Alas, an awards show with music I’m actually familiar with and don’t feel too old, washed up or uncool to consume! Can always count on the trusty ole CMT Awards to inject the true spirit of Nashville into our veins with a side of sparkles.
Honestly this isn’t the worst but I’m putting them on here out of spite. I get that they’re a group but unless they’re N*SYNC at the VMA’s circa early 2000’s wearing coordinated outfits, they’re ALL SEPARATE PEOPLE AND THEIR OUTFITS SHOULD BE JUDGED AS SUCH. Stop only releasing a foursome photograph from the red carpet. I don’t have time to crop a pic and drop half of them on the worst and half of them on the best. For instance, the left side of this photo (the blondes) would get razzed for the puffy sleeves and Dorothy stripper heels and the what appears to be Jaclyn Smith linen leopard top for middle-aged women. While the right side (the brunettes) would get kudos for looking chic as hell. See? Exhausting. Pose separately next time or you’re getting CUT FROM THE LIST…
Not everyone can pull off the long hair, babes. Clean it up.
Bold of the guy who made a career off of making fun of other celebrities to show up to a red carpet lookin like ole hipster Indiana Jones headass.
What in the actual fuck am I looking at here? Riddle me this, on top of the mish mash of fabrics…what’s the point of tucking each pant leg into the cowboy boot differently? Is there really someone who is like WAIT!!! Tuck the black cargo pant in up high so you can see more of the boot and the denim can have a tapered jogger effect right around the ankle. PERFECTION!
KEWL! A LITE BRITE! How these guys became famous for giving makeovers is beyond me.
Head to toe this is an outfit straight out of 2009 and it sent a shiver right down my spine. Leggings, pointy pumps, and the big booty big ole chunky belt that serves absolutely no purpose but to give me sweaty flashbacks to a permanent underboob indentation because I pulled that bitch as tight as it would go and slapped it over every piece of clothing I owned.
Boy oh boy do I wish someone would’ve told me to give that black Miss Trunchbell belt a rest that year. (Realistically I bet my sister did a number of times and I just rolled my eyes at her and told her it was fashion and she didn’t understand because she was still wearing men’s clogs from American Eagle with flare jeans on the reg.)
Jason. Jase. J-Money. You couldn’t have possibly looked at your wife with a straight face and not asked if this was a Halloween costume. WHO THE HELL WEARS THIS IN PUBLIC?! And more importantly, who the hell marries a man who doesn’t tell you when you look ridiculous?! God forbid I ever lock someone down but I’d divorce their ass RULL quick if he looked at me and was like lookin good, babe. Give me a man who laughs directly in my face when I look stupid or give me spinster status. And a SHOULDER BOW?! REALLY?
PS unrelated but the color of her feet are why spray tans should be illegal. How we as a society have shamed women for using tanning beds but the “healthy” alternative is spraying their bod a different color and making *just* their hands and feet look like they were dipped in chocolate is criminal. IT’S 2022 THERE HAS TO BE A BETTER WAY TO GET BRONZED.
(Forever bringing everything back to me) I’ve gotten like 3 spray tans in my life and I still haven’t figured out how to prevent this mildly offensive black face*
Love Ryan’s pink suit…goes without saying that I hate Maren’s outfit. Have I had a grudge against her pretty much ever since she hit the scene and strutted all over Keith Urban’s stage in hot pants? Sure have. But even I can be a bigger person from time to time and admit when she’s killin a look. Unfortch, this doesn’t occur often. If this skirt wasn’t basically a mermaid tail, I’d be ok with this look.
Keep your enemies back to back on the worst dressed list is what I always say. Miranda’s been dead to me since she left Blake and started homewreckin all over the joint. Can’t stan a country music hooch and errebody knows it. And coincidentally, hooch pretty much sums up this dress for me.
WHOA BABY my eyes have been assaulted by each half of this coups. Guess that means these two are soulmates in tacky fash? Typically I’d be razzle dazzled by this sparkle suit but I am DROWNING in his chest hair. Never have I ever wanted to see chest pubez porking out of a wife beater on a red carpet. And the gold chain. What are you in Goodfellas? When you’re done gasping at the goomba on the left, rollerskate on over to Miss 70’s velour leisure suit on the right. My lanta it’s BAD.
CMT Awards or Middle School Dance? What fresh hell is this loofah madness with neon plastic jewelry most certainly from Claire’s?!
The scrunchie high pony is the best part about this booger suit.
Let’s just allow this unflattering as hell denim dress speak for itself. And I’ll speak for it as well because I just can’t help myself: DENIM IS UNFORGIVING AND SHOULD NEVER BE A SKINTIGHT DRESS. And rhinestone denim boots…those really do speak for themselves.
Nothing says Nash Vegas like a poop-colored gown and 10 gallon hat. Pray tell, are those supposed to be spurs on her metallic heels?
I don’t know that I’ll ever get on board with this sheer curtain dealio. Sorry for being a prude but it looks like a nightie that you wear on your wedding night when you lose your virginity as we ladies do (wink.)
RAWR. Carrie combined my favorite color and my favorite animal print so she’s good in my book, y’all. (If you look close, I believe she also perfectly coordinated her mani and I damn near almost fainted at that discovery. Truly a girl after my own heart.)
Having a hard time understanding how the chick who was Covid Positive and hosted via teleconference from her home got a red carpet pic and looks this snatched. (Did I use that term right, youths?) It’s like Jesus resurrecting. Kelsea’s like SURPRISE Y’ALL, COVID-who!? And then apparently went right back to her home where she mailed in her duties from the comfort of her living room.
Can’t go wrong with classic black/silver and a wife half your age. ZING.
Taylor looks sauve AF, could take or leave the lava lamp disco ball on his arm.
I love the shit out of Wynonna taking a backseat to her flashy as hell mom. Also the fact that I had to google if that was her sister or her mom because **plastic surgery**.
The suit he wore onstage was 100x cooler IMO but I guess he decided to play it safe for the carpet. It’s a classic but I wish he went with this bold patriotic zoot suit for the carpet as well:
Elegance and class from head to toe! I love everything about this.
Diggity down for the pop of red.
His signature plain baseball cap to hide the baldz and is that a fire flames coat?! I approve.
Brownie points for an eggplant suit but honestly I’ve never seen a worse host. I realize he stepped in to cover for Kelsea but my lord what a monotone voice on this fella. Let’s only give him a mic if he’s gonna sing into it from now on, mmk?
What a wittle teddy bear of a babe soda. A perfect combo of casj & fance.
I’ve always been on the outskirts of the Carly Pearce fandom. I followed her hasty union with Michael Ray and abrupt divorce soon after but after seeing her SASS on all over the stage singing a song about how she’s keeping the diamond after a breakup I wanted to shout YAS KWEEN into a megaphone. The drama she delivered should have Michael Ray shakin in his boots. Also she looks like a bombshell. This is Carly’s year. Get it gurl.
That jacket is cool as cool gets. PULLING IT OFF.
I saw Breland live and he’s the cutest little ray of sunshine I’ve ever laid eyes on. He’s just happy to be here and I dig that energy. Even dressed as an asparagus I can’t throw shade at him. Look at that megawatt smile.
I cannot get past JJD’s legs. Like I honestly don’t even really love the dress but my jaw is permanently on my living room carpet from these damn stems giving Carrie a run for her money.
I always love a fun dazzling party frock. The dubz peace sign can kick rocks.
Nelly’s been dressing like a G-D goon since the dawn of time. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, country grammar. I’m mostly just impressed by how strong a neck he must have to carry that pendant that’s probably equivalent to wearing a dumbbell on a chain. (If this was Ludacris I could quote my fave lyric of all time “feels like a midget is hanging from my necklace.” But I don’t want to disrespect Luda by hinting that the man can be outshined by a reckless medallion.)
BEST LOOK OF THE NIGHT:
GOES TO A COUPLE! The subtle spring color coordination between these two made me gasp. They are perfect little preppy angels and Lauren’s fresh glow didn’t come from Zoom Tan so bonus points for that. I mean that mint jacket and her mint heels. WOO BABY. We really need spring to get here quick, I’m getting a head rush just from some florals and pastels.
When we left things in December of 2020, I was at the end of my rope with sad Tay songs. We had just gotten folklore and evermore back to back and there were whispers of a third in woodvale. If you fast forward to the end of my evermore track by track review you’ll find that I said THAT’S ENOUGH. I couldn’t take anymore sobsies. Then a month later she announced Fearless (Taylor’s Version.) We have literally been inundated with Taylor Swift surprise announcements every few months for 2 years now. If you’d like to see my much bitched about rant on this “Taylor’s Version” era, feel free to click HERE and read #5 so I don’t repeat myself for the zillionth time. Down here on earth, I’m a rational fan. I can lose my G-D mind over her releasing a 10 minute version of my favorite song of all time and also be like ok, everyone calm down now. It’s too much. Short films and surprise music videos and her psycho fans are eagle eyeing every TikTok guessing which album will be re-released next. So from an old bird who puts her pajamas on the second she walks in the door from work, here’s a grounded view of Red (Taylor’s Version.)
*It is important to note that Red was released pre-The Salty Ju (so there is no official blog) but it is and has always been my favorite Taylor album. It came out in the fall of my senior year of college, it will forever give me cruising down the thruway in Upstate NY with peak foliage vibes and *not to brag* but I turned 22 that year so THAT SONG WAS BASICALLY WRITTEN FOR ME and anyone who has turned 22 since doesn’t matter and that’s pretty obvious. My age nearly matching up with Taylor has made her albums that much more relatable. Except for the fact that I never had a 3 month whirlwind affair with a Hollywood actor 9 years older than me. But whatevs, my point being that I’ve always been a Red stan and I’ll take any excuse to throw it on rotation and drive around on a crisp fall day singing along. Even though I never originally gave it a track by track review, it wouldn’t be honest to give my gut reactions to these songs I’ve been listening to for 8 years now, also there were THIRTY songs on this album so we will only be breaking down the 9 “from the vault” tracks we’ve never heard before.
Better Man. Alright so there’s two songs “from the vault” (alright, Walt Disney) that were actually written by Taylor and then when she cut them from Red, she sold them off to other country singers to perform. This one was handed over to Little Big Town. So it’s kinda cheating to be like eh this song doesn’t make the cut on my album, sell it to another artist and then circle back and be like I want it now. Total Indian Giver move. If you haven’t been keeping up though, Taylor does whatever the hell she wants now. So LBT can suck it. It’s a classic country breakup ballad though. Cause sometimes you can realize your ex was T-rash but still miss them.
Best Lyric: I know the bravest thing I ever did was run.
Nothing New (Feat Phoebe Bridgers). Immediately was digging on this song. Duetting with Phoebe’s haunting breathy voice really elevated the typical Taylor sound here. Seemed like something that would’ve fit perfectly on her last two emo albums except it’s not about breakups, it’s about when you’re not a shiny new singer anymore and everyone is over you. Based on the pop culture takeover that Taylor has commanded with this re-release and the fact that Spotify literally crashed on Friday at midnight, I don’t think this is a legitimate concern of Taylor’s anymore. And might I add, staying up past 11 on a school night when you’re 30 is embarrassingly difficult and being met with a Spotify “the page you’re looking for does not exist” was a real boner kill. I had myself questioning if I misunderstood which day it was dropping and after finally getting a lil listen in snug as a bug in bed, I was a literal zombie the next morning when my alarm went off. I’m getting too old for this shit. THANKFULLY we had a 7PM short film premiere and now coming up, a 10AM music video. Much more convenient. PS between the “I’ve had too much to drink tonight” and “how long will it be cute, all this crying in my room” I looked around to see if there was a hidden camera in my apt then realized it was physically impossible for 2010 Taylor to know that 2021 Julia is either drunk or crying or bonus round *both* on any given day.
Best Lyric: Criticize the way you fly/ When you’re soaring through the sky/ Shoot you down and then they sigh/ And say, “She looks like she’s been through it”
Babe. The second take backsies on Red (TV.) This one was released by Sugarland but did have Taylor featured on it so it’s not a total rip from Jennifer Nettles’ paws. It is a little weird though because Jennifer has a very distinctive voice so redoing any of her tunes is a stark difference. It’s just meh for me. “What about your promises, promises” would’ve slapped harder with a 3LW lisp. And to be even more honest, a little word association with the word babe immediately brings me back to the Jason Sudeikis & Kristen Wiig “Two A-Holes” SNL bit. Sucks to be you with a normal brain and have lovely positive associations with this term of endearment and then I stomped in and blew that right to smithereens with a callback to Jason chomping gum at warp speed, tacking babe on at the end of every sentence. You’re WELCOME, BEB.
Best Lyric: I hate that because of you, I can’t love you, babe (BEB.)
Message In A Bottle. What a zesty little banger this is! Again, total curveball in the grand scheme of this album. I feel like this would’ve popped OFFFF on 1989 and I’m surprised she lumped it into the Red era. Realistically, every song that Taylor writes and records is a message in a bottle. LOL to think that she’s like I wonder if the person will hear this. Yeah, girl. 90.8 million people hear the message. Anyway, there’s nothing deep to say about this song. It’s fun and 80’s and I can’t wait to dance my face off to it.
Best Lyric: You could be the one that I keep, and I / I could be the reason you can’t sleep at night (Honestly these lyrics are dumb, sorry not sorry. The song ain’t about the lyrics, it’s about having a crush and groovin it out.)
