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The album that shook the world.

Hello, readers!

So, Fifth Harmony just released their new album…and SHE’S A BOP!  You heard me right, 5H’s 3rd studio album came out on August 25th and took us all by surprise. The self-titled album was very anticipated by fans and music insiders alike, as it was the first album from the Urban-pop girl group as a foursome. As we all know, last December, Camila Cabello took her leave from the group to pursue a solo music career. After that, the only question that everyone had was: Is this the end of Fifth Harmony? Well, the girls gave us their answer and appeared on the Billboard: People’s Choice Awards, where they premiered their new version of the hit single, “Work From Home”. The performance was hailed as “courageous” and “fresh”. It was definitely different, but Ally, Dinah Jane, Normani, and Lauren got up on stage and served. Even winning the award for Favorite Group. That night they made a statement, that Fifth Harmony was here to stay! The girls then went on to finish their 7/27 tour, which had its hiccups. The girls were not as confident and they really were questioning themselves as performers. Near the end of the last leg of the 7/27 tour, the girls announce that they were indeed working on new music, even while rumors swirled that the girls were on the brink of breaking up.

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Fifth Harmony performing ‘Miss Movin’ On’ Neon Lights tour 2014

 

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5H after the exit of Camila Cabello.

 

The 7/27 tour finished at the beginning of the summer of 2017 and not long after, on June 2, 2017, the group debuted their new single “Down” ft. Gucci Mane live on Good Morning  America.

  • Personal opinion: Upon first hearing “Down” I thought it was very okay. It definitely had “Work From Home” vibes; with a more urban feel to it. But, the more I listened to it, the more of the vibe I got from it.

“Down” soon became a fan favorite and the foursome added it to their 7/27 setlist for all their summer concerts. It peaked at about #42 on the Billboard Hot 100, which wasn’t great, but not terrible. The girls continued this new PR campaign, promoting themselves as grown women who are artists. Saying that they were now “stronger and more creative than ever. They did their best to put on the idea that the four of them were Fifth Harmony and that no little roadblock would stop them. Though this was hard for some interviewers and music journalists to swallow. Like with any high-profile band drama involving a member leaving, there were plenty of attempts to sidetrack the conversations about the music and the group and talk about the fallen member. Both parties, Camila and 5H, did their best to stay diplomatic, even when their drama was out in the world to see.  However, the girls always found their way back to the music and really hit on the idea that they got to be involved creatively this time around and had a say in what they were doing. They were finally taking control of their brand and their music.

 

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The “new” Fifth Harmony Premiering “Down” on GMA.

 

Speaking of the brand, once Camila left, the group definitely took a turn. Instead of just flirty girl power, the group began to exude a very mature, sultry image, that seems to have carried through to their music.  With most young performers this can feel rough or forced, but for 5H, it seemed to be the right step. This was proved with their second single entitled “Angel”. Which saw the girls channel a darker side. The song itself pretty much saying “We’re not the little girls you thought we were, there’s much more to us than meets the eye.” And boy did the music video and song say that. The vibe of the song is very trappy, think Cardi meets Nicki meets Beyonce meets TLC. It was the hardest track the girls have ever released as a single. The lyrics themselves evoking a much more mature group and shifting dynamic.

Should’ve never crossed that line with ya
Everything was cool, just drinkin’ with ya
Way too young to be up in handcuffs
Wasn’t tryna spend my life on the phone with ya
Gotta keep it on one hundred with ya
The original me wouldn’t fuck with ya
And I was beginning to fuck with ya

As you can see the girls were not playing around. They were going to prove to us that they weren’t the young girls singing songs like “Better Together” and “Miss Movin On”. They were serious young women, who aren’t afraid to be blunt and up front. Ally even accessed her hood side, donning 30 ft of dark weave in the video ( obvious exaggeration). This song was released on August 10, 2017. Just 2 weeks before the release of their album.

In the coming weeks, we then got the album art, which I think, is a really cool cover for the album. The girls also release the title, Fifth Harmony. Yes, they were going with a self-titled album. Why? The girls felt they were finally the Fifth Harmony they wanted to be and they wanted this to be the rebirth of them as a group. Which, makes sense to me, don’t ya think? Also, with the title came the tracklist. Which a lot of people were shocked about.

