Red Carpet

AMA’s Red Carpet 2022

Gonna keep it real witchu, I thought FOR SURE these awards would have a Taylor performance or at the very least, appearance, and that is exclusively why I tuned in. I had to wait about an hour to even set my peepers on her when she won for Red (Taylor’s Version) and I rubbed my hands together in anticipation for a CLASSIC Taylor dose of acceptance speech truth. Never one to shy away from addressing the elephant in the room, I figured it was a guarantee we’d get a little tidbit about Ticketmaster exclusively ruining my life this week and crushing all of my dreams, even if she said it in a cryptic coded way like she’s known to do. And what did we get instead? NOTHIN. Just a bunch of boring thank you’s for Red. After that, my interest drastically plummeted, unlike the ticket prices for The Eras Tour on StubHub. Since I went through all the trouble of turning on the TV and looking at the “fashion” choices, figured the least I could do was roast them…even though there was absolutely no one noteworthy there. I mean even the host–Wayne Brady?! You serious, Clark? What is going on with awards shows lately that we can’t even drum up a big name celebrity to host, let alone attend.

PS She didn’t walk the red carpet because it would probably ruin her street cred since this awards show guest list was such a stinky loserfest…but she did look like a 70’s disco glam babe and this jumpsuit was backless, so clearly she observes Bovember (Backless November) like I once did in my fun youthful bar-hopping days (may they rest in peace.) You’re welcome for this ratchet TV screen pic.

WORST.

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STOP TRYING TO MAKE DENIM A THING, EVERYONE. My God I’m so sick of this tongue in cheek ode to Britney and the early 2000’s jown. We get it, the most HORRIFIC styles of the early aughts are back in style. Distressed denim, chunky belts, ginormous crosses reminiscent of True Faith by Ramona Singer and french tips. BARF ALL OVER ME. THIS DOESN’T MAKE YOU LOOK COOL IT JUST MAKES YOU LOOK LIKE 20 YEARS AGO PARIS HILTON WITHOUT THE SOCIALITE STATUS. Also those extensions immediately transported me to Laguna Beach circa 2005 when Kristin and all of her cronies got extensions for winter formal and it was the most obvious ratty clip-ons that they probably paid thousands of dollars for. Die away from me millennium trends.

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I truly don’t know what’s happening here. Did she tie a puffer jacket around her waist and tuck her front braids into it?

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I’m usually down with my girl Bebe shaking that dump truck all over the red carpet in a fitted gown but this is a G-D mess. Girl is a walking loofah.

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 I actually puked a little bit in my mouth when I saw Grey Suit’s hairy thighs. This is an appalling group outfit choice and it became even more jarring when they won and I had to see everyone’s thigh meat up close and personal on my 60 inch.

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Super weird grandma’s coffee-stained curtains/bodysuit combo but also I just want to put it out into the universe that I hate hate hate double hate LOATHE ENTIRELY the two toned hair trend. Why is half of your head red and the other half black? Pick a lane.

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Ah yes, my fave two pieces in the face hairstyle…there’s always one! Also this dress makes me dizzy.

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This was the only look I had to include a rear view on because VIEW THAT REAR. Holy guacamole. Jessie. WE KNOW YOU HAVE A HOT BOD. WE KNOW THIS. I will never ever ever ever think a dress with a BUILT-IN WHALE TAIL is cute. Trashcan 101.

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MGK is such a worthless idiot I don’t even like giving him or his leech of a twin flame the time of day because all they want is for people to talk about them. This is the stupidest “look at me” outfit and I hope when he sat down one of his suit protrusions slid right up his buhhole.

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Not a good enough reason to lose the shirt.

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I do no support a Miami Vice look in November. Or ever from Charlie Puth.

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This is lowkey an ice dancer outfit.

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Host of the whole damn thing and he showed up in his jammies. He proved he DOES have fashion sense by popping off many spicy outfit changes throughout the show but YA GOTTA have a better fit for the carpet or you don’t deserve to host.

BEST

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RAWR this look is FIERCE.

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I dub these two the Leopard King and Queen of the night. They didn’t arrive together and have no affiliation other than great taste in animal print. Jimmie is WERKIN these pants, baby.

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Always jivin with a Barbie power suit. Could definitely do without the full teeter totter view but VERY happy to report that after the CMA’s red carpet slops yabfest, everyone took notes and this was the ONLY boobage I saw.

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I don’t think there is anything more adorable than this father/son matching pineapple top hairdo. Just some wholesome red carpet content with these two holding hands and looking adorbs.

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Very dazzled by this discoball two piece. Mostly I just want to see it in action. Give us a spin, girl! 

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Just the right amount of sheen for this country stud.

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Classic black mini without edgy cutouts, I APPROVE.

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I think this screenshot was an accident because I have no clue who these guys are but let’s go with it. I love the floral suit the best but all three look great and you can’t beat a geekburger wave at the camera pose to look the LEAST cool.

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Oh shit this is fresh. This is some Hamptons beach party crisp white vibes and I’m here for it.

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Pretty sure they wear the same exact thing to every awards show but I still want those luscious curls so they can get away with it.

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Great color and really economical use of the same fabric here.

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Listen if ya gotta show up to an awards show chock full of youths who have no clue who you are until you point out that Sofia is your daughter, ya gotta pull out all the stops and a smoking jacket like this with the chesties poking out is just that.

 

BEST LOOK OF THE NIGHT:

Obsessed with these colors, just the right amount of leggage and her hair is mermaid wave perfection. 10/10, Carrie.

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Music

Taylor Swift – Midnights (3am Edition)

Taylor Swift is taking a break from re-releasing every song she’s already released and a million more “from the vault” to bring us her 10th album (for the first time.) And you know what that means, I am obliged to word vomit my opinions on each and every track. As an elder millennial (and I would argue, her target demo since we are the same age) I have outgrown her drop everything for a spur of the moment surprise antics. I full-on missed this album announcement because it happened at the VMA’s, an awards show for Youths that I’ve fully accepted I’m too old for on the same year that she bombards us with this. And when this album came out at midnight and then another 7 songs were dropped GOTCHA style at 3am, I was snug as a bug in a cozy Queen in a blissful state of REM. I woke up, walked the dog, and listened to the album for the first time in the shower while I got ready for work like a G-D adult. No more nonsense for me, Tay! Although I stand by the fact that this woman is a lyrical songwriting genius and deserves her megastardom because of it, I can also admit that releasing every song she’s ever written is getting to be a little overwhelming. Thirteen was a solid album and a feasible amount of tracks for me to pull original commentary out of my ass for this blog. Twenty is really pushing it and we might have to pop open a bottle of wine to get through it. But I have a job to do here, one that I created for myself nearly 8 years ago with 1989 and by God, I’ll continue to fulfill this duty for the loyal Salties.

1. Lavender Haze. In the spirit of being brutally honest, this song was a poor choice for an album opener. Other than the fact that she says “meet me at midnight” at the very beginning, I’m assuming because she wanted to introduce this album, it kind of all around stinks. As she revealed in her little gimmicky “share the track titles through a TikTok each night” bit, the phrase Lavender Haze she ripped from an episode of Mad Men because she liked how it sounded. Intentions are good because she just wanted to sing about how great it is to be in love and how everyone brings you down with their judgements. When this song started, I immediately thought oh I’m going to hate this album because if all the songs sound like this I should probably be on LSD to enjoy it. Luckily, I don’t fully hate the album and this song was just a poor lead-in. Also for all my RHONJ stans out there, this speaks directly to Teresa’s LOVE BUBBLE. So if your’e going to jam out to this song, please jam out to it with this visual because this is the happy ending that you get if you live in that lavender haze. You know what they say, the higher the hair, the more it rubs against your love bubble.

Best Lyric: I’m damned if I do give a damn what people say (Hell YEA, Live your life for yourself, QUEEN.)

2. Maroon. I heard the beat of this song through my shower speaker and was CONVINCED that Spotify did some weird shuffle thing and tossed me over to Taylor’s song with Zayn for 50 Shades of Grey. Like did they use the same track? Did she sample her own song? Is this a part 2? I had so many questions and I guess the only real answer here is that when you’re in your thirties and you’ve been a popstar since 15 churning out hits every single year, at some point they’re bound to start sounding exactly the same. (Most people would suggest that’s when you throw in the towel but I won’t suggest that because I don’t want to anger the Swifie mob.) For an ear refresher, here’s the old sexy 50 shades beat and tell me they’re not identical (not the oh’s in the beginning, obviously):

I like this song. This is more vintage Taylor and probably should’ve been track 1. Visceral storytelling lyrics about love and heartbreak with a killer bridge. That’s the gal we all know and love. Also important to note: our first F bomb of the album. And might I add, the first of many. As an avid F Bomb Thrower, normally I’d be very supportive of adult Taylor deciding to say F it to her younger fans and cuss up a storm on an album. Except that the F bombs that float throughout Midnights are the F bombs of a girl who just discovered F bombs and therefore force them into every sentence whether it makes sense or not. (Say F bomb again.) I know this girl well because I was her in middle school. And no, I’m not trying to sound cool because I realize that a 12 year old popping F bombs into every sentence is trailer trash as hell and I’m sure my parents would’ve been mortified to discover this is the language I was using in the lunchroom with my equally as foul-mouthed friends. But to be in your thirties and just entering your F-Word era is weird and embarrassing. You should know the art of a swear now and when to insert it to make something funnier or angrier. Otherwise, don’t use them at all. “That’s a real fucking legacy to leave” just doesn’t do it for me.