I Bet You Think About Me (Feat Chris Stapleton). The first time I heard this song I cringed because I L O A T H E when Taylor puts on a Dolly twang. It’s so tacky to me. You grew up in Pennsylvania, girl. If anything you should be saying “hoagie” like an uneducated moron, not have a southern drawl. (Please know that when I diss the PA accent, I’m fully aware of the fact that I say “calendar” like an uneducated moron. We’ve all got stupid accents depending on where we grew up.) Obviously everyone has heard “Our Song” and essentially every other song on her debut album where she put on QUITE the show with a little hick flair. While I do enjoy over-enunciating the words to Our Song just to piss off everyone around me, I’m still never going to be down with faking an accent just to do a country song. ESPECIALLY now that you’re a seasoned musician who has proven to be talented beyond belief. We don’t need the dog and pony show you were putting on as a fresh on the scene teenaged singer. Plus, in front of Chris Stapleton?! Girl. Do better. He’s a Nashville ruby red gem. The soulful voice of a cherub and the humble aw shucks I’m just grateful to be here personality that few actually have. I was a little disappointed he didn’t get his own verse like Phoebe did on her guest appearance. I love to hear Chris let it rip. But now that I’ve dumped on the lack of Chris and the presence of fake accent Taylor, I am happy to share that I do really like this song. The cocky laugh at the beginning and the tell-off ‘tude overall is GRAND. I love a snarky Tay. I’ll be the first to admit that 2010 Jake Gyllenhaal was a total babe soda, but my God what a dooooouuuuuuuchhhheeeee. Love that she gave us more ammo to DRAG him because any a-hole who brags about his indie music and his Hollywood connects and leads book talks over wine with his friends deserves to be pooped all over via twangy sass. Million dollar couch and organic shoes?! BOOOOOOO, JAKE, BOo0oOooOo0Oo. Can’t wait for this Blake Lively directed music video.
Best Lyric: I bet you think about me when you say / “Oh my god, she’s insane, she wrote a song about me” – This is the best possible way to end a song where you just DUMPED all over an ex. Wanna call me crazy, DO IT BITCH.
Forever Winter. Considering the content of this song is about someone being severely depressed, it slaps real hard. The way she goes up an octave in the chorus and the oh, oh, oh’s. Chef’s kiss. Apparently it was written for a friend who died of an overdose at 21. So yeah I feel like a real asshat for being like WOW COOL SONG, but also, cool song. Seriously, to have the ability to take a shitty situation and word vom all of your feelings into a bangpiece of a song is something I’ll forever be envious of as I sit on this blog and write poop jokes day in and day out. We’ve all got talents, folks. Some of them are just more impressive than others.
Best Lyric: He spends most of his nights wishing it was how it used to be / He spends most of his flights getting pulled down by gravity
Run (Feat Ed Sheeran). This was the first song Ed and Taylor ever wrote together and even though I’m a BIG fan of Everything Has Changed (and the adorable video that they made to go with it,) this song is like a warm hug after a shitty day. The simplicity to it and their harmonizing voices are perfect. Maybe if something like this was on Ed’s latest album, I wouldn’t have been so hard on it. The way they take turns singing each line is just downright delicious. I’m not saying I wish Ed and Taylor ended up together but I’m not NOT saying it either.
Best Lyric: There’s been this hole in my heart / This thing was a shot in the dark / Say you’ll never let ’em tear us apart
The Very First Night. Another bubblegum pop beat about falling in love and wanting to be up that person’s butthole 24/7. It’s a gift how I can take a cute little song and incorporate the world butthole into it. For realz though everyone knows when you’re in the honeymoon phase of a relationship and you want to follow that person into the bathroom so that you never have to be apart for even one second. It’s all fun and games and smothering until one time you get too snuggly while your boyfriend is eating dinner and he tells you to back off. HONEYMOON PHASE ENDS WITH A SHARP LEFT, FOLKS. Jus sayin. So enjoy this song and soak in the “I miss you so hard when we don’t talk for five minutes” glow while it lasts because as Tay sings…”we broke the status quo, then we broke each other’s hearts.” See? Dark turn.
Best Lyric: I drive down different roads / But they all lead back to you
All Too Well (Ten Minute Version). HERE IT IS BABY. Saved the best for last. Taylor dropped the “oh I have a ten minute version with swear words” morsel over a year ago at this point and since then I’ve been salivating in wait for its release. She obviously knew how savage we all were for this treasure and she built it up as much as one possibly could. Any true fan did exactly what I did upon the re-release of this album. Midnight hit (I refreshed Spotify 5 times until the album appeared) and I scrolled straight down to this track and smashed play. Nothing else mattered. I knew I would get to them eventually but first order of business was see if this was going to ruin the best breakup song ever written or make it infinitely better. And here’s my Salty Ju hot take. My very first listen I was not blown away. I felt like it didn’t flow. These new verses almost sounded like they were parts of a different song, wedged in and disjointed with the perfection that was the OG All Too Well. Then I slept on it. And when I revisited it the following day (SEVERAL times), I was able to approach with a clearer head. Obviously a song that’s 10 minutes long is going to sound nothing like the original version half its length. I’m so glad we got that one first and nothing will ever top it. But now I’m able to appreciate the bigger picture. And that picture is her spilling more tea on how much Jake stinks. And yes, I am absolutely here for it. I prepped all week to get in my feels and become one with heartbreak. The weather cooperated.
If I may go verse by verse of the new lyrics…*pops the top on a $7 rosé (shout out Wegmans)*
[Verse 2] Photo album on the counter, your cheeks were turning red You used to be a little kid with glasses in a twin-sized bed And your mother’s telling stories ’bout you on the tee-ball team You taught me ’bout your past, thinking your future was me And you were tossing me the car keys, “fuck the patriarchy” Key chain on the ground, we were always skipping town And I was thinking on the drive down, any time now He’s gonna say it’s love, you never called it what it was ‘Til we were dead and gone and buried Check the pulse and come back swearing it’s the same After three months in the grave And then you wondered where it went to as I reached for you But all I felt was shame and you held my lifeless frame
I was hoping for Taylor to be so overcome with emotion that there were several F bombs. As someone who in the throes of a 6th grade breakup instant messaged “I’m so fuckin sorry” to my weasel of a boyfriend (of two weeks) for how much whining he was doing that I said we should break up so I could play the middle school field, I understand all too well how heartbreak (and guilt) can cause someone to swear like a sailor. Unfortunately, this much hyped explicit content was SUCH a letdown. Making fun of Jake for having a “fuck the patriarchy” keychain is SnOoZeWoRtHy. Come onnnnnnn. Give us some snarky F bombs not a “oOoh you’re a feminist but not really because you treated me like shit” dig. Besides that lamewad keychain, the additional lyrics further paint the picture that in these brief three months, their 9 year age gap was a huge point of contention and Taylor fell HOARD while Jake was more in love with himself than anything else. So right off the bat we get that she was WAY more into it than him and that he was almost ashamed or wanted it to be a secret from his snotty crowd.
And there we are again when nobody had to know / You kept me like a secret, but I kept you like an oath
And then we get to my FAVE new verse. It flows like butta and honestly by like the third rotation of me listening, I was getting annoyed with myself that I hadn’t learned the words yet. Yes that’s right, a 10 minute song that was out for mere hours I was disappointed in not having known every single word of.
[Verse 3] They say all’s well that ends well, but I’m in a new Hell Every time you double-cross my mind You said if we had been closer in age maybe it would have been fine And that made me want to die The idea you had of me, who was she? A never-needy, ever-lovely jewel whose shine reflects on you Not weeping in a party bathroom Some actress asking me what happened, you That’s what happened, you You who charmed my dad with self-effacing jokes Sipping coffee like you’re on a late-night show But then he watched me watch the front door all night, willing you to come And he said, “It’s supposed to be fun turning twenty-one”
OH MY GOD WHERE TO BEGIN. How about with that first line “all’s well that ends well but I’m in a new hell” YEAH BABY. THE FLOW. Then going right into the savagery of “that’s what happened, YOU.” Damn, dude. I don’t care how many years have passed, that’s gotta hurt. And then to double down with some good ole fashioned Dad guilt. Hey remember when you charmed my dad but then he watched me sob on my 21st birthday because of your stupid ass. MY DAD HATES YOU NOW. But also, not shocking at all that Tay spent her 21st crying instead of getting trashed. Without a lame 21st birthday…would we have gotten the joyful anthem that is 22?! PROBABLY NOT, so for that Jake, we thank you for your service.
And then if I may be a scooch critical… by adding in the previous verse, we kinda lose the buildup BANG of crumpled piece of paper and you keep my old scarf. The original “All Too Well” CRUSHES at building up to a real scream-fest and I love it a whole lot, but with this sprawling story, there’s really no screaming climax. I miss it. Don’t get me wrong, Verse 3 also hits hard, but it’s a more subtle slow burn. And then we arrive at the completely unnecessary final new verse where I was almost like ok, he’s got a family, let’s pull back here. It seemed a little TOO “wait let me make him feel worse.” If the final verse was cut I don’t think that I’d miss it. Plus the beat completely changes and it’s just weird. It feels to me like it doesn’t fit.
[Verse 5] And I was never good at telling jokes, but the punch line goes “I’ll get older, but your lovers stay my age” From when your Brooklyn broke my skin and bones I’m a soldier who’s returning half her weight And did the twin flame bruise paint you blue? Just between us, did the love affair maim you, too? ‘Cause in this city’s barren cold I still remember the first fall of snow And how it glistened as it fell I remember it all too well
Like yeah, the pussy posse is always going to slay girls half their age, we’ve all accepted that. Leo’s getting the last laugh at any criticism of his latest young boo thing and I can tell you Jake probably feels the same way. Does it suck that he pointed out your age difference as the reason why things weren’t working then continued to date girls your age? For sure. But it seems a little dramats to compare your heartbreak to a war survivor. I realize I’m one of the most dramatic people on this earth and I’m telling a fellow drama queen to tone it down but it comes from a genuine place. Know when to amp up the drama and when to let it simmer. “That’s what happened, YOU” was a sick burn, no need to then be like YOU BROKE MY BODY AND I WAS AT WAR FROM DATING YOU. It’s too much, girl. Also, the use of the phrase “twin flame” will unfortunately always bring my brain to the two cesspools of tongue that are Machine Gun Kelly and Megan Fox and that’s not your fault, Tay. Obviously in 2010 you had no clue these two morons would tromp into the spotlight and overshare about their sexual connection. And I’ll be honest it’s not the only zeitgeist buzzword that has made me want to drill a hole in my brain. The term gaslighting, which MANY fans have been using as they break down this song makes me want to take a dive directly off of a cliff. I wish we could do a collective crash course on what the actual definition of this stupid therapy term is because METHINKS that it’s being used incorrectly 90% of the time. If I were to blindly believe the majority of the population these days, every man is a narcissist who gaslights. But that’s a story for another time. From this verse we transition into basically the same lyrics repeated over and over again with this sexy slow jam beat. Going out with a whimper not a bang even though it sounds like we’ve got a little horns section cookin at the end.
WHAT A JOURNEY. From the haunting and melancholy tone of the first piano keys to start to this echo-y sensual sendoff. It is basically a movie playing out in musical form. So much so that Taylor said, you know what? I’m literally going to make it into a movie. Never one to be less than extra, she created this short film to go along with the song. It was fine. If I was missing F bombs in the song they were certainly in no short order in these fight scenes. If you’re so inclined to spend 15 minutes watching a relationship break down as the leaves fall, check it out. Or even if you want to see Taylor as a ginge. (Spoiler alert: fast forward to the end for that.)
Would it have been mind-bending if Jake himself made an appearance at the end rather than just some schmuck named Jake? Yes OBVIOUSLY. But alas, it doesn’t seem like these two could bury the hatchet for the sake of shock value. And realistically, it seems like Jake’s sense of humor is trash so him being in on the joke would be way too much to ask. But after my RAMBLING breakdown of the song Swifties have been patiently waiting for, if you’re not a Tay fan and you just skimmed through this, I will give a 10/10 recommendation to her SNL debut of this song. Just from an artist performance standpoint, she rocked it. The drama and the effects and the emotion as she sang this song were all nailed perfectly and that’s saying a lot from someone who hasn’t watched SNL live in so long that I had to google what time it started. I watched the whole stupid show just for this one performance that I could’ve easily YouTubed the next morning but THAT IS DEDICATION FOLKS and it paid off. I had chills. CHILLS I TELL YOU.
As Colin Jost said immediately following this performance: “The lesson we all learned this week is never break up with Taylor Swift or she will sing about you for ten minutes on national television.” DAS RIGHT, HOMESLICE. Ok but seriously I’m done now for realz. I got what I wanted and now I’m going to play it on loop, learn the words front to back and ruin my best friend’s wedding this weekend by drunkenly performing it at the reception probably using my beer as a fake microphone. Congrats and every happiness to the new couple but…THEY SAY ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL AND I’M IN A NEW HELL EVERY TIME YOU DOUBLE CROSS MY MIIIIINNNNNNNNDDDDDDDD.
I mean, I’m not just going to sit back and not yap my face off about Taylor coming in from the CLOUDS and dropping another whole ass album in our laps not even six months after surprising us with folklore. WHAT A MOVE and to get it in RIGHT before the buzzer at the end of the year. Wild. Obviously I was in a tailspin yesterday as I discovered the news and not to brag but I did have my hair in braids at the time so there’s obviously no further proof needed that I was ready for more woodsy in your feels songs. I’m still not over folklore, I still play it several times a week. Spotify gently reminded me how much I’ve played it over the past few months with my year end wrapped…I’m surprised it wasn’t followed up with an email from them asking if I’ll be ok. To which I would say, No I obviously will not. BECAUSE NOW WE’RE GETTING AN ENTIRE OTHER SOBFEST. I also love that Taylor tried to disguise it as a birthday present to us all.