Firstly, there were only 10 songs on the album. This is their shortest album to date, but the girls felt they wanted a very focused, streamlined album. And there was only ONE feature. Just the one. Again, a decision the girls made, saying they didn’t need anyone else. And I agree, every song on the album speaks for itself.

Of the 10 records on the album, there is only one that I’m not crazy about. Since I’ve already discussed Down and Angel. I’ll start with track 2 and 3rd single “He Like That”

So, this song also got a music video with the album release. And it was fire!!! Seriously, go watch it. I’m not gonna address the slut-shaming by some fans because that’s dumb…its 2017 and they’re grown women. This song has a very reggae-inspired beat, but the electric guitars give it a lot of energy. The girls’ vocals are rather creative and the overall feeling of the song is sexy, fierce, and confident. Dinah and Lauren get to really show off on this song. With, Normani, of course, sneaking a crisp run in there. Plus, the choreo in the music video, is some of the best they have ever delivered.

Then we move on to the song “Sauced Up”. Which seems to be a party anthem. But, also talks about the perils of the millennial generation…getting drunk and hooking up with someone at a party. But, the song definitely has a club feel to it, with a pretty hard beat. The track almost feels like hip-hop. Normani also gets to really SANG on this track. Her vocals have improved so much lately. All of them have really.

The next song, “Make You Mad”, isn’t my favorite, if I am to be honest. It just doesn’t move me. It sounds a little too much like the 7/27 era, which was good, but it doesn’t really feel cohesive with the rest of it. It is a fine song, they just don’t really do anything vocally or musically interesting. It gives me a Ciara vibe though, so I’ll listen to it in a full listen through, but not one I’d just choose to listen to.

Then, there was “Deliver”. This is absolutely my favorite song on the album. It vibes like hell and their vocals are impeccable. Not only are the vocals nice, but they do some really interesting stuff on it. Ally in general on this song slays down. She really gets a chance to shine on this one. It has this truly R&B vibe to it, almost feeling like a Destiny’s Child track. I’d like to see more of this from them definitely. Also, Normani slays the bridge DOWN. This song has the most clever and thoughtful lyrics as well. There a lot of really cute delivery metaphors. This song is a BOP! 

“Lonely Night” is an interesting song. It has this kind of hood, TLC vibe, but the breakdown is very pop-y. It has a very mature vibe to it. It is chill, but still really bops. Again, the girls get to really go for it with the vocals here. All 4 of them get to really go off in this one a little bit. Again, a direction I look forward to seeing them go in.

So, this song is another song that sounds like something from 7/27, however, it is more mature. My issue with MYM is that it just kind of sounds and feels the same way, but this song is definitely heightened from the songs similar on 7/27. Even the way they talk about the subject matter is more in depth. The lyrics of this song are really nice, and really hit the point of the song really well, without being too on the nose. Definitely a nice ballad for them.

We already talked about this, but I’d like to deem “Angel” a BOP! 

Moving on to the penultimate track, “Messy”. Again, that odd R&B/urban pop thing they’re able to do really well. This is another ballad, but it’s very different. Again, a very mature exploration with the content. It is a song about being honest about yourself and the fact that we are all human and, well, messy. There is also a really dope ass vocal breakdown in place of a bridge. It is one of the MOST impressive vocal moments on this album. the way the girls’ riffs and runs all fit and meld together was really well done(yes, they do it live too). And Normani’s. Fucking. Whistle.

The final “Bridges” is just a nice big, beautiful F-U to 45 and his horrid administration. Lauren is always speaking out against the Trump administration and I think this song was written as a statement against all the hate and divisiveness that has come from DJT. And the lyric “Bridges not walls” is enough evidence of that. Plus, I think all of the girls have some sort of Latinx descent in their families. So, all of this hits really close to them. This is just a nice standard pop anthem, a nice way to close the album out, and with the some really nice vocal moments and harmonies.

Well, there you have it! In my opinion, Fifth Harmony is a strong pop album. It is the kind of album that I think a girl group like 5H should be releasing. It really is a landmark for them, and I look forward to seeing how much more they give us. If they’re most recent live performances are any indication, they just keep getting better and better. I think we’re seeing the real rise of the next big girl group here. I wasn’t a true Harmonizer, then I heard this album and I was won over. 9/10 for sure!