Best Lyric: And I wake with your memory over me

3. Anti-Hero. Her first “single” off the album if we can even call them singles anymore when you release every song you’ve ever written in a journal to the entire world and radio is essentially dead. But that’s neither here nor there. This song is PEAK genius Taylor. Pretty much every female ages 25-35 has or is currently dealing with some type of anxiety, depression, insecurity and is actively in therapy or has been or should be. And Taylor writing a song about the exact intrusive thoughts that every female battles with every single day is just good business on her part. She knows her audience like nobody’s biz and this song caters right to it and has them eating out of the palm of her giant monster hand. “It’s me, Hi, I’m the problem it’s me” will be seared into pop culture history and she damn well knows it by immediately releasing a music video and fanfare over this song. The music video was pretty weird but top cinematic quality that has come to be expected from her productions these days. Bonus points for a little comedian bit to break up the unicorn blood and hijinks.

And now I must address the elephant (monster on the hill) in the room. When I first heard her sing “sometimes I feel like everybody is a sexy baby”, this was my reaction:

I mean I get it. According to the selection of Snapchat and TikTok filters, guys only want to bang babies and cartoons…but still, this wasn’t a visual I wanted painted lyrically. After a few more listens it’s more digestible and makes me want to puke less. Plus, I actualy am a monster on the hill who towers above everyone else. See: every single time I’ve worn heels out and been asked if I was a basketball player. Unfortch I’ve taken my first go-around on Hinge and found that every single male is averaging 5’6″ for height so I guess I’ll continue to monster on the hill alone for the rest of my life while all the sexy babies get married. (I’m the problem, it’s me.)

Best Lyric: When my depression works the graveyard shift, all of the people I’ve ghosted stand there in the room

4. Snow On The Beach (ft. Lana Del Ray). Apparently snow at the beach is rare just like falling in love at the same time someone else is falling in love with you. Tay Tay, girlfran, come on over to the Northeast, snow at the beach ain’t that rare, it’s called winter. But I digress, this song is light and airy and is Lana Del Ray even on this song because methinksnot. It’s like when Chris Stapleton was featured on “I Know You Think About Me” and was allowed to duet on the chorus and that’s it. No one runs the show like T.Swift. Gets top artists to come sing backups on her album. Also, it would be wrong of me not to point out another stupid use of the F word. “Rare but fucking beautiful.” Are you a stoner now, ma’am? Yooooo, look at those waves, they’re fuckin beautiful, man!

Best Lyric: Life is emotionally abusive / And time can’t stop me quite like you did

5. You’re On Your Own, Kid. This one hit hard and I wasn’t expecting it to. Buzzy pop beat with lyrics that are a real throat punch. Hey, you’ll always be on your own so get comfy with that. WOOF. This song is loneliness as an art form.

Best Lyric: ‘Cause there were pages turned with the bridges burned / Everything you lose is a step you take

6. Midnight Rain. I’m incredibly weirded out by this synth voice that is either her voice very manipulated or Jack Antonoff’s and for that reason I’m out on this song. Also can’t really relate to a song about focusing on making a name for yourself in Hollywood instead of getting married and popping out kids in backwoods Pennsylvania.

Best Lyric: And I never think of him / Except on midnights like this

7. Question…? Big fan of asking questions over here so I appreciate Taylor trying to normalize the annoying female phrase “can I ask you a question?” Does that justify the use of “Fuckin’ situations”? Nope sure doesn’t. BUT “Fuckin politics”? YES MA’AM. FINALLY! Using the f word as an adjective in an appropriate manner. Because FUUUUCKKINNN POLITICS, BRUH. I’ll also fully support the lyric “some dickhead guy” because calling a guy a dickhead will always slap. So even though this song isn’t a 10/10, we got fuckin politics and dickhead guys and sometimes it’s the simple things that bring the most pleasure.

Best Lyric: ‘Cause I don’t remember who I was Before you painted all my nights A color I’ve searched for since

8. Vigilante Shit. Alright I know I’ve mostly sounded like a hater so far (I mostly am), but this Vigilante Shit is Good Shit. I SCRAMBLED to get to my phone to type “I don’t start shit but I can tell you how it ends.” That line has some STANK on it. Sheesh. I felt like I got knocked right back to 2017 black lipstick wearin, hood up, I swear I don’t love the drama, it loves me, Taylor. I love it when she gives us badgrrl ‘tude. Get your revenge, BB! I’ve read two theories here. One is that she’s singing about ruining Scooter Braun’s life and teaming up with his ex wifey and the other is that she’s singing about ruining Kim and Kanye. I think she’d sooner saw her arms up with a butter knife than team up with Kimmy K so I’ll go with the Scooter theory because I can see her being besties with Yael. “While he was doin lines” (Scooter seems like a real big coke guy) “someone told his white collar crimes to the FBI” (she sued Scooter over selling her masters and not letting her buy them back) and apparently Scooter cheated on his wife with Erika Jayne from RHOBH (WORLDS COLLIDING) and that’s what ended his marriage. I will laugh my ass off if Taylor had a hand in his wife finding out that little nugget. Of course we will never know the truth but at least we have this badass revenge song to jam to foreva.

Best Lyric – Every lyric in this song is an A+ cold hard burn but obviously the best one is: I don’t start shit but I can tell you how it ends.

9. Bejeweled. Don’t ask me to explain this because I truly cannot but this song makes me think of the Nick Jr. show Shimmer and Shine. A flash in the pan obsession for my niece but it features some middle eastern cartoon princesses with bright jewel tone ponytails. ALL of the words in this song and the kind of peppy childlike beat to it is eerily cartoon-like.

Best Lyric: Didn’t notice you walkin’ all over my peace of mind In the shoes I gave you as a present (the only one without a reference to sparkles, jewels, diamonds, gems, etc…)

10. Labyrinth. Full disclosure I had no clue how to spell that word and when I looked at Spotify to cheat I said out loud “labby-rinth” so I would remember where to put the Y. STOP MAKING ME LOOK DUMB, TAYLOR. Obviously a real breathy number. I’m fine with it mostly because I’m scared to say I hate so many of these songs. If it hasn’t become clear to you yet, Midnights is not a top album for me overall. Plus, we get weird synthy-man voice again in this song. I wish that voice would go away. It makes me think of when a movie wants to show the character is high as balls and distorts everyone’s voices as if all of us watching the movie at home are not smart enough to notice when someone is tripping their face off without that detail.

Best Lyric: I’ll be gettin’ over you my whole life.

11. Karma. If you thought I was being a bitch on this track by track so far BUCKLE YO SEATBELTS because I’m about to throw hands over this song. Karma is listed as about 100 things in these simpleton childish goofy ass lyrics but not once does she tell the truth which is KARMA IS STUPID. This song BLOWS and of course it’s the song most likely to get stuck on a loop in your brain until the end of time. Much like the 30 second refrain from Hocus Pocus 2 that my niece wouldn’t stop singing last weekend…the only lyrics were “the witches are back” and thankfully that is now out of my head but unfortunately this trash took its place. I’m not even holding back how much this song made me want to rip my ears clean off my head. We can’t have Vigilante Shit and Karma exist on the same damn record. Vigilante Shit is BADASS we ride at midnight and kill every single man who has wronged us. Karma is pigtails and suckers skipping through the mall giggling about Steve from Language Arts passing the note to Jennifer B. when it was meant to go to Jennifer L. to ask her to the homecoming dance. Karma is my boyfriend! Lolz. BOOOOO THIS SONG. BOOOOOOOOOO. And the part where she says “Karma’s on your scent like a bounty hunter” the idiotic way she sings bounty sounds like bouncy and for probably 4 rotations of this song I was like WHAT THE HELL IS A BOUNCY HUNTER and kept picturing Elmer Fudd bouncing through the forest with a rifle and his big ole hat bopping atop his head.

Best Lyric: NONE. Every single word in this song makes me want to bang my head against the wall because me and walls vibe like that just like Taylor and Karma vibe like that EYE ROLL OF THE CENTURY.

12. Sweet Nothing. Thank the Lord we came back down to earth and got off of Bubblegum Planet for this one. Back to the basics with warm hug relationship storytelling. Taylor is in her forever relationship so we’ve been getting a lot of wistful “I finally know what true love is” types of songs. She found herself a mans who wants nothing from her but looooooooooove. Happy for her but also she can stop acting like she went through hell and back to find a man because she found her LP at 26 while us women in our thirties are fighting for our lives to get a guy taller than them who won’t send a creeptastic pervy first message. But seriously tho, happy for her.