Hey everyone, thanks for buying all of my overpriced merch and going out of your way to get my folklore cd that took an entire month to ship because of covid or whatever, I’d like to give you the birthday present of buying more of my overpriced merch and again going out of your way to buy a cd that may never arrive. If you do, you’ll be rewarded with bonus tracks that you can’t hear anywhere else. SUCHHHHHHH a boss move to be like it’s a gift, cough up your money tho. And you know what, I think I’ll stick to Spotify free listening this time around until I can buy a moderately priced physical cd in person at Target. If I may borrow a song title off of evermore, ‘Tis the Damn Season for me to be broke as a joke buying holiday gifts. HOWEVER should anyone want to gift me with literally anything from the Taylor Swift store, I welcome it with open arms. Anyway, back to the big debut. Obviously I now have my weekend work cut out for me as I’ll need to recap a track by track, which I’ll be publishing on Monday if all goes well. But I did want to at least give you my instant thoughts about the Willow music video, which I stayed up past my bedtime to watch. I also may have been a wee bit overserved, but here we go.
My raw, unadulterated thoughts (remember I watched it AT midnight after a wine and pasta filled evening.):
Starts with that G-D cardigan and a magic piano transforming her into a magical forest. I WANT THAT CARDIGAN. (still obviously holding onto a lot of resentment for all of the influencers and famous friends who were sent cardigans and my mailbox didn’t see a whisper.) WHY ARE WE SUDDENLY WATCHING KIDS.
(I literally started a new paragraph because after being outraged by kids I wanted to move onto the bigger topic at hand) She is literally in a one room school house. Please come back to 2020, Taylor. The 1800’s don’t want you or those bangs. I honestly couldn’t even focus on Willow as a song because I couldn’t get past Taylor as an early English settler creating witch hexes with the original Sanderson Sisters. Let’s relax on fully embracing the fairy in the woods vibe for one hot second, plz. Also the bangs have to go. Double also, that last shot of her in that dress, she IS Grandpa Joe from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. We’ve gone too far. Way too far. I mean, spot the difference. You can’t.
So that’s where we’re at. Stay tuned to see my thoughts on the whole damn thing come next week. In the meantime, refresh yourself with Folklore in preparation.
2. Open Book, TV Style.
For avid readers of The Salty Ju, you’ll know that I was a hardcore Nick & Jessica should reunite believer RIGHT UP UNTIL I read her memoir Open Book this year and then re-watched Newlyweds from Jess’s perspective and saw that Nick pretty much hated her stinkin guts and was constantly a dick to her. What I once thought was an adorable teen popstar relashe unfolding on MTV full of healthy jabs was actually toxic as hell. Eye opening moment for me in pop culture history. I loved all the juicy goss she dished in her book of BTS deets of each of her very public relationships and to hear that they’re extending this book into a TV show is music to my ears. And even better, it’s on a paid service that I will not have to sign up for in order to watch (lookin’ at you peacock tv for forcing my sister and I to do a free trial just to watch the trainwreck Saved by the Bell reboot.) I’m fully team Jess and I support her return to the entertainment industry especially because she’s coming back with her story and not hawking a dating show where people get married without ever seeing each other. I’m of course referring to dirt Nick Lachey, OBVIOUSLY. (Only people who watched Love is Blind will get that diss and I’m ok with it.)
3. OH NO KHRISTMAS IS KANCELLED.
Breaking news this week, that I read aloud to my friends in my best Khloe Kardashian voice when I saw the headline. Khristmas is Kancelled due to COVID and it’s the first time SINCE 1978. HOW WILL WE EVEN SURVIVE?! Honestly I was reeling from the news. Life just is NOT fair, ya know? And then I remembered that this family who is HEROICALLY cancelling their biggest attention-grabbing event of the year, also are telling us that taking this pandemic seriously IS A MUST. And honestly, we need to listen to them, y’all. No more flying all of your closest friends and family out to an island for a lavish weekend for your 40th birthday. It’s time to REALLY buckle down and PUT OUR HEALTH AND SAFETY FIRST. The Kardashians are a voice of reason and I’m just honestly so in awe of their bravery and leadership. Also, remember when they cancelled their reality show on E? Yeah they’ll be back up with a deal on Hulu in 2021. So let’s all keep our fingers krossed that we won’t miss ONE second of their lives. Prayer hands. Kiss Face. Eye Roll.
4. But I come back stronger than a 90’s trend.
Britney Spears (#FreeBritney) and Backstreet Boys dropped their first ever collaboration in 2020. Cause why the hell not at this point? What I’d like to see is Justin Timberlake’s reaction to this. HE MUST BE ROLLING IN HIS GRAVE. Oh, he’s still alive? WHERE HAS HE BEEN WITH THE NEW MUSIC THEN? Like, Man of the Woods was a lifetime ago. I don’t care if you’re a new dad, Britney and BSB are collaborating in lockdown–with Britney quite possibly being still controlled by her dad as a grown ass adult and Taylor Swift just dropped back to back records like she’s 2005 Nelly dropping Sweat and Suit on TRL. Jus sayin. Get your shit together, JT. Anyway, back to this unholy collab because honestly what a slap in the face to N*SYNC who Britney was smoochin with in the 90’s, literally and musically. This song kinda sucks but for nostalgia sake, I’m down with it.
5. I still L-O-V-E a good music video.
Dierks tossed this video out this week. I already loved the song and then I saw that he played all these different pop culture roles as part of the video and I settled in to watch. I was over at a friend’s house this week and we showed her sister the WAP video because she’s never seen it and rite of passage obviously to let your eyes bleed out to that catastrophe, which then spiraled into us just sitting there watching music videos on Youtube like I was a senior in high school again and it was a Friday night. I know, I was UNBELIEVABLY cool and popular. Either way, we all talked about how we’ve always enjoyed watching music videos even though it’s very much not a beloved thing anymore. Kinda like owning DVD’s. We old. And I still love the art of a good music video, which is why I’ve highlighted two this week. One that I shit on and one that I like. I’m into the idea here and obviously you know that any music video with references to Full House–the classic, not that bubblegum trash they trotted out on Netflix recently–is a W in my book. Well done, Dierks.
The Weeknd, that’s who. I’m certainly not the first to say this but allow me to be the loudest, WHAT?! We just had a record day for new cases of the ‘vid (I feel like if we give it a street name it’ll stop killing people) and we’re making plans for a football game in February?! LOLOLOL. Get the hell out of here with that garbage! Unless he’s performing remotely like all of these ratchet awards shows, I feel like it’s a scooch premature to be locking in the Super Bowl this year. Let’s take a beat and see how the end of 2020 shakes out first. Even the CMA’s that went full force the other night had people dropping like flies because of positive tests. Just because Pfizer has a promising lead on the vaccine sitch doesn’t mean we’ll be partying like it’s 1999 mask free for Super Bowl Sunday. (Related note: all of this can also apply to LiveNation who thinks they’re going to reboot the concert industry through an app to verify if you’ve been vaccinated.) Everyone needs to slow their roll. I get that the world is crumbling and people just want reasons to celebrate and act like shit’s normal but this has a real dad just hit mom at the dinner table and everyone be quiet vibe to it. Address the elephant in the room, the elephant that I’m referring to is of course the fact that just anyone can purchase their spot at the Super Bowl now and a stage that large should be exclusively reserved for iconic singers–of which the Weeknd is not. Sorry, that’s the way the cookie crumbles. JLo? Icon. Gaga? Icon. The Weeknd? He’s been around for like 2 years and I still have to google how to spell his name. Relax. That being said, should the halftime show go off without a hitch, my sister and I are one hundo percent available as backup dancers. Just need a couple of Bud Lattes, a cheese-based dip and 2 hours of practice to shuffle through 14 seconds of dance moves like we’re uncoordinated paralyzed zombies. Please contact our agent if you’re interested. Who am I kidding, we’d never give up a night of unlimited dips just to perform at the Super Bowl no matter HOW talented we are. Rescinding the offer in favor of the best apps night of the year.
2. Another Legend Gone.
Lifelong Jeopardy host Alex Trebek lost his battle with cancer this past weekend. Whether you were an old who can’t miss Jeopardy or not, everyone is mourning this iconic host. He was Canadian cool and Jeopardy will be lost without him. I’m not personally an avid viewer of the Jeop/WOF early bird special but I was an avid viewer of “The Best of Will Ferrell on SNL” and his skits as Trebek were easily my favorite. It’s unfortunate that my first thought when I hear his name is “Suck It, Trebek” or “Rough, just the way your mother likes it, Trebek” but that’s what happens when you’re so calm & collected that they make a whole SNL running sketch with Sean Connery (also RIP, God everyone’s dropping like flies) insulting you. Hope he’s up there kickin it with Reg, doing TV legend shit. (Enjoy my favorite clip below even though the only surviving celeb that they’re mocking is French Stewart…yoikes.)
And also an actual tribute to the real Alex Trebek and not the parody.
3. New Tuneage.
Thomas Rhett previewed this song about a week ago and I was READY FOR IT. I figured he’d incorporate his cute ass family into the music video as he’s been known to do, plus they spent a significant amount of time in Montana looking like an LL Bean catalog during quarantine. Curveball: he decided to go for the angle that makes me feel old AF. Watching a bunch of high school football games and kids singing in the car driving home from school was enough to make me wither away in my wrinkles and grey hair (YES I HAVE GREY HAIR, NO I AM NOT OVER IT) while watching. Regardless of my age insecurities, this song is a bop and the video had some wholesome fall vibes to it. Maybe one day I’ll get to see his concert I bought tickets for last June and not have to prove via an app that I’m Covid-Free. Also good news:
These two cherubs will be hosting the holidays. Since there’s a high possibility that Thanksgiving and Christmas are cancelled, we need them now more than ever. Now who is going to give me a cable login so I can watch?
4. Flex on Flex.
Rolling Stone did a feature called “Musicians on Musicians” where Taylor Swift and Paul McCartney kicked it in London and talked about the process behind their latest albums, both done in quarantine. In summary, it was a buttload of words about why they’re both bosses. Paul played all the instruments on his album, Taylor talked about how she’s been beefing up on classic literature and showed up without hair and makeup for a photoshoot. It’s essentially a contest to see who can be more intelligent and humble. They both win. I imagine they conducted this interview in a castle library straight out of Beauty and the Beast, smoking cigars. The whole article just smelled of rich leather and mahogany. Obviously I’m jealous as hell. And as two top-tier songwriters who have earned their success, why wouldn’t you humble-brag about it in Rolling Stone if given the opportunity? For those of you who like a long read and are genuinely interested in the art of music (Dad), find the article HERE. For anyone with the attention span of a gnat (the rest of my friends and family), you’re not really missing that much. Taylor doesn’t give many tidbits behind folklore other than that Peace is one of the few on the album that is about her personal life (focusing on her lack of privacy and how that messes with her relationship) and she really loves the word epiphany and has a list of big words that she just likes and will toss into songs. My favorite part of the article is the story Paul tells in the end:
Here’s hoping something will happen for me REAL QUICK.
5. CHRISTMAS IS COMING THE GEESE ARE GETTING FAT.
People are really desp for some Christmas cheer this year and I feel like the past few weeks have been chock full of holiday content, so I’m going to do the lazy thing and jam it all together here for your selective consumption. If you feel like it’s too soon, get over it. Hallmark has been airing Christmas movies since March. It’s time to force joy into your lives when it’s pitch black at 5 (Seriously, is there a soul on this earth that LIKES daylight savings? Can we just cancel it like everything else?) and freezing cold. The hot flash that was last week is over and it’s time to come to terms with Mariah season fast-approaching. So here’s some new tunes (I’m purposefully leaving out the Jonas Brothers release because it was the biggest snoozer):
So realistically it’s just the country scene that are ready for some Christmas cheer, which is ironic because the south will never see snow and their holidays probably look like my 80 degree bike ride through the tacky lights on the lake display that they started erecting in Syracuse in July.
If only snow always looked as majestic as the set where Dan + Shay crooned about Christmas and white fedoras like Jessie’s counted as casual wear. Anyway, in addition to new beats, there will also be a Disney singalong. Unfortunately it’s the same night as the country holiday special hosted by TR and Lauren so hopefully y’all have some DVR space. Normally I’d skip this Disney fest but they do have Bubbles and everyone with a brain knows you can’t have Christmas without Michael Buble.
And finally should you be in search of holiday movies that might include a little more action than your regular Hallmark & Lifetime (of which I will try my hardest to do my annual blog of holiday TV movies), might I suggest Holidate on Netflix. TECHNICALLY it’s not a Christmas movie because it features ALL holidays, but we’ll count it for now because I have given it my must-watch stamp of approval. It has humor, it has sex (GASP) and just the right amount of cheese. Also, feel free to turn focusing on the fact that Kristin Chenoweth’s forehead does not move one single time into a drinking game. You’re welcome. My Christmas present to all.