Thanks for reading!

Live to laugh another day! Thank you for visiting…

JAYLAND 

 

 

 

Music Monday: #5H3 Is Down the pop anthem of the summer?

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Heyy everyone! Hope everyone is doing well! I am back with a song that I just HAD to talk about! So, Fifth Harmony just released a new song last week, and IT IS FIRE!!!! Well, at least I think so. Now, I have a bit of a checkered past with Fifth Harmony. I first discovered who they really are when I saw them live and in person at Demi Lovato’s Neon Lights Tour. At that point, I thought they were…good. They had some really fun music, good voices, and some nice moves. They really put on a good show. However, that night I also saw Little Mix for the first time, and they’d been out longer and were just more polished and put together as a group.

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Fifth Harmony performing ‘Miss Movin’ On’ Neon Lights tour 2014

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Little Mix performing ‘Salute’ Neon Lights tour 2014

So, I didn’t take them super seriously. I thought they were really cute and might have a few hits, but otherwise, they probably won’t be the Pussycat Dolls or anything. Then, their album Reflections hit the scene and there were a few really good songs on that Album. And Camila was really starting to be showcased more and I thought that was great because her voice was really interesting. Their music had matured a lot and they seemed to be heading in a good direction. However, they had some rough live performances and my faith dropped.

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Fifth Harmony’s debut album Reflections.

Then came 7/27…and everything changed. The single “Work From Home” came out and was an immediate infectious urban pop anthem. And don’t even get me started with the music video. For the first time, I was HIGHLY impressed with a 5H song.

https://giphy.com/embed/eXaiUN0vrHGi4via GIPHY

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Fifth Harmony’s sophomore album 7/27

And every single after that was fire! All in my Head (Flex) is probably my favorite. That one is a serious banger.

Now, to the new song ‘Down’. The first thing that I noticed right off the bat was how it had a very similar vibe to ‘Work From Home’, but the 2 songs are very different from each other. ‘Down’, to me, is a much more mature track, but still, retains the fun and vibe of WFH. They again go with a very simplistic, repetitive refrain that is catchy and easy to sing. They were smart, as they were with WFH, by using that same tactic. There’s more of an R&B vibe to this new jam, and it makes me wanna shake my ass forever.

I think one of the things that ‘Down’ has over WFH is the lyrics. WFH was a very simplistic song with simplistic lyrics and melody. I think the writing of ‘Down’ is more sophisticated, and I can’t wait to hear how this affects the rest of the album. The production of the song is also very crisp and sharp. It hits everything you need in a pop banger; the way the vocals and instrumentation are mixed, where the beat hits in the song and where the girls’ ad lib are all very pristine. With ‘Down’ they’ve really hooked me into this next album already. I am very excited about

With ‘Down’ they’ve really hooked me into this next album already. I am very excited about the future of 5H and this new era they are entering!

Posts From a Busy Bee

Hey there, I know that I do have a few readers. And recently I haven’t been posting anything. I was just so so busy, with working on a show, and working at a restaurant. And then after the show, I went home, and then I tried putting my life back together, but it was tough to catch up. But, I did catch up. I had a good audition as well, so finger crossed. 

As for my content, I’m really excited to say that I know have multiple platforms where you can read my work. I will be freelancing for Manhattan Digest and also the website MyTrendingStories. So, be looking at here for more info on that. After this election, there’s just so much that I feel I need to say. I’ve been reflecting and praying and meditating on it, and I think I’m ready to start speaking. I’m about to work on my you’re tube channel so be looking out for some vlpgs as well. This is a wild adventure I want to embark on in my writing . But, I must make my voice be heard. I’m not perfect and I have my flaws, but I do want to make the fight be known. I wanna use my voice for good and justice.  

So, The Aesthetic is just getting started! 

Live to laugh another day, 

Jaybo 

Motivation/Man Crush Monday: Get ya ass up, show me how you BEARlesque!