Best Lyric: I find myself runnin’ home to your sweet nothings (this song was a whole lot of sweet nothins for lyrics so it was slim pickins)

13. Mastermind. TOTAL SPIN MOVE to go from lalala we love each other and he’s my home and it’s sweet nothings to I manipulated all of this so we ended up together. Listen this song could be fiction and playing into us thinking she’s a real witchy mastermind, but I wouldn’t put it past her to also have set her sights on Joe and MADE.IT.HAPPEN.MAMA. The best part is she waited 4 years into the relationship to drop this little nugget and now it’s TOO LATE FOR JOE TO THINK SHE CRAZY AS HELL AND LEAVE! MUHAHAHHAA. That is the work of a mastermind. Anyway, this was the end to the album until 3 hours later on Friday when Taylor was like but wait, there’s more! If I had to judge the album solely on these first 13 tracks I’d give it a thumbs down. I basically only loved two songs. Not great. But let’s dive into the extras because it might help her chances on getting a Salty Ju stamp of approval.

Best Lyric: ‘Cause we were born to be the pawn In every lover’s game

14. The Great War. Good start to the bonus songs because I like this better than half the ones that made the original album cut. Groovy beat in the chorus and the sassy uh-huh really gets me goin. Fighting that brings a couple closer together, love that journey for them. (Spoiler & self promo alert: I’m about to drop a new humor piece that directly references that. Cause what says true love like fighting?!)

Best Lyric: Spineless in my tomb of silence (There’s so many lyrics that just sound cool in this song. It’s chill of Taylor to write a song about fighting about petty shit and make it poetic as hell.)

15. Bigger Than The Whole Sky. This one pulls at the heartstrings because it’s most likely about a miscarriage, essentially losing something before you’ve even met them, mourning what could have been. It’s sweet in a ‘cry your eyes out’ kind of way. Once again, would’ve happily taken this song over any of the others on the original album, jus sayin.

Best Lyric: Salt streams out my eyes and into my ears (Could’ve said tears here but “salt streams” is just, chef’s kiss. I have no notes. )

16. Paris. Another bop, TBH. Who was advising her on what tracks would make the cutting room floor? I mean I know it’s a moot point because she releases every word she records anyway, but I’m digging the bonus tracks WAY harder than the album tracks. Not only is this fun but it also makes me think of Lauren not going to Paris and also at the same time just makes me think of studying abroad and actin a damn fool in a foreign country but calling it an education. Kicking off the song with this little ditty: “And all the outfits were terrible – 2003, unbearable – “Did you see the photos?” – No, I didn’t, but thanks, though” was nostalgia in the best way. No one wants to remember 2003 fashion and yet we’re all reminded of it BECAUSE IT’S ALL COMING BACK NOW. But seriously though, I laughed out loud at that and pictured Lizzie McGuire traipsing around Rome in her corduroy newsboy cap and low rise bell bottoms. Terrible. Cheap wine make believe it’s champagne? That sums up my entire study abroad experience. Cheap wine and kebabs. This song has transported me to so many different places (none of them, Paris)–Bravo, Tay!

Best Lyric: I wanna brainwash you Into loving me forever (We’ve all been there amirite?! Just me?! Coolcoolcool.)

17. High Infidelity. Cheating Tay is back! After a dalliance in Folklore’s Illicit Affairs, she’s dabbling again and has risen the question that EVERYONE IS DYING TO KNOW THE ANSWER TO. Where the hell was Taylor Swift on April 29th. Inquiring minds NEED to know. Honestly by the time this is published I have absolutely no doubt that her psychotic sleuth fans will have video footage and timestamped photos from that date for every single year Taylor has been alive curated into a powerpoint presentation on TikTok. (Immediately as I typed this I went back to Lyrics Genius to copy my favorite lyric of the song and found a lengthy description about how she was dancing with Tom Hiddleston 3 days before the Met Gala on April 29th, 2016 and was still dating Calvin Harris at the time.) I don’t think ya girl has it in her to be a cheater but sure we’ll play along. (I stand corrected.) Another catchy little beat. I feel like it’s important to note that I dusted the ole bike tires off this weekend and took my teal lady for a spin on the boardwalk twice since the weather finally allowed it and both times my bike ride was scored by this album. So if we’re rating these songs on ocean breeze cruising down the boardwalk vibes, they get a 10/10. What doesn’t get a 10/10 were the two wedding parties spread out taking photos mid-boardwalk and the number of families who walked five across as if they own this public stretch of wooden planks. Nothing kills a T.Swift Groovin Bike Vibe like coming to a screeching halt and having to walk your bike behind someone who has zero self-awareness and won’t get the hell out of the way.

Best Lyric: You know there’s many different ways that you can kill the one you love / The slowest way is never loving them enough (THE TRUTH IN THIS. YIKES.)

18. Glitch. My first NOPE of the bonus tracks. Can’t get down with this one. It’s slow and clunky and I gotta be honest I’m not a big booty big ole fan of when Taylor goes into her highest octave. Sounds kinda whiny. So I’mma go ahead and pass on this friends with benefits tune.

Best Lyric: I’d go back to wanting dudes who give nothing (Oof hits a lil close to home to probably every girl singing “I’m the problem, it’s me” with their whole soul.)

19. Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve. Last year was Jake’s reckoning to be dragged in 10 whole minutes of brutal and apparently now she’s firing shots at John Mayer? As Swiftie Sleuths pointed out, Taylor was 19 when she was with John Mayer (track 19) and she’s 32 now, which was how old he was at the time of their *affair*. Look, I think it’s cheap shots to double back to a relationship that happened 13 years ago (oh, I see what she did there) just to drag the guy but also I’m not going to not sit here and pop my popcorn. John Mayer went through a REAL asshole phase and has probably had to answer to that a lot in his elder years where I think he’s calmed down quite a bit but releasing brand new music (not from the vault) about a guy who probably just wanted to get laid at the time is a scooch overdramatic. I think maybe it’s time to let sleeping dogs (Jake & John) lie. Good song though for being a giant F U to Johnny. PS This would’ve been an IDEAL time to drop a real F bomb. For example: “The tomb won’t fucking close.” Now THAT packs a punch. Not saying Taylor should have me in the writers room with her but not not saying that either. If there’s one thing I have an eye for it’s where to insert a swear for dramatic effect… for proof look no further than the time I broke up with my 6th grade boyfriend on AIM and said “I’m so fuckin sorry” when he wah-wah’ed about it. Then promptly got grounded and internet was ripped from my little trashmouth fingers for MONTHS when my sister narc’ed on me. So long story short, I’ve been through the trenches and would’ve happily weighed in on how to achieve the best Parental Advisory for this album.

Best Lyric: Memories feel like weapons

Best J.May Burn: I miss who I used to be / The tomb won’t close / Stained glass windows in my mind / I regret you all the time (OoF, Johnny Boy that can’t feel good to hear)

20. Dear Reader. Honestly what the hell is this song. Respectfully. She’s trying to close out with sage life advice I guess, but if we eliminated Dear Reader in every aspect of this song I’d like it 1 zillion times better. Like we don’t need to feel like we’re reading Dear Abby while listening to your music, booboo. It also makes me think of Britney’s song Dear Diary where she literally sang “Today I saw a boy” and my God if I knew I could make millions and become famous off of the garb I wrote in my diary, I would be laughing all the way to the bank. That’s why I can’t support this lazy trope for a song. You’re better than this, Taylor. You have the ability to take an emo journal entry about a boy breaking your heart and spin it into lyrical gold. Dear Reader is beneath you.

Best Lyric: Never take advice from someone who’s falling apart (I think this is why no one comes to me for advice.)

Overall Album Notes: I mean it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out from this rambling betchfest that I’ve fallen off a little bit with Taylor and this album wasn’t really hitting for me. She’s really been inundating us with new music and I think I’ve finally reached my breaking point. I’ll say it until I’m six feet under that the chick is BEYOND talented in songwriting and taking either a simple premise or experience and telling it in 100 different relatable ways through words that just seem to roll of the tongue. HOW-EV-ER, there’s also a limit to the amount of times we can draw from the same well before it gets a touch overplayed. I don’t think I realized how eh I was about this album until I started this blog so thank you for joining me on this lengthy journey of discovering that I might be aging gracefully out of my Taylor stan era. I mean, shit, 5 albums in two years is a lot. (Yes, I’m counting Taylor’s Version albums as well because they all had new tracks on them.) I’m tired, BBGirl!

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Music

Taylor Swift – Red (Taylor’s Version)

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.

@thesaltyju

To ALL of my friends begging me to hang out…I’m booked on Friday night. #redtaylorsversion #swifttok #alltoowell

♬ All Too Well Taylor Swift – TaylorswiftxFolklore

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.

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Music

Ed Sheeran – Equals

Well, well, well, if it isn’t the English orangehead loop-stompin monster back after a LENGTHY hiatus with new music. That seems to be the theme lately. I realize not every artist can be Taylor Swift, recording or re-recording a full album each month, but also WHY THE DRY SPELL?! Well, in Ed’s case, it was pretty understandable. Since his last record (Divide, fully reviewed by The Salty Ju upon its release in 2017) Ed has gone cold turkey with the partying, gotten married to a gal named Cherry, and had a baby unfortunately named Lyric Antarctica. So I GUESS he’s been a little busy. We’ll let it slide…for now. This comeback (but don’t call it a comeback) album is titled = or Equals and if you’ve been keeping up with Ed’s discography, is right on par for his math symbols theme. Although, if I may be picky, this seems like a final call if we want to get deep. He’s already released +, x & ÷ and you would THINK the grand finale would be = because that’s typically the end of a math equation. HOWEVER, he still hasn’t used – (minus.) Just some deep thoughts I’m having as I overthink the meaning of math symbols just like Swifties overthink every social caption she’s posted since 2009. Anyway, I’ve done my homework and listened to this album on repeat all weekend long in preparation for this blog. I just know you were all overcome with anticipation for this track by track review because you can’t TRULY enjoy new music until you’ve heard my opinions on it. So without further ado…EQUALS.