I heard whispers of the CMA’s coming up mostly via Instagram but unfortunately I’ve returned to the poor person’s land of no cable and I shoved these murmurs to the side as I didn’t want to face the facts that I couldn’t afford to watch an awards show. It didn’t help that my sister rubbed it in by choosing to watch her first awards show in a year and text me to see if I was also watching. NO I’M NOT NIKKI BECAUSE IT’S NOT ON NETFLIX, GAWD. Anyway, color me surprised when I scooted over to People.com and saw that not only was there a red carpet but it was populated enough for me to RAZZ HOARD on the chosen looks. It’s been a MINUTE since I could do a best and worst dressed. I’m so #grateful that Nashville has decided the pandemic is over and brought awards szn back. So even though I couldn’t watch, I sure as shit can Joan Rivers this hoedown! LET’Z GO.
First thing’s first, OBVIOUSLY Maren looks great post-baby. That doesn’t change the fact that I hate this lingerie look. And then hubby comes in wearing a literal karate black belt. It’s a no for me, dawgs.
Realistically I’m not sure there’s much that you can do to make a very large colored eagle chest tat red carpet ready. But this bright blue number that matches the backdrop wasn’t it.
Is Miranda’s huz the most whipped person on this earth? I mean he literally quit his job as a police officer to live inside Miranda’s b-hole and star in her music videos/instagram drool sessions and now he’s gotta coordinate with her Think Pink theme. I love a pop of color but this mismatched version plus the 80’s shoulders and cinching didn’t cut it.
Change it up, Aldean. Am I being kinda harsh? Yeah. Get over it. Let’s see something other than 90’s era jeans with a chain, loafer boots, graphic tee and cowboy hat. SPICE IT UP.
I cannot stand velvet/velour and for that very finicky reason I cannot toss this duo on the best dressed. Luke looks good but wifey looks like she’s wearing the latest Juicy sweatsuit with heels.
I think what’s probably the most offensive about this poop suit is that he tossed black into the mix as well. If you’re going to go full turd why ALSO sprinkle in black because EVERYONE KNOWS brown and black don’t match. #bracking.
I’m probably going to start sounding like a broken record but I like this color and hate the style. It’s like a corporate outfit and I feel like she could’ve done better than a button down like she’s there to give a sales presentation.
Honestly if this awards show were in Vegas like one of the 600 country shows is, I probably would’ve let this getup slide. But it’s not. You’re in Nashville and therefore wearing this showgirl hot red feathery dress with rhinestone heels is tacky AF. Obviously goes without saying that the rose decal jacket also falls in that category.
Dierks is letting the locks grow and I don’t LOVE it. Also he’s dressed to grab a beer at the bar.
Kinda want Osborne on the left’s grey boots (holla atcha gurl) but in lieu of calling out Dierks for being too casj, I gotta do the same with these boys. You’re not hitting up a bonfire, step up your game.
I wish this were a frontsies shot but I can tell from this angled glimpse that there’s weird shit going on with this lady tux. Seems like a nip slip waiting to happen and is she also wearing a karate belt? Is this a thing now? LMK.
Did Caylee and Jon Pardi’s wife get dressed in the same back alley? This is EXTRA aggressive because she’s also a ginge so that’s really a lot of red for one set of eyes to take in.
What are you at the Oscars? I get that you’re the host but whoa buddy this is stiff as hell. I realize the conundrum I face by criticizing those who underdress AS WELL AS those who overdress but really it’s my blog and you can’t tell me what to do. I’ve never seen a more snoozy tux.
I have questions about why he’s even at the CMA’s but the biggest question of all is what the hell is happening here? It’s the matching ivory, feathered crop top blazer, man turtle neck & chunky black non-slip sneaks for ME. God just typing out those deets made me choke back voms. What were we going for here?
Oh great! Is this a trend?! Am I too old to know that whoutfits with black kicks are fashionable now? Guess what I don’t care. It’s horrific. Cut the shit. I wouldn’t even wear this in the privacy of my own home and I went outside in my pajamas this morning so you KNOW I don’t have fashion standards.
THIS is how you red without going full-blown Rockette. Feathers are not necessary to make a dramatic statement.
Very classy. A little boring, but the pattern adds some pizazz. (Also ironically, the feathers are necessary here. But they are tasteful.)
I had my first Iced Peppermint Mocha (shoutout Dunks) of the season today which I like to refer to as Christmas in a Cup and while the candy cane caffeine is still coursing through my veins I’m all about this festive look. CHRISTMAS GLAM!
I’ve seen TR look better. Lauren looks like a babe soda as always. I’m seeing a trend in the pink game this evening.
Damn GET IT GURL, those curves don’t QUIT.
A part of me will always miss Jake Owen’s lettuce and the barefoot blue jean night vibe that went with it… but I guess he cleans up nice too. His gal pal is basically wearing a wedding gown. Now that I take a second look this easily could pass as a wedding photo. I wonder if they had a Joe Jonas/Sophie Turner post awards show quickie marriage planned. Guess we’ll only find out if Diplo is there to livestream it.
The two endcaps are all black lamewads but the middle three are killin the game. (Seriously, is the guy on the right wearing vans?) Anyway, shout out to that maroon jacket.
Reba debuts her new man candy (candy is a very liberal term but you get the point) and this glitzy cape all in one night!
LAAAHHHVVEEEEEE the color and style of this gown. Her husband looks like he’s wearing a cowboy halloween costume.
Not a big full leg slit guy, but considering it’s also long sleeves she’s gotta show the goods somewhere. I respect it.
Right side STRONG in this group photo. All in on the eggplant suit & glitzy mini.
Tip to all the gents, always go with a patterned suit. Keeps it zesty but doesn’t need to be loud.
BEST LOOK OF THE NIGHT:
My favorite joint look of the evening. The sparkly grey gown pops and caters perfectly to her bangerang stems and Mike is wearing a coordinated but not TOO matchy matchy tie (take notes, Miranda & husb.) 10/10.
I dipped my toe in the quarantine awards show waters with the MTV VMA’s a couple of weeks ago and they were a downright disaster. Half was pre-taped, it was confusing as hell and watching a host that’s not really funny to begin with tell awk jokes to an empty room was cringeworthy as hell. Also, I must also add that I probably aged out of the VMA’s about ten years ago but much like everything else in my life, I refuse to accept it. Regardless, I’m bored as dick and thirsty as hell for awards shows. I live for getting a little wine sauced, stuffing snacks in my snackhole and judging fashion choices and unexpected live moments when celebrities all gather in one arena. Obviously COVID has really dumped all over that. It really hasn’t stopped me from dabbling in these attempted multiple-location, no audience awards shows so we will FORGE AHEAD. Since there wasn’t officially a “red carpet”, there’s only a few pictures to work with here so instead of doing a best and worst dressed, I’ll slap them all together and give you my sasshole commentary as per usual. A quick overall note, if I may…due to the fact that there wasn’t a E! worthy red carpet with Ryan Seacrest asking everyone what they were wearing and what snacks they have in their pantry at home, celebs did not care to dress up for this event. Loungewear casj chic was a real vibe for this show. Lots of sneaks and tees. If I sound judgmental please know that I’m not because this is my casual-wear and it makes the following look like couture.
This shirt is barftastic and I’m not just saying that because Lady “A” came across like a buncha pricks by changing their name for being racist & doubling down when it turned out to be the name of an already established black artist. YOOOOOOOIKES. To that shirt and also their PR.
Going for the classic black can be pretty boring but it did allow me to really focus on Dan’s beautiful curls. I mean damn, this guy used to have a fade and now he rolls out with ringlets dripping down his back. I’m jelly as hell. My curls are garbage compared to these. Why is it always the guys who probably don’t even use conditioner and just let their hair air dry have the best locks? It’s just not fair and yes I did just work myself into a tizzy about this jabroni’s perfect hair. It doesn’t help that I found my very first grey hair a month ago so basically my hair stinks and also I’m 29 going on 98.
I appreciate the efforts to duo coordinate here but I can’t give them an A+. Brian is essentially wearing an outfit I would wear, Tyler has denim patches in his crotch. SWING AND A MISS! I CAN get down with both headwear choices. It’s no secret that I got into the felt hat game last year because I wore the shit out of my maroon hat and photographed it every chance I got. Game respects hipster game. And obviously a backwards camo hat is also my steeze because I learned how to shoot a gun this summer, nbd but HBD. I’m so country it hurts.
I have no idea what the HELL is going on with this skirt but I’m obsessed with the rest of it. I mean, throw on a pair of classic white kicks and an N*SYNC shirt and you know I’m going to be foaming at the mouth, Hils. Well played. Also, where can I get that tee, yo?
Looooove this mixture. Roger Klotz meets Willie Nelson. YESSIRRRR. Who says you can’t do both!?
I would’ve respected Kane more if he showed up decked out in full outdoor gear after he got lost in his own backyard and had to have the cops come rescue him. JK, JK. Relax. For realz though, this look is pretty boring.
Ya gurl Kelsea received the highest of compliments and the highest of disses in one single sentence from my mother. She said, she’s got nice legs like Carrie Underwood but she doesn’t have a voice like Carrie. OOF. Cin building ya up to break you down. Either way, her legs are H A W T and she’s crushing those cheetah boots.
This is quite the 80’s fit. Oversized plaid blazer and white patent leather boots. I know blazers are making a comeback again but I’m just not a fan. Some people can really pull it off in the right environment but a country show in Nashville doesn’t SCREAM Clueless blazer to me. Now…if she had an N*SYNC tee underneath this mom blaze? It would’ve been GAME ON.
One of my besties in college used to have a pair of glasses like this that we would wear out when we were trashed to spark conversation. We called them The Lovely Bones glasses because make no mistake about it, they are 100% the glasses of a rapist. If Lindsay is looking to creep everyone out as the star of their nightmares (especially with that closed mouth smile) and get some laughs, great choice. If she’s trying to look trendy and cute–these glasses have got to GO. Love the matching separates though. Looks like red carpet loungewear.
Luke legit didn’t even know the awards were tonight this is just what he wears every day. Just rolled in from the farm and was like oh that’s tonight? Cool beans.
I love summer and I love a good tropical print. But I’m conflicted here, because on principle, I do not like Maren. I don’t like how she’s always flashing the goods on a red carpet. Like congrats on your breast feeding rack but also, we don’t all need to see it. Other than her yabbos poking me in the eye, I’m loving this Hawaiian snack of a dress and the neon heels.
I love this guy. He’s a true country hick that just happens to have some hit songs. Canadian Tuxedo and full-blown mullet. Don’t ever change, Morgan.
YAAASSSSSSS this is probbably my favorite look of the night (which isn’t really saying a lot because we’ve got a real dry spell of outfit pics.) Bob Dylan tee, leather fringe skirt and cowboy booties killinnnnn ittttt. Perfect casj cool concert look.
Riley also growing out the lettuce in quarantine and I don’t hate it one bit. He went so casj you can literally see the outline of his iPhone in his pocket. Or is that his phone…
I cannot stress how much I loathe this entire look. First and foremost, the bangs. Taylor attaches a specific hairstyle to each album era and commits to it until she releases her next one. I am NOT pleased with the folklore hair. Curly-haired people should never under any circumstance have bangs. Whimsical, frizzy bangs aside, let’s talk this glam turtleneck on top, Jack Hanna on bottom outfit. These are high-waisted khaki pants. It’s cut off in the photo, but they are also tapered at the ankle. I’m honestly surprised they are not also cargo pants. This was Taylor’s big comeback to the ACM’s after 7 years and I’m just wondering why this was the outfit choice.
I met Tenille last year and she is the most pure person I’ve ever met that’s in show biz. She has this delicate voice and the first thing she said in her performance last night was “I’m so humbled.” She’s too good for Hollywood and I just want to put her right in my pocket and keep her safe. None of this has anything to do with her outfit but you know I like to relate everything back to me and my personal stories. She’s rocking this gold jumpsuit and her hair looks amazing. I bet she smells like pine needles and her face is like sunshine.
TR just spent a significant amount of time with his family in Montana and it shows. Much like Luke Bryan, I think he came back from his mountain vacation and just rolled right up to the “red carpet.” He looks like a fall snack.
Cool guy Eric Church couldn’t even spring for a non-disposable mask. Also, notably the only person who incorporated a mask into his lewk. He still looks pretty badass.
Now’s the fun part where I just jack somewhat ratchet performance photos off the world wide web for more content:
Carrie looked great even though she covered up her stems. Once she sees that Kelsea is coming in hot for her title as Country’s hottest legs, she’ll probably think twice about wearing an ankle-length gown at another awards show.
Gabby is preggers and still committed to these tight as shit hot pants. Whatta babe. I loved the sparkle cape and shiny leathers.
Ugh. Gwen and Blake are still parading their love around via sappy duets. We get it, you guys like each other. Could do with a little less white junderwear from Gwen here. If you’re going to perform on a stool, don’t wear a pair of cutoffs that are going to ride right up your hoo-ha, gurl.
Luke did an outfit change for his performance of One Margarita and this Jimmy Buffett vibe immediately made me smile. Nothing slaps like a Hawaiian shirt.
And finally, since I committed to not only watching this awards show, but also live tweeting it as if I have a following and anyone else was watching it, and on top of that writing this blog…I’m going to go ahead and give you some thoughts on the show as well, in no particular order.
When will Keith get a new haircut?
I mean honestly. I know I already came down hard on Taylor’s hair and I may have used all allotted unsolicited hair commentary for the week with that but COME ONNNNNNN. Keith Urban has rocked the same Karen hairstyle since he hit the scene in the 90’s and I’ve finally reached my breaking point. Probably because it was also greasy as hell for this awards show. We need a little spice. Make 2020 your bitch and debut a new ‘do Keith. I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU.
