
Cara, Alessia. Know-It-All. Alessia Cara. 2015. CD.
Ty Dolla $ign. Free TC. Rec. 13 Nov. 2015. 2015. CD.
Logic. The Incredible True Story. Logic. 2015. CD.