  1. Tides*. The very first lyric that Ed sings on his comeback after an off the grid 4 years is “I have grown up, I am a father now.” WHOA. Ok, hot start. He’s setting that damn tone. We’re not going to have any cheeky references to your new douchey boyfriend getting his asshole bleached on Equals, because Ed is a DAD now, guys. It was with this single lyric in the first 5 seconds of listening to this album that I was like oh, fudgsicles. We’re about to get served with 14 songs oozing love and happiness for his new family life. And I have to be completely honest with you, I almost didn’t want to listen. I almost heard this first lyric, rolled down my window driving down 195 and tossed my phone right into the breeze. But I didn’t. Mostly because I’m still paying off that brand new upgraded iPhone, but also because I’m 30 now, guys. I’d like to think I’m mature enough to listen to music about people being blissful in their fairytale life and not want to drive my car off the road because that’s not where my life is. I’ve GROWN. (Quick context: as I’m typing this, I’m hysterically laughing.) But seriously, I’m going to try to listen to this album with an open mind even though I hate when musicians are happier than a pig in shit and therefore only release love songs. (See: Taylor Swift’s Lover which she conveniently released as I was going through a breakup. Thanks for that, TAY.) Ok, so now that I’ve given you that very lengthy preamble, I’ll actually get to the meat of this blog, judging the music. I really like this song. Musically, when he sings the chorus and then jams on those strings to bring it back up again, it makes me want to do a cartwheel. And you know what? I can. Because the message of this song is live your damn life because life is like an ocean, always changing tides, yo!
  2. Shivers. This song was one of the few pre-released singles before we got the whole album. Click here to see my initial thoughts on the music video. As per usual when I first hear a single that’s a little different than what I’m used to from an artist I’m like KILL IT WITH FIRE, and then my hysterics calm down after a few listens. Now that I have the cohesive album, I’m thankful for these club beats to break up all of the I LOVE MY WIFE AND BABY deep cuts. #Grateful for a beat I can drop it down low to and not have to overthink. I’ll be sure to introduce this one to my playlist for the next kitchen dance party with my four year old niece.
  3. First Times. There’s the Ed we know. The classic romantic, introspective love song. If this wasn’t so specific to his achievements in his career, I’d say it’ll be this album’s overused first dance song at weddings. But if I had to venture a guess, no one wants to slow dance to a song about how playing a sold-out crowd at Wembley stadium wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Gawd, Ed. BE MORE UNGRATEFUL. Just kidding, obviously the point of this song is to say that no achievement is worth shit without the love of your life, and every moment with them is the best achievement ever. Or whatevs.
  4. Bad Habits. This was the first single Ed released back in June and I was downright scared. Our first taste of Ed tuneage in several years and he drops this jumpy beat with a creepy vampire music video. Read my kneejerk reaction here. And obviously, remember that I’ve toned it down since then. What a sneaky little B Ed is releasing the only two club jamz from this album to trick people into thinking that was his new sound. Then he drops the whole thing and it’s like GOTCHA! This song is another fun jam to groove to despite the fact that the lyrics are touching upon Ed’s years of going HOARD in the party scene which eventually led to him going stone cold sober. I get it, once you get your moneymaker sliced and diced by a royal sword, it’s time to reconsider if you need to take a beat from drinking…but that doesn’t mean cancel ALL partying! Moderation is key for all bad habits.
  5. Overpass Graffiti*. ALRIGHT now we’re cooking with gas, baby. We’ve got a breakup song. It’s not a sassy tell-off, it’s wistful and sweet full of nostalgia but rather than being a total downer, it’s 80’s MAGIC. I love that he sped up this song and made it snappy. And those background scream-y vocals?! Oh, hell yea. Can’t wait to practice those at full volume in the shower. Plus to finish things out, he does my fave thing singers do where they take away the instrumentals and just sing with an echo effect at the end before the music kicks back in. I tell you, that and a good clap break in a song will get me EVERY damn time.
  6. The Joker And The Queen. I really don’t like this song. I’ve spent all weekend listening to the album in full with no skips and every time this one came on my finger was ITCHING to next it right out of my ears. They can’t all be winners and a dramatically slow piano ballad with an old timey sound and unrelatable lyrics just didn’t hit with me. Total personal preference. Obviously it’s well done–Ed has the voice of an angel, it’s simple with just the piano and the strings and there’s a nice musical interlude that might be fit for a 1940’s black and white picture but sorry I’m uncultured swine and I just can’t get down with it.
  7. Leave Your Life. I love the beat of this but natch the lyrics don’t resonate so much with me because I don’t have a popstar dad who goes on international tours. Ed wrote this song as a letter to his daughter in case anything ever happens to him. I used to go on and on about how I was my dad’s little mistake and that he was probably out playing a gig with his band Zipper at the Rusty Nail when I was born and couldn’t be bothered to come to the hospital. So I guess it’s kinda the same thing. Except my dad never wrote a song for me, he just wrote a bunch of songs about presidents, books and God. Your move, DEN. Also out of all of these songs, this is the only one that’s consistently been stuck in my head all weekend so it’s definitely got sticking power.
  8. Collide. How appropriate that after his love letter to his daughter, he writes a love letter to his wifey. This is basically a laundry list of all their memories as a couple. It’s like when you sign someone’s yearbook and write a bunch of inside jokes. And honestly that’s kind of the theme for this album. I understand Ed is an artist and he wants to release songs that he’s proud of and all, but there’s at least three songs on this album that I can think of that could’ve just been recorded for his family and shared privately. It’s romantic as hell to release public love songs that are very obviously for one specific person, but that person is not me and therefore I’m bitter as hell about having to listen to it. Whoops, guess I haven’t matured. The effort was there, I promise. But also, no one cares that you two have been to an Irish bar in Rome.
  9. 2step. Fun fact, I got firsthand two-step lessons from a Texas girl in a Boston bar while I was schnackered. I’m sure it was a real sight for sore eyes to see a bar with 5 people in it and 2 of them are two-steppin to whatever bro country song was playing. Haven’t 2stepped since then. In fact, gun to my head I wouldn’t be able to remember how to do it. The Jersey turnpike is the only dance move that’s stuck with me. #sorrynotsorry This song is a nice lil groove about how dancing makes all your troubles go away, which I wholeheartedly support. It’s also OG Ed with the double time singing/almost rapping and oh boy is it good to have him back.
  10. Stop The Rain*. What a cuppa positivi-TEA. See what I did there? Punny AND British. Also, just facts. This is a great anthem and I love it a lot. Plus it has CLAPS! The rain gonn’ come baybay, but just pop open that umbrella and keep on chuggin YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAAHHHHHHHH.
  11. Love In Slow Motion. Alright, back to his lady. This is obviously a nice slow jam for all the married couples who have kids or busy lives and don’t take the time to do date night or focus on each other. Take your time away from those runny-nosed puke monsters and talk to your sig oth and remember why you fell in love with each other and decided to create those runny-nosed puke monsters to begin with. Or whatever. I dunno. I’m running out of steam here, folks. I had the open mind to start and then slowly but surely it started to close as each sappy love song started playing. We’re reaching the end of our rope here.
  12. Visiting Hours*. Oh, great! I just admit I’m reaching the end of my rope and then we throw in a death song! READ THE ROOM, ED. Anyway, get ready to sob your damn face off to this song. It’s about wishing you could visit those you’ve lost and update them on your life and let me tell you, it’s beautiful and depressing all at once. Written for his friend who passed suddenly and sung at his memorial service, there will never be a dry eye in the house when this song is playing, I can assure you that. And not for nothing, but the composition of the song, using backup vocals in certain parts, the horns section and you guessed it, my favorite break for vocals only with no instrumentals at the end, CHEF’S KISS.
  13. Sandman. Remember when I was like hey maybe some of these songs didn’t need to be on a public-facing album that people spend money on? DING DING DING DING. I’ll take “A lullaby for your infant daughter” for 500 please, Alex. AUTOMATIC SKIP without even a second thought. I don’t have children so maybe those Ed fans who are parents will appreciate him including this but I sure do not. I didn’t think I was listening to Raffi’s greatest hits and therefore when this hit my eardrums I had to do a double take and be like did Spotify pull a fast one on me? Appreciate the calming island vibes but I’m lulled to sleep the normal adult way, to the sounds of a sitcom I’ve seen 9 zillion times. Shout out to the zesty way he sings “shake of a lamb’s tail” though. I’ll give him that.
  14. Be Right Now. Alright, we’ve made it to the end and the message as it has been on every other song so far, is LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL. This closer is about living in the moment and it’s a got quite a club beat but is also oddly soothing. A conundrum of a song to ease us on down the road. It’s a breezy palate cleanser to leave you twirling away from this chapter of Ed’s life. Also, I originally bitched about how long he’s gone without putting out music and then as I was diving into each track, I learned that he started working on this album in 2017 so my apologies for being a greedy dirtbag, apparently works of art can take time. Another note I’d like to make, the last track and the first track flow SEAMLESSLY together. A couple times I wasn’t paying attention and this song ended and Tides began and it felt like just a continuation of this tune. So well done for all your repeat listeners, Ed (whether you intended it or not) we’ve got two great bookends to this story!