Not being live STINKS.
The crickets in the crowd sucks but the fact that these are all just pre-taped performances makes it even worse. The whole excitement of an awards show is the possibility of someone messing up or having spinach in their teeth (lookin at you Nick Jonas) and having perfect pre-taped segments is BooooOOOoooOOOring as hell. It’s like going to a Metallica drive-in concert, paying over $100 a car and then just watching a pre-taped movie of Metallica jamming. GIVE ME SOME LIVE CHAOS AGAIN. PLLLEEEEEASSEEEEE.Keith “talked” to Miranda at the Bluebird Cafe and it was like a bad newscast. The delays. The cringiness. Ugh. It was rough. Also important to note that the VMA’s was ALL about showing backstage masked celebrities and crew to really jam down our throats that they’re being “safe”–you know after they flew a bunch of people from California to New York and because they were celebrities they didn’t have to follow Cuomo’s two week quarantine rule. But what was interesting about these awards is that they take place in Nashville and I didn’t really see any masks. The most dramats BTS shot I saw was Darius Rucker pulling a mic out of a ziploc bag during a commercial break. No Corona here! We take the thing that goes near your mouth from a snack baggie so it’s REAL SAFE.
Spoiler Alert: TWO Entertainers of the Year.
This killed me. The last award of the night is Entertainer of the Year. Keith opens it up and is like OH I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS. WE’VE GOT A TIE! How? No clue how these awards are given out but there’s literally no way you can do a tie. An award means nothing if someone else won it too. If there was meant to be more than one Entertainer of the Year there wouldn’t be a medal for it. Congrats to Carrie Underwood and Thomas Rhett for getting participation trophies. And the dog and pony show that all put forward to be like WHAT IS HAPPENING?! Was this supposed to be a fun twist ending to a crappy pre-taped awards show because I’m not buying it. Obviously the Entertainer of the Year is Thomas Rhett and it isn’t even a question. Did Carrie even tour this year? Then Carrie accepting and being like GOTTA LOVE 2020, LOLZ! My eyes rolled out of my G-D head and directly out the door. No, seriously. I don’t even have eyes anymore. I’m using talk to type to write this right now because I’m certified blind because of a TERRIBLE joke that Carrie Underwood made. STOP BLAMING THE YEAR FOR EVERYTHING STUPID. I HAAAAAAATE when people do this. Just like when a celebrity dies and everyone is like THIS YEAR IS A CURSE. It’s especially weird because she’s basically throwing shade at a nice thing. She won an award and just happens to have to share it. And she’s like UGH 2020! #SoreWinner Does this year suck? 900000000%. Does that mean that everything that happens can be replied to with, “2020, man?” No. No it does not. Stop doing this. Yesterday I made soup for lunch because my bones were cold and I’m a 900 year old lady (remember I have grey hair now) wrapped in a fleece blanket like a shawl. I undercooked the noodles so it was basically like gnawing on shards of glass and then I didn’t leave it on long enough with the broth because I’m impatient and fat so it was also cold. Then when I put it back on to heat it up so it was edible, I dropped the spoon on the floor and got broth everywhere. During NONE of this debacle did I BLAME THE FREAKING YEAR. I rest my case.
My Fave Performances
They’re not so free with the posting performances after the fact (so I’ve only included one) but my favorites were Old Dominion, Thomas Rhett, Luke Bryan, Keith Urban & Pink, Eric Church and of course Taylor Swift. Although an uncensored Taylor Swift would’ve slapped so much harder. Thomas Rhett and John Pardi did coordinated twirls with their guitars that were bootscootin boogie wholesome and adorable. Eric Church started his performance with a voiceover from Johnny Cash about the American flag and it was badass as hell. I felt like an outlaw just watching it. Then my parent’s TV froze because their internet stinks. GOD. WTF 2020.
Today is 9/11 and I’m not sure that I’ve ever posted a blog on this day but it feels really cheap to post nonsense about celebrity garbo without at least acknowledging the day. This morning I read the following blog that was written 2 years ago, but I never took the time to read it before. It’s a personal perspective of someone who was working in Manhattan on that day and lost family members and friends and I thought it was really moving and well-written and a reminder of what a big deal that day was because it can often get lost in the years (especially for people like me who do not live in or near NYC) so I’m sharing it with you. CLICK HERE TO READ
The world had begun to believe this day would never come. After TWENTY seasons of Kardashian’s on our TV getting married, divorced, arrested, knocked up, and going on lavish all-expenses paid vacations and then threatening to leave said vacations when there was a slight conflict…the era is officially ending. Once we witnessed as a world the transformation of Bruiser to Caitlyn Jenner…I felt like the Kardashians would dominate our televisions forever. It just didn’t seem like there was anything they wouldn’t film and yet they’ve finally decided that after building E! up and basically creating reality TV as we know it, it’s time for them to move on. They’ve officially become TOO famous for reality TV. As someone who religiously watched this show from its birth up until Kim married Kanye AND someone who wrote an entire research paper my semester abroad on how the Kardashian’s are actually savvy businesswomen (this gives you a little taste of what college is like in other countries…one of my greater pieces of work) I can honestly say that it’s probably time for these a-holes to go. I drank the Kool Aid, I watched all the spin-offs, and then just for shits and giggs I flipped on a recent episode this year to see what they counted as quality TV these days. The episode covered a massive fight between Kourtney and Kim because Kim held a birthday party for North in Mexico, filmed it for the show and Kourtney ended up paying for the crew and security’s flights out there for a birthday party that wasn’t even her own kid’s. And that’s where I draw the line, folks. Reality TV in itself is pure dumpster fire flames hot garbage. It’s called a guilty pleasure for a reason. HOWEVER, when it gets to the point where the show that you’re watching is covering fights about how their production team isn’t paying for their own flights to film the very show you’re consuming? That’s a little TOO real. This should’ve been settled in negotiations. I don’t want to see how a reality show is made. That’s not what I’m signing up for here. ESPECIALLY because all of these people are loaded and a flight to Mexico is equivalent to me buying an ice cream cone for myself. I want to see Kim call her siblings RUDE and hit them. I want to see Scott rip EVERYONE a new asshole, mock Kris Jenner directly to her face and then prank call her later pretending to be Todd Kraines. I want to see Kourtney and Khloe act like 14 year olds together and give me new stupid phrases that I can say or talk about how they put mayo on their vag to make it softer. I want to see a marriage crumble before my very eyes in the most cringeworthy fashion (cough cough Kris Humphries.) And you know what? We’re just not getting that content anymore from the Kardashians. They’ve gone full celeb-mode and can’t be bothered with reality TV. And that’s fine, just get them the hell off of my TV. Make room for the new crew…
I’m just kidding this show looks awful too. E! just might need to cut their losses here. Their LIVELIHOOD was the Kardashians. I swear you could turn on E! at any point in time and they’d be playing some version of a Kardashian show. It’s either that or Sex and the City. There’s no in between. If E! was really smart, they’d not only rotate their old reality TV shows but also bring a few back. They played a marathon of Married to Jonas the other day and I sat immobile for a solid 4 hours just watching the magic that is Danielle Jonas trying to speak on camera. I also got to remind myself that Kevin Jonas went HAM on some crawfish in Louisiana before a music video shoot and had to leave set abruptly due to a mean case of the crabby runs. All of this brought me great joy. Jessie James and Eric Decker’s reality show? Bring it back. These are the people that are just on the CUSP of mega-stardom that create quality trash TV. They’re willing to do or say anything on camera no matter how dumb it makes them look and these are my peeps. Hell, if E!’s looking, give me a reality show. My sister and I make ourselves pee our pants from laughing at the stupidity of people in this world on the daily. We’ll entertain the masses. Just the other day we jumped in her pool after a few cocktails and she convinced me that because I ate so many clams that day, I’d sink to the bottom like a clam. I was legitimately scared to jump in. See? DUMB PEOPLE THRIVE IN REALITY TV. Anyway, I got carried away there (or did I just pitch a new show?!) Either way, I can’t report this news without drawing attention to the fact that the announcement came from Kim, still proving that the one who starts it all with a sex tape, gets the last word. Never forget “OH SHIT, RAY J” and the sex tape that started with just video footage of her feet at the beach. What a wild ride it’s been. May it remain in our memz foreva, especially if I’ve had a few cocktails.
I decided it would be hilarious to give my boyfriends parents a play by play of Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton’s sex tapes, respectively last night. Along with color commentary. Weddings really do get the best of me.
This is only important news to those who grew up wishing Nathan Scott would be their husband (at an unreasonably young age, high school marriages FTW) and would spend the rest of her life watching him make a free throw without looking, to then jump into his arms to celebrate. Underwear Slushee: Population – ME.
Ok, fine obviously James Lafferty is his own person and not a fictional babe soda who plays basketball and got married to a touring singer at 16. Congrats on his engagement, mostly because I approve of his choice, Alexandra Park of The Royals fame. It appears as though Marc Schwann may have been a real dirtbag, but he did manage to put James and Alexandra in the same stratosphere by creating both of their shows. So there’s that. These two have been very hush hush about dating but as a real Grade A internet creep, I’ve known they were boning for years and I support it wholeheartedly. If anyone’s going to have baby James, I’m cool with this Aussie babe. EVEN THOUGH it pains me to break up The Royals ship of Eleanor and Jasper. (Especially because those two have more pics together on social media than who they are actually banging) Yes, I’m aware that I’m far too invested in fictional relationships. That’s what happens when you’re eternally single and have the maturity of a 14 year old girl writing in her diary every night and re-watching teen soaps.
I expect none of you to watch the following very obnoxious fan vids for each fictional couple, I’m literally just posting them for my sister because if we’re going to talk about two top notch shows and the couples that made them, I would be a terrible fan to not include some highlights of their best cheesy, smoochy mo’s (yes I abbreviated moments, DEAL WITH IT) set to a dramatic soundtrack.
Wishing these two every bit of REAL LIFE success. Ya know, without cheating scandals, limos flying off bridges on their wedding day, assassination attempts, etc.
3. Goldberg GLOW-UP.
I’ve reported on many 90’s child stars who have had extreme run-ins with the law in their adult years. Since I have pointed out their misfortune and wondered why I had such raging childhood crushes on several cast members of The Sandlot who turned out to be wife beaters and various other 90’s gems who took to the hard stuff…I feel it is also my duty to report on when they’ve turned things around. This will be the first time I’ll get to report this to date. As you’ll recall, the funny chubster who farts a lot turned out to be a meth-head tweaker. WELLLLLLL…he’s been living in a sober house, he’s clean, and he’s got a new set of chompers and BOY OH BOY what a difference that makes!
We’ve got the old Goldberg back, folks! I don’t have to throw out my t-shirt after all! He’s literally a completely different person from the creature pictured above and I’m real proud of him. Keep on keepin on, G-berg.
4. Fall SUCKS (Pls read in Sandler shouting voice.)
Hi, it’s me. Ya girl who is OBSESSED with summer and would live on a tropical island if it meant that the sun would be baking my skin for every second of my existence and I could listen to the ocean waves and have salty beach waves foreva. When summer begins, I’m the happiest person alive. When summer ends, I’m the saddest person alive. I don’t care about your pumpkin beers or your football or your apple picking. Summer will forever be my jam and I’ll scream it from the rooftop. Score one point for me not being a basic betch. We’re already in that September sweet spot where everyone is yapping about that fall chill and cozy blankets from Homegoods and Pumpkin Spice. And I’m jamming my fingers in my ears and screaming LALALALALA as I strap on my bikini again and continue to go in my sister’s pool even though the temperature is drastically dropping. Why am I going on this rant, you ask? Cause it’s my blog and I do what I damn well please. But also, because I’m real dry on celeb news this week and I’m reaching into the nethers of the internet to come up with this “headline.” We’re already getting a taste of Halloween, because obviously with basic betch Fall comes spooky szn. If we’re being real, Spooky Szn started in March and hasn’t stopped yet. So let’s see how we’re gonna handle going to strangers homes and eating their candy in a pandemic. But regardless, Netflix has a deal with Adam Sandler to keep making his Happy Madison flicks and this one is the latest. I smashed play and got excited for a new funny Halloween movie to add to the mix, then watched this trailer with horror–not the fun H-ween kind.
You’ve got a stacked cast of Sandler’s usual suspects and basically every member of SNL past and present. Oddly missing: Rob Schneider with a lazy eye. Although, potential spoiler alert, he’s probably the creature causing all of the creepy mayhem. So to tack right back onto my shitting on Fall theme, this movie stinks. It’s not even out yet, and it stinks. There is no one on this earth that needs Sandler talking in a weird voice that changes from scene to scene for this Halloween season. Give me a seltzie and the beach and let’s pretend this never happened.
5. New Beats.
Two parter for “new song Friday”, a feature that I only include when I’m desperado for things to include. The first song courtesy of my girl Demi and the “DJ” that just wears a marshmellow with a face on his head. It’s a fun lil 80’s dance vibe with feel good lyrics. Because when Demi tells me it’s ok not to be ok, I believe her. Thanks gurl. I am very much NOT OK. But you know what? That’s ok right now. Cause Demi said so. The second song was discovered via TikTok (I’m such a youth now) and I immediately grooved my face off to it. Lotta flack for this gent saying it’s not real country, but guess what, not all country needs to be Garth Brooks, so let’s relax. Everyone’s mixing genres these days. Let it happen, bro. Great pool/beach song for when you’re in denial about summer ending like MOI. (As I sit on the couch in pants and a sweatshirt, still cold. FU world.)