This is coming late as hell, I know. Life is hard for a theatre practitioner, sue me. But, I had to get this up, because I am so excited about this. So, this is the first time I’ve ever interviewed anyone for this blog. So, the title of this has a lot to do with the subject of my interview. First let me start off with, I added this person on Facebook first because, well, I thought he was really hot. We all do it. But, then I discovered something very interesting…he’s a burlesque dancer…or Burlesque entertainer as he calls himself. I’m talking about the Indy King of Bearlesque, WAYNE KING! 14650656_1772521046356961_2498088703562727847_n

Woof. Right? Yeah…I know. Not only is he handsome, but he’s a very talented performer and just a super sweet guy! Ahhh…I feel so hip and cool, we had a convo over Facebook and just talked about Burlesque and life. I had such a great time getting to know Wayne as an artist. I really want this blog to represent all types of queer people and I think this is definitely the start of that. And without further ado, here is the interview!

  • So, first question, and I know it’s not creative, I’m just curious; when did you come out of the closet?

  • Wayne King

    I was 15. I knew before sooner. I would say I was like in the 7th grade, and I knew?

  • Jalen Brown

    Cool. That’s pretty young, how did your family take it? Did they pull the whole it’s just a phase thing?

  • Wayne King

    I told my parents on New Years Eve at midnight over the phone. I could hear my dad’s tone shift. And my mom didn’t know how to react. She’s a Polish immigrant. From what I could tell as a youngin that catholicism was the religion of choice there and it was a big no no. I think my dad came to terms with it a lot faster than my mom. They seemingly love my husband. We just don’t bring it up a lot and that’s fine. love my parents, they did a lot for us, but they are just a certain way. We respect each other to still be family.

  • Jalen Brown

    You know, that’s really great to hear. A lot a lot of people don’t get that, and I think it’s quite amazing. So, you’re married you said. How long and who’s the lucky fella?

  • Wayne King

    Been together 10, married 2, and his name is Tim.

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  • Jalen Brown

    Cute! That’s awesome, congrats! Okay, so now that we know a little bit of personal history. Let’s talk what you do. You dance burlesque, correct?

  • Wayne King

    I wouldn’t say dance. I always say I am a burlesque entertainer. That takes away from those who are way more talented than I and breath, eat, sleep this stuff.

    Also, I have two left feet.

  • Jalen Brown

    Hehe. Okay, Burlesque entertainer. Have you always been interested in entertaining? Did you perform at all as a kid?

  • Wayne King

    A few school plays here or there. Burlesque just kind of fell in my lap. I heard about an open audition. I was on the verge of losing my job and had nothing to lose. I knew burlesque was body positive so I wanted to see some of that myself.

  • Jalen Brown

    Cool, as a person who does theatre for a living, I’m always curious if other types of performers start young like a lot of theatre actors/dancers. So, we’ll get back to body positivity. So, you auditioned. What exactly did that consist of?

  • Wayne King

    Learning a little choreography. It wasn’t too difficult for most. It challenged me a little because I’m not used to that kind of learning. Then we had an interview. I think there may have been like an emote with your face bit.

  • Jalen Brown

    So, I guess those school plays helped a bit, huh?

  • Wayne King

    Right. I’m naturally an overly emotive face person.

  • Jalen Brown

    Jalen Brown

    Was it for a troupe? Or just for single performers?

  • Wayne King

    It was a troupe putting on a show, though it was an individual performer’s show with the help of Angel Burlesque to put it on. So, they were looking for independent performers too.

  • Jalen Brown

    Right on. Before I forget where are you from?

    Or where do you currently reside?

  • Wayne King

    From Chicago, live on the Northside of Indianapolis currently.

  • Jalen Brown

    Cool. So, how long have you been a burlesque entertainer? And do you be long to a troupe?

  • Wayne King

    Almost 3 years. 3 years in March to be exact. I am a member of Creme De Les Femmes.

  • Jalen Brown

    How many of the almost 3 years have you belonged to Creme De Les Femmes?

  • Wayne King

    Only about a year now, in November.

  • Jalen Brown

    Cool. So, how did Tim feel about it? Was he supportive?

  • Wayne King

    Tim will always tell me whatever makes me happy, to do it. Obviously within means. He’s not like, if you like Crystal Meth do that. Haha.

  • Jalen Brown

    Haha. Good to know that he’s supportive, but not enabling destructive behavior. So, how often do you perform? And is there somewhere we could watch one of your performances?

  • Wayne King

    Usually monthly to at least bi monthly.

    Yes, I have a YouTube channel.

    Let me see if I can figure this out link correctly.