Overall Notes: I mean not to beat a dead horse here but obviously this album is REAL specific to the place Ed is in currently and therefore lacked a lot of relatability for me. And again, not just because I’m a single bitter loser, but also because each song had SUCH detailed accounts of memories or things that have happened in his life. Certainly much more of a diary entry album than songwriting and music that we can all apply to our lives, which is how people typically connect with songs. It’s not a bad album by any means and it has a great and uplifting theme overall, but it’ll be lower on the list in my personal rankings, which are as follows: 1. Divide 2. Multiply 3. Plus 4. Equals. And remember that these criticisms come from someone who has never written a song, lacks all musical talents and just has a lot of strong opinions SOLELY based on her own worldview. So, if you loved this album and it made you feel like you were floating on air, more power to ya-take my sass with a grain of salt and a shake of a lamb’s tail.

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Playlist

Holly Jolly Bops

I was going through the ole archives to dig up all of my Christmas-related content for some seasonal re-posting. Not only did I find that I’ve watched and written about FAR too many Hallmark movies, but I’ve only made one Christmas music playlist and you know what? That’s just not enough. We have a very short window to enjoy this joyful tuneage and really make the most of it so I thought it was about time I gave you another collection of festive songs. I’m all about the holiday cheer this year. I think just like everyone else, spreading Christmas Joy is vital for survival right now. Like if I hadn’t gone out and gotten a Christmas tree and decked my MF’ing halls I would’ve literally dropped dead of soul-crushing winter is coming and life is still terrible depression. But NOT TODAY FOLKS! Today we listen to these jingles and Christmas dance our faces off.

1. Underneath The Tree – Kelly Clarkson. Kelly Clarkson had a Christmas album that was SNEAKY full of bangers. Unfortunately it was very obvious that she was inspired by her husband–see the song literally called “Winter Dreams (Brandon’s Song)” so now it feels sad to listen to because RIP to her marriage. I guess Christmas is back to being cold and grey for K.Clark. Hopefully she gets some new man candy underneath her tree this year. IF that’s what she wants, of course.

2. Like It’s Christmas – Jonas Brothers. You’ll notice that the theme of this playlist is modern Christmas – original tune style. After listening to N*SYNC’s Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Mariah Carey’s Christmas anthem on repeat for 20 years, I decided it might be time for a switch up and started to branch out in the Christmas music game. For those of you who are more into the classics, don’t get your undies in a wad, I sprinkle some of those in too. The key thing I wanted for this playlist was to have BOPS only. Cause we all need a Christmas dance party this year. Anyway, the JoBros’ put out a real snoozer of a Christmas song this year so I rewound to their comeback cause they knocked it out of the park with this snappy beat.

3. Baby! It’s Christmas – Jessie James Decker. Fun story time! When I lived in Boston for a hot second, Jessie had just released this album and was performing at the tree lighting and doing a meet & greet in the Macy’s beforehand. As someone who has drooled over JJD since she made her reality TV debut with her hunk of a husband, I knew that I needed to be present for this Christmas kickoff to make living in that dumb city worthwhile. Another fun fact about Boston, I had 0.0 friends there. So that’s how I found myself taking the T for an hour from Brighton into Downtown Crossing, where I was immediately hit with CROWDS of people standing outside of Macy’s. And then when I snaked my way into the store, I saw that there was a line waiting to meet Jessie that went through the bottom floor and up the escalator to other levels. So instead I went back outside and took this picture when they lit the tree and listened to her sing this song live (never once laying eyes on her) and jammed out by myself like the big celebrity-obsessed wiener that I am.

4. Glow – Brett Eldredge. Brett released his own Christmas album a couple of years ago and I gotta say he really gave Bubbles a run for his money with the ‘I’m wearing a velvet smoking jacket and singing brat pack style in front of a crackling fire’ sort of thing. This is probably the slowest song on the playlist but I still think it has a jazzy fun quality to it.

5. Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town – Bruce Springsteen. Besides the fact that it’s the Boss and this is a Christmas staple, let’s focus on Bruce’s yip yapping in this one. Nothing says Christmas more than Bruce shouting over a cacophony of bells HEY DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS? OH, IT’S CHRISTMAS TIME. Ya damn right it is, Bruiser. I need to know if Clarence has been practicing real hard so Santa will bring him a new saxophone. And I need to hear Bruce scold a bunch of strangers for not being good that year. Then Christmas can begin.

6. Take Me Home For Christmas – Dan + Shay. This was a new release this year and I was grooving and getting into the spirit weeks ago. It ALMOST made me break my don’t listen to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving self-imposed rule. But I held out. And it was WORTH it.

7. Christmas Tree Farm – Taylor Swift. I have to keep it real and let everyone know that Taylor’s previous attempts at Christmas music were ROUGH. In fact I distinctly remember my dad angrily telling me to “turn this shit off” one time when her Silent Night cover came on. He was pretty fired up that she changed the entire song. And that’s anger directed at Tay for good reason. It was a no bueno cover. She finally got it right last year though. All it took was for her to go back to her PA roots and show us some adorable home videos. This song makes me want to twirl endlessly amongst a bunch of Douglas Firs.

8. The More You Give (The More You’ll Have) – Michael Bublé. Bubbles is Christmas and Christmas is Bubbles. I could’ve picked 15 TRILLION of his songs to bring da holiday noise and da funk, but I went with this one because I had never heard it until today and I got excited about discovering a new jam. When that horn section kicked up it was GAME ON! He even tossed a “Woo!” into the mix. Give it to me, Bubz.

9. Carol of the Bells – Pentatonix. I follow Scott Hoying of Pentatonix on TikTok and when November hit he was like IT’S PENTATONIX SEASON and suddenly their official account was popping oooooffff. I love that their angel acappella voices have become synonymous with the holidays. This is easily my favorite song that they do even though they’ve probably covered them all at this point and have originals as well. I literally don’t have anything else to say about it because I’m currently listening and mesmerized by all of their voices doing all of the things.

10. Bring Me Love – John Legend. This seemed surprising for crooner John Legend to have a snappy Christmas jam but I certainly don’t hate it. Also I don’t know what it says about us as a society (consumed by Hallmark movies) but it is VERY common for people to ask Santa for love apparently. Seems like it’s kind of above St. Nick’s pay grade to get you a life partner but hey sign me up. I’ve also been good this year.

11. I’ll Be Your Santa Tonight – Keith Urban. I will be the first to admit this is a REAL creepy title and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to give it a chance but my trusted advisor tipped me off to this one. It’s not as fast as the others but it builds momentum and it’s highly entertaining. Why, you ask? Oh, because Keith made sure to put the most sexual innuendos in here and now we all know that him and Nic role play as Santa and Mrs. Clause. You’re welcome, world.

12. Run Run Rudolph – Train. I wanted one solid rock out with your candy cane out song on here and that electric guitar riff introducing a song about reindeer really did it for me. Makes me wanna put on my shades and slide around in my neon patterned shorts like nobody’s biz. (Yes, I am watching the Saved by the Bell reboot, no it’s not worth downloading Peacock for.)

13. Christmas, C’Mon – Lindsey Stirling & Becky G. I used to be SUUUUUPER into Yellowcard just because they had a violin and I thought that was cool as hell. Their violinist also happened to do backflips during their concerts so that really upped his street cred. Either way, I’ve got a thing for violins in unexpected places and I couldn’t tell you who Becky G is but Lindsey Stirling makes every song she’s on better. Feel free to drop a little dramatic air violin in on this one. Just me? K, whatevs.

14. Christmas in the Country – Thomas Rhett. I love TR and tuned into the country Christmas special this year just to pretend him and Lauren are close personal friends of mine. Unfortunately it was a LITTLE too scripted for my taste, but I sure do dig a country twang spin on holiday szn.

15. Under The Mistletoe – Kelly Clarkson & Brett Eldredge. DOUBLE DIPPIN, Y’ALL. Kelly and Brett have so many great songs but then ALSO dropped this duet this year and yes please! It’s the collab I never knew I needed. Also, it’s about making out *and stuff* WINK, WINK. I mean for real, this is an actual lyric: “I wanna spend my nights so hard / How much I want you” SANTA, BRING THESE TWO TO BONE TOWN ALREADY, GAWD.

16. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Lady A. Another classic tune about begging not to be alone on Christmas. I’m partial to The Eagles version but that was toeing the line of too depressing so after conferring with my Christmas music advisor, we selected this surprisingly upbeat version (even though I’ve shit on Lady A a lot this year for being tone deaf b-holes.) At least they crushed this.

17. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Hanson. I tried my best not to have any repeats from the original Christmas playlist I made because I wanted to keep it fresh with some newbies but honestly no one rocks around the Christmas tree as hard as Hanson. I put two of their songs on my OG playlist because that’s just how much I was a Hanson stan but truly this is my favorite version. Miss those shaggy haired mormons.