I make a lot of playlists with pick-me-up lyrics or peppy foot stompin’ beats because what I love about music is that it has a real way of lifting people out of the dumps and making you want to groove. But sometimes you very much want to exist solely in those dumps and wallow in their stinkiness. And never a discriminatory playlister, I made this one for you. It’s equivalent to popping on The Notebook when you need a good cry. Get in touch with this playlist when you want to sob your face off and feel sorry for your single-never-gonna-find-true-love ass. Then when it’s done, mop up your snot, take a shower, put on a red lip and pop on over to my Bitch, I’m Limited Edition playlist for a confidence boost.
1. Dreaming With A Broken Heart – John Mayer. I’ve never hidden my very public boner for John Mayer’s album Continuum as a whole piece of art that I want to crawl inside of and listen to on repeat forever. It also, happens to be a breakup album. Turns out ole Johnny boy really hit his stride when he was in heart turmoil. I wish he hit his stride by playing it in full when I saw him in concert last year instead of choosing to play it for dirty NYC instead. But obviously I’m not still holding onto that bitterness (I 100% am.) Every song off of this album is amazing–except Waiting on the World to Change because I’m not a hippie. However, nothing quite screams depression like his very detailed description of what it’s like to sleep when you’re heartbroken and wake up and remember that you lost the love of your life. If you’d also like a visual of that to really make sure your heart feels full of holes, look no further than this performance to it from So You Think You Can Dance (100 years ago.) The male lead in it is now the official DJ of The Ellen (soon to be cancelled) Show.
2. Everybody Hurts – R.E.M. I honestly had forgotten completely about this song until I read a romance novel last night cleverly titled “Beach Read” (10/10 would recommend) and the guy blasts this song at his birthday party and gets roasted by his soon to be love interest REAL hard for how depressing this song is. And it’s SUCH a quintessential cry song. I mean even Dwight Schrute popped this classic on with his windows rolled down in the parking lot when Michael Scott was giving more attention to Ryan the temp. Sometimes when you embarrassingly have tears streaming down your face, it’s comforting to know that EVERYBODY CRIIIIIIIEEEESSSSS.
3. It’s All Coming Back To Me Now – Celine Dion. I’ve never been more confident in my car concert performance skills than I am with this song. I will never ever get the words right no matter HOW hard I try to learn them, and yet people are MOVED by the notes I’m able to hit right up there with my girl Celine. This song is all about emotion. You breathe deep from your belly and let that sadness and regret come screaming out. Crying can certainly be a therapeutic release, but nothing will ever top the buildup of AND I BANISHED EVERY MEMORY YOU AND I HAD EVER MADEEEEEEEEEEE to go back down to a soft sadness of “but when you touch me like this.” I got goosebumps just thinking of it and now I think I’ll need to take my car for a spin down I-90 for a little cathartic Celine solo sesh.
4. What Hurts the Most – Rascal Flatts. Nobody knows heartbreak like country singers and that seems pretty obvious. This one’s a heart-wrenching song about trying to get through each day but the worst part being the regret. Oof. Let that tasty nugget sink in and simmer in your overactive brain before bed. Nope, just me? Cool, cool, cool.
5. I Don’t Know You Anymore – Savage Garden. About 0.01% of you will know this song. In fact, I would go out on a limb here and say about half of this playlist is obscure sad songs. I really dug deep for this. And that’s exclusively because this playlist is subjective and since it’s my blog and I write whatever I feel like writing about, I get to do that! I get to force the songs that I’ve cried to for years right in your faces and say HAH, check out these sobworthy tales that you may have never discovered before. Savage Garden became my crying CD (I believe they only made one) via my sister Nikki. Shoutout to her for passing down the sad. Whenever mom and dad were mean and punished me or a boy tripped me instead of smiling at me when I had a raging crush on him, I smashed play on the ole Savvy G. They just GET me, yaknow?! Just kidding, they just happen to have mellow delicate voices that soothe a sobbing pre-teen into a lull and make her relate her dumb 11 year old problems to adult tales of loss and abusive relationships (Two Beds and a Coffee Machine will make you want to rip your eyeballs out from sadness.)
6. Someone Like You – Adele. Ah yes, the fiery Brit with pipes beyond belief who started churning out breakup songs right out the gate. Nothing will make you sit and ponder life and stare out into the abyss like a deep Adele song. Even though I’m anticipating what type of music glow-up Adele will be releasing into the wild in the near future, this is a nice nod to her early days on the scene. Her voice is like a warm cup of tea that you immediately want to cry into.
7. Happier – Ed Sheeran. Honestly just hearing the beginning notes of this song makes me want to immediately burst into tears. Having someone love you so much that they just want to see you happy is the ultimate thing and YET that’s nearly impossible. WHO THE HELL WANTS TO SEE THAT? I’d rather go blind than see someone I was happy as a clam with being happy as a clam with someone else (probably on social media because that’s where people want to show that they’re SUH hAPpY.) Obviously this is why I’m a terrible human being and Ed is a phenomenal one. He even displayed this selfless unconditional love via puppets and balloons in the music video. A puppet could never date a balloon anyway so it’s for the best that she left his ass.
8. Reminds Me of You – Van Morrison. Normally when I make mixes I sprinkle the sads throughout and what I’m realizing is that having a playlist JUST FULL OF SADS is probably how people end up offing themselves. Please don’t do that. Crying is good. Wallowing with ice cream is encouraged. Watching a movie on Netflix where SPOILER ALERT you know the ending has the lead dying in the twin towers on September 11th (shoutout Remember Me) so you don’t have to see a happy ending is self-care. Listening to the depressing crooning of Van Morrison reminding you that everything in your life reminds you of your ex lover is NECESSARY.
9. You’ll Think Of Me – Keith Urban. This is a nice balance from Keith. It’s a little bit of GFY, mixed in with some feeling down and out. Keith has been cheated on and he’d like to remind this hussy ass ho that one day she’s going to circle back to him with regret and love and he’ll be like HAH no thanks. And that’s a nice mentality to have. An even better mentality to have, is thinking for SEVERAL years that he was singing “take your cat and leave my sweater” and that was HIGHLARIOUS to me. I think I grew to love this song even more just from believing that Keith was telling his girl to kick rocks and take her stupid cat with her too. Since I cannot stand the existence of cats, leaving one behind in a breakup seems like a normal thing to do because cats are assholes and probably would just hiss at you if you ever tried to cry and snuggle with them anyway. Nobody wants that cat. Or, if you finally google the lyrics for accuracy (10+ years later)…nobody wants that cap. Who the hell says CAP anyway?! It’s a hat, Keith. Or for our friends up north, a toque.
10. Breathe – Melissa Etheridge. I was scrolling through my iTunes library and had completely forgotten about this gem of a song. When I refreshed my memory with a play, I couldn’t fathom a boohoo playlist without it. I don’t think there’s ever been a MORE dramatic chorus than “I’m all right, I’m all right, it only hurts when I breathe.” Can you IMAGINE saying that to someone’s face. Like hey how ya doing? Oh I’m alright, it only hurts when I breathe. I LOVE THAT. I LIVE FOR THE DRAMA. This seems like something I would’ve written in my middle school journal. And I KNOW for a fact that I used it as an AIM away message. Everyone buzz off, the act of being alive is hurting me right now.
11. Amnesia – 5 Seconds of Summer. I thought it might be nice to hop from a rock n roll lesbian who my parents can’t get enough of, to an edgy boy band with a variety of shades of neon hair. Something for everyone to get their sad face on to! This song that this band 9000% did not write grapples with the idea of wishing we could just erase our brains completely because having memories makes heartbreak one trillion times worse. A little Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind for your eardrums.
12. Hurts Like Hell – Wrabel. This one can probably go hand in hand with ya gurl Mel. Not only does it hurt when I breathe but it HURTS LIKE HELL. This is for the lingering case of the sads that lasts for several years and WOOF does that suck. Bet Wrabel wish they had amnesia, amirite?!
13. Drunk Me – Mitchell Tenpenny. I try to stay away from substance abuse when I know a stiff breeze could make my eyes unstoppable waterfalls of sadness and Mitchell seems to feel the same way. He’s not really into drinking when he’s going through a breakup because booze brings out all his emotions and also THERE AiN’T nO HaNGoVeR like you, gurl. And ain’t that the truth. Also, I genuinely get crippling hangovers and fun fact: alcohol is a depressant so getting more sad the day after is typically how that bitch ruins your weekend and you end up needing to turn on Teen Mom to see someone who’s struggling harder than you so you can find the strength to get up off the couch and make some Kraft Mac & Cheese.
14. Walking on Broken Glass – Annie Lennox. Yeah I could be shouting out our current lady popstars who know how to twist the knife BUT it seems like today’s generation is much more forgiving and less about the poor me’s. And that’s great and all, good for them, girl power, THANK U NEXT, I needed to LOSE you to LOVE me. But first, I need the wah wah’s. I need to feel V. sorry for myself before I can snap my fingers and declare that everything I need is standing right in front of me as I look in the mirror like Demi Lovato. And that’s where Annie comes into play. Annie’s like this sucks so bad it literally feels like I’m stepping directly onto shards of glass. YES, QUEEN. First we cry and make everyone feel sorry for our hardships, and then we sweep that glass up (when we’re ready and done feeling our feels) and pop in the Kelly Clarkson tell-off anthems.
15. Let Her Go – Passenger. Naturally songs are one of those things that can transport us right back to a place that we heard it first or a time in our life. This song brings me back to Fall of 2013. I had just graduated college and was living in an apt in Saratoga Springs with my dad and I was the MOST unemployed. (Kinda like now, it’s the CIIIIIRCLLEEE OF LIIIIFEEEEE.) Every morning I would get up, make myself a cup of coffee and turn on VH1 because they played music videos in the morning and I would start my job searching for the day. This song was hot to trot in their artsy new releases on VH1 (yes I realize I just admitted being into the morning equivalent of TRL in 2013, but I LOVE MUSIC VIDEOS, SUE ME) and it played quite literally every single day. And every time I heard it I teared up. What a sad ass song and this guy, who I can only assume never released a song again, has the sad ass voice to go with it. Either way, I soaked in the sad as I tried to convince someone to hire me. So whether it’s 2013 or 2020, you’ll find me crooning AND YOU LET HER GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO as my laptop becomes soaked with tears.
16. Incomplete – Backstreet Boys. Historically speaking country crooners have been the best at relaying their heartbreak and typically somehow involving alcohol (cough cough whiskey lullaby) but a hat tip to the boy bands as well, because you’ll be hard pressed to find more dramatic sadboi lyrics than this song right here. Plus, 5 guys singing their hearts out about swimming in an ocean all alone really packs a punch. I think the appropriate way to blubber to this song is on your knees staring up at the sky while it downpours directly into your face. Tears mixing with rain. You’re welcome. Without that visual, your life was incomplete.
17. I’m Never Getting Over You – Gone West. Gone West put out exactly one album before they broke up as a band and ironically enough, it was two couples who had formed together and one of the couples also broke up. And even more ironically, their album was all about breakups. SO GONE WEST KNOWS A THING OR TWO ABOUT HEARTBREAK. Absolutely recommend giving their album a listen because they’re not all downers (shout out Confetti for being an upbeat breakup tune) and also because you’ll apparently never hear what they sound like as a band ever again. Colbie Callait and her bubbly ass ruined everything and I’ll never get over it.
18. Someone You Loved – Lewis Capaldi. I’d liken Lewis to a little bit of an Ed Sheeran but I’m guessing that offends him. But he is British just like Ed and does have some orange-ish unfortunate looking hair like Ed. And also he’s a phenomenal singer-songwriter. This one became a smash this past summer and made me want to curl up in a ball and die every time I heard it. In all of the good ways, of course. Like when the day bleeds into nightfall and you’re ALONE.
19. Un-Break My Heart – Toni Braxton. This is such a cocky way to be sad and I respect Toni for it. It’s not like ugh my life sucks and I’m walking on broken glass and I’ll probably die alone. It’s like no you better come over here and fix this. You did this. Reverse-REVERSE it. That wasn’t at typo. Ever since the Cupid Shuffle was beaten into my brain at middle school dances and weddings with shitty DJ’s I’ve been physically incapable of saying the word reverse without shouting in my head REVERSE, REVERSE! So now it’s time to get funky with it and un break Toni’s G-D heart and uncry her tears because far too many have been shed and I’m SICK OF IT.
20. The Scientist – Coldplay. I’m not sure if there’s anything that sounds more like giving up than “take me back to the start.” Thank you so much Chris Martin for giving us that gift along with “no one ever said it would be this hard” because you know what? There’s no adequate warning for how much being sad sucks until you’ve lived through it. It’s impossible to go back to the start though (cause, science) so let’s get right in our feelings and sob our way through.
21. Gone – *NSYNC. I’ve used this song on my Boy Bands Slow Jamz playlist (shameless plug, another sick mix of tunes) but it’s so heart-wrenching it deserves to be recycled on here. When you have five guys harmonizing over why you left, you know they must be sad. WHAT DID THEY DO TO MAKE YOU LEAVE?! Seriously though, if you’re all out of tears at this point, the least you can do is nail JT’s howling OHHOHHHOHHHOHHHHHH at the 3:50 minute mark. Make sure you get up in the high register at the end with a little rasp. Never mind…I’ll take it from here. Nothing brings me more joy than playing JT’s part in this song going from depressed as hell to angry and repeating what everyone else is singing with an aggressive tone. SITTIN HERE. TO GET YOU OFF OF MY MIND. MY BEST TO BE A MAN. Ok I’m done. DONEEEE.