  • Wayne King

    Wayne King Burlesque
    youtube.com
  • Wayne King

    It goes in chronological order. Hopefully it shows a progression. Lol.

  • Jalen Brown

    Haha. Awesome, I am looking forward to watching these. The art of burlesque has always interested me. Would you talk a little bit about what it means for you and how it’s affected you?

  • Wayne King

    It means the world to me. It’s helped me get so much better about feeling good with my body. I know beauty fades or looks go, but it’s so much deeper than that. I’ve made connections, fans, I’ve traveled with it. I get the occasional message that says I help them feel better about themselves. It’s taught me to costume.on a budget and how to trust some and others less. Be professional. Spread a message.

  • Jalen Brown

    That’s really awesome. It’s great when you discover something you love and you can just throw yourself into it. You said it helped you feel better about feeling good with your body. We all have our body issues, but is that something that really affected you before starting burlesque or when you were younger?

  • Wayne King

    Oh yeah, very much so. At 19, I got pretty skinny but that was from way under eating, working out, going to school full time and work as much as I could. I struggled with body images a lot. Even within the bear community, there is a bunch of malarkey that happens there. You can be big but you better be hairy or else you only appeal to half. But I can’t even complain about this. There is such a lame white sensibility about it all. I think sometimes it hard to recognize privilege when you aren’t called on it. But you notice things and it’s sickening and wished you fought for it all along or called it out.

  • Jalen Brown

    Hmm…wow. So, you’ve dealt with both ends of the spectrum. I must agree, though, with what you said about the bear community and I won’t even get started on privilege, we can have that conversation later.

    You’ve battled body issues on both ends of the spectrum and here you are, proud of who you are and loving yourself. Now, I know not everyone realizes that male burlesque performers are among us, are there any other men in your troupe? And, to your knowledge, are there a lot out there?

  • Wayne King

    I’m the only male in my troupe. Men only makeup a small amount.

  • Jalen Brown

    Hmm…why do you think that is?

  • Wayne King

    It was just primarily a women’s profession or career. I’m not sure if there were men back in the day.

  • Jalen Brown

    So, just an industry standard. Would you encourage other men to try it? Just from your own personal experience?

  • Wayne King

    Very much so but don’t half ass it. Do what your burlesque sisters are doing. They have to wear pasties, you wear pasties. They’ll appreciate you doing the same things they have to.

  • Jalen Brown

    That’s really cool advice. I guess if you’re really gonna do something that is somewhat of a society, you should immerse yourself in the culture. Okay, just couple more questions.

    You make your costumes, do you also choreograph all your numbers?

  • Wayne King

    For the most part. When I’ve been in group acts, it’s a dynamic. But solo stuff, I pretty much come up with.

  • Awesome! So, when you’re not on stage in your skivies, what do you do? What pays the bills?

    Also, I’m living for your “Birdcage” performance.

  • I’m an assistant manager at a pet supply store. I went to school for journalism but it’s a hard field.

    Thank you! Lol.

  • You’re very welcome, you slay with those flags! That’s cool, the great world of retail! Haha. Journalism is indeed a hard field to get a foot in. Any thing specific you wanted/still want to do with that?

  • I’d like to find a voice. Something queer related and pop culture. My areas of expertise.

  • Awesome! That’s everything I want to celebrate with this blog. There need to be more voices out there like that. So, any last thoughts? Anything you like to add about burlesque or just yourself in general?

  • Wayne King

    Just honestly to love and support yourself. It’s really easy to give into what society wants. Buck the trend. It’s the most punk rock thing you can do.

  • That’s great! Thank you so much for answering those questions and talking to me. It was really cool getting to know a little bit about burlesque from a male performer and getting to know how you feel about the art.

    • Of course. Anytime! Have a good night.

     

     So as you can see, Wayne is such a cool guy. I think what I love is when he talks about how Burlesque has made him feel about his body. Body positivity is very important to me, and I think that’s why I’ve always been so fascinated with Burlesque. I definitely would like to try it myself someday! It really is a passion, and I see that passion in Wayne. For these reasons, he is my Man Crush/Motivation Monday! Thank you Wayne, it is a pleasure to know you and i hope we keep in contact!
    Live to Laugh another day,
    Jaybo (the Somewhat Peckish Artist)