18. Baby It’s Cold Outside – Idina Menzel & Michael Bublé. I included this classic on my last playlist–Nick & Jessica style, but I’ve finally stopped wishing for them to get back together. Time to move on (her book told me to.) I like to include this song on all Christmas cheer jamfests because it’s gotten QUITE a bad rep in the past few years. Does this song sound like a rape sitch to you? The answer is an obvious no. Idina couldn’t be flirtier. Girl wants to stay. So let’s cut the shit with ruining this song–ok, everyone?! They’re both consenting adults who are just talk-singing about having an adult sleepover. LET IT HAPPEN. Also if I was on this duet with the Bubster, I would need no convincing. Just putting that out into the universe. Manifesting for 2021, if you will.

19. Winter Wonderland/Here Comes Santa Clause – Snoop Dogg & Anna Kendrick. Gotta be honest this one I kinda pulled out of my ass. I was like what’s a fun song I could toss in? And then remembered Becca (Anna Kendrick) trying to be a legit music producer in Pitch Perfect 2 and her boss being like you just make mashups and you’re never going anywhere. ZING. But she did create this magical Snoop Dogg Christmas song. And for that we are all #blessed. Take it away Snoop D-O-DOUBLE G. Give us that Christmas flow, yo.

20. Lit This Year – Florida Georgia Line. Ending on a high with FGL’s latest drinking song, HOLIDAY STYLE. They performed this on TR’s Christmas special and I started giggling like OF COURSE these two bozos made an original song about getting sauced at Christmas, and then to my own horror, I started two steppin as I was hanging ornaments on the tree. So give it a chance, IT’S CATCHY! Also, I may have taken it a scooch too literally as I got lit and proceeded to conduct a Christmas Card photoshoot solo dolo. Stay tuned near your mailbox to find out if you were a chosen one on the receiving end of my special card.

AND in case you missed it or it was blocked because Facebook and Instagram are a bunch of tightwads when it comes to using other people’s music, here’s my pride and joy this year…my first real tree! I have finally exited the Grinch regime that was my former apartment complex where for 3 years I was forced to have a tiny sad fake tree and lemme tell you, I upgraded Christmas this year HOARD. Merry Christmas from my home to yours (literally)!

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JUice

Weekly JUice

Week of 9/7/2020

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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

1. RIP to E!’s Kash Kow.

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…

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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.

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2. Nathan Scott Off the Market.

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She said yeah 🙌🏼☺️

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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.

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w/Jim – photo cred Fellini aka @stephencolletti

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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.

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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!

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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.)

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Playlist

The Breakup Boohoo’s

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.

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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.

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Music

Taylor Swift – folklore.

Alright gang, here we are, back again together so much sooner than expected to hear ALL of my unfiltered thoughts on every single song off of T’s new album. I’ve spent the entire weekend getting in my feels and listening to it so that I can bring you some hot takes on where her 8th studio album falls in the lineup. Right out the gate, this surprise drop inconvenienced me because I wasn’t able to skip on over to Target and get a hard copy for all of my listens. I’m still waiting on my deluxe edition to be shipped so I had to listen to Spotify like a poor (why aren’t digital downloads a thing when you purchase a physical CD?) which also means that I will not be able to review the bonus track until that bad boy arrives. Otherwise, let’s dive in to all the tales she told on this album.

1. the 1. “I’m doing good, I’m on some new shit” is one HELL of a way to kick off a surprise album. Also this is now the only appropriate response to “how are you?” for the rest of 2020. Strong first track and pretty much everyone who I yapped about this album to agreed. It’s easily my favorite song on folklore. And that’s saying a lot as Taylor just keeps making her albums longer and longer, thus forcing me to really pull a lot of commentary out of my ass these days to deliver these track by tracks blogs. Anywho, great beat to this and loving that it plays right into my hands of being a bitter cynic that thinks no one stays together anymore with “you know the greatest loves of all time are over now.”

Best Lyric: I’m doing good, I’m on some new shit (OBVIOUSLY)

2. cardigan. I gave a brief review of cardigan while I was listening for the first time and I really hated that she chose this song to do the music video. I immediately gravitated to like 6 or 7 other songs upon first listen to this album and cardigan was not one of them. The music video was fine, the song is fine, but it was tough to be the first snippet of this album I heard, especially while forcing myself to stay awake past my bedtime to rabidly consume it. I think she made it the “single” so to speak because it definitely sets the weird hipster artistic vibes she’s aiming for on this album. Also amazing marketing tool by her once again to send influencers Taylor Swift cardigans. Kinda shitty I didn’t get one, I basically live in the snowbelt of America and could really use a cozy cardigan with Taylor Swift’s name on it but WHATEVER Tay.

Best Lyric: And when you are young, they assume you know nothing (it’s true tho.)

3. the last great american dynasty. So the biggest thing I took away from this album is that Taylor basically wanted to tell other people’s stories. Real, made up, old, new, whatever. So as literally every single foaming at the mouth news outlet will talk about how each song is about Joe or Karlie Kloss (seriously, relax on the lesbian theories with those two)–I’m choosing to just enjoy the stories she’s telling and not overthink who they’re about. So I’m firmly Team Rebekah on this one. I love a divorcee who loves a good party. As far as the sound goes on this one, “I had a marvelous time” in that breathy Wildest Dreams voice really hits different. Made this a top song for me. That and the fact that she uses the word gauche. If I read that by itself I would never pronounce it correctly. But now that Taylor has sang it, I’m basically a wordsmith. Couldn’t tell you what I learned in college, a degree I’ll be paying for for the rest of my life, but now I know that gauche rhymes with goes and is a word for unsophisticated.

Best Lyric: The wedding was charming, if a little gauche / There’s only so far new money goes

4. exhile (ft. Bon Iver). I’ve never been a huge Bon Iver guy because he’s got a real sadboi voice and you certainly need to be in a mood for that type of music but call me a sadboi because I’m LOVING this song. It’s also very important for me to say (and this will ONLY resonate with One Tree Hill stans) this is a Peyton song and there’s no other way around it. Specifically, a Peyton season 5 post-rejecting Lucas’s proposal and having to see him move on with someone else. When she’s opening that record label in Tree Hill and just basking in The National’s deep voice sadness:

 

Ya that’s where I’m at with this song. And that’s fine. Peyton was whiny as hell and had two moms die and a casual psycho stalker so it’s not like her life was peppy but we’ve all had some Peyton moments where you just want to drown in haunting voices and feel sorry about your life. This is the PERFECT song to do that to.

Best Lyric:I think I’ve seen this film before / And I didn’t like the ending (not the first time she’ll reference a film on this album)

5. my tears ricochet. Taylor coincidentally dropped her MOST romantic album last year at the same exact time I was going through a breakup. Obviously I was bitter as hell and not having an easy time identifying with her rainbows of LOVE songs which really put a damper not only on how I viewed the album, but also how difficult it was for me to review it. Like ok, we get it you’re in love EYE ROLL, whatever. It wasn’t a good time for her to brag about it in my personal life and honestly it was rude of her to not take that into consideration. The point of that ramble was to say that if Lover was about Love, folklore is about loss and struggle. AND THAT’S WHERE I LIVE, BABY. I’m LOVING this album because nobody knows how to get down in the dumps like ya gurl the Salty Ju. Dramatic lyrics about breakups? PILE IT ON ME, BOO. SO now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s first confront her singing “cause I looooooooved you, I swear I looooooved you” in an Irish brogue. We gonna let that one slide? Her dramatics in love and loss have caused her to try out a new accent? Besides that little slip up, I’m all in on this song.

Best Lyric: And if I’m dead to you, why are you at the wake? (Every drama queen’s first post-breakup caption SEND.)

6. mirrorball. This was the first one I came across in the lineup of listening that I wasn’t crazy about. It’ll probably be a skip for me. Definitely a retro feel to it of the times when dance contests were all the rage. To be perfectly honest I kept thinking of the episode of Gilmore Girls where they do the dance marathon and wear 50’s girl outfits and Dean dumps Rory. So apparently I’m just going to relate every song off of this album back to mid-2000s teen shows. Super fitting for me.

Best Lyric: And I’m still a believer, but I don’t know why

7. seven. Another skip for me unless I’m really wanting to get in touch with my Lilith Fair side. If I may relate it back to another pivotal teen show in my life, this 90’s chick singer throaty vibe she’s throwing sounds like something that would be on Dawson’s Creek. I half expect to see Joey tucking her hair behind her big ass ears and Dawson talking about how badly he wants to stop talking about sex and start having it in his giant army green cable knit sweater. I’m sorry. I can’t stop. I’m a teen soap monster.

Best Lyric: And I think you should come live with me / And we can be pirates (cause why not?)

8. august. Ok she got me back on this one. Summer is my favorite season of all time and also feels like it goes SO fast, so leave it to Taylor to put that into beautiful words and also use comparisons to wine to get my attention. August is the Sunday night scaries of summer. And we’re almost there, unfortunately so this is hitting a little too close to home right now. I’m not ready for fall. I’m NEVER READY FOR FALL. What helps a little bit is toward the end of the song when she gets a little pep in her step with “remember when I pulled up and said get in the car” and it was giving me a little Getaway Car flashback. Or, in dumber terms, my note in my phone for that part of the song is “YAAASSSSSSS.”