22. All Too Well – Taylor Swift. I realize that Taylor just released an entire album of sad and dramatic breakup songs and almost all of them could make this ugly cry list (lookin specifically at exhile and my tears ricochet) and that obviously she’s written a bajillion breakup songs and there’s a reason why everyone thinks she’s just a big ole serial dater crushing hearts left and right…BUT…there is only one breakup song in Taylor Swift world that trumps them all. And there is only one breakup song ever that is quite possibly the greatest masterpiece of all time. And it is All Too Well. The details of falling in love and basically tying it in with the leaves dying in the fall…I mean, she made a breakup a SEASON. And rightfully so. The dramatics of the piano and getting REAL heated and the sadness when she drops back down again to remember it all too well. I could talk about this song for the rest of my life and it still wouldn’t be enough. I’ve performed it solo in my car, hands slamming on the steering wheel even more than I’ve screeched Celine’s flashes of light. I’ve used the lyrics when I wanted to get a dramatic point across. And when I went through my own breakups, I ugly cried my damn face off to it remembering my own moments singing in the car (this song ironically) getting lost upstate–she was OBVIOUSLY singing about upstate NY. This is the pinnacle of breakup boohoo songs, so do yourself a favor and lay there like a crumpled up piece of paper and let the loss of Jake Gyllenhaal (or whatever dum dum who dumped you and will never compare to Jake) course through your veins.
It occurred to me when I was shamelessly plugging my bomb playlists before 4th of July weekend that I didn’t have the most ESSENTIAL summer playlist, a country one. I’m not sure how this has slipped through the cracks since I’ve spent the last 10+ years cranking up country at the first whisper of warm weather with the windows down. My sister finally put her foot down after we tried countless country playlists on Spotify and were annoyed at the selection. So here we are–better late than never– bringing a little life back into 2020 with a banging summer playlist. It’s no summer palooza but it’ll be a pretty hawt substitute for it. Bump this for the variety of summer adventures you’ll embark on–pool day, lake day, BBQ, bonfire, WHAT HAVE YOU. It’s time to honor the genre of music that sings about farming, shooting, drinking & babes. And if you crave a longer version that you can leave on for a full day–look no further than my Spotify (username: julia.giantomasi) where you’ll find the Uncut edition of this playlist that is 13 hours long…along with every other playlist I’ve made so don’t say I never gave you anything.
1. Long Hot Summer – Keith Urban. Obviously I’m going to kick off the playlist with my favorite musician to lovingly razz about his middle-age female sense of style. No one quite pulls off capris, chunky boots and a sensible haircut like Keith. And at the same time he delivers the tastiest guitar licks and has given us endless bangers through the years. This is on the more recent end of his catalogue and was the first song I knew needed to be included in this playlist as it captures everything that is magical about summer…except bare feet on the dash.
2. 99.9% Sure (I’ve Never Been Here Before) – Brian McComas. This one might be a headscratcher as to why it’s included and I’ll tell you why. My older sisters were the trendsetters for everything in my life growing up and when they started getting into country music, it was no different that I would immediately copy them. This was the very first song that they became so obsessed with, it was on repeat in our house and since it’s catchy as hell I was like YUP, I’m all in on country. My parents (not country fans) were less than pleased with this, but realized they were outnumbered and resorted to making fun of lyrics but tolerating the constant country being played. I felt it was necessary to include this song because without it, this playlist doesn’t exist.
3. Drink A Little Beer – Thomas Rhett Ft. Rhett Akins. Ah, a little cross between old country and new country on this one. TR probably wouldn’t be a country singer without his dad so he invited dear ole dad to feature on his album and then took him out on tour as well. This is a deep cut but I’ve always loved the father/son combo and it’s just an all around back country hitting the overturned pot for a beat drinkin song. Plus I love that they razz each other at the end. Rhett’s like hey kid I gave you your career and your stage name, and Thomas is like HAHA you’re old though. GM’s.
4. Beat of the Music – Brett Eldredge. Brett’s about to drop new music for the first time in two years and boy have I missed him. This is a tossback to one of his first hits where he sings about an island fling. Wouldn’t it be cool to be rich enough to have island flings? I’m jelly. I did a girls trip to Nashville a few years back and one of my friends met a guy, held hands with him all night from bar to bar, stayed at his place and used his toothbrush the next morning as if they were married for 10 years and hadn’t just met 12 hours prior. That was her vacation fling. Doesn’t quite sound as romantic as dancing on the beach to live music. Brett’s got a real way with words and obviously the ladies.
5. Chicken Fried – Zac Brown Band. Listen, I know how cliche it is to include this song and yet THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT THIS PLAYLIST IS. So accept it. Chicken Fried puts asses in the seats. My favorite Saratoga band used to cover this song and every single time they did, people scream-sang the chorus and then brought it down real low for the salute to the ones who’ve died. It’s got something for everyone. Passion for KFC and also a tribute to our military. It is ‘MERICA in song form.
6. Summer Nights – Rascal Flatts. Any song that starts with a shout is always going to be a real good time. Holler if you’re ready for some summer nights? HOLLLERRRRRRRRRR. Seriously, can’t get enough of the summer nights…well that’s not entirely true. I have already had enough of the skeeters. If summer nights didn’t have skeeters looking to chomp on every inch of my skin (do you know they also BITE THROUGH CLOTHES?!) it would really be GAME ON. Sorry bout it that my skin is the sweetest of delicacies. Also, this song features one of my favorite musical treats–a clap break.
7. Drink in My Hand – Eric Church. I’ve always seen Eric as suuuuch a badass. Probably because he never takes those shades off and sings almost exclusively about drinking. He’s just got that bad boy edge to him. I love this song not only because he really hits it home with how much work sucks and everyone is just trying to get through to the weekend beers, but also the part when he says: “My head Monday morning that alarm clock sings/It goes bang, bang, bang, while it ring, ring, rings.” No clue why that’s my favorite part of the song. Probably because I’ve taken to singing it with a country twang and shouting RANG RANG RANNNGGG. I have a real knack for making something 10x more annoying. Try to unhear that, I dare you.
8. When the Sun Goes Down – Kenny Chesney Ft. Uncle Kracker. Hey guys, remember Uncle Kracker? This one isn’t an all-time favorite of mine but I felt like it needed to be included to add to the all around vibes we’re trying to throw here. Also I distinctly remember changing my AIM profile to it’s summer version and including “Everything gets hotter when the sun goes down” with a Sun emoji (the kind that you had to look up a code to create because emojis didn’t exist yet.) Obviously I was a pre-teen at the time and absolutely nothing was getting hotter for me when the sun went down. But it was fun to pretend I had a scandalous life and wasn’t just going to bed at 10 pm after roasting mallows with my parents in our firepit.
9. Pontoon – Little Big Town. What a drinking anthem this was. And then Little Big Town was like oh shit, all we need to do is sing about boozing in the sun during the day? And BAM, they released Day Drinkin’. This crew really found what people want and it’s a whistle tune with lyrics about doing nothing but drinking near a body of water. AKA the only thing you should really be doing with your summer if you’re doing it right.
10. Night’s on Fire – David Nail. I’ve always loved David Nail even though he’s not the most prolific country artist but he was one of the early ones I got hooked on. This song really kicks it up and is all about spicy summer nights with a babe soda, so I’m all in.
11. Parking Lot Party – Lee Brice. This is kind of a hard one to hear this year. There are no parking lot parties happening in 2020. So we’ll just have to reminisce back on the years when concerts were allowed and you’d go on a sweaty summer night to an amphitheater in your town, guzzle brewskis in the parking lot, get to your seat, pay a small loan for a tall boy that will get warm as hell in about 20 minutes of gripping it and grooving to your favorite band. Nothing compares to a summer concert and the tomfoolery that takes place in the parking lot beforehand. This year I was supposed to see both Old Dominion and Thomas Rhett live in June to kick off my summer and obviously that didn’t happen. I considered buying a Thomas Rhett tee at Target the other day to pretend like I saw him live and bought merch. Obviously I’m not taking the news well. Hopefully by next summer we’ll be tearing up a few parking lot parties again.
12. Somethin’ Bout A Truck – Kip Moore. I’ve had fantasies about my other half being a southern gent who drives a truck for quite some time. Stephen on Laguna Beach further made me hornier for a pick up truck when he whipped that white one around town between Kristin and LC’s houses. Tim Riggins sealed the deal when he not only had a truck, but opened up Riggins Riggs with Billy to work on trucks. Obviously, I’m super into a man who trucks, which is why Kip Moore has really painted a nice picture here. Trucks are sexy and will 100% of the time lead to skinny dippin. Thank you for your service, Kip.
13. Red Dirt Road – Brooks & Dunn. Another nostalgic add. This is such a classic country song. Dirt roads, beer, truck, Jesus, a wholesome chick named Mary. It doesn’t get anymore country than that, yo. I’m so glad he got Mary back again. I would’ve been crushed if he didn’t. This song is like driving through your hometown all wrapped up neatly with a guitar groove and I love it.
14. Feels Like A Party – LOCASH. This is the portion of the playlist where we dabble in what h8ers like to call “bro country.” These two sound like they probably fratted out HOARD in college and they’re singing about a rager. Don’t get me wrong, I love turning up for a good time and that’s exactly why this song is on here. Cause “it’s only 8 and the speakers are banging” is the SIGN of a good partaaayyyy.
15. Something Like That – Tim McGraw. Remember how I told you the tall tale of how my parents hate country music and would chirp us for the silly lyrics when we refused to turn it off?! I distinctly remember my mom coming at us hot over this one. She’d go oooOoOhh “BBQ STAIN ON A WHITE T-SHIRT?!” in a mocking voice. Like the Spongebob meme 15 years before it existed. They also weren’t too fond of she thinks my tractor’s sexy–a classic in it’s own right–although let me be perfectly clear a farmers tan will NEVER be sexy. Tim McGraw hitting the NEW in New Orleans, will on the other hand, always be sexy. What a DILF.
16. Barefoot Blue Jean Night – Jake Owen. Ahhh this song will forever remind me of high school. Not because I was popular and cruised to the riverside every night to drink with the cool kids, but because I was super into waxing poetic about wanting to be young forever, as everyone is in their youth. It felt like being a grownup was SUPER far away. Those were the golden days.
17. Runnin’ Outta Moonlight – Randy Houser. Have you ever met a more romantic stud than Randy just wanting to take his boo out on a clear summer night for some truck bed star gazing?! What a dreamboat he is. Don’t keep him waiting! After listening to this song I might need to add star-gazing in a pickup to my bucket list.
18. Anything Goes – Florida Georgia Line. These two bozos have gotten a lot of flack since they hopped on the country scene and brought in hip hop influences and features on their tracks. They were told they weren’t real country. Now everyone collabs with house beats and rappers and popstars so it’s a moo point, but fist bump to them for sticking it through because I don’t know what I’d do without them. Mostly because they always wear disgusting outfits at awards shows that I can make fun of. Also because they strictly made party country songs for the first few years and I bumped them non-stop, including this one.
19. American Style – Old Dominion. Would’ve been cool as hell to see OD live this year but WuTeVeR. Not bitter or anything. This is a nice post-4th of July reminder that this country is full of a bunch of cool things like ferris wheels and leather jackets. I mean, they have them in other countries too but are they really AS COOL? Nah, son.
20. Country Girl (Shake It For Me) – Luke Bryan. There has never once been a time where this song has come on and I haven’t given it my all on the dance floor. I realize that there’s also almost NEVER a dance floor when it comes on. One time I got up on the ottoman in my living room and broke it down. When I saw him perform it live, I scooted out into the aisle so I had more space to really break it down. It is my number one, all-time, favorite country song. It helps a LOT that Luke Bryan is a backwards hat wearin, hips shakin babe and watching him shake that money-maker only inspired me to do the same every time I hear the starting beat of this song. This may be my boldest statement yet, but I know I out-perform Luke on this number. I encourage him to invite me onstage to put my hips where my mouth is and prove it once he can start touring again. I became a country girl when this song came out, shaking it for the catfish swimming down deep in the creek and I will never stop. Play it at my funeral and I betcha my corpse will shimmy out of the coffin for one last country girl shake.
Back in February (our last pre-corona bangarang weekend on the town) my sister captured my most recent performance, or so I thought–turns out she captured me slowing down and turning to tell her I was out of breathe. If I’m struggling that hard to breathe, IMAGINE HOW HARD I WAS DANCING when she wasn’t filming! Also, peep that guy next to me wondering why the hell I ran to the dance floor to dance by myself.
No seriously…never not talking about how hard in the paint I go for Country Girl Shake it For Me…Try to stop me. YOU CAN’T.
This is for anyone who’s having a day (or a life) where they’re feeling down about themselves and need a quick reminder of just how awesome they are. I need this reminder more days than most but let me tell you, a quick rotation of songs that tell me how hot, cool, funny and unique I am, songs that remind me that I can do anything that I put my mind to? That shit works. Just listening to one of these songs gives me a burst of confidence and self-love so there’s no telling what I’ll do after a whole playlist full. Coincidentally, feeling insecure or defeated can sometimes come with a breakup, therefore I’ve peppered in a few dust yourself off breakup songs that I’ve enjoyed and related to over the past year as well. If you’re not going through a breakup, this playlist will still make you do a high kick and want to stunt all over your haters. Regardless of where you are in life, hopefully these songs will reinforce that you’re the bomb.com. OWN IT, ho. (I use this as a term of endearment, I’m really on a hot streak with it ever since I learned via The Last Dance that Michael Jordan repeatedly called his teammate a ho while bullying him to be a better player. MJ might have intended for it to be mean, but it made me laugh and therefore I’m normalizing ho as a name we can call our friends when we’re keeping it real.)