Best Lyric: For me, it was enough / To live for the hope of it all

9. this is me trying. This falls in middle ground territory. This song is neither great nor terrible. It’s got a lot of the elements that we’ve already seen her leaning into on this album. References to a failed relationship being a film, a breathy orgasmic outburst (AT LEAST I’M TRYING) and killer lyrics. The person contributing to lyrics genius claims this is a Taylor taking credit for her flaws in relationships song, and yet there’s a HEAVY undertone of this individual being an alcoholic, which I don’t believe Taylor is, so I think her fans really need to cool it on reading into every song relating directly back to her life. Also there’s a real divide between fans who think she secretly married Joe and fans who think she broke up with him and let me be clear ALL OF THESE THEORIES ARE CONCLUDED FROM PEOPLE OVER-ANALYZING HER LYRICS. God quarantine needs to end cause we all need to get a life. (FTR, I’m firmly in the Joe is her end game camp…so if they’re married I wouldn’t be surprised.)

Best Lyric: They told me all of my cages were mental / So I got wasted like all my potential / And my words shoot to kill when I’m mad / I have a lot of regrets about that (B2B bomb lyrics. Verse 2 packed a punch.)

10. illicit affairs. Maybe Tay wrote this one about her good bud JT. BAM. Ricochet shot. (I’ll never be over JT being a public cheater, oBViOuSlY.) I do really like this song for her going up into the high notes for random words. It’s like the musician version of putting a word in bold. I also giggled at “tell your friends you’re going for a run, you’ll be flushed when you return.” As if anyone could pass off banging in a hotel room as a quick jog.

Best Lyric: And you know damn well / For you, I would ruin myself / A million little times

11. invisible string. Oohh shit we’ve got a little banjo in the mix now! What a nice way to spice things up as I was just starting to move into a comatose state of synths. For the record, this does seem like a song about Joe. She had to sneak one in somewhere. It was only fair. So we’ll rap about how she references the song Bad Blood, which apparently Joe heard in a cab in LA, a reference to the yogurt shop he used to work at, the dive bar where they hung out that she referenced in delicate and then there’s a little part about boys who broke her heart and now she sends their babies presents. Which led to an unfortunate headline on one of the gossip rags about how Taylor Swift is sending Joe Jonas a baby gift. And honestly, she dated Joe for a brief mo when she was like 18 and he dumped her on a 30 second phone call so are we really doing a callback to that garbage relashe? I feel like people are so desp to create headlines out of her lyrics that they’re really starting to reach. Either way, another lovely ode to her current relationship–he gets paper rings AND invisible strings.

Best Lyric: Hell was the journey but it brought me heaven

12. mad woman. Our first Taylor Swift F bomb. THIS IS AN OCCASION. Taylor has been OVERLY PG on most of her albums. I believe we got our first swear on Reputation (shit) and nothing has ever escalated beyond that. So to get a straight F bomb–AND have it not be the only one on this album. Praise be, our girl’s all grown up! My trash mouth that can’t STOP F bombs from flying is v. proud of her for this. But also this is a classic Taylor feminist song. Pointing out the double standards of men vs. woman and showing that passionate females are treated like they should be committed. This tune could be a GREAT soundtrack for the latest Dirty John season because Betty Broderick was a straight up MAD WOMAN.

Best Lyric: Or does she mouth, “Fuck you forever”? (Adding forever in really makes this curse slap harder.)

13. epiphany. This is a church hymn. Since I’m not in the business of listening to prayers, chants and church jingles in my free time, I’m fully out on this song. It’s like the “it’s nice to have a friend” of this album. Immediate skip. Sorry not sorry. It’s apparently about her grandfather serving in the war, which is ironic because it gives me PTSD to high school when I had to go to church every Sunday and if I missed one I had to go to confession. (Obviously that is said with the most sarcasm, being at war has no comparison to going to church in white suburbia so pls don’t cancel me.) TYSM.

Best Lyric: Only twenty minutes to sleep / But you dream of some epiphany / Just one single glimpse of relief / To make some sense of what you’ve seen

14. betty. This was like ALL THE RAGE the day the album came out that Taylor released the name of Blake Lively and Ryan Reynold’s third child that they hadn’t announced yet. To think that Taylor who has everything planned and pre-meditated about her music and her marketing and how she puts herself out there would have just casually decided to out a child’s name without their parent’s permission is straight idiotic. I can guarantee you that she wrote the song and immediately sent it to them and asked for their feedback. So everyone trying to call her a bad friend needs to take a page from Lover and CALM DOWN. She happened to toss their collection of RANDOM ASS names into this song. Like honestly Blake and Ryan seem pretty normal (for being gorgeous and rich celebs) and yet named their three girls James, Inez & Betty. K. Anyway, now that we’ve established that she used their names and they have absolutely nothing to do with the song, let’s talk about how this is an OG Taylor smash. It’s got all of the early, crimped hair, Christmas Tree farm in backwoods PA sounds to it and I love this nostalgic flashback. That harmonica, OOOooOO Baby. Also, notably, another F bomb.

Best Lyric: Standing in your cardigan / Kissin’ in my car again (what a rhyme.)

15. peace. The second this song started I was like am I listening to a John Mayer song? That guitar coming in right off the bat was an ode to J.May if I’ve ever heard one. And guess what? I love John Mayer so this worked out perfectly. I dig the stripped down guitar vibes and also this song had the most ME lyric of all time (see below) that I quite literally gasped when she sang it. So that certainly helps.

Best Lyric: I’d give you my sunshine, give you my best / But the rain is always gonna come if you’re standin’ with me (UM HI IT’S ME, PERPETUAL RAIN CLOUD FOLLOWING WHEREVER I GO, WAITING TO DUMP A RAINSTORM RIGHT ON MY HEAD.)

16. hoax. Not a strong finish for me. It sounds a lot like cardigan so this makes sense. It’s just giving me uneasy, eerie feels. Considering her drowning with her piano in dark choppy waters for the cardigan video gave me night terrors, I’m not so into feeling the creeps from a song. So moving forward, folklore will start with the 1 and end with peace. And that’s a wrap, folks.

Best Lyric: You knew you won so what’s the point of keeping score? (Another bomb sassy post-breakup zinger.)

BONUS TRACK – the lakes. TBD whenever my stupid CD comes in the mail. Thanks for making everything more complicated by cutting Target out of the deal, TAY.

Update: After almost exactly one month…I placed my order on July 24th, I received the physical CD on August 20th, I can now review the BONUS track that we weren’t allowed to hear for a whole ass month. WHY?! Honestly, WHY TAYLOR?! What’s with the dramatic delay? There were Swifties popping off all over TikTok that she was holding off on releasing the bonus track because it’d be announcing her pregnancy or marriage and here we are, The Lakes has arrived. And it stinks on toast. It says nothing that she hasn’t already said on this album. It’s really a meh song. One that I feel like I didn’t need to wait this long for. Is my bitterness clouding my judgment of this song? Perhaps a little. But it is most certainly not a bangpiece hit and there’s a reason it wasn’t included on the original album to begin with. Jus Sayin.

Best Lyric: I’ve come too far to watch some namedropping sleaze / Tell me what are my words worth (EAT IT SCOTT BORCHETTA & SCOOTER BRAUN)

@thesaltyju

When your #folklore CD comes a month after you ordered it with star confetti and NOT a personal cardigan from Taylor Swift herself. 🙄 ✌🏽

♬ exile – Taylor Swift

OVERALL ALBUM NOTES: I may be biased because I’ve been a Taylor stan my whole life but I commend the way that she can create a whole mood for each album. She’s pushed herself to make albums that sound completely different from each other and are so cohesive like a CD storytime. There’s quite literally a T.Swift album for every vibe that you could be feeling and I think that’s a really cool way to approach music. I mean if you want to scream F the world, you hit up Reputation, if you want to brag about meeting your soulmate–you pop in Lover and if you want to have profound thoughts and tell ghost stories, you fire up this bad boy. Obviously this is a slower record and much more for deep listening and none of these will ever be called bops, BUT I would also argue that it’s her strongest songwriting record. She’s always been a phenomenal songwriter giving fans relatable lyrics, but reaching and telling other people’s stories just added to that and I’m guessing because it probably started from her just writing away while in quarantine. I too have been writing away while in quarantine but my writing has a lot of swears and I’ve never once used a word like clandestine because I couldn’t even tell you what it means. Different strokes for different folks. That’s why we love Taylor–the word play, the references & easter eggs and of course, the dramatics when it comes to loves lost, I think this was a hot to trot lyrical masterpiece.

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JUice

Weekly JUice

Week of 7/20/2020

1. folklore.

So, Taylor made laziness during quarantine look like absolute dogshit. She went and recorded an entire-ass record and this announcement popped up yesterday morning like ho hum since I couldn’t tour I decided to just write and record a whole album and also a music video too, Cheers! Extreme Swifties were probably on suicide watch at the fact that there wasn’t months of lead-up with Easter Eggs and clues in her instagram photos. WHAT IS THEIR PURPOSE IF NOT TO DISSECT EVERY PHOTO AND CAPTION SHE POSTS AND PREDICT UPCOMING SINGLES AND ALBUMS?! I myself was scooped on the news, but that didn’t stop me from bouncing back with an obnoxious amount of Taylor Swift content as I prepared for the drop, even tying the throwback Thursday post I do weekly on my dad’s live music Facebook page to her new album cover. My knack for bringing everything back to Tay knows no bounds.