ME! – Taylor Swift Ft. Brendan Urie. Some might say because of my years-long obsession with Taylor Swift and anticipation of this single, I related to it a little TOO hard when it was finally released. I jammed out to it every chance I got and then to take it an annoying step further, would use it as an excuse for why I am the way that I am. If I did something obnoxious that would illicit an eye roll, I would immediately back it up with well, you can’t spell awesome without me! No one enjoyed it but I felt like it embodied the awkward weird girl who may struggle with confidence and need a reminder sometimes that there’s no one out there like me and THAT’S WHAT MAKES ME GR8! Thanks, Tay. I mean, the song literally starts out with I know that I’m a handful. Like did she write it about herself or about me? So for anyone whose a real dramatic disaster mess, that’s what makes us FUN!
All I Do Is Win – DJ Khaled Ft. Ludacris, T-Pain & Snoop Dogg. This is an all-around feel good jam coming from a place of over-confidence. If you’re ever looking for someone who toots their own horn, look no further than a rapper. They will have no trouble telling you about all of their money, cars and women lining up to bang them. And sometimes, that’s just what you need. You need to believe that you’re rolling in money, winning every single day, even if you’re very unemployed and living with your parents. I’ve used this song on one of my other playlists but it deserves a repeat. Plus, we just taught my 3 year old niece the chorus and I’m happy to give her another opportunity to show her madd skillz in throwing her hands in the air–UP DOWN, UP DOWN, UP DOWN. PS no hotter opening flow than LUDACRIS GOIN IN ON THE VERSE CAUSE I’VE NEVER BEEN DEFEATED AND I WON’T STOP NOW. You TELL EM, Luda!
Bathroom Floor – Maddie & Tae. Here’s a post breakup joint that I discovered while dabbling around YouTube and I’m so glad I did. Although it directly references crying from a breakup, I think it can be applied to anytime you’re knocked down. Get up, wash your face, put on a fab outfit and hit the town. Obviously this doesn’t apply in the current state of affairs but as soon as the world opens back up again, you best be getting up off that bathroom floor, gurl. Also, can confirm this is a great song to dance to.
I Love Me – Demi Lovato. It’s possible that the release of this song is what became the catalyst for making this playlist. Ya girl Demi has BEEN through some shit in the past couple of years and is very open about her struggles, so when we she released “Anyone”, her first song in over a year, about basically her lowest point, it was a very emotional song to listen to (may or may not have cried in the shower a couple times to it.) But then her follow up song is THIS. And I’m like GO OFF, QUEEN. It shows just how easy it is to get into down in the dumpster lows, but you have to remind yourself why you’re great to pick yourself up out of those lows. SAY IT WITH ME: I’m a ten out of ten even when I forget! Basically Demi managed to put a therapy sesh in song form, and for that I am grateful.
Soulmate – Lizzo. Lizzo busted onto the scene a year or so ago in a BIG way. I’m not referring to her size, I’m referring to the size of her confidence, which is what made her so infectious. I could’ve easily put every single song off of her album on this playlist because they all spout self-love, acceptance and badass confidence. There’s a reason people can’t stop captioning their selfies with her lyrics (guilty as charged.) She’s full of catchy one-liners to describe feelin’ ourselves. This song reminds us that if you don’t love yourself first, you’ll be hot garbage in a relationship. Lizzo puts it much more eloquently, of course. For example, “I know I’m a queen but I don’t need no crown.” Tysm, Lizzo.
Love Myself – Hailee Steinfeld. I added this knowing full well that it’s a controversial tune, but it’s 2020 baby, time to embrace it. This song is 1000000% about masturbation. Like there’s no dancing around it, the lyrics are plain as day, this gurl is DJ’ing in her bed singing about how she don’t need a man to orgasm. That being said, it’s a fire song and just so perfectly fits this theme. Although it may be nice sometimes to have somebody else in bed, do you really NEED them? Hailee says no. SCREAM YOUR OWN NAME! Ok, I’ll stop making you all uncomfy now.
***Flawless – Beyonce ft. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. For anyone who’s not already a fan of this song, this is going to be weird to listen to because of all the soundbytes Yonce decided to toss in. Between the announcer voice at the beginning and end and ya gurl Chim giving a Ted Talk on feminism, it’s a lot to handle. But IN THE BEST WAY. This song is powerful as hell and gave us the cocky as shit phrase “I Woke Up Like This.” As soon as this album dropped and all of her pink font merch was appearing, I raced to the closest Etsy page selling knockoffs (I’m not about to pay full inflated price for a black tee with pink letters ironed on–that’s robbery) and ordered myself a tank top that just said FLAWLESS across the boobs. The first tank I received had a hair ironed into the letters. I cried. But when I received the replacement, I wore that tank constantly, usually unshowered and looking less than flawless–something my dad was all too pleased to point out. And you know what? I just flipped my hair and screamed BOW DOWN, BITCHES.
Not 20 Anymore – Bebe Rexha. Beebz has taken a lot of heat through the years about her “curvy” body. Obviously she’s petite & skinny and probably has a six pack but she also got an AZZ on her. As someone who busted a hole in clothing items twice in a six month span just because baby got back, I can very much relate. Bebe has been outspoken about what size she is after designers refused to make her red carpet looks because she’s a size 10 and has tried to create a platform around body positivity for the youths looking up to her. I saw her perform live last summer and was blown away by the amount that girl was dropping it low and bopping all over a stage like it was going out of style. At one point her backup dancer literally kicked her but those thicc thighs of hers were ready to take the hit. So praise her and her body confidence and beating out all insecurities women have about getting old. Twenties are for insecure losers, the big leagues start at 30 when you age like a fine wine and feel comfy in your skin. (I’m using her lyrics to tell you this, because I’m not yet 30 and therefore a very insecure loser…fingers crossed next year I’ll be like OMG YES 30 is the greatest age alive rather than feeling old as dick.) Shoutout to Bebe for also dropping this heater on her 30th. Typically I hate when girls post thirst traps, like we get it, you’re hot (eye roll) but I liked that this was a big FU to everyone who calls her fat. Check out that fAT AzZzZZ.
You Need Me, I Don’t Need You – Ed Sheeran. I think the best part about this cocky “I’m the best” song is that it was one of the first songs Ed even released. He wasn’t the superstar he is now, he was an unknown UK singer/rapper, couch surfing and he’s like I don’t need any of you, I’m THE stuff. And he wasn’t wrong. I like that kind of fiery hot confidence right out the gate. It shows you that confidence is nothing more than telling yourself you’re awesome and then trying to convince others the same. Sounds so easy, right? He was basically Babe Ruth calling his shot on becoming a massively famous musician, selling out stadiums. And then he made it come true. Let that be a lesson, y’all. Also, Ed’s always been a wordsmith but hands down one of his greatest lines comes from this song right here–they say I’m up and coming like I’m f*cking in an elevator. Boom. Roasted.
Limitless – Jennifer Lopez. Shows you just how much of a megastar JLo is that she made this song as basically a throwaway for one of her movie soundtracks and it slaps this hard. I’ve written about this song before because I wanted her to perform it in the Super Bowl, so I don’t want to be repetitive for my super fans who read all of my blogs, but this is just a classic pump yourself up lady jam. Not saying guys can’t enjoy it too but there’s something about “I am a woman who roars” that seems to resonate more with the ladies. If there’s ever a doubt about if you can do something, look directly to JLo for inspiration. She’s 50 and THRIVING, Mama. Never give up.
Nightmare – Halsey. Coming off the high of being limitless, I decided to toss in this bangpiece that doesn’t necessarily directly relate to confidence boosting but should get you real fired up. It’s a little on the dark side, but that’s what we love about Halsey. She’s gritty and she isn’t afraid to tell you to F off. This is a GREAT song to scream sing in the car, I can attest to POPPING off more than once to I DON’T OWE YOU A G-D THING. What a rush that is to tell someone off, even if it’s just the inside of your vehicle.
How To Be Lonely – Rita Ora. Sprinkling in another post-breakup tune that I’ve enjoyed jamming to. Puts a real positive spin on the rock bottom feeling that heartbreak serves. It’s like when people say they feel free after a breakup. Like, I lost a human being who loves me, but now I can really focus on myself and do whatever I want. The bitter bitch in me wants to roll my eyes at things like that, but I’m trying to be less bitter so I’ll give Rita a chance here. Maybe the benefit of losing someone is that you learn to get comfy with being lonely. I’m not QUITE there yet, but I’ll keep working at it and bopping along to this sick beat.
Fight Song – Rachel Platten. Another war cry for anyone who just wants to stop trying. YOU’VE STILL GOT A LOT OF FIGHT LEFT IN YOU. So stop being a wiener and start being a warrior. I think that’s probably what Rachel was trying to say when she wrote this song.
Up – Thomas Rhett. I know this playlist focuses heavily on the *strong and sassy, independent women* tuneage, but I wanted to make sure I was including great male songs too even if they are far outnumbered–it’s only natural that I relate more to the female variety. TR gave us this positive track off his last album and it’s literally impossible to have the Debbie downer feels while listening. Life’s just a big ole rollercoaster and if you’re down right now, get ready to go up. I of course am still waiting for my ride to the top but TR has taught me to appreciate it more when I finally do get there because I REALLY know what it’s like to be in the pits. Seriously, any day now. I am ready and waiting for that skyrocket UP.
Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) – Kelly Clarkson. Kelly Clarkson started her career on single girl anthems and that’s probably exactly why she became a megastar. She kicked that curly-headed f*ck Justin Guarini to the curb and was all Miss Independent. If she didn’t let From Justin to Kelly ruin her career from the very start, what doesn’t kill you truly does make you stronger.
Strip Me – Natasha Bedingfield. I’m not gonna let Natasha only be remembered for creating a song that will forever be tied to LC driving her Mercedes with the Hollywood sign in the background. This is a lesser known Natasha song but a whole lot more powerful than soundtracking a scripted reality show with “the rest is still unwritten.” Obviously she didn’t write the song with Lauren Conrad in mind, but you get the point. It’s another casual feminist anthem about always having a voice. So even if you lose everything else, they can never take your voice. Even if you use it to talk shit about celebrities and put out playlists on the internet.
Titanium – David Guetta Ft. Sia. This counts as another male appearance on the list even though Sia carries the song. This is the almighty goal here–no, not to physically have a robot body–but to care so little what people think or say about you that it just deflects off of you. That’s supreme level confidence and self-love that you don’t give a flying F what people think about you. Fire away, FIRE AWAY!
Castles – Freya Ridings. I heard this song on the radio this past fall and it was a day where I was thinking about how much everything sucked, feeling defeated and it was one of those rare moments that you don’t really get anymore (sorry radio, but you’re a dying medium for music discovery) where a song comes on randomly and it’s exactly what you need to hear. I remember feeling a surge of energy and relating the lyrics back to my broken heart as we all do when we’re being dramatic and feeling all the feels. Oh, what’s that, you’re doing great without me WELL I’M GONNA BUILD CASTLES AND BE MORE THAN YOU EVER THOUGHT I WAS. It was all I needed to feel better in that moment as I told off the pedestrian crossing in front of my car through song. Again, still working out the kinks on building that castle, it’s possible I need a few more rotations before I can really take action on that. But when I finally do, it’s over for you hoes.
Headlines – Drake. Again with the theory that no one brags on themselves better than rappers. Drake has basically made a career out of talking about how great he is, of course sometimes it comes at the expense of others–RIP Meek Mill. This is a throwback to OG Drizzy because I just love to point out when people are “overdosed on confidence” right from the start. It also gives me the opportunity to remind everyone of 2015 when I had an app that just responded to texts with Drake lyrics and boy was that a time to be alive. I wrote a whole blog on it because I too, was overconfident in my early blogging days, writing blogs where I literally texted myself for hours to get the right graphics. Check that out HERE for a giggle and a reminder that every once in a while it’s important to say something douchey like, “drinking every night because we drink to my accomplishments” to remind everyone around you what a boss you are.
Hold On – Wilson Phillips. I mean there really are no words to describe this classic and it’s timeless message. Other than imagining Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph interpretive dancing the chorus in bridesmaids dresses, you should also let the ladies of Wilson Phillips tell it like it is. They understand that life is a dumpster fire sometimes but you just hold on for one more day. And that’s all you really need to remember from this playlist. Having confidence or self love isn’t going to stop bad shit from happening, sometimes you just gotta fake it til you make it and keep waking up each day ready to fight. Whoa. Did I just get real deep?! You bet your ass I did. We all need a boost sometimes. I hope that this collection of tunes for the soul helped even just a little bit.
Also, not for nothing, but I listened to this playlist on my first attempt at a 15 mile bike ride the other day and it was a REAL rough situation between bugs, pollen, heat and going against the wind and there were several times I considered just sitting on a bench for a while or walking my bike back to my car and giving up, but quite literally every single song on this playlist pushed me to keep going. So even if you have confidence through the roof and you’re crushing life all day erreday, at least you know that this playlist can push you through a shitty workout where you want to throw up and die. YA WELCOME.