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And here’s my midnight gut reaction to her first video:

We get about 3 seconds in before she climbs into a magical piano and resurfaces in a magical forest, ooo baby we are full on whimsical TAY. Could do without her matronly 1940’s nightgown and little itty bitty pigtail buns but whatever we’ll let it slide as she was styling herself and also creating a whole music video so some things had to slip through the cracks. Welp and then things took a real dark turn and she was drowning in the ocean with a piano, which made me REAL panicky. Kinda wish I hadn’t watched before bedtime. Overall kneejerk video rating: 6–cool effects but generally wasn’t blown away. And as for the song itself, it was like sleepy time music. Definitely a whole different sound and not what I was expecting to hear, seems like she’s really going through a hipster phase especially knowing that Bon Iver will be featured on this album. Kneejerk song rating: solid 6 as well. Sixes across the board. Now excuse me while I listen to the whole album on repeat, get my deluxe edition (I went for the stolen lullabies version), read all rabid fan theories about lyrics and prepare myself to write you an obnoxious track by track review to debut next week.

2. Quar-engagement.

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So apparently when I told my gurl Demi to take it slow on this very blog just a month ago, she didn’t feel the need to listen. And hey, I get it. When you’re in love, your closest friends opinions become garbage because this person has your whole heart. Here’s the bottom line though. Hollywood has shown us (and quarantine especially) that no celebrity relationship is safe. EVERYTHING ENDS. I mean seriously look at Kelly Clarkson. So if Kelly, a mature, responsible and pretty “normal” celeb can’t make her marriage last, how much faith should we have in an engagement that comes a few months after they started dating and exactly two years after she publicly overdosed. (Like to the day…do we think that was planned?) Again, not passing judgment, just looking out for my bestie. I WANT WHAT’S BEST FOR HER. What I will pass judgment on, however, is that rock.

demi

I’m sorry but that thing is hideous, IMO. It’s a gargantuan piece of costume jewelry. Since US Weekly gave me a rundown on who this Max character is, and his top credits were a soap opera and a duet with the “Friday” chick Rebecca Black…I’m guessing he wasn’t paying for this ring on his own salary. But if he was, WHOA BABY. Anyway, I guess this is just another score for romantics who say things like “I knew I loved you the moment I met you.” Or Megan Fox who was married at the time she met Machine Gun Kelly and told him that he was her twin flame when she first met him and that they are two halves of the same soul. Good for you guys, I guess. I’ll keep on living in the real (super cynical) world where people fall in love and get married to people who annoy them a lot but at least they have each other to binge Netflix shows and snuggle with. This whole soulmate thing seems a little far-fetched. There’s a whole lotta people in the world, and especially in the case of celebs, they seem to find a whole bunch of different soulmates in their lifetime. Jus sayin. BE CAREFUL, DEMI. PROTECT YOUR HEART!!!

3. Our Future Pres.

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This seems to be a touchy subject because of the mental health that’s involved with it and I’ve seen people get condemned about “reporting on it.” HOWEVER, if you’re running for president of our country, I believe that speaking about your outbursts is fair game, whether you are in control of them or not. Also, I feel like it is my duty to report the news that olds like my parents might not always be on top of. For instance, when my mom came into my room the other night and was like what’s the deal with Kanye and Kim getting a divorce? My mom doesn’t have twitter. So I’m just serving the community here by consistently screenshotting tweets that I know Kanye will immediately delete. And there’s a lot to unpack here from just one week. It all started when Kanye held his first candidate rally, because yes he legitimately registered to run for president. In this rally, he ranted about Harriet Tubman not actually freeing the slaves and then worst of all–he admitted that when Kim found out she was pregnant, he was dating other ho’s at the time and immediately wanted her to abort the baby. Apparently they went back and forth for a month or so before God sent him a sign by blacking out his computer while he was trying to work that he should have this baby. So they had North. And then he screamed and cried about how he almost killed his daughter and wanted to and how his father wanted to kill him but his mom saved him. HEAVY stuff. Not to mention, North is now 7 years old. And her father is publicly ranting about how he wanted to abort her. YIKES ON BIKES. Naturally, reports surfaced that Kim was not pleased and then the tweets started rolling in. Here’s a collection of tweets from both nights where he popped off this week (most have since been deleted.)

So basically, Kanye called his wife a playboy whore, called his mother in law an enabler to her whoring, said they both tried to have him committed and they need to back off, accused Kim of cheating with Meek Mill and that he wants to divorce her, then rambled about different celebrities even tossing Bill Cosby into the mix and blaming NBC for his downfall. He also posted a video with Dave Chappelle saying he came to check on him and it was a super cringeworthy several minutes of Kanye forcing Dave to tell him a joke to uplift him and Dave looking very uncomfy. Then Kim spoke out:

Basically asking everyone to respect his disease and the fact that they can’t really do anything for an adult with bi-polar disorder unless he asks for help. The whole thing is just an ongoing shit show. Obviously Kanye is not well mentally. Obviously the entire Kardashian family lives off of having transparent lives and filming their every move for the E! network. These two things do not go hand in hand. Throw in a presidential race and you’ve got total chaos. Kanye, please go quietly into the night, get some help and maybe separate yourself from the Kardashian family because it doesn’t seem like y’all mesh well. Not even Kris can get a handle on this situation. He’s out here calling her Kris Jong-Un. THE DISRESPECT IS REAL. But seriously let’s end this before it gets worse. His poor kids don’t need to be reading about their dad’s manic raves and we certainly don’t need anymore politics drama. The world is angry enough. Cut the shit ‘ye. Also, not for nothing but he announced an album drop mid-rave set for today and I respect the hell out of the fact that Taylor came from the clouds and was like nah, B, I’m gonna drop on album on Friday. BOOYAH. I hope this feud never dies.

4. Secret Baby.

JTJessica

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This is low on the list because I have 0.0 evidence that it’s real. Stories started surfacing at the beginning of the week that Jess just casj had a baby. Obviously we had no idea she was even pregnant and there has been no confirmation from them if it’s true so I guess we have a MAYBE baby? And honestly, damn you Kylie for starting this secret pregnancy shit. I’m so f**king over it. Either publicly have a baby because you have chosen a life in the spotlight or don’t have kids at all. GAWD YOU CELEBS ARE SO SELFISH. It probably wasn’t hard for Jess to hide this pregnancy considering they’ve been quarantined in Montana for 6 months–aka the entire time she would be showing basically, but at the same time, throw us a freaking bone. And not for nothing if this IS true, this is 9 trillion percent a post-cheating makeup baby. Oopsie JT strayed outside the marriage, got caught HOARD, and then they decided another kid might fix their marital problems. Obviously I’m still bitter but at least I can always hang my hat on being prettier than Jess. Also, while discussing this surprise baby with my mom, she told me “good for them, they got through the cheating scandal. A lot of people have little blips.” So basically I learned that my mom is dead to me for supporting their marriage, which I’ve hated since the beginning, but she’s also casj cool about cheating. Celeb gossip bringing out the truth in families all over.

5. This Week’s Reunions.

Apparently Katie Couric is VERY into The Parent Trap…so much so that she felt a reunion was necessary. I will save you all the 30 min watch and give you the recap since these reunions are all the rage now and not everyone wants to watch each one (I know, I’m a godsend for doing the dirty work with all of my free time.) I think probably the most baffling thing about this was how much Dennis Quaid yammered on about how he knew the moment he met Lindsay that she was SO talented and amazing. And honestly, The Parent Trap is a great movie, and all of the awards to Meredith Blake for being such an all-time bitch character and the actress who played her for consistently leaning into it on social media, but we’re not talking about an Oscar-worthy movie here. This is a light-hearted family flick remake. So we can relax with talking acting chops. ESPECIALLY when it comes to Lindsay Lohan. I mean this was the girl who most recently moved to Dubai just because and then had a reality show about a Greek beach club she was “managing.” She has had her talons in any sense of the word fame for as long as I can remember. Even having her mom get in on it with her dating stories and her dad being a real trashmonster. But even so, her family aside, Dennis Quaid was waxing poetic about what a great actress she is. I’m happy to take everyone’s views down a peg with this memory.

And one of my favorite shows of all time and highly underrated, Happy Endings also hopped on the reunite for a good cause wagon and did a bonus zoom episode. I was pleasantly surprised once again at how well they did considering it was all done digitally. Their characters were still intact and the best thing about the show is their snappy dialogue which was not lost in the method. If you have yet to become a Happy Endings fan, I would recommend binging via Hulu as there’s only 3 seasons and they’re quick half hour episodes. You won’t regret it. You’ll also realize that a good portion of the stupid phrases that I use are ripped directly from this show. This bonus material just made me want more. BRING BACK HAPPY ENDINGS!!!

 

BONUS:

This is what the world has come to. Martha Stewart posting a “sexy” (the word is in quotes because I don’t find this sexy but the way she’s half closing those lids and popping that mouth open makes me believe sexy is what she was aiming for) selfie to talk about her concrete pool. I am done. Get me right off of this planet. I don’t want to be here for a second longer.

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Playlist

Summer Daze

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.

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